Health Blog

Home Health Care to be Revolutionized with Smartwatch Technology


Watches are in and they are no stranger to helping people out; especially home health care patients. It seems as though necklaces aka life alert systems are a thing of the past thanks to Samsung and their recent partnership Read more

Home Health Care to Get "Uberized" in the Future: What Does This Mean?


Improvements in technology seem to be bettering the quality of everything in life these days when it comes to convenience and control. In an attempt to “uberize” the healthcare system, well-known company Axxess, intends on appealing to the convenience Read more

Alzheimer’s Patients Find Way Around Memory Loss Through Babysitting


There may just be hope for those that suffer from the gradual effects of Alzheimer’s and we have babies to thank for it. A new study in Australia has revealed that “spending a moderate amount of time caring for Read more

Healthy Summer Snacks to Help Keep You Hydrated, Cool and Slim


Summer is right around the corner. Many people associate summer with cold beers and hanging out by the pool to keep cool. However, the foods you eat can have a large effect on how you feel in the heat Read more

How to Make Your Mind Happy

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Make your mind happy

Most of us go throughout our day thinking several thoughts, allowing our minds to take over our ability to be aware. A person could be generally happy but spend most of the day stressing over life, or constantly thinking ahead to the future and then wonder why they don’t feel so good. When we allow our thoughts to take over, we don’t allow our mind to be aware, at peace and happy. To make your mind happy, is to be healthy in soul and spirit.

If you would like to start to give your mind a break and “live in the moment” as they say, read our tips for mindful happy bliss:

Meditate – “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh
You are never too young or too old to start meditating. Meditation will help to clear your mind and calm you down. There have been several studies proving how meditation is the single most effective way to live happier! A recent study published in the neuroscience journal Brain Research Bulletin showed how the brains of people who meditated had elevated alpha rhythms. The alpha is part of five different wave frequencies that occur in the brain, and most of us are usually in the beta state, where we are very alert but “too much time spent in the beta state can lead to excess stress, worry, and anxiety.” When we meditate and turn on the alpha state, studies have shown we can experience extreme focus, relaxation, learning, creativity, and peak performance.

Make your mind happy

Exercise – Even if you only have ten minutes, a walk can do much to relax your mind and body at the same time. Take in long, slow breaths and look at everything around you. If you can’t get outside, get out your headphones and put on some classical music as you walk (or anything soothing, preferably without words). If you’re a savvy boomer and have a Smartphone, make sure you know how to you turn off ALL notifications from your phone, including incoming calls, text messages, FaceTime from the grandkids or social media.

Sleep – “Many people are surprised to learn that researchers have discovered a single treatment that improves memory, increases people’s ability to concentrate, strengthens the immune system and decreases people’s risk of being killed in accidents.” It’s free and it’s called sleep. Sleep researchers and doctors say that getting between seven to nine hours of sleep per night can greatly impact health and happiness. Getting enough sleep is not only refreshing; it can also help you to deal better with negative situations, making you less likely to overwork the mind by sending stress signals to the brain.

Eat – Choose foods wisely! Many people do not think about the foods they put in their mouths and how food affects our bodies and emotions. Processed, packaged, sugar or foods with hormones do not supply enough of the vitamins and nutrients you need. Choose mood-boosting foods to help keep your mind happy. Drew Ramsey, MD, coauthor (with Tyler Graham) The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body says: “The moment you make a better food choice you are instantly building a better brain.” When in doubt, make sure you are drinking enough water and then reach for leafy greens, bright fruits, lean protein or organic fair-trade dark chocolate!

Create – “Positive emotions and creativity make us feel interested in the world around us.” You can take your mind off of just about anything if you start a creative project. Creativity can come from writing, cooking, baking, gardening, drawing, painting, photography, dancing, singing, playing music, or making things like furniture or jewelry. If you have grandchildren or any friends of whom you like to spend time with, find a fun craft or project you can do together.

Socialize – Put away your computer and phone and set up a date with friends or family. Ask everyone at the table to put their phones away and take advantage of your time together by keeping the digital distractions at bay. Go out for a healthy dinner, on a hike or play an outdoor sport. Your mind will be connected, stimulated and most of all, happy.

And our last tip? SMILE! Smiling triggers activity in your brain and the act of smiling can actually make you feel happy even when you’re not happy at all. When you’re happy, your body releases endorphin’s, or brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which function to transmit electrical signals within the nervous system, allowing us to feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.

