Congrats to Dr. Vijay!

Congrats to Dr Vijay on completing his Acupuncture Certification at National University of Health Sciences. This is a 100 hour program with a credentialing exam at the end.

Dr Vijay is excited that he is able to offer a wider variety of options to improve his patients health and new options for pain management.  Acupuncture is now available at our Mt Prospect Office.

Follow this link for more information about if acupuncture is right for you!

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Relax and Rejuvenate on Mother’s Day

From Dr. Samantha Weiss, wishing all the mothers and wonderful Mother’s Day!

Mothers are always busy and often it is difficult to find ways to relax and take care of yourself, even on Mother’s Day.  This Mother’s Day, spend a few minutes doing something for yourself, to make you feel good.  Spend a few minutes pampering yourself and helping your skin as well by trying one of our homemade masks!

There is a simple way to get glowing skin you dream of and it contains a secret ingredient that is probably sitting in your kitchen cabinet as we speak, honey.  That is right, honey is a great ingredient to help restore the natural glow to your skin.  It is extremely simple, like a regular face mask, take a few teaspoons of honey and spread it evenly over a clean face. Be careful not to use too much, the heat from your skin will warm the honey up and make it run.  Then let it dry for 20 to 30 minutes.  After the time is up, rinse your face with warm water.  Instant gratification! Your skin should feel softer as well as look healthier. You can use this face mask everyday if you wish. Raw honey or Manuka honey seems to work best.

Another home remedy that targets “tired skin” is made put of 6 ounce of plain yogurt, ¼ ounce of crushed almonds, 2 tablespoons of raw honey, 2 tablespoons of wheatgerm oil.  Then mix the above ingredients into a smooth paste then apply and massage the paste into the skin.  After 20 minutes rise the mask with warm water.

A few minutes of pampering can make all the difference in your outlook, leaving you feeling and looking relaxed and beautiful!

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Food Challenge: Exercise Your Way to Better Eating

Free Weights in the Office

Free Weights in the Office

In my last blog post, I talked about the importance of simple changes to your daily routine. Each week I will post powerful, simple and easy to implement ways to help you change the way you and your family eats…and thereby improve your health.  Yes they are simple, but taken together they can have a powerful impact on your health.

Why am I giving you one a week?  So you can start small, incorporate one change into your day and then add a new change next week.  If you skip a week, that’s ok, start where you are.  Some changes are better than none at all.

When I was younger (much younger, before graduate school, work, family) I used to do double splits and laugh at everyone who was doing less than I was.  Now I look at my father in law, who at 80 still goes to the gym 3 times a week.  He might not be pounding weights, but he is a fit, healthy 80 year old. I am a physician, husband and father of three and no longer have time for my double splits.  My father-in-laws daily habits have served him well through a lifetime!  The crazy, perfectionistic, routine I had in my youth only served me well for a short period of time.  As my daughter would say, “Habits, people!”

So for Challenge Number 1:

If you are not already exercising, take a 15 minutes every day and move. You can find 15 minutes, do it at lunch, after dinner, wake up 15 minutes earlier. How is exercise related to better eating?

Individuals who exercise tend to make better food choices, not wanting to waste their effort. Exercise is a keystone habit. If you are not familiar with this phrase, keystone habits are those that prompt more change. Hungry after a walk? You are more likely to make a healthy food choice.

Here is what I don’t want you to do:  don’t start researching gyms,  exercise videos, or rush out and by the latest and greatest exercise equipment.

Do this (choose one):

  • Talk a brisk walk after dinner
  • Pick up some free weight and do squats
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Do jumping jacks
  • Walk stairs
  • You get the idea

Whatever you do, make sure you keep your current health conditions in mind and exercise in a way that is safe for your body.  Very few health conditions prevent one from exercise, choose one that is safe and healthy for you.  Ask your physician, if you are not sure what will work for you.

Let me know what changes you make!



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You Are What You Eat!

Colorful Afternoon Snack

Colorful Afternoon Snack

The foods that we consume on a daily basis, form the basis of our health. It makes intuitive sense, that if we are not putting healthy food in, our bodies will weaker and not as effective at fighting disease as those bodies that are eating a diet filled with healthy food.

Americans are consumed by the idea that there is a superfood or a collection of nutrients that we should consume. We know that blueberries, recently called a superfood, are filled with anti oxidants. Common sense tells us we should not give up on strawberries or watermelon and only feed our families blueberries.

As a culture, we do precisely that–form a diet based upon the addition of a super ingredient. Walk down the grocery store aisles and see how many foods you find with added ingredients containing the latest superfood craze. Go to a trendy restaurant and you can purchase a martini with the latest superfood. Much as I like a good martini, you will not convince me that you are helping your body by drinking acai berry vodka. We know this.

