Darren Buford

The Road Taken

Airport Massage

Two paths diverged in an airport. One followed a traditional route: Arrive early, wait in a long line, pray your flight doesn’t get cancelled, make the trek to the gate, then patiently kill time as the stress ebbs from your body.

The atypical alternative: Arrive early, check in luggage and get a massage.

Camp TLC for Terminally Ill Children

Tender, Loving Care

Summertime in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, sounds like paradise — boating, swimming, fun in the sun. All good reasons why hospice nurse Tina Megason has returned the past four years. She and her tireless crew of volunteers transform a 40-acre campground into a rescue respite. No, this isn’t a spa getaway, nor is it a vacation spot for the rich and famous. Megason’s home-away-from-home is Camp TLC, a wellness center where therapy means relaxation and mental healing for children ages 6–18 with life-shortening illnesses.

Toxins in Cosmetics

News Note

According to the environmental group Coming Clean, chemicals known as phthalates are in a number of everyday consumer products, including cosmetics. This harmful plasticizer is used as a softening agent in vinyl products, including, feeding bottles, teethers, perfumes, soaps, lotions, shampoos, and more, and can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled or ingested. In animal studies, phthalates have been known to cause organ damage, reproductive problems and developmental inadequacies.

Go On, Eat

News Note

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, snacking throughout the day and eating as many as six meals or more can reduce cholesterol levels (under the guide you don’t consume more calories than you would in a normal day). After testing 15,000 men and women, researchers found those who ate six or more meals had a cholesterol reading 5 percent lower than those who ate one or two meals daily.

Navigational Differences

News Note

The sexes at battle once again — he says go north, she says turn by the gas station. But instead of there being a clear victor in the war of navigation, both may be correct according to a new study published in Behavioral Neuroscience. Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan have found men and women do equally fine with receiving directions — when done so according to their preference. For instance, men do better when given abstract spatial cues, such as compass directions or distance. Women, on the other hand, do better when given landmarks.

Taking Tennis to Heart

News Note

Andre Agassi or Serena Williams you may not be, but according to the American Journal of Medicine, the value of playing tennis through middle age is invaluable to a healthy heart. A study of 1,000 men who played tennis during their 20s and who continued on through their 40s, 50s and 60s found that only 12 percent had developed cardiovascular disease during the follow-up period of 40 years compared to 28 percent of non-tennis players.

Secondhand Smoke & Children

News Note

According to researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, secondhand smoke may be extremely damaging to children, even in minute amounts. Already known to cause respiratory and behavior problems in kids, smoking has now been linked to lowering a child’s intelligence — affecting reading, math and reasoning skills. In fact, one parent smoking as little as one pack a day may reduce a child’s IQ by as many as two points. Tobacco exposure was determined by measuring levels of cotinine, a marker of tobacco exposure, in the blood of more than 4,000 children ages 6 to 16.

Food Awareness as You Age

News Note

With age comes loss of immune systems functioning and helpful bacteria-killing stomach acids. Therefore, as you near 60, it’s a good time to take stock of what fine, or not so fine, cuisine you consume, says Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. Foods recommended as off limits for this crowd include deli meats, patés and soft cheeses (such as feta and brie) because they may contain a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes, which, when not killed through cooking can cause flu-like symptoms and meningitis.

Easing the Symptoms of Menopause

News Note

Self-regulating the body’s hormones may be the key to easing the less-than-desirable symptoms often associated with menopause, suggests BottomLine Health. To maintain balance of estrogen and progesterone levels, it is important for women at the onset of perimenopause (and thereafter) to get sufficient fiber. This aids the liver and gallbladder in taking some of the hormonal by-products out of circulation and recycling others. It is also recommended that women at this stage take glucomannan, to also remove hormonal by-products, and vitamin B12, which is crucial for liver function.


News Note

It is commonly known that antioxidants reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals, which can result in oxidative damage and cause many of the maladies of aging. Therefore, there is much to be celebrated about a recent analysis conducted by the Agricultural Research Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. The service found that many fresh culinary herbs contain powerful antioxidants, some with more punch than medicinal herbs, fruits or vegetables.