Health:

4 Medical Advancements Optimizing Lifestyles

It’s hard to believe there was a time when testing your blood glucose levels was painful and a huge ordeal, or an era when those on oxygen therapy weren’t able to fly. The advances in medical technology are phenomenal, offering better lifestyles and convenience for patients around the world. However, most people don’t look very closely at these advancements unless they or someone they know relies on it. Here’s a look at some of the best advancements in recent history and how they’ve changed lives for the better.

1. Oxygen machines and accessories

Today’s options for oxygen therapy trump those of even a few years ago. Now, the machines are lightweight, designed to be carried with ease, feature impressive battery lives and there are portable options which are FAA-approved for flying. For patients who rely on science for the quality of oxygen they need, suddenly the world’s most taken for granted “free” resource can be a challenge.

2. The modern EPIpen

The number of people with life threatening allergies is on the rise, including the influx of nut allergies in very young children. Obviously, education and personal management is crucial when addressing allergies, but sometimes mistakes are made. Today’s EPIpen offer an easy to carry, simple to conceal option for those with fatal allergies. The effectiveness and ease of use has opened up a world of opportunities, allowing patients (some for the first time) to travel and engage in activities worry-free.

3. Saliva-based blood glucose testers

Type-1 diabetics especially have to keep a close eye on their blood glucose levels, but fear of needle pricks has made life nearly debilitating for some. The invention of saliva-based blood glucose testers has made this sometimes painful multi-daily activity moot for many. It’s also been a lifesaver for parents of diabetic children.

4. YAG Laser therapy

For many years, there were no advances in the laser therapy dentists and endodontists used, which lead to root canals failing, extra pain, time and money from patients. However, the latest YAG Laser device offers more comprehensive dental pulp cleanings and has streamlined the entire root canal process. It’s lessened the instances of failed root canals and provides a faster chair experience for patients.

From improved pregnancy tests to digital x-rays that severely cut down on radiation exposure, the wonder of medical advances are popping up at lightening speed. If you’re unhappy with your current medical device or gadget, talk to your doctor and start researching potential alternatives.

 

Health:

4 Tech Rules for Your Workout

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You want to look like a terminator at the gym because of your perfectly toned body, not because of all the wires poking out from your ears and armbands. Sometimes technology can be a great way to optimize your workout, but sometimes it can distract you from doing your best. How can you strike a balance and use tech wisely at the gym? It’s time to set a few rules.

It doesn’t matter if you prefer a crossfit gym, big box gym or the local hole in the wall boxing gym to get your sweat on. No type of workout is going to be beneficial if you’re too distracted to make the sessions count. Consider adding these rules to your next workout, right up there with your personal water goals and getting in those BCAAs.

1. Do cardio at least once per week with no iPod

However you get in your cardio (treadmill, running outside, elliptical, row machine, etc.), if you’re dependent on having music blasting in your ear, shake things up. Try at least one day per week with no music. Your body will start to respond to other stimuli and you’ll get a break from your addiction. Long-term learning to do cardio by natural outside influences (such as passing cars) or your heartbeat can help improve your workout because the “pace” is always difference.

2. Leave your phone in the locker

If your excuse is that your music is on your phone, get a separate mp3 player with no Wi-Fi access. You’re going to check that text, email or Facebook notification and it’s going to interrupt your workout. It can also distract you as you rush through your last 10 minutes to reply. Unless you’re expecting a true emergency call, it can wait for an hour.

3. Take calories counters, etc. with a grain of salt

Even the most high tech heart rate monitors and calorie counters might potentially be off. They can be used occasionally as a general measurement, but they’re not your workout bible. Instead, rely on how you feel, how out of breath you are and manual heart rate checks.

4. Take out the ear buds

Like at the airport, some people use ear buds as a way to tell people, “Don’t talk to me.” Sometimes you need total alone time at the gym, but if you do this non-stop you’re missing out on something big: the supportive community at your fingertips. You can learn a lot from your fellow gym rats.

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Health:

How Pharmacy Technology Helps to Save Lives

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While you can still find the occasional pharmacist who uses a mortar and pestle, this field of expertise is increasingly technology-oriented. From inventory checking to ordering and tracking drug interactions, pharmaceutical technology has many implications for saving lives. Participants in insurance plans such as Medicare Part D Plans can rest assured knowing that this technology offers benefits with each prescription drug order.

