How Adult Day Care Can Help You Maintain Your Sanity While Caring For Your Loved One With Alzheimer’

Adult Day Care provides comfort, support, care, companionship and counseling for elderly or Alzheimer’s patients who require supervision during daytime hours. It offers patients the opportunity to socialize and to receive health and social services in a stimulating and supportive environment.

When you have chosen your Day Care, make sure that their license is current and do not hesitate to ask questions. Among others,

  • Ask to see results of their state inspections and if there were any deficiencies, ask if they have been corrected.
  • Observe if the patients are involved in activities.
  • Does the staff encourage the participants to be as independent as possible?
  • Ask about the staff to client ratio. For Alzheimer’s patients, the ratio should be at least one staff member for every eight patients.
  • Meet the director and the staff.
  • Is there a lot of staff turnover?
  • What are the emergency procedures?
  • Do they serve meals and how are they prepared? Do they offer food for patients of special dietary needs?
  • Is there a secure outdoor area sufficient for walking and spending time outside? It can be vital for an Alzheimer’s patient to spend time outdoors in order to have a good quality of life.
  • What are the hours of operation?
  • How do they handle participants who wander?
  • How often must the participant attend and for how long?
  • How involved can I be as a family member?

Find out what the requirements for admission are. These may include a health history and a physical may be necessary with a current (within the last year) TB test or chest x-ray. Take time to sit with the director or staff and go through all the processes prior to attending the day care.

Of course, taking care of a loved one with Alzeimer’s can be very stressful and you may find yourself tired. Sometimes you need time away from your loved one to rejuvenate yourself. This will require making arrangements, which is where Adult Day Care comes in. This time off will allow you to invest some of your energy in your other relationships, to rest and recharge your physical and emotional batteries in order to maintain sanity and quality care for your loved one. Do the things you used to do before your loved one became ill. Have fun and enjoy yourself.

Your loved one will be in good hands and will get involved with other persons with Alzheimer’s. They will be given the care they deserve and will enjoy a facility that caters to their needs and interests. You will find that your loved one looks forward to the day care to have fun, make friends (to the extent they are able), and will return home at the end of the day more relaxed.

Adult Day care may also help ease the way if one day you have to put your loved one in a nursing home. Some daycare centers are affiliated with nursing homes. The combination sometimes makes the transition into nursing home care much easier.

So, take time for yourself. You deserve it, and your loved one will notice your changes as well

“Frequent Fallers” One Disabled Perspective

Since 1992, when ADA ~ Americans with Disabilities Act ~ took effect, we have witnessed an astronomical increase in community awareness. Vast numbers of handicapped persons who had rarely ventured out have come into public view. The sick have been assisted. Many broken have been made mobile. Physically unfortunates have been empowered.

As Machiavelli said, “Power corrupts.” Some of we disabled have come to expect everyone else to make way for us. I fear, the pendulum has swung from equal access rights ~ to special privilege civil liberties ~ which too many of us have come to expect. Errant expectation undermines appropriate appreciation.

Beneath our somewhat successful surfaces, some of us were tyrants to begin with. We demanded instead of requesting. Rather than even ask, we answered with action! Our arrogance could masquerade as confidence.

Pride comes before the fall if fall hard we must. Some of us “Frequent Fallers” routinely blame others for our shortcomings. But, when we no longer have control over our own bodies, we are frighteningly forced to revisit our selfish realities. After all, it’s in our own best interest. Just because I am stubborn, I can ill afford to remain an ass.

We that are blessed to abide in a nation that has mandated heretofore unheralded access to activities and services, making it unlawful to discriminate against us because of our “Special needs,” should be grateful for the lack of restrictions we now enjoy. Not that we deserve such liberty. We ought to recognize our acceptance as gifts from the benevolent, able~bodied who pay for our extended benefits.

