Common Causes For Back Pain

Our back supports most of the weight of our body and it is exposed to most of mechanical stress. It is a problem of most people, this occurs when your muscles located in your back which supports your spine are constantly used. So what causes back pain? Back pain is basically left over from our previous activities that made our muscles to sprained, strained and used in a sudden way. Here are some common causes of back pain?

First on the list are strains. Muscles located in our backs can rip or tear despite of their sizes and strength. This is the result when there is a sudden application of force to your muscles before they are ready to execute for an activity. Along with the blood vessels the muscles rips which can cause bleeding. It will take 2 to 3 hours to feel the pain this time irritation and bleeding occurs. Pain, swelling and muscle spasms are the usual symptoms.

Next are sprains. This is a condition where your ligaments located in your back are overstretch beyond its limits where your ligaments are going to be ripped off and completely split down.

Pregnancy is also one of the factors of acquiring back pain. Hormonal and physical changes in a woman’s body took place during the whole pregnancy period. During these times women are prone to back pain since there is a growing baby inside their uterus. If you have poor posture or incorrect practice of posture before pregnancy the tendency is it can affect how your back adjusts to the changes. As your lumbar curve begins to bend it push your pelvis to incline backward. It starts to control the destabilized and tired muscles. The growing fetus can also cause pressure and pain straight to your nerves located in your lumbar area.

Other one is Osteoporosis. It is a state where you bone density and strength lessens causing your bones prone to fractures and more fragile than the normal; commonly experience by older people specially those postmenopausal women. At this time women has massive bone loss which results to lessening of bone strength which can lead to fractures in the spine area. Due to the subtlety of its signs and symptoms, people failed to notice till the time they had it already in their system. Commonly the target of Osteoporosis are your vertebrae, wrist and hip where it fractures causing it to deform and this time pain will take place. Your bones are prone to fractures if it becomes porous and brittle.

Last one is arthritis; it is a condition where your joints are damaged. The cartilage located between you joints were torn and worn out, this causes the pain. Common affected areas of arthritis are your hips, hands, knees and lower back.

These are just common causes of back pain. It very important to exercise, eat healthy and do a healthy lifestyle to avoid from unwanted pains. If the pain is there, do not self medicate for better results and relief see your doctor to keep you away from further injuries.

TMJ Pain Causing Dizziness, Ear Fullness and Crackling Sound and Temple Headache

Do you experience jaw pain? Or do you clinch and grind your teeth? If so, then you’re not alone. It’s estimated that over 20% of the general population at one time or another have symptoms relating to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Your jaw or the TMJ is the most frequently used joint in the body. It’s also one of the most complex joints. Much like the knee joint, a small disc of cartilage cushions and separates the TMJ so the jaw may move easily. Each time you talk, chew or swallow you move the TMJ.

The jaw has three functional motions: opening / closing, side-to-side and protrusion / retraction. When the mouth is opened, the TMJ first rotates around a horizontal axis. And as you open your mouth wider, the motion is then combined with gliding of the jaw forward and downward. When you close your mouth the motion is reversed.

A common jaw problem is TMJ dysfunction syndrome. TMJ dysfunction syndrome typically occurs in women between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Early signs and symptoms include jaw clicking, tenderness to the muscles in front of the ear and back of the teeth and dull aching pain in the joint. These symptoms are often followed by spasms of the jaw muscles characterized by pain on movement of the jaw during chew and talking. Gradually, the pain becomes worse and is accompanied by decrease mobility.

Chronic and untreated TMJ dysfunction syndrome can displace the cartilage that causes pressure and stretching of the associated soft tissues and sensory nerves. The displaced cartilage can get trap in certain position when you open your mouth causing your jaw to lock up.

When you clinch and grind your teeth, you increase the wear of the cartilage lining of the joint. You’ll also increase the stress and strain of the associated jaw muscles including the pterygoid, masseter, temporalis and digastric muscles. These muscles are often tight, sore and pain sensitive to touch.

Typical symptoms of TMJ dysfunction syndrome include ear pain, sore jaw muscles, temple headache, jaw pop or clicking, difficulty opening mouth and neck aches. However, people who clinch their teeth a lot may also experience dizziness, disequilibrium and feeling of pressure or fullness in their ears and hear crackling sounds.

Regular clinching of the jaw may also affect the tensor tympani and tensor veli palatini muscles. The tensor tympani muscle controls the movement of the ear drum. When it spasms you’ll hear rumbling and crackling sounds. You’ll often feel that your ear drum is trembling and vibrating like when you’re jumping on a trampoline. The tensor veli palatini muscle controls the diameter of the auditory tube. And when it spasms, you’ll often feel pressure or fullness in your ears.

