“For the record, I feel that Kyler is absolutely perfect the way he is, I’m just helping him make healthier choices,” she wrote.
To give him a sweet boost of confidence during the day, Easdon recently included a special note in his lunchbox that read, “Please tell Kyler that his mommy loves him so much and I’m thinking about him Thank you!”
But when the lunchbox was returned to Easdon at the end of the day, it came with an added message from a teacher at Rocking Horse Day Care Center in Kingwood: “No! Put him on a diet and GO AWAY!”
Easdon wrote on Facebook that the message made her feel “absolutely livid,” and immediately prompted her to arrange a meeting with the school, where her son has gone for the past three years, KTRK reported.
“It took a minute to register what I even saw, and I just kept re-reading it, and I just stood there for a minute,” she told the outlet.
Easdon wrote that she was told during a meeting with the school’s director that the incident was being investigated, but that “almost no remorse was shown.”
“The teacher that wrote this note confessed while I was at work and was fired, but nothing has been done about the other situations. Zero remorse for their actions,” she wrote. “I am disgusted that I put my trust in these people to care for my child and this is what I get in return.”
Will the COVID-19 vaccine become mandatory? That’s a question many are asking these days and, by the looks of it, the answer may well be yes — although as I’ll explain later, I suspect the harms of the vaccine will become so apparent that it’ll kill such efforts before they become widespread.
In a January 1, 2021, Newsweek interview,1 Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was “sure” some institutions and businesses will require employees to be vaccinated, and that it’s “quite possible” the vaccine will be required for overseas travel.
When asked about the possibility of mandating the vaccine on a local level, such as for children attending school, he stated that “Everything will be on the table for discussion.” That said, he pointed out that since “we almost never mandate things federally” — with regard to health — he doesn’t believe a national vaccine mandate will be enacted.
In related news2 December 21, 2020, presidential candidate Joe Biden rolled up his sleeve to get publicly inoculated against COVID-19, stating that the vaccine was “nothing to worry about.” He’s also gone on record saying he will push for a 100-day mask mandate in federal buildings if he wins the presidency.3
Can Experimental Vaccines Be Mandated?
While many vaccines are required by state or local law, the thing that sets the COVID-19 vaccine apart from all others is the fact that it is still an experimental vaccine. While Moderna and Pfizer have been granted emergency use authorization for their respective vaccine candidates, they still haven’t even completed Stage 3 clinical trials yet.
As of December 18, 2020, the adverse event rate in the U.S. was 2.79%.4 This means your risk of harm from the vaccine is far greater than your risk of dying from COVID-19, which has an overall noninstitutionalized infection fatality rate of just 0.26%.5 Among those under the age of 40, the infection fatality rate is a mere 0.01%.6
If an experimental vaccine were to be mandated, it would set a frightening precedent and pave the way for all sorts of nonconsensual medical experimentation on the general public, going forward.
In a December 29, 2020, article7 in JAMA, the authors discuss the legal possibility of mandating COVID-19 vaccines, stating that “SARS-CoV-2 vaccines hold promise to control the pandemic and help restore normal social and economic life.”
However, this is questionable, considering the fact that the effectiveness of the vaccines is only measured by their ability to lessen moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms such as cough and headache. Presumably, this would lower the risk of hospitalization and death for vaccinated individuals.
However, as explained in “How COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Are Rigged,” the vaccines were not evaluated for their ability to actually prevent infection and transmission of the virus. And, if the vaccine cannot reduce infection, hospitalizations or deaths, then it cannot create the vaccine-acquired herd immunity required to end the pandemic.
What’s more, in a November 26, 2020, BMJ article,8 Peter Doshi, associate editor of The BMJ, points out that while Pfizer claims its vaccine is 95% effective, this is the relative risk reduction. The absolute risk reduction is actually less than 1%. He also stresses that severe side effects appear commonplace:
“Moderna’s press release states that 9% experienced grade 3 myalgia and 10% grade 3 fatigue; Pfizer’s statement reported 3.8% experienced grade 3 fatigue and 2% grade 3 headache. Grade 3 adverse events are considered severe, defined as preventing daily activity. Mild and moderate severity reactions are bound to be far more common.”
New York Considers Forced Vaccination Bill
None of these open questions is stopping the New York Senate from considering a forced vaccination bill (A4169). As reported by constitutional attorney KrisAnne Hall:10
“January 6 New York Assemblymen will be asked to vote on a bill that will authorize the Governor and/or health officials to seize custody of New Yorkers, imprison, and force vaccinate them without due process.
This bill is not only a threat to the Constitution of New York, the people of New York, but also everyone in America if you consider the way certain legislation can spread throughout America in the age ‘crisis’ …
If passed this legislation will place in the hands of the Governor, or his designated agent, the full and autonomous authority to ‘order’ the ‘removal’ and ‘detention’ of every person the Governor or his ‘delegee’ determines ‘may pose’ a ‘significant and imminent threat to public health’ …
Once some health department worker thinks a New Yorker is a carrier or contact to a carrier, that person will be seized and held without hearing, trial, due process, or bond for a period of time to be determined by the health department.”
As noted by Hall, this bill violates the U.S. Constitution in several different ways. For starters, it eliminates your right to due process before forcing you into the custody of health officials, as well as your right to trial “as required by Article I sec 1 and Article VI Sec 18a of the New York Constitution.”
It also “arbitrarily reduces the well-established standard of strict scrutiny required for the infringement of these fundamental rights to the lesser standard of ‘clear and convincing evidence’ which will be determined solely by the Governor or some worker in the New York Health Department.” This, in turn, violates the constitutional principle of separation of powers.
Thirdly, “A-416 is a bold violation of Article 1 sec 5 and Article 1 sec 12 of the New York Constitution” as it would deprive you of your “inherent rights to due process related to a search and seizure” of your property and/or your body.
“New Yorkers cannot allow that to happen. Everyone in New York needs to contact their Senator and Assemblyman and DEMAND they vote no on A-416. Everyone in America needs to contact their State and demand that such legislation never be drafted,” Hall writes.11
In her blog post, Hall includes sample letter and phone scripts you can use when contacting your representatives.
Blackmailing the Public to Force Vaccine Uptake
Getting back to the JAMA article12 discussing the legal possibility of mandating COVID-19 vaccines, the authors point out that mandating a vaccine while it’s still under an emergency use approval is “legally and ethically problematic.”
“Vaccine mandates are unjustified because an EUA requires less safety and efficacy data than full Biologics License Application (BLA) approval. Individuals would also likely distrust vaccine mandates under emergency use, viewing it as ongoing medical research,” the article states.
Once the vaccine is fully licensed, however, vaccine mandates “could be imposed in multiple sectors,” according to the authors. Still, they point out that “Given the rarity of adult mandates, states are unlikely to enact mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the adult population, especially in the absence of long-term safety data.”
Private companies, on the other hand, can require vaccination as a condition of employment, and according to a Yale CEO survey, 71% of company executives supported the implementation of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the workplace.13
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has already ruled that businesses can compel their employees to get vaccinated, and that they may fire those who refuse. Employers must, however, allow for medical exemptions and “offer reasonable accommodations based on religion or disability.”14
Schools may also end up requiring COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty and staff, and it seems likely the vaccine may simply be added to the ACIP-recommended list of childhood vaccinations. Most troubling, however, is the proposal to require vaccination as a condition of service. According to the JAMA article:15
“It is foreseeable that businesses in certain high-risk settings could require proof of vaccination as a condition of service, such as in long-distance travel (plane, rail, bus), restaurants, and entertainment (sports, movies, theater).
While states might be constitutionally barred from requiring vaccines to participate in religious worship, it is conceivable that some churches, synagogues, or mosques might consider such conditions for congregants. Local or state governments could also require vaccination as a condition of service.”
To be clear, even if state and federal governments don’t mandate the vaccine, by barring unvaccinated people from traveling, participating in social events and even entering into government buildings, they are essentially mandating it. Unvaccinated people would become second-class citizens that aren’t permitted to work, travel, conduct business or engage socially. What kind of life is that?
Yet this is precisely what we may be facing. As noted by the JAMA authors, “If scientific and logistical challenges can be overcome, linking vaccinations as a condition of providing service could be an effective incentive for vaccination.” They really should call it what it is: blackmail.
Many Front-Line Workers Refuse COVID-19 Vaccine
Distribution of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines began at the end of December 2020. In the U.S., most states have elected to begin distribution among front-line health care workers and in senior care facilities. However, despite media fanfare, many health care workers are leery of the vaccine.
According to news reports, about half of all front-line workers in Riverside County, California, have refused the vaccine,16 as have 60% of nursing home staff in Ohio,17 40% of staff at Chicago’s Loretto Hospital18 and 40% of LA’s front-line workers.19 Similar rates of vaccine refusal are being reported in several European countries.20
Interestingly, a survey by the National Association of Health Care Assistants revealed a whopping 72% of certified nursing assistants plan to refuse the vaccine,21 as are 55% of firefighters in New York, according to a December 2020 poll by the Uniformed Firefighters Association.22 The reason for this widespread hesitation is as understandable as it is justifiable. As noted in the Western Journal:23
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, any skepticism about the virulence of the virus or wisdom of draconian shutdowns was met with the mantra ‘follow the science’ to stifle any serious debate.
All along the way, however, officials did anything but as they imposed useless mask mandates, allowed Black Lives Matter protests despite closing businesses and imposing social distancing on everyone else, and even expressed skepticism about any vaccine simply because it was developed at the behest of President Donald Trump.
But worst of all, officials undermined science by suggesting that vaccination distribution begin based on race rather than in the nursing home populations that were actually ravaged by the virus.
