Allergies In Children: How They Affect The Ear, Nose And Throat

Children fall ill all the time and it can often be difficult to figure out whether they are suffering from an allergy or whether they have simply caught some virus or infection. While allergies often surface after a child crosses the age of four, some of them may start to show signs of food allergies even before that. Otherwise, children below this age may be reacting to dust or pollen in the air.

Nasal allergies are very common and they can often lead to larger problems like asthma. These signs include itchy noses, sneezing, congestion in the nose and nasal drainage. Observing the weather conditions when your child most frequently gets these problems could help a doctor in determining whether it is an allergy or not.

Sore Throats

Very often, an extra amount of mucus may be produced due to an allergy. This can lead to a nose dripping or leaking down the back of the throat which then becomes a post-nasal drip. When this happens, it affects the throat which can then come out in the form of a cough, a husky voice or a sore throat.

Ear Infections

Otitis Media, commonly called the middle ear infection, is a very common medical problem that is seen in children. Usually, kids who suffer from this problem when they are below 2 years of age do not suffer due to an allergy. However, as they get older, allergies could play a big role in fluid that is found behind the ear drum, infections or uncomfortable air pressure in this area.

Sleep Disorders

If your kid is suffering from either seasonal allergic rhinitis or year-round allergic rhinitis, one of the most common symptoms is nasal obstruction. When there is congestion in the nasal region, sleep disorders often occur. Since the nasal airway is used as the common route for a person when they sleep, any congestion or obstruction can lead to snoring or sleep apnea. Sleeping disorders then lead to fatigue which not only affects the quality of life of the child but is has also been seen to affect their performance in school and their overall development.

Sinusitis

Children who suffer from persistent sinusitis should be checked for allergies. Studies have shown that allergic children are more likely to get large adenoids. Adenoids are tonsil-like tissues that are found at the back of the nose. If you visit a pediatrician, they will study the medical history of your child and conduct an exam in order to determine whether he or she is likely to be suffering from some kind of allergy.

Six Reasons Why Nomad Furniture’s Solid Wood Platform Bed Frames Don’t Wobble

Solid Wood Platform Bed Frames crafted by Nomad Furniture in Albuquerque, New Mexico are impeccably created so that you received a frame that won’t wobble. What makes these frames so robust and strong?

1) True Craftsmanship since 1982

Dave Cady’s Nomad Furniture has been making platform bed frames since 1982, and these years of experience and knowledge is put into every piece of furniture they make.

One component of a frame that does not wobble is the fact that each leg and each side rail and headboard is thoroughly measured, so that there are no mistakes. Faulty engineering can sometimes be the downfall, literally, of a frame that is not stable.

2) Shoulder Screw Construction

These frames are designed to ensure that the crosspiece side rails that attach to the legs are snug and secure. This is done with internal components referred to as shoulder screw connectors.

Each crosspiece is fitted with an embedded steel harness that lines up to fit over the shoulder screws on each leg. The rail is pushed down over the screws and tapped down carefully with a rubber mallet.

The frame is rigid and snug. The steel shoulder screw joint, connecting the rails to the legs, is fixed and sturdy. This is one huge component that makes for the fact that this frame that will not wobble. There are no external screws, bolts or nails used to attach the rails to the legs. The sturdy and elegant appearance of each frame truly adds to the décor of any bedroom.

3) Solid Hardwood Construction

Using hardwoods of Oak and Maple guarantees a durable frame that can last for ages. There is NO bargain material used in these frames. That means that there is no laminate, particle board or low-grade plywood in these frames. Softer woods like pine can dent and bruise easily. Hardwoods are more resistant to everyday wear and tear.

Hardwoods withstand warping, cupping, marring, abrasion, wear and moisture. This sentence says a lot! Hardwood furniture is far beyond all other woods available. This is really important in a platform bed frame. You don’t want that frame to crumble in the middle of the night.

4) The Slat Set

An additional aspect of receiving a bed that won’t wobble is that you are held up on a frame that has furniture grade poplar slats. Poplar is a hardwood that is far stronger than pine or laminated slats. Having a substantial slat set is very important in order to transfer the weight of the mattress and you evenly around the foundation. When shopping, don’t forget to ask about the material used for the slats.

5) Center Board Supports

An important part of the design is that each Full, Queen, King and Cal King is constructed with a center boards. The Full and Queen have one center board, and the King and Cal King have two center boards. Speaking of strong! You are aptly supported underneath and is most important. When the foundation is strong, you can be assured that your bed will not cave in.

6) Y-Support Legs

And, if all of this is not enough, Y-support legs are available to support the center boards. Thus, this gives you additional foundational insurance that your bed will not wobble.

SUMMARY:

Nomad Furniture Platform Bed Frames are made with the highest integrity. Nomad has an impressive reputation as a reliable and respectable business. This integrity is reflected in each piece of furniture that leaves the warehouse. What you get is a piece of furniture that is perfectly designed to last and last for many years to come. The future generation may actually inherit your frame. The use of Oak and Maple Hardwoods guarantees that they will be more resistant to everyday deterioration.

The shoulder screw construction creates a frame that fits snugly and tightly together to minimize any wobble in the frame.

A superior slat set made from furniture grade poplar is an affirmation you that you have solid foundation beneath you.

Center support boards and additional Y- legs offer additional insurance to a frame that is strong, solid and one that will last and last for years to come.

