Did you know that chiropractic is not just for relief from back pain? In fact, many of the doctor’s patients do not suffer from the disorders typically associated with chiropractic, such as arthritis, backache, neck pain or headache. Instead, patients seek chiropractic care for a variety of benefits, which are supported by scientific research. Although your doctor at Davis Family Chiropractic does care for patients with back and spinal conditions traditionally associated with chiropractic, many of our patients seek care for a multitude of other reason. Below is a sampling of just some of those reasons.

Keep Abreast of the Latest Health Research

Several of our patient’s consider their regular Chiropractic visits not only opportunities to keep their spine in optimal conditions, but also occasions to learn about late-breaking research in wellness fields like disease prevention, nutrition, exercise, mental outlook and stress reduction. To this end, each week your doctor at Davis Family Chiropractic publishes an Optimal Health University® handout on a research topic. In addition, we offer preventive care and wellness workshops aimed at keeping our patients on the forefront of holistic research and warding off potential health challenges before the onset of symptoms.

Correct Extremity Conditions

Sure, you know that chiropractic alleviates pain and disability in the spine, hips, back and neck. You are probably aware that this drug-free approach to health wards off headaches, jaw pain and fibromyalgia as well. But did you know that chiropractic offers effective correction for problems in the joints of the upper and lower limbs (extremities) as well? Your doctor at Davis Family Chiropractic addresses maladies affecting the ankles, knees, wrists, elbows and shoulders with a multifaceted approach. First, alignment in the extremities is influenced by spinal posture. Consequently, a misaligned spine may spark a chain reaction that throws limbs slightly out of balance, leading to uneven wear on joints. Your doctor examines the spine for areas where movement is restricted or spinal bones (vertebrae) are slightly out of place. These dysfunctional segments are called vertebral subluxations. This condition is corrected with specialized, gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments. Next, chiropractic care targets the specific joint involved. This may include gentle adjustment to or manipulation of the joint. It may also involve physiotherapy techniques or exercises custom tailored to the patient’s unique circumstances.

Ergonomic advice is also a common component of an extremity care plan. Scientific evidence supports the use of chiropractic for extremity injuries. For instance, among a group of 30 patients with sprained ankles, researchers found that chiropractic ankle adjustments were superior to ultrasound therapy. Adjustments significantly reduced pain and increased ankle range of motion and function (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001:24:17-24). Another study demonstrated that not only can these adjustments subdue knee pain, but they also help restore proper tracking to the kneecap (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1990; 13:539). And, in another analysis, 24 patients with long-term elbow pain received either a placebo treatment or manipulative therapy. Findings showed “a significant and substantial increase” in the pain-free grip strength of 58 percent during treatment – but not during placebo or nontreatment phases (Manual Therapy 2001; 6:205-12)

Chiropractic
Woman having chiropractic back adjustment. Osteopathy, Acupressure, Alternative medicine, pain relief concept. Physiotherapy, sport injury rehabilitation

Improve Overall Health

Scientific research indicates that chiropractic care improves the immune response, which may lead to superior health overall. One study looked at the effect of chiropractic adjustments on specific white blood cells associated with immune function. Known as Pholymorphnulcear neutrophils (PMN) and monocytes, these disease busters help the body destroy unhealthy cells. The study revelead that “…pholymorphnulcear neutrophils (PNM) and monocytes were enhanced in adults that had been adjusted by chiropractors.” ( J Manipulative) Investigators also note that chiropractic care dramatically increases immune response in HIV-positive individuals. In one study, patients receiving adjustments had a 48 percents jump in CD4 cells (cells that play an essential role in immunity). However, test subjects who were not adjusted experienced a 7.69 percent drop in CD4 cells during the same six months (Chiro Research Journal 1994; 3:1)

