The year: 1966. The topic: health spas.
A woman swings like Tarzan on a gold rope before plunging into an icy pool, while another’s body is coated with wax.
Others are ordered to bend, kick, roll and bounce along before submerging in soothing liquid, be it perfume, herbs or milk.
All this sounds like fiction, but it’s happening at beauty and health spas throughout the nation, attracting a growing number of men and women — people willing to spend from $400 to $800 a week to work out or relax in luxury, sometimes in marble settings surrounded by plush greenery.
Beautiful, and usually young, exercise directors, cajole, shame or coax the laggard into more violent exercise. Their slim leotard-clad figures are the carrots dangled in front of hippy women who hope to reach the same perfect proportions.
Get better acquainted with health spas of the ’60s here: Spas Flowing With Milk and Honey, Diets, Money
The photo at the top, of a woman demonstrating a double chin electric massage machine, is a window into how far we’ve come: Now there’s a shot for that. Calabasas drug firm sticks its neck out to get rid of double chins
Original published captions, Sept. 26, 1966: (Top) FACIAL EXERCISE—Double chin gets electric massage in La Costa gym. (Bottom) HOOP LA—It takes a lot of bending, rolling to achieve this svelte figure. Credits: Mary Frampton and Frank Brown / Los Angeles Times / UCLA Library
Ah yes, those “spas” everyone’s been talking about.
test reblogged from latimespast
Meet the orthopedic surgeon to the stars
Dr. Neal ElAttrache has a simple practice - all he does with his surgical talents is regularly operate on athletes like Kobe Bryant and Zack Greinke, as the hopes and dreams of fans, and millions in team investment, sit anxiously in the waiting room.
And he isn’t limited to current athletes. Former governor, body builder and T-800 Arnold Schwarzenegger has strongly endorsed ElAttrache:
"Dr. ElAttrache is the real deal — one of the most talented surgeons I’ve met. He can fix what others say is unfixable. He is the ultimate asset for any athlete who goes to him because they need their bodies to perform at their best, whether it is on a football field or in the movies."
Photo: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times
And you definitely shouldn’t celebrate it by being like the person who declared that they would be handing out the above flyer instead of Halloween treats in Fargo, N.D. this year.
Meet the family behind prosthetic eyeballs
Ever wonder where prosthetic eyes come from? Some pharmaceutical giant? A loud, whirring assembly line in a far-flung country? Try a few small families, who keep their craft close to their heart…and their bloodlines.
Universities don’t offer course work in ocularistry, with its odd blend of art and science. The only real way to learn the trade is to apprentice yourself to another ocularist, if you can find one willing to train you. Most opt to keep their secrets within their families.
"I equate it to being a blacksmith in the old days," ocularist David Gougelmann says. "Children followed in the footsteps of the father."
But like all families, the ties that bind can also eventually snap:
"Most families in the field of ocularistry have some kind of conflict," Gougelmann says. The son of a father who worked until he was 78 — "I don’t know many ocularists who’ve ever retired" — he chalks it up to a tension that exists in family businesses of all kinds.
"There’s this difficulty letting go," Gougelmann says. "You brought somebody into the business. At what point do you treat him as a peer? At what point do you relinquish the reins?"
Read more in our latest Column One feature.
Photos: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
The growing swarm of cockroach farms in China
You may think of them as a nasty pest, but in China, raising cockroaches has become an increasingly popular industry. Our own Barbara Demick talked to some of the nation’s most successful roach ranchers to find out what’s behind the bug industry boom.
So where’s the demand for roaches?
At least five pharmaceutical companies are using cockroaches for traditional Chinese medicine. Research is underway in China (and South Korea) on the use of pulverized cockroaches for treating baldness, AIDS and cancer and as a vitamin supplement.
South Korea’s Jeonnam Province Agricultural Research Institute and China’s Dali University College of Pharmacy have published papers on the anti-carcinogenic properties of the cockroach.
Plus, there’s the fact that cockroaches are technically edible:
Many farmers are hoping to boost demand by promoting cockroaches in fish and animal feed and as a delicacy for humans.
Chinese aren’t quite as squeamish as most Westerners about insects — after all, people here still keep crickets as pets.
Photos: Wang Xuhua / For the Times
Hanging out with Cookie Monster
The world’s bluest, hungriest monster stopped by the office yesterday to drum up excitement for his upcoming movie parody series “Cookie’s Crumby Pictures,” preach reasonable eating habits and answer reader questions.
