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Friday, July 9, 2010
GAME FOR AN
Bunny ears and all-night drinking sessions get the boot in favour of activity hen parties: 8, 9 UNITED WE STAND
Scientists advise on what makes a marriage happy: 4, 5
Photograph by: istock
Weâ€™ve got a swimsuit to suit your shape: 11
Roz Crowley puts eight ice creams to the test: 12
2 News front
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Career women, like violinist Linzi Stoppard, are freezing their eggs to allow them conceive as late as possible, says Arlene Harris Kate O’Reilly WHAT’S ON ■ HEART BBQ: The Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) is celebrating Cork Week with a barbeque on Wednesday next. This fun event is supported by the Chamber of Commerce and dedicated to former president Joe Gantly who died from heart disease. Admission F45, including access to Cork Week, a barbeque, live entertainment and a donation to the Irish Heart Foundation. Music from 4pm includes Fred and the Frank & Walters. Tickets from the Cork Office of the IHF, 42 Penrose Wharf, or call 021-4505822. ■ LADIES DAY: Ladies Day at Cork Week 2010 takes place in the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven on Thursday next. The event includes a champagne reception, lunch in the Corporate Marquee, a make-up master class, a fashion show and a best dressed lady competition judged by Lisa Murphy and Celia Holman-Lee. Tickets F75 each or tables of 10 for F750 from Cork Simon’s Fundraising Office on 021-4321166 or email email@example.com ■ FREE HEALING: Since last year Joan Buckley of Lily Holistic Centre in Passage West, Co Cork has been giving a free distance angel healing session on the first Tuesday of the month. The next free healing session is on this coming Tuesday, July 13. For more information and to sign up for the next healing visit www.lilyholistic.com/freeHealing.html or contact Joan at 087-6749221. ■ CHARITY GOLF: Soccer legend Paul McGrath’s Annual Charity Golf Classic, will take place next Friday at Arklow Golf Club, Co Wicklow, in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland. Celebrity golfers will compete include Norman Whiteside and Ronnie Whelan, Bernard Dunne, Ken Doherty and Des Bishop. The evening will be rounded off with a meal in the Arklow Golf Club, charity auction and entertainment by Frances Black, Don Baker and Brian Kennedy. Entry F1,000 for a team of four, including dinner. Further information at www.paulmcgrathcharitygolf.com or call John Doyle on 087-1343077 or Juanita Cahill on 087-6181458. For further information on Cystic Fibrosis visit www.cfireland.ie. ■ HEART CLINIC: The Irish Heart Foundation will hold a free blood pressure and cholesterol testing clinic at the Community Centre, Ballinlough on Wednesday next from 10.30am-12pm. For details phone 021-4505822. ■ FREE ASTROLOGY: Would you would like a free, short (30 minutes) astrology reading at Dervish, Cornmarket St Cork on Thursday July 22? Contact Claire Devereux on 087- 6185058 or visit www.clairedevereux.com Items for inclusion in this column can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Frozen in time
IOLOGICAL clocks seem to be ticking louder than ever before. Whether managing a successful career or looking for Mr Right, an increasing number of women are delaying motherhood until their mid-30s or early 40s. With research showing it takes twice as long for women over 35 to conceive, it is no wonder many would-be-mothers are turning to science to ‘stall time’. Freezing eggs until the time is right is becoming increasingly popular with many women, including English violinist, Linzi Stoppard, who, at 31, has decided to slow down ‘mother nature’ while she concentrates on her career. Stoppard, who plays with the rock band, Fuse, has had 10 healthy eggs frozen until she is ready to conceive. She is not alone — it is estimated that 6,000 eggs have been frozen in Britain. In Ireland, the figures are far more conservative, with between five and 20 freezes taking place each year — and almost all of these are from women who are undergoing cancer treatment. Gerri Emerson, senior embryologist and research and development officer at the human assisted reproduction Ireland (HARI) unit, at the Rotunda hospital, in Dublin, says while egg-freezing is available free of charge for medical purposes, it may be some time before the facility will be used for private reasons. “The current method of slow-freezing eggs is an accepted and safe procedure, but it has a relatively low success rate (6%-21%), so it is not something we would be encouraging for social reasons,” she says.
risks involved and the outcome may not result in pregnancy.” But while fertility clinics in this country have been slow to seek a licence to offer freezing for lifestyle purposes, the new, more successful methods might see a turnaround. “New techniques, such as vitrification, involve rapid cooling times and a higher concentration of cryopreservation,” Emerson says. “This latest technology is really promising and results, so far, have shown success rates of almost 99%. “I would imagine it will be available in Ireland within the next few years — it is just a matter of carrying out risk analysis and organising paperwork.”
ON HOLD: Violinist Linzi Stoppard has had 10 eggs frozen. Picture:
Carmen Valino/PA Wire
Freezing eggs is not something to be undertaken lightly. “It is emotionally and physically draining, but, for women undergoing medical treatment, it offers great hope for the future,” says Emerson. “We have to counsel all our women, before beginning treatment, as there are some
THE FACTS: ■ Egg-freezing is a process by which ovaries are stimulated by artificial hormones to produce multiple eggs. ■ After two to four weeks, the eggs are harvested and frozen. ■ Risks include ovarian hyper-stimulation, allergic reaction to medication, and multiple pregnancy. ■ Slow-freezing methods have very low success rates — only 200 live babies born worldwide. ■ Egg freezing for oncology patients is free of charge, but a doctor’s referral is necessary. ■ When vitrification is available in Ireland, women can expect to pay F5,000 for the service. ■ For more information, visit www.hari.ie.
HEALTH NOTES MOTHER KNOWS BEST: Grandmother, Kay Byrne, shares her parenting tips with daughter, Fiona Hodgins, and SMA baby, Isabella Hodgins (16 months) at the launch of SMA Nutrition’s ‘Search for Real Mum.’
WORRIED about your child’s stammering? According to the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT), there is no one cause. Strategies can help. Parents are encouraged not to correct the stammer, nor ask the child to slow down. Remove all pressures about speaking correctly, be clear and deliberate when speaking, and keep a diary of when the child is less or more likely to stammer. By understanding the triggers and stressors, parents can create a supportive environment for their child. ■ For more information, visit: www.iaslt.ie. Drop weight and cut your risk of stroke advises the Irish Heart Foundation. This stark warning follows the results of a major US research project, which found that stroke rates have tripled among women aged from late 30s to early 50s, because of the obesity epidemic. The research was based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, which studied 10,000 men and women. Fifty four percent of Irish women are overweight or obese. Ten thousand people will suffer a stroke every year and one in four will die from it. ■ For more information on preventing stroke, visit: www.stroke.ie.
SMA Nutrition has launched a nationwide search for an experienced mum to join its panel of experts. The winner will join the SMA ‘every step’ panel of experts on their
Picture:Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
national tour this summer, and receive a prize worth F3,000. Interested mums can log onto www.tv3.ie/smarealmum, saying why they, or their nominee, should be picked. Five finalists will be chosen and announced on www.tv3.ie/smarealmum. The winner will be announced on The Morning Show, on TV3, next month. A free app can give you a daily pollen update. Sanofi aventis and the Asthma Society of Ireland have joined to launch a new iPhone application, ‘pollen alert’. It offers a regional assessment of pollen levels, seven days a week. The information is based on research carried out by the University of Worcester, in Britain, which also moni-
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tors pollen in Ireland. ‘Pollen alert’ can be downloaded for free from the App Store, or by visiting www.asthmasociety.ie/www.irishhealth.com.
Researchers have established a link between dementia and depression — two conditions that often co-exist. Those who suffer from depression have double the risk of developing dementia when older. Dr Jane Saczynski, of the University of Massachusetts, says when a person is depressed their brain tissue becomes inflamed and this may contribute to dementia. “Certain proteins found in the brain, that increase with depression, may also increase the risk of developing dementia.” Dr Saczynski says the findings point to a link, not a cause. Irene Feighan
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THE SHAPE I'M IN
House of Beauty
Back in command MEDIA
OBH man Eddie English is one of approximately 2,000 sailors who will participate in next week’s Cork Week, a series of sailing events in Crosshaven. “I’m racing on board a 42ft yacht called Oystercatcher. Last time I sailed her was in Antigua in the Caribbean in May.” Eddie has been running his sailing school, Sail Cork, in East Ferry since 1974. Married to Jo, he has two children, Aisling, seven, and Eamonn, five. “They are a fantastic joy,” says the 56-year-old, who had a quadruple heart bypass six years ago. “I’d had a heart condition for a while and I was getting very uncomfortable and breathless. I’d had a number of angioplasties and I knew I’d have to have a bypass at some stage.” Eddie says he wasn’t scared going into surgery. “My wife was very supportive. We adopted a very positive mental attitude. Having the bypass gave me freedom — it revitalised my life.” What shape are you in? Not bad but I could be better. I have work to do. I need to get my weight down. I walk at least a few miles a day. Do you have any health concerns? Whether at work or leisure, I’m often squeezing my body into tight spaces. I’m a big man and I push my body, so it creaks and strains more than a little. I end up going for physiotherapy more than once a year. At the moment, I’m getting it for my sciatic nerve on the left side. What are your healthiest eating habits? I stay away from bread, butter and sugar. I eat fruit, nuts, seeds, fresh fish — especially oily fish — and porridge during winter.