In short, governments and the medical community killed any credibility they had at the beginning of the pandemic with their repeated hypocrisy and mixed messages. It’s no wonder these workers are reluctant to follow them now and are instead relying on their gut instincts to mistrust the untested vaccine and COVID-19 agenda.”
Side Effects and Deaths Are Stacking Up
The fact that high rates of side effects and sudden deaths are already being reported will hardly improve matters in coming weeks and months. For example, January 4, 2021, RT reported24 that health authorities in Portugal were “on alert” after the sudden death of a 41-year-old pediatric surgery assistant who had been in good health. She was found dead in her bed just two days after being inoculated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
December 30, 2020, the Daily Star reported25 the death of an elderly resident in Lucerne, Switzerland, five days after receiving the Pfizer vaccine. The man had previously “reacted negatively” to the seasonal influenza vaccine. According to the report, he suffered from dementia but was otherwise in good health.
December 26, 2020, a Boston doctor with severe shellfish allergy suffered a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction to the Moderna vaccine. As reported by RT:26
“Within minutes, Sadrzadeh’s tongue and throat began to tingle and go numb, a reaction that he associated with his shellfish allergy. Even more concerning, his blood pressure then dipped so low that it wasn’t even detectable with a monitor. Luckily, the doctor had brought his own EpiPen, which he administered on himself before hospital staff rushed him to the emergency room …
‘I feel that if I did not have my EpiPen with me, I would be intubated right now, because it was that severe,’ he said, adding that it was the worst allergic reaction he had experienced since he was 11 years old. The physician said he now recommends that people with allergies receive the vaccine in a hospital setting, instead of getting it from a clinic or local provider …
The concerning case is the first of its kind to be linked to the Moderna jab. Officials with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating at least six cases of severe allergic reactions occurring in people who took the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.”
A December 21, 2020, article27 in The Defender reported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating a series of allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine. Aside from the Boston doctor, other reports of allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock, include four health care workers in Illinois and three health care workers in Alaska.28 Cases of anaphylaxis also emerged within days of the rollout of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines in the U.K.29
Thousands Injured in Mere Days
According to the CDC,30 by December 18, 2020, 112,807 Americans had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, 3,150 suffered one or more “health impact events,” defined as being “unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional.”
That’s 2.79%. Extrapolated to the total U.S. population of 328.2 million, we can then expect 9,156,780 Americans to be injured by the vaccine if every single man, woman and child is vaccinated. Is this really reasonable for a virus that has an average survival rate of 99.74%?31
In the end, I suspect and predict that widespread mandates for COVID-19 vaccination will not take place. I believe there will simply be too many injuries and deaths from the first and second rounds of vaccinations, and that will destroy any and all vaccine mandate arguments.
Many suspect polyethylene glycol (PEG), found in both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines, might be the culprit causing allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. According to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., “studies show that 1 in 7 Americans may unknowingly be at risk of experiencing an allergic reaction to PEG.”32
Kennedy believes “everyone should be screened for anti-PEG antibodies before getting the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” adding that “It is unconscionable that, instead, the FDA and CDC are encouraging people to go ahead and risk a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction and just assume that someone will be on hand to save them.”33
It’s worth noting that the CDC has updated its vaccine guidance in response to reports of allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine, stating that:34
“If you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. If you had a severe allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you should not get the second dose.
CDC has also learned of reports that some people have experienced non-severe allergic reactions within 4 hours after getting vaccinated (known as immediate allergic reactions), such as hives, swelling, and wheezing (respiratory distress).
If you have had an immediate allergic reaction — even if it was not severe — to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
If you had an immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the second dose … People who are allergic to PEG or polysorbate should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.”
COVID-19 Outbreaks Occurring Among Vaccinated
Yet another interesting problem that has arisen is that many newly vaccinated individuals are suddenly testing positive for COVID-19. In a San Jose, California, hospital, 51 employees tested positive within 10 days of vaccination, although it’s unclear whether all of them had actually received the vaccine.35
One died from COVID-19 complications. Interestingly, the outbreak is being blamed on an employee who showed up wearing an inflatable Christmas costume. The same pattern has been reported elsewhere.
For example, in Israel, 21 residents of a retirement home tested positive for the virus after receiving the vaccine.36 Authorities pointed out that since two doses are required to provide protection against SARS-CoV-2, you can still catch it after the first dose. The same argument was made in the San Jose hospital case.
A doctor in Philadelphia also tested positive after taking the vaccine,37 as did a nurse in San Diego.38 In each case, health authorities have insisted that it’s not the vaccine causing the problem but, rather, the fact that the shot needs time to work.
Overall, there’s plenty of reason to be cautious and delay COVID-19 vaccination as long as possible. As mentioned earlier, I believe that, in time, the harms will become apparent enough that any talk about mandating these vaccines will simply evaporate.
Buying gymnastics equipment for home use doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Knowing what to look for will save you time and money. Don’t worry about buying the wrong brand or some cheap piece of equipment. We’ve narrowed down the best to save you hours of internet searching. We give you must know details on gymnastics grips, balance beams, mats, and training bars.
First, you need to decide on the type of grip. You can choose between the Palm grip or Dowel grip. Then decide is you prefer a Velcro wrist strap or a buckle grip wrist strap. The advantage of a Velcro wrist strap is ease of use. You can put the grips on quickly and without assistance. Velcro wrist straps tend to be a little more comfortable as well. The only disadvantage is longevity as the Velcro tends to wear down over time. The advantage of a Buckle wrist strap is holding power. The Buckle wrist strap will not wear down over time and always provides a solid hold on the wrist. Most high level gymnasts choose buckle grips for the fact of holding power. Buckle grips won’t slip or move around on the wrist. The disadvantage of Buckle grips is comfort, but there is a solution. Since buckle grips can be tightened down firmly on the wrist, most gymnasts will wear very thick and long cotton wrist bands. The thick wrist band provides cushion for the wrist. Gymnasts may need assistance in putting on Buckle grips which is a small inconvenience. Finally, it’s essential to purchase the correct size. Each brand of grips will come with a sizing chart specific to the brand. This is a fairly easy process and requires a ruler or tape measure as indicated in the sizing instructions. Now you’re ready to purchase.
Choosing the right balance beam is a rather simple process. Home practice balance beams come in three different styles. Low beam, folding beam, and semi-high beam. First determine how much you’re willing to spend as home practice beams range from $80 to $350. Ensure enough space to safely use the beam at home. You must have sufficient clearance on all sides
of the beam for safety. Folding balance beams offer the most versatility. This type of beam can easily be moved around due to its light weight and folding characteristic. One major advantage of a folding beam is the ability of gymnasts to perform difficult skills without the worry of falling to an injury since the beam sits directly on the floor. This type of beam is great for practicing back handsprings. Another advantage is the cost savings since folding beams are generally least expensive. Low beams are another great choice for home practice. Low beams are elevated 3″ to 4″ off the ground and do not fold in half. The low beam is very stable and solid making it a great choice for all around beam practice. It’s great for practicing hand stands, back walk overs, back handsprings (with a spotter), and many other skills. Low beams tend to offer a more competition like feel and quality. Finally, the semi-high beams are also a great choice for home practice. This type of beam is elevated 12″ to 24″ off the ground. Semi-high beams offer all the great benefits of the low beam while a bit higher off the ground.
Investing in a good quality gymnastics mat is an important decision for the safety of gymnasts. When researching gymnastics mats you’ll want determine your budget. Gymnastics mats range in price from $100 to $800. As a general rule, the bigger the mat, the more expensive it is. Determine what you will use the mat for. Are you placing it under a Junior training bar? This would require a landing 4″ to 8″ in depth. If you’re using the mat under the low beam a depth of 2″ to 4″ would work. If you need a mat for tumbling skills, a 2″ depth is sufficient. You will need increased mat length for tumbling skills and less mat depth. If you just need a mat for stretching or yoga, 2″ depth or less is sufficient. Keep in mind that mats will differ from each manufacturer. While the square footage of mats may be the same, foam density could be different. Not all 2″ mats are created the same. You don’t want a soft squishy mat for stretching or yoga, but rather a firm mat. You don’t want a firm landing mat under a training bar, but rather a softer mat to break a fall.
Finding the right pair of gymnastics grips should start with asking the coach what, if any, brand and type of gymnastics grips they prefer. (If you want a good guide on everything about gymnastics grips, click the gymnastics grips link). While a good starting point, the gymnast ultimately has the final say and should be satisfied with the quality and feel of the grips. The majority of grips on the market are high quality which makes choosing a rather simple process. All of the grips reviewed on this site are high quality and used in gymnastics competitions all over the country and range from $10 to $55. There are, however, a couple of key points to keep in mind before you purchase a pair of gymnastics bar grips.
Choosing a gymnastics training bar for home use can be simple if you know what to look for. When choosing training bar, keep in mind you are not purchasing a full scale uneven bar system as seen in gymnastics facilities across the country. The training bar is not meant to perform full routines and high level skills. The purpose of a training bar is to practice basic bar skills, drills, and conditioning. All training bars are basically the same in size, construction, and material. There are some small differences that could impact which bar you end up buying. You will want to check the weight limit of the bar. Some bars only hold up to 100 lbs. while other bars hold up to 140 lbs. One common problem with all training bars is the lack of floor anchors as seen attached to the bars at your local gym. This may allow the bar to move around the floor while in use. To remedy this common problem, leg extensions can be attached giving the bar more stability. Keep in mind that you will need sufficient padding beneath the bar for safety. 4″ to 8″ of padding is recommended. A good landing mat will provide adequate safety. Training bars are expensive. If you can’t afford the ongoing monthly fee for extra classes at your local gym this is a great alternative for extra practice.
