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Living Your

Best Life In The Lakes Area

May • 2016

Horses Help Humans Heal Apps for Fitness Success Stroke— Seconds Count Nitrous in the Delivery Room

Contents Publisher • Pete Mohs Advertising • Susie Alters Editor • Sarah Nelson Katzenberger Copy Editor • Delynn Howard Art Direction/Design • Jan Finger Contributing Writers Jenny Holmes • Sarah Nelson Katzenberger • Dr. Bruce Cunningham • Dr. Nancy HenrySocha • Sheila Helmberger • Jodie Tweed • Hillary Sorenson • Lisa Holtan • Andrea Krejci Paradis • Lori Monk • Julie Garden-Robinson

5 of the greatest apps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 for fitness success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Sarah Nelson Katzenberger

Every second counts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Essentia Health continues to improve stroke treatment . . By Sarah Nelson Katzenberger

NOT horsing around . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Horses bring animal instinct to human healing . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Jenny Holmes

Deep breaths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 CRMC introduces nitrous oxide in the delivery room . . . By Sarah Nelson Katzenberger

Finding and treating the reason for pain . . . . . . . . . .

Physician’s commentary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Dr. Nancy Henry-Socha

Mole mystery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Controlling Incontinence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Read Thrive online

The end is near . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Email your comments to or write to: Brainerd Dispatch P.O. Box 974 Brainerd, MN 56401


Physician’s commentary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Dr. Bruce Cunningham

Thrive is a quarterly publication of the Brainerd Dispatch.

For advertising opportunities call Susie Alters at 218-8555836.



Finding a solution to a sometimes-embarrassing condition . . . . By Sheila Helmberger


Local Rotarians work to eradicate Polio worldwide . . . . . . . . . . . . By Jodie Tweed

Surviving the storm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Heart attack victim’s story . . . . . . . . By Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center

Exercise is good for your brain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Take 10 years off your brain age . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Hillary Sorenson

Fitness for golfers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Tips for staying fit for the greens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Lisa Holtan

4 reasons your pre-teen needs yoga . . . . . . . . . . . .


Mental and physical benefits for young people . . . . . . . . . By Andrea Krejci Paradis

Safety for runners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Tips for those whose workout involves pounding pavement . . . . . . . . By Lori Monk

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Strawberries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


They’re good and good for you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Julie Garden-Robinson • THRIVE



By Sarah Nelson Katzenberger

of the greatest APPS for fitness success

SETTING fitness goals is easy.

Achieving those goals can be tough. For most people the greatest motivator is accountability, but sometimes finding a consistent workout partner can be tough. They have to be willing to push when it’s needed, back off when it’s not, and in many cases be up and on the trail before the sun comes up. Most people looking to improve their health just want someone to join them on the journey to better health. In this age of technological overload, there’s an app for that too.


STRAVA — For the hybrid runner/cyclist, Strava is the way to go. It tracks runs and rides with the help of the user’s GPS. It has a function to allow users to map out their route and set distance goals for one-time goals or over a period of time. It also tracks calories burned, pace, speed, distance, heart rate and elevation gained. The app (like most apps) comes with the option for in-app purchasing that opens up another realm of functions including a detailed heart-rate analysis and the option to find out where others users are currently using the app. The best thing: The interface is simple and easy to read. Whether you’re putting in the miles by foot or by bike, it’s easy to track your stats with just a glance — somet hings that can be important and of safety concern for users in motion.


MY FITNESS PAL — Mainly a calorie counter, My Fitness Pal allows users to track the calories in the food they eat and then breaks down the amount of carbs, fat, protein and vegetables to give users a real sense of what they are consuming. My Fitness


Pal claims the largest database of food items making it easier for users to track their eats more accurately. The app includes a pedometer to track steps taken during the day. The best thing: it’s free. There are in app purchases, but the bulk of the app doesn’t cost a thing. Plus, it’s fast and easy to stick with.


RUNKEEPER — Runkeeper boasts “the original running app” title. It’s been around long enough to work out the kinks and has a great track record of updating to tailor to users’ suggestions. Like other apps out there, it calculates pace, distance elevation, heart rate and calories burned, but has one of the better interfaces for custom routes — whether running, cycling or walking. It’s option to set goals for fitness and for the days requiring an extra boost, it has a built-in coach with a very pleasant voice and to remind users of what they set out to accomplish. The best thing: There are

so many users! It’s easy to find people you know who are also trying to up their fitness game and compare stats. Runkeeper also has a great training program for races from 5k to marathon distance.


PACT — Who wouldn’t want to get paid to live healthy? Pact actually pays members who stay active on the backs of those who don’t. Users can set goals based on distance, workout time and healthy eating to count toward their “pact.” If they maintain the goals set, they make cash. If they get lazy, they pay up. Pact boasts that the incentive mentality has helped users hit over 95 percent of their goals. Sometimes it pays to be cheap. The best thing: It partners well with other apps like My Fitness Pal, RunKeeper and FitBit. There’s very little extra work to sync up your workouts in other apps to get paid in Pact.

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FITBIT — For many people, using an app for fitness sounds like a lot of work. There are the purists who don’t like to carry their phone everywhere they go — especially on a long jaunt. For a premium ranging from $29-$249, FitBit minimized the clutter of extra weight and having to remember to keep the smartphone in constant reach. It straps on the wrist like a watch and tracks calories burned, heart rate, steps taken and logs strenuous activity throughout the day. At the end of the day you sync your FitBit with the coinciding app and voila! All activity is uploaded to the cloud. For those in need of constant reassurance, FitBit makes a big deal out of milestones — whether it’s steps completed, weight lost, time worked out, users receive a digital medal to display for their accomplishments. The best thing: There’s a real sense of community competition among friends. Users can find others with FitBits and challenge them to a weekend-walk off or weight loss competition.

Honorable Mentions »

SLEEP CYCLE — OK, so this is not exactly a “fitness app,” per se, but one of the most important elements of success in just about anything is good sleep, right? This app sits on the nightstand and monitors how much and what quality of sleep a user is getting. It actually listens to sleep — which is, admittedly, a little creepy. Sleep comes in cycles from light sleep to deep sleep. According to the app’s designer, being woken up out of a deep sleep has a major affect on how tired a person feels during the day. Sleep Cycle has an alarm function that times its wake up call for the lightest cycle of sleep so users are woken up at the optimal moment with a pleasant and subtle crescendo or instrumental music instead of the alarm rudely blaring. The app has

some added features that track how weather affects sleep and a Phillips Hue light bulb option to simulate sunrise for an even more natural wake up call.

»ZOMBIES, RUN — For multi-

taskers looking to up their fitness game and prepare for a potential zombie apocalypse, Zombies, Run is a big win. The daily pavement pounding comes with a mission to protect the few remaining humans. The app works with the user’s play list and the story unfolds in between songs when zombies can be heard growling under the music. Zombies, Run can be incorporated into any workout level, but hearing the undead encroaching behind is a sure way to improve your pace at any rate.

