Experiencing Lucid Dreams: Expanding Our Lives Through Lucid Dreaming

Dreaming is a completely natural experience; in fact it is a fundamental part of being human. Each and every one of us experiences a dream state when we sleep. Some of us are quite proficient at remembering and retaining the dream experience, while others claim that they “Do Not Dream” because they experience a complete absence of any dream memories.

Regardless of whether we recall our dreams or not, each of us experiences several dream states during the course of our daily sleep. The dreams that we each experience come to us in a wide range of styles and forms. The focus of our dreams can range from the mundane to the incredibly exciting and thrilling. Many people experience something frightening when they are asleep; these terrifying dreams are commonly referred to as nightmares or night terrors. At other times we experience dreams that are exciting and exhilarating, or even erotic. Unfortunately, the majority of our regular dreaming could be classified as trivial or mundane.

Many people often view dreams as a mental “sorting out” of the events found in their daily lives. Still others believe that God or some other higher power imparts dreams to us, and that dreams explain issues that are occurring in their lives, or even foretell events in the future. On the complete opposite side, other people often believe that their dreams are simply links to the thought held in their unconscious minds.

According to scientific studies, all humans dream on a regular basis. What is different among us is our ability to recall our dreams. Some of us can quickly and accurately recall several dreams from one night. While others have difficulty recalling any dream images at all. Some people go far beyond simple dream recall, and can even control the events that occur within their dreams. This ability is known as Lucid Dreaming.

What Is Lucid Dreaming?

A Lucid Dream is a dream in which the dreamer realizes that they are in fact dreaming, and achieves a state of “Conscious Awareness” within the dream. Often this allows the dreamer to then take control of the dream and determine what happens. This ability to have Lucid Dreams allows us to gain knowledge of what we experience when we are asleep.

Lucid Dreaming usually allows a person to control the flow of events within the dream. However, the degree of control experienced will vary from person to person and from dream to dream. So sometimes you will have more control over your dreams then you will at others. The two things that are constant within a Lucid Dream are:

1) You will have some degree of control over what happens within the dream.

2) You will be aware that you are not awake, and that you are in fact dreaming.

A Lucid Dreamer may not always have the ability to fully control their dreams. However, they will be far more likely to affect changes within a dream than a person who does not practice lucid dreaming would be able to accomplish. It is important to remember that having Lucid Dreams does not necessarily mean you will be able to fully control the dream, but you will certainly be able to experience the Dream while being aware that it is in fact a dream.

Lucid Dreaming can be done by anyone. Yes that’s right – Anyone. Some people find it easier to get started than others, but with some practice and a little perseverance anyone will be able to experience Lucid Dreams. The ability to elicit a Lucid Dream State is simply just a matter of practicing and training yourself to differentiate between when you are awake and when you are dreaming.

Many people are initially attracted to Lucid Dreaming because it offers a simple and inexpensive (Free!! Yippie!!) outlet for us to experience our fantasies. Lucid Dreaming provides us with an opportunity for adventure and gives us a place to experience all of our deepest desires. It gives us a place to play with our creativity and it provides us with access to our subconscious minds.

Dreams provide the most vivid mental images that most people will ever experience. A Lucid Dream state gives us direct access to these experiences. Once you start experimenting with Lucid Dreams you will discover that you just can’t get enough.

You will find that you yearn to have more Lucid Dream experiences.

Why Would I Want to Become a Lucid Dreamer?

The most amazing thing about lucid dreaming is that it can give you full control over everything that happens inside of your dreams. Essentially, you are the Boss; you are in complete control over your entire dream world. When you are in your dream world you can do anything that you want.

Have you ever wanted to fly?

Go Ahead!

Want to swim underwater for hours on end?

No one’s stopping you!

Is that building or mountain in your way?

Simply jump over it!

Some people are able to gain such a complete level of control over their dreams that they are able to actually create and form their own dream worlds. This gives the dreamer complete control over every aspect of their dreams. This opens up the possibility to the dreamer to experience, or “Live Out”, any conceivable fantasy or experience that they may desire.

The only limits to what you can do in your Lucid Dreams are those imposed by your imagination (and its your dream world so why would you put any limits on anything!!) Remember, all of these things are happening in YOUR dream world, none of these things are happening outside of your own mind. But just because they are not “Real” it certainly does not mean that they are not a whole bunch of fun.

What Are The Benefits of Lucid Dreaming?

One of the most obvious benefits of Lucid Dreaming is the fact that you are in control of your dreams. You get to do what you want, you are in charge. As we discussed in the section “Why Would I Want to Become a Lucid Dreamer?”, The only limit to what you can do in your Lucid Dreams are those imposed by your imagination. So if you have ever wanted to take a trip to the Moon or to Mars, or perhaps meet a celebrity like Paris Hiltom or Brad Pitt – Now is the time. And Best of all – Its All Free!!

Another great benefit is that you can use all of this time for productive tasks. That right, the average person who lives to the age of 80 will spend 20 Years ASLEEP!!! Can you imaging, 20 full years sleeping, incredible. Well, by using Lucid Dreaming you will be able to regain a portion of that lost time. You can use your Lucid Dreams for any number of tasks. You can use it for fun and recreation, take a flight around the world (you won’t even need a plane), See the world and meet new people (even celebrities) all from the comfort of your own bed.

Besides being a whole bunch of fun, Lucid Dreaming also provides you with some great chances to explore the inner workings of your own mind. Its important to understand that the time you regain by using Lucid Dreaming can also be used for more “Concrete” undertakings. Are you trying to learn a new skill or improve on an existing talent? Why not practice it while you are in your Lucid Dream state. Learn a language, play the piano, practice public speaking – whatever it is that your working on you can now work on it in your sleep.

When you are experiencing a Lucid Dream you can control the course of events as they unfold. You are able to steer the action away from hostile or unpleasant experiences, and guide the dream towards more pleasurable experiences. You are able to limit, or even entirely eliminate, any hostile or negative themes that can arise in dreams. This ability allows you to virtually destroy any nightmare before it even happens.

Many people also find that the time spent in Lucid Dream states can be well used to focus on Healing or Problem Solving. Many people report that they have made incredible physical recoveries from illnesses or found the answers to difficult questions in their lives by using Lucid Dreaming techniques.

And Best of all it can all be experienced Risk Free!

How Do I Become a Lucid Dreamer?

Any one can become a Lucid Dreamer. The first step involved in becoming a Lucid Dreamer is simply to possess the desire to become a Lucid Dreamer. Once you have made this simple decision it is only a matter of time until you are capable of having this phenomenal experience.

The ability for someone to elicit a Lucid Dream State is simply just a matter of practice and training. Once you have taught yourself how to differentiate between when your are awake and when you are dreaming, you will be well on the way to experiencing Lucid Dreams on a regular basis.

There are some “Tricks” you can use in becoming a Lucid Dreamer faster. Try these techniques and you should be Lucid Dreaming in almost no time at all:

* The most common technique is to periodically throughout the day ask yourself “Am I Asleep?”. Start now; ask yourself “Am I dreaming?” now do this 20 or 30 times a day. Leave yourself notes all over the place that ask this question. Asking this simple question will become so routine to your mind that eventually you will ask this question when you are asleep and you will answer, “Yes”. When this happens you will be well on your way to Lucid Dreaming.

* Another technique that people use with a high level of success is this: Before you fall asleep at night, tell your self repeatedly that you are going to have a Lucid Dream and eventually you will. If this does not work then try to be more specific, try something like “I’m going to Fly”.

Some people are able to experience a Lucid Dream state very quickly, sometimes within a matter of days of undertaking the attempt. For others it takes significantly longer to achieve their first Lucid Dream. For some people it can take weeks or even months before they begin to experience Lucid Dreams states. If you are not one of the people who can pick this up quickly, don’t despair. Just keep at it and remember that Anyone can do it – All that is needed is practice and perseverance.

