Tired of Living in a COPD Treatment Torture Chamber? Be Kind to Yourself and Treat it Naturally

The fifth most common disease and the fourth leading cause of death all over the modern world, is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Besides being deadly, COPD disease can also be very debilitating.

Better than fifty percent of COPD patients say that they’re severely hampered in even performing such ordinary task like household chores, social activities, sleeping, anything requiring physical involvement such as sports, or even taking a walk.

I don’t want to focus on what is COPD, how you get it, or it’s dangers, but I would like to warn you not to listen to the uninformed opinions of persons who say it can’t be cured and it’s victims are destined to lead to a lifetime of dependence on oxygen therapy, inhalers, and corticosteroids. Let’s see, what else does modern medical science offer for a COPD treatment? Oh I almost forgot, lung surgery, and if your real lucky maybe a lung transplant.

Some lung treatment huh? My dear sir, we’ll try the surgery but what your probably going to need, is a new set of lungs! So there your name sits, at the bottom of a long list, waiting for some nice person to meet an untimely death. That’s the modern method of COPD treatment! Never fear, holistic medicine offers hope.

There are so many ways to naturally alleviate the symptoms of COPD even if you haven’t been able to stop smoking yet, and holistic remedies in many cases can cure this disease allowing you to gradually reduce your dependence on medications. I know a cure may sound like too much to ask, but it’s not, if you can distance yourself from whatever originally caused the disease, while taking advantage of several natural COPD cures at the same time.

To start with, the most convenient, least expensive, yet most powerful natural cure for COPD would have to be the elemental miracle, and why anyone with COPD who found out about it would neglect to immediately start reaping the benefits from it, is beyond me. Even though the elemental miracle is capable of eliminating this disease all by itself, the best plan of attack would be to use it simultaneously with the other natural remedies for COPD, listed in the following summary.

*Hydrogen Peroxide has been relied on for over a century to heal every disease known to man, especially COPD. Those with COPD related ailments seem to prefer inhaling it. All you do is put a 3% solution in an inhaler and take it several times a day, or you can receive the same benefits through taking it internally, by mixing a quarter teaspoon in a glass of water and drinking it three times a day on an empty stomach. Also you can take a soaking bath with hydrogen peroxide mixed in with your bath water. Food grade hydrogen peroxide is always the recommended form to use, but do plenty of research about it before you get started.

*MSM is helpful in so many ways and works great for COPD due to it’s ability to squeegee clean the bio-films that build up in the lungs. To get started take a tsp. 3 times per day with lots of water. Slowly increase the dose until you can tolerate a tbs. at the same frequency, and continue taking it that way everyday.

*DMSO mixed fifty percent with water in an inhaler, is reported to be a very effective natural method for reducing buildups in the lungs, which helps to eliminate many of the symptoms of COPD.

*Colloidal Silver is very helpful for COPD patients, especially in those suffering from chest infections. Patients claim that by using it in their inhaler as soon as their sputum changes from clear to yellow, it keeps the infection from advancing any further.

*Virgin Coconut Oil has been found to benefit those with COPD. It can be taken a few teaspoons at a time with meals and in juice or tea as needed to help thin out mucous, and/or for opening nasal passages.

*Thyme drank as an herbal tea offers much in the way of relief to people with COPD. It helps to clear upper respiratory infections in addition to relieving other COPD symptoms.

Never underestimate the power of herbs as a COPD treatment because there are so many that are very beneficial such as Licorice, Indian Tobacco, Garlic, and Marshmallow, to name just a few of the more favored ones. Whenever an expectorant is needed, use Eucalyptus for loosening excessive mucous to make it easier to cough up. Next time before using oxygen for COPD, put a couple of drops of Eucalyptus essential oil in a humidifier and breathe in the air to quickly resolve any breathing difficulties. Those suffering from COPD say it’s an excellent way to fore go having to use oxygen.

I know it can be hard, but try to stay upbeat while trying to manage your COPD. These holistic remedies will work, and fast. The ones I’ve covered are in my opinion some of the best for COPD, but there are so many others. You don’t have to discontinue your prescribed COPD treatments, just make up a program of natural remedies to take right along with your prescriptions, and your need for all of those nasty chemical medicines, will just fall away.

COPD disease is a tough one, but why not attack it with natural remedies? They’re better than any of those prescribed lung treatments and they’re guaranteed to be safe. They’re also reliable and fast acting, and can be used collectively to insure s faster more effective recovery. Still, a person can die from drinking too much water, so start out slow and gradually increase, but keep it within the recommended protocols. Just don’t give up, do plenty of research on all of the various holistic choices, and never believe the propaganda you hear about COPD being incurable, because in many cases it’s not.

Ten Questions and Answers About BDSM

1. What is BDSM?

Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) is any situation where people – of their own free will and choice – magnify the personal power elements between them and act this out for their pleasure. This may be sexual pleasure, but it does not always have to be.

2. Are there different forms of BDSM?

Yes there are many different forms of BDSM. The two main forms are these:

* Lifestyle BDSM – This is the form where partners embed BDSM elements in their relationship in some way.

* Kink or fetish BDSM – This is the form where people, occasionally, seek to use power elements, predominantly for their sexual pleasure, without turning it into a lifestyle.

One is not more important, or more real, than the other. The two forms are just different. Quite often people grow from “kink” to “lifestyle”

3. Is BDSM abnormal?

There are power elements in all forms of human behavior: at work, at home, in politics, in sports and in (sexual) relationships. Magnifying the power element in your relationship is not abnormal. The current opinion among professionals (laid down in various diagnostic manuals, such as the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) is that consensual power exchange between informed and well-adjusted adults is normal and harmless (sexual) behavior.

4. What “causes” BDSM feelings?

It is not entirely clear to science, why some people are attracted to BDSM and others are not. It appears that genetic encoding may have something to do with this and it may also be that upbringing, social environment and education may have an influence. Fact of the matter is that the jury is still out on this one and that we simply do not know the answer. Based on research by for example the Kinsey Institute, Cosmopolitan, Time Magazine and several European universities and other sources it is estimated that between 15 and 30 percent of the adult Western population nurtures some form of BDSM emotions.

5. Why is there such a social stygma on BDSM?

A significant part of the general public opinion on BDSM is based on very outdated information, such the over 100 years old “Psychopatia Sexualis” (written by R. von Kraft-Ebing at the end of the 19th century) and research by S. Freud in the early 20th century. Also, xenophobia (fear of the unknown) plays an important role when it comes to the general opinion about BDSM and so does ill-informed coverage of the subject by excess-oriented media. Lack of reliable, dilligent scientific research on the subject also plays a part in this. Most research was done by therapists, seeking to promote themselves or their “therapy” rather than thoroughly researching the phenomena as such.

6. I hear people who are very dominant in real life are actually submissive in bed. Is this true?

The fairy tale about high profile politicians or managers seeking to be submissive in bed originates from prostitutes (“commercial mistresses”) trying to promote their services. Fact of the matter is that there is no proven connection between general social behavior and sexual behavior. Sexual behavior is a very individual thing, hence very different for individual people.

7. Are people with a BDSM-inclination not actually all victims of childhood trauma or abuse?

Scientific research has taught us that the number of people with a (juvenile or other) traumatic background is not greater nor smaller than it is in any other social group. One will find trauma victims in every social group. Having said that, the general level of tolerance within the “BDSM group” allows for more discussion about such subjects and the “BDSM community” is one of the very few social groups that actually and actively sets up help and support facilities for such cases. There is no reason why people with a trauma history should not enter into BDSM-activity, provided they seek professional help and – on a personal level – deal with the trauma FIRST and OUTSIDE a BDSM-situation.

8. At what age do BDSM-emotions emerge?

About 25 percent of the “BDSM population” (according to research by the POWERotics Foundation) has nurtured BDSM-like emotions from a very young age. Often, this group can remember being fascinated by power situations before the age of 12. Many others however “discover” their BDSM-preference at a much later stage, most often after dramatic events in their personal life, such as a divorce. The reason for this probably is in the fact that such events causes people to think about themselves, their personalities, preferences and needs.

