Levels of Skin Burns

While you may not consider skin in the same category as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs, the skin is actually the largest organ of the body. It serves many purposes: protects the internal organs, acts as a barrier against viruses and bacteria, regulates our body temperature, and allows our cells to "breathe." Therefore, when the skin suffers an injury such as a burn, it can cause sever damages.

Your skin can become burned in different ways, not just by exposure to fire. Beside heat and flame, your skin can be injured with corrosive liquids such as chlorine and other chemicals, electricity, ultraviolet rays, steam, hot liquids, radiation, friction, and even wind. Depending on the source of the injury, doctors may choose to treat your burns in different ways. Additionally, one important thing to look at in the treatment and care of burns is the level of the injury.

Skin burns are divided into three different levels: first degree, second degree, and third degree. First degree burns are the most minor, affecting only the outer layer of the skin. They typically cause redness, swelling, and pain. In most cases, sunburn is only a first degree burn. You may experience tenderness and tightness of your skin, and it may seem to radiate heat.

Most first degree burns are treatable at home. If you are burned by a single thing, like a touch of the hot stove, you should run the burn under cool water. You can take aspirin to reduce the pain, and you may want to rub on burn ointment or aloe vera to soothe your skin. Avoid butter and antiseptic creams like Neosporin because they can make your burn worse.

Next, second degree burns are worse than first degree. These burns reach through the first layer of skin and also affect the underlay layer. Like first degree burns, they can cause pain, redness, and swelling, but the other identifying characteristic of second degree burns is that they can blister. In this case, do not peel off deadened skin or break the blister, as bacteria can get in the wound and cause serious infections.

This level of burns may require medical attention. However, there are things that you can do at home to help reduce your pain. Keep your scald in cold water for at least five minutes, then you can use a plastic-wrapped cold compress to cool the skin as well. Do not let cloth adhere to your wound, as it can peel off your skin when removed.

Third degree burns are the worst. They penetrate all layers of the skin, which can turn your skin black or white and cause numbness. These burns can be deadly and require immediate medical attention.

Burns can permanent damage your skin and the undering tissue. If you have been burned due to another person's reckless actions, he or she should be held liable for the negligence. To help you get the financial compensation that you deserve, talk to the experienced accident attorneys from Friedman & Bonebrake, PC ., Today.

Positive Glaucoma – Omega 3 Treatment Benefits Vs. Negative Glaucoma Omega 3 Treatment

Glaucoma is an eye disorder characterized by extremely high pressure in the eyeball and causes the optic disk to be damaged. Although the symptoms may not show up until it is in the advanced stages and is irreversible. This causes the optic disk to be damaged. People should get regular eye exams especially after the age of 40.

In the later stages of Glaucoma there is a loss of peripheral or side vision capability. Blurred vision, blind spots, and halos around lights may occur. Poor night vision is also a late stage symptom of Glaucoma. Left untreated blindness could occur.

Typical treatment includes medicated eye drops and pills that are often effective in decreasing the pressure in the eye. This happens in one of two ways: by slowing down the production of fluid in the eye or by helping to drain extra fluid from the eye. Laser trabeculopathy or trabeculectomy are two surgical procedures that may be done to relieve the pressure and drain the fluid from the eye.

Omega 3 fatty acids include DHA-docosahexaenoic acid is important to eye health and brain functioning. EPA-eicosapentaenoic acid and alpha-linolenic Acid are also Omega 3 fatty acids and together are believed to support good health. Omega 6 fatty acids are Linoleic acid and Arachadonic acid. While these do have some health benefits most diets have an overabundance of Omega 6 and this has been linked to such problems as Heart disease, Macular Degeneration, Strokes, Diabetes, and Arthritis.

Specific studies have not been done to test the reliability of using Omega 3 fatty acids in the treatment of Glaucoma. They have been known to have benefits in other eye problems such as retinal issues and Macular Degeneration. It would be interesting to see studies that addressed the durability of Omega 3 treatments.

There have been studies done to test the benefits of Cod Live Oil according to one study has been shown to relieve intraocular pressure in dogs. Cod Liver Oil is one of the few fish oils that are very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and since it is already known to relieve other eye conditions can we then believe it would help treat Glaucoma in humans? This definitely bears further study. If Cod Liver Oil does prove to be a positive treatment of Glaucoma it would be an important addition to current courses of treatment.

Swine Flu? Who's Afraid of Swine Flu? How to Never Worry About the Flu Again

With the latest concern over the swine flu outbreak I had to write an article on how to avoid it so people could stop worrying. There really is not much to worry about if you know what to do to protect yourself.

There are several reasons that I am not worried, and why you do not really need to worry. For myself, I am very healthy, and I do not usually get sick. As a natural healer, I know what I need to stay healthy, and I practice what I preach.

You can help yourself too in this time, by eating better, exercising, and taking supplements. Eat better by eliminating processed foods like sugar and wheat.

Applied Kinesiology is a healing modality that I use, and it has a natural flu treatment that can easily deal with the flu. Practitioners can be hard to find though. But, there are things you can do for yourself.

Often, a lot can be done over the phone, but there are some things that need to be done hands on that you can learn to do with the help of a friend.

One of the main things is to take vitamin D, actually a hormone, that has many functions in the body. One of its functions is to activate the part of the immune system that eliminates pathogens like the flu virus.

D is made in the skin from exposure to sunlight. However, the further away you are from the equator, the less can be produced. In the winter, and for some time around winter, it is impossible for most people to get enough D from sunlight.

Dosages run between 1000 and 25,000 iu or more a day. The higher dosage is safe for most people for two to four weeks, sometimes even longer.

Another thing you can do about the flu is to take a supplement from Standard Process, my favorite manufacturers, called Congeplex. Congeplex is a complex of various minerals and vitamins from whole food sources that boosts the body's immune system so that it can throw off the influenza virus very quickly.

When you have a bottle of Congeplex in your cabinet, you do not have to worry about swine flu at all. If you do get sick, all it takes is six capsules an hour, and the flu symptoms will start to go away in three to five hours in most cases. You can take that dose for up to eight hours if needed.

Once the symptoms have mostly stopped, you can drop the dosage to six three times a day. It is best to take it with food, but it is okay to take it without food when taking it hourly.

Another supplement you can use is called Immuniplex, also from Standard Process. It is very similar to Congeplex, but a little better at getting your immune system to full strength. The preventive dose for Immuniplex is four two times a day. Three times a day if you are particularly sensitive to catching colds or the flu.

