Dive in and Learn Swim Strokes Today

Swimming is a great sport to learn and it has been touted as one of the most rewarding sports there is for all age ranges. The benefits of swimming has been well documented over the past years. Firstly, it is a great cardio vascular exercise. Unlike running, it is low impact and does not wear down the ligaments. If anything else, swimming and their accompanying strokes are actually good for the ligaments and other parts of the body, including the joints. Also, it is a great bronchiatal exerciser. Swimming is great for the lungs, especially with its heavy reliance on breathing techniques to get proper coverage in the water.

Lungs are much more exercised and much healthier when treated with a good dose of regular swimming. Asthmatic patients and people with breathing difficulties have been touting the use of swimming as excellent breathing therapy to strengthen the lungs and improve their condition. Also, swimming is a great way to get some physical exercise in. It is a total body workout, all the way from the upper body to the legs. It works out the arms, especially the shoulders, the back and the legs, giving you that nice V shaped body that most people are pining for. Also, with swimming, anyone can benefit from its physical workout. It is an easy sport; so easy in fact that even infants and the elderly can swim and benefit from it. It all boils down to its low impact nature and the soothing effect that the water has over the body.

The combination of both ensures that there are almost no room for injuries and that proponents of swimming can in fact attack its very exercise at what ever pace that makes them comfortable. Also, water resistance is greater than air resistance, so there is more of a workout if one were to run for instance. It is also a great way to stimulate blood circulation through the body. There have been rumors that swimming is the 'true' fountain of youth.

With its combination of cardio vascular exercise, muscle building, circulatory benefits and calorie burning effect combined with the ease of its nature (so that even the elderly can enjoy its benefits, as mentioned earlier in the article), swimming is a great way to retain the youthful glow and maintain a body that looks younger than ever. Also, swimming is great for people who have problems with high body temperature and can not sweat due to certain skin conditions.

The cool temperature of the water ensures that the body is kept within acceptable limits, so even after a grueling 5 mile swim, you feel refreshed and energetic as always. These are just some of the reasons why you should dive in and learn swim strokes today. The benefits of the sport is immense, and if you have problems with normal physical activities like running for any reason, then this is the best alternative to have to ensure that your health lifestyle remains in check.

A Summary About Hair Loss – DHT and Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic Alopecia is the most common form of thinning hair in men, but is also a surprisingly common cause of female hair loss. Often known as Male Pattern Baldness, it results when:

1. Hair loss occurs at an abnormally high rate;
2. Hair replacement occurs at an abnormally slow rate;
3. Normal hairs are replaced by smaller, thinner hairs, called "miniaturization"

Androgenetic Alopecia affects approximately 30% of men before they reach the age of 30, and 50% of males over the age of 50. More surprisingly, it also affects 40% of women over the age of 50.

The causes of Androgenetic Alopecia are still not fully understood, although as its name suggests, it is widely thought to involve both hormonal (Androgens are hormones) and genetic causes. Of the many hormones that regulate hair on the scalp, Androgens have the largest effect.

Of the androgenic hormones, Testosterone and Dihdrotestosterone (DHT) have the greatest effect on hair loss. Testosterone is converted to DHT by enzymes all over the body, but there are high concentrations of these enzymes in the scalp, and especially inside the hair follicle. DHT is the active form of testosterone that interacts with your body's signaling pathways. In hair loss, DHT stimulates the mechanism that stops hair growth, and begins the hair's Catagen and Telogen Phases.

The genetic aspect of this may be twofold. Firstly there is evidence that some populations have higher basal concenrations of DHT, they simply have more naturally. This, like many hormonal differences, is probably genetically inherited. Also, there is a theory that a set of genes could make some people's hair follicles more sensitive to DHT. This means some people react more strongly to increase in DHT, and lose hair, while others do not from lose hair the same change in hormone level. However, even if you are genetically predisposed to thinning hair, there is no guarantee you will have it, in the same way that people in families with thinning hair often do not suffer from it.

Many women find that the hair on their head is thinning during menopause or pregnancy – this is due to changes in the levels of the hormone DHT in the scalp. Thinning hair in women is often referred to as hormonal hair loss rather than Androgenetic alopecia, but they are in fact the same condition.

In men, DHT is very important for reaching maturity; it is DHT that causes body and facial hair to begin growing. Later in life however, these same Androgens (primarily DHT) are responsible for the reduction in size of the follicles in the scalp.

