Tips On Preventing and Treating Toenail Fungus

If you are not in the habit of having your toenails done, and if you would rather wear closed shoes, you may probably not pay much attention to the health condition of your toenails. However, there is a very pertinent reason why you should always keep your toenails healthy. For one, there is a nail condition known as onychomycosis that can spread to your nails if left untreated. As they can hardly be noticeable, those who may already have it may not even know that they exist.

toenail fungus

Keep Toenail Fungus At Bay

It may be impossible to not come into contact with any contaminated things where this fungus breeds. Needless to say, it is best that you keep your feet thoroughly clean and dry, as well as trim your nails properly to keep your any possible infection at bay. However, if you unknowingly get into contact with these microscopic organisms and caused an infection.Keep these tips in mind to the best toenail fungus treatment:

1. Wash your feet with soap and water thoroughly and wipe them off dry before putting on your shoes.

2. Trim your nails straight across making sure that they don’t reach the tip of the toe. This will help keep protect the sensitive tissues underneath your nails.

3.. Wear the right shoes. Tight-fitting shoes can easily bruise your skin. They can also damage the skin. These can provide an easy access for bacteria and start breeding on the affected area. You also need to change your socks whenever you feel your feet getting damp to avoid any fungal infection from spreading.

4. Apply antifungal cream or spray on an antifungal solution on your feet and on your shoes to boost the protection that you are providing to your feet.

5. Don’t go barefooted in public places. Either wear shoes or slippers.

6. Clean your nail clippers and other nail tools properly. Rub alcohol on them as well to keep them sanitized.

Toenail fungus can be a total pain. They may keep coming back if you are not able to maintain a good hygiene as well as apply this preventive measures. If any medical treatment plan is provided, you need to make sure to adhere to it carefully to make sure that the fungus on your toenails will be totally eradicated.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Superficial onychomycosis is normally accompanied by the formation of small, white patches of fungus on the nails. They can just be trimmed or filed off the nails. An OTC or over-the-counter topical treatment, such as miconazole nitrate (Fungoid Tincture), may then be applied on the nails to ensure that all fungi are removed from the nails. Repeated application of the topical treatment is necessary to ensure that the fungus won’t have a chance to grow back on the trimmed off nail.

Severe infections need to be treated by a specialist, however. A severe onychomycosis is characterized by thick and discolored nails that can become painful.

Treatment plans that are normally provided by podiatrists include:

1. Removal or debridement of the affected portion of the nails. This will lessen the pain and will allow any topical treatment that will be applied to the affected area to penetrate better.

2. Application of a topical medication. Fungoid Tincture and the prescription treatment ciclopirox (Penlac nail lacquer) are usually applied on the affected nails. They don’t seem to be as effective as the first treatment method as the medication won’t be able to penetrate well on the thickened nails.

3. Taking oral medication. Terbinafine hydrochloride (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox) are the two oral medications that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as oral treatments for toenail fungus. They are generally taken continuously as prescribed and up to three months to successfully remove the infection.

Most serious cases of the infection will require the surgical removal of the affected toenails. The may also be dipped on an acid. If this option is required, an artificial nail is usually placed on the nail bed to protect the skin tissues underneath until a new nail grows back.

There are also home remedies that may be used to prevent or treat toenail fungus. Here are some of them

1. Vicks Vaporub. A clinical case study conducted by Richard Derby, MD., et. al. indicated that this over-the-counter mentholated ointment is effective in treating onychomycosis. You just need to apply a small amount of the ointment on the affected area regularly until the nails retain its normal features.

2. Snakeroot extract. Researchers at the Centro de Investigación Biomédica del Sur, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) conducted a study that evaluated the effectiveness of Ageratina pichinchensis (snakeroot) extract in treating onychomycosis. The study revealed that this solution is as effective as the prescription antifungal medication ciclopirox.

3. Tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is used for health and beauty purposes. This also includes treating nasty toenail fungal infection. You may just apply the oil directly on the affected area. Make sure to wash your nails and feet thoroughly before applying the oil. Do this two times a day until the condition of your nails improve.

4. Vinegar. Though there has been no clinical study conducted to prove the efficiency of using this solution in treating toenail fungus, many anecdotal pieces of evidence support it. Vinegar is also known for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and other health benefits. To use it as a treatment method for this condition, mix one part of vinegar to two parts of warm water and soak your feet in the mixture for about 20 minutes daily.

5. Garlic. Like vinegar, garlic has been used for medicinal purposes. It is also found to be effective in curing nail conditions as onychomycosis. Place chopped or crushed garlic clove on the affected areas for about 30 minutes daily until your nails recover its natural state.

6. Listerine. Listerine is proven to be an effective dental cleaning agent. Many have found this solution to be effective in treating toenail fungus as well. Those who used this treatment recommend soaking the affected foot in Listerine for about 30 minutes every day.

It is always recommended that you keep feet clean and thoroughly dry to ensure that they will be free from any fungal infection. It is also best to check the health condition of your feet regularly to ensure that no nail changes that could possibly be tell-tale signs of this condition will not go unnoticed.

Guide In Using Pedicure Tools

Pedicure tools are just about the same as those that you use for a manicure. There are just a few different ones that you can choose from, however.

A perfect pedicure will require that you follow some guidelines so that you will see the results  you are looking for. For instance, you should not take for granted the importance of soaking your feet before brushing it off with a pumice stone or a pedicure file as this will help soften the skin. Learning the roper care for your pedicure tools as well as the appropriate use of these tools can help ensure that you will have a professional looking pedicure and also clean, safe tools you cann use when you need them.

Washing Your Feet

1. Remove old polish on your nails. You will need to remove your old polish before you have a fresh manicure. Use a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover to swipe over your nails to remove the old pigment off your nails.

This process will allow your nails to breathe and the water that touches your nail surfaces will soften them, which will make it easier to smoothen them out with a nail buffer.

2. Soak your feet in warm water. This will soften the skin on your feet and your nails as you cleanse your feet. Make sure that you have just about enough lukewarm water for soaking your feet. Test the temperature of the water before slipping your feet in. You can also add some foot soak or a few tablespoons of body wash or Epsom salt to the water. Soak your feet in the in the water for about 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Use a brush to wash your feet. After soaking your feet in warm water, wash your feet. Use a brush to scrub the bottoms and tops of your feet. Don’t forget the spaces in between your toes and around your ankles. A little soap can help cleanse your feet better. Wash it thoroughly with a gentle, circular motion. You can also use a washcloth or your hands to clean your feet. Just make sure that you won’t leave any surface totally clean.

4. Use a pumice stone on rough spots of your feet. Cracked heels and calluses cannot easily be removed by running your hand over them. These spots will need intense scrubbing. You can use a pumice stone or best pendicure foot file to clean areas like your heels, the side of your big toe, as well as the balls of your feet.

5. Rinse your feet. Once you have cleaned your feet thoroughly, dip them back into the tub of water to rinse them well.

6. Dry your feet. Remove your feet from the tub and wrap them in a clean, pat dry with a towel. Then, apply a layer of moisturizer on your feet.

Caring for Your Toenails

1. Use a cuticle pusher to push your cuticles back gently. This is a safer option than having them cut as this will add to the appearance of your finished nails. A cuticle cream or oil will soften those cuticles. Apply the cream, then slowly and gently push back the cuticles with a cuticle pusher.

2. Trim your nails right. Use a straight edged trimmer to clip your toenails straight across. Thisprevents ingrown toenails from developing on the sides of your nails. Avoid trimming your toenails too short. Just keep them even with the skin at the tips of your toes. If you think that your toenails are just about the right length, you won’t need to trim them down. Go straight to filing them instead.

