Do Anti Aging Creams Work?

aacwYes, anti aging creams work, if you follow the instructions given; patience is required, as time is needed to attain desired results. Anti aging creams contain ingredients that hydrate and repair skin. Majority of them promote production of collagen that increases elasticity in the skin eradicating wrinkles in due time. They protect the skin from premature aging that can be caused by the elements. A number of people who gave anti aging cream reviews were not sure if they could obtain satisfactory results before they started using anti aging creams. See these cream reviews here.

Anti aging creams are more effective when you protect your skin from the elements. It is necessary to apply a good sun block and wear sunglasses when you go outdoors. Nourishing your skin by drinking lots of water and eating healthy foods will work together with an appropriate anti aging cream for pleasing results. A number of anti aging creams contain vitamins that repair damaged skin with continued use; these should be applied before bed and before applying the rest of your makeup in the morning. Some cheaper brands will work just as effectively as the more expensive ones; therefore, you can always afford to protect your skin from premature aging within your budget.

What To Use For Aging Skin

Skin gets thinner as one ages; it is therefore important to look for products that promote collagen production for more elasticity in your skin. Moisturizing is a must to hydrate your skin; a good anti aging cream is necessary to repair damage caused by the sun and other elements. The anti aging cream used should promote cell regeneration for youthful looking skin. You are in a position to look younger as most people who gave anti aging cream reviews discovered.

You need a product that tightens your skin around the face and neck. Your hands will also benefit from the use of an appropriate anti aging cream; hands can age prematurely as they are used to do many chores. Cut out the amount of alcohol consumed and quit smoking tobacco cigarettes as these products dry out your skin making it look dull and older. There are several anti aging creams that can be used on sensitive skin; start with one that contains a few ingredients to see the effect it has on your skin. It is imperative to use an anti aging product consistently to achieve beautiful firm skin in due time. A dermatologist can recommend the best anti aging cream for your skin type.

Health Intelligence – Do You Have It?

You’re never sick, right? So what’s the big deal?

hiGood health is much more than the absence of disease. Check out these misconceptions about health, or health myths, and see if you know what’s wrong with them–before you read the facts.

MYTH 1: “If I’ve got any problems, I must have inherited them from my parents.”

Heredity plays a part in your health, but it’s not the whole story–or even the main story. One estimate rated the factors that contribute to illness as heredity, 20 percent; environment, 20 percent; lack of health care, 10 percent; and lifestyle, a whopping 50 percent. So you can do something about your health.

Six behaviors/factors cause about three-fourths of the health problems among adolescents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: unintentional injuries, smoking, use of alcohol and drugs, poor nutrition, not enough physical activity, and risky sexual behaviors.

MYTH 2: “I should always wear my seat belt–except when I’m going just a short distance.”

Most car crashes occur within 10 miles of home and when traveling under 30 miles an hour. So it’s important to always buckle up, and make your passengers buckle up too. It’s the law in most states. In a recent Youth Risk Behavior Study, a quarter of the high school students surveyed reported that they rarely or never used seat belts. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, young people make up 6.7 percent of the drivers, but they have 28 percent of all crashes and 42.5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities.

MYTH 3: “Sure, I may have a cigarette once in a while, but I’m certainly not addicted.”

Maybe you’re not addicted now, but the odds are against you on this one. Smoking just 100 cigarettes is all it takes to get addicted. One-third of the young people who are “just experimenting” will be addicted by the time they are 20 years old.

You may think smoking makes you feel calmer, but in reality smoking makes you more stressed. You smoke more to calm down. Your body develops a tolerance for nicotine, and you need to smoke more to get the desired effect. It’s a vicious circle that can lead you to losing your senses of taste and smell, coughing, emphysema, and lung cancer. Nicotine constricts (tightens) your blood vessels, making it harder for your heart to pump blood, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.

MYTH 4: “l know the guy driving me had a few beers, but he had no trouble walking to the car and putting the key in the ignition. He must be sober enough to drive.”

