Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Clearer View Of Things

Of all our senses, it is sight which is deemed to be the most used. It works from the moment we wake up to the time we drift off to sleep. We use our eyes to read books, watch television, see our loved ones -- or enemies -- and go about our daily routine. Odes have been written about eyes being the windows of the soul, while romantics always include a glamorized description of their beloved's eyes, from the color to the shape. Being a 'decorative' feature on our faces and a necessary tool for vision, our eyes are indispensible, multi-tasking workers even in the most ungodly conditions.

But what happens when our eyes begin to give up? What if they suddenly show a decline in proficiency and exhibit symptoms of stress? Soon, we find ourselves squinting as we read the newspaper or having a hard time realizing that the bald, fat guy in the blurry distance happens to be our boss. Do we have to wait for our eyes' inevitable two weeks notice or AWOL before doing something?

Due to our current lifestyle, coupled with our genes, more and more people are developing near-sightedness and/or astigmatism, wherein the eye has a refractive error in the focusing of light, thus causing reduced visual acuity. This occurs mainly because we strain our eyes by often spending time in front of computers or reading texts with small letters in dim light. In fact, this condition is now common in children and teenagers who spend more time indoors, playing video games than going out or playing sports. Today, myopia is ranked as the leading eyesight problem in the world, affecting mostly those from Asian countries like Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan. Majority of these people wear corrective lenses, turning our society into a colony of four-eyed freaks who consider glasses as the ultimate accessory for survival.

However, recent developments are now enabling people with minor eye disorders to regain or improve their vision without the need for or use of bulky glasses. This is by the use of INTACS. These are implants composed of a unique biocompatible plastic, which permanently changes some of the eye's tissues by correcting the cornea's shape and form and subtly flattening it. Patients need not worry about the implant interfering with their eyes, since it is small enough to be felt, and is also removable or changeable just like contact lenses. Studies show that 97% of the INTACS users reported to having improved their vision, resulting in a 20/40, 20/20, or 20/16 grade.

Of course, not everyone can wear INTACS, as there are several conditions and prohibitions set before it can be implanted. A person can be fitted with INTACS if their eyeglass prescription is somewhere between -1.00 to -3.00 diopters. Of course, healthy eyes are a must so the eyes should be disease or injury-free. The person also has had at least a year of stable vision. Pregnant or nursing women, or those with immunodeficiency or autoimmune diseases, like AIDS or LUPUS, are prohibited to undergo the treatment. Likewise, patients who are currently using prescription drugs are also discouraged from undergoing INTACS treatment because these drugs may affect vision or the cornea's healing.

Despite the advantages of this medical breakthrough, it is still important that we take good care of our eyes. If we are unable to avoid spending time in front of the television or computer, we should take several breaks to rest our eyes. Proper lighting conditions must also be considered when working or reading, so that our eyes will not be too stressed. People forget that a balanced diet and enough sleep are needed to ensure that our eyes are in top condition, so these factors should be considered, too. These steps may not take much effort or may not have immediate and dramatic effects, but unless we enjoy moving about in the hazy and blurry part of the world, or worse, be as blind as a bat, such efforts are helpful to see the world clearly, even without the rose-tinted glasses

4 Interesting Facts About Renaissance Doctors and Medicine

Do you usually link Renaissance to advances in medicine? Typically, when we talk about the Renaissance period, we talk about an explosion of learning and creativity. From paintings to music, this was a tremendous time for the arts in particular. However, the era of the Renaissance, which lasted from the middle 1400s until the 1700s, also featured major developments in European medicine. Here are some of the important facts surrounding the Renaissance period and medicine:

New knowledge and inventions improved medicine

A flurry of new knowledge and inventions helped to advance medicine quickly, during the Renaissance. There were no instruments yet to observe bacteria, and thus create a need for cheap urbane scrubs. However, diagrams of the human body and the printing press both had a huge influence on the world of medicine. Thus, doctors had a better comprehension of how the human body functioned, than during any previous era in Europe's history.

. Galen was no longer king

During the previous Middle Ages, the medical world considered Galen's writings to be infallible. Galen was an ancient Greek living in Rome, who had developed the concepts of Hippocrates, "The Father of Medicine."

However, during the Renaissance, doctors took a more practical and academic approach to training in their profession. Medical students studied from books with realistic diagrams of humans. In addition to better books, doctors-in-training also had access to more of them, thanks to the invention of the printing press. In fact, universities even permitted students to dissect humans, towards the end of the Renaissance. This practice had previously been limited to animals.

Science began to supersede spirituality

During the Renaissance, people still held to some spiritual reasoning regarding diseases. For instance, people were unaware that bacteria existed, and could spread from person-to-person. However, logic became king, due to a new wealth of knowledge available, and an efficient way to distribute it faster-the printing press. In addition, the training for surgical procedures greatly improved. Apprentices would learn surgical techniques, from an active surgeon. Interestingly, universities themselves failed to supply doctors-in-training with these skills. Nevertheless, the improvements in textbooks about human anatomy significantly boosted the complexity of the surgeries that doctors did.

4. Many did not embrace advances in medicine

While the Renaissance ushered in a new era of medical knowledge and skills, not everyone was impressed. During the Renaissance, home remedies remained a vital aspect of medical treatment, for many people. In fact, some people still sought treatments from local shaman who lacked formal training in the medical profession. Also, many "old-school" doctors and the Catholic Church still adhered to the teachings of Galen. However, within time, medical advances during the Renaissance would revolutionize the whole professional.

The Renaissance was clearly an era of enlightenment and developments. Besides the fantastic output in the arts, the medical profession flourished as well. While doctors were yet unaware of bacteria or the need to wear scrubs during surgeries, they were nonetheless learning. Essentially starting with the Renaissance, spiritual doctors were becoming scientific doctors!

Today's Medical Approach

We have new medical discoveries and more medical practitioners each year. And yet, in the face of all these medical advances and innovations, no one can deny that we also have more disease and suffering than ever before. Why is this so?

Very simple. Can you just imagine prescribing a drug or treatment to “cure” someone who is drunk? But how can we “cure” drunkenness if the person continues to drink? How can we cure without even going to the root cause of the problem? That is the drunkard’s drinking habit?

This is how medical approach health and disease today. Medical practitioners will normally ignore the basic causes of problems but instead resort to remedy steps like surgery and treatments that often run into thousands of dollars when the problems can be simply and inexpensively solved by a change in lifestyles and diet patterns!

We must understand that unless we stop the cause of the illness, the problem will always come back, in a more serious form each time. If we mirror upon medical approach, most doctors seldom find out and advise about lifestyles and practices which may cause the problems. What they do is merely prescribe drugs and treatments to “cure” your symptoms.

Patric Holford, Director of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) in London which is at the forefront of research and education in this field, makes this very clear:

“Tomorrow’s medicine will not be about using nutrients instead of drugs. It will be about looking through a new pair of glasses which reveal the true causes of disease. In most cases these lie in faulty nutrition, pollution, stress, negativity, addiction and lack of exercise – the greatest cause of all being ignorance. The original meaning of the word “doctor” is “teacher or learned man”, and that is perhaps the most important role a health professional can perform”.

Disease as a word, very simply means dis-ease, or not at ease, uncomfortable. Would you be able to agree if I tell that disease is started by your own body? Yes! Disease is started by our own body to eliminate toxic. Just let me share one example with you.

I believe most of us experienced food poisoning before. We've unknowingly taken a poison into our stomach and experience vomiting and diarrhea as a result. So, we’ll go to the doctor to get medicine to stop the vomiting and diarrhea, right? Once the vomiting and diarrhea stop, we say the medicine “cure” us from food poisoning.

But do you know that the vomiting and diarrhea are actually a defense mechanism that our body uses to protect us? Our body senses the presence of harmful substance, so it started the vomiting and diarrhea process in order to force the toxins out from our body as quickly as it can.

When we take medicine and it successfully stop the vomiting and diarrhea, our body actually becomes worse off than before. As it is retaining the harmful substance supposed to be eliminated through the vomiting and diarrhea, plus the drug that we take in to “cure” the food poisoning! We must understand that diarrhea never happen if there is nothing in our digestive tract that needs to be hurriedly removed.

There is this beautiful word of wisdom by the Ancient Ayurvedic.

“Without proper diet, medicine is of no use.
With proper diet, medicine is of no need.”

So, does medicine really “cure”?

Siew Yin Gark's philosophy has always been that there are no quick fixes to vibrant health and good looks. She believes that health can only be realized by following a natural way of life through proper diet and healthy lifestyles. She strongly believes that beauty and youth are the natural expression of the highest health. If you want to start staying healthier and looking younger the natural way from today, go to Secret Of Being Young And Healthy

Brain Matters

Ever wondered why wearing helmet is a legal requirement for motorcycle riders? Why is it when the rain starts pouring, the first thing we cover is our head and not our feet? Why are head gears necessary for boxing, baseball, taekwondo, American Football, and all extreme sports? Why is it in times of accidents and great dangers, the first thing we would protect is our heads?

