Healthy Options 5/4/22: Yearly Update on TICKS, Lyme, and Tick-borne Illnesses

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Technical assistance: Joel Mann & Amy Browne

Healthy Options: For Well-being & Being Well

Ticks ARE out- and biting (ugh!), so it’s time for our yearly update on TICKS, Lyme, and tick-borne illness, with tick specialist, Dr. Beatrice Szantyr.

Key Discussion Points:

1. What is a tickborne illness?
2. What tickborne infections are viruses and which are bacterial, and how can they be treated?
3. What is the prevalence of Lyme disease, and other infections in Maine?
5. What percentage of people get a rash with Lyme infections and what does that rash look like?
6. Besides deer ticks, what other kinds of ticks are here now in Maine? What kind of diseases/infections can we get from them?
7. What is anaplasmosis and Powassan virus and why are we so concerned about these infections?
8. What can we do to protect ourselves from tick bites?
9. What do I do if I’ve been bitten? Where can I send the tick to analyze what it may carry, and will this help in my possible treatment?

Guest: Dr. Beatrice Szantyr, an Internist and Pediatrician who lectures on Lyme disease and related tick-borne disorders in Maine and nationally, to both professional and community groups. She is an active member of the Maine CDC Vector Borne Disease Work Group, and a member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. Dr. Szantyr most recently served on the 2022 Federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, the Access to Care and Education Subcommittee.

Websites of Interest:
Tick testing Maine
Tick testing Amherst MA. (tests for more diseases)

MANY websites of interest from previous Healthy Options programs can also be found at:
Healthy Options Archive 5/5/21
Healthy Options Archive 6/3/20

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.

Healthy Options 4/6/22: The serious problems of PFAS “forever chemicals” with Patrick MacRoy

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Technical assistance: Joel Mann & Amy Browne

The serious problems of PFAS: The “forever chemicals” in our food, water, land & everywhere…

Key discussion points:
1. What are PFAS & “forever chemicals”?
2. Why are we so concerned about them?
3. What products contain PFAS?
4. Are PFAS in our water, soil & products, and how did they get there?
5. What food packaging contains PFAS?
6. Is there a way to minimize your exposure to PFAS?
7. What are the long-term health ramifications of exposure to PFAS?
8. Is there any acceptable level for PFAS exposure?
9. Is it possible to filter out these chemicals if they are in your water?
10. What can we do about toxic levels of PFAS in our bodies?
11. Is there anything to be done to remedy toxic levels of PFAS in the soil?
12. How is this issue handled in the USA vs. how they deal with it in Europe?

Guest:
Patrick MacRoy, Deputy Director of DEFEND OUR HEALTH, a public health organization based in Portland, Maine, which advocates for safe water, safe food, safe products, & a toxic-free environment. DEFEND OUR HEALTH is actively engaged in exposing the dangers of PFAS- the “forever chemicals” contaminating our food, water, soil, and products.

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.

Healthy Options 3/2/22: Browntail Moth in Maine: Protecting ourselves and our local communities as BTM spreads in Maine

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Technical assistance: Joel Mann & Amy Browne

Browntail Moth in Maine: Protecting ourselves and our local communities as BTM spreads in Maine

-What part of the Browntail Moth (BTM) is toxic to humans?
-What can we do to minimize our exposure to Browntail Moth caterpillars?
-What are some ways to reduce their spread, locally & statewide? Are there new methods to use?
-When is a good time to clip the webs? What do the webs look like & how can they be confused with other species that we don’t want to clip?
-Is it possible to use the compost after Browntail Moth/caterpillars have been seen?
-How long should the clipped webs stay in soapy water?
-What is the lifecycle of the Browntail Moth? What cycle are we in now?
-When should we turn our lights down and off so the male Browntail Moths don’t get attracted?
-Why are bug zappers and other devices that attract them not a good idea to use?

Guest: Maine Forest Service entomologist Tom Schmeelk, who is charged with managing the state’s response to the Browntail Moth (BTM) problem here in Maine.

Websites of Interest:

“Knock Out Browntail” with info. & links on the Maine Forest website

Belfast Library video presentation Feb. 2022: Browntail Moth and What You Need to Know- with entomologist Tom Schmeelk

Healthy Options interview with Tom Schmeelk April 2021

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.

Healthy Options 2/2/22: Rhonda Feiman speaks with Florence Williams, author of the new book, “Heartbreak- A Personal and Scientific Journey”

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Technical assistance: Joel Mann & Amy Browne

Rhonda Feiman speaks with Florence Williams, author of the new book, “Heartbreak- A Personal and Scientific Journey,” about the physiological and emotional effects of heartbreak and grief- and effective pathways for healing.

Key Discussion Points:

1. What are the physiological changes that can occur with shock, grief and heartbreak? How do you define heartbreak?
2. How is the immune system affected by strong emotions associated with loss, grief and heartbreak?
3. How does the heart get affected? What is Takotsubo syndrome?
4. Does being in nature help bring our nervous system back into balance?
5. What is “awe” and why is that useful as a treatment or antidote to strong physiological changes that can occur with heartbreak?
6. What other methods are helpful in treating the shock, grief and heartbreak?
7. How might psychotropic medicines help?

Guest:

Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix- Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative
She is also author of the book, BREASTS: A Natural and Unnatural History, and producer of the series, BREASTS UNBOUND, An Audible Original.

Previous Healthy Options interviews with Florence Williams:

Healing ourselves through nature– The Nature Fix- Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

Interview with Florence Williams, author of the book, BREASTS: A Natural and Unnatural History

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.

