Dr. Perlman’s words:
Staying well is a complicated process. Rest, nutrition, environment and emotion are among the numerous variables that can
impact one's health. Balancing and configuring all these elements can be overwhelming and frustrating. In this wonderful time of
the year, full of travel, visitors and hectic celebration, we can easily take our family's health for granted. Time spent exhaustively frolicking can unfortunately end in illness for the whole family. What can be done to help curb such outcomes!?
In a perfect world, we would eat and rest prudently and quarantine ill family members. However, in the real world, we can only try to take some basic precautions. Here are some suggestions for this holiday season:
1) REST. What does that translate to in our hectic lives? If you are traveling or being visited, carve out time - perhaps
in the afternoon between lunch and dinner - when everyone can just spend some time winding down. While it is wonderful to be together with those we love, there is no need to overdo it and wear down our immune systems.
2) EAT CAREFULLY. Again, in enthusiasm for joyous celebration, our appetites tend to join in. What that often means is overeating to the "nth" degree. While partaking in some fun sweets and starches is of the essence, overdoing it is taxing to an already stressed system. Digesting all the food that we may not usually eat in larger-than-normal quantities can contribute to increased mucous and lowered defenses. Sorry for the graphicness of these descriptions, but just trying to be gently discouraging - little tastes are well tolerated and will help preserve the bodies balance. Also, lean towards
salads, soups, fruits. It doesn't hurt to give the body some support too!
3) WASH THYSELF. At the risk of seeming dramatic, there is a good chance that people you are celebrating with and the planes/trains/ships/automobiles you are traveling in are infected. Our largest and most effective immune system is our skin and mucosa. So, wash often and thoroughly - wash your hands, carry and use simply saline nasal spray frequently, and bathe well. I'm not trying to exacerbate anyone's OCD tendencies, but this is not the time of year to get sloppy.
4) TAKE A DEEP "BELLY" BREATH. Yes, I'm referring to the double edged sword called the holidays. From the hectic frenzy of travel to the responsibilities involved in hosting visitors, there is barely time to breathe. Unfortunately, shallow breathing causes decreased oxygen to the brain, which, in turn, causes stress. Stress makes our bodies an open target to
whatever bug passes our way. So, put things in perspective. Plan out your time carefully. You don't have to visit every single
tourist attraction and you don't have to have every speck of dust picked up or every single dish perfect. Let the trip unfold and allow for family time to gently pass in the wonderful quietness of being together. I'm taking a belly breath right now at that very thought because it is really not that easy - but it is necessary for your health.
Thank you to all the wonderful families of Miami Beach Pediatrics who have been so welcoming to my family and me.
It has been a joy to meet all of you and thank you for sharing your lives with our practice.
I hope these thoughts help to make this holiday season a productive and illness free time of year for you and your family.
Varisa Perlman, MD
Keeping ourselves and our children healthy
I would like to take this opportunity to give you all a few tips for this winter on how to stay healthy and prevent the over-use of antibiotics and other prescription drugs.
I have been practicing homeopathy at Miami Beach Pediatrics for almost eight years. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to help many children and adults with Homeopathy. I have seen so many different types of ailments from mental/emotional to physical...the beautiful thing about using homeopathy is really about “healing” the body. When we start experiencing symptoms on a chronic level ; meaning we get sick often or the same symptoms re-appear every few weeks to every few months, the body is in a state of Dis-ease.
We see this very frequently in children who suffer from chronic ear infections, chronic wheezing, allergies... Suppressing these symptoms with antibiotics, Zoponex/Albuterol or even steroids leads us nowhere. The child will continue to experience these symptoms for a very long time. Antibiotics strip the flora in our digestive tract which leads to a weak immune system and possibly to more chronic illness.
When taking a homeopathic case, my job as a homeopath is to look at the body’s expression both on the physical level and mental/emotional level (which are the symptoms one is experiencing) and match the body with a homeopathic remedy that has the ability to truly heal the body from within. The body then is no longer in a state of dis-ease and the symptoms/illness come to a stop. Many times parents report that not only is the child healthy physically but the child will thrive in other aspects such as: Appetite, Sleep, Energy, Development, Self confidence etc...
Homeopathy is also beneficial in helping the body overcome different viruses such as Influenza A, H1N1 or stomach viruses...the homeopathic remedy speeds up the recovery time tremendously. Both children and adults that were treated with homeopathic remedies while having the flureported recovery time to be about forty eight hours and that’s in our practice. According to studies published in medical journals we learn that homeopathy is just as effective as using the anti viral prescription drug which is very toxic to the body.
We have a protocol in our practice for treating sick children with Homeopathy. The recommendation is always to make two appointments: first have your child be seen by his/her pediatrician and following that appointment you should have a homeopathic acute consult. We have been working this way for eight years which allows us to give our patients the best possible care.
For those of you who have never tried homeopathy, I urge you to try. For those of you that have experienced homeopathy I recommend scheduling follow ups every few months and in time of sickness schedule your acute consults.
Happy Holidays to all and have a healthy winter :)
U.S. Consumer Group Flags 10
Most Dangerous Toys
By Ros Krasny
BOSTON (Reuters) Nov 17 - A Power Rangers "samurai mega blade" and a Godzilla figure with dagger-like attachments are some of the most dangerous toys lurking in stores this holiday season, according to a consumer watchdog group.
Boston-based World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) on Wednesday issued its annual list of the 10 worst children's toys, just in time for the shopping frenzy that typically starts in late November.
On the list were items the group said pose risks for choking, electrocution, puncture wounds and more.
Joan Siff, president of WATCH, said there have been at least 28 toy recalls representing 3.8 million units in the United States over the past year.
"Any recall is too late in the process," she said, urging better vetting and testing of toys before they go on sale. "Testing cannot take place in the marketplace."
The group has produced its list each year since 1973, and has been successful in getting a number of toys pulled from the shelves. It found this year's selections at leading big-box retailers, online, and in small specialty stores.
James Swartz, a director of WATCH, demonstrated the "Z-Curve Bow," a foam bow and arrow set recommended for kids eight and over.
A warning label suggested the bow should not be pulled back "at more than half strength" and that "anyone at close distance to the target should be alerted" before firing.
"That is a weapon," Swartz said, shooting an arrow into a wall with a loud thud.
Also featured was a "Fold & Go Trampoline" which came with the warning it should only be used for controlled bouncing.
"What young child has the ability, the desire, the knowledge to use it in that manner?" said Swartz. "That's not possible in the real world."
German wooden toys seem sturdy and rather quaint. But a woodenduck, sold for babies as young as a year, has a pull cord about 33 inches long -- a potential strangulation hazard.
The industry's standard limits strings on cribs and playpen toys to 12 inches.
Toys often have thematic tie-ins to popular movies, television shows or books, arguably making them likely choices for shoppers looking for a familiar brand.
On the "Sword Fighting Jack Sparrow" figurine, fashioned after Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp, the pirate's right hand is armed with a 4-inch long, rigid, plastic sword.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that in 2009 roughly 250,000 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms, a number that has been rising.
Reports of toy hazards, however, "needlessly frighten parents" this time of year, said the Toy Industry Association. It said less than half of one percent of the estimated 3 billion toys sold each year in the United States are recalled.
"Toys are safer now than they've ever been," said Stacy Leistner, a spokesman for the Toy Industry Association, the trade group for the North American toy industry.
The design, testing, production and inspection of toys are constantly being strengthened, the group said.
"Certainly from the industry, safety is our number one priority year round, not just at the holidays," Leistner said.
Reuters Health Information © 2011
Pregnancy and Postpartum Massage
During the pregnancy the body is going through tremendous changes.
The physical, emotional, hormonal changes that take place also come with stress put on the body that is very different than what a woman is used to. Pains and discomfort sometime are part of the pregnancy and in some cases after birth as well. Massage Therapy offers a natural way
to help and alleviate the pains and discomfort. The soothing touch releases endorphins (pain killers that the brain is producing) and the knowledgeable hands can open up many tensions and tightness. As a massage therapist who is trained in pregnancy and postpartum massage I had the honor of supporting many women over the years. the satisfactionthat this is bringing is that this is an opportunity to support the continuation of human life and it's quality.
Q&A With our Nutritionist Rachel
Recently, I presented to high school students at a private school in Boca. The presentation was Nutrition 101 for young adults. The school lead journalist followed up with some questions, and this month, I'd like to share those questions and answers with our Miami Beach Pediatric Parents and Teenagers. The reality is that teens and even kids can start learning about nutrition as soon as they're just a couple years old. They will learn through your words and your actions, as far as what you eat, and your knowledge base as parents, so it's a good idea to be as educated as possible.
How long have you been involved in nutrition?
Since my second year in college at the University of North Florida, where I got my bachelors degree in the science of nutrition and worked at a local hospital for Sedexo Marriot doing nutrition checks for patients in the hospital. This was in 1997, and it's been non-stop learning and working in ever-evolving field of nutrition ever since.
What prompted you to pursue this as a career?
Wanting to become a doctor, which I thought at the time equated to healing, though loving to cook, and then having my own personal experience with nutrition that taught me how powerful food is in our bodies and lives/livelihood.
What is important for teenagers to do to maintain a healthy habits?
Teenagers must first gain awareness and gain knowledge which will allow them to understand what is most important in staying healthy.It's always personal and individual as far as what comprises the total health picture per individual. However some basic essentials involved in staying healthy include clean organic food, balanced eating with lots of vegetables, both raw and cooked. Also, rest, healthy relationships, and exercise are key. Friends, community, having survival skills and a broad perspective of life are learned in time, though if learned early, can really help a lot of teenagers.
What is a healthy diet consistent of?
Natural, or as I call them, "Real Food". If you can pick it from a tree or pluck it from the ground and apply simple cooking such as boiling or stir frying, it's "kosher" in my book. Also, if it grazes on grass (pesticude free) or swims in the ocean and eats algae, it's also healthy, generally speaking. There are concerns about water pollution, as well as land pollution which can take a healthy food and pollute it, energetically even. The more we can clean our land and water, start growing foods which are organic and safe from pollution, and keep processed food eating in check and balance with raw, organic, homemade foods, we can have a healthy civilization consisting of healthy teenagers, kids and adults, including the older population.
What are good sleeping habits for high-school students?
Healthy sleep is a MUST. I forget which philosopher said that things that matter most should never be at the mercy of things that matter least. Sleep is one of those things which matter most, and I recommend 8-9 hours per night. If you miss some of those hours during the week, best to make it up on Saturday or Sunday or during other breaks or vacations.