Winning the War on Procrastination

In our time, there are many illnesses that affect our health and happiness, over which we have no control. At the same time, there is a disease that affects our success. This disease is called procrastination. Procrastination is a disease of self-sabotage that robs us of success at work, with our relationships and with our own sense of self-esteem and self-worth. As long as time management remains the enemy of procrastination, it is almost impossible to win this war

There is no one who likes to procrastinate, yet it affects everyone's life to some degree. Procrastination can be best defined as putting things off, delaying, or deferring an action to a later time. Now, we all procrastinate from time to time. We may put off washing the dishes or making the bed; But once we delay paying our bills, filing our taxes, or meeting deadlines at work; Procrastination becomes a serious problem hindering us from fulfilling our obligations in life. These consequences no longer just affect us, but can have dire consequences for our partners, our professional life as well as our sense of safety and security.

Are you a procrastinator?

Do you often come up with excuses to postpone your work? Does your life feel full of obligations that you struggle to meet? Do you find yourself putting off important jobs to carry out unimportant tasks? Do you talk about projects with no clear terms of when the project is to be completed. Do you spend a lot of time researching a project or task but never get around to starting or finishing it? Do you keep starting new projects before finishing the existing ones? Are you ever pleased with a task that you completed? Do you delay working on important tasks until the last minute and use the stress of pressure to motivate you to complete the task? If you answered yes to more than 3 of the questions, you may fit the profile of having more than a mild case of procrastination.

In general, procrastination is a learned behavior developed in our childhood from the influence of ones parents, siblings, or other figures of authority. It can also develop as a means of rebellion to authority, or as a resistance to being controlled. That can explain how it developed, but what happens when we continue to procrastinate as adults. Procrastinating at work can lead to resentment in the workplace affecting teamwork and at home affecting the partnership.

Why do people procrastinate?

There are several reasons:

– Some people procrastinate because they get a "high" by leaving things to the last
Minute and the pressure gives them an adrenalin rush.
– Some people have a fear of failure, or even a fear of success, and postpon havingto face either possibility.
– Some do not want to take any responsibility and they know if they wait long
Enough, someone else will probably do it for them.
– Some feel so overwhelmed with so much to do, that they become paralyzed and
Can not bring themselves to get started.
– Sometimes they feel that there is just too much work and too little time.
– There may be just too many distractions to focus on a single task.
– Some people do not feel the need to hold themselves accountable.
– There may be a lack of motivation to get started.
– There is no deadline.

Overcoming obstacles .

1. One effective method to get things done, is to:
– Break-up the tasks into smaller and more manageable ones
– Make sure that each task is so small and simple that it does not require too much time and effort.
2. Another effective method is making lists.
– Once a task is completed, mark it off your list
3. Develop time management skills:
– Set a specific time to finish each task.
– Tell yourself that you will not postpone the work no matter what the distractions.
4. Make a list of the possible consequences if you procrastinate again, including how
You will feel about yourself.
5. Do not be discouraged by setbacks. Realize that you are human and try again.
6. Estimate the amount of time you think it will take you to complete the task, then
Increase that amount by 100%.
7. Announce your goals to your family and friends. This will put some pressure on.
You to actually do what you claim.
8. Give yourself rewards for jobs completed.
9. Set time limits.

Procrastination can create unnecessary stress and pressure for you that can lead to resentment and conflict in your life and those around you as well. Commit to making one small change at a time, and win the war on procrastination.

Pornography and Its Cascading Effects on a Child’s Psychology

In the book “A War We Must Win”, author John Harmer criticize the media that denies that pornography, sex, nudity and violence have any long-term negative effect on adults or children. He reinforces his view with the support of Nicholas Van Hoffman’s quote:”Why is it that liberals who believe “role models” in third grade readers are of decisive influence on behaviour when it concerns racism or male chauvinist piggery, laugh at the assertion that pornography may also teach rape? Every textbook in every public school system in the US has been overhauled in the last twenty years because it was thought that the blond, blue-eyed urban children once depicted therein taught little people a socially dangerous ethnocentrism”.

The emergence of the Internet not only revolutionized the communication world, but it also changed the definition of socialization, education, employment and entertainment in a significant manner. The internet provides numerous benefits if it is used in a rational and proper way, but a slight distraction from its conscious use can lead the user in a vicious circle of problems, and children are more vulnerable to this digital witchcraft. The internet can bring awesome results, if we use it in a controlled way.

Teens are always curious to know and discover the things, their inquisitive behaviour often ushers them into the mesmerising world of fascination. In pursuit of finding the answers of their queries and puzzles they often jeopardize themselves in ‘Internet Pornography’ which provides them an easy, but indiscreet access to explore the world.

EARLY EXPOSURE TO ADULT STUFF AND ITS RAMIFICATIONS

Exposure to pornography vitiates the learning habits of children and hinders their mental growth. Images which imprinted on the mind of a child at an early age often reflect on her actions, and this negative exposure propels a child to act out sexually against other kids. These premature activities are nothing but the result of pornographic content which they had encountered on the internet.

A) Pornography compels children towards sexual violence

The Internet has proven a useful tool for paedophiles and sexual predators as they distribute child pornography, engage in sexually explicit conversations with children, and seek victims in chat rooms. The more pornography these individuals access, the higher the risk of their acting out what they see, including sexual assault, rape, and child molestation.

B) Pornography is a major cause of STDs in children.

One grave concern for societies all over the world is, an increase in venereal diseases among children, the impact of indecent and erotic content which is flourishing on the internet. A large number of children and teenagers are now afflicted with STDs across the world. There are cases of HIV POSITIVE children where many succumbed to AIDS. Unwanted pregnancies in children is another devastating problem of the modern liberal societies, and it is a big challenge for various health organizations in the US and Europe to combat this evil.

C) Psychological & Developmental problems in children due to pornographic content.

These days adolescents are facing many psychiatric problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), social phobia, hostility, aggression, reduced self-control, insomnia and depression, this problem is more acute in children who are victims of internet addiction.

Now the question arises, How to cope-up with this 21st-century epidemic? Here are some tips for parents and teachers through which they can minimize the risk.

A) Proactive parenting and moral support: Educating your children on the negative effects of the internet is the best way to safeguard your children from bad influences on the internet. Children learn best from their parents as God has made parents the first and best teachers of children. Encourage children to pursue outdoor activities and team games in natural settings. Cultivate habits, including reading, parents should kindle their hidden talent and motivate them for extracurricular activities.

B) Collaborative efforts of parents and teachers: There should be a trio between parents, children and teachers and parents must discuss with the teachers of their children about their overall personality development and at the same time teachers must anticipate if a student is going through any behavioural upheaval. Apart from this parent should communicate with school administration and librarians to create a directory of best kids’ sites by bookmarking them on a home computer.

C) Proper Monitoring by Parents

• Set up the computer in a busy area of the home rather than in a child’s bedroom.

• Use kid-friendly search engines and Web browsers or adult search engines that provide filtering options.

• Block pop-ups, which are commonly used by pornographic sites.

