Stop Crossing Your Legs

Posted: 18 days ago in Health Lifestyle Wellness


When I say stop crossing your legs, I mean it. 

You started doing it because your mother did. I bet she even told you that ladies are supposed to sit like that. Am I right?

Well, did she also tell you that crossing your legs would give you varicose veins and lower back pain?

It will, and I don’t want to have to say, “I told you so.”

Crossing your legs can kink up the blood vessels in them. Bloodflow then backs up, causing a widening of the vessel.

Hello, spider veins! 

As we age and the walls of these veins naturally weaken, they can become full-on varicosities. This is when the valves that propel blood up toward your heart cease to function, and those tiny spider veins now enlarge, appearing ropy and bulging. They look bad and can feel worse – and may require surgery to correct.


It’s also virtually impossible to sit with your legs crossed and not have your pelvic bones get all torqued out. This will almost certainly lead to back pain. And if you’re pregnant, a torqued pelvis can increase the likelihood that your baby will be breech or transverse – betcha didn’t know that, did ya?

So sit up nice and tall, with both feet on the floor and your knees demurely together. If the addict in you can’t sit without crossing something – cross your ankles like the Queen of England. It’s the lesser of evils.

Plus, your mom will still approve.

Flu Shot…. or Not?

Posted: 29 days ago in Health


It’s that time of year again:  “Doc, should I get a flu shot… or not?”

Well. That’s a great question.

I don’t – and can’t – counsel patients on the use of pharmaceuticals, as chiropractors don’t utilize drugs as part of our natural healing approach.

Let me share with you what I tell my patients.

If you have great health and practice good health habits to keep your immune system strong, you quite likely will not get the flu or any other type of winter nasties. Need I remind you of the good habits I am speaking of? Eating well, getting adequate sleep, exercising, managing your stress and washing those damn hands again and again! For more on this, see my article ‘The Non-Flu Season’.

Does this sound like you, or are you sheepishly averting my virtual gaze, because your car is littered with fast-food wrappers, you haven’t broken a sweat since “Magic Mike” came out and the last time you slept more than 6 hours was when your alarm clock failed? If so, I can promise you that your defenses are down, and if you are unlucky enough to come into contact with the flu, you are much more likely to get it.

Bottom line? People with healthy, strong immune systems are much less likely to get the flu than their less-healthy counterparts. They are also far less likely to have any adverse reaction to ingredients in the vaccine itself. Did you ever think about that? Immunocompromised folks – the young, infirm and elderly – are more vulnerable to the both the flu and reactions to the vaccine.

In fact these flu two studies made me go, “Hmmmm”:

studyChildren Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests


studyCurrent Flu Vaccine Less Effective in the Elderly, CDC Says


The gist? Kids who get the flu vaccine are more likely to be hospitalized than their non-vaccinated peers. Vaccinated elderly adults are just as likely as non-vaccinated seniors to visit their doctors for flu-like symptoms. So what in the hell should you do?

You should make informed decisions about your health – always!

Here are some facts and figures to ponder on the flu:

The Truth About the Flu Shot“In a review of 48 reports including more than 66,000 adults, “Vaccination of healthy adults only reduced risk of influenza by 6% and reduced the number of missed work days by less than one day (0.16) days. It did not change the number of people needing to go to hospital or take time off work.”

Key Facts on the FluThe flu shot: Some minor side effects that may occur are: soreness – redness, or swelling where the shot was given – fever (low grade) – aches. The nasal spray: In children, side effects from the nasal spray may include: runny nose – wheezing – headache – vomiting – muscle aches – fever. In adults, side effects from the nasal spray vaccine may include: runny nose – Headache – Sore throat – Cough.

The last one did go on to say that these symptoms are ‘short-lived’, but still….

Another little tidbit that I found interesting is that each year’s flu vaccine is derived from prior years’ flu virus. For instance, the 2013 flu vaccine was made from strains from 2009, 2011 and 2012. That’s all well and good, except that the flu virus is a crafty little bugger, and mutates quickly and often. So something that may have worked against a strain in the past quite likely won’t work at all in future strains.

