Magee59 Health and Wellness

Magee High School, Vancouver, BC, Class of 1959

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Be Proactive and Assume Responsibility

If we want to maximize the potential in our lives, both on a day to day and long term basis, then optimum physical and mental health are key.

In this section, we plan to support the position that optimum health is best achieved when we are proactive and assume responsibility for those health factors which we can influence and control.

We live in an information age and a passive, reactive approach to health issues is … well, passé. We trust that you will find the topics and links informative.

Do you have a Topic with Article and Links?

Do you have a topic with an article and links which you would like to include in this page? If so, send us the details in an Email and we will add it here.

Maybe these general topics will stimulate your creative urges: nutrition, exercise, weight control, life long learning, positive attitude, social support, early detection and prevention, finding a doctor, visiting your doctor, informed consent, alternative choices, emergency symptoms and actions, published medical system protocols, etc.

It would probably be best to keep articles within 2-3 pages (1000-1500 words) plus links. We look forward to receiving your in-put.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

This is a very basic introduction to traditional Chinese medicine - a medicine-philosophy that in ideology and methodology considers the total person in dynamic interplay with his environment.

As we age, more and more concern is focused on our health. Chinese medicine has historically been a medicine focusing on health rather than diseases. It encourages us to examine our lifestyle, our emotions, our habits and values, and our environment, and calls upon us to become aware of how we ourselves are interfering with our own well-being and the natural laws of energy that provide health both within and without.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) special attention is paid to the unifying role of the concept of energy or 'qi'. This medical philosophy proposes that all of life may be understood as a function of a single force, an invisible energy called 'qi'. All of us and all of existence is a manifestation of this one unifying force, obeying the universal laws of nature in a variety of forms, essences and movements. Disease follows deviation of our 'qi' from the laws of nature. If the laws are followed, the energy forces within a person are free and flowing - all systems working smoothly. If, however, this energy system is impaired, blocked, weak or unbalanced (ie: through trauma or emotions) energy forces within the individual breakdown or move against each other resulting in pain, emotional disturbance or illness.

'Qi' is an important concept in the history of TCM - it is seen as the material basis for maintaining the functions of human life. It moves and circulates ceaselessly throughout the whole body. Human metabolism and organic activity, including circulation, digestion, vision, hearing ect., all depend on 'qi' for stimulation and propulsion. This propelling function of 'qi' enables all the nutritional substances to diffuse throughout the whole body so as to maintain normal human physiological activity. If this propelling function of 'qi' is reduced, the function of the internal organs will also be decreased. Thus, 'qi' is seen as responsible for maintaining the dynamic equilibrium within the body and co-ordinating it to function as an organic whole. Whatever other forces may be at work, the distinction between health and illness is predominantly determined by the changes of 'qi' within the body.

As a theory of health based on the knowledge of the movement, the balance, the rhythm and the amount of this energy qi, TCM becomes more of a preventative medicine. Using signs and symptoms of disordered qi (detection by pulse, tongue, color, sound, eyes, emotions, odor and other parameters) the TCM practitioner is capable of recognizing constitutional disorders, imbalances and early processes of many diseases.

TCM treatment , by understanding qi as the root, strives to restore balance, functions and natural rhythms - it's fundamental guides are to replace conflict with homeostasis, stagnation with movement and weakness with strength. TCM philosophy recognizes the interconnectedness of the human body, mind and spirit forming one complete whole within themselves and within the environment. It also recognizes the dynamic interplay of organ systems in relationship to the emotions, mind and spirit. The knowledge of this interconnectedness is both extensive and enlightening. TCM is thus able to utilize this understanding to help the individual establish a balance of energy to reach a better level of health. The knowledge of this concept of healing may also help lead us from a path of increasing fragmentation to one of internal unification.

Future articles will cover: yin/yang theory of diagnostics and treatment; TCM herbology and acupuncture; Qi and blood problems with aging.

Submitted by: Dayle (McPherson) Farenholtz

Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Canada is a national foundation dedicated to the elimination of this disease through research, education, support and awareness. Its’ vision is to be a global leader in the fight against prostate cancer, earning the enthusiasm and support of Canadians through integrity, compassion and innovation.

