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Life in the Valley

Winter 2014

Health

Mental health often forgotten

Wealth

Think creatively to hang on to yours

Published ub s ed by

Alberni Valley

NEWS


2 Alberni Valley News

Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

What’s Inside

10

12

www.albernivalleynews.com

3 Are we stressing out our kids? 5 Depression not ‘just the blues’ 7 Life insurance is for the living 8 Talk mortgage with your notary 9 Go green and save 10 Give your body a break 12 How to build your nest egg 13 Calming the storm within 14 Are you mortgage smart? Production and advertising by

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Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

Alberni Valley News 3

Are we

stressing out

our kids?

M

Anxieties, phobias and stress, oh my!

ore and more I am hearing about the many faces of anxieties interrupting the lives of so many children and their families. Anxieties can come in many forms, shapes and sizes and can show themselves at the most inopportune times; such as getting a straight A student to school, getting a child who loves playing soccer out of the car, sporadic bedwetting incidents, nail biting, pacing, impulsive crying or yelling, a shift in attitude and so many more. So it makes you wonder if we are “overscheduling” our children, asking more from them than they are capable of—giving them more responsibilities than age appropriate or just parenting all wrong. Children did not come with a “Parenting for Idiots” guide book; it is a process of trial and error, and most of the times parents are getting it right.

Some anxieties are unknowingly handed down from parent to child. Parents can project their fears and anxieties on to their child by saying something as simple as, “Don’t pet that dog, dogs are bad and will bite you when you turn away from them,” leaving their child afraid of dogs for no good reason other than their parent’s bad experience with one dog. Some children can use their fears and anxieties to their advantage as they seek attention from a parent or caregiver, but the majority of children who illustrate anxieties with head and stomach ache are truly suffering. Most parents know their children better than anyone else on this planet and will be able to detect when their child is being honest or is seeking attention. Some anxieties can be learned behaviours and can come from watching a scary movie, overhearing an adult conversation or talking with

older friends or siblings and not really understanding all of the words spoken. True anxieties are within the child. These children live with constant “What if ” questions, and can “catastrophize” any situation; they truly and honestly believe that their fears and anxieties could come true. Communication with your child is the first step in understanding the fear. Once a child has revealed their fears and anxieties parents can then start to dissect the fear or anxiety and try to locate its source. If a child is unable to talk with their parent it will be important for the parent to not take it personally, and find a trusted adult who the child will confide in. If the parent is able to work with their child, giving them calming strategies, this should help tremendously, but if the parent is unable to help their child it will be important to seek further assistance with a health care provider. Ongoing anxieties can cause internal

pain and suffering to children; some children can shut down while others will act out. Being aware of your child’s activities, friends, school work, computer games, iPod downloads and DS games will give you a clear understanding of your child’s lifestyle; children will always test parents, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the parent to oversee the life of their child. Know your child, be open for conversation with your child and let your child bring you into their world in order for you to fully understand who they are and what they like. No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behaviour, and I’m not talking about the kids. Their behaviour is always normal.— Bill Cosby

This article was provided by Janis Joseph, BA, behaviour consultant and parenting coach.


4 Alberni Valley News

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Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

Treating pain a tricky business

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ll of us have experienced pain at one point or another. Most of us would probably have little trouble describing the experience, often with colourful adjectives. Even the definition of pain reads: a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder. Understanding pain, however, is much more difficult. So let’s start with the easy part. When there is an injury to some part of your body (like when you step on something sharp) it is detected by a group of nerves called nociceptors. Nociceptors are most concentrated in areas prone to injury, such as your fingers and toes. When nociceptors detect an injury, they relay messages along the nerves up to your

spinal cord. Your spinal cord then transmits this message directly to your brain. When news of your sore foot travels up the spinal cord, it arrives at the thalamus – a sorting and switching station deep inside your brain. The thalamus forwards the message simultaneously to three specialized regions of the brain: the physical sensations region that identifies and localizes the pain, the emotional feeling region that experiences suffering, and the thinking region that assigns meaning to the pain. Your brain can respond to the pain message by sending a signal back down your leg telling the muscles how to react to decrease the pain. When the pain is intense, this whole process happens before you are