9. Why are many people so secretive about their BDSM emotions?

Regardless the subject: it is not easy to have to tell the world you are “different”. This is true for everyone, who nurtures emotions, feelings or ideals that do not coinside with their social environment. People, brought up in a business-environment, will often have a hard time telling their parents and friends they would rather be a painter or an actress, for example. Gay people face a similar problem and so do democrats who came from a traditional republican nest. The phenomena is known as “coming out (of the closet)” (telling your environment you are different) and that is a difficult process that requires a lot of juggling between defending and explaining yourself to a probably unwilling audience. People with a BDSM-inclination face the same problem. Quite often this even leads to a situation where people – regretfully – are too scared to even tell their partner about their emotions.

10. If so many people nurture these feelings at young age, why is there so little information available for them?

Much – unfortunately – depends on the country you were born in. Fact is that in most countries sexual education in general leaves much to be desired. World wide research has shown that as much as 70 percent of the population picks up their sexual information “from the street” (i.e. friends, pornography, excess-oriented media, etcetera) and are not or very poorly educated by their parents or school. The current political climate – with very superficial and ill-informed opinions about sexuality – makes it hard for organisations to set up proper information programs in many countries. The other problem is that not everyone, who (temporarily) may nurture BDSM-like emotions during puberty and adolescence, eventually develops a persistent interest in BDSM, since much of this has to do with the more general sexual experimental phase, everyone goes through at young age. It is very important youngsters follow their own path, without too many outside influences. This forms a dilemma for organisations, seeking to provide information.

Two Recommended Medical Centers in Curitiba, Brazil

Curitiba – located in ParanĂ¡ state is the most important city in southern Brazil. Curitiba is the second largest car manufacturer and is regarded as the best place for investments in Brazil. Attractions include gardens, an opera house and museums.Curitiba has a developed medical service sector with many modern hospitals.This is a summary of some of Curitiba’s reputable hospitals.

Hospital VITA Curitiba is one of the best hospitals in the country. The 152 bed, modern hospital is operated by one of the leading hospital groups in Brazil. The hospital has attained many famous accreditations including the highest accreditation Level of the country awarded by ONA (National Accreditation Organization). Hospital VITA has full-fledged clinical departments and seven operating rooms, all of which provide excellent medical and surgical service in every specialty.

The hospital’s emergency center features an emergency room, 13 observation rooms and 1 minor surgery room making the center equipped to meet any urgency. It has a 24 bed general ICU, a pediatric ICU with10 beds, a cardiac ICU and a neurological ICU. All of the ICUs in this hospital offer 24- hour specialized care. VITA Curitiba has a nicely equipped diagnostics division that offers over 16 types of advanced procedures. It is also equipped with modern laboratories, a hemodynamics section and a pharmacy. Hospital VITA has110 apartments and it offers accommodations in a friendly environment. Tel: + 55 41 3315 1935

Hospital Santa Cruz is one of the best private hospitals in Brazil and is placed at Avenida do Batel, 1889 Curitiba. This 220 bed multi disciplinary center started in 1966 and has won ONA’s third level approval. The center, popularly known by Holy Cross Hospital, offers excellent medical service in all specialties. Additionally, its preventive medicine, neurosurgery, cardiology and emergency divisions are nationally renowned. The hospital has eleven modern operating rooms including six general surgery theaters. The emergency unit has modern facilities as well as 60 specialized physicians. This specific emergency unit has the highest number of doctors per shift among the Curitiba hospitals. The ICU with 32 beds offers excellent care. The laboratories are also at par with other international hospitals. Warm accommodations are available in luxurious suites and rooms. Tel: + 55 41 3312 3000

How to Fix Erectile Dysfunction Without Drugs at Home?

This article aims to give you a basic guide to understanding of how to fix erectile dysfunction. Over 150 million men around the world suffer from this condition and experience the same emotions that you and your partner may experience as a result of this problem.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Also known as impotence, it is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection on a regular basis.

What are the common causes?

This condition is usually caused by other health conditions, medicines, or habits that restrict blood flow such as poor diet and smoking and excessive alcohol.

What are the treatments?

The good news is that this problem can be treated. Once the cause is identified, medications or other treatments are available to help men have and maintain their erections. Doctors can offer more harsher treatments, however taking pills can actually cause more harm in the long run if you are not careful. The list of treatment options keeps growing and now includes a new natural option that most men will find effective and easy to use at home. Thousands of doctors are now using these natural health remedies into their medical recommendations due to the fact that these natural impotence remedies are so effective.

There are numerous natural remedy tips, but here are 4 simple ones:

Breathing exercises actually pump up to 10-20% more oxygen downstairs and you can do them in secret. Proper healthy diet, drinking more water and vitamins and nutrients are also necessary.

What you can do?

No matter how much your partner loves you, you cannot expect her to put up with your erection problems for ever. You may want to try a guaranteed natural remedy cure at home as an alternative treatment. A step by step natural remedy report can be sent to your computer in seconds so you will know exactly how to fix erectile dysfunction problems sooner rather than later.

From an Alternative to a Preference: Growth of Ayurvedic Treatment in India

With the United Nations declaring June 21 as International Yoga Day and celebrations across the country in full swing, the impact of India’s traditional science and culture is vivid. Yoga, Ayurveda and other natural therapies are few such practices that pose far reaching effects on physical health and mental peace.

Ayurveda, in particular, affects the cell-mediated immunity! The medicinal techniques used, take the remedies to the cell interiors, thereby facilitating healing. More than 5,000 years old and in constant practice since then, Ayurveda is rapidly spreading from the rural community to urban population. A 2014 survey in Uttar Pradesh’s state Ayurvedic hospital revealed that more and more patients are opting for Ayurveda in order to:

• protect themselves from the side effects of allopathic medicines

• bring down cost incurred on medicine

• get benefits that modern medicine doesn’t offer

Similar surveys conducted in other parts of the country showcase an increasing shift towards Ayurveda, especially because it heals diseases from the root. Diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, and various other chronic ailments have been cured in a large set of patients.

Growth of Ayurveda

When we say there is a growth in Ayurvedic treatment in India, it also largely means that the preference is more public now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, promoting traditional medicines; and the election of Shripad Naik as the minister for yoga and traditional medicine, are apt examples of the boom Ayurveda is experiencing. In consequence to the ongoing governmental push, India aims to expand its presence in the $100 billion global market for alternative medicine; of which Ayurveda is a big part. In real sense, this is the growth of Ayurveda!

Why the shift?

One of the primary causes behind Ayurveda’s wide acceptability is the adversity of modern drug reactions and economic burden patients need to helplessly bear with. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has also joined the bandwagon, with one of its studies confirming that certain Ayurvedic formulations are effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which causes irreversible joint damage.

Ayurveda market is growing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent annually. Stressing on the impact, Dr. VM Kumar, president of the Central Council of Indian Medicine, at a press conference this month, said that Ayurveda-based Amritadi Guggulu will replace antibiotics in India. The $20 billion global stake of herbal health care products is estimated to reach 5 trillion dollars in the future. In the light of such scope, Experts at the National Arogya Expo 2015 advocated that Ayurveda should not be considered an alternative and its reach must be expanded beyond India. The need of giving more importance to Ayurveda in the state’s public health system also came up. A small but significant step in this direction was seen when the Chief Minister of Goa announced the inclusion of Ayurvedic treatment in the universal medical scheme, Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva (DDSS).

The Facilitators

Talking about the promoters, Jiva Ayurveda is one influential example. With the aim of ‘taking Ayurveda to every household’, Jiva plans to add 25 more centers across India, including Mumbai, Bhopal, Indore and Mujafarnagar. The health care provider also has the world’s largest telemedicine center, which is offering Ayurvedic consultancy and treatment services to patients in 1500 towns and cities of India.

With increasing consumer awareness in terms of health services and proven benefits of Ayurveda, it is quintessential that the focus on traditional sciences is amplified so that the benefits can be availed by the masses.

Health Supplements Might Be Your Best Choice As An Infertility Natural Treatment

I know people who have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to have a baby. However simple and inexpensive supplementation with vitamins and minerals can be very effective as an infertility natural treatment – this is because you are quite simply giving the body everything it needs to function normally.

Considering vitamins and minerals as an option for an infertility natural treatment may be your best decision and it will do no harm while you are trying other medical procedures – the aim is to give yourself the best shot at success which begins with a healthy, nutrient-rich body. And this natural approach applies to both partners!

