health

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Even having a room full of people greet you unexpectedly can be stressful.  Especially if they jump out from behind the furniture and yell "Surprise!" 

Not all of us appreciate surprises, even the good ones.  But unexpected events--things we simply can't control--can be good for us. 

That's Tania Luna's take in her book Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected.  She's built a whole business based on surprises. 

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Would you, at six years of age, even recognize the person you are now?  We all go through profound changes in a typical lifetime. 

The normal processes of life--working, loving, eating, bearing children, sleeping--transform us over time.  And that's in addition to things we do to ourselves, like weight-lifting and dieting and getting tattoos. 

Gavin Francis, physician and author, considers the many things that happen to bodies in a book called Shape Shifters

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How are you feeling lately?  That's a question more easily asked of an individual than a whole community, but somebody's trying. 

A community health assessment is being prepared for Jackson and Josephine Counties, to help hospitals and other health care organizations figure out community needs. 

Right now the process is in the acquisition phase... getting info from people living in the community. 

Jefferson Regional Health Alliance is one player in CHA process. 

Jacoplane, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1276885

It is possible that additional doses of vitamin D could reduce the risk of babies being born prematurely. 

But nobody who makes or sells vitamin D can make that claim; the federal government has not approved it. 

With mounting evidence, the Organic & Natural Health Association recently petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to allow vitamin D products to claim reduced risk for pre-term birth. 

James Heilman, MD/Wikimedia

Maybe the last time you heard about a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, it was in a story about Michael Jackson. 

There are benefits to be had from spending time in such a container; in fact one Rogue Valley hospital (Ashland) offers them up for use for wound treatment. 

Dr. Scott Sherr says the uses of HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) go far beyond just treating wounds.  He touts the features of HBOT on a trip up the West Coast. 

Christopher A. Michaels/U.S. Navy

"Does anybody here know CPR?"  It's a scary question to ask, and it apparently presents some challenges to the person who can answer YES. 

A recent study shows that people who know CPR are more likely to give it to a man than a woman. 

So the aftermath of a heart attack can be different, based on gender. 

Audrey Blewer led the study at the University of Pennsylvania. 

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We forget which movie character said "I'm addicted to breathing." 

We all can relate, but Andy Lovering at the University of Oregon understands better than most people HOW we make use of the air we breathe. 

Dr. Lovering runs the Cardiopulmonary & Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, examining issues like how people live well at very high altitudes, and what breathing issues show up later in life for people who were born prematurely. 

Dr. Lovering is our guest in this month's edition of cUriOus: Research Meets Radio. 

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Complete this phrase: "all work and no play..."  No matter your answer, it's clear we hold work and play as two completely separate entities. 

Creativity expert Marney Makridakis says there's some natural overlap, and there COULD be a whole lot more. 

She explains in her book HOP, SKIP, JUMP: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life

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People in good health were once described as being "in the pink." 

Good health takes on a different hue under the Blue Zones Project in Oregon. 

In blue zones, all kinds of individuals and entities come together to work for better health for all. 

The goal is to reduce obesity, smoking, and chronic disease. 

NIH/Public Domain

It's some of the worst news a person can get: "you have cancer." 

But it happens to many of us, and medical science is constantly looking for remedies.  Those include attention to the emotional needs of cancer patients, which are considerable. 

David Ryan, an oncologist, and Vicki Jackson, a palliative care specialist, work together in a Boston hospital and are the principal authors of the book Living With Cancer.  It is a guide to how patients and families should approach treatment and its many effects. 

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When was the last time you did something truly new?  Lu Ann Cahn considered that question after surviving cancer, and decided to turn it into a challenge. 

So she did something new every day for a year, a process she lays out in the book I Dare Me: How I Rebooted and Recharged My Life by Doing Something New Every Day

It wasn't ALL feats of daring; some of it was as low-key as talking to a stranger. 

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The images chosen by gyms and fitness centers to advertise for new customers tend to show young and slender people who look like they live at the gym.  Any gray hairs in there? 