Combat Visceral Conditions

Visceral conditions are disorders affecting the body’s organs. While chiropractic is usually sought to ward off dysfunctions of the muscles and bones, recent research supports patient testimonies that the benefits of chiropractic are wide sweeping – including possibly preventing visceral conditions. For Instance, findings show that chiropractic may help maintain normal blood pressure ( J Manipulative Phsiol Ther 1988: 11:484-8). Findings also suggest that chiropractic care may improve the likelihood of conception among woman struggling with infertility (JVSR 2003:1:6). Another study reveled that after undergoing chiropractic adjustments. 91percent of patients with multiple sclerosis and 92 percent of patients with Parkinson’s disease “showed symptomatic improvement and no further disease progression during the care period.” (JVSR 2004; 1:9) In one injury in 17 patients with the intestinal disorder Chron’s disease, 12 enjoyed substantial relief from chiropractic care (JVSR 2002; 4:2).

For instance, in a study of 46 children with ear infection, 92 percent recovered with chiropractic intervention alone. “This study’s data indicate that limitations of medical intervention and the addition of chiropractic care may decrease the symptoms of ear infection in young children.” (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1996; 19:169-77). It’s also been shown to help reduce bed-wetting (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1994; 17:596-600). And an analysis of 316 babies with colic found that 94 percent benefited from chiropractic care (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1989; 12). In addition, 76.5 percent of children with asthma in one survey reported improvements from chiropractic (Bull Eur Chir Union 1978; 26:17-34). Researchers also note that “chiropractic manipulation [adjustment] has the potential to become an important nondrug intervention for children with hyperactivity.” ( J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1989;12).

Boost Athletic Performance

Regular chiropractic care helps keep the entire body not merely pain-free but also in top physical form. That’s why professional athletes like Aaron Rogers and Tom Brady turn to chiropractic. Nearly all major professional sport teams work with doctors of chiropractic. Chiropractors tour with PGA and LPGA. And doctors of chiropractic can be found caring for athletes at the Olympic Games. But you don’t need to be an elite athlete to reap the performance-related rewards of thiscare. Recreational sports buffs enjoy bolstered functioning and reduced fatigue from chiropractic care.

Bolster Cognitive Function

Research indicates that these adjustments promote cognitive function and may boost short-term memory. In one study, 36 students were examined for signs of vertebral subluxations. Subjects received either chiropractic adjustments or placebo treatments. Volunteers were then timed to see how quickly they could differentiate between normal and mirror-reversed objects. Individuals receiving chiropractic adjustments improved their reaction time by 14.9 percent during the experiment, while controls enhanced mental processing by only 8 percent (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 200; 23:246-51).

Be More Productive at Work

Patients often report that chiropractic care enhances their productiveness at work. This productivity boost stems from elevated energy and reduced fatigue. In addition, these treatments ward off debilitating chronic pain. “Chronic pain had a larger impact on work performances then has previously been recognized,” researchers in Australia determined after analyzing the data from 484 study participants. “When both lost workdays and reduced-effectiveness workdays were summed, an average of 16.4 lost workday equivalents occurred in six month period, approximately three times the average number of workdays [for non pain reasons].” (Pain 2003; 103:41-7.) According to an alarming article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Lost productive time from common pain conditions among active workers cost an estimated $61.2 billion per year [in the United States]. The majorities (76.6 percent) of the lost productive time was explained by reduced performance while at work and not work absence.” (JAMA 2003; 290:2443-54.)

Get the Big Picture

More and more patients are giving up their narrow perception of chiropractic and discovering that this revolutionary holistic approach to health is for much more then back pain. If your friends or family have a “tunnel vision” of chiropractic, please share the research contained in this handout with them.
Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2017.

Link to a previous article: https://lacamasmagazine.com/2017/10/chiropractic-evaluation-following-auto-accident.html

Dr. Marc Davis, Dr. Christina Kulesz and Dr. Andrew Wade adjust patients at Davis Family Chiropractic & Massage, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events like us on Facebook or become a member of our website www.davisfamilychiro.com. To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis or Dr Christina, or to get information about having him speak at your club, church group or workplace, call (360) 823-2225. Mention “LacamasMagazine” and “Free Scan” to get your Computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $95) for FREE (limited time offer).