What trait do you least like in others? Deceitfulness — somebody not being truthful. I can’t stand it. I always need to see the whole picture. Even somebody who says nothing — they’re not telling a lie but they’re not communicating the truth either. What trait do you least like in yourself? I’ve got more patient, especially since my heart operation. I’d like to be more chilled and laid back. I’m getting there, and it does happen with age, but I have to learn to relax more. Do you pray? In the privacy of my own mind, I pray. It might be a formal prayer or it might just be a conversation. There are times when, momentarily, something’s going seriously wrong and then it’s a very quick formal prayer. What would cheer up your day? A good booking on to one of our courses. Helen O’Callaghan
STRESS BUSTER: Sailing instructor Eddie English says he worries less since he had a quadruple bypass six years ago. Picture:Cillian
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? If I’m out for a meal, I like to have dessert. I especially like tiramisu. What would keep you awake at night? Worry about the business or my family. My mother’s 86 and she has had to go to a nursing room — I worry about her. And, in the current climate, there’s worry about business. But I don’t worry anything like I did before the bypass. I sleep okay — I think about sailing and that puts me to sleep. How do you relax? Mainly by going sailing. During winter, I’m in the office during the day and teaching navigation at night. To split the day, I go for a pint of Guinness in a pub called The Roaring Donkey. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? My wife never met my father. I’d love if he could come back and that my mum could be in her youth and that we could meet them when they were our age and have a party. What would you change about your appearance? I’d lose a bit of weight — a stone and a half max.
Whether at work or leisure, I’m often squeezing my body into tight spaces. I’m a big man and I push my body, so it creaks and strains more than a little
When did you last cry? I buried my brother-in-law, Dominic, last April. He was 33. I shed a few tears then.
FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2010
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A new book takes a look at marital science and reveals how and why some couples
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make it to happy-ever-after, reports Helen O’Callaghan
You can work it out D
O you smile and roll your eyes in reaction to something your partner has said? How exactly do you re-tell the story of how you first met your other half — with nostalgia and optimism or with negativity and regret? Does your marriage have at least a five-to-one daily ratio of positive to negative interactions? How you behave in any of these contexts can strongly predict whether you’re on course for a happy marriage or doomed to divorce. This is according to New York Times journalist Tara Parker-Pope and author of For Better For Worse, The Science Of A Good Marriage. Parker-Pope wrote the recently published book after her 17-year marriage began to fall apart and she found herself struggling to make sense of it. Rather than resort to marriage advice books and self-help guides, which she felt were filled with unhelpful platitudes, the long-time health writer began to trawl the internet for research on marriage and relationships. “I was stunned to find a vast world of marital science beyond the self-help aisle. For decades, numerous scientists have been churning out credible research filled with practical advice about marital health,” says the mum-of-one, who believes understanding the science of marriage gives us a crystal ball to better predict which relationships will work and which won’t. In her book, for which Parker-Pope turned to top biologists, neuroscientists and psychologists, some of the truths uncovered aren’t so surprising — if you wait until you’re over 25 to wed, you’re less likely to split up. And if you marry someone like yourself — with similar values, backgrounds and life goals — you’re likely to stay the course. But other insights are more subtle. Take the analysis by marriage researcher John Gottman of the ‘how-we-met’ stories of 52 couples. After the couples initially told their stories, University of Washington researchers had a pretty clear idea which couples were happy and which were headed for divorce. Three years later they checked in with the couples and found the how-we-met story had predicted with 94% accuracy, which couples would break up and who’d stay together.
“Spouses who are in happy marriages often recount the early part of their relationship with laughter, smiles and nostalgia — even when talking about difficult times like a job loss or financial struggles. Unhappy couples tend to recast their past times together in a decidedly negative light,” says Parker-Pope. She cites two different examples of how a wife might talk about her first visit to her husband-to-be’s filthy apartment: “My goodness, the place was a wreck! Socks everywhere, empty beer bottles. It was definitely a bachelor pad.” Or “It was disgusting. Even back then, he was a complete slob”. “It’s the same story about the same messy apartment, told two different ways. But it’s clear which wife is happier in her relationship,” says Parker-Pope. Which pronouns we use when telling stories of our experiences as a couple also give strong hints as to where our marriage is headed. “Happy couples say ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ when telling their stories. Unhappy couples often stick with ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘mine’ and ‘you’ and ‘yours’.” Parker-Pope gives the example of a happy couple describing a mountain-climb: “We went climbing in the mountains and got terribly lost. We were so distracted by the scenery”, says the woman. “We never went near mountains again, but that was still one of our best trips together,” says the man. This, she says, is an example of ‘we-ness’, typical of a connected couple. An unhappy couple would describe the same trip very differently: “You lost the map that day, and it took hours to get back home. I was exhausted,” she says. “You never really liked hiking much anyway,” he says. Couples often get panicked about the wrong things, such as conflict. The author cites the work of marriage researcher John Gottman, who believes a certain amount of conflict is necessary to ‘weed out’ problems that can harm a marriage in the long run. He studied couples early in their relationship, finding that peaceful couples reported more marital happiness than couples who bickered. But three years later the peaceful couples were far more likely to be headed for divorce, whereas the bickering couples had worked out the kinks in their relationship and were more likely to be in stable relationships.” Stephen Cummins, director of marriage education with Accord, says couples have this “crazy notion” that conflict’s a sign of dishar-
Tara Parker-Pope wrote the book after her 17-year marriage began to fall apart and she was struggling to make sense of it Feelgood
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OR Better For Worse, The Science Of A Good Marriage, outlines five types of marriage, first identified by American marital researcher Mavis Hetherington in a 30-year study of divorce in the US.
Happy couples say ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’ when telling their stories. Unhappy couples often stick with ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘mine’ and ‘you’ and ‘yours’ opening to your discussion begins with critimony and that, if not cured, it will separate cism, contempt or sarcasm,” says Parker-Pope. them. “They’re afraid if they disagree or fight, they’ll run their marriage off the road,” (Eye-rolling in reaction to what a partner has said is a painfully obvious sign of contempt says Cummins, who advises couples not to and a powerful predictor that your relationwaste energy trying to avoid conflict. “Two ship’s in serious trouble, says the author). people in a marriage are different and they’ll Stephen Cummins advises have different opinions — “softening your start-up” in a that’s normal. And some conconflict situation. “If a wife flicts will rings her husband when he’s on never be resolved, but they the road home and says ‘where can be managed.” are you?’ in a not very welResearch conducted by coming tone — thereby John Gottman at the Univerpre-announcing a major issue sity of Washington found that — he’ll arrive home in a suit of just watching the first three armour. Or he’ll take a detour minutes of an argument to the pub. Saying ‘hello, how helped predict which couples are you? How was your day’ would stay married and who softens the start-up.” was headed for divorce durPsychotherapist and psychoing the next six years. sexual counsellor Josephine “If you get the first three O’Halloran says good marriages minutes of a fight right you’re are based on genuine intimacy a long way towards improving — not just sexual and emothe entire relationship,” says tional (where you feel able to Parker-Pope. She refers to bare your soul to your partner marriage studies that show and say it as it is) but operaone of the main differences tional too. “How do they hanbetween a good fight and a dle money? Do they have a bad fight is whether it begins WEDDED BLISS: with a complaint or a critiRelationship counsellor Tony joint account? Unresolved concism: ‘I was upset last night Moore says people buy into flict around money is often a biggie in marriage breakdown. when I came home and the the marketing dream of How do you handle in-laws? dishes were in the sink and marriage but have to face Does his mother want him to the floor wasn’t swept’ (com- realities afterwards. come home and put up a shelf? plaint) versus ‘Why can’t you Does her mother want her to be bothered to do the dishes Picture: Billy Higgins mind Granny? Couples have to and clean up after the kids realise they’re a new family the one time I have a meetnow and they can’t have the same relationship ing. You never think about pitching in when they had — pre-marriage — with their famiI’m busy with other things’ (criticism). ly of origin.” “It’s a sign of serious trouble when the
Satisfactory division of household chores is another operational necessity, says O’Halloran, something that’s borne out by research cited in For Better For Worse. A survey conducted by Neil Chethik of 300 American husbands found a consistent parallel between housework and sex. When both spouses were satisfied with the way housework was divided, the couple had sex one more day a month compared to couples with a spouse who was unhappy about housework equity. That successful marriage comes back to practicalities is something Tony Moore, relationship counsellor with the Marriage And Relationship Counselling Service (MRCS) agrees with. “People buy into the dream and marketing of marriage. They think love will cure all. Being lackadaisical about time-keeping, budgeting and communication isn’t consistent with a good relationship. If you keep disrespecting someone, while still saying you love them, you’re not walking the talk.” The book offers a prescription to improve your marriage, with advice ranging from how to survive the early years of parenthood to how to bring the spark back. And in a book that draws so heavily on the world of science, it’s not surprising that one of the author’s best bits of advice has a mathematical flavour. “Strong marriages have at least a five-to-one daily ratio of positive to negative interactions. This means it’s not enough to apologise for mistreating your spouse. For every mistake you make, you need to offer five more good moments, kind words and loving gestures to keep your marriage in balance,” says Parker-Pope. ■ For Better For Worse, The Science Of A Good Marriage, Tara Parker-Pope, F13.20. ■ Visit www.mrcs.ie and www.accord.ie.
