Healthy 2010 • a special publication of the Pleasanton Weekly • TriValley Views • Danville Express • San Ramon Express
GETTING IN SHAPE What does it take to run a marathon or cycle a century? PAGE 4
Presenting Our 2010 Suite of Specialty Publications: Healthy 2010 s A SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE 0LEASANTON 7EEKLY s 4RI6ALLEY 6IEWS s $ANVILLE %XPRESS s 3AN 2AMON %XPRESS
Hospital hero checks hearts and minds
If there’s a problem, Ajay Jain can find it at San Ramon Regional
Catching some zzzz’s
GETTING IN SHAPE What does it take to run a marathon or cycle a century? PAGE 8
Tips for periodic insomniacs on how to create a haven for sleep
TriValley Views/Dublin NEW! Readers Choice Awards
An annual publication focused on helping readers feel, look and be their best Publishes: January in Pleasanton; February in Dublin, San Ramon & Danville markets Ad Space reservations: January 4
Balloting begins April 2; results announced May 31 Ballot Publishes: March 29, April 26 Ad Space reservations: March 15
Pleasanton Weekly's Readers Choice Awards
Who's Who in Business NEW Dublin Edition!
Balloting begins June 18 for the annual contest; results announced July 30 Ballot Publishes: June 18, 25 July 2, 9 AdSpace reservations: June 4
Profiles of local business people Publishes: February 19 and July 16 in Pleasanton and March 25 in Dublin Ad Space reservations: February 12 and July 9
Danville Express' Readers Choice Awards Balloting begins April 9 for the annual contest; results announced June 11 Ballot Publishes: April 9, May 14 Ad Space reservations: March 26
Profiles in Business Profiles of local business people Publishes: April 9 in Danville Express and April 16 in San Ramon Express Ad Space reservations: March 26
San Ramon Express' NEW! Readers Choice Awards Balloting begins April 16; results announced June 18 Ballot Publishes: April 16, May 21 Ad Space reservations: April 2
Spring & Fall Home & Garden
INFO San Ramon Valley
Resources for decorating indoors and out, remodels and projects Publishes: March and September in Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon & Danville markets Ad Space reservations: February 18 and August 26
Annual community glossy-cover resource guide Publishes: September 10 Ad Space reservations: August 6
Buying & Selling
Special section focused on the housing market and all that surrounds it Publishes: April 16 and October 15 in Pleasanton Weekly Ad Space reservations: April 9 and October 8
Annual community glossy-cover resource guide Publishes: October 8 Ad Space reservations: September 3
All glossy guide to holiday shopping Publishes: November in Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon & Danville markets Ad Space reservations: October 1
The Tri-Valley's annual guide to dining Publishes: May in Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon & Danville markets Ad Space reservations: April 2
PR I NT & O NL I NE
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M E D I A
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Benefit from your health benefits Maximizing coverage makes all the differences in your pocketbook ......5
Should you get the H1N1 shot?
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Broccoli and brussel sprouts, oh my Local natural chef on a mission to get kids to eat healthy ......................8 Editor: Janet Pelletier Advertising Managers: Mary Hantos Art Director: Manuel Valenzuela On the cover: New Year's resolutions can hard to maintain, but with the right tools comes success. Turn to page 4 for some useful tips. PleasantonWeekly.com DanvilleExpress.com SanRamonExpress.com TriValleyViews.com
Pleasanton Weekly PRINT & ONLINE
Dr. Gleason is a nutritional consultant and psychologist. She is board certified as a holistic health practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and is a member of the American Holistic Health Association. Her passion is helping others to achieve health and happiness through nutritional support and counseling. Learn more about her at doctordebnaturalhealth.com.
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A heart monitor can help in your workouts by letting you know how many calories you're burning.
