Yoga with Jessica: Standing Forward Fold

dreamstime_xl_58600397.jpgJune Greetings, fellow yogis.

Could it be that summer has finally arrived?  Have you stepped onto your mat today?  Here’s a thought, grab that mat and head outside!  There’s nothing more calming that doing yoga outside!

Last month I talked about chair pose, a powerful pose that works the legs and abs. This month I’d like to talk about standing forward fold, the counter pose to the chair pose. In very simple terms, a counter pose is a pose that stretches your spine in the opposite direction from a previous pose or returns your spine to a neutral position.

A standing forward fold alleviates the strain in the legs after doing/holding chair pose that gives a much-needed break to the legs, but this pose is not just done after chair pose.  To be honest, a typical yoga class has many forward folds.  What you will notice most in a forward fold is that it stretches your hamstrings and calves.  I like to start my class with a forward fold, let my students see how tight they may be.  I like to throw a forward fold in somewhere near the end, as well, so my students can see and feel how much they have loosened up.  Again, yoga is all about body awareness.

Other physical benefits:

  • Lengthens the spinal column
  • Strengthens the feet, knees & thighs
  • Stimulates the digestive, reproductive, nervous & endocrine systems
  • Opens the hips & groins
  • Alleviates discomfort from sinusitis
  • Relieves menopausal discomfort, headache, insomnia & fatigue

Mental benefits:

  • Soothes the nervous system
  • Relieves stress, anxiety & mild depression

If you have a job that requires you to sit for multiple hours a day, the standing forward fold is a great pose/stretch to take multiple times throughout the day for additional chances to take advantage of those physicial and mental benefits. Can’t fold “all the way down?”  No problem!  Use a chair!  Fold forward and let your hands (or head) come to the seat of a chair.

Some pointers to keep in mind:

  • Keep feet hip distance apart
  • Hinge at the hips, not the waist
  • Keep your core engaged (pulled up & in) to protect your low back
  • Keep shoulder blades on your back and shoulders down, away from your ears

Have a great month and a safe & happy 4th of July.  I’ll check in next month- maybe I’ll find a firecracker pose or at least a pose that will light you up!



CAMERON HOSTS EDUCATIONAL SESSION FOR AREA MEN: New innovative treatment option available for men with enlarged prostates

6347Cameron Memorial Community Hospital is pleased to be hosting the educational session, “Treatment Options for Enlarged Prostate,” on Thursday, June 29, 2017 at the hospital in Conference Room 1 (just past the Gift Shop).  Check in will begin at 6:00, with the presentation to begin at 6:30.  Light refreshments will be served.

The session will be led by Dr. Adam Craig Thomas of Northeast Indiana Urology.  Dr. Thomas is a urology specialist, originally from Steuben County who now sees and treats patients in Angola.

Attendees will specifically learn about the Urolift® System, an innovative treatment for an enlarged prostate, otherwise known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).  “I see many patients for BPH every month and have found that many of them are frustrated with the side effects and the minimal level of symptom relief that medications offer,” said Dr. Thomas.  “This is a straightforward procedure that opens up the blocked urethra by lifting and holding enlarged prostate tissue out of the way without ongoing BPH medications, cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue.”

About Urolift®

The Urolift® System provides an alternative to tissue removing surgery for the treatment of an enlarged prostate.  Performed through the urethra, a urologist uses the UroLift System to push aside the obstructive prostate lobes and positions small, tailored permanent UroLift implants to hold the prostate lobes in the retracted position.  This opens the urethra while leaving the prostate intact.

Seating for the session is limited.  For more information, or to reserve a seat, call (260) 667-5336.

Cameron Hospital Partners with ClaimAid to Provide Eligibilty Services

Cameron Hospital is pleased to announce their recent partnership with ClaimAid, a leading provider of Medicaid and Health Insurance Marketplace services for hospitals and other provider partners, patients and their families.  This partnership will assist uninsured and underinsured patients and their families in determining eligibility and enrollment for health care coverage options and financial assistance programs.

“We are very fortunate to have the representatives from ClaimAid on site to assist our patients and community,” said Doug Bomba, Cameron Chief Financial Officer (CFO). “To be able to offer one-on-one assistance with eligibility screenings and enrollment services is invaluable to patients and helps to give people peace of mind as it relates to their health care.”

