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JULY 2020 | VOL. 13 — ISSUE 7

Misty

MYSTIQUE Lovely hikes to waterfall wonders

Got berries?

Discover dehydrating

Neck pain on the rise Device use and posture

Natural sleep solutions Find some Zs

JULY 2020 | OREGON HEALTHY LIVING

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J U LY 2 0 2 0

on the COVER

from the

EDITOR

Dustin Peters of Eagle Point won the People’s Choice vote with this photo of National Creek Falls in 2014. The falls are about an hour and half drive from Medford, north of Union Creek. Look for Peters’ photography tips at the end of the waterfalls guide.

I love waterfalls! I recently ventured to Prospect to see Mill Creek Falls and Barr Falls. It was peaceful moment to be there. A lizard sat sunbathing on a rock, one eye cocked on us, as we all listened to the roar of the falls. The Umpqua Forest falls are on my bucket list. I hope you are enjoying the lakes, creeks and open spaces this summer. Next month we will be sharing scoop about what it is like to be a pet foster parent.

Photography by Dustin Peters.

crose@rosebudmedia.com

CONTENTvol. 13 – issue 6 FOOD

Saving Summer for Later: Dehydrating tips

HEALTH

4

Neck and Shoulder Pain? Text neck trends

8

COVER STORY

FITNESS

Go Chasing Waterfalls:

14

Find a hike for you

EDITOR — Cheryl P. Rose CEO & PUBLISHER — Steven Saslow DIRECTOR OF SALES — Bill Krumpeck SALES SUPERVISOR — Laura Perkins

HEALTH

21

All Choked Up:

When food gets stuck

NATURAL

Fall Asleep Naturally:

23

FITNESS

26

Fit at Home: 4 exercises

Strategies for sound sleep

DESIGN & PRODUCTION — Paul Bunch Amy Tse CONTRIBUTING WRITERS — Micah Leigh Sarah Lemon Cheryl Rose Rebecca Scott

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

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020


HEALTHY Sherm’s Food 4 Less carries a good selection of Premium Teas – Stash, Smith, Harney & Son, and Numi; as well as many Functional Teas - Traditional Medicinal, Yogi, and Triple Leaf; and many Regional Teas as well - Yorkshire, PG Tips, and Barry Tea to name just a few. We also offer many teas that blend Eastern & Western traditions.

There is nothing better than a good cup of tea. 2230 BIDDLE RD. • MEDFORD | Shermsmarkets.com

GREEN TEA POACHED SALMON WITH GINGER LIME SAUCE

INGREDIENTS 10 cups water 2 limes, halved 6 tablespoons honey, divided 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns 4 to 6 tablespoons Premium or Organic Premium Green Tea 4 (6-ounce) boneless skinless salmon fillets

DIRECTIONS Put the water into a straight sided skillet or pot with a lid. Add 3 of the lime halves (squeezing the juice into the water before adding), 5 tablespoons of the honey, the ginger, salt and peppercorns and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes to infuse the water with flavors. Remove and reserve 1/2 cup of this poaching liquid. Remove the pot from heat and add the tea. Allow the tea to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully slide the salmon into the water. Cover and poach until the fish is just cooked through and firm to the touch, about 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small pot over low heat, simmer the reserved 1/2 cup of liquid along with the juice and zest of the remaining lime half, and remaining 1 tablespoon of honey. Cook until the liquid is reduced by 2/3 and thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and arrange on serving plates. Drizzle a little bit of the sauce over each piece salmon before serving. MF-00124754

JULY 2020 | OREGON HEALTHY LIVING

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FOOD

Deliciously

Dry

Dehydrating is an easy, healthy way to preserve berries STORY BY SARAH LEMON

At

the height of summer’s bounty, there’s a way to heighten berries’ flavor and nutrition. Dehydrating concentrates both the sweetness and beneficial properties in berries, from iconic strawberries and prolific blackberries to such superfoods as blueberries and cranberries. Among ways to extend enjoyment of summer fruit, dehydrating is a favorite of Rebecca Blackman, an Oregon State University Master Food Preserver.

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020


FOOD

“You’re saving all the vitamins and minerals that are in it,” says Blackman, an Ashland resident. “Nothing’s cooked out.” And unlike the precision demanded by canning recipes, dehydrating is arguably the easiest way to set aside fruit for use in colder weather, says Blackman. Rather than heating up their kitchens, toiling over boiling kettles for canning, cooks can operate electric dehydrators outside on a deck or patio, checking the machine every few hours or so. Sliced fruits and soft-skinned berries often take seven hours to dry at 135 F, while whole berries and cherries can take 20 hours or longer. Rotating the dehydrator’s trays periodically ensures even drying. Dehydrators come in various styles and sizes, from round, stackable models to enclosed, boxy designs. The master preservers don’t recommend one over another, except to vouch for dehydrators with a fan and thermostat. “There are very few hard and fast rules,” says Blackman.

