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Can a Magnetic Connection Cure Pain?

Alternative Medicine
By: Lara Endreszl
Published: Sunday, 14 December 2008

As a kid, I had a bunch of little round magnets that were supposed to be glued onto the back of homemade refrigerator magnets. Instead I used to stack them up on the kitchen table and turn them around and around attracting and repelling the little discs for the sheer wonder of the power they held. Little did I know magnets have been widely used as an alternative method of treating pain from headaches and motion sickness to joint pain.

For centuries magnets have been used for various health purposes and were first used in stone form. Called lodestones, ancient Greeks used the magnetized stones as a way to cure certain ailments. To keep patients from bleeding, physicians used amber pills that were magnetized, as well as magnetic rings, to ease arthritis suffering. The Middle Ages found magnets being used against poison, gout, and the threat of baldness, as well as for pulling out objects containing iron (like arrowheads) and as an antiseptic for cleaning wounds.

Ancient healers thought that the blood contained magnetic energy and when it became low or displaced, the patient became ill. After the Civil War, magnets were put into clothing in order to reduce the need for doctors, which were hard to find. In the United States, magnets are still in use today, not so much in clothing to replenish deficiencies in the body, but for shoe insoles to stabilize painful foot symptoms, inside a mattress pad for general body well being, and inside discreet elastic bands to wear against pressure points (most common on the inside of your wrist) to ward off sickness from the sea, from altitude, or motion in genera—like a long car ride in the backseat.

Multiple conditions are said to be fought by manipulating the magnetic fields coursing through your body. Liver and kidney problems, back pain, and fibromyalgia are some of the major health concerns people look to magnets to solve.

Popular, yes, but healthy? No one can say for sure. Dr. Andrew Weil—renowned alternative medicine doctor and famous for being a specialist in giving practical health advice related to his field to public figures such as Oprah Winfrey—says the jury’s still out. Weil addresses their popularity and widespread use on multiple causes, but isn’t sure spending money on gimmicky magnets are worth your while in the long run, especially because there have been no previous studies confirming their positive results.

Weil says there are two main types of magnets, static and electromagnetic. Static magnets are like the ones I used to play with on my kitchen table which don’t change their magnetic field. These are the types that are usually associated with small adhesive patches and the elastic bands for cabin pressure and motion sickness and inside shoes and key rings and other devices said to “balance” out the body. Some people have claimed that these types of magnetic fields are able to help temporarily relieve pain associated with chronic back symptoms and can even give you a boost of energy throughout daily wear, but concrete research has yet to back those theories up.

On the other hand, electromagnets are often used in hospitals in devices like MRI machines using magnetic fields with an active electrical current, using radiation to help doctors see inside the body and sometimes speed up the bone-healing process. As recently as March, a medical journal published a paper that touts researchers’ findings that electromagnetic technology was able to reduce depression in people who didn’t respond to other methods of treatment. With all of these methods, more research always has to be done.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) cites that science may find a way to propose the worth of magnets for the body and have conducted small trials using animals instead of humans. Possibilities are that magnets may be able to change nerve cell functions and block pain signals from getting to the brain, blood flow and oxygen transport can be increased thereby inducing body temperature to ailing areas of the body, and by balancing the rate of cell growth and death. With every type of medicine there are risk factors involved and a consultation from a doctor or natural healer would always be wise before starting any type of radical therapy.

Whatever type of medical theory you subscribe to, doctors and researchers alike warn to use your own judgment when applying magnetic fields to what ails you. Talk to your physician and rate the pros and cons. Whether or not this type of magnetic manipulation appeals to your common sense, I think we all have learned that magnets aren’t just for the refrigerator anymore.

Driving While Using the Cell Phone

Natural Health
By: Nicki
Published: Friday, 26 December 2008

As a blind individual, one thing I will never be able to do is drive. However, I do ride with my mom and also with my friends at times. Mom is a very safe driver; she watches the road and never eats or talks on the cell phone while driving. But many other people do drive while distracted. One estimate held that cell phone distractions alone cause 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year. And, among teens, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death. That is why I am an advocate for a new device I read about recently that is aimed at cutting down on road deaths by preventing teenagers from talking on cell phones or text messaging while driving.

The device, invented by researchers at the University of Utah, is called Key2SafeDriving. It encloses an automobile key—one for each teen driver, or for any family member, and then connects wirelessly with each key user’s cell phone either through Bluetooth or RFID (radio-frequency identification) technologies.

To turn on the car engine, the driver must either slide the key out or push a button to release it. Then the device sends a signal to the driver’s cell phone, which places it in “driving mode” and a “stop” sign is displayed on the phone’s screen. While in the driving mode, the driver cannot use their cell phone to talk or send text messages, except for calling 911 or other pre-approved numbers, such as family members’ numbers. Incoming calls and texts are automatically answered with a message saying, “I am driving now. I will call you later when I arrive at the destination safely.”

Studies by other researchers at the university have shown that driving while talking on a cell phone is as dangerous as driving drunk. Several states have banned cell phone talk and texting while driving, especially for novice drivers. Co-inventor, Xuesong Zhou says that “at any given time, about 6 percent of travelers on the road are talking on a cell phone while driving. Also at any given time, 10 percent of teenagers who are driving are talking or texting.”

