Swine Flu – Enough's Enough

Are you one of the scared or one of the tired of hearing about it? It seems most people now fall into one of these categories when the topic of the swine flu comes up.

I am not one of the scared.

It was after reading a newsletter from Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD, that I decided to follow his footsteps and put in my two cents (and common sense) as well by writing this article.

As the global pandemic alert levels continue to climb, media jumps to find the most shocking pieces to report and government protect itself by taking strong action. Despite the fact that there has only been one reported death in the United States, a toddler brought in from Mexico, Governments around the world are declaring states of public emergency. Countries are cutting flights to Mexico. President Obama is requesting billions of dollars to be spent on monitoring the disease, stocking up on medicines, and to help other countries. Countries are baking pork products. Stores are running out of surgical masks. The World Health Organization is warning countries not to lower their guard.

Some perspective:

  • "Nearly all infections outside of Mexico have been mild and only a handful of patients have needed hospital treatment."
  • According to research conducted at the World Influenza Center in the UK, "Preliminary analysis of the swine flu virus suggests it is a fairly mild strain, scientists say."
  • "Common seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people every year worldwide, far more than the current outbreak of swine flu."

Some Traditional Chinese Medicine solutions:

I can not predict the future. I do know, however, that the best way to not get the swine flu is to not get sick. ūüôā So, how do you avoid getting sick? Or, at least, how do you not get too sick? You support your whole body, including your immune system.

Written 2000 years ago, the book Su Wen ("Plain Questions"), a TCM classic, states that "If 'zheng Qi' [the functioning of the body] remains strong, 'xie Qi' [viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc .] can not invade the body. 'Zheng Qi' must be weak for the invasion of 'xie Qi' to take place.

Part of that is certainly to strengthen your immune system, which TCM referes to as 'wei Qi' or defensive Qi. Herbs such as huang qi (astralagus), ling zhi (reishi mushroom), and dong chong xia cao (cordyceps) are powerful immune stimulants. Herbs that help kill a virus or bacteria include ban lan gen (isatis root), lian qiao (forsythia fruit), and jie geng (balloon flower rhizome). One challenge is that because each virus and bacteria can have very different properties, and because each herb affects the body differently, you are best to talk with a qualified TCM herbalist or TCM doctor to determine what will work for you if you come down with a flu.

In addition, because all your body's systems are interconnected, you will want to make sure that your digestive system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, respiratory system, and nervous system are also addressed. Injured? Take care of that so that your body can focus on other health issues. And, I did not even mention your emotional wellness-feeling down can make you more susceptible to illness.

Acupuncture can also be used to build your defenses and balance to your whole body, not to mention the major reason why people come to see me-to relieve stress.

Stuff You Can Do:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Wash your hands (just use regular soap; let's not keep creating more superbugs with all the chemical antibacterial products out there; wash your hands while singing "Happy Birthday" in your head so that you know that you've washed long enough)
  • De-stress (meditate, breathe, find a hobby)
  • Eat healthy (more veggies, less sugar; more whole foods, less processed foods)
  • Listen to your body. If you feel the beginning of a cold or flu, slow down, take some immune boosting supplements listed below, get more sleep, and try to avoid infecting others (stay home and maybe do as the Japanese do and wear a mask when you're sick so that all others do not have to)
  • Take vitamin C, essential fatty acids (fish oils, flax oil, hemp oil, etc.), probiotics (good bacteria have been shown to stimulate the immune system)
  • If you start to succumb, find a good herbal immune product. I have my favorites-FluStop, manuka honey, oregano oil, and customized TCM herbal formulas.
  • And, above all, do not panic. Panic and stress stimulate your adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline which will send you into a state of fight or flight. That brings blood away from "non-vital" systems for your immediate survival-immune system included-and to your heart to pump more blood and your muscles to get ready to move! Continued stress causes your body to release cortisol which further weakens your immune system.

Treat Your Glaucoma With Marijuana? Ask Your Optometrist For Prescription Drops and Pass On the Pot

Should you ask your eye doctor about marijuana for your glaucoma treatment? Medical Marijuana has been legalized in 14 states but is still not legal under federal law. Many states have been struggling with the massive expansion of medical marijuana dispensaries. Government bodies including cities, state and counties are trying to assure that only adults with legitimate medical issues that can benefit from medical marijuana are able to obtain access.

So is marijuana a valid treatment for glaucoma? Research to date is limited and all glaucoma institutions including the National Eye Institute have recommended not using marijuana in the treatment of glaucoma. There is a lowering of eye pressure but a number of issues create problems with using medical marijuana in treating glaucoma. Marijuana is typically smoked. The effective dosing schedule is about every 3 hours due to a short lived effect. Eye pressures tend to rise at night so repeated dosing every 3 hours night and day would be required. This would disrupt the sleep cycle and result in poor motor skills, inability to drive legally, and low functioning interfering with the ability to work all of the time.

