My Ex: Coping With Despair In Relationship Difficulties

First, let’s take a look at how you get into despair. From our current perspective of a breaking or broken love-relationship the progression from happy to defeated, depressed and despairing can sometimes be sudden and at other times it takes a while for the relationship to decay and finally collapse. In either case it does not make it any easier to deal with, just as with losing a loved on to an extended illness, nothing quite prepares you for the actual reality and finality of thinking of your lover in terms of “My Ex”.

So if you knew that your relationship was on the way out, and it took months or even years, you can still be devastated by the reality of a break-up. So the reality sets in, you are alone. If you have children they might be with you or not, but you are without the person whom you considered to be almost an extension of yourself. As the truth and harshness of you situation dawn fully on you, sadness, a sense of rejection and isolation creeps over you, “I have lost my ex, forever!” Depression sets in and this is where it all begins for real. The symptoms of depression and despair are very similar, with one major exception, the element of hopelessness. Here are some of the more obvious symptoms to watch for:

  • Insomnia
  • Desire to isolate yourself from the world, friends, family, etc
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sadness
  • Moodiness
  • Inattention
  • Nervousness
  • Loss of interest in your regular activities and surroundings
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Thoughts of self-injury
  • Self-destructive or negligent behavior
  • HOPELESSNESS!

Hopelessness is the single major difference between depression and despair. Once you have reached the point of not caring anymore about what happens to you or becomes of your life you are in a state of hopelessness and are in deep need

So what can you do? First, you need to go to your doctor, if you are in a deep state of despair and hopelessness you need medication to help lift your mood. Second, you need someone to talk to, and talk A LOT, it can be a friend or a professional this is up to you. Once the medication begins to take effect and you begin talking to someone you can trust you are ready to begin thinking about something else, just a suggestion of hope. Just an idea planted that might bring you more healing than any other way

As devastated as you are, it is a clear indication that you are not yet over you love for the other person. So why not consider getting back together? “What are you talking about?” you may want to shout at me, but please read on for a moment and you shall see. There is almost no damaged or broken marriage/relationship that is beyond repair or rescue! Yes, it is true! As much as you may believe that there is no hope, you have not allowed yourself to hope and you also do not know all of the deep secrets to rescuing or holding relationships together, keeping it rich and satisfying, breaking down barriers and opening new channels for the future. Turn your thought now away from “I have lost my ex” to “How do I get my ex back?” and begin to hope because there is so much you can discover which can open unimagined doors

There is a part of you that refuses to accept thinking in terms of “My ex”, you still want to believe that it’s not over, that there is some hope there someplace. Well it is up to you to change that perspective in your mind and heart, start thinking in terms of “I want my ex back”, now find ways to take action, and make it a reality. You can do it! There is hope!

Depression And Cocaine Addiction – The Connection

Cocaine is a powerful and highly addictive substance. Many people wonder how addictive cocaine really is and if there is some form of treatment. The use of cocaine could be traced back to the ancient people, who evidently started using coca leaves (the source of cocaine) even during the ancient times. It is a highly addictive drug that acts directly on the brain and could then cause different effects when there is continued use.

When a person abuses cocaine, he or she is found to have diminished intake of meals per day. According to research, alcohol and coffee consumption increases, as well as the intake of fatty foods. There is also an increased prevalence of anorexia nervosa and bulimia among cocaine users when compared with those who do not use cocaine. Since anorexia nervosa and bulimia are both eating disorders, this could mean a certain amount of depression begins to settle among cocaine users.

Cocaine is a very potent stimulant and it causes a lot of changes in the brain. It was coined as the “power drug” of the 80’s and 90’s. Before it was discovered to be an addictive substance, it wasn’t listed as one of those that had high addictive potential. But with further study, it has been noted and proven that cocaine (or otherwise known as crack, coke, etc) is really addictive in nature. Whatever the way of administration is, be it through snorting, smoking, or injection, the effects are still the same and the use of cocaine is very detrimental to a person’s health.

Is there a treatment for cocaine addiction? The answer is yes! With proper and positive motivation, cocaine addiction can be treated. It is important for the cocaine addict to realize that he or she is really addicted to the substance. Without the acknowledgment, he or she might not cooperate and continue to suffer from the effects of cocaine withdrawal.

According to studies, the euphoria that cocaine gives to its users peaks ten to twenty minutes after administration, which makes it a fast acting substance. This is one of the major reasons why people are easily addicted to it. For those who want to get rid of the addiction, it is important to acknowledge the problem for faster recovery. People who are suffering from cocaine addiction need all the help they can get when they are undergoing therapy. The support of the family and close friends are needed and should be encouraged by therapists.

Often when a person faces up to their addiction they face huge emotional turmoil. The same happens when undergoing treatment to beat the addiction. Ultimately the addiction must be replaced with a healthier lifestyle. The addict must face up to the reasons why they became addicted and will have to get help and support for their emotional and/or mental health problems and depression in order to make a full and lasting recovery.

Remember, it is possible to recover from addiction and depression. Get the right help, advice and support and start the road to recovery today!

Public Speaking – Overcome the Panic and Anxiety

Many people that may otherwise seem confident and self assured in other areas of their lives experience high levels of panic and anxiety when they have to address an audience. Fear of public speaking has often been observed to rank higher than the fear of death. This article discusses the fear of public speaking and how to overcome the panic and anxiety that may cripple you.

Some people that experience panic and anxiety attacks and are set to give a speech or address an audience often experience major worry weeks or months before the speaking engagement and being able to accomplish this task without having a panic or anxiety attack. The public speaking can be any setting whether a podium or an office meeting or a class presentation, or being asked to give an opinion or feedback.

In an office setting, this can be detrimental since you will be so afraid that you do not add anything to a meeting and remain quiet doing the meeting. In offices where you need to be noticed, you will often be passed up for promotion even when you work the hardest.

The fear usually centers on having a panic or anxiety attack while you are speaking and being unable to complete the speaking engagement because the panic takes over and the constructive thinking required flees. You will imagine fleeing in an undignified manner and making up excuses later for your behavior.

Others who fear public speaking simply fear blanking out or feeling uncomfortable under the scrutiny of others. They may experience jitters or nerves but they are not familiar with the panic attack or the debilitating threat that sufferers of panic and anxiety experience.

How do you overcome the fear of public speaking as a panic or anxiety sufferer?

Embrace the unnerving sensations that you experience when you think about public speaking because they may never go away in their entirety. Simply approach them differently when they come over you when giving a speech or in a meeting.

In order to overcome this fear, you need to build your confidence back to the levels they were before the unnerving sensations came over you that usually cause you to flee because you fear the onset of a panic or anxiety attack.

You need to realize that no matter how tough, it gets, you shall finish the speech and not flee and that you shall not become incapacitated at all if you continue with the speech. When you believe that you are not in any danger, you shall be able to overcome the sensations and panic attack.

It is often common to experience anxiety before the speech and to feel that that you are letting yourself down with the anxiety. Simply take a breath and relax and know that this is okay and that it is natural to feel anxious.

Do not try to push the emotional energy and excitement into your stomach but simply move through it by reminding yourself that you are okay and that you shall not die. No one has ever died from giving a speech. Remind yourself that you can handle anything without giving into the panic attack.

If your major fear of speaking is caused by a feeling of being trapped, prepare some mental releases before the speech such as turning the attention back to the audience member for feedback on some of your points if allowed. Have people introduce themselves, ask if anyone has questions, etc, which will relax you and your audience.

Sometimes podiums can disconnect you from the audience so grab the mike and wander the stage. Look at people one by one which shrinks the room and further reduces the anxiety. If you are stumped, discuss your team and tell the audience about the other experts on your team that will be able to assist with the question and return a suitable response.

Anxiety and Depersonalization Fueled By Energy Drinks

Consumer alert, as loosely regulated, highly commercialized energy drinks are victimizing those who believe the hype. Serious health issues are being noted by innocent consumers who bought into the false claims surrounding these potentially dangerous drinks.

The ingredients of high energy drinks revolve around massive doses of caffeine, inordinate amounts of sugar and other unnecessary so-called vitamins. Two small drinks containing the “vitamin rich” ingredients often lead to severe reactions such as vitamin toxicity, especially concerning B vitamins (B6 and Niacin). Another ingredient known as Guarana is basically another form of caffeine, adding to the existing overload of caffeine in this potentially dangerous cocktail. This adds up to concentrated doses of caffeine, greater by nearly nine times the amount in coffee. This is not only risky to those who are already prone to anxiety but dangerous to one’s physical health as well.