The end product is a frame that is well designed for both form and function. You get a gorgeous piece of furniture that will enhance any bedroom.

How to Purchase a Used Automobile: Tips From the Auto Insurance Guys

These days, purchasing a new car requires a lot of money. For those looking for another option due to the financial output, shopping for a used car may be a good bet. Of course, a previously owned car, no matter how sleek and shiny may have hidden disadvantages.

Below find tips from some finely-tuned insurance professionals on how to go about the task of shopping for a used car.

8 Ways to Get a Good Deal on a Previously-Owned Car

• Decide How Much You Can Spend on the Purchase
Prior to shopping around for a good used car, do a personal financial tally. Then focus only on buys you can afford – whether via financing or full payment method.

• Choose the Right Kind of Vehicle
Unmarried people without kids do not need a big car. On the other side of the coin, married individuals with children in tow could use a larger car. Recreational drivers, long-distance drivers and city or highway drivers have different needs as well. Assess your individual requirements, then shop for the car that matches them.

• Check Out Prices and Repair Frequency
Look online to determine what you should be paying for car makes and models according to year and usage. This search will also let you know what type of vehicles requires less maintenance work and what type has less mechanical headaches.

• Learn about the Car's Past
Research a particular car's history by putting in the Vehicle Information Numbers. This will get you to a full report about past collisions, owners and even recorded maintenance and repair jobs.

• Test the Car out by Taking it for a Spin
Drive your prospective car purchase over a calculated route that includes hills, bumps, curves and highway maneuvering. This way, you'll get an idea how the overall driving ability is.

• Get a Professional Mechanic's Opinion
Enlist your favorite mechanic in the decision by hiring him or her to inspect the car for surface problems that a layman like you may not be able to detect.

• Use Your Price-Negotiating Skills
Utilize the knowledge you have gained from all your research on the car to negotiate a price that fairly reflects its true value.

And Last But Surely Not Least

• Do not Forget About Auto Insurance
Before completing the buying process, speak to an experienced independent insurance agent about insurance for the vehicle. After binding the policy, sign the contract, pay, and you are good to go. No worries about the possibility of no coverage on the road to home!

Now that you have a new (used) automobile take care of it with good maintenance practices and remember to keep driving safety a priority.

Happy driving!

Makoto – The Samurai’s Watchword

When I first came to Japan, I was confused by the way some people used the word “sincerity.” They seemed to be using it to mean something very different from what I had always understood the word to mean. To me, a sincere person is one whose words and actions reflect the deepest feelings and beliefs of their better nature–I had certainly never thought of a sincere person as one who would commit violence. But in Japan, I heard the word sincerity being applied to people like the 47 ronin; 47 “masterless samurai” who killed and cut off the head of a shogunal official by the name of Kira as revenge for a perceived insult to their lord.

Their lord had lost his temper, drawn his sword and attacked the man inside the Shogun’s castle in Edo, for which crime he was ordered to commit seppuku. His heirs lost all rights to his ancestral lands, and his samurai retainers suddenly found themselves unemployed. 47 of his former retainers showed their “sincerity” by, two years after the fact, taking lethal revenge on Kira, the man their lord had attacked. For this they are held up as paragons of the spirit of bushido and sincerity.

As my Japanese got better, I came to realize that this odd usage of the word sincerity was a problem of translation. When people told me that the 47 ronin had “sincerity” what they meant was that they had “makoto.” Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary defines makoto this way: “sincerity; a true (single) heart; faithfulness; honesty; fidelity; constancy; devotion.”

But makoto is a difficult word to translate because it carries a lot of baggage. The standard translation, “sincerity” lacks the martial connotations that are part and parcel of “makoto.” For the samurai it had an almost mystical sense, and during World War II, the concept of makoto was put to evil use. It was one of the concepts that spurred both foot soldiers and the kamikaze pilots to hurl themselves into certain death in a misguided demonstration of “Japanese spirit.”

The concept of makoto went out of favor after World War II. For example, a number of revisionist samurai movies were made in the 1960s, the most famous example being Masaki Kobayshi’s 1962 film Harakiri, that took an unromanticized and critical look at bushido and attendant ideas such as makoto because of the way they had been used for control of the individual by the state.

The 1970s, however, saw a revival of nationalism–this time in the form of economic nationalism–and the notion that Japan was somehow a uniquely unique nation with a singular climate, culture and sensibility. Makoto, specifically, saw its rehabilitation due in no small measure to a book written by the British Japanologist and translator Ivan Morris. The Nobility of Failure was written partly in response to the bizarre death of the famous novelist Yukio Mishima–who killed himself by committing seppuku–and dedicated to his memory. Japanese poet Ryusei Hasegawa writes in a review of the book that:

…this book has changed my outlook on life. For years after the war, I have been feeling something fishy and dangerous about the word makoto, sincerity, standing as it did for the ideal of the nation dominating the people. In the name of makoto, it was possible to exact selfless service to the nation for military causes in the past and economic causes now. And yet I realized with embarrassment how deeply attached I have been to the ways of living with makoto. But the weight of makoto is now being reassessed and redefined in my mind. The spirit of makoto can serve as a spring board to live to a ripe old age. I am confident that this concept of makoto can help us to serve not one nation, but all humanity, whether the action itself be effective or not.

