Thursday, July 2, 2015

Toxic stress

By some accounts, stress is the new smoking.  Ways to respond and address this threat include:

1. Remove as many sources of stress as possible
2. Seek help (from trained professionals as well as from friends)
3. Get active (walking, weightlifting, stretching, and other forms of exercise)
4. Practice mindfulness

Healthy Living at the Library continues at the Carpenter Branch on July 7 at 7 p.m. Join Philip Horn as he explains how to use Meditation for Stress Relief.
Discover the latest research on the benefits of meditation, learn basic exercises for meditation practice, and see a hands-on demonstration of sitting for meditation and breathing spaces. You’ll come away with tools to reduce daily stress.

Books available at your library


  • The 15 minute heart cure: the natural way to release stress and heal your heart in just minutes a day by John M. Kennedy and Jason Jennings.
  • The stress answer: train your brain to conquer depression and anxiety in 45 days by Frank Lawlis.
  • When the body says no: understanding the stress-disease connection by Gabor Maté.
  • Stress-related disorders sourcebook edited by Amy L. Sutton.


  • Success through stillness: meditation made simple by Russell Simmons.
  • New beliefs, new brain: free yourself from stress and fear by Lisa Wimberger.
  • Mindfulness: an eight-week plan for finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.

Monday, June 29, 2015

TEDMED 2015 is on its way!

Join the St. Louis Public Library for TEDMED2015: Break<ing>Through.

The St. Louis Public Library is livestreaming this year’s TEDMED stage program on November 19 & 20 at the Central Library.  The program consists of a series of 90-minute sessions on challenges and opportunities in science, health, and medicine.

TEDMED’s goal for their annual program is “for each person to leave inspired and recommitted to the important contributions they make – to their health, the health of their community and the world at large.”  Come watch and join others passionate about creating a healthier world.  We hope to have stimulating discussions in the breaks between sessions.

The sessions are spaced throughout the day with each session featuring multiple speakers on a single health-related theme.  The titles for the sessions are Catalyzing Great Science, Mind Matters, Back to Basics, Out There, Human Explorations, Techno-Utopia, Food Fix, and Who Cares for Health Care?  Speakers for each session are currently being announced on a rolling basis on

With a café in the building and free parking, you can stay all day at the Central Library or just drop by to watch a single session.

Mark your calendar for November 19 & 20; for more information on sessions as it becomes available see  For more information about the Library's plans to screen sessions, check back here and on the library's website.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Healthy DIY: Kombucha

Central Library is hosting 5 DIY/craft programs ​this summer on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Carnegie Room.

The program on Thursday, July 16 will feature William Pauley teaching about the art of handcrafting kombucha, a fermented tea beverage made with active enzymes, live bacteria, organic and amino acids. Participants will see a demonstration of the bottling process, and will get to take home their own bottle of kombucha. Registration required via Evanced, or by contacting Katie LaBarbera at 314-539-0349 or Class limit is 25 participants.

Can't make it/want to learn more?  The St. Louis Public Library has an assortment of titles that feature kombucha as well as other fermented foods.  Check out Kombucha tea for your health and healing by Alick & Mari Bartholomew, Delicious probiotic drinks by Julia Mueller, or True brews by Emma Christensen.

[PS: Other programs include seed saving and making things from books and other repurposed materials.  The first of these programs is this Thursday, June 18, when you can join the master-reusers from Perennial to make a custom travel journal and other travel accessories. You'll leave this event with new reuse ideas, simple craft skills, and an urge to hit the road! Register online at:]

Monday, June 8, 2015

Understanding jargon

When you visit your doctor, do you understand everything he or she says or do you leave confused?  The medical field is full of jargon; sometimes the most precise and accurate way of describing is with a strange phrase, and all you need is a clear definition to make sense of it.  Are you having trouble wading through words that don't make much sense?