The longer the hair follicle is kept in the presence of DHT, the more miniaturized the follicle becomes. Miniaturisation is caused by the shortening of the Anagen or growth phase, and is when the hair itself becomes shorter and thinner. DHT also increases the rate of hair loss by signaling to the hair to reach Telogen phase sooner, so more hair is lost is well; these factors combined give noticeable thinning hair.

If treatment is not administrated, this process continues, the follicles progressively become shorter and less visible, and some will eventually close completely and stop growing.

DHT is integral to the majority of androgenetic alopecia sufferer's problems. So it is clear that any hair loss treatment should begin by removing DHT or relieving the effects of DHT. There are many products available to inhibit DHT formation, the prescription option Finasteride is very effective, but unfortunately there is a wide variety of severe side effects, and can not be used by women. There are a variety of alternatives to Finasteride available; some like saw palmetto also prevent DHT production, and some like Minoxidil or Superoxide Dismutases work in a different way to reverse the effects of DHT.

Glaucoma Specialist – How to Choose the Right One

Glaucoma is an eye disease associated with increased pressure in the eyeball that can cause gradual loss of sight. The pressure on the eyeball is caused by a backup of fluid which can damage the optic nerve over time. This is the second leading cause of blindness in America. Detecting the disease in its early stages is crucial to stopping it before major damage occurs. The only way to detect glaucoma is to have a yearly comprehensive eye exam on a regular basis. If you have been diagnosed with this disease by your eye doctor of family doctor, they may refer you to a glaucoma specialist for further tests and treatment.

Becoming a glaucoma specialist usually requires an extra year two of training after residency as an ophthalmologist. There are many ophthalmologists who specialize in glaucoma either because of personal interest or because they have a lot of patients with glaucoma. A glaucoma specialist sees patients that are at different stages of the disease. They see people who come in for consultations, those who are going through treatments and those that have already had surgery and are in need of post-op care. It is important to work with the patients to determine their specific needs and make them feel comfortable and well cared for. The first step in treating glaucoma including is with eye drops and or prescription pills. If the condition worsens, laser surgery or traditional surgical procedures may be required to prevent vision loss.

Successful glaucoma specialists are constantly researching and keeping up with the latest information and technology related to glaucoma treatment. There are new studies completed and published in various medical reports that influence the latest procedures for glaucoma care.

Doctors also share information by consulting with each other on difficult or challenging cases.

Choosing a glaucoma specialist is a lot like choosing another other doctor; you have to do your research. The internet can provide a lot of information as current and present patients like to share their experiences. Be mindful of the number of treatments a doctor has completed since the more procedures a surgeon perform, the more skilled he will become in the treatment. Insurance companies may be able to provide information on the number of procedures a doctor has completed. Various doctors may recommend different medications or therapies, so discuss your options with each person and determine which methods are most comfortable for you.

Pituitary tumor Treatment Through Surgery

Disorders of the anterior pituitary gland and the posterior pituitary gland are usually associated with excess or deficient hormone synthesis and secretion. Tumors of the anterior pituitary gland are mutually common contracting a small percentage of all brain tumors. In autopsies done, when the cause of death is not limited to any group of diagnoses, almost one third of those examined have small pituitary tumors.

Predisposing factors are uncommon. Persons with untreated hypofunction of end organs such as the gonads, adrenals or thyroid may be at risk. They may develop hyperplasia initially and then autonomously functioning tissue that secretes the stimulating hormone for the hypofunctional gland. Long term malnutrition, particularly if it is severe, can cause excess growth hormone secretion. These events are logical exit of the negative feedback system, in which the pituitary gland attempts in vain to restore homeostasis by ever-increasing hormone production.

Malignant tumor symptoms include neurological findings like headache caused by pressure on the dura. These nonspecific headings are inconsistent in regard to location and degree of relief from analgesics. The pain is usually dull, unaffected by position, and not accompanied by nausea and visual changes. Sudden relief may accompan Rupture of the dura. With significant escalation, pressure may be applied to the optic chiasm causing bitemporal hemianopsia or loss of vision from the outer or lateral half of each eye. Papilledema may also be a finding. If the tumor becomes large enough to cause pressure on the hypothalamus, unstable body temperature, excessive appetite and psychiatric disorders may develop.

Most patients with pituitary tumors will undergo tumor treatment like surgery, radiation therapy or both. A transsphenoidal hypophysectomy is the removal of a portion or the entire anterior pituitary gland using a route through the sphenoid sinus. It is preferred approach for most anterior pituitary tumors because it eliminates manipulation of the brain substance that occurs with previously used frontal craniotomy approach and there is no visible scar.

