Beauty Therapy Level 2 – Exam Question Examples

A Beauty Therapy level 2 certification gives a student an excellent understanding of the type of work that is involved with being a Beauty Therapist. With this qualification you will be able to work in a salon, a cruise ship, as a mobile therapist or work from home and there are many opportunities to advance in this exciting industry.

Having a large set of exam questions is essential for any student studying level 2 Beauty Therapy. The exam papers are generally divided into the following sections;

Skin Treatments (this paper usually includes eye treatments also)

Manicure & Pedicure

Waxing

Make Up

Most awarding bodies give multiple choice questions as the format for their exam papers. With multiple choice you get one question with four possible answers and you must choose only one. Some examples include;

01. How is melanin produced;

a) By cells called Melanocytes – Answer

b) During the process of desquamation

c) In the sweat glands of the dermis

d) By cells called Histiocytes

02. Why would you apply talc to the skin before waxing;

a) To soothe the skin

b) To lift the hairs away from the skin – Answer

c) To make it less painful

d) To cool the skin

03. What is the function of the eponychium;

a) To produce new cells

b) To protect the matrix from infection – Answer

c) To protect from hang nails and ingrowing nails

d) To hold the nail plate in place

04. Which of the following is a contraindication to eye make up;

a) Conjunctivitis – Answer

b) Dry skin

c) Milia

d) Ephelides

When you are revising for your level 2 Beauty Therapy exams use sample questions to constantly test yourself. Spend a couple of days learning one area and then give yourself an exam at the end to test how strong you are on that area. Repeat this on all areas and you will be amazed at how quickly your confidence grows.

List of Simple Carbohydrates and Complex Carbohydrates Foods

There are 2 types of carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are considered simple or complex based upon their chemical structure. So what are complex carbohydrates, or some call them starch?

Complex Carbohydrates

They are simply sugars bonded together to form a chain. Because of it’s complex chain form, your digestive enzymes have to work much harder to access the bonds to break the chain into individual sugars for absorption through the intestines.

Because of that, the digestion of complex carbohydrates takes longer. The slow absorption of sugars provides you with a steady supply of energy and limits the amount of sugar converted into fat and stored!

Usually people consider complex carbohydrates as good carbohydrates.

Here’s a list of complex carbohydrates foods.

  • Spinach
  • Whole Barley
  • Grapefruit
  • Turnip Greens
  • Buckwheat
  • Apples
  • Lettuce
  • Buckwheat bread
  • Prunes
  • Water Cress
  • Oat bran bread
  • Dried apricots
  • Zucchini
  • Oatmeal
  • Pears
  • Asparagus
  • Oat bran cereal
  • Plums
  • Artichokes
  • Museli
  • Strawberries
  • Okra
  • Wild rice
  • Oranges
  • Cabbage
  • Brown rice
  • Yams
  • Celery
  • Multi-grain bread
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Pinto beans
  • Potatoes
  • Dill Pickles
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Soybeans
  • Radishes
  • Skim milk
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Navy beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Brussels
  • Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Kidney beans
  • Eggplant
  • Soy milk
  • Lentils
  • Onions
  • Whole meal bread
  • Split peas

Complex Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly. Many simple carbohydrates contain refined sugars and few essential vitamins and minerals. People usually consider these as bad carbohydrates.

Why bad?

These simple carbohydrates are actually smaller molecules of sugar unlike the long chains in complex carbohydrates.

They are digested quickly because the individual sugars are ready to be absorbed immediately plus digestive enzymes have easy access to the bonds in the paired molecules.

You could say most of the work has been done for the digestive system! Foods like cake, pastry, biscuits, chocolate, etc (you get the idea) contain lots of “empty” calories.

Because our cells usually do not require that amount of energy at that time of eating, the sugar must either be converted to glycogen (sugar storage within cells) or converted to fat.

Your body cells can only store a limited amount of glycogen, so in many common cases, taking too much food that contains simple carbohydrates may contribute to body fat stores.

Here’s a list of simple carbohydrates foods.

  • Table sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice
  • Candy
  • Cake
  • Bread made with white flour
  • Pasta made with white flour
  • Soda pop
  • Candy
  • All baked goods made with white flour
  • Most packaged cereals
  • Honey
  • Milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Jam
  • Chocolate
  • Biscuit

There are a lot more foods that contains simple and complex carbohydrates. You can using the list above as a starting point for a healthier diet immediately.

Food Habits To Lose Weight – How To Lose Pounds Without Even Trying

Here’s another personal tip of mine that helped me to lose weight and gain new, much healthier eating habits. I look better than ever before and that includes the complexion of my skin, hair and nails.

Just like a dog, if you feed him bad food his coat will show it. If you feed him good food, his coat will have a magnificent glossy sheen to it. To some degree, we are not really that different. We are similarly the product of what we eat.

Lose Weight With New Food Habits

You know, you can lose weight so long as you eat fewer calories than you burn. Theoretically, you can eat pure junk food and so long as your body burns the energy and additionally some of your fat then you will still lose weight.

However, junk food is part and parcel of the problem. It contributes to obesity because it is adulterated and so highly refined that it is like a drug: it delivers a quick kick and the pancreas is forced to deliver a quick shot of insulin.

Junk causes your blood sugar to spike and fall like this all day long. People who eat too many refined foods like this eventually lose some pancreatic function and are officially classed as having Type II diabetes. They then need to take daily shots of insulin or control their diet carefully.

This yo-yoing of blood sugar also causes you to have intermittent hunger pangs and this leads to eating more food than your body really needs.

If you lose the junk in your diet and replace it with better food then you will immediately start enjoying the health benefits. And because you won’t get as many hunger pangs, you will also be less likely to eat too much and you will therefore be able to maintain your calorific deficit and subsequently maintain regular fat loss until you reach your desired goal weight.

Fruits Are Your Friend

Fruits are the perfect food package created by nature. They contain vitamins, fibre and water and are even packaged in their own biodegradable and waterproof packaging.

Frankly, everybody should be eating more fruits. I don’t advocate a 100% fruit diet because it would be a shame to miss out on modern food. But there is no doubt about it, people would be much healthier if they ate more fruit. Fruit also makes the perfect substitute for junk.

I recommend eating fruit as your breakfast or at least as part of it. Your stomach loves nothing better than fruit as the first thing to be eaten in the morning. You can also eat fruit as a snack later in the day. This way, you can incorporate fruit into your diet, displace some or all of the junk and you need not miss out on eating other types of food at other times of the day.

The Use of Ambulance Services in the Society Today

There are many situations that call for immediate or drastic medical responses or otherwise a person’s condition worsens. The ambulance service is essential in every society, in saving lives and provision of services that prevent occurrences of irreversible medical complications. Many ambulances operate from designated points like hospitals and other emergency control centers.

Some of the uses of such services include quick treatment and stabilization of casualties that lead to prevention of any mishap before getting to the hospitals. The provision of immediate and effective medical care can save a life or two and at times, it may lead to prevention of serious medical complications that may result from the emergencies that the patients are involved in. The medical crew and other persons on board get first-aid training. This makes them able to deal with situations like profuse bleeding, cardiac arrests, falls or crush injuries, among others.

The ambulances also facilitate the transportation of patients from a scene of accident to the hospital. This provides for the patients getting better and enhanced medical care that may be deemed necessary at that time. Ambulance services are also useful in the transferring of patients from one medical institution to may be a more advanced institution for more advanced treatment. Still on the transportation, the services are useful if a patient needs to be transported over long distances.

Another importance of ambulances is that they help in the provision of medical services to areas that may have been hit by disease out breaks or other serious health hazards. Another situation where these services are useful is the war zones. People get injured in war and so treatment and medical care is called for. Ambulance services can also be used in the evacuation of the injured from disaster stricken areas.

Two Recommended Hospitals in Durban, South Africa

Durban is a major city in South Africa and the Durban Metropolitan Area is the biggest city on the African east coast. The city has about 3.5 million people and 2,292 square kilometers and is a major center of export-related industries, transportation, tourism, finance and administration ifor the country of South Africa. Durban has many good hospitals in both public and private sectors. The modern hospitals are operated by the country’s major private health care companies and offer excellent medical care. This is a description of some of the leading hospitals in Durban.

Netcare Parklands Hospital is situated at Hopelands Road in the city of Overport, and is a leading hospital which offers high quality health care service. South Africa’s most reputed medical service provider, Netcare Limited manages this well equipped hospital. The surgery unit for this hospital has eight modern operating rooms and one ESWL theater with facilities for conducting various surgeries in different specialties including pediatric and ENT surgery. It has a a minor surgical ward with 16 beds and a major surgical ward with 36 beds. The modern emergency care division offers round the clock services. In addition, the center has a well-equipped baby clinic and a spacious pre-admission clinic. The hospital possesses a lot of sophisticated equipment including a PET / CT scan. The retail pharmacy is stocked with all types of drugs and medical aids. Warm accommodations are provided in an especially caring environment. Physiotherapy services are also offered in the center. Tel: 27 31 242 4000

Life Entabeni Hospital is another modern health care facility in the city and is located at 148 South Ridge Road, Berea, Durban. This patient focused hospital is one among the 63 hospitals managed by Life Healthcare, one of South Africa’s largest hospital groups in private sector. Like all other Life Healthcare hospitals, this center is also known for having all the latest facilities at unparalleled quality. The hospital has modern departments in all disciplines such as cardiology, internal medicine, dentistry, gastroenterology, neurology, pediatrics and more. Life Entabeni Hospital has an epilepsy unit with a 24 hour video EEG and a lung center for treating breathing problems. The radiology division is provided with a complete range of modern diagnostic equipment like a CT scanner, an MRI and radioisotope nuclear medicine facilities. Tel: 031 204 1300.

How to Become a Home Health Care Nurse

Home Health Care Nursing Information and Overview

Home health care is allowing the patient and their family to maintain dignity and independence. According to the National Association for Home Care, there are more than 7 million individuals in the United States in need of home health care nurse services because of acute illness, long term health problems, permanent disability or terminal illness.

Home Health Care Basics

Nurses practice in a number of venues: Hospital settings, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and home health care. Home health care nursing is a growing phenomenon as more patients and their families desire to receive care in their homes. The history of home health care stems from Public Health Nursing where public health nurses made home visits to promote health education and provide treatment as part of community outreach programs. Today academic programs train nurses in home care and agencies place home health care nurses with ailing individuals and their families depending on the nurse’s experience and qualifications. In many cases there is a shared relationship between the agency and the academic institution.

