EFT and Epilepsy

SL came to see me in March 2002 because she wanted some changes in her life and mostly because she wanted to see if EFT would help her with the epileptic seizures she had experienced for the past 10 years.

Even though SL was on medication she still continued to experience seizures approximately fortnightly. SL had recently enrolled in college to continue her education and the medication was effecting her ability to function in this learning environment.

First thing I did was telling SL that I was not sure if EFT would help with the symptoms, however it would help with her emotions regarding the problem.

I got SL to give me her life history and when the epilepsy started. She told me that the seizures had started 10 years ago and that she was in a physically abusive relationship for the past 15 years. Her husband would attack her physically at the slightest provocation and she experienced that trauma on a regular basis in her marriage. She felt that she could not leave the relationship because of their children.

When she developed epilepsy, the physical beatings stopped altogether, however the emotional and mental abuse continued. Whether a part of SL developed epilepsy as a coping mechanism and way to circumvent the physical abuse or whether it was a result of the getting hit on the head frequently, is up for speculation. SL did tell me that she knew when a seizure was about to occur because her physical visual perception would change and a strange feeling would creep up the back of her head.

So I suggested I show her the tapping technique and use statements such as:

I didn’t know how to deal with my husband then

I didn’t know how to stop him from beating me then

I didn’t want to leave my children

I didn’t want my children to suffer by seeing the violence

I didn’t know how to cope with the situation then

I did the best I could under the circumstances

I was humiliated

I was intimidated

I feared for my life

A part of me created these problems to keep me safe

After our session I didn’t see SL for 6 months. When I spoke with her, she informed me that she had gone off her medication because it was not controlling her seizures and that tapping was. Since she was aware of when her seizure was about to occur, she could tap on the points on her face particularly, and interrupt the seizure for occurring. It’s been 6 months and not one seizure yet and she is not taking her medication either. She told me that after the first session, she made the decision not to continue with her medication and to tap regularly, every morning and evening and anytime she thought she needed it. That is her choice.

I want to add here that I have had 2 other clients who also suffer from epilepsy. Both are aware of when a seizure is about to occur and have learned to tap just in time to prevent it happening. One remains on his medication and the other decided to also try discontinuing her medication and instead use tapping as a pattern interrupt.

Stroke: A Worldwide Concern

According to the World Health Organization, 15 million people die worldwide of Stroke. Of these, 5 million die and another 5 million are permanently disabled. In Europe, an average of 650,000 stroke-related deaths is recorded each year. In recent reports, incidence of stroke has considerably decreased over the past few years. This has been attributed to massive information and education campaigns regarding high blood pressures, nutritional values and active lifestyle to prevent Strokes and Heart Attacks. However, the number is still high because of older population.

In the United States, Stroke is the third leading cause of death. Over 143,579 people die each year and it is the leading cause of disability in the country. Studies show that stroke death is higher for African-Americans than for whites, even at younger age and women are more prone to stoke than men at an older age.

For years, experts have been trying to educate people about the health hazards of sedentary lifestyle. But because of the ever improving technology and the constant search of man for total and complete convenience, sedentary living is quite inevitable. Even the demands of the working environment nowadays do not allow much time to prepare nutritionally balanced meal every day. Though there are companies with gym and exercise areas, still, stress and pressures of a fast-paced environment is potentially harmful to health.

Although technology is one big factor of our sedentary lives, it is also a big factor in curing a lot of diseases that were considered fatal before. Stroke is not as impossible to rehabilitate today as it was in the early 20thcentury. Sophisticated equipments and treatment programs allow individuals to fully recover after a massive stroke. But of course, just like everything else, it will depend on the different factors. Severity is one factor of stroke. Another is the person’s health background if there are other diseases that contributed or aggravated the stroke. The patient’s state of mind and the support of family and friends are also significant consideration in terms of patient recovery.

With the right medical approach, rehabilitation of a stroke patient can already be achieved one hundred percent. Stroke is an injury in the brain that can cause paralysis and can also damage the speech capabilities of an individual. Depending on the severity of the injury sustained by the brain during stroke, the rehabilitation can be as short as 16 days after being discharged from the hospital or several months. It will depend entirely on the individualistic program approach that the therapists and physicians will recommend the patient.

A team of experts, including but not limited to, Physicians, Physical Therapist and Speech and Language Pathologist will be required for the complete rehabilitation of a stroke patient. A Neurologist usually leads and heads the team of Stroke Experts. A Physical Therapist is primary responsible in the rehabilitation of the patient’s sensory and motor skills with emphasis on movements. Speech and Language Pathologist generally helps as stroke survivors regain their ability to talk and swallow.

The internet Stroke Center has updated information on stroke as well as the National Institutes of Health which has vital information on Stroke and other Neurological Diseases and Injuries. These are also the sources of information of this article.

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Facts About Insomnia

There are several symptoms that may indicate that you are suffering from insomnia. Do you find it difficult to concentrate on work during the day? Are you experiencing daytime irritability, fatigue, or drowsiness? Do you wake up too early in the morning? Do you rely on alcohol or sleeping pills to get your sleep at night? Is your sleep not refreshing? Once you wake up, even after midnight, do you find it difficult to get back to sleep? Do you wake up frequently during the night? Are you trying your best but are still unable to get a sound sleep? If your answer to all these questions is yes, it means you are not getting the amount and quality of sleep you need. This type of sleeping disorder is termed insomnia. The following is a brief rundown on some of its causes, effects, and possible cures.

Causes

Some Possible Causes Of Insomnia Include The Following.

