The community is invited to these free educational events:
Oct. 19th: Strike the Right Balance: Integrative Strategies for Women’s Wellness, South Coastal Library, Bethany Beach, DE
Oct. 23rd: Healing Encounters: Alternative Therapies for Pain Management, Lewes Public Library, Lewes, DE
Please join me as I present the latest thinking on integrative medicine’s unique approach to wellness. At Think Beyond Pink, an annual event aimed at empowering women to think about their health and well-being, I’ll explore how the guideposts of an wholistic approach can help women on their journey to wellness, which can differ greatly from men.
A strategy that combines both traditional and alternative medicine can be of tremendous benefit in addressing the specific issues affecting women’s health over the course of a lifetime, from a high incidence of heart disease to greater challenges with work-life balance.
An increased awareness of the impact of heart disease in females, responsible for one out of every three deaths in American women (compared to one in 31 for breast cancer), is being seen. Important to note is that two-thirds of women who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms. Whether the focus is decreasing the risk of ever having a heart attack or preventing a second one, developing a plan that emphasizes the many aspects of a healthier lifestyle is enormously beneficial. An integrative approach considers proactive lifestyle changes as the first line of defense, and is central to changing the paradigm of treating with more medication or additional procedures. The emphasis is on healthy eating, regular exercise, stress management, ample sleep and attention to spirituality – all of which are proven paths to a more vital, joyful existence.
The importance of nourishing and sustaining a healthy microbiome will also be examined. This area is a focus of intense research now as we continue to discover the host of health benefits that result from promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Among them are full absorption of nutrients, boosted immune function, positive influence on memory, mood and cognition, and more are being studied.
Mind-body techniques for stress management will be addressed as well, including tai chi, qi gong, yoga, meditation, hypnosis, guided imagery and biofeedback. For women who often bear the primary caregiving responsibility for both children and aging parents, feelings of anxiety and stress can become part of their daily experience. These techniques not only offer proven ways to cope, but necessitate carving out the ‘me time’ key to achieving a genuine work-life-home balance. They should be viewed as a continuous process and not a short-term fix – but it’s never too late to start.
At “Healing Encounters: Alternative Therapies for Pain Management” scheduled for Oct. 23rd, mind-body techniques will again be highlighted for their therapeutic impact, along with other non-opioid solutions such as Chinese medicine, herbal supplements and the new promise of cannabidiol (CBD) oils.
The popularity of CBD oils continues to surge, as a growing body of evidence supports its potential for relieving a variety of conditions, including chronic pain. Made primarily from hemp plants, CBD oils don’t contain THC, the ingredient responsible for the intoxicating adverse effects of marijuana.
However, it’s still important to proceed with caution as CBD and hemp oils are currently sold as supplements, not medications, and their safety and efficacy are not tested or regulated by the FDA. At this point, the products may not include the amount of active ingredients or live up to some of the claims listed on the label. While more research is needed to better understand both potential safety issues and therapeutic benefits, CBD and hemp oils are a promising area for the future of pain relief and addiction management.
Other natural remedies that have proven effective for pain management include omega-3 fatty acid supplements for decreasing joint pain caused by inflammatory bowel disease; cayenne cream, aromatic lavender essential oil and white willow bark to ease lower back pain; peppermint for alleviating intestinal gas and abdominal cramps; and Chinese herbs such as corydalis to relieve inflammation and nerve pain. Additions to the growing list of non-opioid options are laser phototherapy, found to be a valuable tool for reducing neck and back pain, preserving muscle, and decreasing inflammation, and the ancient art of acupuncture.
All options are considered at “a healing encounter,” a very powerful approach which is characterized by an emotionally charged relationship with a helping person, a healing setting and an explanation for the patient’s symptoms. The physician and patient then work together to develop a continuing ritual or plan to help restore the person to a state of health.
Learn more at these presentations, free and open to the community:
Date: Saturday, Oct 19
Time: 9 am
Location: South Coastal Library, 43 Kent Ave, Bethany Beach
Registration requested at Eventbrite
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 23
Time: 3 – 4 pm
Location: Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Ave, Lewes
Registration required at Eventbrite