These side effects are unacceptable to most of the population. At this point there is no regulation or oversight of the quality and amount of active compounds in medical marijuana. Unlike prescription pharmaceuticals, the amount required for a proper dose is impossible to accurately state. There are also problems with decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and dizziness when standing up after sitting. The decreased blood pressure theoretically could reduce blood flow to the optic nerve and increase the risk of glaucoma damage. There are other possible health risks and benefits that may occur. Oddly, lung cancer does not to be a risk at this time, and marijuana may even offer a protective effect. However, there is some damage to the lung tissues that is thought to occur with long term usage.

Capsules of the single most active substance in marijuana are available by prescription through regular drugstores. These also lower eye pressure but significantly less than inhaled marijuana. The capsules also have a slower onset and need to be consumed every 4-6 hours. The side effects are often described as much more unpleasant than inhalation. The prescription capsules lack the 60+ other similar compounds found in the plants plus several hundred other types of biological compounds. It is unknown if this makes the prescription capsules a better or worse choice. Again, the required frequency of dosing and side effects make this a poor option for the treatment of glaucoma.

Current glaucoma prescription eye drops usually require dosing 1 to 2 times per day, and have a low risk of side effects that rarely interfere with daily functioning. They have a very precise, consistent level of active components. While some problems can occur, these are rare and fairly well known from clinical trials. Marijuana has some active compounds that do lower eye pressure and deserve further support for future investigation. We may even find it is a useful adjunct for treatment in conjunction with standard therapies in the future. However, at this time there is no indication that medical marijuana has any place as a primary treatment for glaucoma, when we have such a large choice of prescription drugs that have undergone vigorous studies. These studies have found them to be safe and effective, with significant research behind them. As a bonus, you do not have to be constantly looking over your shoulder due to the uncertain legal status when you stick to clinically approved glaucoma medications.

How to Naturally Correct Narsightedness?

Millions of people all over the world want to know how to naturally correct nearsightedness? The best way to naturally correct your nearsightedness is through a series of eye relaxation exercises. Studies have found that stress and strain have an affect on your vision and eye relaxation exercises help reduce these factors.

Here are a few simple eye relaxation exercises that you can do through out the day:

  • Sit and relax, roll your eyes clockwise, blink, then roll your eyes counter-clockwise. Repeat five times
  • Hold a pencil in front at arm's length. Move your arm slowly to your nose, follow then pencil with your eyes until you can not focus. Repeat 10 times.
  • Look in front of you at the opposite wall and pretend you are writing with your eyes, without turning your head. The bigger the letters are, the better it is for your eyes.
  • Focus on a distant object at least 150 feet away for several seconds then slowly refocus on a near object less than 30 feet away. Stay focused on the nearby object for several seconds then focus on the distant object again. Repeat 4 times.

As you can see these exercises are very easy to follow and you can do them just about anywhere. Exercising your eyes for short periods several times a day are more important than exercising them for longer periods.

Now you have a few tips to help you naturally correct your nearsightedness. After the first day of performing eye relaxation exercises you should notice a difference in how your eyes feel.

Myopia – How Far Can You Really See?

How far can you really see? Simple question, is not it? But I am not talking about seeing with your eyes. I think even blind people can see things in their mind, but I am not going to dwell too much on that, but instead I hope to take you beyond your natural inclinations to think deeply on a much more interesting topic.

In his highly acclaimed book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey presents strong lessons in personal change.

In the 2nd habit, the author suggests to begin with the end in mind. What it all means is to begin with the image of the end of your life as the frame of reference by which everything else is measured.

Covey illustrates the concept with a visualization exercise asking you to imagine that at the end of your life, you are able to listen to what was being said at your funeral. He further invites you to determine what you would like to hear people say about you as a father, a life partner, a college … kind of life that will make it happen.

The book further went on to suggest developing a personal mission statement, philosophy or credo based on your values ‚Äč‚Äčand principles that will help you focus on what you want to be (character), and do (contributions and achievements).

All this is based on the theory that all things are created twice and that there is a mental first creation and there is a physical second creation and that management is being efficient by doing things right, while leadership is being effective by doing the right things.

Some people have adopted the principles of this book and have gone on to become highly successful and effective people. There are also countless other people who could not fully implement the principles because they could not bear to change their characters first. Perhaps, their over-inflated egos or impatience has preempted them from achieving what they want. After trying out some of the ideas, they come to realize that the book is not a quick-fix book. They need to change their own way of looking at things, and start to mature from a dependent stage, to an independent stage and then to an interdependent stage before they can really see some substantive results.

For those who had some success, should they be overjoyed with their achievements?

