How to Choose The Right Anger Management Therapy

Depending on your needs, working with an anger management therapist or a support group setting is necessary to sustain real changes in your behavior because a therapist can observe and analyze your behavior from an impartial perspective. As s / he is the expert in effective anger management strategies, s / he will be able to help you change your way of thinking and behavior that works best for your personality. Other members can also help you with the reality testing. Habitual behavior change is hard and you'll be better off when you participate in a formal program rather than taking the self-study approach because it will motivate you to continue and help you recognize your progress with pride. The therapy can take several months and progress may be visible after 10 sessions. This is determined by how dedicated you are to the progress, meaning taking the lessons to heart and practicing your homework.

Choosing the right kind of therapist is important because each therapist subscribes to different approaches that might be helpful to emotionally over-controlled people but might be difficult for those who can not control their emotions. For example, if you want to want a therapist to help you explore your feelings and learn how to control your angry outburst, then a cognitive-behavioral therapist can help you. You must also choose a licensed therapist specializing in anger management problems or trained in anger management techniques and therapies.

If you need help dealing with anger in general, a class geared towards couples or your workplace may be best for you. If you want to participate in anger management classes, think about your specific needs and make sure you select an approved class that will keep track of your progress and award you with proof of your participation and completion. Typically, anger management classes vary in quality and length depending on the approach. Ideally, longer classes will provide you with more sustained support but regardless of the length make sure you complete your homework projects because this will track your progress.

You can also learn to deal with your anger issues through online classes, video or audio recordings and completion of the programs can be done depending on your speed. Online message boards, email, and phone support is also offered. There are also a great number of books available for more specialized approaches to anger management from a variety of perspectives. No matter which self-study therapy you choose, the best way to learn and understand your anger problems is by doing an extensive research about the therapy that will work best for you.

How Diet And Lifestyle Can Reduce The Lower Back Risk

Lower back pain can be as a result of accidents and falls. But usually, the pain and issues attacking the lower back are from everyday activities that are done incorrectly. When you twist reaching for something or sit in the same position working on your computer for hours or even carry heavy things you could end up with lower back pain. Apart from the activities, what you eat may be contributing to the pain because there are foods that increase inflammation. Inflammation is one of the major causes of lower back pain so you may need to check your diet as well.

With this in mind, it is clear that you can easily reduce lower back risk by being more diet alert and making a few lifestyle changes. The dietary and lifestyle changes do not only reduce the risks but can also help in alleviating pain that already exists. It is always better to find natural ways of dealing with health issues before turning to medications to enjoy the relief.

Diet

Fresh vegetables and fruits make some of the best diet remedies to reduce risks of lower back pain. Deeply colored vegetables and fruits are especially good anti-inflammatory food and can include cherries, beets, carrots, watermelon, sweet potatoes and berries, kale, broccoli and spinach. They are nutrient loaded and will reduce the pain. You can also consider spices and herbs like garlic, oregano, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, basil and cinnamon as they are rich in anti-inflammatory agents.

Plan a based diet that includes chia and flax seeds is also very good. You can combine with omega-3 from fish like sardines, tuna, herring and salmon among others. Other foods you should include in your diet to beat the pain are pecans, almonds, lean proteins and avocados.

Calcium and Vitamin D are also very important in reducing the risks of the lower back. This is because they maintain bone mass, but they should also be taken in moderation. Natural food sources of calcium include cheese, yoghurt and milk and leafy green vegetables.

Lifestyle

When it comes to lifestyle changes that can help you reduce lower back risks, there is so much you can do. Some of the easiest changes include:

• Modifying daily activities so they do not include heavy lifting

• Improving your posture, especially when sitting on your computer for long periods

• Creating an exercise program that is easy to follow

• Managing weight and losing the excess pounds so you do not end up straining the back too much

• Sleeping sideways to keep stress off your back or using supportive pillows where necessary

• Keeping stress levels down to avoid muscle tension that contributes to the pain

• Quitting smoking as it raises risks of persistent back pain, heart disease and even cancer

If you observe the right diet and make necessary changes to your everyday life, you will be sure to see tremendous changes with your back health. If the changes do not yield the expected results and the pain gets worse or persistent, then it could be time to see a doctor.

Watching your diet and keeping up with an active lifestyle is one of the best ways of keeping health issues at bay. Always try natural remedies before turning to medication.

Dentistry’s Holy Grail: Human Teeth Regeneration

Echoes of Kennedy’s Moon Shot

In 2006, a group of scientists, with a bold ambitious plan, and modeled after President Kennedy’s manned lunar mission program, began laying out the foundations for Dentistry’s Holy Grail: whole human teeth regeneration. Like the NASA space program, the scientists come from a variety of backgrounds and implementing stem cell and engineering biology to tackle the enormous complexity of ontogenesis. Some of the processes involved include: bioreactor reactor grafting, regenerated cap-stage tooth organ, organogenesis inducement, and stem cell odontogenic signaling. The scientists envision a 10 year plan, with a target date of 2017.

The Benefits

Not only would this regenerative procedure make a superior alternative to wearing dentures, but also offer an alternative to the currently popular synthetic dental implants. It would replicate a natural tooth in every way, including full immune system involvement, neural excitement, systematic capillary development, and trauma self-repair.

The Progressive Steps

It is believed that a cap stage regenerated tooth should be realized in 2011, followed by animal trials in 2012, human trials in 2014, clinician training in 2015, and finally released to clinical practice by 2017. The cap-stage implant progressive steps would be as follows

1: Adult stem cell harvesting

2: Cellular culture expansion

3: Scaffold cell seeding

4: Cellular signaling to induce odontogenic tissue

5: Ontogenesis gene expression profiling

6: Repeating the above steps to conclude cap-stage cellular expressed gene associated ontogenesis.

Conclusion

Ontogenesis and the technology to grow replacement teeth, would mean the end of life long suffering for denture wearers. Living teeth would be superior and far more preferable to dentures, in the fact that they are responsive to human bites, as well as promoting optimal health for surrounding teeth and gums. In Japan and other countries, successful animal trials on mice with full root development have set the stage for human trials in the very near future, and the prospect for yet, another shining epic achievement for the field of regenerative medicine.

