Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Financial Must Do's for New Parents Having a Baby


That bundle of love is going to cost you plenty over a lifetime, so start planning now.


Preparing for parenthood isn’t just tiny clothes and heartwarming ultrasound photos; it involves a lot of financial preparation. This guide will lay out the most important financial tasks on your plate from pregnancy to baby’s first years, including:

Estimating your medical costs
Planning leave from your job
Budgeting for the new arrival

Some parenting preparations are best learned on the fly — how to effortlessly and painlessly change the messiest diapers, for instance. But the list of things to do before baby arrives and within his or her first several weeks is lengthy, so tackling certain tasks now is a smart idea.

Pre-Delivery Planning

1. Understand your health insurance and anticipate costs. Having a baby is expensive, even when you have health insurance. You should forecast your expected costs fairly early in the pregnancy. NerdWallet’s guide to making sense of your medical bills can help as you navigate prenatal care, labor and delivery, and the bills that will ultimately follow.

2. Plan for maternity/paternity leave. How much time you and your partner (if you have one) get off work and whether you’re paid during that period can significantly impact your household finances in the coming year. Understand your company’s policies and your state’s laws to get an accurate picture of how your maternity leave will affect your bottom line.

3. Draft your pre-baby budget. Once you know what you’ll be spending on out-of-pocket medical costs, understand how your income will be impacted in the coming months and have prepared a shopping list for your new addition, adjust your budget accordingly. Babies come with plenty of expenses, so set a limit on both necessary and optional buys (like that designer diaper bag or high-end stroller with the LCD control panel), and consider buying used to keep spending under control.


4. Plan your post-delivery budget. Recurring costs such as diapers, child care and extra food will change your household expenses for years to come. Plan for them now so you aren’t caught off guard.

5. Choose a pediatrician within your insurance network. Your baby’s first doctor appointment will come within her first week of life, so you’ll want to have a physician picked out. Talk to friends and family to get recommendations, call around to local clinics and ask to interview a pediatrician before you make your choice. In searching for the right doctor, don’t forget to double-check that he or she is within your insurance network. Ask the clinic, but verify by calling your insurance company so you’re not hit with unexpected out-of-network charges.

6. Start or check your emergency fund. If you don’t already have a “rainy day fund,” now’s the time to anticipate some emergencies. Kids are accident prone, and with the cost of raising a child there’s no telling if you’ll have the disposable income to pay for any unexpected expenses. Having at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses covered is a great place to start.

While in the Hospital

The main focus while you’re in the hospital is having a healthy baby. But there are a few loose ends that will need to be taken care of.

7. Order a birth certificate and Social Security card. Hospital staffers should provide you with the necessary paperwork to get your new child’s Social Security number and birth certificate. If they don’t or if you are having a home birth, contact your state’s office of vital records for the birth certificate and your local Social Security office to get a Social Security card.


Within Baby’s First 30 Days

8. Add your child to your health insurance. In most cases, you have 30 days from your child’s birth date to add him to an existing health insurance policy. In some employer-based plans, you have 60 days. Regardless, do it sooner rather than later, as you don’t want to be caught with a sick baby and no coverage.

9. Consider a life insurance policy on your child. No one expects the tragedy of losing a child, so many parents don’t plan for it. The rates are generally low because a child’s life insurance policy is used to cover funeral costs and little else. When it comes to covering children, a “term” policy that lasts until they are self-sufficient is the most popular choice.

10. Begin planning for child care. Finding the right day care or nanny can take weeks. Get started long before your maternity leave is over. You’ll need time to visit day care centers or interview nannies, as well as complete an application and approval process if required.

Beyond the First Month

You’ll be in this parenting role for years to come, so planning for the future is crucial. Estate planning is a big part of providing for your children, but it isn’t the only important forward-focused task to check off your list.

11. Adjust your beneficiaries. Assuming you already have life insurance for yourself or the main breadwinner in your household — and if you don’t, you should — you may want to add your child as a beneficiary. The same goes for your 401(k) and IRAs. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to make adjustments elsewhere to ensure when and how your child will have access to the money. A will and/or trust can accomplish this.

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12. Disability insurance. You’re far more likely to need disability insurance than life insurance. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage — enough to meet your expenses if you’re out of work for several months. Remember, your monthly living expenses have gone up since the new addition.

13. Write or adjust your will. Tragic things happen and you want to ensure your child is taken care of in the event that one or both parents die. Designate a guardian so the courts don’t have to. Your will is only one part of estate planning, but it’s a good place to begin.

14. Keep funding your retirement. When a child arrives, it’s easy to forget your personal goals and long-term plans in light of this huge responsibility. Stay on top of your retirement plans so your child doesn’t have to support you in old age.