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■ Cohesive/individuated marriage: Partners don’t spend every waking moment together but seem bonded. Marriage functions like a refuge that husband/wife return to at the end of the day for renewal, support, affection and companionship. These couples had the second-lowest divorce rate. They became vulnerable to divorce when one person begins to put more emphasis on ‘me’ than ‘we’. ■ Traditional marriage: Marked by the male breadwinner/female homemaker roles. This had the lowest divorce rate in Hetherington’s studies. But just because these marriages are stable doesn’t mean they’re always the most happy. For a traditional marriage to thrive, both partners have to be happy with their individual role, perform it well, and feel respected by the other partner for the contributions they make to the marriage/family. ■ Pursuer/distancer marriage: In 80% of these, the pursuer is the woman, who’s eager to confront and discuss problems. The husband resists engaging in the discussion by reading the newspaper, turning on the TV or just staring into space. Eventually the distancer gets tired of the ‘nagging’ and gets angry. The pursuer also gets fed up and withdraws into herself. This is the highest-risk marriage. Robert Levenson, marriage researcher at the University of California-Berkeley, says if you’re in a pattern where one person’s unhappy and the other person isn’t willing to discuss and compromise, it can’t go on. “You have to rebalance.” ■ Disengaged marriage: Involves two self-sufficient individuals, who fear/don’t need intimacy to achieve a sense of wellbeing. Disengaged couples don’t argue a lot — they often don’t need each other on a daily basis. People in these marriages would have pretty much the same lives if they were single, and they lack mutual affection and support. This marriage had the second-highest divorce rate. ■ Operatic marriage: Characterised by dramatic highs and lows, emotionally volatile with rows often leading to sex. People in these marriages reported the highest level of sexual satisfaction. Such marriages can work but if one or both partners says hurtful/damaging things during the conflict, the relationship may be difficult to sustain.
6 High hopes
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Some teens who take up risky challenges may be seeking attention, says Ailin Quinlan
A step too far O
VER-AMBITIOUS teenager or pushy parents? It’s hard to know what really drove 16-year-old Abby Sunderland to attempt to sail around the world on her own. Whatever it was, it could have resulted in her death — the blonde adolescent, from Marina del Rey, California, was rescued from her stricken vessel in a remote spot of the Indian Ocean, in June. Her yacht, Wild Eyes, was reportedly pounded by gigantic waves that had destroyed its mast, which, in turn, knocked out her satellite communications equipment and left the ship floundering midway between Africa and Australia. What made her do it? Perhaps it was sibling rivalry — her brother, Zac, had successfully made a solo voyage around the world at the age of 17, becoming the youngest person in the world to do so. Perhaps it was a healthy sense of adventure. Abby is a highly-skilled and experienced sailor, according to her father, who dismissed the strong criticism levelled at him for allowing the teenager to engage in what many felt was a foolhardy exercise that could easily have ended in tragedy. Laurence Sunderland strongly defended his decision, saying modern society tends to be over-protective of children, and that a risky challenge was healthy for an adventurous child. And, indeed, there’s nothing new about teenagers taking on seemingly momentous challenges — for example, in May, Jordan Romero, a 13-year-old from Big Bear Lake, California, became the youngest person in the world to scale Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak. However, while his father also faced criticism, it’s worth pointing out that Romero, at least, did not endure his ordeal alone — he was accompanied by a team including his father, Paul, a critical care paramedic, and Sherpa guides. His next mission is to climb the highest mountains in all 50 states in the United States. However, while, for some, the glory certainly lies in the achievement, for others the secret attraction may be the sheer notoriety involved. The growing cult of celebrity means that being ‘ordinary’ is no longer enough for some — and this may also be attributed to changes in society, according to psychotherapist, Orla McHugh, author of Celtic Cubs: Inside the Mind of the Irish Teenager. Our need to get attention is greater than ever before, she says: “Because a lot of the support structures we had before, like the church and the community, are not the same, we are far more insecure. “Our need to be loved and liked by people, is greater because we are in a far more individualistic society as opposed to a community. “With that comes the whole culture for celebration — young teens are, by their nature, very impressed by idols. Teenagers, these days, can be driven by the need to impress because of the level of positive attention they get through that.” In cases such as Sunderland’s, she says, it’s not only about accomplishment — it’s also
HIGH ACHIEVER: At 13, Jordan Romero climbed Mount Everest. Picture: PRAKASH
OVER STRETCHED: Abby Sunderland, had to abandon her attempt to sail around the world solo. Picture:AP/Jae C. Hong
about bringing positive attention. “It must also be about celebrity. 16-year-olds are not able to judge situations the same way as adults, so the brain is not as developed. “The notion of a teenager out in the middle of the ocean needing to make serious decisions where if anything goes wrong it can be important, that is a bit foolhardy,” she says. “Neurologically, they are not developed until about the age of 24, nor is their ability to discern and judge the pros and cons of situations. “In cases where there is a danger to the child there is also a certain amount of negligence,” she says. In some cases, it’s simple — there are parents out there who are purely attracted to publicity, says Rose Tully, of the National Parents’ Council Post Primary.
Tully points to the American boy who supposedly took off in a hot air balloon, but who, as it turned out, was actually being kept hidden by his attention-seeking parents. “There is a kind of fear of being ordinary, as if they were bitten by a bug and have to achieve something out of the ordinary. “If I had an 18-year-old who was suddenly interested in doing something like this, I would have major qualms about it. I think it is foolhardy on the part of parents,” says Tully, herself a mother of five. “Maybe, a lot of it is trying to live your life through you children — if you don’t achieve something, you want your child to achieve it. “Essentially, it can be about you projecting what you want to do yourself onto your child.” There’s a very thin line between wanting a
child to explore its potential and pushing him or her an extra inappropriate step, she says. “Parents need to be careful.” There’s always controversy about young children and young people being ‘pushed’ in the areas of music or sports — but their lives are not being put at risk, points out McHugh. Letting someone go out into the ocean, on their own, is a very different issue, she says. “If they get sick or if there is an accident, they are alone and there is no one there. Sailing is a very isolated thing.” Of the Sunderland parents, McHugh says: “I don’t know what their motivation was — one can only assume that it is about getting the celebrity and the huge attention. “How else could you sleep at night, knowing your 16-year-old is sailing round the world on her own?”
‘Leave kids live their own dreams’
ARENTS, be careful — don’t try to live your dreams through your kids. That’s the warning from adventurer, author and lecturer Ian McKeever, who two years ago helped his 10-year-old godson achieve a dream to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. In 2007, Ian, a life-coach who works with teenagers and a lecturer in public and media relations, climbed the Seven Summits of the World. The following year, he helped train and prepare his 10-year-old godson Seán McSharry, to climb Kilimanjaro. In May 2008, accompanied by McKeever and two others, Seán became the youngest European to successfully complete the challenge.
“The motivation has to come from the young person himself or herself. It’s not our place as adults to live our dreams through our young people,” says McKeever.
SAFE HANDS: Sean Mc Sharry climbed Kilimanjaro at 10 with his godfather, experienced adventurer, Ian McKeever. Picture: Nick Bradshaw
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Seán had climbed Carrauntuohill with McKeever in 2007 and had revealed to his godfather that he also longed to visit Africa. “I was the facilitator and I was delighted to do it — but it wasn’t my goal, it was Seán’s,” McKeever says. “There can be over-influence from the custodians or parents and very often nobody stops to ask young people what they want.” The common denominator with high-achieving children and teenagers, he says, is attitude. “They’re all very positive. What we need to do in this country is to ensure they live in a positive environment and are encouraged to fulfil their dreams.”
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Relationships at work, school and play deserve as much attention as intimate ties
Human relations N O MATTER where you are or what you are doing, whether you are alone or with others, you are always in relationship. Typically, we think of relationship in terms of intimate relationships between, for example, lovers or spouses or parent and child. However, different types of relationships occur in all places where individuals live, work, play and pray and these liaisons require as much attention as those relationships between intimates. Indeed, with what has transpired within church, banks, government, public bodies and sporting bodies, there is an urgent need to address the quality of relationships within these social systems. The depersonalisation, narcissism, individualism, abuse cover-ups, mis-use of taxpayers’ monies, greed, cosy circles of deceit and superiority are just some examples of the extreme failures in relationships that have emerged — and the uncovering is not even remotely over. Sadly, it is still the case that the most dangerous place to be is the family. Schools, too, need to address the issue of relationship first, education second, as there are many students who complain of anonymity and many teachers who are highly stressed due to an examination-result fixated mentality. The social and economic crises we are currently experiencing indicate that education has proven to be no reliable index of maturity. What is frequently missed about the nature of relationship is that each relationship is always a couple relationship and also that each relationship is different to all others. For instance, within the family, each child has a different relationship with each parent and vice versa and the parent who claims to treat all her children in the same way misses this fundamental fact of the uniqueness and creativity of each relationship. Similarly, each student relates to the teacher in a different way and it is the mature teacher who recognises that each student responds to his presence and what he says or does in accordance with his or her own unique interiority. It is for this reason that teaching needs to be always focussed on the individual and not the group. In the workplace, to our detriment, where sight has been lost of the critical role of relationship, the reality is that each employee has a different manager and it is the mature manager who is conscious of this essential fact. Within workplaces — particularly, within financial and, ironically, health and social services — individual employees need to bring their individuality, creativity, values, beliefs into the workplace and no longer be limited and feel threatened by a target-fixated mentality that put profits before people and performance before employees’ personal wellbeing. A determining factor of what happens between people is what happens within each member of the dyad. Whether we are conscious or unconscious of this fact, whether we like it or not, each person’s inner world — how one perceives self, one’s fears, doubts, insecurities, unresolved conflicts or one’s fearlessness, belief in self and occupation of an inner stronghold — determine
TWO TO TANGO: It is often missed that each relationship is always a couple relationship and also that each relationship is different to all others. Picture:iStock
University College Cork Oral Health Services Research Centre
how one perceives and interacts with the other. This is a two-way street and when individuals have little sense of their worth, are dependent, fearful and have had to repress many aspects of their true nature, they are either a danger to themselves or to others — or both. It follows when individuals have a strong sense of their worth, are stable, mature and tolerant that they create relationships that are of a progressive rather than a defensive nature. Personal effectiveness — a solid interiority, a deep knowing of self — determines professional effectiveness, a fact that needs to be urgently integrated into education and training of professionals, so that the recent history of political, religious, economic, social and emotional scandals are not repeated. In my book with co-author Dr Helen Ruddle, all of the above issues are explored in depth. We especially emphasise the responsibility that each and every one of us has to reflect on how we are within ourselves and how, out of that place, we relate to others. If our inner world is harmonious then we will be better able to live with one another in harmony — it is in this sense that individual maturity leads to mature society. For persons who occupy positions of governorship over others, the responsibility of personal maturity is particularly urgent. The recession that has hit the world in recent times can be traced to deep emotional processes where trust had disappeared, where there was little room for individuality, where performance was prized above wellbeing and where there was an overwhelming push for ‘success’ at all costs. The book is especially aimed at those adults in our society who have leadership, managerial and parental responsibilities. While aimed at men and women, the book seeks, in particular, to draw in men who traditionally have not seen relationship as belonging to their sphere of business. For the sake of mature society this is an area that men can no longer afford to avoid. Dr Tony Humphreys is a clinical psychologist, author and national and international speaker. The new book, Relationship, Relationship, Relationship, The Heart of a Mature Society, was launched recently by TCH chairman Alan Crosbie at the West Cork Literary Festival in Bantry.
FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2010
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A DIFFERENT VIEW SINCE 1841
Hen party trends 9 Cover story Hen nights have become sedate, less about drinking and more about the bride-to-be bonding with her friends on activity-based weekends, says Helen O’Callaghan XH - V1
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN A
GANG of shrieking women on a pub crawl, dressed in sparkly, pink tutus complete with bunny ears and tails — that was the Irish hen party. You heard them before you saw them. Now, you mightn’t recognise them. Women kayaking off the Connemara coast, learning to pot flowers on a Wexford farm, or being taught the art of seduction at a burlesque dance class — could it be that these are hen parties? Yes, say those who work in the field, confirming that in the world of the ‘hen’, things are changing — even something as sedate as afternoon tea has become an activity of choice for a growing number of hen parties. Angela Devitt, marketing manager at Treacey’s Hotel, Enniscorthy, has been working with Hen Party Ireland at the hotel for the past five years. Before that, she was a wedding coordinator. “Hen parties have definitely changed in the last four years. Hens are doing a lot more activities, now, particularly interactive ones. Brides-to-be have jobs, have travelled, have been to college. They have a lot of disparate groups of friends and they want the guests at the hen to get to know one another,” she says. It’s a growing business. More than 22,000 marriages were registered here in 2008, up 7,000 since 1995. Delphi Mountain Resort, in Leenane, Co Galway, has seen a 50% increase since mid-2009 in hen parties seeking activity-based weekends. “The traditional hen — the whole going out and getting trashed drunk — isn’t so popular, anymore. Girls want to have fun with friends. It’s more of a bonding thing,” says Laura Nolan, marketing executive at the resort. The most popular water-based hen activities, she says, are kayaking and surfing. On land, women want the adrenalin rush of the zip wire (involves climbing a ladder to the top of a 30ft pole, where you’re switched from your harness onto the zip line — you then have to jump from the ledge and zip down a 200m wire), or the equally scary high ropes course (aerial obstacle course that’s based 25 feet above ground). “Generally, it’s sporty girls who come here, but the non-sporty types come, too. The activities are challenging, but doable,” says Nolan, who says hens can opt for full or half-day activities — marginally more opt for the half-day. “They’ll either have a sleep-in in the morning, or they’ll do a spa treatment, or a trip in the afternoon.” But can hen parties really have changed that much? Surely, the noise levels must be the same? “Women are still loud, cackly and giggly when we get together. That’s what we do. And the more of us there are, the louder it gets,” says Jenni Woolfson, who runs Posh Fizz, a nationwide company that organises ladies-only events. The hen party is the final kiss goodbye to single life, says Woolfson. “It’s no longer about going out on the razz. It’s about wanting the women who are important to the bride to be there, and to have at least met before the wedding, so they have something in common. Brides want hen parties that the girls will still be talking about on the wedding day.” Alcohol is still a factor, says Woolfson, but the drinking’s more sophisticated. (So are the costumes, with the ‘little black dress’ now of-
ten replacing the bunny tails and boas). “Last year, every second hen party was asking to do a master cocktail class. They wondered if a class would be boring and stuffy, but there’s a Tom Cruise-like waiter, who knows all the tricks of spinning and throwing the glasses. The girls get a chance to make their own cocktails and they have good fun trying to spin and juggle the glasses, too. We’ve also seen a surge of interest in the non-alcoholic version — because women are marrying at an older age, or the bride is pregnant, or they’ve got their mums and older relatives along,” she says. Hen parties on the farm (see sidebar) are huge this year, says Devitt. “Every second weekend, we’ve got a hen party on a farm, even in January and February. The girls see bread being made, do flower-potting, make apple punch if it’s autumn. Everybody gets into the cow-milking. The bride’s usually a city girl who’s never been on a farm before.” Also popular, says Devitt, are burlesque parties (see sidebar), where hens are taught the art of seduction, using props such as fans and feather boas. “Think Moulin Rouge. They’re taught how to use a fan to attract a gentleman’s attention. They learn how to dance seductively with a feather boa, how to be sensual, how to seduce a husband on the wedding night,” she says. Crazy Corral is also popular. “The hens dress up in sumo-wrestling suits, do a bungee jump, and then get to go on a rodeo bull. Everybody loves it. Girls don’t like doing stuff that will leave them with bruises afterwards. This activity’s all done on inflatables,” says Devitt. Wedding planner, Rosemarie Meleady, has seen hen parties morph in type more than once in the last 10 years. “They went from going out on the tear for the night to going for weekends abroad to a whole week away in Ibiza. It all got a bit ridiculous, as well as very expensive. Now, it’s come back to a quality weekend or night away in Ireland,” she says. Another rapidly receding Celtic Tiger-era memory is separate nights out for family and friends. “Now, brides bring everybody together in the one party,” says Meleady. Popular hen events range from a cookery night in Ballymaloe, to a trek on a horse that’s dressed up as a princess with a crown, at Ballytramon equestrian centre, in Co Wexford. She has also seen belly-dancing catch on. “Any age can do it. It’s fun. It’s sexy and you can learn a routine in an hour,” she says. For many brides, the hen party is like an old-fashioned sleep-over. “It’s a chance to get all the girls together and do something girly, even just watching a whole series of Sex and the City in your hotel room, and having wine and popcorn,” she says. Hens want triple rooms or double rooms, says Devitt, who has seen a decline in the popularity of pampering weekends. “It’s not interactive. Everybody’s in separate rooms. You don’t see each other until the end of the day. And if you’re going out that night, you can’t have a facial, or a back massage, if you’ve had your hair done.” Who pays changes from group to group. Devitt says the bride now tends to pay for herself much more: “We’ve got three hens coming in
The most popular water-based hen activities are kayaking and surfing. On land, women want the adrenalin rush of the zip wire or the equally scary High Ropes course and aerial obstacle course FLOWER POWER: Lisa Roche puts the gardening tips she learnt during her hen party to good use. Picture: Billy Higgins.
I’d never been on a farm
SKY’S THE LIMIT: A hen party fun-goer takes on the high rope challenge, one of the activities open to hens at Delphi Mountain Resort this weekend, each guest is paying for herself and nobody’s paying for the bride.” With a weekend costing in the region of F150 per person, it makes sense that everyone pays their way.
FEATHERED FRIENDS: Alison Molloy of Rathangan, Co Kildare had a burlesque party for her hen celebration. Picture:Michael O'Rourke.
Is there anything hens are not prepared to do? “They won’t go paintballing. In the last five years, we’ve only had one hen party do it,” says Devitt. “They get bruises and welts that can last for two weeks. And they don’t want to
be running, because of the risk of a sprained ankle.” But, whatever the chosen activity — whether bungee jumping or belly-dancing — hen parties have become much more about the
linking of families, says Woolfson. “They’re an opportunity for the bride to get together with her family and friends, and for them to show her how much she means to them,” she says.
I wanted a family affair
LISON Molloy, 29, is set to marry fiancé Dave Mulpeter, 25, in Cyprus in August. Based in Rathangan, Kildare, the couple have their own business, hiring out marquees and bouncing castles. Their son, Charlie, is 22 months. Alison’s chief bridesmaid, Annemarie, came up with the idea of a burlesque dance class for the hen weekend. “I thought it was great. I’d heard of pole-dancing for hen parties, but not burlesque. I was having just family, whose ages ranged from Dave’s 14-year-old niece to my mum and mum-in-law, who are both in their 50s. I think pole-dancing might have been a bit much for them. I just wanted something that would be fun and would get everybody involved. “I imagined burlesque would be a lot to do with confidence and some kind of raunchy dancing. I had images of corsets and feather boas and it didn’t disappoint. The girl running the class was dressed in a corset and over-the-knee leather
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boots. We wore heels so we’d feel feminine and a little bit sexier. Otherwise, most of us wore leggings and t-shirts. “We learned how to walk like a model, how to stand tall with chest and bum out and then we had to dance for each other. We had to pretend we had a glove on, take it off seductively, drop it on the ground, bend over and pick it up — do all that and at the same time look sexy! Everybody was saying the husband-to-be would be smiling by Monday. Any moves I learned I’ll be keeping behind closed doors, but Dave has got a sneak preview of what I learned. “I really wanted my hen party to be a family affair, not a bunch of girls going out and getting drunk on the town. Dave has a big family. Mine are very close. Because we’re all going to Cyprus together, I wanted everyone to get to know each other so there wouldn’t be any awkward moments. I think the hen will definitely have helped with that.”
