health

  Prescription drug use in America has increased tenfold in the past 50 years, and over-the-counter drug use has risen just as dramatically. 

 In addition to the dozens of medications we take to treat serious illnesses, we take drugs to help us sleep, to keep us awake, to keep our noses from running, our backs from aching, and our minds from racing. Name a symptom, there's a pill to suppress it. In Mind over Meds, bestselling author Dr. Andrew Weil alerts readers to the problem of overmedication.

The Mystery Of Sleep

Apr 10, 2017

We spend a third of our lives in bed, but how much do we really understand about how sleep affects us? In the past forty years, scientists have discovered that our sleep (or lack of it) can affect nearly every aspect of our waking lives. Poor sleep could be a sign of a disease, the result of a vitamin or iron deficiency, or the cause of numerous other problems, both sleeping and waking. Yet many people, even medical personnel, are unaware of the dangers of poor sleep.

Enter Dr. Meir Kryger, a world authority on the science of sleep, with a comprehensive guide to the mysteries of slumber that combines detailed case studies, helpful tables, illustrations, and pragmatic advice.

The book is The Mystery of Sleep: Why a Good Night's Rest Is Vital to a Better, Healthier Life.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Capital Roots is a 40-year-old nonprofit organization that nourishes healthy communities with 52 Community Gardens, the Veggie Mobile, Healthy Stores, the Produce Project, Squash Hunger and more. Capital Roots is headquartered at the Urban Grow Center, a regional food hub focused on urban agriculture and produce distribution to four counties, enabling Capital Roots to triple our ability to deliver fresh food and services to underserved neighborhoods and low-income families.

Amy Klein, Chief Executive Officer of Capital Roots joins us.

From the author of House Arrest and On Hurricane Island comes a thrilling new activist novel that begs the question, “How far is too far?”

Jeremy was nine when the vines first wrapped themselves around him and burrowed into his skin. Now a college botany major, Jeremy is desperately looking for a way to listen to the plants and stave off their extinction.

But when the grip of the vines becomes too intense and Health Services starts asking questions, he flees to Brooklyn, where fate puts him face to face with a group of climate-justice activists who assure him they have a plan to save the planet, and his plants. As the group readies itself to make a big Earth Day splash, Jeremy soon realizes these eco-terrorists’ devotion to activism might have him ― and those closest to him ― tangled up in more trouble than he was prepared to face.

Ellen Meeropol's latest is Kinship of Clover – published by Red Hen Press. 

Veteran health journalist Mary Otto looks inside America’s mouth, revealing unsettling truths about our unequal society.

Her new book, Teeth, takes readers on a disturbing journey into America’s silent epidemic of oral disease, exposing the hidden connections between tooth decay and stunted job prospects, low educational achievement, social mobility, and the troubling state of our public health.

Mary Otto is the oral health topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists. She began writing about oral health at the Washington Post, where she worked for eight years covering social issues including health care and poverty. 

It's happened to all of us: our cheeks flush red when we say the wrong thing, or our hearts skip a beat when a certain someone walks by. But few of us realize how much more dramatic and extreme our bodies' reactions to emotions can be. Many people who see their doctor have medically unexplained symptoms, and in the vast majority of these cases, a psychosomatic cause is suspected. And yet, the diagnosis of a psychosomatic disorder can make a patient feel dismissed as a hypochondriac, a faker, or just plain crazy.
 
In Is It All in Your Head?: True Stories of Imaginary Illness, Suzanne O'Sullivan, MD, takes us on a journey through the world of psychosomatic illness.

As a third-year Harvard Medical School student doing a clinical rotation in surgery, Ronald Epstein watched an error unfold: an experienced surgeon failed to notice his patient’s kidney turning an ominous shade of blue.

In that same rotation, Epstein was awestruck by another surgeon’s ability to avert an impending disaster, slowing down from autopilot to intentionality. The difference between these two doctors left a lasting impression on Epstein and set the stage for his life’s work—to identify the qualities and habits that distinguish masterful doctors from those who are merely competent. The secret, he learned, was mindfulness.

In Attending, his first book, Dr. Epstein builds on his world-renowned, innovative programs in mindful practice and uses gripping and deeply human clinical stories to give patients a language to describe what they value most in health care and to outline a road map for doctors and other health care professionals to refocus their approach to medicine.

Best-selling author Ayelet Waldman’s new book, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life is her firsthand experience taking microdoses of LSD, the effect it had on her, and the ethical problems it presented.  To be clear: Ayelet did not drop a tab of acid; rather, she took a “microdose” (ten milligrams under her tongue) a few times each week for one month. 

What drove her to using LSD? It was perimenopause (and years of accompanying treatments with psychiatrists and psychologists, meditation, to little or no avail). When her mood storms became intolerable, she did what many of us do: she fell down an internet rabbit hole, eventually receiving a vial in her mailbox. Within a month, Ayelet joined the ranks of scientists and civilians successfully using LSD in therapeutic microdoses. 