There are a few things you can do to relief TMJ pain. Avoid chewing gums and eat softer food until the pain subsides. Wearing a mouth guard when you sleep may reduce the stress and strain associated with teeth clinching and grinding. And stretching your mouth may relief your TMJ pain.

Sit in a relax and comfortable position. Now place your tongue in contact with the hard palate as far back as possible while keeping your jaw in a retracted position. Maintaining your tongue and jaw in this position, slowly and rhythmically open your mouth in a limited range ten times. When you finished with this warm up exercise, open your mouth as wide as possible within the pain-free limit and hold this open mouth position for about five seconds. Now relax and close your mouth for five seconds. Repeat this exercise two to three times a day.

If you continue to experience TMJ pain and associated problems despite D-I-Y remedies, consider consulting with a chiropractor specializes with TMJ disorders.

St Johns Wort – A Beautiful Red Infusion Oil For Nerve Damage, Inflammation, and Sensitive Skin

St. John’s Wort is an infusion oil made from the fresh flowering tops of the Hypericum perforatum plant. It lends a beautiful red color to the oil and is used for muscle and joint pain and inflammation, for nerve-related pain such as   neuralgia . It is present in many first-aid preparations.

The active ingredient in St. John’s Wort oil is believed to be hypericin, which is found in the viscid oily substance in the glands of the leaves, petals and stems of the plant. The highest concentration is in the leaves, flowers and buds. Hypercin is know as a psychotropic activator of neuronal metabolism. This possibly accounts for it’s mood-lifting properties. It is recommended for nerve pain such as  neuralgia , sciatica and for some rheumatic pain.

St. John’s Wort is an anti-inflammatory oil useful on wounds where there is nerve tissue damage or in inflamed nerve conditions such as sciatica, tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome. It has also been reported as effective in treating a case of vitiligo (skin condition causing lack of pigmentation resulting in white patches). Hypericin, the red pigment, is being studied as a possible antiviral agent in the management of AIDS.

St. John’s Wort was first recorded as being used in ancient Greece. Native Americans also used the herb. It is not recommended that this oil be taken orally as it can cause side effects. However, it is very safe to use this infused oil topically.

I like to use this oil for cases of nerve damage, especially for carpal tunnel, or tennis elbow. It is a great oil for skin care such as burns, bruises, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, sores and ulcers. I like to use it as a base oil to add essential oils. I will often combine it with Calendula infused oil for various skin aliments. This seems to heighten the effectiveness of both.

I like to make my own St. John’s Wort maceration, and have given instructions for making macerated oils in another ezine article titled: How to Make Your Own Macerated Oils for Skin Care.

Lumbar Spine MRI

Lumbar spine MRI is a highly recommended scanning method for the detection of various lumbar or lower back spinal disorders. This technique employs highly sophisticated technology to produce clear and accurate images of the internal structures.

Ideal to Diagnose Lumbar Disc Abnormalities

Lumbar spine MRI is a procedure that can be recommended for all kinds of patients – the elderly, handicapped, obese and even pediatric patients. Degenerative disc problems such as sprain, strain, herniated disc or other lumbar spine problems can be detected by means of a lumbar spine MRI. These days, this method is may be sought after for disorders such as lumbar stenosis. This is a medical condition that ends up in the narrowing of the spine. Spinal arthritis, primarily seen among the aged people, is another lumbar spinal disorder that can be diagnosed through L-spine MRI.

Hi-Tech Scanning Method more Popular with Patients and Physicians

Latest technological advancements have brought forth a newer development in the area of imaging – the open AIRIS II system. Within minimum time possible, you can accomplish the entire scanning process done. The operation is completely quiet and for claustrophobic patients, the large open air gantry can potentially remove fears about the narrow tubes of the usual MRI machines. This scanning process covers large spinal areas and helps to detect the changes within the discs. Physicians can carry out the diagnosis process easily as this procedure gives detailed images of even the soft tissues.

Precautions

Lumbar spine MRI scanning cannot be performed on people having cardiac pacemakers or other metallic implants in the body. Before going for the scanning procedure, patients are advised to remove metallic objects such as ornaments, removable dental work, hairpins, and metal zippers. Otherwise, the strong magnetic field produced may interfere with these metallic objects while the scanning process is going on.

For any physical disorder, it is advisable to diagnose and treat before it becomes worse. Through lumbar spine MRI, detection and treatment of specific lower back spinal disorders is possible.

How to Become an Effective Speaker

Communication is the key to everything; success, dealing with other people, self development, and so on. We always communicate every day. Life wouldn’t be right if there is no communication. How can you get pass through the day without speaking a single word or without communicating with other people? It’s hard right? The way we communicate touches every phase of our lives.

Below are some tips that you can use to become a good communicator and for self-assessment as well.

