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SEPTEMBER 2017 | VOL. 10 — ISSUE 9

Is this the

ENEMY? Workplace tips to avoid slouching, posture problems and more

PLUS Celebrating salmon Selecting specs O regOn H ealtHy l iving . cOm

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Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2017 | VOLUME 10 — ISSUE 9

HEALTH

COVER STORY

Appropriate Angles: Ergonomic tips

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FITNESS

STYLE

FOOD

NATURAL

Sit and Be Fit? Stretch and move at work

In the Frame: Stylish eyeglasses

Not Just Hype: Salmon rules as superfood

Stress Less: Factors in fatigue

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15

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On the cover

The editor’s desk If like me you’ve reached a time of life where you can’t get away with the same things you used to, take notes from our stories related to ergonomics this month. As a reporter, my first no-no was cradling a landline phone (not so relevant anymore!), which gave me a neck issue for years. Our postural bad habits can have long-term consequences, so use this issue as a wakeup call to assess your working environment. Next month is our annual “cookbook” edition, celebrating crose@mailtribune.com fall produce and local chefs.

STAFF EDITOR: Cheryl P. Rose VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES: Gail Whiting DESIGN & PRODUCTION: Bret Jackson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Melissa Haskin Sarah Lemon Rebecca Scott Cindy Quick Wilson

Oregon Healthy Living Magazine is published by the Southern Oregon Media Group Advertising Department, 111 N. Fir St., Medford, OR 97501. General information: 541.776.4422 Submissions and feedback: crose@mailtribune.com

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Americans spend a lot of time sitting, much of that in the workplace or home office, crouching before a computer screen. Recent studies have proven the perils of sitting, linking extended sit times to higher mortality rates, even for those who also regularly exercise. According to a study by Cornell University, the key is to build Is this the frequent movement into the ENEMY? normal workday. Movement is simply that – not standing, not vigorous exercise, but just getting the blood circulating by strolling and stretching.

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SEPTEMBER 2017 | VOL. 10 — ISSUE 9

Workplace tips to avoid slouching, posture problems and more

PLUS

Celebrating salmon Selecting specs

O regOnH ealtHy l iving . cOm

Noble Being ...................................... pg. 19 Northridge Center.............................. pg. 23 Oregon Retina Center........................ pg. 13 Retina Care Center............................. pg. 21 Rogue River Vaulters........................... pg. 22 Rogue Aquatics.................................. pg. 16 Rosa Transformational Health............. pg. 24 Sherm’s Food 4 Less........................... pg. 2 Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle LLC.... pg. 12 Superior Athletic Club......................... pg. 7 Southern Oregon Subaru................... pg. 9

....and reach your next customer with Oregon Healthy Living!

To advertise contact Niche Marketing Specialist Athena Fliegel at 541.776.4385 or afliegel@mailtribune.com

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FITNESS

Don’t Just Sit There Office workers can recharge and rejuvenate with simple at-work exercises

TEXT BY CINDY QUICK WILSON

E

very day, millions of American workers sit or stand for hours at a time. In addition to long periods of inactivity, bad posture and improperly adjusted chairs, desks and computers can invite a range of physical consequences that include weight gain, deconditioning, sore muscles and joints, headaches, eyestrain and mental fatigue.

“Our patients who do a lot of sitting often complain that their necks and backs hurt or their hips bother them,” says Amber Cross, a physical therapist with Jackson County Physical Therapy in Medford. “Sitting creates a lot of pressure through the spine and shortens the hip muscles, so they get very tight. This creates a muscle imbalance between the hip musculature in the front and the back.” While having an ergonomically adjusted workspace is the first step in avoiding strain, good posture is also important, adds Chris Foster, physical therapist and owner of Core Physical Therapy and Training in Medford. “As we sit, we tend to slump a bit,” he says. “That means your hands are too high on your keyboard, which can cause upper back, shoulder and neck pain. And while using the mouse, we often hike that

shoulder higher, which also tightens the muscles between the neck and the shoulder.”

