Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Brain Fitness - Part 1

Chronos Apollo
August 12, 2008
Dear Monty, 

I have been planning this newsletter 'Brain Fitness' for over a month now. As with most; I allowed my life to get in the way and procrastinated.
You know how they say 'things happen for a reason'?
Well; the last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind for me; and one of the things that happened, I would like to share with you.
FIRST: My patients' Karen and John need your good thoughts.
 Please say a small prayer (or ask the Universe) for strength and health for them both.
Karen and John's story:
3 weeks ago, they were living life as usual. They have 4 dogs, and 2 horses. They are a loving couple, devoted to each other.
2 weeks ago, Karen had symptoms of a stroke.
I know she won't mind me telling you all this: she felt something was wrong for quite a few days before this; BUT DIDN'T WANT TO TELL JOHN, OR ADMIT THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG.
It turns out that Karen had a brain tumor that bled; and she is now paralysed on her left side.
(Oh, she walked into the ER with John's help; refusing a wheelchair. He says he is OK with looking like a very bad husband for 'allowing her to walk into the ER'.)
She is being a shining example of strength; with smiles and many stories.
When I saw her, I asked her 'How are you'; and she replied, 'Not quite how I thought I would spend my long weekend'. She went on to say that instead of complaining, and bringing everyone around her 'down', she chooses to be happy and make the best of her situation.
Why am I telling you all this:
Well, let's look at the obvious.
Don't practice denial
Women, in all my 15 years of working in Emergency departments; ALWAYS MINIMISE THEIR PROBLEMS; IGNORE THAT SOMETHING COULD BE WRONG, AND PRESENT LATE.
No matter what is wrong, we wait too long to do anything THAT COMES TO TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES.
And I am as guilty as everyone of you who does the same.
So, let's make a pledge today, to be pro-active; and look after ourselves; and seek help at the first sign of something being amiss.
YES. Attitude is everything.
I have been reading a lot on personal development, watched 'The Secret' a second time, am listening to Stephanie Franks ('The Accidental Millionaire - her story of attitude and success; and talks a lot about personal attributes that lead to success -  I believe that health; personal success, financial success, relationship success; and spiritual success all have the same principles/ foundation).
Our mind can really change the outcome of MANY situations.
'If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change'.
Let's remember the power of our minds.
I'm sure there are more appropriate quotes - please send me quotes I can use: Let's collect them for Karen to support her.
I will send all your 'quotable quotes' to her and John.
* When you are under high stress, your cortisol levels elevate. This can contribute to poor memory (that you may only notice when you answer specific questionnaires; or find that you only remember 8 things instead of 14 things without writing it down - point is; you can still be 'highly functioning'; but less high that you used to!)
High cortisol impairs quality of sleep; and sleep deprivation makes your brain more tired and less agile.
* Reading, and actively engaging your brain in activities like crosswords, word games, mental arithmetic (brain exercises) help maintain brain fitness.
* Concussion or head injury increases your risk for Alzheimer's disease 2-fold.
* Estrogen is important to prevent Alzheimer's disease in both men and women.
Next newsletter will cover more.
In the meantime:
For those of you who have not had a Health Assessment at Chronos Apollo yet:
We are offering a 'Healthy Living' SCREENING service.
(This is different from our usual 2.5 hour intake process).
Until August 31, 2008:
Receive a complete blood test evaluation to assess your health situation. I will also request a bone density, mammogram, ultrasound, and screening test for colon cancer.
I will do a complete physical examination (covered by Alberta Health care) on every person who wants to protect their health .
(30 minutes out of your day's activities, and travel time - can you afford NOT to spend this time?)
Once your results are available:
See Dr. Lo ND or Dr. Drobot ND to get onto the path towards Healthy Living.
(another 30 min)
See Dr. Elena for information on lowering your risk for cancer (another 30 -45min)
You will receive a 'report' on our findings.
We have FREE parking, so no excuses.
(Naturopathic Medicine and health/ nutrition counselling are not insured by AHC.
Your investment for this service is $275)
Please call now: (403) 237 2353 to book your appointment.
Please ask for the Healthy Living Screening appointment.

Let's put it in perspective:
- BREAST CANCER:>500 000 deaths per year.
- COLORECTAL CANCER: 665 000 deaths per year.
So, let us think of Karen and allow me to use her story to remind every one of you to focus on health; get checked; even if it is time out of your day; or your hectic schedule.
Remember that you need strong immunity to protect you from cancer cell growth.
STRESS also affects your risk for cancer in the following ways:
- promotes insulin resistance, and this causes certain cancer cells to grow more quickly.
- causes weight gain which is directly implicated in certain cancers eg. colon cancer, endometrial cancer.

 Acupuncture and hypnotherapy are helpful in winning at quitting smoking.
(Remember, it is not 'quitting' but 'GAINING' health.)Exercise can improve your immunity. It promotes healthy circulation and healthy oxygenation of cells.
Yoga is scientifically proven to reduce stress.
Anti-oxidants protect your DNA from free radical damage and precancerous change.
High fibre will keep your gut regular and lower your risk of colon cancer

Thank you for reading my newsletters. I will make the next one 'more meaty' with information and hints. Tonight, it was all about Karen, and John; and what we can learn from their story. And how we, at Chronos Apollo, want to help you stay healthy. Enjoy your loved ones; and your life to the fullest.
I see the most amazing stories of love in the Emergency Department; and through the lives of my patients. I am honored and blessed to be allowed the view and inspiration.
To John and Karen: Thank you for sharing your story, your faith and your love for each other; and your strength with me; and with all my readers of this newsletter.
Dr. Natasha Iyer

Dr. Natasha Iyer @ Chronos Apollo
Chronos Apollo
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