The Symptoms of Thrush – The Signs to Look For

Thrush is an infection which will happen to most people at some point in their lives. Although women are traditionally most susceptible to thrush in the vaginal form of the disease, it also affects men and children in its more generic forms.

Thrush occurs when a yeast called Candida, which is naturally on the body, grows out of control.

In babies, thrush occurs because the immune system, which regularly controls the yeast, is not developed enough to keep it in balance. A breastfeeding-feeding mother may get a yeast infection of her nipples if her baby has thrush. This can cause sore, red nipples.

Many people will develop thrush after having taken a course of antibiotics which create an imbalance in the body as they are trying to combat disease. This gives the candida an opportunity to grow, which leads to the thrush infection.

In oral thrush, the most common symptoms are white patches which stick to the inside of the mouth and the skin. White patches elsewhere on the body can indicate a skin thrush infection. It looks like cottage cheese. Vaginal thrush is a thick mucusy discharge which also looks like cottage cheese.

Poor appetite and rashes in the area of ​​the infection are also common symptoms that a thrush infection has occurred.

Thrush is traditionally treated by over the counter creams of suppositories which act to combat the symptoms. However, newer homeopathic remedies, such as Yeastrol, are now becoming the recommended cure of physicians, as herbal remedies do not cause such an imbalance as medicinal treatments. In addition, these herbal remedies maintain the bodies candida balance and negate further yeast infections occurring.

Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Explained

WHAT IS VIRAL HEPATITIS?

Viral Hepatitis: This is the inflammation and necrosis of the liver caused by a virus or group of viruses.

There are other types of hepatitis including hepatotoxic and drugs related hepatitis and alcoholic hepatitis.

Types of Viral Hepatitis

There are many types of viral hepatitis

Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E and G etc

HEPATITIS B: It is caused by the Hepatitis B virus. A DNA hepadna virus with a partially double-stranded DNA genome.

HEPATITIS C: This is a serious and often-silent liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus – a single stranded RNA virus.At least six major genotypes have been identified.

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

Hepatitis B and C viruses are transmitted by contact with infected blood or blood products

For example, via contaminated needles (including unsterilized tattoo needles), accidental needle-sticks in healthcare workers, and unprotected sex, sharing nailclippers, razors, or toothbrushes
-Unscreened Blood Transfusions.

OTHER MODES OF TRANSMISSION

It can also be present in saliva, semen and vaginal secretions and through HbsAg positive mothers to child (maternal-neonatal transmission). Hepatitis B is prevalent in homosexuals and intravenous drug users but most cases result from heterosexual transmission. The incubation period of hepatitis B is 6 weeks to 6 months (average of 12 – 14 weeks). That of Hepatitis C is between 6-7 weeks and clinical illness is often mild, usually asymptomatic.

Signs and Symptoms

Hepatitis C has been called "the silent killer" because the virus often hides in the body for years, escaping detection as it attacks the liver. Since most people do not have warning signs of hepatitis C (or do not know how or when they were infected).
They do not seek treatment until many years later. By the time hepatitis C symptoms appear or a diagnosis is made, the damage often is well underway.

If symptoms do appear, they may be mild or severe. Among the most common complaints are:
Fatigue
Fever
Muscle or joint pain
Poor appetite
Nausea
Pain in the upper right part of the abdomen
Dark yellow urine
Vomiting
Yellowish skin or eyes (jaundice)
Itchy skin
Pale stools, easy bleeding, easy bruising.

Yellow Eyes: A Symptom

Acute and Chronic Hepatitis
ACUTE HEPATITIS as the name implies means the illness is sudden and short-lived, occurring within the first two weeks to six months of infection.

In up to 25% of cases, the virus clears from the body on its own without treatment.

CHRONIC HEPATITIS:

For hepatitis to change from an acute state to chronic, there should be persistent infection after six months and often much longer.

An estimated 75% to 85% of people with acute hepatitis go on to develop chronic infection.

Diagnosis of Hepatitis

Without symptoms arise, people with hepatitis C usually do not know that they have the infection until it's discovered during routine blood testing.

Simple blood test can tell if one is infected or not.

The routine tests include:
Tests for HbsAg
Tests for Anti-HCV.

Further tests and assays are proceeded for individuals who test positive to the above tests.

THE COMPLICATIONS OF CHRONIC HEPATITIS

As many as one in four people with chronic hepatitis C go on to develop cirrhosis, or severe scarring of the liver.

These people may have additional symptoms, including swilling of the legs and abdomen, spider-like blood vessels, and a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream that can lead to brain damage.

Individuals with chronic hepatitis B, particularly when HBV infection is admitted early in life and viral replication persists, are at substantial risk of having cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Chronic hepatitis C is also one of the leading causes of liver cancer.

TREATMENTS

Treatments have vastly improved over the years. Today's medications are more effective at ridding the body of the virus, and they have fewer side effects.

The type of treatment you receive will depend on the genotype, or strain, of your hepatitis, as well as how much damage the liver has sustained.

TREATMENT OF HEPATITIS B

The goal of treating chronic hepatitis B is to control the virus and keep it from damaging the liver. This begins with regular monitoring for signs of liver disease.

Antiviral medications may help, but not everyone can take them.

TREATMENTS: CHRONIC HEPATITIS C

Medications
Some of the newer medicines for hepatitis C genotypes 1, 2, and 3 include: Daclatasvir (Daklinza); Elbasvir / grazoprevir (Zepatier); Ledipasvir (Harvoni); Ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir with dasabuvir tablets (Viekira Pak); Sofosbuvir / velpatasvir (Epclusa); Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi); Daclatasvir (Daklinza) with sofosbuvir (Sovaldi); and Sofosbuvir / velpatasvir (Epclusa).
Injectibles

PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF HEPATITIS B

The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants at birth and for adults

PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF HEPATITIS C

Currently, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.

Avoid any contacts with body fluids by protecting yourself using protective measures.

FACTS ABOUT STDs

Chlamydia: This is a common STD that can lead to infertility if left untreated. It clears up quickly with antibiotics. But it often goes unnoticed because symptoms are vague or absent.

Women with symptoms may notice

– An abnormal vaginal discharge;
– A painful urinating.

Symptoms in men can include:
A discharge from their
penis;
A burning sensation when
urinating; (dysuria)
Pain and swilling in one
or both testicles
Can chlamydia be cured?

Yes, chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on.

GONORRHEA

Gonorrhea spreads easily and can lead to infertility in both men and women.
Antibiotics can stop the infection.

– Burning during urination and discharge.
– Later, the infection may cause skin rashes or spread to the joints and blood.

In Men: Discharge from the penis, swollen testicles.

In Women: Vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, spotting. Symptoms may be mild and are easily confused with a urinary tract or vaginal infection.

SIPHILIS

Most people do not notice the early symptoms of syphilis. Without treatment, it can lead to paralysis, blindness, and death.

Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.

Signs and Symptoms: The first sign is usually a firm, round, painless sore on the genitals or anus. The disease spreads through direct contact with this sore.

Later, there may be a rash on the soles, palms, or other parts of the body, as well as swollen glands, fever, hair loss, or fatigue. In the late stage, damage to organs such as the heart, brain, liver, nerves, and eyes occurs.

Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2

Most cases of genital herpes are caused by a virus called HSV-2. It's highly contagious and can spread through intercourse or direct contact with a herpes sore.

There is no cure. But antiviral drugs can make outbreaks less frequent and help clear up symptoms more quickly.

Symptoms: Fluid-filled blisters that form painful, crusted sores on the genitals, anus, thighs, or buttocks. Can spread to the lips through oral contact.

HIV / AIDS

The HIV virus weakens the body's defense against infections. HIV spreads through unprotected sex, needle sharing, or being born to an infected mother. It may cause no symptoms for years, so a blood test is the best way to learn your status.

Timely treatment is important to help prevent serious illnesses. Many have no symptoms, but some people get temporary flu-like symptoms one to two months after infection: swollen glands (seen here), a fever, headaches, and fatigue. Canker sores in the mouth can occur, too.

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR HIV

While there is no cure for HIV, there are medications that can suppress the amount of virus multiplying inside the body. People take a combination of antiviral drugs in hopes of preventing the infection from advocating to AIDS.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite that spreads during sexual contact. It can be cured with prescription drugs.

Signs and Symptoms in Men: Most men have no obvious symptoms. Some develop a mild discharge or slight burning during urination.

Signs and Symptoms in Women: Women may develop a yellow-green discharge with a strong odor, vaginal itching, or pain during sex or urination. Symptoms usually begin five to 28 days after acquitting the parasite.

COMPLICATIONS OF STDs

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious complication of untreated STDs, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea.

It happens when bacteria spread to infect the uterus and other female reproductive organisms. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent damage to a woman's fertility.

Signs and Symptoms: Lower abdominal pain, fever, unusual discharge, painful intercourse, painful urination, and spotting. However, there are often no warning signs.

Who's at Risk for STDs?

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for an STD, regardless of gender, race, social class, or sexual orientation.

That said, teenagers and young adults acquire STDs more easily than older people.

Can Virgins Get STDs?

Yes, they can. Many STDs spread through any type of sexual activity, including skin-to-skin contact and oral sex. This is especially true of STDs that produce genital lesions or sores.

Preventing STDs

The best ways to avoid getting an STD are to abstain from any sexual contact.

Do not share sharps and needles.

Avoid the use of unsterilized objects.

Make hyiene a priority.

Alcoholic Liver Disease Or Alcoholic Hepatitis

When the liver becomes damaged and the cause is related to alcohol, this condition is known as "alcoholic liver disease" or "alcoholic hepatitis". This condition should not be confused, however, with cirrhosis of the liver as cirrhosis is a specific condition that is primarily caused by alcohol but can also occur due to other medical conditions or diseases of the liver.

Alcoholic hepatitis is typically used to describe a variety of multiple symptoms or conditions that occurs during the beginning stages of alcoholic liver disease and damage that occurring to the liver can be potentially reversed when an individual stops consuming alcohol. When an individual has reached the stage of alcoholic liver disease, typically the liver has been damaged intensively.

The Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholic Liver Disease

The liver is responsible for over five hundred functions of which most are essential to the human body for sustaining life. In the first stages of alcoholic liver disease an individual may be asymptomatic – meaning that they will not have any noticeable symptoms – until the disease has progressed to "alcoholic fatty liver disease", hepatitis, or the final stages of alcoholic liver disease which is " cirrhosis ". These symptoms may include:

• Having pain or tenderness in the abdominal area.
• Chronic fatigue.
• Having a dry mouth or excessive thirst.
• Unexplained weight loss.
• Having nausea or a loss of appetite.
• Jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes or skin).
• Fever.
• Mental confusion.

The Stages of Alcoholic Liver Disease

"Fatty liver disease" occurs in the beginning stages of alcoholic liver disease and can develop even when consuming alcohol for only a period of a few days due to the fact that alcohol causes the build up of fatty acids within the liver.

At this stage of alcoholic liver disease, there is typically no symptoms that are noticeable and this condition can be reversed when the consumption of alcohol has been ceased for a period of approximately two weeks.

When the disease has progressed to the second stage – hepatitis of the liver – the liver tissues have become inflamed from the extensive use of alcohol, however, this condition can also occur after an individual has partaken in a form of "binge drinking". While this is a more serious type of liver damage, it can also be potentially reversed when the consumption of alcohol has been ceased for a period of several months or it may take a few years.

When an individual has developed cirrhosis of the liver, this is the final stage of alcoholic liver disease and can be a life threatening condition. Cirrhosis of the liver is the condition in which the liver has developed scar tissue due to the prolonged period of time that inflammation has occurred from alcohol consumption.

This scarring is irreversible and will cause the adverse of liver functioning with the severing depending upon how extensively this scarring has damaged the liver. In serious cases, this condition can lead to liver failure.

While this condition is irreversible, further damage can be preverted if the individual immediately ceases their consumption of alcohol. Alcoholism is a disease and the number one cause of cirrhosis of the liver; therefore, if you have a problem with alcohol abuse, it is essential that you seek professional help for your addiction.

How Kidney Stones in Women Are Starting to Decline

For women, the prevalence of kidney stones peaks in their 50s. Once a person gets more than one stone, other stones are likely to develop. This type of stone, also called an infection stone, is more commonly found in women and developments when a urinary tract infection affects the chemical balance of urine. The kidney stones in women usually usually develop as jagged structures called staghorns and can grow to be quite large. Most struvite stones occur in women. The rate of these stones may be declining in America, due because of better control of urinary tract infections.

Therefore, some of the newest research is showing how calcium is one of the simplest minerals to dissolve naturally. Therefore, you may be able to dissolve and pass any type of kidney stones with an acidic kidney stones remedy. The most common elements of calculi are calcium, oxalate, phosphate and uric acid. Kidney stone formation occurs when excessive amounts of waste material accumulate and can not be dissolved in the urine. Other types of kidney stones are composed of struvite (magnesium, ammonium and phosphate); uric acid; calcium phosphate; and cystine.

Therefore, while the stone's are passing out of the body, such herbs are usually all you will need to ease the pain while it passes. Your stone may not be causing you pain, and your doctor may find it during a routine exam or an exam for another condition or disease. In this case, you have the same treatment options as noted below. Periodically, these kidney stones move out through the ureters, inducing painful contractions to the stomach area, the genital region and the back.

The She in Her: An Analysis of Ogot’s The Rain Came

A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim. -Maya Angelou

For all the years that I have developed a consciousness like mine, I was constantly slapped in the face by the incandescent standards of the universe and its littlest portion on how women should be. A woman is always portrayed as a gift from the skies, pretty and elegant, or a royalty in distress saved by a hero who makes her swoon, or an evil witch behind every man’s failure. But a woman is not a gift, she is not a possession, she is not an asset. A woman is not someone to be saved, if she is to be protected, then from what? And yes, this paragraph is always present on my feminist articles. The most tiring thing about being a woman is the fact that we should still have to battle for our image as individuals, which is an inflection of how I came into the idea that the purpose of human kind is to breakout from the chains of the stereotypical. Humans try to debunk and destroy what exists, from beliefs to lifestyles and even to the right color of pants to match your socks. This urge to be free is the reason why Jose was shot in a park, why Romeo and Juliet died, and why all the revolutions and wars occurred.