One of the most important factor in avoiding the flu is keeping the lymph moving. It is also one of the most important things you can do if you get the flu.

The body has two circulatory systems, the blood and lymph. While blood rings nutrients to the body, the lymph system takes the toxic byproducts away.

When lymph moves through the lymph nodes, any viruses or bacteria it picks up are killed off by the lymph glands. When lymph movement stops, the flu virus is not being eliminated, so it can build up and make you sick

The only way lymph moves is by movement of the long muscles in the arms and legs when you walk. I like to tell my clients to walk regularly for exercise. If they absolutely can not get out to exercise, I tell them to at least take what I call a "sludge walk" for 10 minutes or more a day just to keep the lymph moving and eliminating waste.

How to Change Screen Resolution Display Settings in Microsoft Windows Vista

Whether you just bought a new high quality monitor or you want to be able to see your screen easier, changing the screen resolution can help. Screen resolution is the amount of pixels that display on your screen – the higher the number, the more pixels are displayed on your screen. High resolution yields better quality picture but also makes the picture look smaller. A lower resolution will make everything look larger on the screen but the quality will not be as good.

Here I will show you how to easily change the screen resolution in your Windows Vista computer.

1. go to an area of ​​the desktop where there are no icons – right click with the right mouse button on this "blank area"

2. a menu will now appear – go to the bottom and click on the item called "Personalize"

3. once you are in the personalize menu, go to the bottom and click on "Display Settings"

4. the display properties will now show up on the screen – find "Resolution" towards the bottom left of this display box

5. under resolution you will see "Low" on the left and "High" on the right with a toggle button in between them

6. if you toggle the button all the way to the right, the highest supported screen resolution will display, if you toggle the button to the left, the lowest screen resolution will display – you can choose a setting i between also

7. click on "OK" when you find the desired resolution – Windows will always test the new resolution and ask you if you want to keep these settings. Sometimes, the resolution will not work with your screen and all you will see is black – if this happens, do not press any keys on the keyboard, the original working setting will come back after a few settings. This is very important because if you apply the settings that do not work, you will not be able to see anything on your screen which can create a problem!

Congratulations, you just changed your screen resolution in Windows Vista.

Stroke (Brain Attack) Part IX – How to Prevent and Treat Stroke With Chinese Acupuncture and Herbs

As we mentioned in previous articles, stroke is caused by uncontrolled diet that is high in saturated and trans fats resulting in cholesterol building up in the blood vessel in the brain that blocks the circulation of blood to the body, including cells in the brain. If not enough oxygen is delivered to the brain cells, some cells die off and can not reproduce, the you may have a stroke. Other strokes happen when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures causing the cells in your brain to be depleted of oxygen, so they die and never come back. In this article, we will discuss Chinese herbs and acupuncture that help to prevent stroke.

1. Acupuncture
Acupuncture is the most popular treatment modality for stroke patients in China, used effectively on 85% of the stroke patients there. The recent acceptance of acupuncture by western medical practitioners allows one more effective method in curing diseases especially stroke. Study shows that acupunctures helps to facilitate nerve regeneration, decrease blood viscosity, as well as helping survival nerve cells find new pathways, effectively bypassing damaged parts of the brain resulting in reduced risk of stroke.

2. Ginkgo biloba (bai guo yee).
Ginkgo biloba improves mental functioning as well as preventing blood cells from forming blood clots in the brain. Study shows that ginkgo improves blood circulation and lowers plasma cholesterol concentrations that help to lower the risk of stroke.

3. Gastrodia
Gastrodia was listed in the ancient Shennong Bencao Jing (ca. 100 AD) and was later reclassified by Tao Hong as a superior herb, meaning that it could be taken for a long time to protect health and prolong life, as well as for treating illnesses . Gastrodia is used by Chinese herbalist in treating stroke and chronic weaknesses of Qi that historically blocks the flow of blood to the brain.

4. Cinnamon bark
True Cinnamon is one form of the common spice. As we discussed before, cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar by mimicking insulin, activating insulin receptors and working with insulin in the cells to reduce blood sugar by up to 20%. Also cinnamon has some antioxidant benefits that helps to find new pathways for survival nerve cells after stroke.

5. Angelica
Angelica can help to warm up the chest-yang to remove obstruction of blood flow in the heart vessels as well as brain vessels.

6. Dragon's Blood
Dragon's Blood is used for increased power, purification, protection, consecration, and the development of strong ritual energy. It also helps to relieve pain in the heart due to blood stagnation and stimulate blood circulation to the brain resulting in reduced risk of stroke.

There are many other Chinese herbs that can help to prevent and treat strokes such as ginger root, mantis egg case, and tortoise plastron. Please consult with your doctor before taking any Chinese herb because some of these herbs may have side effects.

If you need more information, please visit my home page at:

Stammering Cure Tips For Your Child

It is frightening to realize your Kindergarten has started to stutter. Most parents assume something is wrong, and they need to have their child (ren) examined. The opposite is actually true. Studies have shown children with a stammering problem have fully functional brains. Their brains, however, are developing at a fast speed. This is the cause of the stammering. The children have so much to say and their mouths can not keep up. Here are some stammering cure tips for your child:

1. Tell him to relax. You want your child to feel he does not have to rush through his words. You can even explain you do not understand him when he stammers, so he will need to try the words again without stammering. Make sure your son understands you are not angry with him, but you want to understand what he is saying to you.

2. Talk to him in a clear, slow, concise way. Your child should become an observer of himself and other people to lower his habit to stammer. Talking to him in a way he is provided to talk will help him hear what he is supposed to sound like. Do not rush your words, or he may believe it is alright to speed talk.

3. Get down to his level. Even if your child does not stammer, you should follow this stammering cure. Children respond to adults that do not talk down to them. It gives them a feeling of having your full attention. If they need to look up to talk to you, they may want to repeat themselves until you are at their level. So, the next time your son is talking to you, try this technique. Take notice to how he responds.

4. Take a look at his friends. A few doctors believe a child can develop a habit, like stammering, from other children with the same habit. Your child could have a friend with a stammering problem. They are around each other enough, so your child may think that stammering is a normal way to speak. This does not mean you should forbid your son from seeing his friends.

5. Design flashcards of sounds and difficult words. Practice sounds and words your child stammers over when trying to say them. Take turns saying the sounds or words. Follow the "I do-we do-you do" rules. Basically, you say the word / sound first, and then you both say it together, and he tries it on his own. The rule is used by teachers, pathologists, and therapists as a way to scaffold information to children.

