Reality Therapy for Drug Addiction

The most widely used and statistically proven treatments for drug addiction are called “evidence-based” therapies because of their rigorous testing and government approval. These therapies include one-on-one counseling sessions, peer-group discussions, and family therapy. However, there are other highly successful drug addiction treatments which rehab clinicians across the country use every day to treat their patients.

One of these methods is known as reality-based therapy. This group of treatments is designed for two primary purposes. The first is to mimic the “real” world to which addicts will return after they complete their intensive treatment programs at rehab clinics. The second purpose is to teach addicts coping and problem-solving strategies for facing the inevitable challenges of a drug-free life. Understanding the way addiction specialists use reality therapy is crucial for addicts making decisions about attending various treatment programs.

Real-World Environments

One of the problems which rehab specialists must address is the difference between the clinical environment and the outside world. Addicts may make be able to engage their therapies and make positive choices in clean, supervised settings, but it becomes much more difficult to maintain sobriety in a world filled with drugs.

To make transitioning into everyday life easier for recovering addicts, reality therapists seek to create clinical environments which mimic the outside world as closely as possible. Residential inpatients cook, clean, shop, and manage their living spaces at their clinics just as they would in their houses or apartments. In some cases, they may even make their own appointments and manage their own schedules during their thirty-to-ninety day in-house stays.

Creating such realistic environments allows addicts to connect the positive mental and emotional changes they make during evidence-based therapies with the experiences of everyday life. Blurring the line between the safe, clinical environment and the more risky, consequence-filled outside world allows addicts to make positive choices and maintain sobriety as they rejoin society.

Realistic Problem-Solving

The basic philosophy of reality-based therapy is that every person must live in a world filled with other people. Everyone must satisfy his or her own needs without harming other people or preventing them from satisfying their needs. What this means is that everyone is going to encounter some situations which they can control, and others which they can’t control. Addicts who undergo reality therapy learn to recognize the difference and act appropriately.

For example, alcoholics who drink when stressed may not be able to control all of the stressors in their lives. They might not be able to control their workloads at their jobs, or the negative behaviors of certain family members and friends. For these situations, they develop coping mechanisms which allow them to alleviate stress without turning to alcohol.

However, other stressors are under their control. They may be able to break ties with negative people, or they may quit jobs which involve constant stress. Alcoholics who undergo reality therapy learn to recognize these types of situations and make proactive decisions to change or avoid them. By exercising control in this way, they altogether avoid temptations to drink.

Overall, reality therapy is one of many effective treatment methods for drug addiction. If you are currently suffering an addiction, you don’t need to struggle alone. Use the links below to get a toll-free consultation with one of our dedicated addiction specialists. We can find a treatment plan that’s right for you and get you started on the path to recovery.

Save Time And Money With A Healthy Food Delivery Service

When many people hear of a food delivery service, they think of the regular fast food. This isn’t the case as there are many food delivery services that deliver fresh, organic, healthy food.

Benefits of a healthy food delivery service

Healthy food: This is an obvious benefit. Since the food delivery service will be supplying you with healthy food, you will eat healthy food thus live a healthy life. In addition to being more productive in life, eating healthy food also results in weight loss. This increases your self-confidence and life expectancy.

Convenience: With a food delivery service you don’t have to go to the kitchen to prepare the food. In fact, you don’t have to leave your seat. All you need to do is make a phone call or place an online order and the healthy food will be delivered at your doorstep. It doesn’t matter whether you are in the office or at home-the they will deliver the food to you.

Save money: Let us be honest-healthy food doesn’t come cheap. Many people believe that they will save money when they prepare their meals but this isn’t the case. Since you will be buying small units of the foods, you end up spending a lot of money. Since they buy the food in large amounts, they usually attract large discounts thus get the food at low prices. Consequently, they supply you the food at lower prices.

More options: The delivery companies provide you with many types of food to choose from. You should choose the food you want depending on your needs and budget. If you have a special condition such as diabetes, most of the companies will supply you with the special meals.

Tasty food: Since the delivery companies are in business and want to have you as a repeat customer, they prepare their meals professionally which ensures that the meals are not only nutritious, but also tasty and pleasing to the eye.

Who should go for the healthy food delivery services?

The delivery companies are ideal for everyone looking to enjoy a healthy, tasty meal. Bachelors, professionals, and women with small children are the most common people that should consider it since they have little time to search and prepare the meals. If you are a career person, you are held up most of the time in the office. With the food delivery service, you have the convenience of the food being delivered to your desired location at your desired time.

Guide to choosing a food delivery service

There are many healthy food delivery services but few are right for you. For you to have an easy time you should consider a number of factors before you settle on a given company. One of the factors is the ease of use of the company’s platform. As rule of thumb, go for a company with an easy-to-use platform. You should also consider the reputation of the company. For peace of mind, go for a company with a great reputation.

Trikke For Weight Loss and Fitness – 5 Quick Tips to Get You Moving While Losing Weight & Having Fun

Losing and maintaining weight and keeping fit is a lifetime goal that requires dedication and patience to achieve and maintain. Although the key to accomplishing this goal is relatively simple; i.e., proper exercise and a well balanced diet, as you know, “simple” does not necessarily mean “easy”. Moreover, your real challenge lies in your ability to maintain your newly gained and hard-won fit physique. This is most easily accomplished with increased toning of your muscles, while of course, staying lean.

Fortunately, with the advent of the Trikke cambering vehicle, gaining and maintaining a healthy form has never been easier or more exciting. If you love getting out and enjoying the outdoors, and you’ve not experienced the Trikke scooter yet, you’re in for a treat!