The Pros and Cons of Various Teeth Whitening Methods

Teeth whitening was until previously attributed to the cream of society only. Celebrities and other wealthy people were the ones known to have had the ability to have their teeth discoloration removed. Nonetheless, there are some cheaper teeth whitening methods that have been introduced making this process affordable to all people irrespective of their financial status. The methods that are used have differences in terms of the ingredients used but all deliver the same thing. Due to composition difference, it is important that all clients consult their attorneys for advice on the best kit to use. Here are some teeth cleaning methodologies used and their pros and cons. It is hard to say which is the best teeth whitener because cost is also a factor, the following is a survey of methods, their pros and cons.

Laser bleaching
This is a very expensive and complex method that is only performed by professional dentists. The client is supposed to have teeth observed and cleaned by dentists. Gel is applied and then a laser beam is shone on the teeth. Laser radiation is responsible for catalyzing the bleaching agent on the teeth. This bleach can take hours to dissolve the discoloring agent if catalyst is not added. Once it is activated, it dissolves in the enamel removing the staining effect underneath. Sessions that will amount to two hours are mostly enough to give clients white teeth. The best thing about this teeth whitening method is the speed at which teeth get improved. You are normally ready to start smiling at people after the first visit since results are immediate. The main con of this method is the high cost tag that comes with it. The cheapest service you can get is from $ 600.

Custom Fit Tray Bleaching
This is another common means of teeth whitening. It is a home process; and hence, the person cleaning the stains will do it without help of a dentist. The clients are expected to look for models that are tailor to suit their teeth. These models can be made of wax or plaster. A bleaching agent is then applied on this model in the inside part. It is then worn on the teeth. The bleach will dissolve the discoloration of teeth in the period of about two hours that you will be wearing it.

This method is relatively cheap since there are no complex procedures provided to be followed with assistance of a dentist. Beside, the teeth whitening method is slow and people will not recognize you are under medication until you are finished. The main disadvantage is that, clients do visit dentists sometimes for either more supplies or instructions on whether they can continue.

Off the shelf whitening strips
This is another home kit teeth whitening method. It uses strips that are treated with a bleaching agent. They are then put on the teeth to allow the bleach to diffuse. It can take hours before the procedure is finished since only patient people are capable of getting positive results using this method.

The pros of this method include affordability and simplicity in its application. However, this method is the least satisfactory and also the lowest among all other methods used.

Bipolar Treatment – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy As a Treatment For Bipolar Disorder

In bipolar treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) centers on the pattern of behavior in patients. The goal of the therapy is to teach the patient to change negative or harmful thoughts and actions. It involves two main components; cognitive therapy deals with the negative thoughts. Behavior therapy deals with the patient’s relative behavioral reaction.

Primarily, in cognitive behavior therapy, therapists guide patients through some methodical approaches to recognize their negative and often distorted ways of thinking or perception about the things around them, which allow them to analyze their pattern of thinking. They encourage these patients to test the reality or validity of their negative thoughts, whether they are true or not. This, in turn, would allow them to reconstruct their ways of thinking into something realistic and positive.

Thoughts control a person’s view of things and situations. A faulty perception will naturally produce faulty judgment. Therefore, in bipolar disorder patients, their negative thoughts become their reality. However, once a patient’s capacity to make good reality testing has improved, he can spot situations where he acts unusually or does possible self-damaging actions and thus, helps him stop harmful or potentially harmful behaviors.

Challenging negative thoughts is an arduous process of discovery, examination, and testing perception but patients acquire coping strategies, which help them minimize the severity of their mood swings, and reduce the effect of their illness on their social or work relationships. It gives them an encouragement to continue their medication since they are getting positive outcome. It leads to the patient’s having the ability to function normally and eventually develop a systematic plan to avoid a relapse, which could be more disastrous.

Thus, CBT becomes more appropriate bipolar treatment for stable patients, particularly those medicated patients who can openly talk about their disorder.

Are You Sure Youre The Right Candidate For Breast Lift Surgery?

As you get older or go through certain experiences in life, such as pregnancy, you are bound to experience stretching of the skin on your breasts. This would inevitably lead to drooping, which might not be such a physically appealing look. Fortunately, a breast lift surgical operation (mastopexy) would just be the thing to restore that appealing, feminine look you desire.

As much as mastopexy is a very useful type of surgery, you need to have well aware of all that is involved in the operation, especially wherever you are the right candidate for surgery or not.

How Do You Know Where Mastopexy Is For You Or Not?

Every operation involving mastopexy would always be designed to specifically suit the person who desires such a procedure. This is because all human beings have very different body contours, as well as varied health conditions. For this reason, expert surgeons would always organize thorough consultation prior to surgery, in order to fully assess your true health status and suitability for the operation. Through such an assessment, the surgeon can then map out a treatment plan best suited to your specific needs and preferences.

There exist some general guidelines concerning what needs to be assessed to gauge your suitability for mastopexy, based on information from the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery:

i. No operation can be performed on breasts that are not fully developed. What this means is that you would have to have achieved a certain level of maturity before you can even consider mastopexy, regardless of how much you want to change the appearance of your breasts. Perhaps, what you would need to do during this early stage in your life is learn to love and appreciate your natural body contours even before you opt to change what you were born with.

ii. Are you sure that you have the most realistic expectations? In your mind, are you thinking that the surgery will completely transform your look so that you achieve the appearance of some celebrity? This is one critical aspect that a professional cosmetic surgeon would deal with during consultation. Only an expert would have had enough experience dealing with numerous mastopexy patients to give you proper guidance on the most realistic expectations.

iii. Obviously, only sagging breasts would require an operation to increase firmness and create a better shape. However, this all-so-obvious aspect may not be so obvious to someone who is overtly self-conscious about her physical looks and assures that even her perfect body is just not good enough. Moreover, there are different levels of droopiness that a surgeon would handle in different ways.

iv. A wide variety of abnormal breast contours can be corrected by expert surgeons. Therefore, if you feel that your breasts simply do not look good, but are not sure whatever mastopexy can fix it, all you have to do is consult your surgeon and he / she will tell you whether the situation can be sorted or not . In some instances, your breasts may have an elongated shape or you may have an enlarged areola. Alternately, you may be having stretched skin, a flat-shaped breast or disproportionate shape of your breasts. All such cases can be rectified through surgery.

