Can Shingles Cause Back Pain in the Shoulder Blades?

The term “shingles” refers to a condition caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox disease. After a person has had the chicken pox, the virus remains dormant, residing in nerve cells. Later on, as a result of many different factors, the virus may reactivate and leave the nerve cell and this is what causes herpes zoster, or shingles.

Reactivation usually occurs as a result of immune function abnormalities. Age, the presence of disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, or the use of immunosuppressive drugs all are risk factors.

Symptoms of shingles consist of an early prodrome or “time before the storm”. A patient will experience flu-like symptoms, headache, and possibly a low grade fever and chills.

Shortly thereafter, the patient will notice an itching, burning, uncomfortable sensation. This discomfort usually takes place on the chest or back, but it may also occur on the abdomen, head, face, neck, or an arm or leg.

Swelling of the lymph nodes near the area of discomfort may also be present.

The next phase after the prodrome is the active phase when the rash appears. The rash is fairly typical in its appearance. It presents as a small area or band of reddish, slightly raised bumps. While the rash can occur in a number of locations as mentioned above, shingles only affects one side of the body. As the rash evolves it becomes blister-like.

During this period of time the pain may intensify and if it occurs on the upper back can cause pain radiating into the shoulder blades.

If the rash presents on the forehead or face, the danger is eye involvement which can lead to blindness.

Over a period of days, the blisters open up, ooze, and then begin to crust over. While the healing process can take a few weeks, some patients are left with scarring.

The unfortunate issue is if a patient goes into the chronic phase which is called post-herpetic neuralgia. This is a dreadful complication which may last years. The key symptoms are persistent burning, stabbing pain in the area where the shingles rash was present. Because the pain is chronic and persistent, it interferes with activities of daily living.

One fact is that shingles can occur without producing a typical rash. However, the other symptoms of burning pain are present.

There is a shingles vaccine. It is a live vaccine meaning it contains live virus and shouldn’t be given to patients who are on biologic drugs. While the vaccine is not effective for everyone, it is highly recommended for the following situations according to the CDC…

“The vaccine for shingles (Zostavax┬«) is licensed for use in people 60 years old and older to prevent shingles. The older a person is, the more severe the effects of shingles typically are, so all adults 60 years old or older should get the shingles vaccine.”

How To Spot Ringworm – What Does Ringworm Look Like?

Ringworm, as the name suggests, is a skin irritation which looks like circles. Caused by a fungus, ringworm can affect different skin areas, such as the face, the scalp, the groin area of the feet. The irritation appears like a dry round patch which measure around 2 inches in diameter, or less. This is itchy and also appears red. As the irritation gets worse, the patch will grow larger and redder. The outer part of it has the darkest red, while the inner part may appear paler and may even look healthy.

These patches can spread quickly if not given the right attention and treatment. They may have a crust, scales or areas which have fluid under the skin. It can be painful to the touch. You may notice a single large patch, or three or four patches clustered together.

Ringworm will be obvious to the eye after around ten to 14 days since the contact with another person, animal or object. Aside from the patches, the skin’s reaction to the fungus can also be noticed. Called dermatophytids, this reaction shows as lesions in the skin. They disappear after the ringworm is treated.

On the face and the neck, ringworm usually appears crusty and red. If the infection affects the beard, there is usually hair loss and itchiness. Ringworm does not usually appear round when it affects the face. On the scalp, it may look like a severe case of dandruff. The head may feel itchy and will appear scaly, but it also comes with hair loss and bald spots. Stubbles may also form as the hair on the affected scalp area breaks off. In severe cases, legions may show and may ooze pus which is painful to the touch.

On the groin area, ringworm usually appear scaly and in reddish-brown color. Aside from being itchy, the rash can also have a burning sensation. The infection does not reach the genitals, however, and can only be found on the upper thigh and groin area.

Ringworm in the feet area is also known as athlete’s foot. The affected area looks red, scaly and is often thick and cracked. Since the feet are usually exposed to dirt and other infections, ringworm in this area usually itches and burns. It is often found between the toes and emit strong odor. The nails can also be affected and will appear yellow, scaly and thick. They easily crack because of the brittleness and chalky texture.

Homeopathy and Homeopathic Remedies, an Answer to the Incurable Psoriasis

Researches have evidently proved that psoriatic patients experienced a momentous improvement in their disease manifestation as well as the quality of their lives after taking Homeopathic treatment.

Psoriasis, an auto-immune inflammatory disorder primarily affecting the skin has been classified into basic five types as plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic. The disease is marked by silvery white scaly patches appearing in the epidermal layer of the skin. Lesions commonly appear in the skin above the elbow and knees but may appear anywhere on the body. It is a chronic disorder marked with a tendency to recur at regular period of intervals.

Causes of psoriasis are stiff unknown but in many cases there have been evidences of genetic predispositions. However, there are many triggers which are known to aggravate the prevailing psoriatic conditions thereby making it a challenging condition to be treated.

Major stressor causes include:

  • Stress
  • Cold Climatic Condition
  • Discontinuing certain medicines like corticosteroids
  • Injury

Flaring up of the disease can be brought about by injury to the skin known as Koebner Phenomena. Psoriasis may affect the joint and cause severe forms of arthropathies known as psoriatic arthropathy or psoriatic arthritis.

