Too School for Cool: Is North Korea making you fat?

 Blogs, The Well, Too School for Cool  Comments Off on Too School for Cool: Is North Korea making you fat?
Apr 262013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently watched a documentary called Hungry for Change. It’s a film about healthy, natural eating and what effects it can have on a person’s lifestyle.

I’d like to start by saying that my friends and I watch a lot of documentaries, like A LOT. If you have Netflix, you’ll understand. Over my many viewings I’ve learned various things about the film industry, sushi, war, and food, but Hungry for Change is the first documentary that has truly inspired me to make a change in my life.

I’m not an unhealthy person – I’m not overweight, I don’t eat a lot of junk food or sugar, and soda is not a part of my diet. The lifestyle change outlined in the film isn’t about weight for me. It’s about putting things in my body that will help my energy, skin, and organs in the long-run.

The diet idea that the film presents is that people should not eat any foods that have additives and chemicals. All foods we consume should be found naturally in the wild. If there’s an ingredient you can’t pronounce, it doesn’t belong in your body. This is how our bodies were made to eat, so why shouldn’t we honor that?

Hungry for Change reveals secrets that the food industry doesn’t want you to know, such as addictive food additives. Many people crave sugar or salt on a weekly, or even daily, basis. That’s because some companies put in artificial ingredients that act like nicotine to make you want more. The reality is, if we stop eating those foods, our body will quickly learn to live without them and we will stop craving them.

The film interviews people who have survived cancer and obesity due to changing their diet. As I said before, I’m not unhealthy, but I do get frequent headaches and bouts of stress. The documentary explains that when people are stressed, they tend to eat. That is the opposite of what a person should do to control stress levels.

The fact is, there are a lot of stresses in our world today. Our country is in constant fear of being bombed, our economy is still at a halt, and school work piles up to an uncontrollable level. In our world today, stress is all around us. By eating natural, organic foods, you can be sure that whatever you’re putting into your body is helping your overall health and wellbeing.

 

Learn more about Hungry for Change at http://www.hungryforchange.tv/

Apr 052013
 

Author: Anna Palmer

“You are the creator of your own happiness and well-being.”  More than a philosophical statement, this motto has become inseparable from the life and passion of a vibrant, openhearted and authentic soul in the Fort Collins community.

Combining psychotherapy with yoga, meditation and spirituality, Gwyn Tash, in essence, has created a new emerging field of counseling that she intuitively and whole-heartedly believes in.

Gwyn Tash

Gwyn Tash

Outlining her methodology at OM Counseling and Yoga, Tash describes it as a mix between yogic and Buddhist psychology.  Seen as natural and in-the-flow, she views counseling as going hand in hand with spirituality.

“There isn’t another way to do psychotherapy.  [Traditional talk therapy] is just ‘psycho-babble’. [It’s] all about the illusion of life,” Tash said assuredly.  By approaching psychotherapy from a more natural, spiritual place, she encourages her clients to find acceptance of one’s nature through ‘karuna’ (Sanskrit for ‘compassion’).

Throughout childhood, Tash struggled with depression, low self-esteem and distorted body image.

“My own life struggles made me adept at what I do,” she said.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Tash moved to Colorado in 1989.  She worked as an addiction specialist at LARICO Center for Youth Addictions for about two years, commenting on the “rough, over-her-head type work.”

After leaving LARICO, Tash worked in senior and elderly counseling before the “depressing” nature of the work encouraged her to take a job as lead counselor at Island Grove Regional Treatment Center in Greeley, Colo.

Meanwhile, she struggled to keep her head above water in her personal life, amidst the grips of an emotionally and physically abusive marriage.

Feeling “burnt out in the field” and struggling to be a mother and wife, Tash reached her breaking point.

“I was extremely overweight, and didn’t take care of myself,” she said. “I got to the point where I knew I couldn’t live that way any longer.  I wanted to commit suicide.”

After 11 years of marriage with one daughter between them, Tash courageously left.  This turning point in her life led to her reacquired yoga practice and immersion into the yogi lifestyle.

“After a period of time, I fell in love with yoga.  It helped me heal and reconnect with my body,” she said.  “Yoga brought me to a space of empowerment.”

Tash continued to heal through yoga and meditation until she worked up the strength to attend a yoga teacher training.

“I was paralyzed with fear and almost didn’t do it.  I ended up getting the last space in the class,” she said.  “It brought me back to my body and healed me in so many ways.”

A little over a year ago, a life-threatening spider bite almost turned the table for the worst.  Deathly ill and incapacitated, Tash was highly poisoned.  After seeing a naturopath, she was finally diagnosed and put onto a strict anti-parasitic diet to detoxify.  She never thought she would teach yoga or counsel again.

