The History of L-Arginine (Nitric Oxide)

Arginine was discovered in 1895. Arginine is an amino acid that provides a wide range of benefits to the body. Arginine plays an important role in the division of cells, boosting of one’s immune system, healing of wounds, and in the hormonal secretion process. In 1998, the Nobel Prize was given to three American scientists who are attributed with discovering the role that L-Arginine plays in the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is so important because it is a dilator that helps the arteries to relax, thus allowing for the better flow of blood and less strain on the heart. Also in 1998 a team of Italian researches made this connection between nitric oxide production and better blood flow when they reported that daily doses of L-Arginine given to patients reduced their systolic blood pressure.

Since the early 1990’s, more and more researchers and medical professionals have been experimenting with the cardiovascular health improvement possibilities of L-Arginine. Many health professionals have tried L-Arginine supplementation themselves and have been so impressed with the results that they then recommend L-Arginine to their patients. Today Hospitals often offer an L-Arginine supplement to those patients suffering from infectious wounds in order to speed their recovery time, thus reducing the risk of acquiring an infection. Heart disease in America is the number one killer. With the prospects of L-Arginine supplementation being as promising as they are the hardening of the arteries and build up on the arterial lining, the two most common factors in heart disease, could be reversed.

The ability that L-Arginine has to increase the production of nitric oxide means many good things to those who are suffering with the preliminary symptoms of heart disease. For many in this situation who are taking an L-Arginine supplement, there is no longer a need for prescription blood pressure medication (or at least the dosage can be lowered). Decreasing the need for blood pressure medication not only lends itself to being in better health as the cardiac patient, but avoiding the use of prescription drugs also allows the individual to avoid the potential side effects of those blood pressure medications. And side effects could be both physically and mentally (i.e. depression) devastating.

The most recent discoveries related to L-Arginine are that it has the ability to help the body release needed hormones, increase lean muscle mass, speed the recovery of wounds, and boost the immune system. Intimate benefits of decreased symptoms of impotence and improved female sexual function are also encouraging benefits that physicians and patients are discovering as a result of improved blood flow. Recent evidence and research may also suggest that L-Arginine supplements can also help Alzheimer patients by slowing or even stopping the growth of tumors.

As was mentioned briefly, you can find L-Arginine in red meats, but this amino acid is also found in fish and chocolate. If you want to go beyond merely providing your body with its basic L-Arginine benefits, you can talk with your doctor about supplements that you can use to make more L-Arginine available to your body. A typical supplemental dose of L-Arginine is about 2-5 grams a day (in some cases it is best when taken right before bed), although as much as 20 grams has been administered successfully. However a minimum of 5 grams has been found to be the base line of a successfully effective dosage. The level of toxicity for L-Arginine is relatively low making it difficult to accidentally have too much, yet it is always wise to consult with your doctor and receive any medical conditions that you may have that could influence what a safe dosage is for you.

Cure Acute Bronchitis – Learn More About Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Maintaining good health is of utmost importance because only a healthy body can fight against the harmful micro-organisms that can cause diseases. Moreover, you can become a productive person in society only if you have a healthy body. The effects of acute bronchitis, for instance, can disrupt the flow of day-to-day living.

Acute bronchitis is a common occurence. The effects of acute bronchitis are many. However, of the two varieties of bronchitis, acute bronchitis or short-term bronchitis is easy to manage, control, and cure, given that it has been properly diagnosed.

Recognising the Signs of Acute Bronchitis

Correctly recognising the various symptoms of this disease helps you take the necessary steps to prevent its further progress. Acute bronchitis patients suffer from a hacking, productive cough with plenty of mucus secretion, contracting sensation around the area of the eyes, headaches, tightness in the chest, low grade fever, and breathlessness. Since the symptoms of acute bronchitis are just like those of the common cold, it is easy to mistake this disorder to be common cold.

Who Does Acute Bronchitis Affect?

Acute Bronchitis usually affects children, infants, tobacco smokers, old people, people living in polluted areas, and people with a weak pulmonary system. If this condition is left untreated, it can progress into chronic bronchitis. This respiratory disorder can occur at any season; however, the cold months of the winter aggravates it.

Treatment to Alleviate the Effects of Acute Bronchitis

It is very easy to treat this disorder and gain relief from the effects of acute bronchitis. The treatment plan includes getting plenty of rest, inhaling steam, taking hot showers, using humidifiers, and drinking plenty of fluids such as water, soups, and fruit juices. However, consulting the doctor is very important to determine whether the condition is due to the action of bacteria or fungus. In such cases, the doctor will prescribe some antibiotics or anti-fungal medication.

In order to alleviate the effects of acute bronchitis, people suffering from this disorder should cease smoking completely or at least cut down the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Avoid dusty areas. If you happen to live in a polluted area, intall air purifiers in your house.

Causes of Acute Bronchitis

Bronchitis usually follows a cold. The same virus that is responsible for common cold is also responsible for bronchitis. People also contract acute bronchitis due to continous exposure to irritants that can cause inflammation of the bronchial tubes. The other factors that can cause significant damage to the bronchial tubes are dangerous chemical fumes, smoke, and dust.

Understanding the Effects of Acute Bronchitis

The inflammation causes constriction of the bronchial tubes. This the reason why bronchitis patients have difficulties in breathing. If you neglect this condition or continue the lifestyle patterns, such as smoking and living in polluted areas, that cause it, this condition can develop into chronic bronchitis, which can cause untold damage to the bronchi and the tissues surrounding it.

Acute bronchitis lasts for a duration of 10-12 days. Usually, it is followed by cold or flu. Bronchitis is a contagious disease. It can easily spread from person to person due to the infectious particles discharged while coughing or sneezing. To protect others from getting infected, cover your nose and mouth well when you cough or sneeze in the presence of others.

In case the cough does not recede even after a month, you need to see a doctor. Peristent cough could be also be due to other serious conditions, such as pneumonia. Observe the color of the mucus discharged while coughing or sneezing. If blood is observed along with the mucus secretion, the condition is serious and requires the attention of your medical practicioner.

These are some of the few things you ought to know about the effects of acute bronchitis in order to effectively manage and treat the condition. Acute bronchitis has to be prevented from turning into chronic bronchitis. It is important to see your doctor immediately if you recognise the symptoms of bronchitis. Only after performing the appropriate medical tests will the doctors be able to properly diagnose and treat acute bronchitis.

A Broad Understanding On How To Read Tarot Time – The Elemental Dignities

To understand tarot time you must understand the four suits and which season they represent, the four suits are: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles…

So to determine which season events are happening in the basic rule to remember is:

Pentacles represent Autumn

Wands represent Spring

Cups represent Summer

Swords represent Winter

So for a general understanding on just how to read tarot time the elemental dignities

Each of the four elements is associated with a compass point – the following directional quotes are true for the Northern hemisphere, therefore if you are in the southern hemisphere then the opposites will apply.

So what are the elemental dignities of the four tarot suits:

• Earth – Pentacles

• Air – Swords

• Water – Cups

• Fire – Wands

Now to consider a general understanding on just how to read tarot time the elemental dignities of the four tarot suits and how they interact with each other, this requires a simple formal using the four elements.

What do I mean? For example – An excess of cups – water cards would typically denote an emotional picture and that things are generally passive.

So the next stage is to start using the rules of elemental dignities. So consider the elemental dignity of the four tarot suits and how they interact using simple and easy to learn rules:

1. Fire and Air are friendly and active

2. Water and Earth are friendly and passive

3. Fire and Water are enemies; they weaken each other

4. Air and Earth are enemies; they weaken each other

5. Fire and Earth strengthen each other but are neutral

6. Water and Air strengthen each other but are neutral

So when we take a general understanding on just how to read tarot time we can see that

• Earth is relating to North on the compass point.

• Air is relating to the East on the compass point.

• Fire is relating to the South on a compass point

• Water is relating to the West on the compass point.

What are the characteristics of earth in the tarot?

Earth is related to the suit of Pentacles or Coins.

The characteristics of earth in the tarot – Earth is thought to symbolise the absolute feminine quality, it is fertile and stable the earth is connected to the Goddess Gaia.

The earth is nurturing it is productive, it sustains and gives life, it is strong and constant. The earth our planet evolves turning all through the year, on this earth we all share we witness all aspects of life from birth through our life cycles and eventually to death, and rebirth.

What are the characteristics of air in the tarot

Air is related to the suit of Swords

The characteristics of air in the tarot – Associates with action, change, force, power, oppression, ambition, courage and conflict, typically action is both positive and/or negative. Air blows away your troubles, and carries positive thoughts to those who are far away.

Air deals with the intellect and thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. The sword is double-edged as and such symbolises the fine balance between intellect and power and how these two elements can be used for good or evil.

