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.

Glaucoma Prevention is Possible – With Antioxidant Nutrition

Although not widely promoted, age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma have been rising, along with all the other degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer's. Four million Americans now suffer from glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Approximately 120,000 of these people have actually gone blind from glaucoma. Ten percent of the population in America between the ages of 66 and 74 have macular degeneration, thirty percent of the population from 75-85 years old.

What makes these numbers so astonishing is that these are diseases that do not have to occur at all if people were getting enough antioxidants in their diet. Studies suggest that diets rich in antioxidants may help reduce your risk of developing age-related diseases like glaucoma.

Foods for Protecting Your Eyesight

For basic prevention of degenerative eye problems, antioxidants called carotenoids are the most important ones to consider. Carotenoids are found in fruits and vegetables that are red, orange, and deep yellow in color, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes, corn, and peppers, among others. Dark-green leafy vegetables are some other good sources. The highest concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin is found in egg yolks, another reason not to avoid this incredibly nutritious food.

Dark green vegetables are other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Think of kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, garden peas and brussels sprouts, corn, kiwi and honeydew.

If you eat a lot of foods from this list on a daily basis, you are probably giving your eyes all the antioxidants that they need for glaucoma prevention. However, I suspect that this includes a very small percentage of the population. How about you?

When Should You Supplement Your Diet with Carotenoids?

If you're not keen on these foods, or you have some already-developed symptoms of degenerative eye disease, you might want to consider nutritional supplements specifically designed for eye nutrition. A single capsule of one of these can provide you with 25,000 International Units of mixed carotenes, an amount large enough to get powerful antioxidant protection from cancer and heart disease, as well as eye problems. In order to get that much from your diet, though, you've got to eat these depths of any one of the following:

  • 3 medium-sized cooked carrots, or
  • 3 cups of collard greens
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 9 cups of cantaloupe
  • 6 cups of red peppers

You can see why taking carotene supplements can be so powerful!

What are the best Carotenoid Supplements for Glaucoma Prevention?

Mixed-Carotene Supplements Look for natural, mixed carotenes combined into one capsule. The carotene content of these supplements is usually listed in international units (IU). Look for products made from an algae called Dunaliella salina, in amounts of from 10,000IU to 25,000IU of beta carotene. These mixed carotene supplements will typically include the carotenoids alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. You'll need at least that much to get the full antioxidant benefits from the carotenoids.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the retina and lens of the eye. When combined with vitamin C and vitamin E, they protect your eyes from free radical damage and improve your vision by filtering out potentially-dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Bilberry

For more protection, or for treating specific eye problems, you could also take one of the combinations that combine lutein and zeaxanthin with bilberry. These supplements usually contain 10 to 20mg. of lutein and about 1mg. of zeaxanthin. That would be the equivalent of eating about 3 cups of cooked spinach or a dozen-and-a-half eggs. The typical dose for bilberry is usually between 40mg. for preventive measures and 160mg. per day as a therapeutic dose.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is an herbal supplement that has also been shown to be extremely beneficial for eye health. This herb increases blood flow in the capillary network and repairs oxidative stress damage to the capillary walls and retina. Ginkgo is certainly a valuable part of a glaucoma prevention program, as well as for cataracts and macular degeneration.

Astaxanthin

Another relatively new discovery for eye problems is the carotenoid astaxanthin, extracted from microalgae. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants that we know of. It is one of the few antioxidants that can cross the blood-retinal barrier and bring protection to the eyes. It is said to be more beneficial for the eyes in some ways than lutein. It also works all through the body – organs and skin, and in every part of the cell.

Eyesight Combination Products

Some product-makers create antioxidant combinations specifically formulated for eyesight. These will include any number of nutrients beneficial for the eyes, including some of the ones mentioned above. What you pay for with the convenience of just one combination capsule is that the dosages of each will be somewhat lower than if they were separate supplements.

Do not Drop Out the Veggies Altogether!

Remember that carotenoid supplements will not have all of the phytonutrients that are present in the foods themselves, so do not drop out the veggies altogether! Diet is a key part of any glaucoma prevention program.

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.

