How to Teach Children to Think Ahead

Every mom and dad wants a successful future for their kids. But what qualities should one develop in children? Foresight – the quality you don’t hear much about, but what each child needs most! Firstly we should try to understand what foresight is and why it is so important.

We are going to tell you how to find the key to this skill, and how to teach children to have foresight.

A forward-looking person thinks about what he is doing now, and the consequences that this behaviour will have. He is able to analyse any situation and live through it in his head. This is a very special skill. People who have it can achieve anything in life.

For very young school children, the thought process is often disorganised. They think about whatever comes into their heads. Their thoughts jump around, like rabbits. If this disorganisation remains throughout their lives, it will create an abundance of problems during adulthood.

Is it possible to teach children to think ahead? Of course; it’s both possible and necessary. Everyone is able to choose what to think about, and it is important to teach children to approach that choice conscientiously, from an early age.

Above all, children need to be taught to think about what they are doing at the present moment. Tell children as often as possible: “Let’s think about the best way to do it.” Discuss everything with your children; toys, homework, washing the dishes, doing the laundry.

Ask your child: “I have to wash these clothes, what do I need to think about?” Give the child the opportunity to answer, then explain in your own words: “I mustn’t forget to wash the light clothes separately from the dark ones. Besides, the clothes made of wool should not be mixed with others textures.”

Play the following game as often as possible: WHAT YOU MUST THINK ABOUT?

When you wake up in the morning, what must you think about? When you want something to eat, what must you think about? When you’re going for a walk, what must you think about? For example, when I go for a walk I must think about:

The weather, and which clothes would be suitable; What toys I’m going to play with outside, so I can bring them with me; Thinking whom of my friends to invite. The most important part of this process is giving the child the opportunity to answer, and praising his or her response. This will encourage them to think about what they are doing. You can give the child a coloured token for each answer. Tell the child he or she must receive at least 3 tokens in order to become a forward-thinking person.

When the child learns to think this way, he or she will be able to play alone and concentrate for long periods of time. When the child gets older, he or she will be able to approach any task with due concentration, and tackle their homework alone.

But foresight does not only involve concentrating on the task in hand, it also requires the capacity to think about the future, TO IMAGINE WHAT WILL HAPPEN. The first time a young child is introduced to the concept of consequence is when they are told not to touch a hot flame. But children cannot possibly live through all the thousands of situations they might come across during their lives. So this is where one magical word comes in handy: “IMAGINE.”

When you read a child a story, end with a discussion, starting with the word “Imagine”. “Imagine a chicken gave you a golden egg. What would you do with it?”

When you’re playing or walking with the child, use the magical word “Imagine” as often as possible. “Imagine you saw a vicious dog. What would you do? Imagine you had to cross the road on your own without traffic lights. What would you do?”

And stories, as usual, will help to stimulate the child’s mind: “A bear cub was on his way to the shops. He had to cross the road. The crossing was a long way away, and the cub was in a hurry to buy an ice cream, so he decided to run across the road. The bear cub looked to the right; there was a car far away in the distance, so he started to run. Imagine what happened next…”

An example of a story to develop foresight in children aged 3-5 years.

What should the young hare have thought about? Mummy hare planted some cabbages in the garden. Her young son helped his mummy and watered the cabbages every day, while daddy hare built a fence around the vegetable patch. He stuck strong, smooth planks into the ground to stop trespassers crawling in and eating the cabbages.

Everyone was delighted when the cabbages grew, and mummy hare said to her son:

“You’ve worked very hard; now you can relax and play for a while.”

The young hare hopped off to the meadow behind the vegetable patch. There was a tree stump at the side of the meadow, and the little hare started to beat a jolly tune on it with his paws. Suddenly, a young goat appeared from the woods. He jumped up in delight and cried:

“Hey, you’re really good at that. Drum music is great for hopping around to. But it’s a bit quiet. You need drum sticks to make it louder.”

The young hare looked around. The woods were on one side of the meadow, and the vegetable patch was on the other. And the fence around the vegetable patch was made of wonderful straight planks… The young hare raced up to the fence and pulled out one of the sticks, but it was too fat, so he pulled out another’ but that one was too heavy. In the end, the hare chose two strong, light sticks.

He tried to drum with them – and it was marvellous! The sound of the drums was so appealing that the young goat started to dance. The little hare was ecstatic, and he hopped off to the woods to show his friends how he could drum. Everyone heaped praise on the drummer, and told him he had a fantastic talent.

The young hare didn’t get home until evening.

