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Group Therapy

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy carried out in small groups of participants, under the supervision of one or more therapists. This type of therapy can be applied under several therapeutic orientations (behavioral, experiential, psychodynamic, etc) and it represents a way of exploring, examining, and developing qualities of the individual through group relations that build up amongst the members.

Short history:

Group psychotherapy has a long-standing history starting at the beginning of the 20th century, being founded by Pratt, Burrow, and Schilder. After the Second World War, group psychotherapy developed and diversified with the aid of Jacob Moreno (psychodrama), Samuel Slavson, Hyman Spotnitz (psycho-analytical group therapy), (Irvin Yalom (existential psychotherapy), Foulkes (group analysis), and Wilfred Bion (a type of early social therapy) in Europe.

Today, group psychotherapy is highly popular due to its wide range of uses: support groups, skills training groups, educational groups, problem-solving groups, relaxation groups, etc.

Key principles:

Even though it is not carried out strictly between therapist and one single patient, as individual therapy, group therapy respects ethical and functioning principles just as any other type of psychotherapy. Thus, the therapeutic setting must be kept and respected both by the members of the group, as well as by the therapist. According to Yalom, the most important principles of functioning for group therapy are:

  • Hope: seeing people that have overcome difficulties or are confronting the same difficulties as yourself will give you the hope of not dealing with them on your own.
  • Universality: the feeling that what you are going through is not unique and impossible to overcome;
  • Information sharing: in groups, people learn to share, both emotions and experiences, as well as concrete information that can help the other members of the group to reach a better understanding of what they are going through and why;
  • Altruism: members are helping each other, but are also helping themselves because they are raising their self-esteem as they’re observing the ways in which they can be useful to those around.
  • The corrective recapitulation of the primary family group:  Because of the close relationships that build among members, they can relive childhood experiences and rebuild family relationships that have been malfunctioning and, as a result, caused them pain and suffering.
  • Development of socialization techniques: without the fear of being judged, people are predisposed to trying new things in group settings, they also display a tendency to learn new behaviors and an ability to build up new relationships.
  • Imitative behavior: in the therapeutic group setting, people influence each other and are more likely to adopt positive behaviors.
  • Catharsis: Sharing experiences and personal suffering can lead to the release of built-up tension and guilt and can facilitate the healing process.

What is it for? Is it for me?

Group therapy can treat a diverse spectrum of issues, from depression (Dies, 1993) to chronic trauma-related stress disorders (2005) and addictions (Parker & Guest, 1999). Support groups (for parents that have children suffering from ADHD, for people suffering from AIDS, for people with anger management issues or for abused people) have, as well, a major therapeutic effect. Many groups that are based around art-therapy, drama therapy, psychodrama, or relaxation techniques are both useful and pleasant and lead people on the path to self-development.

To learn more about group therapy and other therapy options available to you, contact Estadt Psychological Services.

If you are going through a stressful situation or, on the contrary, if you only want to know yourself better and develop your creativity, your artistic abilities, or your social skills, group therapy can be the perfect option. All you have to do is a little research for finding a qualified therapist and build up the courage to meet people like yourself, together with whom you may learn to live a better life.


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Actions For Seniors: Establishing The Proper Training Program

Seniors want common train to maintain muscle tone, enhance endurance and acquire independence. There are several other advantages that workouts render, that maintain the aged living longer and staying away from disease. It is best to draw the right exercise program that adequately fits their capability and needs. Listed below are some tricks to get your started.


What They Can Do:

The first rule is to solely provide sufficient exercise that will stimulate enough blood move to all of the important organs, as well as maintain muscle mass. Muscle tends to atrophy through the later levels of an individual’s life. You should maintain arduous-earned tissues through both cardiovascular workouts, stretching routines and weight training. In the beginning, it will be important that you just do an total evaluation of the senior citizen first, to ensure that she or he can do all of the workout routines without a lot trouble.


Very strenuous train will be detrimental to the general situation of seniors. You want to examine their response by listening to their verbalizations and observing how they cope. In case you find some adverse indicators resembling heavy breathing, profuse sweating, lack of steadiness, droopy eyelids and mild to severe ache, immediately cease the activity.


Being Versatile:

Exercise routines ought to be individualized, which signifies that one program is barely meant for a single individual. The precise method is extremely advisable since it takes away a lot of the chance of overtraining. You too can map out progress more efficiently by giving the precise type of workouts, number of repetitions and sets and period of every workout. Use a log book and fill in all the small print of every workout.


