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  • How Wearing a Corset Every Day (and Night!) Changed This Woman's Life

    Sarah before and after corsetingWomen's fashion has long elicited controversy at every twist and turn of the trend, but no article of clothing has been celebrated and reviled quite like the traditional corset.

    Today, popular opinion views the lace-up design as restrictive both literally and figuratively, with the rigid design coming to symbolize the social repression of the 18thto 19th century American woman.

    Others have fetishized the garment as the ultimate in seduction wear. It's not uncommon to see satin and bow-bedecked versions selling alongside massage oil and teddies (I'm not talking Paddington Bear) at adult lingerie stores.

    So when "Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present and Myself" (Skyhorse Publishing: November 2013) landed on my desk, I was intrigued by the writer's claim that wearing a corset was such a positive, body-loving-if not even feminist - move on her part.

    QUIZ: What's Your Body Type?

    At the beginning, author Sarah Chrisman is as dubious as anyone

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  • Should You Be Concerned About Those Annoying Eye Floaters?

    They're annoying—but are they also a sign of a health problem?We Asked: Abdhish R. Bhavsar, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and senior and managing partner at the Retina Center Of Minnesota

    The Answer: If you're seeing dark gray spots or strands that seem to be floating around in front of your face, what you're actually seeing is stuff floating inside your eyes .

    MORE: The Woman Who Lives in a Corset

    The rear two-thirds of your eyeballs are filled with a jelly-like substance called vitreous that helps give your eye its shape and squishiness. The vitreous changes as you age, liquefying and often developing so-called opacities or vitreous strands, little bits of solid matter usually made of collagen fibers. They float around in the vitreous, blocking the light that comes in through your pupil and casting shadows on the retina at the back of the eye. Those shadows are what you think you see in front of you.

    MORE: 20 Foods for 20/20 Vision

    They look like they're floating in space because they are

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  • 9 Secrets for Hosting a Healthy Dinner Party (Plus, 4 Recipes!)

    Planning a whole night around a meal doesn't have to mean destroying your healthy habits.I've always loved entertaining in my home. The opportunity to have friends, family and food all coming together on a starry night excites me.

    In the past, when I invited new people to my home for dinner, I typically got the following reaction: "Sounds like fun-but is all the food going to be healthy?" Lately, however, I've noticed that people appear to be more concerned about their health and what foods they choose to put into their mouths. So much so that people are actually excited and intrigued to find out what healthy foods I will serve. This has become so prevalent that I've actually printed recipes ahead of time, anticipating at least one request for them.

    If your goal is to provide healthy food at your next dinner party and still have your guests come back again, consider these eight tips:

    Downsize your plates. Typical dinner parties involve several courses and these courses usually appear on various-sized plates. The bigger the plate, the bigger the portion. I serve

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  • 5 Things You Didn't Know About High Heels

    Under some circumstances, they can actually be a good thing!

    There are hundreds of thousands of nerves in your foot and 28 bones (that's 13.5 percent of all the bones in your body). They hold you up from morning 'til night and take the repetitive stress of 10,000 steps each day. And how do we repay them? By shoving them into uncomfortable shoes that exacerbate the stress they're already under. More than 90 percent of women who wear heels suffer from pain, soreness and fatigue*. No kidding.

    MORE: The Women Who Wears (And Sleeps In!) A Corset Every Day

    "High heels don't promote proper foot posture," says Phillip Vasyli, a podiatrist and founder of Vionic, a brand of biomechanically correct kicks with built-in orthotics. When you wear heels, your arch becomes higher, and yet the profile of the shoe itself is a flat ramp that doesn't follow your foot's curvature. That's why Vasyli is designing the first-ever foot-friendly line of fashion heels, due to hit stores in 2014.

    He clued us into some surprising facts every stiletto-loving woman

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  • Is 'Breaking the Seal' Really a Thing?

    The truth about the age-old party myth.We Asked: Roger Sur, M.D., a urologist and director of the U.C. San Diego Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center

    The Answer: If you went to college you probably know what breaking the seal is. On a night of heavy drinking, party-goers will avoid going to the bathroom for as long as possible for fear of "breaking the seal" and having to go frequently after that for the rest of the night.

    MORE: Why You Have to Go in the Middle of the Night

    For all the anecdotal evidence, there has yet to be a formal scientific inquiry of the phenomenon. It's probably a myth, from a biological standpoint, but that isn't to say there's nothing to it. Let's look at the facts. When you drink a lot, there are two main effects as far as your bladder is concerned: 1. You take in an unusually large volume of liquid, and 2. You introduce a powerful diuretic into your system-alcohol. That's a recipe for the pee-pee dance.

