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Health & Fitness

Nourishment of the mind and body go hand in hand on the journey. Keeping the body healthy and fit is an important means of supporting and aiding that nourishment.  In this section you will find information to  contribute to women’s health, the growth and well-being of the mind, body and spirit. As you know,Asheville and Western North Carolina have much to offer.  Your topic and contributor ideas are welcomed.
Our Voice Rape Crisis     Helpmate Asheville Online     Medscape Women’s Health News    Breast Cancer Coalition     Our Bodies Ourselves     N C Domestic Violence Crisis And Support Resources       Violence Against Women     Environmental Health Trust    

UNCG professor offers six messages you can send to an abuser

Journalists and experts focus on victims of domestic violence, and rightly so, says Dr. Christine Murray, associate professor of counseling at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and co-founder of the See the Triumph campaign to empower survivors. But, Murray asks, what should you say to a friend or loved one if they are the abuser?

“Assuming the person trusts and respects your opinion, you have an opportunity to send some powerful messages that could encourage them to stop the abuse,” she says. “Ask yourself, ‘If I’m not taking action against the abuse, am I actually helping to perpetuate it?’ By taking a strong stand against the violence, you have the opportunity to send important messages to the person that the abuse is harmful, it is their responsibility, and they can choose to change it and get help to do so.”

Message #1: “The abuse is wrong.”
Make sure, through both your words and your actions, that you make clear that you do not support the abuse in any way. Don’t laugh off the abuse or lead them to think that it’s okay that they’re using abusive behaviors. If you don’t feel comfortable saying anything to them, consider the possible impact of your silence. Be mindful that the person may think that, because you haven’t said anything, you think it’s okay or normal for them to treat their partner that way.

Message #2: “You are hurting your partner.”
You can play a role in holding the person accountable for their actions by pointing out the actual impact of the abuse. If that “little slap” left a black eye, remind them of the severity and say that you think it was a bigger deal than they’re making it out to be. If they claim that their partner is just being “too sensitive,” you can talk to them about how you think they’re responding in a normal, expected way to being abused.

Message #3: “There are other negative consequences of the abuse.”
It’s important to remind abusive partners of all the negative consequences they’ve already faced — and could face in the future — if their abusive behaviors continue.
This may include risking arrest and jail; risking their career if they face legal consequences; other financial consequences related to legal sanctions; losing relationships with friends and family members; and the embarrassment, tarnished reputation and loss of standing that may occur if other people find out about the abuse.

Message #4: “You are responsible for your own actions. You are also responsible for doing whatever you need to do to change them.”
We’ve heard so, so many times in our research that survivors of abuse were blamed for their abuse by their partners and others in their lives. Victim-blaming perpetuates the abuse by attributing the responsibility for changing it to the person with the least control over doing so. Remind the abuser of their own responsibility for stopping their abusive behaviors and for taking the steps needed to make this change.

Message #5: “There are resources available to help you stop abusing your partner.”
In most areas in the United States, there are court-sanctioned batterer intervention programs that are designed to educate and support people to change their abusive behaviors in intimate relationships. In many cases, these programs are also open to clients who are voluntarily seeking help. If you don’t already know whether this program exists in your community, contact your state domestic violence coalition to find out what resources are available near you. Keep in mind that, in general, couples therapy is not advised when there is violence present.

Message #6: “If you do not stop abusing your partner, I will….”
Where will you draw the line? At some point, you may face a decision to take action to try to stop this person’s abusive behaviors, even if it could mean hurting your relationship with them. For example, you may witness a severe act of physical violence. Will you call the police to report it? Will you cut off your relationship with them and lend your support to their partner? Of course, any decision you make should take into account their partner’s safety, as well as the safety of any involved children and yourself.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. More than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the National Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a challenging, supportive and engaged community where learning is carried forward to Do something bigger altogether. Founded in 1891, UNCG is the largest and most diverse university in the Triad, serving nearly 18,000 students. Standing apart from other universities, the UNCG community is joined together by a shared value: We define excellence not only by the people we attract, but by the meaningful contributions they make.



“End ME/CFS” Mega Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Project Begins

Now this is exciting.
The Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) has announced it has created and is raising funds for a huge “End ME/CFS” project. They’re looking for five million dollars a year to fund it — about double the NIH’s current annual spending on all ME/CFS research. That’s a really ambitious project. Could they actually pull it off?

