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Zack Morris Phone

Not only is this a question worth asking, it is one that should have a definitive answer.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has just completed a 10 month working review of cell phone safety.  Their research is intended to inform not to scare.  Be assured none of their employees have thrown their phones away.  The study was undertaken because phones do emit radiation to send voice and text messages between users.  The amount varies significantly from model to model.  Radiation emission is cause for concern; there are indicators that frequent and long time (ten years or more) users are at an increased risk of contracting brain and mouth tumors.  Though at this point nothing is conclusive, the health risks are implied not confirmed.  Therefore EWG feels further study is essential to accurately determine the possible threats of cell phone use.  This is particularly important since years of use can be a significant contributor to risk.

The full report can be found at  You will also find a list of the ten lowest radiation phones, the worst radiation phones, the emissions of your specific phone and a guide to cell phone use which reduces radiation exposure.  I do want to repeat their recommendation to limit children’s phone use.  Young brains absorb twice the cell phone radiation as adults.  Until more is known EWG suggests phone use for kids be for emergencies only.

The immediate intent of this study is not to ban our life lines of convenience (that would be a fool’s errand) but rather to require manufacturers to label their products radiation output so consumers can make informed decisions at the time of purchase.  Again this is not about employing scare tactics but practicing safe usage until more is definitively known about the possible risks of cell phone radiation.

Debbie Jones-Steele

Where does your phone rank? Do you use a headset?


(image: flikr, Sauna van Egmond)

(image: flikr, Sauna van Egmond)

In this time of economic instability, people become stressed out as they scramble to shave down their expenses.  With this, massage therapy is usually one of the first things dropped from people’s lives.

People still look at massage therapy as a treat, as pampering, as a bonus, as a reward.  Massage therapy is a necessity as far as I’m concerned.

With the state of today’s health care and the possibility of it being taken over by the Government, we need to take back control of our health.  We need to be proactive with preventative maintenance.  We need to become our own advocates.  Experts are estimating that upwards of 90% of disease is stress related.  Ninety percent!  That number is enormous and we have the power to decrease our stress if we so choose.   Massage can be a powerful ally to help reduce stress, and this can translate into:

  • Decreased anxiety.
  • Enhanced sleep quality.
  • Greater energy.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Increased circulation.
  • Reduced fatigue

So, don’t just think of massage as something you do only when you are in pain and solely relate to it on a physical level.  The emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.  Remember, we need to “stress” the power of preventative maintenance and hopefully fend off the need to come in for an appointment due only to pain or injury.

According to, getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.

Dianne R. Christino has been a certified massage therapist since 2000 and is currently working on Sundays and Tuesdays at Healthworks Chestnut Hill.

What is your favorite type of massage? Is massage therapy a regular part of your personal health plan?

Kelly Hansen Jumping on the Dunes!

Kelly Hansen Jumping off the Dunes!

We all dream of the opportunity to travel and see the world through our own eyes, create our own perception and become more aware of the world we live in.

If you have been blessed with this gift, you will change internally and externally and you will have a better understanding of the world.

This is exactly what Kelly Hansen did once the idea entered her mind. She did this without hesitation or much planning.  I sat with Kelly to hear more about her travels and to prepare for her attending our next Women’s Circle meeting.

I began by asking Kelly, why she wanted to do this? What was leading this decision to take on such an adventure? Kelly shared that she felt stuck. At the time of the idea she was holding a full time and part time job, working around 70 hours a week. One was paying well but made her miserable while the other was not, but she I loved it. “It is very easy to lose your sense of self when you feel this way.” Kelly replies with great wisdom behind her words. Things began to build up and she began to notice characteristics in herself that she did not like. Kelly put it best, ”I was simply, unhappy.”

During this time, Kelly learned about the Sudanese “Lost Boy” she worked alongside; he did everything he could to help his village and did not complain along the way while she would blow tedious issues significantly out of proportion.  She began to realize that her priorities were significantly out of order and needed a drastic change.

It was in this moment that she sat up with great clarity in her voice, ”I wanted my story, my own experience.” As she reached this crossroad, she made a list of places, planned the entire trip in 2 weeks then bought the plane tickets.

The traveling was the priority then the Marathons came in. Kelly decided to make this an even greater cause by raising awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Prior to making this decision Kelly had ran four Marathons but now taking on the great challenge that has not been done my many, to run five Marathons in five different continents. Her only disappointment in the planning was to be placed on the wait list in Antarctica.


Kelly Hansen's Marathon Medals

Kelly felt it was the right time in her life to make this trip. She had grown enough and had some understanding of the world and was most importantly, she was eager to learn.

She traveled to twelve countries and ran Marathons in Ecuador, New Zealand, Thailand, Sweden and Kenya.  She spent her down time learning more about each country and volunteering where she could.

I was impressed by the honesty she exhibited in our conversation. It was clear that she had reached the depth of her own emotions. Kelly shared,” I cried a lot during the journey. It made me get in touch with me, the me that I knew existed. I was doing this by myself and only had myself to count on to get through these moments.” She went on to say, “Things were hard and I had to go with it, figure it out.”

Kelly was given a special gift to travel to such a diversity of cultures that move so differently adding to that, language. Kelly minored in Spanish so that helped her in Peru, Argentina, and Ecuador. Yet her most challenging stop was India.  She spent three and a half months in India and Nepal. India was different in more ways than one. Gender roles, body language such as eye contact had different meaning in this country.