Feel the Magical Power of Cosmetic Dentistry

Are you referring in smiling or showing yourself up in parties, just because you are troubled with a long lasting dental issue that drains your your confidence? During 70's this might be an issue, but not in the 21st century, especially when Onyx Dental and skin clinic is there is at your service. So stop worrying and fix an appointment with us to feel the magical power of cosmetic healing for which we are famous for.

Through gentle care, state-of-the-art clinical facilities, we can help bring your adolescence back to your mind and body by employing our proprietary clinical solution through years of research. Our facilities will help you find the true form of rejuvenation that would extremely augment your senses to get a cool refreshing look that you craved for. And most importantly you will be able to get all this a price that fits your wallet well.

One another specialty of onyx dental is its ability in supporting customers with all required paraphernalia under the shade of a single roof. This will be particular help to you, as it will reduce your strain and expense considering, enabling you to avail the right kind of treatment at the right time. And we have no shortcuts to offer, but just the proven and sustainable solutions certified right by million smiling customers. For us quality is never an accident. We are always concerned about finding a smile of satisfaction on your face.

Our services cover a wide range of cosmetic and dental treatments suitable for all age groups. Any kind of skin, dental and cosmetic issues will be analyzed and treated aptly with advanced aesthetic equipments supported by a team of expert medical practitioners. As we are providing all this at a cost fitting your budget 100% satisfaction is a pre-guaranteed matter. Services provided include dental implants, teeth straightening, invisalign, tooth whitening, clearstep, botox, anti wrinkle, anti aging, dermal fillers, laser hair removal and many more.

Years of experience has provided us an unrivaled professional know in the field of dental and cosmetic treatment, which has also provided a clear edge in competition with our peers. Meanwhile, the enthusiasm shown by us in providing best quality services has also made us the most familiar name in many parts of the world including London, Perivale, Middlesex, UK, and Greenford. So if you now intend knowing more about the kind of service we offer, feel free to pass a call or drop in to fix an appointment with our physician.

Unlike old days, Cosmetic and dental treatment has been emerging itself as a mammoth science, with more and more people increasing coming forward for utilizing its benefits. However, like any others subjects there are also pros and cons of its uses. So we need to utilize it judiciously. To get the best out of cosmetic and dental treatment, pay to visit to onyx dental. With well trained and state-of-the-art facilities onyx dental will help curing all your issues in the quickest possible time.

Top 5 Vision Therapy Exercises

Vision therapy recommend more than 200 different eye exercises and often administer them with simple aids: glasses with different-coloured lenses, eye patches, bull’s-eye targets and beaded strings. What follows are simple vision therapy exercises that anyone can do at home.

1. Call The Ball

Write letters or numbers of various sizes on a softball, kickball or soccer ball. Hang it from the ceiling on a string and give it a push in any direction. As it swings, call out the letters or numbers you see. The Optometric Extension Program Foundation markets dozens of visual exercise items, from low-tech flashcards aimed at day care children to sophisticated computer systems for behavioural optometrists who specialize in athletic eye/hand coordination. If you like to delve deeper into vision improvement, contact the OEP for a catalog or a referral to a behavioural optometrist near you.

2. Follow Your Thumb

Several times each day, hold your thumbs out at arm’s length and move it in slow circles, crosses, Xs and in-and-out motions. Without moving your head, follow it with your eyes. Keep it – and the rest of the room – in focus as much as possible.

3. Palming

This helps relax tired eyes. Briskly rub your hands together for 15 seconds or so until they feel warm. Close your eyes and cup your warm palms over them. Make sure your palms are cupped enough so that they do not touch your eyelids. Your fingers should overlap and rest on your forehead. Holding this position, breathe deeply and regularly for a few minutes.

4. Bead And String

Thread three coloured beads along a piece of string or yarn about six feet long. Fasten one end to a wall at eye height and hold the other to the tip of your nose. Slide one bead close to the wall, the second about four feet from your nose and the third about a foot away from you. Look at the farthest bead. You should see two strings forming a V with the bead at its point. Next focus on the middle bead. You should see two strings forming an X with the bead at its cross point. Then look at the nearest bead. You should also see an X. if your eyes work as a team, as they should, you will always see two strings crossing when you focus on a bead. If not, you may see only one string, suggesting that your brain is suppressing information from your weaker eye. If you see only one string, consult a behavioural optometrist.

5. Look Away

If you do close-focus work – reading, sewing, wiring, or computer work – tack the front page of a newspaper to a wall about eight feet away. Every ten minutes or so, take a short break from your work and look at it, scanning the large headline type, the smaller subheads and the fine print. This helps maintain your focusing ability and minimizes the blurred vision many close-focus workers experience at the end of the day.

The Best Acne Medication

Although there is a wide diversity of medical cures available for acne, there is no such a thing like a single, effective acne treatment that practically works for any acne sufferer. In fact, dermatologists and skin specialists usually have to try a few products for each patient before they figure out the right treatment or the suitable combination of different treatments that will let the acne disappear.

Every case of acne is different and will do different things to the skin depending on the individual. That's the reason why acne is such a difficult skin disease to treat and cure. A lot of experimentation and trial and error with various medications is generally needed before a successful treatment is found. This can be very frustrating for the individual that wants a quick-fix solution to their problem or even for those individuals that have a stubborn strain of acne that takes a long time to clear up. The first thing to do is to find a doctor or skin specialist in your area that is experienced in treating acne, just ask around a bit.

But there is also a lot you can do yourself to improve your acne condition: Try to avoid the following "Don't Do" rules. You should in no way scrub the skin that is affected by acne. It does not do any good, in fact, scrubbing causes irritation and inflammation of your acne, which leads to even more pimples. It also slows down the healing of your older acne lesions.

