Immediate Care Clinic – No Longer Necessary?

30 September, 2010 (20:13) | Critical Care | By: Health news

Patients seeking immediate care for medical conditions in San Francisco have many options during normal weekday hours. There are several immediate care clinics located throughout the city, and hospitals usually have what is equivalent to an immediate care clinic attached to their emergency department. Once patients determine what options are available they can further narrow down the choices according to proximity, wait times and, of course insurances accepted.

While ER’s tend to accept many insurance plans, a co-payment is usually required and will depend upon the individual policy. Waiting times in emergency rooms are always unpredictable, however there are trends to be aware of for those requiring care in the ER. Mornings are variable, but typically see lower volumes than afternoons and evenings, although there is never a guarantee, and the number of patients presenting to an ER often changes moment to moment. Late evenings and nights until 2-3am are the prime time in many emergency departments and so waits can be prolonged.

During these times ER staff may be routinely increased to handle the extra volume. Some hospitals maintain functioning immediate care clinics only during these hours, in order to take the pressure off of the emergency room. This can speed patient throughput, however there is never a guarantee. An emergency department that appears slow, may become chaotic within minutes if several seriously I’ll patients arrive concurrently. Emergency departments sometimes go on”divert” status, which means that ambulances transporting new patients are diverted to other facilities because the ER is overwhelmed.

In some cases, it is possible to call ahead to a particular ER to determine if it is on “divert”. If so, this may be a good time to choose another hospital, however if the problem is serious or potentially life threatening, the closest hospital ER should always be the destination. To find an immediate care clinic, an online search via Google Maps is a quick way to note the options.

A revolutionary alternative to the immediate care clinic are urgent care doctor house calls. These services offer exceptional convenience by bringing the doctor, medications, procedures, instant tests, xrays and more directly to patients wherever they are. There are no public waiting rooms to endure, and fees are far less than those of most emergency rooms. Services offered are often insurance reimbursable to a significant degree.

Many patients are finding that the convenience offered by services of this nature is unsurpassed, so that finding an immediate care clinic is no longer necessary. They prefer to let the doctor find the patient instead.

Three Treatments for Insomnia Without Taking Medications

29 September, 2010 (23:20) | Sleep Disorders | By: Health news

Insomnia, being very prevalent and affecting our lives in many ways, has numerous promising treatments for those who suffer with this condition. There are pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for insomnia. We will explore three non-pharmacological treatments and discuss why these treatments might be more effective in the long-term. We will explain, in detail, these three different types of non-pharmacological treatments as we define or describe each of them. You do not have to suffer any longer with insomnia; there are treatments available to you without taking medications.

Once you know the cause of your insomnia, there are therapies available to you long before your insomnia progresses to the point it has a negative effect on your life. The main focal point in treating and curing insomnia is to find the cause of your insomnia. Once identified insomnia is often eliminated when those triggers, that keep you awake at night, are removed. The success rate of curing your insomnia increases when the source for your insomnia is addressed. Whether you cure your insomnia or not, you can treat your insomnia, with the methods explored in this article, before your insomnia gets out of hand.

Educating yourself is the key to a good night sleep. Knowing how your body responds to certain stimuli, such as a large meal just before bed, offers you information so you can adjust your behavior. Becoming aware of what your natural rhythms are and what sleeping habits work, or do not work, for you is valuable information which allows you to alter what you do? The more you know about what keeps you awake at night the better chance of curing your insomnia and getting that rest you need.

Although prescribed sleeping medications are available, non-pharmacological therapies have an advantage even though some might say both therapies are equally effective especially when used together. Often times, after taking a medication for a period of time, intolerance develops to that medication. That medication is no longer as effective as it was, and the condition will return without another medication being prescribed. Another disadvantage to prescribed medications is a person can become dependent on that medication and once discontinued they can have a withdrawal effect. Non-pharmacological treatments improve your insomnia, and have a longer lasting effect. It is for the above reasons that non-pharmacological therapies have the upper hand in curing insomnia.

Non-pharmacological therapies include a variety of effective methods to aid you in curing your insomnia. The treatments are forms of cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as cognitive therapy or behavioral therapy. The whole goal, of these types of treatments, are for you to become aware of what you are thinking and how you behave, as it relates to sleep, so you sleep well again. This effective form of treatment teaches you new ways of thinking and behaving, regarding your sleeping patterns, and has a longer lasting effect for insomnia than taking medication.

