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May 2018



Dr. Mary Ann Kenneson,M.D. Leading Expert in Urology in Northeast Florida

Cover Photo by Nature’s Child Photography






May 2018 Issue PUBLISHER Debbie Gaylord debbie@stjohnsmag.com

Featured Business Owner Dr. Mary Ann Kenneson, M.D. Bluewater Urology

EDITOR Darren Rosenbaum CONTACT 904-687-8538 debbie@stjohnsmag.com www.stjohnsmag.com

All rights reserved ©2012-2018 St. Johns Magazine LLC.

Cover Photo by Mindy Kerr Nature's Child Photography

Printed by The Hartley Press Jacksonville, FL Dear Reader,. Published monthly

and distributed

tions, creative meal designers, laundry queens, love givers

by US Postal Service.

and a shoulder to cry on. Moms are often the unsung heroes

In print and on the web and

of our world, doing everything in their power to help kids lead

distributed free of charge to

successful lives in our crazy modern world. Even after child-


hood, we still need our Moms to help guide us through life's

They are chauffeurs for sports practices and competi-

rough spots....This month’s issue is dedicated to all the Moms THANK YOU TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS DR. DECKARD, DVM NIKKI-LYN HOLM RON WHITTINGTON

of St. Johns and their tireless dedication to the craft of motherhood. They really are "the bomb" and this May we are hosting a Facebook photo contest to celebrate them (see website for details www.stjohnsmag.com).

Love my Mom!

Our featured business Bluewater Urology has some

really exciting new services, especially related to women.


Learn all about Dr. Mary Ann Kenneson, her interesting journey


and her dedication to health and wellness.

Please enjoy this issue and remember to tell our

sponsors you saw them in St. Johns Magazine! PHOTOGRAPHER PHOTOGRAPHER

Debbie Gaylord - Mom Boss


Publisher, St. Johns Magazine



St. Johns Magazine is made possible by local business sponsorship. Please let them know you saw them in our pages & Thank you for shopping local!


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Dr. Mary Ann Kenneson of BlueWater Urology Associates Photos by Mindy Kerr Nature's Child Photography

A Jacksonville native, Dr. Mary Ann Kenneson of Blue Water Urology Associates is a board certified urologic surgeon who has become

one of the region’s leading experts in urology. Establishing her practice in Northeast Florida has not only been a homecoming, but the embodiment of realized dreams.

Dr. Kenneson began her medical career as a nurse and worked her way up to a surgeon. “I took the long road around to becoming a

urologic surgeon,” jokes Dr. Kenneson, “but I wouldn’t want it any other way.” She first worked as an RN and then completed a Master’s Degree at the University of Florida as a nurse practitioner. It was while working as a nurse practitioner that she realized she wanted to become a surgeon. She was accepted into the University of Kentucky College of Medicine where she served as class president and graduated with honors. Dr. Kenneson completed her surgical residency training at the Ohio State University, spending an additional year on staff concentrating her focus on robotic surgery.

Growing up in Jacksonville, she graduated from Bishop Kenny High School and though school took her away, it was always her intent

to return home. The road may have been winding, but Dr. Kenneson was laser focused on opening her office in Jacksonville, Florida where everything began. With family being the major force drawing her in, (her mother, brother and sister reside here), it has also been what keeps her here. Dr. Kenneson reminisces, “Before I moved back to Jacksonville, I used to laugh talking about a five year plan to get the entire family to join me in Florida once my surgical residency was complete.” Since relocating to Florida, both of her adult children have joined her in the Jacksonville area helping to fulfill this plan as she imagined. Dr. Kenneson remains strongly devoted to her family, and her practice, where she is beloved by her patients for her exceptional bedside manner and individualized treatment plans.

Here, Dr. Kenneson gives us a glimpse into her journey proving that with hard work, effort, dedication, and just a dash of dreaming, you can achieve anything you set your mind and your heart to.

Please tell us a little about yourself. I am a board certified urologic physician and surgeon. I treat all urologic diseases on both men and women. I am specifically trained in robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery, which usually helps decrease postoperative pain, bleeding, and length of hospital stay for patients.


