The Hart Blog

10 Ways to Lose Your Headache

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

Symptoms of impending headache

•    nausea
•    difficulties with vision
•    eye pain
•    trouble concentrating
•    sharp stabbing pain
•    sinus and allergy symptoms
•    pressure around the head and neck
•    sensitivity to light

How to treat a headache

1. Drink water — dehydration is often the reason for headaches

2. Mint compress — ake a cup of mint tea with 2 tea bags. Soak a towel and wrap it around your neck or place on forehead

3. Tea —A strong cup of ginger tea is a great anti-infammatory and works on the blood vessels. It sometimes does the trick

4. Eat — soothing foods, like soups and smoothies

5. Caffeine—if you are not sensitive to caffeine(heart palpitations and anxiety) cup of coffee or green tea

6. Acupuncture — shown to be effective in both treating and preventing pain

7. Rest in a dark and quite environment — use eye mask, black-out shades or blinds to reduce light, focus on gentle breathing, add a cool compress for extra effect

8. Relaxation — Deep breathing, visualization, meditation, even sleep

9. Natural remedies — supplements with willow bark, lavender or peppermint; herbal tea, like peppermint or chamomile; aromatherapy; biofeedback; massage; relaxation exercises

10. For chronic headache pain, investigate the cause — visit your dentist, check eye prescriptions, review prescription medications with your physician. Also look at the artificial sweeteners, dyes and preservatives in the diet. (see diet sodas, yogurt, packaged sweets, etc.)

This year, give yourself

Posted by on Dec 7, 2014 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

Free and easy—holiday giving that needs no wrapping! This month, we are giving you suggestions to make your life simpler, easier and allow for peace of mind and in turn positive mental health during the busy holiday season. Giving has been linked to better health proving that gift giving is cyclical, which makes the holidays a perfect opportunity to bump your mental and physical health!

Technology: Savvy with your tablet, smartphone, laptop? Do you know the best apps and how to use them for fitness, coupons, organization? Give the gift of a one-hour free consult to a friend, family member (seniors especially appreciate help) or a co-worker.

Professional Co-op: Send your contacts a group email (bcc everyone, please!) and suggest a professional co-op membership. Chances are there’s an CPA who would love a personal manicure, a house cleaner who would trade for a yoga/stretching tutorial, a dog walker who would be thrilled for an early morning freebie snowplow.

Book Recycle: Take a critical look at your family’s bookshelves—you’ve enjoyed them, but what are the chances you’ll re-read many of these books? Buy or, even better, make a bookmark and bundle a few of your favorites books in twine, stick a sprig of holly under the bow and you’ve got a thoughtful and meaningful gift.

Help: You don’t have to take on a shift at a food bank—there are a million ways to help another if you’re paying attention to opportunities. Offer to babysit for a busy mom, help with errands for an older person who lives independently, deliver groceries or even help with holiday decorating. Being aware and available is all that’s required.

Donate: Next time you’re assembled together, ask your family what causes they care deeply about . . . the environment? animal treatment? children’s charities? World hunger? Together you can discuss what you can do as a family to make a contribution, whether it is registering for a Walk, hosting an awareness party, volunteering for a morning, or trading allowances for donations.

Health Gifts: Techno Style

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

Transform Your Life app is 365 days of inspirational quotes, encouragement, and daily assignments supporting awareness practice with day-in-day-out reminders to keep focused on compassionate self-acceptance.

June by Netatmo tracks your sun exposure and communicates with your smartphone gives recommendations customized to your skin tone and current UV exposure.

Withings Wireless Scale  allows you to monitor your weight on compatible smartphone and tablet devices. Set goals, track progress.

Jawbone Fitness Tracker bracelet tracks activity including calories burned, sleep including hours and quality and calorie/nutrition intake.

Fitness Magazine presents the Best Workout DVDs and Games of 2014 — a wraps up of 16 exercise routines.

Ultrasonic Humidifier by The Sharper Image produces cool or warm micro-fine mist to sooth dry skin and sinuses.

