Stroke Recovery – All You Need To Know

I am saddened to think that stroke recovery is sometimes trapped in an outdated and dogmatic approach to help people with their stroke recovery. But the sad truth is unless you are one of the very fortunately ones, either geographically to be located next to a cutting edge stroke rehabilitation facility or the monetary means to afford such treatment, you are stuck with the stock standard cookie cutter approach to stroke treatment . And there is a good chance that it is stuck in the past.

Myths surrounding stroke recovery may be perpetuated by a number of factors. It seems that once something has been printed in a newspaper or magazine it is taken as a gospel. Many of the belief surrounding the brain have been around for a long time and despite new research dispelling the myth, it takes a long time for this to filter into mainstream belief systems. This can clearly be seen with all the out dated beliefs in the exercise and fitness world. This article will discuss three main myths surrounding stroke recovery. Firstly that the brain is set in stone and can not change. Secondly that there is only a small window of opportunity for stroke recovery to happen. And the last myth is that there are not better and more effective ways to perform stroke rehabilitation.

I can not believe that myth number one still gets any credence. Some people still feel that the brain is set in stone and can not change. We see the brain changing all the time and at every age. Every time we learn something new, the brain has changed. For example for you to learn a new skill such as like playing tennis requires your brain to change. As you improve, your co-ordination gets better, your speed improves and your accuracy sharpens all this must be reflected by changes in your brain and nervous system. The brain controls everything, and when changes happen like the previously mentioned tennis ones, the brain must have changed. This myth has been dispelled by science and neurology and as a far as I am concerned is really, pardon the pun, a no brainer to argument against.

Another commonly held myth about stroke recovery is that recovery can only happen in a small time period after the stroke and once that window is closed any further recovery is impossible. As a carry on from the point above, that the brain can change at anytime, this is once again just a myth. I do not discredit that making progress could be easier if stroke rehabilitation is started earlier but to say that it can not be made after a magical window has closed is forbidden. I have heard of some individuals 10 years after their stroke, who have been at a certain level of recovery and were then exposed to advanced stroke recovery methods and made more progress at that stage of their recovery than previously. The brain is capable of change at any time and if you are a stroke survivor and wanting more progress do not ever give up.

The last myth to discuss may not really be a myth as such but has more to do with the outdated and inefficient stroke recovery exercises that patients are given. The last 20 years has seen huge leaps forward in areas of brain research and subsequently stroke rehabilitation. The people at the top of stroke rehabilitation are doing some really ground breaking things. Unfortunately it takes time for this top end information to assimilate down to the masses, so as a consequence many stroke survivors do not get exposed to the best stroke recovery techniques like constraint induced therapy or mirror therapy.

Unfortunately there are many myths surrounding stroke recovery. I hope this article has helped to educate and open your mind up to the truth about your stroke rehabilitation and how you should be approaching it. At times stroke rehab can be a very daunting task, filled with too much science, jargon and technique that may be difficult to understand. I have made it my goal to try and make available the best stroke recovery techniques to stroke survivors, their family members, care givers and health care practitioners.

Gadgets and Health

We all love our gadgets but do our gadgets love us? The news is full of reports about the links between health and gadgets. Parents are equipping their children with cell phones at youngger ages, and new laws are in place to make driving with cell phones safer. We thought we'd take a look at the current state of health and gadgets and came up with this assessment.

Cell Phones

Microwave radiation, thermal radiation, electro-magnetic fields, repetitive stress, and even psychological harm; the list of potential threats goes on and on. There is a lot of science being applied to studying the effects of gadgets on our health. At the same time there are also a lot of myths in circulation.

History is full of examples where health hazards like asbestos, cigarettes, and lead in paint went unrecognized or even intentionally suppressed. Many recent studies show no harmful effects from cell phone use however, some long terms studies have turned up disconcerting findings. And there are always that group of neurosurgeons who will not hold their phones next to their ears.

In either case there is enough doubt to warrant some caution. According to one recent report from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, "Studies in humans do not indicate that cell phones are safe, nor do they yet clearly show that they are dangerous. But, growing evidence indicates that we should reduce exposures, while research continues on this important question. "

Real or perceived, cell phones represent potential threats for a number of reasons including:

Microwave Electromagnetic Radiation

A typical GSM cell phone can generate up to 2 watts of power at microwave frequencies. SAR (Specific Absorption Rates) values ‚Äč‚Äčindicate how much radiation is absorbed by the body and is limited by government standards. Despite the fact that cell phone radiation is characterized as non-ionizing or too weak to damage genes, concern remains for thermal effects and blood-brain barrier leakage. Younger cell phone users could have been more vulnerable to adverse effects.

A 2007 Israeli study recently linked microwave radiation from frequent cell phone use (22 hours a month) to an increased risk of salivary gland cancer. The report, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology also notes that risk was higher in rural areas where cell phones transmit at higher levels to compensate for weaker signals.

Thumbs Down for Texting to Prevent RSI

One saving grace for young people using cell phones is that they typically spend more time texting than talking. The only problem is that thumbs, having evolved for gripping things, are not so well adapted for poking things and as a result many cell phone users are suffering from RSI (repetitive stress injury). Recent reports recommend texting with two thumbs at a time.