When starting a long distance relationship, it’s normal and natural to have all sorts of fears, worries, and questions. A major concern many people have is how to keep it interesting and fun. Although there are a ton of great ways and ideas to keep it out of the ordinary, I’d like to cover three of them here.
First, remember that relationships need stimulation to stay exciting! Obviously, every relationship varies, but most people get tired or burned out of the exact same routine over and over. You need to stir it up from time to time to keep everyone on their toes! It never hurts to do something unexpected and awesome for your partner.
Gifts are always welcome!
For one, sending a simple gift, either in the mail, or from a place like Amazon or eBay, is always fun. Most people like to be surprised by an unexpected gift. Don’t underestimate the power of thoughtful letters (snail mail style) as well.
Second, get creative.
Play an instrument? Create a song! It doesn’t have to be a complicated and professional Grammy-worthy guitar ballad, just use what you have. Write a ditty and tell your partner it was inspired by them.
Do you draw well? Draw them something, maybe a portrait of you together. Paint a watercolor or even a Jackson Pollock style drip painting….heck, anyone can do that! It doesn’t have to be a Monet, it just has to be something you created to show your partner you care and you’re thinking of them.
Third, ask more questions. There’s always more to know about a person!
Now, most connections start with all sorts of questions to get to know each other, but it can be fun and insightful to go beyond the whole “where are you from, what do you do, etc” type questions.
Do a quick internet search for “interesting questions to ask people” and get some ideas. Get crazy! It’s amazing how telling some of these answers can be! You might even discover something really cool you can use as a basis for a gift later on.
For example, ask them who the most attractive Disney princess or leading man is. Ask what their favorite animal cracker is and why. Ask if they had to go throughout life with skates for feet or lasers for eyes, which would they choose and why?
These types of questions, ridiculous as they seem, can really make a relationship fun and exciting. The point is that it’s different! Personally, I have done all sorts of these questions with my spouse, and we love the funny answers we get from each other. It’s a nice way to unwind and joke around, but still be communicating and learning about each other at the same time.
Keep these suggestions in mind to maintain an exciting relationship well into the future.
Are you having a hard time keeping your relationship alive from a distance? Just your luck! You found a great person and you think that you’re perfectly suited for each other. Everything should be perfect, except for one thing, this very special person lives hundreds of miles away from you. And as you may know, managing long distance relationship can be quite hard. There are a lot of things that you can’t enjoy such as intimacy.
Now, if you are worried about how to make long distance relationship work, here’s your chance to learn effective methods to dating long distance.
The first long distance relationship advice for you is to establish good and constant communication between you and your partner. Agree of when you should contact each other and how much time you need to spend talking to each other.
You also need to let each other know how many text messages you should send each other. You also need to establish which communication module you’re going to use. Make sure you stick to your schedule and if you can’t make it on that schedule, then tell your partner in advance.
The second way to make long distance relationship work is to meet each other at least once or twice per month or as often as you can. You can try to meet on a beautiful resort or in a lovely hotel, if you can. Also, be creative and be romantic when planning your next meeting. Another thing, make sure to avoid talking about past problems when you’re together.
The third thing you need in managing long distance relationship is openness. This means that if you have a problem or if there’s something bothering you about your partner, address it before you meet each other. When addressing your problems about your partner, deliver your piece in a calm way. Never confront your partner unless you can do it calmly. Now, if you’re having problems keeping your emotions, it’s best to listen to soothing songs and meditating.
Fourth, when trying to make long distance relationship work, you need to surround yourself with the most ideal support system. If you’re the one who stayed, make sure you have enough time with your common friends and your family members. On the other hand, if you’re the one who moved, create a group of friends from your place. Introduce them to your partner and make sure that your partner gets to know them and trust them. This way, your partner won’t be worried whenever you’re out with your friends or colleagues.
The fifth way of managing long distance relationship is by sending each other gifts. Send a bouquet of flowers or any gift that you think is romantic to your partner’s office or home, at least once a month or at least during important occasions such as anniversaries or birthdays. You can also try sending gifts that you customized yourself. For example, gather a bunch of songs and upload them on an MP3 player and send it to your partner along with a love letter. This will surely make your partner’s heart melt.
My precious cat, my long-time best friend and companion, that I loved so dearly, died today. My heart is broken, my tears flow down my cheeks in a torrent of sadness I cannot stop, and I feel lost and muddled, so alone without Ms Kitty here with me; something is missing now I may never recover–part of me is gone.
I am not a cat person–never was until that little black Burmese just-past-kitten character appeared at my patio door one morning as I was making my coffee–cuteness personified as her mouth meowed to come in for a visit.
Ms Kitty adopted me about ten years ago and my life changed. She became my companion, my bedmate, and my loving cat–always there in sickness and in health. Keeping me company in her own unique way, making me laugh at least a thousand times with some antic or another.
There was the time I was walking past my bathroom a when I heard a noise. Who could that be in my bathroom in the dark? I wondered. She had frequently captured little geckos and brought them home to me, laying them at my feet, alive and trying to flee this monster who had caught them in her mouth. She never killed one, but I always picked the poor creature up and tossed it over the balcony to safety, which caused Ms Kitty no small amount of dismay.
Look, Mister, I bring you food and you free it. Well, we’ll see about that!
She figured out that if she took that plaything to the bathtub, it couldn’t escape, and more importantly, I couldn’t toss it over the balcony. So there she was, as I turned on the light and opened the shower door, letting the gecko get about half up the wall of the tub, then knocking it back to the bottom with her paw. Having a whale of fun playing with her captured little lizard.
She would rather jump into a shopping bag I brought home with the groceries, or a cardboard box, than play with all the expensive toys I bought at the pet shop. She’d sit in the paper bag or box, peering over the top at me as if she was in very safe place and I could not get to her, as she sat there with only her furry black head visible, looking out at me.
There are so many funny stories I could tell–such as the time she stole the catnip from my grocery bags and snuck into the bedroom, hiding it. I awoke early one morning–about two am–to the sound of crinkling of plastic coming from the corner where a dresser stood. With my flashlight from my night stand, I spotted Ms. Kitty huddled under the dresser enjoying some late night catnip from her stash. The look of guilt and surprise she gave me had me laughing for ten minutes.
It’s difficult for anyone not having a favorite pet to understand the sadness of losing one. It hurts–immensely. The feeling of loss is deep and intense. I recall having occasional brief and fearful thoughts of what I would do if Ms Kitty ever died suddenly by whatever means–we have a coyote problem here and cats have often been the victims of them–and quickly cringed and wiped them from my mind. I couldn’t image such a loss, couldn’t fathom the pain it would cause me–until today.
I suppose, like all deaths we experience, I will, in time, feel less of the far-reaching and profound sense of loss, recall with love the memories of my little black cat, and somehow manage to move on with life. We all do when death knocks on our door.
But today, for now, I cannot. Not today, and I expect tonight, as darkness falls on me and the home that I shared with Ms Kitty for so long, will be a long and lonely vigil.
I will always remember her as “Class in a Black Fur Coat,” my lovable, petite, and unique Ms Kitty Kitty Kitty.
As a cat owner, improper cat urination is something that you will want to manage at all costs. The smell of cat urine around the house can really affect your comfort and that of your visiting guests. Although you may have gotten use to the smell of cat urine, however this may not be true of your guests. Take heart though that this problem can be managed and controlled.
Firstly, as a cat owner, you need to understand why cats spray, especially in unlikely places. Well, the answer is that cats spray their urine to mark territories. This is a natural behaviour of cats, and what mother nature dictated how they should behave, so you cannot eliminate this totally. On another spectrum, excessive spraying may indicate a serious problem such as cat urinary tract infection. Observe your cat closely and determine which of the two is your cat showing.
Normal cat urination or spraying to mark their territories can be minimised and managed. I notice that cats that spend a lot of times outdoors tend to have lesser spraying indoors. This could be that they have covered a lot of ground outside making their markings. If you have outdoor space, you may want to try letting your cat play outside at certain times of the day. The stress of staying indoors most of the time may induce excessive spraying. If you don’t have the luxury of outdoor space, take your cat for a nature walk. Domesticated cats enjoy the outdoors once in a while.
Spraying on the couch, carpet, drapes, beds can be very daunting. Thankfully, there are hand sprays available commercially to help neutralize the pungent smell of cat urine. This may help to eliminate the smell in the short term. Today’s litter boxes also come with a variety of materials that help to absorb the urine and smell, such as sawdust and silicon crystals. Although these do not totally eliminate the problem of cat urination, they help to reduce them to manageable levels.
If indeed your cat is suffering from cat urinary tract infection, then veterinary help is required. The cause of the illness varies, from stress to diabetes. This can be seen from the behaviour of the cat. Look out for signs of difficulty in spraying, moving around in circles, loss of appetite, blood in urine etc. This indicates abnormalities and you should take your cat to the vet immediately.
Men differ from women, not merely through the noticeable physical structure, but also by their emotional responses, which are made known by the kind of reactions to many situations. While men keep their emotions within themselves, women express their feelings freely. Both men and women can suffer from heart disease but their symptoms and the age at which the symptoms manifest might be different.
Symptoms and aftereffects of some heart-related sicknesses that both men and women suffer from:
Heart disease causes death in both men and women, but more women die through heart-related problems than men. This is because a woman doesn’t display symptoms of an impending heart attack as clearly as a man does.