Mama! he shouted from the doorstep. “I can play the drums better than anyone; shall I show you?”

“No, I’m very upset. There is a disaster! Somebody destroyed our vegetable garden’s fence,’ replied father-hare in anger.

“Yes, hoards of thieves squeezed through the hole in the fence to steal our cabbages. We lost half our crop before dad fixed the hole in the fence,” mummy hare said with a sob.

The young hare turned bright red and hid his sticks behind his back.

“Mum always told me: Think first and act later,” the young hare remembered.

Questions and tasks:

What should the young hare have thought about? Any other idea where he could have obtained a pair of fine drumsticks? Imagine there is a little girl who is worried about her doll getting cold in the winter. She doesn’t have any warm clothing for the doll, so she cuts a piece out of mummy’s coat to warm up her doll. Do you think the girl behaved properly? How should she have behaved? Imagine you and mummy have planted some seeds in the flowerbed beside the house. They have blossomed and everyone is happy. Then imagine a young boy comes along and picks them as a present for his mummy. Is this the right way to behave? What should the boy have done?

When a child learns to think about what will happen before it happens, he or she will behave thoughtfully. This ability protects the children from disappointment in childhood and plays a huge role in their lives when they grow up.

A Winning Strategy For Mexican Train Dominoes

I know that Mexican Train is a friendly game, often played with family and friends, and that winning is not critical or terribly important. What is important is the social aspect of the game: talking, laughing, and having fun.

Having said that, I also know that there are people out there who would really like to become better at this game. Especially if the friendly people you play with are winning more often than you are and you are starting to become distraught and depressed over it.

Winning the game of Mexican Train Dominoes is not as hard to do as you may think. There are some simple tips that can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the game. Weather you are a beginning player, an intermediate player, or an advanced player, you will still benefit from these strategic tips.

Mexican Train does have a lot of rule variations that are used throughout the world, however most of my strategic tips apply to all the most popular rule sets and I’ve noted in the text where the strategy may vary for different rules.

Organize your dominoes into the best possible train

Of course, every hand starts by “dealing” a number of dominoes to each player. Depending on how many people are playing, this number can vary from 7 or 8 to 15 or so. The actual number is not relevant. But it is very important to organize your dominoes into the best possible train before starting play.

Once the starting double has been played, by you or anyone else, you build a train with your remaining dominoes that starts with the same pip value as the opening double and connect as many dominoes as possible to that train.

To truly calculate the best possible way to organize a player’s dominoes, one would have to consider every domino that has been played so far, and do quite a bit of math in order to calculate odds. The best play at any point in the game is dependent on what has been played up to that point. As this is unrealistic, I prefer to “approximate” the best train by using these 3 basic rules:

  1. The train with the most dominoes is best.
  2. Given 2 trains of equal length, the train with the most points in it is best.
  3. Given 2 trains of equal length and equal point value, the best train has higher point value dominoes placed as far forward in the train as possible.

Play your spares first whenever possible

Playing a spare is your first order of business. If there is no possible play from the spares, then play from your train.

If you have spares, then play from the end of your train whenever possible

This is very important! Your first choice is to play from your spares, but your second choice is to play from the end (caboose) of your train. You’ll find lots of times where you play from the end of your train, and suddenly one of the spares can fit onto the end. This has the same effect as playing a spare.

Watch for opportunities to change your caboose

If the last domino in your train is a 10-4, and one of your spares is 10-2, and you can play either on an opponent’s marked train (when I say “marked train”, I mean a players’ train which is open for anyone to play upon), or on the Mexican train, play the 10-4, and move the 10-2 to the end of your train. If someone goes out before you do, you have saved yourself 2 points. This is such a common occurrence, that during the course of a full game, you are likely to save yourself dozens of points.

If you have spares, and the Mexican (or community) train has not been started, and one of your spares (or your caboose) can start it, then start it!

The Mexican (or community) Train is the most common place to dump your spares. You can’t do that if it has not yet been started. So given a choice of playing on an opponents penny, or starting the Mexican train, start the Mexican train. But this is only if you have spares to play. If all your dominoes are in your train, then you don’t need the Mexican train, so don’t start it.

Know when to play on your own marked train vs. another train when you have a choice.

Sometimes you will be faced with a choice of playing a domino on your own marked train, OR on another player’s marked train or the Mexican Train. You don’t want to play on your own train, thus removing your penny, unless you have another domino you can play on your own train.