1. Knowledge

Sharing your knowledge is very important not only for your own inner growth, but also your social growth. Make sure everybody understands what you want to convey to them. Use words or phrases that everyone can comprehend or else it will be misunderstood.

2. Listen

Listening is just as important as talking. It will help us gain more confidence and you may know what’s going on in their mind regarding the topic you are discussing with them. It is also a way to show respect to the speaker.

3. Be humble

Talking in front of many people is a bit difficult. It is normal to feel tense and make mistakes when talking to them; wrong pronunciation of words, speech impediment, etc. Be humble enough to ask your audience to accept this and if you’re are still unsure then you can make it into a joke.

4. Always keep an eye contact

Another way of communicating with other people aside from using speech is through your eyes. Our eyes are the windows of our soul. An effective speaker knows how to keep eye contact with everyone.

5. Humor

It such a great feeling sharing your knowledge to everyone and at the same time make them laugh. It can ease the tension between you and your listeners, or tediousness while you are speaking.

6. Be one of them

Try to reach your audience and be one of them. In that case, you will know everything about them, their perception and their desires.

7. Practice

Practice makes perfect, it’s true! Face a mirror and start talking in front of it, in that way you can observe how well you can deliver, your pitch tone and any incorrect words.

8. Show your smile

A smile can brighten and lighten up everything. It is much better if you smile while you are talking rather than to frown or show a straight face. If that’s the case, I’m sure no one will listen to what you are saying.

9. Learn from others

Everybody has a role model that they look up to and who inspires them. I’m sure you have already listened to a person who’s speech you have found to be an effective one Take some time to think about how well they deliver their message and learn from it.

10. Be prepared

Nothing beats a person that is too prepared on everything. Preparation is a key component to effective communication.

Effective communication skills are very important on reaching other people. Spend time and effort mastering your communication skills and I told you it is worth the effort.

Guitar Techniques – Palm Muting: How To Palm Mute On Guitar

Palm  muting  on the guitar – what  is  it used for?

It’s used sometimes in various types of music, with both electric and acoustic guitars. It’s often heard in rock music with distorted guitars. Palm  muting  will muffle the ringing of the guitar so the notes don’t ring for as long of a duration when played. When you want to get a chunky sound out of the guitar, palm  muting   is  what you want to use. Palm  muting  can also  be  used to show a contrast between loud and soft, so you can play with palm  mutes  to make it sound muffled, and then unleash a fuller sound by stopping the palm  mute .

How to do it

It takes some practice to get it perfect, but it’s not hard to palm  mute . To do it, you need to take your strumming/picking hand and rest it against the bridge of the guitar. Use the part of your hand just above the wrist. When you want to get the muffled sound from the string you’re playing, you rest it barely against the end of the string. It should still be able to ring a bit, but it will be muffled. If you hear just a “thunk” sound with no tone, then you’ve moved your hand too far up the guitar (towards the neck). Try slowly sliding the hand back as you pick until you get the sound you want. And just rest your hand! There’s no need to push against the guitar. A gentle touch is all you need to get the job done.

Palm  muting   is  not meant to be an exact art. If you want to only  mute  it a little, you’ll have your picking hand resting mostly off the string, just barely touching. If you want to  mute  it more, then you’ll want to slide it farther up. The best way to figure out how to get the sound you want is to play one note over and over on one string, slowly easing the right hand along the end of string by the bridge. Try taking it too far up to hear how you can  mute  the sound completely, and too far down to hear how it has no effect at all. The positions in between are what you’ll want to use.

Once you have the sound you want, you’ll usually  be  able to pick any string and get the same level of palm  muting . Just be cautious that you don’t move the hand too far up or down the strings as you pick if you want to keep the same sound.

Things to try for practice

To practice, you can try walking through a scale while palm  muting . Also try playing some 5th chords (also commonly known as power chords), see if you can get the right sound in all the strings you’re playing. Remember, be careful about accidentally moving the hand while playing. It’ll take some practice, but after you figure it out, it’s not hard to do. If you play an electric guitar, try using distortion. It can often be a lot easier to hear the difference this way.

Also try playing across all the strings while palm  muting  to see what the difference  is  for your hand position. Playing a palm  muted  low E string  is  a bit different than playing the high E string with palm  muting . Most of the time the three lowest strings (E, A, D)  are  used for palm  muting  techniques, but knowing how to palm  mute  the other three may come in handy.

Now? Play!

Now the only thing left for you to do is practice, and get used to the technique. Listen for the technique being used in music you hear. If it’s a song you know how to play, try imitating it. Even if it’s a song you don’t know how to play, you can probably still figure out what’s being done and learn it without too much trouble. But now that you can palm  mute , you can use the skill to broaden your musical sound!

