Tuesday, March 29, 2016

7 Amazing Health Benefits to Playing Wind Instruments

While most might assume that playing a musical instrument is nothing more than a hobby, there’s a lot more to it. Learning to play an instrument provides you with skills that include hand/eye coordination, improved motor skills and memory, as well as better concentration.

Depending on the type of instrument you learn, there are increased benefits that directly relate to your health. Let’s take a look at how playing musical instruments like the trumpet, tuba, or saxophone can benefit your health in the long run:

1.  Builds Confidence – If you’re looking for a real confidence booster, you should consider learning how to play a wind instrument. With the right instructor from sources like LessonRating.com, you can receive personalized instruction at your own pace. There’s simply something about the sense of accomplishment once you’ve mastered the hurdles of learning an instrument.

2.  Strengthens Breath and Lung Capacity – Your diaphragm is one of the most utilized parts of the body when playing a wind instrument. It assists you in being able to blow air in and out of your lungs and into the instrument to create sound. Through controlled and measured breaths, you can begin to strengthen your breath and lung capacity. In fact, pulmonary rehabilitation experts that help those who  suffer from chronic lung and respiratory illnesses, agree that music therapy, such as playing wind instruments, as a method for healing and speeding up recovery actually works on a physical and emotional level.

3.  Strengthens Core Muscles – As you’re utilizing your diaphragm which is located just beneath the lungs, you’re also using your abdominal muscles. The in and out movement of your breaths flex the abdominal muscles which help to strengthen your core.

4.  Boosts Adrenaline – Did you know that an adrenaline rush in some ways can be a great benefit to your health? In fact, small spurts of adrenaline can help to boost energy levels and help you burn calories. Well, as you learn how to play an instrument and perform for others, you find an adrenaline rush as you belt out musical notes to your favorite tune.

5.  Improved Hand/Eye Coordination – There’s a lot that goes into playing a wind instrument. Aside from learning how to control your breaths to generate a positive sound, you must also learn how to push the right buttons, where to position your fingers and more. The more you practice with your instrument, the better your hand-eye coordination becomes.

6.  Relieves Stress – When looking for safe ways to relieve the stresses of life pick up a wind instrument. Whether you’ve mastered the instrument completely or not, the sound of music and the feeling of accomplishment you feel from playing it (to the best of your abilities) can help to minimize cortisol – the stress hormone. The better you get at playing, the more you will find your instrument to be a tool for relieving stress.

7.  Helps You Set and Accomplish Goals – Learning a musical instrument is a great and fun way to begin setting and accomplishing goals. In the beginning, your goal might be to learn all the notes on the instrument. Once you’ve accomplished that you might move on to learning a new song. As you conquer each of these goals, you begin to feel more accomplished and motivated to set goals not just with music – but in other parts of your life as well.

You don’t have to be a musical genius to enjoy the above-described benefits of learning a musical instrument. All you have to do is have the willpower to try something new. As you begin to master each concept of playing wind instruments, you’ll begin to see the above-mentioned benefits materialize in your life. If you haven’t the faintest idea how to play a musical instrument – it’s never too late to learn. With the help of a music instructor, you could be well on your way to enjoying the many healing powers of music.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Monday, March 14, 2016

What Are Skin Tags?

Skin tags are small parts of skin that are soft and benign knobbly growths of skin cells on the exterior of the skin. Their scientific name is ‘acrochordons’ or ‘fibroepithelial polyps.’  They can occur on any area of the body but mainly in areas such as the neck, back, armpit, breasts, eyelids and groin area.

They are absolutely harmless and nothing to worry about. They are a natural occurrence, and many people have them. Dermatologists and doctors see them every day and they’re very simple to treat.

Why Do They Occur?

Unlike warts, they are not contagious and occur naturally due to a number of reasons such as:

•   Changes in hormonal levels – for this reason they are common in pregnant women and anyone with fluctuating hormones from treatment or a pre-existing condition.