Now, come back to the question, "How far can you really see?" Does your journey end at your funeral?

In the book, The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren, the author explores the question of what on earth I am here for. When you read about the 5 purposes for living this life, you will soon discover that God is part of the equation. When we come to think of it, our life on earth is really very short – 60, 80 or even 100 years.

As Jesus Christ said in Matt 7: 24 ~ 27, "So, then, anyone who hears these words of mine and acts accordingly is like a wise man, who built his house on rock. wind blew and stuck that house, but it did not collapse because it was built on rock But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not act accordingly, is like a fool who built his house on sand. flooded, and the wind blew and stuck that house; it collapsed and the ruin was complete. "

So how far can you see beyond this life? We should be aiming for eternal life!

Mushroom Spawn Making – How to Make Your Own Mushroom Spawn

One of the best things about growing mushrooms is that when you have started to grow them you can continue to grow them for years and years without the need to purchase any more mushroom spawn. It is very simple to create your own spawn and be able to store this in a fridge ready to use for several weeks.

Mushroom spawn is simply some kind of food which has mycelium growing through it. The food is usually some kind of bird seed such as corn or rye grain, and this is used because the mycelium loves to grow through it and because of the shape and small size of the grain it provides many innoculation points (it has a large surface area which means you have more chance of the mycelium “leaping off” and growing through your substrate).

Creating your own mushroom spawn can be a very easy process when you know exactly how its done and when you are aware of the possible problems caused by contaminations (which is why it is very important to have good sterile procedures). To make your own spawn you firstly need your own mushroom spores. Take a mushroom and leave it on a piece of foil to leave a spore print. Next you add a little distilled water to this print (a few millilitres) and mix this solution using something called an innoculation loop (small piece of wire with a metal curve in one end). This will mix the spores with the water. Next you need to use a syringe and suck up this solution. As mentioned before its important that the syringe is clean and any other equipment too.

You can store this spore syringe in a cool place such as a refrigerator until ready to use. Next you will need to get a large jar and fill it up with the chosen grain (such as Rye grain). Place a piece of tyvek over the cover and seal with a metal lid. It helps if you drill 4 small holes in the lid (near the corners) which are used as innoculation points later.

When you are ready take the spore syringe and inject a few millilitres of your solution into the 4 holes in the lid of the jar. Usually one syringe can innoculate around 5 jars. When complete, place the jars in a warm place and after about 4 weeks your contents will have colonised and mushrooms will start to form! Or you could simply use this colonised jar of grain and use it as spawn – the choice is yours. You could even multiply the spawn and turn the 5 jars into as many as 25! This is simply done by getting more jars of grain and mixing in part of the colonised spawn jar with the others. One jar can turn into 10 if done properly!

Vaccinations You Should Consider Before Traveling

Thanks to the debt of budget airlines and intense price wars between major airlines, most of us can afford to explore what other countries have to offer. While we plan our vacations meticulously, travel vaccinations are often put last in the list.

Types of Shots

In general, vaccinations can be categorized under two categories – routine and travel. Hepatitis B, BCG (against tuberculosis), rubella and tetanus are some of the familiar compulsory routine vaccinations. However, different travel vaccine is given depending on the region you're visiting. For example, you're at risk of contracting a number of infections and communicable diseases in a developing country. You can get Hepatitis A and typhoid by consuming raw or contaminated food due to unhygienic preparation. One week before you fly off, get the two-in-one Hepatitis A and typhoid shot. If you're traveling to the Asia region, get Hepatitis B and Japanese encephalitis jobs and take prophylactic medication for malaria. If you're making travel plans to North America during winter time, you may want to consider a flu job, which will help prevent influenza, a virus that infects your respiratory system. Obtain a flu shot 10 to 15 days before departure. Certain vaccinations are required of travelers. For instance, international health regulations require travelers to have yellow fever vaccines when going to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Those traveling to African countries should get protection against malaria. These diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes. The government of Saudi Arabia requires Muslims traveling to Mecca for their Hajj pilgrimage to have a meningococcal meningitis vaccination. Basic immunization would suffice if you're visiting Scandinavian and Western European countries, but Hepatitis A and B jabs for visits to Eastern Europe are recommended.

Miscellaneous

While vaccination can help reduce your chances of contracting a particular disease, it does not offer you full protection. Here, you still need to take precautions and avoid suspicious-looking food and drinks, especially when you're traveling in developing countries. Note that there are cases where vaccinations will not work for an individual. For instance, pregnant ladies are not suitable for other vaccinations except tetanus or if you're allergic to eggs, measles vaccines will not work.

Aside from swelling and pain at the sight of the injection, vaccines do not have side effects if they're administratively administered. If you're planning on a vacation, do not forget to consult with your health care provider and get travel vaccinations. Prevention is always better than cure.