I’m not sure what Mr. Hasegawa means by that last sentence, but it’s not an uncommon sentiment among conservatives, especially those who subscribe to theories of Japan’s inherent uniqueness and superiority. Fujiwara Masahiko writes in the introduction to his 2005 bestseller, The Dignity of the Nation, which makes the claim that the Japanese have a sacred mission to save the world by teaching all of mankind the tenets of bushido, that, “We must again be ‘Japan the proud, Japan the different.’ By serving as a model for the rest of the world, Japan can, I believe, make a contribution to the whole human race.”

Professor Saito Kazuaki gives an interesting definition of makoto in a 1987 essay, Heroes and Hero-Worship–Ivan Morris’ Views on the Japanese Fascination with Failure (which has the kanji for makoto written in calligraphy on its title page):

All those heroes, together with the kamikaze fighters treated in the final chapter of Morris’ book, who, incidentally, no longer have to be labeled as ‘crazy’ or ‘mentally disordered’ thanks to Morris, have in common the spirit of makoto, which lends poignancy to their lives of failure. It is the cardinal quality of the Japanese hero, denoting purity of mind and motive, and a rejection of self-serving objectives. It despises pragmatic ways of thinking and doing. It is moral fastidiousness. The rational, not subjective, righteousness of a cause itself is unimportant. What counts most is the honesty with which the hero espouses it…The Japanese respect for makoto tends to assume the presence of readiness for accepting joyfully the final catastrophe in the mind of a Napoleon or any other hero. Makoto is an ethical, religious concept

A historical figure who lived this ideal is Saigo Takamori, the real “last samurai” and one of Japan’s most beloved heroes. He died in a quixotic fight against the recently established, modernizing Meiji government–the very government which he had been instrumental in establishing just ten years earlier. He was fighting to preserve the samurai as a class, but was vanquished by a modern conscript army of peasant soldiers. In their final confrontation, he refused to surrender even though he was outnumbered 60 to 1. He died, along with every last one of his men, in the hail of gunfire that met his final suicidal charge.

But nobody in Japanese history is as closely associated with “makoto” as are the Shinsengumi. The Shinsengumi were a group of samurai swordsmen whose job it was to patrol the streets of Kyoto and to find and kill the many anti-shogunal ronin who advocated returning the Emperor to a position of real power at the expense of the Shogun, during the last turbulent years of the shogunate–from 1863 to 1868. They followed a very strict interpretation of bushido and were merciless when facing an enemy. Both their banner and their uniform were emblazoned with the kanji character for makoto.

“Makoto” can actually be written with three different kanji, or ideograms. The kanji that the Shinsengumi used is made up of two parts that are each full-fledged ideograms in their own right. On its own, the left side of the character means “speak,” and the right side means “become.” So visually, this kanji connotes the opposite of “empty words;” it is an excellent pictograph of “sincerity.” As many imperial loyalist ronin learned in their final moments, the Shinsengumi were deadly sincere about their mission.

Classical Fencing: The Classical Period

The Classical Academy of arms defines the classical period of fencing in terms of three major factors: (1) how the sword is used, (2) the social context of the sword in sport, and (3) the signature weapons of the period. The Academy believes that, when these factors are applied, the result is a coherent approach to the use of the sword, with a standard set of weapons, in a definable social context.

Swords have been used in at least 5 different ways: as a military weapon, as a weapon for civil personal defense, in judicial trials by combat, as a method of settling matters of honor, and for sport.

The sword enters the period following the American Civil War (1861-65) and the Franco Prussian War (1870-71) much diminished as a battlefield weapon. These wars demonstrated that repeating firearms, the development of early machine guns, and longer ranged artillery had made the premier battlefield use of the sword, the massed cavalry charge, extraordinarily costly. In spite of various attempts to restore the sword to its traditional stature, and its continued inclusion in military training, by the early 1900s it was an anachronism.

Swords for civil daily personal defense had already disappeared from use with the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Men about town no longer carried a sword as a fashion accessory.

The last recorded attempt to use the sword in judicial trial by combat occurred in England in 1818. The result was a speedy, and somewhat embarrassed, legislative revocation of the trial by combat in 1819.

The settling of affairs of honor by the sword had suffered a downturn with the development of dueling pistols in the 1700s. However, in the years after the Franco Prussian War, the use of swords in duels became a nationalistic cause, and by the 1880s this resurgence fueled a rebirth of interest in dueling with the dueling sword and the saber. However, the carnage of World War I generally satiated the bloodlust of society, and by World War II the duel was an infrequent event.

That leaves the use of the sword for sport. The Victorian sports revival included fencing, leading to the organization of competitions, the development of governing organizations, the establishment of common rules, and the inclusion of fencing in the first Olympic games, all in the period 1880-1910. Civilian sport and dueling technique clearly diverged from the military use of the sword. Fencing was a sport of the white social elite, with women's roles narrowly proscribed, and firmly amateur in character. During the period from the 1880s through to the early 1950s, three weapons evolved into their modern form (foil, epee, and saber), and two were initially discarded (the bayonet and singlestick).

Thus, during the period from approximately 1880 to World War II the combination of several trends clearly defines a period of change and rebirth in fencing. The period saw the end of the military use of the sword for anything but ceremonial purpose and the slow demise of dueling, leaving the sword only as a weapon for sport. At the same time fencing texts evolved to focus on the civil and then the sporting use of fencing weapons. The birth of organized sports in general in the Victorian sports revival included fencing, making its practice more international in scope. And as fencing moved into international competition, rising nationalism in Europe adopted fencing as an element of national power.