• Use filtering software to block inappropriate content by age category. Keep in mind, content-filtering software alone won’t protect your children online, but it does reduce the risk. Investigate filtering technology.

• Utilize parental controls provided by the service provider, always monitor the activities of your child in chat rooms as most of the time children tempted by sex offenders through chat rooms.

• If you notice something susceptible, don’t overreact, you must have a good chemistry with them and allow them to ventilate their fear and worries. The home should be the most comfortable zone for children.

Apart from these suggestions, there is one thing which works as a panacea for most children. Yes, you guessed absolutely right; ‘Family Bonding’. Children need warm care and they often get astray from the right path when they find themselves alone and desolated. We should spend more and more time with them, Parents should be a helping hand to invite them in a ‘REALISTIC SOCIAL WORLD’ rather than leaving them in a ‘VIRTUAL SOCIAL WORLD’.

Parents as well as teachers should inculcate them ethical values and make them admire to live a healthy and decent life, activities like reading books, going to recreational places, family vacations and educational tours will be helpful in developing the overall personality of their children. Basically, it is the parents’ responsibility to monitor what their children watch and how often they visit explicit sites on the Internet. If parents take all these precautions and guide their children in a sensible way, then no doubt, the internet is an invaluable resource for the learning and growth of the children.

The Antidote to Anxiety

All of us deal with anxiety to some extent. Some more than others. It is difficult not to be anxious, especially in today's fast-paced culture that expects more of us than ever before. To think that we can create a worry-free life is naive, but God has given us a powerful tool to help us deal with anxiety and find true joy even in the midst of adversity and trials. Philippians 4: 4-9 gives us six steps to overcome anxiety.

Step # 1 – Rejoice in the Lord always. To rejoice means to be exceedingly glad. The emphasis is not on finding joy in what is happening or has happened, but in what God is doing and will do. To rejoice in the Lord always does not mean to be happy, but to find joy in God's future provision.

Step # 2 – Let your gentleness be evident to all. The encouragement is to strive to respond in gentleness in the mid of difficult circumstances. It is hard to be gentle when you are stressed. What helps is to focus on what God is doing, not on what is happening. Do not forget that Paul tells us the Lord is near, ever-present. I do not have to worry.

Step # 3 – Do not be angry about anything. This does mean not to worry, but it means so much more. It actually means not to fall into the trap of looking out for or promoting your own interests; Do not try to make things work out for your best; Avoid self-reliance. Let God be your sole source of provision. Make your requests known to Him and He will take care of it for you.

Step # 4 – Accept God's gift of peace. The word peace means rest and safety. It literally means exemption from the rage and havoc of war.1 This step is the result of following the first three– rejoicing in the Lord, being gentle and not being anxious. Steps one, two and three are steps we take toward God. Steps four and five are steps God takes toward us in response.

Step # 5 – Accept Allah's gift of safety. This is the second step that God takes towards us. Paul says, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NIV) The word guard literal means to protect by military guard; To prevent hostile invasion.2 He will keep the enemy from penetrating your heart and your mind. This will bring a peace that does not make sense. You can hear the bombs going off around you, but for some strange reason, you are not worried and you will sleep like a baby.

Step # 6 – Meditate on God's Word. It is imperative that I train my mind to keep going back to the truth; What is right and lovely, not ugly; What is good, not what is bad. To think on means to decide; Agree with; To focus on facts, not suppositions.3 Do this and the God of Peace will be with you. He will not just send us peace. He himself, the God who is Peace, will come along side us! What a powerful promise. I want more than just peace. I want the Peace-maker.

So, when you are feeling a little anxious, follow these simple steps that will lead you to peace and safety. Remember that you have a choice. You can either be a victim of your circumstances, or you can take action and through Christ, be a victor in the middle of your circumstances.

1. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, WE Vine, Thomas Nelson Publishers
2. Ibid
3. Ibid

Depression Common in Middle Aged People; Irrespective of All the Other Factors!

With the passage of time depression is becoming more and more rampant. Depression is one disease that has always been with the human beings. Being a mental disorder its rate increased as the ways of man became more and more complex. Today human life is not all about toiling for the three basic needs. Meaning of life has transformed manifold in the modern times. With all the progress and development depression has also made a strong foothold in the human society. Depression is not always a matter of major concern. On correct diagnosis and proper treatment depression is perfectly curable. Unfortunately in a considerable number of cases depression successfully takes hold of the patient. Depression cure becomes tricky and at times difficult when the depression symptoms are overlooked for quite some time.

Depression is a disease that doesn’t categorize its victims. People from almost all the age groups run the risk of having depression. It has often been claimed by medical science that almost every human being suffers depression at some point of their lives. However, now new studies have proved that all the diagnosed cases of depression are not actually clinical depression. Earlier patients of sadness were also given antidepressants. As far as antidepressants are concerned studies have proved that though they come in all the strengths, they are actually far more effective in curing acute depression cases. Though this fact has been divulged even today antidepressants are prescribed in huge numbers. sTheir huge sales actually spurred the depression drug manufacturers to venture online. Depression drugs like xanax flood both the online and the offline markets. In case you are a depression patient you can buy xanax online but only if you are prescribed this medicine. If you buy xanax you will have to make sure that you take all the xanax precautions. Precautions are important while consuming xanax and its synonyms.

Vigorous studies are being conducted on depression in order to facilitate man to know the disease better and combat it effectively. A study conducted by the researchers from the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College of the US showed that depression was far more common in the middle aged people as compared to the other age groups. This study also showed that happiness was much more common in the start and towards the end of lives of the human beings leaving space for depression to haunt in the middle ages. What is more surprising is that, these symptoms ranged over a whopping 2 million people who were included in the research belonging to 80 different countries and coming from various backgrounds. The researchers are clueless as to why this consistency exists. Depression in the middle ages was irrespective of all the external causes like marriage, divorce, deaths, and children or for that matter no children!  

