Can Bee Propolis Help in H Pylori Treatment?

A number of natural products have been shown to have activity against H pylori bacteria. One such product is bee propolis. Researchers have demonstrated that bee propolis has some antibacterial effects and a small handful of scientific papers have examined whether bee propolis can be used to treat H pylori either alongside or in place of conventional triple therapy.

In one study, Platsko and colleagues demonstrated that when 30-40mg of bee propolis was taken three times daily alongside standard triple therapy, H pylori eradication rates and ulcer healing improved compared to patients who used standard triple therapy alone. This particular study can be found in the 2002 edition of the medical journal Helicobacter).

In another scientific paper, Boyanova et al investigated the effect of 30% ethanolic extract of bee propolis against ninety-four different strains of Helicobacter pylori. The scientists found that propolis showed strong antibacterial activity against H pylori in a dose-dependent fashion. In other words, the more propolis used, the stronger the effect). This study can be found in the 2003 edition of the medical journal Helicobacter.

The problem with the second study from 2003 is that the research was conducted in vitro, which basically means “outside the body”. So what’s the problem?

Well, a test tube or petri dish containing a growth medium for H pylori in the lab is completely different from the environment in your stomach and intestine where H pylori lives. As such it is impossible to conclude that propolis can kill H pylori in the body in the same way as it does in the lab.

Nevertheless, propolis clearly does offer some promise in the treatment of H pylori.

The many practitioners around the world to whom we have spoken tend to choose other products to combat H pylori infection. These include concentrated garlic capsules, potent forms of mastic gum, berberine, oil of oregano, DGL and zinc-l-carnosine, lactoferrin and probiotics.

In addition to the use of these nutritional and herbal products, we recommend several key diet changes that can really help reduce stomach and intestinal symptoms even before H pylori is eradicated. Time and time again, our clients’ symptoms improve dramatically with these diet changes alone.

The reason these improvements occur is rather counter-intuitive. Some people have H pylori, but the H pylori itself is not causing any of their symptoms. Instead, common foods that cause immune responses in the gut are responsible for their symptoms. These include cow’s milk, soy, gluten and sugar.

Of course, the problem is that once H pylori has been diagnosed, it is assumed that the bacteria must be causing the symptoms, when in fact all that is needed for resolution of symptoms is plain old dietary changes. These diet changes also improve the eradication success of treatment regimens, whether those regimens are pharmaceutical antibiotics or herbs.

The Dangerous Side Effects of Stomach Reducers

Proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, prevacid have become the third most popular prescription drugs in the USA. Approximately, one hundred million Americans suffering from acid reflux disorder are using these types of drugs every year and recent studies reveal these medications which control heartburn and acid reflux can have serious side effects.

Commonly known as stomach reducers, they are generally safe and well tolerated but like any medication, whether its prescription or over the counter can have some side effects.

Five new studies have found side effects like headaches and nausea, which can occur with a variety of medications and are usually are not serious.

However, more serious side effects were found of fractures specific to the spine and wrist and an alarming 25 % increase in post menopause women. Studies also reveal an increase of bacterial infections. These stomach reducers are design to suppress the acid in the stomach which then allows an overgrowth of bacteria that could lead to bacterial infections.

The number of people affected by fractures and bacterial infections is increasing every year and is quite significant considering there are so many people using proton pump inhibitors.

These reports are based on people who are on these medications daily and stay on them indefinitely. It’ s been estimated that half of these people using these drugs maybe on them unnecessarily, so if you are one of them, you should consider talking about the subject with your doctor, and ask if this medication is really necessary. Maybe your doctor can provide alternative solutions you can try that are less potent.

Besides taking pills or medications, there are other solutions people can do such as behavioral modification to prevent or ease these symptoms.

You want to try to prevent the problem before you have to treat it!

So here are a few suggestions that could help.

  • Stop smoking
  • Lying down after eating a meal is not good for the stomach and the esophagus. You should wait at least 3 hours before going to sleep.
  • Loosen up your belt or tight clothing after you eat will help to release the pressure in your belly
  • Watch your diet – avoid things like fatty foods or food that you know by experience will trigger heartburn or acid reflux.

It’ s important to modify your habits because over time all that acid can lead to ulcers and serious problems with the esophagus.

Flatulence Cure – Most Effective and Permanent Natural Treatment

Flatulence can initiate many other health problems apart from social embarrassment, however there are many remedies which can provide most effective and permanent treatment to the problem if supported by good and healthy habits. Flatulence is the gas which is produced during the digestion process and mainly by the symbiotic yeast and bacteria present in gastrointestinal tract, these bacteria also known as good bacteria breaks down the most complex foods and in the process produce gas which is passed out by the body in the form of flatus through rectum. Excess formation of gas causes bloating in which stomach is stretched by the gas to cause uneasiness and may be even nausea.

One of the major factors that cause flatulence is aerophageal which means people tend to swallow lot of air either along with food or as habit; this air passes into the intestine and comes out as a flatus. Intolerance to certain types of food causes flatulence in some people. Some types of foods are well known for their gas promoting nature like beans, cabbage and cauliflower. When food containing sulfur is broken down in the intestines it forms odorous flatulence. Constipation, indigestion, irregular bowel movement, irritable bowel syndrome are few reasons for flatulence.

Flatulence can be cured by using commonly used herbs and spices available in almost every kitchen; one of the most effective treatments is by mixing half teaspoon of ginger and pinches each of asafetida and rock salt in a cup of lukewarm water. Drinking this concoction can cure the problem of flatulence. Another very effective remedy to cure flatulence can be made and kept for regular use; it is made by mixing dry ginger, seeds of green cardamom and pepper, in equal quantities, and grinding it to form a powder. This powder half teaspoon in quantity can be mixed with a cup of water and consumed before every meal, this helps in improving digestive system to cure the problem of flatulence.

Peppermint usually used for refreshing mouth after the meal is very effective remedy for flatulence and peppermint oil has been used since a long time to provide permanent solution to the problem. Chewing peppermint after meals helps in improving digestive system and soothes the digestive tract; it avoids bloating and abdominal pain after meal. Peppermint oil with caraway oil is used in various medications as a cure for flatulence. Sucking a piece of clove after meal, chewing fennel seeds after meal and using ginger in the food in raw or cooked form also helps in curing flatulence effectively and permanently.

Increased intake of fruits like papaya, figs, guava, and banana helps in keeping the problem of excess flatus under control by helping digestion. Few people have irregular eating habit, such a routine promotes flatulence too, regularizing meals and not remaining hungry for a long time, eating smaller and regular meals also helps in curing the problem of flatulence permanently. Physical activity keeps digestive organs in shape and healthy which eventually prevents flatulence. Chewing food well before swallowing, sufficient amount of water consumption everyday and proper sleep are other factors which affect the formation of gas during digestion, ignoring these good habits can reduce the effects of remedies and one may not get effective treatment.