For more tips on a happy mind, visit us at MD Home Health, until then take a deep breath into mindful bliss.  


Benefits of Cuddling and TLC

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cuddling benefits

Did you know that the benefits of cuddling are actually really great for your health? That’s right, the second you touch someone else, the posterior lobe of your pituitary gland (at the base of your brain) secretes a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone makes us feel good, and is often referred to as the “cuddle hormone.” When we secrete oxytocin, a whole slew of health benefits ensue. The release of oxytocin makes us feel great, as if nothing can harm us, and allows for the release of germ and disease fighting hormones — increasing our immune systems. Oxytocin is also a natural pain reliever that helps to raise our pain threshold. When cuddling with another, one will experience a lowering of anxiety, blood pressure, and cortisol in our hearts. Furthermore, it protects against inflammation and oxidative stress. There really is no negative benefit from cuddling, even if you are single.

There are several ways to benefit from cuddling if you do not have a significant other. Cuddling can take place with anyone at any capacity, be it a rub on the back, or even you rubbing yourself on the back. There are several alternative ways to increase the secretion of oxytocin in the body without another human being. You could cuddle with a pet and receive the same results, or even take a warm bath. If human interaction from someone other than yourself is a personal necessity, why not try getting a massage, or hugging a friend?

Cuddling can bring new depth to personal relationships whether they are romantic or platonic. It can also help women to increase their bond with other human beings, in particular, their babies. This has become a popular form of therapy for women struggling with post-partum depression. Not only can cuddling reduce stress, it has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is clear to see that your lifespan development depends on the amount of cuddle time you allow into it, and the positivity of the relationships you hold most dear to you. So before you second guess giving that special someone a hug, remind yourself of the health benefits you will be extending to not only yourself, but the receiver of you affections as well.

Want more tips on fun ways to increase your longevity? Check out our other blog posts! Until then, get out there and hug someone, or at least give yourself a nice pat on the back. You deserve it.


Healthy Indoor Plants for a Healthy Home

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It is well known that spending time outdoors in nature is proven to reduce anxiety and depression. But, there can also be many health benefits of bringing nature inside. Adding a few indoor plants to your home will not only boost your mood by adding splashes of color, but will also improve your health. Indoor plants naturally filter the toxic air in your household. Toxins can come into your house in many ways, through dry cleaning chemicals, household-cleaning products (such as furniture polish and oils), and from dish and laundry detergents. By selecting a few of your favorite plants or flowers and bringing them into the house, you will minimize the respiratory and neurological damage outside toxins can cause.

Flower Power

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Indoor flowers will require a little work and a lot of light. However, they bring cheer, fragrance, and cleaner air into any room you place them. Gerbera Daisies are beautiful flowers that come in a wide variation of pinks, reds, and yellows. These flowers can assist in removing the toxins benzene, which is present in many inks and dyes, and Trichloroethylene (also known as TCE), which contaminates our drinking water.

 

The popular Chrysanthemum, or ‘Mum’ is another fun, colorful flower option for your home. With lots of water and light, Mum’s will flourish in your home and clarify your air from benzene. For an added health benefit, use the leaves to make your own Chrysanthemum tea. The tea is known for its amazing health benefits, which range from helping clear sinuses, to preventing eye deterioration as you age.

Pick a Plant

Indoor plants tend to be a bit more durable compared to their flower counterparts, but still offer amazing health benefits. For a no fuss option, consider a Rubber Plant, which can tolerate low temperatures and little light. Bamboo Palms can add a tropical flair to your home while removing toxins such as benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Your Bamboo Palm will do best in a window with direct sunlight, and you can enjoy watching it grow to be several feet tall. If you are someone who often forgets to water your plants, consider an Aloe Vera plant .The Aloe plant requires minimal attention but still detoxifies your air, and can also be used to treat minor cuts and burns.

For more creative ways to make your home and body healthier, read more on our blog or contact MD Home Health


Are You Cooking with Healthy Oils

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olive oil

Cooking with the Healthy Oils

As we age, more and more attention goes into making sure we are taking better care of our bodies. From diet to exercise, there are a plethora of ways in which we can make small changes toward a happier, healthier, body-mind-soul. One of the ways in which we might not think our health is being negatively affected is through the oils we use to cook. Often times throughout history, health studies and ideas have changed regarding healthy oils to cook with. With some up to date expert knowledge about cooking with oils, greater insight can be gained into your health; furthering down the path toward a happier, healthier you.

