Friday, August 31, 2018

10 Tips for Surviving Long Shifts at Work

In Japan, there is a word known as “karoshi” which literally translates to “death due to overwork”. Although a direct connection between strenuous labor and a quick demise are yet to be fully proven, studies do agree that piling on the extra hours can lead to high levels of stress and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

However, there are times when work demands are unavoidable, and you need to find a way to deal with the load without burning out. Don’t miss this quick list with some of the best methods of achieving your maximum output while minimizing the negative repercussions.

1. Plan Ahead
A blind rush in the morning is a distressing start to your day, and you might even forget something important. Sidestep the madness by always thinking 12 hours ahead. Lay out tomorrow’s outfit the night before, and leave your keys, wallet, and phone in one central place. It’s also worth keeping a backup outfit at work in case of emergencies.

2. Eat Properly
A quick sugary solution from the vending machine may be a convenient hunger plug, but the glucose crash won’t help your mood nor your waistline. Stash and nibble on healthy snacks throughout the day instead, as they will help maintain sturdy energy levels without that heavy meal fatigue. Perfect options include nuts, seeds, fruit, or granola bars. And don’t forget to hydrate!

3. Exercise
The idea of making time for exercise may seem like a laughable fantasy, but if you can cycle to work or sneak off to a yoga lunch session, then your emotional state and general productivity will significantly improve. If this is simply not a feasible option, then at least run up the stairs whenever you can.

4. Compression Socks
For those who spend many hours on their feet (such as medical or hospitality professionals), it is important to cater for the extra demand you are placing upon your legs. Comfortable footwear is crucial, but you should also try compression socks which are known to increase blood flow and reduce swelling.

5. Stretch Breaks
Standing on your feet all day is a definite health concern, but endlessly sitting at your desk can also come with its own unique set of negative effects, such as strained eyesight and improper posture habits. To counter these concerns, set an hourly reminder to stand up and stretch, or simply go for a stroll.

6. A Stress Ball
Another risky consequence of prolonged computer use is that of repetitive strain injuries. If this term is familiar to you, then you may want to experiment with exercises to develop your forearm muscles while moving your fingers in different ways. One idea is to use a stress ball, which will not only ward off carpal tunnel syndrome but is also a harmless method of squeezing out your daily frustrations.

7. Team Work
If your shifts are starting to pile on top of you and you’re struggling to cope, then there is no shame in talking to someone about it. Your boss might be able to shuffle some slots around or a colleague could be willing to swap some hours with you. Teamwork is all about assisting one another, so never feel too proud to reach out.

8. Unwind Before Bedtime
After a particularly draining day, it’s tempting to walk through the door and slam your face into the pillow, passing out immediately. Occasionally, this may even be the healthiest option. However, nothing will erode your happiness faster than a work/sleep/repeat cycle, and you will burn out quickly. Take some time to relax in a bubble bath or read your book in bed, enjoying these personal moments of rare peace and quiet.

9. Sleep Properly (or Take Naps)

If the 7 - 8 hours of recommended slumber has been cut from your schedule, then your body is going to pay the price with low energy, memory loss, or even weight gain. It might not be ideal, but in desperate times, it could be worth sneaking off to your car or a private room for a 20-minute nap. Pretend that you have to make a private phone call, set your alarm, and then once you return, you’ll be perked up and better equipped to progress forward. Everyone wins.

10. Use Your Off-Time Wisely
One technique to ensure a smoother work life is to remove all of the unrelated obstructions during your downtime. Whether it be groceries, laundry, or any other personal errands, get these done as far away from your busy week as possible. Furthermore, don’t waste your breaks by sleeping your days away! Instead, spend some time with your family or friends, seeking out that big boost of social love to remind of what life is really about.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Thit Bo Kho - Vietnamese Beef Stew

Vietnamese cuisine is well known for its utilization of fresh ingredients, an emphasis on meat and vegetables, as well as its flavorful use of seasonings. You will often find herbs and seasonings such as lemongrass, cinnamon, ginger, and bay leaves in Vietnamese dishes.

For all of these reasons, Thit Bo Kho or Vietnamese Beef Stew is a perfect example of Vietnamese cuisine. Tender beef braised in cinnamon and stewed in a mix of vegetables and seasonings until it is ready to be served with a crisp toasted baguette.

The total meal prep time is roughly 30 minutes. Beyond prep, you need to account for 4 to 24 hours of marinating time, and 1.5 hours for stewing.

Our recommendation is to prep the meat mixture for marination the night before you plan to cook the stew. Then let the mixture sit overnight in your refrigerator. This makes this recipe a great meal for families looking for a quick prepared fix during the week.


●    2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
●    1 onion, chopped
●    4 pieces of ginger
●    3 cloves garlic, minced
●    2 tablespoons oyster sauce
●    2 tablespoons sugar
●    2 tablespoons olive oil
●    3 whole Burma Spice Star Anise
●    2 sticks of Burma Spice’s Ceylon Cinnamon
●    1 tablespoon of crushed lemongrass paste
●    1/4 cup tomato paste
●    4 cups of organic beef broth (used as needed)
●    2 Burma Spice Mediterranean Bay Leaves
●    2 tablespoons soy sauce
●    4 carrots, sliced ½-inch-thick
●    Chopped green onions
●    Cilantro
●    Toasted French baguette

The stars of the show

As with all Vietnamese cooking, the key to the flavors of the meal are the spices. Luckily for you, Burma Spice just happens to have the best trio to make your THIT BO KHO a smashing success.


Step 1

Add cut beef cubes, onions, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, sugar, cinnamon, and star anise into a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly, coating the beef thoroughly with the oyster sauce.

Step 2

Place the mixture in a large sealable plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. As previously noted, Steps 1 and 2 are perfect for meal prep the night before you plan to serve the dish.

Step 3

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Toast the Burma Spice Star Anise and Burma Spice Ceylon Cinnamon sticks for about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn these ingredients. Simply brown until that amazingly fragrant smell hits you, and take off the heat. You will add these items back into the mixture once you are ready to simmer the stew.

Step 4

Brown the marinated beef mixture in batches.  As you brown it mix in some of your crushed lemongrass paste with each batch. If you put the entire mixture into the Dutch oven at one time the amount of liquid produced will keep your meat from browning. You likely want to divide your mixture into 4 batches. Put each batch into a large bowl and move to brown the next.

Step 5

Stir in tomato paste to coat your beef mixture thoroughly.

Step 6

Add beef broth to your mixture. You just want to cover your beef, so add the broth slowly. Add your bay leaves, soy sauce, toasted ceylon cinnamon sticks, and star anise into the stew.

Step 7

Bring the stew to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 and 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.

Step 8

Add your cut carrots during the last 15 minutes of cooking time. Simply cook until the carrots are tender.

Step 9

Top with green onions and cilantro. Toast your baguette and serve!

This recipe is a great meal for any day. It is a tender, flavorful dish that will have your family asking for more.

This is a guest blog entry.

