Naturally Increase Thermogenesis: Is It Helpful for Burning Fat?

If you have been researching the various weight loss tips, tricks and techniques available everywhere online, you may have stumbled upon the term thermogenesis. This article will describe briefly what it means and how it can be utilized to good effect to help burn surplus body fat and lose weight naturally.

What is Thermogenenis?

Thermogenesis is the process by which the body creates heat. This natural bodily function can be stimulated in two ways: shivering and nonshivering thermogenesis.

Non-shivering thermogenesis, also known as brown fat thermogenesis, occurs when mitochondria generate heat through metabolic processes that do not require a change in muscle contractions.

Brown fat tissue is found mostly in infants and hibernating animals but has been discovered to exist among adults as well! Read on for more information on how to naturally increase thermogenic activity!

How Can Increasing Thermogenesis Naturally Help You Lose Weight?

Non-shivering thermogenesis is the most beneficial type of thermogenesis when it comes to weight loss. This is because brown fat tissue consumes more calories than any other kind of body tissue! In fact, research has shown that just a few ounces of brown fat can burn up to 200 calories per day!

Thermogeneis can also be increased by adding certain known fat burning foods and ingredients to your diet. Some of the most beneficial thermogenic agents can be found in male fat burning supplements – morso than female equivalent products.

So how do you increase your body’s natural ability to produce heat and promote weight loss? Here are some tips:

Thermogenic Foods That Can Burn Fat

  • Eat spicy foods – Spicy foods like chili peppers contain capsaicin, which stimulates the release of catecholamines (hormones such as adrenaline) from the adrenal glands. These hormones trigger non-shivering thermogenesis in the body.
  • Drink coffee or tea – Both coffee and tea contain caffeine, which is a natural stimulant that speeds up the metabolism and increases nonshivering thermogenesis.
  • Eat more protein – Protein stimulates the release of glucagon from your pancreas. Glucagon leads to greater insulin sensitivity in cells and helps promote brown fat tissue growth! This effect can be enhanced by eating eggs or fish with high levels of omega-three fatty acids such as salmon every day.
  • Eat more green vegetables – Green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach have a high nutrient density, which triggers the growth of brown fat tissue.
  • Drink ice cold water – Drinking at least 16 ounces of ice-cold water every day can trigger non-shivering thermogenesis without needing to eat spicy foods or caffeine!

 

Other Tips to Increase Thermogenesis Naturally

  • Turn on the heat – Try taking an invigorating shower before you go for a run outside (if it’s cold where you live). The warm water will stimulate non-shivering thermogenesis while exercising and help keep your body temperature elevated even after returning indoors! If possible, try spending some time outdoors on cold days to take advantage of this natural fat-burning process.
  • Dress warmly – Wearing layers of clothing can help trap heat and increase thermogenesis.
  • Use a heating pad – Place a heating pad on your abdomen or chest to stimulate the production of heat in your core.

 

What About Thermogenic Fat Burning Supplements?

There are a number of thermogenic supplements on the market that can help you boost your body’s natural ability to produce heat and promote weight loss.

More often than not supplement manufacturers target men and produce fat burners for men that can increase thermogenesis naturally and accelerate your metabolic rate. There are effective female fat burners but women targeted fat loss products are more low stimulant or even completely stimulant free.

If you do choose to use a thermogenic fat burning supplement then do your due diligence and research carefully as there are arguably more ineffective fat burners than effective ones. Here are some thermogenic and complimenting ingredients that should be present in the formula.

  1. Green Tea:  Green tea contains a thermogenic compound called epigallocatechin gallate, which is very effective in boosting the body’s metabolism and can help you burn fat naturally.
  2. Caffeine: This popular stimulant found in coffee, green tea and even chocolate helps increase your metabolic rate to ensure that more calories are burned throughout the day. It also assists with focus and concentration so you stay on track when it comes to dieting!
  3. Cayenne Pepper Extract: Cayenne pepper extract acts as an appetite suppressant while increasing non-shivering thermogenesis at the same time which can lead to significant weight loss over time.
  4. Yohimbine:  Extracts from the yohimbe tree are often used in thermogenic supplements as they help to break down fat cells and increase energy expenditure.

Here are some complimentary ingredients often found in fat burning supplements for both women and men.

  1. L-Tyrosine:  L-tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid that acts as a precursor to neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which play an important role in the regulation of mood. It can also be used by the body to produce thyroid hormones, which serve to increase resting metabolic rate.
  2. Alpha Lipoic Acid: Alpha lipoic acid functions as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent while promoting healthy blood sugar levels already within normal range! This allows you to burn fat more effectively throughout the day without suffering from low energy or food cravings.
  3. Acetyl L Carnitine: Acetyl l Carnitine serves multiple purposes when it comes to weight loss including acting as a potent appetite suppressant and increasing the rate of lipolysis, which is a process that breaks down fat cells to release fatty acids into your bloodstream.
  4. Guarana: Guarana is very similar in structure and function to caffeine as they are both xanthine alkaloids derived from plants. However it also contains other compounds such as theophylline and theobromine that work together with caffeine to create an even greater stimulant effect on metabolism!
  5. Glucomannan:  Glucomannan is a dietary fiber that swells up in the stomach to create a feeling of fullness and suppress appetite. This can help you eat fewer calories overall and lose weight in the process!

The above list covers some of the most effective thermogenic natural fat burners along with their suggested complimentary ingredients so you can start looking for supplements containing these ingredients.

 

Increasing Thermogenesis Naturally Conclusion

In conclusion, thermogenesis is a natural process that your body goes through in order to produce heat. This can help you burn more calories and promote weight loss over time.

There are a number of thermogenic supplements on the market with ingredients that can help increase this process, such as caffeine, green tea extract, cayenne pepper extract and yohimbine.

You should also look for complimentary ingredients like L-tyrosine, alpha lipoic acid and acetyl l carnitine when searching for a quality supplement. Increasing thermogenesis naturally is definitely an efficient way to lose weight!

Above all else, don’t rely solely on thermogenic fat burning supplements. You should concentrate on a wider range of techniques for increasing thermogenesis naturally.

7 Reasons Adults Prefer Aligners over Braces

Aligners have helped many adults get the smile they are looking for. Aligners have allowed more adults to straighten their teeth without the hassle of braces. Many adults prefer aligners over braces for a multitude of reasons. Here are seven top reasons why adults prefer aligners over braces.

1. Less Appointments

The biggest downside with braces are the endless orthodontist appointments. Treatments with braces can take years depending on the severity of your teeth. An orthodontist is required to adjust brackets and arch-wires at regular intervals. As an adult, attending multiple orthodontist appointments can be hard to schedule around work and family.

Most dentists and orthodontists require less office visits with aligners. Even better, there are many that have a direct to customer option. Companies such as Byte and AlignerCo make it possible for you to have aligners without any office visits.

With direct to customer options the company will send an impressions kit and instructions for you to use at home. You then send in your impressions and the company will make your aligners based off of those impressions. You will still have access to professional help, these companies have remote dentists appointments available. You won’t have to worry about months of going to the orthodontist and having all those adjustments made.

2. More discreet

If you choose to straighten your teeth with braces, there is no way to hide the fact that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. On the other hand, aligners are practically invisible. Aligners are clear and you can go about your normal life without anyone noticing that you are undergoing any treatment. If you have a big event or party to go to, aligners are removable, so you can remove them without the worry of food getting stuck in your braces.

3. You don’t have to restrict your food

If you choose to use braces you can’t eat certain food. Things such as hard candies, corn on the cob, and gum are forbidden when wearing braces. This can be an issue when going out to eat with others you have to make sure you go somewhere that has something you can eat. Since aligners are removable there are no foods that are off limits. You always just take your aligners out when you eat.

4. Can straighten your teeth around your schedule

Unlike braces that you have to wear 24 hours every day, aligners come with multiple options. Some aligner companies let you choose between the standard “all day treatment”, which involves wearing your aligners for 22 hours a day, and “night time” treatment, which involves just 10-12 hours of daily wear. The night time option will extend the overall length of your treatment, but you won’t have to worry about your aligners while you are out during the day.. Aligners give you ultimate flexibility and you can treat your smile around your schedule.

5. Whiten your teeth as your straighten them

With braces many struggle to keep their teeth as white as they were prior to getting braces put on. With aligners, you can choose an option to whiten your teeth as you straighten them. Aligner companies have additives you can add to your aligners that will whiten your teeth as you treat your smile. You can also choose other professional whitening services since the aligners are removable. With braces you cannot whiten your teeth while you straighten them, you have to wait until the treatment is over before you can begin to whiten your teeth.

6. Better oral hygiene

When wearing braces, it is hard to properly floss, brush your teeth and maintain overall dental health. Food tends to get stuck in your braces and can sometimes be hard to get out. Braces can harbor bacteria around the brackets and wires. Since you may not be able to keep up with your normal oral hygiene routine, it can lead to other problems down the road.

However, aligners can be removed while you clean your teeth, you don’t have to worry about flossing around braces. You won’t have food particles sitting on your teeth for long hours and can know that bacteria isn’t sitting on your teeth and causing potential damage. Aligners are the best option when it comes to ultimate flexibility and proper oral hygiene.

7. Aligners provide faster results

The average course of treatment with braces lasts between 16 to 18 months. Some can even take up to 24 months, all depending on your individual condition. On the other hand, the average treatment time for aligners is around 6 months, while some may last up to 12 months. Overall, aligners take significantly less time to straighten your teeth.

The reason comes down to how the process works. Braces work to move each individual tooth by applying a small amount of pressure. Aligners apply pressure on all your teeth simultaneously. Since aligners work to shift your teeth all at once, the time it takes to straighten your teeth is reduced significantly.

Best Marketing Strategies for the Healthcare Industry

As medical aid becomes more available globally, patients have more options now more than ever when it comes to receiving healthcare. Today, patients can travel to any part of the country or world to seek the best healthcare services, making the healthcare industry one of the most competitive industries today. To keep the hospital doors open and running, medical professionals have to keep up with the latest marketing trends in the healthcare industry. 

Healthcare marketing can be tricky. Unlike other industries, there are many regulations governing marketing in the healthcare sector. Healthcare involves a lot of sensitive information, which calls for caution when using it to attract patients to a facility.

To maintain large patient volumes, you need to have a well-planned healthcare marketing strategy in line with industry regulations. These regulations include:

  • HIPPA mandates standards to be adhered to when sharing healthcare info and electronic billing in protecting patient privacy
  • GDPR regulation that governs how a hospital, marketer, or doctor can use patient data
  • The CAN-SPAM Act regulates the information deliverable by emails from doctors

A healthcare marketing strategy can be used to build better relations between medical practitioners and patients while drawing potential new patients to a facility.

Here is everything you need to know about building the best healthcare marketing to ensure your facility comes first to mind whenever a patient needs medical aid.

Planning Your up to Date Healthcare Marketing Strategies

Healthcare marketing can be used by hospitals, doctors, healthcare practitioners and networks, caregivers, and marketing executives in the healthcare industry. It is a strategy that ensures your patient care CRM database never runs empty.

The healthcare industry undergoes rapid changes, often, which calls for agility and focus to be able to keep up with the trends. While it requires time and sometimes a larger budget, doing it right will see your patient volume numbers grow. To make the process easier, here are ideal marketing steps you can take to promote your healthcare facility.

Have a Responsive Healthcare Website

The world has become a digital village where at least 85% of users seek information online. Having a website is an easy way of ensuring your healthcare facility is visible to the billions of people using the internet every day. It is not enough to have a website. You need to ensure that it is responsive.

A responsive website is one that can be accessed through multiple internet devices without compromising on the user experience. Your website should have the ability to adjust to different device screen sizes, offering the same responsiveness on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet.

As of March 2018, Google gives priority to websites that are highly mobile responsive. This means that Google now ranks healthcare websites based on their mobile responsiveness. Therefore, having a web-friendly only website excludes your healthcare service from search results online, which makes it invisible to online users.

Part of working on local SEO for your website is ensuring it is highly responsive on different devices. This means that your website should load on any device screen without compromising on loading time or site speed.

With a highly responsive website, you will give your patients and potential patients a good mobile digital healthcare experience. This will reduce the site abandonment rate and increase conversions.

When designing a responsive website, you need to include a call-to-action button on your web pages and ensure it is easy to find for the visitors.

Use Email Marketing

Email marketing still remains one of the most effective marketing methods for any business, including a healthcare facility. Ensure you encourage your patients to sign up for your email list to receive helpful health tips and information.

With a good email marketing strategy, you can show your patients that you are interested in their wellbeing long after they have left your facility. You can use email segmenting to9 customize your email messaging for different patients based on their health needs.

Maintaining communication with your patient base is important in building your hospital’s brand reputation as an authority in your field. This makes you the go-to facility whenever your email recipients need healthcare services.

Some of the ideas you can use to grow your emailing list include hosting webinars, paid advertising funnels such as assessments and quizzes, subscribing to access eBooks and downloadable content, and subscribing to exclusive health-related content.

Use Social Media for Engaging Patients

At least two-thirds of internet users use social media every day for an average of 12 minutes. Based on studies, at least 41% of internet users are likely to pick a healthcare provider based on their reputation on social media platforms. This makes it imperative for your healthcare facility to have an active social media presence.

One of the ways to build an excellent social media reputation is by taking time to engage with your followers, answering questions, and participating in online discussions related to your niche. The most common social media platform for the healthcare industry include Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook. These platforms allow you to connect with patients outside of their normal appointment schedules.

It is also advisable to constantly keep your social media pages active and up to date with relevant information. Create viral content on social media to improve organic traffic from advertising. You can also leverage humor-based content on a platform like TikTok to reach millions of potential patients. 

This will keep your pages front and center of your followers’ minds whenever they need services related to your healthcare facility.

Build Your Healthcare Business Online

Today, almost everyone with access to the internet uses the web to find relevant information related to doctors, illness, symptoms, and more. If your healthcare facility is to keep up with the competition, it needs to have an online presence. You need to become better at identifying your strengths and capitalizing on them to build a strong brand image online.

Whenever prospective patients come to your website, you need to ensure they see your strengths, including your special talents and skills. Ensure you use high-quality images of your facilities like the patient rooms, OR facilities, and laboratories. Also, include any industrial awards and accreditations on your website to help foster visitors’ trust in your services.

Ensure the benefits you offer are properly highlighted, focusing on what you offer and what isn’t available by your competitors. Always focus on highlighting your commitment to providing a fantastic client experience in and out of your facility.

Before visiting your physical institution, the majority of your prospective patients will visit your online facility. Hiring an online admissions counseling specialist can help you to grow your business. MBA admissions and advisors assist applicants throughout the whole process. Admissions consulting includes everything starting from understanding the steps and standards to producing applications materials (such as essays and resumes).

Use PR to Get Your Name Out There

One thing you cannot overlook when looking to attract patients to a healthcare facility is the need for a PR strategy. Having an ideal public relations team and strategy is the best way to get your facility’s name out to the public while focusing on educating them on your services.

Consider using:                          

  • Press releases to inform the public on the good your facility is doing for the community
  • Interviews by relevant local press where you address the latest healthcare issues facing the community. This helps to build a sense of trust and familiarity
  • Publishing an article that highlights your services and products, plus their benefits. This will pique the interest of potential patients and other healthcare professionals

 

Do Not Forget About Video Marketing  

The healthcare industry is one of the industries that underutilize video content in marketing. Video content is one of the few marketing strategies that guarantee to capture the audience’s attention. According to research, at least 90% of leading companies use video content to impact the decisions of their target audience.

In the healthcare industry, video marketing can be used to create information packs and guides, show behind the scenes of your healthcare facility, and even share patient testimonials and stories.

Some of the ways you can incorporate video content in your marketing strategy include using YouTube, the second largest search engine, offering a great way of reaching millions of people through video content. You can also include video content on your social media pages like Facebook, which prioritizes video content than any other type of static content.

You can also incorporate video content in blog posts to illustrate the content you provide in words. This is a great way of boosting your SEO. Video content can also be used on website landing pages, giving the visitor a glimpse of what your organization or facility has to offer. Using the word ‘video’ in your email subject can increase your open rate by up to 19%, making it essential to use video content in your email marketing.

Track Your Strategy

After implementing your healthcare marketing strategy, you need to test it to ensure you are getting the most out of it. You can use different analytics solutions such as Google Analytics to track the performance of your strategy and know areas that need improvement.

You can measure performance using hard metrics such as cost per lead, conversion rates on landing pages, and web traffic to know whether you are on the right track with your strategy.

Conclusion

The healthcare industry becomes competitive every day. It is the job of the healthcare marketing team and practitioners to stay on top of the latest trends if they are to maximize lead conversion and ROI.

As technology advances, digital healthcare marketing also evolves to create new marketing opportunities. You can combine the techniques highlighted in this article to make your healthcare business stand out from the competition.

New Eye Scan for Diabetes?

Occuity seals £2.85million investment to develop revolutionary medical technology with multiple clinical uses

A Berkshire based business has received investment funding to forge ahead with its development of the Occuity Indigo, an extremely innovative non-contact, optical glucose meter. The device will allow the 4.7million people in the UK with diabetes to monitor their blood-sugar levels through a simple scan of the eye.

Occuity, the medical technology start-up, which is developing the Indigo, has raised the largest MedTech financing deal (£2.85m) on leading crowdfunding platform, Seedrs. The original £1.8m target was reached within 24 hours of launch. The team, comprised of experts in optics, mechanical engineering, and industrial design, are also collaborating with the medical and academic world including partnerships with the Royal Berkshire Hospital and the University of Bristol.

The deal is ground-breaking for people with diabetes but caught the attention of investors because of the broad potential usage of the company’s patented optical technology for a range of conditions including glaucoma, myopia, diabetes management, pre-diabetes screening and eventually, it is hoped, the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

Occuity CEO and Co-founder Dr. Dan Daly comments: “We’re delighted to have become the largest ever MedTech raise on Seedrs with over 850 investors from 37 countries, sharing our vision. Diabetes is a growing, global problem and we believe our technology will enable health services throughout the world to monitor and screen for diabetes, improving the clinical outcomes for the hundreds of millions of people who are unaware they have pre-diabetes or diabetes. The Occuity Indigo will then make regular glucose testing easier, faster and pain-free, improving the daily lives of many millions more people worldwide.”

Design Director, Daniele De Iuliis, who – having spent 27 years as part of Apple’s Industrial Design Group – is now leading on the design of the Occuity Indigo, comments: “For too long now, the way in which we discover and monitor chronic diseases like diabetes has been routed in repetitive finger stick blood testing with all the pain, discomfort and inconvenience that brings. In contrast, the Occuity Indigo will be a discrete handheld product that will simply scan the eye to take a glucose measurement providing a pain-free 21st century solution that is long overdue.”

How will the technology work?

Diabetes Screening

  • Optical confocal scanning technology allows very precise measurements of structures within the eye, to be made down to micron level.
  • The scanning technology will detect the concentration of Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) which build up in the eye over time. 
  • Invisible ‘Blue’ light illuminates the eye and the returning scattered blue light alongside green fluorescent light from the AGEs is detected.
  • Coupled with machine learning techniques, the readings from this device will give an indication of whether the subject is non-diabetic, pre-diabetic or diabetic
  • Taking just a few seconds, the test is completely non-contacting, so can be performed in a non-clinical setting in a pharmacy, an optician’s practice, or even in a domiciliary setting such as a care home.

Glucose monitoring (Occuity Indigo)

  • The Occuity Indigo will be based on the company’s core optical confocal scanning technology
  • The personal use device will scan the eye’s aqueous humour within the anterior chamber of the eye
  • It is non-contact, rapid and completely painless
  • The aqueous humour is effectively an ultra-filtrate of blood i.e. blood with the red and white cells filtered out. This means that the levels of glucose found within it correlates very well with that in the blood stream
  • As the concentration of glucose in the eye changes, the way in which light travels through the eye – the refractive index – also changes.
  • With its ability to make very precise measurements, the Occuity Indigo will be able to detect this change and in turn determine the concentration of glucose in the blood.

The State of the Healthcare Supply Chain

Concerns surrounding supply chains have been impossible to ignore during recent months.

The pandemic, and the issues that it has brought with it, has undeniably slowed both national and international trade.

It should come as no surprise that the healthcare supply chain has been at the very centre of the difficulties encountered here in the UK over the course of the past two years, with NHS Trusts scrambling to fulfil demand for PPE, vaccinations, ventilators and more.

Now, more than ever before, the importance of supply chain management is in the public spotlight.

The PPE crisis

At the start of the pandemic, concerns were mostly around personal protective equipment, with the World Health Organization calling on industry and government to increase the manufacture of PPE by at least 40% to meet rising global demands.

There is no denying that the National Health Service struggled. A stark contrast existed between the preparedness of the NHS and the healthcare systems operating in Hong Kong and Singapore.

In 2013, the value of the Department of Health and Social Care’s emergency stockpile sat at £831 million; fast forward to March 2019, one year out from the pandemic, and that same stockpile was £325 million down in value, at £506 million. Subsequently, a report produced in May 2020, a mere two months after the initial lockdown, highlighted that the UK’s healthcare stockpile did not contain gowns, while 75 per cent of the respirators had passed their use-by date, as had half of the surgical masks.

NHS procurement fast became a talking point for many, with the magnitude of spending and the overall approach to healthcare contracting in particular raising eyebrows. The result was widespread criticism aimed at those responsible for healthcare procurement.

The aftermath

Despite a host of criticisms and difficulties encountered by NHS procurement over the course of the pandemic, lessons have been learned and changes have been made.

Investment in the capabilities of domestic manufacturing has undoubtedly been one of the biggest achievements to date. Prior to the pandemic, the UK relied heavily on overseas production – a mere one per cent of PPE, for example, was produced by British manufacturers. By December 2020, that figure had risen to 70 per cent, with then Health and Care Secretary Matt Hancock noting “we have built robust and resilient supply chains from scratch”.

Similarly, a more centralised approach to procurement was secured, with the UK Government and the devolved administrations putting in place a PPE strategy to guarantee at least four months’ reserves of face masks, visors and gowns.

Finally, a robust online healthcare procurement pipeline was developed, having initially been launched back in August 2019. The successful development of this pipeline has helped establish a wider supply chain network featuring more small to medium sized local suppliers.

Beyond PPE

While much of the attention, for good reason, has been focused on issues surrounding PPE, other weak links in the NHS supply chain have been identified. Lately, a global shortage of bottles for blood testing, ligature scissor shortages, a lack of lorry drivers and rising fuel costs have all made the news.

From 26 August to 27 September 2021, NHS England told GPs not to perform blood tests unless critically urgent, as the NHS was suffering from an acute shortage of sample bottles.

With regard to fuel shortages, a British Medical Association survey revealed that seven in ten doctors feared the fuel crisis would impact their ability to work. The BMA warned in early September 2021 that “priority access was crucial to ensure NHS services could continue”.

Solutions required

Regardless of the problem, healthcare procurement needs the confidence of a more stable supply chain. The question is, how best to get one?

Business.org suggests that the first port of call for those looking to improve their supply chain should be a re-evaluation of suppliers.

A healthy supplier relationship cannot be achieved without good lines of communication, reliability and guaranteed speed of response. Good suppliers, according to business.org, are responsive, consistently able to deliver on promises, and capable of rapidly responding to client demands.

Similarly, monitoring the supply chain is essential in ensuring that it remains resilient – if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that anticipating what is around the corner, particularly in healthcare, is well-nigh impossible. Keep tabs on inventory levels on a regular basis, implement inventory management solutions, identify any emerging trends, and report on changes as soon as they occur.

As healthcare procurement and the health sector as a whole negotiates another crucial winter period, and with billions of pounds worth of healthcare contracts currently out to tender, it will certainly be interesting to see what happens next. One thing is certain, however; buyers and suppliers alike still face a considerable challenge.

Three Innovative Ways to Embed Wellbeing Into Your Workplace

Wellbeing at work means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. There’s a renewed focus on supporting your people’s health at work after nearly two years of pandemic mayhem.

Your initiatives can range from the large to the small, and an employee wellbeing strategy should have many strands. Half of businesses have a standalone wellbeing strategy according to a CIPD survey, while over 80% have updated it to support employees’ mental health and their personal needs during the pandemic. It’s positive to see that many businesses’ strategies are evolving with employee needs.

There are some fun and interesting ways you can keep your wellbeing strategy fluid. Here are some innovative ways you can embed wellbeing deeper into your workplace.

Offer care packages to staff

The last two years have been challenging for your people in varying ways. Some have had to juggle childcare while working from home. Others may have caught the virus and been very ill. Many people have lost loved ones. A lot of us have struggled with loneliness.

You can show not only your appreciation for your employees but also how much you care about them by gifting them personalised care packages. If winding down after a stressful day is difficult for some of the team, consider providing a care package with relaxing bath salts and soothing teas. Equally, if sleep has been a problem, include a lavender-scented spray and an eye mask.

If physical health is also part of your wellbeing strategy, you could include a range of healthy snacks and drinks to keep your people satisfied and motivated at their work. Because, let’s face it, it’s all too easy to reach for the chocolate and crisps snack box when you hit the 3pm slump.

Create wellbeing areas

Your wellbeing strategy should include initiatives to reduce employee stress, whether that’s through workload management or remote working days. But sometimes, your employees can still experience stress in the workplace. Having dedicated areas for them to take a moment away from their desk and the bustling office can help.

We’ve all seen images of the likes of Google’s offices, which have ample spaces for beanbag chairs, crazy golf, classic arcade games, and designated personal pods for privacy. But what if your office doesn’t have that kind of space?

Turning one of your meeting rooms into a dedicated wellbeing zone could be an option for businesses in smaller offices. Even if all you have in there are some comfy seats, it’s a much more relaxing environment than the busy office floor. Adding things like arcade games, pool tables, or TVs will add an extra layer of fun for your people, but ultimately a safe, quiet space is the biggest priority. Pepper in some oxygen-releasing plants for extra stress-busting properties.

Offer a range of wellbeing activities

A lot of people want to improve their wellbeing but may feel like they don’t have time to dedicate to it between busy work and home lives. So why not offer them the opportunity to do this during the workday?

Firstly, identify what type of activities your employees would like to see. If they’ve struggled with their mental health during the pandemic, virtual mental health seminars could help. Equally, you could provide confidential telephone counselling services so they can seek one-to-one help.

You could also offer classes before, during, or after work on a range of activities. Yoga is a great one for office-based employees who may be tense after a long day of sitting at a desk. Dance classes can encourage physical activity in a fun, no-pressure environment. Only a quarter of businesses offer onsite exercise or relaxation classes according to a CIPD survey, so this is an area where many organisations can improve.

Your business’ approach to employee wellbeing should be multi-faceted. Alongside a high-level business strategy that takes into account workloads and employee stress, there are fun and innovative ways you can embed wellbeing into your organisation. Although businesses prioritised wellbeing in 2021, 66% of employees still want more wellbeing support. Whether you set up some dance classes to let your people blow off steam in a healthy way or you provide regular care packages, there are so many ways to show your people that you care.

How AI Can Improve Patient Flow in Healthcare

AI can help healthcare facilities to considerably improve patient flow. Read this article to get to know how hospital managers can make the most of AI and ML in this aspect.

The term “patient flow” denotes the movement of patients through the hospital from entry to discharge. This is a complex and dynamic process. When humans manage patient flow, it might take them too much time and effort. Plus, errors caused by the human factor are inevitable. Read this article to understand how AI can improve patient flow in hospitals and what medical professionals should do to make the most of this technology.

How Can AI Improve Patient Flow

Here are a few examples of how exactly AI can improve patient flow:

-Emergency departments will be less crowded and patients will receive help faster.
-The need for regular surge plans will decrease.
-Fewer surgeries will be canceled or delayed.
-Patients will stay overnight in post-operative recovery rooms only when absolutely necessary.
-Patients will be timely discharged or transferred to appropriate units based on their clinical conditions.
-Bed capacity management planning will be enhanced.
-Physicians, nurses, and staff won’t suffer from overload and burnout as much as they do now.

AI- and ML-powered solutions help human professionals by offering predictive models. Plus, they provide real-time data that humans can use to make decisions.

How to Make the Most of AI-Powered Solutions to Improve Patient Flow

It’s not enough to install AI-powered equipment or software in a hospital and explain to the staff how to use it. The managers of the establishment also need to carry out the following three steps.

Build a Data Science Team

First, they should secure support at the highest level. All the executive leaders of the healthcare facility should realize the value of data science. The dedicated data science team should collaborate with other departments and turn data into intelligence that allows better decision-making.

Create an ML Pipeline to Aggregate All Data Sources

The pipeline should contain the following elements:
-All data sources
-Storage
-Transformation
-Modeling
-Visualization components

The pipeline should feature all data sources because otherwise, the predictive models would fail to identify the right areas for opportunity.

Put Together a Leadership Team to Govern Data

The team that governs data should include not only the members of the data science team but also leaders from other departments. Such an approach will enable the team to achieve two goals:

-Get various viewpoints when discussing the data science strategy
-Ensure support for data science from multiple departments

When leaders from other departments return to their teams, they should explain the significance of data science to their colleagues. All the staff of the medical facility should understand how they can benefit from the new technology.

The Necessity of Backtesting Models

Members of those teams that work with data science should regularly compare two sets of data:

-What the AI predicted
-What happened in fact

This method is known as backtesting models. It enhances transparency and allows team members to better estimate the reliability of predictive models. These models are not perfect yet, so human contribution is essential for decision-making.

When discussing the accuracy of applied models, teams might have brainstorm sessions. They can find the reasons for the inaccuracy of the previous models and come up with ideas for new ones. It’s essential to compare various models to detect the most accurate ones. All the participants of the meetings should be able to share their opinions on predictive models and voice suggestions.

The Most Efficient Way of Disseminating Information

AI-powered solutions can deliver real-time or nearly real-time data. They can generate daily reports that teams in charge of data science can examine. Yet that would be irrational. In most cases, the difference between today’s and yesterday’s data won’t be too drastic. Human professionals might be prone to so-called data fatigue: it will be hard for them to focus on the profound meaning of these numbers simply because they see them too often.

To maximize the efficiency of the reports, it would be wise to replace them with alerts. The system can notify the members of the data science team each time a certain indicator reaches an alert level. The leaders of the team can flexibly modify the alert level for each parameter. Each time the team receives an alert, they should be ready to take measures.

Humans Need to Combine ML with Their Own Expertise

Hospital patient flow is not limited to the work of one separate department. All decision-makers should have access to the data gathered and generated by AI. Different professionals might interpret the same dataset differently. To make the most of the technology, human experts should compare all the conclusions that they make from the data provided by AI.

At the initial stage of integrating AI into a hospital’s workflows, data science specialists need to guide medical professionals. The former should offer the latter the simplest models and teach them to interpret the data. Once the medical staff gets used to the process, data scientists can switch to more complicated models.

Healthcare facilities might want to integrate the Agile principles into their workflows to process the data more efficiently. This approach suggests splitting the full scope of work into short iterations. Once an iteration is over, team members analyze its results and discuss the achievements with the leaders that might not be directly involved in data science. The leaders should leverage the data to make decisions. Then, human professionals should suggest new variables for the predictive models and start the next iteration.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article came in handy and now you better understand the importance and advantages of machine learning health care. AI- and ML-powered solutions can improve patient flow so that the quality of medical services rises, the staff of healthcare facilities avoid burnout, and patients report greater satisfaction. To make the most of the new technologies, hospital managers should build data science teams, create ML pipelines to aggregate all data sources, and form leadership teams to govern data. To process data with maximum efficiency, healthcare facilities might want to integrate the Agile principles into their workflows.

Overweight and Undernourished

New report shows Brits urgently need a nutrition reset to get immune health back on track.

Three quarters of Brits recognise that immune health is compromised by bad diets, according to a new report commissioned by the Health and Food Supplements Information Service (www.hsis.org), yet there are worrying signs that our diets are way off track, putting immune health under strain as autumn gets underway.

The report – IMMUNE HEALTH: MICRONUTRIENTS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE – brings together a new poll and data on the healthiness of our diets to delve into our immune readiness. The results reveal that many Brits badly need a nutrition reset with food portions out of control, comfort eating rife and immunity nutrients, such as vitamin D and iron, in decline.

One of the report’s authors, GP Dr Gill Jenkins, says: “Good nutrition is essential for optimal immunity but, as far as our diets are concerned, key pieces of the puzzle are missing. Vitamins A and C – from fruit and vegetables – and iron from red meat, beans and green veg, are lower than ideal for some age groups, while most adults don’t take a vitamin D supplement as recommended.

“Fish intakes are also too low, leading to a massive shortfall in omega-3 fats, which help the body to calm down potentially dangerous levels of inflammation produced during an immune response.

“These nutrients all play a role in supporting two aspects of our immune function – innate immunity, which creates a barrier against invading pathogens, and adaptive immunity, which helps our bodies to target viruses and create antibodies.

“Given that diets in the UK are far from ideal, it’s a good idea to take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement, as well as an omega-3 supplement if you rarely eat oily fish. Supplementation has been shown to improve several specific aspects of immune health, particularly where deficiencies exist.”

Key findings from the HSIS report show:
• A third of survey respondents (34%) ate more comfort foods and snacks during lockdown.
• More than a fifth (21%) have been advised by a healthcare professional to change their diet to lose weight.
• Intakes of vital immune-supporting nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin D, B vitamins and iron, have declined over the last decade.
• Almost half (48%) say they have no idea what the Government’s Eatwell Guide advises – that’s the ‘bible’ on what a healthy diet looks like.
• Around two thirds (64%) of adults don’t take a vitamin D supplement.
• Only half are actively following advice to eat more fruit and vegetables.
• Three in five (60%) don’t pay attention to recommended portion sizes or portion control.

The UK immune health micronutrient emergency

With immune-supporting nutrients more important than ever, the HSIS report highlights the woeful gap between recommended intakes of key vitamins and minerals and the harsh reality of our current diets. The risks to optimal immunity are evident.

Vitamin A

What it does: Essential for the production and growth of immune cells
Immunity alert: Low intakes increase the risk that pathogens will invade the eye and the respiratory tract.
Who’s at risk: One in ten toddlers and primary schoolchildren don’t get the recommended amount of vitamin A. All children under 5 should be given vitamins A, C and D according to the government.

B vitamins

What they do: B vitamins are needed to make the enzymes that extract fuel from our foods. This feeds the immune cells.
Immunity alert: A lack of vitamin B6 reduces the production of immune cells whilst promoting inflammation. Folate deficiency depresses antibody responses.
Who’s at risk: Nine in ten women of childbearing age have low blood levels of folate. Vegans are particularly vulnerable to low vitamin B12 intakes as they consume no animal foods.

Vitamin C:

What it does: Protects immune cells from inflammatory damage caused by free radicals
Immunity alert: Low vitamin C levels increase the severity and duration of respiratory tract infections.
Who’s at risk: In studies of older people, deficiency levels ranged from 14-26%, with men at greater risk. New research suggests we may need four times the current vitamin C recommendation to fight respiratory viruses .

Vitamin D:

What it does: Most immune cells, especially T and B lymphocytes, have vitamin D receptors which suggests they need vitamin D to function well.
Immunity alert: Deficiency is associated with increased risk of COVID-19.
Who’s at risk: People from ethnic minority groups are at very high risk of deficiency, with figures ranging from 43% deficiency to 66% . In the general population, around 17% are vitamin D deficient.

Iron:

What it does: Promotes the growth of immune cells and helps to regulate the inflammatory response.
Immunity alert: Low blood levels linked to lower T lymphocyte numbers, a reduced antibody response, and impaired killing of pathogens
Who’s at risk: Almost half of teenage girls lack iron, and dietary levels have fallen in the past decade, probably as a consequence of red meat being shunned.

Zinc:

What it does: Helps to maintain the structure and function of the skin and the gut barrier, and vital for the growth and function of several types of immune cells.
Immunity alert: Being low in zinc impairs T cell function and increases susceptibility to infections of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
Who’s at risk: Despite a small improvement in recent years, more than one in six teenagers (16%) still fail to achieve the minimum recommendation for zinc.

Omega 3 fatty acids:

What they do: Regulate the protective membrane around cells, which helps to curb inflammation after a major immune response.
Immunity alert: Low intakes prolong inflammation which then impairs long term immunity.
Who’s at risk: Anyone who doesn’t eat oily fish (salmon, mackerel) – which is by far the best source.

Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton, who co-authored the HSIS report, says: “A recent study from King’s College London confirms that dietary supplementation can give your immune system a helping hand. Amongst almost half a million people subscribing to a COVID-19 app, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was cut by 14% in those who took probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, multivitamins, or vitamin D.

“As winter approaches, it’s clear our diets will need to deliver more nutritional value to give us optimal immunity support. So, we need to urgently dump our comfort eating habits, watch portion sizes, up our vegetable intake, and choose healthier options for snacks. Tackling low levels of immune-support nutrients with a daily vitamin and mineral supplement is also a useful health hack.”

How to Support a Friend That is Going into Rehab

Overcoming addiction is a difficult trial in anyone’s life, whether you experience it firsthand or by watching a loved one go through it. However, it’s important to understand that there is help out there and that one can go through it with the appropriate medical attention and care.

It’s also important to know that addiction is a chronic brain disease, so you can’t cure it with willpower. It’s also not something regular people can deal with, so trying to cut someone off without medical supervision and guidance is never a good idea.

The best thing you can do for a friend or a loved one who has addiction troubles is to support them and guide them towards medical help. Rehabilitation centers, if recommended by a physician, are a great help because they provide specialized guidance and supervision.

However, depending on your location, it may be a bit difficult to find a rehab center that fits your friend’s needs. Luckily, if you live near Temecula, there is plenty of help.

Still, before you contact the first Temecula rehabilitation center you can find, make sure you are prepared for the journey. Here are some of the steps you can take:

Research the Best Rehab Centers in the Area

If you live in an area with easy access to rehab centers, the best way to help your friend is to thoroughly research each offer. Depending on your friend’s budget and needs, some of these centers will not be a good fit and they are not in the right state of mind to do the research themselves.

Quick tip: If you’re looking for a Temecula rehabilitation center, Ranch Creek Recovery should be on your list. They offer a wide range of services and the treatment facilities are very well-designed!

Educate Yourself on Addiction & Recovery

Addiction is difficult to understand if you haven’t experienced it firsthand. That’s why many people need support groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous) where they meet other people with similar problems.

So, if you want to be of help, the best thing you can do is learn about addiction and recovery. Try to understand the science and learn about triggers and how to offer appropriate support to someone who wants to overcome their addiction.

Support, Don’t Enable

When caring for a loved one who suffers from addiction, it’s rather easy to go from supporter to enabler. When this happens, your help is no longer useful and it doesn’t contribute to the person’s long-term recovery journey.

That’s why education is important. Based on the things you learn, you can check yourself and make sure you are:

-offering help, but also take care of your own needs
-honest with your friend and don’t find excuses for unacceptable behavior
-providing them with love and balance without attempting to shoulder your friend’s responsibilities

Help Them Stay Active

Fitness activity, especially if practiced with a partner, has been found to help people who suffer from various brain diseases such as depression and anxiety. Someone who is into rehab can also benefit from fitness activity, as it provides an outlet for their energy and keeps their body active.

If the program allows it, you can help your friend by going cycling with them in the nearby area of the center. If not, you can try yoga or other forms of physical activity.

Key Takeaway

Addiction sufferers need time, patience, and support but they also need to be seen as individuals with the right to make decisions for themselves. Addiction is a disease, but this doesn’t give you the right to intrude on your friend’s or loved one’s freedom of choice. That’s why it’s important to offer support and understanding.

What State Has The Best Smile? Dental Health Ranked by State

ExpressDentist.com has ranked all 50 states based on the quality of their dental health. The study looked at 25 factors, including number of dental visits and other similar criteria.

Connecticut has the best dental health. This is followed by the District of Colombia, Massachusetts, Hawaii and New Jersey. Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have the worst dental health.

There are many factors impacting dental health, which the study aimed to quantity. For example, some parts of the United States have more dental professionals. Another factor that affects the health of your teeth is the availability of fluoridated water. Some states have a better approach to preventative dental care, which reduces the need for major work later down the line.

\”Some parts of the United States have a higher density of dental professionals, which makes not only access to dental care easier but also more affordable. Another locational factor that affects the health of your teeth is the availability of fluoridated water which is important to prevent tooth decay,\” said ExpressDentist.com. \”While some states provide fluoridated water to nearly all residents, others lag behind. Coverage for dental care also varies from state to state with some states providing no coverage under Medicaid and others providing limited, emergency, or extensive coverage.\”

The study methodology was fairly simple. There were 25 criteria that each provided the opportunity to score up to 4 points, meaning each state could score up to a maximum of 100. 6 indicators are based on the availability of dental health (\”Reason for not visiting a dentist among those without a visit in the last 12 months – Trouble finding a dentist\”), 6 indicators are based on dental habits (\”Percentage of young adults who visited a dentist in the past year\”) and 13 habits relate to oral health status (\”Percentage of adults aged 65 or older who reported having all teeth removed due to decay or gum disease\”).

Menopause for Thought – What Do Employers Need to Know

By Katie Ash, head of employment law at Banner Jones

Women make up a significant portion of the workforce, so it is hardly surprising that gender equality in the workplace has become an important topic in recent decades.

Indeed, sex is one the many characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010, which helps to ensure that no one faces discrimination or is treated differently because of their gender.

Maternity leave – which protects the employment rights of women while they are taking time off to care for a new baby – was introduced in the UK in 1975, as part of the Employment Protection Act, and was further extended in 1993 to include all working women

Furthermore, as of 2017 any business with 250 or more employees also must publish its gender pay gap – the difference in average earnings between women and men – with a view to further driving equality.

These legislative changes demonstrate that much has changed over the years, but it is widely accepted that there is still more that needs to be done to level the playing field between male and female employees.

Most recently the subject of menopause, the impact that associated symptoms, and what employers should do to support their workers, has become a key area of focus.

Here Katie Ash, head of employment law at Banner Jones, which has signed the Wellbeing Of Women’s Menopause Workplace Pledge, talks about what employers need to know if they have a member of staff who is experiencing menopause symptoms that are affecting their work.

According to the charity Wellbeing of Women, women make up nearly half of the UK workforce, but around 900,000 have quit their job because of the menopause. That’s a truly eye-opening statistic, and so it is hardly surprising that we have seen an increase in enquiries on this matter of late.

