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Want Cheaper Health Insurance? Make sure To Obtain The Right Number Of Health Insurance Quotes

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Many of today's financial savvy and not so savvy consumers are finding out just how important health insurance can really be to their overall health, both financially and physically. The fact is, with rising medical costs many people simply can't afford to get sick or be seen by a doctor or medical health specialist unless they have obtained affordable health insurance to offset the expensive medications and routine follow-up doctor's appointments. The best thing anyone searching for a good health insurance provider can do is to compare and contrast each insurance companies benefits by asking to receive a free health insurance quote. In order to get the best deal on your health insurance you want to make sure and get as many health insurance quotes as possible. This will allow you the opportunity to find adequate health coverage at a price you can easily afford.

With so many people needing health insurance (everyone truly does need some form of health insurance coverage) you definitely want to shop around and compare the many different health insurance quotes you will receive. Shopping around between the many different health insurance companies and providers is important because every company offers different benefits with their health insurance policies. You want to primarily use the health insurance quote as your initial baseline to decide on which companies to investigate further.

Medical costs aren't the only thing that has gone up, health insurance rates and premiums have also started becoming more expensive making the advice of obtaining health insurance quotes from many different companies even more valuable and important. Keep in mind that your current state of health plays s a large role in determining the actual rate of your health insurance quotes. If you regularly consume unhealthy foods, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes of lead a sedentary life without any form of exercise involved then chances are quite good that your health insurance quote will higher then a healthier individuals rate quote, no matter which health insurance company or provider you choose to work with.

Typically, a health insurance quote will explain or show exactly what the health insurance company (sometimes referred to as the insurer) will cover in terms of medical costs associated with an insured consumer who becomes sick, ill or suffers an accident. There are many different forms of health insurance coverage to choose from with many of the more popular forms called HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) and PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations). There are still several other forms of medical insurance coverage but the point of obtaining a health insurance quote is valid no matter what type of health insurance coverage or provider you choose to work with.

In order to really find the best health insurance coverage and provider you need to take the necessary time to obtain a health insurance quote from several different insurance companies. Doing so will allow you to find adequate health coverage at a price that won't send you to the hospital in the first place.

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Useful Books For Critical & Reflective Practice In Social Work

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Applied Social Studies's bookshelf: reflective-practice-for-social-work

Developing Reflective Practice: A Guide for Students and Practitioners of Health and Social Care
Available as an ebook via the University of Bedfordshire Library Catalogue at: http://library.beds.ac.uk/record=b1536976~S20 This book is a useful companion for students in the fields of social work and social care who wish to incorpora...
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work
Developing Reflective Practice in the Early Years
This book is available as an ebook via the University of Bedfordshire Library Catalogue at: http://library.beds.ac.uk/record=b1501237~S20 Please log in with your username and password. Reflective practice is a vital aspect of working wit...
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work
Critical Thinking and Professional Judgement for Social Work
Available as a printed book from the University of Bedfordshire at: http://library.beds.ac.uk/record=b1493628~S20 This new edition enables post-qualifying students to develop their analytical skills in line with their everyday experience...
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work
Reflective practice in social work [electronic resource]
Reflective practice is a key element of learning and development on social work courses. This fully-updated new edition explores a range of approaches to reflective practice and includes sections on gender, reflecting on emotion and usin...
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work
Critical thinking for social work [electronic resource]
This book is available as an ebook from the University of Bedfordshire. Please log in with your username and password at: http://library.beds.ac.uk/record=b1487682~S20 It covers the whole range of critical thinking and critical awarenes...
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work
Reflective Practice in Social Work
This book is available in print from the University of Bedfordshire Library at: http://library.beds.ac.uk/record=b1404633~S20 It ocvers a whole range of issues in reflective practice including reflecting on emotion, using reflection as ...
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work
Integrating social work theory and practice [electronic resource] : a practical skills guide
This book is available as an ebook from the University of Bedfordshire. Please log in with your username and password at: http://library.beds.ac.uk/record=b1536691~S11 This book gives a clear guide to the integration of theory and pract...
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work
The Critically Reflective Practitioner
Available as a print book from the University of Bedfordshire Library at: http://library.beds.ac.uk/record=b1432115~S20
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work
Ethics and values in social work [electronic resource] : an integrated approach for a comprehensive curriculum
This book is available as an ebook from the University of Bedfordshire. Please log in with your username and password at: http://library.beds.ac.uk/record=b1455424~S20
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work
Values and ethics in social work practice [electronic resource]
This book is available as an ebook from the University of Bedfordshire. Please use your username and password to log in at: http://library.beds.ac.uk/record=b1467475~S20 Gives a nice overview of ethics in social work.
tagged: reflective-practice-for-social-work