Homeopathy believes that psoriasis is an immune mediated condition brought about by faulty signals sent in the body’s immune system. Therefore, Homeopathy works to stabilize the anomalous immune system. Homeopathic medicines arouse the body’s own healing abilities by restoring the balance of the immune system and decreasing the person’s susceptibility towards a trigger agent that aggravates the disease.

The duration of Homeopathic treatment varies from case to case depending on the following factors:

  • Time duration of psoriatic affection
  • Parts of the body affected
  • Extent of spread of the lesions
  • Any previous medications taken like steroids
  • General health and associated diseases

Homeopathic treatment of psoriasis has been very controversial amongst the people taking treatment for it as the immediate change observed by them after the Homeopathic medicine has been given for the first time, is diverse in different patients. Some experience a slight amelioration; some report no change whereas some report a bad flaring up of the complaints. Most of patients of psoriasis usually observe ameliorating results in about 1-2 months of Homoeopathic treatment and complete relief maybe observed in about 1 to 2 years.

The Homeopathic response can be illustrated through various cases treated with Homeopathy:

A 58 year old widow suffered from extensive psoriasis affecting her scalp, face, chest and both hands along with rheumatic complaints of the joints especially the wrist and ankles marked with great rigidity and swelling. Her history revealed that it was 4 years ago that she had lost her husband and she had a tendency to brood over the past unpleasant situations with lot of weeping. She had two sons one of whom was an earning member and the other studying. The family suffered from great financial difficulties as the earning son lived separately not caring for her mother or his family.

Homeopathic Remedy given: Medo 1000 2 doses (to be taken 12 hours apart) were given.

After 3 weeks: Aggravation of joint pains for few days. Sep 200 3 doses were given. One dose taken daily at bedtime for 3 days.

After 10 days: Some improvement in stiffness at the joints noticed whereas skin lesions healed up. Kali Sulph 6X, 5 tablets to be taken thrice a day with Sep 10M 2 doses to be taken 12 hours apart.

Skin and Rheumatic complaints improved within a month. Patient has had no relapse of both the complaints.

Rubrics considered:

  • Weeping while narrating her illness
  • Despair of recovery
  • Mortification ailments from
  • Psoriasis
  • Worse wet weather

Psoriasis is known to be a psychosomatic disorder having its root cause to be an internal ailment. Hence, its complete cure necessarily needs a remedial influence which can essentially eradicate the malady from its root. Homeopathy is one such system of medicine which believes in stimulating the immune system to eliminate the cause and thus, effectively treat the disease.

Funginix Reviewed – Don’t Buy Funginix Until You’ve Read This Review!

Fact: Over 40 million US citizens get inflicted with some degree of nail fungus every year.

Most likely the majority of that number seeks some sort of treatment. But did you know the reoccurence rate of nail fungus? It’s 15%! This means that if all 40 million seeks treatment, 6 million of them gets reinfected with nail fungus, after treatment. Let’s keep that in mind first, as we review Funginix.

I’m sure that when it comes to medicine or treatment, we want the best treatment available. With nail fungus the problem is there’s a myriad of treatments. It’s hard to even separate them into what works and what don’t works, and we haven’t got into quality yet. Now, what about Funginix?

Funginix is a nail fungus treatment that uses topical means to attack the fungi. It’s made from all-natural ingredients and it’s appliance is simple with an applicator. It promises to be the last treatment that you ever need. Now let’s learn more about Funginix.

There’s no homeopathic ingredient in this nail fungus remedy, it’s simply a straight up topical treatment.

I can’t stress how important this is. I’ve taken a stand to homeopathic treatment in my previous articles. Basically this is the summary: I don’t trust homeopathic treatment have the ability to cure past the placebo effect. Some topical nail fungus treatment boasts homeopathy as their key factor. For me, that’s a lot of over-hyped crap.

It masks the smell of nail fungus.

Let’s face it, when you have toenail fungus it smells… bad. Now having said that, I like the fact that Funginix masks the smell with their natural ingredients. This boost my confidence level. Not to a level that I’d wear sandals again to work, but to a level that I’m not conscious of my feet smell all the time.

It’s easy to apply and it works well if you give it time.

This is a no brainer. Simple to use, works as intended.

It’s made from all natural ingredients: means that there’s no side-effects associated with it.

Different with chemical based treatments, like lamisil for instance. They have numerous side effects associated with them. It’s only natural, because they’re not natural. (Forgive the pun, I just couldn’t resist doing that.) Anyhow, Funginix doesn’t have this kind of problem. So that’s a big plus.

Now this concludes the discussion about Funginix. Remember that you should do your research before deciding to buy it.

Pool Chemical Allergies

Keeping fit and having fun in the pool is great and really something that you might love doing, but have you ever experienced changes in your body after a swim in the pool? If you answered a resounding YES then there is a distinct possibility that you are actually experiencing allergy symptoms and it’s about time that you learn a thing or two about it.

There has been more than one report that swimming pool chemicals can cause allergies and actual studies have shown that this happens for a fact. The allergies can vary in intensity and type depending on the person being affected regardless of whether they are physically fit or not.