The Prostate Cancer Canada Network (formerly the Canadian Prostate Cancer Network) amalgamated with Prostate Cancer Canada in 2009, with a goal of reaching out to a wider audience and providing enhanced support resources for men (and their families) diagnosed with the disease.

Our own Bob Shiell is Managing Director, Prostate Cancer Canada Network and has provided us with these links to the websites for: Prostate Cancer Canadaand its supporting group network, Prostate Cancer Canada Network Infolink
Prostate Cancer has many complexities and comprehensive information is essential for making well informed decisions regarding screening, diagnosis, treatment options, side effects, prognosis, etc. There are many excellent institutions and websites around the world which publish guidelines, news, and other information dealing with PC issues. For example:

BC Cancer Agency, Cancer Management Guidelines Prostate, is available on
BCCA website
European Association of Urologists, Guidelines on Prostate Cancer (reviewed and revised 2010), is available in PDF format on EAU website
Information and communication are keys to managing Prostate Cancer risks and outcomes.

Doug and Judy ... Carpe Diem!

As you know, Judy Greenberg is currently in a health battle and has received much support - visits, cards, emails, recollections, etc. - from her Magee59 classmates. One email from Doug Garnett [via Bill Harvey] described how he and Judy used to "pass" notes in certain classes and then went on to discuss health in general ...

"... We are all aware of the importance of good health, and much of what comes down the pike is really beyond our control. However, I really hope that every member of our class has long since realized that the greatest single thing one can do to promote good health is to quit smoking, as well as avoid those who are still on a path to self-inflicted medical problems by persisting with this suicidal habit.

Bill Stephens, as far as I can remember, never did smoke, and is certainly an example of pursuing a sport and remaining in good shape throughout life. In my own case, as the years flipped past I became more and more active in sports, and certainly sailing and scuba diving became my two passions in recent decades resulting in my relocation to the British Virgin Islands for several years, then to St. Lucia, and finally to St. Barthlemy in the French West Indies for the past 18 years.

Today I am a disciplined fitness fanatic, spending 2 hours in the gym every other day. After many years as a French resident, as of January 1st of this year I became a returned Canadian, and moved into my new home here on Whistler's Alta Lake. This past summer I have joined some very fit (and much younger) guys and have become an avid mountain biker, while looking forward to skiing, the one sport in which I have participated continuously since my days at UBC.

I mention these things since I believe that all of us should do what we can in order to stay fit and healthy, essential to enjoy life to its fullest while we are still upright and in charge of our faculties. Within our abilities, we all need to do what we can to keep mobile.

Currently, I am exploring the possibility of obtaining a New Zealand passport. The reason for this is that I am an active member of the British Columbia Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association, and one of my Whistler friends has just bought a bobsled, pictured in the attachment. A former resident of New Zealand, he has a Kiwi passport, as well as British and Canadian passports. Since New Zealand does not have a sliding centre, while our beautiful $120 million state-of-the-art Whistler Sliding Centre, a legacy of the Olympics, is available to us, we are planning to spend the next 3 1/2 years in training here, hoping to represent New Zealand in bobsleigh events at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi Russia.

We would break at least one Olympic record: our combined ages would make us the two oldest dudes to ever participate in the Olympics.

Let 'er rip!

My friend's 2 man bobsled is shown [above], with the Colonial Boy inside the sled, accompanied by his new best friend. I've advised his owner, who will be steering from the front seat, that while operating as his brakeman, sitting in the back seat, I've got it all arranged, starting with my plans to mount a handy toilet paper dispenser within easy reach of my seated position. You'll know which is our sled from the sheets of toilet paper floating in the air above the track descent.

Last week we were making plans for bungee jumping here at Whistler, with a specular leap from a very high pedestrian and biking suspension bridge above the Cheakmus River, just south of town.

Hey! Why not! Carpe Diem ... Seize life, go for it. And above all, exercise! Even if it's just your little finger!

A speedy recovery Judy. Too bad we didn't keep a few of our brilliant observations winged across classrooms at Magee!

Best wishes to all.

Doug Garnett"