Cold Therapy for Post-Operative Rehabilitation and Pain Management

Cold therapy is a highly effective pain management and recovery accelerant for post-operative care. Cold therapy is particularly effective on post-operative knee joint rehabilitation. Best of all, it is a low-cost, high-efficiency, non-pharmaceutical rehabilitation tactic, making it an appropriate addition to just about every post-operative patient's rehabilitation strategy.

How does cool therapy work?
Cool therapy is effective in post-operative rehabilitation for a variety of reasons including:

  • Decreases fluid buildup which is a significant contributor to post-operative swelling in the injured body part.
  • Causes blood vessels to narrow, slowing blood flow to the injured part as well as the release of chemicals that cause pain and inflammation.
  • Decreases pain by reducing the ability of the nerve endings to conduct impulses.
  • Limits the muscle's ability to maintain contraction, thus reducing muscle spasm, which can be quite painful during post-operative recovery.

Both the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health recognize that cool therapy is particularly effective at alleviating pain. A German study applied continuous cold therapy with a cool therapy system in the post-operative treatment for knee ligament surgery. 80% of the knee joint patients reported no or low pain, whereas the control group noted considerable or violent pain. Likewise the study found that cool therapy lead to significantly lower swelling, which aided in quicker recovery.

For reasons such as these, cold therapy is frequently prescribed throughout the duration of post-operative rehabilitation. In many cases, cold therapy should be applied alongside compression as it can also aid in reducing swelling. In these instances it is important to select a therapy system that also provides a degree of compression. With the right cold therapy unit, cold can penetrate deep into the joint. In turn, the unit provides lasting pain relief throughout the recovery.

Why is motorized cool therapy better than traditional cold packs?
Cold packs are adequate for slight injuries, such as mildly sprains, but they are not appropriate for more significant injuries and post-operative care. An ice pack administers inconsistent temperature over a small space. Intense cold lasts for a short period of time, but the packs quickly warms against the skin, requiring multiple trips to the freezer.

A quality cold therapy system on the other hand, will deliver a motorized flow of consistent temperature through circulation pads that are specifically designed for different body parts and applications. This ensures that temperatures stay within the effective range, that the cold is applied to the correct area with the correct pressure so that it can penetrate deep into the joint, and the cold therapy session can occur for a longer period of time in accordance with the physician's prescribed treatment protocol. Depending on the type of unit you select, you should be able to administer anywhere between 6 and 11 hours of consistent cold therapy per ice change.

Poverty Film Gallery From The Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a poverty film gallery with a series of films bringing to life the real issues people face by living in poverty.

The films are available to view online here: http://www.jrf.org.uk/film-gallery/poverty-film-gallery

No Limits On Document Supply!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Photograph by nSeika
From Monday 25th February 2013 onwards there will no longer be any restrictions on the number of document supply requests that Level 3 undergraduate students, postgraduate researchers and staff can make for FREE! 

The Document Supply Team will monitor requests to ensure that the service is being used appropriately.