Cell Phone Elbow

From the same orthopedic specialists that greeted you carpal tunnel syndrome, we now have cubital tunnel syndrome. The ulnar nerve runs under the funny bone to your fingers. When this nerve gets stretched by cell phone users holding a phone up to their ear for long periods, it can become weakened. Blood supply to the nerve can also be affected. The result is pain.

Car Accidents

If it's not one thing like microwave radiation, it could be another thing like being distracted while driving and crashing your car. Many statistics now point to dramatic increases in traffic accidents from talking or texting while driving. Almost hands free devices do not help much.

Minimize Risks

  1. Talk and listen from a distance when possible; use the speaker phone or use hands-free devices (Bluetooth is good, wired headsets are best)
  2. Avoid "second hand," radiation; keep your distance from someone talking on their phone.
  3. Be aware of the radiation coming from your own cell phone and do not use it in close proxies to a child.
  4. Cell phones communicate to the carrier even when you're not using your phone. Put your phone on the desk when in the office, carry it in your purse, and do not sleep with it under your pillow
  5. In addition to distance, shorter duration of exposure can minimize risks. Be brief, limit your calls and use a landline if possible. Switch answers periodically or use text messages when possible.

Other Gadgets, Other Risks?

Cell phones are just one type of gadget that might represent a health risk. Some other potential harm could come from these:

  • MP3 players at high volume levels can damage your ears and cause hearing loss. MP3 players may interfere with pacemakers and we've heard that you can hurt your thumb from too much iPod "scrolling?"
  • Big flat panel TVs can be dangerous falling objects that have caused serious injuries to children.
  • There is concern that laptops can cause fertility problems in men from the heat t laptops generate on the lap (area).
  • We've seen some reports about laser printers emitting ultrafine particles from the toner that can damage your lungs and there are also ozone emissions from laser printers.

No Cause for Alarm

After all is said and done, are we going to stop using our cell phones – probably not. With a little caution especially for kids and cell phones and a little common sense about using gadgets, we do not see any reason not to go out and buy that new flat panel TV, smart phone, camcorder, or new laptop. In fact, Retrevo is just the place to learn what to buy, when to buy it, and where to get the best deal.

What Are Compression Socks

Compression socks and compression stockings are hosiery items specifically designed to help with blood circulation. Through the day, the bodies blood supply will tend to pool in the lower extremitudes, the feet and legs. If left unattended this may cause certain circulatory problems such as edema, phlebitis, and thrombosis. All three of these conditions are painful and can result in damage to the legs and feet. Elevation of the feet and legs will help to counteract the pooling by allowing gravity to work to bring the blood supply back to the core but this only offers temporary relief.

Compression socks and stockings can be worn during the day, when it is necessary to be on your feet, in order to help stop pooling and assist in circulation. This is accomplished by having a graduated pressure application built into the socks. These socks are generally constructed of elastic type material such as lycra, spandex, or rubber. The compression is built in tighter at the foot and then is less near the top of the sock. This design helps the body to pump the pooling blood back out of the foot, up the leg, and back to the heart and lungs so the body waste can be removed and the blood flow can be re-oxygenated.

People who are forced to stand for long periods of time at their occupation often times find relief from leg cramps and foot pain by using these socks whenever they work. If a person has poor blood circulation it is very important to assist the heart in removing the excess blood from the feet and legs in order to combat the possibility of blood clotting in the arteries and veins. Blood clots can cause serious damage to the body and even death if they break loose and travel to a major organ such as the heart or brain.

Athletes will also use compression hosiery at times for added support while running, jumping, and quick movements. But the majority of people use them for support due to circulatory problems.

Epilepsy, Food Sensitivity, and Heavy Metals: A Supplementary and Alternative Medicine Approach

November has been selected as "Epilepsy Awareness Month" according to the Center for Disease Control. This year, their focus is on seizure recognition and first aid.

There are four main categories of seizures include:

  • Generalized Seizures – affect entrain brain
  • Partial Seizures – affect part of the brain
  • Non-Epileptic Seizures – not caused by epilepsy, but other things such as diabetes, fever, etc
  • Status Epilepticus – a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes

Epilepsy affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States, and some patients can experience over 100 seizures in a single day.

The CDC recommends that a person seek immediate medical care if someone has a seizure that meets any of the following criteria:

  • If the person is pregnant
  • If they injured themselves during the seizure (falls, broken bones, etc)
  • If this is the first time they have had a seizure
  • If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes (Status Epilepticus)

Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of the brain can trigger epilepsy. Trauma, illness, brain damage, abnormal development, food intolerances, and heavy metal toxicity can all be factors with epileptic patients. It is estimated that over 75% of patients with epilepsy do not know what is causing their seizure activity. Patients are generally provided with toxic medications that attempt to alter the seizure activity without identifying the underline cause of the problem.

From a Complementary and Alternative standpoint, I often find that patients are able to reduce the frequency of their seizure activity through dietary modifications and removing heavy metals from the body. Certain food intolerances such as gluten (wheat, barley, rye, etc) casein (dairy), corn, or soy can be a major "triggers" for patients with epilepsy.

Heavy metal toxicity can induce a myriad of problems in our bodies, from epilepsy, to infertility, dementia, autoimmune diseases, and more. Once of the most common ways that we experience heavy metal toxicity is through our teeth. Mercury fills, gold crowns, and other metals that are placed in our mouth have the ability to "leak" into our bodies and accumulate in various organs, including the brain. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has a video in regards to the effects of metal toxicity in our bodies. Click HERE to view it .

