The Livewell Clinic - July 2019



13375 University Avenue, Suite 100, Clive, IA 50325||515.279.9900


When it comes to managing stress, I often encourage patients to consider how they bookend their day. There are two points in your day that you have complete control over. When you first wake up, you decide if you’re going to sleep for an extra hour and grab a doughnut on your way out the door or if you’re going to get up in time to meditate and eat a filling breakfast. When you get home, you decide how long to scroll through your phone, what TV shows to watch, and what to do with your family. It's that chaos in the middle of your day, that unmitigated stress, that you cannot control. This makes your morning and evening routines so significant to your mental well-being. Personally, I’m a fan of creating a routine that fits into my life. Each morning, I try to go for a walk, do some reading, and spend a few moments staring out my window, watching the birds eat their breakfast. It sounds dorky, I know. But it’s a relaxing way to start the day in between checking in on The Livewell Clinic and bussing the kids around. The evenings can be difficult on my routine, but I try to make sure that I have time to relax. I dim the lights, sip some tea, and clear my head of the day’s thoughts and tasks. I also enjoy doing something mindless, like watching a baseball game or playing a game with the kids. As for my family, I try to keep those relationships to a routine by scheduling time to bond with my kids and planning a lunch or dinner for just my wife and me. Stress can be vital to survival; it’s what has helped mankind evolve over billions of years. But it’s nearly as important to our survival that we find time to relax. Stress is a thermal response that releases hormones throughout your body. When you’re stressed, your body begins to go into

“breakdown mode," because it feels overwhelmed with what it’s being forced to cope with. So, it rightfully begins releasing more hormones in an attempt to shelter the body’s strength, which ultimately throws you off your game. These stress hormones have been shown to damage your brain and memory, stimulate osteoporosis, create abnormalities in women’s bodies, and contribute to significant gut detriments. Essentially, your entire immune system is compromised when you are stressed. But stress can be difficult to pin down. Not getting enough sleep can stress your body. Working out too much can stress your body. Poor nutrition causes stress. This means that if you are not actively rejuvenating yourself, you are letting this silent killer consume you. When you’re filled with the hatred and anger that stress can incite, no amount of exercise or proper nutrition is going to help you. Creating a healthy lifestyle involves stimulating a great mentality and following up with healthy actions. You need to schedule self-care moments, and these can be a vital part to avoiding and fighting off chronic diseases. Think of your body like a car. Before you head off on a road trip, your car needs to be filled with the right fuel. If you don’t recharge and fuel up the tank, the car won’t run, and your trip will be over before it can begin. Likewise, when you’re overwhelmed, stressed, or at a busy point, you need a few breaks before your tank hits empty.

Dr. Zachary Watkins


317-776-9942 515.279.9 00

Published by The Newsletter Pro •


Lynn Lindberg Steps Into the Patient Navigator Role at the Clinic

For the past six years, Lynn Lindberg has been the first face patients see when they visit The Livewell Clinic. Now she’s using that expertise to help our new patients.


Lynn became The Livewell Clinic’s Patient Navigator on April 1. Her main focus is guiding our new patients through their next steps and the early phases of their functional medicine process. Lynn will lead patients through an onboarding process to help them understand their patient portal, review their binder, direct their questions to the proper experts at The Livewell Clinic, and schedule upcoming appointments. This spring, we at The Livewell Clinic realized that we needed to create a better system for welcoming patients into functional medicine. In creating the Patient Navigator position, the leadership team at The Livewell Clinic knew Lynn would be a perfect fit to assist with this necessary improvement. “Probably one of the things I enjoy the most here is connecting with our patients,” Lynn says. “I feel like I get to do that on a deeper level as a Patient Navigator. I get to encourage them, cheer them on, and be their supporter.” Lynn says she has enjoyed the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and develop this position while transitioning into the Patient Navigator role. “Because this was a new position, I get to develop it and think about how to meet our patients’ needs and put those needed resources in place,” Lynn says. For someone who has spent more than half a decade helping our patients, Lynn says she hopes she can use her experiences to set patients up for success in functional medicine. “For me, it’s because we need a different health care option for people. So, for me, having this option available for people, where we get to the root cause, I’ve seen the transformation,” Lynn says. “I’ve seen people come in with no hope, and then leave with renewed hope, and then watched them get better. That’s why I stick around.” We are so glad to have someone like Lynn on our team, and we cannot wait to see how she continues to transform our clinic. Learn more by calling The Livewell Clinic at 515.279.9900.