•   Things rubbing against skin for a long term period, like clothing – this commonly occurs where there are folds of skin. For instance in people who are overweight or have lost weight resulting in an excess of skin.

•   Sometimes they appear for no reason at all

Why Remove Them?

Some people feel self-conscious about them and they can affect your self-esteem if you feel they are unsightly. If you feel like you’d rather not have a skin tag, there are always options for removal if you choose, no matter how small or large they are. You can find many skincare experts that can help you with skin tags, such as Sk:n who can offer a variety of safe treatments dependent on your needs. Sometimes, skin tags can cause issues when it comes to shaving as they get irritated easily and are at risk of being cut with blades of razors.

How Are They Removed?

Skin tags are easily dealt with and only need a very minor procedure which involves a minimum of discomfort. The 3 ways medical professionals remove skin tags are as follows:

1.  Excision – the part of skin will be removed surgically using a scalpel.

2.  Cryotherapy – much like the treatment for warts, cryotherapy freezes the skin until the unwanted area’s cells die, and it simply falls off.

3.  Hyfrecation – a therapy that uses electrical pulses to damage only the cells of the skin tag, so the unwanted skin naturally falls away,

These treatments all ensure skin tags are gone permanently, but won’t stop new ones arising in the future.

All of these treatments are very minor procedures and are considered cosmetic surgery. They don’t take very long – usually a matter of a few minutes – and they don’t cause much in the way of pain.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Benefits of Eating Organic Foods

Whether or not to choose organic food products over conventional is regularly a hot topic of debate. Some opponents do not believe that eating organic is worth the additional cost, while others don't believe that it provides a more nutritious product.

On the other hand, supporters of organic foods strongly believe that the benefits are indeed very real and will testify to those benefits. For example, certain people with allergies to artificial preservatives and chemicals will notice that eating organic products helps to lessen or completely rid them of symptoms. No matter which side of the aisle you fall on, it is clear that organic products are more natural, less artificial, and there are certain benefits that come with that. Below are some of the main benefits that people can expect to receive from eating organic foods.

Fewer Pesticides

Many crops grown today are grown with the use of pesticides. These are chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. While the use of these chemicalsis to help keep the crops from being attacked by bugs and such, they tend to leave residue on the foods that we eat. Therefore, many of the non-organic foods we eat have pesticides on them that we ingest.

Fresher Foods

Everyone agrees that food that is fresher just tastes better overall. Organic foods generally have a shorter lifespan in the stores because they don't contain preservatives in them that most other products do in order to last longer. However, because of this the organic foods are always fresher and usually have a better taste overall. Most organic produce comes from local farms nearby wherever it is sold.

Better for the Environment

Organic farming leads to less pollution in the air, water and soil. It also helps to reduce soil erosion, conserve water, increase soil fertility and uses less energy. Farming practices done without the use of pesticides is better for nearby wildlife such as birds and other small animals.It is also a better environment for people who may live close by the farms or the workers that work the farms and crops.

Better for Animals

Organically raised animals are not given growth hormones, antibiotics or fed any animalbyproducts. When farmers use antibiotics in conventional meat production, it leads to the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains. If someone eating the conventionally raised meat gets sick from a strain of bacteria, it could lead to them not being able to be treated with the use of antibiotics. In addition, the risk of mad cow disease is less when no animal byproducts are used to feed and raise the animals.

Better for Immune System

For many food growers and farmers, genetic modifications have been some of the biggest projects in recent decades. While making produce such as tomatoes six times their original side may seem like a great way to solve some hunger issues around the world, there are also some downsides to it. Genetically modifying foods is still a relatively new idea. Because of this, it is unsure about what the long-term side effects on humans could be. When tested on animals, it was proven that eating genetically modified foods caused a big reduction in many things such as immune system strength. It was also noticed that there was an increase in birth mortality and certain sexual dysfunctions.