Many changes have taken place in the area of home health care. These include Medicare and Medicaid, and Long Term Care insurance reimbursement and documentation. It is important for the nurse and nursing agency to be aware of the many factors involved for these rules and regulations resulting from these organizations. Population and demographic changes are taking place as well. Baby boomers approaching retirement and will present new challenges for the home health care industry. Technology and medical care in hospitals has lead to shorter inpatient stay and more at-home rehabilitation. Increases in medical outpatient procedures are also taking place with follow-up home care. This has resulted in the decrease of mortality rate from these technologies and medical care has lead to increases in morbidity and chronic illness that makes the need for home health care nursing a greater priority.

Home Health Care Nurse Job Description

Through an array of skills and experience, home health care nurses specialize in a wide range of treatments; emotional support, education of patients who are recovering from illnesses and injury for young children and adults, to women who have experienced recent childbirth, to the elderly who need palliative care for chronic illness.

A practicing nurse must have the skills to provide care in a unique setting such as someone’s home. The nurse is working with the patient and the family and must understand the communication skills for such dynamics. Rapport is evident in all nursing positions, but working in a patient’s own living space needs a different level of skill and understanding. There is autonomous decision making as the nurse is no longer working as a team with other nurses in a structured environment, but is now as a member of the “family” team. The host family has cultural values that are important and are different for every patient and must be treated with extreme sensitivity. Other skills include critical thinking, coordination, assessment, communication, and documentation.

Home health care nurses also specialize in the care of children with disabilities that requires additional skills such as patience and understanding of the needs of the family. Children are living with disabilities today that would have resulted in mortality just twenty years ago. Genetic disorders, congenital physical impairments, and injury are just a few. Many families are familiar with managing the needs of the child, but still need expert care that only a home health care nurse can provide. It is important that a home health care nurse is aware of the expertise of the family about the child’s condition for proper care of the child. There are many complexities involved, but most important, a positive attitude and positive reinforcement is of utmost importance for the development of the child.

Medication coordination between the home health care nurse, doctor, and pharmacist, ensures proper management of the exact science behind giving the patient the correct dose, time of administration, and combinations. Home health care nurses should be familiar with pharmacology and taught in training about different medications used by patients in the clinical setting.

Many advanced practicing nurses are familiar with medication regiments. They have completed graduate level programs. Home health care agencies believe that a nurse should have at least one year of clinical experience before entering home health care. Advanced practicing nurses can expedite that training by helping new nurses understand the home health care market and teaching.

Employment and Salary

According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 2.4 million nurses in America, the largest healthcare occupation, yet many academic and hospital organizations believe there is a gross shortage in nursing staff. The shortage of nurses was 6% in 2000 and is expected to be 10% in 2010. The average salary for hospital nursing is $53,450 with 3 out of 5 nursing jobs are in the hospital. For home health care, the salary is $49,000. For nursing care facilities, they were the lowest at $48,200.

Training and continuing education

Most home health care nurses gain their education through accredited nursing schools throughout the country with an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), or a master’s degree in nursing (MSN). According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2004 there were 674 BSN nursing programs, 846 ADN programs. Also, in 2004, there were 417 master’s degree programs, 93 doctoral programs, and 46 joint BSN-doctoral programs. The associate degree program takes 2 to 3 years to complete, while bachelors degrees take 4 years to complete. Nurses can also earn specialized professional certificates online in Geriatric Care or Life Care Planning.

In addition, for those nurses who choose to pursue advancement into administrative positions or research, consulting, and teaching, a bachelor’s degree is often essential. A bachelor’s degree is also important for becoming a clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners (U.S. Department of Labor, 2004).

All home health care nurses have supervised clinical experience during their training, but as stated earlier advanced practicing nurses hold master’s degrees and unlike bachelor and associate degrees, they have a minimum of two years of post clinical experience. Course work includes anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, psychology, and behavioral sciences and liberal arts. Many of these programs have training in nursing homes, public health departments, home health agencies, and ambulatory clinics. (U.S. Dep. of Labor, 2004).

Whether a nurse is training in a hospital, nursing facility, or home care, continuing education is necessary. Health care is changing rapidly and staying abreast with the latest developments enhances patient care and health procedures. Universities, continuing education programs, and internet sites, all offer continuing education. One such organization that provides continuing education is the American Nurses Association (ANA) or through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Conclusion

There are many rewards to becoming a home health care nurse. Some rewards include the relationship with a patient and their family, autonomy, independence, and engaging in critical thinking. The 21st Century brings with it many opportunities and challenges. We must meet these challenges head on – there is an aging baby boomer population, a growing morbidity factor due to increased medical technology and patient care, and the growing shortage in nursing care.

Becoming a home health care nurse today is exciting and an opportunity to make a difference one life at a time. With clinical experience and proper education, a home health care nurse will lead the future of medical care.

Top 6 Supplements to Get You Faster & Stronger For Football

When trying to get faster, bigger, and stronger for football, you need to use every weapon in your arsenal. Your football strength and speed training program needs to be excellent, your diet 90% on point (at least) and your mental training and football skill building all need to be constantly improving.

For those of you who fit this description, supplements can help. There are certain supplements that can help you get faster and stronger for football…if all the other factors are in place!

I’m always hesitant to talk about supplements for football training. While there is a short list of products that can really help your football training, they are not magic bullets. And, as any coach reading this will know, we’ve all had “the conversation:”

Player: Coach what supplements can I take to get bigger?

Coach: Well, what are you eating every day?

Player: Well, I had some cheerios, a Red Bull, a burger and a snickers bar today.

Coach:…head explodes.

So, before we get into the subject of how to use supplements to get faster and stronger for football at all, first realize that they are, as the name implies, supplements. As in, they supplement your normal eating, they don’t replace it. If you’re not eating correctly, start. Then, when you have that down, you can worry about supplements.

Second, some of the best supplements for football players are both very cheap and not very well hyped. It’s hard to justify rolling out a major ad campaign for a $5 bottle of something…that’s better saved for the $75+ bucket-o-worthless-chemicals.

When it comes to supplements to improve football ability both in the weight room and on the field, go:

Simple
Cheap
Effective
Know why you’re taking what you’re taking

Here are the Top 6 Supplements to help you get faster, bigger, stronger and more explosive for football.

1. Protein

Five of the 6 supplements in this list are what we consider “base supplements.” They’re not exciting, but they work and they are necessary. Protein powders being the base of the base.

Can you train without taking a protein shake? Yes, of course. But, why would you? I know some guys use this as a badge of being “hard core,” whatever the hell that is…but, really, do you want to be that guy sitting in the gym eating chicken out of a Pyrex bowl, stinking the place out?

Protein is excellent for football training, especially to high school and college players because it is so easily carried around. You can quickly drink it in the halls, on the way to class or at your locker. You can try, as I did in vain, to eat actual food in class, but, most teachers get mad when you pull out giant roast beef sandwiches (no, I don’t have enough for everyone, damnit)

It’s also very cheap. While it may seem that putting out $25 – 35 up front is expensive, the truth is most protein shakes, made at home with two scoops in water, come out to around $1.77. For 50+ grams of protein and minimal carbs and fat, that’s impossible to beat.

And, its ideal post workout. You train hard so get the nutrients into your system as quickly as possible. This helps you recover faster. Recover faster – train harder – get bigger, stronger and faster on the field. Simple.

But, let’s clear one thing up…protein is just food in liquid form. No more, no less. All the bells-and-whistles and marketing hype is just that. Don’t expect to start drinking a few shakes and wake up looking like Arnold.

Start off with two shakes per day. One between breakfast and lunch and one post workout. A lot of experts are suggesting you drink 1/3 pre workout, 1/3 during, and 1/3 of your shake after lifting. This is fine as long as your stomach can handle it. In the summer, it can be tough so test it out and see how you do. Your shake does no good for you if its coming out instead of going it.

Favorites around here are IronTek’s Whey, Muscle Milk, CytoSport Gainer, and Optimum’s 100% Whey

2. L-Tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is one of the most exciting supplements I’ve ever come across for football. It is an absolute life saver on those days where no matter what, you just can’t seem to get your brain right for the game. This isn’t a base supplement but it’s a staple around here. Most people have never even heard of this amino acid, so what’s the big deal?

Again, it’s tough to hype up a supplement that costs less than 10 bucks.

L-Tyrosine is a precursor to adrenaline and blocks the movement of Tryptophan (the stuff in Turkey that makes your fat uncles fall asleep after Thanksgiving dinner) across the brain. This gets you “up” without becoming jittery or cranked out like Ephedrine used to do.

This is huge for both training and football games. Combined with some caffeine it is an unbelievable pre-game/workout supplement…capable of waking you up, firing up the CNS and getting your brain right.

Don’t over use this stuff. Like everything else on Earth, the more you use it, the more the body adapts. In-season, save it for game day. In the weight room, save it for the big P.R. days.

About 45-mins pre lift or pre-game, take 3 – 4 L-Tyrosine caps. You can combine these with a caffeine tablet for maximum effect. You can also use one of Joe DeFranco’s “DeFranco Energy Bars,” if you need a pre-training meal, as these have a lot of quality protein and a nice dose of Tyrosine and caffeine.

3. ZMA

ZMA might be the most underrated supplement in the world when it comes to recovering from training. Studies have shown that athletes, especially football players, are deficient in magnesium. The harder you train, the more the minerals are burned up.

This can lead to poor sleep quality and achy joints.

By taking ZMA (Zinc, Magnesium and vitamin B6) you get a much more restful, deep sleep. This alone makes it almost anabolic in nature. Studies have shown that simply by supplementing with ZMA you can increase your testosterone levels.

You spend a ton of time training, lifting, running, practicing football – you have to balance that with an equal amount of recovery and there’s nothing better for recovery than sleep.

Biotest’s ZMA is probably the best out there, you should definitely go with that to start.

4. Caffeine

This one is tricky. If you’re under 18, I’d stay away from this one. I realize most high schoolers drink coffee and those femme latte-crap drinks, but, something about putting caffeine in pill form causes problems. Plus, you’re young, you should be wired through the roof anyway.

For the more mature football player, caffeine tablets can be a life saver. They get you focused, get the nervous system fired up, and wake you up. This is especially helpful after a long day of classes, work, or playing PS3.

Most guys just drink coffee but this can be problematic. Most convenience stores water down their brew to the point that you’re essentially drinking acidic, brown water. Even places like Startbucks and Dunkin Donuts can be inconsistent in how much caffeine per cup you’re getting.

Best bet is to but a bottle of caffeine tablets. They’re super cheap and safe. One tab is equal to a cup of coffee. And, all you need is one. They are much more potent than actually drinking your caffeine.

Take one tablet 45-minutes prior to a big workout, practice or game. Again, save it for the big ones…if you keep hammering away, it’ll lose it’s effectiveness. You should take a week off of caffeine every 8-weeks or so. That means completely; no tablets, no coffee, no diet soda. If you are really suffering during that week then you’ve been over-relying on the stuff.

If you really want to have a huge day, combine one caffeine tablet with 3 – 4 L-Tyrosine tabs. If you can, drink this down and take a very short nap (15-minutes). As you wake up, the cocktail will start kicking in and by the time you hit the gym or the field you’ll be ready to kill.