From the dehydrator, Blackman puts dried fruit and berries in a gallon-sized glass jar for a few days. She shakes the batch every day to distribute the remaining moisture evenly. Then she stores dried fruit and berries in glass jars or vacuum sealed at room temperature. Resealable plastic bags, she says, do not remain airtight over long periods. And if there’s any suspicion of lingering moisture, dehydrated foods are best kept in the freezer. “It’s not a scientific process,” says Jackie Greer, another OSU master food preserver and avid dehydrator. “There’s a lot more art to it.” Because strawberries are delicate, they’re much more palatable dehydrated, rather than frozen and thawed, says Greer, a Medford resident. She enjoys hers on cereal, in baked goods and “just to munch on.” A popular dehydrated snack is fruit leather, which transforms pureed fruit into a handheld treat with less sugar and fewer additives than store-bought continued on page 6

JULY 2020 | OREGON HEALTHY LIVING

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FOOD

continued from page 5

versions. Recipes often combine fruit puree and applesauce and can accommodate a range of spices in conservative quantities. Spices intensify in a dehydrator and can become overpowering, says Greer. Pumpkin pie spice accenting winter squash puree yields a fruit leather that tastes just like pumpkin pie, says Greer. Strawberry-banana is a classic duo, but creative cooks can even incorporate vegetables, hiding them from children and finicky eaters, says Blackman. Beets, she notes, are vibrantly hued and naturally sweet but packed full of fiber and minerals. Adding honey to fruit puree makes for the best-textured fruit leather, dried until it’s no longer tacky. Spread the mixture 1/4 – to 3/8-inch thick onto parchment paper, the layer thicker at the outside edge than in the middle. While nonstick sheets that come with many dehydrators can be used, parchment paper can be cut, along with the fruit leather, using kitchen shears, then rolled up like a “cigar” with the leather attached, says Greer. “The end product takes up so little space.” For cooks who have a freezer, berries need no preparation (besides washing) to weather frosty temperatures in resealable plastic bags. Berries, like many foods, emerge from the freezer soft, which tends to dictate their use. But freezing can be an intermediate preservation step, say Blackman and Greer. Freeze summer berries until there’s time to turn them into jams, jellies, syrups and other canned goods. Or pop hard-skinned berries, like blueberries and cranberries, into the freezer to crack their skins before dehydrating. Known as “crazing,” the result also can be achieved by briefly cooking berries before drying. Regardless of the preservation method, make sure to label and date foods, says Greer. “Dried foods especially,” she notes, “can all look alike.” ■

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RED, WHITE AND BLUE PINWHEELS I N G R E D I E N T S 1 sheet red (strawberry) leather 1 sheet blue (blueberry) leather 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

D I R E C T I O N S Prepare 1 red sheet by dehydrating 2 cups pureed strawberries mixed with 1 cup applesauce. Prepare 1 blue sheet by dehydrating 2 cups pureed blueberries mixed with 1 cup applesauce. Lay the red and blue sheets flat on a cutting board and spread each with half of the cream cheese. Put sheets together, roll up, wrap in plastic wrap, chill and cut. Store in refrigerator.

S E R V I N G S 3 Recipe from “Food Drying with an Attitude” by Mary T. Bell MF-00126486

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020


FOOD

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DRIED BLUEBERRY ALMOND SCONES I N G R E D I E N T S

D I R E C T I O N S

2 1/4 1 1/4

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or clean fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2/3 of the milk, the egg and almond extract; stir until smooth. Stir in the blueberries and almonds. On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat dough into a disc of medium thickness. Cut into 10 equal wedges. Arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush tops with remaining milk. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until light brown. Serve warm.

1/2 1 1 3/4 1/4

cups flour cup sugar tablespoon baking powder cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces cup milk egg, slightly beaten teaspoon almond extract cup dried blueberries (may substitute dried cherries or cranberries) cup sliced almonds

S E R V I N G S 10 scones Recipe by Marie Rayner

MF-00126486

JULY 2020 | OREGON HEALTHY LIVING

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HEALTH

A Real Pain

in the

Neck

Device usage has led to increased neck pain STORY BY REBECCA SCOTT

W

hether you’re scrolling through Facebook, texting or watching YouTube, you place your neck in a downward position multiple times a day. Known as “text neck,” this repeated motion can lead to increased or chronic neck pain due to excessive texting or usage of mobile devices, according to local health experts. As text neck becomes a growing health concern, medical practitioners advise people on how to prevent and combat this pain.