Don’t assume someone can handle driving and drinking just because that person gets behind the steering wheel. It takes only a few beers for an average-size male or female to be legally drunk.

It’s hard to tell a friend you won’t ride with him or her. Forty percent of teens surveyed say they have ridden with a drunk driver. Even if the driver is the parent of your best friend, don’t hesitate to refuse a ride. Always know someone else you can call to drive you home. Or call your parents.

MYTH 5: “I eat three meals a day. I must be getting good nutrition.”

Eating three meals a day is a good start, but you’ve got to pay attention to what you eat. If you’re eating fast food three times a day, you’re probably getting way too much fat. Women, especially, need to get enough calcium in their teen years to prevent osteoporosis later on. Are you drinking enough milk, or is your liquid in the form of soda pop?

Don’t forget that in the Food Guide Pyramid breads and cereals form the base, with vegetables and fruits next, then dairy products and meat, and fats and sweets on the top. Just like the pyramids in Egypt, the amounts get smaller as you get to the top–and you should be eating less of these.

MYTH 6: “Marijuana is safer than cigarettes.”

mistcMarijuana isn’t any safer than cigarettes. Among the short-term effects of marijuana are difficulty keeping track of time, impaired ability to drive a car, reduced short-term memory, and hallucinations. People who use marijuana over a long period of time risk infertility, cancer, and psychological dependence–needing more and more marijuana to get the same effect.

Some people claim that smoking marijuana makes them lose their inhibitions, helping them to have more fun at parties. But losing your inhibitions means losing control of your actions, which can lead to dangerous behavior. On a very practical level, marijuana is illegal, and using it can get you in trouble with the law.

MYTH 7: “I’m on the basketball team. We practice four nights a week and play games every weekend. So get more than enough exercise.”

You are getting enough exercise–now. Ten years from now you probably won’t be on a basketball team. Start today with an exercise program that you will stick with for the rest of your life–activities like walking, jogging, swimming, and weight training.

MYTH 8: “I won’t kiss anyone–I might get AIDS.”

There’s a lot about AIDS that researchers don’t know, and that may be frightening; but there are some things they do know. One is that AIDS is transmitted through bodily fluids, such as semen and blood. You can get AIDS from sharing needles and unsafe sex, but you can’t get AIDS from kissing or shaking hands or swimming in a pool.

MYTH 9: “Depression is just a phase. Everyone gets upset sometimes, but you can always bounce back.”

For most people, feeling depressed, or getting the blues, is just a phase that soon passes. You’ve just ended a relationship, and you’re sure no one will ever like you again. But two weeks later, you’re out partying with your friends.

Unfortunately, however, some people don’t bounce back after a bad time. Depression eats away at them, and they decide that nothing good will ever happen again. Some signs of depression are crying a lot, wanting to be left alone, losing your temper over little things, not sleeping or sleeping too much, feeling that you’re no good. In extreme cases, a depressed person thinks about suicide.

If you think a friend might be seriously depressed, try to get your friend to seek help or get help for him or her by talking to a family member or a teacher or counselor. Community hospitals have low-cost programs that deal with depression and other mental health issues. Most important, don’t desert your friend. Counseling and medicine can help depressed people get out of their slump.

Make sure you are in the know about these important health issues. Knowledge is power and the more you know about your health, the better your chances are to be healthy now and to stay healthy in the future.

Making The Best Choices For A Good Life

mbcfglI recently joined a health club and began low-impact step aerobics three nights a week. At first, I felt out of place and self-conscious, but the instructors were encouraging. Within weeks, they knew me by name. “You can do it, Sarah,” or “Keep it up, Sarah. You’re doing great,” they’d say. Their support carried me through that first month of sore muscles, but it was a couple of nasty saleswomen who really spurred me on.

A friend had asked me to be in her wedding. I tried on the bridesmaid’s gown, barely squeezing into a size 18. The saleswomen’s unkind attitudes were obvious. They figured I’d gain even more before the wedding and insisted I buy a size 20. Angry, hurt, and determined, I ordered a 16. Suddenly, I had both a goal and a point to prove.