5. Fish Oil

This is another base supplement and something about it just bores the hell out of most football players.

Who cares about heart health? Don’t you know high school football players are Unbreakable like Bruce Willis?

Even if we put the heart-health benefits aside, Fish Oil is still extremely useful for football because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Every time you lift, every time you practice, and especially when you play a game, you are creating inflammation. The longer you stay this way, the longer you’re sore, tight, and unable to train at 100%. The quicker you squash inflammation, the faster you can get back to training or the field at full strength. This alone is invaluable.

Back when I played in High School, I was much stronger than anyone, setting school records by my junior year. Everyone would break my chops and ask what special supplements I was taking, steroids I was jabbing in my butt, or some special creatine water I’d drink. Truth is, and this is disappointing to most people, that I got that way because I was absolutely obsessed with recovery. I’d go crazy to sleep extra, eat right and kill inflammation as quickly as possible. Because of this, I could train more than everyone.

Think about that next time you have an extra 20-bills in your pocket. Are you going to buy some faux testosterone pill and pee out your money or are you going to do the smart thing, make the boring choice and get some Fish Oil so you can recover faster and train harder than everyone?

6. Multi Vitamin & Mineral

Another boring, base supplement that is absolutely indispensable. If you want to perform at the highest possible level, every cell in your system has to be functioning properly. Taking a good multi vitamin & mineral can help ensure that your body is replacing the nutrients that your burning up in your training. And, despite what most know-it-alls will tell you, you do need extra vitamins and minerals. Maybe the average American fat-ass who sits on the couch playing video games doesn’t need them, but, a football player does.

Even if you eat a ton of different protein foods and “eat the rainbow” in vegetables, there’s no way you’re getting in all the minerals you need. The fact that most football players are woefully deficient in magnesium, zinc and copper should tell you why you need to supplement.

But, you have to get a good product. Taking Centrum will get you no where. A good multi product will require you to take 2 – 3 pills per day to get the full dose. Take one with breakfast, one pre-workout, and one at night. This ensures that you get a nice, steady flow of nutrients and you replace anything you lose quickly.

Are You Blaming Your Tax Preparer For Your Screwed Up Tax Return?

How one taxpayer argued and lost at Tax Court. Moral: you really have to take some responsibility for your taxes. Have you ever wondered if you could blame your tax preparer in order to avoid an IRS penalty of 20%? Come up with a new version of “The Dog Ate My Homework”, or “The Devil Made Me Do It”? If your tax return gets audited, and you “lose”, the IRS is very quick to impose its negligence penalty on top of back taxes, plus interest. The additional tax you owe is called a “deficiency” and the penalty is the “accuracy related penalty”, and is imposed at a flat 20% of the deficiency: if you owe $5,000 because you lost the audit, the penalty is $1,000.

“Hold on!” you may cry. “I gave all my stuff to the preparer. Just because he made errors should not be a reason to penalize me. I’ve got enough problems with coming up with the deficiency. I’m a victim here. Not fair. I’m going to Tax Court.” Which is precisely what a California woman did when faced with a penalty of $1,059.20. Not wanting to pay the big bucks for a tax lawyer, she represented herself [Pro Se] before the Tax Court [T.C. Memo 2009-278]. And she lost.

What happened? She asked her long time tax preparer to prepare her 2005 Form 1040. She gave the preparer financial documents, including a 2005 Form SSA-1099 Social Security Benefit Statement, indicating that she and her late husband had received $21,445 of Social Security benefits in 2005. She did not, however, provide the Preparer a 2005 Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions,indicating that she had received $216 of dividend income, or a Form 1099-INT, Interest Income, indicating that she had also received $24 of interest income.

Now, the Preparer, in the language of the Tax Court, “failed to consider or include” these three taxable items when he prepared the 2005 Form 1040: Social Security income $21,445, Dividends $216 and Interest $24. He forgot to put down the $21,445, and of course couldn’t put down the dividend and interest income, because he didn’t know about them. The Preparer did, nonetheless, give the Taxpayer a summary of the items which would be included on the tax return, but no copy of the return was provided to the Taxpayer until the return had been electronically filed, and the filing had been acknowledged by the IRS. (This is not considered to be acceptable practice by any tax preparer.)

The Taxpayer was well aware of the receipt of taxable Social Security Benefits in the 2002, 2003 and 2004 tax years. Nonetheless, she did not detect any errors in the summary of income items considered by the Preparer both in preparing the return, nor in the return itself when delivered after receipt of electronic filing.

The IRS, using its document matching programs, noticed the under-reported income and generated a letter calculating the deficiency of $5,296, and imposing the accuracy related penalty of $1,059.20. A straight calculation of 20% multiplied by $5,296. [IRC Sec. 6662(a)].

The legal framework is as follows:

The Penalty

The Internal Revenue Code, subsection (a) of section 6662 imposes an accuracy-related penalty of 20 percent of any underpayment that is attributable to causes specified in subsection (b).

Among the causes justifying the imposition of the penalty is

o any substantial understatement of income tax as defined in section 6662(d)

o a substantial understatement occurs where the amount of the understatement exceeds the greater of

– [1] 10 percent of the tax required to be shown on the return for the taxable year, or

– [2] $5,000.

– In this case, the deficiency is $5,296 which is greater than $5,000 and fulfills the second condition.

Exceptions to the Penalty

The section 6662(a) penalty is not imposed if a taxpayer can demonstrate

o (1) reasonable cause for the underpayment and

o (2) that the taxpayer acted in good faith with respect to the underpayment. Sec. 6664(c)(1).

Subjective Considerations

Regulations promulgated under section 6664(c) further provide that

o the determination of reasonable cause and good faith “is made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all pertinent facts and circumstances.” Sec. 1.6664-4(b)(1), Income Tax Regs.

o Reliance on the advice of a tax professional may, but does not necessarily, establish reasonable cause and good faith for the purpose of avoiding a section 6662(a) penalty.

Based upon the this, the Taxpayer, of course, tried to fit her case into the Exceptions noted above by pleading special facts and circumstances, as well as reliance on the advice of her tax professional. A Taxpayer can really not accomplish more than that.

The Tax Court has set forth the following three requirements in order for a taxpayer to use reliance on a tax professional to avoid liability for a section 6662(a) penalty:

o (1) the adviser was a competent professional who had sufficient expertise to justify reliance,

o (2) the taxpayer provided necessary and accurate information to the adviser, and

o (3) the taxpayer actually relied in good faith on the adviser’s judgment.” See Neonatology Associates, P.A. v. Commissioner, 115 T.C. 43, 99 (2000), affd. 299 F.3d 221 (3d Cir. 2002).

These requirements are also known as “prongs”, a Three Prong Test. Unconditional reliance on a preparer or adviser does not always, by itself, constitute reasonable reliance. The Tax Court has set forth additional guidelines based upon facts and circumstances. [Such guidelines are called dicta]

o The taxpayer must also exercise “Diligence and prudence”.Marine v. Commissioner, 92 T.C. 958, 992-993 (1989), affd. without published opinion 921 F.2d 280 (9th Cir. 1991).

o “The general rule is that the duty of filing accurate returns cannot be avoided by placing responsibility on an agent.” Pritchett v.Commissioner, 63 T.C. 149, 174 (1974).

o Taxpayers have a duty to read their returns to ensure that all income items are included.

– Reliance on a preparer with complete information regarding a taxpayer’s business activities does not constitute reasonable cause if the taxpayer’s cursory review of the return would have revealed errors. Metra Chem Corp. v. Commissioner, 88 T.C. 654, 662-663 (1987).

o “Even if all data is furnished to the preparer, the taxpayer still has a duty to read the return and make sure all income items are included.” Magill v.Commissioner, 70 T.C. 465, 479-480 (1978), affd. 651 F.2d 1233 (6th Cir. 1981).

The Court started off with a consideration of the Third Prong, the reliance in good faith on the Preparers judgment. In a display of common sense which is rarely seen in any federal court, the Tax Court delivered its opinion that

o “We conclude that petitioners did not rely in good faith on [the Preparer] to accurately prepare their return. We conclude that petitioners did not rely in good faith on [Preparer’s] advice because they did not examine their return before it was submitted to the IRS. [Emphasis added]

– There you have it! If you don’t read the return, you are not really relying upon someone, are you?

– “Thus, petitioners’ unconditional reliance on [The Preparer] does not, on these facts, constitute reasonable reliance and does not excuse their failure to closely examine their return.”

What about the Second Prong? That the Taxpayer must provide necessary and accurate information to the Preparer.

o The Tax Court noted that the “reliance defense is also undercut by the fact that [Taxpayer] did not provide [Tax Preparer] with necessary Form 1099 documentation regarding their dividend and interest income in 2005.

– Sure, the amounts are insignificant, $216 in dividend income, and $24 interest income. But the failure to hand these over shows sloppiness, and causes the taxpayer to not meet the Second Prong.

After considering the Second and Third Prongs, the Tax Court did not even bother with the First Prong, whether the tax adviser was a competent professional. It concluded that the Taxpayer had “not demonstrated good faith and reasonable cause for their underpayments for 2005. Accordingly, the Court sustains [the IRS] determination that petitioners are liable for the section 6662(a) accuracy-related penalty for substantial understatements of income tax for the 2005 tax year.”

That’s it. The 20% penalty is kept. Obviously, the Taxpayer was protesting the principle of the penalty, as $1,059.20 is not a lot of money, and not worth the work of filing a Petition to hear the case in Tax Court. We have discussed this particular case because it illustrates rather clearly the principles involved in protesting the penalty, as well as the burden of proof required by the taxpayer.

Ways to Prevent Goldfish Diseases

If you are a lover of goldfish and have them at your home you must ensure that they are well taken care of. They are quite delicate and can die easily if you do not look after them in a proper manner. The first thing to do will be to provide these splendid creatures with clean and hygienic environment. It is a fact that a lot of people are unaware of the necessary precautions that they must take to keep these fish healthy. As a result they die prematurely of disease. Here you will find a few simple yet effective and essential precautions that you need to take to guarantee bacteria free fish tank.

Carefully clean your fish tank

It is essential to keep your fish bowl clean and bacteria free. Most people are lazy when it comes to cleaning their fish tanks. In order to make your fish tank water bacteria-free you need to change the water and clean it once a week. It may sound like a heavy task to clean the aquarium every week but believe me, it is essential in maintaining the health of your goldfish.

Another precaution to be taken while cleaning your fish tank is to wash your hands well before cleaning your tank. This will ensure that you are not transmitting any bacteria to the fish tank from your hands while cleaning. Human hands can carry a lot of dangerous bacteria and if your goldfish comes in touch of them it will surely die.