With such a broad background in medicine, how did you get into Urology? A lot of people ask me, being female, how did I get into urology? The truth is, I kind of fell into it, but I also fell in love with it. For me, urology has been a field that allows me to continue using my strong medical background while allowing me to operate. It really is the perfect match for me.

The Sraff at Bluewater Urogology, R-L: Rachael Kenneson, MA; Melinda Wetzork , MA; Shika Smith - Referral Coordinator; Doris Bluett, MA; Christine Fletcher - Office Manager; Dianne Larson, ARNP , Nurse Practitioner; Dr. Mary Ann Kenneson, MD - Urologist and Robotic Surgeon; Taryn O’Keefe Marketing and Operations

What is your background? I started my career as a two-year nurse before going back to school for a bachelor’s degree in nursing. I then continued my journey as a nurse practitioner with a master’s degree in nursing. It was while working in this physician extender role where I realized my love of surgery. This led me to attend medical school and, as they say, the rest is history. Was there a certain experience as a young person that led you to become a doctor? Please tell the story. I’ve always been a “hands on” type of person and was drawn to medicine from an early age. The ability to make a lasting impact in people’s lives for the better captivated me. Getting the exposure to performing procedures as a nurse practitioner and the increased interaction with the doctors and surgeons helped me discover what I was really meant to do: become a doctor, and more importantly, a surgeon. What aspect of your work do you enjoy most? I love the relationships I have with my patients. I truly get as much from them as they get from me. The interaction I have now with my patients as a doctor continues to make me dedicated and compassionate about this field. Did you/do you have a mentor? There was a urologic surgeon when I was working as a nurse practitioner at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky who inspired me. I just loved his interaction with his patients and he was an awesome surgeon and an all around great person. He was a great mentor and I have always appreciated that.

actually help with the problems that are bothering the patients. I also credit my outstanding medical team at Blue Water Urology Associates for being so friendly and professional to our patients and for helping to provide advanced care to the men and women of Northeast Florida. As a whole, we seek to work together with our patients and provide exceptional care from the minute they enter our door and I believe this also sets us apart. What is your favorite activity when you are not working? Do you have any hobbies? I like anything outdoors; gardening, fishing, boating, and watching Jags games, you name it! I also love spending time with my family and friends and playing with my grandson. It has become a tradition to host Sunday night dinners and everyone comes over for a day of grilling out, laughing and enjoying time together. What is your favorite place or thing to do in our community? My favorite place is the Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island area, exploring the shops on Center Street downtown, listening to music at the Green Turtle, and trying every pizza spot available, but my favorite thing to do is spend time fishing offshore, hence the name Blue Water Urology Associates. *For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call #904.644.8353 or visit Dr. Kenneson’s website, bluewaterurology.com or find her on Facebook by searching Blue Water Urology Associates today.

How does being a Doctor change your life? The responsibility can be unimaginably sobering and at the same time extremely rewarding. What are the newest/best treatments for women’s health today? We have just introduced the Mona Lisa Touch as an addition to the therapies provided at our office and I think it’s going to be a game changer for women’s health. The Mona Lisa Touch is an innovative, clinically proven, minimally invasive laser treatment that improves pelvic health. In the past we had to rely on hormonal therapy. Now we have an exciting alternative without the associated risk. It is exciting for women’s health as a whole and we’re already seeing phenomenal results. What sets your practice apart? I think my communication skills with patients, really being able to listen and understand what’s wrong, sets me apart from the rest. I think oftentimes, as physicians, we get so busy that we really don’t stop to listen, and I make that a huge part of my practice, listening, so that I can

Dr. Kenneson with her daughter Rachael www.stjohnsmag.com



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By Faith, Not Sight by Nikki-Lyn Holm

make·o·ver ˈmākˌōvər/ noun 1. a complete transformation or remodeling of something, especially a person's hairstyle, makeup, or clothes.