The university has obtained provisional patents and licensed the invention to a private company that is currently working to manufacture and commercialize it. If things go as planned, the company hopes see it on the market within six months and says the technology may be licensed to cell phone service providers to include in their service plans. The cost is estimated to be less than $50 per key, plus an undetermined monthly service fee.

Not only could this device improve driving safety, it could help parents get lower insurance rates. By using the system, you could prove that teen drivers are not talking while driving, which could significantly reduce their risk of getting into an accident.

The marketing company hopes to get automobile and insurance industry backing so that Key2SafeDriving data on cell phone use and non-use while driving can be collected and compiled into a “safety score” of sorts and sent to insurance companies monthly, which then could provide discounts to motorists with good scores.

I personally think it’s a wonderful idea and if I were a parent, I would want one for my teen. Actually, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if everyone in the family had one—just to keep things fair!

Coconut, Not Your Average Oil

Natural Health
By: Lara Endreszl
Published: Sunday, 28 December 2008

When I have a little time on my hands, whether I am feeling stressed or bored or just in need of a task, I bake. One of my favorite ingredients to use is coconut. The rich sweet flavor, the soft chewy texture if it’s inside a baked good, and especially the nutty toasted crunch after it’s been baked and sprinkled over cakes, ice creams, or just about anything else you can think of. There are a lot of varieties of coconut sold at stores: flaked, whole, shredded, flour (good for people with wheat flour allergies), raw, unsweetened, dried, milk, and the most unusual type which I have been hearing about recently: coconut oil.
Claiming to be a “miracle cure” everyone has seemed to be raving about it from a new diet to an
unbeatable moisturizer, Jennifer Aniston has supposedly been known to swear by it as well as professional international sports teams for multiple aspects of the oil's promising effects. Coconut oil promises a lot, but is it enough to withstand the dangers to your diet?

According to the
Coconut Research Center based in Colorado, scientists are aware of the saturated fat content but are also aware of the more substantial positives found in the oil, like fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Used for centuries in Asian and Pacific cultures, they call it the “Tree of Life” for its many remarkable uses. Both food and medicine, coconut oil goes beyond what Americans describe as “dietary oil,” used to prepare foods and for taste without all the calories, dietary oil is a type of oil used for its natural fatty acids and often marketed as a weight loss supplement.
The researchers from the Center urge us to take another look at coconut oil, beyond its dietary purposes. Around the world, traditional alternative medicines have been using this oil to treat a myriad of symptoms and conditions, “asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cramps from menstruation, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, upset stomach, and wounds,” among others. In Western medicine, however, studies have shown that scientists have had some luck in proving coconut (in certain forms) may be a healing substance in the lab.

The possibilities are endless, from killing bacteria and parasites, to boosting the immune system and the body’s energy, acting as an antioxidant, as well as having a lower cholesterol content than other oils, it seems science knows something we don’t. A new study recently conducted and presented by Drs. Gilda Sapphire Erguiza, from the Philippine Children's Medical Center and Daniel Rauch, from the New York University Langone Medical Center, found that children diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia healed faster while on normal antibiotics when also given a dose of coconut oil according to their weight, though researchers have more to investigate as to why this effect took place.

On the opposite side of the crowd, nutritionists and the health-conscious weigh in on why coconut oil shouldn’t be a part of a regular diet. Just look at the numbers: Coconut oil has a whopping 117 calories per tablespoon and with the artery-clogging qualities of a saturated fat to boot. Coconut oil on its own has 87 percent saturated fat compared to a juicy burger that contains merely 38 percent. With most American diets already high in fats and saturated fats, adding additional oil on top of all the rest probably won’t be good for your overall health.

The fatty acids in foods are measured in length that tells of the danger to our bodies: short, medium, and long. Most fatty acids we consume are of the long variety and essentially it takes our bodies longer to break them down and metabolize within our system. Most of the long-chain varieties are what we consume—98 to 100 percent—from plants and animals daily. Coconut oil is medium-chain or known as MCFA. Some nutritionists warn about the high saturated fat content of coconut oil but advise to use caution and think about what we are substituting it for within our diet in order to keep a balance and keep our heart in check.

Whatever your choice, for or against the “miracle cure” of coconut oil, remember that everything even supplements and natural remedies should be used in moderation no matter how healthy they may seem and to always consult a doctor before trying anything new so as to prevent future complications. I always knew I loved coconut, but I didn’t know it could be for more than just taste.

Millions of older Americans use risky drug combos

By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer (yahoo news 24, Dec. 2008)

CHICAGO – At least 2 million older Americans are taking a combination of drugs or supplements that can be a risky mix — from blood thinners and cholesterol pills to aspirin and ginkgo capsules — a new study warns.

Among older men, the numbers are particularly alarming — one in 10 are taking potentially harmful combinations, according to the study.

The results aren't always disastrous, but older people are more vulnerable to side effects and drug-to-drug interactions. And patients need to know that just because lots of medicines and supplements don't require prescriptions doesn't mean they're harmless. Nor are some of these safe to take when you're prescribed other medications.

Experts say the take-home advice is to ask about any side effects of prescription drugs, and tell your doctor before taking other medicines.

