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How to optimize your oral health



In addition to keeping your teeth strong, proper dental hygiene habits can help you avoid a variety of health problems. Here are a few things you can do to improve your oral health.

• Choose the right products. Invest in a quality electric or manual toothbrush, as well as toothpaste, dental floss, and interdental brushes. Opt for products that have been tested and approved by dental professionals or recommended by your dentist.

• Use the proper techniques. Brush your teeth using a gentle circular motion rather than scrubbing back and forth. Similarly, you should carefully glide the floss between your teeth to avoid damaging your gums. Ask your dentist or hygienist to demonstrate these and other techniques to ensure you’re effectively cleaning your teeth.

• Protect your mouth from injury. Many sports and other activities carry a high risk of trauma to the face. To avoid head and tooth injuries, it’s important to wear the right equipment, such as a helmet and custom mouth guard.

• Visit your dentist regularly. Tartar can only be removed with special tools, and your dentist is trained to spot early signs of decay and infection. Therefore, even if you take good care of your teeth, it’s essential to schedule a professional dental exam and cleaning at least once a year.

Keep in mind that a variety of lifestyle habits can also affect your oral health. Among other things, you should quit smoking, drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet, and avoid opening things with your teeth.

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Staying well: Meditation can improve memory, concentration and more



Everyone knows that meditation can reduce stress. But researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital say it directly affects the function and structure of the brain. It increases attention span, sharpens focus, and improves memory.

With the aid of advanced brain scanning technology, one study showed that daily meditation thickens the parts of the brain’s cerebral cortex responsible for decision-making, attention, and memory.

The test subjects were Boston-area workers practicing Western-style meditation, called mindfulness or insight meditation. For 40 minutes a day, they focused on an image, a sound, or on their own breathing.

The Insight Meditation Society recommends just sitting in a chair. Close your eyes and follow your breath. Feel the rise and fall of your chest or abdomen. If your mind wanders, that’s all right.

Watch what happens when your mind wanders. Notice it, observe it, then let it go and return to breathing. Be aware of what you’re thinking, but don’t get caught up in it.

With practice, you can develop a state called mindfulness, which is being aware of what’s going on as it arises without jumping to conclusions, judgments, hopes, fears, or plans.

Meditation also improves productivity and reduces absenteeism at work, probably because it helps prevent stress-related illness.

Meditation seems to aid with emotional regulation, which helps people get along better. It acts on emotional intelligence, which neuroscientists say is more important for life success than cognitive intelligence.

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Collagen and greens: The truth about the hottest supplements



Ads for collagen supplements imply big benefits — youthful skin, stronger bones, and reduced joint pain.

Simply add a scoop to your morning smoothie or mix it with water to turn back the clock. While you’re at it, add a scoop of powdered greens. It’s easier than eating kale but gives you all the nutritional benefits. For just $99 (per month), you can combine the two supplements into a single, convenient product. It’s easy, and it works, right?

Maybe, researchers say. But then again, maybe not. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, more research is needed to determine whether collagen supplements can help humans grow new collagen, which diminishes as we age. And as the New York Times reports, while some studies have indicated that taking collagen for several months may improve skin elasticity, those studies were small and received their funding from collagen supplement manufacturers.

Greens powders — which usually contain some combination of dried and ground leafy greens and seaweed, grasses, probiotics, and herbs — fare somewhat better under scrutiny, but experts still encourage skepticism. According to WebMD, greens powders can be useful to supplement a healthy diet with additional vitamins and antioxidants. One study linked greens powders with improvements in blood pressure. But greens powder is not equivalent to whole foods — some nutritional content, like fiber, is lost in processing, and over-consumption of some vitamins can be harmful.

Another thing for consumers to consider is: The supplement market is largely unregulated, and poor-quality products with inaccurate labels are common. In an interview with The Cut, Evan Reister, a doctor of nutrition science at American University, advises consumers to look for brands that are USP or NSF-certified. These certifications require that manufacturers label their products accurately and submit to third-party lab testing for certain contaminants.

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What is frontotemporal dementia?



You may have seen or heard the words “frontotemporal dementia” more often than usual lately, or maybe for the first time ever, thanks to the family of Bruce Willis, which recently announced the legendary actor’s diagnosis. According to his family’s statement, that was the goal: “…that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.”

Here are five key things to know about frontotemporal dementia, also called frontotemporal disorder or FTD:

1. Frontotemporal dementia is a catch-all term for a group of disorders that affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which are associated with personality, behavior, and language, according to the Mayo Clinic.

2. FTD is one of the most common types of dementia among younger patients and affects men and women equally. Symptoms usually start between the ages of 40 and 65 but can also appear in younger or older adults, according to Johns Hopkins.

3. The two most common types of FTD are the frontal variant, which affects behavior and personality, and primary progressive aphasia, which has two subtypes. The first subtype, progressive nonfluent aphasia, affects the ability to speak, while the other type, semantic dementia, affects the ability to use or understand language.