For example, let’s say you have only one domino left, the double-6, your train is marked (a penny is on it), and it is your turn. You cannot play the double-6 so you must draw. You draw a 10-8. Let’s say the end of your own train is a 10 and the end of the Mexican Train is a 10. So you have a choice. You can play the 10-8 on either your own train (removing your penny) or on the Mexican train.

The correct choice is to play the 10-8 on the Mexican Train, not on your own. This will keep your own train marked and available to the other players thus improving the chance that you might play the double-6 and go out.

Play Ruthlessly!

If the Mexican train is stuck, i.e., nobody is playing on it, and you do not have any spares, then don’t play on the Mexican train from the end of your train. You want it to remain stuck so the other players cannot play on it either.

If you have a choice of playing a domino on one of two opponents’ marked trains, choose the opponent with more dominoes to play.

If you do not have any spares, so you are just playing out your train, and the end of your train would fit on an opponent’s marked train, don’t play it. Why unstick an opponent?

If you’re playing with the rules that say doubles do not have to be covered, here is another tip: Play doubles as soon as possible – even from your train.

You should play a double as soon as possible. Playing a double from the middle of your train does not destroy the integrity of your train. It just lowers the point total of your hand. When someone else goes out, you don’t want to be caught with a double in your hand that you could have played earlier in the hand.

Conclusion

There certainly luck involved in Mexican Train, but luck has a tendency to even out over time, with everyone getting their fair share of good luck and bad luck.

So, although my strategic tips won’t guarantee a win every time, they do promise to improve your game and most likely, improve it to the point that you are winning more often than your opponents.

5 Reasons To Rent A Bounce House During The Winter Months

For years, children have loved jumping on bounce houses for every occasion. It’s true that the Summer months are our industry’s busiest months. But, it doesn’t matter if the weather is 100 degrees outside or 100 below freezing (okay that might be a bit too cold to enjoy a bounce house rental), children love partying on bounce house rentals for any number of reasons. Here are five reasons that you should consider renting a bounce house this winter.

1) Children’s birthday parties: Parties are always fun with an inflatable rental, no matter the time of year. Unlike adults, children aren’t affected by the cold so easily. Jumping in an inflatable rental burns lots of calories and helps warm the body. Besides, is it fair that only the summer birthday kids can jump and slide for their birthday parties? I say no! Equal the playing field by renting a moonwalk for your next winter birthday party. Just tell the kids to wear an extra pair of socks, and they’ll love every minute of it!

2) Winter festivals at church: Tons of churches across the nation (and world for that matter) are gearing up for their winter festivals. Moonwalk rentals, along with inflatable slide rentals and other inflatable games are a perfect way to make your winter festival a smash hit! You will draw a larger attendance to your church event when you offer inflatable rentals for the children to play on. Why? Because children love them, and parents love having safe alternatives for their children during this hectic time of year.

3) Winter festivals at school: Bounce house rentals are perfect for school fundraisers. By charging per child that uses the jumper, you can generate some serious money very quickly for your school. Of course, you may choose to just charge for admittance to the event, and not have someone collecting money and/or tickets at each inflatable ride. Or, maybe you just want the kids to come and have a good time. It doesn’t matter the reason. Children will flock to your school event when they learn that you have rented jumpers and other inflatable equipment.

4) Corporate Team Building: Much like school and church events, corporations are always looking for a way to entertain their employees and their families at this time of year. Bounce house rentals are a great way to bring the entire team together for a great cause; your company!

5) Just because: The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of year. Shopping for the “perfect” gift is time consuming and difficult. Maybe you and your family just need an afternoon break from the hustle and bustle of this holiday season. Get a couple friends together and relieve some stress by jumping and sliding for hours.

No matter what time of year it is, bounce house rentals can make your special event, well, special! If you are in or around Fort Worth, Texas, check out Bounce and Slide Texas next time you’re ready to rent a bounce house.

The Herpes Simplex Virus – What is It?

The herpes simplex virus is extremely contagious and may cause outbreaks on various part of the body. There are two variations of this virus, namely type 1 and type 2. Type 1 of the virus is normally connected with outbreaks of cold sores and blisters in and around the lips and mouth area. The virus is normally passed on via contamination from infected hands or fingers which have touched the infected blisters or contaminated saliva. Another way of transmitting this virus is by kissing. This is a very easy way to transmit the virus from one individual to another. Occurrences of outbreaks of the simplex virus can vary wildly between weeks, months or maybe even years. Those people who have a less than good immune system are much more likely to suffer from outbreaks than those people whose immune system is robust.

