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Activities Calendar

National MS Society—Northern California Chapter


How You Can Find Relief Through Yoga

and can relieve pain or stiffness in the hip joints and muscles of the buttocks.

By Anandi Martinez

Because MS attacks the central nervous system, practicing Yoga can be a wonderful remedy. Doing a few asanas (poses) may bring many benefits, and a well-rounded Hatha yoga class that includes not only appropriate postures, but pranayama (breathing practices), guided relaxation, and meditation, will cover everything within the body and without. In Yoga, all aspects of the body are moved in all possible directions and modified according to your ability. Backward bending, forward bending, inversions and twists are all providing various benefits for the internal organs, the digestive, circulatory, reproductive and endocrine systems. For people living with MS, twisting poses are extremely beneficial as it increases flexibility of the entire spine and each attached vertebrae and ligament get a fresh supply of blood providing an excellent tonic for the nervous system and nerves rooted in the spine. Twisting also squeezes toxins from the digestive organs

Finally, practicing guided relaxation by visualizing positive, calming images that move through the body from the toes to the top of the head helps you deeply relax and allows the body to heal. Meditation works on a cellular level, causing changes to the cells themselves, creating harmony in the body and mind and distancing yourself from worries and fears. Anandi Martinez is a yoga instructor based in the Bay Area. For more information on Anandi or to contact her please visit her website, The National MS Society currently refers people living with MS to yoga programs in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus.

Table of Contents

1 Find Relief Through Yoga 2 Dealing with Pain & Spasticity 3 Making Laughter, Loving Life 4 Eating Well with MS

5 Couples Relationship Workshop 6 Orientation for Newly Diagnosed 7 Northern California Self-Help Groups 8 Going Green


Activities Calendar National MS Society—Northern California Chapter

Chapter Headquarters 415-230-6677 1700 Owens St. Suite 190 San Francisco, CA 94158 Sacramento Office 916-927-8000 4225 Northgate Blvd., Suite 4 Sacramento, CA 95834 Silicon Valley Office 408-988-7557 2589 Scott Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95050 1-800-344-4867 If you or someone you know has MS: Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can reduce future disease activity and improve quality of life for many people with mulitple sclerosis. Talk to your health professional or contact the National MS Society at 1.800.344.4867 or to learn about ways to help manage multiple sclerosis and about current research that may one day reveal a cure. Information provided by the National MS Society is based upon professional advice, published experience and expert opinion. Information provided in response to questions does not constitute therapeutic recommendations or prescriptions. The Society recommends that all questions and information be discussed with a personal physician. The National MS Society does not endorse products, services or manufacturers. Such names appear here solely because they are considered valuable information. The Society assumes no liability for the use or contents of any product or service mentioned. © 2009 National MS Society, Northern California Chapter


Dealing with Pain & Spasticity Pain and spasticity are common symptoms for a person with MS. Based on a formal study funded by the National MS Society as many as 80% of people with Primary Progressive MS have identified spasticity as affecting their daily living and 64% are adversely affected by pain. Find out the causes, standard practices and latest advances dealing with these symptoms and how to maximize your control. In this program, Dr. Maia Chakerian and Dr. Allen Kaisler-Meza will discuss many treatments for dealing with pain and spasticity including medication management, injection therapy, minimally evasive neuroablation, Botox therapy and ITB therapy. Light refreshments will be provided. Los Gatos Wednesday, June 3rd 6:00pm to 8:30pm Good Samaritan Hospital Cafeteria at the Mission Oaks Campus 15891 Los Gatos-Almaden Rd. For more information or to register for this program, please call 1-800-344-4867. Maia Chakerian, MD, is an anesthesiologist and an interventional pain manager. Allen Kaisler-Meza, MD, specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He is the Medical Director for Good Samaritan Hospital’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility. Both doctors currently have practices in Los Gatos, CA.

Pre-Registration is Required. Please call 1-800-344-4867.


Save the Date!!

