| AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT PRODUCED BY PENINSULA DAILY NEWS & SEQUIM GAZETTE |
MIND, BODY AND SOUL SUMMER 2015
volume 11, issue 2
Area instructors talk about the beneﬁts of yoga for people of all ages — Page 6
on the cover
Healthy Living Volume 11, Issue 2
MIND, BODY AND SOUL
Area instructors talk about the beneﬁts of yoga for people of all ages. Page 6
Published by the PENINSULA DAILY NEWS/ SEQUIM GAZETTE Advertising Department Ofﬁces: 305 W. First St., Port Angeles, WA 98362 360-452-2345 ■ peninsuladailynews.com 147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 360-683-3311 ■ sequimgazette.com
Kat Parks, front row, far right, leads a yoga class at Via Vita Chiropractic & Wellness in Sequim. Photo by PATRICIA MORRISON COATE/SEQUIM GAZETTE
Free pranic healing clinic
John C. Brewer, publisher and editor Steve Perry, advertising director
Patricia Morrison Coate, Brenda Hanrahan and Laura Lofgren, editors
Articles and submissions We’re always on the lookout for article ideas to include in our quarterly Healthy Living publication. If you have an idea for a story, please let us know. Professionals in their field are invited to contribute informative and educational articles or columns for consideration in Healthy Living. Send articles, columns and photos (jpegs at 200 dpi minimum) to Special Sections Editor Brenda Hanrahan at firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot guarantee publication due to space and content considerations. If your submission is accepted, we reserve the right to edit submissions. Submitted articles are the opinions and beliefs of the contributing writer and in no way represent an endorsement by Healthy Living, Peninsula Daily News or Sequim Gazette.
The Port Angeles Pranic Healing Clinic, located at the Sons of Norway Hall, 131 W. Fifth St., is offering free Monday clinics to the community. Clinics take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The next clinic dates are June 22, July 1, July 20, Aug. 10, Aug. 31, Sept. 7 and Sept. 29. Pranic healing is an effective and powerful no-touch healing modality developed by Grand Master Choa Kok Sui that uses “life force,” or prana, to heal physical and emotional ailments, according to a news release. This type of healing is based on two principles: the body has the ability to heal itself and the principle of “Life Force Energy.”
Pranic healing work with ailments ranging from stress, back pain, asthma and arthritis to traumas, phobias and addictions. To make the most of a session, do not wear leather, silk or crystals; do not wash a treated area or shower at least 12 hours after the session (this ensures assimilation of energy for the purpose of healing instead of being washed away); and after the session, rest or follow your normal routine but no excessive exercise or activities. Pranic healing is meant to enhance and complement your medical treatment, not meant to replace it. For more information, visit www. portangelespranichealing.com or www. facebook.com/portangelespranichealing. com.
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Sleep issues seniors can face STORY BY DR. MICHAEL MCDONALD, OLYMPIC MEDICAL SLEEP CENTER
“I don’t want no CPAP [continuous positive airway pressure therapy]. I am 70 years old and it won’t make any difference anyway.” This is the mantra of many people older than 65. Yes, most have heard about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Many recognize that obesity is a major contributor to the development of obstructive sleep apnea. Many even understand some of the complications of untreated obstructive sleep apnea. Very few, however, understand that age is an independent predictor of sleep apnea. In the general population, it is estimated that up to 25 percent may have obstructive sleep apnea at some level of severity. In the population of individuals older than 65, several studies suggest the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea ranges from 25 percent to as high as 55 percent. As in younger individuals, obesity plays a major role in developing obstructive sleep apnea. However, several factors, nearly unique to those older than 65, likely play a role in this increase. The most common risk factor in this age group is significant reduction in muscle tone. Anyone older than 65 has noted that muscle tone is harder to maintain and nearly impossible to reach levels found in 40-
to 60-year-olds. So, why is this so important? The anatomy of the human airway has three major units: the nose, the mouth and throat and the tracheobronchial tree. Generally speaking the nose and the tracheobronchial tree are not collapsible. The throat, however, is mostly muscle and soft tissue. Muscle tone is the only factor holding the throat open when we breath in. When awake, muscle tone is usually adequate. When we are asleep and particularly during dream sleep (REM sleep), muscle tone becomes less robust leading to collapse of the throat and to inability to breath (OSA). This phenomenon makes even very thin individuals prone to sleep apnea. Along with the recognized increase in risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea because of age, many medical problems also contribute to the risk. Neurologic disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and use of many types of pain medications are associated with increase risk of obstructive sleep apnea. You may be asking, “OK, so what will happen to me if I don’t do anything to treat OSA?” First, let’s see what happens when an obstructive
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apnea occurs. As the throat collapses and breathing stops, we continue to burn oxygen that is carried by red blood cells. In a very short period of time, the oxygen level in our blood falls dramatically. Fortunately, our bodies have a rescue plan in place to kick-start breathing again. The kick-start includes the release of many “flight or fight” hormones into our bloodstream. This causes a partial awakening with increased heart rate and muscle tone and, subsequently, an open airway with recovery breathing. These very “flight-or-fight” hormones and the low oxygen (intermittent hypoxia) lead to many very negative diseases. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea is associated with all of the following: n A five- to seven-fold increase risk for hypertension (high blood pressure). n A four- to five-fold increase in risk of heart attack or stroke.
