July 2012

How Do We Make Sense Out Of Tragedy?

There is no way to make sense out of what happened in Aurora, Colorado; a mass killing and wounding of innocent people who were in a movie theater to watch a Batman movie by someone who is obviously disturbed and deranged. When something like this happens we try and find a lesson or some way to prevent similar problems in the future.

But, how can we do that? Do we stop going to the movies? Do we lock ourselves in our homes? Do we live in fear that when we go out for the evening something horrible could be right around the corner? My answer is, no.

The best way that I have found to deal with senseless tragedies such as this is to appreciate every moment that I have on this earth. I hug my husband and children as often as I can and tell them how much I love them. I laugh loud and I laugh often. I do my best to treat others with kindness and compassion with the hope that it will be contagious.

Exercising and eating healthy to be in the best shape possible is another way to live our best life. It is in living our best lives that we inspire others to do the same. If we lock ourselves away then those that thrive on making us afraid win. We cannot let this happen.

There have been many tragedies in the recent past. We focus on them for awhile and then the memories fade. Along with that, we start taking life for granted again. Maybe this time in honor of the victims and their families, we can continue to remember how precious life is and how important it is to live and cherish every moment.

As Seen On TV

In the interest of science and my own personal quest I have tried a variety of treatments that I have seen demonstrated on TV. They include laser hair removal, Pelleve, and Synergie. The big questions are: do they work? How uncomfortable are they? Are the results lasting?

Laser Hair Removal
It took six laser treatments to permanently remove the hair under my arms and on my legs. The reason that I decided to do it is that as I have gotten older and more far sighted it has been impossible to see where to shave. While going out and doing things, I have randomly encountered patches of hair on my legs and under my arms that I have missed in the shower (Very embarrassing!).

The treatments were somewhat painful but bearable. The therapist blows cold air while she lasers the hair follicles to make it feel less like a burning sensation. For me the armpit treatments were more uncomfortable than my legs. It was like getting brain freeze of the pits. Fortunately, it was quick.

Regardless of any discomfort, I highly recommend it. It worked. I no longer have to worry about shaving at all! I am thrilled.

Pelleve
This is a non-invasive skin tightening technique that uses radiofrequency waves that stimulate collagen to contract and thus the skin to tighten. The therapist recommended four treatments each one month apart and then yearly thereafter. I thought it would be helpful for those wrinkles that have popped up as I have gotten older especially those around my mouth.

The treatment is fairly pleasant. It takes about an hour. The therapist passes a radiofrequency probe over the face. It heats up pretty quickly. When it gets too hot they need to move it around faster. If it is pulled away abruptly there is a bit of an uncomfortable spark. So, it is important to have an experienced technician doing the treatment.

I went through the series a year ago and have to say that I notice a difference. The lines around my eyes and mouth have smoothed out somewhat. They aren’t completely gone but they are a lot better.

Synergie Cellulite Treatment
This is a treatment that uses vacuum massage with a combination of suction and pressure to removed fluid from fat cells. As a result, the skin smoothes out and the area tightens. I eat a healthy diet, exercise and have not been able to change the appearance of orange peel on my thighs. I was hoping that it would reduce my cellulite.

The treatment must be done twice weekly for 8 weeks and then monthly for maintenance. It takes about 45 minutes. The procedure is very pleasant. It is like a deep massage. I have almost finished all my treatments and I have to say, I have lost 2 inches around both my waist and thighs. I have also noticed a difference in the appearance of my legs. I still have cellulite but it is greatly reduced. My husband (who doesn’t even notice when I have a haircut) noticed the difference without my asking. That is probably the best endorsement.

So…..
Sometimes you wonder if any of the things that you see on TV actually work. I can tell you as an independent person, with no obligation to any of the companies that provide the treatment equipment (or to the technicians) that I liked them, and I would recommend all of them. The prices vary depending on where you live. Doing a package will reduce the cost.

I have some other treatments I am thinking of trying so stay tuned.

More Is Not Necessarily Better

Many times in life we get the idea that if a little bit of something is good then more is better. That however, is not usually the case. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Vitamins

Vitamins make many of us feel better. They can be good for us. However, there are certain vitamins that are stored in the liver. These include vitamins A, D, E and K. Many people take vitamin A because it can be good for the skin. However, you should be taking no more than 5000 IU’s a day. The reason is that it can be toxic to the liver and cause serious health problems.

Vitamin D is essential. It helps with bone density but it also boosts the immune system, aids in balance and heart health to name just a few. It is generally safe in a dose of 1000 IU’s daily. High doses can be toxic to the liver and cause dizziness and all sorts of problems. It is important to have your doctor follow levels if you are on a high dose.

Vitamin E can cause excessive bleeding if taken in high doses. Vitamin K in large doses does not generally cause problems in adults. However, it will interfere with those on Coumadin, a common blood thinner.

Lab and X-ray studies

Now that we have sophisticated scanners many people have chosen to have their whole body scanned. It sounds like it might be a good thing to do. However, more often than not what we find are abnormalities that people have from birth that will not cause problems but cause more tests to be done and anxiety that is not warranted. Then we end up chasing technology with technology.

Before you ask for a scan or test it is important to think it through. As an example, if you have back pain and you do not want to have surgery then do not ask for the MRI. It will likely be abnormal. MRI studies were performed on 98 people without back pain. Only 36% had a normal MRI. Half had a bulging disk, 27% had a protrusion and 38% had abnormalities of more than one disk. The chance of finding something was greater in those who were older.

Radiation exposure is cumulative

Every headache does not require evaluation with a CT scan. If you decide you want to have a heart scan to check for calcium in your coronary arteries consider that the radiation exposure is relatively high. If you decide to have a virtual colonoscopy (which is a detailed CT scan) you will again be exposed to a high dose of radiation. The radiation exposure over a lifetime adds up. That is why you need to once again think the procedures through and find out how necessary they are for your health and healing.

When it comes to your children, the same advice applies before they have multiple radiologic procedures. A recent study has found that children who underwent multiple CT scans have an increased risk of developing leukemia and brain cancer when compared to children who had not been scanned.

Procedures

Colonoscopy is a procedure that most of us will be getting every ten years. There are many people who worry when they have a little diarrhea or transient lower abdominal pain. They will often insist on having a colonoscopy before it is due to be repeated. It may not be necessary. Every procedure comes with risks. During colonoscopy the colon can be perforated and there may be a problem with the anesthesia. If a procedure is not warranted think about the complications before you push for it.

When it comes to your health, it is important to think about the consequences of taking supplements, and having procedures and tests. Moderation in all things is probably the best rule to live by.

 

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