Harvard Medical School Commentaries

Apr232014

Using Mindfulness to Control Addictions

by Michael Craig Miller, M.D.
Harvard Medical School

It's tough to kick any habit. Some habits — like smoking or excessive alcohol use — are so dangerous that you want to quit them despite the difficulty. If only you could! ... read more

Category: Minding Your Mind

Apr182014

How Therapeutic Is Massage?

by Harvey B. Simon, M.D.
Harvard Medical School

Massage is respectable, but is it therapeutic? An estimated 25 million Americans visit about 90,000 practitioners 60 million times a year. Many feel better, but are they actually healthier?  It's a... read more

Category: Man to Man

Apr142014

Should Babies and Toddlers Use iPads?

by Claire McCarthy, M.D.
Boston Children's Hospital

We see it all the time these days: babies and toddlers playing with iPads, or with their parent's iPhones. I certainly see it in my office. Parents use these devices and similar ones to entertain... read more

Category: A Parent's Life

Apr92014

The Myth of Tongue and Taste

by Robert H. Shmerling, M.D.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

If you had to describe chocolate to someone who had never tasted it before, what would you say? How about vanilla? Or strawberry? It wouldn't be easy. And even if you did a good job of describing... read more

Category: Medical Myths

Apr42014

Diet Soda -- Is it Really an Alternative?

by Emily Finnan, B.S.
Brigham and Women's Hospital

The first carbonated soda was bottled in 1835. Since then, the number of people drinking soda, or "pop" as Midwesterners like to call it, has skyrocketed. Today, Americans drink many sugar-sweetened... read more

Category: Food for Thought

Mar312014

Update From the Medical Journals: March 2014

by Mary Pickett, M.D.
Harvard Medical School

Obesity Might Not Look Good in "Genes"

Researchers have discovered something extraordinary about obesity. It might cause a variety of health problems by affecting genes. The journal Lancet... read more

Category: What Your Doctor Is Reading

Mar262014

Helping Families Understand Mental Illness

by Michael Craig Miller, M.D.
Harvard Medical School

Mental health clinicians receive rigorous training before treating patients with psychiatric disorders. Family members, on the other hand, may find themselves suddenly thrust into a crisis with a... read more

Category: Minding Your Mind

Mar202014

Men -- How Much Water Do You Need?

by Harvey B. Simon, M.D.
Harvard Medical School

Water accounts for about half of a person's body weight. And in today's America, people tend to carry water with them everywhere. Those clear plastic bottles filled with water have become icons for ... read more

Category: Man to Man

Mar142014

The Benefits of Cooking with Your Kids

by Claire McCarthy, M.D.
Boston Children's Hospital

With all the news about childhood obesity and how it leads to adult obesity, it's more important than ever to teach children healthy eating habits. You can start by being a good role model with ... read more

Category: A Parent's Life

Mar112014

Medical Terminology -- Blood Vessel Disease

by Robert H. Shmerling, M.D.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Perhaps you've heard statements like this before:

  • High cholesterol can lead to hardening of the arteries.
  • My cousin had blood clots so he took a blood thinner to prevent them from going to his lungs.
  • A... read more

Category: What Your Doctor Is Saying