Dr. Marc Davis, Dr. Christina Kulesz, Dr. Andrew Wade
DAVIS FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC AND MASSAGE, PLLC
www.davisfamilychiro.com
2415 SE 165TH Avenue, Suite 105
Vancouver, WA 98683
(360) 823-2225

It’s August, and Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic has some great specials on Laser Genesis, Ultherapy, and laser hair removal.

What is Laser Genesis?

Laser Genesis is a highly effective treatment for targeting enlarged pores, texture and fine lines. Patients often describe the treatment as relaxing and therapeutic. They report a gentle warming of the skin’s surface during the procedure. Patients who incorporate IPL and Laser Genesis treatments as a part of their beauty routine maintain radiant, youthful skin.

Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Genesis

How does it feel?

Patients report a warming of the skin that is quite relaxing.

What is the downtime?

There is no down time.

How long before I see results?

The benefits can be seen instantly with your skin showing a healthy glow and will continue to improve over the following week.

Are there any side effects?

There are no side effects.

The August Laser Genesis special is get a Free Microdermabrasion with the purchase of a Laser Genesis treatment.

Laser Genesis
Laser Genesis: Before and after.

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy® is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that utilizes the power of focused ultrasound technology, and sound waves to simulate collagen to lift, tone and tighten the skin. The Ultherapy procedure can be performed on the eyes, brow, face, neck and under the chin and chest. This technology stimulates the production of collagen resulting in continuous improvement of the tone and tightness. An Ultherapy procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the area treated. Ultherapy delivers outstanding results without surgery or downtime.

The August Ultherapy Special is Purchase a lower neck treatment get the upper face free ($1,500 savings!)

Ultherapy
Visit www.VancouverLaserSkinCareClinic.com

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a treatment that safely and effectively removes unwanted hair. It works by targeting the brown and black pigments in the hair, effectively reducing growth with each treatment.

Here are the current laser hair removal specials:

  • Small area $175 for 6 treatments
  • Medium area $275 for 6 treatments
  • Large area $375 for 6 treatments

Call 360.823.0795 to schedule your visit.

Vancouver Laser
Laser hair removal.

About Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic

When Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic (VLSCC) decided to move its offices to Downtown Camas, they brought more than 30 years of aesthetic laser and skin care experience and an array of treatments and products that rejuvenate skin and restore your youthful glow. They feel good when you look great. 

Their office at 715 NE 5th Avenue is charming, and peaceful, and is part of the history and future of Camas, a quaint and successful town that many say is a city about wellness.

“We love being part of this wonderful and historic downtown scene,” said Keller, who owns VLSCC. “And, we invite you to come see what we’re all about. — from pre-teen/adult acne sufferers to mature patients.”

VLSCC offers many services, including: IPL, Chemical Peels, Microneedling, Ultherapy, Face and Leg Vein Removal, Botox, and more! 

Learn more at www.VancouverLaserSkinCareClinic.com

It’s summer time, and most people are looking for ways to look their best, and to help out, Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic, which is located in Downtown Camas, has some great summer laser hair removal specials.

Laser hair removal is a treatment that safely and effectively removes unwanted hair. It works by targeting the brown and black pigments in the hair, effectively reducing growth with each treatment.

Here are the current specials:

  • Small area $175 for 6 treatments
  • Medium area $275 for 6 treatments
  • Large area $375 for 6 treatments

Call 360.823.0795 to schedule your visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does it feel?

The treatment takes approximately 30-60 minutes depending on the area and feels similar to a rubber band snap.

What is the downtime?

There is no down time.

How long before I see results?

Laser hair removal requires a series of 6-8 treatments depending on the area treated.

