• January 14, 2020

    Ride Bikes. Have Fun.

    By Jay Bartlett

     

    As winter set in, I found myself heading to the gym to train for an event that’s months away. I don’t hate the gym by any means, but it is a far cry from hopping on my trusty steed and mountain biking my cares away! With short days and cold weather the norm, it has to be done in order to keep from suffering too badly in races and to make a good showing (i.e. have fun) in the year’s coming events. Training can feel at times like drudgery when compared to the light-hearted, less intense rides at the end of fall. 

    Recently, though, I attended the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships, where an (almost) insane amount of fun was being had by even those who were vying for a podium position. It was definitely an “adult” type of event since drinking “sports” beer and taking whiskey shots from squirt guns not only happened but was encouraged! Silliness abounded on course, with a green Jell-O pit, a fire barrier, and a fifth-wheel trailer that had a hole cut in the back that racers had to run through to complete a lap. What struck me, though, was that no one seemed to take themselves too seriously, despite the course changing randomly and rules, at times, being completely ignored. I’ve not heard so much laughing from people who were definitely putting in some hard laps. And there were a bunch of folks who had no chance of winning but were riding around in the mud and sand in costumes, being nutty just for the pure joy of it all!

     

    At its heart, cycling is about having fun. When we rode bikes as kids, we didn’t worry about our times on Strava. We rode because it felt so cool, it gave us freedom, and we just plain liked it. Some would say that pushing your hardest through a race is not fun, but the endorphin high afterwards is the fun payoff. Actually, most bike rides are not even races or training. When you put racing aside, you can see many aspects of riding that are designed to produce fun. Group rides, for instance, are just as much about socializing as riding, with frequent stops to chat or share the stoke of the last section of trail.

    Then there are bike festivals—a fun time where like-minded bike people converge on an area to sample some new trails, play games (such as hooking a log to a bike and seeing who can pull it the farthest), eat food, talk shop, and have some laughs. 

     

    Having a tough day at work can be smoothed out with a nice, leisurely lunch-hour ride. The feel of tires smooshing through the fallen autumn leaves can be quite relaxing, and a little bit of fun at lunch can do worlds of good for your attitude during the rest of the work day.

    One of my favorite fun rides is the “picnic” ride. Stop by your favorite sandwich shop, pack a can of your preferred beverage and maybe some yummy snacks, and head for the hills. Ride to a beautiful spot (not hard to find in our area) and sit down for a lunch break.

     

     These days, we live in a world where the news is mostly bad and outlooks can be bleak. We all need to be able to decompress, relax, and really just get away from it all to keep our sanity intact. The good news is that there’s an answer: Ride bikes. Have fun!

     

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  • January 14, 2020

    With Cytokines, You Can Play Pickleball like a Boss Again

    By East West Health Team

     

    Yes, cytokines do sound like something from a Star Trek movie that one would want to avoid: “Spock, look out! There are too many Cytokines. We must abandon ship.” The truth is that cytokines are actually extremely important to our health. Cytokines are small, secreted proteins released by cells that have a specific effect on the interactions and communications between cells. There are different types of cytokines in the body, but the ones we want to focus on are pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as anti-inflammatory cytokines. The best way to describe these proteins in our bodies is to think of them as the foremen in your immune system that are contracted with stem cells to help with rebuilding damaged or diseased areas. 

    Let’s say you are playing pickleball with your friends, and it’s getting pretty competitive. Your friend hits a cross-court shot that you instinctively stretch out and dive for. The good news is that you make the save and win the point. The bad news is that you land weird with your arm outstretched and tear a rotator cuff. The pain signal goes out, and the cytokines go to work getting stem cells and other regenerative molecules to start repairing the damaged area. It’s important to have good circulation and blood flow as this will help increase the demand for more stem cells. Unfortunately, our stem cell counts decrease as we age, and we don’t have enough to get the job done. This is when you can get an infusion of stem cells to help you.

     

    There has been a lot of evolution over the last few years with stem cell therapy. The more stem cells you have in your body, the quicker you can recover and avoid other procedures that have long recovery times and lots of drugs. Stem cell proliferation is critical to your overall health. By sleeping and eating well, getting exercise, staying in a healthy mental state, and getting the treatments necessary, you can increase your stem cell production and increase your quality of life and the stem cell production in your body. 

    To find out how stem cell therapy can help you live pain free, come see our talented regenerative medical specialists at East West Health. We’ve helped thousands of people with knee pain, back pain, and other joint problems get back to the life they love pain free. Call us today at 435-773-7790, and let’s get back on the pickleball court! 