3. File your nails. Use a nail file to even out the edges and shape your nails. Professional nail technicians use a variety of shapes to enhance the look of the nails. You have several options when it comes to the shape of the nails you may want to have. To soften sharp edges on your toenails you can file them out to take rounded or oval shapes. Again, don’t trim your nails too short.

4. Buff the tops of your nails. Even out the tops of your nails with a buffer. An even surface makes it easier to apply nail polish evenly. Use swift strokes along the tops of your nails. Buff your nails only once a week.

5. Apply the topcoat and pigmented polish on your nails. Make sure that the surface of your nail is thoroughly cleaned. There should be no hangnails and dust on it as well. Then, apply a thin layer of topcoat, then the nail polish with the color of your choice.

Cleaning Your Pedicure Tools

1. Dispense of items that should be used only once. Tools that encourage bacteria to grow in them should be thrown away after using them, such as paper nail files and buffers, pumice stone, wooden cuticle pushers, toe separators, cotton balls, cotton pads, and cotton swabs, as well as paper towels.

2. Wash your tools properly. It is crucial that you keep all your reusable tools clean and properly sanitized if necessary. This will ensure that you will be using tools that will be safe on your skin and nails and only those that will prevent bacteria and infection from spreading. That means you will also need to disinfect your tools by soaking them in disinfectant solution or rubbing alcohol. Remember, that it is not also safe to reuse your disinfectant solution.

Making sure that you’ll always have gorgeous nails you can wear for weeks not only means wearing the right and appealing nail polish, but making sure that you use the right tools and keep them properly clean and thoroughly sanitized.

Infectious Diseases That Your Pet Reptile May Have

Companion reptiles such as bearded dragons, lizards, snakes, and turtles have been well-favored than other more common household pets. Their unusual appearance, as well as their general peaceful trait, make them perfect to look after. Nonetheless, these docile pets may carry with them infectious diseases that owners may not be even aware of. Small children, pregnant women, and those with serious health problems are susceptible to such infections. Thus, it is vital that one has a better understanding of these contagious reptile diseases.

Bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases in reptiles are sometimes caused by primary pathogens or microorganisms. However, they can also be the result of health-compromising conditions, such as inadequate temperatures, humidity, enclosure hygiene, overcrowding, and inappropriate hygiene management. Treating fungal and bacterial diseases generally requires addressing the handling inadequacies.

Common Infectious Diseases In Reptiles

Many contagious reptile diseases may be passed through its owners and handlers if not properly and promptly treated. The most common of these diseases are the following:

1. Salmonella

Salmonella is commonly present in every type of reptile. It can also spread from reptiles to humans. This happens when anything that has been contaminated with reptile feces comes in contact with the mouth. Not only are pet owners susceptible to the disease but also their families.

This can happen when the pet handler or owner is not careful enough when taking care or managing his or her pet. Animal droppings infected with salmonella can contaminate anything inside the enclosure. If the owner touches any of the contaminated things (including the food and water bowls, the soil where the feces were), he can pass the infection to somebody else in the family. Salmonella infection may result to having diarrhea, headache, fever, and also stomach cramps. More severe infection may cause septicemia or blood poisoning. Dehydration can also be severe when an infection like this is acquired.

2. Botulism

Another contagious and serious reptile infection is Botulism. It can also be life-threatening. This disease is caused by a toxin released by the Clostridium bacterium. These bacteria remain in a dormant state until conditions in their environment allow them to grow. Once active, these bacteria can produce a powerful toxin called botulin. Anyone infected with this toxin may be paralyzed and die. They are quite resistant to adverse environmental effects. This makes it very difficult to eliminate these bacteria.

Clostridium is found in the environment, including in the soil and mud found in the pet enclosure. Exotic pets that live near the ground are usually contaminated with this bacterium. Clostridium usually contaminates reptiles, most specifically aquatic reptiles. Adults and older children likewise have a range of bacteria that overgrow these spores. However, small babies below one year old have not yet developed such protection, hence are most susceptible to the infection.

