The Differences Between a Cold and The Flu

SYMPTOMS COLD FLU
Fever Rare This is Characteristic!!
High – 100-102º F; Lasts 3-4 days
Headache Rare Prominent
General Aches, Pains Slight Usual; Often Severe
Fatigue, Weakness Quite Mild Can Last 2-3 Weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Never Early and Prominent
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort, Cough Mild to Moderate; Hacking Cough Common; Can Become Severe
Complications Sinus Congestion or Earache Bronchitis, Pneumonia; Can be Life Threatening
Prevention Good Hygiene Annual Flu Shot or Flumist

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective DisorderSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that usually occurs around this time of the year and continues through the winter, especially for those of us who live in Northeast Ohio. In a recent article in The Wall St. Journal, it was reported that it may start as early as Labor Day for some people. It is thought that SAD is caused by a lack of sunlight which disturbs our sleep-wake cycles which then has an effect on serotonin, a brain chemical that affects our mood.

Symptoms usually come and go at the same time every year, starting in September or October and ending in April or May. Because the symptoms of SAD are very similar to the symptoms of depression, your physician can make a diagnosis if you have had the same experience for two consecutive years – especially when the symptoms disappear in the spring and summer. It is most common in people between the ages of 15 and 55 and occurs mostly in women.

The symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling sad, unhappy, anxious, moody or irritable
  • Weight gain due to craving carbohydrates and having an increased appetite
  • Sleeping more but feeling tired during the day
  • Less energy and difficulty functioning especially in the afternoon
  • Lose of interest in socializing or participating in your usual activities

The good news is that SAD is treatable. Daily light therapy by way of a “light box”, a bright fluorescent lamp (10,000 lux), has been found to be very beneficial. Spending 15-30 minutes outdoors even on a cloudy day, as well as, regular exercise such as walking, swimming or riding a stationary bike is recommended. Finally, it is important to discuss your symptoms with your physician because an antidepressant may be beneficial in reducing or eliminating the symptoms of SAD.

Self-Care

Blue WildflowerSelf-care should be in the vocabulary of – and practiced by – everyone. Self-care is learning how to care for ourselves by identifying what we need to do to be healthy, vibrant individuals and then practicing these habits on a daily basis. As integrated beings we are body, mind, emotion, and spirit – we cannot separate one aspect of ourselves from another. When we are physically ill – we are also effected emotionally and when we are stressed and feeling emotional – it effects our physical body, as well as, our thinking and cognitive functioning.

One of the most important things is to have balance in our lives. Although we are slow to recognize what may be happening, we know when we’re out of balance. We overindulge, eat the wrong foods, do not get enough sleep, become irritable and stressed – resulting in fatigue and loss of energy.

Does it take discipline to practice self-care? Absolutely! But the rewards far out weigh the effort. To nurture our physical body it’s important to eat nutritiously. Start to read labels and avoid foods that contain high fructose corn syrup (you’ll be amazed at how many foods do). Eat less sugar, red meat and white flour and instead eat more fiber, fruits and vegetables. Limit caffeine and increase the amount of water you drink daily (half your weight in ounces). In addition, exercise and get eight hours of horizontal rest. You’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel.

To nurture our emotional, mental and spiritual health we need to take time for prayer and/or meditation, create new habits, take time to laugh and have fun. Gift yourself with 10 minutes a day to just be silent. Finally, because healthy relationships nurture us, tell your family and friends how much you love them, and most importantly – love yourself for the wonderful person that you are.

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness MonthOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month and although great strides have been made, breast cancer continues to be the second leading cause of cancer death for females – following lung cancer. Although men can develop breast cancer, it is about 100 times more common in women then in men. The good news is that breast cancer is treatable. Of vital importance not only for breast cancer but for all cancer – is early detection – which greatly increases the opportunities for treatment.

For early detection the American Cancer Society recommends the following guidelines: [Read more]

Tips to Handle Stress

Published in the November 2008 Hudson, OH Chamber of Commerce Newsletter

Tips to Handle StressStress is with us whether we want it to be or not. We are integrated beings so stress can have a profound effect on us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. When we are stressed our sleep may be disturbed; we may have a change in appetite – craving carbohydrates and fatty foods; we may have difficulty concentrating, making decisions or remembering; we may become fatigued and have little or no energy or motivation; we may develop aches and pains, high blood pressure or  frequent illnesses. Statistics show that 85% of visits to primary care physicians are stress related.

There are short term and long term effects of stress so it is important to develop coping skills. We need to learn how to control it – not have it control us. So how do we do that? [Read more]

My Experience Offering Introduction to Healing Touch Presentations

Published in June 2008 (Energy Magazine)

My Experience Offering Introduction to Healing Touch PresentationsDuring the second day of my Healing Touch Level 1 class in Cincinnati in August 1997 I knew this was the work I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. I wanted the world, most particularly Northeast Ohio, to know about this wonderful holistic modality. I was accustomed to speaking engagements in my role as a clinical trials coordinator for Alzheimer’s research at University Hospitals of Cleveland. In fact, I once substituted for the Director of the Alzheimer’s Center when he was unable to keep an appointment to tape an interview, at a Cleveland television station, about the first drug that was being studied for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  

Shortly after attending Level 2 in September 1997 and for the next ten years I offered Introduction to Healing Touch presentations at every opportunity – to church and community organizations, to the staff of nursing homes, to teachers, to the nursing staff at Akron hospitals, and at several VA hospitals throughout Ohio as part of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) initiative by the VA’s Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center. [Read more]