Blog Posts by Katie Couric

  • The Point of Acupuncture

    Katie's Take

    Acupuncture may be an ancient Chinese practice, but it's only been in the U.S. since the 1970s, and most of us probably don't fully understand what it is or how it works.  In other words, what's the point? (Get it?)

    While it's still considered an "alternative" form of medicine, it's gaining acceptance in the mainstream as a supplemental treatment for everything from back pain to infertility. Jill Blakeway, founder of the YinOva Center in New York City, says that the practice was based on the idea that we all have channels running through our bodies like rivers. The belief is that the ‘rivers’ get blocked up and acupuncture needles open them again to allow a healthy flow of energy in our bodies.

    Today, doctors view it in a less metaphorical way. When a needle goes into a patient, the doctor is accessing the nervous system and it causes the body to release chemicals which will either interrupt the signal of pain or invoke your body’s own healing capabilities.

    But isn't the

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  • How to Defuse an Argument Instantly

    Katie's Take

    Somewhere between Edith and Archie Bunker and June and Ward Cleaver you'll find all the rest of American couples.  Not fighting constantly, but not on a permanent honeymoon, either.

    The average couple argues 312 times a year.  Sometimes it's about big things like money and child raising, but most of the time it's probably as simple as what to have for dinner or what movie to see on Friday.

    Psychotherapist Rachel Sussman says it's always a good idea to pick and choose your battles and moments.  Think before you speak, decide if this is the appropriate time to take a stand and if it's worth the fight.  If not, it's usually wiser to hold your tongue.

    At the same time, it's never a good idea to keep all of your feelings bottled up—they could eventually build up to a needlessly explosive altercation.

    When you do vocalize your argument, Rachel says you should use language that isn't accusatory, but helps your partner understand the way their actions made you feel instead. Talk

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  • Staying Healthy During the Holidays

    Katie's Take

    Between parties, family get-togethers and, for many of us, lots of travel, it's no wonder people are prone to gaining weight during the holiday season. In fact, Americans gain, on average, between one to two pounds from Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I spoke to fitness and Pilates expert Brooke Siler to get a few pointers on winning the battle of the holiday bulge.

    According to Brooke, one of best things you can do is keep moving, especially while traveling, and it's not as hard as you might think.  Brooke says she has no problem doing lunges down the airplane aisle! It might get you a few funny looks, but exercise and stretching are very important to do, especially when you're stuck in a cramped airline seat for hours.

    Stretching is not only important for blood flow and circulation,  it can also help reduce holiday related stress by loosening up our bodies and allowing us to breathe more freely.

    Brooke says that there should be no excuse to miss a workout during the

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  • Is Your Marriage in Trouble?

    Katie's Take

    We've all heard the statistics.  Half of all marriages end in divorce, and that number rises to 67% for second marriages.

    But before you're singing that old country song "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," what are the telltale signs that your love is on the rocks, and how can you fix the problem before it's too late?

    That's the question we posed to therapist and relationship expert Rachel Sussman, author of "The Breakup Bible."

    While there can be many factors that lead to a breakup, including simply growing apart, Rachel says infidelity is the biggest single reason why marriages hit the skids.  But it's possible to work through even the most serious of problems if couples come to the table willing to acknowledge what made it work in the first place, what isn't working now, and how to move forward.

    She says too many people throw in the towel too early, and advises counseling and trying to reestablish the relationship before resorting to divorce.

    A lot of couples with children may struggle

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  • Tips to Finding Love Online

    Katie's TakeIf you've ever been skittish about trying online dating, here's a statistic that might help you take the plunge: 17% of marriages this year began on the Internet.

    In fact, at least 40 million Americans have tried online dating. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're all doing it correctly, so we got a few pointers for you from Laurie Davis, the founder of eFlirt and author of "Love at First Click."

    To avoid looking for love in all the wrong cyber spaces (sorry, couldn't resist) Laurie, who met her fiance online, says you first need to build a profile that stands out. Post four to seven photos, but don't be creepy…nothing shirtless or bikini-clad. As far as your description goes, she says you should avoid generic adjectives like "fun-loving" or "adventurous." Let people know what makes you unique!

