Cancer Prevention

Vaccinating against HPV early is smart and saves money

Electron microscope image of HPV

HPV aka human papilloma virus, can be as scary as it is common. About 40 strains of the disease are spread through sexual contact, the worst of them able to cause genital warts and cancer in the cervix, vagina, throat, penis and anus. Enter Gardasil, a vaccine the FDA approved in 2006. It’s been shown to protect against types 6, 11, 16 and 18 of the disease, which cause the majority of cervical cancer and genital warts. (A previously introduced vaccine protected against some cancers but not genital warts.)  Continue reading 

Who, What, Where and Y

A beginner’s guide to working out at the Y

The latest trends in workout equipment are an uptick in ellipticals and amts and a decline in stairmasters

When a fellow EW staffer and I decided to take advantage of our YMCA memberships last December, we experienced the smug satisfaction of being ahead of the New Year’s resolution crowd; however, neither of us were particularly familiar with gym etiquette or protocol, and on our first day we hopped onto a few elliptical machines, pressing buttons and uncertainly moving the pedals as the panel instructed us.  Continue reading 

Gettin’ Clean in Eugene

The Growing crisis of opiate abuse in the Northwest

Opium has, and has always had, this country by the short hairs. But for myriad reasons, the dope epidemic in the U.S. tends to elude detection as the massive health crisis it is — reasons that are intricate and complex and interpenetrating, deriving almost in equal parts from public-policy myopia, bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, political opportunism, inadequate social welfare, incompetent or absent education, rampant drug hysteria and the inexorable nature of addiction itself. Continue reading 

Trading Hands for Feet

Ashiatsu means massage by foot

Hands are often an integral part of massage therapy, but not for those who practice ashiatsu. Feet are their main instrument, used to smoothly work out all muscles of the body that are sore. Michelle Wallace practices ashiatsu, a form of barefoot massage therapy, through her massage studio, Feet First!, and welcomes anyone who wants to experience what she calls “bodysurfing.”  “It feels like a big wave of pressure that is moving down your spine and up your spine,” Wallace says. “It’s a broad, deep pressure that is relaxing.” Continue reading 

Dirty Derby

Scientists use roller girls to study bacteria

Tens of millions of bacteria are crawling on your skin and squirming in your gut and in your mouth. Thank goodness! Your microbiome — that’s the collection of tens of thousands of species crawling through you — plays a role in training the immune system, and some skin bacteria even helps prevent acne. But scientists are only beginning to understand the human microbiome. That’s where the Emerald City Roller Girls come in. Continue reading 

Peaceful Practices

Happiness starts in the mind

With the Dalai Lama visiting Eugene in May, there could be no better time to examine the peaceful practices that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, recommends for living a happier, healthier inner life. “I think the overall theme of his visit is the path of compassion and peace as a global remedy,” says Jigme Rinpoche, spiritual director and co-founder at Eugene Sakya Center. “Global does not mean an international theme — it means compassion as the foundation of every relationship in every moment of the day.” Continue reading 

Divine (Cross) Fits

CrossFit — the Cross-Training Exercise Program — Kicks You

Robin Runyan is a four-year CrossFit veteran and coach. She came to CrossFit because other workout and conditioning programs didn’t hold her attention; CrossFit’s quick pace, varying routines, close-knit community and friendly competition appealed to her. Runyan is with me at Eugene CrossFit, near Valley River Center, to guide and coach me through my first workout. I’m far from an exercise enthusiast, so I’m going to need all the help I can get. Continue reading