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Talking About a Revolution

In our modern lives, we live facing forward with our bodies in one plane. We sit or stand typing at desks. We sit at the wheel of a car, possibly only turning slightly to curse our fellow drivers (because why not just use your turn signal!?) Even when we walk, run, and bike, it is in the forward-facing plane. So when we twist our bodies to grab our dropped keys or pick up the baby, sometimes we end up with a twinge of pain, or more serious injury, in our necks and spines.

Stress and the Spine
Simultaneously, many of our lives brim with anxiety. Stress, and its associated hormone, cortisol, are good for our minds and bodies in small, temporary amounts—like if we suddenly noticed a lion stalking us. However, living constantly like prey takes a toll on our minds, bodies, and hearts. Many of us internalize that stress, which can manifest from muscle tightness to gastrointestinal issues. My stress indicator is debilitating heartburn.

Fortunately, there are ways to break out of this cycle of stress and release our spines and guts in one fell swoop. TWISTING.

If you are like me, perhaps you despise twisting. As a budding yoga student, when I moved into a twist, I felt discomfort, constriction, and a sense of aggravation welling up behind my heart. But after these physical revolutions, I would feel a suppleness in my body, and even more so a softening and broadening in my mind.

How the Brain and Gut Communicate

Twisting doesn’t just lubricate the spine. It penetrates deep into the abdomen to stimulate the digestive system. 95% of our serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in our guts, so when you twist, you stimulate the gut to release this hormone. You know the expressions “gut- wrenching,” “butterflies in my throat,” or “my stomach is in knots”? These common phrases reflect the gut’s sensitivity to emotions. With 500 million neurons, the gastrointestinal system can send and receive signals to the brain and vice versa, reflecting the hardwired interconnectedness of brain and belly.

After we gently squeeze those major midsection organs with a twist, we unwind to flood the organs and tissue with fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients. It stimulates circulation to the body and brain. This can help you think more clearly at any moment throughout the day, or relax your center at night.

You don’t need to come to a yoga class to experience the benefits of twisting. Sitting or standing with feet hip distance apart, spread your toes and imagine rooting into the earth. From this strong base, slowly draw a deep breath in through your nose, allowing the breath to start at the base of your spine, traveling up each vertebrae and expanding your chest. Stretch the back, sides, and front as long and tall as you can, like a string was running from the earth through your spine and out the top of your head, unfurling you to the sky. On an exhale, draw the navel into the body towards the spine, and think about initiating the twist from your core as you turn to the right, imagining your body wringing like a towel up your spine. You can place the left hand on the outside of the right knee (if sitting,) or the right hip (if standing.) Inhale and twist a little deeper. With every gentle exhale, draw the navel in, and on the inhale open the chest and heart just a little more. Listen to your body, you know it best, and release and move to the other side when ready!

Ready for More?
If simple twists aren’t getting to your anxiety, heartburn, clogged up gut, or depression, research shows that regular yoga and meditation can help. Through yoga poses, breathing exercises, and meditation, yoga may help reduce anxiety and increase a sense of well-being. It can improve your fitness and flexibility, and reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

The next time you feel stressed or drained, I invite you to TWIST! This simple movement can bring new perspective and gentle healing. Because it’s never too late, as the Beatles said, (in Twist and Shout), to “work it on out.”

Jessica Reilly-Moman is a climate researcher, social scientist, ethnographer, writer, and mother. She teaches Prana Flow yoga, a breath and movement based vinyasa flow class filled with friendship and laughter. She would love to see you at her classes: Mondays 4-5pm and Wednesdays 12-1pm, at Moab Yoga, 37 E Center St,

Urgent Care at Moab Family Health

Don’t spend unnecessary time and money in the E.R.

Studies show that 80% of patients who go to the Emergency Room do NOT require E.R. level care. What does that mean for you? It means that you spend time and money that you don’t need to spend.

That’s why we offer walk-in appointments for any patient in the Moab area. Moab Family Health is the only year-round provider of non-hospital walk-in services in Grand County.

We can treat most injuries and illnesses right here in our office. If it doesn’t require a hospital bed or operating room, we can help! Following are a few of the most common health problems we treat:

Sports Injuries
Abdominal Pain
Bladder Infections (UTI)

Ear Infections
High Blood Pressure
Sinus Infections
Vaginal Infections
Pelvic Pain
Respiratory Illnesses
Vaginal Bleeding

If you have an emergency, or an urgent condition that cannot wait until the office opens, do not hesitate to go to the hospital. Chest pain, slurred speech, gasping for air, and bone fragments poking through your skin are all good reasons to call 911!
For everything else, if you don’t want to wait in the E.R. behind patients with life- or limb-threatening emergencies, we invite you to stop in. We’ll fit you in as quickly as we can. Call us at (435) 259-4466 for directions to office.