AIRDRESSER Lisa Roche married “We were told to bring our wellies so we electrician Jimmy Wylie on the Costa decided we’d all wear check shirts and del Sol in mid-June. Based in Beaucowboy hats too. There were 14 of us, all mont, Dublin, the couple are in their in our 30s, friends and family. When we mid-30s and have a daughter, Holly, aged arrived, there was a baking demonstration two. — baked Alaska and chocolate brownies. Googling hen ideas, Lisa and her best Then we got a hanging basket demonstrafriend came across ‘hen on a farm’, organtion. We were each given our own to fill ised by Treacy’s Hotel in Enniscorthy, Co with clay and flowers. I was never into garWexford. “We thought, ‘let’s get messy’,” dening but we got some good tips and says Lisa, who had since then I’ve done her hen party a a few hanging basmonth before the kets. There was defiwedding. “I’m not nitely competition really a drinker but and rivalry over the I’ve been at so many flowers. hens that involved “Some of my husdrinking all day. It band’s family were ruins the atmosphere. there — two of his By 9pm, everybody’s sisters — and we all half-cut and going to got to know each bed. other. Later in the “We chose the evening, all the hens farm because it was dressed up as policean outdoor activity, women. I was the something outside convict with a ball our comfort zone — GIDDY UP: Lisa, her family and friends on and chain. All the I’d never been on a the hen party farm outing organised by men we met wanted farm, nor had most Treacy’s Hotel in Enniscorthy. to be arrested. of the others. A lot “The hen party of the girls thought was definitely imporit was a joke first. They were phoning, asktant for me — a big part of women bonding ‘is this true about the farm?’ ing ahead of the big day.”
10 Medical matters
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I AM in my 30s, and recently developed a buzzing noise in my ears. My doctor said it was tinnitus. I don’t want to take medication for it, if possible, and would like to know what other treatments are available?
Dr Niamh Houston
Dr Niamh Houston is a GP with a special interest in integrative medicine. If you have a question about your child’s health email it to email@example.com or send a letter to Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork
A. Tinnitus is often described by people as a ringing, swishing, buzzing or a humming noise, heard inside one or both ears. One of the most common causes of tinnitus is damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Exposure to loud noise is a very common cause of tinnitus, and it often damages hearing as well. Sometimes, medications such as aspirin, NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory drugs), certain antibiotics, and diuretics also cause tinnitus. Fluid, infection, or disease of the middle ear bones or ear drum are other possible causes. Rarely, it can be a symptom of more serious problems, such as an aneurysm or a brain tumour (acoustic tumour). If you notice the buzzing mainly occurs on one side only, or you develop vertigo (loss of balance) or deafness — ask your doctor to refer you for an ENT assessment. All patients with persisting, unexplained tinnitus need a hearing test (audiogram). Other tests, such as the ABR (auditory brain stem response), CT or MRI, may be needed. In many cases, there is no specific treatment for tinnitus. It may simply go away on its own, or be a permanent condition that you learn to “live with”. Some doctors have recommended niacin, but patient’s response to this medication is variable. Smoking and caffeine found in coffee and fizzy drinks, can all aggravate this condition as they tend to increase the body’s uric acid levels, associated with tinnitus — so, reduce or avoid these. Decrease your salt intake. Avoid aspirin, and related products, if at all possible. Tinnitus is usually more bothersome when the surroundings are quiet, especially in bed. Background noise, such as a clock, radio, a fan, or other noise, may help mask tinnitus. Small hearing-aid-like devices can also help reduce the awareness of the tinnitus. Get adequate rest and avoid fatigue. A diet rich in vitamins, especially the B vitamins and zinc, is best. Foods rich in zinc include spinach, Brussel sprouts, cucumbers and asparagus, or you can take it in supplement form. Biofeedback can also help in reducing tinnitus. The herbal remedy, gingko biloba, has been shown to help some people with this condition. A special form of physical therapy, known as vestibular therapy, may help if there is a balance problem present. The vestibular system is the balance system in your inner ear, and if not functioning properly it can lead to tinnitus, dizziness, vertigo, light headedness, and balance problems. Some studies have shown that patients who receive psychological treatments, such as tinnitus-retraining therapy, have shown marked
DOUBLE BLOW: Caffeine found in coffee and tea and fizzy drinks can all aggravate tinnitus. Picture: iStock
improvement. Counselling, of whatever type, can help lower the ear noise level that is perceived. Counselling will help to identify reactions a person might have to inner noises, and learn how to respond differently to the stimuli of the sounds. By doing this, you can eventually lessen the adverse effects your tinnitus has on you. Support and education groups can also help. For most people, tinnitus improves with time. Worrying about it can lead to a vicious circle of increasing distress and more intrusive tinnitus. Q. My mother is 66 years old and recently had a stroke. It’s a conditions that seems to run in her family. What can I do to reduce my own risk of stroke? Are there supplements that could help? A. An integrative medical approach looks at nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle factors, as well as prescribed medication and surgery in the prevention and treatment of stroke. Illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol levels, smoking and obesity are known to increase your risk of stroke. Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque builds up inside your arteries and it also is a disease of chronic inflammation, so it is vital to have a diet free of trans-fatty acids, especially partially hydrogenated fats. The Mediterranean diet, consisting of lots of fruits and vegetables (at least five portions per day), whole grains and fish best fits what’s needed to prevent atherosclerosis. Alcohol should be limited to no more than two units
per day — the protective effect for stroke from red wine is lost at higher amounts. There is no substitute for a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as you are also providing your body with plenty of antioxidants, and reducing your risk of stroke, in the process. There is a lot of emphasis on cholesterol level reduction, but it is also important to look at a person’s homocysteine level. Homocysteine is an amino acid, high levels can indicate an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Levels of homocysteine higher than 15umol/L indicate the need for daily supplementation with vitamin B complex (vit B6 and B12) and folate. If you are taking a statin to lower cholesterol, take coenzyme Q10 (30 to 90mg daily) with it, also. Other supplements, such as garlic, have known cardio-protective effects; however, don’t take either of these, or COQ10, if prescribed the blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin or aspirin. Aerobic exercise for just 30 minutes most days of the week lowers high blood pressure, high cholesterol, prevents high blood sugar levels, as well as improving blood supply to the brain. In obese patients, weight loss achieved by a balanced approach that combines sensible reduction in calorie intake with regular exercise (30 minutes daily) will substantially reduce your risk of stroke. Older, at-risk adults may consider being screened for carotid-artery stenosis. While you can’t change your family history, this is only one piece of the jigsaw that is part of your risk-profile for stroke.
NOTE: The information contained in Dr Houston’s column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor first
F Catherine Shanahan MUM’S WORLD Feelgood
UCK!” said the little girl whose carefully constructed Lego edifice had suddenly collapsed. I would have laughed, had the child not been mine. Foul-mouthed outbursts are rarely hilarious when the blasphemer is one of your own. We live in hope that the first curse will not be aired beyond the walls of our own irreverent homes. I have no desire to expose strangers to the shock of a two-year-old with the tongue of a Ramsey. Like any aspect of child development, a bent for blasphemy is best tackled through early intervention. Best nip it in the bud with a spell on the bold step while you still have an ounce of control. Once out on the street, exposure to profanities intensifies and the child, the ultimate mimic, quickly cops that most adults consider a toddler cursing with gusto priceless. And so he or she instinctively plays to the crowd.
My child made her swearing debut at the health clinic. On a return visit for an up-to-date assessment of her dicey walking skills, she turned the air blue as she to-ed and fro-ed between a box of Lego and a table 20 feet away where she piled colourful plastic blocks to precarious heights. Like a Hitchcock movie, everything on set teetered, from the child to the skyscraper, an architecturally impossible creation with more wobble than the Burj Dubai. Feeling slightly vertiginous, I watched my child lurch and lunge like a pint-sized drunk towards the table bearing her rickety construction. Staggering against it to slow herself down, the table skidded sideways, but miraculously, the fortress held fast. Regaining her composure, the child reached for the skyscraper, one last piece of Lego at hand. Losing her balance, she
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clipped the tall steeple and the tower came crumbling down. “Fuck!” she said as I caught my breath and the physio smothered a laugh. “Her comprehension’s first class,” the physio sniggered, taking the wind from my sails. “For a child slow to walk, she's not slow to talk and her two-year-old chat is quite clear.” (For good measure she followed the eff with a “Shit!” before toppling onto the floor). I scooped the potty-mouthed child up, to head back to the ’hood, where cursing is all the rage. “Her father’s a terror,” was all I could offer, head and neck crimson with shame. By the end of the session, I had learned my lesson, never curse in front of a child. Four-letter words are easily absorbed and spat out at inopportune times. Swearing’s a curse, nothing more, nothing less, and best left to chefs and fishwives.
Beach body 11 You don’t have to go to a gym to look hot in a bikini, says Deirdre Reynolds XH - V1
In the swim of things I
T MIGHT be too late to hit the gym to get a washboard stomach or lean legs, but it’s never too late to flaunt what you’ve already got. Whether you’re a slender size eight or a voluptuous 22, we’ve got the swimwear to help you make waves by the seaside. So, if you’re heading on hols, read on to discover how to recreate your very own Baywatch moment.
Body dilemma: “My bust is small” Do: Choose a bra-style bikini top with underwire, padding and adjustable straps to boost your bust. Flirty frills, pleats or a graphic print will add shape and volume. But if you’ve got a flat chest and a great lower half, remember to keep it simple on bottom. Don’t: Go for a plain bandeau top or adjustable bikini top (one where the cups are not connected) — they will only make you appear even flatter. Great for your shape: LivebyLove Funky Frills Bra F20 and Panty F10 available from Livebylove.com
BOYISH: Red Herring liquid-filled bra, F28, and brief, F18.50, Debenhams.