6. Encourage your child to finish. The child needs to finish the sentence or thought on his own. Do not let people finish his thoughts for him. If he is stammering on a phrase, encourage him to think of another way to say it. It is okay for him to stop what he is staying, and take a short break. When he feels he is ready to begin again, give him the chance to finish his thoughts.

Stammering cure tips are available online, at doctors 'offices, and school speech therapists' offices.

The Secret to Chicken Pox Relief

So, there I was with two children covered in chicken pox. I felt grateful that they were both getting them over with while they were young, and nervous about my ability to treat them effectively on my own, without over the counter remedies.

This was definitely the most serious illness I had yet faced as an herbalist parent. How I wished for a chicken pox treatment page like the one I'm about to write, a page from another parent saying here's what I did, and it worked.

Luckily, my herbalist husband was on hand to remind me to trust the plants and to use the plants we know.

Chicken pox, we discovered, is a herpes related virus, so we chose St. Louis. John's Wort, as our primary healer, since we know it to be effective against herpes.

We brewed up teas for their baths – concoctions of St. John's Wort (dried leaves, stem and flowers), dried burdock root, and dried licorice root.

To make the concoctions we would put one large handful of each into a gallon of boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes.

Then strain out the herbs and add the tea to the bath water.

I would also fill a thin cloth bag with oats, calendula flowers and baking soda and put that into the bath. The kids would squeeze the oat milk onto their skin and even rub the bags over the irritated areas. These baths did wonders to relate the itching and calm the children. What a great herbal chicken pox treatment!

We also had the children drink the St. Paul. John's Wort, burdock and licorice tea as much as possible while they were broken out.

Still, we had times when the itching and burning was very uncomfortable and made sleeping especially difficult.

At these times, St. Johns Wort oil offered some relief. We did not come up with the perfect anti-itch formula, but have since learned that tea tree oil can provide amazing relief, and that chickweed poultices are effective for cooling and calming the itch.

We did try a mixture of baking soda and water and found it not only ineffective, but irritating to the children. This is actually a popular chicken pox treatment for some reason.

Hailey had the easier time with the chicken pox. At one year old, she did not get nearly as many as her six year old brother, and for the first few days was happy and playful and still practicing her walking.

She did get quite a few pox on her butt and genital area, probably because of the heat from her diaper. Then, just about the time that Rowan was beginning to feel better, Hailey got a fever and we not one of the pox on her leg where her diaper wrap was rubbing was very red and swollen.

We took her diaper off and began using poultices of calendula flowers and plantain leaves (crushed in a mortar and pestle with a little bit of water) directly on the pox. The swelling and redness went away by the end of the day and her fever was gone by morning.

We then used these poultices (attached with gauze and tape) on any of the more angry looking pox until they were cured.

Another worrisome occurrence that happened for us, was that Rowan sat up in bed near the middle of the night with his eyes wide open, yelling nonsense. It was a very unsettling experience for me as a mother, but after doing some research on the web, I found that it is not uncommon during chicken pox. I simply calmed him and he went back to sleep and woke a few minutes later with no memory of the episode.

The worst of the virus had passed within a period of about four days, and they were intense days for me. My suggestion to you is that if you call on whatever support system you have during this illness.

Find ways to get rest yourself, drink nourishing, calming teas, and rest assured that the remedies on this page worked for our family and that your children will get better given love and herbal nourishment. We hope our herbal chicken pox treatment works for you.

For more information on St. Louis Johns Wort, go here: www.familyherbalremedies.com/saint_johns_wort.html

Injections in the Ear Drum to Treat Sudden Deafness

There have been ongoing debating as to whether Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injections would have been the most effective medical intervention in treating Sudden Hearing Loss or if the widely practiced evidence-based medical management of oral steroids would have been a safer choice.

The answer lies on the cause of the hearing loss and the personal preference of the person experiencing the problem. Treating hearing loss is not only limited to different ways of administering steroidal therapy but there are also medical interventions that focus on the root cause of the hearing loss. It is important to determine the predisposing factors of the loss of this sense to prevent progress and worse, complete hearing loss.

Before treating a hearing problem should even be considered, the diagnosis has to be determined by a physician, preferably specializing in the affected area which is the ear. Sudden hearing loss is often described as the decrease of the sense of hearing in a short period of time, occurring in a span of 72 hours or less. This may commonly be mistaken for dullness of the ear due to the common cold and is unilateral or occurs only in one ear. Oral or subjective complaints for patients experiencing the condition sudden hearing loss would include dizziness or nausea, feeling that their world is upside-down and that there is ringing heard in the ears, known as tinnitus.

Having laboratory exams done immediately could provide the accurate medical diagnosis and more often than not, predict the patient's diagnosis. Findings would indicate that there has been a sensorinural hearing loss which when calculated would exceed 30 decibels over 3 contiguous pure-tone frequencies within a 3 day period. Time is of the essence to treat this medical condition since the onset is rapid and the condition deteriorates quickly when left untreated.

Once the diagnosis is established, figuring out the cause can help in treating sudden hearing loss. The exact cause is yet unknown but the pathophysiology of this condition can be traced to:

  • Recent viral infection.
  • Compromise in the body's vascular system.
  • Rupture of the intra-cochlear membrane .
  • Inner ear diseases, which are immune-related.

Pharmacological Interventions include the newly introduced Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injection. In administrating this Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injection, the preparation is introduced through oral drops or injected through a tiny gauged needle directly to the eardrum. This method has been said to create faster results and restoration of the sense of hearing due to the route of administration. It is said that the potency of the Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injection is increased because it is introduced directly to the affected area.

Special consideration should be given to the patient since this procedure is considered painful and a diversion of some sort might be planned. There is a great risk though that the eardrum might be perforated, so most patients would not have this treatment. The cost of this drug should also be considered since Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injections are expensive.

Oral steroids, such as Prednisone, on the other hand are the drug of choice for many doctors.Ãï½Â Ãï½Â In Treating Sudden Hearing Loss in one ear, this treatment has been administered to many patients known to have suffered the disorder. The less invasive the administration is, the less risk for infection it poses. Long term therapies include monitoring blood pressure and blood sugar levels since oral steroids cause hypertension and increase in blood sugar. Antiviral drugs can also be given in treating hearing loss caused by viral infection and anti-vertigo can be given to bouts of dizziness or loss of balance.