» Most fitness apps are built to connect with social media so users have the option to broadcast their achievements and sufferings to the whole world have the option to do so, but for those who like to suffer in private or with just a few others, the social media component is just that — optional.

Every second COUNTS By Sarah Nelson Katzenberger

E ssentia H ealth TOM WAGNER knew something was very wrong when his wife, Myrlin, had not come back with their evening cocktails on a warm night last August at their home in Nisswa. Following his gut, Tom ventured back to the house to find Myrlin standing over the sink, cocktail glasses in hand, unable to speak or move. Myrlin had had a stroke. “I knew right away what was going on,” Tom recalled. “I said, ‘Myrlin, you’re having a stroke.” The Wagners live at the north end of Nisswa. Knowing it would take an ambulance a while to get to them, Tom made the decision to drive Myrlin to the hospital himself. “I drove quite speedily to get there,” Tom admitted. “I think we made it there in about 10 minutes.”

improves stroke treatment Myrlin Wagner suffered a stroke in August 2015. Because of her husband Tom’s fast thinking, Myrlin made a complete recovery.

Tom said until Myrlin suffered her stroke, he had never witnessed one, but he had heard friends talk about their experiences. “I just knew it was a stroke,” he said. “She couldn’t talk, couldn’t walk — I didn’t know what else it could be.” Because of Tom’s quick thinking, Myrlin was treated at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd by the hospital’s stroke team. She spent two days in the hospital before being released with

virtually no residual damage. “They did everything right,” said Emergency Department physician and stroke team member, Dr. Rebecca Holcomb. Holcomb is part of a specialized team of providers at St. Joseph’s who springs into action anytime a stroke code is called. The team consists of more than a dozen individuals including staff from the emergency department, radiology, pharmacy, phlebotomy, even a neurologist who is brought into the mix remotely through a program called Telestroke. The team’s goal is to get a patient who has suffered a stroke through the necessary treatments and diagnostics to the point where a stroke stopping drug can be administered in as short of time as

TOP OF PAGE: Members of the Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center Stroke Team respond to a mock Stroke Code. Each team member has a specific role. Team members pictured are stroke program coordinator Nicole Anderson, stroke neurologist Dr. Sandra Hanson, pharmacist Eric Gangl, Emergency registered nurse Erma London, mock patient Ken Saumer, Emergency physician Dr. Becky Holcomb, Emergency RN Sacha Larson, and Phlebotomist Kayla Magnan.


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accurately greatly improves the level of care. Dr. Ganesh Asaithambi lives in Little Rock, Ark., and serves 10 hospitals in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota, often from his home in Arkansas or his office in the Twin Cities. “Being able to provide this kind of care to our community is phenomenal,” added ED physician, Nathan Laposky. Holcomb said it is important for individuals to plan ahead for a catastrophic incident like a stroke by making wishes readily available for loved ones to see. Quick action is crucial. “We have this window of opportunity,” Holcomb said. “If people wait at home for things to improve it can make a big difference. It can be devastating.” Myrlin Wagner is grateful for the quick thinking of her husband, Tom. The couple spent their winter in Naples, Fla., just as they planned. Myrlin takes some medication regularly to help prevent any future complications, but over all she said she feels like herself. She said if she had to do it over, they would

time is brain


very second counts when it comes to recognizing and seeking treatment for a stroke.

»Symptoms to watch for • Facial drooping • Arm Weakness • Speech difficulty • Time to call 9-1-1

Do not hesitate and do not wait out stroke symptoms. Seeking immediate care is a matter of saving and regaining brain function.

» Information provided by the American Stroke Association

have called 9-1-1, but considering her outcome, she’s just really grateful for the care she received. “They do a fantastic job,” she said. “We’re just very thankful.”

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possible, a period called “door to drug.” Holcomb urged anyone who thinks they are having a stroke or witnessing a loved one having a stroke to come in immediately. “Do not wait,” she said. “We can’t help you until you come in.” Holcomb said even in situations like the Wagners’ where patients are driven in, instead of coming by ambulance, it is still best to call 9-1-1. That gives the stroke team a chance to prepare. When a patient suffering a stroke is brought in, a stroke code is called much like other familiar critical alerts like code blue, trauma or heart attack. “It results in the best possible outcome for the patient,” Holcomb explained. Treating a stroke is a wellchoreographed dance and requires lots of players. The CT table has to be cleared and ready in order to get an accurate scan of the stroke patient. The stroke neurologist who sits in remotely, often from home or hundreds of miles away, is alerted when scans are ready. The patient has a chest X-ray to prepare for medication. Blood is drawn. Drugs are ordered. Meds are given. This all happens in less than an hour. Tom Wagner recalls the incredible number of providers in the room in a short time. Options for treating Myrlin were explained and it was decided to give the TPA drug. “I thought we were going to lose her,” Tom said. “They saved her life.” Since the stroke program was established in 2014, St. Joseph’s has made vast improvements in efficiency of stroke treatment. Stroke program coordinator, Nicole Anderson, said the time it takes to get from door to drug continues to drop. The team’s current average time door to drug time is about 40 minutes, putting the Brainerd hospital on track with or ahead of larger facilities across the country. “We are able to provide the same level of care and keep them close to home,” Anderson said. With remote access to specialized neurologists who work with Telestroke, the team’s ability to treat quickly and

NOT horsing around By Jenny Holmes

D i s cov e ry H o r s e

brings animal i n st i n c t to h u m a n h e a l i n g


the pasture stand seven gentle giants, all with a story as deep, and some as heartbreaking, as many of the individuals who visit them for healing. Dandelion Farm, just south of Brainerd near Fort Ripley, is home to Discovery Horse, a program led by Brainerd native Sara Sherman and her partner, Matt. Six months ago,

the couple purchased the property to give their seven horses a permanent home and offer life-coaching work for humans. But Sherman’s passion for helping others goes back much further. After graduating from Brainerd High School, Sherman found herself at a bit of a crossroads. Looking to find her true self, she traveled extensively and worked in the hospitality industry.

When she decided to move forward with her education, Sherman attended Prescott College in Prescott, Az., where she pursued Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Equine Experiential Learning. Horses were new to Sherman, she admitted. She didn’t grow up with or around the animals, but was quite intrigued by what she was reading

TOP OF PAGE: Sara Sherman nuzzles her horse, Jazz, while Winston stands by. Sherman runs Discovery Horse, a therapy and life coaching program in the Brainerd lakes area.