However, the diet built up her immune system to the extent where it fought off the deadly infection and she slowly began to heal.  Returning to yoga this past June, she is grateful for her life.

Since recovering, Tash has become lead songwriter and vocalist for a yoga, spiritual rock band, called “Leelah.”  After not singing for 25 years and not feeling like she had a voice, she was initially hesitant.

“I was petrified.  Fear was not a good reason not to do it.  It was really hard, but it was meant to be,” Tash said.

Her main focus though, with this on-the-side “creative and expressive” outlet, is her yoga teaching and her counseling.  As someone who “works for herself,” she is able to combine all the elements she deems fit for psychotherapy: yoga, meditation, self-inquiry, self-reflection and spirituality.

“I work intuitively.  I zone-in on where that person is and what they need.  I take something that they’re wounded from to help them heal and question themselves,” Tash said, identifying herself as a ‘guide’ rather than a ‘fixer.’

As someone who is also “constantly healing,” she uses her authenticity to encourage her clients to find acceptance and move away from the ego.

“We are all spiritual beings.  It’s not religious at all.  It comes so naturally,” she said.

Identifying this process of spiritual growth as a “constant evolution, a constant trust,” Tash urges others to send out the energy they wish to get back.  She empowers others to recognize their role in changing and controlling their thought patterns.

Tash also combines a form of hand-free “massage-like” energy work, called Reiki, into her counseling approach.  This method of transferring her healing energy for emotional, physical or spiritual pain is concluded with the client’s self-reflection on the experience.

She encourages others who are just beginning their spiritual journey to take up a meditation practice to break away from the ego’s inner dialogue.  By tuning into and listening to the authentic inner voice and breadth, one can find a place of mindfulness.

“We’re not always ready to let go.  The first thing to do is acknowledge the thoughts and feelings.  Allow, don’t push it away or change it.  Honor it (write about it, talk about it) and then let it go,” she advised.

With flowing curly hair, a nose ring and most importantly, an open, authentic heart, Tash appears to be living out the life she was intended for.  “I’m just myself and I’m doing it my own way,” she said with a humble, yet confident smile forming on her lips.

Contact Info:

Gwyn Tash

OM Counseling and Yoga

Gwyn.tash@gmail.com

(970) 690-1045

Music therapy: Rerouting the brain note by note

 News  Comments Off on Music therapy: Rerouting the brain note by note
Mar 282013
 

Author: Kelsey Peterson

[youtube]http://youtu.be/E9_KuO92IA0[/youtube]

Music is a universal medium that constantly surrounds us, but it is used for more than just entertainment. Music and its function in the brain play an essential role in rehabilitation. Music is such an incredible medium because it ignites every part of the brain. This allows versatility in the patients it can assist, including those struggling psychologically, physically, cognitively and with their speech. People struggling with speech, for example, can sing words that they can’t normally say, providing a different medium of speech therapy that redirects the brain in a more effective way. As addressed by Dr. Michael Thaut, director for the Center of Biomedical Research, music is a feel-good mechanism, expanding music’s opportunity and ability within the field of therapy. According to Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University, dopamine is involved with motivation and addiction. Salimpoor and colleagues conducted several studies that prove the relationship between dopamine and feelings of motivation, reward, and pleasure. They found that when the brain interprets the electrical patterns produced by music, acoustical energy is turned into neurological activity and that is why music makes us feel so strongly.

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Eating Disorders Awareness Week hits CSU

 News  Comments Off on Eating Disorders Awareness Week hits CSU
Feb 282013
 

Author: Kelsey Peterson

[youtube]http://youtu.be/35EEOvqBjgQ[/youtube]

This week, Feb. 24 to Mar. 2, is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and eating disorders are more prevalent on college campuses than many people realize. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 60 to 90 percent of women on college campuses are dieting to try to lose weight and 10 to 18 percent of men struggle with compulsive exercising, abusing supplements or steroids, and undergoing cosmetic surgery. Many college students like Kalista Consol struggle with helping friends with eating disorders as well as struggle with the disorder themselves. There are many resources at CSU to help students fight the mental ailment and the CSU Health Network offers both counseling and help from nutritionists. Their counseling services can be reached at (970) 491-6053. With media influences in every direction telling women and men how they should look, it is important to be aware of the prevalence of eating disorders, which is what this week is all about. According to The Body Project, most female models are thinner than 98 percent of American women.

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Contraceptive choices: Your right and responsibility to choose

 Beats, Features, The Cache, The Well  Comments Off on Contraceptive choices: Your right and responsibility to choose
Feb 052013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

As college students, it may seem like we can’t get enough safe-sex education. The fact of the matter is, most people at this stage in life are trying to prevent pregnancy.