Included in the list of non-pharmacological therapies, for insomnia, are several effective modalities that we will investigate in detail. Three of these modalities, explored in this article, include muscle relaxation, stimulus control, and sleep restriction. There are other modalities for treating insomnia that will be explored in a later article. These three non-pharmacological therapies can be effective in treating your insomnia.

One such modality is using relaxation as a method to calm the body and quite the mind. One way to use the relaxation modality is through meditation. Meditation can be used in a variety of ways and one simple way to use meditation is to sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale. You can use imagery to help you achieve relaxation by imaging you are somewhere calming to you like a factitious place, a place you have been before or a place you would like to go provided you feel tranquil there. A second way to use meditation to relax is using a meditation tape/CD, with calming music that allows you to unwind and relax. If you have difficulty achieving relaxation on your own, a third method is a guided relaxation tape/CD where someone is taking you through a relaxation session. Whether you use a guided meditation tape or not, this relaxation technique suggests you relax one area of your body at a time. While in a comfortable position, gently tighten, without creating pain, the muscles in one area of your body and hold these tighten muscles for a few seconds and then relax the muscles. While maintaining relaxation to the original area, continue focusing on a new area until you have relaxed every part of your body. It does not matter what area of your body you begin with however, make sure you are able to go to the next part of your body without much thought. An example of moving to the next part of your body without much thought is to begin at the top of your head and go down to your toes or begin at your toes and go up to your head. You can also quite your mind, while using this form of relaxation, by not allowing your mind to focus on anything else while you relax your body. Relaxation therapy is useful in quieting the mind and relaxing the body in order to achieve sleep.

A second modality for achieving a better night sleep is stimulus control. Stimulus control has many facets, however, the theory of stimulus control is your bed is for sleeping and sex activity and nothing more. Watching TV, reading the newspaper or a book, doing any kind of work or eating, while in bed, is counterproductive to getting a good night sleep. Another facet of stimulus control is the idea that you go to bed only when you are tired and if you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes then get up and do something else until you are tired as long as what you are doing is calming. Avoiding taking long naps, during the day, is another facet to stimulus control. Naps that are 10 to 20 minutes long can be invigorating while longer naps during the day affect how much sleep you need at night. Still another aspect of stimulus control is to get up at the same time every day, including Saturday and Sunday, regardless of how many hours of sleep you had. To accomplish this goal, you might have to set an alarm clock to wake you up at the same time every day, provided you do not hit the snooze button. Sleeping longer then your usually time to get up will decrease the effectiveness of stimulus control. Stimulus control limits the time you are awake in bed and this method helps you relearn your bed is for sleep and sexual activity only.

A third modality for achieving a better night sleep is sleep restriction. This third method may sound similar to stimulus control however, sleep restriction limits the amount of time you are in bed down to 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night. The amount of time you are in bed is based on taking the average of the time you sleep, while in bed, and set the time you go to bed and the time you get up accordingly. Basically, sleep restriction deprives you of some sleep for one night so you are more tired the following night and the sleep you do get is more quality sleep. Sleep restriction needs to be used cautiously meaning sleep deprivation has a diminishing effect on a person and their ability to function during the day. The recommendation is for to you get at least 7 hours of sleep again before you engage in activities that require your full attention such as driving or operating machinery. You are the only person who can determine whether you feel safe enough to reintroduce these more demanding activities. Keeping this schedule of sleep and forcing yourself to get out of bed, at the designed time, even when you are still tired allows you the time you sleep is quality sleep. When your quality of sleep improves, you can slowly increase the time you are in bed actually sleeping. Sleep restriction, a method by which you restrict the amount of sleep you get a night, has helped some people who suffer from insomnia and needs to be used with awareness of what works best for you.