“What is needed is a total attack on the problem.” – Ron Davis PhD

( This information was submitted to SheVille by Amy Mandel )

I think they could, and the reason why starts with Ron Davis PhD, the originator and leader of the project. Davis has been thinking about producing a high-level consortium to attack Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) for years. The idea of a consortium immediately came up when I first talked to him about three years ago. His son, Whitney, had introduced us. Whitney was quite ill then, but since then has gotten much worse. He now has one of the worst cases of ME/CFS I’ve heard of.

Read more: “End ME/CFS” Mega Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Project Begins

I think they could, and the reason why starts with Ron Davis PhD, the originator and leader of the project. Davis has been thinking about producing a high-level consortium to attack Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) for years. The idea of a consortium immediately came up when I first talked to him about three years ago. His son, Whitney, had introduced us. Whitney was quite ill then, but since then has gotten much worse. He now has one of the worst cases of ME/CFS I’ve heard of.

Read more: “End ME/CFS” Mega Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Project Begins

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Blog

2014 SYLVA Grief Support Group Meets Weekly – Fridays


Weekly Grief Support Group in Sylva allows each individual to grieve in his or her own way

SYLVA, N.C. – Each individual grieves in his or her own way, says Michael Lee, counselor of bereavement services with Four Seasons Compassion for Life’s Sylva offices.

“While many people will find that they do not need or want help with their grief, some people will seek individual counseling. Others want group support,” he says.

Every loss is different in some way, but grief often shares common characteristics of leaving people feeling isolated by feelings of sadness and loss. Through support groups, individuals can find validation and feel like they are not alone.

“Come as you are,” says Lee. “This is a safe and welcoming gathering of people from all walks of life. We know everyone’s story and journey are different.  You don’t have to talk; you can just come and listen.”

The Grief Support Group sponsored by Four Seasons Compassion for Life is free and open to the public. Meetings are Fridays, 1-2:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 669 W. Main Street. Contact Michael Lee, bereavement counselor, for information or support.

Four Seasons Compassion for Life is a non-profit organization with a dedicated team of health care professionals, social workers, spiritual care professionals and volunteers. Nationally known for its leadership in innovative, quality hospice services, Four Seasons is a Circle of Life award recipient from the American Medical Association. For more information, visit

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville (formerly the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement) is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed learning community dedicated to promoting lifelong learning, leadership, community service, and research. We opened our doors in 1988 as a department of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Our goal is to enable our members to “thrive” in life’s second half.

OLLI at UNC Asheville(OLLI) embraces an unusually comprehensive array of programs in the arts and humanities, the natural world, civic engagement, wellness, life transition and retirement relocation planning, intergenerational co-learning, and research on trends in the reinvention of

OSHER Courses and Offerings

Study: IUDs Offer Safe Contraception Option for Teens But Rarely Prescribed

Study: IUDs Offer Safe Contraception Option for Teens But Rarely Prescribed

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a fairly safe, long-acting form of contraception, but many myths about the devices persist. For example, it’s somewhat common to hear that women who haven’t already had a baby, and especially teenagers, are not good candidates for IUDs; neither of these is true. Click here to read the entire article

Questions Remain about Osteoporosis Drugs and Unusual Fractures

Questions Remain about Osteoporosis Drugs and Unusual Fractures


Bisphosphonates, a category of drugs that includes Fosamax and Boniva, are commonly prescribed to treat and prevent osteoporosis. Unfortunately, concerns have been raised about possible adverse effects of these drugs when used for longer than 3 – 5 years.

There are many unanswered questions about the long-term use of bisphosphonates. A 2012 New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece notes that it is unclear how long most people should take the drugs, whether certain groups of patients are more likely to benefit from longer term use of the drugs, how long benefits of the drugs last after stopping them, and whether there are reliable measures to help make that decision in individual patients.   Click here to read the entire article

Big Boys Don’t Cry, But Maybe They Should….Men and Mental Illness

Big Boys Don’t Cry, But Maybe They Should….Men and Mental Illness


Every time I see a commercial with a bumbling man child being supervised by a grown up woman, I cringe. Sure, it’s just a joke, but it’s so pervasive.  .  . “How many children do you have?” “Three, including my husband.”

Jokes are good. I love jokes. If there’s one thing I think the world could have more of, it’s laughter.

However, men with mental illness are much less likely to be diagnosed and treated, and they’re also more likely to take out their frustration and anger on someone else. There’s nothing funny about that. Men are also conditioned to avoid crying in public, so their problems are easier to overlook. It’s not just crying – if I’m angry I’m very likely to cry, because that’s just the way I am. This is true for many women, and as a result mental health professionals can see how upset we are, and that something is definitely wrong.

