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The voice of Interior Alaska since 1903 Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fairbanks, Alaska

INSIDE: • Alaska's population is graying • Senior Games help Alaska's Seniors stay fit, mentally and physically • Pioneers’ Homes a haven for Alaska's seniors • Examinations are key in stopping eyesight and hearing loss News-Miner file photos



Health & Wellness

Editor’s Note: There’s no holding back the calendar and the facts: More Alaskans are entering the upper age categories each year. That means more people with more health care needs, more people looking to stay fit as long as they can, and more people needing more info about the later years of life. This edition of the Daily News-Miner’s Health & Wellness includes lots of stories with those later years in mind. We hope you find them useful. I know I did. —Rod Boyce 50-year-old managing editor Twitter: @FDNMeditor (907) 459-7585

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

TABLE OF CONTENTS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Alaska’s aging population ................................................................ 3 Alaska International Senior Games ................................................... 6 Plan ahead for retirement needs....................................................... 8 Keep eyes, ears healthy ................................................................... 9 Local programs keep seniors fit ...................................................... 10 Pioneers’ Homes a haven .............................................................. 11 Local housing options for seniors ................................................... 13 Geriatric medicine growing ............................................................. 14 Prosecutor battles elder abuse ....................................................... 15 Pets can improve peoples’ health ................................................... 17 Baby boomers and health care ....................................................... 19 Desk keeps office workers on their feet........................................... 22 Education helps retirees keep brain active ...................................... 23 Chuck Norris on gravity: enemy or ally? ........................................... 26 Rowing an effective cardio workout ................................................. 28 Kettlebells behind the latest exercise craze ..................................... 30 Benefits, drawbacks to ‘fast’ workout programs ............................... 31 Eat out without pigging out ............................................................. 32 Want to sleep better? Get off the couch .......................................... 33 Fruits, veggies give you an edge over cancer ................................... 34 Good hydration keeps you calm, cool, collected ............................... 35 Who knew? Ice cream more diet-friendly than diet soda .................... 37 Keep it clean when preparing food .................................................. 38 Flexitarian diets have major benefits ............................................... 39

Promoting Health

Naturally Naturopathic Medicine Energy Work Acupuncture Nutrition Therapeutic Massage Infertility Treatments Homeopathy Laboratory Tests Allergy Elimination Frequency Microcurrent Herbal Medicine CranioSacral Psychotherapy, Hypnosis Lifestyle Counseling

Call for an Appointment


Dr. Beth Laughlin, ND Dr. Mary Minor, ND Paula Kunkel, LAc MTCM Stephanie Maggard, LAc Becky Spear, RNH NC Leslie Markham, LMT Barb Carlin, LMT Curt Redd, LMT Laurie Walton, LMT Peg Schaffhauser, RPT Sherry Byers, LCSW MSW 13394129 3-14-12 HW

Mon–Fri 9:00–5:00 p.m. • Saturday 10:00–1:00 p.m. 222 Front St. • 1231 Noble St. • Fairbanks, Alaska 99701

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness



Alaska feels effects of aging population By DOROTHY CHOMICZ Some call it “the graying of America.” The U.S., once a nation of the young, is increasingly becoming a nation of the elderly as advances in medicine help people live longer. The first of the 75 million strong baby boom generation — those born between 1946 and 1964 — turned 65 last year, and the ranks of seniors will increase 2.8 percent yearly until 2030, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The aging-population trend is felt sharply in Alaska. According to U.S. Census figures, seniors 60 years old and older comprised 12.8 percent — or 90,876 — of Alaska’s 2010 population of 710,231. While California has the highest number of seniors and Florida the highest percentage, Alaska has the fastest growth in senior population in the U.S. per capita, with a whopping 71.4 percent growth in seniors 60-plus years old over the last decade.

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

J. Timothy Foote, MD Pediatrics – Allergy and Asthma Tanana Valley Clinic 1001 Noble Street, Fairbanks (907) 459-3500

ALASKA SENIOR STATISTICS* 60 years old and over Total Alaska population 2010


Total senior population 2010 Age 60-64 Age 65-74 Age 75-84 Age 85+ Total Interior seniors 2010

90,876 35,938 35,350 14,877 4,711 13,179

Childhood Food Allergies

Avg. Monthly Social Security payment $1,188 Increase in amount of seniors receiving food stamps Nov. 2010 - Nov. 2011 19 perceny Total seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia 6,067 Average yearly nursing home cost — private room $247,470 *Taken from Alaska Commission on Aging “Senior Snapshot — Older Alaskans in 2011”

Experts believe this gain is attributable to the aging of those who came to the state as young people in the

1970s and early 1980s to take advantage of the pipePlease see SENIORS, Page 5

1901 Airport Way, Suite 101 Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone (907) 374-3063 Fax (907) 374-8872

Sleep Disorders Evaluation and Treatment Wilber

Medical Center Alaska Sleep Clinic


The majority of Fairbanks households contend with food allergies to some degree. The problem may be mild and annoying, like an itchy mouth after eating a raw apple. At the other end of the spectrum is allergy to peanuts or tree nuts. Small amounts, even residual peanut dust that contaminates other foods or packaging, may result in a rapid and serious reaction. The most common allergic foods for children are peanuts, egg, cow milk, wheat, and soy. As children reach age school age, allergy to tree nuts such as walnut, cashew, or almond, along with fish and shellfish becomes more common. Symptoms almost always occur within 30 minutes of ingestion. The typical symptoms are vomiting and hives, but may also include itchy, watery eyes; nasal symptoms; swollen lips/tongue/palate/ airway; cough; wheezing; abdominal pain; diarrhea; dizziness; or loss of consciousness. It is not possible to predict the severity of a food allergy reaction based on a previous reaction. At present, there is no cure for food allergies; strict avoidance is the prevailing theme. Parents should be dedicated food label readers. The offending food may not only hide in other foods, but it may also cross-react with foods that share similar proteins. In most busy households, the food should be completely banned from the home. Anyone providing food to the child -restaurant workers, daycare workers, grandparents, church nurseries - should be made aware of the food allergy. Many studies show that there is a 50% chance that a child will eventually be accidentally fed the allergic food. For that reason, there should be a written food allergy plan, and epinephrine should always be available. Family members and other caregivers should be trained in its use, and above all, be willing to administer it in a moment’s notice. The delay in giving epinephrine is a prevailing theme in food allergy fatalities. There is encouraging news for families with a food allergic child. Cow milk, egg and soy allergies are usually outgrown by the time a child starts elementary school. As a physician, it is a gratifying day when a food can be safely reintroduced into the diet of a child who has avoided that food for many years. However, this process should only be undertaken after blood or skin testing, careful consideration, and completing a food challenge in a medical setting. Our thanks to Dr. Timothy Foote for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational

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ResMed • Respironics • Fisher-Paykel

Airport Way Super 8

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Wide variety of CPAP Equipment and supplies available on site and through our new mail out program.

Member of American Academy of Pediatrics, Scientific Membership with American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; Allied Health Membership with American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Dr. Stephen H. Sutley, DDS, MA • Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons • Fellow America Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons • Member of American Academy of Facial Cosmetics

Specially trained in a broad category of oral and facial surgical procedures including but not limited to: Dentoalveolar Surgical Procedures: • Removal of teeth including wisdom teeth • Bone and oral tissue grafting • trauma, infections, pathology and reconstructive surgery

Facial Cosmetic Procedures: • Botox and Juvederm injectables, CO2 Laser resurfacing • Laser hair removal and removal of facial blemishes (moles) • Microdermabrasions, acne treatments

Dental Implants: • State of the art 3D technology & equipment • Placement of dental implants replacing lost teeth • Implants to secure dentures

The above procedures are offered with the options of Nitrous Oxide Sedation, Oral Sedation, IV Sedation or General Anesthesia in our clinic. Clinical staff members include: Certified Surgical Assistants, Estheticians, Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and Anesthesiologist.








Contact Information: 1275 Sadler Way, Suite 202 Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: (907) 452-4101 • Fax: (907) 452-4102










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Health & Wellness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


SENIORS: Alaskans graying faster than Lower 48 populations Continued from Page 3

line boom and, for various reasons, have decided to stay in-state instead of seeking warmer climes as they approach retirement age. Alaska seniors face a different set of challenges than those they would encounter in the Lower 48. Prices are higher, the weather is extreme, and the relative isolation of the state means that seniors are often separated from children and grandchildren living Outside. Alaskans in general suffer higher rates of depression and drug or alcohol dependency, and our seniors are no exception. According to a study by the Alaska Commission on Aging, the suicide rate for Alaska seniors is higher than the national average. Alaska seniors are three times more likely to die of alcohol-related causes, while drug-induced deaths — both prescription and non-prescription — are 82 percent higher

rate for fatal falls is also lower for Alaska seniors than for those in the other 49 states, rates for all other accidental deaths are higher. Spending by Alaska seniors — including home care and retirement income — topped $1.7 billion in 2010. In 2011, 3,108 Alaska seniors 65 and older received food stamps, while 5,241 received old age assistance. Of the 13,179 seniors living in the Interior, Eric Engman/News-Miner 1,239 received senior benefits Attendees listen to a speaker during the annual Fairbanks of some type. Many Alaska seniors face Memorial Hospital Denali Center’s Golden Citizen’s Lunthe prospect of entering a cheon in 2008 at Pioneer Park. nursing home, especially those in the fast-growing for Alaska seniors than for less likely to die from lead85 years and older group. It seniors in the rest of the U.S.. ing causes of death such as won’t be cheap. The average Access to quality medical cancer, heart disease, stroke, rate for a private room in a care is improving, but many chronic lower respiratory dis- nursing home was $678 per seniors — either by choice ease, Alzheimer’s and diabeday —or $247,470 a year — in or necessity — still travel tes mellitus. While the death 2011. Assisted-living homes outside for surgeries and procedures. As a whole, though, Alaska seniors are healthier than their counterparts in the rest of the country and are

Brace for al s Faces l

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Christopher H. Henry, D.M.D., M.S. Practice Limited to Orthodontics 114 Minnie Street, Suite B Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 (907)457-7878

Evan L. Wheeler DDS Serving Fairbanks Since 1992


Preventative Care

3691 Cameron St., Suite 101

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charged an average of $53,736 per year, while home health care aides charged an average of $25 per hour. The number of seniors afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia continues to increase in Alaska as it does nationwide. An estimated 6,067 Alaska seniors were living with Alzheimer’s in 2010. While there were only 16,313 ADRD caregivers in Alaska in 2009, that number rose to 30,927 by 2010, an increase of 89.6 percent. A total of 35,219,116 unpaid hours were spent giving care to ADRD sufferers in Alaska in 2010. The value of these unpaid hours totals $420,164,054. Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7590.


Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Games help Alaska seniors stay mentally, physically fit and triathlon. In addition to the national qualifying events, AISG also Jim Madonna started the holds events in co-ed ice hockAlaska International Senior ey, rifle, pistol, trap shooting, Games in Fairbanks in 2003 WHAT: An athletic competition disc golf, gala games, mini-golf as much for his mental health for people 60 and over featurand bocce. ing archery, 3-on-3 basketball, as he did for his physical well “It can get pretty rigorous, bocce, bowling, cycling, disc gala but the games are structured being. “I enjoy the people that are games, golf, horseshoes, co-ed in a way that people of all abilice hockey, pistol, racquetball, participating and they have ities can participate,” Madonrifle, 5K road race, swimming, interests in the same kinds of na said. “There’s everything things I have,” Madonna said. table tennis, tennis, track and from card playing to putting “I enjoy that social aspect of it. field, trap shooting, triathlon, the shot.” WHEN: Aug. 10-19 “Sometimes we tend to More than 200 seniors comWHERE: Different venues move away from society as we peted in the Alaska Internaaround Fairbanks. get older and we tend to get a tional Senior Games last year. INFO: Call Diann Darnall at little more reclusive,” he said. This year’s event is sched479-5421 or go to www.Alas“This helps with that.” uled for Aug. 10-19, so there’s Held each summer in Fairstill plenty of time to start banks, the Alaska Internatraining and get in shape. tional Senior Games is a nineMadonna, 74, is a competiday competition that serves tive runner who still routinely games in archery, 3-on-3 basas a qualifier for the summer outruns people half his age in ketball, bowling, cycling, golf, Sam Harrel/News-Miner National Senior Games. The everything from 5K running horseshoes, racquetball, 5K The Alaska International Senior Games began in 2003. event is open to people 50 races to half-marathons. He road race, swimming, table People age 50 and older can participate in events ranging years and older, and athletes tennis, tennis, track and field from running a triathlon to cribbage. Please see GAMES, Page 7 can qualify for the national By TIM MOWRY


We are your Fairbanks General Surgeons! We are the only general surgeons in Fairbanks who call this home with a combined 100-plus years of living in this community and working by your side. From left front: Timothy Teslow, M.D. (457-7874); Jon Lieberman, M.D. (456-3100); Arlene Kirschner, M.D. (474-4745); Danny Robinette, M.D. (451-6142). From left back: William Montano, M.D. (452-8151); Mark Kowal, M.D. (451-5507); and John Mayer, M.D. (457-5050).

General Surgery is a broad category of procedures: laparoscopy, breast cancer treatment, gallbladder, hernia, colon, lung, pancreas, diverticular disease, bowel obstruction, vein, laser, vascular, trauma and removal of benign or cancerous tumors. Our team ensures you will receive the highest quality surgical care at home with friends and family standing by.

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Experience, compassion and skill are required from a Fairbanks Alaska Surgeon for successful outcomes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness MEDICAL INSIGHT

Eric Engman/News-Miner

Willy Cork competes in the long jump during the track and field events at the Alaska International Senior Games at the West Valley High School track in 2004. Competitive runner Jim Madonna started the games in 2003 as a way to help seniors stay mentally and physically fit.

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

John P. Bast, DDS General Dentistry 570 University Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 (907) 479-2206

What are Sealants, Implants and Veneers?

GAMES Continued from Page 6

Board Certified General Surgeon

Gastric Bypass Gastric Banding

General Surgery

457-5050 1867 Airport Way Suite 120B, Fairbanks

Is good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing regularly, enough to protect teeth? Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the teeth’s depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. For protection, sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. The sealant, a plastic resin, bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary. A common issue for patients is replacing teeth. Crowns and conventional bridges or dentures may not be the only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture. Implants are extremely stable because of the process in which they are fused. Integration of the implants into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than conventional substitutes. Candidates for dental implants need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. A thorough evaluation by your dentist will help determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. Other issues patients want to correct are large spaces between teeth or teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. Today a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct nature’s mistake or the results of an injury. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of toothcolored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They’re made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist. Veneers can greatly improve a smile, and boost the confidence of a person accustomed to hiding easily corrected teeth. Our thanks to Dr. John P. Bast for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

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Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.

John Mayer, M.D.

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recently returned from a trip “down in America,” where he competed in Senior Games in Yuma, Ariz., and Palm Desert, Calif. He also ran half-marathons in California, Nevada and Utah. Competing in events like the Senior Games and running races helps Madonna keep fit, both mentally and physically, he said. “Certainly it’s good for me,” said Madonna, who runs 30 to 40 miles a week year-round. “My weight is down and I can eat just about anything I want as long as I maintain a rhythmic exercise routine.”



Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Insurance a key part of meeting retirement needs

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Arva Chiu, M.D. Internal Medicine Alaska Medicine & Endoscopy, LLC (907) 452-2637


CDC: Colorectal cancer screening has reduced colon cancer incidence and death rates

Our thanks to Dr. Arva Chiu for contributing this informative column. The article is intended to be strictly informational


Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is almost American Indian/Alaska Native Mortality Rate, Colorectal entirely preventable, and in most Cancer, by Region, Both Sexes, 1999-2003 cases, curable if caught early. A recent government study showed that All Indian Health Service Regions incidence of CRC decreased 13% and mortality decreased 12% from 2003 to 2007, a decline of about 66,000 cases and 32,000 deaths compared with 2002. About half of this decline is attributed to increased screening, and the other half attributed to healthier lifestyles (i.e. smoking cessation and diet changes) and improved CRC treatment. Unfortunately, approximately 50,000 people will still die each year from CRC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 22 million U.S. residents aged 50-75 years have never been screened for CRC. CRC is almost an entirely preventable disease. In its early stages it causes no or few symptoms and that’s why screening is so important. Screening should start after age 50 for all men and women without symptoms, or earlier if at higher risk. Using any of the three screening regimens is recommended by the CDC: annual fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), sigmoidoscopy every 5 years with FOBT every 3 years, or colonoscopy every 10 years. The greatest benefit of colonoscopy is removing polyps that are discovered during screening, thereby decreasing the risk later of developing cancer. In 2009, the CDC established the Colorectal Cancer Control Program which currently funds 25 states and 4 tribal organizations to improve population screening. Three of the tribal organizations receiving grants are in Alaska, and I am privileged to be part of the one in Barrow, Alaska. Alaska Natives have the highest CRC rate in the country (double the average rate in the U.S.). Among Indian Health Service regions, Alaska has been the most proactive toward screening, and since 2000 Alaska has increased its CRC screening rate by more than 50%. Under the Affordable Care Act, screening colonoscopies are now fully covered by Medicare and by many private insurers. Patients will still be responsible for co-pays, or some out-of-pocket costs if the colonoscopy is diagnostic (if there are symptoms or a polyp is found) rather than screening (no symptoms). Patients may also be responsible for costs related to anesthesia. You should check with your insurance company. Personally, you may have family or friends who have been affected by this disease. These are some famous people who were diagnosed with CRC: Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn, Pope John Paul II, Sharon Osbourne, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Elizabeth Montgomery, Vince Lombardi, and Charles Schulz. CRC does not discriminate. If you have not been screened and you’re over the age of 50, or have a close family member with CRC, please get checked.

No two people’s retirement is quite the same, and neither are their insurance needs. There are many options, plans, coverage and deadlines that dictate the cost and quality of health care for seniors. With all those options, navigating Medicare plans and supplemental insurance can be a tricky and confusing ordeal, one with lifelong consequences for the quality of a senior’s health. But there are plenty of people and organizations ready to help. The state’s Medicare Information Office, a program within the Department of Health and Social Services’ Senior and Disabilities Services division, is a statewide resource that specializes in making sure seniors, and their family members, find the right information for their specific needs. And that’s important, says Deputy Director Jeanné Larson, because employment, existing conditions and even a spouse’s employment can affect which parts of Medicare and what supplemental insurance, known as Medigap, a senior should sign up for. “It’s important to contact someone because everybody’s situation is different,” she said. “Each person’s scenario is very different, so the best thing that they can do is contact someone. That’s where my office and my counselors come into play.” The Medicare Information Office runs a statewide telephone hotline with offices in Anchorage. To get in-person help, seniors and their family can contact Access Alaska’s Fairbanks office, where counselors specialize in navigating the Medicare system. Art Delaune, Access Alaska services supervisor, said there are some general guidelines for seniors as they approach

INFO Medicare Information Office Toll-free: (800) 478-6065 Access Alaska Fairbanks 526 Gaffney Road, Suite 100 Local: 479-7940 Toll Free: (800) 770-7940

“These decisions are going to affect your health insurance for the rest of your life, and if you miss a deadline, it could be very costly.” — Art Delaune, Access Alaska

their 65th birthday, the age of eligibility. He said most seniors should start thinking about Medicare months before they turn 65. That’s because there’s a seven-month eligibility period around a senior’s 65th birthday; people can sign up three months before their birthday month or three months after. Seniors can sign up after that period but could be charged penalties for the rest of their lives for missing the sign-up period. With some plans, Delaune said, each month missed could incur a 1 percent increase in cost and Please see iNSURANCE, Page 10

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness

Hearing, sight loss common, but not inevitable for the elderly By REBA LEAN

ing eye exams. People might experience discolored, blurred or distorted vision in the earPrecious moments such as lier stages of the condition. In the sound of sandhill cranes the very early stages, only eye returning in the spring or the exams can detect the condisight of northern lights in the tion. Macular degeneration winter can slip away with age. can be caused by the weakenBut regular checkups ing of the layer of the retina can catch many hearing and called the retinal pigment vision conditions early. epithelium, resulting in some Among seniors, eyesight vision loss. problems can come in several If the condition worsens, forms. As people age, they can abnormal blood vessels can experience cataracts, macular appear, which can leak and degeneration or flashes and bleed and result in irreversfloaters that could be the ible vision loss. Periodic eye result of a tear in the retina. exams that detect the conCataracts cause blurry dition can lead to it being vision and make it difficult prevented from reaching the to see details or read without irreversible point. extra light. They occur when Floaters and flashes, if the eye lens becomes cloudy, untreated, can increase in usually slowly over time. The occurrence and make it hard condition stems from several to complete tasks requiring possible sources, including vision. A visit to an eye doctor aging, past eye infections, can determine what the probdiabetes or other eye diseases lem is and whether it needs and some medicines. Cataract surgery. surgery is the only way to Many people experience eliminate the condition. The hearing loss as they age. clouded lens can be removed Hearing loss could be due to and replaced by an artificial less-stringent laws on noise lens. Regular eye exams can in the workplace during the help detect cataracts. employment years of the older Age-related macular degen- generations or due to some eration can be detected durear conditions.


Maintaining Independence Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Before rushing into buying a hearing aid, people should consult a doctor, according to Dr. Sam Kim at the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic in Fairbanks. He said aids aren’t always the answer. Regular wax build-up or an excessive wax build-up condition can cause hearing loss. Kim said doctors can help keep the ear clean to maintain hearing and test for other problems. More serious issues could be the result of growths behind the ear drum or a tumor in the pathway to the brain. Kim said that, while some ear exams only test for how well people hear noises, people need to be tested on how they are interpreting the noises. That’s why audiologists ask people to repeat words back to them during a test. Kim said senior citizens should have their ears examined by an audiologist when they notice hearing loss. “Even though they might have lost some hearing, they don’t have to lose much more.” Contact staff writer Reba Lean at 459-7523.

Douglas Toelle Development and Advocacy Director Access Alaska

Amazon Adventure

526 Gaffney Rd. Fairbanks, AK 99701 (907) 479-7940 Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 2000

Our thanks to Mr. Toelle for contributing this column. This article is intended to be strictly informational.

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Most of us want to maintain the ability to live in our home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. We want to live in a familiar environment, and to participate in family and other community activities. We want the reassurance of being able to call a house a “home” for a lifetime. As we age, experience disability or chronic illness, remaining independent, particularly in Alaska can become increasingly difficult. What can you do to maintain your independence? Probably the most difficult is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, keep your weight down, exercise and don’t smoke. But sometimes age, disability and illness require other tools to remain independent. Access Alaska is a non-profit, consumer-controlled (a majority of our staff and board experience a disability) organization whose mission is to encourage and promote the total integration of people who experience a disability and Alaskan elders to live independently in the community of their choice. What can Access Alaska do to help you remain independent? We are advocates. We advocate for an accessible community, free of architectural, procedural and attitudinal barriers. We provide peer support. We all make adjustments in life and from peers we often learn the best new strategies.. For many the biggest barrier to independence is psychological. I know it is for me, the first time I used a cane or use “wheelchair assist” at the airport was huge. Having peers to talk to helps. We provide services. We provide information, referral and training. We can help navigate cumbersome state and federal programs. We can help you or your business understand the Americans with Disabilities Act, refer you to an appropriate agency or train you in the use of an assistive technology. Access Alaska can help assess your home, recommend and often provide home modifications such as grab bars or ramps. we loan assistive devices such as wheelchairs and shower benches. When you are no longer able to independently perform activities of daily living, Access Alaska can help you find personal assistance so you can remain in your home and community. From information to homecare Access Alaska and other community organizations can help you remain independent. We’re all together in this thing called life, we change, but with the proper tools and information we can remain in our home and active in our work and community. Find more information at


Health & Wellness

INSURANCE: Options Continued from Page 8

delay the date seniors get coverage. “These decisions are going to affect your health insurance for the rest of your life,” he said, “and if you miss a deadline, it could be very costly. And worse yet, you could not have any benefits at all depending on the choices you make.” Medicare coverage breaks down into three parts, Part A covers hospital visits, Part B is for medical insurance and Part D covers medications. Most people, Delaune said, will qualify for Medicare Part A because of prior employment. But Part B, which covers doctors’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health services and other medical services, requires seniors to pay a premium each month. Part D is provided by private insurance companies. Costs can vary depending on

coverage. And if that’s not complicated enough, many people recommend purchasing supplemental insurance — often called Medigap — that covers costs and procedures not covered by Medicare Part A or Part B. Delaune stressed that it’s important for seniors to look into Medigap insurance because there’s a six-month time period after a senior turns 65 where insurance companies can’t charge them extra or deny coverage for existing conditions. All the services, options and deadlines can be daunting, but Delaune said that’s exactly why people should contact offices such as Access Alaska or the state Medicare Information Office. “Doing a little investigation now and finding out what’s best for you can avoid a lot of consequences,” he said. Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Borough programs keep local seniors on the move By TIM MOWRY The Fairbanks North Star Borough has several recreational programs aimed at keeping seniors fit. “We have programs five days a week,” said the borough’s senior activities coordinator, Georgia Reynolds. “It’s all focused on providing group activities for seniors.” The borough offers aqua fitness at the Mary Siah Recreation Center three days a week and exercise classes at senior centers and homes in Fairbanks and North Pole two days each week. The borough also has a seniors walking club that meets at the Big Dipper Ice Arena twice a week, as well as weekly bowling outings. “We don’t do anything intensive,” she said. “People don’t have to be intimidated. We’re just trying to maintain daily routines so people can get up around the house and go to the store. We trying to keep them from getting isolated in their homes.” The borough’s senior activity program is for people age 60 and older. The oldest participant, Mary Meiners, just turned 100,

SCHEDULE AQUA FITNESS — 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Mary Siah Recreation Area. EXERCISE CLASSES — 11-11:30 a.m. Monday and Friday at Santa’s Senior Center in North Pole; 11:15-11:45 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday at Fairbanks Senior Center; 8:30-9:15 a.m. Monday and Friday, MLH Manor. BOWLING — 1:30 p.m. Monday, Arctic Bowl. WALKING CLUB — 9:15-10:15 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, Big Dipper Ice Arena.

Reynolds said. “We’ve got quite a few in there 80s, as well,” she said. The walking and exercise classes, which are held at the Fairbanks Senior Center, Santa’s Senior Center in North Pole and MLH Manor in Fairbanks, are free. The borough offers limited transportation to the Big Dipper for the walking program, Reynolds said. Anyone interested in finding out more about the borough’s senior activities program can call Reynolds at 459-1136 or the parks and recreation department at 459-1070.

Health & Wellness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Pioneers’ Homes a haven for Alaska’s elderly By SAM FRIEDMAN While giving a tour recently, Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home administrator Vickie Wilson pointed out differences that she said separate the homes from senior housing in the Lower 48. One difference is the effort to make residents feel they are in a home and not an institution, she said. That’s done in part with small touches such as Alaskana artwork (some of it made by residents), a play area for visiting children and several house pets — a dog and a bird were spotted on a recent walk-through but the home also has cats and has had visits from a reindeer and a potbellied pig. The Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home is now home to about 85 people with an average

age of 89. Residents range in mobility from those that require 24-hour assistance to those whose abilities allow them to participate in house programs such as Fairbanks Summer Arts festival performances, an annual trip in the Riverboat Discovery and a train trip to Denali National Park. The home also has an area for caring for people with dementia. Having different levels of medical care under one roof is another big advantage of the Pioneers’ Homes, Wilson said. “In the Lower 48, there are places where if you can’t take care of your pills yourself you have to move,” she said. The Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home is the second-oldest of the six state-owned senior homes. The oldest, in Sitka, opened in 1913.

Sam Harrel/News-Miner

Residents of the Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home participate in chair exercises Monday, March Please see PIONEERS, Page 12 5, 2012.

– where i belong – PEOPLE FIRST › “I came up to Fairbanks for a one week vacation — 13 years ago. Today, I work as a MRI technologist at the FMH Imaging Center. I feel lucky to be surrounded by such amazing technology and a medical team that makes a difference in people’s lives. My life may not be glitzy and glamorous, but I’ll take it.” Amy / MRI Technologist



Health & Wellness MEDICAL INSIGHT

PIONEERS: Homes have waiting list Continued from Page 11

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Alaska is one of only a handful of states that have state-operated housing for seniors, Wilson said. Room and board at the Fairbanks home starts at $2,252 a month for a resident who does not need medical care. But as a state-operated facility, the Pioneers’ Home accepts a combination of Medicaid, private payments and state funds, Wilson said. The Fairbanks home, located on Eagan Way, is divided into three “neighborhoods” based on the medical needs of the resident: Moosewood, Homestead or Aurora neighborhoods. Rooms are fairly small with a house-owned bed, some shelves and enough room in which to get dressed comfortably. The rooms share adjoining bathrooms with a second room. Neighborhoods have their own lounge areas and dining rooms. Residents can invite guests to meals, and during the holidays the kitchen sometimes makes more meals for guests than residents, Wilson said. Residents also sometimes have other special meals away from the holidays, such as a recent Chinese takeout night. An in-house hair salon was decorated with a Humphrey Bogart cardboard cutout as part of a classic Hollywood theme. Becoming a resident of a Pioneers’ Home takes some planning. To be eligible, applicants must be at least 65 years old. At 65, people can sign up to be interviewed and placed on an inactive waitlist to save a space at the home even if they do not have plans for when they might want to

Roger Thurmond, M.D. Dermatologist 4001 Geist Rd., Suite B • Fairbanks, Alaska (907) 456-8899

Common Questions in a Dermatology Office

Sam Harrel/News-Miner

Residents of the Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home, front to back, Florence Sapulding, Willi Bliss and Bill Green, work with resistance bands as they participate in chair exercises Monday, March 5, 2012. move in. Joining the inactive waitlist is recommend because problems can arise when a person’s health deteriorates and the person needs somewhere like the Pioneers’

Aging and Disability Services, Advocacy, Training, Peer Support, Home Modifications, Adaptive Equipment, Youth Transition, Personal Care Attendants For more information: 479-7940 •

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Our thanks to Dr. Roger Thurmond for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


Q.: My teenager is starting to get acne. When should I bring him/her in to see you? A.: Acne is obviously a common problem for not only teenagers but adults as well. In many cases, it persists well into middle age. It is a CHRONIC problem and must be thought of and dealt with as such to achieve optimal, long-term control. My first response to this question is to ask a question: Is it bothering your teen or is it bothering you? This is critical because until the child in question is actually disturbed by the acne, there is little chance of success simply because any treatment requires daily persistence and effort. Usually acne starts slowly and with relatively mild lesions such as blackheads, whiteheads and occasionally red pimples. It is advantageous to start treatment at this stage as it usually is easier to manage with milder medications and more likely to prevent scarring that may occur if it is allowed to progress to more severe, inflammatory acne. However, if the child is simply not motivated, then all is for naught unless you are the rare parent who really will remember to actually do the treatments for them on a daily basis. Q.: I have rashes all the time. Do I have to use those “dangerous” steroids? A.: Eczema and psoriasis are very common and chronic skin ailments that may be quite miserable and for which there are not always permanent cures. There are many effective treatments however, and some of these involve using topical and yes, sometimes systemic steroids. Eczematous conditions in particular are responsive to these medications and they remain a mainstay of therapy. If used properly and judiciously, I do not consider them to be dangerous. They are to be respected, however. There is a trend to be unnecessarily fearful of these medications to the point where they are used so infrequently as to be ineffective. This is a mistake. It is better to use the medications consistently and regularly to achieve results and then taper off than to “piddle around” and get nowhere while the condition continues to cause miserable itching, pain and secondary infection from scratching. If it is necessary to treat a condition for a long period of time then alternating with other non-steroidal medications is very helpful to minimize side effects. It’s also important to have periodic monitoring of the condition to assess effectiveness, proper use and to watch for side effects. Q.: Is the sun bad for me? Are tanning beds bad for me? A.: Yes and no. This statement alone might be considered the equivalence of professional heresy to many of my colleagues though. The sun, as well as tanning beds emit ultraviolet light (UV) This light is a form of radiation which does cause genetic damage leading to premature aging and skin cancer. If you are very fair, have a personal or family history of skin cancer or simply hate the idea of looking older than your years then yes, it is bad for you. Most skin cancer is relatively easy to treat (compared with internal cancers) but melanoma while less common, is very dangerous. There is a relationship between melanoma and UV exposure but that connection is a bit more nebulous than with the more common skin cancers such as basal or squamous cell carcinoma. There are many treatments for aging skin but the foundation for all treatment is UV protection. So what are the positive effects? We all know how nice the sun and, yes, tanning beds make us feel and maybe look. Well-being and happiness are important, right? The sun promotes vitamin D production which, in our opinion, might be best gotten through diet or supplement. But we, as dermatologists, also use the sun and special medical versions of UV machines (not tanning beds!) for effective treatment of some very miserable skin conditions such as psoriasis but others as well including sometimes eczema. Many patients use tanning beds for these treatments too but they are much less efficient for this purpose. As with most any medical treatment, the good effects must be measured against the bad.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Home to live but finds that the active waitlist is three or four years long, Wilson said. People who previously lived at home or with family come to the Pioneers’ Home for a variety of reasons, Wilson said. Sometimes people have a fall or other health problem and come for the additional health services the home provides. Others move to the Pioneers’ Home because they are lonely living alone. “We’ve seen people improve when they get here just by the mobility or the stimulation,” Wilson said. “You have to get dressed because you’re having breakfast with people.” Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545.

