• Informed People Make Healthy Choices

    Being an informed patient is an empowering concept.1 In the modern healthcare marketplace, the doctor-patient relationship has become a two-way street. It's no longer a situation in which the doctor tells the patient what to do. Today, patients can be full partners in managing their care and well-being.2

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  • The Rising Costs of Health Care

    Health insurance costs are out of control. We're all painfully aware of this inflationary spiral. Monthly premiums are through the roof. Co-payments keep going up and up. Out-of-pocket expenses are so high we often wonder what we're saving by purchasing health insurance at all. Every family has been

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  • How Do You Rate?

    In the field of statistics, a five-point rating scale is commonly used to evaluate all sorts of personal responses, feelings, and assessments. This frequently used tool is known as the Likert scale, and most people have completed such a rating device on numerous occasions, most typically in consumer

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  • Time's Arrow

    As we get older, most of us begin to experience the acceleration of the passage of time. The sensation of time passing gets faster and faster, until for many of us weeks begin to feel like days and months begin to feel like weeks. This is very disconcerting and we'd like to be able to slow things down.

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  • Tips for Good Hip Health

    Having a pair of healthy hips is a key to healthy aging. But healthy hips are not only important for people in their 60s, 70s, and beyond. Your hips are one of your most important structural components, regardless of how old you are. Whether you're 20, 30, or 40, your hip joints provide biomechanical

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  • Flocking Behavior

    The scientific concept of complexity is only a few decades old, but like many powerful ways of looking at the world it has spread rapidly throughout the public consciousness. Anyone who has watched even a couple of episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" would have heard multiple references to chaos theory,

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  • Tips for Safe and Healthy Travel

    Here come the holidays - Thanksgiving, Channukah, Christmas, and New Year's. And the travel - Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days and the day before Christmas is just as busy. If you're flying, you know what to expect - long lines, delays, crowded flights. But knowing what's to come doesn't

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  • Checkmate

    In chess, checkmate occurs when a player’s king is under attack and has no safe place to go. The king is threatened and every possible escape route is blocked. Such an existential condition, an allegorical “no exit,” is known as checkmate. In life, a person may be similarly threatened by a serious

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  • Your Body - An Owner's Manual

    Wouldn't it be great if your body came with an owner's manual? You'd probably begin reading it around the age of seven or eight, and right away you would be able to start taking better care of your precious body. You would learn how you can use your body efficiently and effectively. By learning how to

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  • A Trifecta You Don't Want To Cash In

    High serum glucose. High cholesterol. High blood pressure. This is a trifecta you definitely don't want to have. This combination of laboratory findings is known as metabolic syndrome, a new medical term that has been in existence for less than ten years. It's well-known that there is an epidemic of

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  • 20/20 Vision

    All of us have thought, at one point or another, and possibly more than once, "I wish I knew then what I know now." It's been famously said that "hindsight is 20/20". Our clarity of thought with respect to what we should have done is frequently much more acute than was our thinking in those past irretrievable

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  • Your Health Account

    Everyone wants to grow their bank account. We know our financial health is usually estimated by the level of our resources. The more money in the bank, figuratively speaking, the more secure we feel. If our resources include stocks, bonds, and property, we are even more secure. We can use such fiscal

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  • The Next Ten Years

    What does the future hold in store? None of us can know with certainty, although some predictions are possible. Stock market indexes will rise. Then they'll fall. Then everyone will hope that the indexes will rise again. Hemlines will fall. Then they'll rise. Then in two or three years they'll fall again. The

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  • The Long View

    In general most people pay close attention to auto maintenance. Whether the concern is tires, brakes, transmission, or windshield status, people make sure that their cars do what they need them to do. People count on their cars to perform effectively. No one wants a surprise, especially in a critical

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  • The Fast Lane

    Driving fast is not necessarily a good thing. We want to get where we're going as quickly as possible, but we also want to arrive safely. If we drive too fast, we may encounter all sorts of problems. If we drive too slow, we're wasting time and may be causing traffic problems behind us. These competing

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  • Drivers Education

    We all know someone who has suffered a serious driving-related injury that had nothing to do with being involved in a motor vehicle accident. For example, turning your head suddenly and swiftly for a last minute check of your "blind spot" before changing lanes on the interstate could result in a painful

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  • One, Two, or Three Miles?