The report showing just how many older people are using risky combinations comes from a study of nearly 3,000 interviews with people aged 57 to 85. The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and University of Chicago, appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

It's well-known that as people age, their medication use goes up. But the study highlights the potential problems with some sobering statistics.

Ninety-one percent in this age group use at least one medication, often for heart disease and related problems. That translates to more than 50 million people. More than half use at least five remedies, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines or supplements.

Virtually every medicine can have side effects, and with so many being used by so many older adults, the potential for harm is high.

For example, warfarin, a potent prescription clot-fighting drug, was often taken with aspirin. Both increase the risk of bleeding, so the odds are even higher when both drugs are taken. The researchers said these risks also occur when warfarin is taken with garlic pills, which some studies have suggested can benefit the heart and help prevent blood clots.

Signs of bleeding problems include bruising easily, hard-to-stop bleeding from the gums or from cuts and blood in the urine.

Other commonly used and risky combinations included:

_Aspirin taken with over-the-counter ginkgo supplements, increasing chances for excess bleeding.

_Lisinopril, a blood pressure drug, taken with potassium, which combined can cause abnormal heart rhythms. Potassium is often prescribed to restore low levels of this important mineral caused by certain blood pressure drugs.

_Prescription cholesterol drugs called statins taken with over-the-counter niacin, a type of vitamin B that also lowers cholesterol. This combination increases risks for muscle damage.

"Patients need to know that while medications are often beneficial, they're not always safe," said lead author Dima Qato, a University of Chicago pharmacist. "If they need to self-medicate with over-the-counter or dietary supplements, they should definitely consult with their physicians or pharmacists."

The study relied on data from in-person interviews with 2,976 adults questioned about which medications they routinely used. The nationally representative survey was done between June 2005 and March 2006, and results were extrapolated to the general population.

The researchers assessed how many people routinely used at least two medications of any type known to have dangerous or even fatal interactions. The number totaled at least one in 25, corresponding to 2.2 million nationwide.

Those interviewed weren't asked if they'd ever had a bad reaction from taking those combinations. And the study didn't assess whether patients were taking medications inappropriately.

Dr. Jerry Gurwitz, chief of the geriatric medicine division at University of Massachusetts Medical School, said taking multiple medications, despite possible bad interactions, isn't necessarily a bad idea as long as patients are in close contact with their doctor.

"There are definitely many instances where if they're monitored carefully and there's good reason for using them, that they could be used safely," said Gurwitz, who wasn't involved in the study.

Prescription drugs were the most commonly used and nearly one-third used at least five prescription drugs.

Michael Cohen, a pharmacist and president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, called the study an important snapshot of medication use in older Americans. But as someone who takes at least five medications himself, Cohen said the widespread prevalence isn't surprising.

Cohen said his group recently launched a new Web site, that will allow consumers to enter names of their medications to check for any potentially dangerous interactions.


On the Net:


Institute for Safe Medication Practices:

Advices from Medical Specialist for Those Who Have Nasal Problem

Alexander Chong

Aaron had a bad sinus infection after returning from oversea. He said he always had a sinus problems and rhinitis, but never asked advices from any medical specialist. This time, the infection was so bad that he had to consult ear, nose and throat specialist. This trip to the specialist is very valuable because the specialist gave him a lot of daily useful tips, which help him to recover from his infection and also teach him how to prevent infections in the future. According to him, the specialist not only gives him antibiotics but also advices how to avoid habits that will further irritate his nasal membranes. Added by Aaron are fragile and sensitive nasal membranes may be irritated by simple things such as sniffing and blowing the nose too hard, coughing too hard, rubbing nose and stuffing things such as tissues and hand�kerchiefs up to the nostrils. Other good habits that had been recommended by his specialist are getting enough sleep and emptying half the stomach before sleep to avoid refluxing (back up) stomach acids, which will irritate the nose membranes. Besides these, his specialist also told him that for a person who had flu (infection) should not dive and swim. This is because diving and swimming may cause the infection in the nose traveling up to the sinuses through the water, where this person swim in.

Nasal and sinus diseases caused by infections or allergies are the common symptoms that lead people to the consultation of ear, nose and throat specialist. According to ear, nose and throat specialist, airborne particles or air pollution from the environment can cause nasal and sinus diseases. However, for those who have family history of an allergic nose, they have higher possibility inheriting allergic disorders. Ear, nose and throat specialist noted that the people who came to see him mostly had symptoms such as runny nose, blocked nose, sneezing and sensitive nose, eyes and throat. Some of them may come with loss of smell. Specialist explained that if nose infections were left untreated or poorly handled, it can cause problems to the sinuses, eyes, throat and lungs. Cavities surrounding the nose are known as sinuses. Your sinus can be infected from a simple nose infection. Since the eyes are located close to the sinuses, it can be infected too. Specialist added that the lungs infection caused by the nose infection was the excessive mucous secreted from the nose flown into the throat and further gone deep into the lungs. However, by staying away from the allergen, which is a substance that triggers allergy, one person's nose allergies can be reduced.

According to specialist, to clean your nose by sniffing, blowing or picking your nose is not the right way when you had a flu or allergy. The following tips have been given by the specialist for you to care for your nose. The most common cause of nasal problems is allergy, which medical term is allergic rhinitis.