Occupational Therapy For Children With Epilepsy

The Effect of Epilepsy on Development

Epilepsy is the name of a group of conditions where there are electrical disturbances in the brain. Children with epilepsy have the same range of intelligence and abilities as other children. However, learning disabilities, emotional problems, and motor impairments commonly accompany seizures and may be exacerbated by the medications used to assist with seizure control. These complications in the child with epilepsy frequently lead to poor school performance, depression, low self-esteem, and withdrawal, drowsiness or hyperactivity) and behavioural disturbances.

Occupational Therapy Intervention:

  • Doctor referral
  • Evaluation and diagnostic process when seizures are suspected
  • Work with relevant health care staff (speech pathologists, physiotherapists, psychologists), family and teachers for seizure control and modification of lifestyle and activity
  • Look specifically at any problem areas such as using a knife and fork, getting dressed, writing etc. This may involve recommending specialist equipment like adapted cutlery, kitchen equipment, specialist seating, bathing and showering equipment
  • Coping skills for dealing with social and psychological stresses of seizures and unanticipated vocational change
  • Compensatory techniques for long term difficulties and to reduce the risk of injuries
  • Modify work or home environment that will support the child and the seizures
  • Set up supportive environment that facilitates and promotes autonomy and independence
  • Encourage and assist with organisation and preparation for participation in sporting and social activities
  • Consider providing protective helmets or pad aspects of the environment, if required.

    For more information:

  • Epilepsy Helpline Tel. 1300 852 853
  • Children’s Epilepsy Program, Royal Children’s Hospital Tel. (03) 9345 5661

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.

Emotions and Babies – When and How Babies Display Their Emotions

Emotions are revealed through facial expressions and modulation of voice tones. During infancy stage, expression of emotions is done in a forceful way and it occurs without any external cause. They express it in the form of crying and shouting. During the first two months of infant stage, the baby shows only two emotions — pleasure and displeasure, caused by physical stimulation. The baby shows out these emotions through body movements like relaxing the body to show pleasure and tensing the body with waving arms and kicking legs while crying to show displeasure.

By the third month, physical stimulation combined with psychological stimulation allows the baby to express the emotion of pleasure with a smile when he comes in contact with a human face and expressing displeasure with facial expressions and crying. During childhood, expressions are no longer displayed forcefully but through more reasonable means. This is due to factors of language development and also development of social behavior, which enables the child to understand that it is not proper to show emotions at all times. The development of her mind puts a check on emotional outbursts. Some common emotions a child expresses are happiness, anger, sadness, fear, love, sympathy and empathy. Let us see how these emotions are expressed.

Happiness

Happiness is expressed by the baby with fully joyful smiles to start with, and later with lively or prolific laughter. The baby smiles and laughs on attaining new skills or on overcoming an obstacle to reach a goal. He also shows happiness at the affection and stimulation of the care-givers. During the early weeks baby smiles when full, to gentle touches and sounds. By the end of first month, he smiles at something, say a bright object that comes across his field of vision. Social interaction begins by 3 months when baby smiles on coming into contact with familiar people, Laughter begins around 3 to 4 months when the parent is playful with the baby.

Around 6 months, baby smiles and laughs more on contact with familiar people. Around 10 to 12 months, baby’s smile differs with context like a broad cheek raised smile in response to a parent’s greeting, a reserved smile to a friendly stranger and a mouth-open smile while engaged in stimulating play. The baby is socially well developed when he is 2 years old and his emotional expressions become intentional or purposeful. He is delighted to respond to an adult attending to him amidst his play with an interesting toy.

Anger

Anger is expressed by newborn babies when they are hungry, find any inconvenience in body condition like change in temperature and when they face over-stimulation or too little stimulation. The frequency and intensity of anger increases from 4 to 6 months into the second year. They express this emotion in specific situations like when an interesting object they are playing with is removed from them or when their goal is blocked by an obstacle or when the care-giver leaves the place for a brief time or when a toy he is playing with stops functioning. Anger is intense when the baby does not receive the expected warm behavior from the care-giver. Anger is expressed in the form of outburst of bad temper – the baby may hit, kick, cry and scream.

Sadness

Sadness is also expressed in the same situations as that which causes anger. But this emotion is expressed much less frequently than anger.