Shilajit – Uses and Benefits

According to the legends famous in India shilajit is considered as nectar or amrit of God given to mankind to live life youthfully and become immortal forever. Shilajit commonly called, as shilajitu in ayurvedic terms is a kind of resins that oozes out from Himalayan Mountains due to heating effect of sun in summers. It is pale brown to blackish brown in colour. This resin is soft in texture, slimy to touch, pure and heavy. It is soluble in water. Others names by which shilajit is famous are asphaltum, mineral pitch, and girij.

Shilajit is an end product of plant matter that has decomposed centuries ago and got dumped in mountains and due to pressure, got preserved in mountains. Shilajit is found in Himalayan region especially in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet and kumaon area in India

Shilajitu is considered has ushan virya i.e. it possess hot potency, which makes it, fight against the ailments caused by vata disorder. It possesses katu, tickt and kashaya rasa and possesses laghu (light) and ruksh (dry) properties, which helps it in acting the way it works. Due to presence of these properties shilajit acts as vata and kapha suppressant, it also helps in moderating pitta dosha. Shilajit is said to contain many biochemical’s, mainly fulvic acid but humic acid, uronic acids, hippuric acid, benzopyrones, phenolic glycosides and amino acid are also present. Shilajit should never be taken in raw form, first it is purified and then used.

Shilajit is widely used in preparation of ayurvedic medicines and is regarded as one of the most important ingredient in ayurvedic system of medicine. It is a part famous ayurvedic medicines like chandraprabha vati, arogya vardhani vati, and most important of all Chawanprash. It works as a powerful anti oxidant thereby delaying aging.

Shilajit has been indicated in number of diseases as mentioned below: –

· Due to ushan virya in potency shilajitu is said to have properties that suppresses pain, as it acts directly on vata thereby helping out in suppressing it, as it is the cause of initiation of pain.

· A very good remedy in arthritic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and other joint related problems and back pain

· Has a very good pain relieving effect in any kind of injury and muscular pain

· Due to similar property mentioned above shilajit is said to work as anti-inflammatory substance. It works very similar to as the working of betamethasone a glucocortocoid.

· Shilajit is considered as an agent which helps in strengthening our nervous system there by very helpful in nervous disorders like paralysis, hemiplegia etc.

· Shilajit is considered as drug of choice in disorders like depression, mental stress, epilepsy and mental fatigue.

· Shilajit helps in promoting intelligence level and also works in promoting mental concentration thereby enhancing the learning skills.

· Wonderful results have been seen in abdominal disorders like pain, gastritis, indigestion and constipation

· Good results have been seen in piles and fistula related problems.

· It helps liver to work normally therefore helps in proper secretion of all the juices and enzymes important for proper metabolism in body.

· It helps in purifying blood due to its anti microbial action.

· Another use of shilajit is that it works against any microorganism hence has an anti microbial action therefore helps in relieving body from any kind of foreign invasion.

· Helps in building body’s natural immunity thereby useful in providing natural strength to the body.

· Very effective in disease related to heart as it a pitta moderator

· Shilajit is also effective in controlling blood pressure levels by bringing it to normal levels.

· Works as a kapha suppressant therefore helps in countering cough and helps in releasing sputum from the respiratory tract. It has also been found effective in asthmatic condition

.

· Very important herb in ayurvedic system of medicine, which helps in increasing strength

and endurance power in men. It works as an aphrodisiac agent thereby helps in increasing sperm count and also helps in bettering the quality of sperms. It also helps in regulating sex hormones for proper functioning. It has been regarded as Indian viagra as it is very helpful in enhancing sexual powers.

· Shilajit is well used in treating diabetes cases, as it is very helpful in metabolizing glucose in blood stream.

· It is strongly recommended in renal calculi cases, as it is very effecting in crushing calculi due to its tickt rasa property. It is also beneficial in enhancing proper functioning of kidneys.

· Good results have also been seen in infection in urinary tract and helps in relieving from symptoms like dysurea and burning micturation.

· Excellent results have been discovered when shilajit is applied in medo roga (obesity). It possesses this property because of its laghu (light) and ruksh (dry) properties. It helps in scrapping away of extra fat accumulated in body thus helps in providing slim and healthy looks to the body.

· Shilajit is highly recommended in patients who are weak or have been recovering from prolonged illness or from any surgery.

· Shilajit helps in supplementing the minerals (like phosphorus, calcium and magnesium) and vitamin deficiency in body

· Shilajit provides strength to the body and has been mentioned as rasayan by Acharya Charak, the great Indian ayurvedic healer, and has recommended its daily use to maintain physical and mental strength and to maintain youth and to attain long life.

Know more about Shilajit Anti aging, Aphrodisiac Herb, Feel Young, Increase Sex Drive, Uses and Benefits by visiting http://www.morphemeremedies.com

Menoquil Review – An Effective Menopausal Relief Option?

As women approach menopause, the warnings signs set in – irregular periods, night sweats, hot flashes and psychological maladies such as irritability and low sex drive. Standard HRT treatments have commonly been shown to provide only short-term relief from menopausal symptoms, often increasing the incidence of heart attacks, strokes and even breast cancer. A refreshingly all-natural alternative called Menoquil, manufactured by Pharmaxa Labs, is a daily, single-dose treatment that claims to rival HRT. But what is Menoquil?

Menoquil is an exciting option for those going through menopause because it contains only naturally-derived herbal and botanical extracts, while still offering the same benefits as hormone-replacement therapies. Its key equivalent ingredients are phytoestrogen compounds and black cohosh extract, which have been respectively proven to boost energy levels and reduce hot flashes (in the same was as HRT’s transdermal estradiol), but Menoquil’s entire cocktail of botanical extracts work harmoniously as a menopausal remedy to support the body’s hormones, rather than a comparatively invasive HRT treatment.

Menoquil contains soy isoflavone proteins which are also claimed to relieve hot flashes, but their effectiveness in other areas has been tested with mixed results; some studies have shown that isoflavones have little to no effect on increasing cognitive function.

Among the rest of the extracts, Chaste Berry provides mild pain relief, in particular to targeted menopausal pain such as breast tenderness and edema; Red Clover Extract has been proven to possess properties similar to HRT’s low levels of estrogen and thus helps to relieve night sweats and also acts as an insomnia aid. This combination of all-natural, botanical extracts are a promising change, but there’s something to be said about the optimization of synthetic compounds and their effectiveness compared to botanical compounds which have been subjected to little research concerning their use in menopause.

Menoquil is comprised of Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Calcium, Phosphorate (as Calcium Phosphorate), Red Clover Flower Powder, Red Clover Powdered Extract, Green Tea Leaf Powdered Extract, Guggul Gum Resin Powdered Extract, Chaste Berry Powder, Dong Quai Powder, Soy Isoflavones 40%, Wild Yam Root Powder, Black Cohosh Root Powder, Cnidium Monnieri Fruit Powder, Bioperine.

