Thursday, August 7, 2014

Get your community aware of outreach programs

Outreach programs are meant to raise awareness among minorities and hard to reach communities about basic life skills, medical facilities and other resources. Some of the important work that outreach programs do is:

Offering medical help

Many communities are unaware of the medical help available to them. Good outreach programs help communities understand the need for medical health checkups and use many resources to help raise awareness. They conduct meetings and organize discussions as well as more complicated programs like setting up free medical camps to help these communities. They address all kinds of problems from teen pregnancy, AIDS to drugs and alcoholism.

Raising awareness in the youth

The young men and women of a community are the future, and need to be aware of the resources available to them. As the new generation gets educated, the quality of life for their children will get better. Many outreach programs concentrate on reaching out to youngsters and helping qualify themselves, as well as help them in finding employment. This decreases a lot of social issues that pervade these communities and help them make a change for the better.
These are just a couple of important issues among many others that outreach programs do.

How do you ensure that your outreach program is helpful?

A good outreach program helps people help themselves. By offering charity and donation, all that is being done is giving people what they need without them having to do anything for it. Outreach programs do not believe in that. They believe in helping communities learn to fend for themselves, and help them start improving the quality of their lives. To this end, these programs should try and involve the members of the community. Some of the more effective outreach programs execute some of the below tips when conducting outreach programs.

Ask for volunteers

By making the people of the community volunteer to be part of the program, you will be increasing their sense of responsibility. By interacting with other volunteers, they will gain real insights into the program’s purpose, and this will help them trust the program and want to participate in the other activities that the outreach program offers. By making them a part of the program, word spreads through the community about the help being offered.
Activities for children
Parents all over the world love their children and want a better life for them. By having programs that involve and educate children, you will find that there is more participation from the community members. When the activity is free and is fun, you will find more people bringing their children and participating in the programs.

Medical camps

Though they may be a bit wary of this in the beginning, most community members will soon start visiting medical camps regularly. Most of these communities may not have seen a doctor or visited a medical facility even once in their lives. If your outreach program is linked to a medical facility where they can get free medical help, it would make a big difference in their lives.

Youth education

Have your youth activities in school campuses on holidays. Most teenagers are looking for something to do on the day off, and by having activities on holidays it would help keep them occupied. They may drop by the program centers to check it out, but if the activities are interesting enough, some will stay.
The most important rules of outreach programs are consistency, patience and commitment. It may be a difficult job and sometimes downright frustrating, but remember that if you make a difference in even one life it is all worth it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile Arthritis has become one of the nation’s most common childhood ailments.  Approximately 295,000 children suffer from several types of rheumatologic conditions which can greatly affect their ability to develop normally and lead active lives without pain.  Basic symptoms include tenderness, stiffness, pain or swelling of joints resulting in restricted movements and limited range of motion.
To date, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis remains an enigma and there is no cure, be it among children or adults.  It has not been found to be related to eating habits, vitamin deficiency or allergies, but maybe present in genes and triggered by unknown factors. Only after assessing the patient’s complete medical history can rheumatoid arthritis be diagnosed. For arthritic problems in children, evaluation should be done by a pediatric rheumatologist after joint swelling is present in two or more joints for six weeks.
Treatment concentrates on controlling inflammation, joint deformity and pain. While medications can be adopted as a first line of treatment, pediatric rheumatologists also encourage physical activity, occupational therapy and proper nutrition to manage symptoms.
Awareness is growing worldwide as July is declared the Juvenile Arthritis awareness month. If you would like to learn more please visit


Thursday, July 17, 2014

What is the definition of holistic wellness?