Grace Ogot or Grace Emily Akinyi, the Kenyan writer who happens to be the author of the story ‘The Rain Came’ and many other stories, presented the “Breaking-out” moment through the characters’ struggle against the binding chains of traditions and culture. Many of her stories are set against the scenic background of Lake Victoria and the traditions of the Luo people. Luo people are interesting, in fact too interesting, specifically their traditions. They don’t practice the common ritual of circumcision for males; instead they pull out 6 frontal teeth as a sign of initiation towards manhood. And these traditions are the common theme of Ogot’s stories, including folklore, mythologies and sometimes, oral traditions.

This theme is actually the center of “The Rain Came”, a story about a chief’s daughter who was chosen by the gods to be sacrificed in order for the rain to come. The story was originally entitled “A Year of Sacrifice” but changed into how it is now because of reasons I didn’t really get into. Ogot’s inspirations on writing were mostly form her grandmother’s stories to her when she was still young and her perception of conflicts of tradition in the society was further fed when she worked as a nurse and midwife in both Uganda and England. She also represented her people in the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).

In the story “The Rain Came” a myriad of traditional beliefs and societal rules were presented. The element of sacrifice, suppression of women’s rights, gender inequality, and the power of traditions was established. That statement will be explicated through the following analyses.

Labong’o

The story depicts Labong’o as a chief who, for the whole course of his life, tried to accept the order of the Luo ancestors. He married five women so he can get a daughter, and there came Oganda, but the confusion kicked in as the ancestors came into the medicine man, Ndithi’s dreams, that Oganda was chosen to be the sacrificial piece to the lake monster in order to end the drought and lure the rain in.

There are two implications of sacrifice in Labong’o’s character. First was when he didn’t have the choice but marry and marry again until he finally has a daughter, which was, as said, ironically taken away from him, making his efforts irrelevant, if I may say.

The second sacrifice is his daughter. As the people’s chief, he is obliged to always choose the betterment of the town over anything or anyone, even if it is his family, or himself. That is when the conflict of his role as a chief and as a father started.

”Never in his life had he been faced with such an impossible decision. Refusing to yield to the rainmaker’s request would mean sacrificing the whole tribe, putting the interests of the individual above those of the society. More than that. It would mean disobeying the ancestors, and most probably wiping the Luo people from the surface of the earth. On the other hand, to let Oganda die as a ransom for the people would permanently cripple Labong’o spiritually. He knew he would never be the same chief again.”

He was torn between tradition and family, but as how all contradictions in the world end, one of the opposing aspects prevails, and it is his role as a great chief. He chose to let Oganda go to the lake and die for the rain to come, for the people to live,to remain as the great chief who always puts the town first.

Oganda

“The ancestors have chosen her as a sacrifice to the lake monster in order that we may have rain.”

That is the line Labong’o said in front of the people as a declaration of Oganda’s fate. Oganda is the chief of the Luo people’s daughter, and yet, her status didn’t help to change her fate. She was chosen by the ancestors and there was nothing neither she nor her father can do against it.

Oganda is a name which literally means ‘beans’ because of her white skin, which is a rarity in Luo people which are a native of ebony people.

When her family sat inside the room with her outside, she thought that maybe they were just planning her wedding, and that alone signifies the inability of women in their society to make a stand on her own marriage. But the fact is, Oganda, and all the other women in their society just accept that as part of their life, and no trace of resistance from any female species was presented. They just accept things the society has to offer, it doesn’t matter if they deserve it, whatever they dictate, and that alone is sacrifice.

She was afraid at first, which is a natural reaction if you knew your life has to end for the security of the majority, but she still bravely walked alone to the lake and succumbs into her own death. Her courage was already established, putting honor to the women’s team, but Ogot made a twist. The man Oganda loves, and obviously loves her back, came behind her in the middle of her journey to the lake, and saves her.

“We must escape quickly to the unknown land,” Osinda said urgently. “We must run away from the wrath of the ancestors and the retaliation of the monster.”

Just when the going gets tough, when she’s all dried up without any water to drink, a man comes and saves her. Osinda, the great and the wonderful, comes to her aide. It is so cliché in so many levels like how Superman always saves Lois Lane, like Spiderman to Mary Jane. Men behind the hero masks, which reminds me of how female superhero characters are presented with minimal costume and perfect hair amidst all the battles and stunts. The way media portray beauty makes me want to vomit.

What does it really mean to be a woman? In this story there are a lot of mirrors that reflects women. Oganda is the woman who makes sacrifices. Even in Greek mythology, women makes sacrifices, even Gods. Hestia sacrificed her throne for Dionysus. Oganda’s mother is also one reflection. Her mother was sad, in fact mortified, that her only daughter has to die to make others live, but the only thing she could do is cry. Women are sometimes powerless. They are always under husbands and under societal rules, and I don’t mean it literally.

In the end, Oganda ran away with Osinda from the town and its entire people. She gave in to Osinda’s offer to run away and live happily ever after, away from the lake monster, away from the eyes of the ancestors, and away from her family. And just when they turned their backs, the sky turned dark and bore droplets of water. It rained. Everybody got their happiness.

Rain

Rain is one of the most emotional symbols used in literature, and in this story, all the characters’ actions is connected to this rain. The townspeople were beginning to panic for it’s been so long since it last rained and their resources are running out, and the fear of death among them started to rise as the coming of the drought. And as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures, so the people came into the decision of sacrificing a woman who has not yet met a man, which means a ‘virgin’, to yield rain, which is a very barbaric thing to do. All this sacrifice thing happening in the story makes me think that in all the stories I have read, it is a ‘must’ that the person to be sacrificed is always a virgin woman, even in the bible (Jephtha’s daughter). Why not a virgin man?

Anyway, at the end of the story, even if Oganda wasn’t actually offered to and devoured by the lake monster, the skies still shed rain. It can mean that, Oganda’s acceptance of her fate as a sacrificial lamb is enough to please the ancestors and give them the rain they want.

This story is a proof on how traditions influence a human’s decisions and acts. What we are today as individuals and as the human race in general, is a result of centuries and centuries of conditioning. Who’s to say that one’s tradition and beliefs is wrong? Who’s to say that we belong to a generation of idiots having our brains replaced by a virtual world we developed and coexist with, called the internet? What does it really mean to be a woman? Who sets the norms? I don’t know the answers to my own questions, all I know is we all have our own mind and it is a responsibility to actually use it.

Ethos, Logos & Pathos in Jonathan Swift’s a Modest Proposal

Pathos is what the Irish survive and thrive on, so Swift begins his proposal with it. He presents a melancholy image to his readers in the first lines of A Modest Proposal, calling to mind the beggars and urchins in Irish doorways, the women followed by three, four, or six children. The first paragraph contains seeds of his logical and ethical arguments as well, mentioning the importuning of alms as a social evil, presumably because the practice offends certain wealthy people who are the ‘importuned’, and the unpatriotic practice of leaving Ireland to fight for an English enemy. He then elicits the emotions of his audience once more, preparing his own nest for subsequent feathering into the bargain, saying that whoever offers a cheap and easy solution to this dilemma ought to have a statue erected in his honor.

