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Health

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Read on to learn about a farm in Mount Healthy that helps nourish you physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Tikkun Farm is a non-profit farm that creates spaces and experiences of healing.

Do you want to experience spiritual healing in your life? Tikkun Farm may be just what you need.

Tikkun Farm is a 3.5 acre non-profit farm located on a quiet, dead-end street in the Mount Healthy neighborhood of Cincinnati. “It uses its lands and buildings to create spaces and experiences of healing, restoration and repair,” says Mary Laymon, Executive Director of Tikkun Farm. “We have a long term vision to offer integrated healing experiences for people recovering from trauma.”

Tikkun is a Hebrew word that Laymon’s son heard at a friend’s Bar Mitzvah. “The young Jewish boy celebrating this milestone invited guests to support him in his work of ‘Tikkun Olam,’ which he told us is meant ‘to repair the world,’” she says. “This is how I learned of the Jewish belief that all Jews should commit themselves to partnering with God in the ongoing ‘repair of the world.’”

Spirituality is at the center of all wholeness and healing. “Healing isn’t complete until we know in the very core of our being that we are the beloved… that no matter what we’ve done, or what has been done to us, we are loved,” she says.

Tikkun Farm has been an idea growing in Laymon’s heart for 20 years. For a long time she has “nurtured a vision for creating a space of hospitality and healing. When my husband and I bought this farm in 2010, we imagined it could be the setting for this vision,” says Laymon. “We moved to the farm in 2013 and began renovating and repairing the buildings. When we applied for non-profit status for the farm in 2015, I became the Executive Director.”

The inspiration behind starting Tikkun Farm was from the sexual abuse that she went through when she was a child. “In 40+ years, I have been healing from this trauma. I have learned how many aspects of a person’s life are comprised by traumatic events and how varied and extensive the treatments need to be to restore a person to wholeness,” she says. “Trauma impacts biological, emotional, spiritual and social systems. Our traditional medical model does not offer an integrated healing approach for this multifaceted wound.”

In Laymon’s role as a pastor and spiritual director, I have worked with people who have gone through traumatic events. “I witness the greatest healing with people who have access to many healing modalities: talk therapy, yoga, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, massage and acupuncture, healing touch, reiki, spiritual direction, Body Talk, etc. I want to offer those seeking wholeness, access to a team of practitioners who work together to help a person recover.”

Tikkun Farm defines success by people being able to trust the employees of the business with their struggles, wounds, hearts, and allow us to accompany them on their healing journey. “Those with resources trust us to be good stewards of their support offered through their time, their gifts and their financial support.”

The farm offers a variety of events and services that will help you to pursue healing. Some of these events include: A New Year’s retreat that she leads every year, seasonal Quiet Days and Prayer retreats during Lent, Advent, Easter, and about themes related to the Sabbath, Healing and All Hallow’s Eve; coaching groups that concentrate on Family Systems Theory, book studies, etc.

Tikkun Farm is located at 7941 Elizabeth Street Cincinnati, OH 45231. To learn more, visit http://www.tikkunfarm.com, or follow Tikkun Farm on Facebook.

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Learn about some of the best gifts you can give your significant other (and yourself) this Valentine’s Day to truly show the love.

 

Check out the best gift ideas for a mom-to-be this Valentine’s Day.

The countdown is upon us, Cincinnati ladies. Valentine’s Day is almost here, and most of you are just hoping to survive the next 24 hours, never mind thinking about what to get your significant other for V-Day. HELLO, pregnancy brain, who can even remember what that thing was you were searching for on Amazon before you wandered into the kitchen, struck by errant cravings that needed to be satisfied immediately? #icecream #chocolate

Where were we? Oh yes, Valentine’s Day. Depending on how far along you are on your journey to Becoming Mom, the echoes of the past filled with chic and racy lingerie and wine-fueled dinners are on hold. While our hearts melted for Mandy Moore on ‘This is Us’ as she danced around with her bra on the outside of her t-shirt for Jack’s birthday, beautiful belly on full display while pregnant with triplets, I think we can all agree we need some alternative options here, just in case!

