Obesity and Video Games – Take the Controllers Out Of Your Child's Hands

When many of us were growing up we spent a lot of time playing outside. We did not have cable TV, we had an antenna and if we were luck three channels. Computers were large affairs that were difficult to handle and there were no video games without a store or restaurant invested in a pinball machine. While we still had some children who were chubby it was not due to a video game controller.

Screen Dangers : According to optometrist Cary Herzberg there is a chance that staring into screens for long periods of time can eventually cause children to develop near-sightedness. They are also at risk for dry eyes and eye fatigue. This gives you a second good reason to limit video game time.

Fun Activities : There are always alternatives to relying on video games and computers to occupy the time of a child. Regular board games can be just as fun and it gets the whole family together. Organized sports may be available through the school district or by private organizations. It will take time and effort to come up with things children like, but it is well worth the effort.

Parental Involvement : The best way to get the video controller out of your child's hands is to get involved. You do not have to always make it fun, though that's nice. Have them help out. Setting the table and taking the trash out is important for the family and indeed they are going to have to learn independent living skills. Even a small child can lend a hand, and as they get older you can add responsibilities.

It's a lot easier to let the video game babysit our children but in the end it's not worth it. We need to do more than take that controller, we have to show them that there is a life outside of a screen … and how to live it.

Why I Bought a Men’s Patagonia R2 Jacket

I needed a new jacket. Been training for a triathlon, and was getting downright cold, so I needed something workable. By the time I found something, I’d spent a few hours lost down the online shopper’s rabbit hole, but unlike most other times this has happened to me, this time I emerged with something pretty great clenched in my metaphorical rabbit-y teeth: a Continental Blue men’s Patagonia R2 Jacket, shipped free. Woot! Here’s how it happened, if you care to hear.

It started with my neighbor Al who was out clearing out the old tomato plants, now covered in frost. I found myself shouting out the obvious thing-“Cold out here, isn’t it?”-and he responded as Al usually does, like an intelligent person would: “It’s November, Jim.”

Right. But then, Al beckoned me over to see his new red Patagonia. Outdoors was a little less threatening with it on, he claimed. So I figured that might be just what I needed too to keep me from excusing myself from winter training.

Went straight to the Patagonia website and searched “jacket,” and was quickly both impressed and overwhelmed by all the options and tech-speak. Now, I’m a basically smart guy, but this was the weekend and that much analysis didn’t suit me. I was more drawn to the very cool adventure stories and highly recommend a visit. Images are exceptional too. This is not to say that the Patagonia home site isn’t well organized. In fact, I did a quick search by activity and that’s where I found some enticing options. What I kept coming back to was the jacket Al had though. It worked for him, so I looked for a men’s R2 jacket, just like Al had. Found it quick. Then the frugal penny-pincher deal-lover in me took over. Actually, that’s not true. It wasn’t exactly right then. First I had a football game to catch. Then dinner with friends.

On Sunday after I managed to get all the way through the NY Times crossword and a half pot of coffee, I went back online and searched for a deal. Free shipping appealed to me too. Whoa. There were a lot of results, and I was immediately convinced that I needed a nap. But I had a moment of enlightenment and called my pal Claire instead, online shopper extraordinaire, who pointed me to one of her new faves in not just outdoor sportswear. This place sold just about every name and designer brand out there worth knowing about.

I got my free shipping and even ordered a new hat to go with my R2. Saved on the retail price and had a good resource handy thenceforth.

Prostate Enlargement Reduced With Magnesium

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia ( BPH) or enlargement of the Prostate Gland strikes more than 50% of all males over 50, most will have significant prostate enlargement and the rest of the male population over 50 will experience some discomfort.

It begins with urine flow that is hard to start, a weak or intermittent stream and a bladder that still feels partially full after urination.

Solutions range from surgery, drugs and dietary changes to nutritional therapy.

Surgery rarely produces any long term benefits, but seems to cause a lot of problems and distress.

Purpose of the Prostate

The prostate produces semen and secretes it into the urethra, the tube that runs from the bladder to the tip of the penis. The semen is the clear liquid that the sperm depends on for nourishment and to act as the vehicle to carry it out of the male body and to the intended target.

Problems commence when the prostate begins to enlarge, the prostate is a donut shaped gland that encircles the urethra, it squeezes on the urethra thus reducing the flow of urine, its enlargement is due to hormonal changes of old age.

Some dietary changes that are supposed to help are: weight loss, reduced intake of saturated fats, especially trans fatty acids, increased intake of fiber, essential fatty acids such as olive oil and flaxseed oil, also saw palmetto and zinc supplements.