Side Effects of Energy Drinks

– Severe Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Increase in DP and OCD symptoms.

– Serious Heart Problems including cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac contractions and cardiac arrest.

– Dehydration caused by extreme sugar content.

– Insomnia, nocturnal panic attacks, sleep disturbances. heart shakes.

– High Blood Pressure

– Tremors

– Irritability

– Mood Swings

– Vitamin Toxicity

– Palpitations

These so-called energy enhancers create more mental and physical problems than the imaginary benefits they offer. Sadly, many are drawn in by the commercialization of these products and victimized by very frightening reactions.

B vitamins are helpful when taken correctly but it has been cited that merely two energy drinks have resulted in levels greater than daily recommended allowances, resulting in flushing of skin and often B6 toxicity. High sugar levels impair absorption of fluids in the body and often lead to dehydration.

Emergency rooms are filled with those who believed a little energy boost would help them negotiate their day, only to experience severe, interfering symptoms of anxiety, panic, unreality and contractions of the heart.

Most deal with occasional sleepless nights, hoping to summon additional energy the next morning but have learned it is best to deal with fatigue through a more natural approach.

Fatigue Busters:

– Drink plenty of hydrating fluids.

– Moderate exercise, preferably outdoors.

– Nutritious Meals, (lean protein, whole grain and fresh fruits)

– Do not skip meals.

– Frequent Exercise breaks.

– Proper rest and full night sleep.

– Stress Reducing Techniques

– Sunlight

– Breathing corrections.

– Hot beverage, rather than highly caffeinated drinks

– Correct Circadian Rhythm by healthier sleep routines.

An overload of caffeine seems to last interminably long for anyone who is prone to anxiety reactions. Therefore, these highly caffeinated formulas must be avoided at all costs by anyone with a history of anxiety or anxiety related conditions such as depersonalization, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or irritable bowel syndrome.

Above all, Buyer Beware when it comes to these potentially dangerous products. Read the warnings and believe them. Any product with the capability to interfere with the rhythm of one’s heart and/or central nervous system is not to be treated lightly.

An informed consumer is a smart one. Avoid these difficulties before they begin by knowing the truth behind the products and knowing yourself. Most of these emergency room episodes are clearly avoidable when one investigates common adverse reactions to these potentially dangerous formulas and goes deeper than the deluge of commercialized hype.

Using a Massage Chair While Pregnant

Massage Chairs and Pregnancy

When I was a full-time chiropractor, I would get asked all the time by my patients if chiropractic and massage (which we used in our clinic all the time) was safe to use on a pregnant lady. The answer is a resounding “Yes.”

I have treated many, many women over the years who were expecting, whether in their first or last trimester. Of course, when someone is 8-9 months along, the style of treatment may need to be catered to their body morphology. But, I never met a pregnant woman who couldn’t be benefited by manual therapy.

Well, now that I am in the massage chair industry, I also get asked quite often if massage chairs are OK for pregnant women to use. Again, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

Before I go into the reasons and physiology of this therapy, I should issue this disclaimer: If you are concerned about the health of you or the baby or if you have extenuating circumstances with your health, by all means visit your primary care physician and get some peace of mind before hopping onto massage chairs.

The benefits of massage therapy during pregnancy apply to manual, hands-on massage as well as robotic massage chair therapy. The principles and benefits are the same regardless of mode of application of massage.

Pregnant women tend to endure some, if not all, of the following health issues: swelling, muscle spasm and pain, postural stress, insomnia, breathing difficulty, lack of mobility, poor circulation, back pain, neck pain and headaches. Of course, you may be suffering from many other things, but this is a pretty comprehensive list to start with.

Now, I’ll discuss how massage chairs address each of these complaints:

  1. Swelling/Poor Circulation – massage chairs that have calf and foot massagers can provide a successive compression of the legs to enhance circulation of blood and lymph. This may not only reduce swelling (edema), but also help the body remove unwanted toxins that are in your system. Those toxins may also be contributing to your muscle pain.
  2. Muscle Spasm, Aches, and Pains – muscles may already be compromised by the toxins that I mentioned in #1 above. The massage chair will help flush those toxins out. However, the strain on your body muscles that comes from the change in shape of a growing baby inside you can cause muscle aches and pains everywhere. Massage is the perfect therapy for relaxing those muscles and ridding you of that annoying muscle pain. It can even reduce muscle spasm, let alone muscle pain. Massage chairs also contribute to the release of endorphins into your blood stream. For your information, endorphins are the body’s natural pain killer.
  3. Postural Stress – anyone who has been pregnant or has seen someone who is pregnant will understand this complaint immediately. Without a 40 pound mass protruding from your midsection, most people have a poor posture to begin with. Adding a baby to the picture doesn’t help at all and, in fact, makes the posture worse. Strained posture leads to strained muscles which, as mentioned in #2 above, can lead to muscle aches and pains. Most people feel like they are standing taller and straighter after a massage chair session. That is because the chair actually works on those postural issues.
  4. Lack of Mobility – range of motion is compromised by the addition of the 40 pound baby and accompanying tissue and fluids. The joints don’t move as easily as they would without. Massage chairs add a lovely passive motion to your joints which will keep the discs and joints healthy. You could check how far you can turn your body before sitting in the chair and then check again after a session. You will be surprised at how much more you can turn.
  5. Back Pain, Neck Pain, Headaches – the benefits that apply to muscles pain, joint mobility, and postural strain will ultimately reduce any body pain that you have, be it low back, mid back, neck, and/or headache pain.
  6. Difficulty Breathing – it’s kind of hard to take a deep breath when you are pregnant, isn’t it ladies? Well, much of that disability comes from the slouching posture you develop with the addition of the 40 pound bundle of joy you are carrying in your front side. When you can have the rollers of the massage chair repeatedly roll over your mid back, you will find that your posture will be straighter and your ability to take in deep breathes will increase noticeably. This can also lead to sleeping better.
  7. Sleeping Problems (Insomnia) – I can’t even begin to count the number of people, men and women alike, who told me that the biggest surprise they got with their new massage chair was how well they slept at night. Massage just tends to relax everything, like muscles and joints and posture, but also your “nerves.” I can almost assure you that you will enjoy a better night’s sleep after having a massage chair session. Now, I totally understand that sleeping with 8 months of pregnancy behind you is no easy task no matter what therapy you try. But, just maybe you’ll enjoy a little bit better sleep after you sit in your new massage chair.

Well, that just about does it for pregnancy and massage chairs. I hope this puts your mind to rest about it. The risks are extremely small, if at all.

Is It Possible to Get Taller After Puberty?

People are seeking new ways to get tall and keep on asking, “Is it possible to get taller after puberty?” Many people ask me different ways that could help them to increase their height. So finally, I have jotted down a few of the methods of increasing your height. You can check which of the following method looks convenient to you and follow it over a period. It is important to note that such methods should be adopted for a long-term in order to observe the results.

Exercise to stretch your spine

A proven way of increasing your height is through exercise. Exercise helps to make body and spine flexible thus, making your spine more prone to grow. You can see that the sportsmen have a tall and strong physique. They are also physically active since exercise gives their muscles and bones strength as well as vigor.

There are various ways to stretch the body, but this method requires time and persistence. Without determination and eagerness to increase your height, this method cannot work. Basketball, volleyball, skipping, and swimming can help your body to stretch. It is highly recommended to stretch your body by hanging vertically with your hands on a bar. In this way the arms and body stretch, helping your body to grow tall.

Straight posture can improve your height

Carrying a straight posture can help your spine to grow vertically. A hunchback posture can significantly affect the height and spine of an individual. Keeping your back erect improves muscles flexibility and helps to maximize growth.

It is important to note that doing exercise and stretches in growing age can help you a lot. After puberty, the growth process slows down, and you may not get results fast.

Surgical methods for increasing your height

The modern technology and equipment have made it possible to explore medical issues exhaustively. In the past, there was no such surgical way to increase your height but with the advancement in technology now people are going for limb strengthening surgeries to achieve their dream height as it has become possible to gain few extra inches with surgeries. There are also cosmetic surgeries known as Height Lengthening surgeries.

