Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Drink Red Wine And Live Longer

RED WINE may be the next best thing to the fabled elixir of youth, new research suggests.

A compound in the skin of red grapes has been found to curb the effects of ageing, even when taken in tiny doses. Scientists believe the discovery, made in mice, may explain the so-called
"French paradox".

Experts have long puzzled over the fact that people in regions of France where food is soaked in saturated fat have astonishingly healthy hearts and arteries. Plant chemicals in red wine, which often accompanies French meals, have been suggested as a possible explanation.

The new study highlights one compound, resveratrol, which is known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Experiments with mice indicated that low doses of resveratrol mimic the effects of calorie restriction to combat ageing. Previous research has shown that reducing dietary calories by 20 to 30 per cent can extend lifespan and prevent genetic changes linked to ageing in a range of animals. Resveratrol appears to influence the same biological pathway, say the scientists.

Professor Tomas Prolla, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US, author of the research published this week in the online journal, said: "Resveratrol is active in much lower doses than previously thought and mimics a significant fraction of the profile of calorific restriction at the gene expression level."

The scientists investigated the influence of resveratrol by looking for changes in gene expression, or activity, in heart, muscle and brain tissues. As animals age, gene activity in different parts of the body changes as genes are switched on and off.

In the mouse heart there are at least 1,029 genes whose functions alter with age, leading to impaired function. When mice are fed a restricted diet, 90 per cent of this age-related change is

The study found that low doses of resveratrol blocked harmful changes in 92 percent of the heart genes. At the same time, declines in heart function associated with ageing were prevented.
A glass of red wine, or food supplements containing even small doses of resveratrol, were likely to represent a "robust intervention in the retardation of cardiac ageing," the scientists wrote.

Prof Prolla said: "There must be a few master biochemical pathways activated in response to caloric restriction, which in turn activate many other pathways. And resveratrol seems to activate some of these master pathways as well."Whether or not resveratrol can extend life span will require further study.

Resveratrol is produced naturally by plants when they are under attack by bacteria or fungi. The compound is abundant in the skin of red grapes. Its concentration in red wine varies greatly depending on the grape variety. Smaller amounts of resveratrol are also found in blueberries, bilberries, cranberries and peanuts.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Dreams That Have Meaning

Dreams often tell us something. It might just be about our health or what future has in store.There are too many recorded incidents to dismiss dreams as mere "vestiges of the day" that get projected on the silver screen of the mind at night. Our own experience also points out the fact that, at times, dreams do try to tell us something vital or important, but we are unable to comprehend them. In my years of experience in interpreting dreams, I have gained some immense insights into the meanings and workings of dreams. Let us see some common dreams that most of us have dreamt at some point in our lives:

Exam dreams:

These dreams run something like this: We are unable to reach the examination hall and the clock is ticking away; our pen just refuses to work; we just don't seem to comprehend the question paper or recall the answers...the variations are endless. Fortunately, such dreams are not related to examinations at all. They suggest that we are being tested or scrutinized in some way in our lives. These may also be related to our self-esteem and confidence or the lack of it.

Chase dreams:

Who has not broken into a cold sweat running scared from an assailant or a murderous mob in dreams? Even if we ran fast, the pursuer always seemed to catch up. At the exact moment of getting caught, we woke up with a start! Although these dreams can arise from an actual fear of being attacked, they often stem from our feelings of anxiety in waking life. These dreams indicate running away from a difficult situation, rather than confronting it.

Naked dreams:

Turning crimson with embarrassment on finding ourselves completely or partially naked in public in our dreams generally leaves us unsettled on waking up. Such dreams are often a reflection of our lack of confidence or self-esteem in real life. We may be hiding something and are afraid that others might discover it by seeing right through us. Nudity also symbolizes our fear of getting caught or exposed in something that we have done. This dream can have variations, which can range from embarrassment to feeling proud about your nakedness in public. Each, of course, has different interpretation.

Falling dreams:

Almost all of us get scared out of our wits while plunging down from dizzying heights in our dreams. No amount of convincing can rid us of the fear that we will not actually die if we do not wake up before we hit the ground! Falling can be of two types — one when we wake up alarmed before we hit the ground, the other when we land slowly just before the point of impact. Both have different interpretations. Generally, falling is an indication of insecurity, instability and anxiety. Such dreams occur when we feel overwhelmed and out of control

Dreams of losing teeth:

Dreams of falling teeth are quite common. These may take the form of teeth crumbling in our hands or falling out one by one with just a light tap. It was thought that such dreams represented malnutrition. which may have been true for some dreamers. Actually, such dreams reflect our anxiety about appearance and how others perceive us.

All dream imagery is symbolic. Each dream symbol is person specific. In other words, what a symbol represents for one person can have an entirely different meaning for another. This is the reason why dream dictionaries generally prove useless. Of course, a common streak runs through all symbols, but they have to be interpreted in the context of the dream content.

