Wellness, Longevity & Aesthetics is getting better and better over time: Open house is on March 22

Dr Anita Wang has announced an expansion of her business, Wellness, Longevity and Aesthetics. To celebrate, the company will hold an open house on March 22 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the premises at 255 Thalia Street.

Dr Wang, MD, FACEP, is a Board Certified Emergency Physician, a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, a Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, and extensively trained in Aesthetics. She graduated from the University Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine and has spent the last 20 years as an ER doctor previously at UCLA Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center and St. Mary’s Medical Center.

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Dr Anita Wang, ER physician turned wellness consultant

In addition to larger offices, Dr Wang – Anita – is introducing a new device that helps women who suffer from stress urinary incontinence. 

 “I hope to reduce the ads for Depends for women with the embarrassing need for them, when they cough sneeze or laugh,” Anita says. 

Ironically, the former ER physician’s company deals with chronic illness and lifelong care, on the opposite continuum of the specialty, emergency medicine, which she practiced for many years.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Anita says, “I thoroughly enjoyed the thrill and exhilaration of a good trauma case suddenly rolling through the door. I was able to open the chest of a patient, find the bullet hole in the heart and sew it close as the emergency team working together as a well-orchestrated ballet, to save the patient in the golden hour.” 

With a laugh, Anita adds: “I now enjoy the sensation of the thrill and exhilaration as I recline and watch a good action adventure. Who knew you could get the same thrill without all the stress!”

We asked Anita to tell us more about the evolution of her company and her medical philosophy.

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The welcoming lobby of Wellness, Longevity and Aesthetics

Stu News: You say that your work in ER led to your business. How so?

Anita: Well, the department was not all trauma and critical care. I would spend a good amount of time reassuring the person coming in with crushing chest pain that he/she was not having a heart attack. I would go over the risk factors and life style choices that would either increase or decrease the likelihood of them having a heart attack. Many times my patients said that they wished their doctor had the time to have gone over the choices they made in life that could have prevented them from having chronic disease. They would ask me to be their primary care physician, because they appreciated the extra time I would take to explain things to them. I immediately would throw garlic at them as if they were vampires!

Stu News: You worked in emergency medicine for more than 20 years. What in particular made you decide to switch to doing what you do now?

Anita: Over the years, witnessing the miracles and devastation of conventional medicine, while I worked to save lives, [I saw] many [patients] at the end of a tortured life, with chronic disease on multiple medications. I would work feverishly to save their lives, only to feel their frustration because of their lack of good qualify of life. I now prefer to save lives by preventing illnesses, rather than trying to save lives at the end life.

Stu News: How would you describe your philosophy of medicine?

Anita: I now practice the philosophy of medicine I have held for myself, which is a combination of eastern medicine, that is good for prevention and chronic disease, and western medicine, for acute care advance life saving technology. There is a growing trend of integrative medicine specialists that are trained in functional medicine, anti-aging, regenerative medicine, and holistic medicine, etc. This is the type of practice I have opened, and look forward to helping patients with conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and more. 

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Calm, quiet, comforting IV room

Stu News: The name of your company is Wellness, Longevity and Aesthetics. Which is your main focus? Which area is most popular? I think I can guess.

Anita: Interestingly, I am better known for the aesthetic portion of the practice, which was a quiet practice motivated by my mother’s nudging for services for years, which I resisted, until I realized I needed the services she was demanding from me! It has been a surprisingly good fit for my emergency medicine personality, to continue performing procedures and attain instant gratification for my patients.

Stu News: Great! How did you end up in Laguna Beach?

Anita: I feel so fortunate to be in Laguna Beach! It happened on a whim. My husband and I had been living in China for the past three years while I was working with Doctors without Borders. When we returned we were exploring options of where to settle. One day we stopped at an open house in Laguna Beach on our way to hiking. That was twelve years ago, we ended up putting roots down here in Laguna. Six years ago I started my private practice. 

My wish for all is a wonderful healthy long life full of vitality and beauty! 