4 Reasons Why You Need a First Aid Kit

No matter where you are, it is easy for accidents to happen and you should always be prepared to be able to deal with a wound when you need to. This is why many people have first aid kits in their home which they can use when an accident does occur.

The problem is that there are still many people who don’t have a first aid kit handy and this can lead to even more issues. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the reasons why you should have a first aid kit in your home. Make sure to keep reading if you’d like to find out more.

Save Money

One of the reasons which a lot of people don’t think about is that you can actually save money by having a first aid kit. If you live somewhere where a doctor or hospital visit can be costly, you might find that you can actually treat your wound at home for free. Think about investing in a big first aid kit and keeping it stocked up with lots of different types of materials. Take a look at this bandaid size chart and find out what sort of bandaids you might need to have in stock.

Quick Fix

Another great reason why might need a first aid kit in your home is that it can be a quick fix that can prevent a further problem. Sometimes, a bandaid is needed in order to cover a wound until more serious treatment can take place. This quick fix that you have right there in your home could ensure that a problem does not become more severe.

Kids Are Accident Prone

If you have kids, then you need a first aid kit. One of the things that kids are best at doing is falling over or cutting themselves. Buying a first aid kit for your home will be the best investment that you make as you’ll be using it all the time for when your kids fall over when they are playing. Make sure to get a first aid kit with the right plasters and bandages that will fit the cuts that your kids are likely to get.

Peace Of Mind 

Our final reason why you need a first aid kit in your home is so that you can have peace of mind. Knowing that you are protected against any sort of minor injury, cut, or burn means that you can relax a bit more in your home. You should make sure that you know how to apply all of the materials correctly and once you do, you’ll feel a lot better about letting your kids play outside in the garden or go to the park.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of good reasons why you need a first aid kit for your home. Make sure to invest in a proper one if you want to have peace of mind and be able to fix an injury sooner rather than later.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Health benefits and uses of LSD

LSD or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide is a clear white odourless substance that is categorised as a class of drugs referred to as hallucinogens. It is known by many other names like yellow sunshine, dots, blotter and acid. 1938 was the year when LSD was created for the first time by a Swiss man named Albert Hofmann. It was derived from ergotamine, a type of chemical obtained from ergot (a fungus) which grows on rye and other types of grains. It wasn’t until 1943 that LSDs psychoactive effects were discovered. Thereafter, in 1947 it was introduced in the form of a commercial medicine sold under the trade name Delysid. Scientific studies indicate that psychedelic drugs like LSD can help significantly in treatment of mental illnesses and many other conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, cancer and anxiety. Over 22 million people in the world have tried LSD at least once in their lives. Let’s throw light on some of the important health benefits and uses of LSD.

Relieves pain and anxiety

Studies carried out on advanced stage cancer patients revealed that use of LSD significantly reduced their anxiety levels. In one such study it was found that LSD given in 100 µg dosages significantly reduced the duration and intensity of pain. Their sleep improved considerably and they found themselves less occupied with thoughts of death.

Enhances suggestibility, sociality and emotional empathy

In a placebo-controlled study carried out on healthy volunteers, during which they were administered 40 µg to 80 µg of LSD intravenously, the subjects returned a fairly high rating for Creative Imagination Scale (CIS). LSD has also been proven to enhance suggestibility in patients suffering from schizophrenia and neurosis, but not so much in case of patients suffering from depression. Another double-blind, placebo-controlled and random-order crossover study carried out using 200 µg of LSD in 16 subjects and 100 µg of LSD in 24 subjects revealed that LSD causes feelings of closeness to others, trust, happiness and enhanced implicit and explicit emotional empathy.

Helps get rid of drug and alcohol addiction

Regardless of the fact that young people are drinking less alcohol compared to elders, society is in dire need of a solution for alcohol addiction. An analysis carried out on the impact of LSD on alcoholism revealed that out of 536 participants that took part in six trials, 59% of them who received 210 µg to 800 µg of LSD reported reduction in alcohol misuse, as against 38% of subjects that received a placebo. Another study which reviewed the LSD usage in treatment of drug dependency showed that the users of the substance reported that it helps significantly in recovery of drug dependency. This could potentially have to do with the serotonin mechanism, in which more of this important brain chemical (serotonin) for mood regulation, becomes available.

Helps in treatment of cluster headaches

The usage of hallucinogens by patients suffering from cluster headache is nothing new. Many of them have in fact used it outside of the physician recommendation, primarily to abort the cluster period and have reported that it worked. For this reason, some researchers are pushing for clinical trials to determine the effects of psychedelics for cluster headaches.

Note:MedFriendly does not in any way endorse the use of illegal drugs but supports research into whether such drugs can have medicinal benefit in some circumstances. Please consult with your physician to determine which treatment options are the right ones for you.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

How Technology Can Benefit Home Health Care

Have you heard? The silver tsunami isn’t coming, it’s here. The latest US Census projections estimate that by the year 2030 there will be more adults over 65 than children. This unprecedented demographic shift affects few industries as much as the home health industry.

Why is Home Health Care Demand Increasing?

How does an aging population influence the demand for home health care? In a variety of ways:

  • Older adults are more likely to have one or more chronic conditions than their younger counterparts, many of which require routine monitoring and management (like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease). Home health services offer an alternative to extended stay care and allow seniors to remain in their homes and still receive the medical attention they need. 
  • The majority of seniors wish to age in place according to AARP which means that more and more of them will be utilizing care services that extend from the doctor’s office into the home. Home health, telemedicine, and mobile health technologies are all industries on the rise and federal funding (like that which drives Medicare) is incorporating more home and community-based care into its coverage to cater to this patient preference.
  • Rapidly increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease mean that more and more older adults are going to need home health services specifically for this type of cognitive decline. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that one senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds in the U.S. As advancements in medicine and technology increase the average lifespan, those numbers will only continue to climb.

How Can Technology Help?

There are a variety of technologies that can be employed in the home health sector, both in a patient’s home as well as through providers like their doctor’s offices and even their health insurance. The term “technology” covers a broad range of products from hardware to software to mobile applications and wearable monitoring devices; it can support home health care in 5 major ways:

Monitoring for Health and Safety

When it comes to a patient’s health and safety, technology plays one of the most important roles in monitoring. Monitoring may come in the form of wearable security devices like medical alert pendants, motion-activated cameras in the home, fall monitoring devices, or even remote monitoring tools that track a patient’s vitals (like heart rate and pulse). Both medical offices, as well as family caregivers, can take advantage of health and safety monitoring systems.

Supporting Activities of Daily Living

One of the key measures of independent living is being able to tend to daily tasks like toileting, bathing, and getting dressed without assistance. Technology may be able to equip a senior with the tools they need to remain independent and live on their own. For example, virtual assistants like Google Home or Amazon Echo can help with placing calls, ordering food, and checking email while remote-operated lift chairs can support a senior with mobility issues when sitting and standing.