Pathetic argument presented, the author skips to a rather more ethical one. Considering one definition of Ethos as the ‘character and definition of a community,’ Swift’s reference to the substitution of young lads and maidens for venison is one place in A Modest Proposal that focuses on the ethical part of the argument. It does so by allowing Swift to mention what he considers a truly outrageous idea, proffered by a fellow of his acquaintance, a true lover of his country, who like others of his caste has lost all his deer. The fellow’s solution is to replace the deer with young lads and maidens not exceeding fourteen years of age. With tongue firmly installed in cheek, Swift is rightfully chagrined at such an idea, citing the fact that the meat of such children would be tough and sinewy, thus unacceptable for such refined palates. Leave it to Swift to be so cautious of the tastes and sensibilities of the only people who matter in Ireland, such as the highly esteemed gent, so deserving a patriot.

But the idea is turned back, as the author neatly summarizes the values and ethics of the community which would, at least considering the breeding potential of the females, constitute a loss to the public. He goes on to spare the energies and sensibilities of scrupulous people who would, unjustly in his opinion, censure the practice as cruel. This has always been Swift’s own personal opinion, thus his ideas are in keeping with community ethics. There have clearly been other such, in his opinion, unethical practices, and he abhors them. He says.

Then Swift continues picking at the idea, stating that his friend got it from a fellow from Formosa, who says those in his country considered among the riffraff for whatever reason are given over to Persons of quality as prime delicacies. Ever the ethicist, Swift ponders this, mindful of the communities economic interests, naturally, and then allows that eating girls who are, without one single Groat to their Fortunes, may not be a bad idea after all. The Kingdom would not be the worse. He says.

As for the logical considerations to A Modest Proposal, their appeal to reason, we refer to the itemized list, beginning with the presence of far too many Papists. Logic states that they pose a danger to the country, with their yearly issue of yet more of their kind, their sinister political leanings and their financial loyalty to the Catholic Church through tithing, none of which, of course, found its way into Rev. Swift’s collection basket of a Sunday.

Secondly, again more logic, the proposal would give the poor something they have no experience with, i.e. money of their own, and thus a way to actually pay their rent! This can be seen as either an appeal to logos, or to pathos, as landowners, being subject to certain emotions themselves, are likely reluctant to evict their non-paying clients. The idea of renters having money would, of course, allow landlords to raise the rent, thus a good idea, since corn and cattle have already been seized. It’s obvious that Swift concedes certain ruthless, thus unethical, behaviors to landlords, who must have been a favorite target of his pen. Yet the statement seems perfectly logical, and unassailable. He says.

Third in line of logical arguments centers again on the public coffers. Since the expenditure is so great to maintain the poor unfortunate children, why not use the proposal to not only enrich Ireland, but to give the country something it lacks, an industry of its very own? The irony is rich; Swift goes from a discussion of financial matters and cold, hard economic concerns, directly to new dishes and restaurant concepts. Of course the only people who stand to benefit are the (thinly-veiled) English aristocracy, those Gentlemen of Fortune in the Kingdom, who evidently lack not food, but sufficient imagination to create new recipes.

Fourth, and perhaps the most logical argument concerns the very poor themselves, the so-called constant breeders. Swift brings them into the argument, assuming that they understand the necessity of his proposal as well. Just think, he says, once this idea takes root, you’ll be free of the burden of raising these children once they reach a year old. Plus, you’ll have eight shillings per annum! Who can deny the logic of this? It’s obvious that Mr. Swift has little regard for the Irish peasant, even though he appears to include them in his grand scheme. This is, perhaps, the way the Irish have been dealt with all along by another overbearing entity, the English government across the water.

Fifth, he returns to the culinary aspects of the proposal, citing the dining possibilities for rich people, whom the vintners can perhaps scalp with ever higher prices. So not only has Swift made his logical appeal to the patriots, the religious, and the rich, he extends the proposal to commoners, and even beggars. How can it possibly be turned aside? He asks.

Pilates – The Gentle Healer For Ulcers

Peptic ulcer is a crater-like hole in the stomach or the beginning of the small intestine. The gastric ulcers form in the stomach while the duodenal ulcers form in the beginning of the small intestine. Duodenal ulcers occur in twelve to fifteen percent of adults in the United States.

Ulcers occurs due to the breakdown of protective barriers that line the stomach and intestines. Digestive juices are very acidic but there are secret substances such as bicarbonate and mucus that neutralize this acidity. These protective secretions are emitted to prevent ulcer formation. A loss of integrity in the lining of the small intestine or stomach due to a breakdown of these protective barriers leads to ulcers.

The culprits that cause this loss of integrity and development of ulcers are listed below:

# 1. Bacterium Helicobacter pylori, is an infection that attaches to the protective lining in the stomach and weakens it.

# 2. Food allergies

# 3. Overuse of Naproxen, Ibuprofen and Aspirin increase risk of gastrointestinal bleeding

# 4. Emotional stress may be a causative factor

# 5. Smoking is a significant factor

It is difficult to diagnose the sometimes vague symptoms of an ulcer. The most common symptom is abdominal pain that feels like an ache, burning sensation or cramp. This gnawing feeling can occur anywhere from forty-five minutes to two hours after a meal.

Sometimes this "heartburn" type feeling can worsen in the evening. Other symptoms are black stools, vomiting or nausea. A procedure known as an endoscopy can be performed by a physician to evaluate this disorder. Swift medical attention is advised. Individuals that have a peptic ulcer must be monitored by a doctor. There are serious complications that can quickly translate to "medical emergencies." One of the biggest problems is that individuals experiencing these symptoms mask them with a large quantity of antacids. These supplements, natural remedies and dietary considerations have proven to be beneficial:

# 1. Vitamin A

# 2. Vitamin E

# 3. Vitamin C

# 4. Aloe Vera – drink a couple of glasses daily

# 5. Increase dietary fiber

# 6. Flavoniods

# 7. Cabbage juice

# 8. Rhubarb

# 9. Bismuth Sub-citrate – natural mineral available through a compounding pharmacy.

# 10. Licorice

Last but not least, control stress through effective relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, Yoga, or stretching through Pilates exercises can provide beneficial and therapeutic outlets. Stress management, high fiber diet and antacids (on an occasional basis only) are helpful. A combination of all of these is the key to preventing and healing ulcers.

How to Treat Constipation With Constipation Home Remedies

Nowadays, constipation is very common for whatever live in the city, especially in the big cities where the people have little time to prepare their meal. They always want to have an instant food or fast food which has little fiber in it. Constipation is not a disease, but it is a symptom of decreasing bowel function like infrequent bowel movement, incomplete evacuation of bowel and lack of secretions / excretion and it is very unpleasant to have constipation. I think you know what I mean, Do you? In this article I want to share about how to treat constipation with home remedies which you can find it at home and use it right away.

