5 Tips to Avoid Blindness After Contact Lens Use

You probably know someone who has experienced blindness. Two leading causes of blindness glaucoma and cataracts. Even though contact lens companies may not tell you up front that wearing contact lenses can cause blindness, multiple studies show that contact lenses may be a contributing factor in blindness, especially in developing countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that there are over 37 million blind people in the world, and roughly 90 percent of those people who are in developing nations where proper care is easy to practice ..

So how can you avoid going blind because of your contact lenses? Follow the following 5 tips and talk to your optometrist about blindness.

1. Practice good hygiene. Good hygiene for you eyeballs? This is not anything special that you should not already be doing. Good hygiene for you eyes include washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your eyes with any foreign object including your fingers. You can also wear UV resistant sunglasses to avoid UV radiation. When it comes to contact lens use you'll want to make sure you do not share anything with another contact lens wearer. That includes sharing contact lenses, cleaning solution, eye drops, moisturizers, storage containers and anything else that touches your eye.

2. Replace contacts regularly. Another reason contact lens wearers experience blindness is because they keep their contacts in too long and do not replace them as recommended. If your contacts are designed for single use and are disposable, throw them out after first use. If they're designed to last one month, do not wear them for two months. Another reason is because people leave them in too long. If you keep your contact lenses in for 16 hours every day you may begin to experience additional dryness and irritation. When you no longer need your contacts in, take them out.

3. Eat right. Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist and Rotary with the Rotary Avoidable Blindness Program, Mr. Low Hong says that the eating right can help improve your eyesight. By eating right Mr. Hong advises eating traffic light-like vegetables. That means those vegetables that are red, green, and yellow. Those colored fruits can contain important chemicals required by the eye to function and have a clear vision and you'll see colors more clearly. Hong also advises eating cars because they help improve your eyesight as well.

4. Sleep right. Position is more important that length says Hong when it comes to blindness and cataracts. When you sleep face down on your pillow you put pressure against your eyes and eye sockets that can lead to cataracts and ever cataract surgery. Additional sleep also helps your eye recover from wearing contact lenses for prolonged periods. Sleep helps your eyes recover from any damage they might have experienced as a result of wearing contacts all day.

5. Avoid eye rubbing. This one may seem simple, but it is often overlooked. If you keep your hands out of your eyes, you're less likely to develop an infection and scratch your cornea. Eye infections are a serious cause of blindness. Another serious cause is inadvertent eye damage usually caused by a foreign object. Stay aware when walking near trees with low hanging branches and whenever around objects that are hanging at eye level.

Blindness is serious and extremely difficult to treat. If you take precaution and recognize how valuable and fragile your eyes are, they'll hopefully last you an entire lifetime!

Acupuncture & Moxabustion

Info

Insertion of Acupuncture needles in specific points on the Chi meridians works to restore normal functions and achieve balance for the body & mind.

Moxabustion (warm therapy) involves burning a warm herbal mixture either directly on the Acupuncture needle or indirectly by use of a Moxa stick which can be kept a few centimeters away from the patient.

The purpose of Moxabustion therapy is the application of heat to certain Acupuncture points, which will assist in the expulsion of cold, damp and also alleviate pain

Acupuncture a Brief History

Acupuncture & Moxabustion have been used in the Far East to restore, promote and maintain good health for over 5000 years. The first Acupuncture needles were made from stone, and then later from bronze, gold and silver. The first known medical account of acupuncture was The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen), which dates from around 300 BC.

Acupuncture isoted in the Daoist philosophy of change, growth, balance and harmony, and The Yellow Emperor's Classic outlines the principles of natural law and the phases of life – yin and yang, the five elements, the organ system and the meridian network along which the vital acupuncture points are located.

These records also contain details of pathology and physiology, which some 2,000 years later provide the theoretical foundation for acupuncture today.

Although acupuncture is used far more extensively in China than in the West the last few decades have seen huge growth in people seeking the benefits of this safe and highly effective treatment

How Acupuncture Works

The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called "Chi" present in all things ranging from infinitely tiny molecules to living breathing human beings.

This Chi is said to circulate through the body along particular pathways or meridians. As long as this energy flows freely through the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the homeostatic system is disrupted resulting in pain or illness.

Visualize if you will, rivers that flood and cause disasters or an electrical grid short-circuiting that causes blackouts etc. This is what happens to our somatic and spiritual landscapes when our Chi is not flowing harmoniously.

Interesting Mark Twain Facts

My interest in Mark Twain was kindled by the 2002 Ken Burns documentary, “Mark Twain”.

It was the volume of requests for information about his time in Redding, following the documentary’s release that initiated my interest in his life. People were shocked to find out he lived and died in Redding, Connecticut and wanted to know more. In answering questions about the twilight years of Twain’s life, I discovered not only that his time in Redding was a significant period in his life, but, that he *lived* an amazing life, period!

This list below is just a taste of what I’ve come across over the past eight years; the man was one of a kind.

I–well I was an exception, you understand–my kind don’t turn up every day. We are very rare. We are a sort of human century plant, and we don’t blossom in everybody’s front yard.”

– Letter from Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) to Olivia Langdon, 09/08/1869

Interesting Mark Twain Facts:

1. Mark Twain was born in Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835. Last perihelion of Halley’s comet, Nov. 10, 1835.

I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet.”

– Mark Twain, a Biography

2. Before he was 13 he had to be rescued from drowning 9 times — 3 times from the Mississippi and 6 times from Bear Creek.

3. At the very young age of 18 Twain ran away from home- “My Dear Mother: you’ll doubtless be a little surprised, & somewhat angry when you receive this..” He traveled from Missouri to New York City to view the World’s Fair. He’d stay in New York and work in the printing industry for a spell until moving on to Philadelphia.

4. Before the age of 20, Twain had visited and lived in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, St. Louis, Muscatine & Keokuk Iowa and Cincinnati!

5. Early in his life he didn’t really care for Irish Catholics.

6. Twain gave his first public speech at a printers banquet in Keokuk, Iowa in 1856.

7. In February of 1857 Twain left Cincinnati for New Orleans with the intent to embark for the Amazon River. He was going to seek his fortune in the thriving coca trade. Luckily, on his way south he met pilot Horace Bixby. Bixby was a steamboat captain and Twain’s childhood dream became a higher priority than the Amazon venture.