Are you tired? Do you suffer from chronic pain—headaches, backaches, or other chronic discomfort? Do you get depressed or anxious? Do you have allergies, rashes, or autoimmune issues? Have you lost your zest for life somewhere along the way?

If you have one or more of these symptoms, you may be suffering from a condition that Dr. Rachel Carlton Abrams calls Chronic Body Depletion.  The condition can be related to weight gain, high blood pressure, exhaustion, and many other symptoms that leave the body drained. 

In her new book: Bodywise: Discovering Your Body’s Intelligence for Lifelong Health and Healing she shows us not only how to recognize and treat the symptoms that plague them, but also offers strategies for optimum health and lifelong healing. 

Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of Omega Institute and the Omega Women's Leadership Center, is author of The Seeker's Guide and Broken Open.

Her new memoir is Marrow, a visceral and profound memoir of two sisters who, in the face of a bone marrow transplant—one the donor and one the recipient—begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all, love.

Even as US spending on healthcare skyrockets, impoverished Americans continue to fall ill and die of preventable conditions. Although the majority of health outcomes are shaped by non-medical factors, public and private healthcare reform efforts have largely ignored the complex local circumstances that make it difficult for struggling men, women, and children to live healthier lives.

In Dying and Living in the Neighborhood, Dr. Prabhjot Singh argues that we must look beyond the walls of the hospital and into the neighborhoods where patients live and die to address the troubling rise in chronic disease.

The O+ Festival is a celebration of art and music that creates a bridge to access health care for artists. O+ fosters complete physical, mental and social well-being by connecting artists directly with a coalition of health care providers and health resources, in a shared vision to nurture the individual and the community.

O+ was founded in 2010 in Kingston, NY – the idea has caught on and festivals have now taken place in cities all across the country. This year’s festival in Kingston takes place October 7th, 8th, and 9th.

To tell us about this year's highlights – we are joined by: Nurse-in-charge Shannon Light, pop-up clinic director; Rocket Scientist Micah Blumenthal, creative director and co-curator of music; and Art Witch Denise Orzo, art director.

In her new book: Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future, journalist Caitlin Shetterly has turned her own personal journey into an exploration of how GMOs may be affecting not only our health but our agricultural future as well.

Shetterly begins with her own family ordeal: her one-year old son would have bedtime episode where he would cry incessantly, stop breathing, and turn blue, and his body was covered with eczema. A forward-thinking pediatrician added corn to the list of foods to cut out of the baby’s diet to check for allergens, and his health problems all but disappeared. Then Shetterly herself began to suffer.

Shetterly decided to research all this which took her on a road trip through Nebraska and into Iowa, where she witnessed firsthand the changing face of agricultural America. 

  Andy Lazris, MD, is a practicing primary care physician who experiences the effects of Medicare policy on a daily basis. As a result, he believes that the way we care for our elderly has taken a wrong turn and that Medicare is complicit in creating the very problems it seeks to solve. Aging is not a disease to be cured; it is a life stage to be lived

His new book is Curing Medicare: A Doctor's View on How Our Health Care System Is Failing Older Americans and How We Can Fix It.

  Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Today we are learning about Taylor’s Heroes – a non-profit organization that provides fitness and nutrition programs to children who want to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle. 

We are joined by Leslie Forbert Miller, co-founder and President of Taylor's Heroes; and Beverly Benifer, Taylor’s Heroes new Health Coach, a practicing Physical Therapist and owner of Karmic Synergy.

Zika: The Emerging Epidemic book cover
Zika: The Emerging Epidemic

We've all heard plenty about the Zika virus by now, but it's hard to know how worried to be. What are our chances of getting it? Should we postpone travel plans? Donald G. McNeil Jr. is a science writer for the New York Times, and he attempts to answer those questions and more in his new book Zika: The Emerging Epidemic.

When our tech guru, Jesse Feiler is here – we talk quite a bit about Apple Technologies. This morning we are going to focus on news from Microsoft.

Jesse is a developer, consultant, and author specializing in Apple technologies. He is the creator of Minutes Machine for iPad, the meeting management app and Saranac River Trail app a guide to the Trail that includes location-based updates as well as social media tools.

  Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Adam Chaskin is the Executive Director of the Sidney Albert Albany JCC and he joins us now to talk about Camp Courage, which is entering its second year, and is designed to help underprivileged kids from the Albany City School District fighting childhood obesity partake in the JCC’s Summer Camp activities, and also have counselling on nutrition, exercise, etc. to help build a lifetime of good habits.

  In It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle, Mark Wolynn, director of the Family Constellation Institute and creator of the Core Language Approach, shows how the traumas of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents can live in our anxious words, fears, behaviors and unexplained physical symptoms—what scientists are now calling inherited family trauma, or “secondary PTSD.”