What are the characteristics of fire in the tarot?

Fire is related to the suit of wands/batons

The characteristics of fire in the tarot – Associates with our primal energy, spirituality, inspiration, determination, strength, intuition, creativity, ambition and expansion, fire can create and it can destroy, it symbolises the fertility of the God. Fire can bring forth new growth or destroy the old and worn. Fire is associated with that at the core of your being your passions what makes you tick.

Fire implies movement, action and initiatives and the launching of new ideas.

What are the characteristics of water in the tarot?

Water is related to the suit of cups

The characteristics of water in the tarot – Associates with emotion, love, feelings, creativity, fantasy, relationships and connections, water is a feminine energy and connected with the aspects of the Goddess. Water heals, cleanses and purifies.

Water relates to expressions of emotion, it indicates thinking with your heart and it reflects your spontaneous responses and reactions to situations.

I hope you have enjoyed this article on a general understanding on just how to read tarot time the elemental dignities.

Dog Urinating Frequently? 5 Possible Causes and What You Can Do About It

Are you frustrated with your dog urinating frequently and in the most inappropriate places? There are a variety of factors that could be causing your dog’s frequent urination. The first important step is to take your dog to a veterinarian and get a proper diagnosis. The condition can become life-threatening if you don’t start treatment in time. Here are 5 possible reasons why your dog is urinating frequently and what you can do to stop it.

1. If you notice your dog urinating excessively, he could be ill and extreme thirst may be the first symptom you notice. Dogs that drink abnormally large amounts of water suffer from what is known as polydipsia. The cause could be a serious disease such as a pituitary tumor, high blood cortisol, diabetes insipidus, liver disease, central diabetes, or Cushing’s disease. Cushing’s disease increases the production of cortisol, hence leading to hormonal imbalance and excessive urination. It is important to report any increases in your dog’s water consumption to your veterinarian and have your vet do blood tests and other examinations immediately.

2. Old age can also be the cause of your dog urinating frequently. As dogs age, their sphincter loosens and it gets harder for them to hold in urine. There are medications that your dog can take to tighten his sphincter but they are not without their significant side effects. Instead, try giving your dog a homeopathic remedy that promotes bladder health and a healthy flow of urine.

3. Diet may be the cause of the symptom of your dog urinating excessively. If your dog is eating a diet high in salt that may be the reason why he is urinating so frequently. To avoid this problem, make sure to feed your dog plenty of raw food rich in minerals like magnesium, aluminum, and phosphate. Drinking plenty of fresh, filtered water is also important.

4. The symptoms your dog is experiencing may stem from behavioral issues such as separation anxiety or territorial marking. A dog urinating frequently needs training if these behavioral issues are the underlying cause. Dogs that bond well with their owners may get distressed when their owner is gone and urinate frequently in different, inappropriate locations of the house. You can prevent this behavior by leaving your dog chew toys to play with, taking him out on frequent walks prior to your departure to tire him out, or leave the TV on to distract him while you are out. Marking happens when your dog urinates on objects in the home as a result of territorial instincts. It is most common among unneutered male dogs. To stop it from happening, neuter your dog and keep him away from the windows so he can’t see passerby.

5. Urinary tract and bladder infections caused by E. coli bacteria are most likely the cause of your dog urinating excessively. The infection can travel up to your dog’s kidneys and become fatal if left untreated. For this reason it is important to treat this condition early. Your veterinarian can do a pee test to determine whether a bacterial infection is the cause. If it is, he will probably recommend treatment with antibiotics but you should weigh your treatment options carefully prior to giving your dog drugs. The problem with antibiotics is that they only suppress the symptoms and do not treat the underlying cause of the problem. Furthermore, medication is known to aggravate UTIs. If you want to treat the problem naturally and get long term results, give your dog a homeopathic remedy.

What Are The Causes Of My Rib Pain

Rib pain is not always caused by a rib injury. There are also a number of illnesses that trigger rib discomfort, which means it can sometimes be difficult to determine the source of the problem. In this article, we’ll cover some that are obvious, but we’ll also endeavor to describe some rib pain causes that are not widely known to the general public.

Let’s look at rib injuries first.

Fractured (Broken) or Cracked Ribs – Very often, you don’t even need an x-ray to diagnose a cracked or broken rib (your doctor will undoubtedly order one nonetheless). The pain from this type of rib injury can be intense and very severe. Pain from a cracked is broken rib can be so intense that many people say it’s the worst pain they’ve ever felt. Rib fractures occur most often because of athletic competition, a fall or an auto accident. The simple act of drawing a breath becomes uncomfortable and possibly even painful. Any movement of the upper body will probably produce sharp pain. The injured area will probably also be sore and sensitive to touch.

Cartilage Injury – Cartilage is the tissue that connects your ribs to your sternum (breastbone). Cartilage is flexible but tough tissue that makes it easier for your chest to expand and contract when you breathe. It also makes it possible – up to a point – for your ribcage to absorb the shock of a blow. When you have cartilage damage, the pain feels similar to the pain of a cracked rib. Laughing and coughing will cause discomfort. Taking a deep breath will hurt, and an unexpected sneeze can be particularly unpleasant.

Soft Tissue Damage – Your chest and back include dozens of soft tissue formations that circumvent your ribcage: your ligaments, tendons and muscles. These can be stretched, strained or torn in any number of ways: you may try to lift, push or pull something that’s too heavy for you. An injury can also result from repeating the same motion for a long time (knwon as a “repetitive motion injury”) The resulting pain can easily be mistaken for rib pain or rib damage.

Conditions, disorders and diseases of the bones and joints may also cause rib pain. Some of the more common include the following.

Joint inflammation – Few of us are lucky enough to completely escape some form of joint inflammation or irritation as we get older. Anytime a joint near the ribcage becomes inflamed, it may seem like the pain is originating in the ribcage itself. There are two conditions that are especially common.

Osteoarthritis – There are many places in the body that can be affected by osteoarthritis, including the area where the ribs connect to the sternum and the spine.

Rheumatoid Arthritis – When you have this disease, your body’s immune system attacks itself. When this happens in joints and connections around the ribs, it causes pain in the ribs.

In addition to the injuries and disorders mentioned above, there are several other disorders that may cause rib pain. They include:

Pleurisy – Pleurisy is an infection of the lining between the lungs and the ribcage (known as the pleura). When this lining becomes inflamed, it causes pain which can sometimes be very intense. When you have pleurisy, simply inhaling and exhaling can hurt – and hurt a lot.

Pneumonia – Generalized rib pain and discomfort in the chest area is one of the symptoms of pneumonia. Anything that involves movement in the upper torso can be painful, especially laughing, coughing or sneezing.

Tuberculosis – Pain in the ribs is also a common indication of tuberculosis. Other symptoms include fatigue, fever and coughing.

A variety of cancers can produce discomfort and pain in the ribcage area (both in the front and back). Lung cancer and multiple myeloma are at the top of this list. Approximately 80 percent of myeloma patients report ribcage pain as one of their symptoms.

Patients suffering from mesothelioma or asbestosis are likely to complain of pain in the ribs, as is anyone who has a lung problem related to smoking or long term exposure to environmental pollutants.

Here’s a quick description of a number of other medical illnesses that have been known to trigger rib pain.

* Gallbladder problems like gallstones or a gallbladder attack.

* Spinal or other nerve-related injuries and disorders. The disease known as “shingles” is included in this category because it often starts with pain in the rib and torso area before progressing to a skin rash.

* Individuals who abuse steroids often experience rib pain after long term use.

* People who are under a great deal of stress are more prone to rib pain because they often take deep, heavy breaths. This type of breathing may strain the network of muscles around the ribs..

Lastly, there’s angina, which is a medical term for chest pain experienced by those with heart problems. Angina can easily be mistaken for rib pain.

It’s plain to see that there is a wide variety of possible causes for rib pain. Some can cause a lot of discomfort but pose no serious long term threat to your health. Others are very dangerous.

If your rib pain lasts for more than a few days, or seems to be growing in severity, it would be a good idea to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

Alcohol Chest Pain

Do you find yourself experiencing chest pains or a burning sensation around your chest area when you have had a couple of drinks too many? This condition is popularly known as alcohol chest pain.

As the name suggests, this discomfort can occur after excessive alcohol drinking. Although drinking alcohol has been found by studies to cause the heart to beat faster and harder, it may not be as fatal as the name would imply. Nevertheless, the pain occurs because the heart is not getting enough oxygen. To ease the discomfort or to stop the pain, one need only stop drinking alcohol. But, just because it does not seriously cause the heart to malfunction, the occurrence of chest pains due to drinking can indicate a serious health concern.

