August 2, 2014

The Feel Good Report

The latest in health, fitness and beauty.

A NEW KIND OF FACE-LIFT

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I wonder, if I let those kids fromTwilight suck some blood out of my body, spin it in a centrifuge, then inject that back into my face, would that make me look younger?” you’re in luck—the Vampire FaceLift is here. Available exclusively in Southwest Florida at Skin Deep Naples, the non-surgical procedure involves taking the patient’s own blood, centrifuging it to separate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP), then injecting that into the face. Stem cells from the platelets stimulate the growth of new, fuller tissue. Add a hyaluronic acid filler (such as Juvederm) to fill in the hollows of the face that form as we age, and voila, you look as if you’ve just been bitten by Edward Cullen. Developed by Dr. Charles Runels, the procedure can also be performed on the hands, neck and breasts for remarkable results. skindeepnaples.com

REVERSING THE AGING PROCESS?

In the world of telomeres, the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes, size matters. They’re thought to protect us from degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and a host of other ailments. Think of them as aglets (the plastic ends of shoelaces), shortening over time, until our “laces” become susceptible to fraying. Basically, every time our cells divide (which is a lot), that fraying speeds up the aging process. Everything from genetics to nutritional deficiencies to lifestyle (smoking, drinking, couch sitting) has an effect. But what if you could not only slow the shortening, but perhaps even lengthen your telomeres? Trim Wellness Café in Naples has successfully lengthened telomeres and reversed the biological aging process with a prescriptive I.V. therapy. That’s right, reversed. A recent test of one patient found that over the course of six treatments, his true biological age was decreased by 2.35 years. The results were confirmed by SpectraCell Laboratories (featured on ABC News and the Today Show). Now, SpectraCell is teaming with Trim Wellness Café for a study to see if they’ve stumbled upon Ponce de Leon’s lifetime quest. While it can’t keep you from being hit by a bus, it does seem to inspire hope in the future. trimwellnesscafe.com

HOW PROBIOTICS HELP

As we continue to look for ways to take charge of our own health, there’s an increasing demand for a more natural and holistic approach to wellness. Researchers and doctors agree that one supplement fitting that bill is probiotics. It is believed that various diseases and conditions—from high cholesterol to allergies—stem from an imbalance in the digestive tract. As one of the fastest growing dietary supplements, probiotics—which are living microorganisms—help restore that delicate balance by populating the intestine with good bacteria. Studies have shown that these microorganisms can help everything from the obvious gastrointestinal ills to the delay of the development of allergies in children. And while these are obviously available in pill form, there are a few tasty treats like yogurt, pickles, kefir and dark chocolate that afford you similar benefits.

NEW DRUG FIGHTS OFF STROKES AND BLOOD CLOTS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of a new anti-clotting drug to help fight the risk of stroke and blood clots. Eliquis, from Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb, has been approved for use in patients with a trial fibrillation. It’s expected to take the place of warfarin (aka Coumadin), which is decades old. A study of more than 18,000 patients comparing Eliquis and warfarin found the new drug reduced stroke risk by 21 percent, major bleeding by 31 percent and mortality by 11 percent. A trial fibrillation afflicts more than 5.8 million Americans and increases the risk of stroke. The drug should not be used for patients with artificial valves or defective heart valves, as that was not part of the clinical trial.

ANXIETY’S GOOD—UP TO A CERTAIN POINT

If you feel a little anxious right now, good for you: That’s just about the perfect amount. New research shows that a moderate amount of anxiety enables us to be more alert, focused and multitask more effectively, ensuring peak performance. Studies show that the brain functions better when hormone levels are slightly elevated. Of course, as you might expect, too much anxiety can impede performance. So how do we find that sweet spot? First, you need to identify what type of personality you are—someone who tends to be overly anxious, middle-of-the-road or a laidback kinda cool cat—and act accordingly. That might mean therapy. For example, overoptimistic people with ADHD tend to have an insufficient sense of urgency to get things done. So a therapist can help stress the negative future of not finishing a project and explain that they’ll feel a sense of calmness and relief upon completion. Frankly, just thinking about it makes me feel just a little bit anxious.

COMB YOUR WAY TO MORE HAIR

Is your hair thinning? Are you starting to blame your stylist for taking a little bit too much off the top (even though he didn’t touch the top)? You may want to consider one of the cooler things we’ve heard about recently: the Laser Comb. It works via photo-biostimulation. The heat and light generated from the low-energy lasers seems to stimulate blood  flow, helping to revitalize follicles. A 26-week study on the combs found users had an increase of 17 hairs per square inch. That averaged out to a 14 percent increase. Pretty impressive. Doctors say that low-level lasers are safe for home use, but add that it’s best to consider using the comb as soon as hair loss begins. Applying the comb to a chrome dome won’t accomplish anything. hairmax.com

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