Even if the person who suffered the original trauma has died, or the story has been forgotten or silenced, memory and feelings can live on. These emotional legacies are often hidden, encoded in everything from gene expression to everyday language, and they play a far greater role in our emotional and physical health than has ever before been understood.

Mark Wolynn is a leading expert on inherited family trauma. As the director of The Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco, he trains clinicians and treats people struggling with depression, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive thoughts, self-injury, chronic pain, and illness.

In New Aging: Live Smarter Now to Live Better Forever Matthias Hollwich has laid out his work on aging and architecture into a collection of short, digestible passages that will inspire us to think creatively and realistically about how we want to spend the rest of our lives.

His advice ranges from practical design tips for making our homes safer and more comfortable to thought-provoking insights on how we work, relax, travel, socialize, and even how we eat. Most importantly, Matthias wants us to make small, simple changes in our 40s, so we won’t be forced to make large ones in our 70s.

When Breath Becomes Air

Jan 13, 2016

  At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

We speak with Paul's wife, Lucy, about his book and his experience.

Sean Philpott-Jones: Tempering Sheen’s Shame

Dec 17, 2015

Television actor and Hollywood bad boy Charlie Sheen revealed that he was HIV positive last month, breaking four years of silence during which he allegedly paid out millions of dollars in extortion in an attempt to keep his diagnosis private.

The beauty and garment industry's reputation for social responsibility is perhaps in tatters as grim stories of environmental damage, toxic chemicals, and human rights abuses abound. Now the sector is going through a dramatic shift and many of us are questioning our buy habits. Kate Black is at the center of this; she is the CEO and the editor-in-chief of MagnifECO, a digital source for eco-fashion and sustainable living. She is also the author of the book MagnifECO.

Why We Dance

Aug 17, 2015

  Kimerer L. LaMothe is a dancer, philosopher, and scholar of religion.

She also loves to dance, every day, feeling it is vital for her wellbeing. And when she scans the landscape of human life, she sees dance everywhere—in the earliest human art, the oldest forms of culture, and in every culture around the world into the present.

But, she says, in the maps of and for human life that comprise the philosophy, theology, and religious studies of the modern west, dance occupies a surprisingly small space. So, she has explored that in her new book: Why We Dance.

  Forty years after the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, “abortion” is still a word that is said with outright hostility by many, despite the fact that one in three American women will have terminated at least one pregnancy by menopause. Even those who support a woman’s right to an abortion often qualify their support by saying abortion is a “bad thing,” an “agonizing decision,” making the medical procedure so remote and radioactive that it takes it out of the world of the everyday, turning an act that is normal and necessary into something shameful and secretive.

In Pro, Katha Pollitt takes on the personhood argument, reaffirms the priority of a woman’s life and health, and discusses why terminating a pregnancy can be a force for good for women, families, and society. The book is out in paperback.

A western Massachusetts city is taking a unique step – actually, steps -- to encourage a healthier municipal workforce.  Healthcare officials hope what the city of Chicopee is doing will spread to other cities and towns.  

Beginning next month employees of the city of Chicopee can earn a $25 a month cash bonus by just walking an average of 7,000 steps a day, five days a week.  Mayor Richard Kos said he hopes in the long run the wellness incentive program will help reduce employee absences and lower the city’s health insurance premiums.

The 16th annual National Women's Health Week began on Mother's Day. The week is organized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. The office's director Dr. Nancy Lee says it it important for women to take the time and the small steps necessary to maintain good health throughout their lives.

  

  Raymond Francis, a chemist and a graduate of MIT, once found himself in a hospital, battling for his life. The diagnosis: acute chemical hepatitis, chronic fatigue, multiple chemical sensitivities, and several autoimmune syndromes, causing him to suffer fatigue, dizziness, impaired memory, heart palpitations, diarrhea, numbness, seizures and numerous other ailments.

Knowing death was imminent unless he took action, Francis decided to research solutions for his disease himself. His findings and eventual recovery led him to conclude that almost all disease can be both prevented and reversed.

He writes about his journey in the new book: The Great American Health Hoax.

  Stacey Morris is a journalist and food writer, who has been working in this region for many years. Her latest project is a cookbook-memoir, Clean Comfort, which tells the story of the author's rocky relationship with food, how the dieting hamster wheel ballooned her weight to 345 pounds, and how she ultimately made her way back to balance and sanity - while loving food.

 For the countless individuals seeking to maximize their health and who consider vitamins to be the keys to well-being, Catherine Price's new book: Vitamania offers some context by looking into the roots of America's ongoing nutritional confusion.

Price traveled to vitamin manufacturers and food laboratories and military testing kitchens—and dove into the history of nutritional science. Vitamania explores the history, science, hype, and future of nutrition.

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