There are several avenues available to you to help you get a better night sleep and the three we explored in this article are relaxation, stimulus control and sleep restriction. These three methods of treating insomnia assist you in becoming more aware of what works and what does not work for you in relationship to getting quality sleep. The key to getting the sleep you need is to educate yourself about what is keeping you awake at night, what are the methods that are effective for you and how does your body respond to the stimuli in your life. Each of these non-pharmacological methods are more effective and longer lasting than medications. These three methods, of treating insomnia, only require you to learn the method and be willing to use that method in a way that benefits you. The main focal point to treating and curing insomnia, as discussed in the second paragraph, is to find the cause of your insomnia. Finally, you can treat your insomnia with these three methods however, curing your insomnia requires deeper personal work on the cause of your insomnia. It is possible to eliminate insomnia all together and sleep well again.

Insomnia’s effects are wide ranged. You can treat your insomnia with medications or with some of the treatments discussed in this article, but the most effective way to cure your insomnia is to deal with what is really keeping you awake at night. It requires more personal work on your part and can be very rewarding beyond curing your insomnia. In the book, Turmoil to Tranquility, this author offers ways to deal with those issues and much more. She, specifically, talks about trying to turn off your brain and get some real rest, relaxation, and get a good night’s sleep.

All Natural Fibromyalgia Treatment

29 September, 2010 (22:22) | Diseases | By: Health news

For whatever reason, fibromyalgia and “natural treatment” don’t seem to go hand-in-hand. The only thing which seems “natural” for a fibromyalgia patient is the expectation that their condition may not be properly treated. Fibromyalgia has become such a devastating and confusing condition, that many medical professionals often turn to drastic or extreme circumstances in order to give the patient “fibromyalgia pain relief.” Such is the case with Western Medicine; if you have a medical problem, it’s often going to require surgery or expensive medication…probably both.

But natural pain treatment for fibromyalgia doesn’t require a radical shift in the way we approach the world. Take a look at your feet. If you’ve read my previous articles, you’ll know that’s where chronic pain throughout the body originates. But, what do feet have to do with fibromyalgia pain in your back, thighs, or jaw areas? These are all energy zones in your body that are being “blocked” due to your foot being out of balance. The foot is the root cause of these devastating symptoms wrecking havoc all across your body.

But, what are energy zones? You promised I wouldn’t have to change my way of thinking…

Don’t change your way of thinking, just think harder about how your body works. Energy flows throughout your body in zones; we don’t particularly discuss it in this vein on our side of the globe, but the notion that energy is free flowing is quite common. What isn’t common is the knowledge of how conditions like fibromyalgia arise and how to stop the cause of such pain. This is because many experts look at the result of the condition (symptoms), opposed to stopping the cause of it. Fibromyalgia is the result of blocked energy fields throughout the body, thus the focus should be not on stopping the symptoms resulting from these blockages, but rather, on freeing these blocked energy zones. Typically acupuncture is the primary, natural treatment used to achieve this, however, even acupuncture doesn’t target the main source of fibromyalgia pain. An acupuncturist, even though they understand the nature of energy zones throughout the body, can still only be half right–they don’t correct the foot imbalance which eliminates the ability to stop the cause of the pain.

In order to correct the imbalance, the patient should use a micromanipulation technique, which corrects imbalances in the foot, freeing the energy zones throughout the body. It requires no medication, surgery and can be effective in as little as 10 to 15 minutes, when performed properly–with zero side effects.

Two Reasons Your Back Is Killing You

29 September, 2010 (14:07) | Back Pain | By: Health news

When people think about the causes of back pain, they often assume that it is one event that causes a back to give out. Lifting a heavy load, or being involved in a sudden movement that causes an immediate compression of the spine, or even having a physical accident such as a fall — all of these events can lead to a quick onset of lower back pain. However, this is only one of three main reasons why people may experience discomfort in the joints of the back or the muscle and other soft tissues.

The first cause of back pain is the type mentioned above. Obviously, if someone falls off of a ladder onto his or her back, there is a greater chance of experiencing pain than if the fall had not occurred. Trauma caused by a sudden impact is definitely a significant factor in causing lower back discomfort, but it is actually a bit more uncommon than the other main reasons why people get a sore back. If there is a sudden traumatic injury in a person’s history, though, this must be considered when evaluating back pain issues.

A more common cause of back pain is that of chronic overuse. There are actually two different types of overuse injury of the back, and each type can lead to a feeling of chronic pain.