8. Twain earned his steamboat pilot license in 1859 and worked steadily as a river pilot on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and New Orleans until 1861. The Civil War ended that career.

9. Twain headed West to the Nevada territory in August 1861 with his brother Orion, who was appointed Secretary of Nevada territory by Abraham Lincoln.

10. He adopted the pen name “Mark Twain,” an old riverboat term which means “the line between safe water and dangerous water” in 1863 while working for the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada. His first pen name was “Josh”

11. In 1866, Twain traveled to Hawaii writing for the Sacramento Union. When he returned to California, he delivered his first travel experience related lecture on the topic.

12. From June 8 to November 19, 1867 he was commissioned to report on an excursion to the Mediterranean and Holy Land. This trip would lead to the travel letters that become his first successful book The Innocents Abroad, The New Pilgrims’ Progress.

13. Twain enjoyed Baseball & had a very good understanding of the game. Mark Twain’s scorecard from baseball game between Hartford and Boston is in the resources section.

14. Twain wrote constantly. To view his journals Google “Terry Ballard+Twain Journals”

Be sure to check out the Google map of Mark Twain’s America at the bottom. Very cool!

If you wish to inflict a heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to keep a journal a year.”

-Mark Twain

15. The Ghost Hunters visited Mark Twain’s house in Hartford in December 2009. If you missed the Ghost Hunters visit to the Mark Twain House the video link of the episode is in the resources.

16. The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut maintains a collection of 16,000 museum objects and artifacts, including an archive of more than 6,000 documents and 5,280 photographic images.

17. In his first Harper’s Monthly article they mistakenly credited MacSwain as the author.

I was a Literary Person, but that was all-a buried one; buried alive.” -Mark Twain, My Debut as a Literary Person.

18. Twain wrote a large number of short stories over the course of his lifetime. The Death of Jean is the last one I’m aware of and it was written in Redding, Connecticut late December 1909.

19. Twain considered himself neither a Republican nor a Democrat:

I had been accustomed to vote for Republicans more frequently than for Democrats, but I was never a Republican and never a Democrat. In the community, I was regarded as a Republican, but I had never so regarded myself.” – Autobiographical dictation, January 24, 1906

20. Twain was an inventor and held several patents. An adjustable garment strap & a history memorization game are examples. His most successful invention was a scrap book.

21. Mark Twain’s “Aquarium Club” was not his first organization of female correspondents. Prior to 1902 he had formed “The Juggernaut Club“.

I have built this house (in Redding, CT) largely, indeed almost chiefly, for the comfort & accommodation of the Aquarium. Its members will always be welcome under its roof.”

-Mark Twain

22. Mark Twain fully understood life: “What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head and is known to none but himself. All day long, and every day, the mill of his brain is grinding and his thoughts, not those other things are his history….The mass of him is hidden–it and its volcanic fires that toss and boil, and never rest, night nor day.”

23. Mark Twain didn’t have a positive view of “big” Government:

The mania for giving the Government power to meddle with the private affairs of cities & citizens is likely to cause endless trouble.”

-Mark Twain

24. Mark Twain’s 1870 Lecture Tour had at least 49 engagements, the topic – “Our Fellow Savages of the Sandwich Islands”

Mark Twain is a very good looking man. He is of medium height and moderately slender build, has light brown hair, a reddish brown moustache, regular features and a fresh complexion; and he has a queer way of wrinkling up his nose and half closing his eyes when he speaks. The expression of his face is as calm and imperturbable as that of a sphinx. Looking at him you feel it to be an impossibility that he should ever hurry or be out of temper, and you might suppose him to be incapable of a joke, if it were not for the peculiar twinkle in his merry eyes. His voice is remarkably light and remarkably dry–like some German wines–and it seems to be modulated to only two keys. His style of speaking is unique to the last degree. It is all of a piece with the quality of his humor, and fits him like a glove.”

-Newspaper Review of November 30, 1870 Thompsonville, Connecticut tour stop. November 30th is his Birthday, must have been a good show!

25. Interesting fact about Clara Clemens (Twain’s daughter) in 1909 she asked Rev. Joseph Twichell to omit ‘Obey’ from her marriage vows. 1909! Clara was the only daughter who would marry.

26. Twain researched and wrote “Life on the Mississippi” in one year, 1882-83.

27. From 07/1895 to 07/1896 Twain toured the US, Canada, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa…140 engagements!

28. Before he began his 1895/96 World Tour Mark Twain was deep in debt.

29. Twain’s Short Story “A Curious Experience” begins:

This is the story which the Major told me, as nearly as I can recall it:– In the winter of 1862-3, I was commandant of Fort Trumbull, at New London, Conn.”

There is now an exhibit at Fort Trumbull where you can sit and hear this story.

30. Mark Twain lived in Hartford, Connecticut for 20+ years and lived in Redding, Connecticut for 2 years. Redding is where he died on April 21st 1910.

31. 161 of the original 340 Redding, Connecticut acres once owned by Mark Twain are open to the public in the present day. In 1974, eight years of negotiations resulted in the “installment purchase” of Stormfield from then owner, Doreen Danks.

There are four miles of trails off of Fox Run Road available to those that wish to hike the Stormfield trail system in Redding.

67 acres of Twain’s Redding, CT property remain in private ownership.

32. Twain was a big fan of Bermuda. Elizabeth Wallace published “Mark Twain and the Happy Island” in 1913. The book explores Twain’s many visits to Bermuda.

33. Twain and Helen Keller were close friends and he played an active role in her education and life.

Blindness is an exciting business, I tell you; if you don’t believe it get up some dark night on the wrong side of your bed when the house is on fire and try to find the door.”

– Twain quoted by Helen Keller in her book Midstream

34. Twain was a founding member of The Players club in New York City.

35. Twain was a naturalist and greatly enjoyed nature’s beauty.

The foliage at Stormfield “was heaven and hell and sunset and rainbows and the aurora, all fused into one divine harmony, and you couldn’t look at it and keep the tears back.”