How to Treat a Yeast Infection – 5 Tips For Fast Relief

Most women have had to deal with a yeast infection at least once in their lives. Yeast infections are caused by a bacterium in the vagina called Candida, which can cause the yeast in the vagina to overgrow. When this happens it causes the affected area to itch, release heavy discharge and a foul odor. Unfortunately, there are women and even children who deal with chronic yeast infects quite often and it can be difficult having to go back and forth to the doctors all the time. Here are five tips to help cure a yeast infection from home.

Tip Number One: Eat lots of yogurt. Yogurt is known to have many things in it to help with all kinds of ailments. You can also use yogurt as a cream and apply it directly to the infected area. Yogurt has an ingredient known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which is naturally found in a vagina that is healthy. There are two ways you can apply the yogurt. You can apply the yogurt frozen and inserted like a tampon or you can use a syringe and apply the yogurt directly into the vagina.

Tip Number Two: You can get an over the counter cream that works well. Although prescriptions tend to work better, there are a few different yeast infection medication kits that you can buy over the counter that actually do work. Some of them come with creams and others come with a capsule that is inserted into the vagina with a syringe.

Tip Number Three: Garlic has anti-body properties that can help cure an infection. A clove of garlic opened and rubbed onto the infected area, do this a few times a day until the infection is gone. If the infection is inside the vagina, garlic cloves can be inserted into the vagina and left for a couple of hours. Be sure to tie a string securely to the cloves or have some other method of removing them safely.

Tip Number Four: Tea Tree oil is an essential oil that has been known to have extremely good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Tea Tree oil is very strong and needs to be diluted with another carrier oil such as sweet almond oil before applying it to an area like the vagina. You only need a couple drops of the tea tree oil per treatment.

Tip Number Five: Boric acid is another great way to cure a yeast infection. You can get boric acid at your local pharmacy. You will also need some empty gel capsules. Fill the capsules with the boric acid and insert the capsule into the vagina. Do not remove the capsule for a couple of days, then then it should have dissolved letting the boric acid soak into the infection.

These are just five of the great ways of getting rid of yeast infection without having to spend hundreds of dollars at the doctors and on prescriptions. When you do get rid of your infection you should take time and research how to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Make sure you wear loose clothing, this will help the airflow nicely. Also you will want to hold off on eating too much junk food and drinking too many caffeine loaded and carbonated drinks. Buttermilk can help get rid of yeast infections, but it can also help prevent them as well.

The good news is that the causes and prevention candidia is now well understood. With a few lifestyle changes you can ensure that yeast infections are never a problem again.

How to Clean a Cats Infected Wound?

I think my cat has been in a fight. I could see little scab marks but everything looked fine. Then suddenly a few weeks later I noticed that he had a lump, a swinging on the side of his hip. He had started limping and not being so agile.

I inspected this lump, there was a real foul smell but I could not see an open wound, directed up wound or scab, so I knew that he would need to visit the vets but I would keep a close eye on him till the vets opened as it was out of hours. I kept inspecting the lump and on this occasion saw what looked like a little dried blood but could not see where it had come from. I got some cotton wool and warm water and bathed the area but could still not find any opening where this blood was coming from.

Again the next morning, I went to find the cat straight away and there he was sitting on his favorite chair. I could not see the lump sticking out, but could see a wet slick patch of fur. On closer inspection there were a couple of small holes and blood around them. He had been attaching to this himself, and must have made an opening. There was still a little pus slowing seeping out, and still quite a foul smell.

So what do I do now. The vets are still not open. The first thing was I knew I had to clean this area. He had been cleaning it but his mouth etc would not be very clean and could possibly introduce more infection. So how was I going to clean it. Yes, I could get cotton wool and use some warm salted water to clean the area but was this the best and right course of action to take.

I then realized that I needed to like wash and flush the wound out to remove any residual pus, dirt and debris. So I put the cat in the bath and needed some assistance and someone to keep him in the bath. Then luckily, I had an old syringe to insert liquid into his mouth from a previous illness but a small water bottle would probably do the trick. By using one of these methods pushing the warm water solution out with some force on, above and around the area, should force and wash the area removing any pus, infection, dirt and debris away and less likely to move around any infection to a different area. The cat did not particularly like this, which is why I needed someone to hold him still, but it was probably quicker and caused less pain to the sensitive damaged tissue area which was now on show than actually touching or dabbing the area. The next important thing is to keep this clean.

Now the abscess and pus seemed to have disbursed, it was now not causing my cat so much discomfort and did not seem to be bothering him. He did not seem to be trying to keep cleaning the area himself. However, for added protection, I continued to wash the area in this way regularly to ensure that the area was kept clean until the next morning when I can ring the vets and get an appointment. This lump had been an abscess, from a very small puncture wound when he had been fighting but had left no mark.

At the time I did not know it needed attention and he was infected inside but at least I found a way to look after when it did become clear.

Lymphadenitis – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Lymphadenitis means inflammation in the lymph nodes. This can be generalized or localized. This condition usually points to some infection or inflammation. A common example of this is tonsillitis, where the tonsil glands are swollen and inflamed, usually due to repeated infections involving the throat. Generalized swelling of the lymph glands may point to more serious infections like HIV and tuberculosis, or may be indicators of serious diseases like cancer. Filariasis causes significant inflammation of the lymph glands and lymphatic channels, usually in the lower limbs, resulting in gross edema of the feet.

Clinical examination and relevant medical tests usually help pinpoint the exact cause of lymphadenitis, and conservative treatment is usually sufficient to help treat and cure the condition. Of late, however, more and more individuals have started presenting with gross lymphadenitis in various parts of the body, without evidence of any specific cause like tuberculosis, widespread infection, or cancer. Symptoms vary according to the location of affected lymph glands. Inflamed and enlarged glands in the chest may cause breathlessness, cough, or fluid collection in the layering of the lungs (known as pleural effusion). Similarly affected glands in the abdominal cavity may cause symptoms like abdominal pain, adhesions in the intestinal loops, and fluid collection in the ovaries or peritoneal cavity (known as ascites).

The commonest chronic cause of such swelling and inflammation of lymph glands is tuberculosis infection, so much so that even when all diagnostic tests come out negative, most health professionals still consider it worthwhile to give a therapeutic trial of anti-tuberculosis medications. Indeed, a large percentage of such affected individuals do benefit with this therapy; however, when even this treatment does not work, it becomes necessary to explore other causes for this condition.