The incision is made at the base of the upper lip where it joins the gum. After the floor of the sella tursica is exposed, the dura mater over the pituitary gland is opened and the tumor is removed. A small piece of fascia and muscle obtained from the thigh of the patient is used to secure a tight seal at the floor of the sella tursica and prevent cerebrospinal fluid.

The sphenoid sinus is not packed. The nostrils are packed with vaseline gauze to facilitate proper reapproximation of the nasal mucosa. Nasopharyngeal airways may be placed prior to packing to allow the patient to breathe through the nose during the immediate postoperative period. The nasal packing is usually removed 2 days after surgery.

Alterations in pituitary function after pituitary surgery will vary according to the preoperative hormone dysfunctions of the patient, amount of pituitary tissue damaged or removed, and extent of postoperative edema in the region of the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Cortisol may need to be replaced at levels associated with major stressors during surgery. Surgery is an effective pituitary tumor treatment. It is one of the methods that patients and the medical team decide to do.

How to Treat a Wound With Homeopathic Medicines

Learning how to treat a wound with homeopathic medicines can be quite straight forward. First, a wound can become infected quite easily. The use of the most appropriate homeopathic medicine will prevent any infection from occurring. It will also clear up an existing infection. The tissue of the wound are damaged and they need the best support to facilitating healing.

The homeopathic medicine Calendula can be effectively used both as an internal healing medicine as well as topically. This is unlike a close relative, Arnica. Arnica must never be applied topically to an open wound as it will cause irritation. To prevent that mistake, it is better not to have any Arnica cream or other topical treatment. Use it internally and it will do just as good a job, better in most cases.

However, the topical use of Calendula will compliment its internal use. If you only have Calendula as an internal medicine, then you can make a solution by putting one pillule in a container of clean, preferably filtered or spring water. This can then be used to wash the wound gently, or to spray into it, if it is too sensitive to clean.

This can also be used to soak the dressing before applying to the wound. Wounds heal better when exposed to the open air, so only cover it with a dressing as long as you need to, sometimes to protect it from further damage or from leaking onto your bedding.

Keep taking the Calendula for several days, to ensure the fastest healing of the wound. Other homeopathic medicines may be needed to complete the healing of damaged nerves and bones. But for a wounded, it's hard to better Calendula.

Swine Flu Precautionary and Prevention Steps

WHO authorities have benefited from the previous bout of H5N1 virus (Avian flu) by way of being prepared to combat the current strain of the Swine flu. Countries have developed better strategies of suppressing the spread of the virus, such as limiting public gatherings, airport thermal-screening of passengers arriving from selected countries and the temporary closing of schools. Several airlines have upgraded their air filters and sanitizing methods and are more diligent in changing used blankets, pillow and headsets.

In some countries, health officials are taking into consideration launching more extreme measures such as health screening in schools, kindergartens and institutions of higher learning. To date, airport screenings (including obtaining throats swabs from passengers from infected countries) have proved to be helpful. Those who display flu-like symptoms are advised not to shake hands and to wear a mask to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.

Treatments

The current drug used for treating the Swine flu virus is Relenza. Health authorities in infected countries are advised to use these drugs to treat only the hospitalized and seriously ill to avoid a case of short supply. Vaccination is one of the best methods to protect people from getting infected by the regular influenza virus. Currently, WHO has requested for the production of a seasonal Swine flu vaccine, similar to other mass-produced seasonal vaccines. Since it has taken such a short time to declare the Swine flu a pandemic, WHO will now be pressured to switch the current production of a seasonal vaccine to a pandemic vaccine, even if halting the seasonal vaccine immediately would not enable the swift manufacturing of the pandemic vaccine.

Further Prevention

1. Reduce travel to infected countries.

2. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

4. Keep surfaces on chairs, tables, wall and floors (including bed linens, kitchen utensils and counters) in all
rooms in your home spotless and sterile.

5. Toys should be disinfected regularly with a mild and effective detergent, which will not cause any skin
reactions or allergies.

6. Improve ventilation of frequently used rooms.

7. Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing using a tissue or other disposable materials. After
immediately disposing the materials, wash hands with water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

8. Masks should cover both mouth and nose and should leave no gaps between the mask and face. Do not re-use masks and wash your hands every time a mask is discarded.

9. Keep food clean and separate raw and cooked food. Food should be cooked thoroughly. Keep food at safe
temperatures. Use safe and clean water on raw ingredients.