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and hearing regarding this modality of equine assisted healing. Sherman said she was fascinated, and inspired, by the work of Barbara Rector, a giant in the early horse and healing movement. In fact, Sherman’s final project before college graduation centered on a pilot project partnering with horses to promote healing in humans. The title of her work — Discovery Horse. Time and opportunity eventually brought Sherman back to Minnesota where she worked in mental health services, child protection and addiction recovery. However, all roads were leading her to where she is today — owner and operator of Discovery Horse, a haven for healing and growth in partnership with horses. But the horses at the Dandelion Farm aren’t your run-of-the-mill horses. Each and every horse here has a story. And despite what you may (or may not) know about equine assisted coaching or therapy, this is quite different. Horses are not for riding at Discovery Horse. In fact, many of the horses here have physical limitations that prevent them from bearing the weight of riders. Winston is the largest horse at the farm. Measuring 18.3 hands, he was initially bred to be a performance horse. From what Sherman has gathered, Winston was kept in confinement for much of his early life and developed joint issues. When his handlers realized he wasn’t fit for this purpose, he was no longer wanted. However, through contacts, Sherman learned about Winston and, realizing his potential, knew he’d be a good fit for her program. Winston’s story is only one of many — seven to be exact. There’s City, an Arab and the only female horse on Dandelion Farm. There’s also Louie, a two-year-old Gypsy Vanner horse. And then, there’s Sir Lancelot, also known as Lance, a 12-year-old studly Clydesdale and Quarter Horse cross, and also Sherman’s very first Discovery Horse herd member. In 2011, Sherman studied the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method,

about discovery horse


iscovery Horse provides a variety of opportunities and services customized to meet individual and group needs for youth and adults.

»PERSONAL GROWTH RETREATS — Group or individual half-day, full-day and weekend retreats on or off site.

»LIFE COACHING — Support, guidance and accountability in your personal or professional life on or off site. Coaching available with or without horses.

»TEAM BUILDING RETREATS/GROUP FACILITATION — Half-day fullday and weekend retreats custom-


SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS — Topics include women’s issues, self-care, youth resilience, somatics, art of communication, horses and healing, authenticity, vulnerability and more.


— Monthly coaching group open to all women interested in seeing what Equine Gestalt Coaching is all about.


YOUTH INITIATIVES — Building confidence, healing hearts and inspiring leaders. Offering individual sessions and group programs grounded in character education, self-management, self-regulation, social awareness, problem-solving and relationship skills.

ized to meet the needs of your

»For more information, visit www.

team or organization.

developed by Melisa Pearce. “It was a game-changer for me in every aspect of my life,” she said of the concept and training. Gestalt Coaching strives to bring the mind and body to a state of wholeness through the belief that everyone has “unfinished business.” Through coaching, individuals are able to accomplish the unfinished business that blocks their path to success and happiness. In Equine Gestalt Coaching, Sherman is able to partner with horses to help her clients examine their lives and find their way back to the path of full potential. “You learn by doing,” Sherman noted. “It’s the most amazing method I’ve ever experienced, and I’m a bit of a seeker for personal growth. It gets us to the source of what it is that’s keeping us stuck.” Sherman was ready to put her

learning into practice. The only thing missing was a horse. But not just any horse would do. She said she was waiting for the “right one” to come along and had faith he or she would. It was in 2013, while at training for the Touched by a Horse program in Colorado, a fellow student asked Sherman if she was looking for a horse and said she may have found the perfect one for her. His name was Lance. “She showed me his headshot on her phone. I saw it and immediately started crying. It was decided then,” Sherman said. “I knew he was my soul pony.” Eight months later, Lance was trucked from the State of Washington and united with his new partner in Minnesota. “It was that clear he and I were meant to be together,” she said. “I think • THRIVE


Sara Sherman enjoys a moment in the pasture with her horse City Rhythm.

steve.kohls @brainerd

we have been for lifetimes.” Perhaps it’s the broken past these horses have experienced that helps them connect so well to others who have or are experiencing the same heartbreak and roadblocks. However, Discovery Horse isn’t just for those from broken families or relationships. It’s for anyone and everyone. “It is for people,” Sherman said. “Plain and simple.” Through Discovery Horse, Sherman

serves as a coach — not a therapist — and works to help others find peace in an unexpected way. “It’s social and emotional learning in an experiential way which amplifies what they’re learning,” Sherman said. After four years of work in the Brainerd lakes area, Sherman said she believes her program is being viewed as a community asset. During the fall of 2015, Sherman was asked to be a presenter at the TEDx event

We all wear this armor. And, horses can see this from a mile away. Horses seek authenticity. I work to help individuals learn how to take off their armor — to discover when it’s appropriate and when it’s not. Sara Sherman


at Madden’s on Gull Lake. Her presentation, “Horses See Our Armor,” addressed the labels, judgments and negative thoughts people place on themselves and how horses can see through the armor individuals wear everyday. In addition to working with youth and adults at her farm, Sherman also visits classrooms working with mainstream students, as well as at-risk youth to help them break down and shed their own personal armor, giving them tools and confidence to manage in the world. “We all wear this armor,” Sherman said. “And horses can see this from a mile away. Horses seek authenticity. I work to help individuals learn how to take off their armor ­— to discover when it’s appropriate and when it’s not.” Sherman shares a story of a group of at-risk students who came to Dandelion Farm to interact with the horses and, with help, find and love their true selves. One particular boy arrived unsure, apprehensive and a bit

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guarded. However, when he stepped foot in the arena with seven horses, Sherman said you could see a transition into hope and compassion. The boy later told her that when those horses walked into the arena, he felt like all the weight had been lifted off his shoulders. “You feel a level of connection not many get to experience on a regular basis,” Sherman said. “When you can stand with a 1,200 pound animal and feel important — that brings tears to my eyes. I don’t know any child or adult that can’t benefit from that. Add in the coaching component and you have an incredible opportunity to create healing and transformation.” Sherman said you don’t need to be a ‘horse person,’ to experience and benefit from her program. Sometimes,

groups will sit outside the fence on a bale of hay and visit. Other times, they will stand among the horses and learn that something much bigger than themselves isn’t always scary, and, in fact, can help them face larger challenges with confidence. Today, Sherman can say with confidence the life-changing effect and transforming power these gentle giants can have. “There was a time in my life when I really screwed up. I made bad choices, but I always had people who believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself — including horses. I’m quite convinced that dreams can, and do, come true. I’m finally at a place where I am proud of who I am. Now, I want to help others get to that same place.”