Chronic inflammation due to stress, food allergies, exposure to toxins, hidden and obscure infections, and autoimmune processes within the body, is fast becoming a reality of modern times. Such inflammation, in addition to lymph glands and lymph ducts, may also affect blood vessels, skin, and various organs in the body. If multiple tissues and glands are involved, the presentation of clinical signs and symptoms will vary accordingly.

Coming back to non-specific inflammation of lymph glands, treatment needs to be given at various levels. Herbal medicines are given to reduce inflammation, and remove excess accumulated fluid. Herbs with known antiviral and antibacterial actions are given to treat infections. Immune-modulating herbs are used to treat a dysfunctional immune system. Specific diet instructions are given to address food allergies, and prevent inflammation. Adequate lifestyle recommendations are given to reduce stress and get sufficient, good quality sleep on a regular basis.

It is also necessary to normalize the digestive capacity and intestinal flora of affected individuals. Detoxification may also be necessary, especially for people who do not respond well to the treatment mentioned above. People with a strong autoimmune component may need more aggressive therapy for a longer period of time.

Most people having non-specific lymphadenitis respond very well to this line of treatment and report complete resolution of all symptoms. It is necessary for them to continue following a healthy diet and lifestyle so as to prevent a recurrence.

God, the Supernatural Healer

A missionary lady was sitting by her window as she opened her mail. In one letter she found a crisp, new, ten-dollar bill. She was pleasantly surprised, but then she noticed a poorly dressed stranger leaning on a post by her window. She could not get him off her mind. Thinking that he might be in greater need than her, she slipped the bill into an envelope and wrote "Do not despair". She handed the envelope through the window to the man. He read the note, smiled, tipped his hat and walked away.

The next day she heard a knock at the door. There the same man handed her a roll of bills. When she asked what they were, he said, "That's your sixty bucks, lady! 'Do not despair" paid five to one! "

The Old Testament reading from 2 Kings 5: 1-14 is a classic example of the conflict between man's way of doing things and God's way of doing things. Naaman wanted to be healed, but in his own way. He wanted Elisha to come out and perform some sort of healing ritual. He wanted to wash in rivers of his own choosing. When he did not get his way, he reacted like a small child does when it does not get its own way-he had a temper tantrum. It took the words of someone insignificant to convince Naaman to humble himself and submit to God's plan. All of us are lepers who need God's healing touch, but sometimes we can not see beyond our successes and shortcomings and realize that we need to be healed.

Leprosy was significant in the Bible for several reasons:

1. The leper was considered to be unclean and had to be isolated form the rest of society. Whenever he went out, he had to cry "unclean", and he had to wear black with a hood covering his face. He also had to live outside the city walls.

2. Leprosy was incurable in Bible times just as sin is incurable by man.

3. When Jesus healed a leper he always pronounced the person cleansed, not healed.

4. The rite of purification in the Old Testament only recognized the fact that a leper was clean. It did not cure the leper.

5. Leprosy begins on the outside and then erupts on the skin. Sin also begins with what we are and then erupts on the surface.

6. The priest was to examine the leper and pronounce the person clean or unclean depending on his observation of the facts. Since Christ has provided cleansing from sin, every believer as a believer priest is to detect sin in their own life and pronounce it as sin when it first appears.

7. The pain of leprosy was not severe because it also killed the nerves in the affected area. Portions of the body became numb, muscles wasted away and fingers and toes developed ulcers. Sin is like that. We are dead spiritually, so we do not feel the pain of our sin.

8. The leper was often considered to be dead, and people without Christ are nothing more than spiritual zombies.

9. Leprosy and sin occurs regardless of one's position, power, honor, possessions or wealth.

10. The restoration of the leper is a metaphor for the restoration of us to God when we accept him in faith.

11. Leprosy destroys the body, and sin destroys our relationship with Christ.

God does not work according to our ideas or plans. In fact, there is an old joke that goes, "How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans". When we let God tell us what to do, we will be cleansed from our sins. When we follow God's plan for our lives instead of our own plans, we will be cleansed from our sins.

Believe it or not, God gave Naaman his victories. It was part of the greater purpose to reveal God's power and mercy to Naaman the foreigner. It shows that God is for everyone- both Jews and Gentiles. It foreshadows the opening of the Gospel to the Gentiles in the Book of Acts.

God often speaks through humble people. He used the Israeli slave girl to lead Naaman to Elisha-the first step in his healing. He used the soldier to convince Naaman to obey Elisha's orders-the second step in his healing. Elisha was also humble. He did not use any of his powers to heal Naaman-God did. Elisha did not even leave his house to meet Naaman in person. Humble people are used by God at any time and in any place he chooses and in any way he chooses.

God also acts through simple acts of obedience that do not seem to be related to the problem. For example, washing seven times in the Jordan River might not seem to be related to Naaman's leprosy. The solution called for faith. The faith began with the little servant girl when she innocently assumed God's power. Because of the girl's faith, Naaman's wife told her husband, and he told the king. Naaman had his doubts, but he went. His servants had more faith, because they convinced Naaman to try Elisha's remedy.

This story also shows how our intentions can be misunderstood by others. Naaman introduced himself to the king of Israel as both a courtesy and the belief that the king had the power to heal Naaman. The king knew that he did not have the power to heal anyone and saw Naaman's request as an excuse to start war between Israel and Syria. You see, according to the custom at that time, the main object of a letter was the only item mentioned in letters that were delivered in person. Other issues were discussed in person. There was also a belief that if a king or other sacred person touched or washed his hand over a sore, the sore would be healed. (Pause)

The story of Naaman the leper is a story of salvation. Naaman's healing led him to believe in God and worship God. It is a picture of what God would do later on through Jesus Christ. It is a picture of what man was like before sin took its toll. Elisha knew that it was God's power that owed Naaman, not Elisha's.

Today, we, like Naaman, will do anything spectacular to ensure our salvation. We suffer, build churches, give money, or sacrifice privileges when all we have to do is wash in the blood of Jesus and receive his gift of eternal life. Because the plan is so simple, many of us turn away as Naaman did and refuse the greatest of all gifts.

Naaman's healing ritual was a step down for him in more ways than one. It was a step down from toxic success to new health and life. Naaman's skin became like the skin of a little child, and his heart found new life. Some of us probably know people who have been victims of their own success. Perhaps we have been victims of our own success. These people have gone from the top of the ladder to the bottom, sometimes yanked down a step, sometimes moving more or less at will.