Lets reiterate – Any one can become a Lucid Dreamer, it simply takes time and practice and the right understanding of the techniques involved in creating a Lucid Dream State to become a Lucid Dreamer.

How Do I Know If I’m Experiencing Lucid Dreaming?

If you find yourself asking a Giant Pink Elephant for directions to the supermarket, you may want ask yourself if you are asleep.

There are a few tricks to determining if you are asleep.

Ask your self “Am I Dreaming?”, if you answer “Yes” well then their you have it – You are experiencing a Lucid Dream. Be careful though, because you may be a liar! You may tell yourself that your awake when really you are asleep! This is because your mind wants to believe that everything it sees is always reality so you may get the answer that you are awake when in fact you are asleep. Luckily there are ways to spot this. Read something like a sign or a book title and then look away, now read it a second time. Is it different? If so chances are pretty good that you are asleep.

One of the most important things that you need to do when you first attempt Lucid Dreaming is to Question things. Question Everything! Start questioning your surroundings. Do things around you make sense? Are the people around you real? Are animals Talking? Can you Fly? Did another Giant Pink Elephant just give you a thumbs up and then run away? Where the heck did an Elephant get thumbs? These might be clues that not everything is as it should be, and that therefore you may actually be asleep and having a Lucid Dream.

This is important, when you ask yourself “Am I Dreaming?” do not just answer right away (remember your a liar anyways). Instead take a second and think about it. Look around, is everything really “Real”? Is something strange going on? All joking aside, but it really is important to take a second and pay attention. It is amazing how many people will just accept their surroundings as real, deny that they are asleep, and then politely wave back to the pink elephant and carry on as if everything is as it should be.

Look for incongruities, things that happen within your dreams that you should realize are “Not Normal”. Sometimes we enter a Lucid Dream state without even meaning too. Just pay attention to your surroundings – Look for things that shouldn’t really happen in “Real Life”. Did a Gorilla just tip his hat to you in the Elevator? Ask your self if your dreaming (If the answer is “No” you may want to get off at the next floor even if its not yours! Or ask yourself if maybe this is one of those times where you are lying to yourself.) You can also use incongruities to enter a Lucid State by simply realizing that you are asleep.

Another great thing about the Human body is the fact that your body is naturally paralyzed during sleep, and this natural paralysis will keep you from “Physically” acting out your dreams – so you can rest assured that if your flying about the universe chasing rocket ships in your dreams, at least you will know that your body is still safe in bed at home.

Remember, when Lucid Dreaming you are in control of what takes place. After all, it is taking place within your head. All of the action is taking place within your mind, which gives you complete control over everything that happens to you, so make it a pleasurable experience and have some fun with it.

Check out www.intelligenceunderstood.com [http://www.intellieunderstood.com] for more on Lucid Dreaming and other Mind Improvement Topics.

Evaluating Occupational Health Interventions and Initiatives

Types of intervention

Interventions we might want to evaluate can range from the provision of a whole occupational health service, through to the implementation of a particular training programme, to a change in a policy or way of working or to the introduction of a new item of equipment. Interventions can impact at any or all levels of an organisation from the individual right up to the organisational; some intervention may even have a societal impact (we can dream). Having a clear idea of what the intervention is and what the possible/proposed impacts will be at each level of the organisation is the first part of setting up an evaluation study. Working out how to measure the impact will involve defining the variables of interest.

Variables

Variables can be described as dependent or independent. An independent variable (IV) is one which will be manipulated as part of the intervention. An example of an independent variable might be the presence or absence of the new piece of equipment whose effect we want to evaluate. A dependent variable (DV) is something you might measure following the intervention – for example injury rate; time taken to carry out a task or user satisfaction.

In addition to IVs and DVs it is important to be aware of potential confounding variables. These are variables which may have nothing to do with the intervention but have an impact on the DVs, thereby confounding the results. For example, if we are interested in the sickness absence levels due to MSDs in companies which have Ergonomics services over those which do not, we may find that it is only the companies with ‘high risk’ work who have Ergonomics services. They are therefore likely to have higher sickness absence levels due to MSDs than companies where there is no Ergonomics service, though this is due to the high risk nature of the work, rather than the presence or absence of the Ergonomics service. ‘Type of work’ is therefore a confounding variable and should be controlled for when evaluating the impact of an Ergonomics service.

Types of data – Qualitative and Quantitative

Quantitative data results from measuring, and is numerical. It is useful for demonstrating any statistically significant effects of an intervention. Qualitative data is descriptive and is useful for understanding the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions associated with interventions.

Types of evaluation

Evaluation can take a variety of forms from a simple, qualitative, ‘after’, non-experimental design (e.g. using a survey to ask staff whether an intervention worked after it has taken place) to a randomised control trial, where an intervention is compared to a control and the participants are randomly assigned to each group. The

type of design chosen will depend on the balance between the resources available and the strength of evidence required. The strongest evidence comes from experimental designs, however these are also the most resource intensive.

Which form of evaluation is right for me?

Choosing what type of evaluation to carry out and which type of data to use can be guided by the following points

  • What strength of evidence is required?
  • Are there any ethical or legal considerations? e.g. we should not assign participants to an intervention condition if we know it is likely to be more harmful than another condition
  • What resources are available, both in-house and externally?
  • How far through the intervention are we already?
  • What is the time frame for having an answer?
  • Is it possible to randomise participants?
  • Does the workplace set-up preclude a control group from being influenced by the intervention?
  • What statistical power is needed?

How do I set-up an evaluation study?

Organisational Phase

  • Define the problem and the intervention
  • Define the purpose, timescale and budget for the evaluation

Planning and Development phase

  •   Investigate the available measurement methods
  • Specify the evaluation design, study sample and measurement methods

Pre-intervention phase

  • Measure base-line values of variables – qualitative and quantitative

Post-intervention phase

  •   Measure values of variables after the intervention – qualitative and quantitative

Analysis phase

  •   Quantitative and qualitative data analysis
  • Interpreting results and drawing conclusions

Mood disorders

MOOD (AFFECTIVE) DISORDERS

  

1. Depressive Illness (Unipolar Depression)

 Introduction:

 Very common, rank 4th as a cause of disability worldwide, projected to rank 2nd by 2020. Although effective treatments are available, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated, often regarded by both patients and physicians as understandable.

Mild depression has a significant morbidity and mortality. Suicide is the leading cause of death in person 20-35 yrs; high percentage (up to 50%) is depression.

Depression disorder also contributes to higher morbidity and mortality when associated with other physical disorders (e.g. MI) and its successful diagnosis and treatment has been shown to improve both medical and surgical outcomes.

There remains an innate reluctance to consider pharmacological interventions for emotional problems, despite overwhelming evidence of efficacy. Also widespread concern that drugs which improve mood must be addictive, despite evidence to the contrary.

Non compliance remains the major reason for treatment failure and often underestimated (up to 40% of treatment failure due to non-compliance).

Diagnosis:

Slight difference between the ICD-10 and the DSM-IV, however the core symptoms are almost identical:

  • Present for at least 2 weeks
  • Depressed mood present most of the day, nearly every day, with little variation and often lack of responsiveness to change in circumstances. There may be diurnal variation in mood with mood worse in the morning.
  • Anhedonia Marked diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all activities most of the day.
  • Weight change loss of weight or gain (5% in one month), associated with decreased or increased appetite.
  • Disturbed sleep insomnia (with early morning wakening 2-3 hours sooner than usual) or hypersomia (atypical depression).
  • Psychomotor retardation or agitation both subjectively and objectively
  • Fatigue or loss of energy.
  • Reduced libido
  • Felling of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (may be delusional).
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate or indecisiveness.
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death which may or may not have been acted upon.