The Power of Purpose

That November, I joined Weight Watchers. A friend had slimmed down on the program, and I liked how it worked. My candy bars, cheese steaks, fried chicken/mayo sandwiches, and beer and chicken wing dinners were replaced by smaller, healthier meals. Once I began measuring food, such as a cup of spaghetti and half a cup of sauce, I realized I’d been eating three times that, then loading it with cheese.

Breakfast–a meal I used to skip–became an apple or banana and a piece of dry toast. (Later, I found if I had a little protein in the morning, I didn’t get hungry until lunch, so I added a cup of low-fat yogurt with granola.) Lunch was water-packed tuna and raw veggies; for dinner, fish or pasta and salad. I also started drinking lots of water, which helped me feel full, and I cut down from 8 or 9 cups of coffee a day to 2. If I got hungry between meals, I’d munch on an apple, carrots, or celery.

The first week, I lost 7 pounds! I knew I couldn’t always expect that kind of loss–in fact, I typically lost only I or 2 pounds a week–but it gave me momentum. My weekly goal was to lose or maintain my weight. If I gained–and I sometimes did–I shook it off. I knew if I got discouraged, I’d only console myself with food.

A New Challenge, a New Victory

By mid-November, I had a new incentive. My gym offered a year’s free membership to the person who could shape up the most in six weeks. Success would be measured in inches, lost body fat, and number of aerobics classes attended. I set out to win–and did! By New Year’s, I’d lost 8 inches and 2% of my body fat and attended 57 classes. I was down to 170 pounds.

I stuck with my regimen throughout the winter, but it wasn’t always easy. My cravings for sweets never died, so I tried to reward myself in other ways. If I’d been particularly diligent one week, I’d treat myself to a massage.

In April 1996, just seven months after our visit to the cardiologist, my mother died. It was doubly painful knowing that if she had changed her habits, she’d have lived longer. During this time, I did a little backsliding–her funeral dinner was held at a pizza parlor, and, naturally, I didn’t care what I ate–but Weight Watchers soon brought me back on track. When that size 16 bridesmaid’s gown arrived, it fit like a glove! I weighed 150 pounds, and I didn’t have to alter a stitch.

The Victory Lap

By May, I was bored with aerobics, so I ventured outside. My first run was tough. I couldn’t go 1/4 mile without walking and only lasted 2 miles total. But when I finished, 1 felt great. I started running/walking several times a week, adding half a block each time. A friend suggested I sign up for a July race called the Harrisburg Mile. At first I scoffed, but weeks later, I entered it.

Race day was hot and humid, and I was miserable. Sweating and breathing hard, I desperately wanted to quit, but the crowd cheered me on. I finished just under the regulation 10 minutes–and dead last. But I felt wonderful. Crossing that finish line was one of the happiest moments of my life.

By fall, I was running 3 to 5 miles three times a week and had signed up for a 5-K in October to have another goal. I was 140 pounds. Twice a week, on days when I didn’t run, I began lifting weights for 45 minutes. The results were impressive: My legs were stronger and more toned. What’s more, the added muscle helped me reach my goal of 135 pounds by Christmas 1996.

Although I still work at managing my weight–it climbed to 145 pounds after a recent operation that kept me from running for several months–I’m reminded every day how worthwhile the effort is. I have more energy and confidence than ever before. Every time I lace my running shoes or choose a celery stick over a candy bar, I prove that nothing is inevitable. Life is about choices, and I’ve chosen health.

Loving The 40s Life!

lt40sThe 40s and beyond can be the richest time in a woman’s life: a period in which she achieves a balance between family, career, and personal pursuits. It’s also a vital time for women to take care of health. One of the most important steps a woman can take in her 40s is to develop health strategies that will pay dividends in the years to come.

The pages that follow outline ways to do so. The guidelines are the product of decades of research involving tens of thousands of women and are based on statistical averages. Because none of us is the average woman, you’ll need to customize the recommendations to reflect your unique health profile. Doing so will require evaluating your family and personal health histories in consultation with your doctor. The most effective health strategies are based on basic principles that apply to us all.