Usually, an angiogram is suggested when a person is having chest discomfort to find whether there are any blockages in the arteries. The results of such angiograms vary from men to women. While the coronary arteries tend to show blockages in men, in the case of women they will not, despite which, doctors may pronounce that a woman’s heart is in danger. So just because the arteries don’t show a blockage in women, it doesn’t meant they are fit and don’t have any heart related illness.
In a woman, the heart disease manifests first in the small arteries of her heart, and it is these, instead of the coronary arteries that have shown the blockage in the males. Known as micro vascular disease, this is a vital heart malady in women, who also suffer chest pain symptoms to begin with.
Age is also an important factor which differentiates the two genders, even as they differ in age significantly when the heart disease strikes.
Men are likely to get attacks early in life, while women get them late. That is why many older women, the average age of heart attacks in women being 70, die because of heart conditions than men.
To ensure at a later stage that they are not down with heart related ailments, women should start countering the conditions very early in life, i.e. at the menopausal stage.
It is at these early stages that they should start a healthy dietary change and go for some workouts like aerobics, long walks, along with managing weight, and having hypertension and cholesterol assessment regularly to ensure they are healthy and if their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are not in the prescribed range, they can take preventive steps.. When you are prepared for any eventuality, the seriousness of attack gets reduced.
Heart surgery is a serious surgery, that isn’t anything you don’t already know, right? After all, you wouldn’t be reading this right now if you or somebody you know wasn’t about to have a heart surgery. And you’re probably curious as to how painful this will be during and after, and you should know, it’s going to be pretty painful. But your doctor will put you on a pain management regimen before you’re discharged.
However, by discharge time, your pain will be at a mild to moderate level, because if it isn’t, then your doctor most likely won’t release you. You’ll be prescribed pain management medication when you go home, be sure to take it as instructed. This is prescribed to assist you in getting up and moving around. Don’t worry about being addicted to it as long as you take it only as prescribed.
Then when your appointment for follow-up comes around, your pain level will be at a minimal level by then. There are patients that have expressed concern about chest and shoulder pains, causing them alarm that it may be angina. This is understandable and you shouldn’t hesitate to call your doctor if you do experience this pain.
However, this is typically nothing more than your bones and muscles aching. Again, don’t be afraid to call your doctor, though! Better safe than sorry.
With effective pain management medication, you will heal faster and in comfort. This medication you’re prescribed will keep possible complications risks minimal too. Believe it or not, you will be up walking around quick because your doctors will a physical therapist teach you breathing exercises. Those exercises will get your strength back sooner and they are also good for pain management.
Where Will The Pain Be Felt?
During your recovery period, you’ll feel burning, pain, or pressure in your chest and especially around the incision site while the tubes are still in place. When the doctor and nurses remove the chest tubes, you’ll have some discomfort and you’ll find it painful as you begin to move around and when you a cough, sit up, walk.
You will have pain in other areas as well. Your throat will be scratchy and sore from the breathing tube that was inserted during your surgery. If the doctor took an artery or vein from other areas of your body, you will have some pain there as well. And you’ll have some soreness and stiffness from lying down during your surgery and while you were in ICU. Again, your doctor will prescribe pain management medication and treatments that will ease the discomfort and pain.
Incision Area Numbness
Some patients have complained about having temporary numbness in their arm, chest, hand, or leg where an arterial line was inserted. This is completely normal and will improve over time. It can take months for some people and others just a few weeks. This happens because of the manipulation during surgery to the nerves.
Controlling and Monitoring Your Pain
Once the anesthesia you are under has worn off in the ICU, you will be given pain management medication by an IV line and after you are returned to your room your pain management medication will be in pill form or a suppository if you’re unable to swallow.
Or you may be kept on an IV line for another day or two. The nursing staff will keep regular checks of your vitals and ask you about your pain level so they can keep you comfortable following the doctor’s orders for pain management medications.
As an individual become older wrinkles, appearance lines, age spots, hanging skin and under-eye dark circles start showing up. The best thing to do is to look for treatment for these maturing signs. Before going with the blade or needle to overcome these signs, you should consider All-in-one anti-aging cream first. There are a number of anti-aging creams present online and at the market place. Some are for the specific problem while some are “All in one” types creams. There are creams that reduce your wrinkles and lessen age spots in a given period of time. Today, anti-aging treatment are more beneficial and healthy over physical treatment in overcoming aging spots.
Before purchasing any of the anti-aging creams, it would be valuable to do research work – get some answers concerning the ingredients in the product; refer product audits or reviews, etc. An All-in-one anti-aging cream consist of a wide range of ingredients such as Copper peptide, Argireline, Matrixyl, Nano Silicone dioxide, Idebenone, Hyaluronic acid, Conjugated linoleic acid, Witch Hazel, Squalane, Vitamin C Ester, Vitamin A palmitate, Vitamin D3, Rose hydrolysate, Vitamin E oil, Vitamin K, Pro-Vitamin B5, Beta-Glucan, etc that helps in staving off wrinkles and dark spots. It additionally serves to recognize what is the skin issue or maturing sign you need to target, so you can be particular about the capacity/ingredients looking for a product.
But instead of using serums, creams, face wash, peptide solutions, etc why don’t you prefer an All-in-one anti-aging cream. It is the product that can give you numerous benefits to overcome dark spots and aging problems.
The cream can be used carefully in the morning and even at night on the clean face. Now, because of the content and ingredients present it might tingle or itch for a couple of minutes after applying yet ought to be proceeded with and sooner the skin gets comfortable to it. None of the ingredients present in All-in-one anti-aging cream are harmful to the skin. It can easily be applied around and under the eyes and lips.
Collagen, the connective tissue present in the lower layers of the skin provides glowing and elasticity to the skin. Likewise, with most anti-aging treatments the reenactment of collagen is an imperative impact. Pay attention towards ingredients such as Vitamin C which helps collagen creation; you get the advantage of reducing wrinkles and fine lines calming out, and in addition firming the skin, enhancing the presence of loose skin.
An All-in-one anti-aging cream is yellowish in color which keeps the equalization of dampness, furthermore to keep the skin supple. With an appropriate hydration of the skin, various other ingredients get consumed all the more effectively. Not just on the face, the cream can be applied on the lips to lessen the fine lines present around the lips. One other vital capacity of aging cream against maturing treatment is to reduce pigmentations along with age-spots, over the old scars to accomplish a smooth and younger look. Without dryness, the face instantly looks fresh and younger.
Hence it can be seen that an All-in-one anti-aging cream is the perfect solution to anti-aging problems, dark spots, and fine lines. It is best over physical treatments that usually end up costlier with unhealthy skin results.
Shoppers are targeted with promotional messages from brands on smartphones, televisions, online and even while walking through the mall. While it seems like this is a smart approach – targeting shoppers everywhere they might be can also have the negative affect of creating ‘shopping paralysis.’ This occurs when shoppers are overwhelmed by too many choices and are unable to make a purchasing decision.
Brick-and-mortar retailers have battled this phenomenon by providing helpful sales associates who can personally guide shoppers in narrowing down selections that fit their tastes and needs. With eMarketer estimating that more than 80 percent of online shoppers enter a website without knowing what to buy ahead of time, there is huge opportunity for digital retailers who provide a similar service online. This has spurred the growing trend toward guided discovery, and has retailers on the lookout for tools that provide an interactive and more personal approach to online shopping.
Advances in data-driven technologies present exciting possibilities for guided discovery tools. However, most retailers have only taken a rudimentary approach, implementing basic search filters or function-based guided selling tools that ultimately rely on the shopper knowing what they want, and finding it on their own. Engaging the large majority who are figuring it out as they go (and quickly bouncing off sites that provide little assistance) requires a level of interactivity and predictive analytics to elevate the customer journey to the next level, and deliver discovery that eases product selection in a meaningful, entertaining and personal way.
Next-generation product discovery
Today’s consumer is digitally savvy and accustomed to personalized services and on-demand entertainment. Everything from education to cars to TV uses an interactive approach to capture consumers’ attention and engage them while they learn, shop and browse online. This type of interactive experience is now a part of the next-gen product discovery model for retailers.
The evolution of digital retail has given dawn to a variety of engagement tools, including search, site personalization techniques, ratings and reviews and social media. The push to differentiate in an ever-growing crowded retail environment makes personalized guided discovery the next ‘no brainer’ approach to increasing shopper engagement. It balances retailers’ need to drive conversions with customer demand for personalized offerings. A 2014 report asserts that consumer expectation for a better experience is increasing, and companies must make customers feel like they’re receiving special treatment or service that is tailored to their needs and interests. As more customers turn to mobile and online commerce, it’s increasingly important for brands to provide the equivalent of a helpful in-store associate, compelling content and entertaining methods that guide and delight customers during the shopping journey.
The wedding is certainly a very important life event. In most of the countries, this is considered as the most occasions of pomp and joy. People love to participate in the celebration as the gathering is full of enjoyment and pleasure. The wedding involves preparation of lots of things like buying outfits, managing guests, arranging photographers, booking of banquet halls, dresses, and several other things.
The arrangement of the bridal makeup artist is also very important. It is the desire of every single person living on this planet to have astonishing looks. It gives immense pleasure when people surrounding, scan you in praise and listen to you attentively. The most important personality of the wedding feast is the bride. It is the dream of every girl to look stunning on this special day. The reason behind this is that she is the showstopper and every eye will be watching her.
Why hire a makeup artist? This is definitely a very pertinent question. The answer to this question is very simple. Our skin needs care and pampering. This is the largest organ of a human body. There are several factors which adversely affect our skin. Some of the most common factors are sun rays, UV radiation, pollution, dust, harsh weather condition, etc. These factors offer the adverse impact on the skin texture. The impact of UV rays alone on the skin is very severe. These rays directly affect the collagen and distort its molecular structure. This eventually results in degradation in the color of the skin.