Gift One:

Stress-Free and Happy – A Couples Massage for the Mommy and Daddy to Be

Stress-free is sexy. Seriously, ask ANYONE. Hands down one of the best gifts you can give your partner: An experience to connect, relax, and be together in dim light, snuggled under soft blankets, with soft music floating all around out. Not to mention the soothing effect hot stones can have on your aching limbs, tired back, and sore feet.

While you’re presenting this gift of togetherness to your husband, you still must make sure that you’re receiving a massage in a safe environment with staff trained in pregnancy massage. A Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist can address many of the issues you may face during your pregnancy, including sciatic nerve pain, round ligament pain, leg cramping, constipation, gas, heartburn, headaches, and stress. Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound is a Pregnancy spa, ultrasound imaging center, and maternity boutique that specializes in the journey to motherhood located in the Deerfield Town Center in Mason, Ohio.

They have licensed and certified staff in prenatal massage therapy accredited by the NCBTMB. (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work.)

Becoming Mom has created a special package for couples this Valentine’s Day. It Includes a side-by-side 50-minute Pregnancy Massage for you and a Swedish Massage for him in adjoining rooms. For additional luxury, you can add on an enhancer like hot stones or a moisturizing Eco-Fin hand and foot treatment, or upgrade to 80-minute massages.

Another benefit to going to a pregnancy spa like Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound are the specialized massage techniques and safety protocols they’ve developed for mom and baby. The treatment rooms contain customizable reclining tables or pregnancy support cushions for safe side positioning, and every product is pregnancy-safe and natural.

Enough about you, this is still a gift for your significant other after all *cough*. His Swedish massage will occur in the same room, can be customized to address any pain points and issues that he might be having and the treatment table can be adjusted to any reclining position desired. Best of all he will get to experience a relaxing and stress-free massage gazing at your beautiful face, shoulders, and a sheet draped baby bump in dim lighting. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Gift Two:

Book a Date to Fall in Love: Time to Meet Your Baby

You might be thinking that you’ve already given him the best Valentine’s Gift ever. You’re growing a human inside of you! What can top that? Well, what if you could book a date night he will never forget and surprise him (and you! ) by meeting your baby for the first time or finding out if the bun in the oven is a boy or a girl?

With an elective ultrasound at Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound, you both can share in the experience of “seeing” your baby for the first time in the comfort of a spa environment with an ultrasound performed by a medical sonographer.

Becoming Mom is the only Cincinnati area elective ultrasound center with the latest in 2D, 3D and HD technologies – a package for every stage of your pregnancy.  If gender determination is your ideal date night and you’re at least 16 weeks, the 2D Just Can’t Wait Package is a good fit. If you’re interested in a 3D or HD Package, you should be at least 23 weeks, and the Simply Sweet HD Ultrasound Package should be considered.

Here are some guidelines:

23-26 weeks: Baby’s facial features are starting to be defined, and you can see more of the baby at once.

27-32 weeks: This is a good time for your second 3D ultrasound or if you’re only going to come in for one session during your pregnancy. Baby’s facial features are more defined, and the baby still has room to move around. However, because the baby is getting larger, you won’t see quite as much of him/her at once as you would earlier.

33-36 weeks: The best time for beautiful facial shots IF baby “cooperates.” Please be aware that increased crowding in the womb does make it more challenging to get pictures.

What to Do – How Do You Decide?

As we have established, pregnancy brain is the real deal!  Decisions are hard and time is short. My suggestion is to go with the package YOU want most, because Happy Wife = Happy Life! But if you can’t decide, the Enjoy the Journey. package combines everything we chatted about – and saves you money! And i you combine that package with the Gift Certificate Special that Becoming Mom is running you can receive a FREE mom-on-the-go-facial to come back for at a later date. #score You really can’t beat saving money, receiving free stuff and finding the perfect present for your husband with a gift certificate at Becoming Mom. I don’t know about you, but this is my kind of shopping trip!

Happy Valentine’s Day Mamas! Stay relaxed, have fun, enjoy connecting with your partner and treasure the moment you get to meet your little peanut. 

The journey to becoming a mom is marathon you’ve just started. We can’t wait to share it with you! Want to buy an instant gift certificate, click here to select the special that works for you or book your appointment at 513-770-6730. 

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In honor of February being heart health awareness month, we learn about the scans that can test your cardiac age compared to your calendar age.