However, this method does not guarantee 100% results. There can be complications in the surgery that can further deteriorate the condition. This surgery is also very expensive, and not many doctors perform this surgery. But after proper consultation with the qualified physician, one can opt height lengthening surgery.

Proper balanced diet to get all nutrients

Lack of essential nutrients can hamper the height increasing process. Healthy eating is also important to grow taller. Those kids who do not get a balanced diet will not grow properly. The height growth process hinders due to the lack of essential vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and minerals that play a significant role in a height increase.

Ways of dressing to look tall

The way you carry your dress, the design of your clothes and the accessories that you wear also leaves an impact on your height. For instance, those females who are short and bulky should wear clothes with vertical patterns, and small prints as horizontal lines or large prints will make them look fat and awful.

So here are a few of the ways that can tell you how to grow taller. Don’t waste your precious years in whining for the lost opportunities that left you because of your short height. It is important to take action and learn the best method that gives 100% guaranteed results.

7 Herbal Infusions For Men’s Health

There is a lot of information out there on “women’s herbs” for menopause, osteoporosis and many other ailments usually thought of as only affecting women. What you may not know, is that these herbs help both women and men. The plants work on the same areas of the body.

Below is a list of 7 common herbs that are very beneficial for men. The best way to take the herb is by drinking an infusion. What is an infusion? It is simply pouring boiling water over the herb and steeping it for the appropriate amount of time for the plant part. This pulls more minerals and vitamins from the plant for increased healing properties. Infusions also steep longer than teas. Just follow the times listed below and then strain the herb off and drink.

Herbal infusions work with your body over a long period of time to strengthen, tone and heal. So it is not uncommon to take these infusions for several months, and in some cases for a year or more. Drink 2-4 cups a day and even mix some of them to make your own special combinations!

o Nettle leaf. This basic herb reduces aches and pains. It is rich in calcium which nourishes the nerves, bones and heart. It also boosts the immune system and gives you energy. It reduces the discomfort from hay fever. It nourishes your adrenals and increases libido. Nettle leaf also relieves the pain associated with gout. Pour 1 quart boiling water over 1 ounce herb and infuse 4-8 hours.

o Oatstraw. Oatstraw is the same plant you get your oatmeal from. It nourishes the nerves and bones and can also relieve depression. It rejuvenates and energizes you. Oatstraw is rich in calcium and magnesium, so drink it at night to help you sleep. It is excellent for the heart and circulatory system. It also prevents prostate disease and erectile dysfunction. Pour 1 quart boiling water over 1 ounce herb and steep 8 hours.

o Red Clover blossoms and leaf. This herb has been used by 33 cultures around the world for cancer. It is rich in calcium, magnesium, niacin and B vitamins. It helps you relax. Pour 1 quart boiling water over 1 ounce herb. For the blossoms infuse for 2 hours, if you add the leaf then 4 hours.

o Comfrey leaf. This plant, though controversial, has helped people for centuries mend broken bones, ease sprains and prevent osteoporosis. It is also used for gastric ulcers and colitis. It reduces the inflammation of the stomach lining and helps with bronchial, pulmonary and lung conditions. Pour 1 quart boiling water over 1 ounce herb and steep 8 hours.

o Red Raspberry leaf. This herb is nourishing for your whole body. It strengthens and tones the reproductive system and good for you at any age. It is rich in calcium which is essential for your nervous system. It enhances fertility, used as a tonic for the prostate and also mends broken bones and osteoporosis. Pour 1 quart boiling water over 1 ounce herb and steep for 4-8 hours.

o Burdock root. Superior nutrition for the body. Rejuvenates your system. It heals deep within the body, so this herb needs to be taken daily for perhaps a year or more. It is used to treat cancer, kill bacteria and fungus infections. It stabilizes blood sugar. Rich in iron, magnesium and calcium. Pour 1 pint boiling water over 1 ounce of herb. Cap and steep for 8 hours.

o Linden flowers. This one relieves anxiety and nourishes your gallbladder. It is used for colds and flu and to assist the immune system. Helps with indigestion, upset stomach and excessive gas. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2-3 teaspoons herb. Steep 10-15 minutes.

©2009 Shanna Ohmes

Techniques of Massage Therapy

Stripped off all pretense or flourishes, the basic intent of therapeutic massage is to manipulate the soft tissues purposefully to help heal the damaged, sore, bruised or otherwise impaired part of the body. There are, however, a seemingly vast number of specific specialized techniques and types of massage. There is Sports Massage, Myofascial Massage, Neuromuscular Massage, Swedish Massage, Acupressure, Thai Massage, Watsu and Hydrotherapeutic Massage. The massage therapist must look at the different kinds, examine their techniques and decide what is appropriate for their client.

This may seem an insurmountable difficulty, but it is not. You can easily divide the basic techniques of massage therapy into two categories: Eastern (or Oriental or Asian) and Western. Although there are hybrids of these two major categories of therapeutic massage, the techniques remain distinct. There are clear indicators of the focus and style of massage in hybrids.

Eastern Massage at its most traditional bases its massage techniques on a pressure point system. While the philosophy of Thai Massage, Shiatsu, An Mo and Tui Na refers to the existence of some form of universal life force of energy, the actual technique involves working on specific points of the body. In Acupressure, for example, there are 365 acupoints on the body. A practitioner of this method uses the fingertips or hands to press on a specific point. This pressure, applied for a specific length of time, may relieve the pain, reduce tension, increase circulation, eliminate toxins and prevent nausea. In Reflexology, the practitioner utilizes reflex zones. Each point on the foot represents a specific part of the human anatomy. A point may have an association with a specific organ, gland or other body part. Pressing on the Reflex point helps remove congestion or imbalance within the body. This, in turn, prevents or removes disease and illness.

In the classic form of Western massage, there are no specific acupoints. The practitioner uses 5 basic hand motions to relieve stress, reduce tension and help the body heal itself. These 5 points for Classic Massage or Swedish Massage bear French nomenclature. They are Effleurage, Petrissage, Frictions, Tapotement and Vibration. Effleurage is long, smooth motions while Petrissage refers to a kneading of the flesh. In Frictions, a practitioner makes circular movements with the hands while in Tapotement the hands perform a tapping or percussion-like movements. With Vibration, the therapist uses two hands or thumbs to shake the flesh.

In Classic Western Massage, the hand and its parts work to manipulate the flesh. In Swedish Massage Therapy, the body is the entire canvas of the practitioner. In variations of Classic Massage, such as Sports Massage, the therapist usually focuses on a specific body part. In Traditional and modern forms of Asian Massage Therapy, the practitioner may utilize the fingers and other parts of the body to free energy. The desire is to use the techniques to unblock the channels for the entire body.

A massage therapist needs to know the different techniques. Although he or she may prefer a specific type of massage therapy, it is necessary to understand the essential differences and their application. In addition, a practitioner needs to know the necessity to adapt the techniques of massage therapy to the client. This includes realizing adjustments are essential when dealing with the specific needs of clients.

There are several individuals requiring alterations or adjustments in technique. This applies to both Western and Eastern approaches. The factors for which a therapeutic masseuse must make modifications include body type, age, pregnancy, disability and even gender. A practitioner has to be able to assess and tweak their approach accordingly.

Heavily padded or thin, bony clients require different techniques. You do not use Tapotement on a small, slender individual. This may produce bruising. In the least, the action can be uncomfortable. In the case of well-padded clients, you will have to increase the depth of your massage. Otherwise, you will not be able to affect the circulatory system.

Males and females have different requirements. During pregnancy, a practitioner will need to adjust the mat, pad or massage table to address the various trimesters. The length of the massage may not correspond to a comfortable time for the woman. At 4 months, it may be difficult to lie on the stomach. Later, it may also be hard to maintain a position on the back. There is also the question of depth of massage and massaging the stomach. With the male, therapists may need to apply greater pressure too manipulate the larger muscle bulk.

Another factor is age. You do not apply the same force or use the same technique for either the elderly or infants. In Tui Na, the form for infants differs from that for adults. The same is true for Western Massage Therapy. In both the elderly and the very young, a practitioner does not utilize heavy hands. Therapists also avoid pressure on fragile bones. If the practitioner knows his or her craft and understands the need to vary and adapt his or her technique, there should never be a problem.