Again, hmmmmm. When all is said and done, read and ask questions, but ultimately, go with your gut. It will rarely lead you astray.

Be well!

The Non-Flu Season

Posted: 33 days ago in Health

Fall is notoriously known as the ‘flu season’ because it’s the most common time of year that people get sick.

Doesn’t that name put such a damper on one of the best times of year?  I think so.

Well, screw it, I’m calling this the ‘non-flu season’ pending everyone does a couple things to up their immunity. And clearly that does not involve getting a flu shot, since I’m very much not a proponent of the flu vaccine.

Here’s what WE can do to safeguard ourselves a little more than usual this time of year.

  • Drink Lots of Water! Water helps to keep mucous membranes moist, so when they come into contact with bacteria, the bacteria are imprisoned in mucous and sent outside the body via an orifice. Without mucous, your body is like the police without handcuffs; suckers are running rampant. So, drink up.
  • Take Vitamin D. Turns out being outside in the sun helps to up your immunity for common viruses, and a lack thereof results in susceptibility to infection. Supplementing with Vitamin D is one of your surest defenses.
  • Drink Emergen-C. Upping your Vitamin C intake is crucial to the fight against viruses inside of your body. These delicious little packets will have your immunity up to grade level: steel when you’re done with them. Plus you mix them with water, so more kudos to my first bullet point.
  • Check Your Lifestyle. If you find yourself doing the following more often than not, you might want to check it: smoking, eating empty-calorie foods, drinking alcohol, getting negligent amounts of sleep, not exercising, not washing your hands regularly. These things, when done frequently, will make you sick.
  • Take Pro-biotics. The war over sickness in our bodies is predominantly fought between good and bad bacteria in our gut. Help your body in the fight by sending reinforcements of the good kind; aka pro-biotics. The fastest way to do this is by taking a pill form of pro-biotic but you can also eat yogurt — just make sure it’s a kind with live bacteria inside.
  • Don’t Stress. This is one of the more subtle ways that sickness jumps up on folks. If you’re stressed out, your body is going to have a hard time handling your emotions and fighting off illness. If this is you, find more time than usual this season for rest, relaxation, and good solid sleep.

If in the instance you do end up getting sick, well, there’s nothing like a good virus to get you back into your skinny jeans. Am I right? Of course it goes to say, be careful what you wish for!

Bugs and viruses come at the worst possible times, don’t they? Save yourself the trouble with the steps I’ve listed above. There are a million other things you can do to stay healthy, but pick a few and stick to them.

For me, it’s supplements, hydration, and sleep.

And if by chance you fall victim – and I do hope that it’s a loooong time before you do – yank those skinny jeans off the shelf while you’re home sick from work, so at least you’ll have something to look forward to.

Happy non-flu season!

Sitting: The New Sugar

Posted: 39 days ago in Health

Sitting: The New SugarWhaaaat? Are you confused? Don’t be.

All of you know that sugar is not good for you. There is no upside. You should minimize your intake, though that can be difficult because it is hidden in so many things. Sitting should be approached with the same apprehensions.

The best advice I can give you, bar none, is to move more, sit less. And by move more, I don’t mean that you have to exercise! Of course, dedicating 5-7 hours each week to exercise is a beautiful thing, but if you sit all day, it is simply not enough.

Did you know: People who seldom sit, but never exercise, are generally far healthier than those who sit a lot, even if they exercise regularly! A.k.a. the moms of toddlers, teachers, and construction workers are healthier than commuters, and desk jockeys (even if the latter are avid movers).

Let me repeat: if you rarely sit but don’t exercise, you will quite likely be healthier than those who exercise regularly, but sit all day! This actually blows my mind, but it shouldn’t. Our bodies were designed for movement, and depend on it to keep our muscles, bones and organs healthy, and our minds sharp.

Don’t panic if you are one of the millions that sit for many hours each day! You have many opportunities for movement – you just have to take them.