20 Facts You May Not Know About Frangipanis (Plumeria)

  1. According to Mexican myth the gods were born from Frangipani flowers.
  2. Frangipani (Plumeria) is very rare in China, and even more precious than orchids. So, when a person gives frangipani flowers to a sweetheart, it is the closest thing to saying you’re special, I love you in a culture where expression of personal feelings is frowned upon.
  3. The colorful caterpillar of Pseudosphinx tetrio feeds predominantly on the leaves of Plumeria rubra (frangipani).
  4. “Warming” oils — such as those from frangipani are said to have a calming influence on those suffering from fear, anxiety, insomnia or tremors, according to the principles of Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old Indian holistic science that seeks to balance mind, body and spirit.
  5. Frangipanis are good hosts for dendrobium orchids.
  6. According to Vietnamese myth, ghosts live in trees with white and fragrant flowers including the frangipani. In Vietnam and China the colour white is associated with death and funerals.
  7. In Hindu culture, the flower means loyalty. Hindu women put a flower in their hair on their wedding days to show their loyalty to their husbands.
  8. There is a theory that Catholic missionary priests spread frangipanis around the world as they travelled. This may explain why the frangipani is so popular and common in the Philippines and Thailand but very rare in China and Vietnam. Thailand and the Philippines welcomed the Christian missionaries while, in China and Vietnam, they were persecuted until around the 1850s.
  9. The frangipani is regarded as a sacred tree in Laos and every Buddhist temple in that country has them planted in their courtyards.
  10. Frangipanis won’t burn except in extreme temperatures (over 500 degrees).
  11. In Caribbean cultures the leaves are used as poultices (a healing wrap) for bruises and ulcers and the latex (sap) is used as a liniment for rheumatism.
  12. The frangipani is also associated with love in feng shui.
  13. In India the frangipani is a symbol of immortality because of its ability to produce leaves and flowers even after it has been lifted out of the soil. It is often planted near temples and graveyards, where the fresh flowers fall daily upon the tombs.
  14. In Vietnam the frangipani is used for its healing qualities: the bark, mashed in alcohol, prevents skin inflammation. It is also used to treat indigestion and high blood pressure, while the roots have purgative effects on animals and the milk-like sap serves as a balm for skin diseases. The white flowers are used in traditional medicine to cure high blood pressure, haemophilia, cough, dysentery and fever.
  15. In Malay folklore the scent of the frangipani is associated with a vampire, the pontianak.
  16. In modern Polynesian culture, the frangipani can be worn by women to indicate their relationship status – over the right ear if seeking a relationship, and over the left if taken.
  17. Frangipani trees were once considered taboo in Thai homes because of superstitious associations with the plant’s Thai name, lantom, which is similar to ratom, the Thai word for sorrow. As a result, frangipanis were thought to bring unhappiness. Today, however, the blossoms are presented as fragrant offerings to Buddha and Thai people wear them on special festival days like Songkran (Thai New Year).
  18. The frangipani is the national flower of Nicaragua and it features on some of their bank notes.
  19. The name, frangipani, comes from the Italian nobleman, Marquis Frangipani, who created a perfume used to scent gloves in the 16th century. When the frangipani flower was discovered its natural perfume reminded people of the scented gloves, and so the flower was called frangipani. Another version has it that the name, frangipani, is from the French frangipanier which is a type of coagulated milk that the Plumeria milk resembles.
  20. The name, Plumeria, is attributed to Charles Plumier, a 17th Century French botanist who travelled to the New World documenting many plant and animal species, although according to author Peter Loewer (The Evening Garden: Flowers and Fragrance from Dusk Till Dawn; Timber Press, 2002) Plumier was not the first to describe Plumeria. That honour goes to Francisco de Mendoza, a Spanish priest who did so in 1522.

Five Smart Ideas for Foster Parents – Avoid Going to Court

When I was asked by the Department of Health and Welfare in the state of Idaho to parent two foster children I assumed parenting them would come naturally. I had three children of my own so how difficult could parenting children really be? My foster daughters had an abusive, controlling father but their bi-polar mother loved and cared for them the best she could. Their mother had purposely placed the girls in foster care to make sure they were well cared for while she dealt with her husband's recent incarceration, her pending divorce, her recent miscarriage and long-term mental health issues.

I soon learned that because of the trama foster children go through both before coming into foster care and while in foster care, they often need more medical, dental and mental health care than children who are raised from birth by their biological parents. Foster children often have learning and social difficulties that may affect their relationships at school with teachers and peers. As a result, it takes an extreme amount of patience and love to care for foster children properly. There are five smart things you can do to ensure your foster parenting success.

Be Honest with Yourself

Be honest with yourself regarding your parenting limits. Since you have a choice about the types of foster children you will allow into your home make a list of the specific child-related criteria that you know you can handle successfully. For instance, decide whether you feel comfortable parenting infants, toddlers, grade-schoolers, or teens. Also list out the specific types of physical and mental health impairments you feel comfortable addressing. Remember to consider the various backgrounds (history of abuse, exposed to drugs, neglected, mentally ill parents, etc.) a foster child may come from, take note of the parenting issues that may arise from these situations, and write down which issues you Feel confident handling.

Common Law Liability

Before becoming a foster parent make sure you research the laws of your state regarding common law liability. In many states, under common law foster parents can be held accountable for the violent or malicious actions of the foster children in their care just, as their biological parents would be. You have the right to know the background of the children or teenagers you will be bringing into your home. Make sure to find out if the child or teen has a history of violence, sexual abuse, or criminal activity. For specific statistics about how this law affects current foster parents in your state seek legal counsel.

Avoid Sexual Abuse Accusations

If you choose to take a foster child or teen into your home who has been sexually abused, you must have several rules in place that will keep the foster child safe, your own children safe and will also prevent the abused foster child from accusing you or Other relatives living in your home of abusing them. First, all men and boys in your home must never be left unaccompanied with a girl who has been sexually abused. Secondly, foster children with a history of sexual abuse must have their own bedroom for dressing and sleeping. Third, set clear standards about sexual-related topics such as modesty, privacy, and physical contact. Set up consequences for all the children living in your home if the rules regarding modesty, privacy, and physical contact are not kept.

Make sure any discrepences you set up for children in your care are legal and ethical. Finally, avoid joking, tickling, pranking, wrestling, and the use of sarcastic or suggestive language. What may seem like harmless humor to you and your family members can be taken the wrong way by a child that has been the victim of abuse. As a result, the abused child may accuse you of abuse when your intentions were to be funny and get the child laughing.

Spare the Rod Spare the Law Suit

In all 50 states foster parents are prohibited by law in state-managed family foster care systems to use physical punishment on a foster child. However this does not always stop some foster parents from spanking or using other means of physical punishment to discipline a foster child. The reason that physical punishment is so devastating to a foster child is because they have likely experienced physical, sexual, emotional, or a combination of abuse in their biological family. Not only does physical punishment cause the foster child to lose trust in you as a caregiver but physical punishment can also be misinterpreted as physical abuse and accusations against a foster parent by the foster child are kindly.

Document! Document! Document!

If you've ever rented anything from a tool to a home you know that it is important to meticulously document the initial condition of the item you're renting. This protects you from paying for scrapes and dents (you did not cause) that the owner finds on the rental item when you return it. Regarding foster children, what should you document? Document in writing any changes in the child's actions and words. Many times a visit with a biological parent will trigger emotions in the foster child that may cause them to act out either during the parent visit or after the foster child is back in your care. This acting out may manifest itself in many ways. For example: temper tantrums, difficulty sleeping, rude words or actions towards bio or future parents. Also document in writing any sexual behaviors (masturbating, acting out sexual behavior with dolls, etc. or a teen claiming to have intercourse with another teen or adult). Give this documentation to the foster child's therapist and caseworker as soon as possible.

Document in writing and with pictures if possible the cause of any physical injury the foster child incurs. This includes but is not limited to scrapes, bruises, scratches, diaper rash, sprains, or strains. Now that you know what to document, how should you document? You can record accidents on a blank calendar, in a notebook, or online. Just make sure to include the date, time, place the incident occurred, all people involved in the incident, and what caused the incident to occur.

My intention was to arm you with information so you can be the best foster parent in the world. I hope you feel empowered as a foster parent now ready to conquer whatever may come your way. Because being a foster parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world but also one of the most important. A loving foster home can change an abused or neglected child's life forever.