     

    “I had pain in my left knee that was to the point where it would wake me at night. I had difficulty standing up, walking, getting up from the couch, and turning over. It severely affected my daily activities. It also got in the way of my favorite sport: pickleball. After my stem cell treatment, I gained back full range of motion. I can run around the pickleball court, I have no pain at night, I can sleep better, and I can walk. The biggest difference for me is being able to negotiate the stairs normally. I have also lost thirty pounds by changing my lifestyle thanks to East West Health.”

    ‒Richard C.

     

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  • January 14, 2020

    Love Shouldn’t Hurt

    By Colleen Kendall

     

    It was her eyes that first grabbed my attention, even before the black and blue bruises covering the landscape of her face, the swollen right eye, the protruding lip, or the outline of hand marks on her arms—all indicators that she had been the recent victim of physical abuse. 

     

    The glaze in her eyes held a distinct story of much more hidden within the recesses of her silence. She stood in front of the airport bathroom mirror, her hands frozen in the trickle of water from the faucet streaming over them. She stared intensely into her reflection, focusing deeply on her pupils, as if the person imaged back was a stranger—someone she had become years before from the ravages of emotional, mental, and physical abuse.

     

    Women shuffled past her, mouths fell open, eyes fixated on her body, but no one approached her, perhaps out of not knowing what to say or do. I felt my feet move the few steps to her side, and I gently asked,  “Have you been beaten?” She adjusted her head slightly and made a half nod, as if fully shaking her head might divulge a secret that her abuser would see through the wall dividing us from the terminal. 

    “Can I help you? Who did this to you?” I asked. When our eyes met, it was as if there were a thousand words shared between us in the span of only a few seconds. The words “my boyfriend” managed to lightly tumble over the bridge of her lips. Then in a brief moment, as if hearing her own voice startled her, she quickly exited out of sight amongst the myriad of people. I searched for her, straining to see the direction she went, but she had disappeared into the crowd, leaving me wondering what I could have said or done in that fleeting encounter. 

     

    It can be hard to know the right words to impart to someone you may know or suspect is being abused. Educational information from the St George DOVE Center imparts, “Domestic violence occurs in homes throughout every community. It knows no boundaries of color, gender, age, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation.” It includes physical, mental, emotional, religious, financial, verbal, sexual, and electronic abuse. It is a pervasive, life-threatening crime, affecting millions of individuals throughout the United States each day. 

    Some warning signs of abuse in a relationship are: 

    • Jealousy
    • Controlling and  possessive actions
    • A quick commitment early on in the relationship
    • Unpredictable mood swings
    • Explosive anger
    • Isolation from family and friends
    • Verbal abusive
    • Hypersensitivity
    • Rigid sexual roles
    • Placing blame on others 
    • Cruelty towards animals or children
    • Abuse to prior partners
    • Threats of  violence (including self-violence, such as suicide threats) 
    • Making excuses or justifying abusive behavior
    • Extreme monitoring of electronic devices

     

    While statistics are staggering—nearly twenty people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States—there is hope that you or someone you may know who is experiencing abuse can escape and recover from the current situation. 

    Approaching someone you may suspect is being abused can be a game changer, as most victims blame themselves for their abuse. It also can be a lifeline for a victim feeling isolated and alone. Six tips to help you navigate through this process are:

    1. Respect the victim’s privacy and confidentiality. This is essential to building their trust and ensuring their safety. 
    2. Express your belief in what the victim is sharing with you; listen and validate their experiences. 
    3. Acknowledge that the injustice and violence perpetrated against the victim are not his or her fault. No one deserves to be abused. 
    4. Don’t victim-blame with statements such as, “Why don’t you just leave.” 
    5. Help prepare a future safety plan for leaving by referring to local community resources, such as the DOVE Center. 
    6. Respect the victim’s autonomy and right to make decisions according to his or her own timeline. Keep in mind that it is extremely difficult for a victim to leave an abusive relationship after his or her self-esteem has been eroded and stripped away by the abuser. According to the National Domestic Violence Coalition, on average “a woman will leave an abusive relationship seven times before leaving for good.” 

     

    In my mind’s eye, I often think of the woman in the airport that day. To me, she represents the multitude of women and men suffering silently from abuse every day. Having found my way to a life of safety, peace, and happiness after experiencing the damaging effects of abuse myself, I know that there is hope beyond abuse. 

