October 15-21, 2013 - Original Health Articles

Meditate Your Way to a Powerful Mind

The Monks have known it all along. Meditation is the secret behind the Buddha's smile and Buddhist monks can teach us quite a lot about the brain and its magnitude. Research that measured activity in monks' brains while they're meditating has scientifically illustrated what we've known anecdotally: meditating is not just good for the soul; it's good for the brain, too.

The Facts About Fluorescent Bulbs

Chances are you've replaced some or all of the incandescent light bulbs in your home or office with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) mandates the phase out of incandescent bulbs and favors the more efficient CFLs—low-pressure, mercury vapor lamps that produce invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays when hit with an electrical current.

You Snooze, You Won't Lose

Naps aren't just for children. Some adults find that an afternoon nap leaves them feeling refreshed and ready to face the rest of the day with a clear head. Recent studies have also found that napping can also boost brain function and performance. Open Your Eyes to These Napping Guidelines However, not all naps are created equally.

To Shave or Not to Shave: Handling Hair Loss During Chemo

Some drugs used in chemotherapy, such as doxorubicin (Adriamycin), which is almost always used to treat breast cancer, cause complete alopecia, or rapid loss of hair all over the body. Hair loss occurs because the chemotherapy affects all cells in the body—not just the cancer cells.

Boost Your Health With Berries

Berries add variety, color and nutrition to any meal and are a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Typically grown in the spring and summer in the US, berries can be found year-round in many stores, both fresh and frozen. But besides all that, these tiny treats are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals.

What to Say to Someone With Diabetes

Many people with diabetes are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, thanks to the array of treatment options that have become available over the past decade. But it's important to remember that even with the greater flexibility that exists today in controlling symptoms and preventing complications, managing diabetes still requires an ongoing commitment to making smart lifestyle decisions, both now and in the future.

Humor Therapy for Cancer?

While there are few scientific studies, many health professionals advocate laughter and humor to help patients cope with cancer treatment. Even journals, such as the Journal of Clinical Oncology, publish articles about the value of humor. The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor defines therapeutic humor as "any invention that promotes health and wellness by stimulation of a playful discovery, expression or appreciation of the absurdity or incongruity of life's situations.

Genes and Breast Cancer: Are You at Risk?

Are you at risk of breast or ovarian cancer? Five to 10 percent of these cancers are caused by inherited mutations (errors) in two genes: BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer susceptibility genes 1 and 2). They are tumor suppressor genes, which help prevent uncontrolled cell growth.

When Treating Cancer Is Not an Option

Facing an advanced cancer diagnosis is difficult for patients and families. Everyone has different information requirements and their own ways of coping. Discussing End-of-Life Choices National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend that physicians discuss hospice and end-of-life choices for patients who have a prognosis of one year or less, although physicians vary in their comfort level and willingness to discuss these sensitive topics.

A New Hue for You

Choosing a new hair color can be daunting. There are so many things to consider—your age, complexion, facial features, and shape—not to mention your personal taste and style. If you're coloring your hair for the first time, the best thing to remember is to start small: sticking within two shades of your natural color is a safe bet.

8 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat

Itchy, scratchy, or downright sore throat? Relief might be as close as your pantry. Sometimes seeing the doctor is the only safe thing to do, but often times, you can get rid of your sore throat naturally with ingredients in your own home. If your sore throat arrived with other cold symptoms like sneezing, congestion and a runny nose, it's not likely your throat is infected and needs a doctor's care.

Is Homeschooling Right for Your Family?

Approximately 2 million American students get most or all of their primary and secondary education at home. Homeschooling—also known as home-based, parent-led education—is gaining in popularity at a rate of about 2 to 8 percent per year. Instead of attending class at local public or private schools, students make their home and community their classroom with parents as primary teachers.

Sweet Potatoes: The Super Spud You Should Be Eating

Do you have a meat-and-potatoes family? You're far from alone. But if you want ramp up the nutrition in your side dishes, opt for sweet potatoes. This colorful relative of the white potato lends itself to a multitude of dishes while providing a hearty helping of nutrients and vitamins.

The Trouble With Tea

America is a nation of tea drinkers. According to recent estimates, we consume about three billion gallons of the brew annually. Tea, which is made by steeping the air-cured (black) or fresh (green) leaves of the camellia sinensis plant in boiling water, is often touted as a healthy alternative to everything from liquor to soda.

The Latest Advances in Prostheses

Prosthetic arms and legs for amputees have been around for thousands of years. But it's only recently that improving technology has led to prostheses that are not only more natural in look and feel than the wooden limbs of old but can be controlled in exciting new ways as well.

5 Ways to Turn Your Thinking Around

There's someone who talks to you all the time who has the power to change your life. She constantly gives her opinion and comments on everything you do from your job performance and parenting skills to your personal appearance and dreams for the future.

Split (Ends) Happens: How to Keep Hair Healthy

Split ends are basically unavoidable—and people with fine hair are especially prone to them. Unless you're super vigilant about seeing your stylist for regular haircuts (every six weeks or less), never dry or curl your hair without using a protective product first, and committed to avoiding common styling mistakes that weaken and break hair, split ends are bound to crop up in your head.