 Somatic symptoms, also called ‘biological’, ‘melancholic’ or ‘vital’

  • Loss of emotional reactivity
  • Diurnal mood variation.
  • Anhedonia
  • Early morning wakening
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Loss of libido

Psychotic Symptoms:

  • Delusions e.g. poverty, personal inadequacy, guilt, other nihilistic delusions.
  • Hallucinations e.g. deformity or accusatory voices, cries for help or screaming; bad smell, demons, devil, dead bodies.
  • Catatonic e.g. depressive stupor.

Severity:

Mild, moderate or severe

Subtypes:

? Melancholic or with somatic symptoms

? With psychotic symptoms

? Under ‘other depressive episodes’:

  • Atypical depression (mood depressed but reactive, hypersomnia, hyperplasia, leaden paralysis, oversensitivity to perceived rejection, initial insomnia, reversed diurnal variation, lack of feeling of guilt. In early twenties.
  • Postnatal depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Indirect presentation

  • Insomnia, or other somatic complaints (e.g. Headache, GI upset)
  • Person from a different cultural background presenting with ‘cultural-specific’ symptoms.
  • Physical disorder masking the depressive features.

Epidemiology:

Prevalence 2-5%

Lifetime rate 10-20%

Sex Ratio M:F 1:2

It is increasing.

Aetiology:

(Bio-Psycho-Social approach / 3Ps Predisposing, Precipitating and Perpetuating)

 1. Biological and genetic factors:

Lack of Monoamines (Serotonin, Noradrenalin, and possibly Dopamine)

Antidepressant work by increasing the above. SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitors e.g. Prozac, Cipralex. TCA (old antidepressant which has severe side effects including cardiac) prevent reuptake of both serotonin and noradrenalin. Other new medications such as Effexor work on all three (low dose ?serotonin, moderate dose? noradrenalin then high dose? dopamine).

Above is oversimplification and other transmitters such as GABA and peptide (e.g vasopressin) are involved. There is also link with abnormalities in regulation of many hormones (stress hormones) such as Cortisol and the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. New generation antidepressants (in the making) are to target all of the above.

Twin and family studies have shown that there is a genetic basis to many cases of depression; hence a family history is a significant risk for depression

2. Psychological and social factors:

There is strong evidence that psychological factors (e.g. maternal deprivation or other childhood loss) may predispose to depression. Type of personality is also a risk (obsessive compulsive Personality).Life events such as marital separation, job loss and other stresses also play a role.

Other social risk factors include being at home with young children, unemployment, and lack of close confidants

Differential Diagnosis: 

  • Other psychiatric disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Haematological disorders
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Infections
  • Sleep disorders
  • Medication-related

  

THEREFORE ALWAYS EXCLUDE ORGANICITY AS A PRIMARY CAUSE FOR DEPRESSION.

Course & Prognosis:

Depressive episodes vary from 4-30 wks for mild-moderate cases, to an average of about 6 months for severe cases (25% will last up to 1 yr)

The majority of patients experiencing a depressive episode will have further episodes later in life (risk of recurrence is 30% at 10 yrs, 60% at 20 yrs).Recurrence is greater when there are residual symptoms after remission.

There are good evidence that modern antidepressant treatment impact significantly upon the above, reducing the length of depressive episodes; and if treatment is given long term, the incidence of residual symptoms is less, there are fewer recurrent episodes, and chronicity may be as low as 4%

Mortality suicide 15% (severe) especially requiring hospital admission, overall rate of death is higher than general population with other causes usually due to substance misuse, accidents, cardiovascular disease, respiratory infection and thyroid disorders.

Good prognostic factors: Acute onset, ‘somatic symptoms’. Earlier age of onset

Poor Prognostic Factors: Insidious onset, elderly, residual symptoms, neuroticism, low self confidence, comorbidity (physical or psychiatric. personality disorder), lack of social support

Management & Treatment:  

? History

? MSE (Mental State Examination)

? Physical Examination

? Investigations: Standard test: FBC, ESR, B12/Folate, U&E, LFT, TFT, Glucose, And MSU. Others: EEG, CT/MRI, HIV testing etc (all depends on the history and physical examination. 

?Treatment:

1. Antidepressent: effective in 65-75% of patients. All currently available antidepressant work by increasing the availability of the monoamines (5HT, NA & DA). Many classes are available:

  • SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants)
  • MAOI (Monoamine oxidise inhibitors) and reversible monoamine oxidise inhibitors (RIMAs) inhibitors-tyramine and cheese reaction hypertensive crises requires dietary restriction, good for atypical depression.
  • Seratonin/noradrnaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors (NARIs)
  • Noradrenalin and specific serotonergic antidepressant (NaSSA)
  • Others: L-Tryptophan, st.John’s wort.

2. Psychotherapy:

CBT (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy)

IPT (Interpersonal Therapy)

Psychodynamic (Psychoanalysis): lacks evidence based support.

3. Combinationof the above may act synergistically

4. Augmentation (Evidence for lithium and mood stabilisers).

5. ECT: May be considered as first-line therapy when there are severe biological features (significant weight loss) or marked aggression, retardation or suicide risk, psychotic features are prominent.. Consent needed, main risk due to anaesthesia, safe, no aboslolue contraindication.

6. Psychosurgery only in exceptional circumstances when all other fails. Employ stereo tactic method using MRI.

7. Others: Light Therapy, rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, Magneto-Convulsion Therapy (MCT), Vagus Nerve Stimulation(VNS)

2. Bipolar Illness (Manic-depression):

Diagnosis:

Mania (Bipolar I): A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, with 3 (or more) symptoms. lasting 1 week or less if admission is required.

Clinical Features:

  • Elevated mood
  • Increased energy which manifest as over activity, pressed speech, racing thought or reduced need to sleep
  • Increased self esteem, evident as overoptimistic ideation, grandiosity, reduced social inhibition.
  • Reduced attention/ increased distractibility
  • Tendency to engage in behaviour that could have serious consequences such as, preoccupation with extravagant, impracticable schemes, spending recklessly, inappropriate sexual encounter
  • Other behavioural manifestations such as, excitement, irritability, aggressiveness, suspiciousness
  • Marked disruption of work, usual social activities and family life.

Psychotic symptoms: 

  • In severe forms grandiose ideas may be delusional e.g. special power.
  • Persecutory delusions
  • Catatonic behaviour
  • Total loss of insight.  

Hypomania (BPII): 4 days and symptoms less severe and does not interfere with social or occupational function

Epidemiology:

Life time prevalence 3-1.5%

M=F (except Rapid Cycling i.e. more than 4 episodes a year)

Age mean 21yrs, males earlier than females.

Aetiology:

(Bio-Psycho-Social-/ 3Ps Predisposing, Precipitating and Perpetuating)

(Patient must have the genetic predisposability)

Genetic 1st degree relatives are more likely to develop the condition (10-15%). Children of a parent with bipolar disorder have 50% chance of developing a psychiatric disorder (genetic liability appears shared for schizophrenia, schizoaffective, and Bipolarity).

MZ twins 33-90%, DZ twins 25%

Neurotransmitters NA, DA, 5HT and glutamine

HPA axis stress hormones.

Differential Diagnosis:

As in depression exclude organicity (secondary mania)

Medication that may induce mania:

Antidepressant

Other psychotropic medications

Anti Parkinson medications

Cardiovascular medications

Respiratory drugs

Anti infection

Analgesic

Gastrointestinal drugs

Steroids

Others: interferons, cyclosporine, baclofen

Course & Prognosis:

Extremely variable.1st episodes may be hypomanic, manic, mixed or depressive. This may be followed by many years without further episodes, but the length of time between subsequent episodes may begin to narrow. There is often a 5-10 years interval between age of onset and treatment. Depression is much more common to be first, mania can present even at later life (>50).

Mortality and morbidity rates are high, in term of lost work, productivity, effect on marriage (much higher divorce rate). Attempted suicide up to 40% and completed up to 10%

Within the first 2 years of 1st episode, 50% will experience another episode.