-Twain in Redding Fall 1909

36. One of Twain’s final acts was approving a $6,000 check for the Library Building Fund. He dedicated the Library in the memory of his daughter Jean in Redding, Connecticut. The Mark Twain Library in Redding, Connecticut is the only library in the World that founded, funded and filled with books by Mark Twain himself.

37. In 1960, Reddingite, Brad Kelly, discovered that the Russians were very enthusiastic about Mark Twain and most of his books and stories had been translated into their language. 1960 was the 50th Anniversary of his passing. Kelly discovered 11 million copies of Mark Twain works had been translated in the 25 Russian languages. Nine(9) of these Russian books are cataloged at the Mark Twain Library in Redding, Connecticut.

38. In 1917, Emily Grant Hutchins published a book “Jap Herron,” that she claimed Mark Twain had written from the grave via a Ouija board. “after several messages had been spelled out the pointer of the planchette traced the words ‘Samuel M. [sic] Clemens, Lazy Sam,’ “and the story as printed was then told.”

39. Mark Twain died, April 21, 1910. The Perihelion of Halley’s Comet, was on April 20, 1910. “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”

– Mark Twain, a Biography

Now, I could go on and on with this topic, I tend to follow the Twain logic “to keep on talking until I get the audience cowed.” But I think I’ve made it very clear that Mark Twain was an amazing man, who led an amazing life that is certainly worth exploring.

An average American loves his family. If he has any love left over for some other person, he generally selects Mark Twain.

– Thomas Edison

Presby-LASIK – Not Ready For Primetime

LASIK eye surgery is the most common elective surgery in the US today. Presbyopia ("old eyes") is the most common vision problem, affecting everyone over age 50. However this common problem and common solution have had trouble getting together.

This type of surgery is generally meant to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and asytgmatism. It's most successful on people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. By the age of 50, most people feel the effects of presbyopia, making close vision increasingly difficult, in a different way than farsightedness does. (Picture older people holding their newspapers at arm's length to try to read them.) This is presbyopia in action.) Even people who have had laser eye surgery in their youth may still need reading glasses as they age.

Monovision LASIK is currently the most-used LASIK surgery to treat presbyopia. This procedure corrects your dominant eye for distance vision and your non-dominant eye for close vision. Depending on what you're looking at, your brain decides which eye to use and ignores the (out-of-focus) input from the other eye. Many people adjust amazingly well to monovision, but it does have its downside.

With monovision, any time that truly crisp vision is required, either close or distance, you may need corrective lenses to enable you to use both eyes at once. This is particularly true in situations where depth perception (which requires both eyes) is needed.

Because of this, other procedures to correct presbyopia (known as "presby-LASIK") have been long under development. The most common approach involves cutting different angles in your cornea, so that parts of your cornea can be used for distance vision and other parts for close vision.

As technologies have improved (such as Wavefront for mapping the specifics of each patient's eyes and IntraLase for all-laser procedures) the success of presby-LASIK has increased. However, even today, the procedure is not FDA approved. The only way to have this procedure in the United States is as part of a research experiment.

Research trials have shown the procedure to be most successful in adding close vision back into the repertoire of farsighted patients. It has not been as successful at giving distance vision back to nearsighted patients, though researchers continue to see new methodologies and improved results.

More research is needed into the ideal arrangement of vision zones around the cornea. The possibility exists that no such "ideal" arrangement will be agreed upon. Instead a custom approach may ever be taken with presby-LASIK, where each person's daily priorities determine the best surgical approach for them. Patients using close vision for reading or detailed work may define close vision as their priority, while others may define distance vision as more important.

Although it is possible to find surgeons conducting presby-LASIK on patients outside the US, the procedure is generally considered "not ready for primetime." However, given the speed with which laser eye surgery techniques have improved, it may not be long before we've got a surgical option offering us through clear vision through all the decades of our lives.

Are Eye Exercises Effective In Improving Your Vision Naturally?

Eye exercises are techniques that are useful in solving your vision problems and correcting vision conditions. People are asking are eye exercises effective in improving your vision naturally? The answer to this question is yes. This is due to the fact that eye exercises do strengthen the eye muscles for better natural vision without glasses. These techniques are also credited with increasing the focusing power of the eyes for clearer eyesight. Therefore, here are some reasons why eye exercises are effective in improving your vision naturally.

Techniques are also associated with improving your ability to improve distance vision and they are also helpful in improving your ability to read fine print. These eye exercise techniques are also credited with improving your reading ability. They are effective in helping you to accomplish your goals of achieving better natural vision without glasses.

These vision improvement techniques can correct many different vision problems and vision conditions. These techniques are effective in improving your ability to recognize fine details. They can also improve your ability to improve color perception. Color Perception is defined as the ability to see colors brightly. These techniques can help you to increase your work productivity due to the fact that the eye strain relieving techniques that you can put into practice that are part of such a vision improvement program, once put into practice, can result in a reduction of stress in the work place.

These techniques are useful in improving vision disorders such as macular degeneration and cataracts. They are helpful in improving your eye’s ability to enjoy your daily activities such as watching television, playing sports, going to the movies and doing academic work. These techniques are included as a part of the curriculum for students who are entering the field of vision training and vision therapy. These techniques are helpful in improving a variety of vision conditions and eye problems such as problems focusing while reading; vision conditions associated with refractive error and other vision conditions such as age related vision disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts.

Eye exercises are techniques that are useful in improving various vision conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Eye exercises also improve age related vision disorders such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Eye exercises can also correct eyesight ailments such as eye strain and computer vision syndrome. Once you put these techniques into practice you can do the things that you need to do to achieve better natural vision without glasses.

3 Eye Vision Exercises to Improve Your Eyesight

Eye vision are often not hard to implement. Take a read at any "rebuild your vision naturally" guide, spend 30 minutes to understand them and you're ready to go.

Problem is, you do not see results immediately. It is a natural approach and as with any holistic approach to curing anything – it WILL take time. But with people close to you, people who know love you, convincing you to quit – saying such things would never work, I can not blame you that sometimes you really do feel like an idiot for trying it out.