    Even experienced exercisers sometimes find it difficult to know how much to do. For the beginner this uncertainty represents a significant stumbling block. Fortunately well-established guidelines and protocols exist to provide assistance to all exercisers, regardless of your skill level. In general,

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  • Heavy Lifting

    All of us who’ve experienced a back injury of one sort or another have been told at some point to “avoid heavy lifting.” That type of advice appears to be a no-brainer or at least redundant, as no one whose back is hurting is going to try to pick up an air conditioner or even a 100-foot reel of

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  • Mission Possible

    Everyone knows what he or she "should" do to obtain good health. But the mere knowledge of what we should be doing is never enough. If we've not been in good shape for some time, if we can't remember the last time we did any meaningful exercise on a consistent basis, and if we've added more pounds over

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  • Hazy Shade of Winter

    Simon and Garfunkel [and later, The Bangles] had it right. Winter light is hazy - it's more diffuse. The sun is lower in the sky and the sun's rays reach the Earth at an angle, losing much of their power. And of course, there's less sunlight during each 24-hour day of winter than during the rest of the

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  • Going for the Gold

    It seems that at least once a month, some sort of senior fitness competition is featured on the sports page of local and national newspapers. The Senior Olympics was the forerunner of these types of events, and the designation quickly morphed into the National Senior Games. Soon localities and municipalities

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  • Pull Weeds, Not Your Back!

    As springtime approaches, weather warms up and leaves turn green, many people will spend more time outside planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. Gardening can provide a great workout, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, your body may not be ready for exercise of the

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  • Entropy, the Gym, and You

    Let’s say you’ve been taking some time off from the gym. Maybe you reached the end of your 12-week training cycle and you’re taking a week off. It’s possible that one week turns into two or even three or four weeks. Life happens, you need to attend to some pressing matters, and going to the gym

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  • Repairing an Injured Rotator Cuff

    As we get older, rotator cuff injuries become more common, a result of the natural aging process. A similar mechanism operates in the discs separating the vertebras in your lower back. These cartilaginous structures lose water over time, becoming less flexible and more brittle as the decades roll by.

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  • Shoulder Pain - Heart Attack or Rotator Cuff Injury?

    The great TV classic ER helps teach armchair physicians to become amateur diagnosticians. He's in shock! She's got kidney stones! Rule-out pheochromocytoma! But sometimes a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. You've learned somewhere - on the network news, in the Science section of The New

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  • Shouldering the Load

    As with much in life that we take for granted, we are not usually concerned with the mechanisms of how our bodies work and how they do what they do. Such knowledge is not required for use of these magnificent machines that have been freely given to us. But just as a wise consumer will care for her or

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  • Strong Bones and Core Strengthening - Good Tips for a Healthy Lower Back

    Strong bones are important for all of us, not only for the aging baby boomers about whom we're hearing so much lately. And, "strong bones" are much more than a marketing ploy cooked-up by the dairy industry and pharmaceutical companies. Bones are incredibly dynamic, constantly reshaping themselves

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  • Ten Tips for Smart Stretching

    1. Why stretch? Stretching lengthens muscles and improves flexibility. Also, stretching the big leg muscles - the hamstrings, calves, and quads - simultaneously loosens and lengthens the muscles of your lower back. So, when you stretch, you're helping your back! 2. When to stretch? Recent exercise physiology

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  • Tennis, Anyone?

    Repetitive stress injuries are typically very difficult to treat successfully. These injuries are the result of actions done repeatedly, frequently, and consistently over time. They've taken a long time to build up and, therefore, the healing process also requires a fair amount of time. Shin splints,

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  • The Common Core

    Core strength is critical for everyday activities such as placing heavy grocery bags into the trunk of your automobile, carrying a gallon jug of milk from the refrigerator to the dining room table, and even walking to the mailbox. When your core strength is diminished, even bending over to pick up a

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  • The Top Shelf

    Many adults begin to develop shoulder pain, even though they may not have sustained a specific injury. It's important to pay attention to such shoulder issues, as a healthy shoulder joint is the key to full function of the upper extremities. We all know at least one person whose ability to perform normal

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  • Viscoelasticity: The Hidden Ingredient

    Most of us have experienced a painful bout of low back pain brought on by a seemingly innocuous movement such as bending over to pick up a pencil or a dropped set of keys. These painful episodes may last a couple of days or be more severe and last more than a week. We're left wondering, "What exactly

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  • When Bad Things Happen to Good Exercisers

    "There I am," a very fit patient is saying, "out on my five-mile run, motoring my way up a steep incline. Suddenly, I feel a throbbing pain in the middle of my right shin. Oh, no, I think, not again." As things turned out, the patient recovered from the shin splints1 quickly, but he knew he'd dodged

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  • Whiplash - Getting Well Naturally

    You're driving to work and stop for a red light. You're minding your own business and - bam! - your car rocks forward and backward, slammed in the rear by another car driven by some guy yakking on his cell phone. Or you're a passenger in a New York City taxi. The driver's cruising down Fifth Avenue when

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  • Your Fellow Travelers

    It has long been known that over evolutionary time the human organism developed in tandem with a vast host of microbial fellow travelers. The 100 trillion microorganisms inhabiting our gastrointestinal tracts assist in numerous physiological processes critical to our health and well being. The intestinal

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