Exercise applications needs to be very flexible, in the sense that the routines and kinds of movements change each week or so, relying on the response of the patient. Your objective is to maintain or boost strength, flexibility and strength, if potential, so the workout routines should be upped as the individual will get stronger and better.


Getting a Skilled:

If you happen to happen to be a concerned son or granddaughter taking care of a senior citizen in your home, it’s at all times helpful to get the opinion of knowledgeable when creating your exercise plan, so you can choose the right type and intensity that go well with the needs of the patient. Professionals embrace dieticians, gymnasium instructors, bodily therapists, nutritionists, nurses and physicians who will examine if this system is appropriate or too strenuous.


Through the first few classes, you’ll be able to ask the skilled to help you in aiding the senior go through the different movements. Proper execution is essential to attain the varied aims and goals. Skilled assistance is necessary from time to time, especially through the occasions if you’re already supposed to judge the senior’s response to treatment.


Other Sources:

When defining the exercise routine, you possibly can seek advice from exercise DVDs that caters to seniors, visit on-line forums and watch movies online. You can even visit senior centers to have an idea how a typical routine goes. Take some ideas from instructors and the experts about evaluation and adjusting the routine for the patient.


Over time, you will develop the ability in maintaining the senior comfortable whereas giving her or him a very smart workout. Be reminded that weight loss program and relaxation are the other parts that may sufficiently assist the train program for seniors.

If you are getting older, but you still exercise, then you know that after an exercise you need a hot shower. A portable shower would help you, as it’s easy to use and secure while no construction required as it’s a complete unit.

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Tea recipes for hot weather

If you’re traveling to a tropical place or you’re facing hot weather, these tea recipes will keep you refreshed and hydrated.


Springtime Citrus Iced Tea

This refreshing drink combines brewed tea with frozen orange juice and lemonade concentrates, sugar and water. It’s served over ice and garnished with mint leaves.


  • 6 regular tea bags
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 small can (6 oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 small can (6 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 10 cups cold water
  • Mint leaves

Steep tea bags in boiling water just until water is dark; remove tea bags and discard. Pour sugar into tea and stir until dissolved. Stir in the juice concentrates and the 10 cups water. Refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice, garnished with mint.

This makes one gallon of refreshing tea.

Number of Servings: 12 servings

Iced Tea Surprise

Folks will really like this, but they might have real trouble guessing about the flavors that make this so tasty. The almond and vanilla are a great start.


  • 1 tablespoon lemon instant tea concentrate
  • 1/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 quart plus 1 cup water
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • Orange and lemon slices with mint sprigs, optional

Combine first 5 ingredients, plus one cup water, and bring to boil to dissolve sugar. Add remaining water and mix. Place ice cubes in pitcher and pour mixture over cubes. Add orange and lemon slices on top with a sprig of mint.

Number of Servings: 6

If you want great natural teas for your recipes, check Glocal Markets.

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Five Reasons to Make Your Own Pizza Recipes

Pizza used to be found in Italian neighborhoods only but is now a mainstream phenomenon all over the world. It is a comfort food and each country and culture has adapted the recipe to suit their tastes. Here are five reasons why making your own pizza is the best way to enjoy this delicious treat.


  1. It is easy to make pizza. You can make pizza dough recipes with basic kitchen tools and you can make whichever type of dough you prefer. Making a sauce and adding toppings are simple too. The hardest part of making your own pizza is cleaning up afterwards!


  1. Homemade pizza is good value. The price of making your own pizza is much less than visiting a pizzeria or ordering a pizza. You can buy ingredients in bulk and freeze what you do not use. You can also buy ingredients on sale and use them as toppings.


  1. Pizza is healthy and you can use top quality, fresh ingredients. Vegetables are great on pizza and you can use bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, corn, fresh garlic, tomatoes and more. You can make healthy pizza dough recipes too, which are usually thin and crispy and you can make whole-wheat dough if you want.


  1. It is a lot of fun to make pizza yourself. You can get the kids involved in saying what toppings go on the pizza, kneading the dough for the crust and arranging the toppings on the pizza. Older kids can help to slice and chop the topping ingredients. Even if you are only making pizza for yourself, it is still an enjoyable experience and you can get really creative with it.