– Stress is the biggest factor. Career issues, family problems, workplace pressure are some of the reasons that may make you stressed.

– Depression – an emotional feeling of hopelessness.

– Chronic feelings of worry and anxiety. – This type of sleeping disorder is also found in people who go through a traumatic experience.

– Your sleeping environment also matters. If it is not quiet and comfortable, you will not be able to get a good quality of sleep in an adequate amount.

– Some health issues may also interfere with sleep.

– Psychological disorders, such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, hallucinations, and schizophrenia.

– The problem of indigestion may also be a possible cause. It is very difficult to let your body sleep if it is unable to digest the food you have eaten.

– We all tend to develop a body clock that tells the body when to sleep and when to wake up. Sometimes this body clock is disturbed, because of working in irregular shifts. This eventually leads to the problem of insomnia.

Effects

Insomnia can adversely affect your life, both physically and emotionally. If you are getting less than five hours of sleep, it is can lead to obesity. It not only affects your health, but also has serious effects on your personal and professional life. Lack of concentration in work is a very common complaint from people who suffer from insomnia. It can be very dangerous if your work involves operating heavy machinery frequently or driving for long hours. You will feel extremely tired during the daytime. It affects your mood also, as you always feel irritated. All these effects are certainly going to have a big impact on your lifestyle.

Cure

The Good News Is That Insomnia Is A Curable Disorder. The Following Methods May Prove Very Helpful In Dealing With This Problem:

– Get better sleeping environment. Your bedroom must be cool, dark, and quiet.

– Avoid or at least limit the intake of nicotine (cigarette), alcohol, and caffeine.

– Avoid getting into stressful situation before you go to bed. Involve yourself in activities that you enjoy, something that helps you feel relaxed.

– Avoid taking naps during daytime. It will only make your problem worse.

– Make a specific sleep schedule and stick to it on a regular basis. Avoid working in irregular shifts.

– Forcing yourself to sleep is not likely to work. So if you are not feeling sleepy, get up and do something that makes you feel relaxed, such as reading books, watching television, and listening to music. Reading a book while lying on bed has also been a very effective method to deal with this sleeping disorder.

– EEG Biofeedback (Neurofeedback) training can also prove very effective, but it is expensive.

The most important thing is that you must keep trying to think positively. Keep telling yourself that insomnia can be cured if you follow the aforementioned strategies. You are recommended not to try sleeping pills or medications unless you are suffering from chronic insomnia and your doctor prescribes it for you.

Mass Shootings and Mental Health

Mass shootings occur with such frequency that the American public is becoming numb to them. In this piece I will be talking about mass shootings and mental illness. Acts of terrorism such as in Paris or San Bernardino are acts of religious zealotry and do not belong in this discussion.

Mass shooting is defined as an event involving three or more victims in a random manner occurring at one time. These atrocities are well planned out. Not under the purvey of this discussion: serial killings, botched home invasions, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, bank robberies, home invasions, murder-suicides or gang related shootings.

Mass shootings as defined above involve schizophrenia in fifty-per cent of the cases according to accepted literature. I reviewed fifteen of the most infamous acts of mass mayhem dating back to 1966 to see if this figure is correct.

Approximately 1% of the American population has schizophrenia of one form or another so that calculates to about three million persons. It cannot be emphasized enough that folks with schizophrenia are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators of violence.

Symptoms of schizophrenia include various forms of delusions or hallucinations. Delusions are defined as false ideas such as feeling unduly observed or thoughts of superiority to the extreme of believing one is a famous person. Hallucinations include seeing, smelling, hearing or tasting something that does not exist. Thinking is usually disordered as to make no sense. Such confabulating as well as having blunted emotions and being socially withdrawn are frequent hallmarks as well.

The five types of schizophrenia are:

1. Paranoid schizophrenia (a person who is extremely suspicious, feels persecuted, or grandiose, or combinations thereof

2. Disorganized schizophrenia (incoherent speech and thought, but may not have delusions)

3. Catatonic schizophrenia ( a person who is withdrawn, mute, negative and may assume various body positions)

4. Residual schizophrenia ( a person no longer having delusions or hallucinations, but having no motivation or interest in life)

5. Schizoaffective disorder (a person having symptoms of both schizophrenia and a major mood disorder such as major depression disorder or bipolar disorder.

It is felt that mass shootings not involving schizophrenia fall under the category of personality disorders.

Briefly, there ten personality disorders:

1. Borderline personality disorder (impulsive, difficulty with relationships, self-image, feeling abandoned and self-harm). This is well described in Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

2. Schizoid personality disorder (introverted and socially withdrawn)

3. Paranoid personality disorder (perceiving actions of others as threatening)

4. Schizotypal personality disorder (need for social isolation, anxiety in social situations)

5. Anti-social personality disorder (ignoring normal rules of social behavior)

6. Narcissistic personality disorder (increased sense of self-importance and non-accepting failure or criticism)

7. Avoidant personality disorder (sensitive to rejection, needing reassurance of being liked)

8. Dependent personality disorder (submissive and unable to make decisions)

9. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (striving for perfection, highly conscientious, orderly, methodical and detail oriented)

10. Histrionic personality disorder (needing to be the center of attention and dramatic)

Regarding Asperger’s, autism is now felt to be a spectrum called autism spectrum disorder (ASD) characterized as persistent deficits in social interaction, repetitive behavior, early onset and impairment of functioning. Asperger’s syndrome is a less severe form of ASD in which onset may be later. People with Asperger’s have an average vocabulary and want to interact with others but have difficulty doing so. They have a problem understanding social rules. IQ is usually advanced. Males predominate and major depression is likely to occur later in life.