What I love about Candice Snyder’s story, is how her HEART experienced a transformational makeover when she was just 16 years old. And suddenly found out she was pregnant. Such a rocky time in her life, although Candice admits she was doing what many young people become exposed to. Experimenting. She was spiraling down a bad path of drugs and alcohol. In the interview, I appreciated when her honest heart shared this solid truth: Her oldest son Tyler literally saved her. God knew Candice being a mother would steer her in a different direction. Life would no longer be about her first. She married the father of all of her children very young. Sadly they divorced 15 years later. She is thankful they still having a good relationship as co-parents. Born in Maryland and raised by a single mother too, she is proud of her mom who did the best she could. She can now relate to all her mother went through, and has immense respect the for the mother she was. Candice stated her mom was a big supporter of her, as well as her younger sister. With a very strong and outgoing personality, I can also say, Candice is one of the most courageous mothers I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. One of the best attributes of Candice, aside from her humor and ability to engage well with others, is how she pours EVERYTHING into her 3 incredible children: Tyler is now 22. She loves that he still calls her momma. He works at Top Golf and is striving to climb their corporate ladder. Noah is 18 and according to this proud, single mom? Has a heart of gold! Noah is a star athlete who is graduating with a full ride scholarship for basketball. Madison is her 16 year old daughter. This proud momma would describe her as a true and loyal friend. She played varsity basketball as a sophomore too. Wow. Both of her current high schoolers get A’s and B’s as well. I find it amazing in today’s world, where children seem to be less passionate about anything except their technology, how dedicated her athletic children are. Candice said they go early and stay late. They practice. They do and give more. How? Why? She told them early on, if they don’t want to end up struggling in life then they should do the extra! Everything goes into her kids. It’s obvious to most who know Candice. She wears a very natural look. She doesn’t buy herself new clothes. Truly a selfless, loving single mom. I believe this is a rare quality to find these days. Over the past year, Candice joined a group called Freedom. Her life verse is “For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 Prior to the makeover, I asked Candice what excited her most

about this experience. She said she was looking forward to feeling beautiful again. She confessed to feeling nervous about wearing a dress...and also feared that she may really like the clothes and want to buy more. Hahaha!!! Yes Candice, it can get into your blood. Though knowing her heart, she will continue to put her children before her own wants and needs. This is simply what good mothers do. She aspires to finish nursing school after her children graduate. I have no doubt she will do just that! Yes Candice, it can get into your blood. Though knowing her heart, she will continue to put her children before her own wants and needs. This is simply what good mothers do. She aspires to finish nursing school, after her children graduate. Proudly, she already has her associates degree, and just a few classes left. I have no doubt she will do just that: Become a nurse. She is quite the nurturer, and will love on her future patients, as sweetly as she has her own children.





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PREMIER BOAT & RV STORAGE Expands with Boom in Outdoor Enthusiasts

By Ron Whittington

Businesses representing everything from RV campgrounds and resorts to kennels and welding services are finding more business these days thanks to an uptick in the number of younger couples and families enjoying the outdoors. That’s what prompted Joe Melville to open Premier Boat and Owner Joe Melville RV Storage a little over two years ago just off Interstate 95 near the St. Augustine Outlet Mall. Formerly in the oil and gas business, Melville owned some buildings in Ohio where “it’s a big deal to get your Boats and RVs out of the weather during the winter months” before retiring to Florida. “I sold the company and moved down here, still way too young to retire,” he said. “With all the baby-boomers and the younger crowd now buying RVs, and sales on their way up, I thought there would be a real need for a first-class, user-friendly storage facility.” Melville’s storage facility offers indoor, outdoor and covered storage spaces for boats and RVs, providing a state-ofthe-art security system, as well as all-concrete storage spaces with asphalt travel ways that are close to several nearby RV dealerships that can provide maintenance and repairs. People can rent month-to-month, with the price dependent on the size of the space needed to accommodate their Boat or RV. All amenities at the facility are included in the monthly rent. Whether they want to store inside his building, under the covered area or the open area on his secured lot.

“People that invest this much money typically want to store on concrete or asphalt, not in the grass, on sand or on a gravel lot,” he said. Melville did a good job anticipating what the market needed: the first phase of his storage facility was completely booked almost immediately after it opened, prompting an expansion over an additional seven acres in phase two to bring his lot size to 10 acres. The expansion started last year and was recently completed and opened to the public in mid-February. Premier now offers another 122 storage spaces – all with optional metered 20-amp electricity available – which brings the total storage units to 204. Right now, Melville says the spaces are shared nearly half-and-half between boats and RVs. With the economy on the uptick and more consumers with disposal income, he’s preparing for more storage needs in the future – with plans to add storage on another nine acres of property in addition to the expansion just completed. “Believe it or not, most of the people store their RVs here because they simply don’t have enough space to park them at their house or in their garage,” Melville said. “Also, most homeowners associations won’t allow them to park them in their yard or on the street, so in a way some are forced to find off-site storage. “However, most in that situation would rather store their boat or RV in a facility such as ours, designed specifically and exclusively for that purpose,” he said. “They like having the access to the dump station, wash areas and the detailing services offered at Premier. They want to go to sleep at night knowing that their boat or RV is in a safe and secure facility.” For more information visit www.premiercoachindoorstorage. com

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Happy Mother's Day!

MAY Calendar

May 4-6th The 23rd Annual Gamble Rogers Music Festival hosted by Totally St. Augustine Colonial Quarter, 33 Saint George Street, Saint Augustine, Florida 32084 Join us under the oaks as we celebrate our third year at the Colonial Quarter in beautiful downtown St. Augustine with three days of live music and over 55 bands! Music, crafts, and activities for kids! Open Jam, so bring your instruments! http://gamblerogersfest.org/ May 5th Ellie's Garden + Everbalance | Pilates in the Park 5117 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida 32207 Come celebrate International Pilates Day at Ellie's Garden! Join the lovely women from Everbalance, for Pilates in the Park on May 5th! $15 to attend, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit homeless veterans. http://myeverbalance.com/ May 5th Arch Pilates Free Outdoor Pilates to Celebrate Pilates Day; 7am at Historical Walter Jones Park Boardwalk, Jacksonville, FL 32223 www. archpilates.com May 6th Healing Day With The Angels Hosted by Feeding The Body Feeding The Soul- St. Augustine (10 AM 4:30 PM) Come and sit in the Healing Energy of the Nine IET Angels. Enjoy their gifts, messages and more. This is not a training. No pre-


requisite required. YOu will receive a book on the Nine IET Angels and a certificate at the end of the day. Cost-$110 Contact Nancy at 904687-072 www.feedingthebodyfeedingthesoul.com May 7th Story Time with Miss Mary (11-12 pm) Hosted by Play Today Toys; 116 Bartram Oaks Walk, Ste 104, Saint Johns 32259 May 9th Story Time (9:30-10:30 am) Hosted by Busy Book Life; Aberdeen Amenity Center; 110 Flower of Scotland Ave, St. Johns, Florida 32259 May 10th BIG BAG SALE! Friends Of The Jacksonville Public Library 3435 University Blvd. N., Jacksonville, Florida 32277 May 10th Wild Edibles and Medicinal Plants Hosted by Earth Kinship (10-12) Enjoy a hike with St. Johns County Naturalist AyoLane Halusky and discover the many editable and medicinal plants that could be right in your backyard. Learn how to identify these plants as well as learn their various edible and medicinal uses. welcome a special guest joining us on our walk, Horticulture Extension Agent Terra Freeman. For More Information contact AyoLane Halusky at 904-209-0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl. us