Some diseases caused by alcohol abuse have been found to mimic chest pains. Diseases such as esophagitis or the inflammation of the esophagus due to reflux of acid, can often cause a discomfort around the breastbone that can be mistaken for chest pains. Another cause could be ulcers or the wearing away of your stomach lining or the small intestine. Both of which can be caused by alcohol abuse.

It is always best to consult a physician or a specialist to be sure. An underlying heart condition may already be present but has escaped diagnosis because alcohol has been pointed to as the cause. Alcohol chest pains may seem to be minor but it should never be taken for granted and should always be checked out by a medical professional. The best way is to stop drinking alcohol of to drink in moderation. Help is always available for you, your friends and loved ones – so all one needs to do is reach out and ask.

RAT: The Only Weapon You Will Ever Need

Welcome to the last of a three part series on Women’s Self-Preservation. Before we get started on this last article, I would like to explain why I always use the term self-preservation, instead of the term “self-defense.” Self-defense is what a lot of people teach that is full of bad habits, poor tactics, misguided ideas about the reality of violence, as well as ineffective and outdated techniques.

In my numerous years as a martial artist and 16+ years as an instructor, it has been my experience that the term self-defense puts a completely unreal picture of violence in people’s heads. They often envision something akin to a movie fight scene where one person, especially a woman, can take on a hoard of attackers and escape unscathed. Self-preservation, on the other hand, destroys the fallacy by implying danger: we train to stay alive.

It is the reality that you may and most likely will get injured in a real life encounter. After a lifetime of martial arts training, Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee’s son) came home to his apartment one evening to find a burglar. This burglar was armed with a knife and attacked Lee. Even though Lee prevailed over his attacker, he sustained wounds that required stitches. Although it is possible to end an encounter without any harm to your person, the term self-preservation prepares us for the reality that it probably won’t go like it does in the movies.

By using the more aggressive sounding term, we prepare ourselves for the reality of violence and ready ourselves to strike in a more direct and aggressive manner. Self-defense is more a tactic used to defeat school-yard bullies while waiting for the teacher or principal to arrive, while self-preservation is facing a situation where your life is on the line and all that matters is survival, regardless of cost.

It is the “yeah, but you should see the other guy” mentality. With that said, this final article will move beyond the awareness and “Strike and Run” tactics of our “Escape To Gain Safety” Program, discussed in our last two articles (If you did not read those, I have included links at the bottom of this article). In this article, we will look at what to do if fleeing is not an option, either from the start or after you become aware of that fact after employing the “Escape To Gain Safety” tactics.

In the last article, we constantly referred to the CQB mantra of Speed, Surprise, and Violence of Action. We then defined Violence of Action as: delivering a purposed strike in such a manner and with enough force to initially surprise, stun, and momentarily overwhelm your attacker.

In this scenario, flight is not an option. You have attempted other options to get yourself out of harm’s way. However, in those instances where flight is not an available option and fight is your only remaining recourse, you must amp up your self-preservation tactics and shift from the initial Violence of Action into Asymmetrical Violence.

Asymmetrical Violence is a shift, not only in fighting strategy, but in fighting mentality. This is where we must develop the Killer Instinct mentality. Killer Instinct is a mindset of willingness: Willingness to do whatever it takes to survive.

Once we have this willingness of mind, Asymmetrical Violence can then be deployed. Asymmetrical Violence simply defined is: taking the fight to an extreme so rapidly as to overwhelm, surprise, and mentally overtake our opponent while disabling him quickly and successfully.

Let me give you an example: In the last article we looked at interceptions. I listed several different types and gave examples of a few variations of interceptions. I mentioned one type was a destruction. While I did not go into detail on what a destruction was and how to deliver one, let me do so now. A destruction is a tactic that comes from Kali (a Filipino Art that uses both empty hands and weapons, but is mostly associated with the stick and bladed weapons such as a knife or sword) and can be delivered on either the High Line (above the waist) or the Low Line (below the waist). There are two types of High Line destructions but, in this instance, I only want to use one. The “Elbow Destruction.” The elbow destruction can be used effectively against any punch that the attacker throws. You may have to turn slightly or angle to do so, but it can. An elbow destruction is simply having your arm raised and placed in such a manner that the knuckles of the attacker’s punching hand strike the sharp point of your elbow.

The knuckles are the part of the Metacarpals. They are very fragile and break easily. The point of the elbow is called the olecranon. Keep in mind it takes only takes 3lbs of pressure to break the neck of a metacarpal. (The neck of a metacarpal is the big knuckle on each finger that becomes pronounced when you make a fist) Conversely, it takes 8-12 lbs of pressure to break the olecranon. As you can see the knuckle will break and often shatter long before the elbow will. As a matter a fact, a metacarpal break or fracture of the 4th or 5th metacarpal is the most common injury in the world and is referred to as a Boxer’s Fracture, although more recently is being called a brawler’s break. (The 4th and 5th metacarpals are found on what are commonly referred to as the ring and pinky fingers.)

A destruction is a great intro and fighting strategy as it destroys the attacker’s hand. This kind of initial response is not only great in terms of violence of action, but a great example of Asymmetrical Violence. The attacker went to hit you and broke his hand on the first strike. This will usually end the fight, however, if it does not or you miss slightly and merely cause pain this is where Asymmetrical Violence really takes off. Keep in mind that these responses may seem extreme: this is self-preservation and is designed to keep you alive. It is not going to be pretty. There is still an element of mercy, whether or not you see it at first. If we break the attacker’s hand in our first move and end the fight, not only are we not seriously hurt, but we did not have to permanently injure, maim, or kill our attacker. Asymmetrical Violence is taking a rapid and extreme response to a situation to deescalate it instantly.

Now that we have discussed what a destruction is and why it works, I want to give you a formula for fighting that will serve you for the rest of your life. This formula is a great example of Asymmetrical Violence. Throughout this article series we have talked about Close Quarter Battle and equated its guiding principles to our violent crime scenario. If violent crime and dealing with a violent crime follows the rules of CQB, as implemented by the US Military Elite such as DEVGRU (SEAL TEAM 6), then it makes sense for us to use the same tactics they use to handle and deescalate the situation as rapidly as possible. The system they use is: Rapid Assault Tactics, a system created by Paul Vunak and Thomas C. Cruse of Progressive Fighting Systems. Both of these men not only spent years with the SEALS every day in VA, but still spend a good portion of their time with our Military and Military Elite Units today. I have been fortunate to train extensively with both of these men and call them more than my Sifus, but also my friends. I say this so you know that you are not getting some second rat- tactics, but the absolute best, straight from the source.

Rapid Assault Tactics follows a logical progression: Entry à Pressure à Termination. This flow is the absolute best methodology to end a fight successfully with minimal damage to yourself and your attacker(s). It follows the idea of Asymmetrical Violence by starting with an often fight-ending maneuver, such as a destruction, and continually increasing the reality of violence until the fight is over.

Let’s define and examine each element of the Rapid Assault Tactics Formula. First phase is the Entry: Entry is your interception or destruction. In order to accomplish this successfully as an untrained person, we need to give you a start position that makes it easy to deliver the destruction with minimal movement. The best position for this is a modified Muay Thai stance, where your arms are raised up over your head and your elbows are in close at your chest (think of it as a “hands up!” kind of posture, but your elbows are no higher than your chin). Your head should be down and you should look through the opening at your elbows. We want to up on our toes and moving, raising our knees in an alternating fashion. This movement creates what we call the Cocoon of Violence. This is true because just as you use your elbows to perform destructions on the high line, you use your knees to perform destructions on the low line.

I have defined Entry, but we need to look at it in more detail before we move on to the rest of the Rapid Assault Tactics flow. I break each aspect of Entry? Pressure? Termination flow down by equating each phase with a word in our RAT program. For example, Entry is (for me) the Rapid in RAT. That is because either the interception or destruction is delivered quickly at the onset before your attacker can get his rhythm and feel at ease. Although interceptions are effective, I feel that they require a lot more training and practice to be a practical tool for any one person. It is for this reason that we shall focus on destructions with one exception. That exception being if the attacker “loads up” and punches. When an attacker “loads up,” he pulls his arm all the way back and delivers a wild hook often referred to as a John Wayne punch. If he does this, either finger jab the eye(s) or punch the nose as described in the last article. If his groin is opening because he is facing you straight-on, you may also kick in the groin using one of the attacks from the last article. Once that is done move into to Phase 2. Otherwise, stick with the Muay Thai stance and destructions. Destructions are delivered using the elbows for punches and the knees for kicks. When the attacker throws a punch just turn your body slightly so that your corresponding elbow is facing the punch. Make sure the point of your elbow is lined up with the punch. You may have to lean back slightly to do this. Also keep in mind that this stance may seem open at the midsection. If he throws a punch at your abdomen (midsection), simply flick a finger jab into his eyes- he can’t reach your midsection without being in range for that finger jab. Onward.

If the attacker throws a kick, raise the leg so the foot or shin is hit with the point of the knee (it takes about 8-15 sometimes even 30 pounds of force to break the knee as opposed to 5-7 to break the shin bone and the bones of the foot) Be sure to turn your knee toward the oncoming kick.

For example, if someone is throwing a straight lead kick, you would just raise your knee straight up to meet the kick. However, if they throw a kick to the side of your leg such as a Muay Thai style round kick, then you would point your knee 45 degrees to meet the oncoming kick. You may ask what if they throw a kick to the midsection and you cannot get it with your knee.

That, my friend, is where the Cocoon of Violence comes in. By raising your knee, while having your arms in the aforementioned Thai stance you create a small area that the leg can access and by dropping your corresponding elbow down onto the leg while raising, you can now break the leg.

You may not always break the hand or leg in this Entry or Rapid phase and that is fine. The one thing you will do every time is creating a reaction of pain. This is the opportunity you need to move on to our second phase Pressure or the Assault aspect of Rapid Assault Tactics.

Once the attacker gives you the pain response by wincing, grabbing his hand or leg, etc. we move in with Bruce Lee’s favorite move: The Straight blast. This move is designed to overwhelm and push your attacker backward. It has long been known that no one can defend himself or fight while backing up.

He must first stop and gain a base before he can launch any effective defense, counter, or mount an attack. The RAT straight blast is done differently than the traditional straight blast found in Wing Chun called the Jik Chun Choi.

I will write an article discussing the differences between the two and their strengths/weaknesses later. For now, let’s just stick with the RAT Straight Blast designed by Progressive Fighting Systems founders Paul Vunak and Thomas C. Cruse. This move is quite simple: Vu describes it as “a 50 yard dash down someone’s centerline.”

The centerline is the imaginary line from the tip if the head to the floor that would split your body equally into a left side and a right side. To do a Straight Blast, you would run full speed at your opponent while keeping your elbows centerline at about chest level and rolling your punches one over the other in an alternating fashion, repeatedly striking the opponent’s face.

Let’s break this down into a little more detail. To do the straight blast punch, first make sure are using the vertical fist. We always strike with the vertical fist unless we are striking to certain targets on the midsection of the body, such as the Solar Plexus or the floating ribs.

On these targets a regular “Boxer’s” punch fits the target where a vertical fist would just slide off and not settle in. Punching to the face like is done in the Straight Blast is best done with a vertical fist or a Da as described in our last article.

The reason for this is simple. With a traditional horizontal punch you are only supposed to make contact with the first two knuckles and this is because on the average person these are the biggest and strongest knuckles.

The downside to this is it takes a great deal of fine motor skill, as the striking surface is 1 inch or less. Due to the chemical reaction of the fight or flight response, your fine motor skills diminishes in a fight and that is why most people miss and end up hitting with the last two metacarpals, resulting in a “Boxer’s Fracture.”

If you flip your punch vertical and hit with the bottom three metacarpals located in the middle, ring and pinky knuckles, you increase the surface area of your hit, decrease the likelihood of breaking your own hand, and can drive the bottom or pinky knuckle into the face after the initial hit for more impact and damage.

Now that we have established why we prefer a vertical fist, let’s get back to the Straight Blast. Bring your elbows into centerline and strike with your power hand first. Then bring that hand back and down on the centerline while raising and striking with alternate hand.

Drop that hand slightly and bring it back while slightly raising and striking with your dominant or “power” hand again. This creates a circular roll that accomplishes two things: 1) it increases the speed of your striking and 2) keeps a hand at centerline at all times, making it extremely hard to hit you in the face as your face and chest are always guarded.

The Straight Blast should only be done in a brief burst while running forward at your opponent. The point of this move is not to knock out your attacker, merely to overwhelm them and create a reaction. Your attacker will either put his hands up to cover and block and or his hands will go out straight at his sides trying to regain his balance.

This is your moment! If his hands go out to his sides, we move straight to phase 3, but if he covers or otherwise throws his hands in front of his face to stop the barrage of punches we must clear the obstruction to get to the neck.

This is done typically by using a Pak Sau or a Pak Sau-Lop Sau combination to clear the hands. These are known as traps and are from Wing Chun. The Pak Sau is done by taking your rear hand (Remember in JKD we use power side forward known in boxing as southpaw) and cupping your hand like you will scoop a drink of water to your mouth and slapping your opponents arm down and in.

You want to strike or slap at about mid arm and drive the arm into the midsection of the body, causing it to strike the Solar Plexus while striking simultaneously with the lead hand to the face. Be sure to move forward while driving his arm into his midsection and simultaneously punching his face.

The arm being driven into the midsection will cause your attacker to start to double over, combined with your forward movement driving the punch forward, adding power and force to your attack. *Note: Technically, a Wing Chun school will tell you the above described Pak Sau is actually a Pak Sau “slapping hand” and a Gum Sau “Pushing hand.”

I just want to say I know this, but for ease of understanding I will refer to it all as Pak Sau. Once you have done this Pak Punch move, most times you can grab the neck and move to phase 3.

Sometimes, you will encounter a person that, either by design, practice, or sheer dumb luck of reflex is able to bring his rear hand across to block the punch to the face. This windshield wiper style, check or block is called a Wu Sau or guarding hand.

In this instance, you will notice that his blocking hand and the pinned arm make a v shape. I want you to quickly and smoothly take the hand that is pinning his arm to his body and lift it slightly. Grab his arm with your pinning hand, thumb still against your hand in the cupping shape described earlier, and pull his blocking arm across his centerline, splitting the V, and drive it into his body, directly atop his other arm.

This will result in both in both arms being pinned to his body, one crossed over the other as if he is trying to hug himself. At the same time, drive forward and punch with your lead hand. This move is called a Lop Sau or Grab hand. *and yes it is technically a Lop Sau, Gum Sau but as before ease of understanding grants that we call the whole move a Lop Sau.

It is at this time we move into phase 3: Termination. Once we have a clear line to the neck, whether his arms flew out the side giving us a clear line to the neck or we had to clear the obstructions with a Pak Sau or what we refer to as a Pak Lop, we then simply step forward and grab the base of the head and terminate the fight using head butts, knees and elbows, often referred to as HKE.

If you are opting for a headbutt or a knee, make sure to grab the head with one of your hands and then grab the wrist of that hand with other. This is called a “plumb” in Muay Thai. For the knee, you simply bring pull the head down toward the ground while lifting alternating legs striking the face. If you are opting for a head butt, it important to note the head butt is not delivered like you see on TV by just slamming your forehead into the attacker’s forehead. This is because while it is true that this is the hardest part of your head, it also contains the largest cluster of nerves and will hurt you, as well as him.

Instead, lower your head and either pull his head into your lower head or drop your weight by bending your knees and then thrust your body up and slightly forward, while pulling his head down into the strike. In both instances, you should be striking with the top of your head closest to your forehead.

A good rule of thumb is if you can see what you are head butting you are doing it wrong. Lastly, if you opt for the elbows it is a great idea and even a rule in my schools to always keep one hand holding the back of his head. This allows you to not only make sure he cannot pull away, but to pull him into to each strike.

Always alternate. This means that if I grab with my right hand and elbow once with my left, I would then immediately grab the back of his head with my left and elbow with my right. After just a few elbow strikes, the fight should be over. It is a great idea to get into the habit of varying these strikes and delivering them in combination to maximize surprise, to minimize your attacker’s chance, and to give you time to respond and deliver the most damage in the shortest amount of time.

This is why I call this phase the “Tactics” phase. Grab a partner and a motorcycle helmet with a face shield (or any helmet with a full face shield), along with boxing or MMA style gloves, and practice these tactics and principles repeated.

Let’s review Rapid Assault Tactics. Phase 1 Entry also called the Rapid Phase: Interception or Destruction. Interception would be a catch, parry, or dodge followed immediately and often simultaneously with a forward moving strike.

Destructions are done with the elbow for punches and the knee for kicks. Phase 2 “Pressure or Assault phase”: Once you get the reaction of either pain or a broken hand/foot we run moving our hands in a circular motion striking the face while keeping elbows in tight in centerline (along our chest).

Phase three is the “Termination” or Tactics phase. Once we see the attacker’s arms fly out, giving us a clear line to the neck and head, we grab the head and deliver head butts, knees, and elbows in the manner described earlier.

If, instead, he brings his arms up to block the onslaught of punches, we clear the obstruction by using either the Pak Sau or Pak/Lop Combination taught in this article and, just as with attacker response 1, we grab the neck with the plumb and deliver the HKE.

