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How massage therapy can help reduce anxiety

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Thanks to their relaxing effects, massages can help alleviate some of the physical and psychological symptoms associated with anxiety.

Therapeutic massage provides you with the opportunity to clear your mind and stop focusing on negative thoughts. As your body relaxes during massage, your brain relaxes too, especially if you’re using a technique that includes breathing exercises. However, don’t forget that anxiety isn’t just in your head.

Bodily tension resulting from anxious thoughts reinforces your brain’s sense that something is amiss, which makes it tell your body that you’re in danger. Physical symptoms of anxiety include muscle tension, headaches, shortness of breath and insomnia, all of which massage can help alleviate.

But if your anxiety is severe and interferes with daily activities, it’s crucial that you consult a doctor. Massages, whatever the type, can’t replace medication or therapy. Nevertheless, massage therapy can be part of a well-rounded treatment plan, as it does temporarily relieve many symptoms of anxiety.

Talk to a licensed massage therapist today to find the best technique to help alleviate your symptoms.

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4 reasons to swap your tampons for a menstrual cup

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While menstrual cups are increasingly popular, many women hesitate to make the switch. Here are four arguments that may convince you.

1. They’re affordable
Purchasing a menstrual cup means you won’t need to allocate part of your monthly budget to pads and tampons. A single menstrual cup costs around $30 and can last for as long as 10 years before it needs to be replaced.

2. They’re eco friendly

Disposable pads and tampons generate considerable waste. Reusable ones use up a lot of water and soap. By contrast, menstrual cups are an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.

3. They’re comfortable
When inserted according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing a menstrual cup. Plus, cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, meaning you can sleep through the night without ever worrying about leaks or having to get up and change your tampon or pad.

4. They’re easy to maintain
Most cups are made of either silicone or latex and require minimal maintenance. Simply wash yours with mild soap and water whenever you empty it. After your period, sterilize the cup by boiling it in water for a few minutes.

Additionally, menstrual cups are hypoallergenic and a less abrasive type of product than disposable tampons and pads. But regardless of what product you choose, to prevent infections, make sure to always wash your hands before and after you use it.

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STIs: a blind spot in elderly care

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It’s estimated that by 2030, over 20 percent of American citizens will be 65 or older. The growth of the senior population is likely to come with a number of challenges, one of which will be managing the increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among this group.

Seniors and STIs
According to a 2007 study, three quarters of seniors aged 57 to 64 are sexually active, and over half of those aged 65 to 74 are. (The availability of performance-enhancing drugs is likely driving the increase in sexual activity among seniors.)

At the same time, the rate of STIs is climbing in adults who are over 45 years old. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that people aged 50 and over account for 15 percent of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses.

A difficult topic for seniors
There are many factors that make it difficult to address the issue of STIs in seniors. For starters, they typically don’t consider themselves as being at risk for STIs and HIV/AIDS.

Furthermore, some individuals feel guilt or shame when noticing symptoms such as a rash or discharge. Others may mistakenly blame aging for signs of a health problem and therefore disregard them.

Finally, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors may face social stigmas when discussing their sexual health.

Institutional and social barriers
Most concerning is the lack of resources devoted to the sexual heath of the elderly population. According to some reports, seniors are excluded from close to 75 percent of clinical trials related to STI treatment and risk reduction. What’s worse is that healthcare professionals themselves often avoid discussing elderly patients’ sexual health.

Finally, though information is key in fighting the spread of STIs among seniors, there’s a noticeable lack of sexual education programs tailored to them.

Seniors need to practice safe sex and remember to discuss matters pertaining to their sexual health during doctors’ visits. As uncomfortable as it may be, there needs to a change in the way we deal with aging and sexuality. Doing so will ensure that our elders receive the care they deserve.

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Can you drive if you have epilepsy?

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Individuals afflicted with a seizure disorder may be able to drive in some cases, either with a regular license or one that imposes certain restrictions. While the specifics are regulated by state legislation, in general, those with epilepsy may be able to drive if:

• They’re on medication that prevents seizures
• They haven’t had a seizure in a certain number of months (it can range from three to 24, depending on state laws)

• They only have nocturnal seizures
• Their seizures don’t impact their consciousness or cognition
• They submit medical reports attesting to their competence

In all cases, those with a seizure disorder should confer with their doctor when determining whether or not it’s safe for them to drive. However, even if the doctor attests that the individual can drive safely, the final decision rests with the state licensing agency.

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5 facts about testosterone

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Testosterone is often associated with stereotypically male traits like impulsiveness, competitiveness and a high sex drive. However, this hormone is a lot more complex than you think. Here are five interesting facts about it.

1. Peak levels. Testosterone levels peak at around 30 years of age. After that, they drop off steadily at a rate of about one percent a year.