Another treatment that shows great merit and can be performed at home is through the use of magnesium chloride (MC).

A world war one French Doctor by the name of Dr Joseph Favier discovered some amazing qualities of magnesium chloride which he called the Miracle Mineral.

Among many benefits he found from taking MC were its positive effects on the prostate gland.

He found that by giving magnesium tablets to patients with BPH he was significantly reducing their nocturnal urinations and not only that, after urination the urine retention problems were much reduced.

One patient who had complete urine retention and who was scheduled for operation was given four tablets (2grams) MC, spontaneous urination occurred, the operation was cancelled and the patient was subsequently sent home, the patient had no more trouble just as long as he continued to take MC.

Apparently it is difficult to overdose on MG as the body just dumps any surplus.

The author can certainly swear to the beneficial effect of (MC), I begin taking it about six years ago for this very same reason, the result was as Dr Favier stated, six years later and still taking (MC) daily, I have had no recurrence of any prostate problems, I am now 65 years old and when I urinate there is no hesitancy and definitely no retention whatsoever, as far as I am concerned, MC really works, also, sex is no problem.

Problems Some People Experienced After Prostate Removal.

Incontinence (urine leakage) Shrinkage of penis size. Inability to achieve an erection. (for some, erections never return) No ejaculation. No more natural (un-assisted) erections and certainly no more morning Glories. Most men who have undergone BPH surgery state: Sex is never the same again.

Magnesium Chloride is not readily available in health stores, for what reason I cannot guess, it is a common salt derived from sea water and cheap when you can find it, it is well worth the search. Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom salts) is not the same thing, nor does it work the same way. Nagari (Nigari) Flakes or Magnesium oil (liquid form) are both MC.

Magnesium oil is available in many health stores but expensive. Magnesium oil is just MC dissolved in hot distilled water until saturation point is reached (water will absorb no more magnesium chloride), Google magnesium Chloride flakes or Nagari Flakes which is Japanese for MC, find a supplier on the net, purchase and make your own magnesium oil. MC really is “The Magic Mineral”

Transdermal application, that is applying the MC oil to soft areas of the skin, such as underarms, thighs, belly etc is the best method of introducing magnesium into the body. Soft skin areas absorb MC much better than taking it by mouth as it by-passes the stomach and liver, going directly into the blood stream. The body in its own wisdom knows exactly where to send it to do the most good, if the Prostate needs magnesium, that is where it sends some, if the heart muscles need magnesium, it looks after that also. The Doctor within is a far better Doctor as it knows precisely what minerals, vitamins etc it needs intuitively, trust it, listen to it, it really does know best.

Leather Shoulder Holster – Pick the Best One

Are you looking for a safe way to carry your gun and pistol while you are hunting? There is nothing better than a holster to carry your gun – – it offers full protection and complete safety during the hunting process. You must have seen police cops wearing holsters but those holsters are a part of their uniforms that is why they are all the same. Today, they are available in a wide range of variety for those hunters who prefer style and protection. You can find them in different colors, sizes, materials, styles and so on. Just make sure that what you pick does not only look good but it also feels comfortable to wear.

Holsters, in most cases are designed in such a way that they have to be attached to some other material in order to be safe. For instance, they are attached to belts, waistbands, pockets and even to the clothing. Most common and famous among the hunters are the shoulder holsters. They are mostly available in leather and are worn near the waist; chest of upper thighs. They are coming down from the shoulders like a baby sling. Leather shoulder holsters have been very famous during the past many decades. They were worn by actors in the movies especially the cowboy movies and this is how the trend grew among the average hunters around the world.

Holsters have to be stiff so that the gun is protected inside and not easily moved. That is why always pick the one which is made of stiff leather. Some of them have buttons while others simply have lids to close at the top. It is better to go for the ones which have buttons so that the gun is well protected. However, see that the button should not be very hard so that you can easily undo it at the time of need.

Potentials of a Parkinson's Disease Physical Therapy

Two areas of physical therapy are Geriatric physical therapy and neurological physical therapy. Geriatrics focus on the conditions that affect many people as they grow older – arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, hip and joint replacement, balance disorders, incontinence, Parkinson's and more. Neurological PT focus on individuals who have a neurological disorder or disease – ALS, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke, and Parkinson's disease – again – a major predicament for therapists, such an immunity challenge it could be separate discipline – Parkinson's Disease Physical Therapy.

Parkinson's Disease Physical Therapy has been nobly shouldering the development of specialized programs to help restore mobility, reduce pain, increase fitness levels. Parkinson's Disease Physical Therapy works with patients to improve their areas of dysfunction – paralysis, vision impairment, poor balance, susceptibility to ambulate, and loss of functional independence.

