Wellness Events – Week of April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

Hello and good afternoon, once again, here is a list of free and low-cost wellness events, brought to you by the Healthcare Survival Guide.

*Denotes recurring event

Free unless noted otherwise

Seattle, WA: Mindfulness Meditation* (Weds., 12:30 PM); Art Classes for Adults recovering from mental health challenges, addiction, and homelessness (4/19, 2-4 PM).

Detroit, MI:Alcoholics Anonymous* (Sun., Weds., 8:30 – 9:30 PM ); Seminar – Understanding Bi-Polar Disorder (4/19, 7 – 8:30 PM); Diabetes Support Group – Eye Health (4/20, 5:30 – 7 PM. Registration required); Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (4/20, 6 – 8 PM)

Fort Worth, TX: Most require registration. These are all recurring and may or may not occur this particular week. Check link for full details.

Breast Cancer Support Group* (4th Tues. each month); Lupus Support Group* (3rd Sat. each month); Blood Cancer Networking Group* (2nd Thurs. each month); Fibromyalgia Wellness Group* (3rd Sat. each month); Chronic Disease Study and Support Group* (3rd Mon. each month); Support Education Advocacy Group for families/caregivers of children w/ ADD/ADHD, Schizophrenia, Asperger’s or Depression* (3rd Tues. each month); Brain Tumor Support Group* (3rd Thurs. each month); American Cancer Society Support Group (1st Thurs. each month); Stroke Support Group (4th Weds. each month)

That’s all for this week! Here are links from the previous entry for Pennsylvania and Tampa, FL, as many of the events are recurring. We will update as we find more events, otherwise follow us at twitter.com/healthsurvival.

Feel free to add any events that you know of below!

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Wellness Events for the Week of March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011

Good afternoon! Below is a list of free/low-cost health & wellness events, for this week of March 21, 2011. Each city links to the specific details of each event.

Cincinnati, OH – This upcoming Wednesday, 3/23, Christ Hospital will offer a seminar-support group for heart failure; as well as educational seminars on arthritis and colorectal cancer. All events are FREE, but be sure to call and RSVP to ensure your spot.

Detroit, MI – Free Support Groups for Alcholism, overeating; A free class on how to naturally beat heartburn and other digestive problems.

Macomb, IL (Western Illinois U) – When detected early, the survival rate for colorectal cancer is 90%. You can get a free test kit here, between 3/1-4/15, M-F, 8:00-4:30. Free analyses can be conducted in the privacy of your own home; 3/23 – Free blood pressure screenings.

Poughkeepsie, NY – Meditation and breathing techniques – click for details, classes and admission fees (if any) vary.

Jackson, MS – Check link for specifics; some classes/events are recurring. Free: cancer rehab classes, art therapy for cancer patients; educational seminar for families who have a member who suffers from a mental illness.

Pennsylvania (All) – See last week’s entry. Check the link regularly, as many of the events listed on last week’s post are recurring.

That’s it for now, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we research. For health tips, news, and other wellness events like these, follow us on Twitter @HealthSurvival. Have a great week!


Wellness Events – Week of March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

In our effort to help you keep health costs low while staying healthy, we have researched free and low-cost health & wellness events for this week of March 14, 2011.

(Click link for full details)

Pennsylvania: Pregnancy & Parenting (Mom & Baby Groups; Postpartum Adjustment Support Group), Free & Low Cost Health Screenings (Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg) Colon Cancer Seminars (Prevention, Detection, Treatment), Teen Health, Support Groups

Detroit, MI: Free vision screening, tonight, from 3pm-5pm. Henry Ford Health System-Self Health Center, 23400 Allen, Woodhaven.

Deer Park, NY: Free hearing screenings, this upcoming Saturday, March 19th. In addition to the screenings, there will be a seminar on hearing health. RSVP by 3/17

We will keep you updated as we find more events. For daily updates on wellness events, health news and tips, follow us at twitter.com/healthsurvival.


Keeping Healthy & Safe this Winter

January 26, 2011

If you live in the northeastern part of the U.S., then you’re used to cold, blustery winters. But no matter how accustomed you may have become, there’s no denying that this winter has been particularly brutal. Precipitation has been heavy and frequent (some areas can expect even more snow tonight), while temperatures have dipped well below zero in some areas, prompting schools across at least four states to close on Monday. Being experienced northeasterners, you have a good idea of how to deal with these conditions. However, you could be at risk for more things than you’ve considered. And it doesn’t hurt to cover all of the bases, so here is a brief list of strategies to counteract the perils of winter.