Stuidents at Level 1 and Level 2 who are unable to find the materials that they need for assignments by using University of Bedfordshire Libraries own resources are advised (as before) to consult their Academic Liaison Librarian. You can contact me at: sally.fensome@beds.ac.uk

Addiction and Drug Abuse: The Effect on Your Eyes

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Addiction and drug abuse effect all parts of the human body. Each month we've been highlighting the impact on different body system. This month we're going to discuss the impact on your eyesight and vision.

Addiction and Drug Abuse: The Impact On Your Eyes

Eyesight is not something we generally think of when we're thinking of the damage caused by addiction and drug abuse. Instead we think of the live, heart or lungs, major body systems which often show sign of abuse in serious physical ways. The eyes are more delicate, but that doesn't mean that the impact is minor. Even red eyes, which we typically think of when we list the symptoms of drug abuse, is not a minor side effect.

Each drug has a physical impact and a chemical impact on the body. Therefore, we're going to break down commonly abused drugs and discuss both types of complications.

Amphetamines. Amphetamines, like Adderall or Dexedrine are often taken as performance enhancing drugs. This type of drug causes physical side effects, like dilation, redness and hallucinations. Chemically, amphetamine abuse can lead to a reduced ability for the eye to focus. Dilation is perhaps the most dangerous of these side effects, as it increases the risk for acute angle-closure glaucoma, a very serious eye emergency that can result in blurred or loss of vision.

Cocaine. Cocaine is an eye anesthetic, meaning that when you take cocaine you may be unable to feel damage that occurs to your eyes. Bumping, scratching and even corneal ulcers can occur, causing pain, blurred visions and even scarring that can cause permanent vision loss.

Heroin. Individuals suffering from heroin addiction and drug abuse may have tightly constricted pupils. Their pupils will not respond to low light, impairing vision. In addition the constriction of the blood vessels, can lead to loss of vision or blurred vision.

Intravenously injected drugs. Addiction and drug abuse that results in intravenous drug use has significant impacts on the body. Just as the drug is easily absorbed, so are the other chemicals in the drug. Cutting agents, like talc or chalk can deposit in the body, especially in the eyes. These substances do not easily dissolve in the body. Deposits that form in the retina, which acts like "film" in the eyes camera can not only distort the image like a deposit on film would, but also loss of vision. Large deposits or particles that collect on the retina can block circulation in the tissue, causing rapid and sever blurred vision.

Drug Abuse Treatment, Best Way to Recover From Addiction

Thursday, 21 February 2013

When people consume excessive drugs then it leads to drug abuse and this kind of addiction is a type of psycho-physiological disease. The impact of drug abuse and its side effects has to be understood well and it needs immediate attention and initiation of a recovery process. Drug addiction is against nature and this cannot be justified in any way. A recovery program will help the drug addicts to treat the drug abuse efficiently.

The treatment always starts with a detox procedure that will remove the drug present in the body at that point of time. Drug Detox is a precursor to an effective drug abuse treatment and should not be ignored. If a drug abuse center does not have a good detox service then it will not help the individuals get out of their problems.

It is important to note that no addict would be able to beat the addiction on his own. Drug addicts must get a proper drug abuse treatment from an expert in a drug rehab center to ensure a speedy recovery.

It is essential that the drug addicts get committed to the rehabilitation program and also to the treatment process and continue to the final stage. It is the treatment center's responsibility to ensure that the addicts do understand the treatment program in a proper manner and also know about the consequences of drug abuse.

They should also explain about the various procedures that will be administered during their stay at the rehab center. If the patient or drug addict is well informed about what they should expect and how they must respond to it, then there are greater chances that they will participate in the program actively.

During the process of drug abuse treatment, the patient must understand the healing process which varies based on the severity of the condition. Drug abuse is a result of underlying clinical condition that makes the person weak physically and morally. It has to be treated by a clinical treatment process and not by just trying to make them aware of drug abuse problems.