You may find the questions too superficial to be thought of but the answer is too important to be dismissed as ephemeral-- the head houses the most important organ in our body, the brain. Whenever we are faced with extreme situations where physical injuries are very likely to happen, it can be observed that the innate response would be to protect the highest part our body. In times of great sacrifice and no choice of full body protection, the head receives the most protection we can exert. The reason for this is our recognition that once the head, or the brain more specifically, is adversely damaged, the rest of our body and all its functions are at a greater danger; worse, it can be the end of our life here on earth.

The brain is basically in control of all our body functions. From the simple winking of our eyes to the complex respiration of our cells, the brain is the master controller. Everything we do and everything that is happening inside our bodies are all subject to the processes unfolding in our brains. Together with the rest of the central nervous system (spinal cord and nerves), the brain serves as the central processing unit of all our body processes. Moreover, the brain is vital to our minds and intellect. The adjective brainy is in reference to a person who is smart, intelligent, or knowledgeable. The brain is the depository organ of our all our memories and knowledge we have acquired through the years of our lives. The things stored in our brains significantly determine our identity as individuals. Hence, it is but reasonable we give so much importance to it.

However, there are instances that no matter how we protect our brains, harms and damages to it seem inescapable. Brain cancer speaks well of this dreadful instance. Yes, just like most of our body organs, the brain is not free from the deadly claws of cancer.

Brain cancer is the result of tumor growths in a person's brain. Just like in other cancer types, brain tumor is an outcome of the abnormal overproduction of cells-- brain cells for brain cancer-- that are non-functional and unnecessary. Tumors in the brain can be benign or malignant. Cells making up benign tumor are generally not cancerous. Benign tumors may be easily removed and are likely not to develop again. The worst that benign tumors can do is to press itself on some sensitive portions of the human brain and lead to some symptoms. Being an amalgamate of cancer cells, malignant tumors can intrude the crucial functions of the human brain. Cancer cells in a malignant tumor reproduce so rapidly that they can invade other non-infected brain tissues. Malignant tumors are generally a threat to life and a valid cause for intense alarm.

What is even more dreadful is the fact that the cause for developing brain tumors remains unidentified. The only consoling thing about tumor growth in the human brain is that it is not contagious. But with 16,000 people being diagnosed to be having brain tumor each year, brain tumor not being contagious is not a consolation after all. What is known are the factors that are highly possible to trigger the growth of cancer cells. Medical studies show that brain tumor is highly possible among people who have been exposed, usually worked, in industries such as oil refinery, rubber factory, and drug manufacturing. Specifically, embalmers and chemists have shown very high incidence rate of developing brain tumor. Ironically, the link between genetic factors and tumor growth is not yet clearly established, as it is in other cancer types. But these risk factors are not conclusive, for any person of any age is susceptible to developing brain tumors. Actually, the incidence is more common among kids in 3-12 age group and adults at 40-70 age bracket.

Symptoms of tumor presence in a person's brain include speech defects, memory lapses, seizures, pounding headaches at mornings, weakening or paralyzing of the limbs, poor walking coordination, vomiting and nausea, malfunctioning vision, and abrupt change in personality. Treatment for brain cancer is more complicated than in other cancer types. The standard surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy procedures are just the tip of the iceberg. Pre and post treatment cares are as crucial as the main procedures in ensuring that a patient recovers holistically.

Men Too Have A Fear

In this world, there is only one thing that can bend every man on his knees-- loss of sexual supremacy. You can take everything away from a man but never his phallic ego. The distinctive dynamics of man's sexuality is what essentially differentiates them from women. All sons of Adam can give up a life in the paradise but can never do without their most precious sexual dominion. They can wage and fight all wars, battle all beasts and demons, and conquer any land. But the thought of losing their sexual supremacy can make their raging hormones slow down. Men can sit down on the negotiating table, and bargain and compromise for whatever it takes to keep hold of their manhood. You can throw any hurt or injury on a man's body and tear up most of his psyche and he definitely would not care less, but lambasting what is in between his legs and its interconnections to the other aspects of his existence will give him a run for his life.

Impotence and sterility are two of the most common ailments dreaded by men. But another major threat is prostate cancer. It is so dreadful that it can take away not only sexual powers but life as a whole. In the United States, prostate cancer claimed 30,200 lives of the 189,000 recorded cases in the year 2002. Currently, it ranks next to lung cancer as the leading cause of death among American men, who are the ones hit the most by this reproductive cancer. Europeans come next, and Asian men are the ones least inflicted.

Prostate cancer, literally, is a kind of disease wherein cancer develops in or around the prostate region of a man's reproductive system. This disease happens when prostate cells mutate and multiply uncontrollably. Just like other types of cancer, cells of this kind of cancer have the capability to spread or metastasize from the areas near the prostate, thus reaching the other parts of a man's body. Spreading of cancer cells mostly reach the bones and lymph nodes. Prostate cancer causes much pain, specifically difficulty in urinating and in having an erection, among others.

Men over the age of 50 have the highest probability of being inflicted with this cancer. What is distinctly alarming with this kind of cancer is that most men afflicted with it never show symptoms, and hence, the cases are not diagnosed as prostate cancer. They eventually die of other causes mistaken to be not from prostate cancer.

Sadly, the core reason for the development of prostate cancer is still unknown. Studies have only gone as far as identifying factors that could trigger the development of cancer cells in the prostate. First factor being linked is aging. Statistical data over the years have shown that the risk of developing prostate cancer is highest among men above the age of 40, and the risk even gets higher as a man grows older. The other factors related to the risk of developing prostate cancer are genetics, race, and quality of lifestyle. Genetic predisposition is seen to have a very high correlation to having prostate cancer. Men with relatives who had prostate cancer are very likely to have one also. Race is not actually a direct factor but studies have found out that trends of cancer cases vary from region to region. The changes in a man's environment is also found to be capable of altering genetic predisposition. For example, Japanese men have relatively low records of acquiring prostate cancer but studies have shown that Japanese men working or living in America or Europe have high risk factors. As in other kinds of cancer, the quality of lifestyle is also being pointed to as a significant factor in the chances of developing prostate cancer. Smoking and chemical abuse among men is highly suspected to be a triggering factor for cancerous cells to develop in the prostate region. Industrial pollution, diet with high saturated fat content, and other environmental toxins are also likely to have a link, albeit not direct, to prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer develops in two stages: the early stage and the late stage. In the early stage, unfavorable symptoms can call enough attention from men. Usually, the strangest thing being felt at this stage is difficulty in urinating-- something most men easily ignore. Then the difficulty and pain in urinating aggravate as the tumor in the prostate region grows bigger. It is only at this time that a lot of men take time to pay attention and seek medical assessment. By the time the cancer reaches the later stage, the cancer cells had already spread in other areas of the body. Prostate cancer cells usually travel to the surrounding lymph nodes, pelvic bone, lower spine, the lungs, and the liver. Signs and symptoms of a possible ailment in the areas already reached by the cancer cells are common observations for prostate cancer cases in the late stage.

Prostate cancer, unfortunately, is still inevitable these days. Diagnosis has been made easier but choosing the right treatment still remains a daunting task. The kind of possible treatments for prostate cancer cases vary in three classifications: treatment for organ-confined cancer, treatment for locally advanced cancer, and treatment for metastatic cancer. For the organ-confined and locally advanced treatment options, surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, cryotherapy, or any combination of these is done to remove the tumor. While no cure for metastatic cancer case is available at present, measures like chemotherapy and hormonal therapy can be administered to at least slow down the growth and spread of more cancer cells.

Knowing the Heart's Pace

Whenever our hearts would beat faster than it usually does, it immediately catches our attention. We are quick to make inferences. We associate it to certain events, specific people, or even the most recent food we ate. When the stimulus is not something pleasant, it usually alarms us. We worry of a possible heart ailment or a malfunction somewhere inside our chest. But when the heart beats slow, we just think of it as something not to worry about. It's something we can easily dismiss as a normal thing. Well, it's not. It's actually a major health care concern.

A heart that beats too slowly is as attention-worthy as the heart that beats too rapidly. It is needless to prove that the beating of the heart is responsible for the delivery of blood to the different parts of our body. It should then be easy for us to understand that an abnormally slow beating of the heart significantly affects the supply of oxygen and minerals to the different organs of the body-- something worth our precious attention.

The normal heart rate for adults is at 60 to 90 beats per minute while on a resting mode. This would normally go up while doing a physical activity that demands more energy and will then gradually go back to its normal rate after. The heart is considered to be beating slowly if its rate is less than 60 beats per minute. But for athletes, a heart rate below 60 beats per minute is just but normal. The slow beating of the heart is called bradycardia, from the Greek words ‘brady,' which means slow, and ‘cardia,' which means heart.

When the heart beats too slowly, the body does not get the sufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients it needs for its systems and organs. When our organs are not properly fed with what they need, they fall short of the much needed vitality in performing their crucial functions. Of all the organs, the brain is the most affected one. The most common manifestations of a brain not getting the enough supply it needs are sudden loss of consciousness, light-headedness, and forgetfulness. The muscles are also gravely affected by the effects of abnormally slow heart rate. A person who always experiences fatigue, malaise, or tiredness, even in the absence of a really strenuous physical activity, is most likely to be suffering from a poor heart rate. Worse, it can lead to failure of the liver, kidney, and even the heart itself.

