Mind/Body/Spirit

Baby On Board!

The addition of a new baby brings with it an entirely new learning curve for first time parents. Things once taken for granted suddenly require mindful attention from the moment of birth forward – and if proper attention is not paid, the balance of your mind, body and spirit suffers.

Two of the many experiences at the top of the list of what was once taken for granted: (1) sleep   (2) your relationship with your partner.  If these are not mindfully attended to, they dissolve and, along with them, health, wellness and joy.

SLEEP

Sleep is interfered with on various levels and coping mechanisms employed in order to permit the parenting couple to enjoy a full night of restful, healing sleep range from enlisting outside help (immediately after the birth, a professional doula   is an option) to having one or more family members pitch in.

The doula teaches parents (of particular value to first time parents) all sorts of helpful hints, tips and techniques so that, once the professional relationship is over, the new parents can take over with confidence. The down side of the doula arrangement includes additional financial burden on the couple, and the reality of having a ‘stranger’ help take care of your newborn.

Relatives helping out bring all sorts of realities to the table. On one hand, having someone you respect, trust and love may add a wonderful dimension to the new parenting experience. The downside of having family members help for extended periods of time becomes apparent when boundary issues arise. This may impact the relationship.

YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Boundaries. Sometimes one or both partners feel unable to draw healthy boundaries and/or find that boundary setting efforts are ignored by the otherwise well meaning, helpful family member. The boundary issue may put a strain on the relationship between the parenting couple especially if both parents don’t agree on the boundary that needs to be set.  For example, if the family member of one new parent insists on cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, joining the couple on social outings, and/or prevents the couple from hiring an outside babysitter, and only one of the parents sees a reason to draw a boundary, this may potentially put a strain on the relationship between the new parents.

Additional difficulties arise even when both new parents agree on the boundary that needs to be set, if either or both lack the skills to do so effectively. Do you and/or your parenting partner feel uncomfortable when the ‘helpful family member’ insists on his/her version of ‘helping’? Perhaps you have a loved one who either directly states his/her expectation or – sometimes worse, sends out a vibration or attitude so thick you can cut it with a knife, but can’t put your finger on it to address it effectively.  If that family member imposes on your privacy, interferes with your special alone time, insists on tagging along on your outside dinner dates with friends, etc. and you lack tools to address this, you may benefit from professional intervention to help you as a couple, so that your relationship with each other – as well as with outside friendships, can continue to grow.  Click here for more information. Click here for a recommendation.  Failure to address these important stresses results in distraction from joy and may ultimately threaten aspects of your relationship.

IF YOU WANT HEALTHY KIDS – YOUR HAPPINESS IS ESSENTIAL

You owe it to yourselves and to your children to have positive energy in your life.  This means you need to learn how to effectively deal with distractions to your happiness.  Scientific research has focused seriously on the impact of ‘in-laws’ on the marital couple – even before children are brought into the equation.  If you sense you have a toxic family member who brings bitter-sweet realities to your table, click here for validation and tools.

The Wall Street Journal suggests that sleep (as noted above) needs to be a priority in order to keep your relationship happy. In order to remain centered and positive, attention to your mind, body and spirit are key.  From prenatal yoga to  regaining balance through tai chi – even after a diagnosis with back pain, arthritis etc., your are in charge of the energy you choose to surround yourself with. Keep in mind that a healthy, happy relationship among your mind, body and spirit as well as between parenting partners is essential in order to plant healthy seeds in the children you are raising.  Studies show that over-controlling parents (resulting from all sorts of personality issues) have a negative impact on children up through and into the offspring’s sixth decade of life! Imagine that.

Clearly, maintaining a healthy mind/body/spirit balance and nourishing your relationship is worth the effort not only for YOUR joy, but for the well being of your children.  A healthy foundation in life begins with positive energy.

