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Lomi Massage has Layers, Just Like an Onion

Lomi Massage has Layers, Just Like an OnionLomi is a sacred form of massage from the ancient Hawaiians passed down from generation to generation, and from village to village. Lomi is a beautiful form of massage. Lomi is a powerful form of bodywork. How in the world does this compare to an onion?

Onions have layers. Lomi has layers. The more you peel an onion, the more its true essence comes out. Lomi has the same effect on the body. It allows you the freedom to have your true self come out and healing to take place.

The standard form of Swedish Massage works the skin and the muscles to free you from pain and stress. Most Swedish massages work in a standard rotation around your body. For those who have experienced massage, you can guess what will be worked on next, when it is time to turn over and when it will conclude. Your mind usually is keeping track of this as you are being worked. As you focus on what is being done to you, you can’t focus on what you need to help heal yourself.

Lomi works on a different level. Ocean waves as they break on the shore have no set pattern to them; they freely flow as they wish. Lomi is the same. It is a rhythmic dance around your body. You never know what will be worked on next: your back, your leg, your hands, all are being worked in a random sequence. This sequence is determined by what the practitioner feels your body needs.

This is the start of the peeling process. As you are being worked on in this rhythmic way, you can’t guess what will be worked on next. Your conscious mind is not able to follow the moves of the practitioner. When this happens, you stop thinking about the massage and start to totally relax into it. You are starting to peel.

Lomi can go deep into the muscle tissue. Think of your muscles as a stick of butter. You can’t stick your finger into a hard stick of butter. Warm up that butter first and your finger goes in easily. Lomi warms up the muscles and relaxes them, allowing the practitioner to go as deep within the muscle body as needed. This causes less discomfort during the massage and the following day.

I ask some clients to “THINK OF THEMSELVES ALONE IN THE WOODS; ON A BEACH; ON A MOUNTAIN TOP; FREE TO NURTURE YOUR SOUL; THROUGH LAUGHTER; THROUGH TEARS; THROUGH DISCOVERY. IMAGINE LOMI AS THE SUN; THE WIND; THE PORTAL; CREATING A SACRED SPACE ALLOWING YOU A SAFE JOURNEY BACK TO YOUR BEST SELF”. If they allow this, the onion continues to peel.

Many forget our bodies are a catalog of past memory and experiences. All our senses can remind us of a time past. Have you ever smelled something and it brought up an old memory? It could have been a picnic you went to, your favorite food, or the soup your mother cooked every Sunday when you were growing up. The sense of touch is powerful and can bring up many past memories. Our skin, our muscles, and our body hold these memories, and the slightest touch can bring them up. This is how the onion gets peeled.

My goal during a session is to provide you the space needed to have the best experience possible. To not only to loosen your tight and sore muscles, but to allow you to safely experience the massage on a deep and healing level.

Tony Crawford
L.M.T. Florida Lic # MA 0027867
For video, past articles and testimonials please visit www.lomimassageamelia.com
(904) 557-8350

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HIV and AIDS: Prevention Is Key

HIV and AIDS: Prevention Is KeyIt’s been more than 30 years since a disease now called AIDS was first recognized in the United States. Back then, it was considered a death sentence. No treatments were available, its cause was unknown, and people often died within a few months after being diagnosed. Today, people infected with HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—can live full, healthy lives, in large part because of medicines and other discoveries made with NIH support.

The terms HIV and AIDS can be confusing, because they’re related but different. HIV is a virus that harms your immune system by invading and then destroying your infection-fighting white blood cells. AIDS is the final stage of an untreated HIV infection. People with AIDS can have a range of symptoms, because their weakened immune systems put them at risk for life-threatening infections and cancers.

HIV virus passes from one person to another through certain body fluids, such as blood and semen. About 90% of new HIV infections in the U.S. occur during sex. Shared needles and injection drug use is the second most common route of infection. HIV can also spread from an infected mother to her newborn. HIV isn’t spread through casual contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, sneezing, sharing utensils, or using bathrooms.

Today, by taking a combination of HIV-fighting medicines (called antiretroviral therapy), fewer Americans with HIV are developing AIDS. And some HIV infections can now be prevented by taking daily medications (called PrEP).

Because of these advances, some people may think that there’s little need to be concerned about HIV and AIDS. But nothing could be further from the truth. Nationwide, more than 1 million people are infected with HIV, and each year over 50,000 more become newly infected. About 1 in 7 Americans who have HIV don’t even realize they’re infected, so they may be unknowingly spreading the virus to others. The problem is even more severe in developing nations, especially in parts of Africa.

Even though treatments and prevention strategies can keep HIV in check, there’s still no cure and no vaccine to prevent HIV infections. That’s why NIH-funded scientists continue to search for new, more effective ways to halt HIV infections.

“If you get a diagnosis of HIV infection, and you begin antiretroviral therapy in a timely fashion, before your immune system becomes substantially compromised, your prognosis is excellent,” says Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, NIH’s infectious disease chief, who first began treating AIDS patients in the early 1980s. Studies show that with early treatment, HIV levels may become so low that the virus becomes undetectable in the blood. That lengthens life and reduces the risk of spreading HIV to others. “If those who are infected stay on therapy, they can save their own lives and also help keep HIV from infecting their sexual partners,” Fauci says.

Keeping HIV infections in check requires early diagnosis and taking daily HIV medications for life. Even if it’s undetectable in the blood, once a person’s been infected with HIV, it remains forever hidden in the body. “HIV has the ability to integrate itself into your cells and hide in an inactive form, called a reservoir,” says Fauci. Although medicines can keep virus levels low, they don’t clear out the viral reservoir. So if treatment lapses, HIV comes out of hiding and rushes back into the bloodstream.