Chemicals and the allergies:

1. Chlorine – the most commonly used swimming pool and hot tub chemical sanitizer is also one of the most common causes of pool chemical allergies, although some of the symptoms are actually due to chlorine intolerance and not allergy. The allergies it causes include difficulty in breathing that can lead to asthma, watery and swollen eyes, skin itchiness, and nose stuffiness.

2. Bromine – used as an alternative to chlorine as a swimming pool chemical sanitizer. Bromine can cause allergic contact dermatitis.

3. Potassium monopersulfate – a chemical used when “shocking” the swimming pool or hot tub to allow greater chlorine efficiency. It can cause skin rashes and itchiness.

4. Calcium hypochlorite – used to disinfect and sanitize the swimming pool. Calcium hypochlorite allergy includes breathing difficulties that can lead to asthma and contact dermatitis.

Possible remedies:

1. If you are really allergic to chlorine, you may want to try swimming in a pool treated with bromine or one that uses natural products, i.e. there are public pools that have begun to convert swimming pools into saltwater pools. If you own the pool that you swim in you can first try decreasing the amount of chlorine that you add in the pool water until you reach a level that would not cause any allergic reactions. If this does not work, your only alternative is to try non-chlorine based pool chemicals, oxidation, and ionization treatments.

2. Bromine is not as frequently used as chlorine so identifying your sensitivity to bromine might be a bit difficult unless you notice that your allergies only appear after you have had your fun in the pool. Chlorine-based pool chemicals, natural products, ionization, and oxidation treatments may be your alternatives.

3. If allergic symptoms begin to appear despite making sure that you have properly washed and rinsed off after taking a swim it is highly recommended that you steer clear of the swimming pool for a while. Seeking the help of a professional with regards to the symptoms that you may be experiencing is also the best remedy to your problem.

Nutritional Therapy for Depersonalization and Anxiety

We are what we eat and nutrition plays a huge part in recovery from both anxiety and depersonalization. This is why it is imperative to learn which foods serve to create a less reactive mind and body and which ones only add to symptoms and prolong recovery.

In order to allow a fatigued mind to refresh itself, as in depersonalization, one must make the proper nutritional choices.

To begin with, certain foods are best avoided at this time:

– Caffeine: Stimulates the system and fuels anxiety, which in turn plays into extreme feelings of depersonalization. Found in coffee, teas, sodas and dark chocolates. Also found in many cold and headache formulas and pre-workout supplements. Always check labels.

– Alcohol: Liquid sugar, which upsets both the mind and body. Produces a sharp rise in blood sugar levels followed by a steep drop. The body spends the next 24 hours trying to achieve balance in blood sugar levels, experiencing strong reactivity during this time.

– Sugar: Too much sugar is stimulating to the system, resulting in reactivity, anxiety and feelings of unreality for many. It’s best to avoid sugar if one is highly reactive or only use after a meal rich in protein, to buffer the reaction.

– Tyramine: Not many are aware of the affects Tyramine has on the mind and body. This substance, found in many foods (aged cheeses, red wine, beans, chocolate, pickled foods) often results in insomnia, headaches and most of all, heart palpitations, leading to anxiety reactions.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): This seasoning found in many processed foods, also used when cooking or preserving foods, has been known to cause headaches, anxiety, heart palpitations and foggy sensations to those who are reactive.

– Nicotine: Although not considered a food, this substance is stimulating and often results in anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia and irritability. It is best avoided by anyone with anxiety and/or depersonalization.

The best food plan to maintain a less reactive mind and body is:

– Variety in foods: A strong emphasis on lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetable and whole grains. Rule of Thumb:Shop the periphery of the market.

– Do not skip meals: Adrenaline is released when nutrition is overlooked. This results in feelings of anxiety, depersonalization and irritability. Eat within a 4-5 hour time span between meals.

– Snack on healthy choices: Nuts, Seeds, Whole grain chips, Salsa, Hummus and Raw Veggies.

– Hydrate: Pure water best sipped all through the day. This calms and creates a less reactive mind and body.

Don’t forget to keep the mind and body active as well.

Exercise in moderation is an absolute for maintaining a strong sense of peace and well being.

Boredom is the great enemy to anyone struggling with anxiety in any form. A healthy mind is a mind that is active and expanding. A bored mind turns inward and this is where the trouble begins. One is never too old to expand the mind by reading, doing puzzles, taking classes at local universities, working and learning in general. Always remain interested in learning, as an interested mind helps to deflect anxiety reactions.

The foods you select are able to make or break your day. These choices could make the difference between an easy going life or an every day struggle. It’s up to you alone to correct nutritional errors and replace them with foods that fuel a healthy mind and body… and a life you can live with ease.

Depression Cured by Low Carb Diet?

Yes you heard me right! Does a low carbohydrate diet play a role in stabilizing mood disorders including depression? Or maybe I should phrase it like this; do ketones play a role in our brain-energy profile?

What are ketones?

Let me explain the above sentence a bit further. When we eat carbohydrates our bodies break it down into glucose. This passes the blood brain barrier and fuels our brain. Our bodies always opt to use glucose as an energy source before they use another source of fuel.