10 Steps to the Perfect Home Pedicure

Whether you view pedicures as an occasional indulgence or a necessity, going to a salon can cost a pretty penny. The good news: a DIY pedi is easy to, ahem, nail. Here's how. 1. Gather everything you'll need in one place. You'll need: Nail polish remover...

Co-Counseling: A DIY Option for Psychological Help

You've been fighting with your husband, your kids are driving you crazy, and work has been stressful. You don't want to invest in long-term therapy but you wish you had someone objective you could talk to; someone who could support you as you sort out your feelings.

How to Share Your MS Diagnosis

There's no easy way to share a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, vice president of Clinical Care at the National MS Society. She points out that MS can affect everyone differently and most families have their own unique communication and coping styles, which means that you'll need to tailor your conversation to your specific situation.

Got a Bad Back? Try Foundation Training

Back pain is the most commonly cited reason for job-related disability and missing work. Very few people escape the pain. In fact, experts estimate 60 to 80 percent of Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives—most often between the ages of 30 and 50— and according to the National Institutes of Health, Americans spend $50 billion per year addressing this debilitating problem.

5 Fibro-Friendly Benefits of Physical Therapy

If you're under the impression that physical therapy (PT) is just for hip and/or knee replacement patients and injured athletes, think again. A good physical therapist may be able to do more for you than even the strongest pain medication. Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disorder that causes deep body aches and pains, disturbances in sleep patterns, anxiety, depression, mental confusion, and other symptoms.

The Link Between Folic Acid and Autism

If you are a woman of child-bearing age, be sure to ask your doctor about taking folic acid supplements. A new study reported on MSN.com shows that women who take the supplements before conceiving, as well as early in pregnancy, may reduce their risk of having a child with autism.

Spice up Your Asthma Treatment With Ginger

The spicy root ginger has long been known for adding flavor to your favorite foods and calming an ailing stomach. Now researchers at Columbia University in New York City suspect some compounds derived from ginger root can also help address asthma symptoms.

How Effective Is the Flu Shot, Really?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone six months and older get the flu (influenza) vaccination annually, especially those at risk from flu complications: older adults, pregnant women, caretakers of those at risk, and those with certain medical conditions.

Are Vegetables Enough?

Vitamins are organic food substances or nutrients critical for metabolism, growth, and overall health. Our body does not produce vitamins; we must get them from food. A well balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and a healthy lifestyle (physical activity, no smoking, moderate alcohol consumption), should provide all the vitamins we need, and in the right amounts.

How to Care for Your Contact Lenses

It's common sense to wash your hands before you handle your contact lenses or touch your eyes, but that's only the first step toward keeping your lenses safe, and your eyes healthy. Whether you wear soft, gas permeable, or hybrid contact lenses, or use daily or extended-wear contact lenses, "Contact lenses are convenient, comfortable, and safe, as long as you follow established wear and care guidelines," says Michael J.

Eliminating Hair Down There: What's Safe, What's Not?

Women have included vaginal grooming techniques in their beauty routines for centuries, but never more so than now. In fact, hair removal and "landscaping" is a huge industry that includes at-home, salon, medi-spa, and medical treatments. But which options are safe and which ought to be avoided? It's important to say right off the bat that it's not necessary for any health purposes to remove pubic hair.

Could Breathing Training Calm Asthma Symptoms?

Treatments for asthma tend to focus on various medications, especially long-term controllers such as inhaled and oral corticosteroids and quick relievers like short-acting bronchodilators. But some individuals with asthma may find that their symptoms calm down when they engage in breath training.

What Type of Body Fat Is Most Dangerous?

Obesity is a major health crisis. More than one third of adults and almost 1 in 5 children are obese. Abdominal Fat Abdominal, or visceral, fat resides deep within your abdominal cavity, filling the spaces between organs. It is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat, which lies just below your skin.

Navigating Social Invitations When You Have Allergies

Nobody wants to be a stick-in-the-mud, but allergies are serious business and if you have one, it's your job to politely make friends and family aware of your sensitivities. You can still take part in a fun weekend retreat or dinner party—in spite of your allergies—by educating your hostess and taking on some of the burden of accommodating your problem.

Herpes Complications to Watch Out For

Genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease that causes painful sores in your genital and rectal area and can reoccur regularly, doesn't typically result in long-term serious health problems. But in some instances, an outbreak of genital herpes can usher in a severe, long-lasting, and debilitating complication.

Could Supplements Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's?

Could taking your vitamins be the key to preventing Alzheimer's disease? It might if you're also dedicated to other healthy lifestyle habits. Which supplements are linked to better brain health and preventing dementia? The Alzheimer's Association defines Alzheimer's disease as a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.

8 Easy Tips for Organizing Your Medicine Cabinet

When you feel lousy, the last thing you want to do is make a trip to the drug store for over-the-counter relief. Besides, you probably have medication somewhere in your house. If only you remembered where you put it... When common ailments like the flu strike, having a well-organized medicine cabinet can relieve some of the stress of dealing with illnesses and injuries, says Jennifer Ford Berry, an expert organizer, speaker, and author of the Organize Now! series.

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