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020


HEALTH

Root causes of text neck

One way to describe text neck is by comparing the neck to a bank account that you deposit into and withdraw from, according to Ryan Beck, director of rehabilitation at Southern Oregon Orthopedics in Medford. “The average person bends their spine forward 3,0005,000 times a day, which is a withdrawal from your account,” he says. “A deposit is when you’re in a neutral position — usually a handful of times. When you have thousands of withdrawals in a day and only a few deposits, it leads to neck issues.” Text neck describes the pain resulting from people spending too much time looking forward at screens, says Phil Hanson, a physical therapist with Jackson County Physical Therapy in Medford. “It can also cause shoulder pain, upper back pain and headaches,” he explains, adding the most common symptoms of text neck include neck pain, stiffness and soreness. “The pain might be localized to one spot or diffused over an area, usually the lower part of the neck. People have described the pain as a dull ache, or a sharp, stabbing feeling in more extreme cases.” In addition to causing general

pain, Hanson says text neck could also lead to muscle weakness, spinal degeneration and disc compression. If you look at the neck alignment of someone standing with a neutral posture, Beck says you will see a natural C-shaped curve, but every time you look down, the curve flattens. “When you do that thousands of times a day, eventually the curve starts to flatten permanently, and the discs compress. When you look down again and again, there’s compression on the disc, and it starts to move backward,” he explains. Text neck is part of a larger category of neck issues that has existed for decades, says Beck. “Text neck is similar to other activities that require a downward head motion, including reading or gardening,” he explains. However, there are several methods to treat and prevent these neck issues.

“Text neck is similar to other activities that require a downward head motion, including reading or gardening.”

Ryan Beck Southern Oregon Orthopedics

Treating text neck

There are generally two categories of treatment for text neck: self-care and formal care, according to Beck. “Educating yourself and understanding that these positions can cause problems is the first step of self-care,” he says, adding that someone who can keep their neck

continued on page 10

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HEALTH continued from page 9

flexible is less likely to have pain. For self-care options, Beck suggests avoiding excessive device usage and prolonged static postures. “The best exercise to prevent problems is cervical retraction. To do this, look forward and slide your head straight backward as if sliding a drawer closed. Try to complete 10-20 repetitions of this multiple times a day for the best results,” he explains. Beck says there are many options for formal care. One option for spinal pain is mechanical diagnosis and therapy (MDT). “MDT revolves around diagnosing the exact movement, and then determining how much and what to do to restore proper health to the neck. However,

formal care needs to bleed back into self-care otherwise results will be temporary,” he says. One of the most important things regarding text neck is working on your posture while performing certain activities, according to Hanson. For example, if you’re looking at a text, don’t drop your head; raise your head and lift the device. “Remember to take rest breaks. Don’t spend 30 minutes scrolling on your phone. Or you could do some stretches to counteract the persistent forward head motions,” he explains. Additionally, Hanson suggests setting up your workstation so you’re looking straight ahead. “You could also do regular chin

tuck exercises, or use ice packs, heat or massage to help achieve pain relief.”

Looking ahead In the last 30 years, the incidents of neck pain have increased, and more people are reporting pain and chronic issues, Beck and Hanson explain. They agree that text neck fits into the overarching problems of a sedentary lifestyle and poor posture. “We are putting our head in these forward and downward postures too often. It’s just one piece of the puzzle of why there is an increase in neck and back pain,” says Beck.

LOOKING DOWN PUTS INCREASED FORCE ON YOUR NECK Flexing the head forward to use a cellphone directly affects the spine, according to Hanson and Beck. Tilting the head forward 15 degrees places about 27 pounds of force on your neck. This increases to 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees. By having a forward head position, you are increasing the load almost fivefold as opposed to being up and neutral. Damage caused by untreated text neck can be similar to occupational overuse syndrome or a repetitive stress injury.

Phil Hanson, a physical therapist with Jackson County Physical Therapy in Medford, demonstrates different exercises and stretches to help with pain from text neck. With the head placed in forward and downward positions so often, it is important to incorporate proper stretches into your routine.

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020

CHEST STRETCH ON FOAM ROLLER: Lie on a foam roller and let arms gently fall to the side, causing a light stretch across the chest.