Elisha was a wise man. He knew that Naaman's healing was not simply a cure for his leprosy. Naaman needed to submit, know his weakness and dependence on others, expand his view of who was connected to his life, get naked and humble, and let go and die to his old self. God's free grace is for everyone. It's too simple to deal with our sin and guilt (or so we think), so we punish ourselves. We, like Naaman, are at times due to accept God's free gift. We, like Naaman, must be committed to see our cleaning through.

Being made whole is something else. It is to be changed or transformed. It is to know that God is at work in our lives. It is to be welcomed by joy. It is to be enveloped by a peace that passes all understanding. It is to know an uncontrollable joy. It is to know the power of God's grace in our lives. It is to respond with thanks, gratitude and laughter.

Naaman was healed of his leprosy, but he was also healed of his identity as a warrior. When he accepted his weakness and dependency on someone else, when he realized that he could not live his whole life by only trusting in himself, when he met the God who is well beyond his control and manipulation, Naaman discovered his true healing and his transformation into a whole man who can let go and trust others and God.

God overturns our human expectations and imposed limitations and breaks into our world with healing and new life. God chooses to make all things clean. It involves clearing pride, dignity and authority from the path. There is little room for things as they should be or for those whose self-adequacy closes them off to God's healing help. That may be surprising, upsetting and world changing for us. It is also a little threatening as it involves radical personal and social changes.

How do we respond to people who come to us for help? Do we ignore them? Do we listen to them and then send them on their way instead of helping them? Do we just throw money at the problem by making a donation or do we lower ourselves like Naaman did and actually do something to help them? If we actively receive them like Elisha received Naaman, we will have responded with God's love and we will have received a gift to us through them where we can fulfill his call to show love, mercy and forgiveness to all.

If we obey God, that does not mean he will pay off five to one like the horse in the story at the beginning of my sermon, but he will bless us with many blessings, he will not be in debt to us for long, he will return even greater gifts and he will reward us.

Ronald Reagan, Movie Actor

In 1937, 26-year-old Chicago Cubs radio announcer Ronald Reagan had the acting bug rekindled in him. The former Dixon, Illinois native performed on stage in high school and college but during the Great Depression he had drifted into the sports world. In those days the Cubs trained in California and Reagan went with them to get away from the Iowa cold and pursue his movie star dream. Through a friend he got a screen test at Warner Bros .; the studio executives had mixed reactions. He was no Robert Taylor, but he did have more of an All-American look than some of the stars that worked at the Warner's factory, such as James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. The glasses and crew cut had to go. When questioned about his acting experience Reagan told several lies to pad his resume. The casting director asked him to stick around an extra day for more tests. "No dice", Ron said feigning indifference when he was really desperate. "I'm on the train with the Cubs." He left the studio thinking he had blown any chance to be signed by them. He was amazed later that same day when Warners made an offer to put him under contract at $ 200.00 a week, and hastily agreed before they changed their mind.

In typical Hollywood fashion the former radio announcer was cast as a radio announcer. It seemed like every film his big line was "Get me the City desk! I have a story that will break this town wide open!" Ronald, a former lifeguard and kept detailed records of all the lives he saved, preferred playing heroes to the drunken socialite he depicted along side Bette Davis in Dark Victory (1939) even if he was be in mostly b-movies. He learned quickly that Hollywood could be a cutthroat place. He dated some of his leading ladies who fell out of love after their movie was over. He worked with insecure stars like Errol Flynn, who demanded that the one-inch shorter Reagan not stand next to him on camera. And there were tough Directors like the Hungarian born Michael Curtiz, with what he made Santa Fe Trail (1940). In one scene the young actor watched in amusement as Curtiz kept telling an extra playing a minister to keep moving backwards until he fell of a scaffold, severely injuring his leg. "Get me another minister!" shouted the angry director.

In order to better his career he suggested to his bosses that they buy the story of the legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne and Reagan could play the role of the tragic halfback George Gipp. Warner Bros. liked the first idea more than the second: he was told he was too small. Reagan produced a photograph of himself playing college football; he was actually bigger than Gipp. He got the part but Knee Rockne All American (1940) was not all fun and games. One day Reagan showed up to shoot the scene where Gipp ran the ball eighty yards for a touchdown. He was told he was not needed. They would film something else instead. He proceeded to eat a huge and unhealthy breakfast. Then he was informed that they were going to film the run after all. After the third eighty-yard take Reagan dashed far past the goal line where he privately lost his meal.

Reagan was a political animal right away, driving his Hollywood co-workers to distraction with his praise of the policies of Franklin Roosevelt. It was mostly just talk; he rejected any suggestion that he might someday go into politics. One time he was yammering about about the necessity of government aid when a friend suggested he run for President. "You do not like my acting either!" He wailed.

Ronald Reagan's Star rose with King's Row (1942) where he had a dramatic performance in which his legs were amputated and he screamed out, "Where's the rest of me?" King's Row cave his agent Lew Wasserman the leverage to negotiate a solid movie star salary for him. But his acting opportunities slowed because of military service during World War II. Although his terrible vision kept him from seeing combat (he was told that if he was sent overseas he would accidently shoot an American General and probably miss him) the short propaganda films he appeared in (for which he received military, not movie star pay) did little to help his career. He worked in propaganda films like the Irving Berlin musical This Is The Army (1943) where he received only his military pay. He overheard young women, who worked at his army base, swooning over newer, younger stars and when the war ended Reagan felt insecure and past his prime.

He met Jane Wyman on the set of Brother Rat (1938). She was attracted to him right away but surprised if his niceness was just an act. She convinced herself he was the real deal when she saw he was just as kind to waiters as he was to big shots at the studio. But after the war her career moved ahead of his with her Academy Award winning performance as a deaf mute in Johnny Belinda (1948). There was gossip about her having had a love affair with her co-star Lew Ayres. And his constant harping on politics drove Jane Wyman crazy; sometimes she would yawn away in public when he got on his soapbox. Still with all that Reagan was shocked when they divorced, that was something that happened to other people. During that time the stressed out Midwesterner came down with a severe case of pneumonia that nearly killed him.