Mother’s Day Tea MS Symptom Management for Women

Making Laughter, Loving Life An Afternoon with the Queen of Jest

This summer, give yourself a gift you can share with others for free: laughter. Going through life with MS is no laughing matter; however learn at this seminar how you can make active changes that bring joy into your life and help you share that joy with your loved ones. Patty Wooten, nurse, nurse humorist, nurse retention specialist and compassionate clown, will not only talk about the healing benefit of humor, but will also show you how to create humor and bring more into your life. Breakfast will be provided. Santa Cruz Saturday, June 20th Location and Time TBA For more information or to register for this program, please call 1-800-344-4867. Patty Wooten, RN, BSN, PHN, a charter member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, and a long-time member of the International Society for Humor Studies, is often called the “Queen of Jest,” because she’s tickled the funny bones of millions. The world understands more about the healing power of humor because of Patty’s lifelong work with leading humor researchers and practitioners. She has received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the field of therapeutic humor. Patty’s mission for the past 30 years has been helping people jest for the health of it. 1-800-344-4867

This presentation is a complimentary program to our Men’s Only Group and will be an open discussion about managing MS symptoms geared for women and provided in a female-only setting with an afternoon tea provided. During the session, the leader will be providing practical techniques on how to positively managed symptoms of MS faced by women. The leader will welcome questions at this session. Come and discuss the issues that matter most to you. Menlo Park Sunday, May 17th 2:30pm to 5:00pm Lisa’s Tea Treasures 1175 Merrill Street For more information or to register for this program, please call 1-800-344-4867.

Beat the Heat As summer approaches and temperatures rise, the Northern California Chapter will offer cooling solutions that can help you beat the heat. Many people with MS experience a temporary worsening of their symptoms when the weather is very hot or humid. Cooling products like vests, neck wraps, or bandanas can be helpful tools to help lower your body temperature. If you have questions regarding cooling products or need assistance purchasing cooling products, please call 1-800-344-5867 or


Activities Calendar National MS Society—Northern California Chapter

Eating Well with MS Is there a link between nutrition and MS symptoms? Does Vitamin D really make a difference? How can you eat nutritionally and stay within a budget? Are specific vitamin supplements more important for people with MS or not? Come bring your nutrition and natural healing questions to Dr. Marco Vespignani and find out more about making nutrition decisions that count. Chico Saturday, May 9th 10:30am to Noon University of Phoenix 500 Orient St.

This program will feature Stephen W. Dale of the Dale Law firm and Daniel Fortuno of the Benefits Education Center. Both have extensive experience helping families proactively plan for long-term care needs.

New 8-Week Therapy Group In-Person Counseling Group beginning in May!

Dr. Marco Vespignani, Naturopathic Doctor (ND), is the Medical Director of Restorative Health and Women’s Complementary Health Services at the Institute for Restorative Health in Davis and has a special interest in working with people with MS. Dr. Vespignani will discuss the role of nutrition for people with MS along with recommended changes to enhance wellness.

Taking Control of Life Decisions


Vallejo Thursday, May 14th 6:00pm to 8:00pm Solano Community College Vallejo Center 545 Columbus Parkway

For someone with MS, healthcare and long-term care planning has many unknown factors. However, for effective long-term planning it is important to consider available options that impact a family member with MS. Topics that will be discussed include asset preservation, public benefits for long term-care and what you need to consider when making effective estate planning choices.

Monterey Mondays, May 4th–June 22nd 1:30pm to 3:00pm MS Quality of Life Project 519-B Hartnell St. The Northern California Chapter of the National MS Society and the MS Quality of Life Project have just launched a new collaborative counsel­ing group. This 8-week counseling series will be a supportive forum for people with MS that will be process-oriented and therapeutic in nature. This counseling group will be facilitated by co-leaders, Marilyn Howell, LCSW and Andrea Dowdell, MSW. If you are interested in participating in this group or would like more information please contact the MS Quality of Life Project at 1-831-333-9091.

Pre-Registration is Required. Please call 1-800-344-4867.