Are there any side effects?

Patients may appear pink after a treatment but that goes away in a few hours.

Ultherapy
Lori Keller and Jennifer Carr, of Vancouver Laser.

About Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic

When Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic (VLSCC) decided to move its offices to Downtown Camas, they brought more than 30 years of aesthetic laser and skin care experience and an array of treatments and products that rejuvenate skin and restore your youthful glow. They feel good when you look great. 

Their office at 715 NE 5th Avenue is charming, and peaceful, and is part of the history and future of Camas, a quaint and successful town that many say is a city about wellness.

“We love being part of this wonderful and historic downtown scene,” said Keller, who owns VLSCC. “And, we invite you to come see what we’re all about. — from pre-teen/adult acne sufferers to mature patients.”

VLSCC offers many services, including: IPL, Chemical Peels, Microneedling, Ultherapy, Face and Leg Vein Removal, Botox, and more! 

Learn more at www.VancouverLaserSkinCareClinic.com


As a way of expressing gratitude for their customers, Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic, located in Downtown Camas, has great a Ultherapy promotion running this week.

Here’s the special: 25% off Ultherapy® full face and neck and receive a $600 serum! First 5 callers: 360-823-0795. The serum lifts and tightens the skin.

Ultherapy® is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that utilizes the power of focused ultrasound technology, and sound waves to simulate collagen to lift, tone and tighten the skin. The Ultherapy procedure can be performed on the eyes, brow, face, neck and under the chin and chest. This technology stimulates the production of collagen resulting in continuous improvement of the tone and tightness. An Ultherapy procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the area treated. Ultherapy delivers outstanding results without surgery or downtime.

With over 30 years of aesthetic laser and skin care experience and expertise, Master Aesthetician, Lori Keller, knows that looking and feeling confident play a big part in our well-being.

“If you like how you look, you feel more positive and content in your daily life,” says Keller. “But environmental factors such as sun exposure, and physiological factors such as genetics and aging, all can play a role in changing your outward appearance. We help restore confidence by repairing some of the damage our environment and aging can cause.”

Ultherapy
Ultherapy: Before and after.

When Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic (VLSCC) decided to move its offices to Downtown Camas, they brought more than 30 years of aesthetic laser and skin care experience and an array of treatments and products that rejuvenate skin and restore your youthful glow. They feel good when you look great.

Their office at 715 NE 5th Avenue is charming, and peaceful, and is part of the history and future of Camas, a quaint and successful town that many say is a city about wellness.

“We love being part of this wonderful and historic downtown scene,” said Keller, who owns VLSCC. “And, we invite you to come see what we’re all about. — from pre-teen/adult acne sufferers to mature patients.”

VLSCC offers many services, including: IPL, Chemical Peels, Microneedling, Ultherapy, Face and Leg Vein Removal, Botox, and more! They will be having a special on hair removals next, so stay tuned for that announcement.

To learn more, visit www.VancouverLaserSkinCareClinic.com

Washougal schools are making major efforts with substance use prevention in their middle schools as leaders recognize that making healthy choices are not always easy, regardless of age.  But those decisions become more challenging and complicated for middle school aged youth who are trying to find independence, define themselves, as well as fit in.  

Leading efforts in the Washougal School District for both Jemtegaard and Canyon Creek Middle School to empower students to make healthy choices and have their voices heard is Wendy Butler, Student Assistance Professional for Prevention and Intervention from Educational Service District 112.  She works in close partnership with school principals, associate principals, school counselors, social workers and secretaries, Unite! Washougal Community Coalition and more.  

Butler is a part of the statewide Student Assistance Prevention-Intervention Services Program (SAPISP), administered by ESD 112 in selected Clark, Skamania, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz and Klickitat county middle and high schools. Tamara Crites is the specialist at Washougal High School.

