Finding a New Primary Care Doctor

A Big Thanks To Leslie at Wellparents.com for this great advice Thanks to Leslie at Read more

The Rollercoaster of Life

Grandma: "I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like Read more

Sheltering at Home/Covid 19

Never in the last two decades of my career as a physician would I have imagined that we would be using the same mask to see patients all day and then sterilizing/recycling them at the end of the day. Read more

Turmeric Health Benefits

Have you ever wondered what the paste is applied to the bride and groom's faces and arms in Indian weddings?  It's actually the spice turmeric.  Turmeric is the ingredient in curry that gives it a vibrant yellow color.  Actually, Read more

COVID 19 Precautions

With the scare of COVID here in the USA now, I wanted to post a little info about boosting immunity to prevent contracting the virus. Here are some important facts about Covid-19 It is spread by contact with Read more

Natural Tips for Avoiding Colds

This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms.  Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something. Of Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

Benevolence

For Joe and my superhero Amy

Lucy and Ethel or The Lone Ranger and Tonto, never mind the gender…the common denominator is simple: 100% True Friendship. Funny how in life we all can relate to side kicks. My ‘side kick’ happened to be my best friend Joe Griffith : aka “Superman Joey”. Joe was my very best friend in the whole world. I don’t even think our family and friends really understood just how much time we spent together. We could hang out all day and night … return home and still talk for endless hours on the phone till the wee hours of the morning. Joe was my confident,my partner in crime, my side kick Superhero. I knew no matter what circumstance he would be there for me. He was funny,caring, and so full of life. Joe was a devoted son,brother, and friend who volunteered in the community. We shared the love of film,art, and cooking together. He had this gap between his teeth that always bothered him greatly, but to me- it was the one thing that set him apart. It brought out his radiant smile and warm deep brown eyes. He had good morals, strong character, and loved God. When he smiled you could feel his heart full of joy and love. We laughed ,cried , and did just about everything together until I got the call one night that would change my life forever. The phone call that ended up making me a stronger woman in the fight for suicide prevention and awareness. I was supposed to go walking with Joe hours before he took his life. He left me a voice mail asking to do dinner later instead of a walk. I often wonder what if I would of been there to intercept that call – would our conversation at that dinner or on that initial walk made a difference? Why or how did I (his best friend) not see any signs of depression or anxiety? What did I do wrong? Was it my fault? It has been 3 years since Joe’s death – I still find myself asking these questions at times but know I will never have an anwser. I also know I had no control of Joe’s actions. I know survivors of suicide must face and ask these same questions. I can understand that deep pit in their stomach the moment when they hear their loved one is no longer with them. It is in that moment of silence and emptiness we die a little inside ourselves too. We feel empty … our loved one and “sidekick” is gone, forever gone and it is a very lonely feeling that attacks our entire body. After Joe’s death I found a letter I had never read before that he wrote to me. I found it one day in a stack of my favorite dvd’s we had been going through before his death and knew it was his way of telling me he loved me, he was with God…and he was okay. People often told us we were like Superman and Wonder Woman – attatched hip to hip trying to make a difference somehow with or without capes in the community. Whenever I was working on a charity event, I could always count on Joe being my number one supporter. He would participate in walks or help me get wonderful donations. I knew after reading the letter, there were many Superman Joey’s out there in the world who brought joy and love to their friends and family. After Joe’s death I realized my own friends became distant and the stigma of Joe’s suicide was a major part of the battle. I registered for my first Out Of The Darkness Walk and realized there were other survivors who understood exactly what I had been going through. A core group of Joe’s friends walked the first year. It was just what we all needed to get through his tragic death. It opened my eyes to be stronger and understand more the importance of suicide awareness and prevention. Unfortunately, the following year I could not find anyone to walk with me. Friends and family members simply just could not make it. I was stunned and a bit numb. Why wouldn’t anyone take time out to walk for someone who showed so much love to them..or just walk in support for such a huge loss? I heard friends were still angry at Joe and some were ashamed to be associated with suicide. Could it really be because of the stigma associated with suicide? I decided to volunteer and run the merchandise booth that year even if it meant going by myself. I felt so alone that day. I pretty much knew no one, had a huge pit in my stomach, and was missing my best friend terribly. I remember I walked up to the registration tent and was greeted with much love and support from other volunteers and staff. I knew then I was right where God wanted me to be. They say God works in mysterious ways – well he does. I was working the merchandising booth when a survivor came up to me to ask if I had seen the Superman and Wonder Woman? I had no idea what they were talking about and all of a sudden in the middle of a crowd of hundreds I see a red cape flying in the wind. I think to myself – “Out of ALL of the Superheroes …My Superman Joey is here at this walk – Unbelieveable!” I made my way to the people who were dressed in the superhero costumes and explained my situation. Within minutes the man dressed as Superman immediately grabbed and hugged me as he shouted he was walking in honor of Supermen Joey today! Was this real? Was this a sign? It was then at that very moment when I felt that Joe was there in spirit. I was not alone anymore.That feeling of spirit was spread all around the walk that day and it was as if I could feel other survivors celebrating their own loved ones too. Their loved ones may not have been there physically but they were living within us each in our own special ways. In every word, in every song, in everything God creates… their spirits live on. I ended up not being alone that year after all, it was then that I wanted to make sure no one should have to ever walk alone. This year I am very proud to be a committee member of the walk .Our local AFSP Indiana Chapter is also going to have volunteers as ambassadors at The Out Of The Darkness Walk for those who may not have anyone to walk with. I never imagined I would be so passionate and such an advocate for a cause that still has such a strong fight and stigma. I am not a Wonder Woman or a superhero by any means nor was Joe. We were just two best friends, two side kicks who will always have a forever bond and now a message. The message is simple – we all need to keep educating. AFSP has paved the way for us all to speak openly and honestly about suicide prevention and awareness. I lost my best friend, my side kick , my own Superhero to this horrible illness. I never saw the signs. I never dreamed this would happen to me. Most importantly, I never thought this would of happened to Joe. I miss his touch, I miss his voice, I miss that silly gap between his teeth that made his smile so bright. The message is simple: The more we educate others – the more we will continue to make a difference. We must remember that every walk does matter …every voice does speak volumes …and every minute counts.