Concerning the psychological effects of menopause, Wild Yam Root promotes production of sex hormone-binding globulin and serum estrogen, reducing vaginal dryness but also boosting a low sex drive. Green Leaf Tea Extract boosts the immune system and acts as a powerful antioxidant, but also works with Guggul Gum Resin to stimulate thyroid activity, helping to quell excess appetite cravings. The addition of calcium promotes positive bone health to prevent osteoporosis.

Based on the ingredients in the Menoquil formulation it can be said that the product may: reduce stress and irritability, relieve vaginal dryness, increase sex drive, relieve hot flashes and night sweats, curb excess food cravings, relieve insomnia, soothe breast tenderness, relieve edema and headaches and increase bone health. Overall, Menoquil is a viable option for those opting to use a natural botanical product over a synthetic medication.

Shortness of Breath Anxiety – How is it Different From Breathing Difficulty Due to a Panic Attack?

Suffering from shortness of breath? It may be a symptom of panic attack, heart attack, or even a stroke. If you find it difficult to breathe, you must make sure whether it is really caused by anxiety or not. As the name suggests, shortness of breath anxiety or dyspnea is a type of panic attack that makes breathing very difficult and causes a person to become extremely paranoid about his or her condition.

But what is the difference between panic attack-related and heart attack-related shortness of breath, you might be wondering. It is quite tricky to make a distinction between the two because they share some similarities. First, shortness of breath anxiety is characterized by gastro-intestinal problems such as heart burn, and this is also experienced by people suffering from heart attack. Second, both conditions are accompanied by fight or flight response or a feeling of a looming danger. Third, anxiety due to shortness of breath is a symptom of circulatory disorders that are triggered naturally by the body and mind. Lastly, both heart attack and panic attack victims lose their sensation in certain parts of the body, so shortness of breath can be mistaken for either one of the two conditions.

Now, how can you tell the difference between breathing difficulties related to heart attack and those related to shortness of breath anxiety? The following are some factors to take into account:

1. If the shortness of breath comes with numbness or pain on the left arm

2. If the shortness of breath comes with pain on the left side of the chest

3. The weight of the person with breathing difficulty

4. Whether the person has a record of congenital heart ailments

The most important factor to look into is how long the shortness of breath usually lasts. Typically, panic attacks last for about 10 minutes. If the shortness of breath takes more than 30 minutes, then that should is a sign of a more severe condition.

Shortness of breath anxiety occurs because of a combination of multiple impulses sent by the nerve endings in the chest muscles and lungs to the main system of the brain. The combination of impulses is further combined with a person’s interpretation and perception of shortness of breathing. Several factors aggravate the difficulty of breathing, and these are shown by the following shortness of breath anxiety symptoms:

1. Feeling of being strangled, which increases the panic and anxiety

2. Tiredness felt as the chest muscles move

3. Increased effort exerted while inhaling and exhaling

4. Feeling of suffocation or a sudden feeling of tightness within the wall of the chest

So what should you do when shortness of breath strikes? Call a physician to take a look at your condition. Don’t put off your visit to the doctor, lest your breathing difficulties will punish you for a long time. In addition to asking help from a specialist, you can do some exercises to help you breathe more easily, whether the shortness of breath is caused by a panic attack or a heart attack.

5 Foods That Will Lower Triglycerides Easily and Prevent Heart Disease

If foods can cause to increase the levels of triglycerides in the body, there must be foods that will lower triglycerides, too. Life does work that way, doesn’t it? If there’s daytime, there should be nighttime. So if it’s what you eat that causes your triglycerides to shoot up, it only makes sense to use foods as your weapon to bring the number back to normal.

Then again you might be wondering why there is a need to regulate the levels of triglyceride? Aren’t triglycerides needed by the body? Actually, when you think about it, triglycerides, as a form of blood fat, that plays an important role in the anatomy of the body, so they cannot be a bad thing. They are, in fact, an excellent source and energy and make possible the transport of dietary fat. The problem begins when triglycerides are more than 150 mg/dL because then you can be now considered at risk for developing heart disease. Elevated triglycerides that go unmanaged can cause the heart to lose its function, increasing your risk for strokes, coronary artery disease, or heart attack.

Fortunately, elevated triglycerides are easily manageable, especially in their early stages. In many cases, you don’t even need to go to the doctor because elevated triglycerides can be regulated by simply embarking on some healthy habits. Start with your choice of food, for instance. When preparing your meal plan, there are two things you must keep in mind if you are looking to reduce your triglyceride levels – Omega-3 and fiber. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that has earned global recognition because of its health benefits, notably on the heart. Fiber, meanwhile, works like a broom – it sweeps anything out of the body that shouldn’t be there in the first place. It goes without saying then that the foods that will lower triglycerides should contain either Omega-3 or fiber. In particular, these would include the following:

1. Fish. A rich source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, fish is recommended to be included in the diet at least 2-3 times a week. However, there are certain varieties of fish that are more contaminated with Mercury than the others, so limit your choices to salmon, tilapia, flounder, sardines, and canned tuna;

2. Vegetables. Vegetables are good, even if you take them every day. Green and leafy vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, celery, and spinach, and other kinds of vegetables like squash, pepper, green beans, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts have excellent triglyceride-reducing properties, so make sure that you have a healthy serving of vegetables everyday.

3. Fresh Fruits, especially those high in fiber content such as apples with the skin on and apricots

4. Nuts and Seeds. Nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, and walnuts, and sunflower seeds are good for the health of the heart.

5. Grains, oats and wheat. These can lower triglyceride levels, too, along with boosting the digestive system.

6. Water. This is something you should never skimp on. Prefer water anytime to sodas and alcoholic beverages. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday for good health.

For sure, you will not have a difficult time remembering these foods that will lower triglycerides, will you?

Allure of the Golden Tan: A History of Sun Tanning

The story of the how tanned skin became popular and sought after is a really interesting and fairly recent one.

Flip through your history books and you will realize that fair skin (the fairer the better!) had always been the holy grail for women around the world. As far back as ancient Egypt, women used mercury and lead to whiten their skin, with not so desirable toxic side effects. In the Elizabethan and Victorian England, snow white skin was still the measure of beauty (“Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”) and wealth – only the rich could afford to stay indoors and sip afternoon tea, while labourers plowed all day in the fields.

By the turn of the 20th century, things have largely changed. Much of the working class had left the fields to toil long hours in dimly lit factories without ever seeing the light of day. Being able to bask in the sun was now a luxury which only the well to do could afford. Better yet, people who were rich enough could even show off their wealth on their tanned skin by taking vacations down south to escape the wintry, sunless months.