Health & Wellness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


A range of local options available for senior housing

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

ing home in the area is the 93-unit Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home, which is part of a Seniors in Interior Alaska statewide network of senior “We’re making have quite a few housing living facilities that also options, ranging from assisted includes locations in Anchorpositive headliving to independent apartage, Juneau, Sitka and ment complexes. Palmer. Most other options in way in that area But when it comes to navithe Interior are much smaller, gating those choices to find with 10 or fewer units avail… but certainly the right fit — that’s where it able. can become tougher. • Although public housing we know the Jim McCall, the officer of isn’t necessarily limited to housing relations at Alaska seniors, older Alaskans may (senior) popuHousing Finance Corp., said qualify for a local preference it’s often tricky for seniors to live at state-subsidized lation continor their families to digest the units. Anyone whose income options. AHFC has compiled doesn’t exceed 80 percent of ues to grow,” a list of facilities for indepenthe median income is eligible dent and assisted living on its to reside. In addition to senior he said. “Not website at facilities such as Golden Towsenior_guide.cfm. ers and Golden Ages, AHFC just in the Inte“They start that process, also operates Birch Park, and it’s very challenging to Spruce Park and Southall rior, but all over find a resource they can utiManor properties in the Fairlize for narrowing down the banks area. Alaska.” search,” he said. The need for senior housFor seniors who don’t ing is particularly important — Jim McCall decide to live in a typical in Alaska, because that popuAHFC home or apartment building lation has ballooned in recent — or are no longer able to — decades. Between 1997 and there are a few basic options: 2007, the number of people • Senior independent-living banks. In North Pole, Holiday in Alaska age 65 and older facilities don’t offer any persurged more than in any other Heights offers 24 units on sonal services, but they may state, with a nearly 50 percent Eighth Avenue. be built to accommodate older growth rate during that span. • Assisted-living homes people who have physical That’s about four times more offer more help for seniors limitations. There are many than the national average. who need a hand and have a of these units set aside for McCall said the state is staff on hand to work with its independent living facilities working to keep up with the residents. That help can range in the Interior, highlighted by from meal preparation to help housing needs of Alaska’s the 96-unit Golden Towers bathing or getting dressed. complex in downtown FairPlease see HOUSING, Page 14 The biggest assisted-livBy JEFF RICHARDSON

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Alexandria Montgomery, ANP Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner & Certified Nurse-Midwife Member ACNM, AWOHNN, 1919 Lathrop St. Ste 219 452-1622

Making Your Choice So you are thinking about having a baby, now the real work of deciding on your prenatal care begins. Whether you choose an obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn), a family physician, a certified nurse-midwife (CNM, or a certified profession midwife (CPM) will depend on a number of factors. Physicians There are usually two types of physicians that deliver babies, family practice and obstetricians. If you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes, or had serious complications in a previous pregnancy, your pregnancy will probably be considered high risk. In this case, you’ll need to see an obstetrician. Certified Nurse-Midwife The word midwife means “with woman”. Midwives are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse with education and training in the art of midwifery. Most often a CNM obtains this education through a 1-3 year master’s degree program after having obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Certified nurse midwives offer that go between for low to moderate risk women that want or need to have their baby in the hospital setting. CNM’s offer a holistic approach that complements their medical knowledge. Certified Professional Midwife Midwives who are not CNMs attend about 1% of the births in the U.S. Midwives that take the exams offered by “MANA” are called certified professional midwives (CPM). Almost all of the births attended by this group of midwives are un-medicated and occur in the home or birth centers. CPM’s offer the same holistic approach to caring for pregnant women as CNM’s but some states still do not recognize, and to varying degrees, limit their ability to practice. What Really Matters If you are looking for an alternative to a doctor-assisted birth experience, be sure to choose a provider that shares your view of pregnancy, but also has a formal relationship with an obstetrician. The most important thing is to choose someone you feel completely comfortable with, who’s appropriate for your individual needs, who’ll respect your wishes, and who practices in the right setting for you. Be sure the that person is experienced and has system in place to handle the rare, but devastating complications of labor, delivery and the postpartum period. In the meantime plenty of vegetables, drink lots of water, and get some exercise. Remember your body knows what to do---but it needs you to do it! Our Thanks to Alexandria Montgomery for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

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Immediate Appointments Available (907) 374-7776



Health & Wellness MEDICAL INSIGHT

Needed: Health providers to treat aging patients

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Janice Onorato, M.D. Neurologist

By ELIZABETH OLSON New York Times News Service

Fairbanks Psychiatry & Neurology Clinic 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 220 907-452-1739 Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology

Laura Kaufman no longer treats her patients in a suburban dental office. These days, she cleans teeth, does simple extractions and provides other basic care in the homes of inner-city elderly who are too frail to travel. After a decade of private practice in the Boston area, Kaufman found that a growing number of her dental patients were older people and that she often had little idea of their complete medical picture. So she decided to become “geriatricized” — educated on how to recognize and handle aging patients, who typically have several chronic conditions, as well as multiple prescription medications. “I saw these patients at my practice,” she said. “And then my father-in-law was homebound, and I saw first-hand

What is TIA?

elderly care training. Even so, given the enormous number of retiring baby boomers, the problems are worrisome. Prestigious organizations like the Institute of Medicine have warned of a looming scarcity of medical professionals equipped to deliver coordinated treatment of elderly health problems. There could be a shortage of as many as 90,000 doctors, about half in primary care, by the end of the decade, the Association of American Medical Colleges has warned. Doctors do not flock to practice geriatrics because Medicare reimbursement is comparatively low. The average geriatric specialist made $183,523 in 2010 — less than half that year’s $392,885 median for dermatologists, according to the Physician Compensation and Production Survey. And, like all fledgling doctors, the geriatric specialist struggles with medical school debt. Geriatrics is also seen as a Please see MEDICAL, Page 16

Board Certified, American Academy of Family Physicians Laser physics, safety and aesthetics techniques certified

HOUSING Continued from Page 13

S. Gayle Kaihoi, D.O.


Carrie Conley, PA-C.



for the entire family Laser Aesthetic Medicine Custom Skincare Programs

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Our thanks to Dr. Janice Onorato for contributing this article to our column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

there were no at-home dental services available.” Eighteen months ago, she was accepted into a federally financed fellowship program in geriatric dentistry at Boston Medical Center that she will soon complete. The program for geriatric medicine, dentistry and mental health is one way that health care professionals can gain more specific knowledge and training to recognize and provide comprehensive care for the growing number of people 65 years old and up. The federal government underwrites some fellowships and is asking for $54 million, up $11 million from last year, in the next budget for such training, especially for Geriatric Education Centers at dozens of medical schools and major medical centers. Private groups, notably the John A. Hartford Foundation, have also been financial pillars for

Midnight Sun Family Medicine, P.C . S. Gayle Kaihoi, DO

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TIA stands for transient ischemic attack, usually of the brain. A TIA is a sudden decrease or absent blood flow to a part of the brain for a brief period of time, typically 30 minutes or less. Many non-medical people may refer to a TIA as a mini-stroke. By definition, there must be no permanent disability and the vast majority of TIA’s resolve within an hour. It can cause the same symptoms as a stroke but there is no permanent damage to the brain. A stroke, on the other hand, does cause permanent damage to the brain and usually causes some form of permanent disability. TIA’s are the result of an artery of the brain becoming blocked or clogged and then reopens on its own. Typically this happens when a small blood clot lodges in the blood vessel and then moves away or dissolves. The symptoms of a TIA can be exactly the same as a stroke. These symptoms may include a SUDDEN loss of vision in one eye or both eyes, weakness and/or numbness and tingling on one side or both sides of the face or body, difficulty or inability to speak properly. There are several causes of a TIA. Typically, however, they are caused by a small particle breaking off the inner wall of an artery, which is then carried along by the blood stream and lodges in a small blood vessel in the brain. It then rapidly breaks up into smaller particles and dissolves. The most common places particles, such as fat, blood clots and calcium build up, are in the carotid arteries in the neck. In a small number of patients, the medical team is unable to determine the source of the TIA. Risk factors for developing a TIA include: age; male gender; high blood pressure; diabetes; tobacco use; lack of physical activity and obesity; high cholesterol and/or triglycerides; and genetics. It is believed that these factors all contribute to atherosclerosis, or the premature hardening of the inner wall of the arteries of the body; to the heart, the brain, the limbs, etc. In partnership with your neurologist and primary care provider, a person can decrease their risk factors of having a TIA by: stop smoking; exercise moderately every day for at least 30 minutes (enough to increase the heart rate); adequate control of blood pressure if you have hypertension (without frequent fluctuations); meticulous control of blood sugars if you are diabetic; eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, low in meats, sweets and refined grains such as white bread, white rice; getting your cholesterol and/or triglycerides into a normal range; and limit the amount of alcohol you drink (if you are a man, do not drink more than 2 drinks a day and if you are a woman do not drink more than 1 drink a day). Most people know that if they experience chest pain they should report immediately to an emergency room because they may be having a heart attack. A TIA should be viewed as “chest pain of the brain”. A TIA is a warning sign of a possible impending stroke. A person who has had a TIA is at a much higher risk of having a stroke and/or heart attack. The highest risk is in the first days to weeks after the TIA. That is why it is so important to get medical help right away if you think you (or someone else) may have had a TIA.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

aging population. He pointed to a $3.5 million state grant recently approved to add a third phase to Raven Landing, a new independent senior housing development located at the corner of Airport Way and Cowles Street. The three buildings already approved, including one that’s occupied, will eventually hold 60 units. Future changes could add assisted-living features to some units. “We’re making positive headway in that area … but certainly we know the (senior) population continues to grow,” he said. “Not just in the Interior, but all over Alaska.” Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness


Prosecutor becomes a champion for the elderly By ELIZABETH OLSON New York Times News Service

disease, and large numbers tation. of baby boomers are in, or Despite the law and efforts approaching, their 60s, a to shed light on the problem, Marie-Therese Connolly is period when they become more the toll on victims remains vast using the prosecutorial skills vulnerable. and grim, she said. she honed fighting nursing Connolly, an energetic Just making sure that the home fraud to add dimensions mother of three, did not set out people who come into contact to the public’s awareness of the to become a champion of rights with older adults, including widespread problem of elder for the elderly. As a newly doctors and social workers, are abuse, including highlighting minted lawyer out of Northtrained to distinguish between the costs to society of financial, eastern University School of accidental bruises, which are physical and psychological mis- Law, an early assignment was common among older adults, treatment of older adults. prosecuting civil fraud cases at and marks that are inflicted “Elder abuse is ubiquitous,” the Justice Department. by someone else would be an Connolly, 54, a former Justice Several years later, an important step, she said. Department prosecutor, said. investigation by the GovernConnolly also wants people “But we are not connecting ment Accountability Office, the to understand the economic the dots and realizing that the congressional watchdog agency, toll of abuse, noting that studeconomic costs are high. Few uncovered widespread nursing ies show that abused elderly people realize the huge implihome abuses. That prompted people “are more likely to be cations for Medicare, Medicaid the Justice Department to set admitted to a nursing home, and family programs.” up the Elder Justice and Nurs- for example, and far more She has been working ing Home Initiative to, among likely to suffer from increased — writing federal legislation, other things, pursue fraud mortality and morbidity.” testifying and prosecuting cas- against older adults. She was When financial, physical or es — for years, but a grant last named to lead it in 1999. other abuse means that an oldfall from the MacArthur FounShe left the post in 2007, er person cannot live independation recognized her efforts becoming a fellow at the dently, taxpayers pick up the in the area and gave her the Woodrow Wilson International bill for costly acute, intensive financial freedom to reframe Center for Scholars, a Washor long-term care via Medicare the issue on her own terms. ington research organization, or Medicaid, she said. Despite the occasional and founding the nonprofit Financial exploitation highly publicized case like the group Life Long Justice to help alone costs victims $2.9 bilone involving the actor Mickey detect abuse of the elderly and lion annually, according to a Rooney, who told Congress he find solutions. In 2010, Con2011 MetLife Mature Market had been mistreated by relagress passed the first federal Institute study. Connolly said tives, or the conviction of the legislation, the Elder Justice that the actual cost of abuse heiress Brooke Astor’s son on Act, which she helped write, to could be much greater, but no charges of defrauding her and address such abuse and exploi- comprehensive study had been stealing millions of dollars from her, the biggest challenge is that aging is something that everyone wants to ignore, Connolly said. “We need to talk about this,” she said. She decided to write a book, but not about the many examples of how older people are exploited or mistreated. “The engine of the book is going to be the people on the ground who are doing amazing things to help older people who are suffering from all these different kinds of abuses,” Connolly said of the book, which she said would be published in Julie Ament, PT, MOMT, OCS • Lori Grubbs, DPT spring 2013. Lucas Theys, DPT • Judy LePage, DPT With no coordinated national approach, “the social workers and others who are trying New facility at 157 Lewis Street to help are forced to invent the in downtown North Pole wheel over and over,” she said. Protecting the elderly is (907) 488-4978 not a top national concern, she said, although 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s


done. A major drawback to public awareness, she said, is the lack of research, especially in the areas of intervention and

prevention. It is difficult to pinpoint the precise number of cases of mistreatment and Please see ABUSE, Page 16

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Health & Wellness

Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Education is Essential

ABUSE: Problem is pervasive Continued from Page 15

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

abuse of older people, she said, because abuse takes many forms, can be hard to detect and can occur at home or in nursing homes and other institutions. Citing surveys and studies over the last decade, Connolly estimated that several million older Americans suffered abuse each year. But she said, “It’s very hard to put a finger on the prevalence.” To arrive at more precise figures, she is working with some other specialists on the elderly to research the various aspects of abuse and to find financing to support the effort. Her no-strings $500,000 MacArthur award

Victoria Shanklin Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska 565 University Ave. Suite 2 Fairbanks, AK 907-452-2277

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia (ADRD) and post diagnosis support is essential. Alaska has one of the fastest growing aging populations in the nation and baby boomers are beginning to reach retirement age. As our aging population grows, it is important families, friends, caregivers and professionals are educated on ADRD and the resources available. ADRD does not just affect the individual diagnosed but also all those around them. Here are a few tips that may make a world of difference to those affected directly or indirectly by ADRD:

have been exploring shorter and more specific ways to plodding area of medicine, expose health care professet apart from the glamour of sionals to the complexities of life-saving heroics. That may aging care, especially because be why the specialty has made midcareer professionals have little headway among nurses limited ability to leave their as well. practices for a year or two of The Hartford Foundation training. and the Atlantic PhilanThe American Geriatric thropies have supported a Society and other groups wide-ranging effort, at more sponsor minifellowships, than 300 hospitals, to provide weekend workshops, Web nurses with geriatric training, seminars and online courses, in a program called NICHE and add material to the physi(Nurses Improving Care for cian relicensing process that Healthsystem Elders). occurs every decade. Medical schools and others Continued from Page 14

If you are a caregiver it is important to realize that this can be a physically, emotionally and mentally draining job and self-care is necessary. Support groups, classes, inhome workers and financial assistance are all available. Education Specialists can help connect you to these resources if you are not already utilizing them. If you are a friend, be a friend! Do not disappear or stop talking to your friend because you don’t know what to say. Include the person as much as possible and take free classes about how to communicate and be conscientious and supportive. It may be uncomfortable for you, but ultimately it is more difficult for the individual diagnosed and their family.

