health

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. 

Earl McGehee, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31144223

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
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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
Wikimedia

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. 

Basic Books

We all get one, but do we fully appreciate it?  Body, we mean. 

Gavin Francis is well-acquainted with the human body from his work as a surgeon. 

And he appreciates the complexity and simplicity, the mechanics and the poetry, of what our bodies can do. 

He shares the fascination with us in the book Adventures in Human Being

It's billed as a grand tour of the body from top to bottom. 

The Nurse's Perspective Of "The Shift"

Oct 6, 2015
Algonquin Books

Theresa Brown loves her work as a nurse, and loves to write about it. 

She gives glimpses of the medical world in her New York Times column, and long, unblinking views in her books, including the new The Shift.

The title refers to a single day, one 12-hour shift in which Brown and her colleagues deal with life-and-death matters involving four separate patients. 

It gives a plain and frank look at the situations and decisions faced by medical professionals, and the effects on patients. 

Getting Good Brains On Heart Issues

Sep 8, 2015
Wikimedia

It's a lot easier to say the acronym "STEMI" than to pronounce what it stands for: ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction.

It's the most severe kind of heart attack, the kind of heart attack Ashland resident Finn Honore experienced. 

He's alive to talk about it because he received treatment at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford. 

ARRMC just won an award from the American Heart Association for its handling of heart patients. 

HOW Extreme Heat Affects Our Health

Jul 31, 2015
Wikimedia

The recent triple-digit temperatures across the region arrived with plenty of warnings and advice for how to protect ourselves from heat-related health issues.

These are issues known well to the people at the Human Cardiovascular Control Lab at the University of Oregon. 

They've spent plenty of time looking into the effects of heat on the body, and what those effects will do if left unchecked. 

Yoga And Counseling For Hope And Healing

May 29, 2015
sarahjoyyoga.com

Portland's Sarahjoy Marsh meets a fair number of people with eating and body-image issues. 

And her approach to healing involves using the body itself as part of the process. 

Marsh is trained as a counselor AND in yoga, and she combines the disciplines in her practice.  She's the author of a new book laying out that approach: Hunger, Hope & Healing

Prosthetics For The 21st Century

Feb 9, 2015
Wikimedia

Watching a double-amputee run in the Olympics three years ago proved the quality of modern prosthetics. 

They are a far cry from the wooden legs of ages past. 

Forest Sexton is up on the state of the art in prosthetic technology. 

His company Spectrum O & P (Orthotics and Prosthetics) delivers the goods to people who need new limbs. 

Whooping Cough And Chicken Pox Flare Up

Dec 30, 2014
CDC

California is seeing more cases of whooping cough (pertussis) than at any time in the last 70 years. 

And Jackson County on the Oregon side is seeing more cases as well. 

Pertussis and chicken pox are both up in number, causing concerns for county health officials. 

Flu Season Deepens

Dec 12, 2014
CDC

Not the news anybody was hoping for: this influenza season could be a bad one. 

The federal Centers for Disease Control made the announcement recently. 

Part of the issue is a potential mismatch between this year's flu strains and vaccines. 

The vaccines are prepared well in advance, and the flu making people sick is not always the flu targeted by the vaccines. 

Wikimedia

Trauma tends to have effects that last long after the traumatic incident in a person's life. 

Witness the recognition in modern times of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk started working with stressed-out veterans before PTSD was even an official diagnosis. 

Now he examines the many ways in which stress can alter the body and mind permanently, if not treated propertly. 

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