Exercise in regular dosing has long been known to reduce the risk of developing various cancers. Here's an intriguing study on the complex interplay of adrenaline and the immune system and how it may contribute to cancer prevention.
In practical terms, I highly recommend at least 20 minutes of a physical activity in whatever form you're drawn to most days of the week (if not all). My preferred forms are walking in nature, yoga and dance.
What are yours??
I am absolutely THRILLED to announce that I am officially joining West Holistic Medicine to practice alongside Dr. Jennifer Pollard, Vanessa Huffman, L.Ac., Dr. Dane Mosher (functional medicine), Chef Priti Bhatt and Lis Riley, RYT (yoga therapist)!!!
I'll be seeing patients Monday mornings and Thursday evenings starting March 3rd, with expanded hours within the next 3-9 months!!
I am so excited to finally have a location to call home for Neshama Medicine. Would be honored to serve any of you as your Internist and/or Integrative Medicine consultant.
Contact the office to make an appointment today!
512 814 0148
It’s February 16th and Valentine’s Day has now come and gone. Millions of people around the globe honored their loved ones with cards, chocolates, flowers, etc., on this infamous day. Yet, how many truly honor themselves? How many stand up for what they want and speak their truth? How many have a negative self-view and constantly berate themselves for not being slim enough or pretty enough or for not owning a bigger house or fancier car?
These are the questions I am asking today. Questions that go deeper than a simple Hallmark greeting.
For me, a new version of The Golden Rule could be: Are you treating your self the way you would want to be treated by others? Are you being kind to yourself more often than not? Do you truly, deeply love yourself? Are you walking your talk of self love or are you making compromises in order to "not rock the boat"?
If your answer to these questions is mostly yes, great! Sounds like you are on a fulfilling path of self love. Keep up the transformational work!
If you answered no, consider what it might take to have you answer yes to all 3 questions. For some, it takes a horrible illness or disease to have the courage to live the life they want. For others, it takes financial ruin.
Ultimately, though, if a person is to move towards self love after a devastating illness or financial ruin, a chain reaction towards a person’s “Phoenix Process”, as renowned author and speaker Elizabeth Lesser calls it, must be catalyzed. The Phoenix Process is the process of breaking fully open after a catastrophic event or trauma and subsequently doing the painstaking work to rebuild oneself. It is thought to be a regeneration or rebirth of great proportion, as referenced through Greek mythology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology).
Is it necessary to go through such a life-changing trauma in order to reinvent yourself? Of course not; however, major life events call in to question everything a person has known up to that date. People tend to live more intentionally during this transformation and typically only have energy for those people and things that truly excite them. It is a beautiful process to observe, however scary it may feel from the inside.
You may ask, "Why is a physician talking about transformation and self love?". Well, for one, as a physician, I’ve had the honor and privilege of guiding many of my patients through their Phoenix Process. Perhaps they are dying from cancer or are getting their life back from debilitating chronic pain through various lifestyle changes they have implemented (it does happen). Or maybe they are battling addiction and have been sober or cigarette-free for 21 days. Whatever the case may be, I feel honored to be there, on the front lines, with my patients through their transformation.
Secondly, I am also someone who has been through a few Phoenix processes and as such, I know how scary and liberating the experience can be. I am currently in such a process as we speak.
And thirdly, in most cases, self-love translates to health as it sets the tone for the way people live their lives. Whether or not you choose to eat well, abstain from smoking and drugs, exercise and treat yourself mostly stems from self love. And all of these factors influence your health. Of course, no-one can eat perfectly and choose only healthy behaviors 100% of the time, but we definitely ALL have room for improvement. And this doesn't mean that all physically healthy people are emotional healthy, nor is it vice versa. But, when you have a healthy self image, you tend to choose healthier behaviors that perpetuate your self love. Oh, and healthy behaviors make you FEEL good! :)
As the allegorical author, C.S Lewis once said, “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
So, looking at your life...ask yourself: Have you hatched? Are you ready to fly? Or, conversely, are you okay with remaining an egg? (All answers are perfectly fine just something to think about).
Have a great week and happy belated Valentine’s Day (aka Self-Love Day),
To those who came before me, I am eternally grateful.
As American doctors celebrated the first ever National Woman Physicians Day on February 3rd, 2016, I reflect on my road to becoming a female physician. I think about the trials, the tribulations and the triumphs that presented along the way. But none of these experiences seem as intense as what the first female physicians likely had to put up with.
Not only did these brave women have to prove their right to work as physicians, they had to prove their worth as females. I honestly do not think I would have been courageous enough to take on the abusive nature of their education and training.
Because of these Pioneers, I never questioned the possibility of becoming a doctor based on my gender (Yes, I questioned it based on whether I had the determination and fortitude to endure the 12 combined years of pre-medical prerequisites, medical school, and the greatest challenge of medical residency. However, never on my gender).
Women born in to my generation could be astronauts, lawyers, bankers, politicians and firefighters. We could be teachers, nurses and doctors and all without discrimination by gender.
But Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female to graduate from an American medical school, felt no such support. In an online biography written by the National Library of Medicine, it reads, “Blackwell had no idea how to become a physician, so she consulted with several physicians known by her family. They told her it was a fine idea, but impossible; it was too expensive, and such education was not available to women. Yet Blackwell reasoned that if the idea were a good one, there must be some way to do it, and she was attracted by the challenge. She convinced two physician friends to let her read medicine with them for a year, and applied to all the medical schools in New York and Philadelphia. She also applied to twelve more schools in the northeast states and was accepted by Geneva Medical College in western New York state in 1847. The faculty, assuming that the all-male student body would never agree to a woman joining their ranks, allowed them to vote on her admission. As a joke, they voted "yes," and she gained admittance, despite the reluctance of most students and faculty.”
Turns out, the joke was on them, as Dr. Blackwell went on to become the first female to graduate from the medical school. She eventually established a clinic in New York City called the New York Infirmary for Women and Children with her physician sister, Dr. Emily Blackwell and another physician, Dr. Marie Zakrzewska. It was there that they provided care for women, children and the poor. And now, more than 32% of the U.S. physician work-force is female. Although the profession is far from perfect, and women still suffer from a great deal of discrimination within medicine, things are a far cry from what they used to be! And for these Pioneers, I am eternally grateful.
So thank you, Drs. Blackwell and Zakrzewska, for defying the odds and paving the way for female physicians everywhere! You have left an incredible legacy.
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