The treatment program should cure the mental disorder and physiological disorders that will make the patient achieve lasting sobriety. A good drug abuse treatment plan is one that will work well on the patient when it is administered and monitored properly by experts.

The life of drug addicts change when they attend a drug abuse treatment program in a center. The treatment center will make a lot of difference in the life of patients. The drug addicts must take the first step and make up their mind and opt for change. How to cope with the change and handle a changed life? This question is also addressed through life skills, vocational training, social skills training and self management techniques.

Treatment centers help all patients who approach them for drug rehab treatment. The center needs to have commitment from the patient who gets admitted for treatment. The patient must be mentally and physically strong to ensure speedy recovery. For this a nutritious diet plan is always implemented in these centers. The treatment center has the all the facilities to cure drug addicts and help them lead a normal life.

Upcoming Conference On Working With People With Dementia & Their Carers

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The University is to host a conference on working with people with dementia and their carers on 26th March.

Speakers will include:
  • Dr Schoeman, Acting Consultant Psychiatrist, Older People's Mental Health, from Sept
  • Toby Friedner, BBC Three Counties Radio, Presenter of Shrinkwrap (Disability & Mental Health Show)
  • Larry Gardiner "Living with Dementia"
  • Sheila Hartnett, RGN Project Lead for Dementia Care

To reserve a place, please contact:
The Social Work Office at
The Centre for the Development of Social Care Practice
on 01582 743372

Latest Ebooks On Demand

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Here are some of the latest books purchased by students using the "ebooks on demand" service. Remember if two people rent an ebook on demand for a week it will automatically be purchased for the library.

Where Can You Get Affordable Health Insurance?

What is health Insurance

The main reason why you need an affordable health insurance is to help you plan ahead in case of unexpected costly emergencies. The only way you can accomplish this is to compare prices from most leading insurance companies and also choosing a health insurance plan that best suits you. Back in the days, getting a cheap health insurance plan was simply unaffordable. But these days, individuals, small groups, families and students can choose a health insurance plan that is best for them, e.g. like acquiring a help insurance plan that ensures that an individual suffering from any previous medical condition is not excluded.

Private health insurance plan is totally an unrestricted open market, so those who do not yet have a health insurance plan should consider taking out a plan. For those who are seeking good medical health insurance program, having one is possible through the help of specific companies which specializes in providing health care insurance for individuals and also meeting their requirements and also staying within your budget.

Also for individuals who do not want to use a company, then they can use the internet. One major way Americans get health insurance coverage is mostly through their employers. Many employers them receive health insurance coverage for their workers for a limited time thus enabling them receive health insurance coverage. The internet provides an option for a cheaper health insurance. There are lots of companies that provide all types of health insurance plans, making it possible for you and your family to have a specific reasonable and affordable health care insurance plan. Finding out what kind of reputation the company has and how long the company has been in business is a smart idea.

Having a kind of ideal they have for you is advisable also making sure they have been licensed in your state, because it is of no use getting an insurance with a form which has no license and cant get the exact health insurance you want, many agents will help work hard for you, so you could have an affordable health insurance plan which you and your family could live with without great cost. Everyone wants the best health insurance both for themselves and for their families, but only the best health care insurance can do this with low premiums and full coverage.

What are the advantages of health insurance?

Having the right and the best health care insurance is difficult. In order not to get confused, one needs to decide which the best is by doing his or her research thoroughly. The first step to take includes checking out the credentials and also their past performances of the very company you are considering. Just as on insurance outfits does a background check of individuals before accepting proposals, one should also review the financial status including the customer care services of the insurer, by so doing; you stand the chance to know which health insurance company's best for you. One major way for you to get ratings of these agencies such as A.M best or Moody's is by using the better business bureau. Many employers use the health insurance scheme to either attract or even retain their quality employers. The health insurance coverage might be a personal scheme or a group scheme organized and sponsored by the employers for employers who work between 20-29 hours per week.