I know I did. I went through all that.

And so doing eye vision exercises takes a bit of a faith. It takes patience and courage. It's not easy. But when you actually realized what you set out to, you could show all the skeptics … but more importantly, you could once again see clearly without glasses.

Bearing that in mind, let's get to the eye vision exercises.

  1. Palming. Close your eyes and place your palms over them while you imagine something that relaxes. For example, I like to imagine of the beach, or a field of flowers.
  2. Swinging. Raise your hand sideways until shoulder level. Close your eyes and swing left to right while you imagine you're at your favorite place, swinging left to right.
  3. Any amount of eye vision exercises simply will not work if you do not severely limit the amount of time you wear your glasses – just like a cripple will never learn to walk if he does not try walking without his crutches.

How To Get Into A Great College After High School

The process of getting into college period takes a lot of hard work, so as you may imagine, the process of getting into a GREAT college requires even more effort . In this article, I'll lay out what competitive colleges are looking for in applicants and tell you EXACTLY how to get into a great college.

Before we get started, the first and most important thing that you need to keep in mind as you're reading this article is that a great college is seeking students who have excelled in many different aspects of their high school career. Nowadays, it will take more than just a high GPA and good standardized test scores.

Got it? Okay, without further ado … here's how to get into a great college:

1. Have a great GPA, period. This GPA should be reinforced by honors and AP classes (if possible). Taking and succeeding in challenging courses in high school reassurance top notch colleges that you can indeed handle their demanding curriculum.

2. High SAT / ACT Scores. Most students do not take the time to really study for these types of standardized exams; however you are NOT like most students. As a potential ivy League bound student, you'll need to spend as much time as you can studying for these tests. I would highly recommend taking a SAT or ACT prep course. These tests can be tricky, but with the proper amount of study, you can score well.

3. Extracurriculars. As I mentioned in the introduction, great colleges want students who have excelled in all areas of high school. You should be considered a leader on campus and be involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. Also, colleges like to see a lot of community service hours. Volunteer work tells a lot about a student's character. This will show that you are still committed and dedicated outside the classroom.

4. Outstanding Personal Statement. The personal statement can be a deal breaker in itself. Spend a lot of time in this area and do not be afraid to involve others. You will want to make sure that you stand out from the crowd. It's okay to spend time perfecting your essay and making sure that it says exactly what you want to say.

5. Nail the Interview. Get rid of the jitters … this is your time to SHINE. Try to go into the interview as calm as possible, so that you can really show off your intelligence and personality. Try to do some mock interviews at home just for practice

This is how to get into a great college. If you follow these five steps, I guarantee that you will increase your chances of acceptance into a great college. Good luck future Ivy Leaguer!

Does Magnet Therapy Really Work?

Magnet therapy has been around for centuries as a way to relieve muscle or joint pain through magnets, which are placed close to the skin. The magnets can be used in a variety of ways, either fashioned into jewelry, placed under a mattress or pillow, inside a shoe, belt or any article of clothing, or put inside a wrist or ankle strap. You can also have magnet therapy at a med spa, where a practitioner will submit your body to certain doses of magnetic energy in the hopes of achieving a beneficial effect.

“Explanations that magnetic fields ‘increase circulation,’ ‘reduce inflammation,’ or ‘speed recovery from injuries’ are simplistic and are not supported by the weight of experimental evidence.” – Michael Barret, MD

Proponents of magnet therapy say that it works by realigning our bodies’ magnetic fields, making us feel and perform better on many levels. By placing magnets over specific parts of the body blood is drawn to that area, they say, and there is a resultant soothing effect on nerves, tissues, muscles and cells.

However, the method, which is also known as biomagnetic or electromagnetic field therapy, is a highly controversial one because – surprise! – there have been no real studies that have reported any positive effects whatsoever, except for a possible placebo-like effect in some cases.

What Exactly Is It?

Magnet therapy dates back to the times of the ancient Egyptians, and has been used by alternative practitioners to treat a myriad of different ailments, ranging from chronic back pain to ulcers to sports injuries and arthritis. Today, some practitioners even use it to diagnose HIV and treat cancer, although it has been widely frowned upon for such purposes.

Interestingly, it is not known exactly how the magnets work – or don’t work – which makes it a lot easier for the people trying to flog them!

Some manufacturers and/or distributors of magnetic products claim they attract the iron in the blood to travel towards them, therefore increasing and improving circulation and making the supply of oxygen more beneficial in the body. Others say they reduce the body’s levels of negative energy, encouraging it do many things, including repair wounds and cuts.

A variety of products for specific conditions are available, including:

* Magnetic mattress pads. Advertised as helping everyone to get a good night’s sleep, including people with insomnia, fibromyalgia, lower back pain, poor circulation etc.

* Magnetic pillows. Claims to relieve pressure in head and neck to promote healthy sleep.

* Acupressure pads. Reportedly helps smokers quit when worn over the “heavenly gate” part of the ear (according to ancient Chinese medicine, that is).

* Magnetic period pain pads. Purport to alleviate menstrual pain by supposedly increasing the flow of blood in the uterine area., and stopping a build-up of lactic acid, which is responsible for menstrual cramps.

* Bracelets. Claims to alleviate or completely cure numerous chronic conditions ranging from chronic stress to back pain..

* Magnetic water wand: If you dip this special wand in water for ten minutes, it promises to ionise the water and make it especially healthy to drink. Claims to be beneficial in particular to people suffering from kidney or stomach problems, as well as skin ailments. Some people believe that drinking water that has been magnetized can revitalize all the organs in the body and actually reduce high blood pressure.

* Magnetic hairbrush. This is no joke: the brush magnetically massages your scalp as you use it, purportedly encouraging hair growth and making your hair sleek, shiny and in much better condition. Yeah, right.

* Elbow, knee and other supports. Supposedly relieves specific joint pain. You can also purchase special magnetized wraps to wrap around the affected areas, or where there has been a sports or other injury.