 

With Valentine’s Day approaching, now is as good of a time as ever to make sure that young love stays just that – young. College is stressful enough without having to worry about unplanned pregnancies, and everyone can play a part at prevention.

 

With so many types of birth control to choose from, it’s important to go to a doctor to talk through the health risks and benefits of each prevention plan, according to Sharon Kennedy, a nurse practitioner at Hartshorn Health Center. Here College Avenue has laid out the contraceptive options to help people choose.

 

The Pill

 

The pill must be taken every day at the same time to be the most effective. It is easy to get with a prescription and can be as

 

Different kinds of birth control pills.

Different kinds of birth control pills. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

cheap as $10 a month. The pill is taken by females and contains hormones already found in the body – estrogen and progesterone. The regulation of these hormones keeps eggs from leaving the ovaries and also makes cervical mucus thicker, making it harder for sperm to swim through. The pill is one of the most common forms of birth control and is extremely effective.

 

“I know it’s over 99 percent effective, unlike condoms,” said Tiffany Martinez, junior graphic design student. “I feel like anything can happen with a condom, so I trust the pill.”

 

While this birth control is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy if taken correctly, but about 9 out of 100 women on the pill get pregnant due to not taking as directed. It’s important to be aware that some medicines, such as antibiotics and anti-seizure medication, make the pill less effective. There are some side effects to the pill, but there are so many different kinds of dosages to choose from if negative effects occur.

 

“I think the pill is popular with a lot of women because there are a variety of pills on the market. So if one doesn’t work we can usually fix whatever side-effect they’re having and find a pill that does work for them,” Kennedy said.

 

NuvaRing

 

This is a small ring that is self-inserted into the vagina once a month that stays in for three weeks at a time. It is left out for a

 

Image of vaginal birth control device NuvaRing

NuvaRing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

week, and then a new one is inserted. You can get it with a prescription and the cost ranges from $15 to $80 a month. It works the same way as the pill and is just as effective. The ring is good for people who can’t remember to take a pill at the same time every day.

 

Kennedy explains that it is very easy to take in and out yourself and doesn’t require a doctor’s help like an IUD does.

 

“You can’t put it in wrong. I have women take a tampon out of the applicator, put the ring in the applicator, and just stick it in like a tampon,” Kennedy said. “It doesn’t matter where it is in your vagina. If you can’t feel it, it’s in right.”

 

Patch

 

This is a small plastic patch that sticks to your skin. It can be put on the abdomen, hip, arm, or lower back. It is best to put it somewhere with little fat because then the estrogen and progesterone are easily absorbed. They cost $15 to $80 a month with a prescription and need to be changed every week for three weeks and left off for an additional week before restarting the cycle. It is also 99 percent effective if used correctly.

 

Implant

 

The implant is a match-sized rod that is placed inside the arm, just under the skin. It’s inserted by a doctor and can be left in up to three years. At that time a new one can be put in if desired. While it costs $400 to $800, it’s a one-time fee instead of a monthly cost. This birth control only contains progesterone, so it is good for people who have negative reactions to estrogen birth control. It’s 99 percent effective. One of its benefits is that you never have to worry about taking something every day, every week, or even every month for pregnancy prevention.

 

One of the downsides to the implant is that women may experience a lot of irregular bleeding.

 

“Some will not long have periods, some women will have monthly periods, and some are more irregular,” Kennedy said.

 

Sponge

 

This is made of foam containing spermicide. It is inserted into the vagina before intercourse and should remain in for a few hours after to be effective. It’s about two inches in diameter and has a loop attached for removal. A pack of three is $10 and can be bought without a prescription. The sponge prevents pregnancy by preventing the sperm to get to the egg by covering up the cervix, blocking the uterus and releasing a spermicide that keeps sperm from moving. When always using the sponge correctly it is about 91 percent effective. When used incorrectly it’s only 88 percent effective, so following the directions is very important.

 

“It’s just like a condom or any kind of spermicide barrier you use – you can’t put it on after you’ve had sexual contact,” Kennedy said. “Even if I was advising somebody about using the sponge I would still advise them to use a condom as well.”

 

Cervical cap

 

This is a silicone cup that’s inserted in the vagina and must be used with spermicide gel to be effective. It lasts up to two years, costing between $60 and $75. It works by blocking the opening of the uterus and releases spermicide to stop sperm from moving. Although it helps to preventing pregnancy, it is not as effective as other methods. When using the cap, 14 out of 100 women will still get pregnant.

 

Withdrawal (pulling out)

 

In this method, the man will pull his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. While the idea of this may seem sound, it is not a very effective use of birth control as there is semen in pre-ejaculation fluids that can get a woman pregnant. Even though it’s not very effective, Kennedy said that almost everyone has used this as a form of birth control at least once in their life.