Emergency SMS

The use of SMS messaging is becoming more common in many parts of daily life. In emergency situations as well, SMS is becoming increasingly utilised to help protect and aid the welfare of those at the heart of the disaster, as well as family and friends trying to help and confirm their safety. SMS has application before, during, and after an emergency scenario – with a strong role to play at each stage.

Before a disaster

SMS has clear potential as part of warning systems before disaster strikes. As an example, some modern smoke alarms, such as the Firetext Smoke Alarm, are now being fitted with SIM cards; allowing them to send fire alerts directly to a designated list of recipients. These messages can also be tailored to include the identification of the specific device activated, letting users know exactly where a fire is occurring. Even when shop and land owners are away from their properties, SMS enables peace of mind knowing that should something happen, they can act immediately – potentially saving a great deal of money and potential property damage.

During an emergency

The potential for SMS to aid during the course of an emergency situation is also significant. When communication and coordination is essential, or where it must be conducted on a large scale, the utility of SMS is immense. For example, organisations are able to include emergency SMS as part of their safety action plans, immediately alerting the necessary people about the nature of the emergency and what they need to do in response. With preparation, literally thousands of people can be contacted in only a short time, enabling an organised response. Some institutions, such as Universities and schools, have introduced emergency SMS alert systems allowing those in charge of emergency scenarios to alert registered users in the case of a campus-wide emergency. Such a precaution is significantly important in planning for such events, and could greatly increase the safety of recipients.

SMS in the UK

Emergency SMS has also been successfully introduced in the UK, allowing greater access to emergency services for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and those with speech-impairment. The system, which allows individuals with a registered handset to use the service, involves sending an emergency SMS to a designated emergency number. The contents of this message are then immediately relayed to emergency services, with their response sent back by SMS to the original handset. In this way, citizens whom would be unable to call in during an emergency are enabled access to a critical service.

In the wake of disaster

Following a large scale disaster, information often needs to be distributed quickly. The location and status of survivors, help for both citizen and non-citizens in the affected area, and the dissemination of safety information, are all essential to help coordinate recovery efforts. Of course, SMS is important for individuals trying to contact their friends and family. However, there are other applications, such as Government run information hotlines. These hotlines are able to provide simple information for those in need following a disaster, where phone lines would normally not be suitable. For example, contact information or evacuation details can be requested, which are then responded to by agents, with a message being sent back shortly. SMS has also been used as a way of encouraging financial support for disaster recovery efforts, such as seen shortly after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. For example, in the United States, the Red Cross organisation set up a number which accepted donations via SMS, raising over $5 million in donations.

Overview

Emergency SMS services have been shown to be of substantial use in disaster scenarios. The key for governments and organisations in moving forward with such services, however, will be preparation.

End the Procrastination – Find an Effective Fluency Technique and Use It

End the Procrastination Today

Let today be the end of procrastination of doing something about your stutter / stammer. How many times have you said to yourself, “I really have to do something about my stuttering, it’s driving me crazy and controlling my life.”? How many times have you set a plan in place to do something about it, only to see a good idea fall by the wayside in a short time? There are many reasons why individual goals to act on your stuttering are eroded over time. These can be:

  • Poor commitment
  • Lack of support
  • Lack of understanding from others
  • Poor quality therapy technique
  • Poor motivation levels
  • Lack of self-belief
  • Fear of failure

Perhaps you could sit and think about your previous goals to improve or change the way you are and evaluate why they failed to meet expectations. If the reason/s for not consistently using your fluency technique are any of the above, then in terms of overcoming your stutter, let’s work through them.

Commitment

Originally you came up with a good idea to do something about your fluency, so your original commitment or willingness to act was there and probably strong. Think about what you committed to. Was it realistic and was it something that you could reasonably achieve within a time frame? Were you trying to achieve too much too soon? Did you expect to see major changes without the framework of good self-belief, great technique and friendly support? You see, all the reasons we fail to achieve our fluency goals are entangled and become such an anchor to our road to recovery that, in most cases, we drop the ball and fail.

Write your ideas for self-improvement down and make sure they are realistic, things that you can fairly easily achieve on a daily basis. Write down and highlight small gains and successes. Celebrate and acknowledge each achievement, no matter how small, because over time they will swell to see real change for the best.

Support

When you think of your original plan it is often easy to dismiss the importance of others. It is important to surround yourself with like-minded people, people who are trying to improve their situation in similar ways to yourself. Seek out support groups like the Australian Speak Easy Association, British Stammering Association, Toastmasters and ‘practice buddies’ via Skype around the world. These groups of people will help you achieve your fluency goals both short and long term.

