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body. mind. spirit. A Times Union Publication

Are You Obsessed with healthy eating?

November/December 2012

Mother Love Why it matters


• Sweating tips • Smart napping • Hangover cures

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HealthyLife is published eight times per year. If you are interested in receiving home delivery of HealthyLife magazine, please call (518) 454-5768 or email For advertising information, please call (518) 454-5358. HealthyLife is published by Capital Newspapers and Times Union 645 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, NY 12212 518.454.5694 The entire contents of this magazine are copyright 2012 by Capital Newspapers. No portion may be reproduced in any means without written permission of the publisher. Capital Newspapers is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hearst Corporation.





every issue

24 Don’t Sweat It

51 Ask Emma

  8 talk back

Everything you need to know about sweating

28 A Bunch of Brunches

A new cookbook celebrates this popular weekend meal

32 Too Pure

When healthy eating becomes an obsession

34 The Dreaded Hangover

How to deal the next day

40 Short on ZZZs?

Why a nap might help

42 Up in Smoke

Why you should stop now

45 It’s All in Your Head The pros and cons of craniosacral therapy



Handling the holiday blues

52 Mom Loves You!

Why maternal love matters so much

spirit 57 My Word

Obsession sabotage

61 An Aura of Understanding How to create a positive energy field

64 Use It or Lose It

Does make-up have a shelf life?

68 The Thoughts That Count Keeping the sanity in holiday spending

10 on the web 12 editor’s note 14 news & views 18 fit & fab 22 did you know? 38 ask the doc

Heart health information every woman should know

70 cover model Q&A

Up close with Bichi Fasso

Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham, (518) 785-5868. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park, Clifton Park Center, (518) 348-0800. On the cover: poncho by Nine West, pants by Rafaella. Photos taken by Suzanne Kawola at University at Albany.

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52 70


talk back

The story behind the story from our contributors Don’t Sweat It Jayne Keedle  They say men sweat and women glow. Me, I’m just porous! The sweat just pours off me, and my husband, too. The big surprise for me in researching this article was how little research had been done into what makes some people sweat more than others. The second big surprise was that Botox is currently considered one of the most effective treatments for hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. The final surprise was that dermatologists who treat this condition see a fair number of brides-to-be coming in for Botox treatments before their big day. I guess no one wants to sweat on the most expensive dress they’re ever likely to own! See Jayne’s story on page 24.

An Aura of Understanding Merci Miglino  The gift of really attending to someone is rare, precious and the most memorable of all. See Merci’s story on page 61.

join the conversation!

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Mom Loves You!

Use It or Lose It

“It’s kind of up to us to police our own cosmetics bags” Beth Cooney  When I started working on this assignment I assumed makeup had an expiration date. I was surprised to learn in our highly regulated society makeup isn’t required to have a toss date unless it contains sunscreen. Who knew? It’s kind of up to us to police our own cosmetics bags and not cling to things forever. See Beth’s story on page 64.

Valerie Foster  Reporting the article on mommy love, I found some recent research compelling: School-age children with a larger hippocampus in their brains were those nurtured early in life. Unlike other parts of our bodies, we all want a larger hippocampus, since it’s the source of learning and memory and controls our response to stress. I always suspected that how a mother loves her child is crucial to the child’s future success. Now I know it really is the case. See Valerie’s story on page 52.

Up In Smoke

Too Pure

Brianna Snyder  I don’t smoke, but my parents and my boyfriend do. After researching the recent dire smoking statistics, I started putting extra pressure on the people around me to quit doing this stupid, expensive, smelly, cancer-causing thing. Mom and Dad are cutting back, and Boyfriend’s been clean for a couple of weeks now! We all feel better. See Brianna’s story on page 42.

Laurie Lynn Fischer  Before writing this article, I had never even heard of orthorexia. Now, I realize I may be too zealous about only feeding my family organic food without preservatives, antibiotics, hormones and such. See Laurie’s story on page 32.

We asked, you answered!  We love the fall and can’t wait for snow, but ... anyone else plagued by dry skin? How do you keep your skin hydrated during the dry months? Shakir: I am, Skintelligence helps lots though ;) Linda: It’s very important to drink a lot of water year round. This is such an easy thing to do, and it helps with so many common ailments. If you want something hot, herbal tea is the best.

 What’s your favorite vegetarian or vegan dish? Linda: My current favorite vegetarian dish is a chickpea, feta cheese and spinach dish. Heat olive oil, sauté onion, garlic and wilt the spinach. Add 2 cans chick peas, 8 oz. of feta cheese, pepper and a dash of lemon and heat until it’s hot. Enjoy with crusty bread.

 What do you do to avoid turning on the heat? We like fleeces, slippers and heated blankets. And hot chocolate. And soup ... Bichi: My husband and I battle over how high is too high when it comes to the heat. Last winter, I suggested playing with the Wii a lot. He and our daughter would ask me to turn down the heat. Worked almost every time!

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Behind the scenes Read our Q&A with cover model Bichi Fasso on page 70, and head online for our exclusive behind-the-scenes story and photo gallery.



GO RUSTIC Get Gale Gand’s Torta Rustica recipe online, and read about Gale Gand’s Brunch on page 28.

Midlife Mom Rebecca Haynes, editor of HealthyLife Connecticut, offers her perspective on life and motherhood while she navigates the teen years and beyond.

Healthy Tips

Illustration: Computer mouse, ©Irina Iglina/

Enjoy mag

Writer and freelance editor Beth Cooney scans the web to bring you the latest info and tips for healthy living.

Flip through th accessible from More photos. L comfort and co

Healthy Life the Pill AFTER 40 Getting pregnant after 40 isn’t so difficult. So should you keep taking birth control? Go online to find out the benefits and drawbacks:



Writer and designer Carin Lane shares her success stories with losing weight her way — without a gym membership, a personal trainer, or special foods.

We’re digital! Flip through this and our other magazines online at And send full digital copies to anyone you like — tweet them, Facebook them or e-mail them!

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editor’s note


Photo by Krishna HIll.


consider myself fairly measured overall, except in one arena: weight control. I can spiral into obsessing about a particular number faster than you can say, “Sure, give me a hot fudge sundae with extra fudge sauce.” I have gone through long periods when I weighed myself every day. A change upward of even a pound would put me in a funk and make the rest of my day focused — usually with a fair amount of self-loathing — on what was allowed into my mouth. It’s not healthy behavior for sure, and so a couple of years ago, I decided I would stop weighing myself. I had lost 30 pounds about a year earlier and mostly kept it off, but I was getting into the hatred/obsession behavior each time I saw a tick upward, and I didn’t like it. I decided to focus instead on eating healthily and exercising regularly and more vigorously. I would measure the need to moderate my food intake by how my clothes fit rather than a number on the scale. Three amazing results: I’m happier, I eat better, and I’m the same size I was two years ago. HL

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news & views compiled by beth cooney

Could a Mantra a Day

Keep the Doctor Away? Science continues to shed light on the importance

of the mind-body connection. A new study suggests regular meditation can ease loneliness and dangerous inflammation responses in older adults. Researchers affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University and UCLA made the connection during a study that looked at ways to ease loneliness in aging adults. Study subjects who participated in an eight-week regimen of meditation reported fewer feelings of loneliness and isolation than they did at the study’s inception. Blood tests also demonstrated a decrease in the expression of inflammatory genes that can trigger disease. The study appeared in the online journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. More info at


Bone Health

While osteoporosis and its

precursor, osteopenia, are a growing — and serious — public health concern for women in middle-age and beyond, the time to really focus on promoting bone health comes much sooner. So says the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which has issued a public statement urging its member doctors to educate women patients on the threat of these bonedeteriorating conditions beginning at the onset of puberty. It’s teens, ACOG says, who have the best opportunity to take the right nutritional and lifestyle steps to maximize bone-building. The teen years are also a critical time to address known risks to their skeletal health, such as smoking, excessive exercise and eating disorders. To decrease their future fracture risk, ACOG also recommends women between the ages of 19 and 50 get at least 1,000 IU of calcium per day. Get a bigger dose at

Music for Their Ears! Here’s news that’s sure to sound good, especially if you’ve been plunking down the big bucks for your child’s piano (any other kind of music) lessons: You’re helping their brains for the long haul. A new study out of Northwestern University has concluded that childhood musical training improves brain function in adults, making them better listeners. Even a little musical training seems to go a long way, the researchers suggest. “Based on what we already know about how music shapes the brain, the study suggests that short-term music lessons may enhance lifelong listening and learning,” Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology



and Communication at Northwestern, says in a university press release. The research, which focused on adults who did and did not take music lessons as children, concluded even adults with a little musical training scored higher in the areas of executive function, auditory perception and communication skills. Kind of makes the sounds of a novice violinist a little more tolerable, doesn’t it? The research is also a potent weapon for parents advocating for music education programs in their schools. More info at

Don’t Get , Mom

To Cut or Not? Photos: Clarinet, © Stocksnapper; Girl doing a cartwheel, © Lane Erickson; Newborn, © Barbara Helgason; Joint, © Devy; Woman in pool, © Nyul.

Should parents circumcise their in-


fant sons? The answer cuts both ways. The American Academy of Pediatrics has rendered its first policy statement on the controversial medical topic since 2005, and its answer amounts to a qualified yes. While some parents contend the age-old practice is a form of mutilation, the AAP has said the benefits to newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, based on the findings of a 2007 task force it founded to review the controversy. ”Evidence suggests circumcision prevents urinary tract infections, penile cancer and transmission of some sexually transmitted diseases including HIV,” according to the AAP’s statement. Still, the doctors’ organization maintained the decision to circumcise is a personal one, ultimately best left for parents to decide.

If you’re planning on getting pregnant soon, you may want to cut recreational pot smoking. Researchers have determined that fetuses exposed to high-potency marijuana — or related synthetic strains such as “Spice” — early in pregnancy are at risk of a host of birth defects and postpartum challenges, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and neurological impairments. Researchers at Texas A&M University reported in a recent edition of Drug Testing and Analysis that the harmful effects of marijuana smoking can affect a developing baby with a gestational age of as little as two weeks because it is a vital period of fetal brain development. Read more here:

Get more info here:

Thriving of the


We all know that exercise does a body good, but interestingly, little research has been done on the long-term significance of being fit in middle age. Turns out that even modest amounts of cardiovascular exercise in the middle years can have an impressive impact in the senior ones. Researchers affiliated with the renowned Cooper Institute and the University of Texas report people who exercise throughout middle age not only live longer, they live better! A study that followed more than 100,000 Medicare recipients concluded those who had a commitment to fitness had lower rates of chronic, debilitating and potentially terminal illnesses during a period that spanned more than two decades. Read more: continued on page 16 


news & views continued from page 15

Dirty Ink

Here’s a new rub on tattoos that may have you rethink the process: A new study has associated contaminated ink with a rash of skin infections in upstate New York. The infections were ultimately traced to the same pre-mixed tattoo ink. Even when the tattoo parlor maintains the highest of standards of hygienic practice, there’s still a risk of infection from contaminated ink, researchers affiliated with public health agencies in Monroe County, N.Y., reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. The infections diagnosed in the study were the type associated with diseases such as leprosy and tuberculosis. As an interesting side note, researchers point out that the FDA has never approved an ink or pigment for injection into the skin and inks do not have to be tested for safety or purity before they are sold to consumers. More at

Vitamin D

for Respiratory Infections OK, here’s yet another reason to consider vitamin D supplements: It seems they can reduce the incidence of acute respiratory infections in children. A study reported in a recent issue of the journal Pediatrics noted a dramatic reduction of respiratory infections in vitamin D-deficient school children in Mongolia, when they received milk fortified with the potent vitamin. (Children who received non-fortified milk had much higher rates of infection.) For more, go to

Older Fathers Pass On More Genetic Mutations Fathers of a certain age can pass along more than love and wisdom to their offspring: Researchers have concluded that they also run the risk of passing along more genetic mutations, elevating the risk of autism and schizophrenia in their children. The researchers noted that while most genetic mutations are harmless, the age at which a father sires a child determines how many such mutations they pass along. “The more mutations we pass on the more likely that one of them is going to be deleterious,” one of the Icelandic genetic researchers involved in the study told the journal, Nature, which reported the findings. One potential implication of the study is its correlation with the reported rise of cases of autism, which has already been associated through research with advanced paternal age. Read more at



Photos:; Tattoo ink, © Kimberly Greenleaf; Glass of milk, © Ty Smith; Expectant parents, Teen with shopping bag, © Imagez; Scale, © Yobro10.

