Become A Better Spa Manager: Skills To Master

If you are a spa manager or aspire to be, you’ll know that this is a role of many talents. Between managing guests, staff, creative direction, budgeting and even bookkeeping, spa management requires a wide array of skills. But what skills should you hone in on? What will help you feel successful and fulfilled? We spoke to Eminence Organics PR Manager, Jessica Timberlake to share her valuable insights from her time as a spa director in Southern California. Now on the Board of Directors for the International Spa Association (ISPA) and the Canadian Ambassador for Global Wellness Day, read on to see the skills she cites as invaluable.

Leadership

Being a strong leader is a foundational skill for spa managers. Leading successfully creates a more engaged team atmosphere, diminishing tension and fostering a warm, calm environment that your guests will notice. Explaining why this is important, Jessica says:

The right leadership is critical to retain staff and keep your team engaged.

“Your staff will look to you as the compass, leading them through each day. Not only will you support them in spa operations, but you’ll mentor them through leading by example. The right leadership is critical to retain staff and keep your team engaged. If your spa director role is at a hotel or resort, leadership is part of the equation beyond the spa walls. You’ll be a role model across the property, championing the guest experience and supporting other executives.”

Jessica’s recommendation to give you inspiration? She says, “45 million viewers can’t be wrong. Carve out a few minutes and sink into this epically influential TED talk by Simon Sinek.” 

Giving And Receiving Feedback

Learning how to give and receive feedback is becoming more and more crucial for managers in every field. According to a survey of business professionals by PwC and cited by LinkedIn, “nearly 60% of survey respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis — a number that increased to 72% for employees under age 30.” Jesssica has noted this as a crucial area of spa management, sharing:

“To mentor and grow your team, and yourself as well, learning to deliver feedback in a neutral way that will ultimately support your staff in their role is essential to keeping your team engaged. Consider how to receive feedback as well as from who - is it the general manager, or the owners of the hotel? If you own your own spa, is your staff giving you feedback? How do you interpret it?”

When asked how to improve, Jessica suggests you “take a course on LinkedIn Learning and then practice. Before going into a feedback conversation, take time to write your thoughts down and get organized. Play out the scenario with a trusted colleague if it’s a particularly sensitive situation.” 

Networking

In addition to enhancing your soft skills inside the spa, embracing the community outside your own spa helps you be a better spa manager. As noted by Forbes, networking is important for your career as it helps create a positive view of your business, fosters an exchange of creative ideas with others in the industry and builds relationships and opportunities with potential clients and employees. Jessica explains:

 “The spa industry is warm, welcoming and friendly. Whether you’re a veteran in the industry but new to management, or brand new to the spa world - get connected. The resources and connections are limitless once you reach out. Networking with your community has perks such as driving business from other locals.”

Attend your local Chamber of Commerce mixers. Join a trade organization, such as the International Spa Association...

There are many ways to start networking right away. Tradeshows are an excellent avenue to meet fellow professionals and brush up on your industry knowledge. Jessica adds: “Attend your local Chamber of Commerce mixers. Join a trade organization, such as the International Spa Association, which has dozens of invaluable benefits including an industry best practices guide, research, educational materials and an annual conference where you can grow all of your professional skills and see what products are the latest and greatest.” 

Retail Savvy

As well as honing your soft skills, business skills are essential when managing a spa. Being retail savvy is crucial to your spa’s success, as retail sales typically make up a large percentage of your overall revenue. Jessica advises: 

“One of the number one opportunities spa managers state as a pain point is retail sales ‘left on the treatment table.’ According to best practices, ideal retail sales should track 30% to 50% of your top line revenue.”

She recommends leaning in and accepting help from experts around you to improve this skill: “Look to your vendor partners for retail sales advice. They’re experts in merchandising, provide sales training and may even offer incentives for your guests, such as a gift with purchase to spur sales.” 

Marketing

Put your retail savvy to good use by brushing up on your marketing skills. Whether you realize it or not, traditional marketing is a large part of the day to day tasks of a spa manager. Jessica puts this perfectly, saying: “From seasonal specials, holiday treatments, spa menu design, group packages, trend forecasting - you will do it all!”

