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Cosmetic Surgery Makes Beauty That's Barely Skin Deep

Cosmetic Surgery Makes Beauty That's Barely Skin Deep

I was sad to read in The Guardian today that there’s been a big rise — nearly 17 per cent – in the demand for cosmetic surgery in Britain in the last year. Breast augmentation is the number one favourite, with anti-ageing techniques such as eyelid surgery and face and neck lifts following closely behind.  I was, however, not surprised to read that there’s also been a rise in reports of patient dissatisfaction. Quite apart from any issues of competence  this shows that cosmetic surgery doesn’t offer lasting satisfaction. Why not? First, the procedures rarely promise...
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Taking Care of Our Elderly

Taking Care of Our Elderly

More and more of us have an elderly relative in residential care. Currently more than 400,000 people in the UK live in care homes, a figure which is bound to rise further, given the ageing population (there are currently 3 million people aged over 80 in the UK, and that figure is predicted to almost double by 2030. Currently one-in-six of the UK population is aged over 65; by 2050 it will be one-in-four). NICE the (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has issued new guidance on improving the mental wellbeing of older people in residential care, via a...
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Veganism: Obsessive or Principled?

Veganism: Obsessive or Principled?

With stars like Beyoncé and Jay Z doing couples’ cleanses, and Gwyneth Paltrow being papped  every other day with the diet deity that is cold-pressed green juice, veganism seems to be this year’s must-have accessory. Could it be that this fashion for deprivation, veiled as nutrition, is doing something damaging for our already body-conscious society? A vegan diet was once an ethical life-choice, the preserve of so-called hemp-loving hippies concerned with the moral dilemma of eating produce from sentient, living...
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Why Carmel Allen Founded Kiss It Better

Why Carmel Allen Founded Kiss It Better

Cosmetics can get a bad rap from serious-minded people, but sometimes a lipstick is much more than an indulgence. Carmel Allen has used lipsticks to help raise £800,000 for research into childhood cancer with her charity Kiss It Better, which celebrated its 10th birthday today. I remember where the whole thing started.   Carmel was a much-respected beauty director on the glossy magazine that I was editing. One morning she didn’t turn up for work – and phoned to say that she didn’t know if she could ever work like that again. Her baby Josephine, who was not even one, ...
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The Stressed Sex?

The Stressed Sex?

“Women become insane,” opined the Victorian psychiatrist G. Fielding Blandford, “during pregnancy, after parturition, during lactation; at the age when the catamenia (periods) first appear and when they disappear…” Back in the bad old days, it was accepted that women were inherently susceptible to mental illness, due to the imagined intimate connection between brain and reproductive system. For women, read madness. In these sun-lit days of supposed gender-equality, the idea that one sex is more prone to mental illness than the other has become taboo. Wanting...
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Meditation: My Journey Begins

Meditation: My Journey Begins

I have never had much time in my life for peace or quiet, and have never really craved either. My mind is a happy hive of perpetual activity, everything churning away up there all the time, day and night. My wife points out, with reason, that I never sit still, never stop. At night, I dream of work, and on holidays, thanks to technology, I take it with me. In sleep, I grind my teeth. The RSI I developed 20 years ago was put down to overwork, poor posture, bad habits, a lack of inner calm. My solution was to start swimming, every day. I swam fast, faster than people in...
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