Multiple Deaths and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Death is part of life. It is easier to understand this if you’ve had one death in the family. Understanding takes longer when you have had several deaths. Your responses are affected by the nature of each loss and your relationship with that person. Life taught me this lesson.

In 2007 my eldest daughter died from the injuries she received in a car crash. Surgeons operated on her for 20 hours, but could not save her life. Two days later my father-in-law succumbed to pneumonia. Eight weeks later, my brother died of a heart attack. Then my former son-in-law was killed in another car crash. My husband and I are raising our twin grandchildren.

Accepting my daughter’s early and sudden death has been a challenge. Dr. Nathan Kollar, Professor of Religious Studies at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York thinks a loss of this kind shatters us like a tree struck by lightening. “Our world is broken by suffering and we will never be the same again.”

Traumatic death — a death that is sudden and anticipated — can cause PTSD. Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS, FT examines traumatic death in “Dealing with Sudden, Accidental and Traumatic Loss and Death,’ published on the About.Com Website. Dyer says a traumatic death may be “violent, mutilating or destructive, random and/or preventable.” All of these words apply to my daughter, who died of blunt force trauma.

Thankfully, I have good coping skills. Still, I have wondered if I have PTSD. A few weeks ago the phone rang at 2 a.m. and awakened me from a sound sleep. It was the police, checking on my grandson, who was out too late. Though the call was over quickly, my feelings were not. My mind flashed back to the night my daughter died. I saw family members in the waiting room, crying grandchildren, a sad expression on a surgeon’s face. No wonder I couldn’t get back to sleep.

What is PTSD? The Help Guide Website defines it as “a disorder that can develop following a traumatic event that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless.” The National Institutes of Health lists the symptoms of PTSD on its Website and groups them into three categories: flashbacks, bad dreams, and frightening thoughts. Other symptoms include emotional numbness, feeling “on edge,” and sleep problems.

According to Mayo Clinic, resilient people can recover from the disorder. In a Website article, “Resilience: Build Skills to Endure Hardship,” Mayo Clinic defines resilience as “the ability to adapt well to stress adversity, trauma, or tragedy.” That does not mean the person with PTSD ignores his or her feelings. “Resilience does offer protection for you — and your family — against developing such conditions as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder,” notes Mayo Clinic.

I had a mild case of PTSD and have almost recovered from it. Being a grandmother, someone with life experience and coping skills, has helped me. Proactive steps, such as learning about grief and getting a physical exam, have also helped. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it can take months for the symptoms of PTSD to appear.

Have you suffered multiple losses? If so, watch for the symptoms of PTSD. Get a physical exam and ask your doctor if you need counseling. PTSD is a normal response to trauma and most people recover on their own. You may be one of them.

Copyright 2009 by Harriet Hodgson

Psychometry, Also Known As, Psychic Touch

Psychometry is the ability to read the energy of an object by utilizing touch. It is one of the most basic skills and the most easiest skill to learn in the shortest amount of time.

In as little as a few hours to a few days of practice, one can easily become proficient in their ability to read objects by simply understanding the following:

  • All objects only appear to be a solidity. They are actually atoms vibrating at high rates of speed and slamming together being held in place by an unseen force which gives the appearance of solid mass.
  • All things absorb energy from things that are around them. For example, one can easily feel the warning coming from a person or animal. This is referred to as heat energy. A glass holding ice water will absorb the cold. Thus these two examples easily establish that all thing absorb the energies of the things around them.
  • All objects are composed of the same things–atomic particles, which project several types of energies (magnetic, heat, cold, electrical, and the body’s natural aura or force field)

In Psychometry the hands are used for the detective work and the body is the detector. Each hand serves a purpose. If you are right handed typically the right hand projects and the left hand absorbs. Reverse this if you are left handed but it is best to experiment to see which role which hand plays. However for informational purposes the left hand is connected to the right brain. The right brain is where creative imaging resides. Again you may have to experiment to see which hand is dominant and most sensitive. Once you have determined which hand is dominant, you should never pick up any object with the dominant hand when you are using pschometry skill because that hand will actually imprint your energy onto the object.

You can try this experiment to determine which hand is the dominant hand so you never use it during psychometry.

  • Hold your left hand up at chest level and facing your right side as if you are going to pray.
  • Place your right hand up facing your left hand holding your hands between 6 to 8 inches apart.
  • Bend the fingertips of your right hand and face them towards the palm of your left hand. Move your fingers back and forth slowly and see if you feel a current. Closing your eyes may help you feel the current more easily.
  • If you feel absolutely no current. Try this process again but this time bend the fingertips of your left hand and repeat the process.

Whichever hand you feel the current, that is your dominant hand (the projector) and you should never use that hand to hold an object or touch and object for psychometry purposes. If you do, you run the risk of imprinting your energy. Always pick up objects or touch objects with your receptor hand. This is the hand that absorbs the energy from the object.

How to hold an object:

There are no right or wrong ways to hold or touch an object. It is up to the individual to determine what works best for them. You can lightly place your fingertips on an object, put an object between your thumb and index finger, lay an object in your palm, or wrap your hand like a fist around the object. Practicing with the various ways will help you determine which process creates the most sensitivity to the energy of the object you are reading for you.

Typically these are the various ways that works best, but again it is your preference.

  • Photos – placing your whole palm on the back of the photo.
  • Small Objects – closed fist.
  • Larger Objects – finger tips.

When you are just beginning to learn this skill, vary the methods you use and experiment. You can even use other body parts. Some people the back of the hand is super sensitive or the neck. Don’t be afraid to try different things. There are no wrong ways to do things here.

What is some of the information that can be received from utilizing Psychometry?

  • Past
  • Future
  • Events
  • Past ownership
  • Color
  • History
  • Images

Experiments you can do using Psychometry using simple things around your house.

A deck of playing cards, tablet, and pencil. Only deal 3 cards at a time.

First take a red suited card and turn it over facing down. Cup your receiving hand over the card and feel the energy of the red card. Notice does it feel warm? It should the color red usually feels warm. Do the same thing for a black suited card. Once you established what it feels like for each suit color red or black, shuffle the deck. Place a card on the table face down. Place your receiving hand cupped over the card. Feel the energy. Again Red suits the card should feel warm and Black suits, the card should feel cool. Ask yourself does the energy feel hot or cold. If it feels cold on your tablet write Card #1 – Black. Continue this for 2 more cards until you have information written down for 3 cards. Do this 3 more times. Then score yourself. Each entry is worth 1 point. 3 or more is a good score. A score of 7 is considered extremely high. Continuing practicing this test until you feel confident on your skill.

You can move on next with the card experiment and now use closed eye imagery to determine if it is red and diamond or hearts or black and spades or clubs. You will be using your minds eye to “see”. Experiment which works best for you, cupped palm over card or just fingertips.

