The Spa – A Competence Center for Healthy Nutrition and Weight Management

Everybody knows spas and salons as service provider for body massages. facials and relaxation. Some places offer extra, specialized services like reflexology, body scrubs, reiki up to wrinkle treatments with laser and botox. Only larger spa resorts and Wellness/Health Centers began at the outgoing 20th century extending their service menu by introducing dietary consultation, fitness training and spiritual education Eastern style like meditation, yoga, and tai-chi.

Although this situation has not changed in principle, there are still three developments in the last decade, which the existing and future owner of the smaller spa or salon should take advantage of for growing his/her business: the exponential growth of world wide web users, the financial crisis and the seemingly unstoppable increase of an overweight and obese population.

The last listed point is the main subject of this post. We will deal with it in more depth after commenting briefly on point 1 and 2.

1. Regular internet usage of Western populations has increased in recent years to 80 or more percent and therefore should be a must for every business owner to reach and communicate with his/her target market. Newsletters and regular information exchange via email marketing, facilitated by user friendly autoresponder software, is one of the key elements to access prospects and secure the loyalty of existing customers.

2. The collapse of the banking system three years ago has substantially increased job insecurity and led to thousands of job losses. People’s trust in the stability and growth potential of European as well as American economies has further diminished and reached a frightening but very understandable low level. This should signal an entrepreneurial mind to rely in the future more on his/her own capabilities instead of remaining dependent on government and companies in a weak and further weakening economic climate. Therefore becoming self-employed may be the best option in these times. It is obvious that in such an environment finding staff is not a bottleneck one should expect. And good staff always has been the success factor No 1 in a spa or salon business.

This scenario then leads us to the third point,

3. The dramatically increasing percentage of overweight and fat people in our societies. As nobody expects a reverse development in the years ahead – in spite of all the flamboyant promises of the multi-billion diet industry -, there is a good opportunity for spas and salons to provide nutritional and lifestyle consulting services.. What is truly exciting about such service is the potential customer base, being significantly larger than 50 percent of the population (both sexes, kids included) in your area, way above the number of people who could become customers of your spa’s beauty services.

With such gigantic customer base waiting for a real solution – not marketing hype! – to their weight problem, often having experienced a lot of disappointments in the past, one needs to answer the question:

“How can your institute gain credibility in the weight/fat loss industry and compete successfully with the offline and online marketing power of diet corporations like weight watchers and Co”

The simplicity of the answer may surprise many of you: by advising your clients a few elementary weight loss principles, which are not at the core, in general nowhere even mentioned in corporate diet advertising for a very simple reason: such principles being applied would endanger, on the longer run even wipe out their existence.

The principles can be summarized in the following seven points:

1. A lasting healthy body weight can only be achieved by acquiring a healthy life style, not merely by diet, shakes or tablets.

2. The energy (kcal) supplied to the body (input) must on average not exceed the energy spent (output) (“Energy conservation law”).

3. Applying principle 2 allows everybody full control over the daily food consumption (caloric input) by balancing it with energy spending * physical activities (variable)

* The daily metabolic output is here considered constant

4. A rise in metabolic output is possible medium to long term by regular strength training (muscle buildup).

5. A healthy eating pattern must be adopted, where key components are

  • reducing the sugar intake (60 g daily max, population average is over 100 g)
  • a healthy protein – carbohydrate balance (about 1:1)
  • consuming mainly low glycaemic index carbohydrates
  • selecting only “good” fats, avoiding saturated and trans fats

6 Motivational incentives for a life style change need to be found, recognized and internalized.

7. Setting of an ambitious goal, a realistic step-by-step plan for it’s achievement in combination with a progress control and reward system.

If you, the spa owner, is interested in this subject, you will find ways of acquiring the necessary know-how and (ideally) practicing, what you have learned and teach your clientele (“walk the talk”). I did and you can too.

If for whatever reason you do not want or you can’t, e.g. for time reasons, provide such service, you certainly can look for a nutritionist, who will be joining your spa, perhaps first as a consultant and possibly later, with increasing customer demand, as a staff member.