Understanding

Just get yourself out there. If people don’t know what you are trying to achieve with your fluency, then of course there will be a lack of understanding from others. Tell people what you are trying to achieve. Start with the people you know well, your family and loved ones. Their understanding and support will help you maintain your own focus on your goals.

Technique

Of course the best and most committed individual without a proven, speech pathology-backed technique would be hard-pressed to achieve success. Seek out the very best evidence-based technique, something that you know works, and commit to it. Be positive about it and use it. Practise at every opportunity and allow yourself the time to practise. Never allow your new technique to become a negative. You know your new technique works. You have had success with the technique and it has provided you with a tool for the management of your fluency. Even if you go through rough periods, it is not the fault of the technique. In many ways, negative thinking drives our dysfluency and eats away at many positive changes we set in place.

Poor Motivation, Lack of Self-Belief and Fear of Failure

These are all cognitive issues. Once you set in place a wonderful fluency technique, then it is important to consider the cognitive processes. ‘Cognition’ means ‘the act or process of knowing; perception’. Cognitive behaviour involves our thinking. Individual perceptions can vary considerably. How one person perceives an issue can be very different to the next person. The act of stuttering over many years can cause distorted perceptions about yourself and others. If this type of thinking is not addressed then the individual can go through life with a set of negative beliefs about him/herself in relation to the stuttering. Current research shows that the use of cognitive treatment as part of stuttering therapy helps to maximise success.

Let today be the end of procrastination of doing something about your stutter / stammer.

Speech Therapy Ideas to Overcome Stuttering Quickly and Easily

In order to stop stuttering in the quickest amount of time possible, you need to have a set plan of therapy. Luckily, there are many speech therapy ideas that are quick and easy to follow.

Stuttering or stammering is a speech disorder wherein the person repeats certain letters or syllables, which disrupts the smooth flow of words. It is difficult at times to understand what the person means because of this condition. Sometimes, a person suffering from this disorder tends to have inferiority in expressing himself to others because he is afraid to get laughed at. This is the reason why many speech therapy ideas had been developed over the years to help people overcome stuttering.

Some of these ideas for speech therapy include:

  1. Reading aloud
  2. Games
  3. Conversational Therapy
  4. Facial Exercises

The first exercise is reading aloud. Although this may sound very simple to you, to people who are constantly stuttering, this is quite a challenge. It would be better to have two materials ready. One is an audio that the person can listen to and learn the right pronunciation, diction, and phrasing of the words in the selection. Give the person a written copy of the same material and let him read this after listening to the audio. Constant practice of this skill will help the person to pronounce the words clearly and practice speaking the words straight.

You can also try playing games to make learning a bit more fun and less awkward especially to adult participants who may find it embarrassing to be undergoing these sessions at their age. Participants can first learn tongue twisters, which are generally sentences with difficult words to pronounce. This may also include alliterations with every first letter of the word in each sentence being the same. Each participant can then take turns to recite these tongue twisters and for those that get these right, will get a prize.

On the other hand, if these two speech therapy ideas are not yet enough, then you can try conversational therapy. As the name implies, this is a simple technique to engage the participant in a natural conversation. The first thing you need to remember when doing this speech therapy is that you have to make the participant feel at home and at ease with his surrounding. Becoming more relaxed will make it easier for the participant to open up and express himself. At first, there might be difficulty in pronouncing the words and saying the sentences straight. However, as time goes by and as you get more practice, there will be improved changes in the speech. You can talk about anything under the sun for as long as you are able to get the person to talk and express himself.

Facial exercise is also one good therapy to improve speech. Most of the time, the muscles in the face have become stiff that they need to be loosened up through the usual facial exercises. You can also massage the face to loosen up the facial muscles around the cheeks and mouth area.

These are just some speech therapy ideas that you can do to help people who are stuttering. It would certainly help them a lot if you practice these more often to see improved changes.

Garlic Breath

Garlic is notorious for causing garlic breath. You don’t even have to eat the stuff – just get it on your fingers and it will be absorbed through the skin and appear on your breath in moments. Though widely admired for flavor and healthful properties, garlic is no friend to take on a date. (If you do eat it, try to make sure your companions are eating it too. You will cancel each other out.)

Garlic bad breath is basically caused by the same thing that causes the other common type of halitosis: sulfur. Molecules in the garlic combine to create sulfur molecules, which have an unpleasant odor detectable in the breath. In common halitosis, the sulfur compounds are produced by bacteria in the mouth, and this only makes the breath smell bad. Garlic breath, in contrast, usually goes along with an unpleasant odor in perspiration as well.