If you are not adept at imagery in order to stimulate your minds eye in order to gain information from an object, close your eyes and try to imagine first something you have, like your car, your spouse, a child. Next imagine a sunflower. See the yellow petals and the brown center. If you were able to see that image of the daisy, move on to a rose, specifically a red rose. Red is the easiest color to create in your mind’s eye. Next visualize that the rose has changed to another color. If you were successful, continue on and try different colors.

Practicing and using closed eye imagery will help you in the future because it gives you a better opportunity to learn. With much practice in the future you will not have to close your eyes. You will be able to see images with your eyes open.

The key to becoming adept at pscyhometry or any skill is to practice daily. For the card experiment even just practicing a few moments before bed, will keep you in the habit of repeating which is key for learning. The brain learns by repetition.

Immune Stimulant – Why Choose Tea Tree Oil & Methods of Application

Strengthen your immune system with Lavender essential oil. Here’s why, along with the methods of application I recommend and other essential oils to choose for making a powerful immune stimulant blend.

TEA TREE ( Melaleuca alternifolia ) – Tea Tree has a strongly medicinal and antiseptic smell and is well tolerated by most individuals.

Captain James Cook and his mates when arriving in Australia in the 1700’s wanted a refreshing herbal tea to drink. They chose the fragrant leaves of a tree. The tree has been called Tea Tree ever since.

An immune stimulant Tea Tree has an undisputed popular reputation for being the first choice of essential oils when treating fungal and bacterial infections.

Known as a cure all treatment for many chronic and acute bacterial, fungal and viral conditions.

By stimulating the formation of white blood cells Tea Tree promotes and strengthens the body’s immune system.

Consider using Tea Tree for treating bladder infections, bronchitis AND sinusitis.

Use Tea Tree to eliminate athlete’s foot, blend with Lavender and Thyme to enhance your results!

A decongestant and an analgesic/pain reliever Tea Tree is helpful for relieving cold and flu symptoms.

METHODS OF APPLICATION:

1) TO EASE SINUS OR BRONCHIAL PROBLEMS ~

STEAM INHALATION ~ Add 2-6 drops of oil to a large bowl of steaming hot water, put a towel over your head to capture the steam. Close your eyes and inhale until water cools or until you stop smelling the oil. Repeat, if necessary, every 4-5 hours. Relieves sinus congestion, coughs, colds, flu and sore throats. Suggested oils to use with children: eucalyptus, lavender, lemon and tea tree.

HUMIDIFIER (cool mist) ~ Add from 2-6 drops of oil to the water of your humidifier. Run overnight, or add the essential oils 2-3 times during the day, if running continuously. This is an effective method of using oils with a sick child.

WARNING Essential Oils can damage humidifier plastic and rubber parts.

2) COLD AIR DIFFUSION has a basket in which a pad with drops of oils are applied. A small fan blows cool air through the oils lifting them into the air for dispersal. This is a cost effective way for diffusing the oils.

Research shows that cold-air diffusing certain oils may:

1) Reduce bacteria, fungus, mold and unpleasant odors

2) Relax and relieve tension, as well as clear the mind

3) Help with weight management

4) Improve concentration, alertness and mental clarity

Start by diffusing oils only 15-30 minutes per day. As you become accustomed to the oils and recognize the effects, increase the time. In illness, inhale near the “mouth” of the nebulizer. A short session of breathing in the oils for 4-5 minutes should be sufficient, repeat every few hours.

3) AROMATIC MIST – Use as a room spray and deodorizer. DIRECTIONS – To 4 ounces of distilled water add 80-120 drops of your essential oil, shake well and spray.

IMMUNE STIMULANT BLEND: Eucalyptus, Thyme, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, Cinnamon Leaf and Bark, Ravensara, Clove

PLEASE NOTE: There are many cheap, synthetic copies of aromatic oils, but these are not recommended for therapeutic use. For best results purchase the highest quality oils you can possibly find. Use certified organic essential oils, or oils that have been tested and are pesticide free.

Holistic MindBody Therapy, including pure essential oils, are gentle, noninvasive complementary forms of health care for balancing and synchronizing your body, mind and spirit and a natural, safe and effective way to enhance your health and well-being. Holistic health care may produce satisfying results where other methods have failed. Please consult with your physician regarding serious health concerns and do not attempt to self diagnose.

How to Make Sure That You Never End Up Living in a Nursing Home

It goes without saying that nobody wants to end up in a nursing home. It’s the single worst scenario in most people’s imagination. Would it be an exaggeration to say it’s “a fate worse than death”? Not to worry, it’s avoidable, and I am going to tell you how. But first let’s explore some ideas and define what a nursing home is.

First of all, you should know that on any given day in the U.S., 1 out of 4 people over the age of 65 are in a nursing home, temporarily. The chances of you, your parent or spouse spending some time in a nursing home at some point in your life is also 25%. Pretty high right? But keep in mind, that there is a vast difference between spending some days recovering from a hospital stay before going home, and living in a nursing home. Let me clarify that for you.

There are several synonymous names for a nursing home: S.N.F. (pronounced “sniff”) otherwise known as a skilled nursing facility, convalescent hospital, Rehab, rehabilitation hospital, even sanitarium. “A rose by any other name…” right? Nowadays, if an older person has a stay in the hospital, they still need some recovery time before they can safely go back home. It might be a hip fracture, a broken arm, or even an infection or a bout of pneumonia; nevertheless they are going to spend a few days or a few weeks recovering before being allowed to go home. These days hospitals release people “sicker and quicker” due to the Medicare reimbursement schedules. Several years ago to save money, the Medicare system went through every conceivable cause for hospitalization and gave it a value of x-number of hospital days, then told hospitals “this is what we will pay you…period. And it’s now a fact of life that nursing homes are a major player in the Medicare system, because they are cheaper than hospitals. So unless you are scheduled for surgery or you are in ICU, you are getting shipped out ASAP to a skilled nursing facility.

However, at any given time a large percentage of patients in nursing homes are there for the rest of their life. They are considered to be in “custodial care”. They are never going home. They are usually people that need to be on ‘machines’ or just plain ran out of money and now Medicaid is footing the bill. But chances are for most of them, it could have been avoided.

So how do you avoid ending your days in a nursing home? Compromise. I will tell you that the best way to avoid a nursing home is to move into a board & care or an assisted living before you get so sick that you lose all your options. It’s like this: many older adults refuse to consider assisted living until it’s too late and then end up in a nursing home, sometimes for 5 or 6 years. And it was avoidable. This is why: there are some weird rules in the licensing of an assisted living community that make it easy to “age-in-place” if you are already living there when you start declining.

But the same rules make it very hard to move into an assisted living if you are seriously chronically ill and trying to move in for the first time.

For example, imagine two people that are very chronically ill, the one that moved into the assisted living early on, is allowed to stay, even go on hospice for the remainder of their days, but the other that was living at home when their health turned worse will likely have a very difficult time moving into the A.L. community. The reason is most assisted livings usually do not want to take someone that will drain their resources, and/or the licensing agency will not allow admission to assisted living because the severity of their illness. And if you are on a limited income – forget about it. Assisted Livings and board and care homes are private pay only. Medicare and Medicaid will not contribute a dime for you to live in assisted living (even though it’s cheaper for them). Why is another article, let’s just say Medicare and Medicaid pay for medical issues and assisted living is considered a social issue. The much longer explanation can be found on government websites, or you can check the sites listed in my bio.

