8 Easy Musical Instruments That You Can Learn To Play Quickly

There is really nothing in the world like music. There have been studies to show the amazing effect that is has on the human brain, such as the link between music and spatial intelligence. The only thing that can compare with listening to music is the ability to make our own music.

Not everyone is as gifted as the rest when it comes to playing music. Not all of us have the time, or want to invest the time in learning to play a complicated instrument such as the piano. That does not mean that we do not all want to be able to play an instrument. There are easy musical instruments that you can learn to play quickly. Here are eight:

1. Drums. If you have a pretty good sense of rhythm, drums are a fairly easy musical instrument that you can learn to play quickly. You will not be great, but you can sure have fun. There are many kinds of drums, from the congo drum to the high hat to the bass drum to the snare drum. Drums, along with the tambourine, belong to the percussion family. Which means the sitting of one body against another; The drum is also played with the hands or a person can use one to two sticks. It is just a matter of counting beats as you play, either mechanically or by feeling the beat.

2. Tambourines. This easy musical instrument is made up of a shallow hand held drum, usually made from a circular piece of wood and calf skin or plastic that is stretched across the top. You play it with your hands, stroking or shaking the jingle or rubbing, shaking or striking the drum head with your knuckles. Play what feels good.

3. Bongos. Another percussion instrument that is easy to learn to play are the bongos. Bongos are a type of drum made up of two sections, one of which is larger then the other. The drums are attached to one another. Played by placing the bongos between the knees, they produce a high pitched sound. When the bongos are placed between the knees correctly, the larger drum will be to the right. Traditionally, they are played by striking the tops with your fingers and palms. There are times when the bongos are played with sticks and brushes. It is possible to alter the sound from the bongos by placing one hand on the top of the drum and then beat it with the other hand.

4. Comb buzzer. We can look at a couple wind instruments that are also easy musical instruments that you can learn to play quickly. One of my favorites would be the comb buzzer. This instrument is truly one anyone that can breathe can play. It is not only easy; You can make it at home. You take a pocket comb and tissue paper. Hold the tissue paper against the comb and hum through the tissue paper. This produces a buzzing sound and it tickles the lips.

5. Kazoo. If you are having fun with the comb buzzer, then try the kazoo. The kazoo is also a fun instrument that is played by humming. The kazoo adds a humming noise. People play the kazoo by closing your lips around the kazoo and singing into it. Most people that try to hum into the kazoo are not very successful. But if you sing into it, for example, repeating the word do, do, do, do in to the kazoo you get that wonderful humming sound.

6. Recorder. The next step up from the kazoo, is the recorder. It is a fun and easy to learn instrument that you can learn to play quickly. To play the recorder, you hold it out from your lips, unlike the traditional flute that is held sideways. You then blow or breath, really, into the recorder, and the pitch or note that is played variates by the open finger holes. You can use all parts of your mouth to manipulate the sound from the recorder. In particular, use the tongue and the diaphragm to help control air flow, since lengthening the time a note is held and how many different notes are played on a breath. Quality recorders come in many sizes and are made of wood. There are also plastic recorders, used broadly in schools, and sometimes also known as a "tonette". Tin whistles and ocarinas are similar types of recorders.

7. Xylophone. Often used in the orchestra as a serious instrument, the xylophone is a like a piano keyboard that you strike with mallets. With the larger, lower-sounding bars on the left, the notes of the xylophone are laid out much like a piano keyboard. Striking the bars with hard mallets produces a bright, sharp sound. Xylophones made of wood can be very expensive, but for fun and quick learning, a small xylophone made of metal or metal and plastic is ideal, and are used in many schools.

8. Autoharp. The autoharp is a musical instrument having a series of chord bars attached to dampers which, when depressed, mute all the strings other than those that form the chord you want to play. The autoharp is not really a harp at all, but in reality is a zither.

As you can see, just because you are limited on time or possibly ability does not mean that you can not play an instrument for your own enjoyment. There are easy musical instruments that you can learn to play quickly. Percussion instruments and wind instruments make for easy learning and quick fun. Enjoy the benefits of making music and find a new talent or at least a new hobby.

The Negative Side of Humor

Where there’s a positive side of things…there’s usually a negative side, and that applies to humor as well.

Unfortunately, the negative side of humor can be ugly…it can hurt feelings, and can be damaging and destructive! There are people in this world who will do almost anything for money. There are people in this world who will do almost anything for power. There are people in this world who will do almost anything for fame. And, there are people in this world who will do almost anything to get a laugh…and if they hurt somebody in the process…no apologies…business as usual!

In my view, this country is suffering from a big fat attitude problem that needs to be fixed! What are parents teaching their kids…to be corrupt? What happened to manners and respect? I haven’t seen a local news broadcast on television for years! Why? It’s the same old broken record…only the names change. The same old tired stories…who murdered who…who robbed who…another woman was raped, and there is more and more corruption…scandal, etc.

All of this gets old after a while. You have to wonder if there is any good news in America anymore! Yes, there is, but good news doesn’t sell newspapers, and the television ratings and newspapers won’t sell, if there is no bad news!

I think this society is turning more and more negative, and all that negativity rubs off on the children and grandchildren. There so much negativity in this society, that some of the people who are supposed to be leaders and model citizens in the community are being busted for one thing or another. Corruption; DWI; bad behavior in general.

How does humor fit into all this bad behavior? Put down of others…just to get a laugh! Ethnic jokes…just to get a laugh! Racial slurs…just to get a laugh! Dirty jokes…just to get a laugh! Teasing of others…just to get a laugh! Negative humor, like booze; prostitution; drugs will always be with us, and we all have to live with it, etc. Negative humor is another black eye for America!

A few years ago, was when we heard of the violence on a few high school campuses around the country. Students and others were shot and murdered on school grounds! There is no doubt in my mind, that some of this violence started, at least in part, because of teasing kids until they couldn’t take it anymore…JUST TO GET A LAUGH!

What are parents teaching their kids today? Have they ever heard of mutual-respect? If they’ve heard of it, do they teach mutual-respect to their kids? Many of us have been teased in school, I know I have. Being Hispanic, I remember I was teased because I didn’t speak or write the English well. Kids would make fun of me…JUST TO GET A LAUGH! It was so upsetting to me, that I didn’t want to go back to school! Everyone knows kids can be awful. I was always reluctant to give an oral book report for fear that the kids would laugh at me! I will always remember those awful days of ridicule and hate!

If you’ve ever been put down, by those who I refer to as “the jokesters and people of put-down,” who enjoy getting a laugh at somebody else’s expense, then you know how awful it can sting! I’m reminded of a comedian (so he calls himself), who goes around the country, putting down and making fun of the disabled and the challenged…JUST TO GET A LAUGH! This guy is the lowest of the low! What kind of humor is this? What kind of people would go to see this JERK, who finds laughing at challenged people amusing! This so-called comedian and his followers are what I call “the little minds of the world!” They’re warped…all of them, who would do something like this!

Where is this country headed when we allow this kind of thing, that is, making fun of the disabled and the mentally challenged? I know the issue of free speech in involved…and not much can be done about it! Will you allow your children to see this so-called comedian putting down the disabled and the challenged?

* I don’t see anything funny or amusing about a person who has suffered an illness; an accident and who will spend the rest of his or her life in a wheelchair.

* I don’t see anything funny or amusing about a person who was born with a deformity.

* I don’t see anything funny or amusing about a blind person who is struggling to cope.

* I don’t see anything funny or amusing about a person who has a speech impediment, hearing loss or severe burns!

Regrettably, humor can play a part in all this, because there the “little minds of the world,” that I spoke of earlier, who laugh at all this to get their kicks…UNTIL A TRAGEDY HAPPENS TO THEM! But, there IS a solution to all this, and it lies only with the parents. Parents have to teach their kids to respect others…teasing or the put-down of others is out of bounds! Two of the most important words in the world are, “mutual-respect,” and parents have to teach their kids to respect others, and to stay away from negative people, so they don’t become negative themselves.

Negative and dirty humor are NOT acceptable to me! A person doesn’t have to be dirty to be funny! Negative humor can sting, if you are on the receiving end of it! Many years ago, the senior President Bush declared, “What we need is a kinder, gentler nation!” What he was talking about, I believe, is what we are doing to each other as a People…and much of which is no laughing matter!

Healthy Bone For Preventing Osteoporosis

Software Engineer Karen Liew’s mother suffered from osteoporosis three years ago and she is worried that, with her current sedentary lifestyle, she might be at risk of contracting the disease as well.

Karen’s mother, Mdm Yam was diagnosed with osteoporosis and scoliosis in 2006 and is currently taking medication and regular private Tai Chi lessons on a weekly basis. Prior to taking up Tai Chi lessons, Mdm Yam had been taking calcium tablets for 2 years as prescribed by the doctor. Instead of showing signs of improvements, her bone mass density has shown to decline over the years. Her doctor feedback that the body does not absorb the calcium as intended and thus recommended that she should engage with regular exercise in conjunction with the medication.

Yip See Kit, senior coach from NewAgeTaichi which is also the personal trainer for Mdm Yam comments “Tai Chi exercise is considered as a safe and alternate complementary therapy for prevention of osteoporosis because of its weight bearing nature. Together with the focus on balance and fall prevention in the Tai Chi training program, it has greatly improved her condition.”

Coach Yip also conducted regular record of Mdm Yam’s body composition measurement using Tanita InnerScan Body Composition Monitor before and after each Tai Chi lessons to monitor her bone mass and muscle mass. It was observed that she has been able to maintain her bone mass and that her BMR – basal metabolic rate also shows an increase after each Tai Chi lesson, which is one of the psychological benefits of exercise.

Jane Tan, senior coach of NewAgeTaichi with a Dip in sports & exercise science, stressed that the body need both exercise and vitamin D (readily obtained from sunlight) to effectively absorb the calcium into the body, otherwise the excess calcium will just pass out from the body as waste.

Since osteoporosis usually strikes women after menopause, a common belief is that it’s an older women’s disease. However, a recent study conducted in Britain by the University of Surrey and the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro in 2008 showed that 20 per cent of women aged 20 to 29 had low bone mass, which could lead to early onset of osteoporosis.

It would be a good idea for women to start engaging in weight bearing exercises (rebounding, running, jumping, jogging, Tai Chi, resistance training) as bone mass loss begins at around age 30, which will potentially lead to the disease and causing painful fragility fractures. Dr Lau Tang Ching, president of the Osteoporosis Society (Singapore), said that a person’s bone mass usually starts declining by about 1 per cent a year after that age, and that a sedentary lifestyle together with poor dietary habits, which is often the result of living in a busy, modern world like Singapore, can multiple the risk of osteoporosis. In such cases, bone mass deterioration can occur at a rate of 2 or 3 per cent a year, he added. That, combined with unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking means young people are at higher risk of developing this disease in the near future.

Dr Bernard Thong, head and senior consultant of the Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology Department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital stressed that prevention is easier than cure when it comes to osteoporosis. And that specifically means reducing alcohol intake and smoking, increasing aerobic exercise and improving dietary calcium and vitamin D intake, said Dr Thong.

