Posts

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

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.

Olympia, WA — With the measles outbreak in Clark County continuing to grow, Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation Friday morning declaring a State of Emergency.

The proclamation directed the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan to be implemented, which allows state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to assist in prevention and response efforts.

There are now 30 confirmed cases of measles across Clark County. Friday evening, the following lawmakers from Washington’s 17th and 18th Legislative Districts issued the statement below:

  • Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center
  • Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver
  • Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver
  • Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Vancouver
  • Rep. Larry Hoff, R-Vancouver

“We appreciate Governor Inslee issuing a State of Emergency this morning. The outbreak of measles in our local communities is extremely concerning, but we are thankful every resource has been made available to help the Department of Health respond quickly and effectively.

“The governor’s proclamation not only provides essential resources and personnel, but also brings a heightened public awareness about this dangerous and preventable disease. While this is an uncertain and unfortunate time for many across our county, this State of Emergency will help reduce the spread and length of the outbreak. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

For more information about the measles outbreak in Clark County, as well as resources on how you can prevent its spread, click here to visit the Washington State Department of Health’s website.

Town Hall

From left: Representative-elect Larry Hoff, Senator Ann River, and Representative Brandon Vick.

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.

 

Lori Keller, Master Aesthetician, and owner of Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic, located in Downtown Camas, answers common questions about laser benefits.

Why are laser aesthetics so effective?

It reverses the signs of aging and sun damage with minimal to no downtime.

When you come in, we will do a complimentary consultation to create a program for your skin care needs. For example, if a client wants to reduce wrinkles, we do a combination therapy which includes laser, microneedling, and peels, depending on the severity of the wrinkles or sun damage.

What are common myths and misconceptions about aesthetic laser treatments?

Does it hurt is the most common question. The answer is sometimes there is none to minimum pain level, depending on treatment being performed.

Another common question is “does it work?” The answer is yes — we have lasers that correct and ultrasound to lift and tighten the skin without surgery.

Going on the Internet and seeing mistakes being done by people who are unqualified or inexperienced. I have more than 30 years of experience.

What kind of equipment do you have?

The Cutera XEO platform is the laser we use, which I’ve been using for 20 years, and I’m happy with the results this awesome technology offers. We also have the Ultherapy ultrasound for lifting and tightening the skin without surgery.

Laser

BEFORE/AFTER: Limelight treatment for brown spots and sun damage.

What makes our treatments a good Christmas gift?

Start the New Year with renewed self-confidence! You can see the results pretty quickly, depending on skin type. We feel that lasers offer great results in skin rejuvenation. Bring in the New Year with your best face forward. It’s about giving the gift of confidence at any age — male or female, young, middle-aged or more mature all benefit from our services at Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic! Lasers produce fabulous results, as well as facials,  microdermabrasion, chemical peels and ultrasounds for lifting and tightening without surgery.

We have special offers that are very affordable. It’s giving the gift of beauty.

What services does Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic offer?

Intense Pulse Therapy (IPL), Chemical Peel Treatment, Microneedling, Ultherapy, Face/Leg Vein Treatment, Botox/Fillers, and we offer Jane Iredale mineral makeup (makeovers), and medical level skins care products that perform!

We invite you to contact us for a complimentary consultation today. 360.823.0795 or visit us at www.VancouverLaserSkinCareClinic.com

Laser

Lori and Jen hard at work at the clinic.

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.

Camas, WA — During this past weekend’s Camas Wellness Festival, event organizers held a 90-minute panel called “Your Teen’s Secret Life at School and Outside Your Home” in which they addressed questions about social media addiction, online bullying, effects of technology in the classroom, and when to give a child a smart phone.

Panel members Kimberly Berry, Alan Chan, and Jennifer Ireland answered questions. Berry is the founder of Being UnNormal, a consulting and advocacy group for mental health issues. Chan has worked in Clark County for six years providing services to at-risk youth with chronic and complex mental health needs. Ireland has a Master’s degree in K-12 Special Education, and is a 22-year veteran public school teacher (at Skyridge Middle School).

We report their responses to each question.

Question: Can social media be addictive?