    Your brain and heart have receptors to detect an excess of fluid in your

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  • The Cheerleader Effect: Study Confirms You Look More Attractive in Groups

    Get by with a little help from your friendsHaving a few wingmen or women with you when you're out looking to meet someone might actually be useful for more than just boosting your confidence. A few friends by your side could potentially make you more attractive to others, a new study confirms.

    According to October 2013 research published in the journal Psychological Science, people seem more attractive when they're part of a group than when they're alone. To test this theory-which you might know as the "cheerleader effect," thanks to Barney Stinson, Neil Patrick Harris' womanizing playboy on "How I Met Your Mother"-participants were shown images of 100 people. Each person was shown in a photo alone and then also in a photo with two other people, and participants were asked to rate their attractiveness.

    MORE: The Importance of Forgiveness

    Participants rated the people as more attractive when they were surrounded by others. The effect held true even when the photos were presented as part of a collage, rather than a

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  • Fatty Foods that Can Actually Help You Lose Weight

    Not all fats are created equal.You already know that foods rich in saturated fats are about as good for your arteries as pouring superglue in them. But not all fats deserve a bad rap.

    Foods with healthy fats are not only good for your heart, but they also make the best go-to snacks for controlling hunger and promoting weight loss, according to chief medical consultant for "The Dr. Oz Show" and co-founder of YouBeauty, Mike Roizen, M.D. This includes the healthy fats found in safflower, coconut, cod liver, olive and canola oils, as well as omega-3 DHA, walnuts, macadamia nuts and chia seeds. In short, these oils and the foods that contain them can promote weight loss and waist loss.

    MORE: Where to Get Your Omega-3s

    After reviewing findings with the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Roizen says that your best bet is to have these oils before a meal. "My best estimate and that of the Cleveland Clinic committee were that two tablespoons of these oils first thing in the morning and at the start of every meal works," he says.

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  • Is Your Home Too Dangerous for Your Pets?

    Are you putting your pet's life in danger?Our furry friends are part of the family, but you may unknowingly be putting their health at risk by having certain harmful foods, plants or other substances in and around the house. To keep pets healthy, it's important to know what's safe and what's not. Here, some expert advice for making sure your home is animal-friendly.

    Hide Your Halloween Stash Chocolate can be toxic to dogs, and the darker it is, the more dangerous it is. "The component in chocolate called theobromine can cause hyperactivity, increased heart rate and arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures," explains Jules Benson, vice president of veterinary services at Petplan pet insurance. "If the dog ingests enough, it can even lead to sudden death." 'Nuf said? So store chocolate candy and baked goods like chocolate chip cookies in a secure place your dog can't reach. And in case of accidental ingestion, call your vet immediately.

    MORE: Is Your Halloween Candy Ruining Your Sleep?

    Keep Pets Away From Antifreeze

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  • What Really Are Muscle Knots? (And How to Get Rid of Them)

    Here's what's causing those nasty knotsWe Asked: Brian Hoke, D.P.T., a physical therapist and medical educator at Atlantic Physical Therapy in Virginia Beach, Virginia

    The Answer: If you've been sitting at the computer for too long and have that familiar tight pain in your back or shoulders, you may be suffering from muscle knots.

    MORE: Dr. Oz's 8 Best Tips to Prevent Back Pain

    While not a literal knot, a muscle knot-also called a myofascial trigger point-is essentially a small part of a muscle that is stuck in a contraction. The knots occur at points where your muscles and nerves interact, called neuromuscular junctions. While the precise mechanisms aren't entirely clear, the basic idea is that a small portion of the muscle spasms, causing pain. The pain triggers more spasms, which lead to more pain, locking the muscle in a pain-spasm cycle.

    The initial spasms may be due to stress, injury or poor posture. For example, hunching over a computer during a tense deadline can cause the muscles in the shoulders, neck

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  • Are You Breathing Incorrectly?

    It might be time to actually start thinking about breathing.Most of us breathe the way we dance-we think we're doing it right, but we're not. Even more than bopping to the beat, breathing is a natural, automatic action, and one we don't often give much (if any) thought to. In fact, you probably think more about how you look on the dance floor than you do about how you breathe. And you know which one is more important. (Answer: It's the one that provides oxygen for every part of your body.) Breathing right, and taking time to do it, makes you look and feel younger. But don't worry, we'll teach you how.

    MORE: Eat to Prevent Cancer

    Before you say, "Hey, I know how to breathe, I've been doing it my whole life!" take this little quiz: Look ahead for two breaths. Then, look down for two breaths. Do you see anything moving? Probably not, or at least not much. That's because most people usually take very short, shallow breaths that come only from the chest. Your lungs are capable of inhaling 6 quarts of air per minute, but unless you're using

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