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Financial Health Literacy

The Foundation Course

“Unless you’re Bill Gates, you’re just one serious illness away from bankruptcy”, Dr. David Himmelstein warns. Dr. Himmelstein is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York’s Hunter College and Lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Himmelstein et al, authored a study, that revealed the ominous truth of the state of health insurance, “Even the best job-based health insurance often vanishes when prolonged illness causes job loss-just when families need it most. Private health insurance is a defective product, akin to an umbrella that melts in the rain,” according to Himmelstein.

In 2014, The American Institutes for Research (AIR) found that only one in five Americans was likely to correctly calculate what he or she owed for a routine doctor’s visit. Fifty-one percent cannot predict their out-of-pocket healthcare costs for 2019 - a troubling finding from research by Alegeus.  The same research predicts that consumers will lea...

December 1, 2014

Middle schoolers are our future. Middle schoolers are our hope for creating a better world. Middle school comprises the 6th,7th and 8th grades where children are in the age group between 12-15. Supporting our teens through this time of emotional growth and development is crucial if our teens are going to actualize their potential and become self assured, powerful co-creators of their own lives.

Early adolescence is a time of tempestuous changes in physical, mental, emotional and social spheres. It is a time when peer pressure abounds. Peer pressure outwardly or inwardly generated to perform academically can challenge a developing sense of self worth.  Peer pressure to conform to the social modes of behavior as witnessed in the bullying phenomenon threatens to corrupt the moral values we, as parents, have worked so hard to instill in our children. Peer pressure to look a certain way can lead to eating disorders, self-harming and isolation patterns. Peer pressure is only one area of chall...

September 19, 2014

The ACA, in Sec. 5101, provides for a new national healthcare workforce to enter the mainstream healthcare delivery system.  They are identified as licensed complementary and alternative medicine providers (CAM) and integrative health practitioners. One of the areas where this workforce is included to practice is Community Health Centers.

The intent of the law was to level the playing field. The big idea is to incorporate those integrative therapeutic disciplines that are safe, cost effective and therapeutically efficacious into mainstream healthcare delivery so as to engage the people in substantive self-efficacy to increase health promotion and prevention. This is the order of the day in the European Union.  The US lags behind in implementation, however, recent studies quoted by Bill Reddy, L.Ac., of the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium, note that in the US, all CAM use by adults was estimated to be 36% in 2002 and 38% in 2007. Other sources suggest...

September 11, 2014

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), a national non-profit representing the 70 medical and osteopathic boards of the U.S. and territories, issued a long-awaited statement on 9/5/14 upon completion of the drafting process for model legislation to create an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact that would speed the process of issuing licenses for physicians who wish to practice in multiple states.

According to the press release, the interstate medical licensure compact model legislation “creates a new process for faster licensing for physicians interested in practicing in multiple states and establishes the location of a patient as the jurisdiction for oversight and patient protections.”

The implications for delivery of telehealth are profound.  As the healthcare landscape becomes broader with both expanded services available due to Internet technology and a diverse integrative practitioner population, the establishment of the location of the patient as the jurisdiction...

July 21, 2014

80% of smartphone users surveyed would rather receive medical advice on mobile devices instead of going to the doctor’s office.

FICO conducted a survey of 2,239 adult smartphone users from the UK, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and the U.S. which analyzed how consumers prefer to interact with healthcare providers on mobile devices, online and in-person.

Hands down the doctor/patient interaction via smartphone was their preference. Consultations and annual wellness visits are becoming mainstream in the integrative healthcare world where homeopaths have been practicing via telecommunications systems for years. Accessibility to a provider of natural healthcare is enhanced by the ubiquitous technology available to consumers. We see children in Tibet on a mountaintop with cell phones. Rural inhabitants with little or no access to a medical provider now have a means to communicate and receive treatment over the smartphone.


June 27, 2014

Never has it been more critical to harness the power of your own self.  In the link below , a “selfie” may well have saved a woman’s life.  This woman was having a stroke and was told at the ER that nothing was wrong. She took a selfie when she was having the symptoms and was clearly diagnosed as having a stroke.

Stroke diagnosis with a selfie

The time has come when we, as people, not “sheeple”, are mandated to promote your own wellness, to be a conscious co-creator of your own health.  The medical care system is overburdened.  One must take action on your own behalf if you are going to receive the type of care that suits you best.

Utilizing the power of telehealth through the technology of smartphones is, well, SMART! : 

May 15, 2014

It may come as no surprise that those who care about themselves usually care about others. The random acts of kindness that flow from caring lead to purposeful activities and generally do involve others. People with a purpose have a reason to wake up in the morning and greet a new day with some degree of enthusiasm. They tend to have direction. People with purpose plan a day to fulfill that purpose. It can be simple. It can be self-directed. A walk, a supermarket shop for a healthy meal, an exercise class, a telephone call to a friend. Purpose breeds performance. Performing at our personal best yields satisfaction. Satisfaction yields a good night sleep, at peace with yourself and your world.

Even if it is not a longer life, it is a good life! 😍

April 22, 2014

Kendall Power makes a good case for the ubiquitous "stress" that lowers immunity causing "more pro-inflammatory cytokines to be produced with the flu virus.

Erwin Gelfand, an immunology expert, cited in this article, pooh-poohs the research of Kiecolt-Glaser,( )which says, "chronic stress makes it more likely you become infected and that infections will last longer and be nastier." Yep, that's been my observation. But, Dr. Gelfand thinks differently.

Dr. Gelfand thinks that our immune systems manage our stress effectively. "Otherwise, he reasons, most Americans would be sick in bed most of the time."

Memo to Dr. Gelfand....a majority of Americans ARE sick in bed most of the time. And if they are not in bed with physical ailments, they are sick in the workplace and in their relationships with...

April 22, 2014

Allergy season is upon us. So the pundits say. But, is there really a season for allergies?

Allergies represent a broad class of symptoms specific to individual sensitivities. 

Oversensitivities exist to dust, insects, trees, plants, animals, all manner of nature in its developmental phases be it budding, blooming, dying, dormant. Allergies to the sun and the cold are common. 

The observance of physical symptoms in the presence of one or more of these triggers leads to a diagnosis of allergy. Avoidance is one treatment. Antihistamines to quell the cascade response of runny nose, watery eyes and itchiness is another.

We can be oversensitive to people, situations and environmental stimuli. Irritability, mood changes, joint and muscle aches along with sleep disorders and fatigue are symptomatic of this type of allergy. Indeed, any thing or anybody who causes you to react in a way that produces symptoms, mental, emotional or physical can be considered an allergen to you.

The key to underst...

July 30, 2013

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas A. Farley and Health and Hospitals Corporation President Alan D. Aviles today announced two new initiatives to expand New Yorkers access to farmers markets’ produce and increase healthy eating. The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, under which a doctor and nutritionist assess the health and nutritional habits of patients and families at risk for obesity and provide “prescriptions” to consume more fruits and vegetables is being brought to New York City for the first time in a pilot program at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx and Harlem Hospital Center in Manhattan.( 

NYC takes a truly visionary action step to change our “sick-care” culture to one of promoting wellness. The next step is to include the integrative healthcare practitioners and the licensed CAM providers who have nutrition in their scope of practice. We do know that medical school curriculum does not pre...

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Middle schoolers are our future. Middle schoolers are our hope for creating a better world. Middle school comprises the 6th,7th and 8th grades where c...

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© 2016 by Dr Nancy Gahles.