Considering these, pet owners who have young children should think twice when considering having any aquatic animals as their pet. These pets are not fir for small children and should never be kept in the home where there are children below five years old.

Careful handling and management of these animals is a must to ensure that not only the pets are kept healthy, but more importantly your family.

Other infections that these exotic pets may have include campylobacteriosis (a bowel infection), leptospirosis (a liver disease), trichinellosis (a disease of the muscles, nervous system, heart, and lungs). These contagious diseases have been associated with reptile handling and managing. While most of these conditions are treatable, some can be quite serious.

Safe Pet Animal Handling

1. Look for the pet that will be most suitable to your household. Those with young children below five years old, pregnant women, and house members with existing health conditions should not consider reptiles as pets in their houses.

2. All reptiles are possible carriers of these contagious diseases. Proper handling and management is a must.

3. Always wash your hands with antiseptic soap and water after handling your pets.

4. As much as possible, reptiles must be kept in their enclosures. If you need to take them out, make sure that you make extra precaution, such as carrying hand sanitizer, using disposable hand gloves, and keeping them away from other members of the family who are prone in acquiring their infections.

5. If you need to bring your pet reptile to an educational institution, make sure there are proper hand-washing and cleaning facilities in the location. Never bring your pet to a kindergarten or a daycare center.

6. Keep your reptile tank or enclosure properly cleaned. Never leave anything unclean (water and food bowls, decorations, even the beddings). Make sure to clear away animal droppings properly.

7. Clean your pet’s enclosure in a well-ventilated area. Wear latex or vinyl gloves when cleaning your pet’s enclosure. You may also need to disinfect everything inside the enclosure to ensure that any trace of fungus, germs, bacteria, or virus are totally eliminated. When you are done cleaning the enclosure, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and antiseptic soap. You may also need to clean your hands with rubbing alcohol.

8. Wash with hot water every surface that your pet has come in contact with.

9. Wash your pet in its own wash basin. Never wash your pet in the sink or in the bath. The wash water should also be disposed of properly through the drain outside the house.

10. Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling your reptile, even when cleaning its tank or any other equipment in its habitat. Never kiss or allow your kids to kiss or hug your reptile pet.

11. Take off any garments that have come in contact with the reptile while you are handling it. Wash them with hot or warm water.

12. Always remind children not to put their hands in their mouth, especially when they are handling a reptile. They should also be warned of the dangers that these reptiles may carry and what they can do to prevent any contagious diseases from transferring to them.

13. Consult local veterinarians for more information in the proper handling and management of your pet reptile.

Every family member needs to understand fully how to safely handle pets in the house to ensure everyone’s safety.

Sunscreen Rules For Pregnancy

Your skin becomes very sensitive in response to the hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy. The unpredictable highs and lows in the production of the different hormones in the woman’s body and affect a number of systemic functions. These hormones include the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG), estrogen, and progesterone. A dramatic surge in the levels of these hormones triggers pregnancy-related symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, skin pigmentation, rashes, oily or dry skin, the appearance of stretch marks, and so on.

During pregnancy, the skin is observed to be one of the most affected. Many expectant mothers would complain of having pimples, whiteheads, and other skin imperfections during this period. The skin becomes more vulnerable to the rays of the sun as well. As the first line of defense against the undesirable effects of exposure to the sun, doctors recommend sunscreen for pregnancy.

As commercial skin care products normally contain chemicals that may be just as harmful to the skin as the UV rays, many think twice before they use a sunscreen product. But you still need the sun primarily to help the body manufacture its much-needed vitamin D. Exposure to our levels of serotonin and tryptamine, neurotransmitters that keep our moods and sleep/wake cycles in order.

Well, you can actually ditch the sunscreen. Instead wear traditional sun protection like a hat, a sundress or any dress that will cover the skin. You may even bring an umbrella and just opt to stay in the shade throughout the day. That would just be too impractical. It will also make moving about a bit problematic, especially if you need to do any activity that will really require you to expose your skin to the sun, like when on the beach.