  1. You can learn how to make pizza dough in stages. First of all, you can buy a readymade pizza crust and use that. Next, you can buy fresh dough from the bakery and work with that because you will gain experience in shaping your pizza and working with dough. Finally, you can make your own pizza dough recipe. But always remember that the secret for a perfect crust is using an proper pizza oven – if you like, check Californo for great options.


Making pizza gets easier every time you do it and very soon after starting, you will be making healthy pizza recipes for the family, having fun and saving money!


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A Light Vegetarian Pizza That’ll Satisfy Carnivores as Well

Pizza is a staple in most households and is a hit with kids with whom mealtimes are always a fight. Just switching up the toppings from the traditional tomatoes and mozzarella can create a brand new dish for supper and along with a fresh salad it makes a delicious and nutritious meal. It also tastes lovely when at room temperature, which makes it a good choice for a picnic meal as well.



Makes one thin-crust 12” pizza or fits a medium-sized roasting tin

For the pizza dough

  • 2 cups whole meal flour (plain flour can be used as well)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 sachet active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the caramelised onions

  • 3 large brown onions, sliced finely
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the pesto

  • 2 cups fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ½ cup Grana Padano
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. First prepare the dough. Put the dry ingredients in a food processor. Switch it on and add the oil and water until it combines and forms a ball. Remove and knead on a floured surface until smooth. Coat with olive oil and leave in a warm area to rise for about an hour.
  2. Heat some olive oil in a wide frying pan. Put in the chilli flakes and fry until fragrant. Add the onions and salt and cook until softened (but not caramelised yet). Now add the water and turn up the heat a bit. Stir at regular intervals until the water has evaporated and the onions are a rich brown.
  3. While the onions are cooking make the pesto. Combine all ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. If you prefer more garlic or a stronger cheese flavour add more of the required ingredient accordingly.
  4. Heat your pizza oven. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to fit a greased 12” pizza pan or a medium-sized roasting tin. Spread the pesto over the pizza base and top with the caramelised onions.
  5. Drop the oven’s heat before you put the pizza in. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the base is crisp and cooked through. Slice and serve immediately.


  • Grate some extra Grana Padano or top with fresh mozzarella slices before baking.
  • For a non-vegetarian twist shred some roasted chicken or anchovies over the caramelised onions.
  • When removed from the oven, garnish generously with fresh rocket or baby spinach leaves before serving.
  • If you want to check more vegetarian pizza recipes, click here and enjoy.

How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

How to get a better night's sleepCan’t Sleep? Help and Treatment for Insomnia

Not being able to sleep can be frustrating. Laying awake, watching the minutes tick by on the clock is more than annoying; if it happens a lot, lack of sleep can be dangerous to your health. A good night’s rest is important for physical and emotional well-being. And studies show that good sleep is associated with anti-aging as well.

Insomnia has been linked to depression, diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, heart problems, reflux, restless leg syndrome, chronic fatigue and even obesity, just to name a few.

So how do you know if it’s true insomnia or something else? Besides the obvious lack of time actually spent sleeping, there are several things to consider:

Signs you might not be getting enough good quality sleep:

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble staying alert during tedious or monotonous activities

How much sleep do we need?

Most adults require an average of seven to nine hours of sleep a night. According to the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine, most people tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter amounts of time as they get older.

The idea that older people require less sleep is controversial. A newer trend in thinking is that we need the same amount of sleep at any age. Still, about half of most people over 65 have frequent sleeping problems. This could be a normal part of aging, or could be from medical problems that are common as we age or from other things, such as medications.

help for sleep problemsHelp for Sleep Problems

Sometimes adjusting a few simple things can improve sleep:

  • Stay active-maintain regular activity and moderate exercise
  • Try to go to bed at the same time every night, even weekends
  • Spend some time outdoors during daylight hours each day
  • Avoid caffeine for at least 3 hours before bedtime, even longer if possible
  • Replace a worn mattress
  • Keep your bedroom cool, quiet and tranquil
  • Avoid alcohol. While it may make you sleepy, alcohol can cause you to wake earlier and sleep less
  • Avoid nicotine
  • Take a warm bath or shower before bed to help with relaxation
  • Eat a light snack of carbohydrates and protein an hour before bed


Over-the-counter sleep aids usually contain antihistamine (such as diphenhydramine) and help with occasional problems, but they may cause drowsiness or dry mouth the next day.