Alexandria Montgomery ANP, WHNP-C, CNM

Alexandria Montgomery is a certified nurse midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner specializing in low-risk obstetrics and gynecology. She joined Dr. Peter Lawrason’s OB/GYN office in the summer of 2010. Alexandria offers expertise in adolescent and teen health along with care of the pregnant woman. Alexandria attends births at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital while still allowing women to labor naturally. While in labor, women can walk, eat, and move around – with or without an IV and without Alexandria N. Montgomery, continuous fetal monitoring. While some of ANP, WHNP-C, CNM her patients choose an epidural for pain management, Alexandria assists most of her clients through the natural labor process. She is married and has four children. In her spare time, Alexandria enjoys winter activities and playing softball.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be experiencing cognitive problems see a professional and get a memory screening. Memory screenings can be less invasive than a full medical evaluation and used as a baseline for those without cognitive impairments or a tool for narrowing down a diagnosis.

Preferred Provider • Blue Cross • Blue Shield • Aetna • Tri-Care Accepted

Peter D. Lawrason, M.D. Medical Dental Arts Building Suite 219


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Our thanks to Victoria Shanklin for contributing this column The article is intended to be strictly informational.

helps make up for the fact that she has not drawn a salary since she left her federal job — something her family has taken in stride although her older two children are in college. Her husband, Daniel Kohrman, is a lawyer with the AARP Foundation and works on issues involving older adults as well. But Connolly says she knows focusing public attention on abuse of the elderly is not going to be easy. “Despite the tide of aging baby boomers, people are still far more aware of child abuse and domestic violence than they are of what happens to an older neighbor or relative,” she said. “Elder abuse is still a national blind spot.”

MEDICAL: Geriatrics a growing specialty

If you have been diagnosed with ADRD remember you are not alone. There are support groups in your area and professionals that can help you plan for the future and talk to your family about what this means and how it will affect all of you. Being prepared minimizes the need for you or your family to make decisions in crisis mode.

If you are a professional or someone who works in the field of dementia care, having the foundation and staying current on what is happing in the field is imperative to both a person’s quality of life as well as the quality of your experiences working with them. We can inadvertently be the trigger that elicits a negative response, gaining tools and training in dementia care can make us more effective, efficient service providers.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

And the geriatric residency that must be completed before becoming a board-certified doctor has been reduced to one year from two, to make it less punishing financially for doctors. After decades of practice in Maine where his caseload of aging patients was rising steadily, Dr. William Bogan Brooks, a psychiatrist, decided he needed to know more. He entered a one-year fellowship program in geriatric psychiatry at Brown University in Providence, R.I. “Older people have more health problems, but they are also dealing with losses of loved ones and cognitive disorders,” he said. Along with another doctor, he made home visits in the Boston area as part of a team to give patients health assessments. But it was not an easy year, Brooks recalled. Now in Alabama after completing the program last summer, he said: “I had to do some moonlighting at a local hospital. Taking the year was a financial hit, but I learned so much.” That is music to the ears of Sharon Levine, a geriatric physician who helps direct a Boston Medical Center program of weekend geriatric immersion workshops for doctors. “There will be at least 70 million Americans over age 65 by 2030, and we only have 7,100 board-certified geriatricians,” she noted, adding that “there will never be enough.”

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness



Katie Schalberg, M.S., L.Ac. Acupuncturist & Herbalist Alaska Center for Natural Medicine 3039 Davis Rd Fairbanks, AK 99709 (907) 452-3600

Does Acupuncture Hurt? photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon

Studies show that owning a pet is beneficial to one’s health.

Owning pets has health benefits CHELLE CORDERO

Arlene Kirschner, M.D. Board Certified General Surgeon


Katie Schalberg is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist at the Alaska Center for Natural Medicine

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sion. Malignant hypertension cals that help to unwind and presents with a significantly soothe. People in high-stress high blood pressure and and demanding jobs had feelings of discomfort and lower blood pressure readings Hearing the pitter-patter in stressful situations after of furry little feet, the melodic pressure; it is a true medical adopting a pet than did their notes of a birdcall or the gur- emergency. However, petting counterparts without pets. gling sounds of a fish tank fil- an animal or participating in a pleasurable, relaxing activAll pets offer the common ter should do more than simity can raise levels of seroply stir visions of pet treats Please see PETS, Page 18 tonin and dopamine, chemiand fun. There are studies confirming that owning a pet is good for your health and mental well-being. Studies have cited the A Professional Corporation benefits of pet ownership for heart attack recovery, depression, hypertension and even fitness. Pets provide socialization opportunities, a feeling of companionship and a Practicing in purpose to “get of bed” in the Fairbanks since 1989 morning, and they are terrific Announcing the opening of my icebreakers and conversanew Out-Patient General tion starters. Researchers Surgical Practice located in and statistics say that heart Washington Plaza. attack patients who have pets survive longer than those Outpatient general surgery with special interest in without, according to several Breast Diseases • Office ultrasound guided biopsies studies. Male pet owners have available • Screenings and Diagnostic Endoscopy fewer signs of heart disease, Hernias • Gallstones, Etc. e.g., lower triglyceride and Referrals and Appointments welcome. cholesterol levels, than nonowners. Stress — and these are stressful times -- can throw off your body’s natural chem3419 Airport Way, Suite B istry and cause “illnesses” Fairbanks, AK 99709 such as malignant hyperten-

When people find out that I’m an acupuncturist, I am immediately bombarded with many questions. “Does it work?”, “Will it help with.?”, “Isn’t that just voodoo?”. But after 10 years being part of this medical field, the #1 question that is asked of me, “Does it hurt?”. Even after explaining that acupuncture needles, unlike hypodermic needles, are solid and hair thin, it seems most people can’t get over the fact that I’m putting sharp objects into their body. So, does acupuncture hurt? No, it doesn’t hurt. However, you should feel it! As I explain to all my patients, I first tap the needle in, gently breaking through the skin. Most will say that all they feel at this point is either the tapping or a little pinch, like a mosquito bite. I then insert the needle a bit deeper. The patient at this point can expect certain sensations. Dull achy sensation: This is what the Chinese call “Da Qi” sensation which indicates a rush of blood flow into the area. Tingling sensation or the patient may feel the nerve activate down the leg or arm. Heat or itchiness: This sensation is a histamine response. Muscle contraction: Some acupuncture points are actual motor points of the muscle. When this motor point is activated, the muscle can contract on its own. Referred sensation: A needle is inserted into an area of the body, however the patient will feel the sensation somewhere else. These sensations tell me, as the practitioner, that the body is responding to the acupuncture. However, every needle inserted does not elicit a response. With 10 needles inserted, most patients report sensation from maybe 3 or 4 of them. I also ask my patients to let me know if any of these sensations become overwhelming. In this case I will back the needle off or take it out completely. In my experience, if the patient is in any discomfort they become stressed and the treatment becomes ineffective. Finally, as in any relationship, communication is key. It is the same with the relationship between you and your acupuncturist. Therefore, let the practitioner know of your concerns. Let them know of your expectations. Finally, let them know if anything is bothering you during treatment. With this communication trust is built and ultimately your experience will be positive. You will even find yourself telling everyone how wonderful acupuncture is and how much it didn’t hurt!


Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

PETS: Having animals reduces allergies for kids, promotes caring Continued from Page 17

health benefits of reducing stress, including fish, birds, reptiles, hamsters, etc., but some animals lend themselves to cuddling and playing. There are added benefits to owning dogs and cats or other animals that encourage physical interaction. For example, a nightly walk with a dog on a leash is good exercise that helps keep you fit and lowers triglycerides and cholesterol. Pet ownership also opens doors to greater socializing. Conversations start up between dog owners as they discuss breeds and care of their pups. All too often, well-meaning parents have made their homes pet-free zones to eliminate the possibility of allergies and illnesses for

systems when children are raised with dogs in the home. There is a great sense of There is a great sense of companioncompanionship for elderly pet owners where family has ship for elderly pet owners where family grown up and moved away or members have passed on. has grown up and moved away or memOwning a pet that has to be cared for, fed regularly and bers have passed on. played with enforces a routine and gives purpose. Pets also have a way of reducing anxitheir children. But statistics Clinical Immunology quoted ety and soothing respiratory show that up to 33 percent of University of Wisconsin-Madi- functions, which are imporinfants and young children son researcher and pediatritant benefits for our elders. showed less tendency toward cian James E. Gern, M.D., as For years, individuals and animal allergies when they saying, “A growing number organizations have visited were raised in homes with a of studies have suggested hospitals and senior assistedfurry critter. Children learn to that kids growing up in a living residences with dogs interact with pets and develop home with ‘furred animals’ or cats in tow. In health care social skills. Having and car- whether it’s a pet cat or dog, institutions, the animals ing for a pet gives a child a or on a farm and exposed to help decrease pain by allowchance to develop responsibil- large animals -- will have less ing the patients to focus ity, but the child should never risk of allergies and asthma.” on something other than be the sole caretaker. There is also less incidence of themselves. They stimulate The Journal of Allergy and eczema and stronger immune

memories, encourage speech and motivate physical activity. Researchers have also discovered that patients who are regularly visited by therapy pets are often much more willing to accept medical care and are more optimistic about their survival. While owning a pet may decrease anxiety and related ailments, owning too many pets may also add stress as the cost of their care increases. Be realistic when making your decision to bring an animal into the house. Withholding a pet from someone who wants one could be a source of distress, as well. Prospective pet owners should choose animals with whom they feel most comfortable. Pet ownership is a very personal decision that reflects an individual preference.

Peter D. Lawrason, M.D. • Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology • Over 20 Years' Experience • High and Low Risk Obstetrics • Infertility Evaluations and Treatment • Gynecologic Surgery • General Ob/Gyn • Affiliated with Seattle Reproductive Medicine

1919 Lathrop St., Suite 219

March 27, 2012 Our Vision Life free of diabetes and all its burdens Our Mission To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of people affected by diabetes. Take the Diabetes Risk Test today at:

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Please Call for an Appointment 452-1622

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness



Baby boomers step up as health care volunteers By ELIZABETH POPE New York Times News Service

system. Another 300 volunteers are advocates who educate others about health care Policymakers and punissues in formal and informal dits warn that the baby settings. boom wave could swamp the At the Spring Institute for nation’s health care system. Intercultural Learning, also What if the 77 million boom- in Denver, older volunteers ers, who have just begun to help teach health literacy, turn 65 could help solve the arrange transportation and health care crisis? accompany Bhutanese and “There’s a lot of talk about Burmese refugees and immithe challenges that boomgrants to medical appointers will present to health ments, said Brandy Kramer, care, but we see them as the institute’s volunteer coorour country’s greatest natudinator. ral resource,” said Barbara “Our boomers are wonderRaynor, managing director of ful advocates for our comBoomers Leading Change in munity members; they are Health in Denver. tenacious and won’t take no Her 18-month-old profor an answer from a health gram, financed by the Dencare provider.” ver-based Rose Community Through local providers, Foundation, trains older volunteers have helped the adults as volunteer patient institute’s clientele acquire navigators, advocates and free or low-cost hearing aids, community health workers eyeglasses and even a new assigned to local organizaset of teeth. Other volunteers tions serving city residents. have untangled Medicare Some 125 older adults bills, advised when (and have been trained as naviga- when not) to call 911 and tors or community health coached diabetics on healthy workers who help individudiet and exercise. als and families master the Encouraged by the 2010 intricacies of the health care health care act’s emphasis on

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Julie Ament, PT,

primary care, care coordination and chronic disease management, pilot programs are emerging to try to improve the fragmented medical system. Many programs rely on coaches, navigators and advocates. The paid or unpaid work they do is well suited to older adults seeking encore careers, said Phyllis N. Segal, a vice president of Civic Ventures, a San Francisco-based research group. While there are no firm numbers on new programs, she said, “this area is poised to explode because of expanding needs for health prevention and services.” Entrepreneurs will also find opportunities to start small businesses in consumer-centered care, she added. The federal government’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation recently dedicated $1 billion in grants to develop new ideas to improve care and lower costs for Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries.

Convenient Quality Health Care Announcing a NEW Walk-In-Clinic

Steese Immediate Care We offer quality health care from highly qualified providers, X-ray facility on site, and plenty of parking available. Opening May 1st

Total Knee Replacement: What should you expect from your Physical Therapist? What kind of activity should you expect to get back to? The medical terminology for your total knee replacement is a total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Rehabilitation of your TKA will likely include inpatient physical therapy for a few days while you are in the hospital. This will include exercises for flexibility of your knee; practice walking with a walker; negotiating steps; and practice getting in and out of bed and to the bathroom. Once you return home, outpatient physical therapy is expected 2-3 days a week for 6 weeks and then 1-2 days a week for 4 weeks before discharge from physical therapy to an ongoing independent exercise program. Your physical therapist will help you to continue exercises for flexibility of your knee; progress your walking ability; work on your balance and agility; and strengthen your knee and hip muscles. Additionally, your therapist will likely work on mobilization of other stiff joints and soft tissues and may include electrical stimulation of your thigh muscles to help regain your strength. Most basic functional improvements in walking speed, stair climbing and activities of daily living will occur in the first 12 weeks after surgery and will continue to improve for 26 weeks. At 6 months, you should expect your pain to have improved 63% over pre operative levels; knee bending to be about the same as pre operative; knee straightening to be about 5 degrees more than pre operative; the ability to get up and walk about 20 feet to have improved 21% over what you had pre operative; stair climbing to be 40% better than pre operative; and your opinion of the ease of daily activity (as measured on a questionnaire) to be 57% improved over pre operative levels. You can expect the strength of the front of your thigh to be at pre operative level at 6 months. However this strength will not be equal to your uninvolved side even at 6 months so you should continue your home exercises at least one year. At 1 year, walking speed should be such that you can walk between 1275 feet and 1500 feet in 6 minutes. After 6 months you can expect to participate in low impact sports such as cycling, swimming and rowing. With previous experience, down hill skiing, cross country skiing, canoeing, doubles tennis, horse back riding and rowing are recommended. Your TKA can be expected to last 15-20 years. Your surgeon will usually refer you for outpatient physical therapy to start right away when you return home after your surgery. You can find a physical therapist near you by clicking on “find a PT” at . You can find a therapist who is a board certified specialist in orthopedics by looking for those with an “OCS” and the clinical specialist logo. Our Thanks to Julie Ament for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

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Your health is OUR first priority!

