Health Magazine Winter 2023

Page 1

Health Mind & Body


New Year’s can bring on new exercise regimens Paxlovid latest in COVID-19 treatments COVID-19 causes people to seek mental health help Nail care, hair styling help with mental health

Winter 2023


Ed Choate


Abby Bigaouette


Heather Ruotolo Joe Mack

Contributing Writer

Lee Guthrie

Health, Mind, & Body is a quarterly publication of the Tahlequah Daily Press. For advertising opportunities, call a member of the advertising team at 918-456-8833.

Health, Mind, & Body • Winter 2023 3 NEW YEAR’S CAN BRING ON NEW EXERCISE REGIMENS 4 PAXLOVID LATEST IN LINE OF COVID-19 TREATMENTS 5 COVID-19 CAUSES SOME TO SEEK MENTAL HEALTH HELP 7 NAIL CARE, HAIR STYLING HELP WITH MENTAL HEALTH All nationalities are welcome to apply for Cherokee Elder Care! • Primary Medical &NursingCare • Medical Specialist • Therapy-Physical, Occupations, &Speech • Home Health Services • Transportation • Social Services • Behavioral Health • Hospitalizations • Medications • Medical Equipment • Adult Day Health Care &Social Activities Services
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Every year people are encouraged to make New Year’s resolutions, and those usually include exercise.

They all start out with great intentions, but soon many become discouraged and give up. So how can a new regimens of exercise be successfully incorporated into daily or weekly routines?

An article by Alexa Tucker and Christina Sgobba in Self Magazine, an online publication founded to educate people on health and fitness, establishes the basic tenets of starting a new exercise practice. The first one is to identify the “why” of beginning a new exercise program.

Linda Axley and Martha Bryant attend the Senior Hawks exercise classes with teacher, Jon Lee, at the Fit, a gym on the Northeastern State University campus in Tahlequah. Linda said the group eats together once a month, which encourages social interaction along with fitness, something they both feel is important for retired folks. Neoma Core, the unofficial leader of the Senior Hawks, attends the class to remain healthy after a recent health scare.

“It means a lot to me mentally,” said Jack Ritchie, a retiree who regularly utilizes the same facilities.

He said he feels the interac-

tion between the younger staff at the gym and the older members is important; a benefit that goes both ways. Lee said he learns a lot about the differences in the era his class members grew up in and how things are today for people his age.

“The exercise gives me purpose, and it’s important to have an action plan to accomplish something every day,” said Ritchie.

Darius Salters, a running back for the RiverHawks football team, exercises to keep fit for his dream of being a professional football player with the NFL. Salters, of Dallas, is hoping to be picked by one of the pro team scouts in January 2023.

Heather Winn, family and consumer sciences educator at OSU Extension, encourages parents to keep their children active during holidays and summer by getting them involved in 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity or exercise every day. Encouraging children to make choices helps them stay healthy and active, and it’s a great idea for parents to model healthy habits. Being physically active not only plays a key role in overall health, but it also helps improve sleep and decreases stress.

Mina Hamilton, author of “Serenity to Go, Calming Techniques for Your Hectic Life,” said the old theory of no pain, no gain may result in injury and discourage a person from stick-

ing with the work, as moderation is the best policy.

To start a program, individuals can check with the local gyms in the Tahlequah area. Some

offer memberships that can be purchased on a trial basis. YouTube also offers users free programs for yoga, meditation, and other types of exercise.

3 Health, Mind, & Body • Winter 2023
New Year’s can bring
exercise regimes
on new
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Senior Hawks Exercise Instructor Jon Lee leads a group of regular attendees to the Senior Hawks exercise class at the Fit. From left are: Jon Lee, Neoma Core, Angela Austin, Linda Axley, and Rainer Waldhoer.

Many have declared experiencing COVID-19 burnout, as some people are tired of the news of the mutating SARSCO V-2 virus. However, it is still here and as of press time has claimed over 17,000 CDC/ NCHS Provisional Deaths in Oklahoma.