     

    If you or someone you know is the victim of abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or the DOVE Center twenty-four-hour helpline at 435-628-0458.

    Visit the DOVE Center website at http://dovecenter.org/ for more information.

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  • January 14, 2020

    Nutritional 20/20 Vision

    By Bentley Murdock

    Let’s learn from all relational influence of 2019 and create more nutritional intentionality for 2020.

     

    We’re all surrounded by people who love and care for us and who show that love in many different ways—especially around holidays, celebrations, parties, and get-togethers. Our friends and family members mean well and are invariably doing the best they can with whatever it is they have. However, we must keep in mind that we all have uniquely different nutritional needs, dietary restrictions, allergies, goals, and lifestyle preferences. Most people are not sensitive to (or even aware of) this fact, and when we gather as families, organizations, and communities, many of us silently struggle as we survey the spread of food options available.

    For a hundred different reasons, countless people find it most difficult to maintain their dietary and nutritional goals during family celebrations and holidays. Consider, for example, your nutritional and exercise goals over the last few months and how relational and associational influences have played a role (for better and/or worse) in how you currently feel—especially as you look back over the recent holidays. Introspection can be an incredibly powerful tool to stir forward action within us, particularly at the dawn of a new year.

     

    With all of your brilliant resolutions in your mind and the powerful momentum that comes along with it, let’s reflect on how relationships and associations of all kinds greatly influence how we choose to live and who we choose to become. Here are a few key points to consider as you move forward with new intentionality about the lifestyle you desire for yourself and for your family this year. These are intended to help strengthen your “nutritional 20/20 vision.”

    • Visualize the ideal lifestyle for you. If you don’t become crystal-clear about the kind of life you’d like to be living—for yourself and your family—the only one that can show up for you is by default and is out of your hands, left almost entirely up to the thoughts, actions, and influences of those around you.

     

    • Selectively choose your associations. The only lifestyle capable of showing up is the average accumulation of the lifestyles of those with whom you spend the most time. We all deeply influence the decisions and choices of others, so choose your circles of association carefully, selectively, and intentionally.
    • Communicate desire for self-care. Let others know that you’re trying to be good to yourself, eat more intentionally, show more self-love, and be more intuitively mindful. This will deepen the love you have within yourself and will stir admiration in others. Proper self-care is highly contagious. =:o)

     

    • Express your preferences and goals. By establishing clarity, others will be more mindful and aware of your needs and wants and will move forward much more thoughtfully. Don’t communicate just to be understood. Communicate so that you couldn’t possibly be misunderstood for any reason whatsoever.

     

    • Find opportunities to educate others. Be the one who always brings multiple alternatives and replacement options to share. Others will be empowered by your discipline, educated about your particular needs and preferences, and floored to finally find out how deliciously satiating healthful foods really can be!

     

    • Learn to say “no, thanks” with love. Give yourself permission to be selective, understanding that you are always free to choose for yourself aside from any perceived obligation or requirement. Others will understand why and will find strength within themselves to exercise the same disciplinary muscles.

     

    • Create opportunities to be the host. It’s much easier to influence the meals and snacks when you’re the one organizing the entire event. From the beginning, delegate with specificity and visualize the end result. Rarely are we as proactive as we wish we’d been once hindsight shows up.

     

    • Take full responsibility and ownership. Be accountable for all of your choices, decisions, and actions. When it comes to the healing and wellness of your body, it’s up to you alone. Moving forward, decide that you will continue to take full ownership of all the results you’d like to see in your future.

     

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  • November 13, 2019

    In Search of a White Christmas

    By Lyman Hafen

     

    One of the most pressing questions of my boyhood in St. George was how to reconcile the words of the Christmas songs I heard with the place where I lived. As a little boy in the early 1960s, I was growing up in a place where the treetops did not glisten and the children did not listen to sleigh bells in the snow. It never snowed on Christmas, and on that rare winter day when it did, you were out the door before daylight, making the most of the magical white stuff because you knew it would vanish like a dream before noon. My dad would often quote the motto the St. George Chamber of Commerce used in those days. In his booming rodeo-announcer voice, he would call out: ST. GEORGE, UTAH—WHERE THE SUMMER SUN SPENDS THE WINTER.