 

St. Elizabeth is traveling with its CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit.

Heart health is the responsibility of the young. After all, most of us get only one ticker.

Knowing how it’s working (circulation) and what it’s up against (plaque that can block the arteries) can help you make changes to protect your heart and keep it beating strong.

Long before symptoms appear, key medical tests can provide a baseline for you and your doctor. Four of those tests are offered on the St. Elizabeth Healthcare CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit, which visits shopping centers, churches and senior centers as part of St. Elizabeth’s community effort to promote heart health.

“For younger people that come on and have the screening, it’s kind of a nice affirmation of ‘yes, I’m doing things right’ or ‘boy, I need to straighten some things out because if I don’t, in 10-15 years, I could be at risk for cardiovascular disease,’” said Jeanie Foley, Patient and Wellness Coordinator for the mobile unit.

A quick blood test and smoking history, as well as height and weight, are used to determine your cardiac age. It estimates the risk of developing heart disease in the next 10 years. “So, if you are 42 and you have a cardiac age of 64,” explained Foley, a registered nurse, “it’s a clear wakeup call.”

People are really surprised when they see their cardiac age is 20 years older than their calendar age, said Foley. “[They often say] I really do need to stop eating fried chicken and get moving a little more.”

Also offered on the mobile unit: carotid ultrasound which can reveal plaque buildup and blockages in the arteries of the neck which supply blood to the brain.

People can be doing all the right things – exercising and watching what they eat – and still want to check things out using the tests.

“If you are 55, there are ways to improve … perhaps your cholesterol isn’t quite being managed right … your statin isn’t as effective as it should be,” said Foley. A visit with the doctor may be in order.

The specifics:

  • Four tests are offered for $100; or you may choose individual tests for $25.
  • Bring a check, cash or credit card. Insurance is not accepted.
  • A typical visit is 30 minutes with a reservation at 859-301-WELL (9355).
  • A four-hour fast is required for the blood test.

“It is a non-threatening, easy way to get some good baseline information about your health,” said Foley.

 Upcoming dates for the St. Elizabeth CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit:

TUESDAY, FEB. 14 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Women Take Heart Screening Dillard’s
2900 Town Center Blvd.
Crestview Hills

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15 1-5 p.m.
R.C. Durr YMCA
5874 Veterans Way
Burlington

THURSDAY, FEB. 16 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Kroger
9950 Berberich Drive
Florence

FRIDAY, FEB. 17 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Remke Markets
5016 Old Taylor Mill Road
Taylor Mill

MONDAY, FEB. 20 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Town and Country Sports and Health Club
1018 Town Drive
Wilder

TUESDAY, FEB. 21 Noon to 6 p.m.
St. Elizabeth Florence
4900 Houston Road
Florence

TUESDAY, FEB. 22 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kroger Marketplace
375 Crossroads Blvd.
Cold Spring

THURSDAY, FEB. 23 8 a.m. to noon
Five Seasons Family Sports Club
345 Thomas More Parkway
Crestview Hills

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Learn about a brand new space in the Hyde Park that’s about to open in the mid-March, hosting special events and fitness classes.

 

At The LB aims to bring shared fitness classes and special events to Cincinnati.

Are you looking for a place to host a fitness class or a special event? At The LB Hyde Park is a brand new space that is going to be opening in the middle of March of this year and the address is: 3825 Edwards Road, Suite 102A, Cincinnati, Ohio.

It’s located in a premium location that has a wide variety of amenities, including, parking, beautiful design, full wet bar, caterer’s kitchen, 22’ branding wall, well-appointed lobby; fresh fruit, infused water, chocolates and snacks, ability to have an open air studio or event space with storefront canopy system, premium restrooms with amenities, concierge level service, and towel service. The space is mostly going to be used for boutique fitness classes/workshops and hospitality events.

“The LB offers a space for inclusive experiential events of all kinds,” says Betsy Hodges, Vice President of Business Development for At The LB Hyde Park. To learn about using the space, you can go to the website and fill out forms about teaching a class, or hosting an event.

“We created the LB based on the undeniable trend of shared economy. Think Airbnb, Uber and WeWork,” she says. The mantra of the company is “Be Exceptional.”

