Nail Care for, Men? Of Course!

It is often assumed when people mention nail care, that the recipients of such services would be women. Beautiful day spas continue to spring up all over America. These luxurious retreats offer women an escape from their hectic lives and offer some much deserved pampering. Sure, we may see the occasional advertisement for a “couples” massage or maybe even a “male” day at the spa. But when it comes to feet, many people imagine women with beautiful healthy nails polished in exquisite colors and designs.

So what do we do about the large percentage of men who simply need a safe and comfortable place to have their feet and nails professionally cared for? We can’t ignore the needs of thousands of men who are, in fact, perfect candidates for foot and nail care. Nearly 50% of people over the age of 60 have experienced onychomycosis, or toenail fungus. Once this infection takes hold, it can be very difficult to treat. Nails become yellow, thickened and brittle, often requiring the tools and expertise of a medical professional to treat.

Many men have difficulty maintaining good nail care because they cannot reach their feet. Hip and knee replacements are some common reasons, as are arthritis and back pain. Clipping one’s own nails when vision or balance problems exist could become a safety issue. Safety should always be a priority in cutting one’s nails since the possibility of nicking oneself could result in infection. This is especially important for diabetics, where progressive infection could lead to amputation.

Some men have painful corns and calluses which can interfere with their activity level. Regularly reducing rough areas of the feet, adding cushioning to susceptible areas, and moisturizing the feet daily, will delay the return of calluses. This will enable one to continue enjoying an active lifestyle.

Nail care for men needs to become the norm rather than the exception. Those who maintain healthy feet and nails are able to continue to participate in their favorite activities, and have fewer complaints of foot pain.

Some seniors reach a point where they think it is too late for foot care. Please know it is never too late. If you feel embarrassed by the condition of your feet or nails, please schedule a visit to have them cared for by your health care provider or foot care nurse. It will be the first step in a healthier you!

The Weakness of Contemporary Cultural Medicine

The term Cultural Medicine is used to refer to changes to a medical system provided specifically to reach out to and serve a diverse culture. The title is applied differently than Integrative Medicine. Integrative Medicine acknowledges that there are different preventive and reactive ways to address issues of preventive health, health maintenance, disease, injury and medical care (IntgMed), many of them cross-cultural. Cultural Medicine is applied to all that is not specifically IntgMed. Rather, it is that which supports underlying layers of infrastructure required to deliver ever-expanding, culture-specific positions, products and services, rather than focused, inclusive services.

An example of inclusive delivery is recognition that the national language is English. A focused, nationally oriented, fully integrative system of medicine would acknowledge the beneficial elements of all IntgMed, but it would be delivered in English (except non-translatable elements). This approach encourages all citizens to learn and excel in English and markedly limits the cost of IntgMed products/services components delivery. If for example, government-paid and/or delivered services focus on delivering a more culture-neutral, English-based IntgMed service only, costs would be markedly reduced and all citizen-consumers would be encouraged to become more English-language proficient. As an aside, pharmaceutical products, medical technologies, acupuncture needles, physical therapeutic manipulations and exercises, and other key elements of IntgMed do not recognize the human body as gender, ethnicity or culture-specific – they simply perform functions. Such subdivisions are behaviors of service providers.

One of the primary sets of questions ignored by state and U.S. governmental agencies are:

  1. Who is most qualified to determine if a proposal or intervention should be that in which we should invest given all other needs, ideas, and proposals?
  2. Who should be responsible for payment for this proposal/intervention if we proceed with it?
  3. Define success. What does it look like?
  4. When (initial and follow-up) and how shall we measure the effectiveness of the subsequent program, service, or intervention?
  5. Is it not appropriate for payers (e.g., public taxpayers) to receive easily accessible, unbiased reporting of interim services delivery progress and performance measurements?”, and
  6. What will we do if measured results are not as expected and desired (e.g., inadequate Return on Investment)?

If you took your car in for service, paid for the services, and only fifty percent of the claimed fixes were effective, would you be satisfied? No, you would not be satisfied. If the same automotive repair company employed you, yet still provided you and your peers with the above-described poor service, would you then be satisfied and recommend to your friends that they should be satisfied in similar circumstances? You should respond, “No.” You should not be favorably biased toward the repair company simply because it employs you. However, government initiatives usually provide many millions, if not billions of dollars to the recipients of their investments, including the creation of well-paying jobs. And, unlike as would be the case in private industry, recipients of these public windfall monies and opportunities are loath to give up your tax money, and are often willing to publicly denigrate you for demanding that they be held accountable (e.g., fix the entire car as promised versus aren’t you satisfied with partial function?)