 The Facts

When cooking with oils, it is not only important to pick an oil that his healthy for you, but also an oil that will remain healthy once you cook it. The heating of oils can often times change their chemical makeup, releasing harmful toxins and carcinogens into your food and body. It is best to avoid polyunsaturated fats due to this, as they break up easily under heat. It is best to choose oils with a high level of stability under high heat, according to nutrition experts. This will prevent the oils from oxidizing, a process that releases the harmful free radicals aforementioned. It is also best to choose cooking oils and/or fats that are low in saturated fats, as these can raise the risk for high cholesterol and heart disease.

 What to Avoid

Now that it is known to avoid polyunsaturated oils, one may be wondering what those are. Common polyunsaturated oils include safflower oil, sunflower and sesame seed oil, corn and soy based oils, fish oil, flaxseed oil, as well as several other nut oils. Monounsaturated fats hold up better under heat and include olive, canola, peanut and avocado oils. The monounsaturated fats aren’t the greatest for you when cooking if using them all of the time, however they are certainly a lesser of the two evils. Other oils to avoid include cottonseed oil, grapeseed, and rice bran oil, as well as canola or rapeseed oils. While they do not all low heat indexes, some are highly processed, and to be avoided. Butter substitutes such as margarine and Crisco are also harmful to one’s health, as they contain hydrogenated oils which have been linked with higher cholesterol and even diabetes.

coconut oils

Oils Great for Cooking

Experts have concluded that substituting polyunsaturated and saturated fats in one’s diet with monounsaturated fats works well at lowering cholesterol. This is particularly important as we age. Because of this factor, as well as its incredibly high heat tolerance, coconut oil is the number one best oil to use in the kitchen. If one is to cook with olive oil, peanut oil, macadamia nut oil or avocado oil, it should be done at a lower heat so as to avoid free radicals. Other substances that are OK to cook with sparingly include butter and lard, however, they are high in saturated fats and not recommended as a healthy part of a diet if one is battling high cholesterol or heart disease.

When in doubt about the healthiest oil to cook with, it is best to simply gravitate toward the coconut oil, and use other monounsaturated fat based oils sparingly at low heat. If there is that special occasion where nothing but butter will do, go for the real thing rather than the margarine, as using a hydrogenated oil would be worse. Lard can be similar to butter with a low amount of polyunsaturated fats and high monounsaturated fats depending on the diet of the animal. Those fed grains will have a higher polyunsaturated fat makeup, while a grass-fed diet will yield high monounsaturated fats within the lard. One should note that it is best to consult a physician before applying and changes to your diet that you are unsure about.

For more great tips on healthy living, visit us at MD Home Health. Until then, start cooking your way into better health. 


The Power of Therapeutic Writing

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The therapeutic power of art has been known about and explored for centuries. Whether through painting, music, or writing, both artists and non-artists alike have used these mediums of expression as effective ways to heal the soul. It may not seem like it at first, but an easy way to start healing your soul and improving your psychological well-being is to simply keep a diary or daily journal. Releasing pent-up stress and anxiety onto the page can do wonders for your emotional health and general happiness.

Writing Therapy

Believe it or not, diaries aren’t just for teenagers and they’re not just full of adolescent ramblings. In fact, there is a very important reason why teenagers keep diaries and why we could stand to learn a thing or two from this very common high school practice. The teenage years are an especially difficult time because of constant hormone shifts, awkward maturation processes, and crucial life transitions that can affect mood and mental health significantly. Keeping a private journal is an instinctual way that adolescents learn to grapple with these changes in order to help stabilize their emotions. As we get older, we tend to lose or “outgrow” this instinct, but it can be helpful to relearn it with age, because the power of therapeutic writing doesn’t diminish even if we have survived adolescence.

Writing Therapy

Mental health professionals have also picked up on the importance of therapeutic writing. Many psychologists and counselors use art therapy during sessions and psychological interventions as part of a concerted regimen aimed at expressing, understanding, and coming to terms with problematic thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Because of the uninhibited nature of many expressive art forms, journal writing can help us identify how we are really feeling and how we can improve upon that. It also helps that it’s cheap, essentially risk-free, and nearly anybody can do it. All you need is some paper, a pen, and anywhere from ten to sixty minutes a day. 