  • Stand or walk with every phone call
  • Practice active sitting on an exercise ball
  • Walk to a colleague’s office instead of emailing them
  • Stand on the train
  • Walk on your lunch break
  • Set an alarm on your iPhone reminding yourself to move at least once an hour

I did a sugar elimination diet and, well, it was hell for a few weeks, but then I began to realize how good I felt without it. Minimizing how long you sit can be a similar process, but I promise, you will be healthier for it.

Move more, sit less. Period.

I Need to Pull-Up My Pantyhose, But I’m Not Wearing Any!

Posted: 42 days ago in Mirror Mirror

pantyhoseThere is a large mirror in my front hall.

After a run one sunny day, I caught a glimpse of myself in a tennis skirt. — (I don’t play tennis, but I wear tennis skirts to run in. Reference my post, ‘To Go or Not To Go…Commando” and you’ll understand why). — Anyways, my immediate thought was that I really needed to pull up my pantyhose; never mind that I haven’t worn any since 1990 when I’d taken my last National Board exam.

Though I was looking lean that day, my thighs were sagging. That’s right, SAGGING! Who knew thighs could sag?

Boobs? Sure. Neck? Yup. But my freaking THIGHS?!

As far as my share of life’s stages go, I think my thighs went straight from the “so plump the heat index rises when you walk” look, to the “blown-out balloon” look. I don’t think I even got one bathing suit season worth of, “wow, she’s got some great legs!” Life can be so unfair (and God, I know there are much bigger burdens than saggy thighs, and you know I’ve juggled my share of those, so let me just say… I’m grateful I don’t have more).

We all need to resign ourselves to the fact that as we age, the supporting structure of our skin – a.k.a. collagen – starts to wane. You ever lay eyes on an individual pushing one hundred-years-old? They didn’t go from baby bottoms to saggy drawers in one day; it’s a part of life!

Things like sun exposure, smoking and a poor diet can accelerate this. Yo-yo dieting also contributes to saggy skin, hence the balloon reference. In my case sun exposure and weight fluctuations over 4+ decades have taken their toll. But would I trade my life for tighter thighs?

Let’s see…

Although my weight has been up and down all throughout my life, pregnancy was by far the greatest contributing factor to my chubby thighs. Bring it on. I have two beautiful daughters because of it. How about the sun exposure? I’m sure to take some hits for this, but I love the sun. My dad was Italian and thankfully, he passed on his olive skin to yours truly. My dermatologist gives me a once-over annually, and I wear sunscreen…most of the time. But I love the beach, and maintain that tan fat is way better than pale fat. So, all things considered; no. I wouldn’t trade my countless days of loving life at the beach with my family for skin that doesn’t resemble a Birkin bag.

Like most things in life, I strive to find a happy balance, but you can be sure that when given the choice between sitting on the sidelines and diving in, you won’t find me on the bench. And I take the repercussions of my choices with a big smile, sunspots, saggy thighs and all.

I suggest you do the same!

Is Milk Good Food?

Posted: 44 days ago in Wellness

milkgoodfoodLet’s just get back to the basics. We’re mammals.

We may be more highly evolved mammals than most, but nevertheless, we’re mammals. All mammals nurse, which puts us in the same category as dogs, cats, horses – you get my point.

Now here’s the thing; no other mammals nurse past toddler-hood, nor do they drink the milk of other mammal species (unless in extreme circumstances when a baby is left motherless). Don’t get me wrong, breast milk is clearly nature’s first good food but nowhere else in nature do these behaviors occur, except with humans?

That alone should make you stop and go, ‘hmm’. Now, I’m not arguing that cow’s milk is a decent source of protein and other nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D – FOR COWS, but it’s not all that the American Dairy Association would have us think it’s cracked up to be, for us humans. Yes, calcium and vitamin D are necessary for healthy teeth and bones – but there are many other more appropriate sources of those nutrients. Cue list:

calcium fortified foods

Many of us lose the ability to digest milk after infancy. This is because the lactase enzymes that help us to break down lactose (a.k.a. milk sugar) tend to decrease as we age. So if you’ve ever gotten that bloated feeling after having indulged in dairy, chances are, you’re one of those people. Then there is the issue of milk allergies. Some of us are definitely allergic to milk but I believe that many more of us have sensitivities to milk.