According to Ministry of Health clinical-practice guidelines released in January 2009, the incidence of hip fracture in Singapore has increased 1.5times in men and five times in women since 1960s. One in five dies within a year after sustaining a hip fracture. About 800 to 900 hip fractures occur every year in Singapore because of osteoporosis.

Fragility fractures of the hip and spine can lead to significant pain and immobility, and affect daily activities, especially among able-bodied working adults,” said Dr Thong.

We are currently conducting Tai Chi for Osteoporosis classes, which is a special program catered for osteoporosis patients to educate and guide how to exercise safely and effectively. We have been getting very well responses from the participants and the class does not only restrict to people with osteoporosis and is also suitable to people with all ages,” added Coach Jane.

References

Cambell, A. et al. (1997) Randomised controlled trial of general practice programme of home based exercise to prevent falls in elderly women. British Medical Journal 315 1065-1069

Dianne Daniels, M.A., (2008) Exercise for Osteoporosis (3rd Edition Ed) Hatherleigh Press New York, London

Kerri Winters-Stone, P., (2005) Action Plan For Osteoporosis – Your guide to stronger, healthier bones Human Kinetics USA

Kontulainen, S. et al. (2001) Good maintenance of exercise-induced bone gain with decreased training of female tennis and squash players: a prospective 5-year follow-up study of young and old starters and controls. J Bone Miner Res 16:202

Loomer, P. (2001) The impact of microgravity on bone metabolism in vitro and in vivo. Crit Rev Oral Bio Med 12:252

Mau-Roung, L. et al. (2006) Community-Based Tai Chi and Its Effect on Injurious Falls, Balance, Gait, and Fear of Falling in Older People. PHYS THER 86 (9): 1181-1201

Mosekilde, L. (2000) Age-related changes in bone mass, and strength – effects of loading, Z Rheumatol 59 Suppl 1:1

Risser, W. (1990) Bone density in eumenorrheic female college athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 22:570

Snow-Harter, C. and Marcus (1991) Exercise, bone mineral density, and osteoporosis. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 19:351

Tanno, M. et al. (2001) Age-related changes in cortical and trabecular bone mineral status. A quantitative CT study in lumbar vetebrae Acta Radiol 42:15

Voukelatos Alexander, M.P. et al. (2007) A Randomized, Controlled Trial of tai chi for the Prevention of Falls: The Central Sydney tai chi Trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 55 (8): 1185-1191

Wolf, S. et al. (1993) The Atlanta FICSIT study: two exercise interventions to reduce frailty in elders. Journal of the American Geriatrics 41 329-332

Politically Correct Christmas Carols and Holiday Songs

Christmas Carols and Holiday Songs tend to exclude, marginalize and insult. Henceforth these songs will be re-written with new titles to avoid any real, imagined or perceived offense.

The word Christmas is exclusive to Christians and must be removed. Since it cannot be replaced with the word “holiday” (Holy Day) we will replace it with the innocuous phrase, “day off.”

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

“We Wish You a Merry Non-Religious-Specific Day-Off in Winter.”

Noel is another word for Christmas.

“The First Noel”

“The First Non-Religious-Specific Day-Off in Winter”

Don’t you dare exclude the down and out victims of capitalism at this time of the year.

“I’ll be Home for Christmas”

“I’ll be Home or in a Homeless Shelter for the Non-Religious-Specific Day- Off in Winter”

And let’s not let any covert references to race cloud your celebration (if you do chose to celebrate).

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”

“I’m Dreaming of a Race Immaterial Non-Religious- Specific Day-Off in Winter”

The physically impaired must not be excluded.

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

“I Sensed the Bells on the Non-Religious-Specific Day-Off in Winter”

If physical disabilities are referred to in other songs, than they must also be performed in sign language, and made available in Braille.

“Do You Hear What I Hear”

“Do You Sense What I Sense”

Angels are spiritual beings, not everybody believes in the spirit life.

“Angels We Have Heard on High”

“Guiding Influences We Have Sensed on High”

Since the mute cannot sing, we shall substitute the term communicate.

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

“Sense! The Herald Guiding Influences Communicate”

The word “holy” has religious connotations. We do not want to offend the secular.

“Silent Night, Holy Night”

“Silent Night, Devout Night”

And

“Oh Holy Night”

“Oh Devout Night”

The secular might also lack faith.

“Oh Come All Ye Faithful”

“Oh Come all Ye of Extreme Loyalty to Non-Material Evidence”

A person shall not feel excluded based on where they live…

“Go Tell it on the Mountain”

“Go Tell it on the Preferred Geographic Location”

…or their climate.

“Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”

“Let it Perform a Favorite Weather Pattern, Let it Perform a Favorite Weather Pattern, Let it Perform a Favorite Weather Pattern”

Christians are sneaky. They often subtly hijack common terms in an attempt to own the language. The word “manger” has been hijacked to refer exclusively to the nativity of Jesus Christ and it must be replaced.

“Away in a Manger”

“Away in a Trough that Holds Livestock Feed”

The traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ is in Bethlehem, Israel. Since Bethlehem is inside of the Zionist occupied and disputed West Bank we have to apply a tentative name to this song.

“O Little Town of Bethlehem”

“O Quaint Town of Palestinian Joint Rule”

That was a good segue into the use of physical descriptions. The word “little” should never be used. It is demeaning. Especially when used to describe a person. References to a person’s gender shall also be forbidden especially when they help to reinforce stereotypes.

“Little Drummer Boy”

“Vertically Challenged Drummer Child of Undetermined Gender”

Other gender specific songs need to be re-done.

“Frosty the Snowman”

“Frosty the Hermaphrodite Snow Creature”

And

“Oh Come Let us Adore Him”

“Oh Come Let us Adore Him or Her”

This also applies to stereotyped roles in parenthood and heterosexualism.

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause”

“I Saw My Gynocentric Guardian Kissing a Non-Gender Specific Person who is Known to Wear a Red Suit”

We cannot stereotype overweight people as happy, nor make references to a person’s age. Even if they are saintly (another subtle religious term)

“Jolly Old Saint Nicholas”

“Happy, Plus-sized, Chronologically-Gifted, Highly Virtuous

Nicholas”

We kept the term Nicholas to preserve some tradition. We are not implying that Nicholas has to be a male name and males are the only ones who are capable of amassing enough fortune and possessing the generosity to be able to give presents to masses of people. Nor are we implying that females lack the physical strength and endurance to accomplish such a task. In order to balance this mistaken perception, we shall apply modern day affirmative action in order to level down the male ego and help balance the playing field.

“We Three Kings of Orient are”

“We Three Misogynist Autocrats of Eastern Asia are”

This especially applies to westerners…

“Good King Wenceslas”

“Evil White Male European Misogynist Autocrat Wenceslas”

…doubly, especially if they are Christian

“Good Christian Men Rejoice”

“Evil Narrow-Minded Homophobic Racist Misogynist Men Get Drunk and Abusive”

We don’t take tradition lightly. We actually found one traditional song that we ill keep in its entirety. We feel this song accurately portrays the typical man.

“Mr. Grinch”

Sample lyrics: “Your soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable mangled up in tangled up knots!”

Songs of Thanksgiving or, the Autumn Day Off, will also need to be deconstructed.

“Over the River and Through the Woods”

“Over the River and Through the Woods”

Subtitled: “Only after an environmental impact study on the effects of a horse-drawn sleigh upon the woods is conducted. And assuming the gentle vegetarian beast of a horse is not being forced to pull an overloaded sleigh and is doing so on a volunteer basis.”

We realize that this one may lose some of the warmth of its original meaning. This could be avoided if the grandmother (or grandparent) would just move back to the city and help stop urban sprawl.

And last but not least, we need to help swing the cultural pendulum away from the religious holiday and back toward the secular day off granted by the state. We can do this through songs that highlight the true Marxist origins of political correctness

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”

“Rudolph the Red Knows that the State Seizure and Re-distribution of Private Wealth is Fairer than Private Charity and Ensures the Survival and Growing Power of the State”

The Difference Between Being Smart, Educated, and Intelligent

I’ve always been intrigued by the subject of intelligence. As a child my mother would refer to me as “smart,” but I quickly noticed that all parents refer to their children as smart. In time I would discover that all children are not smart, just as all babies are not cute. If that were the case, we’d have a world full of beautiful, smart people – which we don’t.

Some of us are smart; but not as smart as we think, and others are smarter than they seem, which makes me wonder, how do we define smart? What makes one person smarter than another? When do “street smarts” matter more than “book smarts”? Can you be both smart and stupid? Is being smart more of a direct influence of genetics, or one’s environment?

Then there are the issues of education, intelligence and wisdom.

What does it mean to be highly educated? What’s the difference between being highly educated and highly intelligent? Does being highly educated automatically make you highly intelligent? Can one be highly intelligent without being highly educated? Do IQs really mean anything? What makes a person wise? Why is wisdom typically associated with old age?

My desire to seek answers to these questions inspired many hours of intense research which included the reading of 6 books, hundreds of research documents, and countless hours on the Internet; which pales in comparison to the lifetime of studies and research that pioneers in the fields of intelligence and education like Howard Gardner, Richard Sternberg, Linda S. Gottfredson, Thomas Sowell, Alfie Kohn, and Diane F. Halpern whose work is cited in this article.

My goal was simple: Amass, synthesize, and present data on what it means to be smart, educated and intelligent so that it can be understood and used by anyone for their benefit.

PRENATAL CARE

With this in mind, there was not a better (or more appropriate) place to start than at the very beginning of our existence: as a fetus in the womb.

There is mounting evidence that the consumption of food that’s high in iron both before and during pregnancy is critical to building the prenatal brain. Researchers have found a strong association between low iron levels during pregnancy and diminished IQ. Foods rich in iron include lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, seafoods, nuts, dried fruits, oatmeal, and fortified cereals.

Children with low iron status in utero (in the uterus) scored lower on every test and had significantly lower language ability, fine-motor skills, and tractability than children with higher prenatal iron levels. In essence, proper prenatal care is critical to the development of cognitive skills.

COGNITIVE SKILLS

Cognitive skills are the basic mental abilities we use to think, study, and learn. They include a wide variety of mental processes used to analyze sounds and images, recall information from memory, make associations between different pieces of information, and maintain concentration on particular tasks. They can be individually identified and measured. Cognitive skill strength and efficiency correlates directly with students’ ease of learning.

DRINKING, PREGNANCY, AND ITS INTELLECTUAL IMPACT

Drinking while pregnant is not smart. In fact, it’s downright stupid.

A study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that even light to moderate drinking – especially during the second trimester – is associated with lower IQs in offspring at 10 years of age. This result was especially pronounced among African-American rather than Caucasian offspring.