When we want to treat a disease / symptom, we have to know the cause of the disease. Constipation can be caused by a few factors from your life style:

– Often ignoring to your body's signal to defecate

Your body already has a system to tell you when to excrete the waste, but in this modern time, people sometimes postpone and ignoring the signal to catch up with their work. As my mother always said, if you do not heed the small knock then the big hammer will bash you. Then you will get constipation for ignoring the body's signal to defecate.

– Insufficient liquid intake, too little fiber, not enough exercise and bad bowels

To have an easy bowel movement, you need water and fiber to soften the excrement, you also need to have enough exercise to improve the performance of digestive system and abdominal muscles, have a good bowel habit like sitting on the toilet for 10 minutes after meal will condition your colon to act as nature intended.

– Some particular diseases like hyperacidity, diabetes, colitis, sluggish liver and tumors

May also effect constipation indirectly, but it is reversible when you have overcome the disease. Besides that stress and tension can also cause constipation by disabling the digestive system.

By the way I will share a few things I do to treat constipation from my experience:

  1. Drink a lot of water (2-3 liters) in the morning before you eat anything / empty stomach.
  2. Eat juicy and high fiber fruits and vegetables like papaya, carrot, mango at the night before, they will certainly relief you from constipation in the morning.
  3. Consume a lot of figs dipped in water and taken in the morning time can treat Chronic constipation

As you know, constipation can be treated by home remedies, like fruits and vegetables, but the best thing to do is to consume a lot of high fiber fruits and vegetables everyday, you will feel good and that that you can get sufficient intake of nutrition to maintain your health.

Amla Herb and Indian Gooseberry (Vitamin C)

Amla also know as amalaki, dhatriphala and in Sanskrit and Emblica officinalis scientifically, is the most widely used herb in the ayurvedic system of medicine. it maintains balance among three Doshas of wind, bile and phelgm (Vayu, Pitta and Cough) and effectively controls digestive problems, strengthens the heart, builds up and sustains defense mechanism, improves eye sight, imprints an artificial glow to hair and body and a store house of Vitamin C.

The English name of amla: Indian gooseberry, denotes that it is indigenous to India. Although all parts of the tree have medicinal value, it is the fruit which constitutes the main drug. Charaka has specifically mentioned it as a great rasayana that helps protect people from disease and keeps away the manifestations of premature aging.

Amla fruit is acrid, cooling, refrigerant, diuretic, laxative, alexetic, antipyretic, aphrodisiac alterant, tonic and trichogeneous. It is the richest natural source of Vitamin C. 100 gm. of Amla contains about 700 mg. of vitamin C, which is thirty times the amount found in oranges.In adition to Vitamin C, it also contains calcium, iron, protein, garlic and tannic acids, sugar, phosphorus, carbohydrates etc. The juice of fresh amla fruit is given as tonic, diuretic and anti-bilious remedy. It is also helpful in burning sensation, over thirst, dyspepsia and other complaints of digestive system.

The powder of the dried amla fruit is an effective remedy of hyperacidity, ulcers and blood impurities. It is also used both internally and externally as a decoction and paste. Some of the common uses of amla fruit are as under:

  • Amla strengnthens the body, expel toxins from the body and improvements defense mechanism of the body.
  • It is an essential vitamin to improve eye sight
  • Weakness of body, heart and mind will be dispelled by taking frsh amla juice in between meals.
  • Massaging the head with amla oil, induces sound sleep and is good for hair. prevents premature graying of hair.
  • Wash eyes daily, in the morning with amla water, soaked in water and drink the water to improve the eyesight and remove constipation.
  • Insert 2-4 amla juice drops into each nostril to cure bleeding for nose.
  • Regulates Blood Sugar
  • Very Powerful anti-inflammatory herb.
  • A wonderful antioxidant and a natural Source of Vitamin C. Amla helps scavenge free radicals.
  • Amla is powerful food for the brain.
  • Studies show that Amla helps lower cholesterol
  • Amla also helps maintain the functioning of the liver
  • Increases Hemoglobin, Red blood cell count
  • Useful for Cough, Bronchitis, Asthma
  • Amla cleanses the mouth, strengthens the teeth
  • Its decoction is used in hyperacidity and with honey as an anthelmintic.

The presence of Amla resolved in an enhanced cell survival, reduced free radical production and higher antioxidant levels similar to that of control cells. (Phytother Res 2003 Apr; 17 (4): 430-3.)

There are various classic ayurvedic preparations, such as chyawanprash in which amla is used as a chief ingredient. It help improve intelligence and memory power. Triphala and Brahmrasayana are other classic medicine in which amla is being used since time immemorial.

Herbal Remedies To Cure Gastric Disorder

Gastritis is the inflammation of stomach due to various reasons associated with digestion. It causes irritation in the stomach and is very unpleasant. Gastritis is caused by alcohol, pain killers, improper food intake etc. Stress and other medical complications also can trigger gastritis.

Home remedies are the best for gastritis as they are gentle and natural for the system. It is ideal to treat the cause for any kind of problems and since if gastritis is caused by alcohol in a person, he or she should avoid alcohol at least until the problem is solved. Similarly, intake of lots of spicy food can end up in indigestion and also gastritis, in such cases foods that are soothing for the stomach and easier for digestion should be consumed till your stomach is back into its normal shape and functioning.

Coconut water is soothing and cooling for the stomach and is an effective remedy for gastritis. Spinach and carrot juice can also calm the irritations caused by gastritis. Curd and buttermilk can bring about a quick recovery. Asafetida mixed in cumin water is also a known remedy in cases of gastritis. Juice extracted from potato can be taken before meal to treat gastritis. Lemon juice can heal gastritis.

Licorice is effective in the treatment of gastritis and ulcers. Artichoke can help relieve abdominal pain and nausea. Ginger is a wonder medicine for any stomach related irritations and diseases. Ginger juice mixed with salt or honey or ginger tea can be effective and relieving for stomach troubles. Goldenseal destroys the bacteria that causes gastritis and can speed up the recovery. Marshmallow can treat gastritis and indigestion too. Peppermint is also an effective medicine when it comes to digestion related problems. Papaya seeds and pineapples promotion digestion and can be used in the treatment of gastritis. Marigold and bishop's weed are known herbs that are effective in the treatment of gastritis. Carom seed is another herbal remedy for stomach problems. Asparagus can reduce the heat in the stomach and can fight acidity too.

Consumption of fruits like blueberries, cherries and tomatoes and vegetables like squash and bell pepper can alleviate the problems of gastritis. Cranberry can also fight gastric problems. Honey has properties that can heal gastric irritations. Rice gruel is easy to digest and a diet on rice gruel during a gastric attack can accelerate the healing process. Chewing roasted fennel after meals can treat gastritis. A few cloves of garlic with raisins can provide an immediate relief. Chewing cardamom can also treat the heartburn caused by gastritis. Water is the best medicine for all diseases. Make sure that your water consumption is sufficient and meets the requirements of your body.

Gastritis is also a lifestyle disease and a change in the lifestyle alone can prevent and produce a long standing effect in the treatment of gastritis. Eating habits affect the digestive system and when it breaks down we end up with gastritis. Proper healthy eating habits have to be inculcated into our lifestyles for a healthy body. Stress should be deal with in a proper manner. A positive attitude towards life and exercise can be implemented to deal with stress. Alcohol consumption and smoking only do bad for the body. There is no benefit whatsoever that could be gained through these habits. So, it avoids them can be your first step towards a more progressive life.