There are numerous governmental pseudo-medical/medical programs that are abysmal failures, that continue to expand. In spite of their prolonged failures at missions to curtail drug abuse, misuse, pharmaceutical products-related deaths, decrease STD/STI incidence, minimize gender-critical maladies, and social disruptions due to related issues, the programs and funding persist. With grand budgets and swollen senses of importance and entitlement, no one receives good answers to above listed six questions from these program representatives. Such are the effects and weaknesses of contemporary Cultural Medicine. Everyone in the culture, position-empowered or not, rich and poor, citizens or not, payers or not, aware of and sensitive to current budget constraints or not, believes that they should receive timely, broad-based, sometimes very expensive, individualized care and financing of their programs. And, numerous cultural subgroups (geographic, ethnic, gender-specific, age-specific, financial, religious, secular, other) with sufficient financing and/or sophisticated representation, lobby for special consideration. To suggest that they do not have the right to do so would be politically incorrect and insensitive, right?

Contact your local, regional, state and national government representatives to determine how they are addressing the weakness of contemporary Cultural Medicine in your neighborhood.

HealthEvent – Pharmatex 2008

PHARMATEX is Ireland’s largest pharmaceutical industry conference and exhibition. Although still in its second year, the trade event serves as a multi-disciplined event offering insights into the future of business and technology of both the pharmaceutical as well as the bio-pharmaceutical industry.

Ireland being a knowledge-based economy is slated to remain a major contributor to the Pharmaceutical and (bio) pharmaceutical sectors which thrive on education innovation and technology transfer.

To take a stock of Ireland’s leadership position. Consider the following facts:

* At present 13 of the top 15 companies in the world have significant operations in Ireland.
* There are 83 facilities in Ireland that employ over 17,000 people.
* 12 out of 25 of the world’s top selling drugs are manufactured in Ireland.

The Exhibition

The companies present at the exhibition include those supplying technologies, services or equipment to both pipeline and existing manufacturing facilities. The event is a perfect venue to meet with new and existing customers. If you’re interested in building or expanding your Irish and European customer base then this is the event to make it happen.

The Conference

The conference is an informative and and insightful event delving into and contemplating about the future of innovation, technology and corporate strategy of the bio-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries. For this it banks upon the opinions and experiences of international as well as local business leaders and advisors to chart a decade’s road-map.

The profile of the attendees during the previous year’s show has included international leaders, directors and managers from Ireland based facilities including engineering consultancies, government representatives, representatives from top-notch academic institutions, in addition to representatives from supplier and industry support base. To learn more about the health care trade event, kindly visit my blog “Smiling Health.”

Aging Does Not Have to Mean Decreased Quality of Life Thanks to Holistic Medicine

One unavoidable facet of the human condition is the progression of time and the correlating health changes that go along with the passage of time. Those who are aging typically face conditions that weaken the body and reduce the quality of life as the years add up. There are various holistic approaches that can help these individuals tone their bodies and improve their quality of life again. These approaches avoid the prescribed medications of functional medicine and focus on other treatments that utilize natural compounds and therapy focused on movement and invigoration.

Healthy Eating Habits

Fruits and vegetables are important to help the body stay fit and operate as it should. Eating organic is a big boost to the body’s efforts to maintain strong muscles and healthy skin. Making sure to include the right amount of Vitamins C, D, E and K as well as Vitamin A will keep the body functioning as it should and help individuals enjoy their remaining years.

Supplements

Holistic medicine believes that providing the body with the natural compounds it needs, the body’s capabilities return to what they were in the individual’s younger years. It is important to take supplements rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants in order to help the body complete processes as it should.

Skin Care Taken Seriously

The first step is to minimize sun exposure and also cut down on the amount of chemicals the skin is exposed to on a regular basis. Next, it is important to use topical vitamin C and moisturizers to help the skin stay supple and healthy.

The aged look of skin can be addressed and reduced, provided you utilize the right products and don’t -buy into the promises from make-up or cleansers that are sold for profit and not for the true benefit of the consumers.

Exercise and Sleep Can Mean the Difference

It is important to get enough sleep and make sure to take proper care of teeth and gums. This allows the body to handle illness and any pain or discomfort as it should, rather than having the focus diverted to these issues or the energy available reduced due to lack of sleep.

For those who want to stay healthy, it is important to fit in some exercise, even if it is a regularly scheduled walk. The body needs the exercise to help burn fats and process certain compounds to remove them from the system.

