Self Mastery – Insight and Reason

The Scripting One individual plays the lead in each vignette to follow.

Can you find common threads?

A nine-year-old girl bounces off the bus and runs for the front door to tell her Mother about the incredible day she’s had at school. She’s met with great acknowledgment, hugs and musings about how smart she is. By the time the little girl is 12, this type of support begins to fade and when she reaches her early teens the outer reflections are almost completely shut down, replaced with comments about how she is too full of herself. As her childhood relationship with her Mother fades away, the girl goes within to find both her answers and her worth, doing more observing than interacting. As her the relationship with her inner voice matures, she occasionally offers up her wisdom in the face of family issues. Occasionally her comments are tolerated, yet mostly they are disregarded, or met with lots of resistance, criticism and invalidation.

“You’re such a know it all!” her Mother says this venomously, her teeth clenched, at least once daily.

A man and a woman in a potential romantic relationship are talking about their spiritual experiences on the phone one evening. They have a lot in common; movement and body-oriented therapies are at the root of their personal spiritual practice. He speaks to his decades of Tai Chi practice, she speaks about the many different modalities she’s learned and practiced over the past 25 years, all of which play a deep role in her current self-discovery. He speaks loudly and authoritatively about his teachers and gurus, the transmission he’s received from years of focusing on one thing and how this is the only way to a deeper understanding and spiritual advancement. She “gets” what he’s saying as her cells remember many lifetimes as a yogi, a monk and other similar paths. She’s also experienced depth in the energy of his particular method when she attended a 6-week class several years ago.

“You’re really arrogant aren’t you?” he says this softly, almost off-handedly, though its point searches expertly for the target inside her.

One friend asks another friend for reflections on her increasingly intense life situation. Nothing new, it’s been going on for 15 years and input is requested several times annually on this particular topic. The responder has gone from being thrilled and enthusiastic to help her friend out of the dilemma, to being disengaged, responding from a distant place of reason. Even so, she continues to share her insights honestly.

“Why are you so distant? You seem so disinterested?” the distressed friend asks. The input goes un-received for the umpteenth time. Or, she says, “Please don’t confront me now, your certainty is really scary!”

Raising the Bar This level of consciousness has a glass ceiling. In spite of its high level of beingness, it’s also like an unstable atom ready to either shatter the glass or to bounce off its invisible barrier, back into the chasm of anger, hopelessness and unconsciousness where it readies itself for another climb upward. Under its transparent umbrella, there’s a lot of angst and suffering, a breeding ground of inner, existential commentary coupled with fear of advancement into the unknown.

The way through this false transparency is humility, to ask and actually receive support from outside our own belief systems, beyond our rigidly held dogmas. Breakthrough happens when we are able to relinquish our controls and begin to see that other people are realizing and actualizing right alongside us.

Key in this discovery is to embrace all of humanity, to recognize our common potential, and simultaneously to sustain our individuation, our certainty and confidence, our will and courage within.

David Hawkins identifies this level of consciousness in his book, “Power vs. Force,” as ‘Reason,’ the home of great scientists, statesmen, religious leaders, lawmakers and Nobel Prize winners.

These people have reached the pinnacle in their vocations and careers, in the context of the highest, solely human, potentials. They are at the top of their financial games, they rule world governments and churches, they establish the height of the bar for global discovery and advancement.

There is one very crucial and forgotten piece here: the fact that we humans are filled with divine energy, that we are spirits embodied and we have a soul connection to a higher power, God or creator. Although many here are connected to spirituality and religion, we act like atheists in the context of our daily choices and actions, standing almost exclusively on our personal willfulness and physical energies.

Our lack of engagement with a greater spirit eventually exhausts our comparatively tiny resource bucket. Dangerous is the self-bred arrogance that comes with our intellectual knowingness, or at least the belief we have reached the top of some distant monument to ourselves, overlooking our domain.

Some of us know spirituality exists in this place, and likewise make statements to the fact that we’re following a soul path, yet we forget to include the divine in our daily lives. We forget to consult with our inner voices, our higher minds, the Gods and Goddess of our hearts, and our divine guidance.

Personally I see this as a place with immature satisfactions, a place with false floors. It’s also an important stepping-stone to achieving and sustaining a causal relationship with the eternal truths.

It’s a place we can visit occasionally while we grow into our integrity. Here we can sit in the sun and weed out attachments to dogma, gradually decrease our propensity for intellectual pontification and surrender our complacencies. A station with many benefits, we can stop here to gather Cosmic energy; we can observe where we’ve come from, and the road to where we’re going.

Motorcycle Gas Mileage

With insane gas prices, people are looking at motorcycle gas mileage. More people are considering motorcycles to reduce their gas costs. I’ve gotten over 50mpg on my 2004 Road King Custom, which has the five speed   transmission . The new six speed will no doubt give you better mileage.

As you can see by the list below, Harley-Davidson motorcycles get great gas mileage ranging from around 53mpg for the big Screamin Eagle Ultra Classic and the Screamin Eagle DYNA, both with the 110 cubic inch engine to around 60mpg for the 883 Sportster.