Tips for starting and maintaining a fitness program
et’s face it - if New Year resolutions other priorities in your life will suddenly actually worked, we wouldn’t be go away. The answer? Scheduling. A plan making the same ones year after is simply your list of activities (from above) year, and largely, we do. In fact, more than paired with your calendar. When making 40 percent of the population makes resolu- your plan, seriously consider when you’re tions, and on a grand scale, the top 10 reso- going to fit in your activities. Review your lutions are the same from year to year, with calendar weekly, and don’t be afraid to move two of them consistently things around in order to find When making your what works best for you. involving exercise and getting fit. • Start. Every journey be Perhaps the high fail- fitness plan, seriously gins with just one step, as ure rate of resolutions, consider when you’re daunting as that step might be. estimated at 97 percent, If you haven’t exercised in a going to fit in your while, and you’re intimidated is not because the resolution, itself, was ungetting started again, the activities. Review about reasonable, but because best thing to do is just to start. hardly anyone takes reso- your calendar weekly, (You should always consult lutions seriously enough your physician before beginto conceive a plan for real and don’t be afraid to ning any new exercise rouchange. move things around tine.) Kick off by taking a long Here are some tips for walk by yourself in the great creating an effective plan in order to find what outdoors for clarity of thought, for a healthy lifestyle go with your spouse or best works best for you or change: friend while you catch up on • Determine your life’s happenings. health/fitness goal. Call it a resolution if • Measure your successes and optimize you wish, but don’t limit yourself to trying your workout. Whether you are just startit only on Jan. 1, and don’t make it a goal ing out or have been in your routine for a that’s frankly just too boring to keep. A goal while, some measurement tools might come of losing 10 pounds is a lot less exciting in handy to help you get the most from your than an alternative goal to get fit and have efforts. To measure your speed, distance fun while doing it. and calories burned with over 95 percent • Make your plan of reaching your goal a accuracy, try a Tech4o Accelerator fitness simple one. Start with a list of fun activities watch. that keep you headed in the right direction. As you become more fit, you may want Also, don’t list activities that are nearly im- to include a heart rate monitor (HRM) in possible to do or a huge drain on your time your routine that will signal when you are - they’re way too frustrating, and likely to exercising within your target heart rate zone leave you overwhelmed and uncommitted. for optimal results. A beginner’s goal of running one mile a • Keep going. By all means, accept that day every day might be too daunting, but an just like any other appointment on your alternative goal of walking for 30 minutes a calendar, you won’t be able to complete day after work with a friend allows added every workout activity as you had planned. fun and social time. Some days, commitments will get in the • Schedule the time. You want exercise way; other days, you just won’t feel up to to be a priority in your life, and you’re well it. That’s fine, there’s no resolution failure aware of the benefits, but you’re stretched as long as you simply accept your missed way too thin as it is and are having a hard workout and keep going with the next one time fitting it in. Despite any resolution on your calendar. you make, it’s unlikely that any of those Courtesy of ARAcontent
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How to get the most out of your health benefits this year
t’s 2010 and like millions of other Americans, you may be thinking about the next 12 months ahead of you. One resolution that many people may not consider is making the most of their new health benefits plan. By fully maximizing your benefits and learning the ins and outs of your plan, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars this year. Experts say the most important first step is to review your health plan coverage documents carefully. This information may have been mailed to you or may be available online with your employer or health benefits carrier. It is important to have a copy, because this is the official guide to your health benefits. It explains what the plan will or will not cover, including any special requirements or limitations on the coverage. For example, the policy will spell out any copayments, deductible and coinsurance amounts, referral requirements and limits on types of services. Here are more tips, based on other people’s experiences, to help you get the most out of your health benefits plan this year: • An ounce of prevention is best, so make sure you get your preventive care. This includes yearly physicals, flu shots and some screenings. Many plans cover these services 100 percent. • Use doctors and other health care providers that are in the health plan’s network. If your plan requires you to select a primary care physician, then do so. Some plans will not cover your visit or treatment if the doctor is not in their network, so read your documents carefully or call your health plan’s customer service department to find out. Even if you are covered for using a doctor outside
Use doctors in your health plan's network becasuse often, plans won't cover physicians who are out-ofnetwork.