even aware of it. Okay, here’s the part where it gets a bit more complicated. There are cells at each stage along the nerve pathway that can modify the pain signal to increase or decrease the intensity of the signal that gets to your brain. Have you ever banged your hand on something and thought that you were mortally injured, only to discover that there is not even a mark on you? This is an example of the signal being amplified. Weak signals can be filtered out so that you don’t even notice. Ever find a bruise or a cut that you’re not really sure how you acquired it? That’s probably a good example of filtering. So, as if that wasn’t complicated enough, your

experiences and emotional state can also have a huge impact on your experience pain. On the other hand athletes can often condition themselves to endure pain that would incapacitate others. As can be seen from the brief outline above, treating pain is a trick business. How someone responds to pain often determines how fast an injury can be rehabilitated. One of the biggest challenges of rehabilitation is to ensure that clients react appropriately to their pain, and try to make the process of healing as quick as possible. This article was provided by Ben Chatterson, Rehab in Motion, with an office in Port Alberni. www.rehabinmotion. com

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Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

Alberni Valley News 5

Depression

is much more than a case of the ‘blues’ Advances in both medicine and attitude are helping people conquer this mental illness, says the Canadian Mental Health Association

A

major depressive disorder — usually just called “depression” — is different than the “blues”, says the Canadian Mental Health Association. Someone experiencing depression is grappling with feelings of severe despair over an extended period of time. Almost every aspect of their life can be affected, including their emotions, physical health, relationships and work. For people with depression, it does not feel like there is a “light at the end of the tunnel” — there is just a long, dark tunnel.” The CMHA webpage goes on to say that “one of Canada’s most common illnesses is also the least understood. Everyone feels “blue” or sad from time to time. It’s a normal life experience. But when these emotions increase in intensity, persist for more than a few weeks, and start to interfere with a person’s life, it may signal depression. No amount of “cheering up”

can make the depression go away; no amount of exercise, vitamins or vacation can make it disappear. That’s because depression is an illness, not a weakness.” To combat this illness, professional counseling along with medication makes a very effective team. There are a number of effective medications available, but they work in slightly different ways so one medication may be more effective than another as far as each individual is concerned. Most antidepressants work by affecting the neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Different drugs affect these neurotransmitters in different ways. It sometimes takes a few tries to find the right one, so be patient. Some things to consider when trying a medication are 1: Your symptoms. If you are experiencing a lack of energy as one of your depression symptoms, an antidepressant

that gives you a little boost of energy may be the right choice. If you can’t sleep, a medication that makes you a little drowsy may make more sense. 2: Possible side-effects. The most common reason for stopping a medication (other than not being effective) is side-effects. If they persist and are bothersome, maybe a change is in order. But remember, it most likely will take at least a couple of weeks or more to be able to say for sure how the medication is working (or not) for you. Side-effects may be experienced from the first day of your therapy or may take weeks or even months to appear. Keeping a record of how you feel day to day may help you to track your progress against this illness and is a good basis for discussion with your physician as you counsel together. 3: Are you pregnant or breastfeeding? Some antidepressants are not safe when taken during pregnancy

or if you are breastfeeding. 4: Other health conditions. Some medications may cause other health conditions like hypertension to worsen, or may have unwanted effects on certain organs like liver, kidneys or bladder. Your doctor can assess the risk versus benefits in these cases and advise you of your choices. Most of the newer classes of antidepressants have fewer side-effects and much better results than some of the early medications. They have become very useful tools in our fight against this debilitating illness we call depression. Although we can’t “cure” depression anymore than we can “cure” diabetes, we have made great strides in understanding this illness and many people now have a better quality of life thanks to these medications. Larry Johannessen, B.Sc. Pharm, owns both Medicine Shoppes in Port Alberni.


