Author Archives: reginazopfmd

The Healing Space of Spring

I am so grateful for Spring’s finally undeniable arrival in the Washington DC area as I gaze upon one of my favorite “blossomplosions” of the year, the spring blooming Magnolia trees. The National Arboretum has a collection that allows the viewer to appreciate their gloriousness within an uninterrupted experience of nature.

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Surrounded by walls of magnolias, drenched in a subtle floral fragrance, with sounds of wood peckers and volleying calls of nearby song birds singing their songs of Spring, I am transported instantly into a world of beauty and, in my son’s words, “a land of magical trees”. My breath becomes free and easy and a smile unravels on my face and permeates through my being. Ahhhh, SPRING!

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I love this image. The flowers are presented so elegantly, like wine goblets arranging themselves as if to say, drink from me, there is plenty go around. I fully expect to tip one into my mouth and taste the sweetest wine I have ever enjoyed in the most beautiful surroundings.

Nature is my castle.

In relation to health, I am reminded of the work written by neuroscientist and physician Esther Sternberg, MD who studies the beneficial effects that healing spaces can have on our health and immune systems. She writes that healing spaces can more easily allow us to enter a state of mindfulness and calm which optimizes our body’s ability to heal.  See her speak here, or her TEDx Talk here and find her book on the health benefits of healing spaces here:

Get inspired this Spring, allow yourself to be immersed in the beauty that surrounds us. After all, it’s good for you!

© Regina Zopf MD 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Regina Zopf MD with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Accessing this site means you agree to the disclaimer that can be read here.

Did you know…? Nutrition Nuggets for Women Health Concerns

Did you know…?

  • Cruciferous vegetables (full list here) contain a substance called Indole-3-Carbinol that can help digest too much estrogen? This is great for women with high levels of estrogen relative to progesterone. Women with this imbalance might be women who are obeseperimenopausal, have fibroids, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids are anti-inflammatory. This means less pain, therefore this is particularly helpful for women with painful periods. The best sources are cold water fish like salmon or sardines, walnuts, Chia and freshly ground flax seeds. Shoot for at least one serving a day of an omega 3 rich food source. See a list of foods with Omega 3 FA here. If you supplement, be sure to get a reputable, toxin free source at a dose of 2 grams per day.
  • Magnesium is another great anti-inflammatory nutrient. Almonds, spinach and cashews are fantastic source. See a complete list here.
  • If you have heavy periods you may be losing nutrients too. So be sure you are repleting nutrients such as Vitamin D. Many people living in Northern climates spending lots of time indoors are already low from not getting enough sunlight. Consider asking your doctor to check your vitamin D level in addition to your blood count if you are feeling fatigued. The amount you supplement will vary according to the level you start at and how much sun you get. You can read more about vitamin D from Andrew Weil’s site here.
  • Calcium is so important for prevention of osteoporosis late in life but taking supplements can lead to hardening in the arteries of your heart! Try to get calcium from your diet as much as possible in addition to resistance exercise. Also consider sardines. Yup, I said it, Sardines are not only an excellent source of calcium, but they are also rich in Omega 3 FA and therefore are my new favorite superfood. Find some creative sardine recipes here.

There is always more to learn about nutrition so stay posted for more nutrition tips for women. And keep on cookin’!

© Regina Zopf MD 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Regina Zopf MD with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Accessing this site means you agree to the disclaimer that can be read here.