* Animal products. Specifically designed to better the health of dogs and horses, such as a magnetized pet collar which promises to keep your pet in “excellent health and vitality” when worn. And if s/he dies with the collar on? Sue the bastards!

Super or Simply a Scam?

It is estimated that the magnet therapy market in the United States is worth a whopping great $300 million annually – some estimates put that more than twice as high. But is it a highly respectable health breakthrough, or simply a hoax?

“Explanations that magnetic fields ‘increase circulation,’ ‘reduce inflammation,’ or ‘speed recovery from injuries’ are simplistic and are not supported by the weight of experimental evidence,” wrote Michael Barret, MD, in an article titled Magnet Therapy, a Skeptical View.

“There is no scientific basis to conclude that small, static magnets can relieve pain or influence the course of any disease. In fact, many of today’s products produce no significant magnetic field at or beneath the skin’s surface.”

The article goes on to point out several successful lawsuits individuals have taken against companies making claims that their magnets can do everything from reduce leg fatigue to increase blood circulation and are even effective against certain cancers, diabetic conditions and ulcers.

Magnet therapy should never be used in place of conventional medicine. As a form of alternative medicine, it is non-invasive and can certainly provide a placebo-type effect to people who truly believe in it. But there is no steadfast evidence to back up the claims; instead there is a booming market full of different magnetic products that draw in desperate people to pull money out of their wallets and order them.

There is nothing wrong with trying out a magnet or two as long as a) you can afford to do so and b) you are not forsaking clinically proven healing techniques, such as conventional medicine, in favor of using magnets (please note that people with cardiac pacemakers or who are having radiology or an MRI should avoid using magnets). If magnets attract you, keep in mind that you might reap more benefits by spending the money to have a body massage, a spa day, or even a nice meal in a classy restaurant!

10 Ways to Make Your Diet More Alkaline for Better Health

Embarking on an alkaline diet is one of the simplest and most practical things you can do to maintain good health and avoid diseases. Advocates of an alkaline diet cannot overemphasize its importance. According to them, the overriding principle of the alkaline diet is that the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in alkaline-forming foods, supplements and water may help bring the body back to its optimal state of balance. This in turn, ensures the absence of ailments and diseases and infuses the body with tremendous energy and vitality.

It is generally believed that over-acidity in the body may result in chronic health problems. Bacteria, viruses and infections are thought to heavily thrive in a highly acidic environment. In fact, pH (potentiality to hydrogen) tests conducted on many cancer patients yielded highly-acidic body milieu. In everyday life, an overly-acidic diet may manifest itself through fatigue, gum and teeth problems, pain and inflammation, and premature aging.

An alkaline diet may help your body in several ways.

• It may help your body absorb more of the essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals in their natural form. Consequently, it may help your immune system better resist infection and foreign bodies that initiate body imbalances that lead to illnesses.

• It may help provide the means by which your body can neutralize acids and toxins that may wreak havoc in the blood, lymph, tissues, and cells.

• It may also aid in boosting energy and enhancing vigor to better enable your body to withstand the daily challenges and stress it undergoes.

• It may help keep away various aches and pains. Pain in the different parts of the body is generally due to inflammation. This condition may be overcome by an alkaline diet rich in the mineral magnesium. As it is known to support joint and tissue health, this may help ensure that arthritis, rheumatism and other pesky aches may be avoided.

Getting into an alkaline diet is as easy as gradually incorporating several changes and modifications into your existing diet. Though this transition requires a major shift in your attitude towards food, it is important to realize that the change cannot be implemented overnight. The important point to remember is that small changes go a long way.

Here are 10 steps toward an alkaline diet that may do wonders for your health.

1.) Consume more vegetables and fresh fruits. Try to incorporate vegetables and fruits in each meal. During breakfast, make sure you eat a piece of apple or banana. It may be better to take them on an empty stomach. Drinking fruit juice instead of coffee may make it better. Try to include some salad with lots of green leafy vegetables during lunch and dinner.

2.) Decrease your consumption of beef, pork or chicken and try to substitute fish (like mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna) or turkey. The latter-named sources of protein contain considerably less harmful fat and have more of the beneficial fats in them.

3.) Avoid eating processed foods such as luncheon meats, canned fruits, breads, peanut butter, canned soups, hotdogs and sausages. You might also want to avoid such condiments as ketchup, salad dressings with mayonnaise, cheese dips and the like. These are packed with acid-forming substances that may wreak havoc in your system once these are digested.

4.) Lower your consumption of sugar and products made from sugar, such as candies, ice cream, softdrinks, cookies, jams, doughnuts, puddings, chewing gum and the like. Foods with sugar are also acid-forming.

5.) Lessen your consumption of dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, as well as eggs. These are mostly acid-forming foods.

6.) Eat more grilled or roasted food and less fried foods. Fried foods tend to have higher levels of fat and therefore are higher in calories. These foods also tend to trigger higher acidity levels in the body due to chemical interactions of the grease and oil with the food and other substances in the body.

7.) Spice up your food. Most spices like turmeric, basil, bay leaves, tarragon, thyme, cilantro, dill, marjoram cinnamon, curry, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper contain antioxidant substances and other phytochemicals that are beneficial for your alkaline balance and therefore, overall health.

8.) Increase your consumption of alkaline-forming grains such as quinoa, rye, wild rice, and amaranth as these are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients that form the base of a balanced alkaline diet.

9.) Drink herbal tea instead of coffee. Coffee is highly acid-forming and it may be wise to substitute such herbal teas like chamomile tea, ginger tea, lemongrass tea, fennel tea and peppermint tea to help enhance alkalinity levels in your body.

10.) Drink lots of water. Try to consume at least half of your body weight in ounces of good quality of water each day. If possible, choose spring water, mineral water or alkaline water. If you’re taking tap water, try to add a slice of lemon or lime as these tend to enhance the alkalinity of the water. Avoid drinking distilled water as it is acid-forming.

Keep in mind though that an alkaline diet does not mean the absence of acid-forming food. An optimal balance of consuming 80% alkalizing foods to 20% acidifying foods is a workable formula for maintaining healthy alkalinity levels. Too much of either foods will result in imbalance that will again trigger the onset of diseases, ailments, aches and pains.