Speak with your doctor in regards to the potential symptoms that food intolerances and heavy metals can be causing in your body. If your doctor is unaware of the associations relating to food and toxins, you may wish to include a doctor that incorporates a holistic approach to health to provide another opinion as to your specific symptoms.

The Causes of Common Elbow Joint Pain

So many people suffer from elbow joint pain that most people do not even talk about it anymore. They just suffer through it, relating to the pain and stiffness that invades their lives every day. While some may agree that it is a strong person who can go through elbow joint pain and not complain, it the wiser group that agreements that you should have your joint pain treated.

Suffering silently through pain in such a vital joint is completely unnecessary. If you suffer from any type of infection in your elbow, you need to help heal the area or it could lead to something chronic and far more serious than pain and stiffness. Calcium is likely to build up in the area, leaving the joint nearly impossible to move and unable to be healed without surgery. However, finding a natural anti-inflammatory is the best way to fight the pain and help heal your elbow quickly. By using a natural anti-inflammatory you will also avoid the risk of forming a drug habit with prescribed pain killers.

Tennis elbow is a very common term for pain in the elbows. When repetitive motions are made, such as in tennis, that require the use of the lower arm, the tendons in that area may begin to swell, causing pain and stiffness. Many athletes are already suffering from either occasional or chronic tennis elbow. The best way to heal is with a good anti-inflammatory and rest.

Elbow bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa-a small fluid filled sac that is used as a buffer between joints for a gliding motion. This small sac is what allows the elbow to move freely. When the bursa is aggravated and becomes inflamed, it can become very painful and swollen.

Golfer's elbow is very much like the tennis elbow in that the tendons become irritated with the repetitive motions similar to a golf swing. The difference between the two is the location of the irritated tendons. Where the tennis elbow is on the outside of the elbow, golfer's elbow is on the inside.

Another common cause of pain in that joint is something called nursemaids elbow. Nursemaids elbow is a partial dislocation of the elbow. This reflects to the lower part of the arm when it slips slightly out of its normal place. This kind of elbow pain is most common in children under the age of 5, when they are filled too hard by the hand or wrist. If this occurs, you should immediately take the child to the doctor, where they will be able to set the arm properly.

There are many different ways to treat your elbow joint pain. Aside from a visit to the doctor, there are also natural ways of handling the pain and helping to reduce the inflammation. Whichever you prefer is okay, as long as you do treat it. If the pain is left untreated, you could ever have chronic pain that may require surgery to cure.

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.

Chicken Pox: An Overview

Chicken Pox is a common childhood infection caused by virus called varicella zoster. It is common in children less than 12 years of age, but can affect individuals of age without prior immunity. It usually causes a mild infection in children, but tends to run a more severe course in adults and adolescents.

It most commonly presents with a reddish rash over the body, sparing the palms and soles. It usually starts from the forehead and gradually spreads downwards. The characteristic feature of this rash is that it undergoes many stages such that on examination one will find rashes in different stages of development. Initially these rashes appear as reddish raised patches which become fluid filled in the next 2-3 days. The fluid in these rashes is like serum. These fluid filled rashes may become infected when they are called as pustules. Finally these rashes form scabs and fall off from the body.

2-3 days prior to the rash the child may exhibit runny nose and cough. The child may also develop low grade fever associated with lethargy and poor feeding. The child is infectious from 2-3 days prior to the rashes and is infectious toill the rashes form scabs. The rashes of chicken pox can also be seen inside the mouth.

Chicken pox usually follows a mild course in children. Children generally recover by 7-10 days. However in adults and older children, chicken pox may be much severe. In some people Chicken Pox may be associated with pneumonia or meningitis.

Treatment for chicken pox is supportive and antiviral are also used. The commonest antiviral used in chicken pox is Acyclovir. It is usually administrated orally 5 times a day. Fever can be controlled with drugs like paracetamol or brufen. Aspirin should be strictly avoided in children for fear of causing a serious brain disorder called Reye's syndrome. Itching and burning can be relieved to some extent by calamine. Calamine should not be used on the face, especially around the eyes. Also ensure to bathe the child every day. It is also advisable to give cold, bland food to the child as the rashes inside the mouth may cause difficulty swallowing.

Since chicken pox is highly contagious, the only method to prevent it lies in immunizing all people is susceptible to this disease. So all children should be vaccinated against chicken pox, but it is not covered under the universal immunisation schedule as this disease is a very mild disease in childhood.

Chicken pox in pregnancy is associated with many problems. Infection early in pregnancy within the first 3 months of pregnancy results in congenital anomalies and birth defects. It can also cause premature delivery and abortions. Herein lies another important reason to immunize all children.

The vaccine should be administered to children at 12-15 months of age with a further booster at 6 years.

The virus can remain latent in the nerve cells of the body and during periods of reduced immunity, may lead to shingles-a painful eruption over any part of the body.

Chicken pox is usually a mild disease that will resolve spontaneously. However the child will need to be observed closely. It is also important to immunize all children by 3 years of age so that they remain protected against this disease.

Toenail Fungus Remedies FAQ

Nail fungus infection is not life threatening but can cause social stigma and pain. Defirmed nails are embarrassing and serves as entry point for other infections. Curing the infection takes months, and treatments can be a hit or miss deal. Here are some basic facts about nail fungus and toenail fungus remedies as reference in finding the right cure.