ClaimAid has appointed Julie Geier to serve as the Patient Advocate for the new partnership.  Geier will play a key role in improving the patient experience with a sense of compassion and an in-depth understanding of guiding and supporting patients and their families when it comes to today’s health care challenges.

“We’re grateful to have the opportunity to assist and advocate for the Cameron Hospital patients and community.  Together we’ll give patients the help they need to efficiently navigate through the myriad of health care coverage programs,” said Chas LaPierre, ClaimAid President, and CEO.

Geier will not only help patients apply for financial assistance, but will guide them through the entire process.  ClaimAid services are free to all individuals.

About ClaimAid

Founded in 1988, ClaimAid offers full-service eligibility and claims resolution for hospitals and other providers, their patients and families. A leader in the Health Care Industry, ClaimAid stays on top of state and federal requirements and closely monitors Health Care Reform, making sure they address the specific needs for each provider and individual they serve. For more information about ClaimAid, visit To contact the company directly, please ask for Brad Willkie, 317.295.4050, or email

Yoga with Jessica- Chair Pose

dreamstime_xl_39962394.jpgHow many of you sit for your job, either at a desk or traveling in a car? This month we’ll explore chair pose.  Take a look at the picture.  Looks mighty easy, huh?  Maybe you even think, “Why would I do chair pose if the majority of my time is already spent in a chair?”  Are you sitting while reading this?  If so, take note of your posture.  Are you slumped while reading this on your phone or at your desk? Is your head level or are you looking down, therefore rounding your shoulders?  Are your feet flat on the floor or are they crossed?  Where is your weight?  Most likely in your bottom.

Chair pose is not usually a favorite pose in yoga classes because it sets your legs on fire and requires your to remember a lot of cues. Chair pose requires flexibility in the shoulders, firmness or stability in the core, and strength in the legs.  We yoga teachers are asking you to practice body awareness when in chair pose, as well as all other poses. Check out some of the physical benefits chair pose can bring you.

  • Provide flexibility in your shoulders and ankles
  • Lengthens spine
  • Strengthens feet, ankles, calves, knees, buttocks & thighs
  • Opens chest
  • Stimulates the digestive, circulatory & reproductive systems


Here are some of the mental benefits:

  • Builds focus
  • Develops willpower
  • Stimulates the mind
  • Reduces stress

In a nutshell, chair pose strengthens the lower body, stretches the upper back, and energizes & invigorates the whole body. Check back in next month for the counter pose to chair; the standing forward fold.


5 Smarter Snacking Strategies for Weight Loss

Healthy SnackingSnacking is sometimes a bad word in the weight-loss community, but that’s only if you’re munching on sugary, carb-heavy foods throughout the day (we’re looking at you, mini muffins). Smart snacking, on the other hand, can help you control your cravings, fill up on important nutrients and maintain your energy levels. Try these five strategies to help you crush your cravings.


Before you head to the pantry on autopilot, it’s important to figure out whether you’re really hungry or just, say, craving sugar because you saw a recipe on Facebook for Oreo brownies. Before you snack, ask yourself whether you’d be willing to eat a piece of fruit or some sliced veggies to curb your hunger, says to dietitian Amy Gorin, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, New Jersey. “If the answer is ‘no,’ then you’re probably not actually hungry,” she says. If that’s the case, make a cup of tea or sip a glass of water with sliced lemon or cucumber instead — you’ll satisfy your oral fixation without consuming unnecessary calories.


If you’re going to snack, make it count. Dietitian Jennifer Glockner of Smartee Plate says it’s important to nosh on foods that combine protein and fiber, since they help promote satiety while also supplying your body with vital nutrients. Try hard-boiled eggs, unsalted nuts, edamame or apple slices drizzled with almond butter. Glockner also suggests sunflower-seed butter on whole-grain crackers, hummus with pepper slices or plain Greek yogurt topped with berries or cucumbers.

“These snacks will [help] prevent [you from] overeating at the next meal or snacking too much on energy-dense foods like cookies and chips,” she says.


If you have a stash of healthy, tasty snacks on hand, you’ll be less likely to reach for a pastry or bag of chips when you hit that afternoon slump. “Hungry people tend to grab the first foods in sight, usually foods high in fat and calories, and often in excessive quantities,” says Glockner. That’s why she recommends preparing your snacks in advance. Chop veggies and fruit, pour nuts in a Ziploc bag or whip up a green smoothie to stick in the freezer. This is also a smart way to pre-portion food so you’re not overeating.