By applying myself the above listed principles, I lost 8 kg within 3 weeks without starving and reached my ideal weight (176 pounds/80 kg at 6’2”/1,89 m) again, the first time after 35 years (!). I still have it half a year later as the program has changed my eating mindset, food shopping habits and stopped my cravings for sweets and chocolate. This and the fact that I always liked aerobic exercising (how lucky I am!) allows me to enjoy plenty of calories on various occasions without being shocked by the figures on my scale afterwards.

Believe me, living a healthy lifestyle – and that can be done at any age! – makes living every day a real pleasure. Help your clientele to discover the magic and they will be yours forever.

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10 Tips for Choosing the Right Mental Health Facility for You

One reason why mental health illness is a growing problem in today’s society, is because our society is gaining speed and moving faster than ever; many more people are experiencing a more complicated lifestyle. It affect a large number of the population. And as the world gets more advanced many others are feeling the affect.

If you’re feeling hopeless, depressed, or going through a personal crisis and need help but, you have no idea where to turn; these 10 tips may assist you to find the perfect mental health facility for you:

1. Cost

The cost of treatment is the main reason why patients fail in receiving treatment. Because of the high cost of rehabilitation services, many suffering from mental health issues go un-treated. Finding a government subsidized program without downgrading services, maybe an option.

2. Holistic approach

For proper treatment a more holistic approach is deem necessary. Since substance abuse recovery isn’t one- dimensional, your treatment couldn’t be either.

3. Location

Finding a great location can be a challenge. Although sometimes patients are embarrassed and want to be far away from friends and family members. However, being too far from home can become a bigger burden to your family. So when picking the best treatment facility, choose the one that you will not mind traveling to at the drop of a dime.

4.The Staff

This is an important step. Deciding on where you may be living for the next 30-90 days or more. You will want to spend some time talking with the staff members to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

5. Management

Yes. Management plays a major role is the way businesses operate. So regardless to how well-kept the facility is, if the management team isn’t more concern about its clients… you may want to keep looking.

6. Find the Best Counselor

Since counseling is a huge part of recovery, you will want to take some time in your decision-making process. You can look in the local directory for advertisements or ask other friends or family members for referrals. Without doubt, referrals are always better, because you can always trust a friend or former patient.

7. Appearance of the Facility

Unfortunately, some times long-term care is needed. To ensure a pleasant stay, be sure that the mental health center has a ‘like home’ feel. The facility should be clean, neat and organized with plenty of recreational activities, to keep their clients busy.

8. State Certified

Don’t overlook this area. You will hate to get started in treatment and for some reason or another, you have to move to another facility.

9. Know what to expect

While during your recovery you will be assigned a team of counselors. Your counselors will put together a treatment plan based on your info and their professional advice. Know exactly what steps they plan to take.

10. Mission Statement

This may sound silly or unimportant, but the company’s mission statement tells the whole company’s story in a nutshell.

A substance abuse counselor is your partner in helping free you or a loved one from their substance dependency. It’s never too late to live a happy and mentally healthy life. So educate yourself and make a decision for your home away from home.

Five Things to Look for While You’re Searching for a Fitness Center

Health clubs seem to be springing up all over, and we should be commended that so many people are getting into the fitness craze (although we are always trying to get more to join). There are many obvious benefits to joining a fitness center, and they are well worth the cost, as long as they are used on a regular basis. So if you are looking to sign up for one, or are not sure you are happy with the health club you now belong to, here are a few guidelines to consider before taking out that membership.

1. Location. Probably the first thing you should consider when joining a health center. If it isn’t handy it will add time to your session, and if you’re pinched for time it will be a day you don’t go. Someplace you can get too quickly and easily should top your list.

2. Comfort level with the facility. Have an idea of what you want before you even walk in the door. What kind of training do you intend to do? Make sure the club fits your needs, and not just accepting what the club has and building your workout schedule around that. Do a thorough inspection of the place at the time you will be working out. Is it clean and well-run? Do you feel you would be comfortable there, as you will be spending a lot of time at the location? Is there enough equipment at the times you will be there, or are people waiting?

