Help SoundCare Fill the Backpacks of Children in Need!

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FamilyWorks is Having a Back to School Drive.
We need your support!

Please donate Back to School Items Here!
Back to School Supplies Needed for each Backpack include:

–          1 backpack
–          12 pencils
–          1 pk of colored pencils
–          1pk of colored markers
–          1pk of loose leaf paper
–          2 notebooks
–          1pk of tape
–          1 pair of scissors
–          2 composition books
–          1 pencil sharpener
–          1 ruler
–          glue (1 bottle, 4 sticks)
–          highlighters 1-2
–          1 pen
–          1 pencil case
–          1 eraser
–          1 pk of crayons
–          3 folders

“The FamilyWorks Resource Center is a warm and inviting place where families and individuals are welcomed and encouraged to participate in programs and activities designed to support and enhance a nurturing and vibrant community.”

FamilyWorks is a Family Resource Center and Food Bank located at 1501 N. 45th St., Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 694-6227
http://www.familyworksseattle.org/

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Protect your Skin

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Pull out that forgotten bathing suit, put on your hiking shoes, or get out the ball and leash; beautiful weather is here to stay this weekend! The sun is shining, and all over Seattle people are coming out of the woodwork to soak up those gorgeous rays of sunshine. Many of us cannot wait to get a golden tan, but linger too long outside without protection and you will be burnt to a crisp.

When your skin is exposed to the sun without protection it can burn, becoming irritated and red. This is due to the ultraviolet rays from the sun, which are not always visible and can penetrate your skin. Beneath the surface, UV rays can alter your DNA, prematurely aging your skin and contributing to skin cancers.

With this in mind, keep your skin safe. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10AM and 4PM, so try not to sit out too long if you decide to pull out the lawn chair during this time and always wear sunscreen. To be the most effective, sunscreen should have a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 and should be applied at least thirty minutes before going outside, even if it is overcast. If you are going swimming, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours.  If you happen to forget sunscreen, provide shade for your skin with the right clothes! Hats, light long-sleeved shirts and pants as well as sunglasses will help protect you from harmful sun damage.

If you do end up with a burn, there are many things to remedy the pain. If your skin feels hot and is red, apply a cold compress to soothe the burn or delicately rub on a cream or gel that contains aloe or menthol for relief. If you are sunburned, you are probably also dehydrated, so be sure to drink ample water to stay hydrated. Most importantly, if you do have a burn, stay out of the sun until your burn heals.

Call for a doctor’s help if you notice any of these more serious sunburn signs:

  • Fever of 102 degrees or higher
  • Chills
  • Severe pain
  • Sunburn blisters that cover 20% or more of your body
  • Dry mouth, thirst, reduced urination, dizziness, and fatigue (signs of dehydration)

Enjoy the amazing weather, but be smart. Be sure to take the proper precautions to keep your body safe. Your skin will thank you!

Source: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/sunburn

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Natural Remedies and a Breath Practice to reduce Allergy and Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms

natural remediesWith spring in the air, it is finally time to spend more of our days outside in the warm rays of sunshine and blossoming flora. For the majority, it is also time to head to the local pharmacy and stock up on allergy medications. While allergy medications can be helpful in decreasing the production of mucus, antihistamines can actually damage the tissues. If you would like to take a more natural path to clear those sinuses, there are many other organic ways to build up immunity and reduce seasonal allergy symptoms.

Nutritionally, when there is blockage of the nasal passages or air constriction, you should try to avoid dense and processed foods. The best thing for your body on any given day, but especially if your allergies are acting up, is organic foods. When experiencing allergy symptoms, reach for foods that are high in citric acid and vitamin c. These foods will help boost your immunity, reduce histamine responses and break up mucus in the nose and throat. Also fill your diet with lots of anti-inflammatory foods or supplements such as fish oil or anything packed with omega-3s. If you still have a hankering for something sweet, avoid things like ice cream or any dairy based product. These will create more mucus and encourage flare-ups. Instead, pull out your favorite fruits and honey. Grilled peaches with cinnamon drizzled with honey is one of my favorites! You can even sprinkle on a little bit of bee pollen packed with important fatty acids and natural hormones to give your allergies a real kick in the pants.