For some people, keeping up with this daily health regimen can be a challenge. Nationwide, fewer than 1 in 3 people with HIV takes antiretroviral medicines regularly enough to reduce the virus to undetectable levels. That’s why ongoing NIH-funded studies are creating and evaluating medications that might be taken less often, such as once a month. This approach will be tested in a large clinical trial expected to begin in Africa later this year. Other approaches that don’t depend on daily anti-HIV drugs are also being tested.

Research over the past few decades has identified preventive strategies that work: limit your number of sexual partners, never share needles, and use condoms correctly and regularly. NIH is also exploring new ways to prevent HIV infections, including experimental vaccines.

One preventive approach for people at increased risk for HIV infection involves taking a daily dose of an antiretroviral drug. “In terms of prevention, a game-changer that we’ve got right now is pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP,” says Dr. Carl W. Dieffenbach, who heads NIH’s global research efforts in HIV/AIDS. “This strategy protects you from getting infected with HIV if you take the medication daily.”

A pill form of PrEP (called Truvada) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people at high risk of getting HIV. Truvada combines 2 antiretroviral drugs already used to treat HIV infections.

When it comes to treatment and prevention, Dieffenbach says, “The most important activity that you can engage in is first getting an HIV test.” Your health care provider, community health clinic, and others may offer quick HIV tests, often at no cost to you. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least a yearly HIV screening for people considered at high risk for infection. Testing is especially important for young people from ages 13 to 24, because more than half in that age group who tested positive for HIV didn’t know they’d been infected.

Some people avoid getting tested because they’re afraid of the possibility of being HIV-positive. Others may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about sexual issues, and so they don’t get tested. But the earlier HIV is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.

“The stigma associated with HIV infection makes it difficult for some people who are at risk to come forward and either be counseled about how to avoid infection, or if they are infected, to get into a health care system and stay in the health care system,” Fauci says. But studies show that open communication can help people treat and prevent HIV.

“The stigma problem can only be solved one person or one family at a time, because each person’s situation is unique,” Dieffenbach says. “It’s about continuing a conversation with openness and acceptance in communities. As hard as that is, it does really matter.”

Should You Get an HIV Test?
HIV tests involve a simple cheek swab, finger prick, or urine sample. Experts recommend that you get tested for HIV if you answer yes to any of these questions:
-Have you had sex with someone who is HIV-positive or whose HIV status you didn’t know since your last HIV test?
-Have you injected drugs and shared equipment (such as needles or syringes) with others?
-Have you exchanged sex for food, shelter, drugs, or money?
-Have you been diagnosed with, or sought treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, like syphilis?
-Have you been diagnosed with hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
-Have you had sex with anyone who has any of the risk factors listed above or whose history you don’t know?

(To find HIV testing and care locations, visit https://locator.aids.gov/)

This article was written and used with permission from NIH News in Health. (Adapted from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), Samantha Watters, Harrison Wein, and Emma Wojtowicz

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Diabetes and Heart Health

Diabetes and Heart HealthIn Diabetes, Any Protein in Urine May Signal Heart Risk
Diabetes is a condition brought about by the imbalance of blood sugar level due to issues with the insulin production and effectiveness in the body. Diabetes is a manageable condition and many people who have it live long and healthy lives. Diabetes prevention is also possible through good diet, exercise and medication.

However, you have probably heard of individuals with diabetes suffering a variety of complications. One of the common complications of diabetes is heart disease and stroke. It is common in individuals with type 2 diabetes or diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes and heart disease
Individuals with diabetes also experience kidney problems and this is the gateway through which other complications such as heart disease and stroke may arise. According to http://www.onetouchdiabetes.co.in/, when the kidney is not functioning properly, the amount of protein albumin content in the urine may increase. This condition is referred to as albuminuria. Any individual suffering from type 2 diabetes should have their urine protein levels checked during their regular checkups as research shows patients with albuminuria are at considerable risk of heart conditions such as heart attacks and stroke.

Normal Protein levels in the urine
Diabetes itself puts you at risk of heart conditions and stroke as well. However, studies have shown that there is increased risk when protein levels in the urine increase. Ninety percent of individuals with diabetes often have normal urinary protein levels. Studies have shown that as long as the amount of albumin secreted in the urine is measurable and increases, you are at a greater risk of heart trouble.

Medication
Studies have shown that individuals who use blood pressure medication with ACE inhibitors were less likely to experience heart conditions. ACE inhibitors have been found to protect the hearts of individuals with diabetes patients with elevated and normal urinary albumin levels. However, there is still further research going on to determine the level of urinary albumin that requires treatment with heart protective medication.

Other risk factors of heart conditions and stroke in diabetes
Quite a number of other factors contribute to the risk of developing a heart attack and stroke when you are suffering from diabetes. Recent “momdoesreviews” article on diabetes says you may not be able to cure the diabetes but you can take the right preventive measures to protect yourself from heart disease.
• Obesity: it is very important to maintain a healthy diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables and less empty calorie carbohydrates in order to stay healthy. Carrying extra weight particularly around the waist puts you at a great risk of fat deposits on the inside of the blood vessels and eventually heart disease.
• Cholesterol levels: elevated cholesterol levels increases the risk of heart disease. Diabetes patients should avoid high consumptions of high cholesterol sources of food, particularly animal protein sources such as red meat, eggs and cheese.
• Hypertension/ high blood pressure: high blood pressure can damage blood vessels leading to heart attacks, strokes, and kidney and eye problems. If you have high blood pressure, you should manage it through good diet, exercise and medication.

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Make the Most of Your Doctor Appointment

Make the Most of Your Doctor AppointmentPatients and health care providers share a very personal relationship. Doctors need to know a lot about you, your family, and your lifestyle to give you the best medical care. And you need to speak up and share your concerns and questions. Clear and honest communication between you and your physician can help you both make smart choices about your health.