Coordinating Care Networks

Digital solutions to real-world caregiving challenges are most present in the forms of web and mobile applications. Tools like CaringBridge allow seniors and their care networks to coordinate care calendars to track appointments, organize transportation, keep updated contact lists, and share important health information. Other websites like Signup Genius and TakeThemaMeal also allow care networks to specifically coordinate help with meals and transportation.

Managing Medications and Telemedicine

With the click of your computer mouse or a tap on your smartphone, you can now connect with doctors, pharmacies, and medical information sites. The advent of electronic health record systems is also shifting more patient-doctor communication to the cloud; allowing patients access to not just their medical history and records, but post-surgical care calendars, SMS appointment reminders, online intake forms, and more. Medication management software is also helping older patients better adhere to complex medicine regimens and keep their caregivers in the loop too.

Promoting Social Engagement

Not only can social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and live video chat services help seniors connect with friends and family near and wide, sensor-based software programs are also being designed to help track how often a senior receives visitors, how much time they spend sitting, how often they get out of the house, and more.
Final Thoughts

The home health care and social assistance sectors are the fastest growing of any other economic employment sector in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are projected to grow by 4.4 percent annually over the next 8 years. If you are a senior, a caregiver, or an employee of the home health industry, be on the lookout for new technologies that are being engineered to meet this ever-increasing demand.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

How to Reduce Your Chances of Contracting STDs

Regular sex can be good for a man’s mental and physical well-being, not to mention, it’s good exercise as well! Unfortunately, sex can also lead to some seriously painful and even life-threatening diseases if you are not careful.

Therefore, it is important to find ways to protect yourself from contracting an STD, without practicing abstinence, and we will discuss some of the most effective methods below.

Use that Condom

Yes, you already know about condoms, but the question is, are you really using them? Unfortunate as it is, studies have shown that a good percentage of people who are perfectly aware of HIV, AIDs, other STDs and the role of condoms in preventing them, don’t use condoms anyway. Ignorance is not the issue here, but a misplaced sense of trust, lack of intellectual maturity and just plain carelessness is the prime reason behind men not wearing condoms during sexual intercourse.

Get Yourself Immunized

The HPV vaccine for men is available in the UK and most doctors advise it as well. While women are at the highest risk of developing cancers (cervical and oral) due to HPV infection, it doesn’t mean that men don’t stand to gain from the immunisation either. To learn more about how and why all men need HPV immunisation, you should read the following article by LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor:

In their guide you can find details on how you can benefit from the vaccine, how to get it and the potential side effects.

The HPV vaccine for gay men is particularly necessary and insisted upon by doctors, but even heterosexual men benefit from the immunization. The HPV vaccine for boys is advantageous and recommended, irrespective of their sexual inclination because it helps to prevent men from ever contracting or spreading the disease in the first place. Nobody should have to feel guilty about afflicting their partners with a potentially carcinogenic virus, without even knowing that they had it in the first place.

Limit the Number of Your Sexual Partners

There are multiple STDs that a condom cannot protect you against and therefore, the chances of men getting infected with crabs, herpes, HPV, syphilis, etc., increases exponentially when monogamy is not practiced. It can still happen even if you are faithful to each other, because there are ways in which sexually transmitted diseases can be spread without ever having sex unfortunately.

Do Not Share Clothing or Towels

Very few people know that even the simple act of sharing a towel in the gym or a piece of clothing (underwear in particular) can get men infected with an STD. This is easier said than done, especially when you are among friends, but considering the consequences, the extra effort is well worth it!

Keep in mind that sex is like driving; there’s always a risk each time you get behind the wheel, but with the proper precautions, you can definitely reduce the chances of an accident from ever occurring. As long as someone has an active sex life, it is advised to get tested every few months for STDs, particularly, if there is more than one partner involved in the person’s sex life. It will not prevent the contraction of the infection, but regular check-ups can help you to cure or control the disease before it sets in too deep.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

10 Ways to Help a Senior with a Drinking Problem

According to The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, there are currently 2.5 million seniors with an alcohol or drug problem, which includes 50% of all nursing home residents. What makes these statistics additionally scary is that an aging body is already under a higher threat for illnesses or mobility-related accidents. Alcohol only aggravates these dangers.

In times like these, it’s difficult to know what to do because you can’t force someone to stop drinking. However, this does not mean that you have to sit there and do nothing either. Start by reading over the following 10 suggestions to help a senior with a drinking habit and see if any of them can apply to your circumstances.

1. Plan Your Wording Carefully
Before you let your emotions boil over and you verbally attack your loved one, take some time to build a case about what it is you want to say. Approach this exercise with love and support, focusing on your observations without any blame. Speak calmly and use words which let them know that you are on their side while granting them the chance to speak too. The most important thing here is that they do not feel threatened.

2. Get More People Involved
If there are other concerned family members, then why not give them a call? It will be much easier than facing this alone, and together, your unified love will be even stronger as you collaborate on the smartest strategy. If you know someone who has already quit drinking, you could ask them for advice too.

3. Choose Your Timing Well
It’s in everyone’s best interest that you do not approach this conversation when any party has been drinking. Said intoxication may heighten aggressive emotions and they might not entirely comprehend your intentions. Rather catch them during the day’s early hours in a private place to better secure their full attention.

4. Encourage Exciting Activities
New hobbies can break old habits, hence why a few healthy suggestions may inspire them to turn their lives around. Look into yoga or meditation classes for seniors, or even accompany them on nature walks. Consider purchasing some mobility equipment for those dealing with injuries or age-related ailments, as this will help to bypass certain drinking excuses. These activities should also stabilize their chemicals during sobriety while tiring the stress out.

5. Suggest a Support Group
Venturing into a new lifestyle can be daunting, which is what makes support groups so valuable. Here, one can realize how many people are on the same team and they may feel less alone. Offer to go with them for the first few sessions to ease the initial steps. If they refuse, there are still similar groups for people dealing with alcoholic family members just like yours, and they may have the exact advice you need.

6. Suggest Social Gatherings
Sometimes the loneliness of an individual is what drives them into further realms of antisocial behavior, hence why you may need to address this problem first. Research local get-togethers and see if they’d like to be involved. Ideas include senior events, dance classes, or bake sales for charity. It’s also important that you visit them often too.

7. Visit Their Doctor
If you are concerned about your loved one’s health, then attend their next doctor's appointment. There’s a good chance that they’ve been understating their drinking habits, and this gives you an opening to step up with the facts. Ask for advice and query about medication conflicts as well as any underlying health concerns.

8. Build a Program
Once you have everybody on board, you need to find a safe way to embark on this journey. Abruptly quitting alcohol is extremely dangerous and can even prove fatal. Speak to a specialist (either a doctor or an addiction counselor) and discuss the healthiest options for this situation. And most importantly, you must be completely dedicated to this process right until the very end, even in the event of a relapse.