Companies also do not add cost of fringe benefits alongside health insurance, to the price of their product and service. Over the past decades, the cost of health insurance has increased tremendously, surpassing the general rate of inflation in most past years.

The different types of health insurance includes individual health insurance, affordable employee health insurance which is also known as group health insurance, affordable family health insurance, affordable business health insurance etc, your monthly insurance is determined by certain numerous different things. For instance, most premiums based on or according to your age. So your health insurance rates changes accordingly with the type of health policy you have. If your health insurance is basically for yourselves or your entire family, the procedures must surely have an impact on any quote you are young or advanced in age, self employed receiving health insurance companies will adjust your premium based upon your age and this will also affect the cost of your health insurance.

What are the Disadvantages of health insurance?

Since unforeseen occurrences may occur any time, one will never know when an accident is likely to happen, be it the need to be admitted in the hospital for stitches or a broken bone, you may be in the position to receive help quickly without the worry of receiving a huge bill, unlike when you don't have a health insurance your credit rating beers all the cost. But you can prevent all this problems from happening and also protecting your credits for your future health financially. Increasing the amount of your health insurance deduction is another way in which you can help make sure your insurance rates are lowered. This higher monthly premium is necessary for anyone who has an existing health problem that requires an extensive medical treatment getting variety of quotes from insurance companies which meets for your health and budgets standards, is a wise decision when selection an health insurance. Searching can be done online and this will have saved you money as well.

Many people feel that they are healthy enough, so they don't need health insurance because they have never had any major medical problems but one thing to note against the possible health insurance is the protection against the possible health problem that may happen in future. It might happen to you in particular or any member of your family, so why not plan on having an affordable health insurance plan today.

Youth Justice Statistics Released For 2011/12

Monday, 18 February 2013

Youth Justice statistics for 2011 - 2012 have now been released by the Youth Justice Board. They show that the number of children entering the criminal justice system for the first time is falling but that there has been a 17 per cent rise in the number of times restraint was used against children aged 10 to 17 in custody in England and Wales.

The report is available to download here: http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/statistics/youth-justice/yjb-stats-2011-12.pdf

New Report On Mental Health Act In 2011/12 Published

Photograph by Damork
The Care Quality Commission’s annual monitoring report on use of the Mental Health Act has drawn attention to rising use of the Act both to detain people in hospital and to continue to use compulsory powers when they return home.

The number of people who have been detained has risen steadily each year since the 1983 Act was amended in 2007, while the introduction of community treatment orders is extending the use of compulsion when people are discharged.

The report shines a light on the way people are treated once they are detained. Like recent reports from Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, it describes wide variations in the quality of experience of detained patients.

It shows, for example, that a significant minority of detained patients are not involved in decisions about their treatment or in planning for their discharge from hospital.

The report also draws attention to the continued high rates of detention, and in particular the use of community treatment orders, among many Black and minority ethnic groups.
Worryingly, the report also finds that too few people are offered access to independent advocacy. Access to an advocate is a fundamental safeguard in the 2007 Mental Health Act and research by the Mental Health Alliance and others has identified a gap in provision of advocacy services, especially for some Black and minority ethnic communities.

The full report is available to read here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/documents/cqc_mentalhealth_2011_12_main_final_web.pdf

New Free Film & Resources For Working With Older People

Age UK Brighton & Hove and the University of Brighton have produced a film and learning resources which aim to develop ethical practice in supporting people to make decisions in later life, and contribute to their well-being.

The resources were produced as part of an ESRC funded Knowledge Exchange project. It brought together social care practitioners, older people and university researchers to develop the resources which are based on participatory research carried out by Professor Marian Barnes and Dr Lizzie Ward from the University of Brighton working in partnership with Age UK Brighton & Hove and a team of older co-researchers.

The research was designed to enable older people to talk in their own terms about what well-being means to them, and how it is produced. So the resources are based not only on findings about older people and well-being, but learning from the process of working with older people and with practitioners to generate and apply knowledge for policy and practice.