Begin with some preparation. Before your health exam, make a list of any concerns and questions you have. Bring this list to your appointment, so you won’t forget anything.

Do you have a new symptom? Have you noticed side effects from your medicines? Do you want to know the meaning of a certain word? Don’t wait for the doctor to bring up a certain topic, because he or she may not know what’s important to you. Speak up with your concerns.

“There’s no such thing as a dumb question in the doctor’s office,” says Dr. Matthew Memoli, an infectious disease doctor at NIH. “I try very hard to make my patients feel comfortable so that they feel comfortable asking questions, no matter how dumb they think the question is.”

Even if the topic seems sensitive or embarrassing, it’s best to be honest and upfront with your health care provider. You may feel uncomfortable talking about sexual problems, memory loss, or bowel issues, but these are all important to your health. It’s better to be thorough and share a lot of information than to be quiet or shy about what you’re thinking or feeling. Remember, your doctor is used to talking about all kinds of personal matters.

Consider taking along a family member or friend when you visit the doctor. Your companion can help if there are language or cultural differences between you and your doctor. If you feel unsure about a topic, the other person can help you describe your feelings or ask questions on your behalf. It also helps to have someone else’s perspective. Your friend may think of questions or raise concerns that you hadn’t considered.

Many people search online for health information. They use Web-based tools to research symptoms and learn about different illnesses. But you can’t diagnose your own condition or someone else’s based on a Web search.

“As a physician, I personally have no problem with people looking on the Web for information, but they should use that information not as a way to self-diagnose or make decisions, but as a way to plan their visit with the doctor,” says Memoli. Ask your doctor to recommend specific websites or resources, so you know you’re getting your facts from a trusted source. Federal agencies are among the most reliable sources of online health information.

Many health care providers now use electronic health records. Ask your doctor how to access your records, so you can keep track of test results, diagnoses, treatment plans, and medicines. These records can also help you prepare for your next appointment.

After your appointment, if you’re uncertain about any instructions or have other questions, call or email your health care provider. Don’t wait until your next visit to make sure you understand your diagnosis, treatment plan, or anything else that might affect your health.

Your body is complicated and there’s a lot to consider, so make sure you do everything you can to get the most out of your medical visits.

Tips for Your Doctor Visit
-Write down a list of questions and concerns before your exam.
-Consider bringing a close friend or family member with you.
-Speak your mind. Tell your doctor how you feel, including things that may seem unimportant or embarrassing.
-If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do.
-Take notes about what the doctor says, or ask a friend or family member to take notes for you.
-Ask about the best way to contact the doctor (by phone, email, etc.).
-Remember that other members of your health care team, such as nurses and pharmacists, can be good sources of information.

Written by NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), Samantha Watters, Harrison Wein, and Emma Wojtowicz

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Free Amplified Phones for Nassau County Residents with Hearing Loss

Free phone for Nassau CountyTALLAHASSEE, FL – For residents of Nassau County who are among the three million Floridians with hearing loss, help has arrived. Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI), the non-profit distributor of amplified telephones for people with hearing loss and speech challenges, is offering an innovative new amplified telephone at no cost to local residents with hearing loss.

Amplified phones serve as lifelines for people with hearing loss, keeping them connected and engaged to loved ones. FTRI is making the XLC3.4, developed by Clarity, available to residents for free. It is an easy-to-use cordless phone with talking Caller ID that boosts incoming sounds up to 50 decibels. The XLC3.4 is designed to meet varying degrees of hearing loss-from moderate to severe.

To obtain the phone, permanent Florida residents who are certified as having a hearing loss must complete an application found at www.ftri.org or call 1-800-222-3448. FTRI has more than 30 regional distribution centers throughout the state, including centers that serve Nassau County. Residents can locate the closest center by visiting http://www.ftri.org/index.cfm/go/public.home/page/7.

“Hearing loss is a serious issue that too often goes overlooked-our state has among the largest populations of people with hearing loss in the U.S, and these are the people we are here to help,” said James Forstall, FTRI’s executive director. “The XLC3.4 dramatically improves phone conversations-one of the first and most common challenges for those with hearing loss. It is an easy-to-use, life-changing phone that we are proud to offer to Nassau County residents.”

The XLC3.4 features the digital amplification found in hearing aids to increase sound up to 50 decibels. The phone also amplifies outgoing speech up to 15 decibels so everyone on the call hears and understands clearly, and it features a loud and clear speakerphone for hands-free conversations. The Talking Caller ID announces the incoming caller so users don’t miss calls. And the illuminated Talking Dial Pad announces the number as users dial. Plus, the large, easy to read buttons help people with vision loss ensure they can operate the phone easily.

The XLC3.4 was awarded for Ease-Of-Use by the Arthritis Foundation as the ergonomic design of the phone and its buttons make it easy to operate for those with dexterity issues or arthritis.

Finally, the XLC3.4 features ClarityLogic(tm) customer support service for easy setup and customization of the phone, should users have any technical questions or need support.

“FTRI is an important resource that more Floridians need to be aware of,” said Carsten Trads, president of Clarity. “FTRI brings attention to hearing loss, an issue that is only growing every day. We are proud to partner with FTRI to make the XLC3.4 available at no cost to residents who need amplified phones.”

Like FTRI on Facebook and join the #KeepFloridaConnected campaign.

About FTRI
Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) is a non profit 501(c) 3 organization that administers the Specialized Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program for citizens of Florida who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind and Speech Challenged. FTRI is also responsible for the education and promotion of the Florida Relay Service. For more information, visit www.ftri.org.

About Clarity – Smart for Seniors ™
Clarity, a division of Plantronics (NYSE: PLT), creates smart communication solutions that help seniors live richer, more engaged lives. For more than 40 years, Clarity’s innovative products – such as amplified telephones, notification systems and assistive listening devices – have helped people with hearing loss, low vision, limited mobility, dexterity issues and other health challenges. Clarity has pioneered many firsts – from digital sound processing in 2005 to remote-access customer service in 2010. Millions rely on Clarity to communicate at home, at work and throughout their lives. For more information, please visit www.clarityproducts.comor call 1-800-426-3738.