Please, do not misunderstand, nor find offense at my musings. I am grateful to those “Early swimmers,” who recognized the desperation of handicapped individuals and broke new passages through which our citizenship now navigates. Whether motivated by humanity or purely personal gain, I am appreciative of their meeting a noble need for Equal Access. It is better now than it ever was. Access will yet improve. I hope that we who most benefit can develop a “Have-a-little-patience” perspective too.

Often, the goodhearted & charitable only hope that we have paid a price, either through contributing in some fashion within our own lives, or that by our encouraging of others, we will extend like kindness where we can. That we learn to love better, if only because we can :))

With “Equal Access,” we can Leap~out, Limp~out, or Lash~out!

For some of us who are disabled, we are just fortunate to get what we have coming, instead of having to take what, by our wanton actions, we might really deserve.

How to Cope With Agitation In Your Loved One Who Has Alzheimer’s

Many times, understanding the meaning of a word can give us great insight into the issue at hand.

What is agitation?

  • Extreme emotional disturbance. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)
  • A stirring up or arousing; disturbance of tranquility; disturbance of mind that shows itself by physical excitement. (Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary).
  • A mental state of extreme emotional disturbance, the feeling of being agitated; not calm. (WorldNet 1.6).

Many Alzheimer’s patients experience agitation in addition to memory loss. In the early stages of the illness, people with Alzheimer’s may encounter changes in their personality, such as irritability, anxiety or even depression. But as the disease progresses, these symptoms can worsen and become more difficult to live with. They may include sleep disturbances, delusions and hallucinations. Many times Alzheimer’s patients cannot get in touch with or express their feelings. So when they experience agitation, it is often difficult for the caregivers to understand and to help.

When a person with dementia displays agitation or other “symptoms,” you must try to determine what they are trying to communicate.

Good communication is an important part of any relationship. When caring for a person with dementia, the ability to communicate becomes more and more difficult. Both expressing and processing information becomes impaired. This inability to express and process can be frustrating and can manifest itself as agitation.

Following are some suggestions that may allow you to improve your communication with your loved one who has Alzheimer’s:

  • Approach from the front to prevent startling him or her.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Lower the tone of your voice. A high pitch may indicate that you are upset.
  • Smile and be pleasant.
  • Talk with a calm presence.
  • Speak slowly, clearly and directly.
  • Identify yourself.
  • Use short, simple sentences.
  • Ask one question at a time.
  • Eliminate background noise.
  • Give plenty of time to respond.
  • If he/she cannot find words, sometimes it helps if you finish the sentence.
  • Repeat information when needed – repetition is good.
  • Frequently affirm/praise him/her, even for the smallest things, i.e. “Good job,” “Thank you,” “You’re the best!”
  • Validate feelings.
  • Use touch. Touch the shoulder, knee, back, hand.
  • Give hugs many times a day.
  • Don’t argue – you’ll never win.
  • Laugh together.
  • If your talk becomes “heated,” stop. Go back and try again later.
  • Don’t talk down. Respect him/her as an adult.
  • Don’t’ correct him/her.
  • Don’t demand. Ask nicely.
  • Don’t take adverse behavior personally.
  • Slow down! Hurrying increases frustration.

Another issue in agitation is non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is important to be aware of, both in what we are communicating to our loved ones, and what they are communicating to us. Non-verbal communication is expressed by persons with dementia through body languages, facial expression and tone of voice.

At times, the Alzheimer’s patient can look into your eyes and seem to read your soul, almost like a “sixth sense.” They are sensitive and intuitive to people and things around them. They know when someone is being sincere or not. Body language is as important as their facial expressions. For example, if your loved one suddenly gets up and walks around, that may indicate the need to go the bathroom. Be alert to those signs and give big hugs as much as possible. A gentle touch will make their life much easier and relaxed.

Environment can also cause agitation. Examples would be where temperatures are too cold or too hot, or lights too strong or too dim. Try to set up an environment that is relaxing for your loved one. It will make his or her life easier. And as your loved one with Alzheimer’s relaxes, so will you.