Couples who choose to have a family later in life may be at an increased risk of infertility and this may be due to a number of factors – the least of which is the fact that women are past the peak in their reproductive cycle.

When you consider the costs associated with adoption or medical procedures – and the high failure rate – a small investment in good quality mineral, vitamin and essential nutrient supplements as infertility natural treatment is very appealing.

One of the most basic causes of infertility can be the lack of nutrients that affect the reproductive system. For example:

o Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin A, C and E are linked to healthy sperm production.

o Folic acid is one of the few vitamins for which there is a recognized health claim that it can help prevent neural tube defects in newborn babies; women are advised to supplement with folic acid pre pregnancy and while pregnant.

It is found in citrus fruit juices, green leafy vegetables, meat, tuna, asparagus, alfalfa, grains, whole beans and fortifies foods.

Folic acid is involved in the formation of the brain and spinal cord and is has a crucial role in the metabolism of amino acids and DNA.

o Vitamin B6 has an important role in regulating female hormones and the female reproductive system. Birth control pills eliminate this vitamin.

A healthy diet and the addition of these nutrients leading up to pregnancy will significantly lower the risks associated with birth defects – it has already been clearly established that multivitamins and folic acid can prevent neural tube defects.

Dr Joel Wallach, in his book, ‘Rare Earths Forbidden Cures’, refers to the mineral Selenium in relation to many conditions regarding pregnancy and child birth – infertility, low birth weight, high infant mortality, sudden infant death syndrome, miscarriage, cystic fibrosis.

Things you can do for a natural approach to infertility:

o Make sure you have a healthy diet – eliminate fried food, reduce your consumption of vegetable oils, no sugar and refined carbohydrates and increase your intake of water, fresh fruit and vegetables and good sources of protein – red meat three to four times a week and plenty of cold water fish (such as mackerel, tuna, salmon and trout – all high in omega 3 fatty acids).

o Check that your menstrual cycles are regular – if they’re not consult your healthcare professional.

o In addition to a healthy diet, supplement with all the essential nutrients – minerals, vitamins, amino acid and essential fatty acids.

o If you have a food allergy or problems with absorption, consider supplementing with an enzyme supplement.

o An antioxidant supplement – high in Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc & Selenium – has been shown to be beneficial in improving fertility.

The best approach to a natural infertility treatment is to follow the advice of your health care professional and to consider supplementing with essential nutrients – particularly the antioxidant vitamins and minerals – after all, you have everything to gain!

Cosmetic Surgery For The Nipples

Inverted Nipples: One or both sides may be affected and to varying degrees. If the inversion of the nipple has been of recent onset, it is very important that a thorough investigation as to the possibility of breast cancer be pursued. Breast cancers can be associated with nipple inversion. Most cases, however, are essentially a simple nipple tissue abnormality that was actually present since birth but only first became noticeable during breast development and puberty. These are simply aesthetically objectionable. Mild cases often respond quite well to simple maneuvers performed during a breast enhancement (augmentation with implants) and are a welcomed “side benefit” to the procedure. More severe cases require some rather sophisticated and tiny incisions which are made in and around the nipple but usually with good success and minimum required in the way of a recovery. Most patients have these issues addressed while having a cosmetic breast procedure – such as a breast augmentation with implants, breast lift or breast reduction – in the operating room. Otherwise, it is quite realistic to have the nipple inversion correction performed alone as an office procedure (usually with local anesthesia and mild sedation).

Inadequate Nipple Length or Poor Projection of the Nipples: This can actually be due to a disproportion in sizes between the nipple and areola rather than a true nipple deficiency. The areola diameter may need to be decreased to make a better match. True length problems can be often be corrected with a minor surgical procedure similar to that used to correct inverted nipples as described above. Sometimes a long-lasting, injectable filler (such as we use for the face) can help in the improvement.

Overly Long or Large Nipples: Again, the possibility that this is actually due to a disproportion between the nipple and the areola sizes must be determined first. The areola diameter may need to be increased. Cosmetic tattooing is the simplest way to do this. In more severe cases of small to absent areola tissue, skin grafts of darker pigmented skin can be used. Otherwise, a surgical reduction in the actual length of the nipple is a very straightforward and relatively simple procedure which can be performed in an office setting. Puffy or overly “fat” nipples can also be thinned down a bit by a similar technique.

Overly Large Areola Diameter: Areola diameter reductions are often performed in coordination with a breast reduction or breast lift procedure in the operating room. We want the already excessively large areola to have good proportion to the newly lifted, compacted and re-shaped breast. Occasionally, an areola reduction will be performed alone. The new, smaller diameter is planned and the intervening ring of tissue is removed with the outer “circle” edge tightened in to fit. The scars tend to blend within the natural circle of the areola circumference. The human eye and brain are wired to expect to see this circle-like line which automatically makes it less likely that a scar mimicking this line will be visible.

Irregular Areola Border: The same techniques which are used to decrease the size of the areola are modified to create a smoother, more circle-like shape to the border of the areola. The scars generally hide within the natural circle that characterizes the areola margin.

Nipple is Off Center within the Areola: Usually fixed as part of a breast reduction or breast lift as this would be much harder to surgically fix otherwise. Cosmetic tattooing to balance the areola out is a good non-surgical option. Skin grafting is a much more aggressive alternative and rarely done for this particular problem.

Too Light, or Inadequate Areola Pigmentation: The best option for this, hands down, is cosmetic tattooing.

Nipple/Areola Complex Too High on the Breast: This is usually best treated by a breast enhancement with implants because in most situations the displacement is an optical illusion created by poor breast volume and awkward positioning of the tissue on the chest wall. True high displacement of the nipple/areola complex on the breast/chest is a tough problem otherwise – all existing techniques to move the complex lower will most likely result in an obvious scar on the upper pole of the breast/chest.

Nipple/Areola Complex Too Low on the Breast: This is a very common problem, often associated with large and/or drooping breasts. During a breast lift or a breast reduction, the complex is lifted to its proper position, resized proportionately and properly centered on the breast mounds. The nipple/areola complexes are placed so that they are in mirror image symmetry to the size, shape and position of the each other as much as possible. The scars hide within the circular edges of the areolas.

Nipple/Areola Complex Not Centered on the Breast: Many women have nipple/areola complexes which seem to be out toward the sides of the breasts. Bringing them inward so that the complexes are closer to the midline of each breast makes for a much more desirable look. Most effective solutions to this problem are as a part of a breast lift or breast reduction procedure as described above. More minor procedures which are modifications of some of the steps in a lift or a reduction can be performed for less severe cases or where the breasts are otherwise acceptable and not in any need of reshaping, resizing or lifting. When the complexes appear to be too close together (i.e. “cross eyed”) a well-done breast augmentation will often result in a more centered and more pleasing look to their positions.

Overly Prominent or Numerous, Highly Visible Bumps within the Areola: These are known as “Montgomery Glands” and although perfectly normal, they are sometimes aesthetically offensive if too prominent or too numerous; they are very edgy, irregular and “bumpy”. Simple excision works well – they do not typically recur.

Prominent Nipple/Areola Complex Hair Growth: Electrolysis is probably a better choice for this than would be laser hair removal. There are usually only a few hairs to treat and electrolysis is usually less expensive, more reliable and more definitive. Depigmentation – the loss of the darker areola color which it is supposed to have as compared to the surrounding skin – is always a risk with almost any procedure. But depigmentation is a well-known side effect of lasers. Lasers used on or near the pigmented areola can result in permanent, spotty depigmentation – very undesirable!

Pale, Depigmented Scars in the Areola: These can occur from previous trauma, procedures, surgery or lasers. The depigmented scar in the areola is unfortunately a very common occurrence in women who have had breast augmentation with implants placed via the areola incision approach. The best option is usually cosmetic tattooing.

Extra Nipple/Areola Complexes: Some patients have what might appear to be small moles on the chest or abdomen – but these may actually be extra nipple/areola complexes! These are also known as “accessory” or “supernumerary” nipples. Small, extra complexes can occur anywhere along the so-called “milk-line” which extends from the armpit through the center of the breast and down to the groin crease. A bump or lump underneath could also represent a small amount of breast tissue as well. It is generally agreed upon that it is important that these extra collections of breast related tissues be removed because of risks for malignant changes. Simple excision of these extra nipples is usually all that is required.