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Located at 1275 Sadler Way, 1st Floor in the Steese Medical Center Building (just behind Boston’s and Home Depot).

DPT, MOMT, OCS North Pole Physical Therapy 157 Lewis Street North Pole, AK 99705 488-4978


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Mosquito Meander

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Pioneer Park Race Starts at 10 a.m.

5K Fun Run & Walk Entry fees: Adults 12 and over —$20 Family (incl. 2 T-shirts)—$35 Children under 12—$15 Late Registration begins after 6/13/12—add $5 to fees.

Presented by Fairbanks Counseling & Adoption 11394541-3-14-12HW

For more information, go to or call (907) 456-4739.

Special Events


21st Annual

Access Alaska Support Group Schedule Support groups are made up of people with common interests and experiences. People who have been through, or are going through, a similar circumstance can do more than sympathize with you — they can relate to what you are going through and keep you from feeling like you are alone.

May 9, 2012 Fairbanks, Alaska

Head Injury Support 1st and 3rd Monday of each month, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

VIP (Visually Impaired Person) Support Group 1st Tuesday of each month, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Support Group 2nd Wednesday of each month, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Wall Buster Advocacy

on 1st Avenue. Strollers, wagons and Dogs on leashes welcome!

Join us at 5:00 for

2nd and 4th Monday of each month 2nd Monday, 12:30-2:00 p.m. 4th Monday, 5:30-7:00 p.m.


American Sign Language Lunch

Race Starts at 6:30 p.m.

Bring your own lunch Every Tuesday, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

• Food • Entertainment • Door Prizes and balloons for the kids

For additional information and to confirm dates and times please call 479-7940

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Entry forms available mid-April at

Parent Advocacy 3rd Tuesday of each Month, 5:30–7:00 p.m.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


April is . . . Autism Awareness Month Alaska Walk for Autism


For more information or to register online or call 374-4421




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Saturday, April 28 ¥ 11 a.m. at the Carlson Center

Ne Rou w te






JUNE 23, 2012 10 p.m. • 10k run UAF Patty Center to Pioneer Park

3–5 p.m. at the Fairbanks Princess Lodge Hors d’oeuvres, prizes, and inspiration! This is an excellent time to get your family and friends registered. Bring your team in to show your team spirit! For more information contact Sara Lucey at (907) 457-1557 or

Register today • Start a Team • STOP DIABETES!

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Proceeds benefit United Way of the Tanana Valley & Student Athletes through scholarships Information: 452-6046

announces Mobile Mammograms 2012

Kick-Off Party! Sunday, March 25

Survivors After Suicide: Bereavement Support Group

If you have lost a friend, family member, or co-worker to suicide, there is a safe place in our community to discuss your loss with others who are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings. Groups are open to all adult survivors after suicide and will be held at Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption.

March 12–15 March 19–21 April 28–May 4

May 19 May 30–June 1 June 6 June 13–14 June 18–19 June 20 July 9–10 July 16 July 17–19 September 10–13 October 15–17

1905 Cowles St. • Fairbanks, AK


call 479-3909

Providing education and mammograms to women in Alaska regardless of ability to pay.

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For more information on mobile mammograms 11394611-3-14-12H&W

of Tanana Valley

BCDC will bring “Nancy,” our mobile digital mammography coach to the following locations during 2012. Tanana Chiefs Conference Eielson AFB Prince William Sound Traveling Health and Safety Fair (Valdez, Whittier, Tatitlek & Chenega Bay) Central Wasilla Seldovia Soldotna Nenana Healy Delta Junction Slana Tok Dutch Harbor Eielson AFB

For Those That Have Lost a Loved One by Suicide.

First and Third Thursday of each month, 6 to 8 pm. Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption 912 Barnette St. Call Paul Beals @ 456-4729 for a pre-group interview. United Way



Health & Wellness

Staying active at work is key to staying healthy unmovable from their computers and phone systems. While this may increase the We’ve all been there before. productivity of a company, it After sitting at your desk also can decrease the health for five hours straight, your of the workers. Many studies vision starts to get blurry, have shown that sedentary your fingers are covered in office environments lead to potato chip grease, and your health complications. thoughts are getting derailed A report out of the Western every time someone walks Australian Institute for Mediinto your office. When you cal Research has found that leave for the night, you can’t sitting at a desk for long perihelp but think: “Ugh. I feel ods of time increases the risk gross and unhealthy.” of colorectal cancers by 200 It seems that more and percent. more workers are becomA 20-year Nurses’ Healthy ing tethered to their desks, Study of 72,000 female nurses ANICA WONG

“your specialist in complex restorative dentistry” With additional years of prosthodontic training and 31 years dental practice experience, Dr. Scheller has the knowledge and skills to provide you with a smile to be proud of. Prosthodontics, a dental specialty, focuses on the restoration and replacement of missing teeth as well as a wide variety of restorative, implant, esthetic, and cosmetic procedures. Dr. Scheller and his team are committed to offering friendly professional dental care of the highest quality. We will work closely with you to develop a comprehensive plan to treat your specific situation and explain what results you can anticipate. Denture and partial fabrication, repairs, and relines are completed quickly at our in-house dental lab.

(907) 452-7955 4001 Geist Road, Suite 12


Our goal is to achieve optimal dental health and wellness for life for each patient. Welcoming New Patients to the practice.

showed that for those who walked three hours a week, their risk of breast cancer was reduced greatly. According to a 2006 University of Michigan study, the percentage of people who exercised regularly from 1980 to 2000 remained the same, but the amount of people who spent time sitting (especially at their desks) rose by 8 percent. The more hours per day you sit at your desk, the higher likelihood of your dying an early death from a variety of health-related issues, including diabetes and heart disease. This is what Steve Bordley is trying to battle. He is CEO at TrekDesk, a company that creates desks that can be placed over a treadmill so workers can walk on the treadmill during their workday. After an accident rendered

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner photo courtesy of Steve Bordley

TrekDesk’s treadmill desk allows workeras to be active while working.

Bordley temporarily inactive, he gained weight and his cholesterol levels shot through the roof. This was when his brainchild was born. He found

that just from walking during the day, he lost 25 pounds, cured his back pain and lowered his cholesterol. It was as simple as walking. “Our whole goal is just to start a movement revolution,” says Bordley. He points to the surgeon general’s recommendation of 10,000 steps a day as the key to a healthier America. “The American Heart Association says that if you walk those 10,000 steps a day, we’d reduce initial heart attack rates by 90 percent,” he says. But how do workers walk during the day if they need to create spreadsheets and presentations? That’s where the TrekDesk comes in. By placing a desk over the treadmill, the worker can continue to perform while walking. While the idea is simple enough, there is still some hesitation to “exercising” while on the job. People don’t want to sweat. That seems to be the common misconception, says Bordley. He adds that you only walk about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour while using a treadmill and associated desk. A person can walk the 10,000-step minimum put Please see TREADMILL, Page 23

Health & Wellness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Retirees using education to exercise their brains and maybe even Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. More and more retired Is there any truth to it? people are heading back to And if there is, what type of the nearest classroom — as learning is best suited to the students and, in some cases, older brain? teachers — and they are findMany studies do find that ing out that school can be love- being mentally active is assolier the second time around. ciated with a lower risk of Some may be thinking of Alzheimer’s disease. But the second careers, but most just standard caveat applies: assowant to keep their minds stim- ciation does not prove cause ulated, learn something new and effect, and there is always or catch up with a subject they the chance that the mentally were always curious about but active people who never got never had time for. Alzheimer’s simply had healthFor many, at least part of ier brains to begin with. the motivation is based on Even, so, researchers say, widespread reports that exerthere is no harm in telling cising the brain may preserve people to try to stay engaged. it, forestalling mental decline “When you and I are having By DENISE GRADY New York Times News Service

this conversation, you’re taking notes, thinking, remembering pieces of it, trying to relate it to other things,” said Arthur Toga, a professor of neurology and director of the laboratory of neuroimaging at the University of California, Los Angeles. “You’re changing the circuitry in your brain. That is because you have changed something in your brain to retain that memory.” Toga elaborated: “The conversation requires nerve cells in the brain to fire, and when they fire they are using energy. More oxygen and sugar must be delivered, by increased blood flow to those regions. Please see RETIREES, Page 24

TREADMILL: Stay active at your desk Continued from Page 22

we’ve all been looking for to become healthier, happy individuals. “TrekDesk doesn’t cure cancer, but walking does. The magic is in movement,” he says.

1919 Lathrop St., Suite 222


Specializing in the Treatment of:

Two Years in a Row!

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Karla Zervos Lifespan Home Modifications Founder (907) 457-5433 National Association of Home Builders Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist

Every day a growing number of Alaskans become caregivers for people who are Aging In Place. Some caregivers are professionals but most are informal caregivers who are “just helping” aging parents, spouses, family members, friends and neighbors. Caregivers work hard and usually without pay to preserve or restore dignity, independence and quality of life so older adults can remain in their own home and community. Caregivers often assist a person with essential activities of daily living like eating, dressing, bathing, toileting and transferring or shifting from one position to another. They help a person sit and stand, walk or move around and transfer in and out of bathing areas or on and off the toilet. Caregiving requires physical and emotional strength and sometimes the work strains caregivers and jeopardizes their own health and wellness. Finding ways to reduce caregiver stress helps caregivers as well as those they care for and should always be part of a home health care plan. One often-overlooked way to reduce stress is to adapt the house so these vital services can continue with less effort. Caregivers report that bathroom activities are the most physically demanding. In before and after demonstration projects where bathrooms were modified, caregivers reported that the changes enabled them to assist more easily and safely in a room that is filled with hazards. The most helpful bathroom modifications usually include: • Fastening grab bars so they are appropriate for the wall structure near the toilet and bathing area to meet the unique transfer needs of the person • Installing height adjustable, handheld shower heads for easier independent or assisted bathing • Replacing bathtubs with curbless, roll-in showers to eliminate the need for transferring in and out of a bathtub • Adding a built-in bench or seat in the bathtub or shower for seated bathing • Raising the height of the toilet so sitting and standing requires less effort and assistance • Allowing enough floor space on one side and in front of the toilet for mobility equipment and / or for caregivers to comfortably assist a person transferring to and from the toilet Taking care of an older person requires good health as well as a supportive home environment. Modifying a home can reduce the cost of elder care, delay moving or institutionalization and create a safer environment for seniors and their caregivers. Learn more about home modifications for better caregiving at virtual_home. Our thanks to Karla Zervos for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


Neck and Back Pain • All Joint Injuries TMJ Dystunction • Vertigo • Pelvic Pain Sports, MVA and Work-Related Injuries Post-Surgical Rehabilitation • Incontinence Pre- and Post-Partem Therapy


out by the surgeon general in two to three hours while on a treadmill. TrekDesk’s treadmill desk has a price tag of $479, and to use it, one has to have a treadmill and, more importantly, the space to put a treadmill in an office. If your cubicle doesn’t allow this, there are other ways to stay active while at work. According to the Mayo Clinic, one suggestion is to look for opportunities during the day to stand. This could include standing while on the phone (a technique Bordley suggests for everyone) or even getting a standing desk (where you stand instead of sit). Another good idea is to take regular breaks and move around during the day; avoid extended periods of time sitting at your desk. Instead of hanging out at the water cooler, take a walk around the office or down the hall. Climb a few flights of stairs to get your heart rate up. If you have colleagues who are up for it, create walking meet-

ings, where instead of sitting around a conference table, you take the meeting to the sidewalks and enjoy the sunshine. Bordley believes that walking is the magic pill that

Home Fitness for Elder Care


Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

RETIREES: Older people heading back to school to stay mentally fit Continued from Page 23

“Why would that be good? If you are vasodilating, delivering more blood to certain regions of the brain, that is important. It increases the longevity and the health of those circuits. In adults, if I ask you to perform tasks you’ve never done before, the amount of brain it takes for you to try and do it is far greater than the amount of brain it takes for you to do something you’re already good at. So yes, exercising the brain is good.” Playing video games probably qualifies as a type of brain exercise, he said, though older people might not sharpen their skills as fast as younger ones do. But Toga warned that while

using the brain might help avert some of the mental slowing that normally comes with aging, it had its limits. “I do not believe that it forestalls degenerative disease, however,” he said. “That’s a different process.” There is a “little bit of snake oil,” he added, in the various products and programs that are being marketed with the implied promise that they will ward off Alzheimer’s disease. But research continues. Dr. William Jagust, a professor of public health and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, said there were two main theories that tried to explain why exercising the brain might make it more resistant to disease.

One is the “cognitive reserve” theory, which says that if the brain is in the best possible shape with extensive neuronal connections from being used a lot, it may be able to withstand the onset of Alzheimer’s disease for a while and symptoms may take longer to develop. A hallmark of Alzheimer’s is deposits in the brain of an abnormal form of a protein called amyloid. “A paper we published showed that people who were more cognitively active over their whole life span had less amyloid,” Jagust said. Animal research, he said, shows that neural activity actually releases amyloid into the brain. How, then, could

mentally active people have less amyloid? “My interpretation is that people who are more cognitively active have more efficient brains,” Jagust said. “What seems to happen in aging is that older people seem to have less efficient brains.” A scan of brain activity on a 20-yearold being asked to remember something will show less activity needed than in an 80-yearold asked to perform the same task. “Older people seem to activate or bring on line brain areas that young people don’t use,” Jagust said. “They have to work their brains harder. So people who stay cognitively active may use their brains more efficiently.”

That way, they may generate fewer amyloid deposits. But he emphasized that being mentally active throughout life — not just in old age — was what mattered. “It has to do with lifelong patterns of behavior,” Jagust said. “We tend to focus on what people do at 75 in terms of dementia. But there is more evidence that what you do in your life, at 40 or 50, is probably more important.” Nonetheless, Jagust acknowledged, “this is all theoretical.” As to what kinds of things older people tend to be best at learning, the researchers said there were no hard and fast Continued on page 25

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2301 South Cushman – 452-6000 227 N. Santa Claus Lane (North Pole) – 488-7444 1800 Airport Way – 452-5415 514 Old Steese – 456-8686 Fort Wainwright (8703 Neely Road) – 356-1481 Wal-Mart Location – 374-7817 3574 Airport Way – 479-8688 Eielson AFB (451 Broadway) – 372-1166 UAF Location (732 Yukon Dr., Fairbanks) – 458-1012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness

new language. But people who already know more than one language may be more adept than others, because the proContinued from Page 24 cess of learning different rules of syntax and grammar, esperules. Memory usually does cially early in life, seems to diminish, even in people who program extra skills into the do not have dementia, and brain, ones that people appear reaction time slows. to retain. “You’re not going to learn Toga said that the sensoto hit a fastball,” Jagust said. Over time, he said, the best- rimotor parts of the brain that control the senses and muscle preserved abilities seem to involve vocabulary and knowl- movement did not tend to shrink later in life the way the edge about the world, what cognitive centers did. So in researchers call “crystallized intelligence.” Problem-solving theory, learning physical skills and math ability, part of “fluid like dancing ought to come easily. But nature can be cruel: intelligence,” do not seem to where the brain is strong, the stick as well. flesh may be weak. Failing eyeThe slippage in memory sight and hearing, weakened may make it tough to learn a


muscles and stiff joints may all sabotage the signals the brain needs to choreograph smooth moves on the dance floor. “Everything is sliding downward, unfortunately,” he said, laughing. But it is still a good idea to try something new. Columbia University has had a program for “lifelong learners” since 1986. About 200 participants take regular Columbia courses. They are expected to keep up with the reading, but there are no term papers, homework, exams or grades. The older students tend


toward history courses, renowned professors and language classes that they hope will help in their travels. Programs geared to older people also exist at many other colleges and universities. An organization based in California, the Bernard Osher Foundation, supports lifelong learning programs at 117 colleges and universities, at least one in every state, based on the idea that many older students go back to school for the joy of learning. One of the largest programs for retirees is at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay (it

is not associated with Osher). Called Learning in Retirement, it is sponsored by the university, with more than 1,000 members and more than 240 courses a year. Classes — mostly short, a few twohour sessions — include painting, jazz, travel, eBay, osteoarthritis, Zumba, the periodic table, the history of the earth, building with straw bales and “motorcycling and aging awareness.” Most require no outside reading, homework or exams. Some are taught by college faculty, some by members of the group or others in the community.

