Friday, November 5, 2010


How does it feel when you take a deep breath in…does it remind you of sucking a thick shake through a straw…is it a little hard and seems to take out some of the enjoyment. It could be that you are among the estimated 12 million people who have what is known as COPD (Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease). Along with that large number there could be just as many who have it and are unaware they do. Two common names you may be more familiar with are emphysema or chronic bronchitis. COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and is often a very debilitating disease.
Diagnosis COPD is the first step towards you learning what treatments will be best for you so that you will be able to have more quality of life and breathe easier. To help individuals who have COPD and those at risk (smokers or former smokers, those with environmental exposure, or those with genetic factors) the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has developed a national campaign called COPD Learn More Breathe Better. During the month of November (COPD Awareness Month) why not take a look at their website and share it with others. Also visit the COPD Foundation Blog to become actively involved in the battle against COPD.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Do you know the following facts about your liver...if you are like many the liver is not an organ we often think about but it is a very important one and we should be more aware of how to protect it. The following facts are from the American Liver Foundation site where you can learn more.

The liver is one of the body’s largest organs, performing hundreds of functions every day. It removes harmful substances from the blood, makes bile to help digest fat, and stores energy.

30 million Americans - one in every 10 - are or have been affected by a liver, biliary, or gallbladder disease.

Liver disease and cirrhosis are the 7th leading cause of death among adults between the ages of 25 and 64 in the U.S.

Many forms of liver disease are preventable, and many more, if detected early, can be treated effectively.

About 15,000 children are hospitalized every year with pediatric liver diseases or disorders.

There are more than 100 types of liver disease, but hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common.

There are vaccines that can protect you against hepatitis A and B, but not hepatitis C.

Chronic hepatitis C and alcoholic liver disease are the leading causes of cirrhosis in the U.S.

About one-third of the U.S. population becomes infected with hepatitis A during their lifetime, though most recover in a few weeks.

More than four million Americans have been infected with hepatitis C; it is responsible for 8,000-10,000 deaths annually.

1.4 million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis B; it is responsible for 5,000 deaths annually.

Hepatitis B and C significantly increase the risk of liver cancer, one of the only cancers currently on the rise in the U.S.

Hepatitis C is the number one reason for liver transplantation in this country.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH), an obesity-related chronic liver disease, may affect as many as one in every four adults over the age of 18.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Oral health is part of total health. Poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease has been shown to be associated with premature births and lower birth weights in babies whose mother have periodontal disease, increase in heart disease and a complication associated with diabetes. Proper oral examinations also help detect early signs of oral cancer.
October is National Dental Hygeine Month so take out some time to learn more how you can improve yours and your family's oral health. Visit American Dental Hygienist Association website.

Monday, October 18, 2010


This is not going to be the usual shout out about why you should leave, why the toxic relationship that you are in is no good for have heard it before and I couldn't tell you anything new even if I tried to. What I hope to share is a way to help you walk through it until you are ready to walk out.
I have come to realize, as I reflect back on my life as a person who has been a partner in emotionally abusive relationships, leaving is a process. There are many considerations that an individual must look at and decide for themselves what will be the best way for it to end for them. NO ONE CAN WALK THE PATH YOU WALK. Am I saying you should stay...HELL NO...especially if you have children that are part of the chaos...but the steps are yours. I will say right here if you or your children are in imminent danger, there are firearms in the home, you have reached the point of being homicidal or the abuse has resulted in you or your children suffering serious physical harm..I SAY RUN... NOT WALK...NOW and work through the process somewhere other than where you are..somewhere safe. (more)