SAPISP is a comprehensive, integrated model of services that focuses on substance-use prevention and other supports. The program places Student Assistance Professionals in schools to foster safe school environments, promote health and prevent alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse.

“One of the exciting things about prevention efforts with middle school-aged students is that it feeds up and feeds down,” Butler explained.  “This means they can still remember themselves before they may have hit a bump in the road.  They can still feel the positive effects of good choices they made when they were younger.  And we get to provide opportunities for them to look forward toward their goals and help empower them to get there. “

Butler approaches the middle schools’ overall prevention program in three components: universal prevention, which are big picture projects; small group conversations; and relationships with individual students.

“Universal prevention activities at both JMS and CCMS have so many fun pieces to them,” she said.  “They involve large groups and at times the entire school community.”

Examples include Red Ribbon Week, special guest speakers like Madison Langer from Tobacco Free Kids who shared straight talk about her journey in to and out of drug use, the Youth to Youth club that meets after school and at lunchtimes to work on prevention initiatives; and Real Talk, an interactive video presentation on facts about vaping that led to lively class discussions.  

Aquatics Center
www.VancouverLaserSkinCareClinic.com

One of the newest projects is Courtyard Connections which takes place at the JMS courtyard at lunchtime. It began as an idea out of JMS music teacher, Dr. Snapp’s guitar class.  “Music and playing guitars are such a great way to make connections,” said Butler. “When we started, I thought each student would take turns, but no! Everyone plays at the same time in their own area.  Other students come out and will sit and listen.  Some will ask if they can try playing and others will share.” 

“There are so many smiles,” she added. “It is happening so organically.  Students who participate are feeling valued and know this is a safe place to try new things.” 

Sports activities: Substance Abuse Prevention

Sports activities are also important for students to access. They teach life and interpersonal skills and keep students involved and engaged doing something fun that is linked to the school.  Butler enjoys leading clinics for both basketball and volleyball and hosts open gym for students to play and shoot hoops. 

Butler stresses that the best prevention is becoming involved in something a person likes to do that is healthy.  “Students are encouraged to explore a variety of interests and then we figure out how to help them try it,” she said.  

A significant challenge for students can be the transition from elementary to middle school and middle school to high school.  It can be scary and overwhelming for students who are unsure how they will fit in.  The Welcome Wagon and Bridges to Success programs help relieve fears and give students confidence to take their next step in education. 

“Welcome Wagon features positive and supportive notes from middle school students to fifth graders to help introduce them to their new school,” said Butler.  “We will also create banners to put outside of each 5th grade classroom with welcoming messages from the middle schools.” 

Similarly, the Bridges to Success program invites high school students to sit down and talk with 8th graders. “Students prepare questions ahead of time for the high school students to address,” Butler said. “The messages from these older students are amazing and comforting to the younger kids.  Two years ago, a student gave some great advice and talk passionately about not having to change who he was when he came to high school.  He encouraged students to keep doing things their own way and get involved with others with similar interests. He said if they stay true to who they are and try to get along with others, they will find positive ways to fit in.”

Small groups

A second component to substance use prevention is gathering with small groups of students that have similar concerns, interests and goals based on a survey at the beginning of the year.  Topics include discussions around self-empowerment, being new to the school, or taking a stand against alcohol/drug use. 

“Our groups meet once a week,” Butler said.  “We are trying to remove barriers for students in order for them to feel supported and get what they need for themselves or others so they can focus on school.”

One-on-one Meetings

The third component in substance use prevention is being available to meet with students one on one.  “Students are welcome to knock on my door any time,” Butler explained. “They might be struggling with an issue, or want to learn how to help a friend, or maybe they are looking for the truth about something they heard.  For instance, there is an idea that ‘everybody’ is vaping or that it is ‘safe,’ and that is just wrong! I am happy to discuss the facts with them.” For Butler, it all comes down to offering trust, respect and a safe place for students to talk. 