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10 Ways to Sleep Better at Night

10 Ways to Sleep Better at NightI started having issues sleeping after I had my second child. I would have lie awake in bed for hours and wake up feeling no more refreshed than when I went to bed. I decided that enough was enough and started experimenting with various ways to sleep better at night. Here are the most helpful tips I have come across:

Journal before Bed

It didn’t help that I was having emotional issues and constantly worrying about various things. I found that the best way to get these out of the way before sleep is to write everything down – writing is soothing, much more than trying to talk it out. I would write everything down and resolve to deal with the issues the next day.

Listen to Audiobooks

When I was young, listening to a bedtime story was how I always fell asleep. You can replicate this as an adult by listening to audiobooks. They have a soothing and calming effect that makes you fall asleep.

Quit Smoking

Cigarettes contain nicotine, a stimulant that will make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Quitting smoking is easier said than done, but well worth the effort.

Get Enough Sunlight and Fresh Air

It can be hard when you work in the office all day, but getting sunlight is extremely important. Fresh air and sunlight during the day regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle which will result in a regular sleeping pattern. Sunlight helps your body’s natural production of melatonin at night and helps improve your sleep quality.

Complete Darkness

Bright lights keep you and your brain awake. Try to sleep in a room that is completely dark. Turn off any light generated from gadgets or computers. Close your windows or pull down your curtains to prevent outdoor light from shining through. If necessary, wear an eye mask. People who are very light sensitive should definitely wear this.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

Some people love to wear their oldest shirts with holes on it while other prefer sleeping naked. It does not matter what you are wearing as long as they are comfortable and loose.

Get an Air Purifier for the Bedroom

Although you may not notice this, the air quality in your bedroom is directly related to your sleep quality. Get an air purifier with high CADR ratings to get rid of common air contaminants in your bedroom. Depending on your personal preferences, you might prefer an air purifier that generates some white noise – this can also help you fall asleep more easily.

Avoid Alcohol/ Recreational Drugs

I had a drinking problem that was interfering with my sleep. There are ingredients in alcohol and recreational drugs that keep you awake. Never engage in a drinking spree at night. You may be sleeping but your body is wide awake trying to process and metabolize the alcohol, making it difficult for you to sleep restfully.

Avoid Drinking Too Much Fluids

Drinking too much water, juices, tea and soda leads to frequent bathroom visits which will make you awake at night. Also, remember to cut off caffeine four to six hours before your bedtime.

Take a Warm Bath or Shower

Taking a warm bath helps in relaxing and calming your body. Doing this two hours before bedtime helps enormously with improving sleep quality.

janet-miller-2When I fully implemented the above, I finally began to be able to sleep restfully. This is an amazing gift that I would not trade for any other. Do you have any other tips on how to sleep better you would like to share? Please leave a comment below.

Byline: Janet Miller is a health practitioner, yogi and nutritionist. She specializes in holistic health and enjoys helping others discover the simple joys in life.

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Fitness Training Courses to Motivate Clients

Fitness Training Courses to Motivate ClientsAs a gym manager or a personal trainer, the first things you would need to explain to your client are the advantages of exercise. Weight management is just the beginning, as frequent physical activity reduces the body’s chances of catching a number of diseases, improves the heart rate and generally keeps them healthy. You will need to possess good vocational skills and soft skills too, and the academy where you take your courses should be training you with these. This is one of the things you need to keep in mind while choosing the fitness academy to get your certification.

What’s going wrong?
The main issue with modern life is that it has become sedentary. Most people get there work done faster thanks to technology, and this makes lives easier too, just not necessarily better. People spend too much time glued to their smartphones or slouched up in front of a television or computer screen. Walking is obsolete, thanks to modern transportation; clothes are washed by machines now.

Most chores are done much more easily thanks to new technology, and this makes us all the lazier. We put in much less physical activity than we used to, and now it has begun taking a toll on our health. We are spending over seven hours a day sitting or lying down, and people over 65 years of age spend over ten hours doing the same. This lifestyle is a silent killer as it lets your health deteriorate slowly, and then, suddenly.

How Can We Stop This?
The simple thing you need to tell your client is that daily activity goes a long way in preventing chronic diseases, and keeping you healthy. If they can clock in 150 minutes of exercise a week, whether at a gym or integrated into their lifestyle, there is nothing better for their health. For most of your clients, it will be easiest to adapt their lifestyle by introducing simple physical activity into their schedule.

From walking, hiking and cycling to working out or playing sports, all types of activities can benefit your health if performed properly. This means you have to perform exercises vigorously enough to breathe faster, increase heart rate and feel warmer. This is called moderate intensity, and can be tested by the fact that you can talk properly but not sing a song out loud. The next step is vigorous intensity exercise which brings even better results. A quite simple test of vigorous exercise is that a person will not be able to say more than a few words before gasping for breath.

What Illnesses are averted by Exercise?
Heart Disease: Exercise strengthens heart muscle, improves heart rate and the capability of your heart to pump blood. It also raises high-density lipoprotein (HDL, also called good cholesterol) levels and cuts down on low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol levels). Each of these things is very beneficial to the heart and ensures that Peripheral Vascular Disease, strokes and infractions do not take place.
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes: Thanks to regular physical activity, the blood pressure is kept normal, and reduced for patients with high BP. It also cuts down on extraneous fat which controls high blood pressure and also keeps noninsulin-dependent diabetes in check.
Back Pain and Osteoporosis: Exercise increases muscle strength and flexibility and improves endurance. It helps correcting posture and hence prevents back pain. It also promotes bone formation, thus keeping osteoporosis and arthritis at an arm’s length.
Obesity and Weight Gain: Possibly the most important point here is that exercise keeps a person’s weight in check. It burns any excess calories, and if combined with balanced nutrition, obesity will not be a problem anymore, and neither will any of the pitfalls and risks related to it.
Mental Instability: Exercise has a number of psychological effects alongside the physical ones. It improves your mood, stimulates the pleasure center of the brain, reduces anxiety and depression as well, and also lets one cope with stress.
Disability: Any aerobic exercise is great for muscles and bones and hence keeps disabilities and impairments away in senior citizens.