Clean your filter with care

It is crucial for the health of your fish that you regularly clean your water filter inside the fish tank. Go and have a look at your filter and see how clean it looks. In fact it may contain unsightly fungus as well which can spread disease inside the tank. So you must clean and rinse the tank filter regularly whenever you change the water of the tank. In most cases it is seen that unclean filters can aid in the development of harmful bacteria which may lead to a disease like ‘Ick’, which is a very common disease associated with goldfish.

Buy a water siphon

A water siphon can be of great help in maintaining cleanliness inside the fish tank. It is for the purpose of cleaning the gravel in a tank. These water siphons suck all harmful particles which gather over the time. They should be used twice in a week. In fact if you have a water siphon you will not be required to change the whole tank water. However, it is still better to change at least 25 % of tank water every week for maintaining optimum living conditions inside your precious fish tank.

So you can see that maintaining clean and bacteria free environment is the best method of goldfish care. Follow the above mentioned suggestions and you will see how healthy your goldfish becomes.

Modern Health Care in the Age of the Internet and Social Medicine

Are we are all “medical citizens,” embedded as potential or actual patients, with our physicians, insurer’s, pharmaceutical companies, government bodies and others in a system of societal, moral and organizational stakeholders?

Today, with the advent of the Internet, High Speed Bandwidth, Social Media, Support Groups and Self Care Protocols, patients for the first time in the history of medicine have the ability to alter the outcome of disease and illness for themselves, family members, friends and significant others.

This essay attempts to address a most compelling issue of our time. Are medical self-help groups and self-care methods helpful or are they challenges to the delivery of traditional medical care? How do they differ and what consequences arise from this debate?

Also, how has the advent of the Internet and Social media transformed the landscape of medicine? What limitations may exist in this new era of information technology and social communication? And to what degree do they challenge traditional care models? Can a patient or their advocate become more of an expert on their own medical conditions than their own physicians? The answer to this question is a resounding yes, if the patient uses all the tools now available to them.

Various published estimates unanimously indicate that hundreds of thousands of patients die and millions more are injured by medical procedures gone wrong, medication errors or their side effects and by medications improperly prescribed or not taken as directed by patients. And it is not just the infirm that suffer, but their families, their loved one’s, friends and employer’s who must suffer with the grief and change of lifestyle that so often comes with these mistakes.

Furthermore, on May 8, 2013 National Center for Policy Analysis, in a release, stated that first diagnosis error rates are increasing at an alarming rate:

• An estimated 10 percent to 20 percent of cases are misdiagnosed, which exceeds drug errors, and surgery on the wrong patient or body part, both of which receive considerably more attention.

• One report found that 28 percent of 583 diagnostic mistakes were life threatening or had resulted in death or permanent disability.

• Another study estimated that fatal diagnostic errors in United States intensive care units equal the number of breast cancer deaths each year — 40,500.

Therefore, second opinions are often necessary precautions, as are third opinions when the first two differ. In fact, Medicare and insurers often pay for third opinions under these circumstances as it saves them billions in the long run.

Prudence dictates that the “medical citizen” must beware of these pitfalls, as their lives may depend on it.

Also, with patient reviews and rating systems available right on our own smartphones, we must question whether or not physician decision making is being compromised as well. For instance, a surgeon knows that his or her treatment decisions can possibly either result in either saving a life or ending it resulting in damning social media judgements, whether legitimate or not, which can then hurt their medical practices? Does this introduce a bias that may alter or cloud a doctor’s judgement? There is no data to provide an answer as of yet.

So, are doctors becoming more risk adverse as a result of this new landscape? Physicians are now being compensated more and more based on better outcomes, lower costs, reduced re-admission rates and other variables – not staff friendliness or less waiting room times which many doctor review sites measure.

Often 5 star rating systems get few patient reviews despite the fact that the average doctor has some 2,000 patient charts (most healthy) and while it is human nature to complain when we don’t get the outcome we want, consumers are less likely to praise a positive experience because we naturally expect top service and thus neglect to post a positive patient review yet are rather far more likely to post a negative review to retaliate against the provider. So patient reviews are not a very good or objective source of fair and balanced overall rating of a doctor’s performance.

How can this dilemma be resolved especially when a surgeon does everything perfectly but the patient becomes a victim of medication errors, poor nursing compliance with medical orders or perhaps contracts a hospital born infection, or some other adverse event out of the doctor’s control even if the doctor’s work is excellent? Nevertheless these doctor review sites often blame the physician. So Patients need better tools to make judgements about their own healthcare whether it be which plan to select or which treatment option to go with given a choice.

If a patient does utilize a rating site, they should make sure it is a government site based on huge amounts of data or a private site wherein doctors nominate other doctors for their excellence and would use these “doctor’s doctors” to provide care for their very own friends and loved ones.

Doctor reviews by other sites using stupid criteria like waiting room times, friendliness of staff, waiting room decor and other questions that have nothing to do with best outcomes accomplish nothing but make money for their operators.

In modern day, it is not unusual for patients to challenge doctors when it comes to illness and disease. After all, according to Tejal Gandhi, MD, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation and associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, “Preventable medical errors persist as the No. 3 killer in the U.S. – third only to heart disease and cancer – claiming the lives of some 400,000 people each year, at a cost of over a trillion dollars a year””.

Self-help groups and self-care probably date back to the dawn of civilization when people lived cooperatively in tribal settings. These groups dealt with all life issues related to the survival and political stability of the group. The dawn of medical ethics probably dates back some 2300 years with the publication of the Hippocratic Oath.

But now the game has dramatically changed due to major technological advances in medicine and with the great advances of the Internet now being the primary source of medical information for medical consumers. And with the explosion in social media, people have the ability to communicate and share information on a scale never before foreseen or imagined.

Add to this all the new stakeholders that have entered the fray such as insurance companies, employers, managed care organizations, Obamacare, biotech companies, governments and, of course, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare policy makers. The challenges faced by the medical citizen and social policy planners have never been so daunting.

Postmodern Medicine probably arose after the institution of Medicare in 1965 when Medicare was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson and third party payer insurance companies soon appeared thereafter. By the 1970’s the practice of medicine became the business of medicine and third party payment systems caused a surge in demand for services and the costs of healthcare delivery soared. Also, the debate over what is a disease and what is an illness now must be addressed in a sociological manner more than ever as it affects whether treatments are made available and what costs are covered by third party payers.

Self Help Groups are usually a group or set of people who all share or suffer from a similar malady which involves great personal cost and suffering for themselves and those who care for them.

Self-care is seemingly clear in meaning. We get a cut and we put a band aid on it. Have a headache, take an aspirin. But is it really so clear as pharmacy shelves that are now filled will medications that used to be available only by prescription and medical devices one can use for self-diagnosis and self-care which measure bodily functions and vital signs such as blood sugar levels, blood pressure, pulse oxygenation, etc. have resulted in patients self diagnosing and treating themselves, often without medical advice. Defibrillators are now a fixture in most large organizations where non-medical designated company personnel are trained and authorized to shock a worker’s heart in addition to CPR.

Supplies such as instant blood clotting powder, specialized bandages, diabetic compression socks that were not previously available in pharmacies, are now commonplace. But many of these products may do as much harm as good, if not used properly.

Self-care at least in many of its versions, usually includes some connection with the health care system, teaching people when they need a professional, how to do a self-examination and care for a condition without medical supervision. e.g. Changing wound dressings and bandages without the presence of a home care aid.

And with the advent of new and off-label use of FDA approved medications, televisions are awash with commercials advertising new drugs and therapies which espouse incredible benefits such as Viagra, which resulted in a stampede of male patients running to their doctors demanding buckets of the stuff, making Viagra one of the most profitable elective medications ever.

Television ads by pharmaceutical companies now target the consumer directly in order to create demand for their products, which can only be prescribed by a physician, are commonplace as well. Also, in fine print and muffled high speed speech, pharmaceutical companies attempt in these ads to disclaim liability for the fact that the medications advertised directly to consumers may have side effects that could seriously mess a person up or even cause death, while at the same time they are trying to get consumers to ask their doctors for these medications. This is a radical change in the supply chain and distribution of new pharmaceutical products and protocols.

So, what is a medical citizen to do? Turn to the Internet of course for information and Social Media discourse. The Internet is after all now the primary source of health and medical information as well as social communication.

Today, with over a hundred million American’s online with their computers, tablets, cellphones, and smart watches along with highly specialized apps, finding support is like reading a menu in a Greek diner. If can be hard to choose wisely.

The problem in discerning useful and credible information from garbage in, garbage out, or from commercial sites looking to sell goods and services targeting specific users based upon searches performed by the user and transmitted to advertisers via cookies and Flash Player LSOs.

Most people probably do OK and, undoubtedly, are using this resource responsibly. These resources can improve and maybe extend patient’s lives and allow them to find communities of other’s suffering from the same malady as them and can assist health care outcomes and help contain health care costs to society. We are now entering the world of virtualization, telemedicine, doctor and hospital rating websites and long distance robotic surgery as well as even fields like quantum medicine which seems like it comes right out of a sci-fi novel.

Where this will lead us in the future remains to be seen and cannot definitively be addressed in this essay.

This also leaves us with the issue of contested illness. As opposed to a disease, like a clogged artery that must be repaired with a stent in a catheterization laboratory by an interventional cardiologist, or an infection that must be treated with antibiotics by a physician, many illnesses are unexplained by traditional medicine, as opposed to diseases which are clearly recognized by healthcare providers. Illnesses are often easily dismissed by formal medicine resulting in denial of treatment or refusal of insurers to pay.

But the collective description of the same array of similar symptoms occurring among many thousands of individuals communicating with each other using self-help groups can lead to a change of heart in the medical establishment. Not to mention diseases that carry a social stigma with them where the patient is blamed for their own symptoms, like obesity, even though there are in fact diseases that cause obesity or depression, addiction and a host of illnesses that have not as yet been classified as diseases and for which there is no biomedical solution.

Online support groups can and have brought these conditions to the forefront, as in the case of fibromyalgia which is now recognized as a treatable disease, but for a long time was a contested illness dismissed by professionals as people too lazy to work or just seeking pain medication. What is certain is that online support groups provide people with opportunities to exchange information with each other and become experts on their medical problems.

Internet self-help groups are cost free and very effective. People helping people. It is a simple concept, especially in the age where the nuclear family is nearly extinct in western society, so people now seek out extended families. But self-help groups which are self contained and autonomous in theory are still predisposed to traditional group problems such as rivalry within the groups, inappropriate members, etc. They are also targets of commercial interests, for example when a user who does not know how to surf anonymously gets hundreds of cookies on the device they are using and then they start to receive unwanted ads by commercial interests or worse, spam and theft of private information.

