Friday, October 7, 2016

The Four Characteristics That Put Kids At Risk of Addiction

Drug education is the only part of the middle school curriculum I remember — perhaps because it backfired so spectacularly. Before reaching today’s legal drinking age, I was shooting cocaine and heroin.
I’ve since recovered from my addiction, and researchers now are trying to develop innovative prevention programs to help children at risk take a different road than I did.
Developing a public antidrug program that really works has not been easy. Many of us grew up with antidrug programs like D.A.R.E. or the Nancy Reagan-inspired antidrug campaign “Just Say No.” But research shows those programs and others like them that depend on education and scare tactics were largely ineffective and did little to curb drug use by children at highest risk.
But now a new antidrug program tested in Europe, Australia and Canada is showing promise. Called Preventure, the program, developed by Patricia Conrod, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, recognizes how a child’s temperament drives his or her risk for drug use — and that different traits create different pathways to addiction. Early trials show that personality testing can identify 90 percent of the highest risk children, targeting risky traits before they cause problems.
Recognizing that most teenagers who try alcohol, cocaine, opioids or methamphetamine do not become addicted, they focus on what’s different about the minority who do.
The traits that put kids at the highest risk for addiction aren’t all what you might expect. In my case, I seemed an unlikely candidate for addiction. I excelled academically, behaved well in class and participated in numerous extracurricular activities.
Inside, though, I was suffering from loneliness, anxiety and sensory overload. The same traits that made me “gifted” in academics left me clueless with people.
That’s why, when my health teacher said that peer pressure could push you to take drugs, what I heard instead was: “Drugs will make you cool.” As someone who felt like an outcast, this made psychoactive substances catnip.
Preventure’s personality testing programs go deeper.
They focus on four risky traits: sensation-seeking, impulsiveness, anxiety sensitivity and hopelessness.
Importantly, most at-risk kids can be spotted early. For example, in preschool I was given a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (A.D.H.D.), which increases illegal drug addiction risk by a factor of three. My difficulty regulating emotions and oversensitivity attracted bullies. Then, isolation led to despair.
A child who begins using drugs out of a sense of hopelessness — like me, for instance — has a quite different goal than one who seeks thrills.
Three of the four personality traits identified by Preventure are linked to mental health issues, a critical risk factor for addiction. Impulsiveness, for instance, is common among people with A.D.H.D., while hopelessness is often a precursor to depression. Anxiety sensitivity, which means being overly aware and frightened of physical signs of anxiety, is linked to panic disorder.
While sensation-seeking is not connected to other diagnoses, it raises addiction risk for the obvious reason that people drawn to intense experience will probably like drugs.
Preventure starts with an intensive two- to three-day training for teachers, who are given a crash course in therapy techniques proven to fight psychological problems. The idea is to prevent people with outlying personalities from becoming entrenched in disordered thinking that can lead to a diagnosis, or, in the case of sensation-seeking, to dangerous behavior.
When the school year starts, middle schoolers take a personality test to identify the outliers. Months later, two 90-minute workshops — framed as a way to channel your personality toward success — are offered to the whole school, with only a limited number of slots. Overwhelmingly, most students sign up, Dr. Conrod says.
Although selection appears random, only those with extreme scores on the test — which has been shown to pick up 90 percent of those at risk — actually get to attend. They are given the workshop targeted to their most troublesome trait.
But the reason for selection is not initially disclosed. If students ask, they are given honest information; however, most do not and they typically report finding the workshops relevant and useful.
“There’s no labeling,” Dr. Conrod explains. This reduces the chances that kids will make a label like “high risk” into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The workshops teach students cognitive behavioral techniques to address specific emotional and behavioral problems and encourage them to use these tools.
Preventure has been tested in eight randomized trials in Britain, Australia, the Netherlands and Canada, which found reductions in binge drinking, frequent drug use and alcohol-related problems.
A 2013 study published in JAMA Psychiatry included over 2,600 13- and 14-year-olds in 21 British schools, half of whom were randomized to the program. Overall, Preventure cut drinking in selected schools by 29 percent — even among those who didn’t attend workshops. Among the high-risk kids who did attend, binge drinking fell by 43 percent.
Dr. Conrod says that Preventure probably affected non-participants by reducing peer pressure from high-risk students. She also suspects that the teacher training made instructors more empathetic to high-risk students, which can increase school connection, a known factor in cutting drug use.
Studies in 2009 and in 2013 also showed that Preventure reduced symptoms of depression, panic attacks and impulsive behavior.
For kids with personality traits that put them at risk, learning how to manage traits that make us different and often difficult could change a trajectory that can lead to tragedy.

