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Summer 101: Naturally Heal Your Sunburn

Written by Lisa Jillanza

We have all been there before – a long day at the beach or outdoors turns our skin into a pretty bad case of sunburn!  Instead of dealing with the affects for a few days or even a week after the burn, we offer these natural ways to help your skin heal and to help you feel better in no time.

 

Of course, there are plenty of sunburn treatment lotions out on the market, but anything that contains a high amount of vitamin E or contains aloe vera will help to alleviate the pain of sunburn.  The vitamin E and aloe vera add nutrients to the skin that UV rays have unbalanced.  The aloe vera also cools your skin, helping to reduce the pain. 

You may also find some good sunburn treatments right in your kitchen cabinet.  Vinegar, mustard, yogurt, tomatoes, and avocado all contain that extra vitamin E that will help to cool your skin.

Healthy Living - Benefits of Massage Therapy

Written by Lisa Jillanza

For more than 125 years, experts have been researching the benefits of massage therapy, and besides the obvious stress-free feeling that people have following a massage, there are plenty of other benefits to this ancient healing procedure.

 

 

One major benefit of massage therapy that researchers have found is that people who get massages on a regular basis have noticed a decrease in their blood pressure.  

Massages also help to alleviate the pain of those who suffer from migraine headaches. 

Massage can also: reduce your heart rate, increase blood circulation and lymph flow, relax your muscles, improve your range of motion, and increase endorphins. Some other physical benefits of massage therapy include relieving muscle tension and stiffness, alleviating discomfort during pregnancy, reducing muscle spasms, promoting deeper and easier breathing, enhancing the health and nourishment of your skin, and improving your posture. 

Massage therapy, while a physical act, is not all about physical benefits.  There are plenty of mental benefits that having a massage can give you. 

Some of these mental benefits include promoting mental alertness, relieving mental stress, reducing levels of anxiety, improving motor skills, creating   body awareness, and fostering a feeling of wellbeing. 

While this article only touches on a few benefits of massage therapy, both physical and mental, there are plenty more out there that researchers are learning about every day. 

So, go pamper yourself!

In the News Understanding RSV – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Continued from Part I… 

 

 

What is the treatment for RSV?

While there is no specific routine treatment for an RSV infection, doctors will offer suggestions on how to manage RSV symptoms, such as how to reduce fever or how to use saline drops to help clear a stuffy nose. Doctors may also suggest IVs, oxygen, or a breathing machine. 

Is there a vaccine or immunization for RSV?

Currently there is no vaccine or immunization for RSV, although scientists are working daily to come up with a vaccine. 

Isn’t RSV just a virus that children get?

Many think that RSV is a disease for infants and children. RSV causes approximately 100-500 deaths each year in children less than 5 years old; it also causes an estimated 14,000 deaths annually in adults aged 65 years and older. 

How long does it take for RSV to go away?

It usually takes 7 to 10 days for RSV to clear up on its own. Sometimes that can be shortened with breathing treatments and saline drops. 

How can I alleviate my symptoms of RSV?

  • Resting and drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Keeping your child upright as much as possible.
  • Using a humidifier or cool mist vaporizer to keep air moist.
  • Using saline drips or a nasal rinse to ease sinus congestion.
  • Managing pain with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Staying away from cigarette smoke.  

How can I prevent RSV?

Cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid close contact with infected individuals, and clean frequently touched surfaces. 

In the News Understanding RSV – Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

If you have listened to any medical broadcast over the past few months, then you have certainly heard the letters RSV. But what do you know about RSV? In this two-part article, we hope to provide you with a full understanding of what RSV is, signs, symptoms, treatments and how you can help yourself and those around you from getting RSV.

 

 

What does RSV stand for?

Respiratory syncytial virus or RSV is a contagious virus that is usually mild but can severely affect the lungs and respiratory airways.

What are the symptoms of RSV?

Symptoms of RSV can range from mild to severe and can last up to two weeks. RSV can cause severe symptoms in older adults. RSV symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, headache, and tiredness.

How does RSV spread?

Like some other respiratory infections, a cough or sneeze can easily spread RSV. And while you are typically contagious for 3 to 8 days, some people, especially those with weakened immune systems can be contagious for as long as 4 weeks – even after they stop showing symptoms. 

Can you get RSV more than once?

Yes, people can get RSV multiple times throughout their life. 

How is RSV diagnosed?

Since most cases of RSV are mild, tests are usually not required to diagnose infection. However, depending on your medical history and the time of year, your doctor may obtain a sample with a buccal swab or do a blood test to look for the presence of viruses and check the white blood cell count. In more severe cases and where hospitalization is required, your doctor may perform a chest X-ray or CT scan to check for pulmonary complications.

Continued in Part II…

Healthy Living What Your Feet Say About Your Health

Written by Lisa Jillanza

As odd as it may seem, your feet may be the window to your overall body health. Here are some things to look for regarding your feet that will give you clues that there may be other important body issues to investigate.

 

 

Thick, yellow toenails 

Toenails are not supposed to be thick and/or yellow.  Thick, yellow nails are most often an indication of a fungal infection living beneath your toenails.  People that have other medical conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other immune deficiencies are more likely to get a fungal infection than those that do not have these conditions.  To treat thick, yellow toenails, you will need to consult a podiatrist.  While there are plenty of over-the-counter treatments for thick, yellow toenails, by the time your nails are already discolored and thick it is too late for any over-the-counter creams or medicines to work. You must discuss your options with a professional.

No hair on your feet or toes 

If your feet or toes are lacking hair, it can be a sign of having poor circulation because of vascular disease.  If you notice that your feet and toes do not have any hair on them, you will want to consult your doctor to find out ways to improve your circulation thereby reducing your risk of acquiring vascular disease.

A wound that won’t heal on your foot  

Wounds on your feet that just won’t heal could be an indication of diabetes.  Over time, elevated blood glucose levels can lead to serious nerve damage in your feet and because of this damage you may not feel when you have a sore or a wound on your foot.  If your wound continues to go unhealed there could be major problems, including amputation.  If you notice a wound that won’t heal on your feet, be sure to contact your doctor to discuss your wound.  If you are currently living with or being treated for diabetes, be sure to check your feet often and mark any changes.