Taking Control of Depression

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Depression. One word that can mean so many things. For those who have lived with or currently live with depression, you know very well the effects it can have on your daily life. Depression can drain not only your physical energy, but also your hopes, motivation, enjoyment, and personal drive. You may be aware of all the steps to getting better, but you just cannot get yourself to take even the first one. If this sounds all too familiar to you, you are not alone. And there is hope.

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Exercises for Back Pain

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Back pain. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know how debilitating it can be. In this post, I will be discussing simple exercises that you can do to strengthen your core muscles, help alleviate back pain, and prevent future injury. For a more detailed discussion on back pain, please refer to this article

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Being Empowered for Your Health

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Have you ever left one of your health appointments disappointed with your visit? Maybe you had just spoken to a health care professional, but instead of feeling like all of your concerns were addressed, you found yourself with even more questions? In this post, I will provide you practical tools that you can starting putting into use today that will empower you in your health care visits by helping you prepare for encounters you might have with the health care system–whether it is a routine doctor’s visit or an unexpected trip to the ER—and by helping you make the most out of your interactions with your health care professionals.

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The Ketogenic Diet: Fact or Fad?

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Over the past year, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the ketogenic diet. Not surprisingly, I have encountered many questions regarding them. What is it? Is it safe? Would I recommend it? 

Despite the recent trend, a “ketogenic diet” is actually not new at all. In the 1970’s, Dr. Atkins popularized his low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other popular diets also incorporated similar approaches for weight loss. But in medicine, we have been using this method for almost a century to treat some forms of epilepsy, especially drug-resistant types in children.

As you know, whenever something is popularized, much information goes around—some accurate, some not so accurate. The purpose of this post is to summarize for you what the medical community actually knows so far through its research on the health effects of ketogenic diets. This post is not to make a stance either for or against, because as you will see, there are both pros and potential cons (as well as some unknowns); rather, I simply want to equip you with the right information in order to empower you to make the best decision for your personal situation.

So let’s get started!

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How to Stay Motivated

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Do you ever find yourself losing interest in something you know is good for you? Maybe you took a healthy living course and for a while you were gung ho to make changes in your life…but then the determination faded — and you found yourself going back to your old, bad health habits.

If you do…you are not alone.

The key to continuing down the path towards better health and wellness (or whatever goal you have set for yourself) is to keep a positive mindset and to not allow yourself to get discouraged–even when you experience a setback. Not sure how to maintain your motivation? Read on–this guide will give you some practical tips on how to do just that.

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Stress and Your Health

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Do you often feel stressed out? Do you have things in your life that frequently cause you high levels of stress? Do you find that you have little time for self-care, or you spend most of your time caring for others? Do you just feel burned out?

If you do, you are not alone. 

In this post, I will talk about the effects of stress on your body—both short and long term (chronic) stress—and then introduce the most fundamental aspect of Stress Management: the identification of the causes of your stress and the identification of unhealthy coping mechanisms. In subsequent posts, I will discuss tried and true Stress Management techniques that have been proven to work in both lowering stress and decreasing the harmful effects of it on your health.

This post is the first in a series on Stress Management. The other articles are listed below for your convenience:

Taking Control of Stress (part I)
Taking Control of Stress (part II)
Instant Relaxation Techniques
Complete Relaxation Techniques

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