If you follow the precautionary and prevention steps give, you should minimize the risk of being infected by Swine flu.

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.

Alopecia Barbae – Alopecia Treatment

For some men, growing facial hair is one of the proofs of masculinity and domination. Some actually allow their mustaches and bears to grow inches long for the sake of heritage and being proud. Unfortunately, some men are affected by a condition in which facial hair such as moustache and bear fall out and fail to re-grow. Alopecia barbae is also a type of hair loss, the only difference is that it only affects facial hair, and obviously, males (although some females are affected by this condition, it only combines to a small amount of the population). Beards and moustaches are not the only ones which can fall out from a person with this condition. Eyebrows and eyelashes can also fail to grow again after falling off. Because of this, several alopecia treatment products had been developed to hopefully cure this condition.

There are several factors which allegedly cause alopecia barbae, but scientists are still unable to pinpoint the exact root cause of this condition despite modern technology. Theories considering the causes of alopecia majorly revolve around genetics and hormonal imbalance. Genetics play a big role because it has been observed that people with family members having alopecia of any kind has a higher percentage of acquiring the condition at some point in their lives compared to those without. Another thing is that the imbalance brought about by the rush or lack of a specific hormone in the body can also cause changes in the amount of hair in the body. According to some experiments done in the last 3 years, some people have hair follicles which are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in hormones, especially androgen. One specific androgen, known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT is thought to play the most critical part in all kinds of alopecia, especially androgenetic alopecia. According to another point of view, hair growth is also determined by the amount of blood circulation in the near skin surface. Should the blood circulation gets compromised, hair loss will follow because hair follicles can not produce and re-grow hair due to lack of nutrients and oxygen thought about by the blood. Because of this, pharmaceutical experts in different companies have developed several alopecia treatment modalities which are directed against the cause of this condition.

Since alopecia barbae affects only facial hair, it has the tendency to cause insecurity and anxiety among those who have it. It can also be a cause for ridicule and jokes which affects a person's ego and social life. However, there are natural and affordable alopecia treatment methods which can help solve these problems. Coffee, for instance can help resolve this problem due to its caffeine content which stimulates circulation of the blood into smaller blood vessels, especially near the skin surface, where the hair follicles are located. Products containing minodixil can also help treat alopecia. It helps dilate old and constricted blood vessels leading to improved blood flow. These products are generally affordable and are readily available in your local drugstores. Alopecia is a condition which can affect anyone. A simple gesture of acceptance will help greatly help a person with this condition.

Cure Ear Infections Using These Natural Remedies

The official medical term for ear infection is otitis media. The word otitis means inflammation and media means middle, as the infection occurs in the middle ear. Children and babies are more likely to suffer from ear infections than adults. More often than not it should clear up on its on in just a few days.

What Are The Causes of Ear Infection?

Ear infections are more common in babies and youngger children because the Eustachian tubes (the narrow passage way that connects the middle ear to the nose) are narrower than an adult or older child's and, therefore, is easily blocked by fluid in the ear. They are also most likely to occur during a cold.

The swelling of the adenoids is another cause. The adenoids are located in the upper throat near the Eustachian tubes. When the adenoids become infected they become enlarged causing blockage of the Eustachian tubes which can cause infection.

Because the immune systems of small children and babies are not fully developed, they are more susceptible to ear infections.

Children exposed to cigarette smoke or other pollutants are at higher risk as well.

It is possible that cold air may also be a factor as ear infections occur more frequently in winter.

A cause for recurrent ear infections that may be overlooked is the medications given to your child for ear infections, colds and flues, such as aspirin, decongestants, Tylenol, antibiotics or other drugs.

Another cause may be airborne and food allergies.

Ear Infection Natural Cures

Colloidal Silver – Colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic and can be used both internally and externally. You can put one drop of colloidal silver in the ear twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. You may notice improvement in just one hour. If you want to use colloidal silver internally, just follow the instructions on the bottle. It is also available as a spray and can be sprayed into the nostrils to clear up the nasal passes.

Tea Tree Oil – You will need to use warm tea tree oil and olive oil. Put five to ten drops of tea tree oil into a tablespoon of olive oil and mix. Using a dropper put 2 to 3 drops in the infected ear twice a day.

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) – Buy grapefruit seed extract in liquid form. Put 3-5 drops of GSE in 1 oz. of glycerin or alcohol or both and stir well. Put 1-2 drops in the infected ear 1-2 times daily. Absolutely do not use GSE full strength in the ears as it is too strong.