Probably not, but we need exercise to maintain fitness as we age, and the Rogue Valley's Andy Baxter focuses his fitness business on people 50 and older. 

Baxter sees himself as standing in opposition to the giant "fitness industry," and his feelings led to a small book, The Exercise Prescription

Riding Beyond

Even if a woman's treatment for breast cancer is over, with cancer gone, life is not the same. 

Physical and emotional effects from the treatment linger. 

Riding Beyond aims to pair women with horses, to improve the health of both. 

Think of it as a large-scale version of a therapy pet. 

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Status starts with your mouth.  Seriously, people who have unattractive or missing teeth often make concerted efforts not to smile. 

And society judges people with missing or discolored teeth harshly.  Journalist Mary Otto demonstrates, with many examples, in her book Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality and the Struggle for Oral Health in America

Inequality is a big part of the story, because the benefits of good dental health are not evenly distributed.  And teeth don't get the same insurance as the rest of the body. 

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Maybe it's happened to you... you stub your toe on something, and that makes you walk funny. 

Next thing you know, your knee or hip hurts from the weird walk, and then your back starts to act up.  Our bodies are finely tuned mechanisms, or should be. 

Grants Pass physical therapist Doranne Long got into the tweaks that can improve the workings of our bodies in her book, simply named Your Body Book

Medford Doctor Co-Authors Health Book

Mar 7, 2017
Wikimedia

Your heart, your mind, your body... and the dance floor. 

These are all subjects in a new book by Medford MD Robin Miller and co-author David Kahn. 

In Healed: Health & Wellness for the 21st Century, Miller and Kahn link health and happiness, insisting you need both for a good life. 

And the dancing?  That gets a whole section of the book, after Dr. Miller's appearance in a local dance competition got her hooked on ballroom dancing. 

Understanding Ayurvedic Healing

Feb 28, 2017
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The world wasn't created yesterday.  And over the years, human beings have learned a few things about how the body works and thrives. 

Some of the things learned are very old, including the ancient Indian healing wisdom of Ayurveda. 

Acharya Shunya is a practitioner, and offers up advice in her book Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom: A Complete Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy

How To Plan A Healthy Community

Nov 1, 2016
Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ; https://www.flickr.com/photos/90412460@N00/12950163334/in/photolist-kJmYob-8k7FdY-6PQ3AB-7zN8XC-nj4g93-52tpYc-9DVAeT-7PMZVs-4oXDGF-ddCbd-6ZoWJ4-HmJhn-cQRDi7-ouDkMS-nXCAzK-deaW2r-ddwrJN-6hTWhr-de6zQo-de6zGA-aoMdd2-qdibMq-pVV

High school graduation rate is too low, drug abuse rate is too high, and the economy could be better. 

These are among the issues facing communities across Southern Oregon.  And Southern Oregon Success is determine to do something about those and more. 

The project brings together governments, school districts, non-profit groups and more to focus on making communities healthy and productive.

Soon-to-be former State Representative Peter Buckley of Ashland is one of two "Success" project co-managers. 

Reaching For A Truly Healthy Community

Oct 5, 2016
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Building healthy communities is about more than people getting exercise.

It also involves mental health and economic health, just for starters.  These items and more are on the table for the "Next, Now" conference coming to Grants Pass next week (October 10-11). 

Community leaders in a number of fields will talk about building stronger, more resilient communities, by recognizing the prevalance of ACEs, Adverse Childhood Experiences. 

Southern Oregon Success is among the partners, and contributors include ACE Interface, which works at improving public health. 

Exploring The Microbiome (Eew)

Mar 28, 2016
CDC/Public Domain

Don't look now, but your body is carrying some passengers.  By the millions. 

We're just beginning to understand the importance of the microbiome in humans--the bacteria in and on our bodies that make processes like digestion move along smoothly. 

The relationships between hosts and microbes are the bread and butter of The Microbial Ecology and Theory of Animals (META) Center for Systems Biology at the University of Oregon. 

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