33MD for April 16, 2009

POSTED: Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 7:42pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

“Dyeing” to look good? Hair dyes may give you a good hair day, but some experts say they could be bad for your health. Experts say most over-the-counter hair coloring products contain chemicals that are toxic and can cause a wide array of cancers. The FDA approves these over-the-counter hair dyes because in small amounts the chemicals are not toxic. The problem is most people who color their hair do so every four to six weeks for years and the chemicals build up.

In this economy many businesses are cutting health coverage and relay can’t afford employees taking a lot of sick days. But one Cleveland, Ohio company found a way to help its workers stay healthy by offering them an alternative.

Duana Eschenbaum is a computer programmer at Parker Hannafin, a global leader in motion and control technologies. But long hours at the computer often equate to aches and pains. That’s when she started using the company’s alternative health options. “The acupuncture was the first thing I went for, and that was mostly for relief of pain in my neck and it was like immediate. It was great.”

Complimentary alternative medicine includes acupuncture, biofeedback, chelation therapy, hypnotherapy, nutrition, and massage. Dan Serbin, VP of human resources, says, “You’re looking at preventing illness to begin with. That’s the whole philosophy behind it. So we want to not treat illness but keep people from becoming ill.”

More than 80 million Americans use alternative medicine each year. Here, employees need to just walk down the hall. “Now you can just walk downstairs, have your treatment, and go back to work.” Massage and acupuncture are the most popular and managers say its working. “We’re starting to see is lower utilization of prescription drugs so healthier employees, more productive employees.”

Hospitals across the country have seen a dramatic spike in child abuse cases and many doctors are blaming the economy. Doctors at Children’s Hospital in Boston have treated 25 children for serious abuse this year compared to 16 kids last year. The state of Illinois reported a close to 6% rise in child abuse case in 2008. Experts say stress linked to the economy is the likely culprit, adding children are often the victims because they are vulnerable.

Experts say they may be able to predict whether a marriage will last by flipping through a couple’s wedding album! Researchers at Depauw University in Indiana say couples with the brightest smiles on their wedding day were more likely to remain happily married. Newlyweds who didn’t look at the camera or had what researchers though were fake smiles were more likely to get divorced. Experts say people with brighter personalities may be better equipped to weather problems that arise during marriage.