The most common cause of slow heart beating is aging. Thus, the abnormality is mostly seen among adults. As aging sets on, a number of medical medical problems start to arise. These medical problems and some of the medications also constitute for bradycardia. Medical problems like a disease in the heart's natural pacemaker (sinoatrial or SA node) and electrical relay station in the heart (AV node), are known causes of slow heart rate. Medications like calcium channel blockers such as verapamil (Calan) and beta-blockers such as propanolol (Inderal) and digoxin (Lanoxin) are also common causes of bradycardia.

If the heart's natural pacemaker cannot normalize the beating of the heart anymore, a patient will need to have an artificial pacemaker. An artificial pacemaker is an electronic device being implanted to the heart. This device takes on the function of the SA node in keeping track of the heart's beat rate. It releases electrical signals to ensure the normal flowing of the blood through out the body. An artificial pacemaker is lithium-battery operated and is equipped with a little computer. This computer not only regulates the beating of the heart. It enables the pacemaker to be monitored and controlled by a physician through an external device, which is placed on the skin of the chest. Most batteries of pacemakers has a minimum 5-year life span. Implanting a pacemaker is not an open-heart surgery. It is actually just a minor surgical procedure and full recovery is at one week maximum period. Medical data can prove that implantation of pacemaker is generally safe with less than one death in every 10,000 implant operations. Complications from the procudure is also very low at only one percent.

Having a pacemaker implant will not make a patient disabled. Normal life can be quickly regained soon after the operation. Only minor changes and practices need to be followed. Electronic communication gadgets, like cellular phones, should be at at least 12-inch distance from a pacemaker that is turned on.

Paying with their Lives: The High Cost of No Health Care

Medical advances are making it possible for people to live longer and healthier lives. New diagnostic techniques are catching cancer, heart disease, and other potentially fatal diseases earlier, sometimes with the result that lives are saved which would be lost otherwise; in other instances a disease process can be slowed and symptoms treated to provide a longer life, with greater quality, than would otherwise be possible.

That's the good news. The bad news is that at least 40 million Americans have either limited or no access to all these advanced technologies. Forty million Americans have no health insurance at all, and many of these people choose to delay or entirely avoid visits to doctors because of the burden medical treatment would become on their limited income. Some doctors actually refuse to treat uninsured individuals. And when these people do get into a doctor's office, often they're billed for doctor's visits and tests at many times the rate that hospitals and clinics bill insurance companies. One common blood test, for instance, is billed at the rate of $25 for insured patients; uninsured patients are billed $250. The reasoning? According to hospital financial managers, many people without insurance "don't bother" to pay their bills, so when people do pay their bills, they need to be charged more for those who don't pay at all, and to make up for insurance companies and Medicare and Medicaid patients whose plans also pay too little.

In other words, the most vulnerable people, the ones who cannot afford health insurance coverage, are the ones who are forced to subsidize health care for everyone else.

An example of how devastating a delay in diagnosis can be: A colonoscopy, recommended periodically for individuals over the age of forty, uses a thin tube with an electronic camera assembly to explore and take photographic images of the colon for signs of precancerous and cancerous conditions. Early detection of colon cancer makes the disease easily curable, with cure rates of up to 90 percent. However, if not detected in time, the fatality rate for colon cancer is very high. A colonoscopy could catch many cases of colon cancer at a very early stage, but it costs an average of $2000 - a fee that could devastate the finances of many people without insurance. For many people, at least in the case of colon cancer, if you have insurance you live; if you don't, you die.

The fact is, if you add up the money spent on Medicare and Medicaid recipients, plus all the federal, state, and local government employees, two-thirds of health care expenses are already paid for by the government. The bitter irony is that much of this health care money comes from income and Medicare taxes paid by workers in this country - including those with no health care coverage, who are being overcharged for the health care they do get, and who often have no access to health care at all. These individuals with no health care coverage are paying plenty; they're paying with their money, and they're paying with their lives.

Outsourcing Preauthorizations For Improved Outcomes

Increasingly, medical management firms and managed care organizations are turning to Independent Review Organizations (IROs) to pre-authorize treatments at the forefront of the healthcare decision-making process. Why?

With rapid medical advances, it’s often difficult for these organizations to stay current on the latest medical necessity protocols of many treatments. Whether decisions are for long-term disease management options, such as cancer or diabetes, or for new medically approved treatments such as laser eye surgery, using an IRO in the pre-approval process can help ensure the proper care for a patient prior to the treatment taking place.

By leveraging the services of an IRO in the preauthorization process, organizations can:

Ensure medical treatment decisions are based on proven medical science Reduce the number of unnecessary, experimental and out-of-protocol treatments that increase health plan costs Gain access to specialist expertise that does not exist inside the organization so that highly informed assessments are made on each and every patient Obtain a needed buffer for cases where there might be any real or perceived conflict of interest
Improve the quality of care, by ensuring that each patient/member receives the treatment they deserve.

Cases sent out for pre-approval to an IRO tend to be complicated and cover a wide range of specialty areas. For example, surgeries traditionally categorized as cosmetic, such as orthoganathic (misaligned jaw), bariatric (obesity) or blepharoplasty (eyelid) surgeries are now often determined to be medically necessary, and therefore approved medical procedures.

The best way to ensure decisions are made accurately, timely and with confidence is to rely on the outside expertise of a third-party organization that can ensure correct treatment decisions for every patient.

Three Sure-Fire Ways To Lose Weight Get Healthier & Feel Great Without Dieting


Learn how to reduce the fat, sugar and salt content of your food and to enjoy fruit and vegetables. Use the nutrition guides on pre-packaged food to decide whether or not that product is best for you or your family. Cooking fresh food puts you in control of what you eat. Yes, it probably takes longer than heating processed food, but what else were you going to do with that time - watch TV? Perhaps the thought that fresh food is cheaper than you think may encourage you to give it a try.


Stop being a couch potato and get out and use your body. Remember the saying "Use it or lose it!" Exercise increases your base metabolic rate, which enables you to burn calories at a faster rate all day - not just when you exercise. Exercise makes you feel good about yourself and that "can't be bothered, dragging yourself around" mood rapidly disappears.


Don't try to change your lifestyle too quickly. Its better to make steady, permanent changes than it is to cause yourself distress only to fail through demotivation. You can't change the habits of a lifetime in a few days so don't try to and don't wait to change your lifestyle until the last minute, because that's too late. Finally, medical advances mean that we live longer than before, even with a poor lifestyle, but what's the point if most of that "extra time" is ruined by poor health?

How To Get The Slim, Toned, Attractive Body You've Always Wanted Without Dieting

The Angry and Sometimes Grumpy Children of the 1950's

A bunch of us in our late 40's and early 50's got together the other night, and after the evening was over I started thinking that many of us born in the 1950's are in a crisis stage. People can't understand why we are so angry and grumpy sometimes. This article discusses some of the issues we have with society today and might enlighten others (the younger set) as to why we seem so disillusioned, and out of sorts at times.

The consensus of the group was "is this all there is." We've been working since our teens. A car costs more today than what our parents bought a house for. We work and work and still don't have enough. Food costs have risen astronomically, along with utility costs, insurance costs, and housing costs.

We started laughing at one point and said we sound like our grandparents. However, it is a very sad commentary that what took place for our grandparents over numerous decades, has only taken 20 to 30 years to occur for us. The real scary thing is that salaries for many jobs have not changed over that twenty year period, while our expenses have skyrocketed, and increased one hundred fold.

We all became nostalgic when we talked about the things we used to do to relax. How so many of those things are gone, or we can't afford to do them any longer. Our kids tell us we don't have a clue about school, sex, music, or what's going on in the world. Again, the laughter abounded with the music issues, but became very serious when we talked about the scary things kids do today, that we wouldn't even have thought of when we were growing up. Killing teachers, and other students never entered our minds. We had respect for our teachers and those in charge.

The next thing we ranted about was our health. For some of us, the ravages of time have taken place... eyesight problems, arthritis problems, blood pressure problems, "the barnacles of life". The discussion we had on the cost of health care was a lively and volatile one to say the least. Many of us who have had major illness problems also went ballistic with regards to the social security system, the disability system and Medicare system. The majority of us have worked since our teenage years. We were incredulous when it took over a year to get money from the social security system, especially when we see people playing the system who don't deserve it.

All of us are still working. The majority of our group are either self-employed or independent contractors. Many of us run home-based businesses. While we are still disheartened with the rise in costs, at least our work environment is a happy one, and one we feel in control of. For those in our group still working in corporate America, that's just an additional concern and stress for them. Is their job safe? Will they be downsized? Laid off? We went back and forth on the work issue and found that while running your own business is a risk, we have a lot more control over our destiny than if we worked for someone else, and hence, a lot less stress. Plus we can't fire ourselves.

We all wondered where it will end. So many of us thought we would be retired by now, or at least contemplating it within the next ten to fifteen years. However, with all the medical advances and hundred-fold costs of so many things, that is not an option. Retirement is no longer something people do automatically between 55 and 65. Today, the retirement age is in the 70's.

