Health & Wellness Guide 2020

Winter Tips for Wellness

from Meadow Hill Wellness

           Traditional Chinese medicine ­teaches that humans should live in harmony with the seasons. Traditional Chinese medicine says there are five seasons: winter, spring, summer, late summer and fall. Each season has many associations that help us change our habits, allowing for a more balanced mind and body.

            When these systems were being developed, people were living in harmony with nature. People rose with the sun, ate what was available during the different seasons and were much more aware of their natural environment. What to wear, when to wake up, when to go to sleep and what activities to engage in were all dependent on the weather and the environment.

            Because of this, people were capable of staying healthy throughout the year, and their immune and organ systems were strong enough to ward off disease.

            When we align ourselves with the natural processes of life and the seasons, our bodies will adjust and perform optimally, just as they are intended to. Here are ways to rediscover those old rhythms.

Get Some Rest

            The season of winter is a time of repair and rejuvenation. Winter is associated with the kidneys, which hold the body’s fundamental energies. Rest is important for revitalizing the kidneys. This is why some animals hibernate during the winter months. Spend more time resting during winter to help prepare your body for the months ahead when you expend more energy.

Incorporate Reflection

            Winter is a really good time to turn inward and do some reflection. Practices like tai chi, qi gong and yoga can be very beneficial during this season. These practices help us connect to our inner selves while supporting the kidney energy. They also help relax the mind and calm our emotions. Things like journaling and meditation are other ways of reflecting during the winter months. Long term, these practices can be very helpful at extending a person’s life.

Drink water, lots of water

            The kidneys are closely associated and ruled by the water element, which is the element associated with winter. So it is important to drink water during wintertime. Drinking room-temperature water is a vital step to maintaining sufficient kidney qi throughout the winter months.

Eat Warm, Seasonal Foods

            Choose foods that grow naturally during the winter. Items such as squash, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, beets, greens, carrots, mushrooms, apples, pears and cabbage are great. During the winter months, cold foods like salads and raw foods should be avoided as they will deplete the immune system.

            There are also foods that specifically target and nourish the kidneys, Good are kidney beans, beef, goose, duck, black beans, lamb, chicken, dark leafy greens, garlic, ginger, walnuts, quinoa, asparagus, celery, onion, fennel, scallions, cloves, watercress and turnips.

           Sea salt is also helpful, because salty is the taste associated with the kidneys. As with anything, moderation is key. Too much salt can actually tax the heart, which then causes the kidneys to work overtime.

Boost Your Qi with Acupuncture

           Acupuncture and moxibustion are two tools regularly used to boost the kidney qi.

            At the core of acupuncture is the philosophy that qi — pronounced chee — or vital energy, flows throughout our bodies. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. Our health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of qi.

            During an initial exam, information regarding health, symptoms and lifestyle is gathered. The practitioner can diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of qi that may have contributed to a person’s health problems and create a treatment plan.

            Once the imbalances of qi are detected, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways. Safe and painless, the insertion of the needles can unblock the obstruction and balance qi where it has become unbalanced. Once this is done, qi can freely circulate throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles.

            This can eliminate pain and restore balance and harmony as well as the body’s ability to heal itself — ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being.

            In moxibustion, dried mugwort is burned very near the skin to warm and boost the qi within the body. Certain acupuncture points are essential for boosting kidney qi. Most are located either on the lower abdomen, below the umbilicus or on the lower back above the hipbones, in the areas of the kidneys. Applying moxibustion to these areas is a wonderful way to boost the energy reserves of the kidneys.

All of Meadow Hill Wellness’s acupuncturists have received doctoral degrees in their field and have many years of clinical experience helping people get well, naturally. Acupuncture is a covered benefit under many health insurance plans. Meadow Hill Wellness is a network provider with most major insurance carriers.

53 Old Solomons Island Rd., Annapolis; 410-263-0411;

Start the New Year with a ­Commitment to Yourself

from Chesapeake Health and Fitness

          January is a great time to set new health goals and create a plan to reach them. Since it can seem intimidating, don’t be afraid to start small.

            Write down your goals, and then target them one by one. This way you have small wins and won’t feel overwhelmed.

Five helpful hints to get you started:

1. Write down your goals;

2. Identify the challenges you will face in meeting your goals;

3. Be organized and most importantly be consistent;

4. Set routines and reminders;

5. Find a buddy to help with accountability.

            It’s important to forgive yourself and understand that life can get in the way. Just don’t give up. Chesapeake Health & Fitness reminds you that each day is a chance to start again. You are on your way to a new you.