It is important to note that, while I did my best to describe in detail the tactics of the RAT, it is impossible to cover all the points in one article. There is also the reality that you cannot perfect any self-preservation skill(s) by simply reading an article. Please find a qualified instructor and practice these tactics with him or her. Always wear proper safety protection whether with an instructor or training with a partner at home.

Detailed Information on Nail Patella Syndrome

Nail-patella syndrome (NPS) is a genetic disorder that is also known as Iliac Horn Syndrome. Nail-patella syndrome is a connective tissue that produces defects in the fingernails, knee caps, and kidneys. It is caused by mutations in a gene known as LIM Homeobox Transcription Factor 1-Beta (LMX1B), located on the long arm of chromosome 9. Nail abnormalities are seen in almost all individuals with nail-patella syndrome. The nails may be absent or underdeveloped and discolored, split, ridged, or pitted. The fingernails are more likely to be affected than the toenails, and the thumbnails are usually the most severely affected.

In many people with this condition, the areas at the base of the nails (lunulae) are triangular instead of the usual crescent shape. Some people with this condition may not be capable to fully expand their arms or turn their palms up while keeping their elbows straight. The elbows may also be angled outward (cubitus valgus) or have abnormal webbing. Many individuals with nail-patella syndrome have horn-like outgrowths of the iliac bones of the pelvis (iliac horns). These abnormal projections may be felt through the skin, but they do not cause any symptoms and are usually detected on a pelvic x-ray.

Iliac horns are very common in people with nail-patella syndrome and are rarely, if ever, seen in people without this condition.Various skeletal symptoms may occur. Other areas of the body may also be affected in nail-patella syndrome, particularly the eyes and kidneys. Some people develop kidney disease, which can progress to kidney failure. Kidney failure is the most dangerous consequence of nail-patella syndrome. It occurs in about 30% of patients who have kidney involvement. Eye problems may be present and vary from person to person. Nail-patella syndrome is associated with open angle glaucoma.

Treatment is usually not necessary. Treatment, when required, depends on each patient’s specific symptoms. Severe kidney disease is treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant. Renal transplantation has proven successful in patients with nail-patella syndrome (NPS) who develop ESRD. A wheelchair may be required if walking becomes painful due to bone, tendon, ligament, or muscle defects. Genetic counselling should be offered to all individuals with NPS. Orthopedic surgery may be necessary for congenital clubfoot deformity. Manipulation or surgery may be required to correct hip dislocation. Cataracts are also surgically treated.

Clashes of Self and Identity in Sylvia Plath’s Ariel Through Deconstructive Lens

Clashes of Self and Identity in Sylvia Plath’s Ariel through Deconstructive Lens

Self and Identity as two separate but interconnected Phenomenon in deconstructive approach, have been typified outstandingly in Plath’s Ariel. The derision of poetess toward the external factors, namely in social and political contexts appears to be pertinent to her latest poems. The duality of Sylvia Plath as self and Plath as daughter, as her mother and others expected her to be is a crucial point in reciting her poetry. The schizoid character of postmodern identity has no option but to experience the uncanny (Brain, 65) and to face the double(Ibid).

The attitude towards the intrinsic malady woven into poems in fact paves the way for deconstruction. Since deconstructing acts like a surgical operation applied to texts and works, thus analyzing human’s psyche opens a good scope in this field. The fact that every man is born with a double, the entire human’s struggle is to protect this spontaneous creation of double in order to preserve life. When “I” is repeated, the self and its replica are called to question.

There is obvious ambivalence between the persona’s identity and individuality in most of Plath’s poems in Ariel. The despondent chant that even the most grotesque and comic poems conceal beneath their profound layer is not dissimilar to Hemingway’s Iceberg principal. Although every text might have an icy and solid surface, this does not merely imply that accessing to the heart of the work is not feasible.

Identity in question, Motifs of Double and Duality

To discuss the self, one should recollect nd summon up the challenging notion of Identity and its play of doubleness and duality. The whole life of an artist is summarized in one quest that is the process through which could find Identity. Almost inevitable, all of Plath’s poems intentionally allude to indefiniteness of gender to remove all identities feasible from the narrator individuality.

To quote Tracy Brain in her blockbuster book, The Other Sylvia Plath that was one of literary breakthroughs of twenty century would be conceptualization of Identity concept regarding Sylvia Plath’s own identity. Brain provides the reader with Plathian Doubleness (Brain, 121) with the amazing hint to Sylvia Plath’s thesis on Dostoyevsky’s use of double in her mastering masterpiece, M.A project. Therefore, she was not only unfamiliar with this sort of literature, focusing on characters and their doubles, but also a qualified and specialized enthusiastic about the so-called subject matter. Taking into account the doubling of her own self, the genderless speaker of Plath’s Ariel with no specific nationality and gender colored a new cubism in the canvas of her poetry.

In “Tulips”, taken from The collected poems of Sylvia Plath edited by Ted Hughes, the persona’s loss of self during her hospital experience is portrayed via these lines, she weightlessly feels free from all earthly belongings that they “catch onto her skin”(Line 25,P.161) like “little smiling hooks” (Ibid):

I am nobody

I have nothing to do with explosions.

I have given my name and my day-clothes up to nurses

And my history to the anesthetist And my body to surgeons


Now I have lost myself (Lines 6-11)

Watching her identity recede, she sees the tulips and everything like the marriage affixed ring as a kind of entrapment. The petulance of speaker’s voice here has been mixed with artistic frenzy of its creator’s mind.

Entrapment of “I” in Ariel poems

The conceptual interpretation of “I” has been reiterated in Ariel poems. One’s being is shaped around this pronoun and left the modern criticism unjustified and unwarranted in superfluous understanding and perception of this mystified entity. The fact behind these repetitions affirms the unity of “I”, but at the same time casts it into doubt and ambiguity as well. As in Derrida’s Critique cited in Porritt, (328) “Surpassing Derrida’s Deconstructed Self” “…sense of self almost perishes.”(328), when the unity of signified/signifier would be ruptured and ripped apart through the extension of repeated “I am I, I…”In another word, articulation of “I” is masking the absence of self, or to use Derrida’s terms, the voice masks an “always already absent presence”.

Considering the fact that “I” could play the external and emphatic stress for the very sign of self, nonetheless this intruding pronoun poses the legitimacy of self into question. As a matter of fact, “I” deceives one into fallaciously impression of a singular Self.To broaden Derrida’s philosophy further, “I am I am I”, is as if the “I” is trapped between two opposing mirrors. Consequently, the origin appears to be unattainable since “the reflection, the image, the double splits what it doubles.”(325). self-identity is multiplied within the frame within frame of infinite range and as a result there is no self entity of “I” who claims “I am I”.

The lack of self-identity emerges in one of Plath’s illustrious poem titled “Daddy”, in which the origin of character is irretrievably lost. The poem is a notable parody of distorted identity, where the language itself has come to facilitate the narrator’s schizophrenic psyche in achieving a verbal that is true to its fragmentation and inconsistence. The instability of Daddy’s gender and masculinity implicitly diminish and cheapen the patriarchal supremacy and power. To identify the foot and the root of one’s origin, in the daughter, duality of two racial heritages neutralize each other in a grotesque way. This degeneration of identity tyrannizes harshly with applying the verbal language true to this atmosphere.

Despite all doubtfulness and improbability which govern the identity in various shapes, In “Lady Lazarus”, Plath refers to her I-affirmation that is inevitable:

Yes, yes Herr Professor

It is I

Can you deny? (Collected Poems p.246, Line 79)

These paradoxes of self-affirmation along with self-rejection in contradictory way have extravagantly contributed to unsteadiness of identity itself.

The fragile position of both identity and language that the poem shapes and figures around it can be observed through the repeated words, putting the idea of assurance and as well uncertainty forward. As if the speaker seeks to draw the spectator’s approval and permission via repeating and rephrasing. Since replicating implies that the speaker is not confident about conveying her ideas properly. “I” as the most significant of Self- Identity has been rendered to “Ich”, the German equivalence for the pronoun “I”. Applying “Ich” could be deemed as a reference to Plath’s double racial identity and at the same time regarded as a closure that the pronoun “Ich” connotes with its disarticulation and suffocation, due to consonant ending.

As a result, it frustrates any self-definition and this selflessness has occupied most of Plath’s Ariel poems.

In contrast to “I” that is free and at least carries liberation in its articulation, however there are some obstacles and shortcomings in its clarity and restriction of defined range, “ich” seems to be timid and unpronounced.