Post-Mastectomy Nipple/Areola Reconstruction: This is somewhat beyond the scope of this article, but certainly there are cosmetic issues involved in this very important aspect of breast reconstruction following any breast cancer treatment involving a mastectomy. Typically, nipple/areola reconstruction is not definitively planned and performed until all other aspects of the reconstruction of the breast are deemed complete and stable. Combinations of some of the techniques as described above – such as skin grafting, minor surgical procedures and tattooing – are all commonly employed.

Natural Cure for Asthma Found in Fiji

According to World Health Organization estimates, nearly 300 million people around the world suffer from asthma, with nearly 10% of the global population diagnosed with this lifelong respiratory disease. In the United States, around 70% of asthmatics also have allergies to pollen and certain foods, especially dairy, with the annual economic cost of asthma reaching US$20 billion in medical and indirect costs, with prescription drugs representing the largest single direct medical expenditure at US$6 billion. Every year, nearly 250,000 people die from asthma related complications.

There is currently no known medical cure for asthma, with asthmatics enduring a continuous management regime of steroids, inhalers and nebulizers to help reduce its symptoms. But an 11 year old Australian boy begs to differ with medical science, and claims that a traditional Fijian remedy for asthma has cured him, with no relapse for the past 12 months since he underwent an incredibly moving and traditional Fijian ritual. At the age of five, Tanner Blessington from Sydney’s north shore in Australia contracted the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) at the start of winter and ended up being hospitalized and treated with intravenous fluids and ventolin immediately. RSV is a major cause of respiratory illness across all ages in nearly every country, but school-aged children are particularly susceptible during colder months as colds and flu spread and place their immune systems under enormous pressure. RSV was first discovered in 1956 and since been recognized by the medical profession as one of the most common causes of childhood illnesses.

The Blessington family visit Fiji every year for holidays but on one visit they learned from a Fijian working at one of the resorts that his mother claimed to have the gift to cure asthma. Tanner’s mother, Leanne, just shrugged the comment off as a Fijian myth but remained curious for another two years, when by a second chance meeting, she met the same man. Still curious but acutely aware that it might just be a scam for money, she decided to take the next step and meet this mysterious mother. In pouring rain, the Blessington’s took a taxi to the local village to meet the man’s wife and three children. His elderly mother came straight up to Tanner and said that she had a dream that he was coming to see her. After a few hours of pleasantries, Leanne and husband Adrian were asked to leave the room, so that the elderly women could concentrate on helping young Tanner. With night approaching and still raining, the men of the family went to climb a nuidamu coconut tree to retrieve an orange-red coconut, and to get a medicinal tree root. Without any safety equipment, one of the men climbed a tall palm tree, carefully removed a few coconuts, tied a rope around each bundle and gently lowered them to the ground. Nuidamu coconuts are highly respected in traditional medicine and the utmost care was taken not to let them hit the ground.

Returning back to the house, the older woman began shaving the skin of the root over newspaper, like peeling cassava root. The shavings were then bundled up inside the stringy, vau bark of the coconut tree to form a bundle, and immersed into the coconut water to let it infuse and absorb. In the meantime, as the family continued to pray and chant, she ran her finger across Tanner’s hand and up the underside of his arm and said to him, “this will not work if you don’t have love inside you”. All negativity and stress had to go from his mind, as well as his parents who were sitting nearby. This was especially difficult for his parents, as they had just heard that their Sydney home had been robbed and most of their jewellery and possessions had been stolen whilst they were in Fiji. Leanne tells of the hardship to rid herself of stress but she was determined to do everything right to make this work for her son.

Once the bark and shaved roots had absorbed most of the coconut water, they were hand-squeezed to extract the essential oils and tree sap back into a bowl, leaving only the dry bark and root in a bundle, which she put to one side. Tanner had his first drink of the herbal water and said it didn’t taste as bad as Western medicine. After more ceremony and prayer, Tanner had one final ritual to perform. He had to swim out to the deepest point in the sea and throw the dry bark bundle as far as he could and say “goodbye to my asthma”. He was told that he had to drink the rest of the mixture, with top ups of more nuidamu coconut water, for the next seven days. He couldn’t drink any other liquids including water, juice or the gravy from his favorite curries – only the coconut medicine that had been made. This was probably because it may have diluted the potency of the herbal drink, ensuring the traditional medicine could do its job. Leanne was still skeptical, but there was no money exchanged and the old woman simply asked that they had faith and put their hearts and minds to believing the treatment would work. On day eight, Tanner mustered up the courage to put the treatment to the ultimate test. With his inhaler at the ready, he ordered the biggest ice cream sundae. To everyone’s surprise, there was no reaction. No wheezing, no constricted airway, his asthma had miraculously disappeared. For the next 12 months, Leanne held her breath, constantly monitoring her son’s condition back home in Australia, unsure if and when his asthma may return. It didn’t. On their return to Fiji just recently, Tanner fulfilled one his biggest dreams that his previous condition had prevented him doing. He learned to scuba dive. “On the dive application form, it asked if I had any medical condition. I ticked no. I used to have asthma but it is now out there at sea” said young Tanner.

In the book, “Secrets of Fijian Medicine”, Dr. Michael Weiner, a professor at the University of California in the US, spent several years in Fiji during the 1980’s working with the government and the United Nations Development Programme to document Fiji’s ancient herbal remedies. In it, Tanner’s treatment is documented and well known to many Fijian elders. Tree roots used to treat asthma include vesi (intsia bijuga) and vadra aerial roots (pandanus) and both are commonly found throughout parts of South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. The sacred orange-red coconuts are also listed in his book. Native to Asia and Polynesia, the niudamu tall palm tree grows to a height of 100 feet and bears mainly yellow and orange-red coloured coconuts. Belonging to the cocos nucifera L. family, this unique tree is known in Fijian medicine to also cure a number of ailments like fish poisoning, infected sores, scabies and is used as a general antibacterial agent.

Studies of coconut oil around the world reveals that pure virgin coconut oil, cold-pressed and not heat-treated like that processed in Fiji’s copra mills, is very high in antioxidants that are beginning to be recognized around the world to help stop brain degeneration and life threatening bacterial and viral diseases. MCT’s (middle chain triglycerides) are in high concentration in virgin coconut oils containing 60% of the good antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of any known oil. Lauric acid is also naturally occurring in coconut, and like breast milk, acts as an antibacterial and antiviral to both kill germs and nourish the cells. Our modern diet, especially in Western cultures, lacks MCT, which was always mostly found in coconut oil and now you will find it lacking or nonexistent in most cooking oils you use today. One of today’s characteristic health problems is high cholesterol mostly in the form of LDLs (low density lipoproteins), with low HDLs (high density lipoproteins), and high triglycerides. What’s interesting about coconut oil is it increases HDL, reduces LDL, and reduces the triglycerides all at once. MCT oil is also being used in a number of applications in the US for treatment of a range of viral diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, asthma, eczema and HIV, as it is believed that this ancient medicine in a coconut is one of nature’s gifts of a highly effective, non-toxic remedy to kill viruses and bacteria in the body.

So does Fijian traditional medicine hold the clues and secrets to curing asthma and other modern diseases? Medical science says no, but for one young Australian boy, the “Tree of Life” takes on a whole new meaning.

How Save Your Money With Buying Dental Supplies Online

We're officially in a recession and have been for quite a while now. News of a recession can send any business owner into a panic. Unfortunately, recessions are a part of the normal business cycle. We've had them before, and we will undutely, have them again.

Even in the worst recessions, many people still have jobs and money is coming in; business does not come to a complete halt.

As an integral part of the nation's healthcare infrastructure, the dental industry is positioned better than most in an economic downtown because of the stable client base. Although the patient backlog begins to shrink, especially for high-end cosmetic procedures like veneers and full-mouth rehabs, the need for basic restorative care and things like dentures and PFMs will continue to exist.

Any business owner's main priority is so save on overhead costs, while still providing the quality services that regular customers are used to and deserve. But this can be challenging, especially when the amount of money coming is not cohesive with the cost of payroll, supplies, and upkeep.