Change Your Lifestyle & Combat Fatigue

In my article Take Back Your Life, I talk about ways to get out from under the lengthening to do list and the stress of every day life. So, imagine my surprise when I saw a commercial the other day for a new drug on the market to help you combat “fatigue” – once called exhaustion. They actually go on to say that this product is a “natural” alternative to caffeine and sugar to help you stay alert and energized in the wake of fatigue. First of all, caffeine and sugar are not synthetic. They too are natural products, and we already know they are not good for you. In this day and age, people are too ready to pop pills or drink beverages that claim to be “all natural” when the reality is that natural products can be just as dangerous or more so than chemicals. After all, there are varieties of mushrooms that can kill you if eaten.

The commercial goes on to list the causes of fatigue as too much to do, a busy day and stress. In today’s society we are too ready to take a quick fix pill to combat a problem that is not caused by a bacteria or virus but rather by our own actions.

I offer you this alternative. Take stock of your life and make healthy choices and changes. The exhaustion will go away and there won’t be a need to down pills to get you up.

If you are feeling like life is overwhelming then you need to follow some simple rules, because afterall, none of us was issued a Superman cape upon entering adulthood.

1. Make a list of all of the activities and chores you do each week.

2. Be honest about what is necessary and which you are doing out of sense of obligation.

3. If you have children, now is a good time to evaluate their activities too. It is sad to say, but it is possible that your children are in the same state of exhaustion that you are.

4. From this list, mark the ones that are the most important to you and your family.

5. Discard the rest. Yes, you read that correctly. Find a way to get rid of them. It is sort of like donating your unwanted goods. Just give them away. If it is a social activity then put an end to it. If it is a chore, higher a professional to finish the project and move on.

It is very important that you do not feel guilty about giving up activities or projects. That only adds stress. Remember that if you have gotten to the point of sheer exhaustion, then it is time to take back your life. Get in control again. If you are saying to yourself, it is all important and that is why I am doing it, then you probably need to hire a life management specialist to help you really find the true priorities in your life. Nothing is more important than the health and well being of you and your family.

Chronic Illness – Helping Friends and Family to Understand

Trying to explain a chronic illness to friends and family can result in glazed eyes and that familiar distracted look. With acquaintances it is usually best to keep the explanation short and to the point. After all, it doesn’t affect you much if they don’t understand. When family and friends don’t understand what you are living with, their reactions can take a toll on your self-esteem and add more stress to your life.

After 14 years of trying to explain my health problems (polycystic ovarian syndrome and hypothyroidism) to my family and friends, I know that some of them still think I am lazy, a hypochondriac, a drama queen, or simply nuts. I am keenly aware that what I eat, how much sleep I get, whether I exercise, and a myriad of other decisions influence how I will feel today and how my body will function tomorrow. I can’t count on having a certain amount of energy or plan how I will feel at any given time in the future. For healthy people who don’t need to think about these things it can look like a self-centered obsession.

Loved ones and friends may feel you are lazy when you are suffering from fatigue. They may be angry when your lifestyle changes interfere with their needs. They may feel that you focus too much on your illness. They may want to understand-but they have no frame of reference. To explain snow to a desert dweller is nearly impossible unless you can show them the frost in your freezer.

The following ideas will help you to explain chronic illnesses:

* Understand that these concepts are probably new to this person. Remain calm and avoid acting defensive.

* You may find it helpful to have your family read the “Spoon Theory” at butyoudontlooksick.com/spoons.htm It is an excellent explanation of how an illness limits your resources. Healthy people do not have to make choices about how to spend their energy. They have more freedom to make personal and financial decisions.

* You may need to explain both large and small concepts. Try to keep the explanations simple. Having a chronic illness has likely forced you to learn more about your body than most people understand. Use simple language instead of medical terms. Try to compare symptoms to things everyone is familiar with, for instance, the fatigue that comes with the flu, nausea that comes with motion sickness, etc. Let them know it is OK to ask questions.