9. Reduce the Triggers

Especially during the early stages, it is imperative to minimize those people, places, and things which provoke temptation. Pay close attention and alter these high-risk influences, whether it be negative friends, certain hours of the day, or even just the removal of all alcohol from their house.

10. Lead by Example

It goes without saying, but it wouldn't be very fair to have a drink in front of a struggling loved one. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking yourself, although if you did, you could give them that extra boost of encouragement. Perhaps you’ll even realize that this undertaking requires much more strength than you initially thought.

This is a guest blog entry.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Ways to Finance and Cut Down on Your Health Budget

The crisis, as well as the continuous decline of households’ purchasing power, makes it more and more difficult for some people to subscribe to health insurance. As a result, health costs can quickly become problematic for some households, which do not have a mutual or are poorly reimbursed.

A major health problem or an accident can occur at any point in a person's life, and most often unexpectedly.

While we thought we would subscribe to health insurance later when we could afford it, that it could wait a few more years, now the doctor announces a serious health problem, requiring particularly expensive care, or that one is a victim of a road accident for example.

Similarly, even with a mutual, many health costs remain particularly poorly reimbursed. And when the end of the month is already difficult, we wonder how we will be able to heal?

Indeed, in case of hospitalization, and without mutual insurance, the bill can very quickly climb. So what solution remains when such a situation arises?

Finance Health Cost with a Personal Loan

Given the current economic circumstances, more and more people are left destitute when a serious health problem arrives. Borrowing for treatment has now become the daily life of many people, who sometimes even for lack of resources, are forced to give up treatment.

However, when there is no longer any solution available to you when such a situation arises, you still have the option of taking out a personal loan in order to pay the various expenses inherent to your health problems.

As with any personal credit without quick proof, it is important to compare credit rates online to choose the cheapest credit offering the best rate. You can also get a short term loan for short term online. Also, be sure to determine the monthly amount that you are financially able to repay, or you risk falling into the spiral of over-indebtedness.

A loan at reasonable rates will allow you to heal, while not tying up your monthly budget too.

You can cut down you budget through these simple ways

Plan Urgent and Emergency Care in Advance

When a disease or injury occurs, it is necessary to decide how serious it is and how soon to seek medical attention. This will help you decide whether to call your provider, go to an urgent care clinic, or seek emergency care.

Choose the Right Health Plan for You

People often get mightily confused when they are choosing a health plan. Many believe that since they are reasonably healthy at the moment, taking on a health plan with lots of coverage is a waste of money. But honestly, it is not. Do not forget that health policies cover accidents as well and you never know when one of those happens. Consider the number of members your family has and then consider their age. Choose a plan based on the requirements of the oldest member of your family as he or she is more likely to be hospitalized in the near future. Don’t avoid taking a critical illness cover, this might seem like a useless expenditure, but this might actually save you from financial ruin in the future.

Author Name: Darshan Shah

Author Bio:

Darshan Shah is a young serial entrepreneur, digital marketer and blogger. He's founder of and providing Digital Marketing services like SEO, Guest Bloggiing and many more. He's enthusiastic about creating blogs and writes creative content for the readers. He loves to help people to grow their business worldwide through his digital marketing knowledge.

Friday, August 10, 2018

A Brief History of Smoking and Why More People Have Turned to Vaping

Smoking, in one form or another, is an activity that humans have enjoyed for thousands of years. In fact, smoking appears to date back to over 7000 years ago, when shamans used it during religious rituals to obtain an altered state of consciousness. Over time, people have been rather creative in the types of substances they have elected to smoke, the method of smoking, and the devices they use to smoke.

When most of us think of smoking, we think of tobacco cigarettes which were popularized by Europeans in the 16th century. As technology developed at the time to improve farming techniques and manufacturing, so did the availability of tobacco. As more and more people began to smoke, it became an accepted part of society. Most people had ashtrays in their homes as did most stores and public places. Smoking was a common activity in restaurants, while driving, at work, and at home. In addition, tobacco cigarette smoking was popularized in the movies and through advertisements with tough rugged male characters and beautiful supermodels.

The public tide against tobacco smoking began to turn in the 1960s, when evidence surfaced that the chemicals inside of tobacco could cause cancer and numerous other health problems when smoked. Health warning were issued on all tobacco cigarettes in 1965 and over time, tobacco smoking became increasingly stigmatized in society such that most restaurants and public places completely banned any form of tobacco smoking.

All of this left people searching for a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking. With increasing advances in technology, enter the world of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices, which were invented in 2003. Also known as e-cigarettes, these devices allow one to simulate the feeling of smoking tobacco without actually consuming harmful tobacco products. The electronic aspect of the cigarette heats an internal liquid (known as e-liquid or e-juice) which creates a vapor that the user inhales (hence the name “vaping.”) The vapor can also be exhaled with creates a cool-looking effect that helps make e-cigarettes appealing.

The liquid inside of e-cigarettes often contains nicotine, but not always. Numerous flavors are available such as cherry cola and a wide variety of fruity flavors which is obviously much preferable to the stench of tobacco smoke. To date, no serious harmful side effects of vaping with e-cigarettes have been reported.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Endometriosis and Infertility

Most people assume that when they are ready they will fall pregnant and have a healthy little baby.

Unfortunately this is not always the case. Most people will get pregnant within 6 months of trying. If this is not happening for you then it’s time to see a specialist and have yourself tested. You can read more about what’s involved in this.

Natural infertility is not the only thing that can cause an issue when you try to conceive. In fact Endometriosis can seriously affect your ability to conceive.

What Is Endometriosis?

Research shows that 10% of women have endometriosis. That’s approximately 176 million women across the world. The name of this condition is actually connected to the lining that is produced in your womb every month; the endometrium.

This lining is usually shed and then expelled from your body as part of your usual menstrual cycle.

However, there are times when it can travel in the wrong direction and move out of the fallopian tube and into you abdomen.

Because it is used to sticking to things this tissue can easily coat other organs and stick to them.

Unfortunately the tissues is then encouraged to grow when your body releases hormones to encourage a new lining to form in your womb.

When the new lining is shed the lining on your organs should also shed; but it has nowhere to go. The result is inflammation and pain.

Symptoms Connected With Endometriosis

The most common symptom is pain and discomfort in your abdomen just before and during the first part of your normal menstrual cycle. However it is worth noting that the amount of pain does not directly relate to the severity of your condition.

It is possible to have mild endometriosis and have very harsh symptoms or to have severe endometriosis and hardly any symptoms.

It is also known to trigger other issues such as asthma and eczema.

How It Affects Fertility

Because your lining is travelling and adhering to the wrong parts of your body it is going to cause inflammation. If this happens in the fallopian tubes you will gain scarring as the inflammation fades and heals.

Once this has happened on several occasions it is likely that the scarring will block the passage of the egg along the tube. The inflammation can also damage the egg or even the sperm if they can make it along these tubes.

In severe cases it is possible that endometriosis can cause your pelvic organs to stick together; damaging their ability to work effectively and even blocking your fallopian tubes.

