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Features

First, Ask the Question
By Laura Wexler
The effects of physical abuse can lead to serious chronic health issues long after the bumps and bruises have healed.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
By Gabrielle Redford
If you’re over the age of 40 and possess any risk factors for heart disease, you could be prescribed a statin. Here’s what to consider first.
Fear Factor
By Greg Rienzi
Rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, chills, dizziness, chest pain: It just might be a panic attack.

Departments

10 Things
Healthy food swaps.
Book Report
What you should be reading.
Breakthroughs
News from the cutting edge of research: a new blood test screens for cancer; reversing vision loss; understanding performance under pressure; a diabetes drug for nicotine withdrawal; and the reason why we cough.
Experience
Debilitating arm and neck pain causes a young woman to seek answers.
Expert Advice
What kinds of seafood are “best” to eat?
Just Curious
What happens to an organ donor’s organs after death?
MedTech
Apps, gadgets, and other innovations that are advancing health.
Survey
New findings in health: food quality vs. quantity; treating adult acne; headaches and women; reducing test anxiety, and how to bow out of group texts gracefully.
Two-Minute Meditation
This is your invitation to take a short break from whatever you’re doing.

Letter from the Editor

Catherine Pierre, Editor-In-Chief
Editor-in-Chief
Catherine Pierre, Editor-In-Chief
I love the idea of a daily
meditation.

I have done some meditation, but I’ve never had much success with the “daily” part. It always seems to end up being yet another item on an ever-growing list of things I should do every day to take care of myself. I end up stressing out about whether I’ve meditated, and I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to work.

I recently signed up for an online meditation course that you’re supposed to do once a day. I’ve done the math, and I’m averaging a class about every five days. So much for daily, right? Nevertheless, I feel like I’m further along in this meditation practice than I’ve ever been. And one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from it is that you don’t always need to commit a block of time. When your day is getting chaotic and your thoughts are swirling, you can simply pause. Take a break, breathe, and settle your mind down before returning to whatever task is next. It only takes a minute or two.

That’s why I love our “Two-Minute Meditation,” a feature we launched last issue. It’s an invitation to turn your attention to one simple, calming image. There’s no back story, no big concept to ponder, no lesson or new daily action item. Just a moment of stillness and focus in what is probably an otherwise hectic day. This issue features a beautiful mountainscape. I love the shapes and colors, the gentleness of it.

Right now, you may be settled in a comfy chair and taking time for yourself by reading this magazine. I hope you’ll give the meditation a try now, and return to it anytime you need a two-minute break.

Contributors

Dalbert B. Vilarino
Dalbert B. Vilarino

Dalbert B. Vilarino is an illustrator and designer born and based in Toronto. When not drawing or thinking about what to draw next, he can be spotted in the wilderness having a stiff coffee with a warm cookie.

Joe Sugarman
Joe Sugarman

Guest editor Joe Sugarman has worked on stories about health, science, and medicine for more than 20 years. He is a regular contributor to Preservation, Washingtonian, and the Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazines.

Laura Wexler
Laura Wexler

Laura Wexler is a Baltimore-based writer and producer who creates narrative projects inspired by little-known true stories. She is the co-writer and executive producer of Dinner Party, a virtual reality thriller that premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

wenting li
Wenting Li

Wenting Li is an illustrator, muralist, and cat-spotter working out of Toronto. You can find her work in The New York Times, The Walrus, and at certain street corners in the city.