The Dangers of Eating Undercooked Chicken

You hear a lot of scary stories about people contracting illnesses which have been linked to undercooked chicken and unfortunately the results of eating n undercooked one can be severe and even fatal.

The problem is often that if you cook a chicken after defrosting, it may require a longer cooking time. Cooking in a microwave can be tricky as often I have found, the chicken is still raw close to the bone. You should avoid eating chicken meat which looks bloody. Although smoked chicken may remain pink even hen thoroughly cooked, so checking only the color is not recommended.

Chicken can often contain the bacteria Staphylococcus aurea , and this can cause food poisoning. The problem with this strain of bacteria is that it has become resistant to certain antibiotics including penicillin.

Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks are also associated with chicken, and the meat can be infected by human handlers. This can cause a variety of symptoms and cause osteomylitis, where bones are infected, pericarditis which occurs when the bacteria attack the sac surrounding the heart, meningitis when the brain or spinal cord are infected, and hepatitis which is a liver disease, and pneumonia, a lung problem. Salmonella typhi bacteria can be the cause of typhoid fever too. However the symptoms of salmonella poisoning are usually milder with vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea, stomach cramps and these usually only last for one or two days.

Another bacterium which can be present in undercooked chicken is campylobacter which can lad to Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a temporary paralysis which begins in the feet (you experience a tingling sensation) and moves upwards. This can cause complete paralysis, although this is usually temporary but may result in some weaknesses which will remain.

Chicken nuggets have recently caused outbreaks of food poisoning, because because people eat them raw or do not realize that they are undercooked because they are covered in breadcrumbs and bite-sized – by the time you realize they are not properly cooked, it is probably too late.

The bacterium referred here are boiled by cooking chicken at 350 ° Fahrenheit or 180 ° Celsius, Gas mark 5. For a fan oven a whole chicken should be roasted at this temperature, while for a conventional oven the temperatures should be 190 ° Celsius or 375 ° Fahrenheit. The formula for cooking a chicken is generally recognized to be 20 minutes per pound plus and extra 20 minutes. (454 grams equals one pound weight.)

If you buy chicken products, then read the cooking instructions carefully and follow them to the letter to avoid any illnesses related to undercooked chicken. It's so easy to get it right that you should not be alarmed by the food poisoning stories you hear. Chicken is safe to eat as long as you cook it thoroughly.

Penis Pain and Swelling: Could It Be Epididymitis?

Although men are understandably proud of their penis and scrotum, many men are not familiar with the inner workings of these body parts, because the impact that such inner workings can have on their health. For example, even men who have heard of epididymitis may not be sure of exactly what it is or how it might affect their private parts, causing penis pain and other unpleasant symptoms.

What it is

The Mayo Clinic states that epididymitis "is an inflammation of the coiled tube (epididymis) at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm." That tube is coiled very tightly indeed; If it were to be straightened out, it would measure between 6 and 7 meters. The epididymis does more than just store and carry sperm; it also helps them mature. When sperm first enters the epididymis, it is unable to swim forward and induce fertilization in an egg. During the 2 or 3 months that it stays in the epididymis, it acquires these abilities so that when it is released during ejaculation, it is capable of fulfilling its fertilization mission.

Symptoms

When the epididymis becomes inflamed, a man may experience one or more of these common symptoms.

– Swelling. This is the most common symptom. The inflammation causes the epididymis to swell, creating a "lump" in the back of the scrotum. The swelling is usually accompanied by a feeling of warmth in the area and a reddening of the skin, especially in men of lighter skin tones.

– Discomfort. The swelling causes the scrotum to be sensitive to touch; most often this tenderness is on one side of the testicles. There may also be pain in the penal, especially when the man is urinating. In some cases, this pain may also be felt elsewhere in the pelvic area. Sex is also often affected, with sexual activity producing feelings of pain, especially during ejaculation.

Discharge or bleeding. There may be a discharge from the penis apart from urination or ejaculation, and sometimes, blood may appear in the semen.

– Fever. Sometimes also accompanies the inflammation.

Causes

Epididymitis is generally classified as "acute" (temporary) or "chronic" (longer-lasting, usually staying around for six or more weeks or reviewing after it seems to have been banished).

There can be numerous causes of epididymitis. Sexually-transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, are the largest culprits among men who are sexually active. (Another reason why unprotected sex can be very risky!) But the bacterial infection can come from non-sexually transmitted causes as well.

For example, sometimes a urinary tract infection might infect the epididymis, as can blockage of the bladder or urethra, which forces urine into the epididymis. In rare cases, an infection in the bloodstream, such as that associated with tuberculosis, could make its way to the epididymis. And on rare occasions, some heart medications have created this inflammation in the scrotum.

Treatment

Men who notice a swapping in the scrotal area should have it checked, especially if it is accompanied by pain, discharge or any of the other symptoms mentioned above. Antibiotics are often required to clear epididymitis up, especially among sexually active men. The doctor may also recommend giving the area a rest for a while; if pain is persistent, using an athletic strap and taking painkillers may be beneficial.

Keeping an eye out for epididymitis is all part of good penis care. So is regularly using a top drawer penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) . Be sure to find a crème with vitamin D, the acclaimed "miracle vitamin." The body often needs help in getting sufficient vitamin D, and the penis needs its benefits as much as other parts of the body. And the best crème will also include vitamin A, which has anti-bacterial properties that can help reduce undesired and persistent (and embarrassing) penis odors.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Mesotherapy Treatments?

With the increasing popularity of mesotherapy treatments and its broad range of benefits, questions are raised if everyone can acquire such treatment. The treatments are simple forms of customized micro injections inserted underneath the skin into the mesoderm layer. Injection solution for mesotherapy treatments are mixtures of customized components such as vitamins, medication, supplements and Amino Acids.

The uses can benefit broader ranges of application. Cosmetic application using these methods are used to treat varieties of skin conditions. It is used to treat stretch marks, reduction of cellulites, neck and face rejuvenation, smooths out wrinkles and correction of scars. Benefits are not limited to cosmetic applications alone. It is also extended to treat pain caused by arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and other musculoskeletal disorders. Another application that uses mesotherapy is stubborn fat liquefaction and insinuating weight loss effectively. Alopecia or hair loss is also treated with it.

With all the benefits it can offer, almost everyone faced with issues such as those aforementioned would greatly want to know if they can be a qualified candidate for mesotherapy treatments. In general, anyone who is perfectly healthy can be a good candidate to receive treatments. Before you under any type of treatment, complete medical evaluation will be connected first. Each patient will be evaluated if results are applicable and qualified to undergo treatments.

People who should not receive treatments are pregnant women, AIDS infected individuals, patients with irregular heart murmurs / rhythms and those who are on blood thinners, strokes and blood clot history. Patients suffering from severe chronic ailments such as heart dysfunctions and coronary heart diseases are off limits. Insulin dependent diabetics are not lucky as well.

It is very important to let your doctor know everything particularly important concerning your health conditions. Your doctor needs to know if you have diabetes, active skin infections, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and symptomatic mitral valve prolapse. You should also inform your doctor if you are under any of diet medicine or taking any other medications such as Beta Blockers.