Poor prognostic factors: Poor compliance, Unemployment, substance misuse, psychotic features, male, mixed state, rapid cycling.

Good prognostic factors: Mania episode of short duration, later age of onset, good response treatment, and few comorbidity physical problems.

Management & Treatment:

(Bio-psycho-social approach again!!)

Same as depression in term of assessment

  ?First line treatment:

  

Lithium, Antipsychotic, ECT, BDZ (for acute episode).

  ?Second line:

Anticonvulsant: Valproate and Carbamazepine

  ?Psychotherapeutic interventions:

 Most patients will struggle with some of the following issues:

  • Emotional consequences of significant periods of illness and receiving the diagnosis
  • Problems related to stigmatisation and self-esteem
  •  Interpersonal, marriage, family, occupational or academic problems
  • Coming to term with the illness, past event and future concerns

Some selected intervention:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)time limited, with specific aims: educate the patient about bipolar disorder and its treatment, teach cognitive behavioural skills for coping with psychosocial stressors and associated problems, facilitate compliance with treatment and monitor the occurrence of symptoms (relapse signature)

Family Therapy

Support Groups

References

.1.    Stevens L, Rodin I. Psychiatry: An illustrated colour text, Churchill Livingstone 2001

•2.    Steple D. Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry, Oxford University Press, 2006

•3.    Guthrie E & Creed F. Seminars in Liaison Psychiatry. Royal college of Psychiatrist 2007

•4.    World Health Organization (WHO). ICD-10 Classification of mental and behavioural disorders. Churchill Livingstone

•5.    American Psychiatric Association (APA). DSM-IV-TR. Fourth Edition Text Revision. APA Publication

•6.    King D. Seminars in clinical psychopharmacology. Second Edition 2004. Royal College of Psychiatrists

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Camper Rental

The words camping trip can really make your head spin with excitement. Before you venture out on to this great adventure there are certain items that you will need to look into. The first one is where you are going for your camping trip. The next item that you will look into is that of where to stay while you are camping. Now you can choose to rough it out in the wilderness or you can see about the accommodations to be had in a camper rental.

As there are various different types of camper rental accommodations available it is best if you check these out. By looking into these facts you can find out what facilities and services are available. You should make sure that you see what the cost of these various facilities are like. When you look through the different camper rental accommodations you may want to see what details you can get from their brochures and any web sites which they may have.

While finding the best place to stay is important you may also want to find out what sort of activities you can participate in. These will vary depending to the camping site that you are staying in. Just be sure that you choose activities that are of interest to you. The choice of activities is part of the reasons why a camper rental can be a great place to see about booking a holiday.

For many people finding good accommodations in or near the area where they are camping means being prepared to hunt around for quite a while. You can avoid this dilemma if you can see what sort of camper rental facilities is readily available. This problem can be resolved by seeing if the area that you are planning on camping has any information that you can get. Sometimes the internet will also have information about camping sites which have different types of accommodations for visitors.

If you are planning on having a somewhat extended camping holiday then you will need to think about what sort of weather conditions you will be facing. You will also need to have a place to stay which there is ample enough room. This way when you need to stay indoors due to inclement weather you will still be comfortable.

As you look at the different camper rental accommodations which are available you will need to decide what features are necessary for your vacation. Since you will be staying here for a significant portion of your time then getting a comfortable well equipped camper rental is vital.

DVD Printing – Choosing the Right Printing Method for Your Project

Digital DVD Printing

This method of DVD printing utilises pre-manufactured printable DVDRs. The discs will either have a white or a silver printable surface which is receptive to an inkjet printer. Printable DVDRs are widely available in high street stores or online and even high quality discs are inexpensive.

A Digital DVD printer works on the same principle as a desktop inkjet printer. The cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink cartridges are loaded into the printer and a printer head makes a series of passes over the printable disc surface depositing the ink according to the artwork file. It is possible to print extremely detailed high resolution images using this printing method but it does have a couple of drawbacks:

  • The digital DVD printing process is slow compared to other printing processes – Commercial digital DVD printers are only capable of printing up to 200 DVDs unattended and each print can take up to a minute depending upon the complexity of the artwork.
  • Each disc needs to be finished with a layer of clear lacquer – this is to protect the printed surface from potential moisture damage when handled. This adds more delay to the process.

However, this DVD printing process does not have any fixed set up cost which makes it ideal for short runs of less than 100 DVDs which is a service that is very much in demand with the advance of the digital download.

DVD Screen Printing

Screen printing is a tried and tested printing method that has been used in the commercial printing industry for decades. DVD screen printing is an adaptation of this process, modified to allow printing onto a disc. This process is great for printing areas of solid colour using vibrantly coloured inks mixed from various proportions of base cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink. There are also fluorescent and metallic inks available for use with this process.

A screen printing machine has a large rotating platform. The platform is split into 5 printing stations with a UV lamp between each station and the next. DVDs with a base coat of any colour can be printed on, which allows for a maximum of 6 different colours in the artwork design.

The printing screen, from which the process gets its name, is a very fine mesh screen which is initially covered with a thermally reactive emulsion. A separate screen is required for each of the colours featured in the final artwork and a celluloid film is also made for each colour. The film is black in the areas where the colour is required on the disc, and clear where it is not required. The film is attached on top of a screen and placed into an exposure unit. A hot, bright light is then briefly switched on over the top of the film. Where the light and heat go through the clear portions of the film to the screen beneath, the thermal emulsion on the screen is hardened. Where the film is black, the heat and light do not pass through the film and so the emulsion remains unchanged.

The screen is then transferred to a spray booth where it is sprayed with a fine water jet. The water washes away the emulsion which has not hardened leaving a screen where ink can pass through the mesh only in certain areas where that colour is required according to the design. The screen is then fitted to its station on the DVD screen printing machine. The other 4 screens are prepared in the same way and the machine is then ready to print.

The DVDs are loaded onto the printing machine automatically. They are presented on spindles and each disc is lifted by a robotic arm with soft rubber vacuum cups. The DVD is placed into a metal jig which holds the disc securely to prevent any movement whilst it is being printed. The metal jigs are lined up around the machine and the DVDs are loaded, printed and then removed once printing is complete. A DVD that has been printed and then removed is replaced at the next machine rotation with a fresh unprinted disc. This process continues until the production run is complete.

At each station a different coloured ink is applied to the disc when a rubber squeegee blade passes over the screen. The screen is pressed down onto the disc surface and the ink is forced through the mesh by the blade. Once the ink has been applied the blade returns to its starting position ready for the next disc. The machine platen rotates one position and the freshly printed disc passes under a UV lamp. The UV light from the lamp cures the ink instantly and the disc moves to the next station where the next coloured ink can be applied without any possibility of smearing of the previously applied ink. The printing and curing process is very fast and a modern DVD screen printer is capable of printing more than 3,500 DVDs in an hour.

The requirement for screens and films for each different ink colour in the design to be printed onto the DVD, means that there are fixed costs associated with this process. These costs can be minimised by limiting the number of colours involved in the DVD print design. It is perfectly possible to design an attractive disc using just a single colour print onto a printable silver DVD. The fixed cost, however, does make it a less viable process for very small orders of less than 100 DVDs.

Lithographic DVD Printing (Offset printing)

This process, as with DVD screen printing, is a popular printing method for producing high resolution images on paper or card stock and has been adapted to suit DVDs. Lithographic printing is the best process for producing DVDs with a photographic print or artwork involving a subtle colour gradient but is not great for printing artwork that has large areas of solid colour due to potential coverage issues which may result in a “patchy” print.