Dealing With Endometriosis

It is possible to remove the lining and even reverse much of the damage done inside your body through laparoscopy surgery and the use of a laser.

Unfortunately surgery really is the only option.

If you are looking to conceive then it is worth trying this first, the alternative is to have your eggs harvested and implanted back into you. Interestingly becoming pregnant actually improves endometriosis!

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Top Five Low-Impact Workouts for Senior Citizens

All over the world, senior citizens are moving less than ever, and the seniors in the United States are no exception.

The results of one survey showed that 25.8 percent of U.S. men over the age of 65 and 32.5 percent of U.S. women of the same age bracket are consistently physically inactive.

There are lots of reasons why seniors don’t move as much as they should. No matter what their reason for not exercising, though, most seniors could benefit from moving more and trying to meet the country’s physical activity guidelines (30 minutes of aerobic activity five days per week, coupled with 2-3 flexibility and balance workouts and 2-3 strength training workouts).

If you’re not sure where to begin and want to start with some low-impact workouts, keep reading. Listed below are five of the best workouts for seniors that will help you increase your physical activity without putting strain on the joints.

Aqua Jogging

Aqua jogging (also known as pool running or water jogging) is exactly what it sounds like -- running in the water. You simply “run” through the deep end of a pool without letting your feet touch the ground.

The great thing about aqua jogging is that you get many of the same benefits of running (including improved cardiovascular health and endurance) without any of the impact. This makes it a perfect option for people who struggle with pain in the foot or knee.

If you’re new to aqua jogging, a local senior center may offer classes to help you get started.

Water Aerobics

If you love the water but don’t feel particularly jazzed about aqua jogging, maybe water aerobics is a better fit for you.

Similar to aqua jogging, water aerobics allows you to get your heart rate up without putting any stress on your joints. It’s great for people with arthritis, chronic pain, or those who have a lot of weight to lose and have a hard time with other forms of cardiovascular exercise.

Most gyms and senior centers offer water aerobics classes. Look for one that’s geared toward beginners to help you ease into the workouts without getting overwhelmed.


Yoga is a great low-impact workout option that combines strength, flexibility, and balance training, so it’s perfect for seniors who want to check all those boxes at once.

Yoga is especially great for improving core strength and reducing seniors’ risk of falling and getting injured. It also helps improve bone density, which is great for senior women, who are more prone to osteoporosis.

Many seniors will do fine attending a beginner-friendly yoga class, but there are also classes dedicated solely to seniors -- some are even designed for people who need to stay seated for the entire class. Look online to find the right class for you, or ask someone at your local senior center what they recommend.


For burning calories, improving mobility, and improving strength and balance, there aren’t many workouts that are better than simply going for a walk.

Walking at a moderate pace for just 30 minutes a day can make a major difference in seniors’ health and physical strength. It’s especially good for increasing bone density and reducing the risk of developing heart disease.

In addition to being easy and totally free, walking is also a very scalable form of exercise. When you’re first getting started, you can simply do a few laps around your neighborhood. When that gets easy, you can seek out routes that feature hills or steps to make things a little more challenging.

Indoor Cycling

Indoor cycling is a good option for seniors who want to improve their cardiovascular health but aren’t drawn to aquatic exercise or walking. It’s also great for those who have lower body issues (knee pain, foot pain, hip pain, etc.).

Like walking, indoor cycling is also easy to scale. You can move at a slow, even pace when you’re getting started, then increase the resistance and speed as your endurance and strength begin to improve.

Indoor cycling workouts are also easy to modify, so you don’t necessarily need to seek out a senior-specific class when you’re first getting started.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, August 03, 2018

How to Get Back In Shape after Normal Delivery

One of the biggest worries of some new mothers is how to get back their normal body shape after delivery. It can be annoying when you look in the mirror, and you don't like what you see, especially when you used to have a banging body. Also, with so many celebrity-moms seemingly having no trouble snapping back into shape after pregnancy, one is left to wonder if there is some sort of hidden secret. Spoiler alert - there isn't.

To be fair, celebrity moms have the advantage of more resources that a lot of moms may not have the luxury of; they tend not to gain as much weight as the average pregnant woman because they have medical experts that guide them on what the exact things to do to limit the amount of baby fat as much as possible. Also, celebrity moms are placed on strict diets, which is not exactly a standard recommendation especially for women that had a difficult pregnancy or a C-section.

Experts also generally advise against pushing the body too hard and too fast in a bid to lose the baby weight as quickly as possible. It will only get you exhausted and discouraged, making it harder for you to carry on for long enough to lose the weight. However, all of this does not mean that the average mom cannot snap back into shape just as well as celebrity moms.

A little bit of dedication and a little bit of hard work is all you need. It may sound a little cliché, but it works. All you need to know is the right way to channel your dedication and hard work, and that is what this article is about to arm you with. Here's some tested advice on how to get back in shape after baby delivery.

When is the right time to start?

Firstly, get rid of any preconceived ideas you may have had about dieting or cutting your calorie intake dramatically - especially if you're breastfeeding your baby. If you are, you need to be consuming at least 1800-2000 calories per day. You need to consider the fact that if you eat less than this, you're not the only one affected - your baby is too. Your body cannot produce quality milk when you don't eat well enough. You need the calories, and you need the energy. Don't even consider dieting until after the first six weeks.

On the flip side, if you're not breastfeeding, you're allowed to watch your calorie intake to an extent. However, don't aim for anything higher than losing one pound a week. You may find it interesting that breastfeeding actually helps your body to burn calories though.


Dieting is off-limits, but exercise isn't. It is actually highly recommended as a way to get back in shape. What's more, it will help your body to increase energy levels, and it can also contribute to battling postpartum depression. This fact has encouraged medical experts to promote exercise as an important factor in the post-pregnancy health of new moms.

Before you begin to work out, you need to check in with your doctor to make sure it's okay. This is particularly important if you had a difficult pregnancy or delivery. Your doctor will be able to decide if your body is ready to go through the rigor of exercise, and how often you can put your body through the process. With that being said, most medical experts will encourage mild workouts as soon as you feel like you're ready for it.

Post-Pregnancy Workouts

Just like any other process, it is advisable that you start with the easiest routines and work your way up to the harder ones so that your body does not have to go through a "sudden shock" from trying to work too hard too quickly. You can start with walks, and you can even involve the baby here by putting it in a stroller and taking it along with you for the walks. It's great for mother-child bonding too.

If you want something more challenging than just walking, you can work with exercises that are built for the third trimester of pregnancies and work your way back through the second trimester to the first trimester and then to the exercises you were doing before pregnancy. The entire process should last about 4-6 months.

You might want to pay more attention to strength-training exercises that help you to build a strong core. No matter what your fitness level is, you can explore perfect workout plans designed by Many women fail to recognize the importance of these exercises when in fact, it should be the area to start with as soon as possible. Even if you had been working out and performing strength performing strength-training exercises before your pregnancy, you would likely lose all that strength to the pregnancy. This is because your muscles are stretched out due to the extra weight that your body carries for nine months, so you need to work on building that core back.

