Posts Tagged ‘Mayo Clinic’

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I came across an interesting and, in my view, important blog today called KevinMD.com. (Founded by Kevin Pho, MD, KevinMD.com is the web’s leading destination for physician insight on breaking medical news.)

Kevin-Pho-MD, Founder of KevinMD.com

Kevin-Pho-MD, Founder of KevinMD.com

The blog is written by medical doctors and covers topics about health care in general from a doctor’s point of view. Sadly, as I read some of the posts, I realize that doctors are as frustrated with our health care system as we are. Many of them want to help their patients but health care billing and payment cause them to make some hard choices in order to survive. In the post, Why I decided to opt out of Medicare as a provider by Dr. Natasha Deonarain, it is clear why continuing to see Medicare patients is not financially feasible for many physicians. I also believe that relying on insurance companies and Medicare separates people from their own health care decisions. Health care can be costly, but there are other options for routine checkups and basic medical needs.

In another blog post, by Dr. Doug Olson, Primary care doctors may no longer be needed, he explains how nurse practitioners (with nurse practitioners complete 2,300 – 5,350 hours of education and clinical training during five to seven years, compared to physicians’ standardized path of 21,700 hours over 11-12 years) and physician assistants can see 80-85% of the patients medical doctors see. Dr Olson believes that “we need to develop systems that get that select the 15-20% of patients that need a physician.” In his view this is  a better use of primary care physicians training and expertise is to treat the more complex medical cases while the nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants treat the remaining 80% of less complex cases. as patients relatively healthy folks can self select our health care providers by only going to primary care docs if they need complex services, and using Walgreens, Target and other urgent care centers for simple colds, flues and minor injuries and illnesses. And recently in Chicago, there is a service that offers doctors making house calls, Chicago Express Doctors.

Chicago Express Doctors

Chicago Express Doctors

Massage Therapy and The New World Of Health Care

So where does massage therapy fit into all this? First off, I acknowledge that at least in the State of Illinois, massage therapy is not really a recognized health care option. According to the scope of practice for Illinois Massage Therapists, we are to provide massage therapy for the purposes of general health and well-being, but not to treat nor diagnose illnesses. Yet one of the most reported benefits of massage therapy is stress reduction (which can be thought of as pertaining to “general health”). The health effects of stress on the body include numerous illnesses and can even lead to injuries. KevinsMD has an article on How the stress of caregiving can lead to stroke. The Mayo Clinic reports that many health problems can be effected by stress including stomach pains, headaches, chest pains, sleep problem and anxiety. According to WebMD, “Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.”

So what does massage therapy do for clients with stress-related ailments? According to one research study at Duke University, massage therapy was shown to reduce self reported stress in patients with brain tumors. Another pilot study showed that stress levels of inpatient psychiatric patients were reduced after massage therapy. And, according to the MayoClinic, massage therapy can not only reduce stress, but lead to other health benefits as well.

I do not think massage therapy is s substitute for medical care. And I do not think massage therapists should try to act as doctors nor prescribe nor diagnose illnesses. But I do believe that massage therapy sessions can be a source of relaxation, a time for our nervous systems to ramp down to parasympathetic mode versus ramping up to sympathetic (flight or flight) mode. Allowing ourselves to be cared for, relaxed and to spend time in an environment of reduced noise, stress and constant demands allows our bodies to better do what they do naturally: our hearts beat, our immune systems fight off infection and our lungs and muscles allow us to work, move and life. Allowing our bodies to stay healthy means less needs to visit the doctor so our medical providers can focus on us when we very sick, not for routine illnesses and injuries. For this reason, I think that massage therapists can offer stress relief BEFORE we get an illness, a stress-related injury or just plain get cranky from stress!

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Here is a list of the top 10 Twitter feeds for health news that I follow. I really like Men’s Health and  Woman’s Health magazines as a starting point for current trends in fitness and sports medicine. The CDC is a great feed to follow for news about any outbreaks of illness or other health concerns. WebMD and the Mayo Clinic tend to have pretty comprehensive coverage of most medical complaints and illnesses. Greythinking is a great mental health resource and I round out the lists with Daily health tips, a Discovery health feed and a New York Times health tweeter.  Check them out!

Mayo Clinic

  • @MayoClinic
  • Location: Minnesota, Florida, Arizona
  • Bio: Excellent integrated group health care practice. Acct maintained by @leeaase. Following not = endorsement. To request follow, tweet @mayoclinic.

Women’s Health Mag

  • @WomensHealthMag
  • Location:
  • Bio: Women’s Health is your ultimate guide to looking and feeling great. We’ll bring you the latest in health, fitness, sex, beauty and more!

Men’s Health Mag

  • @MensHealthMag
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
  • Bio: Men’s Guide to Fitness, Health, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Sex, Style, and Guy Wisdom


  • @WebMD
  • Location: USA
  • Bio: WebMD provides valuable health information, tools for managing your health, and support to those who seek information.


  • @womenshealth
  • Location: US
  • Bio: Womenshealth.gov is part of the U.S. HHS Office on Women’s Health, the federal government’s resource for women’s health information.

CDC Emergency Verified

  • @CDCemergency
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Bio: CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response: increasing the nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies.


  • @greythinking
  • Location:
  • Bio: Commentary on mental health, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, PTSD, psychopharmacology, etc.

Daily Health Tips

  • @DailyHealthTips
  • Location:
  • Bio: Daily Health Tips to keep you healthy and happy.

Tara Parker-Pope Verified

  • @nytimeswell
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Bio: Follow Tara Parker-Pope as she sifts through medical research and expert opinions to help readers take control of their health and live well every day.
  • Discovery Health Verified

    • @Disc_Health
    • Location: Silver Spring, MD
    • Bio: Your source for health & wellness info, tips, tools, support & great TV!!
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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

People say they want to restrict fat or they want to eat less fat. But fat is a necessary part of your daily diet. So how much should you eat? And how do you keep track of how much fat to eat?

First off, let’s think about why we need fat. The body uses fat as its major source of energy storage– when the energy you eat and/or drink can’t be used, your body turns some of it into fat for later use. Despite its negative associations, fat is essential, as it cushions organs and bones, makes horomones, regulates blood pressure and maintains healthy skin, hair and nails.

Don't forget to read!

In general, though, people in the United States eat way too much of it. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.,  a Mayo Clinic nutritionist, offers great advice on how to monitor your fat intake:

“Health experts at the Institute of Medicine recommend that healthy adults get 20 to 35 percent of their total calories from fat. Each gram of fat has 9 calories. So, if you’re trying to eat 1,800 calories a day, you should have no more than 70 grams of fat a day — 35 percent of 1,800 calories = 630 calories, divided by 9 (calories per gram of fat) = 70 grams.

Food labels also list calories and calories from fat per serving. So if a food label says 250 calories and 110 fat calories, it means that almost half the food’s calories come from fat. That’s not necessarily a reason to avoid that food, though. For example, 55 percent of the calories in part-skim mozzarella cheese come from fat, but a 1-ounce serving (28.47 grams) has just 4 grams of fat and 72 total calories.

The percentages you see on food labels are designed to show how much of a specific nutrient a food contains compared with the Daily Value (DV). The DV is based on a 2,000-calorie diet. So, for example, if the label lists 18 percent next to fat it means that the food provides 18 percent of the suggested daily total for fat. You may be eating more or less than 2,000 calories a day, but this percentage can still help you choose foods that are lower in fat.”

So don’t be afraid to eat fat. Just be careful how much you eat and of course, exercise and eat your veggies too!

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