When we cut out carbohydrates from our diets we cannot use glucose as a fuel source. So our bodies start to process the protein and fat that we eat instead. It processes these proteins and fats into ketones.

These ketones can also be used as fuel and can also pass the blood brain barrier. And this different type of fuel to the brain appears to alter it.

Why are ketones working?

One of the best known effects of a ketogenic diet is its remarkable effect on seizures in epileptic patients. Some people have actually become seizure free while others have a substantial reduction in their seizures. The effects of the ketogenic diet even remains after carbohydrates have been reintroduced.

There is talk that a ketogenic diet can benefit many mental disorders including depression, bipolar and Alzheimer’s. If this diet could only help a faction of the people that are burdened with these conditions, it would be revolutionary!

We are not entirely sure why and how these ketones affect the brain. But some theories suspect that this different fuel from ketones helps with global cerebral hypometabolism. It seems that the brain can use ketones more efficiently. It is also thought that ketosis decreases intracellular sodium concentrations, which is exactly what mood stabilizers do.

Not many human trials have to done to see the benefits of a ketogenic diet on mental disorders. But it is definitely warranted!

What exactly is a ketogenic diet?

OK great. So now that we know what ketones are and how they work. Let us have a look at what you would have to do to be on a ketogenic diet.

A ketogenic diet is a diet that really reduces carbohydrates to the minimum. The most accepted version of the ketogenic diet is to have fewer than 20g of carbohydrates a day.

But everybody is different and some people may still respond on higher amounts of carbohydrates a day.

Ketosis, so when we are producing ketones, can be checked through the use of keto-sticks.

Keeping to 20g a carbohydrates a day is quite a challenge, trust me.

Where do we find carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are found in an array of products and natural foods.

The most obvious place to find carbohydrates is in sugar. This includes sugar that has been added to beverages, food products, sweets, cake and chocolate.

We also find carbohydrates in our starches including rice, couscous, bread, oats and pasta. These are normally completely cut out in a ketogenic diet.

Fruit also contains fructose, which is a sugar, and will also increase your carbohydrate intake. Fruit intake is normally controlled quite strictly.

Other types of sugar, mainly lactose, are found in dairy products.

A ketogenic diet is not for the faint hearted!

So what can I eat?

As you can see a great many foods are cut out of the equation when we are on a ketogenic diet. What can be eaten in vast amounts are non-starchy vegetables, so vegetables which have very few carbohydrates. And then we can eat all of our meat, eggs and fish. These are normally cooked with unlimited amounts of fat.

It is not an easy diet to go on but once people feel the benefit of it, they say they will never go back. It is advisable to work with a supportive dietitian and doctor when attempting the ketogenic diet.

Astrology of Commitment-Phobia

Planets in Aquarius:

Aquarius is the natural ruler of the 11th house, and is ruled by the planet Uranus. The characteristics of Aquarius are: unpredictability, instability, and freedom-loving. As such, people with planets in Aquarius tend to display these characteristics towards their mates, especially if the Sun, Moon, and/or Venus is in Aquarius. Aquarian men need tons of space and freedom, and feel “trapped” if they feel tied down. This is why this sign is known for commitment-phobia. Aquarius is also the rebel, so anything “traditional” when it comes to relationships just won’t do. Indeed, non-traditional relationships, such as long-distance relationships, work best for these guys.

Aquarius men are often stuck in their own worlds. They are constantly thinking and processing information, so it’s easy for them to forget to call or write. Also, Aquarius men shun neediness and clingy-ness, so if their partner shows major signs of co-dependency, they will distance themselves from the relationship. Aquas are also very independent, and need space to do their own thing. In addition, Aquarius people tend to see everyone as equals; they’re just as likely to help a stranger as they are likely to help a long-time friend. Because of this, they are less likely to give anyone “special treatment.” Finally, Aquas are known for their emotional detachment. They are often oblivious to the feelings of others, so he might find it difficult to understand that you have needs.

Aquarius men work best with partners who also have their own lives. If you’re in a relationship with an Aquarius person, don’t give up your life for him. Waiting by the phone for him to call, or nagging him constantly will get you nowhere in this relationship.

If an Aqua ignores you, ignore him back. Don’t be afraid to do this. You may think that by ignoring him, you’re pushing him away, but it’s actually quite the opposite: ignoring him will get his attention. There’s nothing more appealing to an Aqua man than an independent woman who has her own life and doesn’t necessarily need him.

Since Aquas are emotionally detached, gentle reminders to call you back or simply letting him know that you don’t appreciate his behavior can be beneficial. It’s important not to nag him about it; just gently express your feelings. Aquas don’t respond well to emotional scenes, so try to keep the conversation rational, as it will appeal to his intellect.

Prominent Uranus Aspects and Placements:

Prominent Uranus aspects include hard aspects to one’s Sun, Moon, Venus, Ascendant/Descendant axis, or Uranus in the fifth or seventh house.

People with prominent Uranus placements tend to have Aquarian traits, as Uranus is the ruler of Aquarius. People with prominent Uranus in their charts are independent, freedom-loving folk who hate to be tied down.