Hemorrhoids – Why You Need a Colonoscopy

Hemorrhoids are much more common than most people may realize and they become even more common as we age. I’ve heard some estimates that say that over 50% of people in the US will get hemorrhoids at some point in their life. Although hemorrhoids aren’t usually a serious condition, there are valid reasons why you still need to consult with a doctor about any symptoms you may be experiencing. Because hemorrhoids are embarrassing for a lot of people, they are tempted to skip talking with a doctor and just treat their symptoms themselves, but this is a mistake that can have potentially deadly consequences.

The usual symptoms of hemorrhoids are bleeding during bowel movements, swelling around the anal opening, pain, and itching. These symptoms are most common with external hemorrhoids or those hemorrhoids that are located directly outside the anal opening. With internally located hemorrhoids, the only symptom may be bleeding as there are no pain receptors inside the anal cavity, so typically this type of hemorrhoid has no pain or discomfort associated with it.

The problem with avoiding doctors and self diagnosing any condition including something as innocuous as hemorrhoids is that you may not realize that typical hemorrhoid symptoms can also indicate much more serious medical conditions. Not to cause you concern, but in order to educate, you should be aware that pain, swelling and anal bleeding can also indicate colon cancer, polyps, infections, and fissures. This is especially true of anal bleeding. All incidences of anal bleeding need to be immediately discussed with a doctor. While it’s true that hemorrhoids are the most likely cause of your symptoms, do not skip getting a correct medical diagnoses because of laziness or embarrassment.

Colon cancer is treatable and survivable if caught and treated in its early stages. The most likely exam your doctor will use to diagnose your hemorrhoids is a colonoscopy. This is used diagnostically for all conditions in the colon region including hemorrhoids and colon cancer. It’s a small bendable scope which allows your doctor to get a good view of your overall colon/rectal health. It’s not as bad as it sounds and most people actually find the preparation leading up to the exam to be much more unpleasant. The preparation part involves heavy duty laxatives and a day spent close to a bathroom.

Another reason to avoid self diagnosing is to avoid complications. Although this is far less serious than colon cancer, hemorrhoid conditions if left untreated can become worse, perhaps to the point of even requiring surgery. Now, most people suffering from hemorrhoids will never require surgery but even “simple” cases of hemorrhoids require lifestyle changes and treatment to make sure they don’t become worse. For example, left untreated an internal hemorrhoid can become so inflamed that it extends outside the anal canal. Sometimes they can be manually reinserted, but sometimes, the anal muscles can contract so that the hemorrhoid gets trapped outside the anal canal. These two types of conditions are called a prolapsed hemorrhoid and a strangulated hemorrhoid, each of these is potentially more painful and serious than an internal hemorrhoids.

Vaginal Pimples – How To Treat And Tell If Your Vaginal Acne Is Herpes Or Genital Warts

Have you spotted or felt what seems like a vaginal pimple and shocked because you never believed there was such a thing; well there is and don’t be shocked. Aside from the usual sweaty crotch and tight clothing being a couple of likely reasons for pimples, there are of course the more serious causes which is when a doctor will be needed.

To help prevent vaginal acne, the vagina and surrounding area must be allowed to breathe. Suffocating the Minnie will only encourage sweat, irritation and smell. A blemish that appears red, raised and with a white top is naturally classed a pimple, and why wouldn’t it be, because isn’t that what pimples look like, nevertheless it could be a symptom of another infection like genital warts, herpes, or an inflammation of the hair follicles. People tend to link pimples with the face only, making the vagina seem an odd place to get them, but, wherever you have pores pimples can come.

(Pimples are normally 1 to 3 millimetres in size filled with pus or sebasceous material – in the vagina they can be bigger and called ‘inclusion cysts’. If tiny, copious and filled with clear fluid – they are called ‘vesicles’ and these could be HSV, (herpes) typically sore and sting but rarely itchy.)

If you think you have a vaginal pimple or two, or even three, not to worry they are not life threatening and treatable.

A blocked sebaceous gland that’s infected can cause pimples, as well as an ingrown hair, and as tempting as it is to squeeze a spot that’s a result of one of these two, you mustn’t do it. If you’ve already attacked the zit, or its burst, clean the area to keep it free from bacteria.

Symptoms of some sexually transmitted diseases bring pimples. If you’re sure a sexually transmitted infection is not the cause of the vaginal acne, treatment is much similar to what is used for removing pimples from the face.

A common cause of pimples you’re likely aware of if you suffer regularly from acne and been looking for a cure, is through skin-cell build-up, grime and excess oil that clog the pores. Using simple techniques you can treat pimples caused by energetic sebaceous glands, bacteria in the pores or hormonal swings, that is, if infection is not involved. Vaginal tissue is very sensitive so remember this if you’re seeing to yourself without the help of a doctor.

1. Stop harmful bacterium in its tracks by keeping the vaginal area less moist and clammy. Although the vagina is a self cleansing organ, give it that extra boost with warm water for freshness. Usually antibacterial soap is used, but some can be severe, so try feminine fragrance-free cleansing products.

2. If the skin around the vagina is itchy and turns red – consider changing washing powder or soap, because both can cause irritation to sensitive skin.

3. Scarring and infection can occur from squeezing pimples. If pus spreads, a new acne can start. Try treating the pimples using a hot compress, not so hot that it burns the skin. Place the compress over the pimple to soften the skin. This reduces pain and urges the pimple to burst. The National Institutes of Health suggests this be done on pimples caused by folliculitis, or an inflammation of the hair follicle.

Another popular remedy is the sitz bath made with Epsom salts. Not only does this soothe and cleanse, it helps maintain dryness in the area. Add one-half to one cup of Epsom salts to 3 to 4 inches of bath water.

If all fails to sort the problem go and see your GP. Some doctors will prescribe oral medications, antibiotics, and even birth control to regulate hormonal changes. It’s unlikely topical ointments will be given because of sensitivity in the region. Having said that it will depend on what the doctor sees the best course of action to treat the vaginal pimples.

The Vagina – What Is Normal?

Most girls at some time in their lives will ask themselves the question “Is my vagina is normal?” What is normal anyway? Female genitals may look quite different from others and yet still be completely normal. Some women have longer external labia (the outside “lips”) than others. It’s a bit like ear lobes, long floppy ones or small compact ones are both normal. Similarly, the internal labia that surround the vagina can also differ in length and fleshiness, but still be completely normal.

The Vaginal Canal

The vagina itself is not just a tube, but a stretchy, muscular canal lined with “ridges”. The vagina has the ability to increase in length and width during sexual penetration and especially during childbirth. Just like the other parts of the female genitalia, the vagina may be tighter or looser and still be normal.

Vaginal Scarring

Sometimes the vagina, or pereneal tissue (the area between the vagina and the anus) may have been ruptured or torn during childbirth and there may be scarring – especially if the woman has suffered a difficult childbirth. If the scarring causes discomfort during sex, some women will elect to have the scar tissue removed surgically.

Vaginal Looseness

Looseness can occur after childbirth due to a slackening of the muscular tissue that surrounds the vagina. Slackness (excessive looseness) of the vagina can also interfere with sexual enjoyment. An operation called a vaginal reconstruction (VR) may be the answer to repair and tighten the vagina.

Incontinence and Sexual Difficulties

If you are having sexual difficulties or incontinence due to post-birth vaginal problems, you should consider trying Kegel exercises to tighten up the muscles surrounding your vagina. Kegel exercises basically involve contracting (by squeezing) the muscles surrounding your vagina to improve tone. You can find out how to do Kegel exercises on the internet or by consulting a specialist. If all else fails, see your doctor about other, perhaps surgical, options.

Vaginal Lubrication

The vagina is home to some lubricating glands that provide moisture and prevent too much friction. Normal vaginal secretions are clear or milky translucent in colour and do not have a strong or unpleasant smell.

Abnormal Vaginal Secretions:

Smelly or Discoloured Discharge

If the discharge is malodourous or coloured, you may have a bacterial infection, an amoebic infection or an STI (sexually transmitted infection). Please consult your doctor for a diagnosis so that you can treat the condition properly.