“We strive for excellence. Our space and service are exceptional and that is what we want you to experience when you are with us. We are synonymous with luxurious comfort and impeccable service. We set our sights high and our standards higher. We are the detail people,” says Hodges. “We’ve developed this stunning space, but the power of the space is how it empowers others to create incredible experiences.”

There is such a need for At The LB Hyde Park. “We are the first and only concept that offers premium rental space for boutique fitness, artistic experiences, and special events. It’s not just shared economy-it’s an entirely new category in the space,” she says. “The LB offers affordable and inclusive experiential space for the hospitality, events, and boutique studio industries. There has never been a business that has empowered boutique studio instructors and the boutique studio industry in such a unique way.”   

If you want to follow what At The LB Hyde Park is doing, you can go to their website to see how you can personally utilize the space. Also, to keep up with what the company is doing you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat. Also, if you have any questions, you can call them at (513) 275-6444.

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Read on as our relationship expert explains how sex can improve your life both in and out of the bedroom!

Many of the women that I work with tell me that they could live the rest of their lives without having sex. And while this may seem bleak to some, it is reality for many women who struggle with low desire (aka hypoactive sexual desire disorder). Sometimes the motivation to have sex may not come from our own personal desire. Sometimes it comes from knowing that this is something that is good for us physically, mentally and emotionally. Sort of like going to the gym, right? Much of the time it is incredibly hard to get the motivation to get to the gym or a yoga class. But after we are finished we are overflowing with endorphins and a sense of accomplishment, making it all worthwhile. Same goes for sex!  On those days when desire is low and you need an additional push to get in the mood, remember these 10 reasons that sex is oh so good for you!

1. Decreases Depression & Increases Happiness
Research shows that sex and physical contact increases happiness and life expectancy rates. Both men and women benefit from the mood enhancing benefits of an orgasm. As endorphins are released we feel better, happier and more connected with our partner (and ourselves). Research also indicates that remaining present and engaged during sexual encounters increases pleasure and feelings of happiness. This means that sex doesn’t always have to be mind-blowing. As long as we can stay aware and mindful we can reap the happy benefits.

2.  Strengthens Your Immune System
Hello sex season, goodbye flu season! A study at Wilkes University shows that sexually active people were found to have higher levels of immunoglobin- an antibody that helps the body fend off disease, colds and the flu. Researches also discovered that people who have regular sex take fewer sick days. You know what this means, right? Save those sick days and use them for a day-long romantic rendezvous with yourself or a partner.

3. Increases Libido
The more you have sex the more you want it… and the more your sex life improves. Women report that the more sex they have the better sex feels and the more they want it. Why? Having sex can increase blood flow to the genitals, improve vaginal elasticity, and increase vaginal lubrication. Three important ingredients to sexual pleasure!

4. Improves Pelvic Floor and Core Strength
Having a healthy sex life provides a serious workout for your pelvic floor. As you orgasm you will experience small contractions in the pelvic floor muscles, which, in turn, tones and strengthens those muscles. Why do we want strong pelvic floor muscles? Helps decrease chances of incontinence (bladder control issues), can make child birth easier, helps to reduce pain during sex, and improves the quality of orgasm.

5. Lowers Blood Pressure
When we have an orgasm the hormone oxytocin is released. This hormone is directly linked to blood pressure. This means that solo sex and partnered sex can directly effect your blood pressure. In another study, it was found that sexual intercourse (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure (the first number on your blood pressure report). Now, sex can’t replace blood pressure meds or living a healthy lifestyle, but it can be a great addition!

6. Decreases Pain
There goes that headache excuse… Research shows that the endorphins that are released following an orgasm can ease any mild ache or pain. Endorphins actually have similar effects on the body as morphine. Single? Don’t you worry. It is just as effective to self-medicate with masturbation.

7. Decreases Stress and Anxiety
When we feel sexually aroused our pleasure and reward system in the brain is activated. This can help us feel more intimate and connected. Additionally, sex decreases the production of cortisol which triggers stress in the body.  During a study at the University of West Scotland, they even found that people who were having sex at least once every two weeks were more capable of handling stressful situations, like public speaking!

8. Improves Sleep
Sex and masturbation are a great self-soothing technique. After we have an orgasm our body releases prolactin, a hormone that causes relaxation and sleepiness. For women, the benefits are even greater because sex increases our estrogen levels. Increased estrogen levels enhance REM cycles, which help us to reach a deeper level of sleep.