Knee Replacement and Reversing Muscle Atrophy After Surgery

Once your knee replacement surgery or knee surgery in general is completed and you have gone through your physical rehabilitation program, you are encouraged to continue some sort of exercise program. For many this will consist of everything from strength training at a local gym to walking around the block. To get the most productivity out of your surgery, it is recommended you incorporate weight training as well as other exercises if you wish to keep the muscles around your knee strong to help you improve your quality of life and, to protect the prosthesis that has been implanted.

I recommend my patients and clients to work on an assortment of exercises depending on their age, prior level of function and, expectations. Today, with many younger adults having knees replaced, many of them are expecting to get back into enjoying their prior activities within reason as soon as possible.

The exercises to reverse the muscle wasting process I include in the exercise routine are leg presses, leg extensions, hamstring curls and calf raises. These are exercise I use and continue to use to keep my knee replacement running and operating at a high level. Use a weight that you can initially get between 15-20 repetitions to start with. You first want to build endurance in the muscle. Working with weight that is too heavy will cause a considerable amount of muscle soreness and discomfort and swelling if you are not careful. You start slowly and increase your resistance as you get stronger and more confident with the exercises.

What I instruct patients that are pursuing post rehabilitation strengthening is to start by warming up on a stationary bike for 10 to 15 minutes at a slow pace to loosen the muscle and surrounding soft tissue around the knee. Follow the stationary bike with two sets of leg presses for 20 repetitions using slow controlled movements. Do not take your knees past the 90 degree mark at this time. Follow leg presses with seated leg extensions for 15 -20 repetitions. Then you go to hamstring curls which can be done either seated or in the prone position for the same amount of repetitions. These exercises should be done for two sets each to start with.

As you get stronger in the months ahead you can of course increase your workload as tolerated. Avoid using very heavy weights that might stress the prosthesis. Heavy weights will not be needed to rebuild your leg or legs to get them to an ideal level. Remember after joint replacement surgery, your rehabilitation should really never end.

Also to be sure that you are taking in a good quality protein to help in reversing muscle atrophy and after knee surgery. Taking in quality protein such as skinless chicken breasts, salmon, ground turkey breast and egg whites are just some of the ways to help you increase your protein intake during the recovery phase.

Taking a good quality protein powder supplement also is the key in making sure you are getting the fuel your body needs to help in building stronger muscles not only in your legs but also by reversing the atrophy process throughout your entire body.

What is Areata Alopecia?

Alopecia Areata is the name given to a condition where round bald spots appear on your skin and scalp. The hair loss is very sudden and quite often drastic. Alopecia is a disorder that causes a patient's immune cells to attack their own hair-growing tissue for unknown reasons. Usually a trigger is needed to start the process (often in the form of a virus)

There are three basic stages of Alopecia Areata:

1. Sudden hair loss. The patient will notice a bald spot. Which may appear minimal at first.

2. The bald area will enlarge; hair loss will increase in the immediate area of ‚Äč‚Äčsighted balding.

3. New hair will grow in place of the lost hair. This process is different for everyone. Hair may start growing in a matter of weeks, months, sometimes more than one year. Neverheless, it's very rare that hair does not grow back.

Not Just the Scalp

Patients who start losing hair from their body (including eyebrows and eyelashes) are very wrinkled. They have every reason to feel this way. Alopecia Areata acts in such a way that it's very unnatural. But these patients are not alone in their experiences. Most patients do not realize that the symptoms that they're experiencing are all attributes of Alopecia-a temporary condition.

Common Misconceptions:

While many patients blame stress, medication, and poor diet; there is not any clinical proof that these claims coincide with the balding disorder. Unfortunately, doctors do not know why a patient's immune cells turn on the body and cause this condition. Despite this lack of information, studies do show that Alopecia Areata commonly occurs in patients who family members have had the condition. Alopecia Areata is not contagious.

Treatment:

While patience is an important asset with this condition, your physician may suggest cortisone shots (which promote and stimulate hair growth). Although Cortisone shots have been very successful with Alopecia patients, these shots are very painful. The average patient who opts for this treatment receives twenty to thirty shots into each patch, once per month. This treatment is only effective for the immediate area that has been injected. It does not assist hair growth in other bald areas.

Unfortunately, doctors can not predict if this treatment will work for you. There are no guaranteed results. A prescription cortisone cream is another solution, which can be applied to the bald area. Cortisone cream is not painful and can be easily applied in the privacy of your home.

Female Hair Loss Types and Causes

There are four main categories of hair loss that affect women. These include androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, telogen effluvium and cicatricial alopecia. Cicatricial alopecia is the only type of hair loss that is permanent and irreversible. Cicatricial alopecia only accounts for three percent of all hair loss cases. For the other 97 percent there is potential for improvement.