    Christmas days in Utah’s Dixie were bright amber days. The rich rays of the winter-slanted sun glanced gloriously off the bare grass of our front yards. You’d get up as early as your parents would allow and enter a living room covered with magnificently wrapped presents and bright shiny objects. By the time it was light outside, you were ready to transfer all your loot out the door and into the sun-splashed world. None of that Christmas booty included anything to do with snow—no sleds, no ice skates, no snow boots or gloves or ear muffs or hockey sticks. It was just another heavenly, resplendent day in paradise—with some mighty fun stuff to play with as the summer sun made its winter arc across the Christmas sky.

     

    The only way we could create a notion of the kind of nostalgic white Christmas we sang about every year was to fake it. In fact, one of my most powerful memories of a childhood Christmas day includes a face-to-face encounter with a snowman.

     

    I’m assuming it was the Christmas after I’d turned six. I shuffled into the living room rubbing my eyes, still emerging from a deep sleep, sugar plums still dancing in my head. There before me stood the most amazing fire-truck red Schwinn bike leaning on its kick stand in front of the tree. Could I still be dreaming? No. It was real. When I touched it, the cold metal sent a shot of electric joy through my fingers and straight to my heart. It was real. And it was awesome. And I could not wait to get it out the door and onto my driveway.

     

    I realize now that this really was one of the upsides to a St. George Christmas. As soon as it was light enough, you could head out the door. And if you were as lucky as I was, it would be a new bike you took out that door. It wouldn’t be too cold. It wouldn’t be too windy, and it wouldn’t be too icy or snowy or slick to get right on that bike and start riding it.

     

    Problem was, my new bike had been selected by Santa to last me a long time. Of course, it was a Schwinn. And I’d still be riding it in junior high school. That meant it was several inches taller than it really should have been for a boy my size. Dad hefted it out the door and held it upright before me. I squinted against the sun glaring over the black ridge to the east. All I could see in that golden splash of morning was the red outline of the bike. All I could feel was the powerful urge to hop on it, my very own bike, and ride it down the driveway into that morning of mornings.

    I took hold of the handle bars. They spread like the horns of a bull at the level of my chin. I lifted the high-top Red Ball Jet sneaker on my right foot to swing it over the seat but lacked about six inches to clear it. Dad hurried back into the house and returned with a wrench and dropped the seat to its lowest level. Still, I could not clear it with my foot.

     

    Finally Dad lifted me onto the bike and gave me a shove and I headed down the driveway. The push and the slight incline of the driveway allowed me to build enough speed to stay upright. The only problem was that my feet barely reached the pedals. I could catch them at the top of their rotation and give them a quick nudge. But I had little control over either my speed or the wide imposing handlebars my fingers were gripped to. I was pretty much at the mercy of gravity and whatever the spirit of Christmas Day had in store for me.

     

    What was in store for me was a wide and wobbly turn in the street and a panicked attempt to swing back into the driveway, which resulted in me veering off-course onto my neighbor’s lawn.

     

    Upon that lawn stood several delightful painted plywood figures. They were cut in the shapes of snowmen, and they towered five feet tall before me. Their painted-on button eyes and their carrot noses and their corn-cob pipes drew nearer and nearer as I sank my crouch into the crossbar and reached with the toes of my Red Ball Jets to somehow push back on the breaks. But again, I was at the mercy of gravity and whatever the spirit of Christmas Day had in store for me.

    The last thing I remembered as I opened my eyes a few seconds later were the delightful button eyes of a painted snowman—eyes that grew less and less delightful and more and more terrorizing as they drew nearer to my face. Had it been a real snowman, it would have been a joyous, snow-cushioned collision with ice crystals exploding and glittering in the morning sun. But it was not a real snowman and that plywood was as rigid as concrete. I spent the rest of the day nursing the raw strawberry bump on my nose.

     

    It was as close as I would come to a white Christmas in my childhood.

     

    Note: Lyman Hafen’s new book A Snowball’s Chance is now available. Illustrated by local artist Ester West, it shares the story of how the faith of Lyman’s grandchildren resulted in a rare white Christmas for his family. A children’s book for all ages, A Snowball’s Chance can be purchased at lymanhafen.com and at some local retail locations.     

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  • November 12, 2019

    New NAVIO Robotic-Assisted Joint Replacement Surgery Comes to St. George

    By Michael W. Manning, DO 

    When it comes to joint replacement surgery, patients want a surgeon who can work with a higher level of accuracy. Advancements in medical technologies are rapidly evolving. Examples of these include assisted surgical devices, minimally invasive procedures for knee and hip replacements, rapid recovery protocols, artificial intelligence, and low and/or no-opioid pain control options. These and other innovations can enable even the most skilled surgeons to achieve more accurate implant placement, potentially improving patient short-term and long-term outcomes. 

