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.

Local mom uses personal experience to help open specialty food allergy clinic

Courtesy of Debbie Taback
Debbie Taback, Mountain View mom and co-founder of Latitude Food Allergy Care, above with her husband and children, said she was inspired to help people affected by food allergies after all three of her kids were diagnosed.

Using her firsthand experience, Debbie Taback of Mountain View co-founded Latitude Food Allergy Care, a specialty food allergy clinic in Redwood City that aims to help children and adults through the diagnosis, potentially life-saving therapy trials and later management of the allergy.

Taback and her clinic co-founders hope to give parents what they wish they had when they were learning about their own children’s serious food allergies: reassurance that they can handle all of the situations thrown their way.

Learning on the job: Local caregiver agency partners with VR company to test innovative training

Courtesy of Care Indeed
Meg Gonzales, Care Indeed’s staffing and employee relations coordinator, tests out the new virtual-reality technology being used to train her caregivers.

Care Indeed has joined forces with the Menlo Park-based Strivr to provide a different kind of on-the-job instruction to caregivers who help patients with dementia: virtual-reality training.

“We are the only company in the country that is using this technology to train caregivers on how to interact (with those affected by dementia),” said Melissa Oakes, business development manager of Care Indeed, which provides at-home assistance to seniors and their family members at six Bay Area locations. “Empathy training is absolutely needed. But then, on the other side, it doesn’t teach you how to interact with that person. Sometimes when you just do empathy training, you can come off more as feeling sorry (for the patient).”

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