20 Facts You May Not Know About Frangipanis (Plumeria)

  1. According to Mexican myth the gods were born from Frangipani flowers.
  2. Frangipani (Plumeria) is very rare in China, and even more precious than orchids. So, when a person gives frangipani flowers to a sweetheart, it is the closest thing to saying you’re special, I love you in a culture where expression of personal feelings is frowned upon.
  3. The colorful caterpillar of Pseudosphinx tetrio feeds predominantly on the leaves of Plumeria rubra (frangipani).
  4. “Warming” oils — such as those from frangipani are said to have a calming influence on those suffering from fear, anxiety, insomnia or tremors, according to the principles of Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old Indian holistic science that seeks to balance mind, body and spirit.
  5. Frangipanis are good hosts for dendrobium orchids.
  6. According to Vietnamese myth, ghosts live in trees with white and fragrant flowers including the frangipani. In Vietnam and China the colour white is associated with death and funerals.
  7. In Hindu culture, the flower means loyalty. Hindu women put a flower in their hair on their wedding days to show their loyalty to their husbands.
  8. There is a theory that Catholic missionary priests spread frangipanis around the world as they travelled. This may explain why the frangipani is so popular and common in the Philippines and Thailand but very rare in China and Vietnam. Thailand and the Philippines welcomed the Christian missionaries while, in China and Vietnam, they were persecuted until around the 1850s.
  9. The frangipani is regarded as a sacred tree in Laos and every Buddhist temple in that country has them planted in their courtyards.
  10. Frangipanis won’t burn except in extreme temperatures (over 500 degrees).
  11. In Caribbean cultures the leaves are used as poultices (a healing wrap) for bruises and ulcers and the latex (sap) is used as a liniment for rheumatism.
  12. The frangipani is also associated with love in feng shui.
  13. In India the frangipani is a symbol of immortality because of its ability to produce leaves and flowers even after it has been lifted out of the soil. It is often planted near temples and graveyards, where the fresh flowers fall daily upon the tombs.
  14. In Vietnam the frangipani is used for its healing qualities: the bark, mashed in alcohol, prevents skin inflammation. It is also used to treat indigestion and high blood pressure, while the roots have purgative effects on animals and the milk-like sap serves as a balm for skin diseases. The white flowers are used in traditional medicine to cure high blood pressure, haemophilia, cough, dysentery and fever.
  15. In Malay folklore the scent of the frangipani is associated with a vampire, the pontianak.
  16. In modern Polynesian culture, the frangipani can be worn by women to indicate their relationship status – over the right ear if seeking a relationship, and over the left if taken.
  17. Frangipani trees were once considered taboo in Thai homes because of superstitious associations with the plant’s Thai name, lantom, which is similar to ratom, the Thai word for sorrow. As a result, frangipanis were thought to bring unhappiness. Today, however, the blossoms are presented as fragrant offerings to Buddha and Thai people wear them on special festival days like Songkran (Thai New Year).
  18. The frangipani is the national flower of Nicaragua and it features on some of their bank notes.
  19. The name, frangipani, comes from the Italian nobleman, Marquis Frangipani, who created a perfume used to scent gloves in the 16th century. When the frangipani flower was discovered its natural perfume reminded people of the scented gloves, and so the flower was called frangipani. Another version has it that the name, frangipani, is from the French frangipanier which is a type of coagulated milk that the Plumeria milk resembles.
  20. The name, Plumeria, is attributed to Charles Plumier, a 17th Century French botanist who travelled to the New World documenting many plant and animal species, although according to author Peter Loewer (The Evening Garden: Flowers and Fragrance from Dusk Till Dawn; Timber Press, 2002) Plumier was not the first to describe Plumeria. That honour goes to Francisco de Mendoza, a Spanish priest who did so in 1522.

Anxiety and Stress Symptoms – Could it Be Over Money and Finance?

Anxiety and stress symptoms over Money and finance can at times be overwhelming — especially those who don’t have a fixed income, e.g. self employed, but also for many who do. Stress and anxiety levels over money can easily escalate to cause most of the usual symptoms of anxiety prevalent in other recognised forms of anxiety disorder. It has both surprised and perplexed me that money as an issue in itself is not recognised as a major factor in stress and anxiety. Neither is it given due consideration along with other forms of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety, social anxiety, anxiety over phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, et cetera.

From personal experience, there was an almost two year period in which my life was plagued with symptoms of anxiety due to the anxiety and stress symptoms I was experiencing over money issues. If I had needed to approach the UK National Health organisation for help, I would have been offered only basic assistance directing me toward debt counselling agencies, to which and I had already gone myself. There is no specific counselling available that gets below the surface to reach those issues really being faced with anxiety and stress symptoms related to money.

Fortunately, with my life coaching experience I was able to get to the root for myself, and even wrote an ebook that I now distribute to help other sufferers.

When considering the lack of specific help regarding  anxiety and stress through public healthcare channels, it crossed my mind that anyone working in that sector would not personally relate to having ‘no fixed income’, therefore could find difficulty empathising. On further reflection, I don’t think this is the root of the problem. Having spoken to one or two counsellors, I realised they actually have their own issues around money, are also inclined toward stress and anxiety, but seemed hesitant to talk about it.

I wonder is it possible that many more people than we realise actually have misgivings about money and avoid talking about it? Is it also possible that many of us fear that impending sense of ‘not having enough’, (which fear is at the root of all anxiety and stress symptoms – money or otherwise), and tend to run from it? Food for thought!

How to Enjoy a Healthy Menopause

Most women today will live more than a third of their lives in their postmenopausal years; 80% to 90% of American Women will experience uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and possibly a heightened risk of heart disease and osteoporosis during menopause. The majority of these women will experience the dreaded sweats up to two years and a few will endure them up to five years or more.

Fortunately, there are now many ways to minimize the ill effects of menopause.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES

Undoubtedly, there are three very important ingredients for health before, during and after menopause are:

1). Proper Diet. Diet can do a great deal to prevent age-related ailments like heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis; Proper, meaning mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, and minimal fat, salt and sugar. If your eating habits are not perfect, and who’s are? Take a daily multivitamin.

To reduce your risk of osteoporosis, start taking a calcium supplement in your early thirties, then increase your consumption of calcium to 1,500 mg a day when you start menopause. And be sure to get at least 400 international units of vitamin D from dairy products, vitamin supplements and/or sun exposure. The skin makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun.

2). Vitamin D boosts the body’s absorption of calcium. One cup of milk contains about 300 mg of calcium and 100 IU of vitamin D.

3). Exercise. Besides staving off heart disease and osteoporosis, regular workouts improve mood and overall well-being. Try: Aerobic activities like walking, dancing, running and cross-country skiing if you live in a place where it snows or you are able and willing to travel to where it does. Also combine along with weight lifting. Try to fit in at least three 20 minute sessions a week. Develop Good Habits and Get Rid of Bad Ones. Hot flashes can often be controlled by stopping smoking, limiting your intake of alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods.

Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) If you choose not to go on hormone replacement therapy due to the side effects of it, there are other options for relieving problems associated with menopause.