your health plan’s network, you save money by seeing someone in the network. • If your doctor recommends any type of tests or lab work - outside of what is normally part of an annual physical - call your health plan to see if these require a preauthorization. Usually the doctor’s office does this, but it doesn’t hurt to check. If you
get the test done without a preauthorization, your health plan may not cover the testing, which will leave you paying for it out of your pocket. (It is always a good idea to get copies of preauthorizations in writing.) • Read your policy carefully if you need any type of therapy - for instance, physical, occupational or speech therapy. There are
often limits on the number of visits and some have time limits for when you can receive the services after you are diagnosed. • When Explanations of Benefits (EOBs) arrive, review them carefully. An EOB explains how a health benefits claim was paid. Be sure you were charged for the correct service and the correct amount. If you don’t understand the information or something is incorrect, call your health plan or your doctor to resolve it. • Understand your rights to file an appeal or grievance if a claim is denied that you feel should be paid. This information is typically explained on your EOB or you can call your health plan for instruction on how to do this. You may need to provide additional information for a claim to be reconsidered. There are timeframes for this so pay attention to those notes on your EOBs or in any correspondence you receive. Whenever contacting your health plan, have your member identification number, the date of service, and any documentation to support your appeal. • Finally, most health plans are emphasizing wellness these days. So, see if yours offers incentives for healthy living or discounts on gym memberships and weight loss programs. Average out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles, are expected to increase nearly 10 percent in 2010, according to research group Hewitt Associates. It pays to know the ins and outs of your health benefits plan so you don’t get caught paying more than necessary. For more tips on how to maximize your health benefits, download or order a free copy of “Navigating Your Health Benefits For Dummies” at www.planforyourhealth.com. Courtesy of ARAcontent
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Staying Healthy 2010 • Page 5
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Not too late for that H1N1 flu shot
Number of cases dwindling, but another outbreak could come this spring
By Jeb Bing
lthough the flu season seems to be tapering off, the director of infection control at San Ramon Regional Medical Center is urging those who haven’t yet been vaccinated to get the shots now. Jelissa Walker, a registered nurse who’s had charge of the hospital’s clinics and disease control program for the last two years, said pandemics such as the one this season with the H1N1 flu outbreak typically last 18 months, even longer. The flu season usually starts in August and September and lasts until April or May. “Those who aren’t yet vaccinated against the H1N1 flu should still get their shots to be safe, and to make sure they don’t infect anyone else,” Walker said. Although that has meant two shots this season — one to protect against the regular flu bug and another to be spared H1N1 — next year’s vaccine should protect against both strains in one early fall season shot. Walker said the Centers for Disease Control had first recommended two shots for full protection against the H1N1 flu virus. A study showed, however, that the first shot was providing 90 percent protection, which Walker said was sufficient to cancel the second shot requirement. However, children under 9 who have never had the flu or a flue shot should still get two shots initially, and then they’ll need just one going forward. For those who’ve had the flu, they can appreciate the seriousness of the disease. Walker points out that the H1N1 is much worse, often keeping those stricken in bad for days at a time and out of school or off work for a week or more. The H1N1 shot can protect the public against that agony, and with the virus still out there, she says it’s now easier
Page 6 • 2010 Staying Healthy
Former Navy lieutenant Jelissa Walker at San Regional Medical Center where, as director of infection control, she handles H1N1 clinics.