Antioxidant Capacity

There have been many studies showing that the effects of antioxidants derived from organic foods better effect your overall health compared to antioxidants that come from the conventionally grown foods. The main reason that this is true may be because the foreign chemicals used in non-organic foods are not present to negatively interact with the numerous minerals and vitamins in the foods. These are essential to help fruits and vegetables aid in the prevention of numerous diseases such as heart disease, cancer, vision problems, premature aging and cognitive malfunctions. Other recent research has suggested that choosing to eat organic foods can lead to an increase of consumed antioxidants as well as a reduced exposure to certain toxic heavy metals.

More Nutrients and Less GMOs

According to a recent European study, organically grown meat and milk had upwards of fifty percent higher nutrients in them such as omega-3 fatty acids. The study shows this to be true because the milk and beef comes from cows that are able to graze and eat a natural grass diet while conventional meat and milk comes from cows that are fed with grain instead. Organically grown foods are GMO (genetically modified organisms) free. Genetically modified foods from plants and animals could possibly lead to long-term negative effects that have yet to be studied.

While eating organic foods may not be the only choice when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it can certainly help. Sometimes, it boils down to making healthier choices in the products you buy, such as products sold by Hampton Creek foods.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

7 of the Most Common Medical Billing Mistakes

Many errors can occur during the medical billing process. These errors delay payments, cause confusion and reflect poorly with patients who often have to help correct the problem. An essential part of medical billing is minimizing errors, but that is often easier said than done.

When you’re dealing with dozens of data points, mistakes happen. The key is knowing where problems usually occur in the process and how to prevent them.

Not Entering the Right Amount of Digits on a Code

With so many minute details, it’s easy to overlook a letter or digit. Not entering the correct number of digits for a code is one of the top mistakes made during the medical billing process. ICD codes are designators for symptoms, diagnosis and causes of death. It helps decrease confusion because the universal codes are understood by health providers around the country.

Being just one digit off can create serious issues during the billing process. This can also affect the patient’s medical records if it isn’t corrected. Billing specialists have to be familiar with the current codes and have a way to verify codes before filing.

Inputting the Wrong Code

Another common problem is inputting the wrong code entirely. Using the wrong code on a medical bill is one of the top reasons claims are rejected and denied.

Often it is the ICD-9-CM and the new ICD-10 codes that are incorrect. Because there are multiple code sets and ICD codes are updated regularly, it can be difficult for billing specialists to determine which code is correct. Online management systems like Practice Suite's free ICD 10 code lookup can help circumvent this common medical billing mistake. These systems have tools that help billing specialists look up the latest codes, which are significantly different for ICD-10.

Treatment and Diagnostic Codes Are Mismatched

One other common billing mistake related to ICD codes is mismatched coding for treatment and diagnosis. Usually one of the codes is correct but the other is not, and it’s clearly unrelated. Here again a billing management system with updated ICD code tools can help billing specialists find and use the right codes before sending out the bill.

Incorrect Patient Information

The front desk and doctor may be very familiar with a patient, but that doesn’t mean the medical billing specialist is. Incorrectly inputting patient information is much easier than most people realize. Again, one wrong letter or number in the patient information is all it takes for a claim to be rejected.
A patient management system with built-in billing functions makes this mistake near impossible because the patient’s information is automatically populated in electronic claims.

Incorrect Insurance Information

The insurance company information also has to be 100% accurate on the billing records. Even though these types of errors can be slight, it can be enough to delay the bill processing and payment.
It’s also fairly common for the patient’s insurance information to be incorrect on bills. Patients can switch health insurance plans or providers from one year to the next. Their plan may also be updated or changed, sometimes without the patient realizing it. For this reason, medical billing specialists have to verify insurance coverage before filing a claim.

Incorrect Health Provider Information

Some medical billing specialists work for multiple health care providers. Juggling the information of various providers makes it easy to accidentally input the wrong name, address or contact information.