White Curd-Like Discharge

White, curd-like or cottage-cheese like discharge may indicate a Candida infection (also known as a “yeast infection” or vaginal thrush). This type of infection is caused by the fungal microbe candida albicans. Candidiasis can be treated using a number of different approaches including an oral pill, a vaginal pessary or a vaginal cream which are all readily available from any chemist or pharmacy.

Uncomfortable Dryness

Menopause, in particular can make vaginal secretions seem to “dry up” – an uncomfortable proposition especially when it comes to sexual intercourse! There are some excellent personal lubricants on the market that can help with a dry vagina. They are available from chemists, pharmacies, supermarkets, sex shops and online.

Vaginal and Labial Irritation

If the internal labia, the inside of the external labia or the vagina itself are sore, red or itchy, you are experiencing vaginal or labial irritation. If these symptoms occur with unusual vaginal discharge (see Abnormal Vaginal Secretions above), you may have an infection – in which case please consult your doctor to have your condition correctly diagnosed and treated.

To Relieve Vaginal Discomfort

Irritation, redness and itchiness can be relieved by applying a 99% natural herbal cream. “LadySoothe” contains essential oils including tea tree oil that have soothing and healing properties and is safe to apply to this delicate vaginal area.

LadySoothe was created by women for women. With a moisturising coconut oil base, LadySoothe is safe to apply to your vagina – both inside and outside.

Reverse Aging – What is Resveratrol Extract?

Resveratrol (also known as the French Paradox and Japanese knotweed) is a phytoalexin which is produced naturally in the skin of red grapes that protects the plant from attacks from dangerous bacteria and pathogens. Resveratrol has been produced synthetically in a number of nutritional supplements and has been linked to a number of healthy benefits.

Some of these health benefits include lowering the blood sugar, having an anti-cancer mechanism, anti-inflammatory properties with helps in weight loss/control, and better maintain an overall cardiovascular health. In one study done, those mice that had Resveratrol added to their diet had loss weight and received longer lifespans. Many of the studies done about Resveratrol have shown these effects have been studied in mice and have not been reproduced in clinical human trials, as of now.

However, which some medical journals have reported the great sociological effects of this ingredient in a number of communities, like the Asian territories of Okinawa and Sardinians; there has been no established medical data in the Western World.

The two communities that demonstrated the advantages of this wondrous plant are the communities of Okinawa and the Sardinian. In Okinawa, Resveratrol (which is known locally as the Japanese knotweed) has been seen to help in the lowering of lipid (fat) levels and assist in anti-inflammatory treatments. Because of this, it has been used to treat Hepatitis medicinally for many generations. The Sardinians, who are the largest population of people over 100 years of age in the world, have consumed Resveratrol as part of their daily diet byway of their locally grown red wine. This naturally produced red wine is not restricted by pesticides, so the grape’s polyphenol is allowed to mature naturally.

Both communities had held persuasive statistics, which suggest its potential; however, the FDA, the authoritative agency in the US, has is not administered as a certified drug. However, with the growing amount of data about reverstarol becomes better known, the potential of reverstarol will be unlocked soon.

Currently, Glaxo Smith Kline, the manufacture of Alli (one of America’s Most Popular Weight Loss Pill), has taken over the research rights of reverstarol. Therefore, soon resveratrol’s health qualities will be unraveled in the future.

Cat Worm Symptoms – Your "I’m Not an Idiot" Guide to Recognizing the Symptoms of Cat Worms

Read this guide and your cat will thank you for recognizing cat worm symptoms before these parasites do her long term harm. There are several types of parasitic worms that can infest your cat like: lungworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms and cat heartworm. There’s plenty of synthetic parasiticides on the market, but you can opt for a natural approach to treating cat worms.

Some cat worm symptoms can be pretty darn obvious, like when kitty vomits an enormous load of half digested breakfast along with something that looks like short spaghetti. Chances are you’re looking at roundworms.

Other times, the problems caused by cat worms aren’t as obvious. Perhaps your cat is wheezing – you may think she has asthma or a cold. Every year veterinarians are presented with thousands of cats showing all the signs of a respiratory illness. In fact, a microscopic exam of your cat’s feces may indicate the presence of lungworms in her respiratory tract. The presence of lungworms will cause her to exhibit symptoms similar to asthma, but the proper remedy is much different than the treatment for asthma.

If you just adopted a kitten or an adult cat, its a pretty sure bet she came pre-loaded with cat worms. If you haven’t made it to the vet for a final diagnosis, monitor her stools in the litter box. A black, tarry or even bloody stool is a sure sign of a hookworm infection. Take her in to your vet for a reliable diagnosis.

Cats that have an advanced case of roundworms may exhibit cat worm symptoms including serious diarrhea, frequent vomiting or both. Blood may be present in the the diarrhea and vomit. The poor creature is trying to expel these bloodsuckers naturally. Unfortunately, the persistent diarrhea dehydrates her. When she vomits she ends up swallowing some of the regurgitated roundworms.

All cat worms are parasites; they suck blood. Cats and kittens are candidates for anemia. The most tragic health threat is an impacted intestinal tract – your kitten’s intestines packed with a mass of roundworms. Young cats are particularly susceptible to an intestinal perforation when this mass moves about.

Tapeworms aren’t as devastating to your cat’s health as some of the other parasites. You can recognize these cat worm symptoms too. Take a look at her anal area. She’s probably showing it to you 2 or 3 times a day during your petting sessions. Seize the moment. Do you see small, white, rice-like segments? Well, its not rice – its a segment of tapeworm.

A cat infected by a cat heartworm may be gagging, coughing, have difficult breathing or vomiting. Or she may show no signs of cat worms – she may suddenly drop dead.

So here’s your “I’m Not An Idiot Guide To Recognizing To Recognizing Cat Worm Symptoms”

Your cat is exhibiting one or more of these symptoms…

  1. Coughing, wheezing or problems breathing;
  2. Vomiting a batch of white, short spaghetti-like casings;
  3. Gagging;
  4. Frequent bouts of vomiting;
  5. Diarrhea;
  6. Black, tarry stools;
  7. White, rice-like casings sticking around her anal area

Its likely your vet will suggest a topical or oral synthetic treatment for purging cat worms. However, many cat owners are opting for more natural treatments using herbal remedies like Artemisia absinthinium (also called Wormwood). This herb is widely used in homeopathic practices to treat cat parasites. Consider it as a viable option to rid your cat’s parasites and free her of debilitating cat worm symptoms.

The Real Modern Day Causes Of Chronic Disease In America

The first step we must take in order to prevent and cure chronic disease is to know their modern day causes and understand why these diseases are now so prevalent in America today. In the U.S., 70 percent of Americans that die each year die from chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. For many years now, tobacco use has been considered the single most dangerous modifiable risk factor for chronic disease and longevity. But modern day industry and technology has brought about dramatic changes in our diet, our food, our environment, and our lifestyles. These changes have introduced other risk factors that we are now faced with and it’s the totality of these other risk factors that today pose a greater threat to the health of Americans than even smoking.

DIET AND LIFESTYLE

A report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (March, 2004) states, “poor diet and lack of physical exercise may soon surpass tobacco as the leading cause of death”. In America today, modern technological advances both at home and on the job has created two things, jobs and lifestyles that are less physically active or even sedentary and a heavy reliance on the convenience of fast and processed food. The report goes further and states that only 1.5 percent more people in the U.S. die each year from tobacco (18.1percent) than those that die from poor diet and lack of physical activity (16.6 percent).

Poor diet and lack of exercise contributes to chronic disease in two ways. First, by promoting cell malfunction in our bodies by depriving the cells of sufficient nutrients and enough oxygen to keep them functioning properly and second, by contributing to weight gain and obesity.

WEIGHT GAIN AND OBESITY

It’s no secret that the U.S. is the fattest country in the world and that this is due primarily to the convenient availability of today’s fast and processed foods and inactive lifestyles. We all know that these kinds of foods are jam-packed with fats and sugars and that by consuming these foods along with physical inactivity sets us up for weight gain from fat.

But why is fat dangerous and how does it contribute to chronic disease? Body fat is dangerous for two reasons. The first reason is because fat cells are actually active, especially abdominal fat cells, and produce toxic hormones and other toxic substances during the process of lipolysis which is the breakdown of the fats that are stored in the fat cells. Our bodies are designed to handle normal amounts of these substances but the more fat you have the more fat cells you have that are releasing these toxic substances up to the point that the body becomes overwhelmed and can no longer safely dispose of them.