Friday, October 7, 2016 by Richard · 0

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Some People Have Super-Vision, They See 100 Million More Colors Than the Rest of Us


Do you see green the same way that I see green? Every now and then, we find ourselves wondering such questions, as we have all come to know and agree on the use of generic colour names like blue, yellow, green, and so on to distinguish and analyze life around us. Surely, we are all unique in the way we view colours to a degree, but at the end of the day, green is green, and so we leave it at that. But not everyone is quite like this.

After searching for more than 25 years, neuroscientists in the UK have come across a woman who has an extra type of cone cell — the receptor cells that detect colour — in her eyes. This means she can see a whopping 99 million more colours than the rest of us, and belongs to a very small group of people with super-vision called “tetrachromats.”

The majority of humans, referred to as “trichromats,” have three types of cone cells in their eyes, with each one thought to be able to distinguish around 100 shades. Together, our three cone cells can distinguish roughly 1 million different colours. Those who are colour blind, however, only have two functioning types of cone cells.

And then there’s the doctor in northern England who researchers found two years ago. Identified as cDa29, she has four cone cell types, which means she may be able to distinguish up to 100 million colours that many of us could only fantasize about.

So how do you get a fourth type of cone cell? The idea was first proposed in 1948, when Dutch scientist HL de Vries discovered something interesting about the eyes of colour blind people. He noticed that colour blind men only possessed two normal cone cells and one mutant cone that’s less sensitive to either green or red light, while the mothers and daughters of said men possessed one mutant cone and three normal cones. This means they had four types of cone cells, one of which wasn’t working like the rest.

But it wasn’t until the 1980s, when John Mollon from Cambridge University started searching for women who might have four functioning cone cells, that interest in the phenomenon started gaining traction. Mollon suggested that, if colour blind men pass this fourth cone cell onto their daughters, then around 12 percent of the female population should be tetrachromats. Nevertheless, Mollon’s tests found that the women could only perceive the same colours as the rest of us.

In 2007, however, neuroscientist Gabriele Jordan from Newcastle University in the UK took a different approach to discovering this super-vision. She observed 25 women with a fourth type of cone cell in a dark room. She had them look into a light device, with three coloured circles of light flashing before their eyes. One of the women tested, cDa29, differentiated the three different coloured circles in every test.

“I was jumping up and down,” Jordan said. “We now know tetrachromacy exists,” she continued. “But we don’t know what allows someone to become functionally tetrachromatic, when most four-coned women aren’t.”

Jay Neitz, a vision researcher at the University of Washington, believes it may require practice along with specially designed hues to truly unlock the power of tetrachromats.
“Most of the things that we see as coloured are manufactured by people who are trying to make colours that work for trichromats,” he explained. “It could be that our whole world is tuned to the world of the trichromat.”

While further study is needed, and Jordan’s results must still be replicated and verified, if the existence of tetrachromats can be confirmed, it has the potential to aid scientists in creating more advanced artificial sensing devices, as well as help us figure out more about how vision works.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 by Richard · 0

Monday, September 12, 2016

NASA's Scientist Are Saying That We Are In for Another Mini-Ice-Age

This has nothing to do with human impact on climate change, but more so the activity of the sun and how solar cycles impact our climate as well. It’s based on a mathematical model that shows the sun might “quiet” down in the coming years thus impacting our climate as well. This is not a climate change denial article, please read it before commenting.

A few months ago NASA published a study showing that Antarctica is actually gaining
more ice than it is losing. They made the announcement after using satellites to examine the heights of the region’s ice sheet. The findings contradict the prevailing theory that Antarctica has actually been shrinking, however. The paper is titled “Mass gains of the Antarctic ice sheet exceed losses” and was published in the Journal of Glaciology. The authors of this study are from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and the cause of this ice gain isn’t entirely known, but a number of theories are mentioned in the paper. It is worth mentioning, however that NASA was blasted by dozens of their own scientists regarding their global warming stance, even though a number of the world’s top scientists have questioned just how much an impact greenhouse gases have on climate change. You can read more about that here

Perhaps there are other factors contributing to climate change?

Just a few years ago, Antarctic ice extent had reached an all-time high. 
There are many theories as to why this is so, and one of them includes the effects of supposed global warming, but not everyone agrees. That’s a completely separate topic, however, and you can learn more about it in the articles linked at the end of this article.
When it comes to climate change, a lot of emphasis is put on human activity, and rightfully so, as our ways here need to change. Perhaps in our fervour to discover our own culpability in this shift, however, we missed a few things along the way? What about the natural cycles of climate change Earth experiences, and has experienced? It’s a scientific fact that fluctuations in the solar cycle impact earth’s global temperature, as do other massive bodies flying in and around our solar system.

