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Happy Health-Days To All

Liz Braun, The Toronto Sun

It's Your Body Multimedia Demo in Real Player Format Dr. Carolyn DeMarco, Challenging Women To Take Control Of Their Health

Today we must mention the "c" word.

Yes: Christmas-that scary annual celebration of commerce and hurt feelings.

This Christmas, you can go for the $500 Tiddleywinks set from Prada, or you can continue to scour the personal ads for a Play Station 2 under $1500, or you can go soak your head. It's all the same in the end. Just don't forget to drop a few bob into the Salvation Army bucket.

On the gift front, the wise among you have already figured out that good health is everything and the rest is gravy.

Gravy being tough to wrap, we'd suggest a present that contributes to good health, specifically, Dr. Caroline DeMarco's newest book.

And we are not just saying that because DeMarco is a close friend, a relationship a good journalist must always declare. Ditto a bad journalist, apparently.

Dr. DeMarco Answers Your Questions is a reference book with tons of alternative health information. Besides answers to commonly asked medical questions, the book also contains many of the columns DeMarco has written for newspapers and magazines in North America and a special section on discovering alternative medicine in its various forms.

It also has lists of specialists and other publications to guide readers who want to pursue more l information on dozens of health topics.

Almost as soon as she got her medical degree from the University of Toronto in the '70s, DeMarco began investigating alternative treatment- sort of a best-of-both-worlds doctor situation. She is one doctor who urges patients to research and read for themselves and get active on their own ! health issues, rather than blindly trusting the medical establishment. DeMarco may carry around a regular doctor's bag, but she also has Iscadora and Bioflavonoids, and she knows how to ~use 'em.

Bothered by acne? Looking for an alternative to Ritalin? Want to know about natural forms of Prozac? Geez. Who wouldn't?

You may have read Demarco's work in Today's Health or Hearth Counselor, or seen her on television on Cityline or The Journal. Anyone involved in women's health knows who she is. She's famous, cheesy though that word may be, and she deserves to be famous.

At any rate, Dr. DeMarco Answers Your Questions is self-published, as was her bestselling Take Charge Of Your Body (Women's Health Advisor)-which is regarded as a bible of women's health by some 50,000-plus readers.

Both books are a bit on the scrappy side with regard to appearance, but the information inside is what counts.

You can order either book (or both) by logging on to www.demarcomd com

Or phone the order line at Well Woman Press: 877-871-9361.

NO SMOKE AND MIRRORS: In totally unrelated medical news, recent research results suggest that almost half of all smokers have some form of mental illness.

The New York Times points out that "mental illness" is used here to mean anything from mild depression on up, or down, depending upon how you view these things.

It's interesting to read interpretations of those findings. Maybe, say scientists, mentally ill people are more susceptible to nicotine. Or maybe nicotine increases mental illness.

Yeah, maybe.

How about this: Maybe smoking, which alters brain chemistry over time, has an ameliorating effect on some of the symptoms of mental illness. Trust us. Or we'll shoot your dog.

Novelist Spider Robinson, another former smoker, wrote a few weeks ago in the Globe & Mail that smoking could offer "solace"; in return, he got exactly the sort of cranky letters to the editor about smoke and filth and weakness of character that you might expect.

Mr. Robinson was quite right in what he said, of course. He just didn't go into the physiological side of "solace".

Never mind. Are the "just say no" approach and ever-uglier pictures on cigarette packages worthless deterrents, or is it just us? Uh, oh-we feel a .... Boola! Boola! Boola! ... spell of wigging out coming on.

PLAY BY NUMBERS: Just in time for Christmas, here are words of wisdom we wish to share.

(1) "Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion."

Thornton Wilder said that.

(2) "I long ago came to the conclusion that all life is 6-to-5 against."

Thank you, Damon Runyon. Words to live by, we must say.

And to all a good night, etc.

It's Your Body Multimedia Demo in Real Player Format Dr. Carolyn DeMarco, Challenging Women To Take Control Of Their Health

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