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Alternative medicine goes mainstream

Kim Ricci is lying on her back on a table with hair-thin needles stuck in the hollows of her ears, five on each side. Several more puncture her wrists.

Polls about fitness and perception of the overweight

Every month, Vanity Fair magazine does a poll in conjunction with CBS’ “60 Minutes.” June’s subject is fitness, or, rather, how we feel about fitness. How would Americans feel about a fat president? Good news for some politicians (and yes, VF admits having a certain politician in mind): 64 percent of respondents said weight “has nothing to do with getting the job done.” Could we be attracted to someone who is out of shape? More good news for the less-than-svelte: 74 percent said yes.

Doc Talk: Should you have another C-section?

For various reasons, nearly one-third of women who give birth in the United States have a cesarean section. In the past, women who had a C-section were destined to have a C-section with every subsequent pregnancy. It was believed that a vaginal delivery would put too much stress on the uterine scar and cause a rupture of the uterus.

Avoid medications that increase blood pressure

When the Six Flags amusement park in New Jersey opens Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom this summer, it’ll become the tallest “drop ride” in the world – 41 stories! The park’s warning about the risks is not just marketing hype; folks on the “not recommended” list include anyone with high blood pressure. That knocks out more than 30 percent of Americans and nearly 20 percent of Canadians who have HBP (above 140/90) and are at increased risk for diabetes, heart attack, stroke, impotence, skin wrinkling and memory loss.

No need for tons of fat in this sweet potato salad

Let’s talk potato salad. Everyone knows it’s good – there’s a reason it’s a summer perennial – but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Here’s a crafty version that swaps in sweet potatoes for the more traditional white potatoes and loses the standard recipe’s abundant mayonnaise in favor of a dressing high in flavor and low in fat.

The basics of gout: A crash course

For those who have ever suffered the excruciating onset of gout, the symptoms are undeniable. For the rest of us, the condition may be something of a mystery. If you know someone who endures gout flare-ups and have wondered what they are dealing with, or if you have sudden onset pain, swelling and redness in your joints, here is a crash course on the condition.

Youth is not always a protection against stroke

On a snowy morning in 2010, Jolene Morton headed to work early, thinking she would be safer with fewer cars on the roads. Shortly after arriving, she started slurring her words while talking on the phone and then she dropped the receiver. In a flash, everything went blank. “All I saw in my head was a dark room with dust bunnies,” Morton says.

Guard against Lyme disease, other infections as tick population explodes

The National Wildlife Federation says there’s a population explosion of ticks in New Hampshire, where some moose are infested with more than 100,000 of them. And researchers in St. Louis found that a quarter of squirrels carried ticks that transmit Lyme disease.

Eggs, gluten, coffee, red meat, potatoes: Do they deserve the insults?

With food as with fashion, tastes change. Today, bread cubes dipped in a cheddar cheese fondue seems about as dated as bell bottoms. Nutritional advice changes too. Foods that were once touted as healthful can suddenly gain unsavory reputations, and vice versa.

Coconut: Super healthful, or just super trendy?

The coconut has attained superfood status.

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