After all, it is a natural stage of life that is going to affect around 50% of us at some point, including women, trans people and intersex people.

While the symptoms of menopause do vary from person to person, for many it can be a difficult and stressful time, with some people experiencing both physical as well as emotional changes that can have a significant impact on their ability to continue working as normal.

It is therefore really important that employers are aware of the issues that affect people experiencing the menopause matter and that it is dealt with in a sensitive way – not only because that is the right thing to do, but also in line with the Equality Act 2010 which protects workers against discrimination.

While menopause itself is not a protected characteristic, sex is, and so any employee or worker who is treated less favourably as a result of any associated symptoms could bring a claim against their employer if they feel they have been treated less favourably as a result.

That means menopause symptoms should not factor into any decision made relating to, for example, promotions or redundancies.

Equally, as with any ongoing mental or physical illness, employers should look at any reasonable adjustments that can be made – either to the working pattern, location or role related tasks – to remove any disadvantage that the employee might experience because of it.

For example, something as simple as a more relaxed dress code, more flexible work times or more regular breaks, or even simply moving a workspace so that it is closer to better ventilation, might make a real difference.

One of the most effective ways to both prepare for any such situation, or to manage the matter once it arises, is to keep the lines of communication open. Providing training to managers to ensure they are equipped to offer support will also provide reassurance and ensure that any conversation is dealt with appropriately.

If an employee feels that they have the support of the team around them, they are far more likely to open up about the challenges they are experiencing and, as a result, to discuss potential ways to manage or mitigate those issues – including mental health conditions linked to increased stress, such as anxiety or depression.

Of course, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 also plays an important role here, as it states that an employer must do what it can to ensure the health, safety and welfare of everyone at work. A failure to comply can have very serious consequences for businesses, including fines.

If someone is struggling as a result of their symptoms, and that is compromising their safety or wellbeing, or the safety of others, an employer needs to take steps to address it.

Again, an open dialogue with employees which allows them to raise concerns about their physical or mental health will help, especially if you can demonstrate that procedures are in place to help them continue to do their job.

Employment law is constantly changing and dealing with HR and employment law issues can be one of the most difficult factors in running a business or organisation.

Office Job Woes: 5 Tips to Prevent Lower Back Pain

If you’re among the many people working on an office job, you can probably relate to how it feels like after being seated on that same office chair for eight to nine hours every day. The nature of your job may sound convenient, considering that you’re only sitting and not doing any hard labor, but you’re still prone to experience health issues. And the most prominent health issue among office workers is lower back pains.    

Thankfully, lower back pains are treatable and preventable through habit changes and improvements in your workplace. For your guide, here are five tips to prevent lower back pains when you’re at work.    

1. Practice Good Posture  

Maintaining proper posture is very important in preventing lower back pains. Poor posture can lead to back pains and chronic back problems in the future if you don’t correct it as early as possible. Thus, whenever you’re seated in your office chair, be mindful of your posture at all times. Here are some tips on how to maintain proper posture:  

  • Place your back against the chair’s backrest.  
  • Make sure your neck and head are directly aligned just above your shoulders.  
  • Your feet should be flat on the ground and never cross your legs, no matter how tempting it is.  
  • Your shoulders should be back and square from the monitor.  
  • You can use a footrest to maintain your knees at a 90-degree angle.  
  • Push your chair closer to your desk to keep your arms parallel to your spine.  

Most importantly, keep your body relaxed while you’re sitting in a proper posture. If back pains persist, see a professional physiotherapist in Brisbane or any physiotherapy clinics within Australia to help alleviate and manage the pain.  

2. Create An Ergonomic Workspace  

You may not notice how poor your sitting posture is when working eight hours a day since you’re preoccupied with what you’re doing. Thus, to keep your proper posture steady and prevent lower back pains, you need to change your work environment by using chairs, desks, and monitors that are adjustable according to your height.   

For instance, place the frequently-used office tools within your arm’s reach. Save yourself from straining or stretching your back just to reach the telephone or grab your pens. Also, keep the computer mouse and keyboard close to you. As for your computer monitor, adjust its height to your eye level to keep you from unconsciously tilting your head which might cause back and neck pains. 

3. Invest In the Right Office Chair 

Your office chair also plays a vital role in maintaining a proper sitting posture. If you often experience lower back pains, that may be a sign to upgrade your office chair. Select an office chair with an adjustable backrest, height, and armrests. This way, it’ll be easier for you to adjust it according to your sitting height.  

It’s also crucial that you get a chair with lumbar support. This feature will encourage the proper curvature of your lower back to minimize pressure and tension. If you can’t find a chair with lumbar support, you can use a small pillow and place it behind your back to maintain proper posture.   

4. Execute Movements Properly 

Besides poor sitting posture, back pains at work can also happen due to improper or incorrect movements you do at work. For instance, you may be lifting your printer using your back instead of your knees, or you could be walking while slouching. Thus, if you’re about to lift something heavy, bend your knees to pick it up instead of twisting your back. When walking around the office (or anywhere for that matter), keep your chin, back, and shoulders up. But before you walk, do some stretches first, especially if you’re from a sitting position for a long time.  

5. Take Short Breaks 

Taking short breaks can also help reduce lower back pains. If possible, set the alarm every hour to remind yourself to stand up and do stretches for 1-2 minutes before sitting down again and getting back to work. You can also use 5-10 minutes of your lunch break to walk around the park before going back to the office to give your body a quick exercise.  

Conclusion 

Besides attending corrective therapies, these tips will also help prevent lower back pains. Remember that prevention is always better than cure. Take the extra effort to take care of your body. Start making the necessary changes in your habits and your workspace to avoid experiencing back pains in the future.

The Future Minds of Psychology: How Overcoming Stigma Improves Access to Mental Health Care

The UK is more concerned with mental health than ever before. Charities and government programmes, such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, are addressing the stigma surrounding mental well-being. This, in turn, has encouraged an open conversation in the media, education, and healthcare.

This article will explore the possibility that overcoming stigma has also encouraged the future minds of psychology, thus strengthening the NHS and improving nationwide access to mental health care.

Addressing the mental health crisis

The UK government has taken steps to address the mental health crisis. In 2008, parliament introduced the Improve Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, which offers talking therapies to adults with anxiety and depression. IAPT has been extremely successful and is predicted to reach a staggering 1.9 million patients by 2023 and 2024.

There are many charities around the UK that have taken steps to combat discrimination surrounding mental health. Mind, along with Rethink Mental Illness, created a campaign to encourage honest conversations regarding mental health problems. It offers digital advice on how to support someone who is struggling and how to start difficult conversations. Since the launch of Time For Change, public attitudes towards mental health improved by 8.3%  between 2008–15.

Overcoming stigma in the media

Moreover, fictional television shows often serve to critique public perceptions of mental health. Girls (2012–17) introduced viewers to the devastating effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). BoJack Horseman (2014–20) masterfully blends comedy and depression through the internal monologue of the protagonist. And My Mad Fat Diaries (2013–15) portrays the relationship between teenagers and eating disorders. From American sitcoms to British teen dramas and cartoon horses, the media is more concerned with mental health than ever before.

Encouraging the future minds of psychology

Through public organisations and the media, more and more people have been introduced to the mental health crisis and are exploring ways they can help. With this in mind, could the rising support and public awareness of mental health be encouraging more students to study a psychology degree at university?

According to Google Trends data, the average number of monthly searches for psychology degrees was 69,540 as of October 2017. The average then surged to 99,020 monthly searches as of September 2021. This data depicts a rising interest in psychology degrees and suggests more students are choosing to embark on the course at university.

But why could this be?

There are endless benefits to studying psychology, including harnessing the skills to improve the lives of countless people. According to an undergraduate student at Heriot-Watt University, psychology enables students to make patients “understand that it’s ok sometimes to feel the way they are feeling. Just talk it through.”

Furthermore, as more and more students graduate with psychology degrees, the professional field has evolved. In fact, the average number of working psychologists in the UK has increased by 24% since 2014. To discover how this surge has affected the workforce, we contacted Samantha Byram, a qualified well-being practitioner with a first-class BA in Psychology:

“Psychology is continuously evolving to fit the current workforce. There are so many more opportunities to become a psychologist since I graduated in 2017. Now, we’re able to see patients with less severe symptoms, treating mental health at earlier stages of development with low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This allows me to equip more people with the skills to overcome depression and anxiety.”

Will the surge in psychology graduates solve the mental health crisis?

As the interest in psychology degrees grows and the professional field continues to evolve, the UK stands a better chance of tackling the current mental health crisis. Since the dawn of COVID-19, treatments for under 18s surged by 20% in 2020 compared to 2019, and the NHS is struggling to keep up with the growing demand for therapies. At present, there are 8 million people who cannot get access to mental health services and almost 50% of adults in England have suffered from mental health issues since the pandemic. However, with the increasing interest in psychology, it is likely that more students will graduate, and the NHS will continue to evolve. As a result, more people will be given access to life-changing mental health services.

The relationship between the UK and mental health is constantly evolving. Government programmes and public campaigns have encouraged an open discussion throughout the nation. This, along with wide coverage in the media, has begun to combat the stigma surrounding mental health. In turn, interest in psychology degrees has surged, and the professional field continues to grow. Therefore, the future minds of psychology are the shining hope for solving the growing mental health crisis in the UK.

How to Avoid Yoga-related Physical Injuries

Yoga is typically that kind of thing people might suggest to you if you’re having issues with anxiety, depression, and more. However, yoga has helped many people find inner peace through a specific art of exercise, where the most crucial part is to go at your own pace.

However, like any other exercise, yoga can make you prone to injuries if you do not understand the necessary preparations and poses. Exercise can be fun — especially yoga — but there are plenty of things to consider. Here are a few ways to ensure that you avoid yoga-related physical injuries.

 

Stretch, stretch, and stretch

When you see people getting ready for a jog, you’ll usually see them spend the first part of their routine stretching. Typically, anyone getting ready for intense exercise will do some stretching before the act, and the same thing goes for yoga. The exercises you’ll find in yoga might look tame in comparison, but they can be challenging for those who aren’t prepared for the different poses.

To help prepare you for the yoga routine, it’s always best to focus on proper stretching exercises, and the same thing goes for yoga instructors looking to avoid injuries. You can keep injuries to a minimum by focusing on stretching before the actual exercises.

 

The subtle impact of easing into a pose

There’s no need to push yourself into a pose if you’re uncomfortable, even if it might be considered easy by yoga standards. The fact of the matter is that it’s all about your personal growth, which means there’s no need to compete with anyone but yourself. That means not going too far and trying an advanced pose without the necessary preparation.

One thing that separates those who eventually succeed in their exercise goals and those who give up too early is that the latter typically don’t know how to pace themselves. They immediately go for a challenging pose and try to mimic it as accurately as possible — at the cost of their physical well-being. When it comes to yoga, it’s best to leave the ego at the door. Treat yourself right by taking things slowly.

 

How to avoid yoga-related injuries as an instructor

While instructors likely already know the ins and outs of keeping their students safe, it doesn’t mean that there’s no room for improvement. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and not everyone can handle the poses right away. It’s crucial to be patient while at the same time taking steps to help your business, such as having yoga insurance coverage to help avoid potential legal trouble. As stated above, taking things slowly is for the best, and yoga instructors who know how to pace their clients reap all the rewards.

 

Trying to avoid yoga-related physical injuries is much like trying to prevent injuries with exercise, in general. It’s all about learning to pace yourself while at the same time understanding that you don’t have to push yourself so hard to achieve your goals. Consistency is what’s important.

Do What This Neuroscientist Does Every Day for Good Brain Health in 2022

The brain is the command centre of the nervous system and is responsible for our thoughts, emotions, memory, movement and more, and is vital in preserving and activating every aspect of the body, both mental and physical.

There are several different ways to keep your brain healthy starting with a bottom-up approach (factors that change our biology) such as your immune system and hormones. A top-down approach (how you think) focuses on your belief systems, thought patterns, mind set and feelings. Thirdly environment and external factors (your environment) are important such as stress and life events, as well as factors that influence who we are today such as education, work, upbringing and relationships. Each of these three factors also influence each other and we can influence how our brain is wired and our brain’s health in a multitude of ways.

Neuroscientist and cognitive psychologist Dr Lynda Shaw explains what influences our brain and reveals what she does every day to make sure she maintains good brain health.

  1. Sleep is food for the brain. I prioritise sleep and try to wake up and go to sleep at roughly the same time every day and avoid screens at least one hour before bed to allow my brain to produce melatonin so I naturally fall asleep. As our bodies are resting, our brains stay highly active, doing necessary work processing emotions, memories and replenishing our minds for the next day. If you sleep poorly it affects every aspect of your life from what you eat to your mood and your physical and mental health.
  1. Exercise in all sorts of different ways. I try to do different types of exercise to work on different aspects of my physical and mental health including strength, balance, aerobic and flexibility through different exercises, classes and sports. By mixing it all up I hope to get a range of health benefits and improve my neuroplasticity which is my ability to learn, change and adapt.
  1. Check in with myself about how I am feeling. When I feel stressed, I consciously check in with myself about why I am feeling that way, can it be reframed in a different way, am I ruminating (having the same thought over and over), and I can break any unhelpful patterns. I check for limiting beliefs and try not to suppress my feelings even if that just means being conscious of them and letting them be with me for a few minutes. I also acknowledge that not all stress is bad and sometimes it helps us learn. I try to be kind to myself.
  1. Spend time with loved ones. My family means everything to me. Not only does spending time with loved ones help to reinforce valuable relationships, it maintains social bonds, boosts confidence and self-esteem and creates a sense of security. It even helps to improve communication and social skills. I have four young grandchildren (yes, I am an extraordinarily young Grandmother!) who I love to spend time with, though they do keep me on my toes! Being pack animals, humans rely on a strong social infrastructure for support during tough times, which is needed now more than ever, even if seeing them on a screen is the only option. Family, a loving partner or fabulous friends are all important and are my top priority every day.
  1. Fresh air maintains brain function. 20% of the oxygen we breath is used solely by our brain. Of course, we are breathing all of the time whether we are outside or in, but I make it my mission to spend at least 30 minutes a day outside and try to keep a window open at all times to allow a healthy flow of air through the room. Being in the fresh air improves my mood, concentration and helps me sleep better and often gives me thinking time.

How to Keep Your Business or Service COVID Secure In the Colder Months

We have been living in the COVID-19 pandemic for almost two years now. And although the situation has changed in the country as we understand more about the illness and introduce measures to reduce the spread of the disease, we are still needing to adapt the ways that we are living and working to reduce its spread.

With the advancement of the new Omicron variant, we are already seeing government rules being ramped up.

Ensuring that our businesses and services continue to function and be successful through the colder months is essential to making sure that the economy survives and prospers. Businesses need to adapt to be COVID secure to ensure that the virus does not spread easily.

During the warmer months, windows can be opened, helping to reduce the spread of the virus, but this is a lot more difficult in the British winter. With this in mind, businesses need to be able to make themselves COVID secure in other ways.

Well-Being First

It is important that you put your staff’s well-being at the front of every decision that you make about your business. You should consider their physical and mental health when you are making decisions and try to make sure that they are comfortable with any choices that you make.

Some businesses can offer working from home options if possible so that employees can avoid being around a lot of people both whilst they are at work, but also during their commute to and from work. Technology such as Zoom and Teams can be useful for this.

If you can encourage your employees to work from home, you could consider supporting them to buy office equipment for their home or by giving them financial support to pay for internet or electricity bills.

Social Distancing

We are all aware that COVID most successfully spreads through airborne particles. This is why social distancing is useful, giving a larger amount of space between people. If possible, try to place employees a minimum of two metres apart to help to facilitate social distancing. You could also consider creating more space by adding temporary extra office space – perhaps by customising a shipping container to enable your employees to spread out or sit separately.

Hand Hygiene and Masks

Practising good hand hygiene and wearing masks have always been an important weapon against the disease. It is recommended that you try to encourage these measures as much as you can in the workplace, especially during the winter. You could ask staff members to wear masks when not at their desks or provide hand sanitizer for them to use to help to reduce the risk of infection, for example. Some businesses have also installed extra sinks for handwashing in their premises and ruled for their staff to carry out regular COVID lateral flow tests as extra measures.

Ventilation

Ensuring that there is adequate ventilation is essential for good COVID safety. During the winter, however, it is much more difficult to have windows open. Although for some businesses, this might be possible, others need to consider other means of ventilation. Unfortunately, a regular air conditioning system does normally not provide adequate ventilation as it just circulates existing air, and a specific system that introduces fresh clean air is necessary.

It is difficult to know whether the space is adequately ventilated but you can get a good idea by using a Carbon Monoxide monitor to check where there is good and less good ventilation.

It is important to note that air quality and good ventilation can also be very beneficial in terms of productivity. The Harvard Business Review looked into the effect of air quality on workers and found that “breathing better air led to significantly better decision-making performance among our participants. We saw higher test scores across nine cognitive function domains when workers were exposed to increased ventilation rates, lower levels of chemicals, and lower carbon dioxide. The results showed the biggest improvements in areas that tested how workers used information to make strategic decisions and how they plan, stay prepared, and strategize during crises.”

Cleaning

Ensuring that your building is properly and regularly cleaned is also another important factor in making it COVID secure. You should consider ensuring that you regularly clean the surfaces that are often touched by employees (at a minimum of twice a day).

When it comes to protecting your employees from COVID-19, especially during the winter months, carrying out a risk assessment can be very useful. From this, it is possible to ascertain how well you are protecting them now and what you can do to improve this.

Regardless of the rules that are imposed on us by the government, it is important that businesses take some responsibility for their employees not only for their good but also to reduce staff absence. By implementing these measures where possible, you can begin to do this.

Colon Cancer: Startling Facts and Figures

Cancer is a global killer, and one of the major challenges we face in fighting it is that it can take many forms and thus be tricky to detect.
One of the more common and potentially challenging of these forms is colon cancer. Your best defence against it is knowledge of what to look for and an understanding of how dangerous it can be, so here are some facts and figures to bring you up to speed.

Lots of people are diagnosed each year

In the US alone over 100,000 people receive the news that they have colon cancer, which puts it at number 3 on the list of the most widespread cancers around.
Thankfully this figure has actually fallen over the past quarter-century, with improved screening processes and lifestyle changes helping to lessen the number of Americans who contract this disease.
One of the methods for detecting colon cancer sooner is a colonoscopy. And as this ultimate guide to colonoscopy procedures explains, this process is crucial in both diagnosing and preventing colon cancer cases.

Men and women face an almost equal risk

While certain forms of cancer are more common in men than women and vice versa, colon cancer is not picky about your gender.
Men have a marginally higher likelihood of contracting it over the course of a lifetime, with a 4.3% rate of occurrence compared with the 4% rate seen in women. This means that everyone who is eligible for screening should take advantage of this.

Deaths are increasing among younger patients

Thanks to the early detection and treatment of colon cancer discussed above, around 1.5 million people in the US are survivors of this disease.
Even so, over 50,000 people still die from its effects annually, and an increase in fatalities has been recorded among the under-55s, in spite of a downward trend overall when every age group is factored in.

Risk factors are varied

As well as making use of screening services, it is sensible to be savvy when it comes to the factors which put you at greater risk of contracting colon cancer.
As with many forms of cancer, a lack of physical exercise in addition to being overweight or obese will place you in a higher risk group.
Diet is also relevant in this case, as if you eat a lot of pork, beef and lamb, as well as meats that have been heavily processed during manufacturing, your digestive system will be exposed to more carcinogens over the years.
Smoking and drinking alcohol should also be taken into account when calculating how likely it is that colon cancer will arise in a person. Minimizing your intake or completely quitting either of these activities will prolong your life for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is preventing colon cancer.
Pre-existing conditions are associated with colon cancer as well, with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), type 2 diabetes and a host of other issues included in this list. Speaking with a physician to get a better idea of your risk rates based on your own medical history, as well as that of your family members, is sensible.

Wrapping up

Colon cancer can be a destructive force, and the figures mentioned above might startle you if you were unaware of how widespread and fatal it is in the US.
However, there is also plenty of positive news to take away with you. So long as you get screened and do not procrastinate on seeking treatment if you experience abdominal pain or rectal bleeding, then you will have less to fear from this disease.

Ways to Curb Period Pain

By Harman Bhamra at Express Pharmacy

As many as 90% of women experience symptoms during their period, with some reporting mild discomfort and others experience severe and debilitating pain. As period pain is common and an expected part of the monthly cycle, it can be difficult to know when our symptoms are something to worry about.

Below, Harman Bhamra from Express Pharmacy outlines the most common period symptoms and explain when they could suggest an underlying health condition.

Cramps

Cramps are a frequent symptom of period pain, with stomach cramps being the most common, as during your period your uterus contracts to help get rid of its lining. While a common and expected symptom of a period, stomach cramps can be at best uncomfortable but at worst debilitating. For milder cramps, try taking anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen. Ibuprofen helps reduce the production of prostaglandins and can ever help reduce heavier bleeding.

Another way to curb period cramps is to apply heat onto the source. “Whether it’s a hot water bottle on your stomach, or soaking in a warm bath, heat has been scientifically proven to act as a natural method of pain relief,” Bhamra explains. “Heat works in a similar way to ibuprofen as it reduces inflammation and helps the muscles relax.”

While cramps are common, they should not stop you from living your normal life. If your cramps require days off work, spent in bed or even leave you unable to move or concentrate on anything else, then this could be a sign of something more sinister. Endometriosis is the second most common gynecological condition in the UK and is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women, yet it takes on average 7.5 years to get a diagnosis. “The reason for this long time is because the symptoms are very similar to typical period symptoms, especially tummy and lower back cramps, however endometriosis sufferers experience this much more intensely,” Bhamra explains.

Headaches

Headaches in women, especially migraines are exceptionally common during PMS. “Headaches and migraines are caused by hormone changes within the body as natural estrogen levels drop as the menstruation starts and are commonly known as ‘menstrual migraines,’” Bhamra notes. “The symptoms of menstrual migraines include headache pain and include light sensitivity and dizziness.”

Similarly with cramps, taking anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen helps reduce the inflamed area and can alleviate migraine symptoms. If your headache reduces your quality of life then you must visit a GP who will be able to prescribe you anti-migraine medications, such as Triptan medicines which reverses the changes in the brain which causes migraines. 

Fatigue or trouble sleeping

Fatigue on your period is common as your progesterone levels drop as you begin to bleed. Although common, this can have a knock-on effect on various aspects of your life, especially with your mood. To help sleep at night and reduce fatigue during the day, try and avoid your caffeine consumption, as having caffeine in your system prevents deep sleep.

If you find you are extremely tired particularly during your period but perhaps during your entire menstrual cycle, then it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Anemia is an iron deficiency and common with menstruation as heavy periods cause a significant amount of blood loss. “Identify how you feel after sleeping, as many tend to still experience severe exhaustion even after having a full night’s rest,” Bhamra advises. “If you notice you are feeling tired all the time, regardless of what you have done, then try and increase the amount of iron in your diet. Vitamin C, seafood and beans can help boost the amount of iron in your system.”

Breast tenderness

Breasts tend to feel sore and uncomfortable during your period, caused by the significant drop of hormones in your system, in fact breast pain is usually linked to periods. Bhamra advises “to help ease symptoms around this time, take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help ease the breast ache and make sure you wear a properly fitted bra, as ill-fitting bras can worsen pain and encourage neck and shoulder pain with poor posture.”

While tenderness is a common problem, if you notice the skin on your breast has dimpled, or there is a hard lump which does not move around, then you must visit your GP urgently, as this could be a sign of something more serious.

Skin breakouts

As during the menstruation phase your estrogen and progesterone levels drop significantly, triggering your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, or oil, which can cause more breakouts. “The level of oiliness which your skin experiences can differ as it depends on your skin type,” Bhamra explains. “Those with naturally dry skin may not notice their skin feeling oilier, whereas those with oily skin may feel overwhelmed with how oily their skin becomes.”

Oilier skin during menstruation shouldn’t be much of an issue, as it is causes by the hormonal drop. There are natural lifestyle changes which can help reduce the amount of oil your skin produces, for example limiting your sugar intake has been proven to help reduce acne. You should see a doctor if you experience oily and acne prone skin with other symptoms, such as irregular periods or excessive facial hair as this may be a sign of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS.)

PCOS is a hormonal disorder which causes enlarged ovaries and small cysts to form on the ovaries. While a common disorder, affecting 1 in 10 women in the UK, PCOS can affect fertility if left untreated. If you suspect you may have PCOS, visit a GP who will treat the hormonal imbalance and prescribe you medications which will best suit your symptoms.

Experience the Life of a Medical Student with a Medicine Summer School

For many young people, attending medical school, studying medicine, and becoming a doctor are lifelong dreams. Medicine is an esteemed and highly rewarding career that comes with the added perks of being well paid and being a job in which you save lives for a living.

However, deciding to train as a doctor is a big decision that requires careful consideration given the amount of time and commitment demanded by the training. Medical school lasts five years at university level, followed by another two years of a foundation programme, and then many years of specialist training after that.

So when you apply to study medicine, medical schools want to see that you are dedicated and have the passion required for such a demanding role. So how can you know if medical school is definitely the right decision for you?

Thankfully, there are now medicine summer schools at some of the top universities and medical schools in the world. We are going to take a look at what these schools involve, who they are for, and where you can find them.

What is a medicine summer school?

A medicine summer school is a programme that provides introductory courses for prospective medical students who are deciding if they want to pursue medicine as a future career. The schools range from taster days to fortnightly residencies in university halls that offer the chance to fully experience life as a medical student.

Some medicine summer school courses give the students the opportunity to spend time living and studying at some of the most famous educational institutions in the world, including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Attending a medicine summer school is also a great opportunity to boost a CV or university application with evidence of study and commitment to the subject. So the summer school will ultimately also help with the admissions process. Whether you ultimately choose to study medicine or not, a medicine summer school offers a life changing experience that you will remember forever.

So let’s take a look at some of the medicine summer schools on offer.

Medical School Council Summer Schools

The Medical Schools Council (MSC) runs both residential medicine summer schools and online medicine summer schools. Their medicine summer schools offer fully funded placements for students in year 11 and year 12 from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine. You can check their eligibility criteria and find out how to apply on their website.

The MSC residential programmes include practical sessions in laboratories and hospitals, workshops and discussions with current medical students, lectures and introductory courses led by medical academics and practising doctors, and online sessions as well as independent study projects. The students stay in university accommodation to get the full experience of what life is like as a medical student.

The MSC residential programmes
  • Leicester Medical School.
  • Imperial College London.
  • Three North West Medical Schools – Lancaster Medical School, Edge Hill University Medical School, and University of Liverpool Medical School.
  • Exeter medical school.
The MSC online medicine summer school

The MSC also run medical summer schools that are delivered online. These courses aim to offer students introductory content to studying medicine and demonstrate what is expected of medical students at university level.

The MSC online programmes include:

  • The London Medical School’s Online Summer Programme.
  • Hull York Medical School’s Online Year 11 Summer School.

 

Oxford Royale Academy Medicine Summer Schools

Oxford Royale Academy (ORA) run a variety of summer programmes in the UK and the US, including medicine summer schools at the world famous Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. As well as the study programme, the medicine summer schools also include full accommodation in the dormitories of the universities and three meals a day, which gives the students a window into university life.

Attendees are part of a diverse cohort of prospective medical students from all over the world. On the weekends, the students are taken on cultural excursions to many of the surrounding highlights of their destination.

There are different areas explored across the various courses such as experimental psychology, medical research, and the study of diseases. Class sizes are kept deliberately small to encourage engagement and learning retention. Classes are led by expert practitioners and academics with considerable experience and professional knowledge, and take place in the tutorial rooms of famous colleges, university labs, simulation centres, and research facilities.

The Oxford Royale Academy programmes provide students with opportunity to learn key clinical skills while truly experiencing the life of an Oxbridge medical student.

 

University of Bristol Medicine Summer School

The Sutton Trust runs a number of summer schools at the University of Bristol in many different academic disciplines, including medicine. The Bristol medicine summer school lasts one week and takes place on the campus, with students staying in the university halls.

The summer school is free for participants, though they must apply for a place, and comes with a guaranteed interview at the end should the student choose to apply to study medicine at Bristol once their experience is over.

Students attend a combination of lectures and practical sessions and are mentored both by current undergraduate students and by experienced medical professionals and academics.

In addition to a packed study schedule in which students learn key skills in basic medicine, students are also able to take part in a wide range of social activities that offer an insight into what life is like in the city and a chance to explore the surrounding area.

Medicine Summer Schools Abroad

Atlantis

Atlantis run a range of programmes across Europe that offer students the chance to shadow practising doctors. Students can shadow doctors for up to 20 hours a week in a number of different departments in Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.

Breakfast and accommodation are included and a range of activities are set up for students to enjoy when they are not in the hospitals. Students are encouraged to practice the local language before they arrive, but speaking the language is not a definitive requirement.

Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Georgetown University sits in northwest Washington D.C. The medical school runs summer programmes that range from one week to four weeks long.

The courses are for students aged 13 and above who are considering a future in STEM, medical research, pharmaceuticals or medical school.

The course is research based and teaches the processes that researchers use to formulate, conduct, and evaluate the evidence they gather. Students are tasked with developing their own study using professional methods.

The programmes are, for the time being, online and are offered at different stages throughout the year.

Keeping Your Elderly Loved Ones Safe Through the Winter

As the shorter and darker winter months slowly replace the brighter summer days, it is only normal to feel your mood dampening. This is particularly true for the elderly, who tend to stay indoors more than usual to avoid catching a cold and spending weeks in bed with a high temperature. Sadly, it is estimated that 20,000 more people aged over 65 pass away in the winter compared to any other time of the year.

That said, not only does the winter season negatively affect the physical well-being of our parents and grandparents, but it also has a significant impact on their mental health. With fewer people around to hug and chat to, they may find it challenging to keep their chin up.

From staying connected to being warm indoors, this article will outline a few tips about how you can keep an eye on the mental and physical health of your elderly relatives and friends this winter.

Keep them warm indoors

Elderly people generally take longer to warm up and tend to lose heat more rapidly. Indeed, blood circulation slows down as our bodies grow older. Therefore, wrapping up warm is fundamental for an older person.  

Apart from relying on their central heating, which may sometimes represent a costly solution, there are other alternative ways in which the elderly can keep warm.

A hot water bottle, for instance, is the perfect option for when they are ready to snuggle down under the covers. It is ideal for those who do not want to sleep with the heating on but fear they may end up feeling cold during the night.

Not only is it a great bed companion, but the hot water bottle can also be used throughout the day. It can rest on their stomach and keep them warm while they watch television or take on the challenge of a crossword.

When moving from the bedroom to the living room, or vice versa, it is easy to be caught out by the dip in temperature. To combat this, indoor heaters provide an ideal solution. Easy to wheel from room to room, indoor heaters come with an array of portable advantages. With a handy indoor heater that follows them around the house, your elderly loved ones will be safe from sudden cold snaps.

Make sure, however, that they are maintained properly. In order to do so, it is recommended to book an appointment with an engineer on a biannual basis to check up on the heater’s state.

Keep their spirits up

An Age UK research shows that every month, over one million elderly people do not get the chance to speak to a friend, neighbour, or even family. In the winter months, when older people have limited opportunities to get out and about, their feeling of loneliness can increase severely.

Therefore, a telephone call can do the world of good to their mental well-being. Indeed, the elderly are not always bothered about receiving help with their housework, but they truly cherish a nice chat with someone. Consider popping over for a cup of tea from time to time too.

Also, if your elderly friend or relative is feeling particularly lonesome, why not introduce them to Silver Line? This charity has a 24/7 phone line that helps people stay connected, with volunteers calling in once a week to have a good old heart-to-heart talk. Moreover, it can also help them get in contact with local services to meet other people and make new friends.

Keep them active

There is no hiding that a daily dose of exercise is crucial for us all – the elderly included. In truth, while some may still maintain a moderate physical ability, others may find it tricky to even manage the stairs. But certain types of exercise can accommodate pretty much anyone.

As outdoor strolls become more prohibitive due to the adverse winter conditions, it is important to find ways in which older people can keep active inside their homes. Encourage them to get up from their armchair every so often to put the kettle on. While not too strenuous, this ‘task’ will ensure that they spend some time on their feet.

If walking from room to room is a challenge in itself, simply shaking and moving their arms and legs can help. Moreover, there are plenty of exercise videos on YouTube for seniors to watch and have a go at. Some include simple sessions that they can try from the comfort of their sofas. This way, they will enjoy some all-important physical activity without tiring themselves out too much!

The winter months can be demoralising for a variety of reasons, and even more so for the elderly, as they may end up spending a lot of time without seeing or talking to anyone. We hope that this article will help you find ways to keep good care of your parents, grandparents, and ‘wiser’ friends, from ensuring that they are warm indoors to inciting them to stay as active as possible.

Improving Customer Service in Health and Human Services Through Technology

Customer service is one of the most important departments in the daily operations of every business today, especially in the health and human services industry. With poor customer service, health and human service providers would find it difficult to acquire new customers or even retain the ones that they currently have.

Most service providers fail to invest enough time and money in the enhancement of their customer service departments, forgetting that up to 78% of customers leave transactions due to poor customer service. This leads to loss of business and might have a negative impact on an entire organization.

Today, health and human service providers are trying as much as they can to stay up to date with technological innovations. These innovations are playing a major role in how they improve their customer service. The smart ones are offering modern and convenient services that their customers need and connect with.

There are different ways health and human service providers are connecting with customers through technology, key among them being;

Using the Right Human Services Software

Technology has made it possible for health and human service providers to build software applications that address the requirements of their customers. These applications can gather information from the customers and through machine learning and artificial intelligence, predict any changes in the demands of the customers.

However, health and human service providers need to make sure that they are using the right human services software. This can be achieved through companies such as Radicle Health that build functional, modern, and easy-to-use software applications. With such software, health and human service providers will be able to improve customer service and make sure that they acquire and retain all their customers.

Employing the Right Modes of Communication

Technology has made sure that there are multiple ways through which organizations can communicate with their customers. This leaves health and human service providers with no option but to ensure that they have employed the right modes of communication when it comes to their customers.

With this, health and human service providers should use different modes of communication depending on what their customers prefer. For instance, you will find that older people communicate through email and phone calls while the younger ones use social media applications and messaging. Others prefer having a live chat with a customer care agent.

Customer Service Availability

Today, the traditional customer service that operated during the day from 9 am to 5 pm is no longer effective. Organizations that are still working this way have been left behind and are losing customers every time a customer cannot access a customer care agent whenever they need to.

Technology has made sure that health and human service providers can be available anytime throughout the day and night. With different forms of communication, such as social media platforms, forms, emails, phone calls, chat boxes, and SMS messaging among others, health and human service providers have the capacity to be available across the world and at all times. This has helped improve customer service.

Social media platforms

Social media platforms are one of the most amazing technological innovations playing a major role in the customer service industry. Today, health and human service providers are able to connect with their customers anytime without any issue.

The providers can create webinars, blog posts, how-to guides, infographics, and social media posts addressing different things that their customers need and connecting with them through the platforms.

They can also address any concerns through comments on their posts, limiting one on one interaction between the customers and themselves.

Creating Customers Who are Self-Reliant

Finally, technology has made it possible for health and human service providers to create self-reliance among their customers. There are people who find it difficult to seek help. Such people like learning things on their own.

To improve customer service, health and human service providers should use technology to create avenues through which their customers can access all the information that they need. They can create mobile applications and functional websites with all the information that their customers might need when accessing their services.

With such innovations, health and human service providers are going to have exemplary customer service departments that will contribute a lot to the success of their business operations.

5 healthy ways to include cannabis into your diet

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Marijuana is a beautifully complex and full-spectrum plant, there’s no way around that. Over the past decade, while cannabis became a substance that’s no longer socially rejected and it grew into the hearts of even those who once were completely against its use, the doors were opened for this plant to prove the wide range of benefits it can provide. As many countries have made way for scientific studies and research on cannabis to be led, everyday new uses are found for these plants’ products.

In the beginning, cannabis was mostly associated with its benefits from the medical field, either for its anti-inflammatory or analgesic properties, but there’s so much more to marijuana use than that. And while smoking weed may not be the healthiest of them consumption methods, there are indeed other healthy ways of ingesting it and benefiting from its great qualities. Here are 5 different ways in which including cannabis to your diet can result in amazing health benefits that don’t involve smoking it.

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1. Vaping Cannabis
One of the best ways of consuming cannabis and feeling the effects almost immediately is by vaporizing it. When it comes to vaporizers, there are oil or concentrate vaporizers and dry herb vapes, so feel free to try out which option you like best.
Although you’re not necessarily eating it, this way you’ll be able to note CBD \’s great health effects, such as better skin health, lower stress levels and more.

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2. Adding Fresh Herbs and Seeds to Your Recipes
While eating skittles everyday may not be the best for a healthy diet, perhaps adding zkittlez seeds to your favorite recipes is a better choice. By doing so, you’ll definitely not feel the usual high associated with marijuana, but you’ll get the benefits that eating it provides. Marijuana seeds, just like many other seeds and nuts are a great source of fiber, vitamins and healthy fatty acids. Eat raw cannabis or seeds and you’ll also get amazing antioxidant benefits.

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3. Eating Edibles
Another great way of adding cannabis to your diet is eating edibles, of course!
Not only edibles taste great, and there are infinite options when it comes to recipes, but they also skip the negative effects of smoking. Besides, you can actually get high from consuming edibles, if that’s what you’re aiming for, or overall dodge that by consuming CBD-infused edibles. And furthermore, edibles provide a much longer effect than any of the other cannabis products, given that they’re absorbed through our digestive system.

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4. Adding cannabis oil to your daily routine
Cannabis oil is one of the most versatile cannabis consumption methods, and one of the healthiest too. Adding canna oil to your salads, tea, or even applying it directly onto your skin is already enough for it to start working its magic. Besides, making your own cannabis oil at home is extremely easy, and you can even experiment a little and add other complementary herbs such as lavender or chamomile to enhance its use.

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5. Making Marijuana Infused Smoothies
One last great way of adding cannabis to your diet is by making green smoothies with it!
If you’re searching for good detox recipes, why not sparkle some fresh weed buds to your favorite smoothie recipes. Besides, contrary to common belief, consuming marijuana could actually help you lose weight. How come, you wonder. Well, there’s a component in the weed family called THCv, which is, lets say, one of THC’s cousins. This dude is not as famous as its cousin but it definitely should be. Turns out, this component is found in raw cannabis, which is marijuana that hasn’t yet been curated, and again, which means that THC hasn’t yet been fully evolved. Shortly explained, THC comes after buds are stored for a short period of time, drying and curating. But, if you consume it raw, shortly after the plant is harvested, you’ll be ingesting the raw form of cannabis compounds, including among them, THCV. This component isn\’t; only great for aiding in weight loss but it also showed to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD patients, as well as ease panic attacks. Furthermore, this compound can help with tremors, improve motor control and slow brain damage associated with Alzheimer\’s disease.

And that’s it for now! Time to try out some of these alternative cannabis consumption methods and find out which one you enjoy the most!

Everything You Need To Know About Head MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging is used as a first-line diagnostic method for injuries, diseases, and a variety of other conditions. Continue reading this article for what to expect in an MRI for the head and the brain

The brain is the most complex organ of the human body because of its connection to all of the body’s systems. That is why the examination of the brain is carried out using the most high-tech diagnostic devices. For example, magnetic resonance imaging is considered to be one of the best methods of brain diagnostics. It is characterized by painlessness and has a very short list of contraindications. Importantly, MRI does not involve radiation exposure, which is extremely important for such a delicate and sensitive organ as the brain.

What is an MRI and how is it done?

Magnetic resonance imaging is a method of research that allows you to get a detailed picture of the state of human organs without internal interference.

To know how to prepare for a head MRI, it is necessary to understand the intricacies of the procedure. During the examination, the magnetic field of the machine affects the hydrogen atoms present in the body. Tomograph sensors record pulses that are modeling images of the examined organ with the help of software.

MRI allows early detection of brain diseases, detection of neoplasms and inflammatory processes, visualization of vessels, etc. With the use of a contrast agent, it is possible to measure the tumor, determine the exact localization of the focus, and the presence of metastasis.

The most common application of an MRI is for examining the spine and central nervous system. The method allows you to accurately assess the structure of the organs, identify existing pathologies, tumors, traumatic changes, etc.

Magnetic resonance imaging is absolutely painless and safe, has no adverse effects on the body, so it can be performed repeatedly, even on pregnant women and children.

Head MRI indications

Magnetic resonance imaging is one of the highly effective diagnostic procedures often used to assess the condition of the brain and cerebral vessels. Major indications for MRIs include patient complaints such as:

  • Frequent and/or severe headaches
  • Fainting and/or dizziness
  • Tinnitus
  • Memory impairment
  • Numbness and weakness in the arms or legs
  • Seizures
  • Impaired coordination and spatial orientation.

You should also make an appointment for an MRI scan if:

  • There is a head injury with a suspected concussion
  • There are diseases of the inner ear or eyes
  • There is suspicion of multiple sclerosis, inflammatory processes in the brain, vascular pathologies.

Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and head vessels is recommended once a year for preventive purposes. MRI can detect malignant tumours, inflammatory and vascular pathologies at an early stage.

Contraindications to MRI: absolute and relative

The method of magnetic resonance imaging is based on the use of high-frequency radio waves and high-power magnetic fields. The presence of electronic or metal objects in the patient’s body leads to distortions in the images, and as a result, the procedure will be useless. In addition, there is a risk that the magnet will change the position of the metal object in the body, resulting in internal bleeding. Therefore, if there are pins, artificial joints, dental implants, pacemakers, and similar objects in the patient’s body, magnetic resonance imaging is not performed.

There are a number of relative contraindications under which the tomography is performed if the risk to the patient is less than the potential benefit of the examination:

  1. The first trimester of pregnancy
  2. A patient weighing more than 120 kg
  3. Any tattoos on the body with iron in the dye – usually 20 years old tattoos or older.
  4. Chronic kidney disease

Preparing for a head MRI

As noted above, magnetic resonance imaging is an effective and safe examination of the body. In addition, this type of diagnosis requires almost no preparation, which distinguishes it from other options.