SITTING PRETTY

Those who stare at computer screens for long periods can often experience neck and shoulder pain. Cross points out that people tend to sit with their necks too far forward and their shoulders and backs rounded. “It will help your posture if you can pull your chin back and keep your ears in line with your shoulders.” Foster recommends changing positions frequently during the day. For instance, recline in your chair or lean forward to rest on your elbows, which takes the weight off your spine. “It’s good to have multiple working postures that are safe: one for standing, sitting, working forward, reclining and talking on the phone. Look for a chair that can

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FITNESS accommodate variable positions. A desk that adjusts between a sitting and standing workspace can alleviate the fatigue of maintaining one position for too long at a time.”

FIVE EASY WORKPLACE EXERCISES

MOVE IT

Changing positions helps, Cross agrees, but for those who sit or stand for long periods, it’s important to walk or stretch frequently. “I advise people to take breaks every hour or even every half-hour. You can stand up, stretch and do some calf raises. Or do back extensions by putting your hands on your hips and leaning gently back. When you’re sitting, your body is in the opposite position, so if it doesn’t hurt to do it, leaning back several times in a row should feel good.” When we sit all day, Foster says, our buttocks relax, and they are some of our strongest muscles on the back side. “Just tightening the glutes and holding for five seconds 10 times periodically throughout the day can be very effective in toning the muscles. When you tighten your buttocks, it tightens all the muscles in the back and tells the body you’re getting ready to do something, so it’s a signal to the posture muscles. You can also sit on the edge of your chair and drop a knee down, so the nerves on that side can relax which allows extension in the back and brings the chin back.” For those who stand in one place on the job, Cross advises shifting your weight often, sitting down and taking frequent breaks to give your feet a break. “If possible, put your feet up during the day during breaks or lunch time.”

LOOK UP – UPPER BODY

Sit tall in your chair or stand up. Stretch arms overhead, interlock fingers with palms up. Tilt your head back, look toward ceiling. Inhale, exhale, release.

SHRUG – NECK AND SHOULDERS

Inhale deeply and shrug, lifting shoulders toward ears. Hold. Release and drop. Repeat three times.

FINGER POINT – HANDS, WRISTS AND FOREARMS

Hold left arm out in front. Flex wrist upward, fingers toward ceiling. With right hand, pull fingers of the flexed hand toward you. Switch hands and repeat.

TORSO TWIST – UPPER BODY AFTER WORK

If you sit all day, Cross notes that it’s good to do a little extra moving around in the evening rather than just plopping on the couch. “You can do a few simple floor exercises like bridges or planks. Or use a foam roller on the floor to massage your muscles and get your body relaxed and limber. Then put your feet up for a bit to help decrease swelling and send circulation back to your heart.”

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Inhale, then exhale as you turn to the right. Grab the back of your chair with your right hand, the arm of the chair with your left. Slowly come back to face forward. Repeat on the other side.

LEG EXTENSIONS – ABS AND LEGS Hold chair seat to brace yourself. Extend legs straight out in front, parallel to the floor. Flex and point your toes five times. Release. Repeat.

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FITNESS

Jeremy Brady, PT, DPT of Jackson County Physical Therapy demonstrates a hip flexor stretch. Photo by Amber Cross.

FLEX AT THE DESK

Another exercise recommended by Amber Cross, a physical therapist with Jackson County Physical Therapy in Medford, is the standing hip flexor stretch. “The hip flexors are on the front of the hip and they can get tight, so this helps stretch them out.”

Stand with one leg back and the other placed forward. Point the toes of your back foot inward. Contract your glutes and shift your body forward, straightening your rear leg. Raise the arm that is on the same side as your rear leg, reaching to the opposite side until a stretch is felt in front of your pelvis. Hold the side stretch and then rotate backward. Hold this for about 30 seconds.