New Classes Offer More Options

            Chesapeake Health and Fitness has added new classes to help you reach your health goals. 

            FUNctional Fitness is designed to help you move. In the one-hour class, you get a low-impact workout that focuses on balance, stretching and core strength conditioning. By training your core through movement, you can improve your performance not only in the gym but with everything you do from carrying groceries, cleaning or any everyday activity.

            Sculpt is a 30-minute strength-building, total-body workout that focuses on sculpting specific muscles using both hand weights and barbells. This class is guaranteed to help improve definition and tone, resulting in a more sculpted you. Tuesday classes focus on arms and shoulders and Thursday classes on legs and back.

            HIIT the Barre is a hybrid class designed to produce results. You can take one 30-minute segment or both. It starts with a warmup and 20 minutes of fast-paced, high-intensity interval training. This is a high-intensity, low-rest technique that keeps you moving for a major calorie blast.

            HIIT the Barre continues with 30 minutes of barre. You use a ballet barre and other lightweight equipment with high reps to build muscle through low-impact, isometric movements. It focuses on all muscle groups and pushes them to the limit. You will tone and build muscle with each class.

Chesapeake Health and Fitness Club offers a wide array of private and group classes for any fitness level. All classes are professionally designed and led by top-notch, certified instructors. Group classes include Pilates, cardio kick, yoga, Zumba, step, spin and Les Mills BodyPump. The club has six dedicated personal trainers.

624 E. Bay Front Rd., Deale; 410-867-7440; ­

On the Road to Health & ­Wellness

from Bay Community Health

          Create a healthier version of yourself for 2020. Join Bay Community Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program to learn how to change your life with healthy eating, weight loss and light physical activity.

            If you have pre-diabetes, making modest lifestyle changes now can help prevent many health issues such as Type 2 Diabetes. The next class begins in February 2020.

            The Mental Health First Aid training program teaches how to recognize signs of mental health or substance use challenges in adults and youth and ways to offer and provide initial help. It also shows how to guide a person toward appropriate care if necessary. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, psychosis and addictions.

            Bay Community Health has certified application counselors to help determine eligibility for health insurance and enrollment. Staff has been trained by the State of Maryland to help customers navigate the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange — Maryland Health Connection.

            Available to anyone in the community, it is a free service.

            Bay Community Health is the only federally qualified health center in Southern Anne Arundel County. Each of our two locations provides medical and behavioral health services to patients of all ages, regardless of their income or insurance status.

Bay Community Health offers convenient and extended hours to fit the busy schedules of the community. Contact our office for more information on any of these programs or to schedule an appointment today.

134 Owensville Rd., West River, 6131 Shady Side Rd., Shady Side; Medical: 410-867-4700; Behavioral Health: 443-607-1432;

Your Skin Needs ­Pampering

from Charlie Rae Skincare

         Your skin is your biggest organ. To keep it healthy this winter, drink plenty of water and use a humidifier. If you use a foaming cleanser and are feeling dry, you might want to switch to a creamy cleanser. At Charlie Rae Skincare, we carry a milk cleanser that is made with sweet almond milk and lactic acid. Lactic acid helps stimulate your body’s own moisturizing mechanisms. Book a facial to pamper your skin.

            Healthy skin not only looks good; it makes you feel good. “Loving your skin makes you feel great about yourself,” says Ali Dohne, owner of Charlie Rae Skincare. “If you feel confident in your skin, you will be able to look people in the eye and feel sure of yourself. A little extra confidence can make everything better. When everything else is a mess but my skin is glowing, I still feel good!”

            The cool weather months are peel season. The winter is a great time to do intense treatments that you can’t do with the sun at a higher angle. Charlie Rae has a wide variety of peels that help with aging, hyper-pigmentation, acne and hydration.

Ali Dohne is a licensed esthetician, brow artist and acne specialist. Charlie Rae Skincare offers facials, dermaplaning, peels, waxing and more.

5950 Deale Churchton Rd., Deale; 301-801-8893;

Massage Is Feel-Good Healing

from Lisa Johnson of Hands Designed for You

          Massage does not take the place of medical treatment, but it might be good for what ails you, especially if stress, anxiety and pain are keeping you from living your best life.