Berry: “Yes, of course, anything can be addictive. We know that teens are spending a lot of time on their phones. Teens that spend five hours or more a day on their smart phones are more prone to be depressed. Ten percent of teens check their phone at night at least ten times per night. Chances are they’re checking it when you don’t realize it.”

Chan: “In my experience, the social media and cell phone usage is a huge conflict in their lives. The phones and social media become a social status among kids.”

Ireland: “Addiction comes with all the time children are spending on these devices. Self-esteem and confidence relies upon what they see on social media. It’s problematic.”

Question: How does social media affect mental health?

Berry: “We see the escalation of bullying being carried into the home. It also leads to isolation.
They start to get anxious about not measuring up to false standards.”

Chan: “I think the concern I have with social media is that it creates a false reality. Often times we only see all the great things. You feel like you’re missing out. It’s the fear of missing out. You feel like you’re different, like you can’t connect, like you’re a bit of an outcast.”

Ireland: “We can’t shelter them completely from it. We make sure we limit how they use social media, and monitor their usage. Parents should be on all the accounts. We have to be with them step by step, and start them with training wheels. Instagram is safer than some of the others. On Snapchat, things disappear. As a parent, look at their posts together. Have conversations with your children about the posts.

“Social media is a photo album of all the good things in life, and doesn’t represent all the reality, like the negatives and struggles. You can’t put it away, it’s everywhere now. Talk to your child about it. It’s for their health.”

Chan: “Kids have become so reliant and dependent on social media to connect with friends that it’s hard to put away.”

Berry: “I encourage parents to look beyond posts, and to look at DM’s and IM’s. Dig into social media accounts. There is often a lot of stuff happening on the back end. The social media impact on young girls is they are comparing themselves, which is creating more eating disorders. Remember that our girls are comparing themselves to the unattainable. As parents, we have control over social media, so take control of that. You are empowered.”

Laser

COME VISIT US IN DOWNTOWN CAMAS!

Question: What is online bullying?

Berry: “People send negative messages to our kids, and it’s coming from other kids. Half of teens have reported they’ve been bullied online. Twenty-five percent of those reports are coming through their cell phones. One in five children get sexual messages.

“Eighty percent of teens use cell phones regularly. The phone is always with you. It’s in your house. Your house is supposed to be a safe place, but now the bear is everywhere. You’re constantly feeling anxious. It’s really problematic because it is destroying our children’s hearts and hope. We need to responsibly reduce access. Ask your kids about whether they’ve been bullied at school.”

Ireland: “If you ask your child the R’s of bullying they will you. It happens in the halls and in the lunchroom, but the online bullying is becoming more prevalent. The kids have gotten really good at doing this in the school setting.”

Question: In general, how has school life changed in the last 10 years?

Ireland: “I feel like I’ve been in school my whole, as a student and teacher (she teaches 6th grade).
It’s changed drastically, and the big shift is the increased anxiety and mental health.
It’s a whole different ball of yarn with increases in standardized testing. As a kid, I don’t remember hearing about my results, and now these standardized tests are stressing kids out. She’s concerned about the pressure. Some kids might need five years to graduate from high school, and they shouldn’t be counted less or as not being successful. The stress of all that goes back into the education system. The teacher success is being tied to those scores. They’ve cut out music, art and recess in the middle schools. They don’t get to move, they don’t get to be outside. All those coupled with social media is causing problems. Lack of food and sleep contribute to their pressures and stresses.

“Too many parents aren’t happy with less than a 3.5 GPA. They get upset when a child gets 96% on a math test. Parents put unrealistic expectations on their kids, and that shows up in the classroom. What can we do to make good enough good enough?”

Secret

Your Teen’s Secret Life Panel spent 90 minutes discussing a variety of mental health issues.

Question: How as parents can we manage the academic stress they’re facing?

Ireland: “Talk to your kids. Talk to them about how to manage their time. Talk about their schedule and make sure they schedule in down time. Exercise and fitness are key. Cultivate friendships that aren’t online friendships. Ask what they’re going to do when they hang out.

“Make sure your child knows they need to make good, positive connections with teachers or counselors. Parents need to reach out to their teachers.”

Chan: “People learn in different ways. Be attuned to barriers and challenges that kids have.”

