New York’s Anti-Smoking Campaign

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anti-smokingDepending on where one lives in America, there are different policies and campaigns focusing on anti-smoking. It seems that New York may have a way to go vis-à-vis promoting anti-smoking, according to a recent report put out by the American Cancer Society. Each state should be working on screenings, smoking bans, tobacco taxes, and more. New York seems to have been reported as doing well vis-à-vis breast and cervical cancer screening endeavors, but it has been advised that it should bring back funds for programs that restrict smoking areas. According to the Cancer Action Network, approximately 107,000 New Yorkers will be diagnosed with cancer this year and for 35,000 it will be fatal.

But it’s not just New York that should be ashamed of its lackluster anti-tobacco campaign. Iowa has what to answer for as well. Currently, the state is spending a mere $5.1 million on its anti-smoking efforts, but according to Iowa Tobacco Prevention Alliance board member Jeneane Moody, federal experts believe this figure should be $30 million per year on anti-tobacco efforts. A staggering $90 million is spent by tobacco companies annually on Iowa marketing.

Moving on to Florida, it seems Iowa and New York can take a few lessons. The Florida Department of Health’s (FDOH) Tobacco Free Florida campaign has aggressive commercials depicting the human impact of smoking as part of a comprehensive program. It bases these on ads that have successfully run in other countries and have been positive. Because of Florida’s work in this realm, the results have been great. There has been reduction of 500,000 adult smokers in the state since 2007 and 72,000 people have quit with the 3 Ways to Quit services Florida has provided.

So for New Yorkers to get healthier as a state, a lesson or two could be learned from how Florida is attacking the smokers’ habits in the state.

Summer New York Fitness Programs

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Yoga Practitioners Greet Summer Solstice In Times SquareNew York fitness programs over the summer are currently in full swing for both adults and children. There are many free ones available too.

Union Square offers yoga, CrossFit and running at different times of the day, instructed and sponsored by Fitlst and Lole. New Yorkers can get in their exercise at Bari, Body Conceptions, Flywheel, Uplift and others. For New York fitness outdoors lovers, Yogamaya is located on 14th Street Park every Wednesday.

Shape Up NYC offers dance classes every Sunday, sponsored by NYC Parks, Equinox, NYC Service and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. Free classes throughout the five boroughs are available on a first come, first served basis.

Next on the summer New York fitness programs is the free yoga class given by YogaWorks in conjunction with Athleta which provides the mats at Bleecker Street studio. Sacred Sounds Yoga also offers yoga for children on a Wednesday morning. There are also free classes in Astoria Park and Gantry Plaza State Park so there’s no excuse for anyone to miss a yoga session!

NYC Parks are a perfect summer location for free New York fitness programs. Check out what is available at the times most convenient to you and start getting in shape in New York this summer!

Bimini SuperFast for Healing Properties

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healing-holeFor New Yorkers looking to combine their healing process with a vacation, Bimini SuperFast may be the answer. Or, at least the beginnings of one. Resorts World Bimini offers a cruise to the Bimini islands. Once there, vacationers can take visit the Healing Hole, located in Bonefish Creek.

Discovered within the salt water mangrove swamp encompassing four miles of North Bimini, the Healing Hole is a pool. At the end of a network of winding underground tunnels, the channels pump cool, fresh water – comprised of healing minerals – into the pool when the tides go out. Some of the minerals include sulfur and lithium, both known for their healing properties. For example, when one is sulfur-deficient, they can experience pain and inflammation of various muscles and it is also present in insulin, helping to promote proper sugar utilization. Lithium is used to treat depression and anxiety and is often used as an anti-aging treatment. These healing waters have also been known to clear poison ivy and tick bites almost immediately. Say bye-bye to irritating bugs common to hot environments like the Bahamas.

Bimini SuperFast is a fun vacation for sure. But for those New Yorkers stressed out on life, looking for a little bit of healing at the same time, once there, taking a trip to this “natural wonder” can ultimately become a life-changing experience as well.

Health, Secrets & The Presidency

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In the world of instant gratification, social media and know-all press, it is fascinating to look back at times that were so different. Today, a President would have a very difficult time keeping anything from the press and the public. But this was not the case with President Glover Cleveland in 1893.

President Cleveland, discovering that he had oral cancer, managed to keep this from the public. In June of 1893, Cleveland was told that his malignancy would require the removal of his left upper jawbone immediately. Understandably, he did not want to scare the public that had just lived through Grant’s death from the same cancer, and so he kept it from the public.