For those of you with chronic sinus issues, it is hard to maintain a healthy immune system through strict diet. Fortunately, it is easy to do a ten-minute breath practice to reduce the effects of sinus infections and allergies. During flare-ups, you may often feel like a fish out of water- unable to breath, trapped and exhausted. This also affects your energy and emotions. A pranayama (breath) practice called alternate nostril breathing can help restore energetic balance and serve as a decongestant for those with allergies or chronic sinus infections. The breath practice goes as follows:

Alternate nostril breathing

-Begin by finding your breath and noticing how you feel. Try to address what is constricted in your body emotionally and physically.

-Slowly lengthen the breath by a second or two with each cycle. Once you have found a comfortable breath to carry throughout your pranayama practice, place your pointer finger and thumb above each nostril and lightly pinch the bridge of your nose. At this point, you can play with your finger placement so you can still comfortably inhale and exhale, but there should still be enough pressure to slow and narrow the airflow.

-When you are ready, inhale and press your thumb down to completely constrict the airflow of one nostril while lightly pressing on the opposite side with your pointer finger.

-On the exhale press down to completely block airflow with your pointer finger and lightly take the thumb off of the opposite nostril to that place of narrow, yet unblocked airflow. Take a full exhale and inhale on this side, then alternate nostrils.

– Continue alternating nostrils after a full cycle of breath for about twelve cycles then take all the pressure off your nose and begin to breath normally. Let yourself go through a few breath cycles to ramp down and bring your breath back to its new normal.

Enjoy the beautiful weather to come. Open up the windows or walk outside to let the fresh air fill up your mind and body. If, like many of us, this also causes your nasal passages to become blocked up and your energy lower, remember that there are always options beyond medications. Instead of popping a pill, pop an orange in your mouth. Bask in the warmth of the sun and bring your breath practice outside to find a better balance within yourself and nature.

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A Culture of Weak Backs, Necks and Shoulders

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As Seattleites, we are in a constant tizzy. We hustle and bustle through the daily routines of life without being aware of their effects on our body and energy levels. The majority of us work at a desk in front of a computer all day long, only to drive home, crunch our necks to talk on the phone, and slouch in front of the computer or couch to watch television or play video games. Although the progression of technology makes life a little easier, it continuously limits our mobility, strength and flexibility. We are constantly sitting, weakening and shortening our muscles. The most concerning part is that the majority of us are not even aware of the every day stresses put on our bodies and minds. This awareness is key to preventing and lessening physical and mental pains. Practicing yoga is an excellent first step to finding this awareness. It is a perfect tool for pain management that integrates body, breath and mind to bring awareness and clarity in all areas of your life.

When it comes to the body, breath, and mind there is not a single entity more important than the other. They all affect each other, and when practiced correctly have amazing effects on the body and mind. There are three stages of yoga correlated to the stages of life. Those are the sunrise (vrddi), noon (stithi) and sunset (laya) stages. This means when first learning yoga, we practice asana to assimilate and develop our bodies in space. We then progress to pranayama, integrating our breath and bodies to attain stability and find the energy flow within ourselves. Finally, to prepare for what may come after this life, meditation is practiced to gain clarity and peace.

Developing an asana practice is a great starting point if you are just beginning yoga.

You will become increasingly aware of your body at all times as you continue to do movement practices. It is important to realize what you are stretching or strengthening. Rather than trying to twist your body to fit the form of a posture, look first at what the function of the posture is. Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve through this posture. If it is to release tension in the shoulders, make sure you are not wearing those shoulders as earrings! Remember; function over form is key to a successful asana practice. If you begin to get bored with the same poses, remind yourself that repetition is good (when done correctly/safely). Repetition helps to reprogram the body’s muscle memory. Never forget, you must stretch and strengthen. Strengthening is especially important to do before stretching with our culture of weak backs, necks, and shoulders. When on the computer, driving or slouching our shoulders are rolled forward and internally rotated. This pulls on the muscles in our upper back and overstretches them making them weaker. This is why the majority of Americans have weak upper backs. Sitting also weakens our lower back and sacral area due to inactivity. If possible, you should try to integrate all five movements of the spine in each practice. These five movements are as follows:

  • Forward bends
  • Back bends
  • Laterals
  • Twists
  • Extensions

For the safety of your body and to achieve the effects you would like, your asana practice should be done mindfully, not mindlessly. Instead of turning on the television, focusing on those around you in a class, or listening to music, listen to and feel the movement of the energy in and around you.