Never try to self-treat or self-medicate. Don't squeeze or pick your pimples. If necessary at all, leave this to your professional and experienced dermatologist. generally the first treatment your doctor suggests you is applying a topical cream. Topical creams and ointments do not fight the root causes of your acne, they rather assist you managing the symptoms.

Of course, the treatment that is prescribed by your doctor depends on the acne symptoms you are suffering from. It will either be aimed at unplugging pores, killing bacteria (reducing the amount of oils (such as Accutane) or altering the hormones that stimulate the sebaceous glands (such as oral contraceptives).

If you tried topical creams for a while and they are not as efficient as you would like them to, your dermatologist will typically combine them with an oral antibiotic. The topical creams generally contain benzoyl peroxide which although effective, should be used in small doses. Research has recently shown that benzoyl peroxide can cause premature aging of your skin, if you use it too often or for a long period.

The most vital thing to remember when trying to rid yourself of acne is to work with a trained medical professional that you trust. Also be patient. Acne is serious skin disease, it is not something that will disappear overnight. It may sound crazy to you, but fact is, that even with a working treatment on hand, your acne condition will worsen before it finally gets better and better. Doctors normally advise continuing a treatment for at least four to six weeks before expecting to see results. Do not be disappointed if the first treatment that you try does not work. Expect to try several different treatments before finally finding success.

Dental Insurance: Biting on the Cost for Private Treatment

This spring the British Government is forcing a new service contract on dentists including new pay scales, changes in opening hours and surgery arrangements.

Now dentists are not normally a complaining profession, but there’s now open rebellion amongst them about this new contract. And they’re determined not to be bullied.

As a result, thousands of dentists are refusing to accept the new contract and will quit the NHS at the end of March. This will create mayhem for clients – and especially for the five million of us who seek emergency treatment for toothache each year!

Many clients seeking treatment on the NHS will just be refused treatment. And those dentists who accept the new NHS contract will face a flood of new clients. The vast majority will again be turned away as even before this dental bust up, there was an appalling shortage of dentists. Waiting lists are bound to stretch into the ether!

As a result, if you’re desperate for treatment to a broken tooth or an abscess, or even want a check up, you’ll be forced to search out one of the community based and NHS operated dental surgeries. If you’re not sure where to find one, ask your Doctor for details of the closest to you. Unfortunately, the odds are it’ll be miles away. Long journeys and a hospital style queue will be the norm. Getting dental treatment will be a days job!

For many of us, going private is the only practical solution. The cynical amongst us may suspect that that’s what the Government wanted all along!

Going private means getting an appointment when you want one rather than waiting for ages with the NHS, and the ability to pick and choose your dentist. But it won’t be cheap. The only good news is there are solutions to control your costs.

Essentially you have four financial options: pay yourself as you go, dental insurance, capitalisation schemes or cash plans. Let’s consider the financial help you can buy:

Dental Insurance

The insurance industry has responded with a wide range of varying dental insurance policies. The following are just a few typical examples to give you a favour:

The Axa PPP Healthcare’s Dental Costguard policy is designed to cover you just for dental emergencies and not routine work – you’ll have to pay those cost all by yourself. But emergency treatment often works out expensive so Axa’s policy does have merit. Axa’s benefits include:

o Up to £10,000 cover per year for treatment following a dental accident (up to £2,500 per incident).

o Up to £250 emergency temporary treatment per incident in the UK and £500 per incident if you’re overseas. That’s up to a maximum payout of £1,000 per year.

o Up to £100 per incident for dentist call-out charges upto £200 per year.

o £50 per night if you’r in hospital under the care of a maxillo-facial or oral surgeon. Again, that’s subject to a £1,000 annual maximum.

o Oral cancer is insured up to up to £25,000.

o Dentist’s charges are reimbursed directly to you.

o And Axa provides a 24 hour helpline providing dental advice.

And the cost? It’s £7.95 per month for a single policy or £9.95 for a policy to insure a couple.

If you want a policy that covers both emergency and routine work, a policy such as WPS’s Providential policy could fit the bill. It provides a basic level of dentistry cover. Policyholders have to pay the first 25% of each treatment but can claim up to £250 per year towards routine treatment including check-ups, visits to the hygienist and fillings. Emergency dental treatment can be claimed up to £1,000 per year but cover for accidental dental injury is limited to £250 per treatment. For those aged between 18 and 49 the premium is £12.48 and it’s £15.90 per month for those aged between 50 and 69.

For only £6 per month you can get basic dental cover with Universal Provident. Their policy insures you for up to £1,000 per year for routine work but it won’t pay for check-ups. Accidental damage up to £1,000 per year and dental emergencies are insured up to £5,000 per year.

Many policies also place a maximum on the number of dental treatments they’ll pay for each year. For example, the policy from Boot’s limits your claims to two check-ups, one crown and four fillings a year up to £500. Boot’s policies start at £9 per month.

So, as you can see from this tiny selection of policies, there are lots of options and lots of aspects to consider.

Capitalisation Schemes

These are more expensive – but you pay for what you get! Before taking up a policy, your dentist has to make an assessment of your dental health and place you in one of, normally, five treatment groups. This will determine how much your scheme costs. The better your dental condition, the less you pay.

For example, Denplan’s dental care scheme costs between £9 and £30 per month and they tell us that the average price is £16.

Cash Back Plans

The last alternative is a combined health cash plan. Dental care is covered along with a wide range of other health treatments such as optical treatment, hospital treatment, physiotherapy, chiropody even allergy testing. Each policy spells out exactly what is insured and the maximum value you can claim to for each type of health treatment. There’s plenty of choice as most cash back plans offer three or four alternative levels of benefit. The more you pay, the more you are able to claim.

Some plans allow you to reclaim all of the cost up to the annual maximum set in each health category; some will only pay a proportion of the cost. With cash back plans, the maximum cover for dentistry tends to be in the £70 to £200 per year range depending on the policy you choose and the level of cover you choose.

For examples of back cash plans, visit the following web sites and click on “cash plans” when you get there: http://www.securehealth.co.uk and [http://www.hsa.co.uk].