Supplies should be the first area you should look into saving on, when spend less on overhead costs. But saving money does not mean getting less or lower quality products. The only way to maintain the quality service you already provide is using the supplies you know and trust. Buying online is a great way to save on the cost of dentist supplies.

If you are not buying your dental supplies online, you're missing out on a critical money-saving resource.

– Many online retailers of dental supplies offer the option to buy wholesale. Buying in bulk allows you get the products you need at a fraction of the cost. This can be especially beneficial if you go through a lot of disposable dentist supplies like cups, gloves, hand towels, headrest covers, tray covers, air-water syringe tips, sponges, gauze and other frequently used items.

– If you're not interested in buying wholesale, there are still a ton of valuable money-saving resources that come along with buying your dental supplies online. It is not uncommon for a dental supplier to have amazing closeout specials on their website, allowing you to get the best brand names that you and your patients know and trust, at an unbeatable discount.

– In addition to the closeouts, the inventory of many retailers who sell dental supplies online is unmatched by ordering the traditional way. On one website you can find a huge range of products. Whether you need alloys, anesthetics, articulating products, dental hand pieces, small equipment, surgical or x-ray products, you can conveniently order everything in one place, saving you valuable time. It also is extremely cost effective. Instead of ordering various products from the different vendors that only have certain items, you can get all your dentist supplies in one place, saving you a fortune on shipping costs.

All in all, just because times are tough right now, should not mean that you have to sacrifice quality care to you patients. Good supplies play an integral role in helping you get the job done right. So the next time your ready to stock up on dentist supplies, be sure to check out online retailers.

The Route to Democracy

Fifteen hours is a tremendous barrier. It is the obstacle preventing one village from attaining the assistance of another and surviving a drought. It is the reason a trip to the hospital, or receiving an education, aren’t realistic options. Fifteen hours is what stands in the way of commerce between two provinces. It prevents communication between neighbors only 80 kilometers apart. Fifteen hours is the reason for isolation. Before Task Force Pacemaker began work, the drive between Kandahar and Tarin-Kowt took fifteen hours. Upon completion of the road it will take only three. The end of geographical isolation will be a new beginning for hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan.

An international effort, the road connecting Tarin-kowt and Kandahar, or theTK road, is a project involving the support of the United Nations, Indian contractors, and United States Army troop labor. Construction of the road has spanned fourteen months, 117 kilometers, two adjustments to election dates, and two different Army Engineer rotations. Road construction began during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 5 with the 528th Engineer Battalion, out of Louisiana. They competed 46.5 kilometers of road between July of 2004 and February of 2005. When TF Pacemaker took over construction during OEF 6, they were told that the estimated completion date for the TK road was early spring of 2006. Since assuming the mission in April of 2005, Task Force Pacemaker has demonstrated a need for speed and focus on the objective.

Road construction in theater involves route planning, surveying, jobsite security, sustaining the flow of material and water, and continual maintenance of heavy engineer equipment. It is best described as an endurance sport; not for the faint of heart or the easily distracted. Traditionally progress is made a few hundred meters at a time, using the same methods and techniques every day. Efficient use of equipment crew rotations, establishing and working from Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), using material along the route, and relying on soldiers to adopt roles outside of their military occupational specialties are some of the techniques which TF Pacemaker has used to streamline the process. The soldiers don’t view this road as just another project, and perhaps that’s why they’ve been able to sustain such a furious pace. TF Commander, LTC Paul Paolozzi explains that the attitude of his troops stems from partially from their understanding of the mission’s importance. “It’s inspiring to be a part of the long-term success of this nation… I can’t think of a more permanent and significant impact than making a road to connect people.” No matter the source of their motivation, by mid-September, TF Pacemaker will have completed a remarkable 70 kilometers of road work directly through some of the toughest terrain Afghanistan has to offer.

To finalize the exact path, surveyors and a security team are sent ahead of construction to determine which parts of the terrain best accommodate the road. The climate and terrain of Afghanistan (thick dust, deep waddis, and harsh weather) have presented many challenges. Often, designs which looked good on paper, involve moving mountains on the ground. It is critical to establish the projected route prior to entering any towns. Soldiers must be able to articulate their intentions to the surrounding locals, in particular the village elder, before barging through. There are often different factions within a town and the path of the road has been adjusted by mere feet to accommodate the wishes of local farmers. 1LT Brian Meister, the earth moving platoon leader of C/864th lists civilians on the jobsite as the single biggest security challenge in the south. “They are everywhere and impossible to keep entirely off. The enemy is not easily identified, so anyone driving a pickup through the jobsite could pose a potential risk.” 1LT Patrick Sullivan, the earth moving platoon leader in A/864th has experienced the same type of concerns on the northern effort.

While we were standing on the hill, looking down at the proposed route, an audience began to form. The children came out first, and then the men of the village… as the crowd grew larger… I began to get just a little nervous. I told the captain who has been in the country for about a year; he quickly turned around and began shaking hands with the crowd, so I followed… It was an event that I will never forget. There are some bad people in the area, but for the most part, the population is tired of the last twenty years of war and corruption. They were just happy to see the guys who were building them a road.

Road work is divided into three basic teams of heavy equipment operators. The first team clears and grubs the area with dozers, taking off the top layers of soil and pushing through hills or small plants. The dozers are followed by a grader, which levels off the area. The next team raises the sub-base with material harvested from the borrow pit, an area determined to have the best material for use on the road. Dump trucks and scrapers are used to put between 8 and 12 inches of material on top of the cleared path. Graders then go over the path again to even out the road and start putting on the crown, a slope off the center of the road for drainage. Finally comes the finishing team. A water truck is used to wet the soil so that the rollers can compact the material in a series of lifts. Once complete, the soil dries and hardens into a road. In order to reach their deadlines each day, all of these teams must work together at a steady rate. As A/864th commander, CPT Chad Suitonu puts it, “It’s not a question of if we will meet our goals; it’s a matter of how.”

It is a continuous challenge to keep up the flow of water and material for compaction. TF Pacemaker has relied on what they could harvest along the way, setting up borrow pits as they move down the route and asking local towns to share their wells. The standard for road construction is twelve inches of the best available fill material on the existing grade of the road. Attaining 95% compaction of that material is what makes a road a road. Finding the right material is so critical to achieving compaction that earthmovers have hauled over five kilometers in order to continue use of particularly good fill. Earthmoving platoon leaders are primarily responsible for scouting out these potential dig sites. 1LT Sullivan compares finding the best material to digging for gold. It is either buried somewhere, or covered with something, and you can never be sure what you’ll find until you dig. The soldiers do their best to identify areas with shale along the hillside. After they’ve identified a potential site, they send a dig team to check it out. “The stuff we’ve found so far that has worked best is a red shale, it’s also been black…it’s a good material, “said 1LT Sullivan, of the material being used in the north,” It compacts very well, breaks up nicely; there’s not big chucks after you roll it. It gives you a real nice, compacted, firm sub-base.”

1LT Brian Meister, the earthmoving platoon leader in C/864th faces the same challenge from the south. “Finding good material involves identifying what soils provide optimal properties for constructing a road that is both durable and smooth, “he says. Once the crews find a material they think they can use, they send it out to be tested, which takes about three days. Testing is done by Lewis Berger Group, an Indian contracting company that has become one of TF Pacemaker’s greatest allies. “Working with LBG has been great,” says CPT Stan Wiechnik, the commander of C/926th,”They have built roads in third world countries with similar geography and technical restrictions. They have been a great asset to me to determine the best method of construction and the best materials to use.” LBG weighs the mass of material and compares it to material compacted to 100%. Once they gain approval, the earth movers can scrape off the topsoil in that location and open up a new pit; ideally close to the construction site. Finding resources along the route just ahead of where the road crews are currently working takes both luck and timing. TF Pacemaker’s ability to consistently plan ahead and find that balance contributes to their steady speed towards completion.