The newer prescription medications for insomnia are less likely to be addictive and can help with short or long term sleep problems. There are several options and they work differently.

chamomile tea to lessen sleep problemsNatural Remedies

Complementary practitioners such as Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D. have a personal preference for natural sleep aids. Some alternative remedies include:

  • Melatonin
  • 5-htp
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Lavender (oil or aromatherapy)
  • Kava Kava
  • Theanine
  • Valerian
  • Calcium, Magnesium, and B Vitamins are linked to relaxation
  • Massage, acupuncture, hypnosis, cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation techniques, light therapy or yoga may improve sleep problems

consult doctor about sleep problemsGet to the root of the problem

Understanding what is causing sleep issues is key to solving the problem. Over-the-counter remedies can help with short term sleep trouble, but if the problem continues, it’s a good idea to seek help. The best treatments are based on accurate diagnosis.

Your doctor may send you to a sleep clinic or a doctor that specializes in other types of medicine. Chronic insomnia can be treated by different medical specialties. Some physicians are certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine, which means they have mastered specific clinical skills in the practice of sleep medicine.

If your sleep problems last more than a month, talk with your doctor about treatment options to find out which one is right for you. A restful, rejuvenating sleep is one of the most important aspects to good health.

Some Foods Which Can Lower Your Cholesterol

Heart-healthy food

Following is a list of foods that can lower your cholesterol naturally.

Berries. Several berries like cranberries and strawberries are very rich in antioxidants which help in reducing the heart disease.

Apples. A recent research in Netherlands has amply shown that presence of phytochemicals in apples have good potential to reduce the risk of stroke or heart disease to 50 %. Eating two apples or 14 ounces of apple juice each day is beneficial.

Beans/ Legumes. The presence of protein, fiber and many other essential compounds in lentils, legumes and beans can help in reducing the cholesterol, improvement of blood-vessel function and any blood clotting. They are also a rich source of folate which helps in keeping the homocysteine levels (responsible for heart disease) in control. Just one serving of legumes/ dried beans each day can help in reducing cholesterol by about 15 %.

Onions. Eating half raw onion each day can raise the good cholesterol (HDL) by about 30 %.

Groundnuts. Groundnuts are rich in vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) which significantly reduces any risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Groundnuts also have high amounts of bioflavonoid resveratrol which improves the flow of blood flow to brain by about 20 %, thus reducing any risk of brain stroke. Similarly, by including groundnuts in your diet, you can reduce the cholesterol by about 15 %.

Foods That Can Lower Your Cholesterol

Green Vegetables. Many green and leafy vegetables like fenugreek, broccoli and spinach have large amount of magnesium, antioxidants, calcium and iron which protects the heart from high LDL cholesterol.

Oats. Oats contain large amounts of beta-glucans ( a soluble fiber). Consuming about a cup of well cooked oatmeal each day can decrease the LDL cholesterol levels.

Walnuts. Walnuts contain good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids which help in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and helps in preventing the formation of blood clots. Consumption of walnuts can reduce your cholesterol levels by 14 % and LDL cholesterol levels by about 17 %.

Olive oil. Among all the cooking oils, olive oil has large amounts (about 70 %) of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants which assist in lowering the LDL cholesterol levels without causing any change in the HDL cholesterol levels.

Pistachios. Eating about 66 grams of pistachios (in-shell), can greatly reduce the LDL cholesterol by about 8 % and the triglycerides by about 12 % as per the study conducted by Archive of Internal Medicine in May 2010.

green tea

Herbs. Serpertine, terminalia arjuna, sida cordifolia, green tea and digitalis pupurea are heart friendly herbs and can be easily taken in the form of tea.

Psyllium husk. Consumption of 5 to 14 gms of psyllium husk in our daily diet( low in cholesterol and saturated fats) can help in reducing the LDL cholesterol levels to a great extent.

Content Marketing 101

Create and Distribute Content to Market Online Business

Content marketing is the practice of using packaged information to establish business expertise, create awareness, educate consumers and drive sales.

The term applies in print advertising, though content marketing has become easier and less expensive through email, online marketing, and social networking websites.

For example, real estate companies have sent out newsletters to prospective homebuyers for decades. Now they have a wider reach and can send monthly newsletters by email at a fraction of the cost. These newsletters must contain current, engaging articles to keep homebuyers reading. They must also have a call to action if the real estate agent hopes to earn the reader’s business.