Like Aquarius folk, they have a tremendous need for space and independence, so relationships can be tricky for them. Relationships usually start and end quickly for Uranian people. They are attracted to the “newness” of relationships, which is hard to maintain in the long run. Their relationships are marked by an on-off energy; when their partners get too close, the Uranian person distances himself, but when the partner is nowhere to be found, the Uranian person gains interest again. Instability and unpredictability are the hallmarks of Uranian relationships. These people tend to also be attracted to non-traditional relationships (i.e. long-distance), and are attracted to non-traditional partners (i.e. people from different localities, backgrounds, cultures, etc.).

So, how do you deal with a Uranian man, when it comes to relationships? Again, having your own life and giving him plenty of space is key to making this work. People with prominent Uranus in their charts tend to do well with other Uranian people; they each give each other plenty of space and understand each other’s need for freedom.

Anxiety Disorder – Four Best Foods For Anxiety Disorder

I believe most of us have heard the saying of “You Are What You Eat”. You can make many anxiety symptoms less severe by implementing these four best foods for anxiety.

A well balanced diet including a number of foods for it can prop up our immune system function and put a lid on escalating blood pressure.

Fish, it contains rich protein especially salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna turns out the omega 3- fatty acid DHA and EPA, which contained in these types of fish. It helps to protect against surges in the stress hormones and adrenaline.

Nuts, almond and pistachios are two of the best choices. Almonds contain high vitamin B and E, which help to make our body more resilient when anxiety attacks. While pistachios help in lower blood pressure that help to soften the impact stress hormones have on our body.

Bread, low sugar whole grain cereal and oatmeal, good choices of complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help in triggering our brain to make more of the feel good hormone serotonin. However, complex carbohydrates are better because they are digested slower and do not produce blood sugar spikes.

Spinach, it contains high magnesium, to avoid a magnesium deficiency that can cause headaches and fatigue along with a number of other anxiety producing symptoms.

Include these four best foods with sufficient portion of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily meals to prevent and stay away from feeling depress, nervous and anxious easily. Remember to avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine as these can be harmful to our immune system.

Hidden Stimulating Foods in Your Diet: Tyramine Reactions

Have you ever experienced intrusive insomnia even though you were really tired, or an overall anxiety when nothing is actually upsetting you? Even after you cut out coffee, stopped smoking and cut down on sugar and alcohol, these symptoms still persisted. You might not be aware of the fact that there are certain foods you may be eating that contain a mild stimulant called Tyramine and when eating larger amounts of these foods, you could be experiencing insomnia, rapid heartbeat (palpitations), an increase in blood pressure and mild to migraine headaches. This is all due to the hidden substance called Tyramine, found in a variety of foods you may eat on a daily basis.

Foods affect your mood and if you are experiencing sensations of anxiety and brain fog, it’s important to be aware of hidden stimulating substances in every day foods.

Everyone is pretty much aware of the reactions created by caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. One knows to avoid these foods if they experience anxiety since they only exacerbate symptoms. Not many are aware of the fact that this other hidden stimulant (Tyramine), found in many foods, may be eaten on a daily basis. Knowledge is power and by becoming aware of the foods that contain this substance, you allow yourself the choice of recognizing and avoiding them.

These foods containing Tyramine, a mild stimulant, are important to recognize. If you eat enough of these foods, you might be experiencing:

– insomnia,

– a rise in blood pressure

– an increase in heart rate (palpitations)

– headaches/migraines

– other mind-body sensations associated with taking a stimulant

These foods release adrenaline into your system and are easy to recognize once you understand that they come under the heading of a food that is aged, pickled, fermented or smoked.

Examples of these foods are as follows:

Hard Cheeses- Swiss, Cheddar, Asiago, Romano. Exceptions are creamed cheese, cottage cheese, farmers cheese and ricotta.

Aged, Smoked and Marinated Meats- Lunch meats, bacon hot dogs, baked ham, smoked meats and fishes, pickled herring, hard salami, pepperoni, bologna.

Legumes and Nuts- All beans, snow pea pods, Italian beans.

Pickled Vegetables- Sauerkraut, pickles, olives, artichokes

Fermented Items- Soy sauce, Tofu, Miso, Tempeh

Condiments- Yeast, meat tenderizers, boullion cubes, dry soup mixes, dry gravy mixes.

Yeast- In sourdough bread but fine in leavened breads.

Beverages- All alcohol containing beverages, especially Chianti and Vermouth. Small amounts in beer. High in red wine.

Overripe and Dried Fruits, especially overripe bananas. figs, raisins



It is best to avoid these foods in high amounts. You might not experience a reaction in lower quantities but if you do experience headaches, migraines, rapid heartbeat (palpitations), and an increase in blood pressure, it might be time to check out your diet and see if it contains foods that are high in this substance.

By making a few simple changes, you will improve the way you feel and actually cut out many intrusive body reactions.

Are You Suffering With Instep Pain?

Instep pain can be described as an intense pain that originates at the arch of the foot.

This type of pain is evident among patients with arthritis and sports injuries. Although instep pain can be very uncomfortable to deal with, this condition or symptom is actually be very easy to treat as long as the cause is identified early on.

Here are some of the things that can lead to instep pain.