Dreams driven by the subconscious mind usually reveal our underlying issues, often symbolically. For example, being held back or frustrated can be telling you to set some life goals and develop a strategy for achieving them. Our dreams support this endeavor by showing the causes and effects of our subconscious conditioning. Every thought nourished regularly by the mind activates the subconscious mind to generate those thoughts and energy whether good or bad into your life. So, any attempt to understand dreams or what is really going on in your life and mind , as well as in the lives and minds of others, cannot fully succeed unless it takes into account the study of subconscious mind.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why Some People Commit Suicide

All over the world, as many as a thousand people try to commit suicide every day.
  • From the survey made in the U.K. it was estimated that a very large number of people make suicide attempts every year. Numerically the largest number of suicides and attempts of suicide occurred in cases of people over 55.
  • Many cases of suicide attempts are those of impressionable young girls who take an overdose of sleeping pills or tranquillizers; but much less than half the cases of people who attempt suicide really want to die. What is important to know is that many suicide attempts are a means of communication: virtually a cry for help and sympathy.
  • The motives for suicides include bad health, troubled relationships with other people, material problems such as shortage of money, bad housing, a disorganised life, failure in marriage and living in a depressing area. People from broken homes often attempt suicide; chronic alcoholism can also be a cause.
  • Suicide is the ultimate act in succumbing to stress.
  • Compared with the so-called working classes in the developed countries the upper social classes are more prone to kill themselves. Doctors, in particular, are two-and-a-half times more likely to commit suicide as other men and one-and-a-half times as likely as their social equals.
  • Two countries whose suicide rates appear to be going down are Japan and Britain. In Japan the reason is because ideas of dishonor and disgrace are changing and in Britain because of an organization called the Samaritans.
  • To prevent suicide is the reason behind the existence of a world- wide organisation called the Samaritans. Anyone who is considering committing suicide can contact a member of the Samaritans who are specially trained to deal with such cases. Usually, all that is required is a sympathetic ear — somebody who will listen. If persons desperate enough to commit suicide can get someone sympathetic to listen patiently to their problems, the urge to commit suicide frequently subsides and then vanishes altogether. And that is where the Samaritans play such an important part.
  • Ten times more men in the age group 65 to 69 kill themselves eachyear in the U.K. than do young men aged 20 to 25. They kill themselves by hanging, drowning, by inhaling gas, or taking an overdose of sleeping tablets and other such drugs.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pre-eclampsia - A Risk Factor During Pregnancy

Pre-eclampsia is a common medical condition which most women suffer during pregnancy. The mother-to-be may also have certain other complications such as disturbances in her vision, headaches and pain in the upper abdomen.

Being a multi-organ disorder, pre-eclampsia affects the brain, kidneys, lungs, liver as well as the uterus of the mother, thereby putting the baby also at risk.

In its severe form seizures may also manifest and that's when the disorder goes from pre-eclampsia to eclampsia.

  • A woman who is in her fifth month of pregnancy is at risk as research shows that most women are diagnosed between the 20-24th week of gestation.
  • A woman who is pregnant for the first time is 15 times more likely to develop pre-eclampsia than a woman who has had a normal pregnancy in the past.
  • A woman who has had a normal pregnancy in the past but is now expecting her first child from a new partner is at a greater risk. This is because pre-eclampsia can be partner specific.
  • A woman who is pregnant post 35 years of age.
  • A woman suffering from other medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, chronic hypertension, chronic renal failure, migraines and asthma.
  • A woman with a stressful lifestyle.
  • A woman who suffered from pre-eclampsia in her previous pregnancies.
  • A woman with a family history of the condition.
  • The risk factor increases with certain conditions such as multiple pregnancy, a post term pregnancy etc.
The symptoms will vary depending on the degree of severity of the condition. In mild preeclampsia, symptoms include:
  • Elevated blood pressure.
  • Small amounts of protein in the urine.
  • Swelling of the hands, feet or face.

  • Very high blood pressure.
  • Large amounts of protein in the urine.
  • Decreased urine output.
  • Severe headaches.
  • Disturbances in vision.
  • Pain in the upper abdomen.
  • Decreased liver function.
  • Decrease in the blood clotting ability of the body.

A confirmed medical diagnosis is made by means of laboratory evidence. Some of them are:
  • Increased liver enzymes.
  • Low platelet count.
  • Increase in plasma creatinine, uric add.
  • Increased circulating flbrinongen.

For those who fall in the high risk group, certain preventatrve measures are suggested, such as:
  • Weight control
  • Restriction of salt in the diet
  • Regular intake of calcum supplements
  • Regular intake of anti-oxidants such as vitamin C and B.

For those who have already been diagnosed with the condition, the treatment will vary with the severity of the condition. In mild forms, treatment includes:
  • Bed rest
  • Anti-hypertensive medications.
In severe forms, treatment includes:
  • Hospitalization while blood pressure is brought under control
  • In cases where the condition becomes life-threatening the baby may have to be delivered before time.

Since pre-eclampsia is a condition peculiar to pregnancy it disappears within 12 weeks post delivery.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How To Loose Belly Fat And Stay Healthy

People who are in their 40s and have big bellies are much more likely to get Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in their 70s, according to a new research that, for the first time, links the middle age spread to fading minds. Are you peering down to check if your stomach qualifies? Wait, there's more.

Twice the risk

The study of more than 6,000 people found the more fat they had in their guts in their early to mid-40s, the greater their chances of becoming forgetful or confused or showing other signs of senility as they aged. Those who had the largest mid-sections faced more than twice the risk of the leanest. Surprisingly, a sizable belly seems to increase the risk even among those who are not obese, or overweight, the researchers reported in a paper published last week by the journal Neurology.

Worst kind of fat

This research is the latest evidence that fat in the abdomen is the most dangerous kind. Previous studies have linked the apple-shaped physique to a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, even cancer. Researchers suspect that those fat cells are the worst because of their proximity to major organs. "There is a lot of work out there that suggests that the fat wrapped around your inner organs is much more metabolically active than other types of fat right under the skin," said Rachel Whitmer, a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.

