Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

Mind-Body Highlight: The Power of Heart Connection


By Sarah A LoBisco, ND

Naturopathic Fun Facts!

...a continuation and support to my homepage weekly blogs....

The Power of the Mind-Body (Dr. Hyman)

In his recent newsletter, Dr. Hyman discusses how the mind controls outcomes in our body!

Just consider these facts:

  • 95% of all illness is caused or worsened by stress.
  • Low socio-economic status is associated with poorer health outcomes and risk of death from all causes. This not related to poorer health habits, but to feelings of powerlessness and loss of control.
  • Internalized racism and stress are associated with high amounts of belly fat.
  • Stress hormones damage the hippocampus - the memory center in the brain causing memory loss and dementia.
  • In a study of people who volunteered to have cold viruses injected into their noses, only people with a high level of perceived stress got colds.
  • Women with metastatic breast cancer survived twice as long if they were part of a support group
  • Belonging to a group - a religious group, a bowling club, a quilting group - reduces risk of death from all causes and increases longevity despite health habits.
  • In a study of doctors, those who scored high on hostility questionnaires had a higher risk of heart attacks than those who smoked, were overweight, had high blood pressure or didn't exercise!

The good news is we can change our beliefs and attitudes and their effects on our mind and our body. You may need to learn a few new skills, but they are essential survival skills we never learned in school or from our families.

-Hyman, M. UltraWellness Lesson 7: The Mind/Body & Body/Mind Effect. April 28, 2010.

Conventional Care in Camden Uses Group Support of Practitioners to help High Spenders and High Risk Patients (Medscape interview)

The power of the doctor as healer (verses prescription pad writer) is revealed below. The power of the doctor as healer (verses prescription pad writer) is revealed below. This interview explains how a compassionate medical physician uses team building and social support to assist with health outcomes.

Dr. Brenner: We learned pretty quickly that we're wasting a lot of money in healthcare to deliver disorganized and fragmented and expensive services. When we ranked order by numbers of visits to the hospital and ER from most to least frequent, we found someone who had been to the hospital over 100 times a year. We also found that 1% of the patients were driving 30% of the cost. This was mind-boggling! We are wasting all of this money on people going in and out of the ER over and over and over.

Medscape: How did your organization -- the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers -- get started?

Dr. Brenner: In January 2002, we formed a breakfast group with frontline family physicians in solo practice who had been working for a long time in Camden. We didn't do hospital rounds or hang out with each other, so we had breakfast every quarter. We invited speakers and got to know each other. After about 3 years, out of this group we formed and incorporated the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.

Medscape: Who's in the Coalition now?

Dr. Brenner: Our board now consists of 3 hospitals, 2 federally qualified health centers, 6 primary care offices, a homeless shelter, 2 behavioral health providers, a church group, and AARP. So, we probably have 12 physicians; some residents; hospital administrators; and a mix of other people, including patients, on the board. The Coalition has become a very stable, nonprofit structure upon which to build interventions.

-Carol Peckham; Jeffrey C. Brenner, MD. Finding Hot Spots: A How-To Interview with Jeffrey Brenner. Medscape. June 12, 2012.

Work-stress and Depression (Medscape)

Given the link between the stress systems and depression, it is plausible to assume that not only acute stress related to negative life events, but also more chronic psychological stress may be of etiological importance in the development of depression.[4] Recently, an increasing research interest has been focused on possible work-related stress exposures, such as long working hours and mental health. Several issues support the idea that extensive working might be depressogenic. First, employees working long hours are likely to have reduced time available for sleep and recovery from work, potentially leading to chronic fatigue, poor health-related behaviors and, eventually, deterioration in health.[5,6] Second, they may also be exposed for longer periods of time to psychosocial and physical workplace hazards, such as high demands (which can also be an underlying cause of extended working hours) and other poor working conditions, as compared with those working shorter days.[6] Third, prospective cohort studies and case-control studies have linked long working hours to an increased risk of stress-related chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease.[5]

-Marianna Virtanen &; Mika Kivimäki.Saved by the Bell: Does Working too much Increase the Likelihood of Depression? Posted: 05/23/2012; Expert Rev Neurother. 2012;12(5):497-499. © 2012 Expert Reviews Ltd.

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Reisa Mehlman

As a New York State Licensed Aesthetician, New York State Licensed Nail Specialist, and the Director of Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa, Reisa combines her love of spa services and healing arts to achieve optimum skin and nail health, create greater overall wellness and bring forth our optimal, individual beauty.

"I believe that the day spa should be an instant getaway; a place that is quiet without being stuffy, relaxed, elegant and yet entirely comfy. You should feel warm and welcome, surrounded by people who care about you and what they are doing. This is the environment we strive to create at Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa. Here, you are never just the "next" number; we allow ample time for your services, offer a flexible schedule and can be reached after hours. After all, to me, spa craft is not really a business, it's a lifestyle." Read more...

Dr. Sarah Lobisco

SARAH LOBISCO, ND, is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport’s College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM). She is licensed in Vermont as a naturopathic doctor and holds a Bachelor of Psychology from State University of New York at Geneseo. Dr. LoBisco speaks professionally on integrative medical topics, has several journal publications, and is a candidate for postdoctoral certification in functional medicine. She currently incorporates her training in holistic medical practices and conventional medicine through writing as well as through her position as Director of Clinical Education for a highly-esteemed nutraceutical and medical food company.*Dr. LoBisco’s recent blogs about living naturally in our complex world and on the applications of essential oils can be found at Her book, BreakFree Medicine, is set for release this year. *

*Currently, Dr. LoBisco is not seeing new clients or practicing naturopathic medicine with private consultation work. Although she holds a license in VT, her current role is to provide support for clinical education and technical support on natural products, exclusive of any medical or diagnostic consultations or services. Read more...