This period clearly ends with World War II. Not only does international fencing stop during the period 1939-1945, but after the war fencing undergoes significant changes. The introduction of electric scoring to foil and ever saber complete the transition in scoring and technique started with electric epee in the 1930s. The adoption of fencing, and all international sports, as an element of a wider national security strategy by the Soviet block led to revolutionary changes. The use of the sports factory model and the quest for medals as a measure of international prestige fundamentally reshaped how fencing was financed and managed at the national level. The development of sports science led to significant changes in the development of athletes. Social changes cleared the way for women to participate fully at all levels in the sport, modified the character of the athletes from members of the rich elite to a much wider population including all races, and led to the temporary abandonment of the amateur ideal.

Based on these changes on how the sword was used, the context of fencing as a sport, and the signature weapons in use, the Academy believes that a reasonable definition of the classical period is a transitional period during the years between approximately 1880 and the sunset of World War II in 1939.

The Disease Called Procrastination – Is It An International Disaster? Part 2

In my first part, I explained what the term procrastination refers to and some of the positive & negative sides of the habit. In this section, I will explain to you some of the reasons that make us procrastinate.

The following are some of reasons why individuals procrastinate;

  • Lack of motivation-people procrastinate because they feel they need some motivation before they embark on a task. Real motivation comes in when you begin seeing progress. As you move on, with time, you will start to see the fruits of your labour and with this, you become more and more motivated.
  • Lack of interest -individuals delay making tasks done because they find them not interesting as there is no motivation. If you find that you have no interest in making a particular job complete, there are ways you can deal with like delegating it to somebody who is better suited to take the task, breaking it down into smallest components and handle one a time and going head-on with the big task in one sitting while putting off all other errands and distractions.
  • Skill deficits -some people see skill deficit as a hindrance to achieving their objective. They don’t know that achieving new goals and objective is a learning process as one develops them on the way. Do not throw the towel. Come up with a learning and development plan that will enable you to develop the skills and knowledge and fill the gap.
  • Fear of failure -many people fear to fail. They see it as something that can’t be rectified. That it is over for them. They see it as a stain that can’t be done away with. This makes their self-esteem nosedive, their confidence goes runs down, and makes them to postpone taking action on tasks they are even sure of completing. It is not normal to think that you can succeed without going through obstacles on the way. You fear to fail? Come up with measures that will hike you chances of success and build on them.
  • Fear of success-some individuals see success as stress and pressure to their life. As they think of succeeding, they also think of the negativity that accompany success.do not fear success. Success comes in with challenges, which hardens you, gives you more knowledge making you develop new skills. No matter which task you are up to, every task needs completion. With good planning and self-confidence, no task is unmanageable.
  • Resistance-at times many people are able to complete a task but they decide to procrastinate. This is because they have rebelled. They do this deliberately-maybe because they have been mistreated in one way or another. In case you are dealing with someone who is in resistance you may;
  1. Insist on deadlines
  2. Give tasks by email so that you have written evidence
  3. Go frank and talk to them as you find a solution
  4. Make your communication clear
  5. Organize for updates regularly for projects that take long so that you can easily identify the problem and fix it up
  6. If out of control, do away with them
  • Perfectionism-people procrastinate because of the fear they will make mistakes in their work and show their weakness. This makes people to postpone some of their vital tasks for another day. They want their work to be perfect, since they believe that they will definitely fail if the task is not linking to their talent, so it is better if it is done on another day. Perfectionism bars success.it should be avoided.
  • Laziness- “I’ll do it later”, that’s what some procrastinators will say. It is a dangerous excuse that gives you hope that in a day or later you will have an opportunity to accomplish your task. You can predict the future. Your moods maybe bad, you may feel worn out, demotivated and you may end up doing nothing.

Apart from the above, other causes of procrastination are; having no strong reason to take action, always thinking short-term, fear of unknown, feeling overwhelmed, low energy levels, a lack of clear goals, anger and resentment, addiction to the last minute rush, and many more.

Check out for my part 3 on how to eliminate the habit.

All You Need to Know About 5 HTP and Ringing in the Ears

What is the correlation between 5 HTP and ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus? Is 5 HTP the solution to my tinnitus troubles? What are the side effects? Is 5 HTP right for me?

All these questions and more will be answered as you read every word of this article.

What is 5 HTP?

5 Hydroxytryptophan, or 5 HTP, is a naturally occurring amino acid. It is used as a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in your stomach and central nervous system that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep among other things. 5-HTP is not usually found in the food that we eat but is found in supplement form. Currently, 5-htp supplements are marketed as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant and sleep aid. It is also used for the home treatment of ringing ears, fibromyalgia, panic attacks and chronic headaches.

5 HTP and Ringing in the Ears

While doctors disagree on the main cause of tinnitus, some doctors have come up with a theory that a lack of serotonin may be the cause of tinnitus in some patients. If this theory is true then it is believed that 5 HTP would replace the missing serotonin, quieting the ear noise.

Side Effects

A lot of 5-HTP users are concerned about the drug’s side effects, and for good reason. According to webmd.com,

“5-HTP is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for use. There is concern that it can cause a serious side effect called eosinophilia myalgia syndrome. Some people think this side effect is only caused by a contaminant in some 5-HTP products; but there is not enough scientific evidence to know if it is caused by 5-HTP, a contaminant, or some other factor. Until more is known, 5-HTP should be avoided. Other potential side effects of 5-HTP include heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems.”