How it works

The risk of dementia, the researchers found, increased steadily with the amount of fat in the abdomen, even after accounting for alternative explanations, such as other diseases, bad habits and lower education. They found no such association for fat in the thigh. Stomach fat might increase the risk of dementia in the same ways that it promotes heart disease — by boosting blood pressure and constricting blood flow, Jose Luchsinger of Columbia University said. But Luchsinger and others said it might also promote the accumulation of a substance called amyloid found in the brain of Alzheimer's patients. While acknowledging that more research was needed, Whitmer said that this type of fat is the most easily shed by dieting and exercise. So if you are in your 40s, sit glued to a computer screen all day and boast of a prosperous midriff, it may be time to get off the couch.

Fitness experts advise you on how you can alter your diet and crank up your exercise routine to stall the middle-age spread.

Diet and exercise

By the time you hit your 40s, the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the rate at which your body burns calories even during rest, goes down. Whatever extra you eat gets stored as fat. Increasing physical activity is of primary importance. Start off on and weight training. Cardio is very essential because it helps you burn fat. Building lean muscle tissue also helps burn fat. You have to do a lot of stretching for the body to recuperate. If it doesn't recuperate, the body will not react to the next day's workout. You can't lose midriff fat only with abdominal crunches. These will help tone your muscles, but it's the layer of fat that has to go. Your diet does 90 per cent of the work; weight-training, cardio and stretching do the rest.

Aim for the mobile fat

Before elaborating on the diet needed to stay healthy into your 70s, Dr B Sesikeran, Director of the National Institute of Nutrition, also stressed on the importance of being mentally active. "A person can put on weight due to a lack of physical activity." So we need to consider some basic lifestyle changes, beginning with reducing oily, deep-fried foods in our diet. Refined foods like maida, polished rice, and wheat without the bran, have no dietary-fibre, essential for decreasing the rate at which glucose enters the blood from the intestines. More fibre translates to better control on blood sugar levels. Abdominal fat is both visceral (surrounding organs like the Intestines and the liver) and sub-cutaneous (accumulated under the skin.) While subcutaneous fat is tougher to lose, it is less harmful. Visceral fat on the other hand is more harmful. This is highly mobile fat and constantly circulates in your body as fatty acids. When they break down, they release free radicals that damage cells, including those in the nerves. This process is called oxidative stress. Eating your greens and taking your daily dose of fruits helps tackle that by increasing the level of antioxidants in your body.

Cutting down on calories also includes cutting down on all that social drinking. Alcohol only provides empty calories and increases fat accumulation. If your excuse is the antioxidant content of the red wine, you can get that from grapes as well.

Abdominal fat is an indicator of a host of other problems such as sleep disorders, narrowed blood vessels, and higher triglyceride and lipid levels in the blood. It also indicates lesser blood circulating in the brain, which makes a person more prone to neuro-degenerative diseases like dementia. Keeping your diet in check can only help prevent further abdominal fat from accumulating. To reduce already existing fat, you need to exercise.

If you really want to get rid of the stubborn belly fat and look forward to a healthy life, here's a key to a simplified comprehensive plan that will help you kill and remove the unhealthy belly fat out of your body forever.

Secret To Beat Belly Fat Easily And Effectively

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Tattoo Could Prove Good For Health

Studies on mice show the future of vaccines may be in tattoos. Results show vaccines given by tattooing produced antibody levels about 16 times higher than vaccines by injection. It is more effective in delivering DNA vaccines, say researchers.

We may all be getting tattoos in the future— tattooed vaccinations against disease, that is. German researchers have shown that tattooing is a more effective way of delivering DNA vaccines than intramuscular injection.

Martin Mueller and his team at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (German Cancer Research Centre) in Heidelberg published their findings in the online open access journal, Genetic Vaccines and Therapy.

Using a coat protein from the human papillomavirus (HPV the cause of cervical cancer) as a model DNA vaccine antigen, they compared delivery by tattooing the skin of mice with standard intramuscular injection with and without the molecular adjuvants that are often given to boost immune response.

The tattoo method gave a stronger humoral (antibody) response and cellular response than intramuscular injection, even when adjuvants were included in the latter. Three doses of DNA vaccine given by tattooing produced at least 16 times higher antibody levels than three intramuscular injections with adjuvant. The adjuvants enhanced the effect of intramuscular injection, but not of tattooing.

Tattooing is an invasive procedure done with a solid vibrating needle, causing a wound and sufficient inflammation to "prime" the immune system. It also covers a bigger area of the skin than an injection, so the DNA vaccine can enter more cells. These effects may account for the stronger immune response arising from introducing a DNA vaccine into the body by tattooing.

Of course, the tattooing approach may not be to everyone's taste - as it is likely to hurt - but the researchers believe that it could have a role in, for instance, routine vaccination of cattle or in delivering therapeutic (rather than prophylactic) vaccines to humans.

"Vaccination with naked DNA has been hampered by its low efficiency" says Mueller. "Delivery of DNA via tattooing could be a way for a more widespread commercial application of DNA vaccines."

This adds another reason for those who want to wear tattoo as a fashion acceessory because if you are planning to get a tattoo done, you are on your way to protect yourself from any number of diseases, including some cancers.