The best approach to building a strong core is pelvic exercises.
  • Start with a pelvic tilt, a sort of modified sit-up (only if you didn't deliver the baby through a C-section),
  • tighten and squeeze your butt,
  • relax for a bit,
  • stick a pillow between both knees, squeeze and then relax again.
This will help build your core, and it will also strengthen your back.

Final Note

In your eagerness to lose the baby weight, you need to be careful not to overstress your joints from exercises such as jumping, jogging or running. If you have to do these exercises, take it easy for at least 6-8 weeks. The reason for this is that your body produces a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy.

Relaxin makes your joints loose, causing them to be more prone to injuries than they normally are. The hormone remains in your system for several weeks after pregnancy, and this is why you need to proceed with caution. It wouldn't do to get yourself sidelined with an injury in the course of trying to lose the baby weight.

Finally, if you notice any of these symptoms during or after exercises, get the help of a doctor immediately:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Abdominal or Pelvic pain
  • Soreness of muscles that last for over two days
Best of luck!

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

What Happens After a Patient Makes a Complaint?

When a patient makes a claim against their doctor or surgeon, the one thing you can be sure of is that they are seeking compensation for some wrongdoing, imagined or real, on the part of the medical professional and/or the surgery or hospital.

Many doctors have never been faced with this ordeal and although they carry the appropriate liability coverage and indemnity, they simply don’t know how to respond after a patient makes a claim. Here is some of what you need to know should you ever be faced with this situation.

Always Be on the Aware

One bit of advice offered by is to always be aware of anything a patient or their advocate might do or say, triggering a light that indicates they may be thinking about filing a claim. As it has been said so many times in the past, to be forewarned is to be forearmed and if you even suspect a claim is on the horizon, it may be time to alert your solicitor and/or your insurance carrier. There are times when both a claim and an unfavorable outcome can be prevented if your insurance and legal teams are on the alert ready to forestall any long-lasting and damaging actions that could affect your career.

Look for such things as a threat to report you to the General Medical Council. At other times, they will simply start asking for in-depth records and reports which may indicate a reason other than record keeping. You may first be the subject of an internal investigation and that should get you thinking about an incident where a patient maybe died unexpectedly or safety issues which may have led to, or potentially led to, harm to the patient.

How Claims Are Filed

Typically, in a medical claim, the claimant will be represented by a lawyer who claims you were negligent in your duty of care. Their legal counsel will then notify your insurance company that a claim is being filed, state the underlying justification for the claim and then proceed to file all the proper forms and documents with the courts. At that point, your insurance company will contact you because they want to see you cleared of any wrongdoing and of course they don’t want to pay frivolous or fraudulent claims. They will work hard on your behalf to defend you, but sometimes there may be no defense and this is where a lawyer well versed in health claims can be a valued asset on your defense team.

Consequences of Valid Claims

There are varying degrees to the consequences you may be faced with if the patient or the patient’s advocate wins their claim against you. Sometimes the consequence is simply financial as in a monetary award for injury or pain and suffering and other times the consequences may lead to such things as being refused cover going forward, disciplinary action from the GMC, and sometimes a claim can be so severe as to lead to your being withdrawn from the medical profession. Some claims have resulted in doctors losing their privilege to practice medicine. While these claims are extreme and typically the result of several claims over a period of time or a class action suit, it can happen, and it is something to be aware of.

What happens after a patient makes a claim can be up to you. If you are quick on your feet and are aware of the signs of an imminent claim, you can have your defence lawyer on the job even before a claim hits the courts. It is up to you to contact your insurance company and your legal counsel to avoid matters getting out of control. Act quickly and you may be able to prevent that worst case scenario every doctor dreads.

This is a guest blog entry.

Healthcare Mobile App Development

Healthcare is the most essential aspect of everyday life. However, it’s usually neglected by individuals because of their fast pace of life and busy calendars. Today, it is difficult to find time to come to the hospital, book an appointment, and then see a specialist. Before this happens, one often has to stand in long lines.

The reality is that many people don’t have enough time and this makes entrepreneurs find new ways of providing their services fast and without compromising the quality. This is why mobile app development can be extremely useful. Technologies are flourishing and any industry can benefit from having a custom app.  It can level up any business sphere including healthcare.

Pioneering hospitals and clinics are engaging patients with custom mobile applications that are built to enhance the cooperation as well as communication between doctors and patients.

Nowadays, the healthcare app market has already reached $20 billion and it’s gaining momentum.The global mobile health (mHealth) market will reach $60 billion by 2020, but still, it’s only a prediction. It may become even bigger taking into account the pace it’s expanding.

Getting back to healthcare apps, they are built to increase patient engagement or to help them keep a healthy lifestyle. That will help people to stay focused on their health and improve their quality of life. Actually, there are mHealth apps for many health issues. They can track movements, help stick to a diet, calculate calories, schedule an appointment with a doctor, etc.

Types of Custom Mobile Apps for Healthcare 

Applications for hospitals or assistance in diagnosis    

Symptom checkers

•    PHR access
•    Digital imaging (MRI/X-Raying viewing abilities
•    Electronic chart review
•    Lab results review

Applications for remote monitoring   

•    LifeScan for patients with diabetes
•    Remote heart monitoring
•    ECG viewer
•    Oxygen level remote check
•    Telehealth services

Applications for reminders and alters  

•    Prescription management
•    Appointment reminders

Applications for references  

•    ICD-9/10 reference guide
•    E&M coding
•    Specialized medical reference material

Applications for a healthy living  

•    Pregnancy and baby development
•    Diet assistance
•    Exercise and fitness
•    Healthy eating

Applications for productivity    

•    Remote dictation
•    Surgery Scheduling
•    Interoffice communication

Number Can’t Lie

There are no doubts that the healthcare sector is one of the most profitable business sectors. And it’s expected to triple in the upcoming years. But let’s not get fooled and look at some actual stats.

•    It’s predicted that the healthcare industry is predicted to increase to $60k in the near future.

•    Many patients and doctors prefer utilizing custom healthcare apps and the healthcare app industry has already reached $20K.

•    Nowadays around half of the mobile users accumulate health-related information through their handheld devices.

No wonder that mHealth apps are in high demand not only among patients but also among doctors. A mobile app is indeed the best technology-oriented solution for hospitals and clinics. This is the main driver for healthcare managers to invest in software development and get fully-functioning mobile apps for both doctors and patients.

For patients    

•    reminder of upcoming doctor’s appointments.

•    track vital medication records and save health data

•    facilitate and ease the communication between a patient and a doctor

•    control drug treatment  

 For doctors

•    get the latest reports on patient’s health

•    easy integration with CRM (custom relationship management) as well as ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems

•    keep all the information about patients

•    schedule

•    ease communication with colleagues

Generally, mHealth apps are categorized into two categories - for doctors and for patients. In case, you have any special requirements, you can build a custom solution for your healthcare business. Have a glance at the features and facilities you can load your healthcare app with.

