Teenage concussions and traumatic brain injuries linked to suicide

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an initiative sponsored by Mental Health of America, now in its 70th year.

This year, MHA expands its #4Mind4Body theme, emphasizing a whole-body approach to mental health and the relationship among body, brain and mind. #4Mind4Body provides recommendations on all aspects of health, physical wellness, nutrition, sleep, exercise and stress.

Study shows adverse childhood experiences may last a lifetime

Many of us prefer to ignore our painful childhood experiences, but a landmark Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Kaiser study shows these adverse events are strongly related to the development of a wide range of physical and mental health problems throughout our lifetimes.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study looked at 17,000 mostly white, middle-class, college-educated adults receiving health-care services from Kaiser Permanente in San Diego.

Step it up: Dance brings communities together

Town Crier File Photo
Impromptu dancers outside the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts let the music move their feet. Dancing can generate a sense of social connection, energy and camaraderie.

It’s no secret that dancing is good for us. According to research, dancing provides strong cardiovascular activity, improves memory, helps with balance and coordination and boosts emotional and mental health.

I’ve been dancing since age 7, starting with ballet training and moving into training, performing, competing, choreographing and instructing in hip-hop, modern, jazz, Latin and Bollywood dance throughout my childhood, teenage and adult life.

Experts warn that vaping disrupts teens' brain development

Photo by Sarah Johnson/Black Note
According to recent studies from agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of teenagers using tobacco has risen nearly 40 percent since 2017. One of the driving factors in the increase is the popularity of vaping, or the smoking of e-cigarettes from brands like Juul that account for approximately 20 percent of all tobacco products used by young people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released its annual report on tobacco use by youth, reporting an alarming 38.3 percent increase in smoking by teenagers since its last report in 2017.

This is the first reported increase in youth smoking in several years – 1.5 million children – and is attributed to vaping, or e-cigarettes, which now account for 20.8 percent of all tobacco products used by youths.

Breathe easy: ECH among first to offer lung procedure with no incisions

Mike Ichikawa/Special to the Town Crier
Dr. Ganesh Krishna, medical director of El Camino Hospital’s Interventional Pulmonology Program, holds the newly approved Zephyr valve.

With two more trials in the pipeline, El Camino Hospital’s Dr. Ganesh Krishna and his team are making history as the first health-care professionals in California to offer a minimally invasive procedure for those struggling with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.

In March, Krishna – medical director of the hospital’s Interventional Pulmonology Program – and his colleagues successfully treated patients with the new U.S. Food & Drug Administration-approved Zephyr Endobronchial Valve. The Zephyr is considered a major advancement in relieving hyperinflation, a common symptom those with emphysema struggle with when air becomes trapped in their lungs and prevents new air from coming in, according to Krishna.

Could stretching actually be making your sciatica worse?

People who suffer from sciatica are often told to stretch their hamstrings or their piriformis to relieve the tightness and get rid of pain. But certain sciatica stretches not only don’t work, they also can be quite harmful.

A client of mine, Susan, 47, had been suffering from what she believed to be hip pain for many months. Because of all the time she spends working at her desk and driving/commuting, she could literally feel her hips getting tighter and stiffer by the day.

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