There’s no doubt that quitting smoking without assistance is a challenge. Breaking out from a routine coupled with the highly addictive nature of nicotine makes giving up tobacco especially difficult.
Luckily, for smokers there’s a whole host of products on the market to help us break the habit of a lifetime, but which are the most effective? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular aids to quitting and help you evaluate what will be the most useful aid on your journey to a smoke-free future.
Nicotine patches are an extremely popular and widely recognised smoking cessation aid that have been on the market for over thirty years, with big name brands such as Nicotinell producing patches of varying potency. The idea is that patches reduce your craving for a smoke by slowly releasing nicotine into your body through the skin.
However, the question on your lips is of course ‘are patches effective?’ Well, the answer is sometimes. Numerous clinical trials have been carried out, and in open tests nicotine patches were shown to have a 10% success rate.
Originally only available through prescription, nicotine chewing gum is now available over the counter. There are numerous varieties available, but the type of gum produced by companies such as Nicorette is probably the most well known in the UK.
As the name suggests, nicotine gum is quite simply chewing gum that’s laced with nicotine, absorbed into the blood stream through the tissue of the mouth. The gum is usually available in different strengths, and depending on how heavy a smoker you are, you’ll be recommended to use either 2mg or 4mg gum.
Does it work? Well, much like nicotine patches, success rates are quite varied for gum, and there is certainly quite a degree of willpower required too.
Cause of much controversy in the press, e cigarettes have been embraced by many smokers as an alternative to tobacco. They allow users to inhale heated vapour that contains nicotine and often a flavouring of their choice. The sensation of inhalation of e-cigs is very close to that of a tobacco cigarette, which is why they’ve proved to be so popular.
Manufacturers of e-cigs purport that their products are a harmless way to satisfy the cigarette craving, by inhaling only water vapour, nicotine and glycerol (a commonly used mixing agent found in medicine). However, there is currently no regulation of the e-cig market and no long-term studies have been performed into their effect on health.
Do they work? Many former smokers will tell you that e-cigs are a brilliant quitting aid, with over 31% of people who tried them quitting smoking within 6 months of e-cig use. However, many argue that by using e-cigs, smokers are just replacing one addiction with another. Also, the jury is still out on the potential health effects of these products too.
This method takes will power, lots of will power. It’s well known that quitting smoking cold turkey can be extremely challenging and the withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant. However, it’s not impossible and many people have managed to just give up without assistance. Have a look at this guide if you’re planning on giving up the cigarettes unaided.
All methods of quitting cigarettes have their pros and cons, and whichever option you choose, it’s not going to be an easy journey. However, you will thank yourself for quitting; the health benefits are significant and you will feel so much better for it. The NHS Smokefree program offers assistance and advice for those who want to give up, so do not feel that you have to undertake this task on your own.
Why are you not seeing positive changes in your body from training? If you’re putting the hours in at the gym, but you’re not progressing then it’s time to evaluate what you’re eating. The chances are that it’s your diet that’s holding you back. Remember that your diet is equally as important as your training routine when it come to achieving goals.
We spoke to the good people at Tom Kelly Personal Training in London, and they agreed with us that people who are focused on training sometimes neglect to maintain a healthy diet. Another commonly seen mistake is people thinking it’s okay to ‘treat’ themselves after a workout; talk about counterproductive.
A healthy diet shouldn’t be a chore, and it doesn’t equate to denying yourself food that you enjoy. We’ve prepared three simple ideas for recipes that are easy to prepare, enjoyable and will get the thumbs up from your PT.
High Protein Porridge
Ditch the sugary cereals or processed meats in the morning. This porridge is a lot tastier than it sounds and will set you up for the day.
First, place a generous serving of Greek yoghurt into a bowl. Next, add a spoonful of peanut butter (100% peanuts with no added sugar or salt is preferable), a dollop of honey for sweetness and a few drops of vanilla extract. Give it a good mix. You can also mix in a scoop of protein powder if you’d like, but this is optional. Once the mixture is blended together mix in a serving of rolled oats and you’re ready to go. You could also add a chopped banana, some blueberries and a sprinkling of crushed almonds too.
This can also double up as a dessert for those of you with a sweet tooth! We know the urge to snack on sweets can be hard to resist, so check out this run down of high protein desserts from Greatist too.
Baked Chicken and Red Peppers with Almonds
Extremely simple to prepare, this meal is ideal for lunch or dinner and would be great served with some salad on the side.