 Key Features and Facilities of mHeath Apps

•    Push notifications to get reminders

•    Access to medical data to collect vital information

•    View profiles of doctors/ hospitals/ etc.

•    Book, change and cancel appointments

•    On-time reminders to visit a doctor or take a pill

•    Access to lab reports

•    Get prescriptions

•    Latest news and information

•    Access to online reports

•    Get emergency aid

•    Get free medical advice

•    SOS call

These are only basic features for a healthcare app. They can make a core of a medical application.
However, it’d be great if you load your app with a tracking feature. With its help, patients will be able to monitor heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, glucose levels, calories, etc. And doctors will be able to track the health of their patients remotely.

A lot of healthcare apps are related to appointments, so scheduling is another important feature to add to your healthcare app. App for doctors will help doctors work with calendars, manage appointments, and schedule drug intake. Moreover, scheduling will come in handy when developing apps for sleeping or fitness.

Summing Up

Medical app development has become one of the most lucrative industries in today’s world. With its advanced features and functionalities, it has leveled up the experience of both patients and doctors. Mobile apps are transforming the industry and making it more convenient for any side, be it a doctor or a patient.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

10 Lesser-Known Vitamins and Minerals (and Where to Find Them)

Whether you’re a child, a gym professional, or an aging body, everyone knows the importance of a vitamin-rich dietary plan. But with such a long lineup of essential nutrients out there, locating all of them can become a confusing undertaking (especially when most people aren’t even sure what each one does).

To simplify your life, here is a quick list of those often overlooked vitamins and minerals, and exactly where you can hunt them down.

1. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
There are various B vitamins which the body requires, and yet there’s a general misunderstanding as to what all of them do. B1 is a good example of a nutrient which turns carbs into usable energy while strengthening the nervous system at the same time.

To introduce more B1 into your life, stock up on sunflower seeds, yellowfin tuna, lentils, and black beans.

2. Vitamin K
Vitamin K helps your blood to clot, which means that a simple laceration could turn into a much riskier incident of blood loss if you're deficient in this area. Vitamin K is also good for your bones and preventing the collection of calcium within your blood vessels.

To get your fix, look no further than spinach, kale, broccoli, and just about anything leafy green.

3. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
There are plenty of beneficial qualities to riboflavin, including the breakdown of protein, carbs, and fats which increases the metabolism and raises your energy levels. What’s more, it helps your blood to move along which can improve your skin’s texture.

B2 can be difficult to find, but if you're willing to feast on calf’s liver, then you’re good to go. For everyone else, try milk, almonds, and yeast.

4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Niacin looks after your nervous system while providing your body with sufficient energy to function throughout the day. It has also been shown to support your digestive organs while lowering your cholesterol levels, reducing the chance of a stroke or heart disease. Finally, there are some other reports which link this nutrient to healthier skin.

Look after your B3 dosage via the means of chicken/turkey breast, almonds, seeds, and whole wheat products.

5. Folic Acid
While its claim to fame is the development of a healthy baby during pregnancy, folic acid is still important for all genders to look into. It has been shown to assist cell rejuvenation and is essential for functional red blood cells which reduces the chance of anemia.

Folic acid is best found in broccoli, beans, asparagus, and lentils.

6. Vitamin B6
B6 is a special vitamin which works in conjunction with other vitamins to boost their roles. When used as a part of a complete diet, it lowers homocysteine, an amino acid negatively linked to depression, dementia, osteoporosis, and strokes. What’s more, it has been shown to promote a healthier brain, skeleton, and cardiovascular system, while also decreasing the chance of kidney stones.

There is plenty of B6 available in beef, chicken, bananas, potatoes, and chickpeas.

7. Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Biotin is an ally of your red blood cells, which means an improved delivery of oxygen around the system, often sold as hair growth products. Much like B6, biotin also lends a helping hand in the absorption of other nutrients.

Unfortunately, B7 is very difficult to find in foods but is available in lower amounts from almonds, tomatoes, and animal livers. However, it is recommended that you consider researching biotin supplements depending on your gender and lifestyle, as there are vitamins for men or women available.

8. Vitamin E
The often misunderstood vitamin E is ideal for better blood circulation and tissue repair while acting as an antioxidant for an improved immune system. But be careful not to overdo it! Vitamin E is fat-soluble and can remain in your system for a long time. If you are on other medication, speak to your doctor first before boosting a supplement dose.

For everyone else, fill up on almonds, sunflower seeds, olives, and turnip greens.

9. Vitamin B12 (Folate)
If you find yourself regularly short of breath, you may need to investigate your B12 intake. Folate supports the metabolism’s conversion of food into energy while bolstering your red blood cells and the nervous system.

Due to its abundance in meat, eggs, and cheese products, most vegans are B12 deficient. If you prefer a green diet, increase your yeast consumption and explore supplement options.

10. Magnesium
Famous by name, magnesium is an overlooked asset to your muscles, improving their ability to contract and relax. Furthermore, it also regulates your blood pressure while aiding the body in its calcium absorption which promotes healthier bones.

Seek out some extra magnesium by filling your plate with spinach, almonds, beans, and avocado.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, July 27, 2018

5 Essential Habits to Practice as You Recover from Alcoholism

“Your mental health is a priority.
Your happiness is essential.
Your self-care is a necessity.”

I don’t know where you are exactly in the great scheme of things, let alone your scheme of things.

You may have just got yourself clean and sober (finally), as I managed to do nearly a decade ago. Or, like many who are simply fed up with the drunk life they feel trapped in, you may be reading this because you’re just plain sick and tired of it all. Sick and tired of looking around to find another somebody has left your life or another something else has been lost, and neither may ever come back.

You may be looking for answers because the questions never change: “When will this ever stop?” or “Does it get better when there’s no more of me left to care?” Here’s a question for you: “How could I ever lead a sober life?” The answer, my friend, is a simple “Habits - good ones.”

My name is Andy, I’m a recovering drug addict and alcoholic (clean and sober for 9 years now), and I really don’t know where this finds you in what you consider to be your “great scheme of things.” I only hope it finds you well and wants to learn something about staying well, for people like us.

This is my great scheme because it’s my life. Staying well is staying abstinent. It’s practicing only good habits each and every day. It’s hard work, but it’s attainable, and I reap the rewards. Recovery has bad days, it’s true, but the ocean of good days just end up washing those away.

Good habits - that was a lesson well learned in my own drug and alcohol rehab. Here’s what they told me:

Around 60% of what you did yesterday, you’ll do again today. Wait for it - you will do it tomorrow too unless you want or have to change it. We are creatures of habit, whether it’s where we decide to take lunch during the working day, or where we keep that all-important first drink or first hit of the day - it’s habit, and, as recovering alcoholics, we need good ones. Only good ones. Fact.

