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HEALTH AND WELLNESS IN KITSAP Fun ways to spend winter in Kitsap County FYI: Seeing an alternative-medicine expert What the heck is ‘Tech Neck’? Finding a gym that fits What you should know about getting a physical exam The benefits of a good night’s sleep




JANUARY 26, 2018


Find the gym that is right for you BY LESLIE KELLY KITSAP NEWS GROUP

regimen. Check out area gyms to find out the size of track they have and how many times around equal a mile.

t’s a new year, and getting fit is on your mind. You want to join a gym, but you’re just not sure where to start.

n Some gyms offer classes for kids, access to physical therapy, massage therapy and therapeutic spas. Olympic Fitness Club in Port Orchard is a club that has all of these.


Here’s some advice from area fitness leaders on how to choose a gym. All gyms are not created equal, so the first step is to ...

n Another idea: check with your local parks and recreation department about the options it has. Many times you can buy a month or six-week pass, which gives you enough time to decide if that class is the one for you.

n Visit a number of gyms and exercise venues in your area. Think about the size of the place and if you’ll feel comfortable in a crowd. Do you want a smaller gym with fewer people? Visit prospective gyms at the time of day when you’ll be working out, that way you will see just how busy the gym is when you’re going to be there. n Evaluate the equipment each gym has. Do you want treadmills, rowing machines or bicycles to get your cardio in? How many are available? Do you like to use free weights or equipment? Is the free-weights area used by men and women? n If you’re someone who wants to take exercise classes, find out the schedule and types of classes offered. Most places

Popular exercise classes include Zumba, step aerobics, Jazzercise, yoga, Barre classes and floor exercises. Creative Commons will allow you to take a class or two for free. Popular classes include Zumba, step aerobics, Jazzercise, yoga, Barre classes and floor exercises. n Some gymnasiums have additional

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features like racquetball courts, tennis courts and swimming pools. In those cases, monthly dues may be more, but if that’s the kind of exercise you will do, it’s worth the price. For some, walking a track is a desired part of an exercise

With any gym you may join, read your contract carefully if you have to sign one. Most places will have a one-time joining fee and monthly dues. Sometimes, the arrangements only allow an auto-deduct from an account or credit card. Be sure you are comfortable with those arrangements. n Another way to stick to your exercise plan is to get your friends involved, or make new friends at your gym. You and your friend will keep each other accountable and committed to working out. Often, gyms will offer a two-for-one joining special that can save you and your friend money.

JANUARY 26, 2018




Seven benefits of regular physical activity Better health, better sleep, better sex ... find out how exercise can improve your life.


Regular exercise is not only good for you, it’s fun. You’ll see results, even if your regimen is limited to brisk walks and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

ant to feel better, have more energy and even add years to your life? Just exercise.

The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, gender or physical ability.

Need more convincing to get moving? Check out these seven ways exercise can lead to a happier, healthier you.

1. EXERCISE CONTROLS WEIGHT Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Regular trips to the gym are great, but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.

2. EXERCISE COMBATS HEALTH CONDITIONS AND DISEASES Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, a number of types of cancer, arthritis and falls.

3. EXERCISE IMPROVES MOOD Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

4. EXERCISE BOOSTS ENERGY Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

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And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.

5. EXERCISE PROMOTES BETTER SLEEP Struggling to snooze? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to hit the hay.

6. EXERCISE PUTS THE SPARK BACK INTO YOUR SEX LIFE Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and physical appearance, which may boost your sex life. But there’s even more to it than that. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have prob-

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cise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.


Try to engage in a combination of vigorous and moderate aerobic exercises, such as running, walking or swimming. Squeeze in strength training at least twice per week by lifting free weights, using weight machines or doing body weight exercises.

Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. Bored? Try something new, or do something with friends.