These are the basic things which you should be learning alongside your usual courses at any academy or college. To know more about a career as a trainer or gym manager, read this recent study by recruitingblogs.com on starting career as a sports nutritionist.

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Learn About Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exams

Learn About Comprehensive Dilated Eye ExamsPeople of all ages should have their eyesight tested to keep their vision at its best. Children usually have vision screening in school or at their pediatrician’s office. Adults, however, may require more than vision screening.

Even if your vision seems fine, the only way to know for sure that your eyes are healthy is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. When you should start getting such exams depends on many factors, including your age, race, and overall health.

Growing older puts you at risk for glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy — the most common cause of vision loss from diabetes. These eye diseases tend to arise without any warning at their earliest stages. By the time you notice vision loss, it usually can’t be reversed. Timely treatment may let you keep more of your vision longer.

“Yearly comprehensive dilated eye exams starting at age 60 are the most effective and thorough way to detect eye diseases while we can still minimize vision loss,” says Dr. Paul A. Sieving, director of NIH’s National Eye Institute.

If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of eye disease, you may need yearly comprehensive dilated eye exams earlier. African Americans have a higher risk and an earlier average onset of glaucoma compared to whites, and so are advised to have comprehensive dilated eye exams every 1 to 2 years starting at age 40.

A visual field test gauges the scope of what you’re able to see. Looking straight ahead and with alternating eyes covered, you’ll respond each time you see a light or the examiner’s hand held at the periphery of your vision. A screen or apparatus might also be used. Loss of peripheral vision may be a sign of glaucoma, which damages the optic nerve responsible for carrying visual messages from the eye to the brain.

A visual acuity test detects how well you see at various distances. Looking at an eye chart about 20 feet away, you’ll read aloud the smallest letters you see, first with one eye covered, then the other. The results can help assess disease progression or response to treatment, and may reveal a need for low-vision aids.

Next, the eyes are dilated by placing drops in each eye to widen the pupil, which allows more light to enter the eye. A magnifying lens is used to examine the tissues at the back of the eye, including the retina (light-sensitive tissue), the macula (the central region of the retina required for straight-ahead vision), and the optic nerve. Damage to these areas may be a sign of diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration.

Tonometry measures the eye’s interior pressure by sending a quick puff of air onto its surface. High intraocular pressure is a risk factor for the optic nerve damage associated with glaucoma… and that’s it. You’re good to go.

-Know your family’s eye health history. Learn if any eye conditions affect your family members.
-Eat right. Fruits and vegetables (especially dark leafy greens like spinach or kale) and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon or tuna) may help your eyes.
-Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight raises your risk for diabetes and other conditions that can harm vision.
-Wear protective eyewear. Wear eye protection specially designed for sports, home improvement projects, and other activities.
-Wear sunglasses. To protect your eyes from sun damage, choose glasses that block at least 99% of both UV-A and UV-B rays.
-Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is linked to an increased risk for several eye diseases.
-Clean your hands and your contact lenses. Avoid infection by washing your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out contact lenses. Disinfect and replace lenses as instructed.

Article written by NIH News in Health NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), and Kathryn DeMott

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Local Pirates Club to Co-host NAMI Awareness Walk Sunday

 Local Pirates Club to Co-host NAMI Awareness Walk SundayThe Fernandina Pirate Club will be co-hosting the Nassau NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Community Awareness Walk to celebrate Mental Health month on May 17, 2015 (Sunday).

The gathering place will be at Central Park from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Local mental and behavioral health providers will be on hand to answer questions about the variety of services offered in our community.

Refreshments will be provided and there will be a raffle with great prizes!

This stroll to the beach is designed to promote awareness about the need to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness.

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News in Health Readers’ Favorite Online Stories

News in Health Readers' Favorite Online StoriesNIH News in Health aims to bring you a wide range of health-related stories, including articles about healthy lifestyles and both common and rare diseases. Some topics are consistently popular, viewed by hundreds or thousands of people month after month on the NIH News in Health website.

Here are 5 reader favorites, representing our most-viewed Web articles over the past two years. See if any of these topics might be useful to you or someone you know.

1. Red, Itchy Rash?
You’ve probably had a rash at some point or another, whether from poison ivy, soggy diapers, or something more unusual. Why does your skin break out in red blotches like that? More important, is there anything you can do about it? Dr. Stephen I. Katz, director of NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, answers these questions and more while also addressing specific conditions, such as skin allergies, eczema, and psoriasis. “If you have any significant rash, you should see a dermatologist,” Katz says. A dermatologist, or skin doctor, is specially trained to figure out what is causing a rash and help you get the right treatment.

2. Soothing a Sore Throat.
When you’ve got a sore throat, your throat may feel scratchy, and it may hurt when you swallow. Most sore throats are caused by viral infections such as the common cold or the flu. The best way to protect yourself from the germs that cause these infections is to wash your hands often. Try to steer clear of people who have colds or other contagious infections. And avoid smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke, which can irritate your throat.