Hair loss only becomes permanent if the underlying follicle has atrophied or been damaged. Usually this happens slowly and progressively, allowing time for intervention. The best opportunity for re-growth occurs when hair loss issues are addressed and treated promptly.

Identifying the cause of hair loss is the first step in taking the necessary steps to re-establish healthy growth. Each type of hair loss has identifying characteristics.

Cicatricial Alopecia

Cicatricial alopecia, also known as "scarring alopecia," refers to a wide variety of hair disorders in which patches of hair follicles are damaged or destroyed and replaced by scar tissue. Once the follicle is destroyed and scarring has occurred, hair loss becomes permanent. It is important to seek treatment immediately to halt the inflammatory process and to prevent further irreversible follicular damage. Although the hair that was lost will never grow back, treatment may help stop the progression. . There are many types of cicatricial alopecia. Combined, they only make up three percent of hair loss cases.

Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia is also known as female pattern baldness. With this condition the hair does not actually fall out. The hairs in certain areas become thinner and weaker, resulting in less scalp coverage thereby giving the appearance of hair loss.

Only certain pre-determined follicles are affected. These follicles begin to shrink as a substance called DHT mixes with sebum and travels to the susceptible follicles. With each new hair cycle the follicles shrink a little more. Sometimes they may atrophy. If this happens the follicles will cease to produce hair. As long as the follicle has not atrophied, the follicle-shrinking action can be decreed and improvements may be achieved.

A person who has inherited the genes for this condition can delay the sunset and minimize the effects by keeping the scalp clean, healthy, and free of excess sebum. Extreme care may keep a person with this genetic tendency from ever exhibiting symptoms. Applying essential oil formulas to the scalp can help keep the follicles healthy and functioning by increasing circulation, oxygen, cellular regeneration and providing nutrients to the hair follicles.

Any hormonal imbalance can trigger the onset, or exacerbate the effects of androgenetic alopecia. An anti-inflammatory diet may help hormonal function.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition which causes hair to fall out in patches. Alopecia areata can progress to alopecia totalis – total loss of scalp hair, or alopecia universalis – loss of all scalp and body hair. With alopecia areata the affected hair follicles lie dormant but remain alive. People with this condition have been known to re-grow hair in patches that have been bald up to ten years.

The activation of alopecia areata requires a trigger. Common triggers include viral or bacterial infection, illness, allergens, toxins and emotional stress. Identifying and controlling triggers can deter progress or recurrence episodes.

Anti-inflammatory diets are proving to be helpful in autoimmune conditions. Natural therapies such as scalp massage with aromatherapy or ayurvedic oils have been successful methods to re-grow hair.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is also known as diffuse hair loss because the hair loss occurs evenly from all over the scalp instead of in localized areas. Telogen effluvium is caused by a disturbance to the body. The disturbance may be minor and easy to correct; or it may involve a more serious physical condition requiring medical attention.

Hair loss from telogen effluvium may grow back on its own once the problem is identified and corrected. It is important to pinpoint the cause in order to implement the proper treatment.

The condition of one's hair is an indication of one's total physical and emotional well-being. Hair loss is never an isolated problem. All systems must be working synergistically in order for healthy hair to be produced. Taking optimal care of one's total health can greatly improve the quality and quantity of one's hair.

Understanding female hair loss is the first step to recovery. Learning about the types, causes, solutions and methods of prevention help enable women to understand and take charge of their own hair loss condition.

Betta Fungus – How to Tell If Your Betta Has Caught a Fungal Infection

Betta fungus can be caused by many factors, the most common of which is an unclean habitat.

Because your betta fish swims in a self-contained ecosystem with a finite quantity of water, plants, rocks, and square footage, you need to realize that your fish breathes, excretes, drinks, and sees through the water you place him in.

So as the water becomes contaminated and planned with excrement, leftover food, and as the rocks start eroding, as the plants start decaying, and the fish is constant respiring, you need to remain vigilant about your fish's water quality, otherwise not only will your habitat develop fungus, but your little marine friend will inevitably develop fungus as well!

So how can you tell if your fish has eaten a betta fungus infection?

Your fish may be exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms which are listed below:

– Betta has patches of white spots all over his body or head that look like little patches of cotton.

– He may be less active than usual.

– He may have a reduced appetite for eating.

– His fins may be clumped, and his body color may be pale and less vibrant than before.

So how can you cure (and prevent) betta fungus?

Adding aquarium salt to your fish's habitat is an extremely effective way to combat betta fungus and to prevent it from occurring again in the future.

There are also numerous fungus medicines you can get for your fish from the pet store.