The benefit of physical therapy and general forms of exercise in Parkinson's disease patients has been recognized for years. These days, one of the most exciting areas in rehabilitation science is the continuing of the intervention of Parkinson's Disease Physical Therapy in advocating symptomatic relief, improved function and the general benefits of improved muscle strength, aerobic fitness, and balance for their patients, plus also driving the limits in setting their exercise parameters into an intensified level to challenge impaired systems, promote recovery, and ultimately to modulate the progress of the disease on the patients.

More and more, individuals with Parkinson's disease are expectant to benefit from treadmill training wherein their walking behavior is driven more automatically and at significantly higher intensities. Increasingly more exercise research in Parkinson's Disease Physical Therapy is investigating the effect of challenging, highly intensive exercise on the brain and functional improvement of their patients.

Over the last 15 years has been the recognition that the brain's capacity for recovery from injury is far greater than previously thought. Current studies being made on the correlation of physical exercise and its effect on the brain have been a spark of hope for patients as well as practitioners of Parkinson's Disease Physical Therapy. An entire team in a Parkinson's Disease Physical Therapy ward is encouraged ever more to give their patients a longer mobility and agility in their life, packaged with a full support system to hearten the patients in the long life waiting for them. With a 'move it or lose it motto', Parkinson's disease therapists may just find that winning their play may only take exercising to delay.

Inguinal Hernia Repair Without Mesh

Mesh is a foreign body. Therefore, its use in inguinal hernia repairs is known to cause all sorts of complications like pain, recurrence, infection, etc. We have developed an innovative new technique of inguinal hernia repair without mesh. It uses your own body muscle for repair and gives completely complete cure from inguinal hernia problem.

An un-detached strip of the external oblique aponurosis is stitched on the weak area between the muscle arch and the inguinal ligament to form a new, strong and physiologically dynamic posterior wall that gives protection and results re-herniation.

Normally patient goes home in a day after surgery and can drive car and go to office in 3-4 days time. This operation is now followed in many countries all over the world. We are surprised to see the inquiries from many patients in the developed countries asking for this repair in their country. This is because this operation does not use any foreign body like mesh for repair and therefore there are no complications that are seen in mesh repairs.

A visit to Topix hernia forum or other hernia forums show thousands of posts showing sufferings of many patients due to mesh repairs. But still why surgeons from developed countries are interested in mesh repairs is a big question for us. We have operated on more than 1500 patients with excellent results. Patient is operated under local or spinal anesthesia and is freely mobile in couple of hours. Patient goes home in 24 hours and starts his normal activities immediately thereafter.

Finding Relief From Nerve Pain

Pain caused by nerves is more commonly regarded as neuralgia is caused and triggered by a number of things and can be very difficult to treat. It is characterized by a sharp pain or a tingling feeling, sometimes accompanied by spasms, especially if experienced in the lower back. However it is possible to achieve nerve pain relief, although it may take some time.

There are many different types of nerve pain in different areas in the body and it usually affects older people, although there are cases where it has affected people of all ages. It can be caused by damage to the nerves from drugs, damage to the nerve from alcohol, damage to the tibial nerve, damage to the brachial plexus in the arm, damage to the radial nerve in the arm, damage to the sciatic nerve, automatic neuropathy, and damage to the ulnar nerve or damage to the femoral nerve, among others. When nerves are run down or have pressure exerted on them, are inflated or compressed, this can also cause pain, which has the potential to be incredibly sore. Tumors or hernias can cause the pressure on nerves and infections have also been known to affect nerves. Diabetes, sciatica and after someone has suffered from shingles can also cause neuralgia. All of these make it difficult to achieve nerve pain relief quickly.

To alleviate this type pain, you need to find a solution to the cause, not just something that will temporarily cause nerve pain relief. However it is often difficult to locate the cause. Instant remedies include putting an ice pack on the area that is painful or putting a heat treatment on the painful area. Massaging deep into the area or having aromatherapy treatment (using different oils) may also bring some relief as well as stretching and strengthening exercises which may relieve tension muscles that could be putting pressure on the affected nerves. Loosening these muscles may take the pressure off the nerves, providing nerve pain relief.

