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VR therapy: using technology to fight depression

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Recent studies suggest that the use of virtual reality (VR) therapy may help fight depression. This unique approach offers patients access to VR programming that produces guided imagery delivered through a headset. During treatment sessions, they’re accompanied by a therapist through computerized environments and exercises that help them change patterns of thinking typically associated with depression.

There’s a large body of evidence that suggests that meditation and guided imagery of various kinds can help preserve cognitive function and improve mental well-being. VR therapy combines these benefits with those of direct behavioral intervention.

Michelle Craske, a researcher from the University of California, Los Angeles, published a study looking at the effectiveness of VR therapy. Compared to traditional treatments, which tend to focus on mitigating the negative symptoms of depression, VR intervention provides a positive experience to patients.

People who participated in the VR sessions reported lower levels of depression than those who were only following traditional treatments.


Though VR therapy is an emerging treatment for depression, research indicates that it can be a powerful tool in helping patients combat this mental illness.

A promising technology for seniors
In addition to being used to treat depression, VR technology can in general provide therapeutic benefits.

Equality Lab, a non-profit organization in Florida, is offering VR experiences to seniors who live alone or in nursing homes where activities may be lacking. Participants can fulfill lifelong dreams like swimming with dolphins, and the organization is working on expanding its operations.

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Breathing break reduces stress

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If your to-do list is running long and your stress levels are rising, you might want to start your day with a quick break. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true — just a few short minutes of breathing and mindfulness can help you set your stress aside and improve your focus and productivity when you attack your inbox.

Set a timer for five minutes. Start up some relaxing sounds or soft music if you like. Close your eyes, relax your shoulders, and take a few deep breaths from your belly, letting the air slowly rise up into your chest, all the way up to the top of your head. Inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts, then hold for four counts before starting again. Focus on each count and how the air feels as it moves in and out of your body. Think about how your body feels through each breath, and if other thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them and let them go.

While you do this exercise, don’t worry about how well you’re doing it — just try to stay in the moment. When your timer goes off after five minutes, you can return to your tasks feeling refreshed and ready to tackle each challenge as it comes.

If a DIY quick meditation isn’t for you or if you prefer a guided experience, a number of meditation apps are available for iOS or Android. Try Headspace, Calm, Healthy Minds, or The Mindfulness App.


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Health

Cryolipolysis: Get sculpted without surgery

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Are you looking for a way to say goodbye to stubborn fat without liposuction? Cryolipolysis (Cool¬Sculpting®) is an ingenious controlled cooling system that provides long-lasting results.

What is it?
Cryolipolysis is a non-surgical, needle-free treatment that destroys fat cells below the skin to reshape your body without damaging the surrounding tissue.

How does it work?
Cryolipolysis freezes and crystallizes targeted fat cells and destroys them. The body naturally eliminates these dead fat cells in the weeks following the treatment. Untreated areas remain unchanged.

Unlike typical weight loss, where the size of the fat cells varies, cells treated with cryolipolysis disappear permanently, providing long-lasting results. This procedure also allows you, in most cases, to return to your daily activities immediately.


Which areas of the body can be treated?
You can use cryolipolysis to treat many areas of the body, such as a double chin, upper arms, love handles, abdomen, gluteal folds, and inner thighs.

Each person responds differently to treatments, and complications are possible but rare. To find out if cryolipolysis is right for you, visit a clinic in your area that offers this service.

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Dental flossing tips everyone should know

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Daily flossing is essential to good oral health. It does more than remove unsightly or annoying pieces of lettuce or popcorn stuck between your teeth. It removes plaque before it turns into tartar, which can cause cavities and gingivitis. Flossing also helps clean the areas your toothbrush may struggle to reach. What’s more, it helps remove bacteria and prevent bad breath.

Here are a few tips on how to use dental floss correctly.

Which one to choose?
There are various types of dental floss, including monofilament, multifilament, waxed, unwaxed, and mint-flavored varieties. Select the product you prefer. You can purchase a floss holder or threader if you have difficulty using floss because of braces or limited dexterity.

Using a brush may be more appropriate if your teeth are widely spaced. Talk to your dental hygienist for personalized advice.


How to use it
It’s best to floss at night rather than in the morning, as salivation decreases while you sleep. You should floss before you brush your teeth. This way, your brush can completely remove the residue the floss displaces. It also makes it easier for the bristles and toothpaste to flow between teeth.

Follow these steps to floss effectively:

• Cut off about 12 inches of floss
• Wrap the floss around your middle fingers, leaving about two inches between them
• Tighten it with your thumbs and forefingers
• Slide it between your teeth, forming a “C” at the base of the tooth, under the gum
• Gently scrape the surface by passing two or three times from the gum to the top

It’s normal for your gums to bleed a little at first. However, if the bleeding persists after a few days, it could indicate that you have gingivitis. In this case, consult your dentist.


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Health

Make your back stronger this spring

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Though sudden back pain can occur after a twist or a sneeze, most back injuries are caused by years of mistreatment before that final, painful injury.

Stresses such as poor posture, faulty body mechanics, obesity, emotional tension, and lack of fitness over the long term are the cause. With these modern problems, it’s not surprising that back pain is the number one complaint today.

Whether you want to treat it or prevent it, these steps will help.

  • Posture: Stand with your ears, shoulders, and hips, forming a straight line. See a physical therapist or trainer if they don’t.
  • Body mechanics: Keep the correct alignment of ears, shoulders, and hips while performing everyday activities. Keep lifted objects close to your body, and you reduce your risk of injury.
  • Exercise: Make it central to maintaining a healthy back. Your program should include aerobic, flexibility, and strengthening exercises.