Of course, garlic bad breath is easy to avoid – just don’t eat garlic. Many of us, however, enjoy garlic so much that we don’t want to give it up. Spaghetti without garlic bread just isn’t the same. So we need an antidote for garlic breath. The best antidote is time. In a day or two, usually less than twenty-four hours, the sulfur compounds will be cleared from the body and the odor will go away until next time. This is a pleasant contrast with halitosis caused by bacteria in the mouth, which are very difficult to get rid of.

Other approaches to dealing with garlic bad breath include masking the odor with perfume, deodorants, breath mints, and other scents. You can also chew on a clove or cardamom seed to cover the smell of garlic. Many people recommend chewing on a sprig of fresh parsley, or adding chopped fresh parsley to a dish at the end of cooking (so that the parsley doesn’t cook). If you are taking garlic for health reasons, you can buy capsules that are odor free: they will not give you garlic breath.

When you have just enjoyed a meal full of delicious garlic, you may tend to keep your distance from family members and co-workers. You may be afraid to exhale, not being able to gauge the extent of your garlic bad breath. You may warn people not to come near. Remember though, that most people like garlic. Most people suffer from garlic breath from time to time. They understand, and they’ll forgive you for your garlic breath.

Navigating Drive-Through Window Pharmacy Services

People feel self-rewarded when they use time efficiently. To save time, drive-through banking, fast food, beverage depots, pharmacy, and cleaning services are taken for granted as a way of life. Wait a second? Drive-through windows for pharmacy services; is that a good choice? Drive-through pharmacy services are primarily about convenience and access. Understandably, when traveling with a car-load of small children; why venture into the pharmacy when everything gets done without leaving the vehicle. Or, if it’s a rainy rain, a bad hair day, a sloppy dress day, or a sick day; pick up the medication at the window – mission accomplished. For people with limited mobility, the drive-through window provides easy access.

Although people wish to get their medication as quickly as possible, regardless of whether they are in the store or at the drive-through window, pharmacists may not have time to get to the drive- through window to answer questions and provide advice about medication use. In addition, access to drug and insurance information from this area may be limited. As medications are likely stored near the main counter and not near the drive-through window, problems can arise in workflow; creating additional challenges for pharmacists to take care of people at the counter and people at the drive-through window.

Oftentimes, information for customers at the drive-through window has to be relayed from the pharmacist to the customer through pharmacy staff members. An indirect communication process suggests a greater risk for miscommunication, which can lead to delays in prescription processing.

Another issue with drive-through window pharmacies is the ever looming topic of dispensing errors. Do more dispensing errors occur in pharmacies with drive-through windows? While pharmacists perceive that pharmacies with drive-through windows contribute to dispensing errors and increase the risk for errors, there is no direct evidence to support these perceptions.

To answer this question, a careful examination of pharmacy incidence reports is required. Incidence reports are filled out each time a dispensing error occurs in the pharmacy. Errors can be attributed to the wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong quantity dispensed, and wrong directions. From the content of these reports, it would be possible to compare the number of dispensing errors that occurred before and after the pharmacy drive-through window was added. The problem; however, is getting the data.

In addition to these concerns, the thought of having to wait for a pharmacist to get to the drive-through window may be frustrating for some and, ultimately, defeats the purpose of going to the drive-through window in the first place. Not to mention the insurance issues, they can increase the wait time to what seems like eternity! If that’s the case, discussing insurance issues directly with the pharmacist while waiting in a comfortable store sounds better than being engulfed by exhaust fumes.

When viewed in commercials, pharmacists are positioned behind the counter giving out important advice about proper medication use and answering health-related questions. From commercials and other sources, it appears that pharmacists do their best professional work over-the-counter; not hanging around a drive-through window yelling out to people about medication use or skating toward a vehicle to deliver medications.

The bottom line, drive-through windows for pharmacy services should be off-limits to pharmacists. If people want to discuss their medications with a pharmacist, select the most effective medications, or deal with medical and insurance issues; they should come inside the store or call the pharmacy to discuss these issues directly with the pharmacist. Or, schedule a time when the pharmacist can return a call for an on-line consultation.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

DUIs are most commonly associated with drunk drivers. In reality, drunk drivers represent only one group that composes DUI arrests. Often times, DUI arrests result from drivers who are under the influence of  drugs .  Drugs  include prescription  drugs , over-the-counter  drugs , illegal  drugs , or any other foreign substance that impairs your judgment.

Drivers impaired by  drugs  are the cause of several types of car accidents that can result in severe injury and death. In many cases, these drivers also face illegal  drugs  possession charges. Using  drugs  and driving is a serious offense that may have grave consequences.

Mixing  drugs  in small doses can be even more dangerous than taking one  drug  in excess. For instance, mixing small amounts of marijuana and alcohol can impair your judgment much more than smoking a large amount of marijuana or drinking a large amount of alcohol alone.

