Playing the percentages

A big hurrah for Asda, which is taking a stand on behalf of its female shoppers against the VAT charge on sanitary protection. Throughout October its Zap the Vat campaign will cut prices on all sanitary protection by 17.5 per cent. Wake up Mr VAT man, tampons have never been, nor ever will be, a luxury item.

Asda's Zap the Vat campaign runs from 9 October to 5 November throughout all Asda's 196 stores.

Head case

Researchers in the United States say that Virtual Reality is the way forward in phobia therapy. In one experiment, students with a fear of heights donned head-mounted display units showing cliff-edge images. At the same time, a therapist's commentary talked them through the situation. After several sessions, it is claimed that all the students were more relaxed in high places. As yet, unfortunately, there is no known cure for those of us who have something of a phobia about technology. But watch this head space.

Tidings of comfort and joy

Christmas is coming and you are getting fat. If you want a break from the slob-out tradition, find sanctuary with the new Alternative Christmas and New Year Holidays brochure from Equinox. It features 10 destinations, including health spas in England and Portugal for those who would rather see their cellulite diminish, not take over the world, through the festive season.

For a free copy of the Equinox brochure, ring 0181-759 0925.

Fish face

Ever seen a fish with wrinkles? Thought not. Which brings us on to Nourella, a Scandinavian skin cream that contains marine extracts which, its makers say, stimulate the skin's natural production of new collagen and elastin, reducing wrinkles and remoisturising the skin. Three months daily use is recommended.

Nourella cream, pounds 19.95, from Selfridges and Harrods, is available from selected independent chemists and health food stores and by mail order from PharmaVita, 0171-223 1665.

Warming signs

If you suffer from cold hands and feet, poor circulation could be to blame. Ginkgo biloba extract, from the leaves of the temple tree, the oldest known species of tree, helps keep blood vessels dilated, thus helping to improve circulation. Snug fingers and toes are only one benefit: the extract is also said to improve concentration and memory.

Idoloba contains Ginkgo biloba extract, and costs pounds 9.45 from chemists and health food stores.