• February 2024

    Embracing Self-Love and Acts of Kindness

    February is known as the month of love, yet it’s not just about romantic love – it is a great time to make space for self-love and spread it to those around you. This month is a great time to reflect on our relationships, especially the one with ourselves. The more love we have inside, the more we can radiate that love with the world around us.  Self-love is the foundation of a healthy mind, body and soul. It is about appreciating who you are and embracing all parts of you. Self-love is also about taking care of yourself and your well-being through self-care. When we can remember that self-care…

  • January 2024

    Embrace Baby Steps: Building Healthy Habits in 2024

    As we step into a brand new year, the air is filled with excitement and the promise of new beginnings. It’s that time when resolutions are made, and we set grand plans. However, instead of overwhelming ourselves with lofty goals, let’s take a different approach in 2024. Let’s embrace the power of baby steps and focus on building healthy habits that will last a lifetime. In 2024, let’s shift our focus from resolutions to building healthy habits through baby steps. By starting small, being consistent, practicing self-compassion, finding joy in the process, and building a supportive community, we can create lasting change in our lives. Remember, it’s the small steps…

  • December 2023

    Moment of Gratitude

    Wishing you a very healthy and happy holiday season. I want to take a moment of GRATITUDE and Thank you for reading my column this year, I hope you have implemented some of the self-care tips I’ve shared. My goal is to raise awareness to self-care starting in our home. As we get into the moments with family, holiday hustle and all things seasonal – this is a great time for reflection. One of my biggest tips for enhancing wellness is through a gratitude practice. But first, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that there are times where you may find it difficult to harness a gratitude practice.…

  • July 2023

    Don’t Forget to Breathe

    Summer is a time families can enjoy quality time together; BBQ’s, adventures and it can also come with a lot of stress for busy working parents trying to juggle it all. Which means we can be wrapped in chaos and forget to take a moment to breathe…and enjoy all the fun! Most of us on average spend over six hours per day on technology devices. In order to lead by example, we parents need to work on limiting our screen time so we can support our kids doing the same. In addition to that, focus on one of the simplest ways we can calm our stress. What if there was…

  • March 2023

    A Plea for Your Help

    Kevin, a 16-year-old teen, was sitting in my dental chair in terrible pain. He had a deep cavity that was hitting his nerve and needed treatment right away. As a dentist and a mom, I really felt for Kevin. Fortunately, I was able to get him the care he needed to get him out of pain and save his tooth – a risk he didn’t know he had when he arrived. I knew that the cavity had taken years to get to this point. If he had been seen by a dentist at an earlier stage, it could have been easily treated with a filling before it caused Kevin any…

  • March 2023

    School Should Start Later to Give Teens More Sleep

    As her teenage son groggily dragged himself out of the house and into the car at 7:10 am to make it to school on time, Lisa Lynn Lewis wondered if he was even capable of absorbing information in those first few hours of the day. “He was hardly alert, and definitely not in an optimal state to be showing up to school ready to learn. It was his first year of high school, and classes started at 7:30 am. “That was the earliest he’d ever had to go to school, and it really felt too early for all of us,” she said. She was right. Last July, state Senate Bill…

  • February 2023

    What Do You Do When Your Kid Knocks Out a Tooth?

    Santa Cruz County is an adventurous and active place. We love to see kids outside running around, riding bikes, surfing, skating…. having fun. However, pediatric dentists don’t love the damage that sometimes happens to teeth when kids get tripped up during all that fun. We all hope it won’t happen to us, but it’s good to know what to do if it does. There are three true emergencies associated with dental trauma. These are the “you need to take action NOW” injuries; 1) head trauma 2) uncontrolled bleeding that may require stitches and 3) a knocked out permanent tooth. Often, the knocked out, displaced or broken tooth can look really…

  • January 2023

    Pilates Prep for Skiing

    How does Pilates help with skiing?Pilates teaches and strengthens your body in many different positions. One important concept is “hip dissociation.” This is the ability to bend at your hips while keeping a neutral spine. Learning how to bend your hips, knees AND ankles will improve your dynamic control without transferring tension into the low back, knees and hips. Skiing is dynamic, so your spine needs to be mobile and strong in all positions, but strengthening in a neutral spine will teach you how to use your quadriceps and gluteals instead of your low back. Think of your legs like an accordion. The hips, knees and ankles should all fold…

  • December 2022

    Standing Tall

    Aside from sitting, standing is where we spend a considerable amount of time. As parents, we stand in line at the grocery store, watching our children’s sports, cleaning the house, etc. We find windows of time to exercise and take care of ourselves, but we spend a lot of time standing. As a mother of two I have found it essential to find ways to sneak strengthening moments into our day. Standing tall helps strengthen our core, relieve pressure in our joints and build confidence. As a Pilates teacher I advise clients that standing with healthy posture is as important as your workout. If we workout everyday, but spend the…