Save yourself a lot of time. Enjoy a more personal approach. Save a lot of money.
We look forward to helping you get back on the road, the trail, the river, or wherever else you would rather be.

Powerful Tribute of Appreciation

The Honor Salute Program was started in 2016 by Community Nursing Services Hospice in partnership with University ROTC programs, military recruiters, reservists, National Guard and military retirees.

The Honor Salute program is a simple but powerful tribute of appreciation for the veteran’s service to our country. Military personnel in dress uniform join CNS volunteers and associates at the patient’s residence to conduct a formal ceremony. Veterans are presented with a personalized appreciation plaque, military service lapel pin and an American flag. Military personnel give the salute command then turn and salute the patient. Often patients return the salute.

This unique program gives pride and peace to our veterans while bringing together family and friends to celebrate their loved one’s military service. Most often it is the last public thank you they will receive.

Community Nursing Services of Moab is honored to join with our local VFW team to salute our local veterans. It has been our pleasure to salute these wonderful men and woman who have given selfishly for our freedom.
Please contact Camille at Community Nursing Services for more information 435-259-0466.

New Foundation Receives Donations to Help Local Healthcare Organizations

The Moab Healthcare Foundation recently received donations that will benefit local residents. Two major events, The Skinny Tire Festival and The Red Rock Four Wheelers’ Easter Jeep Safari directed donations from proceeds raised from their events to help local healthcare organizations.

The Red Rock Four Wheelers generous donation was used to support quality of life enhancements for residents of the Canyonlands Care Center. The donation purchased an aquarium to be installed next to the common area where residents dine and watch TV. Barbarella Hill, the Director of Nursing at Canyonlands Care Center said, “It may sound a little woo-woo, but aquarium therapy has been researched and found to have numerous positive effects. It gives the residents who take care of the fish purpose and connection on a daily basis and stimulates interaction between residents and employees. It has also been found to help promote nutritional intake, which can often be a problem for residents with dementia.”

Mike Kelso, President of the Red Rock 4 Wheelers, stated, "The RR4W's have supported the Friends of Moab Canyonlands Healthcare for several years. We are grateful for the efforts of the board to expand with this new Foundation which will now encompass all the major health care institutions in Grand County." Mike went on to say, "It is good to see the Moab Healthcare Foundation keeping up with the expanding growth of Grand County."

The Moab Healthcare Foundation also received a large donation of $13,000 from the Skinny Tire Festival. Mark Griffith, organizer of the event, said, “A portion of every registration is a donation to the people of Moab. Every cyclist appreciates the opportunity to be in Moab, to experience this beautiful area, and they give back by supporting the healthcare needs of people who live here.” Griffith also added, “Our donation to the foundation will primarily support the Infusion Therapy center at Moab Regional Hospital, however, we trust the foundation to look at other needs in the community and to use the money where it is needed the most.”

The Moab Healthcare Foundation is dedicated to supporting local healthcare organizations that provide exceptional care for the residents of the Moab region. The foundation was initially created in 2011 to support the Canyonlands Care Center. Last year, the board decided to expand the foundation’s mission and to recruit new board members. They developed a fundraising strategy to support Grand County Hospice, Canyonlands Care Center, The Moab Free Health Clinic, Moab Regional Hospital, Grand County Search and Rescue, and Grand County EMS. If other healthcare organizations or needs emerge, the foundation can consider supporting those groups as well.

Currently there are five community members serving on the board: Founding member Tom Edwards, Bob Jones, Kirstin Peterson, Mike Bynum and Beth Logan. All the board members have served on various healthcare boards in the community and are dedicated to increasing philanthropic support for healthcare in this region.

Mike Bynum, who chaired the board of Moab Valley Healthcare Incorporated for over a decade, said, “The citizens of Moab have always shown their care for others, from the potash mining disaster in the 1960’s to the recent Cinema Court Fire. The foundation intends to carry on the Moab tradition of generosity by supporting the outstanding organizations in Moab that care for us when we need them the most.”

“Many donors would like to direct money towards healthcare, but don’t have the time to look into all of the needs of the different organizations. We can either earmark donations for a specific organization, or we can direct donations towards MHF’s priority areas, depending on the donor’s preferences,” said foundation board chair Bob Jones.

If you are interested in donating to the Moab Healthcare Foundation, you can e-mail or call 435-210-0087. For more information about the foundation, visit their website at


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