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REMEMBERING RYAN Appreciating the Meaning of Leap Day
s we approached leap day, I was excited about the thought of an extra February day, only to discover that I am scheduled to work that day. I thought it would be
a waste of the extra day, but then I thought about my finances. I realized that an extra February day gives me a whole day to make more money.
It made me realize that regardless of what we do, it is still amazing to have an extra day in February.
Leap day often reminds me of the kids with cancer I worked with while I was a nurse in pediatric oncology. Many of them are fighting a battle and facing death during such a young age, but it was impossible not to love these kids. They are some of the most courageous patients to work with, and I always enjoyed my time with them. One of the most memorable young cancer patients I cared for was Ryan, who was a teenager when he came in for his third broken arm. Ryan was battling osteosarcoma, a very rare cancer that weakens the bones and often affects male patients under age 25. I had a connection with Ryan almost instantly. I’m not sure if it was because I was pretty young with kids of my own or because we shared a strong faith, but I was drawn to him. He was one of the most positive and friendly patients I have ever met. He was saddened by his diagnosis, of course, but he had a mature viewpoint for someone his age. After years of bravely battling osteosarcoma, Ryan passed. From my perspective as his nurse, he made his death much easier for his parents and those he loved because of the positivity he had. As a Christian, Ryan believed his death would lead him to heaven, and we could tell there was peace in his family’s grief because of his maturity and mindset. His memorial service was a celebration of the kid who never let cancer break his faith, even as it was breaking his bones.
Spending time and celebrating with people I care about
I can’t help but think that Ryan would find a way to do something great with leap day, and I suppose that’s why this month reminds me of him. Even if you’re just working, I hope you can take advantage of this extra day. Use it as an opportunity to spend time with a loved one, work hard at your job, volunteer for an organization you care about, or do something productive. "I had a connection with Ryan almost instantly. I’m not sure if it was because I was pretty young with kids of my own or because we shared a strong faith, but I was drawn to him."
Whatever you do, I hope you see it as an advantage — even if you’re just working like me!
SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED ABOUT DIGITAL DEMENTIA? What It Is, Where It Came From, and What It Could Mean for Our Screen Time
Everyone forgets things. It’s not unusual to have trouble remembering the name of someone you’ve just met or recalling the face of a classmate you haven’t seen in 20 years. But it’s less normal — and a lot more inconvenient — to become chronically absent-minded. If you find yourself struggling to remember the minutiae of daily life, which page of a book you left off on, or when it’s time to pick your kids up from soccer practice, digital dementia could be to blame. The term “digital dementia” was coined in 2012 by German neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer, who studies how our addiction to technology is impacting our brains. According to Alzheimers.net, Spitzer found that “overuse of digital technology is resulting in the breakdown of cognitive abilities in a way that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.” Because of the shared symptoms, Spitzer called the affliction digital dementia. In the years since, speculation has abounded about the causes of digital dementia and how people can fight it. A 2017 Forbes article theorized that the problem isn’t just time spent with screens but how much we rely on our smartphones to feed us once- memorized information.
“In theory, having a device to store phone numbers, dates, maps and directions, and other information like that frees you up to focus on bigger and theoretically more important things,” Tony Bradley wrote in Forbes. “If you just use your device as a memory crutch, though, and you don’t take advantage of the opportunity to put your brain to work on other things, you aren’t exercising your brain, and it will atrophy.” Psychology Today blamed digital dementia in part on the mental strategies encouraged by video games. According to one study, gaming encourages the “response” strategy of following the same rote movements, while nongamers tend to use the “spatial” strategy of relying on landmarks when they navigate, which is better for mental sharpness. Whatever the root cause, we can take steps to fight digital dementia. As Dr. Carolyn Brockington told Alzheimers.net, the best strategies involve stepping away from screens and relying on brainpower. The next time you’re considering picking up your smartphone, try reading a book, playing a musical instrument, hitting the gym, or learning a new language instead.
BUSTED! Debunking Common PRP Facial Myths
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy was first developed in the 1970s, and since then, this powerful regeneration treatment has healed many ailments. But since its inception, many myths have swirled about its use and treatment options. We’ve debunked three of these myths about PRP facials below.
the natural make-up of your skin, your habits, and the expert applying the procedure. For starters, the components in your skin and how healthy it is can impact how the facial is applied and how your skin reacts to it. However, when you receive a PRP facial is just as important as who you receive it from. While the treatment has high standards, it’s similar to spa and beauty treatments in the sense that many providers have their own technique to ensure positive reactions for their clients.
Myth: Any esthetician can do a PRP facial.
Reality: A PRP facial is actually a medical procedure rather than a spa treatment. While the effects of a PRP facial could have your skin looking and feeling better than many spa treatments, the medical components of the procedure require providers to obtain specialty training. Many reputable providers of the treatment are licensed to ensure proper technique and methodology. (This includes our very own in-house expert, Denise Dial!)
Myth: PRP facials hurt!