Sun tanning fast became a health fad. It was touted as the new (free!) treatment for numerous diseases from Tuberculosis, eczema, gout, to skin conditions of any kind! The term: “A Healthy Tan” naturally caught on. Being tanned was now associated with being in the pink of health.

Then, in 1923, the Golden Tan suddenly became THE look to die for. That year, after cruising from Paris to Cannes, Coco Chanel emerged from the Duke of Wellington’s yacht with a deep, golden tan. She reported that she had accidentally received too much sun, but the media didn’t care. To the world, the first lady of fashion had just declared the newest fashion statement. And the western world followed with fervor and enthusiasm.

Sun tanning was now the rage. Women’s magazines featured women with glorious sun tans. Tanning oils started appearing to help people could tan themselves to a crisp even faster! Swimwear started decreasing in coverage, cumulating in the Bikini, which became widespread in the 1950s. The all-over tan was ever more in demand.

By the 1960s, links between skin cancer and UV exposure were made. Self tanning products appeared in an attempt to achieve the bronzed look without the dangers of UV exposure. Unfortunately, these products, which usually contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), gave the user an unnatural orange tinge, and hence were never too popular. Never mind the cancer, looking good was more important!

By the 1970s and 80s, people were becoming busier. Hence tanning salons were invented to feed the ever insatiable desire to maintain bronzed skin even with tight schedules. People could tan whether it was day or night now. The tanning business was a billion dollar industry by the 1990s, and continues to grow today.

Thank goodness, not all common sense is lost. Over the past decade, anti-tanning campaigns and increasing skin cancer awareness have somewhat eased the craze be tanned. Fair skin is becoming popular again, with A-list celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett proving that you do not need a fake tan to shine on the red carpet. Indoor tanning suppliers have taken the lead, and now work towards more sensible, responsible and moderate tanning.

Like a long overdue fad, the Golden Tan may well be making its exit. Who knows? A hundred years from now, people may look back, and find that the desire look bronzed and crispy an idiosyncrasy of the 20th century.

Five Elements Of Insurance Agency Growth: How The Performance Management Process Just Got Better

A good performance management process is no longer enough to ensure insurance agency growth. What can ensure it, though, is a good performance management process rooted in the five core elements of commitment, business process, sales training, skills training and accountability. Before we review these core elements, let’s first look at what is status quo in the industry.

If company owners and agency principals were asked to define their performance management process, not a one of them would agree or have the same understanding of what those three words mean. Furthermore, very few of them would see insurance sales as the cornerstone of performance and how they manage that process of selling as a key determinate of agency growth. Many insurance agencies operate on the firmly held belief that the insurance business “is what it is” and that’s how “we’ve always done it”. They haven’t committed their agency to any concrete goal and don’t really have a goal-setting process in place for their producers. There are no performance standards set either and no real consequences for not meeting those standards.

Many agency principals have only a linear view for producer and agency growth. Write more policies, book more business, grow and make more money. Write less policies, lose accounts, don’t grow, make less money. Proof of this limited mind-set toward growth is found in the number of 50+ year old men in agencies who have been there for years and are still just making $40-$50K a year in an industry where they could be making double that because the money in insurance sales is there to be made. These agency principals are content with the status quo. They’re okay with how things are working and don’t want to change a thing. They claim they’re too busy to implement a new process to improve the performance of their producers or help them better their performance management process.

Then there are those agency principals who want to grow. They want to create an agency that’s motivated, focused and productive and one that fosters a sales culture that puts more money on the bottom line, revolutionizes growth to the top line, creates wealth for the shareholders and provides the mechanism, the process, the system that generates better income for themselves and for their producers.

I believe there are five elements to extraordinary growth and they center around the following precepts: 1) commitment; 2) a business plan or process; 3) sales training; 4) skills training; and 5) accountability: I espouse to this belief because it delivers on its promise. These core elements create extraordinary, unprecedented growth in the agency.

Commitment. Commitment starts with the agency principal. If the agency is to grow and prosper, the agency principal must be willing to make a commitment to the agency itself and to every producer who works there. Start by making a promise to your producers. Make it a powerful one, a dramatic departure from the way things have been. Think outside the box. Create a commitment that’s concrete, measurable and compelling enough to drive both you and your producers to greater growth. Tell them that you are committed to helping them double their income rapidly. Not only would you motivate the bottom 80% of your producers, but your passion for helping them grow financially would fuel the drive toward greater growth for you, for them and for the agency.

Business Process. Most insurance agencies don’t have a business process. They have a process for how policies get underwritten, how prices are quoted and how client billing procedures are set up. They have a system to keep track of their book of business. But what most of them don’t have is a process by which new business gets generated and new opportunities for growth emerge.

In order to grow, agency principals have to have a business process, a flight plan, a playbook that spells out step by step who is going to play the game, who needs what to play it and where every player is going to be on every play. The playbook defines the rules of play and teaches agency principals and their producers how to play by the rules. And it starts with the prospect. When you develop a rock-solid business plan like this, it is reliable and repeatable.

Sales Training. Of the five core elements of extraordinary growth, none is more important than training. Nothing gives a greater return on an agency principal’s investment than training producers to master the skills that will better equip them and the agency to reach its goals and experience real growth. Without training, how can you execute the plays in your playbook? How effective can you be with the business process?

So what do you train them on? First, teach them how to meet with their best clients and ask for those introductions. Give them the ability to leverage all the people in their book of business and all the people they know. People are the hidden asset an agency has to generate new business, make more money and create a greater net worth. Secondly, train them in pre-call strategy. Teach them how to develop rapport with the client and build a relationship with them. Train them to differentiate themselves and their proactive services from the competition or “incumbent”. Teach them how to wedge out the incumbent on a consistent basis so that they improve their closing ratio and win more business. Lastly, train them on how to negotiate a written service agreement with their clients. And, do all this, not only to give them a high level of competence, but also the confidence to go out and use these skills effectively.

Skills Training. Skills training is about converting sales skills into action, into learned behaviors. The best vehicle an agency principal has to bring that conversion about is a sales meeting. But not the kind of sales meeting we’re all accustomed to, not the kind that starts with the agency principal going through last month’s numbers and the sales manager calling on producers to share success stories. It’s not the kind of meeting where everyone discusses what’s new in the pipeline and the sales manager asks what the chances are of winning that account. In these sales meetings, producers learn how to work introductions, do pre-call strategy and figure out how to bust the incumbent. They learn to use agency resources to quote a piece of business, prepare a presentation and create a written service agreement and they learn how to develop contingency plans.

Accountability. There are two elements of accountability. First, agency principals have to be able to count. They have to have a system to keep track of both prospects and existing clients. They have to be able to create pipelines for their producers. Secondly, there must be consequences. If they don’t have well-defined consequences for things like high performance and low performance, it will be hard to create accountability, and without accountability, nothing gets done.