To get rid of the allergic triggered substances is the best way to prevent these symptoms. One of the allergic triggered substances is dust mites. Due to their occupying in mattresses, carpets and pillows, runny nose and sneezing in the morning are caused by them. Nevertheless, medications such as acaricides can be used to destroy dust mites. Besides this, dust mites can be kept away by using medication impregnated bed sheets. Once a week, put your bed sheets and pillows under that sun is a more economical way. Your bedroom has to be mopped and cleaned it using vacuum regularly. The load of dust mites can be reduced using these simple methods; however, it is not an easy task to totally eradicate dust mites. To check whether some of the common allergens out there are the cause of your allergy, you can take blood and skin tests to confirm it. Prevent the foods that cause your allergy for a period of time before retry them again if you have allergy to foods. Sometimes, some people allergies can be got over with time. If pets cause your allergy, try to remove them. Allergic reactions may be caused by fungus in the air-conditioning and ventilation vents. To solve this problem, just use fungicides, which are the chemicals that can kill fungus to clean the systems.

Bad habits such as sniffing, blowing or picking your nose will exasperate or extend the infection to surrounding organs during an infection period. Your symptoms may aggravate if you drink cold drinks. Therefore, you should take warm drinks instead of cold drinks. You should not blow your nose too hard when you have runny nose. Nose blocked is due to the swollen lining tissue inside the nasal cavity. Hence, blowing your nose hard is not going to clear the mucous. Moreover, it will cause the infection to go to the surrounding areas such as sinuses and ears. The proper way is sniffing gently to bring the mucous down to the throat and after that spit or cough it out from the mouth. You should not teach your children how to blow their nose if they don't know how to do it. So, if they have any discharge, just use handkerchief or tissue to wipe their nose gently. Mucous or phlegm should not be swallowed because it may cause irritation to your stomach.

Anybody can have nosebleeds at any age. Nosebleeds in children are mostly due to the damage of the blood vessels in the anterior part of their nose. This is due to their bad habit - like to pick at their nose. Apply pressure on the bleeding nostril for a few minutes and use the other nostril or mouth to breathe temporarily if you have nosebleed. Don't hold your head back because this will cause the blood drip down into your throat. Instead hold your head up straight and sit up. You may unaware that you are actually still bleeding if you hold you head back. This is because the blood dripping down through your throat but not trickling down from your nostrils. Consequently, it may cause a breathing difficulty because your airways may be blocked by the bleeding. Ice can be used to apply on your nose if the nosebleed doesn't stop. Nosebleeds in adults can be caused by infection or tumors in their nose. Other factors that will cause nosebleeds are high blood pressure and the hardening of the blood vessels in the nose. Both diseases are due to ageing. Therefore, you need to check with doctors to double confirm what is the problem with your nose if it is bleeding.

Alexander Chong Author of "How to cure your incurable nasal allergy without using any synthetic drugs, herbs and expensive devices".
Many people will walk in and out of your life,
but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

Deep As The Rose Is Red

I'll give you my heart; I'll open it up,
Will you listen to its small still voice?
For soft and quiet my heart will speak
To the one I'll call my wife.

Did you hear it dear? Did you listen well?
Do you understand what it said?
For deep is the love that it speaks to you,
Deep as the rose is red.

So, take my heart and treat it well
And forever in this life,
Come walk with me, your hand in mine,
The one I'll call my wife.

- Melvin D. Sharrar -

Every Second Beat

If I had a thousand pages,
I could never name them all,
The reasons that I love you,
For the list would be too tall.

I love you for the melody,
I hear within your voice.
The way your blue eyes hold me,
A captive, but by choice.

I love you for your gentle hands,
That melt away my pain.
I love you for your loving heart,
That made mine beat again.

I love you for your loving smile,
With which my old heart soars.
These are some of the reasons,
Every second beat is yours.

- Mark Liverance -

What's the Skinny on Your Skin?

How to Keep it Healthy and Young

Myriads of products on the market claim to make your skin look younger. But no anti-aging cream, exfoliating wash, European facial, age-defying makeup or herbal remedy is more powerful than the lifestyle steps every woman can take to keep her skin looking smooth and healthy for as long as possible.

Many people begin to develop fine lines around the eyes in their 40s. But any deep facial wrinkles that emerge before age 50 are generally attributable to the cumulative effects of sun exposure, cigarette smoking or both, according to cosmetic surgeons. This observation springs into dramatic relief when you compare the skin on your face and the backs of your hands to the relatively smooth, monotone skin of your buttocks.

To a lesser extent, yo-yo dieting, chronic exposure to wind and over-animated facial expressions may also contribute to premature skin aging.

Aside from Father Time, the only skin-aging factor beyond your control is genetics. If your grandmother and mother looked younger than their years, you and your children probably will, too, in middle age - particularly if you adopt a lifelong habit of using sunscreens, wearing wide-brimmed hats on sunny days, shunning tobacco and secondhand smoke, and avoiding yo-yo dieting and the other aforementioned risk factors.

