Masthead for PlaneTalk Newsletter
PlaneTree's website
February 2012
Get Healthy at the Library logoSpring Health Lectures


     You are invited to attend our free, popular, and very informative health talks this season.


Chronic Pain: Your Questions Answered
Fred Brumond, M.D.
Monday, March 26, 7-8:30 p.m. Cupertino Community Hall (next door to the library)


Mind-Body Skills for Well-being
Cynthia McDonald, Ph.D.
Saturday, April 14, 2-3:30 p.m. Saratoga Library 


Understanding Food Labels - presented en espaņol
Oralia Tercero
Saturday, May 12, 2-3:30 p.m. Gilroy Library 

Health Lectures in Mandarin

     PlaneTree Health Information Center @ the Cupertino Library is proud to inaugurate a new series of health lectures in Mandarin. These free presentations by bilingual Bay Area physicians will be at the Cupertino Community Hall, next to the Cupertino Library. Attendees will receive health education materials written in Traditional Chinese.
     This series was conceived of, and is co-sponsored by, the S. Ku Foundation, a new, local non-profit focusing on disease prevention and health education.


Metabolic Syndrome: How you can be in the driver's seat to prevent this complex condition
Kenny Chen, M.D.

Sunday, March 18, 2 p.m.


Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Peggy Lu, M.D.

Sunday, April 15, 2 p.m.


Protecting and Caring for Your Skin
George Hsieh, M.D.

Sunday, May 6, 2 p.m.

Overdoing It?

     If you are concerned that you, or a loved one, may be overusing, abusing, or addicted to alcohol or another drug, we hope the resources below will be helpful.


   Many people begin abusing alcohol or other drugs in an attempt to A marijuana leafself-medicate anxiety, depression, or another mental health condition. Treatment of an underlying mental health problem is often the key to successful treatment of a substance abuse problem. Learn more about this situation, known as "dual diagnosis."
  Parents of kids using alcohol or drugs can get help here.
  Extensive information on use and abuse of alcohol, street drugs, and prescription medications, plus treatment, is available on
  If you have a family member or friend who refuses treatment for any addiction, these suggestions (see answer #12) intended for families of alcoholics may be helpful.


Peer Support for Quitting
Pen & ink drawing of misc. street drugs     People with addiction and abuse issues often turn to 12-step programs (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) because of their renown and wide-spread availability. For some folks, participating in these groups is very helpful. But if you or a loved one is uncomfortable with the 12-step approach, two alternative organizations also offer local meetings and online support: 

  SMART Recovery, which "helps people recover from all types of addiction and addictive behaviors," has meetings in Los Gatos, Santa Clara, and south San Jose.

  LifeRing, "for people who want to live free of alcohol and other addictive drugs," meets in Los Gatos.


Cutting Back on Alcohol
Wine pouring into a glass     If you wonder whether you're drinking a little more than you should, use the non-judgmental Drinker's Check-up to evaluate your relationship with alcohol. Then, if you decide you'd like to drink less, ModerateDrinking will help you develop and follow a plan. These research-based and -tested, online programs were 2 of the 3 key tools a Vogue writer used to first examine, and then curb, her wine intake.

News You Can Use 


Valentine's Day is near...
Bright red heart with a wind-up key... so it must be Heart Month! If you want to celebrate the day - or the month - with a little romance, experts say sexual activity is safe for most people with heart disease. Checking first with your doctor for limitations or recommendations is wise. Here are tips for easing back into an active love life after a heart attack or heart surgery.
    American Heart Month may also be observed by attending an El Camino Hospital Community Wellness Lecture:

   Tues., 2/14 - Learn Compression-Only CPR!

   Wed., 2/15 - Cardiovascular Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

   Thurs., 2/23 - Heart Disease Epidemic in South Asians

   Mon., 2/27 - Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack


Make Sure You're in the Loop
     Do you suspect - or have other people told you - that your hearing is not as good as it once was? Here's a self-test to discover whether you should talk to your physician.
Ear examination device     If your hearing has faded, pursuing treatment is very important. Poor hearing increases fatigue, social isolation, depression, and anxiety. New research also implicated it as a significant risk factor for cognitive decline; mild hearing loss doubled the risk of developing dementia and moderate loss tripled the risk.
     If your doctor does not discover a reversible cause for your hearing problem, ask to be referred to an audiologist, or locate one online. An audiologist can evaluate whether you are among the majority of people whom hearing aids can help.
     For people who have hearing aids and cochlear implants, an exciting new technology combines telecoils and hearing loops to greatly improve sound quality. Many hearing aids already in use are loop-ready. A nonprofit website provides detailed information; the expanding use of hearing loops in the U.S. was described in a New York Times article.


 Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Fork & tape measure, shrunk     Losing weight is hard but, for most people who shed pounds, an even harder struggle is not regaining that lost weight. The challenges and science of weight loss maintenance were the focus of a recent, fascinating piece in the New York Times Magazine.
     Of course, a healthy weight is only one component of wellness. This interview concludes with a succinct summary of wise lifestyle choices for good health. 

In This Issue
Health Lectures in Mandarin
Overdoing It?
News You Can Use
Save These Dates!
Cancer Support Community
Get Schmart
Health Illiteracy
A PlaneTree Evening
PlaneTree's logo
    Patrons past and future are invited to Cupertino Community Hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, to hear how PlaneTree services have changed - and how much remains the same. High-quality health booklets and magazines will be available for your selection.
    After the hour-long program, we hope you'll walk next-door to visit the PlaneTree Health Information Center on the second floor of the Cupertino Library. A heart-healthy dark chocolate awaits you there.
    For assistance in publicizing this event, we thank the Cupertino club of the Quota International service organization.
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Save These Dates!
Marked calendar
Saturday, March 17
Free conference for family caregivers


Thursday evening, March 29
Free public lecture


Friday, March 30
Conference for professionals


Saturday, April 28
Affordable, all-day inspiration
 *Aging With Excellence
Cancer Support Community logo
...maintains busy calendars of classes, support groups, and events such as -
  Kids' Circle workshops, for school-age kids who have a parent with cancer (every third Thursday, beginning February 16)  
  A presentation on the healing practice of jin shin jyutsu (Saturday, February 25) 
  A symposium entitled "Humor, Heart and Hope: Laughter Through the Cancer Journey" (Saturday, March 3)
Get Schmart
Pennsylvania Dutch artwork
    If, like the Pennsylvania Dutch, you find that "Vee get too soon oldt, und too late schmart," get a jump on wisdom by visiting the Legacy Project. You'll find "practical advice from over 1500 older Americans...[who] offer tips on surviving and thriving despite the challenges we all encounter." You'll want to linger on this refreshing site, but a great starting point is this 10-lesson summary of participants' collective wisdom.
Low Health Literacy...
Wire-rim glasses resting on a prescription
... affects about one-third of Americans and is estimated to add $238 billion annually to health care costs. See what it looks like in this poignant video.
    Interested consumers will find more information on MedlinePlus. Professionals can learn more on the websites of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the American College of Physicians Foundation

Thank You!