  • November 2022

    Pregnancy Health

    Finding Your Core by Sandy Novembre & Amelia Foster DPT Searching the internet for answers regarding core strength can be quite overwhelming. It’s easy to confirm that a strong core is important, but how to best strengthen can be daunting. There are many “core” exercises that are great in theory, but performing a particular movement or pose doesn’t guarantee you are using your core. All too often our superficial (larger) muscles take over for the core. Many internet answers approach each core muscle individually. While it is helpful to bring awareness to each core muscle through isolated imagery, the goal is to find integration. The benefit of a strong core…

  • October 2022

    Pregnancy Health

    Pilates for Motherhood by Sandy Novembre& Amelia Foster DPT The foundation of Pilates teaches core control, breath and alignment. Understanding body awareness and form are an essential part of strengthening a Diastasis Recti, tending to pelvic floor health and improving posture. The props in a mat class or springs on the pilates equipment give both assistance and resistance to challenge muscles at their full length. Each exercise brings focus and intention to how you move your body. An integrated workout will leave you feeling elongated and connected. Physical Therapy and Pilates for prenatal and postpartum care helps with pregnancy comfort, ease of delivery and a resilient postpartum experience. As the…

  • February 2022

    Oral Health During Pregnancy

    Dental Care During Pregnancy Good for Pregnant Parent and Good for Baby by Dr. Sepideh Taghvaei, Chief Dental Officer and Co-Chair of Oral Health Access Santa Cruz February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Usually, promotion is focused on children’s dental health. This article will instead focus on the dental health of the pregnant parent. But why?  The pregnant parent is the most common source of transmission of cavity causing bacteria to their infants. A decision to keep the mouth of the pregnant parent healthy and treat cavities (decay) is also a decision to help protect your baby’s oral health. Going to the dentist and even getting dental x-rays is…

  • Little girl at the dentist checkup
    February 2021

    Kids’ Dentistry and Covid

    How to Handle Kids’ Dentistry and COVID-19 February is Pediatric Dentistry Month By Alison Jackson Early every morning, before anyone else is in the office, I sit at my computer and review the chart of every patient I will be seeing that day. After each visit, I make notes about what we did, what we talked about and what we will do next time. Today, one of my notes read, “treated with silver diamine fluoride, reviewed hygiene routine, re-evaluate in 6 months after pandemic.” In hindsight, that was wishful thinking. Ten months later, pediatric dentists in our area have adjusted to this new normal. We’ve secured our offices and we’ve…

  • September 2020

    Crisis Self Care

    Crisis Self Care Stress Management for Times of Crisis BY gretchen heimsoth Pre-COVID, I had a borderline-religious health regimen. Along with varied exercise 4 to 6 times a week, I followed a plant-heavy, paleo-inspired diet, and did intermittent fasting. COVID hit and it smashed my routine. No spin class, no infrared sauna—my bodywork therapies went out the window.  On top of that, the kids were home nonstop, with the stress of distance learning. I started eating late, my sleep patterns got smashed, I gained a little weight, and I started feeling slow and achy. I had to face the music and create more structure in my life. I felt the…

  • tea
    August 2020

    Chinese Medicine

    A Doctor of Chinese Medicine By Jeanette Prather “From what we’ve seen in Chinese medicine, COVID-19 is really going to take root and be a harder disease for patients who have cold lungs and cold digestive systems,” local doctor of Chinese medicine, Dr. Nihal Kaur, offered freely. “This means no sugar, sweets, ice cream, drinks, etc., but rather hot drinks like tea, soups and broth are best. Make sure that your digestive system is warm, with a combination of ginger and licorice tea being the best.” This is just one of the small anecdotes that Dr. Kaur offers her patients via online sessions instead of her traditional in-person appointments. Dr.…

  • June 2020

    Oral Health

    Keeping Up with Oral Health During Shelter in Place BY SEPIDEH TAHJVAEI, CHIEF DENTAL OFFICER, FROM DIENTES COMMUNITY DENTAL Remember that list of things parents would remind kids to do before leaving for school? “Do you have your backpack? Lunch? Did you brush your teeth?” Now that kids do not leave for school, the trigger (leaving the house) no longer reminds us of the important habit of brushing teeth in the morning. Parents have had to make many adjustments to their parenting routines to maintain a balance during homeschooling and sheltering in place. For parents of very young children, brushing the teeth of a wiggly, cooped-up toddler may be the…