Alendronate (Fosamax), When approved by the FDA, this drug was the first no hormone remedy for osteoporosis. In two large studies, Alendronate was given in conjunction with daily calcium supplements. Results: Bone density increased by 8% at the hip and spine. The rate of fractures fell by 63%.

Calcitonin-Salmon (Miacalcin). This nasal spray is another option for osteoporosis. It is good for women who are more than five years past menopause and who have low bone mass. Two year studies have proven that the drug quickly increases bone mineral density in the spine, more slowly in the forearm or hip. For maximum effectiveness, it must be taken with at least 1,000 mg calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D a day.

Progestin. If your only problem is hot flashes, oral Progestin (without estrogen) may help. But it will not help other menopause symptoms, and it may boost your risk of heart disease.

Relaxation. Biofeedback, deep breathing, yoga and meditation can all be used to reduce the intensity of hot flashes. Vaginal Lubricants. If you experience vaginal discomfort during intercourse, Replens or K-Y Jelly can help. Also helpful: Having sex on a regular basis.

A Treatment with Promise. The combination of twice-daily slow release fluoride tablet and 400 mg of calcium has been shown to reduce spinal fractures by 70% among women suffering from osteoporosis, and build bone mass in the hip and spine at the rate of 2% to 6% a year.

UNPROVEN REMEDIES Some doctors believe that mega doses of vitamins E and C reduce menopause symptoms and cut the risk of heart disease and cancer. Vitamin E may also relieve hot flashes and vaginal dryness. However, their role in treating menopause symptoms remains unproven, especially when taken in supplement form. Doctors do not recommend them.

Likewise, there is a lot of hype about herbal remedies like dong quai, sarsaparilla, red clover or damiana, but there is no evidence that any of these work.

Incidentally, this article is written by Gladys Alvarez

Top Tips to Treat and Prevent Broken Nails

We use them as makeshift screwdrivers or pliers. We drown them in dishwater and coat them with chemicals. No wonder our nails so easily break. Everything from a dry climate to constant immersion in hot water can cause nails to peel, spit, and crack. And the pain can be considerable, especially if the nail splits to the quick.

Here are some tips you can consider to help you to speed your healing process and for fast pain-relief.

Clip broken nails quickly. If you break a nail, cut it as short as you can, this will keep the break from extending farther down your nail.
Bandage the break…maybe. If your nail is torn and raw, apply an antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection, then cover the nail with a bandage. No need to bandage a less-serious split. A bandage will hold in heat and moisture, which can be detrimental.

Clip nails correctly. Cut your nails straight across. Rounding the edges can cause an ingrown nail.

Don gloves. When you are doing household chores, wear heavy cotton gloves for dry work such as gardening and vinyl gloves with cotton gloves underneath for wet work such as washing dishes. Your hands will sweat under the vinyl, and the cotton gloves will absorb the sweat.

Use an ocean of lotion. Massage your nails with plain petroleum jelly or a hand cream that contains 10 percent urea. Trapping the moisture within the nails will help make them less brittle.
Ration the nail polish remover. Touch up chipped polish instead of removing it completely. The reason? Nail polish remover contains strong solvents that can make nails bone-dry, leaving them vulnerable to splits and cracks.
Try biotin. The vitamin biotin, available at drugstores and health food stores, has shown to strengthen nails. It is recommended taking 2.5 milligrams of biotin a day. But do not expect overnight improvement. It may take six months to see results.

A nail that is broken seldom requires medical attention. But a nail that is injured by a slamming car door, for example can be serious. You should see a doctor if you develop symptoms of infection, such as swelling, a fever, or the formation of pus, or if your nail is extremely painful. If there is a lot of swelling or pain, you could have a broken bone, but not a broken nail.

Also consult a doctor if you see blood under your nail. Go to the emergency room within an hour to release the pressure beneath the nail. If the pressure is not released, it can damage the nail root. But do not be alarmed if your nail turns black. It probably looks worse than it is.

Diagnosis – Do You Need a Second Opinion?

After being diagnosed with cancer (or any serious illness), it may at first come as a big shock to the system, and even something that maybe hard to digest at first. What if the diagnosis is wrong? Could be one of the first questions that comes to mind, and something that must be clarified to settle any such doubt.

Sometimes, even though evidence has been demonstrated to the presence of a disease, there could still be some room for doubt within the mind. At this stage – a decision must be made as to either accept the information given by the doctor so as a quick treatment plan may be put in place, or to seek a second opinion.

However, serious thought should be given before any such action is taken. For example:

  • Can you afford more diagnosis tests?
  • Will your insurance company pay for them?
  • If the initial diagnosis is found to be correct – Will you be able to return to the place where you were given the initial diagnosis, for treatment?

In most cases, with any such diagnosis for serious illnesses like cancer, there is usually little room for doubt. That is to say – 99.9% of cancer diagnosis' are usually correct. However, mistakes can be made for whatever reason (a fact of life), and it is on one of these occasions that a second opinion may be prudent if a doubt / s exist.

After concluding that a second opinion is the only way forward – all relevant information to the case should be requested from your doctor (some medical institutions may be related to pass-on such information – investigate your legal rights as to request any such information [different States, and countries may have different laws]).

Did you sign anything before such diagnostic investigation took place? Did you read it first? – things that could change your rights.

At this point (armed with such information relevant to the case), an appointment should be made as soon as possible with a newly chosen doctor so as to allow for the first stages of any such further opinion to take place (further studies may well be Ordered by the new doctor, or you may be referred back to your first doctor).

Further thoughts before a second opinion should also be:

  • Do you have the time? – (will your boss give you the time).
  • Will it affect your work? – (taking more time off from work).
  • Are you in a healthy condition to take more diagnosis?
  • Is time still on your side? (Health wise).
  • Are you really sure a second opinion is worth the effort, etc.

Note: It is always worth noting that it is your right as a human being to have a second opinion, whether at the same medical institution, or another one (chosen by you, or referred to by your doctor). Doubts must be clear in the mind before any battle takes place to cure cancer – as cancer must be cooked with a full fighting force so as to not only win the battle, but also to win the war.

Five Tips for Safety in School

The thought of going to college is exciting. While there is a lot of learning to do, many aspiring college students are looking forward to the social aspects of campus life. Some of the happenings that make college a blast can put students at risk for injury or being the victim of a crime. Safety in school is essential to success. Five common risks to safety in school include: traveling alone, binge drinking, leaving dorm doors unlocked, disregard for password security, and failing to get enough sleep. Putting safety in school at the forefront can mean better grades, earlier or on-time graduation, a clearer path to a job, and a lot less unnecessary physical and financial pain and suffering. While there are some things schools mandate for student safety like vaccinations for hepatitis and meningitis, and of course accidents do happen, safety on a day-to-day basis is in large part up to the student.

No, not a six-pack, but a pack of trusted friends. College students often fall victim to crimes, including rape, robbery, and assault simply because they walk alone, especially at night. A college campus that is typically peaceful may be the perfect place for a criminal to attack. Never take safety in school for granted. When walking, especially during the evening, travel with a pack of friends or classmates. If this is not possible, most campuses have escort programs to encourage safety in school. There are typically telephone kiosks where you can call a campus cop who will make sure you get to the dorm safely.