Although it must be considered that even though these outbreaks may occur infrequently, the virus does stay in the body indefinitely. By the time the person has reached adulthood, it is considered that about 90% of people will have manufactured antibodies that act against the herpes simplex one strain. The herpes simplex type 2 virus is normally connected with genital herpes, and usually sexually transmitted. The symptoms of the type 2 viruses include genital sores as well as all oral sores and ulcers. This virus, if remaining untreated, may also result in other diseases such as eye infections. A lot of people who are infected with either the type 1 or 2 virus do not show any symptoms whatsoever.

This can be a big problem, because then the virus can be spread much more quickly as the victims do not realize that they have to take adequate precautions. Anybody with a history of problems with the herpes simplex virus must always make sure they take precautions when indulging in sexual activity with a new partner. Even people who have no history of the herpes simplex virus should still be sensible. When meeting a new partner try and find out any sexual illnesses that they have suffered in the past. You should also be honest and open about any sexual illnesses that you have suffered in the past.

Seven Ways Reading Affects Writing

1. Readers understand words

Readers understand words because they have read how sentences and words fit together, the order of a sentence and the placement of words. They understand the sentences because they have seen these words and similar sentences before. They can then use them in writing or compose similar ones.

2. Readers understand the structure of the Language

Readers have seen the structure so many times that they can readily understand how to construct great sentences. They can see that writers use different kinds of sentences to make Writing more interesting like starting out with a question. Then the author proceeds to answer it. A variety of sentences like Declarative, Interrogative, Imperative and Exclamatory make Writing much more delightful to read. Readers also see that some sentences are long and some are shorter. By varying sentence length, it keeps the Writing more lively.

3. Readers understand grammar

Good grammar only makes sense to readers. They know how different parts of speech should fit together. For example: they know in the sentence “The boy rides his bike,” that rides goes with a single subject noun. Thus, they understand subject-verb agreement. Understanding good grammar really can assist the reader in Writing. They are much more able to write complex and simple sentences.

4. Readers understand thoughts of the writer

Good readers understand the thoughts of the writer because they have read and thought along with the authors. This helps them in Writing their own compositions. This is a tremendous asset in Writing. When you read, you follow the author’s train of thought. It is so natural.

5. Readers have a great vocabulary

Because of their tremendous reading, readers have a great vocabulary. This will certainly help in Writing. They will use a variety of words, not the same old thing. I have a cousin who was such a wonderful reader. When he wrote his thesis for his doctorate, the words he used were so large and long, one needed a dictionary to look them up. He always beat everyone in Scrabble when he was little, even the adults. No one could outdo him. His vocabulary was extensive.

6. Readers know how to make their writing interesting and exciting

Readers read. They know they don’t like to read “boring” books or articles. They can see how authors use words to paint pictures and make it more interesting and exciting. Redundancy is poor Writing and writers need to stay away from it. Usually good readers are good writers. They go hand in hand. One complements the other.

7. Readers can use creative ways to make people want to read what they wrote

Finally, I would say that good readers can make their Writing creative. People want to read it. It would be a book you can’t put down. You just want to keep reading it until the end. It is like a bait to a fish. I thought The Shack was like that. It had a great story line, the kind that would interest many people. A good reader can do that. I loved it when my students were creative in Writing. Sometimes I would put a sentence or part of a sentence on the board. It was great to see their creativity using that sentence and making an adventurous story from it.

Master Your Master Hormone – Insulin

Insulin is truly the master of our metabolism – this master hormone is produced by the pancreas and used by the liver, muscle cells, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood (from the food consumed) and is stored in the muscle & liver cells as glycogen. Therefore, insulin controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood by taking it up into the cells. Insulin our of control reeks havoc on every cell and every organ system in the body. Now you know why it has earned the name “the master hormone”.

Of course at the top of everyone’s list of concerns is weight management. When we eat carbohydrates (sugar) our bodies release insulin in order to take that sugar out of the blood and into the cells.

When there is no insulin in the blood – body uses fat as an energy source.

Most of us want to burn body fat. Therefore, don’t have insulin surging through our blood. Therefore, ditch the empty sugar, keep it complex – carbs that is.

Type I diabetes = the pancreas is unable to produce insulin

Type II diabetes = (aka insulin resistant) body does not respond effectively to insulin

This use to be called “adult onset” diabetes, however, with the obesity epidemic & horrible eating habits & yes “move” has become a four letter word- many kids are now dealing with diabetes.