than ever to get the shots. never were tested for the virus, weath Walker held a flu clinic at San Ramon ered the illness at home and returned to Regional earlier this month and last No- classes when the risk of infecting others vember vaccinated hundreds at a special was gone. drive-through clinic. Motorists and pas But Walker said that the H1N1 virus sengers filled out the is still circulating paperwork at the first and causing illness, Those who aren’t yet though in much drive-through station, then rolled up their smaller numbers vaccinated against the sleeves and drove to and with few pubthe next station for the H1N1 flu should still get lic reports about shots. It took just a the numbers. few minutes for ev- their shots to be safe, and “Going into eryone in the car to February, my recto make sure they don’t ommendation is to be protected from the flu, at least for this still get the shot,” infect anyone else. season. she said. Jelissa Walker, According to the The state in an CDC, as many as 80 email sent to WalkRN at San Ramon Regional million Americans er and other health were sickened by the care providers said H1N1 influenza virus between last April there are no longer any restrictions on and December and another 16,000 died. who can provide the shots or who can The number of infected could be closer get them. There’s plenty of the H1N1 to 39 million but the exact counts are vaccine available, with shots being addifficult to obtain because many people ministered in many locations, including with the flu didn’t seek medical care. at local pharmacies. Those giving the Local schools reported that many stu- shots have all had to take medication dents who stayed home with the flu administration courses to qualify for the
service. Walker said the state is providing the vaccine and supplies needed for administering the vaccine free of charge through the federal Department of Health and Human Services, although some locations providing the shots are charging for their service. Even after being vaccinated — and certainly for those who haven’t received the H1N1 vaccine — Walker urges everyone to practice god hygiene to prevent infections. That means keeping the hands clean on a regular basis, especially after touching products placed on public display in stores or even the handles of shopping carts. She knows about infectious diseases. A former Navy lieutenant, Walker served on bases around the country as an infection control officer, administering vaccines of all types and helping to keep the bases disease free. She’d still be in the Navy, except she was facing assignment to Iraq just after her daughter Alyssa was born. She took a discharge and joined the staff at San Ramon Valley Regional Hospital to stay a bit closer to Alyssa, who is now 3 years old. n
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H1N1 Frequently asked questions Q: Will the vaccine against 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (also called “swine flu”) be the same vaccine in 2010? A: Yes, the vaccine to protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus will be the same for the entire 2009-2010 influenza season, which extends into the spring of 2010. The “2009” in the name only relates to the year the virus was first identified; it does not have to do with how long the vaccine will work or the year in which it should be administered.
Q: Who should get the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine? A: When the vaccine to protect against 2009 H1N1 first became available, supplies were limited. For this reason, CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that people at highest risk for complications from this virus, or those caring for high risk individuals who cannot receive vaccination, receive the vaccine first. These target groups included pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, health care and emergency medical services personnel, anyone 6 months through 24 years of age, and people ages of 25 through 64 years of age at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 influenza because of certain chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. ACIP recognized the need to assess supply and demand issues at the local level. The committee further recommended that once the demand for vaccine for these target groups had been met at the local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25 through 64 years. Studies at that time indicated that the risk for infection among people 65 and older was less than the risk for younger age groups so people 65 and older were not initially targeted to receive early doses of vaccine. However, ACIP noted that as vaccine supply increased and demand for vaccine among younger age groups is being met, programs and providers should Source: Centers for Disease Control
also offer vaccination to people over the age of 65. At this time, many states have already opened up vaccination to anyone who wants it and while people 65 and older are still less likely to get sick with 2009 H1N1, severe infections and deaths have occurred in every age group, including older people. CDC is now encouraging those who have been patiently waiting to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, including people 65 and older, to get vaccinated depending on local supply.
Q: How many doses of vaccine are required? A: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of one dose of vaccine against 2009 H1N1 influenza virus for persons 10 years of age and older. For children who are 6 months through 9 years of age, two doses of the vaccine are recommended. These two doses should be separated by 4 weeks. Infants younger than 6 months of age are too young to get any influenza vaccine.
Q: Can people who are allergic to eggs receive the vaccine against 2009 H1N1 influenza virus? A: People who are allergic to eggs might be at risk for allergic reactions from receiving any influenza vaccine. People who have had any of the following symptoms or experiences should consult with a doctor or other medical professional before considering any influenza vaccination: • hives or swelling of the lips or tongue after eating eggs • acute respiratory distress (trouble breathing) after eating eggs • documented hypersensitivity to eggs, including those who have had asthma related to egg exposure at their workplace or other allergic responses to egg protein Because children with severe asthma are at high risk of serious complications from influenza, a regimen has been developed for giving influenza vaccine to children with severe asthma and egg hypersensitivity.