Duplicate Bills

Without a management system that documents and tracks billing, it’s easy for the same medical service to be billed twice. It usually happens when more than one person in the office reports that the services were performed. The billing specialist should catch this on a superbill, but a patient management system that’s shared by everyone will help eliminate duplicate bills.

Medical ethics extends well beyond the examining room. Proper handling of patient information and billing is a joint effort between the physician, administrative staff and billing specialist. Each person must be honest and accurate in their documentation or mistakes are going to happen.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Say Goodbye to Back Pain by Introducing These Easy Lifestyle Changes

Back pain is one of the most common health problems affecting the people of all ages and genders. According to the survey, out of total patients visiting a doctor about 20% have a back pain complaint. This issue is mostly recurring and would come your way again and again if you continue with the wrong lifestyle or do not take up a well-planned fitness regime to get over it.

If you have already been attacked by mild or severe back pain by now then it is your trigger for a lifestyle change. Here are the simple tips that will help you cure the back pain to large extent and also help you prevent any future attacks.

 1. Weight Management

If the reason for frequent back pain attacks is not known then first check your weight because being overweight is the major reason behind this problem. The excess weight concentrated on the middle portion of your body would put extra pressure on the spinal cord and the result would be unexplained back pain. You need to bring down the weight in the normal range through proper weight management strategy. Heavy exercise is also strictly prohibited as this will put extra pressure on the joints and back. Following a diet and some natural weight loss supplement would definitely be a better choice.

2. Activity Level

Some people think that lot of movement and activity are the root causes of back pain. This is not true as your muscles are weakened due to lack of exercise. You can take rest for some time until you get relief but do not make it a habit. Indulge in routine chores and light activity as this will strengthen the muscles slowly. Increase the level of activity as you start feeling comfortable.

3. Watch Your Diet

Watch your diet but not for weight loss. You may watch your diet to get proper nutrition as lack of key nutrition would weaken bones and muscles. Increase calcium and protein intake for muscle building. Healthy diet would result into healthy body, so keep a close watch on your diet.

4. Posture Problems 

Wrong posture while sitting, standing, or walking may wrongly affect the back. Stand straight with your tummy tucked in, head up, shoulders pulled backwards, and back straight. Keeping your back straight even at the time of sitting or walking would help in avoiding back problems. Sit in a chair with your back straight and your knees above the hip level. While traveling or when you have to sit for long hours, keep a pillow behind the lower back to provide appropriate support.

5. Sleeping Posture

More than any other position, your posture at the time of sleeping may have the maximum impact on your back. Sleeping on the back would exert lot of pressure on the muscles. You may sleep better on your sides. Take a pillow with the thickness good enough to keep the head straight. While sleeping on your back, avoid putting the pillow below the neck as it will worsen the situation. Putting the pillow below the knee and lower back would ease out the pain.

Apart from the above mentioned modifications, you can introduce some easy changes like –

-    Avoid wearing high heels and even if your attire calls for one then do not stand for long or walk much.

-    Skinny jeans look good but would hinder the blood circulation. Wear loose clothes especially when you sleep as this would be the time to recover from a full day’s stress.

-    Lifting heavy weight on your shoulders or bending from the waist to lift heavy weights would immediately trouble your back. If you have to pick up anything from the ground then sit and pick it up.

-    Handbags and laptop bags are major sources of damage. The heavy weight carried in these bags would put strain on both your back and shoulder muscles. You may end up weakening the upper back too. Simple lifestyle modifications and little care would keep the chronic back pain at bay. If the condition worsens then you may visit the medical practitioner as he would recommend some muscle relaxants and pain killers for immediate relief followed by physiotherapy, which will make the pain bearable.

About Author:

Karishma Pandey is a freelance writer. She writes her views on health issues. Currently she is associated with IshaPur Turmeric Curcumin, an online shop for turmeric curcumin that helps in reducing joint pains.