 

“It isn’t 100 percent effective, but unfortunately people still use it,” Kennedy said. “It’s not very effective. Around here we call those people ‘parents’.”

 

Abstinence

 

Abstinence is the most effective form of birth control. People who abstain from having sexual intercourse have zero risk of pregnancy. There is no cost associated with this method and no medical side-effects.

 

Prezerwatywa, z angielskiej wiki

Condom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Male Condom

 

Condoms are the only birth control method that protects against sexually transmitted diseases for sexually active individuals. Latex condoms are worn by men to collect pre-ejaculate and semen when a man ejaculates. As long as people are not allergic to latex, condoms are safe for everyone to use; plastic condoms are a good alternative for those who are allergic. Condoms are 98 percent effective when used correctly, but that number can increase if used with other birth control methods.

 

There is a risk of the condom breaking. In the case that this happens, women should look into emergency contraception options. Condoms are one of the few birth controls that is used by men.

 

“The thing with everything else aside from the condom, is I feel like it’s too much of a responsibility on someone else,” said Niles Hachmeister, sophomore psychology student. “ I would like to take my ownership into my own hands.”

 

Condoms do not require a prescription and they are relatively inexpensive. Depending on the package size, condoms can cost from a few dollars each to less than a dollar. They can be bought at drugstores, family planning clinics, supermarkets, and some vending machines.

 

Morning-After Pill

 

If a woman did not use any birth control or her birth control method failed (condom broke, diaphragm slipped out of place, partner didn’t pull out in time), an emergency contraceptive is a smart option. Up to five days after unprotected sex, the woman can take the morning-after pill.

 

The morning-after pill is not an abortion pill, but instead it is a progestin pill that works by keeping a woman from ovulating. The sooner the pill is taken after unprotected intercourse, the more effective it is. It does not protect against STDs. Women can get the morning-after pill without a prescription as long as they are over the age of 17. The pill can cost anywhere from $10 to $70.

 

IUD

 

An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a “t-shaped” device inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two types of IUDs: Mirena, which is made of plastic and is effective for five years, and ParaGard, which contains copper and is effective for 12 years. Mirena affect the sperm’s access to the egg either by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus, blocking the sperm’s movement. ParaGard is hormone-free; copper, acting as spermicide, is released continuously into the body to prevent pregnancy.

 

Less than one out of 100 women get pregnant when using an IUD and the ParaGard IUD can even be used as emergency birth control (reducing risk of pregnancy by 99.9 percent) as long as it is inserted within five days after unprotected intercourse.

 

Most women are able to use IUDs, but women should talk to their health care provider to determine if an IUD is safe for them. IUDs do not protect against STDs and there is a risk of the device falling out, so it is important to check every few days for the first few months. IUDs also must be inserted by a health care provider.

 

“It is a misconception that only women who have gone through childbirth are eligible for an IUD,” said the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team. “IUDs represent one of the safest, most reliable and cost effective forms of reversible birth control on the market.” The price is a one-time cost averaging $500 to $1000, which includes the cost for the medical exam, the IUD, the insertion of the device, and follow-up visits to your doctor.

 

Diaphragm

 

This shallow, silicone cup is inserted into the vagina to block the opening to the uterus, preventing pregnancy. The effectiveness of the diaphragm is dependent on correct usage. If women always use the diaphragm as directed, only six out of 100 women will get pregnant annually. Effectiveness can also be increased by making sure that the cervix is covered before you have sex.

 

It is recommended to use spermicide in conjunction with a diaphragm as birth control. Some benefits include immediate effectiveness, no effect on female hormones, and it can be inserted hours ahead of time. Because the woman inserts it herself, it is convenient. Be careful though; the diaphragm can be difficult to insert, pushed out of placed and it must be inserted each time a woman has intercourse.

 

To get a diaphragm, women must visit a health care provider to get a prescription. An examination costs between $50 and $200, but the diaphragm itself only costs $15 to $75.

 

Shot

 

For those not afraid of needles, the birth control shot may be a good option. The shot is an injection of the hormone progestin into the body. The shots are effective against pregnancy for three months and if a woman gets the shot within seven days after the start of her period, she will be protected immediately. Less than one woman out of 100 gets pregnant when they use the shot.

 

“Most patients request that the Depo Provera birth control injection be given to them in their arm, but some patients experience less discomfort receiving the injection in their hip,” said the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team.

 

Like any other medication, there are risks. Irregular bleeding is the most common side effect and it does not protect against STDs, but the shot is overall safe and simple. The shot does not contain estrogen and is a good choice for women who cannot take estrogen.

 

Before getting the injection, women must get a prescription from their doctor or health care provider which costs $35 to $250. After the examination, the shot itself costs between $35 and $100 each visit (keep in mind you must get a shot every three months for it to be effective!