HEALTH UPPER TRAPEZIUS STRETCHES: Tilt your head to one side and use the weight of your hand resting on your head to feel the stretch on the side of neck down to the shoulder. Don’t pull forcefully with your hand, but rather use the weight of the arm to help increase stretch.

CERVICAL RETRACTION: Face forward and pull head backward without tipping head up or down. Make a double chin. You should feel a gentle stretch on the back of the neck up to the base of the skull.

ROW: Squeeze shoulder blades back and together while pulling, keeping elbows at side. continued on page 12

JULY 2020 | OREGON HEALTHY LIVING

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HEALTH

continued from page 11

CHEST STRETCH IN CORNER: Face a corner and place arms on walls. Step forward with one foot toward corner until feeling a stretch across the chest.

SUBOCCIPITAL RELEASE WITH TENNIS BALLS: Tape two tennis balls together and place them at the base of the skull, finding the tender areas. Maintain for two to three minutes. This is a great release for headaches.

CHIN TUCK: Lying on your back, perform a nodding motion, tucking the chin. ■

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Waterfall Wandering

Take the dog and kids and go chase waterfalls

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020

FITNESS

STORY BY CHERYL P. ROSE

W

aterfalls are magical. There is something about cascading water that fascinates us, from ethereal trickling ribbons to dramatic, roaring plunges. There is a whole culture of waterfall seekers out there. If you’re looking for a reason to get outdoors and explore this summer, listen to the siren call of waterfalls. Oregon is blessed with more than 200 of them, some of the best within an easy drive of Medford.


FITNESS Of the waterfall trails on this list, most guides and experienced hikers rate them as “easy,” but one person’s easy can be another person’s hard. Some obstacles on trails, such as stairs or downed trees, may be challenging for some.

ROGUE RIVER-SISKIYOU NATIONAL FOREST About an hour from Medford, the Prospect area boasts several waterfalls worth visiting to get away from the summer heat. Mill Creek Falls and Barr Creek Falls are the most impressive and just a few hundred yards apart. Nearby, explore Pearsony Falls as well as the upper end of the Avenue of the Boulders. National Creek Falls is bit further away, about 1 ½-hour drive. MILL CREEK FALLS Waterfall type: Plunge Hike type: Out and back Distance: 1.4 miles Elevation gain: 164 feet Dogs: Allowed on leash Rating: Good for all skill levels Description: A wide, tree-lined trail leads to the Prospect State Scenic Viewpoint waterfall that plunges 173-feet into the Rogue River.

Mill Creek Photo by Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune.

continued on page 16

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FITNESS

Barr Creek ROGUE RIVER-SISKIYOU NATIONAL FOREST cont’d. BARR CREEK FALLS Waterfall type: Plunge Hike type: Out and back Distance: 1.4 miles Elevation gain: 164 feet Dogs: Allowed on leash Rating: Good for all skill levels Description: Just 200 yards downstream from Mill Creek Falls, a rock viewpoint overlooks Barr Creek Falls that drops 175 feet, one of the tallest waterfalls in Southern Oregon. PEARSONY FALLS Waterfall type: Cascade Hike type: Out and back Distance: 1.2 miles Elevation gain: 196 feet Dogs: Allowed on leash Rating: Good for all skill levels Description: A lush green hike past mossy trees along the Mill Creek leads to the falls.

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Photo by Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune.

BE PREPARED Mosquitoes: Waterfalls and mosquitoes tend to go together. Hikers to these falls report voracious mosquito activity at times. Bring your bug spray, and reapply it if you get wet or misted. Poison oak: The risk of coming in contact with poison oak is a given when hiking in Oregon. Be sure to you know how to recognize poison oak’s three leaves, which change seasonally from green to orange to purplish red. Bring a small bottle of dish soap or outdoor skin cleansers, such as Tecnu or Zanfel, to remove the oil as quickly as possible if touched. Mud: Waterfalls and rivers often mean mud. Wear shoes and clothes that can take it. Downed trees: Some paths to the waterfalls on this list require climbing over or under fallen trees, which may change your opinion on “easy” versus “moderate.” Getting wet: Several waterfall pools are too entrancing to pass up. Bring water shoes or flipflops to exchange for your hiking shoes. A rain poncho is also handy near the mistier waterfalls.


FITNESS NATIONAL CREEK FALLS Waterfall type: Cascade Hike type: Out and back Distance: 0.7 miles Elevation gain: 150 feet Dogs: Allowed on leash Rating: Good for all skill levels Description: The ½-mile trail through shaded forest can get steep in some places, but leads to the mystical, misty falls. Mosquitoes are plentiful and downed trees can be slippery.