Online Marketing Program vs Traditional Marketing

In the past, content marketing was a limited method of advertising. Print ads increase in cost with the amount of text or graphics, so packing an ad full of information can be prohibitively expensive. Printing and mailing directly to the reader added extra costs, as well. What e-commerce has done is made it easier than ever for online businesses to connect with current and prospective customers without having a huge marketing budget.

Information packaging can look at a number of different ways for online distribution. An online marketer’s greatest hope is that their message will become viral, meaning readers will pass it around and recommend it to others, greatly increasing its traffic and conversions through PPC ads.

Content used in an online marketing program comes in many different forms, but each piece has three things in common:

  • It provides useful information
  • It contains a marketing message
  • It is search engine optimized and accessible to the company’s target market

Creating Killer Marketing Content

There are several ways to create content. The goal is to build a reputation as the company to turn to; as the top e-commerce solution for the consumer’s needs. It is important to engage the consumer without overwhelming them with too much information.

Be creative! Content marketing products come in a variety of formats:

  • blog articles
  • free e-books or reports
  • mp3 recordings or transcripts of teleconferences
  • newsletters
  • webinars and podcasts
  • white papers
  • YouTube videos

The best information and marketing message is lost in a poorly produced product. Written documents must be free of errors, properly formatted and distributed in a format accessible to all readers, such as PDF. Ensure that audio/video products are clear and free of background noise. The top e-commerce provider in any given industry needs to radiate professionalism in every communication and piece of marketing material.

Creating products for content marketing isn’t every company’s strong suit. Save time by outsourcing these projects to a marketing agency skilled in providing reliable blog writing services. When contracting out product needs to online professionals, review samples, ask for references and use escrow to ensure a successful outcome.

Each content marketing product should link back to the advertising company’s website or email. Use a logo to help build your brand with each new product.

Marketing Products Online

Depending on the type of product, a number of strategies can be used individually or together to increase exposure. Email marketing requires the ongoing generation and distribution of content, as readers come to expect and rely on receiving the message at a certain date or time. Creating content for article banks or YouTube is more flexible, as the company can submit articles or videos at their leisure. Update blogs regularly to keep readers’ interest.

Simply getting the content online is not enough, though. Linking to the content through social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn allows the content to become viral as users are more likely to forward the information to others.

Keeping Content Marketing Material Fresh

To reduce the burden of constantly generating new content, try repackaging information in ways accessible to different audiences. For example, transcribe a teleconference, convert it to an e-book, then break it down into several articles or blog entries.

Providing a steady stream of useful information helps top e-commerce companies retain customers, build a professional reputation, showcase leadership, and attract new clients.

Contact Lens and Sunglasses Advice & Tips

Sunglasses and Contact lenses – Frequently Asked Questions

1. Protection 

Sun protection for your eyes is incredibly important, especially during our severe African Summers. We should be taking as much care to protect our eyes against the sun as we do our skin. Most sun damage to our eyes occur early in life – late teens to early thirties, but the effects can surface years or even decades later and be devastating to ocular health and vision. Pterygia, which is a non-cancerous wedge-shaped tissue growth that expands from the conjunctiva (the thin membrane which covers the white of the eye) onto the cornea (the clear central part of the eye) often occurring in both eyes (usually on the nasal side); are strongly associated with exposure to UV and are common among people who spend a lot of time outdoors, without the correct eye protection. Wearing sunglasses or moisturizing contact lenses at affordable prices can really protect your eyes from the damaging UV rays.

2. Performance

Professor J.T Ferreira – a forerunner in the field of Sports Vision in South Africa and the founder of the Sports Vision Academy at UJ – is a vehement advocate for the use of protective eyewear in professional and recreational sports. He explains that excessive glare causes visual fatigue that inevitably impacts concentration and performance. The same goes for driving. Driving exerts an enormous amount of strain on the visual system, thus reducing the amount of glare on the road will enhance concentration and reduce fatigue.

So, even if you’re not interested in taking a few shots off your handicap – you’d still benefit from a proper set of sunglasses for your trip to the coast this festive season.

3. Polarized Sunglasses or Not?

Flat road surfaces or calm water are reflecting light that is traveling generally in a direction that is oriented horizontally. This process can create an experience of an extensive intensity of light, that can be annoying and at some times dangerous, or commonly known as glare.  Sunglasses that are polarized are containing a particular filter that is reducing the glare and is blocking the intense reflecting light.