Healthy Options 11/3/21: Enhancing Learning and Resiliency Through Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Technical assistance: Joel Mann & Amy Browne

Program Topic: Enhancing learning and resiliency through reducing stress and anxiety

1. What are the different kinds of stress?
2. When might stress be a helpful thing to experience, and how can we utilize it in a positive way?
3. Learn how to do “box breathing” as a tool for resetting the nervous system.
4. What is a flow state and how can it be achieved?
5. How can an understanding of our human physiology help us be more resilient and better learners?
6. How is movement helpful for alertness and learning?

Guest: Ian Ramsey, educator at North Yarmouth Academy, where he teaches mindfulness and other techniques to enhance learning and resiliency. He directs their Kauffmann Program for Environmental Writing & Wilderness Exploration, and is a founding board member of Physiology First, a nonprofit that offers students around the world science-based tools they can use to reduce stress and anxiety.

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.

Healthy Options 8/4/21: Osteoporosis: Myths and Facts

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Technical assistance: Joel Mann & Amy Browne

Osteoporosis: The myths and facts in diagnosis, new developments in screening technology, and the pros & cons of current treatment options

Key Discussion Points:
1. What are some ideas and strategies to keep your bones strong and healthy?
2. What are some ways to be safe in your house and with your everyday activities to try to prevent debilitating falls?
3. What is osteoporosis?
4. Why is bone density difficult to measure?
5. What is a DXA scan? How are DXA scans interpreted?
6. What is a Trabecular Bone Score (TBS)?
7. Why should Trabecular Bone Score software be used to interpret the results of your DXA scan?
8. What is osteopenia, and why is this a controversial diagnosis?
9. What are the pros and cons of current medicines being prescribed for osteoporosis, including biophosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel) & zoledronic acid (Zometa), and monoclonal antibodies, such as denosumab (Prolia)?
10. How has pharmaceutical company research & marketing impacted and influenced medical diagnosis and treatment of bone density and osteoporosis?

Guest:
Cindy Pearson, the former Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network of Washington, D.C.
She is one of the nation’s best-known advocates for women’s health, and is well known for her leadership in bringing grassroots organizations together to press for accountability from the government and other powerful entities. Cindy Pearson often testified before Congress, the National Institutes of Health and the FDA, and was frequently featured in the news as a consumer expert on women’s health issues.

Website of Interest: National Women’s Health Network

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.

Healthy Options 6/2/21: The Many Facets of Hospice Care

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Technical assistance: Joel Mann & Amy Browne

The many facets of hospice care, with a focus on the surprisingly diverse roles played by hospice volunteers; also, separating myth from fact, starting with the misconception that hospice is “just” all about death and dying.

1. What do hospice volunteers do? How is what they do, different from what is generally offered in a hospice program?
2. What services do you offer that might surprise our listeners?
3. People have the idea that hospice is all about death and dying. Why isn’t that accurate?
4. How does hospice programming enhance living?
5. What are some of the basic legal issues that all of us need to consider, to ensure our wishes are known, for end-of-life care?
6. What kind of training is required to become a hospice volunteer?
7. How did training as a hospice volunteer change your attitude about life and living fully?

Guest:
Jody Wolford-Tucker, Executive Director of Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County, Maine, who has worked to create and nurture community partnerships for hospice care since 2006.

Websites of Interest:
Hospice of Hancock County
Online Resources from Hospice of Hancock County

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.

Healthy Options 5/5/21: TICKS! Those blood-sucking parasites!

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Technical assistance: Joel Mann & Amy Browne

TICKS! Those blood-sucking parasites! (and why you shouldn’t annoy the ticks!): Our annual update with tick specialist Dr. Beatrice Szantyr

-What are the ticks we can find in (or find us) in Maine?
-What diseases can dog ticks, black-legged (deer) ticks, & wood ticks carry?
-How can we protect ourselves and pets from tick bites?
-What can we do to try to keep ticks away from our gardens and backyards? What is their preferred habitat? Do ticks die off in the winter?
-What are some symptoms of Lyme and other tick illnesses? Is there always a rash with Lyme?
-Can Covid symptoms be confused with tick illness?
-When is an antibiotic appropriate for treatment and what is an effective therapeutic dose?
-Are blood tests effective for diagnosing tick illness?
-What do I do if a tick bites me? How do I remove a tick? Why is it best not to “annoy” a tick which is embedded in you? What should you do with the tick once you’ve removed it? Where can I send the tick to be tested, what do they test for, and how might this information be of use?

Guest: Dr. Beatrice Szantyr is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a member of the American College of Physicians, and an Internist and Pediatrician, living in Lincoln, Maine. She is an active member of Maine CDC’s Vector Borne Disease Work Group, as well as the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. Dr. Szantyr is also the medical advisor for MaineLyme, a non-profit dedicated to decreasing Lyme and related tick diseases in Maine.

Websites of Interest:

Dr. Szantyr at Belfast Library May 3rd 2021 (video glitch; misses beginning)

Maine Forest Tick Survey

University of Maine Orono Cooperative Extension Tick Lab

MaineLyme, dedicated to decreasing tick borne diseases in Maine through awareness, education, prevention and advocacy

I have a tick bite! What do I do now?

Tick testing in Maine

Lyme Disease Association

Midcoast Lyme Disease Support and Education

Tick Management Handbook Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Repellant Info:

EPA: Find the Repellent that is Right for You

The best bug sprays of 2021 (CNN report)

Dog Not Gone – a Maine company selling permethrin treated apparel for people and pets

InsectShield permethrin treated clothing

Previous Healthy Options show on ticks, & links to other tick shows & resources:

Healthy Options 6/3/20: Ticks and tick borne illnesses

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.