Ronald Reagan became frustrated with both his career and his personal life. In The Hagen Girl (1947) he reluctantly became the first man to kiss twenty-year-old Shirley Temple on screen. He argued that he was that he should end up with Shirley's schoolteacher, but the Director was Reagan's age, had a teenage girl and wanted to make a point. Movie patrons shouted, "Oh no!" when he and Shirley got into a clinch. He became President of the Screen Actors Guild and as his politics drifted more to the right threats came from Communists in Hollywood. Perhaps they would throw acid in his face or his bomb his house. He began carrying a gun for protection. Movie bosses saw Reagan more as a labor negotiator than a viable Movie Star. He broke his leg at a charity baseball game, which cost him two movie roles and a sizable amount of money. He publicly stated he could do a better job choosing his roles than Jack Warner, who fired him after fourteen years without a handshake. He enjoyed making Bedtime For Bonzo (1951) at Universal but he knew his amazing chimp co-star was stealing the show when the Director Fred De Cordova started giving personal instructions to Bonzo instead of his trainer. Reagan's money problems became so severe in the early 1950s that he tried to eek out extra cash by selling his autographs through the mail.

After Ron became the President of the Screen Actors Guild in 1949, he met Nancy Davis a not very ambitious actress who needed her name cleared from being linked to a Communist group. They hit it off immediately, but he took it slow and dated several actions in Hollywood. When he woke up one morning with a girl whose name he could not remember he decided it was time to marry again. He and Nancy co-starred in the disappointing, big budget Hellcats Of The Navy (1957) but the new Mrs. Reagan was far more interested in her family than acting and unlike his first wife never threatened his ego.

Ronald Reagan became a rich man by moving into television. Thanks to the advice of his longtime agent and manager Lew Wasserman he became the host of General Electric Theater (1953-1962). But success in TV did not translate into high demand at the box office. The movie offers became fewer. In 1964 he made a film called The Killers where he played a villain for the first time. Audiences were shocked when the nice guy they thought they knew smacked co-star Angie Dickinson in the face. Reagan found the role unpalatable. He had a falling out with Wasserman who felt he was a whining has-been. Faced with a future of similar type roles made it easier for him to go into politics full time.

Ronald Reagan denied that he was a great communicator. He felt that the content of his words was more important than his style. But he never forgot his movie roots. "Win one for the Gipper"! "May the force be you!" "Go ahead! Make my day!" They all became political sound bytes for him. And sometimes he could use film references as a source for witticisms. Early in his first term as Governor of California the now very conservative Reagan described an encounter with a hippie. "He looked like Tarzan, acted like Jane and smelled like Cheetah!" But Reagan had to take it as well as dish it out. Once as President he leaned on a prominent Democrat. "We have to cut taxes, damn it! Do you know when I was in the movies I was in the 90% tax bracket." "Ninety percent? My God, Mr. President, I did not think you were that good of an actor!" The President roared with laughter.

How to Overcome Stammering

Do you buy into all the hype that you can not overcome a stammering problem? Or do you believe that you can be shown how to overcome stammering? Why do you think that most of the people being vocal about there are not any cures for stammering are actual speech therapists? Would not you think that a speech therapist would be a bit more optimistic about whether or not you can overcome a stammering problem?

When you consider how many people have overcome their stammering problem, it makes you wonder why professionals like speech therapists are making such statements. But knowing that it is possible to learn how to overcome stammering should bolster your courage to ignore these unfounded "professional" statements and seek a solution to this speech impediment.

But, just how easy is it to learn how to get stammering? Is there a basis in fact to these therapists' negative thoughts? Up front, you should know that the solution does not present itself overnight, that there is a tough road ahead. But, it is a doable task. For the most part, it involves a lot of practice getting used to the techniques that you would need to learn.

The idea is to practice a new way of speaking that would ever become a natural part of your everyday speech. The nice thing is that people who suffer from a stammering problem are not too bothered by the fact that there will be some work involved. This is probably because the end result of all that hard work will change their lives.

How long does it take? How many countless hours must you toil, drenched in blood, sweat and tears until you finally achieve the results you are looking forward to? The answer to that is as different as there are people with stammering problems. Each person is different, and will work at and respond to the learned techniques differently. If you go by the surprises, you are looking at around three months of putting the nose … or the voice … to the grindstone.

While being faced with meeting new people can make someone who suffers from a stammering problem nervous, thereby making the stammering worsen, there are many former stammerers who have learned how to overcome stammering and are willing to teach others. This makes current stammerers less nervous.

There are also other ways to learn how to bypass stammering. All involve the stammerers working by themselves, so the issue of nervousness would never come up. All over the place, there are CD courses, audio streams, ebooks and DVDs. Any of these ways will make the stammerer comfortable enough to be able to apply what they are learning.

Do a Google search; look for anything involved learning how to bypass stammering. You are sure to find numerous sources willing to provide you with the help you need. The rest is up to you.

The Gift of Pain

Some time ago I found myself fascinated reading the biography of Dr. Paul Wilson Brand (1914-2003). A world-renowned, extraordinary, gifted Orthopedic Surgeon who unraveled the riddle of leprosy which has plagued the world for centuries.

The son of missionary parents, Dr. Brand spent his early years in the mountains of southwest India. Dr. Paul Brand did not set out to become a doctor. Initially he refused to follow in his father’s footsteps and study medicine, and he trained as a carpenter and builder. This skill he later used in a remarkable way – teaching leprosy-affected people with damaged, insensitive hands how to do carpentry and woodwork without further injuring their fingers and hands. It was in India that Dr. Brand first came across “leprosy beggars”, deformed, blind and crippled by the disease. Deeply affected by the acute anguish and isolation of people afflicted with leprosy, he began to ask the tough questions: “Do the hands and feet of leprosy-affected people just fall off? What causes the terrible deformities of leprosy? Can anything be done to prevent them or restore the damage?”

Very little was known about the true cause of leprosy deformities. It was generally believed that the hands and feet of infected people simply disintegrated or rotted away as a direct result of the disease. A senior colleague, Dr. Robert Cochrane, challenged Dr. Paul Brand to use his skills as an orthopedic surgeon to find out why people with leprosy developed deformed hands, and to try to find an effective treatment. Dr. Brand drew on experience he had gained during WWII with polio-paralyzed and war-injured hands. He undertook extensive research on damaged hands to test muscle strength and sensation. There were many obstacles to overcome – not the least being prejudice and resistance to using surgical skills on people with leprosy, and allowing them access to hospital care. Through his research in South India, Dr. Brand changed forever the world’s perceptions and treatments of leprosy-affected people.

First, he pioneered the startling idea that the loss of fingers and toes in leprosy was due entirely to infection and was thus preventable.

Second, because leprosy as an infection attacks chiefly the nervous system, resultant tissue abuse occurs and the patient loses the warnings of pain. This was a total new idea!