Prevention isn’t the only variable in the equation for good health; early detection is also important. Many common illnesses are successfully treated if identified early.

On the road to good health, knowledge is power. As you age, understanding your risk for diseases provides a good start. Knowing how to minimize those risks will take you even further. Modern medicine has provided us the tools to repair wear and tear, avert future problems, and to feel great along the way. All we have to do is use them.

exercise becomes increasingly important at midlife and especially in your 40s. Not only does the greatest risk of weight gain occur in middle age, but muscle mass tends to decline and fat mass to increase, even in women whose weight is stable. Exercise builds muscle, which requires more calories to maintain than does fat. It also provides cardiovascular conditioning, has a favorable effect on cholesterol, helps to lower blood pressure and to keep bones strong. Exercise may even offer protection against diabetes and breast and colon cancer.

A healthy diet goes a long way in preventing many cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. Following such a diet means, on average, restricting fat to 30% of calories (with saturated fat and hydrogenated polyunsaturates constituting no more than 10% of calories), eating five servings of fruits and vegetables, consuming 25-30 grams of fiber, and limiting alcohol consumption to one drink a day. Adequate calcium and vitamin D are increasingly important.

An annual physical exam should also have a prominent place on your agenda. The appropriate screening and diagnostic tests will vary according to your age and health profile. In addition, there are a couple of things you can do for yourself, such as examining your breasts monthly and your skin annually.

Risk of cervical and colon cancers increases with age. Annual pelvic exams and Pap smears are recommended. If your Pap smears have been normal three years in a row, your doctor may choose to perform the test less often. A baseline cholesterol test is recommended at age 20 and, if normal, every five years thereafter. An annual rectal exam and fecal occult blood test and a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years are recommended for women ages 50 and older.

Adding Years To The Ol’ Life

ayoilRemember your last school reunion? Some of your former classmates still looked just like their yearbook pictures, while others appeared to have aged way beyond their years. Actually, they probably had, at least in terms of what I call RealAge. That’s the age you are as calculated by the health choices you make every day, not by the calendar. A predictor of health and longevity, your RealAge can be years older or years younger than your birthday might suggest. Aging is the cumulative effect of lots of things. How quickly it happens depends primarily on the health of your arteries, the strength of your immune system, and how careful you are about your lifestyle. If, for example, you don’t take care of your arteries, they become clogged with fatty buildup, diminishing the oxygen and nutrients that get to cells throughout your body. You probably know this buildup may eventually lead to heart attacks and strokes, but, in fact, your entire body, not just your cardiovascular system, ages more quickly if your arteries are clogged.

As for your immune system, it begins to get sloppy as you grow older. It starts to ignore important warning signals, such as the genetic controls within a cell that usually protect it from becoming cancerous. Other diseases, too, can gain a foothold more readily.

Social and environmental factors also play a big role in how quickly you age. Your lifestyle (do you exercise?); what you put in your body (high-fat foods?); risks you take (driving while talking on a cell phone?); and the stresses you undergo–all these things contribute to aging.

But you can slow down aging in these key areas. Make the right choices and–to a very large degree-you can take years off your calendar age. Just how young can you become? Could you, as a friend of mine asked, have a RealAge of, say, 12? Well, no. But it is relatively easy for women in their mid-50s or 60s to reduce their RealAge by 5 to 8 years, and only somewhat more difficult to reduce it by 15 or 16 years. More important, the younger your RealAge, the higher the odds you will live not only a long life, but also a healthier and more energetic one. You reap the benefits now and years down the road.

For this article, I’ve calculated the maximum benefit for each of 12 behaviors, assuming that no other factors are considered. The more good habits you adopt, however, the less likely you’ll gain the largest age-reduction effect from any single one. But you’ll enjoy better across-the-board protection from aging.