15. Save for his or her education. College is costly, but you can make it more manageable by starting to save early.

Adding a new member to your family comes with a lengthy list of responsibilities, so don’t try to do them all at once. Prioritize and tackle the most important items on your financial to-do list first. Because medical bills and insurance claims will be some of the first financial obligations you’ll encounter while expecting, start there. Move on to budgeting for pregnancy and the first several months of your baby’s life.

With 18 or more years until your little one leaves home, time would seem to be on your side. But — as the saying goes — blink and he’s grown. Now is the time to start taking the steps that will set your family up for financial success.


NerdWallet  June 23, 2015                                                      Time Money


An Artificial Heart

Researchers’ Quest for an Artificial Heart

By Alex O’Brien | June 2, 2015 12:47 pm



The need to mend broken hearts has never been greater. In the USA alone, around 610,000 people die of heart disease each year. A significant number of those deaths could potentially have been prevented with a heart transplant but, unfortunately, there are simply too few hearts available.

In 1967 the South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first human heart transplant in Cape Town. It seemed like a starting gun had gone off; soon doctors all around the world were transplanting hearts.

The problem was that every single recipient died within a year of the operation. The patients’ immune systems were rejecting the foreign tissue. To overcome this, patients were given drugs to suppress their immune system. But, in a way, these early immunosuppressants were too effective: they weakened the immune system so much that the patients would eventually die of an infection. It seemed like medicine was back to square one.


Early Mechanisms

One solution that researchers have pursued since the late 1960s is an artificial heart. Perhaps the most influential device was kick-started by Willem Kolff, the physician-inventor who produced the first kidney dialysis machine. Kolff invited a fellow medical engineer, one Robert Jarvik, to work with him at the University of Utah, and the result was the Jarvik-7. Made up of two pumps, two air hoses and four valves, the Jarvik-7 was more than twice as big as a normal human heart and could only be implanted in the biggest patients – mainly adult men. It had wheels, was as big and heavy (although not as tall) as a standard household refrigerator, and was normally connected to sources of compressed air, vacuum and electricity.

In 1982, Jarvik and Kolff won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to use it in human patients and implanted it that same year. Their first patient was a 61-year-old dentist called Barney Clark, who lived on the Jarvik-7 for 112 days. A second patient was implanted in 1984 and died after 620 days. History records a total of five patients implanted with the Jarvik-7 for permanent use, all of whom died within 18 months of the surgery from infections or strokes.

The device has been tweaked and renamed many times; at the time of writing, it was the world’s only FDA-approved total-replacement artificial heart device used as a bridge-to-transplant for patients. Another widely used artificial heart, a direct descendent of the Jarvik-7, is the SynCardia. And in the early 2000s, Massachusetts-based company Abiomed unveiled a new heart that (unlike the SynCardia) was designed to be permanent – a total replacement heart for end-stage heart failure patients who were not candidates for transplant and couldn’t be helped by any other available treatment.

But all these versions of artificial heart devices, whether they are meant to support the heart or replace it completely, are trying to copy the functions of the heart, mimicking the natural blood flow. The result is what’s called a pulsatile pump, the flow of blood going into the body like a native heart, at the average of 80 spurts a minute needed to sustain life. That’s the cause of the gentle movement you feel when you put your fingers to your wrist or your chest – your pulse, which corresponds with the beating of your heart.

Today, scientists are working on a new wave of artificial hearts with one crucial difference: they don’t beat.
Pulseless Hearts

The Archimedes’ screw was an ancient apparatus used to raise water against gravity. Essentially, it is a screw in a hollow pipe; by placing the lower end in water and turning it, water is raised to the top. In 1976, during voluntary medical mission work in Egypt, cardiologist Dr. Richard K. Wampler saw men using one such device to pump water up a river bank. He was inspired. Perhaps, he thought, this principle could be applied to pumping blood.

The result was the Hemopump, a device as big as a pencil eraser. When the screw inside the pump spun, blood was pumped from the heart to the rest of the body. It was the world’s first ‘continuous flow’ pump: Rapidly spinning turbines create a flow like water running through a garden hose, meaning the blood flow is continuous from moment to moment.

Because of this, there is no ejection of the blood in spurts. There is no ‘heartbeat’. The patient’s own heart is still beating but the continuous flow from the device masks their pulse, meaning it is often undetectable at the wrist or neck.

And the Hemopump lives on in spirit of newer devices. Abiomed’s newest heart prototype, Impella, uses similar technology boosted by leaps in modern engineering. It has a motor so small it sits inside the device at the end of the catheter, rather than outside of the body. The Impella is the smallest heart pump in use today – it’s not much bigger than a pencil – and as of March 2015 has been approved by the FDA for clinical use, supporting the heart for up to six hours in cardiac surgeries.