May 10th Discovery Marsh Walk Hosted by Anastasia State Park; 300 Anastasia Park Rd, Saint Augustine, Florida 32080. Explore the Anastasia Marsh Trail with a park ranger, and learn about the importance of estuarine systems that surround the inshore sides of barrier islands. Hikers will travel through the maritime hammock and tidal salt marsh while discovering the plant and animal life found in these natural communities. Suggested items to bring are binoculars, comfortable walking shoes, a camera, drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. Meet by the Anastasia Watersports Parking Lot. This event is weather permitting and subject to cancellation May 11th Owl and Sunset Symphony Hosted by Earth Kinship (7:309:30pm) Beluthahatchee Park; 1523 State Road 13, Fruit Cove, Florida 32259 St. Johns County Parks and Recreation has partnered with the Stetson Kennedy Foundation for a sunset owl talk. Enjoy the sunset at Beluthahatchee while learning about its unique history, as well as, nature's evening symphony. If you're lucky the local owls will join in the symphony. Participants are asked to bring their own lawn chair. For more information, please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904-209-0348 or e-mail him at ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

May 13th Mother's Day Surf and Yoga Camp Hosted by St. Augustine Surf School Mom's Only Surf and Yoga Morning on Mother's Day. Last year was super fun and filled up fast! Don't miss out on this years event! (9 am-12pm) www.staugustinesurf.com May 19th Bluewater Health & Aesthetics Open House Event 1995 Kingsly Ave, Suite 903, Orange Park. Door prizes, special event pricing. Learn about laser treatments to enhance your life. Rsvp tokeefe@bluewaterurology May 23rd Sunset Owl Prowl Hosted by Earth Kinship (8-10pm) Alpine Groves Park, 2060 Florida 13, Switzerland, Florida 32259 Participate in a unique opportunity to watch the sunset along the St. Johns River and explore Alpine Groves Park park after dark with our County Naturalist. Those who attend will learn about the creatures of the night, including the resident owls. Sign up today for this FREE guided walk. May 27th SUP Yoga Guana Guana River State Park 2690 S Ponte Vedra Blvd, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082

2245 County Rd 210 #102, Saint Johns, FL 32259

(904) 201-1437

• Wellness Care • Non-Invasive Pain Management • Surgery • Boarding • Grooming • Dentistry • Radiology • End of Life Care


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Combine & Save. Don Haneline, Agent 196 Everest Lane Suite 3 Saint Johns, FL 32259 Bus: 904-615-1415 iinsurewithdon.com

Good things happen when you combine your home and auto insurance with State Farm . Like saving an average of $827.* Plus, you’ll have a good neighbor like me to help life go right. CALL ME TODAY. ®

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“Team Kaprelian (Kasia and Mark) of Watson Realty Corp is the best, by far, team we ever worked with. Their understanding of our local market, responsiveness/communication skills are simply superb! They are truly awesome on a strategic as well as tactical level. Bottom line - their extraordinary competence, diligence and passion to get job done resulted in very expedient sale of our house. We do very highly recommend Kasia and Mark for your real estate needs.” Art and Kasia Kolodziejski, Ponte Vedra, FL


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67 Howell Ct., St Augustine, FL 32092 (Shearwater) MLS 918922 $299,916

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255 Vale Dr., St. Augustine, FL 3209 (Palencia) MLS 872958 $694,000



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Chiropractic Care For the Whole Family

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Consultation, Exam & Complimentary 1/2 hour Massage After Your Exam ($250 Value) Please call for details!

Celebrating 11 Years! serving our community!


Postnatal Physical Pain & Dysfunction Theresa Scully, PT, Pilates Instructor & President at Arch Pilates & Physical Therapy


Bendy Bodies Kids Pilates! 4 wk sessions available!


region, tailbone, sacrum, and hip during sitting and other pelvic floor activities. Myofascial release, pelvic floor training to fully relax and/or contract the region, and specialized pelvic floor biofeedback will treat the pain and dysfunction. A technique called applied kinesiology may help identify muscle weakness and imbalances in this region as well. Pilates exercises naturally address the pelvic floor as a major component in core strengthening and postural support. Placing the pelvis in an elevated position against gravity will naturally activate the pelvic floor during abdominal strengthening. In conclusion, there are many ailments mothers of new babies or young children deal with and are often ignored or set aside as a side effect of becoming a mother. But, many of these physical ailments are treatable once the mother takes charge of her body and makes a decision to note that something just doesn’t feel right. Alerting the proper professional is the next step. Never give up if the initial encounter is futile. It may take some convincing of your primary obstetrician to recognize a physical dysfunction. Abnormal muscle recovery and/or pain is the specialty of orthopedists and physical therapists. Please refer to the resources to help you or someone you care about recover from postnatal physical dysfunctions. Theresa Scully is a Pilates instructor and physical therapist with knowledge base in myofascial pain syndrome and experienced in the evaluation and treatment of postnatal, physical impairments. Contact her at her studio, www.archpilates.com, Theresa@archpilates.com, 904860-5392.