Place chopped chicken breast, thinly sliced potatoes, onions and roughly cut red peppers into a bowl and season. In another bowl mix olive oil with finely chopped garlic, ground cumin, paprika and some crushed fennel seeds. Pour this over the chicken mixture and place everything into a baking tray.
Bake for around 30/40 minutes at 200°C, or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle over some crushed almonds for the last ten minutes of cooking. Serve in bowls with a helping of Greek yoghurt and some chopped coriander.
Easy to prepare in advance, you can quickly whip this up of an evening for your dinner and then have some leftovers for lunch the next day.
Chicken fillets and other high-protein, low-fat meats are available at excellent prices from Musclefood.com, much cheaper than the supermarkets.
Salmon, Egg & Soya Bean Salad
First off, poach or bake salmon fillets, whichever you prefer. Also, boil some puy lentils for about twenty minutes. Once ready, set the salmon and lentils to one side.
Boil an egg and add soya beans to the pan for the final couple of minutes. Drain the pan, cool under cold water and then shell & cut the egg. Mix some lemon juice and zest into the soya beans along with a little olive oil, crushed garlic, the cooked lentils and chopped spring onions.
Plate up the bean and lentil mixture and then flake the salmon filet over the top, drizzling with a little lemon juice.
If you stick to a healthy regime of high protein meals with a good mixture of nutritious vegetables and complex carbohydrates then you’ll soon see much better results from your training program. If you’re having trouble keeping track of what you eat, then My Fitness Pal, the calorie counting app, is very useful!
Remember that healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean missing out on the foods you enjoy, just enjoying them in moderation.
According to government statistics, there are over eleven million people living with a long-term disability, illness or impairment; of these eleven million people, less than 20% were born disabled. Every year, many people face living with a new disability, and have to find ways to adjust and adapt in order to maintain their quality of life.
For a newly disabled person, many of the first issues you will face will be within your own home. The average home is not designed with a disabled person in mind, so a range of adaptations may be necessary. Disabled facilities grants are available from the government to help cover the costs of such adaptations – widening doors and installing ramps, for example – but you will need to wait for your application to be approved before work can begin. In the meantime, you can purchase a wide range of daily living aids which can help to make your home more suitable, including grab rails and portable ramps.
Transport is also a frequent issue for the disabled; around a fifth of disabled people report having issues related to accessing transport. Although an increasing number of bus companies offer low-floor accessible services, it can be difficult to know in advance whether they will be in use on your route; a number of railway stations are still inaccessible to wheelchair users, or only accessible by lifts which may be out of order on any given day. Wheelchair accessible vehicles remove the need to rely on public transport, and help to preserve your independence.
Of course, the physical issues that a newly disabled person faces are only part of the equation; mentally and emotionally, it can be very difficult to cope with the changes. The process of coming to terms with a new disability is, in many ways, a grieving process; people may feel that they have lost their independence, the future that they had planned, a sense of control over their lives and more. It is important not only to find practical ways to surmount these losses but also to recognise them, and it may be worth seeking counselling for disabilities.
Disabilities can vary greatly; however in an increasingly aware society there are a great many ways that you can seek assistance in adjusting to your new condition, and with the right support you can maintain and enjoy a high quality of life.
Getting a tattoo used to be forever, but that’s simply not the case anymore. Statistics shows that tattoo removal has increased on a global scale by as much as 440% in the last decade, with celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox and Melanie Griffith setting an example that others are keen to follow.
There are obviously lots of reasons to get a tattoo removed. The most common reasons are perhaps the negative career prospects that an obvious tattoo can create, a desire to distance yourself from the incentive that first led you to get a tattoo in the first place (like a relationship), or simply a lack of enthusiasm for body art that has come about in later life.
Regardless of the reasoning, the fact is that tattoos can now be removed, but it’s still worth considering your options before you jump in.
Laser tattoo removal is undoubtedly the most well known method of disposing of an unwanted tattoo. A series of concentrated light treatments are used to remove the tattoo, but there is a lot of pain involved, even if methods have progressed to greatly lessen the presence of scarring.
However, there are different methods even among laser tattoo procedures. For example, R20 laser tattoo removal has been endorsed and condemned in equal measures by various providers. The practice essentially combines multiple treatments into a single session, theoretically achieving tattoo removal in an incredibly short time, but some specialists like the Apple Wellness Center have criticised it for being poorly researched and excessively damaging.
Clearly then, not all laser tattoo methods are equal, so if you decide upon this common route then be sure to look into the options and select a reliable service. Laser tattoo removal does work, but a bad experience could easily offset that benefit.