Sunday, October 17, 2010


October has arrived and in the Northeast there has been a chill in the air and much anticipation of the beautiful fall foliage that I often refer to as God's Finger-painting...but there is a more serious side of is the month for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Despite years of pins, ribbons, hat and other awareness items, according to the CDC breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among Hispanic women and second in African American, White, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
An Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young (women under 40) has been established that will assist the CDC in developing approaches to advance the awareness of breast cancer among young women through prevention research, public and professional education and awareness activities.
Today, still the best way to first notice an abnormality of your breast is through self-examination and knowing what changes to look for. You can download the pamphlet Understanding Breast Changes: A Guide for Women. Recently there has been controversy over when women should begin to have mammograms, which is the best test to detect breast cancer. I recommend women speaking with their health care practitioner to determine their individual risk and what he/she advises. A recent frightening CDC statistic is that more than 7 million women have not had a recent screenings and that one of five women between the ages of 50-74 has never had a mammogram. For women in that age group they should at least have one every two years or whatever their history and practitioner deems appropriate.
There are lifestyle changes that lower your risk for developing breast cancer which are regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and minimize your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day.
It is important to note that men can also develop breast cancer and should also be aware of the need to also examine their chest, pectoral muscle area, nipples, and underarms. If there is any discharge from the nipple he should bring this to the attention of his practitioner for further examination. Also men want to observe for any visual changes like discoloration, puckers, or patches.
There is no reason for women not to have mammograms. If cost is a concern The National Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Programs offers free or low-cost mammograms. To find a program local to your area visit NBCCEDP
So as God blesses you with His “finger painting” masterpiece of the season...hit the email button and be a blessing...share with a friend and use the Health Care E-Card to send mammogram reminders.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome claims the lives of about 2,500 infants annually and remains despite research unpredictable. It is the leading cause of death for infants between the ages of 1 month to 1 year with the most cases occurring in infants 1 – 6 months of age.
There is no specific warning sign but there does appear to be a combination of risk factors associated with SIDS. The incidence of SIDS is higher during the cold weather months. Most SIDS death occurs in infants between 2 months to 4 months of age and more in boys than girls. The incidence of SIDS is three times higher in babies of Native American decent and two times higher in babies of African American decent.
Other risk factors include
*The use of tobacco products, alcohol and/or drugs during pregnancy
*The lack of early and continued prenatal care which often leads to premature births
or babies born with low birth weights
*Females giving birth before the age of 20
*Second hand smoke
*Placing baby on their stomach to sleep

There are steps that can be taken to lower a baby’s chance of SIDS
*Always place the baby on a safety approved crib mattress that is covered with a fitted sheet
*The crib should contain no soft objects, pillow bumpers, loose bedding or toys
*Breast feed your baby if possible
*Place the baby’s crib in the parents room when possible, if there is not room, do not place baby in bed with
*Avoid having the baby around individuals with a respiratory infection
*Offer the baby a pacifier at night
*Be sure the same information is given to any person that will care for the baby in your absence

The lost and grief associated with SIDS affects not only the parents, siblings, grandparent but also many others individuals that cared for and loved the child. It is important that these individuals take advantage of grief counseling services when needed and not feel that they have to face their grief alone. Don’t try to put on a good face or feel you need to be strong for others but allow yourself time to grieve and reach out to others who have experienced the same lost. Visit SIDS Families for support.
Research continues to determine more facts to help the number of deaths to SIDS continue to decline…but everyone who cares for infants must do their part to keep babies safe during sleep.

Get the pamphlet for Safe Sleep For Babies

Thursday, October 7, 2010


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So much attention is focused on breast cancer in women but I want to remind the men and the women who love them that men do get breast cancer. Men have a small amount of non-functioning breast tissue which the growth is normally hated by the male hormone testosterone. There are certain conditions where men will have larger breast due to elevations in the female hormone estrogen. Also obesity has been associated with elevated levels of estrogen in men.
Breast cancer in men is rare, accounting for about 1% of all breast cancer, meaning there will be an estimated 1, 970 new case diagnosed in men and of those diagnosed 390 will die as a result. Just as with women, there are certain environmental and genetic factors that play a part in men developing breast cancer. A male that finds a firm, non-painful mass located below the nipple or any skins changes in the nipple are itself should see their practitioner. There are several ways a diagnosis can be made – a needle biopsy, removal of a portion of or the entire mass or if there is discharge of fluid from the nipple a smear can be made and examined. Just as with women, the treatment required will depend on the staging of the cancer and the condition of the patient. The need for awareness and treatment is the same as for cancer of the breast in women. To learn more about breast cancer in men visit Breast Cancer in Men Detailed Guide