Boosting the immune system will also help in stopping ear infections from recycling.

Helpful Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Avoid processed or packaged foods. Feed your child a healthy diet with lots of whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, whole grains, meat, etc.

Healthy fats such as flax seed oil, primrose oil, olive oil, borage seed oil, fish oil, coconut oil and organic butter boost the immune system and improve overall health. Absolutely stay away from hydrogenated oils found in deep fried foods, margarine, vegetable oils, peanut oil and soybean oil.

Your child's diet should be as sugar free as possible. Various studies have shown that sugar suppress the immune system significantly.

Find out if your child has any food allergies and remove them from their diet.

Keep your child away from cigarette smoke and other air pollutants such as air fresheners and chemically based perfumes, colognes, cleaning supplies, etc.

Most ear infections will heal by themselves and do not usually need antibiotics, but here are some warning signs you should watch out for: a high fever, stiff neck, listlessness and abnormal mental function. Take your child to a doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

What is an Antitoxin?

A toxin is a poison produced in our bodies by germs or bacteria that cause certain kinds of disease. An antitoxin is something that works against this kind of poison. Diphtheria, cholera, scarlet fever and tetanus (lockjaw) are among the diseases caused by toxins produced by germs. Our bodies manufacture sources to fight off these toxins and make them harmless. These substances are called antitoxins. Enough antitoxin is usually manufactured by our bodies when we have a mild case of a disease that is caused by a toxin.

Sometimes there is too much toxin present and our bodies need help. Doctors give this help by injecting antitoxin into us when we need it. The antitoxin comes from the blood of an animal that has been given the disease. The animal is ill for a short time and soon recovers. After recovery the animal's blood contains a large amount of antitoxin. The antitoxins taken from the blood of such an animal are used to help people who have that particular disease. Diphtheria germs are injected into horses. The horses' bodies build up antitoxins to fight off the diphtheria toxin.

The antitoxins in their blood are injected into people who have diphtheria, and also to help people avoid catching diphtheria. A person who has received an injection of antitoxin will rarely catch the disease and be made sick by it. The antitoxin attacks the toxins of the disease as soon as they enter the body and renders them harmless before sickness sets in. The modern medical way of avoiding disease is to use something called toxin-antitoxin. The toxin injected into our bodies in this mixture makes it possible for our bodies to start manufacturing antitoxin. The antitoxin injected in this mixture makes sure that the toxin does not become so strong in our bodies that it will make us sick.

How to Help a Sore Throat With Herbs and Natural Treatments

A sore throat can make life unpleasant, whether you are an adult, or a parent caring for a child. Most sore throats respond well to natural treatments, potentially alleviating pain and discomfort, as well as reducing throat inflammation.

A sore throat is usually the result of inflammation, and can result in soreness extending from the back of the mouth to the middle of the throat. A sore throat is a symptom, not a condition on its own. The soreness arises from an undercoming inflammation or infection, and in some cases may need a visit to your doctor and some medication. The body responds to the infection by sending blood and white blood cells, causing redness, pain and swelling. Very uncomfortable!

Allergies, bacterial and viral infections can all cause a sore throat. The virus causing the infection and inflammation may actually be attacking the throat itself via the mucus membranes. Post-nasal drips further cause inflammation and discomfort. A strep throat will normally require a visit to the doctor and you may need antibiotics.

Viral infections develop over a few days, and are different to bacterial infections which can come on very quickly, sometimes in hours. Bacterial infections can cause quite severe pain and may include a fever.

Apart from a visit to a doctor for medications if required, and to rule out tonsillitis, some herbal treatments may help by strengthening your immune system, healing the inflamed tissues and lessening the pain.

Vitamin C can help the body fight upper respiratory infections which may cause colds. Anything up to 1000mg a day could help.

Vitamin A may help with healing the mucus membranes in the throat, and herbs such as echinacea and garlic are thought to have antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Zinc has long been thought to help the body's natural immune system, and to function as a natural antibiotic. Studies have shown zinc may shorten the length of time you have a sore throat.

A tea made of slippery elm or marshmallow root may make swallowing easier and relieve some of the pain from the sore throat. Slippery elm contains compounds which coat the throat, and is available in lozenge form from a drugstore, chemist or supermarket.

Gargling several times a day can help your sore throat heal. Warm salty water may be useful, as may a tea of ​​equal parts slippery elm, raspberry leaf, goldenseal and licorice in a cup of warm water.