As a human powered vehicle, your Trikke HPV requires your continuous body movement in order to launch it and keep it going. The Trikke is actually easier to learn than mastering a bicycle, which is a really good thing for some of us out-of-shape over 20-somethings ­čÖé

After your initial lesson to get comfortable on your new Trikke, you can start an outdoor adventure program that serves also as a weight loss and fitness regimen by following these five easy steps:

1. Propel your Trikke scooter and start your workout. Alternatively push and pull the handlebars to generate a slow forward movement. To maintain the momentum, you will continuously lean and push the handlebars towards the right, then left. For beginners, propelling the Trikke may take time and practice. Regardless of whether you can propel your Trikke scooter on your first try or after several attempts, the continuous arm thrusts required to move your Trikke forward gives your arm and shoulder muscles a great workout. But the benefits are not limited to just your arms and shoulders…read on, my friend!

2. Start cruising on your Trikke scooter and tone your core muscles. You need to twist your upper body in a series of “S” turns while slightly leaning your weight into the inside of the turn to start cruising. This will cause a continuous and rhythmic contraction of your core muscles, namely your abs, back and hip muscles. Over time, with regular Trikke training, these muscles will appear well-defined and toned.

3. Accelerate your Trikke, burning fat to lose weight. You will learn to regulate your speed while cruising along on your Trikke by using different groups of muscles.

To achieve maximum speed, you have to start moving your upper and lower body synchronously by applying a little weight or kick on your right foot when turning left and vice versa upon reaching what many Trikke riders term as the “sweet spot.”

In order to gain speed, more muscles need to contract, hence more energy will be needed causing fats to be burned to supply the needed energy. In fact, studies have estimated that riding the Trikke at a speed of 15 km/hr will burn approximately 500 Kcal per hour. Cruising at a faster rate of 17.5 km/hr will burn up to 700 kcal per hour. And upon reaching the maximum speed, you will end up burning more than 1000 kcal per hour.

This is an effective, not to mention fun way for you to achieve weight loss while enjoying the exhilaration of speeding your Trikke around your neighborhood or taking your Trikke on vacation to better see the local sites.

4. Just like anything, the more you ride your Trikke, the better you will get at it. As they say “Practice Trikke-ing makes perfect Trikke-ing.” (Just kidding, :-0 “they” don’t really say that.) As you continue Trikke-ing, you will learn to tone specific parts of your body. As you become proficient on your Trikke, you will learn to control the degree of your body movement while cruising along. If you want to work specific muscle groups, you can always increase or decrease the twisting of your body while speeding along on your Trikke.

Furthermore, changing the height of the handlebars on your Trikke will also help work different muscle groups. Raising the Trikke handlebars will result in greater lower body workouts. The higher you raise your handlebar, the easier it is to perform the right and left rocking motion on the front wheel. This will make your lower body work more in the push off.

On the other hand, the lower the handlebars on your Trikke are positioned, the more you have to bend and thrust your arms into the handlebars. This will give your upper body more of a workout.

5. Trikke uphill and enhance your cardiopulmonary workout. One of the hardest things to accomplish in Trikke-ing is propelling your Trikke scooter up a steep incline. Only advanced riders can master this because of its level of difficulty. Riding against gravity will require more power, and the higher the hill you need to climb, the more difficult your progress will become. Since muscle contraction through coordinated body movements is the driving force behind the forward motion of your Trikke scooter, more power translates to more muscles contracting. This in turn requires more blood flow to the working muscles, faster heart contraction to propel the blood and faster respiration to obtain oxygen for the working muscles – a true cardiopulmonary workout all the way around.

Beginning your Trikke training program will enhance your muscle strength and endurance, strengthen your heart and respiratory muscles, improve your circulation, help reduce your weight and give you a fit body, and improve your overall well-being. All while having great fun!

Do Your Hands and Wrists Ache From Work? To Relieve Pain and Revive, Do This Immediately After Work

Our jobs can put stress on our hard-working hands, wrists and forearms. Cooking, specialty construction like tile-setting and carpentry, detailed artisan and craftsmanship, and playing music are all types of work that leave our hands weary and sore.

Pain is a sign that our muscles and joints are overworked. When pain continues or recurs, you may be getting an injury. Our hands and wrists are especially vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

You may be feeling extreme fatigue. Perhaps your hobbies and other non-work activities also involve hand and wrist movement. If fatigue is ongoing, it can lead to worse problems.

One sign of degeneration (wear and tear) is osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a state of inflammation. The body is reacting to over activity at the joints. Although there are many natural treatments for pain relief, the condition is mostly irreversible, so it should be avoided whenever possible.

We often try to ignore pain. We think our bodies will heal themselves (and they do, sometimes). We can’t be bothered with the distraction of pain. And we don’t want to think that something worse might be happening, like a chronic injury.

Taking care of our bodies at the first sign of pain is important for immediate relief and long-term health. With our upper extremities (hands, wrists, forearms, upper arms), it is especially important to think of the long-term repercussions of that pain.

There is a simple answer: it’s a natural remedy that brings instant and long-term relief!

There is an all-natural method that can be practiced anytime, but it is especially helpful when practiced immediately after work. You can practice it before work and on breaks during your work-day, too.

As soon as you finish work, dunk your hands in a deep bowl of ice-water! This one basic first aid step will relieve your pain and inflammation instantly, and it will help prevent long-lasting injuries, too.

Best Places For Medical Treatment in Damascus, Syria

Damascus is the capital of Syria; it is also an important hub for science, culture, politics, art, and commercial activities. The city is also known to be oldest city in the world that has been inhabited continuously. The country has state hospitals in every province but most of the good hospitals are concentrated in the capital Damascus. The treatment at government hospitals is almost free and the fee charged by private hospitals is also regulated by the government.

The New Medical Center is one the prime healthcare centre in Damascus. The hospital was set up in the year 1991 and has facilities and knowhow for almost all medical and surgical practices. It is outfitted with highly advanced infrastructure and the team at the hospital is well trained. The hospital is equipped to conduct pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, general surgery and kidney transplants. The address for this hospital is Misat sq. Bernia Street, P.O.Box 7465.