THE BOTTOM LINE ON EXERCISE Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, boost your health and have fun. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exer-

Space out your activities throughout the week. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to ramp up your exercise efforts. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis, or you have any concerns. Source: Mayo Clinic

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JANUARY 26, 2018


Stretching: More important than you know


Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.

tretching is a great way to maintain your health and reduce your stress levels. As with any type of exercise, it is always difficult to find time to work it into your day. Here are some tips to help make stretching easier.

n Standing quad stretch: Stand up tall and place your right hand on a stable surface. Inhale and lift your left knee toward the sky and grab a hold of your left ankle with your left hand. Exhale and slowly lower your left knee, gently moving your left foot toward your left buttocks. To really feel this stretch correctly, try to tuck your pelvis under, thinking about your tailbone moving toward the floor. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.

The following five stretches are fun, easy to do anywhere, and amazingly effective. n Neck stretch: Find a sturdy chair that you can sit comfortably in and lightly grasp the base of the chair with your right hand. Slowly rotate your head to the left as you lean forward slightly. Hold this position, maintaining the light to medium stretch for at least one full minute. Repeat on the other side by simply reversing the instructions. n Chest stretch: Kneel on a carpeted floor or mat with your forearms crossed and resting on the seat of a sturdy chair. Inhale, and as you exhale, let your head and chest sink below the chair. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, breathing deeply to help you sink gradually deeper into the stretch. n Supported upper back stretch: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on a sturdy surface

Stretching is essential to maintaining good physical health. Creative Commons for support. Walk your feet back far enough that you can extend your arms as you move your chest toward the floor.


Exhale and press your chest toward the floor and your hips toward the ceiling so you have a slight arch in your back.

n Standing calf stretch: Face a wall and stand one foot away with your feet together. Lean forward, place your hands on the wall in front of you, and move your right foot back as far as you can with your heel on the floor. Bend your left knee slightly, keeping your right knee straight. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, gently press your hips forward, keeping your right heel on the ground. Hold the stretch for several deep breaths and then slightly bend your right knee without lifting your heel off the floor. Source: Stretching for Dummies

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What the heck is ‘tech neck’? Read on ... is easier said than done. As we remain focused on our devices, our bodies slowly go more and more into flexion.



ur lives have become inundated with technology — computers, phones, tablets, even watches. We all tend to spend more and more time with these devices in a body position that is impacting our health on a daily basis.

n To prevent from slipping into flexion when using a desktop computer, raise the monitor to eye level or above. This will force your body to sit in a more ergonomic position, because your body follows the position of the eyes. Consider getting a detached or wireless keyboard for laptops and tablets, and keep the device on an elevated surface.

“Tech Neck” is the term used for this position, formerly known as “Student Syndrome” in chiropractic circles. This position is described as body flexion — head down, arms down and in front with the upper back rounded forward or slouched.

n Hand-held devices are a much more common and harder to control body position while using, so be sure to take frequent breaks from them. Stretching is an important subject with any sedentary activity. Be sure to incorporate mid-back straightening movements, like arching your back and touching your elbows behind your back, neck stretches from side to side, leaning your head back with your head turned, standing side bends, and twisting from the waist. These will help reduce muscle strain and thus decompress your spine.

Chronic flexion can lead to a multitude of problems from muscle spasms, cervicogenic headaches (headaches caused from the neck position), neck and back stiffness, lowered immune response, costal (rib) pain to hyperkyphosis (an increase in the curvature of the mid/ upper back), hypo loridosis (decrease in the neck curvature) and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). It can decrease respiratory function, impede digestion, increase symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, and decrease the curvature of the lower back, leading to lower back issues like sciatica. Loss in the curvature of the neck is a common result, both initially and overall.

n Spinal decompression will allow waste materials to move out and nutrients to move into the most important parts of your body — the spinal column and brain. Wearing a thoracic harness, such as an infinity strap, is also an inexpensive way to get support while using these devices.

Did you know that your head weighs up to 35 pounds? Imagine taking a bowling ball and holding it in your palm. OK, not too tough, right? Now imagine holding the bowling ball palm down. This simulation gives you an idea of how body mechanics change when you lose the curvature in your neck from chronic flexion. As we continue to be in this position, our joints begin to wear in that position making it easier and easier to slip into flexion.

You can prevent “tech neck” by following these simple recommendations.

If you’re a leg crosser, try crossing your legs in the opposite way ... probably not too comfortable. That’s an example of the wearing on the joints, and the same can happen in the neck and upper back.

