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Nutrition And LifeStyle


  • What does Chinese Medicine say about Lifestyle?
  • What is TLC?
  • How do I get help with making TLC's?
  • What is Body Composition?
  • How do you measure Body Composition?
  • Why is Body Composition the basis of your TLC program?
  • What kinds of Exercise do you recommend?
  • What about Stress Management?


What does Chinese Medicine say about Lifestyle?

    It is a fascinating fact that centuries ago, doctors in China were paid only when their patients remained healthy!  How could this possibly work?  Only by following the fundamental tenet of Traditional Chinese Medicine that states 'first and foremost, look to the food and living habits before prescribing any other treatment.'  
These doctors and patients knew the undeniable value of nourishing food, physical activity, rest, expressing emotions and avoiding known toxins.  What held true then, holds true today.  When we are encouraged, time and again, to eat right, exercise, get a good nights sleep, reduce stress and avoid junk, it is advice rooted in generations of wisdom.


What is T.L.C.?
    T.L.C. means Therapeutic Lifestyle Choices/Changes.  It is a modern term that describes exactly what Chinese Medicine means by 'food and living habits.'  TLC means making choices everyday that will enhance health and help prevent disease.  Quality foods, gentle movement/exercise, restorative sleep, avoidance of toxins and stress management are all significantly in our personal control.
Modern scientific research, confirming centuries of TCM wisdom, now demonstrates that many chronic diseases are largely caused by lifestyle choices and habits.  A therapeutic lifestyle program is now recommended by the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) and other leading health organizations as a primary therapy for individuals with heart disease, elevated triglycerides &/or  cholesterol, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome, plus many other conditions.


How do I get help with makingTLC's?
    Transition To Health specializes in therapeutic lifestlye education and treatment with one-on-one counseling for diet, exercise, stress management and, if warrented, nutritional/herbal supplementation.  Debi Weiss has trained and is a certified healthcare provider for both Metagenics FirstLine Therapy and The Schwarzbein Principle by Dr. Diana Schwarzbein.  
    At Transition To Health we offer three TLC programs:

1.  The Health & TLC Assessment.:  This is a 90 minute appointment that includes a thorough intake of your lifestyle and health concerns, a BIA to assess body composition, and recommendations directed toward achieving your health goals.  
    Patients find The Health & TLC Assessment a valuable first step in understanding their state of health, identifying current habits that work for or against their health goals, and knowing more clearly their readiness to make lifestyle changes.        

 2.  The Ideal Weight & Lifestyle Program:  A 12 week TLC program.  Body
composition, as measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) serves as the foundation for all recommended therapeutic lifestyle changes.  The Ideal Weight & Lifestyle program consists of weekly 75 minute appointments for acupuncture and microcurrent treatment, dietary guidance, exercise modification, stress management and regular BIA's. 
The success of the Ideal Weight & Lifestyle Program is the unique microcurrent therapy and the individual one-on-one professional support provided during this process of change.  Many patients, after completing the 12 week program return for monthly support appointments, or quarterly visits as food and exercise habits adjust to the seasonal changes.  

 3.  The Book Club:  The Transition To Health Book Club offers a group approach to the ongoing discovery, exploration and understanding of health concerns and therapeutic lifestyle.  Specific books are used to guide discussion.  The Book Club meets monthly for 75 minutes. 


What is Body Composition?

    Generally speaking, body composition refers to the ratio of body fat to lean (muscle) tissue.  As the body's fat-to-lean ratio increases, so do health risks.  Unhealthy body composition often leads to obesity and is associated with many critical heatlh conditions including: 

  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides/cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Back and joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression
  • Menstrual imbalance 


How do you measure Body Composition?

    Body composition cannot be measured on the bathroom scale or determined from the much-used Body Mass Index (BMI) charts because neither of these tools can measure and determine the fat-to-lean ratio.  The two most accurate ways to measure body composition is the Waist-to-Hip ratio (WHR) and the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA).  Both of these methods are utilized in the TLC programs at Transition To Health.


Why is Body Composition the basis of your TLC programs?