4. Why bother with Prescription?

If you have a prescription and you try to wear non-scripted sunglasses, you will probably feel that they impair your vision, no matter how good they are. This is due to the fact that the pupil dilates behind the lens, causing a decrease in the depth of focus. It is therefore definitely advisable for you to have prescription sunglasses if you generally wear glasses.

5. Are contact lenses better to use than prescription glasses?

This is usually up to personal preference. It may also depend on environmental factors. For example, a chef called Sarah prefers to wear contact lenses while she works because her glasses often ‘steam up’ when working in the restaurant’s kitchen environment. However, Sarah prefers to wear her glasses before she goes to bed, as she does not want to fall asleep with her contact lenses in.

6. Why are my eyes always red when I wear my contacts?

Eye redness can be due to many factors including but not limited to dry eyes, allergy to either lens material or solution, lens over-wear, and infection. In order to find out which of these problems you may be experiencing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • When do my eyes turn red – immediately upon lens-insertion or only later on in the day?
  • If your eyes turn red immediately, you may be sensitive to the lens material or solution that you are using. Make sure to give us a call so we can advise on alternatives. Always make sure that you insert your lenses after cleaning your hands with antibacterial soap and water and preferably before applying any other grooming products – moisturizer/aftershave/make-up as these products tend to be absorbed by the skin on your fingertips and may contain substances that cause stinging when it comes into contact with your eyes. If your eyes only turn red later on in the day, it may be that your lenses are drying out towards the end of the day or that you are wearing them for longer than the recommended wearing time per day. If this is the case, give us a call to chat about possible solutions to this problem. PLEASE do not buy off-the-shelf eye drops that claim to whiten eyes or use your contact lens solution as eyedrops! There are specific products available to address the issue. Using the wrong product may, in fact, make the problem worse in the long run!
  • How old are my current lenses – towards the end of their lifespan or brand new?
  • If your contact lenses only start to irritate you towards the end of their lifespan, make sure that you adhere to the replacement schedule. DO NOT use monthly disposables for more than one calendar month! Most contact lenses are made from a silicone-hydrogel material in order for them to transfer oxygen through the lens to the eye surface. Normal blinking deposits lipids and proteins from the tear layer into the matrix of the lens, which impairs its oxygen permeability. These deposits are not removed by soaking the lenses overnight and is the reason for the stipulated lifespan of each lens. It is also advisable to have at least one full day (24hrs) of no contact lens wear. This gives your corneal surface time to fully regenerate and reduces the risk of infection as it restores the normal pH balance of the eye surface.
  • Do I sleep with my lenses?
  • There are only one or two lens options that have FDA approval for extended wear – in other words, daily colored lenses wearable up to 2 weeks. But still, you have to take care of your eyes by removing, cleaning and storing your contact lenses at night. If you are not wearing one of these lenses, chances are you’re doing damage! The available oxygen to the eye in normal open-eye conditions is about 20% (atmospheric oxygen). In the closed-eye conditions such as sleeping – the available oxygen levels drop to about 5%. Introducing a contact lens to either condition reduces the available oxygen by about 5% (as no lens can transfer all the oxygen that passes through it). So, sleeping with your lenses basically depletes the entire available oxygen supply to the eye, which causes dehydration of the cornea, swelling, and redness and increases the chances of infections and ulcers. In my opinion, it’s definitely not worth the risk!

  • How old is the solution I’m using?
  • You should be replacing your solution daily. When putting your lenses in, throw out the old solution and leave your case to air dry. In the evening, put your lenses into the container and pour the new solution over the lens. Make sure the lenses are covered and not protruding over the edge before closing. Keep your lenses separate – right and left and don’t swap them as your prescription is more than likely different for each eye. This also reduces the risk of spreading infection from one eye to the other. Contact lens solution disinfects and cleans the lenses and it needs to be in contact with the lens for at least 6 hours to be effective. There are also special protein and lipid cleaners that can be used once or twice a month to ensure comfortable usage for the full lifespan of your lens. Once your solution has been opened – make sure to finish it within 90 days of opening. We recommend buying smaller containers and replace more frequently.
  • Have I been in contact with any known / new allergens – new solution/face wash/moisturizer/ make-up?
  • Sometimes a silly thing like changing your solution/facewash/moisturizer/make-up might have an adverse reaction. Even your laundry detergent or fabric softener might have an effect. There are special medications for eye allergies, should the problem persist, so don’t hesitate to contact us should you experience this problem.
  •  Are both eyes equally red or is one eye more inflamed than the other?
  • Infections usually affect one eye first and then spread to the other. If only one eye is affected, make sure to find out if you need an antibiotic drop to clear the infection. It is wise to discontinue contact lens wear for the duration of treatment unless the contact lens is being used as a “bandage” and discarded after treatment is completed.

