Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Move it Monday


SEE Tip:  While experts haven't identified the exact, perfect time to workout they have noted all the amazing benefits of working out at any time.  Recently, more research has come out about exercising in the middle of the day.  Mid day exercising has been shown to boost energy, creativity, and cognitive functioning. So instead of having another cup of coffee or energy drink, a 20 minute run around our beautiful campus or taking a break for yoga could be the trick to help you re-focus for the day.

Try a mid-day workout with us today by joining us for a Monday Mile.  You can walk, jog, run, or even dance your way through the mile.  SEE how you feel after getting a mid day workout!  Meet us at the Levering Courtyard at 11:40 am to get started!

HKB Quit Tip: In a number of clinical studies, researchers found that exercise reduced cigarette cravings.  In the studies, the researchers had one group do some form of exercise, such as going for a brisk walk or riding  a bike, while the other group did something inactive, like sit quietly or watch a video.  Those in the active group reported reduced cravings to smoke.  If you or someone you know is trying to quit, consider becoming more active by going to the gym or taking a jog around campus when cravings sneak up.

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  Feeling stressed before an exam, but feel like you've studied so much that your brains might fall out of your head?   Use the break and exercise instead.  When you're stressed, you forget things. But exercising before a stressful event, like an exam, can improve your outlook and de-stress you, but more importantly, it can improve your brain functioning.  Get your neurons firing with a brisk walk or jog, then review your notes once more before rocking that exam.

Want to try another quick stress-reliever as a study break tonight?  Head to Q-level at the MSE at 8pm for a free back rub from Stressbusters.  Just 5-7 minutes will leave you feeling relaxed and ready for a little more studying before getting a good night's sleep.

Who wouldn't want to go for a walk or jog on this gorgeous campus?!  Love Hopkins!


Your love is my drug


Going to see Ke$ha tonight?  Awesome.  Have fun and follow these tips to make sure it's  night to remember.

  1. Apply glitter.
  2. Take a Selfie.
  3. Post to FB, Twitter, Instagram #KE$HA 
  4. Put the phone away.
  5. Get some water for the show. 
  6. Dance/sing/enjoy for the next few hours.
  7. Stay hydrated.
  8. Record your favorite song.
  9. Take a picture with the harbor behind you.
  10. Head back to Hopkins with your friends.

If you choose to drink, we have a few more tips to help you remember the night.  We know alcohol can blur things a bit, especially memories.  So follow some safer drinking guidelines and you'll have a better chance of remembering the glitter-filled awesomeness to come.
  • Grab dinner before going into the show.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  
  • Stay with your friends.
  • Look out for one another.
  • Stay in the blue zone to avoid the nasty effects of alcohol
    • Plus, being too drunk to go to the concert means no KE$HA.  


One in Two...


Source: iwannaknow.org via Cate on Pinterest

When one in two sexually active young people run the risk of an STD/STI, it's crucial that we all get tested.  Make an appointment to Get Yourself Tested for you, for your partner, and for your future.

Testing Locations:

330 N. Howard Street

Online (Mail in)


SEE goes to the market


SEE Tip:  Want to get fresh and local produce?  Try the farmers markets in the area.  Check out what's in season as we jump into Fall.  Do you like pumpkin?  Perfect!  How about apples?  Even better!  This chart can help you keep track of what's in season in Maryland.  From there, you can plan your meals or snacks and eat healthier as we move through some tough spots in the semester.  Instead of chips for an afternoon snack, fresh apples and peanut butter would be an energy packed alternative.

Want to check out a local farmers market, but not sure where to go?  Join the PEEPs this Saturday for a trip!  Details will be on Facebook!

HKB Quit Tip: Quitting an addiction is not an easy hurdle.  But, there are resources to help.  Call the Quit line to get support: 1-800-784-8669.  Those smokers who wish to quit reportedly having better success when using quit lines and other forms of support, including nicotine-replacements, like the gum, the patch, or the lozenge.

Want to do some good in the field of tobacco prevention?   Attend Hopkins Kicks Butts open member meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday, 9/24 at 7:45pm in the AMR 1 TV room.  Pizza will be provided!

Mellow Out Monday:  Midterms are popping up on our schedules which means stress is popping up, as well.  Stress has a funny way of showing itself, but often we can see it in the ways we eat.  Often, people find comfort in certain foods when they are stressed, or certain foods seem like an easy solution when stressed for time.  Unfortunately, reaching for easy, comfort, and typically unhealthy foods can lead to more stress.  Instead of reaching for that food, try going for some that have nutrients your body needs to combat stress, but are also quick and easy, like apples (in season and at the farmers markets) or almonds.  Stress can spiral out of control easily, but little things like choosing healthier, brain-power foods can help to overcome it.

