Feel Good Therapy

The National Library of Medicine online defines alternative medicine as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.”
Everyone uses alternative medicine, even unknowingly. Spiking tea with Echinacea, getting out the heating pad and even eating chicken soup can be considered alternative medicine. Even if these “remedies” are not proven to cure people, eating chicken soup simply makes you feel good.
One form of alternative medicine not so common is aromatherapy.
According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy’s website: “Aromatherapy can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the health of the body, mind, and spirit. Since the beginning of aromatherapy, the practice has encompassed human pathology and the treatment of different conditions with essential oils,”
The Egyptians first used aromatherapy to embalm their dead with oils of cedar wood, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and myrrh. They also used scented wood to burn incense to honor their gods as well as started to use aromatics for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. In 1940, Madame Marguerite Maury started prescribing the use of aromatherapy to her patients with long-term illness or chronic pains, thus, ushering in the holistic approach to aromatherapy that is used today.
Because there is a strong link between what people smell and the way they feel, essential oils are used to send signals to the brain to trigger responding moods in people.
“The essential oils create a response in the primitive part of the brain from the olfactory nerve,” Aaron Stuttman, a massage therapist at Aaron’s Zen-Tastic Massage in East Lansing, said. “Aromatherapy is used as an alternative medicine because the ions in essential oils are very oxidative and provide oxygen to the body.”
For example, lavender essential oil and roman chamomile both help people relax, while rosemary and lemon essential oils can be stimulating and uplifting. Ylang-ylang and clary sage are useful in treating muscle aches and headaches. Try rubbing peppermint oil on your temples to ease a headache.
“All my clients really enjoy the aromatherapy when they come to get a massage,” says Ashley Ridella, a massage therapist who works from her home in Waterford, Mich.
Essential oils can be diluted and applied directly to the wrist or bottoms of feet and are absorbed immediately into the blood stream. Scented body lotions or perfumes can have the same effect. Even something as simple as burning a candle that smells like rosemary can stimulate the mind when studying.
So during finals week, when students are going crazy out of their minds studying and worrying, think of giving aromatherapy a try. It is inexpensive and anyone can find an incence burner, a scented candle or essential oil. Make like the hippies, and if it feels good, do it.

Posted in Sex & HealthComments (0)

Your Body, Your Canvas

A four leaf clover to celebrate Irish heritage, a rose to honor the life of a loved one who passed away, a belly button ring as a souvenir from a spring break trip to Cancun-the possibilities are endless for those who chose to express their individuality through body piercings and tattoos.
But before people run out to get a design permanently engraved on their bodies or holes pierced through their skin, there are many factors to take into consideration.
“The one thing that leads to a bad tattoo is impulsiveness,” said Sean Peters, a tattoo artist at A Splash of Color tattoo and body piercing studio on Grand River Ave.[tat]
Just like they say a diamond is forever, so is a tattoo. Before going to get a tattoo, people have to take into account their future, especially with their potential careers. In fact, a person should recognize what they will be thinking five years from now, Peters said.
For example, David Vidra is a body piercer at A Splash of Color, but also works as a nurse. Part of the job requirement is not having visible tattoos or body jewelry. Therefore, all of his body art is in places that are not visible when he is working. For Kacey O’Quinn, her tattoo is a form of self-expression. She also put her tattoo somewhere where it is not easily seen. “It is just for me and, whomever I want to see it, so its not like ‘Oh look at me, I have a tattoo’,” O’Quinn said.
With today’s new technology, tattoos don’t have to last forever. People can get rid of their tattoos by a series of laser treatments. Dr. William Ehrlich, a cosmetic surgeon in East Lansing, has had about 55 patients that come in to get their tattoos removed.
“The number one reason why people get tattoos removed is that people don’t like them anymore,” Ehrlich said. “It takes anywhere from 7 to 12 treatments to remove a tattoo, with each treatment costing anywhere between $200-$600.”
His advice for people considering getting a tattoo is to use black ink because that is the easiest to get out and to put the tattoo “somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine” or at least where it can be covered up by a bathing suit.
Another important consideration is finding the right studio. This can make all the difference in having a positive tattoo experience.
Peters warns that getting a tattoo isn’t like buying a new car. “People shouldn’t shop around for the best deal or the cheapest tattoo,” Peters said. “Sometimes, studios can cut corners on health and safety to make it cheaper for people.”
Health and safety are the biggest thing that should determine where people get their tattoo or body piercing. People should look for a studio where tattoo artists and body piercers have a wide knowledge of sterilization techniques, as well as make sure they are all educated in blood borne pathogen safety.
“People need to ask questions about health and safety,” said Vidra. “If they don’t ask questions, they could be putting themselves at risk for acquiring diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C.”
For people who want a body piercing, they should go somewhere where the body piercer has knowledge of human anatomy. Like people were told in grade school, not everybody is the same, the same applies for a piercing: not every body part can be pierced. In fact, 50 percent of customers who want to get their tongue pierced at A Splash of Color are turned away because a tongue piercing would be unsafe for that particular person. The tattoo artist or piercer should also be able to tell people the proper treatment and care of their new piercing or tattoo.
No matter what a person’s preference is, tattoos and a body piercing can be a positive experience as long as people take the proper precautions and realize that getting a tattoo isn’t like buying a new dress where people can wear it when it is in style, then get rid of it once it goes out of style.
On the same note, if a person gets a tattoo from somewhere that does a great job to ensure the health and safety of both the person getting the tattoo and the artist, it can be one of the best decisions of a person’s life.
“People buy clothes as a way to express themselves,” said Jessica Carpenter, a psychology student who has her eyebrow pierced. “I wouldn’t get a tattoo, but my piercing is an expression and reflection of myself.”