What to Do With Other People's Stuff

We all have those leftover things that we just can not seem to throw away, from a child's first art project to a strange gift from a favorite weird aunt. There are hand-me-downs, 'the good furniture' from deceased relatives, household items from those who moved, freebies sent through the mail, impulse purchases; the list goes on and on. The problem is when we have such a problem getting rid of such things that the home is overwhelmed by 'stuff'. Here is a new diagnosis for the pack-rat syndrome: Hoarding.

The cases presented on the television series "Buried Alive" are so extreme and the people so obviously mentally ill, that the rest of us pack-rats breathe a sigh of relief as we tell ourselves "well, I thought I was bad, but those people have a problem ". As if that excuses our own hoarding tendencies, we go about our lives feeling better about ourselves.

Check yourself with these questions:

Do you find yourself talking about the lack of space?

Are you tripping over things in the bedroom or other rooms?

Do you have multiples beyond three of items that last a long time?

Are you keeping paperwork from thirty years ago?

Is it impossible to keep your home looking neat?

Have you been renting storage more than six months?

If you have answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are a pack-rat and in danger of becoming overwhelmed with stuff. Either that, or you are on the road working and have no idea when you will be settling down again-and do not want to get rid of your favorite things. You would still likely be a pack-rat, without before putting things in storage you really examined everything and got rid of whatever is not irreplaceable or something you absolutely love.

Spring is a great time for passing the old stuff on to other pack-rats, as evidenced by the popularity of garage sales. Redecorating is another great time to get rid of the old and bringing in the new. The good news is, there is always someone who can use your old stuff and probably someone, somewhere, is looking for exactly what you have. eBay is full of things people need to get rid of and there are now people who will take your stuff and put it on eBay for you. Those entrepreneurs are making a good living out of helping others pass their items on to those who want them.

Most people just do not have fascinating enough lives to have all the stuff they have collected. By fascinating I mean having a lot of different talents and abilities that require a stock of raw materials to create with. Many people just work and go home to watch TV, maybe read or use the computer, and go out to movies and social functions. None of that requires a whole lot of 'stuff'. I am still amazed at one woman who had the neatest house I have ever stayed in. Whatever she was not using at the present time was discarded. There were a few items from her grandkids but other than that, not much other than furniture. Even her kitchen was sparse by my standards. My gourmet cook side had apoplexy from trying to work in her kitchen.

For those who shivered at the mere idea of ‚Äč‚Äčliving in sparse surroundings, consider the art of feng shui, which preaches the more Zen model of d√©cor, to allow the chi (energy) to flow smoothly through a home, bringing health, peace and happiness . For those of us who are so fascinating that it has a strangle-hold on us, I have the perfect solution … closets, lots of well-organized closets. It works and it also allows for the more Zen-like decorating that I prefer. You do not have to go through life without what you really love. Just figure out that that is and dump the rest.

© 2010 Dr.Valerie Olmsted All Rights Reserved

Water and Salt the Foundation of Natural Health and Longevity

Many elements are critical to sustaining life and a strong immune system. The four most important ones are: water, oxygen, sodium and potassium. In order to maintain health, they all must be in balance. All of these nutrients have to coexist in right proportions in order for a human body to function properly. Let us remember that the best nutrients are produced by nature – live unprocessed foods.

People sometimes call the human body a machine. Of course, the human body is not a machine, but it can be certain compared to one.

Like a machine, the human body is made up of many systems, all of which are responsible for completing specific tasks. All of the systems in the human body work together and are responsible for running the body in a smooth and efficient way.

Like a machine, the body needs energy to work. In such a mechanism as a car, the energy comes from the gas burned by the engine. Yet human body is far more complex than any man made machine – it is alive.

Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. Why therefore, do not we take enough care to provide our bodies with the right quantity of quality elements that it needs to live and function properly? Maybe the reason is the lack of proper information.

So why do not we study our bodies and their functions? What do we need to be healthy, and how do we properly provide for the needs of our body's systems?

Would we ever supply our car with an inventory amount of or a contaminated form of engine oil, gas or air? Of course not! Without we did not care for its performance and longevity.

So, let us briefly and in a simplified form look at the basic elements that our body needs to function properly.

From a physiological point of view, water serves the following functions: it carries nutrients to all cells in the body and removals unneeded products of metabolism; it allows nutrients to get converted to energy; it regulates body temperature and moisturizes inhaled air.

Salt (Sodium Chloride) is indispensable to life-everyone has 100 to 200 grams of salt in the body. Salt helps to maintain the proper volume of blood in the body and stabilizes proportions of water inside and outside of cells. It plays a vital role in the digestive process and regulates the cardiovascular system. It is also necessary for proper functioning of the nerves that carry impulses to and from the brain. Sodium in combination with calcium, magnesium and potassium helps to regulate metabolism of the body. Together with potassium it regulates the pH balance of blood, and is also necessary for correct functioning of muscles.

