A Prescription For Women's Wellness:

Use humor to fight stress

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A recent survey showed that 70 to 90 percent of us feel stressed at work and outside, according to an article on the Web site Holisticonline.com.

"Today's fast-paced lifestyle is putting a toll on us. Unless we learn to manage stress, we will get sick," the article continued.

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Having a laugh with friends and family is a great way to combat stress and the many illnesses associated with it.

A related article by ChaChanna Simpson, publisher and editor of Twentity.com, said, "stress ... can cause physical ailments such as digestive, urinary tract and bladder problems, rashes, heart disease and much more."

In an effort to address this ongoing health issue, the 10th annual Women's Wellness Forum will focus on the topic, "Women and Stress ... NOW THAT'S FUNNY!" with humor therapist Elaine Lundberg.

Lundberg is the keynote speaker at the March 15 event. Her popular presentations are both educational and motivational. They help anyone concerned with wellness and stress management learn to effectively incorporate positive humor into his or her personal and professional lives.

With her program, Lundberg will help participants to learn how to:

  • Take their work seriously but themselves lightly;
  • Use positive humor to enhance team building;
  • Use humor as a positive tool for stress management and wellness; and
  • Use hearty laughter to decrease stress and increase productivity.

The Mesa resident and internationally known Humor Therapist will lighten up the Women's Wellness Forum by presenting "Laugh for the health of it!" in the keynote address at 8 a.m.

She said participants would learn about the healthy things that happen to their body when they have a hearty belly laugh and use positive humor. They will also learn how laughter helps prevent, fight and heal the toll stress takes on the body. Most importantly, they will laugh while they learn how positive humor helps keep women healthy and productive.

"It is highly recommended that you use the ladies' room before this session since you will be laughing for an entire hour," Lundberg said.

Lundberg grew up with 21 foster siblings.

"I just assumed that everybody came from large families and craved attention," she said.

For the past 17 years she has been a keynote speaker on positive humor and wellness. For fun, she performs as a member of an improvisational comedy troupe.

Her books include: "If They're Laughing, They're Not Killing Each Other!" which presents the philosophy behind her wellness presentations; and "No More Bummers!" in which she shows readers how to protect themselves from the "bummer virus" by using positive humor.

Activities will be at the Payson High School campus and begin with a stretch and breathing program held first thing in the morning. There will then be a continental breakfast.

Following the keynote address, participants will attend their choice of three out of 10 health-related breakout sessions. Among the topics in the breakout sessions are:

  • "Love Your Heart" (Women and Heart Disease), with Alfonso Munoz, M.D.
  • "First Aid for Furry Friends" with David J. Burkhart
  • "I Have One Nerve Left and You're On It" (Stress Management) with Jeri Byrne
  • "Who Stole My Joy and Why Does My Neck Hurt" (Body Mapping) with Vivian Seville, CNA, LMT
  • "Recognizing Cancer In Men and Women" (Breast and Testicular Cancer) with Dr. John Dacanay
  • "Toe Readings" (Perscentoelogy, a unique system of personality profiling through toe reading) with KC Miller
  • "A Woman's Journey to Financial Independence" with Kevin Dick
  • "Car Trouble... Yelling Doesn't Work" (Auto 101) with Mike Wicks
  • "Easy Home Repairs For Women" from Home Depot's "Do-It-Herself Workshops" with Dane Owens
  • "Decadent Desserts for Health Sake" (an interactive cooking demonstration) with Devon Wells.

Some of the sessions have been filled.

The committee members have worked very hard to make the 10th anniversary Women's Wellness Forum unforgettable, said Cory Houghton of Payson Regional Medical Center and a member of the forum's steering committee.

A great class selection, coupled with the addition of a humorous keynote speaker and a very special catered luncheon, should all contribute to a very exciting forum this year, she said.

Following the breakout sessions, participants will be treated to a luncheon and door prize drawings in the vendor hall where local business people will be manning booths with information on many health, wellness and women's-related topics and services.

"This forum has truly become the premier event for women in our community," Houghton said.

It's an opportunity for women to get together to learn about issues that concern them and to enjoy fellowship.

Qualified participants can apply for a free mammogram when they register for the forum.

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Pets are an important part of the family for many people. A program on pet first aid at the Women's Wellness Forum will help participants learn how to keep their four-legged, furry friends healthy.

Women interested in attending this year's forum may register by calling the Mogollon Health Alliance at (928) 472-2588. Admission to the forum is $10, but scholarships are available. Attendance is limited to the first 300 pre-registered women.

Pets part of wellness forum

The 10th annual Women's Wellness Forum has something for everyone, including the furry, four-legged members of our families.

One of the 10 programs in the March 15 forum is "First Aid for Furry Friends" with David J. Burkhart.

Burkhart shared part of his presentation with the Rim Review.

"This is not the actual first aid class, it is just an overview of what is available through the class," Burkhart said.

The purpose is to teach participants:

  • How to be prepared for emergencies that involve a dog or cat. _
  • Prompt, effective first aid actions and care. _
  • How to protect themselves and the dog or cat from further harm, injury or suffering during emergencies.

First aid for dogs or cats is the immediate and temporary care given to an injured animal until it can be taken to a professional veterinarian for medical care and attention. It should not be confused with pet care

The actual class is three hours long. The topics covered in the class include:

  • Being prepared and what should be in a pet first aid kit, a pet emergency supply kit and what to consider and how to plan for pets in the event of a disaster.
  • Being informed. How to recognize a medical emergency, breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses.

To recognize a medical emergency, you should know the normal physical condition, behavior and habits of your pet. Identify normal heart, pulse and breathing rate and body temperature and make a record of it.

Through the class, participants will learn how to safely approach an ill or injured pet and how to determine if a pet is experiencing a life-threatening emergency.

The full class also covers shock, wound care and controlling bleeding, muscle, bone and joint injuries, burns, sudden illnesses, car accidents, temperature-related emergencies and seizures.

David J. Burkhart is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PRH),

He is the owner operator of CPR Arizona and Rim Country Consulting. He is also the Human Resource Manager for the Phoenix Job Corps operated by ResCare Inc.

He is an active member of the International Personnel Management Association, Society for Human Resource Management and the Valley of the Sun Human Resource Association.

Burkhart is a certified instructor with the American Red Cross, American Heart Association and the National Safety Counsel. He is certified to teach CPR (basic and professional), first aid, dog and cat first aid, AED, blood borne pathogens/disease transmission, oxygen administration, family caregiver training and several other safety and health subjects. He has instructed more than 400 classes to the general public and professional rescuers.

Burkhart spent 24 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a Master Sergeant.

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