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CROSBY — With medical

technologies constantly growing and changing, it seems counter-intuitive to visit old school options for pain relief. But that’s exactly what Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is doing when it comes to providing options for women in labor. Most women know they can choose an epidural to better help them tolerate their labor or can go without and manage the pain with narcotics or just let nature do its work and go without the pain relief. Now there’s another option — nitrous oxide. Commonly referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is the same stuff


By Sarah Nelson Katzenberger


inhaled while undergoing dental work. “Women want more options in labor,” said Dr. Christina Kramer, an OB/GYN provider at CRMC. Kramer said nitrous oxide is becoming more common in larger medical facilities and found its way into the birthing center in Crosby about six months ago. “Obviously not all patients want an epidural, but they’d like some sort of pain relief.” Kramer said using nitrous oxide at CRMC is a joint venture between the anaesthesia and obstetrics departments. “It’s a really nice option to have,” Kramer said. Nitrous oxide is an inhaled gas mixed in a blend of equal

CRMC introduces nitrous oxide in the delivery room

parts nitrous and oxygen. It has a rapid onset and produces a euphoric, relaxing feeling for the patient. It is rapidly exhaled so while it takes effect quickly, it metabolizes quickly as well. “While other things take a little time to kick in, when a patient inhales nitrous oxide it usually takes one or two contractions before she’s starting to feel relief,” Kramer said. As far as equipment, using nitrous oxide is pretty basic. It involves a rolling tank of nitrous that combines with the oxygen already available in the room. The two are mixed to a specified concoction, and contained for the patient who uses it through a

TOP OF PAGE: Dr. Christina Kramer demonstrates the set up of the nitrous oxide tank in the birthing center at CRMC. Nitrous oxide is now offered as an option for women in labor at CRMC.


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Kramer said one of the


things she likes most

s it turns out, there’s nothing funny about laughing gas — the truth is, it’s awesome. I know because I tried it. I gave birth to my third child, a boy, in January. I toughed out my first two births with no drug intervention, but this time around I decided to give the nitrous a try. It’s not a pain blocker like an epidural, but it takes the edge off the pain and makes the transitional part of labor a lot more bearable. Granted, “taking the edge off” in my case resulted in a confession time between me and my doctor, the labor and delivery nurses, my best friend and my husband. But what happens in the delivery room stays there. Thankfully. Because of my roll with Thrive magazine (formerly Healthwatch) I learned about CRMC offering nitrous oxide through a press release. It wasn’t until after my water broke and I was deep in the trenches of labor that I remembered it was an option. When I told my nurse I wanted to try it, she had the forms ready and nitrous hooked up within a few minutes. While I was mentally prepared for another drug-free labor, I liked the option of using the nitrous as I needed it. There were a couple times where the ceiling tiles started to spin as I inhaled, but at that point I couldn’t hold the mask anymore and I breathed regular oxygen. The feeling subsided quickly. By the time I needed it for my next contraction, I was completely capable of selfadministering it again. I’d like to say that I am supertough and ultra pain tolerant. Mostly, I just really hate big needles. I would much rather feel every

about using nitrous oxide is that it puts pain management in the hands of the patients.

self-administered breathing tube — so only the patient is exposed as opposed to filling the whole room. “It was really pretty seamless to roll it out,” Kramer said, adding that staff training involved a one-day in-service for nurses and providers. For the patient to gain use of nitrous oxide during labor, a waiver is signed mostly focused on safe administration. “We just don’t want it abused by others that may be around,” Kramer explained. Kramer said one of the things she likes most about using nitrous oxide is that it puts pain management in the hands of the patients because it’s self administered. The patient literally has to hold the mask to their face without help. If they get too much, they don’t hold onto the mask and it wears off so quickly, they are free to use it again as needed. “If some contractions aren’t as bad, she doesn’t have to use anything,” Kramer said. “She can gauge for herself when and how much she needs.” An additional benefit is the flexibility nitrous oxide provides. Patients can stick with it for as long or as little as they like, as opposed to using an epidural to manage pain, once it’s administered, patients are stuck with it and has limited mobility for a period of time even once labor is complete. “If you want to switch to something else you can,” Kramer said, adding that the caveat with that is because nitrous oxide has a mild respiratory affect, compounding narcotics on top of that can cause breathing complications.



Laughing Gas second of labor pain if it means the giant epidural needle keeps a safe distance from my spine. Plus, I’m kind of a control freak. I didn’t like the idea of not being able to feel anything, and I did not want to be bedconfined while the epidural washed out of my system. Plus — catheter. No thanks. Using the nitrous option gave me just the right amount of pain relief and enough control to feel like I was still in charge of my labor. Before my son was even three hours old, I was cleaned up, showered, had gotten him to start nursing and we were both fast asleep. It was amazing and maybe would not have been possible had I gone a different route. It’s important to know nitrous oxide doesn’t stop pain or block pain. It just makes it more bearable. If women in labor are open to trying it, it can be a really great addition to their arsenal in combating birthing pains. In chatting with Dr. Kramer she brought up an important point for all women to know — we’re all different. Every labor is different. Every person’s perception of pain is different. Plus, there are other variables like how long a patient’s labor lasts, when their water broke, whether they are on Pitocin (used to promote contractions and intensify labor). The bottom line is women need to know they have options. Ask your provider what options your birthing center provides. Being wellinformed really helps and at the end of it, no matter what options you exercise, you get to hold an amazing brand new human that belongs to you. Nothing beats that. —Sara Nelson Katzenberger • THRIVE


“There’s a potential for the patient to stop breathing — obviously that’s bad,” Kramer said. She explained, if a patient has had narcotics or has had nitrous and wants to switch to one or the other there is a two-hour wash out period before administering a new option. However, that does not apply to an epidural. If a patient is not happy with the pain relief provided by the nitrous oxide, an epidural is still an option and there’s no real wait time. “By the time we get a hold of the anaesthetist and get set up for the epidural, (the patient) is ready to go,” she said. Kramer said nitrous oxide is also an option for patients who miss the window for epidural administration. “Nitrous takes very little time to set up, so even if it’s just for those last few contractions it is able to provide some relief,” Kramer said. Often times using an epidural leaves a patient feeling numb and unable to feel the pressure of labor — which, for many patients is exactly what they are

Thrive Editor Sarah Nelson Katzenberger gave birth to her son Truett in January. His two big sisters, Ellis and Meredith, couldn’t be more excited to welcome their baby brother.

hoping for. For others, they want to feel the pressure in order to allow their body to do the work it was designed to do. Using nitrous oxide also serves up some comfort for the post-labor repairs to lacerations suffered during labor. “Once we’re done the patient can discontinue use of the nitrous, that euphoric feeling wears off and mom bonds with her baby with no impairment,” Kramer said. Kramer said the use of nitrous oxide in the delivery room is starting to pick up as patients learn about the option. “Most patients come in with a preconceived notion of wanting to have an epidural, not wanting to have an epidural,” she said, “But some just don’t know the options they have.” Kramer said CRMC now presents options like nitrous oxide in their birthing classes. “I’m really proud of what we’re doing and the new things we are offering in our department,” she said. “Nitrous oxide is one the many ways we’re expanding services for women in labor.”