If you’re considering a motorcycle to lower your gas costs, keep in mind the type of riding your going to be doing. If you’re thinking about an 883 Sportster to commute to and from work, remember the types of roads you’ll be traveling on. The Sporster gets great gas mileage but I would not want to spend a lot of time on the highway with it. If you are going to be doing a lot of highway riding, I would consider something bigger. Either way, you’ll be saving money on gas and having fun doing it. Here is a mileage estimate list for Harley motorcycles.

Sportster 883 models: 60 HWY/45 CITY

Sportster 1220 models: 57 HWY/42 CITY

DYNA Super Glide: 54 HWY/35 CITY

DYNA Super Glide Custom: 53 HWY/34 CITY

DYNA Street Bob: 54 HWY/35 CITY

DYNA Fat Bob: 53 HWY/34 CITY

DYNA Low Rider: 53 HWY/34CITY

DYNA Wide Glide 105Th Anniversary: 53 HWY/34 CITY

Screamin Eagle DYNA: 53 HWY/36 CITY

VRSV V-Rod: 42 HWY/34 CITY

Night Train Softail: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Softail Custom: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Fat Boy: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Rocker,Rocker C: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Softail Deluxe: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Heritage Softail Classic: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Electra Glide Standard: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Road King, Road King Classic, Road Glide, Street Glide: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Electra Glide Classic: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Screamin Eagle Road King: 53.5 HWY/37.7 CITY

Screamin Eagle Ultra Classic: 53 HWY/36 CITY

Ham Radio – The Advantage of DStar and DMR Modes

Ham Radio is a fascinating hobby, but what is the advantage of D-star and DMR modes.

There are many different interests within the umbrella name of Ham Radio. People communicate with other like-minded people around the World using the Internal Short Wave bands. Ham Radio Operators equipment include H.F., (High Frequency), transceivers covering several of the Ham Band allocations, and many use Yagi aerials with three, four and sometimes six elements, to not only transmit their power out to the receiving station, but also to receive weak signals form lesser equipped ham radio Operators using simple aerial systems such as dipoles or vertical radiators. These aerial elements can be thirty three feet long when covering the twenty metre Ham Band, if the elements are widely spaced between each other at say point two of a wavelength, the distance between the elements is four point two metres, a very large aerial indeed.

Many Radio Hams who I have spoken to around the World have sixty feet high towers with multi element aerial as described above. You need a lot of space for such an aerial, and planning permission to go along with it.

D-Star and DMR are Ham Radio modes which are gaining in popularity, because the problems associated with having a large aerial do not exist, signals on D-star and DMR do not rely of the ionosphere to propagate signal around the World, they use laser light and data packets used to facilitate the International World wide web.

Many elderly radio Hams who have moved from their long term family homes, into small apartments, where outside aerials are not allowed, are finding that their interest in communication can still continue, using D-star or DMR modes of communication. The digital mode also has a great advantage over traditional propagation. You need propagation to be working in your favour when using High Frequency bands. If there is no propagation on a particular Ham Band, you simply do not hear any signals. D-star and DMR modes rely on the efficiency of the Internet, offering Radio Hams Worldwide communication without the need for natural reflection and refraction of the transmitted signal via the Earth’s Ionosphere.

Handheld transceivers capable of Digital transmission are now freely available from many of the Ham Radio retailers. Their transmissions are converted from standard analogue voice signals via voice encoders built into the hand set, these transmissions are picked up via local repeaters that are connected with each other to form a Worldwide network, if you do not live beside a D-star or DMR repeater you easily can turn your home based computer into a repeater with inexpensive add-on technology, they do the same job as a nearby repeater does.

Interactive Technology in Healthcare Education

Healthcare professionals are under pressure to remember, utilize and absorb vast amounts of new or changing information in increasing volume. This surge has led to new and improved computer-based tools for many healthcare activities and to an explosion in the marketplace of tools used in instruction and education of healthcare workers. This article explains the use of interactive technology in healthcare and how this benefits instruction and education of healthcare professionals.

Digital systems that capture images from documents, 35-mm slides, physical samples or specimens, or virtually anything that the camera lens can see, is found in interactive technology. In healthcare, transmitting these images to computers with simple devices or software that will allow the display and integration of educational material into the training environment is easily accommodated.

The method for delivering these images or documents, usually via PowerPoint presentations, photography, videotape or audio presentations can turn a standard Windows PC into a dynamic, interactive, teaching tool. Depending on the type of training environment needed, interactive presentations can be found in the use of liquid crystal displays, large plasma displays, rear projection systems or even whiteboards. Educators can now tailor their courses to their audience’s expectations and needs using any number of these presentation forms.

Effectiveness of interactive learning systems is largely dependent upon the type or form of delivery used in combination with software that is easily used by both novice and expert users. Smaller systems will use a pen or stylus vs. a computer and a mouse where larger systems may use elaborate videoconferencing systems where many participants can be in the virtual classroom at the same time. Many healthcare organizations already utilize small and large types of communication systems routinely in the delivery of quality, high-tech healthcare to patients and their community. Adapting this equipment or having it serve dual purposes is an easy and cost-effective transition.