Different  drugs  affect people in different ways, but each can seriously impair a person’s ability to safely operate an automobile. Some common effects of  drug  use are:

  • Reduced reaction time, which can be the difference between braking to avoid a fellow motorist and causing a major car wreck
  • Impaired eyesight, which can make a driver unaware of his or her surroundings
  • Physical impairment, which may lead to injuries of both the driver and other motorists
  • Hallucinations, which may cause a driver to lose sight of the task of driving
  • Irrational behavior, which may cause a driver to become overwhelmed with emotions, making him or her dangerous to other motorists

When coupled with operating an automobile, the effects of using  drugs  become hazardous to everyone on the road. Those who drive under the influence of  drugs  put fellow motorists in danger. Those who actually do cause injuries and death should be held accountable for their actions.

The Future of Herbal Medicines Within Modern Society

What are Herbal Medicines?

“Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, and phytotherapy.” 1 These medicines use plant-based materials for the treatment of specific symptoms or diseases with many herbs and herbal formulations having been used for centuries within different cultures e.g. India and China.

Current Trends and Regulations

Today, the public is more informed about their health and the options available to them to prevent and/or treat disease. Couple this knowledge with the current focus on organics and health foods, herbal medicines have become increasingly popular. The traditional herbs and herbal formulations used in India and China are making their way into Europe and so increasing the range of herbal medicines available. Because of this trend, it is even more important that people are aware that herbal medicines do have a physiological effect on the body and therefore, should be used with care. Until recently, the regulation of herbal remedies within the UK has been fairly relaxed but particular safety concerns have come to light, for example, the interaction of St John’s Wort with some conventional medicines.

Currently herbal medicines can reach the market via the following three routes:

o Unlicensed herbal remedies

o Registered traditional herbal medicines

o Licensed herbal medicines

a) Unlicensed herbal remedies

At the moment most herbal remedies within the UK are unlicensed as they are exempt from holding a product licence or marketing authorisation as per the exemption outlined in Section 12 of the Medicines Act 1968.

b) Registered traditional herbal medicines

On the 30th October 2005 a new scheme the “Traditional Herbal Medicines Registration Scheme” was introduced within the UK which is also a requirement of the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products (2004/24/EC). This is a simplified registration scheme where remedies are required to meet standards of safety and quality but not necessarily the same level of efficacy as for a fully licensed product.

c) Licensed herbal medicines

Currently there are approximately 500 herbal medicines which have a product licence (marketing authorisation). In order to obtain a product licence, a company has to demonstrate that their herbal medicine meets certain standards of safety, quality and efficacy. For many, it has been difficult to meet the required criteria and this is one of the reasons why the Traditional Herbal Medicines Registration Scheme has been introduced. Licensed herbal medicines can be readily identified by a unique nine number Product Licence number on the product container or packaging with the prefix “PL”.

The Future

Due to safety and quality concerns, the sale of unlicensed herbal remedies is no longer allowed and all herbal medicines must have either a Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) or a Product Licence (PL). There is, however, one exception to this and that’s where the herbal remedy can meet both of the following requirements:

1) it is legally on the UK market as an unlicensed herbal remedy in accordance with s12(2) of the Medicines Act 1968 and

2) was also legally on the UK market under s12(2) at 30 April 2004

As long as the herbal remedy does meet these two requirements, it will qualify for transitional protection and, therefore, can continue to be marketed as an unlicensed herbal remedy until 30 April 2011 provided it continues to comply with the requirements of s12(2). 2

All companies must take note that any herbal remedy which does not have a Traditional Herbal Registration or a Product Licence after 30 April 2011 will not be allowed to sell or market their remedy. If it is already on the market, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will insist that it is withdrawn even if the company has submitted their application and are waiting for approval.

Recently, the MHRA demonstrated their authority to withdraw a product from the market. They discovered that Neal’s Yard Remedies’ homeopathic product “Malaria Officinalis 30c” didn’t have a product licence even though all homeopathic remedies are classed as medicines and this product was clearly to be used for the treatment or prevention of malaria. The company have now withdrawn this remedy.3

Today, the challenge for herbal companies is to provide the correct information to satisfy the criteria and standards set by the MHRA in order to continue selling their herbal remedies. With tight budgets and lack of resources, it is important to consultant a regulatory professional who has experience in liaising with the MHRA and deals with regulations on a day-to-day basis. A regulatory compliance consultancy, such as Global Regulatory Services, can help ease this extra regulatory burden and ensure that herbal remedies can continue to be offered to the public as a safe alternative and/or complementary product to conventional medicine.

1 Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

2 Source: MHRA

3 Source: MHRA Press Release, 6 May 2008

Emergency First Aid Advice – What to Do If Someone Faints

Most of us will have experienced a faint at some point in our lives, but what exactly causes this phenomenon?

A faint is a brief and sudden loss of consciousness, normally due to a reduction in the blood flow to the brain. Normally, a faint results in a person falling to the floor.

The brain requires a constant supply of Oxygen and Nutrients, this supply is provided by the blood. There are numerous things that can interrupt this supply. For example, blood tends to pool in the legs during periods of inactivity (e.g: standing or sitting for long periods of time). If you suddenly stand up, the heart has to work harder to pump this blood upwards against gravity. This can cause a “head rush” in some people, with a feeling of dizziness. However in other people, this interruption in the blood supply to the brain causes them to loose consciousness – a faint.

Generally once a person has fainted and fallen to the floor, they regain consciousness very quickly. This is because when lying down, the heart finds it easier to pump blood to the brain as it isn’t working against gravity.

There are some tell-tale signs that someone is going to faint. They may go very pale/white, and look unsteady on their feet. Also they may complain of feeling ‘light headed’ or ‘funny’.

First aid treatment for a faint

If someone complains of feeling faint you should sit them down on the floor if possible until they feel better. This is to prevent any injuries occurring if they do fall. You should not ask them to sit in a chair with their head between their knees. This is because if they fall they could suffer a serious head injury.

If someone has fainted, you should:

  • Raise their legs to improve the blood supply to the brain.
  • If they’ve fallen, check for any injuries such as fractures or sprains & strains.
  • Once they recover, help them sit up gradually. Don’t let the casualty stand up straight away as they may just faint again!

If they casualty does not wake up, you should open their airway by tilting their head backwards and check to see if they’re breathing. If they are, roll them onto their side and call an ambulance. If they are not breathing then commence Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

If the casualty recovers fully and hasn’t suffered any injuries, there is no need to call an ambulance. If they are not sure what caused the faint, or haven’t fainting before then it is advisable for them to seek medical attention. Occasionally, a faint can be the sign of a more serious underlying medical condition.

If someone is fainting on a regular without any known cause, they should be encouraged to seek urgent medical advice.

Cancer Prevention – 5 Natural Foods That Prevent Cancer

 Cancer  is one of the major causes of death worldwide. According to an estimate, it is believed that one third of deaths across the world are caused by it. There is a general belief that  cancer  is a hereditary disease. Though external factors such as chemicals, pollution etc are also believed to cause  cancer . Our lifestyle and food habits are major contributory factors of  cancer .

The national  cancer  institute as well as world  cancer  research fund believes in healthy eating to prevent  cancer . The five important foods to be incorporated in our daily diet for preventing  cancer  are as follows:

Vegetables:

Broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, carrot, sweet potato, spinach, beans, avocado, lettuce, asparagus are some of the vegetables to be included in our daily meal to protect ourselves from  cancer . Broccoli, cauliflower, kale contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which help reduce the risk of prostate or any other form of  cancer . Beans, spinach, lettuce, avocado contain folate which is a preventive food for pancreatic  cancer . Tomatoes and sweet potatoes are rich source of beta carotene, a preventive vitamin. Vegetables should be preferably taken in raw form as they are richer in nutrients.

Fruits:

Another important food group to be included in our day to day life for avoiding  cancer . Fresh, organically cultivated fruits eaten in raw form or extracted as juice prove healthy for an individual. Fruits like banana, grapefruit, orange, papaya, red grapes, strawberries, raspberries; blueberries are few important fruits which help reduce  cancer . Papaya is believed to prevent the absorption of nitrosamines from processed food and cultivation soil, which are major cause of  cancer . While banana is rich in potassium and red grapes are rich in bioflavonoid; the berries too are believed to possess anti cancerous nutrients.

Fish:

This white meat is rich in Omega 3s and essential fatty acids which act as a preventive measure against breast  cancer . They are healthy for our heart and brain. The fish oil is believed to protect from prostate and colon  cancer .

Liquids:

drinking lots of water, juice, green tea and chai is essential for keeping our body healthy. Drinking 5 liters of water everyday washes down all the toxins from our body. While vegetable and fruit juices provide essential nutrients and vitamins. Green tea is a rich source of antioxidant. It has been proven by the American institute of  cancer  research that green tea contains phytochemicals which are believed to stop the transformation of normal cells to cancerous cells.

Soy:

it is a rich source of protein. At the same time soy is also believed to be rich is phytochemicals responsible for prevention of breast  cancer . Soy can be taken daily as soy milk, tofu, granules, pulse. Any form of soy proves beneficial except the processed form. We should avoid soy chips rich in salt as well as other processed soy snacks. In fact any form of processed food be it salami, chips, sausages or cool drinks is unhealthy and major cause of different kinds of  cancer .

To Your Health!