4. The first symptoms are usually unusual behavior and difficulty with speech and language, according to UCSF Health. Later, many patients develop movement disorders or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

5. The cause of FTD is unknown, but researchers believe a genetic component may exist. There are no treatments available that can slow or reverse the progression of FTD, but medications and therapies may relieve symptoms and help preserve function.

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May is National Arthritis Month: How to reduce arthritis symptoms



The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is a degenerative joint disease wear the protective tissue on bones wears down over time. It causes pain and inflammation.

If you are beginning to have pain in joints, like knees, one of the best things you can do is lose weight. Weight loss reduces joint stress. With weight loss, some joint pain may disappear completely.

In other cases, weight loss may have a moderate impact on pain.

If you already have osteoarthritis pain, increasing water intake often improves the condition after about four weeks, the time needed to rehydrate the joints. Drink half your body weight in ounces each day. If you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces or ten eight-ounce glasses per day.

Eat foods that fight inflammation, such as fish and nuts. Limit animal fats, which can trigger inflammation. Take a multivitamin.

Researchers have found that walking, riding a bike, tai chi, or swimming can help with pain and preserve some flexibility.

One of the keys is to do as much as you can. No one with arthritis likes getting started, but remember that walking can help reduce pain and inflammation. See for stretching exercises and advice on walking programs.

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are often taken for arthritis, but there have been mixed results in clinical studies. Some studies say the supplements seem to have little effect on mild to moderate arthritis. In cases of moderate to severe arthritis, however, some users report reduced pain.

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How to remove a tattoo



You’re on a motorcycle. Shades. Sleeve rolled up over your bicep. That screamin’ eagle tattoo says you are ready to rumble.

Of course, 15 years later, maybe you don’t want to rumble anymore.

With tattoos making a big impression these days, doctors who offer laser removal are making big bucks taking the impressions off. By one estimate, there are 23 million Americans with tattoo regret. Young women, in particular, often come to regret the permanent reflection of their adolescence marked in living color on their shoulders and hands.

Laser treatments can permanently remove up to 95 percent of a tattoo, but they are very expensive and take several treatments. The laser works by shooting short bursts of light into the tattoo pigment. The laser breaks up the pigment, and the body removes the leftover tiny pigment particles.

With laser treatments, tattoo ink color matters. Black is the easiest to remove since it readily absorbs light from the laser. Green is harder to remove. There are lasers specifically designed to remove various tattoo colors, but the more obscure the colors in your tattoo, the harder it will be to remove.

While a medium-sized tattoo can cost $200, removing it could cost $1200. Laser removal costs $200 per treatment and can require from six to eight treatments, although results vary.

If laser treatment doesn’t work, there are other, more invasive permanent options. The tattoo can be sanded off (dermabrasion), cut off (surgery) with or without skin grafting, or burned off (chemical peels).

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What your nails say about your health



Did you know your fingernails can provide hints about your overall health? Here are five things to keep in mind about your nails.

1. Changes in the lunula. The lunula is the white half-moon shape at the base of your nail, just above the cuticle. This feature’s change in color or size may indicate an underlying disease, like cirrhosis, chronic renal failure, or congestive heart failure.

2. Pitting. Nails that are dimpled or pitted can point to psoriasis, eczema, alopecia, or joint inflammation.

3. Dark streaks. Dark-colored streaks running the length of the nail could indicate melanoma. However, black lines under the nail bed can also be caused by an injury.

4. Discoloration. Yellow discoloration of the nails can appear in people with chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases. A fungal infection can also turn the nails yellow and thick.

5. Clubbing. When the ends of your fingers swell and the nail becomes curved and rounded, it can sometimes be a sign of liver or kidney disease. Clubbing can also occur in conditions related to the lungs and gastrointestinal tract.

If your nails change or look abnormal, talk to your doctor or see a dermatologist to determine if you need treatment.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

10:00 am A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 28 @ 10:00 am – May 29 @ 11:00 am
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Explore the rich natural history of trees guided by a Virginia Master Naturalist. Discover the tips and tricks of basic tree identification and the tree-mendous roles that trees play in our environment.[...]
7:00 pm Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
May 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
Memorial Day Band Concert at Gazebo Plaza on Main Street, presented by Front Royal American Legion Community Band.
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
May 31 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near the Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park with a special Explorer Outpost. Stop by our station along Boston Mill Road[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 10:00 am – Jun 4 @ 1:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Picnic Area. Join park trailblazers and get your hands dirty as we work to enhance the trail surface on Hadow Trail. All ages are welcome and no experience is required. Round trip hike to the[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Log Cabin in the Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log Cabin to see what is cooking on the hearth. Immerse yourself within the 19th century enslaved culture and its foods. Explore the taste[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Jun 3 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
1:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of Beekeepers of the Northern Shenandoah (BONS – online at and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 7 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]