The biggest problem agency principals have in creating accountability is fear. They are afraid to commit. They are afraid to set up consequences. They don’t want to commit because they fear it will upset the status quo and ruffle feathers. In order to grow, however, producers have to be held accountable for their performance and agency principals have to adopt a mind-set that speaks to the belief that they are creating accountability for the greater good and for the bigger cause — helping producers double their income and creating greater profitability so that with those profits, the agency can invest in new producers and in proactive services that will continue to give it its competitive advantage.

As I’ve said, a good performance management process is no longer enough to ensure insurance agency growth. A good performance management process rooted in these five core elements can, however. Mastering the elements of commitment, business process, sales training, skills training and accountability takes the performance management process in an insurance agency to a whole new level and virtually guarantees not just growth, but extraordinary growth, for the agency and for the owners, managers, and producers who work there.

Prostate Cancer – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor that consists of cells from the prostate gland. The cause of prostate cancer is unknown, but it is not believed to be related to benign prostatic hypertrophy. The risk factors for prostate cancer include advancing age, genetics, hormonal influences and environmental factors such as toxins, chemicals and industrial products. The tumor usually grows slowly and remains confined to the gland for many years. Symptoms and signs are more often associated with advanced prostate cancer. Symptoms include a diminished flow of urine, burning urination or blood in the urine. In the late stages, due to the spread of the tumor, other symptoms like back pain, pelvic pain, pain in the abdomen, jaundice, chest pain and cough are seen. Watchful waiting, surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and cryotherapy are the standard line of treatment for this condition.

The Ayurvedic treatment of prostate cancer is aimed at treating the local tumor and preventing or reducing its spread. Medicines used to treat the local tumor are: Triphala-Guggulu, Kanchnaar-Guggulu, Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Chandraprabha-Vati, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Arogya-Vardhini, Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Deodar (Cedrus deodara), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Erandmool (Ricinus communis), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Sunthi (Zinziber officinalis), Marich (Piper nigrum), Pippali (Piper longum), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Pashandbhed (Bergenia lingulata), Apamarga (Achyranthus aspera), Sahinjan (Moringa pterygosperma), Kuchla (Strychnos nuxvomica) and Varun (Crataeva nurvala). Medicines like Kanchnaar-Guggulu and Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha are given in high doses to prevent the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body.

Medicines like Suvarna-Parpati, Suvarna-Raj-Vangeshwar-Ras, Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, Trivang-Bhasma, Tamra-Bhasma, Abhrak-Bhasma, Suvarna-Bhasma and Heerak-Bhasma are used in combination with other medicines to both improve the immune status of the body and to help control the tumor and prevent its spread.

Ayurvedic medicines can be used as additional therapy at any stage of conventional treatment, in order to improve the therapeutic response and the overall survival rate. All such patients should be under the regular care and supervision of an Oncology team.

Thickened Drinks – What Are They, Why Are They Needed and How Do I to Make Them?

As a Speech Pathologist, I was often asked questions like this by the family members of people who had been newly diagnosed with a swallowing difficulty. Most people have never heard of swallowing difficulties, let alone ‘Thickened Drinks’. Swallowing difficulties (also known as ‘Dysphagia’) are not common, but they can affect people of all ages. There are many known causes of dysphagia but some of the more common ones are: stroke; cerebral palsy; Parkinson’s disease; head trauma; surgery and radiation therapy as a result of cancer of the head or neck; and changes to the nerves and muscles of the throat that making swallowing difficult for the elderly.

What Are Thickened Fluids and Why Are They Recommended?

If someone you know has been diagnosed with a swallowing difficulty, chances are they have been recommended ‘thickened drinks’ or ‘thickened fluids’. Thickened drinks are basically normal drinks that have had a specially formulated thickener added to them, to make them thicker than regular drinks (this is discussed more later in the article). They are recommended by Speech Pathologists (also known as Speech Therapist or Speech and Language therapists) for people who can no longer swallow normal fluids safely and who are at risk of having drinks go into their lungs. The consequences of drinks going into the lungs can be strong coughing, choking or more serious risks such as a chest infection and aspiration pneumonia. I recently worked with one lady who, only four months before, had been in hospital with her third bout of aspiration pneumonia in less than 10 months. She had been recommended thickened drinks over 12 months ago, but she was still drinking normal drinks at least once a day and small amounts of the drinks were going into her lungs. This was a problem, not only because of the fluid in the lungs, but because naturally occurring bacteria in her mouth travelled with the fluid and into her lungs. Once this occurs, it is only a matter of time before the bacteria causes a chest infection known as aspiration pneumonia. Fortunately for this lady, she finally listened to advice and only drank the thickened drinks that were recommended to her. She has not had a recurrence of aspiration pneumonia since!

So what’s so special about thickened drinks? One reason they work is because they travel more slowly down the throat and are easier for a person to control when they swallow. To get a better idea, imagine this- Someone starts pouring water out of a cup and tells you to catch it in a bowl that you are holding. You will try to respond as quick as you can, but there will probably be a delay between when they start pouring and when you have moved the bowl to catch the water. This short delay will probably mean that some of the water lands on the floor. Now imagine someone pouring a thickened drink, like a thick shake, out of a cup. You would probably catch much more of this liquid because the thick shake flows more slowly out of the cup and gives you more time to respond. This is similar to what happens when someone with a swallowing difficulty drinks water versus a thickened drink. When they drink water, the muscles and nerves in their throat don’t act quickly enough and some of the water can go into their lungs. But when they drink thickened drinks, the fluid moves more slowly and this gives their body more time to control and direct the fluid away from their lungs and toward their stomach. That is one reason why thickened fluids work. As people with swallowing difficulties tend to have the difficulty all day, every day, thickened fluids are intended to replace normal drinks. That means people having thickened fluids will in most cases, not be able to drink normal drinks at all or until their Speech Pathologist advises otherwise. Therefore, when someone is on thickened drinks, they should aim to drink as much of them as is needed to maintain normal hydration (1-2 litres).

The Three Levels of Thickened Fluids

When someone is diagnosed with a swallowing difficulty, a Speech Pathologist will recommend one of three different thickness levels. The level of thickness that is recommended varies from person to person. It depends on the severity of a person’s swallowing disorder. Typically, the worse the swallowing disorder, the thicker the drink. Recently, Speech Pathology Australia and the Dietitian’s Association of Australia worked together to create the Australian Standards for Texture Modified Foods and Fluids*. They developed the following naming and descriptions for the three recognised thicknesses of thickened drinks:

Level 150- Mildly Thick

This level is the thinnest of all the thickened fluids. It pours quickly out of a cup (but slower than regular fluids) and has a fast, steady flow. You can drink drinks of this thickness level out of a cup. Other names used to describe this thickness are: Level 1, Nectar Thick, Quarter Thick, Cream or Semi Thick.