    Also, buyer beware…there can be a fair amount of false advertising in online dating. For example, some people post photographs of themselves that aren't really an accurate

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  • Recognizing the Signs of Stress

    Katie's Take

    Stress is an inevitable part of everyone's life and while many of us just grin and bear it, there is, in fact, a science behind stress …and, believe it or not, we actually need small doses of it to function.

    I spoke to Cindy Ackrill, who is from the American Institute of Stress and also the President of Wellspark, to learn more about stress.

    According to Cindy, stress is defined as our reaction to a perceived threat. Of course, each person has their own unique set of stress triggers, so it can mean very many different things to different people.

    People today seem to be more stressed than ever before, which Cindy attributes to the financial crisis, unhealthy lifestyle choices, a general disconnect from others and even lack of sleep.

    Although we need a little stress to motivate us in our day to day activities, excessive amounts can be dangerous and have harsh effects on the body. Common symptoms of stress include headaches, stomachaches and fatigue. In more extreme cases,

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  • The Truth About Celiac Disease and Gluten

    Katie's Take

    It seems like every grocery store has a shelf (or several) of gluten free products these days.  It turns out roughly three million Americans suffer from Celiac disease, a disorder which makes it difficult to digest gluten…a protein component found in certain grains.
    To learn more about the symptoms and consequences of celiac disease I spoke to Dr. Peter Green of Columbia University, a leading expert.
    According to Dr. Green, the symptoms vary, but the most common ones include IBS, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

    As those can be symptoms of lots of digestive problems, many people in the United States don't get properly diagnosed.  In fact, 90% of those affected by Celiac disease don't even know they have it.

    Celiac disease can easily be identified through a simple blood test, but the bad news is that there aren't any drugs to treat it. And that brings us back to those supermarket shelves, as a gluten free diet is really the only remedy available.
    But some people
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  • Surviving a Friend Breakup

    Katie's Take

    Some friendships last a lifetime, but the truth is most don't.  In fact, the average friendship only lasts seven years.

    I sat down with psychologist and friendship expert Dr. Irene Levine, author of "Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend," for some tips on how to make an "unfriending" as painless as possible for all parties.

    Dr. Levine says there are many reasons that friendships end. There are events that she calls "friendship killers," hurtful acts of betrayal that lead to loss of trust.  But the most common cause is simply people drifting apart.

    When ending a friendship, Dr. Levine cautions to keep in mind that this is a moment that your friend will remember for the rest of his or her life, so it's important to be as fair as possible. Don't say things that are hurtful, accusatory or undermining to them.  They once were your friend, after all. She also advises that you should never close the door completely.  Allow the option of reconnecting

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  • How to Get Into College

    Katie's Take

    As any parent of a high school senior knows, 'tis the season for college applications.  I went through the process once with Ellie and will again next year with Carrie.  Time flies!

    Turns out college admissions are more competitive than ever.  A million more students are applying compared to 20 years ago, and it can truly be a source of anxiety for kids and parents, alike.

    So, to help you breathe easier, I spoke to Janet Lavin Rapelye, the Dean of Admissions at Princeton University, about how to pick the right school and get closer to the goal of a coveted acceptance letter from your top choice.

    Now, not everyone will get into Princeton.  In fact, 92% of applicants don't.  But no matter where you apply or where you hope to go, academic excellence, intellectual curiosity and a nice mix of extracurricular activities are the recipe.

    PS, proofread your application!  Dean Rapelye says some applications get rejected because spelling or typing errors turn off admissions reps.

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  • Teaching Your Kids About Money

    Katie's Take

    At what age should you start to teach your kids about money and personal finance?

    The truth is, it's never too early.  These are critical skills that we all need, but they aren't a part of the curriculum at most schools which is why it is important for parents to instill good habits in their kids at home.

    Learnvest.com CEO Alexa Von Tobel suggests starting a dialogue about family finances as early as the age of six.  One of the best ways to facilitate hands on experience with money is by giving their kids a small allowance and encouraging them to save a portion of it every time. She also recommends being open about the cost of household expenses such as dinner, groceries and vacations to give their children a good sense of real world prices. A savings account is also a great learning tool for kids. In fact, studies have shown that kids with who had savings accounts growing up are more likely to go to college than those who didn't. Von Tobel also encourages all parents to

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