2. Not just a male hormone. Women also produce testosterone. However, they do so at a rate of six to 10 times less than men.

3. Anabolic steroid. Testosterone is often used in supplement form by athletes looking to increase their muscle mass quickly. These supplements come with a number of serious side effects, many of which are life threatening.

4. Role in fetal development. Fetuses developing into baby boys will begin producing testosterone during the seventh week of pregnancy, around the time the testicles begin to form. Before this, there’s no difference between a male and female fetus.

5. Production. Testosterone is chiefly produced by the testicles, with the adrenal glands also producing a small amount. Hormone production itself is regulated by two glands located at the base of the brain: the hypothalamus and the pituitary.

Worries about low testosterone levels are common, especially as men get older. However, keep in mind that it’s a complex hormone that performs multiple functions within the human body. Many conditions can affect your testosterone levels, so always consult a doctor if you have concerns and steer clear of herbal remedies and fad diets that purport to boost its production.

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4 ways to contribute to Movember (without growing a mustache)

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Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has helped raise funds for research initiatives involving men’s health including those pertaining to prostate and testicular cancer, mental health issues and suicide prevention. Today, over 5 million people take part in the movement, and there are many ways to do so other than growing a mustache.

  1. The Move program

Run or walk 60 miles over the month of November. That’s one mile for every man who commits suicide every minute of every hour. Alone or in a group, do it at home, outside or at the gym. Tell friends and family members about it. Some of them might join you or make a donation.

  1. Host a “Mo-ment”

Get together with friends, family members and colleagues and organize a fundraising event for the foundation.

  1. Participate in a Movember challenge

Visit the Movember website to sign up for one of the many challenges listed. They’re separated by industry type and you’re very likely to find one that’s right for you.

  1. Make a donation

Make a donation to someone involved in the campaign or give to the foundation directly by visiting us.movember.com.

This November, help raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues by participating in or contributing to a Movember initiative.

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Ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease with exercise

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Exercise is a common recommendation for patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Here’s why staying active can help you manage the condition.

What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a long-term degenerative condition that affects the central nervous system in general and motor functions in particular.

Common symptoms include tremors, slow movement, rigidity and postural instability. As the disease progresses and more areas of the brain become involved, symptoms such as sleep problems, mood disorders and digestive issues can also develop.

How does physical activity help?
Performing a variety of physical exercises early in the course of the disease contributes to the formation of new neural connections, which could slow the progression of symptoms.

Studies show that two and a half hours of exercise per week is enough to delay disease progression, especially with regards to symptoms that impact quality of life such as mood issues and loss of energy.

What’s the best kind of exercise?
The best type of exercise to do if you have Parkinson’s disease is the one you’re most willing to partake in regularly. Pick something you enjoy doing so you’ll stay motivated.

While even a simple walk will benefit you, keep in mind that many sports organizations, municipalities and kinesiologists offer activities specifically designed for seniors and people with motor issues.

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‘Tis the Season

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Front Royal
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Feels like: 30°F
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Humidity: 65%
Pressure: 30.33"Hg
UV index: 0
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Upcoming Events

Dec
7
Sat
10:00 am Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 7 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog. For beginning readers and up. Choose a time slot at registration, which begins[...]
10:00 am Free Pet Adoption Event @ Subaru Dealership
Free Pet Adoption Event @ Subaru Dealership
Dec 7 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free Pet Adoption Event @ Subaru Dealership
The pet adoption event will be hosted by Subaru of Winchester and feature adoptable pets from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke. This annual event will take place at the Subaru dealership located at[...]
1:00 pm “The Nutcracker” student perform... @ Skyline High School
“The Nutcracker” student perform... @ Skyline High School
Dec 7 @ 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
“The Nutcracker” student performance @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts presents the seasonal classic ballet “The Nutcracker” in Front Royal, Virginia, on December 7, 2019. Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its student production of “The Nutcracker”, being brought to the[...]
2:00 pm Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 7 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Are you inspired by good books, articles, movies, and art? Do you write, draw, or enjoy playing music? If so, join us as we discuss books and share our creations. This is a group for[...]
Dec
8
Sun
2:00 pm R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Dec 8 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Discover The Power of Rise at Randolph-Macon Academy! Join us for an open house on Sunday, December 8th, with tours beginning promptly at 2:00 pm. Families interested in applying for the second semester (January 27,[...]
3:00 pm Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 8 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Valley Chorale of Front Royal (previously Front Royal Oratorio Society) presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “HOME FOR CHRISTMAS” – a program of uplifting sacred and secular selections sure to brighten everyone’s yuletide season.[...]
Dec
10
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
Dec
11
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 11 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
12
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 12 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]