Also, 5 HTP is unsafe if you are taking antidepressants, weight loss medications, antibiotics, chemotherapy, antihistamines, cold medications, anti Parkinson medications, or alcohol. If you have cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s, cancer, AIDS, lung disease, chronic alcoholism, liver disease, severe allergies, low protein diets, pregnant, sickle cell anemia, or are extremely elderly then you should not take 5 HTP.

Will 5 HTP quiet my ringing ears?

There has not been enough research on the topic to say for sure. Some people report feeling very tired while taking 5 HTP. Others say it actually makes their ringing louder. If you do decide to try 5 HTP, the recommended dosage is 50 mg. Do not take more than 100 mg without consulting with your doctor.

Using Sarapin As Natural Treatment for Sprain and Strain

Sprains and strains are common injuries that can affect anyone, but are more likely to occur in individuals who are involved with sports, repetitive activities, and activities with high risk for accidents. When injured, a ligament, muscle, or a tendon may be damaged. Usually, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or corticosteroids are being used to treat inflammation, however, they can cause side effects that may lead to another problem or may worsen the current condition. Sarapin is a natural solution derived from a pitcher plant that can be used as an alternative for conventional anti-inflammatory treatments. It is effective in minimizing inflammation without causing major side effects. Sarapin may be combined with other alternative treatment methods such as physical therapy and chiropractic care to maximize results.

Sprain

A sprain refers to an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are slightly elastic bands of tissue that connect bones at a joint, keeping the bones in place while permitting movement. In this condition, one or more ligaments is stretched or torn. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and being unable to move your joint. A pop or tear may be felt when the injury happens.

Strain

A strain refers to an injury to a muscle or a tendon. Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone. In this condition, a muscle or a tendon is stretched. It can happen suddenly or develop over time. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, swelling and difficulty moving the muscle.

Causes of Sprain and Strain

A sprain usually occurs when you land on an outstretched arm, slide into a base, jump and land on the side of the foot, or run on an uneven surface. Direct or indirect trauma that knocks the joint out of position, and overstretches, and in severe cases, ruptures the supporting ligaments can be a cause of the problem.

Chronic strains are the result of overuse of muscles and tendons. Inadequate rest breaks during intensive training leads to strain. Acute strains are caused by a direct trauma, overstretching, or excessive muscle contraction.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of sprains and strains include:

• Poor conditioning – Lack of conditioning can cause your muscles to get weak and become more susceptible to injury.

• Fatigue – Your joints are less likely to receive support if your muscles are tired. When your body is tired, it is more likely to succumb to forces that could stress a joint or overextend a muscle.

• Improper warm up – Not enough warm-ups before doing intensive physical activity leaves your muscles tight and prone to trauma and tears.

Athletes, professional and amateur alike, are at high risk of sustaining these injuries. Also, those who have a history of sprains and strains, those who are overweight, and those who are in poor physical condition are at risk for sprains and strains.

Natural Treatment

Individuals who are inflicted with sprains and strains are usually given RICE treatment. RICE refers to rest, ice, compression, elevation. This can reduce pain and swelling when applied to the affected part. To reduce inflammation, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or corticosteroids such as cortisone are usually given. However, NSAIDs can cause side effects such as changes in kidney and liver function, reduction of the ability of blood to clot, and stomach ulcers.

Corticosteroids, on the other hand, do not have long-lasting effects and should not be injected for more than three times. Frequent repeated injections can actually increase joint damage rather than decrease it.

Sarapin can be used as an alternative to NSAIDs and corticosteroids. Using it as an anti-inflammatory treatment has more advantages over conventional anti-inflammatory treatment like corticosteroids and NSAIDs. These include the following:

• Sarapin is natural

• It does not accumulate in any organ such as the liver

• It is water-soluble, thus it can be excreted by the body without being processed by the liver

• There are no gastrointestinal side effects

Rehabilitation may also be recommended for proper healing. Depending on the injury, you will do specific exercises to improve the range of motion of your joint, and prevent stiffness and scarring upon healing. Regular exercises may also be needed to increase muscle strength to support the joint.

Avoid Penis Rash When Using Body Paints

A rash on any part of the body is inconvenient, but a penis rash can be especially so. Not only is it often accompanied by an itchiness that can lead to a guy being caught scratching its equipment, but a visible penal rash often makes partners wary of engaging in intimate acts with a man. And, of course, a penal rash can sometimes be a signal of a greater penis health issue. However, it can also be due to more benign causes, such as an allergic reaction to using body paints on the penis as a means of having fun with a partner.

While nude body painting is not an everyday activity, it can a way for a couple to explore their bodies or simply amuse themselves. And many men enjoy full-body painting as a way of expressing their artistic side – and sometimes as a way to disguise their nakedness when in a public situation. (The police do not always agree that the penalis is appropriately disguised, however.)

Tips

So for any men thinking about seeing what their penis looks like if painted blue or adorned with stripes, the following tips may be useful in preventing penis rash or other related issues.

– Do not use regular paints. When painting any skin, it's best to use paintings actually designed for the body. Paints created for use on walls, ceilings, metal, or even artist's canvas are likely to contain harsh chemicals and ingredients that can be toxic to the skin and body. It's important to find non-toxic paints which are designed for use on the body and are clearly labeled as such.