Types of wrinkles

Dermatologists and plastic surgeons distinguish between two types of facial wrinkles: static and dynamic. Static wrinkles are always visible, even when all the facial muscles are resting. Static wrinkles tend to develop in skin that has thinned and stretched as a result of premature or natural aging processes.

Dynamic wrinkles occur in people of all ages, even young children. Sometimes called "laugh lines," dynamic wrinkles appear temporarily when a muscle contracts and causes the overlying skin to crease like an accordion. Dynamic wrinkles are seen only when you are smiling, raising your eyebrows or otherwise animating your facial expression.

How sunlight harms the skin

Think back to those golden summers of your youth. Like many pre-adolescent and teenage girls, you probably donned your bikini, slathered your body with baby oil and held those foil-covered sun reflectors under your chin in the quest for the perfect, golden tan.

No one told you that decades later your skin would pay the price for those sun-soaked days in the form of dryness, wrinkles, fine lines, liver spots and perhaps even skin cancer. Government health officials have estimated that half of a lifetime's worth of UV exposure occurs by age 18. One research study carried out in Australia found that people as young as 25 already had detectable photoaged skin on their face and the back of their hands--the parts of the body that are chronically exposed to UV radiation. Research indicates that about 90 percent of skin changes that begin in your 30s and 40s stem directly from "photoaging," or the cumulative effects of exposure to the sun's UV radiation.

Simply put, UV radiation - be it from the sun or a tanning bed - damages the DNA of skin cells. To make matters worse, the thinning of the Earth's protective ozone layer is believed to be amplifying UV radiation levels. It takes many years before enough microscopic damage accumulates to create wrinkles and other visible skin changes. Using sunscreens with a skin protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more will filter out most of these harmful UV rays. Even if you failed to use sunscreens in your youth, you can prevent further UV damage by using them religiously throughout the year, even on the ski slope.

During all outdoor activities, including gardening, playing sports, walking and jogging, as well as going to the beach, be sure to use a sunscreen that blocks both UV-A and UV-B radiation. Sunscreens work best when applied liberally to all exposed skin about 30 minutes before sun exposure and re-applied every few hours or after swimming or sweating. Don't miss the backs of your hands, and don't be fooled by an overcast day; UV light penetrates clouds and can still harm unprotected skin. Wearing a baseball cap or wide-brimmed hat in addition to your sunscreen offers an additional measure of protection.

How smoking ages the skin

It is well-known that cigarette smoking ages people on the inside by causing lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease and an array of other health problems. But fewer people realize that smoking also ages your appearance. Chemicals inhaled from cigarette smoke constrict tiny blood vessels in the skin, reducing the oxygen and nutrient supply to delicate facial tissues. Blood-vessel constriction lasts at least an hour after a cigarette has been snuffed out. Over many years of smoking, the oxygen and nutrient deficiencies cause skin to wrinkle prematurely and lose elasticity, the ability to "bounce back" after being stretched. It is not unusual for the skin of longtime smokers to exhibit a grayish pallor.

To make matters worse, repeatedly pursing your lips around a cigarette hastens the formation of fine vertical lines around your mouth. Squinting when smoke gets in your eyes can cause premature wrinkling of the eyelids.

Dieting and skin aging

Cyclical, significant weight loss and gain, also known as "yo-yo" dieting, stretches the skin, causing it to lose its elasticity and making it more vulnerable to wrinkling and sagging under the force of gravity. Try to stay within five or 10 pounds of your ideal weight and avoid fad or crash diets.

How facial expressions age the skin

In a sense, skin has a "memory." If it is repeatedly folded in the same way by muscle contractions, permanent static lines will eventually form. This is common in sailors who constantly squint to protect their eyes from wind and sun glare. It also can be true of people who smile broadly much of the time and those who scowl a lot. Wearing sunglasses outdoors is one way to prevent continuous squinting. Another is to become aware of undue tension in your facial muscles and to make a conscious effort to relax your face.

Ways to keep your skin looking young

In general, some of the same steps that keep you healthy on the inside--such as not smoking and maintaining a normal weight also can help keep you looking healthy on the outside. Here are some steps you can take to help your skin look younger longer:

  • Try to avoid sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest.

  • Apply a sunscreen with SPF 15 or more on all exposed skin 30 minutes before going outdoors.

  • Re-apply sunscreen after swimming or sweating.

  • Do not sunbathe.

  • When at the beach, stay under a beach umbrella, but also use sunscreens since sunlight reflecting off the sand and water can harm unprotected skin.

  • Outdoors, wear wide-brimmed hats, long sleeves and pants.

  • Wear makeup (foundations and lipsticks) that has a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.

  • Avoid tanning booths.

  • Don't smoke.

  • Wear sunglasses outdoors.

  • Use moisturizers to combat skin dryness.

  • Use moisturizing soaps.

  • Use a humidifier at home in winter when indoor air can be particularly dry.

  • Ask your dermatologist about topical tretinoin emollient cream. This FDA-approved product may slow or stop additional photoaging when used to treat existing photoaging.

  • Ask your dermatologist about alpha-hydroxy acid, which also may help reduce some visible signs of photoaging.

Aging and Insomnia Don't Go Hand-in-Hand

By Aliyah Baruchin, HealthAtoZ writer

It's said that the older people get, the less sleep they need. If you're having trouble sleeping at night or you wake up tired, you should know that insomnia isn't a normal part of aging.