Self-Help groups offer other benefits such as “Improved coping with Chronic Illness and Life Transitions, Friendship and Belonging, Spiritual Renewal, Increased Political Activism, Enhancing Civil Society and Reduced Healthcare Resource Use” (Humphreys, Keith, Social Policy, Spring 97, Vol 27 Issue 3 Pages 2-5)

That said, “social movements that consider themselves omnipotent and omniscient are often dangerous”. (Humphreys, Keith, Social Policy, Spring 97, Vol 27 Issue 3 Page 5)

You can bring a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. Many people are too set in their ways, too judgmental and have ulterior motives which can corrupt or disrupt the best intentions of the many.

Many medical professionals feel that patients playing doctor carries potentially serious risks as patients are not doctors or trained medical professionals. On the other hand, many would argue the same about professionals and professional groups which previously enjoyed unquestioned stature and in many instances took offense to being questioned or challenged.

But for a patient with a complex disease possibly accompanied by other co-morbid conditions, The Internet affords them unlimited access to research the latest medical treatments, pharmaceuticals and lot of other research that their internist may not be aware of.

With heavy patient loads a physician does not have the time to spend researching all of the worlds medical literature on new FDA approved medications and procedures. After a doctor sees a patient, often they don’t give that person’s situation another thought as they have 30 more patients to see that day plus hospital rounds.

But for the sick, if they have reasonably good intelligence and most likely they have much more time on their hands to research their specific disease or diseases that have devastated their quality or life, ability to work or career advancement, relationships all of which suffer, it is a logical assumption that with enough time and perseverance, the patient can find better treatment modalities or better doctors that can relieve most of their symptoms or possibly cure them completely.

If a patient remains docile, asks no questions, fails to review complex bills which even medical auditors cannot understand the billing codes used, then the patient will likely not receive the best possible outcome.

This issue has been thoroughly researched by the Institute of Medicine and the data resoundingly shows that informed patients consistently have better medical outcomes than patients that suffer in silence. The data is irrefutable!

So common sense dictates that patients should be proactive and learn as much as they can about their diseases or illnesses and work collaboratively with their doctors as a team, the goal being better medical care. Often physicians resist this in which case, a change of doctor may be in the best interest of the patient.

For example, mortality related to cardiac catheterization and angiography are significant enough that patients should be informed of the risks of death or major complications from the procedure or that there is an alternative called computed tomography angiography which can replace conventional coronary angiography in appropriate patients and is half the cost of the traditional procedure which is very lucrative for interventional cardiologists whereas computed tomography angiography is not. It is also a non-invasive procedure which will benefit those eligible at much less risk and a lower cost as well.

I am now speaking from personal experience because my own father, who died on Jan 26, 2006, suffered from complications that arose after a cardiac catheterization and angiography procedure that was unnecessary. A year prior to my father’s passing he had a stent placed in his left descending coronary artery which went flawlessly. Because my father was retired and living in NY he would visit all of his doctors prior to making his annual trip to Florida where he spent the winters in the sun.

This procedure was elective because his cardiologist suggested that the stent be checked before the trip. I should have known better and stopped him, since I was a patient and medical consumer advocate and researched and published reports for consumers and researched diseases for medical professionals for a living. The name of my company at the time was “Health Reports” a service of Multimedia Solutions Inc. a NY company I founded but due to later disability had to stop.

I accompanied my father on all of his doctor visits and when he went to the hospital he for this ambulatory procedure he was fine and he drove his own car to the hospital anticipating go home the same day.

His Interventional Cardiologist that did the procedure afterward said the stent was in beautiful condition but something went wrong because after the procedure my fathers extremities started turning blue from cyanosis. The doctor of course denied any relationship between the two events that happened within hours of each other.

The only possible conclusion that I could draw was that the catheter wire chipped of a piece of calcified plaque and lodged most likely in his lung as an embolism as he developed severe respiratory distress immediately after the angiogram. Now that had to be the greatest coincidence ever or a terrible medical mistake.

So a routine preventive screening where I was going to drive my dad home the same day turned into a week in the hospital after which he was moved into a step down rehabilitation facility and was expected to recover and go home.

On the evening before he was supposed to go home to continue his recovery at home, I visited him with my daughter and immediately saw something was very wrong.

Since there was only one doctor on the floor for about 50 adult residents, I practically had to physically drag the doctor to his room where his only suggestion was that he go back to the hospital. It took the ambulance 30 minutes to arrive to take hime to a major trauma hospital that was literally only a couple of hundred yards from where he was. I could have wheeled him over to the ER faster.

He died around 2 a.m. the next morning. They said he died from mesothelioma. I knew that was impossible because I never even heard the man cough once in his life or present with any of the symptoms of mesothelioma and I was in business with him for many years as well as his son.

Then, recently, when I was hospitalized in a Florida hospital for severe low potassium which was easily resolved over a few days of IV potassium infusion, a cardiologist walked into my room and said he wanted to do an angiogram just before my discharge, to check my stent that I had done a year earlier and I knew was fine and it literally became an argument because I questioned his authority. He finally admitted that the risk of death or complication during a cardiac cateterization were not insignificant. I finally agreed to a non-invasive Cardiac Ultrasound which showed absolutely nothing wrong.

And it had no relationship to why I was even in the hospital. I was released later that day and when I saw my regular cardiologist in New York, he called the other doctor a name I would rather not repeat and told me I may have saved my own life by contesting this man who I never saw before or since.

The odd thing is I only know this because I am an experienced Medical Literature Researcher but disabled.

Because too often patients are not informed of other treatment options for what ever ails them or for that matter the risks associated with many procedure options, because their doctors are simply unaware or don’t care or want to make the most money. Today, hiring an expert medical literature researcher is not a bad idea. And even a personal Patient Advocate which is a growing field for which no professional certification is required is a good idea if you can afford it because if your flat on your back and not in control and perhaps don’t even have family to help you, a personal Patient Advocate can be a good idea.

This is the new reality of healthcare. Its hard to be a practicing physician these days because of the rate of innovation, the problems of being a businessman, dealing with regulatory bodies, covering your hospitalized patients, litigation, etc. Many doctor’s can’t deal with it and quit medicine. And its getting harder.

Common sense also dictates that there is no longer a monopoly on medical information in this new era of instant information and mass communication and that transparency like revolution is a good thing once in a while.

In conclusion, as this essay attempts to address whether or not medical self help groups and self care alternatives are positive adjuncts or harmful challenges to medical care and how they contrast with one another as well as what consequences arise from such analysis, we can conclude with certainty that since the advent of the polio vaccine which brought about a tidal wave of medical advances available to help physicians cure disease, we are now in a new and ever evolving era of unprecedented advances in medicine, information and transparent social communication.

The costs of medical research and care have as a result of these advances skyrocketed to the point that medical resources have to be used in a more cost effective manner. Also, the issue of rationing medical care is one that social policy makers must give great weight to in their deliberations going forward since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The issues are so complicated that consumers have a very difficult time making decisions as to how to best care for themselves and their families. Just picking a health plan can be a nightmare for families and professionals as different plans at different prices can work towards a families’ benefit or detriment depending on their socio-economic status, health history and lifestyles.

If these developments aren’t enough to contend with, the current power of the Internet as a source of both information and now also a powerful social medium in which people can connect with one another on a mass scale must be viewed as a benefit in a system that needs checks and balances due to the entry of so many stakeholders some of whom do not have the patient’s best interests at heart but instead are motivated by greed or are simply incompetent in their professions.

Self help groups, self care and the ability of a patient, or a loved one or an advocate to be involved in the management of illness and disease must work dynamically and cooperatively with their physicians, within this new medical landscape because the genie is now out of the bottle and we can’t look back but must look forward to a system of patients and caregivers working as a team towards the goal of healing and improving the quality of life of our citizens.

So what does the future hold. The last 30 years have seen an evolutionary leap more like one would likely see in a century or more. Now with new technologies such as 3-d copying and printing, and computer aided manufacturing and new medical fields like quantum medicine which uses the principles of quantum physics to better understand biology the future possibilities are mind boggling. The Civil war was only 152 years ago. Since then mankind has progressed from a way of life that sustained civilization for some 200,000 years at an astronomical rate. Can we absorb so much change so fast?

Gene Roddenberry foresaw a future beginning in 2236, 220 years from now with the release of Star Trek which has creating a self perpetuating movement. So what is our destiny, the view of Gene Roddenberry or perhaps, James Cameron’s “the Terminator” where mankind sparks an extinction level event by accident or by terrorism. Only time and man’s ingenuity will tell.

By Stuart J. Goltzman January 2, 2016 10:40 PM Eastern Time

All rights reserved, reproduction without alteration is authorized.

Cited Works:

(Humphreys, Keith, Social Policy, Spring 97, Vol 27 Issue3 Pages 2-5)

(Humphreys, Keith, Social Policy, Spring 97, Vol 27 Issue 3 Page 5)

Acute Gout Treatment – 3 Essential Medications For Gout Therapy

Gout is the most common medical condition in relation to arthritis. Approximately 2million Americans suffer with gout and it is often associated with an inherited abnormality in the body to process uric acid. About 95% men and 5% women seek medical attention for acute gout treatment. The ultimate goal of acute gout therapy is to minimize or stop the initial pain and prevent future attacks.

Acute gout attacks are sudden and intense. The attack may lasts up to three hours. Subsequent attacks may occur weeks, months, and years later if the root of the attacks is not addressed. Reoccurring gout attacks induce severe damage to the joints, tissues and kidneys. This damage has been known to cause loss in mobility, in some cases. Initial gout attacks generally involve the big toe.

However, other joints such as the ankle, foot, finger, elbow, knee or wrist may also be affected. The gout attacks occurs during the night; waking the victim instantly. The affected area is red, warm, tender, tight and inflamed. The medical healthcare provider will immediately implement acute treatment in order to terminate attacks, to rapidly and safely relieve the pain and inflammation as well as to deter further complications (formation of tophi).

Initial acute gout treatment is determined according to the severity of the condition at the time of diagnosis. Furthermore, a patient may have other existing medical conditions that complicate gout therapy. With patient compliance, however, gout therapy can be successful without any complications.

Acute treatment often demands a stringent medication regimen along with life- style modifications. Specifically, during acute gout therapy, a healthcare provider prescribes certain medication and recommends a healthy eating plan that helps reduce the level of uric acid production and intake. The medications that are generally prescribed to treat acute gout are:

Non- steroidal anti- inflammatory drug (NSAIDS)

Initially prescribed at maximum dosage and reduced as symptoms subside. Used for pain and inflammation for at least 48 hours. Generally, the first medication prescribed for acute gout.

Colchicine

Medication used to treat acute attacks of gout while simultaneously preventing subsequent attacks. It is not effective for curing gout or lowering uric acid levels. Prescribed to prevent or relieve gout flares by reducing inflammation.

Corticosteroids or adrenocorticotropic hormone

Medication used for patients who cannot take NSAIDS or colchicine. Used for acute gout as an intramuscular injection (daily doses).

Taking these medications along with life-style changes reduces the risk of further complications that may occur from untreated acute gout attacks. Gout patients must eat a healthy diet that includes low purine- rich foods and adequate fluid intake. Acute gout treatment is successful if there is total compliance with the treatment plan that your recommends.

Everything You Need to Know About Remote Computer Support

Nowadays, people rely on their computers to do almost everything. They connect with others, keep up on the latest news, search the Web for information, work and even get their education online. So when something goes wrong with this precious machine, it needs to be fixed immediately or a loss of valuable time and money could be at stake.

It used to be that a computer repair tech would have to travel to your home or office to repair your computer if something went wrong that you couldn’t fix. However, now there’s remote computer support, which allows computer experts to access your computer from a different location. If you’re unfamiliar with the wonders of remote computer support, you may be insecure about a stranger accessing your computer from afar. The only way to ease your mind about this new technology is to learn everything you need to know about it.

First of all, what is remote access? If someone has remote access, it means they can access files and data from one computer from another machine from a different location. All that is needed is an Internet connection and the connection and software that is needed to hook up their computer and network to the remote service.

Remote access can be used in many ways. Firstly, an individual may use it to be able to access their own computer from any other machine. Companies may use remote access to allow their employees to access their systems while they are out of town on business. Also if a business has a remote access system, the business’s IT company will be able to troubleshoot the problem immediately. Many businesses hire IT companies that aren’t in the local area. If there is a problem that needs attention immediately, the IT techs may not be able to get there fast enough and the company may end up losing money. Even if the owner hires a local IT company that is close by, the remote access will still allow the company to begin working on the problem the minute they are notified. This comes in handy when the company revolves around working on computers and all work comes to a halt if the system fails.

There may be times when an IT tech needs to come on site to fix a problem, but if remote computer support and on-site support can have the exact same results, there no reason for a business to resist remote access. That way, the company is getting a faster response to the technical issue while also avoiding larger charges from an IT company that had to rush to the scene. Using remote computer support will keep the overall cost of technical support down. The company will usually just have to pay a monthly fee to use the service, which is most likely cheaper than costly emergency IT support services.

The only question left is security. Is remote computer support safe? We are all threatened by computer hackers and have heard the horror stories about Internet identity theft. Luckily, remote support is safe, but you still should have an exceptional security system to ensure maximum protection, especially when using online hosted solutions. IT remote computer professionals must connect to the customer’s computer using a user-ID and password. This means only the IT techs can connect, not just anyone. In many cases, the complete control of the system is in the customer’s hands. They can choose to end the computer repair session any time. Computer experts use automatic diagnostics plans to fix the problem first, then they can complete repair or maintenance work for the hardware or software if needed. Also remote computer repair techs will take their customers through the process of what they are doing to keep the customer informed and put their mind at ease.

Remote access services are increasing as computers and online services become even more part of our every day lives. It’s especially useful for businesses to use remote access to make sure their computer issues are addressed immediately. This makes sure productivity doesn’t suffer and the business doesn’t lose money. For individuals at home, you’ll no longer have to wait for days for your computer to come back from the repair shop. With how many individuals work from home, or are engaging in online education, it seems silly to not look into remote computer support to solve all your computer problems quickly and efficiently so you can get back to your productive life.

Don’t Buy a Provillus Hair Supplement Until You Read This Review First

Provillus™ hair supplement was created and distributed by the Ultra Herbal Company. It is a natural treatment for men and women suffering from hair loss, also known as Androgenetic alopecia. This hair supplement fortified with all-natural ingredients chosen for their ability to support healthy hair regrowth. Its unique formula gets to the root of the problem, help stop hair loss as well as re-grow your own natural hair.

Provillus is the safest and cheapest option to treat hair loss. It is claimed to be one of the top natural hair loss treatments on the market. However, like most health products, it may not work for everyone. In fact, nothing works 100% all the time for everyone because our bodies are far too different for the perfect cure to ever exist! Therefore, some users like it, and some users hate it, that is why it has mixed reviews over the past couple of years.

The true causes of hair-loss included hereditary hair loss, hormone surges or imbalances and serious health issues. Provillus can’t change your genetic history, but it can help with the hormonal causes. In addition, Provillus provides necessary nutrients to the whole organism, so besides hair loss, it strengthens the whole body.

How Does Provillus™ Work?

1) Provillus is a safe, natural hair supplement with no known side effects.It is an FDA-Registered hair growth formulation and has been clinically proven to regrow hair.

2) Provillus capsules with hair nourishment, to be taken one capsule every morning and night to supply your hair follicles with the nutrition they need to stimulate re-growth. As the hormones of men and women work differently, there are also separate supplements for both men and women.

3) Provillus was designed specifically to block DHT that causes hair loss, and strengthen existing hair follicles. These capsules contain a great deal of minerals, vitamins, and natural hair loss herbs, such as saw palmetto, biotin, pumpkin oil extract and many others. Saw palmetto has been clinically proven to check the accumulation of DHT on the scalp, biotin plays an important role in supporting healthy skin, hair and nails. And other ingredients help stimulate the scalp’s hair follicles.

4) Provillus requires no prescription because it is a food supplement. The manufacturer offers discreet shipping and billing anywhere in the world. It can be ordered discreetly online from the comfort of your home, so no one would know you are taking a product to treat your hair loss problem.

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Provillus Customers’ Reviews

1) Provillus has proven to be very effective on most customers and they continue to use the product once they try it for one or two month. Most of the users claim that it has really solved their hair loss problems.

2) Normally users only take 2 or 3 months for hair loss to slow down and start noticing new hair growth, but in some cases, some users may take up to 6 months to see noticeable results. Different types of bodies react differently; therefore results depend upon every individual because it related to your genetics, general well-being, and how much your whole being is affected.

3) Provillus claims to have no side effects, but if you do not follow directions and exceed recommended dose, it may cause conditions like itching, redness, dryness of the scalp. Possible more severe reactions like chest-pain and dizziness very rarely happen. Keep in mind that herbs have shown overwhelming evidence that they work, but do not mean that more is better. Please be sensible and patient, the procedure will take some time for your hair follicles to get re-organized and back into production.

4) Please note that if you are pregnant, nursing a baby, or have a chronic medical condition, such as, diabetes, heart disease, be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist first before taking any supplement.

Trainspotting Analysis

Trainspotting adapted from Irvine Welsh’s novel and made by the Shallow Grave team of writer John Hedge, producer Andrew Macdonald, and director Danny Boyle, giving us characters and moments that are unforgettable. Ewan McGregor plays Renton, an on-and-off heroin addict who can’t decide whether to clean up or regress in the company of his loser friends in working-class Edinburgh, and later in London. The film was produced in 1996.

Trainspotting in reality refers to a session of dark linear mark or track that is left in the veins after shooting heroin. The first thing is that heroin users mainline along their arms and inject up and down on the main vein. “Station to station,” they call it. For addicts, everything narrows down to that one goal of getting drugs. “Trainspotters” are like that, obsessively taking down the numbers of trains.

The five main actors in this film are all males and with a life threatening drug habit. Trainspotting can be classified under four different types of film genre including: drama, comedy, crime and drug culture. “Trainspotting” is classified as drama since it is a serious story due to the drug habit and several scenes that showed the real lives of junkies, and graphic images of injecting heroin. On the other hand it can be classified as comedy especially when Spud goes to an interview high on speed and other funny moments that are there to lighten up the seriousness of the film. This can be classified as black humour. Surely Trainspotting can also be out under the crime and drug culture genre due to the story in itself and the characters This film gives us a very vivid and real picture of a heroin addict’s every day routine.’Choose Life…’ the film’s most famous quote means a lot. Those portrayed in Trainspotting are the ones that need to understand choosing life; they are the ones that this phrase was penned for and who are these people living a life less ordinary? They are addicts in Scotland, living lives that are synchronized around getting what they need. For three of them, heroin is their mode of addiction, for another passivity, and for the last aggression. They are a mad quintet, pissing away lives that could maybe amount to something.

In the beginning as we are introduced to our humble narrator Renton (McGregor). We can see that he is on a road to nowhere, stealing CDs from a shop in hopes of making a little cash to pay for the next hit. His home away from home is a drug dealer’s apartment ( Mother Superior) where he is issued a regular platter of needle, spoon, lighter, and heroin beside his best mates Sick Boy (Miller) and Spud (Bremner). They are as troublesome as he is, though Spud is helpless in his addiction while Sick Boy is just there to compare metaphorical sizes.

Movies about drug addiction are certainly nothing new, but this film makes everything look different, almost like it is the first film to deal with the subject. Trainspotting is brave and frequently hilarious; it’s dark, smart and stubborn. It’s more than one of the best ‘drug movies’ ever made; it’s arguably the finest film to come out of the UK

Ewan McGregor plays the main character; Mark Renton. He introduces the film Trainspotting with an extremely energetic scene, the former scene accompanied by Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’, along with Renton’s sarcastic narration, which rejects our weak, mechanical existence in favour of the joys of heroin. Iggy pop is Renton’s hero. He even has a poster of him in his room. When he goes clubbing, we notice that his heroin habit has been going on for a long time as he doesn’t recognize any of the new songs at the club. Diane makes him notice this, and Renton starts to realize that heroin has taken so much out of his life.

“People associate it with misery, desperation and death, which is not to be ignored. But what they forget is the pleasure of it, otherwise we wouldn’t do it” He is undoubtedly appalled by society and the materialistic satisfactions it offers. He later compares heroin: ‘imagine the best orgasm you ever had and multiply it by a thousand and you’re not even there’ However, after a few minutes into the film he decides to quit heroin. The viewers may conclude that it is time to move on in life, yet he could not live life without heroin as we see through out the film his various unsuccessful trials at quitting his habit

Renton has a serious drug habit, and due to his unemployment must sustain is by shoplifting and petty theft. When he was on methadone, he had his ‘last hit’ and this resulted in an overdose. This simply shows an effort to avoid being compliant. In fact, it is this determined attitude which possibly explains heroin’s over Renton. He states, “We’d inject Vitamin C if they made it illegal”

Even though he manages to kicked his heroin addiction and starts a new life in London, his old circle of friends are not easy to get rid of and Renton ends up getting involved in a drug deal, and sells 4 kilos of heroin with his ‘so-called’ friends. Towards the end of the film, he betrays the others by escaping with the money. This shows the viewers that he decided to ‘choose life’, be ‘just like us’ which is a doubtful aim; the qualities of which the film questions the whole time

Renton is dreamy, sharp, troubled, and calm, seemingly all at the same time, and you never know where you are with him, as he never knows where he is with himself. It’s an understated portrayal of an essentially rootless character – yet a magnetic one.

Johnny Lee Miller plays the part of Sick Boy who is portrayed as a handsome guy who has the habit of talking nonsense and bombarding his mates with trivia about Sean Connery. He is a womanizing James Bond wannabe, who is highly intelligent. Sick Boy is the one who seems least affected by his heroin habit. In fact, when Renton tries to quit heroin, Sick boy does the same just to spite him In the film Trainspotting Sick boy is the one who trivializes heroin and seems to have no problems with his addiction contrary to the rest of the crew.

“The film only touches on the question of how far his persona is genuine or just social camouflage” . Sick Boy’s behaviour in the final parts of the film show how the death of his baby has affected him and made him more crime prone. He starts to deal in drugs, pimping and becomes an all round con. Renton states that when Sick Boy’s child passed away, something inside Sickboy must have died and never came back .

Later in the film, Renton escapes to London to start a new life, while Sick Boy and the rest of his friends remain in the Scottish capital. When he visits Renton unexpectedly, he immediately sells Renton’s television without consent and he also offers to sell Renton’s passport. Sickboy is so fixated with his new criminal career that he never even bothers to think about Renton’s feelings. “He becomes obsessed with developing useful contacts for that elusive ‘big deal’, and sticks a finger in any pie on offer” He becomes a manipulative pimp and drug-pusher at every opportunity and wouldn’t hesitate about taking advantage and manipulating anyone for the purpose of self-advancement. All through out this ordeal Sick boy remains as vain as always.

Tommy, played by Kevin McKidd, contrasts vividly with the other main characters. He is portrayed as athletic, finding pleasure walking in the countryside, weight lifting and watching football rather than making use of drugs. As the film progresses, there is a drastic change in Tommy, turning him into the worst of the bunch with a “rapid and fatal” descent .

Tommy’s relationship with his girlfriend Lizzie does not seem to be progressing well. The strain of finding their homemade porn film missing because Renton “borrowed” is the final straw for Lizzie and breaks off the relationship. When his efforts to patch up his relationship fail, Tommy falls in a depression and resorts to drugs. Sadly enough (black comedy), it is Lizzie, the very person whom Tommy loves that causes his death. With the increased use of heroin, Tommy contacts HIV. His initially clean and tidy apartment becomes filthy. His final tentative to regain Lizzie sees him getting her a kitten, which she refuses. Tommy is found dead due to an infection from the kitten’s faeces . This has a social connotation as HIV and AIDS due to heroin abuse was on the increase and booming in 1996.

Clarke considers this character’s story helps to create an ethical perspective in this film, giving the audience something to think about. Anyone can fall victim to drug abuse, even youths considered as ‘good’. Clark states that Tommy is portrayed as free from drugs on film whereas makes use of amphetamines in Irvine Welsh’s novel. This could be credited to the fact that certain individuals would prefer watching the film rather than reading the book thus the message has to be harsher to get across. The same can be said of Tommy’s behind-the-scene drug use. As the film proceeds, Tommy’s health aggravates thus shocking the audience. In the end, without Lizzie, Tommy “chose not to choose life” but heroin and death .

Begbie considers himself better than any of the rest. This is seen clearly when he lectures his friends after Renton narrowly escapes imprisonment , and trys to appear mature in front of Renton’s parents and when he claims that never would he “poison” himself with chemicals. Alcohol can also be considered as a harmful chemical to the body, but Begbie doesn’t see it as such. Begbie takes a commanding attitude when with his friends, for example in the final pub fight scene when he orders Renton to bring him a cigarette or during the hallucination scenes as well as during his stay with Renton in England.

Spud, the “amiable, childlike loser” as described by Clarke, is played by Ewen Bremner . Clarke considers Spud’s life as brimming with wrong choices, including his choice of drugs which is considered unsuitable to his weak character . During his six-week relationship with Gail, they never had sex. On the night she wanted to have sex with him, Spud was too drunk to do anything. On awaking in Gail’s bed the following morning, he finds the sheets soiled. Spud’s bowel contents end up smeared on Gail and her parents whilst eating breakfast .

Clarke compares other scenes from the film. Spud gets incarcerated for shoplifting while Renton emerges practically scot-free. Similarly, Diane sees Spud lying intoxicated under the pavement during the letter scene whilst the others appear lucid . Also, despite various threats, Spud is the only member of the group to be injured by Begbie. Nonetheless, it is inevitable for everyone to love Spud. The audience sympathise with him. Renton wishes he ended in prison instead of his friend. In the end, he leaves money only for Spud because he pities him.

Kelly Macdonald starring as Diane is young but wise beyond her actual years. This is shown especially when she deals with men. At first, Renton sees her at a nightclub rejecting the advances of a man by drinking both drinks and leaving, and secondly when Renton approaches her outside the club and responds to his weak chat with a coldly cruel speech that leaves him completely dejected. However, when she leaves the taxi door open for Renton to go in, it becomes clear that the negative response may have been purely a tool to create sexual power over him.

Later in the film, after a night of passion with Renton in her bedroom, Renton and the audience are amused and disturbed to see Diane changing from her silver dress into her school uniform. The audience understands the position Renton has found himself in. He ought to escape from this situation or else face the consequences since she is underage. However, Diane has once again the power over Renton in this situation because if she tells the police, Renton will face prison. She knows the law and blackmails him to meet her again . Diane also seems to be more knowledgeable about modern culture. In fact she emphasizes that shooting heroin, listening to Iggy Pop and the fact that Renton and the main protagonists are still in Edinburgh are outdated, “Times are changing, music is changing, even drugs are changing” .

Establishing sexual power over men is also seen in other women in the film. In a nutshell, Trainspotting’s male characters are ready to drop their usual secure façade and jeopardize embarrassment to fulfill their sexuality. The women in Trainspotting seem to be more than happy to coerce. For instance Spud’s girlfriend refused to sleep with Spud during their six-week relationship but she later admitted to Lizzy that she wants to sleep with Spud yet she loves watching him suffer. Lizzy is also seen as ridiculing and sexually controlling her men. She would not deny herself from having sex with Tommy since it is her only pleasure she gets from him. However, later in the film, when Thomas could not find the highly intimate private video, Lizzy was ashamed. She was so furious with him that she left him .

Alison, played by Susan Vidler, is a typical drug-craving mother. She is self-centred, completely neglecting her daughter. When the baby is found dead in her cot, Renton narrates that they did not know who father her baby. This furthers the belief that she is quite immature and lacking in morals, having sexual contact with all male members of the group. On discovering her daughter’s death, one of her initial reactions is to take heroin.

Mother superior is the group’s heroin provider. Although he is seen administering the drug to the friends, he himself is never viewed making use of it. Mother superior cannot be considered completely as friend to them because he ultimately wants money for the drugs he provides. However, when Renton overdoses, Mother superior calls for a taxi and provides money for it. This can be interpreted as a friendly gesture but also as helping Renton to avoid getting in trouble. Mother superior knows the different characters of the group. This can indicate that they have all be using drugs for quite a while, thus frequenting Mother superior’s place often. During the film, the characters are seen shoplifting to sustain their drug habit. The need to steal might have been initiated by Mother superior demanding hard cash.

The bond Renton has with his friends is just the common goal of shooting the next hit. When he is not on drugs he has to face reality, which is, maintaining relationships, meeting girls and everyday responsibilities. The film portrays what seems to be united group. However, there is a fear of Begbie because of his violence and alcoholic tendencies as well as him being the older of the lot. Sickboy, Renton, Spud and later on in the film Tommy all have a heroin addiction, thus their preferred method to solve problems is taking a hit. Begbie solves his by drinking and fighting. The group share stolen money and tend to shoplift in groups. When they go to the clubs, they party together. Still, in the end Renton calls the rest of the group “so-called friends”.

The relationship between Renton and Spud can be thought of the best within the characters. As mentioned before, Renton cannot help liking Spud. Renton is seen giving his friend hints before Spud’s job interview. Even though it is considered wrong, Renton offers Spud some speed to put him at easy. When both of them are caught shoplifting, Renton wishes he went to prison instead of Spud. In the same scene, he admits feeling lonely, although being surrounded with family and friends. At the end of the film, Renton felt sorry for Spud because he never harmed anyone or said a bad word about his friends. Thus, he left money only to Spud. This relationship is further supported by the fact that Renton asks Spud if they would take the money and go. Renton could have more easily grabbed the bag and left before Spud would have reacted in any way.

Renton has a good relationship with Tommy as well, thinking of him as one of his best friends. Tommy also considers Renton a friend by confiding with him the problems he had with Lizzie. Renton felt sorry for Tommy when he found his HIV positive friend living in a horrible, filthy apartment. He tried to make amends by giving money to Tommy to pay the rent. This relationship is somewhat ironic because Tommy’s downfall is caused by Renton when he stole Tommy and Lizzy’s video. From the beginning, Renton and Sickboy’s relationship does not seem strong. Renton is slightly jealous of Sickboy. This impression is born by the fact that Sickboy can easily overcome heroin just because Renton is trying to quit. Sickboy does not seem to have any problems dating girls in the disco scene whereas Renton did not like the females around him, except for Diane. Towards the end of the film, Renton states that Sickboy would betray him off as well if he thought about it first. Sickboy himself admits the fact.

Spud and Tommy are seen alone talking about sex a highly private issue since they both have a girlfriend. Their girlfriends also seem to be in confidence with each other. They are comfortable sharing problems: Spud – no sex in a six-week relationship; Tommy – forgetting Lizzy’s birthday. He had a ticket for Iggy Pop for the same night. When Tommy dies, Spud sings him a song. This little act shows how much Spud cared for Tommy. Begbie’s relationship with Renton is slightly contradictory. Begbie trusts Renton enough to confide with him when he went out with a transsexual without knowing at first. However, Begbie threatens Renton on several occasions, his aggressive nature taking over all emotions. Renton pleases Begbie mainly because he fears him. Renton tries not to oppose Begbie because he is “a psycho” At the end of the film Renton states that he did not care that he betrayed Begbie.

The relationship portrayed between Mother superior and Renton cannot be termed as a friendship because ultimately Mother Superior’s business consists of selling drugs to Renton and the rest of the group. Still their relationship runs deeper than the normal dealer-user relationship. Mother superior could have easily dumped Renton somewhere instead of calling a taxi to take him to hospital. However, some may doubt the gesture as generated due to friendship. The audience could believe that paying for the taxi is a little price to pay when compared to all the trouble Mother superior could get if found with a dead body.

Trainspotting could be described as conveying an anti-drugs message, which is portrayed through “character studies rather than a patronizing preach” This film presents its audience with more than one view of drug Throughout the film, the youth characters are frequently seen cooking heroin and injecting the latter into their bodies (, however it also portrays the pain, agony, melancholy and unhappiness that are derived from this drug addiction . One could say that this film is a warning about the fears and perils of drug addiction, mainly heroin addiction .

Trainspotting’s anti-drug message mainly lies within the film’s ability to illustrate and tackle the reason as to why young people are attracted to drugs. Furthermore the film’s power and success into presenting the audience with the negative results, damage and consequences that derive from this type of addiction convey this anti-drugs message more clearly. The film portrays these negative results and damages constantly throughout the film. The film and its characters enter a world of neglect, dieing babies, AIDS, anxiety, depression, boredom and hopelessness. Moreover the other anti-drugs message that derives from this film “goes beyond causes and consequences in explaining that serious drug abuse is itself beyond cause and consequences: Renton asks, “Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?” .

Trainspotting deals with the mid 80’s heroin subculture of Edinburgh, “when Pakistani smack had glutted the UK market, becoming, for thousands of ordinary people mired in unemployment, a cheaper means to oblivion than alcohol”. It analysis the likelihood of youth subcultures to surpass “their social class contect and form(ing) a class of their own” In this film even “nonravers” are portrayed as drug users, both in a literal sense (“state-sanctioned chemicals like alcohol or tranquilizers”) and in a metaphorical sense (“TV, videos, computer games, the adrenaline rush of football violence”) .

Hebdige (1979:100) maintains that “style is an intentional communication.” Barthes (N.D.) as cited in Hebdige (1979:100), differentiates between “subcultural” and “normal styles.” The subcultural style collects those insistent mixtures of clothing, music, jargon and so on, and nearly exhibits a corresponding connection to “the more conventional formulae (normal suits, ties, twin sets, etc.)”. The clothes that individuals wear are selected within the constraint of preference, taste, cost etc. Such choices embrace a wide range of messages, which are communicated through the delicately assorted distinctions of a number of “interlocking sets” such as status, self-image and class. Subcultural styles distinguish themselves from normal styles as “they are fabricated and they display their own codes,” and this is constantly portrayed throughout the film (Hebdige, 1979:100-101). Through the clothes worn by the characters in the films, they are portraying the message that they do not belong to the “normal culture” but they belong to a class or subculture of their own; “I speak through my clothes” (Eco, 1973 as cited in Hebdige, 1979:100).

Trainspotting can be described as dark humor, but junkies’ world over priced the film heartily. It’s a film that is mainly about people that do not want to belong. Trainspotting is not the first film about heroin, but the first one that is a ‘slap in our faces are both the grim realities of life at the tip of a needle and a freewheeling, pop-music-fueled glorification of the addicts’ smack-happy existence’ .

The Trainspotting soundtrack was wildly successful in the international charts after the release of the film itself, in the 1990’s. The music score is mainly composed of popular music. Sometimes the film takes the semblance of a music video, with conversation kept at a bare minimum. The scene and the soundtrack are complete and enough for the viewer to understand. This is used several times and for different purposes .

In the first ten minutes of the film, we are transfixed; watching as the anti hero Renton and Spud race through the streets and a voice over begins:”Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television; choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. . . .”

This litany goes on and then we get a view of Renton lying in heroin stupor and the voice over ends with:

“But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

Accompanying this powerful scene is Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’. ‘Lust for Life’, in which the lyrics, are markedly subordinated to Renton’s voice-over after the thumping opening few bars, so much so that the only lyrical fragments that can be heard are the opening line ‘Here comes Johnny Yen again…’ and the choral refrain (‘I gotta lust for life’). Incidentally, Iggy Pop is renowned for his past heroin abuse and is mentioned quite a lot in the film. The two eventually come to signify each other – Mark Renton is the central character of the film, and Iggy Pop is the most prominent artist on the soundtrack album. Iggy Pop’s music also lends a sense of rebellion to the film. We can notice Iggy Pop’s poster in one of the scenes too

Renton’s knowledge of new music is limited and this is seen when they go clubbing. Renton is ill at ease; he hasn’t been out for a long time and is not in touch with the current music scene. This is where we have the inclusion of the songs Born Slippy and ‘For what you dream of’. All this shows how Renton has been so wrapped up into his heroin habit that he is totally put of touch. The only song Renton recognizes is a song originally by Blondie called “Atomic’ (an 80’s song). The shift in emphasis is evident in Trainspotting itself as, although the musical character of the score gradually shifts from the proto-punk of Iggy Pop through to the more recent waves of dance music

Some of the music was recorded purposely for the film. For example Pulp’s “Mile End”, which accompanies Mark Renton’s moving into a London flat. The lyrics of the song describe the state of the flat he moves into:

“It smelt as if someone had died

The living room was full of flies.

The kitchen sink was blocked

The bathroom sink not there at all…”

Another song created by the group Leftfield for the film is ironically called ‘The final Hit’. Throughout the film Renton takes many of his so called final hits. It is mainly an instrumental track, with harmonic chords which contrast with a dark, almost overpowering rhythm track. The contrast between harmony and rhythm may represent Mark Renton’s mixed feelings at this point in the film – he desperately wants to give up heroin, but the feeling it gives him is too pleasurable.

As a whole the music used in the film is full of irony. For example when Renton is hallucinating that he is disappearing down the ‘dirtiest toilet in Scotland’, we hear a mellow piece of ambient music by Brian Eno, aptly called Deep Blue Day. The film takes a surreal twist here and we enter a world of soft sounds and images as Renton swims in a blue ocean. This all contrasts harshly with the reality of Renton digging into a filthy toilet to find his heroin suppositories, while he vomits uncontrollably

All of the songs in the soundtrack of Trainspotting have become significant to people who saw it and associate the songs to the film; to heroin. At this time, the term heroin chic was having great impact in the world. Heroin chic was a trend in the 90’s that characterized the “thin, sickly look of junkies. Blank expression, waxy complexion, dark circles under the eyes, sunken cheeks, excessive thinness, greasy hair” were seen on runway models showing the ‘heroin chic’ look and promoted in popular magazine and fashion circles as ‘chic’. This fragile, thin, and drug-addicted look was well-liked in the fashion world. In fact, in 1997 it was the basis of the advertising campaign of Calvin Klein. The heroin chic fashion provided debate and anti-drug groups protested. “Fashion designers, models such as Kate Moss and James King, and movies such as Trainspotting were blamed for glamorizing the heroin chic look and lifestyle”

Former US President Bill Clinton condemned the heroin chic look and the ‘heroin chic’ fashion photography for sending a message that using the drug is ‘glamorous’ and ‘sexy’. He said, “You do not need to glamorize addiction to sell clothes.” As he saw it, the glorification of heroin “is not creative. It is destructive. It is not beautiful. It is ugly. And this is not about art. It is about life and death. And glorifying death is not good for any society” Not surprisingly much of the mainstream press and the dailies were horrified by the apparent glorification of heroin use in the film Trainspotting. Junkies were presented as righteous heroes choosing freedom over the tyranny of consumer society. Suddenly all values were inverted as viewers and readers were invited to identify and empathise with low-lifes who would think nothing of spending all day watching telly and shooting heroin. Trainspotting helped a new morbid fascination with the drug heroin by portraying powerful role models in the movie. For years heroin has been very popular in the lives of young celebrities for example River Phoenix (who died of an overdose in 1992).

Trainspotting was a great hit and could be seen of more than advertisement than a film. Even years after the film was released, the film about heroin addiction is was of the best marketed films that portrays cultural images of the heroin subcultures. Trainspotting has received a cult following. The film addresses both the problems of heroin addiction from a user point of view to an anti-drug point of view. Trainspotting manages to shock us, terrify and disgust us one moment and make us laugh the next. Trainspotting does not really have a plot but simply follow the daily lives of this group of junkies

Drugs are the main focus of this film. In the 1990’s a new wave of music and drugs started to emerge. Heroin was seen as old-fashioned (Iggy Pop). With the film Trainspotting heroin was given the spotlight. Characters like Sick Boy and Renton became idols for rebellious teenagers who wanted to experiment in drugs, felt disillusioned, unattached from society. Trainspotting became the bible to this new generation of heroin junkies. They had a soundtrack and idols to emulate. On the other hand one could have viewed the film as it is; an ironic and cynical peep hole into the lives of a group of heroin addicts. The tragedy of the film is apparent to the viewer, but than it is up to the individual to interpret it.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both inflammatory bowel diseases which can be painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications. Common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, blood in the stool, ulcers, reduced appetite and weight loss, and fistula or abscess. Heredity and an abnormal immune system are believed to be the common causes of these conditions. Risk factors for these conditions are: an age from 20 to 30, white race, a family history, urban place of residence, and a history of smoking or of having used Isotretinoin. The difference between the two diseases is that ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of the large intestine and rectum in continuous stretches; whereas Crohn’s disease occurs in patches anywhere in the digestive tract, and often spreads deep into the layers of the tissues.

Since the system of Ayurveda classifies most diseases predominantly based on the symptoms, it categorizes both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the disease called ‘Pravaahika’, and hence these two conditions have been clubbed here together for a common overview of their Ayurvedic treatment. Treatment is aimed at correcting the basic pathology of the diseases, controlling symptoms, preventing or reducing complications and boosting the immune system of the body.

Treatment for the main symptoms includes medicines like Kutaj-Ghan-Vati, Kutaj-Parpati, Panchamrut-Parpati, Bilva-Avaleha, Sanjeevani-Vati, Bhallatak-Parpati, Jatiphaladi-Churna, Bol-Parpati and Bol-Baddha-Ras. Herbal medicines useful in these conditions are: Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis), Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum), Bilva (Aegle marmelos), Udumbar (Ficus glomerata), Hing (Ferula narthex), Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Naagkeshar (Messua ferrea) and Bhallatak (Semicarpus anacardium).

In order to prevent bleeding, medicines like Praval-Bhasma, Naagkeshar, Sphatik-Bhasma and Laxa (Purified wax) are used. Castor oil has been given prime importance in the treatment of these conditions; and therefore, products containing this medicine such as Gandharva-Haritaki and Sinhnaad-Guggulu are used along with other medicines. Refractory patients who do not respond satisfactorily are given a course of a special medicated enema known as ‘Pichha-Basti’ which consists of milk, boiled with medicines like Moch-Ras (Salmalia malabarica).

In order to reduce the intestinal inflammation and prevent complications like abscess and fistula, medicines like Kamdudha-Ras, Chandrakala-Ras, Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica) and Haridra (Curcuma longa) are used in high doses for prolonged periods. Medicines like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) and Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) are used to reduce stress. Suvarna-Parpati, Suvarna-Malini-Vasant and Panchamrut-Parpati are used to boost the immune system of the body and also to reduce the inflammation in the intestines.

It is important to note that adequate life style changes need to be made to adjust to these chronic conditions. Appropriate modifications are required in the diet, and adequate relaxation techniques need to be adopted. Butter-milk and pomegranate juice are specially recommended in both these conditions. Because of the potential for serious complications, all such patients should maintain a long term follow-up with a Gastroenterologist.