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The Benefits of Yoga

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Like yoga, the osteopathic approach to wellness focuses on your body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing.

“The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body,” explains Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California.

While there are more than 100 different types, or schools, of yoga, most sessions are typically include breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures (sometimes called asana or poses) that stretch and flex various muscle groups.

“As an osteopathic physician, I focus a lot of my efforts on preventive medicine and practices, and in the body’s ability to heal itself,” says Dr. Nevins. “Yoga is a great tool for staying healthy because it is based on similar principles.”

Physical Benefits

“The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome,” explains Dr. Nevins. “Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.”

Other physical benefits of yoga include:
  • Increased flexibility

  • Increased muscle strength and tone

  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality

  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism

  • Weight reduction

  • Cardio and circulatory health

  • Improved athletic performance

  • Protection from injury

Mental Benefits

Aside from the physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps a person manage stress, which is known to have devastating effects on the body and mind. “Stress can reveal itself in many ways, including back or neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, drug abuse, and an inability to concentrate,” says Dr. Nevins. “Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life.”

Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being. “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention; and sharpens concentration,” says Dr. Nevins. Body- and self-awareness are particularly beneficial, she adds, “because they can help with early detection of physical problems and allow for early preventive action.”

Beginners Welcome

Because there are so many different kinds of yoga practices, it is possible for anyone to start. “Whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style,” says Dr. Nevins. “The idea is to explore your limits, not strive for some pretzel-like perfection. It is a great way to get in tune with your body and your inner self.”​

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Fitness Benefits For Teens

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  • Teens and young adults, both male and female, benefit from physical activity.
  • Physical activity does not need to be strenuous to be beneficial.
  • Moderate amounts of daily physical activity are recommended for people of all ages. This amount can be obtained in longer sessions of moderately intense activities, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes, or in shorter sessions of more intense activities, such as jogging or playing basketball for 15-20 minutes.
  • Greater amounts of physical activity are even more beneficial, up to a point. Excessive amounts of physical activity can lead to injuries, menstrual abnormalities, and bone weakening.


  • Nearly half of American youths aged 12-21 years are not vigorously active on a regular basis. About 14 percent of young people report no recent physical activity. Inactivity is more common among females (14%) than males (7%) and among black females (21%) than white females (12%).
  • Participation in all types of physical activity declines strikingly as age or grade in school increases.
  • Only 19 percent of all high school students are physically active for 20 minutes or more, five days a week, in physical education classes.
  • Daily enrollment in physical education classes dropped from 42 percent to 25 percent among high school students between 1991 and 1995.
  • Well designed school-based interventions directed at increasing physical activity in physical education classes have been shown to be effective.
  • Social support from family and friends has been consistently and positively related to regular physical activity.


  • Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
  • Helps control weight, build lean muscle, and reduce fat.
  • Prevents or delays the development of high blood pressure and helps reduce blood pressure in some adolescents with hypertension.


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Straight From The Pros: African American Makeup Tips

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When browsing the makeup counters at department stores, some women of color may find that not all cosmetics lines cater to their beauty needs. In other words, it can be difficult to find makeup for African American skin. Some makeup lines simply do not have foundations that go dark enough, causing one to look washed out, while others may lack the colors that will show up on darker skin. Los Angeles Makeup artist Phil Ranger shares some African American makeup tips to help you achieve the ultimate look.

1) Face: Avoid makeup that is too light, as it can make skin look chalky. Yellow-based foundations work best for women with darker skin. The goal is to see the makeup disappear after applying it on your skin, with no visible boundary between. Test foundation colors in natural light — if you have trouble finding the right color, try mixing two shades (one darker than your natural color and one lighter). When searching for blush or bronzer, brown and copper complement African American skin tones. A touch of shimmer will highlight cheekbones nicely.

2) Lips: Earth tones, neutrals, pinks and dark burgundy instantly add glam to lips. For a more natural look, dab on some lip-gloss. Choose a lip liner that is close to the shade of your lip-gloss or lipstick to avoid a dark outline.

3) Eyes: Shimmery and metallic eye shadows can look amazing against African American skin. Mixing two complimentary colors like gold and purple can boost the drama factor. The darker your skin, the brighter the colors you can pull off. Accentuate eyes with brown or black eyeliner. Black mascara will make eyelashes stand out. For extra pizzazz, try false eyelashes.

For those looking for the best makeup for African American women, there are several noteworthy lines. Supermodel Iman founded IMAN Cosmetics in 1994, a collection that features makeup for women of all shades. Cover Girl carries the Queen collection line, which actress Queen Latifah posing as the new face for the cosmetics. Cover Girl has some of the best makeup for African American women, and includes everything from concealer to nail polish. M.A.C. is another popular brand that carries a variety of shades and bright shadows and lip colors to give darker skin that extra pop. Black Radiance is dedicated completely to women of color, and Fashion Fair is the oldest and most established makeup brand for black women. Combine these African American makeup tips along with the best makeup for African American women for the ultimate beauty experience.


What are the Advantages of Mediation?