The makeup artists use cosmetics in order to hide the imperfections of the skin. They do offer skin treatment in order to bring back the lost charm of the skin. There are several beauty products and techniques available in the market which can easily combat the effects of the skin.
The makeup sessions of the bride start quite early. In the very first session, the artists look after your skin and prepare the chart about the things what should be done to give you the most mesmerizing looks for the auspicious occasion.
During the final session, the artist uses different items like foundation, face pack, moisturizer, etc. These items help in enhancing your beauty and charm. It is very important to hire a professional artist as this event is really important. You cannot take chance by betting on the amateur artist.
How to find the professional makeup artist? There are several artists rendering this service. You should explore the one who has vast experience in this domain. At times, while searching the services you come across professionals who sell you the products instead of services.
People are increasingly becoming more aware of the ill effects of typical western diet coupled with the sedentary and stressful lifestyle that has become so commonplace over the past few decades. Due to this increase in awareness, people are increasingly looking for ways to include some healthy foods into their daily diet.
This is the reason that a number of companies have launched a variety of products in the market targeting people who want to change their lifestyle and be healthy. One of such companies is Total Life Changes. The company has been operating for more than 15 years but it has recently gained popularity across the globe as it has expanded its network to almost all the countries in the world.
Currently, the company operates in more than 140 countries across the globe. There are a number of total life changes reviews posted on the Internet by successful affiliates of the company as they have been able to successfully market the product sold by the company. The company sells a variety of healthcare products that include various nutritional products such as laso tea, various skin care products such as exfoliants and skin creams as well as a variety of coffees under the laso brand.
These products have been extremely popular with the masses as the products are of high quality and are well liked by the people. This is a direct sales company which means that the products of the company are available only from the people who have become affiliates of the company. It has some attractive compensation plans. Even though its products are with also available on various retail sites on the Internet, those products are listed on sale by the existing affiliates of the company.
The Total Life Changes reviews show that the company has been taking care of its affiliates and people are happy with the compensation plan and with the products launched by the company. It is a multilevel marketing company which means that one needs to recruit further affiliates to be successful. However, the high quality products make it easy for people to sell as many people today are looking for various natural products to improve their health.
It is important of keep in mind that even though Total Life Changes products are well liked by the buyers, one still needs to go out and recruit affiliates as well as sell the products to actually make some money with the compensation plan offered by the company. Network marketing is not easy and there are many people who join such businesses with high hopes of making easy money but end up losing their initial investments.
Network marketing is like any other business and a lot of work needs to be done during the initial years to be successful. There is no easy money to be made in any kind of business. The advantage of this company is that high quality products make it easy for people to sell these products which means that it is easy to recruit affiliates.
Do you want to find out how to redirect your focus and attention so you could be at ease at ending your struggles? Do you want to be transformed into a better version of yourself and understand the challenges that you may be facing? These transformation insights may help you discover your true passions, and desires you may not still be aware of. You may also discover your hidden strengths and talents and how to enhance each one of them. And most importantly, these insights may empower you as you journey through life.
The secret lies on the person’s openness when it comes to knowing what astronomy might say in the future. This reading also intends to affect the character and personality of the one being assessed. Transformational insights will be provided that may help improve and may touch certain areas in life that need attention in order to enhance proper well-being.
Moon reading requires thorough understanding of the self as we may or we may disagree to what it might actually imply. Unless one is curious enough to explore options available in order to become empowered as a human being, this may be helpful. It allows an individual to journey deep into the “Mystic Cave” — a sacred place created in the mind to prime you for unstoppable change and to energize your spirit. This may also serve as a guide and future reference of how the Universe is unfolding in the life of an individual. It can affect future decisions, relationships, career, family, romance, finance, business, home and other aspects in ways we never saw coming.
These readings based on astronomy may assist you in your decision-making in the future especially when you are meant to change or do something greater. Though this is based on signs and symbols, they may or may not be accurate for you depending on the Supreme Being with which your life is being owed to.
Who Created the Moon Reading?
The creator of this Moon Reading is Jeremy together with his best friend, Brad. When you submit your email address for the reading, you will be receiving an email from Jeremy.
This product lets you choose to use the transformative information in your reading that will have a huge impact on the next few years of your life.
How Does Moon Reading Work?
The Moon Reading starts with asking you for your name, birthday, email address, country, region and city. All these data are needed so you will be able to have your readings based on Astronomy. You will then be redirected to a certain page wherein you will be able to catch a glimpse of the readings as you assess whether each statement holds true for you. To follow through, an email also will then be sent for you.
This Moon Reading tool includes a transformational Mystic Cave Meditation that will help you unlock your personal power by taking you on a mystical journey of self-discovery. Also, a more detailed horoscope will then be provided for you should you desire to go deeper into the readings. This may help you reveal your true desires that you might not be aware of, and with the guided meditations, you will be able to find out how to make them a reality.
– self-realization and awareness
– self assessment
– transformation insights in the form of audio
– guidance of future decisions that will help not only the self but the common good
– encourages empowerment to do something in life
– You may be able to get introduced to make a change, or something to improve
– The product has a lot of information to take in
– Free readings
– money-back guarantee
– You need an internet connection to enjoy this product.
Do you want to keep a healthy lifestyle? If so, how do you want to maintain the feeling of being refreshed each and every morning? They say, what you do in the morning helps you get through all throughout the day. Do you have any morning rituals that help you stay in shape and beautiful inside and out? At this moment, we’d like to introduce the 2-Minute Morning Ritual that helps boost metabolism and keeps you slim naturally. Find out how it is done!
What is Purelife Organics?
Purelife Organics help us in saying goodbye to dangerous pills, gimmicky gadgets, and starvation diets which have become very popular to those who want to be in good shape. This is not only a lifestyle, but a support in achieving not only the physical aspect transformation but also the physiological effect of this product.
The secret lies in the superfoods — certain foods that contain more nutrients and antioxidants than hundreds of other foods out there. These superfoods were discovered thousands of years ago and found to be useful as it affects the energy, strength and longevity in a more positive way. These superfoods include turmeric, cinnamon, ginger extract which have been used for centuries to support a healthy inflammation response and to maintain healthy digestion.
As people grow older, there may come a point in life where we feel weak in doing our chores, but the product Purelife Organics will introduce may also help us restore the energy with which we are striving to have. Purelife Organics has made some absolutely delicious concoctions with a blend of superfoods. These superfoods which are being introduced to us today nourishes the body with a flood of antioxidants and nutrients you need to stay looking young, healthy, energetic and vibrant.
This product may help you to become your best self. It may help you trim down and lose the extra weight which might have been affecting your self-confidence and self-esteem. All you have to do is drink this super spice tea every day. Purelife Organics Tea contains Turmeric 4:1, Cinnamon, Coconut Milk Powder, Black Pepper Extract, Acacia Fiber (Prebiotic), Ginger Extract, and Monk Fruit. Some benefits of the Purelife Organics tea include lesser belly fat, healthier inflammation response, the support for healthy aging, clearer skin and healthy hair, more energy and focus.
Who Created the Purelife Organics?
It’s a mystery who might be the creator of this Purelife Organics, but his wife’s name is Tara, who became an inspiration for him to push forward in mixing these superfoods in order to help her maintain a healthy weight, and to gain back her self-confidence and self-esteem.
This product allows you to enjoy health benefits that will surely have a huge impact on the next few years of your life.
How Does Purelife Organics Work?
The Purelife Organics Tea just needed to be mixed with water before drinking it up! Everything is already premixed so there is no need to put on more effort in mixing all the ingredients that would help you to achieve the weight and the healthy benefits of the so-called superfood. Consumption of this tea does not require much time and effort, so it could simply be a part of the morning routine to prepare you for the grind of the day.
You just have to simply add one scoop in a mug of warm water to start your day with a steaming mug of this healthy and delicious metabolism supporting tea. One may choose to start the day with the Flat Belly Tea first thing to look forward to when you wake up in the morning.
– This tea can boost the metabolism in the body
– This is an organic product comprises of different superfoods
– It can help slim the body down naturally
– It can help flatten the belly
– It can help loosen the weight
– May cause less fat storage in the body
– Has a healthier inflammation response
– It supports healthy aging
– Can affect to have a clearer skin and healthy hair
– Helps in having more energy and focus
– The product can be sold in bundles and has a super saver best price
– Money-back guarantee
– You need an internet connection to enjoy this product.
Regain the confidence by consuming this tea from Purelife Organics. It can help you and your body be filled with antioxidants and nutrients you need to stay looking young, healthy, energetic and vibrant.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a member of the Asteraceae family and an herbaceous perennial native to Southern Europe and Asia. The plant enjoys full sun and grows to a height of nearly 5 feet. It blooms between July and August with deep purple to pink flowers.1
Throughout history, people have used the fruit and seeds of the milk thistle plant as a treatment for liver disorders. The plant goes by several other names, including Holy thistle, Mary thistle, Our Lady’s thistle, wild artichoke and St. Mary thistle.2
Traditionally, the leaves have been harvested to use in salads and the flower may be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. However, it is the seeds of the milk thistle that were prized for their medicinal activity.
According to the NIH, the oldest recorded use of the plant was by Dioscorides, who believed it could be used as a treatment for snake bites.3 During the Middle Ages it was used as an antidote for liver toxins and by 1898 physicians were using it to treat liver, kidney and spleen disorders. Currently, the German Commission E lists milk thistle for the treatment of hepatic cirrhosis and toxin-induced liver damage and to support chronic inflammatory liver conditions.
Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver Health
The main bioactive compound in milk thistle is a group of flavonolignans called silymarin.4 Flavonolignans are a group of flavonoids with known hepatoprotective properties.5 Silymarin consists of seven different flavonolignans among which silybin has the highest concentration and biological effect. Nearly 70% of silymarin is in the form of silybin A and silybin B.6
Silymarin can be isolated from milk thistle seeds, and while the term milk thistle and silymarin have been used interchangeably, it is technically inaccurate. Multiple studies have demonstrated the ability of silymarin to help protect your liver, and it is regularly used in individuals whose liver has been damaged by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis and liver cancer.7,8
Silymarin also has a protective effect against amatoxin, a deadly toxin produced by the death cap mushroom. Nearly 90% of fatalities from mushrooms worldwide are due to the death cap mushroom.9 Symptoms manifest six to eight hours after ingestion and are followed by kidney and liver failure.
In one review, researchers found nearly 1,500 documented cases where the mortality was less than 10% in patients treated with Legalon® SIL, a pharmaceutical silibinin compound. In another case report,10 doctors successfully treated two patients who accidentally ingested the death cap mushroom with a combination of n-acetylcysteine, cimetidine, silibinin and high-dose penicillin.
Benefits to liver health from silymarin likely result from the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic properties of the compound. Silymarin also has demonstrated the ability to reduce virus-related liver damage and has a direct antiviral effect when administered intravenously in patients with hepatitis C.11
Silymarin has a positive effect on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is a more advanced form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.12 The compound can also help reduce the fibrotic changes that lead to liver cirrhosis.13 In combination with vitamin E, researchers found silymarin helps improve liver function tests and can be:14
“… an alternative valid therapeutic option particularly when other drugs are not indicated or have failed or as a complementary treatment associated with other therapeutic programs.”
Your Liver: The Great Detoxifier
One of the largest organs in your body is your liver, and for good reason. It performs many metabolic and detoxifying functions, helping to convert toxic substances into harmless substances that are then released from your body.15
Your liver is in your upper abdominal cavity just under your right diaphragm, where it sits on top of your stomach. A normal healthy adult liver weighs about 3 pounds and is made of two lobes connected by a band of connective tissue.16
Just inside the hollow under the liver is the gallbladder, where your body stores bile. At any given time, your liver holds about 13% of your body’s blood supply, which it filters and then excretes toxins in 800 milliliters to 1,000 milliliters of bile each day.17 This is emptied into your gallbladder.
In addition to detoxifying your blood, your liver also produces some of the proteins for blood plasma, converts excess sugar into glycogen and helps balance the production of glucose.18 Your liver is also responsible for regulating blood clotting mechanisms, resisting infections and clearing bilirubin that is formed when hemoglobin breaks down.
Silymarin offers significant benefits to your liver, including the ability to increase glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant crucial for liver detoxification.19 Researchers have also found it may help your liver cells to regenerate, supporting the only organ in your body capable of regeneration.20
Incidence of Liver Disease on the Rise
As you can imagine, liver damage affects these functions and more. Although many tend to equate liver disease with alcohol use, as many as 100 million people suffer from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD),21 which is associated with obesity.22 As the incidence of obesity in the U.S. has risen, so has NAFLD. In 2017-2018, the age adjusted prevalence of obesity in the U.S. was 42.4% of adults.23
Risk factors for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease include obesity, diabetes, high triglyceride levels and poor eating habits. The condition is sometimes called a silent disease because you may not experience any symptoms and many people may live with the condition without developing further liver damage.24 If NAFLD progresses with signs of inflammation and cell damage, it is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
NAFLD is also the most common type of liver disease found in children.25 Data released in January 202026 from a large cohort in the U.K. found 20% of young adults had NAFLD.
When the researchers widened the data set, they found over 20% had evidence of NAFLD and 2.5% had developed fibrosis. Breaking out the data further, they found at 17 years, 2.5% had moderate to severe levels, yet by age 24 this had risen to 13%.
Silymarin Reduces Cellular Inflammation
Many of the health benefits attributed to silymarin are the result of the compound’s capacity to help reduce cellular inflammation. Research has suggested silymarin does this using a two-phase process similar to that used by other natural compounds such as curcumin and epigallocatechin gallate, found in green tea.27
During the first phase there was a rapid increase in genetic expression that is linked with cellular stress. After this follows a longer sustained depression of genetic expression that is found with inflammation. As described by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, in this study, silymarin:28
Induced endoplasmic reticulum stress
Triggered activating transcription factor 4 (ATF-4) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and inhibited mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)
Modulated the actions of many types of metabolites
Inhibited inflammatory signaling pathways, when given on a prolonged basis (at 24 hours, in this study)
An important factor in those steps is the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This is an enzyme that sometimes is called the “metabolic master switch” since it plays an important role in regulating metabolism.29 According to the Natural Medicine Journal, AMPK regulates biological activities to normalize energy imbalances. In addition:30
“AMPK helps coordinate the response to these stressors, shifting energy toward cellular repair, maintenance, or a return to homeostasis and improved likelihood of survival. The hormones leptin and adiponectin activate AMPK. In other words, activating AMPK can produce the same benefits as exercise, dieting, and weight loss — the lifestyle modifications considered beneficial for a range of maladies.”
More Health Benefits With Milk Thistle
These factors mean milk thistle offers a wide range of health benefits. Milk thistle extracts have been tested for anticancer actions in prostate cancer both in the lab and in clinical trials. According to one study, “extracts enriched for isosilybin B, or isosilybin B alone, might possess improved potency in prostate cancer prevention and treatment.”31
The plant also has neuroprotective effects and has been used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in modern society and neurological diseases such as cerebral ischemia for well over 2,000 years.32 The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to the neuroprotective effects that help prevent a decline in brain function as you age.33
In one study, researchers used silymarin to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in an animal model that helped reduce the potential for dementia in obese animal subjects.34 Other studies have also demonstrated the ability of milk thistle to reduce amyloid plaques in animal models associated with Alzheimer’s disease.35,36
Silymarin has also demonstrated antiosteoclastic activity in animal studies, causing one research team to conclude it significantly prevents bone loss, potentially “either due to direct interaction with Erbeta [an estrogen receptor beta-isoform] or increasing bone formation parameters including calcium, phosphorus, osteocalcin and PTH.”37
The American Pregnancy Association writes that blessed thistle has been used for hundreds of years to raise a woman’s milk supply, and it is especially effective when taken with fenugreek.38
One published study of 50 healthy lactating women demonstrated oral supplementation with 420 milligrams per day of silymarin boosted their milk supply by 85.94% as compared to the women taking a placebo whose milk supply went up 32.09%.39 None of the women dropped out and no one reported unwanted side effects.
Considerations Before Planting Milk Thistle at Home
Before planting milk thistle in your garden or picking up a milk thistle supplement, there are a few things to consider. Research has found silibinin is poorly absorbed as it has low water solubility. Using a novel formulation, combining silibinin with phosphatidylcholine, researchers were able to improve the solubility and bioavailability, which markedly improved the therapeutic efficiency.40
If you’re hoping to grow your own plants in your backyard and harvest for tea and salads, be forewarned the plant is highly invasive and spreads quickly. While you may not mind having it all over your yard, it doesn’t respect your neighbor’s boundaries and will likely end up in their yard as well.
Milk thistle is also highly toxic to livestock, so if you have grazing animals it’s important you don’t plant it outside.41 Milk thistle has adapted to growing even in poor quality soil. The plants enjoy full sun and once the flowers have begun to dry, they’ll be ready for harvest.42
Cut the flowers and place them in a paper bag, storing the bag in a dry place so the flower heads dry. Once all the moisture is gone, shake the bag to separate the seeds, which can then be kept in a dry airtight container.
The seeds can be powdered in a coffee grinder and sprinkled on your salads, added to smoothies or even raw juice. You can use the seeds to make your own tea, which you’ll find a recipe for in “Magnificent Milk Thistle.”
1 According to recent research, the reason why some COVID-19 patients develop life-threatening organ failure is because they:
Are deficient in calcium
Consume excessive amounts of unsaturated fats such as omega-6 linoleic acid
A compelling report in the journal Gastroenterology offers a novel explanation as to why some COVID-19 patients develop life-threatening organ failure, namely their high unsaturated fat intake. Unsaturated fat intake is associated with increased mortality from COVID-19, while saturated fat intake lowers your risk of death. Learn more.
Eat too many eggs
Have not exercised enough
2 Which of the following vaccine ingredients is suspected of being the culprit causing allergic, including life-threatening anaphylactic responses in some recipients of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine?
Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine contains polyethylene glycol (PEG), and studies have shown 70% of people develop antibodies against this substance. This suggests PEG may trigger fatal allergic reactions in many who receive the vaccine. Learn more.
3 The SARS-CoV-2 PCR test was developed based on:
Viral isolate of SARS-CoV-2 collected from patient zero in Wuhan, China
Viral isolate from a single American with cold symptoms
The full genetic sequence obtained from viral isolate
An incomplete genetic sequence published by Chinese scientists
The SARS-CoV-2 PCR test was developed based on a genetic sequence published by Chinese scientists, not the viral isolate. Missing genetic code was simply made up. Learn more.
4 Which of the following is a technique that allows scientists to make a pathogen more virulent?
One technique that allows scientists to make a pathogen more virulent is called “serial passaging.” By passing the virus through a series of cells from different animals, the virus progressively adapts to the new host cell. Learn more.
5 Which of the following countries detained or arrested the greatest number of journalists in 2020?
China tops the list of countries where suppression of journalism is taking place. As of December 1, 2020, 117 Chinese journalists had been arrested, many because of their reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic. December 28, 2020, the Shanghai Pudong People’s Court sentenced citizen journalist Zhang Zhan to four years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Learn more.
