Monday, August 3, 2015

Spotlight: Alive and Well STL

Check out this announcement about a local initiative's new partnership, starting today.

Take Five and Tune in to
Alive and Well STL! 

We are excited to announce Alive and Well STL, an initiative of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, is launching a year-long partnership with KSDK NewsChannel 5 today! Please tune in all week as KSDK brings you stories and information about the health impact of toxic stress. Alive and Well STL also will be featuring new spots on Old School 95.5 and HOT 104.1 with DJ Kut sharing what it means to be Alive and Well in St. Louis on his daily show. Don't forget to pick up this week's edition of The St. Louis American to get your hands on a special Alive and Well STL insert.

 Alive and Well STL is thrilled to be joining together with our media partners on a year-long initiative to bring this information to the St. Louis community and to encourage all of us to Take Five and...

...find out more about how toxic stress is making us sick.
...get the help we need to take care of our emotional well-being.
...learn how to manage the stress in our lives to thrive.
...pause to think...reserve judgment...and ask, "What Happened?"
...reach out to someone who might be feeling down.

Take the first step, and Take Five, to learn more:

Alive and Well is an initiative of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission.

Friday, July 31, 2015

E-cigarettes: helpful or harmful?

Are e-cigarettes good or bad for you?  This is a matter of current debate.  Some claim that electronic cigarettes are less harmful to the body than smoking ("the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States"), and some point out the dangers.  Many of the articles that pop up in a PubMed search point out that research is needed -- hardly any studies have been done.

Choosing Between Vaping Or Cigarette
A point to keep in mind: they are not regulated by the FDA (which is collecting Adverse Events Reports), and there is no way to know what chemicals are in them, and what those chemicals might do to the human body.  E-cigarettes are a new phenomenon, and long-term health effects are not known, so using e-cigarettes is like participating in an experiment.

One thing is for sure, the use of electronic cigarettes is growing rapidly.  As regulators catch up with the technology, and time passes, we will learn more about the dangers and benefits of vaping.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Happy 25th Anniversary of the ADA!

25th Anniversary of the ADA graphicTwenty-five years ago yesterday, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.  You can see video of that signing here.  This landmark civil rights legislation is a milestone of disability rights movement, and effort on continuing advancement is ongoing.
The ADA improved the ability of people with disabilities to participate in civic life, engage with their communities, and pursue happiness.  Celebrate 25 years of increasing inclusion!

To learn more about the ADA, start here.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

TEDMED presenters announced

TEDMED2015 started releasing information on the speakers for this year's stage program - which "will focus on breaking through the status quo and celebrating the typical, the atypical and the spaces in between as we come together to shape a healthier world" - over a month ago, and continues to do so.  So far the speakers have been announced for:

  • Catalyzing Great Science
  • Mind Matters
  • Back to Basics
  • Out There
  • Human Explorations
  • Techno-Utopia
  • Food Fix

and we are just waiting to hear who we'll be hearing from in the last session:

  • Who Cares for Health Care?

You can find out who the speakers are at

Start planning to spend November 19 & 20 at the St. Louis Public Library, as we live-stream these sessions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Back-to-School Health Fair

Join the St. Louis Public Library for a free Back-to-School Health Fair on Saturday, August 8. 

The fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Locust Street on the north side of Central Library, 1301 Olive St. downtown.

We'll have electronic fingerprinting with the St. Louis Police Department, lead and asthma screening, as well as dental, nutrition, ADHD, health insurance, and general health information from a wide variety of partners.

We'll have lots of fun at the fair too, with popcorn, a visit from the St. Louis Fire Department, games, and face painting. Best of all, everything is free and no registration is necessary!

For more information, call Eleanore at 314-539-0390. We look forward to seeing you!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Upcoming events at Central Library

This week!

Kombucha!  A reminder that this Thursday evening, July 16, William Pauley will be at the Central Library to talk 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.

Class limit is 25 participants so registration required by registering on the website or by contacting Katie LaBarbera at 314-539-0349 or



What’s in Your DNA? The Basics of Genetic Testing for Genealogists

On Saturday, August 15 from 2-5 p.m. an expert on DNA (Janine Cloud from Family Tree DNA) will be at the Central Library to discuss the types of tests available and the information that each can (and can’t) provide for genealogists. Attendees will be able to ask Ms. Cloud questions or buy a test kit after her talk. To register or for more info email

Free parking is available for all library visits:

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.