The most recent research to examine this topic comes from the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales, where Valentina Zharkova, a mathematics professor from Northumbria University (UK), presented a model that can predict what solar cycles will look like far more accurately than was previously possible. She states that the model can predict their influence with an accuracy of 97 percent, and says it is showing that Earth is heading for a “mini ice age” in approximately fifteen years.

According to the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS):

A new model of the Sun’s solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun’s 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645.

Zharkova and her team came up with the model using a method called “principal component analysis” of the magnetic field observations, from the Wilcox Solar Observatory in California. Looking forward to the next few solar cycles, her model predicts that from 2030 to 2040 there will be cause for a significant reduction in solar activity, which again, will lead to a mini ice age. According to Zharkova:

In cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other – peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun. Their interaction will be disruptive, or they will nearly cancel each other. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a “Maunder minimum.” Effectively, when the waves are approximately in phase, they can show strong interaction, or resonance, and we have strong solar activity. When they are out of phase, we have solar minimums. When there is full phase separation, we have the conditions last seen during the Maunder minimum, 370 years ago.

Pretty interesting to think about it, isn’t it? With so much attention being paid to the warming of our planet, it would be quite a shocker to suddenly enter into an ice age.
Again, this has nothing to due with human impact on climate change, more so the activity of the sun and how solar cycles impact our climate as well. This is not a climate change denial article. It’s basically bringing up the fact that there are more factors to consider that play a role in climate change.What are your thoughts? Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

Monday, September 12, 2016 by Richard · 0

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Do You See Music or Hear Colors - About 4 Percent Of the Population Are Synesthetes

There are people who can actually see, smell and physically taste music. This is an example of a phenomenon known as synesthesia. Synesthetes report seeing symphonies in spectacular colors, smelling Beethoven, and tasting Chopin.

Four percent of the population, when seeing number five, also see color red. Or hear a C-sharp when seeing blue. Or even associate orange with Tuesdays. And among artists, the number goes to 20-25 percent! This neurologically-based condition is called synesthesia, in which people involuntarily link one sensory percept to another. The colors, sounds, numbers, etc. differ among people (for example, you might see five in red, while someone else sees it in orange), but the association never varies within a person (that is, if five for you is red, it will always be red). There is a surprising overall agreement among synesthetes, however.

The primary perspective of the cause of synesthesia is a mutation that causes defective pruning between areas of the brain that are ordinarily connected only sparsely. Therefore areas that are disconnected within a human brain retain certain connections in synesthetes, which causes unusual associations. The location of gene expression leads to two different types of synesthetes: If the gene is expressed in the fusiform gyrus, the brain area concerned with perception, a perceptual synesthesia results, in which people will actually perceive, for instance, a number five colored in red. If, however, the gene is expressed in the angular gyrus, the brain area involved in processing concepts, a conceptual synesthesia results, in which people will not physically see the color red when presented with a number five, but will nevertheless experience an association between the two concepts.

I must admit, I am a conceptual synesthete (but only for certain numbers). Two is a nice light cream color; three is bright green; four is beige with a bit of light brown; five is definitely blood red; seven is ice blue. Eight wants to be something, but it’s difficult… Nine is dark, almost black. I don’t physically see colors, but when numbers are colored in something other than my associations, it causes some distress. I also paint and am very sensitive to colors and sounds in general.
I also believe that even though perceptual synesthesia may be relatively rare, it does not mean that a subtler cross-sensory undercurrent is nonexistent. I would not be surprised if many creative individuals were conceptual synesthetes. They may not necessarily physically perceive the connections between the percepts, but nevertheless may exhibit the facility in linking seemingly unrelated realms in order to highlight a hidden deep similarity. For example, in a sample of normal university students, those who had higher scores on the remote associates task (which requires finding a common word that can be combined with each of the three problem words to form a common compound or a phrase: e.g., ‘shine, beam, struck;’ solution — ‘moon’) showed stronger associations between colors and pure tones than people with lower scores on the same test. Similarly, synesthetes outperformed controls on the remote associates test. In addition, examination of poetry of Poe, Swinburne, Shelley, Blake, and Keats revealed that they all employed synesthetic usage in their poetry. These findings indicate that cross-sensory linkages may be associated with creative thinking.


