Healthy Options 7/3/19: Health Hazards and Environmental Destruction Caused by Browntail Moths in Maine

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

a) What are the health hazards of browntail moths?
b) How can we try to protect ourselves from exposure to the caterpillar’s toxic hairs, which can cause severe skin rashes and respiratory problems? Are there times when exposure to the hairs are more/less of a threat?
c) How are browntail moths causing environmental damage? What trees are specifically being destroyed by the brown tail moth caterpillars, and are there ways to protect them?
d) Are these outbreaks just occurring in Maine? What kind of attention is being focused on health problems and environmental destruction, and what is the situation currently, on the funding for research, and for pest management?

Dr. Eleanor Groden, Professor of Entomology in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine, Orono, and head of the University of Maine Browntail Moth Project, which is investigating the factors contributing to the severity of the browntail moth outbreak in Maine, while evaluating methods which might manage its spread.
Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton of Lincolnville, science instructor for Cambridge College in Boston, who has been researching the environmental devastation and serious health problems resulting from the browntail moth infestation in Midcoast Maine.

Websites of interest:
University of Maine Browntail Moth Project
The Maine Forest Service’s Frequently Asked Questions about Browntail Moths
The website, with links to a multitude of subjects pertaining to brown tail moths:
Blindsided: The Browntail Moth Caterpillar Takes the Midcoast by Surprise (The Free Press, 7/19/18):

Healthy Options 6/5/19: Ticks, Lyme & Other Tick Diseases

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Ticks, Lyme & other tick diseases: The challenges of diagnosing & treating tick-borne illness, with a discussion of resources & support offered through Midcoast Lyme Disease Support & Education

Key Discussion Points:
a) What are the challenges in diagnosing tick-borne illnesses?
b) Is a negative result on a Lyme test, proof that you do not have a tick-borne illness? How accurate are tests for Lyme disease? What about testing for co-infections?
c) How can we prevent tick bites?
d) What are some of the signs and symptoms of undiagnosed & untreated tick-borne illness?
e) What other illnesses besides Lyme Disease, can be transmitted by ticks, even in the same bite?
f) Why might Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses be diagnosed incorrectly as other disease or conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, or even dismissed as psychological distress?
g) What is a “Lyme-literate” physician?
h) How does Midcoast Lyme Disease Support & Education assist those who need information and/or who have tick-borne illness?

Paula Jackson Jones, president & co-founder of Midcoast Lyme Disease Support & Education (MLDSE)

Other Websites of interest:
Tick removal, tick testing & tick types in Maine
International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society (ILADS)

May 1st, 2019 Healthy Options Program with Lyme Disease expert Dr. Beatrice Szantyr, about ticks, Lyme disease and tick-borne illness,
Other Healthy Options shows on ticks and tick-borne disease,

Healthy Options 5/1/19: Update on Ticks, Lyme, and other tick-borne illness

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Key Discussion Points:
a) What is “persistent Lyme”?
b) What are the issues with blood tests which can make them ineffective for diagnosing Lyme disease?
c) What are other tick species and tick illnesses that we are seeing in Maine, and what are their symptoms?
d) How can we protect ourselves against tick bites, and the possibility of contracting illness in the first place?
e) What is the best way to remove an embedded tick? What about testing the tick to see if it carries disease? What then?
f) What are some strategies for treating tick illness and how effective are they?


Dr. Beatrice M. Szantyr, internist and pediatrician; medical advisor for MaineLyme, a non-profit dedicated to decreasing Lyme & related tick diseases in Maine; and member of the State of Maine’s CDC Vector-borne Disease Work Group, the Maine Medical Association, and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS).
Other Healthy Options shows on ticks and tick-borne disease (with links to websites of interest, FMI), can be found here 


Healthy Options 4/3/19

Wellspring, Inc. and the treatment of substance abuse and addiction

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Engineer: John Greenman

Key Discussion Points:
a) What is the Wellspring program?
b) What have we learned about the “physiology of addiction”?
c) Why do we look at addiction as a chronic disease?
d) What are specific treatments and techniques used in the residency programs at Wellspring that have been so effective?
e) What are the particular challenges that women with children face in their recovery?
f) What steps are necessary in order to protect children from starting down the road to addiction?