Contrast that with a likely male scenario: Man goes to doctor, keeps his emotions in check as he’s supposed to, because he’s a man. Doctor asks how he is. Man says he’s fine, maintaining his stoic expression. Doctor moves on. Patient thinks, “Can’t anyone see how much stress I’m under? How much anger I have?”

We expect men to be strong and invincible, even now in 2012, when we should realize that no one is, and that everyone is equally susceptible to mental illness.

The days when hysteria, once used in force when diagnosing women with mental illness-like symptoms, was the province of women are gone. Sure, some of us are still hysterical now and then, but it’s just likely that it doesn’t matter what gender we are. What does matter is how likely we are to take it out on someone else. As a woman, I’m more likely to internalize my pain, but a man is more likely to strike out at others.

And what does that have to do with bumbling men child? We have typically two extremes in our entertainment portrayals of men: the macho guy who can defeat any obstacle, or the bumbling man child. In real life, I know of no man who fits either one of those stereotypes. Perhaps that’s because in real life men are just people.

“Big boys don’t cry.” Maybe they should.

I have watched someone descend into schizophrenia and psychosis, and at a time when he had all of that on his mind there was also this, as he said, “But I’m the man! I should be taking care of you!” Many women feel that we should be taking care of things too, but many men feel an additional weight of being responsible for supporting themselves and their family, and the thought of being unable to work because of an illness can be overwhelming. What would people think if they didn’t do what was expected of them? Better to push those negative feelings down where no one can see them and hope they go away.

They don’t go away though. It’s not a useful strategy in the long run.

Who hasn’t heard anecdotes about men not wanting to admit they feel pain? Who doesn’t know a man who refuses to go to the doctor? To seek help would indicate weakness, and no one wants to be seen as weak, especially men, who may have their sense of self wrapped up in being seen as strong and tough. So instead they tough it out when they’re depressed, or angry, or even homicidal, or when they have no control of their emotions, and even when they know their own mind is lying to them.

Mental illness doesn’t necessarily explain mass murder, according to Melissa Thompson, sociologist and author of Race, Gender, and Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System. Research shows that not all mass murderers are mentally ill, and mentally ill people are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. In fact, it’s more likely someone with a mental illness will be the victim of a crime, not the perpetrator.

But men are under-served when it comes to mental illness treatment, and men are more likely to become violent. Whether the perpetrators or the victim of crime, they deserve better. We all do.

Monique Colver, Air Force veteran and military wife, is the author of An Uncommon Friendship: A Memoir of Love, Mental Illness and Friendship. She can be contacted at:

Crisis Pregnancy Centers and the Myth of “Post-Abortion Syndrome”

“Post-abortion syndrome” — the idea that abortion causes significant mental health damage — is not a real, evidence-based diagnosis.

While individuals who have abortions may have a wide variety of positive and negative feelings afterward (as do women who continue their pregnancies), there is no sound evidence that having an abortion itself leads to psychological harm. Studies that anti-abortion activists claim support the notion are often methodologically flawed, or have been misinterpreted. ( this article suggested by Va Boyle )  Continue reading

10 Natural Remedies for Depression

As with many mental conditions, people who suffer from depression often feel that it is impossible to overcome. This is made worse by the fact that the symptoms of depression usually include having low energy levels  and motivation. There is no simple solution to depression but many people find that a combination of natural remedies and therapies can help them to beat it. Continue reading

Innovative Treatment for Chronic Headache and Migraine Sufferers

Innovative Treatment for Chronic Headache and Migraine Sufferers

New Treatment Combines Sports Therapy Techniques, Neuroscience, and Advanced Dental Concepts to Relieve Chronic Dentofacial and Headache Pain

(February 17, 2014) Asheville, NC…Dr. Kani Louise Nicolls now offers a comprehensive treatment program for patients suffering with chronic pain relating to headaches, migraines, tension, and whiplash. Dr. Nicolls uses a combination of proven therapeutic, state-of-the-art techniques to evaluate and treat patients with pain or discomfort caused as a consequence of improper muscle forces in the mouth, neck, and head area.

“This treatment is badly needed in a subsection of the population that suffers from ongoing chronic head and neck pain. The TruDenta treatment program allows us to give our patients immediate relief and long-lasting results,” says Dr. Nicolls, of . “It’s exciting and rewarding to see patients take back control of their lives and their health with more pain-free days. It’s really life changing.”