Couples Relationship Workshop Enhancing Communication & Mutual Empathy Lafayette Saturday, June 13th 9:30am to 3:30pm Lafayette Founders Grove 584 Glenside Dr. Join us for a new daylong couples retreat for couples who want to address changes in their relationship that stem from having a partner with MS. This small group retreat will provide a safe and supportive forum to interact with other couples and have some reflective time to enjoy the beautiful grounds near by Iron Horse walking trail. Randall Lippins, MFT will discuss how couples can integrate mutual empathy to enhance closeness and understanding. This program will also include an interactive session on improving communication skills for couples, facilitated by a member of the non-profit organization, Bay Area Non Violent Communication. For more information or to register for this program please contact Lisa Matejczuk, MSW, Emotional Support Manager at lisa.matejczuk@ or call 1-800-344-4867, option 2.

Pharma Company Events NOTE: Pharmaceutical Sponsored programs are not offered or endorsed by the National MS Society. This information is offered as a courtesy to our clients. Living Well with MS, Sponsored by Biogen IDEC The patient programs are designed to provide patients and their caregivers with new and updated information on MS. Take this opportunity to ask a physician questions, as well as meet with other patients and hear from a patient advocate. Saturday, May 2, 2009 Location: Eureka, CA Venue: Red Lion Hotel Eureka 1929 Fourth Street Eureka, CA 95501 Speakers: Daniel Pelletier, MD, and Scott Zamvil, MD Registration: 9:30am To register for this free program, patients can call 1-866-955-9999 or go to

Walk MS 2009

Thank YOU for bringing us one step closer to a world free of MS Your fundraising helps the National MS Society support vital programs and fund cutting edge research. • $250 Trains a peer support volunteer to provide emotional support and resources. • $500  Supports yoga, aquatics or other

adaptive fitness classes in the community • $750  Pays for a series of group counseling sessions • $1,000 funds a scholarship for post secondary education • $2,500 offers a dream weekend of white water rafting for 30 people

If you missed your community walk this year, you can always donate online at People with MS are counting on us and we are counting on you. 1-800-344-4867


Orientation for Newly Diagnosed Are you newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis? A diagnosis of MS can create many unexpected emotions that leave you with a strong need to understand the changes you may be facing. On a monthly basis, this informative program, conducted by trained National MS Society staff and a registered nurse specializing in MS, will address the most common concerns for people who are newly diagnosed. This orientation provides an excellent opportunity to have any questions you may wish to have asked and learn more about the resources available to persons with MS. Persons diagnosed within the past two years and their family and friends are welcome.

Santa Clara Office First Tuesday of each month 6:30–8:30pm 2589 Scott Blvd.

San Francisco Office First Wednesday of each month 6:30–8:30pm 1700 Owens St., Suite 190

Sacramento Office First Thursday of each month 6:30–8:30pm 4225 Northgate Blvd., Suite 4

Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register please call 1-800-344-4867.

Northern California Self-Help Groups The Northern California Chapter sponsors a network of self-help groups for people with MS and their loved ones. The groups are peer-facilitated and meet regularly for educational and social purposes, allowing members to express feelings and provide support to one another. ALAMEDA COUNTY Alameda, Sharon 510-521-6260 or Ray 510-522-5210 Berkeley, Toni 510-735-7890 East Bay Lesbians, Jane 510-444-5257 Fremont, Kim 510-793-0765 Oakland, Katrina 510-568-2301 Oakland: African Americans,


Tracey 510-670-8633 Oakland: Latinos, Elsa 510-777-1414 Oakland: Teens, Kimberly 925-470-8495 or 925-470-8495 Tri-Valley Pleasanton, Mary Beth 925-829-0832

or Julie 925-513-4686 Mt. Diablo (Concord), John and Janis at 925-372-0859 El Cerrito, Robert 510-526-8196 Richmond, Vanda 510-559-1898

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY Brentwood MS for lunch bunch, Kathy 925-286-7674

EL DORADO COUNTY Placerville, Fred and Stacey 530-644-1188

Pre-Registration is Required. Please call 1-800-344-4867.


