PAPHR librarian shares CAM resources

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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As many people are trying to turn back to more natural ways of dealing with illnesses, one Prince Albert Parkland Health Region student librarian is giving people resources they need.

Lukas Miller, a student librarian for the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, made a presentation about complimentary and alternate medicine websites at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on Thursday evening.

At a presentation at John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, Lukas Miller, a co-op student librarian with PAPHR, presented those gathered with a list of reliable nutrition and complimentary and alternative medicine websites.

“They are complimentary and alternative medicine websites that are available on the Internet and might be more reliable than what you might find on a quick Google search,” Miller said. “It is stuff that is backed up by scientific medicine or professional research.”

Miller didn’t always want to be a hospital librarian -- his background was in music but he found himself in the health field instead.

“Ever since I started working in Regina, in the Regina/Qu’Appelle Health Region, we had a similar lecture offered there,” Miller said. “I adopted it based on what someone else did there and brought it up here because I liked what it was teaching.”

Miller wanted to share one of his area of interest with others, to help them make informed decisions.

“I am quite passionate about just sharing information and making sure people are looking for the right information,” Miller said. “I believe there might be some truth and evidence behind natural and alternative treatments and I want to make sure people aren't doing things that could be harmful to themselves.”

The websites he presented help people make decisions for themselves, he said.

“They should probably still speak to a doctor but they are there for them and reliable,” Miller said. “Always speak to a doctor before you do anything drastic.”

Making informed decisions is important because there is a lot of information on the Internet that may not be accurate, he said.

“There is a lot of information about complimentary and alternative medicine, there is a lot of conflicting information out there and I think a lot of people realize they don't quite know who to trust or where to go for that information,” Miller said. “Giving people a little push towards something that might have a little more reliability on it is a bonus there.”

He also became interested in complimentary and alternative medicine because it is something that has become more talked about in recent years.

“It is a popular and rising trend, you hear about it in the news all the time,” Miller said. “A lot of my friends are opting to go with herbal remedies or they are enrolling in yoga classes and saying their lives are improved by it and that is wonderful. I just want to make sure people are doing it safely.”

Although there were not many at the presentation, those gathered said they would look at the information Miller gave them.

“It just broadens the information base that is out there,” Lorraine Brokop said. “We do know about medicines, drugs and the available medications that are out there. This just opens up another arena that we know exists.”

She said it is great to have someone passionate about the topic share with others.

“If someone is willing to talk about their passion, I don't think you can go wrong by having an open mind about the direction of medicine,” Brokop said. “If it works, fine, but don't throw out the baby with the bathwater either. I do agree with everything he was saying.”

She said she believes the resources will be very helpful and she intends to search out different topics to learn more about complimentary and alternative medicines.

The websites Miller was suggesting are all backed by scientific and medical research. The websites are:

• Medline Plus (www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus) -- this website is a resource created by the American government. It has lots of information about drugs and supplements.

• NCCAM (nccam.nih.gov) -- this website is also a resource created by the American government. Unlike Medline Plus, all the information is around complimentary and alternative medicines.

• EaTracker (www.eatracker.ca) -- this is a Canadian government website, created to keep track of nutrition and calories in food. It can also track activity, analyze recipes and be a meal planner.

• Eat Wise (www.eatwise.ca) -- this is also a Canadian government website. It lets you look up common foods and their nutrition information.

Organizations: John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, Google

Geographic location: Regina

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