Meanwhile, at the Texas Heart Institute, the HeartMate II is being developed. Like the Hemopump, it doesn’t replace the heart but rather works like a pair of crutches for it. About the size and weight of a small avocado, the HeartMate II is suitable for a wider range of patients than the SynCardia and has, on paper, a significantly longer lifespan – up to ten years. Since its FDA approval in January 2010, close to 20,000 people – including former US Vice President Dick Cheney – have received a HeartMate II, 20 of whom have been living with the device for more than eight years. All with an almost undetectable pulse.
The Future of Heart Transplants

I try to imagine a world full of people with no pulse. How, in such a future, would we determine if a person were alive or dead? “That is very easy,” says William (Billy) Cohn, a surgeon at the Texas Heart Institute, bringing my existential philosophizing to a halt. “When we pinch our thumb and it goes from pink to white and immediately back to pink, this means blood is flowing through the body. You can also tell if someone is still alive if they are still breathing.”

He admits that once more of these devices are implanted into patients we will need a standard method of determining such a person’s vitals. Cohn imagines them wearing bracelets or even having tattoos to alert people to their pulseless state.

I wonder how people will take to hearts that literally don’t beat. Perhaps it will be the same as when patients were offered the first heart transplants: resistance, followed by acceptance due to overwhelming need.

“Any new procedure is going to have critics,” says surgeon Denton Cooley. “On the day that Christiaan Barnard did the first heart transplant, the critics were almost as strong, or stronger, than the proponents of [artificial] heart transplantation,” he says. “A lot of mystery goes with the heart, and its function. But most of the critics, I thought, were ignorant, uninformed or just superstitious.”

Cooley performed the first US heart transplant in May 1968. And at 94 years old he still treasures the memory of the day, in 1969, when he implanted the first artificial heart into Haskell Karp and the “satisfaction that came from seeing that heart supporting that man’s life.”

“I had always thought that the heart has only one function, and that is to pump blood,” he says. “It’s a very simple organ in that regard.”

Image by Ociacia/ Shutterstock

This article originally appeared on Mosaic and appears here in edited form.


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Pregnancy By The Months

What Happens in the First Month of Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is divided into 3 trimesters. Each trimester is a little longer than 13 weeks. The first month marks the beginning of the first trimester.

Gestational Age
Pregnancy is measured using “gestational age.” Gestational age starts on the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period (LMP).

Gestational age can be confusing. Most people think of pregnancy as lasting nine months. And it’s true that a woman is pregnant for about nine months. But because pregnancy is measured from a woman’s last menstrual period — about 3-4 weeks before she is actually pregnant — a full-term pregnancy usually totals about 40 weeks from LMP — roughly 10 months.

Many women do not remember the exact date of their last menstrual period — that’s OK. The surest way to tell gestational age early in pregnancy is with ultrasound.

Weeks 1–2

These are the first two weeks of a woman’s menstrual cycle. She has her period.  About 2 weeks later, the egg that is most mature is released from the ovary — ovulation. Ovulation may happen earlier or later, depending on the length of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days.
After it is released, the egg travels down a fallopian tube toward the uterus. If the egg meets a sperm, they combine to form one cell. This is called fertilization. Fertilization is most likely to occur when a woman has unprotected vaginal intercourse during the 6 days that lead into ovulation.

Weeks 3–4

The fertilized egg moves down the fallopian tube and divides into more and more cells. It reaches the uterus about 3–4 days after fertilization. The dividing cells then form a ball that floats free in the uterus for about 2–3 days.
Pregnancy begins when the ball of cells attaches to the lining of the uterus. This is called implantation. It usually starts about 6 days after fertilization and takes about 3–4 days to be complete.
Pregnancy does not always occur. Up to half of all fertilized eggs pass out of women’s bodies during regular menstruation before implantation is complete.
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Learn more about how pregnancy happens.

A Woman’s First Signs of Pregnancy
For many women, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Most pregnancy tests will be positive by the time a woman has missed her period. Other early signs of pregnancy include fatigue, feeling bloated, frequent urination, mood swings, nausea, and tender or swollen breasts. Not all women have all of these symptoms, but it is common to have at least one of them. 

What Happens in the Second Month of Pregnancy?

EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT
The ball of cells develops into an embryo at the start of the sixth week. The embryonic stage of pregnancy will last about 5 weeks. During this time all major internal organs begin developing.

