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MVP Studio & Spa hosts free health event focused on blood pressure, mental health

LANSING, Ill. (May 13, 2024) – MVP Studio & Spa hosted its second free health event for the Lansing community on May 5, highlighting the importance of mental health, blood pressure, and Body Composition Analysis, otherwise known as Body Mass Index (BMI).

UChicago Medicine blood pressure services

MVP Studio
Sheree Rodgers gives a blood pressure test to guest Joe’El Macklin at a health event at MVP Studio & Spa. (Photo: LaTonya Macklin)

University of Chicago Medical Center was invited to the free health event to discuss the importance of managing blood pressure. UChicago promotes healthy blood pressure by highlighting the importance of the home blood pressure monitor (HBP) while also giving the community free blood pressure check-ups. There are four blood pressure categories: normal, elevated, high blood pressure (hypertension stage 1), high blood pressure (hypertension stage 2), and hypertensive crisis — at this stage it is advised to speak with your doctor.

Sheree Rodgers, a 26-year nurse and manager at UChicago for womb and safe patient handling and mobility, informed the community that situations such as the patient being anxious or moving around prior to taking the test can result in a false high blood pressure diagnosis.

“When patients see white coat nurses that can cause anxiousness,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers also recommends that if you get a false high, get a home blood pressure monitor to routinely check your blood pressure. Doctors recommend watching your diet and working out regularly so your blood pressure can stay at normal levels. Food recommendations for a healthy blood pressure include increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, consuming less sodium in your diet, and increasing water and protein intake. Some daily habits to incorporate into your routine is increasing physical activity, meditation, and breathing exercises.

The UChicago Medicine team and information table at an event at MVP Studio & Spa on May 5. (Photo: Imani Muhammad)

The importance of your Body Composition Analysis (BMI)

Keshaun Harding, CEO and MED Spa Owner of Obsidian Aura joined the free health care event discussing the importance of knowing the ratio between your fat and muscle index. Harding said looking at the scale can be deceiving.

“Clients I’ve had can see that their waist is getting smaller and they’re dropping in size but their weight on the scale isn’t going down. It’s because their muscle mass is increasing,” Harding says.

MVP Studio
Keshaun Harding performs a BMI test on a guest at a health event and MVP Studios & Spa on May 5. (Photo: Latonya Macklin)

Harding said the more someone has in their BMI, the more that patient is at risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension — which is often associated with patients with high blood pressure.

At the event, Harding offered the Lansing community B-12 injection shots. B-12 is a vitamin that increases energy so patients can burn fat. The differences between the injection and the oral vitamin is that the B-12 injection allows 100% of the vitamin to go into the bloodstream. In the oral vitamin, once it’s done digesting, only 10% of the vitamin is released into the bloodstream. Harding suggests that all her patients start off every week taking a B-12 injection. Then patients will transition to taking the shot once a month.

Obsidian Aura is a beauty spa and wellness center located at 15933 S. Harlem in Tinley Park.

Mental health considerations

Shamelah Jones is a pre-licensed esthetician and group counselor, and stressed the importance of mental health while navigating physical health.

“How can the community eat better and look better if the mind is not well?” Jones said.

Jones said mental health is the gateway into how we handle different situations and obtain healthy relationships. One must know how they are feeling and how to express their emotions effectively. Jones advised the community that it is good to have friends or trusted members in your community to speak to. A tip she offered is before allowing someone to vent to you, ask them: are you venting or do you want my honest advise?

Jones also stressed the importance of boundary-setting. If someone is trying to vent to you, and it’s not the best time for you to receive that information, vocalizing that is important.

Another tip to navigate different emotions is coping strategies. especially when it comes to triggers, stress, and bad days. Breathing exercises, engaging in physical activities, journaling, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in hobbies you enjoy can be helpful.

Jones asked the assembled group at the event about unhealthy ways to manage stress. Members in the groups said: smoking, drinking, stress eating. Research shows that too much drinking and smoking is what can cause high blood pressure and other health issues.

Guests gathered to listen to guest speakers Dinene Jenkins & Shamelah Jones. (Photo: Imani Muhammad)

Jones also spoke about the warning signs of someone going through something mentally — such as someone being isolated, not bathing, or not going out as much. The community conversation highlighted the importance of being a good neighbor. If you see your neighbor secluded and not going out as much, leaving some flowers and a note letting them know you’re there for them is supportive, Jones said.

Knowing your heart numbers

Dinene Jenkins, a heart health consultant, presented to the group the importance of managing heart health and knowing your numbers. Jenkins said it’s important to know what’s normal for you when it comes to your blood pressure. That way you know if something is higher or lower than normal for yourself you know when to speak with your doctor.

Hypertension is a measurement of how much work the heart is doing to squeeze and pump blood to the rest of the body.

“It’s abnormal for the heart to have to squeeze to 130mm/hg so blood is released to the rest of the body.” Jenkins said.

She said clients who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and ignored the diagnosis have either passed away or lost different parts of their body because enough blood wasn’t going to those areas.

“When the heart is having to do a lot of work, the body starts to prioritize areas that are more important. That is why clients lose fingers and other limbs.” Jenkins explained.

To regulate blood pressure, Jenkins recommends six to nine servings of fruits and vegetables. No matter what you’re eating, have either a fruit or a vegetable with your meal, she said.

Community takeaways

20-year-old Joe’El Macklin said his main takeaway from the event is that general day-to-day health is important.

“I am definitely going to spread the word and invite some of my friends to the next event.” he said.

Sheree Jones, human resources manger for Burnham school district, she says she found it important to come out and support the event.

“It’s always good to have a health screening,” she said.

The main thing Jones took away from this event is that she needs to eat healthier for better blood pressure results and she wants to incorporate B-12 into her diet for more energy.

Michelle Smith, is a teacher, and said Micki V. is her esthetician. MVP Studio is where she gets her facials done. Smith’s main takeaway from this program is the importance of knowing her numbers and what’s normal for her in terms of blood pressure.

“I feel the speaker was speaking to me.” Smith said.

Calor returns for HIV testing awareness

Calor is a bilingual affiliate of Aids Healthcare Foundation. At the event, Calor offered free AIDS/HIV testing. INSTI is a 60 second HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibody test so testers can know if they’ve been exposed to the disease.

MVP Studio & Spa hopes to host more free health awareness events. The business is located at 3322 Ridge Road.


Imani Muhammad
Imani Muhammad
Imani Muhammad is completing her Masters at Newhouse School of Public Communications. She has been published in both poetry and journalistic settings and is dedicated to bringing truthful and captivating stories to her audience.


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