Mark Freeman works his way along a slippery, moss-speckled log to get a better view of National Creek Falls. Photo Mail Tribune.

National Creek

continued on page 18

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FITNESS

continued from page 17

UMPQUA NATIONAL FOREST The North Umpqua Waterfall Trail is a gorgeous natural gem near enough to go for the day, or better yet, spend a night or two and see it all. Depending on where you start, you can reach these waterfalls within two to three hours of driving. Highway 138 between Roseburg and Diamond Lake will lead you to these and more.

WHITEHORSE FALLS

WARM SPRINGS FALLS

Rating: Good for all skill levels

Waterfall type: Block

Elevation gain: 65 feet

Description: The Whitehorse Falls viewpoint is right in the parking lot. To get a closer view, you can follow the short trail to the pool in front of the falls, which drop 14 feet.

Dogs: Allowed on leash

WATSON FALLS

Rating: Good for all skill levels

Waterfall type: Plunge

Description: A short, flat trail leads to the top of the falls, which drop thunderously to a pool below. There is no access to the base of the falls. Depending on when you arrive in summer, there may be wild rhododendrons blooming, enhancing the view.

Hike type: Loop

Hike type: Out and back Distance: 0.6 miles

LEMOLO FALLS Waterfall type: Horsetail Hike type: Out and back Distance: 3.2 miles Elevation gain: 285 feet Dogs: Allowed on leash Rating: Moderate to difficult, based on skill Description: The rocky trail zigzags down the canyon to the base of the crashing waterfall that drops more than 100 feet. The hike back up is steep and strenuous for some. Lemolo Falls get its name from the Chinook Indian language meaning “wild” or “untamed.” CLEARWATER FALLS Waterfall type: Segmented steep cascade Hike type: Out and back Distance: 0.2 miles

Whitehorse Falls is a 15-foot cascade on the Clearwater River. Waterfall type: Punchbowl Hike type: Out and back Distance: 0.1 miles Elevation gain: 3 feet Dogs: Allowed on leash

Distance: 0.6 miles Elevation gain: 524 feet Dogs: Allowed on leash Rating: Moderate Description: The trail leads through a mossy forest to a wooden bridge that crosses Watson Creek, offering an excellent view of the majestic falls. Keep going and you’ll reach the highest point of the trail. At almost 300 feet, Watson Falls is the third tallest waterfall in Oregon, and the tallest one in Southern Oregon. If the trail is a bit above skill level, you can get a glimpse of the waterfall from the parking lot. SUSAN CREEK FALLS Waterfall type: Fan Hike type: Out and back Distance: 1.6 miles Elevation gain: 105 feet Dogs: Allowed on leash Rating: Good for all skill levels Description: A flat trail surrounded by mossy trees that is wheelchair- and stroller-friendly.

Elevation gain: 32 feet Dogs: Allowed on leash Rating: Good for all skill levels Description: A short trail by moss-covered rocks and trees along the creek, this serene waterfall cascades 30 feet. The pretty pool is perfect for kicking off shoes and feeling the chilly water.

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020

Whitehorse Falls

Martin Stiles of Medford checks out Watson Falls, the highest waterfall in southwestern Oregon at 272 feet. Courtesy Martin Stiles.

Photo Mail Tribune.

Watson Falls


FITNESS

Toketee Falls

Photo by Bill Bartlett.

TOKETEE FALLS

FALL CREEK FALLS

Waterfall type: Tiered

Waterfall type: Tiered/fan

Hike type: Out and back

Hike type: Out and back

Distance: 0.8 miles

Distance: 1.1 miles

Elevation gain: 111 feet

Elevation gain: 295 feet

Dogs: Allowed on leash

Dogs: Allowed on leash

Rating: Good for all skill levels able to climb stairs

Rating: Easy to moderate, based on skills

Description: The ferny trail through an old-growth forest along a beautiful gorge leads to steep stairs up to the viewing platform that overlooks the two-tiered falls. Toketee, which means “pretty” or “graceful” in the Chinook language, is one of the bestknown waterfalls in Oregon, often described as “breathtaking,” “stunning” and “awe-inspiring.”

Description: Hike along the Fall Creek amid the firs and ferns and through a rock crevasse to the lower tier of the falls, which drop over 100 feet. If you want to continue on, you can reach the top tier of the falls and a view of the valley. There are a few moderately steep climbs and logs to go under or over.