The Dr. Shami-Attar-Bdeir-Medical Care Center was established by the Attar Group in 1981. The MCC provides excellent medical care to its patients and is equipped with latest medical technology and a well trained staff. Surgeries in the fields of obstetrics, gynecology, ENT, ophthalmology and neurology apart from plastic surgery and general surgery are carried out at the hospital regularly. The hospital has advanced scanning systems and a modern Intensive Care Unit. The hospital carries out open heart surgeries and the hospital has a 100 bed capacity.

The Italian hospital in Damascus was built in 1936. It is one of the important healthcare facilities in the city. Through the years the hospital has come to be known as a modern hospital that provides good services at treatment to its patients. The hospital is located at Tilyani and the contact numbers are 332-9404; 332-6030/1.

The Al-Asadi Hospital located in Mazzeh, Western Villas Damascus specializes in heart surgery and Bridi Clinic at Rawda Street, near Arnous Square has facilities for both medical and dental ailments. The contact number is 3338210.

Medical Clinic is located on Youth City Street, Building 27, East Villas, Mezzeh Damascus 7937; the contact person in this clinic is Dr Al-Hussein Saied Moshaaoeh. The clinic offers treatment for general medicine related issues.

International Medical & Digestive Clinic found on Salhia Street, Cinema Amir Building is run by Dr M Jaber is and provides treatment for digestive and other stomach related illnesses.

Apart from the hospitals listed above there are some well known doctors in Damascus that can be contacted depending on the nature of the problem. Dr. Moufid Jokhadar is a famous cardiologist and is contact number is 331-2766/ 333-2337. Dr. Anan Haffar is a pediatrician and his address is Jisr Al Abyed, Damascus; phone numbers are 333-4283/371-2822. For obstetrics and gynecological issues you could contact Dr. Ahmad Dahman at 70, Mazraa Malek, Al Fadel Street.

When Squirrels Purr

Ever since I started rehabilitating orphaned and injured squirrels many years ago, I would occasionally read a reference to squirrels “purring.” Among the numerous squirrels I’ve raised from infancy or toddler hood, I had never heard a “purr” from any of them. Chirps, barks and squeals, yes, but purrs, no!

I have a handicapped squirrel named Lucky who has been part of our family for almost two years. According to conventional Rehabilitation standards, I’m supposed to euthanize her because; ” If you cannot return an animal to the wild, it should be euthanized!” Other so-called “experts” have said; “Squirrels only make good pets for the first six months of their lives, then they become too wild and unpredictable to safely keep as pets.” While I agree that a healthy squirrel with no physical handicap should ultimately be allowed to choose to return to the wild, I contend that a squirrel has at least the “potential” to be a good and loving pet! But, I’m a maverick when it comes to agreeing with conventional wisdom!

Even though Squirrel Nutrition is my specialty, I’ve learned a lot from my little female blind squirrel! And just this week, I discovered that she does indeed purr! That is, if you want to call it a purr. It sounds more like the sound a pig makes when it is rooting around in the dirt for food, only very soft and quiet. I think the reason I never heard it before is because her huge habitat, that takes up 25% of a wall in my office, is located near my computer that has a constant background noise from the cooling fan. The sound is so soft, that you have to have your ear very close to her when she is doing it.

This piqued my curiosity as to what initiates this audible behavior. What I discovered was that it seems to be a direct response to only certain attention I give her. I can take food to her and she will accept it, then, in typical squirrel fashion, will turn her back on me and treat me like a threat to that food. If I try to pet her when she has food she will either try to move away or turn and push my fingers away. I’ve always wondered why there are times when she will not come out of her cage willingly, while other times she will jump right on to my hand as soon as I put it in the cage. It all has to do with that purr!

The purr appears to be a willingness for social interaction. If I walk up to her cage and talk to her and say her name, she eventually will come to the side of the cage and check me out. Since she is a blind squirrel, when she realizes it’s me, she starts quietly purring, or as I call it, “oinking,” indicating that she knows who I am and she’s willing to come out as soon as I open the cage. The conclusion I draw from this is that squirrels purr when they feel safe, contented and willing to interact with others! It makes me feel really good to think that our Lucky girl feels safe and contented and that she is able to verbalize that to us!

Is a Dopamine Supplement Right for You?

First, let’s start with what dopamine is and why it’s so important. Dopamine comes from a specific amino acid known as Tyrosine. Dopamine is an extremely vital neurotransmitter that has a host of different role’s it plays in the body, most of which is helping to support brain function. Memory, mental focus, concentration, emotional states, movement and sleeping are just a few of those vital roles. It has a very important role in supporting both our physical and mental health.

Dopamine comes from an area in the brain called the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra is a group of neurons that produce dopamine for the central nervous system (CNS). The way that the brain works is a highly complicated process of signals and nerve transmissions. Neurons in the brain actually release chemical messengers (known as neurotransmitters) through their synapses (nerve endings) that travel to the other synapses and produce specific signals. Neurotransmitter’s are constantly being released into the synapses and reabsorbed. This is how the brain is able to communicate so quickly and efficiently.

Dopamine’s process in the brain is highly complex, but I’ll try and break it down to a level where most people can understand it. When dopamine is released, it needs a place to go. The place where it travels are known as receptors. The dopamine molecule fits together like a lock and key with the receptor, creating an action for that neuron. The message that the dopamine molecule was carrying is then continued with the neuron that it reaches and it continues until it spreads throughout the entire nervous system. After all of the receptors are filled up with the dopamine molecules, the body needs to reuse the dopamine that wasn’t utilized. This is known as reuptake in medical terms. Re-uptake is a process that allows the dopamine levels (and all other neurotransmitter levels) to stay steady. There is also a process called the negative feedback loop that prevents too much of a neurotransmitter from being produced. The problem with most people is that their dopamine receptors become inactive or destroyed, as well as the precursors to doopamine.