Insulin allowed to flow wildly destroys the heart, kidneys, liver, cognitive ability, sexual performance, nervous system, high blood pressure, stroke, cholesterol, and can lead to certain cancers. Insulin resistance can reduce our bodies ability to absorb magnesium – a critical mineral – one of its many responsibilities is the relaxation phase of the heartbeat. Insulin resistance can also lead to osteoporosis & Alzheimer’s. Insulin controls all of our other vital hormones – ghrelin, leptin, thyroid, growth hormone, cortisol… you get the message. Therefore it is the master control behind much of our metabolic function.

OK – so hopefully we get it and we have to control our insulin levels.

Enter the Glycemic Index: We all owe tremendous thanks to Dr. David Jenkins, from right here in our beautiful Toronto. Not all carbs affect blood sugar levels. The genius of Dr. Jenkins – he came up with a ranking of how different carbohydrates manipulate the release of insulin into our bodies.

Low GI = below 55

Medium GI = 55-69

High GI – Above 70

Clearly, we want to aim for eating lower GI foods. FYI= white bread = 100GI. The Glycemic Index is the MOST logical way to choose the foods we eat. The GI not only helps us manage our weight, but helps protect us against disease of every system in the body. Hint: eat high fiber foods – that’s a really good start!

Lack of control of blood sugar and insulin surges are strongly associated with many of our chronic illnesses. Compounding this issue is the sedentary lives led by most. Getting control of blood sugar and being physically active are imperative leading a proactive, health centric lifestyle.

And yes, sugar is a villain in cancer as well. Living a life to prevent cancer is the healthiest lifestyle of all.

Genital Herpes – Type 1 Vs Type 2 Which One Would You Rather Have?

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus. Type 1 causes fever, blisters on the mouth or face which most refer to as oral herpes. Type 2 genital herpes affects the genital area. Both viruses can cause both genital or oral infections but most are inactive and cause no symptoms.

Some infected people have blisters and ulcer outbreaks. A person infected with the virus remain infected for life. Both Type l and Type 2 herpes is spread through direct contact, such as kissing, skin to skin contact and vaginal oral or anal sex. Herpes is often transmitted by people who are unaware they are infected. It can be transmitted with or without symptoms such as sores.

Type 2 herpes produces mild symptoms and most have no recognized symptoms. Herpes can cause recurrent painful genital sores in many adults. Genital herpes can cause fatal infections potentially in infants if the mother is shedding the virus during delivery. If a woman has active genital herpes at time of delivery, there is a risk to the newborn. So a c-section delivery is performed.

Herpes plays a role in heterosexual spread of HIV – HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Herpes can make people more susceptible to HIV infection. Herpes can also make HIV infected people to be more susceptible to other types of infections. Most people infected with Type 2 genital herpes are not aware of their problem. The primary episode usually occurs within two weeks after the virus is transmitted. Lesions will usually heal within two to four weeks.

Some other symptoms may include fly like symptoms, fever and swollen glands. Some people with the infection may never have lesions or very mild symptoms. There is no treatment. Some antiviral medications can shorten and prevent outbreaks. The correct use of condoms is best but if you or the partner has genital herpes, it is best to abstain from sex.

Six Best Christmas Games For Groups

Christmas! The season which celebrates the birth of Jesus; when we spend time with family and friends, indulging in too much good food, and attending endless parties. It’s a time of great joy yet it can also be a time of great stress. One of these stresses may be the organisation of a church, office or club Christmas party. Here are six of the best Christmas games for groups, if you have the task of planning a party for a large group.

You may like to start with a Christmas icebreaker game where people can be introduced to each other and everyone can begin to enter the joy of a party. “All I Want for Christmas” is one example, where players sit in a circle. One player starts by saying “My name is… All I want for Christmas is…” The next player states their name before saying “All (name of first player) wants is… All I want for Christmas is…” Players continue around the circle. Any player who cannot repeat the list of everyone’s name and gift is out. You may like to restart the games when the list gets to about 10-12 names to make it a little easier.

Another element of many Christmas parties is a time to exchange gifts where each person brings one gift to a required value (say $5). This can be done by conducting a simple raffle, but why not make it into a game? One of the most popular and fun Christmas gift exchange games is the “Left Right Christmas Game.” Again, players sit in a circle, each holding a gift. The games leader narrates a story. Each time the word ‘left’ is mentioned, players pass their gift to the left. Similarly when the word ‘right’ is spoken, gifts are passed to the right. At the end of the story, each person opens the gift they have at that time.