9. Makes You Look Younger
Better than Botox! A study from Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland had a panel of judges watch subjects through a one-way mirror and guess their ages. The participants in the study who were engaging in regular sexcapades (4 times a week) were seen as 7-12 years younger than they actually were! Why? Sex releases estrogen and testosterone, which improve the appearance of skin and hair, and help the body appear more youthful.

10. Improves Intimacy and Relationships
Skin to skin contact helps to stimulate the release of oxytocin, AKA “The Love Hormone”. (This is also why OBs and nurses in the maternity ward promote skin to skin contact for parents and babies). Oxytocin helps create feelings of love, trust, bonding and generosity. Don’t have time for even a quickie? Spend 60 seconds hugging your partner, making sure your bellies are touching. You will get a smaller, but still worthwhile, dose of oxytocin to keep you feel connected and loved.

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February is Heart Health Awareness month, so read on for all the exciting events and activities the American Heart Association has planned around the city!

Join a celebration of heart health at Cincy Chic’s annual Lady in Red event on February 3 at Macy’s in downtown Cincinnati.

Did you know that Cardiovascular Disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year? The American Heart Association in Cincinnati is an organization that wants to improve people’s heart health.

“The mission of the AHA/ASA is to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” says Lori Fovel, Director of Communications for the AHA in Cincinnati. “That single purpose drives all we do. The need for our work is beyond question.” It is Fovel’s job to tell AHA’s story and have Cincinnati connect to the mission. The goal of the AHA is to improve the cardiovascular health of people by 20 percent, and reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.

Fovel has personal experience with heart problems in her family. Recently, her husband, who is an athletic and fit 54-year-old, had a heart attack. “He had a blockage in one artery, which required a stent. This event hit very close to home as you can imagine,” Fovel says. “After sharing stories of those who have been affected by cardiovascular disease for so many years, it got very personal when it happened to my own husband. Heart disease doesn’t discriminate and touches people of all ages, ethnicities and gender.”

The month of February is National Heart Month. The Christ Hospital Health Network plays a big part in the month’s festivities “Their support enables us to activate grassroots programs in our community, such as Learn and Live days at all girls’ high schools to share the message that heat health begins at an early age,” says Fovel. “They also participate in our Little Caps Big Hearts campaign that provides hand knitted baby caps to all newborns in February. Moms receive take home information about heart health.”

To raise awareness for heart health, the AHA of Cincinnati is going to host multiple events. February 3 is going to be National Wear Red Day. “It’s a call to action to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of all Americans,” says Fovel. “Why go red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one women every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we have the power to change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.”

You can paint the town red as you wear your red on Feb. 3 at the 8th annual Lady in Red event at Macy’s downtown. From 6-10pm, you can enjoy a 20% store-wide* Macy’s discount, fashion show, music, swag bag, refreshments, fun photo booth and fundraising activities. All proceeds benefit the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign. Click here for more information and to reserve your tickets. http://2017LIR.eventbrite.com

The next day, February 4, there is a Ride Your Heart Out event. This event consists of “indoor cycling classes that are happening all over the country, hosted by our CycleNation sponsor, CycleBar. The proceeds from this event go to AHA.”

Another event happening is Kendra Scott in Liberty Center. Kendra Scott is a store, and 20 percent of the sales for the whole day will go to AHA. “Dollars raised are used to support local heart and stroke research, educational programs and advocacy efforts,” she says. At Kendra Scott, there will also be a mini event, “Sips, Sweets, and Jewels” from 5-8pm, where there is going to be door prizes, sweets, and drinks. There are also a variety of other events happening, such as the Greater Cincinnati Heart Ball, Heart Mini, and HeartChase NKY.

To keep up with what the AHA is doing, you can follow them on Facebook or check out the Heart Mini’s page; Instagram for both the Cincinnati AHA and the Heart Mini, and on Twitter.

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It takes a village! Learn how to care for your sexual health with the help of these specialists.

 

Christy Haas, a psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy and couples counseling.