A study published in the Journal of Health Education and Behavior suggests you’re most likely to eat whatever is most visible in your home. That’s why Gorin recommends storing fruit in a bowl on your kitchen countertop or desk so you always have something healthy to reach for.


Research shows that eating while distracted makes you more likely to ignore your body’s satiety signals and, thus, overeat. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or watching YouTube as you snack, step away from your gadgets. Limiting these external distractions is key to eating mindfully, rather than mindlessly, Glockner explains: “It’s important to sit down to a meal without distractions, slow down, savor every bite and listen to [your] body cues and satiety signals to prevent overeating and subsequent weight gain.”

Source: MyFitnessPal blog

Yoga with Jessica: Props

yoga props blocks, strap, roller and carpetI promise to get back to the actual poses next month, but as I expand on my yoga teaching I feel drawn to bring more attention to yoga props.  Props can help to firm & strengthen the body, remove weariness from the body & mind and help develop good posture, balance, and comprehension.

Many people come to yoga with an ego and do not think they need a prop or just plain refuse to use one.  Not using a prop when you need it is a good way to injure yourself.  I guide my classes to listen to their bodies, and to allow their bodies, NOT their minds, be their guide.

In my opinion, the most common yoga props are:

  • Block
  • Strap/belt
  • Bolster
  • Blanket
  • Tennis or golf ball
  • Wall

A prop allows people of all sizes, ages & health conditions to participate in yoga.  The props bring ease to the poses and allow you to experience the benefits of yoga.  Props can be a saving grace if you have limitations as they can allow you to do the pose you otherwise would not be able to do.

Sometimes the prop is to gain physical or mental confidence.  Sometimes the prop gives you “staying” power in a pose.  Side note:  increased “staying” power helps to develop physical & mental stability, balance & concentration.

The use of props can be beneficial to everyone.  Simple adjustments, such as changing the thickness of a blanket, the size of a bolster, or using a longer strap can improve alignment and execution. Anything that relaxes the body and relieves stress also helps to extend the amount of time you can hold a pose and improve your flexibility.

In closing, I did not start out using props often.  I use them each time I come to my mat now.  I experienced injuries because of my ego, my mind, said I didn’t need them.  It’s a slow process but eventually, you will be able to let go of the ego so that you listen to your body and what it needs and wants.

Cameron and Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana Offers New Educational Series Presenting Week 1 – “Finding Your Way Back”

CSNI Horizontalcammem_26555_Logo_Tagline_2016_CMYKFoundation Logo NEWCancer Services of Northeast Indiana, Cameron Memorial Community Hospital and the Cameron Hospital Foundation are pleased to be working together to bring “Caregivers Count: Support of Your Journey” to Angola beginning in April.  The classes are free and open to the public and will be held at Cameron Hospital in Meeting Room 1 (just past the Gift Shop in the main hall) at 5:30 p.m.

The first class, “Finding Your Way Back,” is being held on Monday, April 24th at 5:30 p.m.  Being a caregiver for a person with cancer can be full of stress and strain.  In this first session, attendees will discuss how to reduce some of the burden as well as learn your “rights” as a caregiver; because the caregiver is a person who deserves care too.

Attendees of the first session will specifically discuss:

  • The caregiver bill of rights
  • The caregiver strain index
  • Signs of caregiver burden
  • Reducing caregiver burden

Reservations are recommended, but not required.  For more information or to reserve a seat, contact 260-667-5721

Long-time Steuben County physician to retire

whang.jpgSteuben County general surgeon, Dr. Sung O. Whang recently announced his retirement effective April 28, 2017. “We are grateful for Dr. Whang’s outstanding 49-year career, and his dedication and unwavering support of his patients and Cameron,” said Cameron President and CEO, Connie McCahill

Dr. Whang dedicated 32 years of his working career in service to Cameron Hospital and Steuben County. He received his undergraduate degree and attended medical school at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, Korea, and began practicing medicine in 1968. Dr. Whang then moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he completed a residency program in 1984. He moved to Steuben County in July 1985 where he practiced as a general surgeon for the remainder of his career. Additionally, Whang was a member of the Indiana State Medical Association and the American Board of Abdominal Surgery.

