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Tiny gardens: tips for planting container herbs

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Simon and Garfunkel sang a great song about parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, but these herbs are also fabulous to grow and use in your meals. While many individuals do not have green space to grow a full-fledged garden, with a little time, effort and love many can be successful at growing container herbs.

Growing herbs such as basil, chives or cilantro in pots allows you to have them close at hand, perhaps right on the kitchen counter or on a window sill, patio or porch. Not only will these herbs provide you with ingredients for your foods, but they will also add greenery to your living space.

Below are a few tips to get you started on growing your container herbs.

  1. Light. Sun is crucial for growth. Most herbs originate from sunny regions and thus will need exposure to sun for at least eight hours a day. If growing the herbs inside, identify your south-facing window and place your containers to receive the most of the sun through that window. If planting outdoors, place in a sunny spot, protected from the wind.
  2. Seeds or plants? Despite the late arrival of spring, you might be better off starting your herb garden from plants. That means you may have to purchase small herb plants that are ready to go outside or be transplanted into a container for growing indoors. Starting from seeds is less expensive, and you can start seeds right in the pot you will be growing them in. However, these should be started two months in advance of spring, in full sun.
  3. Drainage. The container you will be growing your herbs in must have a nice size hole on the bottom so excess water can drain out. The last thing you need is water-drenched herb roots that will end up rotting. Continue Reading »

5 integrative medicine recommendations for cancer patients

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Cancer affects the whole person: body, mind and spirit, not just the system it targets. Many find that cancer treatment best serves a patient when conventional treatments targeting the body are supported by integrative medicine approaches that help body, mind and spirit. Research-based, proven methods are used by integrative medicine providers to help decrease the side effects of the conventional treatment such as pain, anxiety, dry mouth and sleep disturbances. While supporting the patient’s overall recovery, these five recommendations can help a patient heal and improve peace of mind:

1.)   Acupuncture – Originating 3,000 years ago in China, acupuncture involves placing fine needles into specific points on the body to elicit a healing response. The stimulation of these needles corrects the flow of energy, or qi, along channels throughout the body, called meridians. Studies show acupuncture can help with nausea and dry mouth. The treatment can also be helpful for pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and stress.

2.)   Massage therapy – Another treatment that has been used for thousands of years, massage therapy is a way to heal the body, maintain wellness and to demonstrate compassionate support to others through touch. There are more than 250 variations of massage and bodywork techniques, each helping to induce relaxation, soothe muscles and promote healing. A Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center study showed a 50 percent reduction in the symptoms of fatigue, pain and anxiety in cancer patients when they received regular massage therapy treatments. Continue Reading »

The Transition from Cancer Patient to Survivor

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I attended a cancer continuing education course back in ’10-‘11 which covered all manner of topics related to patients that have been diagnosed with cancer. One of the most interesting pieces of advice that our speaker gave and that many different groups are taking up as well is that an individual becomes a cancer survivor the moment they are diagnosed. Maybe it would be difficult for you, but I know that personally it would take me less than 2 minutes to name at least 10 people or more that have been diagnosed with some type of cancer within the last 1-2 years alone. Survivorship is extremely different and personal to each individual and can even be separated into different descriptive terms depending on the stage that person is at within their care:

  • Acute survivorship – refers to right after diagnosis or during treatment
  • Extended survivorship – completion of treatment or several months post
  • Permanent survivorship – after treatment has been completed and measured in years Continue Reading »

Newborn screening for Cystic Fibrosis: a vital first test

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May was National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, but it’s never a bad time to be mindful of the condition that affects approximately one in 2,500 to one in 3,500 Caucasian newborns. Cystic fibrosis causes thick, sticky mucus to build up and impact certain organs such as the lungs and pancreas. To facilitate early treatment and minimize symptoms, all infants in Wisconsin are tested for cystic fibrosis during their newborn screenings.

Newborn screening, a test that reaches each of the more than four million babies born in the United States every year, is coordinated on the state level by the public health department. It ensures that all babies are screened for certain serious conditions at birth, and it allows providers to immediately start treatment for babies who are identified with a condition. This testing is important because many babies born with one of the testable conditions may not initially look or act differently, so parents and providers may not otherwise know there is a reason to be concerned. The sooner a condition is caught, the more proactive providers can be with treatment. Continue Reading »

St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer Services actively seeking recruits

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Would you or someone you know—a neighbor, parent, or college student—make a great volunteer? St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer Services is looking for enthusiastic and energetic volunteers who want to stay active and have fun while helping others. If you’re interested in helping ensure patients receive the best care possible, you’re exactly the kind of volunteer that is needed.

Volunteer shifts are available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At least one four-hour shift once a week is ideal. As a volunteer, you can:

  • Meet new people and create friendships
  • Share talents, skills and experiences
  • Assist our patients, visitors and associates
  • Explore health care careers
    • Gain information, education or training
    • Use Affinity library services
    • Attend Affinity Health System training and development courses
    • Participate in a variety of special programs offered by Affinity Health System.
    • Make a difference in our community

These and other benefits are waiting for volunteers at St. Elizabeth Hospital. If you would like to make a meaningful difference in our community, fill out the online application here. Students ages 15-18 who are looking to volunteer can find opportunities to do so with the St. Elizabeth Student Program.

Studies show that volunteers feel good physically and emotionally when they help others, and volunteer assignments are matched to individual talents and interests. It’s easy to get started. For more information or to apply, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer Services section online at affinityhealth.org/volunteer or call us at 920.738.2425

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.