* Explain that you don’t show your worst symptoms to the world, when they see you it is usually when you are feeling well enough to go out, not when you are feeling lousy and need to stay home. You may not seem to be sick because usually see you when you are feeling well.

* Clarify that your illness takes an emotional and financial toll as well as a physical toll. Explain that it takes time from your schedule to deal with symptoms, medical appointments, lifestyle adjustments, etc. Let them know that support makes it easier to deal with the symptoms, but that there may still be times when you are depressed.

* Let them know that you have good days and bad days. Help them to understand that sometimes planning ahead is difficult.

* Make it clear that your illness does not define you, even when it influences the choices you make.

* If after doing your very best to explain your illness to your friends and family they still aren’t supportive, accept that not everyone can understand what you’re going through. Be patient.

* Finally, if you can not find the support you need within your circle of friends, join a support group or find other forms of support such as a life coach who specializes in coaching those with chronic illnesses. Social support is important in helping you manage your illness and in maintaining your emotional health.

Take Action Now and Achieve Your Goals

TAKE ACTION!

I swear, it seems as if there are more opinions regarding fat

loss than there are people. It’s amazing. What’s even more

amazing (and frustrating), is that most of them are wrong,

if not downright dangerous.

There is just way too much information for you to even get

started with a successful program, sometimes known as

“information overload”.

There is so much information and so many differing opinions that you never even get yourself started. Or, you get started, but never give any particular program a chance, instead going from one to the other, in a “shot gun” approach, never giving anything a chance to make progress.

You need to pick a sensible program and decide to stick with it for a long enough period of time that you can measure your results, or lack thereof.

If you’re like most people, fear, doubt and confusion are preventing you from moving forward and tackling your fat loss goals. This prevents too many people from achieving their goals in life, whether it be a successful career, or building their body.

Everyone feels the fear and doubt. The difference is that successful people move forward anyway and use these things as motivators to help them achieve their goals.

Do something! Hit the gym. Eat that nutritious meal.

You don’t have to know everything to get started. Do a few weight exercises a couple of days a week, drop one thing in your diet that you know you shouldn’t have. You can fine tune your program as you go, doing more and more of the things you need to do.

Forget about whether supplement a is better than supplement b or if turkey is better than chicken or should you have whey protein with casein or take them separately.

If you aren’t doing the fundamentals correctly, these things just don’t matter. This goes back to a previous article I wrote where I stated that things such as narrow grip, wide grip, etc. won’t mean a thing if there are major flaws in the fundamentals of your training

program.

Forget about which supplement is better for what, whether you should be riding the bike or hitting the treadmill, if turkey has less fat than chicken.

Master the fundamentals first!

The fundamentals of fat loss include:

Perform high intensity weight training,

Burn more calories than you consume

Eat 5-6 small, frequent meals and never skip meals,

Taken in a few tablespoons of good fats such as flax seed or sunflower

Eat natural foods; avoid processed & refined foods

Drink a lot of water

Eat more fibrous carbs, fruits & vegetables,

Consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass

Perform high intensity cardio

If you’re not doing all these things, and you’re looking for the perfect supplement stack or the optimum periodization plan, then you are just setting yourself up for failure from the beginning.

Fitness Is A Lifestyle, Not A Diet

Do you know what is the biggest fat loss mistake made by beginners?

As many of you are aware, gym memberships always shoot up in January and February. All of the sudden, you can’t get the equipment you want without a long wait. Don’t worry, as you move into March, most of the newcomers will be gone because they’ve quit.

Results may come slowly for most of you, unless you are genetically blessed.

But if you stick with it long enough, if you resolve to make it a lifestyle and not a quick fix, you will get the results that you want.

Gregg Gillies

8 Real Life Energy Bursting Secrets You Can Use Today!

Energy – the natural resource in shortest supply, especially for the 100 million Americans who are suffering from chronic or incurable illness. Just thinking of everyone who needs you can sap out what little energy you have left. Maybe you feel like you can’t possibly get it all done. But you know you HAVE to. People depend on you everyday. Your family. Your friends. Your coworkers. Your clients. Even your pets! To meet the demands of life today, you can’t afford to have your energy depleted. So here are some ways to easily boost those levels right away.