Having the proper levels of dopamine in the brain and nervous system will ensure the following:

  1. Reduced cravings
  2. Reduced addictions
  3. High level of motivation
  4. Reduced levels of depression.
  5. Reduced anxiety
  6. High level of clarity and focus
  7. Satisfaction in personal life
  8. Healthy sex life

Low dopamine levels present in a variety of ways in a variety of people. The most common side effects experience are depression and laziness. Individuals will lack the energy and motivation to perform daily activities that they never had problems performing before. Making decisions and focusing on activities also becomes a problem when dopamine levels are inadequate. may have trouble focusing or making decisions. Becoming very cold and the inability to lose weight are some of the other common side effects of low dopamine levels.

Low dopamine levels can be created by a variety of reasons. Some of the known causes to contribute to low dopamine levles are:

  • High intake of caffeinated foods and beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Saturated fats. (fast food, low quality meat, etc.)
  • Refined foods such as white sugar, white flour and white breads.
  • High levels of stress in the work place and at home.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Poor dietary habits
  • Prescription medications (consult your doctor for a list of which ones)
  • Illegal drug use (marijuana, cocaine, etc.)

I’m going to go into detail a little more on drugs and how they influence dopamine on a physiological level. There are countless drugs that have both positive and negative effects on dopamine. There are also specific enzymes that assist in the break down of dopamine. These enzymes are known as monamine oxidase’s (most commonly referred to as MAO.) The molecules that bind to dopamine receptors and stimulate dopamine are called agonists. On the opposite side of the coin, molecules that bind to the receptors and don’t stimulate dopamine release are known as antagonists. In short, agonists elevate levels and antagonists prevent dopamine from being released.

As mentioned above, illicit drugs negatively impact dopamine levels in the brain and nervous system. Some drugs, such as amphetamine (also known as speed) and cocaine get their desired physical effect by affecting the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Most people think they reduce the levels of dopamine, while in fact, they increase the levels of dopamine. Physiologically, what they do is prevent dopamine re-uptake after it has been released by destroying receptors, thus preventing the negative feedback loop. Long term drug use results in a concept called sensitization, which is where the body continues to produce more dopamine and more receptors due to the fact that they’re becoming destroyed and the negative feedback loop becomes distorted. Long story short, avoid illicit drugs to ensure adequate neurotransmitter balances in the brain.

Now you’re probably wondering how you can elevate your dopamine levels, right? Well, if you have low levels of dopamine, you can consume foods containing tyrosine to correct the imbalance. Almonds, sesame seeds, dairy products, bananas, and avocados are all good dietary sources of tyrosine.

Nutritional dopamine supplements can be one of the most effective ways to increase your dopamine level and relieve a majority of the symptoms listed above. There are quite a few products on the market to date that will help with dopamine levels. The dopamine supplement that we recommend most to our patient’s and customers is Balance-D. It is a clinically proven supplement to elevate dopamine levels. The side effects of NeuroScience’s Balance-D are very few and far between with little to no side effects in compared to many drugs.

The Cayman Guide to Having a Baby in the Islands

Moving to the Cayman Islands for a fresh start, or to begin a new job, can be a very exciting time in the lives of young couples. When beginning a new life in a new location, being prepared for what can happen is essential, and this includes unexpected, or planned, pregnancy. If you’re having a baby in the islands, it is important to be aware of the general attitude of the public towards pregnancy, babies and children, as well as how and where to find pre-natal and delivery care. If you’ve recently relocated and are considering starting a family, the following is a detailed Cayman guide to having a baby in the islands.


The Cayman Islands are considered quite child and family-friendly, and there is a general positive attitude towards pregnancy and children. Babies and children are welcome in most places, and the majority of restaurants offer high chairs to diners. There are many young families, as well as many nannies and helpers available for hire, both full and part time. Help within the home is also considered to be quite affordable in the islands.


There are many obstetricians available in the Cayman Islands that work out of the hospitals and medical centres. Most obstetricians have access to 3D and 4D imaging equipment, and obstetricians specialize in antenatal, prenatal and post-natal care, as well as the management of high-risk pregnancies, infertility treatment, early fetal testing and more. Cayman doctors who specialize in obstetrics include Dr. Howard Deosaran of Trincay Medical Centre, Dr. Gregory Richmond-Peck and Dr. Barry Richter of the Cayman Clinic.


If you’re planning a traditional birth, Cayman is home to two main hospitals, The Cayman Islands Hospital and the Chrissie Tomlinson Hospital. The former is part of the Health Services Authority and both establishments are located in George Town. While some doctors have a specific preference, most will delivery at the hospital of your choice. If you prefer to use a midwife for your birth, you can choose to deliver at the Woman’s Health Centre. Choosing an advanced hospital in the United States is sometimes recommended for mothers enduring high-risk pregnancies or who have a high risk of complications.


Healthcare is not free in the Cayman Islands, and having a child is quite expensive. Once you find out that you are pregnant, it is important to contact your insurance provider to find out which expenses are covered. The extent to which your expenses will be covered will depend upon your specific insurance plan, and may or may not include prenatal care, delivery, a hospital stay and newborn care. The typical cost for a midwife delivery, with a three night stay in a Cayman Islands hospital, is nearly $4,000 Cayman Islands dollars, while private doctors will charge additional fees.

If you find yourself pregnant in the islands, a Cayman guide to prenatal care, hospitals, delivery and costs can be quite helpful. Creating a plan of action for prenatal care, delivery and postnatal care early on is essential to having a healthy, happy pregnancy that is as worry-free as possible. Expanding your family is an exciting time in life and one that should be enjoyed to the fullest.

What Are the Characteristics of Healthy Skin

Each of us has their own definition of what healthy skin is. What are the characteristics of healthy skin? Basically healthy skin should be smooth, blemish-free, glowing and radiant. This is the ideal characteristics of the skin. Is it possible to attain? Yes it is but it may require some efforts from you such as:

1. Being healthy – maintaining a balanced healthy diet is one of the necessities of a healthy skin. As the saying goes “You are what you eat” is true. Some nutrients in the food that we eat are not only to nourish the body but also needed to have a healthy skin. Eating healthy makes your skin glow and healthy.