And though you can’t ask his hungry fuzzball questions anymore, you can check out the full talk above.
Saving a life during L.A.’s shooting season
Between July and September, the medical staff at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center are mired in the so-called “shooting season,” with a shockingly high number of shooting victims being rushed regularly to the operating room.
The Times’ Thomas Curwen documented once such incident, with Dr. Brant Putnam leading the race to save the life of Leandrus Benton, whose decision to use an alleyway shortcut led to his being shot by an unknown assailant.
A resident slaps the boy. They need him conscious.
Putnam knows the surge of adrenaline that brought the boy this far is nearly spent. If his blood pressure crashes, his heart will stop. Putnam wonders if it is too late.
"Let’s go to the OR," he says, loud enough to get everyone’s attention.
Later in the surgery:
Putnam sets a clock running in his mind. Two hours is optimum. Three is the limit. Anything longer compounds the trauma with a phenomena known as physiologic exhaustion, whenthe body has worn itself out trying to compensate for the injury.
Putnam and Luu begin by separating the small intestine and colon from their ligaments. They notice a few holes in the bowel, but those repairs can come later.
Lifting the intestine out of the torso, they find a pool of blood the size of a football flooding the back of the abdomen. This explains why the entry wound was dry. The boy is losing more blood than they can give him. Putnam wonders again if they are too late.
Photos: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times
Finding hope and healing in a remote stretch of Alaska
Eleven-year-old James Weatherwax has Apert syndrome, an extremely rare condition which fused his bones in the wrong places, making everyday life a struggle, one that led his mother Kecia to bring her son to her ancestral home on Prince of Wales Island in far-off Alaska.
Our own Kim Murphy has been following James and his mother’s fight through everyday hardships and constant surgeries, but amid the difficulties, the two have found a loving home:
Most people here don’t seem to notice James’ appearance, or are sidetracked by his infectious good humor. Johnny Roberts says he got to know James the day he confronted some boys who were bullying him. “He came over and gave me a big hug, and we’ve been good friends ever since,” Johnny says.
As recounted by photographer Genaro Molina, who found it hard to maintain the “fly on the wall” mindset typical of photojournalists:
…on the day of the surgery, James’ tears were hard to hold back. While on the gurney in the operating room he tearfully shouted, “I want my grandfather!” Remembering his grandfather was back at home, James shouted, “I want Genaro!” The medical personnel looked in my direction. My heart sank. I reassured James that I was one of the individuals in surgical attire and that I was there with him.
There comes a point in many stories where you make a certain connection with the subject, and it doesn’t get any more dramatic than this. How could I not root for this kid?
Photos: Genario Molina / Los Angeles Times
Is Michelle Obama’s health campaign doing all it can?
First lady Obama has long been an advocate for healthy food and exercise during her stint in the White House, headlining the “Let’s Move” campaign and hosting frequent events in her garden to highlight the benefits of quality food.
But when it comes to the marketing of sugary treats and syrupy sodas to children, did she do enough to try and save failed federal guidelines she had previously praised?
…when food and media companies — including many that supported her anti-obesity campaign — mounted a fierce lobbying battle against the guidelines in 2011, the first lady went silent.
It wasn’t until earlier this year, after the guidelines had been blocked, that Obama resumed her call for more responsible food marketing.
And despite her victories in the fight against obesity, Obama is not without her critics:
…some who see themselves as Obama’s allies in the fight against obesity believe her desire to create partnerships with industry kept her quiet when her voice would have counted most. Fourteen companies that back Obama’s anti-obesity campaign helped kill the voluntary advertising guidelines, lobbying reports and other records show.
"The White House got cold feet," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who had championed the guidelines. "It sort of undermines everything that the first lady was doing."
Photo: Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press/MCT
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Balancing a battle with cancer with parenthood
Nina Polvanich Louie is a 32-year-old new parent, experiencing all of the joys and responsibilities that come with raising a child.
But she is also in the middle of a lengthy battle with cancer, one that has left her with a 1-in-20,000 chance of finding a crucial bone marrow match for a transplant that doctors say has a solid likelihood of working.
Doctors declared that her first bout with cancer left the illness in remission, but in March, a routine scan uncovered a harrowing discovery:
Surgeons removed a piece of Nina’s skull to take a biopsy of the mass, which turned out to be lymphoma. They also found more cancer in her spine.
Doctors began giving Nina more chemotherapy and performing regular spinal taps, a process that can take 30 minutes and be excruciating.