Paxlovid is a new pharmaceutical in the investigative stage to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children, and those at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, which may cause hospitalization or death.

“The drug is designed to keep you from being hospitalized. It did its job if you are not admitted,” said Jason Gallagher, Temple University School of Pharmacy clinical pharmacy specialist in infectious diseases.

A letter dated Oct. 27 from the Center for Drug Evalua-

tion and Research, stated that the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization for Paxlovid. An EUA is a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures during public health emergencies. This allows the use of a new drug still in the fact-finding process to be used in emergency situations when life-threatening conditions exist.

When emergency measures are deemed necessary to release a drug for public consumption, people might question the wisdom of the decision. They worry about side effects that have not yet been documented, and fear the new drug will worsen their condition.

A strong metallic taste is the most common side effect of the drug reported by people with returning and long-term COVID-19. Other side-effects, according to, are diarrhea, nausea, bad headaches, and sores on the tongue.

But the one most often reported was the metallic taste, which was described by one patient like sucking on a stack of nickels.

An Oct. 6 article in Con-

sumer Report, “How PAXLOVID Works,” said Pfizer’s newest drug has been a game

A strong metallic taste is a common side effect of Paxlovid, people with returning and long-term COVID-19 report. See PAXLOVID, page 5

4 Health, Mind, & Body • Winter 2023
Cherokee Nation Home He alth Serv ices Inc. OutReach 800-307-4768 Home Health 888-281-6910 Hospice 877-792-7372 “S er vicesare notlimited to Native Amer icans” Paxlovid latest in line of COVID-19 treatments

COVID-19 causes some to seek mental health help

During this time of COVID-19, there has been an increase across the board with adults and children needing mental health services, such as those offered by Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health.

Services are offered at all outpatient health facility locations across the tribe’s 14 county reservation. In the inpatient setting, CNBH also has clinicians available in the emergency department until midnight, and staff on call from midnight until the morning hours to increases access to these services.

During the pandemic, Cherokee Nation expanded its Crisis Response Team to train Behavioral Health clinicians to respond to crisis situations, such as natural disasters and pandemics.

“COVID has been isolating

and we have lost so many of our friends and family, and our people have needed connection and increased access to our services,” said Ashley Lincoln, Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health Clinic administrator.

A telemedicine program, a confidential videoconferencing system, was expanded for psychiatric counseling that allows patients to access help even when isolating at home. Many patients are still continuing to use the program even though restrictions have lifted. This care is offered to those eligible for services. CNHS patients can access behavioral health services by contacting their local Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center at 918-316-3492. For more information, visit www.

Members in the community have lost homes and jobs when they cannot go to work

due to COVID-19 related illness. A collaborative effort between Cherokee Nation Health Services with other social programs in the community, offers support with building resumes, finding housing, and locating new jobs.

Lincoln said anyone suffering from the stress and trauma of COVID-19, or has had any life situation that brings on suicidal thoughts, should dial 988, which is the new Lifeline number. The previous Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-8255, is still available to people in emotional distress or suicide crisis.

Deana Franke, owner of The Oasis Health Food Store, said grounding is essential. Being here and now is crucial to get

out of depression. Using smell, touch, taste, and sight can help come back to the present moment by doing that for a few minutes a couple of times every day.

“Sit outside with your feet on the ground, not concrete. Walk and consciously force your brain to look at the clouds or other things surrounding you,” said Franke.

Franke said walking, as opposed to running, puts more happy chemicals in the brain. For over-the-counter relief of symptoms from depression, she recommends Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, Rhodiola, and B vitamins for those who wish to


changer for people at high risk, including seniors and those with chronic health issues. The ingredient nirmatrelvir in Paxlovid functions as an antiviral, and stops SARS-CO V-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from making copies of itself. The ingredient ritonavir helps boost that antiviral activity. Ritonavir can also modify the effects of other drugs in people’s system, including common statin prescriptions.