What’s more, these 12 habits, picked from many beneficial ones, are relatively easy–in some cases, downright fun–to incorporate into your life. But don’t be fooled. I base my recommendations–and conclusions–on serious research, which has shown that choosing these behaviors could make a significant difference.

1. Patrol your health. Most people know when something’s not right with their bodies. So, be alert to any early warning signs; if something seems wrong, have it checked out. Also, keep up with age-appropriate screenings:

* Preventive health counseling, including a review of vaccines (annually for all women)

* Blood pressure testing (annually for all women)

* Pap smears (annually for women 18 and older)

* Cholesterol and diabetes screening (every 5 years for women 35 and older)

* Mammograms (annually for women 40 and older)

* Colon-cancer screening (every 3 years for women 50 and older)

* Thyroid screening (once every 5 years for women 60 and older)

Maximum Benefit: 12 years

pat2. Do some physical activity with a friend twice a week. This is a double dip: Your arterial and immune systems benefit from the exercise, and you build the strong social-support networks that can help you through times of stress. (The latter can yield a startlingly high benefit, up to 30 years, if you’re under extraordinary stress.) Any physical activity-tennis, a casual stroll-is better than none. But brisk walking for the equivalent of an hour a day, or doing more vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes, can bring your level of physical activity up to an optimum age-reduction range.

Maximum Benefit for Exercise: 4 years

Maximum Benefit for Close Personal Relationships: 30 years

3. Make yourself strong. In addition to doing aerobics, practice strength-building exercises, such as weight lifting, 3 times a week for at least 10 minutes. Building muscle makes it less likely you’ll fall. And if you do fall, the increased bone density you get from your workouts cuts the chances you’ll suffer a disabling fracture. Plus, there are benefits to your arterial and immune systems.

Maximum Benefit: 1.7 years

4. Identify your genetic risks. If your parents lived past the age of 75 (or grandparents, if your parents aren’t that old yet), take 4 years off your RealAge. But even without such luck, you can, to a large extent, control the aging effects associated with your genetic profile by taking preventive steps and getting screenings for early detection. If cardiovascular disease runs in your family, take precautions to prevent arterial aging. The same holds for other genetically linked diseases: diabetes and breast, colon, and ovarian cancers, for example.

Maximum Benefit: Depending on disease, up to 12 years

5. Do whatever it takes to keep blood pressure low. Your bloodpressure is a key determinant of aging of your arteries, which is associated with stroke and heart disease (not to mention memory loss, decline in orgasm quality, and wrinkling). Blood pressure of 120/80 to 130/85 is considered normal, but it’s not ideal; I think your goal should be 115/76 or lower. If diet and exercise don’t reduce pressure enough, you may need medication.

Maximum Benefit: Up to 26 years

6. Floss and brush daily. Periodontal disease and, probably, severe gingivitis cause aging of the arterial system, perhaps because the bacteria that form plaque and are associated with gum disease also cause an immune reaction that attacks your arteries.

Maximum Benefit: 4.6 years

7. Consider hormone – replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause. The estrogen in HRT appears to help keep the tissue lining of the blood vessels healthy, decreasing blockages that can trigger heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. Estrogen may also lead to better cognitive functioning and fewer memory problems in women with menopausal symptoms. The third benefit of hormone therapy is that it helps stop the loss of calcium in the bones that can cause osteoporosis.

On the downside, taking estrogen after menopause might increase the risk of breast cancer. For women whose family or medical history precludes standard HRT, there is a new “designer” estrogen, raloxifene (Evista), which doesn’t raise the risk and may actually reduce it. The drag has been shown to slow bone loss and appears to delay arterial aging, but further research is needed.

Maximum Benefit: 8 years, at age 70

8. Take the right supplements and avoid the wrong ones. Although eating a diverse diet is the best way to get the proper nutrients, many of us have to turn to daily vitamins to fill gaps. To reap antiaging benefits, you may need certain supplements in dosages higher than the recommended daily allowance. Specifically, you should take:

* Vitamin C, which may decrease arterial aging and delay immune-system aging. I recommend 1,200 milligrams (mg) a day from your diet or supplements, spread out throughout the day.