For many of us, the thought of another twenty or more years of working is a depressing one, in addition to making us very angry and grumpy to say the least.

Hopefully this article will provide some insight to those who wonder why the over 40 generation is so angry and grumpy at times.

Medical Advancements In Cosmetic Surgery

The History of Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery has been around for so long that it actually has no traceable beginning. As far back as ancient Greeks and Romans there are depictions of cosmetic procedures occurring to fix disfigurements that occurred at birth, as punishment for a crime, or war injuries. Of course, there have been constant improvements since the very first nose job, but the fact remains that for as long as there have been people, they want to look and feel their best.

Cosmetic surgery was once thought of vanity procedures reserved for the wealthy and the famous. This is no longer true. With increased pressure from society to reverse aging and to lose weight, cosmetic surgery has been steadily increasing in popularity and accessibility. “Medical Advancements In Cosmetic Surgery” has made it accessible to any one who desires it.

Once upon a time cosmetic procedures were considered appropriate for aging women. Today, it is no longer a gender specific specialty. Men are having more nose jobs and even tummy tucks performed than it was ever once thought possible. Age is no longer a critical factor. People in their teens, although most surgeons don’t recommend it, are having cosmetic procedures done. Those in their thirties and forties are quickly replacing the market and having anti aging procedures done as early as twenty seven.

Regardless of personal opinions about the popularity of cosmetic procedures and the “Medical Advancements In Cosmetic Surgery”, the increased desire to fix ourselves has led to a revolution within the industry. No longer are simple procedures cost prohibitive as price reduction has made it possible for many more people to elect to have these procedures performed.

“The medical advancements in cosmetic surgery” that have taken hold within the cosmetic industry have decreased the associated risks as well as decreased the drastic healing time that was once necessary for these procedures. It is now possible for a person to have a cosmetic procedure done on a Friday and return to work the following Monday, depending of course on the procedure.

There has been a race among plastic surgeons to make their services more accessible by making them more attainable. Medical advancements have led to less intrusive procedures and of course, more quick and easy procedures.

The Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures

“Medical Advancements In Cosmetic Surgery” have made cosmetic surgery very popular some procedures more then other. No one can really answer why certain procedures in the cosmetic industry have become so popular other than their ease of recovery and their basic simplicity. Most of the popular cosmetic surgery procedures are simple and easy fixes that aren’t nearly as dramatic as some of the more global enhancement operations.

The nose job, of course is ranked the most popular cosmetic procedure out there. A nose job is mostly a low to moderate intrusive procedure that dramatically alters the appearance of the face. A good rhinoplasty can significantly improve an individual’s facial appearance.

Liposuction is a very close second in the cosmetic procedure popularity contest. Americans in particular are quite overweight. In fact between five and fifteen percent of the American population is dramatically obese while seventy percent is a least somewhat overweight. These are staggering numbers. Liposuction has become popular because the results are typically top notch.

A simple eyebrow lift can truly enhance a face and take years off tired eyes. It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures because it is truly a simple procedure with dramatic results. Both men and women find eyebrow lifts to be worth the money for their combination of results and discretion.

Breast enlargements are the fourth most popular cosmetic procedure despite the scare of the early nineties when breast implants began to leak silicone into their clients’ bodies. With the medical advancements in cosmetic surgery, the following year the plastic surgery community was able to produce safer breast implants and once again breast enhancement surgery was on the rise. Breast enhancement surgery has been a hot topic of social debate since the seventies when they first began their popularity ascent. Breast enhancement received a lot of attention for their medical advancements.

The face lift comes in at number five in the popularity contest regarding cosmetic procedures. While most clients are quite happy with the results, it is a more intrusive procedure and requires a longer recovery period than most of the more popular plastic surgery procedures.

Psychological Benefits of Plastic Surgery

Since its inception and “Medical Advancements In Cosmetic Surgery”, plastic surgery has allowed people to feel better about their outward appearance. Though it originated as a medical process of repairing disfigurements, the medical advancements of plastic surgery have encouraged the world to embrace a more beautiful side to themselves.

Most patients who have undergone cosmetic procedures report having a higher self esteem and a better quality of life. It is difficult to say whether their improvements in the quality of life come from a prettier face or from their improved self esteem, but ninety seven percent of all plastic surgery patients report appreciating the difference and would do it again if faced with the same options.

There are of course risks that are involved with any cosmetic procedure. These risks include complications from anesthesia, incomplete improvement and even disfigurement. Most doctors will tell you that the “medical advancements in cosmetic surgery” have drastically reduced the chances of the associated risks.

Two Brand New Procedures

Two of the newest “medical advancements in cosmetic surgery” are captique and contour threads. Both of these new procedures were designed to minimize both the typical risks involved with cosmetic surgery and the invasive procedures available. The medical advancements in cosmetic surgery push through quickly in an effort to provide faster, less invasive options to the clientele.

Captique is a new procedure that has jest been introduced to compete with the face lift and Botox. It is a chemical filler that is injected into the skin which in turn drastically reduces wrinkle appearance. It is completely synthetic and not derived from any animal products. The entire captique procedure is a quick outpatient visit that can be completed in about fifteen to twenty minutes, and the patient is then free to drive home. It does not act as a paralytic as Botox does, so the patient can reduce wrinkles while still maintaining facial expressions. Captique is currently only available in a few select clinics.

Contour threads is a brand new procedure that resembles a facelift, but it allows for the patient to retain their more natural and relaxed appearance rather than end up with tight skin pulled back over the head. Contour threads have actually been used in various other medical procedures, but have only recently become available in the cosmetic industry.

Contour threads are made from a clear, soft polypropylene. This eliminates the dark stitch areas that traditional stitches are known to leave behind. In the correct hands, contour threads can produce a very soft face devoid of wrinkles and serious signs of aging.

These two “medical advancements in cosmetic surgery” have created quite the excited buzz in the cosmetic industry. With leaps forward such as these it may actually be possible one day to get anti aging procedures done in an afternoon and return to work the next day as though nothing extraordinary happened.

Continual Progress

The cosmetic industry will continue to have remarkable advancements in its field and continue to produce procedures that can create wonderful outcomes with minimal interference in daily life. The less invasive these procedures become, the more popular they will become as well.

The cosmetic industry is attempting to produce natural results that only those closest to the patient will ultimately be able to discern plastic surgery procedures. The surgeons and researchers have of course not forgotten the original intent of the cosmetic industry. They are continually prototyping advancements in correcting birth defect and accidental disfigurements as well.

It is an exciting age to live in. We are rapidly approaching another outstanding revolutionary period in the cosmetic industry. It is important to keep yourself informed is you are even contemplating having any cosmetic procedure done. Sometimes waiting as little as two or three months prior to committing to a cosmetic surgical procedure can allow enough time for a new product to finish being tested and hit the market. With each “medical advancement in the cosmetic surgery” industry, each procedure will become less invasive and easier to recover from.

Keep yourself informed of upcoming advancements and procedures that may very well benefit you. Visit lifeplasticsurgery to keep on top of the latest news and happenings in the cosmetic industry. Here you can learn about nearly every available procedure and even a few that are almost available. An informed client is a client that is truly ready to face cosmetic surgery and come through with reasonable but good expectations. The miracle of science will never stop creating these advancements and people will never stop wanting to utilize them. Don’t be the last to know. Stop by the lifeplasticsurgery regularly and find out what’s coming your way.

Music, Dance And Your Sanity!

Music, Dance and Your Sanity

"To do science? To really do science? You don't live in the world," he says. "You live in an attitude." Gerald M. Edelman, M.D., Ph.D., founder of the Neurosciences Institute, La Jolla, California. Following this same concept, "In Real Estate and Business it's about Living in an Attitude!" Ted Borgeas, "From the Chicken Coop".

The benefits of music and dance during the decision making of buying or selling your home has extended as far back as Aristotle and Plato. Even Reigning Monarchs had court musicians and dancers, for their entertainment but possibly or the relaxing affects from their stresses of boredom? Well buying and selling a home sure doesn't have boredom but a lot of anxiety and even stress. With modern technology and the advent of television and the Internet combining visual, auditory and artistic qualities these medias have extended numerous benefits to our homes and businesses.

Applying music, dance, laughter and mirth to the buying and selling process of properties, has acquired critical acclaim because of scientific studies that can now measure some of the perceived health, stress and anxiety release attributes from music and dance.

One of the best definitions for science and probably for the home decision makers, I believe was a statement made by Gerald M. Edelman, M.D., Ph.D., founder of the Neurosciences Institute, La Jolla, California. He explained the difference between scientists and other people. "To do science? To really do science? You don't live in the world," he says. "You live in an attitude." Dr. Edelman's statement "You live in an attitude," can extend to every facet involving not only in science but our emotions, perceptions and responses of mind as related to the pressure of the multiple decisions and complexity of buying and selling your home. Of course with the right Attitude of Gratitude, especially with the right Real Estate Professional can contribute a lot of
pleasure and happiness. Responding to each emotion still encompasses an Attitude of Gratitude, which can be helped, developed and improved, as related to our need for sometimes, Heroic and
Daring humanistic actions to these emotions, yes especially when buying and selling your home or for that matter, including your family, finances, location and the magnitude of
other disclosures.