You can access the film and the accompanying handbook by going to:


The Impact Of Incest

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Possible Effects On Victims of Sexual Abuse: The effects are many and may show up in various forms and at various stages of your life. These effects may vary according to your age, the connection between you and the perpetrator, the nature of the abuse, the duration and frequency of the sexual abuse, the degree of violence involved, the reactions of those around you to revelations of the abuse, and the help available to you. Many women and men are attempting to deal with the effects of sexual abuse, both recent and long ago occurrences.

Whether a sexual abuse happened to you recently or years ago, it has certain effects, some of which are common to a majority of the victims, others more specific to the victim's situation.You May Experience: Physical problems such as headaches, fatigue, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy, and various injuries. Psychological problems such as sadness, depression, guilt, feelings of anger and rage, fears, low self-esteem, shame, discouragement, suicidal thoughts, and self mutilation. Sexual problems such as a lessening of desire or becoming overly sexual, pain during intercourse, or disgust with sexual matters. Sexual addiction and deviant sexual behaviors are quite common among incest survivor victims.Difficulty in relationships with your spouse, friends and family. Frustration and anxiety which may arise from the judicial process, the trial and court testimony. Economic, social or family problems; difficulty at work, rejection by friends, a stay in a shelter or crisis center, loss of income. Dependency problems; drugs, alcohol, gambling or medication. Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

All of the above mentioned symptoms can occur over a long period of time, beginning either immediately after the abuse or many years later.

What Triggers us to develop abnormal behavioral habits? Psychology is the science & study of the mind and human behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand behavior and mental processes by researching and establishing both general principles and specific cases. For many the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individuals and social behavior while also exploring the physiological and neurobiological processes that underlie certain functions and behaviors. Why do we behave in a certain way? What triggers us to develop abnormal behavioral habits? The most basic theory of Psychology teaches us that 70% to 80% of a human being's mind, behavioral patterns and personality are formed & crystallized in the first 7 years of our childhood life. Therefore, it can be stated with great conviction that whatever dramatic or influential events which we are exposed to during our early childhood years shall have a profound impact on us later on in our adult life.

Sexual assault & incestuous abuse is often an emotionally painful experience that strikes at the heart of a person's identity & well- being causing long term detrimental effects. Sexual assault & incestuous abuse interferes with fundamental rights, notably the right to bodily security and inviolability, and also to physical & psychological security. A sexual assault or incestuous abuse is an act that aims to impose the perpetrators desires on another person through the abuse of power, through the use of force or constraint, or through implied or explicit threats. In 2% of cases the perpetrator is an older female abusing a much younger boy. If you like me were assaulted by an older woman during your childhood, you may not consider it a sexual assault & although not all victims are affected the same way, eventually the consequences of the abuse will manifest itself in a negative fashion.

Negative Impact of Physical Abuse in Children

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Childhood physical abuse involves the physical injury or maltreatment of a child or adolescent under the age of eighteen. Physical abuse includes hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, shaking, burning and other ways of inflicting pain. Other forms of physical abuse include not giving a child food to eat, denying a child medical attention, and giving a child drugs and alcohol.

Physical abuse can have short and long term psychological, emotional and physical effects. Short term effects include physical injury and brain damage. Children may become withdrawn, sad, experience difficulties sleeping and eating, become irritable and aggressive towards their peers or younger siblings, have lack of confidence and self-esteem and start using alcohol and/or illicit substances. The long terms effects include difficulties forming and maintaining healthy relationships and a propensity to be victimised or abused in future relationships.

It is often difficult to tell if a child is being physically abused, as injuries may be inflicted in areas that are hidden from view. Signs of physical abuse include bruises, broken bones, bites, burns and unexplained or untreated injuries.

There is no direct cause or reason attributed to the physical abuse of a child. There are many factors that could be attributed to someone engaging in violent and aggressive behaviour towards a child such as stress, inability to cope with difficulties, drugs and alcohol abuse and having suffered physical abuse themselves.