Express provides a quick-read digest of Breaking local news and events from one day to the next without any environmental impact. There are individual express emails every weekday for Pleasanton, Danville and San Ramon. Our Dublin readers enjoy the express email every Friday. Register now at PLEASANTONWEEKLY.COM DANVILLEEXPRESS.COM SANRAMONEXPRESS.COM TRIVALLEYVIEWS.COM
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Local nutrition guru offers advice for getting children to eat healthy Certified natural chef co-authored “More Vegetables, Please!” and is touring by RV across the country By Janet Pelletier It’s the age-old struggle between parent and child — how to get kids to like and eat their vegetables. Patty James knows this vegetable boycott all too well and every time a child wins the battle and doesn’t eat their greens how it will affect them in their adult life. The certified natural chef and nutritionist, who holds a master’s degree in holistic nutrition, has co-authored a book “More Vegetables, Please,” which features more than 100 simple and tasty recipes for eating healthy on a daily basis. The Bay Area resident recently embarked on a crosscountry RV tour to meet with children. She stopped in San Jose at Adelante Dual Language Academy on Jan. 19. During these visits, James is asking kids and their parents 15 questions about their eating habits, which she will then develop nutritional solutions for. The tour is part of James’ involvement and
founding of Shine the Light on America’s Kids, an organization whose mission is to shine the light on all aspects of kids health in America, to offer advice and assistance so as to allow our kids to reach their full potential. “As parents, educators and anyone involved with kids, we feel that we know what is best for kids, and many times that’s true,” James said. “Kids don’t have the life experiences that adults do. However, kids are often times more intuitive than adults and what they think is best for them, oftentimes is. It’s time we truly hear what they have to say.” James shares the following statistics, which she said shows the alarming need for nutrition education. • 16 percent of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old are overweight or obese — a number that has tripled since 1980; • Nearly one-third of U.S. children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food every day, resulting in approxiSee Nutrition on Page 11
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When an irregular heartbeat should send you to the doctor You may chalk up that flutter in your chest to too much rich food during the holidays, or think that your heart skips a beat here or there in response to the upcoming tax season. For most people, those occasional irregularities are harmless. But if your irregular heart rhythms are combined with a diagnosis of heart failure, they can be serious - and ignoring them may make your condition worse. Your heart is essentially a powerful electric pump. If a breakdown occurs in the heart’s complex internal communication system, it can cause your heart to beat irregularly. It’s possible for healthy people to experience occasional irregular heart beats. But if you already have heart problems, you should be aware of the symptoms of an irregular heart beat. On its Website www.abouthf.org, the Heart Failure Society of America points to these common symptoms of an irregular heart beat: • If your heart skips a beat, flutters or pounds in your chest. • You experience dizziness or feel “light-headed.” • You experience sudden shortness of breath not related to physical exertion. • You feel inexplicably weak from time to time. • You faint or suddenly lose consciousness. If you regularly experience these symptoms, see your doctor. In order to diagnose your condition, your doctor will likely start with an electrocardiogram (ECG) that monitors electrical activity in your heart. If the ECG doesn’t explain your irregular heart
rhythm, your doctor may next ask you to wear a Holter Monitor, a small, portable device that records your heart beats over a longer period of time — typically 24 to 48 hours. He’ll also ask you to keep a diary of your symptoms while wearing the monitor. There are several other tests that can help diagnose heart rhythm problems. Talk to your doctor about what’s best for you. If tests show that you have a heart rhythm problem, you may not necessarily need treatment. Your doctor will develop a treatment plan for you if the problem requires treatment. This plan may include medicines such as blood thinners that help prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke, an implantable device like a pacemaker or defibrillator to help regulate your heart beats, or even surgery. You can take some steps to minimize the impact of your irregular heart rhythm. Check with your health care provider before taking any over-the-counter medications, including nutritional supplements. Immediately tell your doctor if you experience muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, unusual fatigue or weakness or a dry mouth — these can indicate a potassium imbalance that can make your heart problems worse. If you smoke, quit, and reduce your alcohol consumption. Exercise under the guidance of your doctor; don’t start any exercise program until you’ve consulted with him or her. You can learn more about irregular heart rhythms and heart failure at www.abouthf. org, the Website of the Heart Failure Society of America.