Here’s to your joy, and best of luck with your growing family.  ~Dr. Iankowitz

Additional resources:

 

Contact Information

Office phone: (917) 716-6802

Office Visits are by Appointment Only

Office Location:   24 Great Bear Road, Holmes, NY 12531

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Office Visits by:

  • professional reference
  • referral by a current patient or health provider
  • personal invitation by Dr. Iankowitz
  • telephone screening

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Please do NOT just ‘show up’ without an appointment.

The initial one (1) hr. office-visit consultation is by appointment only.

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If you reach Dr. Iankowitz’ confidential voicemail, please leave a brief message with

  • your name
  • phone #
  • best time to reach you
  • brief statement regarding your concern or goals

Calls are usually returned within 4 hours. All messages are answered before noon the following day.

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Here’s to balance of mind, body & spirit.  I look forward to partnering with you along your healing journey.  ~Dr. Iankowitz

 

 

Two Facts Most Don’t Know About Skin

Skin is not only wise – its talent is the body’s best kept secret. Your skin is  your body’s top agent, informant, healer, and confidant. Your skin is quite literally YOUR best protector and dearest most trusted friend. It is actually part of your body’s first line of defense.  (Click here to read about the role of the skin – and its teammates, along with their many jobs and talents).

As the largest organ in the body  it protects, heals, and even warns you about danger.  It tells you when you are embarrassed (blushes), nervous or upset (prickly sensation or even a rash), reminds you when you are too cold (goose bumps) and cools you when you are too hot (sweat). Click here for additional details.

Your skin manufactures Vitamin D (which is really a hormone – click here for details), and informs you about what foods are right for you (pimples and boils suggest the body is ‘inflamed’ by particular foods. Click here for details). Your skin reports to you on a daily basis. It gives you the status of the external and internal balance of your body. For example, it reports on the balance of bacteria and fungus on the surface and within mucus membranes (yeast infections, local irritation and infections of hair follicles are the ‘report card’ offered by the skin).  (Click here for more information).

Skin tells you when there is a solid foreign invader (one single thin tiny splinter can’t even escape the skin’s report to your brain). When blood sugar is too high for too long, flesh wounds heal slower. Ever wonder why?  (Click here and freely ask your doctor to clarify). Skin even sends you red flags about your immune system inside your gut! Imagine that. Your skin is a valuable secret agent that informs you about the status of YOUR intestines and stomach. Who knew? (Click here for additional information).

In order to honor and respect this valuable organ, the next time it gives you either a repeat or a confusing message, ask your healthcare provider to help translate so that you can appropriately pay attention to the wisdom of your precious skin. Sadly, so many people miss out on learning the language of their body, and this complicates the journey later on.

Once you truly appreciate your body as a tremendous communication system designed to heal itself with your help, the next time it offers you a personalized a message, you will take the time and have the patience to listen. You already have a few ‘body language phrases’ translated, (as in ‘cold’ or ‘hot’) along with prepared responses. For example, when cold, you put on a sweater.  When hot and sweaty, you take off a layer, jump into a pool, take a shower or just get out of the sun into the shade.  Perfect!

The next time a new message (or previously unable to be successfully addressed familiar message) takes your focus away from other things, and repeatedly sucks your energy – distracting you from joy, balance, sleep etc., instead of just telling it to ‘shut up’ (with familiar topical creams, pills, and/or ointments from your cabinet or over-the-counter that only work temporarily &/or just take the edge off) wouldn’t it be wonderful to learn the language of YOUR skin, how to respectfully listen to the messages, and then together with your trusted healthcare provider, decide how to help your body heal itself as it was designed to do?

Here’s to your health and balance of mind, body and spirit.  ~Dr. Iankowitz

Additional references:

 

 

High Fructose Corn Syrup & Your Liver

There are so many mixed messages offered by the media about high fructose corn syrup and health. What can we believe?  Is there any science behind the claims and warnings? Yes. There are facts, and here are a few evidence-based resources to help you decide for yourself what makes sense to you regarding statements and claims.

The body uses sugar (glucose) for energy, fructose is a sugar from fruit, and we are told to eat a few servings of fruit a day. So what’s the big deal about sugar, glucose, ‘fructose’ and ‘high fructose’?