 

Spermicide

 

Spermicide is a cheap birth control method that women insert into their vagina. Spermicides are available in different forms (creams, films, foams, gels, etc.), but they all contain chemicals that stop sperm from moving. According to the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team, spermicide alone or combined with withdrawal is not as effective as other birth control methods; even when women use spermicide as directed, 15 out of 100 will get pregnant annually.

 

Spermicide does not have an effect on a woman’s hormones and it is very easy to get. It does not require a prescription and applicator kits cost approximately $8. Spermicide is available at family planning clinics, drugstores, and some supermarkets.

 

Spermicide does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and women need to wait 10 minutes after insertion to have sex. Spermicide is also only effective for about an hour after it is inserted.

 

To make an appointment to obtain a birth control prescription or talk with an expert, call the Women’s Clinic at Hartshorn Health Center at 970.491.1754.

 

Feb 052013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

As college students, it may seem like we can’t get enough safe-sex education. The fact of the matter is, most people at this stage in life are trying to prevent pregnancy.

 

With Valentine’s Day approaching, now is as good of a time as ever to make sure that young love stays just that – young. College is stressful enough without having to worry about unplanned pregnancies, and everyone can play a part at prevention.

 

With so many types of birth control to choose from, it’s important to go to a doctor to talk through the health risks and benefits of each prevention plan, according to Sharon Kennedy, a nurse practitioner at Hartshorn Health Center. Here College Avenue has laid out the contraceptive options to help people choose.

 

The Pill

 

The pill must be taken every day at the same time to be the most effective. It is easy to get with a prescription and can be as

 

Different kinds of birth control pills.

Different kinds of birth control pills. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

cheap as $10 a month. The pill is taken by females and contains hormones already found in the body – estrogen and progesterone. The regulation of these hormones keeps eggs from leaving the ovaries and also makes cervical mucus thicker, making it harder for sperm to swim through. The pill is one of the most common forms of birth control and is extremely effective.

 

“I know it’s over 99 percent effective, unlike condoms,” said Tiffany Martinez, junior graphic design student. “I feel like anything can happen with a condom, so I trust the pill.”

 

While this birth control is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy if taken correctly, but about 9 out of 100 women on the pill get pregnant due to not taking as directed. It’s important to be aware that some medicines, such as antibiotics and anti-seizure medication, make the pill less effective. There are some side effects to the pill, but there are so many different kinds of dosages to choose from if negative effects occur.

 

“I think the pill is popular with a lot of women because there are a variety of pills on the market. So if one doesn’t work we can usually fix whatever side-effect they’re having and find a pill that does work for them,” Kennedy said.

 

NuvaRing

 

This is a small ring that is self-inserted into the vagina once a month that stays in for three weeks at a time. It is left out for a

 

Image of vaginal birth control device NuvaRing

NuvaRing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

week, and then a new one is inserted. You can get it with a prescription and the cost ranges from $15 to $80 a month. It works the same way as the pill and is just as effective. The ring is good for people who can’t remember to take a pill at the same time every day.

 

Kennedy explains that it is very easy to take in and out yourself and doesn’t require a doctor’s help like an IUD does.

 

“You can’t put it in wrong. I have women take a tampon out of the applicator, put the ring in the applicator, and just stick it in like a tampon,” Kennedy said. “It doesn’t matter where it is in your vagina. If you can’t feel it, it’s in right.”

 

Patch

 

This is a small plastic patch that sticks to your skin. It can be put on the abdomen, hip, arm, or lower back. It is best to put it somewhere with little fat because then the estrogen and progesterone are easily absorbed. They cost $15 to $80 a month with a prescription and need to be changed every week for three weeks and left off for an additional week before restarting the cycle. It is also 99 percent effective if used correctly.

 

Implant

 

The implant is a match-sized rod that is placed inside the arm, just under the skin. It’s inserted by a doctor and can be left in up to three years. At that time a new one can be put in if desired. While it costs $400 to $800, it’s a one-time fee instead of a monthly cost. This birth control only contains progesterone, so it is good for people who have negative reactions to estrogen birth control. It’s 99 percent effective. One of its benefits is that you never have to worry about taking something every day, every week, or even every month for pregnancy prevention.

 

One of the downsides to the implant is that women may experience a lot of irregular bleeding.

 

“Some will not long have periods, some women will have monthly periods, and some are more irregular,” Kennedy said.

 

Sponge

 

This is made of foam containing spermicide. It is inserted into the vagina before intercourse and should remain in for a few hours after to be effective. It’s about two inches in diameter and has a loop attached for removal. A pack of three is $10 and can be bought without a prescription. The sponge prevents pregnancy by preventing the sperm to get to the egg by covering up the cervix, blocking the uterus and releasing a spermicide that keeps sperm from moving. When always using the sponge correctly it is about 91 percent effective. When used incorrectly it’s only 88 percent effective, so following the directions is very important.