But to be perfectly honest, most people that are struggling to live alone should not hesitate to move into an assisted living community! Unfortunately in many people’s mind they think that they are maintaining their “independence” by struggling alone at home, when in fact they are far from independence. And this is a major delusion because most older adults who live alone are isolated, they rarely get out, they don’t eat well, they can’t keep up with the cleaning let alone basic home maintenance. They are often depressed because they have, in most cases, lived alone for years with only a television for company and most of their friends have passed on or moved away. Yet they continue to stay at home alone without proper care, nutrition, or socialization. Against all logic and argument to the contrary, they stubbornly hang on to their delusion of independence.

Let me paint a picture for you. A move to an assisted living community is like a combination of moving into an apartment and going on an Alaskan cruise. Forgive my over-generalization but imagine this: in assisted living you have an apartment-like suite that includes meals, housekeeping, and tons of socialization and activities. A typical day consists of getting up and going for breakfast in a restaurant setting and while you are out the housekeeper comes and makes your bed (once a week she changes all your linins). After breakfast you can go to the exercise class or the library or just go watch TV. When lunch time rolls around you go down to the dining room and have a nutritious meal and then head over to the next activity or go take a nap, before you know it, its dinner time. And after dinner there is a movie in the Theatre before you go to bed. Sounds nice? Keep in mind that you never again have to shop for groceries, cook, or wash a single dish. You don’t have pay the utilities, maintain a car, or even do your laundry. Every moment of the day is yours to do with as you will. Now tell me who is really the “independent” person? Best of all, you are able to “age-in-place”. You will develop new friendships and will have an emotional support structure that will remain with you indefinitely. Most people that come to assisted living are fairly healthy with the usual assortment of aging related issues, but as they get older they will need more help: assisted living offers things like medication management, bathing assistance, laundry service, transportation, housekeeping, meals, incontinence care and even dedicated one-on-one care. But few people need even half of these services when they first move in. That’s what we mean by aging-in-place.

To review, the way most board and care homes and assisted livings communities are licensed, a person can stay in an assisted living no matter how bad they get; even until they qualify for hospice and end of life. (There are some prohibitive conditions, but they are so severe, you would not imagine them in anything but a clinical setting, like feeding tubes and breathing machines). So if you are willing to compromise your “independence” a little early on, you can spend your last few years in a supportive, apartment-like setting, and guarantee that younever end up in “custodial care” at a nursing home.

12 Tips For Involving Parents in the IEP Process

As special education teachers one of our main responsibilities is to develop Individual Education Programs (IEP’s) along with a team of individuals including the child’s parents or caregivers. The process is very time consuming for Special Education teachers. It is not usual spend upwards to several hours just gathering information and getting ready to conduct the IEP meeting as well as write it. Some IEP’s are only a few pages long but others, especially for a child who needs many services, can be twenty or more pages.

The purpose of the IEP is for a team to develop goals and objectives as well as outlining services the child needs for the at least the next year. IEP’s are written annually and some require revising or writing more often.

Each individual on the team is supposed to have input into helping develop the IEP goals. The key term here is “supposed”. While some team members are more involved than others, the burden of producing and writing a correct IEP is on the Special Education teacher.

As often happens, the Spec. Ed. teacher arranges the meeting, sends out the needed notices to the participants and then will write the IEP. While the goals and objectives are usually written during the meeting itself, the Spec. Ed. teacher has a good idea as to what goals to include. She has also spent time writing the narratives for other parts of the IEP.

Team members who are invited to the meeting have little or no input into the process and will just show up to sign the document produced. Ideally, the team members who should have most of the input into the IEP are the Spec. Ed teacher, classroom teacher, key support personnel and the parents.

The struggle that most Spec. Ed. teachers face is how to get the parents to become more of a participant in the IEP. Parents along with their child are the key stake holders in developing an appropriate IEP. What can Spec. Ed teachers do to get parents more involved in the process?

Here are 12 tips for Special Ed teachers to get the parent involved in the process:

1. Prior to the IEP meeting, the Special Ed. teacher should interview the parent to see what their concerns are for their child and what goals and objectives they would like to see implemented in the IEP.

2. At least a week before the meeting, send home a list of possible goals and objectives for the parent to review and make additions to or corrections to them.

3. Probably the most important is to set a time for the meeting that is mutually agreeable to all but most especially the parent.

4. Be sure during the meeting to welcome comments and concern that the parent may have. Ask questions specifically addressed to them. Don’t let anyone interrupt them.

5. If a parent begins to speak, let them and be sure that others allow time for them to talk as well. If team members feel the need to talk among themselves while the parent is talking, ask them to go out of the room so that a parent does not have to compete with others attention.

6. Keep a steady flow of communication with the parents all the time – not just at the IEP meeting.

7. Keep the parent appraised of what is happening with their child. This means not just report card or parent conference time. This means at other times as well. This way the parent can know what is working and what isn’t working.

8. Let the parent know of successes their child has experienced as well as what things need to be done differently.

9. During the meeting be sure to acknowledge the parent as a part of the team and let the other members of the team know that what they are saying and discussing is important.

10. As teachers we get very attached to the children we work with, especially those that we work with for multiple years. It is important that we keep in mind that this child, for whom we are meeting, is not our child but belongs to the parent. We may not always agree with the parent but their wishes should be considered and acknowledged.

11. The most important skill we can develop as facilitators of meetings is to listen, listen and listen when the parent talks. This means active listening – with eyes and ears.

12. Lastly, let the parent know that you care about their child and about them as a family. Parents of children with Special Needs often need reassuring that their child is a part of the classroom, has friends and others who care for them.

Try these tips and see if they help to get parents more involved in the IEP process.

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

A sudden, reduced blood supply to the brain causes mild or extensive brain damage, leading to a medical condition known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. This condition is also known as global hypoxic-ischemic injury or cerebral hypoxia, in older children and adults. The condition may occur in neonates before the onset of labor, during the actual delivery, or after delivery. Extensive brain damage in neonates may cause abnormal levels of consciousness, muscular tone, reflexes, feeding and respiration; as well as convulsions. The presentation of symptoms is different according to the age group affected. Drowning and asphyxiation are common causes of cerebral hypoxia in older children. In adults, cardiac arrest or cardiovascular diseases cause brain damage due to secondary hypoxia.

This condition can be classified – depending upon the severity — as diffuse, focal, global, and massive. The reduction or cessation of oxygen to the brain causes death of the brain cells within a few minutes. Depending upon the severity, symptoms can be temporary, long-term or permanent, leading to motor and sensory disability, paralysis, and even death. The management of this condition in the modern system of medicine is mainly supportive, and depends upon neurological disability and organ dysfunction. Conservative management includes supply of oxygen, inducing hypothermia (in neonates), removing the known causes, and giving supportive intensive care treatment.

