first_imgOthers who have signed the guest book have included testaments to the tea lady’s power to heal. “I was depressed yesterday and now I feel great – thank you,” wrote Mary Torres. “I had so much pain in my heart then you slipped into my room for a tea party and the pain went away,” wrote Lilli Bonner. Cindy Damboise, nurse manager on the fourth floor, has seen the same scene, heard the same words dozens of times. The tea lady has no medical degree, no physical therapy training whatsoever, but Damboise thinks these tea parties are having a big impact on the physical health of these women. “Emotionally, I know they do. But I’ve also seen patients start breathing easier and feeling so much better physically after she leaves,” she said. “These tea parties definitely have a healing effect.” Because she takes her time and does not want to rush the women in hospital gowns sipping her tea, Smidderks can do only two or three parties every Friday afternoon. She started them in February after the death of her dog, Snuggles. For seven years, Smidderks had been bringing her little Shih Tzu dog to the hospital every Friday to let the patients hold and play with him. “I could do six or seven visits in an afternoon with him, and he always lifted their spirits,” the Granada Hills woman said. “After he died at 16, I wanted to continue volunteering, but I didn’t seem to be a fit for the gift shop or sitting at the front information desk. “I’ve had tea parties my entire life, so I asked if it was OK to have them here because I knew a real connection is made with someone over a cup of tea. “For an hour or two, you can make them forget about the pain and remember the good times.” Sipping tea from fine china on embroidered tablecloths with a red rose in a vase because women heal better when they have beauty around them. Men, she isn’t so sure about. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. [email protected] (818) 713-3749160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Just ask Dolores Bork, who sat down to a cup of hot mint tea with Mary on Friday afternoon. Bork, 85, considered herself lucky to be alive after suffering a massive heart attack last week. Her heart stopped three times – twice on the way to the hospital from her Ridgecrest home and once on the operating table. But Bork didn’t dwell on that during her visit with the tea lady. Instead, they talked about their childhoods, their loved ones, their pets and favorite things about life. Then Bork autographed the tea lady’s guest book, adding her name to the dozens of other women who have recovered from surgery in these rooms. “This is so very, very special. Thank you,” she said. “I’m not in the hospital now. I’m at a beautiful tea party.” For a few precious hours every Friday afternoon, pain and fear take a back seat to smiles and warm memories in the fourth-floor recovery rooms at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. That’s when Mary Smidderks, the tea lady, comes to visit. Bringing her best china, embroidered tablecloths and a vase with a red rose, she transforms drab hospital rooms into warm, intimate tea parties for female patients whose spirits need a lift. “Women heal faster when they have beauty around them,” said Smidderks, a retired vice principal at Los Angeles Baptist High School. “I don’t know about men, but women respond to beauty.” last_img read more

first_imgNEIL BARRETT is one of Donegal’s best known fitness trainers, nutritionists and sports scientists.In a new series of articles for Donegal Daily, he will be writing about – and helping to tackle – an issue many people chose to ignore…obesity, and in particular childhood and teenage obesity.STOP KILLING YOUR KIDS WITH KINDNESS: BY NEIL BARRETT A bit of an alarmist headline but it gets your attention and, in essence, it’s very much true. After a very damming report last week relating to the rate at which Irish children, adolescents (and adults) are fast becoming the fattest in Europe, I have been asked by Donegal Daily to write a series of articles pertaining to health, nutrition and fitness specifically for adolescents that I hope will help the teenager, parent, guardian or carer make changes that deliver a long-lasting result.All the information is out there on healthy eating and exercise but unless you have a background in biomedical sciences it is extremely difficult to decipher the good information from the bad.Over the coming weeks I hope to offer advice on fitness, nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits for teenagers to help them make choices for a more fit, healthy and happy life.Phones, tablets, internet, X-Box, social media, alcohol, fast food…. the list of variables affecting adolescent health and fitness goes on. Teenagers are under huge amounts of pressure whether it’s exam stress, self-esteem, peer pressure or hormonal.Only 12 per cent of 10- to 18-year-olds get the recommended level of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. One in four is obese or overweight.So let us begin with this, if your child has a