January 2019 Newsletter
Digital Wellbeing
by Dr. Danielle Tomko

It’s the start of a new year, and many of us are thinking about resolutions. Specifically, many of those resolutions involve getting healthier. It is easy to think about the obvious- getting in shape. We want to feel healthier by eating better and by exercising more. Another way to work on feeling healthier is to consider digital wellbeing.

Look around, and it’s likely that you will find that the vast majority of people have computers, televisions, video games, and smartphones. We spend so much time looking at our devices, whether for work or for pleasure, but what happens when our digital world starts to take over our physical world? Have you met anyone who seems to look at their phones too much, perhaps in lieu of other types of interaction? It is safe to assume that spending too much time on digital devices might take away from time spent doing other things. At this time of resolutions, we could be cooking healthy meals, exercising, or reading a book.

All of this is not to say that digital devices cannot be helpful in accomplishing our other goals. With our computers and smartphones, we can use apps that track our health goals, keep us informed, and help us maintain connections in a communication-driven world. However, moderation is the key, and there are tools that can help us track our usage. For example, I never thought about the timer tool on a television until recently. I only ever thought of it as useful if I fell asleep while watching TV, but I do not keep a television in my bedroom in the interest of sleep hygiene which rendered this tool useless….except that now I use it to prevent absent-minded TV watching. If I choose to watch a program, I can set the timer for one hour and then the TV will turn off. Now, I less frequently find myself mindlessly watching the next show that comes on or flip from channel to channel. I have also set a daily allowance on my smartphone for time on social media apps and for internet browsing. On my phone, these apps turn off as soon they time out. Admittedly I only recently have begun to use these tools, but I have already noticed a change. While I am using my devices, I am more focused on my objectives, and I have been able to limit mindless scrolling through social media and news outlets.

In making an effort to promote digital wellbeing, health and wellness should improve for us. Not only will we have more time to get fit, to try new activities, or to spend with one another, but we might reap other benefits. Did you know that digital devices can impede proper sleep? They have light that has blue wavelength, which continues to be emitted from screens even after the device is turned off. Further, a new study has shown that blue light can cause damage to the retina and can even lead to macular degeneration (Business Insider). Also concerning is the correlation that is being made “between mental health issues and a rise in ‘new media screen activities’”, particularly with teenagers who use their phones for multiple hours a day (Forbes).

I, for one, am excited to pursue my New Year’s resolution to improve my digital wellbeing. Won’t you join me? For 2019, let us all make an effort to use our devices in moderation and work on our digital wellness! Look up, and look around you! Have a safe and healthy year!

References:
www.businessinsider.com/blue-light-from-smartphones-and-laptops-can-make-us-blind
https://www-forbes-com.phone-addiction-is-real-and-so-are-its-mental-health-risks

NEWS

Please welcome our newest massage therapist Erica Schrimmel, LMT! 
Erica graduated Valedictorian of the April 2018 class at the New York Institute of Massage. She brings with her experience in Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, medical massage, myofascial release, sports massage, and prenatal massage. She is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association and has a Masters of Science in Applied Nutrition.

Looking ahead for January:
BOGO deal! Bring a family member in for a FREE new patient visit at the same time as your next visit during the month of January! Permanent address must be the same as yours. Contact the office for scheduling information.

Dr. Marinaccio is hosting a Facebook class on Wednesday January 9 at 8:30 PM on “Essential Oils for Immune Support”. Sign up soon!

Please be advised that massage prices have increased, beginning January 1, 2019. Half-hour massages are now $50 and one-hour massages are $70.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Chicken Detox Soup
From: aspicyperspective.com  
Prep time: 20 mins 
Cook time 35 mins 
Servings 12 bowls

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast 
2 quarts chicken broth 
1 large onion, peeled and chopped 
3 cups broccoli florets 
2 1/2 cups sliced carrots 
2 cups chopped celery 
1 1/2 cups frozen peas 
1/4 cup chopped parsley 
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, shredded or grated 
4 garlic cloves minced 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric 
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
1.Set a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, chopped onions, celery, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 5-6 minutes to soften. Then add the raw chicken breasts, broth, carrots, apple cider vinegar, crushed red pepper, turmeric and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
2.Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20+ minutes, until the chicken breasts are cooked through. Then remove the chicken with tongs and set them on a cutting board to cool.
3.Add the broccoli, peas, and parsley to the pot. Continue to simmer to soften the broccoli. Meanwhile, shred the chicken breasts with two forks, and stir it back into the soup. Once the broccoli is tender, taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.
Read more at: 
aspicyperspective.com
All recipe images and text ©aspicyperspective.com

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