3. All of the costs involved. There will probably be a monthly membership fee, and perhaps a fee to join. Understand what those fees cover, and if there are any hidden costs. Also, get an idea of how often they have raised their rates, and how long your rates will be locked in.

4. Personnel. If you plan on using a trainer for their fitness programs, be sure their instructors are certified professionals who can work with you. There are a range of things to look for in a trainer, and one that is perfect for one person may not be the right one for you. But whoever you work with, there are certain requirements that any trainer should meet. Also, it is always a nicer environment if the staff is courteous and helpful.

5. Programs. Are you looking for a club that specializes in a specific area, such as a building muscle program? If so, are they equipped to handle your needs? If you are looking to get into classes, choose the facility that offers classes you are interested in, and monitor the class to check it out.

Because there is normally a sign-up to join, you want to make certain going in if it fits your needs, and obviously to do that you have to know beforehand what those needs are. Asking other members for their input is not out of line, and could provide some insight. Don’t be pressured to make a quick decision, and once you have, enjoy your home away from home and enjoy the experience.

A Guide to Mental Health Services

Do you ever feel you need some sort of help but are not sure what exactly it is? Asking for help is never really an easy task for most of the individuals, but it is the best you can do when you think you need help. People who have doubts related to mental health services can always get in contact with the local mental health centers and can obtain the required information. You can know about the various services designed for people with mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, phobias, schizophrenia, etc.

Defining mental health is never easy, rather it is easy to define what mental illness is. If you are wondering what exactly is the kind of treatment you will get in a mental health center, then there are a lot of kinds of treatments. Professionals at these centers work with individuals and determine the best needs for them. Depending on the type of illness, treatment or psychotherapy with medication is recommended. If you are in doubt that you need external help, then either you can have a straight talk with a medical counselor or if you prefer to find out on your own, they use internet. Go online and you can find information related to almost all the disorders explained in detail along with the symptoms. Once you confirm whether you are suffering from a disorder, you can then find a therapist or a counselor and seek consultation.

Therapy for emotional and mental problems may or may not always produce results. It is mostly interdependent on the honesty with which an individual shares his or her concerns with the therapist. Hence, it is always best to establish a trusted relationship with the therapist. Mental health services cater to all kind of age groups right from children to old people.

There are a few warning signals that an individual needs to watch out for. If certain behaviors become severe or persistent those are the signs of trouble. Keep an eye open and observe if an individual is acting differently than usually and try to relate that change to any incident that occurred in the recent past such as losing a job, death of someone close, marital break up, etc. If any individual complains of uncontrollable or extreme nervousness or anxiety, it may be a sign. Observe if any individual turns aggressive or rude even for a small action, if he or she does this quite often, then they may need help. If any of the above mentioned symptoms persist for a period of time, then that particular individual requires professional help.

The basic goals of the treatments are to decrease the symptoms related to the disorders and bringing an improvement in the patient’s life. With the importance of mental health services being brought to light, many individuals can gain benefit. The more awareness is created among the people the more they can protect themselves or can diagnose any disorders they may be suffering from and can get the required treatments.

Summertime Eye Safety Tips

Summertime is synonymous with fireworks, barbeques and large bodies of water. It can be a magical experience but an eye ailment can turn a happy season into a sickly one.

There are many eye problems that can arise during the summer including conjunctivitis (pink eye) and eye related injuries. Here are tips on how to take proper care of the eye.

1. Wear sun protection

The skin is not the only part of the body that needs protection from the sun. The eyes need to be protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Protection includes wearing sunglasses and hats.

2. Wear eye protection at home, and while playing sports

· If you are planning on doing a home projects that has particles flying around, like wood chippings, it is essential to wear eye protection to prevent a particles from flying into your eye.

· For kids, eye protection should be worn while playing sports that involve smaller balls. For example, baseball and paintball players should wear shields that protect the eyes.