The leadership at Pacemaker is all about efficiency. With a few key pieces of equipment driving the construction effort, maintenance is critical; conducting regular checks and services on the vehicles are an essential part of the work cycle. The Animals have supplemented their earthmoving platoon with soldiers from headquarters and the vertical platoons in order to have enough manpower to support two crew rotations. The first team shows up at 0015 Zulu to begin preventative maintenance checks and services (PMCS) of the equipment. They receive a safety brief at 0040z and roll out the gate by 0100z to begin work on the road. They operate for five and a half hours, from 0130z to 0700z. From 0700z-0715z the operators of both teams conduct a fifteen minute shift change; discussing any problems with the equipment and what remains to be completed that day. When the first team returns, they eat lunch and do another half hour of maintenance. Team two’s work day starts at 0500z, when they pull maintenance on any downed equipment. They receive their safety brief at 0630z, eat lunch, and head to the jobsite to conduct a shift change with team one. Team two works until 1430z. This rotation schedule allows the Animals to get thirteen hours of work on the road each day, and pull the necessary maintenance, without driving the equipment operators into the ground. As CPT Suitonu tells me, “A soldier can’t sit on a dozer twelve hours a day; seven hours is okay though.”

TF Pacemaker began work on both ends of the road with A/864th and C/926th in the North, C/864th in the south, and the support of HSC/864th in both areas. It soon became apparent that to maximize time spent working on the road, they would have to minimize travel time to the jobsite. The Task Force would need to work from another start point; FOB Pacemaker. 1LT Sara Cullen, executive officer of the Animals, explains that,” The mission here is to provide a forward operating base between FOB Tiger and FOB Ripley so that we can work from the middle towards completion of the road… right now each location is commuting over an hour…” Prior to occupation of Pacemaker, soldiers were spending 90 minutes each way just getting to the jobsite, leaving precious few hours of actual work on the road. Since the unit’s jump to the FOB, their production rate has nearly doubled. The same increase in efficiency is soon expected from the engineers at FOB Kodiak, a new forward operating base to be occupied by C/864th.

The Alpha Company Animals built FOB Pacemaker from the moon dust up. A big part of their mission included accounting for force protection in an area new to US Military forces. The First Sergeant of A/864, 1SG Martin Pullman, describes their first few days saying, “We didn’t know if there was enemy in the area, so we had to assume that there was. We had to balance between setting up force protection and pulling security … using over watch positions allowed us to put the maximum amount of effort on building the FOB itself.” In less than two weeks, they were fully operational. Recently, FOB Pacemaker has served another function; supporting combat arms operations in the area. A small but steady flow of Special Forces and Infantrymen have benefited from Pacemaker hospitality, enjoying a meal, shower, or place to rest between missions. Though they don’t have much, Animal soldiers don’t mind sharing and generally agree that it’s nice to have our comrades in arms in the area.

In addition to security on the FOBs, soldiers must maintain security on the jobsite. This is challenging for a road project because construction requires troops to go directly against many of the fundamentals of defense. They work in the same spot, headed in the same direction, using the same equipment rotations day after day. There is nothing covert about the Scraper, a 33,000 lb piece of equipment. Since they can be seen from kilometers away, the Pacemakers adopt a fierce posture. Engineer soldiers man the vehicle mounted crew served weapons at both ends of the construction site. They halt vehicle traffic and search the personnel before allowing passage around the construction site. A roving security vehicle is used to patrol the surrounding areas, and observe the area from different positions. An interpreter and a female soldier are always included in the security detail, available to assist with communication or searching local national females. These measures have resulted in 100% success rate; not a single Pacemaker soldier has been attacked while working on the road.

Continued development is essential to peace building in Afghanistan. The road between Tarin-Kowt and Kandahar will provide developmental access to rural areas which never existed before. As 1LT Sullivan puts it, “This road is not just an engineering feat; it is a show of political force.” The five month reduction in project duration by Task Force Pacemaker becomes five months gained by the new government towards progress. The fifteen hours of travel cut down to three are hours gained by Afghan citizens towards opportunity. Every cut of the TK road is another blow to the primary weapons of the Taliban, isolation and hardship. When Pacemaker soldiers watch the ribbon cutting on September 15th, every soldier can exhale with relief, joy, and pride in a job well done.

The New Hope for PC Patients – Celexa for Prostate Cancer

Be informed: Celexa, or its generic name Citalopram is a drug used to treat depression, being a mood elevator, a class of antidepressant called SSRI. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, or SSRI, works by increasing the quantity of a certain natural substance located in the brain.

Take note: Celexa is an anti-depression drug. If used outside that prescription, it is important to ask first medical judgment. Even then, it is still considered wise to get medical attention always.

The news is Celexa for prostate cancer. This antidepressant was found to treat hot flashes effectively in men undergoing hormonal therapy for prostate cancer. The October issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (reference date October 11, 2004) had researchers report that:

The antidepressant (Celexa) is an effective medication that reduces the hot flashes of men who are undergoing hormone therapy for prostate cancer

The Paxil, or Paroxetine compound found in Celexa seems to be responsible for diminishing these hot flushes, the researchers have reported. During the duration of the 5 weeks of study, the 18 men who completed the therapy under close monitoring had illustrated hot flashes reduction from 6.2 to 2.5 per day. These hot flash scores, and the frequency multiplied by the severity, reduced in the same period from 10.6 to 3 per day.

So what does this mean? It means that the new label antidepressant drugs, like Celexa could be the next answer for prostate cancer problems. Treating Celexa for prostate cancer could be a viable option.

An older and more common treatment for hot flushes in prostate cancer patients was Megace, generic name Megestrol Acetate. It is a female hormone progesterone derivative, a progestogen. When prostate cancer patients are treated with hormonal theraphy, Megace is employed and most of the times used in junction with Lupron or Zoladex which produces surprisingly effective results of 90% reduction of hot flushes. But there had been isolated reports that the cancer had progressed while having Megace treatment, and it was found out that Megace could have opposite progression of the disease on some patients.

Try suggesting the Celexa for prostate problems to your physician. Celexa for prostate could be your only hope in defeating cancer. But never self-administer drugs such as Celexa (or any of those mentioned) for any reason, always seek professional help. There are dozens of things you need to know and must check before you begin using Celexa for prostate cancer treatment.

Legal Landmines – 2009 Law Changes Could Impact Your Business

Employee lawsuits are distracting, expensive, and mostly avoidable. Jury Verdicts Research 2007 edition of “Employment Practices Liability, Jury Award Trends, and Statistics” highlights some employment statistics and trends that you should know:

Employee lawsuits have risen 400% in the past 20 years to the currently level of 6.5 claims per 1,000 employees annually

  • The most common targets for Federal discrimination claims are private employers with between 15 and 100 employees (41.5%); second are private companies with an excess of 500 employees (23.9%); and third are private companies with between 100 and 500 employees (18%)
  • In any employment case filed in federal court, there is a 16% chance the award will exceed $1 million and a 67% chance that the award will exceed $100,000; attorney fees are not included
  • The average compensatory award in all federal court employment cases was $493,534 and reflects a 45% increase since 2000; a compensatory award does not include punitive damages or attorney fees
  • In State courts, compensatory awards are up 39% while wrongful termination claims are up 260%
  • If an employment lawsuit goes to trial, plaintiffs are more likely to win 67% of cases in State court and 63% in federal court
  • The cost to settle an employment lawsuit has grown significantly over the last 5 years, from an average of $130,476 in 2001 to $310,845 in 2006

These general statistics are sobering and are cause for concern to ALL organizations. Compounding these are recent changes in Federal and State laws that affect almost all organizations. In a litigious employment environment that seems to increasingly favor employees, risk-minimizing organizations MUST understand the recent changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations. Employers should take immediate steps to assure they are in compliance with new laws to protect themselves from future liability.

What Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 2009 Changes do I Need to Understand?

The ADA requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from employment-related opportunities. It prohibits discrimination in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment. It further requires employers to make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results in undue hardship to the employer.

The ADA Amendments, effective January 1, 2009, overturns prior Supreme Court decisions and makes clear that the ADA is intended to provide a broad scope of protection for employees. In general, it expands existing definitions to more employees. For many employers, existing policies and procedures may no longer be valid or useful in determining HR practices.

Specific 2009 ADA changes:

  • Organizations cannot consider mitigating measures such as medications or other measures that treat a disease when determining if an individual has a disability.
  • Broadens the definition of disability by adding to what may affect a major life activity, and now includes major bodily functions, such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
  • Clarifies that an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it substantially limits a major life activity when active.
  • Clarifies that one of the definitions of disability – “being regarded as having impairment” – doesn’t require the impairment to actually limit a major life activity.

What Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 2009 Changes do I Need to Understand?

The FMLA provides leave entitlement to eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave, per 12-month period for employers who employ 50 or more employees. Leave may be taken for birth or placement for adoption or foster care of a child; the serious health condition of the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent; or the serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee’s job.

The new regulations, effective January 16, 2009, have created new categories of leave-military caregiver leave and qualifying exigency leave, and has revised and clarified existing regulations. Especially for organizations with active duty or reserve duty military personnel, or with families of active duty or reserve duty military, these changes require modifications to leave procedures/forms, training/communications, and policies, current HR practices related to employee leave.

Specific 2009 FMLA changes:

  • Provides military caregiver leave, which permits an employee who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a service member with a serious injury or illness to take a combined total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a single 12-month period.
  • Provides qualifying exigency leave, which permits an eligible employee to take protected, unpaid leave for a period up to 12 workweeks for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who is on active duty or called to active duty in support of a contingency operation. This leave includes short notice deployment, military events and related activities, childcare and school activities for those incapable of self-care, making or updating financial and legal arrangements, spending time with covered military member of short-term, temporary rest and recuperation leave during deployment, post-deployment activities and other activities that arise out of a covered military member’s active duty or call to active duty.
  • Gives employers 5 days to provide an Eligibility Notice following employee’s request for FMLA leave or knowledge that an employee’s leave may be FMLA qualifying.
  • Changes time requirements and procedures for medical certifications.
  • Specifies that light duty work does not count against FMLA leave allotment.
  • Clarifies that the employee is required to explain the reasons for requesting leave if the employee cannot give 30-day advance notice of need for leave.
  • Clarifies when an employer may require a fitness-for-duty certification.
  • Allows employers to delay or deny FMLA leave to an employee who unjustifiably fails to comply with employer’s notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave.
  • Requires the employee to provide notice of need for qualifying exigency leave as soon as practicable, regardless of how far in advance such leave is foreseeable.

What Other Changes do I Need to Understand?

  • In addition to the ADA and FMLA changes, other laws and changes may require modifications to existing policies, procedures, and HR practices.
  • Effective January 1, 2009, in order to have independent contractor status, one must obtain an Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Employers in some industries will be required to pay workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and other benefits to anyone without a Certificate.
  • Effective February 2, 2009, all employers will be required to use a new I-9 form;
  • Effective November 2009, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 will protect Americans from being treated unfairly by employers and health insurers because of differences in their DNA that may affect their heath.
  • Effective January 1, 2008 employers are required to give employees notice of their rights and remedies available under the Personnel Records Statute.
  • The Minnesota Supreme Court in 2008 clarified that Minnesota’s wage statute requires employers to pay vacation pay to departing employees only if there is a promise to pay. There is no longer an automatic right to accrued vacation pay when employment terminates.

Are your documented policies, procedures, and practices aligned with all of the 2009 changes?

What Should Employers Do?

Given the many changes, employers must act quickly to align policies, procedures, and practices with these changes. At a minimum, all Minnesota employers should conduct a thorough review of recruitment, selection, training, promotion, performance evaluation, and HRIS systems to ensure compliance. All employee and managers handbooks, forms, website information and more must be aligned with these changes.

What Policy Changes Should We Implement?

  • Review and revise all policies to reflect changes in the ADA, FMLA, and other laws.

What Procedures/Forms Changes Should We implement?

  • Ensure your organization’s procedures and forms reflect the recent changes
  • Establish procedures for responding to requests for ADA accommodations
  • Revise FMLA Notice forms. Notice forms are available on Department of Labor’s website: http://www.dol.gov/whd/index.htm
  • Revise medical certification forms to remove the request for type of leave and to allow for additional information needed
  • Revise employee handbook and policies regarding FMLA leave; set forth specific procedures for employees to report leave

What Practice Changes Should We Implement?

  • Train managers how to determine when reasonable accommodations may be necessary
  • Document all interactive discussions and decisions on ADA accommodations
  • Train managers to handle situations that might be related to a disability, in particular, where employees believe they are regarded as disabled
  • Prepare job descriptions for each position which provide essential job functions including the minimum physical requirements to perform each EJF including fitness-for-duty certifications
  • Train managers on new military leaves and other changes to regulations
  • Keep track of the dates of notice and FMLA leave use
  • Ensure your managers have the right training to recognize problem situations and follow existing procedures
  • Vigorously investigate all notices of concern
  • Document each step of the FMLA process AND all employee interactions that may fall under ADA or FMLA laws

What Else Can We Do?

For many organizations, the next step is to seek professional assistance. A consulting firm that is knowledgeable in employment law can help identify how to cut your overall program costs while dramatically improving outcomes.

Home Selection Checklist – A Good Aid When Choosing a Home

This home selection checklist is a tool to help you select a home that is right for you and your family. Before you select a home and get a mortgage, you need to know if you will be happy with the home you select for the coming years. Home selection is a major step in your life and using a checklist to select smartly will help you think of all the things you need to realize about a home before you buy. Take a checklist with you to each home you might select and write down all the important home selection points on the checklist. Use the checklist for each potential home selection and you will have a “fact book” to review and analyze before your final home selection.

These important factors in home selection are designed to help you create a checklist of your own.

You can then research homes for sale and checklist how each home compares to other homes you’ve selected to view. By the time you are ready to get a mortgage you will know, from the selection checklist, exactly the pros and cons of each home.

  1. How old is the structure? Older homes require more maintenance. Mortgages on older homes can be more difficult to obtain. Mortgage insurance and the homeowner’s protection required by the mortgage company you select can be more costly on the home. Note on the selection checklist any items which need repair if you select that home.
  2. How many stories is the home? If you or a family member is aging, or you expect to live in your home selection for years, stairs can be a major problem. If you are young and won’t live in this home selection for years, this shouldn’t be a problem. Place this on your selection checklist if it is a concern for you and your family. Note on your home checklist any selection items which might make family visits difficult.
    It would be a major inconvenience to say the least if your family can’t visit because of stairs or hills.
  3. What material is the home construction? Concrete slab and block construction homes
    pose a lower fire threat and this will reflect in your home insurance and maybe
    even mortgage rates. Place the building type you prefer on your home selection
    checklist.
  4. Kitchen area: How large a kitchen will suit your lifestyle? Is the refrigerator ancient or newly new? Is the stove in good condition? Do you prefer to cook with a gas or an electric stove?

    Do you want a garbage disposal? Determine exactly what is important in a kitchen, and place those selections on your checklist. Then rate each property you might select as to how many of the checklist features are included. Of course, some selection checklist features are easy enough to add; other selection checklist features can’t be changed.

