The new year is here and with it comes plenty of resolutions about heading to the gym and getting fit.
But dishing out major bucks on a gym membership isn’t the only way to get healthy, especially in a community like Ann Arbor – a haven for healthy living in the state of Michigan. There are plenty of simple ways to improve your family’s health, both mentally and physically, that don’t involve finding the nearest treadmill.
For help, we asked experts around Washtenaw County for their “Golden Rule” to stay healthy and working with patients in their area of expertise – everything from taking care you your hair to dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Here’s what they had to say:
Dr. Keith Dobracki
Ann Arbor’s Dentist
Dr. Dobracki grew up locally in Ann Arbor, is an award-winning faculty member at the University of Michigan, and has become a leader in technologically progressive Holistic dental care in the Midwest. Incorporating lasers, tooth remineralization, chemical-free products, and metal-free care has made Dr. Dobracki a groundbreaking dental practitioner. His warm personality and philosophy of patient education centered on great experiences has made Ann Arbor’s Dentist one of the most sought after local dental officeses. Dr. Dobracki enjoys spending quality time with his family and Michigan summers up north.
Golden Rule for working with patients
Here, LESS is MORE. We proudly think ‘the opposite’ compared to your average dentist. Teeth are remineralized instead of being drilled. Kids don’t need shots or exposures to chemical preservatives in anesthetics. Our hygienists use gluten-free pastes without chemicals, which can be tailored to individual patients needs for the support of new enamel, curing gingivitis, detoxing the mouth, or stopping bone loss.
We avoid heavy metals while simultaneously increasing strength and longevity of restorations. Before a drill ever touches a tooth, a future prevention plan is customized to the patient, the cause of the cavity is rationalized, and a biocompatibility test may be performed to determine the best material for the patient’s specific immune response.
Founder and CEO of Original Moxie, LLC
Rachel Blistein began formulating her own products in 2007 while searching for non-toxic styling solutions for her own curly hair. She soon realized that a more in-depth and thoughtful approach was needed to broaden our understanding of hair types from the conventional categories of ‘curly,’ ‘straight,’ and ‘wavy.’ The unique diagnostic framework that she created addresses all aspects of the hair, from density and texture to curl pattern and shape and has resulted in comprehensive line of highly targeted, effective products. The brand currently includes shampoos, conditioners, stylers, and treatments which are hand crafted at the company’s headquarters in Historic Depot Town in Ypsilanti.
Golden Rule for Hair Care
Don’t overdo it! Many people either over-cleanse their hair or drown it in product. Only wash when your hair truly needs it and use a low or no-foam shampoo to leave the natural oils intact. Excessive cleansing can lead to flaky, dry scalp and can also hasten hair loss. Ironically, it can also worsen oiliness since harsh detergents actually stimulate the oil glands to overproduce.
It’s also important to allow your hair to breathe by using a light touch with styling products. Avoid any products containing mineral oil (otherwise known as ‘liquid paraffin’) or highly concentrated silicones, as these are occlusive to the hair and block natural oils and moisture from penetrating the hair shaft. Instead, seek out natural oils and humectants and use only enough to achieve your desired result. Even natural products can build up if applied excessively over a long period of time. Your hair will shine and thrive if you let it!
Executive Director of Cancer Support Community of Great Ann Arbor
Bonnie graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelors in Social Science. She immediately pursued her graduate degree at the University of Michigan, graduating with her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in healthcare practice. Bonnie has practiced as a licensed medical social worker in both the inpatient hospital setting and the department of Radiation Oncology. Before moving into the Executive Director position at the Cancer Support Community, Bonnie served as the founding Program Director focusing on evidence-based programming. She is a published author and presents at both state and national oncology conferences. Bonnie is adjunct faculty at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, School of Nursing and a member of the Michigan Oncology Quality Consortium Advisory Board.
Golden Rule for Handling a Cancer Diagnosis
Staying positive during cancer can be an overwhelming expectation. Even the expression "stay positive" can create unease during such a time of uncertainty. Positivity looks differently for everyone. Hope and optimism change frequently during cancer; sometimes daily depending on a person’s values. For example, one might hope for a cure, while another hopes for time. It is equally important to understand that being sad or scared does not mean that a person is not positive. All of these feelings are part of dealing with a life-threatening illness. What matters most is how one handles these very normal reactions.
Dr. Susan McCreadie
Susan McCreadie, MD is a board certified pediatrician specializing in helping children who have fallen through the cracks of modern-day medicine. With over a decade of experience and study, she’s developed a system with nutrition, herbs and homeopathy to help children heal from allergies, asthma, attention, autism and most chronic childhood health issues. She’s passionate about helping children who take daily medication to control their symptoms, and especially those children where no medication can “fix” their problem. She’s the Founding President of the 501(c)3 nonprofit getREALforkids.com – a community of board members, volunteers, moms, dads, teachers, practitioners, celebrities, and chefs who are dedicated to helping kids eat more REAL food and heal from the inside out. She’s currently writing a book called Warrior Wings: Self-Mastery with Soul for those committed to serving others. It shares her health (dis-ease) journey and a body, mind, heart framework for living your soulFULL purpose. Find out more at drmccreadie.com.
Golden Rule for Children
The analogy I use to describe health and balance is a child standing over the pivot of a teeter-totter. When she’s happy and healthy, she’s able to balance herself back and forth – side to side – over the pivot of the teeter-totter. That’s health, balance and freedom.
So how do you know if your child is stuck in dis-ease? She tells you with symptoms. Maybe she wheezes, or maybe she rashes, or maybe she gets headaches. It’s easy for your child to become a bunch of disconnected parts with medicine being so specialized. If your child has a digestive complaint, you might see the gastroenterologist. If your child has anxiety, you might see a psychiatrist. If your child has allergies, you might see an allergist. But how do tummy aches, anxiety and allergies tie together?
The way to help your child stay happy and healthy is to reduce or remove stressors from her teeter-totter. Stressors can be environmental like colds or viruses, change in weather, food, or an emotionally stressful situation such as starting preschool or kindergarten. Our genetics – the physical blueprint we came with into this world – can also stress the system. We used to think that our genes are fixed, out of our control, but we’re now learning that we can control our genes through diet and lifestyle!
Adapting your child’s diet and lifestyle to reduce or remove stressors is the way to resolve her symptoms and help her rebalance to health. Diet is the most powerful place to start. Your child is not only what she eats, but what she can digest, absorb and release. Eating REAL food that grows as nature intended is a great start, but helping her break down that food, soak up its nutrients and release junk out of her body is equally important.