Special Education Has Changed Over Time

Special education has been assisting students with learning disabilities in the United States education system since the end of World War II. The first push for special education started when a group of parent-organized advocacy groups surfaced. In 1947 one of the first organizations, the American Association on Mental Deficiency, held its first convention. That marked a starting point for special education as we know it today.

Started during the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1950s, the United Cerebral Palsy Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and John F. Kennedy’s Panel on Mental Retardation were among an increased amount of advocacy groups for assisted learning programs. This strong push helped bring special education into schools across the country in the 1960’s as school access was established for children with disabilities at state and local levels.

The parent advocacy groups dating back to 1947 laid the ground floor for government legislation being approved by Congress in 1975 that was called the “Education for All Handicapped Children Act” (Public Law 94-142). This act went into effect in October of 1977 and it was the beginning for federal funding of special education in schools nationwide. The act required public schools to offer “free appropriate public education” to students with a wide range of disabilities, including “physical handicaps, mental retardation, speech, vision and language problems, emotional and behavioral problems, and other learning disorders.”

The law from 1977 was extended in 1983 to offer parent training and information centers. Later in 1986 the government started programs targeting youngsters with potential learning disabilities. The Act from 1975 was changed to the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” (IDEA) in 1990. Since establishment of IDEA more than 6.5 million children and 200,000+ toddlers and infants are being assisted each year.

Special education in schools often unintentionally overlooks a key aspect of why students suffer from learning disabilities. The reasons for common learning disabilities are weak cognitive skills. Studies show that 80% of students enrolled in special education at some level suffer from underlying weak cognitive skills. Cognitive skills are the mental capabilities that one needs to successfully learn academic subjects. In more detail cognitive skills are learning skills used to retain information; process, analyze, and store facts and feelings; and create mental pictures, read words, and understand concepts. They are not to be confused with academic skills which would include subjects like math, science, or history.

Proper testing to identify these weak cognitive skills will help quality learning centers put together a plan of action to strengthen them. This sort of training will last a lifetime. By not targeting the cognitive skills a student will struggle for the rest of their life until they are trained properly. It is highly recommended that you get your child tested at a learning training center that provides cognitive testing. Once tested a personal, unique training program can be developed for your child to overcome their learning disability.

Sleep Paralysis, Old Hag Syndrome, or Paranormal Activity?

I just woke up. I feel the sweat beading up on my forehead. I am terrified. I know I am awake. I can not move. The room is freezing. I do not know exactly what time it is, but it must be somewhere between midnight and dawn. It is still dark.

I try to lift my head. I feel myself straining to lift it, but my head just does not move. I open my mouth to scream, nothing comes out. A silent scream … just like in a nightmare … But I am awake – I know I am awake!

I try to sit up, to move my arms or legs. Nothing moves. I am consumed with utter terror. I am awake, this is not a dream. I know I am awake.

There is a heavy pressure on my chest , like somebody is sitting on me. I feel a presence, mean, evil , dirty. Was it Satan? A demon? I was not sure. I wince inside, thinking that I am probably going to get hurt really, really bad. I am still consumed with terror. Again I try to scream. My mouth opens, but again nothing comes out.

I still feel the pressure on my chest , but it somehow spreads to my legs and feet. It felt as if someone has spread out full length on top of me for the sole purpose of pinning me down, so that I can not move. The pressure increases, like there is the weight of two on top of me instead of just one. I strain to breath because of the pressure bearing down on my chest and lungs. The force has become greater. I feel tears trickling down the sides of my face. Time ceased. Had it been seconds or hours? I'll never know. It seemed like forever to me.

Then it was finally gone.

I was in my early teens. The experience was in my childhood home, in my own bed.

Was it a dream? No, I knew I was awake … because the tears I had felt trickling down my face during the episode were still there when it was over … and I never experienced a transition of "waking up" … proof that it was not my imagination or a dream. It was REAL, and I WAS awake the entire time.

Many people experience episodes such as this, and it has been recently coined "Old Hag Syndrome".

What is "Old Hag Syndrome"?

The Medical Community Explanation

The medical community explains Old Hag Syndrome as simply being sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is normal and happens every night during the REM stage of sleep. This is a natural protective function of the body that prevents people from acting out their dreams during their sleep and is called REM atonia.

Occasionally, something physically malfunctions and people wake up still in the state of REM atonia. When this occurs, it is common for the victim to experience horrific hallucinations such as demons, witches, aliens, rapists, intruders, etc. in the room with them. The hallucinations are very real and the person suffering the hallucination may be spoken to, threatened and touched … all while being paralyzed and unable to speak. The experiences of many people who have claimed to be abducted by aliens in their home have been attributed to sleep paralysis and the hallucinations it creates. The medical community is unsure exactly how or why the hallucinations and apparitions occur, and according to Stanford Sleep & Dreams, this remains one of the biggest mysteries in dream research.

The Folklore Explanation

"Old Hag" or sleep paralysis is a common phenomenon and described by almost all cultures of the world. Some consider it alien abduction, others the devil and his minions, others demons, or the one commonly used in the United States – the "old hag" who sits on the sleeping victim's chest rendering him unable to move upon waking. This is often said to be a sign of an upcoming tragedy or event. "The witch riding your back" is the term used by African Culture. In Hmong culture the translation is "crushing demon", "held down by shadow" in Vietnamese, "ghost pressing on body" in Chinese, "goblin or succubus" in Iceland, and similar translations from all around the world. The victim is paralyzed, unable to move or speak, and experiences various phenomena.

Many believe that these experiences are actually paranormal phenomena occurring, and not a hallucination.

So Exactly What Happened to Me?

