Saturday, 28 April 2012

A healthy U

Look Five Pounds Thinner (From a Bra!)

The simple act of wearing the right bra can help you look slimmer—instantly.
Best Bra
Who doesn’t remember that awkward moment when your mom took you to the local department store to buy your first bra? You walked into a vast sea of nude and blush-colored brassieres and passed by shockingly large cup sizes that could hold watermelons—a far cry from your humble set.

And the person to help you find the right bra for your newly perky breasts? An elderly lady, peering down at you over the reading glasses perched on her nose, measuring tape in hand. Even though her attitude was one of “I’ve seen it all before, honey” you felt mortified, anxious and overwhelmed. And if you step into a department store today to pick up a new bra, chances are, not much has changed since then.

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The Truth About Ear Candling

See if this "health practice" is benefitting you, or hurting you!
The Truth About Ear Candling
For those of you that are not familiar, ear candling is a process that is supposed to clean out ear wax and other stuff by "sucking" it out using heat from a burning candle (sounds weird, right?). Ear candling can be done at home with a kit and is even offered as a treatment by some spas (not sure that putting a lit candle in my ear sounds very relaxing!). Kits are available online and from natural food stores and usually retail between $10 - $30. Lets take a closer look at this process to see if it works and address any safety concerns. 

What is ear candling?
The process (sometimes referred to as coning) works by inserting a wax "cone" or cylinder into the ear and then lighting the other end. Proponents say that the smoke from the candle spirals down into the ear, creating a vacuum effect that gently dislodges foreign debris, old ear wax and helps to evaporate excess moisture. 

Eight Bad Brushing Habits That Harm Your Teeth

Are you hurting instead of helping your teeth when you brush? We pinpoint common brushing mistakes—and how to protect your pearly whites.
Eight Bad Brushing Habits That Harm Your Teeth
It’s not exactly a newsflash that one of the most important reasons to brush your teeth is to fight off cavities (not to mention prevent bad breath). But what if the way you brush your teeth actually makes you more susceptible to cavities, tooth decay and gum disease? Scary.

Turns out, there are a host of common mistakes that many of us make morning and night that can damage teeth and turn a healthy smile upside-down. Find out what you’re doing wrong—and how to break these bad habits for better teeth. 

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17 Facts You Didn't Know About Coffee

Considering that almost 300 million people in the United States drink about 400 million cups of coffee every day, it's not surprising that the specialty coffee industry brought in $12.2 billion in sales in 2006.

Here's a handy infographic from, compiling all the data you need to figure out whether to buy that $200 espresso machine. Highlight: Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a satirical cantata about coffee.

Infographic by: Espresso Machine Advisor

9 Foods to Help You Sleep

Stressful, busy days and the constant bombardment of technology can make it difficult to shut off the outside world and get to bed. Instead of reaching for that Ambien or Tylenol PM pill to knock yourself out, try one of these easy and more natural ways to help you fall asleep. Nutritionist Kelly Aronica shares some tips on how to ease yourself into a gentle and peaceful slumber that won’t leave you feeling groggy or sluggish the next day (a side effect of many sleeping pills). Plus what to avoid if you’re having trouble sleeping.

Aronica says that there's definitely a connection between carbs and the release of serotonin (your body’s feel-good hormone) in the brain, so a snack within an hour of bedtime that is mostly carbohydrates with a little protein can boost serotonin levels. Why?

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McDonald’s Makeover: 7 Things You Didn’t Know

A tour of newly renovated McDonald’s units around Tampa, Fla., revealed details of the fast food giant’s plan

McDonald’s has touted much about its plan to revamp most of its 14,000 domestic locations, ditching the bright colors and iconic roofs of the past for ultramodern interiors and exteriors.

However, a recent tour of newly renovated McDonald’s units around Tampa, Fla., revealed new details of the quick-service giant’s plan.

Securities analysts Larry Miller of RBC Capital Markets and Jeffrey Bernstein of Barclays Capital, who participated in the tour, noted not only the new facades, digital menu boards and fancy new seating, but also several operations-minded upgrades, including a new POS system and dual drive-thrus meant to speed service times and boost throughput. They also learned more about the costs involved in the reimaging plan.

Based on reports by the two analysts, here are seven things industry watchers may not know about McDonald’s undertaking:

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10 Daily Habits To Stop Back Pain 

Although determining the cause of back pain can be complicated, preventing pain is actually quite simple. It's all about relieving pressure, reducing strain, protecting the spine, and strengthening the muscles. Simply changing a few daily habits could make the difference in maintaining a healthy, pain-free back for the short and long term. 

1. Sleep With a Pillow Under Your Knees
Elevating your legs slightly relieves pressure on your back as you sleep. Sleeping on your back puts an estimated 55 pounds of pressure on your spine. By placing a pillow under your knees, you can cut that pressure in half. 

2. Work Your Core
The numerous health benefits of exercise are well known, but a regular strength training routine that focuses on the core muscles of the body can also help reduce your risk of back-related incidents, such as strains and muscle spasms. For a stronger, more flexible back, try to incorporate some sort of back and abdominal strengthening exercise into your workout at least twice a week. 

Migraine Learning Center

Migraine is a disorder characterized by chronic, severe headaches of intense throbbing or pulsating pain that can last from four hours to several days. Other migraine symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from migraine, which is more common in women than in men. 

Use This Sleep Position for Back Pain

If you've got a testy lower back, here's something you can do in your sleep that might help: Sleep on your side.
Health experts say that this position puts less strain on your spine than sleeping on your back or your stomach does. 

Less Painful Positioning
Joseph A. Abboud, MD, and Soo Kim Abboud, MD, coauthors of No More Joint Pain, contend that sleeping on your side is better for your back because it produces less curve in the spine. Also helpful: a firm mattress that supports your lower back. Tucking your legs up a bit and placing a pillow between your knees can help keep your spine comfier, too

Effectiveness of Glucosamine

At least five randomized, controlled trials have compared glucosamine sulfate, either taken by mouth or injected. In every case, glucosamine sulfate showed results that were significantly better than in the placebo condition. Two of these used intramuscular injections.

In all three randomized trials that compared glucosamine sulfate taken by mouth to a placebo, the use of glucosamine resulted in better outcomes. All comparisons are statistically significant. 

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10 Ways to Wake Up Gorgeous

Sometimes looking in the mirror first thing in the morning can be… challenging. Messy hair, dark circles, puffy face. Unless you’re Karlie Kloss, chances are it’s not a pretty sight. But it doesn’t have to be that way, check out our tips for looking sexy when you wake up—even if it’s 6 AM. 

1. Change Your Sleep Style

Bad news for stomach sleepers. The average head weighs 7 to 8 pounds—that’s a lot of pressure to be putting on your face night after night. In fact, most dermatologists can tell what side of the face you’re sleeping on by the number of wrinkles there. Eek.

If you just can’t sleep on your back, try sleeping on your side with a body pillow. Your face won’t be as smashed into the pillow.

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