The lithographic DVD printing process involves making a metal printing plate which is curved around a roller. The basic principle at work with this process is that printing ink and water do not mix. The printing plate surface is treated in some areas so that it attracts ink, the remaining areas are treated to attract water and not ink. The result is a printing plate that can be introduced to ink which only adheres to it where required. The ink on the printing plate is transferred or “offset” to another roller which has a rubber blanket wrapped around it. The rubber blanket roller applies the ink to the DVD which is held firmly in place in a metal jig on the machine bed.

This process is equally as fast as the screen printing process and so many thousands of DVDs can be printed every hour that the machine is running. Once again, there are fixed set up costs involved here and so the cost to print orders of less than 100 DVDs is high.

DVD Printing Process Summary

In a nutshell, if your project is only for a small run of discs then digital DVD printing is the way to go. There is certainly no print quality compromise with digital printing over the other 2 processes and even though it is the slowest process, this is not really relevant if you’re only having 50 discs printed. There are many companies specialising in 24 to 48 hour turnarounds on short runs of discs who use this printing method exclusively and have it down to a fine art.

For projects where the amount of discs required is more than 100 and the artwork features bold, solid colours, then the DVD printing process of choice has to be screen printing. The metallic and fluorescent inks available for this process make for some truly eye-catching and distinctive designs. If the artwork for the discs is a photographic image or contains a subtle colour gradient, then the printing process best suited to this type of artwork would be Lithographic printing. For screen and lithographic printing, the more units ordered, the cheaper the unit cost becomes.

Diabetes – Three Natural Ways to Prevent Control and Treat

Almost everyone knows someone with diabetes. From 1980 through 2004, less than one-quarter of a century, the total number of Americans with diabetes more than doubled! Estimates show that about six percent of the American population or about 18.2 million Americans suffer from this life-long illness. And about 6 million of those people haven’t been diagnosed yet.

The causes of diabetes are well known. Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body has lost its ability to regulate the levels of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. This is usually due to some interruption in the production of insulin. Insulin is the hormone in our body that lowers blood sugar levels. Without the hormone in our body, our blood sugar levels increase to dangerously high levels. Since all the organs in our body rely on a steady supply of glucose so they can function properly, any disruption blood sugar levels can have dire consequences. Diabetes often leads to blindness, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations, and nerve damage.

There are two major types of diabetes – Type 1 which is often called juvenile diabetes and Type 2 which is often called adult diabetes or adult-onset diabetes. Although diabetes can strike at any age, Type 1 diabetes usually strikes children and young adults. In Type 1 diabetes, cells in the pancreas called beta cells, these are the ones that make insulin to control blood sugar levels in our body, do not function. So in order to maintain or manage blood sugar levels, people with Type 1 diabetes must inject insulin or have it delivered by a small pump into their body. In effect, they must supply the insulin that the beta cells in their pancreas are not supplying. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about five to ten percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1. Type 2 diabetes generally affects adults. Type 2 adult diabetes usually begins as the body starts to resist the effects of insulin – sometimes called insulin resistance. The body just doesn’t use the insulin it makes effectively or efficiently. This inefficiency puts extra demands on the pancreas where insulin is made by the beta cells. Over time, the pancreas and beta cells can’t keep up and gradually begin to lose the ability to make insulin at all.

The American Diabetes Association estimates that nearly 6 million Americans are currently living with undiagnosed diabetes. The effects of an adult with diabetes may first appear as problems with their vision, nerves, kidney failure, heart attack, or stroke. It isn’t until these life threatening conditions occur that they realize they have been living with the chronic disease of diabetes. The symptoms of an adult with diabetes and the symptoms of a child with diabetes are recognizable: excessive thirst, craving for sweet foods, passing urine frequently, tiredness and weight loss. Although the onset of Adult Type 2 diabetes is gradual, the onset of Juvenile Type 1 diabetes is usually very rapid and sometimes life threatening when they first appear.

Why would anyone develop Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes? Can diabetes be passed down? The answer is maybe. Genetics and other family histories are being examined to determine whether Type 1 or Type 2 are hereditary, but the cause of Type 2 diabetes is more associated with lifestyle habits. Type 2 diabetes is often seen in people who don’t exercise, are obese, have a poor diet, and lead stress-filled lives.

Diabetes is ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States but may be underestimated. The reason is that more than 60 percent of those with diabetes often die as a result of heart disease or stroke. And it is the heart disease or stroke that is listed as the cause of death. Because the causes of Type 2 diabetes are associated with lifestyle habits, there may be a NATURAL TREATMENT for Type 2 Adult Diabetes. There may be a natural treatment for the CONTROL of diabetes.

Here are three natural lifestyle habits to prevent, control, and treat diabetes.

1. Maintain a healthy weight. 90 percent of all people diagnosed with diabetes are overweight. According to the American Diabetes Association, even 5 to 10 percent reduction in body weight can result in a tremendous reduction in the risk or severity of diabetes. For most people, that’s only a loss of 10-20 pounds.

2. Exercise. Physical activity can lower your blood sugar (glucose) and help insulin work better for your body. That means your body is less susceptible to the development of diabetes. If you’re trying to lose weight as a natural way to prevent, control, or treat your diabetes, a combination of physical activity and wise food choice can help you reach your target.

3. Nutrition. Eating habits contribute significantly to the current increase in diabetes. Over the past 50 years, people have been eating more and more carbohydrates and sugar-filled foods. Eating a lot of carbohydrates each day puts stress on the pancreas which must work harder to maintain blood sugar levels. As the pancreas degrades, and you continue to eat the carbohydrates, you make yourself prone to Type 2 diabetes.

Maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and proper nutrition are important. They are three natural lifestyle habits that you can do today to prevent, control and treat diabetes. Eating healthy and getting the proper nutrition means a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and taking a nutritional supplement. Taking a nutritional supplement on a regular basis ensures you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, including your pancreas, to rebuild, regenerate, and operate at peak performance levels.

Where Does Childhood Obesity Begin?

Everywhere you look now days you see children who are over weight and out of shape. It amazes me because it seems like everyone from Richard Simmons to Oprah has an exercise program. There’s a different machine being sold for every muscle in the body. Why are we seeing this weight problem in every school in the nation?   So where does childhood obesity begin?

If you look at what’s going on right now, two-thirds of Americans are obese. Two-thirds!! The stats estimate there are 300 million people in the United States,  that means 200 million of us are taking up too much space.

In 1991 no state in the United States had an obesity rate above twenty per cent. The National average in 1980 was fifteen per cent.

So what’s it look like now?

  • Adult obesity has gone up in 23 states and has not gone down in any state
  • Adult obesity rates exceed twenty five per cent in 31 states and exceed twenty per cent in 49 states.
  • 16 states experienced an increase in obesity for the second year in a row.
  • 11 states experienced an increase for a third straight year

Four states Tennessee, Alabama, West Virginia and Mississippi are above 30 per cent and Mississippi is the highest at 32.5 per cent for five straight years. 8 of the 10 states with the highest rates are in the south.

 

 

Children between 2 and 5 years old that are over weight are four times as likely to be over weight adults. Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity for children between the ages of 10-17 at 44%. The ratio of states that have the biggest weight problem in adults also have the biggest problem in their children.

The answer to our question “Where Does Childhood Obesity Begin?   is at home!  We are teaching our kids how to eat from the day they are born to the day they are on their own.  They are like little computers and if you put garbage into a computer you get garbage out.  So if you teach a kid to eat poorly, then that’s all they know.   Educate yourself first and learn what is healthy.  It takes time and dedication to replace establishes behaviors with new, healthier behaviors.  Find exercises you can fit into your daily schedule and include the other members of the family.  Go to  http://www.squidoo.com/childhoodobesitystartbattle for the tools you will need to be successful.

Color Your Life

Have you ever arrived at place in your career and wondered how you got there? Have you found yourself stuck, not liking your job, yet not seeing how you can change after investing 15 years at it.

Let’s take a different perspective and see if you can solve your dilemma through this colorful full spectrum exploration of job and career.