The best way to determine if you have an issue with milk or dairy products is through an elimination diet. To do this means to eliminate all dairy products from your diet for a few weeks, noting any changes in your health, and changes in how you feel. Afterwards, challenge your system by reintroducing dairy and see what happens. If you don’t have a sensitivity or allergy, and you enjoy dairy products, then by all means, feel free to indulge. You’re on what I call “the winning team.” However, if you suspect or find that milk is an issue for you, then it would behoove you to eliminate dairy products from your diet. — “Did she just suggest what I think she suggested?” Yes. Yes, I did.

For those who want to forgo dairy products, there are some alternatives for your coffee/cereal, and whatever else you would typically put milk in.

  • My favorite is unsweetened almond milk. It has a nice, rich consistency and makes a great coffee creamer or cereal base.
  • A lot of other people prefer soy or rice milk, but because of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) – I would stick to organic on those.
  • Coconut milk is also a good alternative.

Now, I can’t write an article about milk and not mention the raw milk craze, so here is what I have to say about that: I think raw milk is probably more digestible than pasteurized milk because it has more enzymes to aid in digestion. On the other hand, it’s not widely available, and sometimes it’s just flat out illegal. So, if you have access to raw milk and feel comfortable, it might be a good option for you as well.

So there you have it. Remember the list above for food-based calcium sources. If your ultimate concern and reason for drinking milk is to derive the calcium for bone health, then I have a couple more recommendations for you. One is to do more weight-bearing exercises which can have a huge positive affect on bone density. My second recommendation is to avoid carbonated beverages (that aren’t fortified), which can negatively affect bone mineral density. In my opinion, you’d be much better served doing weight-bearing exercises and avoiding carbonated beverages than drinking milk. If you’re drinking milk for its vitamin D content, then I have good news for you. Supplementation for vitamin D is affordable and easy! Hello, sun exposure! Just 15-minutes a day without sunscreen and you can consider yourself supplemented during the summer months. Supplementation is necessary in the colder months, but again, cheap and easy.

Prolapse: The ‘Fall’ of Womanhood

Posted: 44 days ago in Everything Else Health Wellness


(Your vagina, that is!)

Puberty. Pregnancy. Peeing your pants. Perimenopause. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the bathroom, your body has another little “P” surprise for you:

Prolapse. In other words, are your insides hanging outside?

Whaaaaaat? Yes, you heard me correctly – sometimes, our insides fall out. Things like pregnancy and straining can weaken the muscles and ligaments of our pelvic floor, to the point where those tissues that are designed to hold our girl parts in become compromised. Gravity, age, and the loss of estrogen contribute as well, which means that if you have a uterus, you are at risk of all hell breaking loose.

A.k.a., Uterine prolapse. Sorry, ladies.

A mild prolapse – when the uterus bulges into the vagina just a bit – probably won’t cause you any grief, nor require any treatment. However, more significant cases will let you know that something just ain’t right. Suffice it to say, if you see or feel something bulging out of your vagina, you should get that checked ASAP. Frankly, why anyone wouldn’t leaves me scratching my head.

Other signs your insides may be creeping toward the light:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Urine leakage or retention
  • A heavy or pulling feeling in your vagina
  • Chronic, dull low back pain
  • A loss of tone or sexual sensation

If your doctor diagnoses a significant prolapse, s/he may prescribe:

  1. A pessary to try to hold things in. This looks like a diaphragm, and can do a decent job but may irritate surrounding tissues. There are surgical procedures to correct prolapse as well, but as with all surgery, it comes with risks and side effects, so this should only be considered in the most severe cases.
  2. Kegel exercises. These can be quite effective at preventing and managing prolapse  (as if you needed yet another reason to do them!). I am doing them right now as I write this, and not even the repairman or the dog at my feet are privy to my calisthenics. Need some guidance on how-to? Check this out.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight via a diet that supports regular bowel movements. Simply put, more weight in your belly = more internal pressure on those delicate organs. Plus, a healthy diet full of fiber will reduce constipation, which in turn reduces straining. And that brings us to…
  4. Reduce straining when at all possible! A little tip for when you are lifting/coughing/pooing – exhale with every exertion, and DO NOT hold your breath! This will keep the stress in your muscles and out of your hoo-ha.