On July 1, 1893, he had the surgery and then stayed in his summer home for five weeks to heal. He had an artificial jaw prosthesis and returned to the yacht for a second round of surgery. He eventually returned to Washington and continued with his Presidency.

On the one year anniversary of his surgery, he sent a secret letter to his surgeon, Dr. Joseph D. Bryant. Housed at the Shapell Manuscript Foundation, the letter reads:

Perhaps it has not occurred to you that this is rather an interesting anniversary. I don’t know that it ought to occur to you with the same depth of feeling that it does to me. At any rate I want to remind you that you and I were on the Oneida one year ago today – both feeling very different from what we do today and I guess you the most anxious of the two… I must tell you another coincidence. Dr. Keen called on me and examined me with the greatest satisfaction… He never tires of speaking of the splendor and success of your job. He has really made me think that my very dear medical friend is a good deal of a chap. But I only want to remind you of the anniversary…

President Cleveland’s cancer never returned and he died 14 years later of heart failure. No one ever spoke of the situation until 1917.

Cleveland died fourteen years later of heart failure. His cancer never returned, and no one involved in its removal, spoke a word of it until 1917.

Enhancing NYC Health

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stay-healthyThe city of New York is seeking additional ways to enhance the health of its residents. One might be inclined to suggest that these moves are forced – since they are being enacted through law – but nonetheless the ultimate aim of enhancing the quality of NYC health is a noteworthy goal.

With this in mind, two recent laws/bans were put in place. The first was connected to smoking and the second, to sugary drinks. Earlier this month a federal judge upheld the ban on using coupons that basically prevents New Yorkers from getting cheaper prices on cigarettes in the city that currently has one of the highest prices on cigarettes. Not only is this a victory for the anti-smoking groups but also for NYC health promotion. Since it was ruled by Thomas Griesa, U.S. District Judge was able to enact this ruling since it does not impinge on manufacturers’/sellers’ free-speech rights, adding that all it does is “regulate pricing, not speech, and thus, does not violate the First Amendment.”

Another way NYC health may be enhanced is through bringing back the city’s ban on large sodas. This ban – that was first enacted back in 2012 by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg – disabled the selling of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at eateries in the city as well as movie theaters, etc. But it was overturned by lower courts. According to Richard Dearing, Assistant Corporation Counsel, “the largest source of added sugar in the American diet, 40 percent of added sugar comes from sugary drinks. They’re empty calories. They don’t provide nutritional value. … They’re not filling. What that means is when you consume calories from sugary drinks, you don’t reduce other caloric consumption.” Even though New York City is the only jurisdiction requesting such a ban, several others have tried.

While American Beverage Association spokesperson Chris Gindlesperger said such a ban would have a “negative impact on businesses throughout the city,” it could go a long way in enhancing NYC health – which ultimately should be a longer-term goal of any city.  As Mary Bassett, the city’s Health Commissioner pointed out, we do really have to call into question “the beverage industry’s continued promotion of these unhealthy products in communities most burdened by obesity and diabetes.”

These are just a few ways that the city is trying to legally enhance NYC health.

Making New York Fitness More Accessible

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modelfitOne common complaint (aka excuse) people have for not exercising and getting fit is lack of accessibility. New York fitness has addressed that issue by putting a gym inside an Albany supermarket. The idea for this was initiated from a meeting between the local YMCA, Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan and Hannaford which together wanted to “improve the area’s health while also being convenient, accessible and free.”

New York fitness classes are becoming increasingly popular at the gym-supermarket. Featuring stationary bicycles, treadmills, cardio machines and a Zumba room, grocery shoppers can lose weight and get in shape just before they shop for groceries. In addition, those who use the gym are not forced to use the supermarket; all they need to do is complete some paperwork on their first visit and then get fobs to swipe when they stop by. To date, more than 1,100 people have signed up.

According to NPD Group Harry Balzer, this is a great idea:

“All of us eat and 63 percent of us say we exercise on a weekly basis. I have a ready and willing market with six out of 10 people who walk in the door, but the point that’s most salient is free. I know of nothing that will change your behavior faster than money. Will it last? That’s the question.”

In other news, for those New Yorkers looking for something a little bit more hip, there is also the new ModelFIT studio, New York fitness’ answer to working out with models. For just $40 and a pair of working sneakers, even the most non-famous people can sweat it out with the stars in the city that never sleeps.