Irrespective of age and projected severity, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy needs to be treated on an emergency footing, and calls for immediate intensive care in order to prevent long-term disability and permanent brain damage, as well as saving life. This treatment is highly specialized and can only be done in modern hospitals with advanced intensive care facilities. Long-term management includes regular assessment, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy.

Ayurvedic treatment can be utilised in the management of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, once the critical stage has passed, and there is a need to assess and treat long-term disability, complications and organ damage. The overall treatment needs to be decided after a complete assessment of the residual damage and disability. Ayurvedic herbal medicines which have a specific action on the central nervous system and the brain cells form the mainstay of treatment in the management of this condition. These medicines need to be given for prolonged periods and in high doses in order to strengthen the nerve cells in the brain as well as the central nervous system, and reduce or reverse brain damage to the maximum extent possible. This treatment can also bring about improvement at the neuromuscular junction levels and improve muscle strength, tone and coordination.

In addition, herbal medicines which can be utilised to treat cardiovascular disease and inflammation, and reduce blockage in arteries and capillaries, are also very useful in the management of this condition. Oral treatment can be supplemented with localised therapy in the form of generalised massage using medicated oils and pastes, followed by steam fomentation using medicated decoctions. Special procedures like Shiro-dhara and Shiro-basti are also very useful in the management of the long-term disability resulting from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

The duration of Ayurvedic herbal treatment depends upon the severity of the symptoms, and the extent of damage which can be controlled, treated, or reversed. Treatment is required for periods ranging from 6 to 15 months. The main aim of Ayurvedic herbal treatment is to improve quality of life, reduce disability, prevent or reduce long-term complications, and improve overall survival. Ayurvedic herbal treatment thus has a definite role to play in the long-term management and treatment of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

Acid Reflux – Is GERD a Hereditary Disease?

The question of acid reflux being a hereditary condition has not been researched

very often. However, specialists have concluded that genetically speaking the

chances of getting this disease by inheritance may account for 50% of the

sufferers. They have also concluded so far that the other 50% is due to diet.

Of all the digestive diseases in the world, acid reflux is considered to be the

most common. It is estimated that nearly 1 in 5 people suffer from acid being

regurgitated into the mouth and esophagus and/or heartburn. It is also known

that a regular cycle of acid reflux occurrences gives people a higher risk of

getting esophageal cancer.

In July 2003, scientists did studies with 2000 pairs of non-identical and

identical twins, and found that 43% of the total who suffered frequent

gastrointestinal symptoms and the chances of them developing acid reflux, were

suffering or would suffer do to hereditary genetics. However, whether acid

reflux is hereditary or not, there are other main causes. It is known that

there are at a minimum of ten possible considerations.

Coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages account for the first possible

cause. These trigger problems by relaxing the digestive system and let the

stomach’s contents to regurgitate into the esophagus.

The second possibility is chocolate which contains known amounts of theobromine.

This can relax the esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to spurt back

into the esophagus.

Fatty and fried foods are another possible culprit. Such foods stay in the

stomach a lot longer and reduce the speed of digestion. This causes

over-filling of the stomach and the risk of food regurgitation.

Tomatoes and foods containing tomatoes can also cause acid reflux. Again,

tomatoes and the like will relax the digestive system.

Alcohol helps to increase the amount of acid in the stomach. It also relaxes

the digestive system, greatly increases the risks.

Another troublemaker is tobacco smoking. As cigarette chemicals enter the lungs

and the blood, they also impede on the ability of the digestive system and

esophagus to work properly.

Meal sizes are a critical factor. Too large a meal over fills the stomach and

can prevent the esophageal sphincter (lower) from closing. Again, the chance of

regurgitating food into the esophagus increases.

Citric juices and fruits can relax the lower esophagael sphincter. It can also

add further acid to the stomach.

Food consumption in the few hours before going to bed is a definite trigger.

Once you lie down with a full stomach the pressure is increased on the lower

esophageal sphincter.

Finally, tight fitting clothes and belts can impede on digestion. Anything that

puts pressure on the abdominal area will do the same to the stomach. This will

force food out of the stomach and into the esophagus.

What Are the Best Back Braces & Supports For Sciatica Pain?

What is Sciatica? The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and runs from your pelvis through your buttock and hips to the back of each of your legs. The term Sciatica is used to describe the pain that runs along the length of this nerve. Sciatica is a term used to describe irritation in the lower back (lumbar area) from back conditions such as a herniated disc (a painful rupture of the disc in the lower back).

How do you know if you have Sciatica? If you have a burning, tingling, or an aching sensation in one of your legs or hips, your sciatic nerve may be compressed. This condition is called sciatica. You may have a sharp pain in your hip or leg if you have Sciatica.

Other parts of your leg may also feel numb. You may feel pain or numbness in your calf or the sole of your foot. Most often, the leg affected by Sciatica will feel weak. Sciatia pain can range from a dull pain to pain that is so intense you are unable to move.

The pain may begin slowly and gradually worsen. You may feel it after sitting or standing. You may feel pain at night or when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. You may also feel pain if you bend backwards or simply from walking a short distance. Sciatica can effect your overall quality of life. You may want to consider using a back brace for Sciatica if you are getting pain from Sciatica.

How will a back brace help? There are many different types of back braces for sciatica from which you may choose. These braces provide compression and support for your back. They support your back by reinforcing your lower back and sacral region. This is the area of the back overlying the sacrum. The sacrum is a large triangular bone at the base of the spine.

Back braces for Sciatica can help to lessen your pain, and they also help you have better posture. This can lessen the pressure on your back. There are differing levels of support available in back braces for Sciatica. Braces that offer level III support (advanced support) may be the best choice for sciatica.

Some of the best back braces for sciatica include: the ProCare Sacro-Lumbar Support with Compression Straps, the FLA Lumbar Sacral Support with Abdominal Belt, and the FLA Lumbar Support with Flexible or Rigid Stays. Each of these braces offer both compression and support.

These braces are $64.95, $34.95, and $49.95 respectively. The ProCare brace is the most expensive brace, but it has the best customer reviews at Braceshop.com of the three braces.

These prices have been referenced from Braceshop.com.

What’s the Best Way to Treat Glandular Fever?

Question:

My niece has glandular fever. She can’t get out of bed for more than a couple of hours, and her throat is so swollen that she cannot swallow solids. She is in her last year at Cambridge University where she is predicted to get a first. What do you suggest?

Answer:

Glandular fever is the common name of a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It used to be called infectious mononucleosis or ‘kissing disease’ because the virus is transmitted through saliva. It attacks a run-down host – someone who has been working hard, sleeping less, eating badly, and is lacking in essential vitamins and minerals. Teenagers are most likely to get glandular fever, as their lifestyle often means that they expend more energy than they replenish.