Activities Calendar

National MS Society—Northern California Chapter

HUMBOLDT COUNTY Eureka, Ann Louise 707-839-0177 or Kim 707-445-9803 MARIN COUNTY Corte Madera, Verita 415-927-7068 or Anita 415-892-5548 MENDOCINO Mendocino, Joanne 707-937-4929 MERCED COUNTY Merced: MS Challengers, Susan 209-384-6533 MONTEREY COUNTY Monterey, Susan 831-659-1354 or MaryLee 831-373-2450 NAPA COUNTY Napa, Colin 707-944-2262 or Penelope 707-265-9680 NEVADA COUNTY Grass Valley, Dan 530-272-7636 PLACER COUNTY Auburn, Ruth 530-888-8388 Roseville: Minimal Symptoms Group, Brett or Kelly 916-773-6799 or Lincoln, Marcia or Jerry 916-408-7899 SACRAMENTO COUNTY Elk Grove, Willie 916-684-1677 or Dorothy 916-684-6849 Sacramento: Moving on with MS, Sylvia 916-349-1324 1-800-344-4867

SAN BENITO COUNTY Hollister Group, Gina 831-636-3241, Robin 831-636-0930 or Helen 831-637-6267 SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY San Francisco Forum, Hose 415-587-7491 SF Potluck Luncheon, Karen 415-584-6115 (Meets periodically) SF Sunset District, Tatiana 415-665-1178 SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY Stockton PM, Brenda 209-951-0536 or Mary 209-334-5670 Stockton AM, Betty 209-368-6026 Tracy, Linda 209-833-6882 SAN MATEO Foster City, Eli 650-377-1970 San Mateo, George 650-593-5154 SANTA CLARA COUNTY Milpitas, Indu 510-656-3408 Palo Alto, Luanne 650-328-0179 or George 650-593-5154 San Jose, Cor 408-270-8922 or David 408-578-3752 San Jose, Janine 408-794-0777 Santa Clara, Brian 408-739-9445 or Susan 408-253-4489

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY Capitola, Tom 831-684-2252 or Ada 831-440-1211 SHASTA COUNTY Hope 4 MS, Beth 530-246-8404 or Patricia 530-222-7277 or Robin 530-246-2980 SOLANO COUNTY Vacaville, Marian 707-422-7515 or Debrah 707-447-9603 (before 7:00 pm) Vallejo, Marian 707-745-9333 or Cheryl 707-751-3732 SONOMA COUNTY Petaluma, Sheila 707-765-6721 Santa Rosa, Debbie 707-569-9976 Rohnert Park/Petaluma, Debbie 707-569-9976 Healdsburg, Kate 707-433-9194 Sonoma Women’s Group, Noreen 707-933-9500 STANISLAUS COUNTY Modesto, Pati 209-524-8329 Turlock, Bill 209-664-1427 or Frances 209-667-2184 SUTTER COUNTY Yuba City, Evon 530-701-2189 TEHAMA COUNTY Red Bluff, Teresa 530-529-4412 or Jodine 530-528-8767 TUOLUMNE COUNTY Sonora, Steven or Gloria, 209-532-5646


1700 Owens Street, Suite 190 San Francisco, CA 94158


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Activities Calendar National MS Society—Northern California Chapter

Going Green Whether you are replacing light bulbs, eating organic, or driving a hybrid, many of us are making changes in our lives, at home and at work to become more environmentally friendly. You’ll notice our Chapter is also taking steps to become greener, more efficient, and to save money on printing, postage and mailing costs. We’ll begin by sending out print copies of our Activities Calendar every other month, with an electronic version available in the alternative months.

In order to receive the electronic version, we’ll need your email. To sign up, send an email to with the subject line “Activities Calendar Email Signup”. If you don’t have email, please call us at 1-800-344-4867 and let us know you would like a printed copy mailed to you. Even small steps, like these, can help our planet and allow us to be fiscally responsible, especially during tough economic times.

Activities Calendar May / June 2009  

The Activities Calendar published by the Northern California Chapter of the National MS Society

Activities Calendar May / June 2009  

The Activities Calendar published by the Northern California Chapter of the National MS Society