1. Aerocize. I was speaking with a friend yesterday who has Lyme disease. He is so ill he literally cannot exercise. He was depressed. I suggested he go out his door (get as bundled up as necessary) and close the door. Take in deep breaths for 10 minutes. He could not believe how much better he felt. If where you are is smoggy, or if there is no way you can get outside, get an air purifier and you will have the benefits of the negative ions anyway.

3. Exercise is the energy creator. Move your body, no matter how little. If you cannot even move your ankle or wrist joints around in circles, imagine yourself doing it. You know you need it, so why fight it? Take a walk, even if it is winter. If you can’t walk outside, walk in a mall. Stretch. Elongate those tight muscles. Dance! Put on your favorite music and move around (again if you cannot move even minimally imagine yourself doing this.) It feels so good. If you’re bedridden or for some other reason can’t exercise today, at least visualize doing it in your mind. You all know the story of the P.O.W. from Vietnam who was imprisoned for 8 years, never exercising. Every day he visualized playing golf, stroke by stroke. The day he got home he got the best score in golf in his life. The bottom line is we are meant to exercise. The nervous and endocrine systems need stimulation to release endorphins (those feel-good, energy enhancing chemicals).

4. Pump up your energy in your attitude. Think of life as a school. When you quit learning, you begin dying. Open your mind; learn something new every day. Make it a game! Write down your new find in a spiral notebook – nothing fancy. It’s fun to look back and see how much more knowledge you’ve captured over time.

5. Clutter – The silent Energy Sucker. You’ve heard it before – what’s on the outside is a reflection of what’s on the inside. Surrounded by clutter? It has a real physical effect on your energy levels. Don’t worry. I’m not going to ask you to clean out your garage or over-stuffed closet all at once. Set a timer and just take 15 minutes a day to de-clutter your space. It’s all about baby steps.

6. What goes in shows on the outside. Keep your water intake high. Studies show lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. In fact, a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. Thirsty yet?

7. Let it go. There is a direct relationship between buried anger and your energy levels. Holding onto a grudy or not moving on in your life hurts you more than it hurts anyone else. It only helps you physically and energetically to acknowledge that people have their limitations. If you were hurt, you don’t have to trust that person again. Ritualize it instead! Write his or her name on a piece of paper. Pour all of your painful thoughts into that paper. Now destroy it. Burn it. Drown it. Rip it up. Don’t you feel better? Forgiving and letting go is a selfish act you do to make yourself feel better. Be a little selfish!

8. Money can’t buy you happiness. But most people refuse to believe it. If you find you are doing things you find unpleasant just for a paycheck, you can be assured your energy is depleted. If you dislike your job or if you have not been able to work because of your condition, try this exercise. Scan the newspaper for 10 jobs in 4 different fields you could do. These don’t have to be jobs you WANT to do. Just ones that you COULD do. This exercise is meant to teach flexibility. It reframes you in a light you don’t normally see yourself. With this expansion of possibility, you’ll feel less trapped. More hopeful. More energized! Once you see something you might like to do ask friends if they know of a way to do this in the amount of time you have.

There is a map to wellness. Other people have trod the path and gotten well. A Quantum Reach was created to give you the tools you need to recover your health, no matter the cause. If medical doctors have not helped you so far, there are other answers. Read Diagnosis Unknown by Randy Smith.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking these tiny things won’t make a difference. Each little step you make will help your body in powerful ways. These suggestions are just a beginning to discovering more energy in your life.

Author, seminar leader and chiropractor, Charlotte Anthony is the CEO of A Quantum Reach, a revolutionary company founded to put the heart into health care, one person at a time.. A Quantum Reach seeks to create better healthcare outcomes. Our focus is on empowering patients to become personally involved with their care by listening to their intuition, partnering with their doctors and raising their own energy levels.

