Polynesian Diet Strategies – 7 Tips to Help You Lose Weight Permanently

I am constantly amazed when I hear stories of Polynesians who suddenly passed away from heart attack, diabetes, and even colon cancer, at such a young age. My grandfather was very young when he died from colon cancer. My mother who is now 62 has suffered from a long history of chronic illnesses, arthritis, stroke, and now has diabetes. Outside of my immediate family, I see other Polynesians suffering from diet induced diseases, and I fear they will not live to see their grandchildren. So what is happening to our people, and what can we do to stop it?

I am going to give you seven of the best tips you can implement to lose weight, and get back your health starting right now, but first I want to tell you a little about myself.

I am a Polynesian male in my late thirties. I was born and raised in New Zealand to loving parents of six children. I came to the United States in the late nineties to attend school. After the first year of College, I had gained some extra weight, about 15lbs. No big deal right, wrong. As each year passed I was gaining more and more unsightly body fat.

This was extremely abnormal for me, since I was fairly active and played a great deal of competitive sports, such as rugby, basketball, tennis and volleyball. I have always had a good sense about being in shape and was growing frustrated at the elusive body fat accumulating day to day. I ignored it for a long time until one day I was flipping through some photos I just developed. I saw a shot of myself where my back was facing the camera. For a brief moment I was confused as to who that was. I didn’t even recognize myself. I was embarrassed and ashamed to realize that the way I thought I looked, and how I actually looked were completely different. Is this what people were seeing?

At this point I bought a pair of scales to assess the damage. After three years of denial I weighed a hefty 246lbs. I was stunned. This wasn’t the worst part. I was beginning to have bad chest pains, and experienced dizziness and shortness of breath. I felt tired all the time. I was also becoming more and more depressed. So what was going on? Well, in a nutshell, I was eating the wrong foods, at the wrong times, and way too much of it.

I decided I was going to embark on a mission, to lose 30lbs, after all how hard can that be right. I mean I am a hard worker, should be a snap. So I did what most people do, head out to the local gym, sign up for a membership and personal trainer, bought all the protein bars, shakes and supplements they recommended. I even subscribed to a fitness magazine and purchased products they recommended. All in all I had spent a small fortune in order to get started, but this was fine because I was really committing myself.

I spent the next 3 months working out with my trainer twice a week, and on my own four times a week, with only Sunday off. My workouts consisted of 35-45mins of cardio six days a week and weight training for 60 Min’s 5 days a week. At first I started to lose weight by 4-5lbs a week. I was really excited, then slowly but surely, it started to drop to 2lbs a week, then not even one. My trainer told me ‘we need to tweak your diet a little, and work a little harder’. Believe me when I tell you I was busting my butt to get in shape. There were days when I was the only one in the gym at 1.30am doing cardio. The cleaners would joke around saying I needed to pay rent I was there so much.

And then it happened, at my next weigh in day I had actually gained 2lbs. My trainer assured me this was muscle gain, and not to worry as the scales don’t distinguish between muscle gain, and fat gain, or muscle loss and fat loss for that matter. I was skeptical because I felt so much weaker. I couldn’t bench or leg press what I could 3 months earlier, and if I was really gaining muscle, shouldn’t I be stronger. It didn’t make sense to me. Nevertheless I continued on to the end of our scheduled training program. When all was said and done I weighed 227lbs. I had lost 19lbs, not bad, but a far cry from my goal of 30lbs.

The worst thing about it, was that I didn’t look much different, just smaller. It was discouraging to me to think I had worked so hard for 3 months and was still not happy with the way I looked. I was still flabby, still undefined, and still felt tired all the time, some days even more tired than when I was heavier. Then it dawned on me, the trainers at the gym had taken specific courses and certifications to help their clients get into better shape. Perhaps they were not specific enough for me. I started to pay a lot more attention to the things I ate, the types of foods, as well as how they affected me, even the foods recommended by my trainer which I had taken as gospel. Here is what I found.

1. Many of the carbohydrates I was eating, even the healthy fibrous carbs, had an adverse affect on me.

2. I could stuff myself with veges and fruits all day long and still be hungry.

3. I would eat less then 36g of fat a day for weeks and still be flabby

4. Eating the forbidden red meat made me feel strong and induced powerful workouts

5. Eating coconut, a food rich in saturated fats curbed my hunger, and accelerated my fat loss

6. Eating larger meals less often, gave me unbelievable energy, despite the accepted idea of eating smaller frequent meals.

7. Healthy grains, such as oatmeal, and wheat bread slowed my weight loss.

8. Cardio sessions left me feeling weak and depleted, and you guessed it, still smooth, not cut

9. Weight training energized me

10. All the protein shakes I was using were making me fat

11. White rice surprisingly did not

12. Although yams were sweeter than potatoes, they helped my progress, where potatoes hindered

13. I could eat a lot, and I mean a lot of fish, and still get lean

I realize now that there is a uniqueness to the Polynesian body and how many of the accepted laws and practices of the fitness industry do not apply to us.

Last year I travelled to Cambodia. While I was there I couldn’t help but notice how slender and healthy the people of that culture were, despite being a third world country, or perhaps due to it. Obesity was practically non existent, and I thought to myself there must be something to the way they eat. I really doubt the average Cambodian has a membership to Golds Gym, and I didn’t see them out running all the time. Many of them where just sitting around on the streets.

When I flew back to the US my first stop was San Fransisco Airport, and there was no mistaking being back in America. Eight out of ten people I saw were either overweight or obese. I thought more about the Cambodian culture. What did they eat so ordinarily that kept them in shape? Then it came to me. They eat the foods their bodies have evolved to assimilate. It was an epiphany of mass proportion. Once I realised this I could apply it to myself right. Well, I couldn’t have been more right.

I began to research more and more about my heritage. Where did I come from? Who are my parents? Where are they from? What did the people from that region of the world eat before the introduction of commercially processed foods? Now I was getting somewhere. It all led to genetics.

I researched several case studies from the early sixties concerning cultures from the isles of the sea. It was amazing to see the differences in what they ate and how they obtained their food. It was also sad to see how their health has plummeted as they have strayed from that food. It has long been understood that in order to discover truth, you must go to the source. Unchanged and untainted, it is the wellspring from which all knowledge will flow. Cheap imitations may mimic the truth, but from their fruits, they will be revealed.

What I am speaking of are fake foods, fake fats, fake sugars, engineered additives, harmful chemicals, and unnatural preservatives, powders, shakes, and meal replacements to name a few. All in all they eventually reveal themselves through unsightly bodies, crippling health issues, and the loss of quality of life. As soon as I started eliminating all processed foods, refined sugars, and all so called health foods, my fat loss skyrocketed. In just a few weeks, I had lost 14lbs, and the weight continued to come off. My energy levels were very high, and this made me more excited and motivated to exercise. Over the next 3 months I had lost a significant amount of body fat and a total of 38lbs not including the 19lbs I had lost working my butt off. Funny thing was that I was working out half as much as I was to lose those 19lbs, as I did to lose the 38lbs. I was really onto something. All in all I had lost a total of 57lbs.

One day at the gym, a trainer was blown away by how I looked. He had the audacity to ask me ‘what happened?’, as if I had survived a life threatening disease. He then asked ‘what’s your secret’, and I found myself caught in the irony of telling a trainer that my secret was diet and exercise. This was the same advice I had paid over $900 for three months earlier. If only that advice were the right diet, and the right exercise for a Polynesian. Well, back to genetics.

I discovered something very interesting about my heritage. My parents are from the Polynesian islands. My father was born in Lotopa Upolu, and my mother in Suva Fiji. Genetic mapping shows that these cultures have strong links to the indigenous people of Taiwan, and that they are more closely linked to this culture than any other. I thought, hm, seems plausible; Polynesians love chop suey, eat a lot of rice, love their fish, even eat it raw like the Asian cultures. All I did was eat more of the foods they would have eaten on those islands fifty years ago, and why, because these are the foods my body has evolved to assimilate, despite the fact that my diet can contain as much as 60% saturated fats. Yep, you read it right. I can eat a lot more fat and be lean and healthy if they are natural fats, but I cannot eat a small amount of sugar and get away with it.