How to find the best deals in Dental cover

As with most types of insurance, you’ll find it cheapest on the Internet. Many companies give a 10% discount for buying on the Internet. Search for “dental insurance” but use the UK variant of your favourite search engine – otherwise masses of American sites will pop up!

The best sites are those that either compare dental plans or those which are operated by a specialist dental insurance broker. With these brokers, you submit your details and come back with the options and dental policies that best suit your requirements. They’ll also be on the look out for special offers.

But if are determined to go direct to an insurance company, you can still do it on the Internet – but it’s unlikely that you’ll stumble on exactly the best policy! There are so many to choose from! And the broker will probably find it for you cheaper. So, it will come as no surprise to you that we recommend the broker route!

All About Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are essential elements of the teeth structure. It protects a heavily filled tooth from any kind of fracture and preserves the remaining tooth structure. The core advantage of using dental crowns is get aesthetic, comfortable and healthy tooth structure. Improve the appearance of your teeth through smooth and polished surfaces that gives a healthy impression.

Going for a dental crown treatment is a casual thing now. All you have to do is to take some time out of your schedule in order to take a visit to your nearby dentist. Normally, two visits are needed for the completion of a treatment which does not cause any pain to the patients. In first session, generally preparation of the tooth, impression matching, and fabrication of a temporary dental crown are processed.

In this visit, you can choose the shade of your tooth as well. For a better match, you can visit the dental laboratory and get the final match to fulfill your needs. After choosing your kind of shade, you are asked to return back to the dentist after two weeks. In your second week, you are given tooth fixing treatments.

Factors that affect the cost of crown:
Dentistry is an everyday developing science. The cost of a treatment is usually charged on the basis of the clinical work involved in the cosmetic dentistry: Here are the following three factors that decide the cost of a dental treatment:

Efforts put by the technician:
Basic dental crowns are made by junior technician whereas, if you are looking for precision dental crowns, you need to engage the services of a skilled and experienced technician.

The laboratory works:
Nowadays, with the increase in choices, patients can actually choose buying crowns from NHS laboratories and state-of-the-art private laboratories. Choose the best and get the best.

Material used in the treatment procedure:
You can use a wide variety of materials made up of the metal alloys and tooth-colored cosmetic porcelains.

Top Foods to Include in a Low Carb Diet Plan

When you talk about a low carb diet plan, it involves a diet eating natural and unprocessed foot containing minimal carbohydrates. It’s been proven scientifically that a low carb diet plan helps with weight loss while optimizing health and lowering the risk of any disease.

Basically, the amount of foods you can eat, and the foods you should eat depend on things like how healthy you are, the amount of weight you want to lose and the amount of exercise you do. Based on this, you can follow these general guidelines for a low carb diet plan:

You can eat fruits, nuts, healthy oils, vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, seeds, high-fat dairy and perhaps some tubers and non-gluten grains. The foods you should not eat while on this diet are wheat, trans fats, HFCS, sugar, highly processed foods, seed oils and ‘diet’ and low-fat products.

So in a more clearly defined aspect, you need to avoid these 7 foods:

  1. Sugar – foods like agave, candy, ice-cream, soft drinks, fruit juices and many others.
  2. Trans fats – hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.
  3. Gluten grains – barley, rye, wheat and spelt, and includes breads and pastas.
  4. Artificial sweeteners – sucralose, aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin and Acesulfame Potassium. Instead, it’s better if you use Stevia.
  5. Diet and low-fat products – dairy products, crackers and cereals.
  6. High Omega-6 seed and vegetable oils – soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, safflower, corn, grape seed and canola oils.
  7. Highly processed foods – avoid eating food processed in factories. Moreover, it’s even better if you maintain a habit of reading all ingredients’ lists of foods, especially ‘health foods’.

Your diet should be based on these real and unprocessed low-carb foods. This includes eggs, where the omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are the best, meat like lamb, pork, chicken, beef and others where the grass-fed varieties are the best, nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds and vegetables like broccoli, carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

In addition to this, you should eat more of nuts and seeds, fish like salmon, haddock and trout where the wild caught fishes are a better choice, fruits like apples, pears, strawberries, blueberries and oranges, high-fat dairy like cheese, heavy cream, yogurt and butter and fats and oils like coconut oil, olive oil, cod-fish liver oil, butter and lard.

Though you are permitted to eat these foods, if you are on a diet to lose weight, you need to be careful about eating cheese and nuts as you can easily overeat them. Don’t eat more than a piece of fruit every day.

If you don’t want to lose weight

You can however afford to eat a bit more carbs if you are an active and healthy person who needn’t lose weight. You can eat tubers like sweet potatoes and potatoes, legumes like pinto beans, lentils and black beans and non-gluten grains like quinoa, oats and rice. You can also eat dark chocolates with 70% cocoa or higher and dry wines with no added sugar or carbs in moderation, if you want.

Though permissible, both dark chocolate and alcohol will hinder your progress if too much is consumed. You can however drink coffee, tea, water and carbonated soda without any artificial sweeteners when on a low-carb diet plan.

Health Savings Accounts – An American Innovation in Health Insurance

INTRODUCTON – The term “health insurance” is commonly used in the United States to describe any program that helps pay for medical expenses, whether through privately purchased insurance, social insurance or a non-insurance social welfare program funded by the government. Synonyms for this usage include “health coverage,” “health care coverage” and “health benefits” and “medical insurance.” In a more technical sense, the term is used to describe any form of insurance that provides protection against injury or illness.

In America, the health insurance industry has changed rapidly during the last few decades. In the 1970’s most people who had health insurance had indemnity insurance. Indemnity insurance is often called fee-forservice. It is the traditional health insurance in which the medical provider (usually a doctor or hospital) is paid a fee for each service provided to the patient covered under the policy. An important category associated with the indemnity plans is that of consumer driven health care (CDHC). Consumer-directed health plans allow individuals and families to have greater control over their health care, including when and how they access care, what types of care they receive and how much they spend on health care services.

