Thanksgiving Thoughts and Office Schedule

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, whether it’s to travel or to host a feast, I want to suggest that you take a moment each day to acknowledge what you appreciate in your life. In Integrative Medicine and Functional Medicine, we like to use tools that have been shown to have a benefit. It’s been well studied that focusing our thoughts on what we love and appreciate can actually change how our brains function, improving our mood.

Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who studies happiness, has 2 exercises based on gratitude that have been proven to increase happiness and wellbeing – the Three Good Things Journal and the Gratitude Visit.

With the Three Good Things Journal, every day write down three good things that happened to you and why you think they happened. In Seligman’s studies, after doing this for a month, people’s moods were elevated and they had less depression which lasted for six months.

In the powerful exercise, the Gratitude Visit, you take a week to write a letter of gratitude to someone who has been especially kind to you, who you have never properly thanked. Then you deliver it in person. This practice has been shown to result in significant improvements in mood for the following month.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of your lives, sharing knowledge and practices that enrich us both.

So not only is this a time of harvest festivals around the globe, and preparations for the long dark winter to come, it is a time to gather those that we love and appreciate around us, and to truly give thanks, both for what we have and for the more lasting good cheer it brings.

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We will be closed for the week of Thanksgiving from Tuesday through Friday. And as always, I will be available by phone and email for your emergent needs.

Office closing 3/27/14-3/30/14

Leonardo_da_vinci,_Heart_and_its_Blood_Vessels

“Heart and its Blood Vessels” by Leonardo da Vinci

I’m off to Boston for an Institute of Functional Medicine conference on Cardiovascular issues for this long weekend.  The office will be closed but I will be available by phone should you need me (unless it is an emergency, then the ER or 911 would be appropriate). The office will reopen Monday, 3/31/14.

About 2/3 of us will succumb to heart attacks.  This was not always the case.  Our modern diet and lifestyle are to blame for most of this.  Integrative medicine already has so much wisdom around how to reduce one’s risk, including options like changing to the Mediterranean diet.  This diet is based on vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil and fish, with small quantities of meat and poultry, with very little processed foods, flour, or sweets, and is proven to reduce your risk of heart attack, even if you’ve already had one.  This reduction can be up to 70%, more than any drug can boast, including statins.

This conference will dive more deeply into strategies to help prevent, reduce, and, in some cases, even reverse coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.  I’m excited to bring this knowledge back to all of you.

Deena