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An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Spring cleaning for your body

—Dr. Mary Lou Skelton, Placitas Chiropractic
My favorite time for a body cleanse is in the spring—it fits right in with spring-cleaning. Free radicals and toxins can build up in your body over time and may cause fatigue, poor immune function, sleep disturbances, aches, pains, and low energy. Every person should cleanse the system of toxins and let the digestive tract rest at least once a year for preferably a week, but even just a day is a great start. Fasting and eliminative diets have been used since ancient times to improve health, mental well-being, and spiritual insight.

Cleansing is one of the most direct and effective ways to improve your overall health quickly. Even sick animals are known to abandon their normal diet and fast or eat green grasses.

While attending chiropractic school in the early ‘70s, I spent much time experimenting with healthy diet, fasting, and juicing. My personal experience of cleansing is that as I detoxify my body, I actually have more energy, a wonderful light feeling, and a quick, alert mind.

It is important to start a cleansing process gently, one small step at a time to keep from overtaxing the digestive and elimination systems of the body. A good way to start a body cleanse is with a transition diet. This is very easy to do over the course of a week or so by just simply increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables that you eat and reducing the amount of refined carbohydrates. A transition diet will activate the cleansing mechanism in the body and, for some, prepare the body for a deeper cleanse, which might consist of merely eating fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to consume fruits in the early part of the day (cleansing foods) and vegetables towards the later part of the day (body builders). For most people, six vegetables, two fruits, one starch, and one protein per day provide a good transition diet. The use of a green food supplement like barley greens and fresh vegetable juices like carrot or celery juice, taken on a daily basis, will allow for a smooth transition. Be careful not to drink too much full strength fruit juice, as it can adversely affect your blood sugar.

There are many cleansing methods, and each individual has a goal and their own strength of commitment that should be honored. Are you looking to loose weight, detoxify organs, decrease allergy symptoms, and prevent heartburn? Use a simple transition diet, with all of Mother Nature’s wonderful foods, drink plenty of good water, and give the digestive system a time to rest. Have fun with this, start slow, and enjoy the adventure. Your body deserves it.

Dr. Mary Lou Skelton is a Placitas chiropractor, a 1975 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, and specializes in biomechanics, nutrition, and B.E.S.T. technique.

The doctor is in... your living room

Doctor On Call Urgent Care is breaking ground on a new, more convenient way to be “seen” by the doctor.

In addition to their menu of unique and innovative health care services, which include urgent care 24/7 and mobile urgent care visits, they are now offering “virtual urgent care visits” via online consultations through a secure server for a wide variety of common minor urgent care problems.

This service is available 24/7 for only $39.95 and only requires a computer with an Internet connection and a Webcam. Through the online consultation service, the doctors are able to extend affordable access to basic urgent care to small and rural communities throughout the state that may not have an emergency room, urgent care clinic, or even a doctor.

Access to this service is easy and convenient through the Web site at by clicking on the WebXAM button. For more information regarding this new service, log on to, or call (505) 323-8911 or toll-free (866) 900-8911.

Doctor On Call Urgent Care has been a leader in providing innovative and low-cost health care to the residents of New Mexico since 2004 and is the only urgent care clinic in the state that provides urgent care services 24/7, mobile visits to the home, office, or workplace, and now “virtual urgent care visits.”

Doctor On Call Urgent Care is a member of the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, the Urgent Care Association of America, the Urgent Care Network, and the Albuquerque Better Business Bureau.

The Healthy Geezer

The Healthy Geezer

—Fred Cicetti

Q.  Is depression just a “normal” part of aging?

There are a lot of problems to face as you get older. There are losses of all kinds that can get you down. And feeling blue for a while is a normal part of living at any age.

But unrelenting depression is not normal. If you feel this way, you should seek medical attention. Most people get better if they treat their depression.

There are many causes of depression. Some of them are the natural consequences of being older: a health crisis or death, the loss of physical or mental capacities, or being a stressed-out caregiver.

Seniors usually rebound from a period of sadness. However, if you are suffering from “clinical depression” and don’t get help, your symptoms might last months or even years.

The following are common signs of depression. If you have several of these, and they last for more than two weeks, get treatment: anxiety, fatigue, loss of interest or pleasure, sleep problems, eating too much or too little, abnormal crying, aches that can’t be treated successfully, diminished concentration or memory, irritability, thoughts of death or suicide, and feelings of despair, guilt, and being worthless.

Depression is a serious illness. It can lead to suicide. Don’t waste time—find help.

Start with your family doctor. The doctor should check to see if your depression could be caused by a health problem (such as hypothyroidism or vitamin B12 deficiency) or a medicine you are taking.

After a complete exam, your doctor may suggest you talk to a social worker, mental health counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Doctors specially trained to treat depression in older people are called “geriatric psychiatrists.”

Support groups can provide new coping skills or social support if you are dealing with a major life change. A doctor might suggest that you go to a local senior center, volunteer service, or nutrition program. Several kinds of talk therapies work well.

Antidepressant drugs can help. These medications can improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and concentration.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an option. It may be recommended when medicines can’t be tolerated or when a quick response is needed.

What can be done to lower the risk of depression?

Nurture your family ties and friendships; they are your lifelines. Hobbies keep your mind and body active. Exercise is a mood elevator. Eat a balanced diet. Get outdoors to absorb sunlight, and breathe fresh air. Take naps.

Remember, with treatment, most people will find positive thoughts gradually replacing negative ones. And you can help this process by catching yourself when you are dwelling on the negative and shifting gears to sunnier thoughts.

Heart attack and stroke prevention with Dr. Raterink

Dr. Mark H. Raterink will present a program on heart attack and stroke prevention at the Esther Bone Memorial Library on Saturday, June 18, at 10 a.m.

Throughout his 20 years of practice in the western setting, Dr. Raterink had always been passionate about holistic care. Living in Hawaii, he was blessed to deepen his understanding of healing and spirituality through time spent with a native Hawaiian healer. These teachings inspired him to shift his focus in medicine to a more holistic practice.

Raterink received his M.D. from Boston University and completed his internship in family practice at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. He completed his residency at Tripler Army Medical Center and is board certified in both otolaryngology and plastic and reconstructive surgery.

The focus of Dr. Raterink’s talk will be on lifestyle and diet, which have always been at the top of the ladder when it comes to heart attack and stroke prevention. Nutrient dense whole-food diets will be presented as the cornerstone of cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment. Supplements are a significant part of prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. How and when to use supplements will be the focus of this talk.

The library is located at 950 Pinetree Rd. SE in Rio Rancho. Please call (505) 891-5012, and select option 3 for more information.



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