So try to follow the 10 practical steps toward an alkaline diet mentioned above and these will gradually create the proper alkaline balance within your body. Remember that when the body’s pH levels are in balance, the body reaches the ideal weight and naturally corrects the negative health challenges.

Discover the Secret Weight Loss Goal Setting Strategy For Maximum Fat Loss

Setting weight loss goals is an important, and often missed step in losing weight. Goals keep you motivated and focused. Your goals give you a map to success, and when you learn how to set them the right way, nothing will stop you from getting the results you want. Most people fail at weight loss because they set goals that are unattainable and unrealistic. Goals that focus on physical things like, "fit into my jeans from high school" or, "losing my gut and love handles" are bad because they can be very hard, if not impossible to meet. If you set goals that you can not achieve, you will probably quit and give up.

So what is the secret to setting and keeping healthy weight loss goals? The key is to set small goals for yourself that build up to a healthy lifestyle. Start out by setting a goal like walking 10 minutes every day for a week. Once you achieve it, set another goal for eating an apple every day for a week etc. Slowly build your small goals up until you have lost all the weight you want.

Start by setting one weight loss goal today for week. If you are really out of shape, start by walking 10 minutes around your neighborhood and do it every day for a week. After you complete this goal, set another one but make sure your goal is a little more challenging. Try jogging a little during your daily walk every day. Keep expanding your goals like this, and you will easy achieve your weight loss goals.

How to Conduct a First Band Meeting

You’re starting from scratch. You have an instrument, friends who also have instruments, a place to make a lot of noise, and a dream… now what? You all want to make good music. You all have opinions. You all want the same number of people who entered the band room to leave the band room alive. Here’s some things I’ve found helpful to establish at a first band practice:

Influences – this is the cornerstone of any band, and can let you know pretty quickly if there’s any sort of compatibility… as weird/corny as it sounds, think of a first band practice like a first date: you’re trying to find out if there’s anything in common and if it’s worth continuing. If one person is dead set on prog rock and another is hell bent on death metal, you can either form a prog-death metal band or, more likely scenario, those two people should be in different bands.

If you find a few common influences, it’s a great starting point. While you should never go out and say “I want this band to sound exactly like (insert artist)”, it helps establish the overall vibe you’ll work toward by saying you like the sound of (artist) or (artist), then over time find a way to make it your own.

It should also be mentioned here that you don’t need to start writing on day one. Sometimes starting off with a cover song or two lets you see how you work together, and will also serve to establish that foundation. You can look back and say yeah, we learned that song as a full band (go team!), and kind of builds morale early (this is something I wish I had known many many bands ago – if you push writing too quickly, the band falls pretty quickly too)

Collaborating styles – you want to get an idea early on of how each member functions and how to best work with that, changing their styles as little as possible… if possible. For example, some guitar players are very good with just jamming out and coming up with riffs on the fly and kind of wing it. Others usually need to take an idea home, go over the details solo, and come back to practice with a finely tuned riff.

These should be handled in very different ways: if you have a guitar player who is a riff machine, invest in a crappy boombox or something with recording capability, put it in the room, hit record, and let him go to town. You can always go back over the tape at a later time to see what was good and what wasn’t. I’ve worked with a guitar player who forgot more good riffs than I had ever written, and we found this the best way to deal with that. Conversely if someone is of the second type, don’t expect them to come up with gold on the spot. In all likelihood you’ll just waste practice time and also make them uncomfortable.

Remember: it’s only when you let each member collaborate in their own style and NOTHING comes out of it that you should start to be concerned.

Expectations from each person – it doesn’t hurt to lay the ground rules early on. If someone in the band is constantly below your expectations then, well, it’s kind of your fault for not making them known. Establish the basics:

-how many practice days a week will you aim for?

-Which days can everyone meet?

-Do any members have fluctuating work schedules?

-How will you stay in contact with each other? (side note: always a good idea to make a sheet with everyone’s cell and email addresses, and make sure each person has a copy)

-How many days in advance should a member try to let everyone know if they can’t make a practice? (with the obvious emergency situations not factoring in here… one time we had a drummer who was running an hour late for his audition, only to get a call from him and look out our practice space window to see that he had wrecked about a half mile away. He was fine, and obviously the punctuality thing wasn’t a factor in this situation)

Expectations from the band as a whole – this is one that often goes ignored, and acts as a ticking timebomb for band implosions. Some members of the band may want to quit their day jobs, tour the world, and sell a million albums. Others may see this as a creative outlet and just a fun hobby. And some may just want chicks.

It’s important to get this out of the way early on, and figure out what each member wants to do with this thing you’re collectively creating, because the conversation gets much harder down the road. Imagine if you were on the verge of signing a record deal only to find out half the band never had any intentions of going on tour… see the dilemma?

Member Roles: Finally, figure out the roles of each member (but this is also something you can kind of ease into). For example, some members might be better at handling the finances, some better at booking shows and interacting with other bands, some better at writing the foundations for a song, etc.

… and there is always someone who needs to be kind of the band a-hole, and make sure things are staying on track. If no one else is stepping up after a few practices and your band’s kind of wandering aimlessly, well then buddy, it may just need to be you. It’s not so bad. If you’re wondering if I’ve ever been in that situation, I’ll answer that with a question: how do you think I was able to write this so easily?

Rock on.

Disinfecting Your Medical Scrubs Properly

As with any profession involving people, medical professionals run the risk of carrying bacteria, thus passing it on to patients and along to family and friends. Research proves that a main transport vehicle in carrying bacteria to another person is the apparel worn by a medical professional. According to recent studies, scrubs which are laundered at home contain high bacteria levels, as compared to scrubs laundered in a professional laundering facility or at the hospital. If you are responsible for cleaning your own scrubs, just follow these tips for properly disinfecting and cleaning your medical scrubs at home.

To begin, when you obtain new scrubs, wash them using cold water and a half cup of vinegar. This allows the color to set and will keep them from fading. The scrubs will go through a harsh disinfecting from here on out, and this simple step will help in extending the life of your scrubs.