Another great option when the stress levels are reaching all time highs are stopping by the MSE for a free backrub!  Stressbusters are on Q level every Monday starting at 8pm and available to give FREE, 5-7 minute back rubs.  Don't let stress ruin your week; instead, let Stressbusters BUST that stress.


Sip Tip: Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare?

Truth:  What percentage of campus students do you think, have never had alcohol?

According to the Spring 2012 survey, our student population thinks that only 2% of our campus hasn't had alcohol.  However, based on self-report information, we know that it is closer to 20% of students.  Around 1 in 5 students on campus has never had alcohol.

Dare:  If you choose to drink, we dare you to do so safely.  

If you choose to drink, we dare you to alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones (like water or juice), to pace yourself and space out your drinks over the course of the night, and to stay with your same group of friends for the entire time.

By taking on this dare, the chances of enjoying your night are greatly increased.  A person who stops at buzzed can enjoy the euphoria that drinking has the potential to provide while avoiding the downfalls of drinking too much (i.e. hangovers, injuries, etc).

For more truth or dare fun, stop by the PEEPs table on the Breezeway from 12-2 today!


Shopping for Hump Day


Buying condoms can feel like an ordeal, but be proud of yourself for the decision to have safer sex.  Don't let embarrassment or fear stop you from using protection.  Use your head and try Condom Sense, our JHU program for purchasing condoms at a discounted rate.  You order them online and pick them up at the Student Health and Wellness Center (31st and N. Charles).  We accept cash, credit card, or J-card to pay for the orders.

Protect yourself and your partner by using a condom this time, and every time.


Guest Posting from Emily LaBathe, Massage Therapist at Student Health and Wellness


Hello, my name is Emily LaBathe and I have been a massage therapist on campus since 2004, and also one of the Stressbuster teachers.  I have been massaging for 20 years and meanwhile taking speciality classes in Craniosacral therapy, Lymphatic Drainage therapy and Visceral Manipulation therapy.   I have seen so much benefit in the last few years in these modalities, that I have decided to offer only these modalities.  Don't worry, there are two other massage therapists to give you great massages (see their bios under massage on the SHWC website). 

 My price for this work will be the same as massage, which is $35 for a half hour and $60 for a hour.  But for the fall semester  I thought I would introduce these therapies and offer an introductory price of $20 for a half hour, to see if any of these modalities can help you feel better in body, mind and spirit. Clothes will be left on during sessions.  I will be working on some Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.    

Following are descriptions of these therapies and what conditions I have seen them help.  If they appeal to you, consider calling for an appointment at 410-516-8270 and ask for Emily as your massage therapist.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) developed by John Upledger D.O.   This therapy works with the cerebrospinal fluid and how this fluid influences the other fluids and tissues of the body.  It is a very light touch therapy that induces a deep relaxation.  Techniques work with the cranial bones, spine and fascia.  This therapy is very effective for someone who has had trauma such as accidents, sports injury or surgeries.  The tensions that often get set into the body can be released therefore decreasing symptoms.  The following are other conditions helped by CST - headaches, migraines, eye strain, trigeminal neuralgia, binocularity, sinus problems, ear infections, spinal deviations, scoliosis, nerve pain, neck tension, tinnitis, heart rate variability, anxiety and pain that other therapies that have not been as effective, as you would like.

Visceral Manipulation (VM)  created by Jean-Pierre Barral D.O. is a form of manual therapy that focuses on the internal organs, their fascia and potential influence on structural and physiological dysfunctions.  Your organs have movement for example your kidneys move 1 inch with each breath and 4 inches with deep inhalation.  Therefore in a day they move 1/2 of a mile.  Imagine how a restriction of this movement could cause pain at the site or transmit pain through the fascia to other structures of the body.  This light touch therapy if very effective treating GIRD, digestive problems, constipation, menstrual pain, healing after childbirth, post surgery scars and adhesions and releasing any tensions put into the body by accidents.  Also, VM  can treat any discomfort in any organ.

Lymph drainage Therapy (LDT) created by Bruno Chikly M.D. D.O. works with the Lymph System.  This is also a light touch that facilitates moving the lymph to improve the lymphatic flow and immune system.  This is the treatment I use, that is successful with students who have hands and arms that will not stop hurting from being on the computer so much.  This therapy does not aggravate the tissues and helps to move out the inflammation.  It is a great therapy for detoxing alcohol, drugs and stress.  LDT is good for any edema, swelling or area of the body not healing easily.  Also, it can relieve sinusitis, acne, exzema and allergies.  Any sugery the lymph has to recruit around the scar, and if lymph nodes have been removed LDT is the suggested therapy to decrease lymphodema.