As a psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy and couples counseling, I am always surprised and a little disheartened at how little people know about their own sexual health. When I ask my clients about their sexual history I tend to get a very vague response. Growing up we are taught how to brush our teeth, take care of our skin, and go to the doctor, but very few of us are taught how to manage and maintain our sexual health. In fact, I find that most of the clients I see come from families where sex is a taboo subject. This lack of communication often leads people down a path of shame, isolation and creates a pattern where they forced to try to figure things out on their own.

Working with one or all of the following sexual health specialists can provide valuable knowledge that can help you maintain healthy sexuality on a physical, mental and emotional level. Below I give recommendations for local specialists, as well as descriptions of how to best utilize each specialist. The goal is to become an active participant in your sexual health.

Gynecologist

WHAT: A gynecologist is a medical doctor who specializes in women’s health and reproductive systems. Oftentimes, gynecology and obstetrics (pregnancy/ childbirth) will overlap.

WHEN: Ideally, patients see their gynecologist on a yearly basis for the annual pap smear and checkup.

WHY: Being proactive can lead to early detection of STIs or cancer, help identify issues causing irregular periods, or vaginal pain, as well as answering any questions you have about women’s health or fertility issues. Gynecologists can provide education and resources for sexual issues outside of what a primary care doctor can provide.

WHO do I recommend:

Dr. Somi Javaid & Associates (Sex Medicine)

Dr. Ted Lum, MD  (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Sex Therapist

WHAT: Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy that can be helpful when addressing sexual dysfunction, low desire, sexual trauma, pain during sex, intimacy issues, lack of orgasm, or simply a need for sexual education.

WHEN: Unfortunately, many people seek out sex therapy or counseling as a last resort. While therapy can still help at these dire times, treatment is much more beneficial when clients come as they begin to see problems arising. I tend to see most of my clients on a weekly basis for a limited time. Depending on the issue, length of treatment could be between 1 session to over 20 sessions.

WHY: Because our gynecologists are the ones looking at our vulvas we tend to turn to them with all of our sex questions and issues. It is important to understand that while gynecologists have extensive training in women’s health, most have little or no training in sex. When there are underlying issues complicating our sexual health, it can be a good idea to seek out a sex therapist.

WHO do I recommend:

Christy Haas, MA, LPCC Relationship + Sex Therapy

Emma Schmidt, MA, PC, Sex Therapy

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

WHAT: I refer almost all of my clients to a pelvic floor physical therapist. The response I have gotten from 99% of them is “what’s that?” A pelvic floor physical therapist specializes in therapy and rehabilitation to treat pelvic floor dysfunction and pelvic pain. They utilize biofeedback, external and internal manual therapies, trigger point release, micro-needling and at home exercises to rebuild and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

WHEN: You should see a pelvic floor PT whenever you are having any sort of pelvic floor dysfunction. Also, go after giving birth! In Europe, most women go to the Pelvic Floor PT for up to a year after giving birth- this is the standard of care.

WHY: Pelvic Floor PTs can help with issues related to bladder and bowel disorders, pain during sex (vulvodynia, vaginismus, etc.), pelvic pain, post-trauma pain, and rebuilding pelvic floor muscles and control after having a baby.

WHO do I recommend:

The Center For Pelvic Floor and Core Rehabilitation

Stacey Clarke, DPT, WCS

Certified Yoga Instructor

WHAT: I know, I know… You’re probably thinking, “what the heck does yoga have to do with my sexual health?” A lot! Yoga is a spiritual practice that combines breath work, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation and bodily postures. Different benefits can be attained depending on the class or style. Hot Power Vinyasa is an intense, calorie burning practice that will challenge your physical strength, balance and flexibility. A Restorative Yin practice allows you to stretch deeply, calming the mind and becoming deeply aware of the way your mind and body are connected.

WHEN: Everyone can benefit from the benefits of yoga at any age. Find a class, teacher and style that suit your needs.

WHY: As a certified yoga teacher I have seen the improvements that yoga can provide to people struggling with anxiety, depression, body image issues, those struggling with a mind-body connection or people with pelvic pain or pain during sex.

WHO do I recommend:

It’s Yoga

Simply Power Yoga

Elemental OM

Educating yourself and being an advocate for your own sexual health is one of the most empowering things a woman can do. Challenge yourself to be proactive and do not be afraid to ask questions. Being curious is what life is all about! If you have any further questions feel free to contact me at Christy@christyhaas.com or visit my website www.christyhaas.com.