Keeping Your Material Girls (and Boys) Happy Want to keep your kids from being unhappy and materialistic? Reduce their exposure to advertising. Researchers out of the Netherlands, who studied the emotional life of a group of 8- to 11-year-old children over a period of two years, found the happiest kids on the proverbial block were those who didn’t crave material goods or base their life satisfaction on their personal possessions. The researchers found a direct correlation between level of life satisfaction, materialism and exposure to advertising. Lots of exposure seemed to exacerbate unhappiness. The researchers’ findings were reported in the September issue of the journal Pediatrics. Yet another reason to set limits on all that tube time. Want more info? Go to

Family Matters:

The Case for


Turns out there’s really something to the ex-

Obesity Tops Smoking for Health Danger If you want to keep the doctor away, lose weight. In a provocative study out of Canada, an economics professor has determined that obese people visit doctors most — even more than smokers. “The fact that obesity is more serious than smoking helps people understand the gravity of the problem because they already have some kind of intuitive understanding that smoking is bad,” James McIntosh, a professor of economics at Canada’s Concordia University says in a university press release. In a comprehensive health survey of Canadians — where one of four citi-

zens is considered obese — McIntosh found if obesity was not a factor, doctors visits were reduced by 10 percent. He also discovered that smokers of a healthy weight visit doctors less often than their obese counterparts. McIntosh says the research may ultimately have broad public policy implications, influencing weight-loss programs people to curb health care costs. Meanwhile, not smoking continues to be an excellent personal health choice. Read more about the benefits of quitting smoking on page 42, or go online for more details about this study:

pression “friends with benefits.” But the tongue-in-cheek double entendre we’re using here isn’t exactly what British researchers had in mind when they delved into the importance of friends and relatives in the lives of middle-aged men and women. Researchers concluded that the broader a circle of friends men and women can claim in middle age, the more likely they are to describe themselves as content. Interestingly, men also needed a close-knit group of relatives to possess a rosy outlook on life. Why women didn’t have this need for the relative connection wasn’t examined, but researchers speculate it may be because we rely more on friends to support our choices. The findings were reported in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. The adults involved were participants in Britain’s ongoing National Child Development Study. Read more at


fit and fab On-the-Run

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Sweet Tooth

It's the giving season once again, and this Fit and Fab has healthy gifts for every woman in your life — including yourself! For more Fit and Fab goodies, go to healthylife. Have a new product you’d like to share? E-mail Carin at

This is candy that you can feel good about sticking in stockings or putting out for your holiday party guests to enjoy. Made with all-natural ingredients, these candies offer not only great taste but also 30 percent less sugar, 60 percent more protein and 250 percent more fiber. Choose healthier versions of classics like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, peanut and plain M&Ms, Snickers or a 3 Musketeers bar. Price varies by size and type. Available at Michaels, Target, CVS, Staples, BJs and Walgreens.

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Did You Know? 22 Decoding Perspiration 24 A Bunch of Brunches 28 Unhealthy Health 32 The Dreaded Hangover 34 Ask the Doc 38 Short on Zzzzzs? 40 Stop Smoking NOW 42 Craniosacral What? 45


fast facts

1915 The March 1915 cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine featured a sleeveless-gownclad model whose armpits were hairless. After that, the Wilkinson Sword razor company started marketing women’s underarm hair as unseemly, unhygienic and unfeminine. Thanks a lot, guys. source: nov12shaving


The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds. His name was Tyson, and he was auctioned off to charity for nearly $7,000. source:



compiled by brianna snyder


According to the World Health Organization, between 65 and 80 percent of the world’s population (or about 3 billion people) rely on alternative medicine as their primary form of health care. source:

forty-eight About 48 percent of Facebook users are Facebook friends with their mothers.



There are 250,000 sweat glands in your feet. But it’s not the sweat that makes them smelly; it’s the bacteria that breeds in dark, moist places like your shoes. source: nov12feet

Photos: Turkey, © Irina Khomenko/; Woman in red dress, © Les3photo8/; Mom tattoo, © Gardiner; Shoes, © Salmela.

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cooling down

Don’t Sweat It!

men perspire, women glow, and some of us sweat buckets. why we sweat and what you can do about it. by jayne keedle


his summer was one of the hottest on record, yet at the humid height of August inside The Yoga Hot Spot in Albany, it was hotter still. At this Bikram Yoga studio, temperatures were set at a balmy 110 degrees Fahrenheit, humidity was hovering around 40 percent, and people were bent over in downward dog poses with sweat pouring off them and pooling on the yoga mat. “When you have that heat going, you’re sweating a ton,” says Jessica Lustig, owner of The Hot Spot. “People look like they just went swimming. They’re dripping sweat.” Doing yoga in a warm room makes good sense, Lustig says. It’s easier and safer to stretch the body when it’s warm and it enables people to get deeper into the poses. Heat also raises the heart rate, which increases the cardiovascular benefits of the exercise. But no matter how you exercise, Lustig says, “everybody equates sweating with a good workout. When you’re in a class and leave dripping with sweat, you feel a sense of accomplishment.” We’re Cool Because We Sweat

Sweating is the body’s cooling mechanism. Sweat glands allow water from the body to be transported to the surface where it evaporates, cooling us down. If we didn’t sweat, we’d overheat. Sweating isn’t just a biological reaction to heat, though. It’s an emotional response, too. The sweat glands are part of the body’s sympathetic nervous system. A sudden rush of adrenalin boosts activity in the sympathetic nerve, prompting people to break out in a “cold sweat.” We have anywhere from two million to four million sweat glands all over our bodies, which come in two types: eccrine glands (which are by far the most numerous and are all over the body), and apo-



crine (which are located around the hair follicles that develop during puberty). Believe it or not, eccrine sweat is naturally odorless. It might take on an odor if someone eats a lot of spicy food, but usually smell does not occur until bacteria start to break down on the body (which is, if anything, an even more unpleasant thought!). Apocrine sweat contains fat, however, and that can be a bit stinky. Sweat is mostly water. It contains sodium, chloride and potassium, which is why it tastes salty. Sweating does deplete the body of fluid, salt and electrolytes, though, so if you’re working up a sweat it’s important to stay hydrated or

Low interest rates got you down? Call Today for alternatives. Call for a free consultation. No fees. you risk heat stroke, circulatory problems and even kidney failure. Though many people believe sweat flushes out toxins in the body, not much evidence suggests that perspiration does this in any significant way. “You do release some toxins through your sweat. The skin is one of the five organs of detoxification so you can detoxify through the skin but I don’t know how much scientific literature there is that,” says Dr. Allison Pontius, of Williams Center Plastic Surgery Specialists in Latham. “The skin is the largest organ but you’re going to detoxify more through your liver and your gut.” Naturally, everyone sweats when it’s hot or when they’re engaged in some kind of vigorous physical activity. But though some people sweat buckets, others hardly seem to break a sweat, even during vigorous exercise. There’s not a lot of research into why, however. If you drink a lot of water, you’re likely to sweat more, but how much a person sweats tends to be very individual. “Some people just have excess sweat glands or larger sweat glands,” says Pontius. The one thing that doctors do know, however, is that excessive sweating, a condition known as hyperhidrosis, tends to run in families, suggesting that it may be a genetic. People who sweat excessively may have to change clothes several times a day. It’s usually a problem that is most noticeable around the armpits. The condition develops around puberty, but it’s a lifelong problem for those who have it. “Most people come in and complain that they’ve had it for years,” says Pontius. Excessive sweating that develops later in life is more often a symptom of something else. It’s very common for people who have hyperthyroidism or who are obese to sweat more than most. Sometimes excessive sweating is triggered by hormone imbalances that may occur during menopause as estrogen levels fluctuate. It also can be a side-effect of certain medications or caffeine. A New theory

Dr. Frank L. Rice, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Albany Medical College and CEO at Integrated Tissue Dynamics, LLC, has a theory as to what may cause hyperhidrosis. A couple of years ago, he was asked to examine skin samples taken from two men in England, both of whom had gone to a doctor for treatment of excessive sweating and both also turned

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out to have a very rare condition that left them partially unable to feel pain along with normal skin sensation. They did, however, have enough sensation to distinguish between the temperature and texture of objects. Most people have certain types of sensory nerve fibers in the skin that feed sensory information to the brain. In these patients, however, those nerve fibers were in isn’t a scant supply in the top layers of the skin. Instead, sensory information was being relayed dangerous by nerve fibers associated with the blood that were deeper below the skin’s surface. “If the air temperature is 70 degrees, you but it normally use the nerve endings in the upper certainly part of the skin to realize that it’s cool and can be a you want to conserve heat,” says Rice. However, if temperature detection becomes more depending on sensory fibers are deep in the skin, they’re detecting body temperature rather than air temperature. one. “The brain is assuming the outside temperature is 98.6 and it reacts to that assumption by sweating,” says Rice. “That was what we speculated for these two patients, although most people who sweat excessively don’t appear to have impaired skin sensation.” Conversely, some people don’t sweat at all. Just like excessive sweating, the inability to sweat also runs in families, although it, too, can also be caused by other diseases, most typically skin diseases such as Guillain-Barre syndrome that block the sweat glands. People who can’t sweat have a much more sweating problem and have exhausted all other options. serious problem than those who sweat too much. Sweating Pontius says the most effective treatment these days is Boregulates the body temperature to keep it at a normal levtox. Just as Botox acts to block the transmission of a nerve el, so if you can’t sweat you run the risk of overheating. But signal to a muscle, it can block the transmission to the sweat though hyperhidrosis isn’t a dangerous condition, it can be a gland so it doesn’t get the signal to sweat. Botox treatments socially awkward one. can last six months to a year and the $1,000 cost to treat the Never Let Them See You Sweat underarms is sometimes covered by medical insurance. Hyperhidrosis afflicts about 3 percent of the population, “Botox works really well,” says Pontius. “I usually see peoaccording to the International Hyperhidrosis Society and it ple every nine months so it seems to last a good while. It’s affects men and women in equal numbers. Most often, the pretty quick and pretty painless to do.” profuse sweating occurs around the armpits, hands, and Botox is particularly effective for treatment of armpits and feet, which are areas where sweat glands are most numerit can be used for foreheads, hands, and feet too, although ous. People who have hyperhidrosis may be reluctant to because Botox can weaken the muscles it may be less than shake hands because they sweat so much and they often ideal for use on hands. have to change clothes a number of times in a day. Another treatment that focused entirely on feet and hands “The bulk of our patients are young women in their 20s is iontophoresis, a process that involves passing a mild elecwho have a lot of sweating and they’re socially conscious of trical current through water. This requires a battery-operatit,” says Pontius. ed device into which people put their hands and feet. Although she says she does see a number of brides-to-be No one is exactly sure why this works, although the theory who are nervous about sweating through the most expensive is that the electric current and the minerals in the water act dress they’ve ever bought on their big day, for the most part, together to thicken the skin on a microscopic level, blocking the people who come to Pontius for treatment have a chronic the sweat ducts. This treatment has been around since the


socially awkward



Photos: Woman in sweatband, © Jones; Water droplets, © Rachakrit/; Woman sweating, © Audrey E. Benson; Lady Speed Stick and Suave, ©; Secret Clinical Strength, © Thornberg.