I am still trying to figure this out. There is a little more to the story …

I never really told anybody about the experience when it happened because I was embarrassed, feeling that I let down my family and my church community. Being a young teen is very confusing, and often at that age we are spiritually immature and insecure. I was afraid to talk about it because beforehand I had been playing with an Ouija board … and it appeared as though I was getting answers. It was all fun and games until that night-time episode. Then I was absolutely positive that God was punishing me in some way for "dabbling in witchcraft" and playing with the Ouija board. Maybe my punishment was demon visitation … or maybe God had just abandoned me for a while, and the demons crept in. My young, teenage mind struggled to sort through what happened and why. I was sure nobody would understand so I just kept it to myself and sought out as much information I could on God and demons. I never did run across anything about "Old Hag Syndrome" at that time, but did find many, many religious stories relating to demons.

So did I "open a portal" with the Ouija board? I could not say for sure, but I do not think so. I have never had another experience even similar to this.

Could it have been paranormal activity? Maybe. Several years later my brother had a similar experience in the same house. Also, as young children (much prior to my "Old Hag" experience) my brother and I had both seen a similar-looking apparitions in the house. Although they are skeptical about the paranormal, my parents have both recently told me of unusual things they have experienced – hearing strange breathing and seeing a white mist – things that would have frightened some people and have caused them to want to investigate.

Was The Experience a Sleep Malfunction or Paranormal Activity?

I guess I will never know for sure. I have no witness, no documentation. What I experienced could easily be explained by either. The medical community can not fully explain how or why the apparitions occur. Could this be because they really are paranormal? Or is it just some chemical malfunction in the brain that has yet to be discovered. Who knows! It could have even been a psychic experience, happening between sleep and waking state … when the conscious mind is resting and the subconscious has free reign and the ability to tap into other realms.

The search for answers to questions like this is the reason why paranormal and psychic research are so important!

We are only at the tip of the iceberg as far as reality is concerned. Science is an ongoing process, facts being updated daily as new theories are developed and proven.

It could be that the spirit world is much closer and more accessible than most of us can imagine. Maybe "hauntings" are not a rare occurrence, but a mere instance of us nearsighted humans getting a glimpse of what is going on around us all the time.

This is why I investigate.

Consider everything. Question everything.

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Dukan Diet Menu – What Can I Eat on the Dukan Diet?

Have you heard of the new French diet? The latest import from France, the Dukan Diet is altering the way people think about dieting. Doctor Dukan created a method that offers more than flavorless cardboard fake food and it is not a heart-attack waiting to happen with fats and fatty steaks. During the Dukan Diet, you can enjoy delicious, nutritious foods during every stage of the diet.

In short, the Dukan Diet is a four-stage diet where you shed pounds quickly and avoiding gaining back the weight you lost.

Phase One: Attack You start in the first phase called the “attack” phase – lean proteins are your first stage of attack on your fat. You will only eat lean proteins, chicken, seafood, lean beef and lean ham as advised by Dr. Dukan. You can use lemon juice on fish or chicken. Stay away from fatty meats. You can enjoy shellfish like lobster and shrimp during this phase.

Phase Two: Cruise In the cruise phase or second stage, a long list of approved vegetables is added and alternated with the all-protein days. Examples are lettuce, chard, spinach and broccoli. Avoid starchy vegetables.

Phase Three: Consolidation During the third or consolidation phase, you will begin to add in bread, low-fat butter, fruits, pasta and the other foods you enjoy. Not a free-for-all, Dr. Dukan gives instructions for what foods and how much to eat during this phase.

Phase Four: Stabilization In the final phase or stabilization, you can eat just about anything – six days a week. On the seventh day, you will go back to the all-protein diet from the first phase.

What’s on the Dukan Diet Menu During the first phase, Dr. Dukan shares lots of terrific recipes to get you creatively thinking about recipes of your own. With tons of options like shellfish and chicken, lean ham and lean beef, you have good proteins to start with. Dukan suggests using spices liberally to make delicious dishes. Try grilled shrimp with herbs, sashimi, lemon garlic chicken on the grill, eggs scrambled with basil or chervil and more.

During the cruise phase, you can enjoy all of those good proteins along with tons of yummy veggies. Again, Dr. Dukan gives recipes to assist you during the diet including one for beef and vegetable kabobs and some other terrific and easy to execute recipes. What you can and cannot eat in each phase are clearly explained, so it is not hard to develop your own creative recipes within the guidelines.

During the third and fourth stages – you can enjoy bread, fruit, cheese and other foods. The guidelines are specific about how much you can eat of the newly added foods each day. How much weight you have lost during the first two stages will determine how long you will stay in the third phase. For anyone who has a sweet tooth, Dr. Dukan also offers some fantastic dessert recipes that you can enjoy while dieting. You can find these Dukan Diet dessert recipes and tons of other information on the new French diet on my site.

Common Sources of Back Pain

These days more and more people are complaining about back pain. Back pain can originate from the spine or the muscles. The spine is mobile and consists of bones and discs made of cartilage and a jelly like substance. In the center of the spine is the spinal canal which houses the spinal cord which is a set of nerves that stretch out and control all the muscles in the body. The spinal cord is a part of the nervous system and is the most protected structure in the body along with the brain.

One source of back pain originates in the spine and is caused by a change in the shape of the spinal canal which houses the spinal cord. The nerves of the spinal cord are very sensitive and any abnormality in the structure of the spine and shape of the spinal canal will compress these nerves and cause numbness, tingling and radiating pain and in severe cases paralysis. There are numerous injuries and conditions that can cause an alteration in the spine significant enough to affect the spinal cord and produce back pain. The most common injuries and conditions are lumbar disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, spinal fractures, spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. These conditions are diagnosed by a medical doctor using various methods like neurological examinations, x rays, cat scans and emg tests. Treatment in severe cases for these conditions involves spine surgery to decompress the nerve. However, most cases respond well to more conservative forms of treatment like strengthening and stretching specific muscles of the back as well as improving posture so that the spine has more structural support which reduces the pressure on the nerves. A second form of treatment that is effective is weight loss. Even losing 10lbs will substantially reduce the load on the spine thereby improving pain. The third most effective form of treatment is alternative medicine like acupuncture, massage, magnet therapy and natural medicine.

When structural and neurological factors are ruled out the source of back pain is attributed to pain from the contraction or overburdening of muscles as well as inflammation. There are specific nerve fibers that when activated produce pain, muscle contracture and inflammation in the surrounding area. What is worse is that inflammation and muscle contracture in turn further activates these fibers and this forms a vicious cycle.

These fibers may be activated by an acute injury such as a disc herniation or muscle strain, or may be caused by a chronic condition such as poor posture, muscle imbalance, or repetitive strain injury.

Contracture occurs when a muscle is overworked either too intensely in a short duration or repeatedly for an extended period of time. For example working long hours doing some repetitive physical task will overwork the involved muscles. This case involves dynamic movement; however a muscle can also be overworked without any movement such as when you try to maintain a faulty posture for an extended length of time. Indeed the most common complaints of computer work are back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Both are examples of repetitive strain resulting in pain and inflammation.

Contracture can be made worse when the contracted muscle compresses an artery which decreases blood flow to that area; this creates another vicious cycle because a muscle with less blood supply contracts more easily and lower blood volume also actives the pain nerves. Contracture in these cases can be treated through ergonomic modifications as well as ultrasound treatment, electronic muscle stimulation, stretching, strengthening and massage therapy.

Contracture can also happen when there is a muscular imbalance. A muscular imbalance occurs when some muscle groups are tight and other muscle groups are weak. The tight muscle groups have to work harder which predisposes them to contracture. The most common muscular imbalances that cause back pain are upper cross syndrome and lower cross syndrome. These are diagnosed by postural assessments and muscular imbalance testing and treated with a specific exercise program that aims to strengthen the weak muscles and stretch the tight muscles.

Rosemary Leaf Claims to Improve the Brain

Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) is a Latin name meaning dew-of-the-sea. It is a small evergreen shrub found growing in Portugal, Mediterranean areas like Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, and in France. It is a wood-like plant with rigid branches and a fissured bark. The leaves are needle-like and dark green. It has pale blue flowers that contain volatile oil. Rosemary thrives best in dry, warm soil with lots of light. Leaves are leathery and contain numerous oil glands.

Why does rosemary have blue flowers? Legend tell us that when Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus fled into Egypt, a weary Mary spread her cloak on a white flowered rosemary bush. The flowers miraculously changed to the blue of Mary’s cloak. The Spanish call it romero, meaning ‘pilgrims plant,’ taken from this legend.

After reading the multitude of applications of the herb, one wonders if it is not a miracle drug! Rosemary is most famous for its claim to improve the brain. It is used to treat Alzheimer’s and superstitious people believe a sprig of rosemary placed in a buttonhole will bring good luck and improve memory. Actually rosemary has a long history of use as a memory-enhancing herb, the ‘herb (or spice) of remembrance’ as it is called. In fact, rosemary leaf contains dozens of powerful antioxidant compounds and several compounds that are reported to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain. A favorite blend to improve cognitive impairment, and visual and speech difficulties associated with brain inflammation is rosemary with St. John’s wart and ginkgo. It has similar structural and chemical properties to ginger.

Rosemary can be used both internally and externally to increase blood flow. It has both antispasmodic and diuretic properties to increase urine production and can stimulate menstrual blood flow. Rosemary leaf tea was traditionally used as a medicine for stimulating the appetite, as well as for treating gastric-juice deficiency and to aid digestion. One study says rosemary leaf tea is good for treating poor digestion due to insufficient bile flow through the action of its bitter substances and essential oil.

When applied as a salve, rosemary can assist in healing wounds, neuralgia, mild spasms, eczema, muscle pain, sciatica, rheumatism, as well as treating parasites. Rosemary was used in Roman burial rites. Even into the middle ages, people lay branches of rosemary on the coffin at funerals. Rosemary oil taken from the flowers and leaves has for centuries been mixed with almond or olive oil to massage the scalp, keep hair lush and healthy, and to prevent baldness.

Some recommend rosemary be used for preventing and fighting cataracts, claiming it contains at least four known anti-cataract compounds. Rosemary is recommended as an anti-aging herb, particularly for those with bone and joint conditions. It contains aromatic compounds that have a sedative effect and relieve depression. Rosemary has also been used to treat menstrual disorders, flatulence, dyspepsia, influenza, dropsy, and nervous exhaustion.

Rosemary leaf can be taken as a tea with the recommended dosage of a moderately hot cup of tea taken three times a day half an hour before meals. Other suggestions from internet articles include these: place a fresh bough in a room to cool the air. Boil a handful of rosemary in two cups of water for 10 minutes to yield an antiseptic solution for washing the bathroom and kitchen.

The flowers can be tossed into salads, and crystallized for a garnish. The leaf can be added sparingly to a wide range of foods including breads and beans or pasta dishes. Use rosemary to flavor baked potatoes and to make herb butter for vegetables. When stripped of leaves, rosemary stems can be burned on a fire or barbecued for a lovely aroma.

5 Strategies For Fast Sciatica Relief

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve begins in the lumbo-sacral region (L-4 through S-3) of the spine, as five nerve roots from L-4 through S-3 leave the spine and merge into one large nerve that travels across the buttocks (the gluteal muscles) and down the back of the thigh and then into the lower leg, branching off just above the knee, at the back of the lower thigh, into the peroneal and tibial nerves, and finally giving rise to nerves traveling down into the ankle, feet, and toes. Consequently, sciatic nerve pain or sciatica may be felt at any point along the nerve route, expressing as lower back pain, pain in and/or across the buttocks, leg pain, particularly pain at the back of the leg, pain behind the knee, and even pain, tingling, and/or numbness into the feet and toes. Interestingly, sciatica is not a specific condition but a symptom of a problem at some point along the nerve route, usually but not always at the nerve root itself.

The ultimate sciatica pain relief strategy is ice. Ice is by far the most effective method for immediate and lasting sciatic nerve pain relief. Unfortunately, many people, including many medical experts advise heat for sciatica, in fact for almost all back pain, and that is generally the worst thing you can do. Inflammation and swelling is exacerbated by heat and reduced with ice. Most nerve irritation is the result of inflammation and/or swelling at some point along the nerve route, ice is the recommended treatment. Ice, using an ice compression brace is best but a plain old ice pack will also do just fine. Keep the ice on for as long as you can stand it, providing you have a sheet or thin towel between the ice and your skin to avoid frostbite. This is, of course, anecdotal and based on my experience over 15 major surgeries, 14 on my back…ice works best!

I am not going to get into why people recommend heat, beyond mentioning that proponents argue that heat helps with blood flow to the affected area, specifically nutrition and oxygen, and healing is enhanced, as a result. As you know too well if you experience sciatic nerve pain, when you are in pain the most important thing is relieving the pain! The healing will come later, let’s deal with the sciatica first!

The second sciatic nerve pain relief strategy is stretching. The piriformis muscle, and in particular what is called piriformis syndrome, may be the culprit when it comes to sciatica, or it may be at least partially to blame. The anatomy, where the sciatic nerve is located, along with a muscle imbalance, as the sciatic nerve is located in close proximity to the piriformis, may create the piriformis syndrome. A muscle imbalance may create pressure on the sciatic nerve, creating sciatica. A simple and easy to do stretch can help alleviate discomfort almost immediately.

The sciatica stretch is easy to do while seated in any chair. While seated in a chair, cross your left leg over your right leg so that your left ankle is resting on your right knee, bend forward at the waist pulling the left leg to the chest while continuing to bend forward. You will feel stretching outside of the left leg, as well as in the buttocks, stretching and leaning forward as much as any pain will allow. This stretch may be done to both sides, both legs, but the emphasis should be on the side where you are experiencing the sciatica. If the sciatic nerve pain is due to a muscle imbalance or piriformis syndrome you will feel immediate pain relief, if the pain is the result of a bulging or herniated disc, you may need to rely on other treatment strategies.

The third method is to change your footwear. Often people suffering from back pain in general, and sciatic nerve pain specifically, are wearing the wrong shoes. The importance of proper shoes cannot be overstated! Fashion? Forget about fashion! The only thing that matters when it comes to footwear is pain relief when you are in pain; and, when experiencing sciatica in particular. I recommend New Balance walking shoes because they are rated very high when it comes to heel cushioning; and, because they allow for varying degrees of width and a greater array of sizing alternatives, thus improving fit which translates into a better walking experience. The better fit and cushioning means less impact on the spine and that means less back pain generally and less sciatica specifically.

New Balance shoes are also rated very high for dealing with pronation, another factor to consider when it comes to sciatica. For more information, Runner’s World Magazine has a great website that deals extensively with the proper shoes, as well as pronation and supination. Keep in mind their target audience is a bit different but they still have excellent explanations for both of these conditions and they make recommendations concerning walking shoes, as well as what shoes are ranked highly and for what. The only other shoe worth considering is the Asics Gel-Nimbus 11. This is a runner’s shoe but took the editor’s award for Runner’s World, a huge accomplishment. The shoe mainly won for the “fit and feel” of the shoe. It has memory foam throughout for a great overall fit. I have just ordered a pair, I so will let you know what I think. They are comparably priced to the best New Balance walking shoes.

The fourth sciatic nerve pain relief strategy is water walking. No, I don’t mean swimming, I mean getting into a pool and walking and moving with slow and deliberate movements. I have used this strategy and it is one of the best I have ever found. Not only is the water soothing, even if the water temperature is on the cold side (so much the better, actually!), but the motion itself is therapeutic. I realize not everyone has access to a pool but most communities in the states have a YMCAs or YWCAs. And price shouldn’t be an issue because they have membership rates tailored for any socio-economic bracket. So, there is no reason not to get in the pool at least a couple of times a week. If you use this strategy for a month or two, you will never do without it again, it is that good.

Finally, the fifth sciatic nerve pain relief strategy is rest. This is a short-term pain relief strategy and should not become a permanent method of dealing with sciatica or any other form of back pain…or pain of any sort for that matter. In fact, the reason I left it until last is because it is usually the worst thing you can do as a regular method of dealing with pain. While being active and even exercising may seem counter-intuitive, it is usually the best back pain and sciatic nerve pain relief strategy, period! The more you sit around, the less you do, the more pain you will have, guaranteed! However, there are times when you may need to put your knees up, put the ice pack on your back, and rest. As long as it is short-term and incident specific, fine, rest. But please, do not become a couch-potato as a means of treating sciatica or any other form of back pain, it is the absolutely kiss of death when it comes to overcoming your back pain and/or sciatica.

So there you have them, my five ultimate bad back strategies…or in this case, my five sciatica relief strategies. The best for immediate relief from sciatica is ice. The next-best treatment strategy for sciatic nerve pain relief is stretching, particularly the piriformis/sciatica stretch. The third technique is to switch your shoes, slip into something more comfortable, so to speak. The fourth pain relief strategy is to start walking, water walking that is. By the way, walking, as a rule, is also one of the best long-term strategies and will be dealt with extensively in an upcoming article series. Finally, number five is last for a reason, it should not be abused…rest. Rest, while at times necessary, is not a long-term treatment strategy. In fact, rest is a terrible long-term strategy leading to muscle weakness, muscle atrophy, weight gain, and other negative effects that actually contribute to, instead of alleviating, back pain and sciatica. So, get off the couch or out of the recliner, and certainly out of bed, and start walking…more to follow!

Sore Throat Cure – 5 Easy Ways to Relieve a Painful Throat

An effective sore throat cure needs to address the underlying reasons as to why you have an irritated throat. The majority of painful throats are caused by a low immune system which has allowed the body to be infected by a virus. The common cold, flu, Epstein Barr virus (which causes mono), the cox sackie virus and the herpes virus are frequent triggers. In some cases an infected throat can be triggered by a bacteria like strep or mycoplasma, or by a fungi like Candida.

Irritated throats can also be caused by environmental triggers like exposure to air pollution, dry air, allergens like pollen, dust mite or food allergies. Over use of the voice or breathing through the mouth can also dry the throat membranes out – leading to pain and irritation.

If your painful throat is caused by a virus, bacteria or fungus then your sore throat cure should aim to boost your immune system with nutrients, herbs and a healthy diet. If the cause is an environmental trigger then you will need to avoid or minimize the contact you have with this substance. Overuse of the voice or mouth breathing are both habits which can be eliminated.

Nutrients, herbs, throat gargles and healing foods will all help with these conditions. Let’s have a look at these sore throat cures in more detail:

1) Using nutrients as a sore throat cure

The best nutrients to boost your immune system and fight off infections are vitamin C, beta carotene, zinc and selenium. Zinc is particularly effective if you dissolve a zinc lozenge or tablet slowly in your mouth so that the zinc comes in direct contact with the membranes of the throat. This helps to soothe inflammation and pain.

2) Using herbs as a sore throat cure

There are some powerful herbs like echinacea, olive leaf extract, golden seal and citrus seed extract that act as anti-microbials that kill off the infection. Slippery elm bark is another excellent remedy to soothe pain and irritation. Slippery elm comes as a fine powder that forms a mucilage or gel-like substance when mixed with liquid. It coats the inflamed throat and helps to heal the damaged membranes.

3) Gargling as a sore throat cure

Gargling with a pinch of salt mixed in warm water can help flush microbes and toxins away from the throat to bring relief. Adding a pinch of cayenne pepper will give this remedy even more of a punch.

4) Hot fluids as a sore throat cure

Drinking hot fluids like plain hot water, lemon drinks (with a teaspoon of honey if desired), herb teas and broths can cleanse the throat, re-hydrate the tissues and speed your recovery.

5) Using diet as a sore throat cure

Certain foods like garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne and raw pineapple are excellent anti-inflammatories that can help relieve an irritated throat. Chicken soup is a renowned remedy for respiratory infections as it is high in the amino acid cysteine which helps to thin and expel mucous from the throat area.

Planning a Tonsillectomy – Helping Your Doctor to Help You Have the Best Care

Most people think of tonsillectomy as a children’s surgery. Indeed, many of us in the United States had our tonsils removed as children. There was a time when the surgery was performed with such frequency that siblings might have their tonsils removed simply because an older brother or sister was having a tonsillectomy. The pendulum swung back hard in the 1970’s. The value of the tonsils in warding off illness was often viewed as reason to keep them in spite of frequent bouts of tonsillitis, strep infections, and tonsil stones.

Today, many adults find themselves facing the possibility of undergoing this, “children’s surgery.” Anyone who has cared for a child after tonsillectomy might assume that the recovery is a fairly short and unremarkable experience. This may be true if you’re eight years old. The fact is that an adult will face a longer and more painful recovery than a child will in almost every case. While children have the benefit of a young and robust regenerative body, a grown man or woman has knowledge and experience to help them through stresses upon the body. If we as adults are to avoid the irony of crying like a child over the difficulty of what we thought was a child’s surgery, we must arm ourselves. We must advocate for ourselves.

Gathering knowledge, asking questions, and clearly articulating one’s expectations can greatly improve the adult’s tonsillectomy experience. Patients need to talk frankly with their doctors about the benefits and risks of surgery, and also the risks of keeping those troublesome tonsils. There is still much for the medical community to learn about obstructive sleep apnea, but all indications are that, left untreated, those suffering from this sleep disorder are at high risk for higher blood pressure, depression, sexual dysfunction, and heart disease. While many ear, nose and throat doctors do not view tonsillectomy as an indicated treatment for the disorder, there is ample anecdotal evidence that many tonsillectomy patients experience improved sleep patterns. The short and long-term effects of recurrent tonsillitis and throat infections is hard to measure, but it’s certainly worth a good college try.

Once the decision to undergo tonsillectomy surgery, adults must have frank discussion with their health care provider about pain management. The time to have this discussion is before surgery, not at 3 a.m. some morning when the prescribed pain medications are exhausted and pain is soaring through the roof. Further, there is no reason for a person with cauterization burns covering an area recently carved at with a knife or other instrument should be expected to swallow pills. It’s shocking how often doctors fail to prescribe liquid forms of the medicines they prescribe to tonsillectomy patients.

A plan should also be made to ween the patient off narcotic pain killers. Most tonsillectomy patients complain of depression symptoms in the second week of recovery. While lack of sleep, poor diet, and lack of social interaction often contribute to these feelings, it appears obvious that there is also a chemical component. Most patients experience an ebb and flow of pain during the two weeks following surgery. Initially, residual anesthesia seems to curb breakthrough pain. After this initial one or two-day honeymoon, pain levels rise. After a week, many patients feel some reduction in pain as the tissues heal. During this time, the patient may try reducing or eliminating the narcotic pain medicine, perhaps in favor of an over the counter medicine like acetaminophen. Pain can elevate to its highest levels in the second week, when scabs begin to detach from the tonsil beds. A serious risk exists in managing these pain levels. Most narcotic pain killers in the United States also contain acetaminophen. If a patient attempts to switch from the prescription drug to an over the counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, they may find it inadequate. Switching back to the narcotic pain medicine, acetaminophen levels continue to rise. For this reason, it seems practical for doctors to prescribe these two drugs separately. Without suggesting or insisting on this, patients are very unlikely to receive prescriptions in this manner.

Finally, to ensure the best tonsillectomy recovery experience, adult patients need to have clear understanding of the period of time that will be required In the U.S., the Family Medical Leave Act protects workers from losing their jobs because of family illness. Approval of this type of leave is usually dependent upon doctor’s orders. Patients must strongly advocate for themselves in this process to ensure adequate time is allowed for recovery. Most adult require a minimum of ten days before returning to work. More often two weeks are needed. Communication between patient, employer, and doctor is imperative.

As adults, our happiness and health are not the responsibility of others. We must arm ourselves with information when facing medical decisions and the resulting conditions. Medical professionals are in the business of caring for patients. They need patients’ help to best deliver this care.

How To Deal With Hypothyroidism

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), at the end of 2010 an approximate number of twenty-six million Americans suffer from a thyroid disorder. That means 8.5% of the entire U.S.A population. Moreover, statistics emitted by the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) reveal the concerning fact that one in 4,000 babies born with a congenital thyroid disorder.

Hypothyroidism: What is it?

The most common thyroid disorder is Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by a deficiency of thyroid hormones. The thyroid is an endocrine gland, shaped like a butterfly, which weighs less than 30 grams and is located in the neck. It secretes triiodothyronine and thyroxine which regulates the metabolism, control the body temperature, and affect the heart rate and calcitonin, a hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the organism.

Hypothyroidism (thyroid disease characterized by reduced functioning of the gland) is a condition where the thyroid gland fails to produce and release the adequate amounts of thyroxine.

This condition slows the body’s metabolic activities. Since thyroid hormones have a significant effect on growth, development and daily functions, the deficit may lead to a variety of health problems. Children with this condition may have developmental difficulties. Adults can suffer a slowing of the physical and mental functions, and even heart diseases. Additionally thyroid hypofunction may increase cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Asthenia and slowing, low heart rate, increased sensitivity to cold, unexplained weight gain, constipation, dry skin and hair, heavy menstrual cycles, depression, hoarse voice, infiltrated with a high cholesterol level.

Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary widely depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency. In adults, this condition occurs gradually over several months or years. As metabolism continues to slow down, symptoms become increasingly obvious. Often the first symptoms are a constant fatigue, muscle cramps and the feeling of cold when the temperature is low or moderate. You may show signs of constipation and skin can become dry and lose lustre. Your voice may become hoarse. Some gain weight, usually between 5 and 10 kilograms (11-22lbs.).

In children, the hormones secreted by the thyroid gland are very important for growth, because if the gland is in hypofunction, the child cannot develop physically and mentally normal.

Advanced hypothyroidism is called myxedema. This can occur if the hypothyroid condition is not identified for many years. Symptoms may include dizziness, intense cold intolerance and low body temperature, followed by profound lethargy and, eventually, unconsciousness.

Causes of Hypothyroidism

Edematous-mix coma can be triggered by infection, sedation, surgery or other situations that put the body in a state of stress. Hypothyroidism can occur both sexes and at any age, usually affecting middle-aged women and older adults often go undiagnosed. The disease can have various causes. The thyroid gland may be destroyed by an autoimmune disease where your own immune system attacks the gland. Hypothyroidism can also occur as a result of inflammation of the gland or due to pituitary insufficiency, when the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is not produced anymore. The hormone transmits to the thyroid gland the message to produce thyroxine.


Because hypothyroidism is more common in older women, some doctors recommend all women older than 60 years to be investigated in search of this condition during a routine clinical investigation. Some doctors test pregnant women in search of hypothyroidism. Your doctor may do tests to detect a thyroid that functions inefficiently, if you ever feel tired or slower, if you have dry skin, you’re constipated or voice thickening or if you have had thyroid problems. The most effective way to diagnose hypothyroidism is through blood tests that measure levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine. Low levels of thyroxine and high TSH levels suggest the diagnosis of hypothyroidism.


Treatment of hypothyroidism with poor thyroid functioning is taking synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine, administered on a daily basis. The oral medication restores the adequate quantities of hormones. After treatment, symptoms such as fatigue should begin to yield, although it may be months until all symptoms withdraw. Gradually, the drugs can lower the cholesterol level and decrease the weight caused by the illness. Treatment with levothyroxine is usually lifetime and may be followed by regular blood tests because the body need for thyroid hormones may change very slightly over time.

Alimentation and Diet

Since the condition is often affiliated with obesity, it is important to know that there are ways to deal with the weight gain caused by Hypothyroidism. Elaborate food plans are not necessary, but it is important to carefully choose food based on how it is cooked. Your diet should be based on fruits, vegetables and enough protein and saturated fats, which you find in olive oil, fish, lean meat, egg and so on.

It is important to reduce as much as possible the use of meat, alcohol, coffee, preservatives and food dyes. It is also important to reduce smoking, if it’s the case.

Hypothyroidism in itself does not lead to weight gain. This occurs as a result of metabolic functions slow down, causing the body to store a larger amount of fat. Thus, in the diet for hypothyroidism should not eliminate certain foods in particular, but rather consist in introducing the recommendations of specialists in your diet products beneficial to your metabolism. These foods are:


Yogurt contains a high number of bacteria beneficial for the human organism. Thus it is recommended to search for those yogurt brands rich in pro-biotic bacteria.

Foods rich in iodine

Hypothyroidism occurs due to the insufficient amount of iodine in the body. Supplementing this substance through food rich in iodine will be able to stimulate thyroid hormone production. Foods most recommended in this regard are saltwater fish, seaweed and sushi.

Foods rich in tyrosine

Tyrosine is another amino acid needed to stimulate production of thyroid hormones. Foods rich in tyrosine are: fish, lean meat, lentils and low-fat milk.

Foods rich in selenium

Like iodine or tyrosine, selenium plays an important role in thyroid hormone secretion. Therefore include in your daily alimentation tuna, salmon and brown rice.

Green tea

Green tea plays an important role in increasing the body’s functionality, at the same time stimulating the fat burns. Therefore, if you drink a cup of tea every day, you have a good chance to lose weight.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil hastens the process of thyroid hormone secretion, increases the body’s level of functioning and provides extra energy.