Clear Vision Optometry welcomes

Dr. John Cobbett, O.D.

Chemistry/Hematology..........$45 (Panel of 27 different tests. Please (fast for 12 hours prior)

Thyroid....................................$30 Prostate...................................$25 Vit D..........................................$50 A1c...........................................$25

Must be 18 to have blood drawn. Please drink lots of water prior to blood draw.

Dr. Cobbett is now scheduling patients

Come join us, visit the exhibitors, chat with a nurse, take charge of your health!

with Dr. Chad Personett and Dr. Matthew Riley.

Call to make your appointment today:


Please contact us for more information:

CVO, Inc next to Image Optical on Airport Way



Presenting sponsor

Saturday, March 31, 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sponsored by WIN—Wellness in Nenana Held in the Nenana Civic Center

Salcha Health Fair: Saturday, April 14, 8:00 a.m. to Noon Sponsored by Salcha Fire & Rescue Held in the Salcha Elementary School

Copper River Regional/ Glennallen Health Fair: Saturday, April 21, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sponsored by Copper River Regional Health Network Held in the Glennallen High School

Fairbanks Health Fair: Saturday, April 28, 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pioneer Park, Civic Center Alaskaland

Eagle Health Fair: Saturday, May 5, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Held in the Eagle School

Central Health Fair: Saturday, May 19, 8:00 a.m. to Noon Held in the beautiful Central Museum


Urgent Care Center next to Wendy's

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(Urgent Care Center next to Wendy's)

Nenana Health Fair:


Free health screenings Free health education Low cost blood tests


Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Gravity: Is it an enemy or ally? CHUCK NORRIS

One self-proclaimed nomadic Internet philosopher wrote, “I want to lose weight by eating nothing but moon pies, which have significantly less gravity than earthier foods such as fruits and vegetables.” Now that’s funny. And wouldn’t it be great if it were true? When it comes to gravity, however, the truth is closer to what Hall of Fame basketball legend Michael Jordan once said: “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. ... My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” That’s the key in reversing and utilizing the power of gravity. Gravity grips all our lives and seeks to pull us down, literally. But gravity is free, so why not also use it to our advantage by turning it from a perceived weakness into a strength? Let me show you how two people — a fellow health enthusiast and I — have done that. A prolific author and our friend, Rick Newcombe testified to my wife, Gena, and me how at 60 years of age — though in great physical shape — he was lifting a heavy briefcase into the passenger seat of his car, when he felt a painful pop in his shoulder. An orthopedic surgeon told him that he had a tiny rotator cuff tear. So he tried many things — including physical therapy, acupuncture, light dumbbells and a couple of cortisone shots — but nothing provided ultimate relief. While considering surgery, Rick read about the natural Chuck Norris’ weekly column on remedies in “Shoulder Pain? health and fitness, “C-Force,” can The Solution & Prevention,” be found at by Dr. John Kirsch, a board-



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certified orthopedic surgeon who has been practicing medicine and surgery for 35 years. Rick tapped into Wolff’s law, developed by German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff (1836-1902). It states that bone in a healthy person will adapt to the loads it is placed under. Rick discovered that he could remodel his shoulder through his own hard work, as opposed to a passive solution, such as surgery or massage therapy. Using gravity and his own weight, he followed Dr. Kirsch’s advice and started hanging from a bar for 15-20 minutes a day. Rick sometimes would use his full body weight, but most of the time, he put his feet on a stool, hanging completely for only the last five to 10 seconds of a 30-second hang. After just 30 days, Rick noticed remarkable improvement. He had a full range of motion in his shoulder, and the impingement had been reduced dramatically — all because he investigated and took advantage of gravity and natural healing alternatives. The utilization of gravity and free weights (including ourselves) is one reason I’m a big advocate of resistance training. says resistance exercise “can be done using the body parts in opposition to each other or another static force — or by using weights or machines.” In a former article, “Resistance Training: A Fountain of Youth?”, I discussed how there are multiple benefits of resistance exercise besides muscular ones, including improved executive cognitive function (i.e., abilities necessary for independent living) and even economic savings on health care. One of the reasons I have endorsed the Total Gym since 1976 is it utilizes body weight and gravity to produce some of the best resistance training I know.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Keeping Fairbanks Healthy

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Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Rowing is an effective overall cardio workout photo courtesy of Exercise Bike Superstore

A lowimpact cardiovascular workout.

as well as a popular purchase for a home gym. You might think that rowCardiovascular exercise ing is an exercise meant to builds endurance, strengthens tone just the upper body, muscles and can help you lose including shoulders and arms, weight, and rowing is one of but proper form in rowing the most effective cardiovasactually works the quadriceps, cular exercises. hamstrings, back and abdomiIn addition to the aerobic nal muscles, as well. workout, a rowing session While some gym machines builds muscle in low-impact work just the upper or lower form, making the rowing body, the rowing machine machine one of the most works both at the same time, popular stations at the gym, creating a more complete workout in less time. According to the Mayo Clinic, while exercising within your target heart rate, you can expect to burn 511 calories during an hour of rowing if you weigh 160 pounds. An hour of rowing burns about 637 calories if you weigh 200 pounds and 763 calories if you weigh 240 pounds. Rowing machines allow you to use and adjust levels of resistance, increasing the aerobic and muscular benefits depending on your fitness level. SHARON NAYLOR

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Rowing machine workouts

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Before you hop onto a rowing machine at the gym, always seek the guidance of a gym’s personal trainer, who can assess your fitness level, advise you on your target heart rate and help you choose the best type of machine for you. Some are manual with hydraulic resistance, and some are electronic — much like elliptical machines — with programmable or programmed workouts, timers and other indicators. Your fitness professional will also help you adjust the machine to your height and reach, and show you how to adjust the resistance. You’ll then learn how to position your back and engage your Please see ROWING, Page 29

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness


ROWING: Proper form is important for effective exercise Continued from Page 28

abs as you pull back smoothly and complete the range of motion. Elizabeth Quinn, the guide to sports medicine, says, “Using the rower safely is an excellent workout, but using improper form can stress the lower back.”

Common mistakes on rowing machines Novice rowers often make the following mistakes when using a rowing machine without instruction and guidance: • Leaning too far forward at the start position. • Leaning too far back at the finish position. • Jerking the handle back with the arms. • Pulling using the back instead of the legs. • Starting without warming up. • Rowing for too long. Quinn advises starting out by rowing no more than 10 minutes on your first day, and aiming for a mastery of proper form instead of breaking a big sweat. “Keep the movement fluid and controlled, rather than jerking through each motion. Push with your legs, and avoid hunching forward to protect your back. Keep a slight bend in the elbows and knees, rather than locking the joints at full extension.” Technique matters more than strength, says Quinn, especially at the beginning of a rowing training regimen. As you practice more and build endurance, you might put together a schedule of rowing four times a week for up to 30 minutes.

Rowing workouts at home Once you master rowing form at the gym, you could decide to invest in a rowing machine for your home. Some fitness enthusiasts buy new machines; some buy used ones from friends who don’t use the ones in their basements;

and some find free rowing machines through sites such as, where people list items they no longer want and recycle them to those who wish to come get them. Without a fitness expert at home to observe you, it’s essential to maintain proper form as you exercise. If you can position your rowing

machine in front of a fulllength mirror, that can help you see your own body position and remind yourself to maintain proper back and neck angles. Keep track of your workout sessions using a fitness journal or chart, advises Ed McNeely, author of five books, including “Training for Rowing” and “Skillful Rowing,”

and consultant to professional Canadian sports teams. “Training without monitoring your progress is like driving with your eyes closed. You’ll get somewhere, but you can’t be sure where or what shape you’ll be in when you arrive.”

On the horizon If you find rowing at home

to be boring, a new class may be on the way to invigorate your workouts. The ECA One Body One World 2011 fitness convention in New York City revealed that group rowing classes are growing in popularity. Called “indo-row” classes, these high-intensity workouts are much like spinning classes, except everyone’s on rowing machines.


Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Kettlebells provide a safe, innovative workout national Kettlebell and Fitness Federation, some of the benefits of kettlebell training Fitness enthusiasts are getinclude: ting a grip — on kettlebells. • Improved strength. If you haven’t seen a ket• Improved endurance. tlebell, imagine a small can• Enhanced flexibility, photo dination and balance. nonball with an arched handle courtesy of on top. It’s quite different • Weight loss. Lift kettlebells for strength from the sideways-I-shaped • Injury prevention. and flexibility. hand weights you may be • Lean and functional familiar with. Exercising with muscle mass. the kettlebell delivers various aloft or direct it through rang• Strengthening of the es of motion in each exercise, muscle-toning and balance entire posterior chain. your hands and wrists remain results because the kettlebell • Core strength. in neutral alignment. This allows for safe and comfort• Sport and combat able positioning of the weight means a sustained workout enhancement. and greater comfort, espedirectly above your center Kettlebell training originatcially for those who have wrist ed as a Russian workout and of mass, while dumbbells or barbells must be held in front issues. has been used by elite military of the body. As you move the units, sports teams and law kettlebell up and down, the enforcement. motion activates different Over the past decade, muscles than traditional hand kettlebell training has entered weights. the fitness mainstream for According to the InterWhen you hold a kettlebell the everyday workout enthuSharon Naylor

The benefits of kettlebell training

siast. Physical therapists have encouraged their patients to work with kettlebells to increase strength and range of motion. According to Colin Cooley, an American Kettlebell Club Coach and CrossFit Level 1 kettlebell instructor, kettlebells combine many different planes of motion simultaneously to stabilize the core, since almost all movements are done in a standing sequence and emphasize range of motion in the joints. “Kettlebell training develops strength in all planes of movement,” Cooley says. “We live and play in a threedimensional world, and we should train accordingly. Since the kettlebell lines up with the body’s center of gravity, the athlete must work harder to balance and stabilize the



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Taking kettlebell classes Because this particular fitness tool requires proper form and works muscles you may not be used to working, it’s wisest to locate a kettlebell gym, find a kettlebell class at a fitness center or hire a personal trainer certified in kettlebell fitness. Under the watchful eye of a trainer, you’ll learn how to safely lift and lower the correct weight of kettlebells for your fitness and endurance level. You’ll be instructed and spotted in your positioning and range of motion, maximizing the benefits of your workout and helping to avoid injury. Find kettlebell gyms at, which provides listings of accredited kettlebell gyms by state. And check with your local fitness center or YMCA to inquire about existing kettlebell classes.

Kettlebell training at home

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weight.” This not only leads to strength in different large and small muscle groups but also engages both the upper and lower body.

After receiving kettlebell training courtesy of an expert, you may wish to continue with workouts at home. You’ll find plenty of kettlebell DVDs, with workouts designed for beginners, arthritis sufferers, athletes, bodybuilders and more. When shopping for your kettlebells, seek the advice of your trainer to help you choose the correct weight for your abilities. It can be smart to purchase a lower weight than you think you need, since a too-heavy weight can cause injury. A range of weights, perhaps in a set of three kettlebells, may be ideal for you. Visit for expert-reviewed kettlebell DVDs and equipment, and check out product reviews on well-known fitness magazine websites.

Health & Wellness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


‘Fast’ programs have benefits, drawbacks

Benefits and drawbacks

Quick fixes?

Workouts that work

“If you are looking for a total body transformation and think you can stick to working out a bunch every day, then P90X is great,” says Mac. “If you have the money, then a good personal trainer will help you achieve your specific goals in the least amount of time.” On its website, the American Council on Exercise details the most effective exercises — including lunges, planks and dips — to target the body’s three “trouble areas”: the glutes, abdominals and triceps. “Train everything from the hips to the pits,” says Ross, who reminds clients to add lots of variety to their workout to keep the body and the mind from getting bored. The most important thing is to keep moving. “In order to get fit, we need to up the activity level,” he says. As for Buckingham, she’s happy she mastered The Hundred Pushups: “My arms and shoulders looked great, I felt stronger in my core, and I was proud of myself for photo courtesy of Alex Weber completing a challenge that I Erin Buckingham has made pushups a regular part of her never would have thought I exercise routine. could have before.”

Dr. Barbara Keys, Dr. Colleen Personett, Dr. Michael Mavencamp

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“You don’t get out of shape overnight, so you can’t get in shape overnight,” When Erin Buckingham explains Jonathan Ross, wanted to tone and sculpt author of “Abs Revealed” her arms, she chose The and spokesman for the Hundred Pushups program, American Council on Exerwhich, she says, “seemed like cise, a nonprofit organization a great way to challenge” that promotes safe and effecherself “and get results.” tive exercise. She completed the sixRoss explains that many week exercise challenge, quick-result programs have which required participants too narrow a focus, which to do sets of pushups at least doesn’t provide long-lasting three days a week, each time results. increasing the number of Mac agrees, saying, “If repetitions. you don’t make fitness a Buckingham often did the priority in your daily life, program four or five days a you will always find yourweek. self looking for these ‘quick “It takes about five minfixes.’” utes tops a day and is so easy to fit into your schedule,” she says. “I usually did them before I went to bed, just on my floor. No gym needed.” Quick-result programs Buckingham recommends may be short-term, but they the program, which she still could spark lasting change. does a few times a week. “You cannot just go for six “It can be a stepping stone to greater things,” says Ross, weeks, stop and still expect who finds some quick proto look the same,” she says. “It’s a thing that you need to grams can be fun, challenging and motivating. do somewhat consistently.” Still, there’s the risk of injury from over-exercising a certain muscle or part of the body. Whether you want to lose For example, a workout weight or tone up, quickthat targets the shoulders result workouts can be could strain that area, potentempting. tially resulting in injury. Aside from The Hundred “The end result is usually Pushups program, there are getting hurt by the second or many other quick-result prothird day and thinking that grams to consider, including exercise is evil,” Mac says. the Hula Hoop Workout, a “This is unhealthy because 30-minute workout in which overdoing exercise by going you try to get fit while havtoo hard and too fast can ing fun twisting and turning really cause an injury.” with a hula hoop; The Fifty Ross recommends choosPull-Ups Challenge, which ing “a small variety of moveinvolves seven weeks of ments that provide a total training that results in being body response,” including able to do 50 pull-ups; and exercises that entail pushing, playing Wii Fit Plus video pulling, squatting, lunging games to help you get in and twisting. shape while also gaming. “We can’t just focus on “We are an instant gratione movement,” he says. fication society,” says per“Human movements are sonal trainer Amy Mac. “We complex. We move in differwant to work hard at the ent directions.” gym today and slip into our skinny jeans tomorrow.” These programs may be intriguing, but fitness So what workouts are experts say that fast rewards worth the effort? are not always a good thing. KRISTEN CASTILLO


Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

How to eat out without pigging out MARILYNN PRESTON

you may order something else, later. I’ve done this dozens of Dining out has become our times, maybe thousands, and national pastime. So has porkI can pretty much guarantee ing up. Is there a link between that “later” never will come. them? You bet your Krispy Don’t worry about what Kremes. We’re a fast-food your dining partners will nation of overeating eater-outsay. Chances are they’ll start ers, and if you want to trim ordering the same smart way. down and stay healthy, you’ve • Wet stuff on the side. got to wise up when it comes Memorize and use the followto ordering a restaurant meal. ing phrase and you can save Fish before steak; veggies over zillions of unwanted fat calocarbs. Eating out isn’t the ries: “Please bring the sauce enemy. Spacing out is. (or salad dressing) on the Menu aerobics is all about side.” Is that so hard? Practice activating your awareness at home, and say it with a and exercising good judgment. smile in every restaurant you Take the following strategies visit. to heart and not only will your I’m all for tasty sauces and whole body benefit but also dressings, but most restauyou’ll save money: rants just pour it on without • Forget fried. This is basic. thinking, and without thinkStop ordering fried foods. ing, you take it all in. So get Just say no to fried chicken, the wet stuff on the side; dip fried fish, fried potatoes and your fork in, and sprinkle on all their high-fat friends. And modest amounts. photo courtesy of Ariadna when you have a lapse — you The difference between 1 will — at least pull the bread- One way to avoid calories when dining out is to eliminate 1/2 tablespoons of a dressing ing off before you chow down. fried foods. and the typical quarter-cup This is extremely challengportion can be 20 grams of fat ignore the entrees. Go immeing in the case of crispy french un-American, just postpone or more. your next fried meal until the diately to the appetizers, sides fries, so if that’s your weak• Split dishes or love your next time you eat out ... and and salads. And rejoice. ness, eat five of them, slowly, leftovers. When did portions Great taste, smaller porand move the rest out of reach. then the next time ... and soon in restaurants explode? It’s tions. You’ll save hundreds of If you’re not sure whether the you’ll discover how delicious obscene. Europeans gasp at baked and broiled foods taste. calories each time you make a our supersize meals. Asians item is fried — I am speak• Focus on starters. Next to meal of a soup (not creamy or faint. ing to the boys now — ask. A cheesy) or salad and an appechimichanga is fried. Anything sharing an entree, this is my Research proves the obvifavorite tactic when eating out, tizer. parmigiana is fried. ous: The more food on your especially in an upscale resIf you’re worried that you If giving up fried foods plate the more you eat. So tactaurant. Open the menu, and won’t feel full, tell yourself sounds impossible and even tic No. 1 is to share an entree

with a pal. A tummy-trimming alternative is to order an entree yourself, eat half and then take the rest home. If you have a problem leaving food on the plate — as a charter member of the Clean Plate Club, I know this syndrome well — then do something daring and order a doggie bag when you order the meal. When it arrives, put half your entree into the bag, and try not to forget it when you leave. Yes, this is a drastic measure. But portionwise, these are crazy times. • Bread and water. To avoid temptation, ask your waiter to remove the bread from the table. Take a roll, if you must, but don’t slather on the butter. Drink a glass of water before you begin your meal to jumpstart that full feeling. Limit alcohol to one drink, and toast your good judgment. • Dessert! The healthiest desserts are fruits and ices. If you can’t resist that chocolate cream pie or peach cobbler, share it — and then limit yourself to a few mindful bites. Slow down, and focus on the yumminess of whatever you’ve chosen. Pass it around. Then kiss it goodbye. Marilynn Preston — fitness expert, personal trainer and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues — is the creator of “Energy Express,” the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the country. It can be found at

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Health & Wellness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


To fall asleep, first get off the couch By JOHN HANC New York Times News Service Tormented by pain from two decades of lower back problems, Don Cook was nearly at his wits’ end. Operations, traction, drugs — nothing seemed to work. At the behest of his family, he signed up for an exercise program for older people at Wichita State University, near his hometown, Derby, Kan. “I had very little faith that exercise would help,” said Cook, now 61. “But we needed desperately to do something different.” Under a supervised program at the university’s Center for Physical Activity and Aging, Cook at first couldn’t walk for 10 minutes without his back pain flaring up. Now, 13 months later, he strides briskly and confidently for 50 minutes at a time, covering about 2 miles around the center’s oneeighth-mile indoor track. His back feels better, his posture is better, he is off pain medication, and he has discarded his cane. But he also accrued another, unexpected benefit: “I fall asleep quickly and sleep through the night,” Cook said. “Which is unusual

“There was definitely a strong correlation between sleep quality and physical activity.” — Jane Kent-Braun professor, physical therapist

for me.” Parents since time immemorial have known that children allowed to run around all day will usually conk out at night. But only recently have researchers begun to look at the effects of physical activity on sleep for a group that seems to have the most difficulty with it. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than half of adults ages 60 and over have trouble sleeping. And while it may not be the first thing that pops up when older adults list their health com-

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plaints, getting adequate sleep is an important part of maintaining physical and cognitive well-being. One of the most effective — not to mention cheapest — remedies may be the same thing that Cook used to help his back: exercise. In a 2011 study at the University of Massachusetts, activity habits of 22 adults (11 men, 11 women) ages 65 to 81 were followed over 10 days by the use of accelerometers — pagersize devices that measure body movements. Fatigue and sleep quality were then assessed through the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, two questionnaires commonly used by sleep researchers. “There was definitely a strong correlation between sleep quality and physical activity,” said Jane KentBraun, a professor and physiologist who supervised the study. “Those who were more active each day reported fewer problems sleeping than those who were sedentary.” That was not surprising. But the amount of activity needed to improve sleep was. “Those who had better quality of sleep were moderately

active,” she said. “These were people who were out there just moving around, gardening, walking the dog.” Findings similar to those of this study, which was presented in June at the annual conference of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis, have been reported by other investigators. A 2011 study at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that physical activity was a “promising strategy” to decrease frequent sleep interruptions among those with arthritis. Another study, done at Oregon State University and published in December in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity, looked at activity and sleeping habits of 2,600 men and women 18 to 85 years of age. Those who followed the federal Department of Health and Human Services guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week reported a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. The implications for retirees who are tossing and turning? “It’s another reason to get active, if you aren’t already,” said Dr. William O. Roberts, a professor at the University

of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. “I’ve seen it help a large number of my older patients who’ve had sleep issues.” That level of activity need not be of Ironman proportions to help improve the quality of sleep. “It doesn’t take much,” Kent-Braun said. “Here’s another good reason to follow the national guidelines,” said Michael Rogers, an exercise scientist and the clinical director at the Center for Physical Activity and Aging at Wichita State. “A lot of seniors think that sleep difficulties are just a part of getting old. Some of the research we’re seeing now suggests that this may not be the case.” Cook is a believer. He trains at Wichita State during his lunchtime, three times a week. He also does core strengthening exercises under the tutelage of the center’s coordinator, Nicholas Walton, an exercise physiologist. “Like any 61year-old, I have days where things hurt,” he says. Still, he feels much better, and people are noticing. Recently, he said, his oldest daughter, Emily, said, “‘You used to look drowsy all the time.’ Not anymore.”


Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Changes to diet may help prevent cancer Opt for fruits, vegetables over processed meats photo courtesy of Catherine McNulty

Carrot sweet potato soup combines two vegetables that are rich in beta carotene, which is helpful in preventing cancer.

foods are fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in antioxidants (such as berries) and beta carotene (such as carrots and With the recent news that sweet potatoes) have been nitrates have been linked to causing cancer (goodbye, cured proved to help prevent cancer. Doctors also recommend crumeats and hot dogs!), you ciferous vegetables — such as might wonder whether anybroccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauthing is safe to eat anymore. liflower and kale — for fiber Fortunately, the answer is a and their antioxidants. resounding yes, and certain Other foods that help out foods can even help prevent on the cancer-prevention cancer. But what are they? front: tomatoes, garlic, avoAnd once you’ve found them, how should you prepare them? cados, figs, red wine, green and black teas, and flax. Even Not surprisingly, the most spices such as cinnamon, tureffective cancer-preventing CATHERINE MCNULTY

meric and rosemary are in on the fight. Now that you’ve loaded up on fruits, veggies and other healthy stuff, what’s next? Try adapting the dishes you regularly make to incorporate cancer-fighting foods. For example, if you usually eat oatmeal or cereal in the morning, toss in some flax and berries to make breakfast a superhealthy and filling meal. For a quick side dish, kale can be sauteed with onions and garlic. It can also be easily added to soups and curries to give them a healthful boost. Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are excellent roasted or steamed. But plain roasted vegetables can be boring. Dress them up with a sauce, but use it sparingly; too much and you might cancel out any health benefits you gain from eating your veggies! If you like spicy, here’s a quick, delicious dressing that goes with almost any roasted vegetable:

CHILI MINT DRESSING 1/4 cup water 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce, e.g., Sriracha 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon or

lime juice 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon rice vinegar 1/4 cup chopped mint or Thai basil Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Pour over roasted vegetables, or serve on the side as a dipping sauce.

minute or two. Then add broth and ginger. Salt to taste, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender enough to be pierced by a fork. Blend until smooth (immersion blenders are wonderful for jobs like this), but be careful, because it’ll be very Carrots and sweet potatoes hot. This soup gets better lend themselves to rich, hearty the next day, so make it in soups. Here’s a recipe for a advance. You can also add a perfect rainy-day soup that includes two excellent sources few squeezes of lemon or lime juice to brighten it up or add of beta carotene: 1/2 cup of heavy cream to make it richer. CARROT SWEET POTATO

SOUP 2 medium sweet onions, chopped 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped 4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped 4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, depending on how thick you prefer soup to be 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger Salt and pepper, to taste Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, and cook for another

Eating healthily doesn’t mean you have to skip dessert; it just means you need to make the right choices. Both dark chocolate and figs have antioxidants, which are known to help prevent cancer. Figs are excellent roasted or baked in a tart. A few squares of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine are a perfect end to a healthy meal. Eating healthily can be a great way to explore new dishes and cuisines. Don’t lament what you can’t have; think of all the new and delicious ways you can keep yourself clean and cancer-free! Catherine McNulty is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu.

Health & Wellness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Want to stay cool, calm? Drink water SHARON NAYLOR Water is essential to nearly every function of the human body. It regulates our temperature; cushions and protects vital organs; aids in digestion; and acts within each cell to transport nutrients and dispel waste. According to the American Council on Exercise, water constitutes 75 percent of muscle tissue and 10 percent of essential fatty tissue, contributing to good health and strength. Since the brain is 75 percent water, being moderately dehydrated causes headaches, dizziness, and, according to some reports, mental fogginess. Water is also required for healthy lung function, moistening oxygen so that you can breathe better. The International Bottled Water Association says that adequate hydration helps convert food into energy and cushions joints. And the nutrition site points to good hydration for healthier skin, hair and nails.

Are you dehydrated?

But the American Council on Exercise suggests checking the serving size of a sports drink bottle, as one bottle may contain several servings, caffeine or high levels of sodium.

How much water do What to eat for better hydration you need? Several medical studies have challenged the old formula of drinking eight glasses of water a day, totaling 64 ounces. According to the American Council on Exercise, a healthy woman should aim for 2.7 liters of water per day, and a healthy man should aim for 3.7 liters, through both beverage and food sources. It’s best, however, to consult with your doctor or licensed nutritionist to assess your own body’s hydration needs. Some medical conditions require intake of more or less water. For instance, according to the American Council on Exercise, those with bladder infections or kidney stones may be advised to drink more water to aid in flushing out toxins and obstructions. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your physician or nutritionist can advise you on ideal water intake for your weight, body temperature and fitness levels.

What to drink for better hydration Water is the best option for hydrating the body. Juices that are 100 percent fruit, milk and herbal teas also help hydrate you, but be sure to avoid juices with high sugar content. Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea and soda, contribute to water intake in moderation. But be careful: Overdoing it with caffeinated beverages can actually dehydrate you, since such drinks often act as diuretics. Low-sugar sports drinks can provide hydration, electrolytes and carbohydrates to prevent low blood sugar.

According to the International Bottled Water Association, 80 percent of hydration usually comes from beverages, and 20 percent comes from the food you eat. Fruits, vegetables and broth-based soups perform wonderfully in the delivery of water to your system. To better hydrate yourself, add to your diet more foods with higher water content. According to the American Dietetic Association, here are some foods with high levels of water content: • Lettuce (1 1/2 cups): 95 percent water. • Watermelon (1 1/2 cups): 92 percent. • Broccoli (1 1/2 cups): 91 percent. • Grapefruit (1 1/2 cups): 91 percent. • Milk (1 cup): 89 percent. • Orange (3/4 cup): 88 percent. • Carrot (1 1/2 cups): 87 percent. • Yogurt (1 cup): 85 percent. • Apple (medium size): 84 percent.’s list of hydrating, healthy foods features grapes, peaches, tomatoes, berries, watermelon, lettuce, celery, pineapple, cucumber, pears, peppers and cantaloupe.

Don’t overdo it Drinking too much water can cause a potentially deadly condition known as hyponatremia, a water intoxication that can shut down your organs. Physicians advise dividing up the amount of water you need each day rather than drinking it all at once, and drinking before, during and after workouts.

Stay hydrated for optimal health.

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Headache and feelings of thirst are often the first signs that your water levels are too low. Other signs include: • Dry mouth. • Sleepiness or fatigue. • Extreme thirst. • Confusion. • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded. • No tears when crying. • Little or no urine or urine that is darker than usual. Pay careful attention to your urine color. A pale shade of yellow is often a good indicator that your body is functioning with an optimum amount of hydration. When it’s hot outside or when you are exercising, have a fever or are ill with vomiting or diarrhea, your rates of dehydration increase, and you must take extra steps to replenish water lost through these extreme conditions.

On an everyday basis, you lose water simply by normal perspiration, going to the bathroom and even breathing. When you don’t replenish your body’s water content, dehydration sets in.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Stay Vibrant and Well this Spring... Submitted by Contributing Community Author


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Our thanks to Donna Lanni for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

The Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA

Yoga from Winter to Spring As we flow into the fluid brilliance of our Fairbanks Spring, we feel the release of the weight of the frozen arctic winter drop from our shoulders like a heavy Prana Flow® Instructor coat. We turn our gaze to the Sun and & Co-Owner of feel joy in the renewal of the Earth that Heart Stream Yoga its warmth inspires. Also, as we shed our coats, we may look down at the added (907) 474-8108 roll around our waists and the crumple of cellulite on our pale white skin. We may scramble to find our sunglasses in our trashladen cars only to retrieve them from under a thick film of dust. The melting snow reveals grime and garbage. As we emerge into the light, our body systems may feel as dusty as the inside of our cars. Therefore, spring is an awesome time to turn to the purifying tools of yoga to release the toxic excess within our bodies; kissing the residue of the winter heavy diet, inactivity, rich deserts, and holiday drinks “goodbye”. Practicing yoga of all varieties creates an environment of complete attention. It does not matter what pose you are doing or what style you practice. Yoga draws you inward and focuses “attention” with “intention”. Yoga teachers encourage students to pay attention to how they feel in each pose, from the very base of the spine to the crown of the head. It shines the light of awareness on the self; which is the primary basis of healing on all levels. This is called the practice of mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness helps us to make positive choices in all areas of our lives; perhaps choosing a home made salad over fast food, listening to music instead of watching TV, or saying no to situations that create stress, aggravation or aggression. In yoga, we like to merge breath with movement. Dropping the breath deep into the belly and allowing it to drift over the throat is a breath called ujjayi. When done correct, it sounds like the waves of the ocean crashing on the beach. This breath calms the limbic system and reduces stress. Other breath forms or “pranayama”, such as Skull Shining Breath ( kapalabhati), can heat the inner core. This breath looks a lot like panting but it fires abdominal muscles creating internal heat and strength. Lions breath, or simhasta breath involves the student inhaling deeply and exhaling while sticking their tongue to their chin. This fierce faced breathing technique encourages deep internal detoxification. Yogic systems such as ayurveda combine daily habits of cleansing such as brushing the skin, tongue scraping, and oiling the body with individual and customized food choices based on that persons energetic natal make up or, dosha. Just following some of these self care techniques on a daily basis aids in the transition of seasons. And finally, there are yoga poses or asana that help with the elimination of toxins and produce fluidity to our movement. Tensions and stressors often manifest and lodge in our bodies in the form of stiffness, inflexibility of the body and mind and even illness. Most all yoga poses encourage detoxification on some levels by creating heat. Forward folds and twists wring the internal organs or temporarily slow blood flow to overburdened organs and joints. Upon releasing twists, blood flows and surges deeper into the tissues creating a wave of cleansing fluids. Sun salutations, not only remind us of the returning Sun, but teach us how to get up and down off the ground with ease and grace; a practice useful as we age. Yoga asana practiced in heated rooms helps eliminate toxins faster and more completely much like a sauna is used for cleansing although the benefits of yoga asana do not require added ambient heat. A 2-3x/week practice of yoga asana, under the guidance of a compassionate and well-trained instructor, can guide the student in techniques that will chip away at the edges of long held Winter stress and toxic patterns of behavior. And, like the snow that melts and forms rivers of clear water, we can move from frozen to fluid emerging new and whole into the Spring season with the help of yoga.