The era of the blackboards and chalk dust is now a memory for most of us. Interactive technology tools permit the educator to draw on, write on, and annotate data right on the screen as part of their dynamic presentation. In addition, the educator can now annotate their presentation and then save, print and even distribute by email, the contents of the class session to all participants.

The mobility that interactive technology gives the educator in the virtual classroom lends itself to unlimited types of uses and methods for delivery of high quality, interactive, sessions. Participants, too, benefit from easy access to the sessions, improved and more accurate note-taking that can be used later for study and reference. This all leads to greater retention of the learning objectives and enhanced or improved application in the field once the participant returns to the office or department.

Healthcare professionals should look for educators and learning systems that combine ergonomics with interactive technologies that integrate use the user of free text, annotation, images and video clips with the traditional printed materials. Transitions between screens or programs, linking to the Internet and class sessions, downloading or printing of the course materials and saving of files or information for future classes or reference use should be easy and simple to use. The presentation and delivery of the educational material should be efficient and easy to use and tailored to use by both healthcare professionals that have varying levels of technological skills.

Regardless of whether healthcare workers are new to the workplace or seasoned professionals, the learning systems used should assist them with learning new skills, procedures, diagnostic techniques and terminology. Communication between healthcare workers in both local and distant communities is on the rise and the use of interactive technology enables the participants to collaborate and share critical data and information.

Interactive technology can also benefit the bottom line and reduce costs formerly associated with travel or staffing and resources to send workers to local, regional or national meetings. Interactive presentations and systems can also attract and hold the participants interest and attention, enhancing their learning and retention gained from the course(s).

It is no wonder, then, that interactive technology has gained such a strong and prominent position in the education of healthcare workers. Healthcare workers looking for either online, distance or local training should evaluate the presentation and delivery systems used in order to maximize their learning experience.

PUBLISHING RIGHTS:

You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print, in your e-book or on your website, free of charge, as long as the author’s information and web link are included at the bottom of the article and the article is not changed, modified or altered in any way. The web link should be active when the article is reprinted on a web site or in an email. The author would appreciate an email indicating you wish to post this article to a website, and the link to where it is posted.

Copyright 2005, M. A. Webb. All Rights Reserved

Easy Songs To Play On Guitar With 4 Simple Open Chords

Learning Chords

For most beginners at guitar playing, the first goal is to learn some easy songs to play on the guitar. And one of the main challenges here is learning all the guitar chords needed in order to be able to play those songs.

And that’s not always an easy thing to accomplish. Many songs uses chords that seem to have been invented for no other reason than to make it impossible to play. No wonder you give up on those songs. They have to wait until you get better at guitar playing.

G-Em-C-D

The Chord progression G-Em-C-D is a common (big understatement!) sequence all over the world, in all sorts of music styles. You can of course transpose to other chords, like C-Am-F-G or D-Bm-G-A and so on. Another way to “transpose” a song that not fits your voice is to use a capo at any fret you like.

I have compiled a little list of songs that I found that uses these chords. Many of them uses the progression all the way through the entire song, others are played with variations. And a few of them uses other chords as well.

The List

So here it is, my small gift to those of you who can’t find easy songs to play on guitar.

Here are the chords again, with two additional variations.

(C-Am-F-G), (G-Em-C-D), (D-Bm-G-A)

Stand by Me – Ben E. King

Heart and Soul – Hoagy Carmichael

The Thin Ice – Pink Floyd

Earth Angel – The Penguins (in family guy, back to the future etc.)

Donna – Ritchie Valens

Duke of Earl – Gene Chandler

Every Breath You Take – The Police

The Living Daylights – a-Ha

Last Kiss

Those Magic Changes and Beauty School Dropout – from Grease

Leader of the Pack

You Send Me

Blue Moon – Chris Isaak

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – The Carpenters

Bubble Goose – Wyclef Jean

Teenager in Love – Dion & The Belmonts(?)

Fly On The Wings Of Love – The Olsen Brothers

Bus Station – Tom Russell

Heart Of Gold – Neil young

Stand By Me – Ben E King

Beautiful Girls – Sean Kingston

I’ve just seen a face – The Beatles

Last Kiss – Pearl Jam

Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis (I think?)

Single Ladies – Beyonce

Baby – Justin Bieber

Mary’s Song- Taylor Swift

Jump then Fall- Taylor Swift

Wrapped in your Arms- Fireflight

This magic moment

Up on the roof- The Drifters

Wonderful world – Herman Hermits

Lovers moon – Glenn Frye – My new favorite.

She will be loved – Maroon 5

His Latest Flame – Elvis.

I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty Springfield.

End Of The Line – Traveling Wilburys.

Puff The Magic Dragon – Peter, Paul and Mary

Kumbayah

Where Have All The Flowers Gone? – Pete Seeger

Look at the first song in this list. In all its simplicity “Stand By Me” is a fantastic song, and it has travelled with me through all these years. And it’s a very easy song to play on guitar.

If you like that song I’ll show you a very special version of it, at my website.

Diflucan Yeast Infection

Yeast is a type of fungus that may be present normally over the skin. The specific type of yeast that causes many a diseases in human is Candida albicans. This is a normal flora, mainly showing their presence in the moist areas of human skin like armpits, mouth, groin, sexual organs (both in male and female) and fold of the buttocks. It is seen that 20-50% of any normal healthy female carry yeast in their vaginal area.