 

“It’s just like a condom or any kind of spermicide barrier you use – you can’t put it on after you’ve had sexual contact,” Kennedy said. “Even if I was advising somebody about using the sponge I would still advise them to use a condom as well.”

 

Cervical cap

 

This is a silicone cup that’s inserted in the vagina and must be used with spermicide gel to be effective. It lasts up to two years, costing between $60 and $75. It works by blocking the opening of the uterus and releases spermicide to stop sperm from moving. Although it helps to preventing pregnancy, it is not as effective as other methods. When using the cap, 14 out of 100 women will still get pregnant.

 

Withdrawal (pulling out)

 

In this method, the man will pull his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. While the idea of this may seem sound, it is not a very effective use of birth control as there is semen in pre-ejaculation fluids that can get a woman pregnant. Even though it’s not very effective, Kennedy said that almost everyone has used this as a form of birth control at least once in their life.

 

“It isn’t 100 percent effective, but unfortunately people still use it,” Kennedy said. “It’s not very effective. Around here we call those people ‘parents’.”

 

Abstinence

 

Abstinence is the most effective form of birth control. People who abstain from having sexual intercourse have zero risk of pregnancy. There is no cost associated with this method and no medical side-effects.

 

Prezerwatywa, z angielskiej wiki

Condom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Male Condom

 

Condoms are the only birth control method that protects against sexually transmitted diseases for sexually active individuals. Latex condoms are worn by men to collect pre-ejaculate and semen when a man ejaculates. As long as people are not allergic to latex, condoms are safe for everyone to use; plastic condoms are a good alternative for those who are allergic. Condoms are 98 percent effective when used correctly, but that number can increase if used with other birth control methods.

 

There is a risk of the condom breaking. In the case that this happens, women should look into emergency contraception options. Condoms are one of the few birth controls that is used by men.

 

“The thing with everything else aside from the condom, is I feel like it’s too much of a responsibility on someone else,” said Niles Hachmeister, sophomore psychology student. “ I would like to take my ownership into my own hands.”

 

Condoms do not require a prescription and they are relatively inexpensive. Depending on the package size, condoms can cost from a few dollars each to less than a dollar. They can be bought at drugstores, family planning clinics, supermarkets, and some vending machines.

 

Morning-After Pill

 

If a woman did not use any birth control or her birth control method failed (condom broke, diaphragm slipped out of place, partner didn’t pull out in time), an emergency contraceptive is a smart option. Up to five days after unprotected sex, the woman can take the morning-after pill.

 

The morning-after pill is not an abortion pill, but instead it is a progestin pill that works by keeping a woman from ovulating. The sooner the pill is taken after unprotected intercourse, the more effective it is. It does not protect against STDs. Women can get the morning-after pill without a prescription as long as they are over the age of 17. The pill can cost anywhere from $10 to $70.

 

IUD

 

An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a “t-shaped” device inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two types of IUDs: Mirena, which is made of plastic and is effective for five years, and ParaGard, which contains copper and is effective for 12 years. Mirena affect the sperm’s access to the egg either by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus, blocking the sperm’s movement. ParaGard is hormone-free; copper, acting as spermicide, is released continuously into the body to prevent pregnancy.

 

Less than one out of 100 women get pregnant when using an IUD and the ParaGard IUD can even be used as emergency birth control (reducing risk of pregnancy by 99.9 percent) as long as it is inserted within five days after unprotected intercourse.

 

Most women are able to use IUDs, but women should talk to their health care provider to determine if an IUD is safe for them. IUDs do not protect against STDs and there is a risk of the device falling out, so it is important to check every few days for the first few months. IUDs also must be inserted by a health care provider.

 

“It is a misconception that only women who have gone through childbirth are eligible for an IUD,” said the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team. “IUDs represent one of the safest, most reliable and cost effective forms of reversible birth control on the market.” The price is a one-time cost averaging $500 to $1000, which includes the cost for the medical exam, the IUD, the insertion of the device, and follow-up visits to your doctor.

 

Diaphragm

 

This shallow, silicone cup is inserted into the vagina to block the opening to the uterus, preventing pregnancy. The effectiveness of the diaphragm is dependent on correct usage. If women always use the diaphragm as directed, only six out of 100 women will get pregnant annually. Effectiveness can also be increased by making sure that the cervix is covered before you have sex.