– Check the penis first. Even body paints need to stay on the outside of the skin – so check the penis (or any other body part that is to be painted) for cuts and scrapes. By no means use paint on an open wound, but even reliably minor cuts should be avoided. Also, if the penis already has a rash or other skin condition, do not paint it.

– Check the paint elsewhere. Before applying the paint to the penis, dab a little on another part of the body in advance – preferably a few hours in advance. This will give time to see if there is anything in the paint which is likely to cause a reaction. Even when a paint is non-toxic, some people may have an allergic reaction to it.

– Clean up first. Before applying paint to the penis, be sure it is clean. Wash with a mild soap and warm water, and dry it before beginning. Whoever is handling the painting chores should also make sure that their hands and their brushes, sponges, or other painting implements are clean as well.

– Avoid glitter. Many people like adding glitter to their body painting, but avoid using on the penis. Even though it is only lightly gritty, it is enough to cause skin irritation on the penis. In addition, removing glitter from the skin can be challenging.

– Wash afterwards. Body paintings are not designed to last for long periods of time and can usually be removed by showering with soap. Be sure to remove all of the body paint from the penis; paint that is left on for excessively long periods of time is more likely to result in a penal rash.

Avoiding a penis rash from body paints is an admirable goal. Regular use of a superior penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) may help a man achieve that goal. Healthy penis skin is in a better position to resist a rash, so use a crème that includes a combination of vital hydrating agents, such as vitamin E and shea butter. In addition, strengthen the penis skin by using a crème with a potent antioxidant like alpha lipoic acid. This will help decrease excess free radicals and the skin damage that they can cause.

Professional Athletes Finding Help With Enzyme For Inflammation

With NFL training camps winding down, and the playing season set to begin, many professional and amateur athletes have found that taking Serrapeptase Rx by Enerex Botanicals helps them stay on the field.

“Why is that so important?” you might ask. I recently spoke with one NFL agent that was buying the Serrapeptase Rx for many of his athletes, and this was his take on it… During training camp, each of his players gets only so many chances to impress the coaches. If they are injured, or have swelling that prevents them from being on the field, it may limit their reps, and hence their chances of making the team. This can have implications worth millions of dollars for a professional athlete.

So how does Serrapeptase Rx help? It is a very powerful, all-natural anti-inflammatory that helps minimize bruising and swelling when taken prior to, and after, injury. It has been used by Olympic athletes for years for training, and now the general public is beginning to find out about it.

I have spoken with several EnerexUSA dealers, and many amateur athletes across all sports are getting amazing results with this enzyme. There are numerous double-blind studies showing how safe and powerful this product has been over its 30-year history.

One of the studies was on sixty patients getting ready to have knee surgery. The patients who took the Serrapeptase enzyme had 50% less swelling, and were pain free in ten days. That is a fairly significant study, but there are actually dozens of studies with similar results for various conditions.

I personally know baseball players that have rotator cuff injuries, and they, as well as arthritis patients, have seen tremendous results while taking the enzyme. I take Serrapeptase Rx myself to help deal with previous injuries, and my 87-year old mother takes it to reduce the swelling she suffers from as a result of diabetes.

In addition to the powerful anti-inflammatory effects, and the pain relief that goes along with it, Serrapeptase has another unique ability that is very important, but often left out of conversations. It has the ability to digests non-living tissue in all forms, including internal scar tissue and arterial plaque.

One of the reasons that so many athletes who have surgery have to go back to the doctor, or have another procedure done, is the scar tissue from the first surgery. Will Allen, a Miami Dolphin cornerback, recently had to go through this procedure and lost all of training camp time. It is possible that had he known about this enzyme from Enerex, he might not have needed the second procedure, and could have been in camp fighting for the first team defense.

This product is certainly worth a serious look – from both professionals and amateurs alike. With no know side-effects or interaction with other medications, it is safe and very effective. There are a few things you need to know, however, before running into a store or going on-line to purchase any product with “serrapeptase” in it. The enzyme is most effective when it is in capsule form, and the capsules themselves have been enteric-coated. To be effective, the capsule must pass through the stomach acid and dissolve in the small intestine, so you need a preparation powerful enough to do the trick. Enerex Botanicals makes the most powerful Serrapeptase product in the world at 1,000 mg and 120,000 IU strength. That is why when jobs are on the line, as in the NFL, this is the brand that athletes are reaching for. Purchase a weak substitute, and you may be very disappointed.

The Enerex brand is available in the U.S. through selected doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, physical therapists, and some knowledgeable health food stores. You can find a list of retailers from the U.S. distributor, EnerexUSA.

Costs of Fertility Treatments

When deciding on a particular fertility treatment (FT), couples wanting to get pregnant need to consider a number of important points, including the cause of the infertility (female or male); the ages and overall health of the couple, particularly the woman’s; and lifestyle preferences. But ultimately, the deciding factor for most couples is the cost of FTs.

Health insurance plans vary widely in their coverage of costs for fertility treatments. Most plans cover all or many of the initial examinations, tests, and office visits to primary care providers, gynecologists, and other medical professionals. Some plans provide limited coverage for fertility drugs and other FTs. Few plans cover the assisted reproductive technologies.

What’s more, most fertility specialists, such as reproductive endocrinologists, and most fertility clinics don’t accept health insurance. However, many fertility specialists and clinics provide some kind of financing or financial counseling to help couples with the costs of FTs.

NOTE: Costs of fertility treatments and related medical services vary widely, depending on the service and the location of the provider. The costs mentioned in this article are those for uninsured patients and were gathered from a cursory search of a number of reliable educational and commercial websites. These costs are in no way definitive. They are estimates only.