Suzanne Farley
Lisa Williams

Websites of interest:
Wellspring, Inc. 207-941-1612

Adverse Childhood Experiences(ACES) and their effects on long-term health, brain development and behavior,
Healthy Options Archives 4/4/18:

Healthy Options 3/6/19

Music Therapy

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Engineer: John Greenman

What is music therapy?
Who benefits from music therapy?
How does music affect our nervous system?
What benefits do we see using music therapy with survivors of stroke, and Alzheimer or dementia patients?
Are there techniques we each can use at home to influence and calm our own nervous system, even if we are not experiencing any illness?
What kind of research is being done that can teach us ways to utilize music in our own healing process?

Melissa Violette, Board-Certified Neurologic Music Therapist at Birch Bay Retirement Village, and Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, Maine. She is also the director of the American Music Therapy Association National Roster Music Therapy Internship Site- the first, for the state of Maine, where the use of music therapy is quite new.

Websites of interest:
Outpatient Music Therapy with Melissa Violette, MT-BC, NMT is offered free of charge through the MDI Behavioral Health Center for an introductory period. For more information, or to request a referral, contact the Behavioral Health Center at 207-288-8604
To find a Board-Certified Music Therapist in your area of Maine:
Carla Tanguay MA, MT-BC of Modulation Therapies is a local Music Therapist in the Hancock County area who will travel to you: 207-812-8662.
To learn more about Music Therapy:
To learn more about the Certification Board for Music Therapists and how to find a Board-Certified Music Therapist in any state

Healthy Options 2/6/19

Producer/Host: Rhonda Feiman
Production Assistance: Petra Hall
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

To (Hand)Shake or Not to Shake…? That is the question (and more) which host Rhonda Feiman explores with Dr. Miryam Wahrman, author of The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World.

Key Discussion Points:
a) What role does the immune system play in keeping us healthy, and how can we stay healthy in a “germ-filled world”?
b) Won’t our immune system take care of any infectious germs we are exposed to, and why should we wash our hands, when we have an immune system?
c) Just why IS hand washing so important, and what is the best technique for hand washing?
d) Do alcohol wipes or hand sanitizers work? Do we need hand sanitizers with anti-microbial additives?
e) Should we use anti-bacterial agents?
f) What are the risks we face when visiting a healthcare facility? What should health care providers do, to better protect themselves and their clients- and why should you not be shaking your doctor’s hands (and substitute a bow or a fist bump instead!)?

Miryam Wahrman, Professor of Biology at William Paterson University and author of The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World.
The Hand Book makes the case for hand washing as a vital means to reduce the risk of infectious disease, and presents the history, religious and cultural roots of hand washing, how scientists discovered that germs cause disease, and the science behind hand hygiene. It also exposes the shocking truth that many people – including healthcare workers- do not wash properly. Professor Wahrman offers tips to improve hygiene to stay healthier at home, work, school and, most importantly, in healthcare facilities where poor hygiene can be deadly.


Healthy Options 12/5/18

Producer/Host: Rhonda Feiman
Production Assistance: Petra Hall
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Financial health and how that relates to all aspects of our well-being.

Key Discussion Points:
a) How is financial health related to our well being?
b) What are the emotional components of financial health?
c) How do our earliest lessons about money affect us as adults?
d) What is the difference between our financial needs and wants?
e) What techniques can be used to help us work with our core financial beliefs and achieve financial safety?
f) How do we know what financial safety is?
g) What are the challenges that couples face in navigating differences in financial core beliefs?

Ruth Hayden, Ruth L. Hayden & Associates
Nationally-recognized financial consultant, educator and author. She is one of the first financial consultants to recognize the relationship between our emotions and money. This field is now known as Behavioral Finance.

Previous Healthy Options Programs with Ruth Hayden:

Healthy Options 11/7/18

Producer/Host: Rhonda Feiman
Production Assistance: Petra Hall
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Vision Health: Vision therapy techniques to help us improve and maintain excellent vision.

Key Discussion Points:
a) What is visual health?
b) Is it inevitable that our vision deteriorates with age?
c) How does stress affect our eyesight?
e) How does our posture affect our vision?
f) Are there techniques that we can practice that can help us improve our vision?
g) What kind of research is being done that can teach us ways to improve and maintain our vision?

Rosemary Gaddum-Gordon D.B.O., M.A.
Natural Vision Improvement

Previous Healthy Options Program with Rosemary Gaddum-Gordon: