Health briefs: free and low-costs events on the calendar

April 23, 2013 

BRADENTON -- April 27th is World Tai Chi Day and Manatee tai chi enthusiasts will celebrat at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3011 19th Ave. W.

The event will begin at 10 a.m.; around the globe, similar tai chi teach-ins start at 10 a.m. local time in 70 countries as part of World Tai Chi Day.

Organizers in Bradenton will demonstrat tai chi and qi gong. There are varieties of tai chi and five styles will be shown.

"All have certain elements in common but there are marked differences," said Sherry Fideler, one of the event leaders and a senior trainer with Dr. Paul Lam's Tai Chi for Health Institute.

The popularity of tai chi is equivalent to that of yoga 20 years ago, said Fideler.

"Unfortunately, people aren't flocking to tai chi but more are saying, 'OK, I'm going to be willing to try this'," she said. "Every year, more classes are springing up."

Tai chi is a gentle exercise that can be done by people at all fitness levels. Medical researchers are finding that it positively affects health and wellbeing. Tai Chi is especially known for improving balance.

For more information about the event, call Fideler at 941-794-6904 or John Orsborn at 941-545-2445.

Low-cost HIV testingto be offered at clinic

BRADENTON -- April 30 is "Get Yourself Tested" day when Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida will be offering free tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea and discounts on rapid HIV tests. The event is targeted at young people

"STDs are on the rise, especially among people under age 25," said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kellie Dupree.

"There are 20 million new infections each year and half are among those under 25 years old," she said. But people don't get tested, Dupree said.

The rapid HIV tests will be available for $20. The tests provide immediate results; if results are positive, a sample is sent to a laboratory for further testing and confirmation. Regular HIV tests will be offered free.

In Manatee, Planned Parenthood's clinic is at 1105 53rd Ave. E., Suite 201. Clinic hours April 30 are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

Moose Lodge to hosthealth awareness fair

BRADENTON -- A health awareness fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24 at the Moose Lodge, 310 44th Ave. E.

Donavon Thompson of P.A. Consulting in Bradenton will talk from 10 to 11 a.m. about veterans' benefits that include financial help for assisted living costs and caretakers.

"A lot of veterans don't know about this benefit," said Susan Brzostowski of A Life At Home Health Care, who is the event organizer.

"They don't know the right questions to ask," she said.

Also at the event will be a therapist demonstrating exercises for balance, and representatives from independent living facilities and home health care agencies.

Proceeds from vendors will be donated to the Mooseheart Education Program for children.

For more information, call 941-747-9922.

Get help with those annoying trigger points

SARASOTA -- Ever get those knots in your neck and back that can be tender and sore? They're called trigger points and Sarasota chiropractor Sharon Wooten will talk about how to make them stop hurting at a trigger point workshop from noon to 1 p.m. April 26 at Platinum Healthcare, 5560 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 7.

Not all trigger points are painful but they can cause pain to travel down the arms or legs, Wooten said.

At the workshop, she will teach a technique that can be used at home with a partner to alleviate trigger points. If the trigger points are in an area that can reached, people can work on them without a partner.

"You can manage it and regulate it in a sense," Wooten said.

The talk is being presented by the Foundation for Wellness Professionals. RSVP by calling 941-927-1123.

Health-care issuesto be topic of discussion

SARASOTA -- Carmella Sebastian, a physician and wellness program expert, will be the speaker at the Women Owners of Florida meeting at 1:30 p.m. April 30 at Hilton Garden Inn, 8270 N. Tamiami Trail.

Sebastian is the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida senior medical director of Clinical Client Solutions and medical director of the Blue Cross wellness program "Better You From Blue."

"She is well-versed in the health-care industry. She's a great speaker and she's funny," said Deb Shuck, president of Women Owners of Florida, an education group for women business owners.

"She'll speak about health care issues and how health care affects the whole company. That's pretty important with Obamacare coming up," Shuck said.

For information, visit or contact Shuck at 941-685-0250 or email

Susan Hemmingway, Herald health correspondent, can be reached at

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