The answer involves recognition of how sugar is broken down (pathways of metabolism), organs that become involved (the liver, for example), the amount of work that the body has to do in order to effectively handle what we put into it (just like figuring out how to water your flower garden – careful to not over or under-water it), and the storage systems the body has available when there is too much of anything at any give time (so we avoid flooding the system).

The body uses glucose (a simple sugar) for energy. The liver works hard to handle ‘fructose’ (break it down). Too much stress on the liver (like flooding the flower garden with water) complicates the body’s metabolism on multiple levels (just as the flowers can drown if the roots get soggy). To read more about Dr. Lustig’s concerns about overloading the body with fructose, click here for a detailed, evidence-based explanation.

While the issue is hotly debated by scientists on both sides of the argument, the facts seem to be that the liver is the main organ burdened with metabolism of fructose. This point, for many in the healthcare field, represents a significant issue. Read more about the debate (click here) and decide for yourself (listen to the video as well).

Additional resources:

 

 

Is Diet Impacting My Child’s ADHD, Height or Weight?

While most understand the role of dietary choices in gaining and losing weight, the mechanisms behind metabolism, timing of eating, and even the truth about the role played by nutritional components of the foods we eat is less clear.  Not many people realize that overweight individuals often suffer from varying degrees of malnutrition. To read more about this, click here.

It takes a team to balance wellness – especially when we don’t know for certain why a loved one or we are unable to achieve our optimal state of health. When children struggle to thrive – mind, body or spirit, it can break a parent’s heart.

We must wonder: is it possible that food sensitivities might be behind my child’s attention deficit disorder, inability to lose (or gain) weight  or short stature?  Does my child have an absorption issue that I can address and fix?

Very important questions well worth exploring, especially if medications and/ or other advanced interventions are already in place or being considered. Autism Speaks offers a wide range of information regarding diet and nutrition.  Click here for details. Dr. Hyman and Dr. Ludwig suggest ways to balance the mind and body – beginning with nutritional intervention.  They strongly believe that, unless we address food issues and help educate our children right now, they are set up to be the first generation that will die younger than their parents.

If you believe food sensitivities might be a possible issue for your child – especially regarding any diagnosis ‘on the spectrum,’ or even ‘failure to thrive,’ bringing a nutritionist onto your team is a valuable step to take. There is a lot of information out there on the web, some of which is not ‘evidence-based’ so do be careful about what you read and always run the information past your pediatrician.  Be cautious about making dietary additions, restrictions or implementing any harsh interventions without first hearing what your nutritionist and/or pediatrician have to say about it.

ADHD and Diet. In ruling out food sensitivities, an elimination diet is easy enough to do at home – click  here for additional information; however, I repeat my caution against eliminating foods without the guidance of a nutritionist and/or other healthcare provider well versed in balancing physiological needs of the developing body. The reason is simply that elimination of certain foods without direction from a trained professional might complicate issues related to diagnoses ‘on the spectrum’ as well as those related to failure to thrive. The goal is to facilitate balance of mind, body and spirit. The impact of nutrition on the brain – specifically mood and cognition, is significant. Foods that support brain function are often referred to as ‘brain food’  and evidence shows this to be fact. For decades we have known that foods rich in the omega-3 fatty acids positively impact the human brain – across diagnoses. Click here to read more.

Could short stature or issues with being underweight be rooted in disorders of the endocrine system?  This is a possibility that must be ruled out. Click here for details on endocrinology as it relates to growth patterns in children. Remember that short stature or below average weight might be a natural expression of healthy genetic make-up, having nothing to do with any disorder whatsoever.  Click here for parameters.

The bottom line is that our children deserve the best shot at everything this world has to offer. Each individual has potential. The gift children deserve to receive from their parents is a fighting chance to fulfill their potential, find their joy, and discover how to achieve and maintain their own balance of mind, body and spirit.