 

It is recommended to use spermicide in conjunction with a diaphragm as birth control. Some benefits include immediate effectiveness, no effect on female hormones, and it can be inserted hours ahead of time. Because the woman inserts it herself, it is convenient. Be careful though; the diaphragm can be difficult to insert, pushed out of placed and it must be inserted each time a woman has intercourse.

 

To get a diaphragm, women must visit a health care provider to get a prescription. An examination costs between $50 and $200, but the diaphragm itself only costs $15 to $75.

 

Shot

 

For those not afraid of needles, the birth control shot may be a good option. The shot is an injection of the hormone progestin into the body. The shots are effective against pregnancy for three months and if a woman gets the shot within seven days after the start of her period, she will be protected immediately. Less than one woman out of 100 gets pregnant when they use the shot.

 

“Most patients request that the Depo Provera birth control injection be given to them in their arm, but some patients experience less discomfort receiving the injection in their hip,” said the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team.

 

Like any other medication, there are risks. Irregular bleeding is the most common side effect and it does not protect against STDs, but the shot is overall safe and simple. The shot does not contain estrogen and is a good choice for women who cannot take estrogen.

 

Before getting the injection, women must get a prescription from their doctor or health care provider which costs $35 to $250. After the examination, the shot itself costs between $35 and $100 each visit (keep in mind you must get a shot every three months for it to be effective!

 

Spermicide

 

Spermicide is a cheap birth control method that women insert into their vagina. Spermicides are available in different forms (creams, films, foams, gels, etc.), but they all contain chemicals that stop sperm from moving. According to the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Quality Management Team, spermicide alone or combined with withdrawal is not as effective as other birth control methods; even when women use spermicide as directed, 15 out of 100 will get pregnant annually.

 

Spermicide does not have an effect on a woman’s hormones and it is very easy to get. It does not require a prescription and applicator kits cost approximately $8. Spermicide is available at family planning clinics, drugstores, and some supermarkets.

 

Spermicide does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and women need to wait 10 minutes after insertion to have sex. Spermicide is also only effective for about an hour after it is inserted.

 

To make an appointment to obtain a birth control prescription or talk with an expert, call the Women’s Clinic at Hartshorn Health Center at 970.491.1754.

 

Start the New Year off right with fun and accomplishable resolutions

 Fit & Fine, The Well  Comments Off on Start the New Year off right with fun and accomplishable resolutions
Nov 242012
 

Author: Hannah Woolums

Cocktail by candle light 1: "With some of...

Cocktail by candle light 1: “With some of our living room in the background” (Cocktail, champagne, New Year’s Eve 2006) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the holiday season begins to roll around and the year gets closer to its close, New Year’s resolutions start to pop into people’s heads.

This year let’s make it different. Everyone has made the resolutions to lose 20 pounds, get straight A’s, or find your true love. Instead of making those unrealistic resolutions that everyone knows that they will never actually follow through with, make it something to look forward too.

Here are a few fun and interesting new ideas, that don’t all require you to change something about yourself or habits because you feel like you need too. Make it fun, make it something you want to do, and an easy challenge for yourself.

Here are five New Year’s resolution ideas that not only let you be creative, but are easy to achieve and allow you to feel accomplished and start the New Year off right.

 

Become a vegetarian

Are you an avid carnivore that has to have some form of meet with every single meal? Well try becoming a vegetarian for a few months or even a few weeks, just to test it out. Don’t make it something that you will change for the rest of your life (unless you discover you really like it that much); just take on the challenge of trying something new. Get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons, but please remember to still get your protein into every meal. You may find that you really like it, and it will give you a better understanding a meat-free lifestyle.

Think of different excuses to why you don’t have something done

Let’s face it, ‘the dog ate my homework’ or ‘I left it sitting on my desk at home’ are excuses that are getting old. If you are someone who typically turns things in late, or just doesn’t do some assignments at all, make it interesting. Don’t come up with the same boring excuse; think of something new, plausible, but still enough to make your professor laugh, and hopefully get you that extension that you were aiming for in the first place.

Do more for yourself

I know you all hear about self-care all the time, from many different sources, but they might be onto something. This year take more time for yourself, even if it’s only a half-hour a day. You will be surprised at how much better you feel. Make these things that you wish you had time to do, or something that you have never thought about doing before. As long as it makes you happy, you will feel like you can take on more of what the New Year brings.

Try a new hair cut/color

A big thing in society is appearance. This year try something different. Start with something that is not permanent. Hair is the perfect thing to experiment with because it can drastically change your style, but hair grows back so you aren’t stuck with anything forever. Dye your hair some weird color that you have always wanted to try, or cut it drastically short because you’ve had long hair your whole life. This is a fun, simple, and obtainable resolution that can be fulfilled without the stress of it being permanent.