She gets through it by thinking of Donny.
"I think about his 5th birthday, I think about his 10th birthday, I think when he’ll get married," Nina said. "I try to remember why I’m doing all of this."
Read more about Nina’s struggle to make the most of what may be her last moments with her son in our latest Column One feature.
Photos: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times
Expanding protections for chimpanzees
If a new proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service goes through, chimpanzees could be reclassified as endangered, enhancing legal protections against their use for medical research.
Studies have found the chimpanzees used for medical research often leave with symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, and there’s a whole host of ethical concerns given their genetic proximity to humans.
But it’s that same proximity that has until recently made them crucial to researchers.
Although there are still a few areas of biomedical research for which chimps remain essential, experiments involving them have fallen out of favor as scientists switched to using mice, rats and other animals that have been genetically altered so that their immune systems mimic those of humans.
Read more over at Science Now.
Photos: Gerald Herbert, Ted S. Warren / Associated Press, Outhendrik Schmidt / AFP/Getty Images
A wrinkly, grey-haired look into aging
While the indications of aging are all around us, in that extra bit of effort it takes to get out of bed in the morning or the thinning hair atop your head, scientists still are trying to understand just how aging occurs.
The body reacts to these triggers in ways that exacerbate problems — no longer signaling cells to divide, for instance. We also run out of tissue stem cells. Communication among cells becomes riddled with errors, a factor associated with cancer.
Rounding out the list are deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular senescence.
The cause for all of this study of our decaying state, as it turns out, is a positive one, in the words of the stud’s coauthor Carlos Lopez-Otin:
"We don’t aspire to immortality, just to the possibility of making life a little better for us all."
Read more over at Science Now.
Photo: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times
Debunking the Myths of Happiness
Sonja Lyubomirsky, UCR Professor of Pyschology, sat down with the Greater Good’s Jason Marsh to talk about how our assumptions about what will and won’t bring us happiness are often flat-out wrong.
Sonja Lyubomirsky: For example, marriage does make people happy, but the most famous study on marriage shows that the happiness boost only lasts for an average of two years. We also know that passionate love—the love that media and movies and literature tell us that we should all be experiencing—tends to dissipate over time. If love survives, it tends to turn into what’s called “companionate love,” which is really more about deep friendship and loyalty. But because our culture holds passionate love up as an ideal, we think that there must be something wrong with us when our relationships aren’t as exciting to us a few years later than they were at the beginning. The same thing goes for our jobs, or the amount of money we make.
Jason Marsh: Are these myths just a product of the media—or do you think they might be rooted in certain innate, perhaps psychological, propensities?
SL: Wow, that’s a good question! I do think media and the culture propagate these myths. I don’t know whether they’re hardwired or evolutionarily adaptive. I will say that the psychological phenomenon hedonic adaptation—which is a big theme of my book—does strongly affect our ideas of what makes us happy.
Hedonic adaptation means that humans beings are remarkable at getting used to changes in their lives. It is evolutionarily adaptive, and perhaps hardwired, so all of us get used to the familiar. That might be because in our ancestral environment, it was important to us to be vigilant or alert to change—a change in the environment might signal a threat, or it could signal a reward or opportunity for reward. And so when things are the same, when stimuli are constant, we don’t tend to notice them or pay attention to them very much.
But the downside of hedonic adaptation is that when a relationship becomes familiar—or when a job becomes familiar, or when your new car becomes very familiar to you—then you start taking the spouse or job or car for granted. You stop paying attention to them, and that’s when we have adapted.
The GIFs make it.
test reblogged from pacificstand
How has your sleep been? Good? Feeling well-rested?
If so, you’re in a surprisingly elite club. A stunning 83% of Americans don’t get decent sleep on a nightly basis - and the biggest culprit? Stress, according to a new study.
Stress and anxiety were cited as the top reason by 48% of the 1,008 adults interviewed by the polling firm Harris Interactive. In addition, 47% of those surveyed said they simply weren’t able to turn off their thoughts.
Other reasons included a lack of income, with 11% more of those in households making less than $35,000 a year having trouble sleeping compared to those making more than $100,000. And women (88%) are more likely than men (78%) to have issues with their sleep.
So maybe take a breather, avoid over-analyzing the past day’s events and whatever the future holds and rest your head with a clear consciousness tonight, and see how you feel in the morning.
Read more on the survey over at Science Now.