* Vitamin D, which helps protect against osteoporosis and the bone fractures it can lead to. Consume 400 international units (IU) of D in food or supplements.

* Vitamin E, which is associated with decreased aging of the arterial and immune systems, possibly by protecting cells from harmful free-radical oxidants. You need 400 IU per day.

* Folate frolic acid), which helps prevent the aging of the cardiovascular system by reducing the amount of homocysteine–an artery-damaging substance-in the blood. Take a supplement of 400 micrograms (meg) to add on to the 300 meg or so the typical balanced diet provides.

* Calcium, which decreases aging from disability caused by bone loss. Get 1,200 mg from food or supplements.

What supplements to avoid? Iron (except under the supervision of your doctor), which may accelerate aging of the arterial system, and vitamin A.

Maximum Benefit: 8 years

9. Have great sex … often. A new study suggests more frequent and more pleasurable (safe) sex can reduce mortality. How often should you indulge? For men, more is always better, but for women, the maximum antiaging benefit is gained when you’re happy with both the quantity and the quality of your sex life.

Maximum Benefit: 2 years

10. Avoid exposure to passive smoke. Obviously, smoking accelerates aging dramatically. But the effect-on your immune system and your arteries-seems to be almost as strong for passive smokers as it is for those who inhale.

Maximum Benefit: 6.9 years (compared to those exposed to 4 hours a day)

11. Live within your means. The stress from being out of control financially (and, particularly, undergoing a bankruptcy) can cause unnecessary aging in significant ways, including the arterial and immune systems.

Maximum Benefit: 8 years

12. Eat 10 helpings of tomato paste a week. Though it’s fairly established that tomato paste and other tomato products reduce the risk of prostate cancer, new evidence shows tomatoes may also ward off a number of cancers, including breast, in women. Drinking tomato juice or eating the fruit raw won’t do the trick: To absorb the cancer-preventing lycopene from tomatoes, you need to ingest some fat at the same time. Try drizzling a little olive oil over roasted tomatoes or, for pasta, choose a tomato-based sauce that contains a small amount of oil.

Maximum Benefit: 8 years

Fighting Aging The Herbal Way

fahwTo combat the encroaching complaints of old age–and the complaints are many–players are going beyond the pragmatic scope of Western medicine into the existential realm of homeopathic remedies, alternative medicines and herbal diets. The hottest trend of all is the wearing of magnets; an estimated half the players perform with thin disks taped surreptitiously under their shirts and trousers. The magnet proponents drown out the dwindling group of copper-bracelet fanatics, whose wrists, alas, have at last grown greener than the content of their money clips. Floyd is so dubious about copper, he reportedly won’t even carry pennies in his pocket.

To those accustomed to the conventional world of sensible diets, drugstore vitamins and simple exercise, some of the New Age stuff has to be seen to be believed. Chi Chi Rodriguez, approaching 65 and struggling to remain competitive–in truth, to compete at all, after having angioplasty late in 1998–has traveled to Germany periodically to receive injections of hormones extracted from a lamb.

“I believe lamb cells are the future of medicine and that I will live to be 120 years old,” he says. “See, your cells die as you get older. Genetically, a lamb is the closest thing to a human being next to a monkey, so when they inject those cells, your body doesn’t know the difference. About a month after injecting the lamb cells, I feel great. Many powerful people get these shots, you know, people you don’t hear about.”

Rodriguez also has received Chelation therapy, which involves hooking an IV to his arm and introducing medicines that cleanse the blood of toxic elements, in his case lead. “Whatever works in your brain works on your body,” he says. “In Haiti, witch doctors have been known to hold a rooster in their hands and tell their subject, ‘When I snap the neck of this rooster, you will die.’ And they snap the rooster’s neck and the subject dies. That’s voodoo. That’s how it works.”

Is it the old mind-over-matter trick, the placebo effect, at work? The medical community views many alternative medicine treatments as brummagem, but Rodriguez says it couldn’t be so with lamb cells, because when someone asks what score he just made on a hole he spasmodically bleats, “Four-r-r-r-r.”