SMALL BUST: LivebyLove funky frills bra, F20, and brief, F10, from Livebylove.com
Body dilemma: “I’ve had a mastectomy” Do: Enjoy your holiday. Losing a breast to cancer at any time is traumatic, but can hit home hardest when you’re surrounded by bikini babes. Mastectomy swimwear should not only be built to hold a prosthetic, but make you feel as feminine and beautiful as before the surgery too. Don’t: Compromise on personal style. Mastectomy swimwear doesn’t really look any different from other types, so find one that gives you complete confidence. Fashionable labels like Eloise, Nicola Jane and Anita are available nationwide. Try: Post Surgery Scoop Neck Zebra Print Swimsuit F35 available from Marks & Spencer nationwide.
POST SURGERY: Scoop neck zebra print swimsuit, F35, from Marks & Spencer.
Body dilemma: “I’m bigger than size 18 and can’t find anything that fits on the high street”.
BIG BUST: Freya Enchanted bikini top, F49, and shorts, F32, from Littlewoodsireland.ie Body dilemma: “My bust is big but my hips are small”
Body dilemma: “I’ve got a boyish figure”
Do: To support killer cleavage by the sea, opt for swimwear that comes in actual cup sizes — especially if you’re bigger than a D cup. Shop around for bikini tops and bottoms that are sold separately and keep an eye for costumes with in-built bras. Thicker, wide-set straps offer the lift you need. Don’t: Unless you’re going for the Dolly Parton look, avoid bikini tops with volumising detail such as ruffles or beading. Great for your shape: Freya Enchanted Bikini Top F49 (sizes 32D-36GG) and Shorts F32 available from Littlewoodsireland.ie.
Do: Slim women with a rectangular figure like supermodel Agyness Deyn can get away with itsy, bitsy bikinis. However, to create the illusion of curves, go for a long-line halterneck top with a bust-boosting neckline and low-rise, side-tie bottoms that hint at child-bearing hips. Don’t: Steer clear of dark-coloured, tube-style swimsuits which diminish curves. Great for your shape: Red Herring Liquid-filled Bra F28 and Brief F18.50 available from Debenhams nationwide
HOUR GLASS: Multi-print bikini, F7, from the Penneys Swimwear Collection.
Body dilemma: “I’ve got hour-glass curves like Scarlett Johansson”
Do: Resist the temptation to cover up in shorts and a t-shirt — specialist catalogues such as Oxendales have a great selection of swimwear for plus-sized lovelies longing to laze on the beach. Choose a swimsuit with a high percentage of Lycra or spandex to smooth out any lumps. While a high leg will prevent the costume from cutting across at the chunkiest part. Don’t: Necessarily pay more. While special nip/tuck swimsuits invariably cost more, there are lots of budget alternatives. Great for your shape: Miraclesuit Classic Swimsuit from F205.49 or Silhouette Swimsuit from F51.49 (up to size 32) both available from Oxendales.ie.
PLUS SIZE: Miraclesuit Classic Swimsuit, F205.49, from Oxendales.ie
Do: Congratulations, you’ve got one of the few shapes that can carry off the classic string bikini, so work it. Be bold with print as your perfectly proportioned curves can pull it off. Too self-conscious for a bikini? Look for a waist defining swimsuit with a high-cut leg to show off your sexy shape instead. Don’t: Wear unflattering boy shorts or big pants. Side-tie bottoms are better as they can be adjusted for wider hips. Great for your shape: Foil multi-print bikini F7, available from Penneys nationwide.
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Body dilemma: “I want to disguise my tummy/thighs/upper arms” Do: Reach for ruching, as it conceals problem areas without clinging. Beware of tankinis which can ride up to reveal your stomach. If you’re really bothered by your jiggly bits, cover them up with cap sleeves, a skirted swimsuit or sarong. Don’t: Think a kaftan is your only option this summer — whether a wobbly tum, thighs or bingo wings, there’s a crafty swimsuit out there to tackle every body bugaboo. Best for your shape: To disguise tummies: check out the Body Shaper Tummy Control Swimsuit F40 available from Marks & Spencer nationwide. To disguise thighs: Beach Collection Skirted Swimsuit F50 available from Debenhams nationwide, To disguise upper arms: H! by Henry Holland Polka Dot Body Suit F31 available from Debenhams nationwide.
BODY SHAPER: Tummy control swimsuit, F40, from Marks & Spencer.
12 Food survey
ACH year we eat our way through an estimated F170m worth of ice cream. We like it. A lot. Of course anything this delicious has to be fattening. Ice cream delivers about 200 calories for two heaped dessertspoons. That’s 20 minutes running or cycling to work it off. As well as that we get nasty saturated fats and lots of sugar in various forms such as glucose and fructose, along with some salt. Sugar and fat provide flavour and also help to lower the freezing point so that we have instantly usable ice cream when we take it from the freezer. Homemade takes longer to defrost. Both sugar and salt make us thirsty which is why Italian cafés serve ice cream with a glass of water. It’s a good habit to get into to prevent dehydration. In shop-bought ice cream we usually find mono- and di-glycerides. These are used instead of egg yolks (and often with them) to allow a light air distribution and a creamy texture throughout the ice cream. These are derived from fats or oils which can be of vegetable or animal origin. Carrageenan and sodium alginate, derived from Irish moss or algae are often used to thicken and set ice cream. None of these additives are anything to worry about as long as we don’t eat too much of them — they appear in many convenience foods.
NICE! Picture: iStock
Generally, ice cream is a luxury and an expensive product. When we make it ourselves it’s far cheaper and we don’t have to add ingredients to keep it soft, even-textured and colourful. We don’t like, we are told by manufacturers, slightly dull pink strawberry ice cream, even though that’s the colour
fresh strawberries go if antioxidants are not used. Making our own, we ensure we know exactly what is in it and can add much more fruit than we get in bought varieties. We can also be a little more imaginative, adding our own touches. The fashion for fresh herbs such as thyme, lavender and basil has proba-
Tipperary Organic Chocolate Truffle Ice cream, 500ml F6.26
Carte d’Or Chocolate Inspiration, 900ml F5.18
Killeagh Farm Raspberry Ripple, 1 litre F1.99, Aldi
Made in Co Carlow, all certified organic ingredients include full cream milk, cane sugar, double cream, egg yolk, skimmed milk powder, glucose, reduced fat cocoa powder, natural stabliser. The chocolate truffle flavour here runs throughout the smooth ice cream and it is rich and sumptuous, just as we would hope for in a truffle. A deliciously rich, expensive treat for chocolate lovers. Score: 8.5
Dark curls of chocolate are scattered on top of swirls of dark chocolate and vanilla which look and taste lighter than other chocolate samples. It is still quite chocolatey and will suit those who like a heavier style of ice cream. However, it’s not more calorific than most other samples. The usual mix of sugar and glucose-fructose provides extra sweetness, but the overall effect is not cloying. Score: 6.5
Reconstituted skimmed milk powder is used here with Irish double cream, along with sugar, glucose syrup, whey powder and 5% raspberry ripple, and various thickeners and stabilisers. The result is a good, creamy texture, with a fair amount of raspberry ripple. I would use this for a banana split or in cones. Fair price. Made in Fermoy, Co Cork. Score: 7
Corrin Hill Ripply Strawberry, 1 litre F5.11 Deep strawberry colour throughout with streaks of sugar-syrupy ripple. Texture is light and creamy. A pleasant, no-fuss ice cream. Made in Fermoy, Co Cork. Score: 6.75
HB Choc Ice Ice cream, 1 litre F3.99 WITH 8% flecks of chocolate in plain vanilla ice cream, this has a light style which is not too sweet. Nothing special, but with a light creaminess, fresh whole milk is paired with reconstituted skimmed milk, sugar, cream, glucose and fructose syrup, cocoa butter, various stabilisers. A comfortingly familiar taste. Score: 6
Swedish Glace Juicy Raspberry, 750ml F4.19 health shops Lactose, cholestrol and gluten free, this iced dessert is made mainly from soya milk, with sucrose, 14% raspberry puree, with natural carrageenan to thicken. The vibrant colour is added to with red beet powder and it has some salt and raspberry flavour. Sugar content is high, but the overall calorie content is much the same as other ice creams. Since we last tasted this brand it has improved. A good, tart raspberry flavour contrasts well with the creamy texture. Fair price for a speciality product. Score: 7.75
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bly passed, but it was fun while it lasted. If you have rose water or orange blossom water (from Asian stores), it is good in ice cream — add to plain or fruit varieties. Crystallised ginger is delicious with chocolate. The most classic Italian ice cream is made with a custard which is thickened slowly over heat. The recipe here is not as rich as custard-based ice cream, but with fresh fruit makes a delicious summer treat. To make easy cheat ice cream: Whip up some cream, add a shake of sieved icing sugar, some pureed strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries or blackcurrants. I add a little black pepper to the strawberries first to bring out the flavour, or a little balsamic vinegar is good too. If using blackcurrants add a little cassis liqueur if to hand. Use the pureed soft fruit raw, or cook blackcurrants and gooseberries a little with some sugar to soften the skins and press through a sieve into the cream mixture. Pour into used yoghurt cartons, which are better than large cartons for defrosting. My latest discovery is to use silicone cake cases, which are flexible and reusable. Available in kitchen equipment shops, they make life easy as the moulds can be dipped into warm water to unmould easily. Buy them in petits fours size if watching your weight. Pour in the ice cream from a jug and place on trays in the freezer compartment of the fridge or the freezer. Cover when frozen. They are easily decorated when removed from the mould and look excellent topped with fresh or pureed fruit. Fresh fruit is also an excellent accompaniment to ice cream and a way of ensuring we get a few of our five a day fruits. Now is the time to enjoy every bit of fresh fruit we can. As ice cream is calorific, try to stick to just one scoop. NOTE: Do not allow ice cream to defrost if returning some to the freezer. Scoop out as quickly as possible and refreeze while still solid. Buy small tubs for small families so each tub can be finished at one sitting. Tummy troubles follow badly managed food in summer, especially ice cream.