    St. George Surgical Center (SGSC), a multi-specialty, nationally-accredited, and Medicare-certified outpatient surgery center, has partnered with Smith & Nephew to bring the NAVIO robotics-assisted joint replacement system to southern Utah. SGSC is currently the first and only surgical facility in Utah and Nevada with this state-of-the-art technology and NAVIO certified surgeons. SGSC has already attracted patients from more than forty states and Canada to St. George through its domestic medical tourism program and contracts directly with employers and Third-Party Administrators (TPAs) who refer patients from all over the USA. SGSC also offers a cash-pay program offering low discounted prices for patients who arrange to pay in full on the day of surgery. 

    Why the NAVIO Surgical System over other systems in the market? 

    The NAVIO surgical system has the widest array of implant options, allowing surgeons to better tailor their treatment plans for patients. Undamaged cartilage and ligaments can be spared such that a more normally functioning joint may be achieved. Additionally, SGSC brought this technology, demonstrating a commitment to uncompromised quality for our patients at no extra cost to them. 

    NAVIO adds a level of accuracy that may help improve the function and feel of joint replacement implants. Potentially, NAVIO also may extend their longevity The system is minimally invasive, helping spare soft tissue trauma during surgery. Less soft tissue trauma may result in less postoperative pain, lower risk of complications, faster recovery, as well as improved range of motion. With the combination of minimally invasive surgery techniques with multimodal pain control, such as Iovera and/or EXPAREL, we are rapidly approaching opioid-free joint replacement surgery. 

    Robotics-assisted, minimally-invasive joint replacement may allow patients to have more confidence in their joint and more readily return to everyday activities such as going on pain-free walks, climbing stairs, and walking hills, as well as simple things like putting on their shoes. If you are considering joint replacement surgery, please call SGSC at (844) 673-0095 to arrange a consultation with a NAVIO-certified orthopedic surgeon and determine if you are a candidate for robotics-assisted surgery. 

    Important Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are that of Dr. Michael W. Manning and St. George Surgical Center. 

     

    Michael W. Manning, DO is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon located in St George, Utah. Dr. Manning is the founder of Novatio, the pioneers of Full-Circle OrthopaedicsTM. Novatio provides access to physical therapy, personal training, nutrition, massage therapy, acupuncture, counseling, and educational workshops in addition to surgical expertise. Contact Dr. Manning by calling (435) 688-1152 or by going to https://navioortho.com. Dr Manning has full surgical privileges at St. George Surgical Center (SGSC), a physician-owned, multispecialty, AAAHC-accredited and Medicare-certified same day surgery center located at 676 S Bluff Street in St George, Utah. 

     

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  • November 12, 2019

    Myth Versus Reality: The Benefits of Modern Senior Living

    By Southgate Senior Living

     

    Frequently, the events presented on headline breaking news about senior living cast a shadow over the absolutely stellar and brilliant service being provided to seniors.  The options, amenities, services, and quality of life provided to seniors today have come a long way from the stigma of yesteryear. Come for a visit and see for yourself. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised as you dispel the old-fashioned myths about modern senior living. Today’s senior living communities range from skilled nursing facilities to rehab facilities and from assisted living communities and memory care neighborhoods to independent living communities. In each case, there are teams of dedicated professionals suitably educated, trained, certified, and licensed to improve the quality of care and quality of life of each resident who calls the community their home. 

    Notwithstanding the innumerable benefits of senior living, making the decision to move is a challenging one for many seniors and their families. It can be easy to think that behind the front doors, it will be just like the nursing homes or retirement centers of the 1970s. Things have certainly changed for the better! We are always delighted to share the stellar news that senior living is far beyond your expectations. 

    Here are the top seven myths about senior living dispelled to assist you in making your own informed decision:  

    Myth 1: Senior living means a loss of independence. 

    Senior living today is all about a senior’s abilities, wishes, and choices! No one is ever going to say “It’s time to get up!” or “It’s time for bed.” Senior living communities today offer private, spacious apartments that residents call their home, and they make their own decisions in them. Each resident chooses what to wear, what to eat, and what activities and events to participate in. Senior living residents can drive their own cars, go shopping, eat out, have unrestricted visitors, and live their own lives. They can also bring their pets! Part of maintaining independence is the ability to care for a loving pet, and pet ownership is highly encouraged as a means of companionship and service. Self-determination and resident choice are paramount in senior living. Let freedom ring!

