natural medicine

During COVID19 we are Challenged to Change Ourselves

With COVID-19, life may not be the same as it was when we began 2020, and things might not return to normal as soon as we would like. But one thing hasn’t changed: our need to gain control of the daily lifestyle choices we make that are either bringing us closer to health and wellness or closer to disease.

We know that people with compromised immune systems, be it from pre-existing health conditions, medications or ongoing unhealthy lifestyle choices, will need to continue to be extra careful. And possibly more importantly, they and all of us are best served by taking inventory of our health habits and deciding now to make the changes necessary to improve our health and our immune system’s competency and resiliency. Those changes above all else are the real answers to true health and a strong immune defense system. Against any and all illness!

Challenge yourself to take responsibility to ensure yours and your family’s health and quality of life for years to come.  We can help.  Schedule your complimentary new patient virtual consultation by visiting www.NMRNJ.com/appointment-request/

Prevent Chronic Health Conditions and maintain your best Quality of Life

Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as a lack of exercise, poor diet, and inadequate stress tempering techniques to relieve chronic stress can all lead to the development of chronic disease or increase the progression of it. Yes it is true that the chronic diseases that truly plague our society are in fact mostly ‘man-made’. But there is great news. With new healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors many chronic diseases are preventable! Even people with a genetic predisposition to certain chronic health conditions can learn to maintain healthy lifestyle choices and reduce their risk, defer the onset or at least better manage these chronic health conditions.

As much as we pride ourselves in innovative medicine and lifesaving procedures, as a country we fail when it comes to our overall state of health. While we spend more on health care than any other country, as a country we have a very poor health status. We don’t even rank in the top 100 in overall health. Why? Our prevalence of chronic disease is off the charts including:  heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis and neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. And all fingers point in the direction of lifestyle.

In the early 2000’s great attention was paid to the mapping of the genome.  Our hope was that it would shed major light on the DNA mapping of these diseases and hence very specific and targeted treatment. It didn’t really go that way. We did learn however that the genetic tendencies a person has towards any given disease could in large part be influenced by their environment and lifestyle.  In so much, this has healthcare providers, who are truly committed to bringing their patients to greater health, focused on patient education, therapeutic lifestyle choices and integrative therapies that support the person’s own genetic expression of health.

We all could start with the basics of these lifestyle choices:

  • Eating cleaner, much less junk, sugar and artificial things, more fibrous fruits and vegetables, pure water, and less processed foods and meats.
  • Moving our bodies more, at least with moderate exercise at first and then with some rigor once we are in shape.
  • Making adequate time daily for stress tempering exercises and thinking along with adequate time for rest and sleep to rejuvenate the body and mind.

These fundamentals practiced with, as this is a major key, unwavering commitment and consistency, will go a long way for many of us to prevent or at least manage any health condition we may encounter in our lifetime.

While many people understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, they lack the skills and dedication needed to sustain these good habits. At Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation (NMR) our doctors provide appropriate interventions and encourage healthful behaviors by educating our patients with nutritional counseling, physical reconditioning and stress tempering techniques to start and maintain these healthy lifestyle habits to ensure a healthier lifespan and increased quality of life. NMR’s foundation has always been lifestyle based steeped in the concept of the Triad of Health which looks at what we eat, think and do.  Probably more than any other conditions, the NMR Triad of Health applies to chronic disease that our country unfortunately knows all too well.

Call 908-252-0242 to schedule your complimentary new patient consultation to learn more on how we can help you achieve better health.

 

Prevent, Reduce and Stop Headaches

Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation offers many treatment options to help prevent, reduce and stop headaches.  Headaches are one of the most common complaints that bring a person to a healthcare provider.

What causes your headaches?  Headache triggers are detected by centers within the brain.  These centers control many vital body processes: sleep/wake cycle, hunger, hormone and involuntary nervous system regulation.  Chemical messengers are released in response to your personal triggers.  These chemicals produce a number of body responses.  The most significant to headache is the dramatic effect to the blood vessels in the head, face and neck and to the neuronal activity in the brain. These vascular changes appear to be instrumental in the altered brain activity of those with migraine type of headache.  Depending on which vessels and areas of the head and brain are most affected, headache and the associated symptoms of headache occur such as pain, nausea, visual and vestibular symptomsThe more triggers one is exposed to, the greater the headache!