3. Keep Your Kidneys Healthy.
Your kidneys aren’t very big; each is about the size of your fist, but they do important work. They keep you healthy by maintaining just the right balance of water and other substances inside your body. Unfortunately, if your kidneys start to malfunction, you might not realize it for a long while. Kidney disease usually won’t make you feel sick until the problem is serious and irreversible. That’s why it’s important to catch kidney disease early, so you can try to prevent or delay health problems. You’re at increased risk for kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or a family history of kidney failure. Talk with your health care provider about whether you should be screened for kidney disease.

4. Should You Take Dietary Supplements?
More than half of all Americans take one or more dietary supplements daily or on occasion. Common supplements include vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, also known as botanicals. People take these supplements to maintain or improve their health. But not everyone needs to take supplements. “Learn about their potential benefits and any risks they may pose first,” says Dr. Paul M. Coates, director of NIH’s Office of Dietary Supplements. “Speak to your health care providers about products of interest and decide together what might be best for you to take, if anything, for your overall health.”

5. Waking Up to Anesthesia.
When you face surgery, you might have many concerns, including worries about going under anesthesia. General anesthesia is a combination of drugs that dampens pain, knocks you unconscious, and keeps you from moving during the operation. Although anesthesia is typically considered quite safe for most patients, many people have concerns about possible risks and side effects. Some people, especially elderly patients and children, can have lingering confusion and thinking problems for several days after anesthesia. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns, but don’t delay important surgery because of fear of anesthesia.

Contributed by NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations). Special thanks to the many writers and creative talents who have contributed to NIH News in Health over the past decade.

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5 Foods and Beverages to Avoid For Snow White Teeth

snow-white-teethDo you want to be in the same league with celebrities when it comes to having gleaming white teeth? Most people work so hard at making their teeth pearly white, but then continue taking foods and beverages that take their teeth whitening campaign five steps back.

To have and maintain a bright white smile, avoid these foods and drinks like a plague:

Wine
Red wine to be specific is a double, if not triple, whammy. This wine is acidic and contains high levels of chromogens. Red wine is also full of tannins. Tannic acid etches your tooth enamel. This causes the color to ooze right into your teeth. Before you know it, your pearly whites are stained with an awful purplish-red shade. Sipping red wine during dinner only is enough to leave dark stains on your teeth. White wine is no good either. Although it is not as disastrous as red wine, white wine contains high acid and tannin levels meaning your teeth are still susceptible to staining.

Tomato and soy sauce
Soy sauce has a deep-colored pigment which is nasty to the teeth. Tomato sauce is frighteningly acidic. All these wipe any whiteness in your teeth within a few days. Protect your gleaming white teeth by taking a spinach salad prior to enjoying pasta or pizza. Spinach is effective at forming a thick protective layer on your teeth. If you must take soy sauce, ensure you rinse your mouth with plenty of water or green tea after eating.

Berries
Cherries, blackberries, beets, and blueberries are tough on white teeth. They contain elements that cause staining and discoloration to your teeth. Light colored grapes are a great alternative. You should also avoid all fruits with citric acid as it corrodes the enamel. Be sure to floss or brush your teeth after taking any fruit with acidic components. This will help reduce risks associated with discoloration or staining.

Candy
Have you ever taken candy that brings a different color to your tongue and mouth? Well, this is exactly what happens to your teeth. Many sweets have coloring agents like red or blue dyes. They can also have vegetable juices. All these promote teeth staining. You should also be on the lookout for culprits such as popsicles. To avoid permanent staining, eat candies in moderation.

Tea and coffee
These dark beverages contain tannic acid thus making them big offenders in regards to teeth staining. The tooth enamel or outer layer is highly porous. Since coffee is rich in chromogens, your teeth are prone to change from snow white to a dark unattractive shade. Just like coffee, tea is also a crook to teeth whiteness because of high tannin levels. To be on the safe side, opt for white, green, or herbal tea.

Do you have a desire to have nothing short of gleaming white teeth? Contrary to popular belief, having and maintaining white teeth is more than possible. Visit http://ddsconnections.com/ to learn more.

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Get Active and Move Around, Wherever You Are

Get Active and Move Around, Wherever You AreYou know that physical activity can help you live a longer, healthier life. But did you know you don’t need to join a gym or use costly equipment to be physically active? No matter where you live, work, or go to school, you can find ways to move more and sit less throughout your day. In addition to helping your health, you might have fun without spending a lot of money.

Moving more and sitting less can reduce your risk for many serious conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain kinds of cancer. Some studies suggest that physical activity can have mental benefits as well, helping to relieve depression and maintain thinking abilities as you age. Healthful physical activity includes exercise as well as many everyday activities, such as doing active chores around the house, yard work, or walking the dog.

Activities that cause you to breathe harder are called aerobic activities. These make your heart and blood vessels healthier. Aerobic activities include brisk walking, dancing, swimming, and playing basketball. Strengthening activities, like push-ups and lifting weights, help make your muscles and bones stronger and can also improve your balance.

But even though many of us know that physical activity is a good thing, most adults nationwide don’t meet even the minimum recommended amounts of physical activity. (That’s at least 30 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate activity, 5 days a week.)

Why aren’t we more active? “Lack of time is a common reason for not exercising,” says Dr. Mary Evans, an NIH expert on physical activity and nutrition. “Another important factor is location—having safe places to walk and engage in different activities. That can mean having sidewalks, public parks with well-lit walking paths, a shopping mall where you can walk, or other features that can make activity inviting and easy to do.”

NIH-funded research has found that your environment, where you live, work, or go to school, can have a big impact on how much you move and even how much you weigh.

Some communities don’t have safe playgrounds or sidewalks, so kids tend to spend their free time indoors. Sitting instead of moving makes it hard to maintain a healthy weight. Many adults sit behind the wheel driving to work and then sit most of the day at a computer, taking few breaks to stand up and move around. In suburban neighborhoods, people often have to drive rather than walk to get to grocery stores, shops, and even public transportation.