Thursday, September 1, 2016 by Richard · 0

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Your Getting Sick From Complaining, How You Can Stop


We all do it — you know, complain about people or situations in our life. We may even call it “venting” in an effort to disguise our complaining, but when it all boils down to it, they’re both the same behaviour.
On the surface, complaining may seem harmless — perhaps even helpful, as venting may make us feel better — but complaining can have serious physical and mental ramifications.
Society itself seems to encourage complaining — we complain about work and being overworked, we complain about lack of time and being too busy to enjoy life, we complain about politics (a favourite past- and present- time activity for many), we complain about family members and issues, we complain about lack of sleep and feeling exhausted, and we love to complain when we get sick— the list goes on and on….
Even if we ourselves don’t complain much (or so we think, though I hope this article makes you take a hard, honest look at your own habits, as it did for me), we all know of people who incessantly complain and how draining it is to be around these “negative Nellies.”
So, how does complaining affect us? From a brain perspective, “synapses that wire together fire together” — this is a basic premise of neuroscience. Every time you complain, you are reinforcing that wiring and making it easier to trigger it. Do it often enough and it can become your default setting. Negative thoughts beget more negative thoughts and you can easily fall into a cycle of negative thinking and chronic complaining.
In addition, misery loves company, so complainers tend to have friends who also complain, which further reinforces the pattern. Complainers also affect people around them. Ever find yourself sympathizing and sharing your own personal similar experience when someone complains to you about something specific? It can happen easily and unintentionally, even to the least complaining and most positive person. Sometimes this can lead to a long conversation comprising entirely of complaints, ie. focused on politics in a negative way or the fear and anger of what is going on in the world. Ask yourself, how do you feel afterwards?
Prolonged complaining leads to stress, and it’s well documented that prolonged stress makes us sick: weakening the immune system, raising blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, and causing a plethora of other ailments.
Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels (the stress hormone) interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, promote weight gain and heart disease, and increase blood pressure and cholesterol. Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels also increase risk for depression and mental illness, and lower life expectancy.

How To Stop Complaining

Being human, however, we may need to vent once in a while, so here are some tips to help you avoid over-complaining:
Take time out to cool off and step back from whatever is bothering you so you can diffuse your emotions/anger. Try some deep breathing, go for a walk in nature, hit the gym, meditate, or do something fun or relaxing to calm yourself.
Write down what is bothering you — writing helps us to better understand why we are upset and can help us see the situation with a more balanced perspective.
Take responsibility for your part in the situation; don’t just blame the other person as the wrongdoer. What is the learning for you? What is this situation teaching you? Introspection is helpful for finding balance and being open to a solution or determining if it’s best to let it go at this time.
If you need to vent, let the Listener know ahead of time, so they can prepare themselves or let you know that now is not a good time.
Keep it short — this is very important, as we humans tend to go into stories when we moan and groan. It’s best to keep your share to under 2 minutes to avoid drama and dumping. Ask your Listener to intervene and gently yet firmly stop you if you go past the 2 minutes — you will both be thankful.
Remember that complaining affects your energy, mood, brain activity, and stress levels. If you need to vent, keep it short and sweet, for everyone’s sake — especially your own.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 by Richard · 0

Friday, August 26, 2016

Six of the Best Remedies For Joint Pain

There are various supplements available to help ease joint pain, whether you have fibromyalgia, arthritis or chronic pain problems. Using the supplements in the best way to manage your pain is essential. Not everyone wants to take pills for the rest of their lives, and others want to find natural remedies to avoid issues that pharmaceutical products could produce.

Here are six ways to consider using supplements to help ease your joint pain. There are options that involve natural remedies and making it easier to swallow over the counter supplements.

Use Turmeric and Ginger Together
A first method is a natural option and one that you can have in and outside the house. Turmeric and ginger both have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation within the body is one of the main reasons for pain. It can cause muscles to swell and crush the nerves. This is one of the main reasons people with carpel tunnel syndrome suffer flare-ups, all the way up to their elbows and even shoulders!

Turmeric has gained a lot of attention over recent years due to the antioxidant curcumin. You won’t get as much from the dried spice in your cupboard, but there are stronger options available in herbal remedy stores. Turmeric also comes in capsule form, which you can take with a ginger tea if you wish. Another option is to mix the two ingredients together to make your own tea.

All you need is two cups of water with half a teaspoon of both turmeric and ginger. Fresh options work better, but you will get some benefits from the ground spices when they both work together.

This can be a bit strong and spicy for some people. Try adding some honey to help take away some of the bites.

Whether you have it hot or cold is completely up to you. It does work well as an ice tea so you can take it on the go with you if you really want. The mixture will give you two servings, so try both hot and cold to find the best way for you to enjoy it.

Both of these remedies are used in herbal medicine around the world. They’re not just great for managing pain but also to offer other health benefits, like boosting immunity and getting clearer and healthier skin.

Add More Omega 3 Into Your Diet
Omega 3 is one of the best fatty acids you could ever add to your diet. It’s full of goodness for your brain, but it can also help to deal with joint pain. This is especially the case for those who suffer knee problems due to arthritis and swelling.