So, now that we are all so dependent on these devices and inherent body positions, what do we do about it? Here are some simple things that help correct

If you experience pain with any of these stretches, be sure to contact your chiropractor. Regular visits to your chiropractor can alleviate many of these conditions, keep your immune system strong and ensure that conditions do not progress. Creative Commons

present conditions and possibly prevent further problems: n Sit up straight! (Hear your mother’s voice in your head?) Sitting up straight


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Plenty of ways to spend winter in Kitsap Harmonica Pocket is one of the many groups that perform at the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport.



t’s winter, it’s still chilly and wet, and days are short. But winter is still a season of fun in Kitsap County.

U.S. Naval Undersea Museum/Courtesy


friendly, hands-on gallery.

If there are children in your family, take them to Bremerton to see the Valentinetti Puppet Museum, 280 Fourth St., Bremerton (inside the Kitsap County Historical Museum). Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 5-8 p.m. during the First Friday Art Walk.

Admission is $4 for adults, and $3 for ages 6-17, seniors, students and military with ID. Kids 5 and younger get in for free. On the first Friday of each month, admission is free from 5-8 p.m. More: www.kitsaphistory.org, or 360-479-6226. Port Orchard is home to the Sidney Museum, 202 Sidney Ave. Hours are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. This museum has exhibits about early life in South Kitsap County and the people who lived in the area. Exhibits rotate regularly. Admission is free. More: www. sidneymuseumand arts.com/log-cabinhome, or 360-876-3693.

Valentinetti Puppet Museum showcases the magnificent craftsmanship of generations of puppet artists. Many of these artists are long gone, but at the museum you can see their work, sense their devotion to a unique art form, and almost hear the laughter that they lovingly created in children long ago. More: www.ectand puppets.org, or 360-479-6226. The Kitsap County Historical Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. This museum, operated by the Kitsap County Historical Society, collects, preserves and exhibits objects that

reflect the diverse culture, heritage and history of the county. Permanent exhibits

include a timeline; authentic local shop fronts from the early 1900s; and a kid-

Visit the Bug & Reptile Museum, 1118 Charleston Beach Road West, Bremerton, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free. You’ll meet tarantulas, scorpions, and a nine-foot python. Participate in the museum’s scavenger hunt. On your way out, visit the gift shop,


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which is stocked with hermit crabs, tadpole growing kits and six styles of ant farms. More: www.bugmuseum.com.

In Olalla, Olalla Valley Vineyard wines are kept “as clean and natural as possible, with minimal interference in the wine-making process.” The winery uses handmade Italian clay amphorae for its grape fermentation.

Kids Discovery Museum, also known as KiDiMu, 301 Ravine Lane NE, Bainbridge Island. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.


KiDiMu features many events and activities for children, including interactive play for the whole family. There’s an art studio, a science and literacy hall, and a pirate tree house. Admission is free for museum members, children younger than 12 months old, and Gold Star families. Admission is $7 for adults and children; and $6 for military and seniors older than 65. More: www.kidimu.org or 206-855-4650. The Poulsbo Sea Discovery Center, 18743 Front St. NE, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. SEA Discovery Center is a public aquarium and hands-on marine science center operated by Western Washington University. Admission is free. Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. More: https://wp.wwu.edu/ seacenter, or 360-598-4460. The Naval Undersea Museum, 1 Garnett Way in Keyport, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays from October to April. Admission is free. Learn about the evolution of undersea warfare from the American Revolution through present day. Exhibits include a Confederate Navy mine from the Civil War; a one-man Japanese kamikaze submarine from World War II; the deepsea research vessel Trieste II; and a reproduction of a submarine control room. Learn about the Navy’s undersea operations — combat, research, rescue and salvage — and see how exceptional people and cutting-edge technology create an incredibly capable undersea force. More: www.navalunderseamuseum.org or 360-396-4148. The Puget Sound Navy Museum, 251 First St. in Bremerton, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays from October through April. Exhibits tell the story of the USS John C. Stennis, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and other aspects of Navy history here. Admission is free. More: www.pugetsoundnavy museum.org, or 360-479-7447.