For additional information about the impact of diet on the body:

First Step To Building Healthy Relationships

. . . begins with your relationship with yourself.

Milestones . . . graduations, birthdays, anniversaries & holidays come & go. Some relationships solidify; others dissolve. What do you spend most of your energy on?  Do you practice healthy boundary setting and feeding your spirit, or  do you spend most of your energy trying to avoid rocking the boat in order to reduce chances of arguments, temper tantrums and negativity?

When you examined and review your goals and present situation, you may honestly self reflect – embracing the periodic discomfort that accompanies this first step to growth, or elect to slip deeper into denial. Do you secretly believe that if you avoid the mirror of introspection, the image is hidden from others as well?

Short term and long term goals are either crafted or avoided.

If building or improving a relationship makes it to a short or long term goal list of ‘things to do then it is essential to make the following a priority: “Put time, energy and effort into getting to know myself.”

Ask yourself, “What . . . ”

  • . . . brings me joy?
  • . . . makes me feel proud of myself?
  • . . . inspires me?
  • . . . do I look forward to?
  • . . . gives me energy?
  • . . . drains me?

All relationships begin with your personal relationship with yourself

Building healthy relationships involves first knowing who you are deep inside. First, self-reflect to discover your own ‘favorites’ regarding mode of communication, ways to relax, books, movies, foods etc. . . . then ask yourself if you know the answers to the aforementioned questions about existing or prospective friends, coworkers, family, and colleagues.

If you actually care about others – from their perspective, then you are probably one of the rare, thoughtful and considerate people in your circle. If, however, you discover that you are not really ‘in the know’ regarding the preferences of those whom you like (or love), now is the perfect time to get those answers.

Remember that the first step is self-care. We can’t offer what we don’t have. Ellen Bard has some thoughts on how to achieve self care; click HERE to read her insights.

The next step is to share your healthy spirit with those around you. The result: joy.  Psychology Today offers a few interesting insights on characteristics of healthy relationships. Click HERE to read more about them.

First things first. Begin with knowing what makes YOU tick and learning how to nourish your inner spirit. Once accomplished, you become more able to celebrate life by treating yourself to healthy relationships – either by mending ones you already have, rekindling one or more that you almost lost . . . and/or by beginning a new one.

Here’s to rebirth and rediscovery.

Other posts and articles you might find interesting:

Functional Medicine Embraces Prevention and Healing

 

The essence of Dr. Iankowitz’ approach to wellness is:

Logic, Prevention, Common Sense & Healing

Dr. Iankowitz sees the human body as a complex set of organ systems that are designed to self heal.  In the video below Dr. Iankowitz shares her views and approach to wellness.

 

1. We each have an innate ability to heal ourselves and others. Dr. Iankowitz offers a functional medical assessment, is respectful of your views, and works within whatever system and/or cultural background you feel will facilitate your healing.

2. People have unique relationships with whatever disease process they experience. When you request facilitated healing, it is important to determine how you perceive your  ‘illness’ or ‘condition.’  Once this is established,  your healing journey – guided by Dr. Iankowitz, begins.

3. If one has a secretly vested interest in holding on to a condition, this suggests the illness may be viewed by the patient as a friend. The response of the health practitioner must take the patient’s reality into account. Referrals are made to licensed, certified professionals including mental health, physical therapy, massage therapy, holistic optometry, herbal practitioners and more, upon patient request.

4. Patient perception governs the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of treatment. Dr. Iankowitz embraces and appreciates that success is defined by your comfort with your health status. Your physical and emotional ease, freedom and joy are key factors in determining your personal ‘success’ in facilitated healing.

Each individual embodies a multi-cultural reality, and each encounter is unique and valid. While the conventional medical model works within the central portion of the bell shaped curve (suggesting that ‘the norm’ should apply to ‘all’), the functional medical model permits a ‘patient-centered’ approach (recognizing that each individual is unique). Dr. Iankowitz embraces an eclectic view, in accordance with values supported by the Nurse Practitioner model blended with the evidence-based practice of functional medicine.