Level 400- Moderately Thick

This level is the second thickest of all the thickened fluids. It is similar to the thickness of a thick shake (but a thick shake becomes thinner when it melts, so people on this thickness level still can’t drink thick shakes!). Drinks of this thickness pour slowly from a cup and have a slow rate of flow. As it is thick, the best way to have this drink is with a spoon. Other names used to describe this thickness are: Level 2, Honey Thick, Half Thick or Thick.

Level 900- Extremely Thick

This level is the thickest of all the thickened fluids in the new thickness guidelines. Drinks of this thickness cannot be poured from a cup into the mouth as they have a very small flow rate. Drinks of this thickness are so thick that they hold their shape on the spoon and so using a spoon to have them is the best method. Other names used to describe this drink thickness are: Level 3, Pudding Thick, Full Thick, Mousse or Extra Thick.

How do I buy or make Thickened Fluids?

You have two options, you can purchase pre-made thickened drinks or you can make your own thickened drinks with a powder thickener. Many people also use a combination of both- so they get the benefits of both options.

Pre-mixed thickened drinks

The first option is to purchase pre-mixed thickened fluids. These are available in single serve cups (sold individually or in cartons) or large bottles. Here are some advantages:

  • they don’t require preparation and are ready to drink,
  • they don’t need refrigeration until they are opened
  • they have a long shelf life (6+ months)
  • you can be assured that the drinks have been prepared to the right thickness and they are not too runny or overly thick

These products are particularly appealing to people who are elderly or have a disability and are not able to prepare the drinks for themselves or do not have someone who they can rely on to do it correctly, every 1-2 days. The down side of pre-packaged drinks are that they cost more than plain thickening powder and some brands manufacture only a limited number of flavours. In Australia, we are lucky to have manufacturers that have over 20 flavours on their menu. However, if you’re not based in Australia, you may have to search online to find the products that suit you.

Make your own thickened drinks

The second option is that you can make thickened fluids using a specialised powder thickener that can come in small tins up to large, economical boxes. These thickeners are specially formulated for people with swallowing disorders. Thickeners like cornflour or Karicare are not recommended for thickening drinks. The reasons for this are:

  • it is hard to get drinks to the correct consistency with these products
  • they often dramatically change the taste of the drinks they are put into
  • they can be difficult to mix in completely
  • the drinks may change in consistency (get thicker or thinner) over time or as the surrounding temperature changes. This could result in the drink thinning down or becoming too thick or gluggy and therefore being unsuitable to drink.

A benefit to using specialised thickening powder is that it is cheaper and more economical than buying pre-mixed drinks and you can add it to whatever flavoured drink you choose (including beer and wine!!). A disadvantage of using a powder thickener is that many people, especially the elderly or those with a disability may have difficulty mixing the drink to the correct thickness level. If a drink is too runny it puts a person at risk of having the drink spill down the throat and then go into the lungs. If the drink is too thick, it may not be appetizing and a person may drink less of it and therefore be at risk of dehydration. Also, drinks that have been pre-mixed using a powder thickener only last a very short time in the fridge- typically 1-2 days.

Some final points about thickening powder. As not all powder thickeners can be used to thicken hot drinks (and you think you might like to thicken hot drinks such as tea), be sure to look for this information when you are making your selection. Also, if you decide to purchase specialised thickening powder, you will find the recipes on the back of the container. They are quite easy to find and to follow. Each pack normally has three recipes describing how to make up the drink to each of the three recommended thickness levels. For example, if you are on Level 150- Mildly thick, the recipe might instruct you to add 1 teaspoon of powder to 200 mLs of liquid- then stir. Just remember, if you are unsure about which thickness level applies to you or your family member, don’t guess, it could be risky for the person drinking it- especially if the drink is too thin. Just ask your dietitian or speech pathologist.

As you can see, there are some things to understand about using and making thickened drinks, however you have a number of options and it’s just a matter of finding what suits you or your family member in terms of price, ease of use and flavour.

References: *Dietitian’s Association of Australia & The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited (2007). Texture-modified food and thickened fluids as used for individuals with dysphagia: Australian standardised labels and definitions. Nutrition & Dietetics, 64 (Suppl.2): p553-576

(c) Copyright – Katie Prendergast. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Dangers of the Herpes Virus

A damage of the herpes simplex virus can cause a highly infectious disease called herpes. Many people that are transmitted with herpes show no visible signs, and this is the reason why it is usually untreated because it is undetected. It is very essential to cure herpes when it is detected because it can be very contagious from one person to another even without the presence of its signs and symptoms. There are treatments that can help manage and control the results of the virus but herpes can not be cured.

A virus called Herpes Simples Virus Type 2 or HSV-2 causes genital herpes from the strain of this virus and other infections in the genital area.
On the other hand, not only HSV-2 can cause herpes virus but also HSV-1. If the virus is carried from one wound of the person having an infection in the genital area of ​​different person during oral sex, it can also cause genital. Here are different treatments that can be done for both kinds of herpes.
It is by skin-to-skin contact that herpes is transmitted. Transmission of the virus through activities like shaking hand can cause the virus to live only for a short period of time outside a person's body.

There are different kinds of skin-to-skin contact that can carry herpes. One of these is through genital to genital, mouth to genital, genital to anal, mouth to mouth, and anal to anal.

Since lots of people having herpes do not show signs and symptoms, but when these signs can be severe signs when occur they occur. He first sign of herpes is the outbreak wherein it happens for two weeks after the first contact with the herpes virus and begins with itching or pain.

In just a few day blisters or sores grow inside and around the area that is infected. The blisters can ooze, open or even bleed. If there is no treatment done, the sores and blisters will soon scab and heal. There are treatments that can quickly speed up the process of healing in other cases, if it begins earlier, it can prevent an outbreak.

If the virus caused by herpes will enter the body, it will stay there. It is greatly possible for this outbreak to transfer the virus from one person to another. Results can happen oftentimes in a year in many years ahead if there is no treatment done. The treatment of herpes by drugs that is anti viral can lessen the risk to infect another person, reduce the severity of signs and shorten or prevent the outbreak's duration. Any person having oral herpes can use treatments that are topical for the symptoms to be relieved.

Herpes that are left untreated might cause aggravation and discomfort; however there are many more harmful things that people should consider. There is a development and harsh outbreak complication to the person who has a weak immune system. Herpes that are untreated can increase the risk of the person from having the HIV or human Immunodeficiency Virus. But the rate of herpes can cause a more serious illness or complications like meningitis or encephalitis if the virus is not treated. If there is herpes while the woman is pregnant, the infant or a newborn can have blindness, brain damage or death if safety measures are not taken.

4 Major Chronic Bronchitis Symptoms

Chronic bronchitis is considered as a kind of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While it is curable, it is a long-term condition which hardly ever goes away completely. People having this condition may experience discomforts for two or three months in a year. So as to identify this ailment, doctors make use of a chest x-ray, stethoscope, blood test and lung function test. Chronic bronchitis can also be diagnosed by simply paying attention to the symptoms which are linked to the condition.