Weeks 5–6

  • The embryo is less than 1/5 inch (4–5 mm) long.
  • A very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop.
  • Buds for arms and legs develop.
  • The neural tube begins forming. The neural tube will later form the brain, spinal cord, and major nerves.
  • The bud of a tail develops.
  • The umbilical cord begins developing.
Pregnancy Week 6

Weeks 7–8

  • The embryo is 1/4 to 1/2 inch (7–14 mm) long.
  • The heart has formed.
  • Webbed fingers and toes develop.
  • The arms bend at elbows.
  • External ears, eyes, eyelids, liver, and upper lip have begun forming.
  • The sex organs are the same — neither female nor male — in all embryos until the seventh or eighth week. If a gene triggers the development of testes, the embryo develops as a male. If there is no trigger, the embryo develops ovaries and becomes female.
Pregnancy Week 8

PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS

The second month is often when pregnancy symptoms become very noticeable.  Common discomforts like breast tenderness, fatigue, frequent urination, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting usually get worse. A woman’s body produces extra blood during pregnancy, and her heart beats faster and harder than usual to carry the extra blood.

What Happens in the Third Month of Pregnancy?

FETAL DEVELOPMENT

Weeks 9–10

  • The embryo develops into a fetus after 10 weeks. It is 1–1.5 inches (21–40 mm) long.
  • The tail disappears.
  • Fingers and toes are longer.
  • The umbilical cord connects the abdomen of the fetus to the placenta.  The placenta is attached to the wall of the uterus. It absorbs nutrients from the woman’s bloodstream. The cord carries nutrients and oxygen to the fetus and takes wastes away from the fetus.
Pregnancy Week 10

Weeks 11–12

The fetus is now measured from the top of its head to its buttocks. This is called crown-rump length (CRL).
  • The fetus has a CRL of 2–3 inches (6–7.5 cm).
  • Fingers and toes are no longer webbed.
  • Bones begin hardening.
  • Skin and fingernails begin to grow.
  • Changes triggered by hormones begin to make external sex organs appear — female or male.
  • The fetus begins making spontaneous movements.
  • Kidneys start making urine.
  • Early sweat glands appear.
  • Eyelids are fused together.
Pregnancy Week 12

PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS

Many of the pregnancy symptoms from the first 2 months continue — and sometimes worsen — during the third month. This is especially true of nausea. A woman’s breasts continue growing and changing. The area around the nipple — the areola — may grow larger and darker. Women who are prone to acne may experience outbreaks.
Women do not usually gain much weight during the first 3 months of pregnancy — usually about 2 pounds. Women who are overweight or underweight may experience a different rate of weight gain. Talk with your health care provider about maintaining a healthy weight throughout pregnancy.

Miscarriage
Most early pregnancy loss — miscarriage — happens in the first trimester. About 15 percent of pregnancies result in early pregnancy loss during the first trimester.

Learn more about miscarriage.

What Happens in the Fourth Month of Pregnancy?

The fourth month marks the beginning of the second trimester.
FETAL DEVELOPMENT

Weeks 13–14

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 3 inches (8 cm).
  • The sex of the fetus can sometimes be seen by looking at external sex organs on an ultrasound.
  • Hair begins to grow.
  • The prostate gland begins developing in male fetuses.
  • Ovaries move down from the abdomen to the pelvic area in female fetuses.
  • The roof of the mouth is formed.
Pregnancy Week 14

Weeks 15–16

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 4.5 inches (12 cm).
  • Hundreds of thousands of eggs are forming in the ovaries in female fetuses.

PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS

Some of the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy begin to be relieved during the fourth month. Nausea is usually reduced. But other digestive problems — heartburn and constipation — may be troublesome. Breast changes — growth, soreness, and darkening of the areola — usually continue. It’s common for women to have shortness of breath or to breathe faster. Increased blood flow may lead to unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, such as bleeding gums, nosebleeds, or nasal stuffiness. Pregnant women also may feel dizzy or faint because of the changes to their blood and blood vessels.

What Happens in the Fifth Month of Pregnancy?

Weeks 17–18

  • The fetus has a CRL of 5.5–6 inches (14–15 cm).
Pregnancy Week 18

Weeks 19–20

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 6.5 inches (16 cm).  
  • Lanugo  — a fine downy hair — covers the body. 
  • The skin is also covered with vernix caseosa, a greasy material that protects the skin.
  • A uterus has formed in a female fetus.

PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS

Women usually feel fetal movements for the first time during the fifth month. It may feel like flutters or butterflies in the stomach. This is called quickening.
The pregnancy symptoms of the fourth month continue this month. Heartburn, constipation, breast changes, dizziness, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and gum bleeding are common. Breasts may be as much as 2 cup sizes bigger by this time.

What Happens in the Sixth Month of Pregnancy?

FETAL DEVELOPMENT

Weeks 21–22

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 7 inches (18–19 cm).
  • Bone marrow starts making blood cells.
  • Taste buds begin to form.
Pregnancy Week 22

Weeks 23–24

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 8 inches (20 cm).
  • Eyebrows and eyelashes usually develop between weeks 23 and 26.

PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS

Pregnancy symptoms from the fourth and fifth month usually continue. Shortness of breath may improve. Breasts may start producing colostrum — tiny drops of early milk. This may continue throughout pregnancy.
Some women have Braxton-Hicks contractions. They feel like a painless squeezing of the uterus or abdomen. This is the uterus’s way of practicing for labor and delivery. Braxton-Hicks contractions are normal and not a sign of preterm labor. But women should check with their health care providers if they have painful or frequent contractions or if they have any concerns.

What Happens in the Seventh Month of Pregnancy?

FETAL DEVELOPMENT

Weeks 25–26

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 9 inches (23 cm).
  • The fetus develops more and more fat from now until the end of pregnancy.

Week 27–28

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 10 inches (25 cm).
  • Eyelids are usually fused together until about 28 weeks.
Pregnancy Week 28
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS
A woman’s uterus continues expanding. Back pain is common. Pregnancy symptoms from earlier months continue. Dizziness may lessen.

What Happens in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy?

The eighth month marks the beginning of the third trimester.
FETAL DEVELOPMENT

Week 29–30

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 10.5 inches (27 cm).
  • Testes usually begin descending into the scrotum from the abdomen between weeks 30 and 34 in a male fetus. This is usually complete by 40 weeks.

Week 31–32

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 11 inches (28 cm).
  • Lanugo starts falling off.
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS
Women often start feeling tired and have a more difficult time breathing as the uterus expands up. They may get varicose veins — blue or red swollen veins most often in the legs — or hemorrhoids — varicose veins of the rectum. Hemorrhoids can be painful and itchy and cause bleeding. Women may also get stretch marks where skin has been expanded. Braxton-Hicks contractions, heartburn, and constipation may continue. Women may urinate a bit when sneezing or laughing because of pressure from the uterus on the bladder. Hormones may make hair appear fuller and healthier.

What Happens in the Ninth Month?

FETAL DEVELOPMENT

Week 33–34

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 12 inches (30 cm).
  • The eyes have developed enough for pupils to constrict and dilate when exposed to light.
  • Lanugo is nearly all gone.

Week 35–36

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 12.5 inches (32 cm).
  • The fetus is considerably fatter, and the skin is no longer wrinkled.
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS
The growing fetus places more and more strain on a pregnant woman’s body. Common pregnancy symptoms continue through the end of pregnancy, including fatigue, trouble sleeping, trouble holding urine, shortness of breath, varicose veins, and stretch marks. Some fetuses drop down into the lower part of the uterus during this month. This may relieve the woman’s constipation and heartburn that are common earlier in pregnancy. But some fetuses do not drop down until the very end of pregnancy.

What Happens in the Tenth Month?

FETAL DEVELOPMENT

Week 37–38

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 13–14 inches (34–36 cm).
  • The fetus has a firm grasp.

Week 39–40

Many women give birth around this time.
  • The average newborn weighs 7–8 lbs. and is between 18–22 inches (46–56 cm) long with legs extended.
  • Almost all of the vernix and lanugo are gone. It is common for newborns to have some lanugo that disappears over the first few months of life.
Pregnancy Week 40
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS
By the end of pregnancy, the uterus has expanded from a woman’s pelvis to the bottom of her rib cage. Pregnancy symptoms in the tenth month largely depend on when the fetus drops down into lower part of the uterus in the pelvis.
Shortness of breath, heartburn, and constipation usually improve when the fetus drops. But the position of the fetus lower in the pelvis causes frequent urination and trouble holding urine.
The cervix will begin to open — dilate — to prepare for delivery. This may happen a few weeks before delivery, or it might start when a woman goes into labor. A woman may feel sharp pains in her vagina as the cervix dilates.
After the newborn is delivered, the placenta and other tissues also come out of the woman’s body. This is called the afterbirth.
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Planned Parenthood

Are You Sleeping Correctly



#1 Decreased Performance


If you're not getting enough sleep you may notice that your performance during the day is not what it could and should be. Everything from work to physical activity is a struggle.



#2 Lack Of Alertness

Lack of proper sleep can affect metal alertness, making you foggy and not clear headed.


#3 Memory Impairment

When you sleep your brain reboots ... like a computer hard drive, cleaning out information and filing it. If you don't sleep enough you become overloaded.


#4 Unable To Cope With Stress

Everyday stresses seem to become monumental the less quality sleep you get.





#5 Accident Prone  

Your body is not working to it's full capacity on limited sleep, making you more apt to trip or fall.


#6 More Than One Cold A Year





Your immune system suffers from bad sleep habits making you prone to more colds.


Sleep limits the hormone cortisol which contributes to belly fat, in addition to increased hunger when your body is not well rested.






Simple Tips to Relieve Stress and Pressure

Stress and anxiety are prevalent in modern life. When the pressures and demands exceed your capabilities, stress and anxiety soon raise their ugly heads. The consequences can be horrific. Your health, relationships, and career can be seriously affected by stress and anxiety. When you find yourself in this situation, it is important not to panic. You need to devise a plan and some actions which can get you back on track and carry you towards the achievement of your goals and objectives. Wallowing in despair has never solved a problem, nor will it ever do so. Positive, effective action is required.