“At some point most students will be faced with a decision whether or not to take part in something which they understand is not a healthy choice,” Butler said. “We know that if they have a plan ahead of time for what they will say or do, they are more apt to avoid doing something they do not want to.”

A strong message Butler sends to students is that decisions today will affect the choices they will have available to them tomorrow.  “They tell me they do not want adults to control them,” she said. “But look at the control that nicotine can have over someone.  It will their money, it will demand their time and it will reduce their health.” 

“I ask them to please listen to what I say, and you are welcome to throw it all away or perhaps keep a piece of what you heard,” she said.  “You never know when a situation will come that a seed of an idea or knowledge we have shared will come to their mind and help them to make a good choice.”

VANCOUVER, WA – Community Home Health & Hospice is hosting an open house to celebrate the grand opening of their new grief center in Salmon Creek. The open house will take place on March 6, 2019, from 4 pm – 6:30pm at the Seasons of Hope Grief Center, 3102 NE 134th Street, Vancouver. The ribbon cutting with the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce will take place at 4:30 pm. Attendees will enjoy refreshments hosted by Glenwood Place Senior Living, The Quarry and The Hampton Salmon Creek, games, live entertainment and prizes.

“We are excited about this project and humbled by the support we received. We could not have done this without the Clark County community,” said Greg Pang, CEO Community Home Health & Hospice. “We know there is a need for grief services in our community and we look forward to being a great community resource.”

The Seasons of Hope Grief Center offers free grief support for adults and children ages 5 and up in Clark County. For more information, contact 360.703.0300 or griefsupport@chhh.org

About Community Home Health & Hospice

Community Home Health & Hospice is an independent, community-based non-profit healthcare agency serving the healthcare needs of Washington and Oregon families since 1977. Their services include home care personal services, home health, home hospice, in-patient hospice care and bereavement services. Every day, they care for 775 patients throughout Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties in Washington and Columbia County in Oregon. Community Home Health & Hospice’s mission is to bring peace of mind to patients and their families by providing compassionate, dignified, collaborative, and patient-focused home healthcare and hospice. They have received recognition for nine years as a HomeCare Elite top agency. For more information, visit www.chhh.org

Grief

The grounds at the grief center.

Washougal, WA — Hathaway Elementary students took steps to understand healthy living at the Sodexo Student Well-Being Fair held Tuesday, January 22.

“The purpose of the event was to promote good nutrition, get the students to stop and think about the path that food takes from the field to the table, and to have FUN along the way,” said Mark Jasper, Sodexo Nutrition Services Director at Washougal School District.  “This was an interactive wellness fair concept, which fully supports our mission of inspiring lifelong healthy habits in the children we serve.”

The all-day event featured grade level groups spending an hour moving through four presentations targeted at expanding their knowledge of various aspects of a healthy life and well-being.  Topics covered were related to Nutrition, Achievement, Environment, Community and Activity. “Each station presented meaningful information that captivated the students,” said Jasper. “And, as an added bonus, as the students left the event, they were given a bag to remind them of what they learned.”

“I was happy to bring this event back this year for all of our students,” said Hathaway Principal Sarika Mosley. It was so engaging for students and Mark Jasper is so organized in bringing in his presenters. I had a second grader tell me afterwards that coconuts have juice in them! Watching our students create balanced meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner is important for their long-term health and well-being.”

Assisting in the event by leading presentations were Shelby Stanford, Dietitian Intern; Stacie Reiter, Sodexo’s Regional RD; Ellen Ives, Educator for Sustainability and Waste Reduction from Waste Connections; and Laycee Hyde, Sodexo Operations Manager form Forest Grove SD and Rochelle Mellendorf, Sodexo Area Marketing Manager.

“The students enjoyed the fair and came away with some useful new knowledge about wellness and healthy habits,” Jasper said.

Washougal

Teaching students.

