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Your Health

Hometown product runs thriving PT practice


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Physical therapist Lance Westcott, left, watches as colleague Tricia Clark demonstrates a rehabilitation exercise.

For Lance Westcott, establishing his physical therapy center seven years ago in downtown Los Altos was more than just a stab at becoming a business owner – it was a homecoming.

Born at El Camino Hospital and raised in Los Altos, Westcott is founder of Westcott Physical Therapy at 240 Second St. – the former home of the Los Altos Coffee Shop. A former Bullis-Purissima Elementary and Egan Junior High student, Westcott conceded that he didn’t necessarily expect to call Los Altos home again when he embarked on his professional career.

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Is marijuana use increasing the burden of mental illness?

Public perception of marijuana has shifted significantly over the past decade. Historical concerns about “Reefer Madness” from marijuana use have evolved into today’s near glamorization of the substance.

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Energy drinks pose health risks for youth

Red Bull “gives you wings,” right? It “boosts your immune system, enhances your performance and helps you stay awake.” This is what energy drink manufacturers want us to believe, and they plaster these misleading messages all over sporting events, music venues and video games. It’s no wonder that up to 30-50 percent of adolescents and young adults have consumed energy drinks.

But are they safe for young people to drink? No. It’s important that parents educate themselves about these harmful drinks and talk to their kids about the health risks.

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El Camino Hospital among best in San Jose metro area

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked El Camino Hospital as one of the top hospitals for 2014-2015 in the San Jose metropolitan area.

The annual U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, now in their 25th year, recognize hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging patients.

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Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.

Tia Geri can’t wait to bring her new golden retriever, Nonna, home to Los Altos this month. Her diabetic alert dog will not only become a new family friend, but also a lifesaving companion if her blood sugar drops too low.

Geri, 14, suffers from Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes. She and her parents live with the fear of hypoglycemia – low blood sugar. Waking up to a diabetic who has become comatose during the night because of low blood sugar is not just scary, it can be life-threatening. Research shows that between 2 and 6 percent of Type 1 diabetics under the age of 40 who die, pass away from low blood sugar while sleeping.

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Fitness Halpers: Local trainer makes an impact with seniors


Katie Robinson/Town Crier
Adam Halper of Fitness Halpers, right, customizes workouts for clients like Charlie Golden, left.

It’s never too late to get back in shape.

Los Altos resident Adam Halper launches his “Senior Bootcamp” sessions in the fall through the Los Altos Recreation Department at Hillview Community Center and Los Altos Hills Town Hall. The classes are part of his fitness brand and company – Fitness Halpers, which specializes in personal training, boot camps, weight loss, balance training, posture alignment and high-intensity interval training.

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Local business offers smartphone-compatible hearing aid


Courtesy of Pacific Hearing Service
Pacific Hearing Service in Los Altos now offers the LiNX hearing device, left. Users can wear the hearing aid while adjusting its volume and geotagging sound settings through some Apple-compatible devices, including the iPhone 5.

A downtown Los Altos business is offering a hearing device that can be controlled with the touch of a smartphone.

Pacific Hearing Service at 496 First St., Suite 120, is now featuring the LiNX hearing device, the creation of Danish company ReSound. LiNX, according to company officials, allows users with hearing loss to use Apple devices, such as the iPhone 5 and some newer versions of the iPad, to find and adjust the hearing device – and even directly stream phone calls into them.

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