However it is sometimes the case that the pain does not go away after these simple remedies and you have to consult a physician who will try and locate the cause of the neuralgia more effectively. Depending on the cause, different treatments might work for nerve pain relief as well as targeting the original cause. In the mean time, anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers can be prescribed to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

If, for example, the cause of the neuralgia is diabetes, ways to treat this condition will be looked at so that it does not have an impact on the nerves, which extremely will then help in the nerve pain relief. Should a tumor or herniated disk be what is causing the pressure on the nerves, ways of treating this will be looked at, which will help with the nerve pain relief. Thus the doctor will try and diagnose the cause of the pain and remedy this effectively.

In terms of alternative remedies, acupuncture or acupressure have been suggested as a way to obtain relief from pain. There have also been suggestions of electrodes being used with the help of a physical therapist, to relieve the painful area. Hypnotherapists have also been consulted for nerve pain relief. Certain whole grain cereals such as oats have been recommended as helping with pain as well.

In extreme cases surgery is an option for pain relief, where nerves can be decompressed allowing oxygen to flow more freely.

Unfortunately as nerves are damaged, it can be difficult to remedy the actual cause of the damage or the damage itself, making nerve pain relief hard to achieve. While treatment and options are available, nerve pain is something that can affect a person very often and take time to alleviate permanently.

Copy Xbox 360 Games – Why Its Important!

Is it legal to copy Xbox 360 games?

US law protects a persons right to copy media for backup purposes. So WHY backup discs and DVDs?

GAME DISCS AND DVDs DO NOT LAST FOREVER

It's a simple fact that DVDs, including movies and video game discs, deteriorate over time.

DAMAGE OR LOSS

Most long-time gamers have seen their fair share of discs gone badly. Accidental nicks and scratches to game discs and DVDs are common. This type of damage can cause them to become nearly impossible to play. Imagine you open your favorite game to find it has become scratched or broken and your favorite game is now unreadable by your Xbox. If you have not created a back up copy, you have lost your investment in that game and now must purchase a new copy. At an average of 50 dollars per game, it's an expensive mistake which could have been prevented by having backup copies. It can prevent critical gaming delays and challenges.

COST EFFECTIVE

You will save money by not having to replace valuable games and movies. In professional environments, people are advised to back up their personal computer data in order to avoid loss. If a purchased game or movie is valuable to a person this same action is encouraged.

If you are a lover of video games, you can appreciate the fact that purchasing an Xbox 360 console is an investment. You also spend your money with every game you add to your collection for additional hours of entertainment. If you find your discs become unreadable due to damage, your money could be lost without you having copied your Xbox game discs. SAVE replacement costs by backing up your favorite games and movie DVDs.

Even more important than your financial investment, is the time commitment you have put into your video games. We have evolved from the basic side slider to games that take hours and sometimes days to complete. It would be an awful loss if you were to have wasted hours of your life and have to restart a game due to a defective disc. If you backup disks and DVDs you will retain your precious hours of play.

Laser Eye Surgery Compllications and What To Do About Them

If you are planning to be free from glasses or contact lenses, then laser eye surgery is the thing for you. However, being zapped with high energy lasers has its price and it is not just about the money. Laser eye surgery complications can affect anyone who decides to undergo this sort of procedure and one should be fully aware and prepared for such risks, otherwise it could lead to some very nasty surprises.

By far, the most universal laser eye surgery complication is constant dry eyes. This is caused by the laser itself that not only burns off the inner corneal tissue, but also severs the corneal nerves that supply the tear glands. This results in a lack of feedback to the brain, which would normally signal the production of tears, and then dry eye syndrome occurs. Eye drops prescribed to you after laser eye surgery should be used to alleviate the symptoms of dry eye, such as pain, itching, burning, a sensation of something in the eye and a feeling of the eye sticking to the eyelid. If you still experience persistent dry eyes after 6 months after surgery, then it is likely to be a permanent side effect. Regular visits to the doctor prior to 6 months after surgery should have preceded such incidents from occurring.

Another one of the most common laser eye surgery complications is debilitating eye conditions. This manifests itself as night glare, haloes, starbursts and ghost vision. Night glare is the enhanced glare effect at night, which often means an increased recovery time to glare. This results in increased glare effects and makes it very difficult to see at night, especially in the presence of light. Haloes also happens around lights and it usually shows itself as halo rings around these lights. Starbursts are similar to haloes except that the lights appear to exude a sparkling or excessive shining effect, in the same way an especially bright star in the sky would appear. Ghost vision essentially results in double vision and creates something of a dazed effect. All of these symptoms are often in combination and can severely affect the patient's vision, especially at night. It may take some time to fully recover, probably about several months, before these symptoms veryly subside.