  • Being Overweight
  • Inappropriate footwear
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Arthritis
  • Physical Activity
  • Flat Footed (Pes Plano)

Experiencing arch foot pain usually indicates that the posterior tibial tendon of the foot is affected or injured. Nevertheless, the causes of this injury will vary from one person to another. One of the most common factors that can lead to instep pain is intense physical activity.

People who endure too much physical activity such as running or doing a marathon are prone to having instep pain. This causes soreness of the tibial tendon, which produces pain and discomfort while walking.

Aside from doing strenuous physical activities, people who are flat-footed are also at risk of experiencing instep foot pain. Because of this, it is necessary for them to use shoes that are comfortable to wear with some kind of arch support or insole orthotic.

Providing proper rest can also help minimize the severity of the pain. However, if the condition is already intolerable, anti-inflammatory medications can already be taken to alleviate intense pain.

In addition to the factors mentioned above, a certain medical condition known as plantar fasciitis can also be considered as a cause of instep pain or arch pain. In fact, plantar fasciitis is recognized as the most common cause of heel pain.

This condition is characterized by the inflammation of a flat band tissue or ligament found in the feet called plantar fascia. This tissue is the one responsible in connecting the heel bone to the toes and is the one that supports the foot arch.

Once this ligament is strained, the planter fascia can easily swell and become inflamed. This causes the pain whenever the foot is used for walking or standing.

Although plantar fasciitis is common among middle-aged individuals, this condition or problem can also be experienced by younger people, most especially those who are athletes or soldiers.This can be experienced in one foot only or both feet at the same time.

In order to treat arch pain resulting from plantar fasciitis, proper rest and foot massage is required to enhance blood circulation. Improving blood circulation to the feet is very important to allow nutrients and oxygen to reach the injured areas or structures and to release muscle tension. This will help hasten recovery and improve the condition of the plantar fascia as soon as possible.

Doing simple stretches before performing strengthening exercises is also necessary to prevent instep pain. This will help warm up the ligaments and the tissues before they are subjected to a rigorous or strenuous activity.

Placing foam rollers under the feet is also a great choice to massage the arches while sitting down. This will help reduce soreness and eliminate the painful symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Overweight individuals are also prone to having plantar fasciitis, which is why weight reduction workouts are also highly advisable.

The Ultimate Athletes Foot Remedy

In an ever-changing world where physical beauty greatly matters, it is only natural for people to strive hard in maintaining their natural beauty. But since not everyone is endowed with perfectly-shaped eyes, nose, brows, and lips along with flawless complexion and lustrous hair, it is only a must that people find ways to somehow make-up for their shortcomings by finding solutions to their problems.

One of the common problems of people with regards to skin diseases is athlete’s foot. Characterized by reddish, crackled, flaky skin between toes, dermatologists say that a fungus that usually thrives in warm and moist places causes athlete’s foot.

Like any other skin problems, athlete’s foot is known to be highly contagious especially by skin contact. In order to avoid it, experts advise people to stay away from places infected skin particles maybe be present.

If you’re already suffering from it, don’t fret because you can still cure athlete’s foot by trying the remedies suggested below.


The most common remedy for this contagious skin disease is by using traditional powders or athlete’s foot creams available in various pharmacies. Traditional treatments usually include over-the-counter medications that are known to treat athlete’s foot by weakening it.

The most popular OTC athlete’s foot medication today is Terbinafine ointment–a prescription drug sold as Lamisil–which obliterates the fungus. After the application of the ointment, the success of the treatment will depend on the patient’s resistance to fungus and immune system.

Aside from taking in or application of medication, athlete’s foot can be remedied by proper hygiene like keeping the feet dry all the time. Since the athlete’s foot causing fungus thrives in moist areas, keeping your feet dry will lessen the possibility of spreading to other areas of the feet.

Also, make sure that you scrape away the loose skin before applying the medication in the infected area after drying your feet. Other remedies include:

– Putting medicated powder or baking soda in the shoes and socks before you wear them.

– Wearing cotton absorbent socks washed in hot water with bleach.

– Keeping the shoes well ventilated before using them again.

– Using open-toed sandals to keep feet dry as possible.

– Wiping of white vinegar or spraying a disinfectant inside of the shoes to avoid re-infection.

– Applying antiperspirants to keep the feet from sweating.

– Drying the feet thoroughly using hair dryer or a clean towel.

– Spraying of diluted rubbing alcohol after showering can keep the feet dry.

– Applying of aloe vera or aloe gel at least twice a day.

– Soaking feet in a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water for 10 -15 minutes daily. This will relieve itching because of the antifungal properties of the apple cider vinegar.

– Rubbing a clove of raw garlic on the feet to kill the fungus.

I Strained My Neck Shoveling!

Yep, you read that correct. Not a lower back injury but a neck injury. The mechanism is the same but I wanted to address neck pain in this article. The fact of the matter is: you can strain any muscle or joint doing just about any activity.

In this example a patient of ours was shoveling snow and he turned his head while lifting the shovel to toss some snow off to the side. He mentioned he was careful with his back – bending his knees, using his thigh as a fulcrum, not picking up too heavy of a load, etc. But when he turned his head to the right he immediately felt his muscles on the right side of his neck, from the back and side of the head to the upper back, seize up. He said it felt like a major spasm or cramp.