  • First of all, you need to select the medical centre where you will be examined. Among the many options choose the most suitable – MRI near you, with a wide range of services and positive feedback from customers.
  • Next, you should make sure that there are no metal or electronic elements in the body. You should remember if you have had any surgeries in your life—laparoscopic or neurosurgical surgeries in which metal clips may have been used. If you know that there is an implant in the body, but you don’t remember what material it is made of, tell the doctor this information and he will refer you for an X-ray.
  • Dress appropriately for the procedure. Do not take any gadgets with you. Choose clothes that don’t have metal buttons, zippers, or inserts. Women should carefully review their underwear for metal closures or boning. Some MRI clinics offer hospital shirts to eliminate the slightest risk of metal in the MRI scanner.
  • There is no need for a special diet before a head MRI. You can have breakfast and go to the examination at ease. The exception is contrast tomography: in order to alleviate the condition during the introduction of contrast and fasten its clearance, you should avoid eating and drinking 4-6 hours before the procedure. And after MRI scanning you should drink water as often as possible, in small portions.

When an MRI with contrast is needed

Usually, the characteristics of the MRI signal from different tissues allow clear distinguishing between normal and abnormal. But sometimes affected tissues look almost the same as healthy ones. This is especially common in cases of inflammation and some tumors. In order to increase the ability of the method to distinguish such pathologies, contrast enhancement is used.

Main indications for head MRI with contrast:

  • Tumors of the brain and spinal cord
  • Follow-up study after brain surgery
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Search for metastases to the brain
  • Determination of multiple sclerosis activity

How does the MRI procedure go?

The procedure itself is extremely simple: the patient is required to lie still during the entire examination. If this is not done, the images will show motion artifacts, which reduce the diagnostic value of the MRI scanning. The duration of the examination depends on the area and varies from 15 to 40 minutes. The use of contrast will add another 15 minutes to any procedure.

The MRI unit is quite noisy during the examination. For this reason, it is recommended to use special headphones – so the procedure will be more comfortable. In addition, music and the operator’s instructions are transmitted through them.

The patient may be asked to hold his/her breath or take a deep breath, tense his/her abdomen, etc.

Be sure to warn the medical staff if you have any contraindications to the examination. Inform them if you suffer from allergic reactions to medications, have had an injury or surgical intervention, or any chronic diseases.

It makes sense to take the images you received from past tests with you when you repeat the examination.

After completing the examination, you must wait 15-20 minutes until the interpretation of the images is completed.

Image Interpretation

The MRI examination allows obtaining a series of layer-by-layer images taken in steps of a couple of millimetres. In the course of decoding the images obtained, the radiologist examines the normal structure of the body, detects deviations from the norm, and identifies signs of a particular disease. Special attention is paid to the description of the pathology – location, size, nature, shape, and extent, connection with surrounding organs and tissues.

The images are analysed by a radiologist, who examines the obtained material and draws a conclusion. The results of the examination are sent to the attending physician. The patient can receive them in any form – printed or recorded on a disc, but many modern clinics offer a more convenient option – to receive the results in a personal online profile.

The high imaging speed of MRI combined with the absence of radiological burden on the body has made this method the most important one in brain research. In many cases, magnetic resonance imaging can serve as a first-line diagnostic method, i.e., it can be the only method that can answer all clinical questions.

5 Healthy Ways to Include Cannabis in Your Diet

Marijuana is a beautifully complex and full-spectrum plant, there’s no way around that. Over the past decade, while cannabis became a substance that’s no longer socially rejected and it grew into the hearts of even those who once were completely against its use, the doors were opened for this plant to prove the wide range of benefits it can provide. As many countries have made way for scientific studies and research on cannabis to be led, everyday new uses are found for these plants’ products.

In the beginning, cannabis was mostly associated with its benefits from the medical field, either for its anti-inflammatory or analgesic properties, but there’s so much more to marijuana use than that. And while smoking weed may not be the healthiest of them consumption methods, there are indeed other healthy ways of ingesting it and benefiting from its great qualities. Here are 5 different ways in which including cannabis to your diet can result in amazing health benefits that don’t involve smoking it.

1. Vaping Cannabis

One of the best ways of consuming cannabis and feeling the effects almost immediately is by vaporizing it. When it comes to vaporizers, there are oil or concentrate vaporizers and dry herb vapes, so feel free to try out which option you like best.
Although you’re not necessarily eating it, this way you’ll be able to note CBD’s great health effects, such as better skin health, lower stress levels and more.

 

2. Adding Fresh Herbs and Seeds to Your Recipes

While eating skittles every day may not be the best for a healthy diet, perhaps adding zkittlez seeds to your favorite recipes is a better choice. By doing so, you’ll definitely not feel the usual high associated with marijuana, but you’ll get the benefits that eating it provides. Marijuana seeds, just like many other seeds and nuts are a great source of fiber, vitamins and healthy fatty acids. Eat raw cannabis or seeds and you’ll also get amazing antioxidant benefits.

 

3. Eating Edibles

Another great way of adding cannabis to your diet is eating edibles, of course!
Not only do edibles taste great, and there are infinite options when it comes to recipes, but they also skip the negative effects of smoking. Besides, you can actually get high from consuming edibles, if that’s what you’re aiming for, or overall dodge that by consuming CBD-infused edibles. And furthermore, edibles provide a much longer effect than any of the other cannabis products, given that they’re absorbed through our digestive system.

 

4. Adding cannabis oil to your daily routine

Cannabis oil is one of the most versatile cannabis consumption methods and one of the healthiest too. Adding canna-oil to your salads, tea, or even applying it directly onto your skin is already enough for it to start working its magic. Besides, making your own cannabis oil at home is extremely easy, and you can even experiment a little and add other complementary herbs such as lavender or chamomile to enhance its use.

5. Making Marijuana-Infused Smoothies

One last great way of adding cannabis to your diet is by making green smoothies with it! If you’re searching for good detox recipes, why not sprinkle some fresh weed buds to your favorite smoothie recipes. Besides, contrary to common belief, consuming marijuana could actually help you lose weight. “How come?”, you wonder. Well, there’s a component in the weed family called THCv, which is, let’s say, one of THC’s cousins. This dude is not as famous as its cousin but it definitely should be. Turns out, this component is found in raw cannabis, which is marijuana that hasn’t yet been curated, and again, which means that THC hasn’t yet been fully evolved. Shortly explained, THC comes after buds are stored for a short period of time, drying and curating. But, if you consume it raw, shortly after the plant is harvested, you’ll be ingesting the raw form of cannabis compounds, including among them, THCV. This component isn’t; only great for aiding in weight loss but it also showed to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD patients, as well as ease panic attacks. Furthermore, this compound can help with tremors, improve motor control, and slow brain damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

And that’s it for now! Time to try out some of these alternative cannabis consumption methods and find out which one you enjoy the most!

The 2021/2022 Flu Season – All You Need to Know

By Qured’s Dr Kishan Vithlani

What is the flu and what are the main symptoms?

The flu is a common virus, typically in the population during the colder months. The flu is caused by the Influenza virus. It results in mainly upper respiratory symptoms, affecting the nose and throat, often causing a cough, sore throat, and a runny or blocked nose. It can sometimes cause lower respiratory symptoms which affects the lungs, causing shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. In addition to the above, it will also cause the symptoms which are common to nearly all viruses; fever, body aches and pains, tiredness and headaches.

Does the flu share symptoms with Covid?

It can be very difficult to distinguish between Flu and Covid based on symptoms alone. 

As they are both viruses, they both cause the common viral symptoms mentioned above in addition to symptoms that affect the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Although the viruses that cause both illnesses are highly contagious, Covid appears to spread more easily and can cause more serious illnesses. It has also been found that Covid appears to take longer before people show symptoms and they can be contagious for longer.

What was the impact of the flu last year?

In the 2020/21 season, there were extremely low levels of influenza across the UK, with an absence of the usual winter spike in rates. Compared to an average over the past 5 years, the most recent levels were at a record low throughout the flu season. This is due to the impact of national lockdowns, social distancing guidance, public health messaging regarding hand hygiene and infection control, and wearing of face coverings along with very little international travel. 

These measures were implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic but there was also a change in health behaviours that helped reduce the risk of getting the flu. One of the most effective changes in health behaviours to prevent flu was a record high uptake of flu vaccinations. However, due to this record low level of the flu, there is concern around the potential impact this may have on the 2021/22 flu season.  

What does this mean for the 2021/22 flu season?

Due to the very low flu infection rates over the past year, there has been very low virus-induced immunity from influenza strains. This means that we have not had a ‘top up’ of antibodies from natural infection and as a result, we may see more people become infected. In addition to this, we may also see more serious illness and hospitalisation rather than the usual mild illness that most of us have experienced in the past. This same concept applies to most of the other winter respiratory viruses but illness from flu can be reduced by early vaccination.

How does the flu vaccine work?

Flu vaccines work similarly to most other vaccines which is by causing the immune system to mount a response to it and subsequently produce antibodies. These antibodies will help to provide protection against the influenza viruses and therefore help reduce the risk of getting the infection or reduce the severity of the illness when infected. Once vaccinated it takes around two weeks for you to benefit from the vaccination. This is all very similar to that of the Covid vaccine. 

The flu vaccine is given annually as the influenza viruses constantly adapt by making small genetic changes and as a result, the new vaccines have to ensure protection is delivered for the most up to date strain. Vaccinations from previous years are unlikely to provide any protection against the new strains.  

Who should take the flu vaccine? Is it just older and vulnerable people who should take it, or this year should we all look to take the jab? 

Nearly everyone can benefit from having the flu vaccine. With the added risks from diminished immunity to flu from the lack of recent infection, it would be even more beneficial to be vaccinated.  This will provide a higher chance of keeping well in the presence of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses especially in the event of co-existing infections.  

There are however specific groups of people that are routinely encouraged to have a vaccine and are invited by their GP. This includes:

  • Children aged 2 to 11
  • Those aged 65 or over
  • Pregnant women
  • Those living in long-stay residential care homes
  • Carers
  • Health and social care workers
  • Those aged 6 months to 65 years in at-risk groups which includes people with the below chronic illnesses:
    • Respiratory diseases
    • Heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease
    • Neurological disease including learning disability
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases causing immunosuppression
    • Splenectomy, sickle cell anaemia or coeliac disease
    • Obesity with a BMI of 40 and above

When should we take it to have maximum impact?

The flu vaccine should be taken before outbreaks of flu start. The peak of flu in the UK is usually in November and therefore vaccinations can be taken from September onwards. 

5 Dental Treatments to Reduce the Gap Between Teeth

A gap between two teeth is known as a diastema. It most commonly occurs between upper front teeth, but a gap can appear between any two teeth. There are various reasons why gaps can appear, such as having a mismatch in the size of your jawbone and teeth or regularly sucking your thumb. If you have a gap between your teeth, the good news is there are several dental treatments that can reduce it.

1. Retainers

While retainers are commonly used for aligning teeth, they can also be effective in reducing a gap between two teeth. If you have a gap because of shifting in your teeth, using retainers could be the best solution. Retainers are one of the least expensive options for reducing teeth gaps but it takes a lot longer to see results compared to other treatments.

2. Invisalign Braces

While adult braces can help to reduce the gap between your teeth, they can feel rather invasive, so a better option is invisible braces. Furthermore, these days, you can get invisible braces delivered directly to your door and there is no need for x-rays and dentist appointments. There are lots of different on the market, so be sure to compare different ones to find the right solution for you.

3. Dental Bonding

The fastest and easiest way of reducing the gap between your teeth is to proceed with dental bonding. The procedure involves a resin, which matches your teeth’s colour, being applied and shaped to give a natural look. The resin is then hardened with UV light so that it bonds with the teeth. Dental bonding can completely eliminate the gap between your teeth. The only drawback of dental bonding is it is not a permanent fix. The effects wear off over time due to eating and brushing, so you will need repeat treatment at some point.

4. Veneers

While applying veneers is also a quick way of closing the gap between your teeth, the procedure takes more planning and work than dental bonding. While using veneers is not a permanent solution, the results of the procedure can last for many years. A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain. It is shaped and coloured in a lab to match your teeth before being placed and bonded over your teeth to cover up the gap. Once the veneer is bonded, it is very sturdy. One thing you should know about the veneer procedure is it is impossible to reverse.

5. Implants

If you have a gap between your teeth due to a missing tooth, you could consider getting an implant. Implants are paired with dental crowns and bridges to fill the gap in your smile. Implants can be either permanent or removable, and they can easily be coloured to match the shade of your teeth. The implant procedure involves inserting an implant tooth into your gum or bone, so only highly skilled dentists can perform the task.

A Word of Caution

Some people try to correct the gaps in their teeth themselves by using dubious methods like wrapping elastic bands around two teeth. Never do that! Using such methods is incredibly dangerous and could lead to irreparable damage. And when there are affordable options like invisible braces available, there really is no need to take matters into your own hands. Carefully consider the above dental treatments for gap reduction to find the best solution for you. It could also be worthwhile talking to a dentist to explore the options in more detail.

The Historic Andes Food Storage Techniques Fuelling Modern Day Nutraceuticals

A food storage technique over 700 years old is at the heart of the way we continue to process world’s favourite foods, build safe medicines and prepare for emergencies. As the technology faces a resurgence due to global warming and changing diets, why don’t we know more about freeze drying? Diana Morris from European Freeze Dry explores its history and bright future.

Food processing techniques are generally thought of as new modern methods to ensure food lasts longer, producing higher yields and providing additional nutrients. For most food processors, including European Freeze Dry, these techniques take place using modern equipment with highly detailed monitoring and testing facilities.

However, for freeze drying, its roots go back hundreds of years, before the age of high-tech systems or climate-controlled logistics. The technique traces back to the Incan Empire in the foothills of the Andes, where the potatoes which grew in the harsh climate were too bitter to eat fresh and didn’t store well for the long journey back to settlements.

By learning to expose the potatoes to the freezing overnight temperatures and drying them out during sunlight hours, the result was a dehydrated, more palatable potato which the Incans could transport and store ready for consumption for years. The final product, called chuño, can still be found in traditional meals around Peru and Bolivia to this day.

Today, coffee is the most well-known freeze dried product but the list of consumables which benefit from the technique to seal in flavours and increase their longevity is almost endless.

Modern technology has allowed for much greater precision in applied temperatures, greatly increasing the variety of products which can benefit from the technique and extending the benefits to pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products.

Technology retains structure, taste and nutritional value

In our freeze drying facilities in Preston, UK and Kirke Hyllinge, Denmark, we process hundreds of tonnes of freeze dried ingredients every year, from meat and fruit products, through to seasonings, ready meals and healthcare products.

Freeze dried products start with a frozen item, which is then loaded into a pressured chamber with a vacuum applied. Under the vacuumed conditions, neither ice or water can exist and when a gentle controlled heat is applied the water leaves each item in a vapour trail which is then captured on an ice condenser at the rear of the chamber.

The process takes approximately 24 hours, carried out in a set of ‘chambers’ which can be controlled at various temperatures and time schedules depending on specific product requirements. Using modern monitoring methods, we can track the variety of heat and time needed which varies from a structure heavy item such as chicken and beef to soft fruits such as strawberries.

The result is a freeze dried product with all the water content removed, whilst retaining the look, structure, taste and nutritional value of the original. The items can then simply be rehydrated with water, sauces or any wet ingredient. In addition, the final product can also be milled or compacted into powders and tablets.

With virtually zero water content in the final processed product, freeze dried ingredients benefit from greater longevity at ambient temperatures. For some products, that can mean a shelf life of up to 25 years and potentially longer, without the need to add any artificial preservatives or additives.

Freeze drying moves beyond food to pharma

Indeed, boundaries are continuing to be pushed when it comes to freeze drying and how the technology can be applied to pharma and nutraceutical products.

First used as a method to maintain the viability and life of vital drugs such as penicillin during the Second World War, freeze drying can also offer great benefits in stabilising pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products.

Advantages of freeze drying also include the much-reduced potential for micro-organisms existing in such low amounts of water, ensuring that nutraceuticals can stay safe to consume over an extended time period.

We are constantly breaking new ground with our customers and bringing new ideas and products to market to support special dietary requirements and how the natural qualities of certain foods can provide health benefits, from adding a nutritional supplement to a diet, through to targeting more specific benefits such as aiding weight loss or cancer prevention.

Reliable food chains for an uncertain world

As our lives and diets change, the popularity of freeze dried products continues to grow with some investment analysts estimating a Compound Annual Growth Rate for the industry of up to eight per cent by 2026.

While freeze dried meals offer a nutritious meal which can be instantly rehydrated, the possibilities of the technology also allow for long-life products which can distributed and ready to eat in hostile environments, such as those threatened ever more so by climate change, disasters or famine.

As citizens prepare for a less certain food chain due to floods, fire and emergencies, more people are turning to a reliable food backup should the shelves run empty or in more drastic situations people find themselves isolated from food options.

Similarly, as we place an additional focus on the public health of our global society, a greater rise in natural medicines will rely on the rise of preventative and treatment healthcare products that have long life viability.

The Incas were undoubtedly ahead of their time, but not even they could have predicted the impact their potatoes would have on our modern world.

Healthy Eating on A Budget: Ingredients for an Affordable Diet

When you sit down at a Michelin-starred restaurant table, the fancy ambience hits you immediately. The waiter brings you an unpronounceable bottle of wine and hands you the first of a long series of miniature, sophisticated dishes that are rich in all sorts of nutritional properties. At the end of the pleasant experience, you are served with the saltiest of puddings: a hefty bill.  

Similarly, in the eyes of most people, healthy meals are often perceived as small portions of natural food that, while doing your body the world of good, will leave your piggy bank in tears. In truth, this is not necessarily the case.

We created a simple guide detailing how you can get on board with a diet without falling into financial despair, therefore debunking the myth for which healthy eating is an unaffordable practice.

 

‘Expensive’ is not synonymous with ‘better’

The temptation of buying a goji berry and spirulina smoothie or a fruit salad of exotic goods is real. Not only does it scream ‘naturalness’ from all sides, but it also provides the perfect shot to showcase your healthy lifestyle on social media.

However, there are many other alternatives that – although not very ‘Instragrammable’ – are cheaper and just as nutritious. A filling oatmeal breakfast or a glass of water, for instance, are inexpensive and serve the goal.

Of course, feel free to enjoy fancier health options from time to time. Make sure that they are seen as a treat rather than as the norm though.

 

Opt for local and seasonal products

While often overlooked and underestimated, this is possibly one of the best actions you can take to both spend less and eat healthier. In fact, by purchasing food that has grown and been picked close to your home, you are consuming more flavoursome products that have not been treated to survive the long journey to reach the supermarket. This means that it is more budget-friendly, as it does not need to travel several miles to be on your plate and is consequently a more sustainable option too.  

Moreover, consider buying seasonal products. In winter, for example, stock up on apples and beetroots, as they are cheaper and more nutritious this time of the year.   

 

Freeze or buy frozen

If you have overstocked your beetroot provisions, pop them in your freezer – they’ll be just as good when you start craving them all of a sudden on a sunny summer afternoon.

As a matter of fact, frozen fruit and vegetables are often underrated. Bags of frozen pre-chopped veggies tend to be cheaper in shops and are equally nutritious, as they have been picked at the peak of freshness and their nutritional properties remain intact.

 

Veg is cheaper than meat and fish

When at the checkout, you will realise that meat and fish are usually the most expensive food products on your shopping receipt. While still a fundamental part of your diet, to cut costs on your food shop, you may want to consider adding a few vegetarian dishes to your weekly menu.

 

Prepare smaller portions

We are not advising you to cook miniature meals in the fashion of Michelin-starred restaurants. On the contrary, it is important to always consume a decent-sized plate of food, but do not go over the top with proportions.   

By weighing your food and eating out of smaller bowls, you will be able to reduce your portions and store what is left for another day. If you are desperate for some extra nutrients, a succulent fruit salad or a handful of tasty nuts will end your balanced meal on a high.

Give cheaper brands a go

High-priced products, usually embellished by good-looking and eye-catching packaging, are not always the most nutritious options on a supermarket shelf. Indeed, store-brand alternatives may be just as good – but simply lack a fancy, attractive box.

Next time you go shopping, take a minute to read the label to both see what is inside and check the quality. If everything meets your standards, throw the cheaper store-brand product inside your basket and save some money.

Develop your green thumb and grow your own herbs

Don’t worry, you do not need hectares of land to grow your own herbs. Some seeds and a few pots, either on your balcony or in your backyard, will do the trick.

By planting your own seeds, you will end up with a long-lasting supply of herbs that will offer your room a fragrant smell and will also – in the long run – reduce your expenses.

By following these simple steps, you will finally be able to start your healthy diet with confidence and with no fear of breaking the bank. By all means, treat yourself from time to time to food that not only is good but ‘looks good’ too. However, this guide will hopefully prove that switching to a healthier menu is not a prohibitive choice and can, ultimately, be for all budgets.

3 Tips for Providing Home Care to a Loved One with Dementia

Caring for a loved one with dementia can often be as frustrating for you as it is for the person suffering from an impaired ability to think, make decisions or even remember small things. They get easily frustrated trying to communicate their needs and as their caregiver, you can get as easily worried over whether or not you are understanding them. This can lead to further complications and this is why it’s so important to learn a few tips on providing what they need.

 

1. Limit Frustrations

Quite often, when someone is suffering from dementia, they are unable to do the simple tasks they once handled routinely with ease. Even eating can become problematic and they are likely to dribble food down their face and onto their clothes. This is often the case when dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease where a person loses fine motor movements. Frustration can lead to agitation and that’s what you want to avoid at all costs. It helps to get washable clothing covers, commonly known as an adult bib, where you can easily tell them it’s no problem. They haven’t spotted their clothes, and all is well. Once you learn the things that cause them to become frustrated or agitated, you can take steps to avoid those situations.

 

 2. Stay Calm

This leads to the second most important thing you can do when caring for a loved one with dementia. When you see that they are not in control and are about to become agitated, stay calm. Reassure them that all is well and that it’s something easily fixed. If you get agitated, that will feed their frustration and it can soon get out of control. It is imperative that you maintain your composure at all times so that your loved one doesn’t feel less than normal. There is nothing quite as dehumanizing to a person suffering from dementia and still having enough of their faculties to know that they are unable to do the simple things they once did easily. Sometimes it’s worse asking for help than it is needing that help in the first place, so stay calm and reassure them that all is well.

 

3. Keep It Simple

Finally, it is important to give them simple structure in their life. Stick to a routine so that nothing comes as a surprise. Mealtimes will be at the same time every day and they will have activities planned routinely. For example, after breakfast every day they go out to the patio to watch the birds feeding at the feeders you’ve place around the lawn. Or maybe there’s a time when their favorite game show is on the television or perhaps you walk around the block with them. No matter what it is you do, keep it simple and make it a routine so that they know what to expect at any given moment. The easier and more structured you make their lives, the happier they will be.

One thing you may want to do is find relief for yourself. Get a sitter or perhaps in-home healthcare for a few hours a week so that you can get out as well. There may come a time when more help is needed, especially when a person is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but for as long as your aging loved one is in your care, these tips should make life better for everyone involved.

The Surprising Benefits of Cycling

Cycling is a fun and exhilarating activity that’s been around for centuries. It’s something the whole family can enjoy, and it has a wide array of benefits. It also doesn’t discriminate; all kinds of people of all ages, all cultures, from all walks of life, can easily learn to ride a bike.

Cycling has become extremely popular over the last 50 years, for a multitude of reasons. More and more people are trading their non-environmentally friendly cars in for bicycles for their daily commute to work. In the wake of the pandemic, the UK predicted that 14 million people were ready to swap their driving for pedal power. There’s also been an increase in people taking up cycling as a sport and it’s a popular way to spend your leisure time too. You can explore all kinds of places, and it’s a far faster mode of transport than traveling by foot.

There are so many amazing benefits of cycling. But now, we’re going to look at a few of the benefits of cycling that are a little more unusual.

Before we dive in, here are some interesting and lesser-known facts about cycling:

  • According to the WHO, 30 minutes of cycling a day reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by 35%. 1 hour of cycling per day decreases your risk of death by 35%.
  • The aerobic exercise from cycling releases endorphins and other happy hormones, which helps to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Cycling improves your circulation, which in turn helps to reduce arthritis and speeds up the recovery time if you’ve gotten cut or bruised.

And finally, here are 7 surprising and unexpected benefits of cycling that will change the way you view this age-old activity.

1. Sleeping Better

Who would have thought that cycling every day could affect your sleep routine? A study conducted on healthy older women shows that just 1 hour of cycling in a day improved their quality and duration of sleep.

Cycling is a freeing and de-stressing activity. An evening ride to wind down your day could have some surprising benefits for your sleep health and quality.

2. Improves Awareness, Concentration, and Problem-Solving

Whether you are riding on the open road, a busy highway in peak hour traffic, or on a forest trail, cycling requires attention to detail and situational awareness. When a sport always requires that you’re in a state of full concentration and totally aware, it stretches your abilities to the maximum.

If you make a wrong turn or aren’t concentrating properly, you can put your life and possibly someone else’s in danger. Some of the unexpected and surprising benefits of cycling are the wonderful way in which it challenges you to become more aware, to concentrate harder on your surroundings, and to think outside the box when it comes to problem-solving.

You need to be quick on your feet (or in this case, on the pedals) and make fast decisions to ensure your safety and the safety of other vehicles or people around you.

3. Improves Your Balance and Strengthen Your Core

Keeping yourself upright on a two-wheel contraption whilst pedaling isn’t always easy, especially if you’re on rough terrain. But cycling every day helps you to improve your balance and build the core strength needed to keep yourself and the bike upright at all times.

When you’re staying balanced whilst looking behind you to change lanes or grabbing your water bottle for a quick drink, your core muscles and balance intuition are called to work in full force.

4. Give Your Bowels a Boost

Cycling provides a unique combination of adrenalin-fueled cardio and an extensive core workout. It’s an aerobic exercise that stimulates the heart rate and breathing and combining this with the core exercise that happens whilst balancing on a bike does wonders for the stomach and intestines.

Every time you contract your core muscles whilst cycling, you’re helping your bowels to avoid any sluggish behavior. If you struggle to stay regular, then perhaps cycling is just the sport for you.

5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Cycling is an eco-friendly way to get around and get some fresh air and exercise. Not only are you working on your fitness and stamina levels while getting from one place to another, but you are not emitting anything harmful into our atmosphere whilst doing so.

Cycling as your chosen form of transport means you’ll emit less pollution, less noise, and less carbon emissions.

6. Cycling Can Improve Your Sex Life

Any exercise will go a long way to improving your sex life, but cycling is specifically great for this topic. It’s proven to boost sex drive in women and is associated with a lower risk of erectile issues in men.

Additionally, cycling activates, works, and strengthens a specific set of muscles that are all vital to a healthy sex life. The muscles that get worked and strengthened whilst riding a bike are the same muscles used during sex. The more developed and stronger these muscles are, the more athletic and longer-lasting intercourse will be.

7. Cycling is Eco-Friendly

Cycling is one of the few popular sports that have almost no negative impact on the environment. The only place where there’s any impact is the energy and materials used to construct bicycles and biking accessories, such as helmets and sportswear. Even in saying this, the materials and energy used for the biking industry have a significantly lower impact on the environment than most other popular sports and leisure activities.

Another way in which cycling is supportive of the environment is that cycling doesn’t require any electricity. It also requires no gasoline, no building or building maintenance, no outdoor maintenance or watering of fields, parks, or grounds. You can cycle anywhere, on just about any terrain, without any accommodations required.

Suffice to say, the benefits of cycling run far deeper than you may have initially thought. This type of exercise is hugely beneficial to you and the planet, and it’s affordable and enjoyable too.

Outsourcing the Pharmaceutical Product Lifecycle

By Timm Pauli, senior director and head of global regulatory informatics and operations at PharmaLex. Dr. Marie-Charlotte von Brevern, associate director of global program management at PharmaLex.

How to improve efficiency and drive innovation with limited resources

Ongoing lifecycle maintenance of medium or large portfolios puts a tremendous resource strain on pharmaceutical companies. These activities are crucial to keeping your products on the market but can stretch teams thin, making it harder for companies to focus on new product development, line extensions and further global roll-out activities.

At the same time, both product maintenance and product development are becoming more complex. Ever-changing regulations across global markets, specific CMC requirements for special product categories, a move toward innovative clinical approaches (such as decentralized clinical trials, adopting Bayesian models for trial designs, and applying digital tools for electronic patient reported outcomes), and increased digitization of many regulatory processes all require specific expertise that might be unavailable in-house.

Outsourcing can provide needed relief for management in numerous ways. In-house teams can regain time to focus on value-added tasks. Leadership can save on the budget by avoiding costly staffing and technical infrastructure upgrades. External expertise and perspectives can support teams in innovative ways, offering new, more efficient approaches and methods to support product lifecycle activities.

Taking a strategic approach

However, if such outsourcing projects are carried out piecemeal, most of your management and oversight activities will still fall to internal resources. Instead, outsourcing programs that adopt a strategic approach are more likely to give internal teams the support and flexibility they need to focus on new projects. Truly transformational outsourcing should combine operational activities for any product portfolio with state-of-the-art program management and coordination, KPI and reporting measures, as well as ad-hoc support for any additional one-off projects, and would also involve the outsourcing partner taking full responsibility, or ownership, of the program.

Typical reasons mid- to large-sized pharma companies choose to outsource:

  • Enable internal resources to focus on value-added, strategic activities
  • Reduce complexity for in-house teams
  • Foster scalable and flexible resource models
  • Quickly connect with a large pool of external expertise in flexible and cost-effective ways
  • Gain access to the latest technology solutions without having to make changes to existing on-site infrastructure, saving the company time and money
  • More seamlessly manage new technical requirements (based on new or changed technical requirements from health authorities)
  • Tap into operational excellence across different therapeutic and functional domains as well as process expertise and technology innovation

A primary consideration for companies is how to achieve cost-effective and flexible portfolio maintenance, while not jeopardizing quality and compliance. There are different ways in which a comprehensive portfolio maintenance outsourcing program can benefit pharmaceutical companies.

The first is that outsourcing allows companies to leverage strategic, expert-driven support to streamline maintenance operations across all regulated functions, both at a central and local affiliate level, all backed up with quality measures, KPIs and reporting tools.

Another reason companies seek outsourcing support is if they need more information about regulatory requirements in certain markets, but lack the in-house expertise on the topic or process. Alternatively, sometimes companies have a workload peak and need short-term support to supplement their internal resources.

Other increasingly important considerations today are that technology solutions are becoming ubiquitous throughout the business and must be regularly updated and improved to keep pace with new developments, requirements and specifications. This has become an even greater priority with the move to advanced technologies, such as automation and natural language processing as companies embrace the digital transformation. What makes the process more complex is that most pharmaceutical systems require appropriate quality management testing and validation, further increasing the administrative burden. Outsourcing the pre-configuration, testing and validation to experts helps companies to stay on top of the digital transformation.

Considered partnerships

Regardless of where you seek to leverage support, when choosing to outsource it’s important to select a partner that will take responsibility for your process or portfolio. After all, your marketed product portfolio is your most valuable intellectual property and the basis of your success. At its best, an outsourcing partnership can provide you with a new level of support and insight. This opens the door for a wide range of opportunities, including:

  • Switching your focus to innovation. By removing the burden of handling the regulatory maintenance of your company’s mature product portfolio, your internal team of experts can turn their attention to new products and processes.
  • Access to an expert pool of external resources, including specific knowledge around product types, technologies and processes that may not be available in-house. These might include:
    • Therapeutic areas
    • Technology capabilities, including expertise in implementing, validating and maintaining regulatory solutions such as regulatory information management systems; deep knowledge of new data standards such as Identification of Medicinal Products; as well as experience with leveraging innovative technologies to support operational excellence, such as robot process automation (RPA), natural language processing (NLP)  and machine learning.)
    • Market access and real-world evidence
    • Local or regional regulatory intelligence
    • Strategic advice during development, initial filing, and lifecycle maintenance
  • Having access to local regulatory support for global maintenance of a mature product portfolio to meet ongoing compliance requirements.
  • Expanding local presence by partnering with external staff based in markets where you do not have on-site operations.
  • Addressing resource gaps when your in-house team is working at maximum capacity.
  • Adopting a cost-effective solution rather than investing in additional full-time specialist staff.
  • Reducing technical and administrative burden and alleviating the pressure to keep up with the digital transformation pace by shifting system ownership to outside vendors.

Stay current, stay compliant

The pharmaceutical industry is faced with mounting pressures amid ever-changing requirements around pharmaceutical product development and lifecycle maintenance. As a result, companies must stay current to ensure compliance. This can best be achieved by looking to external partners for support, ensuring workload flexibility for your internal teams and the opportunity to focus on value-adding activities without compromising compliance. It’s important that your outsourcing partner is willing and able to take ownership of the programs or projects they manage. Furthermore, with innovation now intrinsically entwined with technology advancements, any outsourcing partner should have demonstrated expertise with supporting the digital transformation, for example, by helping to streamline processes through automation and by leveraging capabilities such as NLP and RPA to support innovation.

Gaining access to specialist expertise, flexible global work forces and innovative state-of-the-art technology solutions provides long-term value for pharma companies across multiple areas of the business.  Strategic, well-considered outsourcing ensures you focus on and build upon innovation; it gives you access to the type of dedicated and specific expertise that you are unlikely to have internally; it allows you to expand into new and emerging markets while ensuring you understand and meet local requirements; it allows you to leverage support during peaks; and it ensures you keep pace with the latest digital developments. Importantly, as the article explores, all these opportunities can be gained through outsourcing based on partnership, collaboration, trust and demonstrated expertise.

GHP Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2021 Fitness and Nutrition Awards

United Kingdom, Nov 2021 – GHP Magazine has announced the winners of the Fitness and Nutrition Awards 2021.

The year 2021 has been about recovering from multiple lockdowns while also adapting to live with Covid-19 virus. The pandemic has had a huge impact on our bodies and the way we look after our overall health which has led to a rise in demand for exceptionally high-quality fitness and nutrition products and services.

Our Fitness and Nutrition Awards programme seeks to recognise businesses and professional individuals who have stayed consistently driven and dedicated to help their clients to achieve their health-related goals. GHP appreciates how certain businesses and individuals have not allowed the pandemic to hinder their business but rather have used their experience and expertise to amend their products and services to cater to their customers.

GHP Magazine, as always, endeavours to recognise those that are going above and beyond, or indeed, the businesses that are making meaningful steps forward, no matter how small they might seem on the greater landscape. That’s why we launched our awards programme, and why we continue to spotlight the work of exceptional companies and individuals.

Our Awards Coordinator Jessie Wilson has commented on the success of the awards programme which is now running in its third year: “Our bodies have been through a lot through the past year and I’m glad that we are finally beginning to come to normalcy. With that in mind, I would like to congratulate all the businesses and professionals who have won this year as they have been brilliant in providing high-quality products and services to people when they have needed it the most. It was a pleasure hosting the awards programme this year and I would like to wish all the winner’s good luck for all of their future endeavours!”

To find out more about these leading lights and discover what has led them to becoming who they are today, please visit https://www.ghp-news.com/awards/fitness-and-nutrition-awards/ to access our winners supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About GHP Magazine, a publication under AI Global Media

Global Health and Pharma magazine is a global information sharing platform & a multi-disciplinary member’s community. The publication was established to enhance communication networks & collaboration across all themes and disciplines within three main categories: Human, Animal & Environmental Health.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

How Does Nature Impact Children’s Well-Being?

How often do you see joyful children playing outside with their peers, swept up in the excitement and jubilantly singing alongside the chirping birds? Unfortunately, that seems to be a less common scene these days. The never-ending games of hide and seek have been replaced by multi-player sessions of Animal Crossing.

Console games provide a variety of mind-stimulating opportunities. But they fail to address the overall well-being of developing children. Thankfully, time spent in nature can counteract the effects of technology and closed-up spaces and make a positive impact on children’s wellness.

Today, parents want to create a healthy outlet for their children, and nature seems to tick all the boxes. From improvements in mental focus to reductions in aggression and stress, nature might well be the next ‘quick fix’ but with a guaranteed long-term positive effect.

Let’s explore the range of benefits that come along with nature activities for children.

Intellectual benefits

Think of nature as a real-life encyclopaedia. It provides children with an interactive learning experience through stimulating all five senses. It’s the perfect accompaniment to indoor lessons, offering an immersive experience of their new knowledge.

Outdoor sessions are a swift way of piquing children’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge while elevating their well-being. Time in nature is proven to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This is because it stimulates children to enquire about their surroundings. In return, kids are likely to experience a boost in confidence and a desire to continue developing outside of the classroom.

A recent study by the Institute of Education at University College London (UCL), commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, evaluates the impact of nature on children. Through a range of outdoor activities performed by over 450 primary school children, such as identifying plants and trees, they observed an increase in the children’s well-being both in the short and long-term.

The children also gained intellectual benefits which span across their wider personal and social abilities:

🌳 90% of children felt they learned something new about the natural world.

🌳 79% felt that their experience could help their school work.

🌳 After their activities, 84% of children felt that they were capable of doing new things.

🌳 79% of children reported feeling more confident in themselves.

Emotional benefits

The fact that nature on its own can reduce ADHD and anxiety symptoms speaks greatly about its immense ability to improve mental health and emotional well-being in children.

A recent study compared the aftereffects of 49 activities conducted in green outdoor settings versus those in indoor setting on children’s ADHD symptoms. It was concluded that green outdoor activities reduced symptoms significantly more than those conducted in other environments. This is true even when activities were matched across settings.

The emotional benefits of outdoor activities affect children of all ages and mental states. The change of scenery that nature provides offers a break in the usual routine, as well as a calmer state of mind. This can be a great learning stimulant and can also open a child’s mind to new perspectives on their lessons.

Social benefits

Outdoor activities are a great way for children to interact with their peers outside of the classroom and learn new social skills. Play dates for both younger and older children give them the chance to collaborate, use their imagination, and have fun with their friends.

A group environment teaches children valuable social skills, which include active listening, sharing, creating and following rules, and showing empathy towards a group member who is sad or hurt.

79% of the kids who participated in The Wildlife Trusts study reported better relationships with their classmates after engaging in group outdoor activities.

Physical benefits

As we already mentioned, the health benefits of spending time in nature are immense. When combined with group or individual activities, children have the chance to effortlessly build stronger muscles and bones and exert energy. This results in an overall improvement in health.

We all know that things can get quite messy, especially when children are still little and excited about their surroundings, no matter the weather. That’s why stocking up on essentials for all weather conditions, including wellies, a baby puddle suit, hats, gloves, and winter coats, is a must.

Let’s not neglect the advantages of natural sunlight, which increases a child’s amount of vitamin D and boosts their immune system. Fresh air and an appreciation of the natural world are also massive bonuses.

We tend to take nature for granted, so we often fail to realise its many benefits on our well-being. With children still developing, it’s crucial to make efforts to promote outdoor activities. Then, we can watch the children of tomorrow flourish in wellness.   

4 Easy Ways to Boost Blood Circulation for Healthy Skin

Your skin is your largest organ, and it needs to be healthy to function properly. Healthy skin starts with getting enough blood flow so that your cells can carry out their many functions as they should. When your blood vessels are not working properly, your skin cells do not receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy and vibrant. The result may be sagging, dull appearance, fine lines, and wrinkles. There are many easy ways you can boost circulation for healthier skin! Read on to find out more about them. 

1. Stimulate Your Lymphatic System With Massage 

One of the most effective ways to boost blood circulation in the body is by stimulating your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system plays a key role in clearing toxins from the body, including waste that can build up and cause a sagging or dull appearance. 

 The lymphatic system is like the body’s own personal drainage system for filtering out toxins and taking out the waste. Stimulating this natural process will lead to better absorption of nutrients, more hydration, and younger-looking skin.

 Lymphatic drainage massage is very effective in improving circulation and getting rid of toxins. Lymphatic drainage therapy, a specific type of massage designed to boost lymphatic circulation, is extremely effective in improving blood flow and the overall health of your skin. The effects are often immediate, with many people reporting a clear improvement in their skins almost immediately after a single session. With Theragun massagers, boosting blood circulation is easier than ever. You can promote blood flow without leaving your home.

2. Exercise 

Exercise is an excellent way to boost blood flow throughout the body, including in your skin cells. Make sure you are incorporating regular cardiovascular exercise into your regimen. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from your destination, do burpees at home before bed – any of these things will help improve circulation.

3. Diet and Supplements 

Diet is also key for healthy blood flow. If you are not eating enough fruits and vegetables, start now! This is an easy switch that can make a big difference in how you look and feel. Be sure to get lots of fresh produce in your diet, and consider taking a vitamin C supplement to boost blood flow even further.

It would be best if you also considered adding red ginseng to your diet. This herb is rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals and other internal toxins, including those in skin cells. Red ginseng can help improve blood circulation and prevent vitamin deficiency, a common cause of dull skin.

 Fish oil supplements have also been found to be beneficial for your heart and skin. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation in the body and prevent collagen breakdown, keeping your skin looking young and beautiful. The supplement can have positive effects on blood circulation. It has also been known to reduce cholesterol levels, boost brain function, and improve mood. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any supplements. 

4. Skin Brush and Moisturize

Every morning, brush your skin with a dry skin brush or towel for about three minutes. The motion will stimulate the lymphatic drainage that is essential for blood circulation and toxin removal. Brush towards the heart using gentle strokes to avoid irritation of sensitive areas such as the face.

Moisturizing is helpful as well. Applying cream to your face ensures that the nutrients in the product penetrate deeply into your skin cells where they’re needed most. The moisturizer will also act as a protective layer to keep your skin hydrated. 

Blood circulation is essential for healthy skin, and luckily, there are many ways to promote it. They include exercise, diet, massage, and moisturizing your skin. 

The Complete Guide to Concussions and How They Affect Your Life

Concussions are a common type of injury, and one which more people should understand in order to both cope with their effects and ideally minimize the chances of suffering one in the first place.

To help with this, here is a look at the ins and outs of concussions and the main things you can do to prevent and deal with them yourself.

What is a concussion?

In brief, a concussion is a type of brain injury which is only defined as temporary. Unlike more severe head injuries, you can expect to recover from the effects of a concussion within a matter of days, although in some cases it can take weeks before the symptoms are completely alleviated.