The tarnished individuality presides over the poems and the disturbing paralysis of this realization would lead the character to a sort of passivity and subjectlessness. The impossibility of any self definition makes the narrator come terrifyingly close to depersonalization and dehumanization, that means equating people and object to indicate devaluation of human life and relations. As “Applicant” depersonalizes human’s relationships and affiliations in this way:

I noticed you are stark naked.

How about this suit-Black and stiff,

but not a bad fit.

Will you marry it? (Collected Poems p.221, Lines19-22)

Marrying to black and stiff suit is the death of all conjugal matrimony. Personification is used to undermine the integration of human being’s individuality. Ariel poems are the exact mirror to question identity and everything relevant to do so. The “I” is trapped, dismembered and equated to be taken for granted like commodity. This is the culpability and blameworthiness that the modern human has to pay for price of industrialized machinery world. “Cut” is looked upon as one of brilliant cases in point:

What a thrill–

My thumb instead of an onion


Of skin,

A flap like a hat,

Dead white.

Then that red plush (Collected Poems, P235, Lines 1-8)

To personify the injured finger here as a result of dismemberment, the poetess attempts to incarnate the solo finger by addressing it:

O my

Homunculus, I am ill.

I have taken a pill to kill

The thin

Papery feeling (P235, Lines 22-26)

Undoubtedfully it must be the thumb that the speaker is talking to, since it is the shortest finger, like a homunculus and dwarf.Taking the medicine as narcotic and sedative to soothe and alleviate the pain of injured finger is in fact to heal the separated and dehumanized self and accordingly to kill the depersonalization that is like a papery feeling. Paper can be regarded as a white board in which the identity would define itself. But “Papery feeling” is flimsy and frail. Feeling like a paper is an absolute acceptance of depersonalization and devaluation of human life. Also one may assume that paper is associated with formal atmosphere and any social ritual issues. As it is previously declared here that depersonalization and fragmentation is a distinguishable trait in Ariel poems, the researcher would have a preference to end this part of discussion with Sylvia Plath’s apparent personification of dominant images in her poem “Elm”, the 24th line, she fabulously writes:

“The moon, also, is merciless”. (Collected Poems, 192)

Assuming the moon to be merciless like a living creature is the grotesque image of demanding and reification of human’s characteristics.

The objectification of self that has been atrophied and emaciated in socioeconomic atmosphere in consequence of World War II would be a justification to move toward scrutinizing the phenomenon of self.

Phenomenon of Self

They stuck me together with glue (Collected Poems222)

To unravel the complex network of self entity would look to be unfeasible. Notwithstanding the sense of self per se could be determined by what one perceives from the atmosphere. The psyche is trapped within the body frame. As discussed in previous section, the external representative of self, the so called “I” can not substantiate and prove the entity of self. In another word the inability of “i”in self-confirmation has cast the credibility of self into doubt and suspicion. If “I”is signifier, the self as a reflector might be the signified. But vice versa is potentially probable, self as signifier and “I” as signified. As this interchangeable transaction exists, subsequently the correspondence between “I” and self is like orbiting a circle, infinite, repeatable and substitutive. This incorporeal and abstract splitting up of self is perverted symbiosis of persona. Although this falsification of self makes the sustainability of human’s life possible, otherwise there would not be any incentives to live upon it.

Derrida’s notion of self, cited in Porritt (323), argues that “Derrida dismantles the concept of “self” as a unified, identifiable presence or entity. Derrida specifically views the self as “split”, the self is therefore unable to provide a solid foundation for meaning”. In proportion to Derrida’s contribution to deconstruction of self (ibid), self is not a unified, singular and identifiable entity, but only a phenomenon created by human language.

The aesthetic self of artist is so susceptible and perceptive that when the quest for its definition and discovery fails, this feeling of gloom and frustration would lead the character to mental breakdown and psychological disorder. One should not ignore the fact that accessing to the resources of profound feelings often occurs in mental breakdown mood. Knowing the fact that Plath was a psychopath suffering from psychic collapse sporadically, that is why Plath’s hospital writing is full of delicate and passionate description and sketch. The tangible fluctuation between self-loathing and self-recognition would lead the persona to a sort of schizophrenic disposition along with experiencing polarities of a self that has been divided and fragmented in this ill at ease situation of mind.

Mesquite Trees in Arizona

Mesquite trees belong in Arizona. As Jay Sharp, editor and author for the website, expresses, “the mesquites symbolize our Southwestern deserts” as much as “the Coyote, the Black-tail Jackrabbit, the Western Diamondback, scorpions, the Saguaro and prickly pear cacti.” Indeed, mesquite trees in Arizona are “as blended into the life of the land as cornbread and tortillas.” (Lometa)

Perfectly Adapted to the Desert

Mesquites are very hardy desert trees, having adapted over the centuries to life in the desert landscapes in and around Arizona. All of their physical characteristics ensure their survival here, including their foliage, their bean pods, and their root systems. They grow well in full sun and high temperatures, but will also tolerate the cold during Arizona’s winter (down to 0º Fahrenheit). They are sometimes found in rather high elevation and will adapt to shallow rocky soils. According to reports by the U. S. Department of Agriculture and Forest Service, a mesquite tree can live for more than two centuries. (Sharp)

Mesquite trees in Arizona can survive in areas that receive very little rainfall because of their expansive root system. The lateral roots of a mesquite tree reach out many times farther than its canopy. They also have very deep tap roots that can dig for a drink as deep as 175 feet below ground level, though a depth of 50 feet is more typical. So, they simultaneously have access to water both at the very top and bottom layers of the soil.

The tiny waxy leaflets of mesquite trees retain precious moisture by minimizing the moisture lost through transpiration. They are deciduous trees, meaning they offer excellent shade during the summer but drop their leaves and allow the sunshine through during the winter for warmth. During extreme drought, they will diminish transpiration even further by prematurely dropping their leaves.

The mesquite tree is a member of the legume family (relatives of beans and peas), which makes it especially adapted to an arid environment. Mesquite trees have the ability to fertilize themselves and surrounding plants through a symbiotic relationship with colonies of soil bacteria. The bacteria that inhabit mesquite tree roots convert or “fix” atmospheric nitrogen, making available in the soil this mineral that is essential for the growth and germination of plants. Many gardeners utilize this same process to enrich soil by planting nitrogen fixing cover crops. (Sharp, Schalau)

Mesquite trees in Arizona are amazingly prolific. Their beans, encased in protective pods, are very durable. In fact, “A seed left undisturbed in its pod can stay viable for up to 40 years.” (Clayton) Animals play an important role in the scarification of the seeds (needed for germination) and dispersal through fecal matter.


Mesquite trees are easy to identify, looking almost like a giant fern bush. They can reach a height of 30 feet, but the average mesquite tree growing wild in the Arizona desert is about half that size. Many have multiple trunks. Under the harshest of conditions, the mesquite will resemble a bush more than a tree. Their branch structure is often very twisted and jointed, adding to their individual uniqueness. In the spring and early summer, they display clusters of finger-shaped protuberances covered in tiny delicate flowers. These are followed by the formation of the long, thin bean pods, which are usually a shade of brown but vary in appearance between species. Many types of mesquite trees have thorns of some kind, which can either be very short or monstrous in length (and all are horribly sharp!).

Three Arizona Mesquite Tree Natives & Their Cousins

There are about 40 mesquite varieties found worldwide, but three species are native to the state of Arizona. They grow not only in the Sonoran desert, but also in the Mojave and Chihuahuan deserts. Their range is astonishing, spanning tens of millions or acres from western Texas to California, from Mexico to southern parts of Utah. They can thrive in a great diversity of habitats as found within the range described. (Lometa, Sharp)

The three mesquite tree species native to Arizona are:

  • Prosopis glandulosa – known as the honey mesquite or Texas Mesquite. These usually have a weeping form, and can be quite pretty.
  • Prosopis velutina – known as the Arizona mesquite or native mesquite. Also called the velvet mesquite because of the soft hairs that cover young growth. They are rather shaggy and snarled in appearance. They are popular in nurseries, and will grow well on lawns and golf courses.
  • Prosopis pubescens – known as the screwbean mesquite, earning its name from the spiraled or coiled shape of their seed pods.

Besides these three, there are many other types of mesquite trees that grow in Arizona. Many are hybrids of the honey, velvet or screwbean mesquite, occurring mostly where the respective ranges of these native species overlap. Others are nonnative mesquite species, most originating from South America. There is the Argentine mesquite (Prosopis alba), the Chilean mesquite (Prosopis chilensis), and numerous other varieties and their hybrids. No nonnative species will be as suited to the climate here as the mesquites that are native to Arizona. For example, the Chilean mesquite does not seem as tolerant of the lower winter temperatures in Arizona.

Botanical Foes

Despite their many positive qualities, mesquite trees are considered by many as an invasive weed. In many countries outside of North and South America where they have been introduced they have been extremely invasive and troublesome, especially in Australia.