The cells in our body are 70% water – our brain is 90% water. The condition of our joints and blood vessels, the presence of liver and kidney stones, and the complexion of our skin all depend on the quality of water that we drink.

Water in our body cells is under a special structured form. All fluids that we consume must be purified and transformed into that specific form. The energy necessary for processing all the fluids we ingest depends on their kind and quality. The more energy is used for unnecessary water processing, the less remains for repairing of our cells and fighting diseases.

Water is obviously a primary factor in maintaining our health and energy. The tiny combination of three nuclei and ten electrons of water possesses special properties that make it unique among the more than 15 million chemical species we currently know. There are three aspects of water that are getting more and more attention: pH, its structure and its subtle energies.

Every one eats salt. We must have it in order to produce bicarbonate and stomach acid, to digest food and to retain water necessary for our organizations. However, too much salt can lead to problems such as edema (as in swollen legs) and other malfunctions of the human body.

It is known that a potassium-sodium imbalance caused by missing potassium, sodium and calcium is the cause of high blood pressure and the main source of major diseases.

The human body contains two types of salty waters: one type is held inside of the cells of the body and the other is held outside of the cells. Good health depends on the balance of these two types of water. This balance is maintained by a sodium-potassium pump system. The amount of sodium outside the cells has to be matched by an equivalent amount of potassium inside the cells. Since the volume of water inside the cells is greater than the volume of water outside of them, the cells have to be supplied with potassium in order to hold the pressure of water equally balanced. Cells would not be able to hold enough water without potassium.

Even natural, mineralized salt is chlorine bound to sodium but it is better than no sodium at all. Yet the best sodium we can supply our bodies with occurs naturally in vegetables. The key to maintaining good health is eating live (not processed) fresh vegetables and fruits and drinking plenty of pure water.

A human being is an entity which soul and body form a union. This is why it is not possible to heal the body without considering the state of the soul and vice versa.
– Kan Funajana, an ancient Japanese physician.

Disclaimer:
The information in this article should not be considered medical advice. The information in this article is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always consult with your physician before taking any products or following any advice you have read in this article.

Does Your Dog Have Otitis Externa?

Does your dog shake his head excessively? Are his ears red? Is there discharge from the ears? If you answered yes to any of these then he could have Otitis Externa which is simply another name for a doggy ear infection.

The dogs ear has 3 parts, the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Otitis Externa is an infection in the outer ear canal where 90% of ear infections in dogs occur. Dogs are prone to ear infections because of the anatomy of their ears. They have a horizontal and a vertical component to them, so it is hard for anything in there to drain out, like water or debris.

There are several causes of ear infections. The most common cause of ear infections are due to allergies. Some dogs are more prone to allergies than others; therefore they get more ear infections.

Another common cause is sporting dogs that swim. They get water inside their ears, and provided their difficult anatomy, the water in the ears can not drain out. Therefore, this provides the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. It is recommenced that if you let your dog play in the water you dry your dog's ears thoroughly afterwards.

If your dog does have an ear infection it is important to properly clean your dog's ears before applying any medication.

To clean your dog's ears, start by placing a few drops of an ear cleanser into the ear and massage the ear to help loosen any debris that is in the ear. Then use a cloth or cotton gauze to whip the dirt out.

After your dog's ears are thoroughly clean, then you can apply your medication. Follow your veterinarian's advice about how much medication to apply to the ear, usually a few drops.

The treatment of veterinarian will prescribe will vary depending on the cause of the ear infection. For yeast infections they prescribe anti-fungals, for bacterial infections that will prescribe antibiotics. Normally treatment is applied directly into the ears, but in several cases systemic treatment may be needed. This usually means have to give your dog pills orally.

In some dogs with severe ear problems, the veterinarian will usually clip the hair around the ear to help let more air into the ear. In extreme cases your veterinarian may recommend surgery to reconstruct the ear canal to let it drain easier.

Some dog breeds are more prone to ear infections than others, although all dogs can be get them. Dogs with large ears and ears that flop over as well as dogs with a small ear canal can be more susceptible than others. Ear infections in dogs need to be rated by your vet, so the next time you see any symptoms in your

Got Marketing Paralysis? Try This

Many of us put off creating or overhauling our marketing materials until we have "time." But with all the responsibilities we have, who on earth has time? In my experience, the time excuse is very often a smokescreen, covering the fears hidden underneath.

And what of these fears? Well let's face it. When you're selling yourself, there's something scary about putting yourself "out there" and putting yourself "out there" in a tangible real piece of marketing, does seem to make it something final. We worry about being misunderstood.

We worry about not living up to other people's expectations. We worry about "getting it wrong". We worry about offending people. We worry about appearing over confident. We worry about making claims that we can not live up to. It's no wonder we can not find the time. Who would want to find the time to when there are so many ways of getting it wrong?