Laser tattoo removal is not the only option for tattoo removal, as over the years many other techniques have been trialled. Whilst you’re unlikely to be interested in the somewhat archaic (and hugely painful) methods of ‘sanding’ or ‘cutting’ a tattoo away, there are a couple of possible alternatives, even though they have their drawbacks.
- Intense Pulsed Light Therapy: known as IPL for short, also relies upon light, but in the form of pulses instead. Again, some specialists don’t recommend this treatment, and even those who claim that it works even better than laser therapies are forced to concede that it is very expensive (you pay per pulse of light!).
- Tattoo Removal Creams: popularised by Tat B Gone, these are an attractive alternative for those who don’t fancy undergoing potentially painful tattoo removal via lasers. However, their effectiveness is still under some dispute, although for a person who merely wishes to fade a tattoo, rather than removing it completely, they may well have some merit.
Modern society has proved that tattoos don’t have to last forever, but that doesn’t mean that you can get them removed without a second thought. The most helpful thing that can be said is to consider carefully whether you want a tattoo in the first place, but for those who have already gone ahead it’s very wise to thoroughly investigate the available options to get the best results. In this way, you’ll inevitably attain a better final result.
Throughout human history, people have tried to change their appearance for a wide range of reasons. Originally, most plastic or cosmetic surgery was largely aimed at restoring the appearance of an individual after an injury; treatments for the repair of a broken nose were recorded in the Edwin Smith papyrus, which is dated to 2500 BC or earlier, and modern plastic surgery techniques were largely developed in the care of wounded soldiers from the First World War.
Today, alongside repairing disfigurements caused by injuries, cosmetic surgeons and those offering non-surgical alternatives frequently treat people who are unhappy with their appearance due to medical conditions or simply because they feel unattractive, as well as those looking to fight the signs of ageing.
Whether it is due to injuries, medical conditions or simply quirks of genetics, when an individual is severely dissatisfied with their appearance it can have a deep psychological effect. Whilst they are often told (with the best intentions) that it’s what is inside that counts, for somebody living with what they feel to be a disfigurement, appearances do matter.
For some, it is possible to adjust to living with and accepting their appearance. The charity Changing Faces is dedicated to people with conditions or injuries which affect their appearance, and can provide help and information on boosting confidence and self esteem.
For others, cosmetic surgery is indeed the most suitable option. Cosmetic surgery on the NHS is usually only available where there is an overriding concern for the individual’s health and wellbeing; for example, a rhinoplasty (nose job) may be funded by the NHS to treat breathing problems, and breast implants may be funded when they are intended to treat severe underdevelopment or lopsidedness. Because there are often long waiting lists for such treatments, even when the patient is entitled to NHS treatment, many prefer to seek private cosmetic treatments instead, using facilities like Restore Surgery, a specialist provider of plastic surgery in York, and you’ll find similar clinics in many other cities as well.
Because it is a drastic option, it is generally recommended that an individual considering cosmetic surgery undertake counselling beforehand to be sure that it is the right choice for them. It is also strongly recommended that, where there are non-surgical alternatives available to treat that particular issue, these are tried before resorting to the surgeon’s scalpel.
For example, you can often find qualified doctors and dermatologists in private beauty clinics. Amongst their range of beauty treatments in Watford, one such clinic offers a non-surgical facelift which can help those concerned with the signs of ageing, skin treatments to improve the appearance of acne scarring and other skin conditions, and even non-surgical liposuction – all of which can have a hugely beneficial effect on an individual’s confidence and self-esteem.
Whether you choose cosmetic surgery or a non-surgical alternative, the key point to remember is that it should not be about achieving somebody else’s version of beauty, but instead about reaching a point where you can be happy within your own body.
Massage has been used therapeutically for many centuries; there are references to varying massage techniques in Chinese documents from the very beginning of recorded history. Over time, many different styles have been developed, each of which uses differing techniques to achieve their desired effects.
Swedish massage, also referred to as classic massage, uses five kinds of long, flowing strokes, and has been shown to be particularly helpful in reducing pain and joint stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis. A study in 2010 showed that Swedish massage causes measurable changes in immune and endocrine responses in healthy adults, showing that it can be beneficial to any recipient.
Deep Tissue Massage
Compared to Swedish massage, deep tissue techniques are slower and use more pressure, in order to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia (connective tissues). Studies have shown that deep tissue massage can have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, with an average drop in systolic pressure of 10.4 mm Hg, and it is also reported to be effective at relieving chronic pain.