Fortunately, there are safer sunscreen options. To help you in maximizing the benefits of the sunscreen product that you choose, consider the following suggestions.

Sunscreen Rules For Pregnancy

  • Choose a sunscreen product that provides full protection.

Most would choose a sunscreen product just based on the SPF indicated on the label of the product, without actually knowing what SPF really means. SPF, in fact, just measures the UVB (short-wave) rays. It does not totally tell how much protection against UVA rays (long-wave) a particular sunscreen product provides.

Most sunscreen offers protection against UVB rays only. Although UVB rays can cause sunburn, it cannot actually penetrate the skin, unlike the UVA rays. Too much exposure to UVB rays can cause aging and skin pigmentation, which we all don’t want to happen.

There is this type of sunscreen products that are labeled as broad-spectrum. They are taken to be effective in shielding the skin from both UVB and UVA rays. However, what most do not know, UVA rays are further classified into UVA I and UVA II. Those labeled as providing broad-spectrum protection, may not actually be providing UVA II coverage.

In addition to this, a sunscreen labeled as SPF 15 is not half as effective as one labeled as SPF30. In reality, “SPF 15 filters about 93% of UV-B rays; SPF 30 filters about 97% of UV-B rays; and SPF 50 filters about 98% of UV-B rays,” says Dr. Roopal Kundu, one of the researchers and author of the results of a study conducted at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2014. In this study, the researchers indicated that SPF30 actually means it will take about 30 times longer before you can get a sunburn on your skin than you would be had you been out without applying sunscreen.

When choosing a sunscreen, check for any indication that the product is offering full protection.

  • You need about a shot glass worth of sunscreen to apply on unexposed areas of the skin.
  • Watch out for vitamin A on your sunscreen brand.

A form of vitamin A called Retinyl palmitate (also indicated on product labels as retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, and retinol) is added in skin care and beauty products (i.e., lip products, moisturizers, sunscreens). This antioxidant is said to cause skin tumors and lesions when applied on the skin when under the sun.

  • Opt for a European brand of sunscreen over a US brand.

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 12th Annual Guide to Sunscreens report that a large majority of sunscreen products from the US still contain harmful chemicals or do not offer sufficient protection against ultraviolet rays. EWG tested 831 sunscreens and found that 84 percent of these did not pass health and environmental requirements.

The good thing is, companies manufacturing these products started formulating better sunscreen brands, including the brands listed here as the best sunscreen products of 2018. So, if you are still on the lookout for a good quality and effective sunscreen brand, you can check out the link and choose one that you think is the best option.

  • Look for an oil-free sunscreen. In most expectant moms, oily skin is a usual concern. When you already have an oily skin, you wouldn’t want to clump more of that into your pores. Doing so can only trigger other skin problems like acne, pimples, and so on.
  • Opt for sunscreens that are made with naturally soothing ingredients and have natural moisturizers as this will keep your skin from flaking and pre-mature aging.
  • If you want to avoid sunscreen and the sun, take vitamin D supplements instead.

Vitamin D is vital in strengthening the bones and the immune system. It also lessens the risks of certain cancers like breast cancer, colon cancer, as well as kidney and ovarian cancers. If you would rather stay out of the sun’s rays, you should regularly check with your primary care provider if you need to be checked for vitamin deficiency. You may also ask your doctor for any prenatal vitamins that will fill the lack of any vitamin and nutrient in your body.

Regularly applying sunscreen may also lessen your skin’s capability of manufacturing vitamin D. If you think you need more of this essential vitamin, consult your doctor to discuss your options.

  • Re-apply sunscreen every two hours.

Even if you applied a water-repellent sunscreen, it is still best that you apply the product after every couple of hours.

Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite in Apex, NC

If you would like to go to the theater this weekend, you may want to see Neil Simon’s Plaza Suiteperformed at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex, NC.  The play will be performed on Thursday through Saturday evenings (May 8-10th) at 7:30 pm and Sunday May 11th at 3 pm.  The cost of tickets are $15 for Adults and $12 for Seniors.

According the the Halle website, “Hilarity abounds in this portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at the Plaza. A suburban couple take the suite while their house is being painted and it turns out to be the one in which they honeymooned 23 (or was it 24?) years before and was yesterday the anniversary, or is it today? This wry tale of marriage in tatters is followed by the exploits of a Hollywood producer who, after three marriages, is looking for fresh fields. He calls a childhood sweetheart, now a suburban housewife, for a little diversion (wink, wink!) Over the years she has idolized him from afar and he is now more than the match she bargained for. The last couple is a mother and father fighting about the best way to get their daughter out of the bathroom and down to the ballroom where guests await her or as Mother yells, “I want you to come out of that bathroom and get married!” This production is directed by Kathleen Rudolph, with the cast made up of Triangle actors.”

The Malfunctioning Thyroid

According to Dr. Ridha Arem of The Thyroid Solution, “At any given time in the U.S., more than 20 million people suffer from a thyroid disorder.  More than 10 million women have a low grade thyroid imbalance and nearly 8 million people with the imbalance are undiagnosed.  More than 500,000 new cases of thyroid imbalance occur each year.”  The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the front of the neck.  It is the primary gland in charge of metabolism.  A malfunctioning thyroid gland is either  classified as “hypo” meaning too little thyroid activity or “hyper” meaning too much thyroid activity.  A dysfunctional thyroid can affect every aspect of your health including your weight, depression and energy levels.

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Some common signs that you have a thyroid problem include:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • chiropractic-health Plantar fascitis
  • Changes to the hair and skin (coarse & brittle hair for hypothyroidism; significant hair loss for hyperthyroidism)
  • Bowel problems (Significant constipation with hypothyroidism; diarrhea with hyperthyroidism)
  • Menstrual problems and infertility (heavier & frequent periods with hypothyroidism; light & infrequent periods with hyperthyroidism)
  • Cholesterol problems (high cholesterol with hypothyroidism; low cholesterol with hyperthyroidism)
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Weight changes (weight gain with hypothyroidism; weight loss with hyperthyroidism)

If you believe you might be suffering from thyroid problems, contact your doctor for testing to determine how your thyroid is functioning.  Your doctor will probably order blood tests.  The measurement of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels is often used by doctors as a screening test.  Elevated TSH levels can signify low thyroid hormone production.  Your doctor may test your blood thyroid hormones called T4 and T3.

When Hormones Are Out of Balance

The word hormone comes from the Greek work, hormaein, meaning to excite or to urge on. Each hormone is a complex chemical substance produced and secreted into the bloodstream by an endocrine gland, or secreted by specialized cells in other organs, such as parts of the gastro-intestinal tract or the heart. Hormones reach every part of the body, and the membrane of every cell has receptors for one or more hormones that stimulate or retard a specific body function.

The hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain, acts as the mastermind that coordinates hormone production, producing regulatory or releasing hormones; these travel a short distance through special blood vessels and nerve endings to the pituitary gland, which is often referred to as the “master gland”. Attached to the hypothalamus by a short stalk, the pea- sized pituitary gland hangs from the base of the brain and is composed of two parts, an anterior and a posterior lobe. Some of its hormones act indirectly by stimulating target glands to release other hormones. Others have a direct effect on the function of target glands tissues.

Hormones can work in astonishingly small concentrations. On the high end, the ratio of hormone molecules to blood molecules is 1 to 5 billion, and on the low end side the ratio is 1 to 5 zillion, (1 in 5,000,000,000,000,000). Hormones are able to influence the activities of the body, but they must first bind with specific tailored protein cells called receptors. There are hundreds of different kinds of receptors, although each one is designed for a specific chemical signal within a cell. There are more than 10,000 different types of receptors, although it takes only a small number to obtain a response. The receptor and its hormone have an intricate and precise fit, like a key and a lock and this hormone receptor complex then binds to specific regions of DNA in the cell nucleus to activate specific gene.