The Neurosciences Institute, during their research, has discovered a way to measure how the human brain processes intricate tones, presenting incredibly new insights into the effects of music. While there application may be directed towards disorders of hearing. I believe, future
studies will extend far beyond into the emotions involved for any home transactions. But don't let technology interfere with the Romance of the Home due your transcending enjoyment
of also listening your intuition.

Ted Borgeas uses the same concept, in addition to others,as Hospitals that are now utilizing the media of combining soothing music with associated pleasant and relaxing nature scenes on television, not only in the patient's rooms but also in the waiting and recovery areas, but instead at his office and while showing homes in person and on the internet. He can recall utilizing soothing music and encouraging and positive conversation regarding the patient's postoperative
responses to projected recovery during surgery in the operating room. He knew the positive subconscious interpretations by the patient while under anesthesia aided in they're perceived recovery and healing and applies the same principles to homebuyer and sellers.

"People are now using music to help them deal with sadness and fear." Dr. Anne Blood, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Charlestown Massachusetts. "We are now showing in our study that music is triggering systems in the brain that make them feel happy." What a startling revelation, especially since music lovers and people lovers have known this since eternity!

Our interpretation of applying dance and music to buying or selling a home may not include Aristotle's and Plato's ancient perceptions. But the concept of music and dance not only stimulates physical movement, either overt or imagined but it also affects our immunological system based on studies relating to music, laughter and humor.

Dancing is not only physical exercise, including footwork,rhythm, tempo, balance, control, showmanship and style but it also helps in transcending thought. Try dancing to any type of
fast tunes and think at the same time? It is especially beneficial, in times when we may have nasty unbeneficial feelings and thoughts or confusing perceptions about
properties. It is guaranteed to change you attitude; to a relaxed Attitude of Gratitude!

"I frequently perform solo dancing, yes, by your-self, utilizing various types of ethnic music with marvelous results". This author has utilized music, dance, laughter and mirth, in conquering his prostate cancer. This of course was in conjunction with the Physician's God inspired therapies! Try it? It works.

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

Dr. Ted Borgeas is a 75 year old retired Foot Surgeon-Podiatrist who is a master of transcending through life transitions and piggybacking careers and attitudes to success.

He limits his coaching to Doctors and other professionals. Dr. Ted had been a Podiatric consultant inside a Federal Prison for 15 years and inside a state mental hospital for 7 years. How he uses Music, Dance and Meditation to help cure his cancer.

The author of 11 books. Keynote speaker and lecturer. Most business gurus will stress using "Other Peoples Money" But Dr. Ted believes and lives on the premise cultivate and enlighten "Other Peoples Youth" it nourishes your own youth.

Dr. Ted's mutiple careers include being a prominent Keynote speaker. A proponent of "It ain't Braggin' If you'ver done it" one of his books. His latest book is "Grandpa is a Giggle" How to turn Adversities into Adventures! 8 books are on amazon.com under Borgeas. Loves to hear from everybody and answers all mail.

A Gun To My Head

Every time I went to dinner the waiter gave me a loaded gun and held it to my head.

The ridiculous portion sizes restaurants put in front of a person that can’t stop eating is assisted suicide. A study reported in the American Journal of Public Health states that portions of cooked pasta, muffins, steaks, and bagels exceeded USDA standards by 480%, 333%, 224%, and 195% respectively. And I wonder why I weighed 277 pounds.

Just because a person is full doesn’t mean they stop eating and American portion sizes are the very thing that perpetuate the obesity epidemic in this country. In a literature review in the March/April 2003 issue of Nutrition Today (Vol. 38, No. 2), Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, a nutrition expert at Pennsylvania State University and co-author, with Robert A Barnett, of The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan (Quill, 2000; HarperTorch, 2003), summarizes research findings that:

We eat more when we're given more. Package size influences us to eat more. We don't compensate for eating too much at one sitting by eating less at the next. Having access to big portions can override our natural sense of fullness.

And don’t think this is a worldwide problem. In this area the American lifestyle is special. This is shown in a study comparing 11 pairs of equivalent eateries in Paris and Philadelphia--including fast-food chains, pizzerias, ice-cream parlors and ethnic restaurants--the team found that mean portion sizes in Paris were 25 percent less than in Philadelphia.

Couple this with a person that can’t control when to stop eating any more than the anorexic can make herself eat and it is easy to see why people are literally eating themselves to death.

So what do we do to combat this epidemic? Sue the restaurants for making America fat? While the American food industry may carry some of the burden of responsibility they certainly do not carry all of it. Americans need to realize they are walking into a battle when they enter a restaurant. Americans need to take responsibility and make proper decisions.

If a person has not yet reached the land of obesity, or they are trying to reverse the direction of their lifestyle, there are things they can learn to do. Order an appetizer instead of an entrée; these are usually as large as a meal. Or, share an entrée with a dinner companion. Those that have come to terms with their obesity and have chosen to have Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) to help them lose the weight and alter the overeating behavior do this out of necessity and economics.

America is the land of bigger is better in everything from cars to meal portions. But, just because you can eat it doesn’t mean you should. By being aware of exactly what one needs for nutrition and to sustain them versus what is put on the plate in front of them, a person can remove the bullets from the gun leaving the weapon harmless.

Breast Augmentation (safely and successfully) through Natural or Artificial Means

*** Natural Breast Enhancement****

The past decade has seen a significant rise and notice in the validity of herbal treatment for ailments and cosmetic improvements notwithstanding the area of natural breast enhancement. Most of the current breast enhancement products promise anywhere to ‘definite improvement in firmness’ to ‘within 1-3 months time’ a gain of at least one cup. All use some type of phyto-estrogenic derivative in varying ratios and other fillers. Although, the range of raw materials used (commonly red clover, fenugreek, fennel, and others) have shown historically, tribally, and scientifically to stimulate breast growth, it may not be valid for most of their costumers.

What is not as widely heralded is the growing disappointment of the costumers of these commercial breast enlargement products. Comsumeraffars.com reports on 7-12-04 of the company Herbal Breast being sued by the state of Washington., “The consumer protection suit filed in King County Superior Court accuses Nature’s Advantage LLC, and its Marysville, WA, owner, Vaughn Wolfe, of making numerous unsubstantiated claims for the breast-enhancement products on two websites …” Another, headline reads “Small Breast Solutions' Agrees To Halt Sales” as this company sold a breast enhancement mix which largely failed to live up to its promises also. The list is beginning to grow. Still, however the science of breast enhancement is very real.

Breast growth is stimulated by a sacred balance of hormones such as the precursor hormone progesterone and its derivatives estrogen and testosterone. Other factors included Human Growth and I-GHF hormones which assist with timing of the release of these hormones. Prolactin and progesterone work to promote glandular growth. Prolactin and estrogen work synergistically to allow fat storage, mainly in the breasts. Estrogen alone promotes fat storage. In women, the level of this hormone is generally higher as compared to men. It provides to reason how women are generally more curvaceous. The latter are all observations scientifically proven. It’s also been proven that some herbs and food sources simulate the estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone hormones in the human body. The plant source of estrogen is referred to as phyto-estrogen, of testosterone as phyto-androgen, and of progesterone as phyto-progesterone. Some foods rich in phyto-estrogens include thyme, turmeric, fenugreek, licorice, and many, many others. Upon some thought, Italians have diets rich in fennel, licorice, and turmeric and certainly have their share of busty females, but we digress.

In the United States, the range of diets include many variations of estrogenic foods, however, all here are definitely not busty. The great news is that it is possible to determine the correct hormonal sources to stimulate your own breast growth.

***The Best Natural Breast Enlargement Solution ****

The key to natural breast enlargement success is correctly simulating the woman’s system with the correct natural breast enhancing herbs. Where the current commercial natural breast enhancement products generally fail is that their formulation does not account of the individual genetic make-up of each woman. Each and every human being is unique. Therefore you can not give the same item, same formulation to any one and expect the same results. Hence why all pharmaceuticals list the side effects observed for the use of that product. To eliminate the chance of side effects, scientists would need to test the 5+ billion people of this earth in controlled studies- an impossible feat. This is where the e-book product offered on Real Health Method for natural breast enlargement comes of significant use.

‘Real Breasts, Real Health’ uses a special innate talent that all humans have, dubbed the p-method, to help a woman pick the herbs, vitamins, minerals, foods, diet to provide the perfect conditions for breast growth. The book also details common mistakes during this kind of regimen and tips and motivation for staying on track. Additionally, those with any concerns for breast cancer by using products will learn their how prone they are and what to use to not only avoid increasing those risks but grow breasts also

The age range of successful natural breast enhancement customers is from 18-55, menstrual and menopausal. Testimonies include reduction of PMS and HRT symptoms in the process. The regimens of the younger set are more filled with vitamins and a few herbs taking from 2-4 months to grow a full cup, while those closer to menopause or in it full-blown have a more weighty program including usually including the use of progesterone cream, BE herbs, vitamins, and minerals; they also average from 4-8 months for the first cup. Both groups’ subsequent cups were faster. After a year; the younger set- 3+ cups, older set: 2+ cups. Starting range is AAA to saggy C’s. The success rate of 1+ cup of growth for those who master the technique is 93.8% and improving. Incredibly, the costs of these regimens have ranged from $200- $1000 for permanent growth. Others have been able to circumvent having to spend $10,000 or more for re-surgeries by learning that they were allergic to silicone in quantities of more than 6 cc's and chose the healthier chose of just explants.

