Poverello has a 12-year history of providing health and wellness services at The Friends Fitness Center newly renamed the Live Well Center. These services are often referred to as Complementary and Alternative Medicine or CAM. CAM has increasingly become the focus of scientific research. CAM refers to diverse therapeutic practices that are not presently considered a part of medical practice in the U.S., where allopathic medicine forms the basis of the national health care system (WHO 2002). Examples of CAM include exercise, yoga, herbal remedies, acupuncture, chiropractic care and massage.

Researchers believe that CAM, along with standard medicine and proper nutrition produce the best health outcomes possible for PLWHA. These CAM practices can be particularly advantageous for the aging HIV population.

  • Roenn Roubenoff M.D., found that physical exercise has positive effects for PLWHA. He documented that regular physical activity results in less cardio-vascular and musculoskeletal problems. He also found HIV progression is slowed.
  • Cherkin, D.C., &  Eisenberg, D., et.al. found that massage is effective for a variety of illnesses such as high blood pressure and rapid heart rate; they found it enhanced weight gain in those with illness-related low body weight, relieved/reduced certain types of back pain and, reduced anxiety and relieved stress.
  • RAND researchers found that the chiropractic care is effective for the treatment of depression, osteoarthritis, and chronic liver disease.
  • Research by Patterson C, & Britten N. found benefits from acupuncture among people with chronic illness. “In addition to changes in their presenting symptoms people experienced whole-person effects that were characterized by changes in strength and energy.”

We encourage the HIV-positive community, regardless of age, living in Broward County to come and access these important complimentary therapies. While you do not need to be a Poverello food pantry client to access Live Well Center services, you do have to go through our standard intake process. We look forward to continuing to play a vital role in the health and wellness of the aging HIV-positive community in Broward County.

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