When the body is in a state of homeostasis, the precise amount of hormones are released into the bloodstream and the body functions smoothly; but when the control mechanism malfunctions-either too much or too little of a particular hormone is secreted, or when an organ or tissue does not respond efficiently, the results can be severe and even fatal.

There are symptoms that you may have if you have hormonal imbalances. These include, but are not limited to:

hot flashes and night sweats
weight gain
insomnia
fatigue
low libido
vaginal dryness
PMS
mood swings
depression
fibrosis
anxiety
irritability
incontinence
yeast infections
headaches
memory lapses
inability to focus
sugar cravings
rapid or irregular heartbeat
autoimmune disorders
Some of these symptoms will be discussed in more depth in our next blog post.

Hormones Are Your Body’s Stabilizers

The word “homeostasis” describes the body’s ability to maintain relatively stable internal conditions even though the outside world is constantly changing. Homeostasis indicates a dynamic state of equilibrium or a balance in which internal conditions change and vary but always within relatively narrow limits. Communication within the body is essential for homeostasis and is accomplished chiefly by the nervous and endocrine systems. Many of the most vital functions of the human body are influenced by the endocrine system, which consists of glands that secrete hormones, or chemical messengers into the bloodstream.

The hypothalamus, located in the brain, acts like radar by receiving incoming information from the nervous system. It then uses this information to manufacture hormones that either target specific parts of the body, or to target other glands to produce specific hormones to maintain homeostasis.

The endocrine system consists of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, pineal gland, the thyroid gland, the parathyroid gland, the pancreas, the adrenal glands, the ovaries and the testes. All of the organs of the endocrine system are glands, but not all glands are part of the endocrine system. Other organs that produce hormones, but are not part of the endocrine system include the placenta in the pregnant female, glands in the gastro-intestinal tract, structures in the heart and blood vessels, and structures in the kidneys.

Hormones are the body’s internal chemical messengers. They carry the information that controls the function of almost all of the body’s cells and tissues. Most hormones are controlled by a mechanism called feedback, which is similar to a thermostat in a central heating system. When a gland is working harder than the body needs it to, the hormone system switches off; when the body needs the gland to speed up, the nervous system turns on the switch again.

The History of Chiropractic: D.D. Palmer

Chiropractic has been evolving over the past century, but its roots go back to ancient China and Greece. Ancient writings in these cultures mention manipulation of the spine and maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. Even Hippocrates, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C. published texts detailing the importance of chiropractic-health/what-is-chiropractic/”>chiropractic care. He wrote, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.”

Modern chiropractic emerged near the end of the 19th century when health care was a conglomeration of competing theories, practitioners, potions and schemes. Except in urban centers, doctors were scarce, and most health care was provided in the home by family members. Hospitals were even scarcer than doctors and were seen as places where the terminally ill went to die. Heroic medicine was the most prevalent form of “orthodox” medicine in the first half of the 19th century. Heroic practice involved the notion that the harshness of the doctor’s remedies should be in proportion to the severity of the patient’s disease. This meant that the sickest patients were at risk of dying from the treatment since most doctors used things such as mercury and other toxins as well as lancets for letting of blood.

Against this backdrop of heroic medicine, the Native American and Thompsonian traditions of herbal and other botanical remedies grew popular, and were joined in the early part of the 19th century by homeopathic medicine (promoted by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., of Germany) and the magnetic healing methods of Franz Anton Mesmer, M.D. It was during this era of medicine that the founder of modern chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer, was born. Daniel David (known as D.D.) was born in 1845 in rural Ontario, Canada, but his family relocated to the Mississippi River valley near the end of the Civil War. It was here that D.D. took up the practice of magnetic healing.

