Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Three Tips for Novice Skydivers

Mickel Malek, a dental surgeon at iSmileSpa in Santa Cruz, California, is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys camping, fishing, and horseback riding when not devoting himself to his work. Something for only the most dedicated adventure seekers, Mickel Malek also enjoys skydiving. Here are three important tips to keep in mind before taking the first plunge. 

1. Calm down before the jump. This might be easier said than done, but educating oneself with some skydiving videos and articles beforehand can help put things in perspective. Doing some stretches before jumping, especially ones for the neck, will also help relax the body. 

2. Become the banana. When jumping tandem, the body should be banana-shaped, with the head tilted back slightly and eyes on the horizon. The back should stay arched, with legs bent and soles aimed at the sky, with the arms out like a bird. 

3. Dress properly and come prepared. While it might seem like jumping out of a plane so high up would be freezing, adrenaline has a way of warming a person up. Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing, and don't forget to bring a bit of cash to tip the instructor!

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Bends and How to Avoid Them

Dr. Mickel Malek serves as a dentist at iSmile in Santa Cruz, California. Dr. Mickel Malek balances his professional responsibilities with an active personal life, which includes hobbies such as skydiving and scuba diving.

Although scuba diving can be a fascinating, rewarding hobby, it is not without some inherent dangers. One such danger is a condition called “the bends,” clinically known as decompression sickness. 

When a diver is deep underwater, heightened pressure causes inhaled nitrogen to become liquid. If the pressure around a diver decreases too quickly, this causes a buildup of nitrogen bubbles in the blood or tissue. Depending on where these bubbles collect, the resultant decompression sickness can cause symptoms ranging from dizziness and confusion to body pain and weakness in the limbs.

To avoid decompression sickness and its effects, the diver must first take care not to stay at his or her final depth longer than recommended. Surfacing must be gradual enough for the body to eliminate collected nitrogen safely. In some cases, the diver may also need to make regular decompression stops.

Divers should also take preliminary precautions and avoid drinking alcohol or exercising immediately before a dive. Exercise that occurs 12 hours or more before a dive, however, may be a preventive measure, and those that work out regularly are at a naturally lower risk. Hydrating may further reduce an individual’s risk, as it makes a higher quantity of blood available to process and eliminate nitrogen.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tips for the First-Time Skydiver

Dr. Mickel Malek, a dental surgeon with iSmile Spa, balances his professional responsibilities with a love of the outdoors. An avid horseback rider, angler, and camper, Dr. Mickel Malek also enjoys skydiving.

A skydiver's first jump is often tandem, which means the new skydiver goes through the entire dive attached to an instructor or experienced skydiver. The new skydiver wears a harness that connects to the instructor, who is thoroughly trained in the skills to guide a dive. The instructor wears both a parachute and a drogue chute, which slows descent to a speed at which the parachute is safe to operate. 

The jump itself typically takes place at 10,000 feet, with the new skydiver and instructor falling together at 120 miles per hour. This falling stage lasts approximately 45 to 60 seconds and feels more like flying than falling because of the wind pushing up against the descending bodies.

Most new skydivers feel a falling sensation only after the instructor deploys the parachute. This part of the ride is often the most enjoyable because the parachute has opened, the wind quiets down, and the new skydiver can relax. Just before reaching the ground, new skydivers must pull their knees up to the chest and keep them up until the instructor has made ground contact.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Boys and Girls Clubs of America Holds 50th Annual Keystone Conference

With training in periodontics, orthodontics, implantology, and oral surgery, Dr. Mickel Malek owns and runs I Smile Spa, a holistic dental practice in Santa Cruz, California. Beyond his professional activities, Dr. Mickel Malek supports several nonprofit groups, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).

The BGCA recently wrapped up its 50th annual National Keystone Conference, which was held March 2-4, 2017, in Chicago. First launched in 1967, the National Keystone Conference is part of the BGCA’s Keystone Program, which gives youth from age 14 to 18 the opportunity to take part in community-service and teen-outreach events as well as academic-success and career-preparedness activities. 

The 50th annual Keystone Conference, which was presented with the help and support of Aaron’s, Inc., kicked off with a renovation of the Miguel A. Barreto Union League Boys and Girls Club in Chicago. The three-day event continued with an education program focused on the theme “Activate Your Legacy.”

The more than 2,500 teen leaders who attended the event had the opportunity to socialize with peers from around the country while learning how to better support their local Boys and Girls Clubs and communities. Attendees also heard from several prominent speakers, including Grammy- and Oscar-Award-winner Common, who discussed community policing and highlighted ways in which teens could help improve relationships between youth and law enforcement.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ADA Supports New EPA Rules on Amalgam Disposal

A dental surgeon with I Smile Spa, Dr. Mickel Malek serves patients by providing them with advanced restorative dentistry services in Northern California. In conjunction with his day-to-day practice, Dr. Mickel Malek is a member of the American Dental Association.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recently voiced its support of new regulations put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the safe handling and disposal of dental amalgam. The EPA released the new regulatory guideline last December, which calls for dental practices to capture dental amalgam waste through a piece of equipment designed to separate it from other waste products. 

Dental amalgam is a filling material that is made up of several different types of metal, including copper, mercury, tin, and sometimes silver. The mercury content of amalgam accounts for less than 1 percent of the total mercury introduced into the world’s ecosystems, but the ADA and the EPA have said they still feel a responsibility to make sure these metals are handled and disposed of in a manner that’s safe for the environment.

The ADA also praised the rule because it provides a uniform guideline for dentists across the nation, rather than the sometimes confusing framework of rules that can differ between different state and local governments.