1. Basics – Keep warm. If you have to go outside, dress in many layers of light clothing rather than a few layers of heavy clothing. Your body will heat the air that is trapped in between each layer of clothing. This will help you to retain warmth. Stay clean by washing your hands often and keep sanitizers handy. And although you may be tempted to indulge with comfort foods, it’s still possible to have warm, hearty meals without compromising a healthy diet. Don’t forget to exercise. Although these four things are obvious, they are still very important in building and/or maintaining a strong immune system.

2. Shoveling Did you know shoveling can be dangerous to your health? In this month’s American Journal of Emergency Medicine is a study revealing that over 11,000 people are hospitalized each year for accidents related to shoveling. These injuries occurred due to a variety of reasons, including excessive weight lifting and the slippery conditions. To help, you can use a lighter shovel to limit heavy lifting, wear snow boots to avoid falls, and stretch beforehand. It is also important to note that it may not be a good idea to shovel if you have heart problems.

3. Take Care of Your Eyes – Lesley Alderman of the New York Times reports that snow reflects about 80% of sun’s rays, making sunglasses just as necessary during winter as they are during the summer. Make sure that they are protective against ultraviolet rays, as overexposure to such can lead to cancer, cataracts or blindness.

If you have any additional advice on how to keep healthy and safe during the winter, feel free to comment below!


Find low-cost or free dental services nationwide

January 21, 2011

In today’s economic climate, most people find it hard enough to afford keeping up with their basic medical care, let alone dental care.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Besides the obvious cosmetic benefits of taking care of your teeth, the American Heart Association says that keeping good dental hygiene could reduce your risk of heart disease.

Fortunately, the folks at WorlDental.org have put together an expansive database of free and low-cost dental services throughout the United States. The site features loads of information on clinics, fairs, and other places to get cheap dental care in Minnesota, Northern California, and Indiana; North Carolina, Michigan, and Maryland; Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hamphire; as well as New Jersey and virtually anywhere else in America.  The site is updated continuously, so if you don’t see a clinic or event in your area, check back soon.

Are you having trouble paying for dental care? Would WorlDental be helpful to you? Leave us a comment!


Use of medical services likely to fall in early 2011

January 19, 2011

Over the last few years, expensive insurance premiums and rising unemployment have made Americans reluctant to spend money on costly non-essential procedures and medications. This reluctance often has led to patients skipping out on appointments and cutting back on medications.

Despite this trend, Debra Sherman of Reuters reports that there actually was an increase in spending on medical services during the fourth quarter of 2010. This brief lapse in financial conservatism could have happened for a number of reasons, including increased confidence in the economy. However, it’s more likely that people were attempting to make as many doctor visits as possible after meeting their annual deductibles. With these deductibles having been reset on January 1, it is expected that people will go back to skipping doctor visits.

It’s important to know that saving money does not have to cost you and your family sound health. There are other ways of cutting costs where you can maintain good health without breaking the bank. All you need to do is strategize:

  • Be proactive. Don’t default to any single doctor. Planning ahead and shopping around will provide you with many options. A lack of options may subject you to expensive services – more options means more prices to compare. Search your area for medical services and be open to different providers – community hospitals typically offer the same services as academic medical centers, but at a cheaper price.
  • Like we discussed last week, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about a discount. It never hurts to ask.
  • Keep a journal to keep track of all of the services you have received. When you receive your bill, match up records to make sure there are no errors.
  • Make sure to stay on top of your medical bills – this means being clear on what your insurer will and will not cover, addressing billing errors immediately, and writing everything down – if there is a dispute, it will support your argument to know who at your insurance company you spoke with and what it is you discussed.

Have you avoided care to save money? Tell us your story in the comments!


The Dangers of Inactivity

January 14, 2011

The health dangers associated with prolonged periods of inactivity have long been known to the medical community and the general public. Parking yourself in front of the television and avoiding exercise, the common wisdom goes, can lead to weight gain and deteriorated health.

However, a new study from the University of Queensland, Australia, brings to light more details regarding the dangers of sitting. According to the study, prolonged periods of sitting — even among those who exercise regularly — lead to a bigger waistline and increased levels of blood fats.

This data comes on the heels of a University College London study  that found that the risk of heart disease doubled among those who spent more than four hours a day on the computer. Furthermore, the risk of a cardiovascular event increased 125 percent for people who spent at least two hours in front of a television or computer screen after work.

What’s shocking about these findings is that regular exercise alone isn’t enough to combat several hours’ worth of sitting — something millions of Americans do everyday at their desk jobs. Genevieve Healy, the lead author of the Queensland study, suggests that regular exercise mixed with frequent breaks during the workday to stand or walk around is the most effective way to offset the negative effects of sitting.

For many of us, spending over four hours a day in front of a computer is unavoidable. Based on these findings, what do you plan to do to offset the negative effects of sitting? Let us know in the comments!