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Not All Wounds Are Physical
National Depression Screening Day is October 7th
Not all wounds are physical. Depression, PTSD and related mood disorders can not be seen on an x-ray. Yet mental illness is just as painful. And the stigma associated with the disease often prevents many from seeking help and getting treated. National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) gives people access to an anonymous validated, screening questionnaire and provides referral information for treatment. Visit Help Yourself Help Others to find a local organization offering depression and anxiety screenings or take a screening online today.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Cough That Won't Go Away

We are at the end of September and I couldn't neglect Infant Mortality Awareness. There are many causes of infant mortality but there are also many ways to help prevent it...learn about some programs and what you might be able to do at National Healthy Start
One such cause is pertussis, better known as whooping cough. Many people don't consider whooping cough (pertussis) as a hazard because babies are generally immunized for it along with their other well baby shots, but unfortunately there has been a dramatic rise in the number of cases of pertussis in teens 10-19 years of age and babies less than five months of age.
How this is related to infant mortality is that often old children and especially adults, will have a milder case of the infection, often with a cough without the classic whooping sound. When they come into contact with an infant or younger child who is not fully protected the infection, which is highly contagious, can spread and for them be very serious and could lead to death.
There have been cases of adults having what originally they thought was a common cold but their persistent cough would not go away, sometimes lasting for months, thus termed the “100-day cough”. They have gone through series of test and their medical practitioners have been unable to pinpoint the reason. It turns out that the cause of the cough was pertussis. It is these individuals, undiagnosed and untreated, that pose a great risk to infants.
Because of this rise in adult cases, to help protect infants and younger children the CDC is recommending that every adult 19-64 receive a dose of the pertussis vaccine. Pertussis vaccine is given in combination with tetanus and diphtheria (Tdap) which should replace one of the Td (tetanus/diphtheria) 10 year boosters. Postpartum women should speak with their physicians about the recommendations to help protect their newborns.
Once fully immunized, the Tdap vaccine provides up to 85% protection against pertussis. So if during this upcoming season you have a cough that just won't go away, speak to your doctor about pertussis.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's One Day At A Time

September is the month to recognize and celebrate those walking the pathway of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Growing up in a home of a parent with alcohol addiction and a sibling with drug addiction, I know very well the struggles those in recovery face day by day...but that is what recovery is all about "one day at a time". So I just want to acknowledge and applaud all those who today are clean and sober and pray that each and every day that your Higher Power will grant you the serenity, courage, and wisdom required to make it one more day.
For resources or to learn more visit National Drug & Recovery

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Your Numbers....Know Them and What They Mean

September is also the month to focus on knowing and understanding your numbers...that is those numbers that are involved with your Cholesterol. You have probably hear people talk about "good and bad" cholesterol as well as the total cholesterol and triglycerides. All these numbers are important to know for you to strive for a healthier lifestyle. View the video and then read more about the numbers at What you Need to Know

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ovarian Cancer is among the deadliest of cancers that affect women. Approximately 21,880 women are diagnosed annually and in 2010 it is projected that 13,850 women in the US will lose their lives as a result. The reason for this high number of deaths from ovarian cancer is that many women either do not seek out medical help until it is in its late stage or it is can be misdiagnosed. If detected early the five year survival rate is more than 93%. Key for women is that they know the four classic symptoms that have been associated with ovarian cancer. These symptoms can be signs of other less life threatening health problems, which are bloating, pelvic/abdominal pain, difficulty in eating or feeling full faster than previous and urinary urgency, but they should not be avoided if they are persistent (more than 2-3 weeks). Other symptoms are nausea, gas, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, and backaches.
There are several diagnostic test to help evaluate your symptoms. An abdominal examination by your practitioner to check for discomfort, tenderness or abnormal fluid along with a pelvic examination is one of the first steps. Your practitioner can order a blood test called a CA-125, which if the level is high may also indicate ovarian cancer or other conditions. There are additional test that can be requested as well. Two other test an ultrasound and biopsy will also help in making a clear diagnosis for your symptoms.
There are several risk factors however you do not have to have any of these as it any woman of any race or age can have ovarian cancer. The risk factors are a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, a personal history of cancer, woman 55 or older, woman who have never been pregnant and women on hormone replacement therapy.
Woman can get genetic testing to see if you are at learn more visit the National Cancer Institute for more information. Most important...listen to your body and do not ignore symptoms that persist.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