Deciphering Dreams And Their Occurrence

We use the word loosely to describe plans, hopes and aspirations. But technically the word connotes the subconscious experience of a sequence of images, sounds, ideas, emotions, or other sensations that occurs during sleep. Sleep is a repeated cycle of a five stage process. The first four stages are called Non REM (Non Rapid eye Movement Sleep) when the brain is typically in a resting stage. The Non REM sleep cycle constitutes about 80 % of our sleep. After the first four stages, we go through the fifth stage called REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), when many parts of our bodies are the most active. REM sleep in adults typically occupies 20-25% of total sleep, lasting about 90-120 minutes. During a normal night of sleep, we usually experience about 4 or 5 periods of REM sleep. During REM, the activity of the brain's neurons is quite similar to that during waking hours; for this reason, the phenomenon is often called paradoxical sleep. Most of our vividly recalled dreams occur during REM sleep. REM sleep and dreams have a strong connection, because most dreams take place during the REM cycle. A part of the brain known as the 'limbic system' which is strongly associated with emotions, is the most active area of the brain during REM sleep whereas another part known as the 'prefrontal cortex' which is responsible for logical thinking is the least active area. This is the reason why dreams sometimes lack clarity in content and seem very random. Yet they almost always carry some meaning which just needs to be deciphered.

There is a place in our mind that we cannot directly access. It remembers everything and feels intensely. It registers our deepest experiences. This is our subconscious. Because we cannot access or openly express these deeper feelings, they often get acted out by us. This can occur in the form of a behavior (such as addiction or procrastination) or a symptom (such as anxiety, angry outbursts or poor self esteem) or a DREAM.

Any form of healing that extensively records the mental and emotional patterns of patients, can be enhanced by better understanding the psyche. Dreams are the doorway to the symbolic realm of the psyche, a powerful force underlying human consciousness. Working with dreams requires that we momentarily leave behind dearly held ideas of reality and immerse ourselves into a realm pregnant with new ideas. It is a creative experience that opens the mind to new possibilities and solutions to various problems.When dreams are used as a part of a treatment, it stimulates the inherent healing capacity of the individual and guides him or her into greater wholeness of mind, body, and spirit. Since its inception, many doctors have used dreams as part of the valuable information that leads to the appropriate remedy. These clues from the subconscious mind can cure you of your most severe health problems.

Here are some examples of how dreams reveal what is really going on in life.

A 12 year old girl studying in a boarding school was asthmatic. Her asthma attacks occurred particularly at boarding school. At home, she remained hale and hearty. She said that she had a recurring dream in which she saw herself running alone in the forest. This dream revealed her inner feeling of being isolated and forsaken away from home and family. On the basis of her dream, she was treated. Her asthma disappeared, she learnt to cope with boarding school life and she never dreamt that particular dream again.

Another case was of a 23 year old young lady who came to us complaining of frequent attacks of cold. She said that she caught cold whenever she was mentally stressed and exhausted. She was asked whether she was going through any stress at present and she revealed that she had certain problems in her personal life regarding a secret liaison, marriage and family. Her case history revealed that she continuously dreamt of her teeth falling off. Dreaming of teeth falling signifies that you are lagging control or authority over a particular situation. She was experiencing just such a situation in her life.

A middle aged man dreamt of falling from a height after facing huge business losses. He was a well established businessman who had carried the responsibility of the entire business on his shoulders. He had taken a loan from several financial firms to expand his business. Unexpectedly, his business collapsed and he fell heavily in debt. He started feeling that he had lost the battle and developed severe depression believing that he had failed to fulfill his responsibilities. A person who feels defeated from within feels as if he has fallen from his set standard of power, pride, dignity and esteem. His dream of falling from a height reflected his mental state of defeat.

A 28 year old man dreamt of floods causing danger, and dead friends long deceased. His detailed case history showed that he had lost his beloved five years ago and even after so long was not yet able to come to terms with the loss. The incident was still so fresh in his mind that it seemed as if it had just occurred. After the incident, he had isolated himself from his surroundings and continued to brood and grieve over his beloved's death. This chaotic mental state showed up in his dream in the form of floods and dead friends which signifies grief and pain.

Dreams driven by the subconscious mind usually reveal our underlying issues, often symbolically. For example, being held back or frustrated can be telling you to set some life goals and develop a strategy for achieving them. Our dreams support this endeavor by showing the causes and effects of our subconscious conditioning. Every thought nourished regularly by the mind activates the subconscious mind to generate those thoughts and energy whether good or bad into your life. So,any attempt to understand dreams or what is really going on in your life and mind , as well as in the lives and minds of others, cannot fully succeed unless it takes into account the study of subconscious mind.

Unlock the potentials of your subconscious mind and feel the magic!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Basic Fitness Training - Beginner's Guide

We are slammed with so much information on fitness that we've completely forgotten how simple exercise can be. Here's a guide to the fundamentals.

Much as love the conveniences that technology has given us, the fact is that they have severely cut down our physical activity. Cars mean we don't walk much any more. Lifts mean we don't take the stairs any more. TVs mean we don't have to go out for entertainment. This has led to what is called lifestyle diseases. There is only one way to combat such diseases, and that is to make physical exercise part of your routine, along with a controlled diet. That's why gyms and health clubs have become so popular. Some people even set up gyms at home. But since, so far,
there is no accreditation of gyms or equipment, no one really knows the basics of what is required to stay fit.

I feel it is time for us to go back to basics and understand what exactly is meant by exercise.

What is Exercise?