To ensure you’re staying modern and on top of the latest industry trends, Jessica keeps it simple:

“Read! Make an array of trade publications part of your monthly required reading. Magazines sent to spa professionals such as American Spa, Skin Inc, DAYSPA, Puls and Les Nouvelles Esthetique provide invaluable insights into maximizing your marketing potential.” 

Financial Fluency

With a strong retail strategy in place, ensure you have an understanding of how it affects your bottom line. To lead your team and business in the right direction, financial fluency is vital, enabling you to plan both short and long term goals. Jessica highlights this, saying:

“Your math teacher was right - numbers don’t lie. Knowing at a glance whether your margins are up or down, your retail:treatment ratio is on point and what your cost of goods sold is will give you immediate intel into the fiscal health of your spa and lay the path for where you need to focus your energy - is it inventory management, treatment sales, reducing costs or remixing your spa packages?”

Run all of the financial reports from your spa’s software system and dig deep.

If finance is out of your comfort zone, don’t fret - you’re not alone. There are many opportunities to learn, whether self-led, taking online courses, or attending community programs. Jessica’s recommendation: Study. She says: “Run all of the financial reports from your spa’s software system and dig deep. Pony up your skills by taking a financial management distance-based course through the ISPA and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute for less than $100 USD.”  

We hope these key areas help you in developing your own career goals and learning plan. Are you a spa manager or director? What else do you think is crucial when working in the industry? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on social media.

13 Unexpected Side Effects of Motherhood - Makeup and Beauty Blog

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

This Is The Prettiest Makeup Look We’ve Seen This Year

Our Instagram feed has blown up in the past week… When J. Lo made a surprise entrance on the Versace runway in her iconic Jungle dress, we died. But among the fashion month craziness, one striking eyeshadow look blessed our screen and we love it more each time we see it. Nicknamed watercolor eyeshadow, the trend, which has been around for a while now, is seeing a resurgence in the makeup world. The look resembles that stunning, ethereal watercolor effect, with either multiple shades being blended together or one shade monochromatically washed across the lid – it’s like a work of art but the eyelid is the canvas. And while it may look kinda hard to recreate, don’t worry because we’ve got all the MUA insider tips. Here’s how to slay this super pretty eyeshadow look.

How to Perfect The Watercolor Eyeshadow Look

Mario Dedivanovic, Kim K’s go-to MUA, has a very simple approach – just add water, which makes total sense! Dip your brush in H20 then apply a light dusting of eyeshadow and sweep it over the lid to create a soft wash of color. Repeat the process with different complementary shades – our Neon eyeshadow palettes work really well with this look. Focus the brush wherever you want to add intensity like the outer edges and the crease. Don’t be afraid of working the color, all the way up towards the brows – the stained effect works well on larger areas and as the color is diluted and doesn’t look too harsh or bold.

If you’re afraid to use water (and this is best for beginners), use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to paint on color and be sure to blend out the edges for a softly diffused look that mimics a watercolor effect.

Source: NARS

MUA Val Garland created her own twist on the trend for the Erdem runway, and kept it simple, using one color for a monochromatic look and washing out the edges for a watercolor effect. She told Vogue: “I take a pencil first [Garland used the NARS Moskova Quad eyeshadow palettes] and blend it in, so I have a waxy base. I then use a cotton wool bud to windscreen-wipe across the color, picking up the pigment and pressing it into the eyelid a few times. Because of this lovely dewy skin, I have a bit of fall-out from the eyeshadow which creates a painterly, delicate and beautiful pop of color with a more velvety texture which comes from the application technique. The waxy pencil creates an ombré stain where the pigment from the other color hasn’t hit.”

If you like the watercolor makeup look as much as we do, here’s some major watercolor eyeshadow inspo…

Are you guys going to try watercolor eyeshadow? Let us know in the comments.

Seaside Living Soothes the Mind of Rich and Poor Alike

By Steven Reinberg

THURSDAY, Oct. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could living near the coast be an inexpensive balm for mental troubles?

"Our research suggests, for the first time, that people in poorer households living close to the coast experience fewer symptoms of mental health disorders," said researcher Dr. Jo Garrett, from the University of Exeter, in England.