Uterine prolapse won’t kill you, but it will put a serious damper in your love life, and your day-to-day routines. If you follow the above recommendations and high-tail it to your doc at the first sign of a problem, you can manage this little gift of woman-hood without too much stress.

Why Do They Call it a Blow Job?

Posted: 151 days ago in Everything Else Sex & Relationships


Thinking about a blow job doesn’t keep me awake at night, but why it’s called that is something I have pondered over the years.

Haven’t you?

As long as I can remember, I’ve always told my patients that there are no dumb questions. But the truth is, I’ve gotten some pretty dumb ones in my twenty-five years of practice. Like the guy who asked if I would lie down next to him before his treatment to relax him. WTF??! Or the woman with 6 children under the age of 5 who couldn’t understand why she was so tired all the time. Come on, really??

This is not one of the dumb ones, since I’ve yet to figure out the answer.

Why do they call it a blow job?

This question came to me from a young woman in her first intimate relationship, who, believe it or not, asked my advice on how to give great oral sex. (I’m still trying to figure out what it was about me that led her to believe that I could offer her good advice!).

I’ve been around the block a few hundred times, and I can tell you that if I were in charge of naming sexual acts, it wouldn’t be called a blow job — it would be called a suck job.

Before you start commenting that blowing on your guy’s private parts can feel good, let me say that yes, it can feel good — great even — but the blow is not the majority of the job, is it?

And while we’re at it, let’s talk about the female version of the blow job. Can we call it a lick job, instead of a muff-dive? Wouldn’t telling your partner you’re in the mood for a lick job be better than suggesting/begging them to go down on us? “Hey, any chance I could get a lick job before we go out for dinner?”. Yeah, that sounds much better, doesn’t it?

The Danger in a Blow Job

Not only is the term blow job majorly misleading, it can be downright deadly. Yes, you heard it here, people. Having air blown into your penis or vagina can kill you.

Here’s what can happen: when air is forcibly blown into your privates, a bubble can form and make its way into your blood stream, blocking the flow of blood to your heart, brain, or other organs. This air bubble acts just like a clot, and can result in a stroke if it ends up in your brain, or heart attack if ends up in your heart. It’s called an air embolism. This most commonly occurs in scuba divers if they rise to the surface too quickly, or after a chest trauma or surgery. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pain, mental or neurological changes and a bluish hue to the skin, and should be treated as a medical emergency.

That’s serious business, folks. It’s much more likely to happen in pregnant women than men, or women on the whole, but still, do you want to risk that shit for a little experimentation?

So in matters of oral sex play please, please, stick to the suck-lick variety, and step away from the blow.

Join in the fight to spread awareness.
#saynotoblowjobs #suckisthenewblow


Posted: 157 days ago in Mirror Mirror


Beautiful Women Eye Close Up

Beautiful Women Eye Close Up

Hello, Gorgeous Lashes.  Where’ve you been all my life?

Have you noticed that every woman in People magazine seems to have mink eyelashes? Every. Single. One.   And a few of the men, too.  What’s the deal with all the lush lashes?

I’ve been using drugstore mascara since forever.   A friend of mine has been raving on Facebook about this new mascara she was using.   And frankly, she was getting a little annoying about it.

“It’s just f*cking mascara!!!”, I’d thought a time or two.   (Sorry, Aimee). Finally she reached out to me personally and told me she was sending me some, and that I should shut up and try it.