Chronic sweating

1940s, however, and the American Academy of Dermatology reports that it’s about 80 percent effective. A new microwave device called MiraDry approved for treatment of hyperhidrosis last year by the Food and Drug Administration is another treatment option. This uses microwave energy to destroy sweat glands, and is effective in 80 percent of the people who have tried it. “That was on Dr. Oz not long ago, so people are asking about that,” says Pontius. “We’re investigating it.” The treatment isn’t cheap, however. It’s about $3,000 for two sessions and it isn’t yet covered by insurance. Another new technique coming down the pike is micro-focused ultrasound, which works in a similar way to MiraDry. The last resort for hyperhidrosis is surgery to cut some of the sympathetic nerves. This is less invasive now that it can be performed with endoscopic surgery, but it’s done rarely since Botox has been found to be effective. “I feel like Botox is the mainstay,” says Pontius. “The newer (treatments) are just for the under arms and with Botox you can do the hands and feet and the head and scalp safely as well.” And if the treatment to your forehead eliminates those frown lines, well, that’s one sideaffect that no one’s going to complain about! HL

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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

How antiperspirant works

For most people, daily applications of antiperspirant under the arms are enough to stop the sweating. Although deodorants are intended only to mask body odor, antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds that actually block sweat. Aluminum ions enter the skin cells that line the eccrine-gland ducts and carry water in with them. As more water enters, it causes the cells to swell, effectively blocking the ducts. Antiperspirants that have high concentrations of aluminum chloride, such as Certain Dri or prescription strength Drysol, work well for many people. The latter is applied at night and within a couple of nights it can significantly reduce daytime sweating.

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A Bunch of

Brunches terrific recipes for this popular weekend meal

by janet reynolds  |  photos courtesy clarkson potter


or most of the work week, breakfast and lunch are something to get through, a necessary part of fueling the body to make it through a busy day. It’s only dinner where people sometimes slow down and savor. Which is one of the reasons why brunch is so wonderful. It forces us to slow down, to eat consciously, to talk to the people gathered around us. Brunch, unlike its proletariat meal cousins, almost demands that we do next to nothing the rest of the afternoon except perhaps nap. During the holidays, brunch is also an easy way to extend the celebratory vibe with family or squeeze in yet another holiday party. If you’re hosting a brunch this time of year, you’ll want to get your hands on Gale Gand’s Brunch! 100 Fantastic Recipes for the Weekend’s Best Meal. It is chockablock with the usual suspects as well as foods you’ll likely never have thought of serving for brunch. Nectarine skewers with pesto anyone? Creating a brunch cookbook might seem like an odd side trip for a renowned pastry chef. Gand explains it this way: Creating desserts for a living meant she often missed breakfast foods, and she had twins. “I used to have dinner parties, but I couldn’t do that anymore. I couldn’t pull them off,” she says of her post-twin life. “People stayed too late and drank too much. What I can do is brunch. It’s two hours in the middle of the day. It’s a better way to entertain for me.” Gale Gand’s Brunch! 100 Fantastic Recipes for the Weekend’s Best Meal, by Gale Gand with Christie Matheson, Clarkson Potter, 208 pages, $27.50 continued on page 30 

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cookbook continued from page 29

As a pastry chef, Gand uses butter, eggs and cream in almost everything she creates. What she loves about brunch is its flexibility. “You can have it be really breakfasty or really lunchy,” she says. “There is no service involved. You put out a buffet and no one’s surprised. I love that part of it too.” Writing recipes for brunch — which obviously includes a lot of eggs — took Gand outside her comfort zone. “As a pastry chef I know how long it takes to bake a cookie or cake,” she says. “I write recipes at night in my office. It’s like Beethoven — I’m writing even though I’m not cooking at the moment.” Eggs were new territory. “I didn’t know if it took two minutes or five minutes to cook eggs,” she says. “In pastry land I don’t have to do that.” She admits she was a little nervous about how the cookbook world would accept her outside the pastry realm. “The question for me was would the world accept me as a savory chef as well. Would they let me out of the cake box?” she says. The happy news is that Brunch!, now in its fourth printing, is her most popular book yet.


and took a circuitous route to her professional cooking career. Her grandmother was an accomplished baker and cook, but she describes her mother as a “good but resentful cook.” “She was resentful of the lot women were dealt in her era,” she says. “She thought women should be running the country and they’re still not.” Gand got a degree in fine arts, focusing on silver and goldsmithing. She worked at a vegetarian restaurant for the free family meal served to the staff before work. One day one of the line cooks didn’t show up for work and she was asked if she could cook. “I said, ‘No, I’m from the north shore of Chicago. We make reservations.’ They threw the apron at me and I had to cook.” “I was terrified for about 5 seconds,” she says. “Then second number 6 happened and I had this weird feeling of calm come over me as if I had found my home. I was speaking a language I don’t remember learning and completely fluent in it. I had found what I wanted to do in my life.” HL

Strata Serves 8 Ingredients: 5 cups cubed French bread, with crust 10 large eggs 1 quart whole milk 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1 teaspoon salt VARIATION INGREDIENTS Exactly what your strata is mixed with is up to you. The variations are endless. Here are a couple of options. Vegetarian: 1 cup crumbled blue cheese 1 cup cooked cubed celery root 1 cup sautéed sliced zucchini 1/2 cup sautéed sliced onions Meaty: 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese 1 cup crumbled cooked bacon (6-8 strips) 1 cup sautéed white or shitake mushrooms 1 cup chopped tomatoes Method: Butter a 9X13-inch baking dish. Put the bread cubes in the dish and sprinkle them with the cheese of your choice. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. Sprinkle the filling ingredients over the egg mixture and



fold them in gently. Cover and chill at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the baking dish and bake for 60 minutes until the mixture has puffed up slightly and is golden brown on top. The strata should not shimmy with uncooked custard when you shake the pan. Tent the dish with foil if the top is browning too quickly. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

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holiday appetizer • Cheddar & Black Bean Cake Makes: 30 appetizer cakes • Prep Time: 15 min. • Cook Time: 20 min. Ingredients: Nonstick cooking spray 2 (15.5-ounce) cans my essentials® Black Beans, rinsed and drained 1 bottled roasted red pepper, chopped 2 large garlic cloves, minced 2 cups panko (Japanese-style) or other dried bread crumbs, divided 2 ounces Cabot® 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, grated, plus more for top of cakes (about 1/2 cup) 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray; set aside. 2. In large bowl, mash half of beans to make coarse puree; stir in remaining beans, red pepper and garlic. 3. Place 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs in shallow bowl and set aside. Add remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs to bean mixture, along with cheese, cilantro, egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and cumin.

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling 1 tablespoon McCormick® Ground Cumin Ground black pepper, to taste

4. Scoop heaping tablespoon of mixture into palm of your hand (mixture will be soft) and form into approximate 1-inch-diameter patty (don’t worry if not perfectly round). 5. Dip into bread crumbs, turning to coat, and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bean mixture. Season tops lightly with salt and pepper.

Black beans are not only low in fat, but they’re also a wonderful source of dietary fiber, which has been shown to naturally help lower cholesterol. With only eighty-five calories for a half-cup and a good source of protein, black beans will maintain energy levels, and also may keep you fuller longer and aid with weight loss. Visit to get more information about FREE classes and in-store demos with our Hannaford dietitians.

6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning over halfway through baking time. 7. If desired, sprinkle with additional grated cheese, returning to oven briefly to melt cheese. Recipe is courtesy of the farm families who own Cabot Creamery.

healthy eating

Too Pure

by laurie lynn fischer

when healthy eating becomes a deadly fixation


t may seem paradoxical, but the desire to eat healthy can kill you. So says Colorado physician Steven Bratman, author of Health Food Junkies. He coined the phrase “orthorexia nervosa,” pairing the Greek prefix for “correct” with the same suffix as the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. “It’s being so obsessed with eating healthy food that it begins to harm you in other ways,” says Dr. Bratman ( “I get one story a week about people dying from orthorexia.” While orthorexia and anorexia sound similar, the two diagnoses are distinct in important ways. With orthorexics, the goal is healthy eating; with anorexics, the goal is thinness. Overlap can exist, however. In both instances the person can wind up literally starving, and anorexics sometimes use the excuse of “healthy” eating as a way to limit their food intake. Orthorexia isn’t a medical diagnosis. Usually, it merely affects quality of life, says Bratman. “Intense diets in many ways are more disruptive than a drug,” Bratman says. “Drugs have side effects. A diet that



socially isolates you is a fantastic psychological side effect. Somehow you’re ignoring the fact you’re paying a huge price for what you’re doing. The illusion of control is a big part of it.” One Westerlo mother imposed a severe diet upon her son to try and help his ADD and food sensitivities. “He wasn’t allowed to eat gluten, cow milk products, corn, soy, egg whites, peanuts or mustard,” says the mother, who requested anonymity. “It set him apart at home, school, restaurants, family gatherings and parties. He felt left out and went overboard whenever he cheated. My husband didn’t buy into it and fed him forbidden foods. This caused arguments. The diet did more harm than good.” The same brain chemicals that regulate appetite also influence emotion, mood and the propensity for depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, explains physician Sharon Alger-Mayer, a clinical nutritionist with Albany Medical Center. “Individuals with a genetic tendency to be anxious or obsessive compulsive — if they start to control their food,

 they’re much more at risk for having the eating restrictions start to snowball than people who don’t have that genetic makeup,” she says. Orthorexia can have serious health consequences, she says. “I’ve seen people with extremely rigid eating patterns,” she says. “They can be iron deficient or low in zinc and other nutrients from animal proteins. They may have hair loss or lose their menstrual cycle. They don’t meet the full criteria of anorexia nervosa. They don’t see themselves as being too heavy. They may not start wanting to be thin. They have a goal of being more fit and healthy. They want to be very careful about the foodstuffs that they put in their body. If the level of restriction drops below a safe range, it gets out of control and, in fact, dangerous. It starts to take on a life of its own. It becomes so rigid and so compulsive, they can’t break out of the cycle.”


Photos: Diet plan, © Pixsooz; Refusing food, © Julija Sapic.

rthorexia and anorexia have the same motivation — controlling what goes in your mouth — says Clinical Social Worker Terri Gerber of Niskayuna, who is certified in the treatment of eating disorders. “Healthy eating is great, but if you are a perfectionist, be careful!” she says. “Remember, everything in moderation!” Gerber describes one patient — a high school senior — who was unconcerned about weight or body image, but was a strict vegan. She lost weight, her periods stopped, and she grew very ill. “This person regained her weight but remained very rigid and narrow with what she ate,” Gerber says. “She went to camp and had to bring her own food. Everybody else ate what

Orthorexia checklist Are you orthorexic? See if these apply to you.  Are you avoiding social situations for dietary reasons?  Do you have extreme weight loss or other physical symptoms?

For one woman’s take on obsession, see our My Word essay on page 57.

was there. When she went to look for colleges, she was looking for one with a cafeteria that would serve vegan selections.” Treatment for orthorexics and anorexics is similar, Gerber says. “It means restoring their weight and, if female, their menstrual cycle,” she says. “They must learn to talk back to the distorted thinking that is part of an eating disorder or they risk relapse. They must also learn healthy coping and thinking skills for all the times in life that we, as human beings, can’t be in control. They have to learn how to deal in a healthy way with fear and inadequacy, which are normal feelings that are part of the human experience.” It’s right to want to eat healthy, just don’t get carried away, agrees Bratman, who used to be a health food fanatic himself. “Eating healthy food is obviously not a problem,” he says. “That’s absurd. My idea of healthy diet — don’t buy a whole lot of processed foods. Eating fruits and vegetables, along with other stuff, is a good idea. Be reasonable and don’t worry about it too much. You shouldn’t be fat. You should exercise. You shouldn’t be spending much of your life thinking about it, or you’re postponing living. You’re not in the moment. You’re not involved with real things like loving people or being creative.” David Guzman, program director for Method Fitness in Manhattan, eats conscientiously except for one weekly cheat day. He advises clients to do the same. “Some of them can become very obsessive about eating healthy,” he says. “It’s OK to be a health food nut, as long as you give yourself a reward once in a while. If you don’t build in that release valve, you can drive yourself crazy.” HL Sources: Steven Bratman and Kasi Howard

 Do you feel superior to those who don’t follow your diet?  Do you eat alone? Sources: L.M. Donini, D. Marsili, M.P. Graziani, M. Imbriale and C Cannella.

