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  • MS-02-214

    y o u r g u i d e t o l i v i n g w e l l

    Following the mind|body connectionCan your mind make you well?

    High anxiety after September 11

    Medical marvels

    healthy mindhealthy body

    y o u r g u i d e t o l i v i n g w e l l

    Following the mind|body connectionCan your mind make you well?

    High anxiety after September 11

    Medical marvels

    healthy mindhealthy body

    Spring 2002

  • Did you know?Sudden changes in the weather and atmospheric pressure may bring on a

    barometer headache. That's the dull pain you feel when the air pressure in your sinus cavities no longer matches the outside pressure, causing a

    painful vacuum. Aspirin may relieve pain, but a nasal decongestant that shrinks sinus

    swelling and drains passages may give longer lasting results. If the pain and fullness

    persist, consult your physician. You may have a more serious infection. O

    If youre a woman of childbearing age, you should know about a key vitamin that may help

    prevent birth defects, particularly spina bifida. Folic acid, found in leafy green vegetables, orange juice, and peanuts, comes up short in many womens diets. Ask your

    doctor if a daily multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid is a good idea. O

    Have you heard about the environmental hazard you may have right inside your

    medicine cabinet? Sealed in a tiny glass tube, mercury has safely measured tempera-

    tures for years, but on the loose, its extremely toxic. Many communities have issued a

    thermometer recall, swapping environmentally safe, non-mercurythermometers for old ones. Call your local or state environmental protection agency.

    In no circumstances should you toss your old thermometer in the garbage! O

    Want to avoid getting a cold? Wash your hands. Most respiratory infections are passed

    along by what we touch, whether its a handshake or a doorknob. A recent study,

    Operation Stop Cough, compared two groups of naval recruits those required to wash their hands with soap five times a day, and those who followed

    their usual habits. The heavy handwashers prevailed reducing colds by 45%. O

    OO X F O R D H E A L T H . C O MVisited any award-winning web sites lately?At the end of 2001, received two major accolades. For a second consecutive

    year, CIO Magazine named us one of the top 50 web sites in the world. Judges for the Web Business

    50 Awards found our site exemplary of the highest level of business value, design effectiveness,

    and innovative technology use achievable on the web today. And thats not all. A leading Internet

    publication, eHealthcare Strategies & Trends, awarded us three eHealthcare Platinum Leadership

    Awards the highest award level for Best Overall Internet Site, Best Interactive Site, and

    Best e-Business Site.

    Now handling approximately 400,000 web-based transactions per month, Oxford will continue to

    blend technology and design with the needs of our Members, employer groups, providers, and

    brokers. Check out the oxfordhealth Center, our newest addition to your personalized home page,

    MyOxford,SM where youre only a click away from the latest health news, exercise discounts,

    preventive exam reminders, and more.

  • y o u r g u i d e t o l i v i n g w e l l

    healthy mindhealthy body

    healthy mindhealthy body

    Spring 2002

    C O N T E N T S

    Chief Executive Officer Norman C. Payson, MDPresident and COO Charles G. BergVice President, Marketing Chuck GreenManager, Member Marketing Meg DedmanEditor Stephanie GebingMedical Editor Ronald C. Brown, MD, FACP

    Healthy Mind Healthy Body is published exclusively for Oxford Health Plans by:Onward Publishing, Inc.10 Lewis Road, Northport, NY 11768Tel 631-757-3030 Fax 631-754-0522

    Publisher Jeffrey BaraschCreative Director Melissa BaraschEditorial Director Wendy MurphyArt Director Bruce McGowinDesigner Lisanne SchnellProject Management Tamyra ZieranBusiness Manager Liz Lynch

    Oxford Health Plans, Inc., and Onward Publishing, Inc.,are not responsible for typographical errors.

    The information provided in this newsletter is intended to be used as a general guide and should not replace the advice of your physician.Always consult your physician before undertaking any medication or treatment that could impact yourhealth. Please discuss any concerns you have about the information contained in this publication with your healthcare provider before acting on it.

    2002 Onward Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

    S P E C I A L T O P I C

    High anxiety after September 11

    W E L L N E S S

    Are you an apple or a pear?