2. Good skincare regimen – to have a good looking, healthy skin is to have a good skin care routine. Cleanse, tone and moisturize should be the basic on your beauty regimen. Also, choosing the products to use for cleansing, toning and moisturizing is also equally important. Know your skin type. Products for dry skin have different desirable components than those that are for oily skin. There is also a different component to look for in a product that is desirable for sensitive skin. Finally, use products that contain only natural ingredients to avoid harmful side effects.

3. Avoid the sun – although the sun is also needed for Vitamin D to be absorbed, too much sun causes the skin damage by burning it. Therefore, getting a tan is a misconception of being healthy. Using products with a sun protection factor, avoiding the time of the day when the sun’s heat is very intense and using protection gears like sunglasses are the best action to protect the skin from the sun.

4. Vitamin and mineral supplement – aside from having a healthy diet, as you go older you may need to support good food with vitamin and mineral supplements. There are vitamins and mineral that acts on the skin cells rendering its function effectively. Free radicals increase in numbers causing damage to the skin as you age, but most vitamins and mineral supplements today are anti-oxidants that are effective in fighting free radicals leaving the skin healthy and glowing.

Dealing With & Treating Swimming Pool Algae, Mustard Algae, Black Algae, Algaecide & Green Alga

Algae is a common problem in swimming pools. What is it; what are the different types & how is it successfully prevented and treated. First of all, algae is a single-celled plant form. Some are aquatic (live in water), some are not. Algae utilizes the process of photosynthesis to manufacture its own food. Algae comes in very wide variety of colors and forms making it adaptable to almost any condition. Although some forms are virulent – especially Black or Mustard algae -, most are harmless and pose no more than a nuisance to most pool owners. Due to algae’s microscopic size, it takes literally millions of these plants to accumulate to be noticed by the naked eye! By that time it may be too late and very costly to correct. Prevention of algae blooms is the best solution.

Green Algae: The most common form of algae that we deal with in swimming pools is “green” algae. Green algae (varies in color from blue-green to yellow-green to dark-green) can be free floating in the water (turning the water a hazy-green) or can be wall-clinging (patches of green). Wall-clinging varieties range in severity from small patches on pool walls and bottoms to virtually covering the entire pool surface. Green algae has the ability to clog filters and may even cause surface damage if left untreated. Green algae can be treated fairly simply and quickly with a proper, aggressive shocking & algaecide.

A relative of regular green algae is “small-celled green algae” (SCGA). The difference is seen in these areas: 1. The water remains relatively clear. Many treat the problem (without proper analysis) as a copper or mineral problem, however the metal chelants will show no effect. 2. When treating with chlorine, chlorine seems to “disappear”. SCGA is very resistant to even high levels of chlorine.

Other mid-summer types of green algae noticed is “green spots” all around the pool, especially in shady areas. The water is almost always “very clear”. The water can have a “stinging” sensation. This is normal green algae, typically brought about by lack of homeowner care; i.e. not following a weekly maintenance routine such as the Once-a-Week 3 Step program combined with very low pH and very low Total Alkalinity.

Treatment: Have water properly analyzed. BALANCE THE POOL WATER. Pools treated with chlorine or bromine should aggressively shock with chlorine (BioGuard Burn Out┬« or Smart Shock┬«) and use a good quality algaecide such as Back Up┬«, Algae All 60┬«, or Banish┬« in extreme cases. Pools treated with SoftSwim or other Biguanides should top up their Bactericide level “B”, add a double dose of algaecide “A”, and add a double dosage of shock or “C”. Follow up either method with Optimizer Plus┬« (a borate product similar to ProTeam Supreme). Treating algae with Sodium Bromide should be discouraged (sodium bromide treatments, can, in time, cause a chlorine demand problem).

“Black Algae” (actually blue-green algae) forms in cracks and crevices on pool surfaces, especially plaster finishes. We normally find black algae growing in, but not limited to, shady areas of the pool. Black algae is more typically found in concrete or plaster finished pools; it is very uncommon to find it in vinyl liner pools. It is known for a heavy slime layer and “skeletal growths” that make it impervious to normal chlorine levels. When viewed in a swimming pool, the water remains relatively clear, however, almost all customers notice a high chlorine demand (use much more chlorine than normal). When brushed, “black algae” will be difficult to budge and even though it seems as if it has been removed, the black algae will most likely return to the exact same spots within 24 hours.

What we’re beginning to understand is that Black Algae is “aided” by swimming pool bio-films. As bio-films accumulate on pool surfaces, they act as a kind of “breeding bed” providing nutrients and a “soft” place to set down roots. Removal of the bio-film dramatically aids in the long term treatment of Black algae. The more that the bio-film is removed and continually removed, the less likely Black Algae will be able to set down.

Treatment: Have water properly analyzed. BALANCE THE POOL WATER. Prior to and during treatment, the algae MUST be thoroughly brushed in order to “break open” the slime layer that covers and protects the Black Algae cell. During treatment, the chlorine level MUST be maintained in excess of 3.0 ppm – this may require daily shocking of the pool – AND the affected areas MUST be thoroughly brushed 2 to 3 times per day to allow the chlorine treatment to penetrate the algae. TRUE Black Algae is very resistant to treatment and can be transferred from pool to pool via bathing suits and pool toys. Failure to do these critical steps will prevent the treatment from working. Pools treated with chlorine or bromine should aggressively shock with chlorine (Burn Out┬« or Smart Shock┬«) and use a good quality algaecide such as Back Up┬«, Algae All 60┬«, or Banish┬« in extreme cases. Pools treated with SoftSwim or other Biguanides should top up their Bactericide level “B”, add a double dose of algaecide “A”, and add a double dosage of shock or “C”. Follow up either method with Optimizer Plus┬«. Treating algae with Sodium Bromide should be discouraged as mentioned above.

“Mustard Algae” is probably the MOST misdiagnosed form of algae. Mustard algae is a chlorine-resistant form of green algae (yellow-green to brown in color) typically found in sunbelt areas. It often resembles dirt or sand on the bottom or sides of a pool. In our market area (Fairfield county CT), the number of TRUE Mustard Algae cases that we treat can be counted on ONE HAND in most seasons. Mustard Algae is prevalent in Sunbelt areas. Mustard Algae has certain characteristics: It can be brushed away very easily, but returns quickly to the same location.