The first type is when a person lifts a series of loads over time without resting. People who continually load boxes from the floor onto a truck, for instance, may experience back pain even if the weights they lift are actually not that heavy. Over time, however, even lighter loads can begin to break down the tolerance of the back’s muscles and joints and lead to soreness. If the back is not given enough time to rest, chronic pain can be the result.

The second type of overuse of the back is being in one position for a prolonged amount of time. Workers who have to stand and bend over to work on objects close to the ground can experience pain even if they are not lifting anything at all. This is also the type of soreness that office workers can develop if they sit at a desk all day with a rounded back. As time goes on, the tissues of the back reach their failure level and the result is pain.

Thus, not every instance of back pain is caused by a sudden injury. And even if it seems like such a sudden event did occur — lifting that last box or getting up too quickly after sitting for too long — it is more likely that the back’s pain threshold has been reached and the tissues have begun to get damaged. This is why everyone should become more aware of how they are using their backs and take precautionary measures like getting enough exercise to strengthen the back, as well as getting enough rest to make sure that chronic injuries do not happen.

The National Health Interview Survey

28 September, 2010 (23:34) | Disabilities | By: Health news

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is an annual nationwide survey of about 36,000 households in the U.S. conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. It is a principal source of information on the health of the civilian non-institutionalized population. Disability identifiers were included in two years (1994/1995) of NHIS data collection and designated the NHIS-D. The NHIS-D was designed to collect data that can be used to understand disability, to develop public health policy, to produce simple prevalence estimates of selected health conditions, and to provide descriptive baseline statistics on the effects of disabilities. In the NHIS-D, disability is not limited to one definition of disability; rather, disability is viewed as the state of any short-term or long-term reduction in the ability to perform regular activities, resulting from either acute or chronic conditions (CDC, 2004).

The American Community Survey, first implemented in 2003, is an annual survey intended to displace the long-form version of the decennial Census. In these two Census Bureau surveys, disability is defined as a long-lasting condition such as blindness, deafness, or a severe vision or hearing impairment or a substantial limitation in basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, teaching, lifting, or carrying. Severity of disability is determined through questions assessing the person’s capacity to: 1) learn, remember, or concentrate; 2) dress, bathe, get around inside the home; 3) go outside the home to shop or visit the doctor’s office; or 4) work at a job or business (USCB, 2005).

Another Census activity is the Survey of Income and Program Participation or SIPP. The SIPP is a continuing survey with monthly interviews of a multistage-stratified sample of the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population. The purpose of SIPP is to collect income, labor force information, program participation and eligibility data, and general demographic characteristics to measure the effectiveness of existing federal, state, and local programs; to estimate future costs and coverage for government programs, such as food stamps; and to provide improved statistics on the distribution of income in the country. Under the SIPP, disability is defined as meeting one or more of the following criteria: 1) using a wheel chair, cane, crutch, or walker; 2) having difficulties performing functional activities; 3) having difficulties performing activities of daily living; 4) having difficulties performing instrumental activities of daily living; 5) having one or more specific mental or emotional conditions, or mental or emotional conditions that affect everyday living; 6) or having a condition that limits the ability to work around the house or at a job or business (USCB, 2004).

Chinese Stress Balls

28 September, 2010 (21:01) | Anxiety | By: Health news

Everyone experiences some form of stress from time to time. When the signs of stress are high enough, or prolonged, it can have quite harmful effects on your well being. One type of stress relief that men and women have turned to is stress reduction balls, in particular, Chinese stress relief balls.

Chinese Stress Balls, or as they’re sometimes referred to, Chinese training balls, Chinese health balls or Baoding balls are one of the legendary treasures of Baoding, China where they’re referred to as ‘Miracle Balls’. They have been found in history since the Ming dynasty ruled China and when the handicrafts and other industries flourished under them. They’re one of China’s most time-honoured products that claim all kinds of therapeutic relief to people around the world.

The Chinese Stress Balls are about the size of golf balls, but there are lots of distinct sizes to suit varying hand sizes. It’s recommended that you begin with a size that can be handled effortlessly, and then work your way up to a larger dimension. The most common sizes range from a diameter of 1.25 to 2 inches.

They always come in pairs and are made of colored metal. Mostly in traditional Chinese colors. Most of these Chinese Stress Balls emit a jingling sound when moved around. These stress reduction balls are meant to be held in the palm simultaneously and rotated in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions alternatively.