In spite of the fact that those fears exist and they're getting in the way, we really just have to thumb our noses at them. You simply have to say to yourself, "Yes, those fears may be there, but I'm going to create my marketing materials in spite of them."

My favorite method for blasting through these fears is a technique I call the "anti-brochure". Before we go any further I want you to grab a pen, and a sheet of paper and at the top write, "The reasons you SHOULD NOT become my client". Now as quickly as possible, write down all the reasons why someone should not hire you.

Do not worry, we will not be publicizing these, what we are aiming to do is to get these sentences out of your head where they can cripple your creative process and onto the page where they lose a great deal of their power.

Here are some examples that have come out of this exercise:

"I'm not good enough."

"I tell a good story, but I do not walk my talk."

"If I'm so great why is my own life in such a mess?"

"If people knew what I was really like they would not want to hire me."

"I'm afraid I will not live up to their expectations."

"The only reason I have any clients is because I fooled them all."

I love this technique for blasting away the doubts and fears that will otherwise really interfer with your creative process. Once you've got the words out and onto the page, they become a lot less effective at holding you back. Last year I ran a course with a partner, and we sat down and did this exercise together before writing the brochure.

We titled it, "The reasons you should not book onto this course". We each spent 5-10 minutes filling a sheet with our insecurities and errors and when we were done, we compared notes, then threw the lists away. That's it. That's all you need to do. Do not agonize over what you've written. Just write it, read it through and throw it away.

Some people like a ritual burning, but to be perfectly honest I think that's affording too much significance to what just amounts to a bunch of false fears. Just screw up the paper and toss it in the wastepaper basket. Try this. It really works.

(c) Bernadette Doyle, 2008. Reprints welcome so long as by-line and article are published intact and all links made live.

How to Get Rid of Inaction Paralysis!

How many times have you come up with a brilliant idea only to find yourself paralleled with inaction and wondering / regretting why you never pursued it?

How many times have you allowed those unfounded fears to stand in the way of your progress? How many times will you keep allowingaction paralysis to rob you of the life you want?

Whether you want to start a business, write a book or are looking for a new job or new clients, if you want to get results … you must act when your emotions are still high and the idea you have is sizzling hot! This is usually the time when the idea is so powerful and clear in your mind. You feel confident and enthusiastic … from this vantage point "anything is possible."

To turn intention into reality, you probably know that you not only have to "strike while the iron is hot" but also make your idea or goal hotter by striking immediately.

Since you realize this, as soon as the idea comes to your mind, you quickly begin to plan the actions you are going to take to ensure that you succeed. As you begin to get more specific on the details of the action plan … you suddenly begin to panic!

All sorts of fears and doubts begin to creep in. You begin to question yourself and your abilities. Questions like these begin to cross your mind … what will they think of my idea? What if they do not like me? What if it does not work? Am I setting myself up for rejection / failure? Will I be able to deliver? Can I really do this? Do I really know what I am getting myself into? Is my idea really worth the value I am placing on it? Does this sound familiar?

The moment you begin to panic is the moment that idea and intervention paralysis sets in! Your passion begins to fizzle and the importance and value of your idea begin to diminish in your eyes … if you do not STOP and recognize that this is something you can overcome … you stand to lose it all.

Here are 3 quick ways to stop intervention paralysis and get moving on your goal.

1. Acknowledge the negative thoughts you are having.

This does not mean giving in to negative thoughts; it means accepting that you are having those thoughts and preparing to deal with them one by one. I suggest writing down a list of all the thoughts that are standing in the way of your idea or goal.

For instance, if you want to present a business proposal to a company … the negative thoughts you may have are; the company will not be interested, my proposal will be rejected, I may not be able to deliver the results I promise and etc. Write each thought down.

2. For each negative (why not) give a positive (why) response.

For all the negative thoughts on your "negative list" prepare a positive response for each one by highlighting why you want to carry on with your idea or goal. For example: If one of your negative thoughts was "The company will not be interested in my proposal;" your response response to that will be "The company will be very interested because my proposal is in line with the company's vision and the work that I intend to do for the company will improve profits greatly, create positive publicity and boost the company's image internationally.

Whatever your reasons are, write down why you support carrying on with your idea or goal. This will help you get rid of what's holding you back mentally and allow you to start seeing the possibility of what you can do.

3. Prove yourself right!

The only way to prove yourself, is to take an action step in the direction you want to go. You can prove yourself right by either action or inaction. It's almost like a battle between good and evil. If you choose to give in to your fears, you will be providing to yourself that you can not really make it due to inaction paralysis. However, if all the fears you face, you boldly and courageously choose to go forward with your plans to pursue your idea, goal or dream … chances are that, you will prove yourself a winner!

Whatever you do, get rid ofaction paralysis and make deliberate plans to place yourself on the road to succes