The following foods should be avoided if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism: cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels cabbage, spinach, peaches, pears, strawberries, radishes and millet.

Type 2 Diabetes – Can Curry and Diabetes Really Be Friends? Indian Food Ideal for Diabetics!

Many Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics steer clear of Indian food because it tends to be loaded with blood sugar skyrocketing refined carbs. However, Indian food is more than Mango lassis and garlic naan. There are many tasty and flavorful Indian foods that can satisfy your curry cravings without making your blood sugar fly out of control.

Tandoori Roti: Nothing beats dipping a crispy piece of Indian bread in a spicy Indian side dish like Daal or Aloo Gobi. However, most Indian breads are of the refined variety, meaning they are low in fiber but rich in high glycemic index carbs.

Tandoori roti is a whole grain Indian bread that won’t impact your blood sugar as much as highly refined breads like naan and dosa. However, roti is high in total carbs and you should limit your portions of this bread during your meal to a single piece.

Chana Masala: Indian cuisine is a vegetarians paradise because its foundation is healthy protein sources like legumes. Chana masala is a fiery Northern Indian classic that contains generous amounts of chickpeas. Chickpeas and other beans are important for diabetics because not only are they digested slowly, but the soluble fiber they contain delays the digestion of the rest of the meal.

Bhindi Masala: Okra is a common veggie in Indian that’s gaining more and more popularity stateside. With a unique flavor and texture, it’s no wonder that more and more people are seeking out this green veggie rich in dietary fiber and B vitamins.

Vegetables like okra are a must for diabetic diets because they have a low glycemic index and help you lose excess pounds. Bhindi masala ups the ante on plain-old okra, making it a spicy dish bursting with healthy flavor. Also, a Chinese study found that a compound in Okra reduced the risk of diabetic related kidney damage.

Daal: Indian daal is a lentil-based dish that’s a must at many authentic Indian dinner tables. Lentils are higher in protein and fiber than other carb sources like whole wheat bread or rice.

Tandoori Fish: Fish is bursting with omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation and make blood sugar management easier. Replacing fatty meats in your diet, like pork, can also reduce your risk of heart disease… a condition that most Type 2 diabetics ultimately die from. Tandoori takes boring fish and turns it into a flavor-bursting grilled treat. Tandoori fish pairs perfectly with diabetic friendly Indian dishes like vegetable curry.

What Is The Difference Between Being Obese And Being Clinically Obese?

We are all familiar with the phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and, in many ways, a similar phrase can be applied to weight. Just what do we mean when we say somebody is overweight?

As far as the medical profession is concerned a person’s ideal weight is the weight at which the body functions at its best. As we start to gain weight the excess fat that we are carrying begins to affect the way that the body functions. A little excess weight will not place any great strain on the body but there comes a point at which health problems begin to develop and at this point we are said to be obese. If we continue to gain weight these health problems become increasingly severe until we reach the point at which our weight is likely to give rise to health problems that could literally be a threat to our lives. We have now reached morbid obesity.

But how do we know when we’re overweight, obese or morbidly obese?

The commonly used measure of obesity is known as body mass index, or BMI, and is calculated simply as a ratio of your weight to your height. If having plugged your weight and height into the equation you come out with a number between 18.5 and 24.9 you are said to have a normal weight. However, if you come out with a number between 25.0 and 29.9 you are overweight and between 30.0 and 39.9 you are obese. Once you reach 40 or more you are morbidly obese.

In other words, obesity is simply a function of your weight and height.

Unfortunately, while this is a fairly good way of getting a quick indication of whether or not you are overweight or obese, it’s not entirely accurate and there are a number of factors including age, sex, race, ethnicity and others which are also important in the determination of obesity and which the BMI calculation simply doesn’t take into account.

To get a true measure of obesity a number of factors have to be determined such as those already mentioned as well as you waist measurement, waist to hip ratio, percentage of body fat and a few others and these can only be determined by your doctor in a clinical setting.

In other words you can get a good idea of whether or not you might be obese by calculating your BMI, but you’ll need your doctor to tell you whether or not you are really obese – in other words, clinically obese.

Don’t Confuse Your Baby’s Yeast Infections With Diaper Rash

Yeast infections that affect a baby’s diaper area not the same thing as diaper rash. Unfortunately, many well meaning parents use regular diaper cream and baby powder on the yeast infection and this will do nothing to cure it.

A yeast infection is different from a diaper rash in that it appears as a flat, red rash with scalloped edges that have several tiny rashes around it. A yeast infection rash may extend along the pubic area and onto the lower part of the baby’s abdomen.

The yeast infections that affect babies are called Candidas albicans, which is the most common cause of all types of yeast infections. A pediatrician can determine whether a rash on the groin or a thrush in the mouth of babies is a yeast infection. To get a definite diagnosis the doctor may examine the scrapings of a yeast infection under a microscope.

Babies who are on antibiotics or who are being breastfed by mothers who are taking antibiotics are at higher risk for yeast infections. That’s because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in the body that keep yeast in check. Without these bacteria around, yeast and grow more abundantly.

While applying diaper cream may bring your baby temporary relief from the itching and soreness it will not heal the infection. Without proper treatment, a yeast infection in the baby’s diaper area will get progressively worse.

Anti-fungal medications are the only types of medicine that can get rid of yeast infections. Some pediatricians might write a prescription for Nystatin while others may recommend and over the counter medicine like Lotrim AF to treat the diaper yeast infection.

Using antifungal cream, soaking the baby in warm water two times a day and frequent diaper changes will usually clear up a yeast infection within a few days. While you are treating the yeast infection make sure that your baby’s diapers are loose enough to let air in. When changing your child’s diapers, make sure the skin on his buttocks and groin area is clean and dry.

