wellness

The Colin McEnroe Show
12:34 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Scrambling Toward Christmas With Sad Songs, Oscar Isaac, and Tight Flights

Oscar Isaac plays Llewyn Davis in the Coen Brother's new film, "Inside Llewyn Davis."
Credit Mongrel Media Press Photos

A couple of weeks ago, we did a whole show about blood pressure only to have an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association blow a lot of the current thinking about blood pressure right out of the water. We talk to UConn's hypertension expert, Dr. Billy White, about new guidelines saying people over 60 may not need to keep their blood pressure as low as previously thought. 

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Health
3:00 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Do Vitamin Pills Actually Do Anything?

Credit Gubcio/iStock / Thinkstock

A group of doctors in a leading medical journal are issuing a blunt warning to consumers: "stop wasting money" on vitamins. At least 50 percent of Americans use vitamins or dietary supplements, "despite sobering evidence of no benefit," according to the editorial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Rankings
4:29 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Connecticut is the Seventh-Healthiest State, According to Annual Report

Lake McDonough Reservoir in Connecticut, seen from the Tunxis Trail Overlook Spur in Barkhamsted.
Credit Morrowlong / Creative Commons
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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:23 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Singing Away the Blues

Lucy Ferriss is a writer-in-residence at Trinity College and author of several books, including the forthcoming, The Map of Honor. She also sings with CitySingers choir.
Chion Wolf

I suppose you could say that today's show is about a fairly obvious truth--singing with other people feels good. 

But, it's a little bit more complicated than that. When you go to a church and pick up a hymnal and sing what everybody else sings, it feels okay. And, a fairly complex set of activities takes place in your brain, and that's nice, but it pales in comparison to really singing with others. 

That is, getting together with other people and rehearsing and working toward a truly successful blend of voices.

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Newtown: One Year Later
4:40 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Newtown Decides Against Shooting Anniversary Event

Photos of Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims sit at a small memorial near the school on January 14, 2013, in Newtown, Connecticut. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:55 am

Residents of Newtown, Conn., have decided against a public commemoration to mark the first anniversary this coming Saturday of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six educators dead.

Instead, the town is endorsing a “year of service” and is asking residents to put a candle in their window on Dec. 14, the day of the shooting, to show their commitment to the idea of service to each other.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:01 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Blood Pressure is One Measure of Future Cardiovascular Disease

Dr. Paul Thompson, Chief of Cardiology at Hartford Hospital
Chion Wolf

Long before we knew how the cardiovascular worked, ancient doctors may have recognized what we call hypertension. It seemed like maybe there was too much blood, so they treated it with leeches. 

Even today, high blood pressure is a little bit mysterious. The way it's typically measured may be the wrong way. And, it's not caused by one single factor so no single drug treats all the things that cause high blood pressure. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:21 am
Tue December 3, 2013

The Trauma of Everyday Life

Credit shaire productions/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: I'm featuring New York psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein's fascinating new book, The Trauma of Everyday Life, because it explains the big pay-off for learning to notice the small and big traumas we all experience daily in an unpredictable world. By comprehending these traumas, he says, we permit their release, which leads to less stress and a greater sense of feeling fully alive. Dr. Epstein is a Harvard trained psychiatrist with a private practice in New York City. He's interested in the interface of psychotherapy and Buddhist philosophy.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:52 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Neuroscience: How Mindfulness Increases Well-Being

Credit Toshimasa Ishibashi/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Neuroscientists are verifying that practicing mindful awareness promotes neuroplasticity in the human brain, activating the “resonance” circuit that leads to a greater sense of well-being.

Renowned mindfulness teacher Dr. Jack Kornfield explains how mindfulness works quickly to transform neural circuits, enhance inner and interpersonal attunement, and deepen the capacity for empathy and lovingkindness.

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Where We Live
8:31 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat: Battling Childhood Obesity

Dr. Ann Ferris
Chion Wolf

It’s Halloween. Do you know what your kids are eating? Is this one of the few days of the year where maybe it’s okay for kids to have a little bit of candy, or are you one of those parents who skips the treats altogether and hands out toys or toothbrushes instead?!

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:54 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

A Scrutinization of Salt

Credit DaGoaty, Flickr Creative Commons

Salt! It's the only rock we eat!