6 Alberni Valley News

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Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

Citywide Wi-Fi on deck

WAWMEESH G. HAMILTON

ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS

Shaw Wi-Fi will soon be accessible throughout the city. City councillors voted to allow staff to negotiate a package with Shaw that will make Wi-Fi accessible for all city residents whether they are Shaw customers or not. “Wi-Fi is so prevalent. Think of the economic impact. It’s the way of the world now,” Coun. Cindy Solda said. “If we want to go forward this is a great start.” According to city manager of information and technology Jeff Pellech, Shaw officials approached city staff about placing Wi-Fi equipment on city infrastructure in recreation centres and busy

public places. The city already provides free Wi-Fi at city hall, Echo Centre, Harbour Quay and the AV Multiplex. There are electricity costs associated with the project. Outdoor access points will cost $25 per year and indoor ones $14 per year. Adding Shaw’s equipment and capability throughout the city has several benefits, Pellech said. A free Wi-Fi network would help promote the city as a progressive wireless community. It would promote greater civic engagement. And city staff cellphone charges could decrease if employees were able to access Wi-Fi. Coun. Cindy Solda said that the plan doesn’t include the

Johnston Road corridor. “I won’t support it if Johnston Road isn’t covered,” she said. Pellech replied that even the city’s existing Wi-Fi doesn’t cover city streets outside of city hall, the multiplex, library and Echo pool. Council later said that Shaw should be lobbied to include Johnston Road in its proposal. Coun. Rob Cole asked how much bigger an area Shaw would cover than the city does presently. “Geographically speaking, plus Johnston, threeto-five times the area,” Pellech said. Mayor John Douglas asked about the contract period and data cap that would impact non-Shaw customers. Pellech replied that the contract length is to be determined but suggested negotiating a

two- to five-year term. As well, there would potentially be a 500 megabyte data cap. “”My wife uses 250 megabytes per month,” he said. There are personal data plans that allow for one to three gigabytes, Pellech added. Port Alberni isn’t alone in the Wi-Fi issue. According to Pellech, Shaw has approached several municipalities in B.C. and in Alberta with the same project. A special working group made up of municipal information managers has been struck to standardize agreements between their cities and Shaw, Pellech said. Parts of the group’s work could be used in Alberni’s negotiations, he added. reporter@albernivalleynews.com Twitter.com/AlberniNews

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Alberni Valley News 7

Why life insurance?

Insurance is for those left behind after a death

W

hen it comes to buying life insurance, it’s easy to procrastinate and put off the decision. Some people push the thought completely out of their minds, thinking, “Why put money into something that won’t pay until after I’m dead?” Good question, but life insurance isn’t really for the person whose life is insured. It gives protection and security to the living — the spouse, children, and loved ones left behind after the insured person dies. Depending on the value of the policy, the person named as the beneficiary could receive $10,000, $100,000 or even $1 million. That money could go a long way toward paying funeral costs, the mortgage and day-to-day bills. Your insurance advantage One of the major advantages of owning life insurance, in addition to protecting your family, is that the death benefit you receive from a life insurance policy is tax-free — and we all know that’s a good thing. Obviously, the higher the policy’s death benefit or the type of insurance purchased, the higher the amount you pay for your coverage (the premium). Each kind of life insurance has its advantages and limitations. Depending on your life stage and other

factors, one kind may meet your needs better than the other. How much is enough? When most people think about life insurance, they usually have two main questions: how much coverage do I need, and how long do I need it for? Many financial experts advise that the total value of all your life insurance policies should equal five to seven times your annual income. If you’re the primary salary earner, you should have coverage that equals six to 10 times your annual income; and if you’re a young adult with a mortgage and children, your coverage should be closer to the high end of the range. Why is this ratio so high? If your household’s income is $70,000 a year and your family has $200,000 worth of life insurance, almost three times your annual earnings, how far would that money go? There are numerous expenses that your spouse would have to cover if you die: the $150,000 mortgage, childcare, education, car loans and funeral expenses. The death benefit could quickly disappear. When considering how much insurance to purchase, you should think about how

much it would cost to maintain your family’s standard of living if you were to die. Company credibility As a consumer, you have access to some protection if your life insurance company goes bankrupt. The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Compensation Corporation (CLHIC) is a federally incorporated, non-profit company that guarantees the payment of benefits (up to specific limits) to policyholders when a company is unable to pay its debts. To check up on the health of the insurance companies, annual financial reports and periodicals like the Stone & Cox publication 2007 Canadian Life & Financial Services Directory are helpful. The number of life insurance policies a company has in force is one good indicator of their financial strength. Logging on to several insurance companies’ websites is a great way to find out what they’re offering. Advisor expertise When important changes happen in your life — starting a new job, the birth of a child,