One of the more active Christmas games for groups is “Balloon Relay.” Two teams line up at one end of the room. One team is given a red balloon and a wooden ruler. The other team has a green balloon and ruler. Team players must bat their balloon, using only their ruler, around a chair at the other end of the room and back in a relay.

Younger children may enjoy “Christmas Card Hunt”, where each child is given half a card. They must find the matching halves of the Christmas cards which have been scattered around the room. The first child to find three matching halves wins the game.

A Christmas carol game is an interesting way of testing your knowledge of Christmas carols in a team game format. There are a number of games you could play. One example involves one player from the team who is given the name of a carol and must draw a picture. The rest of the team must guess the carol and sing the first verse within a one minute time limit.

Finally, “All Tied Up” is another one of the active Christmas games for groups. Each team forms a circle and is given a ball of twine (one red, one green if possible). The first player winds the twine once around their waist and passes it to the next player who does likewise. The first team to wrap themselves completely in twine wins.

For further details on these and more Christmas games for groups please visit our website.

Chronic Back Pain

I had been to three different physicians. The car accident in 1990 had left me with terrible back pain. The only option offered to me was prescription medication. For three years I lived with chronic pain – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The prescription drugs helped relieve some of the discomfort, but I had to stop taking them when I began getting sick to my stomach – which was often worse than the pain itself. Time and again I thought, “This can’t be the only choice. There must be another alternative.”

It wasn’t until 3 years later that I heard about magnetic therapy from a friend, and decided to try it. With nothing to lose, I used a magnetic pad on my back during the day and slept on a magnetic mattress pad every night. Much to my surprise, after two weeks my back felt much better. After a few months, the pain was completely gone!

My wife, who had a back problem caused by herniated disks, woke up every morning with pain and stiffness. Not long after sleeping on the magnetic pad, the stiffness began to subside, and she was soon waking up pain-free as well.

Although skeptical at first, I was amazed at the effectiveness of magnetic therapy, and began to intensely investigate the field of biomagnetics. Since my initial experience, I have had the pleasure of helping many people achieve similar results, enhancing the quality of life of those suffering from chronic conditions and injuries.

Now I’d like to take the opportunity to help those of you who may be suffering from chronic back pain, and to tell you how to better prevent it.

Back pain is the number one form of pain experienced by people in the U.S. It accounts for 20% of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace, and is responsible for as much as $50 billion in diagnosis and treatment each year [1]. The National Institutes of Health estimate that 4 out of 5 Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Not a pretty picture from any standpoint.

The majority of back pain occurs in the lumbar region of the spine [2]. Here, most of your body’s weight is placed on the lowest 5 of the 24 vertebrae (bones) that make up the spine. Considering all the other muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, disks, and major nerves that are also a part of or connected to the spine, it’s no surprise that there are so many ways to injure your back as you twist and bend them [3].

Pain is considered chronic if it’s recurring, lasts more than three months, and can seemingly be stimulated by any small movement (for whatever reason) [4]. In the 21st century, we’re finally realizing that drugs and surgery are not always the answer for treating chronic pain or other musculoskeletal conditions & injuries.

The future lies in an integrative approach to promoting the body’s own healing ability by using noninvasive, safer treatments. Acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic and osteopathic care, and certain physical therapy exercises are just a few options to help with back pain.

Following an individualistic approach to treatment is key. A particular therapy that may work for one person may not work as well for another. Often it’s necessary to try a combination of treatment methods to begin feeling significant improvements.

For true recovery of back injuries and disease, pain and inflammation need to be reduced, proper function and strength restored, and further injury prevented [4]. With this in mind, let’s discuss how magnetic therapy can help.

One of the primary benefits of magnetic therapy is the reduction of inflammation. Localized inflammation following an injury is a natural protective reaction. It creates an imbalance in sodium and potassium ion (charged particle) concentrations at a cellular level. As a result, fluid accumulates in the cells, causing the injured tissue to become inflamed. (Think of it as retaining water after eating salty food.)

If there’s no intervention, the body will eventually heal itself and the inflammation will subside. However, this process can be very slow and painful. Because of this, treatments that can safely speed the overall process are needed, particularly in the case of chronic conditions like arthritis.

Applying a bio-north magnetic field safely rebalances electrochemical ion concentrations. Excess fluids and toxins are flushed from the cells and removed through the lymphatic system. As a result, healing time is often reduced by as much as 50%.

Since major nerve bundles run through the spine, it’s obvious why back pain is so common. Pain is caused by an electrochemical signal sent to the brain. The normal electric potential of a neuron (nerve cell) is around 70mV when in a resting state. When injured, a neuron’s charge becomes positive due to a shift in chemical ion balances. This triggers a pain signal to be sent to the brain.