In my review of fifteen of the most heinous mass shootings going back to 1966 I found that eight were committed by paranoid schizophrenics, five involved personality disorders, one a psychopath and one Asperger’s syndrome.

Psychopathy is a stand-alone diagnosis that rarely is responsible for mass shootings. Serial killers fall under the umbrella of psychopaths. In the one case above the individual was not a serial killer but had all the other features of psychopathy: callousness, lack of empathy or emotion, lack of feelings of disgust, lacking guilt, lack of fear, lack of responsibility, lying, increased sense of self-worth, rage, aggressiveness, meticulous in planning their crimes, lack of remorse as they view their victims as inhuman or playthings.

The demographics of mass shooters is obvious for we who see these events on TV and in print. Almost 100% are male and 79% were white and from upper middle class families.

I have written this article because of the waste basket terminology used by the media. Also, I believe the massive media coverage can lead to copy-cat crimes by individuals with these same mental issues but who want name recognition. I also have confirmed the literature’s statistics regarding the types of mental issues involved.

Chronic Daily Headache Treatment

Chronic headache treatment is possible as there are a variety of preventive medications available. Here are the medications your doctor may recommend.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants such as Amitriptyline (Aventyl), nortriptyline (Pamelor) and other tricyclic antidepressants are the most widely used treatments for all forms of these headaches. These medications are valuable because they also help treat depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances that often accompany chronic daily headache.

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)

There is also evidence that suggests other antidepressants such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be effective in treating these headaches for some sufferers. SSRIs that have been used to treat this condition include fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, nafazodone, veniafazine, citaloprom and escitalopram. These SSRIs can have adverse effects so, again, it is important you discuss these with your doctor.

Beta-blockers

While these drugs are most commonly used to treat high blood pressure, they are often helpful in treating episodic migraines. Beta-blockers used to treat chronic daily headache include atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal) and timolol (Blocadren). In some cases these beta-blockers are prescribed in combination with antidepressants.

Anti-seizure drugs

Anticonvulsant drugs used in migraine prevention are also being used increasingly to treat this type of headache. Drugs in this category include divalproex (Depakote), gabapentin, (Neurontin) and topiramate (Topamax).

Muscle relaxers

While not always effective in the treatment of chronic daily headache, muscle relaxers such as tizanidine Zanaflex) have helped in some cases.

NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents)

Naproxen and other nonsteroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs may be effective in the treatment of these daily headaches, especially if you're undergoing withdrawal from some other pain relievers. Included in this group are naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox), ketoprofen (Orudis) and mefenamic acid (Ponstel)

Cox-2 inhibitors

While These drugs Are Similar to NSAIDs, they work differently and have fewer side effects. Medications such as Celebrex, Vioxx and Excedrine are most helpful in treating chronic daily headache when combined with other preventive medications. Typically, they are prescribed for one or two months if you are withdrawing from pain relief medications, to help decrease the frequency and severity of rebound headaches.

Others

Botox is currently being researched as a possible for many of treatment for this type of daily headache. Injections of a local anesthetic around a nerve (nerve block) or injections of a numbing agent and corticosteroid at the point of pain are sometimes recommended for chronic daily headache.

Hair Loss Causes – Taking Common Hair Diseases Seriously

Everyone loses hair every day. Doctors even say that it is normal to lose 100 strands daily. Still, many worry when it comes to hair loss. There are reasons why some should worry especially if a person has a hair disease. Common hair diseases that are related to scalp infections are either caused by fungus, virus or bacteria.

Infections

Tinea capitis or ringworm of the scalp is one of the most common diseases that affect the hair. It is a ring-shaped patch that is red on the sides and the center is usually light in color. This spot is scaly and inflamed. It may even have blisters filled with liquid or pus which may ooze.

The fungus spreads to the hair follicle which causes the hair to be brittle and fall out. Some of them are the Microsporum audouinii fungus which is the most common cause of ringworm, Microsporum gypseum which is carried by pets (mostly cats), Trichophyton tonsurans which can be found in US and Latin American Countries, Trichophyton schoenleinii in Southern Europe, Trichophyton megninii in Africa, and Trichophyton violaceum in the Middle East.

This infection goes away without treatment if the fungus is mild. To totally eliminate the chances of this infection to recur, it is best to take medication prescribed by a physician. You can take Griseofulvin or other anti-fungal drugs like Terbinafine, Itraconazole, and Fluconazole that treat ringworm.

Alopecia Areata

This is a hair disease that can be diagnosed with a gentle tug on a lump of hair near the infected area. This condition makes an affected person lose hair in patches and of different sizes. The person’s immune system attacks the hair follicles causing the patches. Around 0.1 – 0.2% individuals all over the world has this case. It is not contagious and is more common in females.

Some types of alopecia areata are: areata totalis, alopecia areata universalis, alopecia areata monocularis and alopecia areata multilocularis. These types vary by number and areas of spots affected. Some patients prefer to grow hair naturally and without treatment if the affected area is small. Some take medications like corticosteroids which can be injected or applied to the affected areas. Topical drugs like rogaine or minoxidil are topical sensitizers that are used to treat the condition and cause hair growth.

Scarring Alopecia

This disease is one of the major causes of hair loss around the world. Also known as cicatricial alopecia, this condition affects men and women from all age group. This is a medical condition where the hair follicles are inflamed due to infection.

It starts in small patches which gradually expand. Most cases go unnoticed but there are few instances when the patches hurt, itch or have a burning sensation. It appears red in color which may be lighter or darker than the normal skin.