Any physical movement can be called exercise. But here's a tighter definition; "Exercise is a set of defined physical movements done by an individual with or without the help of a physical trainer in a stipulated time to achieve a goal, or just for fun". Exercise includes outdoor games, all kind of dance, weight training, martial arts, aerobics, yoga, meditation, pranayam and so on.

Why Exercise At All?
  • It improves mind-body coordination
  • Improves skin
  • Improves the workings of your body's defense mechanism
  • Increases the oxygen carrying capacity of blood
  • Reduces depression and anxiety
  • Helps in excretion of waste products from the body
  • Helps in weight loss by reducing the level of body fat
  • Helps in healthy weight gain by increasing muscle mass
  • Tones the body
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves your sleeping pattern
  • Gives you a better sex life
  • Slows the ageing process
Plan Your Routine

You must get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise three to five times a week. All exercise sessions should be conducted in the following manner: First, stretches, next, warm-ups and stamina building, third, strengthening and endurance exercises and finally, a cool down. But you can personalize your exercise routine by factoring in your age, sex, medical history, physiological condition (such as pregnancy or puberty), family medical history, body mass index, availability of time, type of profession, diet habits, personal target, heart rate and blood pressure. You must give your trainer this information, so he or she can make the best routine for you. Keep in mind however, that you also need to follow a healthy diet for best results.

Gadgets Not Vital

Physical exercise can be done with or without equipment. There are many gadgets to help you work out more correctly and efficiently, but equipment is not vital. If you prefer to use equipment, studies have shown that motorized treadmills offer more benefits than any other fitness device. And it is the most popular fitness devices in India, both at home and at gyms. This is because most of us are fonder of walking, jogging or running than any of exercise, and it is believed that a treadmill helps us burn calories faster.

Selecting A Treadmill

Before you rush off to buy a treadmill, do keep these points in mind so you can make the best of it.

  • Its motor should be heavy and large, preferably of 1.5 to 2.5 horsepower. An AC motor is better for India. The motor should have a year warranty. The more power a treadmill offers, the cooler it will run and the longer it will last.
  • Its deck should be as thick as possible as that is what cushions your feet when you walk/run.
  • The walking deck needs to have a proper suspension that will act as a shock absorber and prevent injury to weight-bearing joints like the ankle, knee and hip.
  • The treadmill's console shou1d tell you details like speed, distance, incline, time and calories burned. A heart rate feature is optional.
  • There should be a safety key for emergency stops.
  • The belt speed should start and stop in small gradual increments.
  • The machine should have handrails or console grips.

How to use it

  • Wear branded jogging shoes, track pants and well fitting undergarments.
  • Have a medical check up before starting a treadmill routine as it's not recommended for those who suffer aches in their weigh-bearing joints.
  • Incline it by one to one and a half per cent for better results.
  • Start slow (walking), then go to your peak speed (jogging or running), then cool down by walking.
Steps ahead

If you are amongst those who have been aspiring to flaunt those head turning rock hard muscles and want a body to die for, here's a body building regime for you with all sure shot secrets and most effective tips.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Consumer Guide To Contact Lenses

If you are planning to switch to contact lenses but are confused by the sheer variety on offer in the market, never fear. We help you take a fresh look at the options available.
Many years ago people who wore contact lenses were few and far between. This was not only because contact lenses were difficult to acquire but also because they were complicated to use. They were hard, uncomfortable and required the maintenance of a small car.

Today, because of the variety available and the sheer ease of wear, everybody’s into contact lenses, even those who don’t have bad eyesight. They wear lenses for the pleasure of batting a pair of baby blues one day and flashing tawny tiger eyes the next.

Those who opt for contact lenses have a wide variety to choose from now. Opt for daily disposable that you chuck in the trash each night or wear them for 24 hours if you like. You choose what suits you best.

Contact lenses come in two types : Rigid gas permeable, also known as semi soft; and soft lenses. Let’s look at the options:

Semi Soft Lenses

These rigid gas permeable contact lenses are made of silicone polymers that allow oxygen to reach the cornea of the eye. Compared to soft contacts, these lenses maintain their shape and offer clearer vision for some types of corrections. They are highly recommended for those who have a cylindrical number. They are also easy to take care of and are more durable than soft contact lenses but the catch is that you take longer to get used to them than you would to soft lenses.

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses are made of a soft polymer plastic material combined with a percentage of water that allows oxygen to pass through the contact lens to the cornea, increasing comfort. Most soft contacts also protect you from the sun’s ultra violet rays. Soft contacts are more comfortable than semi soft lenses for first timers.

Many soft contact lenses are disposable and can be thrown away after a short period of use. Being able to have a fresh pair of lenses means less chance of infection, less cleaning, and more comfort, especially for people whose eyes naturally produce excessive protein that clouds the lenses. Other soft contact lenses are worn on a yearly basis and are not disposable. It is advisable to change soft lenses after a year to avoid eye infections,

While most people choose soft contact lenses because they are comfortable and are easy to wear, they have their disadvantages. They easily absorb pollutants like lotion or soap from your hands that can irritate the eyes. They can also rip or tear easily. But they are available in many options:

  • Daily disposables: These are wear and throw lenses. These are the lenses for you if you are prone to allergies. Wearing daily disposables reduces the risk of infection, dry eye syndrome and irritation caused by contact lens solution.
  • Monthly disposables: They can be used for daily wear for up to a month. Among disposable lenses, monthly disposable lenses are the most popular as they are not only economical but also safe for those whose eyes are prone to infection.
  • Silicone extended wear disposables: These soft contact lenses are made with a new silicone hydrogel material and can be worn for up to 24 hours at a stretch. They are excellent for professionals who need to work longer hours or odd hours. They provide up to five times more oxygen to your eyes than monthly disposables.
  • Colored soft contact lenses: They come in a variety of shades and are very popular. They require the same care a lenses. But remember, coloured contact lenses are a medical device just like clear contact lenses. Never share them with anyone. Clean and care for them just as you would a prescription contact lens.
Bifocal Lenses

Bifocal contact lenses are designed for people who have presbyopia, an age-related change that affects the natural lens in the eye. Contact lens options for presbyopia include bifocal and mono-vision design. They are available in both soft and semi-soft types. Apart from bifocals, multi-focal or progressive lenses are also available. These are seamless lenses that can be used for long distance viewing and for reading too.

Toric Contact Lenses

Toric contact lenses are special lenses for people who suffer from astigmatism i.e. blurred vision.
They are also available in soft and semi-soft forms. Like bifocal lenses, toric lenses have two powers, one for astigmatism and the other for near sightedness or farsightedness.

Lens Sense

  • Before handling your contact lenses, wash your hands using a mild non-cosmetic soap and rinse well. Dry your hand on a lint-free towel. Keep your fingernails short and smooth to avoid damaging the lenses or scratching your eye.
  • Apply cosmetics after inserting your contact lenses
  • Never use tap water to clean or soak your lenses. Tap water contains bacteria that can cause serious eye infections.
  • Do not reuse lens care solution
  • Stop wearing lenses 48 hours before going for eye check up
Fix it Forever

Though contact lenses work for most of us, some would be happy
if they never had to see a lens again in their lives. Luckily a few options are available:

Laser therapy
- Lasik reshapes the cornea with the help of a laser, thereby altering its curvature. It corrects vision by altering the refractive power of the eye. The procedure is quite safe and patients can resume normal activities within a few days.

Zyoptix - An even more advanced technology is called Zyoptix. The difference between Lasik and Zyoptix is that between a readymade shirt and one stitched by a tailor. Lasik offers the same treatment for all, but Zyoptix is customised to suit individual needs.

Natural Treatment - A few natural vision correction treatments are known and proven to be highly effective.
Hypnosis treatment to get rid of glasses has also gain momentum. It can help cure both near and far-sightedness. Natural vision improvement method have helped thousands of people dramatically improve their bad vision – all without expense associated with laser surgery.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Healthy Relationship To Kill Unhealthy Stress

A new study underscores that a solid relationship may be good for your health. Researchers at the University of California's Los Angeles and Davis campuses have found that women in happy marriages recover more quickly from workday stress than women in unhappy ones.

Emotional lives

The research is a reminder that our bodies respond to what is happening in our emotional lives. "Maybe in addition in promising to go to on that diet, you could also promise to sit down with your spouse and talk to them," said Rena Repetti, a psychology professor at UCLA.

And as more people opt to remain single, it will be interesting to see if other close relationships in people's daily lives can provide similar physical benefits, said Davis professor Adrience Nishina.

New patterns

Nishina and Repetti, along with University of California Los Angeles doctoral student Darby Saxbe, wrote the study on stress and married life in Health Psychology. They found that the stress hormone Cortisol, which normally rises and falls throughout the day, followed different patterns depending on gender and the state of the marriages.

Men, whether in happy or unhappy marriages, tended to rebound quickly from a busy, stressful workday, their cortisol levels showed.So did women in happy marriages. But women in less happy marriages rebounded more slowly indicating that it took them longer to shed workday stress.

"We know everyday stress is associated with more health problems in the future," so this differing cortisol response may help explain a gender-related twist in health and marriage, said Saxbe, the study's lead author.

Effects of marriage

A number of other studies have found that married men tend to live longer and recover from illnesses better than single ones. For women, the effect is more nuanced, with the health boost generally going only to women in happier marriages.

Social well-being

Women in unhappier marriages also had less variation in cortisol levels throughout the day, a pattern other researchers have sometimes linked to health problems. Other research has found that people with wider social networks have a stronger immune response.

If there is one message from this work that people can take with them, Saxbe said, it is this: "For your well being, having a good relationship is as important as eating your vegetables and doing your jogging."

So, untangle all your relationship problems and start looking for a stress buster in the arms of your beloved. If you are still unable to cope up with stress and looking for more ways out, you may find some relief and stress management tips here!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How To Make Use Of The Unconcious Or Subconcious Mind

The subconscious mind is an important part of our system and an enormous amount of research is being done on it. This study is especially important as it is now established that the subconscious mind plays as important, if not a more important part, as the conscious mind. It is estimated that the amount that can be stored in the subconscious mind is very many times more than in the conscious mind. In fact, in popular parlance, the conscious mind compared to the subconscious is often likened to the iceberg —the part of the iceberg not in the sea representing the conscious mind and the hidden part standing for the subconscious mind.

The Early Years Vitally Important

Many psychiatrists believe that the impressions formed and stored in the subconscious mind during one's early years — from birth to about five years — determine the actions of a person for the rest of his life. During these early years, the mind is not only like a computer storing everything it hears, but also like a video tape-recorder, recording everything visual. These early stored impressions play a big part in the actions of a person in his later life. It is for this reason that parents should pay special attention to their children's upbringing during the vitally important early years of their life. Another body of psychiatrists, however, maintains that it is not only one's early years that are important in the development of one's personality but all the subsequent years are also equally important.

