Category Archives: Community Outreach

Vitamin D: Essential for Health (2 of 4)


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Vitamin DIn our previous blog we began a discussion about vitamin D and the wide ranging impact the steroidal hormone has on regulating a multitude of physiological functions necessary for human health. This week we will continue the conversation by describing what vitamin D is and what the recommended healthy levels of vitamin D are per the Institute of Medicine.

What is vitamin D and Why is it Important?

Vitamin D is essentially a steroidal hormone. There are two forms of vitamin D that are important to human health. The first is ergocalciferol or vitamin D2, derived from the ultraviolet exposure of mold or plant-based materials which has limited bioavailability due to its unstable chemical make-up (Houghton & Vieth, 2006). The second is calcipherol or vitamin D3, produced from the photoconversion of 7-dehdrocholesterol in the skin when exposed to UVB irradiation or, obtained through diet and supplementation (Norman, 2008). The vitamin D3 form is further metabolized by the endocrine system to produce 1α,25(OH)2D3, the steroidal hormone that binds to Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) located in our cells (Norman, 2008). These VDR’s are located throughout the cells of almost every organ in our body and according to a study in the open access journal PLOS one, may regulate the expression of up to 1250 genes in the human body, once activated (Hoessein-nezhad, Spira, & Holick, 2013). This is why vitamin D is so important to human physiological function. The expression of these genes affects a broad scope of vital biological functions from calcium homeostasis and blood pressure regulation, to immune system health and brain development. The synthesis of the metabolite 1α,25(OH)2D3 increases the bioavailability of the hormone in the bloodstream which makes the vitamin D3 form far superior than its D2 counterpart.

Recommended Amount of Vitamin D

To measure levels of available Vitamin D in the body, the Institute of Medicine recommends the following blood serum levels of 25(OH)D, to indicate status[i]:

Table 1: Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] Concentrations and Health* [1]
nmol/L** ng/mL* Health status
<30 <12 Associated with vitamin D deficiency, leading to rickets in infants and children and osteomalacia in adults
30–50 12–20 Generally considered inadequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals
≥50 ≥20 Generally considered adequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals
>125 >50 Emerging evidence links potential adverse effects to such high levels, particularly >150 nmol/L (>60 ng/mL)

* Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D are reported in both nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) and nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
** 1 nmol/L = 0.4 ng/mL

The recommended daily intake for Vitamin D varies by age as well as environmental factors. The following is the official Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D as per the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies[ii]:

Table 2: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D [1]
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–12 months* 400 IU
(10 mcg)
400 IU
(10 mcg)
1–13 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
14–18 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
19–50 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
51–70 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
>70 years 800 IU
(20 mcg)
800 IU
(20 mcg)

* Adequate Intake (AI)

[i] Table taken from: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

[ii] Table taken from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

 

Next week we will continue our discussion on vitamin D by examining the best sources of the vital nutrient, important signs to identify vitamin D deficiency, and additional information you can use to optimize your health! Stay tuned…

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Holick, M. F., & Chen, T. C. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1080S-6S.

Houghton, L. A., & Vieth, R. (2006). The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 694-7.

Norman, A. W. (2008). From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 491S-9S.

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of services designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

Vitamin D: Essential for Health (1 of 4)

Vitamin DIn April of 2003, scientist speaking on behalf of the Human Genome Project announced they had reached their goal. The collaborative efforts of scientist from across the globe had successfully mapped the entire human genome, the DNA sequences that make up Homo sapiens. The research findings gave rise to a whole new set of fascinating questions about human biology. For example, what caused the gene for a particular trait to be expressed or “turned on” in one person, while that same gene is “silenced” or inactive in another?  These inquiries sparked renewed interest in the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics studies heritable and non-heritable changes in gene expression that are not a consequence of altering DNA nucleotides. In other words, epigenetics is how our environment interacts with our genes to affect our appearance, behavior, and biological functions; the link between nature and nurture.