The first unavoidable costs of fertility treatments are those for a diagnosis of the cause of infertility in either the woman or the man.

• Visit to a primary care provider: $80 to $200 plus $50 to $200 each for typical tests

• Visit to a gynecologist: $115 to $325 plus costs for tests

• Visit to reproductive endocrinologist: $200 to $400 plus costs for tests, which range from $50 for a sperm analysis to $1,200 for a hysterosalpingogram, an X-ray of the female reproductive organs

The next round of costs comes from the type of FT, which couples normally decide upon after meeting with their doctors and going over the details involved in the treatment. In addition to the factors mentioned earlier, couples now have to consider the risks, side effects, and success rates, along with the costs, of each particular fertility treatment.

Three main types of fertility treatments are available: fertility drugs; surgery; and assisted reproductive technologies (ART), a general term for procedures that help women become pregnant by partially or totally artificial means.

Clomiphene and the various gonadotropins are two of the most common fertility drugs. They help stimulate and regulate female reproductive hormones. Most women need to use them for three to six menstrual cycles.

• Clomiphene pills: at least $50 a cycle plus costs for follow-up visits and tests

• Gonadotropin injections: $2,000 to $5,000 a cycle plus costs for follow-ups

Typical surgeries to treat infertility include procedures to repair genetic defects, clear blocked fallopian tubes, and remove cysts or scar tissue in the female reproductive organs.

• Surgery: $3,000 to $10,000

Artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization are the two most common and well-known types of ART and are generally considered a last resort for couples wanting to get pregnant.

• Artificial insemination: $300 to $700

• In vitro fertilization: $8,000 to $15,000

Bottom line: The costs of fertility treatments can be high and out of the reach of some couples. Unfortunately, for couples trying to get pregnant, most of the costs for fertility treatments will come out of their own pockets.

Big Dog, Little Dog

There used to be a television commercial where a woman stood with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The whole idea of this advertising campaign was to compare butter to a margarine product. The underlying message was that if you were listening to the angel, you would be making the correct choice.

There is a learning theory that is similar. It argues that each of us has a big dog and a little dog inside of us. We are controlled by the one that we feed. The one we feed the most takes over and controls us.

I have used these two examples with clients who struggle with obsessive behaviors or addictions. Most tell me that they know the risks and consequences they will face but ignore them until they have indulged. One lady with bulimia told me that she goes into a dreamy state until the gallon of ice cream in front of her is gone. Then the realization of what she has done leads her to the bathroom where she vomits. This is followed by guilt, shame and secrecy. Rituals, patterns and cycles become entrenched over time.

Often people go for long periods of time without smoking, drinking, using drugs or abstaining from activities such as gambling. Then, without any warning, they go back to doing what they thought they had learned to control. And around they go again!

We all tend to do this at times. The angel is screaming at us to beware, but we turn the volume down with statements like “Once won’t hurt”, “I’ll set a limit” or “I deserve this because I have done well”. Then the “once” becomes “twice” and more. The “limit” is forgotten and the success of the past has disappeared.

Big Dog and Little Dog is basically about where we put our attention. We can either focus on the things that we need to be doing in our lives or else focusing on the things that we want to do.

Inactivity and irresponsibility can also be an issue that has a similar cycle. The angel is reminding us to file our taxes, finish the laundry or show up on time for work. But we just want to have one more cup of coffee, play another computer game or watch a movie. The result is that our tasks don’t get done and that brings both chaos and stress into our world. Then the emotions start. Anger, anxiety and guilt can ruin the rest of the day.

Here are some hints to prevent another lap around the cycle:

1. Get honest with yourself. Make a clear decision about what you truly want as a goal. This has to be something that you can connect with and not just something you “should” do or something that someone else thinks you should do.

2. Write your goal down on paper and post it in a place where you will see it frequently during the day.

3. Draw a vertical line down the middle of another piece of paper. On the left-hand side write all the things that you will enjoy because of reaching your goal. On the right-hand side list all the consequences or things you will lose if you do not achieve the goal. Review these lists every day.

4. On a third sheet of paper, write a list of things that you can do to distract yourself from temptation when it appears. (You don’t buy a fire extinguisher when the flames are licking at your heels – be prepared)

5. Update your address book with the contact information of supporters who you can contact when needed.

6. Think in small timeframes rather than long-term periods. It is easier to invest an hour a day in yardwork for example, than using “all or nothing” thinking.

7. Remember that every day is a new start. If you slipped the day before, forgive yourself and begin again. If you did well the day before, congratulate yourself and begin again.

Also, think about the fact that if you do have a pet, you don’t feed it a huge amount and then forget it. You provide daily care. It is the same with your goals and needs. One day at a time.

Top Ways To Remove Rust From Wood Decks

More often than not, wooden decks are exposed to many forms of elements that could lead to weathering and damage. Constant sun exposure makes the wood crack while harsh cold weather promotes bacterial growth. Water and mist contribute to the oxidation of nails and screws that held the woods in place.

When these things happen, the luster of wood decks disappears and is only replaced by unsightly orange tinge of rust as well as molds and cracks. But there is something that can be done to restore stained wood decks. Here are simple ways that you can use as reference to clean up your wooden decks.