Aerobic exercise includes walking, biking, and swimming. Do it for 10 to 15 minutes three or four days a week to start, building to 30 minutes.


Poor flexibility can be a key contributor to lower back and neck pain. If your hips don’t move freely, your spine will move more than it should, leading to back programs. If you have a limited range of motion in an area, you need to stretch that area.

Well-balanced muscle strength is essential in maintaining good posture and a healthy back. Strong back, hip, and abdominal muscles support the spine. Strong trunk muscles help to prevent back injuries.

Remember these top keys to a healthy back: posture, mechanics, and exercise. The season for fun is now. Use it to get your back in shape for summer.

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March 19-25: National Poison Prevention Week – Steps to take when poisoning is suspected

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has this important information for you.

If you suspect a child or adult has ingested poison, remain calm first.

  • Call 911 if the victim has collapsed. If the victim is not breathing, call 911, then give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • If the victim is awake and alert, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. It is open 24/7.
  • Be prepared to give the victim’s age and approximate weight.
  • Describe the substance. Read from the container if available.
  • Never make the victim vomit unless instructed to do so by Poison Control.
  • Give your address and phone number. Stay on the phone for instructions from the emergency operator. The specialist may need to call you back.

Poison Prevention

  • Medicines: Turn on a light when you give or take medicines. Read medication directions. Keep medicines in their original bottles. Store them in a safe place where they can’t be reached by children or teenagers.
  • Household cleaners and chemicals: Keep chemicals, cleaners, and beauty products in their original containers. Always read the label before using it.
  • Never mix cleaning products together. Doing so could produce toxic gases. Wear clothing that covers the skin when you spray pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Open the windows and use a fan when using chemicals in the house.

Protecting young children


  • Keep drugs and chemicals in childproof cabinets that children can’t reach.
  • Don’t take medicine in front of children since they often try to copy adults. When giving children medication, never call it “candy.”
  • Caution guests are not to leave drugs where children can find them. Don’t leave your own next dose on the counter.
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Reducing the pain, increasing function with wrist arthritis

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Wrist arthritis is common in older adults. Often, it develops as the result of past trauma or fracture, but there are simple steps that can reduce pain and increase function.

  • Apply heat, cold, or both. An electric heating pad or warm water soaks can ease pain and stiffness. An ice pack or cold water soak can reduce pain from a flare-up caused by too much activity.
  • Contrast baths can also be helpful. Soak hands in warm water for 10 minutes. Then switch to cold water for one minute. Or cycle back and forth for half an hour and end with warm water.
  • Apply a topical prescription pain relievers gel like Voltaren or Solaraze.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can help. Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) and Advil have the lowest risk of side effects.
  • Wear a splint to limit movement during a wrist-intensive activity.
  • If pain persists, ask your doctor about anti-inflammatory medication or corticosteroid injections.
  • Some surgical techniques are available when severe pain is unresponsive to other treatments, including total wrist replacement. Wrist fusion can help younger people with advanced arthritis, but the trade-off is loss of joint mobility.
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Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

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C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

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Down Home Comfort Bakery

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Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

First Baptist Church

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

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House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

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Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

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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

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Royal Oak Computers

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Royal Spice

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The Studio-A Place for Learning

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Vetbuilder.com

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Upcoming Events

Mar
23
Thu
8:00 am Dare to Dream Breakfast @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Dare to Dream Breakfast @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Mar 23 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am
Dare to Dream Breakfast @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
RSVP by Friday, March 17, 2023
Mar
25
Sat
9:00 am FRUMC Book Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
FRUMC Book Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Mar 25 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
FRUMC Book Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
The Annual Front Royal United Women in Faith Book Sale will be held Saturday, March 25, from 9am to 2pm, in the Fellowship Hall of the Front Royal United Methodist Church. Books for everyone available:[...]
10:00 am Words of the Wild @ Sky Meadows State Park
Words of the Wild @ Sky Meadows State Park
Mar 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Words of the Wild @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Take into your heart the peace of wild things. Absorb the transformative words of writers who loved the natural world, read aloud by two Shenandoah Chapter Master Naturalists. Walk in silence at[...]
1:00 pm Commemorate National Vietnam Vet... @ Veterans Park
Commemorate National Vietnam Vet... @ Veterans Park
Mar 25 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Commemorate National Vietnam Veterans Day @ Veterans Park
This event is being held to honor veterans of the Vietnam era for their service to the country during that time period.  There will be a formal color guard ceremony, wreath presentation and a firing[...]
Mar
29
Wed
11:00 am National Vietnam Veterans Day @ National Cemetery
National Vietnam Veterans Day @ National Cemetery
Mar 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
National Vietnam Veterans Day @ National Cemetery
This event will be held 11:00, National Cemetery, Winchester, Virginia.  It is to honor Vietnam Era Veterans for their service to the country.  It is being conducted by the American Red Cross and the Colonel[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Mar 29 @ 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[...]
Mar
31
Fri
5:00 pm No Foolin’ Warren County Rocks @ First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
No Foolin’ Warren County Rocks @ First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Mar 31 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
No Foolin' Warren County Rocks @ First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Warren Coalition’s No Foolin’ Warren County Rocks includes a team Scavenger Hunt for prizes! Top teams in each category will receive $25 gift cards for each team member, and the overall championship team will receive[...]
Apr
1
Sat
9:00 am Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Living Water Christian Church
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Living Water Christian Church
Apr 1 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Living Water Christian Church
Living Water Christian Church will once again be hosting our Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny on April 1, 2023, from 9am – 12pm. Come on out and enjoy a great breakfast, pictures with the[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 1 @ 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
Apr 1 @ 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[...]