Music may be as powerful as drugs in calming patients before they undergo surgery, new research suggests. It worked just as well as a tranquilizer before patients received a peripheral nerve block prior to their procedure, the researchers said. Peripheral nerve block numbs a specific area of the body where surgery is being done. Many…  read on >

(HealthDay News) — A portable hand sanitizer is convenient and can play an important role in preventing the spread of germs. But for a hand sanitizer to be effective, it must be used correctly, says Rush University Medical Center. The school encourages you to: Read the product label to ensure you are using the right…  read on >

The herbal supplement kratom regularly causes serious side effects and doesn’t appear safe for use, a new study argues. Kratom, made from the leaves of a Southeast Asian plant, is usually used to treat pain and addiction. But poison control center data shows it has been tied to seizures, withdrawal, hallucinations, agitation and rapid heart…  read on >

The heat is on. Across two-thirds of the United States, over 115 million Americans live where some level of heat alert is already in effect, and 290 million will see temperatures soar past 90 degrees at some point in the next week, USA Today reported Wednesday. As a dome of high pressure settles over much…  read on >

Financial rewards for quitting smoking do help smokers — including pregnant women — kick the habit and remain smoke-free, a new study confirms. “Rewards, such as money or vouchers, have been used to encourage smokers to quit, and to reward them if they stay stopped. Such schemes have been used in workplaces, in clinics and…  read on >

(HealthDay News) — Tanning beds and sun lamps can cause serious long-term skin damage, says the American Cancer Society. Indoor tanning exposes the skin to ultraviolet (UV) rays — the cause of most skin cancer. A tan is the body’s response to injury from UV rays. Every time you tan, your risk of the deadly…  read on >

“Broken heart syndrome” may harm more than just the heart, new research suggests. While the extreme stress of losing a loved one has been linked to heart troubles in prior research, a new study found that one in six people with broken heart syndrome also had cancer. Even worse, they were less likely to survive…  read on >

They’re gaining in popularity among women, and a new study finds menstrual cups to be just as safe and as effective as disposable pads or tampons. British researchers looked at data on the cost-saving devices, gleaned from 43 studies involving more than 3,300 women and girls worldwide. Reporting July 17 in The Lancet Public Health,…  read on >

(HealthDay News) — Stress is a normal physical and emotional reaction to changes in life. However, long-term stress can contribute to digestive issues, headaches, sleep disorders and other health problems. Relaxation techniques can help release tension and counteract stress, says the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). These techniques incorporate breathing and…  read on >