A Quantum Reach shares information on the healing process through traditional books, e-books, articles, and reports. It is also the parent company of the renowned Vital Transformations seminar series. For more information, visit http://www.a-quantum-reach.com

Stay dialed in – sign up for our monthly e-zine while you’re there and receive your free copy of 101 Ways to Increase Your Energy Now by Charlotte Anthony..

Why DO the Japanese Have The Longest Lifespan?

A recent statistic in the World Bank Group states that the Japanese have the longest lifespan in the world. Japanese men live be 78 years old on average while the average lifespan of a Japanese woman is 85. How do the Japanese do it?

After personally experiencing the Japanese lifestyle in Tokyo for five years, I learned a little about why Japanese people live so long and will share a few of their secrets. This month will feature Part 1: It’s All in the Food. Part 2: Live the Lifestyle will appear in the April edition of eNews at http://www.magneticrevolution.com

Part 1: It’s All in the Food

The Japanese diet does not center on delicacies eaten solely for taste. In fact, most dishes are consumed based on the health benefits people gain from them. Conscious decisions are based on ‘What would be good for me?’ as opposed to ‘What do I feel like eating?’ This leads one to contemplate what is the diet for the average Japanese person and what are their secrets?

Secret #1: Eating fish instead of red meat lowers the risk of heart attacks.

For a source of protein, fish is a common staple in most meals. Red meat is significantly more expensive and less frequently consumed. Fish is healthier and the fresher it is the better. Keep in mind that not all fish in Japan is consumed raw, there are many ways that fish is prepared (grilled, baked, fried, poached, etc) and served. Furthermore, Japanese women believe that the skin on fish helps bring out the natural beauty of their skin and improves their complexion.

Secret #2: Soy products help reduce heart disease and high blood pressure and are a great source of protein.

Tofu and soy products are also staples in the Japanese diet. Considering that saturated fats from meat and dairy products increase cholesterol, it is encouraging to know that foods derived from plants such as soy actually have the opposite effect. Soybeans provide adequate protein without the saturated fat and cholesterol of meats and high-fat dairy. Soy sauce, tofu, and natto (soy beans mixed with raw egg served over rice) are a few examples of soy products consumed daily.

Secret #3: Wheat and buckwheat flour helps in the digestive process.

The consumption of starches is at a minimum and usually contains no white flour. Japanese noodles are made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour. Both are significantly healthier than enriched white flour. Rice is a staple in the diet but consists of a small bowl at meals. The significance is to cleanse the mouth when changing dishes. Rice will remove the flavor in one’s mouth much like cheese and crackers when sampling wines.

Secret #4: Smaller portions reduce the opportunity for excessive eating.

Traditional Japanese meals are about half the regular portion of western dishes. Even though most dishes are viewed as healthy, portions are still relatively small.

Secret #5: Oolong tea counter balances some of the effects unhealthy food has on the body.

Finally, the consumption of Japanese green tea or Chinese oolong tea, served hot or cold, has numerous health benefits. Tea has half the caffeine of coffee. Oolong tea, in particular, helps to break up oil in the digestive system and is usually consumed at mealtime, particularly when fried or breaded foods are being served.

These five secrets help to explain why the Japanese are so healthy and have the longest life expectancy. Part 2: Live the Lifestyle will appear in next month’s edition of eNews at http://www.magneticrevolution.com, and will describe daily life habits in Japan. If you have any comments or questions please send them to: info@magneticrevolution.com.

Here’s to your health!

Peter McGarry

Damn, That Pain In My A##! Here’s What You Need To Know About Piriformis Syndrome (Sciatic Pain)

If you’re reading this article, it’s a good bet that you have a radiating pain running down the back of your leg that just won’t go away. If what I’m about to tell you sounds familiar, don’t worry, help is on the way.

Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome are the same condition… it is just that the medical community is starting to call the condition by the muscle (Piriformis) that is involved and getting away from calling it by the name of the nerve that is involved (sciatic) nothing more than semantics.