These plans are however associated with higher deductibles that the insured have to pay from their pocket before they can claim insurance money. Consumer driven health care plans include Health Reimbursement Plans (HRAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), high deductible health plans (HDHps), Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Of these, the Health Savings Accounts are the most recent and they have witnessed rapid growth during the last decade.

WHAT IS A HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT?

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged medical savings account available to taxpayers in the United States. The funds contributed to the account are not subject to federal income tax at the time of deposit. These may be used to pay for qualified medical expenses at any time without federal tax liability.

Another feature is that the funds contributed to Health Savings Account roll over and accumulate year over year if not spent. These can be withdrawn by the employees at the time of retirement without any tax liabilities. Withdrawals for qualified expenses and interest earned are also not subject to federal income taxes. According to the U.S. Treasury Office, ‘A Health Savings Account is an alternative to traditional health insurance; it is a savings product that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their health care.

HSA’s enable you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis.’ Thus the Health Savings Account is an effort to increase the efficiency of the American health care system and to encourage people to be more responsible and prudent towards their health care needs. It falls in the category of consumer driven health care plans.

Origin of Health Savings Account

The Health Savings Account was established under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act passed by the U.S. Congress in June 2003, by the Senate in July 2003 and signed by President Bush on December 8, 2003.

Eligibility –

The following individuals are eligible to open a Health Savings Account –

– Those who are covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

– Those not covered by other health insurance plans.

– Those not enrolled in Medicare4.

Also there are no income limits on who may contribute to an HAS and there is no requirement of having earned income to contribute to an HAS. However HAS’s can’t be set up by those who are dependent on someone else’s tax return. Also HSA’s cannot be set up independently by children.

What is a High Deductible Health plan (HDHP)?

Enrollment in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) is a necessary qualification for anyone wishing to open a Health Savings Account. In fact the HDHPs got a boost by the Medicare Modernization Act which introduced the HSAs. A High Deductible Health Plan is a health insurance plan which has a certain deductible threshold. This limit must be crossed before the insured person can claim insurance money. It does not cover first dollar medical expenses. So an individual has to himself pay the initial expenses that are called out-of-pocket costs.

In a number of HDHPs costs of immunization and preventive health care are excluded from the deductible which means that the individual is reimbursed for them. HDHPs can be taken both by individuals (self employed as well as employed) and employers. In 2008, HDHPs are being offered by insurance companies in America with deductibles ranging from a minimum of $1,100 for Self and $2,200 for Self and Family coverage. The maximum amount out-of-pocket limits for HDHPs is $5,600 for self and $11,200 for Self and Family enrollment. These deductible limits are called IRS limits as they are set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In HDHPs the relation between the deductibles and the premium paid by the insured is inversely propotional i.e. higher the deductible, lower the premium and vice versa. The major purported advantages of HDHPs are that they will a) lower health care costs by causing patients to be more cost-conscious, and b) make insurance premiums more affordable for the uninsured. The logic is that when the patients are fully covered (i.e. have health plans with low deductibles), they tend to be less health conscious and also less cost conscious when going for treatment.

Opening a Health Savings Account

An individual can sign up for HSAs with banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other approved companies. However not all insurance companies offer HSAqualified health insurance plans so it is important to use an insurance company that offers this type of qualified insurance plan. The employer may also set up a plan for the employees. However, the account is always owned by the individual. Direct online enrollment in HSA-qualified health insurance is available in all states except Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Contributions to the Health Savings Account

Contributions to HSAs can be made by an individual who owns the account, by an employer or by any other person. When made by the employer, the contribution is not included in the income of the employee. When made by an employee, it is treated as exempted from federal tax. For 2008, the maximum amount that can be contributed (and deducted) to an HSA from all sources is:

$2,900 (self-only coverage)

$5,800 (family coverage)

These limits are set by the U.S. Congress through statutes and they are indexed annually for inflation. For individuals above 55 years of age, there is a special catch up provision that allows them to deposit additional $800 for 2008 and $900 for 2009. The actual maximum amount an individual can contribute also depends on the number of months he is covered by an HDHP (pro-rated basis) as of the first day of a month. For eg If you have family HDHP coverage from January 1,2008 until June 30, 2008, then cease having HDHP coverage, you are allowed an HSA contribution of 6/12 of $5,800, or $2,900 for 2008. If you have family HDHP coverage from January 1,2008 until June 30, 2008, and have self-only HDHP coverage from July 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008, you are allowed an HSA contribution of 6/12 x $5,800 plus 6/12 of $2,900, or $4,350 for 2008. If an individual opens an HDHP on the first day of a month, then he can contribute to HSA on the first day itself. However, if he/she opens an account on any other day than the first, then he can contribute to the HSA from the next month onwards. Contributions can be made as late as April 15 of the following year. Contributions to the HSA in excess of the contribution limits must be withdrawn by the individual or be subject to an excise tax. The individual must pay income tax on the excess withdrawn amount.

Contributions by the Employer

The employer can make contributions to the employee’s HAS account under a salary reduction plan known as Section 125 plan. It is also called a cafeteria plan. The contributions made under the cafeteria plan are made on a pre-tax basis i.e. they are excluded from the employee’s income. The employer must make the contribution on a comparable basis. Comparable contributions are contributions to all HSAs of an employer which are 1) the same amount or 2) the same percentage of the annual deductible. However, part time employees who work for less than 30 hours a week can be treated separately. The employer can also categorize employees into those who opt for self coverage only and those who opt for a family coverage. The employer can automatically make contributions to the HSAs on the behalf of the employee unless the employee specifically chooses not to have such contributions by the employer.

Withdrawals from the HSAs

The HSA is owned by the employee and he/she can make qualified expenses from it whenever required. He/She also decides how much to contribute to it, how much to withdraw for qualified expenses, which company will hold the account and what type of investments will be made to grow the account. Another feature is that the funds remain in the account and role over from year to year. There are no use it or lose it rules. The HSA participants do not have to obtain advance approval from their HSA trustee or their medical insurer to withdraw funds, and the funds are not subject to income taxation if made for ‘qualified medical expenses’. Qualified medical expenses include costs for services and items covered by the health plan but subject to cost sharing such as a deductible and coinsurance, or co-payments, as well as many other expenses not covered under medical plans, such as dental, vision and chiropractic care; durable medical equipment such as eyeglasses and hearing aids; and transportation expenses related to medical care. Nonprescription, over-the-counter medications are also eligible. However, qualified medical expense must be incurred on or after the HSA was established.