You are short on cash, everyone is ready to hit the streets after the big game. No problem, you’ll just jog down to the local ATM machine and meet your friends later. Using an ATM machine alone at night is like wearing a “rob me” T-shirt. The best advice for those concerned about safety in school is to get your cash during the daylight hours, or ask a couple of friends to go with you if you absolutely must get money after dark whether walking or driving.

Frat parties, block parties, and keg parties have a common denominator–the alcohol flows freely. College students of all ages fall prey to binge drinking (drinking 4-5 drinks in a short period), and some don’t live to sleep it off because they simply drink themselves to death. If you are going to indulge even a little, find that designated driver. Most party hosts have one. But the designated driver won’t be looking over your shoulder. Binge drinking can lead to all sorts of heartaches, not to mention headaches the next day. Getting drunk can result in a student having unintentional and unprotected sex, which leads to a whole host of problems including regret, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control report that “1 in 20 college women are sexually assaulted.” [1] In most states, it is illegal for students under 21 to drink. So look out for yourself. There are already enough videos of wasted students on the internet. And, imagine your surprise if a future employer confronts you with such a video at a job interview. Limit yourself, or grab a cup of ginger ale.

Your dorm or apartment might seem like a safe place, but leaving the door unlocked, especially at night, is like hanging an “open for business” sign on your door! Safety in school requires that you lock your doors. Leaving your door unlocked can result in your smartphone, computer, and other valuables being taken. Aside from their street value, the contents are easy pickings for identity thieves. Leaving a door unlocked could also put you at risk for being a victim of assault. This includes locking your car doors! Especially for women, a good habit is to look inside the vehicle for someone hiding before you unlock it.

Just like in the airport, you never want to leave your belongings alone. They can get snatched up in an instant. With so many things to distract your attention, pickpockets are active on college campuses, too. But, you also need to keep your passwords safe. Your parents may not be looking over your shoulder while you are at school, but a thief may be. Be mindful of who can see your computer screen and the keypads you use to enter PINs.

Getting enough sleep is a factor for safety in school. According to the Centers for Disease Control [1], when college students don’t get enough sleep, they do poorly in classes, are more likely to be involved in automobile accidents, may suffer from depression and have trouble with relationships.

These are just some thoughts to get you thinking about safety in school. Like your education, for example, whether you decide to get up and go to classes, safety in school is your decision to a great extent. You have to look out for yourself. You wouldn’t want your parents or the college police to be hovering over you. College is about learning the tools to become independent. Safety only gets more complicated after you graduate.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/Features/CollegeHealth/

Chemotherapy for Cancer Treatment

Chemotherapy prevents the cancer cells from spreading and growing by destroying them or by stopping them to divide.

Cancer cells tend to grow and increase very quickly if they have no control or order. As these cells will grow very quickly, sometimes they may get divided from the actual tumor and they can also travel to other places of the body. So, chemotherapy will be helpful in weakening and destroying the cells at the actual tumor and also throughout the other body parts.

Most usual cells will grow and get divided in a precise and in an orderly way. Some cells can divide very quickly, including the cells in nails, hair follicles, digestive tract, bone marrow, and the mouth. This treatment involves the usage of chemical agents, which can stop the growth of the cells. This can also eliminate the distribution of the cells to other parts from the original site. As a result, this is considering as the systemic treatment.

How it works?

Specifically this is designed to kill the cancer cells. This will be administered through the vein and injected into the cavity of the body, or it can also be given in the form of pills, that will depend on the drug which is using to treat you.

Chemotherapy works by reducing the growth or destroying the cancer cells; but unfortunately it cannot know the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells. So, this can also be unintentionally harmful to the other types of quickly dividing cells, possibly chemotherapy causes side effects.

Some cancer cells will grow rapidly while others grow slowly. As a result, several types of drugs are used in the chemotherapy to target different growth patterns of cancer cells. Each and every drug used in this therapy has specific way of working and they work effectively in the lifecycle of the cancer treatment by targeting the cancer cells. Your physician will decide which chemotherapy drug is suitable for you.

What are the side effects?

The aim is to make your treatment as timely, problem-free and as effective as possible. The treatment works by destroying cancer cells, but it can also cause some side effects such as:

• Low count of red blood cells

• Low count of white blood cells

• Vomiting

• Nausea

• Fatigue

• Hair loss

Though some side effects are uncomfortable, they are temporary. Some can also cause reduction in dose and delays in the treatment or even life-threatening. Fortunately, efficient progress has been made in the improvement of “proactive” therapies, which will be helpful in managing the side effects.

Take active role while managing with the side effects. Learn about the things that all you can and discuss your problems with the doctor.

Frederic Patanaude Shares on Raw Food Motivations and Mentors

In this article, Frederic Patanaude shares on raw food motivations and mentors. Frederic Patanaude has been on a raw food journey for thirteen years. He is the author of The Raw Secrets.

Kevin: Well Frederic I want to welcome you to this program, I'm excited to have you here.

Frederic: I'm happy to be here.

Kevin: So let's start, for those who've never seen you or heard of you before, tell us who you are and how you got into this.

Frederic: All right, well I got into raw foods and the natural health movement about 10 years ago. I started in 1996 experimenting with it .. I'm 32 now. I was pretty young when I
Started. I published a magazine for many years called "Just Eat an Apple." It was the first
Professional thing I did in this movement. Then I did a lot of books, recipe books, that I published and then in the last four to five years I have been doing online projects exclusively. So I have been doing a lot of program courses.

Kevin: Tell me about, in the beginning I know you had some struggles with raw food, you just did not get into it and then it was awesome for you and ongoing .. Tell us a little about some things you learned through those beginning Years.

Frederic: It was very different back then. When I started the Internet was just getting started so we did not have people like you, sharing a lot of great information. It was more difficult to just get the information. And what I found is that the information that I got at first was not complete, it had serious pieces missing. And I would say the first four or five years I experimented with the diet and at some point I went 100% percent raw for several years in a row and I was not getting the results. Now I can totally understand why, in retrospect looking at what I did, it's very clear what did not work. But at the time I had no clue and there was no way to know. I could not find the right information. And unfortunately the people at the time that were leaders in the movement did not have it all down to a science, it was not that clear. It was more empirical, based on experience, but that's often misleading. So I had some problems. I still experienced with it over the years till I found a way to do it. Up to recently I was still doing some experimenting and now I'm pretty sure I got it right.

Kevin: What have you been doing now that you felt was missing, even through the past 10 years? Why are you confident now that it's really right for you?

Frederic: Well the main difference I guess is my motivation, the source of my motivation. That's really important because changing your diet is something big, you do it for a reason, and the reason I had was more philosophical. It made sense to me but I was 21, so I did not have many health problems and I did not have a good reason to do it. Since I turned 30 I became more interested in improving my fitness, because I see other people around me you know that are the same age that are starting to decline, their health is starting to decline. I do not want to go down the same path. I'm not just talking about raw foods here I'm talking about the general program including fitness, which is something that I did not include enough in my program.