As you age, your levels of growth hormone and melatonin (which control sleeping and waking) decline. This can make you go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier, sleep more lightly or wake up several times during the night.

Like younger adults, you still need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Something besides normal aging may be causing your problem if:

  • You depend on pills to sleep
  • You haven't slept soundly in over a month
  • You often become sleepy at times when you should be alert (such as behind the wheel)

Common causes of insomnia in seniors
Several health conditions that affect older people can interfere with sleep, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Incontinence
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Heart disease
  • An enlarged prostate

These conditions may cause breathing difficulties, frequent urination or pain that awakens you during the night. If you think an illness is causing your insomnia, talk to your doctor.

Sleep disorders
If you have sleep apnea, you may stop breathing at times during the night. Another condition, restless legs syndrome, causes an unpleasant sensation in the legs and an intense need to move them while lying down. If you think you have either condition, speak with your doctor.

Some medications can affect sleeping. These include:

  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Cardiovascular drugs
  • Beta blockers
  • Decongestants
  • Antidepressants

If this is the case, your doctor may recommend a different drug or ask you to take your medication at a different time of day. Remember to cut down on caffeine and nicotine, which can also interfere with sleep.

Other factors affecting sleep
The lifestyle changes and emotional ups and downs of aging can also affect sleep. If you're less active than you used to be, your body may not know it still needs just as much sleep. Getting more exercise during the day - at least two hours before bedtime - can help. So can getting at least two hours of bright-light exposure each day. This can come from the sun or from a light box, which your doctor can recommend. Don't nap for more than 20 minutes during the day, or you may have trouble falling asleep at night. If feelings of sadness or anxiety are keeping you awake, talk to your doctor. You may be suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder, both of which can be treated.

Remember that sleeplessness is not a normal part of aging. Simple changes and your doctor's suggestions can help you get the rest you need.

You Are My Forever Love

Your friendship and love,
And all the wonderful things
That they bring into my life,
Are like nothing else
I have ever known.

My heart is complete
With the love we share,
And our love grows more
Beautiful each day.

I love you,
And as long as we are together,
I have everything I need.

You are with me always...
In a smile, a memory, a feeling
Or a moment we share.

You will always be
My Forever Love

- Uriel Consolo -


I dream of your touch while you are away,
I dream of your smile all through the day,
I remember the day,
You came into my life,
I dream of the day I will be your wife.

I dream of the day I can fall asleep next to you,
I dream of the day I can say I do.
To be your wife,
To be together for life,
Is a dream I have,
Every night.

- Jessica Ann Trimble -

Here are some basic, yet important kissing tips

  • Great Breath - This is very important. Make sure you brush your teeth before going out on your date. There is nothing worse than kissing someone with bad breath. If your date consists of having something to eat before the actual kiss, make sure you have a mint on hand to take right after you finish eating. Don't take the mint just before the kiss or chew on gum. You don't want to have something in your mouth when you kiss.
  • Moist Lips - You want your lips to be slightly moist when you kiss. Run your tongue over your lips once before you kiss. Don't wear lip gloss because that tends to make the kiss too gooey. And don't wear a lot of lipstick unless you want your partner to wear it too after the kiss. Slightly moist lips makes it easier to move your lips over your partner's and gives both you and your partner a more pleasant experience.
  • Positioning - Stand close to your partner. As the two of you move closer together tilt your head slightly. If you can see which way your partner's head is tilting, tilt your head slightly in the opposite direction.
  • Close Eyes - Just before your lips meet, close your eyes. Some people prefer to leave their eyes open during the kiss. But until you know what your partner prefers, it is best to close your eyes.
  • Open Lips - Open your mouth slightly and place your lips over your partner's lips. Do not hold your breath! Breath through your nose. As your lips meet, press them gently over your partner's. You may wish to move your lips in a slow, circular motion or just leave them still over your partners.
  • Closed Lips - This is like the type of kiss you'd give your grandma or aunt. Instead of opening your mouth when your lips meet, keep them closed. This is also a good way of letting your partner know this is as far as it goes. It also makes a great hello/good-bye kiss or a great first time kiss if you're nervous.

Used by permission from Sheila's Kissing Booth
copyright for Sheila Allan 2000

French Kissing tips

This is a guide to basic kissing, i.e. you learn the basics and get the basics right, then experiment and try different styles and more advanced techniques.