Cough

Cough is a very common manifestation of chronic bronchitis. Coughing generates a heavy mucus which is brought up through your lungs. When your bronchitis gets worse, your coughing gets to be more serious and may develop huge amounts of mucus. In the course of a flare-up, affected individuals can get an intense coughing that may continue all through the day and night, disturbing their sleep. Any person having a consistent mucus-producing coughing may easily get chronic bronchitis.

Trouble Breathing

Trouble breathing is usually one of the chronic bronchitis symptoms. The soreness inside the lungs linked to bronchitis limits airways, which makes it hard to obtain sufficient oxygen. This could leave a feeling of shortness of breath. Difficulty breathing can result in a person to become exhausted right after minor actions. Airway constraint may possibly bring about wheezing, that is a sound created by a number of affected individuals whenever they inhale and exhale.

Poor Immune System

Individuals having this disease normally have a higher chance of getting consistent lung infections. An extreme cough which causes too much mucus that is greenish or yellowish in color shows that a person possesses an infection together with their persistent bronchitis. Antibiotics are not able to get rid of it but they could be useful to cure and acquire relief from an associated respiratory infection.

Heart Complications

Although not well-known, certain coronary diseases may also be an indication that the person has continual respiratory disease. Pulmonary hypertension as well as high blood pressure within the lungs can produce constricting blood veins which usually go with advanced conditions of chronic bronchitis. Because of this, the right part of your heart could subsequently become overstressed, making the patient susceptible to heart failure. Individuals experiencing chest pains must be brought to the doctor immediately because this is one of the symptoms which could be fatal.

The most prevalent root cause of chronic bronchitis symptoms is smoking cigarettes or tobacco. Smoking destroys the cilia, hair-like cells which cover the airways, which prevent bacteria from getting into your lungs. External toxins are yet another frequent reason for this condition. To avoid getting any kind of respiratory ailment such as bronchitis, live a healthy lifestyle and refrain from breathing in polluted air.

Hip Replacement Timing – Why Delaying May Be the Wrong Choice

My world was split into two. With medication I was pretty well pain-free but unable to concentrate or focus on anything at all. Without it I was in serious pain and my mobility was so reduced that I could barely manage stairs let alone leave the house. Diagnosis – severe osteoarthritis. My life had become focused on my hip and the prospect of surgery.

A hip replacement at 52? No! Surely I was too young. I asked my medical friends, who were unanimous in their answers; “delay having a hip replacement for as long as possible”. Okay, I thought stoically, I’ll hang on. But for how long? How would I know when I’d reached “as long as possible”? How could I factor in the length of time I’d be spending on a waiting list? How was I going to function until then? And was waiting really the right answer? I entered “hip replacement timing” into Google and started reading.

The first thing I learnt was that all weight bearing implants have a finite life. As the two surfaces rub together they shed minute bits of debris. This debris sets up a reaction in the body which loosens the tight fitting implant. A loose implant is a painful implant. Sooner or later it will need to be replaced.

Wear is not just associated with the length of time we have the implant for, it’s also about what we do with it. The more active the patient is the greater the rate of wear and young people tend to be more active than their elders. From my point of view one of my desired outcomes from surgery was to get back to an active life. Maybe a bit more subdued than before (no more rock climbing) but still one where I challenged myself physically from time to time.

I learnt also that weight plays a key role in how quickly a weight bearing joint, such as a hip, lasts. Heavier patients wear out their hips faster than lighter ones. This is true for both the original joint and its replacement. Students of mechanical engineering will understand that 1kg of body weight puts approximately 4kg of pressure on a hip joint.

But did any of this really matter? If a hip replacement is a fairly straightforward, routine operation surely they could just change my implant once it wore out? Sadly that isn’t the case.

Revision surgery involves taking out the old implant and replacing it with a new one and is considerably more complex. Second time around (let alone third) there is less bone stock to work with and the tissues surrounding the joint, and holding it together, have lost much of their flexibility. Without that flexibility it is harder to align the new implant optimally and correct alignment is crucial to reduce the rate of wear.

There is also a higher chance of a serious post-operative complications following revision work. These are nasty. They include painful dislocation ( a trip to A&E), infections (possibly necessitating the removal of the new implant to clean out the infection) and deep vein thrombosis (potentially fatal!).

The case seemed to be made – delay surgery – let one implant last a life time.

I was convinced. I was convinced for all of 10 minutes which is when I started to think about what that would mean for me. Years more serious pain and heavy duty medication and an ever dwindling life both inside and outside the home.

I started looking for the other side of the argument. Might the new generation of implants come to my rescue?

With traditional implants the hip side of the replacement joint was made of polyethylene, which wears out relatively quickly. Replacing this to give a metal-on-metal implant worked well and extended the life span of the new joint. Better yet was ceramic-on-ceramic – where both sides of the joint are made from a type of metal oxide known as ceramic. This has a very low rate of wear and unlike its metal-on-metal counterparts isn’t associated with potentially hazardous metal ion debris. This form of ceramic is the 2nd hardest substance on the planet – the hardest being diamond. Somehow I doubted that would be available on the NHS. Still 2nd hardest sounded good. How long would that last?

Well the jury is still out on that question, mainly because these new prostheses are still evolving and sufficient time hasn’t yet gone by to evaluate their wear rate. It is hoped that they’ll last between 25-30 years – about double the life of a traditional implant. A quick calculation and I realised I’d only need one more (unless I was heading for a Guinness Book of Records type of life span).

I was already beginning to swing to the sooner rather than later approach when I found some information discussing the physiological problems associated with delaying surgery. Medics have always acknowledged that delaying surgery meant the patient would have to endure increasing pain and lack of mobility but the approach seemed to be it just had to be endured. Now the consequences of long-term severe pain and limited mobility are being recognised.

Whilst waiting for surgery my hip joint would continue to wear away increasing both the amount of pain I experienced and the need for very strong medication. Furthermore this wear might also gradually deform the joint itself and one consequence of that may be that options for less invasive surgery, such as hip resurfacing, were lost.

But it’s not just the affected leg that is being damaged. As the “bad” leg become less able to weight bear the “good” leg must take on more of the work. The danger here is that the additional stress on the “good” leg’s hip and knee joints will hasten their decline and may even result in further joint replacement work.

And it didn’t stop there. All this pain and decreased mobility would result in weight gain, loss of muscle mass, a deterioration in the quality of life and an inability to carry out activities of daily living such as shopping and socialising. It sounded like a recipe for depression as well.

A survey of younger patients undertaken by hip replacement and recovery.com – a one-stop information shop – showed that almost 30% of younger patients felt they should have had surgery earlier and that delaying surgery had significantly affected their lives. Their most often stated concerns were the loss of quality of life and further damage to their joints. One respondent wrote touchingly about how she had not been able to participate in the lives of her growing family due to pain and immobility.