"When it comes to mental health, this 'protective' zone could play a useful role in helping to level the playing field between those on a high and low income," Garrett said in a university news release.

For the study, her team analyzed survey responses from nearly 26,000 people who took part in the Health Survey for England.

The investigators compared people's health to their proximity to the coast and found that people living in towns and cities near the coastline reported having better mental health, even the poorest folks.

About one in six adults in England suffers from mental anxiety and depression, and they are more likely from poorer families, the study authors noted.

Research into what the investigators call "blue health" should boost efforts by governments "to protect, create and encourage the use of coastal spaces," said Dr. Mathew White, an environmental psychologist at the university. "We need to help policy makers understand how to maximise the wellbeing benefits of 'blue' spaces in towns and cities and ensure that access is fair and inclusive for everyone."

The report was published Sept. 30 in the journal .

530 Sick, 9 Dead from Mysterious Vaping Illnesses

This story was updated Sept. 26 and Sept. 24, 2019 with additional deaths from vaping-related illness.

Sept. 26, 2019 -- Twelve people have now died due to vaping-related illness in the U.S., with the most recent three from Mississippi, Florida and Georgia. The Georgia death, the state's first, was in a patient with a history of heavy nicotine vaping,but no reported THC vaping history,the Department of Public Health said. No details were given in the Florida death. Mississippi officials said only that a person under the age of 30 died from a vaping-related illness. 

Cases of vaping-related lung illness in the U.S. have climbed to 804 as of Sept. 26, up from 530 the week before, the CDC said.  

While a profile of the patients is emerging, no single product or substance has been linked with the ongoing epidemic, federal officials say.

Meanwhile, Walmart, the world's largest retailer, said it would stop selling all e-cigarettes once existing inventory runs out, CNBC reported Friday. 

“Given the growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes, we plan to discontinue the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products at all Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. locations,” the company said in a memo to local managers. “We will complete our exit after selling through current inventory.”

The 804 confirmed cases are from 46 states and one territory. The 12 deaths are from 10 states.

"No consistent e-cigarette product, additive, or brand has been identified in all cases," she said.

The update comes as new data reveal the rate of vaping nicotine among teens has doubled in the past 2 years. According to the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey, 25% of 12th graders, 20% of 10th graders, and 9% of eighth graders reported vaping nicotine in the past month.

For its investigation, the FDA has collected more than 150 vaping product samples, according to Mitch Zeller, JD, director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. The agency is analyzing the samples for a broad range of substances, including THC and other cannabinoids, opioids, cutting agents, pesticides, and other toxins.

The FDA's enforcement arm -- the Office of Criminal Investigations -- has begun a parallel investigation, Zeller said. It will focus on the supply chain and figuring out what is making people sick.

He didn’t know when federal officials might determine which product or products are to blame.

"Identifying any product in the samples is just one piece of the puzzle," he said.

How To Fade Sun Spots And Reverse Sun Damage

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If you couldn’t resist spending every day in the sun this summer (us too), then your skin is probably feeling the heat, but don’t stress… We’ve all been there. Not only does September mark the beginning of the summer into fall skincare transition, but it also happens to be #SelfCareAwarenessMonth and that means Sunday – and every other day of the week – should be devoted to self-care. Honestly, we can’t think of a better way to spend a month than masking, skincare multi-tasking, and working on our glow-up game, how ‘bout you?

Sun damage can come in all shapes, shades, and sizes, but some of the most irritating and quasi-concerning signs are dark spots (tan, brown or black) on the face, décolletage, shoulders, backs of hands, and upper back, newly formed fine lines, or dry, scaly patches, also known as actinic keratoses.

Aside from being a real B to deal with (vanity wise), sun damage is no joke and should be addressed immediately, so you don’t run the risk of it worsening and developing into skin cancer later on. That’s why we turned to the top derms, plastic surgeons, and estheticians to tell us how to help our poor, in need of TLC epidermis. From lasers like Fraxel and PiQo4, to microneedling with radiofrequency and the IPL “photo facial,” to vitamin C serums and retinoids, here’s the 411 on what really works, the results you can expect, and what it’ll cost you.