100 years - Sickle Cell Awareness

September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness month and this year marks the 100th year anniversary. In 1910 the first research paper on sickle cell disease in Western medical literature was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Dr. James B. Herrick. In this paper he described the irregular shape of a patients red blood cell which is “the hallmark of the disease”.
While much has been done over these 100 years to improve the quality of life for those with sickle cell disease much more needs to be done since there is no “cure” for the disease. Better treatments are needed to help those living with the disease and the chronic anemia and pain associated with it.
Learn more about sickle cell disease and what you can do by visiting the website of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Eating an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables help you attain/maintain better health. Daily requirements are age determined. Eating fruits and vegetables can protect you from a variety of health challenges such as heart diseases, Type 2 Diabetes and some forms of cancer. Check out 13 Ways to Eat Moew Fruits & Vegetables...September is Fruit & Veggies Awareness Month.
Learning alternative ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meals will have you eating more than you imagined.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coming together - The Mind & Body

Yoga is a combination of exercise and meditation rooted in Hindu religious practices. Yoga has been practiced in Eastern cultures for about 5,000 years and is becoming increasingly popular in Western society. Yoga means "to bring together or merge" — joining the mind and body into a single harmonious unit. The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness, and harmony. There are more than one hundred different schools of yoga with most sessions typically comprised of breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures poses that stretch and flex various muscle groups.
Relaxation techniques, such as those praticed in yoga can help in many areas some:
•lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis,headaches, and carpal
tunnel syndrome
•lower blood pressure, slows down the heart and breathing rates
•aid with sleeping problems (insomnia)

Some of the benefits of yoga are:
•higher levels of energy
•decreased levels of stress and anxiety
•increased feelings of general well-being

Because there are many kinds of yoga practices, people with movement restrictions or other physical challenges can find one that can meet their needs and abilities. If you are under the care of physicial for any health challenge you should consult them before your first yoga session.
There are lots of yoga classes being offer around the country. To find a class that will be suited to your needs try locating one at Yoga Class Search
Local to the DMV area check out Spiritual Essence Yoga & Wellness Studio. Dana is gifted in the art. In addition to yoga you can enjoy Belly Dancing & Reiki at the studio.
Don’t let the excuse of no time, too cold, too hot, etc be the reason you can’t fit yoga it in your daily routine. My Yoga Online provides a selection of classes you view and participate in via computer.
September is National Yoga Awareness Month so take time out to explore.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Awareness is Key - Prostate Cancer

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and there are many locations that offer FREE screening for those who are not insured or are underinsured. Other than some forms of skin cancer, in the US, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer for men. Following lung cancer, prostate cancer is the seconding leading cause of cancer deaths and the seventh leading cause of death overall for men in this country. Prostate cancer is diagnosed every two minutes and fifteen seconds, and more than 217,730 new cases are expected in 2010. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in America among men.

There are several factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer.

• As men age there risk for prostate cancer increases.
• A family history of a father, brother, or son who has had
prostate cancer increases a mans risk two to three times of
developing prostate cancer.
• Prostate cancer is more common in African American men
and less common among Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander,
and Native American men.

There are several easy screening for prostate cancer.

The most common screening screening for prostate cancer is a blood test known as the PSA (prostate specific antigen). The test measures the enzyme produced only by the prostate to see if it is within normal limits. This test is monitored yearly to see if there are any changes to previous levels.

The other test is known as the DRE (digital rectal exam). The doctor is able to reach the back portion of the prostate (the area where most cancers of the prostate begin) by inserting a finger through the mans rectum, to feel for size and irregularities.
Check out this site:
Zero - The Project to End Porstate Cancer
The National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) partners with the Drive Against Prostate Cancer, LLC, to provide mobile screening program for prostate cancer. Check out the schedule on the website..screening is offered not only during the month of September.

Remember...prevention helps to maintain wellness

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Septembers Awareness and Resources

September Health Awareness recognitions are many. To name a few Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, National Infant Mortality Awareness, Ovarian Cancer Awareness , and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. To get more information on the health observances for the month of September visit the National Health Information Center. Along with a great source of education about public health risk, the site will help you to organize events and campaigns and gain new ideas and information.