There is no simple answer as to what is the best time. I believe it is imperative that all hip replacement patients understand the advantages and risks in either going for early surgery or delaying it. Such an understanding will allow an informed discussion with the surgeon. If your surgeon radically disagrees with you and you don’t accept his reasoning, then ask to be referred to someone whose views more closely match your own.

Some pointers as to when it might be time for the operation:

  • When the pain wakes you at night
  • When you are taking opiate based medication daily.
  • When you can’t walk a mile or carry a bag of shopping.
  • When you realise you can’t look after yourself
  • When you’re quality of life is significantly diminished.

So did I wait? Well I tried to put it off a bit. I called my consultant who explained that I was already practically bone-on-bone and the maximum I could hold out for was two years. That, we agreed, wouldn’t be worth the pain.

I am now 13 weeks post-op and pretty well pain-free. Yesterday I ran up the stairs. I’ve started going out – shopping and socially. I’ve got a life again. I love my new hip.

Is Your Soul Broken?

What is a Broken Soul? Your soul is broken when who you are on the inside, doesn’t match who you are on the outside.

A broken soul is related to how you feel about yourself, your truest, deepest and most honest beliefs; your philosophy about life; your original ideas and sincerest thoughts, feelings, emotions and sense of what is right and wrong. Your soul is who you are when no one is looking; where no one else can see. Your outside persona includes your physical body, spoken and written words, habits, actions and behaviors.

How can a person break their soul?

Every time you lie to yourself, go against your own sense of fairness, compassion and integrity; fail to follow your dreams and utilize your gifts and talents, hurt someone you love consciously or unconsciously you detach the spiritual bond between your body and your soul. When you believe in one thing and you act and behave in an opposite manner, you become an empty vessel, a shell, a person without substance. Your physical body is alive, but it is hollow and vacant because it lacks integrity and meaning. Many of today’s young celebrities such as Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, Nicole Richie and even the late Anna Nicole Smith may have broken souls. These young, wealthy, physically beautiful women have the outside appearance of prosperity, but their actions and behaviors do not exemplify inner peace.

We live in a culture that tells us that when ever something is ailing us; we can fix it with a psychotropic drug, weight loss or cosmetic surgery. The other portion of society tells us that we need to join organized religious communities. None of these suggestions are wrong depending on the individual’s personality and emotional needs; but it is essential and crucial that each person learn to take an honest look within them selves to determine if they are doing everything within their own power to their best of their ability to promote health, wealth, peace, love and happiness in their own lives.

The only way that you can re-attach your soul to your body is by aligning your thoughts, words and actions into one being.

Is a broken soul similar to a broken heart?

A broken heart can cause a broken soul when you continue to repeat the patterns that caused your heart to break. For example, continuing to pick the same type of guy without looking within yourself to analyze why you are attracted to certain types of men. However, a broken soul does not typically lead to broken heart because it is impossible to deeply care about others when you don’t truly know, love or care about yourself.

Examples of Broken Souls

Scenario A Fidelity

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You believe in fidelity. You want to be in a relationship with a person whom you can trust.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You make a vow to be faithful. You tell your mate that you are faithful.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You cheat on your mate.

Scenario B Education

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You believe that education is important. You have always wanted to practice law.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell everyone that you are going back to school to earn your degree.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You watch television and hang out with friends in the evenings. You picked up an application once, but never filled it out.

Scenario C Following your Dreams

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You feel happiest when you are singing, dancing or involved in any type of performance. You love music with every cell of your heart, mind and body. People tell you that you are talented and gifted as a singer.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

To impress your parents, teachers and naysayers, you tell everyone that you are going to college to be a doctor.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You are enrolled in a pre-med program. You try to ignore the pain in your stomach, your headaches and the deep misery that you feel inside. You rationalize your unhappiness by telling yourself that doctors make good money and your family will be so proud of you.

Scenario D Being true to yourself

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You love to write.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell every one about the book you are going to write some day.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You never write because you are tired when you get home from work and exhausted from the daily demands of taking care of your family.

Scenario E Being true to yourself

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You want to lose weight to improve your health.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell every one that you are on a diet.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You don’t exercise. You make unhealthy food choices.

Scenario F Having Faith

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

In your heart and spirit, you believe in God, a Superior Being or a Higher Power bigger than yourself. You feel that your deepest dreams, desires, wants and needs will manifest in your life.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell everyone about your amazing faith, trust and belief in God or a Higher Power. You tell other people to have faith and believe.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You cry yourself to sleep each night because you are worried about your bills being paid and how you are going to provide for your family. You haven’t looked for a new job, or started your own business because people say, “the economy is bad.”

If you do an honest assessment of what is really bothering you and all of the things that you can start doing at this very moment to change your life, you will begin to heal your soul. Guaranteed.

10 Signs of a Broken Soul

1. You have a drinking or substance abuse problem.

2. You have been depressed for more than 6 weeks

3. You feel no enjoyment for life.

4. You are in a sexually, physically or psychologically abusive relationship.

5. You are actively involved in criminal or illegal activity.

6. You have reoccurring suicidal thoughts

7. You have an eating disorder

8. You are abusing someone else physically, psychologically or sexually.

9. You are not doing anything productive with your time.

10. You constantly complain about hating yourself or your life.

Techniques to heal a Broken Soul

1. Validate yourself. Start exactly where you are. Call your self beautiful. Start your business. Do not seek external validation from any one.

2. Go on a journey of self-exploration. What is your favorite color, food, song, movie, day of the week, holiday. Everything that you love is a clue to the mystery of who you are. The things that you love are internal pieces that create the external picture of who you are.

3. Forgive everything and everybody. No exceptions.

4. Practice random acts of kindness. Put a dime in an expired parking meter. Pay for someone’s breakfast, dinner or lunch without revealing yourself. Put toilet paper in a public restroom for the next person. Shovel someone’s snow or rake their leaves without them knowing who did it. Leave a tip on some else’s table. Find unique ways to put a smile on other people’s faces. Their smiles will make you smile.

5. Ask for forgiveness–it doesn’t matter if they accept your apology. This gives them the opportunity to heal when they are ready.

Forgive yourself for past mistakes.

6. Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself. Read the self-forgiveness letter to yourself each night until you are able to let go. You can’t forgive yourself until you are emotionally ready to forgive yourself.

7. Give yourself 6 months to make one change. Don’t try to change too many things about yourself at one time; this is overwhelming. If you try to stop smoking, don’t include losing 50 lbs, and find a cure for cancer. Take it slow and steady.

8. Watch Shawshank Redemption, the Pursuit of Happyness or any other movie that gives you hope.

9. Find one thing that you absolutely love about yourself and think about it once a day, all day long.