The ideal candidate to undergo treatments should possess realistic needs and expectations. Factors that will determine the readiness of the candidate are the following and they include being 18 years of age or even older, being in good psychological and physical health. The person should also possess maturity, realistic expectations and full understanding of the mesotherapy procedures.

Heart Disease: The Dangers Of Coronary Heart Attack And How To Avoid It

What is a coronary heart attack?

Are you at the risk of a coronary heart attack?

Here are some insights to help you…

A heart attack happens when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle itself (the myocardium) is severely reduced or even stopped entirely.

The medical term for a heart attack is myocardial infarction.

The reduction or stoppage of blood supply happens when one or more of the coronary arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle is blocked.

This may be caused by the buildup of plaque (deposits of fat-like substances), also known as atherosclerosis.

The plaque may eventually burst, tear or rupture, creating a “situation” where a blood clot forms and blocks the artery.

This may lead to a heart attack.

A heart attack is also sometimes known as a coronary thrombosis or coronary occlusion.

It is a medical fact that heart disease is among the most dangerous health hazards facing people 50 yrs and older in America.

Clinical studies, laboratory investigations and a number of surveys show that certain personal characteristics and lifestyles can lead to increased dangers of a heart attack (coronary heart disease).

These danger signs are called “risk factors”. The well established risk factors are high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking and diabetes mellitus.

Other risk factors that may increase or lead to the risk of having a heart attack are obesity, a sedentary life-style, an aggressive response to stress, and certain drugs.

In the past two decades, millions of Americans have learned about these risk factors and have tried to decrease them by seeking medical attention and by changing their lifestyles.

Many adults have stopped smoking. The medical control of high blood pressure has greatly improved.

The average cholesterol level of the population has decreased continually over the last two decades, probably due to changes in dietary habits and increased exercise.

This attempt to modify risk factors almost certainly has contributed to the declining death rate from heart disease in the United States.

Overall, heart-related problems have declined about 25 percent in the last decade.

Some of this decrease undoubtedly is due to better medical care of heart attack victims, but it is likely that a sizable percentage is related to modification of risk factors.

The entire population has become more aware of the seriousness of heart disease and coronary heart problems.

CPR training is offered in schools, places of business, and church and community functions, and everyone seems to recognize that prevention of coronary heart disease is a partnership between the public and the medical community.

There are a number of factors implicated in coronary heart disease. Some of these may raise coronary risk by accentuating the major risk factors already discussed.

Others may act in ways not understood. Still others may be linked mistakenly to coronary risk.

Obesity predisposes individuals to coronary heart disease. Some of the reasons for this are known, but others are not.

The major causes of obesity in Americans are excessive intake of calories and inadequate exercise.

When caloric intake is excessive, some of the excess frequently is saturated fat, which further raises the blood cholesterol. Thus, obesity contributes to higher coronary risk in a variety of ways.

Most of the major risk factors are silent. They must be sought actively, and much of the responsibility for their detection lies with each of us as individuals.

Regular checkups are particularly necessary if there is a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or diabetes.

May these health insights into heart disease help you to live a healthier and happier life.

Warmly,

I-key Benney, CEO

A Review of The Family Crucible

The Family Crucible, by Napier and Whitaker (1978), reads like a novel while at the same time laying down some of the fundamental concepts of family systems therapy. It is a case study of one family’s experience in family therapy. While the therapy shifts from daughter to son and then to parent interaction to daughters and son, it is finally the couple’s marriage that must be treated if issues are to be resolved. Even the grandparents are brought into therapy to get at the family of origin issues.

The book opens with a quote from James Agee and Walker Evans: “The family must take care of itself; it has no mother or father; there is no shelter, nor resource, nor any love, interest, sustaining strength or comfort, so near, nor can anything happy or sorrowful that comes to anyone in this family possibly mean to those outside it what it means to those within it; but it is, as I have told, inconceivably lonely, drawn upon itself as tramps are drawn round a fire in the cruelest weather; and thus and in such loneliness it exists among other families, each of which is no less lonely, nor any less without help or comfort, and is likewise drawn in upon itself.”

Through the telling of the Brice family’s story, Napier and Whitaker illustrate underlying dynamics such as structural imbalances in the system and how child focus is a typical method used by unhappy couples to avoid dealing with their own marital and family of origin issues. Fusion, triangles, individual and family life cycle stages, family-of-origin themes, polarization, reciprocity, blaming, and the hierarchy and characteristics of living systems are among the concepts that are explained and illustrated through this family’s therapy experience. David and Carolyn, an unhappily married couple, are the parents of Claudia (the IP), Laura, and Don. The book is well written and hard to put down once you start reading it.

Whitaker has been criticized in the field, because many people believe that he does not really have a theory. It is believed that it is only his charismatic personality that drives his treatment. I disagree. I believe that one has only to read his chapter in The Handbook of Family Therapy (1981) and see these concepts illustrated in The Family Crucible to realize the depth and breadth of his theory.

In the service of reviewing the book, it is useful to consider Whitaker’s background and key theoretical concepts. He began as an OB/GYN and had no formal psychiatric training. He became involved in treating schizophrenics after World War II. Whitaker was interested in understanding disturbed relationships in a familial context and in determining whether serious symptoms such as those in psychotics might be reinforced by dysfunctional family patterns and beliefs.

From 1946 to 1955, Whitaker (1981) became involved in treating schizophrenia with a type of aggressive play therapy. In fact, Whitaker’s most formative training was in a child guidance clinic where he learned play therapy (Whitaker, 1981). Whitaker used some outrageous methods, including learning to talk “crazy,” arm wrestling, use of a baby bottle, and rocking, all of which were rooted in his training experience.

At the same time that he developed these techniques, he developed a kind of pyknolepsy, wherein he would fall asleep in the middle of a session. He would dream about his relationship with the patient being treated, and then make his associations to the dream a part of the therapy session (Whitaker, 1981). In justifying his unique techniques, Whitaker emphasized that “Each technique is a process whereby the therapist is developing himself and using the patient as an intermediary, that is the therapist is interacting in a primary process model” (p. 188).

In 1946, Whitaker (1981) moved to Emory, where he became chair of the Department of Psychiatry. It was here that he developed dual co-therapy with Dr. Thomas Malone. In 1964, Whitaker worked with David Keith to develop a postgraduate specialty in MFT at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. The development of symbolic-experiential methodology required students to “. . . take everything said by the patient as symbolically important as well as realistically factual” (Whitaker, 1981, p. 189).

Whitaker (1981) defined health as “. . . a process of perpetual becoming” (p. 190). He emphasized that what is most important in a healthy family is “. . . the sense of an integrated whole. . . The healthy family is not a fragmented group nor a congealed group. . . The healthy family will utilize constructive input and handle negative feedback with power and comfort. The group is also therapist to the individuals” (p. 190). Whitaker also defines the healthy family as “. . . a three to four generational whole that is longitudinally integrated. . . maintaining a separation of the generations. Mother and father are not children and the children are not parents” (p. 190). Whitaker also looked at the degree of volitional access parents and children have to outside support and interests. The families of origin in healthy families are on friendly terms.