 Do you fear foods you perceive to be unhealthy?  Is food quality more important to you than flavor?  Do you think about food for hours every day?  Does virtuous eating enhance your self-esteem?  Has your quality of life declined as your food quality increased?  Does eating properly make you feel like you’re in control?  Have you given up foods you used to like in order to eat healthy?  Do you feel guilty when you depart from your regimen?


party smart

The Dreaded

Hangover how to deal the next day by melissa fiorenza


t rears its ugly head now and again, causing aches and lethargy and spinning bedrooms and vows that you’ll never, ever drink again if you can just get through this one last time: the all-mighty hangover. While we absolutely don’t condone excessive drinking and realize that steering clear of beer and other alcohol is the best prevention, we also know hangovers do happen. Experts agree there is no “cure,” but as we ring in holiday party season, there’s no better time to learn how you can at least feel a little better. (And then promise not to go overboard again!) Here’s what to do — and not do — straight from the pros.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. “Two of the most common issues that arise from excess alcohol consumption are dehydration and nutrient depletion,” says Dr. Travis Stork, ER physician and co-host of the Emmy-winning syndicated daytime series, The Doctors. Before you go to sleep, drink a glass of water and continue to hydrate the next day. “Alcohol is a diuretic and can lead to dehydration, which often causes the dry mouth and headaches associated with a hangover.“

Eat little and often. “Energy levels will be low, hydration levels will be low and acid in the stomach will be high after a stint of overindulgence,” explains Jane Scrivner, author of The Quick-Fix Hangover Detox: 99 Ways to Feel 100 Times Better. “Snacking little and often will keep the blood sugar ticking along whilst your body tries to recover from the ritual poisoning.”

Think alkaline. Alkaline foods will help balance out the acidity, says Scrivner, “and keep your energy levels constant rather than dip-



ping and diving.” Her suggestions: Try muesli with berries and yogurt, or whole grain toast with peanut butter. “If you didn’t wake up until lunch time, stir-fry vegetables with whole grain pasta,” she adds.

Go for some ginger. Feeling nauseated after drinking a little too much? Try ginger. “Ginger contains natural anti-inflammatory agents that can help calm the stomach,” says Dr. Joseph Castorina, regional medical director for Concentra urgent care centers in upstate New York. “If you’re feeling queasy after heavy

Life is a journey. Wear comfortable shoes.


drinking, consider drinking a naturally-flavored ginger ale or eat thin sheets of sliced ginger root.”

… Or choose fruit juice.


“One way to combat hangovers is to support the enzymes responsible for breaking down alcohol by drinking fruit juice,” says Castorina. “Consuming vitamin-C-rich fruit juices from an orange or grapefruit even before, during, or after heavy drinking will greatly aid your body in breaking down the alcohol you’ve ingested.”

Photo: © Kwiatkowski.

Resist greasy foods. Greasy fried foods can be oh-so-temping when you’re feeling lousy, but the truth is they’ll only make it worse. Celebrity nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin, who costars on TLC’s hit series Freaky Eaters, says: “Alcohol can also exacerbate food sensitivities. So if after a night of drinking you eat, say, a big cheeseburger (gluten and dairy) and you have these sensitivities, inflammation and all those symptoms will just become worse with a hangover.” Instead, she says, let your hangover inspire you to get back on track and eat healthier. (See our box on the next page for other “myths” you should avoid.)

Overall, stay light and healthy. “The liver will do the heavy lifting to process the alcohol, but uses up vital nutrients along the way,” says Stork. “While some people may swear by greasy foods to ‘coat’ the stomach lining, it’s best to replace the lost nutrients with a light and healthy meal, such as smoothies, fruits, or whole grain toast (carbohydrates).” (Check out the smoothie recipe on page 36; we got it right from Dr. Stork’s show.) HL continued on page 36 

THE ULTIMATE PREVENTION Don’t drink to excess. Dr. Musto knows “excess” is highly individual, but “if you consume more than four standard drinks in a day (three for women) or 14 standard drinks in a week (seven for women),” he says, “you are in ‘unhealthy’ alcohol consumption territory.” You are not only at risk of hangover, he adds, but also of the impaired coordination, judgment and memory that comes with it.









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party smart continued from page 35

NIX THESE MYTHS from your post-drinking plan: We turned to Dr. Ronald Musto of Capital Healthcare Associates in Troy to tell us which “remedies” aren’t that helpful at all. Here’s what he said: On coffee … “Coffee may help relieve what would otherwise be a caffeine withdrawal headache but may upset the stomach further.” On aspirin … “Aspirin and its relatives (Alka-Seltzer, ibuprofen, naproxen) may alleviate headache but are likely to cause further irritation to the stomach lining.” On acetaminophen … “Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is another headache reliever, but taken together with alcohol my cause liver damage.” On the hair of the dog that bit you … “Then there’s the ‘aftershot’ – another dose of alcohol. This only delays the inevitable hangover.”

Hangover Smoothie Recipe Try this recipe straight from The Doctors. How’s it help? Keep reading for their explanation.

method Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend well and enjoy! This hangover smoothie restores vitamins and nutrients that can be lost after a night of drinking. Vitamin B6 helps support and increase the metabolism rate. Potassium is loaded with necessary electrolytes that are likely depleted



with excess drinking. Vitamin D plays a role in insulin secretion under conditions of increased insulin demand, and magnesium plays a key role in regulating blood pressure naturally, which may be elevated due to drinking. Honey is the ideal liver fuel because it contains a nearly 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose. – The Doctors

Photo by Emily Jahn.

Ingredients: 1 cup of milk (vitamin D) 1 whole banana (rich in vitamin B6 and potassium) 1 tablespoon of honey (loaded with magnesium) cup of ice

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ask the doc

For Your

Heart women need to pay special attention

by brianna snyder  |  photos by emily jahn


eart disease is the leading cause of death among American women. But despite that unnerving reality, statistics suggest many women aren’t aware of their vulnerability to heart attacks and angina. It kills nearly a third of us, according to The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease (NCWHD), and five times more women will die from heart attacks than will die from breast cancer. “The biggest thing we find is women don’t realize the number-one killer of women worldwide is heart disease,” says Dr. Sulagna Mookherjee, a cardiologist at the Albany Medical Center and professor of medicine at the Albany Medical College. “Heart disease kills more women than the top four cancers combined.” Mookherjee says the overwhelming (mis)perception about heart attacks is that they’re most common in men. According to the NCWHD, women only comprise 27 per-

RISK FACTORS • Cigarette   smokers are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease than non-smokers.

• 46 percent of adult women have total cholesterol of at least 200 mg/dL.

• 35.2 percent of women do not engage in leisure-time physical activity.

• 59 percent of Caucasian women, almost 78 percent of African-American women, and 75 percent of Hispanic-American women are overweight or obese.

• Women with diabetes have a 2.5 increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 2.2 increased of dying from cardiovascular disease. (source:



Join us for our next HealthyLife seminar on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 5-7 p.m., at The Desmond

The seminar, sponsored by Albany Medical Center, will feature Dr. Sulagna Mookherjee and Dr. Kim Poli, also from the Albany Medical Center, who will talk about the seriousness of heart disease among women. The seminar is free but preregistration is required. All registrants will be automatically entered to win a girls’ getaway from the Cranwell Resort and Spa in Lenox, Mass.

cent of participants in heart-related research studies, and, following a heart attack, women are less likely than men to receive appropriate treatment. But awareness initiatives such as Go Red For Women (often called the Red Dress Campaign) are making strides in public education about women’s heart health. “We’re educating the public,” Mookherjee says. Following a heart attack, “women tend to have poorer outcomes than men do. So it’s very important to be aggressive.” When she talks about being aggressive, she’s referring not just to the medical and research communities, but to women themselves. One of the reasons women succumb to fatal heart attacks is that they don’t take symptoms seriously. “Women are just accustomed to taking care of others,” says Mookherjee. If they feel sick or tired, “They feel like they have to grin and bear it. They may just chalk it up to fatigue when there may be something very wrong. They have a dinner party to plan tomorrow.” Heart attack symptoms also vary more for women, making it easier to dismiss the issue or self-misdiagnose. The elephant-on-your-chest sensation frequently associated with male heart attacks is more likely to translate in women as back pain, nausea, jaw pain, fatigue, perspiration and shortness of breath. “Feeling bloated, nauseous, if you’re very tired, if you have a vague sense of discomfort, anxiety, any of those could be linked to heart disease,” Mookherjee says. “Any of those things should prompt a woman to speak to their physician.”


he good news about this bad news is that heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented. You should make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol are at normal levels, that your weight is under control, that you exercise and — very important — you don’t smoke. Mookherjee says stress management is also critical. “I’m a big proponent of psychotherapy for women,” she says. “The mind and the body are connected and I tend to practice that way. I really encourage women to seek counsel, seek help with stress management. We can’t ignore the fact that stressors contribute to our overall health, and not in a good way.” HL

  DR. SULAGNA MOOKHERJEE, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at Albany Medical Center

Women vs. Men

HEART DISEASE STATS • 26 percent of women and 19 percent of men will die within one year of a first recognized heart attack.

• 47 percent of women and 36 percent of men

heart attack survivors will die within five years.

• 18 percent of women and 8 percent of men heart attack survivors will be diagnosed with heart failure within five years.

• Women are less likely than men to receive appropriate treatment after a heart attack.



Short on

ZZZs? Photo: Š Yuri Arcurs/

why a nap MIGHT help



by valerie foster


n my past life as a newspaper features editor I was so stressed that if I got four hours of sleep a night I considered it an accomplishment. Most days I was at my desk at 6 a.m., the beginning of a 12-hour-plus workday. By 2 p.m., I had trouble keeping my eyes open. One day I was so exhausted I put a do-not-disturb-unless-it’s-an-emergency sign on my door, set a timer for 20 minutes and fell sound asleep. I woke up refreshed and a much nicer person. So began my almost daily nap. I knew my lack of sleep at night was to blame for daytime fatigue. And according to some local sleep experts, if you need to take a daily nap you should find out what’s causing your lack of sleep. Thanks to the experts at The Center for Sleep Medicine at Stamford Hospital, I discovered last year that I had sleep apnea. My CPAP machine kept me in deep slumber land for months. Then I decided to get smart, shed some extra weight, start exercising, and slowly have weaned myself off the machine. I sleep seven and a half hours each night, and snoring is a thing of the past. My new life is much calmer — hardly any stress — and I can count on one hand the number of afternoon naps I’ve taken in the past year. “People who suffer from insomnia often take naps, and that becomes a habit,” says Dr. Sayeed Khan, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Ellis Medicine in Schenectady. These regular naps, he adds, can disrupt a person’s regular sleep cycle and a pattern develops, causing the person to become sleep deprived. “I don’t think people should strive to take a nap,” says Dr. Paul Glovinsky, clinical director of St. Peter Hospital’s Sleep Center in Albany. “The goal should be to feel alert during the day.” Why nap? If you do nap, you’re not alone. According to a Pew Research Center study, a third of all Americans take naps and more men (38 percent) than women (31 percent) say they’ve caught some afternoon sleep. In addition, the survey discovered that 42 percent of adults with an annual income below $30,000 nap. As income rises, napping declines below the national average, until you reach the category of adults with an annual income of $100,000 or above, when the tendency to nap revives. If you do nap, you’re in good company. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were all known to grab a few winks mid-afternoon. The Mayo Clinic cites some reasons why we all should consider a short nap: relaxation, reduced fatigue, increased alertness, improved mood and improved performance, including quicker reaction time, better memory, less confusion and fewer accidents and mistakes. According to both doctors, naps can come in handy in the following cases: • For the occasional pick-me-up if you slept poorly the night before • if you will be out late at night

• For the elderly who suffer from fragmented night sleep, and babies, who require more sleep • Before a long car trip, when you will be either driving or sharing the driving • if you get drowsy during a car trip The latter is cause for concern. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that annually 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.