7 Steps to relieve stress and anxiety

The following 7 steps will help you to relieve stress and anxiety, wherever or whenever it may arise in your life. When you find yourself experiencing stress and anxiety, work your way through these steps and you will experience relief.

1. Establish a routine

Stress and anxiety often arise as a result of disorganisation or lack of control. Having a routine for your life gives you predictability and control over events. When you have clear routines, which you can follow on a daily basis, you are able to make progress on your key goals and objectives, without having to exert a great deal of thought or effort. Small steps, taken daily, carry you towards your objective.
There will be times when issues arise out of the blue. However, these occasions will be fewer and further between. As the majority of your life will be under control, these events will have a lesser impact and you will have more energy and confidence to tackle them quickly.

2. Establish a support group

I am not talking about a formal support group here, although depending on your specific issues, a formal support group may be able to help you. Regardless of the issues which you face, your life can always benefit from mutually beneficial relationships. These are the type of relationships where friends support each other, through good times and bad.
This is not about burdening others with your problems. When you have built mutually supportive relationships, you have friends who are happy to lend an ear and help you through your most difficult times.

3. Be good to yourself

When you are down and you are overcome by stress and anxiety; it feels like the world is beating you up. There is no need for you to join in. Rather than berate yourself; take the time to shower yourself with love and kindness. When you are overcome by stress and anxiety; it takes a lot of confidence and self-esteem to pull through.
Be the first person to treat you with kindness and compassion. When you believe yourself to be worthy of kindness and compassion, and you demonstrate this through your behaviour, others will follow suit. If you have hit a low point, remember that being good to yourself is the start of your recovery.

4. Practice acceptance

It may be tempting to deny how you are feelings but there is nothing to be gained by doing so. When you deny your feelings, you bottle them up. This does not eliminate those feelings. Instead, they reside within you and they come back to bite you, regularly. Remember, pretending that something does not exist does not make it go away.
The healthy approach is to accept and acknowledge your feelings.  Ideally, you would talk to somebody that you trust but if this is not possible; try to find some way to express your feelings. Other methods include:
  • Keeping a journal
  • Painting
  • Poetry
  • By being active e.g. physical training, punching a punch bag
There are endless ways to express and release your feelings so choose at least 1 which suits you.

5. Tackle what you can

If your stress and anxiety is severe, you might not be in a position to tackle the whole problem. This can cause you to sit idly by and watch as your stress and anxiety increases. Just because you cannot tackle the entire problem; it does not mean that you cannot tackle parts of the problem. Break the problem down into the smallest tasks possible. Then, identify which tasks you are ready to tackle and take the necessary action.
As you complete each task, no matter how small, you are reducing the size of the problem and reducing its impact on you. As you do so, your confidence and momentum builds and you feel ready to take on bigger and bigger challenges. Recovery is a gradual process but it will occur quicker if you keep taking positive action, one small step at a time.

6. Have fun

One common trait that I find amongst clients who are stressed is the lack of fun time. When you get really busy, it is easy to forget about scheduling some time to have fun and relax. Fun and relaxation do not occur naturally for busy people. You do have to schedule them. Review your schedule to ensure that you are including sufficient time for your favourite hobbies; sufficient time with your family, friends and loved ones; and sufficient time for relaxation.
Life cannot be all work and no play. Building fun and relaxation into your schedule will have a profound effect on your stress and anxiety levels.

7. Avoid overuse of dependant substances

There are a number of dependant substances which people turn to when faced with pressure or stress. These include drugs (both prescription and illicit), alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. While these substances may give you a temporary sense of relief, your problems will still be there when their effects wear off. Also, these substances, when misused, bring problems of their own.
From my own experience; when I was under a lot of stress, I used to have a few drinks. While it never turned into a dependency, I found that drinking had no positive impact. This was one of the many reasons why I decided to give up alcohol in 2006. Since I gave up alcohol, my ability to solve problems and avoid stressful situations has improved exponentially.
We are living in a hyperactive and highly active time. With the increase in technology, we are contactable 24/7 and we are expected to solve problems quicker than ever before. These are just some of the unrealistic demands which have been placed upon us. The improvement in technology has resulted in a misguided pursuit of greater efficiencies, instead of greater effectiveness.  When you add in the impact of a world recession, the need to be able to manage yourself and your life is more important than ever before.
There may be times when your ability to cope with the pressure is exceeded, resulting in stress and anxiety. When this happens, rather than panic, you can focus on taking positive action to overcome the problem. The 7 steps, outlined above, will help you make giant strides towards eliminating stress and anxiety from your life.