Treatment 1. Fraxel

According to Dr. Howard Sobel, NYC-based cosmetic dermatologic surgeon and director of Sobel Skin, the Fraxel DUAL 1550/1927 Laser is one of the best treatment options for fractional resurfacing of the face, neck, chest, and hands. “It’s very popular in general, but many of our patients start to request this right as the summer ends since its works to reverse sun exposure via microscopic laser columns that penetrate deep into your skin,” he explains.

The before and after results of Fraxel laser

Source: Sobel Skin

“Since the laser treats only a fraction of tissue at a time, it leaves the surrounding tissue intact, which helps jump-start the healing process.” Fraxel is also a buzzy beauty treatment with a cult-like following because it reduces the appearance of stubborn hyperpigmentation, sunspots and pre-cancerous areas on the skin, in addition to stimulating the growth of healthy skin cells from the inside out.

The before and after results of Fraxel laser on the hands

Source: Sobel Skin

The entire procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes to perform (and the pain level is probably an 8 out of 10 TBH), but no pain, no gain! Some peeling, flaking, and redness are typical for the first few days post-Fraxel as the old, damaged skin needs to shed itself for the new, fresh skin to take its place. Results vary by individual, but can usually be seen after a few weeks to a month. Repeat treatments may also be needed, depending on the level of sun damage.

Cost: $1,500 to $2,500 per treatment

Treatment 2: PiQo4 Laser

Aptly dubbed “the eraser,” the PiQo4 Laser is another great option to improve skin tone and reverse the signs of summer damage on the face and chest. “This breakthrough laser is ideal for isolated hyperpigmented spots, sun spots, and melasma, and rather than using heat, it uses acoustic energy to produce more collagen in the skin,” says Dr. Sobel. And if you have more melanin in your skin, good news for you, since it’s safe to use on all skin types. “Darker skin tones are traditionally more difficult to treat – due to the high rate of rebound with post-inflammatory hypopigmentation (when the skin lacks color) – but PiQo4 is a revolutionary laser that offers a new approach to removing pigmentation,” he adds.

The before and after results of PiQo4 Laser

Source: Sobel Skin

Cost: $500 and up, per treatment

Treatment 3: Vitamin C + Retinol

While in-office treatments are crucial to replenish après-soleil skin, so is a proper at-home skincare routine. “When it comes to treating your skin post-sun, you need to focus on exfoliation to remove the dead skin build-up and hyperpigmentation resulting from sun exposure and additionally, you need to restore hydration within the skin since the sun can cause dehydration,” says Dr. Imber. Vitamin C serum and retinol will help with this. Youth Corridor’s Ultimate Antioxidant C Boost Serum, $195 will enhance your skin’s own rejuvenation process and reverse sun damage – thanks to melatonin and vitamin B3 – while a retinoid, like the RetinUltimate Transforming Gel, $450, applied nightly can virtually iron away fine lines and smooth your visage until it feels like a polished stone. AKA #skingoals. Check out skincare brand The Inkey List, who have some affordable retinol and vitamin C products starting at just $10!

Treatment 3: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

If your pain threshold isn’t the highest and you don’t want to spend a fortune, another viable option is a treatment called Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or “The Photo Facial” as it’s referred to in the skincare industry. Adriana Martino and Marisa Martino are the founders of one of Hailey Bieber’s fave med spas, SKINNEY Medspa, and they love this in-office treatment to target sun damage and melasma (those not so cute gray-brown patches on the skin). It can also minimize redness from broken capillaries and rosacea. The best part? There’s no downtime.

A before and after of the results of IPL treatment on the chest

Source: SKINNEY Medspa

1-5 treatments (spaced out every 4-6 weeks) are recommended and the procedure takes less than 30 minutes. Think of it as a little lunchtime light beam to bump up your glow meter. “IPL works by lifting the dark spots and bringing your skin back to a more superficial state, to flake off as your body builds new skin naturally,” say the Martino sisters. And considering you can see a significant difference after 5-7 days post-procedure, it sounds like a fall skincare must to us. They’re also quick to point out IPL can be used to treat some pre-cancerous lesions, but you should consult with your dermatologist prior to get a proper screening.