Baldwin’s Farmhouse Toffee Crisp, 500ml F4.95, selected SuperValus and Centras and speciality shops Made in Knockanore, Co Waterford from milk from their own farm, this is traceability at its best. Colourfully packaged in 500ml paper-based tubs, it’s made from full milk, cream, condensed milk, real egg yolks and a few forms of sugar. The toffee crisps made from puffed rice are chocolatey, crispy tiny beads with good crunch and don’t taste too sweet. With a good, deep flavour, it’s for rich ice cream lovers. Price medium to high. Score: 8
Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food, 500ml F6.78 Originally all-American ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s is now part of the British and Dutch-owned Unilever group. This brand is usually over-sweet for me, but this chocolate ice cream with marshmallows, caramel and chocolate pieces is more rich than sweet. There are plenty of hard pieces of fish-shaped dark chocolate as well as streaks of white marshmallow. 22% cream is reflected in the richness, and like many other ice creams there is also condensed skimmed milk, oil (coconut), egg yolks and lots of sugar in the form of pure sugar and of glucose. Expensive. Score: 8.
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Learning CPR can save lives T
HEART FELT: At the launch of the new Citizen CPR campaign were CPR survivor Daniel Ross and Dr Pixie McKenna. Picture: Orla Murray /
HE Irish Red Cross has declared its support for the new Citizen CPR Tips Without The Lips campaign which was recently launched by the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC). The goal of the campaign is to teach members of the public how to respond if they come across an adult who has collapsed and may be in cardiac arrest, whether it be a loved one or a stranger in a public place. The campaign aims to inform people that you don’t have to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to save a life. Knowing the basics of CPR can make the difference between life and death before emergency services arrive. A CPR Tips Without The Lips road show will be travelling around Ireland throughout July to educate the public on the simple steps that can help them save a life in an emergency situation. The campaign call to action urges people who witness an adult suddenly collapse to: Check — Is the person unresponsive and not breathing? Call — Get someone to call 999 or 112, or call them yourself. Compress — Start compressions. Push hard and fast in the centre of the chest. Don’t stop until help arrives. Approximately 5,000 to 6,000 fatalities every year are thought to be as a result of sudden cardiac arrest. A new website, www.citizencpr.ie, has also been launched that will feature an online compression-only CPR simulator
Deirdre O'Flynn MOSTLY MEN
and enable people to find a CPR course in their area. “When an adult has a sudden cardiac arrest, their survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby,” says Dr Geoff King, Director, PHECC. “From the moment of collapse the chance of survival decreases by 7%-10% per minute when CPR is not being performed. Survival rates following a sudden cardiac arrest are directly related to how quickly CPR is commenced. Irish data confirms the international evidence that if you do not get bystander CPR you will not survive. This is a major campaign and a lot of work has gone into spreading the message of Check, Call Compress”. Even if you do not have a qualification in first aid, by remembering these simple tips you can save a life. To learn more about first aid, see www.redcrosstraining.ie; contact 1890-502502; firstname.lastname@example.org. ■ To learn more about the Citizen CPR campaign see www.citizencpr.ie.
Have a little heart with NY marathon package
Pick A Peak test to aid Arthritis Ireland
FANCY a marathon bite… of the Big Apple? The Irish Heart Foundation has urged runners and walkers to book their place now for the New York City Marathon. The national charity fighting heart disease and stroke has a limited number of guaranteed places with a closing date on entries of July 30. Regarded as one of the largest marathons in the world, more than 37,000 runners are expected to take part in the ING New York City marathon
IT’S TIME for Arthritis Ireland’s Pick A Peak challenge on July 24. How can you get involved? All you need is a team of four or several teams of four. Pick your Peak or choose your own hill to climb. Register with Arthritis Ireland and each team will pay a registration fee of just F25 per person. Fundraise for young people living with arthritis then climb your Peak on Saturday,
THIS summer has been particularly bad for the estimated 423,000 people affected by hay fever in Ireland. Dr Jean Holohan, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, explains: “The cold snap in January delayed the spring bloom. Subsequent rains and now the current good weather have created the ‘perfect storm’ in terms of pollen and hay fever.” See www.asthmasociety.ie for more information.
on Sunday, November 7. The New York marathon starts from Staten Island and spans a distance of 26.2 miles across all five of the city’s boroughs before finishing in Central Park. The charity’s New York package includes: a marathon place, flights, transfers, accommodation, travel insurance and a celebration dinner. Contact activity events fundraiser Gráinne Kennedy, 01-668 500, email@example.com or visit www.irishheart.ie
ALLERGY EASE: A new, natural product available in pharmacies is Nasaleze Allergy, F8.49 for 30 days’ supply. A blend of cellulose and peppermint, Nazaleze is a natural nasal spray that protects against hay fever, dust mites and animal dander. It works with the body’s defence mechanism to strengthen resistance to airborne allergens and reduce the need for rescue medication. It is non-drowsy, with relief occurring in minutes, and safe to use during pregnancy and breast-feeding, and for children under supervision.
July 24, or join the Arthritis Ireland hillwalking gang in climbing the Sugarloaf, Co Wicklow. All funds raised will help provide peer support and information sessions on issues including work, relationships, pregnancy and lifestyle for young people living with arthritis. To get your registration pack, call 01-6618188 or visit us at www.arthritisireland.ie
DId you know...
14% of men feel football is more important than their partner during the World Cup Source: divorce-online.co.uk
NATURAL RELIEF: With one in five of us suffering from hay fever at this time, homoeopath Lisa O’Gorman of the Nelsons Homeopathic Dispensary in Dublin recommends using natural products. “Pollenna is one of our biggest selling products during the summer months, mainly because it is so effective in helping to alleviate symptoms. It tackles sneezing, runny noses, itchy eyes and excessive mucus production, without drowsiness and can be given to all the family.” Nelsons Pollenna, F7.25, contains three homoeopathic remedies — 6c of Allium cepa, Euphrasia officinalis and Sabadilla officinarum.
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OTHER REMEDIES: One of the best-selling remedies at Nelsons Dispensary is Oculoheel homeopathic eye drops, F10.50, which help soothe inflamed eyes. Lisa also recommends Luffa Heel nasal spray, F11.50 and drops F9.50 to help with runny and congested nasal passages. Solgar Vitamin B Complex, F8.25, helps reduce nasal congestion, while taking fish oils helps to reduce inflammatory symptoms, says Lisa. For more information, contact Nelsons Homeopathic Dispensary, 15 Duke Street, Dublin 2 on 01-6790451.
NATRUM MUR: Allergy attacks with sneezing, watery eyes, clear nasal discharge that resembles egg white. Loss of taste and smell. The person may have dark circles under the eyes, be thirsty, feel withdrawn and sad, and act irritable if comforted. Use gelsemium if you have a tired, heavy feeling during allergies with a flushed face. A sensation of dryness or of swollen membranes may be felt inside the nose. Nose may run with irritating watery discharge.
How to keep looking good when showers are few and far between
HETHER its Alexa Chung rocking a pale lemon playsuit, military shirt and espadrilles at Coachella, or Sienna Miller going for denim cut-offs and panama-style hat at Glastonbury, some celebrities just know how to do festivals in style. Of course, it’s all a bit misleading, isn’t it? I mean, how hard is it to maintain a look that’s a perfect mix of scruffy chic and poised festival cool when you’ve access to a VIP area that gives you the use of toilets most of us would die for. Not to mention a helicopter to whisk you back to a luxury hotel room. But that doesn’t have to mean the rest of us peasants have to look like a pair of old boots. Naturally, with a festival, the first rule is simplicity. Not only does a “done” face look completely out of place, but can you really be bothered trying to apply foundation in a hot and sticky tent with an almighty hangover. Prep can be a good one here: give yourself a decent fake tan (not too much or else it’ll start to go patchy half way through), and get your eyelashes tinted so that you don’t have to bother with mascara. If you’re looking for an edgy look then make sure you pack in a black eyeliner — models like Alice Dellal don’t even bother taking it off at night to make sure there’s a proper grungy edge to it in the morning that looks well worn, effortless and relaxed. As far as your skin is concerned, keep it as minimal as possible. A sunscreen is way more important than anything else, so go for one that’s been specially formulated for the face
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The news on ... Brighter Smile Lipstick WHAT a great idea. Lipstick that makes your teeth look whiter. Genius. Clinique’s new lippy comes in colours that flatter your teeth and brightens your smile by at least one shade. The shades come in a variety of formulations (High Impact Lip Colour, Colour Surge Butter Shine, Different Lipstick and Long Last Lipstick). All lipsticks cost F19 and are available at Clinique counters nationwide.
TAKE THREE Colour care shampoos and conditioners YOU’VE just got your hair freshly coloured and you’re ready for your hols. All very well, but by the time you get back, chances are your tint will have lost that lustrous, just-coloured look. Aussie Colour Mate Coloured Care Conditioner and Shampoo, F6.99. I’ve long been a fan of the Aussie Three Minute Miracle Conditioner, this seemed like an obvious choice. It’s a rich shampoo and conditioner that has a really lovely scent to it, and does seem to deeply condition the hair. We like.
in a high factor, such as RoC’s new Soleil Protection. And make sure to reapply frequently or else you will get burned. Next, go for either a tinted moisturiser or a bronzer to give a sexy glow to the skin. A good bet is going for a multiple use product such as Nars’s classic The Multiple. It means you can use it on eyes, skin and cheeks for a casual but cool bronze look. And if you’re going to be wearing something on your lips (red lipstick still is the number one choice), then make absolutely sure that it has an SPF in it. Go out in the sun all day in a standard lipgloss and your lips will not be happy about it. Believe me. As far as skincare is concerned, a set of good wipes are all you need. You can use them for cleaning your hands (or under your arms if needs be) and many now contain moisturising elements as well as toner and cleanser. A combination of heat and rain and general filthiness and tents do not a good hair day
create. A hat will keep you covered up on bad hair days, as well as protect your face and hair from damaging UV rays, but it does mean your head can get a bit sweaty, especially if you’ve had it on all day. A good solution is the classic festival hairstyle — the plait, which hides a myriad of sins on the hair front. Otherwise, make sure to throw a dry shampoo into your bag — it’s a great quick fix for greasy roots when you can’t make it to a shower. Finally, while fragrance seems like the ultimate indulgence (deodorant is essential, a massive bottle of Chanel No 5 is not), we have found in the past that when showers become few and far between, a fragrance can really pep up your mood (and mask a thousand smelly sins). If you really want to push the boat out, go for a solid scent, such as Estee Lauder’s fabulous Bronze Goddess Solid Perfume Pendant — it’s a fragrance and scent all in one. A little kitsch, but very handy.
