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As natural medicine and beauty care gain popularity, how can you make sure you’re choosing well-trained practitioners? The fact is, in some cases, there are no safety guarantees. And that’s generating numerous legal efforts to regulate and license naturopaths. Learn how to protect yourself… Read more


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Cosmetic Tattoos: The Ugly Truth

Some speculate that Cleopatra did it. Now it’s become one of the hottest new beauty trends: tattooing lips, eyelids and eyebrows so they permanently look like you’re wearing the perfect amount of make-up.


The benefits of these “permanent cosmetics” are obvious. No more costly lipsticks, eyeliners or eyebrow pencils to buy. You can go to bed and wake up with the same gorgeous face, never smudged or smeared. You can go swimming, run three miles, clean the garage, or answer the door straight out of the shower. It doesn’t matter: you’re going to look fantastic.


Unfortunately, there is a darker side. The field of permanent cosmetics is, at least for the moment, entirely unregulated. Practically anyone can purchase a set of tattoo ink pigments and needles, and go-to-town painting faces. For consumers, the negative side effects can range from just slightly irritated or tingly lips (often an allergic reaction to tainted ink) to hepatitis or HIV transmission via needles.


Also unsettling: the exact number of botched cases remains unknown. If it’s any indication, though, the FDA received over 150 complaints last year alone, about just one particular ink pigment manufacturer. (And there are untold numbers of manufacturing companies worldwide!)


As John Hasey, owner of the Advanced School of Permanent Cosmetics, put it: “We see thousands of faces being destroyed by people who don’t get trained properly, and that’s the biggest problem in permanent cosmetics.”


Putting the procedure into perspective, he explains that, “your average cosmetologist who cuts hair has to do 1,200 to 1,500 hours just to do that.”  So, Hasey wonders, “How is that any more important than taking a needle to someone’s eye?”


For now, with no formal legislative move toward regulation or licensure for permanent cosmetic procedures, clients would be wise to do careful research before making the permanent commitment to any of these alluring procedures.



New Food Labels Hit Grocery Shelves Soon


The Future of Naturopathy


Colorado is fighting for the right to license naturopathic doctors. For many people around the country the news may seem semi-irrelevant. Actually, the Colorado battle is an important step in a much larger national movement to legitimize natural medicine and its practitioners.


Naturopaths—homeopaths, acupuncturists, reflexologists, nutritionists, ayurvedic clinicians and others—work from the premise that our bodies have an innate ability to heal themselves. In general, they seek to identify and rectify the fundamental imbalance that causes symptoms rather than treating the symptoms themselves.


Despite the ancient medical underpinnings to naturopathy, and in spite of a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking natural health alternatives, the field continues to be combat widespread skepticism. And Colorado residents are no exception.


Most opposition to Colorado House Bill 11-1173, proposed by the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors, comes from expected opponents, like the Colorado Medical Society, which claims that licensing naturopaths would give them the power to treat conditions beyond their training and expertise.


More surprising, however, is opposition from the Colorado Coalition for Natural Health. Since a number of Coalition members have not, themselves, been trained at accredited natural health institutions, it’s likely they worry about losing their own naturopathy practices if the licensure legislation goes through.


As of this year, according to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, only 15 states plus the District of Columbia give license to naturopaths. If Colorado gets added to the list, the Association says, residents will gain the ability to distinguish between knowledgeable naturopaths and quacks.


Association director, Karen Howard, explains her hope: “No longer will people who don’t go to naturopathic medical school be able to hang up a shingle that says, ‘I’m a naturopathic doctor.’ It’s a patient access and patient safety issue.”


With 11 other states waiting in the wings with their own licensing legislation, the issue will certainly gain traction over the next year.


Research Quick Takes Quick Takes

►Fake it til you make it? Not if you want to actually be happy. One study finds that bus drivers who faked their smiles while on the job slowly deteriorated into melancholia. When they didn’t fake it, their mood actually improved over the course of the day.
Read the research…


►A study finds that prostate cancer risk is higher among men who start pattern balding in their 20’s. A separate study finds that risk is lower for men whose index finger is longer than their ring finger!
Read the research…


► Research has found that high fiber diets can have anti-inflammatory effects on older and aging adults. So eat more fiber-enriched foods to combat heart disease.
Read the research…




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