What causes concussions?

The key concussion causes are an impact to the head, the force of which does damage to the brain. Unsurprisingly, concussions from sports are among the most common examples, although you can also experience one after any kind of accident in which your head is involved.

What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?

When learning how to identify a concussion, there are a lot of things to look out for. A persistent headache that is resistant to over-the-counter pain medication is close to the top of the list, followed by feelings of dizziness and nausea.

Other delayed concussion symptoms can include a loss of memory, especially with regards to the time immediately before and after the event of the injury itself. The signs and symptoms of a concussion extend to issues with your visions; for example, you may see stars, or your eyesight may seem blurrier than usual.

Lastly, your balance could be knocked out of kilter by a concussion, and your mood might even change, making you more prone to irritation.

How to prevent a concussion if you think you’re at risk of one

Now you know a little more, how do you prevent concussions? Well first and foremost, if you are set on avoiding them at all costs, then steering clear of contact sports is sensible.

Of course this is not the most liberating of prevention tips for concussions, so rather than taking lots of physical activities off the table altogether, you can reduce your risks by wearing the right type of protective gear. From bike helmets for cyclists to head guards for boxers, even amateurs need to do what they can to shield their brains from trauma.

What happens if I have a concussion?

We have already discussed the potential effects of concussions on the brain with regards to the symptoms, and if you identify any of these issues yourself after an injury, seeking medical attention from a professional is sensible.

The lasting effects of concussion may be a long term issue in a small number of cases, and it is always better to get expert help sooner rather than later if you want a better chance of coping with this possibility.

Can I get a disability from a concussion?

It is possible for disability from traumatic brain injuries to occur, but does disability apply for concussions?

The short answer is no, since as mentioned, concussions are typically defined as temporary brain injuries, rather than permanent ones. Even so, if you receive concussions on a regular basis then more serious issues can arise, and disability may be the ultimate result.

Conclusion

Whether you are playing sports, driving a car or riding a bike, taking precautions to reduce the chances of becoming concussed is a must.

A mild concussion is easy enough for a healthy person to shrug off, but being aware of the long term risks will also encourage you to follow safety guidelines and keep you out of harm’s way.

GHP Magazine has Announced the Winners of the 2021 Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Awards

United Kingdom, Nov 2021– GHP Magazine has announced the winners of the 2021 Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Awards.

As we continue to manoeuvre the pandemic, the year 2021 has been all about developing new vaccines as well as understanding how this virus will continue to affect us in the future. Therefore, increasing the pressure on the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries which play a critical role in protecting the public from a number of viruses.

Now running in it’s seventh year, Global Health & Pharma’s Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Awards are designed to recognise and award companies and individuals who have served a variety of purposes during the pandemic. From researching and developing innovative pharmaceutical products that can be useful for those who may have contracted the virus to providing exceptional healthcare services to consumers.

GHP Magazine, as always, endeavours to recognise those that are going above and beyond, or indeed, the businesses that are making meaningful steps forward, no matter how small they might seem on the greater landscape. That’s why we launched our awards programme, and why we continue to spotlight the work of exceptional companies and individuals.

Our Awards Coordinator, Katherine Benton has commented on the success of the awards programme: “It has been an absolute pleasure hosting the Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Awards programme this year and recognising the successes the winners have achieved with their hard work and dedication. I would like to congratulate all the winners and wish them all the best for their future endeavours.”

To find out more about these leading lights and discover what has led them to becoming who they are today, please visit https://www.ghp-news.com/awards/healthcare-pharmaceuticals-awards/ to access our winners supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About GHP Magazine, a publication under AI Global Media

Global Health and Pharma magazine is a global information sharing platform & a multi-disciplinary member’s community. The publication was established to enhance communication networks & collaboration across all themes and disciplines within three main categories; Human, Animal & Environmental Health.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

The Most Burning Questions Around the Pill Answered

For people who choose to go onto the pill, it’s a big decision. There are many contraceptive options out there, and while the internet means we now have more access to information on contraception than ever before, it can also be filled with misinformation.

Different pills and contraceptive methods come with varying benefits and side effects, so the choice can quickly become confusing.

Here, we answer your most burning questions about the pill.

The basic information

The pill is the most common method of contraception for women in the UK, with 29% of women using contraception using some form of the pill. It’s even more popular with women under 35, while women over 35 are more likely to turn to more permanent measures.

The combined pill, which contains both progesterone and oestrogen, is often what is referred to as ‘the pill’, but you can also get the ‘mini pill’, which is progesterone only. For the purposes of this article, we’ll mainly cover the combined pill.

How does the pill work and is it effective?

The combined pill works by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg, which is known as ovulation. As an extra preventative measure, it also thickens the mucus in your cervix to make it harder for the sperm to reach the egg.

When used every day as recommended, the pill is 99%+ effective at preventing pregnancy – so fewer than one in 100 people get pregnant when using it correctly. You need to take it daily in order to get maximum efficacy from it.

 

How do you take the pill?

The pill is a daily oral contraceptive, but how many you take can vary. There are three types of pills that will affect how many you take in a month.

Monophasic 21-day pills

This is the most common combined pill method. You take the same pill every day for 21 days, which all have the same amount of oestrogen and progesterone in them. You then have a seven-day break, in which you’ll likely experience a bleed. This isn’t technically a period and is called withdrawal bleeding, so you’ll need your preferred menstrual products for this, whether that’s pads or non-applicator tampons.

Phasic or multiphasic 21-day pills

These pills are less common and deliver a different dose of hormones with each pill. They are designed to lessen the side effects of the above pill. You’ll also have a seven-day break and a bleed because you only take them for 21 days.

 

Every day pills

Every day pills will often come with placebos. You take a pill at the same time every day, but seven of those pills – to be taken in the last week of your 28-day cycle – will be placebos. Some people will also take the pill continuously to avoid the bleed, but this should be discussed with your doctor.

 

What side effects does the pill cause?

The pill will affect different people in different ways. There are a number of side effects that are considered somewhat common, including tender breasts, mood swings, headaches, nausea, and intermittent blood spotting. The NHS website states that most of these side effects will only last for the first few months of you taking the pill.

It’s a common misconception that the pill causes weight gain, and multiple scientific studies have failed to correlate the pill with gaining weight. Similarly, there is a belief that the pill can increase breast size. However, any increase in cup size is temporary.

Meanwhile, studies are currently being carried out on a potential link between the pill and depression. One major study found that women on contraceptives that contained hormones were more likely to be diagnosed with depression after six months of taking it.

 

What additional benefits does the pill offer?

Some people take the pill for its benefits beyond being highly effective at preventing pregnancy. The combined pill can be effective at preventing or lessening acne. This is because the two combined hormones can reduce androgens, which in turn reduces the amount of sebum produced by the skin. Sebum is an oil secreted by our pores that, if too much is produced, can clog pores and cause spots and blackheads.

According to the NHS, the pill has also been shown to be effective at reducing some of the negative side-effects of periods, including heavy bleeding and painful abdominal cramps. This isn’t the case for everyone though, so if you’re on the pill but you’re still experiencing these symptoms, it’s best to speak to your doctor.

Contraception is a big part of our lives, and it’s important to have all the information you need to make the right choice for yourself and your body. We hope this article has provided you with the knowledge to decide whether the pill is right for you.

Better Mobility: 7 Reasons to Buy An Adult Walker

For adults with a mobility disability, walkers can be quite helpful in ensuring better movement. The best thing about them is that individuals can use them for a variety of reasons. For instance, they can benefit people afraid of falling and those who need extra support for walking. Also, they can be helpful for individuals with a pre-existing injury or those recovering from surgery.

Regardless of the mobility disability you might have, you could find a walker suitable for you. For instance, depending on your condition, you could consider a two or three-wheel walker. Alternatively, you could also go for the adult rollators.

If you need a device for better mobility, choosing the most suitable one for your needs can sometimes be challenging. Therefore, it’s more advisable to let a doctor help you decide which one is ideal for you.

 

Why Adult Walkers?

You might find that some mobility aids are more popular and favored by many people. For instance, many individuals might prefer the 4 wheel walkers for various reasons. In this article, you’ll find seven points that explain why this might be so.

1. They Provide Better Balance

Four-wheeled walkers offer better balance for adults with mobility disabilities. This is because they don’t need to be lifted when one is moving. This way, they make it easier for individuals to walk both indoors and outdoors safely without falling. 

2. They Offer Extra Support

Most people with mobility disabilities utilize various devices for support. For instance, some use canes, crutches, or two-wheeled walkers. While these may all be sufficient, they might not offer great support as the four-wheeled walkers do. This may be among the top reasons why many adults might prefer these mobility devices over others.

Besides providing more support, four-wheel walkers also allow easy maneuverability without stressing one’s muscles or general body. As a result, they help a person maintain high energy levels when walking, which can encourage more movement.

3. They Help In Walking Longer Distances

Since four-wheeled walkers don’t require one to lift them when moving, they make maneuverability easier. In addition, the balance they offer also makes them less strenuous to use. For this reason, they make it possible for one to move easily, smoothly, and quickly.

As a result, this encourages adults with mobility disabilities to walk more miles and for longer. They can exercise more, and this could help improve their health and general wellness.

4. They Help Reduce Back Pain

Four-wheel walkers are also quite popular among seniors and other adults who experience back pain when running errands or walking short distances. These mobility aids help them move around easily without putting much pressure or weight on their backs. The walkers make their lives easier and more comfortable by reducing back pain during movement.  

5. They Increase Independence

Many people with mobility disabilities might find it hard to walk around and manage their daily tasks alone. For this reason, most of them hire caregivers. These professionals help them move around indoors or outdoors and help them do various activities. However, with a four-wheel walker, individuals can enjoy more independence without the help of a caregiver.  

Even though they might need the professionals for other reasons, these individuals can at least enjoy some freedom in their lives. For instance, they can move around and run their own errands without requiring any help. Besides that, they can also visit friends and relatives, enjoy fun activities with their peers, go for adventures, and attend doctors’ appointments alone.  

Regaining some freedom can be beneficial for someone whose independence may have been lost due to a mobility disability. It can help these people increase self-confidence, make new and meaningful relationships, and become happier. As a result, this can help them eliminate or reduce emotional or mental strain, improve their general health, and even increase their life expectancy.

6. They Might Help Rebuild Lost Muscles Mass

Individuals who’ve spent a lot of time in hospital due to an illness might experience muscle atrophy. This is a condition whereby one’s muscles weaken or waste away due to lack of physical activity.

In some cases, you might find that such patients prefer the four-wheel walker more than other mobility aids because, as mentioned earlier, these devices offer better support and balance. As a result, they encourage more movability, which might help rebuild their muscle mass.

7. They Can Lower The Risk Of Certain Illnesses

Four-wheel walkers promote physical activity among people with mobility disabilities. For this reason, they might help lower the risk of illnesses like diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, and some types of cancer. It’s believed that any form of exercise, no matter how minimal, is better than none at all. Most experts might encourage at least 30 minutes of walking every day to improve one’s health.

As seen, the four-wheel mobility aids can be quite helpful in ensuring safer and longer walks. Therefore, if you have a mobility disability, these walkers could help you prevent the illnesses mentioned above. If walking for half an hour seems much for you, consider breaking this down into at least two or three sessions. If this still isn’t manageable, keep in mind that a bit of daily walking is still better than no physical activity at all.

  

Conclusion

Four-wheel walkers are popular today among adults with mobility disabilities. This is because they offer these individuals more benefits than other devices such as crutches, canes, two-wheel walkers, and others. Some of the reasons adults may be advised to go for the four-wheel devices to improve mobility are highlighted and explained in this article.

As provided above, they offer better balance and provide extra support. Also, they allow people to walk longer distances and might help eliminate or reduce back pain. Besides that, they also help adults with mobility disabilities regain their independence and lower the risk of illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Lastly, these devices can also assist in restoring muscles that might have been lost due to inactivity. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you look for the adult walker that’s suitable for you.

How to Identify and Deal with Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever sit down at your desk in the morning and think to yourself, ‘What am I doing here? I don’t belong in this job. Am I a fraud?’?

Well, if you do, you’ll be glad to know that you’re not alone.

62% of UK adults experience what is more commonly known as ‘imposter syndrome’. But what is it?

A feeling that your accomplishments have occurred due to luck or good fortune, as opposed to your natural talent and ability, imposter syndrome is a theory that was first identified back in 1978.

Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Innes detailed in a psychology paper that imposter syndrome was something uniquely experienced within women. However, since then, further researched has noted that this is something felt in men too — as the previous value suggests.

Different individuals experience imposter syndrome in different ways, purely dependent on the person and the circumstance which they find themselves in.

In this article, we look at the different types of personalities which develop the aforementioned syndrome and go on to delve into five different ways it can be combatted, helping you don your black suit trousers with pride and confidence in the morning.

 

The ‘super’ person

These are people who continually push themselves to breaking point in an attempt to prove that they aren’t imposters. Success is the only measurement they know, and they begin to get stressed when they aren’t experiencing it.

 

The ‘go-it-alone’ person

These people feel as if they have to do everything on their own as asking for helping is a sign of weakness, acceptance of defeat, and ultimately, admittance that they are a fraud.

 

The ‘genius’

These people are accustomed to taking things in their stride. When they find something too difficult or struggle to complete a task, they automatically assume that they aren’t good enough.

 

The ‘expert’

They want to know everything and without it they are afraid to suggest their opinion or take otherwise calculated risks. They will refrain from putting themselves forward with task that sits beyond their level of guaranteed expertise in fear of looking stupid.

 

The ‘perfectionist’

With this group, it’s 100 per cent or nothing at all. There could be one suggested amendment to a 200-page document, and they would take this as a failed project, feeling unaccomplished.

But, what causes these feelings of inadequacy?

  • 38% assign impostor syndrome to self-doubt
  • 23% assign it to criticism
  • 20% assign it to asking for help
  • 16% assign it to comparing themselves to colleagues
  • 15% assign it to a lack of understanding in regard to what is expected

How to combat these feelings of discontent?

Talk it through

The first thing you need to do is talk about how you feel. As we’ve previously noted, more than 60 per cent of the UK population experience the same feelings. A problem shared is a problem halved after all.

Acceptance

There is no denying that every once in a while, we get out of our depth — we’re only human at the end of the day. Realistically, you wouldn’t be able to learn if you didn’t have to, once in a while, step beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. Accept that sometimes you will have to hold your hands up and say, ‘I’m stuck’, and things will get a whole lot easier.

 

Learn to appreciate success

Sometimes, for someone with imposter syndrome, the difficulty is not being able to appreciate success and recognise when they have performed well. This is particularly true for those who fall into the ‘perfectionist’ category. In order to overcome this dissatisfaction, you need to take a step back every now and again, realise your achievement, and pat yourself on the back.

 

Create an image in your head of success 

Think of a changing room before a cup final. Beyond the 90 minutes, if we choose to focus our attention on football for example, the image in the mind of the players is one of glory. Visualise lifting the hypothetical trophy and don’t fixate on being branded as a ‘fraud’ along the way.

 

Ask for help

Do you think that the great leaders and winners of yesteryear, whether it be in business or politics, succeeded alone?

No, is the answer. Winston Churchill was backed by the support of a nation, while Bill Gates was aided by the creativity and innovation of a strong organisation. Asking for help is by no means an acceptance of defeat. On the contrary, asking for help is an identification within that means you understand you have more scope to learn.

Professor Sir Cary Cooper is a psychologist on organisational and workplace psychology, and he points to the fact that imposter syndrome can have a particularly adverse effect on performance.

Cooper proposes: “Imposter syndrome can inhibit productivity and seriously impact an individual’s career progression”. However, he follows up with: “By regularly reminding yourself of your achievements and recent wins, you can put your feelings of self-doubt into context.”

You will almost never find a situation where potluck is the sole reason behind your current position.

Believe in yourself.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Waiting Times and What You Can Do if You’re Affected

COVID-19 has had a huge and far-reaching impact on our NHS. Frontline staff worked tirelessly to support COVID-19 patients, as well as delivering as many critical services as possible.

Some key services are experiencing a backlog, with over 5 million people waiting to start treatment – a record number. This number could even reach 13 million in the coming months.

Here, we take a look at the impact of COVID-19 on NHS waiting times and explore some alternatives if this is impacting you.

 

Which procedures are backlogged?

Most of the procedures that are backlogged are “routine”, which includes non-urgent surgery and consultant-led appointments. They address treatments that aren’t life-threatening but are still important to many of us.

The backlog of treatments is a result of many of these services being suspended during multiple lockdowns to prioritise urgent healthcare. Additionally, many patients didn’t seek care for non-critical problems during the height of the pandemic.

Analysis from the Health Foundation has shown a number of drops in routine appointments, including:

  • 41% reduction in referrals for eye-related problems, including cataract surgery and glaucoma treatment
  • 42% fewer appointments for musculoskeletal problems, including knee or hip surgery
  • 43% reduction in oral surgeries, including tooth extractions and root canal surgery
  • 29% fewer appointments for neurology issues, including stroke and headache-related problems.

In total, 4.7 million fewer people were referred for these types of routine appointments and others in 2020 than in 2019.

 

What do the waiting lists look like for routine appointments?

The figures on the number of people waiting over a year for treatment vary by report. A study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that over 385,000 people had been waiting for more than a year for treatment, up from just 1,600 before the pandemic. The BMA reports these figures as 304,803 in June 2021, increasing from 1,032 in June 2020. Over 3 million have been waiting between 18 weeks and a year, according to NHS data.

Procedures that are most likely to have waiting lists longer than the NHS standard 18-week window include:

  • Oral surgery
  • Ear, nose, and throat appointments
  • Eye condition treatments

The IFS stated that to deal with the backlog, the NHS needed increased capacity.

The NHS is making good progress on its backlog of treatments, but waiting times are still high for some. The number of people waiting over a year decreased by over 10,000 between June and July 2021, but this still leaves over 5 million people waiting.

As well as the known backlog due to delayed or cancelled treatments, new referrals are likely to increase again because people are more comfortable seeking medical appointments now that restrictions have relaxed. The Health Foundation refers to this as the “hidden backlog”.

 

What can you do if you’re waiting a long time?

It’s clear that the NHS needs additional support to tackle the huge backlog it’s facing. The government has announced extra funding dedicated to helping the NHS reduce its backlog, but it’s already reported to be operating at 95% capacity.

To avoid the long waiting list for routine surgery or treatments, there are other routes you can consider. Private health insurance is a viable option. Traditional private medical insurance can be costly, but alternative private health insurance options operate slightly differently to keep costs lower for users.

These options don’t cover areas prioritised by the NHS, like cancer and heart disease, in order to keep premiums low. Private health insurance is more accessible for many and allows you to access treatment for health conditions that aren’t life-threatening but are having an impact on your life.

Not only can private health insurance help you access private treatment for non-urgent conditions more quickly than on the NHS, but you could also be helping to ease pressure on the health service. With fewer patients to treat, the NHS can address its backlog faster.

 

Is private insurance right for you?

Even with a concerted effort from the NHS, it’s likely that we’ll be living with longer waiting times for non-urgent surgery in the long term. If you’re worried about the impact this could have, private health insurance could help give you peace of mind.

Most providers will give you an instant quote so you can decide if it fits within your monthly budget. With most policies, the process is simple too. You make a GP appointment to get a referral as you normally would, then get in touch with your provider, who’ll assess your claim and arrange your appointment and payments. Some providers will even allow you to choose which hospital you attend.

The NHS has been under extreme pressure for over 18 months now. While it has rightly focused on treating COVID-19 patients and life-threatening emergencies, more patients than ever are experiencing longer waiting times for routine appointments. In addition to the NHS receiving more support to address this backlog, you may be able to seek out affordable private health insurance to skip the queues, receive treatment quicker, and support the NHS in addressing its backlog.

The Company Ensuring Oversight in Medical Device Trials

As the ‘Best Clinical Development and Regulatory Compliance Firm’ in 2021 for Sweden, Key2Compliance is making itself a partner to medical device creation companies. By making sure the clinical trials conducted on such products are thorough, comprehensive, and detailed, granting businesses the oversight they need to reassure buyers of the quality and compliance of their products, it has made itself the cornerstone of a budding industry.

Key2Compliance is a specialist company when it comes to the clinical development of medical devices. Fundamentally, it recognises that the clinical development of such products and services is highly different to that of pharmaceuticals, and therefore will need a specific service provision to aid the companies behind it. This is because the regulations and markets for such devices are so widely different; despite them both broadly landing in the wider industry of healthcare and health innovations, the legislation that governs pharmaceuticals does not apply to medical devices, and vice versa, which can sometimes lead to confusion and stress on businesses.

Thus, Key2Compliance wishes to take this stress off of the client by helping them to navigate the deviations in regulations and requirements. In doing so, it also keeps a finger on the pulse of the medical device and diagnostic sector’s constant change and fluctuations. Additionally, Key2Compliance offers complete and totally comprehensive solutions that both acknowledge and work with the bigger picture, and zero in on the minute details. In this manner, it promises that nothing will go unscrutinised, allowing its clients to rest assured that they have a level of oversight in place that will make sure clinical trials are carried out safely, effectively, and to the letter of the legislations in place. Therefore, it seeks to work both with and for its customers.

In essence, this means that from the very beginning of relations with a client it will strive to develop and design a clinical programme that reflects both the company’s core values and upholds every element of the regulations and requirements they are required to operate with, guiding the client’s trial from start to finish. By working in such a collaborative manner, it fosters an atmosphere of teamwork both internally with its staff and between itself and its clientele, cultivating a network of professional contacts that each contribute to the other’s success.

Key2Compliance, in tandem with all of this, strives to be different. That is clearly evident from the manner in which it works, and a client can benefit from this from the very first meeting with its diligent and dedicated staff, each of whom has proven themselves time and time again as a professional and as a person. Its team know that in business, passion is what fuels those behind the scenes, and so each of them strives to truly connect with a client in order to gain an in-depth and empathic understanding of both their business model and the goals of their operation.

Therefore, it is 100% focused on clinical development for medical devices and diagnostics. This diligent and highly specific service provision ensures that the budding sector has a stalwart cheerleader in its corner, encouraging businesses both new and established towards better ways of working that will benefit both them and their end users, as well as the industry at large. After all, working on the implementation of compliance and developing better ways to conduct clinical trials for medical devices will result in better results across the board, as well as more reliable ways of working that will improve the reputation of medical device development.

It also has experience working with companies of all scales in its sector. Whether a client is a small, start-up business, only just leaving the starting blocks, a medium company making its way, or a large, enterprise level business looking for a new way to ensure regulatory compliance is being upheld, Key2Compliance is confident that it has the answer. Fundamentally, it is able to ensure that each individual company is treated as though they are Key2Compliance’s only client. In short, the benefit to this is the benefits it can directly pay forward to the client, working on an in-depth and interpersonal level with them in order to guarantee correct and well-founded clinical development.

It promises to always be in the client’s corner throughout their forays into the medical device creation and testing world, making itself the flexible and adaptable solution for professionals that let a client’s buyers purchase devices with confidence. Additionally, any and all clinical development plans that it makes will be sure to work seamlessly with a client’s existing operations. By creating something that works in harmony both with the legislation and regulations that govern the industry, as well as that client’s internal goals, principles, and values, it leads from the front in changing medical device compliance assurance for the better.

Moreover, Key2Compliance knows how to handle medical devices across all risk classes both before and after launch. The impetus behind this is that there is no job too big or too small for this company, and if a client already has clinical data available on a product, it can work with that too, collecting and evaluating this data in order to compare it to the relevant regulations. After compiling this information, it will present the clinical report that results to the client, working hard to untangle the numbers and see the story behind them, discerning the need for any post-market clinical follow ups.

The clinical evaluation report is the foundation of the clinical development plan for a client’s product. This is essential to get right, and so Key2Compliance has funnelled significant effort into upholding its promise that nothing about this report is left to chance, every element being handled with the utmost scrutiny to allow itself to become the partner a client can rely on. Going forward, its team of project management specialists, monitors, CTAs, statisticians, data managers, regulatory managers, medical advisors, and medical writers will be continuing their exemplary efforts in aiding medical device oversight, supporting its clients through its local and global network.

For further information, please contact Jan Hellqvist or visit www.key2compliance.com

The New Rival to the Skin Clinics of Harley Street

Look out London, you’ve got a challenger on your hands. Yorkshire Skin Centre is making itself an outstanding player in the clinical aesthetics industry with its exemplary services, empathic staff, and a beautiful base of operations, earning itself the title of ‘2021’s Most Trusted Aesthetics Clinic’ for the region. With an increasing number of exemplary services and an expanding client list, this up-and-coming business is quickly becoming a diamond of its industry.

Led by the exemplary Dr Raj Tethi, Yorkshire Skin Centre is a Leeds based Clinic that was built on the ideal of providing healthy competition to skincare clinics in London. Offering botox, dermal fillers – both Teoxane and Ellanse – as well as thread lifting, Morpheus 8, Lumeca, Forma, laser treatments, chemical peels, and ZO Skin Health, it is a comprehensive and highly professional business. Having graduated from Leeds University with an undergraduate medical degree, Dr Tethi knew that his calling in life was to promote good skincare and to help people feel comfortable in their own bodies by providing such services.

This began a passion for the medical aesthetics and skincare business, bolstered by his existing knowledge of human health and physiology, earned from his separate first-class honours degree in anatomy and work as a junior doctor for the NHS, completing surgical training in west Yorkshire. By gaining such a width and breadth of knowledge, when he began his pursuit of medical aesthetic treatments, he already had an incredible foundation upon which to build, allowing him to progress quickly and efficiently through his training as an Aesthetic Doctor.

Before long, he had completed his full level 7 accreditation in Aesthetic medicine, something that he followed by becoming a trainer for two international derma filler companies. These companies, Teoxane and Sinclar Pharma, taught him much about how aesthetic service business operated from the inside, from the application of the treatments to serving the clientele that walks through their doors, sparking an intrigue in these workings. After this, he was invited to become a member of the National Editorial Board for Aesthetic Medicine magazine. By the time his hard work came to fruition in this invite, he was turning towards using his knowledge to open his own business, and this resulted in the Leeds clinic finally opening its doors; a place of prestige and luxury – but without the skyrocketing rent prices of Harley Street – Yorkshire Skin Centre is a clinic built to allow clients to step into a place of space, light, and decadence.

Dr Thethi completed research for this opening by visiting other clinics in the UK, of course. Crucially, this showed him just how many other clinics face issues with their use of space, often suffering from not having enough of it for the number of clients they wish to serve or the type of service they wish to offer. Therefore, Yorkshire Skin Centre has been developed to ensure that each practical treatment area has the space to be conducted without claustrophobia, allowing staff to move with confidence and freely. It is big enough that before long, Dr Tethi was able to incorporate a training facility, passing on the knowledge of good aesthetic practice to the new professionals.

The interior of Yorkshire Skin Centre is tasteful and beautiful, lending ‘a certain sparkle’ to a patient’s aesthetic journey that Dr Tethi is excited to bring to yet more people in the region as the word about the clinic continues to spread further. Additionally, the design of the clinic reflects the attitude of the founder. Every little element of the design has been carefully cultivated to improve the experience of the clients and the staff, reflecting Dr Tethi’s diligence and dedication to the aesthetic services offered within, and creating an atmosphere of warmth and welcome that a client can feel from the moment they walk through the doors.

Upon meeting Dr Tethi, a client will also experience this welcome. He prides himself on being empathic and understanding, able to work with his clients to create a plan for their aesthetic journey that will allow them a comprehensive understanding of the process, and an excitement for the more confident them that will come out the other side. When a client speaks to him, he lends them peace of mind and reassurance that they are in good hands, and it is the natural charisma of himself and his team, as well as the exemplary nature of their work, that has clients coming back time and time again.

For many clients in the Yorkshire area – and indeed, further afield – Yorkshire Skin Centre is the one-stop-shop for aesthetic clinical solutions. Thus, the list of customers and the waiting list is expanding by the day, with the team working diligently for each and every one of them; the popularity of it meant that at one time, the waiting list was over 2 months long. Dr Tethi is proud of this, and proud of the way his staff handle their work, saying ‘I think it just reflects better when a place is more beautiful’.

And indeed, that is exactly what Yorkshire Skin Centre is. People can immediately feel the love, care, and effort that has gone into every design decision and every piece of décor, immediately bolstering the client’s ability to put their trust in Dr Tethi and his team. Currently, Dr Tethi is in the midst of obtaining his CQC registration for the clinic; this, in another way that has set it apart from its competitors, will allow it to set up its operating theatre, where visiting plastic surgeons can conduct consultations and minor procedures for Yorkshire Skin Centre’s clients.

This is something that the team are incredibly excited to be able to bring to their loyal customer base. The minor operations offered will include blepharoplasties, mole removal, and lesion removal, and it is just one of the many upcoming additions that Yorkshire Skin Centre will be making to its current list of services. Soon, Yorkshire Skin Centre will be able to offer further women’s health services such as hormone treatment, vaginal rejuvenation, and menopause healthcare solutions, making this clinic even more of a comprehensive skincare and aesthetic services solution by the day. ‘I happily refer patients to other people if I think they’re better at something than I am’, says Dr Tethi; ‘Now, I can have all these experts under one roof’. This, in essence, shows Dr Tethi’s dedication to being able to provide his clients with only the best, and he thanks his capable and brilliant staff for every hour of hard work they have put into making his dream a reality.

For business enquiries please contact Raj Thethi at the Yorkshire Skin Centre.

Elevating Excellence in Private Healthcare Transport

With a team of seasoned professionals behind it and founders at the helm who have made sure every element of its operation is exemplary, Global Jetcare Inc is a global answer to private healthcare transport. With flights that traverse the entire world and the ability to rise to the challenge of serving a myriad of healthcare needs both in flight and with regards to the destination, it has earned notoriety as the ‘Best Medical Air Transport Company, 2021’ for the USA.

Global Jetcare is an international air ambulance service operating all around the world, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. Fundamentally, its pride in its services comes from the quick, efficient, effective nature of its services, which can reach a client and get them to where they need to go for their care as gently and safely as possible, in plenty of time for them to benefit from the most effective treatment. Whether the task at hand is transporting a family member injured whilst on vacation or moving someone who requires specialised care, Global Jetcare promises to be the best solution, as clearly portrayed by its motto; ‘when time is not an option, Global Jetcare can transport your loved one anywhere in the world’.

Moreover, it makes a commitment to treating a client’s loved one as though they are the family of a member of their own staff, treating every case with the urgency and diligence it deserves. This attitude, in essence, has allowed it to develop a stellar reputation for exemplary customer service and efficient operations that are emboldened by the care each staff member has for the people they transport, having as many people on hand as needed to ensure the safety of the patient and their family’s peace of mind. Furthermore, allowing Global Jetcare to reassure its clients that they are putting their faith in the right company, it has over 20 years of experience.

With such a depth and breadth of past knowledge in the aviation industry and a myriad of chartered successful flights under its belt that have spanned all corners of the globe – gaining the trust of hospitals, case workers, and assistance companies in the process – it has cultivated an earned reputation for the greatest heights of excellence. Additionally, each member of its team is trained in flight physiology and has benefitted from rigorous training across a multitude of skills, making for a full complement of outstanding staff.

In tandem with this, Global Jetcare can also bring aboard physicians and in-flight care for a patient – at any level needed – in order to ensure their safety whilst aboard the plane. This means if a patient wishes to do so, they can request to have their own personal doctor aboard with them. Coordinated from beside to bedside and facilitated by consummate professionals at every turn, Global Jetcare will never settle for second best when it comes to its patient’s care; in addition, it pays attention to the details so that every variable is appropriately prepared for, bolstered by its breadth of experience in the field.

This has earned them a long roster of impeccable reviews from its past patients and their families. From word-of-mouth referrals to written testimonials, it is raved about for its efficacy when it comes to planning, and the finesse with which it handles every case, ensuring that everyone is comfortable and that even in-flight challenges such as unforeseen bad weather are handled with ease. Therefore, since its beginnings in 2009, Bart Gray and his mother, Christina, have been able to make Global Jetcare a gem of its industry. Its stunning reputation has secured it a solid place in the niche it serves, with many of the medical institutes it regularly delivers patients to being able to laud it for the quality its work denotes across the board, adding an extra dimension to its clients’ own reviews.

Crucially, being set up by a family has meant that the business’s core has been developed around familial values. It cares for its patients and its staff with the diligence and empathy needed to work with a friendly, caring bedside manner, instilling each of these facets of its operation as the beating heart of the company that everyone can benefit from right from the first phone call with the client. Both founders take the running of the company very seriously and ensure that it is managed well at every turn due to this, encouraging and supporting their staff in their tasks so that everything gets done without overworking any of the team; they are the core of what makes Global Jetcare so exemplary, after all, and so they and the patients are its highest priority.

Alongside this, it is the Global Jetcare belief that it is its duty as a company to ensure that each team member makes the best paycheque it can give them, as well as working with them to create an environment in which they feel safe, appreciated, and like they make a true difference. Which they do. Patients experiencing the Global Jetcare way of working can instantly feel how much each individual deeply cares about their job, and as a result are transported in an environment of mutual respect.

This has been something that the company and its founders have been especially keen to continue displaying during the course of the pandemic. With so many of its staff encountering worries regarding the safety of their families, as well as a myriad of other difficulties such a significant other out of work and a sudden need to find childcare as schools were being closed across the board, it looked inward in order to help each individual within its ranks to find a solution that worked best for them.

In essence, Global Jetcare wishes for each team member to have a say in how the company is run, especially regarding their own career; due to this, it prioritised keeping all staff on board with no cuts to the team or their pay so that each person could be comforted in the knowledge that their role would still be theirs, come what may. It allowed those staff who needed to go home to their families to do so without fear, allowing those who wished to stay working to do so, gratefully accepting the help of those who did. No matter what choice an individual made however, Global Jetcare wishes to extend thanks to every single person who it employs for their continual diligence, professionalism, and dedication that has allowed the company to pull through the pandemic and support its clients and their loved ones.

Global Jetcare, as a result, is coming back bigger and better than ever as the dust of the pandemic begins to settle. It promises clients and patients that its work will be just as exemplary as it has ever been when it comes to looking after the people in their care, with an internal culture as strong as ever and a staff who are raring to go and get back into the swing of things. Over the course of 2020 and indeed, the first half of 2021, the old adage has indeed proved true that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your company; and it will continue to operate with gratitude and perseverance as it continues to be a shining example of this ethos long into the future.

For business enquiries, contact Bart Gray via:

Phone: +1-352-799-7771

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://globaljetcare.com

The Secret to Looking Youthful

Founded by one of the most well-known faces in the UK aesthetics industry, Maxine McCarthy, Secret Rose helps professionals working within the industry to deliver the finest quality derma filler treatments, from minimising fine to deep wrinkles, to plumping lips. Global Health & Pharma magazine has recognised the expertise and quality provided by Secret Rose with the award for 2021’s Most Outstanding Dermal Filling Brand – UK. We take a closer look at what the company’s products can do for clients.

Brand-new to the UK market, Secret Rose is an award-winning dermal filler which has been carefully developed by leading South Korean manufacturer, Medi N Research Co. Ltd., formulated and tested under strict quality control which matches both Korean and international standards and ensures that the product is safe for use. The fillers are made using a formula of sterile, pyrogen-free, physiological gel of cross-linked hyaluronic acid of non-animal origin with the addition of 0.3% lidocaine hydrochloride which numbs the area where the filler is injected, ensuring that pain during the procedure is kept to a minimum. The product also has an improved visco-elasticity that allows an excellent flow and better moldability, and it provides natural-looking volume.

The Secret Rose development team has invested countless hours to achieve the perfect dermal filler products and aftercare. The final product is a long-lasting filler with great results, proven to hold its shape for up to 12 months. This is due to the filler being highly cross linked and with a high molecular weight, which slows down the degradation of the filler when it is injected into the body. Each Secret Rose product is made using approved, medical-grade ingredients, with all dermal fillers and threads CE kitemarked for guaranteed quality and results.

Looking good is a really important part of feeling good – Feeling confident in your own skin is the way to become a comfortable human being. Aesthetic treatments have seen a boom over the past decade or so, with dermal fillers being one of the main trends. They return that plumpness and hyaluronic acid to areas of the face that are wrinkling due to loss of fat and moisture which occurs during the ageing process, making patients look naturally youthful. The hyaluronic acid contributes to erasing the effects that time has on the skin.

Secret Rose Distribution is the only approved distributor of the Secret Rose dermal filler products and they are supplied to both beauty professionals and members of the public. The product range includes fillers and threads, aftercare creams and ice lip packs – everything needed to provide a full treatment package – and they are ideal for contouring treatments, Russian lip treatments, NS rhinoplasty, and lip enhancements. When clients order from Secret Rose, they will receive a branded consultation form, an aftercare card, and an icepack (unless otherwise stated), giving them the tools needed to deliver a full and professional treatment. Secret Rose’s experts are on hand 24/7 to assist with any enquiries regarding the products.

Founder, Maxine qualified in aesthetics in 2009 and spent a further three years perfecting her treatments. In 2012, she opened Cosmetic Couture, an academy that has grown to be the Number One Training Academy in the UK, as voted for in the British Aesthetics Awards 2020. Maxine herself was also named a runner up Aesthetic Practitioner of the Year 2020 in the same awards.

And not only has Global Health & Pharma magazine recognised the brilliance of Secret Rose and its products, but so have the company’s clients who have been sharing five-star ratings and positive comments on its website.

Dr Thomas Clint said, “I wanted to test out this new brand of dermal filler, so I ordered the Sample Box which comes with each type of fillers. My favourite is Deep, because it is a very versatile product and I have gotten great results with my clients!”

RGN Amber Taylor said, “Over the years of doing PDO and COG threads, I have felt like the market’s range of products have been quite limited. So when Secret Rose launched in the UK, I jumped at the chance to try out the threads. Incredible results from both the PDO threads and the COGS!”

Louise Gilbert said, “I have tried the Russian Lip Sample Box and it is amazing! This is by far the best product I have used to create the Russian lip technique and the extra 30G needles have come in so handy!”

Emma Rhys said, “My order was delivered very quickly. I have tried a lot of different products over the years as an aesthetic practitioner and after trying out Secret Rose, I can say that it is an incredible range! I will definitely be reordering!”

For business enquiries contact Maxine McCarthy at Secret Rose UK via email at [email protected] or online at www.secret-rose.co.uk.

Out of the Ashes!

Providing a full range of massage and alternative relaxation and therapies, Phoenix Health and Wellness serves the community of West Lothian with its expert and friendly services. In the wake of the clinic being awarded the prestigious title of Best Massage Therapy Clinic 2021 – Bathgate in the LUXlife Health, Beauty and Wellness Awards 2021, we speak to Sally Chamness, the woman behind it all, about how she strives to stay at the top.

Phoenix Health and Wellness has been serving Bathgate since July 2010, providing expert
services in massage therapy, rehabilitation, pregnancy care and pain management. The clinic’s core values are to help clients achieve progress in their health, with patience and positivity. Meanwhile, the friendly staff believe in high quality care, assisting clients in healing and living pain-free lives.

Sally Chamness is the Founder and Owner of Phoenix Health and Wellness, which started life in 2010 as Wee Sally’s Therapeutic Massage but was rebranded following a devastating fire which tore through the upper floor of the building in 2019. Subsequently, Sally took the opportunity to rebrand the clinic so that the business was more inclusive of the team and reflected the skills of her dedicated staff members, as well as herself. Also, much like the proverbial Phoenix, Sally and her company rose out of the ashes to provide a new and passionate service to the local community.

Sally tells us more about the company and its ethos.

Our goal is to address our clients concerns as a complete package of physical and mental wellbeing,” Sally begins. “We serve a wide range of clients who experience acute or chronic pain and discomfort. This can be from injury, lifestyle or health related sources. Working with our clients, we provide treatments that meet our clients’ goals and as a client-therapist team, we work continuously to assist our clients in achieving their health goals.”

Therapists at Phoenix Health and Wellness have trained with the best in the global massage industry and regularly attend international conferences to stay on top of the latest research and therapy practices. Keeping at the forefront of the sector is just one of the things that clearly differentiates the clinic from its competitors as it is able to offer more innovative new therapies compared with those typically found in a spa or salon.

Sally lets us in on some of the other new developments which have recently taken place in order to keep Phoenix Health and Wellbeing at the top of its game.

“In July 2018, we relocated to the high street which allowed us to expand our services and provide clients with a variety of therapists providing services in massage and spa treatments,” she explains. “We also added yoga classes and self-care classes.

“Throughout the pandemic we maintained contact with our clients to understand their needs moving forwards and we are in the process of adding to our mental health services by installing a floatation tank – the first of its kind in West Lothian.”

A floatation tank is essentially a large bathtub that is designed to reduce distractions: lights, sounds, gravity and tactile sensations. The water is heated to skin temperature and is filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, making it denser than even the Dead Sea.

As users lie in the float tank, about 80-90% of neuromuscular activity is decreased. Cortisol levels drop significantly, blood pressure lowers and a deep sense of relaxation starts to take over the body.

“Clients will find themselves floating effortlessly and losing track of where their body ends and the water begins.”

Having a passion for massage is the primary quality that Sally looks for when recruiting new staff to the team. Each therapist is a specialist in their own arena, whether this be in movement therapy or pregnancy and post-natal care, and all therapists are encouraged to build their practice and work with their ideal client, based on their interests and goals.

“Our therapists work with each other internally to trade techniques and tips, and it’s important that all of our therapists receive treatments often as well so that they can share their own experience of receiving treatment on a regular basis.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, massage therapy was obviously one of the most difficult services to try to offer due to its hands-on nature, and it took innovative measures from the team at Phoenix Health and Wellbeing to continue to engage with clients from afar

“Our Yoga instructors offered online classes, and our therapists offered online sessions with our clients that would allow us to assess their needs, and offer advice, techniques and self-care strategies so that they could remain on top of their physical health while we were unable to see them at the clinic,” states Sally. “As a team, we discussed how the long-term impact of physical contact may cause issues within our clinic even after re-opening, which is why as a team we agreed the introduction of the floatation tank would be an amazing idea, as it is a “hands-off” therapy which treats both physical and mental health.”

With regards to the future, Sally says it is very much business as usual, with new introductions in place to expand the clinic’s services.