  5. Living areas: Is a formal living area and a den an important selection on your personal selection checklist? List on the home selection checklist each need. Are there windows for plants, if you are
    a plant-lover? Is the carpet in the potential home selection in good condition? Think about these
    items before signing a mortgage! Note any probable expenses on your home checklist for later review. Use these in budgeting for your mortgage
  6. Laundry facilities: Does your home selection have laundry hookups that will not require you to run up and down stairs to bring laundry from bedrooms to the washer? Are the hook-ups in good condition? Note on the selection checklist. Place on your selection checklist any items you would select to replace upon moving into the home. Write on the checklist the anticipated cost of replacing the items you select as unacceptable. Remember to budget so you can pay the mortgage plus refurbish the home selection after purchase.
  7. Bedrooms: Is your family formed or do you plan on more children? Are there enough bedrooms to allow guests? Is the master bedroom in the home selection large enough? Obtaining a mortgage on too small a home can be a major error. Place on your selection checklist exactly the size home you need to select.
  8. Closets: Will there be enough closet space for your family’s clothing? Place on your checklist how many closets you require.
  9. Bathrooms: Will there be enough facilities in your home selection to allow everyone space for their personal items and plenty of time to use facilities. Large families require several bathrooms; be sure to put this on your home selection checklist! A selection that needs bathrooms added plus mortgage payments can be expensive. Consider this in your mortgage budget.
  10. Roofing: Take a look at the materials and condition. If the roof looks as if it will need repair soon, consider this major cost in your mortgage pricing. Roofing is very expensive. Research the cost of replacing a roof
    before you make an offer. Note these costs on the home checklist. Will your budget cover mortgage and roofing expense?
  11. Water heater: Look at the water heater and determine condition. Look for
    places that may have leaked and any damage resulting. Also, is the water heater
    gas or electric in the home selection? More notes for your home checklist.
  12. Air conditioning / heating: Do these units in the home selection appear to be old or new? Are they energy efficient? If you sign a mortgage on a home only to learn the entire heating or HVAC requires replacement, you could cause yourself financial stress. Checklist the estimated age of each appliance and piece of equipment in the potential home selection. Include checklist notes of expenses for replacing older items. Place in your home mortgage selection notes that you may want a home inspection or warranty if equipment looks older; your checklist selection can save you from making a major mortgage error!
  13. Utility Cost: Don’t be afraid to ask the home owners to see electric, gas and water bills. If your home selection is well insulated and energy efficient, they will be happy to show you. Energy costs are important points on your home selection checklist.
  14. Neighborhood: Do you want to be in a gated community? Is a play area for children nearby the home? What about schools? Is the neighborhood surrounding the home selection clean and attractive? Ride around the neighborhood; see other homes to learn about the area before making your home selection to mortgage. Secure neighborhoods help not only ease of mortgage approval, but on insurance as well. Checklist this item on your home selection list.
  15. Yard: If you have children or pets, you may desire a large yard. If you are a gardener, a nice yard is important. Again, checklist everything that truly matters in your ideal home selection.
  16. Parking: Is there space for your vehicles and guests? Is there a garage? Carport? Is the driveway in good condition? Include on your home selection checklist what matters to you. Again, if these require repair, put these notes on the checklist so you can budget
    accordingly.
  17. Future expansion: If you wish to expand the home at some future time then is there space on the property without crowding? Consider the future before you mortgage a home that you may have to sell later as your family needs grow.
  18. Zoning and Restrictions: If you have a home business, is it permitted in the
    potential neighborhood? Selection of a home which prevents the activities you value would be a bad mistake. Some communities have restrictions regarding working on your car or motorcycle, parking a boat and other issues you need to know before
    making your final home selection. Keep this point on your selection checklist if
    you work on your car or have a boat beside the home.
  19. Work: Is the home of your selection near your workplace? If not, is it easy to access the expressway for an easy commute from home? Will you come to hate the idea of going to work from
    this location? Note on the selection checklist for your home the miles you will
    drive per day and the cost.
  20. Shopping: Groceries, and convenience stores, gas stations and the like should be in close proximity of your home selection. Note on your selection checklist how far from home to the nearest shopping centers. Checklist where you would go from your home to shop.
  21. Sidewalks: This checklist point for home selection is important for families with children. If there are no sidewalks,
    then children won’t be able to easily walk to visit friends, ride bikes, or do other activities children love to do. Also, checklist if you like to take strolls or walk for exercise yourself.
  22. Amusements, churches, activities: If you have activities you like to do, consider the drive time from the home selection. Will your children’s movie visits on Saturday become a long drive? Are at least a few doctors nearby the potential home? Amusements your family enjoys should be reasonably easy to reach.
  23. Neighborhood Lighting: If you like to go out at night, or your children will be playing outside, is the area well-lighted? Not only are these selection criteria important for your children, but burglars just hate a well-light home and neighborhood! Checklist some safety issues you need before considering a mortgage.
  24. Traffic: If you have children, your new neighborhood should be low traffic. Also, traffic equals noise. Consider this important fact as well. A home on an expressway has frustrated many.

This home selection checklist points are meant to help you think to checklist important home selection options before obtaining a mortgage for a home. Make yourself a custom home selection checklist that includes the things that matter to YOU and YOUR FAMILY, and then take this along when home shopping. With a checklist

in hand, you can make the selection that will make you happy for years and years!

Fenceline Harvesting

Are you one of those gardeners who carry a plastic bag and a pair of secateurs with you when you take your dog for a walk, though not necessarily to pick up the dog manure for the garden.

Do you drool over those plants that are just out of reach across someone else's garden fence? Or do you go for walks around your community just to see what's in flower at the moment in everyone else's garden?

Do you glance around to see if someone is watching at dusk, then assist the unknown homeowner by helping prune off a branch that just happens to get in your way while you are walking along before kindly help them "rubbish 'for them?

The fact that the prunings just happened to end up composed into a pot of quality propagation mix with a coating of root forming hormone spilled onto the open wound has nothing to do with it.

Or that the composed material is quite often treated with more care, attention and loving devotion than the spouse of yours sitting indoors, really has nothing to do with the end result that the pruning suddenly develops into a plant of it's own.

But do you realize that this practice is not only illegal, but many times it may even be hurtful to the garden owner, or even damage the plant or even contribute to the plant contracting a variety of diseases either through the secateurs or the open wound.

Yet many of these gardeners would be only too pleased to give you a piece of that plant if you were only to ask them nicely.

They generally take it as a compliment, that you so admire a particular plant that they are growing, that you would want to grow it in your own garden. Many times they will even be able to give you an already directed division or sucker or even a seedling of the parent plant.

While you are already there talking to the garden owner, it is also good opportunity to find out more about the plant, and the required growing conditions it requires. For me this has led to many acquaintances who I talk to on my walks, and yes, even friendships have been formed this way.

But at the same time I would have to say that I am no saint on this charge myself, yes there have been times when I have acquainted plants and cuttings without permission. Usually in waste ground around properties, or at commercial sites etc.

But I am getting better, 'Plant-aholics is helping'; but unfortunately I do not think I will ever be totally cured. I can only take it one day at a time, and I also expect that every so often I will slip back a step or two.

So what about you, do you have the strength to admit to being a plant-aholic and a fenceline harvester.

Do you have the guts to take the first step and go and ask for help?

Pros And Cons Of The Mares Icon HD Dive Computer

The Mares Icon HD dive computer may not be the cheapest dive computer on the market, but the true HD color display makes it one of the only dive computer models on the market to feature this advanced viewing screen, offering full-color maps that are visible, even under water! Besides the obvious benefits of the HD-LCD display with thin film transistor, also known as TFT, what are the other pros and cons you can expect to discover with this dive computer watch?

Features:

The features are probably the biggest pros of this product, besides the fact it is made by Mares, which is a leading manufacturer for the diving community. You get easy to read large icons, a 3 ½ inch screen and innovative software, which offers a map and picture function, besides the double diving mode options for extended or profile. Besides storing your images and dive site maps, you can take advantage of more than 100 hours of dive logging and with the rechargeable lithium batteries, its low maintenance cost and manufacturer’s warranty allow you to just enjoy the vivid color display.

Actual User Reviews:

If you consider what actual customers have to say about the Mares Icon HD dive computer, the pros outweigh the cons. It’s hard not to love the large colorful display that allows you to review your dive while underwater or you can take advantage of the compass and see the depth measurements clearly. Users report that functions that allow you to log your multiple daily logs, also allow you to download the log book from the Icon, giving you a record of your dives.

Appearance:

This dive computer features a sporty black watch band, besides the sporty wide framed display that is truly like wearing a personal high-def computer screen on your wrist. The multiple-colored readings, graphics and numbers make it easy to read the device above the water’s surfaces and offers ease of use for when you are in the murky depths.

Are There Any Cons?

The Mares Icon HD Dive Computer isn’t for amateurs that aren’t serious about their diving electronics. Like many other dive computers, you can expect to pay around $1,000, making it too expensive for those that are occasional partakers in scuba diving adventures. On the other hand, it is not any more expensive than comparable models, although it is the only one of the market with the HD display. There can be a glitch with logging your dives, but it doesn’t seem to be a serious problem because it might be user errors, encountered when first utilizing the various functions. With the manufacturer’s warranty and a little exposure to the function buttons, this isn’t a con that can’t be overcome. It offers plenty of useful features, but not so many that it can’t be figured out by the average user.

Conclusion:

This model of dive computer has taken “display” to the next level and it is an easy-to-use device, once you learn the basic four-button functionality. For the more serious and frequent scuba diving community, the Mares Icon HD Dive Computer will offer a helpful accounting of your dives and offer colorful maps and compass or depth functions underwater, which is when you need them the most!