Under correction or over correction can also occur as a complication of laser surgery. In any case, this is due to the patient's healing rate, since it varies from person to person. Any difficulties in seeing clearly without glasses or contact lenses should be rectified with wearing glasses or contact lenses of a weaker prescription. The patient should also wait for their prescription to stabilize before before further eye surgery to completely correct their eyesight.

These are some of laser eye surgery complications that you can expect to experience after the surgery. With proper planning and knowledge, it should be reasonably possible to address any adverse effects of laser eye surgery and to achieve perfectly clear vision.

Low-Carb: The Role of Insulin

There are three basic units the body uses for energy:

1. Fats

2. Proteins

3. Carbohydrates

All three can be converted to blood glucose. However, while fats and proteins are slowly converted, carbohydrates are converted quickly causing quick spikes in the body's blood sugar levels. These spikes in blood sugar levels cause the pancreas to create and release insulin until the blood sugar level returns to normal.

Meanwhile, insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that lowers our blood's glucose levels is released into the blood as soon as the body detects that blood sugar levels have risen above its optimum level.

Insulin is a very efficient hormone that runs the body's fuel storage systems. If there is excess sugar or fat in the blood insulin will signal the body to store it in the body's fat cells. Insulin also tells these cells not to release their stored fat, making that fat unavailable for use by the body as energy.

Since this stored fat can not be released for use as energy, insulin very effectively prevails weight loss. The higher the body's insulin levels, the more effectively it prevents fat cells from releasing their stores, and the harder it becomes to lose weight. According to many authorities, over the long term, high insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance and cause serious health problems like the ones listed below:

1. Raised insulin levels and insulin resistance

2. Lower metabolism leading to weight gain

3. An increase in fat tissue and reduction in muscle tissue

4. Accelerated aging

5. Increased food allergies and intolerances

6. Overworked immune system

7. Increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer

Carbohydrates, especially simple carbs like sugar and starch, are quickly turned into sucrose by the body entering the blood stream quicker thereby causing the release of large amounts of insulin. The fewer carbs are ateen, the less insulin is produced by the body, and the fewer calories are stored as fat. Less fat storage equals less weight gain and fewer carbs eten equals less insulin in the blood and the body using its fat stores for fuel.

The promise behind every low-carb diet plan is that a body that produces less insulin burns more fat than a body that produces lots of insulin. Some plans encourage a period of extremely low carbohydrates intake so that the body will enter a state of ketosis and more quickly burn fat stores – These are usually called induction periods.

Learning About and Coping With Diabetes

For millions of Americans, learning about diabetes is the first call toward a better and improved life. Diabetes is a serious disease that affects a staggering number of Americans. When you have diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or the cells are not responsive to the insulin. That means if you are suffering from diabetes, your body becomes "insulin resistant" and allows glucose to enter all the cells of your body. Excessive energy (sugar) in the blood can lead to serious health complications, including, damage to the nerves, kidneys, heart and eyes. And, if you have uncontrolled diabetes, a serious and deep-seated foot infection can mean loss of a toe, foot, or leg to save your life.

So, if you are one of the people affected by diabetes, it is not easy to hear you have diabetes. You may be overwhelmed, depressed, unhappy and anxious than others. It is because diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. And, the wake-up call comes when you actually have a complication or a bad infection. However, if you monitor your blood sugar level and make a few important lifestyle changes, you can stay healthy, and prevent or delay the sunset of diabetes.

With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many diabetic patients are believed to have astounding benefits. The connection between weight and diabetes is well-established. Exercise is an important part of diabetes management. The goal is to get active and stay active by doing things you enjoy, from gardening to playing tennis to walking with friends.

However, with the risks associated with diabetes and exercise, the patient should seek physician approval before beginning an exercise program. Incorporating exercise in your daily-routine and losing weight can be a triple health bonus and well worth the effort for people with diabetes problems. Not only does it help with feeling better overall, but a small weight loss can help to maintain blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol level. It also reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke, relieves stress, and strengthens your heart, muscles, and bones.

If you are trying to get rid of diabetes, a combination of physical activity and wise food choices can help you reach your target and maintain it. A good diet, a healthy lifestyle, and regular checksups will help ensure your health as well as that of your family. All it takes is a little care and a few healthy habits that we should follow in all our lives. When a new day comes we can start afresh with new determination.

Diabetes is a very common disease and affects people of all ages for a variety of reasons. It should be taken as a serious disorder and the root causes determined to find an effective treatment.

New Study Finds Poor Air Quality Linked to Childhood Obesity

The American Journal of Epidemiology recently published a study concluding that poor air quality during pregnancy can be linked to childhood obesity. And, further studies also indicated that children of various ages that were exposed to air pollution had higher body mass indexes (BMI) than those living in areas and homes with cleaner air.

