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Jordan Safirstein, MD Headshot

The Wonders of SkyMall

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On a recent plane trip home from Hot-lanta, where we endured 3 days of non-stop lecture about cardiac ultrasound, our brains were not up to discussing any politically incendiary health issues. However, we did get a good laugh from the ever-entertaining SkyMall catalogue. Please to enjoy...

o2tecsilvercooler.jpgMillenium Water Oxygenator - Wow. This one is a truly special medikle bargain. For just under $900 you can have all your water with extra oxygen. Because H2O needs more O? HealthyConnections, which asserts to bring you the very best in wellness is bringing you a lot of hot air with this item. I can just picture the somatizers of the world gathering together to praise the wonders of hyper-oxygenated water - and kabbalah. It's worse than those oxygen bars where people hook themselves up to a nasal cannula as if it's doing anything. Maybe our failing hospital systems should start offering cheap oxygen to these hipster doofuses that beleive it actually has an effect?

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The Headache Glove - HealthyConnections has evidently been hitting the O2-water pretty hard. They also offer a bona fide headache cure based on "ancient Chinese acupressure techniques with modern technology." Intrigued? Don't be. It is a $100 inflatable glove with a pump attached that squeezes your hand when you have a headache. For $15, StopPagingMe.com will call your friend to come over and kick you in the groin next time you have a headache. We promise similar effects.

31d4Hejv4BL._AA250_.jpgHead Spa Massager - The catalogue's title for this item compels you to "enter a state of euphoria". Gadget Universe, clearly a dynamo of quality products, rubs our editors the wrong way with this helmet-esque device that promises to "relax and soothe your problems away." Let us just say that, medically, if you are buying a metallic Viking helmet that plugs into a wall to make your problems go away, you might have bigger issues, i.e. think about trying drugs. The blurb next to the item claims that it's like thousands of tiny fingers massaging your scalp at once. Ewwww.

Check out a YouTube video of a demonstration.

iPod_dock.jpgiCarta Stereo Dock - Talk about crappy music! This Charmin-holding iPod dock hails from the illustrious Sky Mall Collection and the description proclaims it the "King of All iPod Docking Stations". Firstly, we were not even aware there was a monarchy associated with iPod docks; if there were, what a sad world where the King has to also hold toilet paper. For $99.99, you can take your iPod to places where few have gone before - just make sure to disinfect it frequently.



inversionstretcher.jpgInversion Stretch Station - Found in the FootSmart department of the SkyMall is one of our favorite "medikel" items - which is our euphemism for anything that presents itself as a therapeutic device, has no proof of its benefit to humans, and probably does more harm than good. The Inversion Station is a first rate example of this. They boast that Hippocrates, himself, prescribed this noninvasive method of treating back pain. Wow, you mean an ancient physician from 400 BC said that hanging upside down on a metal triangle was good? He also held that all illness was from an imbalance of the four humors in the body - blood, black bile, yellow bile and phlegm. Nice.

Bonus

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Pop-up Hot Dog Cooker - Ok. It has nothing to do with medicine or health care but it's a classic. Hammacher Schlemmer cooks up this Sky Mall treat for the tasty sum of $49.95. It's graced the pages almost as long as the Giant Crossword Puzzle and is about as useful. If you are someone who has trouble boiling water or using a standard toaster-oven than this is the device for you. It has two circular slots for hot dogs and two oblong slots for buns - be careful not to confuse them and cram the buns where the meat should go.