Some tips to improve your understanding of health information include:
  • Talk to your doctor and speak up when something doesn't make sense.
  • Take notes.
  • Ask where to get more information.
  • Bring a family member or a friend along: four ears are better than two, and someone else might ask questions that hadn't crossed your mind.
Here at the St. Louis Public Library, we have lots of resources to help you figure out what your doctor said and meant: medical dictionaries where you can look up definitions of unfamiliar terms, and encyclopedias where you can learn about symptoms and treatments of illnesses, as well as look up the uses and side effects of drugs.  We also have a database, Consumer Health Complete, which has articles, fact sheets, and encyclopedia entries, as well as a dictionary that you can search or browse.

While we can't give out medical advice (we're not doctors after all, and it's best for both you and us), we can help you navigate the sometimes tricky wording to figure out what your doctor says, or what advertisements are selling.

Being well informed is crucial to making intelligent decisions, and understanding terminology is a necessary first step.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Get and stay active

Physical activity is a must for living a healthy and happy life, and exercise doesn't have to just happen at the gym.  Moving around throughout the day can have lots of benefits.  As the National Institutes of Health points out here, the benefits of being active are both physical and mental, and even 10 minutes at a time can make a big difference.

Books and videos the library has to make exercising easy and enjoyable include

  • The Men's Fitness exercise bible: 101 best workouts to build muscle, burn fat, and sculpt your best body ever! by Sean Hyson and the editors of Men's Fitness.
  • Strong women stay young by Miriam E. Nelson with Sarah Wernick.
  • Core strength training : the complete step-by-step guide to a stronger body and better posture for men and women.
  • The 20-minute body: 20 minutes, 20 days, 20 inches by Brett Hoebel.

  • Sugar Ray Leonard & Laila Ali: lightweight & heavyweight workouts.
  • Bob Harper inside out method: pure burn, super strength.
  • Denise Austin hot body yoga.
We have lots more, so browse through the catalog to find the ones that are right for you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Free summer yoga at Ballpark Village

Ballpark Village has started their 2015 series of free yoga classes.  You can join in tomorrow, May 20 at 6 p.m., for one hour of yoga held at Ballpark Village.  Classes are on select Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer and fall.  For the full schedule and more information, click here.

Afterwards, head on over to the Central Library.  We're only 10 blocks away.  Here you'll find books and videos on yoga that you can use for inspiration to keep your practice going.  Here are some of the great choices you'll find.


  • Quick start yoga. Fast efficient workouts 20 minutes or less.
  • Health & fitness. Vol. 1, Yoga for the rest of us: heart healthy yoga.
  • A.M. yoga for your week.
  • Yoga for runners intermediate program.
  • Kundalini yoga to detox & destress.


  • Complete yoga workbook: a practical approach to healing common ailments with yoga by Stella Weller.
  • Step-by-step yoga for conception, pregnancy, birth and beyond by Françoise Barbira Freedman and Doriel Hall.
  • Gentle yoga for arthritis featuring contributions by Laurie Sanford and Nancy Forstbauer.
  • Yoga for dummies by Larry Payne, PhD, and Georg Feuerstein, PhD.
  • Yoga for a healthy lower back: a practical guide to developing strength and relieving pain by Liz Owen and Holly Lebowitz Rossi.
  • Little flower yoga for kids: a yoga and mindfulness program to help your child improve attention and emotional balance by Jennifer Cohen Harper.
  • Original yoga: rediscovering traditional practices of Hatha yoga by Richard Rosen.

As you can see, SLPL has a wide variety of choices!  We also have Yoga Journal available for checkout.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Strokes: Know the signs and act in time!

Strokes are serious business.  In the United States, they are responsible for more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease, and are a leading cause of death.  Over 800,000 strokes happen in the United States every year.

Knowing the signs is important, because the faster someone having a stroke gets help, the more likely they are to recover.  Learn about the signs of stroke, as well as risk factors, here at the National Institutes of Health.

For books in the SLPL collection, choices include
  • Stronger after stroke: your roadmap to recovery by Peter Levine.
  • Understanding and dealing with stroke by Dr. Keith Souter.
  • Can I tell you about having a stroke?: a guide for friends, family and professionals by Lisa Taylor and Swee Hong Chia.

What do you know about stroke? Stroke strikes fast. You should too. Call 911. Know Stroke... A program of The National Institutes of Health.