Gifts for Brain Health

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

1078443_42877568Research supports the benefits of games that exercise the brain. It helps dementia patients, sparks youngsters’ imaginations, gives a mental time-out from the pressing demands of life. This season while you work on your gift-giving lists, consider presents that stimulate the brain.

Books — Don’t think age-appropriate! Labels are guidelines, not laws. Picture books, young adult fiction, and elementary school classics are wonderful when re-discovered by parents while sharing with children.

Puzzles — Crossword puzzles engage our attention with a system of rewards that is, well, addictive. Your vocabulary will expand, your appreciation for words will grow and you will experience a surge of satisfaction when you’ve filled each block.

More Puzzles — Jigsaw puzzles are commonly used to alleviate stress and distract patients because they produce a soothing sensation in the body while we use critical thinking and visual skills.

Trivia — Interesting factoids like “Why does a pirate wear an eye patch?” make us laugh while introducing teachable moments into family time. Assign a different family member with the task of research for Trivia Night and don’t forget to put something at stake (winner gets to choose the movie that night?).

Pencil & Paper — No lines, no instructions, no rules, no grades. Make a line, make another line, and you’re off to a deeply satisfying endeavor of doodling!

Does Cold Weather Make You Sick?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

Is cold weather really the culprit when you’re feeling yucky?

Not exactly, but sort of . . . cold weather will not cause you to become ill, however, when cold weather keeps you indoors where there are more active germs then you are more likely to become sick.

There are other factors that contribute to the rise of colds and flu when the weather changes.

1. Heating units in cars, buses, offices and at home can cause your nasal passages to become dry and lead to infections. And, cold, dry air pulls moisture from your mouth and nose, leaving your nasal passages dried out and your throat dry. Plus, the reason you get so sweaty in the summer is not just from the heat—warmer air holds more moisture than cooler air.
964550_79268369Remedy: Use a humidifier and hydrate often with water, tea or infused beverages. Remember:  Ideally consume one half of your body weight in ounces of water— a 150 pound individual should hydrate with 75 ounces of water. If nasal passages become irritated, try a saline nasal spray

2. Outdoor chores such as raking, pruning trees, clearing garden areas and so on can prompt allergens and the result is often symptoms that feel like the cold.
Remedy: Cover your hands with gloves, wear a hat and long sleeve clothing. Shower off once you return to the indoors. If symptoms persist, ask your pharmacist for an antihistamine.

3. Your psychological health can have an impact on your physical health. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real issue with symptoms ranging from general depression, losing interest in physical activity, and inertia.
Remedy: Vitamin D supplements (see your practitioner for Vitamin D dosage amounts) and a warming light indoors

4. Stress is a hidden source of illness and with the holidays upon us, it is natural to feel anxiety about financial concerns, family get-togethers, long to-do lists.
Remedy: Yoga, t’ai chi, meditation, funny movies

5. Immunity is compromised when our diets are deprived of the high intake of fresh produce readily available in the summer months.
Remedy: Frozen vegetables, indoor farmer markets, soups and stews (they will utilize your garlic and onions—great immune boosters!) along with lots of other produce, vitamins

Tool Box for Basic Health

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

1200629_32428586-1What’s in your healthy toolbox? Are you sufficiently covering all the bases when it comes to keeping illness-free? Are you giving your body everything it needs to fight a flu or cold? 

Dr. Kara Burkhart, N.D., L.Ac and Nutritionist Pauline Weissman have the Seven Tools you need this season!


1. De-tox Household surfaces

Here’s a great way to naturally rid germs from your household surfaces, and with items already in your pantry! Vinegar and Baking Soda — Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can be diluted with water as needed.  For scrubbing, try baking soda. Tip: adding rubbing alcohol to the vinegar-water solution allows it to evaporate more quickly and aids as a disinfectant.

2. Cover that sneeze or cough!

The spray from coughing and sneezing spreads germs that can lead to serious respiratory illnesses like influenza (the flu), whooping cough, the common cold, tuberculosis, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and many other respiratory viruses. If you can, cover with a tissue, then personally throwing the tissue away. If there is no tissue at hand, use your upper sleeve, not a bare hand. Hands touch many things, including other people, and are prime territory for spreading germs. Download: “Cover Your Cough Flyer‘ from CDC.