Finding and treating the REASON for pain By Dr. Nancy Henry-Socha Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center-Brainerd Clinic

People struggling with pain can now turn to a new physician at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Brainerd Clinic. Dr. Nancy Henry-Socha is a pain specialist who diagnoses and treats acute and chronic pain, especially pain in the joints, muscles and spine. Pain that doesn’t go away after six months can be called chronic pain, she explains. Pain that lingers for a couple months should be brought to the attention of your primary care doctor, who can make a referral to her. “I encourage people to seek help for their pain sooner rather than later,” says Dr. HenrySocha. “After more than six months, there are changes in your body and your nervous system. That makes it harder to break the cycle of pain.” The first step is finding the underlying cause or causes of pain. “I take a holistic approach to care because often there is more than one problem contributing to your symptoms,” Dr. Henry-Socha says. “It’s important to look at the whole body to provide proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.” The pain specialist offers many new and effective treatments. Some are as simple as stretching exercises and physical therapy. She also uses injections, nerve blocks, medications or non-surgical treatments such as radiofrequency ablations and regenerative medicine. “Pain can take people’s lives away,” Dr. Henry-Socha said. “My goal is to get you back to what you want to do.” TOP OF PAGE: Stock Photo

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THRIVE • living your best life •

Mole Mystery The average person has between 10 and 40 moles — though the number can vary drastically. The number of moles you have can change throughout your life, as new moles can develop and some may disappear as you age. You can develop moles almost anywhere on your body, including your scalp and underneath your fingernails. Moles are small, colored spots made of melanocytes, which are cells that make the pigment of your skin. Usually these cells are evenly distributed across your skin, but moles appear when these cells occur in clusters, causing small areas of your skin to darken. Though most moles are harmless, it is important to keep an eye on them in case they develop into abnormal moles, called dysplastic nevi and have the possibility of becoming cancerous. It isn’t as hard as you might think to sharpen your skin-detective skills and solve your own mole mystery. When you visit your family physician they will be looking at any visible skin for worrisome moles. If you have skin lesions that you are concerned about ask your doctor to check them. If these lesions are questionable they may recommend

a biopsy to determine if the lesion is precancerous or cancerous. The good news is that most skin cancers are either squamous cell or basal cell; which generally do not spread to other areas and can be cured by removing them. However, once you have a confirmed skin cancer you are at higher risk for more of them and this suggests you should have annual full skin exams.   Of more concern is the third and much less common melanoma skin cancer. Though most are harmless, some moles can develop into melanoma or skin cancer. Melanomas often appear suddenly and are dark and fast growing. You should also let your doctor know if you have a mole that is painful, itching, burning, inflamed, oozing, or bleeding, as these symptoms can also be a sign of melanoma. You should complete selfexaminations, to watch for any changes to your skin and to assist in early detection of skin cancer, so that you can alert your doctor if there are any changes. Use the ABCDE method to remember what to check for:  A – Asymmetry, B – Border Irregularity, C – Color Change, D – Diameter, and E – Evolving. Make sure you check your entire body, as moles can appear


By Dr. Bruce Cunningham, DO, FACOFP Cuyuna Regional Medical Center

anywhere. Don’t forget to check around your ears, scalp, and underarms; underneath breasts, buttocks and genitals; bottoms of your feet, between toes and under your nails.   To protect your skin and avoid skin cancer, particularly if you have several moles, it is crucial to be extra careful in the sun. Avoiding overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can reduce your chances of developing melanoma. Stay in the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest. Wear a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your face. Wear SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, and reapply every few hours and after swimming and avoid tanning beds. TOP OF PAGE: Stock Photo • THRIVE



By Sheila Helmberger

Incontinence CERTAIN medications, diet

and childbirth are all things that can contribute to incontinence. Over 13 million Americans suffer from the sometimes-embarrassing condition, which occurs with a regular involuntary release of urine. Incontinence can happen at any age, and while men can experience it as well, women make up 85 percent of the cases. If you spend your time looking for the bathroom everywhere you go and declining invitations to events you’d like to go to because you’re too embarrassed or nervous you might have an accident, there are several options for treatment, and most of them are non-invasive and can give you peace of mind and change your life. The Urology staff at Essentia Health is located at the Brainerd Clinic and includes Drs. Eric Chapman, Bradley Qualey, Scott Wheeler, and Physician Assistant Jessica Brandl. The group works with patients to find a solution for the condition, which includes urge incontinence, the need to go to the bathroom immediately with little warning, and stress incontinence, which is leaking urine whenever you do things like cough or sneeze, run or jump. Incontinence can affect all areas of your life from social activities to how well you sleep or do your job. “A lot of people come to us and say they thought it was something they just had to live with. It’s more common as you get older, but you don’t have to live with it,” said Brandl. Qualey said incontinence is a lot more acceptable than it used to be, “It’s getting easier for people to talk about,”


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he said. “The first step when a patient comes is to get an accurate history, determine what type of incontinence the patient has, identify what the patient’s goals are and work with them to come up with the best option for treatment.” Qualey said there’s a wide gamut of things that can contribute to incontinence. “It’s our job to figure that out,” he noted. “It can be something simple, like dietary, relating to irritants such as coffee or foods that are high in acid or it can be medications they are on.” Sometimes a functional assessment is done to see what’s happening.

The Urology staff said there are three steps they often take when working with a patient. General behavior modifications are often suggested as the first step in looking for a solution. Caffeine or other irritants may be eliminated as well as having the patient begin Kegel exercises or other physical therapy that can help strengthen the pelvic floor. As a second step, the medical staff will talk to the patient about medicines that are available to help relax the bladder and make the condition more manageable. Surgical solutions are the final step in treating incontinence, and there are many options.

THRIVE • living your best life •

For urge incontinence one procedure that can be done uses acupuncture needles in the ankle. It stimulates the nerve that goes from the spine to your bladder and fatigues the nerve and calms it down. Wheeler and Chapman also do a procedure called InterStim or Sacral Neuromodulation. A pacemaker-type device is inserted that manipulates the pelvic nerve that goes to the bladder. The device is monitored once it’s inserted and will need to be replaced every four to six years. “The nice thing about that procedure is we have a test evaluation that is done in the office first,” said Brandl, “If that doesn’t work we can rule that out right away before we go any further.” Qualey and Chapman offer another procedure that injects Botox into the bladder. Twenty injections are given in different parts of the bladder while the patient is asleep. It just takes a few minutes, he said, and the patient can go home right after. It’s easy on the patient but needs to be repeated about every six months. “These are two recent exciting developments that can really change a patient’s quality of life,” Qualey said. For stress incontinence nonsurgical procedures also include pelvic muscle exercises and certain medications. One surgical solution is a sling procedure that places a strip of material beneath the urethra. It offers support to the urethra and prevents leakage during exercises or some of those bodily functions (like coughing) that might occur otherwise. Synthetic slings are made from polypropylene mesh. “It is safe and FDA approved,” said Dr. Wheeler. “There is some concern about types that were found unsafe in years past but have since been pulled off of the market.” Another possible solution includes using tissue from the patient or some that has been harvested from cadavers to repair weakened or damaged areas, and Brandl says

some patients have inquired about a new vaginal insert that is available over the counter, but says it is not effective for everyone. With more options than ever available for treatment, there really isn’t any reason to continue to suffer with the uncomfortable condition. “The important thing is to get here.