Another reason was, I think the biggest reason probably was just that I was not eating enough calories. That's quite stupid, but it's very simple to understand when you're 22 you need to eat a lot of calories. And when you're 30 or 40 and you're really active, you need to eat a lot of calories. You're not going to get that from a breakfast of three apples. So that's something I did not understand because I did not fully analyze the diet. That's been a huge difference.

Kevin: What turned you on to the caloric intake? Were you feeling worn out? Were you feeling tired? You said you got to do something here and you searched around for the answer or …?

Frederic: I never had enough energy, so I always reverted back to cooked foods. I always reverted back to other foods or massive quantities of fat or massive quantities of nuts, like a lot people. I think a lot of people are beating themselves because they have cravings. What I found is if eat enough fruits and vegetables I'm not going to have cravings because I'm getting enough. So when you have a craving it's just your body telling you you're not eating enough. I mean there's also other types of psychological desires where you would want to have a certain food because it reminds you of something, or you want to be part of a social environment. That's different, it's not like physical where you feel compelled to eat it, like where you can not resist. If you can not resist eating the food then obviously you're not getting enough nutrition. People look in the wrong places when it comes to nutrition. They look at, "I'm not getting enough of this nutrient or this vitamin." It's not the little things that are missing it's just the calories. So that's been a huge breakthrough for me.

Kevin: The book "Raw Secrets," I love the book "Raw Secrets," and I think the reason why is because it seems like it's spoken from someone who one, cares about the reader, and then two, you've done a Lot of research. And you've done research with reading into Herbert Shelton, and TC Fry. What do you think is the good stuff from those authors?

Frederic: Referring to Herbert Shelton, especially Herbert Shelton, TC Fry and the early authors, I think the good thing about them is they had a more complete picture of health than many current authors who focus specifically on one thing, like they're going To focus specifically on raw foods, without changing the entire paradigm behind the model that we use to judge if something is good or not.

So for example, a lot of people are still in the medical model. For example for diet, all medical diets for weight loss are always the same. It's always a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. No other variation of the diet, it's always the same – Atkins, it's just the ratio that varies. You look at the South Beach Diet, all these different weight loss diets, they're always the same. It's the medical model for weight loss which is force your body to consume less calories by consuming high protein foods which are detrimental in the end to your health, in high quantities. But it works for weight loss. So that's always been the model.

So this is one example in diet, but there's other examples in terms of if you're asking yourself whether you should take a certain supplement or if you should use a certain drug. You know, some instances call for the use of technology and even drugs. But how are you going to judge that? I think that's what these authors offered us, a better understanding of the fundamental principles in self-healing and how the body works, and how nature works. That's what they bought us, this understanding, these basic principles which I find are not often emphased in the raw food movement.

Kevin: Yeah, now you spend time with, doing program with Dr. Doug Graham.
I love a lot of the stuff he puts out. What was your experience with that? And what were some of the things that you learned from him as a mentor?

Frederic: Yeah, well I definitely have high esteem for Dr. Graham and what he's bringing to the raw food movement. And I think it goes back to what we were saying about the basic principles and this understanding of health. He has a larger understanding, a wider understanding of health, and all of its aspects, not just diet, not just raw foods, but also, you know, how's your sleep, how's your fitness program.

Especially about fitness, I'm one of those people that was never really fit in my life. I actually was not very sporty in school and I hated exercise, and I was more the brainy type. I've changed that and I've started doing more exercise and improved my fitness and I learned a lot from Dr. Graham in that regard. So that's been a very important part of improving my health.

And also I think, definitely what he brought to the movement is a better understanding of the nutrition aspect the raw food diet, because if you look at it from strictly an academic perspective, some of the raw food diets just are not healthy, you know . [Laugh] And it does not matter if it's raw or cooked, do you have to look at, are you getting enough calories? How much fat are you getting? How much salt are you getting? And, these things are, we do not need that much research to prove that, the research has already been done.

Kevin: What does raw food mean to you? When someone says, "Oh, you're a raw foodist," what does that mean?

Frederic: Well, the word raw I think is important to define too, and the problem I think is people have used this word in scientific perspective, where they'll say, "Raw is when you heat a food below a certain number of Fahrenheit Degrees, like 105 or 118. " And there's like this magic number and if you go above that then it's no longer raw. But to me raw foods are just foods in their natural state, so fruits and vegetables in their natural state. Of course we can make some compromises and say, "OK maybe you can dehydrate a nut and still it can be a part of the program," but we're talking about foods that are in their natural state. It's pretty easy to know which ones are and which ones are not, you know? So that's the definition of raw.

In terms of the definition of raw foodists, it's a term that I do not particularly like, but I guess to me it would be someone that eats 100% raw food is a raw foodist, but then, you can eat 100% raw food For a day and are you a raw foodist then? So, if you make an exception once, does that count? So, that term is not important. You want to look for improving your health and using raw foods is one way, and eating all raw is surely something that I recommend and I try to do. So the definition can be very different from one person to the next.

Diosmin for Circulation & Vein Benefits

Believe it or not, there is a natural ingredient from Europe that can help change the way your legs feel and the way you feel about the circulation in your legs. Whether we realize it or not, the circulation in our legs can have a huge influence on how we feel and what we do everyday and perhaps even more so every evening. The comfort level of our legs, or better said, their discomfort level at the end of the day can adversely affect our social life and fitness activities – not to mention adversely affecting our sleep. If our legs felt better perhaps we would find it easier to do the things we’d love to do, but find it so difficult to muster the motivation. As if the way our legs can feel at the end of day isn’t challenging enough, the changes in the circulation in our legs as we age can seem even more hopeless and discouraging. Now add to that the seeming conspiracy among fashion designers to have us exposing even larger portions of our aging legs and we have a problem that over 80 million Americans with varicose veins understand all too well. (1).

Unfortunately, about half of all American women will develop varicose or spider veins at some point in their lives (2). Not only are they unsightly, these leg problems can also cause significant discomfort. Typically, varicose veins are characterized by bulging, blue, sometimes painful and inflamed veins that appear primarily in the calves and thighs. Spider veins, on the other hand, show up as a web of fine lines that can make your legs look like a road map.

While age and heredity play a role in the development of varicose and spider veins, weight gain, pregnancy, menopause and the use of hormone replacement therapy can also trigger these vein problems. Making matters worse, chronic inactivity, standing for long periods of time or habitually crossing your legs can make you more prone to injured veins (2).

Conventional treatments include surgical stripping, injecting the veins with a chemical irritant or zapping them with lasers. While these approaches can remove existing varicose or spider veins, they will not prevent new ones from developing, since these high-tech treatments do not address the underlying problem of poor circulation. Worse yet, these procedures can also cause infection, scarring, nerve damage and pain (26). If these radical treatments are not an option for you, you’ll be happy to hear that there is a natural approach that not only improves the appearance of these ropy, bulging veins, it also fosters leg health to prevent future problems.