Drug Interaction Checkers

Some prescription medications interact with others or with foods, supplements and vitamins that you’re already taking. Drug interactions may reduce the efficacy of one or more of the medications, which in some cases can be deadly. According to this article, many pharmacies are offering a variety of drug interaction checkers that both you and your pharmacist can use. Drug interaction checkers are available on mobile apps so you can determine whether or not it’s safe to take an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal drug such as ibuprofen along with your diabetes medication, for example. If you participate in a Medicare Part D program through a retail pharmacy, your pharmacist should also be able to inform you of potential interactions at the time you pick up your prescription.

Allergy Trackers

Allergies to medications are a serious risk to anyone. A medication allergy can develop at any time, even if you’ve used that medication before. Automated drug allergy tracking offers your health care team a way to keep track of your drug allergies so they can avoid prescribing any medication with those ingredients. Information technology systems are quickly advancing in their ability to prevent these types of medical errors, explains this article. By participating in a Medicare Part D plan and keeping all of your prescriptions at the same pharmacy, you can also help to prevent medication errors.

Automated Medical Records Systems

As the field of health care information technology continues to grow, patient medical records are increasingly automated. The use of electronic medical records helps to track your information, allow sharing between your different providers and maintains a comprehensive listing of all your current medications, recent procedures and medical statistics, explains this article. This means that the pharmacy where you receive your Medicare Part D prescription drug discounts can receive electronic submissions from your primary care physician and any specialists on your care team. You may enjoy the benefits of reduced paperwork and less time spent waiting at the pharmacy or doctor’s office thanks to this technology.

Mail Delivery Services Through Medicare Part D Programs

Many participants in Medicare Part D plans enjoy the savings that these plans offer. To save even more, you can arrange for your prescriptions to be delivered through the mail. According to this article, you can go online to request your refills and the technology systems will automatically process and fill your order. Today’s technology features systems that check to make sure you receive the correct prescription medication before your current supply runs out.

Health:

Tips for Finding the Perfect Care Home for Your Loved One

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If you have an elderly or handicapped loved one that needs some sort of assisted living facility, you may be anxious about helping to make the decision. The same can also be said if your loved one will need a nursing facility to recuperate from surgery before heading home. Here are some tips for finding the right care home.

Search Inspection Reports and News Stories

The Medicare website allows you to check on the track record of facilities you may be considering. You can also ask for copies of inspection reports from the facilities, which they should happily furnish. If administration hesitates to provide them, look elsewhere. Also, run a search and carefully review any news stories about potential facilities, both positive and negative. If the facility was shut down at one point or has undergone a complete change in management, you may want to restrict your searches to only include items that have occurred since that event took place.

Consider Reviews and Opinion Sites

Do some digging on the Internet and see what families and the residents themselves have to say. While no facility is going to be perfect, be alert for allegations of cruelty, neglect, an overwhelmed or indifferent staff and other such claims. There are disgruntled people everywhere, but decide for yourself which complaints will factor into your decision.

Weigh the Total Costs

Few families can say that cost isn’t a factor when it comes to choosing a facility. If your loved one is on a fixed income, some places may be simply out of reach unless members of the family are willing to make an ongoing contribution towards their care. If your loved one’s care may last years, you don’t want to have to move them because of financial concerns. Choose a place that is acceptable to the family budget.

Visit the Facilities Yourself

Whether you’re looking for a long-term nursing home or a nursing facility for short-term recuperation, make it your business to go and check each place. Don’t be afraid to talk to the residents and those working there. If your loved one has certain religious, dietary or accommodation needs, now is the time to ask about them. The facility should be clean, fresh-smelling and welcoming. Trust your intuition. If you feel welcomed, at peace and happy while you are visiting, there is a great chance your loved one will.

Other Comfort Considerations

While everyone is different in what they would like in a nursing home, talk to your loved one about special circumstances for their comfort. Most facilities allow residents to have their own bedding, but they may not be allowed to bring in their own bed. Find out about the visitation policies, especially if those who will be visiting regularly work odd hours. If your loved one is a night owl, is there a lounge or solarium they could enjoy? What about opportunities to be outside or interact with therapy animals?

Being called upon to help choose a care home for a loved one can be an anxious experience, but it doesn’t have to be. By keeping these tips in mind, you can find the best possible facility for the one you love.

