Heart of a Woman
Dr. Karen E. Friday, professor of medicine at Tulane University will discuss "Heart Disease and Diabetes in Women: Opportunities for Disease Prevention" during a free lecture from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 9.
The talk, part of the Jane Wilson Smith Lecture Series presented by the Tulane Xavier National Women's Center, will be held in Caroline Richardson Hall at the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women on Tulane University's Uptown Campus. For more information, call 988-5100.
Run a Mile
The 19th annual Ochsner Run to benefit children, nurses and competitive sports is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. March 27 on the Mississippi River Levee near Ochsner Clinic Foundation (1514 Jefferson Hwy., 842-7113).
The event starts with a one-mile fun run, followed at 5 p.m. with a 5K race, and ending with a Rhythm & Sole party that includes music by the TopCats, food, activities for the children and prizes for adults.
Tickets are $18 before March 17, $20 after that date, and include registration, party passes and a T-shirt. Tickets to Rhythm & Sole only are $15 per person, $5 for children 6 to 10 years old and free under 5.
Proceeds benefit Ochsner for Children, the Nursing Education Grant Fund and Competitive Sports Teams at Elmwood Fitness Center.
On Your Terms
Locals who want a personal training session, rehabilitative or just stress-relieving massage in a private setting are in luck. Carpe Vires Fitness (by appointment, 482-1377) will send specialists to your home or office for private fitness or massage sessions.
"I've got a pretty diverse team," says owner/personal trainer David Marethouse. "We can do neuromuscular therapy, sports injury therapy, deep tissue massage, and personal fitness training. Basically, it's whatever you want. I can acquire someone to fit anything you need."
A team of about 15 personal trainers provide a variety of programs, including body building, strength conditioning, sports rehabilitation exercises, and training for specific results such as improving a golf swing or volleyball performance. "I try to match up personalities as well as what an individual (client) requires for their training," he says. "I have male or female (trainers), whichever they prefer."
Carpe Vires, which means "seize the strength" in Latin, also plans to open an Uptown center in the near future, but will continue to offer appointments in clients' homes or businesses.
Tender Loving Care
Reflexology expert Bhati Jayasuriya thought it was about time people could enjoy the physical comforts and healing aspects of reflexology, massage and other non-invasive modalities on a regular basis without it costing an arm and a leg. To make that happen, he and his wife, Sherese Chretien, recently opened a wellness center with a twist on the Northshore.
Bhati Jayasuriya's Complimentary Care wellness center (225 Antibes West, Mariner's Village, Mandeville, 985-951-8678) now is offering Dharshana Memberships for $66 a month, which entitles a member to a session of reflexology and a massage each month. As membership numbers increase, so will available services, including physical therapy, naturopathy, yoga, Pilates, fitness classes, wellness testing (including hair analysis to determine nutrition needs) and more.
The owners have set up the center -- which opened in December and expects to have a full membership roster by July -- as an Eastern-influenced complement to traditional Western medicine, offering clients such therapeutic services as reflexology and massage on a regular basis.
"We don't want to be a band-aid and just get them through the next week," says Chretien. "We want to help them get well ... then help them stay well. That's what we're focused on."
The center also offers Indonique tea, chai and spices, which Jayasuriya says fit in to the Ayurvedic approach of the center and can help remedy common ailments such as sinus and lung congestion and promote a feeling of well-being.
The center also will open the Lassana Cafe this summer, offering fresh skin and hair treatments tailored to each customer's particular skin and hair types and needs. Massage therapists specializing in effleurage -- a massage technique designed to stimulate the skin and the myofacia sheath -- will apply fresh, leave-on treatments during a massage treatment, and there also will be products for at-home application. Part of the proceeds from the cafe will benefit a fight against biopiracy in Sri Lanka.
Ochsner North Shore Medical Center (1000 Ochsner Blvd., Covington, 985-875-2828) opened last month in a 98,500-square-foot facility that provides family physicians, specialists, a laboratory and outpatient surgery center all in one location.
The new medical center at the corner of I-12 and Hwy. 21 has 100 patient exam rooms and a couple of dozen specialties ranging from cardiology to orthopedics. It also has a blood bank and diagnostic imaging facilities that include ultrasound, X-ray, fluoroscopy, CAT scan, MRI, CT angiography and mammography.
Fight Against AIDS
A team of researchers at the Tulane National Primate Research Center on the Northshore is working to develop a microbicide that could block transmission of the HIV virus by protecting vulnerable mucosal linings.
The researchers, working through nine grants totaling more than $3.5 million for the current year, believe that major sites for the transmission of HIV and early replication of the virus are in the mucosal linings in the vagina and gastrointestinal tract. Researchers now are working to develop a topical microbicide that, when applied to a woman's vagina before sexual intercourse, would form a germ-fighting barrier to prevent HIV infection. Such a microbicide already has been shown to be effective in preventing infection in animal studies.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS has reported that about 50 percent of those currently suffering with AIDS are women. Tulane researcher Ronald Veazey says women are more likely than men to contract AIDs during heterosexual intercourse because the mucosal lining of the vagina has many of the cells the virus targets and the mucosal surface is larger and can tear. The Tulane team is trying to develop a molecular barrier that will coat vulnerable cells and prevent the virus from recognizing them.
Veazey and his research team wrote a paper about the issue that was published last year in the journal Nature Medicine. Grants supporting the research are mostly from the National Institutes of Health.