**** How to know if Breast Implant Surgery is a Healthiest Route for you***

By far the most proven method for bust-fully enhancing your profile, breast augmentation surgery is no where close to the safest. Besides the costs, there are serious health concerns with silicone-laced, saline-filled implants whether textured or not. If there was a way to learn if even the ‘safe’ implants would be of systemic jeopardy, would you? You can, using the p-method detailed in this guide. Inside are also the basics for helping to make a final decision in this very important process including how to find the best doctor, which implants to consider, what location is best to put them in, which incisions are best, and much more!

Did you also realize it takes from 6-12 months for most implants to ‘drop’ to a natural profile? In this same amount of time, you could grow your own real improvements without the pain or costs of surgery.

The concept is simple, and results are very real. No empty promises or chances of lawsuits here. So, for those whom breast surgery is not a viable option or for those for whom it is, learn in advance what you're getting into with the help of this guide. For those who are interested in natural breast enhancement, learn what it entails and how to use the revolutionary p-method for success. With a 90-day, 100% money-back refund guarantee, how can investing approximately $15 for the book’s purchase lead you wrong? Folks throw away more money on four Starbuck’s cups of coffee in a week.

Building a Medical Spa Inside Your Existing Medical Practice

The physicians conundrum: Everywhere, physicians are contemplating or engaged in expanding into the "medical spa" market. Seduced by the media buzz around this hot new phenomenon, many doctors see the medical spa as a means boosting their income and eliminating the growing grind and countless headaches of their daily practice. They read about growth statistics, see dazzling new equipment at trade shows, watch competitors popping up, and fear that they may be falling behind the times. With pen in hand they're ready to sign lease agreements, loan documents, and lots of checks in order to catch up with a crowd of savvy entrepreneurs who know where the real action is. And the truth is, they're right. Medical spas are the natural evolution of cosmetic medicine, and those who don't join the revolution will watch from the sidelines as their fate is decided.

Medical spas are the forerunner of a revolution. From Galen until now, the primary method of care has been through the hands and individual knowledge of a physician. But that's changing. The default method of care is becoming technology based. In every market and time, technologies are developed that replace an individuals knowledge and skill.

Lasers, IPLs, radio frequency, infrared, personal DNA testing, Pointe Lift™, Liposolve™, Clear², PDT, telomere clipping, anti-aging drugs and a smorgasbord of other technologies in development promise to change medicine in the same way that computers, jet engines, and GPS have changed aviation. Technology now enables a technician (under medical supervision) to perform effective medical treatments and places the physician in an oversight roll instead of being the primary practitioner. In the near future, physicians will have more in common with an astronauts than the Wright Brothers.

But changing technology poses very deep problems for physicians. Technology allows easy replication and scalability, forces an unimaginably steep new learning curve on overworked doctors, and eliminates many of the barriers and protections that physicians have relied on in the past. And it's only going to get worse.

Consider this. The combination of markets that Surface competes in is huge (40-50 billion per year and growing), highly fragmented (individual practitioner model), completely new (technology based), and free of any meaningful national players (yet). Already there are very deep pockets investigating ways to exploit this emerging marketplace. The Wal-Marts and Home Depots of this new medical marketplace are being built.

But there's opportunity as well. Technology opens new doors for physicians who can manage this new paradigm. That's why a ready supply of smart and motivated physicians tired of the daily grind of insurance patients are moving into the marketplace and successfully competing. For the first time, physicians outside the current specialties of plastic surgery (cutting and stitching) and dermatology (diseases of the skin) have the potential to earn the income of these "big money" specialties. This new market will inevitably give rise to a new specialty whose focus will be "non-surgical cosmetic medical technologies". You can see the fragmentation today. Many dermatologists now label themselves as "cosmetic" to market themselves as a subspecialty.

Hurry up and wait. You can't get enough good information fast enough. But this is a new business and demands a huge investment of time to make the right decisions. Sales reps will stream into your clinic armed with charts and graphs that go up and to the right, advertisers will drop phrases like "top of mind awareness", and you'll have a creeping suspicion that the market is getting away from you. Go slow. There are a host of land mines in the area and there are some that will be advising you to jump directly on them.

So, how do you build a medical spa inside your existing practice? Surface has three locations, four physicians, master aestheticians, technicians, patient coordinators, managers and office staff. Every treatment at Surface is governed by a set of proprietary protocols. As a business, we have advised dozens of individual physicians, managers, and investors about opening and operating medical spas. Be advised this is not easy, but here are a few suggestions.

Physician heal thyself: This is your business. Consultants make their money by telling others how to run businesses that they can't run themselves. Believe me, if a medical spa consultant was worth hiring, they would be running their own medical spa. Consultants will tell you that you have to have massage, retail should be 30% or your gross sales, and "you might want to consider hydrotherapy". Wrong. The day that retail is 30% of our gross sales I'll eat my left foot. Our retail is around 3%. If it ever gets to 5% we'll cut back. If this is going to be your business, make your own decisions.

Find someone smarter than you: The most important step is good management. Without that, people can, and have, lost everything. If you don't have good management skills, hire someone from outside medicine who does.

Franchises: "Turn key solutions". That's how almost everything is marketed to physicians. Buy this technology, hire this personnel, run these ad slicks, and everything will fall into place. Sorry. It doesn't work that way. Most of these franchises are sold as a sort of "we've already worked out the kinks" sort of deal. It's a lie. Franchises focus on the treatments that everybody else will be able to replicate with ease. It's more a case of, " In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king". You don't need a franchise.

All technology is not created equal: Despite what company reps will tell you, choosing the right technology will mean big differences at the end of the year. Efficacy, cost per treatment, initial costs, usage, and a long list of other considerations should go into technology decisions. Many physicians jump first and then end up with $80,000 towel dryers that they still have to make payments on every month. Used medical devices are readily available from the constant stream of bankruptcies and failed medical practices. Choose your technology carefully.

Understand the marketplace: Medical spas are a luxury business. And for most physicians it comes as an unwelcome surprise that their new patients are more demanding. Long waits, aloof staff members, poor communication, and ambivalent staff, are all in the past. You're touting yourself as a luxury service, act like one. Hire top-notch people that are service-oriented, friendly and courteous. Protocols can be taught easier than attitude.

Rein in your ego: This is business. It's not personal. If you feel you must charge twice as much as your competitors because you "deserve it" or you're board certified, get used to empty appointment book. One of my personal pet peeves is the condescending attitude of many physicians.

Do not use "advanced" or "laser" in your name: The number of "advanced" laser clinics is staggering. Don't do it. It's inane, overused, and bland. I actually had a physician ask me if changing his name from Advanced Laser Centers to Advanced Laser Group would get him more business.

Network with successful medical spas: Successful business owners are only to happy to help newcomers to the industry. We have constant dialogue with physicians and investors who are investigating the marketplace and have advised clinics on four continents. Successful medical spas will be happy to build bridges with smart businesses.

Don't look to day spas to solve your problems: Physicians hear "spa" and immediately think that day spas have the answers they're looking for. Wrong. The average net margins for day spas are around 8%-10%. The average physicians is 60%. This is a different market.

Don't base your pay on commission: Commissions sound like a great solution. You save overhead and motivate your staff to grow the business. Wrong. Commissions are used in spas to keep overhead low, but guess what. Staff members working for commission aren't working for you. Commissions lead to overly aggressive staff that don't do anything for your reputation.

Don't gild the Lily: You may have heard that you have to "build out" your clinic at the cost of $80-$120 per square foot. Nope. You don't have to start with treatment tables that have your clinics name embossed on them. Spend all your money before you open and you won't be able to spend it where you'll really need it... getting butts in the seats.

Weight Loss Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) is often viewed as a quick fix for morbid obesity. One day a person is fat, the next they are not. While it may appear to onlookers that a gastric bypass patient is losing the weight without personal struggle or effort, this really isn’t true. WLS patients must follow four rules for success and they experience four phases of growth following surgery.

The four rules for successful weight loss and long-term weight maintenance are: Eat protein first; No snacking, Drink lots of water and Exercise daily. Adherence to these rules moves the patient smoothly through the four stages of bariatric growth which I define as: Conception, Infancy, Adolescence and Maturity.

Conception begins when patients consider surgery as a treatment for morbid obesity. It could be prompted by a life threatening illness such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, asthma, heartburn or sleep apnea. Or perhaps lifestyle prompts it – a person may lack the energy to play with their children or pursue the activities they love. Maybe self-esteem is so low because of obesity that a drastic measure – surgery – is needed to restore a sense of self-worth.