This condition should be studied carefully by getting a sample tissue or biopsy since this condition presents itself under the skin. Through biopsy, the severity and the cause of scarring alopecia will be determined.

Immediate treatment is needed to prevent irreversible damage to the hair follicle. Treatment is extensive and should be maintained by an individual affected with this condition. Usually, doctors prescribe antibiotics or topical creams. Injections can be used to treat the affected skin for faster results.

Hamster Hair Loss

Please note that the author is not a veterinarian. Please consult your vet for any medical advice about your pet.

Growing up, a sense of wonder at nature and a love for animals was instilled in us. A normal weekend was spent at Elachee Nature Center in Oakwood, GA learning about the climate that controlled Georgia’s agriculture and natural resources. This normally went into detail about animals as well as the plants that naturally supported such wildlife. This inbred fascination with nature was also reflected in our home. My brother, sister, and I all had numerous books on wild animals and we loved to watch The Discovery Channel. My mom brought it on herself that we tended to bring home and love animals. By the time I had moved out, my family had two birds, two turtles, numerous white mice and hamsters, and one very rowdy little dog. After I moved out, I collected a couple of cats and a couple of very rowdy large dogs.

The most recent addition to the family is Hannah, the dwarf hamster. My brother, Bob, brought her home in late 2003 and my mom quickly became enamored with her. Mom has been known to get Hannah out of her cage in the middle of the night to play and feed her almonds in the kitchen while she gets ready for work.

Early in 2005, Hannah began to develop bald spots under her chin and across her body. My mom would often talk about how it worried her during our weekly conversations, but I hadn’t realized how far spread it was until I woke Hannah up one Sunday afternoon. She climbed up against the walls of her plexiglass hamster-haven and I realized that she had lost most of the hair on her stomach in a patch that stretched from her right arm to her right leg. Her little pink skin showed through clear as day, and I got her out for a closer look. She didn’t exhibit any bumps or discomfort as I probed her, although she was a little irritated that I was bringing her out without the offer of a tasty treat. I gave her a hamster treat and set her back down in her little home.

Then, I decided it was time for an internet search. Little Hannah needed some help, and I didn’t want to pay a vet to tell me she was just getting old. I researched ‘hamster hair loss’ and found that it is a fairly common problem, especially in older hamsters. The search told me that the most common reasons were age, protein deficiency, vitamin deficiency, hair getting caught in the hamster-wheel, mites, and allergic reactions to the bedding. It also let me know how to check her for mites. Mites cause a red or black pattern of bumps on the skin and they normally nest in the hamster’s hair and bedding. I checked her and realized that her skin was clear, smooth, and free from little insects.

I knew Hannah was aging and getting to where this was a natural instance for her species; however, I couldn’t just tell my mom to prepare for a little hamster funeral. I focused on the deficiencies and found that most pet stores sell a water-soluble vitamin supplement for hamsters. You simply dissolve a pill in the hamster’s water supply, and the hamster ingests it without even knowing.

I called my mom and let her know what my research had concluded and she said that she had found basically the same thing in her own search. She said she was going to get a supplement and see how Hannah responded.

After a couple of weeks, Mom reported that Hannah had regained a new love for life and was even making her wheel “go squeaky, squeaky in the middle of the night.” She mentioned that the hair had not started to grow back but had stopped falling out. She also noted that Hannah seemed to really like her new supplemented water and she had to refill her little dispenser more often.

Before, whenever I had browsed the pet store the animal multivitamins struck me as silliness for profit: a plan to play off our love for our pets to line the company’s pockets. Now that I have seen it in action, I realize how close we are to our little animal neighbors in how our bodies need the substance of healthiness. In animals and in humans, our food comes pre-processed and our exercise is limited by our lifestyle. As people, our doctors, magazines, TV programs on healthy living and even our mothers tell us to take our daily multivitamin to keep us young, fit, and healthy because our food simply does not satisfy the nutritional needs of our bodies. As hamsters, they only have the attention of their owners to see to it that they get what their little bodies need to survive – and there aren’t any TV commercials on the benefits of hamster vitamins. Now the victim of a successful experiment, it seems that Hannah now has a greater appreciation for her nutritional supplement as well.

For more advice from real professionals, the following websites helped me in my search for the cure:

http://www.hilltopanimalhospital.com/hamsters.htm

http://www.petinfo4u.com/advanced_small_animals.htm

http://www.britishhamsterassociation.org.uk/get_article.php?fname=journal/dermatitis.htm

Effective Home Remedies for Swimmers Ear That Work

Swimmer’s ear or otitis externa is a painful infection of the outer ear and the canal. It affects people of all age-groups especially in summers when one goes for swimming. Therefore the disorder is also called swimmer’s ear. Our canal is cylindrical in shape and extends right from the outer ear to the eardrum. The length of the canal, the earwax that it produces, the acidic environment that it builds up, ensure the protection of the inner ear against infection causing bacteria, excessive moisture, dust and debris and other harmful foreign objects. When there occurs some injury to the canal, and the system of protection fails, moisture and germs may get trapped in to the ear, resulting in swimmer’s ear.

The most common bacteria causing the infection are Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Exposure of the affected ear to shower or bath water may worsen the condition. Diabetics, due to their feeble immune system, may suffer from a severe form of swimmer’s ear and may require intensive treatment. Inserting cotton tipped swabs for cleaning ear, earplugs, hearing aids, head phones may break the skin lining of the canal, making the ear prone to easy infection. Too much of exposure to water or moisture may alter the acidic environment within the canal, resulting in easy invasion by bacteria. Also chemicals like hair dyes, bleach and shampoo, if gets in to the ear, may irritate the canal and destroy its protective properties. This again results in infection. Thus, the above are the causes of swimmer’s ear.