“IQ is a measure of the child’s ability to learn and to survive in his or her environment. It predicts the potential for success in school and in everyday life. Although a small but significant percentage of children are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) each year, many more children are exposed to alcohol during pregnancy who do not meet criteria for FAS yet experience deficits in growth and cognitive function,” said Jennifer A. Willford, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Paul D. Connor, clinical director of the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington has this to say about the subject:

“There are a number of domains of cognitive functioning that can be impaired even in the face of a relatively normal IQ, including academic achievement (especially arithmetic), adaptive functioning, and executive functions (the ability to problem solve and learn from experiences). Deficits in intellectual, achievement, adaptive, and executive functioning could make it difficult to appropriately manage finances, function independently without assistance, and understand the consequences of – or react appropriately to – mistakes.”

This is a key finding which speaks directly to the (psychological) definition of intelligence which is addressed later in this article.

ULTRA SOUNDS

Studies have shown that the frequent exposure of the human fetus to ultrasound waves is associated with a decrease in newborn body weight, an increase in the frequency of left-handedness, and delayed speech.

Because ultrasound energy is a high-frequency mechanical vibration, researchers hypothesized that it might influence the migration of neurons in a developing fetus. Neurons in mammals multiply early in fetal development and then migrate to their final destinations. Any interference or disruption in the process could result in abnormal brain function.

Commercial companies (which do ultrasounds for “keepsake” purposes) are now creating more powerful ultrasound machines capable of providing popular 3D and 4D images. The procedure, however, lasts longer as they try to make 30-minute videos of the fetus in the uterus.

The main stream magazine New Scientist reported the following: Ultrasound scans can stop cells from dividing and make them commit suicide. Routine scans, which have let doctors peek at fetuses and internal organs for the past 40 years, affect the normal cell cycle.

On the FDA website this information is posted about ultrasounds:

While ultrasound has been around for many years, expectant women and their families need to know that the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known. In light of all that remains unknown, having a prenatal ultrasound for non-medical reasons is not a good idea.

NATURE VERSUS NURTURE…THE DEBATE CONTINUES

Now that you are aware of some of the known factors which determine, improve, and impact the intellectual development of a fetus, it’s time for conception. Once that baby is born, which will be more crucial in the development of its intellect: nature (genetics) or nurture (the environment)?

Apparently for centuries, scientists and psychologists have gone back and forth on this. I read many comprehensive studies and reports on this subject during the research phase of this article, and I believe that it’s time to put this debate to rest. Both nature and nurture are equally as important and must be fully observed in the intellectual development of all children. This shouldn’t be an either/or proposition.

A recent study shows that early intervention in the home and in the classroom can make a big difference for a child born into extreme poverty, according to Eric Turkheimer, a psychologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The study concludes that while genetic makeup explains most of the differences in IQ for children in wealthier families, environment – and not genes – makes a bigger difference for minority children in low-income homes.

Specifically, what researchers call “heritability”- the degree to which genes influence IQ – was significantly lower for poor families. “Once you’re put into an adequate environment, your genes start to take over,” Mr. Turkheimer said, “but in poor environments genes don’t have that ability.”

But there are reports that contradict these findings…sort of.

Linda S. Gottfredson, a professor of educational studies at the University of Delaware, wrote in her article, The General Intelligence Factor that environments shared by siblings have little to do with IQ. Many people still mistakenly believe that social, psychological and economic differences among families create lasting and marked differences in IQ.

She found that behavioral geneticists refer to such environmental effects as “shared” because they are common to siblings who grow up together. Her reports states that the heritability of IQ rises with age; that is to say, the extent to which genetics accounts for differences in IQ among individuals increases as people get older.

In her article she also refers to studies comparing identical and fraternal twins, published in the past decade by a group led by Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., of the University of Minnesota and other scholars, show that about 40 percent of IQ differences among preschoolers stems from genetic differences, but that heritability rises to 60 percent by adolescence and to 80 percent by late adulthood.

And this is perhaps the most interesting bit of information, and relevant to this section of my article:

With age, differences among individuals in their developed intelligence come to mirror more closely their genetic differences. It appears that the effects of environment on intelligence fade rather than grow with time.

Bouchard concludes that young children have the circumstances of their lives imposed on them by parents, schools and other agents of society, but as people get older they become more independent and tend to seek out the life niches that are most congenial to their genetic proclivities.

BREAST-FEEDING INCREASES INTELLIGENCE

Researchers from Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand studied over 1,000 children born between April and August 1977. During the period from birth to one year, they gathered information on how these children were fed.

The infants were then followed to age 18. Over the years, the researchers collected a range of cognitive and academic information on the children, including IQ, teacher ratings of school performance in reading and math, and results of standardized tests of reading comprehension, mathematics, and scholastic ability. The researchers also looked at the number of passing grades achieved in national School Certificate examinations taken at the end of the third year of high school.

The results indicated that the longer children had been breast-fed, the higher they scored on such tests.

TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Thomas Sowell, author of Race, IQ, Black Crime, and facts Liberals Ignore uncovered some fascinating information that every parent should take note of. He writes:

There is a strong case that black Americans suffer from a series of disadvantageous environments. Studies show time and again that before they go to school, black children are on average exposed to a smaller vocabulary than white children, in part due to socioeconomic factors.

While children from professional households typically exposed to a total of 2,150 different words each day, children from working class households are exposed to 1,250, and children from households on welfare a mere 620.

Yes, smart sounding children tend to come from educated, professional, two-parent environments where they pick-up valuable language skills and vocabulary from its smart sounding inhabitants.

Mr. Sowell continues: Black children are obviously not to blame for their poor socioeconomic status, but something beyond economic status is at work in black homes. Black people have not signed up for the “great mission” of the white middle class – the constant quest to stimulate intellectual growth and get their child into Harvard or Oxbridge.

Elsie Moore of Arizona State University, Phoenix, studied black children adopted by either black or white parents, all of whom were middle-class professionals. By the age of 7.5 years, those in black homes were 13 IQ points behind those being raised in the white homes.

ACCUMULATED ADVANTAGES

At this juncture in my research it dawned on me, and should be fairly obvious to you, that many children are predisposed to being smart, educated, and intelligent, simply by their exposure to the influential factors which determine them long before they start school.

An informed mother, proper prenatal care, educated, communicative parents, and a nurturing environment in which to live, all add up to accumulated advantages that formulate intellectual abilities. As you can see, some children have unfair advantages from the very beginning.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of top-selling book Outliers, wrote that “accumulated advantages” are made possible by arbitrary rules…and such unfair advantages are everywhere. “It is those who are successful who are most likely to be given the kinds of social opportunities that lead to further success,” he writes. “It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention.”

With that in mind, we turn our attention to education and intelligence.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WELL EDUCATED?

Alfie Kohn, author of the book What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated? poses the question, does the phrase well educated refer to a quality of schooling you received, or something about you? Does it denote what you were taught? Or what you remember?

I contend that to be well educated is all in the application; the application and use of information. Information has to be used in order to become knowledge, and as we all have heard, knowledge is power.

Most people are aware of the floundering state of education in this country on some level. We tell our children that nothing is more important than getting a “good” education, and every year, due to government budget shortfalls, teachers are laid off, classes are condensed, schools are closed, and many educational programs – especially those which help the underprivileged – are cut.

The reality is, we don’t really value education. We value it as a business, an industry, political ammunition, and as an accepted form of discrimination, but not for what it was intended: a means of enriching one’s character and life through learning.

What we value as a society, are athletes and the entertainment they offer. The fact that a professional athlete makes more money in one season, than most teachers in any region will make in their careers, is abominable. There’s always money to build new sports stadiums, but not enough to give teachers a decent (and well-deserved) raise.

Ironically, the best teachers don’t go into the profession for money. They teach because it’s a calling. Most of them were influenced by a really good teacher as a student. With the mass exodus of teachers, many students are not able to cultivate the mentoring relationships that they once were able to because so many are leaving the profession – voluntarily and involuntarily – within an average of three years.

At the high school level, where I got my start, the emphasis is not on how to educate the students to prepare them for life, or even college (all high schools should be college-prep schools, right?), it was about preparing them to excel on their standardized tests. Then the controversial “exit” exams were implemented and literally, many high schools were transformed into testing centers. Learning has almost become secondary.

This mentality carries over into college, which of course there’s a test one must take in order to enroll (the SAT or ACT). This explains why so many college students are more concerned with completing a course, than learning from it. They are focused on getting “A’s” and degrees, instead of becoming degreed thinkers. The latter of which are in greater demand by employers and comprise the bulk of the self-employed. The “get-the-good-grade” mindset is directly attributable to the relentless and often unnecessary testing that our students are subjected to in schools.

Alfie Kohn advocates the “exhibition” of learning, in which students reveal their understanding by means of in-depth projects, portfolios of assignments, and other demonstrations.

He cites a model pioneered by Ted Sizer and Deborah Meier. Meier has emphasized the importance of students having five “habits of mind,” which are: the value of raising questions about evidence (“How do we know what we know?”), point of view, (“Whose perspective does this represent?”), connections (“How is this related to that?”), supposition (“How might things have been otherwise?”), and relevance (“Why is this important?”).

Kohn writes: It’s only the ability to raise and answer those questions that matters, though, but also the disposition to do so. For that matter, any set of intellectual objectives, any description of what it means to think deeply and critically, should be accompanied by a reference to one’s interest or intrinsic motivation to do such thinking…to be well-educated then, is to have the desire as well as the means to make sure that learning never ends…

HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF IQ

We’ve always wanted to measure intelligence. Ironically, when you look at some the first methods used to evaluate it in the 1800s, they were not, well, very intelligent. Tactics such as subjecting people to various forms of torture to see what their threshold for pain was (the longer you could withstand wincing, the more intelligent you were believed to be), or testing your ability to detect a high pitch sound that others could not hear.

Things have changed…or have they?

No discussion of intelligence or IQ can be complete without mention of Alfred Binet, a French psychologist who was responsible for laying the groundwork for IQ testing in 1904. His original intention was to devise a test that would diagnose learning disabilities of students in France. The test results were then used to prepare special programs to help students overcome their educational difficulties.

It was never intended to be used as an absolute measure of one’s intellectual capabilities.

According to Binet, intelligence could not be described as a single score. He said that the use of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as a definite statement of a child’s intellectual capability would be a serious mistake. In addition, Binet feared that IQ measurement would be used to condemn a child to a permanent “condition” of stupidity, thereby negatively affecting his or her education and livelihood.

The original interest was in the assessment of ‘mental age’ — the average level of intelligence for a person of a given age. His creation, the Binet-Simon test (originally called a “scale”), formed the archetype for future tests of intelligence.

H. H. Goddard, director of research at Vineland Training School in New Jersey, translated Binet’s work into English and advocated a more general application of the Simon-Binet test. Unlike Binet, Goddard considered intelligence a solitary, fixed and inborn entity that could be measured. With help of Lewis Terman of Stanford University, his final product, published in 1916 as the Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence (also known as the Stanford-Binet), became the standard intelligence test in the United States.

It’s important to note that the fallacy about IQ is that it is fixed and can not be changed. The fact is that IQ scores are known to fluctuate – both up and down during the course of one’s lifetime. It does not mean that you become more, or less intelligent, it merely means that you tested better on one day than another.

