Birth of the Allegheny Health Network
Two weeks ago Highmark and the West Penn Allegheny Health System entered into an affiliation that established the Allegheny Health Network, a unique patient-centric integrated healthcare delivery network for the western Pennsylvania region. Dr. Tony Farah, Chief Medical Officer for the Network, and Dr. Blair Jobe, a former leading UPMC surgeon who recently joined the Network, were guests on KDKA-TV's Sunday Business Page with John Delano and talked about why the Network will set the standard for healthcare quality, service and affordability. Watch it here!
Welcome to the December issue of Integrated Medicine eNews!
Happy holidays from the AGH Integrated Medicine Program!
The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends, reminisce over the past year and look forward to the year ahead. It’s also a time that can drive us a little crazy – with big family meals, lots of social obligations and plenty of opportunities for sleep deprivation and improper eating habits. We’re here to remind you that the holiday season can be beneficial to your mind, body and spirit if you remember to treat yourself right over the next several weeks.
There are several ways to ensure you maintain your good health through the New Year, including:
- Set aside time in your busy schedule to relax with yoga, guided imagery, meditation or whichever relaxation technique you prefer. The buildup of stress during the holiday season wears on your mind, body and spirit and can be incredibly detrimental to your overall health. Whether you choose to relax first thing in the morning, before going to bed or any time during a particularly stressful day or week, the important thing to remember is that you need to release your stressors to maintain your health.
- Remember that holiday foods are often made with lots of extra butter, sugar, cream, oils and other ingredients that you normally would not include in your healthy eating regimen. If you’re at a holiday gathering, practice mindful eating – pay attention to what you put on your plate and stand away from buffets and hors d’oeuvres tables to avoid mindlessly “picking” at dishes. This goes for holiday drinks, as well. If you choose to indulge in an alcoholic beverage, beware of any drinks that are not transparent – they likely contain cream or flavored liquor that is often packed with unnecessary fats and/or sugars.
- Thanksgiving may be over, but remembering what we’re thankful for is important to keep us balanced during the holidays. Find a way to remind yourself what you’re thankful for – your health, family, friends or community, for example. You can write the list down, incorporate it into your relaxation time or simply repeat this list to yourself when you begin to feel stressed.
As always, the Integrated Medicine Program is here to help you maintain your health and eliminate stress throughout the holidays and all year round. Our services can help to address the root causes of your stress, recognize and manage the symptoms and find healthy ways to diminish its effects and recurrence. One of the services we offer is Reiki, an ancient, healing art of balancing the electrical fields in and around your body. You can read more about Reiki and its positive effects on your health in this month’s “Featured Service” article.
In closing, I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone for their attendance and support of our recent seminar, Frontiers of Holistic Medicine: The Mind-Body Connection. We received very positive feedback from this year’s attendees and we are excited to keep this annual event going. Thank you all sincerely for helping us spread the word about the benefits of integrated therapies and your continued advocacy for our program and services.
On behalf of myself and the rest of the Integrated Medicine Program staff, we encourage you to learn about our programs and discuss with your doctors whether these treatments are right for you. We look forward to assisting you in creating a healthy and balanced lifestyle – one that allows you to reach your goals and enjoy life to the fullest.
Betsy Blazek-O’Neill, MD
Integrated Medicine Program at Allegheny General Hospital
If you’d like to learn more about how integrated medicine techniques can be used to supplement your medical care, or how our services can be used to maintain your good health, please call me at 412.359.8336.