    Responsible medicine needs to look at the effects of both body fat and lean muscle tissue.  Science now understands that body fat is, in fact, metabolic tissue.  This means that fat doesn't just hang around in places we wish it didn't, but that fat cells are active.  Body fat produces inflammatory chemicals and hormones that can, at a minimum, aggravate existing diseases or health conditions.  Increased body fat stresses the circulatory systems of blood and lymph to expand in accomodation.  Body fat also puts pressure on vital internal organs, compromising their function.

    Lean muscle tissue is also active, but in a very different way.  Nourishing and building lean muscle directly supports our metabolism and health.

    Most diet/nutritional programs do not pay attention to body composition.  It is not good enough to simply recommend weight loss and not know whether fat, muscle or both are being lost.  The corrolation of altered body composition and chronic health issues is so strong that in 1995 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened an Expert Panel to encourage programs for improving body composition. 


What kinds of Exercise do you recommend?
    Our recommendations depend upon your current activity level.  We always recommend a combination of aerobic movement and strength training. Both forms of exercise are vital for a healthy metabolism.  Many people underestimate strength training, but building muscle is what creates the furnace of metabolism.

    Secondly, we recommend that these activities become a regular part of your lifestyle.  Numerous studies now show that the intensity of exercise is not as important as regular exercise.  Exercise needs to become a lifelong habit.  That is why it is important to chose activities that are enjoyable.  A daily brisk walk combined with light strength training every other day can reap significant health benefits.

We also refer to personal trainers for folks who need those specific services.  



What about Stress Management? 

"A man ninety years old was asked to what he attributed his longevity.

  "I reckon,' he said, whith a twinkle in his eye,

 'It's because most nights I went to bed and slept

when I should have sat up and worried.'" 

(Dorothea Kent)


    It is a fact that 75-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints or disorders.  Stress has been linked to all of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis and suicide.

    Stress is not the actual events in our lives.  Stress is our body's reaction to life's events.  When we are confronted with a stressful situation, our body produces a 'stress response' with the release of adreneline as a way to boost our energy to deal with the situation.  Our heart, lungs, brain and muscles are the primary beneficiary of this boost, while the needs our digestion and reproduction functions are set aside.  This is known as the 'fight or flight' response.  Once the stressful situation is resolved, our nervous system calms and our body goes back into a balance of functions.

    While the fight or flight reaction is life-saving, life in this modern 24/7 world creates what is best described as 'burn-out'.  What is meant to be an immediate reaction to an acute situation becomes a prolonged physiological response, much like a car parked and in nuetral, but with the gas excellerator pressed to the floor.  The car's engine and gas is being burned while it is standing still.  Just as the car will eventually shut down under this abnormal strain, so do our bodies under stress.


What triggers a stress response?

    When Tradtional Chinese Medicine looks at what causes imbalances and disease, it considers Emotions (worry, anxiety, unresolved aggitation/anger, grief, not feeling safe, etc.), the Environment ('germs'/pathogens, toxic exposure, extreme cold, heat, damp or dryness),

    Trauma/accidents, Diet and an imbalance lifestyle---something akin to 'hard fast living' or 'sex, drugs, rock & roll'.

    It is impossible to avoid stress, but is within our power to manage our life to minimize the negative effects of stress. 
In our FirstLine Therapy program, we advocate eight stress management techniques:

  • Sleep:  Sleep is essential in restoring health and vitality.  Studies show that longevity is impacted with 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Diet:  A balanced nutritious diet supports our body in dealing with daily stress.
  • Exercise:  It is important to exercise regularly to relax the nervous tension aspect of stress.
  • Relaxation Techniques:  Practicing regular relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, prayer/meditation, massage, acupuncture, walking, etc. result in decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
  • Embrace a positive attitude & sense of humor:  One strong aspect of the Mind-Body Connection is the role of neurotransmitters in balancing our moods and physical tension.  A positive attitude, often in the form of gratitude, and laughter, directly  stimulate these neurotransmitters and give us equilibrium.
  • Practice Effective Communication:  Mindful listening is as important as clearly speaking.  Enormous stress is created when we substitute assuming for communicating.
  • Manage Time Efficiently:  Allowing our time to be overwhelmed with demands creates the stress of 'a bottomless pit'---no matter how hard or fast we go about our duties, we seldom feel caught up or accomplished.  This leads to burn-out.  Prioritize and ask for help.
  • Develop Leisure Activities:  This starts with effective time management.  Doing activities that bring enjoyment and gratification will directly decrease stress.  



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