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See how struggles with breast cancer inspired the creation of a family-friendly bicycle event that’s raising millions for cancer research.

Ride Cincinnati is a ride to honor those who have been affected by cancer.

Get active — physically and philanthropically. That’s the idea behind Ride Cincinnati, which was founded in 2007 by Dr. Harvey Harris, his family and two friends, after their lives were touched by breast cancer.

“This event is dedicated to the life of Marlene Harris and all others who have, and continue to be, affected by this terrible disease,” says Allison Schroeder, Public Relations Director for Ride Cincinnati. This is Schroeder’s third year with the organization. “Their true passion for finding a cure for cancer and love for the event is inspirational and makes my job so much fun,” she says.

Schroeder’s favorite part of working with Ride Cincinnati is watching families continually participate in the event, year after year. “Watching survivors celebrate their strength with friends, family and co-workers-it’s an emotional experience,” she says. “Having watched the event grow over the last few years has been amazing. And I can tell you as someone who has run more races than I can even count- this is the best post-event celebration I’ve ever seen.”

This year, Ride Cincinnati works with the UC Health Barrett Cancer Center. The mission of the center is to “transform cancer care in the Midwest Ohio region by providing the most advanced and compassionate patient care built on a foundation of innovative research and education.”

The Barrett Cancer Center is working hard to become the leading resource of cancer care in the region, “delivering the highest quality patient and family-centered care in a collaborative environment firmly based in a competitive research enterprise with an emphasis on education and community outreach,” says Shroeder.

Ride Cincinnati has been partnering with the Barrett Center for 11 years. “We have funded 34 research grants and are looking forward to assisting with many more as they work towards becoming a National Cancer Institute designated center,” she says.

2017 is going to be different for Ride Cincinnati because they are going to be raising money for all types of cancer research at the Barrett Center. “This is a big change for us this year, as the last 10 years, the ride has only funded breast cancer research,” she says. “We decided to expand on our mission because cancer research has advanced to a point in which a single treatment option can apply across a number of different cancers.” Going back to their roots, Ride Cincinnati’s first $250,000 will be going directly to breast cancer research. “To date, Ride Cincinnati has raised more than $2.5 million for breast cancer research at the Barrett Center,” says Shroeder.

Race day will be on June 11, 2017 and will consist of a variety of different races. The different races are 100-mile, 45-mile, 26-mile, 18-mile, and 8-mile bike races, and there’s also a 5k run and Brick (Bike and Run). If you are interested in signing up to participate in the event or want to find out more information, go to Ride Cincinnati’s website. You can also follow what Ride Cincinnati is doing on Facebook.

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Want to get in shape this year? Learn about a local personal trainer who’s making it easier to reach your goals with nutrition services and online training options.

Betsy McNally, Founder of Betsy McNally Personal Coaching

Does your New Years resolution involve getting in shape? Betsy McNally, Personal/Group/Online Trainer and Sports Nutritionist, brings her passion of the fitness industry to help inspire people to get in shape. McNally has been a personal trainer since 2002, but “Betsy McNally Coaching” started in 2012.

”[My passion] was so great that I couldn’t see myself being happy doing anything other than helping people with fitness,” she says. “I know how much fitness had helped me feel my best everyday and I just wanted to share with people how to do this themselves.” Along with passion, McNally brings her knowledge of the human body and how it works, how to put together workout and meal plans with results.

Betsy McNally Coaching offers multiple services, such as group training, one-on-one training, Gymnastics training, meal plans, online personal training, online meal planning, Skype sessions, nutrition seminars, speaking engagements, etc. “I do it all,” McNally says. To find out the prices of her services, check out McNally’s website. She works with athletes, gymnasts, moms, dads, teens, seniors, everyone!

McNally brings her experience from when she spent most of her life as a competitive gymnast. When she retired at the age of 16, she began to work out regularly. After she graduated from Michigan State University, she got a job teaching high school, but a near death experience caused her to question what her passions really were. McNally went from teaching Shakespeare to teaching fitness.