Candidiasis, or yeast infection can be localized to the skin or there may be severe systemic infection in patients having reduced immunity. These patients usually suffer from AIDS, cancer or cancer patients receiving chemotherapy drugs.

It is estimated that almost 75% of the female population will suffer from vaginal yeast infection at any point of their lifetime. This is again aggravated by previous or secondary bacterial infection like Gonorrhea and protozoal infection like Trichomonas. Some external irritants like vaginal douches or the internal hormonal disturbances derange the normal vaginal flora and there is excess production of the acid producing bacteria like lactobacilli. Regular intake of oral pills, pregnancy, stress, vaginal sex immediately after anal sex and private part lubricants containing glycerin are some predisposing factors of vaginal yeast infection.

Men can also suffer from genital yeast infection. The causes are unclean prepuce, engaging in excessive anal sex and not cleaning after that.

Oral candidiasis can occur in immunocompromized patients. This may also transmit to any person if engaged in oral sex with the infected partner. Long standing diabetes is one of the most contributory factors of oral yeast infection.

Use of antibiotics and steroids (which lowers the immunity) is the two most common causes of yeast infection of mouth cavity and private parts due to indiscriminate use by the doctors and also by the quacks. To kill this offending fungus we need some medicine called antifungal agents. Diflucan is one of them.

Diflucan, or scientifically known as Fluconazole, is an imidazole related antifungal agent which shows primary a fungistatic (inhibiting the growth of fungus) action. But in higher concentrations, Diflucan can also acts as a fungicidal agent (killing fungus). It helps to destroy the cytoplasmic membrane of the fungus and the fungal growth is retarded.

Bioavailability of Diflucan is not affected by presence of food in stomach. After absorption, it promptly shows its presence in skin, tears and urine. The concentration here are at least 10 times more that in sputum, saliva and vaginal fluid. This delineates the excretory process of Diflucan through urine and sweat. This is the reason Diflucan is preferred by doctors treating the cases of skin and vaginal yeast infection.

Patients having irregular heart rate and liver diseases must not take Diflucan as there may be aggravation of the problem. Although Diflucan is well tolerated generally, people can suffer from nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea infrequently.

The major complications of Diflucan are reduced urine output, ulcerative condition of the lips and gums (Steven-Johnson’s Syndrome). Presence of Diflucan is noted in the breast milk, so nursing mothers should not take this medicine. Diflucan can lead to fetal malformations, therefore the pregnant mothers and those who are planning to have a baby in near future should avoid using Diflucan.

Diflucan is a good medicine in Yeast infection but the side effects are the restrictive factors for the wide use of this drug.

Fax Machines Reviews

In the field of telecommunications, the word fax (facsimile) refers to the act of transmitting copies over a telephone network. This system enjoys a distinct advantage because the transfer is immediate. This machine consists of a modem and an image scanner. Sometimes, the equipment is equipped with printers and photo-copiers. Although these machines have existed since the last century, they began to gain popularity in the last two decades due to their economic affordability.

Digital fax machines gained popularity in Japan. In recent years, the internet has made inroads into the field of telecommunications but the machines have continued to remain a popular choice, even in the corporate world,for the transfer of documents. Fax servers have replaced the old fax machines. These can receive faxes and transmit the information over the internet to the user. There are two kinds of fax machines.

The analog machines used earlier, are no longer in vogue. Digital machines have replaced them. The digital machines have two groups, Group three and group four. The machines are classified on the basis of the time they take to transmit a document. There are also different classes of this machines and different transmission rates. These machines use a variety of modulation methods to transmit data. It use two different methods of compression to reduce the amount of data that needs to be transmitted between two machines. These methods are Modified Huffmann and Modified Read. In the Modified Huffmann method each word is scanned and compressed independently. The amount of white space is also reduced considerably. This helps in minimising the time taken for transmission. The Modified Read Method uses a slightly different method of compression.

The first line is scanned using the MH method. The second line is scanned and the differences are determined. These differences are transmitted after a process of encoding. This method pre-supposes that these differences are minimal. The Matsushita White Line Skip is another method of compression but it can be used only on Panasonic machines.

Most of the machines that are used currently belong to the Group Three. Documents are scanned in black and white. Thermal printers that were hitherto used have given way to a generation of this machines. Thermal transfer printers,laser printers and ink-jet printers are some of these machines. Thermal fax papers, however, do not possess legal validity as the ink used in these papers is not indelible.

Fax machines come now in compact sizes and are very portable. They are also all-in-one machines that lend themselves to official and personal use, that can print, scan and fax. These machines have become versatile and they are invaluable in any corporate setting or a business house.

Underground Electric Dog Fence

An underground electric dog fence is a great way to keep your dog safe from the street or roaming into uninvited areas like your neighbor’s yard. They come in a variety of sizes to fit all dogs: underground fences for little dogs of under 12 lbs, average sized dogs and even large dogs as well as extra wire for larger acres of land. The electric fence can be buried underground, stapled above ground or attached along an existing fence. These fences give precise and consistent correction and some are specifically made for the stubborn dog with strong retriever tendencies or low sensitivity and in need of beeps and stronger vibration for them to get the message.