One more thing to know about IQ tests: They have been used for racist purposes since their importation into the U.S. Many of those who were involved in the importation and refinement of these tests believed that IQ was hereditary and are responsible for feeding the fallacy that it is a “fixed” trait.

Many immigrants were tested in the 1920s and failed these IQ tests miserably. As a result, many of them were denied entry into the U.S., or were forced to undergo sterilization for fear of populating America with “dumb” and “inferior” babies. If you recall, the tests were designed for white, middle class Americans. Who do you think would have the most difficulty passing them?

Lewis Terman developed the original notion of IQ and proposed this scale for classifying IQ scores:

000 – 070: Definite feeble-mindedness

070 – 079: Borderline deficiency

080 – 089: Dullness

090 – 109: Normal or average intelligence

110 – 119: Superior intelligence

115 – 124: Above average (e.g., university students)

125 – 134: Gifted (e.g., post-graduate students)

135 – 144: Highly gifted (e.g., intellectuals)

145 – 154: Genius (e.g., professors)

155 – 164: Genius (e.g., Nobel Prize winners)

165 – 179: High genius

180 – 200: Highest genius

200 – higher ?: Immeasurable genius

*Genius IQ is generally considered to begin around 140 to 145, representing only 25% of the population (1 in 400).

*Einstein was considered to “only” have an IQ of about 160.

DEFINING INTELLIGENCE

Diane F. Halpern, a psychologist and past-president of the American Psychological Association (APA), wrote in her essay contribution to Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid that in general, we recognize people as intelligent if they have some combination of these achievements (1) good grades in school; (2) a high level of education; (3) a responsible, complex job; (4) some other recognition of being intelligent, such as winning prestigious awards or earning a large salary; (5) the ability to read complex text with good comprehension; (6) solve difficult and novel problems.

Throughout my research and in the early phases of this article, I came across many definitions of the word intelligence. Some were long, some were short. Some I couldn’t even understand. The definition that is most prevalent is the one created by the APA which is: the ability to adapt to one’s environment, and learn from one’s mistakes.

How about that? There’s the word environment again. We just can’t seem to escape it. This adds deeper meaning to the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” It means recognizing what’s going on in your environment, and having the intelligence adapt to it – and the people who occupy it – in order to survive and succeed within it.

There are also many different forms of intelligence. Most notably those created by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University.

Dr. Gardner believes (and I agree) that our schools and culture focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. We esteem the highly articulate or logical people of our culture. However, Dr. Gardner says that we should also place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich the world in which we live.

He felt that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, was far too limited and created the Theories Of Multiple Intelligences in 1983 to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

These intelligences are:

Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)

Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)

Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)

Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)

Musical intelligence (“music smart”)

Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)

Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)

Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

Not associated with Dr. Gardner, but equally respected are:

FLUID & CRYSTALLIZED INTELLIGENCE

According to About.com, Psychologist Raymond Cattell first proposed the concepts of fluid and crystallized intelligence and further developed the theory with John Horn. The Cattell-Horn theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence suggests that intelligence is composed of a number of different abilities that interact and work together to produce overall individual intelligence.

Cattell defined fluid intelligence as “…the ability to perceive relationships independent of previous specific practice or instruction concerning those relationships.” Fluid intelligence is the ability to think and reason abstractly and solve problems. This ability is considered independent of learning, experience, and education. Examples of the use of fluid intelligence include solving puzzles and coming up with problem solving strategies.

Crystallized intelligence is learning from past experiences and learning. Situations that require crystallized intelligence include reading comprehension and vocabulary exams. This type of intelligence is based upon facts and rooted in experiences. This type of intelligence becomes stronger as we age and accumulate new knowledge and understanding.

Both types of intelligence increase throughout childhood and adolescence. Fluid intelligence peaks in adolescence and begins to decline progressively beginning around age 30 or 40. Crystallized intelligence continues to grow throughout adulthood.

SUCCESSFUL INTELLIGENCE

Then there’s Successful Intelligence, which is authored by intelligence psychologist and Yale professor, Robert J. Sternberg, who believes that the whole concept of relating IQ to life achievement is misguided, because he believes that IQ is a pretty miserable predictor of life achievement.

His Successful Intelligence theory focuses on 3 types of intelligence which are combined to contribute to one’s overall success: Analytical Intelligence; mental steps or components used to solve problems; Creative Intelligence: the use of experience in ways that foster insight (creativity/divergent thinking); and Practical Intelligence: the ability to read and adapt to the contexts of everyday life.

With regard to environment, Mr. Sternberg writes in his book Successful Intelligence: Successfully intelligent people realize that the environment in which they find themselves may or may not be able to make the most of their talents. They actively seek an environment where they can not only do successful work, but make a difference. They create opportunities rather than let opportunities be limited by circumstances in which they happen to find themselves.

As an educator, I subscribe to Mr. Sternberg’s Successful Intelligence approach to teaching. It has proven to be a highly effective tool and mindset for my college students. Using Successful Intelligence as the backbone of my context-driven curriculum really inspires students to see how education makes their life goals more attainable, and motivates them to further develop their expertise. Mr. Sternberg believes that the major factor in achieving expertise is purposeful engagement.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

In his best-selling 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reported that research shows that conventional measures of intelligence – IQ – only account for 20% of a person’s success in life. For example, research on IQ and education shows that high IQ predicts 10 to 25% of grades in college. The percentage will vary depending on how we define success. Nonetheless, Goleman’s assertion begs the question: What accounts for the other 80%?

You guessed it…Emotional Intelligence. What exactly is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (also called EQ or EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Many corporations now have mandatory EQ training for their managers in an effort to improve employee

relations and increase productivity.

TACIT KNOWLEDGE aka “STREET SMARTS”

You’ve heard the phrase, “Experience is the greatest teacher…”

In psychology circles knowledge gained from everyday experience is called tacit knowledge. The colloquial term is “street smarts,” which implies that formal, classroom instruction (aka “book smarts”) has nothing to do with it. The individual is not directly instructed as to what he or she should learn, but rather must extract the important lesson from the experience even when learning is not the primary objective.

Tacit knowledge is closely related to common sense, which is sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. As you know, common sense is not all that common.

Tacit knowledge, or the lessons obtained from it, seems to “stick” both faster and better when the lessons have direct relevance to the individual’s goals. Knowledge that is based on one’s own practical experience will likely be more instrumental to achieving one’s goals than will be knowledge that is based on someone else’s experience, or that is overly generic and abstract.

BEING BOTH SMART AND STUPID

Yes, it’s possible to be both smart and stupid. I’m sure someone you know comes to mind at this precise moment. But the goal here is not to ridicule, but to understand how some seemingly highly intelligent, or highly educated individuals can be so smart in one way, and incredibly stupid in others.

The woman who is a respected, well paid, dynamic executive who consistently chooses men who don’t appear to be worthy of her, or the man who appears to be a pillar of the community, with a loving wife and happy kids, ends up being arrested on rape charges.

It happens, but why? I found the answer in Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. Essentially, intellect is domain specific. In other words, being smart (knowledgeable) in one area of your life, and stupid (ignorant) in another is natural. Turning off one’s brain is quite common especially when it comes to what we desire. A shared characteristic among those who are smart and stupid, is the difficulty in delaying gratification.

Olem Ayduk & Walter Mischel who wrote the chapter summarized: Sometimes stupid behavior in smart people may arise from faulty expectations, erroneous beliefs, or merely a lack of motivation to enact control strategies even when one has them. But sometimes it is an inability to regulate one’s affective states and the behavioral tendencies associated with them that leads to stupid and self-defeating behavior.

The central character in this book who many of these lessons regarding being smart and stupid revolve around is Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinksky.

WISDOM & CONCLUSION

My great grandmother, Leola Cecil, maybe had an 8th grade education at the most. By no stretch of the imagination was she highly educated, but she had what seemed like infinite wisdom. She was very observant and could “read” people with startling accuracy. Till the very end of her life she shared her “crystallized intelligence” with whomever was receptive to it.

She died at the age of 94. I often use many of her sayings as a public speaker, but most importantly, I use her philosophies to make sure that I’m being guided spiritually and not just intellectually. Many of us who are lucky enough to have a great grandparent can testify that there is something special about their knowledge. They seem to have life figured out, and a knack for helping those of us who are smart, educated and intelligent see things more clearly when we are too busy thinking.

What they have is what we should all aspire to end up with if we are lucky: wisdom.

Wisdom is the ability to look through a person, when others can only look at them. Wisdom slows down the thinking process and makes it more organic; synchronizing it with intuition. Wisdom helps you make better judgments regarding decisions, and makes you less judgmental. Wisdom is understanding without knowing, and accepting without understanding. Wisdom is recognizing what’s important to other people, and knowing that other people are of the utmost importance to you. Wisdom is both a starting point, and a final conclusion.

The Way Newborns Might Get Meningitis Due to Group B Strep

Per the CDC, Group B Strep is the most frequent source of sepsis and meningitis (a dangerous illness of the fluid of the spinal cord and the fluid surrounding the brain) in babies. Group B Strep is a bacterial infection that may affect a baby if the mother is a carrier and passes it to her child during childbirth.

The bacteria usually takes hold in the vagina and/or the lower intestine. It is found in about 1 out of every 4 adult women. However, it often does not produce an active infection or result in symptoms. Transmission from expecting mother to the infant generally transpires during labor and delivery. The child could be exposed to group b strep, such as, if the bacteria moves up from the mother’s vagina into the uterus after the membranes (bag of water) break. The newborn might also be exposed to GBS while passing down through the birth canal. In this period, the newborn can swallow or breathe in the bacteria.

Approximately 75% of cases of GBS in babies take place in the course of the first week after birth, and the majority appear within a number of hours after birth. This is called “early onset” disease. The rest present with a GBS infection from one week to several months after birth. This is known as as “late onset.” In general, roughly 50% of instances of late onset can be related to the infant’s mother having had the bacteria. In the other situations of late onset, the source of the infection is unidentified.

After the infant is exposed to the bacteria, it can enter the baby’s bloodstream. This may bring about sepsis (overwhelming infection throughout the body), pneumonia, or meningitis. These are all dangerous conditions that may advance rapidly and leave the newborn with long term disabilities or might result in the baby’s death. Various familiar possible disabilities are: brain damage, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, and seizures.

Common symptoms of meningitis include: a high temperature, lethargy, unusual irritability, trouble feeding, stiffness, vomiting, and rashes. Since the infection can progress rapidly prompt treatment is essential to avoid severe harm to the child. For bacterial based meningitis (such as that caused by Group B Strep), treatment requires the speedy administration of intravenous IV and antibiotics. A diagnosis of meningitis is established by removing a sample of spinal fluid from a spinal tap and culturing the bacteria for accurate classification. This is important so as to identify the correct antibiotic for use. The outcome of the test might take a few hours. In the time it takes for the results, the infection may result in lasting harm or kill the baby. Because of the immediacy required, treatment commonly commences ahead of a verified diagnosis if meningitis is a possible explanation for the baby’s symptoms. Penicillin is the most widely administered treatment.