3. Be nice, don’t share

Keep your children home from school and stay home from the workplace, yourself. You’ll recover more quickly from the rest and proper care and you’ll do your co-workers and peers a favor by not spreading an illness.

4. Wash hands

The first line of defense is your hands. We touch surfaces constantly and wind up touching our mouths, rubbing our eyes, etc., which is an entryway for bacteria into our system. Constant and concentrated hand-washing is an important tool in staying illness-free.

5. Sleep in

A lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.

6. Give your immune system a hand

Over-the-counter remedies for boosting your immune system are readily available. Look for Vitamin D 3 at 2000 IU, Vitamin C at 400-500 mg every four hours, and include medicinal mushrooms (Shiitake, Morel, reishi, maitake, etc.,) two to three times weekly. And, forgo juices with a high sugar content. Sugar suppresses the immune system. Consider adding a daily self-defense supplement to your routine.

7. Give yourself a drink

Keep Hydrated. When the car heater or dry heat in homes and schools dry the nasal passages, our barrier protection is compromised leaving us more likely to get a virus

Hand-Washing is Best Defense Against Infection

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

sinkWith the outbreak of Enterovirus 68 in the U.S., concerns about Ebola Virus worldwide, and the Flu season upon us, it’s natural to have concerns about how to stay illness-free. The best practice is to be vigilant about washing your hands and to teach the same to your children.

In a USA Today article, David Hill, Director of Global Public Health at Quinnipiac University’s Medical School in Hamden, Conn, noted, “Simple hand washing with soap and water still remains one of the most effective ways to decrease the risk of spreading infections after preparing food, using the toilet, or after coughing or blowing your nose.”

And, in a recent New York Times Q&A about Enterovirus, the answer to “What can adults do to protect their children from the virus?” was to wash hands thoroughly. Enterovirus 68, it said, is similar to influenza in its transmission.

Many people do not properly wash their hands and do not wash as often as they should. Browsing the internet for videos will provide a visual, as well good information. One video, titled “Dirty Truth About Hand Washing,” by WebMD, makes the point!

Below are pointers from the Center for Disease Control‘s to proper hand-washing:

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

What is the right way to wash your hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap.Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice!
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Ew, Flu — What to Do?

Posted by on Sep 21, 2014 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

Flu season is upon us — the infection caused by the influenza virus can be prevented, however. The flu vaccination is available at most physicians’ offices, medical centers, clinics and pharmacies. They are also being made available at college and work health centers. You will see advertisements because we are on the heels of flu season in the United States. Flu viruses are at their highest levels between October and can stay there as late as May, affecting even the most healthy individuals. The following information is intended to educate and provide answers on the flu vaccine.

Strategy: Get the flu shot, practice good hygiene, eat and sleep well, have a copy of Herbal Remedies for Cold and Flu Season on hand.Screen shot 2013-12-13 at 6.02.56 AM

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a vaccination for everyone six months of age and older, and particularly those people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. Starting 2014-2015, the CDC also recommends the use of the nasal spray vaccine for healthy children between two and age years of age.

Flu vaccines work by causing antibodies to develop in the body, which provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccines. Traditional flu vaccines that are most readily available protect against three different flu viruses (“trivalent” vaccines).

Commonly asked Questions:

Does the vaccine work immediately?
No, it takes two weeks for the vaccine to become effective.

Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?
No, the viruses in the flu shot are inactivated, so you cannot get the flu from a shot; in the nasal spray vaccine the viruses are weaker and will not cause severe symptoms.

Should my infant get the flu vaccine?
No, it is not appropriate for infants younger than six months old.

Can I get the flu vaccine if I am pregnant?
Yes, it has been shown to protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to six months after they are born.

If I have unusual allergies should I get the flu vaccine?
Health issues, including relevant allergies (such as egg allergy) should be brought to the attention of your physician who will help you determine which vaccine is appropriate for you.

If I do catch the flu, what can I do?
Aside from resting and treating the symptoms, there is not much else to do if you catch the flu. If it is diagnosed within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, your physician may prescribe Tamiflu to help prevent a severe case of the flu.