3. Take proper care of contacts

Contact lenses are worn often during the summertime for ease and convenience but they can also cause a lot of inconveniences. If you are ready to fully enjoy your summer without the hassle of contacts, give us a call. Otherwise, here are a few don’ts for contact lens wearers:

· Don’t wearing contacts for an extended period of time. This can cause pink eye due to improper care of lenses. Symptoms of pink eye include watery and/or swollen eyes, discomfort and itchiness.

· Do not wear contacts in the pool. There is a high chance that they will be washed away by water.

· If your eye stings get out of the water, wash your eyes and take out your contacts.

4. Firework safety

The fourth of July is filled with firework displays. They are pretty but according to, statistics show that an average of 200 people are hurt during this period, with 17% of these injuries involving the eye. 40% of the people hurt were between the ages of 25-44. It is important fireworks are not taken lightly and handled with proper care.

Summertime is a great time to have fun and relax but proper care should be taken when it comes to the eye. Wearing proper protection, taking care of the eyes and ensuring proper handling of fireworks will lead to a safe summer.

How Much Would You Spend to Prolong Your Life? A Key Question in the Healthcare Crisis

“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”

It is pretty rare to see an article that clearly demonstrates a key issue in the healthcare crisis, even if the authors don’t appreciate it. The study referenced today discusses ethnic differences in the willingness of families to spend their fortunes for extending their lives. The actual results about different ethnic groups is less important than the concept itself. How much of your money would you spend keeping yourself alive? If you were dying of cancer, and needed dialysis to stay alive a few more months, would you pay for it yourself? What if it left your family penniless? What would be your answer at age 20, 50, 70 or 90? Is a 20% chance of curing your wife’s cancer worth spending all of your savings?

Such questions reach to the very heart of our healthcare crisis. It is this end of life care that is bankrupting Medicare, yet these questions are not being openly addressed. Presently, the government pays for any and all treatments, even minimally effective, enormously expensive palliative therapies. One of the primary differences between America and other countries is the limits nations such as Britain and Canada place on end of life care. Paul Ryan’s plan, now being so harshly criticized, obliquely addresses this issue. It is time we spoke openly.

I spent many years taking care of patients dying of cancer, and have seen lives put on hold, careers ruined and families destroyed by the illness of a a family member. The large number of bankruptcies caused by illness is beginning to see some publicity, but the impact is far wider. Unfortunately, financial ruin is just a part of this destruction. Retirements postponed, debt incurred, and dreams put on hold are so common as to be routine. The time spent taking care of people, and the gut wrenching emotional trauma seeing a loved one die terribly, is even more damaging. Even with Medicare, ancillary expenses, additional nursing care, and uncovered treatment have major financial consequences.

Needless to say, my experiences have had an impact upon my own thinking. Once I am ill, and the prognosis is clear, I don’t intend on being a burden to my family or children, and particularly don’t want to compromise their future for a few extra weeks of months of life. Dying painlessly, with my faculties and finances intact, is a major goal of my elder years. In Buddhist culture, an enlightened man gets to choose the method of his death. Modern medicine has given us a little bit of this power, and I for one intend to use it.

Alternative Medicine Vs Allopathy

I asked my heart, what is the issue with both forms of medicine? The response was “dependence”. We have forgotten that we are God. We have forgotten that we are actually God. We are all God. Even the dense rough people who seem ignorant and illiterate still have a Light inside the heart that connects them to their soul. We have forgotten what that feels like and how to access that part of ourselves. So we look outside for answers to our pain and we forget that the true healer is the Light inside us. That you can go to the Light inside and ask that the wisdom of the heart in the form of Light be sent to the underlying ignorance that is creating this problem in my body or mind. Just like you can go to the doctor, you can go to your God self and say, wake this part of me up from the lie that it is living in. The lie is that it has forgotten God. That it lives in a state of separation, running some program, living out some story of forgetting the truth. In essence the root of all illness is the ego, our state of separateness. So, the only cure is to wake up. Our only disease is that we are asleep. When we focus with so much interest in identifying in what way we are asleep and give it so many fancy names and pour millions of dollars into researching how we are asleep, we seem to just stay in that realm. Why after all these years and all this money do we not have a cure for cancer? It is sleeping sickness. We have just forgotten that we are Love.

One problem with chemical medicine is that it creates numbness in the body and makes it harder to feel the pain of separation and the illness that it is causing in the body. There are some things that help the body lift its vibration and move stagnation and the old beliefs that create stagnation and illness. If you go into your heart, the part of you that is the highest vibration of God will say… use this homeopathic remedy or acupuncture to move this stagnation, or use this herb to wake up this part of you that has forgotten. And sometimes if you have a detached Achilles tendon or nerve, then the only way to repair is through surgery. It seems like effective medicine just needs to dredge the ego layers and remind us that we are the Light, dredge and remind.

We have to be really careful not to support medical (alternative or conventional) practices that promote sleeping sickness. And it is important to believe that we can all wake up, as we all are God, living under a blanket of somnambulism. However, something in us wants to wake up now… so we have more help.


Social Interactions and Mental Health

According to recent studies, mental functions drastically improve after certain types of social interactions. Psychologist Oscar Ybarra – a researcher at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR), who headed such a research – says, “This study shows that simply talking to other people, the way you do when you’re making friends, can provide mental benefits.”

This is a fact that even reputed treatment centers anywhere in the country would corroborate. So, “friends with benefits” is a real thing! Apart from all the benefits we enjoy in a friendship, the mental health angle can definitely be called the fringe benefit.

Let us take it with a pinch of salt to what late Lebanese-American writer Khalil Gibran said: “Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” Jokes apart, our social quotient has a direct bearing on our mental health to a great extent and it is always good to have a great social circle.

How does our social interaction help us in improving our mental well-being? An active social life offers oodles of other benefits apart from being in comfort among friends. Let us see some of the benefits of being a socially active person.

Cognitive enhancement: Any social interaction, however brief it may be, brings in the goodness of mental stability. Studies have revealed that even brevity of our social interaction has not failed in enhancing working memory, self-monitoring and problem solving abilities in us. People who frequently engage in social activities have a greater ability in solving issues in their lives. They are less perturbed by problems in their lives, whereas socially aloof people become timid and nervous when faced by similar situations.

Executive function: Ybarra also said “we believe that performance boosts come about because some social interactions induce people to try to read others’ minds and take their perspectives on things” and “we also find that when we structure even competitive interactions to have an element of taking the other person’s perspective, or trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, there is a boost in executive functioning as a result.” People with frequent social interactions become more adept in handling responsible jobs and manage others.

Physical benefit: Socially active people are more sporting and do not shy away from physical activity. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that young adults who exercise and socialize regularly reported better mental health than peers who didn’t. According to the researchers, few of the mental benefits associated with exercising may be due to the social aspect of it. So, this also affirms a co-relation between social interactions and a sound mental health.

Mental health centers in the country, be it the mental health centers definitely support this view and forming groups among the inmates is one of the reasons why they do it.

More Than Just a Psychiatric Facility – The Elgin Mental Healthcare Center

What is The Elgin Mental Healthcare Center? Suppose if a friend of you or someone in their family is to be treated in a mental care facility, we try to find the best facility for them. After all, the goal is for them to get well, and we believe that our choice of hospital is vital for the person’s recovery. In Illinois, when we speak of psychiatric facilities, one hospital easily comes to mind. That is Elgin Mental Health Center or EMHC. As the second oldest state hospital in Illinois, this facility opened in 1872 under its former name, Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane. The first-ever physiological measurements of mental patients were recorded by the Elgin Papers back in the 1890s. By 1997, the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations gave EMHC its commendation for two years in a row.