“Our environments have become less friendly to being active. But studies show that people will walk more if the environment provides them with opportunities to do so,” says Dr. Brian E. Saelens, a health psychologist and behavioral scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. “How close are you to a library? Can you walk to a store? Is there a safe path for walking to school? All of these factors affect how active we are each day.”

Having places to walk and have fun can help more people get moving and active. “It’s not just dangerous neighborhoods, broken streets, and crime that can keep people indoors and away from being physically active,” says Dr. Allen Glicksman, director of research at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. “We’ve also found that, from ages 18 to 80, if a neighborhood has someplace nice to walk to, desirable destinations like a book store, grocery store, coffee shop, a place to eat or meet, it can have a healthful effect on how much people weigh and how much they walk.”

Research also shows that taking public transportation like buses and trains can help boost activity. In a recent Seattle-area study, Saelens and colleagues found that people tend to add about 15 minutes of activity to their day when they take public transportation, in part by walking to and from the mass transit site instead of taking a car from door to door. “That’s half the recommended amount of physical activity added to their day,” Saelens says.

Having opportunities to connect with others can also have a positive effect. “Many people are more likely to walk if they’ve got one or more buddies to walk with,” Glicksman says. “When you think about what brings people together, what brings people out and active, the answer can vary depending on your community.” In urban Philadelphia, Glicksman and others have found that neighborhood features like access to public transportation, better bus shelters, and even murals in some neighborhoods seem to encourage more physical activity.

When community gardens were created for older adults in Philadelphia, Glicksman says, “we wanted people to garden to help them eat fresh foods and get them out and moving in the nice weather.” When younger adults joined in as well, the gardens had the added bonus of connecting people across generations. The older adults acted as gardening mentors, while the younger people helped with heavy lifting and digging. “Bringing people together is not only a way to encourage more activity; it’s also a way to get people thinking about how we can change our neighborhoods for the good.”

So take a look around your neighborhood, your workplace, or your school. Can you think of changes that might make the surroundings more inviting for walking or exercise?

“Consider: How can we change our environment so activity is an easier choice for us to make?” Saelens says. In many communities, people have gotten together to organize activities and improve their environments to encourage more physical activity. Steps might include improving local parks, requesting safe and usable bike paths and sidewalks, or asking for more physical activity and healthier meals at schools. If you have some ideas for improving your surroundings, discuss them with your neighbors or local leaders.

Although your environment can affect how active you are, you can still look for new ways to use the world around you to add some movement to your day.

“If you’re at work, try climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator. And get up from your chair and move around at least once an hour,” Evans says. Stand up and walk to a colleague’s office instead of sending an email. Try standing instead of sitting when you’re on the phone, or have “walking” meetings with co-workers instead of sitting in a conference room. And take a brisk walk on your lunch break to get some activity in.

“It’s not really necessary to engage in vigorous physical activity like running to have beneficial health effects. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking most days, in at least 10-minute segments, can have a positive effect,” Evans says.

“We have to look for opportunities to fit physical activity into our days,” Saelens adds. “Some people love to put on their sneakers and to go to the gym, and that’s great for them, but it’s not the only way to get active.”

Contributed by NIH News in Health
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), and Kathryn DeMott

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Tony Crawford Reflects on Lomi Lomi Massage

Tony Crawford Reflect on Lomi Lomi MassageOver my 20 years as an L.M.T., I have come across many therapists who aren’t familiar with the art of Lomi Lomi Massage. It is not a well known modality, and it is taught in very few schools throughout the country. I had never heard of it in my first ten years of practice. Then, I discovered a Lomi Lomi workshop.

Other than having the courage to initially sign up for massage school, taking that workshop was the second most important career choice I have made. It was a true game changer. This work has changed the way I think about Massage. It has helped my client’s well-being tremendously. It has increased my business, and, more importantly, it has changed the way I think as I proceed with my life’s journey.

Lomi is performed using your forearms much more so than in Swedish Massage. It is using your body weight to your advantage. This allows long flowing motions that will relax both your body and your mind.

What is Lomi?
If you think of massage as a powerful form of healing, then Lomi must be considered one of the most profound forms of massage. These are bold words, but true. Lomi Lomi loosely translated means to knead, or to rub. It is an ancient form of Hawaiian bodywork that was considered by some to be a rite of passage for the villagers, performed by kahunas and elders. Each community had its own style and form of Lomi. At the end of the day it was still about healing, healing the body, healing the mind, and healing the spirit. I have found it to be a form of cleansing, and through your work and your presence, you can facilitate healing, allowing your client to let go of both physical pain, as well as emotional pain.

We have all learned in school the typical sequence of Swedish massage. Most therapists been trained to work from body part to body part. We finish the back then move on to an arm or leg, rarely going back to the part already worked. Your client can “guess” what’s next, when it is time to turn over, and when you are done. This keeps their conscious mind working in a logical pattern, following your moves and keeping track of your work. It feels great, but are they really relaxing and letting go? Is any emotional healing taking place?

Lomi works on a different and deeper level. Lomi works the whole body as one and not just as individual parts. Lomi is best described as a “rhythmic dance around the body.” It works from the neck, down the back, and down the legs, then back up and over to the other side. This sequence is repeated as needed stopping along the way and concentrating on a leg, a back or arm as the practitioner feels is needed, then going back to the “dance.”

The great part about Lomi is that as you work the muscle structure becomes warm and loose and deep work becomes so much easier on you and less painful to your client. An example I often use with my students is that a muscle is like a stick of butter. Take a stick of butter out of the refrigerator. Try putting your finger in it, you can’t. Rub that butter for a few minutes and your finger goes deeper and deeper. Massage, any massage, is no different than that stick of butter. Lomi has a special way of warming and caring for each muscle so deeper work can be performed easily, painlessly, and as needed.