“Soon I was getting so fit, I decided to pursue a career in Professional Fitness Competing and I was awarded my Pro card in fitness in 2008,” she says. “I was able to elevate my own fitness level to a very high one and wanted to help and reach as many people as I could. I also got certified as a sports nutritionist as my passion seemed to go more and more toward helping people with food addictions and obesity.”

McNally defines success by the results that her clients get, in the numbers and their confidence. “I pride myself in my one-on-one relationships with each of my clients, hundreds of them! She defines her success by the clients who come back, month after month, year after year. “When people tell you everyday that you have changed their lives, gave them more confidence and helped them overcome obstacles in their lives…that is success! I’ve done my job,” McNally says. “I also define success by the countless testimonials on my website and on my Facebook page, and I am truly blessed to have the most awesome and loyal clients!”

The most rewarding part of the job, to McNally, is the diversity. She gets so much joy out of changing the lives of people. “I am adding years to people’s lives with nutritional plans, helping them change their lifestyles, helping them quit smoking, helping gymnasts get stronger and achieve their goals,” McNally says. “I am able to help gymnasts who live in Alabama, Canada, California, Texas, all from my home. I am able to put groups of women together and work them out to make sure they get results.” She has clients from 8 years old to 73.

Her coaching style is a role model with a “Keep it real” flavor. “I am positive, approachable, tough, but with a kind edge, use humor often, energetic, motivational, inspirational. I’m attractive to many of my clients because I’m just like them,” McNally says.

If you want to see what’s going on in the life of Betsy McNally, check out her website. Also, follow her on both of her Facebook pages, Betsy McNally Laouar Gymnastics Nutrition and Fitness Specialist and Betsy McNally Laouar FitnessPro. If you want to contact her directly, email her at: coach@betsymcnally.com.

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Wish there was a healthy and affordable option for food on-the-go? Get the delicious details about a new business in Oakley that offers just that.

Fit Food Stop is new to Oakley and offers healthy food in a unique setting.

Are you looking for a unique place in the Cincinnati area to find healthy food? Fit Food Stop, located in the Oakley area, is a food shop that provides all things healthy. All of the food offered at Fit Food Stop, from ham and cheese omelets to blackened salmon with vegetables and rice, are gluten free. “Alongside the prepared meals, we also offer healthy snacks and drinks,” says Sally Beiting, Store Manager of Fit Food Stop. “We don’t stop at the food, though, as we also offer personal nutrition guidance and meal plans.”

The shop opened on November 10, 2016, but the concept and recipes have progressed since February. The idea came from the owner, Anthony Maley, who lived in Austin, Texas for five years. While Maley was in Austin, he discovered similar stores in the area and was interested in the concept.

“When he moved back to his native Cincinnati, he realized the need for healthy fast food, and decided to open Fit Food Stop,” says Beiting. Their mission is to allow the Cincinnati community to live a healthy lifestyle, regardless of their work, family and travel schedules.

“So often, people sacrifice a healthy diet because there are more convenient alternatives, like fast food,” she says. “Fit Food Stop strives to be the intersection of quick, healthy, tasty, and affordable so that sacrifice no longer has to be made.”

When someone makes the decision to live a healthier life, Beiting says Fit Food Stop helps to remove barriers so that goal can be a reality. “Times are changing and people are prioritizing their health every single day,” she says. “By selling freshly prepared and portioned meals at a reasonable price, we help people save time and money. With those two factors eliminated, everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life.”

Options at Fit Food Stop include prepared and portioned meals.

The success of Fit Food Stop is defined by helping individuals live healthier lives without it being a hassle to their everyday routine. “Everyone has the right to eat healthy food, and we want to make that convenient for others,” says Beiting. “If we can get people to view healthy eating as a sustainable lifestyle rather than a diet, we have succeeded.”

Beiting gets such joy out of customers coming into the shop. “When people come into the shop and say, “This is fantastic, I am so happy something like this has finally come to the neighborhood,” it makes us feel like we serve a purpose,” she says. “Talking to people who genuinely want to improve their health motivates us to provide them with the best nutrition and advice to help them achieve just that.”

If you want to keep up with what Fit Food Stop is doing, you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram for food and nutrition tips, which is updated frequently. Also, the shop has a website with a menu and contact information for the shop. You can also email them at info@ffstop.com or call/text them at 513-546-2555.