How the hospital was developed can be broken down into five phases. The first phase ended in 1893. A stable leadership was responsible for the gradual growth during this period. After this phase, the hospital immensely grew to more than twice its size. This second phase, which ended by 1920, was characterized by a lot of politicking, leadership changes and power struggles in the system. For the third period, growth was more rapid. Hospital population, which reached its peak by the 1950s, increased for both geriatric and veterans. This is because the period was post World War I and World War II. By the time the third phase ended, hospital population declined. During this phase, psychotropic medications were introduced. Other milestones for this period include the development of community health facilities, deinstitutionalization, until the decentralization of decision-making and authority. This fourth phase ended until the 1980s.

The last phase is what some call the “rebirth.” It began in 1983, when hospital census was at its lowest. Because of this, the hospital was on the verge of closure. However, the state decided to close Manteno Mental Health Center instead. During this time, the hospital was practically rebuilt. While the old buildings used a congregate model called the Kirkbride plan, new physical facilities were added such as cottages in order to adhere to a segregate plan. There are two divisions, civil and forensic. Each division has an acute treatment center, office and conference rooms which faculty and trainees can use. Forensic programs were further developed, and new affiliations with medical schools were also made. Affiliations include that with The Chicago Medical School, among others. An increase in educational activities showed that EMHC is also concerned with the education of future doctors and medical graduates. Hospital system operations were also modified. Activities of community mental health centers are integrated in the system operations. Community mental health centers refer their patients to EMHC. These community mental facilities include DuPage County Health Department, Lake County Mental Health Center, Ecker Center for Mental Health, and Kenneth Young Center.

At present, admissions are close to 1300 annually. Patients are usually African-American, Euro-American and Hispanic. The hospital holds 582 to 600 beds and about 40 full-time physicians. Just like any health facility, EMHC is harassed with problems and controversies with respect to their policies and programs. Nevertheless, Elgin Mental Health Center continues to do what it is supposed to do, and that is to provide the best treatment for their patients.

Choosing The Best Health Center For Pregnancy Termination

Becoming a mother is one of the most beautiful and cherished moments of a woman’s life. The experience is even joyful for the partners when proper family planning is involved. However, the situation can turn vice versa if the woman is conceived in an unplanned manner. In the case of unwanted pregnancy, the woman is not in a state of upbringing a child and it results in mental illness. In such a situation, terminating the pregnancy via abortion appears to be the best option. Abortion is a complete medical procedure that helps terminating the pregnancy in a safe and healthy manner. Abortion clinics follow various kinds of medical procedures are followed in order to abort the fetus, and the choice of procedures mainly depends upon the state of pregnancy.

Terminating the pregnancy involves a great deal of courage and firm decision-making on the part of mother. The procedure must be carried on with safe and secure medical arrangements, and this can be done only at the best abortion clinic. Choosing an ideal abortion clinic for terminating the unwanted pregnancy is one of the most crucial decisions for a woman and should be done after considering all the different deciding factors. In order to make it easy for you, here are some important considerations that must be taken into account before actually finalizing a medical center. Have a careful look at these points of consideration in order to get the medical procedures done properly.

1. Educational Qualifications And Credentials

First of all, you need to check out the educational qualifications and credentials in order to judge the expertise of the doctor. The doctor must be competent and well qualified to carry on necessary abortion procedures and must have good experience in the field. After all, it is a matter of life and death, and you surely don’t want to give away your life to the hands of an inexperienced and unqualified surgeon. You also need to check for association of the surgeon with any state or other medical departments/organizations. It serves as a proof of doctor following proper industry standards while carrying on the procedures.

2. Professional Experience

Secondly, you need to clarify that the surgeon holds necessary experience in the field of terminating pregnancy. You need to check on the past industry experience of the physician. This will involve figuring out how many successful abortions have been done by the doctor and if possible, meeting the happy patients in order to know their experiences.

3. Medical Facility And Equipment

You need to personally visit the medical center in order to figure out the medical facilities provided by the doctor. This is the place where you will be treated for your pregnancy and you surely don’t want to be treated amid unhealthy environment. It is also essential to check that whether the surgeon is having proper medical equipment and latest technology available at the center for successful completion of the operation.