            Lisa Johnson of Hands Designed for You worked as a beautician before training to become a massage therapist. “I noticed how rubbing a client’s scalp when I washed their hair could really change an attitude. The stress would melt away.” 

            Once only available at luxury spas and upscale health clubs, massage is now recommended for people suffering from a wide range of medical conditions and is seen as complementary to standard medicine.

            The science behind the health benefits of massage is real, says Johnson. “Endorphins are the feel-good chemicals of the brain. Massage releases those feel-good chemicals, improves sleep and circulation. It can help reduce symptoms associated with PTSD, fibromyalgia, arthritis and cancer.”

Lisa Johnson of Hands Designed for You has been providing therapeutic massages to clients since 2001. ­Tailoring messages to meet an individual’s specific needs is her specialty.

Wellness Center, 2905 Mitchellville Rd., Door 107, Bowie, 301-325-3594

When to Seek Help for an Aging Relative or Friend

from Response Senior Care

          It’s easy to overlook the significance of changes in the physical and mental functioning of people we love. Any particular change can be written off as not very important. Often these changes are ignored messengers of news we’d rather not face. But when you notice quite a few taken together, it’s likely to be time to pay attention.

            Forgetfulness can be easily overlooked because it affects us all. So it’s the habit of forgetfulness that’s telling. Is a person having difficulty keeping track of time? Forgetting to take medications or taking incorrect dosages? If so, you may be seeing a warning sign rather than simple distraction.

            Physical symptoms include weight loss or poor diet and unexplained bruising or injuries. Watch for difficulty getting up from a seated position or problems walking or balancing. Another clue easy to overlook: marks or wear on walls, door jams or furniture may be indicative of their being used to help with stability while walking through the home.

            Behavioral changes can also be telling. Sleeping for most of the day or losing interest in hobbies and activities could be indicators. Others include changes in mood or extreme mood swings, consistent use of poor judgment — such as falling for scams or sales pitches or giving away money — and uncertainty and confusion while performing familiar tasks.

            Harder to ignore are the telltale signs of poor personal hygiene. Unpleasant body odor, infrequent showering or bathing, a strong smell of urine in the house or on the clothing are signs telling us that we should be concerned. Also keep an eye out for a noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care, such as unkempt hair, untrimmed nails, lack of oral care and wearing dirty or stained clothing.

            A person’s home is a reflection of their state of wellbeing. Neglecting household responsibilities can mean more than a person’s taking it easy. Casual housekeeping rises to an alarm when you see that a loved one is no longer able to independently keep up their home. When dirt goes beyond dust, when stale laundry piles up and clutter takes over — all that should raise a red flag.

            Check the fridge. If there is little or no fresh, healthy food and you notice spoiled food isn’t getting thrown away, that’s cause for concern.

            Also watch for unopened mail, an overflowing mailbox, late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from bill collectors as well as utilities being turned off due to missed payments and signs of unexplained dents and scratches on their car.

            If you notice a good number of these signs, a person you love needs help. Providing that help may be beyond you; many of these problems have deep-seated, intractable causes. So if this list resonates with you, it’s time to ask for help.

Response Senior Care, LLC, provides non-medical, in-home care for seniors and adults (ages 18+). Our goal is to assist an individual’s desire to remain in his or her own home for as long as possible.

1831 Forest Dr., Annapolis; 410-571-2744;

Chiropractic Medicine 101

from Level Up Spine Care and Rehab

          Chiropractic medicine is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system and the effects of these disorders on general health.

            Chiropractic services are used to treat common musculoskeletal complaints, including back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs and headaches, explains Dr. Errol  Silva of Level Up Spine Care and Rehab.

            Spinal manipulation — the hallmark treatment — works by moving the stiff or stuck joints that may be causing you pain. Prescribed rehab exercises have been found to strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as to change the brain’s processing of pain.

            Other modalities — such as soft tissue work, dry needling and cupping — also change pain processing and help muscles relax.

            If aches and pains in your musculoskeletal system — bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves — have not improved with home care remedies like ice, heat, over-the-counter medications and stretching within a week or so, consider a visit to the chiropractor.

            Your chiropractor will examine your area of concern and prescribe a treatment plan to get you back to doing what you love with the least amount of discomfort.

Level Up Spine Care and Rehab provides patient-centered, evidence-based care to lessen the burden of spine-related pain and other musculoskeletal dysfunction.