Be sure to visit back for articles throughout the month dealing with specific topics.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just how do you wash?

Proper handwashing is the best defense for prevention of the spreading of disease and illness. The use of soap and water is always the best thing but when it is not available a hand sanitizer, not anti-bacterial soap, can be used. Follow these steps in this CDC video to learn how and when to wash.

CDC Video Player.  Flash Player 9 is required.
CDC Video Player.
Flash Player 9 is required.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Newbie in the Room

You've finally arrived...your first taste of freedom...your dorm room at college. Along with all those things you have been looking forward to at college can comes a few undesirables you need to be on guard for. Living in the close quarters of dormitory life can be like living in a petri dish...germs can harbor, grow and spread rather easily. One serious and potentially fatal bacterial infection, like the flu, that is spread via salavia is bacterial meningitis. There is a vaccination for meningitis and also you can help protect yourself by frequently washing your hands (being someone who swears by the benefits of essential oils, I use a product called On Guard ), not sharing drinks, beer or sodas and avoid close contact with someone who is know to be not feeling well (especially if they are complaining of a severe headache, stiffness of their neck and/or fever). Good nutrition and rest also helps to keep your immune system strong.
Talking about being knock out for the count, mono (commonly referred to as the “kissing disease” can have you laid up from anywhere between four to six weeks. Unfortunately once you have mono you will need lots of rest which could cause a delay in a whole semester, so it is best to try to avoid this one. Again you can help protect yourself by avoiding sharing beverages and close intimate contact with someone who is not feeling well.
Protect those feet as much as you can, dorm showers and floors are a common place to pick up athletes feet, which is a fungal infection. One way to help prevent this is to wear flip flops in the shower and avoid walking around bear feet. . Be sure to dry your feet well, getting in between your toes. You might want to also powder your feet when you wear closed in shoes to help them remain dry during the day. As a precaution when I was using a communal shower I would always use a little Melaleuca “tea tree” oil in the shower when I washed my feet and put a few drops inside the lotion that I put on my feet at night. You want to try to stay on top of this one because once the infection gets to the nail it can be a lot more difficult to get rid of it.
Check back in a few days for a demo on proper hand washing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who Will You Answer To???

When you desire to make significant lifestyle changes in your life one of the first things to do is to set some short and long term goals. Your goals should always be realistic/attainable (for example it is not realistic to say you have a goal of losing 15 pounds in a week...that is in a healthy way). One of the problems with goals is that many people find it hard to stay on track consistently. A great way to avoid straying is to have an accountability partner. Some people hire Personal Trainers or a Life Coach to help keep them focused but you can also find an accountability partner at no monetary cost.
If you have a friend or networking associate that is goal minded and serious about personal growth, they would make a good choice to form an accountability partnership with.
The first thing to do is to set a time frame (3 months is a good starting point) for the partnership, which can be re-evaluated at the end of this time. Establish a schedule for connecting on a regular is good to meet at least once a week, where you do your check in of what happened during the last week and what your plans are for the following week. To help keep the partner connected, sometimes it helps for there to be an incentive for them (for example you have set a goal to exercise 3 times a can say that if you fail to stay on track during the week you will owe them a car wash or a gift certificate for a manicure). You will find this will keep them better connected and you more committed to your goals.
Having another person involved in your effort for change is crucial. It will make a big difference in not only your life but also in theirs. Now start setting some end of the year goals...don't wait until the New Year...find your accountability partner and just watch your results soar.
Take the first step and connect with the "Let's Talk Health" bi-monthly teleconference calls.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Writing Your Way Through

It is a fact of life that at some point, all of us will face some sort of health challenge in our lives. Thankfully, for many, it will be short lived. For others, recovery can be a longer and difficult journey. Feelings of being lost and despair can creep in. A healthy way to deal to with those feelings is through journaling.

Scientific studies have found that journaling can help people to express emotions and by doing so they achieve physical as well as psychological benefits. Journaling prompts you to think about your feelings and help you better be able to cope with your illness. Some people find that writing helps them gain clarity of their thoughts and goals, allowing them to better communicate with others.

Journaling can be the start of self-discovery and for some spiritual development. Journaling is a safe way to express feelings of fear, anger and pain without lashing out directly at someone. It can be a much needed outlet until you reach a space where you feel comfortable confiding in others those very personal moments.

