Migraines Can Be A Source Of Pain For Any Woman   2 comments

Posted at 11:04 am in Health

migraines“You worry at first that the pain will kill you, and then you wish it would,” says Elizabeth McKim, an assistant professor of English at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. McKim’s voice is cheerful, but her office is dim and her eyes are shuttered behind sunglasses. The pain she speaks of is a migraine headache. For McKim, something as simple as a glimpse of the sun’s bright light glinting off the Saint John River can trigger an agonizing headache. The sunglasses, subdued office lighting and avoidance of sunny-day activities help, but when a migraine hits, her only option is to cloister herself in a dark quiet room and wait – sometimes for up to 12 hours – for the pain to abate.

All of us have felt the pounding pain of a headache. But for the millions of North Americans who are flattened by migraines (more than half of migraineurs, as they are called, are women), cluster and tension headaches, that pain can change the way they live their lives. For some, like McKim, it means days off work and less time spent with family and friends. There is good news, though. Specialists in pain management now have a much better understanding of how a headache takes hold, and that’s …

Written by TheEditor on August 15th, 2015

Living Abroad Can Be Fantastic For Your Soul   no comments

Posted at 6:12 am in Life

livingabroadLast night, we sat in our cockpit and had homemade lobster pizza for dinner. The hills of Grenada – verdant and lush with coconut palms and mango, nutmeg and papaya trees were dark silhouettes in the distance. The water around us glistened with drops of light from the almost-half-full moon, the breeze was warm and gentle, and the pizza was fantastic. It had been made entirely from scratch – in a place where “from scratch” means not only preparing the dough ourselves but also diving to catch the lobster. We are 3,800 kilometres south of Toronto as the crow flies – much, much farther as the wind blows – and for perhaps the hundredth time, I said silent thanks that I’d pushed doubts aside to embark on this adventure. How could I have hesitated so long?

When my husband, Steve, and I first talked about taking a midlife break from our careers – leaving jobs and home, family and friends – and sailing our boat from Toronto to the Caribbean, it was idle, dreamy chat: pure escapism to whisk us away from the slush of winter and the unrelenting pressures of deadline-oriented work. (I’m a magazine and book editor; Steve, a magazine and book designer.) We gave our dream a …

Written by TheEditor on August 12th, 2015

Exercise To Keep Your Healthy And Flexible   4 comments

Posted at 5:30 am in Health

Cradling the phone, pounding the keyboard, hauling a purse … they all take a toll on your body. These feel-good moves will get the kinks out and refresh the inner you.exercise

A body that moves with ease and grace. That’s what we all want. We’re actually born that way, but then life happens. We sit at desks all day, lock our necks over phones and hang heavy purses from our shoulders. And when we exercise, our good intentions can do more harm if we tense the neck while lifting weights or round our shoulders while power walking.

We all pick up bad habits that put our bodies out of balance, causing pain and sometimes injury. “We tend to focus on the task instead of our body,” notes Kelly McEvenue, who teaches the Alexander Technique (which focuses on reorganizing the body’s coordination) to actors at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. How can we undo the damage – or prevent it altogether? We consulted experts, from massage therapists to chiropractors, who help soothe the aches of modern life. They offer a decidedly modern workout based on effortless moves you can do anywhere (no leotard required).

These exercises work by diffusing tension before it evolves into a chronic problem. “The key is …

Written by TheEditor on August 9th, 2015

Do Your Kids “Know It All”?   no comments

Posted at 5:19 am in Parenting

doyoukidsI had two choices. The first – let’s call it the honesty option – would have had me citing a few articles I’d seen recently. “Mister,” I could have said emphatically, “there’s no link between sugar and increased activity. As I recently read in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists have learned, and I quote, ‘even when intake exceeds typical dietary levels, neither dietary sucrose nor aspartame affects children’s behaviour or cognitive function.'” I could have told him that. I might have strengthened the argument by citing a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association that stated if parents do perceive an increase in their child’s activity after she takes on a load of sugary treats, it’s got to do with either her parents’ expectations or the fact that the high energy is the result of a party or other exciting event. I know my children are more excitable in the days leading up to Halloween than on the candy-filled few days following.

I didn’t say any of this though. I’ll go a long way out of my way to avoid confrontation. Plus, if the man is like me, he’ll go on believing whatever he wants.

For instance, I happen to know that sitting too close …

Written by TheEditor on August 6th, 2015