These underground wired fences work on slopes or in hilly areas, treed lots, in water and acres of land. Their precision and consistent correction capabilities allow for good reliability near busy streets. The variety of collars that are interchangeable make them great for small dogs, like a Chihuahua or a large dog like a Great Dane.

A small indentation or groove made in the pavement is big enough for the wire to be brought beyond the driveway to the extended yard making the dog fence very practical, just backfill the driveway with outdoor sealant. If you don’t want to buy wire get the staples and run the wire above ground. Zip ties can help you secure the wire along an existing fence.

Correction depends upon the dog receiving the   transmission . Therefore, you need to make sure that the receiver collar is the right size for your dog. It should not be smaller than the space of your two fingers between the collar and his neck (we don’t want to choke poor “Pooch”!), but the prongs need to touch the skin of your dog in order for the shock to be felt. Remember, it’s a harmless shock that is meant to catch your dog’s attention and change his current behavior. Long or medium haired dogs may need a scissor cut around the neck area so the prongs will contact the skin. If necessary, there are long pronged collars available for the long haired dog as well.

We love our dogs but, let’s face it, nothing is certain with them for dogs are naturally impulsive. Therefore, even with the underground electric dog fence training is imperative if you want a great chance of solid obedience. We highly recommend training the dog before actually using any system. Flags are available for training the dog to learn the boundary. Take 2-3 weeks, depending on your dog, to walk around the boundary with the flags so “Pooch” can see where the boundary is. Then place the collar on him and walk around with him guiding him to retreat when the signal on the collar transmits a warning. Before you know it, your dog will readily stay within the boundary of the underground electric dog fence without your presence because he won’t know that he can run through it!

Homework Organization For Students (And Their Parents)

I spend a lot of time at my seminars and workshops, on the phone and via email discussing the subject of homework organization. Actually, I spend a lot of time listening to parents complain that their children’s homework disorganization is driving everybody crazy!

Many students have such a hard time getting it together that by the time they finally sit down to do their homework, they are exhausted. No wonder they don’t want to do it! Getting organized will help alleviate exhaustion, bad attitudes, procrastination and rebelliousness.

Homework organization just makes life easier for everyone.

These are the homework organization tips that I use as a student, teacher and parent. Print this list and read it with your children. Then, post it on the fridge and refer to it often so that everybody (parents, kids, babysitters, grandparents) will be on the same organized page.

At School:

  • Write down every, single homework assignment in one place. I strongly recommend using a bound or wire notebook- definitely NOT a loose leaf binder. I don’t care how careful you are, pages will fall out, and then what? You won’t know what to do nor when to do it! A plain notebook is fine, but a datebook or calendar is the best. Some schools even provide these to students. Use it.
  • Write down homework assignments as you get them. This is mostly for older students that change classes and teachers, but it is a good habit for everyone. If the teacher says, “Oh, tonight I want you to read Chapter 4,” write that down in your notebook.
  • Write down every, single due date for a project or paper- even if you have a handout or syllabus. Handouts disappear (I think they hang out with loose socks), but you will still know what to do and when to do it if you have everything written down in your homework notebook.
  • Keep ALL of the day’s homework assignments together in one place. Don’t have a special place or page for math, another for writing, etc. You want to see everything in one spot.
  • Check your homework notebook Three (3) Times A Day: Before you leave school (or each class), double check to make certain that you have everything (books, paper, materials, etc.) that you will need later.

At Home:

  • Before you start doing your homework, look at your notebook and make sure that you are doing the right assignment, the right page, etc.
  • Before you put everything away, take one more quick look. Did you do everything? Good!
  • Make a decision about where you will put your completed homework: into a binder pocket, a special homework folder, etc. You may decide to have a color-coded folder for each class. If you choose to use folders, I strongly recommend using 3-hole punched folders and keeping them together in a 3-ring binder. Whatever you choose, stick to it! Don’t put your homework in your a binder today, a folder tomorrow… And, never, ever fold your homework into a book or throw it loose into your backpack! Shudder!
  • Use your Magic Homework Box. You do have one, don’t you? The Magic Homework Box is a box with all of the homework supplies and materials a student needs on a regular basis. These supplies only come out of the Magic Homework Box during homework time, so you always have what you need. Now, that’s magic!
  • Clean up as soon as you are finished with your homework. Now, not later! Put completed pages in your homework folder, then put the folder and homework notebook in your backpack. Not only will mornings will be less crazy, you won’t have to sit in class knowing that you did your homework and forgot it at home (doh!). Don’t forget to put away the dictionary and any other books you may have used.
  • Remember to put everything back into your Magic Homework Box. In my house, homework is not “done” until everything is cleaned up and put away.
  • Keep your backpack organized. Throw away all of those candy wrappers and random pieces of paper. Keep one area or pocket filled with a few items (pencils, a sharpener, maybe a calculator) so that you can do your homework anywhere- maybe even before you get home! Remove any graded test, project, report or paper that your teacher has taken the time to return to you. Why? You might need it to study for a test, for a portfolio or for a project. You can throw everything away at the end of the semester or the school year, but until then put each item in its own subject file, but NOT in the homework folder. Remember, homework folders are ONLY for completed homework that is ready to be turned in!
  • Don’t give up! They say it takes 21 days to form a good habit. If you forget to do something on this list, don’t stop trying. Hey, maybe if you remember to write down all of your homework or clean up for 21 days in a row, your mom or dad will do something extra nice for you! (Parents, that was a hint!)