Seeking a more rational practitioner of New Age medicine, we sought out Bob Charles, who at age 63 is reputed to be as toned and fit as most PGA Tour rookies. Stripping to his waist as he prepares for a workout in the fitness trailer, you see that it is so–he is as lean as a whippet, his skin uncommonly taut, the whites of his blue eyes clear as porcelain.

“I exercise, get my rest, watch what I eat, and I take deer velvet,” says Charles without a trace of self-consciousness. “Deer velvet consists of the blood and tissue from a fresh deer antler. It’s filled with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and natural anti-inflammatory agents.”

Charles begins coasting along effortlessly on a treadmill inside the fitness trailer, distractedly watching “Tommy Boy” on videotape. After several minutes he is scarcely winded. He tells us that deer velvet is manufactured in his native New Zealand, though it has been in use in Asia for thousands of years. “Traditional medicines may provide you with relief, but alternative medicines are curative,” he says. “They strengthen your immune system.”

Charles also takes ginger, garlic, ginkgo biloba, bee pollen, and, for good measure, a multivitamin. “My eyesight is better now than when I was 45,” he says. “I feel wonderful.” He has won more than $8 million on the senior tour, which must make him feel wonderful as well.

His mention of ginger is familiar to us, for another player, Dale Douglass, 63, had explained earlier in our investigation that, in addition to placing a magnet on his left wrist to increase circulation and reduce pain, he also was told–by his accountant, no less–to apply gingerroot to the wrist. “The magnet was working, no doubt about it,” says Douglass, “but I needed a bit more. My friend told me to place the gingerroot in a microwave oven, heat it, and then apply it to my wrist. The idea is that the elements inside the gingerroot will be absorbed through my skin and would make my wrist feel better.” Douglass pauses, as if wondering whether to tell the rest of the story.

“The darned microwave oven heated that gingerroot the way it does a hard-boiled egg–you know, cool on the outside, steaming on the inside,” he sighs. “I pressed that root on my wrist and just scalded it real bad.” Douglass showed us the wrist, which was heavily bandaged.

We were explaining the Douglass story to Bob Charles when Orville Moody, an herbal-remedy man himself, came along. Old Sarge, 65, caught only the tail end of the story, and when it was finished, he eyed us suspiciously. “I want you to explain to me how Dale was able to turn on the microwave oven with his hand inside and the door open,” he said.

hwPoor Moody. Long the sufferer of the most pathetic case of putting yips in history, his twitches drove him from the PGA Tour long ago. (His most famous miss came at the 1973 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am, when he blew a two-foot putt for victory on the last hole.) But he regained his touch when he joined the senior tour, using the extra-long putter to devastating effect. In 1989 he was second on the money list. The problem, Moody says, is that his nerves eventually became so fried that he started yipping with the extra-long putter, too. What to do? “I started taking kava kava for my nerves, and it works,” he says. “My stroke is smoother, and I sleep better, too.” It turns out Moody also takes St. John’s wort, folic acid, echinacea (for his immune system), grape-seed extract and, of course, a multivitamin.

The number of players who ingest supplements of one kind or another are considerable, but they are dwarfed by the magnet crowd. Jim Colbert and Bob Murphy are its most vocal proponents, though players such as Floyd, Douglass, Dana Quigley and Jim Ferree use them as well. Magnets are even gaining popularity among younger pros. John Huston sleeps on a magnetic mattress, Olin Browne won the MasterCard Colonial in May with magnets on his elbow, and the LPGA Tour’s Donna Andrews has used them on her back.

The chief benefit of magnets is their reputed ability to relieve pain–users and manufacturers are careful to assert they are not curative–and on the senior tour, physical pain is rampant. Bad backs, aggravated by 40 years or more of full-time twisting, are common. Wrists and elbows have absorbed the shock of millions of hardpan-thumping iron shots, and throb as a result. There are a lot of sore necks, though the best guess as to why is from looking down so much.