Put your scrubs on and take them off at the hospital, right before and after your shift. Place your scrubs in a plastic freezer bag after the end of your shift. Seal the bag and keep the seal intact until you are set to wash your scrubs. Discard the bag after removing the clothing.

Once you are ready to wash your uniform, do so separately from your other laundry. To conserve energy and water, just wait until you have a few sets of scrubs ready to wash. However, it is important that your load not be too big. For proper cleaning, the scrubs need to have plenty of room to move around in the washer and dryer. Use stain remover on any visible stains. Your medical scrubs will require two washes. The first will loosen and remove dirt and debris. The second will disinfect the scrubs.

Before the first wash, turn the scrubs inside out to avoid pilling. Use regular detergent and cold water for the first wash with a normal setting. Once the first wash is complete, check to ensure all stains were removed. If not, repeat the steps for the first wash. Otherwise, stains will set in the second hot wash.

The second wash will need to use hot water and bleach. Allow the washer tub to fill before adding ¾ cup of bleach, or use the bleach dispenser if your washer has one.

Follow this step by putting scrubs in the dryer on the highest heat setting. Allow the scrubs to tumble dry for a minimum of 30 minutes to kill bacteria. Then iron your scrubs to kill even more bacteria. Place in a plastic dry-cleaning bag or roll scrubs to put in a clean, plastic freezer bag to keep them clean until your next shift. With this routine, your scrubs will be clean and disinfected, ready for the next shift.

The First 4 Steps to Get Massage Therapy After a Car Accident

When I was hit by a drunk driver, the last thing I wanted was to mess with insurance. The other guy’s insurance company was willing to pay for massage therapy. But I didn’t have the time. And as a result, I was not fully protected.

Massage Therapy is one of the most effective healing tools available. It calms the muscles and mind down after a traumatic incident. It increases blood flow to the muscles, which increases healing. A great massage therapist will ask about the accident, and learn which muscles were tightened and harmed during the accident. As a result, your body will heal. Massage Therapy is the science of healing muscle. It is the only industry focused exclusively on healing muscle tightness and soreness. Seek out a massage therapist immediately if you are in a car accident to prevent those muscles from staying tight because of whiplash or injury.

I have outlined the steps describing how to get massage therapy for a car accident (or any accident) with the other person’s insurance company paying for it. These steps are the first 4 steps you should take immediately. Within 24 hours of the accident, take these steps to protect yourself. You must act quickly, or you may forfeit your care to the insurance company’s policies. To ensure you are well, follow these 4 steps below.

1. VISIT a Doctor or Chiropractor for a Doctor’s Note

You need a doctor’s recommendation for a massage. It’s a medical recommendation, like any other activity or prescription. Schedule a single doctor’s visit, and have your doctor recommend massage therapy as treatment. If you are injured on the weekend, visit a 24 hour clinic. Any doctor can prescribe massage therapy if you ask for it. But you must ask for it.

2. TREAT Yourself Immediately

The insurance companies have a policy called having a “Gap in Care.” It means that if you are not getting your treatments consistently and immediately after the accident, then you are not really hurt. If you are going to get massage therapy to remedy accident pain, then start immediately. And don’t stop getting regular treatments until you are better. Changes to your treatment plan or providers is fine, but do NOT stop getting some sort of treatment, or the insurance companies will claim you have a “gap in care.” And they will not accept your claim.

3. BEWARE of Delayed Pain

Whiplash can show up several weeks after accident. What happens is that the body goes into hyper-protection mode, as a safety measure. It pours adrenaline, and other chemicals into your body for several weeks to protect you from hurting (so you can escape the dangerous land of other cave people, ya know, with deadly mountain lions and other creatures). Then your body starts repairing weeks later. That repair period is when the pain really start.

Often, you won’t seek immediate treatment because you feel fine, then you start feeling really bad weeks later. Continue your massage therapy treatments for at least a month to make sure you prevent serious whiplash from affecting your productivity. The insurance companies understand this too. So continue treatment for at least month. And longer if you are genuinely in pain.

4. ASK Questions of the Insurance Company

Some insurance companies pay as you go. Other insurance companies want to pay out the claim at the end of treatment. Ask them lots of questions on their process. The adjustor is simply following a set of rules. If you can learn the rules, you can make the most of the claim (and save yourself a lot of headaches). Work within the system, not against it. Some great questions include, “How does the claim process work?” “Can I get checks as I submit receipts, or do you pay out all at once towards the end.”

Regardless of what happened, everyone involved wants to see you get better fast. So act quickly. And start a consistent treatment, and continue with it, until you are better. Good luck and Feel Better!

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Brachialis and Brachioradialis in Neck Related Elbow Pain

Brachialis

Neck pain due to C5, C6 nerve root irritation will also lead to pain in the brachialis. The pain will be felt in the front of the arm deep to the biceps muscle with elbow pain.

It arises from the lower two thirds of the front of the arm bone (humerus) and attaches to the top of the forearm bone (ulnar coronoid process). The nerve supply to the brachialis is the musculocutaneous nerve and the radial nerve carrying the C5, C6 nerve root fibers to this muscle.

This muscle is usually involved in shortening contractions since it bends the elbow and is thus a second tier muscle for treatment in C5, C6 nerve root irritation.

The first tier muscles for treatment are the muscles exposed to constant lengthening contractions such as the deltoid, teres major, and the latissimus dorsi muscles.

Brachioradialis

Presence of neck pain with C5, C6 nerve root irritation causes pain in the elbow related to spasm of the brachioradialis muscle which receives the C5, C6 spinal never root fibers through the radial nerve.

It is one of the muscles of the wad of three together with extensor cup by radialis longus and brevis. Pain and spasm in these muscles will give significant elbow pain.

This muscle arises from the outer edge of the lower part of the arm bone (humerus) and inserts into the far end of the forearm bone (radius).

Bending the elbow in most activities of daily living is usually performed with the forearm in a midway position between palm up and palm down positions where the thumb side is uppermost. These positions include lifting, writing, eating etc.

Therefore, brachioradialis is repetitively over used in many activities of daily living. In the presence of C5, C6 nerve root irritation, it becomes weak and thus more prone to injury.