Chair Massage – The Little Known Side Effects

Chair Massage (also called seated massage) was developed by American, David Palmer in the early 1980’s.

This 15 minute massage is performed with the recipient seated on, and supported by an ergonomically designed chair. Even though chair massage is used mainly for relaxation and stress release in the workplace environment, chair massage is also suitable for the pregnant woman who has difficulty lying in a suitable position on the massage table. The elderly and infirm can also benefit from seated massage.

An unexpected and uncommon side effect of seated massage can be nausea and fainting. This “fainting phenomenon” occurs with people (mainly women) who are predisposed to low blood pressure. Typical instances of clients fainting include Pregnant women, and Women experiencing menstruation Diabetics who have allowed their blood sugar level to drop can also be affected. Missing a meal or snack before their massage puts the diabetic person at risk of fainting on the chair. Sometimes a regular seated massage client can experience a ‘one-off’ fainting spell for no apparent reason. A person who has episodes of nausea or fainting may also be at risk of this side effect. For instance, a person who feels ‘queasy’ and nauseous when she gives blood. What then is the massage therapist to do?

During the intake interview the practitioner must inquire about the recipient’s blood pressure and any history of fainting. The therapist should always inform the client to report the slightest feeling of queasiness or nausea during the massage. If the client does faint on the chair, the therapist can either support the client to avoid any injury, or assist the unconscious person off the chair and raise his/her legs. Consciousness will soon return. There will be no ill effects from the experience once it passes. However, fainting can be a source of embarrassment for the client. The therapist needs to re-assure the person that fainting can indeed occur during a seated massage, but that there are no after effects.

It may be helpful to give a simple explanation of the fainting phenomenon. One of the well known benefits of massage is relaxation. When the body relaxes, blood pressure is lowered. When this occurs during a table massage, nothing happens until the client sits up after the massage. The client may feel a little ‘spaced out’ or ‘heady’. If the client gets off the table too quickly, that is when she may feel dizzy. However, during a seated massage, the effect of less blood flow to the brain is immediate. Dizziness and nausea may thus result.

In summary, then, it is essential that all seated massage practitioners are aware of the fainting phenomenon and take all steps to avoid it happening to their clients.

Vaccine Preventable Diseases – Diphtheria

This disease of colder months in temporary areas is practically non-existent in the US due to an aggressive vaccine program for the past several decades. We currently see less than 5 cases of respiratory diphtheria annually.

This dangerous respiratory disease is caused by a potent toxin produced by certain strains of the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria e.

Unlike tetanus, diphtheria is extremely contagious through coughing or sneezing. Risk factors include crowding, poor hygiene, and lack of immunization.

Symptoms usually appear within a week of infection. This infection is characterized by a sore throat, coughing and fever very similar to many common diseases like strep throat. Additional symptoms may be bloody, watery discharge from the nose and rapid breathing. However, a presumptive diagnosis can be made by observing a characteristic thick grayish patch (membrane) found in the throat. In more severe cases, neck swelling (see picture below) and airway obstruction may be observed. In the tropics, cutaneous and wound diphtheria is much more common and can be a source of transmission.

The real serious danger is when the toxin that is produced by the bacterium gets into the bloodstream and spreads to organs like the heart and nervous system. Myocarditis, congestive heart failure and neurological illnesses of paralysis that mimic Guillain-Barre syndrome are most severe. Even with treatment, fatalities are still seen in up to 10% of cases.

Diphtheria can be treated and cured successfully with antitoxin and antibiotics if started early enough.

Although rarely seen in this country, it is still seen frequently in many parts of the world; including the Caribbean, Latin America and it is considered a re-emerging problem in parts of Russia. So ensuring your diphtheria vaccination is up to date is of importance prior to foreign travel.

The prevention of diphtheria is through infection. The vaccination schedule is the same as for tetanus (see previous article). Immunity does wane after a period of time and re-vaccination should be done at least every 10 years.

Although now a rare disease in the United States, foreign travel is still a risk factor for Americans and up to date vaccination is critical in preventing this disease.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Deafness and reduced or absent hearing can be congenital, meaning a child is born with reduced ability to hear. This can range from mild to severe. Severe hearing loss often requires the use of sign language and is beyond the use of a hearing aid. Babies with hearing problems often show delayed development, especially in speech and cognition.

For many people problems with hearing are familiar, meaning that they develop sometimes in life after birth. Sometimes it is hard to find the reason or reasons for an individual's hearing loss. For some people the loss is minimal and for others it is more severe.