“I used to be a doubter–oh, yes,” says Murphy, 56, the winner of 11 senior tournaments. “But to those who talk about the placebo effect, I can only say, I have been wearing ‘placebos’ for five years now, and they have changed my life.”

Murphy’s body is tattooed with magnets, which he shows off with gabby pride and enthusiastic conviction. There are three magnets of varying sizes on his back, held in place by a Velcro belt. There are two tiny magnets on his elbow, six more in a wrist bracelet and yet another on his left knee. He admits he is utterly dependent on magnets to perform, so much so that he carries an 18-pound, magnet-laced mattress cover wherever he travels.

“The mattress pad I use at home is bigger; it weighs 45 pounds,” he explains. “It’s thicker, has more penetrating power. My wife doesn’t like it so much, because of the tremendous increase in blood circulation you get. The circulation makes your body hot, you see, and you sweat. It isn’t a light perspiration, either. It’s the same as if you’d played a set of tennis or a round of golf on a hot day.”

We ask Murphy if people find the magnet therapy odd. “We’re determined to back up our claims,” he says. “We’re not claiming it cures anything. We’re saying it decreases swelling, and when you do that, you decrease pain. When you decrease pain you increase movement, and when you increase movement you increase circulation. When you increase circulation you increase the flow of oxygen to the afflicted area, and that encourages healing. That’s what we want to prove.”

Dizzied by the chain of events Murphy describes, we ask him who he means by “we.” He refers us to Bill Roper, the founder and CEO of Tectonic Magnets, one of the larger manufacturers of magnetic products in the nation. An effusive, raspy-voiced character, Roper, 73, was CEO at Borden for four years in the early 1970s, whereupon he retired and founded Tectonic in 1994. His company did $500,000 in business its first year and has since exploded, with earnings this year expected to be near $10 million. That makes Roper a magnet magnate, and he may get richer after his company goes public in the near future. And Tectonic is not the largest magnet manufacturer–that honor goes to Nikken, which has had more success internationally.

Roper tells us what everyday users can’t–that magnets are composed of “lodestone of the earth,” a substance found only on certain parts of the planet. It is blended with a magnetic element known as ferrite. It is Roper’s mission to convince the public that all magnets are not created equal, that his products, with their careful balance of polarization, gauss (strength) and penetrating power, are superior to the rest. “Last year, 17 new companies popped up out of nowhere,” he says. “Not to belittle them, but their magnets barely stick to a refrigerator.”

Roper points to a double-blind study performed on dogs plagued with osteoarthritis (casino tycoon Steve Wynn’s dog, Rambo, was a recent client), and how 76 percent of the animals wearing magnets improved. “Dogs don’t know about placebos,” Roper deadpans.

Magnets have been used by animal trainers for more than a century, especially horse trainers. Gary Player has used magnetic leg wraps, boots and blankets on his racehorses, though he yields on assessing their effectiveness for now. Player, incidentally, has tried magnets himself, though he doesn’t any longer, because, he says, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with me.” He is an exception.

Murphy does not get paid to endorse the Tectonic magnets he wears, nor does Jim Colbert, 58, another Tectonic man. It is more than enough, Colbert says, that he is able to play golf at all after having to quit the regular PGA Tour four years earlier than he wanted to, at age 46.

Colbert, for some reason, speaks haltingly at first, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, shuffling about in a small circle. He admits that credit must be given to the HealthSouth fitness trailers and their treadmills, weight machines and squadron of physical therapists. He doesn’t question that a regular exercise program, combined with the increasingly healthier cuisine available in the player dining areas and a sharp reduction in the intake of cigarettes and booze, has improved the health and extended the careers of many seniors. But in his case, it always comes back to magnets.

“At age 16, I couldn’t play for a whole summer because my back hurt so much,” he says. “But I haven’t missed a day of golf due to pain in five years, all because of these magnets.” As Colbert’s talk grows with evangelical momentum, you notice he has stopped fidgeting. He is stationary now, his inner stars in alignment.