By David McWherter, PMHNP

As brightly colored gifts pile up under the tree, and kids start dreaming of Santa, parents’ minds are filled with a certain type of anxiety: Will my child be gracious if the toy they receive is a flop? Will they appreciate the things that aren’t wrapped up with a bow?

Set expectations early

Gratitude has two aspects to it: expression and experience. Many parents, in an effort to teach good manners, focus on the first one. It’s important; it can be embarrassing when kids don’t say thank you or give a gift only cursory attention.

Oftentimes, issues with gifts can be headed off by reminding children of your expectations beforehand and letting them know that presents that aren’t a good fit can be exchanged later. Kids who are unable to handle a disappointment can be separated from the gift exchange for a while. Getting upset with or shaming a child for not being gracious is never helpful, as this tends to add to their distress rather than change their behavior.

Nurture the emotion within

However, saying “thank you”—even if it’s for an ugly sweater—is not the same as true gratitude. True gratitude is also an experience or a feeling that comes from within. It’s an emotion, not a behavior. And while it’s extremely valuable, it takes more effort to foster.

Like most things with raising children, teaching them how to feel grateful takes time, patience, and adaptability. Because children naturally imitate adults, I’ve found that the most effective way to instill a sense of gratitude in kids is to model it in your own life. During the 41 years I’ve spend in the health field, my families have shared some unique and fun ways they’ve done this.

Start an all-year gratitude habit

One family started a daily dinner routine where everyone shared something that they were grateful for. The parents used the opportunity to provide examples of all the things they considered gifts.

It’s often easier for kids to appreciate physical items, yet it’s the intangible presents—such as someone taking the time to help us with a job, watch a movie with us, or share our joy and pain—that often matter the most. Being able to recognize both types of gifts is critical to creating the types of strong relationships people need in life.

Gifts

David McWherter is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Invent a new family tradition

Another family made a holiday tradition out of sharing things they appreciated about each other. Once a month at dinner, each person wrote down something they were grateful for and the name of the person involved. They kept the notes secret until Christmas Eve when they read their “gratitudes” to the entire family.

Use gratitude as a bridge

Finally, one stepparent used gratitude to bring his blended family closer together. The children’s father had passed away several years previously and he had married their mother. Relationships between the stepdad and the kids were strained. One Christmas, he put a letter to the deceased father on the tree. The kids were crazy with curiosity, but had to wait until all the other Christmas gifts were opened before seeing the contents.

It was worth the wait. Inside the envelope was a letter of gratitude highlighting how much the children had enriched his life and how grateful he was to be a part of their family. He thanked the deceased father for that gift and wrote that he should be proud of his children. There was not a dry eye in the room at the end of the reading.

By modeling gratitude and kindness, and by equipping kids with the tools they need to be thankful for gifts in all their forms, parents can help their children be appreciative during the holidays and beyond.

_________________________________________________

David McWherter is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner serving children, adolescents, and kids with autism spectrum disorders.

Don’t wait until you get sick to start taking care of yourself! These tips are easy to incorporate everyday and will build up your immune system, which can help you avoid illness and if you do get sick, reduce the duration and severity of symptoms.

1) Incorporate immune-boosting foods like garlic, turmeric and ginger daily. These spices have a long history in terms of protecting us from bacteria and viruses. Make these spices a part of your everyday routine to boost your body’s natural defense system: use garlic in almost any savory dish, sip on ginger tea or try Golden Milk to get a dose of turmeric. A curry would be a great way to combine all three!

2) Take care of your gut. Did you know that researchers are now saying that up to 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut? Keep it healthy by consuming fermented foods regularly (think sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt), taking a probiotic supplement and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. The fiber from fruits and veggies helps nourish the good bacteria in your gut, making it more likely to flourish over potentially harmful bacteria.

Immune

Kimchi is a great food.