© 2007 copyright http://www.stopmusclepain.com

11+ Proven Herbs For Hemorrhoid Relief

Lately, it sees that everyone and their brother is promoting natural remedies for hemorrhoids. A Google search of the phrase "best herbal hemorrhoid treatment" serves up over 500,000 pages … most of which are devoted to selling you the latest magic formula.

Since I have suffered from itching, pain and bleeding for over a year, I would love to get some lasting relief. Unfortunately, the old standby, Preparation H, was not relieving my symptoms all that much. I even have a referral pending to a – ahem – rectal specialist. (Can not say I'm really looking forward to that visit.)

To be honest, in my misery I actually downloaded one of those "miracle" home remedies books online. However, I stopped short at using their recommended "alum sitz bath." Alum is a powerful shaving agent that can completely dry out irritated tissues, causing further misery. No thank you!

In the meantime, I've been taking psyllium husk capsules from my local vitamin shop. Taken at night with plenty of water, a teaspoon of worth of psyllium naturally keeps bowels movements large, yet soft. And people with hemorrhoids want that, because soft, bulky stools reduce irritation and allow healing.

Unfortunately for us chronic sufferers, there is no "cure" short of corrective surgery.

Any natural hemorrhoids treatment should be just one part of a long-term lifestyle change that corrects some of the common causes, such as constipation, poor circulation, and obesity.

Based on my own research and experience, some of the time-tested herbal or natural remedies really do help relieve some of the most distressing symptoms. They can be a safe, effective complement to a new and improved diet and wellness routine.

Sure, natural treatments may be gentle and safe. But, you ask: do they work as well as regular ointments or pain relievers? Really, how can I be sure that a "natural" hemorrhoid remedy is not just a total waste of money? The popular interest in alternative and traditional medicine has fueled an increasing number of clinical studies demonstrating that certain herbs are very effective in relieving anal pain, itching and bleeding.

The following is a list of herbals with documented positive effects on the most troublesome symptoms. *

  • Horse Chestnut: The Europeans have approved dietary horse chestnut extract as an accepted treatment for venous insufficiency, a condition in which circulation to the legs is impaired. In the US, the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, an independent council that evaluates alternative therapies, gives horse chestnut an "A" grade for the treatment of venous insufficiency because of the breadth of documented evidence. Since hemorrhoids can be aggravated by circulatory problems, some drug researchers – and marketers – speculate that anything that increases the body's circulatory capacity must there be of benefit. So, horse chestnut to the rescue! Warning: Because raw horse chestnut contains potent toxins, only use products containing the processed, refined extract (called "HCSE").
  • Butcher's Broom: Its active compound, ruscogen, is an anti-inflammatory which can shrink and heal swollen hemorrhoidal tissues. Butcher's broom is usually taken orally as a dietary supplement. Since there are at least two studies reporting contact dermatitis after using anal ointments containing ruscogens, stick with the supplement form.
  • Bioflavonoids: These plant metabolites, such as diosmin, hesperidin and rutin, are becoming more widely used as dietary supplements to treat circulatory ailments. Dietary products containing extracts of bilberry or citrus fruits promote vein strength and tone. Bioflavonoids also help reduce inflation and swelling. Most famously, bioflavonoids are potent anti-oxidants, promoting tissue repair through the body.
  • Psyllium seed husk: For constipation relief plus great digestion, try formulas with a mixture of psyllium and spirulina algae (which help make a good home for lactobacilli and other beneficial intestinal bacteria) or chlorella algae (rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants). Psyllium husk powder is so gentle, doctors often recommend it to ease the pain of that first bowel movement after childbirth, hemorrhoidectomy or fissure repair. Reminder: You must drink at least one full glass of water per teaspoon of psyllium powder.
  • Witch Hazel: This tissue-shrinking herb is a time-honored treatment for hemorrhoids. Apply with a cotton ball a few times a day to soothe swollen, inflated anal tissues. You can also buy processed witch hazel powder at health food stores and make your own cooling compress.
  • Yarrow: Another astringent herb, yarrow can be boiled into a tea and applied with a cotton ball multiple times a day. This will help stop minor anal bleeding.
  • Chamomile: Contains oily substances known as bisabolols and chamazulenes, which are proven to soothe irritated tissues. In fact, many top-of-the-line skin care products contain these extracts. A 1996 German study measured the effectiveness of chamomile-based ointment on hemorrhoid surgery patients: they treated faster than those who did not receive the ointment.
  • Mullein: Mullein is an herb that has been proved in laboratory research, such as a 2007 Turkish study, to help heal localized pain such as earache. The oil, readily available from health food stores, can be applied directly to anal tissues without problem.
  • Cypress and Frankincense: Resins from these trees have been used through history as antiseptics and anti-inflammatories. Traditional Chinese piles remedies often contain these healing botanicals. The literature shows mild vein-constricting effects, which can be helpful in promoting good anal circulation.
  • Geranium: Extracts called "geraniols" are showing promise in the treatment of bleeding hemorrhoids. Geraniols also possess antiseptic and pain-relieving properties.
  • Aloe: Did you know that you can freeze a sliver of aloe vera plant and insert it as a soothing suppository? Aloe, the age-old burn remedy, relieves anal pain and swelling. Bonus: No side effects.
  • Common Household Ingredients: Some dietary staples have been proven to help some people escape hemorrhoid pain. Peeled garlic cloves, peeled onion slivers, and raw potatoes are reported to ease swelling. Even the horrific-sounding cayenne and garlic enema has some basis in fact: the same chemicals that make cayenne "hot" also work as pain relievers. Personally, I think you've got to be really desperate to even think of trying a spicy enema. But medical research does exist to support the use of capsaicin and hot pepper extracts in pain management.

Remember, herbs are not inert substances. They may conflict with other herbs, or even medicines. But typically, herbal-based treatments have few to no side effects when used as directed. As always, do your homework before buying any herbal ointment, oil, or capsule. And ask your doctor if you're still not sure.

Space does not permit full reference citations here; a search of PubMed on any given herb will show you at least a decade's worth of reputable science.