The second reason is that some outside environmental toxic chemicals accumulates in human fat. One such example is Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs. Better known as flame retardants, PBDEs are used in a wide variety of common household products from carpet to electronics and studies show that they can cause both liver and kidney damage. The more body fat you have, the greater the possibility of you accumulating more toxic chemicals, such as PBDEs, than your body can handle. In either case, excessive body fat results in a toxic overload within the cells and just like depriving them of nutrients and oxygen, causes the cells to malfunction thus weakening the immune system.

HOW THE AMERICAN FOOD INDUSTRY HAS MADE US SICK

Seeing now how poor diet and daily inactivity can cause chronic disease, you would think that all you need to do is to start exercising and and go to the grocery store and stock up on healthier foods, right. Wrong! There are three reasons why the highly processed foods and the conventionally grown crops and meats found in most grocery stores today have played a part in the prevalence of chronic disease in America.

TOXIC CHEMICALS IN OUR FOOD

The first reason is toxicity. For many years now, the U.S.’s major food producers have used chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and growth hormones to grow bigger crops and livestock as quickly as possible for increased profits. Unknown by most American consumers, many of the meats, fruits, and vegetables found on typical grocery store shelves are laced with traces of these chemicals and hormones. These foods, as well as our processed and packaged food, also contain other chemicals in the form of ripening agents, artificial flavor and aromatic enhancers, preservatives, and other man-made chemicals to make them as appealing and as convenient as possible. These toxic chemicals ultimately end up in our bodies and after years of exposure, build up to a toxic level that our bodies are not designed to deal with.

LOW NUTRITIONAL VALUES IN TODAY’S FOOD

The second reason is that a lot of the conventional foods of today have a low nutritional value. Modern agriculture has employed methods of farming that has depleted the soil of vital minerals causing a significant decrease in the nutritional content of many of our fruits and vegetables. In fact, the Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study conducted in 2009 found that 81 percent of registered dietitians now view dietary supplements as important for maintaining health. Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist with the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recently stated, “The way we farm now is destructive of the soil, the environment and us” and that “worst of all, our food is increasingly bad for us, even dangerous”. But perhaps the most serious threat to our food supply is one has gone virtually unknown to the average unsuspecting American consumer and is the third reason why our food is making us so sick.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD

Also known as GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), genetic food modification can quite possibly become the single most dangerous threat to our health. Genetic modification is the technology that makes it possible to manipulate the genes of living organisms by combining multiple genes from different living organisms in order to change the characteristics of that organism. Also referred to as recombinant DNA technology, the resulting products are said to be transgenic, genetically modified, or genetically engineered. The World Health Organization views GMO’s as “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally”.

This technology has now made it possible for scientists to inject chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides directly into the genes and the DNA of seeds used to grow the fruits and vegetables we eat in order to make them more resistant to the herbicides and pesticides already in use. This technology is also being used on livestock as well. The irony is that the world’s largest producer of GMO’s and genetically engineered foods is not one of our nation’s major food producers such as Tyson Foods or Kraft. It’s Monsanto, a chemical company. Since the early 1990’s, this technology has been used in America’s agriculture. Today approximately 70 percent of the food you buy at your typical grocery store has been genetically modified and chances are you have or will eat a GMO today.

TOXIC CHEMICALS IN OUR AIR, OUR WATER, AND OUR HOMES

The most direct source of chemical exposure we unknowingly experience comes from the foods we eat. But we can no longer ignore the fact that the environmental toxins found in our air, our water, and even our homes contribute greatly to chronic diseases here in the U.S. The number of toxic chemicals we Americans routinely encounter is astonishing. The Environmental Protection Agency has now identified at least 6,000 chemicals that Americans are regularly exposed to and this number grows each year.

And these chemical toxins are not just limited to air and water contaminants. A lot of the chemicals we come into contact with daily are right in our own homes in the form of floor cleaners, furniture polish, and even hairspray. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, “Americans use an average of 10 personal care products each day, resulting in exposure to more than 126 unique chemicals-not counting the many undisclosed chemicals in fragrance.”

IS SMOKING REALLY THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF CHRONIC DISEASE IN AMERICA?

The answer is probably not but certainly it remains a major contributor. Even though the decline in the number of people who smoke has been stalled since 2005, the fact is that for 40 years now, the number of Americans who smoke has been decreasing and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to second hand smoke is now down 70 percent. Cigarette smoking peaked in the mid 1960’s with 40 percent of Americans smoking and today that figure is at about 23 percent. The percentage of Americans suffering from chronic disease now stands at 51 percent and that number continues to climb. With this in mind, it would be hard to conclusively say that cigarette smoking continues to stand alone as America’s number one cause of chronic disease.

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF CHRONIC DISEASE IN AMERICA?

The extremely high rate of chronic disease we’re experiencing here in the U.S. today is a result of not just one, but a combination of all of these risk factors. These risk factors cause two things within our bodies that serve as the basis for all chronic disease, deficiency and toxicity. If left unchecked, these two common denominators will begin to cause cellular damage and over time, will cause the cells to malfunction thus increasing the probability of developing chronic disease.

In America today, the combination of enormous toxic overload, the declining nutritional value of our foods, smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, and obesity all work against our nation’s health in ways we have never seen before by poisoning our bodies and then depriving it’s cells of what they need to function properly. In order to help avoid and reverse disease and give our bodies a chance to detoxify themselves, it’s vital that we find ways to limit our subjection to chemical toxins and find nutritious alternate food options.

Top 9 Teeth Whitening Myths Busted and Common Questions Answered

Myth 1 – Teeth Whitening ruins your tooth enamel

Not generally true! Professional Teeth Whitening product suppliers mostly use Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide as the active ingredients in their tooth whitener gels. The chemical Hydrogen Peroxide (HO) is a bleaching agent which converts into water (HO) and releases an Oxygen molecule (O) in the process of the chemical reaction. Both Water and Oxygen are common, safe components of our everyday lives.

The Oxygen particles penetrate the rough surface of your tooth (even though they appear smooth, they are microscopically rough, rod like crystal structures) and dislodge staining particles. I like to explain this by imagining the TV commercials which show how a clothes washing powder with oxygen lifts stains from your clothing.

The “bleach” Hydrogen Peroxide is not the same as household bleach containing ammonia, or other low-end, acid based tooth whitening products, and can be swallowed, within limits. In fact our own bodies produce Hydrogen Peroxide naturally!

Acidic products can remove enamel from your teeth. Look for teeth whitening products using Hydrogen Peroxide which is pH balanced, meaning they have no, or low acidity levels. Putting acidity into perspective, you should be aware that everyday Orange Juice is shown in lab studies to soften (and potentially erode) tooth enamel by many times more than a professional hydrogen peroxide based tooth whitening gel could, if used correctly.

Myth 2 – Teeth Whitening is not Safe

Not true! Cosmetic Teeth Bleaching with Hydrogen Peroxide has been in use for 100 years. Most recognized dental bodies worldwide endorse tooth bleaching as a generally safe practice, when simple safety steps are followed. Any professional supplier of teeth whitening products will include adequate instructions for the safe use of their product.

Safety vs Risk with tooth whitening is generally centred on 2 main issues: Exposure of the gel to the gums and soft tissue of the mouth or lips, and tooth sensitivity. Both can be minimized by using professional products and minimizing the amount of time the bleaching gel is exposed to the gums or teeth.

As with any cosmetic procedure, there are potential risks. Thankfully with professional teeth whitening any side effects experienced are temporary and are not permanent. As with most cosmetic procedures, you may have to endure some discomfort to look better. Sometimes I call this “Vain Pain”.

Myth 3 – All whitening Gel is the same

Not true! Of the two major professional gel options, there is Carbamide Peroxide and Hydrogen Peroxide. Both produce the same active ingredient Hydrogen Peroxide, but Carbamide Peroxide acts SLOWER on the teeth and is recommended for use only with an Accelerator Light (I will talk about that later) or for overnight use. Carbamide Peroxide concentrations contains roughly 1/3 of the active ingredient, Hydrogen Peroxide. As an example, 35% Carbamide Peroxide is roughly equal to 12% Hydrogen Peroxide.