If a newborn passed away or suffers from lasting disabilities that were avoidable aside from the failure on the part of a physician to diagnose GBS meningitis or to give immediate treatment that physician might be liable for malpractice. The mothers and fathers of children thus injured by GBS meningitis ought to contact a birth injury lawyer without delay because the law allows only a limited amount of time to pursue a birth injury case.

How to Tell If a Man Has Hidden Feelings for You? Here Is How to Get Him to Completely Open Up

If you have had the longest crush on a certain guy and your gut feel tells you that he might feel the same way about you, then try to observe more closely. See if he starts behaving like these:

He’d clam up whenever you’re a stone’s throw away from him.

If this guy fidgets when you’re around, if he stammers during your conversations, and he can’t seem to stop licking his lips, then he is definitely hiding deep feelings for you – either that or he’s just too clumsy.

He behaves oddly when you’re around.

If he’s with his friends, this guy seems confident and sure of himself. Once you come into the same room, he’s suddenly perky or extremely shy. These odd behaviors come about because he wants to impress you yet in the process, he either clams up or becomes too animated.

He’ll get in touch with your closest friends.

This guy will want to get to know you more so he’ll contact the people who know you best. And since they’re your friends, they most definitely share their encounter with him. If he asked your likes and dislikes, then this man has hidden feelings for you.

He’s all yours.

That is, he’ll focus when you’re the one who’s about to speak. It will be hard for him to ignore you since he has an overwhelming emotion for you. Try to smile at him when he’s all eyes and ears and this man will be all mushy!

He’ll freely give you compliments.

He will only have words of appreciation for you. This man will be blind to any of your weaknesses and he’ll readily embrace every idea that you present. In short, he’ll only have nice comments and thoughts for you.

He’ll never be able to say no.

If he’s hiding his feelings for you, then this man is at your beck and call. Try asking him a favor and he’s the ever ready knight in shining armor who will aid you! He’ll also willingly run errands for you because he wants nothing but to please you.

His eyes will defy him.

Try to look straight into his eyes – if he can’t even have the guts to look back, then he’s surely hiding something! Once you catch his gaze, try to lock on and see if he’ll smile coyly at you. Smile back and he’s all yours for the taking!

The Healing Power of Water As a Sinus Infection Home Remedy

We can discover many potent sinus infection home remedy when we know how to make use of nature which is water, air, sunlight, climate and earth.

In this article, I would like to write on how we can use water as a healing agent in treating your sinus infection. Water is the elixir of life and there are many ways to use water’s cleansing and rejuvenating powers to improve our health and vitality.

1. Hot arm bath

Immerse one arm at a time into a tub of water which gets progressively hotter to increase the beneficial effects. Add a few drops of essential oils and be more creative when using them like when you want to treat your cough or colds, use eucalyptus, for sinus, use basil, for shortness of breath, use lavender or mix these oils as they are commonly used to treat health problems related to the respiratory system.

This hydrotherapeutic treatment is a very effective sinus infection home remedy as it not only can relieve your infection but can also bring down blood pressure and helps you to relax and be able to sleep better.

2. Hot and Cold water full bath

This treatment is very effective at reducing congestion, opening the sinus area and helps to liquefy thick mucus that is building up in your sinus cavity.

Cold water has a stimulating effect, constricting the blood vessels and inhibiting biochemical reactions that cause the inflammation. Warm or hot water dilates the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to the skin and reducing blood pressure and to have a more relaxing effect, try adding a few drops of peppermint, menthol or thyme.

It is recommended to take cold baths in the morning on waking up and hot baths at night before going to sleep and not to take a bath immediately after a meal, wait for at least 2 hours. When there is slight reddening of the skin or a feeling of intense cold or heat indicates that it is time to finish the bath.

3. Foot baths at alternate temperatures

This simple foot bath therapy is an extremely useful sinus infection home remedy as it can stimulate circulation in the veins and arteries and as such extremely effective to combat sinus headaches as it clears the congestion of blood accumulated in the head, thus relieving your head tensions. Put both feet in a basin of hot water first then in the cold and repeat this cycle for three to five times. Once when you have finished this therapy, rub your feet and put on your socks and go to bed.

4. Moist Heat

Taking a warm shower is a very simple, cheap and yet very effective sinus infection home remedy to relieve your sinus pain but will also help to increase drainage and blood flow to your sinus area. When you inhale the steam during the warm shower, helps to clear and thin the mucus in your sinuses.

Water helps to keep our respiratory system hydrated which prevents a build-up of thick mucus in your sinus cavity. Some experts believe that dehydration underlies many health problems as water helps to flush out toxins to keep our cells and organs healthy. It is recommended to drink at least 2-3 liters of fresh water a day but coffee, tea or alcoholic drinks are not included as they are dehydrating.

Natural Asthma Relief – Apple Cider Vinegar

A natural asthma relief comes in the form of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, known as the “wonder medicine”, has been used since ancient times to cure ailments. It has been used to aid and promote a variety of number of health benefits, including promoting longevity! And if you are suffering from asthma, regular intake of it will help you feel much better.

Just take a spoonful of it every day, and you will reap all the health benefits that comes with it. If you do not like the taste, you can put the spoon right to the back of your mouth, beyond your taste buds, and just swallow it quickly. Otherwise, you can mix it with a glass of water and some lemon to hide the taste. Usually, after a few days, you will get used to the taste and may even begin to enjoy the acquired taste.

Another way that you can take it is by heating it slightly and take it with some honey. Make sure that you heat it over the stove, and not in the microwave, as this will change the molecular structure of it and cause it to lose its efficacy. Do not over heat it, just heat it slightly with some honey to make it more pleasant for you. This will soothe your throat and bronchial, and ward off the irritation of the throat that cause those nasty coughs that accompany asthma.

By taking this regularly, you will find your health improving drastically. Whenever you feel an asthma attack coming on, take one tablespoon mixed in water and sip it slowly. You will find that the wheezing will lessen considerably. If it does not stop, take another spoonful with another glass of water, and breathe deeply. Apple cider vinegar contains a potent supply of potassium which can help relief symptoms like running nose, sinus, excessive mucus formation and watery eyes. You will find that it will clear your breathing passage.

However, natural asthma relief remedies can only do so much for you, if you do not get rid of the cause of the asthma itself. If it is work related asthma due to stress, you may need to find alternative jobs in the long term. So many people are suffering from asthma that it is becoming a rather alarming disease to society. We need to take preemptive measures to put a stop to this.

Hernias at children: inguinal, umbilical, a hernia of a white line of a stomach. Symptoms. Methods of treatment

Hernia is an outwandering bodies from a cavity in norm them borrowed through properly existing or pathologically generated aperture with conservation of an integrity of envelopes, their covering, or availability of conditions for this purpose.
Let’s consider a hernia of a forward belly wall of a stomach. It is the most widespread surgical pathologies at children. An original cause of progress of hernias – defect of progress of a belly wall. However there are some features which we shall consider separately.

Umbilical hernia. For 4-5 day after a birth of the child the umbilical cord disappears. The umbilical ring consists of two parts. The bottom part where pass umbilical arteries and a uric channel, are well reduced and form a dense cicatricial fabric. In the top part there passes a umbilical vein. Its walls thin, have no muscular environment, are badly reduced in the further. Quite often at weak peritoneal band and patent to a umbilical vein the umbilical hernia is formed. Except for it the major factor promoting occurrence of this pathology, frequent increase of intrabelly pressure is. It can be caused, for example, frequent we cry the child.
The aperture in the top part of a umbilical ring can be wide, and not trouble the child. But in case of small defect with firm edges concern of the child probably. As a rule, a umbilical hernia always can be reduced. The restrained umbilical hernia to meet in an adult practice more often. However we quite often should operate children with unreducible hernias (when hernial contents are attached to an internal wall of a leather of a forward belly wall by solderings).

Experience of out-patient supervision of children with the umbilical hernias diagnosed at early age, allows to tell with confidence, that to 5-7 years age often there comes self-healing. Liquidation of a hernia is assisted with strengthening a belly wall. It certainly massage, laying of children on a tummy, gymnastics. Surgical treatment it is begun not earlier than 5 years age. Properly and accurately lead operation, allows to eliminate a hernia with good cosmetic effect. As a rule, relapses does not happen.

Hernia of “a white line” stomach (anteperitoneal adipoma). If to lead a line between omphalus and ensiform shoot of a brest is and there is “a white line” stomach. At a direct muscle of the stomach, shaping given area, is from 3-6 tendinous crosspieces. In seat of intersection of these crosspieces and “a white line” stomach sometimes there are small defects. In them it is often stuck out anteperitoneal fat. If they settle down in immediate proximity from a umbilical ring, them name paraumbilical (periomphalic) hernias. Unfortunately, these hernias are not inclined to spontaneous closing. Treatment only operative, similar to operation at a umbilical hernia.

An inguinal hernia. Very frequent surgical disease at children. As a rule, all hernias at children of early age congenital. What reasons of occurrence of this pathology? It is a lot of opinions in this occasion at children’s surgeons. It and weakness of a forward belly wall and feature of a structure inguinal areas and nonclosure vaginal a shoot abdominal membrane and a heredity. We shall try under the order, on an example of an congenital inguinal at the boy.
About from 6-th month of intra-uterine progress of the boy orchis fall from a belly cavity in marsupium on inguinal to the channel. Therefore these hernias name slanting. For presentation present itself, that on a tube (vaginal to a shoot abdominal membrane) as on the lift, orchis, conducted by the lowering mechanism  from a belly cavity goes down in marsupium. Then under the plan there is a closing a pipe (vaginal shoot abdominal membrane) and by that the termination of the message between belly completely and marsupium. If it does not occur, at increase of intrabelly pressure in the nonclosure vaginal shoot of abdominal membrane leaves contents of a belly cavity. It is an inguinal hernia.
What for to an organism to strain and stretch a stomach when there is an opportunity to dump a superfluous pressure in “hernial contents”. And frequently the child grows and … increases hernial bulge. Treatment of the given pathology only operative. Technically to carry out it at the child easier is more senior 1 year. However quite often operation is shown to the child at once at statement of the diagnosis. To wait dangerously. Occurrence of terrible complication – infringement inguinal hernias is possible. Hernial bulge in inguinal areas earlier that arising disappearing suddenly became firm, the child has begun to worry and has begun to cry, there was a vomiting, refusal of meal. At touch up to firm “bulla” in a groin to the child it is very painfull!!!
Most likely, there was an infringement inguinal hernias. To not give food, not give water and it is urgent to bring the child to the hospital. Muscles of a stomach have restrained contents of a hernial bag. It can be a site of a gut, a bladder or ootheca at girls. If urgently to not help the child after a while the site, deprived blood supplies, can be sphacelous, i.e. become lifeless. In that case treatment very heavy and long. In my practice there were 2 cases, hernial contents at the restrained hernia were a site of a blind gut with again changed an appendicular shoot. It was necessary to lead simultaneously with celotomy.