Come in and get a good evaluation,” says Dr. Wheeler. “People come in and say their neighbor had this done or that done so they want the same treatment, but it might not be the right one for them. The approach in our office is not one size fits all, but we actively seek the right answer with the best outcomes.”

A Life Changing Procedure


hirty-seven-year-old Elisha had her first procedure after she had two children and was just 21 years old and living in Mississippi. She was told it would last about eight years. Over time she slowly started having problems with incontinence again and after three more children it worsened to the point where she was wearing diapers. She knew it was time to have something else done. This time she was living in Minnesota and the problem brought her to Essentia Health in Brainerd and Dr. Chapman. “It’s a little awkward when you laugh or you cough or you sneeze and you feel like you’re going to pee yourself. It shuts out a lot of things you want to do because you don’t want to be out doing things and feel like you’re going to wet your pants all the time. I just keep thinking ‘am I going to make it to a bathroom? I have to make it to a bathroom.’ “It took me five years to get back to the doctor after I started having problems whenever I’d cough and sneeze. At first it only happened once in awhile or if I was sick, and then it started happening all of the time. “I’m a cook. It was hard to stop everything I was doing all the time so I didn’t mess myself. I was

capable of doing my job but that was hindering it because instead of being able to stand there for six hours I was always going to the bathroom.” In February, Elisha had the sling procedure. She reported everything went smoothly, it didn’t hurt and she was only off of work for five days. “It doesn’t matter how old you are,” said Elisha. Her 19-year-old daughter is already experiencing some of the same problems Elisha did and is doing exercises Chapman suggested to strengthen her pelvic floor. Elisha says having the surgery has changed her life. “I enjoyed working with everyone,” she said of Chapman and the staff at Essentia Health, “They sat down and explained things. There was no rush. Dr. Chapman listened to my history and laid it all out and gave me all of my options and explained each one. “He said, this one is more invasive, this one is less invasive, and this one will put you down for quite a long time. I knew ultimately it was my decision but I asked their advice. The best thing is that I shouldn’t have to have this done again. This was a one-time deal and it’s so nice.” • THRIVE


Jessie Ernster, a junior at Brainerd High School, paints Jeff Torfin’s pinky finger purple as part of an awareness campaign sponsored by Rotary International to bring an end to polio around the world.

By Jodie Tweed


END is near

Brainerd Rotarians

are working locally to eradicate polio worldwide


NOTHING was more frightening to parents in the early 20th Century than polio. In 1952, polio reached epidemic proportions in the United States, becoming the worst outbreak in U.S. history. Children who managed to survive the disease were often left with mild or disabling physical problems that often plagued them throughout their lives. Three years later, Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine, along with support from the March of Dimes. Sixty-one years later, polio has been eliminated in 99.9 percent of the world. But that’s not enough. The Brainerd Rotary Club, along with Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are making a final push to end polio worldwide. Only two countries are considered polioendemic: Afghanistan and Pakistan. The polio virus persists in these countries in

areas that are most hardest-to-reach with global immunization efforts. “One of the things I’m most proud of is being part of a huge vision of Rotary International to eradicate polio worldwide,” Richard Slieter, a Brainerd Rotary member explained. “We’re so close. But that last .1 percent is the hardest part. We’ve got to finish this or our whole world is at risk.” Buford Johnson, a Brainerd Rotary Club member, remembers growing up in St. Cloud with childhood friends who contracted the illness. One of his friends died. “Polio is only one plane trip away,” Johnson said. “Afghanistan and Pakistan are not just our problem, it’s the world’s problem, and we can make a difference,” added Slieter. “We will finish this battle with polio and we will eradicate it worldwide.”

THRIVE • living your best life •

Jeff Torfin, who takes over as Brainerd Rotary Club president on July 1, has personal experience with the disease. His mother, Nedra Torfin, contracted polio when she was a young child. Her family discovered she had polio soon after she started to walk. Fortunately, she recovered, but like many polio survivors, she has dealt with post-polio health issues. So what can be done locally to eradicate polio? For every dollar raised by Rotary members for the World Health Organization and UNICEF to end polio, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to provide a $2 match. Children in other countries who receive polio immunizations have their pinky fingers marked with purple ink to show they’ve been immunized. To bring local awareness to the Rotary’s End Polio Now program, Brainerd High School’s Interact Club has

partnered with Brainerd Rotary Club to paint pinkies purple for polio. Students have had booths at the Westgate Mall and at the high school, using purple nail polish to paint purple pinkies. All donations they receive are matched two to one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “We’re educating kids that polio is still a problem. Like Buford said, it is just a plane ride away,” said Jessie Ernster, a BHS junior and Interact Club member. The Interact Club planned to have a purple pinky booth at the Good Samaritan Bowl May 1, and will be painting pinkies purple at the Purple Pinky Party on June 20 at Sherwood Forest in Lake Shore. The Purple Pinky Party, sponsored by Brainerd Rotary, will be from 5-7 p.m. June 20. A $15 donation per person is recommended for this fundraising event. Seasonal appetizers and refreshments will be served.

By The Numbers


hrough 2018, every dollar that Rotary commits to the World Health Organization and UNICEF in support for polio immunizations will be matched 2 to 1 (up to $35 million per year) by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This means a donation of $25 will increase to $75.

For $75, your donation will • Buy 150 bright, yellow vests for volunteer health workers to help those seeking vaccinations, or

• Buy 75 vaccine carriers to keep the oral polio vaccine cool, or • Buy 600 purple finger markers to mark the pinky fingers of children to show they’ve been immunized. » Information by Rotary International. Learn more at

Surviving the Storm By Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center

Woman has heart attack while shoveling snow WHEN THE FIRST real

snowstorm of the season dropped four inches this past winter, Jean Kruchten bundled up and headed out to shovel. As she lifted the wet, heavy snow, the 76-year-old Fort Ripley woman began feeling a burning pain in her chest, back and arms. She found herself short of breath and breaking out in a sweat. “I didn’t know what was wrong,


I just knew I didn’t feel right,” Jean recalled. Her daughter, Debbie Stout, was clearing snow herself on Dec. 1 and decided to check on her parents who live 2 miles away. “I called my mom to see how they’d weathered the storm and she didn’t answer,” Debbie said, “She called me back in about five seconds and when I asked she said, ‘Not so

good,’ and told me about her chest pain.” Debbie and her husband, Ronald, headed straight to her parents’ house and then to the Emergency Department at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center. On the way, Debbie called to give staff a heads up on her mother’s symptoms. The medical team offered to dispatch an ambulance but Jean declined.