We define wellness as the optimum state of health for a person. Wellness is when the physical, mental and spiritual states of a person are in harmony with each other and are perfectly balanced. It is an ongoing journey and one that, according to circumstances, will change and can change you. This is also called holistic health. Holistic means ‘of the whole’. It is not only about the physical health or mental health, but includes the health of all parts of the body.
What is the importance of holistic health?
Very often, a person is sick and medicine is at a loss to define what the problem is. For example, a person could have psoriasis and the doctor could keep treating the patient with topical medication and oral medication. But it doesn’t always get cured with doses of medication, or it may recur again in some cases. In such cases, one needs to find the reason for the psoriasis. Very often, doctors have found that the underlying cause of the psoriasis is stress, where the patient would need a holistic treatment. They need not only the medication for their current symptoms, but they also need to de-stress which is a state of mind and not of the body. Holistic health tries to determine the underlying cause of problems and tries to treat the problem as a whole.
How is holistic health applied?
Let us take a simple case of alcoholism to explain how holistic wellness works. The physical results of alcoholism are liver damage, fatigue, cancer, kidney damage, unproductiveness, etc. But when approaching this problem from a holistic point of view, the person who is treating the patient will approach the problem in two ways.
The first one would be treating the physical problems that have risen out of alcoholism. The second part is delving deeper into the person’s life and trying to find out why the person turned to alcohol in the first place. It could be due to trauma, marital problems, loss of a job, etc. The doctor will try and get help for the patient by encouraging them to join support groups.
The spiritual aspect of this journey will be addressed too. A change to a healthy lifestyle, yoga, alternative medicine therapies are all recommended for holistic treatment. By working holistically, there are two advantages. The patient starts feeling better, and secondly there is less chance for a reoccurrence of the illness.
What are the different ways that we can practice an optimum state of wellness?
The best way to ensure that you are in a state of holistic wellness is to make sure that all the three aspects – physical, mental and spiritual wellness – are equally addressed. Some ways that you can ensure that you are on the path to holistic wellness are:
  •  Exercise regularly
  • Sleep well
  • Eat healthy and nutritious food
  • Stop all kinds of substance abuse
  • Lead an active lifestyle
  • Make your life more organized, so your stress level becomes less
  • Take some time out of your day for yourself, every day. It makes a big difference
  • Try and make your environment stress-free or at least try and lessen the stress in your life
  •  Meditate regularly
  •  Be productive

By following these small tips you can ensure holistic wellness!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Factors to consider when choosing your health center

Choosing a health center for your family is a decision that needs to be considered carefully.  The first step is to do research. Doing the research on finding a good health center may take a while. From your research you then want to consider your options. You will want to make the best choice for yourself and your family.
Some factors that play a part in your decision
Work plans
The company you work for might be affiliated with a health center. Check into what healthcare options may be available through your employment.
Get references
Ask around in your area, among your family and friends to find out which health centers they are using. You will get an idea of how good the services of the health center are, how affordable the services are, etc.
It is important to consider the proximity of the health center to your location. It would be wise to consider both your means of transportation and distance when considering which health center to use.
Quality of care
This can include the expertise and experience of the professionals in the health center, equipment and facilities. Also, consider if the doctors, staff and nurses in a health center are polite, considerate and compassionate.
Even though you and your family have health insurance, your actual expenses may often exceed what is covered, and you may have to pay from out of your own pocket. The important part is to find a health center that you feel comfortable with and one that has experienced doctors as well as offers quality care.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tips for a healthy summer

Summer is a time for fun and games. But it is also a time where people need to be extra careful about their health with regards to the sun, and their eating and drinking habits. There must be a slight change in your lifestyle during summer. People tend to take care of themselves more in the winter while they tend to think that summer is a healthy season and don’t take enough precautions. These precautions will help keep you and your family healthy and enjoy the summer break. Here are a few tips to stay healthy this summer:
1.    Hydrate
Water is a must for summer. Drink plenty of water and keep yourself well hydrated. The body loses a lot of fluid because we sweat during the summer season. Many people do not realize that they are dehydrated. Dehydration can cause dizziness, nausea and can lead to other problems.
2.    Drink wisely
Hydrate with water. Hydrating does not include other types of liquids. Keep high calorie liquids like soda, milk, alcohol and juices to a minimum. It may taste good, it may make you feel fresh and it is fine to have a glass or two now and then, but do not replace water with other beverages.
3.    Eat a lot of fresh fruits and salads
Summer is the time when most fruits are in season and there is a reason why. It is healthy for you. So make a lot of healthy salads. Cold salads are great on a hot summer day.
4.    Use sunscreen
Sunscreen is not solely to be used if you are spending a day at the beach. During summer, it is advisable to use sunscreen whenever you go out. It protects your skin.
5.    Ventilate your home
Many people have centrally air conditioned homes and stay indoors in their cool homes, the whole day. But unfortunately, the air in the home can get stale, if not ventilated well. Make sure to either have fans to ventilate your home, or leave the doors and windows open early in the morning, to dispel the stale air.
6.    Exercise with care
If you are into fitness, make sure that you do your workout either in the early mornings or late evenings, when the weather has cooled down. Hydrate well when exercising.

Summer is a time to enjoy yourself so don’t hold back. Have fun but make sure that you are being careful in the process.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Counseling for pregnant women

Being pregnant and feeling a life grow within you is one of the most beautiful experiences to have for a woman. But, it is also a period of change and adapting, and having some help along the way is useful. There are three trimesters during a pregnancy, each bringing with it, new experiences, hormonal changes, and body changes. Going to a counselor during a pregnancy will help you and your partner understand, adapt and enjoy the joy of pregnancy.
Counseling through the first trimester 

During the first trimester there are many sudden changes to the body.
  • The shape of your body changes and the loss of control over the increasing weight gain and resulting change can upset many women.
  •  There are hormonal changes leading to mood swings and personality changes. There may be a tendency to be more aggressive or in others it could lead to depression.
  •  The first trimester is when you may have nausea and fatigue. If you don’t understand that these changes are normal, you may get stressed.
  •  As a couple, the changes to his partner may affect the way the man feels about  his partner and this in turn may add to the stress in the pregnant woman.