Believe, it is better to not lead up to infringement. To operate the child with a hernia it is necessary healthy, with good analyses and in the daytime. And it is possible only at scheduled operation. Every year in our branch, about to 500 children with the given pathology, scheduled operative interventions are spent. Operations last about 15-20 minutes, pass under a mask narcosis and the control of skilled anaesthesiologists. And here, after the small period of rehabilitation – your child is completely healthy. We have made all in time and properly.

Astro Analysing Eye Problems and Disorders

Eyes are the best gift of our life and play a major role in our life. Our eyes works as the most sophisticated electronic automatic camera. The pupils of the eyes open for the adjustment of focus; accordingly the muscles of eyes contract or expend to allow the entry of proper light inside. Colours are identified and a proper picture develops in our mind. All the process is automatic. Now due to different reasons if the functioning of eyes is disturbed there can be temporary or permanent damage to the eyes.

If proper care is not taken for the eyes diseases which appear mild or the wrong treatment is given, there is possibility of losing the eyesight.

Astrological factors influencing eyesight:

2nd/12th house: the 2nd and 12th signs of the zodiac rule over the right and left eye respectively.

Sun/Moon: Sun governs the right eye and the Moon governs the left eye.

Venus/Jupiter: Venus governs the second sign Taurus and Jupiter governs the 12th sign Pisces. Therefore if Jupiter and Venus are placed in 6th/8th/12th house along with the lord of ascendant may cause eye problems.

Mercury: governs the sight and optic nerves.

Astro analysing different eye diseases:

Optic atrophy:

  • Damage of optic nerves by agencies outside the eyes like syphilitic infection, increased intracranial pressure arising from the brain tumour, drug or chemical allergies, degeneration of optic nerves may cause optic atrophy.
  • Affliction of Sun and Moon on 2nd and 12th house and Mercury in heavy affliction in the chart may cause optic atrophy to the native.

Glaucoma:

  • This is a serious eye disease caused by increase or sudden pressure exerted by eye fluid against other parts. If this pressure is not relieved it will make the eye ball hard, damage retina and optic nerves and may also cause blindness.
  • Sun and Moon afflicted in 2nd/12th house by Saturn/Rahu the native may suffer from glaucoma.

Myopia:

  • The eyes can focus on near objects but vision at distance is blurred. It is also known as nearsightedness.
  • Afflicted Sun and Moon can give problem of Myopia.

Colour blindness:

  • The patient becomes unable to distinguish between red and green colour.
  • The Venus is in heavy affliction especially by Saturn and sign Taurus is also in heavy affliction may cause colour blindness to the native.

Cataract:

  • Due to clouding or crystalline of lenses of eye or its capsule the victim cannot see normal objects properly due to lost opacity of eye lenses.
  • Venus / Jupiter placed in 6th/8th/12th house in association of lord of ascendant and Sun and Moon are afflicted in 2nd/12th house.
  • Afflicted Mercury posited in 2nd/12th house may produce Cataract problem.

Squinted eyes/Boss eyed:

  • In this condition the eyes are not properly aligned to each other.
  • Native born in day time and Moon and Mars combined in 8th house indicated crossed eyes.
  • Moon/ Mars posited in ascendant and aspected by Jupiter/Venus indicates squinted eyes.
  • Mars placed in 7th house aspecting Moon being posited in Leo sign and lord of 9th placed in Aries/Leo/Scorpio/Capricorn squinted eyes is indicated.
  • Mars placed in 7th, aspecting Sun being placed in Cancer sign and Lord of 9th placed in Aries/Leo/Scorpio/Capricorn indicate a boss eyed native.
  • Moon and Sun placed in 2nd/12th house indicate definite crossed eyes disorder.
  • Sun and Moon combined with retro planets in 6th/12th house indicates squinted eye.

Problem in only one eye:

  • Any malefic placed in 6th house gives weakness to left eye and any malefic placed in 8th house gives right eye trouble.
  • Moon placed in 2nd and Sun placed in 12th house respectively gives problems of left and right eyes.
  • Mars placed in 12th house gives left eye problem whether as Saturn posited in 12th house gives right eye problem.
  • Sun placed in ascendant/7th house and aspected by Saturn the native will gradually lose the vision of right eye.
  • Sun combined with Rahu/Mars in ascendant/7th house aspected by Saturn indicate disease of left eye.
  • Moon Posited in Leo ascendant and aspected by Saturn and Mars the native will have diseased left eye.
  • Sun and Saturn combined in 9th house and without having any benefice influences indicate the native will have left crossed eye and Sun placed in Leo ascendant and aspected by Saturn and Mars indicates squinted right eye.
  • Sun/Moon placed 12 and 6th house indicated left eye problem.
  • Sun/Moon placed in 2nd and 8th house indicates squinted right eye.

Blindness:

  • Due to infection, accident or degenerative eye diseases the native may lose total vision temporary or permanently.
  • Sun and Moon afflicted by Saturn in 2nd/12th house and affliction to signs Taurus and Pisces may give blindness.
  • 2nd house is aspected by Saturn and Moon and 12th house have conjunction of Saturn and aspects of Mars the native will be completely blind.
  • Sun and Moon and 2nd and 12th houses become subject to the aspects /association of Mars and Saturn the native may lose his eye sight.
  • Mars, Moon, Saturn and Sun should respectively occupy the 2nd, 6th, 12th and 8th house. The native will be stone blind.
  • Lords of ascendant, 2nd, 5th, 7th and 9th placed together in 6th/8th/12th house may give stone blindness to the native.
  • In Leo ascendant Sun and Moon combined in ascendant and aspected by Saturn and Mars indicates the native will be stone blind from birth but if the combination is aspected either by Saturn or by Mars than the native will become blind after birth.
  • Sun and Rahu combined in ascendant and Saturn and Mars disposed in trine may cause blindness.
  • Sun and lord of ascendant combined in 2nd/6th/8th/12th house the native will be blind from the birth.
  • Mars in 2nd and Sun in 8th house may give blindness.
  • Moon in 6th and Saturn in 12th house may also impair eye sight.
  • Saturn, Mars and Moon placed in 6th/8th/12th house indicates blindness.
  • Mars is the lord of 2nd, Sun and Moon placed in 8th house and Saturn situated in 6th/8th/12th house blindness is indicated.
  • Lords of 2nd and 12th combined with Venus and lord of ascendant in 6th/8th/12th house indicates lost eye sight.
  • Moon posited in 6th/8th/12th house and Saturn and Mars combined in any house shows lost eyesight.
  • From ascendant Moon placed in 6th, Sun placed in 8th, Mars placed in 2nd and Saturn placed in 12th house indicates the surety of losing eyesight for the native.

Eye twitching/flickering:

  • Involuntary eye muscles contraction causes eyelid to flicker.
  • Any malefic planet placed in 2nd house is also influenced by any benefice planet indicates flickering of eye.
  • Moon/Sun placed in Leo ascendant and aspected by malefic and benefice planets indicates eye flickering.

Night blindness:

  • The native is unable to see in night or in dim light.
  • Lord of 2nd combined with Venus and Moon in ascendant may cause night blindness.
  • Venus and Mars combined in 7th house and aspected by malefic may cause night blindness.

General eye problems:

  • Venus posited in ascendant/8th house and aspected by malefic planet indicates constant tears will roll from the eyes.
  • Lord of 2nd is associated or aspected by Sun and Mars indicates redness of eyes.
  • Rahu placed in 5th house aspected by Sun indicates eye problems.
  • Saturn posited in 4th house aspected by malefic indicates eye problems.
  • Mars and Rahu combined in ascendant indicate eye problems.
  • Debilitated Moon posited in 6th/12 house and aspected by malefic
  • Moon is places 2nd to Sun in horoscope and combined with malefic.
  • Moon placed in 10th aspected by malefic without having any benefice aspects may cause eye problems.
  • Malefic planets placed in 4th and 5th house and Moon posited in 6th/8th/12th house indicate eye trouble.
  • Sun is in opposition either to ascendant or to Mars gives impaired eyesight.
  • Sun and Moon combined in Cancer/Leo and aspected by Mars and Saturn indicate weak eyes.
  • Mon and Sun combined in 9th house indicates eye disorder.
  • Mars placed 2nd to Sun indicate eye problems and if Mercury placed 2nd to Sun indicates some mark on the Eye.

BY

GEETA JHA [SPIRITUAL HEALER]

INDIA

Tennyson’s Treatment of Nature in His Poems

Alfred Tennyson is a notable poet of Victorian age who also studied Nature with minuteness of detail and an accuracy of observation. Although Tennyson handles Nature in his poems but he can not acquire the prominence like Wordsworth and Keats as a poet of Nature. Wordsworth explores the spiritual significance in Nature while Keats’s dealing of Nature is purely sensuous but Tennyson has drawn and colored Nature -pictures with the conscious care of pictorial artist. Tennyson believes with Coleridge that that we interpret the mood of Nature according to our mood and that Nature is happy or otherwise. During the Romantic Movement Nature was regarded as a phenomenon to which one could turn for guidance, spiritual sustenance and psychic restoration. Tennyson’s belief often led him to describe and develop a human in terms of natural phenomena. For instance, in “The Lotos Eaters”the indolence of the sailor is elaborated with reference to the pausing of streams, the lingering of sun, the swooning of the languid air, etc.

Tennyson, Browning and Arnold lost an all-embracing enthusiasm for Nature like the Romantic poets. In the most cases the influence of Nature was on them wholesome and salutary, and symptomatic of spiritual unity of the universe. The Victorians were not able to maintain the confidence and optimist possible for the Romantics. On the one hand, as we shall see, science natured a love for Nature in some ways as intense, as anything that one can recognize in previous centuries, but on the other hand, by stressing the mechanical and chemical aspects of natural process, it look away the magic and left no room for spiritual direction. However now we can channelize the poems of Tennyson where he takes great interest for Nature. “In Memorium”is one of the most outstanding poem that serves immense evidence of Tennyson’s great interest in and love for Nature. In this poem there is calm and tranquil morning with the faded leaves, silvery gossamers, the crowded farms, ambrosial air, towering sycamore, bats went round in fragrant skies, the trees laid their dark arms about the field, the grey old orange, the lonely field, the ship walk up the windy wold etc. the pictures of Nature in this poem give pleasure and sorrow, because the poet shows that moonlight not only falls upon the poet’s bed but also on the dead friends grave in the church. Often the natural objects evoke a mood of sadness rather than joy because they emphasize human morality. In a famous passage (85) for instance, the classical procession of Nature underlines human sorrow.

Reviewing “In Memorium” Charles Kingsley thought that the idea of “dignity of nature in all her manifestations” was the root idea of the whole poetry of his generation. The Nature description of this poem gives us the idea that it plays an important part in the emotional development of the poem. In this poem Tennyson does not seek in Nature any underlying associative principle to which a permanent reference could be made. However Tennyson’s poem “Ooeone” begins with the description of a valley in Ida where swimming vapor creeps from pine to pine. On either side of the current are lawns and meadow ledges rich in flowers. Far below them roars the long brook, falling in cataract after cataract to the sea. Behind the valley stands the topmost peak of Gargarus:

“……..the clov’n ravine

In cataract after cataract of the sea.