  1. What is toenail fungus? And what types of toenail fungus are there? Toenail fungus or Onychomychosis is an infection that happens when the dermatophyte fungus invades the nail. This is not the same type that causes athlete's foot or jock itch although some dermatophytes and non-dermatophytes such as yeast and molds attack the nails as well, given the right circumstances. There are four classifications of toenail fungus, white superficial, distal or lateral subungual, proximal subungual and candidal. White superficial is caused by Trichophyton interdigitale fungus and attacks the surface of the nail. Distal or lateral subungual infection starts when the fungus moves from point of entry towards the center, traveling parallel from the sides or edges of the nail. This bug is caused by Trichophyton rubrum. Proximal subungual is a marker for those that are suspected of HIV infection, also by Trichophyton rubrum. This fungus enters through the proximal fold, near the cuticle of the nail. Lastly Candidal or yeast nail infection, nail damage through trauma or injury, yeast infections on other parts of the body and hands soaked in water for long periods are circumstances that yeast can invade the nail.
  2. What is scraping and debridement? How does it help against the infection? Scraping and degradation are procedures usually done by podiatrists, have two purposes. Scraping and degradation are done to expose and take out the infection as much as possible and serve as a specimen of fungus culture for laboratory testing. Cutting and filling down infected nail especially when it has thickened is almost the same as scraping and degrading with the purpose of exposing and getting rid of parts of the infection as much as possible for the nail to receive the toenail fungus remedies effectively.
  3. Why missing a treatment can lead to reinfection? Missing treatments may lead to reinfection because the fungus is hard to reach, not all of the fungus is eliminated at one time. Reinfection is possible when missing treatments due to the fact that fungal growth is constant as long as prevailing conditions are there. Toenail fungus remedies prevent these conditions from occurring, stop growth and kill the fungus in parts.
  4. How do I know the growing nail will not be infected? No one can tell, not even the doctors, if the growing nail will not be infected. The only solution to this is prevention, do not skip treatments; keep feet and nails clean and dry all the time; keep all items like towels, shoes and socks clean and dry; and avoid manicures or pedicures. Podiatrists believe that un-sanitized clippers or pushers are not the only culprits in spreading the infection but the whole cleaning process, example; pushing back the cuticles or cutting of the sides Leave the nails vulnerable to infection because fungi are spores are everywhere in the environment. Use natural toenail fungus remedies that preserves and condition the growing nail. These toenail fungus remedies contain essential oils that are proven to condition nails while eliminating the fungus.

Otitis Media And Ear Pain Relief

Inflammation of the inner ear (OM) is extremely common in children as well as affecting quite a few adults. Recurrent, protracted ear inflammation causes severe pain, restlessness and muffled hearing, which can hamper development and prejudice learning. Ear infection is one of the main reasons for visiting the doctor or the emergency room.
Blockage of the Eustachian tube (OT) which links the middle ear cavity to the oral cavity can be a main cause of inflammation or a secondary factor – caused by inflammation and swelling of the mucus membrane of the ear and blocking the Eustachian canal.

Opening the Eustachian tube is an important and even essential step towards healing the inflammation. Blockage of the canal prevails drainage of the fluids secreted by the mucosal membrane of the middle ear and predictions equalization of the atmospheric pressure on either side of the eardrum. This increases the pressure inside the ear cavity and pushes the eardrum outwards, leading to pain, muffled hearing, and occasionally problems with balance. Moreover, increased pressure in the middle ear cavity prevents the absorption of medication into the region via local osmosis (eardrops) or systemically (via the blood).

Prevailing medical treatment – until now, treatment has involved the use of steroids and pseudo-epinephrine to reduce edema, with antibiotic cover for primary bacterial infection or secondary complication. If medical treatment failures and inflammation recurs constantly extended antibiotic treatment, the usual practice is to perforate the tympanic membrane and ensure that it remains open by inserting tiny drainage tubes. This allows the contents of the middle ear cavity to drain out, equalizing pressure, improving hearing, stopping pain, and permitting medication to enter locally and heal.

The newly invented device is called the EarDoc (Figure 1). EarDoc is a small, low cost electrical device for treating and opening the Eustachian tube. It works by producing vibrations at a sub-sonic frequency. The instrument head is specifically designed so that when positioned behind and resting on the base of the ear, the bulge on the head of the device lies against the mastoid bone and the pointed front section rests against the base of the ear.

The front of the head of the device causes the cartilage of the ear base to vibrate along the outer ear canal to the tympanic membrane. The vibrating membrane produces tiny pressure waves affecting the air and pressurized fluids of the middle ear cavity. The previously constant pressure inside the middle ear cavity is converted into cyclical waves, which acting as shock waves exert pressure on the walls of the narrowed or blocked Eustachian tube. In addition, the vibrations from the head of the device via the mastoid bone to the wall of the middle ear cavity produce vibrations in the swollen mucus membrane of the middle ear canal and the Eustachian tube, reducing edema. This combined action tremendously improves the possibility of opening the canal and enabling trapped air and fluids from the middle ear cavity to drain into the mouth.