I went on to discover many important aspects of health that are specific to Polynesians, which cannot be addressed in the scope of this article, but here are some guide lines to help you lose weight safely and permanently.

Tip #1 You must lower your carbohydrates and eliminate processed foods

Before the white man showed up on the islands, organic foods were called ordinary foods. Nothing was processed, and the work effort alone to provide food for your family would be enough to keep anyone lean.

Tip #2 Increase your fiber intake

Tip #3 Drink more water

Get rid of sodas, sports drinks, alcohol, diet beverages, and caffeinated drinks, with the exception of green tea. Polynesians can benefit a great deal from green tea as it has been used by their ancestors (Asians) for medicinal purposes for more than 2000 years. Can’t be wrong.

Tip #4 Eat more protein

Eat whole foods in the form of organic pork, organic beef, and fish. Hey this is the best part. It’s what we love and our bodies are designed for it.

Tip #5 Replace your olive, vegetable and corn oils with coconut oil

Although olive oil is highly recommended and a mainstay of most diets, last time I checked no islanders descended from Italians. Again believe me when I say, our bodies have evolved to assimilate coconut oil better than any other. Various studies show that although there is little nutritional value in coconut oil, many people lose weight by eating it.

In the islands coconut and coconut cream is used in everything. Sixty percent of the normal diet is comprised of saturated fat compared to the typical western diet of thirty five to forty five percent fat, yet the islanders had less heart disease and less blood cholesterol. Diabetes, and colon cancer were completely absent before the introduction of processed foods. Problems arise when you combine these high natural oil diets with refined sugars, and processed foods containing chemicals, additives and preservatives that wreak havoc on the typical Polynesian body type. Things like spam, and canned corned beef that use fake fats are dangerous, and should not be eaten.

Tip #6 Avoid these foods at all cost

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Refined sugar

Fake fats such as trans fats and partially hydrogenated oil

Artificial sweeteners and diet foods

Dairy

Soy products

If you are eliminating all processed foods you will not have a difficulty with most of these. Also avoid processed meats, such as bacon and deli meats as they can contain modified salts, sugars and dangerous nitrates.

Tip #7 Keep a food journal

You may be surprised at how much you eat, or how little. If you keep a journal, you will have an accurate record of how your body is affected by different foods. This is a very useful tool.

Obviously there are so many things you can learn that break down the very specifics of dieting techniques, but trust me, these simple techniques will work for you as they have for me. I have kept the weight off for six years now, and feel terrific. I do recommend that you do more research as I did, to learn everything you can about successful weight loss, and how it relates to you specifically. Don’t be disheartened by all the information that is available out there. A lot of the diet strategies and work out programs won’t work for us, but some of them will. Educate yourself, for knowledge is power. Nothing is more important than investing in your own health, and that of your family.

Migraine Relief – Essential Oils to Use & Methods of Application for Best Results

A synergistic blend of essential oils can be more effective for getting the results you desire than any single essential oil. The key pure essential oils I recommend you use in a blend for migraine relief, include:

Frankincense, Cypress, Peppermint and Lavender

LAVENDER ( Lavendula augustifolia ) – A universal first aid healing oil Lavender is highly scented and has a distinctly sweet floral-spice aroma that’s a little wild and woody.

Lavender is useful for relieving headaches, especially sinus headaches, or headaches related to congestion and poor circulation.

Lavender’s actions include: Analgesic (pain reliever), Antispasmodic (calms nervous and muscular spasms, tension, pain and indigestion), Restorative (helps to strengthen and revive the body systems), Sedative (soothing, tranquilizing, calming effect on the body, good for nervous tension, stress, insomnia, anxiety and palpitations) and Relaxant (causing relaxation, relieving strain or tension).

FRANKINCENSE ( Boswelia fereana ) – A powerful and enticing wood aroma that sweetly sparkles with freshness and a hint of spice. Traditionally Frankincense was used as an anointing oil as it was thought to possess miraculous powers to heal almost every conceivable malady.

Frankincense slows and deepens cellular respiration and has the characteristic effect of comforting and centering you during times of distress. Very supportive and comforting oil.

PEPPERMINT ( Mentha piperita ) – Peppermint is a fluid, colorless oil with a distinctly penetrating scent. Peppermint acts as a regulator and has a relaxing or invigorating effect depending on the circumstance for which you are using it.

Research has shown Peppermint to be effective for relieving Migraine headache! Also helpful for tension headaches when resulting from weak or poor digestive forces, congestion or sluggish circulation. An excellent Liver tonic!

CYPRESS ( Cupressus sempervirens ) – Cypress oil has a distinctly clean, fresh, woody aroma that’s light and clear with a hint of spice and is reminiscent of pine and juniper berry. Cypress oil stimulates blood circulation and is restorative and calming.

Cypress oil’s powerful astringent properties make it effective for strengthening and toning the cardio-vascular and nervous systems and for relieving tension held deep within the body.

Cypress oil is the essential oil most often used to strengthen and support healthy functioning of the heart and circulatory system. Its astringent action makes it effective for conditions associated with congestion of lymph or blood circulation such as migraine headache.

METHODS OF APPLICATION:

Both of these methods of application are effective for relieving migraine headache pain. Research shows that essential oils will remain in your bloodstream for up to 4-6 hours.

METHOD 1: Dispense 15 drops of your Migraine Relief synergy blend into a 1 ounce bottle of carrier oil, shake well and allow to synergize for 24 hours, or longer as time permits.

Dispense 1-3 drops of this Migraine Relief synergy blend in dilution, inhale and apply to your sinus points, chest, upper back and abdominal areas. The oils will enter through the neurovascular points located in these areas to effectively trigger your relaxation response for allergy relief.

METHOD 2: Direct inhalation – Dispense 1-3 drops of your pure essential oils blend onto a cotton ball. Breathe in their vapors for 30-60 seconds. Breathe in slowly and pause briefly on your inhaled breath. Then slowly exhale, letting go of any tension. Repeat this slow, rhythmic breathing five more times.

Aromatic oils stimulate your olfactory nerves which send a signal to your brain’s neuro-receptors, triggering numerous electro-chemical responses to promote balance in your nervous system and help relieve migraine headache.

Migraine Headache may be a symptom of Dehydration. Water plays an extremely important role in your diet and bodily functions. Many parts of the brain draw much of their energy from water. Water must be taken into the body in its pure, natural state, optimally drink half your body weight in ounces daily.

PLEASE NOTE: There are many cheap, synthetic copies of aromatic oils, but these are not recommended for therapeutic use. For best results purchase the highest quality oils you can possibly find. Use certified organic essential oils, or oils that have been tested and are pesticide free.

Holistic MindBody Therapy, including pure essential oils, are gentle, noninvasive complementary forms of health care for balancing and synchronizing your body, mind and spirit and a natural, safe and effective way to enhance your health and well-being. Alternative health care may produce satisfying results where other methods have failed. Please consult with your physician regarding serious health concerns and do not attempt to self diagnose.

Help! My Parent’s in the Hospital! 5 Steps to Take IMMEDIATELY When Your Loved One is Hospitalized

Have you gotten that call in the middle of the night telling you that your mother who is 2,000 miles away has fallen and is in the hospital? Has your father come for a visit and had a slight stroke? These circumstances can interrupt your everyday life and send you into a state of panic and fear. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO WHEN YOUR PARENT IS HOSPITALIZED IS TO PUT YOUR PANIC AND WORRY ASIDE AND SHIFT INTO WARRIOR MODE. Here’s what you need to do.

1. Don’t panic. It is natural to be fearful and overwhelmed when your mother or dad is rushed to the hospital. Accept your feelings as natural, but put them aside right away. YOU ARE YOUR PARENT’S BEST ADVOCATE. If you live far away, immediately call a friend who can go to the hospital and be your liaison on the ground until you get there. You will quickly get frustrated and angry trying to get information about what’s happening with Mom or Dad unless you have someone on the scene looking out for YOU and letting you know what’s going on. If you can’t get to the hospital, there are also elder care advocates like myself who can be your eyes and ears and fight through the system so your parent gets the best care.

2. Contact your mother or dad’s physician immediately. As a side note here, it is very important that your parent have a general internist physician (preferably a gerontologist if you can find one) WHO IS WILLING TO FOLLOW YOUR PARENT TO THE HOSPITAL IF NECESSARY. This is obviously something to arrange now, before any unforeseen hospitalization occurs.

Many hospitals now promote to patients a new system of “hospitalists” — these are physicians who only work at the hospital and don’t have a private practice. The problem with this is that your parent will be a new patient to the hospitalist and you might not have the same hospitalist every day. WHAT YOU WANT IS YOUR PARENT’S PHYSICIAN WHO KNOWS YOUR PARENT’S HISTORY TO VISIT THE HOSPITAL EVERY DAY AND DIRECT YOUR PARENT’S CARE! This is very important for the continuity of care for your mom or dad and for your comfort. A hospitalist might not pick up on something about your parent that his or her own physician would because of their history together.

3. Don’t be intimidated by the hospital system. The reality is that hospitals have their own protocols and systems which may work for them, but may not necessarily work for you! You land in a place that’s all new to you — and they’ve got the advantage. Do not be afraid to ask questions of the nurses, other staff or the physicians. Hospitals tell us that their mission is to take the best care of their patients, but the reality is the only person who will be looking out for the best interests of your parent is YOU or YOUR ADVOCATE.

When my mother was in the hospital, I walked up to the nurses’ station behind which about 10 people were chatting away, and the one who was sitting at the desk right in front of me refused to look up. I finally called out, Hello, anybody home? And they all turned in disbelief, but I got what I needed.

4. If possible, keep your parent in the hospital for THREE OVERNIGHTS. True, you do not have complete control over this, that’s why the presence of your parent’s own physician can be so important, but if your parent will have to go to a rehab facility or go home for therapy, and he or she is on Medicare, Medicare will only pay for follow-up treatment if your parent has spent three full overnights in the hospital. Not days, but overnights.

Don’t let them try to push Mom or Dad out too early. If it’s legitimate for them to stay in the hospital, make sure they stay. I had a friend who unfortunately did not know the three-day rule at the time, and her mother wanted to leave the hospital early. She needed therapy at home as the doctor prescribed but had to pay for it herself because she did not meet the three-overnight rule.

5. Manage the hospital’s discharge planner. Within a day or two of your parent’s admission, you will meet the discharge planner, whose job it is to arrange for where Mom or Dad goes and what help they need after the hospital. THIS IS VERY KEY — if your parent is going to have to go to a rehab facility, a skilled nursing facility, and the three-day rule is met, Medicare will pay for the best or worst facility. IT IS YOUR JOB AS ADVOCATE TO FIND OUT THE BEST FACILITY AND GET MOM OR DAD IN THERE! This will make a world of difference in their aftercare.

The discharge planner will give you a list of facilities in the area. They are not ethically allowed to tell you what the best ones are. Typically, they will ask you to pick three, and then whichever of those three facilities has a bed on the day Mom or Dad is discharged from the hospital, that’s where they’ll go.

BUT HERE’S THE CATCH — THERE MAY ONLY BE ONE GREAT FACILITY IN THE AREA. SO HOW TO GET THERE? First, you have to find it. Ask friends, families, colleagues. If you’ve hired an advocate, they’ll be able to guide you. If you’re on the ground, go visit the facilities. Ask for a tour of the skilled nursing facility. Talk to the admissions officer at the facilities you like. If one stands out above the rest, keep talking to the Admissions officer at that facility (you won’t know exactly what day your parent will be discharged) and tell the hospital’s discharge planner that you want your parent to go there.

This is so important and the trickiest part. When you find out (usually the day before) when Mom or Dad is to be discharged, call the facility (or facilities if you’re blessed to have several you like) and ask if they will have a bed open the next day. Some hospital discharge planners are wonderful, others are annoying and territorial. They may see you as interfering with “their” job. But put any concerns about that aside, and recognize that they are treading on YOUR territory, where Mom or Dad goes will make no difference to them, it will make all the difference to you. If there’s a bed open where you want to go, tell the discharge planner that day — tell them you’ve talked to the admissions representative at the facility, there’s a bed available, and you want Mom or Dad to go there. DO NOT GIVE IN AT ANY POINT AT THIS STAGE. YOU’VE DONE THE HARD WORK, IT’S TIME FOR MOM OR DAD (AND YOU) TO REAP THE BENEFITS OF YOUR INVESTIGATIONS AND ADVOCACY!

Remember, regardless of your past history, fighting for your parent at this time in his or her life when they may need you most, can become the most rewarding time of togetherness for both of you and lead to great healing, if needed, and joy. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Hopefully, with these tips in mind, you can focus on loving your parent to the best of your ability and not on the frustrations that come from navigating unknown waters.

Exercise for Sciatica – Sciatica Exercises You Want to AVOID!

When you are having acute disc-related symptoms like sciatica and/or severe low back pain, there are some exercises that should be avoided until such time as the major symptoms subside and the sciatica is gone.

The most important thing to avoid, particularly if you have sciatica is any kind of hamstring stretch. Hamstring stretches should be avoided with sciatica and other acute symptoms are present. The reason why you should avoid hamstring stretches is that although tight hamstrings are sometimes a contributing cause to low back problems, if you try to stretch the hamstrings when you are having acute disc-related symptoms, there is a tendency to stretch the sciatic nerve and its component nerve roots as well. If those nerve elements are already irritated, stretching them will only make things worse – often MUCH worse.

You may benefit from hamstring stretches once the nerve irritation subsides as part of a rehabilitation program, but wait until you are feeling better. Another type of exercise to avoid when you are having major symptoms is abdominal strengthening, such as with sit-ups or crunches (partial sit-ups). Again, although weak abdominal muscles do contribute to back problems, the time to start reconditioning the abdominal muscles is not when you have sciatica or major back pain.

Sit-ups and crunches increase pressure in the spine, and may greatly increase pressure on sensitive, already irritated nerves. Wait until your symptoms have subsided before doing any abdominal exercises, and start with the easier exercises discussed later in this article.

Replenish Nutrients Lost Through Alcohol Consumption

You had a wonderful weekend, but now you feel lazy, sapped of energy, and unable to concentrate. It’s because the alcoholic beverages you drank filled you up with empty calories and left you sapped of nutrients. For this reason, it is important to take vitamins and nutritional supplements to replenish nutrients lost through alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Consumption and Vitamin Depletion

Many of us spend our weekends enjoying ourselves, and the Monday blues set in by Sunday evening. Although it’s fun to release stress and tension by drinking socially, it is important to realize that excessive alcohol consumption can result in adverse side effects like vitamin depletion. When drinking socially, it’s easy to forget to eat properly. People often end up either not eating anything, or munching on popcorn or peanuts. This results in the intake of empty calories, which do nothing to nourish the body. The result? A body depleted of essential vitamins and minerals, which are important in maintaining good health. Heavy drinkers generally suffer from deficiencies of vitamin B, vitamin B1 or thiamine, vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid. Our body requires these essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in order to protect our organs and promote optimal functioning of our entire body. If a person does not eat enough of these vitamins and nutrients, his or her health will deteriorate.

Drink, And Still Stay Healthy

Although it is difficult to give up drinking, here are a few tips to help you ease your way into a healthier lifestyle.

  • Drink in Moderation: Excessive alcohol intake can be very harmful; it is for this reason that doctors advise drinking in moderation. One drink a day for anyone above 65 and 2 drinks a day for men under 65 is considered moderate drinking.
  • Maintain a Healthy Diet: A healthy diet and regular exercise can ensure that your body remains healthy, even while drinking occasionally. Therefore, eating a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fruits is a good idea. Vegetables are a rich source of vitamins and nutrients. You can also include dairy products, eggs, fish, liver, wheat germ, wholegrain products, and chicken in your diet. Avoiding junk food – especially fried fast food – can work wonders for your health. By balancing your diet according to these steps, you can help replenish vitamins and nutrients lost due to excessive drinking.
  • Take Custom Vitamins for Drinkers: Investing in custom vitamins could certainly work for you. Since these vitamins nutritional supplements are customized and prepared by taking into account your individual body composition, the chance of vitamin overdose or under-dose occurring is slim. Customized nutritional supplements are the best way to ensure that your body does not suffer much due to alcohol intake. Therefore, custom vitamins are a nearly surefire way to ensure that your body gets what it needs to stay healthy – even as you continue to drink moderately. For people who find it difficult to give up drinking entirely, but would like to improve their health, these tips can definitely help.

How to Find the Best Acupuncture Job

If you are an acupuncturist researching job opportunities around the U.S., you have likely noticed that there is a scarcity of options. When I graduated from acupuncture school, I searched high and low for job openings and was absolutely shocked by the lack of resources available for newly graduated acupuncturists.

This has to change! The time has come to do something about this, as it is just appalling that it many acupuncturists are going into debt over $100,000 from their education and are facing the sole option of building a private practice.

Now, let me just be clear on this one point: I DO believe that the real freedom, joy, financial potential, and power is found in building a successful private practice. Most of this blog is dedicated to helping practitioners do just that. Even if you find a good acupuncture job, it will still likely pale in comparison to benefits (financial and otherwise) of having a private practice.

Most salaried positions that acupuncturists can find are short-term solutions with long-term sacrifices. Building a private practice is just the opposite- short-term sacrifice for long-term gain.

I learned this lesson the hard way back in 2001 when I took a job in a chiropractic clinic right out of acupuncture school. I was getting paid $30 per hour and was initially thrilled about this, since I had never made that much before. But the harsh truth of the ‘real world’ kicked in shortly thereafter and stomped on my naivete, as I realized that the clinic was having me see all no fault insurance patients and billing out $250 per treatment. Given that I was seeing 3-4 patients an hour, I realized that the clinic was making $500-1,000 an hour off of me and paying me $30 of that.

Of course, this left an awful taste in my mouth, but it was really a wake up call to how business is so often conducted in our modern society. At the risk of sounding cynical, it has become increasingly clear to me that most employee positions (and I am not just speaking of the acupuncture profession here) are actually well-disguised forms of slave labor where a high degree of exploitation is evident when one probes even a little beneath the outward facade.

This is why I am so passionate about being an entrepreneur. I have had too many jobs in my life where I felt limited, taken advantage of, and stifled. I have come to face the truth that I am psychologically unemployable- and I now to see that as a very good thing.

With that being said, if you are looking for an acupuncture job, I absolutely encourage you to learn the marketing and business building skills you will need to build a private practice. You can leave your name and email in the field below to start getting the right foundation in this regard.

Okay, I will get off my soapbox now and say that I do see it as a positive for the profession if we can get more jobs created for new practitioners. I realize that a certain percentage of acupuncturists (perhaps the majority) are not interested in building a private practice and would much prefer to have patients handed to them, even if it means they have to compromise in certain ways.

WHAT IS THE SALARY FOR THE TYPICAL ACUPUNCTURE JOB?

I get a lot of questions from new practitioners about how much money they can expect to make if they do find a stable job in the profession. I would say this varies widely, but the average is right around $40,000 per year for a full-time position. I have seen some jobs out there paying less than this, and some paying quite a bit more.

A well-established private practice can easily gross anywhere from $130-400,000 depending on the fee schedule and the patient volume. Of course, it will take some time to hit this level of success in private practice, but it is totally accessible… IF you learn business development and marketing.

When you trying to figure out if your salary is worth your time, it’s helpful to break it down in a couple ways:

1. The amount earned per patient- If you take my example above, you’ll see that I was making about $8-10 for each patient treatment since I was seeing 3-4 patients an hour and making $30 an hour. In my private practice, I make $75 per patient and see the same amount per hour. You do the math. Crazy difference, right?

2. The amount made per hour- If you are on a $40,000 yearly salary and you work 40 hours per week, 50 weeks out of the year, you are making $20 an hour. Hey, if that works for you, no problem! But I KNOW that a lot of acupuncturists- if they are really honest with themselves- feel like they are worth a lot more than this. After all, the receptionist in your office is very likely making close to what you are in this situation… without going through 3-5 years of school and getting into possibly thousands of dollars in debt.

I know the information I am sharing here is harping on the pitfalls of the typical acupuncture job. I just want to make sure you go into this with your eyes wide open.

Now, there are good opportunities out there. I know that 2 of my coaching clients are currently looking to bring on acupuncturists and that any practitioner would be fortunate to work with these people. Let’s cover a quick list of factors that go into a good work opportunity for an acupuncturist:

– the potential to be mentored by someone who is experienced and successful- this is truly invaluable to your success as a practitioner. If you can learn directly from a skilled and smart practitioner, you will have a huge advantage if and when you step out into your own private practice. When I say ‘smart’, I mean from both a clinical and entrepreneurial perspective. It is worth a 50/50 split if the practitioner will teach you through their own example how to successfully treat patients AND manage a thriving business.

– aligning with someone who exudes integrity- being around a business owner who is on the ‘up and up’ in all facets of their practice is really inspiring and helpful. It makes you trust the reality that there are good, honest people out there in the profession… doing good work and making good money.

– having the support of a community environment- this is also an invaluable benefit to the new practitioner. If your ‘boss’ is willing to share case studies, co-treat patients with you, and collaborate in a team setting, you will learn the medicine so much faster than you otherwise would.

Where can you look for opportunities like these? Well, you’ll find the best opportunities by doing a lot of networking, contacting wellness centers and chiropractors in your area, and searching through the alumni pages on different acupuncture school websites.

Good luck and I hope you find the job of your dreams!

Neurodegenerative Disorders – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Neurodegenerative disorders form a group of diseases in which there is a progressive loss of structure or function of neurons or nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in progressive degeneration and death of the nerve cells causing problems with movement (ataxia) or with mental functioning (dementia). These disorders are characterized by a standard pathological process involving inflammation; oxidative stress; abnormal depletion or insufficient synthesis of neurotransmitters; and genetic mutations, causing damage to protein synthesis and premature cell death. This results in aggregation or deposit of abnormal protein clumps in various parts of the brain and spinal cord, and characteristic symptoms which help in identifying specific diseases. More than 200 such diseases are listed in this group; the commonly known diseases include Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Ataxias [including Spino-Cerebellar Ataxia (SCA)].

AD is characterized by cognitive impairment causing loss of memory; disturbance in reasoning, planning, language and perception; and behavioral changes. This disease causes deposits of fibril clumps of abnormal β amyloid protein known as senile plaques. This causes gross atrophy and degeneration of different parts of the brain including the temporal lobe, parietal lobe, parts of the frontal cortex, and the lingulate gyrus.

PD is a chronic and progressive movement disorder characterized by slow movement (bradykinesia), rigidity, resting tremor, and postural instability. There is an abnormal accumulation of protein known as Lewy bodies, causing death of dopamine generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain. Both AD and PD are usually associated with advanced age.

HD is an adult onset, autosomal dominant, inherited disorder characterized by involuntary movements, dementia, and behavioral changes. There is a loss of neurons in the basal ganglia and frontal and temporal cortex. The subthalamic nuclei send control signals to the globus pallidus which initiates and modulates motion. Weaker signals cause reduced initiation and modulation of movement resulting in the characteristic choreiform (repetitive, rapid and jerky) movements of HD.

ALS is a disease in which motor neurons are selectively targeted for degeneration. Motor neurons are nerve cells located in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord which serve as controlling units and communication links between the nervous system and voluntary muscles of the body. Motor neurons in the brain are known as upper motor neurons while those in the spinal cord are known as lower motor neurons. ALS is a rapidly progressive neurological disease affecting both the upper and lower motor neurons. There is a loss of voluntary control over arms, legs, and respiratory muscles. Muscle wasting, atrophy, and twitching (fasciculation) cause problems with movement, dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), dysarthria (difficulty in speech) and spasticity. Sensory function and cognition are usually well maintained. ALS pathology includes protein aggregates, mutation in the gene encoding the antioxidant Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD 1), and mutation in chromosome 9. The mutation first acts on the local astrocytes, which later causes a toxic effect on the entire motor neuron.

Ataxias are a group of neurological disorders in which there is degeneration and atrophy of the cerebellum, causing abnormal and uncoordinated movements, gait abnormalities, fine motor in-coordination, speech and swallowing difficulties, visual abnormalities, increased fatigue, and cognitive and mood problems. Ataxia types include episodic ataxia, idiopathic ataxia, ataxia telangiectasia, oculo-motor apraxia, vitamin E deficiency ataxia, and COQ10 deficiency ataxia. Freidrich’s ataxia is an autosomal recessive variety. SCA is an autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia. It has subtypes 1, 2 and 3; SCA 7 is a slightly different type where vision abnormalities precede the ataxia.

There is currently no cure for neurodegenerative disorders; conservative treatment is mainly symptomatic and supportive in nature. Vitamins and supplements are given to help reduce symptoms or slow down the rate of progression of the disease. Occupational therapy and physiotherapy are given to maintain muscle strength and tone. Medications are given to reduce anxiety, induce sleep, reduce pain and twitching, increase blood supply to the brain, and to help balance neurotransmitters.

In this scenario, Ayurvedic treatment has a special role to play in the comprehensive management and control of neurodegenerative diseases. Preclinical and clinical studies have conclusively shown that herbal medicines bring about autoimmune modulation and neuro-protection; reduce inflammation in nerve cells; reduce mitochondrial damage; and possess antioxidant properties.

Ayurvedic treatment is therefore very useful in improving general body immunity as well as specific immunity of the nervous system. Ayurvedic medicines strengthen the nervous system and bring about immunomodulation where there are definite signs of immune mediated damage. Herbal medicines reduce abnormal protein synthesis and aggregation, and help remove abnormal protein deposits. These medicines also help reduce nerve inflammation and help repair and reduce demyelination. Ayurvedic treatment helps improve muscle strength, tone, and neuromuscular coordination; helps rebuild damaged nerves and damaged and dysfunctional parts of the brain; modulates and halts programmed cell death of nerve cells; reduces and reverses mitochondrial dysfunction and genetic mutation; and also helps reduce damage due to the hereditary component of nerve degeneration.

Currently, scientific treatment of neurodegenerative disorders with Ayurvedic medicines is still in the infancy stage, with drug regimes being planned more on a clinical basis to treat functional impairment. This approach is reaping good dividends; affected individuals – with a previous lack of response to all medications – have started improving at a significant pace. Hopefully – in the near future – specifically targeted treatments will emerge, which will treat and reverse damage in specific parts of the nervous system. This will help expedite treatment results, and identify uniform treatment approaches, which in turn will help reduce the devastating effects these diseases have on affected individuals, and hopefully bring about a complete remission.

The Best Health Insurance Telemarketing Script

Developing a working script is one of the essential elements of any health insurance telemarketing strategy. While many companies that provide telecommerce have scripts available its advised that you create your own script, at least as a reference so you are getting the qualified prospects you want. There are many reasons behind this including:

  • You understand your prospects and their needs much better than another script creator ever will.
  • General scripts might have been used by the competition and potential customers could have previously heard them.
  • The script will be designed to generate qualified prospects you want, and will not include extra questions which are irrelevant to your needs.

Even though it is important to use a script made just for you there are a number of approaches that can be used to enhance sales.

  • Uncomplicated scripts are generally the most effective telecommerce scripts. The prospect has to know why you’re calling and why they should be interested within several second of getting on the phone.
  • Get to the point promptly, do not go with your entire sales pitch on a cold call, stick with the essentials.
  • Keep the goal of the call in mind when creating the script. If you are generating a lead or setting an appointment that should be the objective of the call. Nothing else should be included.

Here is a basic script outline you can follow:

Hi, This is NAME with XXX Insurance Company and we are a local health insurance broker here in your city and we specialize in saving individuals like you a lot of money and improve your medical coverage. With all of our plans you get to keep all your current doctors!

Rebuttals to common questions:

  • This isn’t a sales call, we just want to verify some of your information and get out a free quote that can save you money on health insurance.This will only take a couple minutes and could save you thousands of dollars.

I just need to ask you a couple quick questions so we can make sure you are qualified and get you out the lowest rate quotes with the best coverage possible:

  • Are you currently insured?
  • (If yes) who do you currently buy your health insurance from?
  • What is your age?
  • Do you use tobacco?
  • Is there anyone else to be covered with you on the quote? (Wife or kids)
  • What is the best email to send the quotes to?

Thanks for your time. We’ll have one of our agents call you back with an updated health insurance quote, have a great day!

Once you have your script finished its not set in stone. It can require some changes based on the telemarketer’s feedback to get things running smoothly after the calls start to be made. Its also important to write rebuttals for frequently asked questions that callers might be asked.

Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction Due to Over Masturbation

Over masturbation can cause several sexual problems and erectile dysfunction is one of them, effective treatment for this problem is required to avoid problems in relationship. Inability to gain sufficient stiffness in the male reproductive organ during lovemaking or losing erection before ejaculation is referred as erectile dysfunction. This problem can occur due to many psychological and physical disorders and also due to unhealthy sexual behavior like over masturbation. Almost every male faces an occasional episode of erectile dysfunction once in his life time which is normal but frequent occurrence of this situation can cause problems and hurt a male’s confidence and self esteem.

Masturbation requires similar hormonal, mental and physical activities inside the body as required by normal lovemaking, but people fall in the habit of masturbation and start doing it excessively, this over doing, cast ill effects on the body and causes problems like erectile dysfunction. Over masturbation causes weakening of parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for holding erections for sufficient duration and keeping semen locked. Weak parasympathetic nerve can disallow erections to hold and initiate problem of erectile dysfunction. Hormonal imbalance caused by over masturbation due to frequent stimulation of sex hormones also promotes problems of erectile dysfunction. Swelling of prostrate gland and swelling of tissues in the shaft can also initiate this problem by hindering normal process of erection and these ailments can occur very easily in the body of a male habitual of over masturbation.

Symptom of erectile dysfunction is the occurrence of problem itself, when a person fails to achieve erection on regular basis in proper environment for lovemaking is suffering with this problem. There can be other factors which can also contribute to the occurrence of this problem like change of place, lack of time, fear of pregnancy, change of partner, strained relationship, and mental tension. If erectile dysfunction occurs in the absence of these factors regularly and person is in habit of over masturbation then treatment for the problem is necessary.

The primary treatment to the problem is to bring down the frequency of masturbation within 2-3 times a week and avoid any episodes of arousal by erotic thoughts, fantasies, sexy pictures and movies. Take Shilajit or Ashwagandha as supplement or in organic form as both of these herbs are natural and mild aphrodisiac and posses variety of properties to cure and alleviate sexual disorders occurring due to over masturbation. Ashwagandha is also called as Indian ginseng due to its strengthening and revitalizing properties, these herbs are good hormonal balancers too.

Gingko biloba is also an excellent herb that cures sex problems and problems related to erections like erectile dysfunction, weak erections and increasing duration of erections in males, however its dosage shall be decided by an expert as it is considered as strong herb. Intake of more ginger in the diet also helps as ginger is an excellent anti-oxidant which promotes blood flow all over the body. Taking hot water tub bath can effectively relieve irritated prostrate gland to make the herbal treatment more effective.

Infertility In the 1960’s, Horrors and Miracles – My Personal Story

I was a teenager during the middle of the last century. Those were the days before support groups. Sensitivity towards other people’s problems did not seem to be uppermost in people’s minds. And personal matters were mostly kept hidden. As you read this story, you will find many instances of insensitivity that are, thankfully, mostly unheard of today.

As the 1960s opened, the role of women in our country began to change. The discovery of the birth control pill allowed many women to put off child-bearing in order to build careers. The feeling of empowerment over their bodies spurred many of them to make their voices heard in a rapidly changing society.

At the end of 1963, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy first stunned and then energized both men and women in my generation to jump head first into changing the world. As the Vietnam War dragged on throughout the 1960s, men and women protested the war loud enough to bring down President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

With women’s new-found empowerment, many shunned traditional marriage in favor of establishing communes where men and women could live a “free love” lifestyle. (I recently met a man who was born in a commune and had no idea who his dad was!)

It was during these rapidly changing times that I, an undergraduate student at Stern College for Women, took my place in the world as a young married woman. I was 19 years old! My husband, Hershie, age 22, was a graduate student at Yeshiva University. We lived in the Manhattan neighborhood called Washington Heights.

Our world is The Orthodox Jewish World. In the 1960’s, neither women’s liberation nor building a major career were on my agenda. I wanted my voice to be heard, but I wanted to do it in the context of my Orthodox Jewish life. Childbearing was at the top of my list!

By the age of 21, I discovered that I had an infertility problem. Today it is called PCOS. Regular Ob-Gyns in the 60’s were not used to dealing with the new field of “infertility,” so it was suggested that I see the physician who had delivered Jackie Kennedy’s babies… a physician to the rich!! I timidly arrived for my appointment during which I was in total awe in the presence of the doctor who had tended to the First Lady!

Jackie’s doctor suggested that I undergo a major surgical procedure called Wedge Resection. They would cut a wedge of cysts off both ovaries in order to make a clean surface for new eggs to emerge. I was horrified! The thought of surgery terrified me.

I put thoughts of surgery out of my mind as we graduated and moved back to our home town, Pittsburgh, PA. I began teaching Kindergarten at Hillel Academy, and spent a great deal of time “doctoring.”

I underwent every test that was available in those days… the ones I can remember were called Hystero-salpingogram and Coldoscopy. Birth control pills began to be used for infertility patients, but researchers were inexperienced in regulating the estrogen and progesterone levels in the pills, and I became very ill after only one pill.

Every month brought disappointment. Ovulation was measured daily by taking body temperature. Pregnancy could only be determined by blood tests. There were no Rapid Pregnancy or Ovulation Tests in those days. Waiting for those test results was excruciating and ultimately devastating.

Seeing pregnant women was a nightmare. And sometimes women would make insensitive remarks about my not having produced a child yet. One of my physicians asked, “Why are you bothering with all these tests, etc, you’re never going to have a child!” After such incidents, I would run home crying. Even today, 45 years later, that remark still stings!

Because I knew that G-d has a plan for everyone, I never asked, “Why Me?”, but, except for the time I spent teaching, I felt very sad and empty. It took my physicians 2 more years to mention Wedge Resection surgery. By that time I was 24 and ready for the surgery.

Truth be told, this surgery saved my life. One of my ovaries was so laden with cysts that it had to be removed completely. The Dr. said that it could have, at any moment, from the weight of the cysts, twisted in any direction, which could have cut off my circulation! But to me, an infertility patient, the worst news was that the other ovary was also so polycystic that the doctor was only able to save 1/5 of that ovary. I went into surgery to be able to have children and came out with 1/5 of one ovary! My Mom heard the news first and was in shock, although the doctor did assure her that a woman can conceive even with only a small piece of an ovary.

Another year passed and nothing happened. I was beginning to feel desperate. With no support groups, there was nowhere to seek the comfort of others who were experiencing the same pain. And I was surrounded by babies, babies, babies!

As 1966 dawned, something most amazing happened! A well-known fertility physician from Wales took a position at Magee Hospital in Pittsburgh… the late Dr. David Charles. At that time, Magee, a teaching hospital, was beginning to develop a world-class Fertilty Department. The moment I entered his office, I felt his warmth and optimism. I was especially encouraged when, after examining me, he announced, “young lady, you WILL have a baby!”

Who would have imagined that Dr. Charles was one of only 12 physicians in the USA who were doing clinical trials on a newly discovered drug called Clomephene. (Today it is called Clomid… which, to my knowledge, has made Wedge Resection surgeries extinct.) Dr. Charles determined that I was a good candidate for success with Clomephene and asked if my husband and I would be okay with the chance of multiple births. That question was a no-brainer!

In December, 1966, I became pregnant! The first seven months of my pregnancy were blissfully uneventful. During my 30th week, I got out of bed in the morning, looked down and saw blood on the floor. My mind could hardly comprehend what I saw.

By the time I got to the hospital, I was already in labor with a suspected placenta previa! There were no sonograms in those days, so I was prepped for a C-section before Dr. Charles, in front of about 25 medical students, examined me to determine, for sure, if his suspicion was correct.

Yes, it was a placenta previa, but Dr. Charles determined that there was enough space for my tiny baby to slip through. The next step was to try to stop the labor. I was immediately hooked up to intravenous alcohol.

The waiting began. Since I was the first placenta previa in the Clomephene Clinical Trials, I instantly became a statistic! But my labor would not stop. As I was being bumpily wheeled to the delivery room (no birthing rooms in 1966!), a medical resident stopped the gurney and announced that he wanted to try to determine the size of mybaby. The resident proceeded to prod and push my abdomen. (remember, there were no sonograms in those days!) He declared, insensitively, that from the size that he could feel, my baby only had a 50-50 chance to live!

Really? Seriously? Are you kidding? Am I not already under enough stress? If I would have had the big mouth then that I have today, what I would have said to him would be unprintable!

The delivery room was prepared with an incubator and a pediatrician. The team was ready.

A short while later, my tiny son slid (literally) into the world. He weighed 3lbs and 1 oz. It was June 20, 1967. As Dr. Charles pulled him out, I closed my eyes tightly. Dr. Charles insisted that I look at my baby. I told him that if, G-d forbid, the baby didn’t make it, I couldn’t bear going through my whole life with a picture of him in my mind. Dr. Charles insisted that I open my eyes… and since, once again, this was many years before I developed my big mouth, I looked at the baby. What I saw was terrifying. He was so tiny. How could he survive? I was traumatized.

The baby was instantly whisked away in the incubator to the NICU and I was wheeled into the recovery room.

The next thing that happened would absolutely NOT happen today: In the recovery room a nurse came in, announced that she was giving me a shot to make sure that I would not produce milk. I was too shocked from the events of the day to even evaluate what she was saying. Even though breast feeding was discouraged during that era and pumping and taking milk to the hospital was totally unheard of, I had absolutely intended to breast feed my baby. With that injection, all hopes of breastfeeding were dashed.

In the late 1960s, no family members were allowed to touch their preemie in the incubator. Day by day, we stood in front of the glass window of the preemie nursery watching our tiny baby being fed through a feeding tube and attached to what seemed like zillions of tubes and wires. Believe it or not, I was afraid to take pictures of him in the incubator because I was afraid that the flash from the camera would affect his eyes!

After 2 long, agonizing months, our baby tipped the scales at 5lbs, 8oz. That was the release weight. The day before his release, I was invited into the nursery to hold and feed my baby for the first time. It was surreal. My baby was 2 months old and this wasmy first physical contact with him. When I think of it now, I could cry.

2015 Update: Our tiny preemie is almost 47 years old and has a Ph.D in Molecular Genetics! He is the father of two teenagers and loves to tease me by saying that any emotional issues he has… comes from the fact that he wasn’t touched until he was 2 months old! I laughingly thank him for the guilt trip, but I still feel sick as I wonder what the medical community could have been thinking in those days. Better not to dwell on it.

During the following ten years, Hershie and I were blessed with 3 more sons and a daughter! Child #2 was also a “Clomid” baby. The joke after that was that we had finally found the “on” button… with no help from medication!

Hershie and I thank G-d every day for the amazing Blessings that He has given us!

Children! Grandchildren! During the 1960’s, could we ever have imagined such Blessings?!

We pray that all of you will be recipients of these same wonderful Blessings!

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Liquid Medicines Over Tablets And Pills?

Every person needs to take medicine at some point in their life and the normal format usually comes in the form of a pill or a capsule. Patients who find it difficult to take medication, like very young patients or older patients are given liquid forms of the medication. Most people are aware of the liquid OTC analgesic formulations for babies and toddlers, as well as the liquid cold and flu remedies marketed for adults, but few realize that it is possible to obtain alternative formulations for many prescription drugs when the patient has trouble swallowing pills. As always, when taking any medications, whether they are sold by prescription or over the counter, care must be taken to make sure that there will not be any adverse side effects when two or more medications are taken concurrently. You always need to tell your physician and pharmacist about any medicines you are currently taking.

Normally, individuals who take their medications in the form of pills or capsules do not have any difficulties in swallowing the medicine. These may come in several different sizes that range from fairly small to others that are rather big. Sometimes patients have trouble swallowing because of a condition called dysphagia. This condition may develop when one is young and persist throughout life, or it may develop later in life, brought on by an illness or condition that impacts the ability to swallow. When this happens, the best thing to do is to consult with the physician or pharmacist to find out if the prescribed medication comes in a different form, such as a liquid, that would be easier to swallow. There is a lengthy formulation and development process that drugs in a liquid formulation must go through prior to being prescribed for utilization by patients. This is because it is essential that the drug is evenly dispersed throughout the formulation. Liquid formulas frequently state on the label that the bottle needs to be shaken up before ingesting the medicine in order to ensure that the medication is evenly distributed and has not settled at the bottom of the bottle.

It is necessary for the design of liquid formulations to be a bit different than that of tablets so that the patient receives the proper amount of medication without imbibing large quantities of liquids. In addition, it must include an additive that masks the taste of the drug, which is frequently quite bitter and foul tasting. Normally, the average dose is not more than 5 millilitres for children, but adults usually need to take the medicine in a higher dosage. Normally the medication comes as a syrup, mixture or solution and includes sweeteners and flavouring agents to disguise the drug’s taste. Frequently fluids with a thicker viscosity are utilized so that they are not as likely to be spilled or inhaled in error. Additionally, it might have other ingredients that help the drug to stay in the liquid, which will ensure that the drug is going to be effective.

A special measuring spoon comes with liquid medications to ensure that the proper dosage is administered every time. A recent study revealed that when the special measuring spoon was not utilized, the dosage size could vary greatly due to the fact that teaspoons are not made in standard sizes. If you learn that you cannot easily use the spoon that is provided to you, ask your pharmacist for a special medicine cup or an oral syringe so that you will be able to measure the proper dosage correctly.

There are a few basic steps to follow when taking liquid medicine:

1. Be sure that you are aware of the dose you will need to consume.

2. Measure the dosage into the spoon, cup or syringe with care

3. Once the dose has been administered, clean the dispenser thoroughly so that it will be ready when the time comes for the next dose to be administered.

4. Be sure to store the bottle properly; some drugs, like antibiotics, may need to be refrigerated.

A medicine dispenser can be greatly beneficial for any medication that needs to be taken long term. These pumps are designed to fit into the medicine bottle and dispense a specific amount with each pump. These devices will make it easier to provide a correct quantity of a liquid medication when it is administered, especially at night when the lighting may be poor and in situations where dexterity or vision problems are present. Any issues should be discussed with your pharmacist or doctor.

Proper storage of medication is essential and any instructions with regard to the dosage and timing of administration must be followed exactly. In addition, any old medication should be taken to a pharmacy for proper disposal.

What is a Pharm Party? Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse

A time tested drug culture is on the rise among teens that may further influence their younger siblings and it’s called Pharming (farming) which is slang for pharmaceutical. This is the leading path which walks kids down the road to Pharmaceutical Drub Abuse. Teens are gathering in both big and small numbers for Pharm Parties, which could be happening in your own home. If you think this couldn’t happen think again. It’s true, it’s rising in popularity among teens and you need to be in the know to keep your teen’s safe avoiding substance abuse and addiction.

Considering the difficulty adults have admitting it could touch their family is dangerous because it sets the stage for an innocent teen to think just this one time won’t hurt. Well it can and the peer pressure is great. Any unprepared kid lacking prescription drug facts is prone to think it’s harmless. Prevention can keep you from later seeking intervention and treatment. Protecting you and your child with the power of knowledge will eliminate future rehab, detox and recovery from drug abuse by taking a good honest look at this troubling reality on the rise.

SWAP PARTIES

Teens spontaneously commonly gather whenever a place comes available, this is not rare. While you may have hung out with friends at an arcade after school, your kids may be pharming. There are numerous latch key kids who have regular access to parentless homes while still at work. They gather there experimenting with prescription drugs. Where do they get them you may wonder, everywhere that’s where? It’s the hunt for drugs that is part of the fun challenge a sport if you will. Discarded or forgotten prescription drugs are found in the houses of family, friends and your own home. Teens pocket handfuls of prescription drugs left in medicine cabinets, bathrooms, old purses, suit cases, carry on luggage and on it goes as these kids get better at the hunt, the game!

WHAT DRUGS

OxyContin is a popular drug that kids compare to heroin. The drug is crushed and then injected, snorted and often blended with marijuana as the drug stakes continue to rise. Oh and yes, Ritalin is commonly used and compared to speed in people who do not medically require the drug. It is more commonly referred as skippy and most often taken orally. Teens are expected to score more drugs as the swapping of drugs done at pharming parties creates a debt between them and the other kids who provide them with drugs. A bond is formed and a cult like band of drug addicts takes hold and develops.

DRUGS

These drugs are easily available the demand to find them is too great and bigger than you know, kids get creative. They do so with a great ease as few parents imagine this could be happening to their otherwise bright and gifted child.

– Keep all prescription drugs under lock and key.

– Keep track by marking on the bottle what’s left after each dose.

– Open a dialogue anytime a teaching moment presents itself.

– Don’t be harsh, just matter of fact.

– Point out commercials and the adverse side affects.

– Mention you’ve heard about pharming.

– Explain the damage from popping pills.

– Let your child know they are valuable and have a bright future.

If your kid shows special interest in prescription drugs consider it a red flag. It may mean a friend has talked to your child about trying it. This child may be abusing these drugs. Give you kid the facts and do so casually, without alarm or lecture, kids tune lectures out. Remember the teachable moments. Pharming and Prescription Drug Abuse awareness teamed with knowledge empowers you and your teens to be drug free.

Tinnitus Treatment – Allopathic Medicines Versus Home Remedies

Tinnitus is a medical condition of ringing sounds in the ear with no external involvement. It can be a symptom of some underlying medical condition. The tinnitus causes include ear infection, head and neck injury, exposure to loud noises or effects of drugs. The root cause needs to be identified for the proper treatment of ringing sounds in the ear. There are different treatment methods available, but the natural home remedies are the best alternative tinnitus treatment as they do not create any side effects. To an extent, tinnitus prevention is possible by avoiding the causes.

The proper tinnitus causes can be found out by evaluating the medical history, physical examination and the results of lab tests. All the patients with a persistent ringing sound in the ear will be advised to go for a hearing test.

The regular treatment for tinnitus includes eliminating the cause, medical treatment and surgery if needed. Medical treatment for tinnitus includes administration of anti depressants or anti anxiety medication which has many side effects. Dry mouth, urinary retention, weight gain, constipation, sedation, abdominal pain, anxiety and inability to achieve orgasm in males are some of the major side effects of these medicines. Considering all these ill effects, it is better to rely on home remedies for tinnitus. These remedies are biological sources. These time tested ways to stop the ringing problem in ears does not cause any harmful effect to your body. Below are some of the simple and best practices to treat tinnitus;

1. Keep out of loud noises.

2. Putting 2-3 drops of Ginkgo biloba in your ears for 2 weeks is the best alternative treatment for tinnitus.

3. Karnapuran is an ayurvedic treatment which is considered good for tinnitus.

4. Tinnitus prevention is possible by reducing the use of salt, sugar and saturated fat.

Vitamins For Menopause – The 5 Most Important Ones

The natural changes in your body during menopause can cause a few troublesome symptoms that disrupt your day, or keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. A healthy lifestyle with nutritious meals and regular exercise can help alleviate these symptoms, but vitamins for menopause are just as crucial to finding relief. Existing studies show that these five vitamins ease the body’s transition to menopause so that you don’t have to suffer the excruciating symptoms.

1. Co-enzyme Q10: For Aging Gracefully

Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a popular buzzword in nutrition these days, and for a very good reason. This vitamin-like substance is needed for cell energy production; without it, you experience decreased energy levels, faster aging, and increased vulnerability to disease. Although the liver can produce enough CoQ10 for the body’s needs, its ability to produce this substance declines steadily after the age of 20. Current research shows that CoQ10 can increase energy levels, normalize blood pressure, and relieve headaches caused by menopause. Some studies also suggest that CoQ10 reduces the risk of heart disease among menopausal women. CoQ10 can be obtained from broccoli, spinach, and peanuts, as well as supplements from health food stores.

2. Vitamin E: A Powerful Antioxidant

Have you ever wondered why vitamin E has long been lauded as one of the most important natural antioxidants? That’s because it is made up of eight antioxidants working together to protect the human body. Doctors noted that eating foods rich in vitamin E can reduce the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol that forms blood clots responsible for strokes and heart attacks. Some studies also suggest that the vitamin E alpha tocopherol can reduce hot flashes and restore vaginal moisture. The recommended dose of vitamin E for menopause is 600-800 IU. Take with caution if you have a history of hypertension.

3. Vitamin C: For Menopausal Stress Relief

Stress is a constant element of modern living, especially if you’re the kind of woman who likes to take on multiple challenges at once. While your work and family life can be fulfilling, do try to take a break every once in a while. A stressed-out body can lead to adrenal fatigue, a condition where the adrenal glands produce high levels of cortisol. Although cortisol helps the body survive if released occasionally, too much of this stress hormone can interfere with your body’s hormone production, which will only make your menopause symptoms worse. On days where you have too many things on your plate, take vitamin C to combat adrenal fatigue. Vitamin C is well known for its immuno-protective properties, but it is also the most important nutrient for adrenal health. Not to mention that the more cortisol is produced, the more vitamin C is used. To restore adrenal health, take around 1,800 – 2,000mg of vitamin C a day.

4. B Vitamins

Did you know that the B vitamins are critical to a woman’s diet during menopause? Vitamin B6 can reduce mood swings and depressive symptoms because it aids in the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for mood and happiness. Vitamin B5 works well with vitamin E in reducing night sweats and insomnia. And vitamin B12 raises the body absorption of the mineral magnesium. Get your B vitamins from a high quality multivitamin formula.

5. Calcium/Magnesium: An Essential Supplement for Menopause

The relationship between low levels of calcium and insomnia has long been observed by doctors. Do you know why a hot glass of milk before bedtime can help put you to sleep? Calcium induces relaxation, reduces tension, and triggers the secretion of sleep hormones. But all the calcium in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t have enough magnesium in your body. Magnesium is required to pull calcium into the bones and to distribute them to parts of the nervous system. Without magnesium, calcium cannot be utilized as efficiently. According to the National Health and Nutrition Survey, almost 60% of adults don’t consume the recommended daily allowance of magnesium in their diets. Magnesium deficiencies are known to cause anxiety, irritability, sleep disorders, and calcium depletion. Since both minerals are so closely linked, experts recommend that menopausal women take calcium and magnesium supplements at a ratio of 2:1.

Hyperpigmentation of the Skin – Treatment Strategies

Hyperpigmentation simply described is a focal area or patch of darker pigmentation on any area of the skin.  Special cells in the skin called melanocytes naturally produce melanin – the pigment which your body uses to create skin and hair color.  The production of melanin is under very sophisticated and tight control but is influenced by a wide variety of biological and physiological factors.  When there are too many melanocytes attracted to a given area, or if they are overactive, overproduction of melanin occurs and hyperpigmentation results.

Understanding what hyperpigmentation is may be simple but it is far from a simple problem.  A full medical history and physical examination must be the foundation for any treatment plan for hyperpigmentation problems.  A working diagnosis is also extremely important for developing the best strategies.  Not all hyperpigmentation is the same.  Hyperpigmentation can be associated with certain medical problems and conditions.  Different forms of hyperpigmentation will respond better to different types of treatment.  Always consult with your physician expert in cosmetic skin care.

Without question, every treatment plan will include minimizing sun exposure.  Sun (UV radiation) avoidance, sun protection and sunblock will always represent the simplest and most critically important part of any plan for the treatment of hyperpigmentation.That’s because nothing stimulates melanocytes and melanin production more than UV radiation exposure. And pigment stimulation is the last thing we want when we are treating hyperpigmentation!

Resurfacing techniques – topical home use “peeling” agents (e.g. alpha-hydroxy acids, lactic acid, retinoids), office microdermabrasion, office chemical peels (e.g. glycolics, trichloracetic acid or TCA) – are commonly employed  in most treatment plans dealing with hyperpigmentation.  Resurfacing eliminates dead or dying pigmented surface skin cells (keratinocytes) allowing the less pigmented, fresher, new skin cells to be revealed at the surface.  Resurfacing also stimulates cellular growth and turnover from the deeper levels of the skin, further assisting the skin in its shedding of pigmentation and the pigmented keratinocytes contributing to the hyperpigmentation.  Certain types of lasers can also be used along these lines.  But be careful – laser therapies can also cause hyperpigmentation!  A series of 5 to 6 in-office chemical peels performed weekly, combined with a customized at-home regimen of topical agents can be quite helpful.  Our skin care center’s aestheticians have found that a series of once a week Obagi Blue Peel Radiance® (glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid) peels in combination with the use of the Obagi-C® Rx (vitamin C, hydroquinone) system at home can be very successful.  A series of in-office microdermabrasion treatments are an alternative option to the office peels.

Below is a list of some currently available topical agents (brighteners, lighteners, whiteners) which are often used in the war against hyperpigmentation.  You will find that many of these compounds are combined within a single product.  Combinations of methods and the use of multiple ingredient topical agents seem to work better than any single mode therapy or single topical agent.  However, no single agent seems to work as well on hyperpigmentation as hydroquinone does alone.

Alpha lipoic acid– Weakly inhibits melanin production.

Aleosin– Derived from the Aloe Vera plant. Weakly inhibits melanin production.

Emblica fruit– Weakly inhibits melanin deposition.

Licorice extract– Active ingredient is glabridin (also known as glycyrrhiza) which decreases melanin production.

Daisy flower (Bellis perennis) extract– Decreases melanin production.

Willow bark extract– A beta-hydroxy acid; a resurfacing (peeling) agent which helps to shed dead skin cells, remove surface pigment/pigmented keratinocytes, and reveal brighter, fresher layers underneath.

Acetyl Hexapeptide– Decreases melanin production.

Pelvetia canaliculata extract– Derived from seaweed. Decreases melanin production. Blocks UV radiation damage to DNA.

Watermelon fruit extract– Blocks UV radiation damage to DNA.

Kojic acid– Derived from mushrooms/fungi.  Also a byproduct created during the manufacturing of Japanese rice wine (sake).  Decreases melanin production.  Also decreases number of dendrites (the connecting bridges melanocytes use to inject melanin pigment into the skin cells around them).

Azeleic acid– Found in barley and other grains.  Primarily used as an anti-acne agent but has the “side effect” of decreasing melanin production.

Hydroquinone– Works by decreasing/blocking melanin production and by decreasing the number of viable melanocytes in a given area.  Well known as a major component in photographic developer for film and paper!  The only actual “bleaching” agent recognized by the FDA.  Available as less than 2% concentration as OTC, up to 4% concentration or more as prescription.  In 2006, the FDA revoked its previous approval of hydroquinone as an OTC pending further study because of concerns regarding its absorption and potential carcinogenicity.  Ochronosis – the appearance of bluish/black skin discoloration spots – is another concern and a recognized potential unwelcome side effect that may be seen with long-term use.  Final FDA decision on all this is still pending.  Irritation reactions are very common and occur in ~25% of patients starting use of hydroquinone – a small spot test area should be tried first.  True allergy to hydroquinone is rare.  Hydroquinone treatment makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight and all other potentially irritating skin agents/treatments.  Precaution should be taken accordingly.

Arbutin (Bearberry)– A “natural” form derivative of hydroquinone.  Decreases melanin production.

Beta carotene– Decreases melanin production.

Gluconic acid– Binds copper (micronutrient needed for melanin synthesis) leading to decreased melanin production.

Paper mulberry (Mulberry extract)– Derived from an Asian tree root.  Decreases melanin production.

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)– Decreases melanin production.  Can be irritating to the skin.

Norwegian kelp– Decreases dendritic transport of melanin.

N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG)– Decreases melanin production.

Niacinamide– Decreases dendritic transport of melanin.

UPA (undecylenoyl phenylalanine)– Decreases melanin production.

Steroids– Decrease irritation/inflammation of the skin, limit irritation from other products used in combination therapy (e.g. hydroquinone), also decreases melanin production.

Retinoids– A family of resurfacing (peeling) agents which are vitamin a derivatives.  Retinoids help to shed dead skin cells, remove surface pigment and pigmented keratinocytes, and reveal brighter, fresher layers underneath.  Streamlines “easier” absorption of other agents into the skin when used in combination therapy.  Decreases melanin production.  Increases skin cell turnover and promotes growth of plump, new skin cells up from the deeper layers further forcing the elimination of the older, pigmented cells which are contributing to the hyperpigmentation.  Probably the most widely used: Retin-A®.