     

    Myth 2: Senior living communities feel institutional.

    Gratefully, the modern senior living communities of today are a far cry from the institutional settings of the 1970s nursing home that are a thing of the past. Retirement homes of yesteryear conjure images of long, white hallways and fluorescent lighting reminiscent of hospitals and similar institutions. Senior living communities today are comfortable, warm and friendly, and homelike. They more closely resemble a resort than a hospital. The furnishings are comfortable, the decorations beautiful, the grounds lush, and the windows high for as much natural light as possible. Live plants inside and out breathe life and comfort into each day. Come and feel the warmth and comfort!  

    Myth 3: Paying for senior living is expensive

    Expect to pay a lot less when you accurately compare a senior living community to your own home. Some individuals and families looking into senior living are often surprised by the monthly rates. While costs vary depending on apartment size or level of care, the average cost for senior living is often comparable to or less expensive than receiving the same services and support at home. Even for those who have paid off their mortgage, homeownership is still costly. Consider insurance, upkeep and repairs, taxes, utilities, and emergency expenses. At a senior living community, everything is included in one convenient rate. This includes the convenience of having housekeeping services, entertainment, social events, and care support available right at your fingertips. When you consider the monthly expenses required to maintain a home in combination with potential at-home care costs, living at home may end up being the most expensive option for a senior. According to the 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national median annual cost for homemaker services is $47,934, and a full-time home health aide costs $49,192. The senior living community cost includes twenty-four hour supervision and security, daily meals, housekeeping, laundry services, health and exercise programs, social programs, transportation, and access to professional medical services. Add it all up, and then come live it up in affordable comfort and style!

     

    Myth 4: Senior living communities are for “old” people. 

    Life and living it to its fullest are what senior living today is all about! Many people choose to live in senior living because it offers opportunities for growth, engagement, and a new chapter in life. Between group discussions on current events, exercise classes, shopping, art workshops, special outings, book clubs, lectures by guest speakers, and continuous interaction and engagement with other positive, vibrant residents, living in a senior living community can offer far more mental stimulation and social engagement than staying at home.

    Instead of waiting until they’re triggered or forced by poor health or other negative events, many seniors now see moving to a senior living community as a proactive lifestyle move that allows them to choose the home and community that best meets their needs, dreams,and ambitions for the years ahead. While most residents range from age sixty-two through their nineties, you’ll find that the majority of independent and assisted living residents don’t meet the stereotypical expectations of old and decrepit. Senior living communities are designed for active older adults who still have a lust and zest for life. Even those who may require some assistance due to health issues still consider themselves lively and active. Age is not a location. It’s a state of mind! 

     

    Myth 5: I’m not ready yet. I don’t need senior living until I can’t take care of myself anymore.

    Life doesn’t end with a move into senior living. It’s really a new and rewarding beginning! Senior living communities today are designed to allow residents to take full advantage of the community’s offerings while receiving a little or a lot of care, if and when it is needed. It’s actually a brilliant move for retirees to secure a good spot in a stellar community early while being able to enjoy gourmet meals, engaging activities, exciting events, friendly socialization, and fun! When additional care and services are needed, residents who call the community home don’t have to move out. Additional care is here and available. Come and see your active peers living it up!

    Myth 6: The Food is cold and unpleasant.  

    Another thing of the past is bad food. Senior living communities today provide restaurant-style service by restaurant-trained executive chefs. Culinary delights are available from sun-up to well past its setting. Dining services include several main gourmet dishes to choose from each day, multiple menu items that are always available to satisfy resident’s comfort cravings, and specialty custom dishes made from residents’ own family favorite recipes. Come and taste for yourself! 

     

    Myth 7: Senior living is boring.

    Retirement in a senior living community today is anything but boring and tired. Activities and events include elegant candlelight dinners, competitive bocce ball and bowling, shopping, casino outings, professional entertainment performances, and professionally taught arts and craft classes. Boring isn’t even in the senior living vocabulary anymore. Full-time, trained professionals—rightly called Life Engagement Directors and Specialists—provide resident-specific life-engagement activities and events designed to teach, inspire, challenge, grow, and fulfil the life of all senior living residents. A holistic approach to each resident’s physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual needs are on full display every day. Come and enjoy the fun today!