Journaling may feel a little strange at first, but just grab the journal (a great resource for a journal with scripture is DaySpring) pick up the pen and begin. If you want to keep your journal on your computer, there is an excellent website that allows you to set up a journal that you can also share with your friends and family if you

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Conviction vs. Condemnation

Have you stopped and thought about the difference between condemnation (something not of Christ) vs. conviction (something good we all can do when there is a change needed in our lives) - “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1 (NIV)
I think our humanness, amplified by mass media, causes us to think something is wrong with us when we do not conform to “the norm”. Consider the amount of money spent on weight loss and the lengths people go to attain “thin is in”.
Condemnation comes from the enemy where conviction from the Holy Spirit. Condemnation will lead us away from God, whereas conviction will turn us towards Him in faith and trust to guide us. Condemnation causes despair and self-pity and conviction will give hope. When we know we need to do something to maintain our temple we should have conviction, never condemnation. Conviction is that unshakable belief without the need for proof or evidence- “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” - John 14:14 (NIV). It should have nothing to do with how you look or what media says. God has blessed us with life so therefore we have a responsibility to live as healthy a life as possible. Anyhow, I can't remember seeing anything stating what size we should be.
If we can keep our focus on living healthy (physically, spiritually and emotionally) we are doing our part to honor God- “you were brought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” - 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV)

Monday, August 9, 2010


Nothing helps accentuates a classy outfit like a pair of heels...from the two inch to the stilettos, you can make one heck of a fashion statement. But with frequent wearing of high heels comes a potential health risk – joint degeneration and knee osteoarthritis. A recent study conducted by a Masters student of kinesiology has found that prolonged wearing of and/or walking in high heels can cause problems. In addition to the lower joints of the body, they found that wearing heels two inches or higher alters ones posture, changing your joints position which also puts a strain on the lower back.
It is too soon to say with certainty that women who wear heels on a regular basis will develop these problems, but it is something to consider, since it can put you at a higher risk, as a healthier lifestyle change, you curtail how frequently you wear them. Not that they will do much for your fashion statements but a pair of New Balance in your bag can be a good switch from time to time.
By all means if those shoes on your feet have your whole body in pain, (been there/done that...while on travel, I had connecting flights at an airport that seemed like it was ten miles to get to the gate, the pretty shoes on my feet made every step I took almost unbearable, finally something had to give, so my feet won...those shoes got tossed into the can in the airport)...get rid of them!!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010


As an advocate for "taking time out for me"...I think a salon manicure/pedicure is a much deserved pampering treatment we can give ourselves. Back in March, I posted a blog on the danger in salons from the chemical fumes, “Fumes That Harm” but recently there has been talk about another danger “the UV lights used to help dry and add that finishing touch to your treatment. This is one of those subjects that is relatively new but worth keeping up to date on as more studies are done over the next few years. It is suspected that frequent expose to the UV drying lights can over time lead to skin cancer. One recommendation is that if you choose to use the lights that you put sunscreen on your hands/feet before using the lights or the better choice of course would be to go back to air dry with the small fans. Whichever your choice, be sure to do one or the other. Read more “The Claim:Salons UV Nail Lights Can Cause Skin Cancer”

Monday, August 2, 2010

Drop off...pick-up and consultation

Most people consider over-the-counter medications to be "safe" but that can be the far from an accurate deduction. It is wise to always when you are purchasing any medication, be it prescription or over-the-counter to consult with the pharmacy staff to see if there are any interaction with other medications you may be taking, supplements, herbs or foods. My family found this out the hard way when my father began taking ginko (a common herbal product that people takes for memory enhancement) and also was on a blood thinner for a heart condition. We could not figure out for months why he was experiencing nose bleeds which required numerous emergency room visits and eventually the need for a tranfusion. Finally a physician during one of his ER visits asked if he was taking any herbal supplement and bingo...we found that ginko was the cannot mix the two. Had we asked the pharmacist before purchasing the ginko, they would have pulled up my fathers medication profile and seen that interaction. This is just one of the many interaction that can occur between medications, supplements and food...some being very serious and life threatening.
Remember that section at the pharmacy counter that says "consultation" it is there to help keep you and your loved ones it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