Applying a bio-north (negative polarity) magnetic field lowers a neuron’s electric potential, bringing it closer to its normal, negative state. As a result, the pain signal diminishes faster, and in most cases, will eventually stop.

Another important goal when recovering from back injuries is restoring mobility. Magnetic therapy helps relax muscle tissue, thereby increasing flexibility and reducing the incidence of muscle spasms.

About four years ago, researchers in Italy tested the effects of a magnetic seating system on several volunteers. Each person participated by either driving or remaining seated at a computer workstation for prolonged periods, both with and without the magnetic system.

“The results showed a decreased myoelectric (neuron) activity both at shoulder and lumbar level by using the magnet based sitting system for prolonged seated work tasks…The system appears to be an effective tool in preventing muscle contractures secondary to prolonged, constrained positions” [5].

Because it can be so difficult and painful to move, many people feel they need to rest for a few days after injuring their back. But did you know that bed rest should really be minimized or avoided? According to David Lehrman, M.D. (chief of orthopedic surgery at St. Francis Hospital and founder of the Lehrman Back Center in Miami, FL), “for every week of bed rest, it takes two weeks to rehabilitate” [3].

A 1995 study in Helsinki, Finland found that out of 186 subjects, those who went about their daily activities as tolerated had greater flexibility and less pain than those who underwent backmobilizing exercises. The *slowest* recovery was seen in subjects that were prescribed two days of bed rest [6].

While an interesting fact, it’s one that some of us may grumble about. Bear in mind we still have to sleep and give our bodies a chance to heal and recuperate. As I found out years ago, sleeping on the proper magnetic mattress pad will help speed the healing process and can significantly reduce chronic pain over time.

Back in 1990, a 12month clinical test on the effects of magnetic mattress pads was conducted in Tokyo, Japan. The study, led by Dr. Kazuo Shimodaira, involved 431 subjects. 375 of them received full-sized magnetic pads and the remaining subjects received sham mattress pads for control. (Each magnetic pad contained 124 permanent ferrite magnets with field strengths of 750950 Gauss.)

Here are the results of the yearlong test:

On average, 53.3% of the subjects realized the effect of the magnetic mattress pad within 3 days, and over 70% within 5 days. What’s more is that thorough testing for side effects was conducted and none were found [7].

(Note: The magnetic mattress pads used in this study did not produce very strong magnetic fields. As stronger magnetic fields are more effective, a higher energy pad would improve results even further.)

Supporting these findings, a 1997 Johns Hopkins pain center treatment study compared magnetic therapy for chronic pain with a placebo therapy. It concluded that people using the magnetic therapy showed a dramatic improvement, whereas the placebo group improved only minimally. Again, there were no side effects detected [8].

Since the vast majority of adults are not in “ideal” physical condition, the risk of back injury for them is greatly increased.

If you’re out of shape and are planning an activity that requires lifting, bending or twisting, it’s a good idea to take steps that can help prevent injury in the first place. Magnetic therapy is an excellent way of accomplishing this.

There are three primary actions that take place when using magnetic therapy for prevention. The first two are its ability to increase circulation and to relax muscles. The effects are similar to warming up and stretching before a strenuous workout. It’s really the third action that sets magnetic therapy apart from anything else though. Magnetic therapy can effectively control energy flow along the body’s acupuncture meridians (energy channels).

Placing a magnetic pad or support over an area channels the body’s energy directly to that location. Increased energy availability, combined with improved circulation, significantly extends the amount of time that one can exert themselves before muscle fatigue sets in. In turn, this reduces the likelihood of muscle strain.

The combination of improving blood flow, relieving muscle tension, and reducing pain makes magnetic therapy ideal for treating back conditions and preventing further injury. While effective on its own, magnetic therapy is also an excellent adjunct to other treatments. Whether chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, or another method, it can help improve and prolong a treatment’s positive results.

The next time you’re out and about, make use of a high-energy magnetic support or back pad. It’s a simple and effective way to continue through the day with less pain and a greater range of motion. Trust me. Your back will thank you!

SOURCES:

1 Centers for Disease Control – National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, June 19, 1999.

2 Pain Central: What Causes Back Pain?

3 Pain Foundation: Back Pain

4 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Low Back Pain Fact Sheet

5 PubMed: Efficacy of a chair with magnets in the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders caused by prolonged sitting.