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HEALTH

When Work

is a Pain

Optimizing your workspace for health, safety & comfort TEXT BY CINDY QUICK WILSON

W

alk through any office and you will see workers who, at the end of the day, go home with aching backs, stiff necks and sore wrists. Apart from the body’s natural resistance to prolonged inactivity, many of these discomforts come from badly planned workspaces. Add to this our tendency to slump, slouch and hunch, and eventually the body cries out in protest. 8

“The human body is not made to maintain itself in one position for extended periods of time,” says Jared Hill, occupational therapist with Asante in Medford. “We’re designed to hunt for berries in the forest and make shelters. Consequently, any time you maintain a static position, like sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time, the body responds to that. We are creatures of movement, not creatures of sitting and standing only.”

WHAT WE DO TO OURSELVES

Increasingly sedentary lifestyles, especially those in the workforce, are the cause of some serious health concerns. Though you may not be able to change that your job requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time, there are some ergonomic adjustments that can improve your workspace, and some simple changes in the way you do your work that can reduce the risk of debilitating injuries.

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HEALTH

“Sedentary work is one of the leading causes of chronic back problems,” explains Dr. Michael Korpa, medical director for occupational health with Providence in Medford. “You might think it would be harder on construction workers or people who lean over a lot, but more often it is the sedentary worker whose body becomes deconditioned through inactivity. This weakens the core muscles which support our ability to maintain good posture.” Another common problem, Korpa explains, is that people get so focused

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HEALTH continued from page 9 of incorrect mouse and keyboard on what they’re doing, they don’t pay attention to what their bodies are positioning.” telling them. “We can sometimes In his practice, Hill commonly stay in one position for a very treats musculoskeletal sprains long time, not realizing we and strains, or generalized need to move.” These habits, discomfort from static over a period of time, (unchanging) positioning lead to recurring muscle, or use. “For people who joint and nerve pain that work at desks, they are in can turn into chronic a sedentary work capacity injuries. Korpa also warns According to the Occupational Safety and Health that does, over a period of increased risks for Administration, or OSHA, ergonomics takes into account of time, wear on the people who work at home, because they often sit body, especially if no one the type of work performed, the environment you work in slouched over laptops in has ever ergonomically and the tools with which you do your job. For the average bed or at tables that don’t evaluated their work space.” worker who spends 50 to 70 percent of the day sitting at a allow correct ergonomic Other workers suffer from desk, this means assuring easy access to things positioning. overuse injuries, which are used most often and proper height adjustment common to fingers, hands, of chairs, desks, computer monitors WHAT OUR JOBS wrists and elbows. These injuries and keyboards. DO TO US are caused by repetitive movements Korpa says that he often sees injuries or awkward postures, which then caused by bad ergonomics. “So many can cause swelling, pain and weakness workstations are set up badly,” he says. “For in the affected joints. Poor workspace design instance, a computer screen that is positioned off or work practices can contribute to what is referred to as to the side so the user’s neck is constantly turned that way, occupational overuse syndrome, or OOS. or maybe it’s straight on but it’s at a bad height. I see a lot

Ergonomics: the study of people’s safety and productivity in their working environment.

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HEALTH

MOVE IT OR LOSE IT

Whether you sit all day or your job demands that you’re on your feet, Hill suggests, “In the course of your workday, vary the tasks that you’re doing. For some portions of the day you sit at a computer, other portions you stand and walk. Create breaks for yourself every half-hour to 45 minutes to go do something different, like get up to make copies on the copy machine.” If you stand all day, he says, sit down for a break and elevate your feet if possible. The key is to mix it up, he advises. Both Hill and Korpa favor sit/stand workstations. “It’s a very good option because it allows you to sit for a while, then with an easy push of a button, you can stand,” Hill says. “Varying that positioning during the day is the most beneficial way to do your work.” While standing, Korpa notes that good posture and correct positioning of the screen and keyboard are important. “Your arms should still be at a 90-degree angle and parallel to the ground when at your station. One consideration is differences in heights if multiple people use the same workstation, so ease of adjustment can be an important feature.” Though it may seem like a modern concept, Hill says ergonomics is not new. “Since the industrial revolution, we’ve been trying to figure out ways to be highly productive and not get injured on the job. Technology has just made it easy and much more cost effective to go from sitting to standing with a push of a button, so the benefit is more accessible.”