Pranayama will help recognize and feel this energy. It is the breath of life or the energy moving throughout your body. Inhales extend the spine, creating intervertebral space. While, exhales compress the spine. Learning to control the breath will make you more aware of the energy moving in your body. When practiced with awareness inhalations and exhalations can give your spine a lovely massage like feeling. When doing a breath practice, you can imagine breathing into your tight areas. This brings attention and energy to those ignored spaces. The breath even protects the body during asana. Anatomical breathing will fill the empty cavities in your body to help protect and provide stability. Here is an anatomical breath practice to protect the body during asana practice.

  1. Begin by choosing a comfortable position where your spine is neutral. This can be done lying on your back, sitting or standing.
  2.  Next, start to become aware of your body. Are there any sore or tight areas? If so, do not dwell on whether or not they are good or bad sensations. Just notice them and move on.
  3. Start to notice your breath and where it is moving in your body. Does it reside in your belly, your chest?
  4. On your next inhale, start by breathing into your chest. Feel your head and neck float up to the sky as you fill your chest and ribs with the first half of your inhale. Then let the belly relax as your diaphragm lifts up with the expanding chest and ribs to create more space for the breath below.
  5. As you exhale, pull the belly in from the pubic bone all the way up to the chest, as if you were zipping up an invisible zipper.
  6. Feel the breath moving in and out of your body in a wave like motion as you continue to lengthen your breath a second longer with each inhale and exhale.
  7. If you are lying down, you should feel your spine moving away from the floor with each inhale and your lower back pressing back into the ground with each exhale. If standing, put one hand on your stomach and the other on your back. Feel your spine move away and your belly press into your hands as you inhale and the spine fall back against the hand as you exhale.
  8. Keep your breaths long and smooth, but you should never feel constricted or gulping for breath like a fish out of water. This can be dangerous and if you are feeling this, you should shorten your breaths or stop the breathing exercise.
  9. After about twelve full breaths, you should find a comfortable length of breath to carry throughout your asana practice.

To find clarity and serenity, meditation is practiced in order to control the random fluctuations of the mind and create awareness of yourself and body in space. Meditation helps to empty your mind. It is like a detoxification for your brain and will help you to see things as they are. A consistent meditation practice will help you reach a sense of peace and clarity and has amazing effects on individuals with chronic pain. Many yogis use mantras or phrases during meditations. If you choose to use a mantra, make sure it is a positive one! Positive thoughts will translate to positive actions and energy.

Create an abundance of joy in your life by taking time for yourself! Life happens quickly. The days go by, and sometimes we hardly notice them. Try to make an effort to notice not just each day, but where you are at in every second of the day. Awareness is quintessential to begin your journey towards a healthy life filled with peace and clarity.

* Look for upcoming yoga practices to relieve stress/tension from your daily routines!

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Seattle Car Accidents

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We have recently had an influx of people seeking treatment due to being in a car accident. Here are some tips, if you ever find yourself in this position:

At the Crash Scene

A. Safety First

When you are involved in a motor vehicle collision as the driver, passenger, bicyclist, or pedestrian:

  • Check drivers and passengers for injuries.
  • Pull over as close and as safely as you can to the collision site and make sure the vehicle is turned off.
  • Call 911. Report the collision, location, and injuries.
  • Wait for the police to arrive. Do not leave. Insist that the other driver(s) remain at the scene. (Sometimes when the at-fault driver leaves the scene before the police arrive, he/she may change their version of how the collision occurred.)
  • Do not move injured persons; wait until medical personnel arrive.

B. Cooperate with Police

  • Remain at the scene until an officer arrives. Tell the officer how the collision happened. Cooperate and answer all their questions to your best ability. Fully describe the events that led up to the crash and those that followed afterward.

C. Record Information

  • It is important to get as much information at the scene of the collision as possible. If necessary, ask a family member, friend, or witness to get this information for you if you are transported from the scene by ambulance.
  • Write down the date, time and location of the collision. Make note of the road and weather conditions. If the police come to the scene, record the agency (e.g. city Police, county Police, or State Patrol), the officer’s name, and the incident number. (Investigation by a police officer will often result in a written report. This report, known as the Police Traffic Collision Report, has a reference number known as the incident number.)
  • Record the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Copy the other driver’s information directly from his/her driver’s license. Make sure to record the driver’s:
    • Name, address, and phone number
    • Employer and work phone
    • Make, model, and year of his/her car
    • Name of the registered owner of the vehicle (if different than the driver)
    • Insurance company name, agent name, and policy number(s)
    • Driver’s injuries or pain complaints, if any
    • Any statements the driver makes to you about the collision, even if it is simply, “I’m sorry,” or “I didn’t see you.”
  • Write down a clear description of every vehicle involved and anything that may have contributed to the collision. (Tell these facts to the investigation police officer.)
  • Make a sketch of the collision scene showing the direction of travel of all vehicles, position of the vehicles at the time of impact and the path of the vehicle from impact to stopping point. Note the location of skid marks and debris.
  • Take photos of your car, your injuries, the collision scene, and the other vehicles involved at the scene.