Good habits are more than just a way of giving yourself structure. The habits I have built up during my recovery are more than that. They became a way to find out who I really was, how I could learn to react to situations that in the past were triggers to addictive behavior, and also they were a place to hide away if I needed one, a secure and safe place for me to be. My recovery security blanket, if you like.

This article - 5 Essential Habits to Practice as You Recover from Alcoholism - is my way of sharing part of my recovery’s education with you. Like everything in an alcoholic’s slow journey to a clean and sober life, it’s better if it’s shared with others. Let’s begin:


Rehab provided me with the best education I’ve ever had, and I majored in “me.” Everything I needed to learn about what lay ahead of me was a reflection of what lay inside of me, and that self-realization was the foundation of my recovery. I already felt I was an expert at all that was wrong with me, my faults and my failings. Rehab flipped that coin, and I learned the opposite - I learned my strengths.

Here are just a few of those strengths, amongst others:
  • Intelligence
  • Creativity
  • Loyalty
  • Humor, and most importantly for me
  • Empathy
Hard to do when you’re drunk, but sober, with a clear head, and with the right guidance, you can create your own list. Believe me, you’ll be as surprised as I was. Yes, we may be an alcoholic, but that is just a part of us, and it’s certainly never been our entirety. As part of your recovery, write your list, and remind yourself of it every day.

Less Stress

No-one lives stress-free, right? Right. Our world certainly isn’t set up for it. However, you can take one great leap for yourself in that direction if you learn to manage the stress you do live with. If you’re a recovering alcoholic, the one thing - the only thing - that can take you back to where you once were is a relapse. Unmanaged stress is one of the biggest triggers of relapse, and it needs to be dealt with.

Here are some practicalities you can put in place to ensure stress is not only managed, but the events and issues in your life gain a new perspective:
  • Always, always put your needs, primarily your physical and mental health, above all else
  • “Go easy” (as one of my counselors once said to me) - recovery isn’t a race, it takes time
  • Avoid unnecessary drama when you can - you don’t need it
  • Learn about stress management: exercise, keeping a diary, yoga, meditation, etc.
New Activities = New Habits

The beginning of your recovery is going to present you with familiar challenges. You may well be returning to a similar, if not, identical routine as the one you had previously. My advice? Change everything that you can change, and plan and make the most of the free time that you may now have. The answer to this unquestionable power of routine is to develop new activities and new interests. If you’ve always wondered about something, simply go and find out.

Regardless of the state, I would find myself in sometimes, I always was happy playing basketball when I could and I was able. No surprise that it took up a good amount of my time during my early recovery, and I still play competitively 3 times a week now. Furthermore, art is becoming an increasingly important part of my life now. Find out exactly what your basketball or your blank canvas is. 


Your alcoholic life will have taken a toll on your body, and, sadly, some damage will be beyond repair. Not only is cleansing your body of alcohol an exceptionally strenuous undertaking even when medically supervised, you go through it when your body is at its lowest ebb physically. Once you’re on the other side of this essential step, your body needs help to get back working as well as it can.

As they say, a healthy body really is a healthy mind, and, although it may not feel like it at first, there is nothing better for you than to engage in some form of regular exercise, preferably aerobic in nature. You certainly don’t have to hit the gym to do this. In fact, I’ve always found gyms to be a very insular place to get fit - I have always much preferred either team sports or group activities, like a cycling club for example. Not only do you get fit, you socialize with new and like-minded people.

Eat Healthily & Drink (Water)

Having a nutritious and balanced diet, accompanied by making sure you’re always hydrated, is the other essential boost that you can continually give to your body during recovery. The combination of this and the regular exercise described above will ensure you provide your body with the best possible path to its own recovery from your alcoholism. One last word on this - never allows yourself to feel hungry, as this will exacerbate any cravings you may still have.

Given The Opportunity

These 5 essential (and good) habits - strength, less stress, new activities, exercise, and diet and hydration - are the cornerstones of my recovery, and I have no wish to imagine where I’d be if I didn’t have these things in my new and sober life.

At the beginning of your recovery, they may feel a little insignificant, and they may not actually take up a great deal of your time. However, given the opportunity, they will grow and flourish and become as intrinsic to your new life of recovery as the premeditated act of abstention. Just given the opportunity, and we all deserve that.

What good habits have you found helpful in your recovery? Are you wondering how you could make a recovery yourself? Please feel free to share a comment below - thanks. Like I said before, I hope this finds you well. Take care and go easy.

This is a guest blog post.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Recruitment in Britain’s NHS — 3 in-demand careers that you could pursue

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) turned 70 this year — and in the decades since it’s establishment by then minister of health and housing Aneurin Bevan, the free at the point of delivery service has benefited families from all strata of society.

But it’s faced increasingly severe funding problems thanks to austerity cuts following the 2008 financial crash and a recruitment crisis since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016.

On the flipside of these problems are opportunities for health workers from outside the EU who might want to migrate to Britain to secure the future of one of its finest institutions.
So here are three in-demand careers you could pursue in Britain’s NHS.

1. Nursing and midwifery

In the year following the Brexit vote in June 2016, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) reported that EU nurse applications to join the NHS dropped by a staggering 96%.

And by January 2018, NHS Digital reported that there were 34,260 unfilled nursing and midwifery vacancies in England — with Surrey, Kent, Sussex and all areas of London finding recruitment particularly difficult.

Nurses from nations like Jamaica and India are being recruited in an attempt to plug the gap, but it’ll be some time before this branch of the NHS is anywhere near optimal operational capacity.

If you’re a nurse qualified outside Europe, contacting the NMC about non-EU/EEA qualifications and application criteria is the best first step towards translating your skillset to UK hospitals.

2. Dentistry

If tackling toothcare is your medical forte, you might find a bright new career in the NHS.

In February 2018, the British Dental Association (BDA) reported that a dentist recruitment crisis meant that over two-thirds of NHS practices in England recruiting in the preceding year had problems filling vacancies — while some existing practitioners are leaving to concentrate solely on private practice.

And General Dental Council (GDC) stats for the period 2006-2016 show that 40% of new entrants to the professional register came from overseas — although a lack of clarity over the government’s post-Brexit plans means EEA registrants are starting to move elsewhere.

Checking Health Education England recruitment guidance can help you decipher whether your existing dentistry qualification is mutually-recognized, or if you’ll need to pass an overseas registration examination.

3. Healthcare management

To cope with meeting treatment targets and improving outcomes against a backdrop of financial pressures and recruitment and retention issues, the NHS needs talented managers more than ever.

And as the organization has become more diverse and complex, the sharp coordination and administration skills of leaders is as crucial as their people skills.

So if you’re currently working in health management or can envisage adapting your general management skills, the NHS could be a fulfilling final destination.

Studying for an online Healthcare Management MSc from a British institution can help you convert your skill set and boost your CV.

So there are three in-demand careers you could pursue in the NHS — research your visa and application requirements and take the first step towards an exciting new vocation.

Have you migrated to work for the NHS? Share your experiences in the comments section.

Written by Kevin Fullerton