We’ve seen this many times before, this same thing can happen in the lower back, or leg as well. People sometimes may describe it as a “Charlie horse” sensation. So why can this happen doing an activity you wouldn’t think would cause it?

The answer is this: Sometimes a muscle or a joint is on the verge of getting irritated. Let’s say for example the night before the snow storm you were on the computer for hours; your neck was tight after but it seemed to go away. Then you went to bed and got up early to shovel. Half asleep, while everyone was still in bed, you put your jacket and hat and gloves on, braved the cold, and started shoveling.

From the above example you can see how the shoveler’s neck was probably still irritated from the night before (it may have gotten worse while sleeping too), then without getting the muscles warmed up a bit (taking a shower, or stretching a bit would have made a huge difference), or even drinking some water (this helps hydrate the body obviously, in this case muscles and joints, helping to prevent injury). In this case the individual probably shocks the body a bit, going out in the cold and starts to do a good amount of physical activity.

Now I’m not saying doing this nor something similar will cause a neck or back injury, and I know that most of us have been guilty of it in the past. However if one makes a habit of doing these kinds of things often you can and will eventually hurt yourself. I’m going to give you some tips you can use to heal the neck once you do strain it, but keep in mind the real goal is to prevent it from happening. Believe me, I’ve seen people that have strained it so bad or have strained and restrained over and over, that their neck is to the point where it doesn’t heal so easy or fast. So as you can probably guess my first step to healing a strained neck is to prevent it in the first place.

Healing a neck sprain/strain:

1. Try to avoid and prevent it from happening. This especially goes for those of us who have injured their neck before and have an idea of what causes it.

2. Improve or correct spinal alignment. To do this, see a chiropractor, osteopath, or someone that does this professionally. A massage often helps because a good massage can help relax the muscles and ligaments, allowing the spine to shift back in place.

3. Use natural therapies first. Heat and Ice are easy to do, don’t cost a thing, and you can use them anytime. It’s actually rare that a prescription muscle relaxer is needed.

4. Start doing gentle neck stretches once you start feeling better. This will help elongate the muscles, breaking up muscle adhesions and preventing future strains. The most commonly needed stretch is the lateral head tilt. Slowly bring one ear toward your shoulder until a stretch is felt; hold for 10-20 seconds, relax and repeat.

5. Home muscle massage. Use you finger tips to find those tight spots to massage out. You’ll find it’s often a “good hurt” type sensation. Once you get a massage or spinal alignment you’ll have a better idea of what it feels like.

6. Use a cervical pillow for sleeping. This also helps relax the muscles by helping to align the spine. It can and should be used a one of your neck pain prevention methods also.

There you have it! Next time you strain your neck or feel a neck spasm about to start, use the tips above. My best recommendation is to use the above list above for prevention or neck spine maintenance if you will. We’ve all heard it before but I’ll say it again: An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure!

Tattoo Aftercare – Ignore It, and Your Tattoo Might End Up a Mess

Tattoo aftercare is vitally important to the health of your new tattoo, and it must not be ignored. Many people believe that once the needlework is done, their tattoo is a lock, but that is far from reality. The fact is that unless you properly care for your new tattoo, it could easily fade, lose saturation, flake, scar, or you could wind up with an infected mess on your body.

But if you ask a dozen tattoo artists how to take care of a new tattoo, you’ll probably get a dozen different answers. The conclusion is that no one knows precisely what will work for everyone, so your best bet is to follow a conservative, consensus-driven aftercare procedure.

Before getting into any specifics, it’s important that you follow your tattoo artist’s directions precisely. If their guidance conflicts with this article, always refer to their instructions. But in the absence of directions, here’s what you need to know.

Tattoo Aftercare Do’s

  • Do use an approved aftercare moisturizer / healing cream
  • Do leave your initial bandage over your tattoo for at least four to six hours, but no more than 12 hours
  • Do keep your tattoo out of direct contact with water (this includes the shower)
  • Do keep your tattoo moisturized
  • Do pat your skin dry when the tattooed area gets wet

Tattoo Aftercare Don’ts

  • Don’t expose your tattoo to sunlight until fully healed
  • Don’t submerse your tattoo in water, and especially avoid chlorinated water
  • Don’t let your tattoo dry out completely
  • Don’t over moisturize your tattoo
  • Don’t pick your tattoo scabs
  • Don’t cover your tattoo with a bandage once the initial bandage has been removed
  • Don’t scratch, bruise, or allow anything to rub against your tattoo with friction

Tattoo Aftercare Procedure

1) Four to six hours after you leave the tattoo parlor, wash your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial soap. You’ll want to ensure that your hands are free from dirt, germs, or anything infectious.

2) Carefully remove the bandage that was placed over your tattoo at the parlor. With a mild antibacterial soap, carefully wash the tattooed area, removing any of the greasy covering, ink residue, blood, etc. You’ll know the area is clean when it just feels like wet skin. Be very gentle with your skin. Pat your skin dry — do not brush or rub dry.

3) Apply a thin layer of moisturizer / healing ointment. Popular brands recommended at parlors include A&D Ointment, Neosporin, and Bacitracin. There are also tattoo-specific products that are designed exclusively for aftercare, and they include Tattoo Goo, H2Ocean Aftercare, and Black Cat Tattoo Cream. If you have a large, expensive tattoo, or a tattoo with deep colors that you want to protect, they are probably worth the investment.