Throughout his long practice in Steuben County, he has treated grandparents, parents and children, helping each generation achieve better health. “During my tenure here at Cameron, I have been told countless stories of Dr. Whang going out of his way to help a patient or family of a patient. While Dr. Whang will be missed, we wish him all the best as he pursues new adventures in his retirement,” said McCahill.

In his absence, Cameron welcomes Brandy German, NP to their team. German will be seeing patients in Dr. Whang’s office at 306 E. Maumee in Suite 303 (in the Medical Office Building). Going forward, patients may contact German by calling 260-667-5606.

The public and Dr. Whang’s patients are invited to a retirement reception on April 27 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Cameron Hospital in Meeting Room 1 (just past the Gift Shop). For more information, please call 260-665-2141, ext. 5337.

Cameron Hospital Marks Spring Weather By Offering New Allergy Testing and Treatment

dreamstime_xl_65525802Spring is coming and so are seasonal allergies. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. Cameron Hospital is encouraging local patients to not suffer with their symptoms, but to take advantage of the allergy treatment now available locally in Steuben County. Cameron ENT & Allergy is now offering allergy testing and treatment for inhalant allergies.

Inhalant allergies include such things as grasses, weeds, trees, molds, animals and more. Testing is available on Wednesdays by appointment only. There are two types of allergy testing available to patients. Skin testing (both prick and intradermal testing) are used for patients 12 and older, while blood testing is available for children ages 5-12 and for adults who can not be skin tested.

Skin prick testing involves placing a small drop of the allergen (the substance you may be allergic to) on the patient’s skin and making a tiny prick so the allergen is absorbed into the skin. Depending on the reaction from the skin prick testing, the nurse may then conduct intradermal testing. During this test, a tiny amount of the allergen is injected under the patient’s skin. The testing takes an hour and a half to complete.

Patients that receive skin testing will receive the results immediately and will be able to work with staff to create a treatment plan. If a patient receives blood testing, it will take 7-10 days to receive the results.

There are two types of treatments available at the clinic:  subcutaneous immunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy. Subcutaneous immunotherapy is better known as allergy shots. Sublingual Immunotherapy is an alternative way to treat allergies without injections. The patient is given small doses of an allergen under the tongue to boost tolerance to the substance and reduce symptoms. Immunotherapy has been a proven treatment for over 100 years.

“We’re really excited to bring this service to Steuben County,” said Connie McCahill, President and CEO. “Living in an area with such a high concentration of common allergens, this is an important service for our community members.”

For more information, or to set up an appointment with Dr. King, please call 260.667.5773.

Cameron and Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana Introduce New Educational Series “Caregivers Count: Support on Your Journey”

Grieving CoupleCancer Services of Northeast Indiana, Cameron Memorial Community Hospital and the Cameron Hospital Foundation are pleased to be working together to bring “Caregivers Count: Support of Your Journey” to Angola beginning in April.  The classes are free and open to the public and will be held at Cameron Hospital in Meeting Room 1 (just past the Gift Shop in the main hall) at 5:30 p.m.

In this five part-series, Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana’s Director of Clinical Services, Marsha Haffner, will provide opportunities for caregivers of those with cancer to explore and discuss their experiences and to gain new information, resources and support in their role as caregivers.  The series will be held for one hour weekly for five weeks and caregivers are welcome to join as many sessions as they are able. The class schedule will be as follows:

  • Monday, April 24, 2017 (5:30 p.m.) – Finding Your Way Back
    • Caregiver bill of rights
    • Identifying and reducing caregiver burden
  • Monday, May 1, 2017 (5:30 p.m.) – Boundaries and Self Care
    • What makes a “resilient” caregiver
    • Self-care strategies
  • Monday, May 8, 2017 (5:30 p.m.) – Effective Communication and Dealing with Emotions
    • Communicating with your loved one with cancer
    • Common emotions and how to work with them
    • Increasing hope
  • Monday, May 15, 2017 (5:30 p.m.) – Stress and the Relaxation Response
    • Ten relaxation techniques that zap stress
  • Monday, May 22, 2017 (5:30 p.m.) – Transitions in Caregiving / Benefits of Caregiving
    • Four stages of caregiving
    • Ways to manage transitions
    • Appreciating the job of caregiver

Funding for the program has been generously provided by the Cameron Hospital Foundation through contributions given as part of the organization’s grateful patient program.

Reservations are recommended, but not required.  For more information or to reserve a seat, contact 260-667-5721.