Exercise: A must for mind-body health

We all know those fitness people we encounter in our lives who are happy, healthy and glowing. They definitely have the best career because they are getting paid to do what they love and getting paid to move. They are definitely my happiest patients. (We all know them and secretly love to hate them)!  But they’re not dumb for choosing that lifestyle…You do not need to quit your career and become a personal trainer to feel great. You do, however, need to move.
The most important thing to actually exercise is your personal motivation and drive to do it. Making the commitment to yourself on a deep level has to be the starting point. It might help to reframe why you are exercising. The payoffs from exercise are slow to come. It does not give you the same instant gratification that you get from say, eating some chocolate ice cream or having a glass of wine while you snuggle up to your favorite (dramedy, sit com, game show,…) on the couch. Therefore, if you are doing for a specific goal, like fitting into a pair of jeans, or even for losing weight, you might feel dejected and disappointed in your progress. Instead, it might be helpful to focus on a desire to do it for long term health and wellness, ie. Sticking around a bit longer to have time with the ones you love, having more energy to function in your daily life, or feeling well enough to enjoy that retirement you have been working so hard for.  Making the choice for something positive you really, really want!
I find that my patients who are able to exercise every day have made it a part of their daily routine.
If you don’t do it, you won’t do it.Here, self-awareness is key. Observing your daily actions and mindfully deciding where you can actually fit your exercise in, what you actually need to accomplish it, and what some barriers to doing it might be. Then taking the time to make a plan and commit to it. Also, find something you love to do for exercise. If you love it, you are much more likely to do it. If you can’t do it for one day, or even one week, it is okay, don’t let this drag you down into the guilt cycle and into stopping altogether, just ask yourself again what might be getting in your way and make your choices. We all fall off the horse sometimes, and let’s face it, the hardest thing to change is habits. But it CAN be done!
The benefits of exercise are far reaching and the importance to mind body health cannot be overstated. It has to be a part of your life or you will never achieve balance in your mind body health. It does not need to be much. Just 30 minutes out of 24 hours, but the more you can do, the better.
Remember to combine strength training and aerobic activity to reap the full benefits.
Here is a list of what exercise can do for your mind body health:
  • Burns the stress hormone “cortisol” and is crucial for hormone balance.
  • Can help to keep your period regular and less painful
  • Increases will power and motivation
  • Decreases blood pressure and improves digestion of sugar
  • It can improve your symptoms around your menstrual cycle, decreasing bleeding and pain
  • It improves sleep patterns
  • Builds bones and improves posture with long term prevention from osteoporosis
  • Trims your waist line reducing your long term risk of diabetes heart disease and all those other chronic diseases that lead to sudden death prematurely
  • Silver lining? Eventually it gives you that svelte figure you’ve been hoping for, but I strongly precaution against doing exercise for physical appearance and instead focus on accepting yourself just as beautiful as you already are.

Here are some links for excellent free exercise resources that you can do at home, FOR FREE!

Site Homehttp://www.fitnessblender.com 

Homehttp://www.doyogawithme.com/

Lionsgate BeFithttps://www.youtube.com/user/BeFit?feature=watch

http://www.bodyrock.tv/

© Regina Zopf MD 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Regina Zopf MD with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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DC Birth and Babies Fair

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital

This is a great fair for expectant families to learn about all the resources available to support you. I will be presenting on a panel about recent ACOG guidelines to prevent unnecessary cesarean section. Here is a letter from the organizers about the event:

It’s a pleasure to  announce that registration for the 2014 DC Birth and Babies Fair sponsored by the Midwives of Medstar is now open! You can register with the Early Bird rates here. Remember, the Fair is Saturday May 3rd from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital near Eastern Market.
Early Bird admission for one adult is $10 and for two is $15.  Children are free. The goody bag alone is worth way more than the price of admission, not to mention the value of the 23 programs, 40+ exhibitors and the 20+ fantastic raffle prizes. So don’t wait to secure your spot, sign up today.
The Fair is a “must-do” introduction for first-timers and a valuable chance to advance your skills and knowledge as a veteran. There’s no other opportunity to meet and learn from so many birth and baby professionals under one roof. Whether it’s new skills for parenting or looking ahead for your next baby, with so many classes and exhibitors even the most seasoned parent will have something to gain.
There’s also a comfy Children’s Play Area (thanks to Urban Sitter) for you and your little one to take a break. Light snacks will be available and don’t forgot to bring a little cash for your chance to win in the fantastic raffle featuring free photo sessions, baby carriers, massage and more!
What better way to prepare for Mother’s Day the next week than by spending the afternoon at the Birth Fair educating, empowering and connecting yourself to be the happiest, healthiest and most confident parents you can be!
Register for the Fair today by clicking here and make sure your friends know about it too. Meet as a group for brunch in Eastern Market and then you can all come together.  You’ll need to split up and compare notes to take advantage of so many classes and exhibitors in one space.
We owe a great thanks to Midwives of Medstar, Tiny Touch Photography and Advantage Rehabilitation & Wellness Center for helping make this special event possible for the families of DC.
It’s going to be a great time and we can’t wait to see you May 3rd!