Cost: $250-$400 per treatment

Treatment 4: Dermaplaning and Chemical Peels

To restore your skin’s baby face status and get rid of unwanted scaly cell build-up that leads to uneven tone and texture, Gerald Imber, M.D., plastic surgeon and director of New York City’s Youth Corridor Clinic suggests a deep exfoliation treatment (like dermaplaning) with a light chemical peel.

“Dermaplaning uses a blunt scalpel to physically scrape off layers of dead skin cells and then a light chemical peel is applied to the skin to further the exfoliation process,” he explains. Before you freak at the thought of Samantha Jones leaving the derm with a red, blotchy, hot mess face, consider this: chemical peels have come a long way. There are varying strengths of chemical peels and the strength determines the type of downtime you will have, but Dr. Imber’s No-Peel Peel yields impressive results without the shedding – or horror movie character connotation – associated with most peels.

This treatment is not intended to be painful and at most, you may feel a slight tingle with the chemical peel. Totally manageable. The biggest take-away is that your skin will show fewer signs of discoloration and surface irregularities, and appear brighter after a series of three treatments at the same time. Sign us up. Find out more about dermaplaning here.

Cost: $300 and up, per treatment

Treatment 5: Microneedling With Radio Frequency 

Robyn Gmyrek, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in Manhattan and when it comes to reversing sun damage and treating aged skin, she relies on the power of microneedling radiofrequency devices. “Aged skin in its most extreme case has both excess brown pigmentation (sun spots) as well as some blotchy redness from broken blood vessels on the face or sun-exposed areas. We also see a texture change to the skin, which is due to both collagen and elastic tissue loss and damage,” she says.

Microneedling with radiofrequency literally creates controlled wounds in the skin – when small needles penetrate the skin and deliver radiofrequency energy at the deepest point. And while we’re sure you’ve seen plenty of at-home micro-needling devices, those don’t go nearly as deep as the professional in-office tools do. Radiofrequency heat, in turn, stimulates new collagen and elastic tissue, thus improving texture and also tightening the skin. Basically, it’s the holy grail of skincare treatments when it comes to tricking your face into aging backward.

It is a bit of a to-do, however. The treatment requires one hour of topical numbing and takes around 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll also probably leave with some marks and redness from the needle entry for 24 to 48 hours, but the recovery is quick. Dr. Gmyrek suggests three treatments monthly to see visible results, which take about 60 to 90 days to become apparent, as this is the time frame for new collagen growth.

Cost: $1,500-1,750 per treatment

Treatment 6: Fractionated Carbon Dioxide Laser

Though fractionated CO2 laser treatments work very well, they do require more recovery time according to Dr. Gmyrek. “The carbon dioxide lasers are ablative, which means that they are able to ablate or destroy microscopic areas of skin as we treat it,” she explains. “Because this laser causes more wounding to the skin, there is also more wound healing and more collagen that is put down by the body leading to a better result.” In short, non-science-y terms, this laser is not your “lunchtime lift” in and out deal. It requires several days of wound care after the treatment to prevent infection and one to two weeks of recovery time, depending on the treatment and the patient. “Patients will often also require topical numbing cream, as well as injected lidocaine for the treatment, and one to three treatments (spaced six months to a year apart) are recommended,” she advises.

Cost: $5,000 per treatment

The most important thing you can do to treat and prevent sun spots is, of course, wear sunscreen daily! Find out why sunscreen is so important and see the huge impact it can make here.

10 foods that may impact your risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes - Harvard Health Blog

Could just 10 foods substantially impact your risk of dying from a cardiometabolic disease (CMD) like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or stroke? Maybe.

A study published in JAMA provides some insight into the degree to which 10 specific foods and nutrients affect the risk of dying from CMD. The study found that in 2012, eating suboptimal levels of 10 foods or nutrients — too much of some and not enough of others — was associated with more than 45% of deaths due to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

10 foods associated with nearly half of CMD deaths

The researchers developed a risk assessment model that combined and analyzed data from three sources. They estimated dietary intakes of foods and nutrients using self-reported data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); they used studies and clinical trials to estimate associations of the 10 dietary factors with CMD; and they estimated deaths due to CMD in 2012 from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Optimal consumption levels for the dietary factors were consistent with the lowest disease risk in research trials and with major dietary guidelines.