Dr. Paul Brand actually discovered the gift of physical pain, claiming that because leprosy destroyed the sensation of pain in affected parts of the body, pain-deprived people inadvertently injured, destroyed themselves or lost limbs and body parts. He once watched horrified as a person with leprosy reached directly into a charcoal fire to retrieve a potato someone had dropped. He saw one man hard at work in the garden, oblivious to blood running down his hand; Dr. Brand examined the shovel and found a nail protruding just at the spot his hand had been gripping. Foot injuries were easy to explain. If an ankle turned, tearing tendon and muscle, the leprosy patient would simply adjust and walk with a crooked gait. No warning system of pain announced the need to rest the ankle or seek treatment. Dr. Brand discovered that rats and animals would come into the open-air wards at night while his patients slept and caused injury to their body limbs… The patients slept through it all! Later on Dr. Brand was able to connect his research to the most advanced cases of diabetes where people loose sensitivity to pain!

Dr. Brand’s biography made a profound impact on the way I think about pain. Never before, in my wildest imagination I thought I could actually call PAIN a gift… Never before, I understood what the “Hell of painlessness” must be like! What happens to the soul of a person that disconnects from pain through drugs? What is the “painless” behavior like?

Our American culture predisposes us to avoid pain, run away from pain and deny pain at almost any cost. We simply hate pain! Don’t we? We don’t know what to do with someone in pain. We institutionalize that person as soon as possible or avoid them altogether! Yet, pain is a sign of life! Physical pain is a sign of life. Emotional pain is a sign of emotional life.

During the last few months I have experienced the most intense, excruciating emotional pain of my entire life. It doesn’t matter what the source of my pain is for the purpose of this article.

Here is what I have learned about the “gift of pain” in the agony of my own soul:

1. Emotional pain can be a gift from God.

My goodness! If anything, emotional pain has just reminded me how alive I am! How I experience loss says a lot about me! I have often been reminded during these last few months that my intense pain is not abnormal. It simply mirrored back to me the fact that I am a good guy, a passionate guy, a guy with intense feelings about certain things. A guy who cares! Nothing wrong with that. The absence of pain would have meant one of two things. Either, I don’t have a heart or I may have been “drugging” myself to make it through.

2. Whenever I deny initial emotional pain I will most likely lose parts of myself.

Under the influence of “numbing” experiences (drugs, alcohol, entertainment, sex, distractions, etc) I will slowly lose parts of myself I may never recover ever again or may have to be re-constructed in a long period of time. I have faced pain in the past, and I have “run” away from it. In attempting to “numb” my pain, though, looking back, I see how I betrayed people, lost their trust and hurt many innocent people. Some of them will never trust me again! I have had to learn to live with that! This time I chose to experience the fullness of my pain and let it speak to me! The difference? Weeks of excruciating pain while remaining totally alive. The best spiritual experience I have had in ten over years. Perhaps my entire life. Amazing!

3. When emotional pain occurs one can not succumb to those who are not able to deal with their own pain.

I was very careful not to share my pain with people that would tell me, “Well, let me help you alleviate your pain.” Or, “Come on, Harold, move on.” Or, “Harold, you’ll be ok!.” Or, “Harold, you don’t need this BS, anyway!” Or, “Harold, you are a good guy, you don’t deserve that!” Or, worst yet, “Harold, you are hurting, uh? Well, you did it to yourself. You are “one penny too short and one minute too late. Face it up boy!” (Ouch!)

I kept saying to myself, “I will only call or talk to friends that will allow me to experience my pain fully.” I have those friends, and those are the ones I went to. Friends who let me cry. Friends who were OK with my hurt. Friends who did not help me to run away. Friends who did not assist me in alleviating what I was feeling. Those friends are the ones who know that pain can cleanse the soul! It worked! Healing happens faster when you handle pain the smart way!

4. Excruciating emotional pain led me to God.

Pain served a purpose and it led me to the deepest experience of God I have had in my entire life. My mind is fresh and clean. The fear is gone. God did it for me! And those of you who know me, also know I am not a religious guy at all.

5. The gift of pain changed my perception of many people around.

Suddenly I found myself reconnecting with people I had avoided because their pain was too much for me to handle. Suddenly I discovered in them fellow pilgrims! They understood me! Some wonderful things happened regarding relationships in the last few months!

6. The gift of pain reminded me that the most important thing in life is people and relationships.

No money, no prestige, no reputation could have ever alleviated my pain. No temporary success would have done what pain did. No quick “fix” would have dealt with the real issues. It’s like with our bodies. There is so much Tylenol you can take to calm your headache before you begin to wonder what’s really wrong with your head, right? There is so much running away from people you dislike you can do, before you look at yourself in the mirror and wonder what’s going on deep, deep, inside your soul? How many people are you going to hurt in revenge before you realize you’ve got a problem yourself? How many people are you going to blame for your misfortune in life before you realize no one controls your destiny but yourself? How many times can someone numb himself with money, religion, power, work, success before one realizes one needs people and deep abiding relationships?

The gift of pain…

I chose to celebrate pain without knowing what I was doing.

It did not make me better than anyone else. It just turned the light switch back on in my soul and I saw what I never saw before! That’s it!

Looking back, all I would have had to do to experience “painless hell” (emotional leprosy) would have been to run away, get people who would help me alleviate my pain, get busy with life, ignore God, get busy and keep moving on to the next thing. Like on a treadmill! Even go to therapy to obtain a good doses of “analysis paralysis.” (Very often we avoid pain by analysis) The drumbeat of “painless hell” is move on, move, move on, keep going! Don’t stop to think! For thinking is the beginning of pain.

The gift of pain…

Tears of pain cleansed my soul.

Pain made me alive again.

The gift of pain made me see the stars again.

The gift of pain reconnected me with the people I love the most.

The gift of pain made me see our seductive culture of denial with disgust not wanting to be a part of it while helping others get in touch with their pain.

The gift of pain reminded me how alive I am and how good my heart is!

Today, I thank God for the gift of pain.

I know it will protect me from losing what’s most special to me!

The story of the Bible on how Christ healed leprosy has a new meaning for me now. When Christ healed leprosy in the ancient times he actually healed people from the “hell of painlessness” He gave them back the GIFT OF PAIN! They were able to hurt again! Wooww!

The same is true today!

Pain protects us from self-destruction. Imagine how much better our world would be if we would allow pain to transform us into sensitive, compassionate, loving people. If we would allow pain to resolve issues that hurt us and others.

Instead of running away from pain, embrace it! Pain will direct you to God and to others with whom you will connect in the most meaningful way. Pain is one of the most intense expressions of life!