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Making gardening a little easier STORY BY JEANETTE STEHR-GREEN, WSU CERTIFIED CLALLAM COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Gardening is therapeutic. It provides a multitude of benefits for the body and the mind. Sadly those who might gain a lot from gardening — people with physical challenges — often do not garden because traditional gardening approaches are just too difficult. With a little planning, however, gardening can be enjoyed by all. Here are some tips to make gardening easier for those with physical challenges: n Locate the garden near the house with ready access to water. Transporting water and dragging hoses is difficult; if the garden cannot be close to a water source, consider installing a drip irrigation system. n Elevate gardening activities. Raised or elevated beds, vertical gardening and containers can reduce the need to stoop or squat. Raised beds are fixed, bottomless structures sitting directly on the ground that contain large amounts of soil. The height depends on the gardener’s needs. Beds that are 6 to 12 inches high might be sufficient for gardeners with minor back problems; beds 2½ to 3 feet high might be necessary for those who need to garden from a sitting position. Elevated beds (or table planters) are shallow beds
on legs that allow the gardener to stand or sit during gardening. Because the soil is heavy, elevated beds are usually only 6 to 12 inches deep. The bottom of an elevated bed should be an inch or two higher than the height of the gardener’s knees when sitting down. With vertical gardening, plants are grown on upright structures such as walls, trellises or fences. Growing plants vertically makes it easier to prune, check for pests and harvest; however, the gardener might still need to get down on the ground to plant and weed. Just about all annuals and some perennials can be grown in containers. Containers can be placed within easy reach on a deck or patio and tended from a sitting position. Be sure the containers have adequate drainage and are big enough to accommodate the roots of the plants. They should be stable enough to keep from toppling. n Select plants that require less care. Native plants, plants with low water requirements and plants that live for more than a season decrease the amount of time spent tending the garden. Ground covers reduce the need for weeding, watering and mowing. GARDENING CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 >>
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<< GARDENING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
Dwarf fruit trees (which are half the height of standard fruit trees) make pruning, fruit thinning and harvesting easier. n Purchase or adapt tools to make the job easier. Long-handled or telescoping tools allow gardeners to work from a sitting or nonbending position and extend their reach. Lightweight tools, made from aluminum alloy, carbon fiber or plastic, are less fatiguing to use.
Tools with special grips (large, soft, no-slip handles) or cuffs that fit onto the forearm can relieve hand, wrist and arm strain and increase strength. You can also modify garden tools to meet your needs. For example, foam pipe insulation or duct tape can be used to cover hard plastic or wooden handles for a more comfortable grip. n Finally, keep efforts small. By limiting the number and variety of plants and restricting the garden size, chances of success will increase and the gardener’s enjoyment will follow.
10 ideas to make gardening easier on your body
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6. Instead of stooping and squatting, try working in the garden on all fours, sitting directly on the ground or kneeling on one knee with the other foot flat on the ground. 7. Keep frequently used tools close by — in a tool belt, apron or container — to limit stooping and trips back and forth to fetch items. 8. Complete more physically demanding tasks early in the day. 9. Ask for help with more cumbersome tasks. 10. Stretch after working in the garden.
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1. Before gardening, warm up your muscles by marching in place and swinging your arms (or walking around the garden). Then stretch. 2. Break up tasks into increments. Don’t try to do everything in one effort. 3. Arrange order of tasks to avoid backtracking. 4. Take regular breaks, about every 20 minutes. Allow your body time to rest and recover, at least 2 minutes. 5. During rest periods, assume positions that use different muscles than you have been using.
