5 Best apps for meditation

After writing extensively on the benefits of meditation, I’ve been eager to take a meditation class to learn the practice. I signed up for a few in my local area but have never made it to one due to my work or family conflicts. Meditating on my own schedule appears to work better for me. Thus, I decided to test some of the latest meditation apps that were recommended to me by meditation researchers during previous interviews; all can be downloaded for free.

  • Mental health
  • Should some pregnant women should take a daily aspirin?

    While healthy pregnant women are normally warned off all medications to prevent any harm to their developing baby, some should consider taking a daily baby aspirin after their first trimester if they’re at increased risk of developing preecamplsia, a dangerous condition related to high blood pressure. That proposed recommendation was issued on Monday by the US Preventive Services Task Force, a government-sponsored panel of prevention experts.

  • Health news
  • Women's health
  • Sneezes spread cold viruses further than once thought, MIT researchers find

    Leave it to Massacusetts Institute of Technology researchers to determine why it’s important to sneeze into your elbow — even if no one’s nearby — rather than out into the empty air in front of you. It turns out virus droplets expelled through a cough or sneeze travel in an invisible cloud five to 200 times further than if they had been moving as isolated particles on their own.

    Eczema doesn’t go away in most children, study finds

    A new study published this week in JAMA Dermatology suggests the children don’t usually outgrow eczema: Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania followed more than 7100 children with eczema for several years and found that the skin condition lingered through the teens. Only 50 percent of those who reached age 20 had at least one six-month period where they were free of symptoms.

    FDA approves user-friendly device to reverse opioid drug overdoses

    Family, friends or passersby Consumers who encounter a person passed out from a heroin or other opiod overdose may soon be able to administer a drug to reverse the effects themselves before waiting for first responders to arrive. The US Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday the approval of auto-injector device, called Evzio, to administer naloxone hydrochloride. It can be carried in a pocket or stored in a medicine cabinet and will be available by prescription this summer.

  • Health news
  • Drugs/Treatments
  • Benefits of mammograms may have been oversold, new study finds

    Doctors may have oversold the benefits of mammography and underplayed its risks, which has left many women unable to make an informed decision about whether or not to have regular breast cancer screenings beginning at age 40. That troubling finding is based on the latest review of research conducted by Havard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers, which concluded that mammograms decrease a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer by a modest 19 percent.

  • Health news
  • Women's health
  • Is juicing good for us?

    Juicing is a popular diet trend with questionable nutritional benefits. Nutritionist Joan Salge Blake sets the record straight in this Be Well, Boston video.

    CDC: Flu hitting younger populations this season

    The 2013-2014 influenza season so far is affecting younger and middle-age adults in greater proportion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest seasonal statistics released Thursday. The rate of flu-related hospitalizations for this group is climbing, while they are the least likely to be vaccinated.

    What is multiple myeloma cancer?

    Tom Brokaw, a special correspondent for NBC News, is being treated for multiple myeloma. An oncologist at Dana Farber in Boston, who is not treating Brokaw, shared the latest prognosis on treating and surviving this type of cancer.

    The top trending diets in Boston

    We’ve entered that next pivotal phase after a month-long saga of resolution-fueled dieting in which people who have been trying to lose weight either stick with their program, or give up. Wondering what Boston is eating (or avoiding)? According to Google, these were the city’s top trending diets in January 2014.

    Eating too much added sugar linked to higher risk of dying from heart disease

    A new study confirms that eating too much sugar is bad for our heart and could lead to an earlier death. The research, published online Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, examined nutrition surveys from nearly 12,000 Americans and found that those who reported consuming the greatest percentage of calories from added sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease over a 14-year period compared to those who consumed the least.

  • Health news
  • Nutrition
  • Pot is not ‘more dangerous than alcohol’? Science lacking on Obama’s claim

    When President Obama declared in a recent New Yorker magazine interview that he doesn’t think pot “is more dangerous than alcohol,” he seemed to contradict his own administration’s policy that’s firmly against the legalization of marijuana. He also seemed to indicate that the pot smoking he did in his teens had no major health impact -- but research is lacking to determine this with any certainty.

  • Health news
  • Children's health
  • How to combat seasonal depression

    In this video, Harvard Vanguard nutritionist Anne Danahy shares tips and tricks to combat seasonal affective disorder, as well as how to tell when the winter blues might be a more serious mental health issue.

    Heart device upgrades get speedy approval making safety risks more likely, study finds

    Most upgraded pacemakers and defibrillators go through a speedy “supplement” review because they’re considered to be updated versions of older devices with just minor modifications. But according to a study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers, many of these devices have undergone substantial changes that may require better testing to ensure their safety.

  • Health news
  • Drugs/Treatments
  • Americans are making healthier food choices

    It’s a good news day for the battle against American obesity. An extensive report by the US Department of Agriculture shows American adults have made improvements in their eating habits, from eating out less to buying healthier groceries.

    Have cigarettes become more addictive?

    As public health officials mark the 50th anniversary of the first US Surgeon General’s report warning about the health hazards of smoking, some point out that although we’ve come a long way in reversing our nation’s addiction to nicotine, we still have a long way to go—especially when it comes to lowering nicotine levels in each puff.

  • Health news
  • Children's health
  • X-ray shows acupuncture gone wrong

    A South Korean woman’s knee x-ray, taken after a series of acupuncture treatments for osteoarthritis, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, captures an interesting visual showing how acupuncture treatments can complicate reading x-rays.

    Brain rest helps kids heal faster from concussions

    For years neurologists have been telling kids with sports-related concussions to give their brains a rest meaning—not just a break from physical activity—but also abstaining from cognitive challenges like reading, texting, or playing video games for several days. But that advice wasn’t backed by any real evidence indicating that it helped the brain heal faster, until now.

  • Health news
  • Children's health
  • Can Viagra relieve menstrual cramps?

    Some women suffer debilitating menstrual cramp pain every month without any relief from current treatments. That’s led researchers on a quest, and they’ve seen some promising results with the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.

    Calm down! The pill won’t make you go blind

    The research finding, presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting this week, found that women who took birth control pills for three or more years had double the risk of developing glaucoma. But there are too many caveats in this “study” to count.

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