What Psychoanalysts Do

If any abnormality appears in the thinking or the actions of a person, psychoanalysts usually try to probe into the life of a person so as to understand the reason for this abnormality. Some psychoanalysis like to concentrate on the very early life of the patient — up to the age of about five years. This helps to give them a clue to the abnormal behavior of a person.

The Conscious And Subconscious Mind

The conscious mind can take action; it can evoke memory when it wants to; it can think actively and towards a certain objective.
  • The subconscious mind is a very big store of signals, sounds, emotions and impressions; but even though it is not active like the conscious mind. The subconscious mind can play a large part in the actions, thinking and behavior of a person.
  • When one sleeps, the active mind also rests, but the subconscious mind is awake.
Analysis Of Dreams

Dreams are a direct reflection of what is happening in the subconscious mind and that is why so many psychoanalysts try to analyze dreams. It helps them to understand the reasons for the actions of people. Once the reasons are understood, it is then easier for them to take corrective action. A proper analysis of dreams may help to reveal a great deal about a person and pave the way for curative action.

Study Of The Subconscious Mind

Much of the work of psychoanalysts is concerned with the subconscious mind, because, by studying the subconscious mind they are able to get behind the reasons of their patients behavior. While the study of the subconscious mind is still a relatively new field of research, there are strong indications to suggest that in the future, a man's actions and behavior can be directed and improved by having a better knowledge of the subconscious.

Let Sleep Solve Your Problems

An experiment made on the possibility of putting the subconscious mind to work showed that if some difficult problem was studied before going to bed, this problem became much clearer in the morning by having the subconscious mind work on it.

Very often, if one has a decision to make, the decision-makers leave the problem for a while to their subconscious mind. After some time, maybe the next morning, the subconscious mind helps them to arrive at a fairly reasonable solution. But many psychoanalysts do not agree to this: they say that there is no proof as yet that the subconscious mind can solve problems. It may just be that the problem is solved through the brain being clearer and fresher in the morning.

How The Subconscious Mind Works

When a person has to get up very early in the morning, the waking time is kept in the subconscious mind, and, when the time comes the person wakes up exactly on the dot. The conscious mind is clearly asleep but the subconscious mind is on the job. But the exact relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind is still not clear and an enormous amount of work still remains to be done on this very important and interesting subject.

Know how to unlock your subconscious mind, and literally attract luck, wealth and health into your life. Also
boost your concentration and mental focus by as much as 300% almost overnight. Here is a key that will finally allow you to unlock your inner potential...!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dealing with Insomnia - A Farewell To Sleepless Nights

Sleep is a matter of vital concern to everyone, but it is an entirely individual matter; one cannot lay down any rules about it. Some people, for example Napoleon, could manage perfectly with four hours of sleep while others require eight to nine hours. Napoleon could sleep at will. Even in the middle of a battle he could take ashort nap. There is the case of Lord Nuffield, who never slept at all and yet his brain was razor-sharp throughout his life. Winston Churchill used to sleep for three hours every afternoon, but worked regularly until the early hours of the morning.

Causes Of Sleeplessness
There is a close relationship between worry and sleeplessness. If one has a number of worries, for example, insecurity in one's work, children doing badly, sickness or marital disharmony, these factors often play on the subconscious and the result is sleeplessness. Insomnia may also be due to climate, ill-fitting pyjamas, uncomfortable mattresses or bad-clothing, drinking too much coffee — one cup will not keep you awake — fear, sexual abstinence or unsatisfactory sex relations.

Sleeping Pills
When there is some special worry, say, a death in the family or some serious problem at work, one may be justified in taking some of the numerous tranquillizers or sleeping pills one finds on the market. Tranquillizers generally have few side-effects and enable the mind-temporarily to forget its worries. However, one
should never make a habit of taking tranquillizers or sleeping pills for going to sleep. The reason is that in course of time, sleeping pills will lose their effectiveness and excessive and continuous taking of such drugs is bound to have some bad effects.

Worry About Sleeplessness Bad
One of the most common problems relating to sleeplessness is the worry which so many people have because they think that they are not getting enough sleep. In most cases, this worry is entirely unnecessary as such people probably do not need more sleep: they get all the sleep they need. Often, these very same people have brief cat-naps during the day, and this together wilh the sleep which they have had at night is more than enough for their wellbeing. In fact, such people should consider themselves fortunate as they have some extra hours every night during which they can read and which less fortunate people who sleep eight or nine hours every night do not have.

Special Diet, Drink And Sleep
There are a very large number of patented drinks and food advertised for bringing about sleep. But in most cases, the effect of these rather expensive preparations is almost entirely useless for inducing sleep. They are usually purchased by people who are so desperate for sleep that they are willing to try anything. There is a widespread belief that hot milk taken before going to bed brings about sleep, but there is little medical basis to support this.

