Mind Body & Spirit

Doctor-pilot rescues pets

When he’s not in the operating room or meeting with patients before or after weight loss surgery, Jeff W. Allen, M.D., might be heading to the airport on a rescue mission. Dr. Allen, director of bariatric surgery at Norton Weight Management Services, has combined a lifelong love for animals with a passion for flying. He’s a volunteer for Pilots N Paws, a nonprofit group that links willing pilots with animal rescue groups, and The Arrow Fund, which provides medical treatment to animals that have been victims of extreme torture, abuse or neglect. At least 10 times in the past two years, Dr. Allen has flown thousands of miles to pick up animals in need of a home or emergency medical care.

Helping our daughters with self esteem

Remember that little girl who bounded through the day wearing a bikini, a glitter-frosted tutu, a superhero cape, a fire chief helmet and rain boots – all at the same time?

She was ready for anything. Nothing got in her way. She could stomp a mud puddle dry and twirl like there was no tomorrow. She thought she could fly – with or without her cape or those fancy fairy wings she flounced around in.

Somewhere along the way, she tossed aside the cape and tucked away those wings. Heaven help you, mom, if you think it would be cute to show her friends a photo from those days. Especially if there are any boys in sight. And NEVER should you EVER even think of posting a photo from those days on Facebook or other social media site.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

I saw it, and heard others talking about it too – that magical stretch the other day when the sun came out, turning the bleak February landscape into glistening wonderland.

I parked my car by the Ohio River, just sat there, and drank in the sun for about an hour. The silver ice-coated branches, glittering like diamonds against the blue sky, lifted my winter-weary spirits.

It’s not your imagination if a shot of sunshine seems to brighten your outlook this time of year. In fact, if you feel particularly down, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


There was a time when my day wasn’t complete without a trip to the gym, a brisk walk, a run or a bike ride. I went dancing every weekend, zipped around on rollerblades and even used exercise videos.

But lately, the only exercise I manage to squeeze in is isometrics while carpooling the kids. So I’m a bit reluctant when heading to a Pilates class at the YMCA.

A peaceful heart is a healthy heart

Reducing stress can promote better heart health

The body — specifically the heart — has a defined reaction to stress. Your body’s “fight or flight” response is nature’s way of helping you cope with stressful situations. However, prolonged or frequent high stress levels can be dangerous for your heart health. 

Part of the body’s stress reaction is the secretion of adrenaline, a hormone that can cause your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise. 

Fitness fads – Pure Barre

I’ll be honest. I’m a fitness fad junkie. I will try almost any new workout trend at least once. But that’s typically the extent of it. Apparently I have a fear of commitment when it comes to an exercise routine. So when a friend asked me to go to a “barre” class with her, I agreed but didn’t think it would amount to anything long-term. I have to say, though, I’m hooked!

Music Therapy Heals the Soul and Body

You’re driving down the road when suddenly a perfect song comes on the radio — a song that captures the true essence of your emotions.

Heartbreak, happiness, hopefulness — whatever you’re feeling — that song is exactly what you need to hear. You jack up the volume, join in on the chorus and even pound out the drum beat on your steering wheel. And though the guy in the next lane may give you a funny look, it’s OK. Musical interludes like this could be just what the doctor ordered.