Symptoms

1. Intense pain in the ear

2. Itching in the ear canal

3. Draining of white, yellow or bloody foul smelling fluids from the ear.

4. Swelling of ear

5. Redness in the surrounding skin

6. Scaly skin in the outer ear

7. Swelling of lymph nodes in the neck

8. Trouble hearing

9. Fever

10. Dizziness and vertigo

11. Ringing in the ear

Home Remedies for Swimmer’s Ear

1. Placing a hot water bottle wrapped in towel on the affected ear lessens pain.

2. Garlic has excellent anti-bacterial properties. Garlic oil may be used to treat swimmer’s ear.

3. Pouring a mixture of equal parts of alcohol and distilled white vinegar in to the canal with the help of a sterile eye dropper can control the itching in the canal.

4. A mixture of vinegar and water may be used as a soothing ear drop.

5. A dropper may be used to pour few drops of heated baby oil in to the ear. This heals inflammation.

6. A hair dryer may be used to evaporate the moisture that has collected within the ear.

7. Few drops of hydrogen peroxide may be poured in to the ear. It serves as an antiseptic pain reliever.

8. Usage of mineral oils can also fetch good results.

9. Using extra virgin olive can protect the ear against moisture by forming a coating.

10. A steamy shower can minimize the severity of swimmer’s ear symptoms.

How Tinnitus Is Affecting An Increasing Number of Young People

Education in recent decades has taken on a cautionary role for children. Teachers tell first-year infants that they must not cross the road without looking and older boys and girls are warned about the hazards of drugs, solvents or unprotected sex. Yet amid all this hardly a word is said about taking care of their precious sense of hearing – and the treasures of internal silence.

Without diminishing the value of other advice, it should be appreciated by parents and teachers that the statistical risk of getting tinnitus is greater than that for Aids, road deaths or unwanted pregnancies. While countless parents of stricken teenagers with permanent head noises regret that they did nothing to persuade their children to take care of their ears as well as the rest of their bodies, the voice of school-based authority remains silent.

There is no formal provision for including tinnitus in classroom health education. Neither the Department of Education nor the local education authorities recognize the problem for the millions of young people for whom they have a responsibility. Such is the general indifference among teachers, that schools blithely organize end-of-term discos where the sounds, though not quite in the category of the club disco or rock concert, will edge into the real danger zone of 90-plus decibels and threaten health.

In the absence of any official action by education leaders, some local tinnitus self-help groups have taken the initiative and supplied schools with teaching packs to explain what tinnitus is and how young people can to some extent protect themselves. One difficulty is convincing youngsters that tinnitus, so closely associated with deafness in some minds, is not confined to pensioners with hearing-aids.

While pop music boasts of creating aptly-named walls of sound, the safety warning is that it is dangerous to hit one’s head against a wall, real or sonic.

As with many other medical conditions, both nurture and nature are said to be the cause of tinnitus. If toddlers can tell their parents about it, does the cause go back further to the process of birth or during the baby’s time in the womb?

Many forms of deafness are known to be hereditary. As the onset of hearing loss and tinnitus can be experienced simultaneously at any age, can tinnitus be inherited? There are few statistics to support the belief that it can be. Moreover, as the scientific cause of head sounds itself remains seemingly light years from discovery, a convincing case cannot yet be made out that heredity has anything to do with it. It could be that a weakness in the intricate auditory system, which is considered less remarkable when it occurs in old age, is simply the premature fate of a child. The wide and still vague label of ‘nature’ can therefore be attached to infant cases, to await further explanation.

And does it start in the womb? For years people with good hearing and an even better memory have told how they can recall the steady sound-sensations of their own heart beats before birth. This cannot easily be dismissed as pure imagination, as a baby in the first minutes of life has a brain able to function on a basic level. It has been proved that babies are responsive to sounds before birth.

Was it therefore vulnerable to loud noises which perhaps threatened its cosy safety and physically disturbed its hearing mechanisms, causing early tinnitus? If so, could, for instance, the raised voices of arguing parents, or a radio turned up too loudly, be blamed? As with so many areas of tinnitus study, there is no proof that this occurs, but the idea is attracting serious research in Belgium and Prance.

When a stricken child reaches school age the problems multiply. She has probably by then more or less adapted to the condition in her own way, maybe unaware that most people are without it. In the challenging environment of school she soon finds that she is different from her new friends. The psychological stress this can create, to say nothing of trying to hear what a teacher is saying while coping with her own sounds, call for expert handling in the form of child counseling. At the same time, teachers have to guard against slowness in learning caused by tinnitus being taken as a sign of lack of intelligence. The young sufferer faces a lifetime of handicap. She needs to have parents and teachers able to grasp, as well as any non-sufferers can, the unrelenting burden even the youngest may be called upon to bear.

Working With The Disabled

Since Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, people who previously had limited or no access to public places now move about with a degree of ease in the workplace. While these people have their challenges with sight, hearing or movement, those who work with them are often confused about how to interact them with sensitivity and understanding.

Here are some of the issues to keep in mind.

When it is necessary to mention the disability, language should emphasize the person first, the disability second. Rather than referring to someone as an epileptic, say "person with epilepsy" or "John, who has epilepsy …."