THRIVE • living your best life •

My mom is one lucky lady. Time is a major factor when you’re having a heart attack, and to have the doctor right there. We’re very thankful because otherwise I don’t know if my mom would be here today. Debbie Stout, daughter of Jean Kruchten Upon their arrival, the Emergency Department team quickly determined Jean was having a severe heart attack called an ST- segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Blood flow was completely blocked to one part of her heart and her life was in danger. Dr. Michael Thurmes and his team were ready in the nearby cardiac catheterization lab of the Brainerd Lakes Heart & Vascular Center. Thurmes expertly guided a tiny catheter to the major artery in Jean’s heart and then inserted a stent to keep the artery open. Blood flow was restored just 34 minutes after Jean arrived at the hospital. “Time is so important when someone is having a heart attack,” said Thurmes, an interventional cardiologist. Without blood flow, cells in the heart begin dying and those cells cannot be replaced, he explained. “With early intervention, there can be very little damage to the heart and to heart function,” Thurmes said. Jean was among the first patients to receive emergency STEMI treatment at the local heart and vascular center. St. Joseph’s Medical Center and CentraCare Health are partners in the Brainerd Lakes Heart & Vascular Center. The local team is consistently opening blocked arteries within around 30 minutes after a patient suffering from

a STEMI arrives at the hospital. When patients are transported by helicopter to St. Cloud, the average time is 101 minutes. The weekday STEMI service is the first step toward the goal of offering it 24/7. The center hopes to hire a second interventional cardiologist soon and a third within 18 months. The new service complements other heart catheterization procedures that have been offered at the center since shortly after it opened in 2010. Jean said she and her family are thankful for the lifesaving care she received so close to home. They also appreciate the care she has received from Thurmes and staff. “Dr. Thurmes took the time to explain everything,” Jean said. “We love that doctor.” “My mom is one lucky lady,” Debbie said. “Time is a major factor when you’re having a heart attack, and to have the doctor right there. We’re very thankful because otherwise I don’t know if my mom would be here today.” On Feb. 21, 2016 Jean and her husband, Michael, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren filled their home. “I’m very thankful I was still able to be here and celebrate with our family,” Jean said. “I was so happy they were here.”

H e a r t A t tac k S ym p tom s


hile some heart attacks are sudden and intense, like the “movie heart attack,” most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. The most common symptom in both men and women is discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

»Other Symptoms

• Discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort • Breaking out in a cold sweat • Nausea • Lightheadedness Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, get it checked out. Remember that minutes matter and fast action saves lives. Call 911 or your emergency response number. • THRIVE


Exercise can help make your brain

YEARS 10 YOUNGER By Hillary Sorenson / Forum News Service

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FARGO — I find myself raving

about exercise on a recurring basis. I can’t help it. It’s what I do. They don’t tell you in personal training school that you’re actually just a glorified cheerleader. But, you are. And for good reason. People need a lot of motivation, and that’s OK. It’s normal. I could preach about the physical benefits of exercise all day. I could do it in my sleep…it’s a no brainer for me. But aside from the physical benefits, did you know that the brain of a fitness buff is ten years younger than the brain of their lazier counterpart? Two universities paired up to study the effect of exercise on people’s brains. They tested participants cognitive abilities and repeated the study five years later. Their findings were published this month in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.


Thanks to aging, cognitive decline starts around age 30. But for the participants who engaged in moderateto-intense workouts, they experienced significantly less decline. The active participants even had better memories and were able to think faster. Further research determined that exercising throughout your life slows cognitive aging by 10 years. Physical activity increases blood flow to your brain and delivers oxygen and nutrients while removing toxins at an even greater rate, explained head researcher Clinton Wright, M.D. Your brain is no different than the rest of the body, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

Tips for picking the right physical exercise

»If it’s good for your heart, it’s

probably good for your brain.

»Aerobic exercise is especially good

for your brain function and also acts as a “first aid kit” because it repairs damaged brain cells.

»Exercising in the morning prepares

your brain cells for better retention and reduces the amount of stress you will feel during the day.

»Look for exercises that are

functional, so they can help you in everyday life.

»Define your goals. Whether you

plan on running a marathon or competing in a bodybuilding competition—your goals determine everything you do.

Sorenson is a certified personal trainer who writes about how to live a healthy lifestyle at hillarysloan.

THRIVE • living your best life •


By Lisa Holtan / Forum News Service

Fitness tips for golfers about fitness when they think about golf. A golf fitness program will help you to reduce your risk of injury and help you hit the ball farther. Whether you hit the greens every day or once a month, these fitness tips will help you stay in top form.


I know it’s not sexy, but stretching tight muscles will help you achieve a better range of motion allowing for more rotation during your swing.


Before heading the greens, make sure you warm up so your body is ready for your golf game. Take some warm-up swings, then perform some walking lunges and twists that will help your back and leg muscles get ready to swing. To perform a walking lunge, stand upright and put your right foot forward, bend both knees while keeping your chest lifted. Bring your left foot to meet your right foot then put the left foot forward keep alternating your legs until you have done 10 reps on each side. To warm up the lower back, put a golf club behind your head, resting on your upper back. Gently rotate your torso to the right pivoting on the left foot then twist the other direction. Make sure you pivot on your foot so you don’t hurt your knee.

»Strengthen your core

Before, during and after the golf season keep your core strong by including a side plank into your fitness routine.

»Include cardiovascular


Golf as cardiovascular activity? Yes, golf can burn more than 600 calories during a round. Include walking, biking, etc., in your fitness routine, and you will notice a difference in your endurance while walking the greens for 18 holes.

»Lift weights

Lifting weights two to three days a week will strengthen your body and help you to become a better golfer. Make sure you hit on all the major muscle groups and include some compound exercises like a deadlift with row. Golf is a great life-long sport.

ple y Peo a d y r r Eve ear fo w t o o F

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Including these tips into your fitness routine will help you to enjoy the game of golf for a long time. Holtan is a certified personal trainer and golf specialist in Prescott, Wis. Get more health and fitness tips at

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MOST PEOPLE don’t think


By Andrea Krejci Paradis / Forum News Service

reasons your pre-teen needs yoga

OUR YOUNG GIRLS need yoga. Their lives are full of change and stress and the practice of yoga can help them weather the storm and come out balanced young adults on the other side. Sharing yoga with your pre-teen (ages 7-12) will prepare them for the pressures of middle and high school and can make them confident in who they are. Here are four reasons why you should get your tween to a yoga class Acceptance, compassion and kindness for one’s yoga poses tends to be transferred into everyday situations; what a helpful mindset for a pre-teen!





I have recently worked with some high school students and wow, they do so much! More than I remember ever doing! They are in sports, multiple afterschool clubs, practicing instruments, and holding part-time jobs all while expected to be successful in academics. And that’s not even mentioning the pressure many kids feel to be liked by their peers. Most kids are constantly doing. Bring your pre-teen to yoga to teach her how to release some of that stress and to slow down. Yoga offers breathing and relaxation techniques to take the body out of stressmode and into a calm focus.