Although developed specifically for the benefit of athletes, many sports massage specialists such as London-based Technique Physio report beneficial responses from all walks of life. Sports massage tends to be a deeper form of therapy, using deep tissue techniques and trigger point therapy to decrease tension within muscle tissue and restore optimal muscle length. For athletes, one of the key benefits is prevention or reduction of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) after exercise; for more sedentary recipients it can improve circulation and reduce stress, as with other massage techniques.
This is an ancient Chinese practice; according to practitioners such as Rosanna Bickerton at Hands on Feet, reflexology promotes health by manipulating pressure points on the feet, hands and ears which correspond to other organs, glands or structures of the body. Whilst this cannot be proven, studies have shown that it can aid in reducing pain, blood pressure and anxiety, and it has shown beneficial effects for migraine and tension headache sufferers.
Whichever form of massage is recommended, it is important to ensure that certain contra-indicatory factors are not present; massage should generally not be used on patients with bleeding disorders or who are taking blood-thinning medication, deep vein thrombosis, severe osteoporosis or fractures, and care should be taken with oils and lotions, as they may cause allergic reactions in sensitive patients.
The recent economic downturn meant the loss of jobs among a large number of the population and this aftermath has resulted in many people lacking faith in the employment system. During this time, while job security was at an all time low as companies were suffering financially, plenty of employees especially skilled individuals like medical practitioners began to consider going solo and opening their own small businesses for secure jobs. If you are a medical practitioner wishing to form your own firm, here are some valuable tips to consider.
The very first thing to consider before setting up your own medical practice is how financially competent you are on your own. Many individuals will lack the financial stability to start their own firm. A wise idea would be applying for a loan from a company like Braemer Finance, an organisation that specialises in loans to professionals who want to develop or grow their company in the medical sector.
Legislative requirements within the medical field are highly strict. The official Medical Practitioner Registration Act 2001 document indicates that professionals in the medical field need to be listed in the GP register before engaging in any work at all. To abide by the laws, all medical professionals should apply for listing in the national medical register through the General Medical Council. Failure to do so is taken very seriously by the government and can result being prevented from registering at all or prosecution. Whilst on the subject of registration, since you are starting up your own business, you will also need to register the company with the Company House. You can use the help of specialist companies like eFormations for assistance with the legal requirements of setting up your own business.
Premises and equipment
After registration and acquiring some capital, it is time to quickly prepare and get to business. Since you are only starting up, it is advisable to use the portable buildings such as those provided by companies like Excel Modular for your healthcare accommodation requirements. Such buildings often an easier way to set up your organisation, if you have the land to put them on, than refurbishing an old building which may not be quite suitable. The governing body of the healthcare industry is particular about the equipment used by every practitioner. In order to follow the laws and avoid any penalties for wrongdoing, equip your building with products from Medina Butor Ltd.
Starting your own medical practising firm can seem like a very difficult job at first but there are various services that can assist you. Let specialist companies help you and relieve you of the pressures involved in setting up on your own.
Do you know someone who suffers from Asthma? Perhaps you have a friend who has asthma? It is likely that you know someone who has asthma, as a reported one in five households are affected by it. In literal terms there are 5.4 million people in the UK who have asthma.
Seeing as so many people are suffering from it, it’s a good idea to ask ourselves what causes Asthma. The BBC has an article online which goes into detail on this. In brief, asthma is caused by an inflammation of the airways. Scientists aren’t too sure what causes this, but they see that asthmatic and allergic tendencies do run in families.
Asthma is serious; it is not merely an excuse to sit out cross country in a PE lesson. If you have a friend with asthma then it is a good idea to be aware of what could cause an asthma attack and how to help them. Advice on living with asthma is available courtesy of the NHS. Although you may not suffer from asthma personally, you can support your friend by being aware of the additional measures they have to take in day to day life.
You have probably noticed your friend has an inhaler. Inhalers are usually bought at Pharmacies and are manufactured by companies such as Presspart. The aim of these inhalers is to keep the asthma under control, assisting your friend to lead a full and unrestricted life. Although treatments keep asthma under control, there could be an occasion when your friend has an asthma attack. If this happens carry out the following actions:
Stay calm and try to help your friend relax
Have your friend sit upright
Take your friend away from possible asthma triggers
Get their inhaler
Call 999 if the inhaler doesn’t help
You will be their first line of defence; it is always a good idea to be prepared. As a friend, understanding and appreciating living with asthma is very important. Of course there are different severities of asthma and reactions vary from person to person, but educating yourself and being ready for possible incidents is always a good idea.