Avoid words that have a negative tone. People who use wheelchairs are not "bound" or "confined" to their chairs. A person may have spastic muscles but should not be described as spastic.

Preferred language is simple. Instead of saying that a person is "crippled with arthritis," "suffering from MS," "afflicted with ALS," say, "John has epilepsy" or "Mary MS has."

Use the following terms:

"Congenital disability" rather than "birth defect."

"Non-disabled" rather than "normal," "healthy" or "able-bodied."

"Condition" rather than "disease" or "defect."

"Visually impaired" rather than "blind" unless a person is totally sightless.

"Deaf" or "hard of hearing" rather than "hearing impaired."

"Little person" or "dwarf" rather than "midget."

Words or phrases like "victim," "cripple," "unfortunate," "dumb," "deaf mute," "deformed" and "pitiful" are offensive.

Ask people with disabilities if they need or want help before trying to assist them. If they want assistance, ask for specific instructions on how you can be helpful.

Look directly at any person with a disability when talking even if the person has an interpreter or companion present.

Do not assume a speech impairment indicates that a person also has a hearing impairment or intellectual limitations.

Allow people with speech impairments to finish their own sentences. Do not talk for them or interrupt. Ask questions that permit short answers or a nod of the head. The other person always has the option of giving a longer response.

Speak calmly, slowly, and distinctly to a person who has a hearing problem or other difficulty understanding. Stand in front of the person and use gestures to aid communication.

When walking with a person who is visually impaired, allow that person to set the pace. If the person asks for or accepts your offer of help, do not grab his arm. It is easier for him to hold onto you.

Never start to push someone's wheelchair without first asking the occupant's permission.

Leaning on a wheelchair when talking to the person is inconsiderate.

If you will be having a long conversation with someone using a wheelchair, get a chair and sit at eye level with the person. You will both feel more comfortable.

Keep in mind that people with disabilities are just like everyone else with the exception of certain physical conditions. Treat them as the capable competent co-workers or colleagues they are.

(C) 2005, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved. Reprints welcome so long as the article and by-line are published intact and all links made live.

Phone Chat Personals – How to Sound Sexy

When people think of a sexy voice on phone chat or dating lines, they may envision a young, curvy lady speaking slowly with bass-like vocals similar to Natasha from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. Men may try to go for a deep baritone like late soul crooner Barry White. While some people find these types of voices very appealing, the truth is that when it comes to recording yourself for a phone personal, it is best in the long run to sound like your natural self. Imagine how hard it would be to always have to change your voice whenever you spoke, although some people do in fact take voice training lessons – such as radio voice professionals. People who use phone dating lines normally want to meet a real person, not a character. While you are recording your voice personal, remember to try to keep calm so that the real you can come out…not the nervous gittery version. If uncertain about how you sound in a voice personal, here are some steps you can take to improve your aural projection and better convey your true personality.

1. Record your voice first using a digital recorder or an old cassette player, start by saying “Testing 1-2-3”. If you feel confident about your sound, build up to saying your name or pseudonym on the recording device. This is a good way to find out if your phone voice comes across as too low, nasally or just needs a little work. If a person has a speech impediment, such as stuttering, they can slowly become comfortable and better prepare themselves to record an intriguing dating personal.

2. Write a short (but truthful) bio – This can include your job, education and things you enjoy doing in your spare time. It is best to save political affiliations, sexual habits and family information for an actual phone chat. Doing this will help you to deliver your message smoothly.

3. If you feel that your message may still need a little help, add a little background music. If you want to use something universally appealing such as Kenny G (am I kidding? Yes…unless you like the Kenny G-funk) or are going for a humorous angle, something by Weird Al Yankovich may be the answer. Realize that songs that suggest violence, misogyny or other controversial topics are not recommended. Also, the music should be in the background, not the voice itself and do not play an entire song before recording your phone personal.

4. Keep offensive crude jokes to a minimum. If someone has said that you had the potential to be the next Chris Rock or Lisa Lampanelli, then you may want to use this talent sparingly in your chat recording. A short, clean joke to break the ice will bring positive results. Save the racy stuff for when you get to know someone you meet through the phone chat line services.

5. Private parts should remain private. If a person has a nice physique, they can state that they are athletic, in shape, or proportioned to their height. People of varying sizes should state their body type in a way that is positive and not demeaning. Some good examples are big beautiful woman, hearty handsome man, thin as opposed to skinny, etc. As far as referencing certain parts of the body, you should consider it a privilege to the stranger to reveal that private information. Don’t be afraid to make people work for what it is that they would like to know specifically.

In short, you just want to sound friendly and approachable since people are meeting you over the telephone. Now, if a person feels inclined to make a phone personal recording of themselves speaking so slow that they sound as if they’re slurring their words or moaning, the feedback may not be what they were expecting. That is if they receive anything in their box at all. Then again, I am not the master of the universe, experiment a little and see what works for you.

Best Luck!

An Overview Of The Citroen Dispatch Van

The 2007 Citroen Dispatch is better in every aspect than its predecessor. It is capable of carrying heavier loads, has an option of two wheelbases and two roof heights giving three cargo volumes. The Dispatch is now a noteworthy contender along with the large medium vans such Renault Traffic and Volkswagen Transporter. Citroen Dispatch boasts Smart navigation satellite navigation and vehicle tracking to make it more attractive. The passenger Combi trim is also larger, more flexible and able to have room for up to nine people. Citroen also added the ‘Enterprisec package to its range which means you get a Bluetooth hands free kit, electronic heated twin-lens door mirrors, USB connectivity for your MP3 player, front fog lights and removable full steel bulkhead.

