The Weekly Weigh-In: Are Essential Oils Medicine or Marketing?

Plus, RI sees rise in STDs, URI launches Mental Health First Aid, a bike sale gets you back on two wheels and more in this week in health and wellness.

Essential oils are one of the latest health trends. They are somewhere between a perfume and a potion, providing physical and psychological benefits while keeping you smelling nice. But are they medicine or marketing? This article explores how aromatic oils came to be seen by some as the cure for anxiety in this age. [The New Yorker]

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Health experts weigh in on whether or not you should be tested for the breast cancer gene and explain how to do a breast self-exam. [Women’s Health]

Fall means lots of time in the kitchen baking pies and whatnot. Here’s a playlist to listen to while you peel apples, mix dough, etc[Bon Appétit]

Diagnosed cases of sexually transmitted diseases are at the highest they’ve been in Rhode Island in a decade, and health officials are not exactly sure why. Learn more about the dramatic increase in numbers and the Rhode Island Department of Health’s warnings and suggestions. [Providence Journal]

Biking is good for the environment and good for you. A bike-sharing service is coming to Providence in the spring of 2018 that will hopefully make Providence a more bicycle-friendly city. [WPRI]

The University of Rhode Island is unveiling an innovative program geared towards non-health professionals who want to help people dealing with anxiety, depression, substance abuse and other mental-health issues. URI is the first, and so far the only, higher learning institution in the country to roll out Mental Health First Aid, a mental-health literacy course that was pioneered in Australia a decade ago. [Providence Journal]

On The Run: Health and wellness goings-on

Oct. 6: Have you ever wanted to learn how to swing dance? Now is your chance. Swing Salon will be having beginner’s swing dancing lesson, no experience or partner necessary.

Oct 7: Hosted by Recycle-A-Bike, there will be a fall sale for those looking for a refurbished bike to ride away on or a new bike project to work on. Bikes range from $20 to $200, all sizes and styles. Discounted bike parts and frames will also be for sale. Let’s keep Rhode Island pedaling forward!

Oct 10-12: The Brown University School of Public Health presents a film screening of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and panel discussion. The TV-film, based on the eponymous book, tells the controversial story of an African American woman whose cancer cells were at the center of one of the most important discoveries in medical research.

Oct. 11: Animals have health and wellness needs too, so check out the Food For Thought: Understanding Pet Food Labels presentation at the Potter League in Middletown. Veterinarian Amy Karls gives you the scoop on what pet food labels really mean, what’s good and what’s to be avoided.

Oct. 13: Most enjoy traditional Halloween activities like trick or treating or attending parties. But have you ever celebrated Halloween by swimming with pumpkins? Trade in your costume for a swimsuit and make a splash at the annual Swim with the Pumpkins event hosted by the Cranston YMCA. The event is open to the public – no YMCA membership is required.

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