Mind, Mood and Food: Optimal Nutrition for the Brain

Cutting Edge Science for Emotional, Cognitive and Behavioral Disorders

I have just returned from a week long certification on how to repair the traumatized, injured and aging brain with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine at Kripalu. The nine member team of presenters are internationally acclaimed authors, researchers and pioneers in the field of finding effective ways to treat and prevent ALS, Alzeimer’s, Dementia, Trauma, Depression and Anxiety. Over the next few months, I will be sharing what I have gained from this experience. Look for my blogs in our newsletters and social media sites.

I want to begin by introducing you to this incredible team, so that you can fully appreciate their contributions to the world of integrative medicine. I am so very grateful to my MAC family, who gave me the op-portunity to take a week away from my clients; to explore the world of Mind, Mood and Food. This training was invaluable and will only deepen my own wellness practice and what I can offer our community.

James Gordon MD, the founder of Mind Body Medicine was the chairman of the White House Commission on Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Policy. He is a Harvard trained psychiatrist and currently leads an international team of over 6000 clinicians, educators and community leaders in relieving population-wide psychological trauma during and after wars, climate related disasters and school shootings. His latest book, The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing after Trauma, teaches us that we all experience trauma to some degree and offers a step by step program to reverse the psychological damage that Trauma causes.

Jay Lombard DO was chief of Neurology at both Westchester Square Medical Center and Bronx Lebanon Hospital. For over 20 years, Dr. Lombard has treated patients with ALS, Parkinson’s Alzeimer’s, MS, and other auto-immune brain disorders. Dr. Lombard integrates biological, psychological, and existential components into his holistic approach to Behavioral Neurology and Neuroimmunology.

Mark Hyman MD, is a leader in the field of Functional Medicine and nutrition. He is a best selling author and hosts one of the leading podcasts, The Doctor’s Farmacy. Dr. Hyman’s focus is to change policy for the betterment of public health. He is medical contributor to CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, The View and CNN.

Drew Ramsey, MD, a nutritional psychiatrist, is the founder of The Brain Food Clinic in NYC, offering treatment and consultation for depression, and anxiety. He is the assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physician and Surgeons. Drew has developed nutritional interventions and integrative psychiatry treatments using the latest research in brain science, nutrition and mental health research to treat his patients. He has two Ted x talks, Brain Fork and Brain Farmacy, a BBC documentary on Brain and Food. He is the author of three books and many publications. Dr. Ramsey is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and completed his training in adult psychiatry at Columbia University.

Dr. Aviva Romm, MD is a Yale trained integrative physician, midwife and herbalist. She has 30 years experience as a health care practitioner. Aviva is the founder of the Yale Integrative Medicine program and author of seven books on natural medicine for women and children. Aviva is a leader in the movement to transform the current medical system into a model that respects intrinsic healing of both the body and nature.

Cynthia Geyer, MD, my medical guru, is the medical director at Canyon Ranch and one of the core faculty members at The Center for Mind Body Medicine. Dr. Geyer teaches physicians and health care professionals how to use food and lifestyle to address health concerns. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. I have referred many Mac members to Dr. Geyer and I am happy to say that she is still accepting new patients!

Other presenters included Kathie Madonna Swift MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, EBQ, Kathie pioneered nutrition programs at Canyon Ranch, Kripalu, and the Ultra Wellness Center and continues to consult at all three organizations. She served as the Education Director for the Food as Medicine Program for two decades and is co-founder of the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy.

Amy Shinal MSW, LCSW is an integrative Psychotherapist and the Clinical Director at the Mind Body Medicine in Washing ton DC.

Jeremy Rock Smith is Kripalu’s Executive chef who joined the Kripalu kitchen in 2010. He is the author of The Kripalu Kitchen: Nourishing Food for Body and Soul.

If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, anxiety or cognitive decline, please make an appointment with me, so that I can assist you in creating optimal brain health. As you can see, I work with an amazing team of functional medicine doctors, they are all so passionate about their work and research. I have taken continuing education with the Center for Mind Body Medicine for the past five years and will continue to do so in order to offer our Mac community the latest research on how to use food and mind-body techniques to balance mind and mood.