Like all infections, this condition causes fever, chill, body aches and a sore throat (pharyngitis) – the most prominent symptom – and may persist for weeks or months. It also causes swollen lymph glands because the virus enters the lymphocytes and multiplies there.

Glandular fever is viral, so antibiotics will be ineffective. As with all viral infections, the body heals this problem on its own eventually. It used to be said that if you treat a virus it gets cured in a week, and if you don’t it heals in seven days. Unfortunately, recovery doesn’t happen so quickly nowadays and there can be serious complications. First, the virus may, not be completely overpowered by the body and it can then cause recurrent fever, sore throat and swollen glands. These bouts of infection can go on as long as the body is weak Many people also experience some degree of post viral fatigue, which can have a devastating effect on the body. Post viral fatigue is also called chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis( ME). The fatigue can stop people exercising enough and also cause shallow breathing, which leads to poor circulation of blood and oxygen and, in turn, to a litany of problems. The muscles become painful; because a reduces supply of oxygen produces lactic acid, triggering aches and pains. Poor circulation of blood to the brain creates fatigue, lack of concentration, poor, memory sleep disturbance and depression.

The difficulty with this condition is that the body was run down before the attack and not only does it have to struggle to fight the virus but also to get back normal energy afterwards. So, once your niece can eat solid food again, it is vital for her to restore her energy through good nutrition, massage and appropriate exercise.

Diet

* Eat a high-protein diet, with adequate daily amounts of game, red and white meat, fish and eggs. If you’re vegetarian, eat eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, and almonds soaked in room-temperature water for 24 hours (to make the nutrients more bioavailable).

* Avoid yeast products (bread, pizza, Marmite, etc), sugar and sugary foods completely. Yeast, which is fed by sugar, brews toxic alcohols in the body and these cause additional fatigue.

* Cut out cheese, mushrooms and vinegar, which all contain fungal products. Fungus helps yeast and candida to thrive in the body.

* Avoid citrus and acid fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, mangos, passion fruit and kiwis. Also avoid spicy and fried foods. Excess stomach acid from these

neutralises bile and stops it suppressing candida.

* Caffeinated drinks (such as coffee, tea, chocolate, cola) and alcohol should also be avoided. These boost energy temporarily but cause fatigue shortly after.

Massage

Massage the body with Lifestyle Oil or two tablespoons of sweet almond oil mixed with three drops of lavender essential oil, focusing on the neck and shoulders, to improve circulation and remove aches. Do this twice weekly for ten to 15 minutes, for four months or so.

Exercise

Take 20 minutes daily exercise such as walking, yoga or swimming.

SUPPLEMENTS

* Take Chawanprash: one tablespoon daily after breakfast for three months. This ancient herbal formulation helps to boost energy and the immune system.

* BioEnergy: take one twice daily for three months.

* You should also consider vitamin and mineral infusions.

What Are the Various Symptoms of Gout?

Gout is known as the metabolic arthritis which is one of the most types of arthritis. This may sound shocking to many a people but gout is the single most frequently disease in the history of medical world. In most of the gout cases, to be precise, in almost 75% cases, the first targeted area for the gout attack is the big toe area. The disease is mainly caused by the accumulation of the high uric acid and the formation of the uric acid crystals in the body. Swelling, inflammation, red and swollen skin are the most common symptoms of the disease. Complete cure of the disease is difficult but the serious conditions can be treated if early diagnosis and proper treatment is ensured.

There is no early symptom of the gout. There is no noticeable change when the uric acid starts to accumulate or the uric acid crystals start to build up in the joints. But with the gout attack almost the symptoms of the gout will be visible. With the feeling of acute pain and inflammation the gout foot symptoms will be visible. The mostly affected area is the big toe area. Swollen, red and warm skin in the big toe or in the heel area can be noticed at this stage.

The most common gout foot symptoms are the above mentioned ones. The swollen skin surrounding the affected areas will be noticed. These are very painful symptoms because they will make standing or walking impossible for the patient during the gout attack.

The prominent gout foot symptoms are the acute and unbearable pain in the big toes or the affected foot areas. Swelling and inflammation in the foot’s balls are the other types of symptoms. The pain may start from the ankle area and soon it may spread into the entire foot. The gout pain also starts from the knee and the joints and hands and also in the other parts of the body.

The presence of high uric acid level in the blood or the hyperuricemia is yet another certainty with the gout foot symptoms. Sometimes, tophi can come out. Tophi is a serious condition. Tophi or the uric acid build crystals under the skin can be seen as a symptom with the gout foot problems. Usually tophi can be seen near the big toe area. Gout attack along the foot can be recurrent. However, the frequency of the recurrent foot attack can vary upon the treatment and the proper food diet. Sometimes the gout attack can come back after few months or sometimes it can come back after a year or so.

Discolor of the skin is yet another gout foot symptom. In most of the foot gout attack the color of the skin of the affected area becomes red or purple. The color of the toes generally changes with the onset of the attack. If you notice any drastic color change in any part of your foot along with the swelling and the pain you must consult your doctor immediately.

Gout can be treated properly if you are familiar with the different types of gout foot symptoms. You can help yourself and the dear ones if you consult with the doctor about the foot symptoms.

Can Diabetes be Cured?

Types Of Diabetes

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes includes individuals dependent upon insulin to prevent ketosis (abnormal accumulation of ketones in the body as a result of a deficiency or inadequate utilization of carbohydrates). A keytone is an organic compound having the group -OH- linked to two hydrocarbon radicals.

This category (Type 1) of diabetes is also known as the insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) subclass and was previously called juvenile-onset diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes deals with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).

These categories of diabetes were conveniently and strategically created by the National Diabetes Data Group of the National Institute of Health. When you see or have the word institute, you should see the connection to the word institution. When you want to perpetuate a thing, you institutionalize it. That’s why the United States is full of institutes (research centers and foundations) for various degenerative diseases.

Diabetes is predicated upon lack of insulin secreted by the cells of the pancreas. Knowing this alone can help us to heal from diabetes. So, what is insulin? Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas in response to increased levels of glucose in the blood. Now look at this truth hidden in the medical definition of insulin. Insulin is naturally occurring. Naturally pertains to Nature! So-called diabetics have deviated.

The following are the components to the disease called diabetes: 1. Insulin (a hormone) 2. Hormonal or endocrine system 3. Pancreas (gland, organ) 4. Digestion, 5. Digestive enzymes 6. Sugar in the blood (blood sugar level) 7. Conversion of sugar into heat and energy.

The major problem with diabetes pertains to the gland called the pancreas, which in so-called diabetics does not secrete insulin. This is a hormone secreted into the bloodstream along with digestive enzymes which regulates blood sugar levels and aids in digestion.