The basics
  1. Brush your teeth, get a good bath, nicely groomed and clean and fresh, before meeting the other person. There's nothing worse than kissing the rear end of a garbage truck
  2. Get into a comfortable position - you can't kiss if your back feels like it's gonna break. Suggestion - Sit side by side on a comfy sofa.
  3. Hold your lover , firmly but gently - don't cause pain. Suggestion would be to hold the shoulders, the neck or gently on the side of the face, one side or both sides.
  4. Move your faces closer. Don't bump noses. Suggestion would be the guy angle his face slightly so you don't bump noses.
  5. Kiss gently, normal closed lips kissing, and close your eyes. Closing your eyes increases the sensations you feel, and also sets the mood.
  6. Continue kissing gently. Get comfortable with simple closed lips, lip-to-lip kissing before going anywhere else.
  7. If fine till here, tentatively, slowly and lightly draw your tongue across the other person's lips.
  8. Chances are from here, if the other person lightly parts her tongue, slowly explore the other person's tongue in a light licking motion.
  9. The tongue has a very sensitive surface, which is why tongue to tongue is the essence of french kissing.
  10. After you've tried lightly licking the other person's tongue, you can try sucking on it, wrestling with it ( see if you can hold it to the floor of her mouth ) and other things like that.
  11. Explore the other areas of the mouth. Especially the roof of the mouth. Lightly lick, or tickle the area with your tongue.
  12. Don't bite. whatever you do, don't bite.
  13. Don't swing your tongue round and round like a windmill. Explore lightly, don't drill your way through.
  14. Breathe through your nose. Breathe through your nose. I say again, breathe through your nose.
  15. Follow so far? You can lightly use your hands too, lightly rubbing the other person. Suggestions, along the waist, along the back, the arms, especially the inside of the arm, the neck, maybe running your fingers through her hair. Again, don't cause pain.
  16. Continue kissing.

New Life

I've been sitting around this life for years,
Not enough laughs and too many tears.
Trying to figure out where it all went,
These wasted years that I have spent.

Searching for something to go beyond,
Life's a stone skipping across a pond.
At the last skip, it hits with a splash,
Down the stone sinks, gone in a flash.

Pushing and pulling, it's tearing apart,
Poking and prodding an underused heart.
This dark velvet curtain that hides my soul,
Living this life has taken it's toll.

In a flash of bright light, the curtain is torn,
Tumbling down all tattered and worn.
Revealing new life, a child within,
Born free of hate, of suffering and sin.

Now my eyes see what has never been told,
Striving forth happy, confident and bold.
Into a world that's unfamiliar but friendly,
Into this new life my spirit will send me.

Living and laughing, loving it all,
I stood myself up and answered the call.
The darkness has gone, replaced by the light,
I gave up the darkness with hardly a fight.

I've been sitting around this life for years,
With laughter aplenty and hardly a tear.
Now I can see just where it all went,
Cherish every moment of this new life I've spent.
------------------------------------------------------------- by Paul Bodet

Rose Of Life

by Ellie LeJeune
I am unfolding gently beneath
your loving touch
I let wholeness breath my
petals free
Sweet fragrant Spirit touching
senses into life
Giving beauty back to the universe
Each petal, sweet miracle of life
We are hues of color, yet one
in Spirits blossom

Let It Fall

By Michael G
One more anti-hero worship
from the depths
of some enigmatic fool
that left the suburbs
for the open fields
of post modern flight from hell.
No, not from the quakes
or the rumblings of racism,
that stench we all tend
to want to get rid of,
but the fact that there
were just too many things wrong.
So off I went to the last
journey of my youth,
through the pubs and alleys
of Los Angeles that served
many nights of reckless talk
and the establishment be damned.
There goes Happy House, Scream
and all those open up at 10 pm
party houses, where you paid 5 bucks
to drink yourself to life,
and walk out Saturday morning at 6 am
like the kind demons we were.
And dance the pain that we had
kept for the week
and wonder what 30 would be like
and if the Virgin Prunes
were right about
"If I die I die".
But then, that love in your soul
the one that makes you write
and pour out those false indignities
that caress your heart and mind
for after all we've been through
stars have their moments and then they die.

Love Is ...

Love is the greatest feeling,
Love is like a play,
Love is what I feel for you,
Each and every day,
Love is like a smile,
Love is like a song,
Love is a great emotion,
That keeps us going strong,
I love you with my heart,
My body and my soul,
I love the way I keep loving,
Like a love I can't control,
So remember when your eyes meet mine,
I love you with all my heart,
And I have poured my entire soul into you,
Right from the very start.

- Meghan -

Your Name

I wrote your name in the sky,
but the wind blew it away.
I wrote your name in the sand,
but the waves washed it away.
I wrote your name in my heart,
and forever it will stay.

- Jessica Blade -

Never Have I Fallen

Your lips speak soft sweetness
Your touch a cool caress
I am lost in your magic
My heart beats within your chest

I think of you each morning
And dream of you each night
I think of your arms being around me
And cannot express my delight

Never have I fallen
But I am quickly on my way
You hold a heart in your hands
That has never before been given away

- Rex A. Williams -

What I Love About You

I love the way you look at me,
Your eyes so bright and blue.
I love the way you kiss me,
Your lips so soft and smooth.

I love the way you make me so happy,
And the ways you show you care.
I love the way you say, "I Love You,"
And the way you're always there.

I love the way you touch me,
Always sending chills down my spine.
I love that you are with me,
And glad that you are mine.

- Crystal Jansen -

An Entrapment

My love, I have tried with all my being
to grasp a form comparable to thine own,
but nothing seems worthy;

I know now why Shakespeare could not
compare his love to a summer’s day.
It would be a crime to denounce the beauty
of such a creature as thee,
to simply cast away the precision
God had placed in forging you.

Each facet of your being
whether it physical or spiritual
is an ensnarement
from which there is no release.
But I do not wish release.
I wish to stay entrapped forever.
With you for all eternity.
Our hearts, always as one.