A quick fix (using migraine medications, aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen) generally works by creating various affects on blood vessels within the head or the neuronal activity within the brain.  When used frequently many of these medications can create rebound headaches.  Rebound headaches are typically even stronger headaches and create a vicious cycle of increased frequency & intensity!

Chronic sinus problems, allergies, poor posture, neck problems, a lack of exercise and un-tempered stress all contribute to your threshold to headaches.  Tension headaches are caused by muscle contractions in the head and neck regions.  A variety of foods, activities, and stressors can cause these types of contractions.  Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation manages these problems through clinical nutrition, rehabilitation & therapeutic lifestyle changes to significantly improve your threshold to headaches.

DSCN0017Acupuncture can provide drug-free relief for people suffering from headaches & migraines with virtually no side-effects.  Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release pain-relieving chemicals & hormones.  These chemicals are the body’s natural painkillers!

Biofeedback Therapy can reduce or eliminate the need for medications or may be an option when medications haven’t worked well. Stress is one of the main triggers that can bring on a headache or migraine.  When you are stressed your forehead muscles frown and tighten, jaw muscles tighten and clench and your shoulder muscles hunch and tighten.  Biofeedback sensors on these muscles can show how your body responds to stress.   Biofeedback therapy gives you instant feedback and helps you develop the ability to recognize and reduce stress & muscle tension to help prevent, reduce and stop a headache! 

Our doctors will also look at your nutritional habits to see if food may be contributing to the headache and migraine pain you are experiencing. Optimizing nutrition and hydration is critical to reduce cravings, improve energy, lose weight, prevent illness, reduce inflammation, and symptoms of disease.

Learning healthy lifestyle behaviors and increasing your awareness of things that cause physical stress and physical pain like bracing/guarding, poor posture, and improper lifting will enhance your results.  Chiropractic adjustments are very effective for treating tension headaches, especially headaches that originate in the neck.  Therapeutic Massage is used to apply pressure to soft tissue effecting changes by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation and improving range of motion by stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia (connective tissue).

Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation offers many treatment options to help prevent, reduce and stop a headache.  We also have a Workplace Wellness lecture on Headaches that we offer to local corporations to help educate their employees on preventative healthcare. Call 908-252-0242 for a free new patient consultation or to set up an Employee Workplace Wellness Program.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine that originated over 5000 years ago and is now being offered as a holistic approach to pain management at Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation!  Acupuncture can provide drug free pain relief for people with chronic pain and suffering by encouraging the body to promote natural healing.  The needling of acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release pain-relieving chemicals (endorphins & serotonin) and hormones in the muscles, spinal cord and brain.  These chemicals are the body’s natural painkillers.  The body produces them to influence its own internal regulating system and healing abilities to fight disease and maintain a healthy physical and emotional state.

Acupuncture is a drug free way for our patients to receive pain management and help them progress along more quickly in their rehabilitation program.  Physical rehabilitation plays a critical part of most patients care at NMR.  Joint, muscle and spinal problems demand stability, strength and conditioning if one is not only to feel better but also to restore function and prevent similar or worse problems in the future.  Incorporating acupuncture into a rehabilitation program can help people with chronic pain or suffering from such things as:

Headaches & Migraines          Trigeminal Neuralgia

Back, Neck & Joint Pain         Menstrual Cramps

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome        Osteoarthritis

Fibromyalgia                           Sciatica

Myofascial Pain                      Tennis Elbow

Acupuncture compliments the services provided at NMR to help patients with their pain management and move them toward not only feeling better, but actually being better and stronger!

Day #100. Weight loss goals met! The first 100 Day: A journey to health & wellness

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Boston Marathon Volunteer recap: Kristen, a Licensed Massage Therapist stretched and massaged runners after they finished the marathon. Sean, a Registered Nurse cared for runners along the course who could not finish the race.

It was our pleasure to lend our skills to the marathon runners and to the city of Boston. We meet some amazing people, heard some incredible stories and witnessed “wicked” strength & fearlessness.

Day #100

The first 100 days: A journey to health and wellness:

We started this project because we wanted to learn how to lose weight and maintain weight loss, long term. For 100 days we shared our measurements and our experiences, good and bad. We also offered helpful tips that we learned along the way. Tips about nutrition, healthy lifestyle habits, exercise, healthy recipes and goal setting.