    N U T R I T I O N

    Too much on our plates

    C O V E R S T O R Y

    Can your mind make you well?

    P A T H S T O W E L L N E S S

    How can I cure my insomnia?

    P H Y S I C I A N S P O T L I G H T

    The medical marvel team

    N E W S Y O U C A N U S E

    Membership updates

    L I V I N G W E L L

    Wine, women, & feeling woozy










    Its spring and Healthy Mind Healthy Body has a bright, new look.This publication is designed just for you to give you the latest information on a wide range of

    health topics, as well as updates on your plan benefits. We hope you enjoy your guide to living well.

    Please feel free to e-mail your comments to us at, or write to: Oxford Health Plans,

    c/o Stephanie Gebing, 48 Monroe Turnpike, Trumbull, CT 06611.


    1 3

  • S P E C I A L T O P I C4

    High anxiety

    These individuals are going through what mental health

    professionals now recognize as post traumatic stress disorder

    (PTSD). The defining element in PTSD is exposure to a

    trauma whose impact overwhelms the individual's capacity

    to recover and function adequately. Once thought to exist

    specifically as a by-product of wartime combat, where it was

    known as shell shock, PTSD is now seen to occur in a

    wider range of circumstances. These include sexual assault,

    domestic violence, or the experience of a horrendous

    accident, catastrophic illness, or natural disaster. Manmade

    acts of terrorism, like the attacks of September 11, are

    among the most potent psychological wounds because

    they are so unexpected and because their impact so often

    goes beyond anyone's ability to imagine them.

    Experts estimate that between one in four Americans

    continue to experience some degree of heightened anxiety

    since September 11, and that one in ten have symptoms

    whose duration and severity will require some form of

    RR E S O U R C E S Anxiety Disorder Association of America11900 Park Lawn Drive, Suite 200Rockville,

    National Institute for Mental Health6001 Executive Boulevard, RM 8184 MSC 9663Bethesda, MA

    Veterans Adminstration Centers

    OO X F O R D I N F OIf you have questions about PTSD or Oxfords Behavioral Health Program, you can e-mail us

    after September 11

    Most of us have emerged from the tragic events of last September

    emotionally intact. Thanks to the help of friends, family, clergy, and

    the U.S. community, as well as much of the world, we have been able to

    regain our bearings despite shock and sorrow. In some cases we have

    emerged even stronger than before. But a surprisingly large number

    and this may include someone close to you have not fared so well,

    suffering prolonged changes in emotional and physical well-being.

  • 5

    D o Y o u H a v e P T S D ?

    Dr. Matthew Friedman, Director of the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, says that the diagnostic criteria for this disorder include the following symptoms exhibited over an extended period:

    intrusive memories, flashbacks, or nightmares so real that the individual repeatedly relives the original emotional terror

    avoidance and numbing, in which the person goes to extrememeasures to avoid situations places, people, activities that may trigger memories, losing the capacity for intimacy and love in the process

    persistent irritability, agitation, hypervigilance, insomnia,uncontrollable crying, or a sense of doom

    underlying feelings of guilt and unworthiness in having survived

    growing dependence on alcohol and sedatives to lessen theemotional pain

    professional help to regain balance. These long-term

    sufferers are not simply weak links in a crowd of

    braver hearts and thicker skins. Some have actually

    performed heroically at the moment of crisis. In addi-

    tion, those who were not physically close to the action

    or lost a loved one can also experience PTSD. Many of

    the affected witnessed the events on television and knew

    no one who died or was injured. The fact is there are

    few predictors in knowing who will suffer PTSD. One

    thing is clear anyone who has undergone some

    earlier life-threatening experience is at heightened risk.

    The worry for all of us is that these people have not

    recognized their own suffering or have chosen to keep

    it private rather than seek healing.

    Though PTSD bears many symptoms in common with

    depression and anxiety, certain features distinguish it.

    Dr. Terence M. Keane, a leading researcher in PTSD,

    describes reliving, preoccupation with the traumatic

    event, and avoidance as key markers. Sufferers simp


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