6 PubMed: The treatment of acute low back pain – bed rest, exercises, or ordinary activity?

7 Summary of a 12month double-blind, clinical test of magnetic mattress pads. Kazuo Shimodaira, M.D. Tokyo Communications and Kouseikai Suzuki Hospitals, Tokyo, Japan. 1990.

8 “Use of magnetic therapy for chronic pain” by Joseph Kandel, M.D. and David B. Sudderth, M.D. The Arthritis Solution.

TIPS & GUIDELINES FOR A HEALTHIER BACK

The National Institutes of Health provides guidelines for maintaining a healthier back. Following these and a few other tips will greatly increase your chances of preventing further injury while strengthening your back muscles.

When Standing:

o Keep your weight balanced on your feet. Your back supports weight most easily when curvature is reduced.

o Don’t slouch when standing or sitting. (Keep your hands lightly clasped behind your lower back. This improves posture for your neck, shoulders and upper back, and reduces muscle tension.)

o Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.

When sitting:

o Make sure your work surface is at a comfortable height for you.

o Sit in a chair with good lumbar support and proper position/height for the task. (Use a pillow, rolled towel, or lumbar cushion if needed.)

o Switch sitting positions often and periodically take a short walk or light stretch to relieve tension and restore blood circulation.

o If you must sit for a long period of time, rest your feet on a low stool or a stack of books.

When lifting:

o Don’t try to lift objects too heavy for you!

o Pull in your stomach muscles, keep your head down and in line with your straight back, and lift with your legs.

o Keep the object close to your body.

o Do not twist when lifting.

o Do not carry an object in one hand if it causes you to lean to one side. (Use both hands, or carry an additional item to balance the load.)

Exercise:

o Always warm-up and stretch before exercise or other strenuous activity.

o Following a prolonged period of inactivity, begin a program of regular lowimpact exercises. (Ask a physician or orthopedist for recommended exercises appropriate for your age and requirements.)

o Speed walking, swimming, or stationary bike riding for 30 minutes a day can increase muscle strength and flexibility.

o Yoga or Tai Chi can help stretch and strengthen muscles, and improve posture.

Everyday habits:

o Maintain proper nutrition and diet to reduce and prevent excessive weight (especially around the waist area).

o If you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine and causes spinal disks to degenerate.

Therion Research

Your source for magnetic therapy news, research, and natural pain relief

Kids Duvet Covers For Bunkbeds – Making Bed Time Fascinating

Every single mum or dad has the experience of having difficulties to get her or his child in to bed. After a day full of exercise, leisure, and also exploring, hitting the hay can appear to be ridiculously monotonous, specially to an imaginative youngster. A properly chosen quilt cover for a bunk bed might be the option. Keep in mind that kids do not have to turn their creativeness off whenever the nightlight is turned on. Kids tend to be more prepared to lounge around in their bedrooms and to turn in when the time comes in the event that their bed rooms are stuffed with issues that exhibit their personas and excite their curiosity. This contains the bedding on their bunk beds, particularly the mattress covers that protect their comforters. Kids duvet covers that engage children’s interest can really make them look ahead to sleeping just about every night.

There is a wide choice of childrens duvet covers for bunk beds on the market place. Your youngster can choose from a wide choice of colors and designs. Children’s duvet covers catch the attention of children of all age groups. Together with kids duvet covers, it is easy to modify your child’s bed room decor to suit his or even her changing likes and dislikes. Modernizing your kid’s place is as elementary as unzipping and doing away with 1 cover from your kid’s comforter and replacing it with another. Your very best bet would be to look for duvets which can be affordable and uncomplicated to maintain.

You’ll find a massive quantity of kid’s duvet covers now available on the net, as well as off-line, which are available in all shapes and sizes. The kids quilt market place has developed significantly over the previous ten years and although its now dominated by cartoon heroes and themed duvet covers you will find a lot of various additional types to select from. The capability to go shopping on-line and purchase all of your bed linen from the same location, therefore generally economising on postal expenses, is some thing which a lot of men and women tend to be making use of.

The likelihood is that any well-known movie, cartoon or even TV programme will possess its personal array of bed sheets available on the market place at a cost you can pay for. The very fact that nearly all childrens bed linen is created under licence guarantees that you are purchasing high quality bed linen that is durable, generally machine cleanable and will keep its color for a long time. It’s never been simpler to restyle and re-theme your childs bunk beds. Kids duvets are enjoying a far more notable and key role in just how your kids room will look. Therefore whether you’ve a somewhat small price range or even you’re trying to find something at the top end of the price range there will likely be some thing for you.