- Anthony Kolos -

A Special World

A special world for you and me A special bond one cannot see It wraps us up in its cocoon And holds us fiercely in its womb. Its fingers spread like fine spun gold Gently nestling us to the fold Like silken thread it holds us fast Bonds like this are meant to last. And though at times a thread may break A new one forms in its wake To bind us closer and keep us strong In a special world, where we belong. - Sheelagh Lennon -

A Golden Chain

Friendship is a Golden Chain,
The links are friends so dear,
And like a rare and precious jewel
It's treasured more each year...

It's clasped together firmly
With a love that's deep and true,
And it's rich with happy memories
and fond recollections, too...

Time can't destroy its beauty
For, as long as memory lives,
Years can't erase the pleasure
That the joy of friendship gives...

For friendship is a priceless gift
That can't be bought or sold,
But to have an understanding friend
Is worth far more than gold...

And the Golden Chain of Friendship
Is a strong and blessed tie
Binding kindred hearts together
As the years go passing by.

- Helen Steiner Rice -

The Gift Of Knowing You

There are gifts of many treasures
For both the young and old,
From the tiniest little trinkets
To great boxes filled with gold.

But, put them all together
And they could not stand in lieu,
Of the greatest gift of all
The gift of knowing you.

When your times are filled with troubles
Sadness, grief, or even doubt,
When all those things you planned on
Just aren't turning out.

Just turn and look behind you
From the place at which you stand,
And look for me through the shadows
And reach out for my hand.

I will lift from you your burden
And cry for you your tears,
Bear the pain of all your sorrows
Though it may be for a thousand years.

For in the end I would be happy
To have helped you start anew,
It's a small price to pay
For the gift of knowing you.

- Dave Stout -

A Friend's Greeting

I'd like to be the sort of friend that
you have been to me;
I'd like to be the help that
you've been always glad to be;

I'd like to mean as much to you
each minute of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine,
to me along the way.

I'd like to do the big things and
the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray from out your skies
and leave them only blue;

I'd like to say the kindly things that
I so oft have heard,
And feel that I could rouse your soul
the way that mine you've stirred.

I'd like to give you back the joy
that you have given me,
Yet that were wishing you a need
I hope will never be;

I'd like to make you feel as rich as I,
who travel on
Undaunted in the darkest hours with you to
lean upon.

I'm wishing at this time that I
could but repay
A portion of the gladness that
you've strewn along my way;

And could I have one wish this year,
this only would it be:
I'd like to be the sort of friend
that you have been to me.

- Edgar A Guest -

The Miracle Of Friendship

There is a miracle called Friendship
that dwells within the heart
and you don't know how it happens
or when it even starts.

But the happiness it brings you
always gives a special lift
and you realize that Friendship
is God's most precious gift.

- Jean Kyler McManus -

My Friends

Standing by,
All the way.
Here to help you through your day.

Holding you up,
When you are weak,
Helping you find what it is you seek.

Catching your tears,
When you cry.
Pulling you through when the tide is high.

Just being there,
Through thick and thin,
All just to say, you are my friend.

- Brittani Kokko -

Friends meaning

You are friendly, kind and caring
Sensitive, loyal and understanding
Humorous, fun, secure and true
Always there... yes that's you.

Special, accepting, exciting and wise
Truthful and helpful, with honest blue eyes
Confiding, forgiving, cheerful and bright
Yes that's you... not one bit of spite.

You're one of a kind, different from others
Generous, charming, but not one that smothers
Optimistic, thoughtful, happy and game
But not just another... in the long chain.

Appreciative, warm and precious like gold
Our friendship won't tarnish or ever grow old
You'll always be there, I know that is true
I'll always be here... always for you.

- Written and owned by Angela Lee Hillsley -


There's nothing as nice as someone who shares,
your laughter, your secrets, your wishes and cares,
someone who's there through your good times and tears,
who stays by your side as your friend through the years.

I Love You Because I Can

I Love You
I want to be with you,
I can see you,
I can feel you,
I can watch you...

I want to be with you,
I can touch you,
I can hug you,
I can kiss you...

I want to be with you,
I can laugh with you,
I can cry with you,
I can smile at you...

I want to be with you,
Because, I LOVE YOU..........

When we say goodbye

When we say goodbye I feel empty.
I feel like I am nothing, but lonely.
When we say goodbye I realize
How much I love you and how much I care for you.
When we say goodbye, I realize what it would be without you.
I don't ever want to say goodbye,
I only want to say goodnight and see you in the morning.

Your Love for me is as

Fresh as falling snow
Erotic as the golden Desert
Deep as the Ocean
Passionate as a Wild-Fire
Romatic as a Waterfall
Mysterious as the Stars above
Wild as the Jungle
Genuine as a rare Jewel
Sensational as the Wilderness
Charming as a Blossom
Beautiful, as Beloved by me
Desirable, It's for Eternity

For if I could love you more

I’d become the rain
And gently wash over you
Cleansing your worries away.

I’d become the sun
Kissing you softly
Wrapping you in my warmth.

I’d become the storm
With nature’s power so pure
Exciting, enticing, and satisfying.

I’d become the breeze
Caressing you gently with whispers-
I Love You, I Do