For more information, call 949-734-0580 or visit www.bodybywang.com or www.anitawangmd.com.

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Maggi is back – and quite a few people knew where to find her.

Last week’s photo challenge asked the question, where is this? First correct answer accolades go to Bonnie Drury. Other readers who earn points for correctly identifying Shadow Lane as the location are: Kathy Bienvenu, Bundy Kinder, and Kristen Weaver-Greengard.

Thanks for playing! Be sure to tune in next issue for Maggi’s next challenge.

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Yoga, wine and pizza: Does it get any better? (The answer is yes, when it’s a fundraiser for kids too…)

To kick off Jogathon Week, Pacific Blue Yoga and Wine Gallery are hosting a joint fundraiser on Sunday, March 18 at 3 p.m. (Yes, yoga, wine and pizza all for a great cause.) Stretch & Sip will benefit Top of the World Elementary School.

The yoga class will be at Marna’s new Pacific Blue Yoga location, which is beautiful and located right behind Wine Gallery on Coast Highway. 

After a one-hour yoga class, guests will head over for complimentary pizza and Happy Hour wine specials. Also, Marna and others are donating generous prizes and everyone who attends will be entered into a drawing. 

The money raised will go toward the TOW PTA’s Jogathon goal and will help fund the garden, classroom supplies, family nights and much more. It should be a really fun afternoon with friends. The event (Stretch & Sip) is limited to 25 people. Reserve your spot by signing up and paying through Rec1 under the Jogathon Week tab here.

You’re never too young to dream about becoming a Laguna Beach firefighter…

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

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Young Jonah, Mary Hurlbut’s handsome one-year-old grandson, enjoyed his visit to the Coffee with a Cop and Emergency Personnel at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach last Saturday morning. (While the fire engine impressed him, it’s the hat that really got his attention.)

In which I talk to the trees during a wet walkabout and get to know their names

Story and photos by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

I talk to the trees

But they don’t listen to me…

So sings Clint Eastwood in the movie Paint Your Wagon.

I’ve had the same problem, but I’m wondering if that’s because I don’t know most of their names, let alone much about their personalities. Why should they talk to me?

That changed for me last Saturday – at least as far as a few species are concerned. 

Now I’m hearing what many of them are saying, and it’s often, “Would you please leave me alone?” (And I genuinely did not intend puns in that sentence.)

Controversially, at least in Laguna, I grew quite fond of eucalyptus on the walkabout.

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Rain was no deterrent for this group on the tree walkabout

But before I explain why, I’d like to thank George Weiss of the Laguna Beach Beautification Council, who organized the Tree Identification Walkabout, and Prof Chris Reed, who led the group on a marvelous meandering tour around the streets of Laguna as part of the City’s Arbor Week.

(Chris is a former professor of chemistry at USC and UC Riverside, tree consultant for LBBC and chair of the ad hoc committee for eradication of invasive plants.)

So why did I grow fond of eucalyptus?  Or a few of them, anyway, since there are actually 894 types, Chris told us, and I only met three or four.

Beauty may be skin-deep but it is still beauty

For skin-deep reasons in part - because on that soggy Saturday, some specimens looked so beautiful, their smooth baby-cheek trunks blushing pink in patches in the rain; because their elbows grow wrinkled with time and I could relate; and because I liked the way they regularly slough off their skin, as though to save their complexions from the unsightly fissures that come with time. 

What you might call germabrasion.

Though Chris told us that the reason for the sloughing isn’t vanity, it’s to clean themselves of irritants such as bugs.

And I know how annoying the peeled bark lying on the streets can be. Still! Who among us is perfect?

On our tour we also met a lemon-scented eucalyptus with a trunk that felt like tensed muscle and roots that resembled a dinosaur’s foot. 

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Dinosaur foot? Elephant foot? No, eucalyptus foot

Our group of sprinkled-upon people also observed a red iron bark and a blue gum eucalyptus gleaming in the rain.