The fatty acid has a compound that helps to reduce inflammation in the body. The knees also get the lubrication they need to prevent wear and tear on the joints. You’ll aid your problems two-fold, by removing the reason for the pain instead of just treating the symptoms.

There are various ways to get Omega 3 into your diet. One of the best ways is by eating more oily fishes, including salmon and tuna. Sushi is a great way to get this, which keeps fish raw so all the natural fatty acids aren’t damaged. There are also no extra oils added in that can cause other health problems. Of course, if you’re pregnant or can’t eat raw fish for any reason, you will need to cook it. Cooking and eating the oily fishes is better than not getting any at all. If you are pregnant, you’ll always want to talk to your doctor first about taking fish oils on a daily basis, which is something we’ll move onto now.

If you don’t fancy eating fish, you can also get the supplement through cod liver oil. This is an acquired taste, but the good news is you’ll only need one teaspoon of it on a daily basis. You can also get capsules to swallow instead if you really don’t like the taste of the oil. Start your day with your dose to feel all the benefits of omega 3 getting to work.

Remember, you’re not just helping to reduce inflammation. The Omega 3 helps to boost the brain health, so you’re at a lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Soak in Epsom Salts
Soaking your muscles in warm water is one of the best ways to ease the pain. The warm water will help to relax muscles and reduce any swelling in the body. You’ll also help to boost the blood flow, which can reduce pain felt by the body.

Epsom salts in the water will work wonders for your pain management. They’re full of magnesium sulfate, which is a mineral that many nations have used for pain management over the centuries.

Magnesium is the active ingredient, which is needed for more than 300 responses within the body. Even if you don’t use Epsom salts in your water, make sure you increase the amount of magnesium you get in your food on a daily basis. The nerve endings and muscles relax much easier when you have the right amount of this mineral in your body, which will ease any type of pain. Your bones will also get more minerals needed to protect and strengthen them, also helping to ease joint pain.

You’ll need about a cup or two of Epsom salts in a bathtub of water; less if you’re going to use a large bowl to sit and soak. The way you use it will depend on where the pain is.

If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or joint pain in the feet or ankles, you’ll get away with a bowl of water to sit on the couch with and watch TV or read a book. If your joint pain is elsewhere, you’ll need to think about running a bath with some of the salts and enjoying a long soak.

Allow yourself to really soak with the salts. Fifteen minutes is the shortest time period you should consider, but longer periods will really help the body get all the magnesium it needs. Don’t remain in with cold water, as you’ll find your muscles tense and you could find that the pain gets worse.

While you’re using the Epsom salts, you can also get magnesium into your body in other ways. Look for foods that are high in the mineral or take supplements at the same time. Watch out for getting too much of the supplement. You just need enough to help the body responses to keep inflammation down and pain more manageable.

Moisturise With Olive Oil
Who would have thought that olive oil could help to deal with joint pain? Not only is it easy to use, but it’s also full of enzymes that help to reduce inflammation and ease the pain in the joints and muscles. Whatever the reason for the joint pain, you can benefit by using this natural product. Extra virgin olive oil is the best one that you should use to get all the benefits. Unfortunately, heat processes that are used to create other types will destroy the enzymes that your body needs. It’s also important to look out for olive oil that was created from just ripe olives.

Why does this work? The oil is full of enzymes that work like aspirin and Advil. They will ease the inflammation in the body, which takes away the pressure from the nerve endings; the main reason for the pain in joints. It can also add more lubrication to your joints, easing pain from arthritis.

There are various ways that you can use olive oil to help ease the pain felt on a daily basis. One of those is to use it in your cooking, which makes it one of the easiest options. You can use this oil in place of so many other fats and oils, whether you cook with butter or use vegetable oil on a daily basis.

Oil pulling is another option, which will help you absorb the benefits through your mouth. Oil pulling offers many other health benefits, including help to manage pain felt in the mouth on a daily basis. It will take the time to get used to, but it’s worth giving it that chance to reap all the benefits.

There’s also the option to create a moisturising cream out of your extra virgin olive oil. This can be applied directly to your skin and hair without being mixed in with anything else. One major benefit is you’re not trying to handle the extra calories you would intake if you used it in your cooking. You can also add essential oils, offering other ingredients to offer pain management benefits and improve the scent of your moisturising cream. You won’t need to use a lot of oil in this way, and you’ll also benefit the look and feel of the skin quickly. This method allows you to apply the oil directly onto the joints, allowing the skin in the area to soak it all in and pass the benefits straight through.