Coaching Positive Performance



10 Sex things men dont care about

#1 If You Have Morning Breath


Morning breath? Doesn't matter if he's all rearing to go.



#2 Weird Sex Sounds You Make

Don't stay quiet just because you are worried you might make a weird sound. Let go and enjoy. He will.

#3 Where They Have Sex

It doesn't matter where you have sex or if the lights are on or off.



#4 Which Positions You Like

As long as you're in any sex position, he will like it.


#5 If You're Wearing No Makeup

No makeup, he won't care. In fact, guys like girls au naturale.












#6 If Your Hair Isn't Washed

Is he really interested in your hair?











#7 If You've Gained A Few

No man is going to care if you gained a few pounds here or there while making love, so stop worrying.



#8 If You're Too Loud

Go ahead and scream. It will only make him feel like he's the greatest in bed.



#9 Your Hairy Legs

Okay maybe you shouldn't be as hairy as this picture, but a little stubble is not going to both men.

 (picture removed)

#10 The Smell Of Your Vag
 
Guys like your natural scent, so don't worry about covering it up.











10 Deadly Habits That Seriously Damage Your Kidneys











by AMY GOODRICH
kdnys sq

Our kidneys are super important for our health. They filter our blood, produce hormones, absorb minerals, produce urine, eliminate toxins, and neutralize acids. So as one of the most important organs in your body, your kidneys deserve some love.










Damage or steady decline of your kidneys can often go unnoticed for years as your kidneys can still do their job with as little as 20% of their capacity. Therefore kidney diseases are often referred to as “The Silent Diseases”. That’s why it is so important to take care of them before it is too late.

Here’s a list of 10 common habits that put a lot of pressure on your kidneys and can cause serious damage over time.

1.    Not Drinking Enough Water


Your kidney’s most important function is to filter blood and eliminate toxins and waste materials. When you don’t drink enough plain water during the day toxins and waste material start to accumulate and can cause severe damage to your body.

2.    Too Much Salt In Your Diet

Your body needs sodium or salt to work properly. Most people however consume too much salt which may raise blood pressure and put a lot of stress on the kidneys. As a good rule of thumb, no more than 5 grams of salt should be eaten on a daily basis.

3.    Frequently Delaying The Call Of Nature

Many of us ignore the urge to go because they are too busy or want to avoid public bathrooms. Retaining urine on a regular basis increases urine pressure and can lead to kidney failure, kidney stones, and incontinence. So listen to your body when nature calls.

4.    Kick The Sugar Habit




Scientific studies show that people who consume 2 or more sugary drinks a day are more likely to have protein in their urine. Having protein in your urine is an early sign your kidneys are not doing their job as they should.

5.    Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies

Eating a clean, whole food diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits is important for your overall health and a good kidney function. Many deficiencies can increase the risk of kidney stones or kidney failure. Vitamin B6 and magnesium, for instance, are super important to reduce the risk of kidney stones.











An estimated 70 to 80 percent of Americans isn’t getting enough magnesium, so there may be a good chance that you are one of them. Click here to learn more about magnesium deficiencies.

6.    Too Much Animal Protein

Over consumption of protein, especially red meat, increases the metabolic load on your kidneys. So more protein in your diet means your kidneys have to work harder and this can lead to kidney damage or dysfunction over time.

7.    Sleep Deprivation

We have all heard how important it is to get a good night’s rest. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to many diseases and kidney diseases are also on the list. During the night your body repairs damaged kidney tissue, so give your body the time to heal and repair itself.

8.    Coffee Habit

Just as salt, caffeine can raise blood pressure and put extra stress on your kidneys. Over time excessive consumption of coffee can cause damage to your kidneys.




9.    Painkiller Abuse

Way too many people take painkillers for their small aches and pains, while there are many all-natural, safe remedies available. Excessive use or painkiller abuse can lead to severe damage of liver and kidneys.

10.  Alcohol Consumption

Although there is nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of wine or having a beer once in a while, most of us don’t stop after just one drink. Alcohol is actually a legal toxin that puts a lot of stress on our kidneys and liver.




To stay healthy and avoid kidney issues it is important to eat lots of fresh, whole foods and if you keep the above information in mind and avoid these common habits as much as possible, your kidneys will not be under constant stress and your body will thank you for that.


Source
Image:Wikimedia Commons

The Healing Power of #Pets...