The Consumer Report article said there is also the rebound effect, where some people who

take the drug then report the return of symptoms, or a positive test, after treatment.

Shanon Gower, the pharmacist for Tahlequah Drug Company, said the pharmacy has been dispensing the drug since its release. The side effects are the same as the virus, including upset stomach, taste and smell loss, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and muscle aches.

“But the main benefit of the drug is that it stops the replication of the virus and shortens the duration of the illness,” said Gower.

5 Health, Mind, & Body • Winter 2023
See HELP, page 7
Continued from page 4
Deana Franke, owner of The Oasis Health Food Store, shares natural remedies to alleviate depression brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cherokee Nation Health Services offers services to different individuals struggling with mental health.

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6 Health, Mind, & Body • Winter 2023

Nail care, hair styling help with mental health

Having a manicure, pedicure, or having their hair styled, can help with a person’s mental health and self-esteem.

The hand massage, relaxing experience and pampering can ease tension, and boost a person’s mood. The hand and foot massages promotes healthy blood circulation, reduces muscle tension and pain, and improves joint mobility.

Regular manicures and pedicures lessen the chance of nails developing fungi and other infections. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and encourages cell growth, leaving nails stronger and healthier.

April Lundy, owner of The Avenue Hair Salon at 211 N. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah, says the benefits of being a hair stylist goes both ways. She has worked in the business of beau-

ty for 17 years, and says people come to her to talk about what is going on in their lives and to sometimes to rant about it.

“It’s rewarding because it’s hair therapy,” said Lundy.

Debbie Brewer, a regular customer at the salon since moving to Tahlequah a year ago, said it makes her more confident, feel beautiful, and as the grandmother of six, younger.

“It’s pampering, taking care of me,” said Brewer.

A post on LinkedIn Aug. 4 by Mike Goncalves, a hair stylist, shares another aspect of going to a salon or barber shop. It can be a momentary relief from loneliness.

“Just because we are all endlessly connected through the wonders of the internet doesn’t mean we’re not all getting hit with that wave of loneliness from time to time,” said Goncalves.

Hair salons and barber shops

offer a sense of community. According to Goncalves, it’s hard to stay blue with fellow customers all around. It gives a person a chance to break away from their routines, and talk to people they wouldn’t ordinarily end up talking to.

“It gives a safe place to relieve some of a person’s stress by talking to their stylist or barber about their life,” said Goncalves.

According to a website for Brillare Beauty Institute, low self-esteem often leads to depression, anxiety, and the use of negative coping mechanisms. Not only does the pampering at a salon reduce stress, but it elevates self-esteem, which raises confidence. This also enhances confidence on the professional side, and helps cosmetologists and manicurists to grow into

more competent care providers.

According to “About Nails (and When to See a Dermatologist)” by Derick Dermatology, a person might not think their nails need more than daily care until something goes wrong. The protection nails offer makes the fingertips a hand’s strongest part. Fine motor movements become possible with them, and a network of nerves underneath provides feeling. Toenails prevent injury and infection because of the defense they provide.

Goncalves said people need to take a break from their daily stress.

“If you’ve got a lot on your plate—work, kids, a nagging partner—going to [the salon or barber shop] can be a momentary stress relief for you,” said Goncalves.

January Wyatt, a resident of Park Hill, began to work the daily Wordle puzzle, having heard that solving puzzles is good for our brain as we age. She said laughing helps, and she finds reasons to laugh,

seeking out joyful and funny content. Checking in and staying connected with friends and family is important to her.

“I limit how much I watch the news, figuring out that being constantly informed stresses me out,” said Wyatt.

7 Health, Mind, & Body • Winter 2023
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Help Continued from page 5
April Lundy, owner and operator at Salon on the Avenue, gives Debbie Brewer’s hair a color touch up.

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