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MIND BODY SOUL Two local instructors outline the history of yoga and the beneﬁts the discipline can have for people of all ages and ﬁtness levels. Learn how to ﬁnd the right yoga class and what to expect during your ﬁrst session.
Stretching your limits
make up the “eight limbs of yoga,” that are outlined in the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” one of the main sacred texts outlining the art and science of yoga. These eight steps essentially act as guidelines on STORY BY KAT PARKS, CERTIFIED YOGA INSTRUCTOR how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. What image comes to mind when you think about From moral and ethical conduct to self-discipline yoga? Skinny 20-something girls in tight yoga pants? and the spiritual aspects of our nature, the “eight-fold Tons of people dripping sweat in downward facing path” is said to lead one to enlightenment. dog in a 105-degree room? The first of these eight principles are the yamas, or Shaved-head monks sitting in meditation chanting how we act toward others in the world. “om” around incense and a statue of Buddha? There are five of these moral disciplines that closely These are probably some of the common visions for mirror those moralities taught in many religions. most people. There is nonviolence (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), But do you know what yoga is really all about? non-stealing (asteya), celibacy/fidelity (brahmacharya) The word yoga in Sanskrit (an ancient Indian and nongreediness (aparigraha). language) means union. While the yamas are how we interact with the world Yoga includes physical practices, different types of as a whole, the niyamas are how we treat ourselves. meditation and breathing techniques to ultimately The practice of yoga is very self-focused, while the unite the body and mind. rest of our busy lives tend to be rather other-focused. Existing for millennia, there are stone carvings We think about whether our partner is happy, if our depicting figures in yoga positions found at archaeologi- boss is proud of us or if our children are doing their cal sites in the Indus Valley in Asia dating back more homework. than 5,000 years. These self-disciplines (niyamas) help to remind us The two most well-known aspects of yoga in our that we are the most important person in our lives and society are the physical postures and breathing especially in our yoga practice. techniques. From keeping up with one’s own cleanliness However, there are six other main principles that (saucha), to being generally content with our lives
STRETCHING CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 >>
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(santosha), we can see how applicable this advice is to someone living in our modern world. Rounding out the niyamas are spiritual austerity (tapas), self-study (svadyaya) and surrender to a higher power (isvara pranidhana). The third limb of yoga is the one we are all probably most familiar with. Asana, or yoga poses, are designed to gently increase the body’s efficiency and total health. Practicing asana under the direction and supervision of a certified yoga instructor is highly recommended in order to maintain proper alignment of the body in each posture. Through the practice of asana, we develop the habit of discipline and the ability to concentrate, both of which are necessary for meditation. Following asana on the “eight limbs of yoga” is pranayama. Prana means breath or life force, and yama means control. Therefore, pranayama is the practice of controlling the breath.
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Breathing techniques, in which a yoga student slowly increases breath control, improves the function and overall health of both their body and mind. In yogic philosophy, breath is the source of life in the body. Typical Western yoga classes focus mainly on the third and fourth limbs of asana and pranayama, linking poses with breath. With regular practice, the body and mind are primed for meditation, and the student will find silence and healing from everyday stressors. Maintaining a practice of even just these two parts of yoga can transform your life, producing a bright and clear mind with a strong, flexible and capable body. Beyond pranayama, the last four limbs of yoga become increasingly more spiritual and esoteric. Pratyahara is known as the “withdrawal (or transcendence) of the senses.” In this stage, we make the conscious effort to move our awareness away from outside stimuli and the external world. Becoming more keenly aware of our senses while cultivating a detachment from them, we are better able to direct our attention inward. Pratyahara sets the stage for the next limb, called dharana, or concentration.
So many benefits from yoga STORY BY JENNY HOUSTON, CERTIFIED YOGA INSTRUCTOR
Yoga is on the rise, and more people are wondering if it might be right for them. The great thing is that yoga has many styles suited to various levels of strength, ability, experience, body size and/or physical limitation. Yoga is right for everyone — men, women, children, teens and seniors. What can you expect from a yoga class? It depends on what you are looking for. Some people are hoping to reduce stress and calm their anxiety. Some take yoga classes to build physical strength and gain flexibility. Others are looking to try something new. Some are recovering from an injury or illness. Some people find that yoga balances their life and the other activities they do. Some enjoy a break from their daily responsibilities and are looking for a little “me time.” If yoga is beneficial in so many ways, why isn’t everyone doing it? It’s scary to try something new. We don’t like to be a beginner. We like to feel confident and “good” at what we do. It’s intimidating to be around others who know what they’re doing. We don’t like to fail. STRETCHING CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 >> We don’t like to look stupid. We’re too fat, old,
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inflexible, shy and/or busy. Yoga is a “fad,” it’s too expensive, you don’t have the “right clothes”— you fill in the blanks for yourself. Many of us don’t realize that the real reason we don’t try something new is because our own thoughts are debilitating. We are in our own way. What might happen if you try yoga anyway, despite all your worries, fears and concerns? Keep in mind, everyone else in the room has had his or her first class before.