Tax free distributions can be taken from the HSA for the qualified medical expenses of the person covered by the HDHP, the spouse (even if not covered) of the individual and any dependent (even if not covered) of the individual.12 The HSA account can also be used to pay previous year’s qualified expenses subject to the condition that those expenses were incurred after the HSA was set up. The individual must preserve the receipts for expenses met from the HSA as they may be needed to prove that the withdrawals from the HSA were made for qualified medical expenses and not otherwise used. Also the individual may have to produce the receipts before the insurance company to prove that the deductible limit was met. If a withdrawal is made for unqualified medical expenses, then the amount withdrawn is considered taxable (it is added to the individuals income) and is also subject to an additional 10 percent penalty. Normally the money also cannot be used for paying medical insurance premiums. However, in certain circumstances, exceptions are allowed.

These are –

1) to pay for any health plan coverage while receiving federal or state unemployment benefits.

2) COBRA continuation coverage after leaving employment with a company that offers health insurance coverage.

3) Qualified long-term care insurance.

4) Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance for: Part A (hospital and inpatient services), Part B (physician and outpatient services), Part C (Medicare HMO and PPO plans) and Part D (prescription drugs).

However, if an individual dies, becomes disabled or reaches the age of 65, then withdrawals from the Health Savings Account are considered exempted from income tax and additional 10 percent penalty irrespective of the purpose for which those withdrawals are made. There are different methods through which funds can be withdrawn from the HSAs. Some HSAs provide account holders with debit cards, some with cheques and some have options for a reimbursement process similar to medical insurance.

Growth of HSAs

Ever since the Health Savings Accounts came into being in January 2004, there has been a phenomenal growth in their numbers. From around 1 million enrollees in March 2005, the number has grown to 6.1 million enrollees in January 2008.14 This represents an increase of 1.6 million since January 2007, 2.9 million since January 2006 and 5.1 million since March 2005. This growth has been visible across all segments. However, the growth in large groups and small groups has been much higher than in the individual category. According to the projections made by the U.S. Treasury Department, the number of HSA policy holders will increase to 14 million by 2010. These 14 million policies will provide cover to 25 to 30 million U.S. citizens.

In the Individual Market, 1.5 million people were covered by HSA/HDHPs purchased as on January 2008. Based on the number of covered lives, 27 percent of newly purchased individual policies (defined as those purchased during the most recent full month or quarter) were enrolled in HSA/HDHP coverage. In the small group market, enrollment stood at 1.8 million as of January 2008. In this group 31 percent of all new enrollments were in the HSA/HDHP category. The large group category had the largest enrollment with 2.8 million enrollees as of January 2008. In this category, six percent of all new enrollments were in the HSA/HDHP category.

Benefits of HSAs

The proponents of HSAs envisage a number of benefits from them. First and foremost it is believed that as they have a high deductible threshold, the insured will be more health conscious. Also they will be more cost conscious. The high deductibles will encourage people to be more careful about their health and health care expenses and will make them shop for bargains and be more vigilant against excesses in the health care industry. This, it is believed, will reduce the growing cost of health care and increase the efficiency of the health care system in the United States. HSA-eligible plans typically provide enrollee decision support tools that include, to some extent, information on the cost of health care services and the quality of health care providers. Experts suggest that reliable information about the cost of particular health care services and the quality of specific health care providers would help enrollees become more actively engaged in making health care purchasing decisions. These tools may be provided by health insurance carriers to all health insurance plan enrollees, but are likely to be more important to enrollees of HSA-eligible plans who have a greater financial incentive to make informed decisions about the quality and costs of health care providers and services.

It is believed that lower premiums associated with HSAs/HDHPs will enable more people to enroll for medical insurance. This will mean that lower income groups who do not have access to medicare will be able to open HSAs. No doubt higher deductibles are associated with HSA eligible HDHPs, but it is estimated that tax savings under HSAs and lower premiums will make them less expensive than other insurance plans. The funds put in the HSA can be rolled over from year to year. There are no use it or lose it rules. This leads to a growth in savings of the account holder. The funds can be accumulated tax free for future medical expenses if the holder so desires. Also the savings in the HSA can be grown through investments.

The nature of such investments is decided by the insured. The earnings on savings in the HSA are also exempt from income tax. The holder can withdraw his savings in the HSA after turning 65 years old without paying any taxes or penalties. The account holder has complete control over his/her account. He/She is the owner of the account right from its inception. A person can withdraw money as and when required without any gatekeeper. Also the owner decides how much to put in his/her account, how much to spend and how much to save for the future. The HSAs are portable in nature. This means that if the holder changes his/her job, becomes unemployed or moves to another location, he/she can still retain the account.

Also if the account holder so desires he can transfer his Health Saving Account from one managing agency to another. Thus portability is an advantage of HSAs. Another advantage is that most HSA plans provide first-dollar coverage for preventive care. This is true of virtually all HSA plans offered by large employers and over 95% of the plans offered by small employers. It was also true of over half (59%) of the plans which were purchased by individuals.

All of the plans offering first-dollar preventive care benefits included annual physicals, immunizations, well-baby and wellchild care, mammograms and Pap tests; 90% included prostate cancer screenings and 80% included colon cancer screenings. Some analysts believe that HSAs are more beneficial for the young and healthy as they do not have to pay frequent out of pocket costs. On the other hand, they have to pay lower premiums for HDHPs which help them meet unforeseen contingencies.

Health Savings Accounts are also advantageous for the employers. The benefits of choosing a health Savings Account over a traditional health insurance plan can directly affect the bottom line of an employer’s benefit budget. For instance Health Savings Accounts are dependent on a high deductible insurance policy, which lowers the premiums of the employee’s plan. Also all contributions to the Health Savings Account are pre-tax, thus lowering the gross payroll and reducing the amount of taxes the employer must pay.