buying a home, approaching retirement — your needs change. Those life events are a perfect time to contact an insurance advisor to help you re-evaluate your needs. Advisors can: • outline the many insurance choices available and explain their features. • send you updates about the latest products and services on the market. • customize a financial strategy designed to meet your specific financial goals. It’s a good idea to have concerns and questions prepared before that first contact in order to have a valuable meeting with your advisor. Make sure you don’t sign anything until you’re absolutely certain you’re getting exactly what you want. Life insurance is a key component of a personal financial plan. It’s investing in security so that your loved ones can complete their hopes and dreams. Wynita Jaworski is a financial advisor with Sunlife.


8 Alberni Valley News

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Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

We, the notary public

Mortgage brokers, notaries team up for mortgage refinancing

W

hen refinancing most people go to their bank to get approved for additional funds. There is also the option of going through a mortgage broker, who will assist you in finding a mortgage that meets your needs. A mortgage is essentially security for money lent. Mortgages most commonly charge only real property (land), however, the charge can be over any type of property; real property, personal property or incorporeal property. Normally an appraisal is required to get approved for a mortgage. This is done

to ensure the value of the property. The banks tend to use their own “appraiser” and will not always accept an appraisal ordered by the borrower. Once you are approved for the mortgage, the mortgage is sent for preparation and registration to a notary public or lawyer of your choice. When a notary public represents the borrower, the notary public does the following in addition to the preparation and registration of the mortgage : 1. Looks at title for any defects or errors that may negatively affect the borrower and/or the lender;

2. Does tax searches and/or strata searches, if applicable; and 3. Doublechecks that proper home insurance coverage is in place. There are conventional mortgages and insured mortgages. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (“CMHC”) or other insurers are applicable for residential financing which exceeds 80 per cent of the value of the property. A percentage of the amount of your mortgage is paid to CMHC; this sum is normally added to the principal amount of your mortgage. In the event of default under

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the mortgage, lenders have rights against the parties to the mortgage (personal covenant) and also rights against the property that is being mortgaged. The lender’s rights are enforced through the courts. Notary publics in British Columbia are highly trained professionals that can oversee the mortgage process for individuals and banks and are responsible for a large percentage of the mortgages that are processed in British Columbia. Dorothy Clarkstone is a Notary Public practising in Port Alberni. $

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Alberni Valley News 9

Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

Go green in 2014

Follow these tips and your wallet will be happy Ever wonder if you can be doing more to keep your family green? There are several ways for families to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle and by following these tips can even save families money. Holly MacLean, mom and founder of Wee Urban organic baby and toddler clothing and accessories, offers these family-friendly ways to go green and do your part in helping the environment. 1. Replace brown paper bags with reusable lunch bags Instead of sending your kids off to school with brown paper lunch bags, send them to school with reusable, eco-

friendly bags. 2. Wash in cold water A great amount of energy goes into heating water to use while doing laundry. Try to wash your clothes in cold water whenever you can in

order to conserve energy. Also, consider using organic and eco-friendly laundry detergent 3. Line dry your clothes A clothes dryer may be convenient but it also results in an expensive electric bill. Start

hanging your laundry on a clothes line to dry to cut down costs. 4. Use less gas Instead of driving the car a few blocks away to go to the store, go for a walk! Carpooling with neighbors, taking public transportation and riding a bike are all ways to cut down on gas use. 5. Make your own cleaning products You can save money on cleaning products and be environmentally responsible with some DIY cleaning supplies. For an all-purpose cleaner mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda in a quart of water and get ready to clean up spills.