The original Citroen Dispatch was a pleasing van to sit in, as it had a car like dashboard design. Most of the switches and controls seem to be taken from the Citroen car range and are clearly laid out and user friendly. However, if you go for Dispatch Enterprise you get air-con, a USB jack to plug in your MP3 player and Bluetooth hands free connectivity. The detachable steel bulkhead means not only enhanced safety when carrying tall or unbalanced loads. Citroen Dispatch customers can opt for 90bhp, 120bhp and 136bhp. The 90bhp versions has 1.6HDi engine. Both of the powerful versions use a 2.0HDi engine and the 120bhp model is more than enough for most jobs. The best of the bunch is the 136bhp HDi. Engine noise is muted, but opting for full bulkhead rather than the standard ladder bulkhead will lessen vibration further. Back in 2009 Citroen launched an XTR+ enhanced traction version.

This has limited slip differential at the front, mud and snow tyres, raised suspension as standard. Going for an enterprise package seems like a reasonable option: the parking sensors and twin-lens door mirrors make the van a lot easier to drive as you know what’s going on around you better than in other versions. ESB is available in the Dispatch as an option, but ABS with electronic brake force distribution are offered as standard. It has also been equipped with Traffic master Smart Navigation and stolen vehicle tracking as standard along with a removable LCD touch screen. The navigation system has programming by postcode and has a London congestion charge zone alert. The Citroen Dispatch is a rigid and compact but still manages to carry 1000kg for the 1.6 litre version.

The last model of this vehicle competed in the smaller end of the panel van segment. Electronic stability control is presented on the Dispatch but it is an option, but Anti lock Braking System with electronic brake force distribution as standard on the dispatch. It has equipped with Traffic master Smart Navigation and stolen vehicle tracking system as standard, with a removable LCD touch-screen. The navigation system includes encoding by postcode, and also alerts the driver with London Congestion charge zone when you are in the London. The Citroen and the Peugeot Hdi engine family is very reliable mechanically and electro-mechanically. It must be serviced according to the schedule for durability and long life of the engine.

Digital Hearing Aids – The New Hearing Aid Technology

Hearing aid technology is ever-improving. The first form of hearing assistance that was effective to some degree was in the form of ram horn shaped amplifier used in Europe. This material was the predecessor for hearing technology which we have today. Even earlier than that, the first forms of hearing assistance were wooden ears that one would attach to their ears. It was believed that if these ears were attached and were designed in the shape of an animal with a strong sense of hearing, then the one wearing it would not suffer hearing loss or feel that they were deaf while wearing them. An important advance was the introduction of “digital” hearing aids. Unlike analog aids, digital hearing aids take sound and convert into a digital signal using a computer chip in the hearing aid. If your primary concern is finding the cheapest hearing aid possible, you might look into an analog hearing aid; they are less expensive than their digital counterparts. Just a hundred years ago if you suffered from hearing loss, any tool used to assist your hearing really could not help much but thanks to today’s modern technology such as computers, there is real help out there for those who need it.

Digital hearing aids, however, come with a vast amount of quality-of-life advantages: While analog hearing aids can only make sounds louder and can’t differentiate between them, digital aids can distinguish between speech and background noise. That means an increased clarity in conversation, less frustrating movies, parties and dinners, and an all-around increase in ability to distinguish sound well. Digital hearing aids are also programmable unlike the older forms out there, and come with a litany of exciting hearing options, from SoundRecover, which can transpose normally difficult-to-hear high frequencies to lower ones that can be hear more easily; to DuoPhone, which helps hearing loss sufferers using the telephone by automatically sending sounds to both ears. Not only that, but they work also with bluetooth technology; people who before could not use a cell phone now can have a conversation over the phone, something no one thought would ever be possible for anyone with hearing loss. This has been possible thanks to great advancement in computers and all of technology in society today.

Digital hearing aids work by converting sound-waves into binary code. A computer chip in the aid converts the sound into a digital signal before re-rendering it in the ear. Because of this, the sound can be manipulated more easily than in an analog hearing aid, which works primarily by enhancing the volume of the sound. Before this, sound would just be amplified and it would cause a large feedback sound as well. Not only was this bad, but it could possibly continue to even damage the ear as a result; thanks to the new technology, the feedback from the sound amplification is no longer such a problem as it was as early as ten years ago. It is really unbelievable how far technology has come in the last ten years. If you were to ask an audiologist (a doctor which specializes in hearing) or an ENT (ear, nose and throat) professional, they would tell you the same thing as well, just slightly more detailed. They may also discuss with you the surgical options that may be available to fix your hearing. A warning now: those are very high risk and if there is a problem during the operation, then it can not only be inneffective, but it damage your hearing further and possibly cause Tinnitus which is also known as ringing in the ears. If that happens, sadly there is no cure for Tinnitus and it will be permanent.

The only negative that can be brought up is that neither type of hearing aid is covered with insurance, primarily because hearing loss is so prevalent. If a high-quality hearing aid is your primary concern, you should strongly consider a digital version over an analog one. The technology is astounding. Digital hearing aids are far superior to the hearing aids and over time will become so great that no matter what hearing loss, it will help the one wearing the aid hear better than ever. Like most technology, digital is best and eventually the more old fashioned styles will end up in the trash or possibly in some museum someday in the future as relics of how humans tried to combat hearing loss. It will only get better for those who unfortunately suffer from hearing loss and must seek help for it. Perhaps someday they may even find a cure for the deafness that does not involve any evasive action such as surgery. Without such great technology, we would probably still be using useless methods that would only hurt our hearing more than it could ever help.

