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What Your Hairdresser May See

You can be pretty sure that your hairdresser will notice surgical scars from a face-lift, but it turns out that they're also pretty adept at spotting signs of skin cancer on the scalp, neck and face. When researchers surveyed more than 200 hairstylists and barbers in Houston to see how quick they were able to identify signs of cancer, they found that more than half reported having already alerted their customers about suspicious moles or lesions. The researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health decided to survey the stylists and barbers because 10 percent of melanomas - the most dangerous and potentially deadly type of skin cancer -is found on the scalp, which isn't easy for people to check on their own, and because the researchers didn't think physicians routinely check their patients' scalps for cancer. Hairdressers and barbers, however, see their customers 10 times a year or more and are in a position to look carefully for moles and lesions on the scalp. Those surveyed in Houston expressed interest in learning more about how to detect skin cancers. The study was published in the October 2011, issue of the Archives of Dermatology.


Dr. Weil's Family Influence (Video)

We all have someone in our lives that has a major influence on how we live and make the choices we make. Dr. Andrew Weil was influenced by his aunt while growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Find out what stories he remembers and how that has affected the choices he made by choosing to live a healthy lifestyle.


Scottsdale True Food Kitchen's Anniversary! (Photos)

The third True Food Kitchen, and second in Arizona, opened at the Scottsdale Quarter on Nov. 15th, 2010. In the past year, thousands of people have enjoyed the delicious and nutritious menu True Food Kitchen has to offer. We hope to continue growing and hopefully one day bring healthy and globally inspired cuisine to you! These photos are from the opening one year ago.

Fish Oil for Arthritis

New research from England suggests that fish oil may help slow the progression of osteoarthritis - the "wear and tear" version of arthritis that often is an unwelcome feature of getting older. In fact, based on their study in guinea pigs, the investigators from Britain's University of Bristol say that fish oil may help to prevent arthritis from occurring in the first place. The study team fed omega-3 rich diets to guinea pigs that have a genetic pre-disposition to develop osteoarthritis and found that compared to a control group of animals eating a standard guinea pig diet, the fish oil diet reduced incidence of the disease by 50 percent. Positive effects of the diet included a reduction of the degradation of collagen in cartilage and better retention of the molecules that give cartilage its shock-absorbing properties. Evidence also indicated that omega-3 influences the biochemistry of arthritis and as a result can help prevent osteoarthritis and slow progression where it has already occurred. The study was published in the September 2011, issue of the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

My take? We've known for some time that eating oily fleshed, cold water fish such as salmon or sardines two to three times a week or taking fish oil supplements (two grams daily of a brand that contains both EPA and DHA) helps reduce the inflammation that damages tissues and makes osteoarthritis so painful. Daily fish oil has also been studied for its benefits in those with high cholesterol, diabetes, symptoms of PMS, coronary artery disease, breast cancer, memory loss, depression, insulin resistance and rheumatoid arthritis.


What type of music do you enjoy? (Poll)

A recent Q&A discussed music's powerful abilities: Music to Sooth and Relax? Check out the article and then let us know what music you like!


Bed/Wake Times Affect Kids' Weight

Australian kids seem to stay slim and active if they go to bed early and get up early. Late risers, on the other hand, were 1.5 times more likely to become obese, almost twice as likely to be physically inactive, and 2.9 times more likely to sit in front of a screen - computer or TV - for more hours than the early birds. Researchers at the University of South Australia looked at the hours sleeping, bedtimes and wake times of 2,200 youngsters ages 9 to 16 as well as at their weight and how they spent their time over four days. Earlier research suggests that not getting enough sleep puts kids at risk of becoming overweight or obese, but this study found that all the kids averaged the same number of hours of sleep. The differences in weight and amount of physical activity seen related to the timing of their sleep, and that timing was not dramatic: the night owls stayed up 70 to 90 minutes later than the early birds and woke up 60 to 80 minutes later. The study was published in the Oct. 1 issue of SLEEP.


Smoking and Stroke

New data from Canada suggests that smokers’ risk having strokes or mini-strokes nearly a decade earlier than non-smokers. After they reviewed the records and clinical courses of patients referred to a stroke clinic because they were at high risk after suffering either a stroke or a mini-stroke (called transient ischemic attack or TIA), investigators found that smokers were at risk at a younger age, 58, on average, as opposed to 67 for non-smokers. Habitual smoking hardens and narrows arteries and makes blood stickier, the researchers noted, and added that these changes might explain the association seen between smoking and stroke. What’s more, they concluded that quitting has a big impact on stroke risk: within 18 months to two years of putting out that last smoke, the risk of stroke declines to that of a non-smoker. The researchers looked at stroke risks among 982 patients at an Ottawa stroke prevention clinic: 718 non-smokers and 264 smokers. The findings were presented October 3 at the Canadian Stroke Congress in Ottawa.


Shrines and Serenity in Japan (Photos)

Since my first visit to Japan as a teenager in 1959, I have felt a powerful connection to its culture, aesthetics and people. In the years since, I have been back more times than I can recall. It seems I simply cannot stay away too long. Whenever I travel to this great country, I visit some of the amazing shrines!