“Our therapists have all spent their downtime focusing on their professional development so that we can bring the best therapies to our clients and community. We are also working with local mental health charities to offer reduced rate, and in some instances free, services to clients they feel could benefit from the work that we do.” As a result, more than a decade since its inception and with its history of resilience and innovation behind it, Phoenix Health and Wellness continues to move onwards and upwards, evolving as an organisation to deliver the best in care for tangible results for clients, inside and out.

For further information, please contact Sally Chamness or visit www.phx-wellness.com

3 Simple Methods to Reduce Your Back Pain

9 out of 10 people say that at least once in their life they have experienced back pain, and we believe that there is practically no man or woman who has not had back pain problems at some point in his or her life. Lower back is the most common site of pain, but pain in other parts of the back is not uncommon too.

Because of the sedentary lifestyle and jobs that tie us to a chair, we all have a great chance of developing back pain. But there are ways to avoid this or at least significantly reduce back pain, and we will talk about these ways in the rest of the article.

Have a daily set of short walks

You need to introduce a daily set of short walks into your routine. Many people mistakenly think that when their backs hurt they should rest, but in fact they should walk. Of course, you should not be exposed to heavy physical effort, but walking is beneficial.

Stretch your body slowly

Stretching the whole body is very healthy for the spine, as well as for other joints and muscles. Therefore, you should stretch regularly to prevent back pain. You need to know the difference between passive and active stretching, as well as how to do both types and when you should perform active and when passive stretch.

Buy a mattress topper for your mattress

If your mattress is not comfortable and supportive enough that can be the main trigger of back pain. In that case, you do not have to spend fortune on a new mattress, but a mattress topper will be more than enough. Check out which is the best mattress topper for back pain and buy one of them to wake up pain-free.

Lose some weight 

Remember that any excess weight, even if it is only 5 or 10 kilograms, is an additional burden for all your joints, and especially for the spine, which is the pillar of our body. Therefore, as well as because of the health of the cardiovascular system, digestive tract and everything else, lose some weight.

Quit bad habits 

There are a lot of bad habits that affect back pain, and smoking is one of them. Many people would not associate smoking and back pain, but different cigarette ingredients weaken the bones as well as the discs in the spine and thus lead to degenerative disc disease or other spine problems. Quit smoking because of your spine and overall well-being.

Use medicated creams and tinctures 

There are a number of different medicated creams and tinctures on the market that can help us with back pain. These are not miraculous products that will solve all the problems, but you can significantly alleviate this ailment using medicated creams and tinctures. It is important that you buy products from reputable manufacturers.

Add a towel under your pelvis 

Adding a rolled-up towel under your pelvis is one of the easiest ways to reduce tension and pain in the lower back. The towel will relax your hips and stretch muscles like the quadratus lumborum. This way you will improve things temporarily, but you should also strengthen your muscles and stretch your hip flexors regularly for long term solution.

Maintain posture all the time

We know it’s very hard to think of postures when you sit for 8 or more hours every day, but that’s of paramount importance to our spine. In order to be able to maintain posture all the time at all, you need to have strong back muscles, so it is advisable to do regular workouts.

Apply ice and heat

Ice and heat can help with back problems. In case your back is inflamed or you have visible swelling, then you should apply ice to reduce the inflammation and allow the body to start tissue recovery. In case you want relaxation because you feel that your muscles are stiff, then it is time to warm up that place.

Book a professional massage 

Professional massage can relax your muscles after a whole day of sitting or standing and this will definitely make your back not hurt. It is only important that you inquire well before choosing a masseur, because if a masseur is not skilled one, he can do more harm than good.

Try nerve stimulation 

With the help of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy which is one of the most common forms of electrical stimulation, you can reduce back pain. However, that will help you only at that moment, and after you need to address the underlying condition which is the real cause.

Avoid static posture, especially for longer time

Any static posture, especially for longer time, is not good. Even if you are sitting in an ergonomic chair or standing, and you have high quality footwear, static posture is very bad for your spine.

Swim in a warm pool 

Swimming in a warm pool has multiple benefits for your back and whole body. As we have already mentioned, heat is good for relaxation of tight muscles. Also, swimming is one of the healthiest activities because it doesn’t get our joints stressed, like running for example.

Non-thermal Laser Focused on Securing Success

Medical lasers have become a standard part of many surgeon’s toolkits, allowing them to perform incredibly precise operations focused on specific areas of the body. The development of these lasers has been a key to the success of the industry, and one of the leading developers is the team at Erchonia Lasers Ltd who specialise in Non-thermal Low Level Laser technology. Worthy winners in the GHP Global Excellence Awards, where they earned 2021’s Award for Excellence in Innovation, we thought it time to examine what sets the team apart from the competition.

In 1996, Mr Steve Shanks and Mr Kevin Tucek founded Erchonia Corp. Their aim was simple – to develop and manufacture Non-thermal Low Level Lasers. Through an approach which has embraced the potential of innovations within this technological area, the team have been able to achieve incredible success in North America, and are rapidly expanding around the world. Their work has had an astonishing impact on the way in which medical treatments are handled.

Of course, trading around the world is no easy matter. Erchonia Corp is based in the US, and required a different base of operations to reach markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The UK was ideally placed for such a venture, and Erchonia Lasers Ltd was the result. Working closely with their US counterparts, the EMEA team work tirelessly to give their customers the best possible products, service, training and support when it comes to non-thermal laser technology, also educating on the different delivery mechanisms associated with Low Level Laser.

The team’s work covers an enormous range of different areas, with the lasers specifically designed to act as an advanced delivery system transporting photonic energy via electromagnetic energy transfer into the body through a ‘true’ laser beam. This impressive, clinically proven technology, can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions including the reduction of body fat, adjusting the appearance of cellulite, eliminating pain, accelerating healing, treating acne and treating foot fungus to name but a few. Such amazing range of ability is a boost to the medical industry, ensuring that their newest purchase is far more than just a one-trick-pony enabling diversification as well as increased efficacy.

At the heart of Erchonia is a determination to meet the desires and needs of clinicians and patients. The potential of non-thermal laser which falls under the umbrella of low-level laser therapy could easily transform the way in which people are treated. As such, the team make every effort to ensure that the service that they offer is one which is world-class. The success of their efforts can be seen easily in the range of different services that are used, with new and exciting solutions designed for surgeons, aesthetic doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, general pain management clinics and veterinarians worldwide. Reaching such a broad audience has been one of the keys behind Erchonia’s success.

The use of laser therapy has a long and happy history within the healthcare industry, traditionally being used to pierce through skin in order to cauterise a wound. Harnessing the properties of this non-thermal laser technology by electromagnetic energy transfer allows clinics and their patients across the board to access the enormous potential they possess in increased efficacy, especially compared to standard therapies, without the resultant pain and tissue damage, or downtime.

The Erchonia team achieve this exceptional addition to a clinician’s options through careful and thorough investigation via Level One (510k) placebo controlled, double blind, randomised, multicentre clinical trials (using LED in the placebo effect) allowing them to achieve 18 of the 21 US FDA market clearances given to Low Level Lasers. They aren’t just designed to be magnificent examples of engineering, but practical additions to a clinic. Hot lasers carry with them a number of drawbacks, namely the challenges involved in purchasing and maintaining them, as well as the difficulties of patient recovery. A non-thermal laser device is a less expensive treatment overall, while diminishing the safety concerns that are ever present with laser use. ‘True’ non-thermal laser light is coherent, collimated, monochromatic ,visible light, unlike other technologies that fall within this category, allowing Erchonia lasers to optimise the dose of photonic energy delivered to the mitochondria of the cell. The result is a clinic that is transformed into something highly efficient and incredibly advantageous to their patients.

Throughout every level of the firm’s operation, quality has remained first and foremost, and there are no shortcuts taken or compromises made. The desire to find new ways of using non-thermal lasers has been a huge part of the team’s success, and this exploratory method is only possible if every step is made towards ultimate quality and patient satisfaction. Despite the global nature of Erchonia, what unites every aspect is the pride contained within every product. The high quality of workmanship from the humblest fitting to the most sophisticated engineering is clear for all to see.

The comprehensive approach is made possible through a process that sees each product completed ‘in-house’. The team are over 85% self-reliant in all facets of the company. All products that bear the Erchonia name undergo the same impressive manufacturing and assembly processes, combined with oversight that ensures no part goes awry.

With demand being international, these products are produced to FDA, ISO, OSHA and MDSAP standards. The commitment to quality in all areas is the key behind the impressive reputation that Erchonia have been able to garner for themselves. When medical professionals need a product that can stand the test of time, they more often than not turn to Erchonia to see what they can offer.

While the team’s products blow the competition away, it’s in the area of research and development that the team thrive most clearly. Erchonia Corporation has a strong history of innovation, for which it has achieved success in GHP, but this has only been possible thanks to an astonishing amount of investment. The team have over $5 million invested in research and development at any one time to make sure they keep pushing the boundaries and defying the dogma.

These studies have an impact not just on the company, but on the scientific community as a whole. Through this commitment to higher standards and the exploration of new boundaries, the team at Erchonia has been able to push the limits of the market for the benefit of their clients.

Innovation is one of the key tenets of Erchonia, with every aspect of the business built around ensuring that the team can continue to grow in their ways of working. Leadership comes from a cross-functional and diverse senior management team, comprised of business, sales, marketing, compliance, research, and engineering expertise. By combining all of these aspects, the team can enact a full spectrum view of proceedings that can benefit the whole company, as opposed to specific areas.

This approach, which embraces novelty and original thinking, is what has seen the company grow over the last two decades. It makes it possible for the leadership to explore a problem or possibility from all sides, in its true height, depth and breadth. It’s little wonder that such strong consideration for the needs of clients has allowed the team to achieve such an incredible degree of success over the years.

Those clinics which have taken up the use of an Erchonia laser have found it quickly becoming an indispensable tool in many unique situations, but one of the most rewarding for the Erchonia team is that of pain management and accelerated healing. Chronic pain can be incredibly challenging to treat, but the use of specific treatments such as laser therapies have been known to bring about fast and effective relief. The specifics of this field are not yet fully understood, with scientists still exploring the impact and potential effects of this new area of laser therapy, but it holds within it enormous potential.

The use of non-thermal lasers could transform the lives of those with Chronic pain. The lasers can penetrate the skin, as well as soft or hard tissues, and are able to make an enormous difference to a person’s wellbeing with no visible impact. Often, the use of an Erchonia laser can have an immensely positive effect on inflammation, pain and healing. Cells absorb the light energy from the laser and are able to convert it into cell energy, which suppresses pain and reduces the inflammatory pathways. The results speak for themselves, with short, regular treatments offering patients much needed reprieve from pain over the longer term.

The use of laser treatments can take the strain from other options which some would consider riskier. Naturally, most medical professions try to avoid the use of surgical options if at all possible. While the use of various medications seemed the natural solution to this, they bring their own problems. Medicines like acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories often bring their own unique and undesirable side effects at best or do little to help at worst. The use of opioids has its own risks, this time by way of misuse and abuse by the patient.

As non-thermal laser treatment has no recovery time or reported side effects, while being painless and safe to use, it has become the recommended choice for many. The most exciting aspect, however, is the way in which companies like Erchonia have been able to open the market up so that clinics can use this treatment easily and effectively. Historically, it was incredibly difficult to access such resources, but now many clinics have them as standard to work alongside their own skillset. That is the result of what Erchonia have done, both in North America, Europe and beyond.

It’s clear that the medical industry is one which is constantly innovating, but one of the biggest innovations is the work that has been championed by the team at Erchonia. Their high-quality products have opened the door to new treatments that have transformed the industry at large. It’s an incredible achievement!  Thanks to this organisation, more patients can access better healthcare that relieves their pain quickly and effectively, and also reduce their body fat whilst preserving the endocrine function of the cell which can be discussed in more depth at a later date. Innovation is at the centre of what Erchonia do!

For more information, please contact Kate Murray via email at [email protected]

HACCP Plan 25 Years Later: Where We’re At

Twenty-five years ago, the FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) issued its landmark final rule. Known as PR/HACCP, the “Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point” was created to lower the risk and numbers of pathogenic microorganisms forming on meat and poultry products. The rule also reduces the incidence of foodborne illnesses that result from consumption of these animal products. Finally, the rule offered a new framework that modernized the current system of inspection for meat and poultry products. The goal was to reduce the potential of contamination through proactive means rather than reactively. According to FSIS Administrator Paul Kiecker, “Food safety is an ever-evolving process. HACCP marked a dramatic change in food safety and how FSIS approached its mission of keeping food safe and the role of inspecting processing establishments.”

Results From the Final Rule

The HACCP plan includes sanitation requirements that were motivated in part by the FSIS addressing the issue of harmful bacteria found on raw meat and poultry products. These bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7, continue to be major food hazards that are associated only with meat and poultry. A study released in 2012 revealed that the HACCP final rule had achieved its goal. Statistics collected as part of the study research showed that Salmonella contamination on broiler chicken carcasses dropped 56 percent between 1995, before the HACCP final rule was announced, to 2000. In the same timeframe, the number of foodborne illness cases resulting from Salmonella on broilers had dropped by 190,000.

The Outbreaks of 1993

1993 was a turning point for the federal government in how it addressed pathogens and outbreaks. An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak traced to a fast-food restaurant in the Pacific Northwest selling ground beef resulted in the deaths of four children. The outbreak also caused close to 200 others to develop serious ongoing health issues. The majority of those affected by this outbreak were less than 10 years old. The FSIS was already working on regulations that would require a systematic approach to food safety. These measures were to be used in food production and included preventative measures that would reduce the risks of illness to consumers. 

What The Changes Included

FSIS officials and the public requested different methods to ensure and improve food safety. The events of 1993 meant that the previously standard ways had to change.  What resulted was a science-based inspection system that caused a noticeable shift in the USDA’s regulatory philosophy. Instead of inspecting finished products for biological, chemical, and physical hazards, the HACCP rule required establishments to use preventative measures to avoid these hazards in the first place. Part of this process included the development and implementation of written sanitation standard operating procedures. Added to this were FSIS pathogen reduction performance standards for Salmonella, and record-keeping procedures. And finally, the PR/HACCP final rule altered and defined the roles of both the establishments and the federal government in the food safety inspection process. Establishments were given the flexibility to make decisions on food safety specific to their particular establishment. The previous system, which was command-and-control based, required approval of production-associated decisions from a government inspector. With HACCP in place, the industry is completely responsible for the decisions made related to food production and the execution of the decisions. The FSIS’s role under HACCP is to conduct inspections to verify compliance with food safety standards, and enforcement to address non-compliance.

What They Had To Say

“I had the privilege to see first-hand the most significant change at that time for both FSIS and the industry,” says Paul Wolseley an Executive Associate for Regulatory Operations in the FSIS Office of Field Operations. “By moving away from a command-and-control methodology of conducting inspection to a science-based approach for controlling food safety hazards in meat and poultry products, we greatly enhanced our ability to protect public health.” He added, “The shift to HACCP paved the way for innovations that continue today.” William Shaw, the FSIS Executive Associate for Laboratory Services weighs in on the changes made to microbial testing programs, saying, “The HACCP program was a paradigm shift for the Agency.” He goes on to state, “The need for verification led to the largest scale microbial testing program by the Agency. It’s evolved into the FSIS annual sampling plan we issue today.” 

The Process Has Since Extended To Egg Product Inspection

Since 1996, the HACCP regulations have been updated to address more establishments and other food products. In 2020, the regulations covering egg product inspections were amended so that egg processing plants must now develop and implement HACCP procedures. This will align them with other FSIS-regulated products. According to Agency Administrator Kiecker, “The evolution of our policies and inspection programs means FSIS can be more proactive instead of reactive when it comes to stopping an outbreak.” It is because of this ever-changing landscape that the FSIS keeps promoting and maintaining the highest standards found in the food production process. In doing so, the Agency has kept its mission of protecting the public through food safety as its top priority.

Final Thoughts

Food safety is a serious matter. It continues to be now that we are twenty-five years past the implementation of the HACCP final rule. The safe production and handling of food consumed by the public is the key behind the HACCP regulations. Foodborne illnesses can cause death, and outbreaks as recent as 1993 provided evidence that supported a change in the regulations. With new guidelines that are more science-based, the number of incidents related to bacteria and foodborne illnesses has dropped significantly. Plus, with better food safety standards in place, consumer confidence has increased and restaurants and food production facilities have seen some very good years in business. With these guidelines in place, and a proper inspection and enforcement program, the HACCP standards continue to lead the way in maintaining food safety for the US public.

7 Safety Tips for Elderly Resources Caregivers Should Explore

Aging persons rely on caregivers to assist them in their daily activities. They regard them as helpful and reliable companions, sometimes even regard them as a family or as confidants. For them, caregivers ensure they live well despite injury or illness.

Caregivers value this trust by doing their jobs well. Those who are extremely passionate even go to greater lengths to do more than assist the elderly, making safety their topmost priority. For them, keeping seniors secure from every possible threat is their unique way of providing quality care.

One way caregivers can uphold their duty is to know what makes seniors vulnerable and take necessary steps to protect them from these risks. They can explore valuable resources regarding the various facets of elderly care to improve their craft.

Elderly Safety Resources

Training provides caregivers with the necessary skills to keep seniors secure whether they’re at home or in any care setting. Aside from this, they can also look up the following resources to help them learn about the latest in elderly care: 

1. Home Safety Resources

In-home safety is the topmost priority of caregivers, especially now that majority of seniors choose to age in place. Before a home assessment, caregivers can visit wordtothewise.life to help them determine safety hazards or risky behaviors that could cause slips and falls, poisoning, or burns. In addition, they can provide recommendations to keep family or senior homes accident-proof.

Aside from these, caregivers can also check additional resources that cover home security and disaster preparedness. They help care professionals prepare seniors against future incidents that could jeopardize their health and home. 

2. Food and Drug Safety

Caregivers also assist senior individuals with their meals and medications. They ensure elderly patients follow safety tips when using the kitchen and encourage them to follow diet plans. 

Food safety resources ensure caregivers are well-versed when it comes to healthy eating for seniors. They provide care professionals with meal ideas to prevent choking hazards and encourage good eating and drinking habits. 

When it comes to drug safety, caregivers should also brush up on their prescription-reading skills so they can administer medications properly. They must also review senior meds regularly to ensure that food and drugs don’t cause complications.

3. Safety During Exercise and Physical Activity

Exercise is crucial to keeping seniors healthy. However, seniors with mobility issues or serious illnesses may not be able to perform a rigorous activity. Caregivers can look up suitable exercises to keep them physically active without compromising their well-being. They can also seek recommendations regarding safety gear that aging patients can use to enjoy recreational activities. 

4. Computer and Internet Safety Guides

These days, seniors use computers, smartphones, mobile apps, and the internet to connect with loved ones and medical professionals. They can combat isolation and ensure they receive adequate medical attention. Mobile apps can also send groceries and medicines in their homes without seniors having to leave their homes. 

Unfortunately, these communications can also expose them to various scams that prey on their vulnerabilities. As con artists are keen on obtaining social security numbers, bank details, and phone numbers, caregivers need to keep abreast with the latest cybersecurity trends to protect seniors.

Senior living companions may need to become tech-savvy to keep patients safe as they browse or perform transactions online. They can use their skills to install anti-virus programs or other safety tools on devices seniors use. Caregivers are also encouraged to educate the elderly to keep them from internet fraud or similar modus.

5. Financial Security

Elderly patients may also face financial abuse from family members or strangers. By looking up resources that tackle financial security for seniors, they can easily spot signs of exploitation. They can also consult professionals and inform concerned authorities to prevent further exploitation.

6. Elderly Driver Safety 

Seniors who are still capable of driving for doctor’s appointments, groceries, or other errands may unknowingly put themselves and others at risk. Certain medications, deteriorating vision, hearing, and muscle coordination can hinder them from driving safely. 

Caregivers need to learn how to keep seniors safe while they’re on the road. They can look for driving problems and seek the opinion of a driver rehabilitation specialist to determine if the elderly is still fit behind the wheel.  

7. Support Animals and Senior Safety

Some seniors keep a dog, cat, or both as support animals and for companionship. When caregivers are faced with this situation, they should know how to keep patients, pets, and themselves safe. They’d also need to read up regarding the needs of support animals and be prepared to provide adequate care as they would for their elderly patients.

In case senior patients can no longer care for their pets or support animals, caregivers should know how to access organizations that can handle their needs.

Conclusion

Elderly safety is a paramount concern for caregivers. It’s embedded in their care routine and involves all aspects of their patient’s lives. Care professionals need to take advantage of various online resources and tap professionals that will ensure seniors remain inside and outside of their homes.

Growing Position in “Design, Build and Maintain” Market

PP4CE (Professional Partners for Control Environment) has been in existence for six years and is a collaboration between professional partners who are active in the controlled environment market, with one organisation in the Netherlands and one organisation operating internationally. The initiator of these strategic alliances is Geerd Jansen, board member within the Brecon Group, together with Paul Joosten, PP4CE partner from the very beginning and board member at Kuijpers. Global Health & Pharma magazine has recognised the collaboration for its Best Cleanroom Design and Engineering Specialists 2021 – Europe award, so we speak to the duo to learn more.

A strategic alliance of specialised companies in cleanroom market segments such as semiconductor, pharmacy, medical services and/or the food sector, PP4CE has the extensive experience in the field of control environment solutions.

Geerd Hansen said, “After having been internationally active in construction chemicals for 35 years on an executive level, I came into contact with cleanroom technology in 2014 as a consultant for the Brecon Group. A very interesting market in which Brecon had already been active for 25 years, primarily in the semi-conductor sector. When I was asked to write a strategic plan for this great company, I noticed that there were hardly any parties active that offered actual turn-key projects. Moreover, many small providers were (and still are) active with relatively little knowledge and experience in the various market segments. I believe that such an important facility as a cleanroom should be built with the best parties and that is why I started looking for truly professional partners within this industry; one of them was Kuijpers.”

As director within the Kuijpers organisation, Paul Joosten is responsible for controlled environments in the life sciences and high-tech industry. Kuijpers is a 100-year-old family business specialising in all disciplines related to technical installations in buildings and industry with over 1,300 employees and 14 branches in the Netherlands.

“At the time, Paul also recognised the importance of pooling expertise by serious partners, and that’s how the PP4CE concept was born,” said Geerd.

Many parties are now active as partners within the PP4CE alliance. Some examples from the first hour include Bolidt (floors), Assa Abloy Entrance Technology, WERO, Cleanroom Cleaning, Denios (safety), Mennens Cleanroom Cranes, but also the architectural office of AKEN and CMI (monitoring) in Eindhoven. Due to the division into three specialised segments, food, pharma and high-tech, specialised companies have now been added such as ELIS (cleanroom clothing), D&M (vacuum oven systems), TRIMO Group Sandwich panels and UNICORN Industrial Cleaning Solutions. With the division into three market segments, they were able to integrate more specialised disciplines as a partner and they are even better able to respond to all questions within these specific sub-markets.

Geerd said, “More and more people can talk to us about really all disciplines in cleanroom technology. As part of the Brecon Group, Brecon Clean Interiors is the contact partner for LAF cabinets, collision protection, safety workbenches and all other lab and cleanroom equipment.”

Paul Joosten said, “At the time of acquaintance with the PP4CE concept, Kuijpers had already realised some nice “controlled environment” projects. At the time, I also saw a development in the Dutch market in which clients increasingly wanted to enter into a “design, build and maintain” process based on turn-key construction concepts. This trend has developed strongly and for us as an organisation this was and is an excellent development because it allows us to optimally demonstrate our expertise and experience.

“Having worked on the ASML campus for decades, the Brecon Group was primarily a well-known partner for us at the time, which people thought of in high-tech assignments. Much has changed in recent years. We have now jointly built a series of complex GMP projects and the Brecon Group has developed strongly in the field of GMP regulations.”

Geerd added, “That is indeed a fact. Having been focused on the semi-conductor sector for decades, Brecon became more known as a specialist for the high-tech market. In the meantime, we have become a completely different company in our product portfolio, service and the existing GMP knowledge and experience.

“More and more quote requests are coming in across the entire width of the controlled environment spectrum and more and more are “design and build” projects. We handle the request together with Kuijpers and we often jointly introduce the PP4CE concept to the prospective client. We start the often-complex assignment together with the client in the stage of defining the URS and with all other PP4CE partners, we then work on the entire process from the initial phase up to the planning and realisation phase, including commissioning and qualification. Thanks to the integrated approach of the entire PP4CE team, we can work faster and at a high-quality level.”

The collaboration is now known (inter)nationally as a reliable partner for in time realisation of cleanrooms, containments and laboratories in the various market segments. Food, high-tech or life science projects, large or small, simple or very complex…. the partners within PP4CE are not afraid of a challenge and realise each project within the set time schedule, as they have repeatedly demonstrated in recent years. The list of GMP related “design and build” references is now long and impressive.

Paul said, “We started together in 2016 with the realisation of a big hospital-pharmacy for a group of hospitals in the Hague (AHZ). Immediately afterwards, the realisation of the hospital-pharmacy in the Princess Maxima hospital in Utrecht followed, followed by the construction of the APPO pharmacy in Roosendaal. We recently completed the construction project of the hospital-pharmacy for the Catherina Hospital in Eindhoven. We are proud to look at our reference list in which beautiful GMP projects, among other projects at MSD (Organon), ASPEN, FUJI and REPLIGEN are realised. To get a good impression of the quality we deliver, I would advise viewing the short impression film on our site in which we show the result of building a cleanroom for a worldwide leading pharmaceutical company at one of their locations in Amsterdam.”

Both entrepreneurs leave no doubt about it: the PP4CE group will strive for further (international) growth and will not shy away from a challenge to realise their objective together with their PP4CE partners!

For more information on the PP4CE alliance, please contact initiator Geerd Jansen by emailing [email protected] or calling +31 (0) 6 46 3573 46.

How to Care For Your Health When You’re Not So Young Anymore

Aging is a part of the natural course of life. Your metabolism naturally slows down, and you become more vulnerable as your immune system weakens, your bones get more fragile, your muscles get weaker, and so on. If you add deteriorating mental health and capabilities to the list, it’s no wonder that so many people need live-in care specialists or other forms of outside help. While some of these things can’t be avoided, you can actually do a lot to stay in shape as you get older. You would be surprised how much it all depends on the choices you make every day.

Below, we share tips on how to take care of yourself when you’re no longer so young. We discuss dietary changes, the importance of physical activity, regular check-ups, supplements, and a variety of other steps to ensure good health. Read on to learn what you can do to enjoy your life longer – for yourself and your loved ones.

 

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to stay in shape. While exercising doesn’t mean that you’ll live forever, it does promote health, well-being, and longevity. Regular exercise helps fight depression, improves your mood, lowers stress levels, and promotes cell regeneration. It also maintains your muscles, bones, joints, and heart health.

The key is to choose activities that you enjoy. If you like walking, go for it! If you like swimming, even better! Or if you find dancing to be the best form of exercise ever, keep doing it! Just make sure to keep your body moving.

 

Take Care Of Your Teeth

Your dental hygiene will play a big role in how well your body functions as you get older. If you want to keep your teeth in healthy condition, you should use fluoride toothpaste, go to the dentist regularly, or install a water flosser at home. We highly recommend all three options!

Fluoride toothpaste keeps your teeth strong and healthy. It also protects against cavities and gum disease. When it comes to visiting the dentist, you should go at least once a year for a check-up. This allows the dentist to check for cavities, plaque buildup, gum disease, or any other problems. These are things that can easily be addressed when they are still small. Finally, if you want to save money and avoid traveling to the dentist, you can always use a water flosser at home. This device allows you to clean your teeth in between trips to the dentist. It makes oral hygiene much easier!

 

Eat a Healthy Diet

As you get older, your diet becomes even more important than it was before. This is because your body naturally starts to age and begins to lose its ability to heal itself. The more we eat unhealthy foods – refined sugars and processed foods – the worse off we become. For this reason, you need to focus on eating a diet that consists of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats, legumes, and fish. These will help ensure that your body gets everything it needs to thrive!

 

Drink Lots Of Water

Every adult needs to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Water is crucial for maintaining good health and hydration. It helps flush toxins from the body and keeps the skin looking young and healthy. It also keeps the organs functioning properly and helps fight fatigue. As we get older, we become less likely to drink enough water every day. Make sure that you always carry a bottle of water around with you and try to drink more than eight glasses of water every day.

 

Exercise Your Brain

A lot of people think that as we get older, we become more forgetful and less capable of learning new things. Studies show however that it’s possible to remain as sharp as ever as we age by exercising our brains regularly. Learn a new language or a new skill – anything that keeps your mind active is a great way to keep yourself sharp!

 

Stay Social

It’s easy to isolate yourself from friends and family if you’re no longer working or going out as much as before. However, isolation can actually contribute greatly to ill health. Studies show that people who are lonely tend to have higher rates of depression and anxiety as well as lower immune systems. In addition, staying social with others helps stave off cognitive decline as we age.

 

Consider Taking Supplements

As we get older the body naturally loses nutrients and vitamins at a faster rate. This can leave us feeling fatigued and sick – especially if we’re not eating as healthily as we could. For this reason, it’s important to take supplements so you can replenish your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs.

There are a number of supplements that can help improve your health as you age – particularly if you’re feeling under the weather. These include Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin C, turmeric, curcumin, and green tea. Make sure to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements to make sure they are safe for you!

 

Watch Your Weight

As you get older, being overweight or obese is even more likely to result in many different illnesses, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Excess weight puts a lot of strain on the body and tends to weaken the immune system as well as cause a lot of other health problems. In order to maintain good health as we age, it is important that we watch our diets and maintain a healthy lifestyle instead of turning to supplements or medications as a substitute.

 

Conclusion

Aging is a part of life, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it! As we grow older, we tend to take our health for granted. However, as we learn from people around us and from research, it’s obvious that the choices we make every day have a huge impact on our health. As you get older, you may need to make some changes in your lifestyle in order to remain in good health. It’s never too late to start taking good care of yourself. The sooner you do, the better off your body will be in the future!

Questions To Ask a Dentist Before Getting Your Wisdom Tooth Extracted

Most people realize that a trip to the dentist once in a while is a necessity, but hardly anyone enjoys it. In fact, according to psychologists, dentophobia is one of the most common phobias among people of all ages. Unfortunately, dental health is not something you can simply ignore.

As such, it is vital to prepare yourself for a visit, especially if it involves any kind of procedure, e.g., a tooth extraction. This way, you will know what to expect, which will make the whole experience less scary.

In this article, we will focus on wisdom tooth extraction, as it is one of the most frequently performed dental procedures. Below, you will find the list of questions and topics you should raise with your dentist to gather the necessary information; they involve the talk about anesthesia, the duration of the procedure, potential risks and complications, and recommended routines for before and after the extraction.

 

What Kind of Anesthesia Will You Receive?

Wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively simple procedure, but it can be a bit painful. For this reason, your dentist may suggest local or general anesthesia.

Local anesthesia is the mildest form of pain control. It involves the injection of an anesthetic into or around the tooth that is to be removed. The main advantage of this method is that you will stay conscious throughout the procedure; it might give you a sense of control. Also, you won’t need much time to recover. However, it may be less effective than general anesthesia in some cases.

General anesthesia requires you to receive a sedative injection to make you drowsy, and then you will be put under by anesthetic. This way, you will fall asleep and experience no pain during the procedure, though it will take longer to recover.

Ask your dentist what they recommend and why. You can also get into the details – what kind of substance do they use? Do they have an anesthesia machine? How do they calculate the correct dosage? Consider how much you need to know to calm your mind.

 

How Long Will the Procedure Take?

The duration of the procedure depends on a number of factors. For example, if your dentist has to extract all four wisdom teeth during one visit, it will undoubtedly be more complicated and time-consuming.

Another important factor is your dentist’s experience and skill level. If they have been performing this procedure for a long time, especially with the help of the same technique, they will likely perform it faster than a beginner.

In addition, the condition of your teeth may also affect the duration of the surgery. In case you have not visited a dentist for a while, your wisdom teeth are probably not in the best shape – which means that your dentist will have to spend more time on each tooth.

In short, ask about your dentist’s experience with this procedure, their average time performance, and how long you will need to recover.

 

What Are the Potential Risks and Complications?

Most of the complications associated with wisdom tooth extraction are not severe, but they can be unpleasant. For example, you may experience some bleeding after the surgery, though remember that it’s entirely normal. Your dentist will probably recommend you apply an ice pack to the area. You should only come back for a checkup if the bleeding becomes excessive or doesn’t stop. However, even if that’s the case, you will only need some antibiotics.

Another thing is your body’s reaction to the anesthesia. It may cause nausea or vomiting, but it should subside soon after the procedure.

It is also important to mention that if your wisdom tooth roots are not completely erupted, your dentist might have to cut into your gum. This can lead to inflammation or infection in the gums or even require some stitches.

Ask your dentist how many times they have performed the procedure and what kind of complications they encountered. You might also ask what you can do before and after the procedure to smoothen the process.

 

What To Do Before and After the Procedure?

Some of the most important things you should do before wisdom tooth extraction include:

● Ask about any specific instructions you should follow before the surgery, e.g., whether or not you can take certain medications.

● Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure; your dentist will likely recommend you not drive for a couple of hours after the surgery, especially if you’ve had general anesthesia.

● Make sure you have some painkillers at home. Your dentist might give you some, but it’s better to be prepared.

 

On the other hand, there are also some things you should do after the procedure:

● Call your dentist if you experience excessive bleeding or swelling that doesn’t seem to go away.

● Rinse your mouth with warm water regularly, especially after meals. You can also use salt water to reduce swelling and irritation.

● Apply an ice pack on the area for 20 minutes at a time.

● Avoid exercising or straining yourself for 48 hours after the surgery.

● Do not smoke or drink alcohol while taking antibiotics. They can interact with each other and cause damage to your liver or gastrointestinal tract.

 

Conclusion

Wisdom tooth extraction is a standard procedure that should not be feared. As long as you are well-informed, it will probably turn out to be safe and relatively painless. However, it is essential to remember that complications are possible, which is why you should always follow your dentist’s instructions.

After all, you don’t want to spend weeks recovering from an unnecessary complication. It’s also vital to note that if you have any other medical conditions or if you are taking any medications, you might experience different side effects after your surgery.

Biggest Problems in Medical Billing

Medical institutions all over are facing a serious problem when it comes to billing. In just about every healthcare system, there are issues surrounding the issuance, follow-up and payment of bills. Some of the problems are with patients, others with the medical establishments themselves. In any event, what they all really need are modern, effective and innovative medical billing and payment solutions.

What exactly are these problems in the world of medical billing? Let’s see some examples below:

 

1. Lost Revenue

We should start with the big worldwide issue first that is most in need of innovative solutions, and that is the amount of money that is lost by billing errors. The WHO has already called this problem “the last great unreduced health-care cost.” Billing errors apparently waste an amount equivalent to 7 percent of global health expenditure — US$ 487 billion.

One Australian study from 2018 showed that just educating people more about medical billing was able to save AUD 250 million in a single year from waste of AUD 1 billion in total. With so much money being lost to billing errors, smarter solutions that can remove human error as much as possible from the equation are the answer.

 

2. Late Payments

When systems rely on either patients to pay for services or insurance companies to come forward and pay for things, then delays in payment appear to be inevitable. Solutions focused on widening payment accessibility such as opening up online payments, credit card payments and other channels can help, but implementation proves tough for some.

 

3. Staying Up to Date with Patient Information

Verifying people’s personal and insurance information is an inseparable part of the billing process, and when the current software solutions are inadequate and information gets out of date, then many more steps have to be added to the process in order to get the right information and then confirm it before the original goal of getting payment for something can be completed.

 

4. Incompatible Medical Coding Systems

Some software solutions have proven unsuitable for the Australian market because of the differences in medical coding. With some systems being geared towards the US standard in medical coding, they remain woefully incompatible with the system used in Australia, namely ICD-10-AM, ACHI, ACS — International Classification of Diseases 10th edition Australian Modification, Australian Classification of Health Interventions, Australian Coding Standards.

That’s quite a mouthful, we know, but it’s absolutely crucial in the seamless sharing and understanding of information. When the digital system doesn’t understand the standard coding, then there is a serious communications breakdown.

 

5. Quality Control – Dealing with Errors and Complaints

A smart billing solution will actively help to eliminate errors across the system. What’s more, if and when errors do occur, accurate and complete information is needed within a log that records the patient’s name, account number, cash reimbursement amount, etc.

These logs form a trail that allows healthcare providers to keep full track of all cash flow and revenue payments. This is an indispensable tool in the war on medical bill waste that already costs the world billions of dollars.

 

6. Assistance with Tech Implementation

Finally, one other big problem is that when high-tech solutions are employed by medical establishments, they frequently don’t include enough support in implementation, which leads to further problems. Establishments and their teams need sufficient training and tech support right up to the point where a matured and experienced in-house team is in a position to take over that role.

 

In short, the medical world is in sore need of real and innovative billing solutions. With so much still slipping through the cracks, no one can afford to wait any longer.

Breaking the Stigma: Perimenopause, Menopause and Beyond with New UK-based Menopause Retreat

The menopause, whilst much more commonly discussed these days, is still considered somewhat of a taboo topic.

Without social media and modern-day celebrities and influencers, we wouldn’t be where we are now; in the 21st century, where people from all walks of life are able to discuss hard-hitting topics much more freely, without feeling ashamed and most importantly, knowing that they aren’t alone. And this has been echoed on through older generations, alongside the power of the human connection, which is ultimately, the most impactful tool we have.

Talking freely to break the stigma is something that people should adopt in the real world, too. With around 13 million women in the UK entering menopause each year, it is no longer something to ignore or brush under the carpet, but something to embrace – together, and in person, as nothing quite beats the getting together of likeminded people.

And with some people noticing perimenopausal changes as early as their 30s and one in 100 women entering the menopause prematurely, it is important for women and people to be educated as early as possible.

Victoria Cranmer, founder of international retreat company Mindful Escapes, is a female entrepreneur aiming to do just that ahead of World Menopause Day on 18 October.

A sense of community

Offering a variety of unique coaching via health, fitness and wellbeing retreats, Mindful Escapes has recently announced the launch of its UK-based Menopause Retreat.

Keen to support and empower women through the varying stages of menopause, Victoria explains that the aim of the retreat is to educate and inform, as well as to enlighten and build support groups.

And with Covid-19 still very much at the forefront of our minds, Victoria is prioritising the safety of guests, which is why the retreat will take place in the UK before venturing abroad to much sunnier climates.

Guests will be surrounded by nature and countryside, as the retreat’s locations consist of the idyllic Peak District as well as peaceful and picturesque Surrey.

Victoria says, “The retreat has been designed to ensure women are fully equipped to take ownership of their menopause journey, whilst providing people with a safe space to talk freely with those experiencing something similar.

“Throughout menopause, women will experience both mental and physical change, and I provide a safe, relaxing, and experiential retreat by ensuring that women feel comfortable in small groups that they can share concerns, experiences and ask questions openly. The retreat will focus on educating and Informing women, you can’t manage what you don’t understand so we will take you over the basic elements of Menopausing.

The Menopause Retreat, hosted by Mindful Escapes, aims to give people a new lease of life, improve their confidence and to of course, break the stigma surrounding menopause.

“Often, particularly in the workplace, women are considered weak in comparison to their male counterparts simply because of what we have to go through in life.

“And I hope that by doing this retreat, we will help to break down such barriers and bring people together, especially after almost 18 months of lockdown restrictions,” Victoria continued.

Combining professionalism with relaxation

Similarly, to new parents attending NCT groups, the Menopause Retreat will focus on networking, relatability and community, creating a support group where the people involved will feel like family.

This, combined with the expertise and knowledge of industry professionals, including a doctor and a doula will create the ultimate retreat.

Dr Joanne Hobson, MBBS, DRCOG, FRSH, is a member of the British Menopause Society and the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine, and after working with hormones for more than 25 years, this makes her the perfect professional to be a coach at the likes of a menopause retreat.

“I am passionate about all aspects of a woman’s health-life journey, from late teens, throughout their reproductive years and post menopause, too,” said Dr Joanne Hobson.

Dr Hobson is proactive in empowering women to make the right choices for them, with evidence-based information, rather than sourcing their views from the many inaccuracies that can be found online.

As well as a doctor, a menopause doula can provide people with information to learn more about themselves and their menstruation, and Victoria was incredibly excited to get a doula on board.

Fiona Catchpowle, Menopause Doula for Mindful Escapes’ Menopause Retreat, is keen to educate and raise awareness of menstruation and menopause, hoping to in turn, break the stigma.

She said, “I have a vision of care for the modern menopause. Stigma and overwhelm on the topics of menstruation to menopause are restricting human potential, from a physical, gender and mental health perspective.”

Having easily accessible knowledge, breaking down barriers and providing workable solutions, Fiona aims to increase opportunities and reassurance for all people, thereby creating a positive experience during huge hormonal shifts.

A change in lifestyle

Adapting to menopause is a state of mind, and to help with both mental and physical changes, people might benefit from altering their lifestyle and outlook on life.

As people embark upon their journey through menopause, it is important for them to understand what the menopause is, what happens to hormones and how this can affect them.

Victoria explains that there are many ways in which people can take control, including;

  • A change in mindset
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Exercise
  • Food and nutrition
  • HRT

As part of the retreat on offer from Mindful Escapes, all the above will be discussed by the coaches, doctors, doulas and medical professionals as they will help you to find what works best for you, your lifestyle and your needs.

Providing a continued support network with both coaches and likeminded people, a retreat is the perfect tool to aid people in their journey through menopause and beyond.

If you’re interested in a UK-based retreat, then visit https://www.mindfulescapes.uk/ for more information.

Five Things You May Not Know About the Keto Diet by Dr Michael Mosley

The Keto diet plays an intrinsic part of The Fast 800, the lifestyle plan developed by Dr Michael Mosley.

“Your body is like a hybrid car – it runs on two main energy sources, sugar and fat. The Keto diet, and intermittent fasting, encourages your body to flip from one to the other, burning through your fat stores and restoring your body to health.”

Dr Mosley shares his expert insights about following the Keto diet: 

1. Flipping the switch between burning sugar and burning fat is the key to the Keto diet.

The Keto diet, where you eat low carb, high fat and high protein foods, is designed to switch the body from burning sugar to burning fat – by prompting mild ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body uses fat as its main fuel.