Because Hydrogen Peroxide is an unstable chemical which reacts immediately, it is more expensive to produce. Many vendors offer only Carbamide Peroxide based products as a result. Stabilized Hydrogen Peroxide, while the most difficult and expensive to produce, reacts immediately on contact with the teeth and is best suited for short duration tooth whitening treatments without an accelerator light.

Myth 4 – Teeth Whitening Accelerator Lights don’t work

Not generally true! Except in some cases. There are businesses who sell only take home teeth whitening kits, and some Dentists, who say that the LED Lights and other accelerator lights are just a gimmick and don’t work.

There have been many studies conducted which show that the use of a professional accelerator light does indeed accelerate the oxidization (the release of oxygen and chemical bleaching reaction) of tooth whitener gel. This is especially true with Carbamide Peroxide based whitening gels which react much slower chemically.

Ask yourself, how many Dentists and Cosmetic Dentistry businesses offer an “in-office”, “chairside”, “instant whitening” or “Power Whitening” treatment? Many of them! Now why would they offer this treatment if the accelerator lights did not work? From my own professional experience, there is no doubt that the professional quality Blue LED Accelerator lights enable a faster tooth whitening result when using Carbamide Peroxide gel. In our own studies and observations having worked with thousands of clients and compared the results with the same gel, over the same time period, with and without the LED Accelerator Lamp, we are sure there is a noticeable improvement with the light under these conditions.

But, not all Accelerator Lights are the same. Some Dentists use older technology lamps such as Plasma, UV and other technologies. These technologies function at a light spectrum which is known to cause heating or burning of the skin tissue and heating of the tooth surface to release the oxygen in the gel, unfortunately that can also mean UV damage to your mouth, gums and lips. There are also mini handheld LED Lights you often see in TV Commercials – these are only toys and do not have enough power to have any effect.

Another case of where an accelerator light doesn’t work well is if the provider uses a mouth tray to hold the gel against the teeth, and this tray is coloured, is a “Silicone Impression” tray, or is a Pre-Filled Foam tray. These types of mouthguard trays do not allow the light frequency to pass through them and there are no accelerated bleaching effects as a result.

Modern, professional teeth whitening accelerator lamps all use LED light in the blue light spectrum, at a specific frequency which excites the oxygen release from the chemical, and accelerates the tooth whitening process. They are often known as “Cool LED” or “cold” light accelerators because they do not heat the teeth or surrounding tissue. As a result, they are perfectly safe, and the technology is FDA Apparoved.

Myth 5 – You need to go to a Dentist to get professional whitening results

Not true! Today, you can buy in Australia, professional strength tooth whitening products which you can use at home or as a service with a professional accelerator light and assistance – and not just from the Dentist.

Dentists are exclusively allowed to use the VERY STRONG bleaching gels, over 16% Hydrogen Peroxide, and up to 35% Hydrogen Peroxide. At these strengths of whitening gel, the real risks are tooth sensitivity and gum trauma. Dentists therefore use a special gum barrier which they apply to your gums prior to applying the strong gels. A Dentist will usually get a better whitening result in the same amount of time as a non-dental treatment, but there are costs to consider, both financially and in increased tooth sensitivity when using the stronger Dentist-only treatments.

For many years the Dentist’s had the cosmetic teeth whitening market monopolized because professional teeth whitening technology was too expensive for anyone else. Today, the price and availability of professional tooth whitening products means you have many more choices and options.

Myth 6 – Teeth Bleaching Gels from anywhere other than USA, Australia or UK are unsafe

Not true! First of all, in this modern world, you may not even know it but products appearing to be manufactured by a good American or Australian brand are most likely actually manufactured in China. This is true with all types of products and technology worldwide, due to simple economics.

There are many brands of teeth whitening products available in the market. You don’t need to be concerned where they were manufactured, because it makes NO DIFFERENCE. The active chemical, Hydrogen Peroxide is the same the world over. Because Hydrogen Peroxide is also used as a disinfectant, bacteria can’t live in this chemical and it will always be safe (ie; germ and bacteria free) to put Hydrogen Peroxide based gel into your mouth regardless of where it came from or how it was manufactured.

If the Hydrogen Peroxide gel is past its use by date or chemically expired, you will know right away, because the gel turns a milky white colour which shows that it is already oxidized and will no longer be effective at whitening your teeth, it won’t cause any harm.

Myth 7 – You need customized Mouthguard trays to get best whitening results

Not true! While Dentists offer custom mouth trays which costs a lot of money, there are also many home whitening kits providing the boil-n-bite thermoshrinking mouthguards which will work equally as well. The totally custom trays may be a little more comfortable to wear, but they need to be, because in general, a Dentist’s at-home teeth whitening kits require you to have the tray in your mouth for long periods of time, over weeks of use. There are non-dentist products which only require short time duration usage, so it doesn’t matter as much if the mouthguard is less comfortable.

The other problem with mouthguards which are too form-fitted is that the gap between the teeth and the surface of the mouthguard is so small, that only the thinnest layer of whitening gel can fit between. The problem with this is less chemical = less whitening result, so you need to use the mouthguard and gel more frequently, over longer periods of time to get a good result.

Myth 8 – All teeth are the same and whitening results should be like the “Hollywood” smile

Unfortunately, some people have unrealistic expectations and can be disappointed with their teeth whitening results. This is not because professional teeth whitening products don’t work, because they ALWAYS WORK to some degree. It’s because they fail to understand that each person’s teeth are unique in mineral composition, which means that tooth bleaching will produce a different result for each person. If your teeth are genetically more yellow than someone else, your results will not be as white, no matter who’s product you use, how many times you try to whiten your teeth, or what the strength of the gel is. And some people have deep staining from antibiotics, tetracycline etc. which can’t be easily removed and may never be fully removed. Also, there are people with genetically grey or blue tinted teeth for which Hydrogen Peroxide bleaching does not work as well as yellow or brown colour tints.

People see the Hollywood Stars on TV and in Movies and believe they can get their teeth bleached to look like the movie stars. Unfortunately, that is not possible. Chemical Teeth Whitening has its limits of effectiveness and will not produce the pure white colour (for most people) you see on Movie Stars. Does that mean that movie stars are just genetically lucky? No, it means that movie stars have often paid many thousands of dollars for Porcelain Veneers to straighten their teeth and make them pure white. Of course you have this option too, if you have the money, but a tooth whitening with Hydrogen Peroxide generally makes a noticeable difference in whiteness and brightness of natural teeth, at a much lower cost than Veneers.

Myth 9 – If I have Caps, Crowns, Veneers or Dentures so I can’t whiten my teeth

Not true! While Hydrogen Peroxide only whitens natural teeth, it also cleans all surfaces, including man-made surfaces of caps, crowns, veneers and dentures. Some dentists say that hydrogen peroxide can weaken the bond of some of these artificial substances, or attack the metal components, but you should check with your Dentist about your specific case before whitening your natural teeth if you are concerned.

It is always better to whiten your natural teeth FIRST if you are going to be getting any caps, crowns etc. fitted. This is because the dentist can then match the colour of the artificial substance to your now whiter, natural teeth, giving an overall whiter smile.

Common Questions and Answers about Teeth Whitening:

Does Whitening Toothpaste work?

The problem here is that there is not a strong enough concentration of any chemical, and it is not concentrated on your teeth long enough to make ANY noticeable difference to the whiteness of your teeth. The only real “whiteness” if you can call it that, which is created by toothpaste is actually the abrasive action of the toothbrush or paste against your tooth enamel. This scratching DOES wear down tooth enamel and also removes large chunks of staining material on the tooth surface, but not the tiny staining particles which make teeth look more yellow. This is the same thing with “Tooth Polishes” which only act like a fine sandpaper to remove tooth enamel while brushing and will cause increased tooth sensitivity with prolonged use tooth enamel thins.

As with the Risk vs Reward argument, while there is significant damage caused to tooth enamel from tooth brushing over time, on balance this is better than the consequences of not cleaning your teeth.

Don’t be fooled by those expensive “whitening toothpastes” – they do not make a noticeable difference to the whiteness of your teeth, they are abrasively removing enamel from your teeth and you’re better off spending your money on something that does work.

Who is suitable for Teeth Whitening?