Posted in Sex & HealthComments (0)

Test your Health

The Life: Rx program is offered by Olin Health Center’s health education department and is available to MSU students, faculty and staff who want to find out how fit they are compared to others of the same sex, age and height. It helps people figure out what areas of fitness they need work on so they can adjust their fitness programs to correct those weaknesses.
[liferx] Life: Rx is an hour-long evaluation where participants perform a series of fitness tests. These tests include measuring the distance participants can reach past their feet, counting the number of sit-ups and push-ups they can do in a minute, determining heart rate while on a stationary bike and getting their blood drawn.
After the data is collected, the results are entered into a computer which generates a personal profile for the participant. The profile shows the results of the participant’s blood cholesterol, blood pressure, percent body fate, heart rate, flexibility, lung volume, muscular endurance, strength and aerobic capacity evaluation relative to their sex, age, and height. From the results and talking with the participant, staff members can advise students about lifestyle changes as well as help students develop an individualized fitness plan.
“The Life: Rx program is important because when students leave high school, they are not as active and live in the residence halls where they eat more and exercise less,” said Jonathan Kermiet, director of the Life: Rx program.
Some students are unsure about whether they would participate in the program. Geri Bushey, a no preference student, said that only fit people would join the program, but does not know how she would compare to other people.
Melissa Root, a kinesiology intern, said that the program is an important wake-up call for those who join. “Many students think they are invincible and this program shows people that what they do to keep healthy really does matter,” Root said.
The Life: Rx program is offered at no cost to students as part of their three yearly free visits to Olin. The only cost would be a laboratory fee if students choose to get a blood test.
“Sure, I would join and participate in the program,” said Kelly Loy, a pre-nursing sophomore. “I used to be really active before entering MSU, and I think this program would motivate myself into exercising more.”
For more information on Life: Rx or to set up an appointment, call Olin Health Center at 517-353-4660.

Posted in Sex & HealthComments (0)

Open Up to Olin

[van] Toothache, backache, stomachache, cough, cold, flu.
Olin Health Center is the place to go for Michigan State University students who need medical care. Olin offers students a variety of medical services ranging from its urgent care facility to its health education department. When seeing 20,000 to 22,000 students per year, it is important that Olin be equipped to handle both major and minor medical problems.
Olin has an urgent care facility available to students for medical emergencies that do not need hospitalization like sprains, eye injuries, and food poisoning. If the emergency is more serious, Olin will transport the patient to Sparrow Hospital.
Kathleen Braunlich, communications and planning coordinator for Olin, says that at least one patient per week is transferred to Sparrow Hospital.
For students who do not feel well and are not sure if they need medical care, Olin provides a service where students can call a trained technician 24 hours a day with medical questions. The trained technicians will not make a diagnosis, but they will advise students in what they should do to get better.
[olin] “I think that is something good to know about just in case I don’t feel good when I am up here and can’t get a hold of anyone else to ask,” says psychology sophomore, Aubrey Devine.
Olin offers a health education program. Nutritionists are available to speak with students about healthy eating habits and weight concerns. There is a Life Rx program where students are tested in various physical activities, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. The information is entered into a computer and the student receives a personalized fitness plan to follow for the next two months. The initial visit is followed up by a second visit three months later to see how the student is progressing.
Other services Olin has include a pharmacy with a prescription delivery service, dental services, HIV testing, immunizations, and a primary care clinic.
Many students do not know theses services are offered to them much less that Olin is open all year. “One of the things students don’t know is that most services are available year around,” said Kathleen Braunlich.
Erica Phillipich, a sophomore, agrees, “I am surprised to hear that Olin is open during the summer because you would think that with less students around, there wouldn’t be much for the people at Olin to do.”
Because Michigan State University is such a large school, it has to be able to provide a variety of medical attention for students whenever students might be in need of care.
Olin Health Center does just that.
For more information on the services Olin offers, visit www.olin.msu.edu.

Posted in Sex & HealthComments (0)