Adjusting the frequency helps to improve the efficiency of the device in several ways: the optimum operating frequency is different for each individual depending on the size of the middle ear cavity and the Eustachian tube, which naturally vary. Frequency adjustment also enhances the oscillation of the mucosal membrane. It is recommended that the patient should gradually adjust the frequency to cover the entire frequency range. EarDoc should be used for 3-5 minutes approximately six times a day when the canal is narrowed or blocked. This improves the likelihood of opening the canal and ensuring it positions open, and provides instant pain relief, improved absorption of medication, and healing of the inflammatory.

Air travel and diving – Blockage of the Eustachian tube is a commonplace consequence in air travel and underwater diving. Fluctuating differences in atmospheric air pressure on both sides of the tympanic membrane induced reduced pressure in the middle ear cavity, swelling of the mucus membrane cells in the inner ear, and increased fluid secretion. This produces a vicious circle in which the greater the difference in pressure, the narrower the Eustachian tube becomes and the less effect it can drain fluid and equalize air pressure. Impaired functioning of the tube causes insufficiency in the canal and blockage. Inflammation of the pharynx and upper respiratory tracts leading to early boiling of the mucosal membrane exacerbate the phenomenon and risk of blockage. Use of EarDoc during flights and following diving sessions can reduce pain and produce healing as described above.

Sinus inflammation – like the middle ear cavity, when the sinus drain is blocked due to swelling or inflammation of the sinus cavity mucus membrane, EarDoc can help by resting it against the bone adjacent to the sinus in order to open the closed opening and allow drainage and healing.

What is Myopia How is it Treated?

Myopia is also called nearsightedness as those who suffer from it can see close objects in focus, but distant objects appear blurry.

Short sightedness can often develop quickly in children as they grow, becoming worse in teenage years. As you enter your twenties the condition tends to stabilize.

Myopia can often be spotted in children because of the tendency of those kids to squint at objects.

So what exactly causes Myopia?

To understand this, we need to understand a little about the structure of the eye.

At the back of the eye is the retina. You can think of the retina as being like a cinema screen onto which the world around you is focused. As you look around you, light from the objects you are looking at passes through the outer layer of your eye (the cornea), through the iris and lens, and finally onto the retina. As the light passes through these layers, it is bent so that the images are focused on the retina.

Myopia is a defect in the eye that causes images coming into the eye to focus in front of the retina. The result is that the image will be blurry and out of focus.

Myopia can be caused by the following:

1. The cornea (the outer surface of the eye) is too curved.

2. Your eyeball is too long.

When someone suffering from Myopia looks at distant objects, the light rays from those distant objects are near enough parallel to each other. To focus the image, the rays need to be bent so that they converge onto the retina at the back of the eye. However, because of the problems mentioned above, the rays are bent too much and converge in front of the retina.

However, when someone with Myopia focuses on a near object (for example, when reading a book), the rays of light from those close objects enter the eyes at an angle, which means the light needs to be bent more, and in this case , the rays do focus properly on the retina, so near vision is not affected by the myopic condition.

There are a few different treatments for people with myopia who want to see clearly.

When you wear glasses or contact lenses to fix myopia, those lenses ensure that the light entering your eye converge on the retina, thereby bringing images into normal focus.

Another option to correct Myopia is LASIK eye surgery, where the surgeon can reshape the cornea so that light focuses properly. For more information on Myopia, especially if you think you or your children suffer from this condition, consult your doctor.

How Needles Help A Stroke Patient To Recover

Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) is usually regarded as an alternative treatment. Patients will seek help from TCM doctors only when they can not be treated by western medicine.

Lately, a growing number of western doctors have started to learn and use TCM to complement their western medical knowledge to treat their patients.

Acupuncture is a major component of TCM to fight pain and illness. It has been practiced in China since 2500 BC. It involves inserting thin, metallic disposable needles into certain points of the body. These needles are then turned by hand or stimulated by machine. The aim is to balance of qi or "life force" in Chinese. TCM believes that qi flows in the body to keep us going, and it must be kept in good balance.

Acupuncture can have any one of the six effects:

– Relieve pain through raising the level of endorphins, a painkiller released by the body;

– Give a feeling of sedation;

– Adjust the body's homeostasis or the balance opposing systems such as a respiration rate and body temperature;

– Enhance immune system;

– Provide an anti-inflammatory result;

– Furnish an anti-allergy effect.

Acupuncture is beneficial in treating muscular pains, joint pains, nerve pains, migraines, insomnia and anxiety. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists several conditions which can be evaluated by acupuncture, including rhinitis, headaches and facial palsy.

However, there are skeptics, too.

For instance, a German study in 2005 suggested that putting needles into the body causes pain relief, regardless of where they are placed because of the place effect – the patients believed they would be get better. This is of course not true from the perspective of TCM because the position of placing the needles is very important in treating illness.

Success stories do exist as well.

Here is a case study of a stroke patient, aged 71, who was treated with acupuncture while taking the western medicine.

A stroke left the right side of Steve's body paralyzed. He could not turn over in bed. When he started acupuncture treatment with a TCM physician, he could not even lift his legs.

After 8 sessions, he could turn over in bed. And after 20 sessions, he was able to walk with the aid of a stick. Now, he can walk slowly for a whole hour.

His speech has become clear, too and he can swallow now. He can eat harder foods including apples.

He is taking anti-coagulants as well as drugs to manage his high cholesterol levels and hypertension. Both of these are risk factors for heart disease. He is also doing 2 sessions of physiotherapy a week.