Conception is followed by birth, an event left entirely to a carefully selected surgeon and staff of healthcare professionals. The surgeon partitions off most of the stomach creating a pocket or pouch that will hold one ounce of food. In most gastric bypass surgeries the digestive system is re-routed to bypass the intestine and shortcut to the bowel. This prevents too many calories from being absorbed and stored by the body in the form of fat. The patient wakes from the surgery a bariatric infant.

Infancy On the second day of my WLS infancy my surgeon stood at my hospital bedside and showed me a cup, the size in which sacramental communion is offered and he said “This is the size of your stomach now.”

Just like bringing a newborn home from the hospital the bariatric patient brings home a tiny newborn tummy that has all kinds of requirements and restrictions. This new tiny tummy is completely foreign to the behaviors and habits that caused obesity. There is not one single thing an obese person has done in the past that they can continue doing. Patients who strictly follow the four rules quickly become acquainted with their new tiny tummy. This is the time of rapid weight loss. For the first time most morbidly obese patients are consistently losing lots of weight, something they have never experienced before. Infancy for most bariatric patients lasts from nine to 18 months.

Similar to parents of a firstborn child who focus completely on their new baby, during bariatric infancy patients completely focus on their new tiny tummy. Then one day, without fanfare, they wake up and rediscover themselves. They enter adolescence.

Adolescence Adolescence is the stage when patients test the system. Many patients don’t dump, vomit, snack or eat the forbidden foods until they reach adolescence. But once they approach or reach target weight a mental bad boy shows up in a shiny black corvette saying take a ride on the wild side. So a patient jumps in the bad boy’s fast ride and speeds down a dangerous road. They break the rules! Perhaps they eat sugar which results in a blood sugar imbalance called “dumping” or they may stuff themselves with starchy carbs causing vomiting. In the worst case, a patient returns to snacking, a little treat of hard candy here and a handful of popcorn there. Mark my words, nothing stops-short weight loss or maintenance more quickly than a little bit of rule breaking. But like any teenager, we all have to learn it on our own.

The good news: the duration of adolescence is up to the patient! A patient only hurts themselves when they break the rules. Successful WLS patients commit to themselves early to be in control of their own gastric bypass growth cycle. However, some WLS patients get stuck in adolescence. I’ve heard many say, “Oh, I can eat anything I want, just not much of it.” Don’t believe it for a minute. They aren’t saying how often they vomit, or dump or how they never quite achieved their weight loss goal. Weight loss patients who eat anything they want are abusing their tool and stuck in perpetual adolescence.

Maturity At maturity a patient understands the gastric bypass system and is living the life they dreamed. They have achieved desired weight loss and are maintaining a healthy weight. A diligent patient can enjoy this phase for the rest of their life.

I believe WLS maturity is reached when patients understand one word: respect. Respect for the tiny tummy, respect for the science of the body, and respect for oneself. Sure, we all experience an occasional lapse of judgment; that old lover of ours – food - is flaunting temptations every single day. But the gastric bypass patient is a brave and powerful person.

Successful patients build on infant and teenage experiences and become an adult embracing all the good things gastric bypass has facilitated. The battle against obesity isn’t easy; patients will fight old habits for the rest of their life. Gastric bypass is a tool, a weapon in the battle against obesity, but it is the patient who wins the war.


Individuals with imperfect vision now have an option available to them that will correct their vision while reducing the need for glasses or contacts. This procedure is called Lasik eye surgery and it corrects vision problems for patients.

The way Lasik eye surgery works is relatively simple, fast and with minimal pain. And fortunately, the price of lasik eye surgery is becoming more affordable.

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and is a procedure that reshapes the cornea. The process that is used for this sounds a bit dangerous, but is being performed with huge success rates all over the world.

First, the eye is numbed a bit with a solution and the ophthalmologist takes a special knife and cuts a small flap in the cornea of the patient’s eye. The flap is left connected to the eye so there are only three sides cut. Then, the ophthalmologist pulls the flap back exposing the second layer of the cornea known as the stroma.

Then, the ophthalmologist uses a specialized laser that sends pulses to the stroma that reshape the cornea. Then, the flap is replaced and the procedure is completed.

While this procedure does not seem to be very complicated and certainly does not take a lot of time, it is not a perfected science. The reason for this is each eye is shaped differently and the amount of slope on the cornea affects the level of vision problems. The ophthalmologist must gauge how much cornea needs to be removed/ reshaped in order to correct the patient’s vision to 20/20. This is difficult because there is no way to know how the cornea will react to the laser and how close to perfect vision the patient will have.

As a result, lasik eye surgery works very well for patients who want to improve their vision. However, it is not guaranteed to return your vision to 20/20. It may, however, be successful or the eye might not react the way the ophthalmologist imagines and leave the patient with less than perfect sight and still necessitating the use of glasses or contacts. Fortunately, lasik surgery is successful and patients are pleased the majority of the time

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Types of drains

  • * Jackson-Pratt drain - This consists of a tube connected to a see through collection bulb. The bulb has a drainage port which can be opened to remove fluid or air so that the bulb can be squeezed to create suction. The drain should always stay below the area of the wound.
  • * Penrose drain
  • * Negative pressure wound therapy - Involves the use of enclosed foam and a suction device attached; this is one of the newer types of wound healing/drain devices which promotes faster tissue granulation, often used for large surgical/trauma/non-healing wounds.
  • * Redivac drain
  • * Pigtail drain - has an exterior screw to release the internal "pigtail" before it can be removed
  • * Davol
  • * Chest tube
  • * Wound manager

Drain (surgery)

A surgical drain is a tube used to remove pus, blood or other fluids from a wound. Drains inserted after surgery do not result in faster wound healing or prevent infection but are sometimes necessary to drain body fluid which may accumulate and in itself become a focus of infection. The routine use of drains for surgical procedures is diminishing. Better radiological investigation and confidence in surgical technique have reduced their necessity. It is felt now that drains may hinder recovery by acting as an 'anchor' limiting mobility post surgery and the drain itself may allow infection into the wound. In certain situations their use is unavoidable.

Drains may be hooked to wall suction, a portable suction device, or they may be left to drain naturally. Accurate recording of the volume of drainage as well as the contents is vital to ensure proper healing and monitor for excessive bleeding. Depending on the amount of drainage, a patient may have the drain in place 1 day to weeks. Signs of new infection or copious amounts of drainage should be reported to the health care provider immediately. Drains will have protective dressings that will need to be changed daily/as needed.

Jet ventilation

Jet ventilation is a special type of mechanical ventilation for surgical operations in the airway. Jet ventilation (JV) is characterized by the insufflation of gas portions with high velocity into the airway. The latter has to be open to the atmosphere in order to allow an unhindered gas egress and therefore to avoid overdistention (barotrauma) of the lungs.

*  Indications
*  Procedure
*  Complications
*  References


While a definition for the term 'biomaterial' has been difficult to formulate, more widely accepted working definitions include: "A biomaterial is any material, natural or man-made, that comprises whole or part of a living structure or biomedical device which performs, augments, or replaces a natural function".

" A Biomaterial is a nonviable material used in medical device,so it's intended to interact with a biological systems (William 1987)"

A biomaterial is essentially a material that is used and adapted for a medical application. Biomaterials can have a benign function, such as being used for a heart valve, or may be bioactive . Used for a more interactive purpose such as hydroxy-apatite coated hip implants (the Furlong Hip, by Joint Replacement Instrumentation Ltd, Sheffield is one such example – such implants are lasting upwards of twenty years).

Biomaterials are also used every day in dental applications, surgery, and drug delivery (a construct with impregnated pharmaceutical products can be placed into the body, which permits the prolonged release of a drug over an extended period of time).

The definition of a biomaterial does not just include man-made materials which are constructed of metals or ceramics. A biomaterial may also be an autograft, allograft or xenograft used as a transplant material.

Cardiac surgery

Cardiac surgery is surgery on the heart and/or great vessels performed by a cardiac surgeon. Frequently, it is done to treat complications of ischemic heart disease (for example, coronary artery bypass grafting), correct congenital heart disease, or treat valvular heart disease created by various causes including endocarditis. It also includes heart transplantation.

Trauma surgery

Trauma surgeons are physicians (MBBS, MBChB, MB, MD) or (DO) who have completed residency training in general surgery and fellowship training in trauma or surgical critical care. The trauma surgeon is responsible for the initial resuscitation and stabilization of the patient, as well as ongoing evaluation. The attending trauma surgeon also leads the trauma team, which typically includes nurses, resident physicians, and support staff.

The majority of trauma surgeons practicing in larger centers complete a 1-2 year fellowship in surgical critical care. This allows them to sit for the American Board of Surgery (ABS) certifying examination in Surgical Critical Care. If this is passed, the examinee is then recognized as having a qualification in Surgical Critical Care. There is no separate board or examination for "trauma surgery".

The broad scope of their surgical critical care training enables the trauma surgeon to address most injuries to the neck, chest, abdomen, and extremities (other than fractures). Injuries to the central nervous system are generally treated by neurosurgeons. Musculoskeletal injuries are treated by orthopaedic surgeons. Facial injuries are often treated by maxillofacial surgeons. There is significant variation across hospitals in the degree to which other specialists, such as cardiothoracic surgeons, plastic surgeons, vascular surgeons, and interventional radiologists are involved in treating trauma patients.