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HEALTH continued from page 11

CHAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW. So-called ergonomic innovations — boon or bust? What about the advantages of various options promoted as being more healthy or ergonomic for workstations? “I’m always very cautious,” says Dr. Michael Korpa, medical director for occupational and employee health with Providence in Medford. “Although it may be a new idea, often there are no long-term studies proving its benefit. Remember slanted keyboards? They were popular 10 years ago, but you don’t see them much anymore.” Jared Hill, an occupational therapist with Asante in Medford, agrees. “People love to be on the edge of the hippest, coolest trend, but I’m reminded of a few years ago when the kneeling chair was really popular,” he says. “Then they found out that it was making everyone’s knees sore because it was stretching the patellar ligaments.”

SIT-TO-STAND DESK Korpa: “Adjustable sit/stand workstations can accommodate various heights. Standing allows people to use their posture muscles in that position and move a bit more which burns a few more calories. A lot of employers are moving to this option.” Hill: “The sit/stand option is a very good because it allows you to sit for a while and with an easy push of a button, you can stand. Varying that positioning during the day is the most beneficial way to do your work.”

YOGA BALL “CHAIR” Korpa: “The term yoga ball sounds like it should be healthy, but it’s surprising how many injuries I treat from people falling off their office chairs. Something that rolls around, used by a person who may not be the most fit to begin with, might not be the most stable support for that person.”

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HEALTH Hill: “The idea is that it repositions your hips and causes you to sit more erect, but if you sit on the wrong kind, or an underinflated ball and it’s too low, your arms reach your desktop at chest height. If you don’t have good core strength in both your back and abdominal muscles, those muscles get fatigued, so sitting without support for prolonged periods of time becomes very difficult.”

automatic movement in your body so it taxes the ability of your eyes to read a screen. If you’re so focused on holding your head still to allow yourself to read, you’re likely to develop head and neck issues.”

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TREADMILL DESKS Hill: “With treadmill desks, the idea is that there’s consistent and constant movement, but no one can walk all day. Anytime you are walking and stepping, there is

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HEALTH continued from page 13

CORRECT SITTING POSTURE

OPTIMIZING YOUR WORK SPACE In a perfect world, all office environments would benefit from the advice of a trained ergonomic specialist who evaluates each workspace for optimum productivity. But even though your boss may not be willing to spring for a workspace makeover, there are some simple guidelines you can implement without busting the budget. According to the Mayo Clinic, your workspace should be organized so that what you use the most is easy to reach. Here are some positioning recommendations: • If you sit all day, choose a chair that supports your body and your back, especially the lumbar area. • Adjust chair height so that feet are flat on the floor or a footrest and thighs are parallel to the floor. • Position armrests to allow a 90-degree angle at elbows as hands sit comfortably on your keyboard. The mouse should be

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within easy reach, at or slightly below the level of the elbows. • If you spend a lot of time on the phone, use a headset or the speaker option to avoid cradling phone between your head and neck. • Adjust desk height to accommodate correct keyboard positioning and to allow adequate room for legs and feet. • Monitors should be directly in front of the keyboard, about an arm’s length away. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level.

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STYLE

LESSONS in Lenses

Finding the right mix of functional and fashionable

TEXT BY REBECCA SCOTT

S

porty, retro, bold or metallic—modern eyeglasses come in a variety of shapes, colors and styles. Choosing your frames is no longer a laborious task; now there is a plethora of frames available so you can find the pair which best suits your face, features and vision needs. Experts agree there are more choices than ever for people who wear glasses.

TRENDY AND STYLISH FRAMES

Just as with the rest of the fashion world, what’s trendy in eyewear changes from year to year. According to Sarah Lougheed, the optical and oculoplastic director at Medford’s Medical Eye Center, men’s and women’s eyeglasses are returning to a retro style. “A slightly rounded, oval frame is popular for men and women this year,” she says, adding there are fun and fresh versions of the cat-eye frame for women. She explains that frames with matte finishes are popular in men’s eyewear. Unlike eyeglasses, Lougheed says people prefer sunglasses with a high gloss sheen or metallic finish. “This season I’ve seen many sunglasses that

have lenses with metallic finishes that come in a variety of colors. The styles are a lot of fun,” she says, noting the double-bar bridge is another recent trend in sunglasses. Nonmetal frames are also gaining popularity. “People have fun mixing different colors and patterns,” says Chris Shillito, a local optician. “This allows people to push the envelope and express their personal style,” he explains, adding that many people are moving away from traditional metal frames to other materials, such as plastic. However, he says titanium frames are lightweight and easy to wear. “If you’re allergic to metal, frames made of titanium or stainless steel are hypoallergenic,” he notes. Whether for sunglasses or eyeglasses,

