Healthy Life

The Feel Good Report May

The latest in health,beauty and fitness tips.

BY May 8, 2013


It’s hard saying “no” to our beautiful beaches and abundant sunshine. But too much of anything can have serious repercussions. And skin cancer is a scary and legitimate possibility in Southwest Florida. Luckily, technology is always improving, and there is now a computer-aided piece of equipment that can help doctors see with better eyes.

Although it looks like the cross between a radar gun and a blow dryer, MelaFind is actually a breakthrough in medical technology. The non-invasive device is capable of seeing under the skin’s surface to evaluate atypical skin lesions and then classify them based on the level of three-dimensional morphological disorganization found under the skin. In just minutes, you’ll know if something abnormal is happening that requires a biopsy. In the past, skin cancer specialists may have had to go straight to a biopsy if it looked questionable by your doctor, often times leaving a scar.

Studies show MelaFind gives less than 2 percent false positives, which is significantly better than your physician’s eyes.


It seems a frown might get you down, while a smile might do something that rhymes with smile but means “happy.” Make sense? Good. A recent study found you can influence mental health by what you do with your face. Researchers discovered that smiling helped slow a person’s heart rate and reduced stress. And it seems the bigger and more honest a smile is, the more it influences not only ourselves, but others. Experts at the Brain Mapping Center at UCLA say that when we see someone else smiling, it triggers “mirror neurons” in our brain and produces effects as though we are smiling as well. On the opposite side of the spectrum, frowning seems to add to a person’s depression. In fact, in one study, people with depression were treated with Botox, making it literally impossible to frown, and 27 percent of them went into remission for their depression. So smile. Because apparently the whole world smiles, too.


Move over, blueberries and acai berries, there’s a new, better, cheaper super fruit available and it’s starting to trend. Aronia berries, native to the eastern United States, have been used for centuries in wines, jams and teas, but are just now being cultivated in the Midwest as the next superfood. The berries contain a blend of polyphonic antioxidants that fight the free radicals in our bodies caused by stress, pollution, poor eating habits and, well, life in general. It also features very high levels of anthocyanins, which have been shown to help combat diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic inflammation. In fact, it has between five and 10 times higher concentrations of anthocyanins and flavonoids than cranberry juice and four times as much as strawberries, pomegranates, goji berries and blueberries. Also known as chokeberries, they’re perfect for mixing into juices and smoothies.


A running shoe can be like an old friend: a constant companion seeing you through the darkest night, the wettest day and the hardest pavement. But are you too comfortable? Is it secretly starting to ruin your knees and hips? For years, shoe manufacturers have told us that running shoes will wear out between 300 and 500 miles of running (or about 35 years for this writer). But studies are showing that, depending on the materials used, your weight and type of stride, some running shoes can go the extra mile. In a recent New York Times article, running coach Henry Klugh of Harrisburg, Pa., was quoted as saying he goes up to 2,000 miles in some sneakers. While the chance of your making it to 2,000 miles in your current pair seems slim (and would leave you somewhere near Livingston, Mont.), the truth is your sneakers might still have some life left in them.


This is one of those ideas that makes you say, “Why did I not know about this sooner?” My Body TLC Organic Wellness Center in Naples now offers “vine therapy treatments” that, as you might suspect, use wine and its beneficial antioxidants to replenish and revitalize your skin. Yes, we know you already have your own version of wine therapy, but this is less likely to have you pulled over by the cops. It seems our circulatory system is stimulated by the wine’s active ingredients. Wine-infused lotions are massaged into the skin with treatments such as the Pinot Noir Awakening, the Mourverde Experience, the Shiraz Divine Ladies Deluxe and the Lambrusco Divine Gentlemen Deluxe. You leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for more wine. Luckily, a complimentary glass of wine is included in the cost. Best of all, you can continue to take the treatment orally at home or at a nice restaurant. I feel more relaxed already.


Sometimes you just wanna lace up some gloves and punch somebody. And while that feeling should be suppressed 99 percent of the time, the 1 percent finally has a legally responsible option. Title Boxing Club has opened its doors in Naples. Boxing and kickboxing are amazing full-body workouts that can shed pounds and leave you in great shape. In fact, workouts such as its trademark Power Hour sessions can burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour. Maybe that’s why we don’t see many pleasantly plump kickboxers running around. Classes tend to be over-the- top cardio routines that include a combination of kicking, punching and heavy bag action. Trust us, if you keep it up, you’ll lose weight and gain a ton of confidence.


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