     

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  • November 12, 2019

    The Healing Power of Gratitude

    By Dr. David Roos, Dean of Students, Rocky Vista University, Southern Utah

     

    What do you have in common with every other person reading this article? Other than the ability to read, another thing you have in common with everyone else is your desire to be happy. Very few of us wake up each morning and think, “What can I do today to make myself miserable?” Unfortunately, many people are miserable because they let “life happen” rather than taking specific steps to improve their odds.

    We all make daily decisions, including what we think, which can lead us toward or away from happiness. We know money doesn’t buy happiness, although a lack of it isn’t good either. Fame, notoriety, or having good health also do not buy happiness; I know plenty of people with money and good health who are miserable. Meanwhile, my son who is currently fighting cancer and in a wheelchair is one of the happiest people I know. So what is the recipe for happiness? While that may be the subject for another article (or book), one of the main ingredients is gratitude. Life is funny that way. Sometimes the answers to some of life’s biggest questions can also be the simplest. To find out why gratitude is such a big deal, let’s briefly turn to science:

    Many recent studies have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional well-being and physical health than those who don’t. In comparison with control groups, those who cultivated a grateful outlook each day experienced the following results:

    1. They felt better about their lives as a whole.
    2. They experienced greater levels of joy and happiness.
    3. They got sick less often.
    4. They felt optimistic about the future.
    5. They had more energy, enthusiasm, and focus.
    6. They experienced heightened spirituality or had the ability to see something bigger than themselves.

    And the list goes on. Who would have thought that the early Pilgrims may really have been on to something? If you stop and think about it, you can know intuitively that there is real power in gratitude. 

    Try this experiment. Think of one person who has had a positive impact on your life: a parent, sibling, teacher, or religious leader. Now close your eyes and imagine that you are giving them a hug and thanking them for all that they have done for you. How did it make you feel? Did you feel good inside? That’s it! That’s the power of gratitude. Now, how can you operationalize this to be a part of your daily routine? Here are a few ideas:

    1. Keep a gratitude journal. Every night, write down three to five things that you are grateful for and include positive experiences from the day. Elaborate on one of these ideas.
    2. Write thank you cards. We are all touched by countless people in our lives. Make it a goal to thank someone in writing each week.
    3. Say thank you often, particularly to those who serve you! In my own life, I now have many more people to thank as neighbors, friends, family members, and even complete strangers have rallied around my son.
    4. Think about what you are grateful for each morning. You will be surprised at how much better your day goes. If you believe in a higher power, express gratitude each day for your life, the good things in your life, and the help your are given when things are challenging.

    Make a decision today to be more grateful. You can enrich others’ lives while also improving your own. As Albert Scheitzer wrote, “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lit the flame within us.”

     

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  • November 12, 2019

    Skin Cancer, the Ugly Duckling

    By Riverside Medical Arts

     

    A few years ago, I came across an old Disney cartoon entitled The Ugly Duckling. I recognized it as one I had seen as a child. As the story goes, a mother duck has many beautiful ducklings, but one does not look like the others. The odd looking duck is ostracized by his siblings. He is sad and lonely until he comes across some baby swans. Catching a glimpse of himself in the water, he recognizes that he is not a duck but is a swan. He joins the swan family and lives happily ever after. 

    The ugly duckling phenomenon can be a helpful tool in the detection of skin cancer. The concept is based on the Sesame Street principle that “one of these is not like the others.” When it comes to skin cancer, our spots frequently don’t look or act like other “normal” spots. Skin cancers generally are changing, growing over a few weeks or months, tender to touch, rough, itchy, darker in color, or just new and different. The goal is to find these spots early in their development in order to live skin-cancer free and happily ever after. 

    There are three principal types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. 

    Basal cell carcinoma occurs most commonly on sun-exposed skin but can occur anywhere on the body. It frequently presents as a small, skin-colored or pink bump which grows very slowly. It can bleed with minimal trauma, such as washing or drying the face. Basal cell carcinoma is very slow growing and is treated with surgery. It rarely spreads to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. If left untreated, it can burrow into deeper tissues, becoming much more complicated to treat with surgery or radiation. 

    Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common cancer of the skin. It occurs principally on the head and neck but can affect all parts of the body. It is generally easily treated with surgery, but unlike basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to lymph nodes and other organs. High risk areas include the lips and ears. It usually appears as a red, scaly, tender-to-touch bump on the skin that can double in size over the course of just a few weeks. 

    Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and can occur anywhere on the body. Melanoma frequently presents as a new or changing brown or black spot on the skin. It can spread into lymph nodes and almost any other organ of the body. Melanoma can be fast or slow growing. It can arise in an old mole or present as a new mole. 

