Aging Well in the Gorge February 2nd 2016

When talking to folks at the Center, I find many are using what was once considered non-traditional medical practices. In fact in the U.S more than 30 percent of adults, use health care approaches developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine. Two of the most common practices are natural products such as herbs, vitamins and minerals, and probiotics; and mind and body practices including the most popular practices: chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, meditation, massage therapy and yoga.
But when I hear of these non-traditional methods, I often describe them as “alternative” or “complementary” medicines, often interchanging the terms because I really didn’t know the difference. But while searching various websites for reasons I have since forgotten, I found this rather straight forward explanation on the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) website.
If a non-mainstream practice is used together with conventional medicine, it’s considered “complementary.” If a non-mainstream practice is used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered “alternative”.
Today with the growing research on the effectiveness of various “complementary” and “alternative” practices, modern medicine no longer ignores the benefits of many of these non-western medical approaches. For example, MCMC was an early adopter when they opened the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in 1996, offering stress management, exercise, nutrition counseling and an array of non-traditional therapies to address the whole patient and their health needs.
If you are considering a complementary practice, I have learned there are several things to consider. Do your homework. Find out how effective the practice is and make sure it is safe. (For supplements, drug interactions and possible contamination are two concerns.) The NCCIH website ( is a good place to start. Also talk to your health care provider to make sure there are no conflicts with your current medications; and to make sure you are not missing a more serious and preventable health condition.
Like any decision concerning your health, decisions about whether to use a non-mainstream practice are important. Make sure you understand the benefits, but also the possible risks.
Last chance to remind you of the Southern Fried Chicken Dinner sponsored by Dave Griffith Motors this Friday night, February 5th, from 4:30 – 7:00 PM at the Center. Tickets are $15.00 per person and $7.50 for children 12 and under, and can be purchased at the Center or at the door on Friday. We hope this becomes a regular event on your calendar as the Baby Back Rib Dinner is on the first Friday in October.
Cuba has been in the news since President Obama started liberalizing travel restrictions in 2011 and recently reestablished diplomatic ties. Last fall, Sandy Haechrel and Susan Gabay took advantage of this thawing in relations by spending eight days in Cuba on an educational People to People Exchange.  Among the many sites they visited were the cities of Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, and Trinidad; the Cienfuegos Province Botanical Gardens and Cienaga de  Zapata National Park; the Bay of Pigs; and Hemingway’s winter home; as well as schools, senior housing, and many art and music venues. They will be sharing their experiences and impressions with a slide show at the Center’s 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on February 9th.
At the Center on February 9th starting at 6:30 PM, Martin and Friends will be performing for your dancing and listening pleasure. Everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated.
Many folks remembered the Palmer Method and its uniform system of cursive writing. But this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket is LaVerna Bolton Harmier, who started school in 1926 at Fairfield School, a one-room school near Wrentham, graduated from Dufur High School in 1938, retired from teaching in 1982, and is now living with her daughter in Portland. She learned the Palmer method as a child, and also taught it to her students, so she knows from experience.
Since next Sunday is the Super Bowl (when you can watch really expensive advertisements for really large companies scattered between really big guys banging their heads together), you know what this week’s “Remember When” question is about.
In the 1970’s, what football team won four Super Bowls and included future all-stars Terry, Franco, Joe, Mel, and Lynn. Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a steel curtain.
Well, it’s been another week losing my note pad with my to-dos that I didn’t want to forget. Until we meet again, keep moving, keep laughing and keep making the best of every day.
“If it weren’t for electricity, we’d all be watching television by candlelight.” George Gobel

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