Secrets to a Healthier You

Multiple presentations will begin at 6 pm, Thursday, January 9 in the New Castle-Henry County Public Library Auditorium that will provide something for everyone to lead healthier lives.

Topics being addressed during this Chapter 2 event in the 3-part series will be speech and aging, biomedical treatment and autism, and how working your body also works your brain. Dr. John Miller will be presiding as emcee for the evening and also will be talking about which herbal supplements promote better mental health.


Speech Therapist Jana Lukens will discuss how to care for an aging voice and stress that you need to use it or lose it as vocal cords actually may atrophy for those decreasing the amount of speaking they do daily.

“You don’t have to be elderly to have difficulty speaking” said Lukens. “Vocal cords can become inflamed and create a hoarse vocal quality from frequent throat clearing.”

Lukens recommends for a clearer voice to follow some basic vocal hygiene such as avoiding frequent throat clearing, don’t smoke and stay hydrated among other things.

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological diagnoses is offered by Lukens at Forest Ridge Medical Pavilion. It is an intensive treatment program designed to remediate those voice changes related to the disease.

“When someone speaks too softly or mumbles others have difficulty understanding and may stop listening,” Lukens said. “The LSVT Loud program has been a blessing to so many.”


Amy Carter, MD has a passion for those with Autism, the neurological and medical disorder which affects a child’s entire development.

In her practice at New Castle Family & Internal Medicine Forest Ridge, she not only treats her patients with Autism, but guides parents who are looking to add a biomedical treatment for their children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. During her presentation Dr. Carter will address diagnostic criteria and biomedical treatment.

“Throughout the biomedical treatment journey together we work on cleaning up the gut and tuning up the immune system through diet, nutritional supplements and detoxification. Yes, it’s complicated,” she added.

“Biomedical treatment is not a substitute for primary medical care,” she said. “It enhances, but cannot replace services such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, special education support or a behavior management program.

“It starts slowly, goes slowly and requires a lot of patience. And, sometimes things get worse before they get better,” she added.


Exercise for your brain? Yes, everyone knows that exercise is beneficial for weight management and for decreasing risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. However, new studies find exercise also significantly improves and protects cognitive outcomes such as memory learning, mood, thinking and decision making.

HealthRidge Director of Wellness Laurie Abrams said, “We offer many programs at HealthRidge, such as Rock Steady Boxing for Parkinson’s Disease, to help combat cognitive deficiencies through exercise.

When working the body it increases the heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. It also has been associated with more cell growth in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

Regular exercise may help ease depression and anxiety by releasing endorphins or the feel-good chemicals in your brain that can enhance your sense of well-being.

So, with exercise, if your body feels better, so does your mind. Those endorphins act as natural painkillers and help improve the ability to sleep.

Leave a Reply