5419 Deale Churchton Rd., Suite 102, Churchton; 443-607-4908;

No-Cost Cancer ­Screening

from Calvert County Health Department

           Cost need not stand in the way of you getting needed or recommended cancer screenings.

            The Calvert County Health Department offers the opportunity for eligible participants to be screened for colon, breast and cervical cancer. These services are supported by the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund and Maryland Department of Health Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program.

            Call the Health Department and ask to set up an intake meeting. After providing the necessary information — and if you are eligible — a screening appointment will then be scheduled.

The Calvert County Health Department is a government organization providing local ­public health services, enforcing health laws and regulations.

975 Solomons Island Rd. North, Prince Frederick; 410-535-5400;

Winter is As Bright As ­Summer … ­Protect Your Eyes

from Dunkirk Vision

Winter Eye Problems

            Sandy beaches and summer heat aren’t the only source of sunburn. We can get sunburned in any season, including winter.

            Winter can be even more dangerous. We bundle up most of our skin against the cold. But our poor eyes are left to face the elements. What should you do to prevent eyeburn?

            Sunburn is only one of the potential problems your eyes can suffer during the chilly months of the year.

            Winter air can get very dry, and the heaters in our homes and where we work only dry it out more. This makes it very easy for our eyes to dry out and become irritated. Fight back by staying well hydrated. Use seat warmers in the car, and turn the heater down. At home, get a humidifier to add moisture

            Too much sunlight can lead to temporary blindness, called snow blindness. Skiers and snowboarders are especially susceptible. Up on those slopes, the thinner air offers less protection from the sun, and the snow reflects it back even more, making everything extremely bright.

            The most dangerous part of snow blindness is that you can take hours to notice symptoms, meanwhile getting even more sun exposure. The good news is that there are excellent tools to help prevent snow blindness.

Winter Solutions

            Sunglasses are not just for summer. A good pair of polarized, 100 percent UV-blocking sunglasses is a fantastic defense against dangerous UV rays for a day out in the snowy weather. Polarization is important, because this type of lens reflects light coming in from certain angles, which means none of that glare coming off the snow will get past them to your eyes. If you don’t already have a pair, we highly recommend finding a pair to suit you.

            For skiers and snowboarders, sunglasses may not be enough. Goggles provide more coverage and are more secure. They can even fit over glasses, and you can find pairs with vents or anti-fog coating so they don’t steam up.

            On goggles, you might want to avoid polarized lenses because the glare on the mountainside actually helps you see the slope. Instead, check out colored lenses. Different colors are more helpful in different conditions. Or consider a pair with universal lenses that are good in all conditions.

Dunkirk Vision provides vision improvement with glasses, contact lenses and surgical correction; treatment for eye conditions, including cataracts, computer vision syndrome and dry eyes; and eye diseases, from pink eye to diabetic eye disease.

10335 Southern Maryland Blvd., Dunkirk; 443-964-6730;

Keeping Your Smile Healthy Is Simple

from Deale Family Dentistry

           Switch from a traditional toothbrush to an electric toothbrush in the new year to improve your overall health. 

            “An electric toothbrush does a better job of cleaning your teeth by producing more motion to remove plaque,” says Dr. Aelia Syed with Deale Family Dentistry.

            Be sure you’re flossing correctly. “Wrap the floss around each side of the tooth instead of just cleaning the space in between,” Dr. Syed says. “You should notice less plaque buildup and bleeding in your mouth. This should lead to an improvement in your dental health.”

            Taking care of your dental health leads to a confident smile and appearance and contributes to overall general wellness.

            “Oral bacteria has been linked to bacteria found in other parts of the body,” Dr. Syed says. “It is extremely important to take care of your mouth as it affects your overall well being.”

Deale Family Dentistry is a dental health-care provider.

659 Deale Rd, Deale; 410-867-3215

Help Avoid ­Illness With Three Easy Steps

from AFC Urgent Care

      This time of year is busy. Additions to our already too long daily task list are unwelcome. But if you can be sure to include just these three things into your hectic schedule, you are taking huge strides to avoid becoming sick.

            1. Get plenty of rest;

            2. Wash your hands;

            3. Drink plenty of fluids.

      AFC Urgent Care is a full-service urgent care center providing walk-in medical care for all non-emergency illnesses and injuries. Open every day with extended hours. Bring photo ID and your insurance card.

3059 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater; 410-956-3394;