But just how can Chinese Balls decrease your stress? It seems too simple that these Chinese health balls can assist relieve stress. Chinese Stress Reduction Balls operate in a incredibly basic way. When the balls are rolled around and handled, it stimulates the numerous acupuncture points on the palms of the hand, that in turn passes healing effects onto numerous organs in your body that the acupuncture channels reach starting from the fingers by means of to the brain. This enhances a smooth energy flow by means of the entire body and is really a quite powerful exercise when the signs of stress appear.

Chinese Stress Balls are believed to help decrease fatigue and worry, are claimed to prevent and lessen high blood pressure, and aid with arthritis inside the hands among other things. For some, the physical motion of Chinese Stress Balls, helps release mental and emotional stress. Some use visualization strategies to relieve stress when working the Chinese Stress Balls. They visualize the stress being transferred from their hands into the balls as they rotate them. As they grow to be more proficient with the exercises, they also get better at their visualization technique, making stress relief a lot more efficient.

Living With Asthma Today

28 September, 2010 (19:29) | Asthma | By: Health news

Asthma is a condition affecting many people all over the world. Most being affected are our children. It’s a disease that causes your airways to swell, making the air going back and forth to the lungs to be hindered and unmovable depending on the severity of your condition. These are triggers that cause you to have difficulty breathing. During an asthma attack you’re very susceptible to all sorts of allergens and air pollutions. Mostly these types of breathing problems happen at night and sometimes early in the morning. Times depend on the person and their environment, like pets and smokers in the house.

Here are some signs to watch for, first determine if the signs you’re seeing could be Asthma. Make an appointment with your doctor so he can do some tests to find out what types of triggers that cause your asthma to flare up. Some things like exercise, running, swimming, pollens and allergens can cause an asthma attack. Your doctor will find ways of getting your asthma under control, but to do this takes some time and patience. Your doctor will tell you that asthma attacks can vary in strength and length. Some attacks are mild and don’t require immediate attention. Moderate attacks are the next to increase, then you may have a severe attack if not kept in check. Severe attacks means you need medical attention right away. The oxygen going from your mouth to your lungs could be blocked completely resulting in hospitalization and even death.

There are things you can do to make Asthma more bearable at home. When weather conditions outside worsen and wind gusts and pollen becomes an issue. The first thing you do is close your windows and have your air conditioning system set to re-circulate so the air inside the home stays less contaminated, instead of bringing in the air from the outside where it can be worse. Check and clean your air filters. Change them often to keep dust and allergens from being spread throughout your home. Keep your pets groomed and clean. If you live with smokers, they should smoke outside if someone with Asthma lives in the same home. Second hand smoke can be one of the biggest triggers for an asthma attacks. Here is another trigger and it is one that is more frequent than smoke, it is Air pollution. Our skies are filled with harmful particulates and they are very hard to avoid. We recommend using an air filter inside your home to take out as much of the pollution as possible.

If you or someone you love has Asthma, here are some things you can do to deal with it and in some cases overcome it! Work with your Doctor to work on an action plan. No one has the same exact asthma or severity of symptoms. We are all different, so our bodies deal with things in different ways. Someone that suffers from Asthma may treat it differently than you. Your Doctor can help you get an action plan in place for your particular asthma symptoms. He may use a peak flow-meter to see how well air moves in and out of your lungs. This can help him understand when you are having a serious asthma attack. Eat healthier, drink lots of water, avoid triggers and your life with Asthma could be a lot easier to cope with.

Your Baby and Good Dental Hygiene

27 September, 2010 (22:33) | Dental Care | By: Health news

They say that a smile can light up someone’s day; but some of us are very unfortunate, to have a not-so-perfect smile that is certainly not capable of lighting up someone’s day. So what do you do? Do you just sit and envy those who have celebrity smiles? Guess it’s enough! It’s time to take charge of your lives and improve not only the way you look, but also the way the world looks at you. Yes! However surprising it may sound, you can also get the Hollywood star smile, that too in a matter of few days; with the latest techniques and procedures available by cosmetic dentistry, you can easily get a smile makeover done, that too at extremely pocket-friendly costs.

