Health fair teaches the knowledge of life

In order to live a long and comfortable life, it's important that you are in good health. Today many college students have to deal with the increased cost of tuition, which in turn makes it difficult for students to find affordable healthcare.

On March 29, with a slight breeze in the air, the sun high in the sky, the second annual Santa Monica College health fair was held. Next to the SMC Clocktower an abundance of tables were set up.

At these tables various representatives from medical and health centers from around Southern California were here to provide information on low-cost health care for college students, sexually transmitted diseases and other information to promote good health.

Representatives from the County of Los Angeles STD program were there at a table with graphic images. Students could also get free condoms and information on safe sex from the representatives.

The Health Center at SMC was very happy with the result of the fair. Gloria Lopez, resident nurse at the Health Center, saw that the students showed a lot of interest at each table.

Lopez saw the most activity at the two tables with doctors and interns from the chiropractic clinics and L.A.'s own health program tables.

"The biggest (table) I think was the county of Los Angeles STD program because they give a lot of information about STDs and we're doing STD testing at the same time in the health office," said Lopez.

The members of UCLA Falun Dafa group too were here to give a demonstration of Falun Dafa. Falun Dafa is an ancient form of the Chinese exercise called Qigong.

It is composed of five exercises, which take 90 minutes to complete. Due to time constraints, the demonstration was only 30 minutes long. Like Tai-Chi, Qigong uses graceful movements and meditation to refine the body.

"I had lower back pain, chronic sore throats and skin problems, and they all went away in about three to six months from starting Qigong and since then I have had no problem with my energy level," said UCLA Falun Dafa member Gina Sanchez.

Also, a recruiter from Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches was at the fair to sign-up students who were interested in becoming bone marrow donors. They were also there to shatter rumors that have kept many away from donating.

"It can be difficult because there is a lack of understanding concerning marrow donations, so that's what were working towards to improve, the education about marrow donations," said representative Michiko Kanenobu. "A lot of times people think that marrow is drawn from the spine which is not true and that they are going to become paralyzed since the marrow is drawn from the spine."

To sign up for the national bone marrow donor bank is a rather simple task. Students read a pamphlet and place checks next to answers of questions that apply to them.

Once the questions were answered then a small amount of blood was collected, which will be sent off to the bone marrow donor bank.

Other than that the Health Fair is an annual event held at the college with different representatives visiting each year demonstrating, educating and passing out information.