Keep in mind that the “algae” may be returning to the same place due to a dead spot in the pool. Be sure that you have good circulation through out the entire pool.

Although it usually creates a large Chlorine demand, it has been known to survive in high levels of Chlorine – over 3.0 ppm. It is extremely important to remove mustard algae growth from equipment (including the back of underwater lights & ladders) and bathing suits to avoid cross or recontamination of other pools. Pool equipment can be left in the pool during product application or cleaned separately with a mild cleaning solution. Rinse thoroughly if equipment is used in a SoftSwim┬« pool. Bathing suits should be washed with detergent as directed on garment label.

Treatment: Have water properly analyzed. BALANCE THE POOL WATER. Prior to and during treatment, the algae MUST be thoroughly brushed in order to “break open” the slime layer – such as with Black Algae. Failure to do this critical step will prevent the treatment from working. Pools treated with chlorine or bromine should aggressively shock with chlorine shocks such as BioGuard Burn Out┬« or Smart Shock┬« and use a good quality algaecide such as Back Up┬«, Algae All 60┬«, or Banish┬« in extreme cases. Pools treated with SoftSwim or other Biguanides should top up their Bactericide level “B”, add a double dose of algaecide “A”, and add a double dosage of shock or “C”. Follow up either method with Optimizer Plus┬«. Treating algae with Sodium Bromide should be discouraged as mentioned above. Click here for all Algae treating products.

The best way to prevent and control algae is to maintain good pool care. Good pool care means following the 5 Keys to pool care (look for our published articles on theses subjects): 1. Have and maintain good circulation of the water to all parts of the pool. 2. Filter the pool a minimum 8 to 12 hours daily. 3. Clean the pool regularly by vacuuming and brushing all surfaces. 4. Test the Water at least 2 times each week. Testing tells you what is going on with the water. Make adjustments immediately when necessary. 5. Maintain good Water Chemistry. Chlorine or other sanitizer in their correct ranges, pH 7.4 – 7.6, Total Alkalinity 100 – 150 ppm, Calcium Hardness 200 – 300 ppm. On a weekly basis (every week all season long): Shock the pool with the appropriate shock treatment and add a maintenance dose of a good quality algaecide (please don’t use the gallon jug algaecide – they’re mainly colored water).

The Many Uses of a Biochemistry Analyser

A biochemistry analyser is a term which can refer to any number of different instruments used to analyze and measure the characteristics of various samples from biological sources. All types of biochemistry analyser are commonly used in life sciences laboratories and medical settings, where they provide data which is essential for a wide range of research, diagnostic and even product development applications (such as in the pharmaceutical industry).

The study of the chemical processes which go on inside of living organisms encompasses a wide range of different disciplines and an even wider range of uses, all of which fall under the broader umbrella of biochemistry. Among the most common uses for a biochemistry analyzer are to determine the structure and function of biomolecules including nucleic acids, lipids, proteins and enzymes.

It is in fact in the study of the chemistry of reactions catalyzed by enzymes in which a biochemistry analyser is particularly useful. These applications include applications involving study of genetics, protein synthesis, metabolism on the cellular level, signal transduction and other biochemistry applications with a bearing on the development of new and improved medical care and pharmaceuticals to treat diseases with a genetic component.

Automation has made changes in the way that many laboratory work is carried out, allowing for many traditionally time consuming tasks to be streamlined to permit higher throughput. There are now a variety of different automated biochemistry analyzer instruments which are available. These instruments are designed for a wide range of different applications in the life sciences laboratory or for diagnostic purposes in medical settings. These automated biochemistry analyser devices can measure the concentration and/or determine the characteristics of specific substances in a sample very quickly and with a minimal amount of operator intervention.

With an automated analyzer, there are usually dedicated autosamplers in use along with the instrument or in many cases, even an integrated autosampler. These further simplify the task of biochemistry analysis and since the safety of laboratory personnel when working with biological samples is often a concern, also make the modern, automated biochemistry analyzer much easier and safer to use.

In larger medical laboratories, such as those at hospitals, there are dedicated biochemistry analyser systems in use, often multiple ones designed to perform different common tests needed at healthcare facilities. These often include tests for levels of albumin, glucose, enzymes and creatine levels in the blood or serum. These tests may be performed by measuring conductivity, colorimetry, turbidity and any number of other methods.

There are also many other specialized types of biochemistry analyzer used in laboratories and clinics. Laboratories which perform immunology applications in particular use analyzers in immunoassays as they look for antibody-antigen reactions in biological samples. Other specialized types of biochemistry analyser include those designed for the measurement of osmolarity and osmolality, DNA /RNA detection and labeling and almost too many other important medical research, life sciences and drug development applications to list. Everywhere that the qualitative or quantitative analysis of biomolecules in samples from living organisms is critical, you will always find some sort of biochemistry analyzer at use as an indispensable tool to laboratory personnel.

Vitamins, The Difference Between Pharmaceutical Grade Vitamins vs Regular

Vitamins are necessary for human life and health. They are required in minute amounts, and with the exception of Vitamin B12, cannot be manufactured in your bodies. These organic compounds need to be obtained from diet, and if deprived of a particular vitamin, you will suffer from disease specific to that vitamin. It is a matter of record that you are not getting enough vitamins. Though we Americans are living longer, our quality of life leaves much to be desired.

The thirteen different vitamins are classified into two main categories:

┬Ě Water Soluble Vitamins – They dissolve easily in water. They are Vitamin C and the eight types of Vitamins B, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-9, and B-12.

┬Ě Fat Soluble Vitamins – With the help of lipids, they are absorbed through the intestinal tract. These vitamins are Vitamins A. D, E, and K.

The term Vitamin does not mean to include essential nutrients, such as, dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids; neither does it mean to include other nutrients that just promote health, and may not be essential.