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STYLE

Lougheed and Shillito say your frame allowance from insurance providers must be used for prescription glasses. “Most vision benefits are dictated by your insurance plan, but generally it has to be used for prescription glasses or sunglasses,” explains Lougheed.

FRAMES, LENSES AND LONGEVITY

In addition to a variety of frame choices, lenses can vary with different coatings, such as anti-scratch, transition lenses or bifocals and trifocals. “Most quality coatings or treatments don’t affect the frames,” says Lougheed, but she notes that getting all the ranges for trifocals or progressive lenses into smaller frames is difficult. However, she says advancements in technology have made it easier for custom progressive lenses to fit better and work more effectively in smaller frames. Lougheed and Shillito agree that frames, lenses and other upgrades usually last about two years. “Most quality frames are meant to withstand daily use that glasses endure, barring someone sitting or stepping on them,” Shillito says. According to Lougheed, when it comes to eyeglasses—like many other purchases—you get what you pay for. She says a decent pair of glasses with quality coatings can last 18-24 months. “It could be longer, but you start to notice microscratches that impact how light goes through the lenses and how you see,” she says. Shillito and Lougheed advise people to use their vision benefits to get new glasses every year or two, but keep their older pair as a backup in case of an emergency.

THE IMPACT OF EYEGLASSES

With more options in styles, selections and colors—plus advancements in technology—choosing a pair of eyeglasses can be a fun and personal experience for patients. Shillito compares the process to buying a new pair of jeans, saying you will feel more comfortable in your glasses as you continue to wear them. “The overall result is to give the patient normal vision and feel as comfortable as possible,” he says.

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STYLE

Photo provided by Medical Eye Center, Medford

The Right Frame Shape for Your Face Lougheed and Shillito say there are three things to consider when purchasing a new pair of glasses: shape, color and personal style. SHAPE: Generally, you want the shape of the frame to contrast with the shape of your face. For example, a person with a round or oval face should look for an angular frame, such as a cat-eye, because it will juxtapose with your natural features. While this does not universally apply to everyone, it is a general rule and a good place to start as you shop. COLOR: If you have a cool complexion with pink or blue undertones, glasses in matching colors or in shades of black, gray, silver or dark tortoise will complement your skin tone. Warmer complexions with yellow or gold undertones will look good in bold, contrasting colors or neutrals. PERSONAL STYLE: The last piece of the puzzle changes depending on the needs of the individual. While some people want their glasses to be an accessory or statement piece, others prefer their glasses to blend in with their facial features. Whatever your preference, there are numerous shapes, colors and materials to suit a wide array of functions and desires.

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FOOD

Kingof Fish

TEXT BY SARAH LEMON

Nutrition experts cite salmon’s supremacy

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says. Memory improves with doses of omega-3, which also almon’s reputation as the “king” treats symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder references more than a fish and a variety of skin conditions, she adds. While a few other fish — namely sardines species. The prized staple of and mackerel — come close to salmon’s traditional Pacific Northwest nutritional profile, those species’ Beware of salmon strong flavors make them less diets reigns supreme in the popular, says Carlson. Any fish, realm of nutrition. poisoning in dogs however, is least “fishy” when