A Note to Parents about Homework Organization

Please remember that your job is to give your children organizational tools and show them how to use them. Your job is NOT to organize your child’s homework! So, in the beginning, you might check your son’s homework notebook to make sure that he is writing down all of his assignments in one place, but you would never dream of calling the teacher and checking. You might watch as your daughter copies the science project due dates into her homework notebook; you will not do it for her.

Yes, I know that it is hard to let go- I’ve been there! But, we want our children to be organized and independent learners, right?

You can do it!

(For more information about recommended homework organization products and The Magic Homework Box, please see site information below.)

Heartburn Can Be Easily Cured

Do you suffer from heartburn, reflux or burping? Perhaps you rely on a medicine to help settle your tummy. I have written on digestive disorders on several occasions previously, but this time I would like to write specifically on a little bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection is recognised as the most prevalent bacteria to infect the human population in the entire world. You may well identify the following problem, and if you do, don’t despair. It actually is possible to free from heartburn, reflux or a low grade queasiness, which affects so many people.

Helicobacter is a clever little bug

In 1982, when Australian Dr. Barry Marshall identified a new bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (HP) as an infectious agent responsible for peptic ulcer disease, it completely transformed medicine’s understanding of the microbiology and disease of the human stomach. Your stomach is protected from its own gastric juice by a thick layer of mucous that covers the stomach lining. HP takes advantage of this protection by actually living in the mucous lining. Once this clever little bug is safe in this mucous, it is able to fight the stomach acid that does reach it with an enzyme it possesses called urease. Urease converts urea, of which there is an abundant supply in the stomach (from saliva and gastric juices), into bicarbonate and ammonia, which are strong (alkaline) bases. This creates a cloud of acid-neutralizing chemicals around the H. pylori, protecting it from the acid in the stomach. This cloud is also part of the reflux and burping process that occurs, which many HP people complain of.

Contributing to the protection of HP is the fact that the body’s natural defenses cannot reach these bugs in this mucous lining of the stomach. The immune system will respond to an HP infection by sending “killer T-cells”, (white blood cells), and other infection-fighting agents. However, these potential H. pylori eradicators cannot reach the infection, because they cannot easily get through stomach lining. They do not go away – the immune response just grows and grows over time. White cells die and spill their destructive compounds onto cells lining the stomach lining. More nutrients are sent to reinforce the white cells, and the H. pylori can feed on this. Within a few days, gastritis and perhaps eventually a peptic ulcer results in the lining of your tummy. And of course, the person who suffers is often blissfully unaware, takes an antacid or an acid-blocking drug long-term, and continues to eat and drink foods which only aggravate the healing process long term. So they go back to the doctor, only to be told to stay on the medicine. After a few years, the person resigns themselves to the fact that they will always require this “medicine” to cure their condition. Yeah right, and Alice lived happily after in Wonderland.

To confirm that HP caused the gastritis and peptic ulceration, Marshall swallowed cultures of the bacteria and contracted gastritis (inflammation of the mucus membrane of the stomach). He then underwent endoscopy (internal examination of the stomach), and provided biopsies from which the suspected bug was re-isolated.

Changing medical belief and practice takes time. For nearly 100 years, scientists and doctors thought that ulcers were caused by lots of stress, spicy foods, and copious alcohol. Treatment involved bed rest and a bland and boring diet. Later, researchers added stomach acid to the list of causes and began treating ulcers with antacids when they became fashionable.Unfortunate for poor Barry, nobody believed him. In fact, he was actually treated with ridicule and disdain when he first proposed the idea that a bacteria actually lived the hostile environment of the stomach. Before 1982, the accepted medical paradigm was “no acid, no ulcer”, and that stomach ulcers only occurred when excess acid damaged the stomach wall and that all treatment should be aimed at reducing or neutralising all that bad acid. Surely you remember the advertisements on TV with the man drawing on his tummy with a felt tipped pen, telling you that the acid has to “stay down there”. These commercials generally came on after dinner, the time when your tummy is most likely to play up, I can’t help but thinking how many of those sufferers possibly have an undetected H.pylori infection. There is still a lot of drug promotion regarding this acid reflux problem. Unfortunately, many such patients today are still seen as having “too much stomach acid”, and treated with antacids or stomach-acid blockers as front-line therapy, when in my clinical experience actually the opposite applies, they don’t have enough or have an infection which needs sorting. Gastric juice is composed of digestive enzymes and concentrated hydrochloric acid, which can readily digest food or kill microorganisms. Low levels of stomach acid increase the chance an organism’s survival. It used to be thought that the stomach contained no bacteria and was actually sterile, and it took an Aussie GP to prove all the world’s experts wrong.