Did you go see your primary care physician and get diagnosis of Sciatica only to have them refer you to an orthopedic specialist and than get a diagnosis of Piriformis Syndrome… and than be told to see a Physical Therapist and the PT tells you a little heat, ultra sound, electrical stimulation and some therapeutic exercises and we will have you good as new???

If this is the path you have been down and you’re tired of all the worthless treatments that just don’t work, you must read this article! I guarantee you, it will likely be far different than what you have read or heard anywhere else!

First, let me tell you why today’s traditional treatment methods just flat out miss the boat. The medical community is so conditioned and focused on treating only the symptoms and trying to get in as many patients a day as possible, that many people are misdiagnosed and/or mistreated.

Sciatic pain is simply caused by pressure being placed on the sciatic nerve and there are primarily four things that can create this… you may have one or more of the following:

1. Pressure caused by shortening and tightening of the piriformis muscle. This is almost always due to months or years of muscle imbalances in the hip rotator muscles.

2. Pressure caused by spinal stenosis, which is a decrease in the space between the vertebrae. This is primarily caused by uneven pressure and compression due to muscle imbalances.

3. Pressure caused by Isthmic spondylolisthesis which is simply when a vertebrae slips or moves… this can sometimes pinch the sciatic nerve but often times people who have this condition don’t have any pain, symptoms, or even know they have it!

4. Pressure caused by a herniated or bulging disc. A herniation is when a disc protrudes out from between the vertebrae and this can either be caused by an event like a car accident, or, by months or years of uneven pressure due to muscle imbalances. It is also important to note that many people with herniated discs don’t even experience pain or symptoms, and many don’t know they have the condition.

As you can see, there is a trend here… in nearly every case, muscle imbalances are the primary cause of the pressure being placed on the sciatic nerve.

If you are not sure which one of the four is causing your sciatic pain, I recommend you start with the basics. Most cases of sciatic pain are caused by muscle imbalances so if you begin to work on correcting any muscle imbalances you have, you should start to see improvement right away.

There are several self assessments you can perform to help identify which specific muscle imbalances you have and these are covered in our Lose the Back Pain Video along with step-by-step instructions on what to do to eliminate your imbalances and pain. You can learn more by visiting http://www.losethebackpain.com.

Sciatic pain comes about either due to a traumatic event, muscle imbalances, or a combination of both.

The event scenario is most likely the catalyst for sudden onset of sciatic pain. So what happens… when there is undue stress on the Piriformis muscle that stress causes it to go into spasm and then you have pain due to the Piriformis muscle putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.

In most cases, people go to physical therapy or minimize their physical activity to break the pain – spasm cycle and in most cases your symptoms subside. However…the event will also set you up for a life time of sciatic pain if the Piriformis muscle does not recover 100% in both strength and flexibility.

When you have an injury to a muscle, both strength and flexibility are compromised, and if your recovery ends before strength and flexibility return, you will never be 100% and will likely struggle with the problem forever.

The other way sciatic pain creeps into your life is due to your lifestyle and habits, and that is what we like to call the process. The process can be described as a prolonged onset of symptoms based on your everyday activities…

However, from a technical stand point the process really describes the development of the muscle imbalance in your hip. The Piriformis muscle is responsible for external rotation (moving your leg so your feet point outward). So over time that muscle gets tight from the positions you put your self in and weakens from lack of use.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean:

1. If you sit on the edge of your chair with you legs separated and your feet pointing outward you are keeping your Piriformis muscle in a shortened position and that’s how it gets tight and with extended sitting in that position, it gets weak form lack of use. Hence the imbalance.

2. Another example is runners and bikers who actually work very hard tend to get sciatica because they fail to keep a strength vs. stretch balance in their workouts. Hence the imbalance creates a greater pull toward external rotation and the result is a tight Piriformis and an irritated sciatic nerve creating pain.

These are just two examples of how muscle imbalances can affect the Piriformis muscle and cause Sciatic pain. You may not be a runner or cyclist but I’ll bet you have muscle imbalances that are causing your sciatic pain!