Functional medicine revolves around a specified pain or condition, the diagnosis of said illness and prescriptions meant to resolve or at minimum keep the issue at bay. For those who want to feel healthy and avoid taking too many prescriptions, it is wise to turn to the holistic option to evaluate the potential answers for the condition the sufferer deals with on a daily basis. The prognosis may be better, and the sufferer may get more immediate resolution to the problem. A happy ending using natural solutions can be within reach quickly. Functional medicine has its place, but holistic medicine is an undervalued resource for those with chronic conditions.

Fitness Tips

It is almost the end of the year. If one of your new year’s resolutions is physical fitness, I have a few tips that can help.

1) Focus on positive thinking. When you can keep up with your physical fitness plan, you should congratulate yourself every time. It is not easy to keep up with fitness plan. You really need to have a strong will. Be proud of yourself.

2) When you fall back from your fitness schedule, you should not berate yourself. Some people are too hard on themselves, and they never start over again. Your physical fitness New Year’s resolutions are the promise to yourself. They are not the test of your willpower.

3) You should stay away from unhealthy temptation as much as possible. If you are on the diet, you do not want to keep a huge bucket of ice cream in your refrigerator. It can only make your life harder.

4) Be realistic. Some people expect to achieve physical fitness over night. They make fitness plans that are impossible to keep. Realistic physical fitness plan must fit into your lifestyle. You must ask yourself, “Can I really go out for a run every evening?” If the answer is “No”, you may want to rethink your new year’s resolutions. If you know that you can not do them every evening, you may be able to do them twice a week.

5) Try to keep your resolutions with a friend. You can help encourage each other. A good friend will make your fitness resolutions fun.

Does Your Culture Affect Your Health?

America, often referred to as the melting pot, has many different cultures. Each state within America has different cultures. You can even drive to your neighboring city or town and find they have a slightly different culture than the people of your city or town. Actually, if you want to get technical, each household seems to have its own culture!

Each culture is defined by how the members of the culture interact with one another and the outside world; their traditions; their beliefs; what they consider socially acceptable. Some people define their culture by race, while others define their culture by region. Some people define their culture by education, while others define their culture by financial status. However a culture is defined, America has a plethora of them!

While cultures differ in many aspects, they are similar in one: they are made up of people – living, breathing, human beings – and all human beings have one thing in common, which is the ability to get sick or be injured.

It sounds so simple, but it’s so important. It doesn’t matter how much money you make; you can get sick. It doesn’t matter how many degrees you have; you can get injured.

Many people don’t purchase health insurance unless their employers offer it, and even then some people opt not to buy into their employer’s health care plan. At the same time, many Americans are either unemployed, or aren’t offered health benefits by their employers.

It doesn’t matter what color you are, where you live, how far you went in school, or how much money you have – everyone needs adequate health care. If you are one of the millions of Americans who doesn’t have a health insurance policy, you need to start searching for one now. Take advantage of your employer’s health benefits package, or, refer to your state’s insurance bureau to find health insurance companies that offer policies you can afford.

An Appreciation of Louisa Lust – Teaching Naturopathy

Many times in a business it is a married couple who work together to produce stellar results. This was the case with Louisa Lust (1869-1925). The wife of celebrated naturopathy Benedict Lust she worked with him to open the American School of Naturopathy in New York.

Before the partnership Louisa already had a name in the nature cure world and used time honored traditions as:
o Hydrotherapy
o Vegetarian diet
o Air and light baths
o Rational life style

German born Louisa studied the nature cure methods of Rikli and Kuhne in London prior to moving to the United States. She established a practice in the USA but continued her studies at Columbia Institute, then in 1901 married Benedict Lust. Their 25 year partnership established Naturopathy as a medical force with lasting impact in the United States. As a cook she prepared tasty meals and wrote: Practical Naturopathic Vegetarian Cookbook in 1907. She tells us:
o A large part of food among Americans is composed of white flour, sugar, and butter. People who try to live on such stuff gradually starve to death
o We lengthen our life with a frugal diet
o We shorten our life by eating too much
o Feed the sick little so little digestive work is needed

Louisa was dedicated to bring out the attributes of a healthy home where light, air, cleanliness, and a good diet would keep a person healthy. She believed in a common sense approach to health that trusted “The Life Force Within”. That what people needed was:
o Freedom from fear
o Mastery of hygiene

Louisa made sure she knew the individual and correspond treatments to their circumstance and experience. Louisa believed there was no better treatment than hydrotherapy and the use of water. If an acute disease struck to use a steam bath, and every day take a cool bath. She believed that fever was the vital force trying to get rid of toxic materials and poison and not to stop it. She advised no solid food and the organs will cure the issue naturally. Louisa Lust spent her life in the pursuit of helping others help themselves. Her lessons are still valid today.