In 2012, 702,308 CMD deaths occurred in the United States. The researchers estimated that 45.4% of these deaths were associated with suboptimal intakes of the 10 foods and nutrients they had studied.

Too much, not enough, or just right?

Not eating enough of the following foods and nutrients was estimated to contribute to the corresponding percentage of CMD deaths:

  • nuts and seeds (8.5%)
  • seafood-based omega-3 fats (7.8%)
  • vegetables (7.6%)
  • fruits (7.5%)
  • whole grains (5.9%)
  • polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fat or carbohydrates (2.3%).

Eating too much of the following foods and nutrients was estimated to contribute to the corresponding percentage of CMD deaths:

  • sodium (9.5%)
  • processed meat (8.2%)
  • sugar sweetened beverages (7.4%)
  • unprocessed red meat (0.4%).

A word of caution

As with any study, there are some limitations. The comparative risk model is not a cause-and-effect model, and it does not prove that changing intakes of these foods and nutrients would reduce CMD disease risk.

In addition, the particular health effect of each food or nutrient on any individual could be affected by a number of factors including other dietary habits, age, sex, level of physical activity, and genetics.

Still, it’s safe to say that everyone has some room for improvement in their diet.

Eat more of these foods and nutrients

Nuts and seeds: Goal = 1 ounce (1/4 cup) per day. Add to oatmeal, whole grain cereal, or salads. Try 1/4 cup as an afternoon snack.

Seafood: Goal = 12 ounces per week. Make a sardine or tuna sandwich during the week. Grill or broil seafood kabobs for dinner. Order fish when you eat out.

Vegetables: Goal = 5 servings per day (1 serving = 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked veggies). Steam, grill or stir-fry vegetables to preserve all their nutrients, or eat them raw. Fill at least half your plate with vegetables.

Fruits: Goal = 4 servings per day (1 serving = 1 medium fresh fruit). Try to have fruit at each meal or between meals. Frozen fruit is also a good option.

Whole grains: Goal = 4 servings per day (1 serving = 1 slice whole grain bread or 1/2 cup cooked whole grains). Try a variety of whole grains such as barley, millet, quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, or farro. Make ahead, keep refrigerated, and heat for a warm side or add cold to a salad.

Polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fat or carbohydrates: Goal = replace at least 11% of calories from saturated fat or carbohydrates with calories from polyunsaturated fats (the equivalent of about two tablespoons of a healthy oil for someone consuming 1,800 calories per day). Try heathy oils such as canola or olive oil in place of butter. Eat a small spoonful of nut butter instead of a piece of white toast for a midmorning snack.

Eat less of these foods and nutrients

Sodium: Goal = less than 2,000 milligrams per day. Limit intake of processed, packaged, and fast foods, as well as condiments such as soy sauce, bottled salad dressings, and barbecue sauce. Cut back on the American Heart Association’s Salty Six: breads and rolls, pizza, sandwiches, cold cuts and cured meats, soups, and burritos and tacos.

Processed meats: Goal = 0 servings per day. Put chicken or tuna in your sandwiches instead of bologna, ham, salami, or hot dogs. Or try plant-based fillings like beans or nut butters.

Sugar sweetened beverages: Goal = 0 servings per day. Instead of sports drinks, sugar-sweetened coffees and teas, or soda, infuse a large pitcher of water with slices of oranges, lemon, lime, or berries. Plain tea, coffee, and seltzer water are also great substitutes.

Red meat: Goal = less than 4 ounces per week. Use red meat more as a side and not as the main attraction (a small amount of lean meat in a veggie-heavy stir fry, for example). Go meatless one night per week.

Only a Third of Pregnant Women Get Needed Vaccines


TUESDAY, Oct. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- About two-thirds of pregnant women in the United States don't get vaccinated against both flu and whooping cough, putting them and their newborns at risk, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

"Influenza and pertussis (or whooping cough) are serious infections that can be deadly for babies, especially those who are too young to be vaccinated directly," Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said in a news briefing on Tuesday.

But when women receive these vaccines during pregnancy, they pass along antibodies to the fetus that then provide protection during the time newborns are too young to be vaccinated.

The vaccines also benefit expectant mothers, Schuchat stressed.

"Women who are pregnant are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized if they develop influenza, compared with similar-aged women during influenza season," she said.