See ‘Green’ / 11

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10 Alberni Valley News

Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

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Bodywork THE THREE Rs

The formula for health is simple: relax, rejuvenate, rest. Beeeeep! All too early every morning we are woken by an alarm that signals the start of a new day and a wide range of stressors lined up to greet us. From trying to get ourselves and our families to work and school to the very jobs we do and the traffic we meet to get there. Even in a small town, it seems that the day you are running behind there is that slooowww driver who pulls out in front of you and cannot seem to find the gas pedal. Our bodies react with adrenalin and a number of other unpronounceable chemicals to throw us into fight or flight and save the day or in this case to just simply stress us further. We build up toxins and our muscles get sore, our minds shut off, our digestion goes for a dump, and we simply run out of energy. So what can we do to alleviate the situation? Bodywork offers several facets of the cure to the rigors of daily life. Bodywork comes in different types and pressures ranging from Shiatsu to Relaxation Energy Massage and each facet of this gem has the following benefits: Relaxation — In order to properly recover from stress, we need to relax. This helps the autonomic nervous system to decide to digest our foods and circulate our blood to the internal organs to assist in the removal of waste and to nourish our bodies. Rejuvenation — After wastes are removed and nourishment is successfully delivered, our bodies are able to begin the wondrous task of healing and rebuilding. Rest — This state is one of charging the batteries. How often does your alarm go off and you feel like you just haven’t had any sleep? In a high stress state, we are unable to reach that state of sleep that rests the body and mind . Bodywork is performed for the purpose of allowing the body to reduce stress, increase circulation and assist in the detoxification of the tissues. Overall it is simply a wonderfully relaxing and feel good way to treat your body to better health. This article was provided by Lori-Ann MacLeod of Windsong School of Healing and Eastern Arts Therapy.


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Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

Alberni Valley News 11

Green thinking can save you greenbacks From / 9

6. Buy organic kids clothing Organic kids clothes are chemical-free and safe for kids to wear and usually made of super soft fabrics. 7. Switch to cloth diapers Cloth diapers are kind to baby’s skin and kind to the environment. Cloth diapers never get thrown away because you wash and reuse them as opposed to disposable diapers that get tossed away after one use. 8. Remember to recycle It’s so important to teach kids about recycling regularly to reduce waste. Set up differently colored recycling bins in your home and show kids what is recyclable and what is not and which items go in which colored bin.

9. Buy locally grown food Buying local is a great way to save; food is fresher and tastes better. Plus, you’ll know exactly where your food is coming from. When you

Windsong School of Healing & Eastern Arts Therapy Clinic Ltd. www.windsonghealing.com Ph: 250-723-3307

buy local you’re supporting sustainability and eco-friendly practices. 10. Turn off the lights Sometimes kids and adults forget this one but it’s such a

simple step to take that should not be overlooked. Remind kids to turn off the lights when they leave a room, and this goes for other things too like the TV and other electronics.

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12 Alberni Valley News

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Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

HOW BIG

iving paycheque to paycheque? Unexpected expenses regularly throwing your retirement savings goals off-track? This is a good time to schedule a financial planning checkup with a financial advisor. The key to staying on track for retirement is having a plan. And, contrary to what you may think, developing a pro-active plan is just as important (perhaps more) when money is tight than when it’s not. A good wealth-building plan is one that not only structures investments positioned for growth but also engages in sound financial planning that takes into account your current income and likely future needs. Whether you are just starting out in your career or nearing retirement age, a pro-active financial plan needs to be created, monitored and maintained to help you develop the consistency and discipline needed to achieve your financial goals. So, how can a plan get you back on-track? First, working with a professional financial advisor will enable you to assess where you are today, financially speaking. Many investors think they can do this on their own, but, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Reviewing your current financial position with an advisor will help uncover any gaps and issues. Important questions include: • What are my current assets, including my investments and home? • How much do I owe?

• What are my current monthly expenses? • How much am I saving each month? • Do I have the appropriate amount of insurance? Next, your advisor and you will talk about your future financial needs, including how much money you may need in retirement. Your plan may also involve developing strategies to improve your savings outlook and uncover any untapped opportunities,

IS YOUR NEST EGG? Is that enough for retirement?

such as: • Catching up on unused RRSP room • Taking advantage of income splitting with a lowerearning spouse • Maximizing TFSA contributions • Moving non-registered investments to a TFSA • Adjusting your asset allocation or investment mix in accordance with risk tolerance. (Asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss.) Most importantly, remember that a financial advisor is there to help you, and not to judge what you have or haven’t accomplished financially. To create your own customized investment strategy, speak with a financial advisor and start taking some small steps to greater savings toward your retirement or other life goals. This article was provided by Brittany Larsen, a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.