Behind the valley topmost Gargarus.”

The subject matter of this poem concentrates by miserable experience of “Oeone” when she is being deserted by her husband Paris. Addressing mother Ida, and addressing the earth, the hills, the caves and the mountain brooks, Oeone began to narrate her sorrowful story in song. Further the poem “Tithonus” starts by the description of Nature as “The woods decay, the woods decay and fall.” In this poem there is the weeping of vapor and the description of swan’s death after many a summer. The poet describes the gradual appearance of dawn in the person of Aurora. We have a richly sensuous picture of Aurora showering her kisses upon Tithonus’s mouth, eye-lids, kisses that were, “balmier than half-opening buds of April.”

The study of Nature in Victorian poetry is inextricably bound up with the study of religion and science, since the revolution that took place in religious and scientific thought, inevitably had a direct effect and attitude to Nature. Nature must always loom large in any study of Victorian poetry, since it was one of the three or four most important poetic themes. For successful foundation of Tennyson’s poems Nature serves as one of basic functions. In “The Lotos Eaters” the landscape and scenery are symbolic of inner feelings of the mariners. There is description of ample Nature-pictures like lingering sunset, the crimson light of setting sun, the snow of the peaks, the leaf, the apple and the flower grow, ripen and fall silently. In fact, Nature, like the inhabitants of this island has eaten of the indolent forgetfulness of lotos fruit. In the “Locksley Hall” the poet addresses the nostalgic feeling by expressing the natural pictures. The poet used to wander about the sea-shore and saw the great Orion and Pleiades at night through the window. In fine, we can not consider Tennyson in terms of the Romantic poets as a poet of Nature but we see that certainly he treats Nature by his close scientific and minute observation. Very often he anticipates Nature to describe and develop the human in general.

Astro Analysing Eye Problems and Disorders

Eyes are the best gift of our life and play a major role in our life. Our eyes works as the most sophisticated electronic automatic camera. The pupils of the eyes open for the adjustment of focus; accordingly the muscles of eyes contract or expend to allow the entry of proper light inside. Colours are identified and a proper picture develops in our mind. All the process is automatic. Now due to different reasons if the functioning of eyes is disturbed there can be temporary or permanent damage to the eyes.

If proper care is not taken for the eyes diseases which appear mild or the wrong treatment is given, there is possibility of losing the eyesight.

Astrological factors influencing eyesight:

2nd/12th house: the 2nd and 12th signs of the zodiac rule over the right and left eye respectively.

Sun/Moon: Sun governs the right eye and the Moon governs the left eye.

Venus/Jupiter: Venus governs the second sign Taurus and Jupiter governs the 12th sign Pisces. Therefore if Jupiter and Venus are placed in 6th/8th/12th house along with the lord of ascendant may cause eye problems.

Mercury: governs the sight and optic nerves.

Astro analysing different eye diseases:

Optic atrophy:

  • Damage of optic nerves by agencies outside the eyes like syphilitic infection, increased intracranial pressure arising from the brain tumour, drug or chemical allergies, degeneration of optic nerves may cause optic atrophy.
  • Affliction of Sun and Moon on 2nd and 12th house and Mercury in heavy affliction in the chart may cause optic atrophy to the native.

Glaucoma:

  • This is a serious eye disease caused by increase or sudden pressure exerted by eye fluid against other parts. If this pressure is not relieved it will make the eye ball hard, damage retina and optic nerves and may also cause blindness.
  • Sun and Moon afflicted in 2nd/12th house by Saturn/Rahu the native may suffer from glaucoma.

Myopia:

  • The eyes can focus on near objects but vision at distance is blurred. It is also known as nearsightedness.
  • Afflicted Sun and Moon can give problem of Myopia.

Colour blindness:

  • The patient becomes unable to distinguish between red and green colour.
  • The Venus is in heavy affliction especially by Saturn and sign Taurus is also in heavy affliction may cause colour blindness to the native.

Cataract:

  • Due to clouding or crystalline of lenses of eye or its capsule the victim cannot see normal objects properly due to lost opacity of eye lenses.
  • Venus / Jupiter placed in 6th/8th/12th house in association of lord of ascendant and Sun and Moon are afflicted in 2nd/12th house.
  • Afflicted Mercury posited in 2nd/12th house may produce Cataract problem.

Squinted eyes/Boss eyed:

  • In this condition the eyes are not properly aligned to each other.
  • Native born in day time and Moon and Mars combined in 8th house indicated crossed eyes.
  • Moon/ Mars posited in ascendant and aspected by Jupiter/Venus indicates squinted eyes.
  • Mars placed in 7th house aspecting Moon being posited in Leo sign and lord of 9th placed in Aries/Leo/Scorpio/Capricorn squinted eyes is indicated.
  • Mars placed in 7th, aspecting Sun being placed in Cancer sign and Lord of 9th placed in Aries/Leo/Scorpio/Capricorn indicate a boss eyed native.
  • Moon and Sun placed in 2nd/12th house indicate definite crossed eyes disorder.
  • Sun and Moon combined with retro planets in 6th/12th house indicates squinted eye.

Problem in only one eye:

  • Any malefic placed in 6th house gives weakness to left eye and any malefic placed in 8th house gives right eye trouble.
  • Moon placed in 2nd and Sun placed in 12th house respectively gives problems of left and right eyes.
  • Mars placed in 12th house gives left eye problem whether as Saturn posited in 12th house gives right eye problem.
  • Sun placed in ascendant/7th house and aspected by Saturn the native will gradually lose the vision of right eye.
  • Sun combined with Rahu/Mars in ascendant/7th house aspected by Saturn indicate disease of left eye.
  • Moon Posited in Leo ascendant and aspected by Saturn and Mars the native will have diseased left eye.
  • Sun and Saturn combined in 9th house and without having any benefice influences indicate the native will have left crossed eye and Sun placed in Leo ascendant and aspected by Saturn and Mars indicates squinted right eye.
  • Sun/Moon placed 12 and 6th house indicated left eye problem.
  • Sun/Moon placed in 2nd and 8th house indicates squinted right eye.

Blindness:

  • Due to infection, accident or degenerative eye diseases the native may lose total vision temporary or permanently.
  • Sun and Moon afflicted by Saturn in 2nd/12th house and affliction to signs Taurus and Pisces may give blindness.
  • 2nd house is aspected by Saturn and Moon and 12th house have conjunction of Saturn and aspects of Mars the native will be completely blind.
  • Sun and Moon and 2nd and 12th houses become subject to the aspects /association of Mars and Saturn the native may lose his eye sight.
  • Mars, Moon, Saturn and Sun should respectively occupy the 2nd, 6th, 12th and 8th house. The native will be stone blind.
  • Lords of ascendant, 2nd, 5th, 7th and 9th placed together in 6th/8th/12th house may give stone blindness to the native.
  • In Leo ascendant Sun and Moon combined in ascendant and aspected by Saturn and Mars indicates the native will be stone blind from birth but if the combination is aspected either by Saturn or by Mars than the native will become blind after birth.
  • Sun and Rahu combined in ascendant and Saturn and Mars disposed in trine may cause blindness.
  • Sun and lord of ascendant combined in 2nd/6th/8th/12th house the native will be blind from the birth.
  • Mars in 2nd and Sun in 8th house may give blindness.
  • Moon in 6th and Saturn in 12th house may also impair eye sight.
  • Saturn, Mars and Moon placed in 6th/8th/12th house indicates blindness.
  • Mars is the lord of 2nd, Sun and Moon placed in 8th house and Saturn situated in 6th/8th/12th house blindness is indicated.
  • Lords of 2nd and 12th combined with Venus and lord of ascendant in 6th/8th/12th house indicates lost eye sight.
  • Moon posited in 6th/8th/12th house and Saturn and Mars combined in any house shows lost eyesight.
  • From ascendant Moon placed in 6th, Sun placed in 8th, Mars placed in 2nd and Saturn placed in 12th house indicates the surety of losing eyesight for the native.

Eye twitching/flickering:

  • Involuntary eye muscles contraction causes eyelid to flicker.
  • Any malefic planet placed in 2nd house is also influenced by any benefice planet indicates flickering of eye.
  • Moon/Sun placed in Leo ascendant and aspected by malefic and benefice planets indicates eye flickering.

Night blindness:

  • The native is unable to see in night or in dim light.
  • Lord of 2nd combined with Venus and Moon in ascendant may cause night blindness.
  • Venus and Mars combined in 7th house and aspected by malefic may cause night blindness.

General eye problems:

  • Venus posited in ascendant/8th house and aspected by malefic planet indicates constant tears will roll from the eyes.
  • Lord of 2nd is associated or aspected by Sun and Mars indicates redness of eyes.
  • Rahu placed in 5th house aspected by Sun indicates eye problems.
  • Saturn posited in 4th house aspected by malefic indicates eye problems.
  • Mars and Rahu combined in ascendant indicate eye problems.
  • Debilitated Moon posited in 6th/12 house and aspected by malefic
  • Moon is places 2nd to Sun in horoscope and combined with malefic.
  • Moon placed in 10th aspected by malefic without having any benefice aspects may cause eye problems.
  • Malefic planets placed in 4th and 5th house and Moon posited in 6th/8th/12th house indicate eye trouble.
  • Sun is in opposition either to ascendant or to Mars gives impaired eyesight.
  • Sun and Moon combined in Cancer/Leo and aspected by Mars and Saturn indicate weak eyes.
  • Mon and Sun combined in 9th house indicates eye disorder.
  • Mars placed 2nd to Sun indicate eye problems and if Mercury placed 2nd to Sun indicates some mark on the Eye.

BY

GEETA JHA [SPIRITUAL HEALER]

INDIA

Identify and Treat Ocular Migraines

While many people suffer from traditional migraine headaches, it is not uncommon for others to suffer from a different type of migraine. Traditional migraines are characterized by sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, powerful head pains and nausea. Another type of migraine is harder to diagnose because the symptoms characteristic of a traditional migraine are either not present or less severe. Ocular migraines are becoming more common in today’s society. These types of migraines are associated with vision and the eye more so than the brain.

Ocular migraines often start with a small blind spot in the peripheral vision. Over five to ten minutes, the spot gradually increases to encompass the entire peripheral portion of vision. Either complete blindness or object fuzziness often results. Other ocular migraine sufferers report a jagged shimmering light in their peripheral vision that grows and eventually overtakes much of the eye. It is often difficult to focus on objects. Reading in particular is very difficult since letters in words have to be viewed almost individually in order to be read. The individual might also become disoriented since they are now primarily seeing out of one eye instead of two. A dull, throbbing headache normally accompanies an ocular migraine. The blind spot or fuzziness will normally disappear with twenty to thirty minutes, leaving the individual fatigued. The individual might also still have some problems reading and focusing on particular objects since their eyes are adjusting again. Individuals normally do not have any sort of light or sound sensitivity, though it is not uncommon for ocular migraine sufferers to be nauseous due to either the temporary blindness or the panic of not knowing exactly what is happening.

