Being Healthy

There’s no panacea for universal good health and wellness, but the East Bay offers innovative solutions for age-old issues.

A one-size-fits-all health regimen to ensure universal good health and wellness continues to prove elusive. But this month’s Health & Wellness section explores some topical ideas related to health and wellness, from whole-body cryotherapy and meditation to new ways to defeat hypertension, hepatitis C, and the opioid epidemic.

Whole-body cryotherapy is a not-so-new, super-cold spa treatment preferred by elite athletes that is gaining some East Bay traction for its purported ability to reduce inflammation, soreness, and stress while improving moods, energy levels, and recovery times. Clients step into a freezer tank or a cyrosauna to withstand sub-zero degree cold for a few minutes as liquid nitrogen converted into gas surrounds their bodies, significantly dropping the body temperature forcing blood to rush to their core. Sounds miraculous but brutal to me, as someone who’d rather explore purposeful meditation over the deep freeze.

Two topics—hypertension and hepatitis C—are stealthy so-called “silent killers” because their symptoms can be so slow to be detected yet both are dangerous. High blood pressure can be especially hard to control for those failing to recognize the significance of medicine and doctor’s orders. But an enterprising hypertension specialist, Dr. Nailah Thompson, along with a super-encouraging medial assistant, Danyelle Barker, and similarly committed staff members have learned how to give often-noncompliant patients an innovative way of understanding and managing their blood pressure at Kaiser’s new Specialty Blood Pressure Clinic. At Oasis Clinic in Oakland, Dr. Diana Sylvestre is motivated to get marginalized hep C patients treatment. While there is no hep C cure, vaccine studies are underway, and new medicines work better with fewer side effects than their precursors, and the clinic is making a difference.

Finally, two Highland Hospital health care professionals—Christian Hailozian and Dr. Andrew Herring—are facing opioid addiction head-on by initiating treatment of users they encounter in the emergency room, successfully transitioning them into addiction treatment when they are willing—seizing the moment, they say. They launched the program in February to offer a practical solution to curb the widespread opioid epidemic.

None of these offers a miracle cure, but together they just may improve your health—or that of a loved one or friend. Be healthy.