BLOG 264 FURRY FRIENDS
Pets are our companions, confidants, and part of the family. They improve our lives for many different reasons. In fact, owning a pet can be beneficial to a person’s health. Here’s why:
1. Pets fulfill the human need to touch: Scratch and pet all you want.
2. Pets provide a sense of purpose; They need their owner for food and shelter.
3. Pets require routine and organization: They must be fed and cared for, which keeps the owner accountable.
4. Pets improve heart health: Owners walks their pets and activity is appreciated by the body.
5. Pets reduce stress: They’re soothing and calming and compassionate friends to have around.
6. Pets improve mood: Their innocence and playful nature makes people smile.
7. Pets improve social life: Owners share a common interests and pets can attract other people who are engaged by them.
8. Pets improve the immune system: Babies who are raised in pet friendly environments often times have less allergies as they age.
9. Pets reduce loneliness: If a person lives alone or feels isolated, pets are there to share space.
10. Pets reduce anxiety: Pets offer loyalty and comfort and keep a person in check with life’s responsibilities reducing the opportunity to fall apart emotionally.
11. Pets can improve love life: Mr. or Mrs. Right can be lured in with the appeal of a cute and friendly animal.
Some people have just one. Some people have just one type. While others have more than one and more than one type. They become our children. They become part of us. Pets are amazing additions to our lives that help us embrace our daily functions with a little added bonus when we get home. I like that they get you moving and active.
BLOG 263 DRUG ADDICTION
The inability to control is the bottom line when it comes to addiction. A person’s brain and behavior are greatly affected. When you become addicted, you continue to use the drug or carry on the habit despite the consequences. A person can become powerless to legal or illegal drugs and substances such as alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana. The brain starts to receive altered messages and all it can think about is the rewarding feeling the drug produces. The functioning of the neurotransmitters becomes distorted. The viscous cycle of tolerance starts to happen, and the person becomes persistent on experiencing the same high or better each time.
Addiction doesn’t just happen instantly. It builds its way into someone’s life. Cigarette smoking can start with just at parties or social events, but then the person finds themselves keeping a pack on hand and reaching for a smoke more and more frequently. The risk of addiction varies by drug and certainly affects how quickly one forms the habit. Sometimes a person is prescribed a medication, and they become hooked after use (especially opioids). Painkillers cause a high risk for addiction.
Addiction is the accumulation of more and more of the user’s choice. The person needs higher doses to get high. Hence, drug addiction is also called substance abuse disorder. When a person tries to stop, they crave more and feel withdrawal symptoms. Some of the symptoms that person has become addicted to their drug of choice include the following:
1. Having intense urges to use/take the drug.
2. Drug use starts to prevail over responsibilities like work.
3. Daily use of the drug, sometimes even several times per day.
4. Continuing to use the drug despite any physical and health consequences.
5. Doing whatever it takes to obtain the drug, which are behaviors you normally wouldn’t do.
6. Spending lots of time going to get the drug in addition to time spent taking it.
7. Spending excess money on the drug rather or not you can afford it.
8. Doing things you shouldn’t under the influence of the drug, such as driving.
9. Making sure you always have available supply of the drug
10. Feeling withdrawal when you don’t take the drug.
The main factors that cause addiction are your environment and genetics. Being exposed to the drug creates risk to partake. Traumatic life events can also cause a person to turn to drugs to deal with the situation. Feeling overwhelmed by stress can also cause drug use to help this feeling subside. Many addicts follow in the footsteps of their relatives. The reason people become addicted to drugs is an individualized.
Many addicts enjoy drugs and don’t want to stop, while others want and know they need help. The willpower to stop becomes a problem. Addiction is much more complicated then just deciding to stop and then you instantly can. The brain has to be re-wired to believe it can and will function without and the body has to feel committed to this process as well. There is help and hope and those in recovery help others. Addiction is a serious problem with serious consequences so most of the time testing the waters is never advisable because you many not be able to turn back.