Marlene Dickinson
Director of Wellness/Holistic Wellness Coach
BA Psychology/Sports Nutrition
Food as Medicine/Mind, Mood and Food Coach

(978) 526-8900 x 362

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The Healing Power of Laughter

There have been numerous studies that evaluate the healing properties of laughter. Did you know that laughter can reduce cortisol levels, decrease anxiety, lighten depression and increase our tolerance for pain? In 1971, Dr. Hunter Campbell opened a free hospital where thousands of patients received humor based care for a period of twelve years. The hospital evolved into the Gesundheit Institute, a non-profit health care organization which offers humanitarian clowning trips to hospitals, orphanages, refugee camps and prisons. To learn more about Dr. Campbell and his work go to www.patchadams.org.

Laughter yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. There is scientific evidence that proves that laughter has been shown to reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, decrease weight gain and memory loss. It also increases endorphins, which lowers pain throughout the body and creates a feeling of bliss!

So how do we incorporate more laughter into our lives? Look for the humor in challenging situations, get together with co-workers and friends and create a time to share comical stories. Take a laughter yoga class. whatever you do, find a way to incorporate humor and laughter into your day.

I would like to thank two of my co-workers, Kimberly Pews and Dana Leavitt for the inspiration for this blog. We spontaneously met in the hallway yesterday and shared some stories from our own personal journeys that made us laugh so hard that we were crying. Laughter is bliss, we all need a little more bliss!

Written by: Marlene Dickinson
Director of Wellness/Holistic Wellness Coach


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The Benefits of Exercising for The Elderly

Written collectively by MAC Fitness Gloucester Employees

MAC Fitness Gloucester member, Robert Vinson keeping his heart battery healthy (literally) by working out every day!

MAC Fitness Gloucester member, Robert Vinson keeping his heart battery healthy (literally) by working out every day!

There are endless advantages to working out for all age groups, but what are they for those of an older age? Some include; preventing or delaying disease, lowering the risk of falls, creating better bone density, reduced risk of developing dementia, and living a longer life. Below are a few more things that exercise can help older adults with:

1. Prevents injuries

2. Improve Balance and Stability

3. Develop bodily strength

4. Daily tasks are easier to do

5. Reduces pain

Aging correlates to lesser balance and stability. By working out, you are decreasing the risk of a life-threatening fall. In addition, you are also making your bones stronger during exercise. Therefore, if you do suffer a fall, you are less likely to break bones.

Along with falls, as you age you are more susceptible to sicknesses. By exercising, you are preventing diseases such as dementia and cancer by building your immune system up through fitness. It can also help in management of high cholesterol; keeping cholesterol levels within a healthy range can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Staying in shape also has long term life benefits. According to the World Health Organization, leading a sedentary lifestyle is one of the 5 leading causes of death and disability. Even gentle, regular exercise such as walking, or swimming can increase lifespan by around three to five years.

While exercising is good for all ages, it can also benefit the elderly in very important ways. Experts say seniors should aim to be as active as possible. If you are an older adult, you can reap the many benefits of exercise to live a longer, healthier life!

Try these exercised at home or at the gym, to help keep you strong:

1. Seated side bends. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, keeping one hand behind your head and the other reaching towards the floor

2. Bridges

3. Supermans

4. Leg lifts

What our MAC FITNESS Members have to say, as to why they exercise:

• “GATE - If I were to fall or get hurt, I want to make sure that I have been stretching and exercising making my recovery faster. GATE is important in this process.” -Larry Rubin, age 69

• “To make sure that my body can keep up with my mind. As I transition from working less to playing more, I want to be able to move freely.” -Teresa Zing, age 55

• “I work out at the age of 94 so I do not fall. I like to have good mobility so I can still chase women downhill.” -Herbert Hurwitz, age 94

• “I work out so I can live like my Mother until 97, and so I can live like my grandmother until 103.” -Carla Grillo, age 65

• “I work out daily to have a healthy heart and to charge my batteries, literally.” Rob Vinson, age 72

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