Isn’t that really amazing? Of course it is, as all of us who do not have those wonderful smiles to adorn our faces, do understand the need and importance of a beautiful smile. A smile that spreads across your face like a dream, makes you look marvelous, gives a boost to your confidence and also enhances your overall personality. That means you can sail through any job interview, you can convince anyone to get your way, and you can also make a lot of new friends- all because of that pretty smile that will beautify your face!

The boons of cosmetic dentistry are anyway, too tempting to be resisted. It’s clear that cosmetic dentistry offers for great solutions for all your dental miseries. Pale or stained teeth? No worries, give them a sparkling makeover with the widely available tooth whitening procedure. Even chipped or broken teeth cannot become a hurdle; cosmetic dentists use various intricate procedures like implanting and bridging, which take care of such teeth. The best part is that these procedures don’t burn a whole in your pocket. What more could you possibly ask for? The smile of your dreams is now available to you at a very nominal cost. Great, isn’t it?

So in case you are amongst those people who are habituated of cribbing about the way they look; or in case you are a part of the lot that thinks they’re smile is just not that great and if you are looking to enhance your personality- it’s time to smile to this opportunity and go for a smile makeover! It’s time to indulge in your all time fetish- your smile. If you feel that there is something lacking in your smile or you just want to have sparkling teeth, go visit your cosmetic dentist, and you’ll be amazed by the results, of course in the most positive manner. You’ve had enough of shying away from smiling. Now it’s really high time to book an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in your vicinity and do away with your inhibitions. Keep smiling!

What Is Gout and What Causes It

24 September, 2010 (15:45) | Arthritis | By: Health news

Gout is a medical condition which is a complicated form of arthritis. It is characterized by sudden and extreme pain in the joints. The joints may become tender and red. The big toe is most vulnerable to this condition. Men and women both can develop gout. While men can get it at any point of time in their life, women normally suffer from this post menopause. The good news is that gout can be treated and cured.

There are certain typical signs and symptoms for gout. Most of the times, the symptoms appear suddenly without any prior warning. It occurs in various parts of your body including the wrists, big toe, knees, hands, ankles and feet. You will experience excessive pain in these areas suddenly. The pain is most severe during the first 24 hours. The joints turn red, become tender and swollen quickly. The discomfort lingers on the joints even after the initial pain subsides. If it recurs, then it is expected to make matters worse for the sufferer. Do not waste time and immediately see a doctor when you experience intense pain in the joints. Lingering with it may cause even more damage to you.

Gout is mainly caused due to the accumulation of urate crystals in the joint area. This accumulation causes pain and inflammation in the joint areas. If you are suffering from excess of uric acid in blood cells, then the formation of urate crystals becomes inevitable. This in turn leads to gout. Uric acid is formed inside the body by breaking down purines, which are present in food items like asparagus, meats, herring, mushrooms and anchovies. These are also naturally present in our body. Uric acid, generally comes out through urine after getting dissolved in your blood. However, surplus acid is created when the kidneys excrete less amounts of urine or when too much of acid is produced inside your body. Under such circumstances, uric acids accumulate in the form of urate crystals and cause gout.

Surplus of uric acid can occur if you are an alcoholic, you suffer from arteriosclerosis, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Anti rejection medicines, drugs for treating hypertension and drugs like aspirin can raise the levels of uric acid. Gout can be cured by undergoing medication. The treatment is done in two phases. The first part consists of drugs that will lessen gout attacks and its future occurrence. The second part consists of medicines that reduce the risk of formation of urate crystals. Drugs like Motrin, Advil, Indocin and Aleve falling under the category of Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs are administered.

Other medicines include Corticosteroids and Colchicines. Apart from these, medicines for reduced production of uric acid like Uloric, Aloprim and Zyloprim are prescribed. A little alteration in your lifestyle can also prevent gout. Stay away from alcohol, drink about 16 cups of liquid every day and take low fat diet including tofu and egg whites. Having fresh fruits like cherries, strawberries, avocado, grapes and banana’s also help treat gout and act as an anti-inflammatory as well as helps lower the uric acid level in your body. Eat meat and fish in moderate amounts.