Some holistic medical practitioners advocate the use of a diaper cream containing tea tree oil to help clear yeast infections in the diaper area. Others recommend using aloe or pressing damp chamomile teabags directly on the baby’s rash. If the yeast persists for more than a week or if your baby has fever or chills you should consult with your pediatrician.

Yeast infections in baby’s can occur despite our best efforts. However, frequent diaper changes can decrease the chances of an infection occurring. Children with yeast infections in the diaper area should not be excluded from daycare because these types of infections are not contagious.

If your baby recently had thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth), her or she may end up with a yeast infection in the diaper area, too. That’s because yeast passes through your baby’s digestive system when he eats and winds up in his stool, which eventually lands in his diaper right next to his warm, damp skin. Yeast thrives in warm, damp environments.

Learn How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore

Before we touch on how to get rid of a cold sore I am going to go over prevention. As they say “Prevention is better than cure” There is no one active way to prevent cold sores completely, however you can greatly reduce the frequency they occur or help to prevent getting the virus, which causes it with a few simple steps.

If there are blisters or cold sores on any part of your body avoid skin contact and kissing; the herpes virus that causes cold sores can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. When a cold sore is present avoid the sharing of personal items like soap etc.

When you have an outbreak wash your hands and be careful when touching other parts of your body. Cold sores can actually appear anywhere on the body so if you have one and touch your eye for example you can spread it to other areas of the body.

Avoid things which can cause cold sores. This can include stress on the body including illness, not enough sleep or damage caused by long exposure to the sun. When you have a cold sore cover it if possible. This will help prevent the spreading of the virus.

Now for how to get rid of a cold sore. You can get what is known as Triple Omega 3-6-1. This contains flax oil, fish oil and what they call borage oil. It comes in the form of capsules. Break open a capsule and put it on your sore.

Then there is Lysine. This is an amino acid. Here is what you do. Take two 500 mg tablets. Do this the minute you feel a cold sore coming on. Then the next day take another two 500 mg tablets.

You can use garlic. Basically cut a clove of garlic and apply it to the affected area. Buy Aloe Vera in a cream or gel form, if you can get the sap directly from the plant then that is even better. Again apply to the cold sore. You can make a cup of green tea. When done drinking it, let the tea bag cool and put it on your sore.

If you would like more on how you can stop cold sores, then click the following link.

One of the Best Treatments For Psoriasis is Homeopathy

The best treatments for psoriasis are those which work by raising the level of your immune system. Psoriasis is a skin condition with a redness, an itch and a scaly skin.

Everyone has slightly different symptoms, and so everyone should be treated with the most appropriate medicine for their unique expression of the condition.

Typical treatments for psoriasis include drugs which simply suppress the symptoms. In doing so, they lower your immune system. Suppressing symptoms are merely covering over the problem, masking the effect. It has nothing to do with curing the condition.

So in searching for the best treatments for psoriasis, you need to try to look back and see when it started. What was going on in your life at the time? This will give you the cause.

Often psoriasis starts after a grief, or after any emotion that was not allowed to run its course of free expression. In the modern world, this is not uncommon. Suppression of emotional feelings is more the norm than a rarity.

But it does your health incalculable harm, because any unresolved emotion creates a blockage in your immune system. This allows all manner of diseases to take hold of you.

Homeopathy works by effortlessly resolving these blockages, so that your immune system can work at its full potential, once more.

The first step to resolving your psoriasis is finding the cause. Homeopathy works on both the cause and the personal symptoms.

Staphyagria is a common homeopathic medicine which can resolve ailments which start after suppressing an emotion. Psoriasis is one of the most common consequences of this suppression.

The unique expression of Staphysagria psoriasis is the itch that changes place as soon as your scratch it. The eruption tends to be dry, with thick scabs and a violent itch.

For any skin condition, it is best to use the most appropriate medicine in a low potency (strength). If you think Staphysagria is a good match for you, then I suggest you purchase it in a 6c potency.

A daily dose for a week will give you an indication that it is working. If you notice nothing at all, after this time, then you may not have the best match.

If the match is a good one, you will notice more than your psoriasis going. You may no longer suppress your emotions, allowing them free expression. Although this is much healthier, it is not always well accepted by family and friends.

Skin conditions can be complicated to treat and the services of a professional homeopath may be the fastest ways to resolve this.

Chinese Dessert – Aloe Vera With Ginkgo Nuts, Longans and White Fungus

Aloe vera with ginkgo nuts, longans and white fungus is a nutritious Chinese dessert (or “tang sui” or “tong sui” in Chinese). This Chinese dessert is suitable to be taken during hot summer days as it has cooling. White fungus usually use in Chinese soup as it is know to benefit the spleen, strengthens the stomach and expel heat. Meanwhile, ginkgo nuts are good for women who experience excessive white discharge and children with weak bladders.

This dessert can be taken cold or hot. Remove the ginkgo nuts by cracking the shell before cooking. To remove the skin from the nuts, keep them in the refrigerator first. This will loosen the skin so that it is easier to peel.

As for the white fungus, soak them in cold water for awhile. Once the white fungus become soft, cut into small pieces.

Remove the aloe vera skin before cooking. Slice them into small pieces.

Longans skin are light brown in color. The flesh is juicy and transparent.


2 pieces white fungus

1/2 cup longans (canned)

1/4 cup ginkgo nuts

1/8 cup aloe vera flesh

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups water


1. Soak the white fungus in cold water for a few minutes.

2. Remove the skin from aloe vera.

3. Remove the shell and skin from the ginkgo nuts.

4. Mix all the ingredients together and boil for 2 hours.

4. Serve when cooked.

This dessert can be boiled longer if you want the nuts to be softer. If you want to boil longer, use a slow cooker and set to high. It will be cooked to perfection in 4 hours time. Add only enough water to cover the ingredients.This will fasten the cooking time. Once the desserts cook, switch off the stove, add sugar and some more boiled water.

For more information, recipes and also pictures of the ingredients, visit author’s Asian food recipes blog.