But as the new CDC report found, only a minority of pregnant American women are getting the shots they need.

The agency surveyed nearly 2,100 women aged 18 to 49 who were pregnant between August 2018 and April 2019. Of those, 54% said they got a flu shot before or during pregnancy, and 55% were vaccinated for whooping cough while pregnant.

That could mean more pregnant women becoming very ill, the report also found.

Looking at data on all 15- to 44-year-old women who were hospitalized due to flu since 2010, between 24% and 34% were pregnant, the CDC study found, even though only 9% of U.S. women in this age group are pregnant at any given time each year.

"Women have enough issues to address when they're pregnant without going through a difficult hospitalization if they come down with influenza," Schuchat said.

In total, only about 35% of women received both vaccinations during pregnancy, the CDC said.

Dr. Laura Riley, an obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York City, said, "The numbers are much lower than they should be and it is disappointing given the benefits for moms and babies associated with these vaccines." She said the numbers may be low because they came from an online survey that depended on patient recall.

8 Mindful Eating Rules That Will Make A HUGE Difference

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When’s the last time you ate mindfully? Tried a diet fad, sure. Attempted to go gluten-free for the week, yes (#struggle). Even detoxed to retox by giving up booze? Hi, me. Mindful eating on the other hand, is entirely different.

Board-certified dermatologist, Vinyasa-trained yoga instructor, and holistic nutrition expert, Dr. Jennifer Chwalek, is here to break down what this even means. And no, it’s not thinking about your next meal while consuming your current one. Instead, mindful eating focuses on practices that aid in better digestion and increased metabolism.

Things like eating when it’s light out instead of dark, drinking warm, not cold water with meals, and never eating alone, can make a huge difference in your overall gut health and also allow you to reach target weight goals – if that’s your thing. If not, it will still benefit your internal systems and we could all use a little more of that. Especially after a Sunday Funday rager brunch, am I right?

Heed Dr. Chwalek’s advice below and be on your way to eating mindfully.

1. Consider the Nutritional Value in Your Meals

Ask yourself: Does what I’m eating support and nourish my body? Or is it empty calories just serving to satiate a craving or emotion, which may leave me feeling overstuffed, fatigued and unfulfilled? It’s ok to splurge once in a while, but Dr. Chwalek suggests doing so by choosing smaller portions of higher-quality ingredients, like a small piece of good dark chocolate, so you don’t overdo it and feel sick. Another one of her tips for considering nutritional value? Eat the rainbow every day and at every meal. “I would much rather get my nutrition from food, than supplements,” she says.

2. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

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Even if you’re hangry as hell, say after a workout or a long day at work, Chwalek advises against making, buying, or ordering more food than you can actually stomach. “I try not to intake more than I can or need to consume since we waste so much food in this country,” she says. An easy tip for making this possible, when you’re ready to devour three helpings of the fridge leftovers staring you down? “Take a minute to think about where the food came from, acknowledge all those who were involved in the preparation, and give gratitude for the care that was put into it,” she explains. “This may seem silly, but when you really stop to consider all the people who were involved in the preparation of your salad for instance (right down to the farmers who farmed the vegetables and those involved in the transportation of the vegetables to the stores, etc), it expands your capacity for gratitude.”

3. Don’t Eat Alone

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When you eat, be mindful of the process. “So often we are in a hurry in everyday life and eating on the go (literally running down the street or sitting in our cars) that we don’t have proper digestion,” says Chwalek. “This contributes to many of the GI [gastrointestinal] issues in our culture and there is research to support that when we eat alone, we are more likely to engage in poor eating habits and binge eat. Eating with others stimulates beneficial neurochemicals and improves digestion.” There you have it.

Commit to making lunch plans, even if that means eating your brown-bagged whatever outside on a stoop with a friend. The same thing goes for dinner. Try to plan more date nights at home cooking with bae or start a meal subscription club with your besties where everyone signs up for a different one and cooks one night a week. Not only will you be eating more mindfully, but cheaply as well.

 4. Chew Slowly

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According to Chwalek, noticing the texture and flavor of your food and savoring it in each bite also slows us down so we are less likely to overeat. “There is a quote by Yogi Bhajan that I love: ‘Don’t invite imbalance in your life.’ I think about this a lot when I’m planning what to eat or how to eat,” she adds.

5. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting seems to be blowing up right now, even though it’s been around for thousands of years. “It was intended as a purification practice to prepare the body for worship or meditation in many cultures and there is increasing evidence in western medicine showing that caloric restriction (or intermittent fasting) reduces oxidative damage and inflammation, improves energy and metabolism, and protects against some age-related diseases (such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer),” says Chwalek.

The most common ways to fast include the 16/8 method, where you fast every day for 14-16 hours and limit your eating window to 8-10 hours (not eating after dinner and skipping breakfast, or having a late one). Another alternative method is eating normally, but restricting calories to 500-600, once or twice a week or doing a 24-hour fast once a week.

6. Eat Your Biggest Meals When It’s Light Out, Not Dark

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Eating your biggest meal during the day is important because this is when your digestive power is at its peak, according to Chwalek. “A 2017 study in Nutrition Reviews examined the relationship between circadian rhythms, eating behaviors, and the GI microbiome and showed that when we eat and the frequency between our meals also influence the gut microbiome and its metabolic activity,” she explains. Well duh, there’s no doubt about that one. When we eat a box of pasta post 8pm, we feel like sh*t by the next am, but when we have a bigger lunch and more time to digest it, followed by a light dinner, we too also feel lighter. Win-win.

7. Use Spices to Create More Satiety

Spice up your life! “Spices are important in stimulating our metabolism and improving digestion and the absorption of nutrients,” says Chwalek, “and when you eat spice-deficient food you’re more likely to overeat, crave sweets, and experience fatigue.” Maybe rethink that bland kale salad, mmkay? Try turmeric for stimulating antioxidant pathways and enhancing digestion, and cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric for regulating blood sugar.

8. Never Drink Cold Water with Meal

If you love to drink ice cold water with every meal, you may want to rethink. You’re actually doing your digestion a disservice according to Chwalek. “In Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, drinking cold water (especially after a warm meal) is felt to cause an imbalance in digestion since cold water contracts the stomach and makes it harder for you to digest and absorb food and/or liquid. Whereas warm water improves blood circulation and stimulates the digestive system, aiding in elimination and preventing constipation.” Lukewarm water for me, please!

If this has just made you drastically rethink a few of your fave eating habits, then check out these 5 diet myths too!

Study Questions Hormone Rx for Prostate Cancer


TUESDAY, Sept. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Running contrary to current guidelines, new research suggests that use of hormone-suppressing treatment over the long term may not help some men battling recurrent prostate cancer, and may even cause harm.

In fact, the study found that long-term hormone therapy was tied to a raised risk of death from other causes for some patients who received it.

Blood levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) may help predict which men might benefit -- and which men might not -- from long-term hormone therapy following surgery, said a team led by Dr. Daniel Spratt of the University of Michigan Cancer Center, in Ann Arbor.

"We found that the lower the PSA, the more harm the patient experienced," explained Spratt, who is research professor of radiation oncology and chair of the Genitourinary Clinical Research Program at the center. "The higher the PSA, the more likely the patient was to benefit from hormone therapy because it decreased their chances of dying from prostate cancer and resulted in improved overall survival rates."

The study was presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), in Chicago.

Because prostate tumors grow faster in the presence of hormones such as testosterone, therapies that lower hormone levels are often offered to men as a way to slow the cancer's spread. However, these treatments can come with side effects, such as urinary incontinence or sexual dysfunction.

Still, clinical trial results first reported in 2017 found that -- after surgical removal of the prostate tumor -- adding two years of hormone therapy, along with radiation treatment, appeared to boost patients' long-term survival.

Those findings led to the recommendation that men with recurrent prostate cancer be treated with both radiation and long-term hormone therapy after surgery.

Would those benefits last, however? To find out, Spratt's team reanalyzed data from the clinical trial of 760 prostate cancer patients that spurred the new guidelines. Men in the trial were treated at centers across North America between 1998 and 2003. All had seen their cancer return after surgery, and they received radiation therapy along with either two years of hormone-suppressing therapy called bicalutamide, or a "dummy" placebo.

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