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Body Art: It’s Cool To Be Safe

It may seem like a cool idea to use your body as a medium for artistic expression. Body art has become the “in” thing to do among today’s generation, young and old alike. One cannot walk down the street, go to the mall, or watch TV without seeing somebody with a tattoo on the arms, nape, navel, ankle or piercings in the ears, lips, nostrils, eyebrows, belly buttons, tongues, and cheeks. Piercings can now be done on just about any part of the body.
But before you think of getting one for yourself to ride on the bandwagon of being “cool” — you might want to know first how safe it is and the things you need to be aware of if you do decide to have one. A tattoo or piercing may take only a few minutes or hours to acquire but may cause possible risks of bacterial infections which may lead to long term medical conditions. Getting a tattoo should not lead to health complications and lifetime of regret.
So here are a few short notes on some of the more popular types of body art:
Body Art
Body art is considered an extension of performing arts where the artist makes use of his or her own body for the purpose of artistic expression. Body art comes in different forms, the most common of which are tattoos and body piercings. Other types of body art are called scarification, branding, “scalpelling”, shaping, full body tattoo and body painting.

Tattoos
A tattoo, also known as dermal pigmentation, is a permanent mark or design made on the skin by inserting pigments through pricks into the skin’s top layer for decorative purposes. The procedure entails repeated piercing of a needle into the skin. With every puncture of the needle that is connected to a small machine with tubes containing dye, it injects ink droplets into the skin. There is small amount of bleeding involved in this process which may last for several hours depending on the size of the tattoo design. The process may cause slight to moderate pain.
The skin acts as the human body’s main protective barrier. Getting a tattoo puts a person at high risk of skin infections, allergic reactions, blood-borne diseases, skin disorders, as well as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) complications.
After getting a tattoo, healing usually takes several days. When it becomes itchy, avoid picking at scabs. It may increase the risk of bacterial infections and can also damage the design.
Some people may decide to have their tattoos removed when the design becomes faded or when the design no longer appeals to them. However, complete removal may be very difficult as tattoos are intended to be permanent marks. Though there are many tattoo removal techniques nowadays, scarring and skin discoloration are likely to be left on the skin.
Body Piercing
Body piercing is the insertion of jewelry into any parts of the human body. Body piercing poses certain risks similar to those when you get a tattoo. However, modern improvements in safety procedures and equipment have made earlobe piercing very popular as it is generally less risky than other body piercings.
Traditional body piercing is done with no anesthesia and, as such, is a painful experience. But modern techniques in earlobes-piercing makes safe use of ear piercing gun with sterilized, disposable cartridges. This single-use piercing device or gun includes one earring stud and clasp, and comes in individually wrapped sterile packages.
For other body piercings, a hollow needle is pushed through a body part to insert a piece of jewelry into the hole. The use of a reusable piercing gun for these types of piercings can put a person at risk of bacterial infections. These devices are difficult to sterilize and can easily damage the skin.
Choosing a reputable piercing and tattoo studio minimizes your chance of getting complications. These establishments employ trained and licensed tattoo and piercing artists. You can be assured of quality service as well as a clean environment. Remember, anytime the skin is punctured, there is a risk of skin infection. More than just getting an intricately designed tatoo or sporting that diamond-studded nose piercing, it’s important to know that it’s cool to be safe.

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Ayurveda – Principles & Practice