I have had many patients (and family members) over the years who have told me that a particular product (take your pick: vitamin supplement, liquid vitamin, juicing, or diet such as the paleo diet, Atkins, etc) has helped them and that they feel significantly better. I believe them, I think they do feel better. I don’t think it is as much from the particular product or diet. Indeed, far from being hurtful, many of these often improve your daily nutritional profile. What improves most people’s health however is what happens when they begin their programs. It is not just what they have added to their diets, it is what has been removed. Often when we start on these programs and start eating better we feel better because we have reduced the amount of processed foods entering our systems.

The standard American diet is filled with highly processed, highly refined foods. These foods are almost always made with the lowest quality ingredients, they are lacking in nutritional value and leave us hungry after we finish eating. So what is one to do?

I know you are busy, you barely have time to sit down to dinner, much less make a healthy one from scratch daily. Yet there are many simple things you can do to improve the way you and your family eats. Over the next several weeks we will have many suggestions for changing your family’s eating habits. Please join me as we start this journey!

Each week, I will post one change and challenge you to make it with me. Slowly you will start feeling better, you will be stronger and come closer to achieving wellness!

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Warmer Weather and Sun Protection.

Another post by Dr. Samantha Weiss, who is clearly ready for the warmer weather of summer!

School is almost over and when that school bell rings for dismissal in mid-June children will start engaging in either sports or summer camp as well as numerous outdoor activities. We encourage children to engage in outdoor activities and sports, we tend to spend more time, money and energy finding that one sunscreen/block that works best. Adolescents are sometimes much more resistant to applying sunblock because the sun exposure during the day will usually result in the perfect golden brown tan. While being tan may increase one’s self-esteem or mood, constant exposure to the sun unprotected could be too big of a gamble. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damage which in the long run can lead to cancer. Skin cancer is becoming far more common especially in adolescents.

One of the more effective ways to prevent skin damage or even skin cancer is to stay out of the sun entirely, however that is not practical. The bottom line is if you are going to enjoy outdoor activities you must wear sunscreen. Sunscreen acts by absorbing or reflecting the sun’s rays. There certain things one should look for in a sunscreen before purchasing it.
The most important component is the sun protection factor better know as SPF. This refers to the amount of protection the sunscreen will give you or how much longer one can spend exposed to the sun before you get sunburned compared to if you were not wearing sunscreen. For example, say you could stay exposed to sun for 30 minutes without burning. If you were to apply a sunscreen that had an SPF of 15 you would be able to stay exposed to the sun for 15 times longer – roughly seven and a half hours before burning. The SPF on a sunscreen bottle only relates to the UVB rays, there is currently no rating system for UVA protection. A sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 is said to block ninety-three percent of the UVB rays, an SPF of 30 blocks ninety-seven percent and an SPF of 50 blocks ninety-eight percent of the UVB rays. As one can see there is not a large percent of difference in the protection when you compare the SPF of 15 to the SPF of 30. Using an SPF of either 15 or 30 will give you roughly the same amount of protection, however the key is making sure you reapply at least every two hours. If your skin is more sensitive to sun exposure and you burn quickly, you should reapply more frequently.

Another key component to a decent sunscreen is one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate into the deepest layer of your skin, while the UVB rays do not penetrate as deep. Both rays are responsible for causing damage to the skin. Too much exposure to both the UVA and UVB rays can increase the likelihood of skin cancer. Make sure that labels of the sunscreen bottle states that it is broad-spectrum coverage. The sunscreen should also contain the combination of the following ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octyl salicytate, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
You should also look for sunscreens that are labeled “water resistant” or “sweat-resistant.” A water-resistant sunscreen should maintain its SPF for as long as 40 minutes underwater as long as it is not rubbed off. Water-proof sunscreens do not exist because if you submerge your body in water for a long enough period of time the sunscreen will wear off at some point.

There are many types of sunscreen:  lotions, creams, sticks and most recently sprays. Out of the above types pick the one that is easiest to use for you. Studies have shown that the least amount one can apply and be full protected is an ounce and that needs to be reapplied at least every two hours if not more. You also need to think of the activity that you or your children will be engaging in. Take swimming, for example, if you are constantly rubbing a towel on the skin in order to dry off you are also rubbing the sunscreen off making it less effective so reapplication maybe more frequent.

Knowing all this, it can still be confusing to go to the store and look at row after row of sunscreens. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has done it’s homework and rated various brands based upon the safety and efficacy of the of ingredients used. Click here to go the the EWG’s report.

Hopefully the above facts will make finding the perfect sunscreen a little easier. Lip balm with SPF is also something that should be applied. Sunscreen should be applied even if it appears extremely cloudy out, the sun’s rays can pass through the clouds. If you have any further questions regarding this topic or any other health concerns that you would like to address, please visit our website at or call our office to set up an appointment with one of our doctors.

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