You are invited to join me (Dr. Erica Volk) for a monthly book club featuring excellent and inspiring books about health and wellness! We will meet at Momentum Health on Richter Street. Admission is free but registration is required.
We read a variety of books (one every month or so) on many subjects from mindfulness to mental health to chronic disease and more. If you want to read books that inspire and broaden your mind, and then discuss them with a group of similarly interested folks, join me!
What you have to do: Read the monthly book, register to attend, and show up!
Our next meeting will be February 6, 2018 and we will discuss Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
"From the founder of the Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center comes this definitive guide to using mindfulness--moment-to-moment awareness--in coping with both illness and the day-to-day tensions encountered in life."
To register, email me at email@example.com or contact the front desk at Momentum Health at (778) 484-6070.
To see all Book Club events, join the Facebook group.
If you haven’t heard about the idea of supplementing with probiotics--bacterial strains--the concept can be a little off-putting, especially in mainstream North American society which is generally fearful of germs. But probiotic supplements have been gaining popularity, earning the rank of third most popular natural product for both adults and kids in the 2012 National Health Interview Survey.
It might sound weird, but in today’s world, we often forget to breathe. Not just the type of breathing that we do automatically (which keeps us alive), but the deep, belly breaths that fill our lungs completely.
Many common habits lead to shallow breathing, which can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. Using smartphones, computers, chronic “busy-ness,” having a sedentary lifestyle--all of that results in us not using our lungs to their full potential. Most of the time, we don’t even notice we’re breathing shallowly. The next time you spend more than a couple minutes looking at a smartphone, try to tune in to your breathing. Do you get really still, taking shallow, quiet breaths? If so, it's due to a mixture of concentration and subconscious efforts to stabilize the tiny screen. The amount of time per day that we all use these devices adds up to hours of breathing shallowly, which can make us feel more anxious and less grounded.
Breathing deeply has measurable positive impacts on our physiology. When we fully inhale and fully exhale, it increases something called heart rate variability. Heart rate variability is essentially a measure of how responsive your heart is to physiological changes, and the more responsive the heart is to those changes, the healthier it is. A person’s heart rate naturally increases with inhalation, and naturally decreases with exhalation. The more often we take big, deep breaths, the better our hearts get at changing rates and reacting appropriately to our environment. If our hearts are responsive to these small changes, that means the heart can adapt to the larger physiologic changes that happen during exercise and stressful situations, which is very important for long-term cardiovascular health.
Another way that deep breathing can positively impact our physiology is to activate something called the parasympathetic nervous system. This part of our nervous system is responsible for the functions of “resting and digesting,” and helps us feel relaxed, helps us properly extract nutrients from the food we eat, and generally helps us feel calm.
Next time you feel stressed or anxious, take a minute to tune into your breathing. Are you breathing shallowly? If so, try taking a few deep breaths and see if it helps you feel a little better.
Give it a try:
If you struggle with anxiety or stress, schedule an appointment today to learn about more natural therapies that can help you feel better.
“Depression is not due to a deficiency in
These are wise words from a naturopathic doctor and former professor of mine in medical school. I couldn’t agree more! While antidepressant pharmaceuticals have their place in the treatment of depression, there are so many possible treatable causes that should be thoroughly evaluated, including (but not limited to):
If any of these factors are present, treatment addressing the cause could result in improved mood and quality of life. If you or someone you know suffers from depression, please schedule an appointment to find out how I can help you identify and treat the cause so you can experience the peace and joy that you were born to experience.