Ayurveda – Principles & Practice

Ears
Source: Flickr

Ayurveda – Principles & Practice
Ayurveda which has been evolved around 600 BC, apart from treating ailments concentrated more in its prevention. This was followed by the Aryans & Dravidians who were inhabiting India and has been practiced ever since. In the 21st century, Ayurveda has become an indispensable branch of medicine due to its naturalistic approach, that depends on the diagnosis of ones physical base ie Vata, pitta and kabha, and to maintain a right balance.
One of the important principle of Ayurveda treatment is that , treatment is given not only to the ailments or the affected part, but to the person as a whole. This creates an enviornment for purifying your body naturally, which eliminates all toxic imbalances from your body, enabling you to regain natural resistance from diseases and attain good health.
Kerala’s equable climate, natural abundance of forests, which caters to the demand for herbs and medicinal plants, and the cool monsoon season (June-November) are best suited for Ayurveda’s curative and restorative packages. In fact, today, Kerala is the only State in India which practices this system of medicine with absolute dedication.
Every object-plant, animal or human – according to the Panchabhootha Philosophy (5 elements of philosophy), is constituted of Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
The concentration of these elements vary in each individual and therefore the time, place, duration and kind of treatment required to restore the balance also needs to change. This is why Ayurveda have a separate system of diagnosis and treatment for each patient. And a season for undergoing Ayurvedic programmes – the monsoon. The atmosphere remains dust-free and cool, opening the pores of the body to the maximum, making it most receptive to herbal oils and therapy.
Rejuvenative Programmes
The following are the major rejuvenational therapies practacied in Ayurveda.
Rasayana chikitsa
Tones up the skin and rejuvenates and strengthens all the tissues so as to achieve ideal health and longevity. Increases Ojas (primary vitality) and improves Sattva (mental clarity) and thereby increases the resistance of the body. Includes head and face creams, body massage with herbal oil or powder by hand and foot intake of rejuvenative medicines and medicated steam bath. Herbal baths are also used.
Kayakalpa Chikitsa
Prime treatment for retarding the ageing process, arresting the degeneration of body cells and immunization of the system. Includes intake of Rasayana (special Ayurvedic medicines and diet) and comprehensive body care programmes. Most effective for either sex if undertaken before the age of 50.
Sweda Karma
Medicine steam baths eliminate impurities from the body, improve the tone and complexion of the skin, reduce fat and are recommended for certain rheumatic diseases, particularly for pain. Precious herbs and herbal leaves are boiled and the steam is passed over the entire body for 10 to 20 minutes daily.
Hand massage with herbal oils or herbal powder improves blood circulation and tones up the muscles.
Meditation and Yoga
Mental and physical exercises meant to isolate the ego from the body and mind-designed to home your concentration, improve health and help attain peace of mind through 8 stages of training.
Disciplined behaviour yama Self purification niyama Bodily postures such as the lotus position asana.
Control of breathing Pranayama Control of the senses Pratyahara, fixing of the mind on a chosen object dharsana. Meditation dhyana and Samadhi – a state of being where you experience absolute tranquility and well being.
Beauty care
Herbal face pack, herbal oil massage, intake of herbal tea etc. improves complexion and beautifulness of the body.
Body Slimming
Medicated herbal powder and medicated herbal oil massages, and Ayurvedic diet of herbal juices etc. are part of the programme.
Overal Fitness
Panchakarma Treatment
A five fold treatment for mental and physical well being tunes the body, organs, mind, breath, nerves and purifies the blood.
Therapeutic Programmes
Treatment for chronic head-aches, insomnia, mental tension and cases of hysteria, hallucination and insanity.
Dhara: Herbal oils, medicated milk or buttermilk and decoctions are poured on the forehead/whole body in a special manner.
Variations include Oorhwanga Dhara (good for diseases of the eyes, ears and skin). Takra Dhara (for those suffering from memory loss, severe headache or insanity) and Sarvanga Dhara (for both head and body).
Treatment to alleviate osteoarthritis, leukemia etc.
Snehapanam: Medicated ghee is given internally in a gradually increased quality of specific periods.
Treatment for spondilosis, rheumatic diseases like arthritis, paralysis, hemiplegia, nervous weakness and nervous disorders.
Pizhichil: Lukewarm herbal oil is applied with fresh linen all over the body by trained masseurs in a rhythmic manner for a period of 1 to 11/2 hours daily for 7 to 21 days.
Treatment for diseases like hemiplegia, paralysis, obsety and certain rheumatic ailments.
Udvarthanam: Therapeutic massage with herbal powders.
Treatment for musculoskeletal ailments due to trauma or accidents.
Marma Chiksta: Treatment that works on the extremely sensitive vital points of the body (the 107 marmas).
Treatment for nasal ailments:
Nasyam: Inhalation of medicated herbal preparations, decoction oils, ghee etx. to eliminate the morbid factors from the head and neck area.
Treatment for ear ailments
Karnapooranam: Medicated oils are applied to the ear for 5 to 10 minutes daily to clean as well as treat specific ailments.
Preventing cataract and strengthening vision:
Tharpanam: A treatment for the eyes effective in preventing cataract and strengthening the optic nerve.
Treatment for wasting of muscles, all types or rheumatism, sports injuries, pain in the joints, emaciation of the body or parts of the body and certain kinds of skin diseases.
Navarakizhi: The whole body is made to perspire by the external application of medicated rice packs in the form of blouses tied in muslin bags.
Treatment for dryness of nostrils, mouth and throat, severe headaches, facial paralysis and burning sensation in the head.
Sirovasti: Lukewarm herbal oils are poured into a leather cap fitted on the head for specific durations as per physician’s recommendation.