Kitsap County Parks Department manages 4,699 acres of walking and hiking trails, 339 acres of neighborhood parks, 590 acres of regional parks, and 1,053 acres of natural resource areas. More: https://spf.kitsapgov.com/parks. Among the parks on Bainbridge Island: Fay Bainbridge Park, a 17-acre camping park with 1,420 feet of shoreline, sandy beaches and views of Mount Rainier and Mount Baker. More: https:// biparks.org.

Get to know Kitsap’s undersea residents at the Poulsbo SEA Discovery Center. some industrial strength tasty beer. Try the Agate Pass Amber or the Bywater Bay ESB. Poulsbo is home to Slippery Pig Brewing (dining, live entertainment and family friendly), Valholl Brewery (featuring book nights), and Western Red Brewing (indoor disc golf, anyone?). Go to www.washingtonbeer.com/breweries for a complete list of Kitsap breweries.

Help Paying for Medicare Costs is Available! Call Kitsap County Aging & Long Term Care at 360-337-5700 (TDD 360-307-4280) for a no cost: Eligibility review for financial help, including paid Medicare part A, B, D premiums and possibly deductibles and co-insurance.

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On Bainbridge Island, visit Bainbridge Island Brewing and try the Kommuter Kolsch or the Eagle Harbor IPA.

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In Bremerton, visit Lovecraft Brewing Company, named for the late, great horror writer himself: H.P. Lovecraft. Hail, Cthulhu and grab a pint — while you still can, humans. Try the Innsmouth Porter for a decidedly dark drinking experience.

Also in Kingston is Hood Canal Brewery, tucked into a seemingly unremarkable industrial park and brewing up

Poulsbo has 14 city parks totaling 121.89 acres. Fish Park is 21 acres with hiking trails, a boardwalk, and wildlife viewing platforms. More: https://cityof poulsbo.com/city-parks-trails.

Bainbridge Island has eight wineries. Go to www.bainbridgewineries.com for more information about Amelia Wynn Winery, Bainbridge Vineyards, Eagle Harbor Winery, Eleven Winery, Fletcher Bay Winery, Island Tasting Room Cafe, Perennial Vintners and Rolling Bay

Tucker Distillery (Silverdale) is known for its corn whiskey (aka moonshine), corn vodka and wheat vodka.


At Downpour Brewing in Kingston, the beer to beat is the Sad Sasquatch Scotch — a “Scotch ale with a backstory.”

Courtesy photo


DISTILLERIES Bainbridge Organic Distillers is Washington’s first totally organic distillery, and has won awards too numerous to recount here. Among the winners: Bainbridge Yama Japanese Mizunara Cask Single Grain Whiskey and Bainbridge Battle Point Organic Wheat Whiskey won gold medals and were awarded the titles “Best American Grain Whiskey” and “Best American Wheat Whiskey” by the World Whiskies Awards, one of the largest, most prestigious whiskey competitions in the world.

Among the parks in Bremerton: Evergreen Rotary Park, more than 10 acres with an inclusive playground, the Kitsap 9/11 Memorial, and seasonal farmers market. More: www. ci.bremerton.wa.us/210/ParksRecreation.

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JANUARY 26, 2018


Getting a physical exam: What you should know You take your car into the shop for a regular maintenance check, Your body deserves the same consideration. And an annual physical will help keep you running like that well-tuned machine in your garage. Creative Commons



ou’ve heard it before: Getting a regular physical examination is important if you want to stay well and catch any health concerns early. But what should be a part of a physical exam? And what’s the difference between a physical exam and a wellness exam?

tor may also recommend screening for skin cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection, and alcohol abuse.

According to the American Medical Association, a wellness exam is a comprehensive exam with your primary care provider for the sole purpose of preventative care.

At age 30, an exam should include all of the above, plus a vision examination, and screening for coronary heart disease in individuals with strong family history and/or risk factors.

A physical examination is a routine exam your primary care provider performs to check your overall health.

At 40, men should add a screening for prostate cancer, and a diabetes screening every three years if older than 45. Depending on risk factors, your doctor may also recommend screening for skin cancer, oral cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and alcohol abuse. Get a vision exam annually and a screening for coronary heart disease if you have a strong family history and/or risk factors.