Many scientists speculate that the causes of ocular migraines are similar to those of traditional migraines. A change in blood supply is often associated with traditional migraines and it is thought that the area impacted by the blood supply change is the only difference between the types of migraines. Traditional migraines are normally generated from the surface area of the brain. Ocular migraines are generated when the blood supply is reduced to the vision center of the brain. Much like traditional migraines, it is thought that certain “triggers” exist for ocular migraines. These include chocolate, stress or anxiety, lack of sleep, travel and artificial sweeteners. Limiting as many triggers as possible should help reduce the occurrence of ocular migraines. It has also been theorized that seasonal allergies could contribute to ocular migraines since the atmospheric changes would be similar to those of someone traveling cross-country via airplane.

At the onset of an ocular migraine, it is important to not panic. It can be disturbing to go slowly blind in one eye over fifteen minutes, but it is important to remain calm. Finding a quiet, dark area to rest in for thirty minutes is an excellent way to counteract the disabling effects of an ocular migraine. Being able to sit in the dark with eyes closed helps to limit some of the nausea and inability to focus on objects. Normal headache treatments such as aspirin or Tylenol can be used, but these are more effective in dealing with the headache following the visual disturbance than the actual visual impairment. By the time the medicine works, the visual impact has ended. Some ocular migraine sufferers report taking a short nap helps reduce the fatigued feeling following the visual disturbance and also reduce the impact of the headache.

If you have experienced visual impairment problems in the recent past, it is a good idea to visit your doctor to make sure these problems are being caused by ocular migraines and not by strokes or problems with the eye itself. It’s also a good idea to log what foods were eaten recently and what activities were taking place when the ocular migraine occurred. This can help identify triggers and prevent ocular migraines from happening as frequently. This is the first step in being free from ocular migraines. Since there is currently no cure for ocular migraines, it is better to reduce their frequency than try to treat the symptoms each time they occur.

Ocular migraines can be scary, but knowing the symptoms and treatments will help reduce the impact they have on your daily life.

Uses Of Herbs And Drug Interactions In Cardiovascular Patients

More and more consumers are taking herbal supplements as an alternative treatment for their diseases.  It is estimated that more than 15 million people in the US consume herbal remedies or high-dose vitamins, and the total number of visits to the complementary medicine providers far exceeds those to primary physicians.

Lack of efficacy and adverse effects associated with prescription medicines lead many patients to explore herbal medicines.  Uses of herbal medicines, however, are not without any risks.  Although most of these herbal medicines have good safety profile, some herbal medicines have not been shown to be efficacious.  Some even interact with western medicines, leading to life-threatening consequences. (Table 1)

The purpose of this paper is to equip cardiovascular patients with the latest uses of commonly used herbal medicines and the potential interaction of these herbal medicines with prescription medicines.  Patients are advised to inform their primary care physicians and their specialists of the herbal supplements they are taking and to limit the use of herbal medicines to a shorter time period.

A) Aconite

Uses

Traditional Chinese practitioners use aconite for pain relief caused by trigeminal and intercostal neuralgia, rheumatism, migraine, and general debilitation.

Drug interaction

Long term use might increase the risk of atrial or ventricular fibrillation. 

B) Black cohosh

Uses

Black cohosh has been used to relief symptoms of menopause, pre-menstrual tension and other gynecologic problems.

Drug interaction

Black cohosh should not be used with estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) since the combination of black cohosh and ERT has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular events and breast cancer.  Pregnant and lactating women should avoid taking black cohosh.

C) Danshen

Uses

Danshen is used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of coronary artery disease and menstrual abnormalities.

Drug interaction

Danshen reduces the elimination of warfarin and increases the bleeding risk associated with warfarin.  It also interferes with digoxin essay.

D) Echinacae

Uses

Echinacae is used to strengthen the immune system to prevent infections.  Side effects of Echinacae include nausea, dizziness, dyspnea, rash, and dermatitis.

Drug interaction

Long term use may increase the liver toxicity of other medications (e.g., statins(Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor), fibrates (Bezalip, Lopid and Tricor), niacins (niaspan), or amiodarone(codarone)).

E) Ginseng

Uses

Ginseng is advertised as an immune system stimulant that increases vigor, sexual potency and longevity.   It is also used to treat myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure (CHF), angina pectoris and hyperglycemia in diabetic patients. 

Drug interaction

Concomitant use of ginseng and warfarin results in an increase in bleeding time while use of ginseng and digoxin causes an increase in digoxin level.  Pregnant women or women receiving hormone replacement therapy are advised not to use Ginseng since ginseng contains ingredients similar to estrogen.  Also, long use of ginseng might result in reduced responsiveness to loop diuretics.

F) Ginkgo

Uses

Ginkgo is used for cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular or peripheral vascular insufficiency, importance, inner ear dysfunction, retinopathy, pre-menstrual syndrome, stress, depression, and dementia.

Drug interaction

The concurrent use of ginkgo with antiplatelet (aspirin, Plavix, Effient, Aggrrastat and ReoPro), anticoagulant (warfarin) or antithrombotic agents (Streptase) increases the risk of bleeding.  In clinical trials, ginkgo has also been shown to reduce the effectiveness of antihypertensive nicardipine (Cardene).

G) Garlic

Uses

Garlic has been used to treat infectious conditions since 1550 BC, due to its antimicrobial and immune-enhancing properties.  Garlic has also been promoted to prevent cardiovascular disease because of its cholesterol-lowering, antihypertensive, antiplatelet and fibrinolytic properties.

Drug Interaction

Patients taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet agents should avoid taking garlic supplements since garlic increase the risk of bleeding.  Patients taking aspirin, warfarin and garlic supplements are advised to discontinue the garlic supplements for at least 10 days before elective therapy

H) Grapefruit juice

Uses

Grapefruit juice is used as a dietary intervention to lose weight and to improve cardiovascular health. 

Drug interaction

Grapefruit juice increases the blood level of calcium-channel blockers (Norvasc, Plendil, Cardif and Cardene), cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Cicloral and Gengraf), statins (Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor), midazolam (Dormicum, Versed and Hypnovel), estrogen and terazoin (Hytrin). 

I) Gynura 

Uses

Gynura is used widely in Chinese medicine to improves microcirculation and relieve pain. 

Drug interaction

Gynura interacts with angiotensin-converting enzyme drugs (e.g. Vasotec, Altace, Accupril, Zestril, Prinivil, Lotensin, Cozaar, Diovan, Benicar, Avapro and Micardis ).  Long term use has been associated with hepatic toxicity.

J) Hawthorn 

Uses

Hawthorn extract is used mostly to treat angina, CHF, bradyarrhythmia and cerebral insufficiency. 

Drug interaction

Hawthorn enhances the effect of digitalis (Digoxin) and increases the risk of bleeding in patients taking antiplatelet or anticoagulant agents.  Patients who take digitalis, antiplatelet, anticoagulant and Hawthorn need to monitor for potential toxic effects.

K) Licorice

Uses

Licorice is used as an expectorant.  Long term use might result in pseudoaldosteronism, hypokalemia, hypertension, ventricular arrhythmia, hyperglycemia and edema. 

Drug interaction

Licorice increases the effects of spironolactone (Aldactone) and digoxin.  It also interacts with antiplatelet, anticoagulant and antidiabetes agents (e.g. Lantus, Amaryl, Januvia, Metformin, Diamicron, Actos, Glucophage, Byetta and Advandia), rendering these agents less effective.

L) Motherwort 

Uses

Motherwort is use in both European and Asian traditional medicine to treat cardiac weakness, rapid heart beat, anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, amenorrhea, and edema. 

Drug interaction

When taken with benzodiazepines for insomnia, motherwort increases the sedative effect of benzodiazepines and might result in coma.

M) Saw Palmetto 

Uses

Saw Palmetto is used for the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), hypertension and urinary infections.

Drug interaction

Saw Palmetto increases the risk of bleeding in patients taking warfarin.  When use in long term, saw palmetto might increase in the risk of cholestatic hepatitis, acute pancreatitis and intro-operative floppy iris syndrome.

N) St. John’s wort 

Uses

St. John’s wort is typically used to treat depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, common cold, herpes, ulcerative colitis, pain and the human immunodeficiency virus.

Drug interaction

Since St. John’s wort decreases the prothrombin time of warfarin and increase the risk of stroke, people taking warfarin who have a history of stroke, thrombosis, atrial fibrillation or prosthetic cardiac valves should avoid the use of St. John’s wort.   

Also, patients who take ethinyl estradiol, indinavir (Crixivan), cyclosporine, statins and digoxin will have the level and efficacy of these drugs reduced. 

Lastly, patients who take antidiabetes agents and St. John’s wort should watch out for hypoglycemia since St. John’s wort potentiate the glycemic effects of antidiabetes agents.

O) Tetrandrine 

Uses

In Chinese medicine, tetrandrine is used to treat hypertension and angina. 

Drug interaction

Tetrandrine lower glucose level and might cause hypoglycemia in diabetic patients.  Long term use might cause hepatotoxicity and renal toxicity.

P) Yohimbine 

Uses

Yohimbine is used for the treatment of sexual disorders and exhaustion. 

Drug interaction

Yohimbine reduces the efficacy of antihypertensive and diuretics.  Yohimbine is contraindicated in patients with hypertension, angina, and renal impairment.

Conclusions

Use of herbal remedies is widespread and is increasing dramatically.  These remedies, however, are not subjected to the same regulations as prescription drugs.  Thus, the purity, efficacy and safety of herbal products are not always known and some products may not even contain the amount of active ingredients listed on the label.  Furthermore, some of these herbal remedies posses serious drug interaction with prescription medicines.  

Cardiovascular patients who are taking prescription medicines with narrow therapeutic index such as digoxin and warfarin are advised to consult their physicians before taking any herbal medicines and to take these herbal medicines for a short period of time.

Drug Class and Brand Names

Angiotensin-converting enzyme drugs = Vasotec, Altace, Accupril, Zestril, Prinivil, Lotensin, Cozaar, Diovan, Benicar, Avapro and Micardis

Anticoagulant = warfarin

Antidiabetes agents = Lantus, Amaryl, Januvia, Metformin, Diamicron, Actos, Glucophage, Byetta and Advandia

Antiplatelet = aspirin, Plavix, Effient, Aggrrastat and ReoPro

Antithrombotic agents = Streptase

Calcium-channel blockers = Norvasc, Plendil, Cardif and Cardene

Cyclosporine = Sandimmune, Neoral, Cicloral and Gengraf

Digitalis = Digoxin = Lanoxin

Indinavir = Crixivan

Midazolam = Dormicum, Versed and Hypnovel

Spironolactone = Aldactone

Statins = Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor

Terazoin = Hytrin

Tachjian A et. al. JACC Vol. 55, No. 6, 2010

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