Anatomy of the perfect nap Before you hit the sheets to catch a few zzzs, consider these tips our two local experts say make for the perfect nap: • The circadian rhythm affects our sleep cycle. Around 2 or 3 p.m. it naturally dips, telling us that we are sleepy. This is the perfect time for a nap. • Make sure the room is dark. • Pick a cool environment. • If possible, nap in bed. If not, choose a comfortable chair or couch. • Set an alarm for 15 to 30 minutes, easy to do now with our smart phones. Never take more than a 30-minute nap. If you nap, you will soon learn how much sleep time is perfect for you to feel refreshed.

Both doctors say to pull over as soon as you begin to feel drowsy. Do not open the windows, turn the music up, or start drinking caffeine or popping caffeine pills. Glovinsky says research has shown these methods do not work. Instead stop your car in a safe place and take a 20-minute nap. Glovinsky adds that if possible, drink a cup of caffeine right before your nap. The java takes about 20 minutes to work its magic — the perfect amount of time to sleep. Khan says that excessive napping — drawn-out siestas that last more than 30 minutes — should be avoided for two reasons: • Long naps can make it more difficult for people to sleep at night, and can actually perpetuate insomnia symptoms. • Long naps, instead of leaving you refreshed, can cause sleep drunkenness. The first few hours after a nap you feel sluggish, groggy and sleepy. A word of caution The doctors spend their days seeing patients who can’t sleep. In many cases, the culprit is sleep apnea. “If you find yourself waking up many times during the night, your sleep is not restorative, and you are sleepy during the day, you might have a sleep disorder,” Khan says. “We really need to look at the patient’s history to determine what is going on. There are so many ways we can now help patients.” HL


lung health

Up In

Smoke why you should

stop, now!

by brianna snyder




You’ll live longer.

Each cigarette reduces your life by 11 minutes, according to a rough calculation based on a study done by The National Center for Biotechnology Information. So if you smoke the average number of cigarettes a year (5,772) from age of 17 until death at age 71, you’ll smoke nearly 312,000 in your lifetime. And, you’ll have decreased your life by about 6.5 years.

Smoking gives you wrinkles.

Nicotine narrows the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, which means it doesn’t get the oxygen and important nutrients it needs, according to the Mayo Clinic. This damage can’t be reversed, but it can be prevented — if you stop smoking.

to a CNN report, employers bear direct costs from employees who smoke: absenteeism, productivity losses ($92 billion) and more early retirements from smoking-related illness.

if you kicked the habit two years ago, your risk is no longer elevated according to

You’re hurting your employer. According

Smoking interferes with taste and smell. It deadens the tastebuds and also the receptors in part of the nasal cavity lining, not to mention contributing to periodontal disease, reports Yahoo!News.

Smoking increases risk of dementia. But

You’re at a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes —

44 percent higher, in fact.

You’d have more cash.

In New York, on average, a pack of cigarettes costs $12.50. Imagine if you weren’t spending it on cigarettes. HL

Photo: © Joseph Gough/

ou know smoking is bad for you. We know you know that. And for those of you still smoking, we beg you, please, stop! According to CNN, smoking rates in the U.S. have dropped significantly over the past several decades, falling from 40 percent in 1965 to about 20 percent in 2006. And that number continues to come down as fewer middle- and high-school kids are starting the habit and more grownups are stopping. Peggy Keigley, director for the Center for Smoking Cessation at Seton Health, says the number-one reason people come in wanting to quit smoking is for their health and for the health of their kids. Seton Health offers a program called The Butt Stops Here. “We help people quit smoking,” says Keigley. For $40, those looking to quit will have access to drug therapies and support, group counseling and unlimited information about the effects of smoking. So make your plan to stop. Maybe you can even tie it into the American Cancer Society’s 37th annual Great American Smokeout on Nov. 15. In case you need more encouragement, read on for more facts about how smoking affects your health and how your life will improve if you stop.

Trust your Medicare Advantage plan to BlueShield.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012 8 am–4 pm New York State Nurses Association 11 Cornell Road, Latham

Please visit to view more about the conference. Call our office at (518)439-5975 to register.

This conference is free of charge and includes morning coffee and midday lunch. The New York State Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. This program has been awarded 6.75 contact hours. A special thank you to our event sponsors:

alternative care

It’s All in

Your Head

the pros and cons of craniosacral therapy by wendy page  |  photos by wendy carlson


magine the ocean — a large body of water that rhythmically ebbs and flows, fluctuating with the pull of the moon and gravity. Well, your body has a similar flow, albeit on a much smaller scale. This craniosacral rhythm flows in the fluid from your cranium (the part of the skull that encloses the brain) around your spinal cord and down to the sacrum (the triangular bone located at the base of the spine at the pelvis). When your body experiences trauma or high levels of stress, the rhythm of the craniosacral system can be thrown off, igniting a series of imbalances in the central nervous system that can affect the entire body. Enter craniosacral therapy (CST), which works to restore your system’s natural rhythm and allow the body to heal itself. “Craniosacral therapy calms the whole nervous sys-

tem down,” says craniosacral therapist Sue Coughtry at the Stram Center for Integrative Medicine in Delmar. “It’s indirectly improving the flow of cerebral spinal fluid in and around the brain and the spinal cord and, therefore, it affects everything in the body.” CST proponents say the therapy can affect a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including migraines/headaches, chronic back pain, autism, stress and tension-related disorders, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and TMJ, among others. Here’s how it works: A craniosacral therapist applies a very light touch (no heavier than the weight of a nickel) to parts of your body to “feel” the flow of the fluid within you, gently encouraging movement in certain directions. continued on page 46 


alternative care continued from page 45

“I’m evaluating how evenly the flow is through the body,” Coughtry says, meaning she’s identifying spots of tension or restriction. “The body does a very subtle widening and closing, an ever-so-slight moving out and moving in. You can feel it, and you can feel if one side is different than the other. It’s actually the movement of fluid as it pulses down and back up again.” As the therapist releases restrictions in the system, tension in the central nervous system decreases, proponents say, reducing pain and returning balance to your craniosacral system. This balance in turn allows your central nervous system to regulate itself in its natural, healthier, rhythm. Margery Chessare, owner of Turtle Back Craniosacral Therapy and Education in Saratoga Springs, says that the relationship between client and practitioner is unique. “You can have sessions with 10 different practitioners and you will have different experiences. You’re working with your whole being each time, and that being is different each time.” Chessare describes her work as a practitioner as “two nervous systems getting to know one another — yours and mine.” The practitioner, she explains, offers the opportunity for the client’s nervous system to calm down. A tense, taut nervous system “has no opportunity for self-healing,” she says. Coughtry says she “adjusts the protocols according to what you’re presenting with. I encourage the bones to move in the natural ways they’re supposed to be moving. They’re supposed to be opening and closing. Gentle, gentle, gentle. All of a sudden, you’re getting this beautiful movement again.”


You lie down, fully clothed except for shoes, on a padded table. Your head can be on a pillow or not, according to your preference, and you may be covered with a sheet or blanket or neither. The lights are off or softly lit. Some practitioners play quiet music; some incorporate aromatherapy. Talking is discouraged, unless it’s necessary for the treatment. Instead the client is encouraged to silently be aware of physical sensations in their bodies. Most sessions last an hour, though it’s often shorter for children. Throughout and by the end, you may feel relaxed, sleepy and/or energized. I had a teaser session, if you will — not a full session, and with an explanation/minor dialogue exchanged dur-



ing since it was part of my interview. I chose to lie on my back (as opposed to my side), with a pillow, covered by a sheet. The practitioner began at my feet to get a sense of what was going on with my body. She pronounced that I felt balanced, symmetrical. Next she lay her hand on different parts of me — over my knee, under my shoulder blade, near the small of my back, on my head — sometimes for a minute or two, other times longer, and gently moved her fingers every so often. She suggested things for me to be aware of as she worked: the weight of my back against the table, feeling fully three-dimensional, and so on. A series of three sessions in a relatively short period of time (say, once a week) is recommended by practitioners as the ideal way to experience CST. I was there once, for 30 minutes,

and talking throughout. Nevertheless, for a busy working mom, I found just lying down quietly on a table therapeutic, as was someone gently touching me. And whether through the power of suggestion or the true power of CST, I did sense a ripple effect stemming from where the practitioner had her hand on my knee, out through my legs, which I saw in my mind as lighted. I also pictured one of those desktop wave machines with the blue water gently sloshing back and forth. Again, these were images we’d previously touched on in our discussion, so it’s hard to say if I would have come to these on my own. How these images affect my ability to heal, I’m not sure. It’s so subjective, and I certainly didn’t have the benefit of a full hour, or three consecutive sessions.

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ST was invented in the 1930s by William Sutherland, an American osteopathic physician. Today, John Upledger, also an osteopathic doctor and the founder/president of The Upledger Institute, a renowned healthcare resource center focused on CST, is the therapy’s leading proponent. In 2001, TIME Magazine named Upledger one of its 100 Innovators in Alternative Medicine. But CST isn’t without detractors, who question its efficacy. The success of alternative and holistic therapies often cannot be measured, due to their subtlety. Acupuncture, biofeedback and chiropractic all were questioned at some point by traditional western medicine proponents, but all have since gained appreciation and acceptance both in the medical community and the general public. CST proponents do not profess to cure cancer. Instead CST is a complementary therapy. Craniosacral therapists often see clients whose experiences with common medicine have failed. CST is suitable for all ages and can be especially effective on the young. Nellie Lovenduski, a math teacher from Saratoga, stumbled upon CST while searching for non-invasive, alternative methods to help her son, who was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum when he was an infant. “It’s been amazing to watch what’s been happening with him,” Lovenduski says. “After the sessions, he is much more in tune, much more organized. He has a lifelong resource now for when he doesn’t feel well.” Before Lovenduski exposed her son (now 6) to CST, she tried it herself. “Just the mental clarity that I walked out with after my first two sessions,” she says of her success, “I felt more organized, more thoughtful, more focused.” “It’s cumulative and progressive. We want people to have lasting effects,” Chessare says of CST. Because of its holistic nature, the emphasis — formed around concepts like balance, rhythm and flow — is subjective and thus hard to gauge. But Lovenduski isn’t worried what others think. “Watching my son,” she says, “the proof has been in the pudding.” HL


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mind Ask Emma 51

Mom Loves You! 52


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ask emma

Holiday Blues The

keeping your head above water this season

by emma tennant

Photo: © Gagne.


he office phone starts ringing the second week of January. The winter months ahead can be gray and unrelenting, but these callers need a therapist now because of the crushing disappointments of the holidays. Somehow, we’ve squeezed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve into five frantic and tearful weeks. I know there is much to be thankful for and I, for one, love cooking at Thanksgiving — I love my kitchen when all the burners are turned to high, and I love the house packed with happy, tipsy people. We all like some of that. So why do the holidays wipe us out? Let me count the ways. Every year my sister says something about my weight… my mother-in-law talks to my husband in front of me as if I’m not in the room… my father isn’t around and it’s not the same without him. And every year I make an effort. I buy thoughtful gifts, I decorate the house and nobody appreciates it. I give each of my siblings an iPad and they give me socks and bras. I have no money so I stay home. I spend money and now I’m broke. I have nowhere to go. I hate Christmas. The common threat here is disappointment. We need to be desired and appreciated, but what we get from family and friends is rarely enough. We tell ourselves we’re going to take it easy this year but we don’t, and so we chase an experience of completion and connectedness that we can’t quite grasp. Then there are the layers of disappointments from our childhood that bubble into the unconscious. My mother cried every Christmas day because she wasn’t with her family overseas. Ho-Ho-Ho. This is just too much pressure! When you combine that pressure with hours spent in airports, on clogged interstates, in drafty guest rooms, dealing with guests who cancel, too much alcohol, and not enough sleep, you have a recipe for a meltdown. So how do you keep your head above water? Here are some tips. Manage your operation: Get organized. Buy those cards. Make a list of the people you’re shopping for. Make your travel arrangements now. Order that free-range turkey this minute. Get moving! My point is that you should get on top it. Don’t let your mother or your husband tell you what you are going to do this year. Take control.