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NUTRITION Continued from Page 8
Patty James, a certified natural chef, has made it her mission to encourage healthy catering among children.
mately six extra pounds per year, per child; • This is the first generation that will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. In addition to the foundation, James was founder and director of the Patty James Cooking School and Nutrition Center, the first certified organic cooking school and nutrition center in the country. She said she closed the school in 2008 so she could fully dedicate her time and expertise to consultations and education in nutrition and healthy cooking, locally and throughout the country, as well as in Canada and abroad. That led to the creation of teaching aid, the Patty James Health Guide, a guide to life-long healthy eating and lifestyle. She’s also been a frequent guest speaker in public and private schools around the country, the Clinton Foundation in New York, as well as to health practitioners and organizations such as The Boys and Girls Club. For more information about James, visit www.pattyjames.com and www.shinethelightonkids.org. ■
Recipe for success
220-B Division Street Pleasanton
Think you’re too OLD for YOGA? Do you need more FLEXIBILITY? Are you ready to feel GOOD again? Introduction to Yoga
An 8-week series Wednesday nights – 7:15 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. Feb 3rd – Mar 24th, 2010 $104 for all 8-sessions
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Turkey Meatloaf Description: If you are sensitive to oats you may substitute leftover brown rice or brown rice bread crumbs. Serves 10 Ingredients 3 pounds ground turkey 3 large eggs 1 cup oatmeal 1 medium red pepper, chopped fine 1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine 1 small carrot, grated 1 stalk celery, chopped fine
Advanced Studies Program, Pre-natal Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, 6:00 a.m. Yoga Classes
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard Methods/steps: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. I find it easier to use my hands for the mixing. Place the mixture in the 9X9 pan and shape into a loaf. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until light brown. Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 267 calories; 13g fat (45.5% calories from fat); 27g protein; 8g carbohydrate; 2g dietary fiber; 164mg cholesterol; 434mg sodium. Source: www.pattyjames.com
Smell your way to an energetic or calming ambiance
220-B Division Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566
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mint aroma can enhance both physical and mental energy and performance. So, when your motivation is flagging, a sniff of fresh peppermint aroma can be a good boost. One way to help you resist extra sweets is by infusing the room with a lovely vanilla scent. Try lighting a vanilla candle after dinner or in the hours between festivities. The scent will reduce your desire to nibble on all those sugary treats, and help cut down on the cravings. Sleeping well so you are refreshed and ready for the next day is also essential. Before crawling between the sheets, spray some lavender around the bed, or light a lavender candle while taking a warm bath. This scent will help you to calm down so you can fall asleep, even if you are struggling with heavy stress or a huge workload.
With household chores, family gatherings, school events and work activities, life can get a little hectic. So, when you actually have time at home, you either want to unwind and relax or use the free moments to bolster more energy and finish the day’s to-dos. “Scented candles, diffusers and sprays work very well to bring a calming, positive essence to a house, or to add a bit of energy to the air,” says Dr. Rachel Herz, a scent expert from Brown University and the author of “The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell.” After arriving home from a busy day at work, the smell of oranges can help you relax and put you into a good mood. Research has shown that orange scents reduce anxiety and increase calmness in stressful situations and increase positive mood overall. Several studies have shown that pepper-
24 / 7
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1524 Holmes St, Bldg D Livermore
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Staying Healthy 2010 • Page 11
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The Special Section of the Winter 2010 edition of Staying Healthy