This adds new fire to increasing concerns about how air quality affects our health. And since it's also been shown that childhood obesity often transmerts into adulthood, we can see how serious the air quality issue can be-it can affect the rest of the child's life. So, where you live and where your home stands with regard to indoor air quality are two big things to think about if you're planning on having children or already pregnant.

Obviously, any parent wants to avoid anything that could harm their children, and the great news here is that poor air quality is almost completely avoidable. I say almost. That's because you're going to walk outside and breathe whatever is there, and you're going to be around smoke or other pollutants from time to time, or chemicals from fragrances-it's tough to stop everything without walking around wearing a respirator, which nobody wants to do.

Other than moving to a low pollution area during pregnancy, you can, however, knock out a solid 95% or more of it by simply making sure the air in your home is filtered properly. And by 'properly', we mean using either a whole house air cleaner or a portable unit that has a good amount of activated carbon and HEPA filters. The activated carbon will remove a large percentage of any chemical pollutants coming in through the air conditioner or being released in the home (normal air conditioner filters do not remove any of this)

The HEPA filter will stop over 99% of any particles or dust from floating around, including the PM2.5 size particles you hear a lot about in some states. For maximum protection, some people install a whole house unit and have a portable air cleaner running in the bedroom or other main rooms. HEPA filters can remove over 99% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, which is good enough to also prevent inhaling dust mite parts and waste material, a common household pollutant that is responsible for a large percentage of allergies and asthma.

Whatever air purification system you choose, whole house or portable, you do want to make sure it has as much quality activated carbon in it. Carbon filters do become planned and having a lot of carbon means it will not only do a better job but also last much longer. And we recommend replacing activated carbon and HEPA filters a little ahead of schedule for expecting mothers, since letting filters go too long can cause pollutants to slip through which circulates polluted air, which is something you want to avoid.

Regardless, making the investment in your air quality can make a huge difference, not only in preventing your child from having issues with obesity but can also prevent many other health issues and save you and your family a lot of money since you will all likely stay healthier longer, with fewer trips to the doctor.

Taking It to the Limit: Eating Disorders and the Scourge of Perfectionism

I think perfectionism is a disease, creeping up on us and spreading into all areas of our lives, colouring and tainting our existence with its demands and judgements. Our professional lives of course, but also our hobbies, our friendships, our intimate relationships and our home life. We need to have the most beautiful house, the most organised schedule, the most finely sculpted body and the fittest mind – honed to within an inch of our lives, most of us are secretly exhausted and longing to take a break.

At least that’s how I felt for much of my life. I was constantly active, competitive, ambitious, and… well, calculating. Even my social life was part of the endless search for acknowledgement and worldly success. I was so focussed on these that I couldn’t make a mistake without feeling crushed. I couldn’t take a holiday without feeling self-indulgent and I couldn’t cultivate friendship without considering if my new friend would be helpful in my search for recognition – it was endless – and lonely.

I was also angry – extremely angry most of the time, because I felt that the world hadn’t given me what I so desperately sought and felt I deserved. I had worked harder than anyone, done all the right things and I believed I was talented – why wasn’t I acknowledged in the ways others had been? Of course, I don’t think I was alone in my skewed vision. Many others were caught up in their own struggles, trying desperately to be heard over the din of voices and claims. Now I understand that they were trying to survive in the only way they knew how – and so was I.

It hasn’t been an easy journey.

That is why I can understand the struggles of young women with eating disorders. Their journey is about control and perfectionism and the fight to be without flaws. As a social work student, I worked with patients who had a diagnosis of anorexia. Beneath the façade of high-achievement it often seemed like they were trying to kill off the part of themselves that was vulnerable, imperfect and shamed – and some of them were successful. Locked in a deadly struggle for life itself, they brought a façade to the world that was highly manipulated and perfected. Armed with worldly success and intellect, anger and hostility seemed to be their primary emotions.

As a student, I found them intimidating.

Now, of course, I realise that they had been so battered by life, so judged and impinged upon, that the only way for them to survive was to become unimpeachable, and their bodies were the arena where this battle took place. They were angry that they hadn’t been allowed, and now couldn’t allow themselves, to just “be”.

Underneath their tightly controlled exterior dwelt an alienated, vulnerable and damaged part of the self that they didn’t want to acknowledge or integrate. Perhaps it was this part of themselves that they were trying to starve to death: the hospital girl and the university student, the dancer and the anorexic, the designer and the girl who vomited up most of her meals. Some were very high achievers, desperate to see themselves defined through the milestones of worldly success – yet they were also overwhelmed by a daily struggle with their bodies – and minds.