Even a few sessions before the 40 sessions prescribed for stroke patients, he has already begun to return to normal life.

Transformed By Gratitude

For the past few years since retirement, my parents spend half of the year in Vietnam and Australia. While in Vietnam, a portion of their time is spent visiting orphanages and facilities that house and care for the unwanted, the outcasts of society, the lame, and the diseased, left to institutions. I admire my parents; their mission is to live to give, and they have instilled those principles in our lives as well. If you have read "my story" you will understand why they have so much to be thankful for. Over the years, they have demonstrated gratefulness in many ways by being a blessing to others. We have watched them abide by the principle that it is more blessed to give then to receive. What an example to my siblings and me.

This last trip my parents bought pictures back of some of the institutions that they visited. I could barely look at the photos without shedding tears at seeing the living conditions. Several of the residence had missing limbs; arms, or legs, blind, and no opportunities to leave their stiff bamboo beds without someone dared to visit them and helped them off their beds. These people were so blessed by my parent's visit and generosity. The financial gift that they saved them was able to help provide for their basic everyday needs that they lacked due to their deteriorated conditions.

Seeing the photos and hearing their stories was a reminder to be grateful for the life that I have; the family, friends, health, and the daily provision that sometimes are taken for granted. Mom shared with me that this type of out casting is similar to that in Jesus' days when those who had the skin disease of leprosy had to live outside the villages because they were considered unclean.

During my reading time this morning in Luke, I came across a very powerful illustration about gratitude. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem passing a village where there were ten men with leprosy who recognized Him from a distance. They also heard about how he performed great miracles. Leprosy is compared to Hansen's disease today. Leprosy is a bacteria disease that eats away the flesh, and often times fingers and toes or limbs may be lost due to the infections. During this time of history, anyone with this disease was sent off to a leper's colony away from society, away from people.

On this day, there were ten lepers that saw Jesus and tortured out to Him and asked Him to have mercy on them. Jesus immediately responded to them and told them to go show themselves to the priest. They must have thought to themselves, "What, how in the world will we be able to show ourselves in this condition?" You have to understand, in those days, a priest has to confirm if you are cleansed from leprosy or healed before allowing you to go back home or to be around other people. However, these men were still full of leprosy when Jesus cave them those instructions. Mind you, if they headed into town, they would probably be stoned or thrown out, but these guys were no dummies … if Jesus told them to go see the priest, and having heard about all the wonderful miracles he performed, they heeded His instructions, even if for a second they had their doubts. In their hearts they probably knew that Jesus was up to somethin '!

These ten lepers left and headed toward the pries and "as they went", they received their healing. They probably roled up their sleeves and saw that their sores disappeared. Jesus was aware of the law of leprosy and knew that if they acted on what He said; it was a demonstration of their or faith. For this reason, He told them to go show themselves to the priest, so he could confirm them cleansed from this disease. I bet they took off running and could not wait to tell the miracle. Jesus knew what he was doing, and knew that if they chose to go regardless of what they saw with their eyes, that before they arrived at their destination, they would be restored to health.

The story goes on to say that only one of the lepers, when he saw that he was wounded, fell on his face and brave God thanks. This man got Jesus' attention. Jesus replied to the man and said, "Were there not ten? But the nine, where are they? Was not one found who returned to give God glory except this man?" Because this one leper returned to give God thanks, Jesus blessed him even more. He told this man that his faith has made him whole.

Being healed is a miracle no doubt! The symptoms of the illness may have disappeared, perhaps there were some limbs still missing even though the sores disappeared. But to be made whole means, nothing missing, nothing lacking; complete; entity; not defective or imperfect (Webster's 1828). This tenth leper demonstrated gratitude and thanksgiving, and as a result of his healing got a double blessing. He was not only healed of the leprosy, but whatever was missing in his body, in his life, Jesus made him whole again. The secret to being made whole was being thankful. His life was transformed by gratitude. (Luke 17: 11-19)

You may not have leprosy, but is there anything that is missing or missing in your life today that you need made whole, complete, not defective or imperfect? Can you find something in your life to be grateful for? Even if all Hell seems to be breaking loose, you can find something to be thankful for. Or you may say, "This is just a nice story from the Bible, but it's not for today, come on, we're living in the twenty-first century." Yes, we are … there is a saying that goes, "If the principals work, work the principles!" Principles never cease!

I love this quote by Rabbi Harold Kushner, "If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul."

This is a truth; the principle of gratitude will transform your life. "You will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given to you." (Sarah Ban Breathnach). And in everything, give thanks! (1Thes. 5:18)

What Are the Main Causes of Miscarriage, and How Can They Be Avoided?

Clinically put, a miscarriage is defined as the early and unplanned termination of a pregnancy. Emotionally, it is much more than that. Expectant parents often feel an innate sense of sadness and failure when they lose an unborn child. This can affect both mother and father equally.

Much research has been carried out to discover why miscarriage occurs. Sometimes, the cause is obvious; other times, it is baffling, particularly when seemingly healthy parents fall victim.

It is generally agreed that there are five main causes of miscarriage:

1. Genetics. Genetics accounts for about 50% of all early miscarriages. For mostly unknown reasons, the baby fails to develop properly in the womb. This eventually leads to a miscarriage, as the fetus is not strong enough to continue growing.

