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  • Practicing Mindfulness

    By Tracy Lee, OMS II
    A.T. Still University-SOMA
    Wellness Coordinator
    AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee

    This week, there will be a challenge by all of you to try the mindfulness practice 1-2 times per week. I will give you all a few exercises to try. The links will give you more information about the exercises. Remember, “mindfulness is not something you do, but something you are.”- Steve Flowers, MS, MFT (founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic at the Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California)

    1. Mindfulness Nature Walking: First, choose a path to avoid extremes (of altitude, length, rockiness, etc). The path should be relatively straight, level, and smooth with a beginning and an end. This walk should be set and should not be just causal walking. The length of the walk is set by how long you want to walk. It should not be too long (no more than 30 minutes). The path should be in a quiet place to help you concentrate better. You should concentrate on every step of the path that you are taking and look straight ahead, so you don’t fall. The walk should be slow in order to ...

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  • Introduction to Mindfulness

    By Tracy Lee, OMS II
    A.T. Still University-SOMA

    Wellness Coordinator

    AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee


    Mindfulness

    What is Mindfulness?

    According to the Institute for Mindful Leadership, “Mindfulness is often defined as non-judgmental, moment to moment awareness.” Essentially, it is being conscious and “in the moment” of everything you are doing, not thinking about what you need to do in an hour, what you want to do for the rest of your life, or about your past experiences. Being mindful is taking full advantage of the present moment.

    Mindfulness is derived from the Pali term "sati," which is an essential element of Buddhist practice. Mindfulness can be combined with mediation, eating, anything you can think of. It has been shown to change how our brains function in response to stress and thoughts about healthy eating. However, mindfulness is not only about reducing stress. It is about clearing your mind of all thoughts and not judging any of your thoughts, as you do during meditation or yoga.

    The practice of mindfulness is difficult and takes time to cultivate. One example that is talked about a lot is to focus on eating a raisin (the taste, the texture, the ...

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  • Lifestyle Medicine

    Tracy Lee, OMS II
    A.T. Still University-SOMA
    Wellness Coordinator

    AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee

      Wellness Wednesday

    What is Lifestyle Medicine?

    According to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), lifestyle medicine is the “use of lifestyle interventions in the treatment and management of disease.” This is a relatively new field and ACLM is a relatively new national medical specialty society. This specialty is a branch off preventative medicine as it is preventative, yet much more as well.

    As a physician, it would be great to have your patients use a non-drug modality with or without drugs to improve their health. Such non-drug modalities would include, smoking cessation, diet and nutrition, exercise, and stress management. As a nation, there has been a push for healthy lifestyles and “natural” medicine. As an osteopathic student, lifestyle medicine is congruent to our principles and practice methods. Even as allopathic physicians, lifestyle medicine can be integrated into practice and many physicians have already been doing so. Scientific evidence has proven a role for lifestyle changes in the management of some chronic diseases, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.

    The following link is an article about lifestyle medicine and the benefits it ...

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  • Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal

    By Tracy Lee, OMS II
    A.T. Still University-SOMA
    Wellness Coordinator
    AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee

    Wellness Wednesday

    How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? BUT how many of us actually eat a good breakfast. I can confess that I don’t always eat breakfast because there just isn’t enough time in the day as a medical student. However, eating well plays a very important part in your overall wellness. Here are two recipes for making oatmeal, which is a very healthy, nutritious and filling breakfast. One recipe uses a refrigerator for cold oatmeal and the other uses a slow cooker for hot oatmeal. Enjoy!

    1) Cold Oatmeal

    Materials/ Ingredients
    Mason jar
    ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
    1/8 cup flax seed
    ¼ cup steel cut oats

    For Blueberry Lemonade flavor
    Blueberry yogurt
    ½ cup blueberries
    ½ tsp lemon extract

    For Apple Crisp flavor
    Vanilla yogurt
    1 cup applesauce
    Ground cinnamon
    Cloves
    Nutmeg

    For Peaches and Cream flavor
    Peach yogurt
    ½ can sliced peaches
    Splash of Vanilla

    For Tropical Mango flavor
    Mango Yogurt
    Splash of Vanilla
    Diced Mango
    Milk or Coconut milk

    For Fresh Raspberry flavor
    Raspberry yogurt
    Fresh raspberries
    Drizzle of Honey

    For A Pie ‘n’ ...

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  • Are You Stressed? How to Cope



    Breathing exercises are an excellent way to release the tension and give self a sense of calmness. Short and long term physical and emotional health can be improved with breathing techniques. In addition to relaxation, breathing exercise can help prevent fatigue and improve overall health.

    In an article on Onlymyhealth.com, there are simple breathing techniques that you can follow. Read the entire article here

    Here are a few other stress relieving techniques that may help busy medical students:

    1) Visualization: Picture yourself getting an 'A' on the exam or finishing that paper. These techniques help you calm down and prepare for success. 
    In one notable study that appeared in the North American Journal of Psychology in 2007, athletes who mentally practiced a hip-flexor exercise had strength gains that were almost as significant as those in people who actually did the exercise (five times a week for 15 minutes) on a weight machine.

    2) Exercise: You've heard this a thousand times but it's true. Exercise helps boost the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. So take a walk, go to a yoga class, grab a friend and play tennis!

    3) Take a nap: Or at least make sure ...

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