If you do use the oil as a moisturising cream, don’t forget about massaging into the painful areas. This will help to increase the blood flow around the area, also helping to reduce inflammation. Every little helps when it comes to pressure on the nerves.

Make White Willow Tea Daily
Aspirin is commonly used to help manage joint pain. It is a medical way to reduce inflammation and thin the blood to make it easier to move around the body. However, we don’t really know all the risks to using aspirin, and it’s not something that everyone can medically use for various reasons.

Long before aspirin was created, what did people use? White willow tea is considered the original aspirin. It was made from the bark of the white willow tree and is something that you can still use on a daily basis to help manage your pain and reduce inflammation. It was so popular in the past that even Hippocrates wrote about it and its benefits. It must be good, right?

White willow includes salicin, which turns into a salicylic acid within the body. This is the active ingredient in aspirin, meaning that this really is a natural, original aspirin to use on a daily basis. The benefit is you don’t have all the other chemicals and ingredients used within the medical painkiller to deal with.

One of the benefits of getting your salicin through the white willow tea is that the ingredient only becomes active when it has passed your stomach and is being digested through the intestines. There are fewer side effects noticed with it, and a little irritation. You really can focus on the benefits instead. Of course, there are some side effects and irritations noted in some, which is why there are so many other ways to use supplements to help your joint pain on the list.

It is possible to take white willow in capsule form. This is natural but you can get so many other benefits by getting a powdered version of the bark and mixing in with water to create a tea. Starting your day with a hot cup of white willow tea is an excellent option to ease your joint pain. You could also end the day with it if you’ve had a long day out and needed to ease the pain that you feel overnight.

It can have a strong taste, especially when you opt for it in tea form. You can ease that taste by adding some lemon or honey to your water. Allow the powder or crushed bark to steep for 30 minutes to take in all the beneficial properties.

Try Exercising More
This is likely the last thing you want to hear when you’re in pain, but it can actually be good for you. Exercising is an excellent want to release all the right chemicals from your brain, including endorphins, which are natural painkillers.

The benefit of exercise is that you can do it while using the supplements above! You’ll benefit in multiple ways, and you will find that the pain you experience on a daily basis isn’t as bad as you once felt.

Exercise helps ease joint pain in a few ways. Only one involves the release of the endorphins in the body. You’ll also lose weight, which takes away some of the pressure that you feel on your joints. This is especially beneficial if you suffer pain in your knees, hips or feet. Excess weight puts a lot of strain on these joints, and you’ll find that you suffer from swelling a lot more often.

Your muscles will also develop while you exercise. This helps to strength the joints and will support the cartilage. As more weight is placed on the joints and they go through more strain on a daily basis, the cartilage is worn down. This is what lubricates the joints, preventing the bone from rubbing against bone. As the cartilage thins, the bones connect to each other, and there is more pain felt.

There will also be more liquid to lubricate the joints due to the synovial fluid. This is a thick gel when cold, but will turn to a liquid when warm. You’ll find that your joints loosen up and are easier to move because of the exercise that you do.

But what about dealing with the pain after your exercise? How do you manage that? You can opt for the ways to get your supplements mentioned above. If you know you will seize up throughout the night, try a long hot soak before you go to bed in some Epsom salts and then get up early enough the next morning for another soak. This, along with some white willow or turmeric and ginger tea, will help to give you the best start to the day. You can then moisturise with the olive oil before you get dressed and be ready to deal with anything life throws your way.

You don’t need to do a large amount of exercise to benefit and reduce the pain you feel. Try just walking for 15 minutes a day to get yourself started. It will ease your joints and help with weight loss. As you get quicker and fitter, you’ll find that you can do more and could do up to an hour of walking a day!

Try stretching your muscles on a daily basis and do some strengthening exercises for your joints. These can be done from the comfort of your own home, and you won’t need any specialist equipment to complete it all.

It’s time to ease the joint pain that you feel on a daily basis. By following the above tips, you now have multiple ways to get your supplements to ease the pain, whether you have arthritis playing up on a daily basis or nerve problems that flare up every now and then. These are all completely natural, helping to protect the rest of your health.


Friday, August 26, 2016 by Richard · 0

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Five Easy Steps For A Great Loving Relationship

In the early days, relationships are passionate and thrilling, and the sparks come easily. With time, however, they can become weathered by the world around us. As we grow up, we accumulate responsibilities that can drain our energy and leave us less time for the pursuit of magic and adventure. Even the strongest and most loving partnerships can sometimes start to feel disconnected. So – how do you keep your bond strong through the rigors of life?