2. Hormonal imbalance. Generally, when women find it hard to conceive, they are more likely to miscarry. The main reason for difficulty with conception is hormonal imbalance, which also relates to reproductive organ disorders and diseases.

3. Immune system. Problems with blood supply to the placenta can starve the fetus of nutrients and leave it too weak to develop or survive.

4. Infection/Illness. Very high temperature and some viruses or infections, such as Rubella, may cause miscarriage, as can conditions such as diabetes.

5. Anatomical. If the cervix is weak, it may start to open as the womb becomes heavier in later pregnancy. Cysts may cause miscarriage in later pregnancy and can also alter the shape of the womb, which can result in miscarriage.

The factors that cause these problems cannot always be avoided. The following are common risks, and how a pregnant mother should regard them, when considering fetal health:

  • Ailments. Conditions such as Rubella, Diabetes and PCOS can increase the probability of miscarriage. Sufferers should see a doctor or midwife for preventative measures as soon as pregnancy is suspected.
  • Smoking. It has been proven that smoking causes miscarriage, so pregnant mothers should quit as soon as possible.
  • Drugs. A proven fact, as with smoking, the use of drugs (e.g., cocaine) can cause miscarriage and should be avoided.
  • High Blood Pressure. Losing weight, gentle exercise and a healthy diet can reduce some cases of high blood pressure. However, medical intervention is necessary with conditions such as pre-eclampsia.
  • Pharmaceuticals. Some prescription drugs can cause miscarriage. With a doctor’s approval and support, withdrawal from these should be gradual and substituted with an alternative medicine.
  • Age. Older woman are more likely to suffer miscarriage, so it is important that they lead an extra healthy lifestyle when pregnant.

An expectant mother who leads as healthy, organic and active a life as possible may still have to experience the devastation of miscarriage. Even so, steps should always be taken to reduce the risk of miscarriage as much as possible, such as eating a healthy, balanced diet, doing light exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding stress.

Eye Exercises for Myopia

Eye exercises for myopia are one of the best ways to reverse and manage your myopia. Myopia, known as nearsightedness, occurs when the parallel light rays from distant objects fail to reach the retina and instead are focused in front of it. Distant objects seem indistinct to myopic people. Nearsighted patients see near objects clearly while they find it difficult to focus on distant objects. The cause of near-sightedness can be genetic or environmental, or more likely, a combination of the two. As you know, there is nothing that you can do about your genes, but you can do plenty about your environment. It means that you have to take care of your eyes and how you use them.

Nearsightedness is usually corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Myopic people were advised to wear concave corrective lenses to digress the light rays as they enter the eyes; hence, the light converge farther back the eyes. In some cases, a surgery is needed to reshape the curvature of your cornea. But one of the common prescriptions for vision correction is eye strengthening exercises. One great advantage of doing eye exercise to treat myopia is that patients were prevented from incurring possible complications in subscribing to other treatment options. For instance, complications such as corneal ulcer or infection can occur in people who use contact lenses to manage their myopia. In addition to that, you need not to purchase anything to conduct any of these vision improvement therapy.

When you have myopia, it is likely that your eye muscle grew weaker as you became accustomed in using wrong visual skills. As myopia is becoming a common eye disorder nowadays, there arises a rich catalog of exercise routines that can help in controlling myopia. Some of these eye exercises for myopia are instant relaxants that soothe your tense nerves and relieve eye pains and headaches. Just make sure that you do not strain your eyes as you do the exercise.

One common eye exercise for myopia is to roll your eyes in a circle for 1-2 minutes. This simple exercise can be executed by relaxing yourself in a sitting position and rolling your eyes up and down. You can also make your eyes achieve maximum flexibility by allowing them to do a 180-degree horizontal movement. This is particularly applicable if you felt your eyes get exhausted after using them for a long time. As you do the eye rotation, the six large external muscles responsible in controlling where your eyes is aimed were coordinated and restored. Eye exercises like this prevents double vision and eyestrain. This can also improve your eye coordination.

The same effect can be achieved by doing distance perception test. In this eye exercise for myopia, you have to hold a tiny object with your extended arms. Stare for that object for three seconds, then inhale. As you inhale, move the object nearer to your face as it touch the tip of you nose without removing your eyes from it. Move the object back out when you exhale.

Eye Exercises for Nearsightedness

Other eye exercises for shortsightedness or nearsightedness include relaxing methods that could restore your eye efficiency. The “palming” technique, for example, had you shut your eyes and rest them against your palm which you rub together to generate relaxing heat. Keep you eyes shut throughout the exercise and focus on darkness for a moment. Make sure that the cups of your palms rest gently above your eyebrow and below your check bone. As relaxation sets in your eyes, concentrate on blackness and disregard the flashes of colors. An alternative heating tool to your palm is placing a cloth or towel soaked in lukewarm water. This technique can be complemented with “sunning” technique where you train your eyes to focus on bright lights while keeping them close. If you do not have an artificial light, you can use the sun for this exercise.

Do you also know that myopic patients tend to concentrate a lot when staring at a distant object that they forgot to blink? Blinking improves our eyesight as it maintains our eyes cleansed and lubricated so blinking exercise is one effective routine that nearsighted people can execute. For about three to five minutes, you can blink your eyes at a considerable rate. Do this while you are seated comfortably so that you will not feel dizzy afterwards.