6 According to financial guru and former assistant secretary of housing, Catherine Austin Fitts, the riots that occurred in the U.S. during 2020 were:
An emotional response to racial inequality
The result of poor upbringing
Part of a real estate acquisition scheme
The riots in the U.S. were not random. According to Catherine Austin Fitts, the pattern suggests they were part of a real estate acquisition plan. Learn more.
An outgrowth of pandemic restrictions
7 Which of the following “hacks” will make fasting easier by preventing hunger pangs?
Eating a high-carb breakfast
Never fasting for longer than 12 hours
Avoiding exercise while fasting
Having coffee, with or without MCT oil, butter and/or prebiotics, first thing in the morning
A simple hack that will make fasting easier is to raise your ketone level with black mycotoxin-free coffee, with or without added MCT oil and grass fed butter. Adding prebiotics to your morning coffee will also prevent hunger. Learn more.
In recent weeks and months, there’s been an upshot of studies1 demonstrating the benefits of vitamin D against COVID-19. The evidence is so compelling, more than 100 doctors, scientists and leading authorities have signed an open letter2 calling for increased use of vitamin D in the fight against COVID-19.
“Research shows low vitamin D levels almost certainly promote COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Given its safety, we call for immediate widespread increased vitamin D intakes,” the letter states, adding:3 “Vitamin D modulates thousands of genes and many aspects of immune function, both innate and adaptive. The scientific evidence shows that:
• Higher vitamin D blood levels are associated with lower rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection.Higher D levels are associated with lower risk of a severe case (hospitalization, ICU, or death).
• Intervention studies (including RCTs) indicate that vitamin D can be a very effective treatment. Many papers reveal several biological mechanisms by which vitamin D influences COVID-19.
• Causal inference modelling, Hill’s criteria, the intervention studies & the biological mechanisms indicate that vitamin D’s influence on COVID-19 is very likely causal, not just correlation.”
The letter recommends taking enough vitamin D to achieve a blood level of at least 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L). They also urge testing of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients and adding vitamin D to the treatment protocol for any patient whose level is below 30 ng/mL. Many other doctors are also urging government health agencies to get onboard with vitamin D recommendations. As reported by NL Times:4
“‘There is a growing consensus in the scientific world about the important role of vitamin D,’ says Manfred Eggersdorfer, professor of Healthy Aging at the University Medical Center Groningen. He argues that ‘it can reduce the chance that you will get corona and the infection can last shorter.’
The wait-and-see attitude adopted by governments does not sit well in the scientific community. Professor of immunology at Wageningen University, Huub Savelkoul, called the attitude ‘frustrating.’
He states that ‘there are more and more studies showing the benefit of vitamin D. I think it is a kind of arrogance that the government wants to wait for a meta-study first. It seems as if we don’t care that people come to the hospital and die in the meantime. You have to be careful with that comment, but that’s where my frustration lies.'”
Vitamin D Optimization Is Powerful Prevention
In a December 23, 2020, Fox News interview5,6 (above), Dr. Peter Osborne with the Origins Nutrition Center stated that the most recent studies suggest 9 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented had people had adequate vitamin D levels.
While I suspect this might be an overestimation, there’s no doubt in my mind that optimizing vitamin D levels among the general population would significantly lower COVID-19 incidence and death.
“At the East Virginia School of Medicine there’s a COVID protocol that includes Vitamin D,” Osborne said. “So, if you’re hospitalized for COVID, they’re automatically putting you on between 20,000 and 60,000 units of vitamin D. This is part of their standard of care protocol in that hospital system.”
Osborne also recommends using vitamin C and zinc, as well as quercetin, which allows for greater zinc absorption. Quercetin also boosts type 1 interferon, which signals infected cells to produce proteins that stop the virus from replicating, and works synergistically with vitamin C. This is all good advice. As noted in a December 2020 Frontiers in Nutrition review:7
“… Zinc and vitamins C and D stand out for having immunomodulatory functions and for playing roles in preserving physical tissue barriers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the adequate intake of zinc and vitamins C and D may represent a promising pharmacological tool due to the high demand for these nutrients in the case of contact with the virus and onset of the inflammatory process.”
However, vitamin D is not my first choice for acute illness that requires immediate treatment. While high-dose vitamin D loading may be helpful in some respects, my No. 1 choice for treating acute respiratory illness is nebulized hydrogen peroxide, which I’ll discuss at the end of this article. It goes to work immediately, while vitamin D requires time, at bare minimum, days, to make a difference.
With respect to preventing COVID-19 deaths, I strongly believe that nebulized hydrogen peroxide could easily prevent at least 90% of the deaths if administered properly. It deeply saddens me to see so many die needlessly because they don’t use this incredibly inexpensive and safe therapy.
Vitamin D Improves COVID-19 Outcomes
Now, bear in mind that prevention and treatment are not the same. I firmly believe that vitamin D optimization will help prevent COVID-19 infection and reduce your risk of severe symptoms should you contract it.
In fact, I launched an information campaign about vitamin D back in June 2020, which included the release of a downloadable scientific report that detailed the science behind vitamin D. This report, as well as a two-minute COVID risk quiz is available on StopCovidCold.com.
There’s also evidence to show high-dose vitamin D loading can improve COVID-19 outcomes even in acute and severe cases. According to a December 2020 randomized, double-blind study8 in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine, giving critically ill COVID-19 patients high doses of vitamin D significantly reduced the number of days they had to spend in the ICU. They were also less likely to need ventilation. According to the authors:9
“Thirty patients completed the study. The results show that injection of vitamin D leads to a significant increase in the mean changes of vitamin D level on the seventh day of the study and TAC [total antioxidant capacity] levels.
ICU length of stay was 18.3±8.4 and 25.4±6.6 days in the intervention and placebo arms of the study. Twelve patients in the placebo group and 5 in the vitamin D group died within the 28-day study period. The duration of mechanical ventilation was 15.7± 9.3 vs. 22.6± 9.1 days in vitamin D and placebo arms, respectively.”
Similarly, a mathematical reanalysis10 of a calcifediol trial concluded there’s a “strong role for vitamin D in reducing ICU admissions of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.” The analysis looked at data from an earlier trial11 done on hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Córdoba, Spain. As explained by the authors of the analysis:12
“… the treatment was associated with reduced ICU admissions with very large effect size and high statistical significance, but the study has had limited impact because it had only 76 patients and imperfect blinding, and did not measure vitamin D levels pre- and post-treatment or adjust for several comorbidities.”
In an effort to account for these shortcomings, they reanalyzed the data using statistical techniques, concluding that “the randomization, large effect size, and high statistical significance address many of these concerns.”
For starters, they found that “random assignment of patients to treatment and control groups is highly unlikely to distribute comorbidities or other prognostic indicators sufficiently unevenly to account for the large effect size.”
They also demonstrated that the imperfect blinding did not have a negative impact, as it would have had to have “an implausibly large effect to account for the reported results.”
To double-check their findings, they also compared the data with two other randomized clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation for COVID-19, one from India and another from Brazil. In conclusion, the authors stated that:
“… the Córdoba study provides sufficient evidence to warrant immediate, well-designed pivotal clinical trials of early calcifediol administration in a broader cohort of inpatients and outpatients with COVID-19.”
Irish Experts Call for Increased Recognition of Vitamin D
In addition to the open letter mentioned earlier, the Irish Covit-D Consortium is also calling for greater use of vitamin D against COVID-19, citing evidence showing it can lower the risk of death from COVID-19 in the elderly by as much as 700%.13
In a position statement14 published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science, the team urges health professionals and policy-makers “to recognize the importance of enhanced vitamin D in … the optimization of immune response” and to “Develop explicit population guidance and clinical protocols for vitamin D supplementation at … effective doses.” As reported by the Herald:15
“Dr. Dan McCartney, programme director of Human Nutrition and Dietetics at TU Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, said ‘the accumulation of evidence linking low vitamin D levels and COVID-19 is now considerable.
This evidence includes studies which show an increased risk of infection in those with low vitamin D levels and a 25 to 30-fold reduced risk of ICU admission and a substantial reduction risk of death in older COVID-19 patients supplemented with vitamin D.'”
Vitamin D Speeds Viral Clearance
Another recent study,16 published in November 2020 in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, looked at oral vitamin D supplementation on SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance. This study included only asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals who also had vitamin D deficiency (a vitamin D blood level below 20 ng/mL).
Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 60,000 IUs of oral cholecalciferol (nano-liquid droplets) or a placebo for seven days. The target blood level was 50 ng/mL. Anyone who had not achieved a blood level of 50 ng/mL after the first seven days continued to receive the supplement until they reached the target level.
Periodically, all participants were tested for SARS-CoV-2 as well as fibrinogen, D-dimer, procalcitonin and CRP, all of which are inflammatory markers. The primary outcome measure of the study was the proportion of patients testing negative for COVID-19 before day 21 of the study, as well as changes in inflammatory markers. As reported by the authors:17
“Forty SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive individuals were randomized to intervention (n=16) or control (n=24) group. Baseline serum 25(OH)D was 8.6 and 9.54 ng/mL, in the intervention and control group, respectively.
10 out of 16 patients could achieve 25(OH)D>50 ng/ml by day-7 and another two by day-14 … 10 (62.5%) participants in the intervention group and 5 (20.8%) participants in the control arm became SARS-CoV-2 RNA negative. Fibrinogen levels significantly decreased with cholecalciferol supplementation unlike other inflammatory biomarkers.