Pilate h c s

Physical Recovery from delivery is an important topic that is left out of conversations with the doctor. In my personal and professional experience the follow up postnatal appointment with the OBGYN lacks the discussion of physical recovery. One such problem is Diastasis recti. Caesarian scars, myofascial pain syndrome, and pelvic alignment dysfunction at the sacroiliac joint and pelvis is a common postnatal physical impairment. Pelvic floor pain and dysfunction resultant of scarring, episiotomy, over stretched muscles, spastic muscles, and unbalanced muscle activation is also a physical ailment experienced by many women, but not often brought to the attention of the doctor. This lack of discussion on the patient's side may be a result of a new mother just expecting problems after childbirth and not considering that these physical problems are treatable. Diastasis Recti is the condition that occurs when your abdominals remain split greater than 2 fingers width. Men and women alike suffer this problem. Therefore it is not exclusive to pregnancy. One should see the abdominal edges come back together by 6 -8 weeks, postnatally. Lay on your back, knees bent and lift your head up, if your belly pooches, or domes, then you might have diastasis recti. Genetics play a big part in having a diastasis recti. Many have a misconception that diastasis can be prevented by avoiding such exercises as yoga pose cow and sit ups. The reason for the abdominal split is not so much the movement or exercise as the matter of how the exercise or movement is done. It is the intraabdominal pressure that occurs in the abdominal cavity that in essence pushes the abdominals apart. So, the rule of thumb during and after pregnancy is to engage the deep abdominal muscle called the transversus abdominus by using a navel to spine activation and avoiding a pushing out of the belly button during any exercise or daily activity. The Tupler technique requires an abdominal binder (I use a belt) wrapped around the abdominals to bring the edges together during deep abdominal exercises such as Pilates. The focus and core strengthening addressed during Pilates exercises address the abdominal separation well. A cesarean should take 6-8 weeks to fully heal. Scar tissue that forms at the surface can also affect the fascia deep in the abdomen, sometimes as deep as the digestive system, affecting digestion and the bowels. Episiotomy scarring can affect the function of the pelvic floor. Nerve pain is common as nerve endings heal, but should not be intense, sharp, and long lasting past 6 months. One year's time may be the maximum time for the scar and nerve damage to recover, but it doesn't have to last this long at an increased intensity of greater than 5/10 pain (10/10 is emergency room pain). The good news is that fascia and scar tissue will change and loosen no matter how old the scar with the help of a trained myofascial therapist. You can massage the scar yourself by moving the scar around in circles, perpendicular to the scar, and lift and roll the scar and the tissue 1-2 inches around the scar. Pelvis bone alignment issues occur due to ligamentous laxity and causes pubis bone pain, tailbone pain, groin pain and low back pain. Pelvic alignment dysfunction can be successfully treated through a physical Therapist, chiropractic, or osteopath. Often, muscle energy techniques can be self-performed at home to re-align the pelvis. Ultimately, after alignment corrections, core strengthening and muscle balancing of tight and under-active muscles will stabilize the pelvis. Finally, pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when the muscles of the pelvic floor are weak, tight, or there is an impairment of the sacroiliac joint, low back, coccyx and/or hip joint. Pain results in the pelvic floor

& Physical Therapy


Theresa Scully, P.T. & Pilates Instructor

11701 San Jose Blvd, Suite 26 Jacksonville, FL 32223

Fitness | Rehab | Prenatal | Babywear@the barre | License Physical Therapist

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SELF care By Stephanie Hall Center Coordinator at Skin & Body Center

Self Care is a word that gets thrown around a lot lately. I’m a Mom of 3 boys and I have this conversation with other Moms a lot. Self care…sounds great, but when am I going to find the time to practice this mystery art? We know we should take the time to take care of ourselves because when we do, it overflows to our children, our significant other, our jobs, etc. Unfortunately, it can become a constant cycle of I should, I will, maybe tomorrow, definitely next week…

that you love how they feel and smell. Breathe and take a few extra moments. • SPEND TIME WITH A GOOD FRIEND – Your friendships are so essential to your spirit. Take the time to nurture those relationships. Bottom line is make time. Do little things every day that take care of you because you deserve it!