All internal glands that are secretory (function of secreting) in nature have a duct. That duct in so-called diabetics is clogged! Why? Because of the hardened mucus around it! The pancreatic duct is covered with dried and hardened boogers (mucus) that prevents secretion of insulin. So-called diabetics are eating things with sugar (unnatural, man-made sugar to be specific) or things that break down into sugar (i.e. complex carbohydrates). Because the pancreas is unable to secrete insulin into the bloodstream to regulate the sugar in the blood and it is also unable to convert the sugar into energy, the blood sugar levels go very high and the unconverted/unburned sugar converts into FAT. This explains the obesity factor in diabetes. What medical doctor with a college degree can or will elucidate diabetes to the degree as explained above? The word doctor derives from the Latin word docçre which means to teach.

Most medical doctors will never teach you what causes your health problem or pathology and how to fix it for fear of losing a good-paying client. Because the so-called diabetic cannot convert sugar into energy, they convert the sugar into fat causing obesity. This is linked to a nonfunctioning colon that is compacted with excessive fecal matter and waste that causes the colon to protrude, even to the point of now pressing against the already nonfunctioning pancreas. The problem is now exacerbated.

In addition, excess fat in the body greatly hampers bodily circulation, which is why so-called diabetics have poor circulation. The condition of poor circulation prevents blood, oxygen, and minerals from circulating throughout the body, mainly to the extremities (hands and feet), especially in the feet, which causes the legs of so-called diabetics to turn gangrene blue. And what does your beloved and entrusted doctor do for the poor circulation? He/she prescribes pharmaceutical grade drugs! And what do these drugs do? They make the body MORE acidic than it already is. These pharmaceutical drugs, especially the synthetic insulin these doctors prescribe, greatly inhibit circulation, even to the point of thinning the blood (i.e. the drug Coumadin) causing a STROKE!

I know what I’m talking about People because I have dealt with many so-called diabetics and when they began dealing with me, their condition got a lot better and most of them got off of drugs altogether and completely healing from diabetes in a matter of weeks. Yes, for me, it’s that simple! Diabetes is easy to heal. Any disease is easy to heal when you know what the cause of the disease is.

When a so-called diabetic’s circulation is cut-off to the legs and feet and the legs turn swollen blue, what does the doctor suggest for this situation? AMPUTATION! Amputate. n. To cut off (a part of the body), esp. by surgery. [Latin. Amputâre, cut around] SOURCE: American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition

That’s right! Instead of reviving the so-called diabetic’s leg, the doctor will recommend amputation. Do you know why? Because amputation calls for surgery and surgery is BIG MONEY in America! This is the only reason for amputation. Doctors, most of them, don’t care about “people” – God’s children, who strayed and became sick (law of cause and effect). The motivation of money blinds a doctor’s heart (4th Chakra, seat of love and compassion) and therefore NO allopathic doctor heals or will tell you that he/she healed (or assisted in healing) a person with diabetes or any other disease. Doctors don’t heal or cure! They TREAT symptoms and MANAGE disease. That’s all! Who wants to manage or treat genital herpes, AIDS, diabetes, or cancer instead of healing from it entirely?

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The Heart Un-Healthy Western Diet

“God sendeth and giveth both mouth and meat.” Thomas Tusser

“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of `real food for real people,’ you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.” Dr. Neal D. Bernard, MD

The ‘Western’ Diet is a ‘meat-sweet’ diet. This diet is high in red and processed meats, sweets, fried foods, refined grains, and desserts. And after almost a century, it has finally become clear that this diet has become a serious threat to our health.

Obesity is primarily related to excessive caloric intake. The meat-sweet diet of USA has resulted in sixty-five percent of adults aged 20 y being either overweight or obese. Unfortunately, the numbers are increasing and the estimated number of deaths ascribable to obesity growing. The western diet is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer. Cardiovascular disease is the cause of 38.5% of all deaths in the US. Almost 65 million Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease. The second leading cause of death is cancer in the US. It is estimated that one third of all cancers (25% of all deaths ) are related to diet and obesity. Other chronic diseases strongly related to and influenced by the western diet are hypertension (50 million Americans), diabetes (11 million), elevated cholesterol (37 million) and osteoporosis (7.2 million) and osteopenia (39.6 million). Hip fractures greatly increase the mortality, and osteoporosis plays a major role in this disease.

Indications of the dangerous nature of the western diet started emerging almost a century ago. In 1916, Dutch physician De Langen published a study of showing the higher cholesterol levels of Dutch immigrants as those of the native Javanese. This almost double cholesterol level was associated with metabolic diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, and nephritis. In 1950’s, Keys and coworkers found that cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease mortality rates were high in United States and Finland, while being low in Japan and southern Europe. They attributed this to the substantial differences in the dietary patterns – an early indication that the ‘Western” diet was heart unhealthy.

In 1958 a major scientific study called the Seven Countries Study, involving 12,763 men between the ages of 40 to 59 years began. These countries were the United States, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, the former Yugoslavia, and Japan. Over a period of 25 years, about 6000 men died, of which 1500 men died of coronary heart disease. Populations with the highest consumption of animal food groups, with the exception of fish, had a much higher 25-year coronary heart disease mortality rates, when compared to populations with the highest vegetable, grains, fish and wine consumption. During the start of the study, the consumption of milk, potatoes, butter, and sugar products was very high in Finland. Netherlands had a similar but lower consumption pattern. Meat, pastry and fruit consumption (meat-sweet diet) was high in the United States. The Italians ate a lot of cereal and drank moderate amounts of wine while bread consumption was high in the former Yugoslavia. Greeks consumed high amounts of olive oil and fruit, while the Japanese were fond of fish, rice, and soy products. Heart attacks… God’s revenge for eating his little animal friends. -Author Unknown

How did the western diet emerge? The Western diet developed gradually over the last 200 years and was mainly a result of industrialization. In the prehistoric times, milk intake was limited to mother’s milk as it was impossible to milk wild animals. “The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.” -Michael Klaper, MD, author of Vegan Nutrition: Pure & Simple. With domestication of cows and other animals and subsequent ability for refrigeration, a whole host of dairy products became a staple of the western diet. The mechanized steel roller mills and automated sifting devices of today remove most of the germ and bran of the cereal grains, leaving mainly the endosperm as flour. The recent production of high fructose corn syrup greatly increased refined sugar consumption. Industrialization also produced more atpical vegetable oils for consumption that are high in trans fatty acids, as is seen in margarine and shortening. Salt intake is very high in the United States. Unfortunately 90% of the salt in the typical US diet comes from manufactured salt that is added to the food supply, and not from salt added while cooking or from the table.

“Meat, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.”William C. Roberts, M.D. and Editor in Chief, American Journal of Cardiology, vol. 66, October 1, 1990. Unlike meat from wild animals or pasture raised cattle, 99% of all the beef consumed in the United States is high in the unhealthy saturated fatty acids and n-6 fatty acids and low in the beneficial n-3 fatty acids. This meat is mainly produced from grain-fed, feedlot cattle. “The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of `real food for real people,’ you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.” -Neal D. Barnard, M.D.