New York Wellness – Cancer Awareness

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American_Cancer_SocietyEvery year the Hoosick Falls Central School in New York chooses a different topic on New York wellness on which to focus. This year it was cancer, and the wellness day dealt with issues such as grief and loss. It was chosen as a testament to Isabel McGuire – a teacher from the school who recently lost her battle against cancer.
Next month, the American Cancer Society will host the 9th Annual Financial Services Cares Gala in New York, on 42nd Street. This is a fundraiser attended by around 500 financial industry leaders in an attempt to raise funds and awareness while getting additional support for all programs fun by the American Cancer Society. Unofficially, the theme was “fighting breast cancer on and off the field,” and had Bon Jovi, Brian Kelly, Linda Holliday and others at the party in an attempt to raise awareness and funds.
In other New York cancer awareness news, Terry Bourgeois undertook a challenging bike ride from New York City to Niagara Falls. He did this to raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. This was not the first time Bourgeois participated in the ride – he has been on board for since 1999 – but this year was different. He completed a ride across the entire state, raising $8,000 – funds that are to be put toward brain tumor and ovarian cancer vaccines and lung cancer genetic testing. He realized how many close family members have been impacted by the disease over the years. He said, “I realized that this is the biggest war we’ll ever face. And it’s all around us.”

Dr. Harvey Finkelstein: Treating Chronic Pain

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Pain specialists are those medically-trained individuals such as Dr. Harvey Finkelstein, who seek to alleviate the burden of chronic pain from their clients. Chronic pain can be completely debilitating. It is thus crucial that the patient finds a specialist who understands what is going on and does not invalidate their symptoms, as can be the case with chronic pain.

Often, medical professionals do not fully believe the authenticity of their client who complains of chronic pain. That’s why one needs to seek out a medical professional with a chronic pain specialty. Dr. Harvey Finkelstein has over 15 years of experience in helping people with this issue. He works out of his Long Island clinic – Pain Care Medicine – looking at each patient who comes through the doors in a “holistic fashion.”

Patient Treatment

When patients are treated in this manner, it is more likely that the source of the problem will be diagnosed. Looking at a person in his or her entirety, gives the professional the complete picture. Thus what might have been overlooked by one specialist, has a greater chance of being noticed by a holistic practitioner.

For individuals encountering any type of imbalance – be it physical, spiritual or emotional – it is important to get to the bottom of it. An accurate diagnosis can mean the difference between continuing on in pain and a state of discomfort, or living in a state of well-being.

Chronic pain sufferers are not best advised to seek out a “miracle cure.” These are not realistic and rarely viable. Also just using painkillers without any other treatment/therapy is ill-advised. It is a short-term pick-me-up as opposed to a long-term solution. This is why Dr. Finkelstein and his team take the holistic approach and see what can be done to treat the patient in the long-run.

“Wholistic” Treatments

When one is experiencing physical ailments over a long period of time – chronic pain – it is often the result of something larger. Perhaps it is connected to the emotions/spirit, or there is something else going on. Holistic treatments look at the “whole” (often referred to as “wholistic treatments”) to try to get to the root of this. It is often a long-term journey but for those prepared to take the time, can be incredibly healing. That is what Dr. Harvey Finkelstein seeks to do with his patients – treat the whole, get to the bottom of the story and ensure the patient encountering chronic pain sees a light at the end of the tunnel.

painIn holistic treatment, the practitioner takes on a very specific – often quite dissimilar – role to that of other practitioners. He or she has to look at from where the pain is originating, and then figure out a course of treatment. This can often require quite a few patient-practitioner appointments. It is thus important the patient is “patient” throughout this process.

Often with holistic treatment, the patient is much more involved than with regular treatment. This is because of the attitude of the practitioner who seeks to garner as much data as possible. This process obviously involves the patient. The more the patient can tell the practitioner, the better the practitioner will be able to assess the patient’s needs.

Available Assistance

It is a real shame that so many people experience chronic pain. In addition, many of these never seek the assistance of a medical professional. This is unfortunate since in many cases, help is available. People think well if the pain is manageable, there is no point in doing anything about it. Dr. Harvey Finkelstein would disagree. It is worth seeking help; holistic practitioners have great success rates.

Perhaps even more importantly, those with chronic pain need an evaluation since it could actually be something more serious. This pain could be indicative of an underlying disease that does require treatment and will actually become worse if not monitored. Or, there are some cases in which if pain is treated immediately it will prevent it from turning into a chronic, long-lasting issue.