There are two main causes for acquired hearing loss and deafness in patients. There are more specific causes within each general category.

Sensor neural hearing loss is quite common. In this type of problem there is damage to nerve transmission of sound somewhere along the pathway from within the inner ear to the brain. It is often called 'nerve deafness'. In the cochlea, which is in the inner ear, there are hair cells that transmit sound impulses to the brain through nerves. Any nerve injury that interferees with this information transfer from the hair cells of the inner ear to the auditory nerve that conducts from the inner ear to the brain causes sensor neural hearing loss.

Some examples of this type of problem include:

Aging – Older people often lose cochlear hair cells which is often responsible for decreased hearing in more senior adults. This can be mild or severe hearing loss. Sometimes the loss is sufficient enough to require a hearing aid.

Acoustic Trauma- This refers to having an injury of some kind to the nervous contracting mechanisms. Very loud noises can damage hair cells in the inner ear. This is why excessive volume for sound producing electronics is so dangerous to hearing. Also ear protection should be worn in noisy environments, such as working in a shop or during hunting.

Infections – Some infections can cause loss of hair cells ie mumps or meningitis. Sensor neural hearing loss does not always show up immediately but usually does not improve once it develops. That development can be gradual over many years, or it can be sudden and acute.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing loss is basically caused by obstruction in the outer or middle ear which prompts or inhibits sound passing to the inner ear. Many of these causes are acute and can be resolved.

This type can be caused by anything that interferes with the transmission of sound from the outer to the inner ear, such as;

Ear infections are common in children. Hearing typically returns to normal one the infection subsides.

When the ear behind the tympanic membrane (the middle ear) becomes filled with a sticky fluid, often resulting from many reoccurring ear infections, conductive (temporary) reduced hearing occurs, which typically resolves after the fluid is drained.

Wax build up in the ear canal can cause hearing loss, which usually resolves when the wax is removed.

Damage to the small bones in the ear (ossicles) or a perforated ear drum (a hole in the ear drum) can cause reduced hearing that can be permanent. These problems can cause sufficient permanent hearing loss. Some of these problems can improve with the use of a hearing aid. Hearing aids are a choice to help with some chronic hearing loss problems. There are many types and style available to suit most users needs, and can help improve the user's lifestyle. A professional can provide definitive advice about what is suitable for an individual's specific needs.

Vaccines – A Parent's Guide For Children

Vaccines contribute to significant reduction of childhood diseases such as Diptheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae type-b and Hepatitis B to name a few. Parents should take the time to learn the facts about the benefits and risks of vaccination.

Also, learn about the potential consequences of not vaccinating against certain diseases. As a service provider, plain language should be used in communicating information about vaccines and their use to an individual. Printed information should also be available to compliment any verbal explanations.

Parents should know that the risk of having a reaction to a vaccine is much smaller than the risk of serious illness that comes with infectious diseases. Some parents are surprised to learn that children can die of measles, chicken pox, whooping cough and other vaccine-preventable diseases. The bacteria or virus that causes vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exists and can be passed on to people who are not protected by vaccines.

In Australia and the United States of America, vaccine coverage rate is high as a result of successful vaccination programs. Infant deaths caused by childhood diseases have almost disappeared.

Vaccination not only protects individuals, but also others in the community, by increasing the general level of immunity and minimizing the spread of infection. Vaccines may contain live, (attenuated) or killed (inactivated) forms of disease causing bacteria or viruses. They trigger a response by the body's immune system when injected or given by mouth. Vaccines stimulate the body to make antibodies – proteins that specifically recognize and target the disease causing bacteria and viruses, and help eliminate them from the body. It is important that the public be made aware of the proven effectiveness of immunization to save lives and prevent serious illness.

Occupational Health and Safety have put in place strict guidelines for the development of vaccines. The vaccines are developed with the highest safety standards. Every Service Provider should have an anaphylaxis response kit ready at all times. Vaccine storage is strictly monitored in purpose-built refrigerators with a 24hour temperature monitoring gauge. Vaccines being transported from main storage facility to external clinics, use the cold chain transport system.

Diphtheria – Can infect the throat, causing a thick covering that can lead to problems with breathing, paralysis, or heart failure.

Tetanus (Lockjaw) – Caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. The bacteria are spread from the environment to open wounds where they can enter the blood stream. Toxins can cause muscle spasms, lockjaw, difficulty speaking / breathing, stiffness and pain in the shoulders, back and neck.