Medical Organizer – Improve Quality of Care With Information-Rich Data

Take ownership of your personal health care records with a medical organizer. Begin today to use this valuable information to improve the quality of care you receive.

Collect and Share

Having up-to-date records about your medical condition allows you to share valuable information with your medical team. Accurately describing your symptoms and body changes allows your physician to provide the best possible care. Remember, according to the American Society of Internal Medicine, 70% of a correct diagnosis depends on what the patient tells the doctor.

Sharing information such as your family history may be the one crucial item that helps secure a correct diagnosis. An empowered health care consumer will continue to track, document and share information about their health status.

Partner with your Physician

A key strategy in receiving the best possible care in today’s health care system is to have an effective working relationship with your physician. Research suggests that patients who have an active working relationship with a primary care physician receive more preventative services and spend fewer days in the hospital.

The partnership with your physician will be enhanced when you are able to provide credible, up-to-date health information. Effective medical information gathering by patients and more conversation with their physician during office visits is related to better health status.

Take Control

Begin today to access and store all of your own medical records in a medical organizer. You will soon discover that your will be in a much better position to manage your condition. Use this information to be more actively involved in your own care.

The engaged health care consumer seeks an ongoing dialogue with their medical team. Having access to your life-long medical records will allow you to engage in meaningful discussions about your condition and potential treatment options. Use a medical organizer to take ownership of your health information; you will be glad you did.

Aseptic Processing

If you go back in time, hygienic practices weren’t even heard of let alone carried out. Medicines were made primarily of plants and whatever else was on hand and even, during the Victorian period when pharmaceuticals became more main stream, they weren’t very worried about how sterile the compounds were.

Today of course, pharmaceuticals are big business and having a product delivered to a patient sterile and ready to go is the norm. We’re talking eye drops, ear drops, inject, infusion products and the like, all things that have to remain sterile until ready to use.

By definition, something that is sterile has the absence of any viable microorganism, and the specification is unchanging and independent of the manufacturing process of the drug in the first place. To make a sterile product then, means filling and sealing the product containers under high quality environmental conditions, with care and with the same practices in place day after day.

When you are talking foods, beverages and medicines, keeping them sterile is a process called aseptic processing. This means that the sterile product is packaged in such a way as to keep its sterile rating. It is accomplished by flash heating which uses less energy than other techniques while (in the case of food) retains more nutrients. When you are talking pharmaceuticals, the ante is upped and the procedure also includes the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters, and either dry or steam heat.

Some examples of food and drinks being in a sterile container include tetra juice boxes and drink pouches, but for medicines, they are stored in plastic or glass containers as these materials form a tight seal against microbiological organisms, contaminants, and degradation of the substance being carried. Using aseptic processing means you no longer need refrigeration and it makes worldwide import and export safe and economical.

Aseptic containers range in size from tiny ones that hold just a few ounces of medicine to ones that can hold eight million gallons in a tank on an ocean liner. Companies that package these medicines and the like can then send their product all over the world, knowing that once it reaches its destination, it is still a viable, sterilized product and will remain that way until it is used for a patient.

The next time you have a prescription for eye drops or have medicines administered by injection or drip, you can be sure those medicines are sterile, all thanks for aseptic processing.

Low Cost Dental Health Insurance

Dental plans are not included in basic health insurance plans as most of the dental treatments are elective and to a degree, cosmetic. Some medical plans take account of dental coverage as an added feature. Dental disease is often preventable; with the exclusion of injury or damage due to an accident. Only the initial diagnostic procedures such as exams and x-rays in dental treatment are relatively low-cost. Otherwise the treatments are considered to be expensive.

Low cost dental insurance is necessary for anyone who cares about their teeth and also doesn’t like paying the full price for dental work. You will have peace of mind with a low cost dental health insurance as you can be safe in the knowledge that you and your family are covered for any eventuality and will obtain the best dental care, whenever you need it for a relatively small monthly or annual payment. Low cost dental health insurance is available from top rated companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield, PacifiCare, MetLife Dental, HealthNet and Kaiser. You should identify how your plan is designed, since this can considerably affect the plan’s coverage and your out-of-pocket expenses.

A low cost dental health insurance has many different levels of cover. You can opt for basic dental health maintenance which will cover a portion or in certain cases the whole cost incurred of dental procedures such as fillings, root canal work and general maintenance. Other affordable extensive policies that cover periodontics, orthodontics, all sorts of filling, tooth and bridge work, as well as check-ups and cleaning are also available. Each low cost dental plan is different. Accordingly it is advisable to check the terms, conditions and coverage of each prospective insurer before taking a decision. With several options available, you can choose a low cost dental health insurance that is right for you and your family.