Dr. Nicolls uses the TruDenta system in a specific way to evaluate a patient’s pain symptoms and disabilities in the teeth, muscles, and joints that likely are caused by force imbalances. Then, based on the objective data, Dr. Nicolls provides patients with individualized therapy tailored to their condition. This rehabilitation of the muscles and nerves causing the pain is a combination of in-office treatments and at-home care. The treatment is minimally invasive and painless, with no needles or drugs involved.

The National Headache Foundation estimates that more than 29 million Americans suffer from migraines, and these individuals lose more than 157 million work and school days annually due to pain. Aside from migraine sufferers, it is projected that 90 percent of the population also endures other chronic debilitating headaches.

 For more information call Dr. Nicolls at 828-251-2426.

Trim, Toned and Tranquil: Nutrition, Exercise and Relaxation Experts at Baylor Offer Summertime Strategies

Trim, Toned and Tranquil: Nutrition, Exercise and Relaxation Experts at Baylor Offer Summertime Strategies.


Heard about the 10-day fast allowing only cayenne, lemon and maple syrup? Close your ears.Such celebrity “detox diets,” touted to shed the body of toxins while helping you get svelte, are questionable, unnecessary and even unhealthy.So says dietitian Suzy Weems, Ph.D., chair of Baylor University’s family and consumer sciences and a former chair of the legislative and public policy committee for the American Dietetic Association.“There’s very little toxin that exists in the body unless it’s a high enough dose to make you sick. And if so, that’s likely to happen no matter what,” she said.


Be advised that “your body is an extraordinarily effective mechanism,” Weems said. “There’s protective bacteria in the mouth. The stomach is highly acidic. The liver is a really good organ that’s incredibly protective, and the kidneys work as a filter.”Yes, there are “virtually no calories in lemons, and cayenne will make you sweat. Maple syrup gives you glucose, so that might help you maintain energy while you’re not eating anything,” Weems said.But while such diets may cut the appetite or speed up the system, any shed weight will be pretty much water. “Water weighs a pound a pint. But when you rehydrate, it’s not a loss,” Weems said. She suggests more moderate food choices instead.“Switch to lots of fresh fruit and vegetables,” she said. “This is the time of year when fresh food is reasonably priced.



”The Truth About Sweat“

The nice thing about summer is that many people become more active, whether they work in the yard, take part in sports with their children or get more involved in their own exercise programs,” said Darryn Willoughby, Ph.D., director of Baylor’s Exercise and Biochemical Nutrition Laboratory and an associate professor of health, human performance and recreation.But the flip side is that summer heat brings the risk of dehydration — especially since the body’s temperature regulation is more like a furnace than an air conditioner, Willoughby said.“Our bodies are always producing heat as a result of all the cells in our body that have to make energy to survive,” he said. “Since our body is always producing heat, it must be able to lose heat as well.”The body can lose heat by air or water moving across the skin, but during exercise, most of the heat is lost through sweat evaporating, Willoughby said.“When we sweat, our bodies also lose electrolytes — sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium — as well as water.  During heavy, long-duration exercise, we can lose approximately 1/4 gallon of water through sweating,” depending on temperature, humidity, type of clothing worn, intensity of exercise and fitness level.“If we become thirsty, then we are already somewhat dehydrated,” Willoughby said. “We should not wait until thirsty to drink fluids.  . . If we don’t drink enough water, we can get dehydrated and suffer from light-headedness, nausea and dark-colored urine. If not recognized, dehydration can even result in kidney failure and or, in extreme cases, death.”He offered these guidelines for exercising during the heat:



  • Avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the hottest part of the day
  • Wear loose, light-colored clothes. Lighter color helps reflect heat; cotton clothes will help sweat evaporate.
  • About 24 hours before exercise, consume fluids and foods to promote hydration, such as fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates. Two hours before exercise, drink 16 ounces (two cups). During exercise of less than an hour, drink water every 15 minutes; if the exercise lasts more than an hour, drink a carbohydrate/electrolyte drink (a “sport drink”) every 15 minutes.
  • After exercise, drink a carbohydrate/electrolyte “sport” drink.
  • Before and after exercise, avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can cause water loss.