Posted on by Angela in Benevolence, Family, Spirit, Suicide, Uncategorized Leave a comment

“It’s A Boy”

Last week, much to my dismay, my friend was successful in taking my flabby winter thighs to the gym for a pilates class.  While doing some breathing exercise in the birthing position, she yelps out “It’s A Boy!”  All eyes in the class went immediately to us and I was all to ashamed that I was unable to do 1 sit-up without rolling to the side for a push.  I just had a baby, give me a break!  Oops!  That was four years ago.   Okay no more excuses.  My friend Bryan offered to post a little advice for those of use breaking back into the exercise routine:

 

 

“Literally every system in our bodies is healthier with regular exercise.  We should strive to get at least 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise every day.  Other than smoking or other substance abuse, leading a sedentary life is the most unhealthy thing you can do.  If that’s not enough incentive, to reduce healthcare costs many employers are creating financial motivation for people to get active, hitting people in their wallets if they refuse to make exercise a priority.

So, keep some things in mind as you begin to exercise routinely:

 

To burn fat from around the midsection or hips, do NOT focus on exercises that “target” those particular areas…it doesn’t work that way.  Working those muscles is good but they will still be covered up by the fat, so have realistic expectations.  Fat is stored calories; get rid of it by doing ANY exercises that burn calories effectively.

 

Perhaps the best exercise for the average person is not running, but instead the stairclimber, especially taking 2 steps at a time.  It combines an excellent cardiovascular workout while building leg muscle (by having to work against gravity) with very low impact and joint stress.  Building muscle helps the body burn more fat 24 hrs/day, and helps maintain strength and therefore independence with aging.  As adults we are getting weaker every day unless we are actively working to build muscle.  Running will burn calories, but it is hard on many joints and is more likely to break down muscle than to build it.

 

Focus on weight-bearing exercises with functional movements, promoting balance and helping prevent osteoporosis.  Core strength is extremely important for all of us for many reasons.  Emphasize the eccentric (muscle lengthening) phase of any type of weight lifting by taking about 4-5 times as long to lower the weight as to lift it.  This gives even better results with using less weight, reducing injuries and actually stimulating tendon healing.  Keep in mind that stretching right before exercise has consistently been shown NOT to prevent injuries.  A gradual warmup is much more important, and then stretch either during or after your workout when it is much more effective.”

 

 

Bryan R. Mayol, MD

Sports Medicine

Indiana University Health Physicians, Indianapolis

Posted on by Angela in Guest Blog, Uncategorized Leave a comment

Olivia’s Story

Sidney came home from school upset because the kids call her “Reverse Oreo”.  Apparently she is deemed white on the outside but black inside.  Is that a compliment or an insult?  It amazes me that with the nation’s heightened awareness of bullying, things haven’t changed since I was in middle school in the dark ages.  I remember walking into school, being devastated to find a picture of a “Puffer Fish”  plastered to my locker , and the subtle curse, “Fatty Cheeks!” written in bold letters.  I can still feel that wave of heat come over me when a picture of a puffer fish pops up while I’m reading to my 4 yr old.  Those words stick with people at such a naive age.  We want to believe that things are good in the world.  Teasing words hauntingly introduce reality to us all to prematurely.  Sidney’s lucky.  Her barbie doll, blond haired, blue eyed, socially acceptable appearance will allow her to fly under the radar of scrutiny.   Imagine how we socially challenged victims can handle this blind criticism?  It takes me back again to Ciara’s 18yo revelation.  “You can’t judge someone if you haven’t heard their story—-

Here is Olivia’s

Olivia Rusk is a vivacious fifteen year old honor student in Fisher, IN.   She happens to be completely bald ?  She was diagnosed with a medical condition called alopecia as a toddler.  On an epic morning at age 8, she shed her custom wig, bravely marched into third grade and announced she was going to be herself, BALD.  From that day forward, Olivia has refused to hide her beauty by trying to look like everyone else. Owning her disease has given Olivia a powerful platform; she won’t let it define her. Her bravery, integrity, and charisma help her share her story, Olivia launched lecture programs inspiring thousands of teens in schools, churches and other organizations through out Central Indiana. An anti-bullying stance and education on suicide prevention allows Olivia to exemplify to teen audiences that “You Can Be Great”, whatever your challenges might be.