    The ABCDEs of moles are used to help patients determine if a mole needs to be seen by a dermatologist. 

    • Asymmetry: Melanoma lesions are often irregular or asymmetrical in shape.
    • Border: Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define. 
    • Color: The presence of more than one color (blue, black, brown, tan, etc.) or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan. 
    • Diameter: Melanoma lesions are often larger than a pencil eraser. 
    • Evolution: Changing moles should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Generally, moles do not change visibly over short periods of time. 

    If you or a family member are concerned about an “ugly duckling” on your skin, don’t put off having it checked by a physician. Please call Riverside Medical Arts at (435) 628-6466 to schedule an appointment.

     

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  • November 12, 2019

    The Importance of Knowing Your Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

    By Restore Bio+Clinic

     

    Alzheimer’s disease is the only one of the nation’s ten most common causes of death with no effective treatment. More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, but it impacts more than 15 million people who are family members, friends, and caregivers of those diagnosed with the disease. Those who are sixty-five years of age or older have a one in nine chance of contracting Alzheimer’s. All normal people forget a thing or two, especially as they age, but there is a slippery slope when “this is normal” does not apply and action is needed.

     

    For those with Alzheimer’s disease, neurologic decline usually happens slowly over ten to twenty years. It begins with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) that progresses to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and then to mild or moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Conventional wisdom used to hold that Alzheimer’s was an essentially hopeless condition with no cure and no effective interventions. However, thanks to the work of countless researchers, we now know that there is hope both for people who already suffer from cognitive decline and those who have a genetic predisposition for it.

     

    Certain genes make it more likely for you to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Genes control the function of every cell in your body. Some genes determine physical characteristics, such as the color of your eyes and the shape of your nose. Other genes can make you more likely to develop certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. The most common gene associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease is a risk gene called ApoE4, with 75 million American carriers. It is the first gene variation found to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and remains the risk gene with the greatest known impact. 

     

    • A person who does not inherit a single ApoE4 gene from either parent has a 9 percent lifetime risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
    • A person who inherits one ApoE4 gene from either parent has a 30 percent lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
    • A person who inherits two ApoE4 genes—one from each parent—has well over a 50 percent lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

     

    Why are these statistics important? Precise testing can help the 75 million American ApoE4 carriers escape the fate written in their DNA. Simple and accessible testing leads to personalized therapy that works. However, individualized treatment and therapy begin with an ApoE4 blood test that can be done by insurance covered lab companies (like LabCorp) to determine your genetic contribution.

     

    You might wonder why you should bother to test for the ApoE4 gene. After all, discovering you have a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease will not change your genetic makeup. The answer is this: If you are a carrier of ApoE4, there is a sophisticated and precise, proven program to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Dramatic reductions in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is possible simply by testing and following Dr. Dale Bredesen’s ReCODE (Reversal of Cognitive Decline) program, which can be implemented before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease appear. ApoE4 carriers can take preventive action by starting ReCODE as soon as genetic risk is determined. According to Dr. Bredesen, “Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented, and in many cases, its associated cognitive decline can be reversed.” Restore Bio+Clinic can assist you with evaluation and testing to start your treatment. 

     

    A Healthy Diet and Alzheimer’s Prevention

     

    With the holiday season approaching, it is important to note that recent research strongly suggests a link between Alzheimer’s disease and insulin levels, prediabetes, and diabetes. Many studies suggest that those with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of eventually developing Alzheimer’s. Healthy blood sugar regulation, lower insulin levels, and insulin receptor sensitivity are the single most important factors within your control in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. 

    Insulin is secreted when you eat sugar and when you eat starchy foods like bread, potatoes, pasta, and baked goods. Insulin is very important for health and energy, but too much insulin from consuming too much sugar and too many starches causes high levels of insulin to be secreted. The insulin system starts to malfunction, which leads to an inflammatory cascade, free radical formation that damages neurons, and a leaky blood brain barrier, promoting Alzheimer’s amyloid plaque deposits in the brain and cognitive decline. 

     

    The good news is that you are in complete control over what you eat. You can make an enormous impact on your brain health (and your total health) by making your diet a health-giving factor rather than a disease risk factor. Eliminate or drastically reduce sugar and starches from your diet. Be good to your brain so it will give you its best.

     

    To schedule an evaluation and further testing give us a call at 435-227-4355 or visit our website www.restorebioclinic.com.

     

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