Lomi is performed on a clean table using no sheet on the table itself. I have heard gasps of astonishment from some therapists when they heard of this practice. The reason, however, is rather simple. While your client is in the supine position you have complete and easy access to working their back without interference of a sheet. A “run” can be performed by going up the body from the feet, continuing to the hip, and transversing under the back. Or, while standing at your client’s head, you can place your hands under the shoulders and work down to the sacrum area and “lift” and pull your hands back towards the head along the vertebral groove. These are some of the most appreciated runs by my clients. Often as you work a back in this manner you will hear them release pent up emotions. The power of this work is astonishing.

There is a powerful healing process that is inherent in Lomi. A very wise lady told me once that “when you are born, your life is like an empty bowl. As we age and go through life that bowl gets full of stones, issues if you will: life experiences, loves, losses, hurts, and sorrows, all of the common emotions we share as humans. Lomi facilitates a way of throwing some of the stones out of that bowl. It can help clear the body and mind of some negative experiences as well as help to remember a joyous time or person who has touched us in a special way”.

As I said earlier, standard Swedish massage engages the conscious mind. The dance of Lomi and the unpredictability of where the practitioner is going next shuts down the conscious mind and allows the subconscious to surface. I have found this to be one of the more intriguing parts of the work. Once a client relaxes and stops thinking about what you are going to work on next two things usually occur: total relaxation and, more importantly, deep healing can be experienced.

Our bodies are memory banks of past emotions and experiences. We hold these thoughts in our muscles, in our cells, and right down to our DNA. In many ways we are our past, and we are our ancestors to whom we share a common bond. Lomi provides a safe and healing space, should the client allow for these emotions to surface. You, as a practitioner, are creating and holding a safe and caring space for your client, being totally present and supporting them in their healing process. —Powerful and meaningful work.

I have been an L.M.T. since 1996. I was graduated from the Swedish Institute of Massage and have been practicing in Florida for the past 17 years. I have studied and advanced my Lomi training through Sacred Lomi. I have taught and practiced Lomi throughout the United States and abroad. I am currently associated with the Massage program at FSCJ in Jacksonville and work and live on Amelia Island. If I can be of any assistance with information concerning Lomi, please contact me at craw2240@bellsouth.net, or by calling my cell at: (904) 557-8350.

Tony Crawford L.M.T.
Florida License #MA 0027867

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Get Active to Celebrate Older Americans Month

Get Active to Celebrate Older Americans MonthPhysical activity supports healthy aging and May is Older Americans Month. Here are some ideas to help get you moving:

Water Aerobics
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things older adults can do for their health and independence. It can help prevent, delay, or manage many of the health problems that can come with age such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Regular physical activity can also help keep thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp. It can reduce the risk of depression and may help improve sleep. Some activities such as Tai Chi can help improve balance. If you are not getting regular physical activity, this month, designated as Older Americans Month by the Department of Health and Human Services, is a perfect time to start.

How Much and What Kinds of Physical Activity Do You Need?
Someone who is 65 years of age or older and generally fit can essentially follow the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.

For Important Health Benefits
Older adults need at least:
Jogging 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
OR
Jogging 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
OR
Walking jogging – an equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic activity and weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week to improve health—aerobic (such as walking and water aerobics) and muscle-strengthening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides recommendations, resources, and strength training information specifically designed with older adults in mind on the agency’s Web site.

When older adults are not able to meet the guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity according to their specific abilities. A health care provider can help match physical activities to abilities. Remember, some physical activity is better than none and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. All adults should avoid inactivity.

Find out more about physical activity and health conditions by CLICKING HERE

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Communicating with Your Doctor Online can be Convenient

Communicating with Your Doctor Online can be ConvenientThe number of doctors going online has increased as the demand for quality and accessible care rises. Patients need to be able to access their doctors with ease by finding them online. With the advent of electronic medical records, it has become increasingly pertinent for doctors to use technology to enhance the care that they give to their patients.

Quality Care for Patients
• The availability of information online is an important factor in the provision of quality care that patients expect and deserve.
• Being able to find the medical information of a patient online from any location and at any time gives a doctor the opportunity to assess the situation before seeing the patient.
• When patients arrive at the hospital, they can be handled efficiently because their medical history is readily available, and proper care can be given without further delay.
• Reducing the amount of time it takes to respond to a patient’s need is another advantage of doctors being available online.
• When care needs to be provided in emergency situations, the patients can rest assured that the hospital will be able to serve them more efficiently.

Using Online Resources for Faster Treatment
Doctors use online resources to monitor the progress of their patients and provide a faster and more reliable diagnosis that forms the basis of treatment. This means that patients are able to get treatment at a faster rate and the doctor is in a better position to make an informed decision.

Online availability of medical personnel and health records ensures that information is available whenever it is needed and reduces the possibilities of leaving out crucial information concerning the patient. The recent HFA guide on DMR’s is a reflection of how digitized medical records improve health care significantly.

Online Medical Records
When your doctor is able to find your medical records online, you can look forward to a better experience that constitutes prompt and effective treatment. Finding a doctor online enables you to get more time dedicated to you because digitization speeds up the entire process and gives the doctor more time to discuss your situation with you.

Considering the fact that health care practitioners are required to handle several patients on a daily basis, technology has made it easier for them to attend to each patient individually through efficient access to information. Your doctor can provide you with prescriptions online and this will help save time and ensure that you get the medication that you need without being physically present at the hospital.

Convenience and Efficiency
If your doctor needs to refer you to a lab for further tests, you can give him the authority to share your medical records to enable you to get quicker and safer care. Trendhunter.com’s views on DMR’s further emphasize the important role that digitized medical records play in helping patients receive the best care possible.

In order for medical records to be monitored efficiently, they need to be kept in one secure and accessible place. Patients who may need to deal with different doctors will benefit from a system that enables all their medical records to be accessed regardless of the time or place.

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