Importantly, Whitaker looked to spontaneity as a marker of healthy communication in families. The healthy family allows each member to admit to problems and to identify competencies. Thus, it is emphasized that healthy families allow great freedom for the individual to be himself. Whitaker (1981) states that “. . . normal families do no reify stress” (p. 190).

Whitaker (1981) emphasized that a basic characteristic of all healthy families is the availability of an “as if” structure, which permits different family members to take on different roles at different times. Roles result from interaction instead of being rigidly defined. They are defined by various conditions, including the past, present, future, culture, and demands of the family at a given time. On the other hand, Whitaker defined the dysfunctional family as “. . . characterized by a very limited sense of the whole” (p. 194). Lack of flexibility at times of change, covert communication, intolerance of conflict, lack of spontaneity, lack of empathy, blaming and scapegoating, a lack of playfulness, and little sense of humor are all markers of unhealthy families from Whitaker’s perspective.

Whitaker placed heavy emphasis on the technique of co-therapy. In The Family Crucible, for example, the reader constantly witnesses Whitaker and Napier turn up the power. Whitaker and Napier’s process techniques illustrated in the book are designed to disorganize rigid patterns of behavior directly in session. The exposure of covert behaviors is considered to be the family’s misguided effort to stay in tact by submerging real feelings. There is a decisive here-and-now quality to symbolic-experiential interventions used in The Family Crucible, with a focus upon creating and then addressing en vivo emotional dynamics in therapy session.

Napier and Whitaker insisted that the entire Brice family be present in therapy. Indeed, Whitaker’s symbolic-experiential treatment model considered it crucial to begin the treatment process with the entire family (Napier and Whitaker, 1978). Whitaker (1981) has emphasized that “Our demand to have the whole family in is the beginning of our ‘battle for structure.’ It begins with the first phone call” (p. 204). He asserts that it is “. . . difficult to do process-focused family therapy without the children” and the “. . . experiential quality of family therapy requires the children’s presence” (p. 205). In the book, Napier and Whitaker (1978) frequently attempt change through playing and teasing, especially with Laura, Don, and Claudia. Members from David and Carolyn’s families of origin are invited to session. Whitaker (1981) states that in arranging for four generations to come to interviews as consultants that he is “. . . helping to evolve a large system anxiety” (p. 204). Experience is privileged over cognitive engagement throughout the treatment with the Brice family, as it is conceptualized that experience trumps cognitive growth in this theory.

Napier and Whitaker (1978) describe their co-therapy as symbolic of a professional marriage. Early treatment of the Brice family involved the co-therapists making decisions. Symbolically, they viewed the family as a baby taking its first steps. As such, the family required structure, so it follows that the therapists made unilateral decisions. Once Napier and Whitaker had won the battle for control, the therapists, like parents raising children, soften considerably. In the middle phase of the Brice family’s treatment, decisions about treatment were made more collaboratively. Again, the model for this process is increasing differentiation of the family. As therapy proceeded, the therapists took increasingly smaller roles, watching like proud parents as the Brice family became more integrated into changing themselves independent of the therapists. Whitaker (1981) clarifies that the therapy process “. . . begins with infancy and goes to late adolescence, where the initiative is with the kids, who then bear responsibility for their own living” (p. 107).

Throughout the book, it is implicitly and explicitly emphasized that the self-development of the therapists is the most important variable in the success of therapy. Napier and Whitaker (1978) acted as coaches or surrogate grandparents to the Brice family as therapy progressed. They were active and considered themselves to be the forces for change. Rather than a blank screen, they acted as allies of the family system. Especially in the beginning, Napier and Whitaker were directive. They used silence, confrontation and other anxiety-building techniques to unbalance the system. They acted as catalysts, who picked up on the unspoken and discovered the undercurrents represented by the family’s symbolic communication patterns. The co-therapists privileged their subjective impressions.

More than anything else, Napier and Whitaker (1978) had the courage to be themselves. They knew how to meet the absurdities of life and how to bring out people’s primary impulses. They believed strongly in the healing power of the human being, and, even more, of the family. They insisted that the family be in contact with its own craziness, play, and honor the spontaneous through their own modeling and directing.

The reader could observe how this symbolic-experiential therapy team moved through several stages. In the early part of treatment, the co-therapists battle for structure and they are all-powerful. In the mid-phase, the parental team functioned as stress activators, growth expanders, and creativity stimulators. Late in treatment, the co-therapists sat back and watched, respecting the independent functioning of the family. Whitaker (1981) holds that the “The sequence of joining and distancing is important. It is a lot like being with children. A father can get furious with his kids one minute, then be loving the next. We take the same stance with families” (p. 205). Thus, the role of the co-therapists was dynamic over the course of treatment with the Brice family.

Whether as a training therapist or a lay reader, it is inspirational to study the therapy offered by Napier and Whitaker (1978) in The Family Crucible. Self-disclosure, creative play, teaching stories, spontaneous interpersonal messages, the use of metaphor, and the sharing of parts of the therapists’ lives that reflect a working through in their own living are used generously. Process techniques intended to activate confusion around Claudia, the identified patient, unbalance the system, and open up authentic dialogue between marital partners and between the generations of extended families are used. It is emphasized, however, that it is not technique, but personal involvement that enabled Whitaker and Napier (1978) to do their best. It is continually illustrated how symbolic (emotional) experiences are fundamentally formative in the treatment of families, illustrated poignantly with the Brice family. Therefore, such experience should be created in session. To expose the covert world beneath the surface world is the most curative factor for the Brice family, is it is for all families. By getting inside the Brice family’s unique language and symbolic system, the therapists were able to move the family’s awareness from the content level to the symbolic level.

In THE FAMILY CRUCIBLE, Napier (1978) describes the curative process of Whitaker’s family therapy from the perspective of the co-therapist. The courage to embrace life’s absurdities involves the courage to be oneself, to the point of even sharing your free associations and thoughts with families. Daring to participate in the lives of the families, or even inviting them to share in your own life in order to get them in contact with submerged associations, helps families to get to the primary process level. In fact, the book underlines that the force of the therapist is central to treatment, so that the family’s encounter with the therapists is the primary curative agent. The goal of psychotherapy with the Brice family, as with all families, is to provide therapeutic experiences, and questions should be fired off in ways to unbalance the family. When Whitaker asks Carolyn, “When did you divorce your husband and marry the children?” he acts as an agent of change. He does not care whether the client likes him. And it is here that one realizes that the success of the psychotherapy depends on the emotional maturity of the therapist. The person of the therapist is at the heart of what good psychotherapy is all about. Since Whitaker states that therapy for the therapist is crucial, experiential training is essential for the therapist who would provide his/her clients with experiential treatment. In conclusion, this highly readable, inspirational, and useful book deserves a central place on every therapist’s bookshelf.

References

Whitaker, C. A. (1981). Symbolic-experiential family therapy. In A. S. Gurman & D. P.

Knistern (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy (pp. 187-225). New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Napier, A. Y., & Whitaker, C. (1978). The family crucible: The intense experience of

therapy. New York: HarperCollins.