With time restricted eating, you induce a state of mild ketosis, and that seems to produce some widespread benefits including stabilising blood sugar levels and weight loss.

2. Swap white bread and pasta for fibrous carbs like chickpeas and wholegrains

Clinical trials consistently show that low carb diets are effective for weight loss, over and above low fat diets that once proved popular for those slimming down and watching their weight. The trick is not to cut carbs completely, but rather to be choosy about the ones you regularly eat.

White bread, white pasta, potatoes and sugars including maple syrup and agave nectar are easily digestible carbohydrates, meaning they are rapidly absorbed by the body, creating a big spike in your blood-sugar levels. Instead, eat carbohydrates that contain lots of fibre. Fibre reduces the blood sugar spike, provides protection against bowel cancer and feeds the ‘good’ bacteria that live in your guts. Examples of fibrous carbs include vegetables, legumes – chickpeas and lentils – and wholegrains. such as barley, oats, buckwheat, and rye.

3. Start the day with protein

It is well known that moderately increasing the amount of protein in your diet can help you to feel more satisfied after meals. What is less well known, though, is that the time of day that you eat protein also matters.

To test whether protein at the first meal of the day could help people to feel fuller for longer, a US-based study in 2014 divided volunteers into three groups. One group ate a breakfast containing 35g of protein; the second group ate breakfast containing 13g protein; the third group, meanwhile, skipped breakfast altogether. Later on that morning, the volunteers were tested for levels of dopamine, the chemical that drives our reward circuits. They were also asked to rate the intensity of their pre-lunch food cravings.

The results were clear: of all groups, the high-protein breakfast group recorded the highest dopamine levels and lowest pre-lunch food cravings.

Eating protein at the first meal of the day helps you to feel fuller for longer because after a protein meal, levels of a chemical called tyrosine – a building-block for dopamine – rise inside the brain. By increasing its own dopamine supply as the next meal approaches, the brain experiences a much weaker dopamine ’hit’ from high-calorie food.

This does not, of course, mean that you have to eat breakfast early in the day. For many, a midday ‘breakfast’ helps to extend the period of non-eating and so draws down the full benefits of fasting. But what it does mean is that when you do break your fast, eating a higher-protein meal will help to stave off sugar cravings later on.

To deliver enough protein to make the difference, breakfast doesn’t have to be meaty – nuts and seeds are good sources of protein, as are eggs, dairy and quinoa-based foods. Put a ‘protein pot’ on your breakfast table this year, and watch your whole diet improve.

4. Don’t avoid fat – it is essential for healthy bodies and weight loss

Fat is of three macronutrients which our bodies need to survive. Fat from the food we eat aids growth, healthy skin, vitamin absorption and regulation of bodily functions. High-fat foods are higher in calories per gram than foods that are rich in carbohydrates or protein. That’s why we’ve been told that if we want to lose weight we need to cut back on fat. The food industry has jumped onto this bandwagon by creating low-fat ‘diet’ foods, which are often laden with sugar or sweeteners to make them more palatable. Despite the fact that we have cut back on fat, obesity rates have continued to soar.

The thing about good fats, like olive oil, oily fish and avocados, is that although they do contain more calories they also powerfully curb the appetite by slowing the rate at which your stomach empties and so delaying the point at which it signals for more food. Numerous studies have shown that people who consume full fat dairy, for example, tend to be slimmer than those who go for the fat reduced options. To feel fuller for longer, select olive oil, nuts, oily fish and (in moderation) full-fat dairy products. In contrast, eating ‘diet’ foods like fat-free crisps or biscuits can lead to overeating, because they leave the body wanting more.

5. Eat plenty of green and colourful vegetables – many count as ‘free food’

Eat as many green and coloured vegetables as you can, especially dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale. Not only do they supply key vitamins and minerals – they also fight inflammation, which is a known cause of disease and low mood, as well as an obstacle to weight loss. Most vegetables are also very low in calories (especially the dark leafy greens), so you can essentially count these as a ‘free food’.

What is The Fast 800?

The Fast 800 is a weight loss plan based on cutting-edge medical research. It works! It’s not so much a diet, as a bespoke weight loss planner, designed to fit around your own needs. It embraces time-restricted eating, the Keto diet and the Mediterranean principles of consuming a diet rich in healthy proteins and vegetables and lower in carbs.

Most rapid weight loss studies are now based on 800 calories a day, which is high enough to be sustainable and give the nutrients you need, and low enough to lead to rapid weight loss and other beneficial health changes.

It comprises of three ‘tracks’ or options and is combined with advice on planning, exercise and mindfulness.

  1. The Very Fast 800, a 12-week very low calorie (800 per day) plan for rapid weight loss
  2. The New 5:2, which counters insulin resistance with regular two-day fasting regimes, where you consume two meals with a total of 800 calories per day.
  3. The Way of Life, which works either as a great maintenance plan for those who have achieved their goals, or as an entry-level plan for those considering their next options

The Fast 800 diet is based on the Mediterranean diet and the key principles are simple:

  • Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and healthy fats
  • Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs
  • Moderate portions of dairy products
  • Limited intake of red meat

How to Prevent Tooth Discolouration in 5 Easy Steps

Tooth discolouration and yellowing is a huge concern for Brits, with around 71% of adults stating they feel uncomfortable showing their teeth; a third of which said is due to the less than desirable colour of their teeth.

Thankfully, there are some simple ways that you can improve the colour of your teeth and prevent yellowing and discolouration, and Dr Viren Vithlani, periodontal specialist at MyMouth, a leading provider of oral healthcare solutions, explains how.

Your teeth can become discoloured for a wide range of reasons, such as dietary choices, smoking, and poor oral hygiene.

However, there are many ways you can prevent the discolouration of your teeth, many of which can be easily incorporated into your daily oral hygiene routine and are a far cheaper option than having to spend money on reversing the discolouration once it’s already happened.

1. Brushing twice daily

While this may seem obvious, as many as three in ten Brits brush their teeth only once a day, meaning they don’t see the advantages of regular brushing and are more prone to yellowing and discolouration.

Brushing for two minutes twice a day can help to remove surface-level stains from your teeth, working to keep discolouration at bay.

 

2. Limit staining foods

Unfortunately, some of our favourite foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine, and curry can cause deep staining on our teeth, especially if consumed regularly.

Certain foods and drinks have a stronger colour due to chemical compounds called chromogens, and it’s these chemicals that can stain the surface of your teeth.

To prevent discolouration, you should limit staining and acidic foods as much as you can.

3.Tongue cleaning

Did you know that cleaning your tongue can also help to keep your teeth clean?

By removing the dirt, debris, and bacteria from your tongue, you can prevent the build-up of plaque, which can cause teeth to look yellow, as well as prevent dental decay, which can cause discolouration through the weakening and breaking down of enamel.

 

4. Stopping smoking

When you smoke, the tar and nicotine in the cigarette can very quickly stain your teeth various shades of yellow and brown.

Not only can smoking be extremely damaging for your overall health, but it can also seriously damage your teeth by the way of gum disease, due to the tobacco causing a lack of oxygen to your bloodstream.

5. Pick the right toothpaste

Having a whitening toothpaste as part of your oral hygiene routine can help to keep your pearly whites clean, fresh and bright.

Containing the blue-coloured chemical ingredient covarine, whitening toothpaste works by adhering to the surface of the teeth, creating the optical illusion of whiter teeth.

Additionally, whitening toothpastes contain silica, which is an abrasive ingredient that removes surface stains by gently scrubbing them away when you brush your teeth.

By incorporating these simple steps into your daily routine, you won’t need to fork out thousands of pounds on cosmetic dental treatments to reverse the effects of yellowing and discolouration and instead, can take preventative measures to protect both the health and aesthetics of your teeth

Could Taking Out a Mortgage be Beneficial to Your Health?

How Can You Take Out a Mortgage?

One of the reasons why some people may have not opted to take out a mortgage yet is that they believe it will be a stressful business. In fact, the industry is shedding this image thanks to the internet. Now, using online tools, aspiring homeowners can easily check their credentials and see if they are eligible to get a loan.

Not only is it straightforward to get going, but it is also a speedy process. Trussle is an example of a fast mortgage broker where users can get fee-free advice in 24 hours. From there, they can expect to get a decision on their mortgage within five days. This means that there is no extended worry period. People can get a quick answer and then move on with their lives appropriately afterwards.

 

What Does the Research Say?

There has been a vast amount of research into the links between money management and mental health. According to an article published in Manulife, healthy finances equate to a healthy life. In a survey, 42 per cent of respondents said that their greatest stress in life was money. And the sad news is that stress has been linked to some serious health problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Therefore, it is wise for people to do everything they can to combat this.

Some of the suggested options for dealing with financial stress include having a plan for the future by saving each month. One of the best ways to do this is by taking out a mortgage. Yes, you must make monthly payments towards it, but this can be seen as an investment as the value of the house will escalate over time. In contrast, paying rent monthly does not represent a way to save for later life.

Owning a House Will Provide a Sense of Security

Office Life Isn’t Redundant, But the Traditional Commute Is

Office life is not redundant, but the traditional commute is. Here are 5 reasons why a cycling Amsterdam style ethos is set to become the norm in the UK.

Lockdown sparked an Electric Bike phenomenon across the UK.  The UKs No 1 electric bike retailer E-Bikes Direct experienced a 400% growth in lockdown 1 alone. 12 months later, demand continues to outweigh supply across the globe, signalling that electric bike are set to become a permanent lifestyle shift because of the pandemic.  Here, E-Bikes Direct presents the benefits of swapping the traditional commute for an e-bike.

The end of empty time.

The novelty of working from home is wearing thin for most as the UK’s workforce looks forward to socialising in the office and reclaiming their personal living spaces.   However, working from home has highlighted just how much time is spent commuting with studies revealing an average of 1hr 38mins a day. 

Google trend data reveals that the search term cycling to work has received a 305.56% within the last month alone, reflecting the nations desire to educate themselves on the process.  A combination of the lockdown fitness boom and a modified approach to time management is attributed to the rise in cycling to work.

The lockdown pays rise.

For those fortunate enough to work from home throughout lockdown, the lack of commute meant that they no longer need to budget for travelcards or general journeys.   As a result, the average worker within the UK saved an average of £126 a month.  Over the course of the working from home movement, an average of £1, 764 has been saved.  It is no surprise that the UKs workforce is keen to continue saving their money on commuting, making cycling a onetime investment appealing option.

Immune system and lung health

Cycling significantly boosts the immune system.  The body’s Thymus builds immune cells called T-cells.  T cells begin to shrink from the age of 20 however, research shows that the thymuses of mature cyclists produce just as many T-cells as that of the younger generation.

The physical health benefits of cycling also extend to lung health.  As the body strives to carry oxygen around the body to deliver energy and remove carbon dioxide, the lungs work in overdrive when cycling.  Cycling improves lung capacity, which signals how efficiently the organ can extract oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the bloodstream.  Cycling can improve lung capacity by 5-15%.

Boosts mental wellbeing.

Cycling supresses the stress hormone, cortisol whilst releasing the feel-good hormones Endorphins.    As you exercise, oxygen is increased to the brain, working to ease anxiety.  Dopamine is released, making cycling somewhat addictive as the brain craves more of the action.  What is more, cycling regularly produces neurons that improve memory, cognitive function, and our ability to learn new things.

 

Solo Rush hour with signal failure.

Modern day life sees that we are ‘on call’, 24/7.  Whether it’s Whatsapp, text, call, zoom or DM, we rarely get a moment to reflect.  Partaking in a solo exercise where you are unable to use a digital device is often the biggest attraction and benefit to cycling.  What is more, with no public transport delays, time management is easy. The NHS guidelines state that we should all partake in a physical activity that raises the heartbeat for 30 minutes, 5 times a week, making the commute the perfect opportunity. 

Keep in mind:

  • Before setting of, familiarise yourself with the highway code and bus lanes in your area.
  • Never ride with headphone on.
  • Never use your phone whilst riding.

How to handle a workplace accident

According to HSE, over 693,000 workers have sustained a non-fatal injury at work in 2019/2020. This being said, a survey by National Accident Helpline found that 48% of people in their survey suffered from an injury whilst working from home. 

Whether it’s in the office or working from home, it’s essential as an employer that you take all the necessary steps to ensure you’re providing a safe working environment and safe conditions for all your staff. 

But, with so much to wrap your head around, knowing how to handle a workplace accident, and your key responsibilities as an employer can be complicated.

If you’re not entirely sure how to handle a workplace accident — or just need some further advice, then business insurance experts, Bionic have provided some useful tips on how to prevent and deal with workplace accidents.

Preventing accidents at work

As an employer, you have a legal duty of care to protect the health and safety of your employees. 

Whilst some accidents are unforeseen and can’t be prevented, most can be avoided. Typically, accidents at work happen when adequate risk assessments aren’t taken seriously, members of staff aren’t properly trained or suitably equipped, or when corners are cut to save time and money. 

The safety and wellbeing of your staff are your top priority, so it’s important to put preventative measures in place:

  • Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) — Including hi-vis clothing, hard hats, protective goggles/glasses, shoe covers, gloves, face shields, hygiene masks etc. 
  • Health and safety training — Providing adequate health and safety training that is routinely adhered to, will help to reduce the risk of workplace accidents. 
  • Machinery and equipment training — If any of your employees operate heavy machinery and equipment — like forklift trucks — it’s important that their training, and any qualifications, are kept up to date. 
  • Regular risk assessments — Undertaking regular risk assessments will ensure that you and your employees can quickly identify any currently existing or potential hazards. 
  • Maintenance — Making sure that all machinery and equipment has regular maintenance services. 
  • Appropriate signage — It’s important to display any appropriate signage or hazard warnings e.g ‘wet floor’ or ‘cleaning in progress’ signs for any clean up of spillages.

What to do if an employee has an accident at work

If an employee does have an accident at work, you must report it as soon as possible. This applies whether it’s a simple injury, or something more complex. 

Make sure your employee is free from any immediate danger and seek medical attention. If the employee has sustained superficial wounds like a small cut or a graze, they can usually be treated easily on-site by a trained first-aider. 

If they require more serious and urgent medical attention for a sustained injury, such as a concussion or broken bone, have a first-aider there to respond and call 999 immediately for medical attention. 

Employees have the right to:

  • Seek medical attention for any injuries suffered in the workplace.
  • Seek compensation for injuries that were sustained in the workplace that is through no fault of their own. They also have the right to file a personal injury claim citing ‘contributory negligence’, which means a person has failed to act reasonably, against the employer. 
  • Leave a work environment that they deem is too dangerous and puts health, safety and well-being at risk.

Legally, you cannot object or prevent an employee from doing any of the above.

Most common accidents working from home 

According to the National Accident Helpline there are a lot of different accidents or ailments we can suffer from as a result of working from our humble abodes. These include: 

  • 1 in 4 (27%) have complained of suffering from back pain 
  • 18% reported eye strain
  • 10% from a repetitive strain injury. This is usually from using a mouse and laptop.
  • 67% who have no choice but to work from a bathroom reported an injury 

Most common accidents in the workplace

Using HSE data, we have looked into what the most reported accidents were in the workplace  between 2019 and 2020 with 168,000 injuries that involved over 7 days absence. 

Some of the injuries reported included: 

  • 29% from slips, trips and falls
  • 19% from handling,lifting or carrying
  • 11% struck by a moving object
  • 9% acts of violence 
  • 8% falls from a height

Recording an accident

Every workplace should have at least one trained and qualified first-aider. Make sure that you have a system in place for recording and reporting accidents that happen at work; this is known as an ‘Accident Book’.

When reporting an incident, it’s important to take down:

  • Date and time — The date and time the incident occurred.
  • Employee details — The name and job title of the employee or employees. 
  • Injuries sustained — Any injuries that have been sustained in the incident. Whether it be a cut on the arm or a broken bone, everything needs to be recorded in detail e.g size of the cut. 
  • How the accident happened — It’s important to go into as much detail as possible, including what first aid was given and what happened to the casualty after e.g taken to hospital.
  • Official documentation — The name and signature of the person in charge of recording the incident e.g first aider, as well as the employee(s) who have been injured. 

When recording an accident, it’s crucial that all information is taken down correctly, whether it’s about serious incidents or cases of disease. This also allows the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to identify where and how risks arise, and whether they need to be investigated to a wider extent. They can then provide important information on how to avoid work-related injuries, deaths, ill-health and accidental loss. 

What is a RIDDOR report?

A RIDDOR report — also known as The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations — is a health and safety legislation that must be used to record any cases of work-related injuries, illnesses or incidents. 

Under the RIDDOR you must report:

  • Incapacitation from work — If an injured employee is unable to attend work or perform their normal duties for more than seven consecutive days as a result of their injury, this must be reported. 
  • Specific injuries — These include but are not limited to: 
    • Amputations.
    • Fractures, other than to fingers, toes and thumbs.
    • Any injury that may lead to permanent loss or a reduction in sight.
    • Serious burns that cover more than 10% of the body or cause significant damage to the respiratory system, eyes or vital organs.
    • Any crush injury to the head or torso that is likely to cause damage to the brain or internal organs.
    • Loss of consciousness caused by a head injury or asphyxiation. 
    • Hypothermia or heat-induced illnesses.
    • Scalping that requires hospital treatment.
    • Any injury that requires resuscitation or admittance to the hospital for more than 24 hours. 
  • Occupational illnesses — Any diseases or conditions that develop or are proven to be made worse as a direct consequence of your employee’s job must be reported. These include
    • Diseases that develop due to prolonged exposure to a biological agent such as asbestosis. This is a serious lung condition that is caused by long-term exposure to asbestos. 
    • Occupation cancer.
    • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome.
    • Occupational asthma or dermatitis.
    • Carpal Tunnel.
    • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis.
  • Dangerous occurrences — Also classed as ‘near misses’, this is where an incident that has taken place had the potential to cause serious injury or death. These are usually associated with hazardous workplace conditions or machinery malfunctions. 
  • Death — If an employee dies as a result of their injuries. 

Who should report accidents that fall under the RIDDOR?

Only people who are deemed ‘responsible persons’ should report any accidents under the RIDDOR. These include:

  • Employers or a person in control of the premises — If you’re an employer or in control of the premises e.g renting out office units, you must report any work-related deaths, injuries or cases of disease.
  • Self-employed — If you’re self-employed, but you’re working on someone else’s premises, then the person in control of the premises will be responsible for any reporting. 
  • Members of the public, employees, injured persons and their representatives — Reports should only be submitted by ‘Responsible Persons’ with duties under the RIDDOR regulations. 
  • Gas suppliers and engineers — If you are a conveyor, filler, importer or supplier of flammable gas and you directly or indirectly learn that someone has died or been injured in connection with gas distribution, this must be reported. Similarly, if you are a registered gas engineer on the Gas Safe Register, any incidents including appliances, flues or ventilation used with any appliances, that you consider to be dangerous, should be reported. 
  • Working offshore — For a large majority of incidents at an offshore installation, the duty holder will be the responsible person under the Offshore Installation and Pipeline Works Regulations 1995.
  • Special cases — In relation to mines, closed tips, quarries, pimples and wells, the person responsible for reporting the incident is either the manager, owner or operator.

How to submit a RIDDOR report

If a member of your staff comes to you with a report of an incident, under the RIDDOR the report must be submitted to the HSE website. This must be submitted within 10 days of the incident happening, or within 15 days if the person who has been injured needs to take more than 7 consecutive days of sick leave.

Fatal or specified incidents can also be reported by telephone. If you fail to report an incident to the RIDDOR, you could face paying a fine of up to £20,000.

What compensation are employees entitled to?

Employees have the right to seek compensation for any injuries that are sustained in the workplace. Providing the incident was caused either through employer negligence, nonsufficient training or a mistake by a colleague. The incident should also have occurred within the last three years. 

By law, you are required to pay a portion of your employee’s salary while they are recovering from a work-related injury or illness, this is known as Statutory Sick Pay. In the UK, all companies must have adequate worker’s compensation insurance that can cover medical expenses when an employee is injured at work. 

How much compensation should I pay?

Compensation for work-related injuries varies from person to person. Contributing factors to this can include:

  • The severity of the injuries that have been sustained.
  • Projected and actual expenses for any medical treatment. 
  • Loss of income for the days the employee had to be off. 
  • Any cost of mobility aids or home care.
  • PTSD, trauma as well as pain and suffering
  • Loss of amenity 

What to do if an employee makes a claim against you

If an employee does make a claim against you, it’s important to handle the situation in an appropriate manner. 

More often than not, many cases of compensation are settled outside of court because of the hefty legal fees you may incur. If you don’t believe that you are liable, you may end up at an employment tribunal or court to argue your case. Usually, solicitors will negotiate on the employee’s behalf to get a settlement that is representative of their injuries. 

Employees are also not obliged to discuss any claims with you or give you any notice of making the claim. 

How to handle a workplace accident

While understanding how to handle a workplace accident can at times seem overwhelming, it’s important that you put all the relevant measures in place to prevent accidents from happening. If they should happen, you should be aware of your next steps including how to report the accident to the RIDDOR and how to handle a case should an employee try to gain compensation. 

David Woodfield, Insurance Director at Bionic, the business comparison experts, said:

 “As an employer, you have a duty of care to protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees and anyone else who might be affected by their business. This means it should always be a priority to make sure your workplace is safe, and you give employees the right equipment and training to do their job properly and safely. 

“But if a business owner spends all their time and effort on eliminating all the risks they face, no matter how small then they probably wouldn’t have time or resource to make any money. And no matter how much emphasis you place on workplace health and safety, accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s just as important to have the right level of business insurance in place – that way, if the worst does ever happen, you should be covered against the costs of any damages or compensation claims.

“If you employ even one member of staff, employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement. If your work brings you into contact with anyone that’s not an employee, then you should consider public liability insurance. To get insurance tailored to the exact needs of your business, speak to the tech-enabled team at Bionic.”

How to Choose Comfortable Yet Stylish Running Shoes

As we recently watched both seasoned and amateur athletes give their best in the biggest half-marathon in the world, the Great North Run, our running aspirations were reignited yet again. Whether you want to run just for fun or are already preparing for the next GNR, a pair of men’s or women’s trainers will be your most essential piece of kit.

The right type of shoe can ensure your comfort and safety and a sprinkle of glam while you make an appearance at a national event or in front of your neighbour’s house. You might even be able to claim a great finishing position, but only with the right pair of running shoes.

Think of the successes of this year’s winner Marc Scott, and Kenyan Mary Keitany, who is the current women’s record holder for her Great North Run finish in 2014. They trained, they sweated, and they were fashionably on time to grab their medals.

If you want to learn how to run in their shoes, follow these tips on choosing the most comfortable yet stylish women’s trainers that will guarantee you a stellar action shot or a head-turning compliment at the very least.

What is your running style?

Every runner has their own running style, but we often don’t take it into consideration when choosing our next pair of trainers. Learning about how your feet move and land can help you prevent an injury and optimise your performance.

Technically speaking, you can be a supinator, overpronator, or neutral pronator when it comes to your running style. Pronation is the natural motion of your foot during walking and running, and it indicates the inward roll of the foot (pronation) as the outside part of the heel hits the ground. Some people pronate more (overpronation) or less (supination) than others.

Your pronation pattern dictates the way you run, and when paired with an ill-suited shoe, it can result in injuries. A recent study suggests that novice runners with slight pronation are less likely to experience a sports trauma than those with high supination or overpronation. Finding special trainers to fit your running style means you can enjoy the half-marathon while being comfortable, safe, and trendy.

Should you get a gait analysis?

A great way to match your degree of pronation with the right shoe type is by doing a gait analysis. Through a set of tests, which usually involve walking on a treadmill, you can determine not only your pronation level but also identify other issues like slow cadence, a lack of flexibility, and a lack of core strength, which are vital when preparing for the run of your life.

You can book in a free gait analysis at your local running speciality store or by visiting a podiatrist. If you don’t feel like walking the extra mile for it, you can even test your pronation from the comfort of your own home by looking at your footprint. Should your foot appear flat, it’s likely that you are an overpronator, and if your footprint doesn’t have an imprint of your arch, it means that you might be a supinator. Natural pronation occurs if you see about half of your arch.

Whether you’re a novice or an expert runner, you should still get a gait analysis because things might have changed since your last result.

How wide is your foot?

Generally speaking, women’s shoes are narrower than men’s ones and are usually classified as something called a width A. Most brands will have this mentioned in the product description, but if they don’t, then you should assume that the shoe is width A.

However, some women have wider feet, and thankfully, the fashion industry caters well for them. What is usually referred to as a wide fit in retail stores is technically classed as width D, and that’s also the standard men’s width in running shoes.

If your shoe is too narrow and your foot rubs against the side of the trainer, you will not only be uncomfortable from the start, but you might not even make it to the end. That is why it’s best to listen to your body for comfort and trust what feels right.

How fast and how long do you want to run for?

For seasoned athletes, it’s best to choose a lightweight racing shoe that provides for ultimate speed and efficiency. You should only decide on such a pair of trainers if you’re confident in your abilities and have trained well – it can really take its toll on you if you’re not prepared.

But for amateur runners, things like design, colour, and overall look also come into play. How stunning would you look in your tastefully coordinated outfit and women’s trainers? Well, that’s a definite win!

When choosing our next running shoes, it’s important to consider what our goals and running style are. But what’s more exciting is finding the design that makes our heart skip a bit so that we never skip a training session. May you run in style!

Move More: 6 Ways to Get Moving at Home

Staying at home all day makes it tempting to sit on the couch or work on your laptop for hours on end. Even if you work in your office or take care of your kids, you might wish you could move more during the day. This guide explains six ways to get moving at home without disrupting your schedule. You can take control of your health and become more active if you try simple tips like these.

1. Tackle Your Yardwork

Homeowners or renters with a yard might put off their lawn care responsibilities. Sweating under the hot sun isn’t much fun, but it does get your heart rate up. Grab a pair of headphones or speakers and blast your favorite music to make yardwork an entertaining activity. As you push the lawnmower or pull weeds from your garden, your body will benefit from the extra cardio.

2. Walk the Dog

Don’t underestimate a walk around your yard or even the neighborhood. Doctors say that the benefits of walking equal those from jogging because it’s still aerobic exercise. Take your dog for an extra walk every day or ask the neighbor if you can walk theirs. The pup’s need for an activity will motivate you to get moving without requiring a gym membership.

3. Take an Online Dance Class

Most businesses offer virtual services, including dance studios. See if any of your local dance academies teach online classes. You can stream your instructor while practicing the moves at home, but be careful. Professional dance studios use specific flooring to prevent slips and falls that end in injuries. Consider installing the same flooring in your home studio or wearing safe shoes to exercise freely.

4. Run Up the Stairs

If you have a staircase in your house, consider it a personal step machine. Take the stairs two at a time or jog up to the second floor whenever possible. The quick burst of exercise can act as a mini gym session without taking you away from whatever you need to get done.

5. Lift Household Objects

Look around the room. Is there anything you could transform into a weightlifting routine? You could use a full laundry basket to practice upright rows or do bicep curls with wine bottles as long as you haven’t opened them yet. Save your money and avoid slow shipping estimates by working out with what you already have at home.

6. Throw a 30-Second Dance Party

You don’t need to exercise at a gym for an hour to benefit from exercising. If you need to boost your mood, shake off some boredom or fit more movement into your day, throw a 30-second dance party. Turn on your favorite song and jam away in your living room. You’ll feel refreshed and energized when it’s time to hit pause and continue with your day.

Get Moving at Home

Some people think you need a fancy home gym to move more without driving into town, but that’s not true. These are six easy ways to get moving at home without expensive equipment or tons of time. See how many you can fit into your schedule to create a simplified exercise routine that works for you.

Menopause: Educating the Next Generation in School

Unsurprisingly, the content of school curriculums is extremely important—what we learn as a child has the ability to shape our understanding as we mature. Content on sexual health and how our bodies change through time should be promoted through our curriculums to empower young pupils. It’s imperative for understanding puberty, why our moods are swinging, which products are available such as teenage tampons and the physical changes in our bodies. But what about menopause? Both are equally important transitions in life.

Menopause is a natural part of ageing that will affect all women at some point, it’s when their oestrogen levels decline and periods stop altogether. According to the NHS, most women will experience symptoms, however the severity and how long they last will vary. For example, symptoms such as irregular periods and heavy bleeding begin in the perimenopause stage—a few months or even years before a woman’s final period. On average, symptoms can continue for four years, however, one in every 10 women can experience symptoms for up to 12 years.

For the majority of us who weren’t taught about menopause when we were young, it’s likely we won’t be entirely sure what is happening or why we’re feeling like we are. Because of this, many women don’t know what symptoms to expect and how to manage them. Making the switch to tampons for heavy periods during the perimenopause stage, for example, can play an important part in managing unusually heavy periods. But, if women don’t know why this change is happening, they may be reluctant to seek help and prepare themselves for such changes.

Why menopause is being added

From the beginning of this school year, menopause will be taught as part of the UK’s national sex education curriculum following a request from MP Rachel Maclean. Menopause Support campaigners have argued that menopause can cause relationship issues as many of us don’t have a full understanding of what the menopause involves and how it might affect a woman’s life.

The symptoms of the menopause include much more than just hot flushes, which 75% of women suffer from. There are more than 30 symptoms, ranging from both physical to mental, and can take a drastic toll on a woman’s wellbeing. Symptoms can be far-ranging, from night sweats and heart palpitations to memory loss and anxiety.

The introduction of this educational content aims to help young pupils to support the women in their lives, be it mothers and sisters, or future partners and colleagues.

One woman told the BBC, “I didn’t know it was coming so it hit me like a brick wall. My first symptom was tingly legs. It feels like there’s something crawling under your skin. My brain was foggy, and I’d forget words in sentences. I had to write everything down, and if I didn’t write it down, or put it in my phone, it wasn’t going to get done.”

Another said: “I felt small. I felt alone. I’ve been teaching for 28 years and so to suddenly feel like I couldn’t do my job, I thought I was going mad actually. I was worried about how I would get through this. And I thought about not being here. I had some awful thoughts. But I didn’t make the connection between my mental well-being and menopause. No-one tells you that. Often women talk about physical symptoms but the mental well-being that’s the kicker. I wish that more people made that connection earlier on.”

 

A win for women

Menopause is usually discussed by women approaching middle age, with few resources for partners and children. Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to menopause, a transition in life considered scary, problematic, and something women often like to keep hidden from others. Because of this, society has remained uninformed about menopause, perpetuating a stigma and preventing opening dialogue about it—women have been cited as feeling reluctant to speak about it due to perhaps missing a promotion or that they’ll be viewed negatively. A common misconception is that menopausal women are emotional, hormonal, and erratic.

Family and friends can be dismissive too. Sadly, many of us that have periods have heard comments such as, “Oh, it’s that time of the month again!”. The same goes for those experiencing menopause, and it can be extremely infuriating.

Sexual education has positive effects on pupils, improving their attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health and behaviours. Teaching children about menopause will help them become well-rounded individuals that support those around them experiencing symptoms and prepare them for the eventuality of experiencing those symptoms themselves. If menopause is more widely discussed it becomes less of a dreaded topic that gets brushed under the carpet and instead is embraced as another stage in a woman’s life, much like pregnancy.

With education comes awareness, and the gradual breakdown of stigma. Now that menopause education is being included in the curriculum, young girls will be equipped with the knowledge to identify the change as they age and will hopefully feel comfortable in seeking help and offering support to others going through this menopause.

According to statistics, 90% of women say their workplace doesn’t offer help to menopausal women. Only 5% of workplaces offer free advice, 3% have policies in place, and 3% of line managers are given relevant training. With an inclusive sexual and reproductive education, will our social lives and workplaces benefit from more people being aware of, and understanding, the changes women experience?

Innovation Drives Success in Food Safety

Over the past decade, the global population expanded and increased the demand for food production. As agricultural development grows and processing facilities increase production, the risk of contamination rises. Food scientists are constantly searching for innovative safety techniques, improving public health.

As the global population expands, professionals expect mass migration into cities. The displacement of individuals away from food sources increases transportation and long-term preservation methods. Before we evaluate recent technological and processing innovations in the food safety sector, we must assess their counter challenges.

Challenges in Food Safety

Home cooks take the necessary precautions to prevent contamination in their kitchens. Most individuals spray their counters with antibacterial solutions after handling raw meat. They also wash the exterior of their produce before using it in a dish.

Though kitchen safety measures can effectively prevent illness, some contamination occurs before items reach the grocery stores. Inadequate farm regulations and testing can decrease the safety of items before they enter a processing facility. If a hen has an organ infection, its egg yolks may carry that defect and cause consumer illnesses.

Contaminated irrigation water also decreases the safety of produce. When a farmer sprays infected water over their fruits and vegetables, they absorb the microbes and bacteria, passing them along to consumers. Researchers examined pre-consumer food safety limitations and developed effective technologies and practices, reducing global illness.

Thermal Treatments

One effective method of reducing bacteria and other contaminants in food is radiofrequency (RF). The sterilization and pasteurization technology uses an electrical field, heating an item with friction between negatively and positively charged ions. RF heats food more effectively than a microwave and takes a shorter amount of time.

Ultra-high temperature (UHT) processing is another food safety technique that enhances traditional pasteurization practices. Professionals are using the methods to increase the sanitation of dairy products. The liquid goes through a high heating device, removing bacteria before filtering it into a sterilized package.

UHT milk can remain safe and fresh out of the refrigerator for nearly three months. Eliminating contaminants in dairy products can significantly improve public health.

Flash Freezing

Another effective food safety technique is flash freezing. Professionals use innovative technologies to freeze items at ultra-low temperatures before bacteria can cause contamination. 

Flash-frozen fish maintain their freshness and flavor over time while reducing microbial contamination. Preserving the quality of seafood is essential to public health because of its high nutritional value. Consuming fish weekly minimizes an individual’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s, depression, stroke and other fatal health conditions.

Nonthermal Processing

Traditional heating methods effectively eliminated bacteria and other microbes in foods. Unfortunately, it caused adverse effects on product flavors. Scientists examined the safety method’s limitations and developed innovative solutions.

Scientists developed the irradiation process, decreasing food-related illness while maintaining quality. They use innovative technologies, emitting gamma rays into products, targeting bacteria and microbes that fuel contamination. Other systems use X-rays, directing high-energy electrons into products, enhancing their safety.

Ensuring the Safety of Your Food

Individuals can ensure the optimal safety of their foods by evaluating labels at grocery stores. The Food and Drug Administration oversees processing in the US and requires companies to display their contamination prevention forms on their labels. The Radura symbol signifies the irradiation process, elimination of harmful bacteria and microbes.

Similarly, items processed by UHT display the acronym below the nutrition facts. When consumers identify food safety measures, they can effectively prevent themselves from developing illnesses.

How to Protect Your Eyes During Hay Fever Season

According to Allergy UK, hay fever affects around 18 million people in the UK every year. Those experiencing hay fever can experience a peak throughout September, especially on warmer days.  Here, Lenstore presents the science behind Hay fever, with remedies from Roshni Patel BSC (Hons) MCOptom on how to ease symptoms.

Recognising the symptoms of hay fever

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to tree, grass or weed pollen. As these types of pollen are released at different times of the year, you may start noticing hay fever symptoms between the beginning of the spring right through to Autumn.

Roshni Patel BSC (Hons) MCOptom notes that rubbing your eyes to find relief may come with risks:

“Rubbing your eyes can be damaging for several different reasons. If there’s a foreign body like an eyelash or a speck of dirt in your eye as well, rubbing it can cause it to scratch the cornea.

“In addition, eye rubbing can cause several eye injuries and diseases. Whilst keratoconus can be genetic, research shows that vigorous eye rubbing can increase your chances of developing it.”

“This is particularly important to recognise in the current climate as rubbing your eyes can easily transfer germs from your hands onto the surface of your eye, resulting in infections and disease.

“If you feel the need to rub your eyes consistently, you should try to avoid doing so and seek treatment for your hay fever to help reduce the discomfort.”

How to relieve hay fever

While there is no set cure for hay fever, it can often be controlled using over-the-counter medication, such as antihistamines or eye drops. However, if symptoms are more severe, you may require prescription medication, like corticosteroids. Here’s what you need to know about the different treatments.

Antihistamines

Antihistamine treatments limit the effect of histamine – the major chemical released in allergic reactions. Available as tablets, sprays and eye drops, antihistamines effectively treat itchy and watery eyes and can also help with nose inflammations. You can use these when the first symptoms of hay fever crop up, or use them preventatively, taking them before heading outdoors when the pollen count (number of pollen grains in one cubic metre of air) is high.

Eye drops

Some eye drops contain an antihistamine, which can effectively relieve red and itchy eyes during hay fever season. But the most widely used products contain the active ingredient sodium cromoglicate, a mast cell stabiliser which helps to relieve symptoms. If you’re a contact lens wearer, we recommend that you ask your optician for more advice. Soft lenses absorb the ingredients of antihistamine eye drops, which may be more of an issue with reusable lenses. Opticians may recommend switching to daily disposables to minimise the risks or advise that you avoid lens wear if the symptoms are severe.

Steroids

Corticosteroids, available as tablets, sprays, or eye drops, have a strong anti-inflammatory effect and are only available on prescription. They are most used to reduce nose inflammations but can also relieve itchy and watery eyes. According to the Midlands Asthma and Allergy Research Association, corticosteroids are particularly effective if you start using them around two weeks before the pollen season starts.

While corticosteroids are very effective, they can have serious side effects, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and damage to the cornea.

Nasal irrigation

Although sneezing and congestion aren’t directly linked to your eyes, nasal irrigation using special tools and a saline rinse can help clear the pollen from your sinuses and reduce the overall symptoms of hay fever, both in your nose and in your eyes.

This is particularly valuable as a precursor to using nasal spray antihistamines.

Hay fever and the eyes

Completely avoiding contact with pollen is a challenge, particularly on gloriously warm summer days. When it gets in your eyes, it can be uncomfortable and itchy.

How to stop eyes stinging from hay fever

Try to stay indoors at times of the day when the pollen count is at its highest (mid-morning and early evening). Avoid any activities that put you into direct contact with pollen, such as lawn mowing or lying in the grass. Consider creating a low allergen garden by swapping out typical hay fever triggering plants and adding natural barriers with hedges and trees. Outside, wear sunglasses with close-fitting shields at the sides, top and bottom, to keep pollen from getting into your eyes.

It’s also wise to avoid bringing pollen into your house. Try keeping windows and doors closed and leaving your pets outside as much as you can. If you have been sitting outside, change your clothes once at home. Clean your furniture with wet cloths to prevent dust and pollen from spreading. If you’re driving, leave windows closed and pick up a pollen filter for the air vents.

5 Indicators Children Are Experiencing Screen Addiction

The term “screen addiction” is considered to be harsh by many parents and carers. In the 21st century, children engaging in some form of screen time is somewhat inevitable, and often encouraged by guardians in certain situations—while still being mindful of the amount of time the child spends in front of a screen. 

“Screen addiction” is measured in the same way as any other addiction.  Medical practitioners often determine the impact of a 3rd party on the everyday life of the child as well as its impact when withdrawn. 

Here, parental control and digital wellbeing tool Qustodio reveals the 5 red flags that indicate a child is experiencing screen addiction, and presents adoptable tips that help prevent screen dependency.

“Time spent on a screen doesn’t reflect dependency.”

An assumption is often made that time spent on a screen is the first thing that must be analysed to establish how dependent a child is on it”, states Qustodio.  “However, this is not necessarily the case.  Failure to stop using screens without severe distress or continually referring back to the screen, so much so that it interrupts everyday activities such as play or human interaction, can serve as a bigger red flag then simply the amount of time accumulated on a screen.”

“Ultimately, the time spent on a screen doesn’t reflect dependency.   Parents and guardians should evaluate how a child responds to the removal of screens and if a lack of devices impact their day-to-day wellbeing.  For instance, if a child is willing to sacrifice basic needs such as eating or sleeping in favor of screens, this may indicate a form of screen addiction.”  

 

Sparking joy

Books, toys, social interaction, parks, and parties all hold the objective of entertaining and sparking a child’s joy.  If a child displays a continual loss of interest in traditional methods of entertainment and only exhibits true happiness when in front of a screen, they may be placing too much value on their devices.

“It is a good idea to monitor a child’s reactions to an-array of situations,” advises Qustodio. “Not only does this give insight into their general interests, but it also presents the opportunity to examine any unhealthy habits that they may be developing.  If screens are the only means to boost their mood, it may indicate that they are developing an unhealthy relationship with devices.”

The art of manipulation

Manipulation is often a tactic used by those that wish to participate in an activity that they know may not be agreeable to those around them.  As a result, they use methods of manipulation to achieve their goals.

“If the child attempts to manipulate the workings of their surroundings, this may indicate that they are investing too much in their screen time”, says Qustodio.  “For instance, if they attempt to ‘sneak’, their tablet into their bedroom in the evening or deny how long they have spent on it, it may be time to reevaluate boundaries.”

A physical impact

Excessive screen time can impact a child’s physical wellbeing.   Studies have shown that interrupted sleeping patterns, chronic neck pain, poor posture, delayed speech, and stilted social interactions can all be the result of prolonged screen time.

“The prospect of experiencing physical effects due to screen time can seem dramatic, however, it can be common in both adults and children,” says Qustodio.  “If the child is attempting to ignore the physical impact that screen time is having on them to continue using their device, it may be time to implement additional boundaries.”

Age and suggested screen time

18 months and under:  video chatting with family is a good way to introduce children to the digital realm.  They should never be left unaccompanied with a digital device.

2 – 7 years:  educational viewing that is accompanied by an adult.  Adults should continually educate children on appropriate viewing and mix with off-screen activity.

8 years and up:  adults should educate children on how their data is shared, potential dangers of online content and how to implement healthy on-screen boundaries.

Preventing screen dependency

  • Be mindful of learnt If you continually use your phone, a child is likely to mirror the action.
  • Do not remove devices without providing alternative entertainment or actions.
  • Adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” Remove all devices from view when they are not being used.
  • Set all boundaries in stone. They should be non-negotiable.

4 Ways to Protect Yourself From Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens (BBP), as its name suggests, are pathogenic microorganisms that cause diseases when transferred from an infected person to another through blood. These microorganisms are capable of causing serious illnesses and in worse cases, death.