Will the flu vaccine ensure I do not catch the flu?
No, it is impossible to avoid all contact with germs. However, there are habits that you can adopt to make it less likely you will become ill.

  • Wash hands vigorously
  • Avoid touching face or eyes and especially mouth with hands
  • Clean surfaces, especially phones and other surfaces like computers and doorknobs regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet, get exercise and plenty of sleep
  • Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids
  • Check with your doctor regarding vitamins and supplements that will help your body combat illness

What if I don’t know if my vaccines are current?
The vaccines recommended for adults depend upon their age (i.e., the shingles vaccine), medical history (a specialized flu vaccine) and other factors. Ask your doctor to check to see if your tetanus and pertussis vaccines are up to date when you are having your flu shot this year.

Where can I find more information?
The Center for Disease Control has a website that provides more detailed information regarding the flu shot:

Back Packs & Other Back Facts

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

601986_42561122Good posture is critical to sustaining a healthy back and preventing spinal issues. What is good posture and how can you achieve it? Students who use backpacks have particular considerations. Below are tips from the experts:

  • Hold body upright whether standing, seated or even lying down
  • Avoid placing strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities
  • Bones and joints should be in correct alignment so muscles are used appropriately
  • Decrease wearing of joint surfaces that may result in arthritis
  • Lessen stress on ligaments that hold the joints of spine together
  • Prevent spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions
  • Avoid fatigue on muscles
  • Minimize strain, backache and muscular pain

Proper Seating Position

  • Sit with back straight and shoulders back; buttocks should touch back of chair
  • Distribute body weight evenly on hips
  • Bend knees at right angle; avoid crossing legs
  • Keep feet flat on floor
  • Avoid sitting in same position longer than 30 minutes

Children & Students

  • Backpacks should weigh no more than 10 percent of his/her body weight and should not hang more than 4 inches below waistline. Always use shoulder straps that can be fitted to child’s body
  • Computer workstation chairs should be two inches between front edge of seat and his/her knees and should have arm supports. Knees should be positioned at about 90 – 120-degree angle
  • Other safety issues to consider: moving through tight spaces including school bus aisles, tripping over large backpacks, falling on stairs due to imbalance

Colon Cancer: Prevention & Detection

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Healthy Living | 0 comments

According to British researchers, “taking small amounts of aspirin over long periods of time reduces the risk of colon cancer and certain other cancers” as reported in The New York Times. Evidence was culled from six published systematic reviews and four individual studies with data on long-term aspirin use in people 50 to 65.

Cancer of the colon and/or rectum is known as colorectal or colon cancer and occurs when a malignant growth arises from the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer for both sexes in the U.S. yet it is highly preventable and curable when detected early.

Preventive measures include a colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy, which are the primary tools for preventing and early detection. Screenings are recommended at age 50 unless a family history suggests sooner.

Lifestyle changes can reduce risk of colon cancer as presented by the Mayo Clinic include:

  • diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains
  • alcohol consumption should be moderate
  • refrain from tobacco use
  • maintain healthy weight
  • For people with high risk, consider
  • regular aspirin use over a long period may reduce risk
  • pharmaceuticals may be recommended
  • surgery may be an option

From a nutrition perspective, a diet high in fruits in vegetables and high in fiber:

  • Maintains colon health as well as keeping blood lipids in an appropriate range
  • Is important in the production of short chain fatty acids, which are the primary fuel source for intestinal cells
  • Stimulates the production of good intestinal bacteria, which is important to keep the immune system strong
  • Supports a healthy weight because eating a diet high in fiber will keep you satiated during the day

beetsHigh fiber foods include:

  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, buckwheat, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, and other ancient grains. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new grains!
  • Starchy vegetables such as acorn and butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables
  • Legumes: black beans, white cannellini beans, kidney and pinto beans, chic peas, fava beans to name a few varieties
  • Berries and other fruits in which you eat the skin.
  • Don’t forget the VEGETABLES! Keep in mind, your dinner plate should consist of 50% vegetables-Half your plate! Other ways to get in additional vegetables is to have raw veggies as a crunchy snack: celery, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini and summer squash, fresh raw cherry tomatoes