Photo by Steve Dieffenbacher.

Fall Creek

continued on page 20

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FITNESS

continued from page 19

Photo by Dustin Peters.

WATERFALL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS “It’s easier than ever to take great photos of waterfalls, even with your smartphone,” Peters says. “As with any photo, composition is everything. My first suggestion is to follow the rule of thirds. Many smartphones and digital cameras have a feature where you can turn on guides that overlay on your screen to help compose your image. When composing my images, I always try to line up points of interest along the guides, for a nice balanced image”

Before he came to work for the Mail Tribune as the Creative Services Producer, Dustin Peters of Eagle Point won the People’s Choice vote with his photo of National Creek Falls. We asked him for tips for taking great waterfall shots.

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020

When taking photos of waterfalls, it’s important to try to show scale, he says. “Having foreground objects to show depth in your image will quickly catch your viewer’s attention. Compose your shot so that there are smaller, closer objects in view, such as downed trees, rocks, foliage or even a person.” To capture that magical misty appearance, you will need a long exposure and a tripod or base, like a rock, to keep the camera still. Once you find the your composition, Peters recommends setting a high ƒ stop (ƒ-22 or ƒ-12), low ISO (50-100) and long shutter speed (1 second or more). “But there isn’t a magic combination of any of these settings, as your lighting conditions may vary,” he notes. “Putting your camera on a two to five second timer would be good to eliminate any shake you might introduce to the camera while pressing the shutter button.” ■


All Choked Up? When food often feels stuck in the throat STORY BY CHERYL P. ROSE

W

hen you’re eating a sandwich, you suddenly feel like your last bite didn’t go down your throat. There’s an uncomfortable feeling that you’re choking, but you can breathe. You drink some water, and in a few minutes, the sensation is gone. If this isn’t a rare occasion, you should check in with your physician, local experts say.

HEALTH

Dysphagia is the medical term for difficulty swallowing, and there can be several underlying causes. Dr. Ari Taheri, a gastroenterologist at Providence Medford Medical Center, says dysphagia is a common complaint, and she sees one or two new cases a week in her practice. “People will describe it as a sensation of a lump in their throats, or sometimes food gets stuck while swallowing, so they have to drink water to push it down,” she says. “Sometimes patients end up in the emergency room because food gets impacted in the esophagus.” In the normal process of eating and drinking, the food moves from the mouth to the esophagus, a tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Along this tube are sphincters, which are rings of muscles that open and close the tube. Those sphincters have to work in coordination to push the food through the esophagus to the stomach. Blockages or inflammation in the esophagus or lack of coordination by the muscles and nerves can impede this process. Dr. Sharlene D’Souza, a gastroenterologist at Gastroenterology Consultants in Medford, says that the most common cause of dysphagia is tightening and swelling in the esophagus due to heartburn, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). “When you have stomach acid coming back up into the esophagus, it can be very irritating to the tissues,” she says. “It can cause inflammation, which can narrow

continued on page 22

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HEALTH continued from page 21

the esophagus. If it happens repeatedly, the acid can also cause scar tissue that can become a structural problem in the esophagus. Not everyone who has reflux will get a stricture, but it can happen based on the severity and longevity of GERD symptoms.” Taheri concurs that GERD is one of the top risk factors for dysphagia. Other contributing factors include history of smoking or drinking and past neurologic events or conditions, such as stroke or Parkinson’s disease. D’Souza added that scar tissue can also form in the esophagus from previous radiation or surgeries on the throat and neck or ingestion injuries. “The chance of finding cancer as a cause of dysphagia is quite low, but that is another reason why it is a good idea to see a physician about swallowing issues,” Taheri says. Providers use two tests, an upper endoscopy and/or a barium swallow X-ray, to visualize the esophagus and determine a cause for the symptoms, D’Souza explains. People who experience acid reflux multiple times a week should check in with their providers to better control the disease and reduce the chance of developing dysphagia. Importantly, if you are having the “stuck” symptom often and have changed what you eat to avoid it, get an evaluation by a specialist. “The earlier we catch the problem, the easier it is to treat,” D’Souza says. “Visit your provider and request a referral to a gastroenterologist, who are specialists in the digestive system.” ■

CHILDREN CAN HAVE DYSPHAGIA TOO Though certain underlying causes of dysphagia tend to appear in later life, people can have swallowing issues at all ages. Children get heartburn too, reminds Dr. Sharlene D’Souza, which means they can also develop dysphagia. Another cause of dysphagia in younger people is eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE), which is an immune response triggered by food or environmental allergens.