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Smelly Dogs May Need Ablutions

Smelly Dogs May Need Ablutions

Stefani Slutty
Source: Flickr


Every week there is one date I faithfully keep: “ablutions” time with my dogs.
I don’t know why we started calling it that – probably when I was completely and totally addicted to Regency Romance novels. According to Webster’s Dictionary, “ablutions” is “a washing of the body, especially as a religious ceremony.”

We don’t actually do a full-body dog wash every week – I’m told that less frequent bathing is better for a dog’s skin and fur – and it’s not really a ritual. We do trim nails, brush fur and teeth, clean ears, and wash faces. Because of the breeds we have; Brussels Griffons, Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs, skin folds, beards and mustaches, and wrinkles get special attention.

It’s down to a routine in our house; it doesn’t take much more than about 15 minutes per dog, once you catch them. One person holds the dog. The other “ablutes.”And the benefits are vast. The dogs seem happier, they smell good, and we have the chance to check each one for anything that doesn’t seem quite right.

Contrary to popular belief – clean, healthy dogs really shouldn’t smell. “Dog breath” may be an indicator that the dog’s teeth need cleaning. There are many products available to care for dog’s teeth, but a start can be made with just a damp washcloth or gauze. Special toothpastes made just for dogs are readily available. Human toothpaste isn’t a good idea – it can be too harsh and dogs tend to dislike both the foaming action and the taste of products made for people.

Your nose is an invaluable tool in assessing your dog’s health. Any odor from a dog’s ears may be a sign of infection. But we know that cleaning ears can be a challenge. We use a solution available from the veterinarian. It’s inexpensive and helps wash away any dirt or wax. Getting it into the dog’s ears is where the problem arises in our house. Even after four years of this weekly routine, our Boston Terrier struggles mightily to see what we’re doing. No matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to convince her that no one can see inside her own ears!

Keeping a dog’s nails trimmed is another part of the routine that can be challenging. Many people are wary of cutting the nails too close and hurting the dog by nicking the blood vessel. Some people avoid the problem by using a hand-held sanding device – but a light touch is essential. Power tools are exactly that – powerful. It’s better to do too little than risk hurting the dog. Most groomers and veterinarians will trim nails for a nominal fee. If you’re hesitant about trimming your dog’s nails yourself, it’s well worth the monthly visit to have a professional do the job. Even if you don’t trim nails yourself, take a look at your dog’s feet. See if their pads have any calluses or cracks or any abnormalities.

Lastly, a good brushing, in addition to taking care of any tangles, or mats in the fur, will make your dog look and feel terrific. You’ll distribute the natural oils that keep fur healthy and remove any dead fur that may have accumulated. By paying attention during brushing we discovered a growth on our Brussels Griffon we would not have discovered. A visit to the vet and a couple of stitches later, what might have been a major health issue later was disposed of with very little fuss. As with humans, early detection is the key for dogs.

Our weekly “ablutions” may not be as much fun as playing ball in the yard, but it is time well-spent with our beloved pets. Getting them used to the routine may take some patience but they’re well worth the effort.