It’s important to remember, however, that persistent situations involving serious emotional and mental health problems should always be dealt with by a mental health professional. While therapeutic writing can help alleviate everyday stresses, it shouldn’t be considered a replacement for professional therapy. For more information on the importance of mental health and when professional assistance is required, visit us at MD Home Health. Otherwise, get writing and start healing!


Art Is Beauty, Art is Therapeutic

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Woman Painting

For hundreds of years, art has been both beautiful and therapeutic and will only continue to provide benefits as time goes on. Art can literally freeze a moment in time and even freeze the viewer as they ponder the meaning or theme of the artwork. Emotions can be demonstrated brilliantly with art and can help the viewer release or better understand their own emotions. There are numerous philosophical and psychological benefits that come with the beauty of art.

Art therapy has become much more accepted over the years and is becoming a serious therapeutic contender in the world of therapy. These days art is not only being used for appeal in the home or office, but used to improve physical or mental healing. This intriguing form of therapy revolves around the creative process of art, allowing those who do not feel comfortable expressing themselves with words to use creative art instead. This can even be done without creating the art yourself but rather using art that has already been made.

Even the average person who does not necessarily require therapy can greatly benefit from either creating art or viewing it. Expressing yourself through art can often show you things that otherwise might not have comprehended, especially if discussed with an art therapist. Art therapists are trained to help their patients through creative expression. Self-exploration is a major part of art and can also lead to new conclusions. A convenient benefit of art therapy is the fact that you don’t actually need a therapist, but rather a willingness to open up and express yourself through art.

The many benefits of art therapy:

  • Improve Mental and Physical Health
  • Help with Emotional Abuse
  • Help Those who are Bipolar
  • Helps to Better Understand Yourself
  • Improve Cancer
  • Improve Social Skills
  • Reduce Post Traumatic Stress
  • Reduce Pain
  • Reduce Anxiety
  • Reduce Tension

For more information regarding art therapy, contact our experts at MD Home Health today and begin to live healthier tomorrow.


Your Brains Desire for Music

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Brain Desires Music

The brains desire to not only hear, but make music dates over 45,000 years ago with musical instruments being carved out of bone. With all of the advancements in technology and the availability of music these days it is clear that the desire for music is permanently integrated into every culture. Numerous studies have been done throughout the years proving that our brains react positively to music, especially our favorite music and new music we like – positively affecting our health. The feeling received from listening to our favorite music is similar to that of eating our favorite food, taking psychoactive drugs and even sex.

Last year Science, an online journal for science and research published a study to determine the area of the brain linked to our love for music. The study consisted of 19 participants who were to listen to 60 songs they had not heard before. In order to observe the brains activity while songs were playing the participants lied down in a FMRI scanner. The researchers added some incentive allowing the participants to bid on songs they liked and purchase them with the money from the researchers after the study. This was done to determine which songs the participants truly enjoyed enough to purchase and how the brain reacted during those songs.

The study showed that the most activity was in the nucleus acumens which is located close to the organs center and that it was linked to pleasure when hearing a new song. Another area in the auditory cortex showed activity and was linked to preferences from music participants listened to over time which makes them like songs similar to ones they have already heard. The set up is much like Pandora, because it predicts new songs based on songs you like and stations you have made.

Brain Desires Music 
Music Provides Many Health Benefits, Both Physical and Mental

Physical Health Benefits

  • Reduce Pain
  • Improve Motivation
  • Improved Activity Performance
  • Improve Endurance During a Workout
  • Improve Sleep
  • Make you Happy

Mental Health Benefits

  • Reduce Depression Symptoms
  • Reduce Stress
  • Reduce Anxiety
  • Improve Overall Mood
  • Improve Performance When the Pressure is on
  • Ease and Improve Recover Time for Surgery, Stroke, Cancer and More

 

For more information regarding music and its many health benefits,

feel free to contact our health experts today at MD Home Health.

 


Surprise Benefits of Drinking Water

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It might go without saying, but the benefits of drinking water are important, possibly even more important than you think. With tasty but sugary sodas and fruit juices out on the market now, water has been largely forgotten and under appreciated as a way to quench thirst and stay hydrated. It is, however, one of the most important building blocks of life, and our bodies need it to perform even the most basic tasks. In the interest of promoting drinking water and your health, we’ve put together a list of the health benefits of water – some of which you might not have even realized.