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020

WHAT HAPPENS IN AN ENDOSCOPY?

An endoscopy is an outpatient procedure to scope the esophagus and stomach. “There is no preparation involved other than fasting for a few hours,” says Dr. Sharlene D’Souza. “Patients get an IV medication for sedation, so they sleep through the procedure.” Once the patient is asleep, the doctor inserts a flexible tube that has a camera and light on it through the mouth to the stomach. Depending on what the doctor sees, he or she can also take a biopsy of tissue and/or stretch the narrowing in the esophagus. “The procedure takes about five minutes for most patients and is low risk,” says Dr. Ari Taheri. “Patients go home the same day but will need a ride home because of the sedation medicine.”


NATURAL ALTERNATIVES

Off to Dreamland Tips for getting a good night’s sleep naturally

STORY BY MICAH LEIGH

W

e all want restful, restorative sleep, the kind of sleep we got as a child. As we get older, however, restful sleep can become elusive. Multiple factors—job pressures, health issues, marital stress, hormonal changes, too much technology—can keep us awake at night. The more sleep deprived we become, the more anxious we get, and soon, it’s a vicious cycle.

JULY 2020 | OREGON HEALTHY LIVING

23


NATURAL Dr. Susan Saccomanno, a naturopathic physician with Mederi Center in Ashland, says that one-quarter of all Americans suffer from insomnia, described as less than six hours of sleep each night. “Studies show that we should get at least seven and half hours of sleep each night,” she says. Less sleep leads to more health risks, Saccomanno explains. “People who have chronic insomnia have a 63% higher risk of cardiovascular problems and are at 79% higher risk for developing clogged arteries. In addition, your blood sugar is higher when you are underslept, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. You feel hungry, so you eat more, up to 250 calories a day, usually junk calories. That adds up to 91,000 extra calories a year.” Dr. Lissa McNiel, a naturopathic physician with Arbora Natural Medicine Solutions in Ashland, cautions that insomnia can also contribute to high blood pressure and is a risk factor for dementia. “If you have been struggling with insomnia for more than six months,

see your health care provider to rule out any underlying health condition,” says McNiel. “It’s very important to find out what is causing the insomnia.” If medical issues are ruled out, attention shifts to stress levels and environmental factors, McNeil says. “Insomnia can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy as well as diet and lifestyle changes.” Flipping expectations, Saccomanno says that you should begin addressing your insomnia first thing in the morning. “Wake up and start thinking about what is contributing to your insomnia,” she says. “People often start with caffeine, which fires up the adrenals first thing in the morning. If you have stress and anxiety, coffee is not your friend.” Saccomanno recommends getting up and sitting by a sunny window. “Get some light in your eyes,” she says. continued on page 25

MF-00127761

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020


NATURAL “On the flipside of that, sleep in a totally dark room. Be mindful of your circadian rhythm.” McNeil encourages reducing distractions. “Many people wear a Fitbit to track sleep, but it can actually be waking you up with the beeps and lights. It’s not good for you if you have insomnia,” she says. “For people with anxiety, noise canceling headphones can be helpful. There are several meditation and calming apps available to listen to. A weighted blanket can also be helpful. I recommend wrapping up in it for about 30 minutes before going to bed.” Herbal and natural supplements may be helpful, McNeil says, but check with your health care provider if you are on medication before adding a supplement. Saccomanno says that if you choose to take a supplement, take it throughout the day and not just before bed. “I instruct people who wake up at 3 a.m. to add some passionflower and skullcap tinctures to a small glass of water before they go to bed and leave it on the bedside table or in the bathroom,” she says. “That way, when they wake up in the middle of the night, their drink is ready to go, and they can quell the middle of the night brain chatter. I call this ‘leapfrogging over the witching hour’.” ■

HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS AND SLEEP According to Dr. Susan Saccomanno and Dr. Lissa McNiel, natural herbs for relaxation and sleep include: • Saffron • Lavender • Chamomile • Black cohosh • Wild yam

Also helpful are California poppy, passionflower, hops and turmeric. Melatonin, skullcap and CBD can also have positive results. “For stress, herbs such as ginseng and ashwagandha can nourish positive energy,” says Saccomanno. “They keep us going in a nourishing, strengthening way. Check with your health care provider if you are on medication before adding a supplement.