To learn more about muscle imbalances and how they affect your body, please read our article “Aches, Pains, and Injuries” which you can find on our website here: http://www.losethebackpain.com/achesandpainsarticle.html

Recovery Tip: In severe cases, the sciatic pain can run from the top of the hip to the bottom of the foot. It is very important to recognize that changes and shifting of pain is often times a sign of improvement. Further more as a way of gauging recovery, take note of how far down the leg the pain goes. If the pain goes to the foot one day and then only makes it to the calf and then to the knee and then it can only make it to the hamstring that is a sign of improvement. You should feel good about those noticeable improvements and this should give you encouragement to keep working toward a full remission of pain.

So how do you get rid of your pain? Will learning one new stretch be enough? It very well may be. However depending on the severity of your condition you may need to change your activities of daily living to include new stretches, new exercises that include the use of the hip rotators like roller-blading, basketball, tennis, etc, and even better, specific corrective exercise specific to your situation… like those covered in our video. As always, learn as much as you can about your condition, so that you can ask the tough questions to your healthcare providers and get the best care possible.

One last point, sciaitic pain is not caused by a lack of prescription medications so don’t think that taking some anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants will fix it… it won’t! Also, many people are able to eliminate sciatic pain within days just by performing a few exercises and stretches… but not general exercise… the exact corrective exercises and stretches they need to do.

Find out what’s causing your sciatic pain and learn exactly which exercises and stretches you should be doing by watching our Lose the Back Pain Video. Order your copy now online at http://www.losethebackpain.com

Some Possible Benefits of Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

According to renowned research scientist Dr. Barry Sears, Medical Research is focusing more and more on the health benefits of high dose fish oil, which has long been considered by doctors around the world to be one of the most effective remedies for improving physical performance, treating depression and arthritis, and improving concentration and memory. Fish oil is also widely considered to be effective in preventing heart disease because of it’s rich omega-3 component. In addition, new research suggests that high doses of fish oil may also be effective in combating Parkinson’s disease, Attention deficit disorder, and other Neurological problems.

Fish oil has been linked to disease prevention. The US National Institutes of Health has also Recognized the benefits of DHA and EPA and has published Recommended Daily Intakes of fatty acids. They recommend a daily intake of 650 mg of DHA and EPA, and 4.44 g/day of linoleic acid. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have used high doses of fish oil to treat bipolar disorder, with considerable success. In addition, researchers in the United Kingdom have reported positive results in treating schizophrenia with fish oil supplements. Current medical research is also focusing on the use of high doses of fish oil during radiation treatment and chemotherapy, as well as for treating Fibromyalgia.

On the whole, there appears to be consensus that Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish oil promotes a healthy vascular system. Fish oil contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), both of which are omega-3 fatty acids. These particular omega-3 fatty acids may inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis.

Essential fatty acids are grouped into two families, omega-6 EFAs and the omega-3 EFAs. Omega-6 acids promote inflammation, blood clotting, and tumor growth, while omega-3 acids, found in fish oil and very few other sources, act entirely opposite, according to researcher Hans R. Larsen, MSc ChE.

According to Larsen, Scientists were first alerted to the many benefits of EPA and DHA in the early 1970s when Danish physicians observed that Greenland Eskimos had an exceptionally low incidence of heart disease and arthritis despite the fact that they consumed a high-fat diet. Subsequent research later discovered that the two fats or oils that they consumed in considerable quantities, EPA and DHA, were indeed very beneficial.

Dr. Sears states that the purity of the fish oil is the single most important factor to consider when taking it as a supplement. To manufacture pharmaceutical-grade fish oil requires extensive purification. In fact, it takes 100 gallons of health-food grade fish oil to make one gallon pharmaceutical-grade fish oil. It should be known by anyone taking fish oil supplements, that there are several medications which may have beneficial or harmful interactions with them. They are Cyclosporine, Pravastatin and Simvastatin