Find a better job

This resolution may be harder than the others to accomplish, but if you get up every day go to school and then go to a job that you hate, your year is going to last a lot longer than those who are doing something they love. As college students, crappy jobs are always in the cards, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t experiment with different lines of work, or make your way up to a manager position. This is the time of your life to experiment, so make it a goal to get you through the New Year.

OtterBox teams up with Avon Foundation for Breast Cancer Crusades

 News  Comments Off on OtterBox teams up with Avon Foundation for Breast Cancer Crusades
Oct 102012
 

Author: Kelsey Peterson

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9rQV-8rkU7w[/youtube]

Partners since 2008, OtterBox is teaming up with the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade in the month of October to promote strength in numbers during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. OtterBox’s limited edition pink and white Commuter Series Pink is Strength cases have helped to raise over $1.3 million already for the Crusade. These funds are being put towards educating both men and women in the United States of the importance of breast cancer screening and breast health. For more information, visit www.otterbox.com/strength.

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FoCo Fashionista: Heels – which type are you?

 Blogs, FoCo Fashionista, The Well  Comments Off on FoCo Fashionista: Heels – which type are you?
Oct 052012
 

Author: Brian Guiducci

English: High Heels on pink background

Cute heels that would be a bad idea to wear on campus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Waking up in the morning, you go to your closet and pick out an adorable outfit to wear for the day, often times going through about five different outfit selections till you find the right one. Then comes the important decision of what shoes to wear. You glance at your gorgeous new pumps that you recently bought and ask yourself that common question that every college girl deals with: is it worth it to wear heels on campus?

I believe that there are three different types of girls when it comes to whether or not they wear heels on campus:

The Clickers: These are the girls who know how to walk in heels and how to pick the perfect pair of heels to accessorize with any outfit. They are often seen walking all over town and campus wearing heels, and the days that you don’t see them wearing heels is a complete shocker. If you ever look at their feet, you will probably not be surprised to see a ton of different blisters from the constant day to day wearing of heels. Also, they will always keep a package of band-aids handy in their purse.

The Sorority Girls: These are the girls that only wear heels on occasion on campus. Most of the time you will see them wearing flats or other types of shoes instead of their pumps; but when you do see them wearing them, you get a 50/50 scenario in which some can pull them off while others can’t. The ones that can’t pull it off will often be seen wearing some tight skirt and top that is always revealing just a little too much.

The Hippies: These are the girls who will avoid wearing heels at all costs. When it comes to their shoes, they are always for comfort. On that very rare occasion when they dress up, they will wear a cute pair of flats but never heels. Comfort, Comfort, Comfort, it is all that matters to them.

Whatever your opinion on heels may be, there is always one rule for wearing heels: if you don’t know how to walk in heels, don’t wear them, or at least get some practice before you do. There is nothing that I hate more than seeing a girl who is wearing an adorable outfit with some heels and is stumbling all over the place. It just ruins the whole look.

In the end though, its always up to you to determine when or whether to wear heels or not, but ask yourself that question girls, which category do you fall under?

How to beat Old Man Winter, campus-living tips for the winter

 Features, The Well  Comments Off on How to beat Old Man Winter, campus-living tips for the winter
Oct 032012
 

Author: Jack Krause

Winter is upon us, the bitter cold native Coloradans know all too well. Between the snow and the temperature, here are some tips that are sure to keep you toasty during the upcoming white-out.

  1. English: SVG line drawing, meant to simulate 1...

    English: SVG line drawing, meant to simulate 1600’s style engraving of Father Winter, or Old Man Winter. I created this original artwork for a label to put on my home brewed winter brown ale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    If you don’t already have it, get some warm clothing. This should seem like a no-brainer, but the gym shorts and light tees are only going to work for you for so long. The temperature is going to drop from here and that tank-top is only going to do one thing for you, and that is catch a vicious cold.

  2. Stay healthy, that means wash your hands, stay warm, and keep on top of your healthy eating. The right amount of vitamins and minerals can be the difference of you feeling on top of the icy world, or sniffling through all your lectures. If you do get sick, nurse yourself with warm drinks, good sleep and a stress-free schedule by staying on top of your classes.
  3. Close your windows, it may let in a nice breeze, but your body needs heat to prosper. After the awkward few weeks of cold before the heating kicks in, you’ll be glad you shut the glass and stayed warm.
  4. Take warm showers, not hot. A hot shower, while feeling nice, doesn’t prepare your skin to stay hydrated which is important as the humidity dies out. Dry skin leads to windburn and that in turn leads to an uncomfortable you.
  5. One that last note, keep your skin healthy. Eating right and moisturizing will help your skin weather itself against the temperature. It also helps you stay looking your best which is always a plus.

With all this information, you should be ready to take on Old Man Winter head-on. Good luck, and stay temperate.