Toward the end of February, in honor of Love Your Pet Day, I wrote about the healing power of pets for another publication. Much of the research on pets’ effects on human health focuses on dogs, and I was curious if any researchers had taken the time to look into cats. I was pleasantly surprised to find out they indeed have. In fact, the proof is in the purr.
As some of you readers already know, my cat Alexei came into my life during a time when chronic illness was especially debilitating. As a kitten, he was constantly by my bedside, whether amusing me with our play or comforting me with his cuddles. As my health strengthened and mobility increased, my boy has thoroughly enjoyed more independence, though he is always keeping tabs on his favorite playmate. He seems to have this extra sense for knowing when something is wrong, and I swear his purrs have healing powers.
“Put a cat in a room with a bunch of broken bones – the bones will heal.”– An old veterinarian adage
I was amazed to discover how many studies backed my suspicions. Cats don’t always purr when they are happy, but also when they are injured or in pain. Their purrs fluctuate between 20 to 140 Hz, which is a frequency linked with numerous healing effects, including when muscles and bones best grow and repair.

Cat Sounds that Heal

Scientists at the University of California, Davis suggested that consistent, purring—with frequencies around 25 Hz—can be a healing mechanism, for both cats and humans. Purrs can offset long periods of rest and sleep that would otherwise contribute to bone density loss in both animals and humans.
In 1999, Dr. Clinton Rubin and others discovered that exposure to frequencies 20-50 Hz produces robust striations of increased bone density. Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi, in his work with rabbits, found that exposure to frequencies of 25 and 50 Hz , increased bone strength by 20 percent, stimulating both the healing of fractures as well as the speed at which they heal. Despite differences in size and genetics, this frequency range in cats has been found to have the most therapeutic benefits. The second best frequencies for promoting bone strength are 100 Hz and 200 Hz.
Other studies have found that exposure to frequencies at the range of a cat’s purr to reduce tendon atrophy, decrease muscle atrophy and increase muscle mass relax strained muscles and reduce spasms, heal venous ulcerations and relieve acute and chronic pain in both humans and cats. In-phase chest wall vibration at 100 Hz has also been found to reduce dysponea, or difficulty breathing at rest, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).










The Origin of a Cat’s Nine Lives?

While dogs seem to be the best friend of many Americans, there are approximately 80 millions cats in the U.S. Humans have a long history of relationships with cats, with archeological findings showing domestication of cats might go as far back as the Neolithic Era, according to a 2004 CNN report. Ancient Egypt worshipped the god Mafdet, with the head of a feline, who provided protection of crops for food and shelter from humans. Some of the mythical majesty of cats might have resulted from their seeming ability to have nine lives.
Studies reveal the healing powers of cat purrs
Src: Daily Infographic
In 1987, Dr. Whitney and Dr. Melhaff documented in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association what veterinarians had been saying for a long time—that mending a cat’s broken bones is much easier to fix and quicker to heal than dogs. The researched observed “high rise syndrome” in cats, where 90 percent of the 132 cats studied falling from high-rise apartments—an average of 5.5, but up to 7 stories high— survived, even with severe injuries. The record height for a cat to fall and live is 45 stories.
According to Elizabeth von Muggenthaler, a research scientist and bio-acoustic specialist, case studies have also found that arthritis, lameness and lung tumors occur less frequently in cats than in dogs.
Literature suggests that, generally, domestic cats have fewer postoperative complications following elective surgeries. They have far less prevalence of ligament and muscle traumas as dogs. Many researchers believe that the purr is a survival mechanism for self-healing.
“Purring could be likened to an internal vibrational therapeutic system, a sort of ‘kitty massage’ that would keep muscles and ligaments in prime condition and less prone to injury,” wrote Paula Peterson in The Cat’s Purr and Sounds that Heal. “Additionally, the purr could strengthen bone and prevent osteodiseases. Following injury, the purr vibrations would help heal the wound or bone associated with the injury, reduce swelling, and provide a measure of pain relief during the healing process.”










The Healing Power of the Purr

The companionship of cats, like dogs, also helps to reduce stress and blood pressure in humans. Both often play a role in cardiovascular events.
A University of Minnesota study found that having a cat around a home correlates with nearly 50 percent decreased risk of heart attack or stroke. After studying adults, ages 30 to 75, for 10 years, researchers found that cat owners had a 40 percent lower risk of suffering a fatal heart attack.
So, it turns out a nice cuddling session with a purring cat can be both healing to the animal and to the human.
“For something to be scientifically therapeutic, it has to be exactly the right strength, loudness, and amplitude,” said Muggenthaler. “However, as a healer, yes, it absolutely can be helpful to sleep with you cat.”
While I couldn’t find studies directly linked to the effect of a cat’s purrs on the central nervous system, I’m a firm believer that my feline is a master healer for neurological disorders as well. And his boundless energy well into adulthood has definitely inspired me to stay on my feet.
But more than that, I appreciate the fact that Alexei has emotionally been there for me through more than seven and half years of great highs and great lows. He’s been a great comfort and source of affection, particularly through the most trying of times. The fact that he still looks at me with any modicum of respect—and an abundance of love—reassures me that he celebrates and appreciates what I mean to him as well.


by       

15 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About #Nutrition









































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