The Cook pine was my second favorite tree. Named after Captain Cook, the explorer who bumped into Australia on one of his voyages, the tree naturally always leans south. A particularly fine example of this pine, nature’s Tower of Pisa, takes a deep bow in front of City Hall. 

On the subject of pines, I had no idea that the number of needles in every cluster could help in the identification of the trees. Black pines have two; Canary Island palms have three. 

I did not know that Torrey pines were the only pines native to this area, or that there were several of them growing behind the Playhouse, some of which are apparently ailing. (They have five to six needles per leaf.)

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Cook pine bows toward the south outside City Hall – gorgeous specimen!

I enjoyed our encounter with the so-called Octopus tree near St. Mary’s Church, though someone can’t count – the tree has twelve leaves in every bunch. 

Chris plucked a number of leaves and pods from a variety of trees for us to smell, reminding us that it isn’t only flowers that give off scent.

We smelled camphor and pungent carob, lemon and citrus, and were fortunate not to be exposed to the vomitous flowers of the Cleveland Pear.

What else did we learn?

The California pepper tree comes from Peru

That the California pepper tree comes from Peru. I repeat (but less frequently than Chris) – the California pepper tree comes from Peru!

The way to tell a Queen palm from a King palm. “The Queen has a shapely trunk; the King has a more erect look and its flowers and nuts hang further below its crown,” Chris told us. (I think he said nuts.)

And very importantly – “Don’t top trees! Don’t cut the tips of leading branches! They will explode in pompom growth and you’ll be pruning an ugly tree every year. Instead, lace! Remove smaller branches at the main trunk.”

Some mutilated trees, carelessly pruned, made us feel sad, particularly a devastated melaleuca raising its amputated arms to the sky.

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Tree with cement shoes is dying

But the saddest of all were trees that had been given cement shoes, perhaps in an effort to avoid lawsuits from people who might trip over exposed roots. We found a New Zealand Christmas tree opposite La Sirena Grill on Mermaid Street that was clearly more than just a little homesick.

“That suffering tree is called Pohutukawa in the Maori language,” Chris told us. “There are examples doing a lot better on Ocean Ave outside Anastasia Café. Its common name derives from the brilliant display of pincushion-like red flowers at Christmas time in the Southern Hemisphere. It probably has suffered most by having concrete around its roots. Tree roots need to breathe.”

I think I heard a whimper from a young sapling – “help me!” or maybe it was only the wind sighing through its few green leaves.

Okay, enough of the cute, let’s get real, trees can’t talk. So we need to talk for them. We must, for Laguna’s sake. That’s what these LB Beautification events are all about – giving voice to our natural environment.

LBBC will host another Tree Walkabout event in recognition of National Arbor Day, April 27, from 10 – noon. Bob Borthwick will be leading this more Historically focused Tree Walkabout in the downtown area. The group will learn who and where trees were planted in Laguna Beach’s downtown and learn many other interesting historical facts. 

For more information, visit Laguna Beach Beautification Council at www.lagunabeachbeautificationcouncil.com.

Won’t you be my neighbor? Groups sponsor barbecue where residents can meet local homeless people

“It’s all about making friends with the homeless people of Laguna,” says Don Sciortino of Net-Works, whose idea to hold a friendly barbecue in town will come to fruition on March 30 from noon to 2 p.m. at Heisler Park, corner of Myrtle and Cliff Drive.

“Come and make some new friends in the neighborhood as we share good food, music and time together,” Sciortino says. He’s also the founder of Helping Hands from the Homeless, a program that matches residents who need help with basic tasks, with local homeless people who work for $11 an hour – “gifts” from Net-Works.

Music will be provided by homeless people and professional musicians – and there’ll be good food

The event will also include music by some of the homeless men, as well as by

Zach Churchill, Eric Henderson, and James Clay Garrison.

“Around the table we become friends, family and community,” says Sciortino. 

The “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” event is also sponsored by Stu News, KX 93.5 and Kitchen in the Canyon.

For more information – or if you’d like to help out by bringing food – contact Don Sciortino at 949-328-7230.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Cameron Gillespie, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers and/or columnists.

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