Take the pain: There’s going to be hurt. My sister, for instance, said something about me at a party last Christmas that she thought was funny, but it really hurt my feelings. She didn’t mean it; it just happened. Expect to be disappointed by your family and underwhelmed by the gifts you receive. Expect your friends to cancel. Know it’s going to happen and own it. Buy yourself something nice: I’m hard to shop for, so I learned long ago that I needed to do something nice for myself during the holidays. So buy yourself something nice. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that’s exciting for you. Last year I bought myself a green corduroy jacket that I love. Best gift I ever got. Plan one, completely selfish event: Have dinner with a couple of friends who make you laugh — don’t let your obligations crowd out the people you delight in. I like to go to New York, watch Spanish films at Lincoln Center, and then have dinner with my college roommate. And no, you’re not invited. It’s for me. Give: Joking aside, we all feel better about ourselves when we give love — it is so much more important than receiving it. I’m sure you know someone who might not have a place to be on Christmas morning, someone who might really be grateful for a card. What about those Facebook “friends” you don’t really talk to. Write them a short note to let them know you’re thinking of them. Maybe there’s someone at work who might not have Thanksgiving plans. Ask them along. Stretch a little bit. You’ll feel grounded in something real. Sleep, eat, pray: Try not to completely toss out your routine. Rest. Just go to bed. Take that book that you bought for yourself and turn in early. Have a sound breakfast in the morning. At some point take a walk — get some fresh air and a bit of alone time. Take care of yourself.  HL Emma Tennant (not her real name) is a practicing psychotherapist and a former waitress. All advice offered here is simply that. If you have a pressing concern, you should see a specialist in person. If you have a question you’d like addressed or a comment for Emma, send it to Inquiries will be treated with confidentiality.




L ves You! why maternal love is so important for us all by valerie foster




Photos: Heart, © Carbi/; Mother and child, © Klöpper.

e all know the importance of a mother’s love and care, but a recent study about the scientific importance of nurturing got us thinking: Are there mental health benefits to mommy love? Our experts all say a resounding yes. “The bond of attachment between a mother and child lays the groundwork for social, emotional and cognitive development,” says Albany therapist Laura Connell. “Without the bond there would be attachment disorders, which cause a lot of problems later in life.” The latest study on mother love, conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., discovered that school-age children with a larger hippocampus in their brains were those nurtured early in life. Why is this important? The hippocampus is crucial for learning, memory and our response to stress. The study’s lead researcher, Joan Luby, was quoted on her local TV station, KMOX: “It validates something that I think is intuitive that we’ve known throughout history, but maybe haven’t emphasized the importance of enough: Just how important nurturing parenting is to creating adaptive human beings.” There’s more:  Researchers at Ohio State University found that of the 1,000 study participants, those who grew into overweight adults lacked a strong emotional bond with their moms.  Psychologist Arthur Janov, Ph.D., in his book Biology of Love, talks about the importance of the first few months of an infant’s life. He writes: “Hugs and kisses during these critical periods make those neurons grow and connect properly with other neurons. You can kiss that brain into maturity.”  And one for your health: A study from the University of British Columbia determined that of 1,215 middle-aged Americans studied, those who grew up in poverty had a greater chance of suffering from type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke than those who knew a life of privilege — unless the lower income group had a loving mother. “Children need to know from the day they are born that someone is there for them, and that begins with the mother,” says therapist Maud Purcell, who heads The Life Solution Center of Darien. “Children need to know that they can rely on at least one person to be attentive to them and there for them. It quells their anxiety because they begin to trust that they can rely on this person. They feel comforted. They feel safe. They feel valued and important. The bond a baby has with Mom is the baby’s first relationship.” The effects

“A mother’s love builds a child’s self-esteem … a healthy ego state,” says Catherine Gayron, a therapist in Troy. “Unfortunately, babies do not come with a manual.” Gayron points to failure to thrive syndrome in neglected babies as proof that the emotional piece is critical to a child’s mental health and survival. “When we neglect the emotional

aspects of the child, the child over time stops eating, withdraws, loses hope, and lacks the desire or impetus to thrive. He gives up, collapses and withdraws into himself.” When there is a tight bond between mother and child, even if the environment is less than perfect, she says this closeness creates resilience in children, helping them to survive. “In most cases, this is the child’s first relationship with women,” she adds. “The child learns how a woman acts, how the mother responds to the child, and how the child responds to the mother. If the child is a girl, the mother becomes the model of how to be a girl, a woman, and sometimes a mother herself. A boy learns how to respond to women. That initial relationship if so powerful for the child.” Dr. John W. Travis founded the country’s first wellness center in Mill Valley, Calif., in 1975. Today he heads Wellness Associates, a consulting and publishing group, and together with his wife, Meryn G. Callander, wrote the recently published, Why Dads Leave: Keeping Your Family Together.

Children need to know from the day they are born that someone

is there for them, and that begins with the mother.

— Maud Purcell, therapist

If mother love is missing, Travis says it can lead to depression, anxiety, bullying, poor achievement in school, violence, drug and alcohol addictions and illness. Boys may be on a continual search for love, a search for the mommies they never experienced emotionally. Teen girls may become pregnant, hoping to create someone they can love and who will love them. “These are all the creative ways human beings make up for the failed connections of their childhoods,” he adds. “Our body and minds attempt to compensate for our failed connections. And the cost of the lack of those connections is so far reaching, the consequences so devastating.” Healing

So what’s a mom to do? Connell says that once the bond is established between the mother and child, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open throughout every stage of the child’s life. And most importantly, a mother must learn to love her children unconditionally. “Children aren’t little cut-outs of their parents,” says Connell. “The point of parenting is to nurture, to allow children to become who they are going to be. Mothers need to pro


vide the fertile ground on which their children grow. It takes a really aware person to raise a child. Mothers should focus more on behavior, not telling a son he is a bad boy because he pulled his diaper off. Instead, tell the son that when he is walking down the street, he needs to keep his diaper on. Or telling your daughter that when you are on the phone, it helps you hear if she is quiet.” Gayron says it is important for mothers to be aware that as in any relationship, love is never enough. A mother has to seek out the resources that can help her deliver her love in a way that works. “It’s not about perfect parenting but being good enough,” she says, explaining that parenting can be divided into three sections. A third of the time, a mother is present for her child, fulfilling all the child’s needs. Another third of the time, the mother is not there for the child. The remaining third of the time is what Gayron calls “repair,” when the mother recognizes she is not fulfilling the child’s needs, and is able to turn the situation around and connect with her child. And if you realize you’ve made a mistake, be honest with your child. “We all make errors,” Connell says. “You would be surprised at how much it can mean to a child to hear a mother say she is sorry. And be honest with your child. Say, ‘I was tired and impatient, and my reaction was not about you. I just took it out on you.’” With adult children, sometimes the damage is so severe the relationship cannot be fixed. Gayron says that before a

Photo: © Raycan/


mother can apologize to her child, she must do repair work within herself. “If the mother is looking for forgiveness and it’s about her needs, not the needs of the child, the apology will never work.” HL

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Obsession Sabotage


know what I need to do to live a healthier life just as much as the next woman: eat right and exercise. Problem is, when I make the conscious effort to do it I quickly cross the line into obsessing. And faster than you can unwrap that package of vending-machine mini-doughnuts, the entire lifestyle I’m trying to put into motion goes out the window. Here’s the pattern. I’m feeling lethargic and realize I haven’t been putting the best foods in my body or getting enough exercise to boost my energy level. Or I put on some clothes that fit fine last week but now are showing signs of the returning muffin top. So I vow to change. I go back to basics. You know the mantra: I try to eat right and exercise. It’s not rocket science. It shouldn’t be difficult to do, right? Then why is it? How do we really make this philosophy a lifestyle we can live with in a relaxed way, without becoming obsessive? For me at least, this is the thin line that’s key to my success — or failure. Am I asking too much to want to be able to just do it without thinking about it? Without my brain and psyche being taken over by the process? Where I think about food 24/7? Or can’t just exercise for the endorphins it produces? It eludes me. Or maybe I’m just going about it the wrong way. I recently joined a Facebook group started by a friend of mine. Her invite list included people who, like me, were looking to recommit to living that healthy lifestyle. It was great, motivating me to keep my regular date with exercise. But then it began. I found an app for my cell phone that allowed me to keep track of what I was eating, how much exercise I was getting and how many calories I was burning. The program then figured out how many pounds I would lose — or gain — accordingly. I was constantly reviewing it. Thinking about the next time I would exercise, what I would do, how long I would do it and how many calories I could potentially burn. And food. What could I eat that would satisfy me but be low on the

by rebecca haynes

calorie totem pole? And it began — the bartering in my head. If I could just burn 100 more calories in my next exercise session I could have that glass of wine, or the scoop — or two — of frozen yogurt.


got on the treadmill, or out on the trail, pushing myself as hard as I could go. Not a bad thing. But instead of enjoying the workout and how good it made me feel, my brain was constantly thinking of that app and what I was going to log into it. Could I push myself for some extra calories? And, if so, could I have the willpower to skip the treat those extra calories afforded in order to perhaps drop another half pound? I was stuck on the treadmill, literally and figuratively. After all, the electronic display on the exercise machine gave me control. On the trail, I couldn’t be certain how many calories I was burning or how far I went. Every day became a contest. Could I do better that day than I’d done the day before? Game over. My obsessive self has once again sabotaged my attempt to “live a healthy lifestyle.” A friend of mine says she never links food with exercise. She never thinks that if she burns a certain amount of calories she can indulge in something decadent. Another says she doesn’t think about exercising in terms of weight loss. She does it only to stay healthy and feel good, with no other expectations. I don’t seem to know how to do that. I’m relatively intelligent. So what’s my problem? Do I have a character flaw that prevents me from being disciplined? A friend told me once that her husband thinks this is the case for anyone who can’t stick to healthy eating and exercise. I’m sure my character has lots of flaws, but whether this is one of them, I can’t say. So just how do I unlink food, exercise and weight loss in my brain? The only thing I know is to keep trying. Guess I’ll get back on that treadmill and have another go. HL



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How Science Helps Back Pain The lower back is a series of bones separated by shock absorbers called “discs”. When these discs go bad because of age or injury you can have pain. For some the pain is just annoying, but for others it can be life changing...and not in a good way. It has long been thought that if these discs could be helped in a natural and noninvasive way, lots of people with back and leg pain could lower the amount of pain medication they take, be given fewer epidural injections for the pain and have less surgery.

Recent medical breakthroughs have led to the development of advanced technologies to help back and leg pain suffers!

Through the work of a specialized team of physicians and medical engineers, a medical manufacturing company, now offers this space age technology in its incredible DRX 9000 Spinal Decompression equipment.

