Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness

One, Two, Three and Breathe

Mind Health

By Judith Macek

  1. What is an effective or healthy way to cope with stress?
  2. Whether it’s physical or mental, stress is a pressure or demand on the body, and if you’ve ever experienced rapid heartbeat, headaches, nausea, insomnia, muscle tension and/or difficulty concentrating (to name a few symptoms), then you’ve most likely wined and dined with stress.

Although stress is typically associated with negative terms like pain, pressure, trouble and worry, realistically it’s not always negative or unhealthy. Everybody has an optimal positive stress level, which is called eustress. This motivates us to get out of bed and keep up with our responsibilities, while the unhealthy one, christened distress, may shift us into overdrive.

Imagine waiting in the doctor’s office with nothing to do. Yawning follows because the mind is bored, and hypostress (not enough demands) sets in. Conversely, if you’re running late, can’t find your keys and traffic is heavy, then you experience hyperstress. Stressors result from demands we place on ourselves (internal) or demands from surroundings (external). Whatever the source, the body’s first response is short shallow breaths.

We can either learn to control the breath or the breath controls us. One healthy effective way to cope with stress is with a breathing technique. Before beginning to practice this skill, pay attention to your breathing patterns.

A healthy breath fills the lungs and distends the diaphragm. It can be helpful to place a hand on your belly to feel if it rise and fall with the breath. One breathing technique to try is to draw a slow breath in through the nose while counting to three, fill the lungs and diaphragm, and then slowly exhale through the mouth counting to four. Repeat this three times. If three rounds don’t suffice, repeat the process. If counting to three isn’t comfortable, try four- or five-second inhalations.

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Open Wide and Smile – Modern treatment and After Care are Key to Healthy Teeth

I see many new patients who come to our office for “smile makeovers.” Some do it for a special occasion, while others thought it was about time to take care of themselves. Regardless of the reason, they understood the value of healthy teeth and a smile they could be proud of.

A physician in her 50s told us she wanted to look good at her daughter’s wedding and in the wedding photos. She had lost a few upper and lower front teeth as a teenager due to an accident. At the time, the teeth were replaced with permanent bridges made of porcelain on top of a metal framework used for strength.

Though they had lasted many years, they looked their age, with a number of fractures and chips, and some of the metal margins were visible. After exploring her options, we used a combination of all-porcelain bridgework in the front and all-porcelain crowns in the back. She confided in me that she wished she had done the dental work earlier so that she could have been enjoying the benefits, both cosmetically and functionally.

The wedding pushed her into moving forward with treatment. As she also travels frequently with her husband and has a grinding problem, we made her a soft night guard, which will help protect her teeth from grinding and any accident that might occur on the road.

Looking Good, Feeling Great

Another patient, in her mid-80s, was brought in by her daughter — a professor at a northeastern Ohio university — prior to their annual family reunion. “Jackie” had a large space between her front teeth that had bothered her for her entire adult life. After looking at various options, she decided to have four porcelain veneers placed to both close the diastema (space) and to make the proportions of her front teeth appropriate.

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Muscle is Your Body’s Best Doctor


Research leaves no doubt and the scientific proof is so overwhelming, it’s shocking that building muscle is not prescribed as THE frontline defense against disease.


Unfortunately, taking control of your health and fitness is significantly underpublicized in our hectic, media-frenzied world. In short, fatty muscles are killing you.


After you reach the age of about 16 to 20, your body naturally stops growing new muscle. That’s when the power of youth stops working in your favor.


Every second of every day, most of our 100 trillion cells in our body are busy creating new cells to replace old ones that are damaged or dying.

If you don’t do something to keep your muscles activated and strong, fat begins to invade the sedentary muscles, boring itself deeper and deeper into your muscle tissue — marbleizing the muscle much like a fatty cut of steak.

The wasting of muscle tissue damages the metabolic processes that take place and weakens your body’s natural immunity in direct correlation to the amount of muscle you lose. Over many years, the ravishing effects on the body threatens the health and independence of millions of Americans.


If that were not enough, things can get even worse for the female population. The average woman loses 0.5 pounds of muscle each year and gains 1.5 pounds of fat. By the time she turns 50, nearly half of her body weight is fat.


Hope and Help


Many world-renowned, peer-reviewed medical journals and scientists have established that an improper fat-to-muscle ratio — too much fat in your muscles or intramuscular fat — leaves us vulnerable to a host of nightmarish health problems.


According to a new report from the National Center for Biotechnology, lack of strength and muscle tone causes sarcopenia — a wasting of muscle tissue — leading to weakness, disability, increased hospitalization, immobility and loss of independence.

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Ask the Orthopedist: When Hands Aren’t Very Handy


By Scott M. Zimmer, MD


Why do I have numbness in my hand at night?


If you ever need to “wake up” your hand and wrist at night because they feel numb and tingly, it could be a result of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist or a condition called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). This condition is the most common cause of numbness and tingling in the hand.

If pain is interfering with your ability to get a good night’s sleep, you may be able to make a few simple changes in your sleep routine before seeing a specialist. The easiest thing you can do is wear a wrist brace to bed. This will keep you from compressing the nerve that is causing you pain.

You may also want to think about the position of your arm when you sleep. Propping your arm up on a pillow may help symptoms, while sleeping with your hand under the pillow will likely worsen the pain. Anti-inflammatory medication can ease symptoms but should be used under the care of a physician.

CTS can be associated with a variety of medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholism, obesity, diabetes and hypothyroidism. In most cases, there is no associated medical condition. Some other daytime symptoms include numbness and tingling when driving or holding a device or book for an extended amount of time. It is common for both hands to be involved, although one side may be worse than the other. Over time, some might experience decreased grip strength.

It is important to see an orthopedic hand specialist to get the proper diagnosis before any permanent nerve damage occurs. There are several clinical tests for CTS they conduct, including manual compression on the nerve and a test for loss of strength and muscle.

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Living, Working & Adjusting with Parkinson’s

Moving Day Cleveland is June 23 at Wade Oval. This celebration of movement will have not only a walk around the Oval, but also a kids’ area, resource pavilion, and two movement pavilions featuring different ways to get moving. Research shows that increased movement helps PD patients manage their symptoms. ...
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The Skinny on Skin Cancer: A Quick Check Can Save Your Life

It's fun to soak up the sun, but only when you're slathered in sunblock. Get outdoors and enjoy the lovely weather, but be smart about sun exposure. Skin cancer can kill, but routine checkups, self-exams and a generous dose of sunblock can be a lifesaver. ...
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Local Man Walks from Cleveland Clinic to DC with New Heart

He has met hundreds of well-wishers, some during donor registration events held with local chapters of Organ Procurement Organizations, which help maximize the availability of organs and tissues for transplantation and enhance the quality, effectiveness and integrity of the donation process. ...
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Who’s in Charge? Aging Parents Resist Interfering “Helicopter” Children

‘Do kids need to monitor every time a parent crosses the room or goes to the bathroom? You have to give them space to live their own life.’ —Grace Whiting, chief executive of the National Alliance for Caregiving ...
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