“You get as much out of it as you put into it”. That is how one SOS volunteer recently described her volunteer experience, adding that she looked forward to her volunteer shift every week. She’s not alone. Research has consistently found mental and physical health benefits are associated with volunteering. Volunteer Canada reports some findings on its website. One study states that volunteering lowers rates of stress, anxiety and depression. Another says it keeps your brain sharp, active and healthy, and yet another suggests that volunteering is one of the most empowering activities, as it focuses on the strengths of the individual.
Evidence based research relating to older adults identify Urban poling (Nordic walking), with the proper training, as a healthy activity suited for improving quality of life. Proven benefits include increased balance & stability, increase in mobility and improved strength. A 2011 study on Nordic walking with Parkinson’s clients found pain, balance and health related quality of life were improved. If it has been suggested to you that you need a cane but the stigma of a cane is not for you, why not try Urban poles. They are sporty, fun, easy to use and facilitate a more fluid gait.
D’Arcy Boulton, Registered Physiotherapist, BastionPhysio.com
Hypnotherapy is a therapy that uses your subconscious mind to correct imbalanced thinking. By removing negative limiting beliefs, it can help you move forward with your life in a positive way. When other forms of therapy have been unsuccessful, many clients find hypnotherapy to be the key for lifelong change. Hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment in reducing feelings of anxiety by changing the individual’s thoughts and feelings associated with it. Hypnotherapy can also help with many other issues including depression, disordered eating, anger issues and understanding your life’s purpose.
Germana Rovinelli, Cert. Clinical Hypnotherapist, Germana.ca
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a collection of signs and symptoms from dozens of conditions. One of these, Alzheimer’s, accounts for 70% of all dementias; usually in people over 65 years of age. Each disease affects specific types of cells in particular parts of the brain at different stages and presents differently in each individual. Dementia is most common with aging; 90-95% of people affected are over 65. 30-40% of the cases of dementia have genetic risk factors. Quality of life for people affected is greatly increased by having access to specialized services and programs.
Lianne Ketcheson, Nanaimo Memory and Complex Care, NanaimoMemoryCare.com
Riding a bicycle has many health benefits. Getting outside, taking deep breaths of fresh air and feeling the rhythm of your legs are all so good for you. Bicycling on a regular basis has been shown to improve heart health, muscle and bone strength, joint flexibility and reduce stress. An electric bike makes all of these benefits more accessible. The power assistance eliminates stress on your knees and hips and allows you to use as much of your own energy as you like. Hills become easy-peasy and barriers to riding disappear. You get more exercise because it’s so much fun you’ll want to ride it everywhere.
Ruby Berry, Pedego Electric Bikes, PedegoQualicumBeach.ca
There are many causes of drop-foot ranging from a nerve injury to a stroke. Essentially a drop foot is the inability to lift ones foot up. It is most obvious when your leg is in swing while walking. Toe drag is a common sign. This problem commonly goes undiagnosed leaving people with a high risk of tripping and falling. While treating the underlying cause proves difficult, there is an easy solution to improve your walking. An AFO (Ankle-foot-orthosis) is a brace that spans your foot and travels upward behind the calf muscle. When worn with a shoe, the brace will prevent drop foot and allow one to walk safely heel to toe as they once did. AFOs come in many variations depending on specific needs, it is therefore important to ask your doctor and seek a referral to a Certified Orthotist for a consultation.
B.D. Mitchell Prosthetics and Orthotics, MitchellPandO.com
The effects of wildfire smoke inhalation can manifest weeks and/or months after our skies have cleared in the form of chronic colds, flu and upper respiratory infections. Inhalation ozonide therapy is good for any acute upper respiratory infection, such as sinus infections, bronchitis, flu, colds, and viral pneumonias. Both asthmatics and patients with chronic lung disease can use it. Ozone gas is bubbled through olive oil to the inhaler which turns it into ozonides molecules and is completely safe to inhale. The ozonides can last for weeks in the human body and have an incredible regenerative effect on our cells and organs. They increase the delivery of oxygen to the cells, which is critical for lung conditions. Then they stimulate the cells to generate more energy and that is the key to the vitality we all want to feel, in each breath.
Dr. Sterling Desmond, TCM, R.Ac., EvolveWithDesera.com
According to a national survey, over one quarter of people tell white lies to their dentist about flossing. (Pssst.. We see through them every time.) In fact, 7% of people would rather hear the sound of nails on a chalkboard than floss; 18% would rather wash dishes and 9% would rather do their taxes! The reality is, flossing should be a critical part of your daily oral hygiene routine and should never be skipped. Commit to flossing for just two minutes during your bedtime routine and you’ll have a clean, fresh mouth. Something we all want.
Lakeside Dental Clinic, LakesideDentalClinic.ca
Fall finds many of us back to our usual busy schedules and sometimes that regular yoga class falls off the “to do” list. Here are my top three reasons to squeeze in a weekly yoga class:
1. To relax: “Happy hormones” like dopamine and serotonin are released during yoga.
2. To cope with stress and emotions: In the long-term, yoga helps you cope with stress, anxiety, and even grief. Yoga teaches you to breathe through emotions, slow down and recognize your strength.
3. To improve your athletic performance: Yoga will increase flexibility and core strength, thereby helping to prevent injuries.
Susan Pederson, Owner, Suga Yoga, SugaYogaParksville.com
After all those years of independence it can be devastating to be without wheels. Time to make a new plan. Many experts agree, it is best to sell the car and put that money into an account marked “My RIDE”. Then make arrangements to have a service be your driver. Check your calendar and pick your dates. A standing appointment allows you to plan ahead and to know Your Ride is available when you want it. Having YOUR RIDE means you can still have your independence. Take control; life can still be better than good! It can be meaningful and fun!
Dorothy Spencer, Oceanside Area, DrivingMissDaisy.ca
Life takes courage. To be more courageous, simply gaining new information is not enough. We learn by doing. This is core for David Osborn, the facilitator of the SOS Men’s Personal Growth program. Some of the outcomes of the program include helping men to gain understanding of their anger and conflict style, improving their communication skills, and helping them develop a deeper sense of purpose. David provides new and practical experience while establishing an environment for men to become more assertive and compassionate with themselves and with others. Working as a school counsellor and a Registered Clinical Counsellor (R.C.C.) for over 25 years, David is passionate about restorative justice, energy psychology, and current brain research.
Lissa Alexander, Marketing Coordinator, SOS, SOSD69.com