Childhood Speech Dysfluency

Stuttering, or stammering as it is more often called in Europe, is one of the most common childhood speech disorders. It is lumped into the broader category of speech dysfluency. Normal speech dysfluency tends to be differentiated from stuttering in that it is less frequent, less bothersome to children, and less likely to be associated with other signs of stress like tics, physical movements or physical tension around the lips. Varying degrees of speech fluency problems are quite common, and usually resolve within a few weeks when they do happen.

Mild stuttering is often associated with more frequent repetitions of sounds, often about 3% of words affected. It is also sometimes associated with facial expressions like eyelid closing or blinking, looking from one side to another, or pursing of the lips. It is more often present than it is absent, though may sometimes come and go to one degree to another. Mild stuttering tends to resolve more often on its own than does more severe stuttering, and referral is often indicated if there is a high degree of parental concern of if it persists for much more than 2-3 months.

Severe stuttering is really not difficult to recognize as stuttering. In severe stutterers the repetitions occur in about 10% of words, tend to be present in nearly all situations, and are usually quite consistent and don’t fluctuate much at all. These children tend to become quite frustrated, and often become embarrassed. They tend to avoid situations where they will need to speak. Starter words like “um” and “er” may be used often. Speech pathology is generally indicated for severe stuttering, and long-term therapy may be needed for some children and adults. The recent movie The King’s Speech that won the best picture Academy Award in 2011 portrays the king of England and his struggles to fulfill the demands of his role as the King during World War II while overcoming his severe stuttering. It is a pretty realistic portrayal of the state of the art at that time, although progress in speech therapy since then has been significant.

Less than 1% of adults still stutter, with about 80% of childhood stutterers resolving by adulthood. Early referral of severe stutterers may lead to better outcomes, and moderate stutterers should have speech therapy referral if the stuttering persists for more than 6-8 weeks. Children with normal speech dysfluency usually do not require intervention. In summary stuttering is common, more common in men, and tends to resolve in about 80% of cases.

The 7 Causes of Reading Difficulty and Dyslexia

Reading is a neurological process performed by the brain. When a child finds learning to read hard, the reason almost always lies in the mechanics of this neurological process. By understanding the process, how it can go wrong and the symptoms of each potential problem, it is far easier to understand the situation and fix it. This article is an overview of the seven main causes of reading difficulty and their symptoms. For more detail on any particular cause of difficulty, refer to my article on it.

Cause No 1 – Auditory Deficit

In a conventional reader the eyes focus on the text, the visual cortex analyses the images, the shapes of the letters are recognised, that information is passed to the auditory cortex where the letter patterns are mapped to possible individual sounds in words, the sounds are blended into a word, the word is then passed to the linguistic cortex to be comprehended and the meaning of the word is passed to the prefrontal cortex to be stored and manipulated as part of a sentence.

In 80% of struggling readers, the auditory cortex is not engaged in this process. Instead the reader views the text and recognises a whole word. That information is then passed directly to the prefrontal cortex. So the word “cow” is processed in much the same way as a picture of a cow. The main symptoms of the auditory deficit are early success in reading, followed by rising frustration as the child ends up on a reading plateau between the ages of 6 and 9. You will then see a lot of wild guessing and a slow collapse of confidence as the text gets more complex.

Cause No 2 – Dyspraxia

In order to navigate a line of text, your eyes do a very delicate dance from word group to word group. Each jump is called a saccade. This is controlled by the six extra-occular muscles around each eye. If the feedback and motor control circuits used for this process are weak, then the child will find dealing with lines of text very hard. The main symptom of this is an ability to read single words, but great difficulty with sentences.

Cause No 3 – Short-Term Memory Capacity Limitations

Your short-term memory will usually be able to hold between 5 and 9 items. If it is at the lower end of that range, learning to read will be difficult and laborious. The reason is that as a learner you are putting a lot of information into your short-term declarative memory while reading. The main symptoms of this are slow decoding of words, great difficulty with long words and little ability to follow the meaning of the sentence.

Cause No 4 – ADHD

To learn to read you need to sit still and work at it for stretches of 10-15 minutes. It is a strenuous mental activity and gives little reward in the early stages. All of this makes it hard for a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The main symptoms are a lack of focus, restless fidgeting and being easily distracted.

Cause No 5 – Word Blindness

There are two parts of the linguistic cortex; Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area. Speech and text is comprehended in Wernicke’s area and generated in Broca’s area. So, if the reader bypasses Wernicke’s area it is possible for the text to be read out aloud without it being understood at all.

Cause No 6 – Stress Spirals

The brain reacts to stress by shutting down the cerebral cortex and focusing on the more basic processes of the brain stem. This normally leads to the survival reactions of fight, flight or immobility.

Reading involves almost every element of the cerebral cortex and so stress has a big impact on the child’s ability to process the text. The main symptoms are an ability to read that can dissolve as mistakes are made, frustration rises and a failure-stress-failure spiral develops. That will lead to rising emotions potentially with aggression, defensiveness or a sullen lethargy.

Cause No 7 – Irlen Syndrome

The eyes are very sensitive to changes of intensity. That is how they pick up patterns. Some people have an over-sensitivity to black text on a white background, making the words very hard to focus on. The main symptom is the child complaining of the text “moving around” on the page.

Summary

If a child is struggling to read, it is almost certainly one or more of these 7 factors that is causing the difficulty. They all have fairly simple solutions. So, if you can spot the underlying issue causing difficulty, getting good progress with the reading becomes easy.