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Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

Alberni Valley News 13

Be kind to your tummy A naturopathic approach to IBS

I

rritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is characterized by inflammation and irritation of the large intestine resulting in abdominal bloating, pain, and alternating constipation and diarrhea. IBS is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in North America and accounts for 30-50 per cent of referrals to gastroenterologists. Approximately 15 per cent of North Americans have IBS complaints, with women reporting IBS symptoms twice as often as men. There is no evidence of structural abnormalities in the gut in patients with IBS. Other more serious conditions can mimic IBS and should be ruled out by an MD. The signs and symptoms of IBS include: • Cramp-like pain in the middle or to one side of the lower abdomen. • Pain usually relieved with bowel movements. • Loose or more frequent painful bowel movements. • Diarrhea or constipation, usually alternating. • Symptoms of upset

Learn how to calm the internal storm

stomach: flatulence, nausea, loss of appetite. • Headache, backache. • Rectal pain. • Fatigue. •Varying degrees of anxiety and depression • Excessive secretion of colonic mucus. The possible causes of IBS include: 1. Refined sugars: This may be the most important contributing factor to IBS. A diet high in refined sugars quickly raises blood sugar levels, causing a sharp decrease in intestinal peristalsis—the rhythmic contractions of the intestines that propel food through the digestive tract. 2. Food sensitivities:

Approximately two-thirds of patients with IBS have at least one food sensitivity. The most common ones are wheat and dairy. 3. Disturbed bacterial microflora as a result of antibiotic or antacid use:

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Call deadline. me today. Call me today.

Port FMA Alberni, Port BC Alberni, V9Yfinancial 8N8 BC BC V9Y 8N8 www.edwardjones.com Port Alberni, CFP®, strategy before Member – Canadian Investor Protection Fund 250‐723‐3036 Financial Advisor250‐723‐3036 V9Y the 8N8RRSP contribution . deadline. Call me today. Port Alberni, BC V9Y 8N8 www.edwardjones.com www.edwardjones.com Member – Canadian Member Investor – Canadian Protection Investor Fund Protection Fund 250‐723‐3036

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Member – Canadian Investor Protection Fund

Antibiotics wipe out the friendly as well as unfriendly bacteria in the gut, disrupting normal gut ecology. Antacids decrease hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid is necessary for proper digestion and to destroy unfriendly bacteria in the stomach. 4. Laxative abuse: Laxatives are irritants that work by triggering forceful contractions of the intestines. Laxative abuse can damage the intestinal lining and also results in nutrient malabsorption. See ‘Find’ / 15


14 Alberni Valley News

Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

www.albernivalleynews.com

Get mortgage smart

I

Learn how to manage payments before interest rates go up

t a well-known fact these days that current ‘household debt levels’ are out of control. The average Canadian now owes about $28,000 of unsecured debt, additional to our mortgages. That number on it’s own is alarming, but when you add into the equation artificially low mortgage rates, it gets even more concerning. Although these numbers can be scary (especially if you fall into the category of the ‘average Canadian’), being aware of them is an important tool in planning for a financially strong future. Let’s first take a look at the meaning of an important term: artificially low mortgage rates. What does this mean and why does it matter? Well, interest rates play a huge roll in how large of a mortgage we can

“...many first-time buyers aren’t accounting for the fact that (mortgage rates) could go up.”

afford. The past few years, interest rates have been at historical lows. Most experts agree that at this point, rates have nowhere to go but up. Let’s look at an example of how much mortgage you can afford with an income of $50,000 at various interest rates. 3% - $280,000 5% - $230,000 7% - $190,000 As you can see, buying a home when rates are low really increases the amount you can qualify for. While this seems great now, the concern is that when you renew your mortgage in five years, the rate will be higher and you may not be able to afford your payments. How can we protect ourselves from rising interest rates? Understanding that they may

go up, is a great start. First time homebuyers tend to be unaware of what ‘normal’ rates are. Our older generation has lived through 10% (or higher) mortgage rates, but many first time buyers aren’t accounting for the fact that they could go up. Ask your mortgage broker to prepare some calculations for you so that you know what your mortgage payment will be in five years if rates are higher. Make sure you’re comfortable with that payment. Set higher payments. Most lenders allow you to increase your regular payment. If you can afford it, pay your mortgage based on a 4-5% interest rate instead of the 3% you’ll actually be paying. The additional money you pay each month will go straight to your principal to pay your mortgage down faster. That way if rates