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Students at Poser Yoga in Port Angeles stretch before class begins.
<< STRETCHING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7
<< SO MANY BENEFITS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7
In regularly taking yoga classes linking breath and posture, one already has begun to practice concentration but taking it deeper leads us to the next limb of dhyana — meditation or contemplation. While concentration and meditation are two sides of the same coin, dhyana goes deeper as a state of quiet and stillness without focus. The practice of meditation is no easy task, as thoughts naturally arise when we sit still. However, as we continue to practice quieting the mind, the benefits of meditation are life-changing. Known as samadhi, a state of ecstasy, the meditator transcends the “self” and realizes a profound connection to the universe and an interconnectedness with every living thing. This state of samadhi is ultimate blissfulness on earth and is accessible to every person, regardless of religious beliefs.
They all understand what it was like to walk into the room as a beginner. And the truth is, everyone is so busy worrying about themselves and what others think of them that no one’s paying attention to anyone else. Many yoga studios offer a beginner class that is designed for those who are just getting started. If you are searching for stress relief, look for Yin yoga or a restorative style of class. If you are looking for more movement, look for the words Hatha, Vinyasa, power and flow. Ultimately you are responsible for what you do in class. Listen to your body and move within your ability. There is always the option to take it slow or take a rest. If a teacher does not let you do that, it’s probably not the right class for you. Don’t get discouraged. Get curious, ask questions. There is a yoga class and a teacher to suit every personal need. Yoga is an investment in yourself. Find time to slow down, to hear your breath and to check in with how you’re feeling physically, emotionally and mentally. It will do you a world of good, and you’ll definitely begin to see the benefits for yourself.
HOW TO START PRACTICING YOGA
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be flexible in order to take yoga classes. Your continued practice will afford you new flexibility, strength and coordination. To practice yoga easily, wear a comfortable pair of exercise/yoga leggings or shorts and a shirt that’s not too baggy. For your comfort, it is suggested that you not eat a large meal less than two hours or a small snack less than one hour before class begins. The benefits of practicing yoga are extremely welldocumented. After just one class, you can experience increased brain function (boosting memory and focus), increased flexibility and lower stress levels. Within a few months, your body may thank you for lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, relief from anxiety, neck and back pain and improved lung
PATRICIA MORRISON COATE/SEQUIM GAZETTE
Via Vita Chiropractic & Wellness co-owner and instructor Kat Parks, front row, far left, and Ryan Iskenderian lead class attendees, back row, from left, Casey Thrush, Colleen Petrie and Nell Clausen through an upward facing dog pose.
capacity and sense of balance. After years of practice, you’ll have a lower risk of heart disease, stronger bones and healthier weight. Why delay feeling this great? Start your yoga journey today. Kat Parks is a certified yoga instructor, Reiki master teacher and co-owner of Via Vita Chiropractic & Wellness, a yoga studio and wellness center at 128 W. Bell St. in Sequim. Having practiced yoga for more than a decade, Parks teaches classes that are accessible to all levels and every body. Visit www.ViaVitaWellness.com or phone 360-683-4989 for details. Anxiety Disorders Bipolar Disorder Schizophrenia ADHD Deprssion Seasonal Affective Disorder Schizoaffective Disorder Borderline Personality Disorder Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Autism Eating Disorders
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Friend or foe: Seeking out online resources for health information STORY BY LOUIS PAOLELLA AND DR. JEANETTE STEHR-GREEN
During the last decade, health care has experienced many changes. Among the more significant is the expansion of the Internet’s role as a conduit of health information. Before the advent of online resources, one may have visited the doctor, questioned a friend or consulted library books for “on-demand” health information. Today, 64 percent of Americans have smartphones, according to a 2014 Pew Research Technology Survey, and an incredible wealth of information lies at their fingertips. Online resources have become popular for finding health information. Results of a 2013 Pew Research Survey suggest: n 72 percent of American adults who use the Internet reported searching for health information online in the last year. n 35 percent went online to specifically figure out a medical condition that they or someone close to them had. n 77 percent of online health information inquiries started with a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. Age, gender and income appear to be strong