Health:

4 Ways to Make Chiropractic Care Part of Your Techie Lifestyle

Who has the time to see doctors on a regular basis? With your busy lifestyle, you barely have time to grab a quick bite to eat or keep up with your Facebook posts. However, prioritizing your health is made easier with technology, and many healthcare professionals are getting on board. If you want to take better control over your well-being, start by branching out and including some alternative care that complements your traditional physician. chiropractor 1

Chiropractors aren’t meant to be seen only after a car crash. Experts in the health and alignment of the spine, this part of your body plays a role in everything from muscle pain to headaches. In fact, those regular adjustments can work wonders in ensuring you feel your best. Even though the average appointment takes 30 minutes or less, it can still be a challenge to squeeze in an adjustment.

Here’s how to make it a little easier.

1. Download chiro-friendly apps

There are hundreds of apps which are chiropractor-approved and do things like remind you of ergonomic postures or provide exercises that are office-friendly. Check with your chiropractor first to make sure none of these suggestions are contraindicative for you or your body. After that, you can start exploring the many apps at your fingertips.

2. Check in without “checking in”

A reputable chiropractor will work with you and your schedule, quickly replying to phone calls and emails. Maybe you just have a simple question about pain management and don’t have time to schedule an appointment. Make use of technology, and remember that some professionals might even offer virtual video appointments.

3. Draft a wellness plan

Include all of your healthcare professionals when drafting a wellness plan, and ensure that preventative care takes top billing. Just like you wouldn’t skip paying your phone bill each month, you should have the same priorities with your health. Maybe this includes an adjustment once per month as well as an acupuncture session or massage therapy. Find a plan that works with you and your schedule.

4. Do your own research

There’s a lot of wrong information about chiropractors floating around, but don’t take any information as gospel until you do the research yourself. You’ll be surprised by the history of chiropractic care and the many conditions it can treat. Don’t dismiss it as unnecessary because it might be the tool you’ve been searching for.

 

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Health:

Startling Discovery Makes Anti-Aging Products Work Even Better

Using advanced plant stem cell technology, researchers are able to develop a more stable form of antioxidants. The new line of antioxidant therapies is expected work even better than what is currently available in the market for beauty and skin care products. Lavender-Oil

What are botanical antioxidants?

Botanical antioxidants are extracted from flowers such as roses; berries, including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries; and even beans, for example, soybeans. Finding the right plants and making use of their antioxidant capability has become an exciting aspect of skin care research.

Scientists have found that wild plants contain more antioxidants than plants — berries, for instance — grown on farms. This is because they are not compromised by GMOs and the chemicals that are routinely sprayed on them.

Berries have been found to be high in anthocyanins, while soybeans are abundant in isoflavones. When beauty products with a high level of botanical antioxidants are regularly applied to the skin, they create thicker, firmer skin by encouraging the production of collagen.

How anti-aging products are getting better

Scientists first began to look for antioxidants in plants when they noticed how well plants protect themselves from oxidation if they’re exposed to the sun for prolonged periods. In human skin, as well, oxidation (the result of free-radical damage), is the reason skin ages, and becomes steadily less healthy over time.

Scientists became curious about what would happen if they extracted the antioxidants in plants and rubbed them on human skin. Would skin be protected from oxidation? Numerous clinical trials showed that this deduction was correct.

The best plants proved to be the ones that grow outdoors because of their exposure to wind, rain, and sun. However, it was eventually discovered that the antioxidant products in plants have been compromised by pollutants such as heavy metals in the ground and the use of pesticides on farms.

Many outdoor plants did not have as high a concentration of antioxidants as expected because of poor soil conditions, fluctuating weather conditions, and the frequent use of fertilizers and pesticides.

More recent research has suggested that what scientists need to do is focus on getting the antioxidants directly from plant stem cells. This will bypass the pollutants and other environmental conditions that have been reducing the potency of the antioxidants.

Concentrating on the stem cells

Stem cells can be removed from any part of a plant that’s rich in antioxidants: the roots, stems, twigs, leaves, or fruit. Usually, however, they’re extracted from the leaves because the level of antioxidants is highest there.

The new technology is used in the following four ways:

First, the whole plant is sterilized to remove all contaminants completely. Second, the stem cells are removed.

Third, further stem cells are cultured from the original batch. These stem cells have the purest and highest level of antioxidants.

Fourth, the pure and stable antioxidants are added to skin care products.

The new plant stem cell technology in skin care is focused on extracting the purest, most stable form of antioxidants from the stem cells in plants.

Apps:

Which Weight Management App is Right for You?

