The phrase “fly the friendly skies” just took on a whole new meaning as many of the flight attendants working with American Airlines might also be feeling a bit healthier and happier as well. That’s because of the wonderful work of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences (SCNM) alumnus, Doctor Ben Zorensky. Dr. Zorensky recently partnered with American Airlines in Phoenix, Arizona, to hold a health and safety fair for the employees of the airline. This fair was held in the common area reserved for American Airline’s flight attendants at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport.
This health fair is a unique opportunity to put into effect what is becoming a more common practice in businesses across the country. Employers are realizing that it makes more sense to take action early and provide preventative measures to employees so that they do not miss workdays due to illness. Five years ago, a study of the American workplace showed that businesses spend over $500 billion annually because of illness leading to lost workdays. That is why it makes more sense to focus on keeping employees healthy.
With all of the travel that flight attendants do, health problems are quite common. Breathing in recirculated air during long flights with sick passengers is probably the biggest problem, but they also have to deal with unhealthy airport food that is not good for nutrition. In addition, flight attendants have to sit for prolonged periods, something that is not good at all for circulation, and when they do stand it is often in binding footwear that plays havoc with their posture and spinal alignment. That’s why Dr. Zorensky was such a big part of this recent health fair. One of the topics that he presented was the naturopathic concept of food as medicine, focusing on those foods with healing and restorative abilities. He also discussed “spatial medicine,” the idea that how we hold ourselves in space and time impacts our health, and how making sure that we position ourselves correctly can improve our range of motion to prevent back muscles from becoming misaligned.
Dr. Zorensky’s goal with the fair was to help provide the flight attendants with information that could help them to stay healthy while working. He also demonstrated exercises and practices that would help with range of motion, exercises that the flight attendants could practice on the road. His ultimate goal, however, was to spread more information about the restorative powers of naturopathic medicine and how it can help anyone who needs it.