A counselor can advice you on the changes that you can expect during the first trimester. They can help explain behavioral changes. They can also counsel the couple and help the man understand that his partner needs his understanding and love more than ever at this time. If there is any problem at this point of the pregnancy physically to the baby or to you, the help of a counselor will be invaluable.
Counseling during the second trimester
The second trimester is usually more peaceful than the first. Your body has adapted to the changes, and for most people the nausea and fatigue disappear. In fact, they may have an increased energy level. Partners also get used to the changes and it is a time of loving and sharing the anticipation of the arrival of a baby. Some people have anxiety issues during this time. They sometimes feel they have bitten off more than they can chew. This is the time that the movements of the baby can be felt. The reality of impending parenthood can send some people into a panic.
Being in touch with your counselor can alleviate the feelings of anxiety. Talking about what upsets you or your partner could help ease tension. The less stress a pregnant woman is under, the better for the baby. The counselor would advise you to start classes to help with the birth of the baby. They will be able to advise you on the various options available for birthing, and help you choose one that is suitable for you.
Counseling during the third trimester
Quite often panic sets in during the third trimester, as the due date approaches. At this time, there are again hormonal changes in the body, as the body gets ready to have the baby. Many women get scared as the ninth month comes around about the birthing process, and the pain that they may have to go through. A counselor can be a great comfort at this time. Many counselors will have support groups where you can hear from new mothers on what to expect and all the choices that you have to ease the pain of birthing. This helps al lot in easing stress.
Counseling during and after pregnancy can help you and your partner enjoy the experience of impending parenthood and enjoy the joy that a new baby will bring to your lives.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Different types of substances abuse

There are many reasons why people start unhealthy practices like smoking, drinking alcohol and other kinds of substance abuse. Some of the reasons could be:
Peer pressure
Many young people start on this track to an unhealthy lifestyle because they want to be accepted by their peers.
Personal issues
Some start unhealthy habits to cope with personal problems. It could be loss of a job, a divorce or separation, depression over the loss of a loved one or a move that they are not happy with.
Social issues
Some turn to substance abuse when they feel ostracized by friends or family. They become reclusive and depressed and they find release and relaxation with some kind of addictive substance.
There are a whole lot of other reasons for substance abuse. It is important to find the underlying reason for the substance abuse, as only then can help be given.
The 2012 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse estimated the number of users of illicit drugs in the United States ages 12 and over to be about 24 million. In addition, the survey estimated that 6.8% of Americans abuse or are dependent on alcohol (down from 7.7% in 2002), and 22% of Americans smoke cigarettes (down from 26 percent in 2002)
Different kinds of substance abuse
To help someone, one needs to understand what the problem. There are many kinds of substances that provide a release from anxiety and depression by altering perception, concentration and attention. Some of them are:
·        Tobacco
Tobacco is one of the main health hazards. The main addictive ingredient in tobacco is nicotine. Tobacco releases a hormone that lowers anxiety. Smokers usually increase their intake of tobacco when stressed.
·        Alcohol
People think that alcohol is a stress buster and a pick me up when it actually dulls the senses. In large amounts it can cause liver, kidney and even brain damage
·        Marijuana
Many places now allow marijuana for medical purposes. But when abused, it can become a terrible habit, dulling the senses and causing impairment in concentration. Another big reason to avoid getting hooked on marijuana is that once the body gets used to the effects of marijuana, it becomes immune to it. Then users usually progress to harder and more dangerous drugs.
·       Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, ecstasy etc. are drugs that are very addictive. As your body gets used to the substance, the amount the body needs to sustain the feeling of pleasure increases. This could result in an overdose which could prove fatal.
Help for people who have substance abuse problems
A person who has a substance abuse problem needs counseling to help them overcome the addiction. They have to be ready to accept the help. Unless they want to give up their addiction, you may not be able to make them. Many come forward themselves and ask for help, when they see that what they are doing is affecting their life and the lives of their loved ones. There are many support groups that help people with different kinds of abuse problems.

Being aware of the dangers that they face due to substance abuse, and seeing the support that they get from friends and family help people overcome their problems. Counseling will usually be individual and with family. This helps the family understand the symptoms and pain that the individual is going through in their fight against their addiction. Counseling sessions help addicts to vent their feelings, and deal with the problems they face. Only then, can they overcome the addiction and make sure that they do not fall under the influence again.