Hypnosurgery is the term given to an operation where the patient is sedated using hypnotherapy rather than traditional anaesthetics. It is still in its experimental stages, and not often used. During hypnosurgery , the hypnotist helps the patient control their subconscious reflexes so that they do not feel pain in the traditional sense.[citation needed] Patients are aware of sensation as the operation progresses and often describe a tingling or tickling sensation when pain would normally be expected.[citation needed]

What is more frequently used is hypnosedation, a combination regimen of hypnosis, local injection of analgesics and mild sedation. . The patients -mostly aged or other persons that run an increased risk under general anesthesia - are mildly sedated and brought in a state of increased alertness by having them listen to a story in the operation theatre. Anesthesiologists at the University of Liège in Belgium have performed over 4800 surgical interventions, mainly in ENT and thyroid treatments, over the past 10 years


Modern pain control through anesthesia was discovered by two American dental surgeons, Horace Wells (1815-1848) and William Morton. Before the advent of anesthesia, surgery was a traumatically painful procedure and surgeons were encouraged to be as swift as possible to minimize patient suffering. This also meant that operations were largely restricted to amputations and external growth removals. Beginning in the 1840s, surgery began to change dramatically in character with the discovery of effective and practical anaesthetic chemicals such as ether and chloroform, later pioneered in Britain by John Snow. In addition to relieving patient suffering, anaesthesia allowed more intricate operations in the internal regions of the human body. In addition, the discovery of muscle relaxants such as curare allowed for safer applications.


The concept of infection was unknown until relatively modern times. The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis who noticed that medical students fresh from the dissecting room were causing excess maternal death compared to midwives. Semmelweis, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society in the UK still dismissed his advice. Significant progress came following the work of Pasteur, when the British surgeon Joseph Lister began experimenting with using phenol during surgery to prevent infections. Lister was able to quickly reduce infection rates, a reduction that was further helped by his subsequent introduction of techniques to sterilize equipment, have rigorous hand washing and a later implementation of rubber gloves. Lister published his work as a series of articles in The Lancet (March 1867) under the title Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery. The work was groundbreaking and laid the foundations for a rapid advance in infection control that saw modern aseptic operating theatres widely used within 50 years (Lister himself went on to make further strides in antisepsis and asepsis throughout his lifetime).


Before modern surgical developments, there was a very real threat that a patient would bleed to death before treatment, or during the operation. Cauterization (fusing a wound closed with extreme heat) was successful but limited - it was destructive, painful and in the long term had very poor outcomes. Ligatures, or material used to tie off severed blood vessels, are believed to have originated with Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis)[7] in the 10th century and improved by Ambroise Paré in the 16th century. Though this method was a significant improvement over the method of cauterization, it was still dangerous until infection risk was brought under control - at the time of its discovery, the concept of infection was not fully understood. Finally, early 20th century research into blood groups allowed the first effective blood transfusions.

Modern surgery

Modern surgery developed rapidly with the scientific era. Ambroise Paré (sometimes spelled "Ambrose"[6]) pioneered the treatment of gunshot wounds, and the first modern surgeons were battlefield doctors in the Napoleonic Wars. Naval surgeons were often barber surgeons, who combined surgery with their main jobs as barbers. Three main developments permitted the transition to modern surgical approaches - control of bleeding, control of infection and control of pain (anaesthesia).

Types of surgery

Surgical procedures are commonly categorized by urgency, type of procedure, body system involved, degree of invasiveness, and special instrumentation.

Elective surgery is done to correct a non-life-threatening condition, and is carried out at the patient's request, subject to the surgeon's and the surgical facility's availability. Emergency surgery is surgery which must be done quickly to save life, limb, or functional capacity. Exploratory surgery is performed to aid or confirm a diagnosis. Therapeutic surgery treats a previously diagnosed condition.

Amputation involves cutting off a body part, usually a limb or digit. Replantation involves reattaching a severed body part. Reconstructive surgery involves reconstruction of an injured, mutilated, or deformed part of the body. Cosmetic surgery is done to improve the appearance of an otherwise normal structure. Excision is the cutting out of an organ, tissue, or other body part from the patient. Transplant surgery is the replacement of an organ or body part by insertion of another from different human (or animal) into the patient. Removing an organ or body part from a live human or animal for use in transplant is also a type of surgery.

When surgery is performed on one organ system or structure, it may be classed by the organ, organ system or tissue involved. Examples include cardiac surgery (performed on the heart), gastrointestinal surgery (performed within the digestive tract and its accessory organs), and orthopedic surgery (performed on bones and/or muscles).

Minimally invasive surgery involves smaller outer incision(s) to insert miniaturized instruments within a body cavity or structure, as in laparoscopic surgery or angioplasty. By contrast, an open surgical procedure requires a large incision to access the area of interest. Laser surgery involves use of a laser for cutting tissue instead of a scalpel or similar surgical instruments. Microsurgery involves the use of an operating microscope for the surgeon to see small structures. Robotic surgery makes use of a surgical robot, such as the Da Vinci or the Zeus surgical systems, to control the instrumentation under the direction of the surgeon.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Radiotherapy for breast cancer

When radiotherapy is used

Radiotherapy is often used after surgery for breast cancer. It may occasionally be used before, or instead of, surgery.

If part of the breast has been removed (lumpectomy or segmental excision), radiotherapy is usually given to the remaining breast tissue to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back in that area.

After a mastectomy, radiotherapy to the chest wall may be given if your doctor thinks there is a risk that any cancer cells have been left behind.

If a few lymph glands have been removed and these contained cancer cells, or if no lymph glands have been removed, radiotherapy may be given to the armpit to treat the remaining lymph glands. If all the lymph glands have been removed from under the arm, radiotherapy to the armpit is not usually needed.

External radiotherapy

The treatment is normally given in the hospital radiotherapy department as a series of short daily sessions. The treatments are usually given from Monday to Friday, with a rest at the weekend. Each treatment takes 10–15 minutes. Your doctor will discuss the treatment and possible side effects with you.

A course of radiotherapy for breast cancer may last from 3–6 weeks. It is usually given as an outpatient.

External radiotherapy does not make you radioactive and it's perfectly safe for you to be with other people, including children, after your treatment.

Planning radiotherapy

To ensure that you receive maximum benefit from your radiotherapy, it has to be carefully planned. This is done using a CT scanner, which takes x-rays of the area to be treated. Treatment planning is a very important part of radiotherapy and it may take a few visits before the clinical oncologist (the doctor who plans and supervises your treatment) is satisfied with the result.

Marks are usually drawn on your skin to help the radiographer (who gives you your treatment) to position you accurately and to show where the rays will be directed. These marks must stay throughout your treatment, and permanent marks (like tattoos) may be used. These are tiny, and will only be done with your permission. You may feel a little discomfort while it is being done.

The radiotherapy is normally given to the whole breast area, and may also include the underarm (axilla), and the area around the collar bone and at the top of the chest by the breast bone (sternum), where there are lymph nodes. Some women may have an extra dose given to the area of the breast where the cancer was. This is known as a booster dose.

Treatment sessions

At the beginning of each session of radiotherapy, the radiographer will position you carefully on the couch, and make sure you are comfortable. During your treatment you will be left alone in the room but you will be able to talk to the radiographer who will be watching you from the next room. Radiotherapy is not painful, but you do have to lie still for a few minutes while the treatment is being given.


If you are going to have radiotherapy, you will need to be able to get your arm into position so that the radiotherapy machine can give the treatment effectively. Sometimes your muscles and shoulder joint may feel stiff. If you can’t move your shoulder normally, it may be painful or difficult to give the treatment. A physiotherapist may teach you some exercises to make the position for treatment feel easier.

Side effects of radiotherapy

Radiotherapy to the breast sometimes causes side effects such as reddening and soreness of the skin, tiredness and feeling sick (nausea). These side effects gradually disappear once your course of treatment has finished. The tiredness may continue for some months.

Perfumed soaps, creams or deodorants may irritate your skin and should not be used during the treatment. At the beginning of your treatment you will be given advice on how to look after your skin in the area being treated.

Radiotherapy may make your breast tissue feel firmer. Over a few months or years your breast may shrink slightly. The radiotherapy may also, rarely, leave small red marks on your skin, which are due to tiny broken blood vessels. For many women, however, the appearance of their breast is very good.

Radiotherapy to the breast can sometimes lead to long-term side effects. A few months after radiotherapy some women develop breathlessness (due to the effect of radiotherapy on the lung). This can usually be treated with a short course of steroids. In the longer term there may be some weakness of the ribs in the irradiated area, which makes them more likely to fracture than normal. If you have radiotherapy to your underarm (axilla) there is a very small risk of developing late side effects such as nerve pain, tingling, and weakness or numbness in the arm and hand (peripheral neuropathy).

Most of these long-term effects are very uncommon. If you are worried about the risk of developing particular side effects from radiotherapy, you can speak to your clinical oncologist (radiotherapist).

After your radiotherapy treatment, let your doctor know straight away if you have any pain in your arm, ribs, or if you feel breathless.