[A] greater proportion of vitamin D-deficient individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection turned SARS-CoV-2 RNA negative with a significant decrease in fibrinogen on high-dose cholecalciferol supplementation.”
Vitamin D Slows COVID-19 Spread
As reported by KRGV 5 News (above), a Texas news station, doctors in the Rio Grande Valley are also urging people to check their vitamin D levels and supplement if they’re deficient. The reason?
Research18,19 published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests people who have low vitamin D levels are more prone to contracting SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that also makes them more likely to spread the infection to others. As noted in that paper:
“Vitamin D deficiency was found in 82.2% of COVID-19 cases and 47.2% of population-based controls … Vitamin D-deficient COVID-19 patients had … a longer length of hospital stay than those with serum 25OHD levels ≥20 ng/mL …
According to our results, vitamin D treatment should be recommended in COVID-19 patients with serum 25OHD deficiency, since this approach might have beneficial effects in both the musculoskeletal and the immune system.”
How Vitamin D Impacts COVID-19
October 31, 2020, my own vitamin D review,20 co-written with William Grant, Ph.D., and Dr. Carol Wagner, both of whom are part of the GrassrootsHealth expert vitamin D panel, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients. You can read the paper for free on the journal’s website.
As noted in that paper, dark skin color, increased age, pre-existing chronic conditions and vitamin D deficiency are all features of severe COVID disease, and of these, vitamin D deficiency is the only factor that is readily and easily modifiable.
You may be able to reverse chronic disease, but that typically takes time. Optimizing your vitamin D, on the other hand, can be achieved in just a few weeks, thereby significantly lowering your risk of severe COVID-19.
In our paper, we review several of the mechanisms by which vitamin D can reduce your risk of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, including but not limited to the following:21
Reducing the survival and replication of viruses22 and inflammatory cytokine production
Maintaining endothelial integrity — Endothelial dysfunction contributes to vascular inflammation and impaired blood clotting, two hallmarks of severe COVID-19
Increasing angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) concentrations, which prevents the virus from entering cells via the ACE2 receptor — ACE2 is downregulated by SARS-CoV-2 infection, and by increasing ACE2, you also avoid excessive accumulation of angiotensin II, a peptide hormone known to increase the severity of COVID-19
Vitamin D is also an important component of COVID-19 prevention and treatment for the fact that it:
Boosts your overall immune function by modulating your innate and adaptive immune responses and reduces respiratory distress23 and improves overall lung function
Helps produce surfactants in your lungs that aid in fluid clearance24 and lowers your risk of comorbidities associated with poor COVID-19 prognosis, including obesity,25 Type 2 diabetes,26 high blood pressure27 and heart disease28
Data from 14 observational studies — summarized in Table 1 of our paper29 — suggest that vitamin D blood levels are inversely correlated with the incidence and/or severity of COVID-19, and the evidence currently available generally satisfies Hill’s criteria for causality in a biological system.30
COVID-19 Features Related to Vitamin D Status
Our paper31 also details several features of COVID-19 that suggest vitamin D deficiency is at play in this illness. For starters, SARS-CoV-2 emerged in the winter in the northern hemisphere, and as we moved into summer, positive tests, hospitalizations and death rates fell. So, generally, COVID-19 prevalence has been inversely correlated with solar UVB doses and vitamin D production, just like seasonal influenza.
Secondly, people with darker skin have higher COVID-19 case and death rates than Caucasians. Vitamin D is produced in your skin in response to sun exposure, but the darker your skin, the more sun exposure you need in order to maintain an optimal vitamin D level. As a result, vitamin D deficiency tends to be far higher among Blacks and dark-skinned Hispanics. Blacks and Hispanics are also high-risk groups for COVID-19.
Thirdly, one of the lethal hallmarks of COVID-19 is the cytokine storm that can develop in severe cases, which manifests as hyperinflammation and tissue damage. Vitamin D is known to regulate inflammatory cytokine production, thereby lowering this risk. Lastly, vitamin D is an important regulator of your immune system, and dysregulation of the immune system is a hallmark of severe COVID-19.
Nebulized Peroxide — My Favorite Treatment Choice
As mentioned earlier, while vitamin D is certainly important, if you develop symptoms of COVID-19, or any other respiratory infection for that matter, downing vitamin D may be too little, too late. I believe your best option at this point is to use nebulized peroxide. This is a home remedy I recommend everyone familiarize themselves with, as in many cases it can improve symptoms in mere hours.
Nebulizing hydrogen peroxide into your sinuses, throat and lungs is a simple, straightforward way to augment your body’s natural expression of hydrogen peroxide to combat infections and can be used both prophylactically after known exposure to COVID-19 and as a treatment for mild, moderate and even severe illness.
Dr. David Brownstein, who has successfully treated over 100 COVID-19 patients with nebulized peroxide, published a case paper32 about this treatment in the July 2020 issue of Science, Public Health Policy and The Law. He also reviews its benefits in “How Nebulized Peroxide Helps Against Respiratory Infections.”
Nebulized hydrogen peroxide is extremely safe, and all you need is a desktop nebulizer and food-grade hydrogen peroxide, which you’ll need to dilute with saline to 0.1% strength. I recommend buying these items beforehand so that you have everything you need and can begin treatment at home at the first signs of a respiratory infection. In the video above, I go over the basics of this treatment.
At first, I felt confused when the toll collector made that statement. Then I realized he meant that my boyfriend (at the time) paid it for me. It was at this moment that I thought to myself, "this guy's a keeper." And I did, in fact, end up marrying him.
The toll was only $1, so that wasn't why I was impressed. His gesture made me feel that he cared about me and that he was thinking of me. It reminded me of something you see in a rom-com movie. So I try to reciprocate that kind of gesture as often as possible.
Next year we will celebrate our 20-year wedding anniversary. But even sometimes I wonder: how do couples get so far? To learn more about what makes a healthy marriage, I spoke to relationship expert Alexandra Solomon, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of Loving Bravely. During her work with couples, she found that the most important aspect of being in a healthy relationship starts with yourself and your willingness to view marriage as a classroom.
"We must accept that change is inevitable, and the best we can do is meet the changes with curiosity instead of resistance," says Dr. Solomon. "Part of viewing marriage as a classroom is knowing that we bring our past with us. It's important to be willing to look at how our old wounds, patterns, and triggers get activated with our partners."
Dr. Solomon offered the following tips to help foster a healthy relationship with your partner.
Being a great spouse is based on making sure your basic needs—such as eating healthy food, exercising, and getting good sleep—are being met.
"I know that I am a better wife when I take care of myself. When I am not getting enough sleep, exercise, and laughter, I feel bitter and irritable," says Dr. Solomon. "The more stressed out I am, the more I see my responsibilities to provide care to my husband and teens as a burden rather than a blessing. When I am burned out, I start to feel like a victim and that makes me less able to ask for what I need—help, praise, a break."
Another aspect of self-care is to do things that make you happy such as going out to lunch with your friends or reading a book.
"We cannot pour from an empty cup, so we need to make sure we are engaged in activities that provide meaning, connection, and joy. It is demanding to provide care for others and doing things that feel restorative and that inspired passion prevents caregiver burnout," says Dr. Solomon.
And if you are feeling overwhelmed it is important to take a time out instead of making a comment you may regret later.
Dr. Solomon explained that touching your spouse communicates, "We're on the same team."
"Touch helps couples maintain connection and cushions the blow of the inevitable daily irritations of family life. It's important for couples to have all kinds of touch in their relationship, not just a sexual touch," says Dr. Solomon.
In working with couples Dr. Solomon found that often, touch is an ask, "Do you want to make love?" which can feel like another demand on an already-overwhelmed partner. She recommends touching outside the bedroom which can reduce stress and help couples feel connected.
Make Time For Dates
Dr. Solomon stresses the importance of spending time alone with your partner especially when you are a parent and/or you have demanding careers.
"It's so important to remember that you are partners/lovers/friends and not just two people running the small business that is your household. If evenings are hard because of kids and jobs, then you could also meet up during the day," says Dr. Solomon.
It is important to check in with each other and to think about your partner throughout the day. Dr. Solomon recommends that you should be aware of what your husband or wife is nervous or excited about and then ask questions about those feelings.
"Having windows into each other's world's builds connection," says Dr. Solomon.
Give Them The Benefit Of The Doubt
Dr. Solomon suggests that if you feel upset about something your partner did, approach them in a descriptive rather than accusatory way. She recommends thinking about, "this is what happened, and this the story I'm telling myself about what happened."
"Your efforts to separate the facts from your interpretation of the facts will go a long way toward getting you more of what you want and need—validation, recognition, accountability, empathy—and less of what you don't want—defensiveness, counter-complaint," she said.
If you are the one that did something wrong then take responsibility for it and apologize.
When you feel upset about an issue Dr. Solomon recommends saying, "I'm feeling upset by this thing you did. Can you help me understand what's going on for you?"
She says that by approaching the situation with curiosity instead of judgment means that you understand that your husband has a different way of perceiving the world. This will reduce conflicts and led to a better relationship.
"Happy couples accept that they are two different people and approach misunderstandings with curiosity rather than accusation," says Dr. Solomon.
In working with couples Dr. Solomon found that couples that have a healthy married view disagreements as an opportunity to understand their partner's internal world instead of a fight that needs to be "won."
Ask, Don't Assume
If something is important, ask for it. Some of Dr. Solomon's clients will push back on this idea saying, "If I have to ask for it, it's meaningless." But she says that is a mistake since people aren't mind-readers. She further explains that when we don't ask for what we want, our need ends up coming out sideways, usually in the form of a complaint.
Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents magazine, AARP, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessing and Your Teen Magazine. You can find her on Twitter @CherylMaguire05
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