D. After Leaving the Collision Scene

  • If you have ever been involved in a collision, you know it is hard to remember to do everything needed. However, even if you have not made notes right after the collision, try doing so now. As time goes on, specific details of the collision become increasingly difficult to remember.

Important and Immediate Considerations

A. Seek Medical Attention

  • If you are injured from a collision, it is in your best interest to seek medical attention as soon as any symptoms of achiness or pain appear.
  • It is common to feel fine at the scene, only to develop pain over the next several hours or days. Do not wait to seek medical attention in the hope that the pain will resolve on its own. Don’t be silent. Be smart, for the sake of your health and potential claim.
  • Are you aware that insurance claim representatives are trained to deny claims, and one of their common arguments is that the injured party did not seek healthcare immediately or shortly after the crash? They argue that if someone is injured, then they will seek medical care; if someone does not seek medical care, then they are not injured. In other words, if you do not seek medical care early on, be prepared for your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurer to argue that you were not hurt at all in the collision or that your injury was very minor.

B. Keep a Diary

  • Describe how the collision, pain, and physical limitations affected your work, daily routines, recreational activities, and relationships with others i.e. activities that you used to be able to do with ease that now cause pain or limitations.

Adapted from: Addler, Richard H. From Injury to Action: Navigation Your Personal Injury Claim.

 

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Get creative with your kids! Simple and fun Valentine’s Day ideas for school or home.

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Spread some love on Valentine’s Day by handing out these chocolate-filled candy canes. Perfect and easy for the classroom parties:

Makes: 6 pops

What you’ll need:

  • 12 mini candy canes
  • 6 (6-inch) paper lollipop sticks
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Red, white, and pink nonpareils or sugar sprinkles

How to make it:

  1. Heat the oven to 235°. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange the candy canes as hearts and bake them for 10 minutes.
  2. Slide the hearts, still on the parchment paper, onto a work surface. Quickly pinch each heart onto a lollipop stick as shown below (an adult’s job).
  3. In the microwave, melt together the chocolate chips and the oil in 10-second intervals, stirring between heatings.
  4. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the center of each heart, then top with nonpareils or sugar sprinkles. Cool the pops before serving or wrapping them.

Adapted from: http://spoonful.com/recipes/sweet-heart-pops

There is something irresistibly simple and lovely about this card, and your sweetheart is sure to be a sucker for the candy treat it hides.

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What you’ll need

  • Red and green construction paper or card stock
  • Scissors
  • Lollipop
  • Glue stick

Helpful Tip:

If you use cardboard templates, one child can trace and cut hearts while another works on the leaves.

Variations:

Make cardboard templates of the hearts and leaves.

How to make it

  1. From red construction paper, cut out a heart that’s just larger than the lollipop candy and glue it to the wrapper.
  2. For the leaves, fold the green paper in half and cut out a leaf shape, leaving the two sides attached at the seam.
  3. Unfold the double leaf shape, coat the entire inside surface with glue, and fold it back over the lollipop stem, pressing to secure.

Adapted from: http://spoonful.com/crafts/lollipop-flowers

 

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February 14th is just around the corner.

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Skip the crowded restaurant this year, and make your own cozy Valentine’s Day dinner at home!

Valentine’s Day Menu for Two:

Our menu for two cuts down on time and fuss so you can enjoy this elegant meal on any night of the week — including Valentine’s Day.

We’ve designed this menu so that almost everything can be prepared in advance and then quickly assembled or reheated before serving. You’ll be relaxed, and your kitchen will be tidy.

(Just click on the links to view the recipe!)

Appetizer
Artichoke-Parmesan Crostini
main
Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon
side
Creamy Spinach
Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
dessert
Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse
Serves 2

Adapted from: http://www.marthastewart.com/856536/valentines-day-menus/@center/276967/valentines-day#164635

 

 

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