Most insurance policies pay the full cost of an exam.

YEARLY PHYSICAL EXAM FOR WOMEN OF ANY AGE For women of any age. Expect your care provider to assess or check your ... n Height and weight. n Blood pressure and heart rate.

n Medical risk based on family history and other issues.

n Vision.

n Lymph glands in your neck, under your arms, and in the groin.

n Mouth, teeth, gums, and back of your throat.

n Hearing.

n Thyroid gland (which is located in the front of your neck). n Breathing. n Heart. n Belly for lumps or painful spots, and the size of your liver and spleen. n A pelvic exam, beginning at age 21. n Screening mammogram is not recommended for most women younger than 40.

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After the age of 50, women need to have a bone density screening every two to three years. Laboratory tests should include a complete blood count, chemistry panel and urinalysis.


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After age 50, you should have a screening colonoscopy and then follow what your physician tells you. You may not need a colon screening for 10 years if yours is normal.

Man can expect their care provider to n Check blood pressure. n Record height and weight. n Screen for testicular cancer, followed by monthly self exams. n Test for cholesterol every five years. Your doctor may want to do an electrocardiogram to check for heart disease, and blood tests to screen for anemia, diabetes, liver health and thyroid disease. Depending on risk factors, your doc-

1/23/2018 11:14:45 AM

In your 50s, add the following to your exam: an electrocardiogram, screening for lipid disorders, vision and hearing examinations, screenings for prostate cancer, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, screening for coronary heart disease in individuals with strong family history and/or risk factors, and a screening for depression. Your doctor will add a screening for osteoporosis, will continue colorectal screening based upon previous results, and will screen for depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease once you turn 60. In your 70s and older, physicians suggest continued colorectal screening based upon previous studies and results. Discuss with your physician screening if you’re age 76 to 85. Screening is not recommended for those older than 85. Doctors will continue to screen for depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

SHOTS The AMA suggests you get a flu shot every year. After age 19, you should have one tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (TdAP) vaccine. You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years. You should receive two doses of varicella vaccine if you were born after 1980 and never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine. Your provider may recommend other immunizations if you are at high risk for certain conditions, such as pneumonia. After age 50, men and women should have the shot to prevent shingles.


JANUARY 26, 2018



Getting a good night’s sleep takes some effort, but it’s worth it n 65 and older: seven to eight hours a day.



here’s nothing like a good night’s sleep.

And there’s nothing as bad as not getting a good night’s sleep. According to David Corley, a sleep specialist with Harrison Medical Center, the best way to guarantee a good night’s sleep is to establish a routine. “To optimize sleep, you need to have a routine,” Corley said. “You need to go to bed the same time every night.”

“That’s how much sleep a normal person needs,” he said. “If you aren’t getting that and you’re waking up feeling tired, than you know you’re getting poor-quality sleep.” In order to get a good night’s sleep, Corley suggests that you ... n Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet and with no bright lights. Turn off the TV and the laptop or phone at least an hour before you want to fall asleep.

To optimize sleep, you need to have a routine.”

The right time to hit the sack depends on your age and how much sleep you need, he said. Here are the averages.

— David Corley, sleep specialist, Harrison Medical Center

n Exercise at least 20 minutes a day, but not within four to five hours before you plan to go to sleep.

n Age 0 to 3 months: 14 to 17 hours a day.

n Wind down prior to bedtime, especially for children and youth.

n Infants, 4-11 months: 12 to 15 hours a day.

If you are having a hard time getting good sleep, it is safe to try over-thecounter sleep aids, if you take them as directed, doctors say. If the problems continue for more than a couple of months, then you should seek help.

n Toddlers, 1-2 years: 11 to 14 hours a day. n Preschoolers, 3-5 years: 10 to 13 hours a day. n School-age children, 6-13 years: nine to 11 hours a day. n Teenagers, 14-17 years: eight to 10 hours of sleep a day. n Adults, 18-65 years: seven to nine hours of sleep a day.

Sleep ... it does a body good.

n Don’t drink any caffeine after lunch time, and don’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes within a few hours of sleep time.