processed properly — flashA parasite common in Pacific Northwest fish, including trout Packed with B vitamins, frozen is best — and cooked salmon has minerals — and steelhead, make raw salmon dangerous for dogs. until just done. “Salmon’s including magnesium, Common in Southern Oregon, salmon poisoning disease really easy,” she says. “You selenium and iodine — in arises when dogs consume salmon flesh containing flukes that just don’t want to overcook addition to the omega-3 embed in the canine intestinal tract. Water-loving dogs that it.” fatty acids that set it apart accompany people to rivers are most likely to contract it from Favoring the milder flavor from so many other types discarded salmon carcasses or fish who died after spawning, of farm-raised salmon, says of fish. “It supports bone says Dr. Diane Wittenberg, a Grants Pass veterinarian. Carlson, is a misguided health in women,” says Dr. The parasites spread throughout the bloodstream to other choice. Deficient in the Angela Carlson of Bear Creek organs and tissues. The infection causes fever, vomiting, nutrients of wild fish, farmNaturopathic Clinic in Medford. diarrhea, weight loss and seizures. Unless treated, raised counterparts contain “It can also help with brain 16 times the pesticide residue, 50 to 90 percent of infected dogs development in children.” says Carlson. “We have food that’s Essential to human health but die within seven to 10 days. being marketed as a health food but derived only from specific foods, it’s not.” omega-3s have many benefits, says The flesh of farm-raised fish is often Carlson. They reduce systemic inflammation adulterated with red dye, says Carlson. Farm-raised and the risk of high blood pressure and stroke, she

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FOOD

UPSIZE YOUR SALMON INTAKE

Salmon, for good reason, has a strong following among health care providers. So facilities such as Providence Medford Medical Center showcase it for patients and staff. Providence patients, depending on dietary prescription, can order 4-ounce portions of salmon either grilled or poached, says Tony Zentgraf, the hospital’s executive chef. And the hospital café offers it once or twice per week, perhaps with honey-mustard or peanut sauces, curry-seasoned or in tacos, he says. “Salmon in a Caesar salad is great.”

HONEY MUSTARD-GLAZED SALMON INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1-pound fillet boneless, skinless salmon Salt and pepper, to taste ½ teaspoon oil

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, combine the mustards, honey and garlic; mix well. Set aside. Cut the salmon fillet into 4 portions, each 4 ounces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil to keep salmon from sticking to pan. Sear one side of salmon until evenly browned. Transfer salmon to a baking dish or sheet pan prepared with nonstick spray. Coat salmon with honey-mustard glaze. Bake salmon in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until salmon reaches desired degree of doneness. Serve with sautéed fresh green beans and wild rice pilaf. Servings: 4 Recipe courtesy of Providence Medford Medical Center

Celebrate

THE SALMON! What: Fourth Annual Southern Oregon Smoked Salmon Festival, a competition featuring local food, wine and beer; live music; and a day of family-friendly activities to benefit Maslow Project. When: 1 - 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 Where: The Commons Pear Blossom Park, North Bartlett and Fifth streets, Medford. Tickets: $25 for adults (includes beer/wine sampling tickets), $10 for ages 17 to 20, free for kids 16 and younger. For more information: www.southernoregonsmokedsalmonfest.com What: Bear Creek Salmon Festival, a free, all-ages event featuring interactive exhibits that focus on improving salmon and wildlife habitat, and on watershed stewardship. When: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 Where: North Mountain Park, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland For more information: www.bearcreeksalmonfestival.net

fish also stand a good chance of being genetically modified, technology that the Food and Drug Administration approved for consumption this year, but unlikely to be reflected on food labels. “A lot of people probably don’t even know that (genetic engineering of salmon) happened.” Previously purchasing farm-raised salmon, Providence Medford Medical Center switched to wild coho to maximize the food’s wholesomeness and appeal to patients, staff and visitors, says Tony Zentgraf, the hospital’s executive chef. Nutritionally, the gold star goes to wild Alaskan salmon, says Carlson, citing chinook (also known as “king”), sockeye, pink, Kodiak coho and Southeast Alaska chum as the “cleanest” fish.

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NATURAL

Frazzled and Foggy Is adrenal fatigue behind your persistent lack of energy? TEXT BY MELISSA HASKIN

Y

ou’re exhausted. You’ve been exhausted since the long nights you spent studying in school. Now, it’s late nights at the office, errands, life. Lately though, the lack of energy has been more noticeable. What’s worse — even though you’re tired, you can’t seem to sleep at night. Your doctor checked everything — your thyroid, your liver and even your blood — but couldn’t conclusively tell you what was wrong. You wonder, “Am I out of options? Is this how it will be for the rest of my life?”