Think back to when you began working. You looked at options and explored different ways to make money soon, you may have transitioned into a new career as a way to create a lifestyle change or to remodel your work life. This move expresses power and taking charge. It is strength and energy, and the color is red, the base chakra. It doesn’t matter if you found yourself a corporate job or built your own business. You are inspired and motivated.

Your career move brings networking meetings, web sites and all the social issues. You contact buddies or former business associates to promote your business. If in a corporation you meet your co-workers and the leaders. It is stimulating, social and the color is orange, the second chakra.

At this point your career is a craft based on a set of skills or a model. You work based on memorized processes or protocol. You work from your left brain.. This is the third chakra, and the color is yellow. Your experiences are formalized, routine. Some people stay here, feeling the strong hold of golden handcuffs.

Others naturally transition to the next level, the heart center. You link to an evolving growth cycle both for yourself and your work.

Perhaps, like so many people these days, you began your career at a very young age, tinkering in your garage, participating in Junior Achievement, or selling lemonade. You work with a passion, a mission. Your training comes from this place and you learn the techniques and lingo of your career path.

Do you move back to the heart after your training? You never leave this heart center, for that is who you are. The color is green for balance and you give it your all, from your place of authenticity. This is the fourth chakra.

Your next transition may be the most difficult, for this is where you express who you are and what you do. And where routine trips up many. At this level you integrate your job into a career and into your body, losing the memorized skills. You are “in flow” as you meet new people, change companies and encounter new opportunities. Life becomes an art form. This is the fifth chakra, blue, and it is the throat or communication center. As you speak from this place, you begin to experience the law of attraction. This is where you clarify or redefine intentions based on who and what you want to attract and how you want your career or business to expand.

Your next shift is integrating your intentions into your inner knowing, the intuitive self, so real flow can begin. You assume leadership roles. You work with the intuitive voice, let go of ego, the need to be right and bring in fresh ideas through synchronicity. This is the sixth chakra, indigo, also called the third eye. It is the center from which shamans and healers work.

This could be your last step, for this brings you to the spiritual level — a vital step in the big picture. It is where, through your work, you connect to the Divine in all things and you become aware of your impact on others’ environments. You connect with yourself in a different way. You experience integration of your life on all levels. Here is where balance really begins. It is the place where you experience the “Big AH HA”. This is when things become mystical. It is the crown, or seventh chakra, and the color is violet. For you this may be the “be all and end all”.

I believe, however, that there is a next and final step. It is here where you can get off track again. It is also here where you are free to express who you are to the world. You reach a place of trust and knowing, and your career and life become an art form you have finely crafted. It resonates in your body, in your mind, and you move freely in this knowledge. It is where you walk your talk, and paint, write, design a house or build a boat. It is a place of freedom, and it is not age or retirement related.

It is here where you bring the strength and power of your base chakra, red, and blend it with your crown chakra of violet so that your spirit speaks from deep within your being. This blended color is magenta, the auric color, which becomes your magical, mystical attractor. It is where you express your uniqueness and become grounded to your being in your heart.

You may wonder why there are so many in business with a “poor me” attitude. From my vantage point, this comes when people are working from the lower chakras and are experiencing fear, lack and competition. No matter if you are an entrepreneur or an employee, you have the power to move beyond the “poor me” place. To vitalize, color and reshape your world, step aside for a moment, walk around and reflect on where you stand in the world of business. Better yet visualize where you stand in the world.

Look back on these eight levels and examine where you stand today. Where have you been in the past and to where are you moving your career and your life today? Take your time, for these are growth steps.

These concepts may be a bit edgy, unique, and certainly out of the box. May you find your place on the edge too.

© 2004 Susan “Sue” Bacon Trumpfheller

Chlorine's Effect On Eczema

Our skin is our body’s number one defense against germs or getting sick. It is a protective layer that keeps us healthy and protects our organs. There are so many factors that affect the health and condition of our skin. Having eczema can make this a little more challenging because the moisture that we need isn’t produced as it should be.

There are a lot of external factors that affect an eczema flare up such as weather, lotions, makeup, soap, and laundry detergent. One factor that you may not realize that is so harmful to your skin condition is water. Most, if not all, city water is treated with chlorine. Chlorine however is hurting us and not helping our water. Here are some of the effects of chlorine on our skin and eczema.

First and foremost, chlorine dries out your skin. This is bad for people who have eczema because their skin already is naturally dry and has hard time maintaining moisture. It can also dry out your hair as well. Swimming pools have a lot of chlorine in them to ward off bacteria, and everyone has probably had that dry feeling after a day of swimming.

There isn’t as much concentrated chlorine in your bathing water, however over time the chlorine’s effects really add up against your skin because the levels of chlorine are still pretty high. After showering you can feel itchy, dry, and notice a rash. This is an uncomfortable feeling to have every day.

Showering is more harmful than swimming in a chlorine treated pool. The hot water from your shower opens your pores, to cleanse, but the toxic gases caused from the steam and heat are easily absorbed by your skin. In addition to drying you out, you can prematurely develop wrinkles. To ease the itching feeling after your shower, you can use lotions or eczema oil to alleviate the irritation and bring some moisture back. There is also an option to install chlorine free showerheads. Chlorine free water is the best defense against atopic dermatitis and wrinkles.

There are other harmful effects of chlorine in the water you bathe in and the water you drink. Chlorine is used to fight off bacteria in our water, yet it causes so many other detrimental health problems. In addition to causing atopic dermatitis or making it worse, it has also been known to cause cancer. If you drink tap water that has been treated with chlorine you run the risk of hurting your bladder, stomach, and breasts. It can also really flare up asthma attacks which are commonly associated with eczema. Chlorine, over time, can damage cell tissues.

How to Lower Blood Sugar Levels – 3 Medicinal Herbs to Treat Diabetes Naturally and Thoroughly

In order to lower and control blood sugar levels more and more people with diabetes prefer to use medicinal herbs rather than chemical drugs. Are you looking for valuable information about how to treat diabetes with available medicinal herbs? Here are 3 examples of herbs and spices that have been demonstrated to be beneficial in Type 2 diabetics.

1) Bean Pod

The ‘common bean’ (called also French bean) or Phaseolus vulgaris is one of the most commonly used vegetables all over the world. But, did you know that its pod can help treating diabetics?  Bean pod green skin would contain specific vegetable hormone substances able to raise the production of human insulin by stimulating the pancreas. Therefore, 1 cup of bean pod tea taken regularly can help to lower blood sugar levels (Prepare it as a decoction)!

2) Blueberry leaf

Blueberry or Vaccinium myrtillus leaves contain a large amount of anthocyanoside compounds which have effective antioxidant properties. Anthocyanosides play also an interesting and essential role in promoting collagen synthesis. That is why, thanks to this natural constituents, Blueberry leaf provides a high vascular protection in diabetics. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated that Blueberry leaf extract can also significantly lower blood glucose (sugar) levels. A lot of naturopathic practitioners recommend that people with diabetes drink a brew tea made from Blueberry dry leaves one to three times a day.

3) Fenugreek

Fenugreek or Trigonella foenum-graecum seeds contain many healthful constituents such as alkaloids, saponins, amino acids and mucilaginous fiber. The high fiber content in fenugreek seed (50 %) helps slowing the absorption of carbohydrates and as a result contributes to reduce post-meal blood sugar levels. Additionally, research has explained that one of the amino acids (called 4-hydroxyisoleucine) is able to stimulate the production of insulin.

Is It Possible to Reverse Definitively Diabetes?

Treat diabetes and reverse diabetes are two things totally different! The herbal remedies above can help to treat diabetes thoroughly but are not able to reverse definitively  diabetes. These last years, a lot of research has been done to find a natural way to reverse diabetes quickly. A few methods have been developed with interesting results. One of them has shown an astounding success rate with Type 2 diabetes (over 90%) and Type 1 diabetes too.