The generally recommended rules to define people who are suitable for teeth whitening are:

  • Over 16 years of age (due to potential development of the teeth prior to this age, parental consent may be required)
  • Not Pregnant or Lactating (this is an additional safety measure to protect babies, although you would not generally be able to swallow enough Hydrogen Peroxide from a normal teeth whitening treatment to harm your baby)
  • No known allergies to Hydrogen Peroxide. If you have ever developed skin irritation when bleaching your hair with Hydrogen Peroxide, you may be allergic. But if you don’t know you’re allergic, it will become evident in the first few minutes of a teeth whitening treatment, and you can simply stop the treatment. Any side effects, no matter how discomforting will disappear in a few days with no permanent damage.

Aside from these conditions, teeth whitening is not advisable for people with Dental Braces, people with gum disease, open cavities, leaking fillings, recent oral surgery, or other dental conditions. If in doubt, I recommend you visit your Dentist prior to using a professional strength teeth whitening product.

People with grey or blue tint colour to their natural teeth may also not benefit as greatly from teeth whitening using Hydrogen Peroxide, as people with yellow or brown tint colour.

If you have Gingivitis or Periodontal disease, any Hydrogen Peroxide bleach on your gum line will be painful and may produce a small amount of bleeding at the gum line. As a result, I don’t recommend whitening your teeth until these issues are under control with your Dentist. What is interesting however, is that reports have shown that Hydrogen Peroxide can kill the bacteria which causes Gingivitis, possibly preventing further damage.

What are the Risks with Teeth Whitening?

Whitening treatments are generally safe, however, some of the potential complications of these treatments include:

GUM IRRITATION: Whitening gel that comes in contact with gum tissue during the treatment may cause inflammation and/or blanching or whitening of the gums, gum line or inside lips. This is due to inadvertent exposure of small areas of those tissues to the whitening gel. The inflammation and/or whitening of gums is transient, meaning it does not last, and any colour change of the gum tissue will reverse within two hours, usually within 10-30 minutes. Persons with a history of mouth ulcers may develop temporary mouth ulcers which usually disappear within a few days after treatment.

TOOTH SENSITIVITY: Although more common with the in-Office Dentist Treatments using very strong bleaching gels, some people can experience some tooth sensitivity for a period after the whitening treatment. People with existing sensitivity, recently cracked teeth, micro-cracks, open cavities, leaking fillings, or other dental conditions that cause sensitivity may find that those conditions increase or prolong tooth sensitivity after a cosmetic teeth whitening treatment.

SPOTS OR STREAKS: Some people may develop white spots or streaks on their teeth due to calcium deposits that naturally occur in teeth. These usually diminish within 24 hours.

RELAPSE: After a cosmetic teeth whitening treatment, it is natural for teeth colour to regress somewhat over time. This is natural and should be very gradual, but it can be accelerated by exposing your teeth to various staining agents, such as coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine, etc. You should not eat or drink anything except water during the first 60 minutes after a teeth whitening treatment, and avoid tooth staining agents for 24 hours after (eat and drink white or clear coloured foods during this time).The results of a Hydrogen Peroxide based tooth bleaching treatment are not intended to be permanent, and can last up to 2 years when using professional strength treatments. Secondary, repeat, or touch-up treatments may be needed to achieve or maintain the colour you desire for your teeth.

How do I achieve best teeth whitening results?

Before answering this question, you should be thinking of the tooth whitening results from a single treatment, as a trade-off against the potential side-effects of a single treatment. The best answer is balance! Balance the potential results with the potential risk of side-effects. The highest concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide produce the best results in the shortest time, but also have the highest potential side-effects. My recommendation is middle of the road – not the strongest, and not the weakest to get a happy balance of results and risk.

Before you undertake a professional teeth whitening treatment, have your teeth cleaned professionally. At least in the smile area, which is the upper and lower 8-10 front teeth. REMEMBER, teeth are opaque so cleaning the BACK of the teeth is very important to the overall whitening results you will achieve. A Dental Cleaning will remove any excess materials stuck to the outside of your teeth and permit the Hydrogen Peroxide to work best at bleaching your natural teeth, evenly.

Use a professional strength teeth whitening gel. Many Pharmacies, TV Ads and Internet companies promote teeth whitening products which use 3% or 6% Hydrogen Peroxide concentration. These just don’t work well at whitening teeth, and any effect they have takes a LONG time to achieve. The comparative cost difference is not that great between these low-end products and products of professional strength, but the time and effort required is. I recommend 12% Hydrogen Peroxide if available in your area, unless you are using a whitening treatment with a professional accelerator light which can use 35% Carbamide Peroxide. Of course the Dentist in-Office power whitening treatments generally use gel much stronger than 12%, but beware of the potential side effects.

Remember, if your teeth aren’t as white as you would like after the first treatment, you can always allow some time to monitor your gums and teeth for any side-effects, then take an additional treatment(s). Provided the product you are using is not too expensive, this is the best and safest way to achieve optimal teeth whitening results.

How long does Teeth Whitening last?

This depends on the product you use to whiten your teeth, and the lifestyle you lead.

If you are a smoker, or regularly drink red wine or use any other heavily coloured substances regularly, your whiter teeth will become stained again more quickly.

There is no absolute answer to this question, but in general, if you use a professional teeth whitening product for the full treatment as recommended, you may be able to keep the whiter teeth for up to 2 years if you are conscious of what you eat and drink, and maintain your teeth and oral health properly.

Most people are not saints and lead lives where they enjoy red wine or a curry etc. That’s fine, but if you want to keep your whiter teeth you should brush them 60 minutes after you have consumed the food or drink. Research suggests you should not brush immediately after eating because the acid formed in your mouth when eating makes the tooth enamel softer and abrasive brushing of the teeth during this period can be detrimental.

I also recommend the use of Teeth Whitening Pens. They apply a thin layer of Hydrogen Peroxide to the teeth, at any time or place, and will bleach any staining close to the tooth surface (if the concentration is strong enough). Whitening Pens active ingredient only works for 30 to 60 seconds on the teeth because saliva washes it away, so choose a Whitening Pen which uses Hydrogen Peroxide (not Carbamide) and is professional strength gel. Whitening Pens are generally not suitable for removing deeper stains.

I have tooth sensitivity problems, can I still whiten my teeth?

Yes, and you have several options. You could use a desensitizing tooth paste for approximately 1 month prior to whitening your teeth and if sensitivity is reduced, you can use any product. But be aware that your sensitivity will likely increase again during or after the treatment, so I suggest choosing a mid strength whitening gel where you can remove it quickly if discomfort gets unbearable.

The other option is a low strength whitening gel. This will work over a longer period of time, but sometimes also increases sensitivity because of the amount of time required on the teeth to get a good result.

Probably the best option, in my opinion, is a Teeth Whitening Pen of at least 12% Hydrogen Peroxide concentration. Because you can paint the gel onto specific teeth and because the gel is washed away by saliva in less than a minute, this may produce the best results, with the least discomfort.

What should I do immediately after I whiten my teeth?

  • Rinse the gel from your teeth and mouth without swallowing.
  • Brush your teeth within 60 minutes using a tooth paste containing Fluoride to help seal the teeth
  • Don’t eat or drink colored foods, or smoke for at least 60 minutes
  • If you have tooth sensitivity, use a desensitizing tooth paste
  • If you have tingling in your gums, purchase from the Pharmacy a preparation designed to soothe gums. This will help to prevent mouth ulcers forming (if you are predisposed) and decrease the discomfort and duration of any potential gum irritation.

The simple rule to the best Teeth Whitening results

Concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide (Strength) + Time on the teeth (Time) = Results (Effectiveness)

When factoring in Time, you should also consider the consequences of time:

  • More effort, meaning you may not complete the full treatment
  • More inconvenience
  • Enough active ingredient to chemically react over that time period. That is to say, just leaving any whitening gel on your teeth for 24 consecutive hours won’t help because the Hydrogen Peroxide normally is fully reacted and spent within 20 minutes.
  • Longer exposure of the mouthguard to the gums. Friction of the mouthguard can often cause gum irritation
  • Longer exposure of the bleaching gel to the gums. Once again, the risk of gum irritation.
  • Remember, there are limits to the whiteness achievable with natural teeth and these will vary with your tooth genetics, your lifestyle and the state of your teeth at the time of whitening.

More information and Teeth Whitening Product Reviews available by downloading the full report.