If you were to consult a naturopathic doctor or holistic wellness coach, that answer would likely be, “You don’t have to live like this! This may be something that is fixable.” That’s because many naturopathic doctors and holistic coaches recognize a condition known as adrenal fatigue, caused when your body is consistently overstimulated by stress. The office. The boss. The crying baby. They could all lead to this condition, which presents itself in the form of fatigue and, sometimes, insomnia.

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The cortisol connection

The adrenal glands are responsible for producing all sorts of hormones — hormones that control your blood pressure, support your immune system, and control how you react to physical and emotional stress. Practitioners who support the concept of adrenal fatigue say when the body is constantly in a state of fight-or-flight caused by stress, the adrenal glands are put into overdrive so much that they stop correctly producing this stress hormone, cortisol. Dr. Kristen Plunkett, a physician at Naturopathic Medical Clinic in Grants Pass, explains that the condition of adrenal fatigue is caused when the adrenal glands can no longer produce adequate cortisol. The result, she says, is that a person experiences fatigue, poor exercise tolerance and insomnia. Conventional medicine teaches Cushing’s syndrome and Addison’s disease, says Plunkett, referring to the two cortisolrelated disorders that lie on opposite ends of the spectrum, one involving too much cortisol production and the other not enough. Plunkett further explains that mainstream medicine often doesn’t consider the variations in between the extremes in cases like adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a hot topic among the mainstream medical community. Not every doctor believes it is an official condition. Medical knowledge is often based on research, and right now, there is little to no research proving adrenal fatigue exists. In fact, some studies say it doesn’t. But that’s not stopping holistic practitioners from treating the condition.

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NATURAL Maria LiPuma, a health and wellness practitioner in Medford, explains her position: “I know when a person is feeling consistently tired and is not able to approach life with a sense of well-being and happiness, whether it’s recognized as adrenal fatigue or not, it’s very real to that person.” She adds that her goal is help the individual feel better, whether or not the symptoms are labeled as a particular condition.

A culture of stress

Whatever the label, it’s hard to deny our current levels of stress as a society and its effects on general health. “We are in a culture where we don’t even realize how stressed we actually are,” says LiPuma, the owner of Noble Being: Modern Stress Solutions. “We’re so pushed into being ‘human-doings’ rather than ‘human beings.’” Most of the techniques Plunkett and LiPuma suggest or teach in the treatment of adrenal fatigue are focused on stress reduction. Yoga, mindfulness, healthy eating, meditation, tai chi and qigong are a few of the things they recommend. There’s no right or wrong answer, no “you must do this” order that Plunkett requires of patients. “I usually just mention all of the options to patients, and then have them find the ones they feel they can do on a daily basis,” she says. Another strategy both women use is to identify stressors for patients and encourage methods for reducing them. While LiPuma uses energy-based therapies and yoga to address these issues, Plunkett helps people prioritize, encouraging them to drop stressors where possible, delegate and then use stress-reduction techniques to manage what’s left. Plunkett has another tool in her naturopathic pocket — adrenal adaptogens. These herbs (think tulsi/holy basil, ginseng and Rhodiola rosea) help the adrenal system function properly in times of stress, according to Plunkett. They can be found at local health food stores or in the vitamins and supplements section of the grocery store.