The reality is, the struggle is real. We are huge advocates at the spa of self-care because we give so much to those around us, we need to replenish ourselves so I asked the staff at Skin & Body Center for their favorite Self Care Rituals. • MASSAGE - The benefits of massage are amazing and research shows regular massage reduces stress and anxiety and helps you to sleep. • YOGA - Yes, I know you love to wear your yoga pants but actually DOING yoga is really good for you too! • DRY BRUSHING – It increases blood circulation, improves skin and drives toxins out of the body. It simply feels good and only takes a few minutes. • FINDING JUST A FEW MINUTES OF ME TIME – this could mean savoring a cup of tea or taking a bath with oils and scrubs. • EXERCISE – walking, running, group exercise, dancing. • MEDITATION/QUIET TIME – take advantage of the early morning. Get up a few minutes early and have a quick meditation and set the day’s intention. • READING FOR PLEASURE – it allows you to unplug from work, social media, stress and remain focused. • GET OUTSIDE - gardening, working outside and going to beach are all things that can help you to relax and decompress. Just don’t forget the sunscreen! • SKIN CARE RITUAL – you have to wash your face, so why not make it part of your self care ritual? Find skin care products

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by Dr. Laura Sullivan & Dr. Susie Perry St. Johns Kenneth Stevens Had a chance to visit the practice yesterday. What a nice group of professionals; friendly & amicable Pediatric Dentistry staff available & willing to help. Spacious waiting area as well as treatment cubicles. State of the art equipment. Great job, Blue Sky team!!!

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Bright Futures Inspires St. Johns Teens to Volunteer

by Faith Behrens


Many high schoolers are looking for volunteer opportunities to meet the qualifications for the Bright Future Scholarship. One great place for volunteer opportunities is Spectrum Thrift Store which is located at 616 State Road 13 Saint Johns, FL 32259. Spectrum Thrift Store is a nonprofit organization, run by Mark Tillman and Alisa Tillman who have a passion for helping young people on the autism spectrum learn valuable work skills and gain experience for future job opportunities. They give away free books at Spectrum Thrift Store with a donation to ESE, which stands for Exceptional Student Education. Everyone can volunteer at the thrift store including those with autism. There are no age requirements and the store is very accommodating for busy schedules allowing people to volunteer as little as an hour at a time. There is no obligation to volunteer a certain amount of days. One can volunteer once or as many times as they like. There are a variety of ways one can help, some of which include, sorting donations, making sure appliances work and are not damaged, folding clothes, etc. The thrift store is very organized in ways one can volunteer, making it easy and simple to volunteer there. Mark Tillman credits his volunteer coordinator with creating a welcoming environment for volunteers saying, “I surrounded myself with a bunch of woman that are smarter than me.” Another appealing volunteer opportunity for teens is to advertising products at the thrift store on Snapchat or Instagram. Interested volunteers can come to the store and fill out the application. There are no special training requirements in order to participate. The hours one can come to the store hours are Monday-Friday 10:30-6:30, Saturday 9:30-6:30 and Sunday 12:oo-5:oo. Outside of volunteering one’s time, community members can donate goods for resale. Profits from the store will be used to open another store in a different location.