The DRX 9000 is FDA cleared to use with the pain and symptoms associated with herniated and/or bulging discs. . . even after failed surgery. What Conditions Has The DRX 9000 Successfully Treated And Will It Help YOU? The main conditions the DRX 9000 has success with are: • • • •

Back pain Sciatica Spinal Stenosis Herniated and/or bulging discs (single or multiple) • Degenerative disc disease • A relapse or failure following surgery • Facet syndromes A very important note: The DRX 9000 has been successful even when NOTHING else has worked. Even after failed surgery. What Are Treatments On The DRX 9000 Like?

After being fitted with an automatic shoulder support system, you simply lie face up on the DRX 9000’s comfortable bed and the advanced computer system does the rest. Patients describe the treatment as a gentle, soothing, intermittent pulling of your back. Many patients actually fall asleep during treatment. The really good news IS... this is not something you have to continue to do for the rest of your life. So it is not a big commitment. Since offering the DRX 9000 in my Colonie office, I have seen nothing short of miracles for back pain sufferers who had tried everything else. . . with little or no result. Many had lost all hope. Had herniated disk operation 8 years ago another disc became herniated. Doctor wanted to operate have arthritis from 1st one (did not want to go under knife again) very grateful to DRX9000 (thank you Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC) Very happy camper. Raymond F Niskayuna, NY Age 55 This treatment was a miracle for my cervical disk herniations. Only other alternative was surgery, which I no longer have to face. William I Schenectady, NY Age 63

I was told by a doctor I wouldn’t be able to work. I cannot afford to not work so I tried Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC, and not only did the pain go away but I never missed a day at work. Rick S Clifton Park, NY Age 42 I would love to shake the hand of the person who invented this machine. It was a life saver for me and a lot better than going under the knife. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone with chronic back pain. Dawn H Colonie, NY Age 49 Before the DRX 9000 treatment. I had no quality of life. Couldn’t do anything for myself. Thank God for Dr. and the DRX machine. I can live again. Yvette K Schenectady, NY Age 47 I suffered for three years, before I received treatment on the DRX 9000. Today, I can sleep and get out of bed like a normal human being. Before, I couldn’t even drive my car because the pain in my hips, legs and feet were so bad from the sciatica nerve being pinched by my Herniated Disc L4 and L5, which also prevented me from sitting in a chair or even using my computer lap top at any time. Today things have changed due to advance technology therapy on the DRX 9000. They always try

A DV E R T I S E M E N T I would definitely refer people to your office. Dr. Guerra and his staff have made this experience a pleasure. Ed H Hoosick Falls, NY Age 70 Pain free, numbness in the left foot is gone. DRX 9000 is GREAT and does work. Sal L Niskayuna, NY Age 50

Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC demonstrates the DRX 9000 to a patient

to regulate the treatments that work. What is up with this taught process???? The world is changing and so have I. Frank A Troy, NY Age 52 Before receiving the DRX treatments, my quality of life was very poor. I could hardly do anything other than going to work and going to bed. After the DRX treatments my quality of life has improved 90% which has resulted in me being able to go for long walks without a cane and go shopping. Anne P Burnt Hills, NY Age 70 I am so appreciative of this method of therapy because when I came to the office I had to use a cane and had muscle pain in walking. After 2nd treatment sciatica nerve pain was gone in my left leg. Judith W Albany, NY Age 64 Prior to this treatment my only options appeared to be invasive pain management, or surgery. After receiving 24 sessions on the DRX, I am markedly improved, relatively pain free and am able to function as I had in previous years. Highly recommend to anyone with disc issues. Alan P Scotia, NY Age 53 I would choose this therapy again! Painless treatment that gets your life back to

normal. Stick with it-it works! Linda G Broadalben, NY Age 53 I am so happy I came to Dr. Guerra. I was in a lot of pain and after being on the DRX I tell you I do not have pain. I feel wonderful and the staff are very nice. Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC is wonderful. If you are in pain try the DRX it really helps. Edith C Schenectady, NY Age 71 I think more people should know about this procedure before considering any surgery. Medications help the pain but they don’t cure the cause. I am back to my old self again. Lorraine B Scotia, NY Age 78 I highly recommend this machine. I had my doubts but it really and truly works. Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC is a wonderful doctor and his staff is great too. Linda D Clifton Park, NY Age 46 I was extremely skeptical at the beginning of treatments - Progress was slow in coming - But... then it worked! What a relief!!! Joan K Delmar, NY Age 71 I had no where else to go with this problem. The DRX 9000 was just what I needed. Many thanks! Burton S Mechanicville, NY Age 50

I’m able to go on long walks and get all night sleep (I’ve had 3 surgeries since 2006) Without the DRX I would be in for a 4th back surgery. I’m getting back to doing activities with my 10 year old son. Lisa V Catskill, NY Age 45 I wish to thank you very much for all the help I received with the spinal decompression therapy. Your entire office was very helpful and compassionate. No longer do I sit at night with my heating pads, moving them from sore spot to sore spot. My knees are no longer on fire and I’m able to go up and down the stairs much easier than before. Mable D Ballston Lake, NY Age 68

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of Understanding learn how to create a positive energy field by cari scribner

Photo: © Deosum/


ood rings, popular in the ’70s, were said to mirror our changing emotions: warmer tones of green meant joyfulness, while the dreaded black predicted a dark mood on the horizon. But colorful auras are a far more highly evolved concept of human energy fields, deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy and traditions. Auras are the electromagnetic field that surrounds the human body and other organisms, which may appear as a subtle, luminous radiation of varying colors. Revered by mystics, spiritualists, and some practitioners of holistic medicine as the essence of the individual, understanding the power of the aura could be another step towards self-realization for all of us. Ann Fisher of Albany is a nationally acclaimed psychic, medium, teacher, author, hypnotist and entertainer. Fisher says she sees auras anytime she tunes in and looks for colors encircling people. “Auras are your energy field, the essence of a person at that moment,” Fisher says. “They radiate what’s on your mind, as well as your overall health.” If you wake up in a funk, don’t assume you’re stuck with that dark aura for the rest of the day. “Auras will change with your mood,” she says. “If you make an effort to improve your outlook, your aura will change color.” Fisher says that since she’s good-natured and dedicated to helping others, her own aura tends to be turquoise. continued on page 63 






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continued from page 61


ven if you don’t readily see auras surrounding other people, chances are good you still sense them. “If you walk into a room and feel the tension, there’s someone in there with a black aura,” Fisher says. “If you sense a very angry person, their aura could be flashing red. People sense what’s going on with others for their own safety, often without even being aware they’re doing it. Every minute of the day, we all use our instincts to figure out other people.” Since she encounters people with a variety of auras, Fisher imagines a white layer of protection around herself so she isn’t influenced by negative energy. “A lot of people are skeptical because they’re afraid of these concepts of energy and auras,” Fisher says. “I’m hoping that will change and people will become more open to it. Studying auras really is a great way to understand people.” Marina Petro is an intuitive counselor and visionary artist in Saratoga Springs who believes everyone has the ability to sense auras, even if it’s not by actual physical sight. Petro recommends the following steps to tune in to another person’s aura. “Start by closing your eyes, relaxing and focusing your attention on the space in front of you,” Petro says. “Then turn your attention to the person’s head and shoulders and

imagine colors there. What you see will be very subtle, and auras aren’t always static; they move and change, but with practice, you will sense color.” Anyone new to aura recognition may believe what they see is just their imagination, Petro says, but trust your instincts. “Rely on inner vision,” Petro says. “If you don’t believe it’s real, look at five people in succession. All their colors will be different. As you progress, you may even begin seeing bands of color.” Most of us don’t need to read our own auras to be aware of our mood. “Aura is related to anxiety or peacefulness; it’s like a mirror in color,” Petro says. “Take five minutes to calm down, breathe deeply, and it will change.” Petro encourages women to trust their intuition about other people. “If you see muddied colors, you’re looking at a person who’s wrestling with things, not in a positive way,” Petro says. “Light gravitates toward light. Always try to surround yourself with light and find others who do the same.” The next time you feel a vibe coming from someone else, or have your own dark cloud over your head, try to make your aura stronger and more positive. Glow, and the whole world glows with you.  HL

Deciphering Auras:

Color Codes

White  A pure state

Bright Blue  Signifies

Gold  The color of

Red  Relates to the

of light, indicating spirituality, purity, truth and angelic qualities.

you’re on the right path; new opportunities are coming.

Black  Draws or pulls

Green  A very com-

enlightenment and divine protection, signifies wisdom, inner knowledge, a spiritual mind and intuitive thinker.

energy to it by capturing light and consuming it. Indicates longterm resentment, and when collected in a specific area of the body, is said to lead to health problems.

fortable, healthy color of nature representing growth and balance, and something that leads to change. Signifies love of people, animals and nature.

physical body, heart or circulation. The densest color, it creates the most friction, associated with money worries or obsessions, anger, anxiety or nervousness.

Orange  The color of vitality, vigor, good health, creativity and excitement.

— Source: auracolormeanings.html



Use It Or

lose it don’t ignore makeup’s shelf life

Us e by 2/ 20 13 Us








by beth cooney  |  photos and illustration by krista hicks benson


hances are that deep in the recesses of your vanity drawer is something that in makeup years dates back to the cosmetics Paleolithic era — old, decaying, and in some cases, possibly contaminated with unseen, but nonetheless nasty, bacteria. Don’t be embarrassed. Most of us have some kind of makeup that is so old Cleopatra could have swiped it on to pretty her pout. “I think a lot of women don’t realize how long we hold onto our old makeup,” says Vikki Agostino, an esthetician and manager at Kimberley’s A Day Spa in Latham. “And they may think, ‘Oh, I only used it a few times. It must be OK.’ But they don’t realize all the germs that can be clinging to those old products.” Experts such as Agostino theorize we cling to old cosmetics for emotional reasons. If you’ve gone for one of those cosmetics counter makeovers and dropped a big pile of cash on a new stash of products, it’s hard to part with the teal eyeliner that looked so pretty in the store. You may have never worn said teal eyeliner again, but still it clutters your stash in much the same way that unworn clothing can hang for years in your closet. “There’s an attachment,” says Agostino. “A lot of women don’t even know how long they’ve held onto things.” There’s a good reason to consider some cosmetics housecleaning as you contemplate the New Year. Even though most cosmetics are not required by law to have expiration dates, and not regulated by federal guidelines the way most medications are, they have their own unique (if completely unregulated) shelf life. “Unfortunately, keeping old cosmetics around is a gamble,” says Paula Begoun, a nationally recognized makeup expert, author and founder of “Preservatives in products only last so long after opening and the stability of ingredients have a shelf life as well.”

When to Say Goodbye? It’s important to note that since most cosmetics are not required by law to post expiration dates, how long to safely keep your makeup is an area rife with ambiguity and open to a great deal of interpretation. Indeed, many of the experts HealthyLife asked had a broad discrepancy when we asked them for their “toss by” recommendations. To that end, we’re offering their suggestions in a range.

 Mascara: Replace every

two to six months, Always toss out dry mascara. Never add water to extend its life.

 Skin Care Products (such as serums and moisturizers): No more than two years, much less if they are stored in jars.

 Blushes: Toss every six months to two years.

 Powders: Keep for between two and three years.

 Foundations: Keep for between one to two years.