The mesquite tree is cursed by inhabitants of our own Arizona desert as well. Cattlemen especially dislike them, but the overgrazing of their herds over the past couple of centuries has exacerbated the very problem that they complain about, which is the mesquite tree’s competition with grasses. In an area that is overgrazed, cattle not only threaten the populations of the natural grasses that compete with mesquite trees for water, but they also help the mesquites spread by eating and dispersing the seeds. As Frank Dobie puts it, “The white man sowed with over-grazing; he is now reaping thickets of mesquites that are stabbing millions of acres of land into non-productiveness.” All efforts to thwart or control this stubborn native Arizona tree have all failed and been deemed impractical or ineffective. Whether by fire, herbicide use, or physical tree removal of various means, the costs and environmental side effects of trying to control the population and spread of the mesquite have made it a problem with no easy solution.

Sharp reminds us: “Uninvited guest or welcome neighbor, the mesquites belong to the desert.  They evolved in the desert.  They play a core role in the desert ecosystem.” (Jay Sharp)

Historic Significance and Modern Uses

“Over the past several centuries, no one plant has probably played a greater and more vital role in the lives of humankind in the southwestern United States than the short stature, crooked mesquite.” (excerpted from The Magnificent Mesquite by Ken E. Rogers.) Indeed, the mesquite trees strewn across the Southwest have literally saved numerous lives. They provided the “manna from heaven” for the suffering men of the 1841 Texas Santa Fe Expedition, as recorded in the journal of George W. Kendall (also quoted by Rogers). The beans are sweet and nutritious, and more protein-rich than the soybean. (Lometa)

Another food that comes from the mesquite trees in Arizona (though not directly) is honey. The swarms of bees that are strongly attracted to the mesquite flower’s nectar do more than just fill their important role as pollinators, after all. This, however, does not complete the list of foods derived from the mesquite. Even their sap has been utilized as sweet gum or as black dye.

‘Pinole’ is made by grinding the pods, with or without the beans still inside. It can be used as four or, because of its sweetness, as a condiment or spice. This mesquite flour is said to be healthy for diabetics, because it is sweetened by fructose, which the body processes without insulin. This is just one example of the many digestive and nutritional advantages of the mesquite tree and other foods of the desert that has been discovered. (Lometa)

Various parts of the mesquite tree have also been used as remedies for many different ailments by the Indians and settlers of the frontier era. Examples of the ailments that the mesquite tree helped to ease or heal are: diarrhea, dysentery, colic, flesh wounds, headaches, ailing eyes, and sore throat.

The wood, bark and pods of mesquite trees are popularly used for barbecue and for other purposes. The dry wood burns slow, hot and with very little smoke. It has an unmistakable aroma. Some insist that burning the pods along with the charcoal and wood chips make the flavor even richer. (Lometa) Besides for heat and for cooking, the wood has been used for the construction of Spanish missions, colonial haciendas, ranch houses and fencing. (Sharp) The Native Americans used the hard mesquite wood for spears and arrowheads, and the bark of the mesquite tree for making baskets and fabrics. The thorns were used as needles. Today the wood is artistically valuable for making furniture or sculpture because of its sometimes dark colors and beautiful gnarled patterns.

Of course, mesquite trees in Arizona are beneficial not only to humans but also to our wildlife. Animals use the mesquite as shelter, habitat and food. In the late summer and fall, mesquite beans make up as much as 80 percent of the coyote’s diet!  The bean pods also can serve as fodder for livestock when the grasses are inadequate.

Maintenance, Problems and Treatments

Though mesquite trees in Arizona do not require much maintenance, the specimens growing around our homes could benefit from a little extra care during unusually hot summers or times of extended drought. Sun-scorch is one of the very few problems that can plague mesquite trees planted as part of landscaping, though they are not as susceptible to this as are citrus and other fruit trees in Arizona. Infrequent but deep watering and occasional fertilizing will help ensure that the mesquites around our homes do not suffer a decline of health and beauty.

During years when Arizona receives plentiful rainfall, mesquite trees do not need extra watering. However, in times of drought, the leaves will become sparse and allow more sunlight through to the branches. This is exacerbated by the need in the city to keep mesquite trees thinned out to survive storms and heavy winds, so as not to cause damage to homes and other structures. If the bark is exposed to too much intense sun, sun-scorch may occur, especially where the sunlight is most direct (i.e. on the top of horizontal branches at midday). Sun-scorch causes permanent damage to the cambium, or the sapwood layer underneath the bark. The cracked bark and dead tissues resulting from severe sun-scorch can lead to secondary infections and infestations, such as bark beetles and a fungus called ‘sooty canker’.

Sun-scorch on mesquite trees in Arizona can be prevented but not undone. Reflective paint on the most vulnerable branches will minimize a mesquite tree’s chances of being sun-damaged. Branches already affected should be removed back to a branch with healthy tissues. The best way to prevent sun-scorch is to encourage leafy growth to protect the tree during the hotter part of the year by some watering and by light fertilizing. Give the mesquite trees ammonium sulfate once in the springtime. Unless already fed by drippers or sprinklers (whether in your own or in a neighboring yard), water them deeply every two months from early spring to early fall. If the monsoons bring adequate water, skip deep-watering during this period.

A mesquite tree that is planted in someone’s yard may not be as hardy as the volunteer trees growing wild in the desert. Most likely, a nursery-grown mesquite tree planted for landscaping purposes has spent some time in a pot. The more time any tree spends in a pot, the more likely it is to become root-bound. An impaired root system makes for a mesquite tree that not only struggles to receive what little water they need to thrive, but also is more prone to falling over because their ‘anchoring’ is not as sturdy. John Begeman says, “Try as you may, it is impossible to get a wobbly tree to anchor in the ground. By putting up stronger stakes and wires, righting the tree when it falls over, […] you are just prolonging the inevitable. […] The best thing to do with an unstable tree is to get rid of it and start over with a healthy specimen.” Please refer to his article entitled Remove Wobbly Mesquite Trees [] for more information on the subject.

If nothing else, I hope that this article on mesquite trees in Arizona increases some Arizonans’ appreciation for this native plant as something that undeniably belongs in this desert we call home.

“Primroses burn their yellow fires

Where grass and roadway meet;

Feathered and tasseled like a queen,

Is every old mesquite.”

-J. Frank Dobie


Begeman, John. “Remove Wobbly Mesquite Trees.” Arid-Southwestern Gardening Information. Sep 2003.

Begeman, John. “Sun-Scorched Mesquite and Palo Verde.” Arid-Southwestern Gardening Information. Mar 2000.

Clayton, Robin N. “Velvet Mesquite Tree.” Arizona Highways.

Dobie, Frank J. “The Mesquite.” Arizona Highways. Nov 1941.

Lometa. “Mesquite (Thing).” Everything2. Aug 2002.

Shalau, Jeff. “Respect the Mesquite Tree.” Backyard Gardener. Jan 2007.

Sharp, Jay W. “The Mesquite: Something that Belongs.” DesertUSA.

Manchester Dental Implant Guide on a Broken or Fractured Tooth

Less common than a tooth ache but a fractured or chipped off tooth is quite a common reason for someone rushing to a dentist.

There is always a fear of having to lose a tooth when it breaks. Especially if it’s the front tooth, the emotional trauma of having to lose the tooth can be even worse than a tooth ache for some.

Fortunately, thanks to modern dentistry there is often a procedure to repair the damage and restore the tooth to its natural form, function and aesthetics.

Well, when you see your dentist depending on the extent and nature of fracture, various treatment options may be offered.

The dentist might need to take an X-ray to determine the state of the root and any corresponding secondary damage. Also needed would be a series of vitality checks for the tooth to determine the state of the nerve within.

For instance, if it’s only a minor chip not involving a great amount of tooth damage, it can be built up to its original form with composites which are tooth coloured filling materials. The vast availability of shades and tints will allow your dentist to create a natural result.

The tooth can be veneered to restore a moderately fractured tooth, without nerve damage though. For veneers the tooth is slightly roughened/prepared and an impression taken to be sent to the dental laboratory, which then fabricates a veneer to be cemented in place by the dentist on the next visit.

Alternatively, the tooth might need crowning depending on the extent of fracture and the remaining tooth structure. Again this is a two visit procedure as laboratory work is involved.

With both veneer and crown the tooth is given a temporary chair-side restoration until the final laboratory fabricated permanent veneer/crown is fitted.

It might be that the nerve within the tooth is damaged, dying or dead, in which case the tooth will need to be root filled before crowning.

Also at times it can be difficult to determine the vitality status of a damaged tooth. The dentist in such a scenario might suggest to proceed with the restoration and consider root canal treatment at a later stage if need arises.