I wrote in my journal at the time: “Rather than supporting one another, it seems as if the girls are desperate to compete and display their sickness like a trophy. They are asked to wear baggy clothes, eat pastries and take the lift. So they accumulate tiny victories – surreptitious exercise late at night, or magical kilos stacked on with jugs of water consumed just before the dreaded weigh-in. The ward rounds at the hospital are a nightmare of public failure and vilification, and after these painfully divisive meetings, they sometimes take their feelings out on staff – and on one another. Sometimes it seems like a game. They are resourceful, determined and rebellious. The girls are struggling to maintain their bodies, at war with their physical selves and with the simple health (and joy) of eating well. One girl is so thin, she rarely leaves bed without a blanket which she wraps around her, although the wards are well heated. Often the girls know more about mental health and psychology (in theory) than I do – and yet their own emotions are a mystery (and a danger) to them.”

In an article on anorexia nervosa, Tantillo et al (2013) argue that the ‘essence’ of the illness is the “disconnection that the patient experiences intrapersonally from her/his authentic self and body as well as the disconnection experienced interpersonally with others.” They become alienated from their own hunger and from their authentic selves. In New Ideas about Eating Disorders: Human Emotions and the Hunger Drive, Charles T. Stewart argues that this alienation is often a result of overwhelming emotional experiences associated with eating during infancy and early childhood – emotion is swallowed along with the food. Because these experiences occur at a time when the infant or young child is unable to integrate them successfully they remain in the body and mind and can result in them losing touch with both hunger and satiety.

At one stage during my placement, I was invited into a family session with a girl and her parents. After arriving late, the girl’s father spent much of the session checking his phone and making sure we knew that he had better things to do than spend time trying to understand why his daughter was so unwell. Despite this, I felt hopeful for her – of all the girls in the unit, her anger was closest to the surface – she allowed herself to express her frustration and disappointment rather than burying it in cold rigidity. Again and again I was struck by the lack of real communication in these families. They were evasive and dismissive, lacking the ability or the will to acknowledge the resonance and pain of emotion in one another.

One girl stands out to me, because I could see how the two parts of her were manifesting. I remember thinking how beautiful and sophisticated she seemed when I saw her not long after she was admitted. With her fashionable haircut, friendly demeanour and easy intellect, she stood out. Perhaps the other girls didn’t like her or perhaps her underlying feelings about herself became too much to bear in the face of difficult dynamics and a group of young people struggling with strong emotions. The next time I saw her it was several weeks later and I was shocked out of my complacency. She came to a ward round painfully thin and intensely distressed. Her beautiful hair was falling out in handfuls. There were hints of cyber bullying and I wondered how the dynamics of the ward had impacted on her. The clinicians were concerned that she wasn’t able to accept the help that they were able to offer. She was becoming dangerously unwell and her precarious physical health required an admission to a facility that could offer re-feeding and medical monitoring.

I realise now that her vulnerability was a red flag to the other girls and that she represented a part of them that they despised. For her, though, I am sure the discharge felt like another rejection. Several months later, I saw her again after she had been readmitted. It was near the end of my placement and I was moving on to graduation and hoped-for employment in mental health. She was lying in the sun in the smoker’s courtyard wearing baggy sweats and laughing with the other girls, socialised into the hierarchy of the ward. It was hard to feel optimistic for her.

For many of the girls in the unit, it felt like their anger was so deep inside that I wondered if their vulnerable selves would ever emerge. Those unwanted parts of them seemed to have shrivelled long ago. In the months I spent with them, I often felt estranged and confused by the complex and convoluted dynamics of the unit. I realise now that that was a failing in me and that my fears prevented me from being able to really help them. But now I can.

Unfortunately, we often mistake eating disorders for a physical illness. Certainly, we must treat the disordered eating; making sure sufferers are physically well and strong. But don’t neglect what is at heart a psychological illness. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this debate and I can understand that not everyone wants to be labelled as mentally ill. It is also clear that the starvation itself has an impact on mental health. But girls with anorexia are not people who have just taken their dieting too far. They are not malingering. They are suffering from a pernicious mental illness that can take over their lives and the lives of those who love them. It can also kill. That is why I do not believe that family-based treatment requiring family members to monitor and control the eating habits of the person with anorexia is ever going to work. Just like self-harming behaviour, the disordered eating can become the centre of a power struggle and the need for power and control are a significant part of the illness. We need to recognise the deep hurt and anger that lie at the heart of anorexia and that although families are part of what can go wrong, they are also vitally important to healing. We need to work with them, with every member of these families to try to change unhelpful dynamics and find a pathway to recovery in the face of what can be a fatal illness.