Bloodborne pathogens can enter the human body through accidental punctures and abrasions on the skin, or through mucous membranes found in the mouth, nose, or eyes. Some of the most common diseases caused by bloodborne pathogens include HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), Hepatitis B and C, and Syphilis.

You are likely to be exposed to bloodborne pathogens in places such as medical offices, dental offices, clinics, hospitals, restrooms, nursing homes, and funeral homes. But you can take measures to avoid infection. Here are ways on how to protect yourself from bloodborne pathogens.

1. Educate Yourself About BBPs

The first defense against bloodborne pathogens is to learn everything there is to know about them. This is especially true if you’re working in the healthcare and cleaning industry. 

For example, if you are working in a hospital as a nurse or a janitor, you should know that your employers are legally required to provide proper equipment, training, and education to ensure your protection against exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

You may also opt to enroll in bloodborne pathogens courses or training programs to get clearer instruction and information on the best ways to keep yourself and others safe against these microorganisms.

2. Be Equipped

The safest way to protect yourself against bloodborne pathogens is to never come into contact with blood or any bodily fluids from an infected person. However, that is not always possible. 

You can never avoid getting exposed to BPPs especially if you’re working in a hospital and you are required to provide medical assistance to someone who is bleeding or if you are tasked with cleaning up blood spills and stains of bodily fluids. In these situations, the best way to protect yourself against bloodborne pathogens is to use effective Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

It’s also important to remember that PPEs come in different varieties. Each of these varieties is designed to protect certain parts of the human body. Most importantly, the hands, face, and body.

  • Hand Protection – For hand protection, gloves are always the go-to option against BBPs. You should always wear gloves whenever you plan on coming into contact with blood or any body fluids. Gloves are designed to protect your hands from bloodborne pathogens. They should also be used only once and should be properly disposed of right away.
  • Face Protection – As for face protection, eyewear and face shield are always recommended to prevent exposure to BPPs. Eyewear usually includes safety glasses or goggles which are designed to protect your eyes from pathogens that can be transmitted through the mucous membranes found in the eyes. Face shields should also be worn in addition to eye protection as they increase the level of protection by being a protective barrier for your face. 
  • Body Protection – Gowns and aprons are always recommended to be worn in hospitals to protect your body and clothing from BBPs. Clothing contaminated with bloodborne pathogens is also dangerous and a serious health hazard. 

Knowing what type of PPE to use when working around with blood can help keep you safe. In most cases, gloves are the only PPE required for working around with blood or other body fluids, but for more extreme situations or risky medical procedures, you may need to use all of the PPE listed above. 

3. Always Observe Handwashing Protocols

Besides using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face shields, goggles, gloves, and lab coats, handwashing is also one of the most effective ways of keeping yourself safe from bloodborne pathogens. 

Handwashing should never be an optional thing to do. Instead, it must be a habit that must be developed, especially if you are working in an industry where there is a high potential for exposure to other person’s blood or body fluids. 

Always make sure that you wash your hands immediately using an antibacterial soap right after removing your PPE. Using a hand sanitizer can also be very helpful in ensuring that you are maximally protected against BPPs after washing your hands. 

4. Practice Safe Disposal

This goes without saying. You need to dispose of contaminated materials, especially your PPE after using them. Knowing how to dispose of PPE is just as important as knowing how to use them. Your PPE, especially the gloves and face masks, should only be used once and should be disposed of right away after using them. 

Before you leave the area you’re working, be sure to remove all the PPE you used and properly dispose of them. Also, get rid of any materials that have been contaminated with blood and body fluids even if it is your own clothing.

The place you’re working with should also provide an appropriate place, storage area, or containers where you can clean, decontaminate, or dispose of all potentially infectious materials and wastes. If you’re working as a cleaning staff in clinics or hospitals, make sure to follow the proper way of disposing biomedical wastes.

Conclusion

Knowing how to protect yourself and prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens can make a lot of difference. However, all the equipment, training, and information in the world will do you no good if you’re not going to put them to use. Prevention is better—and simpler than cure. 

Civilian Health 101: Keeping Up with Your Health After You Exit the Military

When you enter military service, you take an oath to serve your country. At this point, you effectively become a number, and you’re often treated as such throughout your military career. But, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun and exciting, right?

Unfortunately, many men and women who return to civilian life after being separated from the military find that they have health issues, and some of these can be severe.

While most military service members can get care through their veteran’s benefits, often some of these health issues are ignored and left untreated. And while some health issues might be moderate, the more severe cases should always be treated immediately.

Keeping up with your health after exiting the military might not be on the top of your priority list, but it definitely should be. Here, we’ll discuss how to keep up with your health as a new civilian.

 

Noticing Hearing Loss

The men and women of our great military sacrifice so much, and one of the more common health concerns that all veterans are susceptible to is hearing loss.

For example, the United States Department of Defense issued 3M earplugs to service members between 2002 and 2015, and these were found to be defective. As such, many veterans who suffer from tinnitus and hearing loss are filing lawsuits because of 3M earplugs.

Being exposed to automatic machine gunfire, explosions, and approaching aircraft can all take a huge toll on one’s hearing, and even though you might think that your hearing is fine, being exposed to high decibels over time can cause your hearing to deteriorate slowly.

If you begin to notice a repeated ringing in your ears, a  burning sensation, or if you begin to notice that sounds are beginning to sound “muffled,” it’s time to call your doctor and get your hearing tested.

 

Signs of PTSD

Unfortunately, war causes trauma. And a lot of this trauma manifests itself in the form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

We all handle traumatic events differently, and war is such a traumatic event that sometimes you won’t notice how it has affected you for years. In fact, many veterans don’t develop PTSD until years after they exit the military.

PTSD can also be triggered by a variety of mechanisms. Most sufferers of PTSD report that loud noises that mimic gunfire, such as fireworks, trigger episodes of panic, stress, and extreme anxiety. Some have flashbacks, and some become confused, unable to recognize their physical surroundings.

If you’ve begun to notice that certain words, noises, colors, or imagery trigger a sense of panic within, then you might be suffering from PTSD. If this is the case, you should schedule an appointment with a counselor or a physician immediately so you can begin therapy.

 

Staying in Shape

In the military, Physical Training (PT) is a regular part of your lifestyle. And though some military careers require less PT than others, you’ve basically been able to stay in shape throughout your time in the military due to these policies.

Once you reenter civilian life, however, you’re on your own when it comes to keeping in shape.

While it might be nice to play it lazy and not have to drop and do 50 pushups, you still want to take your health seriously, and regular exercise can be of great benefit.

After you exit the military, joining a fitness club or entering into intramural sports activities are great methods for staying in shape and keeping fit. And don’t worry, you don’t have to train like an olympian, and you won’t have a drill instructor breathing down your neck while you play a round of ultimate frisbee.

 

All of our veterans deserve to be able to live healthy lives once they exit the military. And though many service members come back injured, you can still live a full life if you take proactive measures to ensure that you stay physically and mentally healthy.

Why Expedite a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Expediting a medical malpractice lawsuit is beneficial for all involved parties, including the court. Although it may seem counterintuitive for the defending party, they too stand to benefit from fast resolutions, be it inside or outside the court. Next, we will take a quick look at the reasoning behind the facts.

 

How Does Speed Benefit the Plaintiff?

If it takes a long time to settle any medical malpractice lawsuit, it loses some or most of its importance to the plaintiff. For example, they may not be able to afford the treatment they need, in time to recover from a particular instance of medical negligence. Since it could even take years to settle a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is quite possible that by the time the plaintiff receives their compensations, the money may no longer be sufficient to make up for everything that they had to go through in between. Given that medical malpractice attorneys get paid only after their clients receive their due compensations, they too have sufficient reasons to take the initiative and reduce the time it takes to get medical records for validating their client’s claim.

 

How Does Speed Benefit the Defendant?

Earlier, defendants used to believe that burying the other side in paperwork and delaying a medical negligence lawsuit was their best course of action. However, that strategy has proven to be unhelpful because of the following realities:

  • The more they drag their medical malpractice lawsuits, the more their reputation will suffer
  • If they lose the lawsuit after a long battle, the compensation is generally a lot higher than it needed to be in the first place
  • Given that defendants have to pay their lawyers throughout the lawsuit’s duration, it is often just cheaper for them to settle quickly

 

How Does Speed Benefit the Court?

The city courts are always behind schedule, as far as settling medical malpractice lawsuits are concerned. Some of them have a backlog so long that it takes more than a year to simply get started on a new proceeding. Therefore, the faster these cases are settled, the better it is for the courts.

In fact, the state of New York is attempting to settle most medical malpractice lawsuits outside the court, with active intervention from the authorities. For those that are not aware, New York has the highest number of unsettled medical malpractice lawsuits in the United States.

It should be noted that the plaintiff could at times be at a disadvantage in such circumstances. Unless they are being advised by medical negligence attorneys who have a reputation to keep, there is a chance that the plaintiff will end up settling for a much smaller compensation than they deserve.

When the court, the defendant and the litigating lawyer himself/herself are all in favor of settling fast, the lawsuit might at times be settled far too quickly. Quick settlements cost less but provide medical malpractice victims faster access to the funds they need. Despite that seeming like the ideal scenario, the harmed party should never settle for an insufficient compensation amount, just for the sake of immediate resolution.

GHP Announces the Winners of the International Life Sciences Awards 2021

UNITED KINGDOM, 2021– GHP Magazine has announced the winners of the International Life Science Awards 2021.

If we’ve learned anything over the last 18 or so months, it is that healthcare underpins global society. It is crucial to everyday life – when it comes under threat or immense pressure, the domino effects are obvious. Of course, this isn’t news to those in the industry, and every day leads to new challenges, opportunities and innovations.

With 2020 and all of its uncertainties largely behind us and with recovery on the horizon, this year’s International Life Sciences programme has taken on greater weight. After all, the return to relative normalcy was built on the back of innovations in life science, and the greater healthcare community.

GHP Magazine, as always, endeavours to recognise those that are going above and beyond, or indeed, the businesses that are making meaningful steps forward, no matter how small they might seem on the greater landscape. That’s why we launched our awards programme, and why we continue to spotlight the work of exceptional companies and individuals.

Awards Co-ordinator Gabrielle Ellis commented on the success of these deserving winners: “GHP magazine is delighted to announce the publication of the International Life Science Awards for its sixth year. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of the winners, and I hope you all have a fantastic rest of the year ahead.”

To find out more about these leading lights and discover what has led them to becoming who they are today, please visit http://www.ghp-news.com/ to access our winners supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About GHP Magazine, a publication under AI Global Media

Global Health and Pharma magazine is a global information sharing platform & a multi-disciplinary member’s community. The publication was established to enhance communication networks & collaboration across all themes and disciplines within three main categories; Human, Animal & Environmental Health.

From Covid Tests to Flying – How You Can Manage Stress and Tackle Work related Travel Anxiety Post-Pandemic

Travelling around the world often sparks thoughts of holidays and rest bite however, much of the UKs workforce is required to travel for work purposes.  As the world is beginning to open, workplace travel is beginning to resume.

For many the anxiety of thinking about COVID-19 tests and what you need to do before booking a test and hitting the road might be something that stands between you and really getting away from it all.

To help hopeful travellers get on top of the obstacles and have a stress-free time, Corona Test Centre has looked at the top searches across the UK and abroad relating to coronavirus. Partnering with psychologists, here, the brand presents tips, advice, and information to aid in a stress-free work trip.

Covid symptoms and PCR tests are the top searches relating to travel stress post-pandemic

From being uncomfortable in new surroundings, feeling anxious about the trip going smoothly and getting the correct Covid tests in time, travel can make anyone feel anxious. 

We analysed the top elements of travel that the public is most concerned about and compiled a list of top tips to ensure a safe and stress-free travel experience. 

  1. Covid symptoms – With 1,970,000 global searches each month, covid symptoms is the most stress inducing element of travel for the public. The main symptoms are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste so if you have any of these symptoms, seek out the current government guidance, and start by getting a PCR testand self-isolating.
  2. PCR test – Each month, PCR tests sees more than 1,000,000 global searches. Waiting for and booking Covid tests from unknown providers can cause significant psychological stress. PCR tests, Fit to Fly tests and 2nd and 8th day tests are among the range of new testing requirements for travelling in 2021. To avoid anxiety around these, always book in advance and choose a trusted coronavirus testing clinic such as Corona Test Centre where tests are administered by medical professionals to ensure you are in good hands.
  3. Social distancing – Social distancing can be more difficult in crowded areas after a reduced social interaction between people in lockdown. Give yourself extra protection by continuing to wear a mask and trying to stay as far away from people as possible.
  4. Hygiene – From hand washing to sanitiser, hygiene has been an imperative part of managing the spread of the Covid-19 virus so it’s unsurprising that 205,000 people search it each month. You can keep yourself protected by maintaining a regular hand washing routine, and always carrying hand sanitiser and a spare face mask.
  5. Antigen test – These tests are a great way to get a rapid result in just 30 minutes if you’re feeling stressed about having the virus.
  6. Antibody testing – Antibody tests are helpful to give us a better understanding of the virus in different places, but these tests are not used for diagnosis, and shouldn’t be your go-to choose if you’re trying to clear yourself for travelling safely. However, there are some countries that require an antibody test as part of their entry requirements.
  7. Waiting for Covid Tests – ​​Waiting for Covid test results can cause psychological stress. It’s important to realise that while you can’t control the results of their test, you can control how you deal with the waiting time and the result.
  8. Negative thoughts – It’s easy to fall into a cycle of negative thoughts during this stressful period, but you should try to avoid dwelling on difficulties. If you find yourself regularly focused on the negatives, consider reaching out to a mental health professional or trusted friends and family for support.
  9. Fear of Flying – Not all fears with travel are directly related to coronavirus. After a period of not travelling, it can be worrying getting back on a plane. Breathing exercises and meditation can help support with any stress you may be experiencing.
  10. Home test kit – Home test kits are a great way to help reduce any anxiety over coronavirus symptoms you might be facing. While doing home test kits yourself may seem intimidating at first, choosing a trusted provider like Corona Test Centre ensures get the most accurate result possible and ease feelings of stress prior to a trip.

The top tips for managing stress and anxiety when travelling post-pandemic

1. Meditation

Meditation is a great way to combat anxiety which accompanies flying and travel. It can help to calm and ease the mind and meditation skills can be worked on and improved with time.

Dr. Rachel M Allan, Chartered Counselling Psychologist at Rachelallanconsultancy.com, comments:

Stress and low mood may inhibit the hippocampus, which is an important brain structure associated with memory formation and recall. Effective stress management could therefore be an important consideration for looking after memory function. Mindfulness practice is known to reduce stress and depression.”

Lee Chambers MBPsS, Environmental Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant says:

“Using mindfulness or meditation to increase your wellbeing is something that should certainly be considered. It’s effect on the amygdala has been researched, and by practicing we become more able to disengage from ruminating negative thoughts and connect to the present. It can decease cortisol levels, and decrease inflammation markers, which leaves us feeling more relaxed and able to deal with the rigours of the current turbulent climate.”

2. Physical Exercise

When feeling agitated or stressed during travel, any form of physical exercise such as taking a short walk can be great for easing nerves. 

Ruth Cooper-Dickson, Positive Psychology Practitioner at Champsconsult.com, says:

“Any form of exercise and being active is beneficial for the hippocampus – which is the part of the brain that acts like a brake on the stress response.

“Exercise is great for activating GABBA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) – this is an amino acid whose purpose is to calm the brain and act as a fire extinguisher to enable brain cells to suppress their activities. GABBA activation provides quick and effective stress relief.”

3. Distract yourself with a tv show or movie.

If you feel yourself becoming anxious or frustrated, distract yourself with your favourite movie or an episode of a new or comforting show. Make sure you download these ahead of time to avoid any connection issues, which can aggravate your feelings of stress.

Andy Phillips, Head of Training and Content at Escape Fitness says

“Watching films and television shows on your phone can act supplemental forms of therapy to help us feel better. Cinema therapy, the use films to manage mental health issues, can improve thoughts and feelings. There are films that can evoke positive emotions and can nurture interpersonal skills.”

4. Ease anxious thoughts with music.

Consider listening to comforting music to fill your head with more pleasant emotions. This can also help to act as a circuit breaker for stressful thoughts

“Music requires following patterns, drawing from memory, and engaging with multi-sensory feedback. It draws on many different high-level brain functions at the same time, which strengthens connections between different regions of the brain,” says Dr. Rachel M Allan.

5. Prioritise your down time by focusing on a puzzle or task.

Puzzles are a great way to take your mind off feelings of anxiety or stress

According to Dr. Rachel M Allan, “Engaging with tasks that require a combination of attention, recall and problem solving is a great way to keep cognitive function healthy and reduce the rate of any decline. Research shows a clear link specifically between regularly completing crossword puzzles and reduced memory decline.”

Clinical Trial Demonstrates Power of Technology to Transform Care For Vulnerable and Elderly Patients

  • Predictive healthcare pilot could revolutionise the way vulnerable patients are cared for after reducing hospital appointments by 80%
  • Dedicated NHS innovation facility utilises wearables and passive home sensors to enable 24-hour monitoring and targeted response from healthcare teams
  • System networks patients, family members, GPs and specialist care providers to create holistic support environment

A pilot programme has underlined the transformative potential of technology following a healthcare trial that significantly reduced unnecessary GP appointments, 999 calls and specialist team visits for vulnerable patients while cutting hospital appointments by 80%.

Conducted by SCC, Europe’s biggest independent IT solutions provider, and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT), the pilot represents a practical demonstration of the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enable greater numbers of vulnerable patients to be cared for in their own homes – maintaining dignity, independence and control.

The project – a finalist at last week’s prestigious Health Service Journal Value Awards – has been delivered by Stratford’s ground-breaking Digital Hub, a first-of-its-kind in-house facility enabling clinicians to work alongside technologists on the design, build, testing and implementation of front line solutions to real world healthcare challenges.

In a UK first, the partners deployed a system utilising wearables and passive sensors in the home – MySense – to enable 24-hour monitoring and a targeted response from healthcare teams across a selected group of vulnerable patients.

Recording thousands of data points in each individual’s home, the MySense application learned the daily habits and key responses of every patient, enabling it to both monitor key clinical data and alert a network of health organisations, carers and families of any adverse events, enabling timely preventative action.

Delivering a highly significant reduction in the burden on health professionals, hospitals and care homes in the post covid environment, the joint SCC and SWFT deployment achieved immediate results, including a 58% reduction in GP appointments, 53% reduction in 999 calls and a 43% reduction in unnecessary visits from place-based teams.

The pilot, initiated in May 2020, opens the door to more effective deployment of specialist teams, ensuring patients that need services can access them when it counts.

SCC is working across the NHS to create and deliver transformative IT solutions to enable better outcomes for patients through the provision of digital healthcare. Key to this strategy is helping NHS Trusts and associated stakeholders change their behaviours and help redesign care pathways.

MySense is revolutionising the delivery of digital healthcare through sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and helping bridge the gap between NHS Trusts and integrated care systems across the UK. A preventative rather than reactive care solution, MySense is providing valuable insight which helps patients remain independent and supported in their own home for longer, which in turn frees up hospital beds and reduces admissions to A&E.

This initiative is the first innovation sprint from the new Digital Hub, built in partnership between SCC and SWFT. The hub enables clinicians to perform on-going trials of new technologies to demonstrate practicality and validate improvement. Most notably, the hub will help to accelerate the deployment of cutting-edge digital care solutions into the NHS and integrated care teams.

With SWFT having invested significantly in its digital transformation journey in recent years, it now faces the challenge of reducing the backlog of patients caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping patients healthy at home and reducing hospital interactions where possible.

Glen Burley, Chief Executive at SWFT, said: “It is great that we are able to work with MySense and their deployment partner SCC to develop technology that will enhance the care our clinicians can provide.”

MySense collects data related to daily living, using a combination of discreet sensors, a wearable and a MySense home hub. AI constantly analyses the data to create a unique profile of what is ‘normal’ for each individual and presents the insight through a simple dashboard. If the patient’s data patterns stray outside of normal – based on factors including hydration, mobility, nutrition, independence and general wellbeing – it is flagged on the dashboard and support staff are notified. Such insight helps care staff prioritise those who are most vulnerable.

Elaine Martin, Dementia Clinical Practitioner at the Trust, said: “Using the data collected through MySense, we are no longer carrying out unnecessary visits, and when we do check in, we know what to focus on. It’s another set of eyes for us. Our carers feel more supported and use the data to ensure the right care and support is being offered at the right time.”

With access to predictive healthcare for the first time, NHS Trusts can safely discharge more patients to home by providing 24/7 monitoring of wellbeing, free up domiciliary care capacity through remote 24/7 risk management and reduce normal hospital demand by facilitating preventative care.

Dan Cartter, Head of Innovation at SCC, said: “This first sprint from the new Digital Hub is extremely exciting and is working exactly as designed. SCC brings at-scale access to customers, deployment and support capabilities through our national services capability. If we can deploy this technology at scale across the NHS and integrated care systems, we believe we have an opportunity to radically transform the way healthcare is delivered digitally.

Here Are The Top 5 Reasons Why You Might Consider a Career in Care

To be honest about it, care work is not for everyone. It takes determination, a certain positive outlook on life and it very often takes hard work too. That said, care jobs can lead to extremely rewarding careers that many people find will last them a lifetime. Of course, people join the care industry after they have tried a few other jobs, too, but care workers are just as likely to have been drawn to the industry because of a vocational calling and made it their first job, as well. Other than it being such a richly rewarding career, why might you consider working in care?

1. Work Within Your Local Community

For many people who work in the care sector, it is being able to work within their own community that means so much. Whether you opt for residential care work in a nursing home or provide support to people in their own homes, you will be able to deliver a service that affects the people around you. For some, this means they won’t have to commute far for their job and that’s appealing enough. For others, though, it means being able to make a contribution to the community they live in.

2. Feel Like What You’re Doing Counts

Have you ever felt you are stuck in a job where it is the same thing over and over again? Maybe you’ve had that experience of wondering why on earth you are doing the task you’ve been given? In care work, everything you do makes a direct difference to the quality of life of the person you’re helping. No two days are ever the same and feeling bored will be a thing of the past, especially if you are genuinely interested in people.

3. Enjoy a Flexible Lifestyle

Care work can be demanding, it is true. However, it is also very flexible. You can work days, nights or rolling shift patterns. You can work full-time, part-time and even apply for sabbaticals with some employers. Maybe you’ll want to take a break from care work for a few years to do something else? With the skills you’ve acquired, it is always likely you’ll be able to return to care work once more when it suits you.

4. Get Better Paid Than You Might Expect

In some quarters, care work is not sufficiently rewarded but high-quality care providers, such as Anglian Care in Essex, look after their staff. This means being able to draw a fair salary for the work you carry out. What’s more, if you show willingness, some employers will invest in training you. This way, you can develop your career and earn more as you make progress.

5. Be Valued By Your Clients and Colleagues

In the end, working in the care sector is about being respected by those around you. The people you will look after will value your time and your colleagues will, as well. This is particularly so when you find a close-knit team to work among. Being valued by others is very rewarding and goes a long way to boosting self-confidence and self-respect.

Sleeping with Contact Lenses

By Lenstore

Contact lenses are an incredibly popular form of vision correction, used by millions around the world every day. They provide convenience above and beyond wearing glasses – but they also come with their own considerations to bear in mind when sleeping in them

Contact lenses are an incredibly popular form of vision correction, used by millions around the world every day. They provide convenience above and beyond wearing glasses – but they also come with their own considerations to bear in mind.

One of those considerations is sleeping. Almost everyone would take their glasses off before sleeping, but when it comes to contact lenses, it might seem inconvenient to take them out, particularly if it’s just a nap. But sleeping in contact lenses can impact your eye health significantly, and it’s vital to be aware of whether you can wear your lenses to sleep and what effects that might have.

Roshni Patel BSC (Hons) MCOptom discusses the effects of contact lenses on your eyes during sleep, and how you can protect your vision.

 

Can you take a nap in contact lenses?

You should only nap in your contact lenses when you are wearing continuous (sometimes called extended) wear contact lenses. Made from a material tested and approved for wear whilst sleeping, this lens type should present no issues when napping.

Napping in contact lenses that are not designed for this can decrease the amount of oxygen your cornea (the front surface of your eye) needs to stay healthy. This puts you at greater risk of infections and corneal ulcers.

This is true whether sleeping for a short time or for extended periods.

Sleeping in contact lenses

If you would like to wear a contact lens you can sleep in, either overnight or just for a few hours, it is worth booking an appointment with your optician. They can assess your suitability for extended wear contact lenses and provide you with a trial.

Here at Lenstore, we offer free eye tests and contact lens checks for customers. You can book this appointment at your local Vision Express through your Lenstore account online. Our Clinical Team will also be more than happy to assist in your booking over the phone.

Accidentally falling asleep in contact lenses

While you should always avoid sleeping in contact lenses that haven’t been designed for it, on occasion you may accidentally drop off while your contact lenses are still in.

If this happens, you need to be very careful about removing it. It’s likely that while asleep your contact lenses will become drier and tighter on your eye, causing discomfort but also increasing the risk of damage to your cornea when removing it.

Start by using contact lens rewetting drops to hydrate the lens. This may reduce discomfort and it’ll make the lens easier to remove. 

Once the lenses are hydrated, continue to be cautious when removing them. Once out, you may wish to use hydrating eye drops on your eye as well to reduce any dryness.

You should then leave your lenses out for at least a few hours. If you encounter lasting discomfort or any visual issues, contact your optometrist as soon as possible to ensure there’s no damage.

Long-term effects of sleeping in contact lenses

Continuous-use contact lenses shouldn’t pose any issue when sleeping in them (if you are deemed suitable for them), however it’s still healthier to have your eyes clear of contact lenses whilst resting and have a few nights off from wearing lenses from time to time when sleeping in these types of lenses. 

However, any sort of obstruction to your eye reduces oxygen to the eye, and even lenses designed for long-term use may cause problems over an extended period of time, as well as discomfort, dryness and increased risk of infection. 

Protecting your vision

There are a number of ways you can protect your vision and encourage a good night’s sleep:

  • Remove your contact lenses a while before bed. This will allow your eyes to rehydrate properly through blinking before you shut them all night.
  • Eat a varied diet, rich in Vitamins A, C and E and antioxidants. A healthy diet will help support your natural sleep, while Vitamins and antioxidants will contribute towards maintaining your eye health.
  • Avoid looking at screens too long and take regular breaks. Extensive exposure to light from screens can cause difficulty getting to sleep and resting efficiently, while looking at screens can also cause you to blink less – which can cause your eyes to dry out, especially if you wear contact lenses.
  • Get regular exercise. Even going for walks can help. Stretching your muscles – particularly if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day – can help you sleep better, as well as provide fresh air and a chance to look at objects that are further away, which will both benefit your vision.
  • Get regular eye tests. If your prescription changes over time, using the wrong prescription lenses or glasses can cause headaches and make it harder to sleep. Getting regular tests will ensure you’re always wearing the right strength of vision correction, and will spot any health concerns as early as possible.
  • Reduce caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Regular use of these chemicals can affect your sleep and your health generally. While controlled amounts on occasion won’t have a major impact, taking too much on a regular basis can result in disrupted sleep and accordingly tired eyes.

By following these tips and taking care when using your contact lenses, you can protect your eye health for years to come.

For more information on sleeping with contacts please check out some of our other posts the science behind sleep and What’s the Science Behind Lens Care & Wear?

How to Deal with the Roller Coaster Ride that is Puberty

Your teen years are not the easiest. On top of the everyday stresses of school and socialising, your body is going through a lot of changes. It’s perfectly natural to wake up on some mornings and not feel like your usual self – especially when you’re on your period. For those in their early teen years who are just starting to experience this, it can be a confusing and frustrating time. But, try not to worry – this is completely natural! And it is the roller coaster ride known as puberty. On average, girls go through puberty at 11 years old. However, this process of change can occur between the ages of 8 and 14, so it is nothing to worry about if you hit puberty a little before or after your friends. So, how do you deal with this change? Here are some top tips to help you handle puberty.

Hormone hassles: understanding your body

During puberty and menstruation, your hormones can seem a bit chaotic and, quite frankly, all over the place. Even women much older than you find hormonal changes difficult, so try to go easy on yourself. Finding ways to help you deal with the hormonal imbalance that puberty and your periods cause will help you work through these emotional times.

Sometimes, trying to figure out the reason why you feel consumed by emotions of anger, upset or confusion can add to the stress of the hormonal rollercoaster. Therefore, during your teen years, it’s important to take the time out to understand why you’re feeling like this and try to not put too much pressure on yourself.

You’re probably wondering why all these changes are happening and what’s causing your emotions to be so heightened. Well, it all comes down to hormones. When you reach puberty, your ovaries will start to produce oestrogen – the hormone that basically controls everything to do with reproduction. This hormone will regulate your periods, but it can also affect different parts of your body, especially when there’s too much or too little oestrogen. An imbalance can trigger both physical and emotional side effects. This could leave you with unexpected or heightened emotions, as well as making you feel more tired than usual, or giving you pains in your tummy.

Whilst these side effects can be uncomfortable, they are completely natural and are something all women experience during periods, sometimes even after their bodies have matured. Side effects can also include mood swings, weight gain, period cramps, fatigue, and acne.

Spots and acne

Now that we have discussed why we feel the way we do during puberty, let’s talk about how our bodies change and what you can do to handle changes like acne and spots.

It’s pretty common to develop acne during teen years due to the hormonal imbalance your body and skin is experiencing. In more extreme cases of acne, it is important to get in touch with your GP who may prescribe medication to help with outbreaks.

There are many self-help techniques you can practice at home to help deal with acne breakouts. For example, try not to wash the areas you have acne more than twice a day, and when doing so, use lukewarm water with a mild cleanser. This is because extremely high or low temperatures and excessive washing of the skin with harsh soaps or cleansers can irritate the acne even more and make it worse. It is also important to allow your skin time to breathe and avoid clogging up your

pores. So, try to limit the amount of makeup you wear, opt for non-comedogenic products (by which we mean makeup and skincare products that have been designed not to clog your pores), remove makeup thoroughly after wear, and try to keep your hair off your face.

Periods and product advice You may be asking, how long does a period last? Periods typically last between three and eight days and occur every 28 days. However, many people experience irregular periods, so don’t worry if yours sometimes takes you by surprise! To help keep track of your periods and how frequently they occur, download an app such as Clue or Flo.

For girls in their early teen years who are experiencing their first periods, knowing how to deal with them and the best products to use can be difficult to get used to. With this said, here are some of our top tips.

Using period pads or teenage tampons are really popular choices. So, let’s look into the benefits of either choice.

The benefits of opting for tampons:

  • Due to being smaller in size, they are easy to carry around in your bag.
  • They are one of the few period products that allow you to swim or go in water whilst on your period.
  • They are worn internally, which some people find more comfortable.

Why you might prefer pads:

  • Many people find them easy to use.
  • You don’t need to insert anything.
  • Some people find them more comfortable than internal protection – but this is personal, so try to find what works best for you.

Of course, as you progress through your teen years, the preference of which period products you use may change. However, for early teens just beginning their periods, finding one they feel comfortable using is essential. If you’re just getting to grips with all of the options, why not start with a teens starter kit so that you can try out a few different products and find the right option for you?

 

The importance of ‘me time’

As well as adapting to the physical changes your body is experiencing, it is important to prioritise self-care during your early teen years. People of all ages can benefit from self-care and ‘me time’, so be sure to make space in your day to be kind to yourself, especially when you’re on your period!

So, take some time to put the phone down, focus on you, and find out what makes you feel relaxed. This might be running a hot bath, binging your favourite Netflix show, or curling up with a good book and a mug of warm hot chocolate.

For both girls and boys, your teen years are full of confusion and questions as to why your body is experiencing the changes it is. Whilst these can be difficult to adapt to, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and what you are feeling is completely natural – even though it might not feel like it. So, why not try our top tips above and learn how to ride the puberty roller coaster with confidence.

Cancer From Zantac: 5 Things to Know About Ulcer Medications

The advancements in the medical industry helped many people get treatments for their illnesses. Various medical procedures and medications were developed to help individuals recover from their health complications. 

Some common problems like ulcers and acid reflux are easier to manage with the help of medicine. One well-known drug that became popular in recent years is Zantac. It’s an accessible and affordable oral tablet that can be purchased by individuals dealing with gastrointestinal issues or ulcers.  

Although the drug’s benefits seemed promising to many consumers, it quickly became a potentially harmful substance that can cause long-term health complications.  

Here’s some information about the medication:  

1. It Was Sold As An Over-The-Counter Medication 

Ranitidine products under the brand Zantac were initially sold to consumers as a histamine-2 blocker. It’s an over-the-counter drug for heartburn and ulcers. It works by preventing the stomach from producing too much acid which causes problems in the digestive system. Additionally, the medication also helps treat and manage other conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. GERD is a chronic digestive disease that can cause various symptoms like dry cough, frequent heartburn, and pain in the neck and jaw. On the other hand, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a more serious medical condition where tumors may form in the pancreas and duodenum (upper part of the small intestine). 

People who often experience discomfort in their gastrointestinal tract and digestive process take the medicine to keep their stomach acid under control. They can easily purchase the drug in pharmacies and stores with or without a prescription from a physician.  

2. Zantac May Cause Health Complications  

Although the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially approved the medicine’s safety, it was later ruled as unsafe for consumption. The N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) content of the drug can become a combustible substance and cause health complications. When exposed to heat, volatile levels of NDMA may cause illnesses like liver cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, leukemia, and other life-threatening diseases.    

NDMA is known to be a carcinogenic chemical that can be manufactured through industrial processes. It’s found in various sources like tobacco smoke, foods like smoked meat or cheese, pesticides, and detergents. Exposure to low levels of NDMA is considered non-life-threatening. However, if a person takes high doses of the chemical, they may eventually develop certain illnesses.  

People who take the ranitidine regularly to manage their condition were at risk of developing cancer from Zantac. Additionally, the drug may also cause various side effects like vomiting, liver failure, stomach pain, and hepatitis.  

3. Its Manufacturing Process May Have Been Unsafe  

The manufacturing and delivery process of Zantac and other ranitidine products may have exposed the drug to high temperatures and affect its contents before it gets sold to consumers.  

Some of the ulcer medications sold in the market are from Australia and India where temperatures can go as high as 139 degrees Fahrenheit. The environmental conditions during the manufacturing stage of the drug may have affected its composition and made it unsafe for consumption.  

In addition, the medication gets transported in cargo containers where the temperature may not be stable. There are also no instructions indicated on the packaging stating that the drug must be kept in cold storage at all times.  

This means that before a consumer gets their hands on Zantac, it could have already been exposed to various temperature changes. If they take it regularly to maintain their health concern, they may become more prone to developing cancer and other health complications. Many reliable sources like Drug Injury News released information regarding the medicine to keep the public updated and warned about the potential long-term effects of the drug.  

5. The Drug Was Recalled  

Valisure Laboratories examined the drug in October of 2019 to determine whether its contents were safe for consumption. They also investigated to see the changes in Zantac when exposed to various external conditions. Their findings indicated that the NDMA content of the drug is within normal levels. However, when exposed to elevated temperatures, it increases and may potentially become harmful to a person’s body.  

In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a request to pull out all ranitidine products from the market. People who purchased the drug for health maintenance reasons were also advised to stop taking the medicine since it may increase their chances of developing cancer and other health problems.  

Those who take the medicine to help manage their health condition were also instructed to consult with a physician before stopping their drug intake. Some patients were given alternatives to ensure they won’t experience adverse effects from suddenly discontinuing their intake of ranitidine.  

6. Patients Who Developed Cancer Filed Lawsuits  

Patients who were prescribed the drug to manage their health condition eventually filed lawsuits and claimed that the drug caused various types of health problems including 12 forms of cancer. Some individuals sued Zantac manufacturers due to misinformation. They claimed that the people behind ranitidine knew its potential health risks but chose to withhold it from patients and proceeded to sell the medicine.  

Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim are two of the manufacturers that received various lawsuits from patients who developed cancer. One of the cases was from Joseph Galimidi, a patient diagnosed with breast cancer. He has been using the drug to manage his heartburn and acid reflux for a long time before it was even declared unsafe. He claimed that Zantac was the cause of his illness and requested compensation.  

Furthermore, class-action lawsuits against the manufacturers of Zantac and other ranitidine products were also filed in California’s Northern District in 2019. The individuals who submitted the case claimed that leaving out crucial data about the drug put their lives at risk. They wanted the manufacturers to pay compensation for moral damages, medical expenses, death, disability, and other adverse effects of the drug on their lives. 

Final Thoughts  

The initial formulation of Zantac made by Sanofi was recalled and no longer available. It caused various complications to many patients who simply wanted to treat their ulcer and manage their gastrointestinal condition. It led to long-term effects and changed the lives of many people.  

How to Reduce Your Risk of Cardiac Emergency

Heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest are very serious medical emergencies that require immediate attention and often require life-long health adjustments and treatments. 

Learning basic life support is a critical way to properly handle these situations when they arise. But it’s even better to prevent them from happening altogether. 

Heart disease may be the leading cause of death in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are several steps that you can take to ensure you don’t suffer a cardiac emergency.

What is a Cardiac Emergency?

A cardiac emergency can be one of two things: 

  • Heart attack
  • Sudden cardiac arrest

These two emergency situations are often misconstrued as being the same thing. However, they are two different health conditions. 

A heart attack (or myocardial infarction), occurs when the blood flow to the heart is either reduced or cut off completely. This situation can take place due to a blood clot or a spasm of the coronary artery. 

Someone experiencing a heart attack may feel a sudden, intense pain in the chest that can spread to the arms, shoulders, jaw, and neck. They may also feel dizzy, nauseous, and overly tired with symptoms that include sweating, heartburn, and difficulty breathing. 

On the other hand, sudden cardiac arrest means that the heart has suddenly become paralyzed. The rest of an individual’s organs cannot receive blood and oxygen at that time. 

Sudden cardiac arrest happens very quickly, resulting in asystole. Someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest will immediately faint and lose consciousness. A heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest if not treated quickly.

How to Reduce the Risk of a Cardiac Emergency

There are certain factors that we can’t change, such as family health history, age, and sex. However, we can take action to improve our overall health, therefore mitigating the risk of cardiac arrest in the future. 

Do Not Smoke or Use Tobacco

The chemicals found in tobacco can be severely damaging to both your heart and your blood vessels. In fact, smoking cigarettes causes about 1 in every 5 deaths in the U.S. every year. 

These chemicals can significantly increase your risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that causes plaque to build up in the arteries. This plaque progressively hardens and narrows the arteries, limiting the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. 

The continual buildup of this plaque can eventually lead to heart attack and heart failure as it blocks the blood supply to the heart and the coronary arteries over time. 

Studies show that your risk of heart disease begins to lower the day you quit smoking and tobacco use. So, even if you’ve smoked for a long time, stopping at any point can still benefit your heart health. 

Exercise Regularly

The CDC recommends that adults should get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, which breaks down to 30 minutes for five days each week. They also state that adults should move more and sit less during the day, keeping their bodies active rather than sedentary for long periods of time. 

But what does this have to do with heart disease? 

Consistent physical activity plays an important role in maintaining a healthy heart. Since the heart is a muscle, it needs exercise as much as the rest of your body. Physical activity can help control your weight and minimizes the risk of developing conditions such as: 

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes

These conditions can all put a strain on your heart and lead to additional heart problems and cardiac emergencies. Even small amounts of exercise, such as a short walk or cleaning your house, can improve your heart health. 

Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet can have several benefits, such as preventing stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Eating healthy foods and managing your nutritional intake can also prevent long-term heart disease. 

A healthy diet involves finding a good balance among nutrients, which is generally achievable by balancing the main food groups:

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Milk and Dairy
  • Protein

Another food group includes fatty and sugary foods. While it’s not necessary to avoid these foods completely, they should only make up a very small portion of your daily intake. Too much fat and sugar can lead to weight gain, which can ultimately cause stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. 

Improve Sleep Quality

Constant lack of sleep can be detrimental to your overall health, including that of your heart. Most adults should get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Those who don’t achieve this amount of sleep are at higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attack. 

When you sleep, your heart rate slows and your blood pressure drops down. This is considered a normal part of your sleep cycle and is the much-needed rest that your body needs to survive and thrive. But when you don’t get enough sleep, your blood pressure stays higher for a longer amount of time. 

Therefore, not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure down the line. High blood pressure is a leading risk for heart disease and stroke.

Conclusion

Cardiac emergencies are very real and life-threatening health conditions that impact thousands of people every year. The best thing you can do for yourself is to take proactive steps toward improving your overall health. Staying healthy, active, and well-rested can provide a great foundation for good heart health.

One Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer is Helping Victims Get The Right Healthcare

A car accident is one of the most debilitating experiences you can have in your life. If you are in a car accident, one of the most critical issues is receiving adequate medical attention to address your injuries. 

You need to get medical attention after a serious car accident. There may be life-threatening injuries that need to be immediately addressed. The greater danger is often unseen injuries that lay latent until their manifestations become serious in the future. 

A car accident attorney can help the victim of a car accident get the right healthcare in the following ways:

 

Noticing Symptoms

According to atlcaraccidentlawyer.com, you should choose an experienced car accident attorney who deals with car accident cases often. If they are keen, they will notice the symptoms of car accidents even if the victims say they are okay. 

In this regard, a lawyer can help you notice the symptoms you cannot and direct you to a doctor to get the necessary medical attention. These symptoms may include dizziness, confusion, stuttering speech, and headaches.

It can take hours, days, weeks, or even months for the negative symptoms of a car accident to manifest themselves. You will probably be dealing with a car accident attorney during that time who will be better placed to notice your symptoms and help you get proper healthcare. 

Auto Insurance Coverage

Another way an Atlanta car accident attorney can help you get the right healthcare is by dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf. As you probably know, it can be challenging to get an insurance company to give you compensation for medical bills after a car accident

Insurance companies will send adjusters and other professionals to offer you deals meant for the company’s advantage. When all you want to do is recover from your injuries and finish the insurance hassles, it is easy to take a bad deal. 

A qualified car accident attorney can be your defender in this regard. The attorney will deal with the insurance companies repelling their advances and negotiating in your stead. It is the best way to ensure you get adequate medical attention for your injuries and the insurance companies pay for as much of the bills as possible. 