Why 100 days?

  • 100 days allows enough time to create new habits and new routines. Even when given all the tools to be successful, success does not happen overnight. Nearly every day we learned something new about ourselves (willpower, wants vs. needs, motivation and commitment) or about the science of weight loss/ weight management (muscle, fat, metabolism, nutrition, and aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise).
  • Weight loss plateau is inevitable. 100 days allowed us time to hit a plateau, make necessary changes and continue losing weight.
  • 100 is a nice round number.

What did you eat?

Our nutrition changed throughout the 100 days. The first 7 days is considered a “food detox” made up of mostly vegetables, low glycemic fruits, nuts and protein shakes. The detox “resets” the digestive system by eliminating foods that cause inflammation and reduces unhealthy food cravings. After the detox, we slowly incorporated starchy vegetables and lean animal proteins. Now we follow the 50-25-25 rule. Each main meal is portioned into 50% vegetables, 25% complex starches (example: quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes) and 25% lean animal protein. Snacks include low glycemic fruits, nuts and protein shakes.

Our daily intake of dairy, gluten and sugar is very limited. There are many types of food that claim to be healthy, we have learned that most of those claims are false. We now read nutrition labels and the list of ingredients. We stay away from foods that contain ingredients we cannot pronounce, artificial sweeteners and pre-packaged foods that contain more than 5 ingredients.

One day per week we have a “free” day. We rarely take full advantage of a “free” day because it is hard work to get back on track and we typically feel “hungover” after eating a lot of sugary, salty, and/or fatty foods.

Did you exercise?

Yes we did. Prior to starting this project 90% of our exercise was aerobic exercise, we are runners. We are runners that love to eat. One of our bad eating habits, included “rewarding” ourselves with high calorie/high fat foods after we ran. That was just the start of our bad eating habits.

During this project we learned how the food we eat can cause local and systemic inflammation, inflammation that causes aches and pains throughout the body. We also learned to the value of weight training. Weight training builds muscle that increases basal metabolic rate = increasing the amount of calories burned at rest. Since increasing our anaerobic exercise routine, we have seen many changes in our physique and overall strength.

To be honest, we did not exercise as often as Dr. Sferra suggested (4-5 days per week). We are getting better about making exercise a priority, we now exercise for 1 hour per day at least 3 days per week. We must admit we have better weight loss results and feel better when we exercise 4-5 times per week.

How much weight did you lose?

Weight loss goals met!

Kristen lost 15 lbs. and a total of 10.5 inches.

Sean lost 22 lbs. and a total of 10 inches.

**Kristen’s mom and Sean’s dad are also following Dr. Sferra’s plan. Kristen’s mom has lost 30.8 lbs. (since January) and Sean’s dad has lost 20 lbs. (since February).**

The project is over, now what?

Now we do more of the same. We have new routines that we follow that keep us on track. We will work on our new weight loss and fitness goals. We would like to achieve those goals before we get married in October.

 The first 100 days: A journey to health and wellness project has without a doubt changed our lives. Below are a few things we learned about nutrition, exercise and ourselves:

Note from Sean:

Nutrition – What you DO eat is just as important as what you DON’T eat.

Exercise – I learned the importance of frequent exercise and weight training.

Myself – I don’t need my vices (diet soda, coffee with Splenda, bread with every meal, etc), but I do need nutrient rich foods. I now choose to feed my body, not my cravings.

Note from Kristen:

Nutrition: I have learned to eat to run instead of running to eat.

Exercise: I was surprised to learn that I actually enjoy weight training! I have seen my body transform. I am much stronger than I once thought.

Myself – I still love sweets, that will never go away but I have learned that I have the power to walk away. It also helps to not have junk food in the house.

 If you would like to start your own weight loss journey call 908-252-0242 and mention the First 100 Days Project to receive a FREE consultation that will outline and explain YOUR individual weight management program.

Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation

West End Physical Therapy, 10-12 West End Court, 2nd Floor, Long Branch, NJ 07740 | Phone 732.222.7799

399 Campus Drive, 1st Floor, Somerset, NJ | Phone 908.252.0242| Fax 908.252.0243