 

5 Ways to Make Exercise More FUN

  1. Go Outside! Not only will you get that vitamin D boost you’ve been needing from the sunlight, the fresh air will invigorate you and if you live in a city, the other runners passing by will motivate you.
  2. Exercise in nature. Taking a hike, climbing rocks and boulders, or swimming in a lake or river give us much more than exercise alone. We live so separate from nature these days and being in nature can center and ground us. Besides the healthy bacteria that live in dirt can actually be beneficial to us. Seriously! You don’t have to go far, a nearby park will suffice to reinvigorate the body, mind and spirit.
  3. Do it with a group. Friends motivate us when we don’t want to do anything. Group exercise classes are a great option too to keep you moving. You vibe on the energy in the room. You don’t necessarily need to join a gym. Check out your local meetup.com groups.
  4. Dance! Dancing not only burns calories, it releases endorphins which can prolong your life by making you healthier and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
  5. Sign up for a race. It doesn’t have to be 26.2 mile marathon. Even signing up for a 5 K can get you motivated to start an exercise routine. Just having the goal to work towards is key. Check out the couch to 5K program, which is great for folks who have never exercised before: http://www.c25k.com/

If you do not exercise regularly, please consult a physician before trying any of the above activities. Accessing this site means you agree to the disclaimer that can be read here.

© Regina Zopf MD 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Regina Zopf MD with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Accessing this site means you agree to the disclaimer that can be read here.

About

Dr. Regina Zopf is a board certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist, and board certified Integrative and Holistic physician living in Washington, DC. She seeks to share her knowledge as a physician to optimize mind body wellness for the people she serves.

She works with the belief that conservation of nature is crucial to optimizing human health and well being. Empowering individuals  with agency and responsibility related to conservation and ecologic protection has a direct impact on human health both individually and globally. Destruction of nature impacts vulnerable populations unequally, therefore protecting nature is protecting justice and egalitarianism.

Independence statement:The views in this blog are strictly mine and should not be attributed to any organization mentioned on this site.

Conflict of Interest statement: I do not have any financial interest or ties to, and have not received any honoraria from, pharmaceutical or device manufacturers.

Medical Disclaimer: All content found on the reginazopfmd.com Website, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately. reginazopfmd.com does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on reginazopfmd.com. Reliance on any information provided by medical professionals presenting content for publication to this site is solely at your own risk.

The Site may contain health- or medical-related materials or discussions regarding sexually explicit disease states. If you find these materials offensive, you may notwant to use our Site. The Site and its Content are provided on an “as is” basis.

Links to educational content not created by Regina Zopf MD are taken at your own risk. Regina Zopf MD is not responsible for the claims of external websites and education companies.

Mind Body Wellness in the First and Second Trimester

Join us in this 2 hour small group seminar to explore how you can encourage optimal mind body wellness in your pregnancy. Topics covered will be tailored to the groups interest but will include information on the mind body connection, optimal nutrition in pregnancy, hormone balance, guided  meditation for learning relaxation techniques, coping with fear and anxiety, and prenatal parenting. The format will be an interactive group setting to facilitate open exploration and community building.

Place:  Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20002

Date: June 29, 2014

Time: Teatime! 2-4 PM

Cost: $60

SIGNUP SOON as space is limited. email reginazopfmd@gmail.com for questions and to register.

Brochure: Mind Body Health in Pregnancy

Let’s Talk About SEX!!!

It’s Springtime!

Spring is as good a time as ever to explore the health benefits of sex for women, whilst all the plants and animals around us are getting down and dirty in preparation for Summer.

Everyone knows that sex is good for you, but why?

Here are 5 great reasons to whoop it up (with a trusted lover and protection of course!)

  1. Release of the stress busting hormones like oxytocin from skin to skin contact and healthy endorphins from orgasms, like DHEA. I like to think of these as the happy hormones. They make you feel all warm and fuzzy, like when you get a really good hug from someone you adore and to top it off, they are really good for you.
  2. Sex increases blood flow to the vagina preventing dryness and thinning of the vaginal mucosa (otherwise known as atrophy). Think of it as a nice fresh juicy apricot, instead of one of those dried ones that has been sitting out on the counter for a few weeks that you almost break your teeth trying to chew. Which one would you prefer?
  3. It burns calories– the longer, hotter, and heavier the foreplay, the more calories you burn. Heavy petting holds promise for the new fitness craze. The faster you are panting, the more calories you are burning.  Burn baby burn!
  4. It gives you a healthy glow and makes you beautiful thanks to the healthy hormones released (see #1) your skin looks youthful and beautiful. And don’t forget about the smiles it entices, that alone takes years off your face.
  5. It strengthens your relationship with your partner, or with yourself as the case may be. To all you single ladies out there, don’t be afraid to make friends with some very trustworthy toys. It’s the safest sex you can have and the benefits are all the same.

Want to learn more about improving your sex life? Here’s a great link for you: http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/sexuality.htm

…And yes, the G spot is Real…Happy Spring!

© Regina Zopf MD 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Regina Zopf MD with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Accessing this site means you agree to the disclaimer that can be read here.