Another popular eye exercise for myopia is the use of our imagination to perceive spatial dimension of the objects around us. You see, two-dimensional or flat perception of distant object is very common to myopic patients. So in order to correct such inefficient visual acuity, it is encouraged that you improve your spatial imagination to achieve three-dimensional perception of distant object. Also, you may try eye exercises that enhance your ability to follow fast-moving objects. This can be done by suspending an object at your ceiling and allowing it to swing back-and-forth. As the object moves, you have to follow that object using your eyes.

If you want to attain quick result, you can try eye relaxation massage to eliminate eyestrain at once. You can do this by applying manageable pressure around your eyes using your thumb. Begin at your nose bridge and move your thumb around your eyes and back to the side of your nose. After some movements, you can notice an instant relaxation of the eye muscles. Likewise, acupressure exercises are said to relax the eye muscles. This eye exercise for myopia had you applying pressure at certain point around the eye area.

If it happens that your eyes feel irritated during the exercise, remember that “eye exercises for myopia” are flexible so you can adjust the way you execute the routine to suit your convenience. However, there are those who questioned the efficiency of eye exercises in eliminating such refractive errors. Just note that these exercises were not yet proven to have completely restored optimal vision. What they can do is to reduce your eyestrain so that you can increase the flexibility of your eye muscles. Again, eye exercise for myopia should not replace the treatment of health professionals.

Wound Too Tight – Adrenal Dominance As a Consequence of Bypassing Mother Nature

Man has longought to conquer Mother Nature and bind her to his whim. One of the largest fiascoes was the attempt to mechanize childbirth and feeding. In his ultimate folly man determined that processes which have evolved over millennium could have swept away with the slash of a scalpel and the substitution of mass produced milk alternatives. The vast majority of those of us born during the twenty century bear many unforeseen burdens as a result. The latest one to come to my attention is the body / mind's program of adrenal dominance.

When the body is stressed, the adrenals are fired up, releasing adrenalin and cortisol which kicks us into overdrive in order to handle an emergency situation. It is nature's way of assuring our survival. This rush consumes extra resources in order to fuel the stimulation, which is then replenished, after the emergency is deal with. When we do not have the ability to release stress, life becomes a string of emergencies forcing the adrenals into constant production which historically leads to collapse.

The hypothalamus is designed to be the regulatory gland in the body. When the adrenals are constantly pumping out emergency hormones, the whole body is stressed creating a feedback cycle. This turns on the sympathetic (emergency) nervous system which keeps us in a state of high alert, making it nearly impossible to get quiet inside. The impact on the entire system is premature aging, even to the point of shorting the telomeres of the DNA, which protect the cells from deterioration during their periodic reproduction. A past study from the Mayo Clinic estimated that 85% of all disease is stress related.

Normally, when a baby experiences a traumatic event two things happen. The baby is picked up and taken to his / her mother's breast, at which point the mouth opens, releasing tension in the TMJ. As the baby nurses, they are both flooded with endorphins, along with all those other chemicals, the nature and importance of which, we are still discovering. The endorphins are what create the beatific radiance we associate with motherhood. They also have the effect of releasing the emotional impact of the event, teaching the baby on a deep core level that he is loved and how to let go of stress. Breast feeding also plays a big part in the maturation process. It jump starts the digestive system, passing on vital bacteria which line the intestines. It also plays a crucial role in the development of the chakra system.

Barbara Brenan, a NASA scientist turned healer, used to teach in her four year healing school, that the second chakra could not fully form without breastfeeding. So where does that leave those of us who were not breastfed? Are we condemned to a life of worry fear and anxiety? Are we forever to be plagued with difficulty in bonding with our chosen partners and children? Can we find peace only on a beach in Maui or during a deep hypnotic meditation tape? Can we ever unwind the layers of emotional hurt and trauma, piled up like a garbage heap waiting for some future anthropologist to sort through? The answer is yes although it's not in a pill, it is possible to find daylight and walk out of the nightmare. The rewards are awesome and may take months to unfold. As your system unwinds everything comes with it and you will find yourself uncovering layers of pain and suffering, coming up and releasing sometimes slowly and then sometimes in a big rush.

For the past twenty years I have been helping people release their trapped stress and emotions on a cellular level, and this information just recently came from a very unusual source for me; it came with a piece of equipment. A friend sent me a scalar wave laser to play with after I surprisingly got an affirmative muscle test. This device works with nonlinear light waves and its primary program is to clear cellular memory and trapped emotions. What's more its primary protocol is to unwind adrenal and sympathetic nervous system dominance. This is all the more surprising because I do not usually like devices for healing, but Leela (the play of the Gods) had its laugh with me and I am grateful for it.

Now we have the question as to what to do with the information? We have the adrenals which are stuck on high; the spine and skull are structurally jammed by decades of compression; the TMJ is locked and the sympathetic nervous system is on full speed ahead, all of which needs to be released and unwound. This is something which can be accomplished by a scalar wave laser, self hypnosis if you can stay present for the whole thing and Cellular Memory Therapy. A slow mindful yoga maybe of additional help. The biggest rewards will come though Love, Intention and Surrender. AKA Prayer! If you're successful you will notice your breathing shift to your sacrum and a sense of deep relaxation. The largest determinant to your success is your ability to get out of the way and your commitment to continue the process through enough layers to make the shift permanent.

Copyright (c) 2010 David Lowell