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Health

Why reading is good for your health

The founder of BiblioRemedy isn't a licensed therapist, nor is she currently an English teacher, although she did work as one for 10 years in France, and has spent years shelving books at the library and in bookstores.

Courtney is a kind of book whisperer.

For as long as she can remember she's had a knack for matching people with books that fit with their intellectual interests. But some clients want more when they make an appointment with her at her office in Lexington, Kentucky.

Skin-whitening uptake sparks concern among Australian dermatologists

"Chinese people like whitening, [they consider it] beautiful — whitening and brightening because it's good," she says, smiling.

The smile is genuine, as Amanda is a fan herself.

"I use this one in the morning and at night … it can make your skin look very healthy, very clear," she says.

"It's very popular."

And this popularity is on the rise with the market for skin lighteners projected to reach $US23 billion ($30.5 billion) by 2020, according to market intelligence firm Global Industry Analysts.

Dance me to the end of adulthood

From leg irons to tap dancing

David Watson, 83, took up tap dancing in his 40s, and has danced ever since.

He took up it up by chance, after accompanying a friend from work to a dance class in Melbourne.

The ex-architecture lecturer recalled the very first lesson on a "lousy" floor located above a porn shop in Swanston Street.

"I used to have to hide my face as I walked in," Mr Watson laughed.

Are you an unvaccinated adult?

The Medical Journal of Australia recently reported that of the 4.1 million unvaccinated Australians, 92 per cent (3.8 million) were adults.

Diet sodas may be tied to stroke, dementia risk

Artificially sweetened drinks, such as diet sodas, were tied to a higher risk of stroke and dementia in the study, which published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke on Thursday.

The study sheds light only on an association, as the researchers were unable to determine an actual cause-and-effect relationship between sipping artificially sweetened drinks and an increased risk for stroke and dementia. Therefore, some experts caution that the findings should be interpreted carefully.

Apple cider vinegar: What the experts say

But how much of its popularity is based on hype? Could you be wasting your time or -- even worse -- harming your health?

Here are 10 of the top ways people are using apple cider vinegar and what the science says.

Diabetes

What's the most popular use for apple cider vinegar? If a simple internet search is any measure, it involves diabetes.

Where to start when you haven't exercised in a while

OK, maybe it was so long ago that the last time you worked up a sweat, canvas sandshoes were the active footwear of choice and mobile music players weren't even invented?

If so, chances are it's more than the best workout playlists and the dizzy array of psychedelic sports shoe options troubling your mind.

There are more fundamental questions like, just how does someone who hasn't exercised for years get moving in a way that's enjoyable, sustainable, and dare you mention, safe?

Why we need each other — the power of shared experience

It's a feeling that can be heightened, if the person is someone we admire or look up to, or someone in the public eye.

Why is it so powerful to admit we are vulnerable and to see that vulnerability reflected in others?

And when others share their experience, what is it about the human psyche that draws us in to wanting to know more?

When actor Angelina Jolie revealed that she was carrying the breast and ovarian cancer gene which had claimed the life of her mother, people around the world were moved by her honesty and openness.

Needle phobia: Can you overcome a fear of jabs?

She'd felt sick and fainted after a routine meningococcal vaccination. She didn't really think of this reaction again, until the next time she encountered a needle at the dentist. Again she felt sick, but panic set in as well.

Her fear of needles grew to the point where she avoided medical treatment altogether and fell years behind with her vaccinations.

Thousands of women reach out after Perth woman's bleeding disorder story

Within 24 hours, Ms Christos' social media accounts were swamped with messages from women and girls around the world.

"My babysitter contacted me, old neighbours, all these girls I had sat in a school classroom with, all going through similar things," she said.

"Before I knew it every time I opened my phone I had thousands of messages on my Facebook, email and other social networking sites, all reaching out.

"So many said to me I was just like them, they didn't know someone else went through what they did."