arizona senior lifestyle

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.


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.


Cognitive Training Exercises

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Cognitive training exercises target a group of mental processes that include attention, memory, producing and understanding language, learning, reasoning, problem solving and decision-making.

Cognitive training exercises provide mental benefits for people of all ages.

Lumosity – the leading brain training program designed by neuroscientists ­– is currently known as the web’s #1 brain training program. Lumosity is a free online program that offers games in the areas of memory, attention, flexibility, speed of processing and problem solving. While you’re having fun playing games, you’ll forget that you’re also training your brain.

Cognitive Training Exercises Provide Mental Benefits

Over 35 million people and climbing already use Lumosity.com with positive results.

“Competitive rowing requires focus, flexibility, alertness, and strong peripheral vision. Lumosity training has increased all these for me: I am able to maintain my focus on the finish line for the last kilometer of each head race, I am able to adapt to new situations I encounter during these events, I am much more focused on the task at hand during training and racing, and I have increased the range of my peripheral vision. Thanks, Lumosity, for helping a fifty-something win medals!”

–      Linda E.

It’s possible that cognitive training exercises provide mental benefits for people suffering from dementia, as well. Although more studies need to be conducted in order to state that cognitive training exercises can prevent or delay dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, a WebMD article stated that a number of studies have shown the benefits of staying mentally active.

“I play to keep up with my 2-year old and to hopefully stave off Alzheimer’s or any other deterioration of the brain.”

–      Whitney M.

If you or a loved one is suffering from dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, you can seek help from MD Home Health Home Assist.

“I will not hesitate to recommend MD Home Health and MD Home Assist to my friends and family when in need of home care services. Thank you for everything you did for my husband and me.”

-Kent & Adriana M. Patient April 2010

MD Home Health Home Assist has specialty programs for Alzheimer’s/Dementia for individuals in their homes or group facilities. Services are available 24 hours per day/seven days per week and are provided on a visit, hourly or daily basis.

For more information on how cognitive training exercises provide mental benefits, contact MD Home Health Home Assist today for your free in-home consultation.


Aging and Fitness

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As the years go by, each workout seems a little more painful then the last.  The running and lifting that used to come easy now leaves our bodies winded and sore.  However, this should not be a reason to stop exercising.  Aging and fitness go hand-in-hand, and continuing to exercise can lead to a better quality of life especially for adults and the elderly.yoga

Fitness is amongst the best anti-aging tools that we have.  Exercise can help prevent health related problems that occur later in life. Exercise such as weight lifting and aerobic activity can help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and depression.  By lifting weights or performing weight-bearing exercise, adults can increase bone density and reduce fractures that can lead to less hospital visits and home care.  Aerobic exercise can lead to lower cholesterol, therefore decreasing health related problems and need for medication.  With aging and fitness, exercise can lead to a happy and healthy aging process as long as adults continue to make it a regular habit.

So, what exercises should adults tend to lean toward as they become older to avoid injury?  Older adults should tend to do more low-impact activities.  Some of the better low-impact exercises are walking, swimming, cycling, lifting weights, and yoga.  Walking is easier on adult joints and can be done practically anywhere.  Swimming can help improve endurance, flexibility and conditioning.  Cycling aides with building muscle and endurance.  Lifting lighter weights can also help older adults build muscle and strength.  Finally, yoga can increase muscle without putting unnecessary strain on the body.  Yoga classes can typically be found at gyms or studios around the community.

So although exercise can be painful at times, adults should continue to maintain a regular regime. A good regime can have positive results on the aging and fitness process.

As always, adults and the elderly should consult a professional or a physician before starting any new exercise regime.  For information or questions regarding aging and fitness for the elderly contact MD Home Health / MD Home Assist at 602.266.9971 or visit their website at www.mdhomehealth.com.


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