higher than average body fat % they are overweight because of you!You are responsible for them, you do the shopping, make the breakfast, lunch and dinners. Period!Now that is not to say it is directly your fault, you didn’t do this on purpose. But it is in your best interests to become aware of what your child should and should not be doing on a daily basis. Healthy lifestyle practices during adolescence are very important for lifelong good health and quality of life.Most parents are very much aware of the healthy principles for growth periods from ages 1 to 4.However, information on healthy lifestyle practices for the adolescent to adult period is less readily available.This is an extremely important period in all our lifetimes and one which has become very distorted in modern society. Think about this: the incubation period for most environmental disease (cancer, heart disease etc.) is 20-30 years.The highest rate of incidence is 40+years, therefore the foundations of heart disease and cancer begins in our teens and early adulthood.We know of no better preventable measure against all known diseases than healthy eating and an active lifestyle.Read my article next Thursday, and every Thursday, for a look at ways to help our teens reap the rewards of healthy habits.ABOUT NEIL:Neil Barrett MSc. BSc. Hons. Rnut. ANSI. UKSCA. MSc. (Master of Science in Human Nutrition)BSc. Hons. (Bachelor of Science in Sports Science & exercise physiology)RNut. (Registered Nutritionist with the UKVRN)Lecturer (Letterkenny Institute of Technology)UKSCA accredited Strength & Conditioning coachCrossFit level 1 trainer (ANSI)TRX & Rip60 Master trainer (Freemotion)Kettlebell level 1 trainer (Agustu)Coaching Ireland accredited & registered level 1 weightlifting coachPre & Post Natal exercise professional (NCEHS)A master Nutritionist, sport scientist, exercise physiologist, lecturer, gym owner & professional strength & conditioning coach, Neil is one the most highly qualified & experienced individuals working in the Irish fitness sector.Upon completion of a Master’s degree in nutrition, Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in exercise science & physiology & affiliation with three separate Strength & Conditioning governing bodies, Neil ventured to the nation’s capital where he was based for the last 3 years working as a freelance nutritionist for Hewlett Packard, Aviva, Allied Irish Bank & Dell, devising & delivering with great success nutrition workshops & plans for their employees.In addition to his nutritionist work he has also worked as a lecturer & presenter for University of Limerick, Coaching Ireland, The Lucozade Sport Education program, Profi-Fitness International teaching school, the Irish Rugby Institute & more recently he joined the lecturing staff at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology.His most fulfilling ventures to date however lay in his work as a strength & conditioning coach. His first experience in this area came in 2008 when he worked as a Performance analyst with the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland at The University of Ulster in Jordanstown. Here, he was exposed to the training techniques that influence a team/individuals ability to improve performance & he became hooked.Since then he has worked as the primary coach for many Dublin based GAA & rugby teams, St. Eunan’s GAA, Donegal U21 GAA, Irish triathlete’s & GP2 international professional racing drivers. Furthermore, he has also worked as a secondary coach/intern with the coaching staff of the Irish Senior International Soccer Team, the Italian Senior International Rugby Team, Aston Villa F.C., Millwall F.C. & MK Dons F.C.In 2010 he discovered CrossFit, the most innovative & advanced fitness training program to date. This has brought his own fitness & training techniques to a new level, which he implements in his program design. In 2013 he travelled to the home of CrossFit in California where he became an ANSI accredited CrossFit Level 1 certified trainer.After many years in academia, travelling & working away from home, Neil has returned to his home town of Letterkenny to impart all he has learned to help those in his local community. By combining his exercise physiology & nutrition background Neil has forged a place as Ireland’s leading weight management & performance consultants.In June of 2013 Neil opened the doors of his first business venture, CrossFit Letterkenny, which has since expanded to the largest training & nutrition centre in Donegal, Fit-Hub Ireland Ltd.  The success of the facility hasn’t gone unnoticed as Neil & his team were awarded Best Business Start-up by the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce 2014.  Neil also undertook the primary Strength & Conditioning roles with St. Eunans Senior GAA and helped them to the county championship & a first ever Ulster semi-final for the club.NEW COLUMN: STOP KILLING YOUR KIDS WITH KINDNESS was last modified: May 13th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:healthNutritionobesityteenagelast_img read more