For more information about getting a good night’s sleep, contact Harrison Sleep Disorders Center in Bremerton, 2520 Cherry Ave., Bremerton, 360744-6812; or Harrison Sleep Disorders Center, 19917 7th Ave. NE, Suite 210, Poulsbo, 360-782-5700.


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JANUARY 26, 2018


It’s more about health than getting high BY LESLIE KELLY KITSAP NEWS GROUP


aron Varney wants to share his knowledge of cannabis with older Washingtonians.

“Seniors have a lot of [health] issues that cannabis can address — joint pain, insomnia,” Varney said.

That’s why the stores he owns with his partner, Maria Moses, are open and inviting to adults of all ages. Their Dockside Cannabis stores are located in Shoreline and in Seattle’s SoDo District. Their focus is helping those with medical conditions know what’s available.

“It’s not an irritant like smoking is,” he said. “But it is a fast-acting route and gets in your system almost immediately.”

At his 101 sessions, he is often asked about the psychoactive qualities of cannabis.

“We were showing them around and telling them about the products, and I just saw a lot of enthusiasm,” he said. “I worked with the Senior Care Coalition group and administrators of senior care facilities and it just grew from there.”

“They say, ‘What should I use if I don’t want to get high?’ ” he said. “We point them in the right direction and make sure that their dosage is right.”

Because many older Americans are reluctant to step into a marijuana retail shop, Varney decided to take his knowledge on the road. His “Cannabis 101 for Seniors” program has been presented at senior centers, senior living communities and elsewhere. “There’s still a stigma about marijuana,” he said. “Even though it is legal in Washington, both for medical use and recreational use, some people don’t want to go into a store that looks like a ‘head shop.’ ”

“Some patients come in and say they remember the ’60s,” Varney said. “They want to experience that high again. Others don’t and are looking for something to help them deal with their joint pain.”

The rule is to start with a small dose and determine if that lessens symptoms, and if not, to continue on incrementally. Many Washingtonians are discovering the File photo medical benefits of cannabis. “The most important thing is to listen to the patient — really hear what they’re dealing with,” Varney said. “Making sure that each person gets the results they are looking for is the key.” First, he determines whether the consumer wants to experience the relaxing, euphoric feeling that results from THC. If not, then the consumer is steered toward a product with CBD.

“You can always increase dosage,” he said. “But you can’t take it away.” Another question he gets at his sessions is what products are available that don’t require smoking. “We talk about edibles and topical,” he said. “And we talk about tinctures, which are great because you feel the effect sooner. By putting a drop under your tongue, it immediately gets in your system.” Another option is vapor cartridges, he said.

The idea of “Cannabis 101 for Seniors” came to Varney after a bus full of seniors came for a tour of the shop one day.

Although Varney has branched into educating and serving older residents, he still considers medical patients his main audience. The stores are keen to the needs of those consumers, too. “It’s hard enough to be in pain,” he said. “But to come into a cannabis store with questions and feel pressured to hurry because there are people in line behind you, that’s just not right. So we’ve created space for our patients to be able to take the time they need and to have an experience with ease.” More: go to www.docksidecannabis. com. Or check with your local cannabis shop; many are offering these classes.

All in One Family Care At Kitsap Chiropractic, we believe in providing high quality natural health care. While a majority of our patients begin their treatments for acute or chronic pain, we are focused on preventative care and wellness. Our practice includes licensed Massage Therapy, Cold Laser Therapy, Kinesio-Taping, Nutritional Counseling and Extremity Work. Dr. Sansen is a family doctor taking care of all ages and types of issues. Serving the Port Orchard area since 1994!

Kitsap Chiropractic & Natural Health Dr. Jennifer H. Sansen DC, FICPA, CCEP 200 Bethel Ave, Port Orchard, WA kitsapchiropractic 360.876.4171 | www.kitsapchiropractic.com

JANUARY 26, 2018




FYI: Alternative approaches to medical care L


ike any decision concerning your health, decisions about whether to use complementary approaches are important. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has suggestions about what to consider in making that decision.