do go up, you won’t notice the change, as you’ll already be used to making higher payments. Make your payments ‘accelerated biweekly’ instead of monthly. Making payments every two weeks instead of every month (half your monthly payment every two weeks), helps you pay your mortgage down faster and actually cuts a 25-year amortization down to 22 years. These are just a few tips on setting up a smart mortgage. There are many more tricks and techniques available to take advantage of. Working with someone who can help you understand your mortgage is a great place to start. This article was provided by Sharie Marie Minions, TMG The Mortgage Group Canada Inc. www.SharieMarie.ca.


www.albernivalleynews.com

Find your stressors and get rid of them From / 13

5. Stress, emotional conflict, anxiety and depression: Stress disrupts the secretion of the body’s digestive factors: hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes. IBS flare-ups are often preceded by significant stress: obsessive worry about everyday problems, marital tension, fear of loss of a beloved person, death of a loved one, etc. It is impossible to digest food when you are stressed out or on the run while you eat. This is because movement of the bowels during digestion can only occur when the body is relaxed. Some tips to preventing IBS flare-ups: • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, carbonated beverages, and simple sugars. • Get adequate sleep (eight hours a night). Poor sleep quality correlates with an increase in frequency and severity of IBS symptoms. • Learn to deal with stress constructively (meditate, pray, exercise, yoga). • Choose a healthpromoting diet rich in whole,

Alberni Valley News 15

Life in the Valley ~ WINTER 2014

unprocessed, preferably organic foods, especially plant foods and cold-water fish. Conventional medical treatment involves tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline), antidepressant SSRI drugs (floxetine), antispasmodic agents (dicyclonine or hyoscyamine), laxatives for constipation, and loperamide for diarrhea. These methods treat symptoms but do not address the cause of the IBS. Naturopathic treatment examines and treats the whole person by taking into consideration their diet, energy, stress levels, and lifestyle. A treatment plan is unique and individualized for each patient and involves dietary modifications, supplements (probiotics, digestive enzymes), and homeopathic remedies specific for each individual. Acupuncture and/or Bowen Therapy can be quite useful for balancing the nervous system. Dr. Jeannie Doig, ND is a naturopathic doctor practising at Alberni Natural Health Group. www.drjeanniedoig. com

Naturopathic

Physician

Dr. Doig treats virtually any health condition, from

digestive disorders, obesity and and weight weight gain, gain, obesity anxiety/stress, chronic chronic anxiety/stress, infections, smoking smoking infections, addictions, depression, addictions, depression, migraine headaches, migraine headaches, allergies, asthma, asthma, arthritis, arthritis, allergies, Dr. Jeannie Jeannie Doig Doig,, and cancer. Dr. Doig is Dr. and cancer. Dr. Doig is HBsc. ND trained in in clinical clinical nutrition, nutrition, HBsc. ND trained IV vitamin injection therapy, IV vitamin injection therapy, herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, and Bowen herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, and Bowen Therapy, which is a gentle hands-on therapy for muscle Therapy, which is a gentle hands-on therapy for muscle pain and stress. pain and stress.

250www.drjeanniedoig.com 723 9888 250 •• 723•• 9888

It’s what we like to call a tax-free investing account. Maximize your TFSA: ➡ Contributing an extra $5,500 as of Janurary 1st, 2014

The Mortgage Group Canada Inc.

➡ Ask me about Global’s annual TFSA & RRSP investment picks.

Sharie Marie Minions Accredited Mortgage Professional The Mortgage Group Canada Inc

4555 Helen St., Port Alberni

250-730-0239 Email: sharie@mortgagegrp.com Web: www.shariemarie.ca

Call Mitch Gardner, CFP Investment Advisor 250.723.4970 ♦ B-5262 Argyle Street Global Securities Corporation is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund

www.mgardner.ca


Life in the Valley ~ Winter 2014

A16 Alberni Valley News

www.albernivalleynews.com

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January 30, 2014  

Section Z of the January 30, 2014 edition of the Alberni Valley News

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