It seems pretty silly to treat the acid problem perpetually, without enquiring into actually why this burping, reflux and upper abdominal discomfort is occurring in the first place. Albert Szent Györgyi, (1937 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine) said that: “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Today it is an established fact that most cases of peptic ulcers and gastritis, diseases that affect millions of humans worldwide, result from this HP infection, and not “too much acid” in the stomach at all.

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Albert Szent Györgyi

HP infection and prevalence

H. pylori is believed to be transmitted orally. Did you wash your hands? Many researchers believe that HP is transmitted orally by means of fecal matter through the ingestion of tainted food or water. In addition, it is possible that H. pylori could be transmitted from the stomach to the mouth through gastro-esophageal reflux or belching, all common symptoms of gastritis. The bacterium could then be transmitted through oral contact.

HP infection remains a huge problem, is extremely common and infecting more than a billion people worldwide. It is estimated that half of the American population older than age 60 has been infected with H. pylori at some stage and the economic effect of ulcer disease in the US (as measured back in a study of 1989 data) showed that the illness cost then nearly $6 billion annually. ($2.66 billion for hospitalisation, not including doctor ‘s fees), outpatient care ($1.62 billion), and loss in work productivity ($1.37 billion).

One in five Aussies and Kiwis have HP, according to Dr. Barry Marshal, infection usually persists for many years, leading to ulcer disease in 10 % to 15% of those infected. H. pylori is found in more than 80% of patients with gastric and duodenal ulcers. You can imagine what this common complaint in NZ and Australia is costing, in terms of medication, doctor’s visits and lost productivity at work. Early research on HP characterised much of the work to come, the data that emerged from the study of all these samples was quite unexpected. It showed that HP is actually a common bacterial agent and that an amazing 30-50% of the world’s population are colonised with it.

How do you know if you have the HP bug?

The infection manifests differently in different individuals. In some people, it produces more acid in the stomach, and ulcers may result. In others, stomach acid suppression or complete lack (which we call achlorhydria) may result, and these people may be at a greater risk of gastric cancer. It is unclear why some people respond one way or the other.

Typical manifestations of a Helicobacter pylori infection:

· Nausea, or a low-grade feeling of being queasy. Could be vomiting.

· Avoidance of chilli, garlic or a specific food which “does not agree” with your tummy.

· Bloating worse after meals. Feeling worse after meals or certain foods.

· Recurring abdominal pain, intestinal cramps.

· Peptic or duodenal ulcers (over 90% of all cases have HP)

· Burping, this can be pretty bad. The person may have developed a reputation!

· Heartburn, and perhaps reliant on Quick-Eze or Gavascon, Losec, etc.

· Diarrhea or constipation after several years of infection.

· Disturbed sleep, perhaps waking up with a hollow feeling or heartburn. I have known some patients to prop up the head of the bed with a few bricks even.

· Symptoms worse at night, or worse lying down.

· Vitamin B12 deficiency. Have your practitioner test for this, you may well be deficient.

· Altered appetite, some times you may feel like eating, other times you don’t.

· After being infected for several years, you may have develop mineral deficiencies which can lead to a myriad of health problems.

· Helicobacter pylori is implicated in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

· Migraine headaches (40% of migraine sufferers are positive, and eradication subsides the headaches).

· Acne rosacea. Helicobacter pylori is suspected of causing rosacea (eradication of HP often results in a significant reduction in rosacea symptoms).

Is it any wonder how an ailing stomach is supposed to do its job, i.e., digesting and absorbing foods efficiently when a bacterial infection is causing such dysfunction? Your doctor may have initially prescribed a medicine such as Losec, Gavascon or Mylanta for your stomach, serving to block acid or dilute it. How is your tummy supposed to work at all now? Then you go back and complain that the symptoms are unchanged. What then? You can see what I mean, after many years of this infection you can feel quite unwell. I see one person or more each week like this, and have done so for many years. When I wrote an article to our local newspaper several years ago regarding HP, I received nearly ten calls. And almost al these patients had a HP infection, all were on either Losec, Quick-Eze, Gavascon or Mylanta.

Conventional HP Therapy

Please note that it is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure of your heartburn or reflux. Many stomach or digestive diseases and conditions share common symptoms: if you treat yourself for the wrong illness or a specific symptom of a complex disease, you may delay legitimate treatment of a serious underlying problem, yes even stomach cancer. In other words, the greatest danger in self-treatment may actually be self-diagnosis. Always work with your health-care professional, preferably one who is experienced in gastrointestinal disorders. If you do not know what you really have, you simply can not treat it!

I have always had a great concern regarding the extensive use of antibiotic drugs required to treat HP infected individuals. The conventional medical clearing of HP from the stomach requires therapy from 10 to 14 days with multiple drugs. My concern is that prolonged or recurrent antibiotic treatment alters the normal microbial population of the entire gastrointestinal tract, eliminating many beneficial bacteria as well as HP, allowing the sufferer to develop a gut environment which may contain bugs like Candida albicans, proteus, or a whole host of other undesirables. You get rid of one problem, only to create yet another.