Similarly if it’s the back tooth which is broken it can be restored by filling (amalgam or composite) , inlay or crown depending on the extent of damage.

An inlay is a lab fabricated filling which fits within the tooth, whilst a crown goes over the tooth and covers it.

There is a possibility that the tooth is fractured vertically along its root. In such cases it is usually advisable to extract the tooth and replace it with denture, bridge or implant as suited to the condition.

So…….had a fall, don’t panic!! Go and see your dentist as there are a variety of ways to restore your tooth and cosmetically enhance any damage that has taken place. It is always important to seek qualified professional advice if you have had an accident or are experiencing any tooth discomfort.

This article is free to republish provided the authors resource box below remains intact.

Type 2 Diabetes – Many Modern Day Diseases Are Man-Made

When it comes to diseases, there are predominantly two ways they can be categorized: those that are man-made and those capable of afflicting us regardless of our influence. That being said, there is some overlap between these categories. Various conditions can surface because we are predisposed to them and because we facilitated its development.

Type 2 diabetes is a good example. You may be at risk because it runs in your family but also because you lead an unhealthy lifestyle. It is important to note Type 1 diabetes is very different because its exact cause is unknown. Some people are susceptible to factors we do not fully understand.

Let us focus on the man-made diseases because they warrant our attention for two reasons…

  • we are primarily responsible for them, and
  • they can usually be prevented.

While some individuals are at greater risk for Type 2 diabetes because of factors outside their control, it is mostly a man-made disease. We have learned the primary factors driving its development are within our control. Notably, these include…

  • diet,
  • body weight,
  • fitness,
  • overall lifestyle, and
  • general well-being.

It is rare to see adults develop Type 2 diabetes when these facets of life are in good standing – even if this form of diabetes runs in the family. On the other hand, many diagnosed Type 2 diabetics often show a lack of discretion in these areas.

Evidently, Type 2 diabetes is a disease we can highly influence. For better or worse.

As it happens, much of the same rings true for obesity. The correlation between what causes Type 2 diabetes and obesity are so high they are usually present concurrently. Remember there are different grades of obesity. Not all diabetics have a severe case and similarly, not all adults who are overweight are morbidly obese. Often, the cases of diabetes and obesity are relatively mild in those who are diagnosed. Which means with some time and effort, both diseases can be effectively managed and treated.

If you are an overweight diabetic, you most likely are aware of the part you played in bringing this about. But there is a silver lining: you are capable of fixing the problem. What is man-made can be undone. What matters, as always, is you are willing. Only then will your odds at succeeding be in your favor.

Type 2 diabetes and obesity are debilitating diseases affecting many people in modern society. But you do not have to conform. You can say “no” to diabetes and being overweight or obese. It is empowering to know your choices do make a difference.

Which choice will you make?

The Implications of Marital Vow

Marriage is a faith project. That is because everything about it cannot be known, seen, projected, calculated or estimated from the beginning by the people entering into it. Therefore, any man and woman who does not apply faith in marriage may have an unhappy marriage or broken home.

Marriage is for life and to ensure that people going into it keep to this rule, a covenant is made by them. Any serious agreement goes with a vow or pledge. A promise to become husband and wife goes by making a vow. However, there are implications of marital vow.

The implications of marital vow are:

” For Better: This implies that you would continue to love the person no matter the promotion you receive after the wedding. This can be academic, financial, political, or spiritual promotion.

” For Worse: Things can go downwards after your wedding. It could be bad as adultery. The vow implies that you will continue with the relationship. All you need is to seek for solution through counseling and prayers.

” In Riches: This means that you cannot abandon your spouse when riches multiply. The riches are to make the marriage sweeter and not tear you both apart.

” In Poverty: You can experience a financial downturn after some time in your marriage. You do not need to run to another man because your husband is down financially, nor should you leave him because you can no longer afford some luxuries you were used to before. For the husband, you do not need to beat up your wife at the slightest provocation simply because she is making demand of necessities in the home, on account of your financial downturn, can no longer afford. As both of you pray and trust God together, things will change.

” At times sickness can attack one of the partners in the marriage. Some particularly challenging sicknesses that can attack a spouse include insanity, epilepsy, barrenness, or cancer. When this happens, it becomes imperative to stand by your spouse and not dump him or her.

” Till death do Us Part: As you say this, it implies that only death can nullify a marriage covenant.

Treatment therapies for cerebral palsy from hospitals

Cerebral palsy is represented as a certain kind of disorder that creates an impact on the toning of the muscles, their motions, their coordination & fulfilling the purpose. This mainly occurs due to damage to the brain that happens prior or after childbirth. It can also occur when the child’s age ranges among 3 to 5. This kind of disorder to the brain can further lead to other problems related to health like vision, hearing, speech, learning & concentration. They include the following types:

• Spastic cerebral palsy:
This leads to problems relating to movement & stiffness.

• Athetoid cerebral palsy:
They lead to automatic movements that possess no control.

• Ataxic cerebral palsy:
They cause problems with the balance & deep thinking.

It is important to achieve the treatment techniques to get cured by such disorders. Such techniques are gaining popularity gradually wherein therapies revolving cerebral palsy is very popular. There are a number of ways that can provide information about the variety of hospitals & clinics executing such treatments recommended for the people suffering from this disease. Moreover there are innumerable institutions with proper kinds of facilities that are providing for the essential treatments to such people. These hospitals are provided with the latest technologies in the region of research & analysis but they can prove to be very expensive enhancing the difficulties of the common man.

But if you are still looking for the ways that are providing reasonable rates for the treatments of this disorder by the hospitals & the clinics, there are still many options of the same available. There centers provide with potential facilities with effective therapies to cure cerebral palsy & cure the patients in the best possible way.

Autism is an endangered deficiency that mainly affects the children. Such affected children can be found in all parts of the globe. The cause contains no relation with the location, social well-being of these children & many other components. There is a need to conduct efficient analysis to provide proper treatment to such affected children. There are some essential treatment techniques that can be carried out which include certain vital therapies. They include both homeopathic & herbal treatment measures to battle against this deficiency. Such measures are not associated with any kind of side-effects since the herbal content in these therapies proves to be a natural method of treatment. Thus, people from all across the world are making use of such techniques.

Studies Show Vitamin B3 Aids Stroke Recovery

Studies show that Vitamin B3 aids stroke recovery, this was revealed by Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute’s director Dr. Michael Chopp last February during the International Stroke Conference held in Texas.

Commonly known as Niacin, Vitamin B3 releases energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats so that these can be used by the body. This way, it helps control blood sugar levels, keeps skin healthy, and maintains proper functioning of the digestive and nervous systems. It is useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis and prevent diabetes or delay the need for insulin.

Niacin’s role in stroke prevention is one of the new discoveries in terms of benefits. It prevents stroke, particularly ischemic stroke due to atherosclerosis, because regular intake of Vitamin B3, which is commonly found in most of the food we consume daily, actually helps increase good cholesterol in the blood and reduces arterial plaque. A fact most beneficial if combined with Vitamin A and E than Niacin alone, according to research.

Now, Niacin’s role in stroke care is increasing as the study of Dr. Chopp seem to indicate. The study involved rats induced with ischemic stroke and given niacin, which in turn revealed an increase in nerve cells and blood vessels. The study indicates that Niacin helps restore neurological functions after stroke.

Dr. Chopp’s team observed that the brains of the ischemic stroke-induced rats showed growth of new blood cells, sprouting of nerve cells, and improved neurological outcomes after these were given Niacin. Thus, they found that Niacin helps restore neurological function in the brain of animals following a stroke by rewiring the brain.

However, since testing of its benefits on stroke treatment is still in animal level, human testing is still needed before Niacin can be proven effective in treating stroke. They are now in the process of conducting human trials through an extended-release form of Niacin in stroke patients.

Their study also confirmed the effectivity of Niacin to increase High-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol (HDL-C) in the blood, also known as the good cholesterol, which helps get rid of fatty deposits in arterial walls that lead to atherosclerosis. Niacin’s increasing of HDL-C in the blood also increased blood vessels in the brain and axonal and dendritic growth leading to a substantial improvement of neurological function.

Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in red meat, poultry, potatoes, yoghurt, pasta, fish, nuts, milk, eggs, and foods fortified with it such as breads and breakfast cereals.

Studies show that Vitamin B3 or Niacin aids stroke recovery by rewiring the brain and recreating aspects of it. While studies such as these are still underway for human trial, the fact remains that, as of this time, Vitamin B3 or Niacin is still best for stroke prevention. Meanwhile, stroke victims have NeuroAid to use for their stroke treatment as it still remains effective in neurological functions recovery.