India with all its complications was the most spiritual leg of the journey. Kelly spent two weeks doing yoga and eating well. At the time she was reading the Time Traveler’s Wife and the images became real as she was facing her own search for clarity in who she was and what she wants.

Another stop that stands out is Kenya. Kelly spent two months in Kenya and volunteered with Action for Cheetahs in Kenya as well as Takatifu Gardens, an English program in primary school near the city of Kisumu.

Although there were many differences that stood out she did find similarities in Sweden and New Zealand mostly due to the fact that she no longer stood out. It was at this point in Sweden (nine months into the voyage) that she felt a great sense of closure to this adventure and knew it was time to come home.

Kelly was in New Zealand during the elections. She found it fascinating to see how people outside of the US were paying such attention to the elections and how many were rooting for Barack Obama.

Kelly best Marathon result was 4:21 in Thailand where she was 4th in her category. AMAZING!!

Sitting with Kelly I felt this great sense of peace which she later confirmed that she feels in her mind, with herself and with her body.

I admire her bravery to take on such an adventure. I remained in contact with Kelly during her journey and felt the change in her words as she went along and now I am moved by her visual change. You see the story in her movement and hear it in her voice.

Kelly will be the guest speaker at our Women of Diverse Cultural Background Circle Meeting on September 23rd at 6pm at Healthworks Brookline. She will share more about the trip, the countries and issues such as body image and health.

At the end of our sit down I asked Kelly what is the deepest change? She responded with no hesitation, I feel more positive, open minded, free spirited and filled with more knowledge and more confident. I feel like me again but so much cooler!!!!!



What do you think about Kelly’s Journey? Share your experiences about traveling. Leave your comments.

(Image Credit: flikr, Edward Dullard)

(Image Credit: flikr, Edward Dullard)

Week 7 Long Run!  Today, thanks to the fantastic weather, I was able to run 8.25 miles – my longest yet.  It’s taken me weeks, but I think that I’ve finally figured out how to run well in the morning on a Sunday.  I need to be awake for a full 30 minutes, stretch really well, and fuel properly.  The first few weeks I was eating a half a protein-type bar, and drinking some water before hurrying out the door.  That wasn’t quite cutting it for me.  I would start to feel very faint towards the end of my runs.  Now I try to eat more.  This morning I had 1 hard boiled egg and half a wheat English muffin with all natural peanut butter, and water.  It might not seem like that much more food, but it was a better combination for me.  When I was done, I had a low fat Greek yogurt.  Also, thanks to my new Fuel Belt I’m able to run and have water when I need it.  It seems like such a minor detail, but it makes a huge difference.  Running should be enjoyable and it’s not when I struggling in the heat without water.  I’m so glad the humidity is gone, I was just dying out there.  The next minor detail that I’m working on is finding the right pair of socks.  I’m starting to get just 1 blister on my right foot, and I only feel it on my long runs towards the very end.  I don’t think that it’s my sneakers so I’m ready to try some new socks.  What is your favorite kind of socks to wear when running outside?  Any suggestions?

-Laura Cho

(image: flikr, PrestonM)

(image: flikr, PrestonM)

I am usually not one to dwell on how great things were in the “good old days – though I am nostalgic for what things used to cost.  To that longing I have added the loss of nutritional value.  According to the USDA store bought vegetables were better for you in the 1950’s than they are today.  True there were not as pretty but that quest for beauty could very well be the cause of the problem.  Hybrid crops are often bred for size, color, and firmness, not nutrients or flavor.

It would be difficult to determine which fruits and veggies in a traditional market were not grown from hybrid seeds and most employees would probably have not idea.  It would be safest to assume they all were.  Even the staff in natural food stores might not know; though vendors at farmer’s markets should be able to provide you with accurate information.  The nutritional value of heirloom produce should not have changed from the days of yore unless the seeds were genetically modified in some way.

Here are examples of how the nutritional content of some foods has changed over the past five decades:

IRON            CALCIUM                 VITAMIN A

Broccoli*                                  -27%                 -60%                        -52%

Tomatoes**                              -29%                 -58%                        -46%

Carrots***                                 -40%                 -37%                      +127%

Swiss Chard                             -12%                 -40%                        -54%

Eggplant                                   -38%                 -57%                         NA

Spinach                                    -22%                  +6%                       -38%

Corn                                        +13%                 -76%                       -22%

Turnip Greens                           -46%                  -14%                        -6%

Asparagus                                -11%                   -8%                       -46%

Honeydew Melon                       -84%                  -68%                        NA

It would appear that consumers have not benefited from the “modern methods” agri-businesses have adapted to grow and sell the foods we eat.

*       Greater “head density” might mean fewer nutrients.

**      Pretty tomatoes taste worse – flavor comes from nutrients.

***     Extra vitamin A may come from amped-up orange color.

-Debbie Jones-Steele

What is your favorite fruit and vegetable?

We’ve given away $700 in Eastern Standard gift cards so far for our T-shirt Challenge (the 8th winner will be announced soon)!  Now we are changing up the competition… Announcing the Beantown T-shirt Challenge!  Take your best shot in your Healthworks t-shirt at a location in Boston and post it on our Facebook wall!  The best shot will be announced on the 1st of every month and awarded a $100 gift card to Eastern Standard!

Visit the Healthworks Fan Page on Facebook to submit your photos. Not on Facebook? Email your photos to Matt:

Check out some of the submissions so far: