Argan Oil And Cactus Oil Are The Two New Revolutionary Natural Skincare And Haircare Products

Organic Argan Oil from Morocco

It is obtained from the nuts of Argan tree.

The argan tree’s low cultivation region of 700,000-800,000 hectares in the South Western part of Morocco makes it a unidentified class to many individuals. The Argan tree’s nuts are crushed to receive very useful oil. The leftover part is used for uses like oxen feed and for warming.

Berber women of the district have been producing and using argan oil since centuries for eating as well as Moroccan medication purposes.

Citizens abroad are more and more interested in this oil either for its cosmetic and nutritional qualities. The argan tree has reasonably a long life of about 150 to 200 years due to its resistive property. The Argan tree has very well modified itself to thrive and outlast in the hot and dry conditions of the South Western regions of Morocco. In order to search for water Argan plant’s roots penetrate quite deep within the ground to look for water which in a way in rather beneficial to keep the soil intact, check soil erosion and restrict the progress in the desert area. Argan tree not only maintains the proportion of the nature but also help the people financially. In 1999, UNESCO added the argan tree to the World Heritage List.

More than a third of the Argan trees have vanished in less than 100 years. The Argan tree have fruits that are green in semblance. They look like an olive but are bigger and rounder. There is a stiff shell nut between the fruit which is about one fourth of the flesh yield weight. The argan fruit nut may have a utmost of three kernels which is the source of Organic Argan Oil

The process involved in producing argan oil are very grueling and time consuming since they are done manually by man. The processes involved are to get the nut of the fruit and then break the hard shell to gather kernels. The kernels are roasted by heating them mildly and then grounded in a stone circular quern.

Subsequently the kernels were hand-mixed with mild water to form a dough. It was from the dough that had been extracted that the oil would be obtained by hand. Currently mechanical presses are being introduced to pull argan oil. The purpose of mechanized presses alternatively of manual job has saved a lot of time in producing 1 litre of oil. The mechanical presses are deployed to do abrasion and extraction once the kernels are roasted. The storage life of the obtained oil is much longer as water is not added to the dough and also extra oil is extracted. Cracking the nuts, the procedure which takes a elongated time is still performed manually. No heat or solvent is used during the extraction of the oil. The Moroccan Argan oil is slightly darker than olive oil and has a fruity flavor.

Moroccan Argan Oil

Moroccan oil is processed from the fruit of Argan tree which grows solely at very few places in the earth. This tree is native to Morocco. The advantages of this oil for skin maintenance have been known to the female from Morocco as tree originates in Morocco. Nowadays, research reports have also established that argan oil is rightly. Benefits of Argan oil for skin:

The normal use of argan oil makes the skin softer and at the same time eliminates number of skin problems. The use of it offers number of benefits and some are highlighted below:

It has components such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E which are antioxidants. The oxygenation of the cells aided by the components in argan oil helps shrink importantly the impact of free radicals. The components within the Argan oil acts as a level to look after the skin resulting into the nutrients for the skin come back into the cells.

It is a very much good skin moisturiser. Argan oil, as a moisturizer, is known to be more advantageous than other items such as oilve oil and shea butter. it behaves this way since no cholesterol is present in the oil. Wonderful measure of fatty acids are there in argan oil.

Moroccan oil is proficient of controlling the process of sebum, an oily element released by the oil glands present under the skin. Sebum can increase greasiness of the skin and this can be unpleasant to humans with oily skin. it can reduce this oily look of the oily skin.

For acne related ailments, argan oil is known to be reasonably effective as it has disinfectant properties. The application of Organic Argan Oil

decreases skin redness and soreness. It has qualities for curing skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and others.

It is efficient in maintaining the balanced pH level for the skin. It can also protect the skin from the sun, pollution, tension, smoking; all of which have bad effects on the skin.

it is beneficial in masking the gross scars caused by skin disorders such as acne, chicken pox, and in a few cases scars left after burns.

Aging has the effect of making skin firm and generating wrinkles on the outside surface of the skin. Skin gets rehrdrated with the repeated use of argan oil and that effects into fewer wrinkles, more supple and firmer skin. Because of its anti-aging compounds, it works for filling skin deficiencies and at the same time get rid of wrinkles.

Throughout maternity, extend marks appear on the stomach as the skin loose its real flexible characteristics due to over stretching of the skin. Throughout pregnancy, the use of argan can make skin more supple hence reducing stretch marks on the skin surface.

Mineral makeup incline to dry up the skin with usual Utilization of such a merchandise. Such a difficulty can be prevented with the help of argan oil. All you have to do is to utilise one or two drops of argan oil on the skin 5 minutes before utilization of mineral makeup. Argan oil will keep the skin hydrous and no more dry skin.

In addition to its utility for skin, Moroccan Argan oil is also helpful for hairs and nails. Fragile nails can get back their effectivity with the use of argan oil. It helps to withdraw dandruff and forbid hair loss.

Argan Oil Info

It comes from the nuts of the Argan tree (Argania spinosa).

Since Argan tree is simply discovered in Morocco’s South Western part,very few persons are conscious about this tree. The nuts of the Argan tree are broken to get a oil with a lot of advantages. The remaining is used to feed the oxen and nuts shells for warming.

For centuries, Berber women of this area have produced argan oil which was used for their ingestion and traditional Moroccan medication.

People abroad are more and more concerned in this oil either for its decorative and nutritional properties. The argan tree is very resistant in nature and hence can inhabit for roughly 200 years. It is absolutely adapted to the fruitlessness of the South Western regions of Morocco. Argan tree has roots that can go deep-seated inside the soil for search of water which stops soil erosion and stops the progression of the desert. Argan tree plays a key function in keeping the bionomical balance and the economic state of the people. The World Heritage List also has the Argan tree, added to its records in 1999 by UNESCO.

A large number of the Argan tree population has already vanished in less than a 100 years. The fruits of the Argan tree are green. The Argan tree has large and circular fruits. Inside, there is a stiff shell nut which represents nearly one quarter of the flesh yield weight. The Organic Argan Oil is obtained from the kernels which are formed within the nut. The process involved in the argan oil making is a very tough and a toilsome process realised by hand. The steps involved are to get the nut of the fruit and then separate the hard shell to collect kernels. The kernels are roasted by warming them in a meek flame, cooled and crushed in a stone rotary quern.

A dough is then formed by mixing the roasted kernels with water. Man can then extract argan oil from this mixture manually. Recently preset presses have been introduced to derive argan oil. This has substantially reduced the amount of time required to derive 1 litre of oil. Once the kernels are roasted, the mechanical press takes care of the abrasion and extraction. The quantity of the obtained oil has increased somewhat considerably by adding no water to the dough and the oil can be stocked for an lengthy time period. The most overwhelming time of the process, cracking the nuts, is still accomplished by hand. Neither solvent nor heat is used for this oil extraction. The obtained Moroccan Argan oil tastes like nuts and has a darker color than olives.

History of the argan tree

« Argania Spinosa », better known as the Argan tree, is a wild, rustic and resistant species of tree with small thorny branches, which grows exclusively in South West Morocco, in the Berber region encompassing the cities of Essaouira, Agadir, Taroudant and Tafraout.

Its origins can be traced back to approximately 80 millions years ago when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth. The argan tree covers an area of about 3,000 square miles (approximately 20 million trees).

Because it faces extinction, the argan tree has been classified as part of the world’s universal heritage by UNESCO and is being actively protected to preserve the unique and extraordinary virtues of this national emblem.

Indeed, the argan tree can be used in various ways. Each piece or by-product of the tree can be utilized as a source of revenue or food. The tree has incredible ecological and physiological properties which make it practically the only species adapted to survive in these arid and semiarid regions.

When it comes to soil and grazing-land conservation, and the fight against erosion and desertification, it is nigh irrepleacable.

Thanks to its roots, which can grow several meters long, this priceless tree has a key role in preserving the soil, which it enriches with organic matter from its falling leaves. Researchers have catalogued up to 100 different varieties of plants under a single argan tree, and their survival can be solely explained by its protective shelter.

The argan tree isn’t sensitive to heat and requires very little water. Its roots can grow up to 30 metres long in order to reach deep underground water. In case of a drought, the argan tree will shed its leaves to resist the evaporation process and will enter « sleep mode ». When the humidity level rises, it suddenly comes back to life.

However, it is important to note that an argan tree can only produce between 10 and 30 kilos of fruits per year, and to produce one liter of argan oil, 38 kilos of fruits are required, or 2,6 kilos of the kernels.

The argan tree has survived for thousands of years and its history is deeply enmeshed with that of Morocco’s. Thus, It has become the treasure of the Berber regions of Southern Morocco.

Argan oil and its virtues

100% natural argan oil is extracted from the oleaginous kernel of the argan tree.

The biological and nutritional qualities of this oil are excellent, and it posesses multiple cosmetological, dietary and pharmacological virtues.

For centuries, Berber women have been producing it to provide for the dietary needs of the local population. Traditionally, they’ve also used it for their everyday beauty needs.

The natural virtues of Argan oil have been proven through several scientific studies performed in Morocco, Europe and other continents.

Its major biochemical components are recognized for their health benefits.

Argan oil is one of the rarest and costliest oil on the planet. It has been proven as being the most effective beauty oil on the market, for all facial, hair, nail and body care.

Argan oil is a rare and unique natural treasure. Rich in vitamin E, it is especially recommended for dry or aging skins.

It is without a doubt the best solution for revitalizing your skin. The efficacy of its beauty secrets have been proven time and again throughout the centuries.

An oriental elixir with priceless virtues, argan oil offers relaxation, beauty and well being.

It is a rare and precious treasure that has become much sought after. Rich in vitamin E, it nourishes the skin and preserves its elasticity.

It works wonders on wrinkles and dry skins, and diminishes considerably visible acne scars.

It is rich in natural ingredients that play an important role in cellular renewal.

In the traditional Moroccan materia medica, argan oil is used to counter the negative effects of age and the climate on the body.

It promotes the eradication of acne, chicken pox, pimples and other various skin irritations such as stretch marks, chaps and burns.

It is also used for hair care, by promoting shine and lustre. It nourishes brittle and dull hair in depth, and strengthens their growth, giving them added resistance.

Argan oil has no equal when it comes to treating brittle and fragile nails.

And finally, it relieves joint pains and is valued for body massages

We offer two brands of Argan oil: Dietary argan oil and cosmetic argan oil.

Dietary argan oil undergoes a roasting process which differentiates it from cosmetic argan oil. Its delicious hazelnut and grilled almond taste, which gives it its deeper tint and tempting odour, is very distinctive. It possesses outstanding physiological qualities.

Cosmetic argan oil, on the other hand, doesn’t have a strong odour. It is almost odourless and its colour is lighter than dietary argan oil.

The virtues of argan oil:

♦ Argan oil stabilizes hypercholesterolemia by reducing the levels of bad cholesterol and increasing the levels of good cholesterol.

♦ It reduces hypertension.

♦ It possesses appetite-suppressant properties that combat obesity (when consumed during the morning meal).

♦ It acts positively on liver function.

♦ It neutralizes free radicals and protects connective tissues.

♦ It revives and stimulates cellular transfers and oxygenation by improving the quality of intercellular cement.

• It works to mitigate the drying and physiological aging of the skin (anti-wrinkle properties) by restoring the hydrolipidic film and by increasing nutritive contributions at the cellular level. It also contains Schottenol, which has been found to have anti-cancerous properties.

• it is used to treat chronic deafness and ear aches.

• It is used to reduce risks of myocardial infarction and cardio-vascular problems.

♦ It is recommended when risks of atherosclerosis are present.

♦ It is used for rhumatisms and joint pains (osteoarthritis).

♦ It is recommended in cases of sterility (azoospermia) and when there are risks of miscarriages (general medecine uses).

♦ It stimulates and develops cerebral functions.

♦ It is also used to massage newborns and infants.

2.4 Biochemical composition of argan oil

Research studies conducted on the argan tree have been widely reported on these past few years. In this chapter we aim to show you the interesting nutritional, cosmetic and therapeutic properties of argan oil.

Its chemical composition is interesting: it’s (99%) glyceric acid and (1%) non-saponifiable.

80% of the fatty acids in argan oil are unsaturated acids. Respectively, the oleic and linoleic acids make up 45% and 35% of the total, which gives the oil excellent dietary qualities. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, because it cannot be synthesized by the body. Food intake is the only source. Recent studies performed by nutritionists have shown that essential fatty acids (linoleic, linolenic, etc…) are biological precursors of prostaglandins, intracellular hormones. These play a fundamental role regulating different cellular systems, especially cellular membrane exchanges.

Essential fatty acids play a role in the permeability and in the barrier function of the skin. A deficiency in fatty acids, which becomes inevitable with age, causes skin aging, which translates into dryness and the loss of cutaneous elasticity and enables the appearance of wrinkles. Reversing the deficiency in essential fatty acids slows down the cutaneous aging process.

The non-saponifiable substances contain hydrocarbons, 37.5% of carotenes, 7.5% of tocopherols, 20% of triterpene, 20% of methyl sterols and sterols, and 6.5% of xantophyll.

The search for provitamin A, in the form of trans-carotene, in argan oil was negative.

It is rich in tocopherols: 620 mg/kg (olive oil: 320mg/kg). Vitamin E is known for its eutrophic properties. It contributes to a normal nutritional balance and the steady development of the entire organism.

The triterpenic fraction is made up of Tirucallol, of Amyrine and Butyrospermol. The sterolic fraction is primarily made up of Spinasterol and Schottenol. These sterols can rarely be found in vegetable oils. According to certain authors, Schottenol is active in a particular plant (Agyratum conyzoides) whose sap is used in India to treat various skin ailments. In the case of the Ipomopsis aggregata species, the Schottenol glucoside has been found to have anti-cancerous properties.

The chemical composition of argan oil that we have just described has fueled well targeted research on its intrinsic qualities. In terms of preservation, the works of Chimi et al. (1994) have shown that it resists the autooxydation process much better than olive oil, thanks to its polyphenol (56mg/kg) and tocopherol (620mg/kg) contents.

The nutritional study was performed in vivo by Belcadi (1994).This study has shown that:

– The intake of argan oil leads to a modifiaction of the membranous PUFAs comparable to that caused by peanut oil.

– This oil, which is relatively rich in Vitamin E, elicits the stimulation of enzymatic activity linked to the detoxification and antioxidant defense of cells. This results in a reduction of the membranous susceptibility to peroxydation which is, according to some authors, the cause of aging. [Sohal and Allen,1990; Ames and Shigenega 1992; Harman 1992].

The traditional use of argan oil to treat cutaneous dryness and the physiological aging of the skin has motivated some French laboratories to incorporate it in cosmetic products. It is currently being used by Galenique (Argan line), Yves Rocher (Acaciane line) and by Colgate Palmolive (dermatological soap ‘Antinea’).


Virgin argan oil stands out thanks to its specific chemical composition characterized by:

♦ A significant unsaturation due to high levels of oleic and linoleic acids. This essential fatty acid (from the omega 6 series) must be complemented by omega 3 fatty acids to improve the nutritional value of argan oil.

♦ A wealth of tocopherols which helps with the preservation of the oil during storage and throughout the culinary processes, and insures a good dietary contribution of antioxidants.

♦ A sterolic fraction giving the oil potentially sizable therapeutic and anti-cancerous virtues.

♦ A fraction of Triterpen alcohols containing lupeol, endowed with well-established anti-inflammatory properties.

Typefreediabetes – Diabetes Disease Basics

If you have been recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes, or gestational diabetes you are still trying to make sense of what you have been learning. To really understand the diabetes facts and how to manage diabetes, you must first understand how your body’s digestive system works.

For a person diagnosed with diabetes, blood glucose levels are above normal (fasting glucose is greater than 126 mg/dL). Most of the food you eat is turned into sugar (glucose). The pancreas is an organ that lies just behind and under the stomach.

The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that help glucose enter the cells of your body. Your cells change the glucose to energy and cell building material. This is why people with untreated diabetes feel tired and suffer rapid weight loss. Their cells are starving for glucose.

Insulin regulates the various chemical processes that control how your body handles carbohydrates and other nutrients. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin (insufficiency) and/or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should (Insulin Resistance).

This causes sugar (glucose) to build to high levels in your blood stream. This glucose stays in your blood stream and blood vessels, organs like your kidneys, and eyes. Diabetes is sometimes called the “silent killer” for this reason; early on you do not see or feel the damage that is being done.

The digestion process is very complex involving chemistry, physics, biology. Click here to view the digestion process using a Type Free Interactive Learning Module.

To understand diabetes mellitus as high glucose levels in the bloodstream; think of your bloodstream as a race track. Cars (glucose) race around in circles. There is a big entrance for new cars. After a meal many new cars enter the race track. But there is only a small exit (because of resistance)for the vehicles to leave. Normally, the exit gates are unlocked and opened by insulin guards.

With diabetes there are fewer guards to unlock the exit gates. The cars will continue to circle the causing congestion, road wear and tear, and collisions – damaging the walls of the track. As you can see, the role of the track guard is crucial to smooth traffic flow. Without the track guard, the system faces serious effects of Diabetes.

The action of insulin lets glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids into the cells to be broken down into usable units of energy that can power your body throughout the day. And, cell building material to replace old or damaged cells. Remember: your body needs energy to carry out life functions like the pumping of blood by the heart.

In order to ensure that sugar molecules are removed from the bloodstream and turned into energy, individuals with Type 2 Diabetes must increase their physical activity and take Diabetes medication, and decreasing the amount of carbohydrate rich foods that they eat. Take a moment and click here to better understand the role of high glycemic index carbohydrates on diabetes.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Catching Diabetes early will help to prevent serious complications that can occur if the diseases goes untreated.

Please check with your doctor if you have some of the following symptoms:

• Frequent urination
• Excessive thirst
• Unexplained weight loss
• Extreme hunger
• Sudden vision changes
• Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
• Feeling very tired much of the time
• Very dry skin
• Sores that are slow to heal
• More infections than usual.

Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called type 1 diabetes.

What are the primary types of diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes may account for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Eating nutritious food for diabetes, increasing physical activity, blood glucose testing and insulin injections are the basic therapies for type 1 diabetes. The amount of insulin taken must be balanced with food intake and daily activities. Blood glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood glucose testing.

Type 2 diabetes account for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Eating Nutritious foods for diabetics, increasing physical activity, and testing blood glucose levels are the basic therapies for type 2 diabetes. In addition, many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control their blood glucose levels.

If you have diabetes you will need to build a health team. This team will include general practitioner who will monitor your long term blood sugar control and help you learn to manage your diabetes.

In addition, you should see:

• an endocrinologist a specialist who treats hormone disorders such as diabetes. • an ophthalmologist for eye examinations;
• a podiatrist for routine foot care.
• Dietitians and Certified Diabetes Educators teach the skills needed for daily diabetes management.
• Your primary care physician can recommend a specialist in any one of these fields to you, should you need it.

Diabetes is a very complex disease, with many complications if it is not aggressively managed. This is the simplified version of the basics. It provides a good foundation for many follow-up questions with your health care providers. Make a choiceto be aggressive about your care if you have been recently diagnosed or are at risk.

Typefreediabetes offers a full line of low fat dessert recipes, including incontinence products for men, durable diabetes medical equipment, wrist blood pressure monitor and facts about diabetes. Typefreediabetes offers quality products at discounted prices on a wide selection of quality name brand equipment and supplies.

Signs That Say He’s Just Not Into You – How to Spot Mr Wrong So You Can Make Room for Mr Right

Every woman has had her eye on or dated the type of guy I’m talking about here. You are never really sure where you stand with him or what his interest level really is. Call him Mr. Flake, Mr. Player, Mr. Self Absorbed or Mr. Afraid of Commitment. Whatever his romantic style, it’s just leaving you confused, frustrated and wondering what’s really going on in his mind. So, let’s spotlight the warning signs to look out for when a guy simply is not that into you or playing you.

The Physical Signs

He’ll avoid eye contact, his body is positioned away from you, his arms are folded tightly over his chest, he does not encourage conversation or volunteers anything about himself. He maintains his distance.

The Emotional Signs

You’ve been dating for at least 6 months. He still can’t say he loves you or wants to talk about his feelings in regards to you. If you have a guy who is constantly telling you that he does not love you, is not in love with you, is not sure how he feels and does not see a future with you after the 6 month mark, believe him. I feel that is a good marker of time for him to know where he sees this going and if he is developing strong feelings for you or loves you. When a guy is into you, he’ll want to let you know how he feels when he is sure that you feel the same way. If he can’t do that, start re-assessing what you are still doing with him.

He Ignores or Shows You Disrespect

If he is ignoring you or disrespects you by putting down your values, thoughts and ideas, he’s just not interested in you or in a relationship with you. Don’t waste your time on a guy who does that and focus your attention on a guy who focuses on you.

He Shoots Down Your Social Invitations

This should be a clear sign to about 99% of women out there that he’s not interested in getting to know you better or pursuing anything further. Trust me ladies, the first time he declines your offer to hang out you could give him the benefit of the doubt. But when it’s many times in a row, he’s usually not that busy, he just doesn’t want to see you and is trying to be nice about it. If a guy is interested, he’ll be happy to schedule a rain check or follow up with an invitation of his own. He’s never too busy to make time for someone he really wants to have in his life.

Mr. Player aka The Honeymooner

I call this guy the honeymooner because of how long things remain fabulous while dating this guy. The first few weeks or month is sheer bliss. This guy starts off real aggressive, hot and heavy. He can’t see you often enough, calls all the time and declares his love for you early on. He’s so romantic, thoughtful and attentive that you think you’ve hit the love jackpot and won. He woos you with promises of a happy future together, taking you to great hotspots, cooking you dinner, and being that great listener who wants to share your hopes and dreams. You think he seems too good to be true. Well, he is. This guy is a classic neophiliac. He loves the thrill of the chase, and is enamored with the novelty of you. Once that has worn off and he has gotten what he wants, he sets his sights on the next pretty girl. How to protect yourself from this guy? Don’t fall for the lines and behavior right away. Take your time before investing your heart and proceed slowly. Make sure that he means what he says. And the best way to do that is to let time be your guide. Usually these guys don’t want to put in the work to develop anything long term so you’ll know in a short period of time if his words mean anything.

Mr. Flake

This one is characterized by constantly flaking out on you at the last minute. If a guy stands you up, blows you off or shows up late, he does not have respect for your time and plans. Bottom line, he does not respect you and does not care whether or not you are in his life.

Mr. Afraid of Commitment

You go on a great couple of dates, things are going wonderfully, you feel the chemistry, you click on so many different levels and then you never hear from him again. He’s never able to discuss his feelings or freaks out and distances himself when you express how your feelings for him have grown. He’s truly afraid of intimacy and what follows with it. So, you try not to pressure him and accept the flow of things because you think maybe if you give him time he’ll come around and choose you. You may be involved with a guy who falls in this category for months or even years and whenever the subject of a future pops up, he asks you what’s the rush, says he’s not ready, he needs more time, etc. Whatever his excuse for not committing, it’s tying you to a relationship that has hit a brick wall. It either moves forward or it does not. It’s his right to stay in limbo but it’s also your right not to have to wait around for him to commit. You can move on or at least date others in the interim until he does figure out what he wants. He may never figure it out or choose you but at least you aren’t wasting good dating years on an emotionally stunted and unavailable guy. Some men just can’t commit, are players, have fears of commitment due to bad past relationships, want to remain bachelors, or like you but not enough to choose you for a committed, long lasting relationship. If only we could tap into the mind of his therapist for his reasons for pushing away many good women who have loved him. But, the real deal is, when a guy is head over heels for a woman and loves her fully, he does not want to lose her and would rather step to the plate and commit than risk her walking out of his life. If he’s willing to watch you walk away, you know it’s time to kick him to the curb and keep on stepping.

Mr. Taken

Whether this guy is involved in another relationship with a girlfriend or wife, he should be off limits. Yet so many women are lured by the seduction of his words and think he’ll eventually dump the other woman and choose them. They are told the other woman is a witch, mean, does not understand them, is psycho and won’t leave him alone. Or, he says to you that their relationship has a lot of problems, they fight constantly, he is no longer sleeping with the girlfriend or wife, he’s staying only for financial reasons or the children. The best lie of all: he’s planning on divorcing or leaving his wife or girlfriend very soon, just be patient. Now, months or years are passing by and his promises are not worth the paper they were written on. Women are natural nurturers and they want to take care of other people. Many feel that they can prove that with affection, attention and caring that they are different than the other person in his life and that is what he really needs. They believe his lies. A relationship based on a deception is not one that can have a real future because if he can cheat or lie to someone else to be with you, he can also do the same thing to you in the future.

If you fool yourself into believing you are special and the exception, then you are living in a fantasy world. And the only happy ending that can come from living in an alternate reality is creating a relationship with a guy who never existed in the first place. If he truly cared about you, he’d end his other relationship before beginning one with you. Best way to avoid this scenario? Tell him to contact you once he’s ended his other relationship and not a day before. And, stick to that. Don’t be afraid to tell him that if he continues to contact you that you will tell his girlfriend or wife about the two of you. That fear is enough to make most taken guys run for the hills. If you find out later in the relationship that he is not single like he claimed, end it immediately and don’t look back. It’s called dating with integrity. If you can’t end it on your own or he keeps trying to draw you back in with false promises, seek the help of a therapist to regain your strength and courage to end a toxic relationship that will only erode your self-esteem, confidence and self love. When you allow yourself to enter a relationship based on a deception where you are not his main priority, you are setting yourself up for being used. He’s not into you, he’s just into how he can use you to give him what he is not getting at home from the girlfriend or wife.

You Never See Him More Than a Few Days in Advance

This means he is trying to keep his schedule open in case something better comes along. The classic MO of a player. A guy who’s really into you will want to keep you off the market a week to 2 weeks in advance because he can tell you’re a great catch and does not want anyone else to occupy your time. If he’s never available on the weekends or occasions that are reserved as date nights, know you’re just a passing phase or flavor of the moment.

He Only Comes to See You Late at Night

Ah, the definition of a booty call: the guy who is too busy to see you during daylight hours but has time to swing by for a quick hook up. Unless he’s a workaholic that only gets out of work at midnight, don’t fall for it. Even then, he can still afford to take you out during his day off or on the weekend. If you are not seeing a guy who works crazy hours and it’s just the time he sets aside to see you, then be forewarned that you have a booty call pattern on your hands. It’s a way for him to get his sexual needs met and not commit to a real boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. You deserve to be taken out properly to restaurants, movies, and shows. You didn’t sign up to be kept in the closet. So, make sure you let him know that by not accepting meetings that only occur behind closed doors in the A.M.

Friends with Benefits

A step up from the booty call based relationship but still not what most women want when they get involved with a guy they see a future with. A friends with benefits relationship is when

you both agree to be sex buddies with no strings attached and can both see or date other people. If you are looking for a serious relationship, don’t accept or settle for this type of arrangement. He’s just keeping his options open and eyes peeled for the right woman, while using you for a fun romp in the sack. He’s letting you know clearly that you are not the “one” but instead are Ms. Right now until someone better comes along. Also, it’s very rare that a friends with benefits arrangement does not lead to one person walking away hurt because one person always develops stronger feelings and wants to change the relationship dynamics. Why settle for a regular hook up when you can hold out for a guy who is sure about you and wants you around exclusively?

You Never Meet His Friends or Family

Some guys will wait at least 6 months or more of dating to make sure that you are someone special before letting his entourage meet you. If a guy is serious about you, he’ll want everyone to know about you and will have no problem introducing you to his friends, coworkers and family. If you watch the calendar months go by and this still has not happened, you are being kept a secret and you have to wonder why. Is he really single or is he still unsure about your future together? You owe it to yourself to find out what’s going on.

He Does Not Call You Back the Same Day or Answers His Phone When You Call

When a guy is really into you, he does not screen his calls for your number. He’ll pick up on the first ring or call you back within hours. When you see a pattern of days going by without a return phone call, you are not high on his priority list. Basically, you are being avoided. Another sign of a player or guy who is not invested in your relationship is one who never answers the phone in your presence. If you see his phone constantly on vibrate or you visit his place and his answering machine is set to low volume or mute, he’s definitely still playing the field and chatting up new women.

Internet Communication Siberia

Before, he used to spend hours chatting with you online and writing you great emails. Now you realize that not only are you blocked from his buddy list but he also does not respond to your emails. Enough said.

He’s Hitting On or Hooking Up with Other Women

If you’ve been seeing a guy for a little while and you are hearing rumors or catching him hooking up with other women or still maintaining inappropriate contact with exes, then you know he’s not ready to settle down and choose you. If he’s also hitting on your friends or asking you if your friend is available to go out with him, it’s a surefire way to know without a shadow of a doubt that he’s not interested in being with you.

He Disappears for Days, Weeks or Months at a Time

This sign is usually self-explanatory but I cannot begin to tell you how many readers of my advice column find themselves in this predicament and think that he still is invested in their relationship and cares about them. Any guy that does not make time for you and pulls a disappearing act on you is not that into you, is seeing other people or is not ready to commit to one person. So, if you find yourself dealing with a guy who comes and goes from your life without a word, give him the boot once and for all and don’t look back. Your time and energy is better spent on a guy who wants to stick around and be a part of your life.

You Are Never Invited Over to His Place

Either he is living with someone or is not invested in a relationship with you. Any guy who is interested in a woman will bring her over to his place so she can see his private sanctuary away from the daily grind.

He Never Discusses Your Future or Makes Vacation Plans

Every guy has a life before meeting you. They schedule trips with their buddies, have guys nights out and are living the bachelor life. When a relationship is getting serious and has a future or is getting serious, he’ll start talking about the things he wants to do with you, places to go together and makes plans to manifest those dreams. His buddies take up less of his time and he’ll put you on center stage. If he does not even bring up future plans or where he sees your relationship headed, realize that this may just be a seasonal romance.

He Encourages You to Date Other People

If he encourages you to date others and not wait around for him, it’s because he does not see a future with you and wants to be free to date others as well.

He Does Not Share in the Dating Expenses

If you are the one footing the bill for all of your events and outings, the guy is only into you for what he can get out of you.

He Does Not Remember or Celebrate the Events or Dates that Matter to You

Some guys really do have a bad memory but if it’s important to you, he will make a real effort to remember the big moments. They’ll do whatever it takes: post it notes, birthday alarms, etc to make sure not to forget. When he does not take the time to acknowledge and celebrate your birthday, anniversary or a major event in your relationship with a gift, a call, flowers or even candy, it shows that he is just not into you. No one says he has to shell out a lot of clams to make the day special but the planning and effort to do what is within his budget and time is what counts. It’s all about creativity!

Silent Treatment

The king of all signs is the silent treatment. It begins by pulling away slowly, by emotionally or physically withdrawing from the relationship. When a guy is just not interested in a future, he stops calling (if he ever called at all), changes his phone number, the visits become less and less frequent, and emotionally he has already packed his bags and booked the flight to singlesville.

If you are recognizing many of these symptoms in your guy, it’s time to move on. Actions speak louder than words. If he’s just not putting in the effort he used to to make your relationship work, it’s time to sit up and take notice. When a guy is telling you with his words that he’s not interested or ready for what you need and showing you in his actions that you are not his top priority, don’t ignore the message. Hold your head up high and keep moving forward with your life, without him. Time is so precious and time waits for no one. Once it’s lost, we cannot get it back. So make sure you are giving your time to men who are worth the investment. At the end of the day, it’s about finding a love match that treats you right and wants to spend quality time with you. When you settle for less than that and waste your time on Mr. Wrong, you are selling yourself short on what you deserve.

The Fireplace Secret – Why The Summer Is The Best Time To Buy A New Fireplace

The days are getting longer. The sun is shining brightly. The world feels good to itself. So, how come you should be giving thought to buying that new fireplace?

Well, in reality the spring or summer is actually the best time to buy a new fireplace or fireplace surround. The reason being that fireplaces can actually be a little trickier then they first appear. Let me explain.

In the old days it used to be the case that you had very little choice in fireplaces. Before the big DIY superstores if you wanted an original design that wasn’t simply brickwork, or a glorified chimney, you would often have to travel large distances to find very niche (and expensive) specialist shops that could hand design a great fireplace for you.

The good news is that those days are long gone, and that whilst the expensive ‘design it yourself’ route will always be open to anyone that fancies themselves as a budding fireplace designer. There really is no need. Instead you can go to a plethora of locations and you will be able to find a bewildering array of options.

Here in lies the first of our ‘problems’, and a good starting point as to why the summer is actually a great time to go shopping for a new fireplace.

All that choice is confusing and time consuming!

You could literally spend months camped out in your local DIY store (ok. maybe not months. But you get my point;)) and still not exhaust the array of choice they have.

So you really need to allocate a lot more time to your purchase from that standpoint then it may at first appear. You need to start by honing in on the style of fireplace that you are ideally looking for, as well as deciding on whether you want an electric, gas or natural fire. As deciding on each of these can make a fundamental difference in the options that you have available to you when it comes to choosing your fireplace.

The second reason why it is better to start earlier to shop for that fireplace is because getting it fitted may well take longer than you expect. You see, the job really is only half done when you choose exactly what type of fireplace you want. Then comes the technical part of actually getting it assembled and installed at your home.

Now, if you are really ‘handy’ you could do this yourself. But fires are dangerous, and things like gas leaks can kill you very quickly if you get it wrong. So you really need to get a trained professional to do it. Ok. Good so far. The only problem is that these guys (apologies to the ladies – but most of these folk are men!) are in high demand. So getting one to fit the fire may take several weeks or a month.

Now, that’s no problem in the summer. Because it’s warm. But try being without a fire in the winter for a month. And THEN see how good you feel by the time your fire fitter gets there.

Not very I would hasten to guess!

So, in conclusion, get it handled now. Take a leisurely pace. Sort out the style and type of fire you want, and take it from there whilst its still warm enough to make it a pleasant undertaking.

Nasal Irrigation Using a Neti Pot: For the Common Cold and Congestion

Nasal Irrigation is becoming recognized once again as an effective way to eliminate sinus congestion, battle the common cold and relieve allergies.

Why has it come back so strong?

People are tired of drugs and want a natural alternative treatment for allergies, the common cold and sinus congestion. Nasal irrigation using the ayurvedic neti pot is the way to go – cheap, fast and extremely effective.

Popping an anti-histamine or snorting one does not remove the problem. All it does is temporarily slow down mucous production. Then, once again, one finds themselves with drugs up their nose or down their throat.

How does nasal irrigation remove the problem? It doesn’t entirely. That is a whole other topic which requires balancing the immune system, reducing stress, maintaining proper hydration and proper nutrition. To tickle your fancy though, freeze-dried nettle works really well as does quercetin.

But until one achieves this treatment, allergies persist and so does sinus congestion – especially now due to colds and flu bugs flying about. There must be relief immediately – and that is what the neti pot provides.

Basically, what the neti pot does is gently wash away excess mucous, bacteria, pollen, allergens and viruses from the sinuses. There is one main sinus that the neti pot can reach – the maxillary sinus which is on either side of your nose – basically inside the ‘cheek bone’. When they fill with pus or mucous, it hurts. Not only does it hurt, but it provides a further haven for more bacteria and viruses as the immune system cannot enter. The door is closed.

Nasal irrigation opens that door by washing out the pus and mucous. Then, the immune system’s IgA antibodies, which live on the mucous membranes of your nose, once again get back to work.

Can anti-histamines, aspirin, or tylenol do that? A resounding no.

Don’t treat the symptom. Treat the cause of the symptom. It is sooo easy to do and it is so rarely done.

One must think, “Why do I have sinus congestion and pain on either side of my nose?” Mucous buildup. Ok. Why? I’m sick due to the common cold. Good. Why? I’ve been working my butt off at work. Understandable. What are you going to do about it? Take vitamin C. (studies show that it really does work when sick) That’s a start.

What are you going to do about the pain and sinus congestion in your nose?

Going to do nasal irrigation with my neti pot. Good! Now we’re talking!

Do you want to know how to use the neti pot correctly? Silly question, I know. Of course you do!

Basically, I recommend using filtered water as chlorine is drying and an irritant to the mucous membranes as it damages proteins. You may be thinking that this is good as you want to dry the mucous membranes out and chlorine can help kill the bacteria. No – not really. It takes quite some time for chlorine to kill bacteria for one. The other is you do want your sinuses to have their natural mucous secretions as it is they which carry the IgA antibodies. The IgA antibodies are what signal the immune system to kill the bacteria and viruses in your nose.

{A little medical sidenote: 1 in 700 people are IgA deficient. This is not handy for obvious reasons. A neti pot is extremely important for these people. If you get sinus infections, colds and other sinus bugs frequently, you may want to get a test done seeing if you are one of the lucky winners of an IgA deficiency. It’s a simple swab-up-the-nose test.}

To use the neti pot correctly:

  • Fill the neti pot preferably with warm filtered or purchased water. Not cold or hot water. Must be warm.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of pure salt. Do not use mineral salts or sea salts. Some people are allergic to shellfish and this will not help the situation. One can buy pure neti salt and it’s not expensive. Normal table salt is fine also but it is processed like crazy – they use about 15+ chemicals to end up with pure white table salt. You didn’t want to know that did you?
  • You can add a pinch of baking soda also. This softens the water a bit so it’s easier on your mucous membranes.
  • I use a tincture called Neti Wash Plus and that comes with zinc or zinc free. Basically this is a mixture of anti-bacterials, anti-fungals, and immune support nutrients and herbs which are proven effective in research. It is pre-made and just simply add a dropperful or two in the neti pot. Only use this during mucous buildup and sinus congestion. Don’t use everyday as it is designed to break up sticky mucous. If one doesn’t have sticky mucous, then it will hurt your healthy thin mucous – which you now know, you need.
  • I recommend doing this procedure in the shower. This way you cannot make a mess. You can also do it over a sink or sitting down with a big bowl on the table in front of you.
  • Insert the neti pot spout into one side of your nose. Lean your head slightly to one side and forward a bit. This allows the medicated water to flow from one side of your nose to the other. This action pushes out the mucous and also drops off the medicated water in your sinuses.
  • Stay in this head bent and tilted position while the water runs out – say for about 15 seconds.
  • When 15 seconds is up, remove the spout and gently blow your nose. Do not block one nostril while blowing your nose as this forces the mucous up closer to your brain. Also do not blow forcibly as this will push the mucous into your ear canal. Just blow lightly – like a soft outward snort.
  • Repeat on the other side. Do this about 2-3 times each side. Refill the neti pot as needed. I typically can do it sufficiently with one full neti pot.
  • This takes about 3 minutes. Sounds like a lot of work but it’s fast – especially as you do it more and more.
  • Rinse out the neti pot or place it in the dishwasher to sterilize. I recommend buying one for each person of the family. This way you don’t have to wash it so hard every time.

You may feel one of two things: all cleared up and easier to breathe – or – stuffed up more than before. If stuffed up, don’t fret or blow your nose hard. Just wait. The Neti wash plus tincture mix is working on breaking up the mucous and within a few minutes, you’ll be searching for tissues as the mucous begins to literally flow out of your nose. It’s pretty awesome how fast it works. Remember – do not blow hard and do not occlude one nostril. If you do blow hard or occlude one nostril, you have made your sinus congestion return – or worse, moved it into your ear.

Don’t blow hard. You don’t need to. The neti wash plus and nasal irrigation does all the work for you. You just provide the tissues and the trashcan.

Try to stay rested, relaxed and healthy. Not easy to do – but when you get a cold or sinus congestion – you now know what to do!

If you have any questions about nasal irrigation, you may email me. I’d be glad to help you out.

Some basic cautions with nasal irrigation. If you have routine bloody noses, don’t do it. If you get a bloody nose, adjust the salt/baking soda/tincture ratio. If you still get bloody noses, stop as your mucous membranes may be too dried out. I don’t recommend using the neti wash plus with zinc if your nose is sensitive. They make a neti wash plus zinc free which is also effective. Zinc is added as it stimulates the immune system. Also, don’t use the neti wash plus unless you have sinus congestion or mucous buildup in your sinuses. A simple nasal irrigation with salt and baking soda is all you need if you have slight buildup – say from last night’s sleep.

Which neti pot to choose? I prefer the stainless steel neti pot as I broke my ceramic neti pot in the shower when it dropped. The plastic neti pot is also handy as you can toss it into your baggage when you travel.

NPR did a special news report on the use of neti pots and nasal irrigation. Neti pots are making a strong comeback as a main treatment for sinus congestion and allergies.

The NPR quick summary: Morning Edition, October 12, 2005. An age-old technique that may have developed from yoga traditions is turning out to be a simple and effective way to combat the cold. Flushing the nasal passageway with warm salt-water can help prevent colds and bring relief to allergy-sufferers. by Patricia Neighmond

You may listen to the program in full on this page.

Good ol’ NPR – they never cease to amaze me.

Enjoy the broadcast!

In health, Ben

The Highs and Lows of Heroin Addiction

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive and rapidly acting illegal drug that is the single most abused opiate in the United States. Heroin is processed from morphine, which is the main component of opium. Opium is the naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seedpod of the opium poppy. Heroin has one of the most serious addiction rates of all illegal drugs.

While found in a variety of forms, heroin is typically sold as a white or brownish colored powder. A black sticky substance known on the streets as “black tar heroin” is the dirtiest form of heroin. Although purer heroin is becoming much more common, most street heroin is cut with other drugs or substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk or quinine. Black tar heroin is usually cut with glass and other substances that can be potentially fatal or cause some sort of brain damage and is much more harmful than regular heroin.

Street heroin can also be cut with poisons such as strychnine. Abusers of heroin have no way of knowing the actual strength of the heroin, nor do they know the true contents of the drug. For this reason, they are at a higher risk for overdose or death. Heroin addicts are also at a higher risk for HIV and other diseases because of the sharing of needles that can occur among addicts.

The Heroin High

When compared to other drugs such as meth, cocaine, alcohol or marijuana, heroin is taken less for recreational and social reasons than it is for the purposes of self medication. People who suffer from deep seeded emotional problems, have endured a history of trauma, experience chronic pain or live a lifestyle that may be seen as disadvantaged, are at an even greater risk for addiction.

The heroin high creates changes in thoughts, feeling and sensations. While some of theses feelings are directly caused by the changes that occur in the brain and the central nervous system, other feelings are directly related to the personal history and expectations of the person taking the drug. This is why some people may experience immediate relief from the drug while others may consider the effects to be awful. Feelings of euphoria give people who suffer with anxiety and/or depression, the opportunity to experience pleasure and escape from their feelings of despair or intense racing of thoughts. Some people have been known to describe the heroin high as providing them with feelings of warmth and safety. In reality, heroin addicts are far from warm and safe. Heroin can also be very effective in reducing or eliminating both physical and emotional pain. For this reason, the drug can be particularly appealing to those who suffer from chronic pain or for those who engage in physically painful activities.

Heroin Withdrawal

If you have become addicted to heroin, you can expect to experience some withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary in intensity depending upon the severity of use and physical addiction. Typically, withdrawal symptoms will begin within 6-12 hours after the last dose of heroin. Symptoms can be expected to peak within 1 to 3 days and will gradually subside over the course of the next 5-7 days. Keeping this in mind, there have been addicts who have experienced severe withdrawal symptoms for weeks or months. This is known as post acute withdrawal syndrome.

There is often a strong desire to use more heroin for those who have become addicted to the illegal substance. The body will crave the substance that provided them with pleasure and eventually the addict will desire to use again simply because the physical pain experienced from not using can become so intense and the addict knows that if they use again, it will ease the pain. Heroin blocks the body’s pain pathways. For an addict, heroin becomes their medicine, blocking the aches and pains typically felt in the back and leg regions of the body.

As heroin withdrawal progresses, an overproduction of bodily fluids may be experienced. Excessive sweating, teary eyes and a runny nose are very common. Vomiting, diarrhea, fever and chills are symptoms that will keep you feeling very uncomfortable. As the body begins to bring itself into balance, one may begin to notice their hairs standing on end as well as other physical symptoms. Until homeostasis is achieved, an addict can expect restless nights, insomnia, and agitation. Feelings of depression, irritability and anxiety are a normal part of the withdrawal process. They are often very intense, but typically pass once the withdrawal stage has subsided.

The Original OJ Simpson Inspirational Story

We have all heard of the trial of OJ Simpson, but not many people know about the original inspirational story of OJ Simpson, the greatest running back in National Football League during his time.

This inspirational story began when Orenthal James Simpson was on 9 July 1947 in San Francisco to Eunice and Jimmy Simpson. OJ was raised in poverty and his early days were spent in a Ghetto when food was always in short supply. As a result, OJ suffered from malnutrition and developed rickets. At the age of six, OJ’s legs became permanently bowed and his calf muscles suffered from severely atrophy. He acquired the nickname of ‘Pencil Legs” at an early age.

Growing up, OJ found his inspirational story in American Football through the All American running back Jim Brown from the Cleveland Browns. Brown was the best running back in the NFL at that time. But OJ was too poor to afford the tickets to see his idol in action whenever Cleveland visited San Francisco. That never stopped his dream and goal of becoming a star player in the future.

During those games when Cleveland played in San Francisco, OJ would diligently wait outside the stadium until the maintenance crew to open the stadium gates late in the 4th quarter. He would then go into the stadium and soak in the final few minutes of the game, dreaming for seeing his idol and also his own goals and inspirational story to become a professional football player.

On one of these occasions at the age of thirteen, he finally got his dream of meeting up with his idol, Jim Brown. As the inspirational story went, he approached Brown and said, “Mr. Brown, I am your biggest football fan!” Graciously, Brown thank thanked the young boy and went on his way. But OJ persisted by asking for Brown’s autograph. As Brown signed the autograph, OJ related to him how he had all his pictures on his wall, and that he knew all the football records that Brown held. Brown was flattered and thanked his young charge again. Before leaving, OJ surprised Brown by saying, “Mr. Brown, one day, I am going to break every one of your records!”

O.J. Simpson went on to break all but three of the rushing records held by Jim Brown before injuries shortened his football career and inspirational story.  Goal setting is the strongest force for human motivation.  Set a goal and make it come true.

Uveitis – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea, the middle part of the eye between the sclera and the retina. Depending upon different affected parts of the uvea, the inflammation may be termed as iritis, cyclitis or choroiditis. Uveitis may be related to different causes such as herpes zoster, histoplasmosis, toxoplasmosis or arthritis. Symptoms may be either acute or chronic and include sensitivity to light, blurred vision, pain and redness of the eye.

Prompt treatment of uveitis is necessary to control pain and inflammation and minimize the chances of loss of vision. Eye drops, especially steroids and pupil dilators, are usually used for this condition, in addition to other oral medications. Ayurvedic medicines can be given as additional therapy in order to improve the therapeutic response and prevent complications. Medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Triphala-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Saptamrut-Loh, Triphala-Ghrut, Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Behada (Terminalia bellerica) are used to reduce inflammation in the eye. Eye drops containing Triphala (Three fruits), Haridra (curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Chandan (Santalum album), Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), rose water and honey can also be used for this purpose.

Treatment is also given according to the known cause of this condition. Kaishor-Guggulu, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhvans-Ras, Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra) and Bhrungraj (Eclipta alba) are used to treat viral infections such as herpes zoster. Medicines like Sukshma-Triphala, Ras-Parpati, Triphala-Guggulu and Gandhak-Rasayan are used to treat fungal and parasitic infections. Arthritis can be treated using medicines like Yograj-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras and Vish-Tinduk-Vati. Complications of the eye such as glaucoma, cataract or new blood vessel formation need to be treated separately using medicines like Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Triphala-Churna, Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha and Saarivadi-Churna.

Iritis or cyclitis usually have an acute onset and may be controlled within 6 to 8 weeks. The onset of choroiditis is much slower and may be more chronic and more difficult to treat. All such patients should be under the regular care and supervision of an Ophthalmologist.

Three of Osaka’s Best Hospitals

Osaka is the second largest city of Japan. This financial centre is home to 7% of the Japanese population and also draws in outsiders with its reputation as a major tourist destination. Osaka has many renowned recreational parks, castles, shrines, aquariums and beaches. In general, the health care sector of Osaka is well developed and has many world class hospitals with English speaking employees to care for the needs of visitors to the country. This article outlines some of the better hospitals of Osaka.

Kitano Hospital, located at 2-4-20 Ohgimachi,Kita-ku,Osaka was founded in 1928 and is operated by the reputable Tazuke Kofukai Foundation. Kitano Hospital has 707 beds and more than 1000 staff. It has full fledged sectors for all medical specialties including dialysis and mind-body medicine. The hospital has well designed OPD, a research center and a relaxation room. The surgery sector features a central operation theater and conducts a variety of general and specific surgeries. The modern hematology department offers effective treatment for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. The hospital has 24-hour emergency and ambulatory care and a well equipped emergency room(ER) where service of many physicians and surgeons are available. The departments of anesthesiology and critical care medicine are comprised of 7 staff doctors and 5 residents who work in association to provide the best possible care. The ICU has modern facilities to provide respiratory, sedative, circulatory and analgesic care to patients. This is also a premier institution for medical education and research. Tel: 6-6361-0588

Sumitomo Hospital situated at 2-2 Nakanoshima 5-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka is another reliable hospital in Osaka that provides high quality health care service. This modern hospital founded in 1921 employs eminent doctors and offers especially good personal care to its patients. This huge health care facility has full fledged departments in all medical specialties including some rare specialties. These special centers include a cancer chemotherapy center, a diabetes center and a digestive disease center. The surgery department has the necessary facilities to perform various operations such as thoracic surgery, plastic surgery, and cardiovascular surgery. In addition, the hospital has well equipped ICUs, an emergency department and various laboratories. Warm accommodations in spacious rooms are provided in the hospital. Tel: (06) 6443-1261

Nissay Hospital is situated at Itatibori 6-chome, Nishi-ku, 550-0012 in Osaka. It is a well equipped general hospital that offers quality medical service. This modern hospital has achieved the certificate of approval from the Council for Quality Health Care and is recognized by numerous medical societies of Japan. The hospital provides comprehensive health care in every medical department. It has a minimally invasive medical center, a cancer treatment center, and a center for lifestyle-related diseases. The surgery section of the hospital is prepared to conduct endoscopic surgeries such as thoracic, spinal, abdominal, gynecologic and urological surgeries. The hospital also offers effective service in hemodialysis, bone marrow transplants, blood stem cell transplants, antibody therapy, glaucoma surgery, laser photocoagulation and much more. Luxurious accommodations are also available. The hospital is also a well known training and research center, approved by the ministry of health. Tel: 6543-3581

The Truth About Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that is composed of many different symptoms. The primary symptom is pain and tenderness in multiple areas of the body. This is often linked to fatigue, sleep disorders, digestive problems, and depression. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are considered to be overlapping disorders which many consider to actually be the same illness.

Many people consider these conditions to be psychosomatic in origin because people suffering from these conditions can look healthy and normal from the outside, and yet complain of so many different symptoms. These symptoms can include mental symptoms such as brain fog, forgetfulness, spaciness, depression, moodswings, anger, and extremes in behavior. Unfortunately, as a result many people with this disease are viewed with skepticism by medical practitioners and lay people alike and are often branded as hypochondriacs.

Another view of CFS and fibromyalgia is that the conditions are auto-immune diseases which are triggered by an infection. Most doctors take the view that Epstein-Barr virus, which is the virus that causes mononucleosis, is the primary culprit. This is rather doubtful, in my opinion, since most of the population is exposed to this virus early on in life without this virus triggering any serious long-term complications.

Then there is a new theory emerging among doctors who have used long-term antibiotic therapy to treat these conditions that fibromyalgia and CFS are not simply auto-immune diseases that are triggered by infections, but that the symptoms are signs of a chronic ongoing infectious disease process in the body. These doctors claim to have had excellent results in the treatment of these syndromes using long-term antibiotics, often in very high dosages. They have also had very good results with treating other so called “auto-immune diseases” with long term antibiotic therapy. Often, patients suffering from fibromyalgia, CFS, and other diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis experience complete remissions after a long course of antibiotics.

The positive results that these patients are experiencing implies that many auto-immune diseases may actually be chronic undiagnosed bacterial infections. There are a number of pathogens that are not easily detected in the body through standard diagnostic procedures and that are not easily killed off through a short course of treatment. These pathogens may be involved in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. There is a new theory that chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia may be related to chronic mycobacterial infections.

It is also possible that many of these people actually suffer from Lyme Disease which has never been diagnosed due to the lack of proper testing. Lyme Disease is the fastest growing infectious disease in this country next to AIDS. Cases have been found in all of the lower forty-eight states. Lyme Disease is cause by a spirochetal bacteria called borellia burgdorferi. Borellia burgdorferi is a very resilient and adaptable organism. Doctors with clinical experience in the treatment of this disease have noted that certain antibiotics work for certain forms that the bacteria can take, but not for others. The spirochete can take a cyst form where most antibiotics cannot reach it. It also hides in the joints of the body, in areas of poor circulation, and it may hide within the cells of the immune system.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that only one in ten Lyme Disease patients are ever properly diagnosed. The CDC also estimates that it takes an average of thirteen doctors and an average of two years for these people to be properly diagnosed. By the time the diagnosis is made, the disease can be quite entrenched in the body. There are also often many co-infections in Lyme Disease patients that may cause a host of other complications. Nevertheless, since the disease and its associated co-infections are caused by bacterial organisms, and these organisms can be killed, there is hope for recovery.

Lyme Disease can cause all of the many symptoms that people with fibromyalgia and CFS suffer from. It can cause achy muscles and joints, depression, fatigue, migraine headaches, tingling nerve sensations, insomnia, sleepiness, digestive problems, poor circulation, blurry vision, hearing irregularities, mental problems, weak limbs, pain in the rib cage, liver enzyme irregularities, hypothyroidism, an increased tendency for red blood cells to clump together, swollen lymph nodes, and much more. The irregularities in liver function may be responsible for the chemical sensitivities that many people with fibromyalgia and CFS experience. Because the organism that causes the disease is often not in the bloodstream, it is difficult to diagnose the disease through testing. Doctors who are familiar with the disease tend to base their diagnosis mainly on the clinical symptoms the patient presents and the risk factors that the patient has had exposure to, using testing as only a secondary measure for making a diagnosis.

According to the doctors who use it, long-term antibiotic therapy may help people who suffer from fibromyalgia, CFS, Lyme Disease, and many other “auto-immune diseases”. Nevertheless, there can be serious side effects from this type of therapy. Antibiotics used a long period of time can cause kidney and liver damage. They can cause gallbladder problems. Many people also cannot tolerate oral antibiotics well because of the strain on their digestive system.

There are many alternative health options that can complement treatment with antibiotics and which may reduce side effects, and there are many natural remedies that have antibiotic and immune-enhancing properties of their own, for those who prefer to take a purely natural route.

Acupuncture may help to improve blood circulation and oxygenation to various areas of the body, enhancing the immune system’s ability to fight off infections. The increase in oxygenation can also create an inhospitable situation for bacteria that prefer a low oxygen environment. It also can stimulate the body to release natural pain relieving opiates into the body. The improvement in blood circulation may also help to increase body temperature in hands and feet and other areas of the body that tend to get cold easily. These are often areas of the body where bacteria, such as borellia burgdorferi, which prefer a low body temperature, may tend to congregate. Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with antibiotic therapy. It may help to improve the efficacy of antibiotic therapy by improving circulation.

According to Chinese research, there are many Chinese herbs that have immune enhancing and antibacterial properties. There are also many Chinese herbs that can help the various symptomatic aspects of fibromyalgia and CFS. Some herbs such as astragalus and schizandra can improve the body’s ability to handle stress and can boost immunity. Other herbs such as coptis and scutellaria have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The Chinese herb, pseudoginseng, or san qi, can help promote blood circulation and is an extremely helpful herb for people with these conditions. It also improves the penetration, absorption, and efficacy of other remedies that are used.

Zyzyphus seed may help with sleep problems and anxiety. Bupleurum root may help relieve the moodswings and emotional aspects of fibromyalgia. The various types of ginseng can help to improve one’s energy level. Pseudoginseng, frankincense, and myrrh can help stimulate blood circulation and may help with symptoms of muscle weakness and joint pain due to poor circulation. Walnuts, gingko biloba, frankincense, gotu kola, and fo-ti may all help with the brain fog and cognitive difficulties that many people with fibromyalgia and CFS experience. Codonopsis, atractylodes, mint, and citrus peel may all help with digestive problems. Chinese herbs are used together in herbal formulas that are individualized to address the pattern of disharmony that the person presents. They are generally not used separately on a symptom by symptom basis.

For Lyme Disease, a few different Chinese herbs stand out for their potential usefulness. Smilax (tu fu ling), coptis (huang lian), garlic (da suan), houttuynia (yu xing cao), and teasel root (xu duan) are all herbs that appear to help to treat Lyme disease in different ways. Some of them have antibacterial properties, some strengthen the body generally, and some improve circulation. Prunella vulgaris, scrophularia, and kelp can help to reduce the incidence of enlarged lymph nodes, cysts, and pseudo-tumors that are commonly found in people with Lyme. Chinese herbal formulas such as Huang Lian Jie Du Tang, Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, and Xiao Fu Zhu Yu Tang can be helpful. Formulas designed to clear heat, move qi and blood, tonify yang qi, and transform dampness can all be helpful for different patients depending on the pattern of disharmony they present. After a long period of illness or for patients with emaciation and insomnia it may be necessary to nourish yin as well. People with a babesial co-infection, an infection with symptoms similar to malaria, generally need heat to be cleared from the shaoyang channel and need nourishing of yin. Artemisia can be a useful herb for babesia. It has been shown to have anti-malarial properties in China and Vietnam. For people with Lyme Disease who have nerve problems, it may also be necessary to clear liver wind.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been used to treat people with Lyme Disease. Many have experienced good results and there is ongoing scientific research at the moment concerning its efficacy. The bacteria that causes Lyme Disease prefers an oxygen deprived environment. Its presence in the body appears to increase coagulation of blood and decrease circulation. It may thereby create the oxygen deprived environment that it prefers. This is great for the bacteria but can be the source of much of the difficulty that a person with this disease experiences. Many of the symptoms that people with Lyme disease, CFS, or fibromyalgia complain of are similar to symptoms that people experience from altitude sickness, which is caused by oxygen deprivation at high altitudes. The fatigue, the mental difficulties, the sleepiness, the feeling of having a ton of bricks attached to one’s limbs are all similar to symptoms that people with altitude sickness experience. It makes sense to me that creating an oxygen-rich environment could potentially be very helpful. It is important for testing for co-infections before beginning this process, because there are other bacteria that could be present that prefer a high oxygen environment, complicating the picture. There are potential side effects as well such as nearsightedness.

Colloidal silver is supplement that may have broad-spectrum antibiotic properties. Its proponents claim that it can aid all sorts of conditions from asthma to rheumatoid arthritis. It did appear to help my fatigue quite a bit at the early stages of my Lyme disease. There is the possibility that excessive use can cause a condition called argyria, which is a permanent bluish discoloration of the skin, although many people have huge quantities of colloidal silver with no problems at all. It is also helpful to take an acidophilus supplement while using this supplement in order to replace the good bacteria in your intestines and prevent problems with candida. Large amounts may be required to have an impact on Lyme Disease. It is possible to buy a colloidal silver generator and make your own colloidal silver at home. This is much cheaper than buying it on a regular basis at the health food store, but care must be taken to make it properly.

Aromatherapy is one of the most promising holistic therapies for conditions such as fibromyalgia, CFS, and Lyme Disease, in my opinion. The essential oils are concentrated versions of the volatile components found in herbs. It can take many pounds of plant matter to make an ounce of essential oil. For the most precious oil, made from the Bulgarian rose, it can take a ton of rose petals to make a pound of oil. Most of the oils have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Many of them stimulate the immune system and trigger increased production of white blood cells. The oils also improve oxygenation of the body’s tissues and promote detoxification. They may have a chelating effect, which means that they may assist in carrying toxins such as heavy metals out of the body. Some oils such as lavender can be sedative and aid with sleep and reduce anxiety. Oil of oregano, which is a popular supplement found in health food stores is essential oil of oregano diluted in vegetable oil. It is almost always necessary to dilute the oils before using them because they are so concentrated. Interestingly, many people with CFS, Lyme Disease, and fibromyalgia are likely to find that some of their symptoms worsen when inhaling the fragrance of the oils. This is often a detoxification reaction. People with Lyme Disease generally seem to derive greatest benefits from stronger dilutions of essential oil than most aromatherapists typically use. It is important to use care when the oils are utilized in this manner. One should reduce the amount used if there is nausea or discontinue use if there is any allergic reaction. People with these diseases may discover that much of their fatigue, muscle weakness, mental fogginess, and pain can be significantly reduced with regular application of the oils. The oils can be used diluted in vegetable oil for massage of affected areas of the body, and they can be used by the drop in one’s bath water. They can also be absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs simply by inhaling their fragrance. The oils also penetrate the blood-brain barrier and may be helpful for neurological issues due to infections or other reasons. Oil of oregano taken internally as directed can also be helpful in the treatment of Lyme Disease.

Massage can improve oxygenation of body tissues and improve blood circulation as well as reduce pain. If a person has fibromyalgia or CFS due to an infectious disease process, or a person has Lyme Disease, massage should only be used in combination with a therapy that is antibacterial in nature. Otherwise, it is likely to stir up dormant bacteria and stir up symptoms instead of providing symptom relief. When massage is used in combination with a therapy that is antibiotic in nature, it may improve the efficacy of that therapy by bringing bacteria out of hiding in order to be killed. Deep tissue massage may improve the efficacy of treatment with antibiotics, with herbs, with aromatherapy, or with heat. Used on its own, though, it may stir up latent problems in people with these conditions.

Heat can be helpful for treating Lyme Disease because the bacteria appears to prefer a low body temperature and is vulnerable to high heat. There are many different sources of heat that can be used to treat this condition. Heat can also be helpful for people with fibromyalgia and CFS who may actually have undiagnosed cases of Lyme Disease. People usually feel a worsening of symptoms before they feel an improvement with the use of heat. My personal theory is that this is because the heat stirs up the bacteria before it kills it off or triggers the immune system to kill the bacteria off. This is speculative on my part. The use of saunas can be very useful. A far infrared heat lamp can be used on problem areas. Hot baths taken for forty minutes at 102-104 degrees Fahrenheit have been shown to enhance immune system response in people with infectious diseases and auto-immune disorders in a research study done at Bastyr University. A Chinese therapy called moxibustion can also be useful in warming problem areas. I do not recommend the use of cold packs or ice for pain in people with Lyme Disease, fibromyalgia, or CFS as these therapies reduce circulation to areas where circulation is likely to already be compromised. Also, the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease appears to prefer a cool environment, so cold therapy may cause real problems in people with this condition.

In spite of the fatigue that people with fibromyalgia, CFS, and Lyme Disease may feel, a certain amount of exercise can be very beneficial if they are up to the challenge. It is important not to overexert oneself, but a brisk walk or other exercise that gets one’s heart pumping can be helpful. Again, exercise can be helpful because it can improve circulation in the body, and improve oxygenation of the body’s tissues. Exercises such as stretching and yoga that help to improve flexibility and loosen muscles can also be helpful. Hot yoga, where yoga is done in a room where the heat is cranked up can be particularly helpful because it combines exercise with heat therapy. It is important not to push too hard when doing exercise. The point is to improve your health, and not to wipe yourself out more.

Magnesium appears to be a useful supplement for people with these conditions. Many people report an improvement in their muscle pain when taking a magnesium supplement on a regular basis. It is important to reduce intake of sugar, dairy products and bread while increasing intake of green vegetables. Spirulina can be a useful addition to your health regimen as it is both nourishing and detoxifying. It may also be helpful to reduce consumption of tomatoes as they seem to encourage acidity in the body. Flax seed oil has an anti-inflammatory effect that can be very helpful. Alpha-lipoic acid is a helpful anti-oxidant. It may help nerve function and improve liver function.

As you can see, fibromyalgia, CFS, and Lyme Disease are complex ailments, but there are many promising therapies that people with these conditions are likely to find helpful.

Pioneers in Christian Counseling – An Interview With Grace Ketterman

Warm, genuine, a delightful lady, dedicated to excellence these are all adjectives that describe child psychiatrist and author Grace Ketterman, M.D. The daughter of pioneering parents, she grew up on the plains of Kansas, distinguished herself as a physician in a field dominated by men, established a unique psychiatric treatment center for adolescent girls, led in the development of a statewide support system for the families of prison inmates, and rose above the pain of personal and family tragedy. In all of this, Dr. Ketterman has never deviated from allowing her commitment to Christ to penetrate every aspect of her life, practice, and writing. Still practicing psychiatry at age 72, Grace Ketterman is a quiet, humble, inspiring pioneer in Christian counseling whose life and dedication can be a model to us all.

Tell us about your background, home life, and how you got into the field of psychiatry.

GK: I was the sixth of seven children born to a farm family who had migrated to Kansas from Pennsylvania; they were Mennonite people, very staunch, hard working, good values kind of family. My grandmother, however, had been converted to the Wesleyan Methodist faith by her husband my grandfather, whom I never knew. He was a circuit rider on the Kansas plains. So I have a very fascinating family background. We lived on a farm out-side a small town of Newton, Kansas, and went to a one room country school, where there were 20-25 students with one teacher. All eight grades were represented and I was the only one in my grade for eight years. Then I went to a high school where I was one of 200 in my class one of the major transitions of my life. The value of work was high on my list from early in my life. During the distresses of the Great Depression, every family member was needed to help make a living, We were truly a team. When I was only 12, I worked for a neighbor. We worked hard at cooking for their farm hands, gardening, cleaning, and a list of chores. For some eight hours, I received the magnificent sum of $1.00 total. But I felt rich!

During high school, I worked in a laundry, served as a cashier at a restaurant, and kept my grades high. I remained active in my church as well under the ministry of the best pastor I have ever known. I did well in school, went to a church college for two years, then transferred to Kansas University just as World War II veterans were all coming back again, a transition from a very small school to a very huge number of people. In college, I served as housemaid, worked in a ladies clothing store, graded papers for a professor, worked in the bacteriology department and the school cafeteria. I was ready to apply for med school in my senior year, but I thought I might not be accepted because so many veterans were applying, and they deserved preferential acceptance. Women were not popular as doctors in those days. The Dean of our medical school interviewed me to determine whether I was a fit candidate. He was an austere man, and I was scared to death of him. He asked me about my work history, and I reviewed the jobs I have just listed. To my surprise, he smiled warmly and said, I see you are not afraid of hard work. And I suspect you have become acquainted with a wide range of people.

That will help you to be a good doctor! Gratefully I was one of five women accepted to med school at KU where I spent four years in rigorous training. After medical school, I did an internship in a Jewish hospital, Menorah Medical Center in Kansas City. My husband and I were married in my junior year in med school. During my internship, our first child was born, a tiny daughter who has grown up to become a wonderful psychologist. After my internship, I worked for two years in public health. There I gained my liberal education! I examined indigents, people in jail, and the prostitutes who were brought in. We had a huge VD clinic. After my husband finished school and was able to earn a living, I went back into a pediatrics residency at General Hospital in Kansas City, practiced pediatrics for six long, busy, wonderful years. I soon realized why I was always tired when I counted how many hours a week I was spending at work one week it was 100 hours. So I knew I had to make some changes. I was offered a fellowship in child psychiatry, and that enabled me to limit my practice. I have been in psychiatry ever since.

In those days when you were beginning your practice, was child psychiatry primarily a male profession?

GK: Medicine was very much dominated by men there were five women in my medical school class of about 75. In my residency, I was the only female in all fields of medicine in our hospital, and for many, many years, women were very much in the minority. That began to change probably in the late 70s, and now there is an equal number of women maybe more. So it has changed a lot.

What was it like being a Christian in this kind of secular environment a Christian, child psychiatrist, female? This sounds like an unusual combination.

GK: When I started to think about going into psychiatry, my younger sister, who is a registered nurse, warned me that psychiatry was pretty secular and in fact, she believed, atheistic. She was really concerned lest I be dissuaded from my faith. So I was very cautious and spent a great deal of time in prayer, in communication with the Lord, and in spiritual fellowship in my church and Christian groups throughout my training. God really helped me avoid those pitfalls of doubts and has helped me to coordinate Christian principles and biblical truth with my psychiatric training. Its been a wonderful walk.

Describe some of your early years at the Florence Crittenton Home for unwed mothers.

GK: After my two-year fellowship in child psychiatry, I stayed on staff at the hospital and, again with guidance and help, did the lion’s share of the work in developing the first inpatient program for adolescents at Western Missouri Mental Health Centera wonderfully growing, learning experience for me. Then the state mental health system became unbearable to work with and most of us in the Child Psychiatry Department who had grown together over those four years left. I needed more time with my family by then three children. I took a position with a maternity home, the Florence Crittenton Home, and worked with unmarried mothers, most of them teenagers. It was perfect for me. I had pediatrics experience so I could take care of babies. I had my training in psychiatry so I could help with the mother’s problems. I had some experience by then with families, so it was a great job time limited, crisis oriented, lots of time for my family it was a good era of time.

After about three years of that, I encountered an incredibly rapid change in the unwed mother scene. Teenage moms either got abortions or they kept their babies, and the need for the shelter of a maternity home became negligible. In three months, we went from thinking of adding on to our building because there were so many unwed mothers applying for shelter to so few applicants that we could not pay our bills. We researched what the needs of our community were and found there was no treatment center for emotionally troubled adolescent girls. There were treatment centers for boys and younger kids, but not girls. In my ignorance, I decided to move toward developing a residential care center for adolescent girls. God helped us get that program going, and as I realized how massive the need was, I helped raise about six million dollars over a couple of years to build a wonderful, 100-bed children psychiatric hospital on 150 acres of land. With our administrator, we developed a very unique, successful program, very scripturally oriented, very definitely faith oriented. After about 15 years of very good success with this program, the health insurance business took a turn for the worse, and the ability to keep kids long enough to do the kind of definitive work they needed just dissipated our efforts. We went from about three month’s average stay in the residential program to about three weeks maximum. That’s now diminished to about five days. So the entire program that we had built had to be changed and unfortunately has never been restored to the good quality of its earlier years.

How have you managed to integrate your faith and practice?

GK: I think the main thing is the absolute certainty I have that Gods truth is The Truth. Whatever seems to conflict with his truth has got to be understood and explained. Sometimes its a matter of understanding and explaining; sometimes it’s a matter of saying Hey, I just have to disagree with that I can understand that theory or technique, but I do not really agree with it. God has honored my commitment, and I think the Holy Spirit really is the bearer of truth. He is the spirit of truth, he really guides us, and knowing that certainly helped me stay truthfully committed to my faith in practice.

Give us an example of when your Christian faith has had a significant role in your work in child psychiatry.

GK: In my training days, I remember working under supervision with a Christian family. I was taught very emphatically not to talk about religion, but I dared to differ with that, and when I felt really guided, prompted by the Lord to talk about faith, I did. This particular family had a good church background but they’d walked away from it and were not very involved in any church. Through the problem they had with their son, the pare nots realized they needed help, and they were very willing to talk about their faith, where they’d lost it, and how they wanted to get it back. My mentor at that time was kind of an out-of-touch Christian, who since has come back to a marvelous walk with God. He has told me that he thinks a lot of depression really is due to the fact that people, like this family, have lost touch with their faith. They go through a grieving experience grief and depression can be so similar and I have thought about that a lot as I have worked with people.

How have you seen the field of child psychiatry change over the years?

GK: Well, its moved from more of a Freudian, developmental kind of specialty to a very permissive specialty. A lot of respect is shown to children, and I believe in showing respect. But showing respect has taken precedence over teaching the children respect. So much respect is given to them, but they are not taught to give that back. Grace (1st row) in a field dominated by men! In the psychiatric field, we have gone from counseling and family guidance, family therapy, and pare not guidance to a lot of medication. I fought that as long as I could, but as more discoveries came along showing how much physiological change there really is, I have had to say that medication is a gift from God, just as penicillin is for strep throat. So I use psychiatric medications, but that’s kind of an adjunct to the insight, supportive, guiding kind of work that I do.

What other kinds of changes have you seen over the years in terms of treatment, especially of children with psychiatric problems?

GK: With the changes in managed care, our goals shifted from finding reasonably complete healing of the child and family that enable a child to go back home and live successfully with his or her family. At one point, for five to seven years, we had 75% to 80% success with our kids, in terms of not having recurrent hospitalizations, not having legal problems, and their being able to adjust in their homes and communities. We went from that success rate to being unable to measure change. And from doing good counseling, we went to being able only to offer kind of a cooling-off period for families in crisis, a chance to medicate the patient, and hopefully line the child up with an outpatient aftercare program.

How is Crittenton treating most children today?

GK: They are getting very brief inpatient care, and then they still have what we developed as a day program a very special, wonderful school where kids have academic success, some ongoing counseling, and some recreation therapy. They have continued to focus on very intense family therapy, which is key in making any progress at all.

Would you say then that the insurance industry and managed care are setting the direction for Christian counseling?

GK: To some degree, and in a horrifying way, yes they are. When I reached the age of 65, I realized that I needed to retire from the heavy load that Id carried. So a new medical director was hired, and I tried to stay on as an adjunct and a mentor. Unfortunately, the new director was not interested in my mentoring or any Christian approach. I no longer had an influence in hiring staff, so as I saw things deteriorate, I offered everything I could to salvage the spiritual values, and finally I knew I could not handle the grief over the awful loss of so many good things, so I retired about five years ago.

What have you been doing since your retirement?

GK: I do half-time private practice, which is very different, very rewarding. I love my private patients, and I have continued to do a little writing. I have some time for my grandchildren, and I really have a great life.

How did you get started in your writing career?

GK: You know, that was a really fun story. I began telling patients who had unique experiences that I wished they would write about them, because those experiences are similar to others and they could be very helpful. A patient finally said to me, You’re always telling me to Write why do not you write? So I said, Well, I do not have time. Someday, if I break a leg, I will write. A couple of years later, guess what? I broke my right ankle, and while I was laid up in bed, I had two invitations to write. One was from a little Christian Sunday school periodical, and it was agony to write only 200 words! But a friend then decided to write a book on teenaged rebellion and thought that I could help with that, so I wrote Teenage Rebellion with him. The publisher must have liked my style or what I had to say, so I had more and more invitations to write. I have never had to go through the horror of having a manuscript rejected, because I have written at the request of publishers.

Are there any of your books that you have felt especially good about?

GK: A little book called Understanding Your Child’s Problems is my favorite. I had a spiritual growth spurt during the writing of it, and I did a lot of Scripture research. It may still be in print. That’s probably my favorite but not the best seller. The most successful book has been a little paperback called When You Feel Like Screaming that I wrote in conjunction with Pat Holt, a teacher from California. That book has had a long and vigorous career. Only recently, it has been translated into Spanish.

What are you working on now?

GK: I have just sent in a second revision of a manuscript on a book on forgiveness, relating some of the real tragedies of my life and how I learned so much about forgiving through those experiences. Its with the editor now, and I assume it will go to print soon.

Tell us a little bit about how tragedy has influenced your life and your work.

GK: Well, I have been through some difficult times as you can imagine. In pediatrics, I have lost patients. In personal relationships, I have had betrayals and a lot of sad times. A horrible tragedy hit my family in 1984 when I found that my husband was in jail. We had had some difficulties, and I just could not reach him anymore. There were a lot of difficult financial stresses and debts, as well as a number of losses and grief. I tried to comfort and help but could not. I suspected he was having an affair, so finally I filed for a separation and eventually for divorce.

About three months later, we went out to dinner one Sunday evening and he was berating me for this divorce, because he really wanted to make our marriage work. I said I’d like nothing better, and if he could change, I was certainly willing to change. Still he berated me, and I could see that he was not really making the spiritual and relational changes that he needed to make. Less than 48 hours later, he called me from jail. He had only a minute to talk, just enough to give me a piece or two of information that I had no knowledge of. He had become involved with a woman patient, who had used her teen aged daughter as kind of a seduction-bait. I do not know what else to call it. Now he was accused of child sexual molestation. After almost a year of devastation, he was sent to prison, but on that first phone call, I received incredible insight. The information he gave enabled me to understand what had been going on and how devastating it was. Yet somehow I was able to say, I see, I understand, I can forgive you, and the kids and I will stand by you and help you through this. I still had no idea of ever getting back together with him, but at least I wanted to support him through this. It was a nightmare a terrible time for him, for all of us, but somehow I was able to keep going. At one point, I began to see it was Gods tough love that was teaching my husband how to come back to fellowship with him.

I went to visit him almost every week with a friend whose husband was also in prison. My friend and I developed a prison support group for families and inmates that is very active throughout the state of Kansas (in every prison we have an outreach to families). After four years and a few months in prison, Herb was released. Two years after Herb was discharged from prison, we felt that we knew each other again well enough that we could remarry. We have had a wonderful marriage, but it certainly took a lot of grace, a lot of understanding, and a lot of forgiving to provide healing and the healing is a complete process at this point. Because of the publicity, people have known about this situation in my life. Wherever I go to speak pastors groups, counseling groups, teachers have found audience members who approach me with, If you could do this, then I can do it. So I think God has, in fact, used the tragedy in my life in a very wonderful way.

In what ways have you thought of yourself as a pioneer?

GK: I see myself as the daughter and granddaughter of pioneers. My grandfather was the first family member to come to Kansas from Pennsylvania leaving behind his whole community of people. In my grandmothers day, to have left Pennsylvania and come to Kansas on a train alone to marry someone she knew for only two weeks was certainly pioneering. I have great respect and admiration for my grandparents and their kind pioneer spirit is in my blood. For a farmer, my father’s beliefs were rare in valuing education. He wanted to be a physician but had no opportunity. So he urged all of his seven children to go into medicine. I was the first one with whom he was successful. I think my applying for medical school, even aspiring to such a career, was quite pioneering in its end. Women in medicine were thought of as pioneers in that day. To continue working even after I had children which perhaps I would not have done, had I had hind sight was also pioneering.

What observations do you have for people who may be considering working with children?

GK: Working with children is hard work, not very good in its pay. When you see people for an hour, you cannot charge the large fees that even family doctors charge for a quick emergency a few stitches and a big fee. If you are altruistic enough to give up caring so much about money and more about preventive work, you will be able to work with children. As a twig is bent, so grows the tree. If we can help parents with a troubled child, we help the entire family. And if we can help that child before he or she is I immersed in difficulties that will result in crimes and Imprisonment, what a huge economic advantage it offers our culture, and what a wonderful personal joy it is to see that kind of work!

What observations do you have on the state of Christian counseling?

GK: I think Christian counseling sometimes gets a little superficial. In our community, there isn’t enough of the family approach, not enough group therapy. I was trained thoroughly in group therapy back in the 70s, but even I do not use it now because its difficult, very hard work. Find a counselor for suggestions.

So, how do we keep Christian counseling from becoming superficial?

GK: I think by the kinds of thing that AACC does: by conferences, by emphasizing academic responsibility, by insisting on good training, by being well read and up-to-date with current knowledge and research.

Perhaps we all should do more research and more sharing of research. I think this is where Christian counseling has an edge. The best thing I offer my patients is a caring heart. When they know that they are important enough that I can shed tears sometimes with them, I can laugh with them, be angry with them it does something that I think no techniques in the world can do. That’s what God wants to do through his followers in counseling!

How To Relieve Achy Legs-Useful Recommendations And Tips

In the event that you’re experiencing persistent leg soreness, you might want to know how to relieve achy legs. Soreness in legs could be induced as a result of numerous factors, injury and trauma currently being one of the most frequent reasons. Since leg pain is usually a wider phrase, which consists of pain in knees, pain in the thighs, feet and toes as well as calf. Consequently, virtually any cause that leads to soreness in one of the following could be known like leg ache.

In limited situations, standing for extended period, maintaining leg in not comfortable positions whilst sleeping or sitting down, may additionally result in leg pain. Alternatively it may likewise be described as a sign of a serious problem such as restless leg syndrome, sciatica, bone fracture, ligament sprain or arthritis. Experiencing continual leg ache can easily impede our daily routines. Consequently, it’s very important to take into consideration fast treatment method.

In case you would like to learn how to relieve achy legs, then you’ll discover solutions in the subsequent article.

How you can alleviate painful feet

It’s crucial to discover the precise area and also source of ache ahead of trying to find remedy. The most effective method to be able to relieve achy legs and feet is to seek advice from a physician as well as search for correct medicines. The physician will analyze the soreness and in addition examine that individual’s health background. Therapy is going to be recommended based on it. Nevertheless, aside from medicine, you can find a number of personal help techniques which could be utilized in order to eliminating the ache. The subsequent are a few techniques that may be useful.

Relaxation is recognized as among the most effective therapy to be able to remove soreness triggered in different area of the body. When leg ache is a result of minor reasons, one must consider suitable and total rest so that you can relieve the pain. Having rest may cure ache in different area of the leg.

Stretching will be an additional efficient solution of healing soreness generated in the calf, and thigh. In case the pain is actually triggered as a result of lactic acid accumulation, stretching could be beneficial.

An additional technique which continues to be used since very long time is making use of heat packs or ice. Ice pack is often utilized to help remedy inflammation and ache in leg. In the same way, the heat pack or perhaps a heat rub can be additionally applied in order to eradicate thigh or calf pain. You must keep in mind to not put heat pack on the skin in case you have utilized any kind of cream, because it can easily result in burns.

Inflammation may likewise be treated through protecting the afflicted region along with crepe bandage. You may utilize a calming pain reliever lotion and connect the crepe bandage over it.

Generally, leg pain will be remedied using the support of physical therapy. In the event that you would like to find out how to relieve achy legs using physical therapy, then be aware that this technique needs to be completed just with the assist of a specialist. It’s important to make use of the best method as well as massage to ease the soreness. As a result, it’s recommended never to attempt applying physical therapy in your own home.

Finally, making use of anti-inflammatory treatment can also be on the list of the very best methods in order to deal with cramps and pain, triggered because of problems such as arthritis. Nevertheless, it’s clever to seek advice from a physician prior to deciding for medication in order to prevent unwanted effects.

These techniques regarding how to relieve achy legs will certainly assist in decreasing ache in legs. Nevertheless, it needs to be mentioned that not every solutions are usually beneficial in every situation. As mentioned previously, it’s crucial to find out the main cause as well as the precise position of the pain ahead of trying to find any kind of remedy. Be mindful!

Hair 101 – Learn Some Basics Of Beauty School

Hair is a filamentous biomaterial (made of long chains of proteins, interacts with biological systems), that grows from follicles found in the dermis (middle layer) of the skin. It is composed mostly of keratin, which is a fibrous structural protein.

The entire human body except the palms of hands and soles of feet are covered in follicles that produce hair.

Each strand of hair is composed of three layers: The cuticle, medulla and cortex.

The cuticle is the outermost layer. It is composed of hard shingle-like cells that overlap each other. It is formed from dead cells that have turned into scales. It’s purpose is to protect the inner layers and give the hair strength. The shape the cuticle is in, determines how healthy your hair is. Healthy, shiny hair has a cuticle that is smoothed down. In damaged hair, the scales are raised up. You can smooth the cuticle down by using mild heat (like a towel wrapped around your head after you get out of the shower) or acidic based hair products (which is why a lot of hair products contain citric acid, etc.) Products high in alkaline do completely the opposite, and they raise the cuticle.

The next layer, in the middle, is the cortex, which makes up most of the hair. Melanin, which are color pigments, are located here in the cortex. They determine the color of the fiber of the hair, based on how many there are and what types they are. The shape of the hair follicle determines the shape of the cortex, which therefore determines if hair is straight, wavy, or curly. The cortex also holds water, and is packed with keratin protein. The process of coloring, perm/straighteners, or other styling all takes place in the cortex. The innermost layer is called the medulla, although some people (with fine hair) don’t have a medulla. It’s purpose is still unknown.

Hair color is generally classified by numbers 1-10. Level 1 is generally black, while level 10 is generally blonde.

All natural occurring hair colors are combined of percentages of the three primary colors: Red, Yellow and Blue. The two main chemicals found in permanent hair color are hydrogen peroxide, and ammonia (this is why color is damaging to your hair). Ammonia works by separating the cuticle scales. Peroxide helps oxidize pigments. When the hair color is penetrating into the cortex, it creates new pigment molecules, which are too big to come out of the cortex. This is why it is hard to take color out, once you put it in.

Bleaching your hair is a similar process. The peroxide softens and lifts the cuticle and then the bleach (lightener) disperses the color molecules that are in the cortex.

There are different level of peroxide. 5V and 10V (V=volume) are deposit only. You would use them to deposit a darker color (like black) and they work by only lifting the cuticle a tiny bit. 20V lifts up to 2 levels and deposits color. This is the most common peroxide used. 30V lifts up to 3 levels and 40V lifts up to 4 levels. You won’t see 40V being used often. It is usually only used with high-lift blondes and bleach, but it is very damaging on your hair and can burn the scalp, if used incorrectly.

Now, back to primary colors…

The three primary colors, like I said before, are red, blue and yellow. The three secondary colors are orange (red+yellow), green (blue+yellow) and violet (blue+red). Look at the way the color wheel is set up, for it is done this way on purpose. The color directly across from a color, is its complimentary color. Complimentary colors can either intensify or neutralize each other. For instance, when you bleach your hair, it usually ends up a pale yellow tone. To take away the yellow, you tone your hair with a violet based toner to turn it platinum-blonde. This is why a lot of “blonde” shampoos are purple. If your hair is orange, you should tone it with a blue based (ash) toner.

Toners are basically pigment to tone your hair after bleaching it. I highly recommend toning hair after bleaching it, because it looks more finished. There are so many different varieties of toners. You can tone hair ash blonde, platinum blonde, neutral, strawberry blonde, etc.

Let’s say your hair is bleached but you decide you want to color it back to brown. You have to re-pigment hair first. If you don’t, the color will turn out really ashy/greyish and faded looking. To re-pigment (fill) the hair, you want to use reddish/goldish colors that are one level lighter than the desired color. I used Paul Mitchell color and there are different formulas you can use depending on your target level. For PM, you would mix equal parts of the formula with 10V developer, and apply to damp hair. You process for 10 minutes and then apply the target color over the re-pigmentation formula (unless the target formula is cool/neutral, you would wipe off the re-pigmentation formula). Process the whole thing for 35 additional minutes.

Next, I will get into the different types of colors: Permanent colors can lift you hair up to 3 levels, generally and should last quite a while. High-lifts will lift the hair about 4 levels. Demi-permanent colors last about 4-6 weeks and will wash out eventually, leaving no roots. Temporary colors generally coat the hair shaft, without penetrating into the cortex, therefore not needing developer. If done right, these should even last a few weeks. The little old ladies use a color rinse a lot, which is a temporary color that will just wash out next time they wash their hair.

A very important thing to know about color, that most people don’t know, is that


This basically means that if your hair is dark brown, and you want to lift it to a light brown, you have to bleach your hair before it will take the color you want. I hear customers talk about this at work ALL THE TIME. They are confused because they tried to color their own hair lighter and but it just turned darker. Now consider everything I have taught you so far. If your hair already has dark color molecules in the cortex, and you put another color on top of it, all you are doing is depositing more color molecules into your cortex, hence the reason it is darker. Color will lift virgin hair, but not hair that is already colored.

Now I will tell you how perms and straighteners work. You always clarify before doing a perm, since that will help get build-up and medication out of the hair. While the hair is wet, you roll it into rollers (same width as the result curl will be). You then apply perm solution to each perm-rod and let it process. Perm solution is generally made of ammonium thioglycolate. The solution breaks down the disulfide bonds in your hair (which are the proteins that give your hair shape.) After you have processed, you rinse the perm solution out and then apply neutralizer. Neutralizer rebuilds the disulfide bonds in the new shape of the perm rod. Voila! Now you have curly hair! Straighteners typically do the same thing, except they make your hair straight instead of curly.

Well, I hope you learned something new and interesting about hair! There are so many other cool things to learn and I will write about them a later day!

Have you been to beauty school? I always love to hear new things, so if you would like to add anything to this article, please comment.

Building Rapport With Your Therapy Clients – 5 Verbal Techniques to Help Make a Positive Connection

Rapport is a key element of unconscious human interactions, and good rapport relates to our being effortlessly and positively “tuned into” the person with whom we are engaging. The dictionary definition of Rapport states: Rapport: n. relation; connection, esp. harmonious or sympathetic relation; a sympathetic or harmonious relationship or state of mutual understanding. Synonyms include fellowship; camaraderie; understanding.

Rapport encompasses both the verbal and non-verbal aspects of our interactions: some of which are explicit and some are not. In this article, I will discuss some verbal elements of our interactions that impact on rapport.

We are primed to unconsciously watch and listen for signals that tell us that we are being “heard” or otherwise. If we perceive a mismatch between what is being said and/or how it is being said, we experience a dissonance within this interaction that gets in the way of our establishing a good, cooperative rapport with the other person.

We often find that we can establish rapport relatively easily when we are engaging with people who share our interests or with whom we have a professional commonality, as we speak the same “professional” language. When we can be sure that we understand and are understood, this allows us to engage more naturally with others. However, professionally, we frequently engage with new, unknown individuals: new referrals, enquirers calling to find out if we can help them, or people we contact to promote our services to. In each instance, it is vital that from the start, we establish a good rapport with them so as to allow them to feel that we are the right person to provide them with the service they seek.

1. Getting alongside your client

For me, rapport is about getting alongside someone, making a connection that allows them to feel that I am interested in their story. It is vital that I make this connection early on in my involvement with a new client because without it, we will not move forward very easily.

My goal from my initial contact with someone is that by the end of our first conversation, they feel that I have listened to them. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to use open questions. These are questions that invite expansion, not closed “Yes/No” answers. I use “What/When/Why/How/Where” type questions that gently draw the other person out and let them explain why they are calling me. In responding to these sorts of questions, a person feels the enquirer is interested in them; they feel heard and understood. By questioning in this way, and listening attentively to their answers, I aim to make a positive early impression with the other person that allows them to feel that I may be someone who can be helpful to them.

2. Help them understand

As professional therapists, we have a degree of insight, self-understanding, and the ability to be reflective upon our feelings in given circumstances (hopefully). Many of our clients do not have this understanding, and they need us to help them to make sense of their situation. When you serve as their “knowledgeable guide”, someone who listens to their story and clarifies the complexities, you are creating a relationship where the client views you as supportive and knowledgeable, an ally in their effort to make sense of this world.

3. Vocal tone

How you use your voice can have a major impact on how you establish rapport with your client. As you match them for pitch, tone and volume, you begin to establish a link with them. However, if they are angry and loud, do not match this directly: perhaps start with a similar urgency in your voice, acknowledging their level of upset, but then start to slow things, modelling speaking more calmly, lowering your voice even more than normal (but use limited eye contact, as this can be threatening in such circumstances). When angry people are supported to move towards this calmer, quieter way of speaking, their tone will alter towards yours, and they will feel more connected with you.

If they are very quietly spoken and flat in tone, you can start alongside them, keeping things quiet and gentle, and then gradually lift your tone and energy to try to carry them along with you.

Use humour where you can (and where appropriate) to lighten the mood and let people see that, while you are dealing with serious matters, you can still smile about it.

4. Words

The language we use can sometimes interfere with our rapport building efforts. It is best to avoid jargon and to try to use the vocabulary that your client is using. If they are talking about feeling tired and “weary of it all”, reflect these terms back to them rather than commenting “so you are pretty depressed”: it may simply be that they slept badly and are tired, and your assumption puts you on the back foot in terms of empathy with them: you now have to play catch up to regain the position you had with them.

5. Silence

Do not forget that silence is an important aspect of verbal communication too. Clients need time to reflect on what is being discussed, so give them this time. If you find silences uncomfortable and feel the need to keep talking to fill the void, you are not allowing the client time to reflect on what has being said and figure out their own thoughts. Allow at least 5 seconds between finishing your comment/question before assuming that you have to elaborate. Similarly, wait 5 seconds after your client has spoken to ensure that they have finished. In this way, you are showing that you respect their right to think about all that is being discussed and creating that atmosphere of good, cooperative relationships and rapport.

Awareness of these verbal communication pointers can contribute greatly to the development of better rapport with your clients.