I have fortunately had the opportunity to get to know Olivia.  I can’t begin to describe my first impression of this exceptional girl.  Being with her was like being in the presence of Mother Teresa, Ghandi or a future MLK.   This young woman will make a difference.  She   takes ownership in cultivating her own vital spirit.  We need more Olivia’s in the world.  If only we could think like eight year olds who have been told “You is smart, you is kind, you is important”

The best way to change the world is to change yourself…..

Read more about Olivia Rusk and Olivia’s cause at www.oliviascause.org .   Her book , “Just Your Average Teenager Who Happens to be Bald,”  is now available online at her website.

 
Posted on by Angela in Uncategorized 1 Comment

The Fresh Produce Dilemma

I know that I have to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet.  But, it’s expensive and I don’t know where the heck I’m going to get coupons for fresh produce!  If I buy them in the store, are they all grown without pesticides?  Do I have to buy organic?

So I think I’ll build a garden and grown them at home.  Is the soil in my backyard safe?  Is there an industrial plant nearby spilling chemicals into my soil.  How much of my dumb dog’s pee does it take to lower the nutritional value of the bell pepper?

Tower garden is a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system that allows almost anyone to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables at home.  All you need is a sunny patio,deck, or balcony.  Maybe I will use this product to bridge the gap.

www.mytowergarden.com

To order your own Tower Garden visit: 

 https://angelamd.towergarden.com/

 

Posted on by Angela in Diet, disease, Green Living, Nutrition, Organic, Uncategorized, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

The Hectic Life

Pagers, cell phones, prescriptions, diapers, bottles and college applications litter the family desk as you walk into the Henriksen household. Time pressures are typical for working parents in 2012, but imagine being full time physicians with four daughters ranging from college age to under a year. Chaos is a given, but how do these MD’s make life work in a busy society and try to remain healthy and happy?
Tim and Angela Henriksen met as medical students at the IU School of Medicine and proceeded to marry their intern year as residents at St. Vincent Hospital on the north side of Indianapolis. Four children later with demanding careers they began encounter many of the dilemmas that working couples endure as they try to raise happy, healthy children in this age.
Tim works as an anesthesiologist working with critically ill patients. Many days require working through lunch, staying up all night on call, and spending hours in tense rigorous surgeries. This makes coming home to household chores, homework demands and crying babies rather difficult. Angela is an internist at IU West hospital caring for adult patients with multiple comorbities. She spends days in the clinic managing multiple diseases and encouraging patients with preventative care. In the evenings, they are the proud parents of Alexis (22), Ciara (18), Sidney (12),and Emma (4), four beautiful daughters actively involved in school activities. So what recommendations do they have for making life work and staying healthy in today’s frantic lifestyle?
1. The family dinner— whether they eat soup, take out, or a terrific healthy meal, they all sit down at the same time to eat. Activities can make that challenging so just planning a snack or lunch together sometimes must suffice. The Henriksen’s try to use whole foods in cooking and avoid processed or packaged foods. Children use their parents as role models for healthy eating and habits. Studies indicate that eating and exercise habits are directly related to their parent’s (Golan, Weizman, Apter, and Fainaru, 1998). Therefore, including them in the preparation of the meal as well as using it for time together. “Spending time together seems to be an antidote to stress” Barbara Schneider, a co-director of the Sloan Center on Parents, Children, and Work, also states that people’s senses of well-being are elevated when they spend time together as a family.
2. Whole food supplements— they take a gold standard studied juice supplement, Juice Plus, that is proven in the Children’s Health Study to decrease doctor’s visits, prescription drug use, soft drink consumption and improve children’s fruit and vegetable consumption.
3. Take adult times after the kid’s go to bed. Try not to discuss the daily necessities, instead try to talk about opinions on current events or recent activities and stimulate each other’s intellect. Making time to do household projects together and getting out in nature on the weekends helps them relax and unwind from the hectic week’s schedule.

Jobs have changed over the last twenty years and the average worker spends 6 extra forty hour weeks on the job. Balancing work and family is no longer primarily a woman’s issue. They struggle daily to make their lives work as any working parent would. These small changes may really help your family as they have the Henriksen’s. For more information, feel free to contact Katie Haun, a local breast cancer survivor and motivational speaker who serves as Dr. Angela’s wellness coordinator. She can give you more information on The Children’s Health Study and about whole food supplementation with Juice Plus.
Katie Haun 502-5807 or visit www.drhenriksen.com

Posted on by Angela in Uncategorized Leave a comment
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