Discover the new and definitive way to balance both blood sugar and insulin levels. Click www.bestdiabetes.info!

Repeal and Replace BMI: Make America Strong Again!

In order to make America great again, President-Elect Donald J. Trump will have to make America strong again. In the words of former President John F. Kennedy, “A nation is only as strong as its citizens.” And we’re currently a nation in which obesity (a GLARING NATIONAL WEAKNESS) is an epidemic!

Executive Director of the President’s Council

In that light I’d like to make formal application for the position of Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. I realize that historically this position has been filled by celebrities who serve as PR vehicles in order to “promote” fitness and health to America’s youth. But with the ongoing epidemic as living proof, I suggest the PR approach to childhood obesity prevention has failed for almost two decades now!

Systematically Reduce Obesity

Given the opportunity, I would implement a hands on approach that will systematically reduce childhood obesity in schools across America. I’ll personally guarantee significant, documented progress within the first year of implementation. And within one decade I predict that childhood obesity and the myriad of problems that follow in its wake will become ancient history.

Repeal and Replace BMI (Body Mass Index)!

My first act, when appointed to this position will be to declare war on BMI! In fact our campaign slogan will be “REPEAL AND REPLACE BMI! MAKE AMERICA STRONG AGAIN!”

BMI is an Obstacle

Why make BMI the first target? Because BMI tells you almost nothing about changes in obesity levels. And despite being designated the measurement tool of choice by the CDC (among others) BMI represents a huge obstacle to making progress on obesity. It undermines progress by confusing the conversation. Realistically, the inability to measure change accurately (not to mention the inability to motivate anyone other than grant applicants) undermines all attempts to make progress. So let’s start by REPEALING BMI!

Physically Pull Their Own Weight

So what replaces BMI? Pull Ups. More specifically I suggest we replace BMI with leg-assisted pull ups which use suspension training straps in order to give all participants a place to start successfully and a way to progress regularly (immediate success and regular progress are key ingredients to this naturally self-motivating process) until they run out of leg assistance and they’ve developed the ability to physically pull their own weight. You see kids (people) who can do even one pull up are ALMOST NEVER OBESE! This process is simple. It yields accurate feedback. It motivates. And it takes 6 weeks to 6 months depending on the individual child.

Kids Arm Themselves Against Obesity for Life

Once pull ups are mastered, it’s a matter of maintaining the ability (which requires decent eating/exercise habits and 30 seconds per week practice) and participants will have successfully armed themselves against obesity for life.

It Saves $300 Billion Annually!

Furthermore, according to the Society of Actuaries obesity costs America in excess of $300 BILLION ANNUALLY. So the cost savings of implementing this strategy all by itself is monstrous. But the residual effects go well beyond dollars and cents.

A School Superintendent’s Trifecta!

In school obesity has been shown to undermine self-esteem, which in turn undermines school attendance (upon which schools are funded), academic performance (upon which schools are judged), and social behaviors (60% of bullying is said to be rooted in obesity). In other words, beat childhood obesity and school attendance increases, academic performance improves, and behavior in the hallways gets better. It’s a trifecta for any school superintendent who wants to make his school great again. Just imagine how all this carries over into the workplace.

American Society of Exercise Physiologists/$100,000,000

Finally, the Pull Your Own Weight Foundation has recently partnered with the American Society of Exercise Physiologists in order to apply for the MacArthur Foundation’s 100 and Change grant ($100 Million dollars to one entity) with the goal of implementing this strategy in schools across America. We were among 1900 applicants and for several reasons we fell short of winning this grant. However with a little funding (way less than $100,000,000) we could not only start the ball rolling but we could live up to the projections made above. In the process we can help President-Elect Trump actually make America Great and Strong Again!

In the meantime, for all the reasons listed above and more, I hope Mr. Trump will seriously consider my application for the Executive Directorship of the President’s Council on Fitness. I’ll look forward to hearing back from him at his earliest convenience.

The Secrets For Soft Skin Which Some Companies Will Tell You

You may be wondering why drinking water is so important to have soft skin. The reason is simple. First, we have a large store of water in our bodies which is at 12%. Second, we need to keep that refurbished and the best way is to drink lots of water or even green tea during the day and not all at once. Coffee and soda drinks do not count, I am afraid.

The action of water keeps our bodies from getting dehydrated and also does something even more important. It can help us to urinate more and that means we are getting rid of all the toxins on a regular basis. So, our blood is cleaner and that means healthier softer and smoother skin and we can avoid blemishes such as acne. The other great advantage is to think of our skin as being like a prune if it does not get enough water. If it does get enough, it is more like a ripe logo so wrinkles and sagging skin are avoided. Simple, but very effective!

Another way to guarantee soft skin is to avoid any ingredients which may make it irritated or get chapped and dry ,. The alcohols and mineral oils in many products are really good at that! Just think of denatured alcohol which is sometimes listed as alcohol denat which has methanol which is just another one of the cocktail of chemicals contained in skin care products. These are not too different from some of the chemicals used in paint strippers so you can imagine the effect that would have on sensitive skin.

But the above strategies, while very practical, in the short term may not give you the firm and soft skin you want. Let me tell you about a rather special ingredient which has been specially designed to do just that. Did you know that the infamous cytokines are secreted by our skin every day and they can only exacerbate the effects of aging? We need a substance which can restore the right balance of these elements so that we end up with firmer and softer skin. The patented name of this product is Rigin and it is even better and safer that the famous DHEA which stands for dehydroepiandrosterone.

If you add in other ingredients which are fantastic moisturizers such as avocado oil and a seaweed known as wakame, then you have the basic ingredients to get the soft skin you have always wanted.

These ingredients have not been processed with synthetic chemicals neither have synthetics been added to save money. I know this company is committed to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics so I trust them. Why not click through and see why these products are top notch.

What are the Causes of Athlete’s Foot?

So you think you have athlete’s foot. There is itching and burning and a tingly feeling. Well, not to worry because this article will not only give you the reason why you get athlete’s foot but also a few prevention methods.

Buckle up and stop scratching your foot. It is time to pay attention to the reason you now have itchy, burning toes.Athlete’s foot means that your foot is being attacked by a fungus. It is a type of fungus that attaches to the skin of the foot but soon moves to the nail of a toe. This fungus is called dermatophytes. You can get athletes foot from person to person skin contact. You can get it object to person or from walking around without any shoes on. You can also get it, animal to person; stop letting them lick you feet. The causes of athlete’s foot are all pretty simply and easy to identify. Wet feet are also extremely susceptible to this invasive fungus.

Now that you finally know the causes, here is a few prevention methods to better prepare yourself to not get athlete’s foot in the future. Keep your feet dry, especially between your toes. Wear natural materials, like socks made of cotton or wool. Wear different pairs of shoes. This allows one pair to dry while you wear the other. Protect your feet in public places, like bathrooms, pools, or fitness centers. Last but certainly not least, do not borrow shoes.

You should be feeling a little relieved about now. You now know the cause of athlete’s foot and prevention methods. You may want to stop scratching your toes and jump out to your local drug store like Walgreens or Rite Aid and pick up some Tinactin. It will help kill the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, as well as relieving your physical symptoms.

Bengali Diet Nutritional Fact

Bitter Melon (Korola): As a nutrient source, bitter melons are rich in iron. It is effective in treating diabetes and is one of the best herbal medicines for liver problems. It is also an excellent natural remedy for the common cold. Research has also shown it may be beneficial for people with autoimmune diseases and people with psoriasis.

Cooking Smart: Did you know that stir-frying is one of the best methods for retaining nutrients while cooking vegetables, followed by pressure-cooking and steaming. Boiling-and-draining is the worst as is deep-frying.

Don’t Throw Those Good Parts Away: Green outer leaves of cauliflower are particularly nutritious (containing calcium, iron, fiber and beta-carotene) and should not be thrown away. It’s more nutritious than the flower part. In Bengal all such parts like leaves and stalks and peels are used in cooking as a good cheap source of nutrition.