The western diet is also deficient in micronutrients (At least half the US population fails to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin B-6, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, and zinc, and 33% of the population does not meet the RDA for folate), is conducive to an acidic body status (fish, meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, cheese, milk, and cereal grains are net acid producing, whereas fresh fruit, vegetables, tubers, roots, and nuts are net base producing.), has less potassium (Industrial periods caused a 400% decline in the potassium intake while simultaneously initiating a 400% increase in sodium ingestion ) and fiber (refined sugars, vegetable oils, dairy products, and alcohol, are all devoid of fiber. Refined grains contain about 400% less fiber when compared to whole grains, and the former represent 85% of the grains consumed in the United States). These are all detrimental to the health, especially cardiac health. Because normally with Western cuisine, you’ll serve vegetables separate from the meat, so kids will eat the meat and never touch the vegetables. Martin Yan. Vegetables and fruits are mainly side dishes or desserts in the Western Diet.

More die in the United States of too much food than of too little. -John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society. The western diet has also become an excessive calorie diet, resulting in the obesity epidemic in the western world, with all its health consequences. Americans eat 3,770 calories a day, and have the highest per capita daily consumption in the world. This is more than a Canadian at 3,590 calories or an Indian at 2,440, according to data from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. Unfortunately switching to diet sodas does not help – a recent report has shown the diet soda drinkers may be more prone to the dangerous metabolic syndrome.

When combined with inactivity and smoking, the western diet has become lethal. So cut down on red meat, especially beef and change to a prudent heart healthy diet. So, as an old English Proverb warns: don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.

Summertime Penis Problems – Relief for Issues From Chafing to Sunburns

Most people falsely think winter is the only season for dry, itchy skin; however, while the bitter wind can sure do a number on the body’s largest organ, one should never discount the damage of the summer sun. The bottom line is that skin care is essential year round, rain or shine, hot or cold, winter, summer, spring, and fall. Furthermore, skin care is needed on all skin, not just that which is exposed. Yes, even the penis skin needs daily TLC to stay healthy. Learn more about keeping a man’s most favorite organ healthy year-round and prevent common penis problems with the penis care facts below.

Summer Skin Blues… and Reds

Sunburn: Although occasionally referred to as the place where the sun don’t shine, the skin of the penis is just as susceptible to sun burn as the rest of the body. Men who enjoy sunbathing nude, daytime skinny-dipping, or frequent tanning booths are all at risk of sun burning their manhood. Talk about a hunk of burning love.

Swimsuit Irritation: Staying in a wet swimsuit too long can cause uncomfortable irritation, and in some cases, rash-like bumps. A damp swimsuit tends to cling to a man’s unit, which creates unpleasant friction and can leave the wearer itching for days.

Chafing: A man’s equipment tends to warm up very easily in the summertime leading to a sweaty undercarriage. Unfortunately, a sweaty package combined with tight jeans or briefs can lead to a hairy situation below the belt – in more ways than one. Chafing is a result of too much friction on the skin when sweat does not allow skin areas to move past each other freely; instead, the skin sticks to itself, creating a red, irritated and itchy mess.

Dry skin: Yes, even in the summer, the skin can dry out. Harsh sun is one culprit- even in cases when a sunburn does not occur. Men living in areas with low humidity and high temperatures may be at a greater risk still of dry summer skin. Everybody tends to be more active in the summer, which leads to sweat and dehydration, all of which takes a toll on the skin. Even skin that is not directly exposed to the elements can still be affected by harsh environmental climates.

Swimming: Men who tend to hit the lake, ocean or pool all summer long may find themselves with an itchy nether region when the water fun is done. Apart from swimsuit irritation mentioned earlier, swimming pools are filled with harsh chemicals such as chlorine, which can be very drying on delicate skin. Swimming in natural bodies of water does not make one exempt from dry skin either; splashing about all day strips the skin of its natural moisture, causing dry skin.

Healing the skin

It is important to keep the skin moisturized all year round, even on days when it seems like it is not needed. Staying ahead of dry skin can prevent it from cracking and becoming a painful problem. One should use a daily lotion made with vitamin E and Shea butter, two natural ingredients that work together to keep the skin smooth, supple and healthy. Generously slathering on the lotion every day will help protect the skin from the harsh elements found in nature and the daily wear and tear of life as well.

When it comes to keeping the penis healthy, don’t think that any old lotion will do. Many lotions are made with chemicals and fragrances that are too harsh for the sensitive skin of the penis and can actually cause irritation and even rashes. Select an all-natural penis health oil that is specially formulated to heal the skin of the penis (most professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). A man should still choose a lotion that is made from the powerful team of vitamin E and Shea butter, but be sure to select one gentle enough for the manhood. Daily application will keep the penis skin looking and feeling great – because nobody wants to deal with itchy junk all day long.

Can Tattoo Inks Cause Skin Cancer?

It seems today most people obtaining tattoos are more concerned about the quality of the tattoo and the effect of aging altering the tattoo, than any potential long term health risks. The health dangers associated with being injected by hundreds of needles into the dermis or the inner layer of the skin are widely publicised and most tattoo artists take these issues very seriously. We have all heard about Aids and Hep C, but are you aware of the current debate on the possible skin cancer risks associated with tattoo inks?

Recent years have seen an increase in stories associated with the potential of getting skin cancer from tattoo inks. Limited studies taken to date have not confirmed a direct link between cancer and tattoo inks..

Phthalates and other chemical ingredients used in tattoo inks have raised questions about the long term risks on our health such as skin cancer.It has been reported that some forms of phthalates are believed to have the potential to disrupt testosterone or mimic estrogen. Phthalate exposure has been identified to possible sperm defects and altered thyroid hormones. The phthalates in tattoo inks are believed to be cleared from the body within hours unlike many other forms of phthalate exposure. A study reported that Phthalates applied to the skin in a lotion were absorbed and metabolised and the same thing is likely to happen with the phthalates in tattoo inks. It would be well advised for pregnant and nursing women to avoid any exposure to phthalates.

Injecting tattoo inks, containing exogenous pigments, into the dermis creates a unique situation, due to the large amount of metallic salts and organic dyes remain in the skin for a lifetime. The potential carcinogenic risks of tattoo inks remain debatable. Several studies have identified the presence of potential carcinogenic or procarcinogenic products in tattoo inks.One chemical commonly used in black tattoo ink called benzo(a)pyrene is known to be a potent carcinogen that causes skin cancer in animal tests. As tattooing injects inks such asbenzo(a)pyrene directly into the dermis damaging the skin. You could conclude it may contribute to skin cancer.

Scientists and health professionals continue to debate the possible link between tattoo inks and cancer. In the last forty years there have only been 50 documented cases of squamous cell carcinoma, malignant skin melanoma or basal cell carcinoma with possible connections to tattoos, compared to the millions of tattoos obtained. Epidemiological studies on the effects of tattoo ink could be taken, although they would not be easy. A large number of tattooed people would have to be monitored over a long period of time to see whether they developed problems such as skin cancer near their tattoos. The low number of reported skin cancers arising in tattoos could be considered coincidental.