Criticism of HSAs

The opponents of Health Savings Accounts contend that they would do more harm than good to America’s health insurance system. Some consumer organizations, such as Consumers Union, and many medical organizations, such as the American Public Health Association, have rejected HSAs because, in their opinion, they benefit only healthy, younger people and make the health care system more expensive for everyone else. According to Stanford economist Victor Fuchs, “The main effect of putting more of it on the consumer is to reduce the social redistributive element of insurance.

Some others believe that HSAs remove healthy people from the insurance pool and it makes premiums rise for everyone left. HSAs encourage people to look out for themselves more and spread the risk around less. Another concern is that the money people save in HSAs will be inadequate. Some people believe that HSAs do not allow for enough savings to cover costs. Even the person who contributes the maximum and never takes any money out would not be able to cover health care costs in retirement if inflation continues in the health care industry.

Opponents of HSAs, also include distinguished figures like state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, who called them a “dangerous prescription” that will destabilize the health insurance marketplace and make things even worse for the uninsured. Another criticism is that they benefit the rich more than the poor. Those who earn more will be able to get bigger tax breaks than those who earn less. Critics point out that higher deductibles along with insurance premiums will take away a large share of the earnings of the low income groups. Also lower income groups will not benefit substantially from tax breaks as they are already paying little or no taxes. On the other hand tax breaks on savings in HSAs and on further income from those HSA savings will cost billions of dollars of tax money to the exchequer.

The Treasury Department has estimated HSAs would cost the government $156 billion over a decade. Critics say that this could rise substantially. Several surveys have been conducted regarding the efficacy of the HSAs and some have found that the account holders are not particularly satisfied with the HSA scheme and many are even ignorant about the working of the HSAs. One such survey conducted in 2007 of American employees by the human resources consulting firm Towers Perrin showed satisfaction with account based health plans (ABHPs) was low. People were not happy with them in general compared with people with more traditional health care. Respondants said they were not comfortable with the risk and did not understand how it works.

According to the Commonwealth Fund, early experience with HAS eligible high-deductible health plans reveals low satisfaction, high out of- pocket costs, and cost-related access problems. Another survey conducted with the Employee Benefits Research Institute found that people enrolled in HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans were much less satisfied with many aspects of their health care than adults in more comprehensive plans People in these plans allocate substantial amounts of income to their health care, especially those who have poorer health or lower incomes. The survey also found that adults in high-deductible health plans are far more likely to delay or avoid getting needed care, or to skip medications, because of the cost. Problems are particularly pronounced among those with poorer health or lower incomes.

Political leaders have also been vocal about their criticism of the HSAs. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. issued the following statement criticizing the HSAs “The President’s health care plan is not about covering the uninsured, making health insurance affordable, or even driving down the cost of health care. Its real purpose is to make it easier for businesses to dump their health insurance burden onto workers, give tax breaks to the wealthy, and boost the profits of banks and financial brokers. The health care policies concocted at the behest of special interests do nothing to help the average American. In many cases, they can make health care even more inaccessible.” In fact a report of the U.S. governments Accountability office, published on April 1, 2008 says that the rate of enrollment in the HSAs is greater for higher income individuals than for lower income ones.

A study titled “Health Savings Accounts and High Deductible Health Plans: Are They an Option for Low-Income Families? By Catherine Hoffman and Jennifer Tolbert which was sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation reported the following key findings regarding the HSAs:

a) Premiums for HSA-qualified health plans may be lower than for traditional insurance, but these plans shift more of the financial risk to individuals and families through higher deductibles.

b) Premiums and out-of-pocket costs for HSA-qualified health plans would consume a substantial portion of a low-income family’s budget.

c) Most low-income individuals and families do not face high enough tax liability to benefit in a significant way from tax deductions associated with HSAs.

d) People with chronic conditions, disabilities, and others with high cost medical needs may face even greater out-of-pocket costs under HSA-qualified health plans.

e) Cost-sharing reduces the use of health care, especially primary and preventive services, and low-income individuals and those who are sicker are particularly sensitive to cost-sharing increases.

f) Health savings accounts and high deductible plans are unlikely to substantially increase health insurance coverage among the uninsured.

Choosing a Health Plan

Despite the advantages offered by the HSA, it may not be suitable for everyone. While choosing an insurance plan, an individual must consider the following factors:

1. The premiums to be paid.

2. Coverage/benefits available under the scheme.

3. Various exclusions and limitations.

4. Portability.

5. Out-of-pocket costs like coinsurance, co-pays, and deductibles.

6. Access to doctors, hospitals, and other providers.

7. How much and sometimes how one pays for care.

8. Any existing health issue or physical disability.

9. Type of tax savings available.

The plan you choose should according to your requirements and financial ability.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1 Questions and Answers about Health Insurance- A Consumer Guide’ published jointly by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)

2 http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_savings_account

3 2002 AHIP Survey of Health Insurance Plans

4 “How High Is Too High? Implications of High-Deductible Health Plans” Davis, Karen; Michelle Doty and Alice Ho. The Commonwealth Fund, April 2005

5 http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us/schs/pdf/hsa_tri-fold_brochure.pdf

6 HSA/HDHP CENSUS 2008 by Hannah Yoo, Center for Policy and Research, America’s Health Insurance Plans

7″HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS Early Enrollee Experiences with Accounts and Eligible Health Plans” John E. Dicken Director, Health Care.

8 Thomas Wilder and Hannah Yoo, “A Survey of Preventive Benefits in Health Savings Account (HSA)Plans, July 2007,” America’s Health Insurance Plans, November 2007

9 Gladwell, Malcolm, “The Moral Hazard Myth”, The New Yorker (29-08-2005)

10 2008 Benchmark Survey HAS Bank

11. Employer Health Benefits 2007 Annual Survey, Kaiser Family Foundation

12. Health Savings Accounts and High Deductible Health Plans: Are They An Option for Low-Income Families?Catherine Hoffman and Jennifer Tolbert for Kaiser Family Foundation, October 2006

13. Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003