So what does this have to do with vitamin D…? Well, amidst all of the new biochemical studies, research suggest that vitamin D may be responsible for regulating the expression of over 1000 different genes (Patrick, 2013). Many of these genes regulate biochemical pathways associated with certain cancers, autoimmune disorders, transcriptional regulation (copying of a DNA segment to mRNA which will be used to make a protein), and cardiovascular disease (Hoessein-nezhad, Spira, & Holick, 2013), in addition to many other physiological functions. Of course, we are already familiar with the vital role vitamin D plays in the absorption of calcium and magnesium, necessary micronutrients needed to produce dense bones and prevent osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will dedicate a series of articles discussing the latest developments in vitamin D research, the essential role vitamin D plays in our bodies, and the source of vitamin D in our diets. We will also look at the current recommendations for vitamin D levels in the blood and discuss some easy ways to monitor your own baseline blood levels so that you can put the information to use and optimize your personal health! Until next time…

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Patrick, R. P. (2013, August 14). The “Vitamin D Sweet Spot” and its Relationship To Aging. Retrieved from Wellness FX: http://blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/08/14/the-vitamin-d-sweet-spot-and-its-relationship-to-aging/

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of services designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

H2..Whoa! Water and Hydration Tips for Summer

Drinking WaterMost of us learned about waters’ distinct properties in elementary school. The agile molecule exists in all three physical states, (solid, liquid and gas) it’s a universal solvent, and it possesses an uncanny ability to absorb tremendous amounts of heat while at the same time, resisting rapid fluctuations in temperature. As an essential nutrient for all life on earth including the complexity that is the human organism, water makes up roughly 50% to 60% of our bodies.  It performs a multitude of functions within the body including the transport of nutrients in, and waste out, of our cells. Water also helps regulate body temperature and it lubricates joints, the brain, and all of our vital organs (Kravitz, 2014). It really is amazing that a single type of molecule is responsible for a plethora of essential tasks!

Despite the importance of the “life-giving” combination of hydrogen and oxygen, it is estimated that 75% of Americans fall short of the recommended 8-10, 8oz. (64-80 oz.) cups of water per day, required by the body to replenish water loss (Ericson, 2013).  The amount of water your body requires may be even more than 80 oz. if you maintain a high level of physical activity or if you live in a hot or dry climate.  According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, almost 7% of all hospital admissions are diagnosed as dehydration (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014). With the summer months upon us, the temperatures are already climbing. It’s not only important to emphasize good hydration habits but also to identify signs of dehydration. Symptoms of mild dehydration may include headache, muscle cramps, dry mouth, or dark yellow urine, while more severe symptoms consist of dizziness, confusion, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, unconsciousness, and even death if untreated (National Institutes of Health, 2014). In the event that you suspect you or someone you know is dehydrated, contact your healthcare provider or emergency service provider immediately.

For those who don’t find plain ole’ water particularly palatable, listed below are some creative ways to increase your H2O consumption. Try working them into your overall dietary strategy:

  1. Coconut water: a tasty way to increase your water consumption. It’s also chalk full of naturally occurring electrolytes to replenish salts you lose during perspiration.
  2. Fruit Infusion: cheap carafes are available online or in home good stores. Add lemons, oranges, strawberries or any of your favorite fruits to the infuser and fill the carafes with filtered water. This a great way to add flavor and nutrients!
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables: Nobody said that your daily intake must come exclusively from liquids. Fruits and vegetables are water dense and contain other essential nutrients. Fruits particularly high in water content include citrus, grapes, cantaloupes, berries, and you guessed it…watermelon! Vegetables that can provide a good source of H2O include cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli, just to name a few.
  4. Kombucha: This fermented favorite is a great way to hydrate. Available in a variety of different flavors, it’s also loaded with probiotics, vitamins, and other nutrients that are essential for health. You can find Kombucha in the organic section of your local grocer or in health food stores.
  5. Frozen Juice pops: another fun way to hydrate is to mix fruit juice with soda water, pour into ice cube trays, and insert Popsicle sticks then pop them in the freezer.

If you have some creative ways of you own you would like to share that will help people “beat the heat” and stay hydrated please share your comments on our Facebook page or on the comments section of our blog, we would love to hear them. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for discounts, events, and announcements from Surgical Alternative. Thank you for all your support!

References

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2014, March 5). Dehydration: Hospital Admission Rate. Retrieved from National Quality Measures Clearinghouse: http://www.qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov/content.aspx?id=38564&search=Dehydration#Section566

Ericson, J. (2013, July 3). 75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, According to Doctors. Retrieved from Medical Daily: http://www.medicaldaily.com/75-americans-may-suffer-chronic-dehydration-according-doctors-247393

Kravitz, L. (2014, January 5). Water: The Science of Nature’s Most Important Nutrient. Retrieved from University of New Mexico: http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/WaterUNM.html

National Institutes of Health. (2014, May 16). Dehydration. Retrieved from MedlinePlus National Library of Medicine at NIH: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm

United States Geological Survey. (2014, March 17). Water Properties Facts and Figures About Water. Retrieved from USGS Science for a Changing World: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/water-facts.html

Please contact Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy with your questions regarding services we offer or conditions we treat. We would love to hear from you via the web or other social media outlets. For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

Good communication assists both the Massage Therapist and Client!

