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Area women invited to 'Get Your Groove Back' event

UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the "Get Your Groove Back' event will be held at the Hampton Inn at 1150 Motel Drive in Woodstock, instead of the Fort Valley Nursery. Contact Ellen Duvall with questions at 540-536-6168.

By Kim Walter - kwalter@nvdaily.com

Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, in partnership with Spirit of Women and Novo Nordisk, is extending an invitation to women of the valley to attend the "Get Your Groove Back" seminar.

The event, to be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Fort Valley Nursery in Woodstock, is geared toward women 40 years of age and older in hopes of educating them not only of the real-life challenges that come with menopause, but also how to take action against them.

Ellen Duvall, the local Spirit of Women coordinator, said it's important that women consider taking time to attend the event.

"We women are so busy taking care of everybody else, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner," she said. "We want to change that trend and help motivate women to take action for their own health."

Duvall admitted that menopause is a topic that too often goes without discussion. As many as 75 percent of postmenopausal women experience conditions that impact body image and self esteem, but the event's organizers say they hope to clarify that many of the disruptions in daily life aren't normal, and might indicate that something else is wrong, she said.

"Women think they need to live with these symptoms, but there are treatments that can help," she said. "Hopefully this even will encourage an open dialogue between women and their health care providers."

The seminar will consist of health education, question-and-answer sessions and activities to emphasize awareness of symptoms and treatment options for menopausal-related concerns. Dr. Marjorie R. Jenkins is executive director of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She is flying in to speak at the event.

Duvall said Jenkins has "an incredible list of credentials and background in women's health."

Some of the "fun activities" that will be offered during the free event include mini make-overs by Mary Kay representatives,  and chair massages. Several educational tables will be set up as well, touching on aromatherapy and osteoporosis.

"We feel that if they're having fun while learning, they tend to remember things better," Duvall said. While there will be a time for women to ask more specific questions, for those who would rather ask anonymously, there will be notepads and pens on each seat.

So far, around 80 women have registered for the event.

"What's interesting is a majority of the women signed up are coming on their own," Duvall said. "You have to wonder if it's because they don't feel comfortable talking with friends and family about these issues."

Duvall added that women of all ages are welcome, as it's never too early to get information.

"There's definitely a target age range, but anyone can come," she said. "Unfortunately, a lot of times we don't search for information if we haven't been confronted with a problem yet."

To register, or for more information about the event, call Duvall at 540-536-6168.

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