3) Apple cider vinegar is a traditional folk remedy. You’ve probably been told at some point to try apple cider vinegar for some health complaint you were experiencing. Not only is it good for your gut, but the acid in the vinegar can help fight off pathogens that threaten to make you sick. If you’re already sick, apple cider vinegar can help thin out mucus. Try taking 1 – 2 tbsp in a cup of warm water or using it in cooking and in salad dressings. No need to do straight shots, which may do more harm than good!

4) Vitamin D supplementation. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we’re accustomed to being mindful about our vitamin D levels, but did you know vitamin D plays a role in our immune system as well? Adequate levels of vitamin D are protective against infection. Make sure to take your supplement with some fat to maximize its absorption.

5) Less stress, more sleep. Stress wrecks our immune systems by throwing off the healthy microbes in your gut, which is a big blow to your body’s defense system. This time of year is notoriously stressful, but try to minimize stress as much as you can. Find tools that help you manage your stress – a deep breathing practice, yoga, a walk in the woods, having a few quiet minutes with your coffee in the morning. When we sleep, our body gets to work on healing us and keeping us healthy. The more sleep you get this time of year, the better off your immune system will be!

Emily Penn is a Holistic Nutritionist based in Camas. She offers nutrition counseling, meal delivery, pantry clean outs and grocery store tours through her business, Good Medicine Nutrition. Food is our best medicine and she wants to help you use it.

You can follow her at www.goodmedicinenutrition.com

Immune

Emily Penn is a Holistic Nutritionsit.

 

Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Thanks to advanced screening measures, it’s also a highly preventable disease—and treatable when discovered early. Yet far too many individuals and families have to deal with a difficult diagnosis because they don’t know what to do to protect their colons—or are afraid to do it. As a gastroenterologist, one of my passions is taking the fear and embarrassment out of GI exams and discussions so that people are willing to get the care they need. Below are five of the most important things I think everyone should do when it comes to reducing their colon cancer risk.

Colon

Dr. John Randles

1. Get a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is the absolute best way to check for cancer and to prevent it through polyp removal. The procedure allows doctors to catch issues early on, removing pre-cancerous polyps and catching cancerous ones before they even produce symptoms. Between 30 and 40 percent of individuals have polyps on their first screening. The earlier issues are caught, the greater the chance of a cure.
What’s more, while colonoscopies sound uncomfortable, they’re actually quite unremarkable. Drinking the prep to clean out the bowels is the worst part. The actual procedure is extremely simple and takes just 25 to 30 minutes. Sedation is provided, and most patients drift off to sleep and do not remember the procedure.

2. Know the facts about other screening methods.
A stool test can find trace amounts of blood or DNA from cancer and detect if a patient already has the disease. Stool tests are not as good as a colonoscopy at detecting pre-cancerous polyps. And while these stool-based tests are surely better than no screening, only a colonoscopy can help prevent colon cancer by allowing doctors to remove the polyps that lead to cancer.

3. Discuss your family history with your doctor.
Most individuals need to begin colon cancer screenings at 50, which is the age that colon cancer generally starts appearing. However, individuals with a family history of colon cancer or advanced polyps, and individuals who have inflammatory bowel disease may need to start screenings earlier. African-Americans are at higher risk of the disease and may consider beginning screenings at age 45.

4. Treat your body well.
Eating a diet rich with fiber, fruit, and vegetables and maintaining a healthy weight can help protect people from colon and other cancers. It’s also best to avoid red meat and alcohol, which are linked to an increased risk. Of course, smoking is never a good idea. Certain adults who are 50-plus may benefit from taking a daily low-dose aspirin, which can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and possibly colorectal cancer.

5. Pay attention to concerning symptoms.
While most colon cancers occur in those age 50-plus, everyone, no matter their age, should see their doctor if they notice concerning GI issues. Bloody stools, weight loss, a change in bowel habits, and persistent abdominal pain all warrant a trip to the doctor.

Dr. John Randles is a gastroenterologist at Vancouver Clinic. He was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and has a special interest in colon cancer screening.