Often, professionals fail to disconnect from the office when they go home at night. Your partner does not want to share your limited time together with your work responsibilities. Even if it is not a career issue, many people have trouble disconnecting from parenting websites, political articles, or silly games. This is an even more alarming reason to neglect your relationship. Institute an “unplugged” time each day – even if it is only an hour. Hide your phones, turn off the TV, and let the computer screen go to black. Just talk to one another. You’ll be surprised at the difference this makes.


This could be anything. You might have a secret handshake, roar at your partner, or have a code word. The important thing is that it sends a message of love and is exclusive to the two of you. Don’t even share it with the kids – you can have your own thing with them. This is only for you and your significant other. Use it liberally. Show your love in public this way, and revel in the idea that nobody around you knows what it means. This is a fun way to build a secret world that is only inhabited by the two of you.

In our busy lives, we all too often over-schedule ourselves with family, friends, and volunteer commitments before throwing whatever scraps are left over to our partner. Instead, institute a regular date night. This can be weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, but it needs to be non-negotiable. This should be a time that is set aside exclusively for the two of you to reconnect. No children can come along – hire a babysitter. No friends may meet up with you at the restaurant. No family members can tag along for the movie. Try not to discuss work or raising the children. This night should be all about fun and connection – just like your date nights in the early years were.


Many people seem to think that the happiest couples want to be together every second of the day, sharing every detail of their lives with one another and never having anything for themselves. This belief is simply untrue, and it can be damaging. In fact, healthy boundaries are absolutely necessary for any good marriage. Don’t be afraid to ask for them, and treat your partner with respect when they do the same. Alone time is healthy, as are solo activities. They help you and your partner to maintain complete and independent identities. They help you to stay whole.


Again, the details and logistics don’t matter. The important thing is that it connects you. Identify a moment of downtime in your day, and take advantage. Look forward to a daily lunchtime Skype session, or a cup of coffee together before work. Play a game of chess after dinner. Have a quick chat, prayer, or meditation session together each night before you fall asleep. In the midst of a busy workday, this will reconnect you and remind you both that someone out there has your back. Soon it might become your favorite part of the day.
Improve Your Relationship by Asking Your Partner These Questions
“Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky,” said Rainer Maria Rilke. Seek to connect with one another as two individuals, and go on to build your own beautiful world together. Use the tips above to stay close on even the busiest of days. Your relationship is worth the effort.


Sunday, August 21, 2016 by Richard · 0

Friday, August 19, 2016

16 Reasons You Should Read Whenever You Get A Chance

Reading is not what it seems! It’s not just sitting in a comfy armchair with a piece of paper in one’s hand. It’s not boring and passive, nor useless. Finding time for reading a book or a long, informative article can be difficult. We tend to value things that offer us immediate results and benefits. But reading does offer us results and benefits and this, sadly, is being forgotten. It offers an adventure and opportunity to develop on so many different levels.
A book is a vehicle that might take you for a long journey. It’s a friend to be found, a potential mentor, an inspiration. It’s a training device you can use to exercise your mind. It’s also a lesson, perhaps a very practical one, providing you with concrete information, or a philosophical one, opening your mind to new ideas. There are plenty of benefits daily reading might give you. A few of them, a small encouragement, you’ll find listed below.

1. FUN

First of all, reading is fun. With the large variety of genres, there’s something for everyone. Fancy some action? A drama in which you can find characters to identify with, because you feel sad and lonely? Something more down-to-earth, like a reportage about a country or a historical period you’re interested in? Just find the right shelf at the library.


Of course, you can go to a bookshop and spend a fortune, but it’s not a necessity. People complain so much about how hard it is to find free entertainment in this world of expensive luxurious gyms, fancy restaurants and clubs, while libraries are waiting with their doors wide open. If there isn’t a good one in your town, you can always search online and download some free ebooks. We have previously uploaded a list of over 100 places online where you can find free books.
FREE BOOKS: 100 legal sites to download literature


Your body needs movement. That means your brain needs movement, too. And I don’t mean it needs to be moved from your house to your workplace every morning, together with the rest of your body. Moving your head in space is not enough. All that is inside of it needs to be shaken a bit too. It has been proven that reading has a significant effect on our brains. It’s demanding in a neurological way, requires concentration and intellectual activity. Mental stimulation can slow down the progress of Dementia and Alzheimer, as many studies have shown, starting with the one made by Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) in 2006. Reading is healthy, just like orange juice or a morning run, so try to find time for it.


I am not only talking about the moments spent with a book. As you read, you memorize many things. You try to store in your mind all the facts you find while reading. You follow the plots, get to know the characters, remember the details. All of that is a great exercise for your memory. Memory is not like a plastic bag. It’s not limited and won’t overflow once you put enough things inside of it. The more stuff you place there, the bigger it becomes. When you add a new memory to your collection, new synapses are being created, and the old ones get stronger. It has a positive effect on short-memory recall.