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Comfort and Headphones

Comfort and Headphones

Flip Flop Ears
Source: Flickr


Perhaps the last thing that anyone would think of when it
comes to buying headphones is comfort.
With all the
information out there on the net and in shops no one tells
you the most obvious fact and that is ‘try it on before
your buy it’.

It is all very well spending upwards of $1,000 dollars –
for you super rich out there! – on a new set of headphones
only to find them so uncomfortable that you avoid putting
them on!

So what do you look for in comfort? Well, first decide if
you like the sound right inside your ears or outside. If
outside, do you want the ‘circum’ style which sits around
the ear or the ‘supra’ style which sits right on the ear?

All have good points and bad points and it is up to the
user which style to buy.

The circum style sits around the ear and gives a slightly
muffled sound as if the user is sitting in an auditorium
whilst the supra style feels like the instruments are right
there next to the ear.

Whichever one is preferred make sure that the material on
the ear pads is comfortable. Many have leatherette style
coverings which can get a little sweaty in hot conditions.
Velvet style pads do not have this problem.

For portable headsets personally I don’t like ear bud
styles because they make my ears hurt!! Having tried them
out on several occasions I have to vote for the other
styles mentioned here.

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Ultrasonic Subliminals: Do They Really Work?

Little Cowboy Getting Ready for the Horse Show ...
Source: Flickr

Ultrasonic subliminals are widely available on the market these days. But people are still wondering whether they work or not. To better understand how they effect change in a person’s mind, take a look at how ultrasonic subliminals are made.

A Quick Inside Look

Ultrasonic subliminals are vocalizations or other sounds that have been made with such high pitch that they block off vibrations in the eardrum. Instead, they tend to shudder some portions of the inner ear. Because of this mechanism, the conscious audible range is incapable of detecting the sound. The subconscious, on the other hand, perceives the stimulus, deciphers it and then understands the message.

Unlike masked subliminals that are normally covered or masked with other sounds (i.e. sound of water), ultrasonic subliminals may be recorded without the masking sounds. As a result, the recording gives the impression of a blank CD. Then again, a visualizer will typically reveal the existence of the high-pitched sounds.

Without a doubt, ultrasonic subliminals have a number of advantages over the masked variety; and vice-versa. However, the majority of commercially sold subliminals are in the masked format as this layout is easier to make and has an extensive history of success – given that it is correctly made and utilized. The ultrasonic type is more difficult to create yet it is generally more effective for the reason that the subliminal message is considerably louder.

The Mechanism of Action

In essence, ultrasonic subliminals function the same way as hypnosis but with no alteration of the awareness. The recordings usually require repetitive usage over a number of days, weeks, or even months to achieve full effect. Sorry to say, but anyone who is marketing “instant results” with ultrasonic subliminals is selling falsehood.

Although they can generate positive outcome after one exposure, this likelihood is very rare and typically occurs when the goal is strongly desired within a short span of time.

More often than not, ultrasonic subliminals require three to four weeks of exposure before it begins to show results. You need to at least expose yourself to the recording for one hour each day. Then again, for better outcome, you can play it all night long. Some people who are willing to take the extra mile may even get the desired effect in less than one week or as quick as three whole nights of exposure.

The Subliminal Message

The subconscious aspect of the mind is extremely childlike. It soaks everything up literally. Therefore, the sentences used in subliminal messages need to be brief, simple and straightforward. They need to steer clear of negative statements since the words “not” and “don’t” are generally not recognized by the subconscious. For instance, the phrase “I am healthy because I don’t smoke” may be perceived as “I am healthy because I smoke”.

In addition to using positive statements, the subliminal messages also need to be in the present tense. The subconscious mind only recognizes the present. For this reason, the script – in order to be considered a good one – should avoid using future tense.

The focus of the messages in ultrasonic subliminals should be in the “here and now” and not in the “yet to come”. For example, the phrase “I will be successful” is not an excellent affirmation because it actually gives the subconscious an idea that you are not doing well right now. It somehow suspends the belief into a future that never takes place.