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PlaneTree's website
January 2013
I Have Resolved to...
Hand writing on a pad of lined paper     Are you struggling to keep a New Year's goal or resolution? You're not alone
     Increase your odds of success by using techniques proven to help establish desirable habits. We also recommend two lengthy, fascinating articles on developing new habits; previously featured in the concluding "News You Can Use" item of the June 2012 PlaneTalk, they attracted many readers' attention.
     Encouraging people to commit themselves to "do-able" lifestyle changes, Tami Anistasia has spoken at several PlaneTree health lectures and is now a host on VoiceAmerica. Her first radio show of 2013 explains how to use the warning signs of internal resistance, rebellion, and procrastination to avoid giving up on your goals.
     Smart phone apps can help you keep tabs on your progress and connect with other people who have similar goals. Several are described in this article and a few more here. An app for people who want to do more walking is located here.
     If you are reducing or eliminating your use of alcohol or another drug, these resources may be helpful.

...Stop Smoking
No Smoking emblem     Enhance your odds of success by joining an "Ash Kickers" class. You'll learn cessation skills and be supported by fellow quitters. Beginning on January 15, the 6-session class is offered for $70 by Breathe California. (Discover how quickly you can recoup the cost with this calculator.)
     If you can't take the class, find information, guidance, and tips at SmokeFree.gov. Additional resources are located on MedlinePlus.gov
Their Generosity and Yours 

     We have great news to share: PlaneTree received over $15,000 from the Showcase of Miniatures in October. As the beneficiary of its admission and silent auctionMiniatures of a Victorian lady's accoutrements revenues, we are delighted that more people than ever before attended the 37th annual show.
     We are grateful to the show's energetic volunteers, headed by Barb Jones and Phyllis Hedman. Artisans themselves, the committee members work year round to create the third largest miniature show in the country. Their on-going dedication to the art and to our health information services is impressive.

     We are also thankful to the PlaneTalk readers who have made personal donations to our independent, non-profit organization. Their gifts help cover the salaries of the part-time staff members who assist the public in the PlaneTree Center, maintain our website, and support administrative functions.
     If you have not yet contributed, please keep PlaneTree healthy with a tax-deductible - and greatly appreciated - donation today. You can do so securely from our homepage, or with a check mailed to the address below.

News You Can Use 
  
Don't Breathe Deeply
An inhaler     A shallow breathing technique may significantly, even dramatically, reduce the need for rescue inhalers and steroids by people with asthma. Jane Brody described and recommended the Buteyko method several years ago. Now its efficacy has been supported by a recent review of research on treating asthma with breath training (news article; technical report).
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Hallucinations
Ghostly white butterfly image        Find reassurance for yourself or a loved one in Oliver Sacks' explanation that hallucinatory experiences are surprisingly common and even to be expected in some circumstances.
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Sciatica
Drawing of nude man's bottom half, one leg and buttock colored red    Despite its expense and popularity, injecting steroids into the spine is of minimal value in treating most cases of sciatica, according to a review of 23 clinical trials. A detailed summary of this study of corticosteroidal epidurals is located here.
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Women's Sexuality at Midlife
Double bed in a bedroom     Difficulties and questions that female baby boomers often have about intimacy were recently addressed in the New York Times. A gynecologist specializing in sexuality and pelvic health, Susan Kellogg, provided detailed responses to readers' queries in a two-part series (part 1 and part 2).
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Weight and Longevity
Close-up of burning birthday candles      You may have recently heard about a study in JAMA which found an association between being overweight (not obese) and living longer. Many of the resulting headlines and news articles suggested that being overweight could contribute to longevity.
     The Atlantic's succinct discussion of the original research and subsequent reportage explains how these news media reports misrepresented and misinterpreted the data.
In This Issue
Their Generosity and Yours
News You Can Use
Support Groups
Free Lectures
PlaneTree's Blogging!
PlaneTree Logo without name   
     Look for information about upcoming community events (such as our lectures) and health and medical book recommendations. We plan to create several posts each month. 
     Take a look! We hope you'll bookmark the page so you can enjoy upcoming posts.
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Support Groups
A circle of 12 unoccupied chairs 
    If you or a loved one has one of the following health conditions, you might benefit from sharing information, experiences, and emotions with other people coping with similar challenges.
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In-person and virtual groups.
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There are many groups to choose among, depending on the special need, meeting location, and language.
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Cancer
In-person and virtual groups; multiple locales, languages, and organizations. If the support group locator finds no groups for your specific situation, select "Support - General Cancer."
    Additional support for cancer patients and families.
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Enter your zip code and search for the category "Support Groups: Northern California ." Titles listed in results link to more information.
Free Lectures
Empty seats in an auditorium  
     The Santa Clara County Public Health Department will have presentations on nutrition and exercise for seniors. Offered on January and February Tuesday afternoons in downtown San Jose, these workshops cover topics such as "Quick, Healthy Meals and Snacks" and "Secrets of Sodium."
  
Other Lectures
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Cataract Surgery, January 15 (Sunnyvale)
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Peritoneal Dialysis, January 27 (Palo Alto)
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Personalized Cholesterol Management, February 12 (Palo Alto) 
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