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A Cure for the Pain of Shots?

syringe-417786_640If you’re one of the millions of people terrified of needles, there just might be a solution for you. Spanish scientists have found an answer that they believe will work – hold your breath. If you breathe in sharply, it triggers the brain to dampen the nervous system which leaves you less sensitive to pain.

When you are stressed, your blood pressure rises for the fight or flight reflect. Dr. Gustavo Reyes del Paso of the University of Jaén, Spain set out to see if holding your breath (a natural way to raise your blood pressure) come take away some of the pain. His findings were published in the journal Pain Medicine.

What he did was, perhaps, a bit strange. He squished the fingernail of people while they held their breath. He then repeated the action with the volunteers while they breathed slowly. He found that both techniques managed to distract people from their pain but that people reported that it hurt less when they held their breath. He believes that this method might be helpful in situations where people know that pain is on the way (like with a shot) but not in situations where unexpected pain occurs.

In order for it to work, the person has to hold his breath before the pain starts.

Some medical professionals aren’t buying it, however. As Dr. Richard Chapman of the University of Utah told New Scientist journalists, “Holding the breath can also make a person tense their muscles, which might make some painful conditions worse.” Dr. Anne Murphy of Georgia State University mentioned that the solution only reduces the pain slightly.

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Advice for the Sweetest Sweet Sixteen

birthday-balloonsIn some circles, sweet sixteen parties are a very big event. They mark a transition and are a great reason to celebrate anew milestone for a child. But they can also be quite stressful. Here are some quick suggestions from Beth Sonnenfeld, VP of Sales at EMBraer Paper Goods, about keeping your cool when you’re party planning.

  1. Listen to your child’s desires. This can be frustrating at times, but there is nothing worse than planning a party when the guest of honor is going to be upset or disappointed. Talk to your child and make the plans together. Obviously, they need to respect your budget and your abilities, but hopefully you can come to an agreement within those parameters.
  2. Stick to your budget, even if you think it will disappoint your child. As Mathew Braer, Beth’s colleague, also in sales at EMBraer Paper Goods; explains, “Your child may think that he needs something really splashy. But if I’ve learned anything in sales, and from watching companies like Amazon and Elio Motors, less is sometimes more.”
  3. Make your money go a long way. You can save money in certain areas so that you can spend more in others. You can order one dessert for each person rather than two, and most people won’t even notice the difference. You can shop in a second hand store for that perfect dress for yourself or your daughter, and find a true treasure.

Getting ready for the big day shouldn’t have to bring a great deal of stress to you or your child. Remember why you’re having this celebration and try to keep your focus on the joy of reaching this milestone.


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Great Water Drinks

cocktail-585315_640Do you drink enough water? If you don’t, it’s time to start. One great way, particularly with the summer coming, to stay hydrated with water is to put some extras into your glass. Here are three ideas for delicious, and still calorie free, drinks.

Lemon Water with Berries: Mix together water, three sliced lemons and some frozen berries. Enjoy!

Lemon Mint Water: Put lemons and mint into the water and add some extra fresh mint.

Cucumber Herbal Water: This is a great one. Add cucumbers and lemon to your water. Add three springs of rosemary and fresh mint. Viola!

Find more ideas to add splash to your water today.


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Get Up and Move for Two Minutes Every Hour

walkingResearchers at the University of Utah have discovered that even a few minutes of walking can help you to live longer.

How? Scientists found that people who were active for just two minutes every hour reduced their risk of dying by one third. For those who had chronic kidney disease, the change was even more dramatic – lowering the mortality rate by 41%. They have published their findings in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

While looking at the activities that people do, they found that standing for two minutes every hour did not produce a benefit. However, doing light activity like casual walking or housework during that time did have an impact.

As the lead scientist Professor Srinivasan Beddhu said: “It was fascinating to see the results because the current national focus is on moderate or vigorous activity. To see that light activity had an association with lower mortality is intriguing. Based on these results we would recommended adding two minutes of walking each hour in combination with normal activities, which should include two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise each week.’

Co-author Dr Tom Greene, who is also from the University of Utah, said: “Exercise is great, but the reality is that the practical amount of vigorous exercise that can be achieved is limited. Our study suggests that even small changes can have a big impact.”