People in disputes who consider mediation as a way to resolve their differences often want to know what the process can do for them. Although no dispute resolution procedure can guarantee specific outcomes, the following are some common benefits of mediation:

Mediation is a voluntary process

Parties elect to participate in mediation because of the potential for better settlement than those available through litigation or other procedures involving third-party decision makers. Creative brainstorming of new options is not something that people can be forced to do effectively. No one is coerced into using this alternative dispute procedure. If the parties do not reach an agreement in mediation, other grievance options are still available to the parties, including filing a formal grievance or pursuing appropriate legal options.

Mediation is private and confidential

Mediation provides for a safe environment for the participants to explore options and can modify their positions without fear of losing face in front of colleges and coworkers. In mediation, parties come together in a private and neutral location with an impartial third-party to talk about their conflict and negotiate a resolution to it that addresses the needs and interests of both parties. Whatever is discussed during the session is treated as confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone unless it is expressly requested and agreed by both parties or ethically violates the pre-set parameters of confidentiality.

Mediation is both timely and convenient

Mediation can be scheduled and held in a matter of days, not weeks or months. This can be critical to intervening in the escalation of conflict and prevent unnecessary delays in finding mutually agreeable resolutions.

Mediation is procedural assistance of a neutral third party

The role of the mediator is specifically to help the parties find their own satisfactory, workable solutions by being an effective facilitator and providing structure, focus, and assistance with communication. The role of the mediator is to provide unbiased, impartial assistance from the position of someone with no other involvement or investment in the outcome of the dispute. Mediators are selected from a pool of non-K-State employees within a 150-mile radius of Manhattan who are state-approved by the State of Kansas Office of Judicial Administration.

Mediation has a high rate of compliance

Parties who have reached their own “customized” agreement are generally more likely to follow through and abide and comply with its terms than those whose agreement has been imposed by a third-party decision-maker. Parties that negotiate their own settlements have more control over the outcome of their dispute and gains and losses are more predictable when they maintain the decision-making power than when decisions about the outcome of disputes are turned over to outside third parties. Mediation involves mutually satisfactory agreements in which all parties have at least some of their interests met to the degree that they are willing to support the overall agreement.

Mediation helps preserve ongoing relationships

Mediation agreements, which result in negotiated solutions that address each of the parties’ needs (win/win), are much better able to preserve present and future working relationships than win/lose procedures. If a future working relationship is important, a negotiated settlement may be the best resolution possible whereby all-gain solutions are created. Mediation is often a helpful healing process and encourages direct communication between parties. The mutual resolution will also help give the parties a place to start for future interactions.


Let's Talk About Mediation!

Spotlight On: Racial and Ethnic Differences in Children Identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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ADDM reports have consistently noted that more white children are identified with ASD than black or Hispanic children. Previous studies have shown that stigma, lack of access to healthcare services due to non-citizenship or low-income, and non-English primary language are potential barriers to identification of children with ASD especially among Hispanic children. A difference in identifying black and Hispanic children with ASD relative to white children means these children may not be getting the services they need to reach their full potential.

This ADDM report found that the racial and ethnic differences in identifying 8-year-old children with ASD persist, but also some indications that the differences may be narrowing.

Throughout the ADDM Network

Black and Hispanic children continued to be less likely to be identified with ASD than white children. These differences suggest that black and Hispanic children may face socioeconomic or other barriers that lead to a lack of or delayed access to evaluation, diagnosis, and services.

Prevalence Ratio

The prevalence ratio measures the difference in the likelihood of a condition between two groups. A prevalence ratio of 1.0 means there is no difference between the two groups. A prevalence ratio over 1.0 shows a difference between the two groups. Larger prevalence ratios show greater differences between groups. Prevalence ratios were lower in the most recent ADDM report than in previous reports, which shows reduced racial and ethnic differences in identifying children with ASD.

White to Black

Bar chart showing prevalence ratio for surveillance years: 2002 = 1.3, 2006 = 1.4, 2008 = 1.2, 2010 = 1.3, 2012 = 1.2, 2014 = 1.1

White to Hispanic

Bar chart showing prevalence ratio for surveillance years: 2002 = 1.6, 2006 = 1.7, 2008 = 1.5, 2010 = 1.5, 2012 = 1.5, 2014 = 1.2


Changing Differences in Identification

While a higher percentage of white children were identified with ASD compared to black children and even more so compared to Hispanic children, these differences were smaller when compared with estimates from previous years. These reduced differences may be due to more effective outreach directed toward minority communities and efforts to have all children screened for ASD.

White to Black

Bar Chart showing changes in identification. 1.2x MORE LIKELY among white vs black children in 2012 vs 1.1x MORE LIKELY among white vs black children in 2014

White to Hispanic

Bar Chart showing changes in identification. 1.5x MORE LIKELY among white vs Hispanic children in 2012 vs 1.2x MORE LIKELY among white vs Hispanic children in 2014


Looking Ahead

The reduced differences in ASD prevalence for black and Hispanic children relative to white children may be due to more effective outreach directed toward minority communities and efforts to have all children screened for ASD. The ADDM Network will continue to monitor ASD prevalence to find out if the narrowing of racial and ethnic differences in children identified with ASD continues. This helps both states and communities develop and evaluate targeted strategies to increase awareness and improve identification of ASD in black and Hispanic communities.


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