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A Message From The Vet

Making Your Vet Visit Stress Free In a survey of cat owners, 58 percent said their cats hate going to see the veterinarian. Likely as a result, more than half of U.S. cats have not gone to the vet in the past year. Dogs can be equally stressed out. First and foremost, you’ll want to choose a veterinarian who handles your pet gently and actively tries to help reduce fear, perhaps by offering treats, getting down on your dog’s level (including conducting the exam on the floor if your pet hates the exam table) and talking in a soothing voice. In addition, there are many things that you can do to help your pet have a less stressed visit. Here are some steps to reduce stress at the vet: 1. Teach Your Pet to Like the Carrier One of the most stressful aspects of vet visits for many cat owners is getting their cat in her carrier. Avoid only taking out the carrier when you’re going to the vet. Instead, leave it out at home as a safe place for your cat to nap and eat dinner. This way, she’ll be happy to go inside when you need her to (and the same goes for dogs and their crates). Also choose a cat carrier that opens at the top to allow your cat to be taken out more easily. 2. Familiarize Your Pet With the Vet Bring your cat or dog to your veterinarian’s office on a day when she’s feeling well. Let her sniff around the waiting room and scope out an exam room if it’s OK with the staff. Give her a treat or two and then turn around and go home. Next time, she’ll think the vet is a great place to visit. Many vets also offer play time at the vet which al-

lows your dog to interact with other dogs and makes the vet a fun place. 3. Familiarize Your Pet With the Car If your pet is fearful of car rides, work on taking short trips to make her more comfortable. Take car trips to someplace fun, like a park or a friend’s home that your pet enjoys — not only to the vet. Keep your pet safe in the car in a crate or with a seat belt. They make booster seats for small dogs that can secure your pet and allow them to look out the window while riding. 4. Get Your Pet Used to Handling Pets that are used to having their paws, ears, tails and other areas handled will tolerate a vet exam much easier than those who are fearful of handling. It’s best to do this when your pet is a puppy or kitten, but even older pets can learn to enjoy (or at least tolerate) handling. 5. Be Prepared and Calm Your pet picks up on your emotional cues. If you’re nervous and frazzled while heading to the vet, it will only add to your pet’s tension. 6. Keep Your Pet Secure Even if your pet normally stays by your side, he may act differently at the vet’s office. Dogs should be harnessed and cats (and other small animals) should be safely kept in a pet carrier. Try to give your pet some space from other pets, too. Don’t bring your leashed dog right up to other (probably stressed out) dogs, and keep your kitty’s carrier in a quiet part of the waiting room away from other curious pets. 7. Bring Along a Comfort Item If your dog has a favorite toy, let him bring it along for the visit. You can also bring along a familiar blanket or towel. Put the blanket on the exam table with your pet for added

With Dr. Kathleen Deckard, DVM Pets R Family Veterinary Hospital comfort. 8. Alert Staff If Your Pet Is Extremely Anxious If your dog is extremely stressed by going to the vet, let the veterinarian and staff know so they can take extra care to avoid worsening the stress. 9. Choose a Vet Who Uses ‘Fear-Free’ Handling Techniques Restraining pets only adds to the trauma of vet visits. Instead, choose a vet who uses “fear-free” handling techniques, which are designed to help calm your pet through necessary exams and treatments. 10. Once Home, Let Your Pet Relax When you arrive home, your pet will be tired and happy to be home. Let her relax in her favorite spot and regroup, quietly, at her own pace. Give her space if she wants it but keep an eye out for any changes in behavior or reactions to medications she received during the visit. Natural Relaxation Aids May Help Some Pets The steps above will go a long way toward making veterinarian visits less stressful, but some pets may still benefit from natural relaxation aids or anti-anxiety medication. Species-specific pheromones are one option. These are chemical substances that can positively affect an animal's emotional state and behavior. There's the D.A.P. diffuser for dogs and Feliway for kitties. They come in a variety of forms: sprays, wipes and collars. Calming nutraceuticals and herbs that are given orally include Zylkene, Solliquin, & Composure, just to name a few. Ceva makes Tranquil-ease patches that contain essential oils that can be very calming. Ask your veterinarian for advice on what tips they have for making your pet feel at ease for your next visit!

Dr. Erika McDivitt | Dr. Kalthleen Deckard, DVM (Owner)| | Dr. Scarlet Motycka

Your other family doctors!


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