Dealing with the Guilty Party

There are some countries and states that have no-fault car accidents. However, for those places with at-fault accident laws, the guilty party should compensate the victim for their actions. Responsibility, in this case, is often paying the victim’s medical bills. 

The guilty driver’s auto insurance is supposed to pay for the accident’s damage and the subsequent medical costs to address injuries resulting from the accident. However, the insurance company may refuse to pay, or the medical expenses may exceed the policy’s limit. 

In such a case, an attorney will help you get adequate medical care by helping you file a personal injury lawsuit against the guilty party. You can take them to court and have the law require them to pay your medical bills. 

Payment Arrangements with Healthcare Providers

Various doctors and medical specialists understand that some people do not have health insurance or have auto insurance policies that will not cover specific bills. Such medical professionals offer patients their services and are willing to work on various payment plans. 

A car accident attorney is the ideal person to negotiate such payment arrangements for you. Moreover, they will most likely be the ones who direct you to them because of the experience and connections they develop with time. 

Some healthcare providers may agree to provide treatment based on your lawyer’s guarantee about the settlement agreement. Therefore, a lawyer can help you get the healthcare you need after a car accident, regardless of your situation. 

Getting medical attention after a car accident is paramount, and you should prioritize it at all costs. An attorney can be beneficial in the above ways in helping you get proper healthcare after a car accident. Get a good attorney and follow their instructions to get the help you need.

Why Is Electronic Health Record a Good Idea for Health Care Organisations?

Health care organizations all over the world have been switching to electronic health records in recent years, and with good reason. EHRs are real-time, patient-centred documents that provide authorised users with instant and secure access to patient information. The records contain information like patients’ medical histories, medications, diagnoses, allergies, lab results, immunization dates, and treatment plans.

EHRs make it easier and quicker for health care professionals to make decisions regarding patients’ care, but they have many other advantages too. Here is a look at why electronic health records are a good idea for your health care organization.

Information Can Easily Be Shared Between Different Organisations and Professionals

One of the key features of EHR interoperable software systems is they can be shared between authorized health care providers across more than just one organisation. Patient info can be shared between labs, pharmacies, medical imaging facilities, specialists, workplace clinics and more, which means workflows become much smoother and efficient and patients can get better care. So, EHRs can transform the way in which care is delivered and compensated. In addition to improved patient care, EHRs help to increase patient participation and improve care coordination, diagnostics, and patient outcomes.

Greater Efficiency Means Lower Costs

When processes become more efficient via using EHRs, it means your health care organisation can in turn save costs. After all, time is money. When health care professionals are able to speed up things like diagnostics and new data can be entered into the EHR system to ensure all health care professionals and organisations in the network can access up-to-date information quickly, you can reduce the costs of your health care organisation’s operations substantially. Things like decreased paperwork and reduced testing duplication also enable health care organisations to reduce their costs.

Patients Can Beneficially Access Their Own EHRs

EHRs are not only beneficial to health care organisations and professionals. They are also advantageous for patients. With an EHR, a patient can access his or her own record and see things like the trend of the last year’s lab results. With access to such data, a patient can become more motivated to keep up with his or her medical recommendations, such as lifestyle changes, that have helped to improve the patient’s results.

 

Other Benefits of EHRs

It should already be clear why EHRs are a good idea for health care organisations. For instance, with more complete and up-to-date patient information, health care professionals can make well-informed decisions quickly, which means patient care is improved and safety risks are reduced. Other benefits of using EHRs include:

  •   Being able to automatically transmit patient data upon completing common data entry tasks.
  •   Enabling quick access to patient records for more efficient and coordinated care.
  •   Improving patient and health care provider interaction and communication.
  •   Improving the convenience of accessing records.
  •   Enabling more reliable and safer prescribing.
  •   Improving the security and privacy of patient data.
  •   Improving billing procedures.
  •   Helping health care professionals and organisations to improve their efficiency and meet goals.

 

Are electronic medical records and electronic health records the same?

If your health care organization is still running on paper documentation, it is about time you changed with the times and start using digital records. But you could be a little confused about the difference between electronic health records and electronic medical records. EMRs are different to EHRs. An EMR is a digital version of the paper charts found in clinicians’ offices. The document contains the medical and treatment history of the facility’s patients. There are obvious benefits of EMRs over paper records. For instance, they enable health care professionals to track data over time and easily identify which patients are due for check-ups or preventive screenings.

The problem with EMRs is they are confined to the individual health care organisation using them. For other health care professionals to access the records, they could need to be printed out and sent in the mail, thus not adding any advantage to paper records when it comes to sharing data with others. That is why EHRs are so much better. They do all of the things that EMRs do and much more. Taking all of the above considerations and benefits of electronic health records into account, it should now be obvious why your health care organisation should switch to EHRs.

What Nutritional Value Do Sunflowers Hold?

When you see a sunflower, the last thing you think of is eating it. You are probably dazzled by its beauty and want to put it in a vase and let it light up a room.

However, humans have a long history of eating sunflowers and using them for other nutritional purposes, particularly sunflower seeds. People harvest sunflower seeds from the flowers of the sunflower plant.

Sunflower seeds are white and have a smooth texture which you can feel by rubbing them. They are famous for their nutty flavor and nutrition. You can eat the seeds in various ways too.

The following article outlines the nutritional value of sunflowers and their health benefits:

 

Cardiovascular Health

One of the nutritional benefits of sunflowers is that they can help improve heart health and reduce the chances of contracting cardiovascular diseases. Sunflower seeds contain healthy fats, with three-quarters serving of sunflower seeds providing over fourteen grams of healthy fats.

The fats that most people use are saturated fats that add cholesterol to the body and significantly increase cardiovascular diseases. You will also get healthy fats from foods like olive oil and superfoods like avocado.

On the other hand, studies on sunflowers have shown reducing rates of cardiovascular diseases, lowering cholesterol levels, and reducing high blood pressure.

Increased Immunity

Although making a sunflower delivery can certainly brighten anyone’s day thereby improving immunity, sunflowers, particularly sunflower seeds, contain many vitamins and minerals that greatly improve the immune system.

These nutrients will boost your immunity and help you fight off harmful elements such as viruses in the body. 

Some of the vitamins and minerals you will find in sunflower seeds include zinc and selenium. Zinc aids the body in the development and maintenance of immune cells. On the other hand, selenium helps to reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and fight infections.

Increased Energy

The ingredients of sunflower seeds include high protein levels, which are great for energy. Sunflowers also have vitamins that can help keep you energized, such as selenium. Selenium increases blood flow and delivers more energy to the body, which causes an increase in energy.

Vitamin B1 also called thiamin, which is present in sunflower seeds, is a crucial component in helping the body convert food into energy. The energy you get from the seeds can last for an entire day.

Reducing Inflammation

There are plenty of people in the world suffering from acute cases of inflammation. Sunflowers are a healthy food that can be a solution for such people.

Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, flavonoids, and unique plant elements that help reduce inflammation in the body. The anti-inflammatory benefits of sunflowers are immense and hard to compare with other plants.

Several studies have been done where the participants consumed sunflower seeds five or more times a week. The result was a noticeable and dramatic decrease in inflammation levels.

The lower the inflammation levels in the body, the lower the chances of developing chronic disorders.

Sunflower Nutritional Value

Sunflower seeds are very nutrient-dense foods. The following is a breakdown of the nutritional value of sunflower seeds:

Sunflower seeds contain plenty of calories. One hundred grams of sunflower seeds can provide you with about 585 calories. They are also very rich in fiber and fats, with most of the fats being polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Sunflower seeds are protein-dense 100g containing 20g of protein. You will find minerals such as Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Folate, Choline, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Sunflower also contains minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, etc.

 

In conclusion, sunflowers are very nutritious and offer plenty of nutritional value. They have plenty of health benefits, as you can see above. Whenever you have a chance to consume sunflower seeds, do it. 

Why Pharma Needs Digital Health Solutions in Oncology Now More Than Ever

The medical and pharmaceutical communities have understandably been preoccupied with battling the COVID-19 pandemic over the last 18 months. But this massive reallocation of resources hasn’t come without a cost.

Pandemic-fuelled disruption to healthcare systems risks causing cancer death rates to rise for the first time in decades; while authorities have exacerbated the situation by urging patients to stay away from hospitals and emergency care, and delaying or cancelling scheduled surgeries.

Indeed, 24% of Americans with cancer delayed at least one in-person visit, while in the UK, an estimated 40,000 people are living with cancer without knowing it. Across both regions, delaying the first line of treatment risks leading to worse patient outcomes and a greater percentage of metastasis.

Fixing this imbalance will take a concerted effort from all parties. There’s an urgent need for the pharma and digital health industries to collaborate, improve patient monitoring and deliver more effective cancer treatments, now more than ever.

 

Why digital health tools?

So how do digital health tools play a role here?

Put simply, they play a key role in remotely monitoring patients, most commonly by giving them prompts to report any symptoms they suffer. These may be associated with a relapse, when a patient whose cancer had originally been targeted with localized surgeries but reappears, or side effects of any drugs they may be taking.

This allows healthcare professionals to intervene and prescribe more serious treatments if required, such as immunotherapy, chemo, hormonal therapy, or a combination of these, as well as prescribing medications or altering the treatment to mitigate any side effects reported. Studies show health-related quality of life improves more significantly (34%) in patients whose treatments include digital solutions than in patients who receive the usual care (18%).

With the availability of healthcare professionals often stretched – and drug-based therapies becoming simpler and easier to self-administer at home – digital tools can effectively supplement the role of existing healthcare providers, ensuring patients are successfully onboarded to their treatment and can help ensure that their treatment is optimized.

The data these solutions provide can also guide decision-making around further treatment, pharmaceutical or otherwise, providing data that can assist patients and healthcare professionals in both short and long-term decision-making, helping set realistic patient expectations around treatment. FDA Oncology Drug approvals are rising exponentially, with guidance from digital tools increasing to support new options.

Finally, more broadly, digital health solutions can promote patient engagement and a clear understanding on how they can manage their condition. They can drive efficient and actionable communication with relevant healthcare professionals, while timely interventions based on patient-reported data can reduce hospitalization, keep patients on treatment longer and lead to progression-free survival.

 

More complex problems need comprehensive solutions

Although the clinical benefits of remote patient monitoring have been demonstrated in clinical trials, achieving optimal supportive care in these trying times requires solutions that go further still.

Existing ‘generalist’ tools tend to have the goal of educating patients, or gathering data. While effective in enabling better care – and better continuity of care – more ambitious tools are now available that offer faster, more optimized, bespoke care to patients.

There’s scope to use these digital solutions to motivate and engage patients as well as target the specific unmet needs and side effects that can lead them to abandon treatment prematurely. This means turning to more complex tools to complement existing treatment, and gain a more detailed understanding of the patient journey in a medical world where interventions are growing exponentially due to combination therapy.

 

Combining digital and pharmaceutical treatment provides the most effective care

For pharma, innovation in oncology brings to mind drug-based treatments most often prescribed in the event of a relapse. While drug efficacy is vital, monitoring the patients’ symptoms and quality of life is equally important and is deeply entwined with prognosis and symptom alleviation.

Tracking patient-recorded outcomes (PROs) is one way digital health solutions can contribute to improving patient quality of life. Not only do these tools prompt patients to report symptoms associated with signs of relapse, identifying any need for drug treatments; they also empower patients to communicate and manage their existing treatment’s side effects to ensure they stay on medication, subsequently improving outcomes.

Research confirms this type of monitoring and reporting has a demonstrable impact on patient quality of life: a study by Basch et al (J Clin Oncol 34:557-565) shows health-related quality of life increased by 34% among those patients who reported common symptoms via tablet computers, compared with an 18% increase among control patients. The study also saw reduced emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and improved survival rates.

While drug treatments focus on achieving specific clinical targets and increase survivorship, they do not always equate to improved quality of life for patients. Whereas standalone digital solutions or digital therapeutics (DTx) may improve patients’ wellbeing but have no impact on survival rates. It’s the combination of the two-drug treatment and a digital solution – that increases the likelihood of patients surviving and can lead to a better quality of life.

 

Examples of complex digital health tools in oncology

There are several digital health solutions already on the market that build on research in the space to offer a holistic, needs-specific approach to cancer treatment.

One example is the NCI PRO-CTCAE (STAR) study, which prompts nurses to respond to patients whenever one of 12 patient-reported symptoms worsens significantly.

Elsewhere, the COMPASS eHealth app builds on PRO data by using sensors and heart rate monitors to capture and analyze patient data, facilitating speedy intervention if required.

There’s certainly potential to further improve home monitoring by detecting biomarkers with sensors and capturing data with digital solutions to provide better feedback and more prompt support for disease progression.

 

Digital tools improve patient care and boost competitiveness

We’ve seen the potential and impact of digital tools across many therapy areas, and oncology is no exception.

But the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in require new, innovative, more impactful solutions that provide further functionalities on top of educating patients and gathering data.

Tools that combine with pharmaceutical care to provide a holistic, needs-based approach to treatment, at the different stages of a cancer patient’s journey, offer the best care and address all the different issues they may face in course of their illness.

Not only will increased focus and investment in this area help pharma and healthcare professionals provide the best treatment possible, it will enable pharma to remain at the forefront of oncology treatment and research, too, ensuring they lead the pack and differentiate from the competition.

Counting Macros: A Beginner’s Guide to Bulking Up

Putting on muscle mass is one of the biggest challenges for anyone who wants to not only improve their strength and stamina, but also get the aesthetic results that they want from their workouts.

Paying attention to your macros and adjusting your diet in order to optimize your muscle-building abilities is something that lots of people do to supplement their exercise routines in the right way.

Of course, if you are a total newcomer, the whole concept of macros can be confusing, before you even get into the complexities of counting them. To bring you up to speed, here is a look at the basics and the aspects to bear in mind as you begin the process of bulking up.

 

Introducing macronutrients

Macros, otherwise known as macronutrients, are the fundamental nutrients of any diet, and consist of a core trio of fats, carbohydrates and protein.

Monitoring and managing your intake of these three elements can help you to work towards whatever targets you are hoping to hit, whether you are intending to count macros for muscle gain, to lose weight or even to put on a few pounds if you are underweight.

 

The diet perspective explored

For a long time, there was a focus on calorie counting when approaching diets, but more nutritional research has allowed us to understand that looking into the balance of macros in what you eat and adjusting these can deliver the desired effect more consistently and healthily.

This comes down to the fact that adjusting your caloric intake without thinking about what you are actually eating is often problematic. For example, you could adopt a low calorie diet by eating nothing but a set amount of chocolate each day, which might leave you with a slimmer waistline but would ultimately mean that you were missing out on important nutrients like protein, which is of course key to building muscle.

 

Macro food groups examined

We have already mentioned the three most important macros to be aware of, and there are a few more considerations to keep in mind if macro counting is something you intend to do.

You can assign certain foods to each one of the groups according to the most prominent macro they offer; in the case of rice, bread and root vegetables, the prevalence of carbohydrates is at the top of the agenda, for example.

However, it is also worth noting that some foods are rich in more than one macro. So when it comes to things like nuts and dairy products, you are typically getting a decent dose of both protein as well as fat.

Being aware of these variations and encompassing them in your calculations will make it simpler to ensure that you are organizing your diet in the right way, especially if you have the goal of bulking up.

 

Macro balancing for big gains

Now that you have an understanding of what macros are and how they can benefit those looking for a tighter level of control over their diets, it’s necessary to talk about how this applies from a muscle building perspective.

As you might expect, protein is the most significant of the three key macros for anyone who is getting into body building at whatever level suits them. However, you still need to be conscious of how you are balancing your intake, as of course, you cannot completely eradicate carbs and fat in pursuit of pure protein intake, either from a health perspective or from the point of view of practicality.

The idea is to combine both an awareness of the calorie intake you need to train and gain, and knowledge of how many calories are being provided by protein, carbs and fat.

With all of this information to hand, you will then be able to plan your meals and plot out your workout schedule.

Clearly, it will be a requirement that you tailor the calculations according to your ultimate goals, and also that you stick to the routine you create, otherwise you will be wasting the opportunity to bulk up and could ultimately find that different outcomes arise if for example you skip weight training sessions but keep eating the same volumes and proportions of nutrients.

 

Quick calculations

When you delve into the topic of counting macros deeper, you will find that there are all sorts of variables to tinker with and adjustments to make as your experience and understanding grows.

However, as a starting point let’s consider a straightforward example focusing on protein and using this as the basis for the rest of the macro counting and meal prep process.

Working out your ideal protein macros is as simple as multiplying the amount you currently weigh in pounds by 1.25. This figure will equate to the number of grams of protein you should aim to consume in a given 24 hour period.

In the case that you weigh 200lbs, that would equate to 250g of protein. In turn, you can calculate how many calories are in this by quadrupling the aforementioned portion of protein, which here would give you precisely 1000.

If you are aiming for a daily calorie intake of 3800 in conjunction with a rigorous weight training routine, then 1000 of this total will therefore need to be made up of protein-rich foodstuffs. The remaining 2800 calories should be split evenly between carbohydrates and fats, which should give you the energy you need to maximize the potential of all of your mass-building efforts.

 

Summing up

The practice of counting macros can help all sorts of people, not just those who want to bulk up quickly. You simply need to know what you want to achieve and stick to the plans you put in place based on the calculations you make.

Of course, it is also important to pay attention to how your diet and exercise regimen is actually impacting your body and to make changes if something is not working out as you had planned it.

Simple Steps to the Healthy Aging Process

Various changes may occur to your body as you age, and you may not look as young as before. There are two types of aging, biological and chronological aging. Biological aging can be hastened or slowed down according to one’s liking. 

However, you cannot slow down chronological aging since it is the calendar age. Aging brings with it numerous changes in the body, both physically and internally. Dr. Gregory Lindson recommends following these easy steps to add positive behavior changes to your daily and live a healthier life.

First of all, you need to visit a specialist who will administer a test to determine your biological age. Blood biomarkers are analyzed to give the inner age accurately. The doctor can use your blood biomarker and health profile and transform it into a personalized recommendation to improve your health.

Stay physically active

Running, jogging or walking for at least 30 minutes every day can go a long way in keeping you healthy. Exercise is essential in keeping your bones strong. Inactivity exposes you to degeneration of bones, making you prone to falls and fractures. 

Regular walking will improve your mental capacity even as you age, and it also reduces the risk of high blood pressure.

Exercising also reduces stress, improves muscle strength and generally keeps you looking and feeling young. You can also exercise regularly, health experts suggesting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity and 75 minutes high intensity per week. 

But before you engage in exercise, please consult your medical practitioner for advice, especially if you are living with a health condition.

Well-balanced diet

It would help if you watch your portions, go slow on carbohydrates and reduce sugar intake and fizzy drinks. This food only gives momentary comfort and pile more fat to the body. 

Reduce fast food intake and take more homemade food, which is likely to be more natural as this will keep your body refreshed. Always ensure you give your body what it needs. Overindulgence will lead to weight gain and fasten the aging process.

Nutritionists encourage adults to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Some foods are packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, essential minerals and water. When you eat right, the skin will benefit greatly from these nutrients. 

For example, red bell pepper, papaya, and blueberries have many antioxidants, while almonds and walnuts have healthy fat that helps repair body membranes. Spinach has vitamins and helps oxygenate the whole body, while fish contains Omega-3 fats. Always chose your meals well, and this will help you reduce visits to the hospital.

Get a recommended range of nightly sleep

Always ensure you have enough sleep. This is because it is during sleep that the body engages in restoring itself. Muscle building and tissue repairs happen when one is sleeping. During this time, the brain is cleared of metabolic waste, and growth hormone is released. 

That is why sleep deprivation will cause declining cognitive function and poor cardiovascular health. People with poor sleeping habits will age faster than those who sleep well. 

Always ensure your environment is conducive and free from disturbances such as noise and bright lights. Turn off your phone and computers to concentrate on your sleep. Have a routine of sleeping and waking up at a given time so that your body may get used.

Exercise your mind

Make your mind active by thinking and learning continuously to avoid cognitive decline. You can keep your mind busy by reading books, magazines and newspapers. You could also download games such as word power and chess, where you can get opponents online to play with you. 

You can also engage in discussion with people of all generations to keep your mind active. You should avoid letting your mind idle away because this could slow down your cognitive faculty.

Keep yourself socially active

Avoid isolating yourself as this could lead to a mental decline. You can keep yourself busy by socially interacting with your friends and relatives. National Institute of Aging has found that people with poor social interactions are prone to depression, heart disease, decreased immune function, and are at risk of earlier death. 

Low social interactions are also associated with dementia. It is essential to engage in social activities to keep the mind active and slow down aging.

Self-assessment and medical examinations

Be keen on changes that are taking place in your body. You should note any significant weight gain and loss or sluggishness in task accomplishments, among other changes. Every once in a while, you can evaluate your biological age to see if you are aging faster. 

You can make changes in your diet and start an exercise regime to help if you feel you are aging too fast. You should also consult your medical practitioner when you have serious health concerns.

Your body will let you know every time something is wrong. Always listen and take early measures to remedy the situation. Keep yourself away from those things that will age you very fast, such as excessive alcohol consumption. Taking care of your body goes a long way in ensuring you live a healthy life.

16 Million Reasons Why Health Tech is a Win for Mental Health

The UK government has pledged an ambitious programme of revolutionising mental health over the next three years, seeing all mental health service providers becoming digitised and fully integrated with other health and care services by 2024. The scale of a mental health epidemic is real — with the UK’s population of 67 million, one in four people will experience a mental health illness at least once in their lives, that’s 16 million people. The Mental Health Foundation estimates that by 2030, over two million people will experience mental health problems in the UK alone. Mental health problems already stand as one of the main global causes of overall disease.

One thing is certain, mental health tech that is deliverable on a large scale is both desirable and necessary. Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of the healthcare system becoming more digitised and the impact this will have on mental health care.

Focusing on areas of high unmet clinical needs

In 2016, Jeremy Hunt, the then health secretary, acknowledged that child mental health services are the “biggest single area of weakness” in the NHS —  less than 1% of all NHS spending is on the mental health of children and young people. And it isn’t just young people that are suffering. Mental health charity Mind conducted research across 42 regions in the UK and found that mental health spending varies widely across regions in England, with a two-fold difference in spending between regions.

The vast need for mental health services means that waiting lists are long, which for some people’s mental health can be devastating, or even in some cases fatal.  According to the Independent last year, over 122,000 patients seeking mental health care are being kept on ‘hidden waiting lists’ for over eight weeks to see a doctor again after their initial appointment, described as a ‘hidden sucker punch’.

In order to help support those on long waiting lists, health tech like myGP, an app providing various online healthcare services such as NHS prescription delivery, can be essential for those who might not have capacity or may struggle to leave their house. Such technology is also beneficial for:

  • Repeat prescription services for those suffering mental health issues taking medication on an ongoing basis
  • Booking physical doctor’s appointments online when they need medical advice
  • Video consultations when patients might not be able to make a physical appointment or are scared

It can also be useful for signposting to alternative community points of care when there is availability, rather than to your usual GP. This can reduce these waiting times by allocating appointments in a smart and efficient way, particularly in areas of high unmet clinical needs as well as offering alternative digital therapies so that mild and manageable cases can be removed from the waiting lists to make way for more severe cases, fast tracking patients with higher need who perhaps require specialist or more intensive treatment.

The development of this health tech app can help people access mental health services that they might not have been able to prior — this is particularly beneficial for hard to reach communities including ethnic minorities, locations with a geographic disadvantage, older individuals, and young people who are particularly affected by the mental health services operating at almost full capacity.

myGP commented: “Online repeat prescription ordering is up 225% since May last year as well as transaction volume and overall features by 167%. This peaked in March at almost 27 million transactions.

“Demand for healthcare will always exist and a demand for easily accessible healthcare will remain. However, moving forward, it is about patient choice as each patient is different — many will adapt and be comfortable with a digital first healthcare approach whereas many others may prefer in person GP visit. Our platform delivers options to both healthcare professionals and patients for how they’d prefer assessments and appointments to take place.”

Beneficial for psychological support

Digitally enabled modes of therapy and online resources can be effective in supporting mental health and contributing to recovery in the population. According to the NHS, digital delivery of psychological remedies can be particularly suited to talking therapies, peer support, and psychoeducation. Big White Wall provides a safe place to seek anonymous support 24/7. Users can share their experiences and express themselves in images by making a ‘brick’ in the wall, as well as accessing guided group support courses on topics including managing anxiety and depression, positive thinking, and problem solving. There is also a selection of self-administered clinical tests and trained counsellors. According to statistics by the app, 95 per cent of users felt better and 73 per cent shared an issue when using the app for the first time.

These effective platforms offering 24/7 access to support ranging from one-to-one therapy sessions and peer communities as well as. This brings us to our next point.

Effective and encouraging

Mental health tech can also help reduce levels of distress by providing a clinically safe online space. It’s been long established that there is stigma around mental health, with a constant battle to normalise illnesses and seeking treatment. This combined with mental health services being historically underfunded, stigmatised, and fragmented can many patients feel discouraged, embarrassed, or frightened to seek help, which can cause a lot of harm to the individual in question.

According to annual Google search data, there were many regions attempting to self-diagnose depression and anxiety, searching for terms such as ‘am I depressed?’ and ‘do I have anxiety?’, with 12.4% of Canterbury, 10.7% of Cambridge, and 9.4% of Oxford searching for variants of self-diagnosis terms. As mentioned before, health tech like myGP offering video consultations makes health care more accessible and increases the probability of someone who is struggling to reach out — would these statistics of regional searches be as high if health tech was developed further?

Appointments and services can take place anywhere at any time and might be a milestone for people who’ve previously avoided seeking care in the past.

Helps the development of other apps

With health tech proving beneficial to society, this will encourage more innovative apps covering a wider range of needs for different mental illnesses to get funding and be created. For example, there’s a myriad of apps existing that incorporate proven techniques like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and acceptance commitment therapy (ACT). PanicShield was created as a visual aid to help someone cope in an anxiety or panic attack by breathing in time to calming patterns; notOK is a suicide prevention app which allows users to activate a notification when their support network is needed; and apps for people who suffer obsessive compulsive disorder such as nOCD, which includes mindfulness and exposure response prevention treatment with clinically-supported guidance, weekly tests to assess the severity of the disorder, and motivational support.

With the success of existing apps, we’re certain to see new and imaginative ways to help people suffering mental illnesses.

How to Train Like an Olympian

Please note that this is a guide and will vary based on your overall health. We also advise to not push yourself too hard and avoid the Maximum heartrate column.

 

Know the sport inside out

To know how to succeed, you need to know how not to fail. Knowing the rules of a sport is important to know to make sure you don’t accidentally conduct something illegal in the sport. Olympic athletes live and breathe their event so they know what will win them the gold and what could get them disqualified. Joining a club, taking a look at the theory and history behind the sport, or entering a tournament could be helpful ways to know more about the event.

 

Develop your skills

Before you begin your training, why not make a note of your resting heart rate, how far you can run, how much weight you can comfortably lift, and after a few weeks you’ll see the evidence of your hard work. As your training development continues and you smash your goals, you’ll notice your form and skills will improve greatly as well. It’s important to keep track of your improvements and see how you can push yourself further. If you feel like you need more help, why not check your local gym for a personal trainer? They can help you reach your goals and offer tips about rest and recovery.

 

Take care of your mind and body

Your physical and mental wellbeing are important to understand. Here are a few tips to help you take care of yourself outside of exercise:

  • Get plenty of rest, including sleep and taking days off training
  • Stretch after you finished training to help your body cool down and prevent pulled muscles
  • Take care of your mental health by listening to your emotions and taking breaks when needed
  • Stay hydrated and eat well
  • Look after your back! Back injuries can stop you in your tracks, and getting back to training could take some time
  • Create a schedule and try to stick to it. This will give you preparation time and get you into a routine

Training should be about having fun and achieving fitness goals, so if you feel it causes you stress, anxiety, injury, it’s ok to stop and come back to it at another time.

 

Try something new

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was the first year we saw Skateboarding on the roster. While the sport has been popular since 1970s, experts and celebrities like Tony Hawk made it mainstream in the 1990s. There are 100s of skateparks in the UK, and if you want to find a club to help you perfect your technique, there’s communities and lessons available throughout the UK.

 

Have fun

Every time you smash a personal goal, make sure to reward yourself with praise and bask in the happiness. Ultimately life is about having fun and not taking things too seriously, so make sure you’re having a great time and not putting too much pressure on yourself. Gold medal men’s synchronised 10m diver Tom Daley was seen knitting during rest moments in the Olympic Stadium, so having a creative outlet is part of the experience!

We hope this helped and inspired you to try something new. See you for the Paris 2024 Olympics!

Employees Uncomfortable Taking Time Out for Health Appointments

The last 18 months has put health and wellbeing at the top of the agenda for both businesses and employees.   

Many businesses have introduced new ways to protect employee health throughout the pandemic, whether through launching new policies or offering wellbeing benefits such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and remote GP services.

Yet still only three in 10 employees say their employer encourages them to look after their health according to a new study by Bupa Health Clinics.

Just under a quarter (24%) say they don’t feel their employer is encouraging when it comes to attending regular appointments. 16% say they have to take health appointments off as holiday or unpaid leave, and 15% have had time off denied even though it was for a health check-up or screening.

Alaana Woods, Commercial Director at Bupa Health Clinics said: “For businesses, looking after employee health is essential. If we do not support the wellbeing of our workforce, how can we expect them to perform at a high-level and reach their business goals and objectives?

“If employees are unable to attend health appointments or regular screenings then health concerns are left for longer, which can later result in long-term absence from the organisation for treatment. For each case of long-term absence, it costs businesses £19,000 – this is huge.

“Regular health screenings have been neglected during the pandemic, for example, there are currently 4.7 million people with cervixes in the UK who haven’t been adequately screened for cervical cancer. So, ensuring employees are able to take time off when needed to attend these screenings can be potentially lifesaving.

“Not only is looking after employee health the right thing to do, but it makes business sense. Those who support employee health and wellbeing, reap the benefits of having a healthy, productive and engaged workforce.”

The study also found that over one in five employees say they’re too busy to take time off for a health appointment.

Alaana Woods adds: “Health always has to come first, and businesses need to allow employees to prioritise their health.

“You’re never ‘too busy’ to go to a health appointment and putting things on hold is only likely to make things worse. Organisations need to normalise the importance of looking after your health and this can be done through three simple ways.”

Be flexible and approachable

As a manager, being flexible and approachable to your teams’ needs will help them feel able to open up to you about any health complaints they may have.

Let employees know that if they have a health appointment, they can either start late or finish earlier to support this. If they need time out during the day, let them know that’s ok too and be flexible, allowing working from home for ease. Always check to see how they are, this will be hugely valued.

Educate managers and line managers

Education is so important when it comes to normalising conversations about our health. For example, for women going through the menopause, we need everyone to understand symptoms and be able to have a conversation with their employees about what they’re experiencing.

Creating manager and line manager guides can be a great way to do this and sending them out to all the leaders across the organisation. You could also try running an internal session and inviting speakers from outside the organisation in to speak.

Internal campaigns can also be a great way to get all staff members talking about a certain issue. For example, November is Movember, what can you do to raise awareness of men’s health and break down any taboos.

Provide easy access to services

Access to services is key to ensuring employees are getting the support they need. As well as mental health, business also need to look at physical health too. As we move out of the pandemic, more people need support with musculoskeletal problems from the impact of working from home.

Remote services, such as GP or EAPs, can help people access medical advice, wherever they are, 24/7. Something which is hugely beneficial if they’re worried about being ‘too busy’ to take time out.  

Cities the Most Burnout and in Need of a Holiday

In 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) classed burnout as a diagnosable syndrome because of stress in the workplace. Burnout affects more people than previously thought, with research finding nearly a quarter of the workforce suffer on a regular basis. Symptoms of workplace burnout include:

  • Feeling stressed
  • Feeling cynical about working conditions and colleagues
  • Emotionally distanced
  • Physiological issues like headaches, stomach aches, and intestinal issues
  • Emotionally exhausted
  • Low energy
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyed

Particularly over the last year, feelings of workplace burnout were exasperated during the pandemic in some jobs and industries. Junior bankers at investment bank Goldman Sachs asked for an 80-hour work week cap as many were forced to work 18-hour shifts in the pandemic which left them feeling emotionally and physically unwell.

The modern-day workforce faces a consistently heavy workload and immense pressure. Housing prices and the cost of living are rising as well as the jobs market becoming more saturated. People are understandably stretched and living fast-paced lives.

 

Dealing with stress

Dealing with long-term workplace stress and feeling burnt out would need a long-term solution such as reassessing your career path, location, and even organisation you work for. Chronic stress can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health. If you feel like you need professional help, please get in contact with your GP for ways to cope with your career. Don’t feel like you need to handle it alone.

For short-term relief, taking a break from work is recommended to reset and relax from the daily stress of your job. With holiday destinations opening up over the last couple of months, opting for a holiday abroad can be a great way to unwind and mentally sign out from work. You can travel far away from your office, leave your laptop at home, and focus on the here and now on a beach with your favourite book in your hand wearing your comfiest mules. Just check out the UK Government’s list of countries you can travel to.

 

Which cities need a holiday the most?

We decided to explore Google search data from June 2020 to May 2021 to discover which cities are the most burnt out and in need of a well-deserved break from work. We analysed searches that related to our research, for example variations of “stress symptoms”, “burnout symptoms”, “work stress”, “stress management”, and “chronic stress”. In total, we researched 50 search terms around this.

Results revealed that Bolton was the most burnt-out city with 638 searches per 100,000 people, followed by Peterborough with 604 searches, Belfast and Warrington with 567, and Manchester with 556.

5 Benefits of Professional Health Care

Taking care of elderly or special needs loved ones doesn’t only involve time-consuming work but
also demanding challenges that can be difficult to deal with. You’ll need to make time for all the tasks concerning their care while ensuring that you stay in the loop of your other life responsibilities such as work and family.

You may haven’t considered getting help in the past, but your loved ones’ needs also change in drastic ways as time passes. What used to be your all-out commitment may begin faltering, and before you reach the point of exhaustion, perhaps it’s time you looked into professional home
care and what it can bring to the table.

Why Hire Professional Home Care

May it be your parents, grandparents, or siblings who need 24/7 care and attention, one of the best solutions you could find to ensure their wellness is to hire a provider of professional home care. It’s an option that allows your loved ones to stay in the comfort of your or their home while
getting all the professional attention and support they need to get through each day.

Of course, the range of home care solutions you can turn to would depend on your location. For instance, several subsidised services involving the care of ageing people and their needs are available to families living in Australia. If you try searching online, you’ll discover the answers to questions like ‘What is My Aged Care?’ and that would be the right thing to do: arming yourself with extensive information before diving into anything. Professional home care can help not just your loved one but also your family. How? Take a look at some of the benefits you could get should you opt to request that kind of service:

1. Skilled Nursing Professionals At Home

In-home care is the best way to help your ageing family member who doesn’t like the idea of leaving their house to be in a care facility. The individuals who provide such service are highly skilled at what they do, and they’ve acquired years of experience doing their job that it’s become
second nature to them to care for other people professionally.

Caregivers are often supervised by licensed nurses who are also passionate about what they do. They’ll see to it that your family member gets all the support and care they need to live a more
comfortable and stress-free life.

2. Access to High-Technology Medical Equipment

Along with certified caregivers and licensed nurses, home care services also use high-tech
medical tools and equipment. Equipment can range from shower chairs and toilet frames to mobility aids and recliner chairs to make sure your loved one will always be comfortable and supported when you can’t be there for them.

3. Assistance With Nutrition and Diet

One key aspect that secures your ageing loved one’s health and wellness is their nutritional requirements. They need access to nutritious foods and diets that’ll help them stay at the peak of their prime despite their old age. If they have special diets associated with chronic illnesses or certain medical conditions, all the more will you appreciate professional home care and the
services it entails.

Depending on the type of package or service you ask for, home care can include comprehensive nutritional counselling and even home-cooked meals to make sure your loved one avoids malnutrition and deficiencies related to lack of necessary nutrients.

4. Provides Companionship When You Can’t

Some ageing people are capable of taking care of themselves. However, it doesn’t mean you can let them be on their own all the time. Lack of companionship and socialising can affect their
health in some ways, and that’s the last thing you want to happen.

With professional home care, you can be sure that they have someone to be with them and keep them company. Caregivers can also help them with daily chores such as cleaning the house, maintaining the lawn, and driving to doctor appointments if you’re too busy to take them. They can go on leisure walks outside or visit recreational parks with your loved one in order for them to get some sun exposure, which would be good for their body, too.

5. Medication Management

Ageing or disabled people sometimes have multiple prescriptions they need to remember every
day. With their faltering memory, it may be a challenge to keep track of their medications.
Professional home care providers can assist them with medication management, ensuring that the
right medicines are being taken at the prescribed times.

Conclusion

Caring for ageing family members doesn’t have to be a dreadful challenge as long as you’re able to pick the right home care service for them. Ater all, there are more than enough benefits you can get from professional home care. This may not be how you pictured handling the situation given that there are people who choose to care for their relatives on their own. However, it doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to look into your options, especially if those would result in the improvement of your loved one’s health and well-being.

3 Science-Based Mood Disorder Treatments You Can Use to Feel Better Quickly

Science-based treatments have been recognized as essential in the treatment of mood disorders. They have helped people understand the symptoms and possible causes of mood disorders and how to effectively treat them through various behavioral therapy techniques.

Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders need proper treatment. Unfortunately, these disorders are often dismissed as part of life rather than something that can be effectively alleviated through scientific methods.

If you’re struggling with any mood disorders, then three effective ways of managing your mood disorders are psychotherapy, support groups, and self-help techniques.

1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, the treatment of mental disorders by talking with a professional counselor, can effectively treat a mood disorder.

It is helpful for you to speak to a psychotherapist if you’ve been struggling with your moods and seeking an alternative to medication. They are trained to develop empathic relationships that allow them to provide effective treatment for anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Speaking to a psychotherapist can shed light on many obscure aspects of a mood disorder. For instance, if you’re asking “does anxiety make you tired?” your therapist will explain how anxiety causes exhaustion because it leads to sweating and rapid heart rate. An example of an anxiety-related symptom that can cause fatigue is chest pain, which can make it difficult to sleep.

2. Support Groups

Many support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, have been around for decades. In these groups, members are encouraged to help each other recover from their addiction.

Support groups have found themselves in a more modern form in recent years. There are now support groups focused on numerous different issues. Some of the most popular types include mental health support groups, coping with grief or loss, and helping people who live with chronic diseases.

If you’re reaching out for mental health support while going through a tough time, joining a support group can be a great resource to have when you’re struggling to cope on your own.

In the modern world, there is a lot of pressure to be constantly happy and upbeat. When you’re struggling with mental health, it’s hard to find people that understand you. Support groups give those in need a safe space to share their thoughts and experiences with others who have gone through similar struggles.

A support group will allow you to share your experiences, express yourself freely, and find some relief from the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or any other mood disorder.

Social support has been a powerful strategy for ongoing health care and has been shown to improve quality of life, life expectancy, and prevent relapses.

3. Self-Help Techniques 

Managing mood disorders can be an overwhelming task. There are a lot of techniques in the market that promise to help you manage your mood disorders by providing temporary relief, but they don’t address the root of the problem.

Many self-help techniques for mental health can help you manage your symptoms and assist you in feeling better. Self-help techniques alone are not a cure, but they can definitely prove helpful in reducing symptoms and increasing the quality of life for those with mood disorders.

Many people are not aware that there are self-help techniques that can help them manage their mood disorders. Journaling to improve mental health is effective because it provides you with a personal outlet to express yourself without restrictions. Journaling can help you achieve greater levels of mindfulness and self-regulation.

Find What Works for You

Deciding on what kind of support to work with depends on your individual needs. If you’re not even sure where to begin, then support groups are a good place to start. They are an effective way to get over the stigma associated with mental health issues and share experiences with those who have gone through similar problems. Later, you may decide to see a psychotherapist and start journaling regularly.

Preparing for the Office Return: 5 Ways to Shift Your Habits, Mentality & Vices

From 19 July, the government dropped its formal advice for people to work from home where possible, now leaving it up to employers to decide when their staff should return to the office full-time or, whether they will offer the flexibility to remain working from home.

We made big shifts in our daily lives when the coronavirus pandemic arrived and our behaviours changed too – from sleeping in till 8:55 am to enjoying a cheeky Tuesday night tipple, we adopted coping mechanisms whilst contending with the stress, boredom, and uncertainty of lockdown.

Working from home has resulted in endless Zoom meetings whilst juggling childcare and ensuring the family stayed entertained. Minimal social interaction outside of our bubbles impacted both our physical and mental health.

So how do we overcome those habits as we slowly return to the normality of the workplace? Beth Riley, Content Manager, at OTTY Sleep reveals ways in which to re-build a more positive daily routine.

1. Lose the booze

From beers to spirits, supermarket sales of alcoholic drinks soared during lockdown as we became used to popping them into our trolleys alongside grocery staples.

A Public Health England report discovered that during lockdown, half a million adults increased their drinking. Whilst it might be true that maybe we ate a lot of banana bread (thanks, newfound home baking skills…), the less obvious culprit behind the nation’s weight gain was booze.

Choosing alternative low-and-no drinking options is a great way to experiment with new flavours and enjoy alcohol without having to worry about what it may do to our health. Not only does it reduce the symptoms of binge drinking, but the industry is growing at a rapid rate, and there are various (and delicious) options to choose from.

2. Reset your sleep routine

A total departure from our scheduled routines majorly disrupted sleep. Some of us may be sleeping more and some of us may be sleeping less as a consequence of the pandemic.

Studies found that the number of people experiencing insomnia rose from one in six to one in four, with more sleep problems in communities including mothers and essential workers. This shows our health and productivity could face serious problems as a result of these new sleeping habits.

An undisturbed sleep can help boost your immune system, increase productivity, and put you in a good mood to kick-start the working day.

3. Address your comfort eating

During times of high stress, it’s common to turn to the comfort of food. These cravings aren’t always the healthiest and often tend to be high in sugar and fat.

Findings from a recent YouGov survey saw lockdown boredom as the main culprit, with 63% of Brits admitting it was the trigger