All these therapies induce the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the rejuvenative nervous system.  These therapies induce alpha brain waves so students report feeling more relaxed and focused with less anxiety.

Call the SHWC to make an appointment with Emily for any of these helpful therapies or to make an appointment for a massage with the other two massage therapists on site, as well.  Call 410-516-8270 for appointments!


SwEEt SlEEp: Just a Sachet Away

SEE Monday Tip:  Research shows that lavender can create a more relaxed mind and promote better sleep.  SEE the benefits by stopping at Nolan's tonight from 5-7 to make your own (FREE) lavender sleep sachet!

HKB quit tip: Want to join a group on campus that strives for a smoke free campus?  Check out Hopkins Kicks Butts, the student anti-tobacco advocacy group on campus.  HKB members are a diverse group of health-minded students, ranging from Pre-med to Public Health to Engineering. Join us for our twice a month meetings to plan events and help move the smoke free policy forward. Details at Facebook.com/hopkinskicksbutts 

Mellow Out Monday Tip: Shoulders hunched? Back tight? Neck sore? Be kind to your body and get a FREE back rub tonight! Stressbusters are back in action for the semester and doling out free 5-7 minute back rubs at the MSE on Q level tonight and every Monday night. Take a break tonight and see why everyone loves Stressbusters at JHU.


Beats and Binges

Is it possible that music and advertising can have an impact on alcohol use?  Before we answer, think about it.  What do you think about this connection?  When people hear songs like:

[Disclaimer on the videos below: Some content is explicit- watch with caution]

What are some reactions to these songs?  What associations are being made between music and drinking?  Do you think these have any influence on people's decisions to drink, or perhaps drink more or less?

So what does the research say?

According to a study in the Journal of Substance Use and Misuse, 720 songs were reviewed and of those, 23% referenced alcohol, and nearly all of those songs found the references to alcohol to be positive ones.  While alcohol can have positive effects on people who choose to drink, the positive ones are not mentioned or portrayed in the drinking styles in the videos.  Typically, the more positive or euphoric effects are found when someone chooses to drink and decides to stay in the Blue Zone, or within a .01-.06 BAC level (which would be about 1 drink an hour with water in between).

Research has found a link between the amount of TV and music a teen consumes is related to decisions around alcohol use. This means, the more TV and music a teen watches or listens to, the more likely s/he will drink alcohol.

Questions to think about:

So we see from the research that there is a connection between music and alcohol use. Do you think the number of songs with these references change depending on the setting?  For example, if someone is listening to music in his/her room versus at a party-- do you think the amount of alcohol references might be different than say, at a house party?   More, less, or no drinking?  Or imagine a house party that had music without alcohol mentioned in the lyrics, how do you think the party environment might look?  Would it be any different?

Just Remember:
No matter what kind of music is playing at a party or in a room, if you choose to drink alcohol, find ways to do it safely, like having water between each drink and pacing yourself.   And remember, the only way to avoid a hangover is to drink in moderation.  Stay in the blue zone to enjoy the entire night and the rest of the weekend.


SEE for yourself this semester!


SEE Tip: Congratulations!  You are in your second week of classes- you made it through the first week!  Now the routines start to set in.  Have you figured out your bedtime, your wake time, when, where, and what you'll eat, and what about your exercise regime?  It's a lot to think about, in addition to your classes and everything else.  So let's start small-- why not use this week to get into a healthy routine and set just one health related goal for yourself?  Try using our SEE campaign to guide your health goal, or come up with one that fits your needs best.  SEE focuses on improving Sleep, Eating, and Exercise, which Hopkins students have said again and again to be the biggest health challenges for their day to day lives.  Which do you need to focus on?  And how do you plan to improve any of those areas?  Share your goals in the comments or stop by the Breezeway today from 11-1pm to talk to a PEEP about it.

HKB Quick Tip: Want to make campus smoke-free or know more about what Hopkins Kicks Butts does at JHU?  Stop by the HKB table at the Student Involvement Fair this Thursday from 5-8pm to talk to a member and get involved!  HKB members are activists, educators, caregivers, friends, and students-- we are always looking for other people interested in the anti-tobacco initiatives.

Mellow Out Monday:  We know it's week two of classes and the realization that homework, papers, and exams are really here and summer is (sadly) ending which is starting to increase stress levels across campus.  Before they get out of control, mark your calendar on September 16th from 8pm-10pm for the first free Stressbusters back rubs of the semester!  Come to the MSE on Q-level for your free 5-7 minute back rubs from our trained Stressbusters for FREE! Stop by, feel better, lose the stress.

And if you're interested in being a Stressbuster, look for the Stressbuster table at the Student Involvement Fair this Thursday from 5pm-8pm or go to www.jhustressbusters.com to apply online.