  1. Sodium percarbonate
  2. Sodium percarbonate is a colorless, hygroscopic, crystalline oxidizing agent. It is commonly used in making environmentally friendly laundry detergents. When sodium percarbonate is mixed with water, it releases soda ash and hydrogen peroxide. These two components are known safe and effective cleaning agents. Given all that, sodium percarbonate is a safe way to remove rust stains from wood decks.

    • To use, just mix one part of sodium percarbonate with one part of water. For a much stronger solution, just add more sodium percarbonate.
    • Dip and soak the stiff nylon brush into the solution then use it to scrub the stained deck. Do this until all rust stains are completely removed.
  3. White vinegar
  4. White vinegar is mostly preferred in removing rust stains. Cider apple vinegar can also be used for this purpose. White vinegar is more effective when undiluted. But since vinegar is acidic, it is advised to not smear areas that are not stained with rust, lest your unaffected wood deck would whiten.

    • To remove rust stain, soak a clean cloth or sponge with white vinegar then use it to wipe the rust stains off the wood deck.
    • Wipe the area immediately with a dry clean cloth.
  5. Borax and lemon
  6. Borax or baking soda is a common ingredient in many household cleaning products.

    • Mix one part of Borax with a squeeze of lemon juice.
    • Dip a stiff nylon brush or sponge into the solution and scrub the stained wood deck with it.
    • Once rust stains are gone, rinse off the treated area with water and wipe to dry.

If in case, all these are not effective enough to remove very stubborn rust stains from wood deck, you can consider using commercial rust removing products. But do this only when all your safe options are completely exhausted.

The Real Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Your Life

Every smoker knows that – despite how gratifying it might be – smoking cigarettes does no good for their health. Actually, most of them know very well the effects of cigarettes smoking in their lives.

For those who are still not sure or didn’t care to know more about this deadly habit though, let me list some of the very real and undisputable effects of cigarettes smoking:

  • Coronary heart disease – death cause number one in the USA – is just one of the effects of smoking.
  • Lung cancer; mouth cancer; throat cancer; esophagus, kidney, liver, stomach cancer and even leukemia can be the effects of cigarettes smoking. Actually, most cases of lung, mouth, tongue and throat cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes.
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases) like bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, etc. are often related to smoking.
  • Erectile dysfunction and sterility are also among the effects that can be caused by cigarettes smoking.
  • Smoking can also cause arteriosclerosis. The thickening and hardening of the arteries’ walls.
  • Hypertension, smoker cough, strokes, dry wrinkled skin, bronchial asthma, bad breath, bad smelling, yellow teeth and even some cases of blindness are related to smoking cigarettes.

Moreover, you can count among the effects of cigarettes smoking the gradual and constant deterioration of your life quality.

  • The money you spend on cigarettes could be used on more important and pleasant things you need or want (Do the math and see how much you could save per year. What could you do with that extra money?).
  • In today’s world, smokers are more and more confined to “smoker zones”, making them feel uncomfortable and guilty because of their habit. How does that affect your self esteem?
  • Your body loses strength and vigor making difficult for you to do even simple things, like going up a flight of stairs without losing your breath and so.
  • Did you know that every package of cigarettes you smoke delivers the same amount of radiation than a chest x-ray? That can’t be good! Don’t you agree?

Those are the most common effects of cigarettes smoking on your health and life. Not a nice perspective, huh?

So, if you think is time to quit smoking, just seek for advice on the several methods and programs available; pick the one that you (and your doctor!) think is best for your particular case and go for it! Millions have done it before, so you can do it too.

The Difference an Ergonomic Arm Sling Makes

An arm, shoulder, or collar bone injury is not incapacitating, but it needs tender care for a full recovery to be made. An arm sling was built to serve this purpose. By immobilizing the area around the injury, your body can work its healing magic and in time, the functionality can be restored. It matters the kind of arm sling you go for. Certainly arm slings are not made equal. While their purpose is shared, the comfort levels offered are different.

You need not settle for the hospital-issued sling if you find it has any number of undesirable characteristics. Your main take away from the hospital should be how to wear the sling, and how long to do so. Otherwise, you can buy one that is more ergonomic and comfortable.

An Assortment of Options

A cursory search for arm slings will reveal to you just how many designs there are. They are built based on the part of the upper body that they are to offer support to, the height of the sling, and the level of support they are to give. With the options being so abundant, how do you navigate through them all?

Design

The best arm sling should have an ergonomic built. It should conform to your shoulder to offer the greatest achievable comfort. Other characteristics, such as one hand adjustment and thumb loops are desirable.

Size

Your upper body build will determine the size of the sling to get. Ideally you want something that fits your arm as if it was custom-built for it. It should be comfortable for your arm to sit in without restricting circulation. The best ones offer an adjustable height. They are designed for either right or left hands, although universal ones are easy to find.

Material, Padding

The construction of the sling can employ any number of materials. Simpler designs use mesh fabric for better ventilation while others come with higher quality materials that emphasize on comfort. The strap should be well padded, as it will bear the weight of your arm entirely. The strap that distributes the weight evenly across your shoulder is the best. It should offer some degree of ventilation as well.

The cost should also be considered too. Arm slings are not inherently expensive, but deluxe options tend to be a little on the higher side.

An ergonomic arm sling will take away the distress as you recover from your injury, or surgical procedure. While it won’t make people stop asking about what happened to your arm, it will, at the very least, make you comfortable enough not to be annoyed by them. Remember to wear your sling as instructed by your caregiver.