No 7 Dual Protection Tinted Moisturiser, F14.95. Containing a patented multi-antioxidant and an SPF 15, this light flattering tinted moisturiser is reasonably priced and very effective. A good one for evening out the skin tone
dess Solid Perfume Pendant, F70. Perfect — a perfume that you can wear for on-the-spot dabs to keep you feeling fresh and polished throughout the day — even if you’re mud-soaked and exhausted.
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Original Shampoo and Conditioner, F5.99. There’s a lovely feel to this shampoo and conditioner — the shampoo even looks silky and slightly shimmery. This is a good one to go for if your highlights are starting to feel a bit dull — it peps them up and gives good hydration to the hair, but don’t expect miracles. Pantene Pro-V Colour Expressions Shampoo and Conditioner, F4.59. For highlights, for blondes, for brunettes — you can choose what you need from this range. It’s good value and leaves the hair feeling nice and soft.
STUFF WE LIKE RoC Soleil Protection + Quenching Cream for Dry Skin SPF 50, F15.95. Handbag-friendly and with a lovely texture, this sunscreen blocks over 95% of UVA and UVB rays. It’s also packed with hyaluronic acid, which is great at keeping the skin perfectly hydrated. It’s pleasant to use and good for anyone who finds sunscreens unpleasantly drying. with a light and natural effect. Boots Expert Dry Shampoo, F2.99. It’s not very glamorous, but wandering around with the greasiest roots imaginable isn’t particularly hot either. Use talc if you really have to (only if you’re blonde, mind), but we take refuge in a dry shampoo.
MAC To The Beach Bronzing Powder, F23. You need a touch of glamour at festival time. Be careful to keep it in check. Too much is tacky but a little can lift your spirits. The bright coral coloured bronzing compact is sexy to look at and very lovely to wear. The shimmering bronze goes on well and gives a good glowing highlight to the skin. Estee Lauder Bronze God-
Benefit BADgal Liner, F21. We love this big fat pencil. It’s thick, deep black and very cool indeed. Go for the waterproof version if you’re planning on wearing it for a few days. It’s tough-wearing and has a soft kohl pencil. Olay Gentle Clean Face Wipes, from F3.60. If you’re planning on your skin getting through a festival in one piece, then wipes are an essential for removing make-up, sunscreen and mud. We like these ones from Olay, but to be honest most of them work pretty well short-term.
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Nars The Multiple, F41. Festival make-up can be so easy — either don’t wear any, or bring a multi-purpose product with you that you can chuck in your bag and apply at will during the day. Nars’s product is so famous it’s now reached legendary status — if you want a one-in-three, this is the one to go for.
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Q Megan Sheppard Do you have a question for Megan Sheppard? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork
LIQUID WOES: Drinking late at night can lead to incontinence but the source of the problem is often the prostate gland. Picture:
MY 33-year-old son wets the bed after a night out drinking no more than four or five pints of beer. He seems to go into a deep sleep and cannot wake up to go to the bathroom on time. This is happening since he was in his 20s. His social life has been affected as he is reluctant to go out too often. He is a very active person who swims and runs, but is also anxious. He is not on any medication, and is too embarrassed to go to our GP. A. Reports have shown that most males will only address health problems when discomfort progresses to extreme pain. That you are asking on behalf of your son, and that he is too embarrassed to see the local GP, further confirms this habit among men. Often this is simply a fear of discovering that the diagnosis will be serious. Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for you to highlight the fact that most male urinary issues are linked to the health of the prostate gland. A small gland at the neck of the bladder which is essential to the reproductive process, the growth and functioning of the prostate is controlled by testosterone. It is wrapped around the urethra, the tube which carries urine from the bladder, this is why prostate problems often result in urinary issues. Saw palmetto (serenoa repens) is the most well-known herbal remedy for prostate health, and it has been proven scientifically to outperform many commonly prescribed prostate drugs. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc and vitamin E — both essential for the health of the male reproductive and urinary systems. Nature’s Way has developed a supplement which combines Saw Palmetto berries and pumpkin seed oil along with uva ursi — a herb well-known for its affinity with the urinary tract. Saw Palmetto Complex costs F16.75 for 120 capsules. (Nature’s Way 056-65896.) There are specific herbs which can help with urinary incontinence, working to tone the bladder and strengthen the entire urinary system. Agrimony, yarrow, uva ursi, gravel root, juniper berries, marshmallow root, parsley, sumac berries, mullein and lobelia are all excellent herbs. You could find a herbal formulation containing many of these herbs, have a herbalist make a customised blend, or just choose a few which appeal. Parsley tea is simple to make since the herb is so widespread and easy to grow. Mullein is another of my favourite commonly found herbal remedies. Take ¼ of a teaspoon steeped in 60ml of water before bed. You have mentioned that your son is anxious. This needs to addressed, as anxiety and bed-wetting are closely linked. Lobelia and marshmallow are perfect herbs to con-
sider in this case. Bedwetting at any age is typically a result of inorganic oxalic acid crystals in the urinary system, which happens when the muscle responsible for closing the bladder is malfunctioning — either relaxing involuntarily, or tightening so that the bladder cannot be fully voided while awake. Eating too late at night, constipation, poor food combining, food intolerances, or nervous conditions are typical causes of this malfunction. Much like the treatment for snoring, a 15cm ball made of cotton strips and fastened to the back of the pyjamas to prevent the sleeper from rolling onto their back is of great help in breaking the cycle. Back sleeping provides a position which is conducive to the muscle release and subsequent voiding of the bladder, so the discomfort of the ball in the lower back will cause the sleeper to awaken and realise that it is time to get up and empty their bladder. Encourage your son to ask a GP or specialist to check if there are underlying health concerns. It is best to act early with prostate issues and rule out the question of this being a symptom of something more serious. Q. I am wondering what your opinion is on organic junk foods. It seems some people are so fanatical about eating organic, yet their diets are high in processed foods. Which do you think is better, organic junk foods or conventional wholesome foods? A. Personally, I feel that it is more important to focus on eating whole, locally grown,
Megan puts the spotlight on:
F YOU have tried everything to ease your back pain, muscle and joint stiffness, repetitive strain injury, or to corFEELING rect your posture and balance, then the BENEFIT: Feldenkrais Method may be what you are Feldenkrais looking for. Method is This method, developed by Moshe an easy way Feldenkrais (1904-1984), is very gentle to ease the and enables you to release holding patterns and increase flexibility and coordipain of muscle pain. nation. By working at such a subtle level, your brain and nervous system are enPicture: iStock gaged to help change the way in which you relate to your body. Feldenkrais benefits people of all ages and levels of mobility — from professional athletes through to people with severe injury or disability. In an ATM (Awareness Through
seasonal foods. Of course it is ideal if these foods are also organic or spray-free, but if I had the choice between organic manufactured sweets or conventional apples, I would choose the apples every time. In my view, refined, processed, and packaged foods are undoubtedly at the root of our emotional, mental and physical health issues — creating the organic counterpart is simply giving the green light to continue eating unconsciously and feel okay about it. Organic at all costs is a case of personal preference for most people. I certainly choose organic over conventional produce, but my overall preference is definitely for whole living foods over manufactured foodstuffs. Chinese herbal patches for pain and other illness Thank you to the reader who recently wrote to inform me that all acupuncturists in Ireland use herbal patches for pain and illness, alongside dried herbs, powders and pills utilising ingredients which have been tried and tested for over 5,000 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine with a very high rate of success. This is great news for those who are interested in using similar methods to the Wei Patch technology, but prefer to support local practitioners and businesses. The conditions treated using these patches include herniated discs, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, chronic back pain, neck pain, degenerative disc disease (DDD), bone spur, stenosis, bulging and thinning discs, cartilage injury, rheumatoid arthritis, and pinched nerves.
The Feldenkrais Method Movement) group class, you are first assisted in gaining a sense of awareness of your body before being guided through a series of gentle floor-based movements to help re-integrate your movements. Your body organisation changes after performing the series of movements to help permanently improve posture, breathing, balance and co-ordination. The FI (Functional Integration) individual sessions are aimed to meet specific needs where a practitioner uses his or her hands to guide your body through a series of subtle movements in order to provide sensory feedback regarding the way your body is moving. Feldenkrais uses slow and small movements to tune into the body and enable the brain to integrate the lessons more effectively.
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Pain, strain, stiffness, and tension are released through a rediscovery of the natural movements and design of the body. The outcomes are significant, with individuals who have suffered from chronic pain reporting relief after just five lessons. Not only does it help with physical movement, it has also been shown to improve emotional and mental wellbeing. Feldenkrais is all about using minimum effort to achieve maximum efficiency, with Moshe Feldenkrais’s goal being: “To make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy, elegant.” ■ For more information, or to find a local Feldenkrais practitioner, visit www.feldenkrais.ie online.
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