If like me you don’t go to the doctors as often as you should, it is fair to say that when you get ill it’s because you have neglected your body. It might be lack of sleep, poor diet, catching a cold by accident, but neglecting the GP is to neglect your medical condition. So what happens then when the medical professionals we trust to help us get better fall short of their responsibilities?
The doctors and nurses in the UK are among the best medical practitioners in the world; highly educated, provided with some of the best facilities available etc, but very occasionally there is a slip in protocol. This is defined as ‘Medical Negligence’ and it happens when a medical professional abuses the patient. This results in the patient being worse off by the end of the treatment, and can result in deep depression in patients, anxiety, trauma, and even death if the malpractice was severe enough.
Medical Negligence Claims
Medical negligence claims, as defined nice and clearly by Claims.com here, depend on the claimant’s condition afterwards. If the patient’s life has been significantly damaged by the medical professional, the claimant can receive compensation. While financial compensation certainly helps, many sufferers of medical negligence argue that their claim is not for money, but for prevention reasons.
Channel 4 released this post on ‘The Search For Justice’ which says that the UK suffers over 850,000 medical accidents in hospitals every year. While this is a staggering number of hospital accidents, there are even more cases happening all around the UK where the patient does not file for medical negligence, and suffers as a result. Many cases go on unclaimed for fear of damaging the doctor’s career, and as a result, nothing is done to prevent the same thing happening to someone else.
Well, well, well
Without getting too anxious, try reading some of these medical horror stories from AskMen.com in their ‘Top 10 Scary Medical Malpractice Cases’. These are of course the most extreme cases of medical negligence: sometimes only a small action can lead to a big problem. One of the most dangerous things about medical negligence is not simply the professional’s misconduct, it is the patient’s lack of action.
Medical negligence is widely regarded as a nightmare that will never happen to you, but for the people who have suffered from it, justice is the only cure.
Take care of your teeth! You only get one set and it’s important to keep them as a pearly-white as possible. That’s never going to be easy, even your five-a-day can end up doing a lot of damage to your teeth; citrus acid from an orange is incredibly harmful to your enamel! However, by following a solid regime that really doesn’t take that much effort at all, you can maintain all 32 of your gnashers to the highest standard.
Telling you to brush your teeth is almost redundant. However, knowing how to brush them can be of major benefit. Brushing back and forth as the majority of people do actually damages the enamel by brushing against the grain. Equally, brushing too hard can further erode the enamel, whilst brushing too soft won’t clean them properly. The best technique is to brush with the consistency of a gentle massage in an up and down motion following the grain of the tooth. You can gain more information with this interview on The Guardian’s health and wellbeing blog with Dr Ogo Eze, whose practice can be found here - Dentistw2. Often people face the choice of a manual or electric toothbrush and there are benefits to both. Personally, I would recommend an electric toothbrush, but it’s a very competitive market out there, so knowing which one to buy can be a difficult choice. Thankfully, Which? have come up with this handy guide to help make the process a little easier.
The main thing you need to know about mouthwash is that you should always opt for the alcohol free versions. Because of the nature of mouthwash, that is, you tend to keep it in your mouth for a longer time than most drinks and swill it around, the alcohol stays on the teeth for a lot longer. For more information on mouthwash and how it works to help combat bad dental hygiene, check out this article from The Facts About…, and for the greatest range of mouthwash and dental hygiene products, check out Dental Shop to pick up everything you’ll need. It’s important to note that using mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing, but should rather be used as well as brushing as an overall cleaning routine.
Flossing is important as part of your routine as it helps to reach the parts of the mouth that brushing simply can’t. Flossing in between the teeth helps clean the stains that brushes can’t, so it’s a vitally important job. It can actually be a rather technical procedure to achieve the best results, but you shouldn’t let that put you off, just take a look at this 3D animated video from the British Dental Association to see how easy it can be.
Unfortunately, even the most fastidious flosser, washer and brusher can fall foul of a few pitfalls or accidents. In such instances the only option is to seek professional help like the kind offered by Manor Dental Care. Dental implants and restorative procedures will be necessary for many people, but it’s also important to note that they carry out preventive care to help strengthen your teeth and avoid future mishaps. Much of this prevention can be undertaken by yourself with your daily dental hygiene routine, but one of the features is that professional help can help spot mouth cancer early. For more information on mouth cancer and how to prevent it, take a look at this information pack from BUPA.
Good dental care doesn’t have to be a laborious process. A solid routine with regular dentist check-ups will have avoid most of the misfortune you might suffer, and you can keep on flashing that winning smile.