Another reason to attack chronic pain head on is that sometimes people inadvertently develop unhealthy methods to tackle it. This can even result in drug misuse or other substance abuse, that starts from seemingly innocuous OTC painkillers. Going to a doctor or healthcare professional earlier rather than later is thus also highly recommended.

Talking to people with similar issues can also help. An individual with chronic pain should not have to feel so isolated. There are many people encountering similar problems – getting their support and giving back support can help tremendously in one’s overall treatment. Do not become socially isolated as well.

At the end of the day, sometimes patients need to be their own doctors. That means, feeling the pain, accepting there is a problem and seeking the correct help. Finding the right practitioner can take time but ultimately it is one who will take your issues seriously and believe in you. For those in the New York area, Dr. Harvey Finkelstein is one of these individuals.

ABOUT:

Dr. Finkelstein is the owner of Pain Care of Long Island.  He has over two decades of expertise in the field of pain management. He is certified in both pain medicine and anesthesiology. In addition, he is Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice.  Dr. Harvey Finkelstein is focused on providing his patients with personalized care and attention, while caring for their individual needs.

“Drinking” to Health in New York

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energy-drinksIn a continued effort for New Yorkers to enhance their general health and well-being, we take a look at some of the energy drinks available on the market. When one is training hard or engaging in regular workouts, these beverages can be a great way to replenish energy and repair muscle. But they should just form part of the replenishing process. According to Sports Medicine, consuming a diet with a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein is a great way for endurance athletes who are training daily.

Other than that, in general, energy drinks may contain some (or all) of the following: caffeine, taurine, guarana, B vitamins, ginseng, L-carnitine, sugars, antioxidants, glucuronolactone, yerba mate, creatine, acai berry, inositol, L-theanine, milk thistle, ginkgo bilboa, artificial sweeteners and quercetin.

Energy Brands (today owned by the Coca-Cola company), produces Smartwater which is an electrolyte-enhanced water.   When it first started out, company founder J. Darius Bikoff just distributed it to health food stores and independent NY retailers. A few years later – when the line expanded to Fruitwater and Vitaminwater – the beverages became available throughout America. Given the popularity of Vitaminwater, the company went global and is now available throughout the world.

Another popular energy drink is Rockstar Energy. The company claims that its beverage has been “scientifically formulated to speed the recovery time of those who lead active and exhausting lifestyles—from athletes to rock stars, designed for those who lead active lifestyles – from athletes to rockstars.”

Monster Energy Drinks claims to give its consumers so much more than just a beverage with energy. “Monster is way more than an energy drink. Led by our athletes, musicians, employees, distributors and fans, Monster is…A lifestyle in a can.”

Improving New York Health: Reducing Sodium in our Diets

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saltOne of the biggest impediments to improving New York health is the amount of sodium New Yorkers have in their diet. The problem is not just individuals, but food companies. And there is a lot that the market can do to substantially improve the potential of New Yorkers health by reducing sodium input into their foods.

Reducing sodium has huge health benefits. Knocks down the likelihood of high blood pressure, hypertension, strokes, heart attacks and the like. In addition, in a recent New York Times article, Thomas A. Farley pointed out that in America today, “according to best estimates, excess sodium is killing between 40,000 and 90,000 people and running up to $20 billion in medical costs a year.” So along with the improvement in New York health, reducing sodium would also indirectly result in an enhancement of the city’s finances – and indeed throughout the nation.

It can be done. Apparently sodium levels in fast food can vary a huge amount. For example, one slice of pizza can have anywhere between 370 and 730 milligrams – that’s a wide range. It’s just a case of getting food manufacturers on board. This is the first step. Once there is a reduction in the amount of salt in people’s food, individuals’ desire for the salt also drops.

This is not a new issue for New Yorkers or any Americans. But the question becomes quite political when one asks how much should the state be involved? Do we want a situation in which the Mayor for example, is determining our soda input?

Still, New York City is doing relatively well vis-à-vis the salt reduction campaign. Since 2010, its health department has been working via the National Salt Reduction Initiative (a conglomeration of 90+ health departments and organizations) to try to encourage food companies to cut sodium of their own will, based on what the UK has been doing over the last few years. Today, 21 companies (including Kraft) have joined in, by adding less sodium in basic products such as canned beans. So it’s starting.

If there is a move to seriously reduce sodium in processed foods in America, hopefully this will have a direct impact on enhanced health throughout the nation, bringing long-term benefits to those at greatest risk of hypertension, etc.

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