The only reason I even cracked it open was because, along with other horrible and unsightly things that happen when you approach a certain age, I seemed to have a case of disappearing eyelashes. Yes, girls.   Something else to look forward to.

Oh, sweet mama!

There’s really only a couple of products that get me juiced up about my lashes.  Now, mascara by Younique is one of them.

The first day I tried it someone said my eyes looked “Ah-mazing” – without solicitation.   The second day, two of my friends seemed to be looking me over a little too closely.   I got a little “Jersey” on them, and was like – “What the eff are you staring at?”.   “We’re trying to figure out what’s different about your eyes.   They look Ah-mazing.”  Again with the Ah-mazing.

I guess there is something to this stuff.

The Younique mascara is a two-tube kit (sold in a cute little case for $29.).   You put on a coat of the gel, immediately followed by a coat of the lengthening fibers, and then a final coat of the gel.  Voila! Kardashian-worthy eyelashes are yours.   The instructions say you can put several coats on, but truly, I was really impressed after just one coat.   I did get a little wigged out after I first applied the fibers; it looked like little black dust-bunnies were camping out on my eyes.   Immediately after the second coat of gel, though, those smoothed into the longest, thickest lashes that had ever graced my eyeballs.  I’m a show-me-don’t-tell-me kinda girl, so here’s a tutorial:

The three coats went on in a quick minute, didn’t make a mess on my cheeks, and stayed on all night.   They washed off my lashes quickly, but I did have to scrounge around under my sink for some eye makeup remover because it did make a bit of a mess on my skin.

All in all – I’m pretty darn impressed with Younique mascara. You get the look of false lashes or extensions at a fraction of the inconvenience and cost.   Give it a try.   And if you order here by July 3rd, Aimee will send you a FREE lipgloss ($15 value!).











Bathing Your Newborn: Why You Shouldn’t

Posted: 164 days ago in Health Parenting Pregnancy Wellness


Why shouldn’t you be bathing your newborn?

Not long ago I was with a patient as she delivered her baby in a hospital. As soon as the cord was cut and it was determined that the baby was perfectly healthy, the nurse whisked her away for her first bath to “scrub all the gunk off her”. Scrub she did. It hurt me to watch.

Well, Nurse Ratchet, that “gunk” is there for a reason, you silly little wench.  Studies actually support a delay in bathing your newborn for several days.

The medical term for the cheesy white stuff that covers most newborns during birth is Vernix Caseosa (translation: cheese varnish – ha!), or Vernix for short. You can even see it in-utero…check it out here below.

Vernix is produced by baby’s sebaceous glands starting in the 3rd trimester. Rich in emollients and antibacterial properties, vernix protects baby’s skin while in utero. You know how your skin wrinkles in the bath after only a few minutes?   Imagine being in fluid for 40 weeks!   Vernix buffers the skin and prevents loss of fluids and electrolytes in utero. During birth, vernix provides an antimicrobial layer against the bacteria-rich vagina and protects the skin from friction as baby is squeezed down the birth canal – baby lube!

But what about after baby is born? Shouldn’t we wipe that shit off?   It’s gross!

Gross though it may be, vernix is thought to help with regulation of baby’s body temperature in the first hours after birth – it acts as an insulator. That’s a big deal, because it can be really difficult for babies to maintain proper body temperature.

It is also known to assist in the adaptation from life in the womb to life outside the womb. It’s a different world out there, people! Wet-to-dry, different pH, scratchy clothes, etc. Vernix is the perfect moisturizer/insulator/antibiotic ointment.

Johnson’s baby lotion has nothing on vernix (more on that train wreck later…but I’ll leave you thinking about why it’s PINK!)   If only we could bottle the stuff!

Rubbing your newborn with a soft towel or blanket after birth will help to stimulate respiration and rub some of the vernix in, without wiping it off.   There is no need to be bathing your newborn until day 4 or 5, when the great majority of the vernix will flake off by itself. A soft, wet cloth around the mouth, eyes and genitals will take care of hygiene needs until it’s really time for the first true bath.