Triple Therapy

The use of only one medication to treatH. pylori was never recommended by Dr. Marshall. At this time, the most conventional treatment is a 2-week course of treatment called “triple therapy”. It involves taking two antibiotics to kill the bacteria and either an acid suppressor or stomach-lining shielding drug. Two-week triple therapy reduces ulcer symptoms, kills the bacteria, and prevents ulcer recurrence in many patients – but the recurrence can be as high as 75%. Complete eradication is difficult, I have had many patients who have come to me after having had triple therapy many years ago with average to poor results, and were placed on an acid blocker for many years after.I do recommend this for some resistant cases, and have been know to send some patients to a GP for triple therapy, then follow-up with natural treatment for 6 weeks. I have found that some patients may find triple therapy complicated because it involves taking 3 kinds of drugs, and as many as 20 pills a day. Also, the antibiotics and bismuth drugs used in triple therapy may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark stools, metallic taste in the mouth, dizziness, headache, and yeast infections, particularly in women.

HP Testing

The diagnosis of H. pylori infection has traditionally involved endoscopy with biopsies of the stomach’s mucosa. There are three ways to test for HP currently in NZ. To be honest, I only occasionally authorise a HP test these days, and generally have a “gut feeling” a person has this bug once they come into my room and complain of the above mentioned symptoms. Common sense – the patient will soon tell you if they are or are not improving, and it only takes about three to four weeks to really know what is going on. Just because the test results come back negative, you could still have this bug. You know me by now, please don’t get paralysis from analysis! If you feel significantly better after a HP treatment whether it be pharmaceutical or natural – you probably have HP regardless of what the test results say. Remember – up to one in five New Zealanders have this infection, so the odds are reasonably high you have it.

· The Urea Breath Test method of diagnosis relies on the Urea reaction being present, as mentioned earlier. This is a sound test – 90 – 95% successful in picking up the HP bug.

· Blood tests measuring HP antibody levels have been developed. However, these tests have suboptimal sensitivity and specificity (85% and 79%).

· Stool tests for antibodies – again, many factors can affect the outcome of this test, stay with breath testing. Many experts say that the fecal antigen test is bullet proof, but in my experience I have seen many “false negatives” with testing. That is, the results come back all ok, but the patient responds dramatically after HP treatment.

Natural HP Eradication

No clear indications exist for specific treatment of each and every individual case of HP associated gastritis. I have found the following treatments to be effective, and employed many different therapies over the years. Here are some treatments which I have found to work in various HP cases. Remember, recurrence rates are quite high, so you may want to persist with treatment until you feel much better, then hang in there for a few more months (lower grade treatment) to be absolutely sure. I recommend treatment in blocks of 6 weeks, then wait 2 -3 weeks, then another 6 week period of treatment. A good clinical tip for you: always treat this infection by taking something with meals, and also something in-between, or away from foods. This is designed to really drive the “kill” treatment home, and lets the treatment have access to the HP bugs in the gut with as well as away to some extent from foods and gastric juice involvement. I have a saying in my clinic: persistence breaks resistance. Remember Winston Churchill? – never give in, never give in, never give in.

· Manuka honey, which has high levels of hydrogen peroxide and has been shown in studies to be active against H. pylori. Go for the Comvita high UMF factor Manuka honey.

· Propolis works really well for some, but is dismal for others.

· Vitamin B12 – get this checked in your blood! You may well be deficient here.

· After antibiotic treatment is finished, (triple therapy) it makes sense to rebuild the gut flora with lactobacillus species. They won’t cure the condition, however. (A 2002 trial demonstrated that a mixed acidophilus preparation failed to eradicate the H. pylori infection in the patients upon whom it was tried).

· DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) – you can get this in capsules or liquid.

· Aloe Vera helps to heal the mucous lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

· Berberine is found in the herb Goldenseal, and it may be used as a natural herbal antibiotic.

· Eat grapefruit seeds, for some this is very effective long term. The extract is even better.

· Digestive enzymes may also be useful – especially with achlorhydria (low stomach acid)

· Gum mastic is a natural substance from the sap of the Mediterranean evergreen tree, Pistacia lemniscuses. Mastic gum has been shown to be effective in protecting the digestive system, healing peptic and duodenal ulcers, and eradicating H. pylori from the gut. I use this a lot, and give two capsules twice daily in between meals.

· Bismuth. It displays anti-inflammatory action (due to salicylic acid) and also acts as an antacid and mild antibiotic. Don’t freak out – It can also cause a black tongue and black stools in some people who take it, when it combines with trace amounts of sulfur in their saliva and gastrointestinal tract. This discoloration is temporary and absolutely harmless.

My favourite HP treatment regime? I would have to say gum mastica between meals, and with meals a preparation of Bismuth,deglycyrrhizinated licorice, grapefruit seed extract and goldenseal. I often recommend aloe vera and activated charcoal as well.

Do you get that annoying heartburn, and want to try and find a cause and ultimately a cure? Consult your naturopath or nutritional-friendly doctor who can check you out carefully and thoroughly and who will actually treat the cause, not the symptom. They should generally recommend a course of treatment and a specific diet designed for the individual, with promising results for many patients. And what a relief, to be free of heartburn, bloating and that “awful feeling in the tummy” again!