BLOG 262 GLUCOSOMINE
Glucosamine is a compound found in our cartilage, which is the material that cushions our joints. It is naturally found in our body, but when the body might call for more, it can be taken in supplement form. When taken in supplement form, this substance is actually derived from the shells of shellfish. The most common supplement form is glucosamine sulfate which helps with inflammation of the joints that can be painful due to the loss and breakdown of cartilage. With age, comes the loss of cartilage and gradual breakdown of the joints. Glucosamine might possibly increase the cartilage or help the continued breakdown of cartilage, or both. It is a sugar protein. We are not able to obtain glucosamine from our diet. Certain conditions such as osteoarthritis benefit from this sulfate form to help alleviate pain in the knees, hips, or spine. For those with rheumatoid arthritis, glucosamine hydrochloride can help reduce pain. The third type, N-acetyl glucosamine, can help with osteoarthritis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is always important to read product labels and to consult a doctor to inquire about which type is appropriate for your symptoms.
Glucosamine can be an alternative to steroid type drugs and those who are not able to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Glucosamine sulfate, although not scientifically proven, has been known to help low back pain, asthma, allergies, and different sports injuries in addition to rheumatoid arthritis.
In general, glucosamine is considered safe. Possible side effects include headache, upset stomach, heartburn, and drowsiness. One should be careful if they have an allergy to shellfish. It is typically taken in pill form and the dosage depends on the label and what a doctor might recommend. It can also be used as a topical cream. There are also injections that can be performed. It may take up to 8 weeks of taking the supplement before improvement occurs.
As we age, the damage from years past can start to catch up. Aches and pains of the joints start to become a harsh reality. For some, this is so painful that nights can be sleepless and physical activity is unbearable. This transpires to turning to a sedentary lifestyle with other associated heath risks. When the body is not able to control pain, seeking help becomes needed. Supplements such as glucosamine that are considered generally harmless can be a good solution to turn to. Taking supplements and their success rate varies from person to person, but is a good leeway to avoid surgery, injections, and other more serious treatments. Most general health stores carry glucosamine but it is always important to consult a doctor to be sure you are meeting dosage requirements, will not have interactions with other medications, and to avoid an possible risky side effects.
BLOG 261 NAIL INDUSTRY
There are so many nail salons on every corner, how do they deal with all the competition? In 2017, there were 56,300 nail salons in operation, with many locations that come and go all the time. The most common services offered are a simple nail polish and pedicures. This industry employs nearly 440,000 people. California leads the way with 100,000 workers and 7,900 locations. Texas comes close behind. The nail polish industry itself is nearly $605 million. With so many locations, there becomes a complexity of price point and what services to offer. Some locations have expanded to offer facials and waxing, luring customers in the door and creating a one-stop shop. Interestingly, only 16% of nail salons use a computer system to make appointments and schedule employees. It is a fast-paced demanding profession, and the average income of a nail tech is about $24,000. About 96% of this workforce is female and 64% are minorities.
There are some possible health affects for those who work in this industry. These mainly involve respiratory concerns. Nail technicians are exposed to hundreds of chemicals such solvents, acrylates, and biocides in the form of dust and vapors. New York led the way in bringing attention to this matter and addressing healthier work conditions. Good general room ventilation is important. Wearing a protective mask can help.
As with most things in life, there are side effects for those who get fake nails. Gel and acrylic nails are the popular selections. What woman doesn’t want long, beautiful, colorful, nails? The chemicals used for acrylic nails have resins and formaldehyde. These can cause cancer. These nails are strongly bonded to the nail bed. If there is a gap or space, this moist environment can grow bacteria and fungi. Natural oils are dried out which over time causes loss of the natural nail. This is why some professions such as an in a hospital setting don’t allow their employees to wear artificial nails because of the increased risk for infections.
The nail market continues to boom with different art, different colors, and so many designs. Women return every two to three weeks to get their “fill”. The average price for a manicure is about $20. The average cost of a pedicure can be about $30. When added up, if a woman attends every two weeks, that’s about $1,300 yearly cost. The cost can add up quickly, but many enjoy treating themselves. There is something nice about the service that keeps them coming back, and as in most cases, doing it ourselves doesn’t have the same look or quality. Life is better in color and this can be true for nails too. Do what makes you happy and support a local salon. Customer appreciation is always rewarded.