predictors for use of online health information. According to results from the 2012 Health Information National Trends Study (HINTS), adults 18-34 years of age were nearly four times more likely to use the Internet for health information when compared with those 65 years of age or older. Women and those with a higher level of education and income were also more likely to use online resources for health information. The danger of the Internet is that not all information is correct, current or otherwise reliable. Search engines are adept at what they are designed to do: find websites with the search words a user enters. However, they are not able to evaluate the accuracy of a website’s information. So how does one take advantage of the convenience of online information without compromising health and safety? Here are five steps that you can use to evaluate online health information: First, identify who is responsible for the website. When visiting a website, look for the “About us” link and read who is publishing the information. ONLINE HEALTH CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 >>
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<< ONLINE HEALTH CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9
Websites that end in .gov or .edu or are operated by recognized and accredited medical organizations usually are the most reliable online health resources. Be wary of websites published by individuals. Although these websites can provide helpful information, they can also represent opinion, myths or rumors. An inability to determine the publisher of a website should be a warning sign. Second, consider who specifically developed the piece you are reading. Is the author a health professional who has completed training in this field or is considered an expert on the topic, or has the site been reviewed by a health professional? Conversely, is the author working for a company that could financially benefit from convincing the reader? Third, evaluate the sources of information for the piece. Look for statistics and citations of medical studies to ensure information is not just personal experience or opinion. Medical research requires objective investigation based on large numbers of cases and thus is a superior source of information. Often multiple studies by different researchers are necessary to cause changes in medical care. Fourth, evaluate how current the information is. Look for publication dates. Medical treatments change over time as new medicines and technologies are developed. Research may show that new therapies are more effective and have fewer side effects than older treatments, which may no longer be recommended for all patients. How we treat a disease today may differ significantly from practices 10 or even five years ago. Finally, be a wise health information consumer.
Question the information you find. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t take online information at face value; research it. Look at multiple reputable sources and see if they all share the same conclusion.
<< SLEEP ISSUES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3
n Heart failure and irregular heart rhythms (atrial fibrillation). n Harder to control type II diabetes. n Excessive urination at night. n A two-fold increase in risk for cognitive impairDEPENDABLE HEALTH RESOURCES For those looking for good resources for online health ment and Alzheimer’s disease. n A three-to-four fold increase risk in major acciinformation: n www.familydoctor.org (run by American Academy dents due to excessive sleepiness. n Significant increase in readmission with worsenof Family Physicians) for both adults and children n www.healthychildren.org (run by American Acad- ing COPD. If none of these diseases sounds appealing, there is emy of Pediatrics) for children good news. With appropriate treatment, the increased n www.doh.wa.gov (Washington State Department risks from OSA are eliminated. (You may have other of Health) and www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily risk factors that need to be considered as well). n www.cdc.gov (Centers for Disease Control and Studies suggest that treatment may even reverse Prevention) or make more amenable to treatment some of these n nnlm.gov/bhic (National Network of Libraries symptoms. Cardiologists and pulmonologists agree of Medicine) that appropriate treatment of OSA is mandatory for many of their patients. Yes, CPAP or BiPAP (ContinuLouis Paolella is a third-year medical student from ous Positive Airway Pressure/Bilevel Positive Airway the University of Washington. He and his wife, Brooke Hallett, are WRITE program Pressure) is the treatment of choice. Few consider the use of these treatments “fun” but participants assigned to Clallam County. WRITE, the benefits are well worth the investment of time to which stands for WWAMI Rural Integrated Experiget used to PAP therapy. ence, is a five-month longitudinal outpatient clerkship For some a dental appliance to position the jaw focused on training physicians for practice in smaller/ forward may be an alternative. Even surgery can be underserved communities. Through the program, considered in some cases. Paolella has worked at Family Medicine Clinic, PeninIf you have observed snoring or apnea, poorly resula Children’s Clinic, Peninsula Behavioral Health, freshing sleep, obesity or cardiovascular or pulmonary OMC Emergency Department and Internal Medicine. problems, check with your health care provider to see if you need to be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Jeanette Stehr-Green is the Clallam County interim health officer. She has worked as a medical Dr. Michael McDonald is a member of the American epidemiologist in a variety of public health settings Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American Academy of including the Centers for Disease Control and PrevenOtololaryngology and the Oregon Academy of Otolaryntion, the New Zealand Communicable Disease Center and the state Department of Health. gology, and he is affiliated with Swedish Sleep Center.
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