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How to Live to 100

cafe-569349_640Do you want to live until 100? According to scientists at the University of Gothenburg who have followed the health and lifestyles of 855 men born in 1913 – there are a number of cut and dry ways to do so. The findings have been published in the Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal.

Ten of these men lived to 100 and the study has revealed a number of commonalities in how those ten lived. 27% of the participants reached the age of 80, while 13% reached 90.
The researchers recommend that people should:

Stay slim
Don’t smoke
Cut your caffeine intake to four cups a day
Own your own home by the age of 50
Maintain good middle-age fitness
Have a mother who lived a long time

Dr Lars Wilhelmsen, who was involved in the study for the past 50 years, said “The unique design has enabled us to identify the factors that influence survival after the age of 50. Our recommendation for people who aspire to centenarianism is to refrain from smoking, maintain healthy cholesterol levels and confine themselves to four cups of coffee a day.”

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Four Fool-Proof Tips for Party Planning

Many people are intimidated by party planning. It’s not always easy to have dozens of people in your home or to know how to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Don’t despair, however. There are many ways to ensure that the experience is a smooth one and that everyone (host included) can have fun.

1. Make sure that you have plenty of paper goods on hand. Purchase your paper goods from a solid company like EMBraer Paper Goods and don’t skimp. Buy 20% more than you think that you need so that you always have extras in case of emergency, spills, extra guests and more. As Beth Sonnenfeld, the VP of Sales for EMBraer Paper Goods explains, “The paper goods can always be used at another time. But if you don’t have enough on hand for the party, you will run around trying to find a plate here and more napkins there. Buy extra and rest assured.”

2. Set the time for half an hour before you actually want people to arrive. People always arrive about a half hour late, so if you call the party for 6, you should expect your guests around 6:30. This is true in many activities. As one of our loyal customers Jack Elio said in frustration, “Clients almost always come for their meetings half an hour late. It’s like it’s in people’s blood to come exactly half an hour late.”

3. Have enough trash bags around. You want to have trash bags at the ready and make sure that guests know where they can place their leftovers. This allows you to consolidate all refuse in one place and not to have people leaving their half used cups and their plates around your home.

4. Hire extra help if at all possible. This is really an amazing tip but one that few people listen to. People think that it’s not worth the extra money – but it can make all the difference to allow the party planner to relax during the party and to make sure that everyone is enjoying.

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Where Do Most Peanut Allergy Reactions Occur?

peanuts-618544_640Researchers have found that children with peanut allergies are far more likely to have a reaction at home than they are anywhere else. The University of Montreal team looked at 1941 children who were recruited from allergy clinics and had been diagnosed with peanut allergies. All of the children in the study had had a previous problem with peanuts.

Children participated in the study, on average, for two years, and they were, on average, 6.9 years of age. 37% of the accidental exposure that happened during the study occurred in homes. Other people’s home and restaurants only accounted for 14.3% and 9.3% of the issues.

As the lead author, Sabrine Cherkaoui, of the University of Montreal, said: “We discovered that children are most at risk of exposure in their own homes.”

Interestingly, they found that the incidents of accidental exposure decreased as the study went on, showing that the children and parents learned better avoidance strategies along the way.

The most significant finding of the study, however, wasn’t one that they were expecting. As Ms Cherkaoui explained, “The most significant finding of this study is the discovery that most moderate and severe accidental exposures are managed inappropriately by caregivers and physicians. We believe that more education is required on the importance of strict allergen avoidance and the need for prompt and correct management of anaphylaxis.”

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Chocolate Milk Does a Body Good

shake-677437_640While people are always running around trying to drop their money on the next post-exercise energy shake, researchers have found a much more simple way to have muscle recovery – chocolate milk. As long as it’s a low fat brand, researchers from Cornell University have called chocolate milk the “gold standard for a recovery beverage”.

The team at Cornell used computer software to develop a formula for the best post-work out product. They combined their findings with advice from nutrition specialists in athletics.

Clint Wattenberg, who coordinates sports nutrition at Cornell, said that after numerous experiments they settled on a surprising find. They agreed that an 8 ounce bottle of chocolate milk was the best choice.

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