Whooping Cough – Is caused by a highly infectious bacterial spread by droplet and causing upper respiratory and lung infections. Symptoms include coughing and 'whooping'. Complications of the disease is lack of oxygen to the brain leading to brain damage and possible death.

Polio -Is caused by a virus, and symptoms of the disease include headache, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, neck and back stiffness and severe muscle pain. Polio can cause meningitis and paralysis.

Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) – Commonly found in the upper respiratory tract (lungs and windpipe), Hib can cause infection in children under 2 years, because they do not have the necessary antibodies to fight this infection. Hib infection can cause meningitis (an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord), epiglottitis (severe swelling of the throat), arthritis and pneumonia.

Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B can cause liver infections and damage, liver cancer and death. Symptoms include, weakness, tiredness, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort, pain, muscle and joint pain, skin rashes, jaundice.

Pneumococcal Infections – The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia, septiacaemia (blood infection), and middle ear and sinus infections. Symptoms can include vomiting, sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, poor appetite, confusion, irritability and drowsiness. May include fever, coughing and difficulty in breathing.

Varicella (Chickenpox) – chickenpox is a highly contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is a member of the herpes group of viruses. Symptoms can include a rash that turns into open itchy, lesions which will crust over. Complications can include skin infection of the lesions, scarring, pneumonia, difficulty walking and balancing, meningitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord), encephalitis (brain infection).

Measles – A highly infectious disease, measles is caused by the Morbillivirus. It is spread from person to person through droplets in the air. Measles is a respiratory infection that causes skin rash and flu-like symptoms. Also fever, cough, runny nose, and, inflammation of the eye are common symptoms. Complications of measles include ear, brain and lung infections, which can lead to brain damage and death.

Mumps – Caused by a virus, mumps is a salivary gland infection. the mumps virus is passed through air droplets and contact with the saliva of an infected person. Common symptoms include fever, headache and swollen glands, especially salivary glands. It can effect other glands such as the testicles. ovaries, pancreas, liver and brain. It can also cause sterility in some men, and lead to deafness in some people.

Rubella (German Measles) – Caused by a virus. this virus is spread from person to person through droplets in the air. It is an infection of the skin and lymph nodes. Symptoms can include rash, lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph glands), and joint pain which sometimes leads to arthritis. Rubella infection during pregnancy can lead to birth defects.

Meningococcal Infections – Caused by a number of different strains of the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, it is a serious disease. It is a leading cause of bacgterial meningitis in children 2 – 18 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It can also cause septicaemia, pneumonia, arthritis and conjunctivitis. Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion, irritability and drowsiness.

Rotavirus – Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children, causing around half of all hospitalized causes of gastroenteritis in children less than 5 years of age. This viral infection of the stomach and intestines can cause sever diarrhoea and vomiting, and fever, which may lead to serious dehydration. The illness can begin abruptly and up to one third of affected children have a temperature of higher than 390 C in the first few days of the illness.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection – Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name for a group of viruses that cause skin warts, genital warts and some cancers. Many different types of HPV can affect different parts of the body. HPV types that can cause genital warts or cervical cancer can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during all types of sexual activity with a person who has the virus. Symptoms of cervical cancer, including abnormal and precancerous vaginal and vulvar lesions, and genital warts in females ages 9 to 26. Gardasil is licensed for the prevention of cervical cancer.

All of the above are preventable childhood diseases. Common possible side effects from the vaccinations include soreness, redness, warmth and swelling at the injection site, fever, irritability, drowsiness, mild rash, loss of appetite, muscle aches, diarrhoea or vomiting.

You as the parent must tell your Health Care Provider beforehand if:

  • Your child has a known or weakened immune system,
  • is allergic to any of the ingredients of the vaccine, or
  • has ever had an allergic reaction after getting a dose of the vaccine.
  • Or if your child is moderately or severely ill or had a reaction to the antibotics neomycin, streptomycin, polymyxin B, gelatin, or eggs.

Vaccination recommended for routine childhood immunization is listed on the National Immunization Program (NIP) Schedule and funded for children under the Immunise Australia and USA Program.

Vaccination is an important step in getting children off to a healthy start and has contributed to a significant reduction in many childhood diseases. Children or adults can be re-vaccinated (with some, but not all vaccinations) if their immunity from the vaccines falls to a low level or if previous research has shown that a booster vaccination is required for long-term protection.

It's important to remember that vaccinations are many times safer than the diseases they prevent !!