Benefits of Drinking Water

Manage Weight
Not only does drinking water suppress your appetite, but it also reduces your body’s fluid retention (since your body is getting enough water, it doesn’t have to try to hold on to it so much). Aside from increasing your metabolism as well, it’s a zero-calorie substitute for unhealthy sports drinks and sugary fruit juices.

Keep Skin Young
Believe it or not, water can improve not only the firmness of your skin (which translates to less wrinkles), but also its dryness and complexion as a whole. Drinking plenty of water keeps your skin moisturized, smooth, and glowing.

Boost Immune System
While it’s certainly no antibiotic, water can reduce the likelihood of getting sick in the first place. Because the water molecule is such an important part of helping your cells function properly, drinking more water means you’re giving your immune system the tools it needs to ward off infection.

Enhance Cognitive Function
Water is vital for getting your brain the oxygen it needs to carry out the complex tasks it has to perform. Not only does water improve nerve function, but it also ensures there is proper electrolyte balance for your nerves to relay messages to and from the brain at an optimal level.

Build Muscle
When cells don’t get enough fluids, they shrivel. For your muscles, this translates to muscle fatigue. By making sure your muscle cells do get enough fluids, your muscles will be able to work longer without getting tired, which means an increase in muscle strength.

Benefits of Drinking Water

While these are only some of the important health benefits that drinking water offers, you should also keep in mind that water is not only inexpensive (usually free!), but it’s also good for the environment. You can buy an expensive, unhealthy sports drink that’s packaged in plastic, or you can get free, healthy water at nearly any restaurant or home you enter. At MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, we support the latter, because we support your health and wellbeing.


Great Activities For Seniors To Stay Active

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Senior Activities

As you age, it gets harder and harder to do the activities you used to do to stay healthy and active. Even if you can’t run five miles or go rock climbing anymore, that doesn’t mean the rest of your days are relegated to your couch. The more you stay active as you get older, the younger you will feel, and there are a number of great activities for seniors to stay active.

For some general guidelines, healthcare professionals recommend that seniors get at least two hours and thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or an hour and fifteen minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity a week. This amount of activity will help ward off heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression, and dementia. Aerobic activities can include walking at a brisk pace, jogging with some friends, taking a water aerobics class, or even pushing a lawn mower. Basically, anything that gets your heart rate going faster than usual and reduces the amount of time you spend watching television or doing other sedentary activities.

Unfortunately, daily activities like shopping, cooking, and housework don’t count as aerobic activities, but there are ways that you can turn these into strength-building exercises through functional fitness. Functional fitness is an exercise regimen that involves doing exercises that mimic daily activities like lifting a heavy bag of groceries or getting in and out of a low chair. By strengthening the muscles you use for these activities, you can minimize your chance of injuring yourself while making it easier to do these sorts of activities on a regular basis by yourself. You’ll be better able to go grocery or clothes shopping, go out to eat, or any number of other things that can increase your feeling of independence.

If you’re feeling especially spry, you can even try yoga to stay social, strengthen muscle, and keep your joints flexible.

While getting older isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to be debilitating. At MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, we recommend incorporating these great activities into a weekly routine to help you feel young, healthy, and independent.


50,000 Patients and Growing

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Celebrating 28 Years and Over 50,000 Patients

50000 Patient MD Home Health

Like the people we serve, our business also gets better with age. We have been providing home health services in the greater Phoenix area for over twenty-eight years now, and we’re showing no signs of slowing down. It was with immense gratification that we were able to welcome our 40,000th patient on January 1st, 2011. Only three years have passed since that momentous milestone, and we were just recently lucky enough to welcome our 50,000th patient on January 29th!

This achievement means that we have been fortunate enough to make a difference in over 50,000 patient’s lives, in addition to giving their loved ones peace of mind. Our MD companies, MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, have provided reliable home-based medical and nursing care and non-medical, daily assistance care since 1985. As a result, we have established a trusted reputation in our community. We’ve been named “Most Trusted Home Healthcare Agency in the Phoenix Valley,” because of this longstanding commitment to our patients, and that’s all thanks to you, our supporters.

We know that choosing home-based medical care and assisted living can be a difficult and stressful decision, so thank you for trusting our services to improve your quality of life. We hope that we’ll be celebrating more milestones in the years to come so we can continue helping more and more people get better with age.