Veins Explained

To understand how varicose veins develop, you need to know a little bit about how blood moves through the body. Essentially, there are two types of major circulatory vessels in the body: the arteries, which channel blood from the heart to the extremities, and the veins, which bring blood from the extremities back to the heart. Of all the veins in your body, leg veins work the hardest to carry blood back to the heart. To accomplish this difficult task, your legs are equipped with specially designed one-way valves that keep the blood moving in the right direction. As efficiently as these valves work, your legs still fight a constant battle against the natural pull of gravity. If the veins can’t move the blood efficiently or the one-way valves that prevent the blood from backwashing fail to close properly, blood collects in the legs. This pooling of blood then stretches the vein, causing swelling and injury to the vein’s walls (3).

Depending on the extent of the enlargement, these veins can show up as either spider or varicose veins. Spider veins are broken capillaries and small veins that appear as jagged red, blue or purple lines on the surface of the skin. While they aren’t painful, they can be extremely unattractive. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are thick veins that run deeper beneath the skin. They are far larger and much less attractive than spider veins – and they can make your legs feel fatigued, heavy, achy or even itchy. Varicose veins can also cause burning, throbbing, cramping and restlessness.

While these conditions aren’t usually dangerous, severe cases can lead to chronic venous insufficiency – a persistent inability of the leg veins to adequately return blood back to the heart (4). Varicose veins are also associated with the development of skin ulcers or a chronic inflammation of a vein – a condition known as phlebitis. Phlebitis is often accompanied by formation of a blood clot, a dangerous situation since the clot can move from the leg vein and travel to the lungs (2).

Get a Leg Up with Diosmin

Your strategy for battling vein problems naturally is twofold: improving circulation and strengthening the vein walls. The first and simplest measure to improve blood flow is to counteract gravity. Standing or sitting all day makes it harder for blood to move up from the legs and back to the heart. But taking a few minutes to rest with your legs higher than your heart each day allows gravity to help return blood to the heart.

Getting in shape can also help relieve varicose and spider veins – and it can even prevent new ones from forming. As we age we lose muscle tone, which adversely affects the health of our legs. Yet adopting a consistent exercise program promotes good circulation and can help to keep our leg muscles, and the blood vessels in our legs, toned. Walking, weight training, low-impact aerobics and swimming strengthen the legs and circulatory system, and help to reduce the throbbing and aching often associated with varicose veins.

What you eat can also ease unsightly veins. A low-fat diet filled with fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains add key nutrients and fiber to your diet. Eating a fiber-rich diet reduces the chances of constipation which can contribute to varicose veins. Constipation restricts the blood as it returns to the torso through the deep veins in the legs. Straining to have a bowel movement closes off the deep veins in the legs and restricts the flow of blood as it returns to the torso. As the blood backs up, it takes another course through superficial veins, thus the blue streaks in the legs. Eating a fiber-rich diet alleviates and prevents constipation, helping to avoid the damage to the vascular system that can result. In addition to fiber, a diet high in fruits and vegetables also ensures adequate intake of nutrients and phytonutrients, which also help tonify the blood vessels. As a bonus, a healthy diet and exercise program can also jump-start weight loss – an important consideration since carrying too much weight creates extra pressure on your heart and blood vessels, interfering with healthy circulation (2).

To strengthen the veins themselves, take a tip from the Europeans. From Austria to France to Italy, women and their doctors have relied on Diosmin for more than 30 years to treat circulatory problems affecting the legs – and with good reason. Diosmin is a unique bioflavonoid derived from citrus fruits and is closely related to other citrus bioflavonoids such as hesperiden, quercetin, and rutin (5). Clinical trials have shown that Diosmin is highly effective in boosting circulation and strengthening the veins in the legs (5). Not only does this improve existing varicose and spider veins, it can also reduce the likelihood of future problems.

What makes Diosmin so amazing is its power to specifically target the blood vessels in the legs. Diosmin improves both blood vessel elasticity and microcirculation while relieving pain and inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes (21,24). Because of its direct action on the integrity of vein walls, Diosmin also reduces the amount of fluid that leaks out of them (21,22). Diosmin’s protective benefits do not stop there. Because it is a potent anti-oxidant, Diosmin decreases lipid peroxidation and reduces free radical damage that can undermine vein health (23, 27).

In one clinical trial, people who suffered from pain and swelling due to varicose veins experienced significant improvement in their symptoms after taking Diosmin for a few months (6). A review of studies also found that, among more than 5,000 patients with vein disorders, the vast majority not only saw a reduction in their discomfort, they actually saw the swelling in their calves and ankles disappear (7). Across the board, research shows that a daily dose of 500 to 1,000 mg of Diosmin improves the health of leg veins and brings tremendous relief from pain, night cramps and leg heaviness (8,9,10,11). Both short- and long-term use of this highly effective natural ingredient comes without any side effects. It is also so safe that you need not worry about adverse interactions of Diosmin with drugs, foods, lab tests or interactions with diseases or conditions. (5).

Help for Hemorrhoids

Because Diosmin reduces swelling and bolsters vein health, it can also help people suffering with hemorrhoids – those uncomfortable varicose veins that form in the lower rectum and anus. Along with making it painful to sit, hemorrhoids can itch, bleed or protrude – and almost half of all Americans suffer from them by the time they turn 50 (12). Extensive research conclusively shows that Diosmin can safely alleviate the pain, inflammation and bleeding of hemorrhoids (13,14,15). Best of all, it offers quick relief, often working its magic within a week or two (16). Plus, Diosmin reduces the risk of a relapse (17).

Diosmin for Cancer?

While no one questions Diosmin’s efficacy for treating varicose and spider veins or hemorrhoids, scientists have begun exploring other ways this potent flavonoid may boost health. Their main focus – cancer prevention – especially oral and skin cancers.

Researchers haven’t conclusively identified the cancer-fighting component in Diosmin, but preliminary experiments show that this flavonoid inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells (18). In two studies pitting Diosmin against other flavonoids like rutin, grapeseed extract and red wine, Spanish investigators found that Diosmin was considerably more effective at reducing the number of metastatic melanoma cells (a potentially deadly type of skin cancer cells that spread through the body) than any of the other flavonoids tested (19,20). Other studies have found that Diosmin puts the brakes on the spread of cancer cells in the mouth (25).

Although it could be years before science conclusively proves Diosmin’s cancer benefit, this nutrient can’t be beat for supporting vein health. Along with taking supplemental Diosmin, there are several simple strategies you can employ to encourage healthy circulation. Eating a high-fiber, anti-oxidant rich diet and getting plenty of exercise can help keep veins in top form. And remember to take a break and put your feet up every now and again.

References:

1. American Society for Dermatoloic Surgery.

2. National Women’s Health Information Center. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

3. American College of Phlebology.

4. Society for Vascular Surgery.

5. Diosmin Monograph. Alternative Medicine Review. 2004;9(3):308-311.

6. Ting AC, et al. Clinical and hemodynamic outcomes in patients with chronic venous insufficiency after oral micronized flavonoids therapy. Vascular Surgery. 2001;35(6):443-447.

7. Ramelet AA. Daflon 500 mg: symptoms and edema clinical update. Angiology. 2005;56 Suppl 1:S25-S32.

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