Cold Relief – Which is Better, a Humidifier or a Vaporizer?

If you live on a temperate country chances are you will have experience low humidity. It can make breathing just a tiny bit laborious. If you suffer colds and other upper respiratory ailments low humidity can certainly make it worse.

Humidifiers and vaporizers both address the issue on the double whammy of low humidity and colds. Read on to find out if one is really better than the other.

A quick recap on what humidifiers are is a good way to start this argument. Humidifiers are devices which introduce humidity to an environment (preferably one that needs more humidity) by releasing water vapors into the air.

Humidity, after all is the measurement of the amount of water in the air. It usually does this by spraying water into a fine mist with a system that may involve impellers, ultrasonic waves and many more.

When previously very dry (low humidity) air is treated by a humidifier it makes it easier to breathe. This moisturizing effect in the air is what makes humidifiers effective.

One complaint about humidifiers is that it is very difficult to control the amount of humidity they introduce. Too much humidity in a room can ruin the rooms paint, wood and even make it harder to breathe. Humidifiers also are a magnet for fungus and molds.

A Vaporizer effectively does the same action that the humidifier does but does it with heat. While the humidifier releases cool mist vapors a typical vaporizer releases hot vapors.

Vaporizers are better than humidifiers in two ways. First is that the nasty moisture that a typical humidifier overproduces is eliminated. Vaporizers have much less chance of spreading molds.

Another thing they remove is germs. By boiling water a great majority of bacteria dies and never gets released to the area around the vaporizer. A humidifier can spread bacteria that have grown on it its medium into different parts of the room.

The bad thing about traditional vaporizers is that they tend to be scalding hot. This makes them dangerous to kids, pets and adults who do not know the location of a hot vaporizer.

For cold relief and other upper respiratory ailments both humidifiers and vaporizers work. It’s a matter of preference which one you get. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages that you may have to get around with.

The Procedure of Tooth Extraction, Its Need and Outcomes

Extracting teeth is simple if the problem is diagnosed on time. Delaying the process of extracting affected teeth, especially imputed wisdom teeth can lead to complications. Understand the process; symptoms and need for extraction to prepare yourself for it when any such situation arrives.

There are a variety of reasons why some of your teeth may need removal or extraction. The basic aim of scholars and hygienists is to ensure that your mouth functions in the healthiest possible manner. So for the sake of the mouth's health, certain faulty teeth may need to be taken out. The reasons which lead to tooth extraction include an abscess, an infection which has established itself deep within the roots and root canal is no longer possible or may not be effective. If you have damaged your teeth in an accident they may need to be removed in order to restore the damage done to the entire biting strength. A prolong gum disease which has weakened the roots of the tooth, resulting in bone loss and making the tooth loose is another possible reason for extraction.

But the most common reason for tooth extraction is occurrence of impected third molar or wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth are the last of the molars to surface and their arrival may not always be timely. If the eruption of wisdom tooth results in overcrowding or it is misaligned or misplaced, it is termed infected and needs removal to protect the adjunct teeth. Extraction involves cutting of gum tissue and bone, so the procedure is painful that is why anaesthesia is administered to ease off the discomfort.

The type of anaesthesia is chosen based on the medical history of the patient and their preference. While local anesthesia may be used to numb the area around the tooth, most people prefer to be administrated with sleep sedation so that they are blissfully unaware of what is going inside their mouth and when they wake up it is all done. This gives them a feeling that they have saved a lot of time and allows them to stay away from the view of dentist operating inside their mouth, which might make some people really uncomfortable. This procedure is convenient for the dentist too as he is able to perform it without any interruptions and distractions.

Depending upon the kind of extraction and the depth of the procedure, the patient may have to wait from 2 to 3 days before the discomfort recedes, and before the mouth is ready for a restorative procedure. It is normal to experience a little boring and swilling after the extraction of wisdom tooth. As is the case with any type of incision in the body, the cut in the mouth will give away small amount of blood which you can spit. But if there is a lot of blood oozing out, you should consult your dentist right away. Your dentist will fix the problem and will give you tips on how to fasten the healing process.

There are not many complications involved in tooth extraction; usually the procedure goes very smoothly. The dentist will conduct a thorough analysis with the help of an x-ray and by studying your medical history to check for any current infection or the possible presence of nerve in the area concerned. Only when the dentist is satisfied that the path is clear and your mouth is fit for extraction will he proceed with the procedure.