Managing your weight, whether you want to lose, gain, or sustain, can be challenging. Swimwear season is just around the corner, and now it’s easier than ever to make a splash with the right weight management app.

There are a number of helpful apps available for both Android and iPhone, but how can you know which one is right for you? Luckily, the hard work has been done by other folks, and if you consult the high rankings and glowing reviews, you should know what to get.

Start with the BMI Calculator, an aptly named app that helps you keep track of your Body Mass Index (BMI). This has been a doctor-preferred method for gauging your overall health as it pertains to weight for more than 100 years.

It’s not perfect, especially for athletes, but it’s a good indication of where you fall on the spectrum and whether you should be focusing on gaining weight, losing it, or staying about the same.

An app for all bodies

My Fitness Pal is a popular website that can assist with all aspects of your health, whether you’re trying to figure out how many meals to eat per day or keep track of calories. The complementary app is also a great tool, because it enables users watch their caloric intake, and it’s very customizable.

You can choose from an existing database of 1.5 million foods or input your own. There’s a free barcode scanner and more than 150 trackable exercises to see just how many calories you’ve burned, too.

However, if you’re on Weight Watchers, getting their app is an absolute must. You’ll get access to new recipes, media reports on health and obesity, and detailed reports on exercise information to keep you on track.

The support system for Weight Watchers is incredible, and with easy social media and forum links within the app, you’ll find a stronger network than ever, right on your smartphone.

A little extra support

Are you looking for all the benefits of a personal trainer but don’t feel you have the money to pay those costly fees? Noom Weight Loss Coach is an app that lets you personalize a weight management plan and assigns daily tasks to help you get there, whether it’s reading the latest breaking health news or tackling a new exercise challenge.

You can easily log your success and steps, and it keeps you on track with reminders so you can make changes that will last over the long run. Plus, it even comes with a GPS and pedometer so you know exactly how much movement you get under your belt.

If working out is more your thing than measuring your kale salad, the 7-Min Workout might be right up your alley. You’ve heard about seven minutes in heaven? That’s exactly what your body will think happened with this quickie app that ensures you get an intense workout almost anywhere with zero equipment.

Enjoy clear directions and commands for switching it up, and you can know that you’re getting the regular cardio you need in intervals that even the busiest of professionals can handle. No matter which app you choose, whether one or all of the above, putting your health literally in your hands is a good habit not just for bikini season, but for life.

 

Health:

Science Proves These Quirky Activities Create Better Athletes

Our bodies react to different stimuli and activities in surprising ways — ways that scientists and trainers continue to probe in an effort to understand the human body better, and mold the greatest athletes of the future.

Below are some of the most surprising activities that can boost athletic performance.

Squeeze with your left, not with right

In perhaps one of the strangest studies ever conducted — one from which you would expect absolutely no conclusive or meaningful results to come — it was discovered that clutching something in your left fist (or even just clenching your empty left fist) increased athletic performance in pressure situations and prevented “choking.”

Clenching the right fist rendered the opposite result, however. It had a negative impact on athletic performance.

The reason behind this surprising result is that the left hemisphere of the brain, which is devoted to rumination (in other words, potentially over-thinking during critical moments), becomes activated when the right fist is clenched, and that may increase tension and introspection. By contrast, clenching your left fist activates the right hemisphere of the brain, which is associated with movement and motor functions, thereby improving physical functioning.

Sniff some jasmine

We know scents can have a powerful psychological effect on the body. It has recently been discovered that certain scents can even improve concentration and athletic performance.

A study of six Major League baseball players suggested that the ones who sniffed a jasmine-scented armband before each swing during batting practice greatly increased their hitting performance compared to those who sniffed an unscented armband.

The results showed that any activity involving hand-eye coordination or precise muscle movements could be enhanced by surrounding oneself with the sweet smell of jasmine.

Believe in something positive

Many athletes swear by visualization and positive reinforcement techniques to improve their performance, and science has backed them up on at least one aspect of this belief. In an experiment reported in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, white basketball players were better at shooting free throws after watching videos that portrayed white basketball players as the best free throw shooters.

Caucasian players who watched videos that depicted black players as the best shooters experienced a decreased performance. The study showed that believing in one’s own ability to perform a task, even when that belief stems from nothing but a generality regarding their race, can have a positive effect on performance.

So if you’re an athlete who’d like to fill your trophy cases with trophies and awards, consider sniffing some jasmine, filling your mind with positive reinforcements, and clenching a ball in your left hand when the pressure begins to mount.

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