Suggestions For Insomniacs
What very often brings about sleeplessness is an upset tummy which might be caused through over-eating and over-drinking. A tablet of soda mint or milk of magnesia might just do the trick and put right the upset tummy and the result will be sleep.
  • Persons who have difficulty in sleeping should not take the offensive: let them use the hours during which they cannot sleep by reading something useful. This is very often a time when the brain is clear and capable of learning and absorbing difficult ideas and concepts. In time, sleep is bound to come; this is certainly far better than just tossing about restlessly in bed. Anxiety about lack of sleep is much more harmful than any actual loss of sleep. Some of the insomniacs time could also be spent taking in large doses of fresh air or by exercising.
  • A useful exercise which very often brings about sleep is to lie flat on one's back: hands by the side, legs slightly apart. In this posture, one should breathe deeply and slowly through the nose, both in and out. The brain should concentrate on the breathing and the body should be completely relaxed. In time, sleep will come; and even if sleep does not come, it does not matter: this posture and breathing will refresh and relax the body even without actual sleep.
  • When one is physically tired, one goes off to sleep immediately. Take a walk after dinner or in the evening or play games to produce a healthy physical tiredness and banish tension. Exercise is the best antidote to emotional tension. And once tension is removed, sleep comes very soon.
  • After a certain age persons tend to wake very early, as they may need only four or five hours of sleep. It may be advisable for such persons to go to sleep much later in tlie night to avoid waking up in the small hours of the morning.
Myths About Sleep
  • That a certain number of hours of sleep are necessary for one's health.
  • If one loses sleep for any reason over a night or two, one must make it up as soon as possible.
  • That insomnia is dangerous to health and may lead to insanity or death.
  • One hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight.
Facts About Sleep
  • Old people sleep less than youngsters and men sleep less than women. Married people sleep better than single folk.
  • Fifty-two per cent of Americans suffer some difficulty getting to sleep.
  • One sleeps much better in a single bed compared to a double-bed.
  • Sleep comes in waves: it is light or it is heavy. Heavy sleep may only last for about one or two hours but even that can be quite enough for a good night's rest.

Friday, February 1, 2008

How To Treat Yourself When You Are ILL

People Are Their Own Doctors

If people went to doctors for all their ailments, doctors would be overwhelmed and would be able to deal with only a fraction of their cases. In actual practice, however, for well over half the cases of illnesses, people usually become their own doctors and medicate themselves.

Advertised Cures Are Big Business

The enormous pharmaceutical concerns of the world which are now multi-billion dollar industries make numerous patent medicines to cure various types of diseases. These cures are vigorously advertised through newspaper advertisements, TV and radio. The cost of the advertisements alone runs into many millions of dollars but in spite of this the pharmaceutical firms make huge profits. There is always a vast and gullible public which is very willing to pay large sums and purchase such highly advertised patent medicines. These medicines are usually purchased direct by the public from chemists' shops — and in most cases they are entirely unnecessary. This just proves what high-pressure advertising can do, especially when one is not well.

Most Medicines Not Necessary

Most medicines are entirely unnecessary — in fact, one could go so far as to say that in most cases one would be better off without any medication whatsoever

One can safely say that 90 per cent of illnesses cure themselves. They take their course. In most such cases, there is no need for medicines; and if medicines are taken, they probably have a marginal effect as far as quickening the cure is concerned, but they may help to make the patient more comfortable.

For example, the average cough-mixture has no real effect on curing a cough. It may, however, relieve the hoarseness in the throat or congestion in the chest and therefore make the patient feel more comfortable. At best, it may tend to cure a cough only a little quicker than if no cough-mixture was taken. But even a relatively harmless cough-mixture taken in excessive amounts may cause unpleasant side-effects. And that is why a growing number of wise people now-a-days never take medicines of any kind.

Interaction Of Drugs Dangerous

The interaction of a number of drugs on the body is such that even a physician cannot really understand it fully. Extreme caution should, therefore, be exercised when taking drugs, especially antibiotics which often give rise to serious side-effect. In fact, drugs should not normally be taken unless it is absolutely necessary. In most cases it is better to let an illness take its course: a
cure is bound to come. But, of course, if an illness continues, then one should go to a doctor.

Vast Consumption of Aspirin

Aspirin or other such analgesics may help to bring down a fever and make the patient more comfortable, but they will certainly not cure a malady: the disease itself is not being treated by taking analgesics or anti pyretics.

Over half of all the patented medicines sold over the counter without prescriptions are analgesics or pain-killers of various types. Most of these contain aspirin in some form or other. The amount of aspirin consumed is vast. It is estimated that for the population of Britain, on an average two tablets are taken by every member of the population every week and a small percentage of both men and women take aspirin every day of their lives. It is interesting to note that the well-known British physician Lord Horder has said that aspirin is the most valuable weapon in the doctor's armamentarium.

Aspirin: The Super-Drug

Aspirin is a super-drug but as we have said earlier, it does not cure — it only makes a patient's life much more comfortable. It is the base medication of all the analgesics. Its maximum effect occurs in about two hours. Aspirin in its various brands is probably more used than all the other types of medicines put together.

Aspirin is a relatively safe drug. It is extremely difficult for an adult to kill himself with an over-dose of aspirin.

- Moreover, aspirin has few side-effects. If taken in very large quantities, it might lead to bleeding in the stomach. That is why it is best to take it after a meal.

Drugs And Saving Money

A good physician can save you a great deal of money you are buying drugs. The cost of a generic drug such as aspirin will be much cheaper than an entirely similar drug, which, however, has a special brand name. In most cases there is no need to to take an expensive brand name at all. A physician should know the relative costs of alternate drugs and he can recommend a drug which serves the purpose but which is much less expensive.

Drugs And The Future

If a physician gives you no medicine, consider this a a very good thing. The present practice of using drugs to control symptoms may be a temporary phase in the history of medicine. Some doctors think that in the future, the taking of drugs may be considerably reduced, except, of course, in the case of operations and other similar types of serious treatment.