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adult coloringColoring book craze

Adult coloring books began appearing on store shelves a few years ago and since have taken the publishing world by storm. At presstime, six of the 20 books on the Amazon bestseller list were coloring books for adults, as were 14 of Amazon’s 20 “Crafts, Hobbies & Home” bestsellers.

“Consumers are clamoring for the idea of unplugging from technology and everyday stresses that come with our fast-paced world and loving the ideal of coloring these beautiful, detailed coloring books for adults,” said Kinsley Mull, a Raleigh, N.C., art studio owner. “Not only is it calming, promotes relaxation and is good for your brain, but it is also a lot of fun.”

Crayola markets its adult coloring line, “Crayola Color Escapes,” as “a soothing creative experience that’s easy to do and easy on your mind.”

Other publishers have released titles such as “Color Me Calm,” “Stress Relieving Animal Designs” and “Good Vibes Coloring Book,” suggesting the books have therapeutic value.

Adults taking part in the craze are called “colorists” and – like the publishers – tout the activity as calming, stress-relieving and as a way to unwind and express creativity. Some say they color simply for its nostalgic effect.

Adult coloring classes and clubs now are commonplace at libraries across the country, including those in the St. Louis County and St. Charles City-County Library districts.

“You don’t have to be the best artist in the world to participate,” Moll said. “It’s something anyone and everyone can do, so it’s not intimidating, like a painting class or pottery class might be.”

Acupuncture for hot flashes

Studies have suggested that acupuncture can ease hot flashes brought on by menopause, but new research from the University of Melbourne suggests otherwise.

A report published in Annals of Internal Medicine described a study involving more than 300 Australian women who had been experiencing at least seven daily menopausal hot flashes. Half of participants received 10 traditional Chinese acupuncture treatments and the other half received fake acupuncture, meaning the acupuncture needles did not actually penetrate their skin.

After eight weeks, the women in both groups reported a 40 percent improvement in symptoms, and those benefits were sustained six months after treatment.

Lead study author Dr. Carolyn Ee, a physician trained in Chinese medicine, said the placebo effect could explain the results and noted also that hot flashes tend to subside over time.

“This was a large and rigorous study, and we are confident there is no additional benefit from inserting needles compared with stimulation from pressuring the blunt needles without skin penetration,” Ee said.

The study did not include women with breast cancer and those who had their ovaries removed. Ee noted that those patients suffer more severe hot flashes that often occur earlier in life. She said research specific to cancer survivors is warranted.

More youthful hands

Plastic surgeons are reporting a growing demand for procedures to produce younger looking hands, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Editor-in-Chief Dr. Rod J. Rohrich, who performs hand rejuvenation procedures, said patients who get facelifts increasingly are aware of “the dichotomy between the youthful face and the aged hands.”

“Interestingly, one can estimate a person’s age by viewing the hands alone, adding to the desire for these procedures,” Rohrich said.

Rohrich explained that he and his colleagues have experienced good results with a procedure that involves injecting fat tissue taken from a patient’s inner thigh into the back of the hand. The technique results in an improved, natural appearance for at least six months, he said, and additional fat transfer or injection of a dermal filler can be used to “fine tune” results.

According to Rohrich, the procedure adds only 15-20 minutes to the time needed for a facelift and to date no studies have shown complications or safety issues within five years of the procedure.

AARP tax help

The AARP Foundation in conjunction with the IRS is offering tax service free of charge to St. Charles County residents with medium to low income. The service is offered at St. Charles City-County Library District branches, and appointments are required.

For a schedule of dates, times and locations and a list of items to bring to the appointment, visit youranswerplace.org and click on “Programs and Events.”

Appointments now are being accepted. To schedule a time, call 441-7577 (McClay branch); 978-7997 (Middendorf-Kredell branch); 332-9966 (Corporate Parkway branch); or 441-0794, ext. 1430 (Spencer Road branch).

For additional information on the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, or to find other locations where AARP is offering free tax help, visit aarp.org.

On the calendar 

Progress West HealthCare Center sponsors “Osteoporosis: Dos and Don’ts of Everyday Movement” from 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Spencer Road Library, 427 Spencer Road in St. Peters. Taught by a physical therapist, the class address how osteoporosis fractures happen and how to avoid them with some simple modifications to everyday movements. Attendees learn how to use their joints wisely and protect themselves from unnecessary injuries. To enroll, call 344-2273.

• • •

Barnes-Jewish St. Peters and Progress West hospitals offer free bone density screenings for women from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at Spencer Road Library, 427 Spencer Road in St. Peters. Participants learn their personal risk for developing osteoporosis and find out what they can do to reduce their chances of developing the disease, which causes more than 1.5 million fractures every year in the U.S. To register, call 928-9355, or visit bjcstcharlescounty.org.

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