The Different Grades of Vitamins

Vitamin supplements are taken by more than 75% of the world’s population. With the plethora of different brands, it becomes difficult to know what is what. Vitamins and other nutritional supplements are made from three different grades of raw materials:

┬Ě Pharmaceutical Grade – It meets pharmaceutical standards

┬Ě Food Grade – It meets standards for human consumption

┬Ě Feed Grade – It meets standards for animal consumption

The main difference is of quality and purity. Due to the addition of various other substances, no product is 100% pure. Pharmaceutical Grade Vitamins must be in excess of 99% purity containing no binders, fillers, excipients – substances used as diluents for a drug – dyes, or unknown substances. Regular Vitamins of the other two grades are available as Over The Counter (OTC) products, whereas pharmaceutical grade vitamins are only available through prescriptions.

Pharmaceutical grade vitamins are formulated to yield a higher degree of bioavailability – the degree at which the vitamin is absorbed into a living system. As these vitamins can be absorbed into your body quickly, they improve and enhance the quality of your life rapidly.

Of late, the American vitamin industry has gained a lot of bad reputation, and many feel it is rightly deserved. People walk into stores and pharmacies to buy regular vitamins. In some of the cases, the ingredients specified on the label are not in conformity with what they find inside the bottle. A variety of ingredients do not absorb into the body.

More and more people are opting for pharmaceutical grade vitamins, as they are available through prescriptions from doctors and licensed medical practitioners. Pharmaceutical grade vitamins, vis-à-vis regular vitamins, have been tested for their quality and ability to give results. They are tested by third parties to confirm that the bottles contain what they profess to contain.

7 Tips For Punta Cana Vacationers

Punta Cana is located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic in the heart of the Caribbean. It is known for luxury accommodations tastefully blended into its beautiful natural surroundings. It has become quite popular for a quick warm winter escape for people in Canada, Europe, and the United States. They come by the thousands to bask in the Punta Cana when it is wintery cold in their own countries.

If you are contemplating a vacation to Punta Cana, I want to pass along 7 travel tips that will make your stay more enjoyable:

Avoid Taking a Taxi If You can

There is nothing particularly wrong with the taxis in the Punta Cana area but the rates can be exorbitant. For a comparison, a faire that will only cost $4 -$5 in Santo Domingo (the capital city of the Dominican Republic) may cost you $20 – $40 in Punta Cana!

To avoid taxis, try to negotiate with your travel agent for an airport transfer, both coming and going, to be included in the package deal — many are and if you shop it, you should be able to find this. If you take an excursion to one of the parks or islands, be sure to ask the tour operator if the cost of the excursion includes picking you up at your resort or hotel and bringing you back — again, many do so you should be able to find this. You can also rent a car for a reasonable fee instead of a taxi. Many of the big name car rental places are there: Avis, Budget, Eurocar, National, and Prestige. If you are seriously budget minded, you can also take the bus called the guagua which covers the entire Punta Cana coast and beyond. Buses run every 15 – 30 minutes. If you need to travel to Santo Domingo, be sure to look for the Bavaro Express.

How To Find the Whitest Beach

The most coveted beaches in the Dominican Republic seem to be the powdery white beaches — the whiter the better in my people’s book. Tourists love the beauty of these beaches and also how the silky fine sand feels between their toes. However, not all “Punta Cana” beaches are white.

What tourists often don’t realize is that what has now become known as the “Punta Cana” coast of the Dominican Republic runs for about 38-39 miles. This is the entire east coast of the Dominican Republic. The color of the sand varies significantly along this stretch. In general, the further south you go, the whiter the sand. The Punta Cana coast is shaped like an arrowhead pointing to the east. Where the arrow comes to a point is called El Macao. To the north of this point, the white sands start to turn more golden in color. This can be very pretty as well but if you are a true aficionado of pure white sand, you’ll probably want to look for a resort south of El Macao or find a resort on the southeast coast.

How To Get Through Customs More Easily

First, let me tell you some good news. Getting through customs at the Punta Cana Airport is much easier than the Santo Domingo Airport or other Caribbean Airports such as Cancun. With that said, however, there are some simple things you can do to lessen the chance you’ll have any kind of hassle going through customs.

As soon as you arrive in Punta Cana, you’ll need to get a “tourist card” which costs only $10 and you can get them at the airport before you go through customs. However, there can be a line for these so if you want to speed things up, try to get this included in your package deal so you will have a tourist card handed to you before you get off the plane. The customs agents can be a little picky about anything that could be construed as a “sharp object.” Items such as knitting needles and umbrellas can be considered “sharp objects” and can hold you up and may even be confiscated. Be sure to put these types of items in your checked luggage to avoid issues. Also, make sure all your prescription medications are CLEARLY labeled. There is a strict no tolerance for drugs in the Dominican Republic so you don’t want to give the customs agents any reason for concern. Another big “no-no: both coming in and going out is ANYTHING derived from plant material or animal parts. This can include hats made out of coconut fibers, shells, fruit, wood carvings, etc… These items will be confiscated and can make going through customs more lengthy than it need be. There are exceptions such as amber jewelry containing insect parts. The real concern is the spreading of insects and microorganisms across the border.

Stand Your Ground On Public Beaches

Officially, all beaches in the Dominican Republic are public. However, many of the resorts like to put up signs and patrol the beaches in front of their resorts as if they had a private beach.

When you are walking the beach, just know that you allowed to walk any of the beach and you should politely hold your ground should someone approach you and indicate otherwise. Just let them know you only intend to pass through.

Tipping Expectations & Giving Gifts To the Locals

It is expected that you will tip waiters and waitresses. 5-10% is considered the norm. Bartenders are often tipped $1 per round, sometimes more if the drinks are more complicated to make. Hotel maids are often tipped $2 – $5 per day and airport porters $1 per bag. It is also expected that you will tip tour guides as well. Guides usually get $5 for half day excursions and $5 – $10 for full day excursions.