That gets us into some touchy territory. Some say that salt is a major factor for high blood pressure, and some say that it's more complicated than that. We can't NOT eat salt, but in the grand scheme of things, are we eating more now than ever, or way less?

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Steady Habits
1:06 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Random Bedtimes Breed Bad Behavior In Kids

Play now, pay later: consistency matters when it comes to kids and sleep.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:06 pm

Parents learn the hard way that late bedtimes make for cranky kids the next day. But inconsistent bedtimes may have a greater effect on children's behavior, a study says.

Kids who didn't go to bed on a regular schedule had more behavior problems at home and at school. When those children were put to bed at the same time each night, their behavior improved.

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Extra Virgin
11:28 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Former Connecticut Official Knighted in Italy for Protecting Purity of Olive Oil

Credit Cosasdebeas / Wikimedia Commons

Just as wine lovers want complexity in a great vintage wine, olive oil fans expect purity in their favorite extra virgin. But high-end olive oil is expensive to produce. And in the mid-2000s, fraud was a growing problem.

When Connecticut officials discovered that some imported olive oil was really a cheap knock-off, they leapt into action. Jerry Farrell was commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection at the time.

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The Faith Middleton Show
3:01 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Recognizing Everyday Traumas Leads to Happier Lives

Credit Aislinn Ritchie/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

I'm featuring New York psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein's fascinating new book, The Trauma of Everyday Life, because it explains the big pay-off for learning to notice the small and big traumas we all experience daily in an unpredictable world. By comprehending these traumas, he says, we permit their release, which leads to less stress and a greater sense of feeling fully alive. Dr. Epstein is a Harvard trained psychiatrist with a private practice in New York City. He's interested in the interface of psychotherapy and Buddhist philosophy.

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The Faith Middleton Show
3:08 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Authors of Goddess of the Market and Healing at the Speed of Sound

John Baer/flickr creative commons

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right
by Jennifer Burns

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:40 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

A Salute To Urine!

Wikimedia Commons

In 1978, Indian prime minister Moraji Desai flustered Dan Rather during a Sixty Minutes interview by describing his health practice of drinking his own urine. I'm not sure how many people around the world do this for its supposed health benefits, but there are more than you might think. Rather was grossed out. Desai lived to be 99. So bottoms up! The list of people who have done this includes J.D. Salinger, the singer Kesha and the actress Sarah Miles as well as thousands of Americans who discovered Indian medicinal ideas during their immersion in yoga.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:19 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Prenatal Massage, Hypnobirthing, and Other Ways to Manage Having a Baby

Nagobe, Flickr Creative Commons

Home birthing? Doulas? Midwives? Hypnobirthing? Prenatal massage? Today, we’re talking about alternative birthing.

Fifty years ago, it was pretty simple: you went to the hospital, they knocked you out, and you had your baby — while dad smoked a cigar in the waiting room. Or if no hospital was nearby, you gave birth at home and hoped a savvy neighborhood lady could to help out. In later years, the question became home birth versus hospital birth.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:17 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Can Fasting Bring You Closer to God?

Flickr Creative Commons, Keoni Cabral

In researching this show, I found one claim that some of the writers of the Constitution fasted to enhance inspiration and mental clarity. I couldn't confirm that, but in 1775, the Continental Congress proclaimed July 20 as a day of "fasting and humiliation."  

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Health Care
4:34 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Study: Kids Can't Improve Their Teeth If They Don't See A Dentist

Each year, children across the country have a hard time caring for their teeth. A new study says that the problem is made worse because kids can't get in to see a dentist. The report comes from the Pew Children's Dental Campaign and makes two big observations.

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The Faith Middleton Show
8:17 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

The Science of Skinny

D. Sharon Pruitt/flickr creative commons

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:58 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Living With Food Allergies

Joyosity, Flickr Creative Commons

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:58 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Living With Food Allergies

Joyosity, Flickr Creative Commons

No one can escape the issue of extreme food allergies. Maybe it's you who is allergic to peanuts, dairy, shellfish, citrus. Maybe it's your little son or daughter. Or maybe you don't have any allergies, but because you eat food, you find that other people's allergies affect your life. Are you ever asked to keep peanuts out of the snack you're bringing to school? Or to keep dairy out of the cake you made for the office birthday party?