During an emergency/natural disaster, how prepared you are can make the ordeal less traumatic. It is good to make a Mobility Kit, in the event you will need to evacuate your home. You will need items for each member of the family and each individual kit should be identified with a tag. A sturdy backpack (even one with wheels) that will be easy to grab and carry make a good choice to store your items in. Remember that when a disaster strikes you may not be at home so it is advisable to have a Mobility Kit at your place of employment as well as your child's school or daycare. You may have to make special arrangements for things to be kept at these locations but it will give you added peace of mind if you and your loved ones are separated at the time if disaster strikes. You can also keep certain extra supplies in your car.
Things you will want to include are - flashlight & batteries, solar and/or battery operated radio (you can try the hand crank ones as well but they require a lot of cranking as I used one during a five day power outage), a whistle, tape, paper, permanent marker, dust mask, hand sanitizer, baby wipes or something similar, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, a hand can opener, pocket knife, flink lighter, non-perishable food, water, study pair of shoes, several change of undergarments, several shirts, long pair of pants, short pair of pants, hat, family/pet pictures, first aid kit, essential prescription medications, and one thing I had never considered before - a small amount of cash (ones, fives, and tens) in case you lose access to banks and ATM's. If you have pets you might be able to take them so have bag for them that will include food/water/portable bowls/small blanket.
Now many of you who know me probably have seen the LIFECompass PHR device that I promote. If you have ever considered something of real value for you or your family you might consider one. All of your medical information can be stored on the device and taken with you. Without you having your own information, this sort of information can be lost during a disaster that would destroy hospital/clinic, etc. that you may have been a patient in. You can read more information on why you should consider owning a LIFECompass PHR at ANOTHER VOICE.
OK...this is my list...can you add an item? What sort of non-perishable foods would you choose?


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Prepare to stay safe

Always around this time of year, I am reminded of the terrible disaster of Hurricane Katrina and other natural events that we have no control over (floods, tornados, power outages, etc.). The one thing we all can do is to become aware of what disasters are likely to occur in the area we live and how to begin to prepare for them. There are several immediate things all people should do as they begin to put a plan into action. The first thing is to contact the American Red Cross or the Emergency Management Office and ask a few questions:
1. What sort of disaster could occur in your area
2. How will residents be warned in the event of an emergency
3. Inquire about the evacuation route in your community (many areas now have posted
4. Ask if there is special assistance available for the elderly or physically
challenged individuals
Because you might not necessarily be at home you also want to check about plans for your child/ren's school or place of day care and your place of employment.

Check back soon for a continuation of more helpful tips on staying safe.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


One of the things I advocate is for women to love themselves...this can include anything from a weekly home spa treatment or your visit to your favorite salon for a manicure/pedicure. But before your next visit to the salon you might want to consider the risk in that bottle of nail polish. Scientific studies have shown that chemicals used in many of the nail polish that do wonders for our appearance can be very harmful to our body. Conventional polish contain what has come to be called “the toxic three” - formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl-pthalate (DBP). To give you a perspective of the dangers of these chemicals I am including information obtained from a report “Glossed Over”

Toluene is a clear colorless liquid that acts as a solvent. It is found in many nail products, as it helps suspend the pigment throughout the liquid and helps form the smooth finish across the nail. Toluene is volatile and evaporates into the air as nail polish dries. Exposure to toluene can affect the central nervous system with low level symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and fatigue. Toluene is also an irritant to the eyes, nose and throat. At very high exposures, toluene has been found to be toxic to the kidneys and liver, and is a possible reproductive or developmental toxin. Toluene can be transmitted through the placenta to a fetus, and can be transmitted through breast milk. The most common route of exposure to toluene for adults is through inhalation, although dermal exposure is also possible.

Formaldehyde is an odiferous chemical commonly used in resins and as a preservative. It is found in some nail products as a nail hardener and to help create a smooth finish. Formaldehyde is an irritant to the eyes, nose and throat, and exposure can lead to coughing and wheezing. Repeated skin exposure can lead to skin irritation and an allergic rash called dermatitis. It is also a known human carcinogen.5 People are exposed to formaldehyde by breathing it in, although it can also be absorbed through the skin.