Hiking has many benefits as a family activity, such as mental health improvement, strengthening your relationships, and experiencing new sights and discoveries together. It’s also great exercise, and you get plenty of quality time, fresh air, and sunshine. Here are three guidelines to help you and your kids have fun on your next hike. Encourage Their Curiosity One of the best ways to have your children learn about the world is letting them explore it. Being there for your children and encouraging them to ask questions about flowers, bugs, or animals you see on the trail will help them expand their vocabulary and learn how things work. When they learn they can explore independently and ask about the world around them, they’re gaining the confidence to teach themselves. Bring Along Some Tools of Discovery Getting your children to engage in nature while you’re out hiking can be as simple as bringing a magnifying glass along with you. Let your kids look at leaves, rocks, insects, or anything else you might come across on the trail. You can also bring binoculars to help them look at a bird that might be perched a little too high up. Another option is a bug holder to let your kids catch smaller insects, such as grasshoppers or pill bugs, and give them a close-up look. Keep Safety in Mind While you’re out on the trail, it's essential to make sure that both you and your family are safe. Wear breathable, noncotton material and sturdy shoes that don’t expose your toes. It’s important to dress according to the weather. For example, if the day is sunny, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and apply plenty of sunscreen on any exposed skin. Bring your kids’ favorite snacks and water bottles for everyone to stay hydrated. It’s crucial that you also bring a fully stocked first-aid kit in case someone is injured on the hike. Starting with one of your local hiking trails can be a rewarding way to spend the day with your kids. You can watch their excitement as they expand their world with new discoveries.


A zebra often spends its day lazily grazing or enjoying a cool drink, with nothing but sustenance on its mind. Yet, when a lion unsuspectingly lunges toward the zebra, the zebra's adrenaline kicks in and its heart fires on all cylinders as it literally runs for its life. Miraculously, when it finally evades the predator, the zebra will once again mindlessly gnaw on grass as if nothing ever happened. But for humans, stress is perpetual. We have moments of heart-racing intensity that cause some severe heart palpitations, but survival isn’t the only stressor in our lives. We are inundated with work, presentations, bills, family obligations, events, and so much more — each with the potential of leaving our immune systems compromised if the stress is not properly managed. Meditation is a practice that has been used to combat stress for centuries, yet skeptics treat it as bunk science. But before you write off mindfulness, consider this: Studies have shown that meditation can improve your attention, reinvigorate your energy levels, and even help you perform better in tests and at work. The biggest misconception about meditation— and what typically dissuades people from trying it — is that beginners believe meditating has to be done a certain way to be considered helpful. On the contrary, JUST RELAX At The Livewell Clinic, patient care is our greatest priority. As a courtesy, we request your assistance in keeping your scheduled appointments and arriving on time, and please keep in mind our late or no-show policies. Late Arrivals: If you arrive at your appointment more than 10 minutes after your scheduled time, we reserve the right to reschedule your appointment to ensure other patients are seen. No-Shows: If you cannot make your appointment, contact us 24 hours in advance to cancel or reschedule. If you don’t do this and don’t show up for your appointment, this will be considered a no-show. • First no-show: This will be documented, and you will be notified. • Second no-show: This will be documented, and the appointment will be deducted from your plan and monthly offerings. Please help us continue to provide the care you and our other patients deserve by arriving on time or notifying us. Thank you for your understanding, and please contact us for more information. Our Late Arrival or No-Show Policies RUNNING LATE?


meditation is about finding the individual peace your body needs and craves. If you’re searching for an introduction to this tried-and-true routine and a way to fit it into your life, look no further than your phone. Calm is a great beginner app. Its features are flexible to a user’s preferences, and the best part is that it offers some programs for free. Another free app that can guide a burgeoning meditator is Insight Timer, which offers guided sessions and a meditation timer. However, the most popular app for meditation is Headspace. It remains so popular because of its reputation, despite costing $12.99 per month. Headspace offers users many options, including meditative sessions for kids, mini programs, and emergency meditation moments. To learn more about your health and tips for living a healthier lifestyle, visit The Livewell Clinic’s blog at or give us a call at 515.279.9900.

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Finding Ways to De-Stress and Achieve Health Success INSIDE 13375 University Avenue, Suite 100 Clive, IA 50325

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Avoid the Summer Heat Somewhere Cool

As the scorching summer sun beats down, it’s hard to remember that just six months ago you were shivering through the winter, whether that meant a chilly 50 F or bitter subzero temperatures. But if cooler temps sound like paradise, and a dip in the pool is no longer keeping you cool, it might be time to take a vacation somewhere chilly. Check out these three destinations to avoid the summer heat. Alaska No place says chilly quite like Alaska. Trips to Alaska can be expensive during this time of year, but when you step into that crisp air with a cool mountainous view, you’ll understand why it’s a popular summer voyage. Travelers can choose to fly or take a cruise ship, and many cities feature tourism-packed excursions. A few notable locations include Anchorage, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Denali National Park and Preserve. Iceland Just as its name suggests, Iceland can be the perfect destination for travelers yearning to get away from the unbearable summer heat. CHILL OUT

Relax in These Cool Destinations This Summer

With temperatures rarely exceeding 60 F — the average high for the country — packing is easy for this relaxing vacation. Take a relaxing dip in one

of the country’s many hot springs or enjoy tremendous views of the fjords. Even better, you can tour the country at any time because it’s sunny almost 24 hours a day. What could be better than a midnight hike around the fourth happiest country in the world? Norway Just because it's summer doesn’t mean you have to give up your skiing hobby! Venture off to Norway and experience some of their most popular summer ski resorts. After a day or two shredding the slopes, experience the popular Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo or choose between numerous outdoor and indoor exhibitions. Best of all, you won’t even break a sweat, as the average temperature in Norway’s hottest month barely hits 70 F. Bordering Sweden and northern Finland, Norway can even be the beginning to a cool European tour this summer.


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