For example, a stir-fry with the cauliflower leaves and stalks with pea pod shells to the vegetable curry and koftas with peels of bottle gourds (lau khosha). Potato skins are also better left on. The skin provides fiber and protects against the loss of nutrients (vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, iron and zinc) which occurs when potatoes are peeled and boiled. Turmeric: Turmeric is considered excellent for the skin. In terms of digestion, turmeric corrects the metabolism and helps in digesting protein. Hence is used in cooking all high protein foods like lentils, meats etc. Turmeric is an excellent antibiotic and has strong antiseptic properties. It is often taken with hot milk to help heal fevers and throat problems.

That Healthy Onion:

Onions are rich in vitamin C and fiber and contain chemicals that help fight the disease causing free radicals. When you eat half a raw onion a day, your good type HDL cholesterol goes up an average of 30 percent. Onions increase circulation, lower blood pressure, and prevent blood clotting.

Neem the wonder herb!

Neem the wonder herb! Since ancient times, Neem has been associated with healing in the sub-continent of India. Neem works wonders in treating digestive, respiratory and urinary disorders, diabetes and skin diseases. Antiseptic, anti-fungal properties of Neem are now widely recognized and has been used to clean the teeth and maintain dental hygiene for centuries. Neem has been used traditionally in India to treat several viral diseases and is now being advocated to treat Malaria and Chagas disease.

Green papaya:

Green papaya is an enzyme-rich vegetable known for being a strong digestive aid and also promoting healthy skin. Papaya is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, B complex, amino acids, calcium and iron. It contains anti-oxidants which are known to prevent cancer.

Men's Midlife Crisis – Fact Or Fiction?

If you are a Man and you've read my Article on "What women want" which really was all about female midlife crisis, you might be a little more understanding of a women's match and maybe even have a little more appreciation for your partner, But there's also a chance that a small part of you might also be saying to yourself;

"Well what about me?"

"I have challenges, I have responsibilities, I have dreams."

The reality is that men go though just as many phases of their lives as women do, some are obviously biologically different from women, but many are in deed emotionally, very much the same or similar.

Some are natural and some are imposed, but regardless of who they are, or where they are, they will probably all experience some or all of these thoughts and feelings whenever they want to or not.

Currently the largest group of people in the World, are the combined groups called Baby Boomers & X Gen's.

If you are a Baby Boomer (born between 1946 and 1964, which makes you between ages 45 & 63) you might be saying to yourself "I've worked hard all my life to try and get ahead and provide for my family, now I just want to have some fun. I'm tired of driving and driving everyday. I've earned it.

If you are an X Gen (born between 1964 and 1976, which makes you aged between 33 and 45) you might be saying to yourself; "Hey stuff work, I still want career success but we're here for a short time, not a long time, I need more excitement and freedom in my life and I want it now!"

I'm generalizing I know, and I'm sure that none of these thoughts ever run though your mind. They probably run through the minds of all the other males you know, but just not yours. Whatever the case may be, together these two groups of men (Boomers & X Gen's) may represent just over a staggering half a billion people.

The reality is that as "mid-life" seems to suddenly and quite uninvited arrive, for many men certain previously ignored facts start to emerge and converge into equally un-invited clarity. Clarity that may feel anything from mildly annoying at one end of the scale to absolutely terrifying at the other.

As with women, this "converging" of events is definable & very important. In fact so important that for many men, the decisions that they make during this phase of their life may in fact influence the rest of their life.

Let me give you some common examples.

Their birthday arrivals and everyone around them reminds them that they are getting old. All delivered with good humor, but after the 50th joke, trust me, it's wearing thin.

Your "teenage" or "twenty something" daughter pats the fat bulge that is camouflaging your once defined six pack, and requests when you're due. (There's something that happens to a proud father's self image when he realizes that his daughter no longer sees him as the all powerful King in her world).

The son that you could once easily beat at an arm wrestle is now 2 inches taller than you and built like a train. Or smaller than you but beats you with the same disrespect. Somehow over night the old alpha dog has lost his ability to intimate & command.

Sometimes he's found his first gray hair. Or his hair line is replenishing faster than ever.

Perhaps he is struggling to read the newspaper but refuses to wear those 0.01 glasses that he's been prescribed.

Sometimes he's caught himself in the mirror and suddenly realized that he's starting to look more like his father.

His nose nose & ear hair is getting out of control.

For both men & women of this age the "Midlife" could be brought on by the death of a parent or children leaving home.

And all of a sudden his own mortality seems all too real as he senses the passage of youth and the commencement of old age.

But that's not all. Other ego denting factors also bump into his already prepared self image & self esteem;
The fact that he may not be as financially free as he thought hey would be by this age starts to play on his mind.
It may be that he is starting to feel a little less energetic; It may be a little harder to get out of bed in the mornings; Maybe his body is not working the way it used to.

Perhaps his Doctor is talking about the need to lower his stress or cholesterol or alcohol consumption and may be change his diet.

Perhaps his Doctor is bringing up words like "Prostrate."

Or he's finding that his libido is taking a tumble; He may even be experiencing some dysfunction which for a male can be both disturbing and embarrassing.

Statistically many men will probably avoid doing anything about it, and especially avoid talking about it with their partner or anyone else unless they really have too.

In fact there is some evidence to suggest that many men never seek help because of the level of embarrassment they feel.

Suppressing that stress, like suppressing any kind of emotion causes irritability and irrational behavior. And can leave their partner feeling rejected because they do not understand what's changed.

Even if that is not the case, He may become less tolerant and more easily irritable anyway.

He may talk about feeling bored, show signs of restlessness or apathy.

He may feel depressed, show signs of frustration and even become quick to anger. And, when his partner tries to talk to him about it, he will not or can not translate what he's feeling, because he may not understand or know what he's feeling.

He starts to question his life. Even if he has achieved a lot in his life, all of that may suddenly have lost it's meaningfulness as he asks himself; "Is this all there is?" Or "I should have more by now!"

He may become more nostalgic and relive stories of his youth. Reliving the memories of all of those "boy's nights" out

He may begin to question what he does for a living. And even who he's married too.

As this phase progresses he may start to change. For example;

He may start to take more notice & care of his appearance, change his wardrobe, and join a gym.

He might start spending on things that were not on the radar before; Say a Harley Davidson or a sports car.

His eye may start to wander towards another or younger women. Someone he can wow. Someone he can woe. Someone who does not know what he perceives are his flaws.

So what do they want, what are they looking for?

Having spent most of their early adult hood chasing women or experiences and later chasing "things;" The big house, the new car, the boat, the career, the investment portfolio, the kid's college education, the keeping up with the Jones's.
They suddenly "get" that they did not "get it" in the first place. Accept now they are middle aged, and they do not like it.

What they are hungry for, what they are going crazy trying to find is what ever is going to satisfify their need, whatever is going to quench their thirst.

In a nut shell, most are looking for "Meaning." They are looking for a reason to get up in the morning beyond "things" & beyond "ego." Whatever is going to make them feel truly happy. Whatever is going to help them feel truly truffled.

The problem is that unless they search for the answers in the right places, they will likely ruin a lot of what they already have.

If he's smart he'll trust himself & learn to talk about how he's feeling rather than act out un-useful fantasies or retreat into his cave.

Having a "midlife" does not have to be or end in a "crisis".

There are ways of successfully navigating the "mind field" in resourceful ways.

In fact for those Men that have taken control of their feelings and taken stock of their lives using our Go For Gold Program say that it was more like a "Midlife Awakening" than a midlife crisis, giving them a greater sense of control, a renewed Sense of freedom, a clearer understanding of what they needed and far more resourceful ways of communicating that and getting it. Leaving them feeling more at peace and content as time went by. We encourage you to pass this article onto all of your friends, both male and female.