When to get help

Fatigue can be a sign of a serious ailment and should not be ignored. A few conditions it can signal include everything from anemia to mononucleosis and even liver disease. Nonmedical practitioners like LiPuma can help with stressreduction techniques, but cannot diagnose, order tests or prescribe medication. Plunkett recommends getting an evaluation by a doctor Maria LiPuma and Dr. Kristen Plunkett share their secrets for if fatigue lingers. “If reducing stress and keeping your body healthy: symptoms of fatigue are not improving “The body has an amazing power to heal itself if we get within one month of out of the way. Feed it regularly, get some exercise and bring self-treatment, you some mindfulness into your day.” should see your doctor — Maria LiPuma, health and wellness practitioner, Noble to evaluate for the cause Being: Modern Stress Solutions of fatigue,” she says. She adds that if your doctor “Try to identify what your major stressors are and if there does not check for are any that you can give up. Is there one that you can either cortisol levels, you may want to consider seeing a delegate to someone else or cut out of your life?” naturopathic doctor. — Dr. Kristen Plunkett, Naturopathic Medical Clinic

TRY THESE STRESS-REDUCING TIPS

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SEPTEMBER

EVENTS CALENDAR

GET LISTED! DO YOU HAVE AN EVENT YOU’D LIKE TO PROMOTE ON OUR EVENTS CALENDAR?

Simply email crose@mailtribune.com and include the following information: Event title, date, time, location, contact information and a brief description including any required fees. Please note: Event information must be received at least 60 days in advance to be considered for publication in Oregon Healthy Living.

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THE LAKE OF THE WOODS TRI-SPORT WEEKEND 7:30 A.M. • 950 HARRIMAN ROUTE, KLAMATH FALLS CONTACT INFO: lakeofthewoodstri.com Multiple events take place over the course of the weekend, from open-water swims to a half marathon. Registration fees vary from $25 for 1,500-yard open swim to $130 for a long-course team event. There are events for kids 10 years old and up.

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SOUTHERN OREGON SENIOR RESOURCE FAIR 8 A.M - 5 P.M. • BOYS & GIRLS CLUB, 203 SE 9TH ST, GRANTS PASS CONTACT INFO: www.teamsenior.org/seniorfair The Senior Resource Fair is a free event for the public hosted by Team Senior Referral Services to provide the opportunity to Southern Oregon residents to become informed consumers and prepare for the changes that come with aging. Classes, vendors, prizes, goodie bags and more are part of this event.

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SOUTHERN OREGON WALK TO DEFEAT ALS 11 A.M. • BEAR CREEK PARK, 1520 SISKIYOU BLVD, MEDFORD CONTACT INFO: www.SouthernOregonWalktoDefeatALS.org Help raise money for local patients who have ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) to get care services and support research to defeat ALS. Registration is free.

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TOMATOES CLASS 6 P.M - 9 P.M. • HANLEY FARM, 569 HANLEY ROAD, CENTRAL POINT CONTACT INFO: www.facebook.com/MasterFoodPreservers Want to find a way to make your tomatoes last from summer to winter? Come to this $10 class to learn from master preservers the best ways to preserve your tomatoes, making them last for much longer while guaranteeing safe and delicious results.

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RIDE THE ROGUE 7 A.M. • PALMERTON PARK ARBORETUM, ROGUE RIVER CONTACT INFO: ridetherogue.com Cycle through stunning scenery, passing Table Rocks, vineyards and along the Rogue River. Ride options include full century ride, $50; metric century ride, $40; 40-mile ride, $35; 20-mile ride, $30. Event limited to 1,200 riders. Refreshments included for rides and a post-race celebration offers a gourmet feast for $12. Race proceeds support the Rogue River Recreational Corridor and Greenway.

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DEHYDRATION CLASS 6 P.M - 9 P.M. • HANLEY FARM, 569 HANLEY ROAD, CENTRAL POINT CONTACT INFO: www.facebook.com/MasterFoodPreservers Learn how to dehydrate your food to preserve it in a simple and safe way. Learn the best methods and equipment from master food preservers. Cost is $10 per person.

THIRD ANNUAL HEALTHY FOOD FESTIVAL 9 A.M. - 4 P.M. • JOSEPHINE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS, GRANTS PASS CONTACT INFO: www.facebook.com/healthyfoodfestival A fun-filled day to learn about how the food you eat every day affects you. Food samples, classes, free health checks and screenings, and chances to win prizes are all part of the day’s activities. Admission is free.

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Oregon Healthy Living  

September 2017 - workplace ergonomics

Oregon Healthy Living  

September 2017 - workplace ergonomics