Massage Therapist and client communication is optimum!

In any field , communication is key between customer and business.  Massage therapy is no different.  Last night I found this great article on the AMTA website of the importance between Massage Therapist and Client that I would like to share with you!

According to a recent consumer survey by the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®), massage therapy is on the rise as a method of improving personal health. As interaction increases among massage therapists and their clients, both can benefit from tips on what to expect from their professional health relationship.

These tips, released in conjunction with National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, October 24 – October 30, 2010, cover issues of respect and privacy between the massage therapist and client, and promote dialogue to help select the best massage technique based on the client’s current health conditions.

“These are important tips as massage therapy use continues to rise, especially with people who see a massage therapist for health benefits and stress relief,” says Kathleen Miller-Read, AMTA president.

In fact, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles recently reported findings demonstrating that people who received a Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can ultimately lead to a boost in the immune system.

Understanding what to expect in a massage session will aid consumers having their first massage, and guide those who get frequent massages but may be changing therapists or searching for a professional therapist while traveling on business or vacation.

“Whether you are scheduling your first massage, or engaging a new therapist, these guidelines are beneficial to both parties and will help facilitate a positive, relaxing experience that ultimately benefits a person’s overall health,” says Miller-Read.

Massage clients should expect a clean, safe and comfortable environment before, during and after the massage, and should expect a licensed/registered/certified professional massage therapist, working within their scope of practice and in an ethical manner. In turn, massage therapists should expect their clients to be courteous and respectful of them as healthcare professionals.

The American Massage Therapy Association offers the following expectations for the massage recipient and the massage therapist:

What Should Someone Expect from their Massage & Massage Therapist?

  • A clean, safe and comfortable environment before, during and after the massage
  • Respect, courtesy, confidentiality and dignity
  • Privacy while changing and right to remove clothing only to their level of comfort for the massage
  • Draped appropriately by a sheet, towel or blanket, with only the area being massaged exposed
  • A licensed/registered/certified professional massage therapist, working within their scope of practice and in an ethical manner
  • Option to ask questions of the massage therapist and receive professional responses
  • Determine if there will be conversation, music or quiet during the massage
  • An explanation of the nature of the massage and techniques to be used in advance of starting the massage
  • The right to consent to the massage techniques and approaches, including manual pressure, used in the massage

What Should a Massage Therapist Expect from their Client?

  • Respect, courtesy and dignity
  • Treated as a healthcare professional
  • Timely arrival at massage therapy appointment
  • Complete and accurate disclosure of health/medical conditions during intake process
  • Communication of expectations of and concerns about the massage
  • Payment at time of service
  • Reasonable notice (usually 24 hours) in cancelling a massage appointment

While it is true that that you should keep a constant, good flow of communication between you and your massage therapist, some people are shy and that doesn’t always happen.  Please do not be afraid to communicate your issues with one of us here are Surgical Alternative.  We are here for you!

$mart Health, Inc. Benefits of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Health Savings Accounts, HSA

Coverage for your health care and a savings account for your costs

An Health Savings Account (HSA) gives you access to quality health care.  Plus, it gives you a way to manage what you pay.

A typical HSA includes:

  • A high-deductible health insurance or benefits plan for medical coverage.
  • A health savings account to pay for qualified out-of-pocket costs.

HSA benefits

You own it.  You decide whether to spend or save the funds in your health savings account.  If you decide to change employers or health plans, the account is yours to keep.

You don’t lose it.  Any money not used at the end of the plan year rolls over to the next year.

It can grow.  Your HSA is a savings account opened at a local bank that earns interest.  You can save money in your account and let it grow, to pay health care costs down the road, even during retirement.  And after you build up a certain amount, you may have investment options.

Tax advantages of an HSA

With an HSA you also get:

Tax savings.  Money you put into the account can reduce your taxable income.

Tax-free earnings.  Money you keep in your HSA earns interest tax free.

Tax-free spending.  Money you take out to pay for qualified health care costs in never taxed.