4) Three to four times per day, apply a thin film of anti-bacterial / healing ointment to your tattoo. You will want to use enough to moisten the tattooed area, but not so much as to leave streaks or allow it to build up. Your goal is to moisturize the area only, so start with a small amount and work it in with your fingers.

The problem with over moisturizing the skin is fading inks. If you slather on a thick coating of Neosporin and keep it moist throughout the day, your tattoo might heal in just over a week — but the inks will fade. If, however, you lightly coat the area three to four times per day, your tattoo might take two to three weeks to heal, but the colors will set properly. The lesson to learn is healing quickly does not necessarily mean healing properly.

5) Cover the tattooed area with light, loose fitting clothing, and be mindful of your tattoo. Don’t scratch or pick your tattoo! If you must, gently slap the skin or use rubbing alcohol to relieve any itching or irritation.

While there might seem to be quite a few steps to follow, they are quite simple. The bottom line is that you need to pay attention to your tattoo, and allow the body to heal itself as naturally as possible. You will do everything you can to assist that process, but you don’t want to rush it — just help it. If you can do that, and stay diligent with your care for 2 to 3 weeks, you will be blessed with a rich tattoo that can be enjoyed for years.

Following these steps will ensure that your tattoo heals quickly and properly, and will help the inks set and stay vibrant and bold. Then you can enjoy your new tattoo for a lifetime.

Making Babies the IUI Way

From the evolutionary point of view, the impetus for procreation is deeply imbedded in our DNA that it will seek expression in a variety of ways. But in some couples, this natural desire is impeded by faulty human anatomy or failure of the regulating glands to produce reproductive hormones.

There are of course ways to get around unwanted childlessness. Medical professionals call it ART or assisted reproductive technology.

For intrepid couples who want to circumvent their natural impediments, there are several options they can explore. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the first step in that ladder.

In the past when ART was not easily accessible to couples because the technology did not yet arise, alternative therapies, like fertility enhancement herbs, acupuncture and fertility massage, were usually recommended to infertile couples. Now, childless couples can benefit from IUI, although the rate of success varies from case to case and highly dependent on a multitude of factors.

Intrauterine insemination is the most ‘natural’ of all ARTs. It is highly recommended for couples who may suffer from any one or a combination of the following.

The female spouse has irregular or absent menses. Unpredictability of menses leads to ovulation problems.

The female spouse has acidic cervical canal. Sperm can survive up to 5 days in a conducive environment.

The female spouse has obstructed Fallopian tubes. Even though she has healthy ovaries producing healthy eggs, if her ‘tubes’ are blocked, she will have difficulty conceiving. One unobstructed tube is sufficient for IUI to be performed.

The male spouse has erectile dysfunction or impotence problems. ED problems can range from retrograde ejaculation (sperm flow back up into the bladder instead of its natural pathway) or premature ejaculation (ejaculate is not deposited into the uterine cavity).

The male spouse has issues with sperm count or motility. Hundreds of millions of sperm are released in a healthy ejaculation, but the sperm count in male with ED or similar problems is significantly lower (only tens of millions).

Either one of the spouse has medical issues aside from infertility.

Both spouses have unexplained infertility despite being physically healthy.

In IUI, these problems are directly addressed or bypassed altogether. For example, if the wife has problems ovulating, she could be prescribed with fertility medicines like clomid. If the husband has low sperm motility, his specimen is ‘washed’ so only the most mobile sperm are introduced into the womb. ‘Washing’ entails putting the sperm in a medium and letting them swim up to a certain layer. The sperm that makes it in that stratum are removed and introduced into the uterine cavity.

The actual IUI procedure is not invasive relative to other ART techniques. Insemination with a syringe is simply a substitute of how conception is naturally done. The insemination is performed to bypass the acidic cervical environment and to introduce the sperm to the embryo as close as possible. In other words, IUI is simply a clinical way to do it.

So what should couples expect during the actual IUI procedure?

For the male, he is asked to produce a sample on the day of the actual insemination. This specimen is then washed and set aside for the actual insemination later.

For the female, she may have to choose between non-medicated or medicated cycle. In the former, it is usually the male spouse who has fertility issues; in the latter, it is her reproductive cycles that impede the natural conception process.

For medicated cycles, she will be given clomid or metformin to be taken for five days, after which her follicles are measured for maturity. Once the follicles are mature, the sperm are introduced within 36 hours to coincide with the ovary’s release of the eggs.

She may then leave the clinic afterwards, with instruction to follow up with ‘natural’ insemination within the day.

The success rate of IUI is highly dependent on the woman’s age (the older the woman the lower the rate of success), on her health, and on the severity of her infertility problem. To a significant extent, the success rate is also influenced by the male’s sperm performance.

Couples may have to undergo up to six IUI cycles to achieve results. On healthy couples, there is 15% chance of conception on every cycle performed. This means that on the sixth cycle, couples can expect to achieve up to 90% success rate.

Should the IUI cycle remain unproductive, couples may discuss with their reproductive endocrinologists other forms of intervention. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one such alternative.