PREPARE TO SLEEP Naturopathic doctors Dr. Susan Saccomanno and Dr. Lissa McNiel agree that basic sleep hygiene consists of: • Putting away screens at least one hour before bed, preferably longer. • Avoiding caffeine, sugar and alcohol in the afternoon and evening. • Using wind-down routines, such as taking a calming bath with Epsom salts, a cup of herbal tea, reading a book and/or meditation. • If you fall asleep but don’t stay asleep, eat a snack high in protein, calcium and magnesium before turning in again.

JULY 2020 | OREGON HEALTHY LIVING

25


FITNESS

Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow Exercise with household equipment

B

STORY BY CHERYL ROSE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA YOUNG

eing at home doesn’t mean you have to sit. Personal trainer Autumn Nelson of Superior Athletic Club in Medford demonstrates some moves you can do at home that don’t require any special fitness equipment. As with any exercise, work within your limits.

Triceps Dip You can use a chair, couch, step, ottoman or anything that elevates you for this exercise. Grip the front of your chair and hover your butt in front of it. Bend your legs with thighs parallel to the floor. Lower your body so your arms are a 90-degree angle, then straighten. Keep your elbows close to the body as you lift and lower, and keep shoulders rolled down and away from your ears.

continued on page 31

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020


FITNESS Sit to Jump Just like it sounds, this great plyometric exercise involves rising from a seated position to a jump.

TIP: To modify, stand rather than jump, and add a calf raise.

Single Leg/Single Arm Deadlift to Row Stand up straight holding your weight (hand weight, water jug, detergent jug). Lift one leg backward, leaning your torso forward as the leg lifts. You can fully extend the lifted leg and balance on the other. In this hinged position, lift your weight. Return to standing position.

TIP: To modify, extend the back leg without lifting it off the ground.

JULY 2020 | OREGON HEALTHY LIVING

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PAID ADVERTISEMENT

Care at Home Trusted care and clinical excellence from the region’s largest home health agency

For more than two decades, AccentCare® Asante® Home Health has been providing skilled nursing and rehabilitative therapy to seniors in Jackson and Josephine counties. Born from a joint venture with Asante® health system, AccentCare helps to ensure a smooth transition home after a hospital stay, or outpatient procedure, to optimize recovery or manage chronic conditions. AccentCare Asante’s local staff of nurses as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapists, delivers a wide range of care to address a variety of diagnoses and conditions, including proprietary programs for those with cardiac, COPD, diabetes, joint replacement, late life depression, and palliative care needs. Best of all, they do it with clinical excellence! The home health agency has earned a 4.5-star quality rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, meaning it has achieved or exceeded prescribed government metrics for quality measures including managing pain, treating symptoms, preventing unplanned hospitalizations, and value of care.

Last year it was recognized by the HealthInsight Quality Award Program as ranking among the top 25 percent best performing home health agencies in the state and one of its physical therapists won AccentCare’s top regional award for patient outcomes. MF-00126403

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OREGON HEALTHY LIVING | JULY 2020

While nothing is more important than quality care, AccentCare Asante, now more than ever, with the presence of the COVID-19 virus, also recognizes the need for safety, compassion and community support. In fact, the home health agency has acknowledged this in a number of ways. Keeping patients safe at home is always the goal, but doing so in the face of a pandemic requires some additional layers of care. To that end, the agency has strict protocols for home health care including daily clinician health assessments, proper protective equipment, and patient symptom screening. In addition, AccentCare Asante offers telehealth options for fewer in-person visits, thereby reducing contact while maintaining quality of care. Patients may have the option of virtual visits, using a smart device such as a cell phone, tablet, or computer, as well as the use of telemonitoring devices to remotely report biometric data, such as blood pressure and oxygen levels, on a near real-time basis to enable timely action to address changes in condition. The agency also believes it’s important to show the healthcare community that there is unity in the calling to serve our seniors. So to keep spirits up and to show their support for some of Oregon’s front-liners, AccentCare Asante launched a local SuperHeroes in Scrubs campaign to

honor healthcare workers in health centers, senior living communities, and attendant care.

Asante Physician Partners in Grants Pass, recognized as “superheroes” by AccentCare Asante Home Health

AccentCare Asante Home Health goody bags, carefully delivered to other local healthcare “superheroes”

An AccentCare Asante account executive said it best with, “Nothing bridges relationships better than recognizing others for their efforts. It’s an honor to share appreciation in our community.” AccentCare Asante is a proud member of the healthcare community serving patients and families in the surrounding areas of Ashland, Grants Pass and Medford, just where they want to be… home. AccentCare Asante Home Health 691 Murphy Road, Suite 236 Medford, OR 97504 (541) 414-1800 accentcare.com

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Oregon Healthy Living | July 2020  

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