While reading, you come across new words. The more you read, the more words you add to your vocabulary. The ability to speak in a correct and attractive way makes life easier. It’s extremely useful at work, especially when it comes to making a good impression on partners, clients or employers. Knowing you are well-spoken affects your self-confidence. Being able to express yourself in an accurate way is helpful in personal relationships, too. Using the right words in the right moments can prevent conflicts and misunderstandings.
According to scientists one of the things that attract potential romantic partners is indeed a decent vocabulary.
Books and articles can also be used while studying new languages. It’s a fun way not only to learn new words but also whole phrases and grammar.


Personality is not something you are born and blessed or cursed with forever, till the end of your days. Yes, there are tendencies hard to get rid of, patterns being repeated, mistakes we just can’t help, but making all over again. But can’t we, really?
Through working on ourselves, we can change things. One of the methods is reading. According to studies made by researchers from the University of Toronto, reading can change some personality traits. Romance novels, for example, are likely to promote empathy. Not only romance novels, though. reading any artistic literature can make people more empathetic and understanding, because the process itself is like a conversation, getting to know a person. It also encourages readers to examine their own emotions and behaviors and makes them more open to new experiences.


Through reading, we get to know countless characters. We get inside of their lives, follow their stories, see the places they have seen, experienced what they have experienced. Articles on people from faraway countries make you more tolerant towards other cultures, psychological novels- more understanding in the contacts with people from your environment. A reader won’t judge another person easily. A reader knows there’s always more to people than what the first page shows.
If used well, reading can also help you in developing your expressiveness. By accompanying characters in their lives, you get familiar with their feelings and emotions and see it’s not such a shame to have them. That makes it easier to speak freely.
Moreover, hobbies get people together. Books or magazines you read equip you with subjects to discuss when meeting people. Visiting book clubs and libraries, joining online communities, even reading on trams or buses gives you a chance to make new friends and share this interest with them.


Reading is learning. Whatever you read, whether it’s a melodramatic harlequin or a series of scientific articles, you always obtain new information. One day it can turn out to be fruitful. Besides, being well-read, working on your knowledge and intellectual capacities also makes you more self-confident…and totally badass.


Analyzing the story, making an effort to understand the behavior of characters, trying to solve puzzles and uncover mysteries – all of that engages and develops your critical and analytical thinking.


We spend our days doing so many things at the same time. Laptop in front of your eyes with an adorable cat jumping all around the screen, messages from friends popping out from different places – emails, chats, Skype, perhaps a phone too, a coworker speaking on the other side of the room, all the papers on your desk glancing at you and reminding they need to be filled in… Reading requires concentration. You do one thing only. Many people, even if they want to, can’t concentrate anymore. Reading is a great way to work on your ability to concentrate, which increases productivity.


Have you ever felt so tense to the point you dreamt of escaping your life for a while? Surprise: you actually can. You don’t even need a one-way ticket to the other side of the globe. A gripping novel can take you all the way to another dimension. A good article might focus all your attention and allow you to forget your troubles for a moment. Many people overthink their problems, while what they need is a break so that they could go back to searching for a solution with a clear, relaxed mind.

11. Makes mundane Activities Fun

Yes, that’s a very practical advantage of reading. You can do it on a bus, on a tram, airplane, even while you’re lined up at the DMV or bank – and make these necessary, often boring activities amusing.


Fictional characters can be a source of inspiration just like people met in the real life. You can learn from them, get influenced by their words and actions. Same with places, events and facts described in what you read. Let’s say you come across a book on Japanese culture or a novel with the main character who is a carpenter. Next day you might find yourself studying Japanese or making wooden chairs for your kitchen.


Sounds too much? It isn’t. What this world needs the most are educated, open-minded, self-aware people, inspired and full of ideas. Reading surely creates such people, especially when it’s done in a varied way, with openness for different topics and concepts.
Reading is pleasant, just search for something you would enjoy. It’s useful, too. And so sexy! Go grab a book now, it won’t bite, in fact, it will make you even more awesome than you are!

14. Always Better than The Movie

How many times have you heard, oh, the movie was not as good as the book. Now you don't have to take their word for it!

15. stimulates your imagination

What makes books so good in the first place is that you are not leaving the details up to the movie maker. You fill in the blanks. You picture the scene, dress (or undress) the characters, you imagine what the town looks like. Reading stimulates your imagination and this spills over to the rest of your life. 

16. Reading Makes you healthier, happier and wiser. 

Friday, August 19, 2016 by Richard · 0

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