Reality: There’s some truth to this. PRP facials can involve some discomfort, especially if you are prone to pain, are not properly hydrated, or are receiving the treatment on a sensitive part of the skin. However, the procedure also involves a numbing agent that is designed to limit the amount of pain patients experience. In addition, the technique your PRP technician uses will influence how much pain you feel during the procedure. (Denise prides herself on making you feel comfortable throughout the process!) PRP facial and hair regeneration treatment can be intimidating for those who don’t understand the facts surrounding this revolutionary procedure. Learn more about what this process can offer you by calling 562.980.0555.
Myth: Your face will be bloody afterward.
Reality : This is a tricky one! Your face’s reaction to a PRP facial is dependent on a variety of factors, including
PUMP IT UP
3 Tips to a Healthier Heart
While we celebrate Valentine’s Day with candy hearts, don’t forget about the real heart beating in your chest. February is also American Heart Health Month, and with heart disease being the No. 1 killer among men and women, it’s vital to learn about ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Stay Educated According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease every 37 seconds. One of the biggest steps you can take in preventing this deadly disease is talking to your doctor about your risks, family history, and habits that could lead to heart disease. In addition, inquire about the signs of a heart attack. For example, women are more likely than men to experience many symptoms of a heart attack, including chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, jaw and back pain, and fatigue.
Get Active The best way to keep your heart healthy is to get it working! Like any other muscle in your body, when you work your heart, you are strengthening it. Experts at Johns Hopkins recommend incorporating aerobic exercise, resistance training, and balance-focused workouts into your routine to optimize heart health through movement. Our team can help you create a plan that incorporates the fitness regimens that fit into your lifestyle and power your heart! Cut Habits Evaluate the habits in your life that could be contributing to an increased risk of heart disease. For example, smoking can damage the lining of your arteries, while fatty foods like butter, steak, and bacon can clog the arteries with plaque. This buildup can often lead to clotting, strokes, and heart attacks. Our wellness experts at The Wellness Studio can provide you with guidance and support as you evaluate your habits and choose healthier alternatives. This may include support as you quit smoking or developing a healthy, enjoyable meal plan.
Valentine’s Day Dog Treats: Cranberry Hearts
Inspired by Pretty Fluffy
• • •
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tbsp coconut oil
3–4 tbsp coconut flour
Learn more about how our team can help you develop a heart-healthy lifestyle by calling 562.980.0555.
1. Heat oven to 325 F. 2. In a small bowl, beat eggs and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, coconut oil, and cranberries. Pour in eggs and mix together with your hands until wet dough forms. 3. Mix in 1 tbsp of coconut flour at a time until dough easily forms into a ball. 4. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut with bite-size, heart-shaped cookie cutters. Transfer to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 5. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until treats are crisp. 6. Remove from oven and let treats cool completely before serving.
With Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and leap day, there is so much to celebrate in February — and only 29 days to do it! This month, we honor one of the rarest holidays on the calendar, by asking you to name its origins. WELLNESS QUIZ
Which famous ancient leader is credited with creating Leap Day?
Email your answers to email@example.com for your chance to be featured in next month’s newsletter!
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The Wellness Studio
1 THE LESSONS LEAP DAY TEACHES US
2 DO YOU BELIEVE THESE COMMON PRP MYTHS? 2 SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED ABOUT DIGITAL DEMENTIA?
3 VALENTINE’S DAY TREATS YOUR DOG WILL LOVE!
3 CELEBRATE AMERICAN HEART HEALTHY MONTH WITH THESE WELLNESS TIPS
3 CAN YOU ANSWER THIS MONTH’S TRIVIA QUIZ?
4 THE EFFECTS OF LOVE ON YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH
CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE? The Secret to Living a Longer, Healthier Life
The human brain is an incredibly powerful organ. It solves complex problems, recalls forgotten memories, and triggers a dizzying array of emotions. But its most incredible power is the effect it can have on the rest of the body. When it comes to love, well, our brains certainly love it, and our bodies reflect that. Less Stress Human beings thrive on a sense of connection and belonging, and studies have shown that love actually has positive effects on a person’s physical health as well as mental. The security and commitment felt in a loving relationship are shown to reduce stress by stunting the production of cortisol, the body’s stress- inducing hormone. Less stress means lower blood pressure, a healthier heart, and a lower risk of stroke, especially in men. Healthier Immune Systems Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that calm, happy people can fight common colds and the flu more easily than those who are anxious or depressed. The physical benefits of love
even go as far as healing wounds quicker. Small injuries inflicted on a wide test group at Ohio State University Medical Center healed nearly twice as fast on people who experienced consistent warmth and care than those who experienced hostility. In fact, the latter group needed almost a full additional day to achieve the same amount of healing as the first group. Longer, Happier Lives Being surrounded by love may even save your life. A statistic from the National Health Interview Survey states that single people face a 58% higher risk of mortality. Further bolstering that claim is the Harvard Health Blog, which claims happily married participants experience better health as they age when compared to peers in unhappy partnerships. In fact, the blog asserts, “People in stressful, unhappy marriages may be worse off than a single person who is surrounded by supportive and caring friends, family, and loved ones.” So, it seems the results are in: Loving someone is a healthy lifestyle choice. Even having a strong network of friends and family boosts your odds of living a long life by 50%. So, get out there and make the healthy choice for yourself and those around you by leading a life full of love.
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