Further in depth studies will need to be carried out to give more conclusive evidence on the effects of tattoo ink and the cancer risks associated. The FDA is growing more concerned about the ingredients in tattoo ink. In the early 2000’s, the FDA received a large number of complaints associated with giving and receiving tattoos. Since then the FDA has commenced more research into the chemical components of tattoo inks. The FDA is investigating how the body breaks down the tattoo ink as it fades over time. Is the body absorbing the ink or is it fading from sun exposure? A common pigment in yellow tattoo inks, Pigment Yellow 74, is believed to be a risk of being broken down by the body.

When skin cells containing tattoo inks are killed by sunlight or laser light, the tattoo inks break down and could possibly spread throughout the body. It is believed that tattoo inks could spread into lymph nodes whether this has unknown health concerns or not is still unknown. Our lymph nodes filtering out disease-causing organisms any interference in that process could have devastating effects on our health.

It is recommended not to have a tattoo placed too close to a mole. Changes occurring in a mole such as asymmetry, border, color, size, shape, texture are all warning signs of a possible melanoma or another skin cancer. Ensure all moles are left completely visible to prevent possible delays in detecting any changes. When a melanoma is discovered early it is usually curable where as more advanced melanomas are far harder to cure. A tattoo covering a mole could delay detection and be extremely dangerous even life threatening. If you get a tattoo, make sure it is placed a good distance from any mole. This is especially important for people who have multiple moles or dysplastic nevus (atypical mole) syndrome, due to the increased risk of developing melanoma, potentially within one of their moles.

It’s imperative to be extremely diligent in caring for our skin correctly after a tattoo and monitor any changes that may occur to the skin. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and has many important functions. It protective us against injury and disease, regulates our temperature and maintains our bodies hydration. There are three layers to our skin the first layers is the epidermis the outer layer of the skin. The second layer is the dermis or the inner layer and the third layer is the subcutaneous fat layer.

Cancer is a disease of the body’s cells. Normally the body’s cells grow and divide in an orderly fashion. Some cells may grow and divide abnormally growing into a lump, a tumour. Tumours can be non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Benign tumours do not spread to other parts of the body. Cancer cells in a malignant tumour have the ability to spread to over areas in the body, if left untreated. These cells can destroy surrounding tissue and break away from the original cancer, affecting other organs in the body. These cells can then form another tumour referred to as a secondary cancer.

Skin cancer begins in the basal layer of the epidermis. There are three main types of skin cancer basal cell carcinoma; squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Melanomas start in the pigment cells while basal and squamous cell carcinomas develop from the epidermal cells. Basal cell carcinomas are the most common but least dangerous type of skin cancer. They grow slowly but if left untreated, a deep ulcer can occur. Fortunately they very rarely spread to other parts of the body. Basal cell carcinomas are most commonly found on the face, neck and upper trunk. They appear as a lump or scaly area and are pale, pearly or red in colour. Squamous cell carcinomas are less common but more dangerous. They typically grow over a period of weeks to months. These cancers may spread to other parts of the body if not treated immediately. Squamous cell carcinomas appear on areas of skin most often exposed to the sun. They have scaling, red areas which may bleed easily and ulcerate, looking like an unhealing sore. The major cause of these skin cancers is sun exposure for years. Melanoma is the rarest but most dangerous skin cancer. It is often a fast growing cancer which if left untreated can spread quickly to other parts of the body to form secondary cancers. Melanomas can appear anywhere on the body. The first sign of a melanoma is usually a change in a freckle or mole, or the appearance of a new spot. Changes in size, shape or colour are normally seen over a period of several weeks to months. Melanoma typically appears from adolescence onwards, most commonly seen between 30 and 50 years of age.

Any sign of a crusty, non-healing sore, a small lump which is red, pale or pearly in colour, or a new spot, freckle or mole changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of several weeks to months. Any spots that range from dark brown to black, red or blue-black should be checked by a doctor immediately. A very high per cent of basal and squamous cell carcinomas that are found and treated early are cured.

If you have any concerns regarding the health of your skin or tattoo seek professional medical advice immediately, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Avoiding a Red Penis: Steps for Preventing Balanitis

Guys take great pride in the appearance of their rods, so an inflamed, red penis is something most men prefer to avoid. Penile redness is often the result of balanitis, and employing routines that ensure proper penis health is an excellent way to prevent this condition.

What is it?

Simply put, balanitis occurs when the glans of the penis becomes inflamed. In addition to redness, there is usually significant soreness, swelling and itchiness. An unpleasant odor may also develop.

Balanitis is more common in men who are intact than in men who are circumcised, but men who are cut do sometimes get balanitis. There can be several things that cause the condition, including STIs. However, a man shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that his red penis means he has an STI; there are many less worrisome causes, and a doctor can determine what is at the root of the problem.

Causes

Among the possible causes of balanitis are phimosis (a situation in which the foreskin is too tight) and diabetes, as well as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, lichen planus and thrush. Bacteria and allergic reactions to items such as soap or detergent can also bring it about.

Most of these causes can be addressed through proper penis care. Phimosis and diabetes are the exceptions. Balanitis caused by phimosis may be helped by gradually loosening the skin; cases caused by diabetes can be addressed through proper management of that condition.

Penis health

Far too many men assume that a quick rinse in the shower is all that is required to keep the penis in proper health. In fact, a bit more preventive care is necessary.

For example, a doctor’s advice may be necessary if skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis are chronic. Various ointments or medications may be prescribed to treat the underlying cause that makes the penis skin more likely to suffer.

Once the underlying cause of balanitis can be determined and treated, a man needs to make guided penis care a part of his daily routine. This includes:

– Washing the penis regularly. If the man is intact, he needs to take a little extra time to make sure that he is cleaning underneath the foreskin. Dirt and bacteria can build up under the foreskin, and that can exacerbate existing balanitis or create conditions for a recurrence of the problem. Also, men who are prone to balanitis should wash the penis soon after engaging in sexual activity.

– Using an appropriate cleanser. For individuals with skin conditions, a doctor may recommend a special hypoallergenic soap for use on the penis. Those using “everyday” cleanser should look for a soap that has natural ingredients and does not include unwanted chemicals or fragrances; these can cause irritation to the sensitive skin of the penis. Whatever cleanser is used, it should be washed completely off of the penis.

– Drying carefully. Because the glans is so sensitive, men should use a soft towel and gently dry the equipment after washing. Rubbing too vigorously and/or with a rough towel can cause extra irritation.

– Applying an appropriate crème. Regularly using a top-notch penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) on a red penis can help keep the tool healthy and strong and can deliver soothing relief when balanitis is present. It’s important to select a crème that is infused with potent but natural hydrating ingredients. Shea butter, a high-end emollient, should definitely be listed in the crème’s ingredients, as should vitamin E. This powerful combination will help create a moisturizing seal that provides significant protection. Another combination to look for: acetyl L-carnitine and alpha lipoic acid. This dynamic duo reverses damage to cell mitochondria and restores penile cell health, aiding in the fight against balanitis.