West Park Wellness: Feeling stressed? You are not alone

By Jerry Masek

Clevelanders are being fed a daily diet of divisive politics, pandemics, racism, violence, and the stock market is currently an economic roller coaster. 

Is it any wonder that we have just been named “the most stressed city” in the nation? Great. That’s another thing we can stress about. 

Stress is now part of the ‘Big Three of medical issues. Your doctor will tell you this: To stay healthy, be smoke-free, maintain a healthy body weight, and reduce your stress.

Stress: bad news and good news

The bad news: too much stress can kill you. 

The good news: there are many things you can do to reduce your stress, and West Park is rich in resources. People often say things like, “Bob stresses me,” and that’s not correct. What you mean to say, “I allow myself to become stressed by what Bob does.” Yes, you can control your stress, more than you realize. Here are your stress-busters.

What you can do right now

  1. Select stations that tell the news without hype. Public TV and NPR keep you informed, and are better for your health.
  2. Laughter IS the best medicine. At least once a day, tune in to the Comedy Channel or share a good joke.
  3. Take a hike, Mike. The Metroparks are open 24/7.

Listen to Michelle Star talk about yoga.

Michelle Star of West Park has practiced and taught yoga for 50 years. She has experienced stress but does not dwell on it.

“When you are stressed, you focus your attention outward, on your panic and anxiety. You may not even be aware of your own inner peace and strength,” she says.   

“Take your focus away from news of the day and turn it inward. After 50 years, I know it works.”   

You can search for online videos for “Michelle Star yoga.” She also offers private classes. Send your questions to MichelleStarYoga@gmail.com

Breathe in…hold it….exhale…and relax.


One of West Park’s greatest assets has gone 100 percent on-line, to protect the health of nuns who reside there. All offerings are listed on their web site — yoga, massage, reiki and much more. Call (216) 688-1111 or send questions to info@riversedgecleveland.com.

Looking for a workout?

Gunning Recreation Center, 16700 Puritas Ave., has reopened, with an indoor track and weight room. Call ahead to make a reservation — they have to monitor how many people are inside the building. Be sure to wear a mask…

The YMCA has also re-opened at 15501 Lorain Ave. For info, check their web site or call (216) 941-5410. Again, wear a mask.


Practitioners include four Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) and a certified hypnotist. All sessions are by appointment and all state guidelines are followed. For a massage appointment, call (216) 671-6080.

For a hypnosis session — in-person or via Skype — call (216) 210-5504.

*Jerry Masek, a certified hypnotist in West Park, is active in local holistic groups. If you have a topic for a future column, send it to westparktimes@gmail.com.

Note: This column is in no way intended to replace or contradict advice given by a professional physician or doctor.

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