 Lipsticks, glosses and pencils: Replace every one to

three years, but should be tossed if you’ve had any kind of infection.


egoun, who recently published her ninth edition of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (a voluminous consumer-driven guide on the pros and cons of hundreds of drugstore and luxury cosmetics), says it surprises many women to learn the government goes not regulate the contents of their makeup bags. The one exception to this rule is products containing sunscreens, such as tinted moisturizers, foundations and concealers. “So it’s left up to consumers to know when it’s time to say goodbye to our products,” she says. Fortunately, common sense can help you decide what to toss or keep. Agostino suggests you toss anything you’ve kept in a less-than-pristine state. For example, the uncapped squeeze tube of lip gloss that has lived at the bottom of your purse for a while is a filthy no-brainer. Also ditch anything


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cosmetics that could be contaminated by your sick germs, such as mascara you wore before realizing you caught pink eye from the kids or a lip gloss you swiped on right before a strep throat diagnosis. “Think of what you would do with your toothbrush after you get sick. You get rid of it,” Agostino says. As a rule, Begoun notes that products containing water (such as a liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer) tend to have the shortest shelf life because it’s easier for bacteria and other microbes to make themselves at home in their containers. Products labeled “preservative-free” need to be handled with extra caution as well, she says, because the lack of preservatives shortens their lifespan. Don’t hang on to products such as moisturizers or makeups packed in jars for too long. Anything you dip your fingers into to access is more easily contaminated than something you apply with a brush or squirt with a pump, says Begoun. These types of products, especially ones that contain vitamins, antioxidants, plant extracts and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are also more vulnerable to break down when they

Keep it Clean

1 2

Keep lids, caps, etc., tight and secure.

Get rid of anything that looks or smells bad or seems otherwise funky.

3 4

Store products out of sunlight in cool, dry places.

Give your brushes a regular bath, cleansing them in gentle shampoo, or liquid soap and rinsing carefully at least weekly. Be careful not to soak brushes for too long, it can loosen glue.

5 6

Don’t share your makeup. Ever.

Toss products such as lipsticks and mascaras that you’ve worn during a period of illness.


Write date of purchase on your products with a Sharpie-type marker.

are exposed to air, explains Begoun. Agostino is hyper-vigilant about mascara, tossing hers “every six months.” The relative affordability of high-quality drugstore mascaras makes it easy to be vigilant, she says. And while she prefers mineral makeup and considers it better for the skin, “because it’s mineral-based you should not be fooled into thinking you can hang onto it longer.” Her bottom line: “You should make note of when you purchased things. And look for expiration dates on products that have them. They are there for a reason.” That said, problems associated with contaminated makeup are relatively rare, according to Begoun. What is she super careful about? Beyond jar products, “a lot of people say mascara, but in reality probably a billion women use mascara and other cosmetics on a daily basis every day of their life and the incidence of problems are rare. You are far more likely to get pink eye or an infection from a child or family member than mascara or blush. And you can’t catch herpes from a lipstick!” Now that’s beautiful news. HL

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Decoding Sunscreen Labels

A note on products containing sunscreens: Because of a quirky FDA regulation, you may note that some of your products containing sunscreen have an expiration date and some do not. founder Paula Begoun explains that’s because federal guidelines stipulate products must be stamped with an expiration date if they have less than three years of acceptable stability testing. If the manufacturer has met those FDA testing guidelines, the expiration date isn’t required. “That confusing bit of legislation makes the expiration date almost impossible for consumers to understand,” Begoun says. “In the long run, you’ll do best to look for a product stamped with a sunscreen so you know how long it’s been on the shelf.”

Tips for keeping your makeup pristine and effective


Don’t overspend on products with a shorter shelf-life (such as mascara.) The quality of drugstore cosmetics rivals that of many upscale offerings.


Buy luxe items (such as pricey mascaras) or creams in travel sizes.


Look for expiration dates on products containing sunscreen.

11 12

Avoid anything packaged in jars.

Always wash your hands before handling cosmetics (especially anything you apply by first sticking your digits into a jar.)


Edit your inventory the same way you would your closets as you prepare for the change of seasons. Toss items you haven’t used in the last year.

Sources include Vikki Agostino of Kimberley’s A Day Spa in Latham, Paula Begoun of, and Arleigh Cole, independent makeup artist Fairfield, Conn.


holiday etiquette

giving gifts isn’t just all about spending big money

The Thoughts

That Count


ntended to be a time of celebration and connection, the holidays instead turn all too often into a battle against the seemingly endless tide of consumerism. While national surveys confirm we feel more put out than ever by the commercialization of the season, avoiding the more-is-better trap is not easy. It takes thought, determination and courage, say the experts, but for many of us it is well worth the effort. “In our culture, relationships are often monetized like, ‘If you really love me, you would spend lots of money on me,’” says financial adviser Kathleen Godfrey of Latham. When you find yourself falling into this mindset, Godfrey suggests that you remember your big-picture financial goals and not be afraid to share them with your friends and family. “I don’t know anybody who would have a problem if a family member or loved one came to them saying, ‘Look, I love you but I’m saving for a down payment on a house,’ or, ‘I’m trying to really whittle down my debt, so this year I’m going to scale back and it has no reflection on my feelings for you,’” Godfrey says. “And if they do (have a problem), well, that speaks for itself, doesn’t it?”



“No need to be a Grinch either,” adds Godfrey. Gifts are a wonderful way to express our feelings. “But it’s not a contest. The biggest gift doesn’t necessarily make you the winner. The holidays aren’t about things. They’re about relationships.” Avoiding this competitive game, says therapist Marjorie Hope Gross of Albany, requires us to explore and then create the holiday experience we truly want. “Why are we exchanging gifts? Do I want to just show Uncle Freddie how much money I have by buying him a fill-in-the-blank?” Gross says. “Or do I really want to share something personal with him that I know he’s going to appreciate, and that shows him I put some time and energy into this gift?” Gross recommends keeping your family in mind as you shop all year round. This helps tamper the heightened consumerism and urge to splurge during holiday shopping season. “When you’re at a yard sale, for example, and you see that nutcracker and you know your aunt loves nutcrackers, you pick it up. It doesn’t matter if it’s $3. It’s the fact that you were thinking about her in July,” says Gross.

Photos: © Gift-giving, © Cagri Özgür; jam jars, © Diane Labombarbe.

by merci miglino


utting back on spending doesn’t have to mean cutting back on the fun, says life coach Sierra Sullivan, coowner of Life Stylized in Saratoga. She suggests regifting, white elephant and Secret Santa gift exchanges that allow us to “play in the spirit of the holidays without being so consumer-driven.” Sullivan also likes the idea of giving gifts that create memories. Instead of spending a whole lot on little gifts, she advises giving a “memory gift, such as a trip or vacation, or tickets to a game for all of the nieces and nephews.” Sullivan says another option is to give the gift of ourselves. “It’s this ‘proving our worth’ that compels consumerism forward. So, if you can be present, really physically present for another, then you are the gift,” she says. “This might look like being more supportive to your assistant, more acknowledging of your spouse. This goes so much farther than any card or material thing.” Jean Smart, of Imagine Life Coaching in Delmar, agrees with Sullivan. “What we are all craving and especially looking for in the holidays is to be seen, to be appreciated for simply who we are.” “‘It’s the thought that counts.’ This is still a really good motto to go by, but I would say it’s expressing the thought that really matters: telling your mail carrier or child’s teacher, or whomever, what a difference they have made for you,” Smart says. “Acknowledge who that person is and how they go the extra mile for you.” Smart offers this tip, drawing from her own experience when illness prevented her from holiday shopping: “Think about this: What would you give if you couldn’t go shopping? “You quickly realize that all you can give is yourself. And that’s what people really want. And yet it may be the hardest thing to give because we’re all spread so thin. But that’s why it’s so precious,” says Smart. “And that’s what you will hold onto until the end of your life. Those are the gifts you don’t throw away.” Tips on Holiday Gifting What do we give — or not give — to those who are a part of our everyday lives at work and at home? While there are no set rules, etiquette expert Juanita Ecker, of Professional Image Management in Troy, says if we keep in mind that “etiquette is all about making other people feel comfortable,” we can make good decisions when it comes to holiday gift giving. First stop, says Ecker, is crossing your boss off the list, thus avoiding putting the boss in an uncomfortable position and incurring the wrath of co-workers who might see it as “kissing up” or “brown-nosing.” Possible exception? If you work in a small company — perhaps the only employees are you and the boss. In that case, an exchange of gifts is less complicated and less likely to make anyone uncomfortable. When it comes to your co-workers, Ecker says no gifts are necessary. She urges caution when setting prices on those

grab bags and Secret Santa gifts to make sure you are not making assumptions about what people can afford. Pam Howard, of At Your Service concierge business in Albany, recommends checking in with your human resources department or your supervisor to get the lay of the gift-giving land in your particular workplace. When it comes to personal service providers such as the babysitter, day care provider, pet sitter, housekeeper or gardener, Jeanne Pinckney, of JP Concierge Service in Latham, suggests basing your gift-giving on who is important and invaluable to you throughout the year. The amount you spend or give, adds Pinckney, is completely personal, but she notes that traditionally the range is between $25 and $100. These days, few of us have special relationships with our trash collectors, postal carriers, and other such personnel, so we can comfortably leave them off our lists, says Pinckney. Many of us wonder if it is acceptable to give gift cards or if it is too impersonal. “People love to receive any gift that makes them feel special, no matter what it is, so it’s OK to tailor a gift card specifically to their tastes,” Pinckney says. Inevitably, you will receive an unexpected gift. No need to panic, says Howard. “Such gifts require only a gracious thank you, no reciprocating required. However, it’s a good idea to have a few extra gifts stashed in your closet somewhere — like a nice bottle of wine, spa goodies, the latest best seller, etc. — just for those occasions when you need a little something like a hostess gift.” When in doubt, says Howard, remember the golden rule for gift giving. “Both the giver and the recipient should feel good. It doesn’t have to be a stressful experience … just meaningful to both people.” HL


cover model q&a

up close with...

Bichi Fasso by janet reynolds  |  photo by suzanne kawola


f you want to get a feel for Bichi Fasso’s general outlook on life, consider this: When she arrived at Kimberley’s A Day Spa for her hair appointment, she told them they could do whatever they wanted. And so the natural blonde became a redhead. It’s a gutsy move that not many woman would make, but that’s how Fasso lives. “When I saw the bottle (of hair dye), I was shocked,” she says. “But I was confident it would work out.” “I take chances,” Fasso continues. “In my life, whenever there’s an opportunity, I try to take it and make the most of it. I know whatever the risk, it will be OK.” She credits her mother, who was a single mother most of her life, with helping to shape her attitude. “She knew hard work would pay off,” Fasso says. “I saw everything work out in the end.” Fasso is unusual in another respect in this day and age. The 36-year-old has been with Boscov’s since she was 17. She started working part-time when she was in high school and returned after a brief stint in college —“I enjoyed working more,” she says. Today she is assistant store manager in the Clifton Park store, a position she’s held for about seven years. “I love who we serve,” Fasso says of her choice to stick with one company. “I knew something great would come of it.” It was the same with her hair. “When I took the towel off, it was fabulous,” she says. “I loved it right away. I feel new, more sophisticated.” How do you eat healthfully? I eat lightly during the day so I can enjoy dinner with my family. My husband is an excellent cook but he’s not light in anything. What do you do for regular exercise? I play tennis with my family and do yoga and Zumba. I do Pilates when I’m looking to change my body. That makes the most impact. Favorite cold winter’s day activity? Hanging out with my family at home. I love cooking with my daughter, Flynne, who is 10. Maybe playing some games. Favorite food? Italian. My husband makes spaghetti and meatballs like nobody’s business. His balsamic meatballs make me swoon. (Fasso is also a dessert person, though. “I could go to Bella Napoli and just hit the bakery side. That would be my dream.”) HL



Behind the Scenes Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham, (518) 785-5868. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park, (518) 348-0800. Above: dress by Evan Picone, jewelry by Ralph Lauren. Photo taken by Suzanne Kawola at University at Albany. Visit facebook. com/healthylifenymagazine to view our Behind the Scenes photo gallery, or scan the QR code at left to link to our HealthyLife photos page on Facebook.

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HealthyLife November/December 2012  

Read this month's stories about eating obsession, maternal love, women's heart health, smart napping, hangover cures... and more!

HealthyLife November/December 2012  

Read this month's stories about eating obsession, maternal love, women's heart health, smart napping, hangover cures... and more!