Wellness Wednesdays – 6/21/17
Wellness Wednesdays is a MVMag.net-exclusive feature that curates the best health & wellness content from around the Valley and the Web.
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WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK
Struggling with Meditation? Go Easy on Yourself.
by Gail Lachs of Windsoul Studio
There are many studies and publications available that tell us that meditation is beneficial for our mental and physical health. A regular meditation practice can reduce blood pressure, decrease tension-related pain, strengthen immunity and increase our energy. The internet is rich with videos and reports of celebrities and powerful business people who will tell you that meditation is the secret to their success. Yet, there are many people who struggle to begin a meditation practice because they “just can’t stop thinking.”
Start with taking that pressure off of yourself. Our brains are not designed to stop thinking. Instead, begin with sitting quietly for 3 minutes to notice the flow and rhythm of your breathing. As a thought arises, just observe it without judgment or interaction. Let it come and let it go. It is completely normal for a thought to take your focus away from your meditation. Respond with bringing your awareness back to your breathing and continue the process. Some days are easier than others, but continue this practice and you’ll soon feel the many benefits of meditation.
HEALTH IN THE VALLEY
These LHS Grads are Headed for Careers in Health Care
Northern Essex Community College is a partner in a new pilot program that will prepare 16 Lawrence High School seniors for careers in health care. Thanks to an alliance between six of the largest health care providers in the Merrimack Valley, these students will have free training for jobs in health care over the summer, jobs waiting for them in the fall, and the opportunity to continue their education, while working in the health care field.
The six health care employers that have made this commitment are Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Holy Family Hospital, Lawrence General Hospital, Pentucket Medical Associates, Mary Immaculate Health Services, and Home Health Foundation. Each employer will pay for certified nurse assistant (CNA), Home Health Aid (HHA) or medical assistant training for one to four students, starting in mid-June, and provide jobs once the training is completed.
At an event launching the pilot program on Tuesday, June 6, John Silva, president/CEO of GLFHC, shared why his organization felt it was important to support this initiative. “There will always be jobs in health care,” he said. “We want you to develop a career, hopefully one you will love.”
Once students have completed the initial training and are placed in jobs, they will be encouraged to continue their education in health care. Northern Essex Community College will provide the CNA and HHA training and the Lare Institute will provide the medical assistant training. Other partners include the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, Youth Works, and the Lawrence Public Schools. The Lawrence Partnership facilitated the program.
The Carriage Barn to Offer Youth Suicide Prevention Program this Summer
The Carriage Barn will be holding a Youth Suicide Prevention Program this summer, from July 10 to August 11, that focuses on working with preteen and adolescents from Rockingham County. As with all of The Carriage Barn’s therapeutic offerings, the program will be equine-centric; and thanks to scholarship funds from Exeter Hospital Foundation, they will be able to offer it free of charge to a limited number of participants over the five-week period.
Horses are social animals with the ability to sense emotions, and provide a calming, non-judgmental influence for people working with them. Both scientific studies and anecdotal evidence show that working with horses in a therapeutic setting builds confidence, creates a sense of competence, develops problem solving and decision making skills, increases coping skills and helps with emotional regulation.
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Think Coconut Oil Will Kill You?
A recent report by the American Heart Association suggests that coconut oil might not be as healthy for us as the conventional wisdom suggests … but then, as it turns out, their reasons for publishing said report — as well as the facts therein — are suspect at best. Sustainable Dish has taken a look at the AHA’s startling number of corporate relationships, as well as some pretty questionable science, to offer a rebuttal to their now widely-cited claims.
What Ancient Teeth Tell Us About Modern Health
One of the more interesting facts about human remains is that, by observing the changes that occurred to our species’ bodies over time, we can actually draw conclusions about health in the modern era. For example, taking a look at ancient teeth shows how the human diet has changed according to the times: whereas the earliest teeth were the healthiest, with the advent of farming they came to be in extremely poor repair due to the amount of carbohydrates we consumed. (via Catalyst)
3 Surprising Benefits of Vitamin D
– Vitamin D can actually reduce your risk of multiple sclerosis, decrease your likelihood of developing heart disease and help prevent you coming down with the flu.
– Vitamin D has, in at least one study, proven to alleviate the symptoms of depression when given to sufferers.
– Vitamin D supplements taken by people who are attempting to lose weight have helped them suppress their appetites and thus lose more … but even among those who didn’t lose more weight, it at least improved their heart health! (via Healthline)
LOCAL HEALTH HAPPENINGS
The Lawrence YMCA is holding an Open House from 5 to 7 p.m., where they’ll offer free fun for kids — including a bouncy house, raffles and face paint — while showcasing their offerings for local families. Lawrence, Mass. | MVYMCA.org
As part of their new “Wellness on the Walkways” series, Lowell National Historical Park will be holding a Sunday hike along the Merrimack River and Western Canal. The free walk will begin at 1 p.m. at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 245 Market St. Lowell, Mass. | NPS.gov
Windsoul Studio is holding an informational event titled “What is Reiki Healing?” from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. The presentation will be followed by a group meditation and Reiki energy healing circle with the studio’s trained healers. Tyngsborough, Mass. | WindsoulStudio.com
Holy Family Hospital is holding their monthly Bariatric Support Group For Pre- And Post-Operative Patients at their Methuen campus from 6 to 7 p.m. The theme of July’s meeting is “Adjusting to the New You.” Methuen, Mass. | HolyFamily-Hospital.org