How an HSA works

  • Visit your local bank and enroll in an HSA.  You must be covered by a high-deductible health plan, and you must not be eligible for coverage under any other health plan.
  • You’ll get welcome and debit card materials in the mail.
  • Contribute anytime.  You, your spouse and family, and your employer can contribute up to the yearly limit set by the Internal Review Service – 2013 is $3,250 for an individual and $6,450 for a family.
  • Know how much you have.  You can only use the money that is in your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses.
  • Visit the doctor, hospital and other healthcare providers.  Pay for your health care expenses with your HSA Debit Card account, or pay out of pocket and save your account.  Either way, pay until you reach your yearly deductible.
  • Then pay a copay or coinsurance after each visit.  Use your HSA if you want.
  • Once you reach the plan’s out-of-pocket max, your health plan pays the rest at 100%!

$mart Health, Inc. tips on using your HSA

Make the most of your HSA! Here’s How:

Stay in your network.  Doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers in the network have a contract to provide reduced rates to our members.

Know before you go.  Unless it is an emergency, compare what doctors and hospitals will charge you for some common services before you make an appointment.

Keep track of your deductible and fund balances.

Pay only for qualified health care expenses.  Otherwise you could face tax penalties from the IRS.

More help for using your HSA

Do you have HSA questions?

Contact Capt. Rob Hamilton at $mart Health, Inc.  (813) 944-5399.

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Since the holidays are right around the corner, we are always on the lookout for healthy alternatives for some of the heavier and more indulgent foods that we may eat.  Please feel free to look through some of our favorite recipes that we found and collected for your viewing.

Have a great holiday season everyone!

GLUTEN FREE CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

ROAST BEEF & HORSERADISH SPIRALS

BITE SIZED CRAB CAKES WITH WASABI MAYO

HERB AND NUT COVERED GOAT CHEESE LOGS

SLIDERS WITH SHALLOT DIJON RELISH

EASY GUACAMOLE

GRILLED STONE FRUIT ANTIPASTO PLATE

 

Yoga for the Holidays!

During the busy times of the year, we tend to disregard our bodies and what our bodies are telling us.  One of the best preventative things you can do while busy this holiday season is Yoga.  We have aligned with one of Tampa Bays Premier Yoga Studios- Sun Yoga!

Some of the primary benefits of yoga include:

  • Increased range of motion
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased blood flow
  • Overall relaxing feeling
  • Low impact –  great for rehab and elderly!

Yoga has many more benefits that range from better heart health to better overall psychological awareness and attitude.

We recommend yoga to any and all of our clients on various skill levels.  By engaging in yoga sessions, we can all feel the benefits and prevent further or future damage!

If you have any questions or would like to speak about yoga, please feel free to CONTACT us today for more information, or you can CONTACT SUN YOGA here!

Proper Bending and Lifting Techniques

Is it really almost time to go in our attics to pull down those seasonal boxes?  Whether you are
preparing to do this or just have straitening you may want to accomplish before your family
and friends arrive, here are a few tips to help keep you from causing yourself back pain:

  • Use your leg muscles to lift/lower your self as opposed to just bending over. Bend at your knees not at your back.
  • Pull in your belly button while lifting. This will help hold your pelvis in the proper position which will minimize strain on the spine. (Maintain this while lifting, carrying, and lowering)
  • Lift close to your body. Your spine is more stable and strong.
  • Know your limit! Carry lighter packages and make more trips.
  • When in doubt ( too heavy or awkward) wait for help. The risk are not worth it and jeopardize setting you back with pain and immobility…. no one wants to make time for that!

We would all like to take a moment and wish everyone a safe and healthy beginning to our holiday seasons!  By following the tips provided above, you can prevent a number of injuries before they even happen.

If you do encounter one of the issues that comes from improper lifting and bending, please CONTACT US today, or SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT to see one of our expert therapists.

Surgical Alternative is Proud to announce its 1 year anniversary!

This month we are proudly celebrating our 1 year anniversary.  When our new facility opened a year ago, we were a group of alternative therapists anxious to make a difference in the lives of our clients.  Through that process we have now expanded to provide emotional as well and physical therapy!  We would like to thank each and every one of our clients for your support, and I personally would like to thank each and every team member of Surgical Alternative for your passion in our field!

In celebration of our 1 year anniversary, we are offering $15.00 off of a 90 minute session for the month of September!  If you have been wondering or thinking about trying one of our revolutionary treatments, now you can do so at a discount!  Please feel free to SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT HERE or you can CONTACT US here!

Post War Veterans invited for FREE PTSD Treatment

With July 4th passing last week, I was reminded of all of the veterans that have protected our rights as citizens of the United States.  During this month, I will be offering FREE therapy to veterans diagnosed with PTSD.  During your sessions we will be working to help issues such as insomnia, cramping, muscle pain, and other possible injuries due to service.  If you are interested in your FREE treatment, please CONTACT US today to schedule your appointment.

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