Tai Chi for Health and Relaxation

Tai chi is a balanced and self-regulated activity that can be started at any age and from almost any physical condition. Tai chi’s slow, rhythmic movements alternate muscle stretching and contraction while moving the major muscle groups through their full range of motion. Tai chi builds strength, improves balance, and promotes deep, relaxed breathing while it relieves muscle tension, expands flexibility and increases endurance. Initially, tai chi requires focused attention that improves concentration but is soon done with relaxed awareness, much like a moving meditation, thereby reducing stress and creating a sense of well-being. It is appealing because it is inexpensive, requires no special equipment and can be done indoors or out, either alone or in a group. Modern studies demonstrate the health benefits of tai chi. Research shows that tai chi reduces the risk of falling and promotes tendon elasticity, stronger knee flexors and extensors, and improved posture. Tai chi improves balance and coordination through awareness of one’s center of gravity as weight is shifted from one foot to the other. People with arthritis who began practicing tai chi strengthened abdominal muscles, improved balance, and reduced pain during daily activities. Doctors recommend tai chi to address fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, Multiple Sclerosis, and other health issues because it reduces joint swelling, and improves range of motion, flexibility, strength, and balance. Tai chi is traced to Li Tao-tzu, a Taoist sage of the 9th century, and to Chang San-feng, an 11th century Taoist monk who used the ideas of Taoist internal alchemy to create tai chi chuan. Tai chi chuan was used to achieve “tai chi,” the state of balanced yin and yang energies to transform the body and mind for health and longevity. From an Eastern perspective, tai chi promotes health by circulating the intrinsic energy of the body, or “chi.” Tai chi is still practiced today because it works. There are several venues for learning tai chi in Fairbanks. Choose a class where you feel comfortable. You will have found the right class when you are smiling along with the rest of the class and instructor as you learn the set. Classes should be fun.

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Our thanks to the Taoist Tai Chi Society for contributing this column. This article is intended to be strictly informational.

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The Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA, a charitable, nonprofit organization ( ), has offered classes in Fairbanks since 1991. A weekly class of the seated tai chi set is open to those with reduced mobility who want to improve their health. For more information contact or call the Fairbanks branch of the Taoist Tai Chi Society at 456-8827.

Health & Wellness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stay Vibrant and Well this Spring... Classes offered in Beginner Basics, Ashtanga, Restorative, Prana Flow®, HOTvinyasa, YIN YOGA, Power Lunch, Qigong, $5 Fridays, Chakra Balancing

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5:30 – 6:30 PM on Wednesdays 21394768 3-14-12 H&W

Wheelchair accessible site at: "The Music Room" in the Paskvan Building corner of 1st and Noble

This class is open to all, but focuses primarily on the seated Tai Chi set for those who are not able to stand easily. The Taoist Tai Chi Society is a volunteer charitable organization dedicated to making the health benefits of Tai Chi available to all. 12393366-3-14-12H&W

907-456-8827 • e-mail:


Recently on ABC’s “The Chew,” we did some health food myth blasting. It was especially exciting for me to be able to share these tidbits, because when I learned them, I realized I’d been depriving myself all along and for no good reason! Part of the fun of hanging around in the nutrition nerd pool is you start to realize how misleading advertising can be — and how easy it is to be tricked into wasting money (and willpower) on foods that are actually no better for you in the long run. So get ready; you’re about to be a very happy health food myth blaster! • “Low-fat dairy is better for me.” Myth blasted! For years, I suffered through bland, watery iced coffees made with skim milk. Never again! Stripping the fat out of milk is problematic on many levels. First of all, fat carries with it delicious flavor and helps you stave off hunger by keeping you full for longer. Even better, having some fat in your milk actually helps to keep milk’s carbohydrates (the sugar in milk, otherwise known as lactose) in balance so that they don’t get dumped into your bloodstream all at once. Eating a diet rich in foods that spike your blood sugar (i.e., simple carbohydrates without enough fiber or fat to help delay the flow of sugar into your blood) may be linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes down the line because of the way these foods force your body to work overtime to maintain a proper blood sugar balance. The good news is that new studies point to transpalmitoleic acid, a fatty acid

Daphne Oz, a co-host of “The Chew,” blasts some popular diet-related myths. found in higher quantities in whole milk than other varieties and a nutrient that the human body cannot make for itself, as potentially helping to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Now, fat does carry calories, so moderation is always the best rule of thumb. But I would so much rather enjoy a guilt-free, full-fat ice cream cone now and then than the fake, processed junk every night of the week. Wouldn’t you? • “Diet soda will help me lose weight.” Myth blasted! Studies have shown that drinking diet soda may actually help you gain weight. The artificial sweeteners in these drinks, in addition to being potential carcinogens, are hundreds of times sweeter than naturally occurring sugars (maple, honey, cane, etc.). This super-sweet taste can be very addictive, plus your body is an incredibly intelligent machine that expects Please see MYTHS, Page 38


Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Cleanliness key when preparing food DR. DAVID LIPSCHITZ

fever, headache and muscle pain. The organism may then invade the nervous sysThe Centers for Disease tem, resulting in meningitis Control and Prevention or encephalitis, which can recently reported that more cause a severe headache, than 1,000 food-borne disconfusion and disorientation, ease outbreaks occurred in gait and balance problems, 2008, the latest year inforand convulsions. mation is available. For reasons that are not This led to more than well-understood, listeria 23,000 illnesses; nearly 1,300 infections are more common were reported hospitalized, in pregnant women. Though and 22 people died. The listeria causes only mild actual number of food-borne symptoms in the mother, the illnesses is almost certainly bacteria frequently infect photo courtesy of Scott higher, as the vast majority Bauer the fetus, leading to miscarof them go unreported. The A recent outbreak of listeria riage, premature delivery, CDC believes that more than in cantaloupes killed more permanent brain damage 48 million infections occur and death. than two dozen people. annually. In those with a serious illSalmonella is the most ness, identifying the organcommon type of bacteria that to 28 deaths, and in 1998, ism in the stool, blood and contaminate beef, poultry cerebrospinal fluid and treatlisteria-contaminated hot and fish; it also can be found dogs caused 21 deaths. This ing with antibiotics may prein fruits, vegetables and vent serious adverse effects. organism is particularly nuts. Salmonella infections Patients always require hosdangerous, as it can survive cause abdominal pain, fever, in the refrigerator for propitalization. Antibiotic treatnausea and diarrhea. This ment is given for two weeks longed periods and remain usually occurs 12 to 72 hours viable in many heated foods. or, if the brain is involved, after contamination and for four weeks. Unless you are assured that resolves within four days to recently bought melons are a week. not from a contaminated On rare occasions, salsource, the Food and Drug monella can spread to the Administration recommends bloodstream, leading to a that they be discarded. life-threatening illness. Listeria is most seriRecently, the deadliest Continued from Page 37 ous in those older than 70 food-borne outbreak in the and in those with underlypast decade occurred because ing illnesses impairing the some nutrients when it tastes of contamination of cantasomething sweet, because immune system. The first loupes with listeria. Accord- evidence of illness may occur in nature, sweetness signals ing to the CDC, at least 139 a nutrient-rich food source. within a few days to as long illnesses and 29 deaths have as two months after the ini(Think fruit.) been reported in 18 states in tial infection. In most cases, Instead of getting real the West and Midwest. the illness is mild — abdomi- sugar that it understands how Listeria is the deadliest to use for energy or store, nal pain and diarrhea that type of bacteria contamiyour body is confronted with spontaneously resolve. In nating food. The current a chemical cocktail that prosusceptible people, listeria outbreak is the worst on vides no nutrients (except, can enter the bloodstream, record. In 1985, cheese conperhaps, sodium — which causing flu-like illness with taminated by listeria led you get plenty of from your foods). To compensate, your body tries to get you to eat more — it needs to get fuel from somewhere! — meaning you get stuck with the double whammy of being addicted Changing Lives One Insole At A Time! to a drink that you hope will help you lose weight but that David Verdugo Elizabeth Darrah instead biologically works Master Foot Fit Specialist Owner/CEO against you to get you to eat Let us educate you in proper body alignment and more. weight distribution to relieve Plantar Fasciitis, Don’t get sucked in. Try a Shin Splints, and Heel Spurs. Shoes for today’s feet. fruit juice flavored seltzer, or 347-0731 Office Hours: M, T, Th 12–6 pm • F 1:30–6 pm make your own lime rickey Sat 12–4 pm • Closed Wednesday & Sunday 530 7th Avenue from lime juice, a little sugar

Clearly, contaminated foods are a serious health threat. There is, however, much that can be done to reduce the risk of food poisoning. The way food is handled is particularly important. When shopping, separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods in the grocery cart, and place them in plastic bags to prevent their juices from contaminating other products. Separate these foods at checkout, and keep them in separate grocery bags. When refrigerating foods, place raw meat, poultry and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. Do not leave eggs, meats or milk for extended periods of time at room temperature. Promptly refrigerate leftovers and food prepared in advance. Do not consume food that has been refriger-

ated for too long, and never consume outdated foods or liquids. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling food. Prepare animal products on clean cutting boards, and use separate utensils. Cook foods to the recommended temperature prior to eating, and beware of undercooked or rare meat. Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables under running water rather than in a bowl or sink, and ensure that they do not come into contact with other raw foods or unclean surfaces. Never cut meat with a knife and then immediately use it to chop or slice vegetables. In relation to the food we eat, cleanliness and compulsive attention to appropriate preparation are the keys to preventing serious illness. Dr. David Lipschitz’s weekly column, “Lifelong Health,” can be found at

MYTHS: Diet soda may make you eat more

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and soda water — and add some green or white tea to the mix if you need a caffeine hit. Of course, too much of even the good stuff can be a bad thing, and limiting refined sugar in your diet overall is an important part of weight maintenance. Weaning yourself off super-sweet drinks is a great place to start. • “Trail mix is a low-calorie, low-fat healthy snack.” Myth blasted! Traditional trail mix is basically just a deconstructed candy bar, loaded with saturated fat and tons of salt and sugar. Plus, I don’t think it tastes like much. Instead, either go ahead and get that candy bar you’ve been eyeing — because you’re really not doing yourself any favors by skimping and choosing the trail mix at the office vending machine. Even better, make a much healthier and potentially much cheaper version

at home using air-popped popcorn, walnuts or almonds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, some dried fruit — such as apricots or dates, which also add good fiber — and a handful of semisweet chocolate chips, which will give your sweet tooth a hit without the extra fat and sugar of a milk chocolate alternative. You can completely change the flavor of your homemade trail mix by seasoning the popcorn. Try a healthy kettle corn made with maple syrup, sea salt and coconut oil, or add curry seasoning for exotic variety — or even strips of nori and soy sauce or shredded coconut with sesame oil and tamari; the list goes on and on. Pack a bag for work, and make sure you bring enough to share! Daphne Oz is a co-host of ABC’s “The Chew.” Her weekly column, “Food for Thought,” can be found at

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness


Adopt a ‘flexitarian’ diet to boost health SHARON NAYLOR One of the new buzzwords in nutrition is “flexitarian.” According to Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of “The Flexitarian Diet,” “the term means a ‘flexible vegetarian,’ which refers to a vegetarian who occasionally decides to eat meat.” Often, says Blatner, this decision is in response to a social situation, such as a vegetarian who decides to eat turkey on Thanksgiving or a hamburger at a barbecue. Along the same lines, meat eaters who decide to eat more vegetarian options — for example, a meatless meal several times a week — also count as flexitarians. According to fitness advocate Carole Carson, an estimated 30 to 40 percent of meat eaters opt occasionally for vegetarian meals. “Really, a person who wakes up in the morning wanting to be more vegetarian can be called a flexitarian,” Blatner says. “It’s a personal choice. A vegetarian may decide to occasionally have steak or chicken in a salad, and a meat eater may decide to opt more often for bean fajitas rather than steak fajitas.”

Get flexible with meat and vegetarian options. At the center of flexitarianism is being pro-plant, not anti-meat. Blatner says there are tremendous benefits to decreasing meats and increasing plant-based foods. “With a greater consumption of healthy plant-based foods, disease risk decreases,” she says. “That can help prevent cancer, diabetes (and) heart disease and lower cholesterol and high blood pres-

sure. It’s exciting news, very powerful stuff.” When physicians suggest healthier diets, it’s often easier for people who eat primarily meat-based meals and unhealthy snacks to make the change by easing into the flexitarian lifestyle. And many vegetarians enjoy allowing themselves the freedom to enjoy a salad with chicken on it, taste a relative’s signature

dish at a special celebration or have a hot dog at the ballpark. According to Blatner, there are three main steps you should take if you would like to try flexitarianism: 1) Eat what you currently eat, but re-portion your meals. “Eat half as much as your usual portion of a meat-based meal, and add more vegetables to your plate,” Blatner says. A small amount of meat remains to allow you to enjoy the taste you’re familiar with; it’s just paired with healthy greens and vegetables. 2) Reinvent your old favorites. “If you normally have turkey meat in your pasta sauce, replace the turkey with white beans,” Blatner says. The spices in your recipe turn this into a delicious new option. Instead of a beef burrito, choose a black bean burrito to be more plant-based. Blatner shares the formula for optimal meat replacement: “For every ounce of meat you take out of a dish, substitute a quarter-cup of beans.” 3) Refresh your repertoire of favorite recipes. Variety makes flexitarianism easier and more enjoyable, and family members will be more willing to sit down to pro-plant meals when you’ve added a

dash of creativity to them. “Check out new vegetarian magazines, and talk to friends and family members about their favorite meatless recipes,” Blatner says. Ask about homemade dishes, as well as what vegetarian and flexitarian friends order at local restaurants. You may find that a veggie burger at a local eatery is quite amazing, especially when topped with guacamole. Expanding your horizons with food options is immensely easy on recipe websites, such as It’s empowering to take charge of your health, and a flexible approach to adding more plant-based foods gradually into your diet can be more successful than a drastic elimination of meats. “If I said ‘no meats anymore,’ my husband would be sneaking off to fast-food restaurants,” says retiree Anne Pasteur. “He’s not going to give up his steaks, but what he has noticed is that he’s happy with a few slices of sirloin and a half-plate of steamed broccoli and cauliflower with a lemon vinaigrette on it.” Each pro-plant decision you make can improve your health.

All my life people have underestimated me. you know me... Having cerebral palsy has never slowed me down. Early intervention helped get me on the right path and with hard work I’m fulfilling my goals. I graduated in the top 10% of my high school class, earned a full tuition college scholarship and today I’m a business major at UAA. Intervention is most effective before age three, while the brain is rapidly developing. Early intervention services, such as speech and hearing services, family training and physical therapy, for children with developmental delays or disabilities increase their opportunities for leading successful lives. For early intervention resources contact:

Ric Nelson UAA Student and Member, Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education

(888) 269-8990 or

The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Health and Wellness - Spring 2012  

A guide to staying healthy in Interior Alaska, geared toward Alaska's growing elderly population.