Dibutyl Phthalate
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is a chemical used in a variety of consumer products as a plasticizers. In personal care products it adds flexibility, a moisturizing sheen and helps dissolve other cosmetic ingredients. It has been commonly found in nail polish. DBP is a possible reproductive or developmental toxin. Phthalate exposure occurs through inhalation, absorption through skin and ingestion in food.

Along with these chemical there is also the harmful effects of other chemical we use in the removal of nail polish (acetone).

Since women are the majority of consumers and workers in the nail industry, it is imperative that we not only are aware of the dangers but take steps to reduce the harmful effects of exposure. With awareness will come change but you can also become your own advocate by buying non-toxic water based polish and remover. It makes no sense in investing in service designed to make you look good only over time to have it possibly contribute to a dis-ease or dis-order. I have read that it takes time and patience to get the swing of the application of the water based polish, so it is best to develop a relationship with your nail technician to ensure they are open to trying the product. Since time is a factor visiting the salon at a low peak time would also be helpful. Currently there are two companies that offer water based products one is a US based company Honeybee Gardens and the Canadian Based company Suncoat

Monday, February 1, 2010


Creating healthy habits is in itself an adventure and can be fun if you develop a good attitude about a life of wellness. Far too often people take dis-eases and dis-orders as something that just happens...but far too often they are a direct result of poor lifestyle choices. Wellness does not just incorporate the physical body...wellness is about balance of the mind, the body and the spirit.
The first rule of thumb...the pathway to wellness must be one you take an active participation in and one that YOU choose. There are some things that will make the journey a much easier one but if you don't decide for yourself you want to be won't work...because IT IS WORK.
The flip side of that is once you step on the path, with the proper support, tips and tools...what began as what seemed like a chore will turn into a welcomed habit.
My e-guide, Pathway to a Healthier Lifestyle, is a tool to get you started along your way.
My monthly teleconference, Let's Talk Health, serves as a support platform for group support. Take your time as you go through the guide and visit the links...some provide additional information.
Need a little more help to get on one weekly support by appointment is also available.
Contact me for more details.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I have always been one to speak on balance when it comes to wellness. A person who is physically fit but has many things that are weighing heavy on their mind to the point of constant worry will find that if not managed properly will have a profound impact on their health.
Another area that many people don't often consider when they think of wellness is the area of spirituality (note...I said spirituality not religion). We all need to have something that helps keep us centered. For me one of the things that helps keep me centered is to strive everyday to have a positive impact on someone else life. This can be something as small as a friendly greeting to a stranger. Have you found that often people look at you strange when you step into an elevator and show a gesture of a friendly greeting? I find that when I take the focus off me and place it on others often when I have my own life challenges they seem a little easier to tackle.
Check out this article on how to achieve spiritual fitness. Make a firm commitment to yourself in this new year to work on achieving balance in mind/body and spirit.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Spirituality and Medicine

In the temples of Ancient Greece dedicated to Asclepius, the God of Healing, there was the integration of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. This approach to medicine could also be found in the Indian, Egyptian and Chinese culture as well as the monasteries and convents of Medieval Europe. With the advances of technology in Medicine, the spiritual and mental aspects of healing were put aside. The human body became one only viewed functionally as a mechanical machine. Scientific research once again began to explore the connection between the mind, body and spirituality. It is being shown more and more how prayer and meditation can indeed contribute to the healing process. It is known that negative thoughts set up a friendly environment to harbor diseases. Meditation actually can change the wiring of the brain, creating a more positive frame of mind.
Dr. Christina Puchalski, MD was the pioneer introducing coursework at George Washington University School of Medicine in 1992 on spirituality and health. At that time it was an elective course only only offered by 2% of schools. By 2004 the number increased to 67%. Now for many of the Medical Schools it is a requirement to take at lease one course related to the topic. The goal for such curriculum is to help the student gain an understanding of how to be compassionate participants in their patient's lives.
Many physicians today respect and some actively participate in the patient's need for prayer, meditation and other forms of spirituality.
For more on this topic the book Spirituality and Medicine: Can the Two Walk Together by Dr. Glenda Hodge, MD can help one gain further insight.