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Let’s face it: Pre-teen years can be an awkward time. Bodies are changing, and it can be difficult to re-learn how to move when suddenly sprouting four inches. Yoga poses are sometimes difficult to maneuver...move your left foot here, right foot there, have your arm this way, turn your head that way, etc.


This repetitive, systematic movement not only creates strength and flexibility, but helps build a wonderful awareness of how the body moves. Connection to movement will help a young girl start to understand how her growing body operates, helping her become acquainted and comfortable with the changes.



We are not born hating our body or personality. Somewhere along the line we learn to dislike things about ourselves. The teachings of yoga remind us there is no such thing as perfect. Your yoga practice is your own, even if you are in a group class. Your Downward Facing Dog is not going to look like the person’s next to you, and yoga tells us that’s ok. It is not about the pose; it is about how you react in the pose. Maybe your heels do not touch the floor in Downward Facing Dog, but if you are focused on the breath and aware of your thoughts, you are successful.

Yoga invites us to pause. We get to a pose and then breathe. We are asked to notice how it feels to hold the pose and what thoughts pop into the mind. The practice of “pause and notice” while on the mat can create a great awareness in everyday life for your tween. She will be able to notice how it feels when a friend says something mean. In that pause, she will have time to remember her self-worth and begin to ask if that friend is really a friend. She might be able to recognize if a classmate is being left out. A pause might be all she needs between choosing to do the right or wrong thing. Yoga can teach your young lady to really see what’s going on around her and that awareness can save her (and you) from some heartache. With yoga, your tween can nourish her confidence and banish the inner bully. She will thrive when she has the ability to pause, breathe, and notice her surroundings. Bring your daughter to yoga; you won’t regret it. Krejci Paradis is a yoga teacher, holistic life coach, and Reiki practitioner. You can learn more about mindful living at

THRIVE • living your best life •

How runners can stay

SAFE By Lori Monk / Forum News Service


know how much enjoyment you can receive by hitting the road for some time alone. But, running solo means you need to be aware of what’s going on around you. Stay alert to what’s going on around you and use these tips to stay safe while running alone. Know where you’re going and make sure someone knows what your route is. You may like the challenge of a new route, but don’t go alone. And if you have planned a new route, make sure someone is aware of it so they know where to look for you if you don’t return when scheduled.

»Oppose the traffic Runners should always run the opposite direction from the traffic. Doing so means you won’t be caught unaware if a car comes up behind you. You’ll also be able to see any traffic hazards ahead.

»Bring money Make sure to bring a credit card or a few dollars along on your run for unexpected emergencies. A couple of bucks can buy you a sports drink if you have an energy lag, or you can catch a cab home if you can’t finish your run.

»Be a defensive runner Always assume every driver is not paying attention – talking on their cell phone, texting, drinking coffee or changing radio stations. Be sure to make eye contact with drivers before running into an intersection and try to avoid high-traffic areas whenever possible.

»Don’t forget identification It’s very important to carry identification, especially when running alone. Make sure

you have a driver’s license or a runner’s ID tag in case of emergency.

»Run with crowds Running in populated areas is a much safer alternative than running in an isolated location. There will always be someone around to help you if you should sprain your ankle.

»Bring your cell phone It can be a hassle to carry your cell phone when running, but it gives you access to a phone in case of emergency.

»Change your route Although you shouldn’t run an unknown route without letting someone know where you are, it’s also important to change up your routes so that you’re not predictable. It makes it much harder for an assailant to know where you’ll be.

»Keep an ear open Turn down your music, use just one earpiece on your headphones, or better yet, don’t listen to music at all. You need to keep an ear open to what’s going on around you. Mork is a mother, grandmother and dabbler in all things food, photography and decor related. She writes at chiczmag.

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More reasons to enjoy

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STRAWBERRIES By Julie Garden-Robinson / Forum News Service

FARGO — I’ll never forget my

family’s strawberry-picking expedition, which resulted in 90 pounds of berries to process. I was a sixth-grader, and that load of berries probably weighed more than I did at the time. After all that picking and cleaning, I dreamed about red berries. It might have been a nightmare. I still didn’t lose my liking for juicy, fresh strawberries. When spring rolls around, strawberries are available at most grocery stores just in time for spring celebrations. You won’t have to stoop or kneel, but you still need to clean them. Strawberries get their rosy red color from natural pigments called anthocyanins. These and other natural plant chemicals, or “phytochemicals,” are believed to help protect body cells from damage, therefore helping protect us from cancer and heart disease. A serving of eight medium berries (5.5 ounces) contains only 50 calories and provides 140 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that helps your body absorb iron; maintain healthy gums, teeth and bones; and also resist infections. Strawberries provide 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving, which assists with digestion and may play a role in reducing


the risk of some chronic diseases. They also supply potassium, a mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood pressure, helps with transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contractions. Strawberries are a good source of folate, one of the B vitamins. A serving of strawberries contains about 20 percent of the daily recommendation for folate, the natural form of folic acid. Among women of child-bearing age, adequate folate can help reduce risk for certain types of birth defects, including spina bifida. When picking in the field or the store, look for berries with a uniform shape, bright red color and bright green caps. Store strawberries in the refrigerator loosely covered with plastic wrap. Rinse them under cool water in a strainer just prior to serving. Don’t remove their green caps before rinsing. Gently pat dry with paper toweling if needed. Strawberries have their best flavor if allowed to reach room temperature just before serving. Add some fresh strawberries to your menus. Top cereal with strawberries or other berries in the morning. Try a fruit smoothie for a snack. Top angel food cake with strawberries, or make some strawberry salsa to go with grilled chicken.

Garden-Robinson is a professor and food and nutrition specialist for the NDSU Extension Service. She shares many healthy eating tips at prairiefare.

Dippin’ Berries


ere’s a tasty dip from the California Strawberry Advisory Board. It tastes high-fat, but it’s not. Orange Chocolate Fudge Dip • 6 Tbsp. nonfat vanilla yogurt • 6 Tbsp. prepared chocolate fudge sauce • 1 1/2 tsp. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed • 2 pints fresh strawberries

Whisk ingredients together and refrigerate. Clean strawberries by rinsing and patting dry with a paper towel. Makes six servings. Each serving with strawberries has 110 calories, 2.5 g fat, 2 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 55 milligrams sodium.

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Urological concerns are often sensitive matters. It’s why we treat each patient with the utmost respect and discretion, taking the time to listen and explain options. Giving patients back their confidence and freedom is what the Urology team at Essentia Health can offer. Together they have the most advanced training and technology in the region to help patients get back to the quality of life they desire. For appointments call: 218.828.2880

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Thrive - May 2016 v1 i1  

In This Issue: 5 of the greatest apps; 4 for fitness success • Every second counts; Essentia Health continues to improve stroke treatment •...