Cures for the Summertime BluesWhen temperatures are simmering, it’s easy to get cranky, anxious and weary.Loeen Irons, a lecturer in Baylor’s health, human performance and recreation department, has some ideas for de-stressing and re-energizing.Unlike early humans, “your body is not in the wilds of Africa running away from lions,” Irons said. “Our bodies are outdated. The things that raise our stress levels are generally things that we can’t punch or run away from, so ‘fight or flight’ doesn’t work for us. But the body doesn’t know that.”Exercise – especially aerobic exercise – helps burn off stress hormones, said Irons, an aerobics instructor.“Stretching, breathing, body awareness, nature — those are good things to turn your focus away from your cell phone and computer,” Irons said. “You need some kind of quiet time for 10 or 15 minutes now and then, whether it’s prayer or meditation or just being unplugged.”Another de-stresser is playing or snuggling with a furry friend. “There’s something really freeing about tending to your pet,” Irons said. “It takes you to a different place.”“And of course, get a great night’s sleep. It’s like the old chicken or the egg question: Are you tranquil because you slept well, or did you sleep well because you’re tranquil? It doesn’t matter. Either way is good.”Some yoga tips to beat the heat come from Baylor alum Amy Tarter, a yoga instructor in Baylor’s rest and relaxation class in the health, human performance and recreation department.To get a leg up on keeping cool, calm and energized, she suggests the “Legs Up the Wall” yoga pose for starters:


  • Lie on your back with your bottom close to the wall. Extend your legs up the wall and rest your arms out to the sides, palms up. (Place a thick blanket under your back to make it more comfortable, if needed). Keep the legs firm up the wall, but feel yourself ‘let go’ and relax the rest of your body. This pose relieves fatigue in the legs and feet, prevents edema and varicose veins, soothes the nervous system, and increases circulation, as well as some mental benefits.


Other yoga aids:

  • “Child’s Pose.” Fold your legs underneath you and sit on the heels with your shoulders above your hips. Now bow forward and place your chest on your thighs and bottom on the top of your heels.  You can bring your arms forward, stretching them out long in front of you or wrap them around you toward your feet. This alleviates head, neck and chest pain; stretches ankles, knees and hips; opens the upper back; and helps calm the mind and lesson fatigue.  
  • “Corpse Pose.” Lie flat on your back, relaxing your legs to a slight “V” opening and allowing your toes to roll out toward either side of the body. Place your arms away a foot away from the body with palms facing up and the back of the hands resting on the floor. Soften completely into the floor, making sure to close your eyes. To help your facial muscles relax, put a towel over your eyes or face.  
  • Deep breathing. Lie on your back. Place the right hand on the upper chest and left hand right around the belly button.  Notice your natural breath and how your hands rise and fall. Now take deeper inhalations which will make the left hand, the one on the lower belly, rise. Then send the inhalation to the right hand and completely exhale.  Continue this pattern for a few minutes to lower blood pressure, massage your organs and release “stale” air from your lungs.


FDA OKs Genentech Breast Cancer Drug


FDA OKs Genentech Breast Cancer Drug



A drug antibody conjugate called ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) received FDA approval Friday for HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer.

The new therapy is intended for use in patients who have already undergone unsuccessful treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and a taxane. The trastuzumab portion of the conjugate — called T-DM1 during clinical development — targets HER2-positive cells, at which point the attached chemotherapeutic molecule — DM1 — attacks the cancer cells.  Click here to read the entire article

Introduction to Breast Health Series

Introduction to Breast Health Series


The incidence of breast cancer in women in 2010 (American Cancer Society, Inc.) was estimated to be 209,000 new cases (this does not include estimated cancer occurrence prior to 2010) with an estimated 40,230 deaths from breast cancer in 2010. Of all the cancers, breast cancer is estimated to be the highest cause of death in women, second only to heart attacks. The science and technology of identifying cancer of all kinds has improved greatly so when one uses these technologies, cancer can be identified early on and treatment initiated promptly so that the consequences of cancer are considerably reduced if not avoided altogether.


Perhaps the best of all worlds is that of preventing breast cancer or, at the very least once cancer has been identified, minimizing its impact through reducing its rate of growth. The ways in which this can be done is much the same as with any other potential for disease—develop and sustain healthy tissue which does not nurture or support the growth of cancer cells or for that matter any type of harmful process or condition.


So what processes and procedures develop and sustain healthy body tissue? The good news is that there are actually many options. However, there has been little research to assess the viability of many of these alternatives. Common sense and clinical experience suggest processes and procedures that are likely feasible treatment modalities in the battle of cancer prevention or reduction of cancerous growths. The array of choices encompasses both western and eastern medical and health options.
In this series, SheVille will provide information that can help us lead more healthful lives and sustain healthier body tissues to avoid or reduce disease processes. To that end, we are offering this series of papers by local practitioners from both western and eastern practice that might provide valuable information for wellness and disease prevention. This series is not offering alternative treatments to cancer; the oncological treatments that have been and continue to be researched and examined remain the best choices for good outcomes in the elimination of cancerous growths.
Va Boyle, Ph.D. General and Clinical Psychologist


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