It is also becoming increasingly popular to leave gifts for the locals. Candy, toys, and school supplies for kids is very popular. Books, make-up, and costume jewelry are commonly left. It is best that you check with the tour guides you go out with and the hotel staff to determine what might be most appropriate and most needed items to bring along as gifts. Remember this is a country that is a “third world” country with an emerging economy and there are many needs.

Find a Resort That Matches Your Needs

Different resorts cater to different needs. Some resorts cater to families with children. Others are “adult only” and cater to those couples who are looking for a romantic getaway without children under foot. Many resorts in the Punta Cana area follow the European customs. Some Americans like this but some don’t. If you don’t, be sure to find a resort that caters more to the American customs.

You may want to get a complete list of all activities offered at the resorts you are considering as this will often help make your decision on which one to choose much easier. Some resorts offer better activities for the kids — some are supervised and some are not. Some offer sailing, surfing, wind-surfing, dancing, scuba, and other very desirable classes. Some have activities such as horse-back riding and dune buggies that others do not. Some resorts are better designed for the handicapped and others with special needs.

How To Take Punta Cana Excursions

Most resort vacation packages include some opportunities to take excursions away from the resort. Most are very simple such a boat ride out to a reef for snorkeling or to take a catamaran cruise to an island. However, the hotel tours are almost never the way to have the best adventure outside your resort. Local fishermen and other locals also often offer to take tourists out on their boats. These can really be hit or miss, more often miss unfortunately. You should also be aware that these locals are almost never licensed or bonded so if something were to happen, you’d be stuck.

You will have a much richer and memorable experience if you take Punta Cana excursions with an experience tour operators who specialize in providing excursions. Your excursion will also be much safer. The excursions that get the highest acclaim are those that offer eco-adventures where you really get to explore nature and culture in depth with people who truly care and have a deep knowledge and appreciation for the wildlife and people of the area. Take at least one of these types of excursions and compare them to what the resorts have to offer and the difference will become obvious to you.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called ALS or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, is a classic motor neuron disease affecting the nerves coming from the spinal cord. ALS most often occurs in adults from the age of 50 to 70. The cause of this disease is unknown; however, inflammation of the nervous system due to immune dysfunction is believed to be responsible for the progressive degeneration seen in this disease. Symptoms include progressive muscular weakness, cramps, wasting and spasticity. ALS can be either classic, sporadic or familial.

Ayurvedic medicines have a very good therapeutic potential in the treatment of disorders of the nervous system. This can be put to good use in treating ALS. Medicines like Trayo-Dashang-Guggulu, Tapyadi-Loh, Yograj-Guggulu, Mahavat-Vidhvans, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Kaishor-Guggulu and Dashmoolarishta are very useful in healing the damage done to the nerves and nervous system. Herbal medicines like Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) and Dashmool (Ten Roots) are also very useful in this condition.

Medicines which act on the ‘Majja’ dhatu (tissue) of the body are also very effective in treating this condition, and include medicines like Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Gugggulu, Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus). In addition, localized therapy can also be used, in which medicated oils are used to massage the body, followed by medicated steam fomentation. Medicines used for these procedures are: Mahanarayan oil, Mahamash oil, Mahasaindhav oil, Dashamool qadha (decoction) and Nirgundi qadha.

Ayurvedic treatment, taken for long periods in ALS, can considerably improve symptoms and delay the progression of the disease. For a disease known to cause death within 2-7 years, and no currently known cure, Ayurvedic treatment definitely has a lot to offer in reducing morbidity and mortality.

Quinoa Bread: Your Daily Source of Protein and Vitamins

Quinoa bread provides your system with fiber and other important nutrients like Vitamin E, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. Magnesium is an important mineral that regulates more than 300 enzymes, most importantly those related to the body’s consumption of glucose and secretion of insulin.

Quinoa provides a good source of vegetable protein and it is the seeds of the quinoa plant that are ground to make flour for the bread. It has significantly low quantities of saturated fatty acids. It contains phenolic acids, lignans, phytoestrogens and certain phytochemicals and all these elements help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

To make quinoa bread you need to start from zero, otherwise you can mix quinoa flour (usually 5% to 10%) with other flours to make your favorite bread recipes. What you mix with quinoa flour is dependent on any special dietary needs you might have.

You don’t have to worry about calories when consuming quinoa bread. As another benefit of this type of bread is its complex carbohydrates which helps keep your stomach full for a longer period of time, and because it is complex it has properties that regulate the steady release of energy in your body. If you have a weight problem, you could go on a diet to see satisfying outcomes in losing that extra weight. And those who will stick with a bread diet would see significant effects when it comes to thinning their size and weight.

Quinoa bread has a lot of fiber in it. Fiber helps you digest food better as the nutrient increases bowel movement, assisting you to burn those fats easier and faster. Fiber is also known to eliminate bad cholesterol which will reduce health threats like constipation, hemorrhoids and colon cancers. Fiber has been proven to be effective in lowering the risk of diabetes.

Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa) is considered as the most nutritious grain in the world. It is one of the main food crops in South America, but recently has raised interest in North America, Europe, and Asia. Quinoa has a variety of uses in food processing industry. Both the seeds and the leaves of the Quinoa plant can be eaten. The leaves are naturally cooked and served as a salad or side dish, similar to spinach or beet greens. The seeds are processed to produce quinoa flour to create your nutritious quinoa bread or use the whole quinoa grain as a major ingredient in your whole grain quinoa bread. Compared with other commonly consumed bread, it has excellent nutritional value and tastes great too!

The right healthy foods will not only perk up your daily living but add precious years in your life. Conditions such as cancer, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. are all attributed to a lack of whole grains in our diets. Increasing your consumption of whole natural grains and its byproducts is one of the best ways to speedily improve your health and well-being without any major effort. It only requires a change. A change in the way you eat, and feed your body with natural foods like quinoa so your body can better perform its natural functions.

So make that switch now! Switch to a healthier bread! Switch to quinoa bread!