As with any medical product or treatment, there can be risks with complementary approaches. These risks depend on the specific product or practice. Each needs to be considered on its own. However, if you’re considering a specific product or practice, the following general suggestions can help you think about safety and minimize risks.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH n Be an informed consumer. Find out and consider what scientific studies have been done on the safety and effectiveness of any health approach that is recommended to or interests you.

n Be aware that individuals respond differently to health products and practices, whether conventional or complementary. How you might respond to one depends on many things, including your state of health, how you use it, or your belief in it.

n Discuss the information and your interests with your health care provider before making a decision. n Choose a complementary health practitioner, such as an acupuncturist, as carefully as you would choose a conventional health care provider. n Before using any dietary supplement or herbal product, make sure you find out about potential side effects or interactions with medications you may be taking. n Only use treatments for your condition that have been proven safe. Do not use a product or practice that has not been proven to be effective to postpone seeing your health care provider for your condition. n Tell all your health care providers — complementary and conventional — about all the health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

WHAT DO THESE TERMS MEAN? n The terms “complementary” and “integrative” refer to the use of nonmainstream approaches together with conventional medical approaches. n “Alternative” health approaches refer to the use of non-mainstream products or practices in place of conventional medicine. NCCIH advises against using any product or practice that has not been proven safe and effective as a substitute for conventional medical treatment or as a reason to postpone seeing your health care provider about any health problem. In some instances, stopping — or not starting — conventional treatment can have serious consequences. Before making a decision not to use a proven conventional treatment, talk to your health care provider or providers.

GET RELIABLE INFORMATION ABOUT COMPLEMENTARY HEALTH APPROACHES n It’s important to learn what scientific studies have discovered about the complementary health approach you’re considering. Evidence from research studies is stronger and more reliable than something you’ve seen in an advertisement or on a Web site, or something someone told you about that worked for them. (For

n Keep in mind that “natural” does not necessarily mean “safe.” (Think of mushrooms that grow in the wild: some are safe to eat, while others are not.)

Cupping uses suction to draw the skin into the cup in order to help treat pain, muscle knots, and swelling. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is one of several noted athletes who uses cupping. Creative Commons tips on how to evaluate Web site information, see the NCCIH fact sheet Finding and Evaluating Online Resources on Complementary Health Approaches.) n Understanding a product’s or practice’s potential benefits, risks, and scientific evidence is critical to your health and safety. Scientific research on many complementary health approaches is relatively new, so this kind of information may not be available for each one. However, many studies are under way, including those that NCCIH supports, and knowledge and understanding of complementary approaches are increasing all the time. Here are some ways to find reliable information:

TALK WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS n Tell your health care provider or providers about the complementary health approach you’re considering and ask any questions you may have about safety, effectiveness, or interactions with medications (prescription or nonprescription)

or dietary supplements. n Visit the NCCIH website (nccih.nih. gov). The “Health Information” page has an A-Z list of complementary health products and practices, which describes what the science says about them, and links to other objective sources of online information. The website also has contact information for the NCCIH Clearinghouse, where information specialists are available to assist you in searching the scientific literature and to suggest useful NCCIH publications. n You can also find information from NCCIH on Facebook (www.facebook. com/nih.nccih), Twitter (www.twitter. com/nih_nccih), YouTube (www.youtube. com/c/nih_nccih), and Pinterest (www. pinterest.com/nccih). n Visit your local library or a medical library. Ask the reference librarian to help you find scientific journals and trustworthy books with information on the product or practice that interests you.


n Learn about factors that affect safety. For a practice that is administered by a practitioner, such as chiropractic, these factors include the training, skill, and experience of the practitioner. For a product such as a dietary supplement, the specific ingredients and the quality of the manufacturing process are important factors. n If you decide to use a practice provided by a complementary health practitioner, choose the practitioner as carefully as you would your primary health care provider. n If you decide to use a dietary supplement, such as an herbal product, be aware that some products may interact in harmful ways with medications (prescription or over-the-counter) or other dietary supplements, and some may have side effects on their own. n Again, tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care. Source: National Center for Complementary, Alternative and Intergrative Medicine.

Publisher: Terry R. Ward General manager/advertising director: Donna Etchey Managing editor: Richard Walker Copyright 2018 Sound Publishing

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