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Importance of NMDA Receptors
9:06 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Exploring Human Cognition

Digitalbob8 on Flickr Creative Common

Dr. Amy Arnsten, Professor of Neurobiology and Psychology at Yale University, spoke to WNPR's Ray Hardman, on her recently released findings from a study exposing the importance of healthy NMDA receptors needed for higher-level thinking and their potential link to illnesses like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease when this pre-frontal cortical circuitry is damaged.

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Where We Live
12:02 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

The Air We Breathe

The Environmental Blog on Flickr Creative Commons

The air we breathe is usually not something we can see.  Today, in Beijing, that is not the case. Activist Zhou Rong of Greenpeace tells NPR, "In the last three days, the air pollution is beyond index. It's the worst since we have readings starting from last year." But just because this blanket of smog highlight’s China’s less-than-stellar air quality, that doesn’t mean we’ve got the problem solved here at home.

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Coming Home Project
7:34 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Homeless Rural Vets Find A Place To Call Home

American Legion Post Cmdr. Mark Czmyr and his father, Navy veteran William Czmyr, originated the idea to create permanent apartments for homeless vets in Jewett City, Conn.
Lucy Nalpathanchil for NPR

This month, more than a dozen homeless veterans will finally have a place to call their own, thanks to the American Legion.

The organization's post in a small Connecticut town has been working for a decade on a unique project to create not transitional but permanent supportive housing in their rural community.

For 55-year-old Army veteran Jeff MacDonald, the new facility in Jewett City, Conn., was like "winning the lottery."

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Where We Live
10:28 am
Thu April 26, 2012

The State of Play

Lou & Traci plus, creative commons

The Executive Director of the Alliance for Childhood talks about how important play is for young people. She’s part of a two-day creativity conference coming up in Ridgefield, CT.

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Weight
9:29 am
Mon September 26, 2011

When Talking About Weight, Words Matter

Doctors may want to think carefully about the language they use when talking with parents about a child’s weight.  A new study by Yale University researchers finds that certain words reinforce negative stigma and may undermine important discussions about health.

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Where We Live
10:47 am
Thu August 4, 2011

The Media Fast

youngthousands, creative commons

TwitterGoogleFacebookGmailGchatFlickerLinkediniPhoneiPad....ahhhhergh!  I think it might be time for a break. This week, we've been talking about technology and the internet, and how we consume it.  But what happens when it consumes us?

Tom Cooper’s Fast Media/Media Fast looks at “how to clear your mind and invigorate your life in an age of media overload.” But is this actually possible in this media saturated world?

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Media Fast
11:14 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Media Fast: Day Three

by psd / Creative Commons

WNPR and Your Public Media contributor Heather Brandon has accepted our challenge to complete a media fast. She'll be abstaining from all media Monday, August 1 - Thursday, August 4 and will be interviewed, along with Tom Cooper, author of Fast Media, Media Fast: How to Clear Your Mind and Invigorate Your Life In an Age of Media Overload about her fast on the Thursday, August 4 edition of Where We Live.  No internet surfing, no television, no video games. This is her diary.

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Media Fast
11:14 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Media Fast: Day Two

by sanderovski & linda / Creative Commons

WNPR and Your Public Media contributor Heather Brandon has accepted our challenge to complete a media fast. She'll be abstaining from all media Monday, August 1 - Thursday, August 4 and will be interviewed, along with Tom Cooper, author of Fast Media, Media Fast: How to Clear Your Mind and Invigorate Your Life In an Age of Media Overload about her fast on the Thursday, August 4 edition of Where We Live.  No internet surfing, no television, no video games. This is her diary.

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Media Fast
10:46 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Media Fast: Day One

Rachel Chapman

WNPR and Your Public Media contributor Heather Brandon has accepted our challenge to complete a media fast. She'll be abstaining from all media Monday, August 1 - Thursday, August 4 and will be interviewed, along with Tom Cooper, author of Fast Media, Media Fast: How to Clear Your Mind and Invigorate Your Life In an Age of Media Overload about her fast on the Thursday, August 4 edition of "Where We Live."  No internet surfing, no television, no video games. This is her diary.

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