Berry: “We can’t blame our teachers. We need to approach teachers as allies, and not obstacles.”

Ireland: “Kids need to have chores. It seems so little, but having a job contributes to making a home run more efficiently. Praise them for the work they do. The satisfaction of a job well done is something many kids don’t have today.”

Question: At what age is a smartphone appropriate?

Ireland: “13 or older. It seems to be a middle school milestone. It’s better for their health to wait until 8th or 9th grade. It’s a major distraction at middle school and it’s not healthy for them. Too many 6th graders have cell phones. Sixth graders don’t need smartphones. There are different types of phones you can get. Give them a simpler phone at first and see how they take care of it.”

Berry: “Phones are a status symbol. It’s an intentional projection coming from home. It creates problems in the schools. Find out how do they feel when they’re away from the phone from an extended period of time.”

Teachers in the room agreed that smartphones for kids under 13 isn’t a good idea, and that it leads to more kids leading a secret life that parents aren’t aware of.

To learn more, visit www.CamasWellnessFestival.com

Camas, WA — Organizers for the upcoming Camas Wellness Festival see a growing need for communities to address mental and emotional health issues, so they’re taking action.

The festival, which is set for October 13, from 10 am-5 pm at multiple Downtown Camas locations, was organized by Kimberly Berry, Erika Levy, and Aspen Tufares.

The festival provides resources for empowering families. There is an Adolescent Mental Health Summit, sessions for Early Learning Wellness, Postnatal Wellness, Dance and Yoga and Embody Love workshops that empower girls to find their inner beauty, commit to kindness and make meaningful change in the world. The festival also serves as a fundraiser for Dance Evolution, a 501c3 nonprofit, promoting health and wellness in Camas.

Berry is the producer of the Adolescent Mental Health Summit, which takes place in Camas, and will tackle tough subjects like suicide and depression.  Levy is a yoga instructor at Empress Yoga (www.empressyoga.com)and will teach the benefits of her work to parents and children at the festival, and Tufares is teaching “Mindful Movement for Disabilities,” which is a workshop for parents or caregivers and children — and she is also teaching “Moving Meditation” for adults.

Berry is also the founder of Being UnNormal, a consulting and advocacy group that assists parents navigate the world of mental health through a peer support model. She is also the host of the podcast Being UnNormal which explores issues within the mental health community with a specific emphasis on children’s mental health issues.

Community

www.McKeanSmithLaw.com

Together, they approached local mental health professionals that will tackle tough topics during the daylong festival, which has workshops, yoga classes, and forums that are designed to take the stigma out of mental health issues.

The Adolescent Mental Health Summit has multiple sessions at the Camas Public Library that will address anxiety, depression, mindful parenting, youth suicide prevention, performance culture, academic stress, stress management, coping skills, and more. These workshops are presented by professional counselors and mental health advocates. All of the sessions are free.

You can pre-register for the festival at: www.CamasWellnessFestival.com

“We had five local suicides last year,” said Levy. “That’s five too many, and once we started to reach out to teachers and members of the community we saw a great need. Teachers will discuss what they’re seeing in schools. Parents aren’t always accepting or understanding so we’ll have open and honest discussions about what is happening. They may not understand what it is, and don’t have the tools to know how to identify mental health. This festival will help with understanding.”

The festival also provides several yoga and dance sessions, which will be held at Dance Evolution, Flow Hot Yoga, Evolutions Preschool, Lisa Le Properties, A Boutique Experience. These sessions are free.

“We’ve turned it into a community-based team focus, that will empower parent-child relationships to help them flourish,” said Berry. We’ll also teach how to identify drug issues. And did you know that 50 percent of the student population has tried Adderall? The parents feel shame and guilt, and my role is to bring everybody together to educate our community. We can actually make a change.”

Teachers can get Washington Clock Hours for attending 3+ hours of the Adolescent Mental Health Summit. They can even get a STEM credit for attending the session Inspiring Children in STEM. Details will be posted to the website soon.

The festival also has a CLOSING CEREMONY at Salud! Wine Bar, which includes a raffle with some great prizes donated by local businesses. This is the fundraiser for the festival.

To learn more about the festival, and to register for the session, please visit: www.CamasWellnessFestival.com