Eat Against Depression with Foods That Fight the Blues

Incorporating the following meats, fish, grains, and herbs into one’s diet can not only promote mental well-being but support the healing of one’s mind.

Anyone who has experienced depression or that of a loved one knows the search for any and all possible avenues of healing, including various medications, psychiatric care, and even exercise regimes. Yet because modern food processing has altered traditional nutrients, depression is increasingly linked to food allergies and the lack of certain fats and minerals in one’s diet. Consequently, carefully choosing of what goes into the body has never been more crucial when it comes to reclaiming a healthy, happy life after depression.

Fatty Acids Fight Depression

Because two-thirds of the brain is made of fats, fatty acids are a necessary part of the human diet. Two, in particular, omega-3s and omega-6s, are absolutely vital. Sources of omega-6s happen to be abundant in modern diets, but omega-3s must be added more intentionally. Vegetarian sources of omega-3s include green leafy vegetables, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and sea vegetables like algae. Not surprisingly, the best animal source is fish. In her book Rebuild from Depression, Amanda Rose recommends salmon (the “wilder” the better), sardines, anchovies, herring, oysters, clams, and fish oil as excellent sources of omega-3s. Rose’s blog is a wealth of information and even free family recipes for cooking delicious mood-lifting meals.

Complete Proteins: Amino Acids

Amino acids are the components that make proteins. The human body creates many of its own amino acids, except for nine amino acids that must be obtained through the diet. Depression can be linked to deficiencies in these nine. Foods which contain all nine amino acids are the solution, and these are called “complete proteins.” Among the richest complete proteins are animal products like beef, poultry, fish, dairy and grains like soy, oats, amaranth, and quinoa.

Vitamins B and D

Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid or B9 support the nervous system and deficiencies in these areas can lead to depression. Dr Andrew Weil profiles these important vitamins on his site, which offers a free vitamin advisor. B6 is prevalent in food, including spinach, carrots, bananas, cereals, beans, dairy products, and potatoes. Weil warns not that recommend maximums are 100mg a day, as too much B6 can be dangerous. However, there is no danger when it comes to B12, which is found only in animal products, including dairy, meat, fish, and shellfish. B9 is found in spinach, green vegetables, beans, asparagus, melon, beans, lemons, yeast, and mushrooms.

Vitamin D is absorbed from sunlight exposure, so winter can pose the threat of deficiency. Besides fortified milk and breakfast cereals, herring, oysters, steelhead trout, salmon, fish oil and soy products are rich in D and can be supplemented when sunlight is at a minimum.


Minerals vital to the healthy functioning of the nervous system include magnesium, zinc, and iron for postpartum women. Magnesium is available in whole grains, leafy green vegetables, nuts, beans, avocados, soybeans, and halibut. Foods highest in iron include beef, chicken, and pork liver, as well as mussels and oysters. Zinc is found in beef, lamb and veal, eggs, cooked oysters, legumes (beans and peas), pumpkin seeds, whole grains, and nuts. Foods highest in iron include beef, chicken, and pork liver and shellfish such as oysters, mussels, and clams.

Dark Chocolate and Mood

The chemical compounds in dark chocolate (as opposed to milk chocolate), can promote positive mood by raising serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that comes from the amino acid tryptophan, and involved in sleep, memory, and mood regulation. Endorphins are compounds of amino acids that act like opiates in the body, calming and lifting the mood.

Herbs That Help Happiness

According to Jack Challem’s book The Food-Mood Solution, certain herbs are beneficial in battling depression, stress, anxiety, and premenstrual syndrome. These include Ginkgo, Ginseng, Spanish Sage, Rhodiola, and St. John’s Wort and can often be found in bottled supplements.

To enhance mood, support healthy brain function, and keep depression at bay, select foods that contain the fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals cited. Many foods contain more than one; lamb, for example, is a good source of both B12 and zinc. Research is made easy at Nutritiondata, which provides nutrition facts with an analysis for every food imaginable. The fact is “you are what you eat” is true at even the biochemical level. And this, in the end, is good news.


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