After nine years of clinical experience and theorizing, D.D. had decided that inflammation was the essential characteristic of all disease. With his sensitive fingers, Palmer sought to locate inflammation in his patients. By late 1895, Palmer began theorizing that inflammation occurred when displaced anatomical structures rubbed against one another, causing friction and heat. So Palmer started trying to manually reposition the parts of the body so as to prevent friction and the development of inflamed tissue.

The first recipient of D.D. Palmer’s new strategy of treatment was a janitor in the building where Palmer operated his 40-room facility. Patient Harvey Lillard reported in the January 1897 issue of The Chiropractic that: “I was deaf 17 years and I expected to always remain so, for I had doctored a great deal without any benefit. I had long ago made up my mind to not take any more ear treatments, for it did me no good. Last January Dr. Palmer told me that my deafness came from an injury in my spine. This was new to me; but it is a fact that my back was injured at the time I went deaf. Dr. Palmer treated me on the spine; in two treatments I could hear quite well. That was eight months ago. My hearing remains good.”

Pleased with his results with Harvey Lillard, D.D. Palmer extended his new work as a “magnetic manipulator” (Palmer 1897) to patients with a variety of other health problems, with reportedly good results. In the summer of 1896 he sought and obtained a charter for the Palmer School of Magnetic Cure, wherein he would teach his new method (Wiese 1896). With the assistance of his friend and patient, Reverend Samuel Weed, D.D. adopted Greek terms to form the word “chiropractic,” meaning done by hand. His school became known informally as Palmer’s School of Chiropractic (PSC), and he trained a few students, several of whom were allopathic and osteopathic doctors.

D.D.’s son B.J. took over the running of the Palmer School while D.D. went on to open two other schools. D.D. passed away in 1913 of typhoid fever in Los Angeles, California. D.D. left the legacy of a founding a form of healthcare that has helped millions of people over the past century.

Chiropractic Care Using the Activator Adjusting Instrument

Chiropractors use different techniques to perform the chiropractic-health/what-is-chiropractic/” target=”_blank”>chiropractic adjustment. Some chiropractors use their hands and others use instruments. This post will cover the most widely used adjusting instrument, known as the Activator Adjusting Instrument. The Activator Adjusting Instrument and the chiropractic technique associated with it was developed in 1967 and has become the most widely used low-force chiropractic technique in the world. According to the 2005 National Board of Chiropractic Examiner’s Job Analysis, 51.2% of American chiropractors report using the Activator Adjusting Instrument for patient care.

The Activator Instrument is a spring-loaded, hand-held mechanical instrument that provides a quick, low-force impulse at specific points. The instrument gives off 0.3 J of kinetic energy in a 3-millisecond pulse. The instrument was specifically designed to deliver a controlled, light and fast thrust without undue strain to the patient. As a result, this specific system of adjusting restores proper balance, and does so with improved safety and comfort.

There are two main advantages of an Activator Instrument treatment. The first is based on the speed of the device. The instrument is so fast that the body’s muscles are less likely to tense up in response and resist the treatment. When any force, such as a chiropractic adjustment, intrudes on the body, muscles in the involved area are automatically contracted by a reflex mechanism in order to protect that area from the force. The Activator instrument produces a thrust which is quicker than the body’s reflexes can respond. In other words, the thrust delivered by the instrument is so quick that it accelerates ahead of the body’s tendency to tighten up and resist the thrust of an adjustment. The lack of muscle resistance helps with the treatment’s effectiveness.

The second advantage is that the applied force is localized and does not add any additional torque or bending movement to the joint. In other words, with the Activator Instrument, the chiropractor can pinpoint the dysfunctional joint and apply the specific force needed to restore movement to the joint without subjecting the body to any extra forces. So when you combine the accuracy and the controlled light force, it makes Activator Methods treatments both effective and suitable for all types of patients including pregnant women, babies and children, athletes and seniors.