Fear

Infants around 6 to 12 months express this emotion. They express fear for an animal, when left alone, when they meet a stranger, go to strange places and when they hear a sudden loud noise. Fear is expressed by crying. Infants of this age-period show reluctance to play with a new toy due to fear. Those who have just started to crawl show greater fear. Rise in this kind of fear after six months comes as a hurdle in the way of exploratory behavior of crawling and walking babies. Most infants and toddlers, though do not express their fear when they get to interact with strangers. They are still cautious of strangers, though. The baby cries out of fear when picked up by an unfamiliar adult in a strange setting. This fear can be reduced by the way of approach of the stranger who picks up the baby. He has to approach slowly, presenting the baby with an attractive toy or playing an interesting game the baby is familiar with.

Love and Sympathy

These emotions are expressed by the baby mostly to the intimate care-giver, the mother of the baby. When the baby sees the mother in his room he gives out a broad friendly smile. When picked up he pats her face, puts his gentle tiny hand into her hair and clings close to her body. Sympathy is expressed by the baby through facial expressions which the baby learns from the mother’s reaction to a situation.

Empathy

Empathy is an emotion caused by observing and recognizing what is happening to others – feeling bad because someone else is feeling bad.

Copyright Oonjal Technologies 2009. All rights reserved.

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.

Who Has Epilepsy?

Although epilepsy can start at any point during a person's life, most epilepsy is diagnosed in childhood, and most of all in the first year of life – around 140 out of every 100,000 babies under the age of one are diagnosed with epilepsy per year. This drops to 40 adults per 100,000. However, recent reports have shown that epilepsy is increasing in older people, who account for a quarter of all new diagnoses, according to a survey by the National Society for Epilepsy. The condition is twice as common in older people as it is in the population as a whole.

It may be even more common than is documented, because some of it probably goes unrecognized. Diagnosing epilepsy in the elderly can be difficult. In many cases the seizures are mild, and, while this is excellent news in terms of control, it may also mean that it's not so easy to spot them for what they are. Aunt Alice's daydreaming, Gran's 'funny turns', may form part of family folklore and certainly not be seen to warrant medical investigation. We tend to expect illness and absent-mindedness in older people as a matter of course. However, epilepsy in later life may well be among the more preventable cases of the condition. The older we get, the moreiable we become to reduced fitness and health, but, in particular, epilepsy in the older person is often due to cerebrovascular disease which leads to small scars in the brain. In general, the risk of epilepsy in older people may be reduced with proper attention to lifestyle, including healthy eating, enough exercise, not smoking, and drinking alcohol moderately. Paying attention to lifestyle issues may help people of any age gain better seizure control and improve general health, and may also prevent your epilepsy getting worse in older age.

Epilepsy is divided almost evenly between the sexes, though a few epilepsy syndromes occurs exclusively in girls. Epilepsy is slightly more common in men, and there are various reasons why this may be so. One reason is that men are more likely to suffer head injury and brain infection. Another theory is that the brains of boy and girl babies develop differently in the womb due to differences in male and female sex hormones. The brain matures more quickly in girl babies than boy ones, so that girls are less vulnerable to perinatal anoxia (lack of oxygen around birth) which can damage developing areas of the brain. The Y chromosome which produces maleness in unborn infants also slows development down, so that boys are born around two to three weeks behind in marriage than girls, so making them more vulnerable to injury. This vulnerability persists into adulthood – one study showed that, in women, 50 per cent of the risk of developing epilepsy was past by the time they were 19, but in men, this did not happen until they were 24. This risk is thought to outweigh men's larger brain size. Another study showed that the brains of men and women only became the same size when they are 100, when they have both shrunk enough to be similar! There is some evidence that the prognosis or outlook is slightly worse in women, and it has been suggested that this is because women's brains are tougher, a more severe event is needed to precipitate the epilepsy. But, in practice, most of these differences are slight – again, each person with epilepsy representations an individual case, and should be treated as such.

Despite its high prevalence, epilepsy, traditionally the 'Cinderella' of the health service, contributions little by way of research money Рout of the UK's annual £ 2 billion medical research budget only £ 336,000 is spent on epilepsy, less than £ 1 per person with epilepsy, and comparing unfavorably with say the £ 250 per person with muscular dystrophy and £ 140 per person with multiple sclerosis.

A recent survey of health managers in the UK revealed that only 5 per cent had set service standards for epilepsy. However, this may change as epilepsy achieves greater media coverage and public interest, something which is taking place – over the past few years, according to the National Society for Epilepsy, epilepsy has become an 'interesting' subject as genetic research and modem brain- scanning methods reveal more about the condition.

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