International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

23 September, 2010 (21:37) | Disabilities | By: Health news

A related major conceptual model developed to guide research and to assess functional status need is the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Originally created through the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps (ICIDH) (WHO, 1980), the ICF is an assessment tool that captures a broad array of information relating to health and functioning (WHO, 2001).

The ICF describes health and health-related conditions in terms of an interaction between functioning, disability, and contextual factors. Functioning and disability are structured around two broad components:

  • body functions and structures
  • activities and participation
  • The first set of components focuses on assessing body functions and body structure. The second set focuses on assessing capacity and performance. Since individual functioning and activity participation occur within a context, the ICF includes the contextual factors of environmental facilitators and barriers as well as personal factors (i.e., severity) (WHO, 2001). The result is an assessment that views functioning and disability as the complex interaction between individual health and contextual and personal factors. The recognition of the role of the environment on health and well-being for people living with a disability is a critical element for public health interventions. Ideally, use of the ICF will allow public health and health practitioners to identify which components of an individual’s functioning are being addressed by a particular intervention.

    Disability Surveys & Prevalence Estimates
    A number of national surveys have been or are conducted by US federal agencies, including the US Bureau of the Census and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although population estimates are available through these efforts, their primary purposes are tied to program mandates and not necessarily to generating surveillance data. Moreover, different definitions of disability are often used in these efforts. For example, the US Bureau of the Census uses a combined medical and functional approach to disability in the decennial Census and in the American Community Survey.

    The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the nation’s largest public health telephone survey. It is an annual survey conducted in every state and territory with the non-institutionalized population. Previously, a disability module or identifiers were implemented in a number of states on an intermittent basis. In 2001, two disability identifiers were added to the core modules of the BRFSS and, since 2003, basic data for this group are now available annually from every U.S. state and territory. In the BRFSS, disability is defined as being limited in any way in any activities because of physical, emotional, or mental problems, or as having any health problems that require the use of special equipment (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2004).

    Relaxation Exercises After Heart Surgery

    23 September, 2010 (16:43) | Heart Diseases | By: Health news

    A research was carried in 1960s by Harvard cardiologist, Dr Herbert Benson, which states that the physiological changes can be brought about by implementing some relaxation techniques, such as muscle relaxation, exercises, deep breathing and yoga. This sort of relaxation techniques are often a part of therapy programs and angina management programs. It is not always possible to have access to such programs, if it is hard to get any program, you can learn these techniques yourself as they are easy to learn and make use of them to keep yourself calm and relaxed after a heart surgery. Some of the well known muscle relaxing and tensing techniques and methods are given below for your convenience:

  • Find any quiet corner in your home, where no one will disturb you. Stay there for about ten minutes undisturbed. Loosen any tight clothing, remove your shoes and better to hook off your phone.
  • Now lie down or simply sit at ease. You can use cushions to support your back in order to relieve any pains or aches. If you close your eyes softly, you will far better and relaxed.
  • Next thing is to relax your muscles. Starting from feet, going up to rest of your body and pay special attention those areas or muscles which you think are under stress. Relax each group of muscles in the same way.
  • Don’t get distract by your unwanted thoughts. Simply observe them and let them go like clouds in the sky. No need to ponder over them.
  • Starting from your toes, clench them, do the same with your thighs, ankles, abdomen, arms, shoulders and chest. Screw up your face and scalp and let them relax for a while in a quiet corner.
  • Spare some time to focus on your breathing. Breathe from your abdomen instead of your chest. Place your hand on your abdomen while breathing to check whether you are breathing from abdomen or not. When you inhale it will expand and relax when exhale.
  • After getting a state of being relaxed, stay there for few more moments. Then get up slowly and you are ready to do your daily chores.
  • The important thing is to get familiar with the situations when you feel like tense, only in that way you will be able to tempt the relaxation response quite swiftly. Observe the tense moments carefully and make it a habit to the tense moments of your life, like tapping your fingers or foot, hunching your shoulders, clenching your teeth and frowning etc. only in this way you can make a conscious effort to stay relax.

    Relaxation is by no means sitting idle in the house and doing nothing. Physical activities are as important as like any other techniques to keep your heart healthy and in best working environment. Relaxation helps to lower the blood pressure and is therefore important for heart and its functions. Always look for different techniques and exercises that best suit you to relive your tensions.

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