If you fear that you are being abused, it is important that you approach a trusted adult. This could be a relative, close friend or teacher at school. They may be able to listen and support you, as well as guide you into seeking appropriate help.

If you suspect that a child you know is the victim of physical abuse, you can take immediate action by contacting your local services department who will investigate any allegations of abuse and provide you with detailed information. Alternatively, you can approach a children's organisation where you can speak to a qualified professional for support and guidance. There are leaflets, books and websites with written information about physical abuse and what steps to take if you suspect that it is happening to a child you know. It is imperative that you take immediate action.

Some Of The Latest Ebooks On Demand

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Here are some of the latest titles relevant to Applied Social Studies courses purchased by students using the new ebooks on demand service.

Ebooks on demand appear as ordinary ebooks in the Library Catalogue but have purple buttons instead of the usual green when you log in to them. If one of these books is rented (for free) twice a copy is automatically purchased for the library.

Applied Social Studies's books

Violence Against Women in South Asian Communities: Issues for Policy and Practice
4 of 5 stars true
While forced marriage and 'honour-based' violence attract media attention, little is known about the issues and experiences of South Asian women and children who are affected by gendered violence. This book explores the key theoretical a...


UK Weak In School Fairness Leagues

Photograph by flickingerbrad
The UK is below average in an international comparison of social mobility within school systems according to analysis by the OECD.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) produces rankings of school performance - but it has now published an analysis of fair opportunities for pupils.

It shows that Shanghai in China, South Korea and Finland are among top performers in both results and equity.

The UK is successful in results, but weaker in fairness.

This OECD study compares the reading skills of teenagers against the levels of social equity. You can read more on this story of the BBC News website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21411251

Do Your Gifts Promote Health and Wellness?

Do the gifts that you give promote health and wellness for the receiver? It may seem a strange question at first as most of us give gifts that we think the recipient would like or that we want the recipient to have without ever thinking about do they need it or, more importantly, will it promote their health and wellness.

When we think about health and wellness, we tend to think about the elderly or infirm. Should we also be thinking about maintaining the health and wellness of those who are already well and healthy?

Because a person appears healthy and plays sport or works out does not mean that all is well. Are they sleeping ok, for instance? Could we give them a gift that promotes health and wellness? There are certainly a lot of choices if we look for them.

I have chosen three items that I would give to promote health and wellness.

Alarm clock with Sound Therapy System

Do you have someone who is going off to college or do you know someone who works shifts? It could even be you. Instead of just getting an alarm clock to wake up to, why not buy one that also has a sound therapy system?

Sound therapy systems are designed to block out those irritating noises that often prevent us falling asleep naturally. They also help circumvent tinnitus discomfort of constant buzzing in the ears. If you have ever suffered tinnitus, you will know what I mean.

The benefits of an alarm clock with a sound therapy system are

  1. A soothing atmosphere so you fall asleep easier.
  2. Better sleep quality,
  3. Enhanced concentration when you wake,
  4. More alert and comfortable throughout the day

And you still wake up on time!

There is a wide variety of alarm clocks to choose from including those that slowly increase the daylight level or Tibetan Gong clocks. It just needs a little imagination.

Alarm clocks are not the only gift that will promote health and wellness. Does your friend travel a lot?

Travel Pillow with Calming Oils

Perhaps they would like a relaxing travel pillow. Whenever I travel, I always had problems with sleeping on hotel pillows. Perhaps it was just being away from home and not having my usual pillow. I now take a travel pillow with me on every trip and I sleep better and wake more refreshed than before.

Travel pillows make a great and unusual gift and probably something no-one else would even think of giving. They roll up small, about a third of their size, and fit into their own built in stowing flap. They unravel into fluffy pillows within seconds. They even have a sachet of eucalyptus to help induce a good night's rest.

Relaxation CD's

Some people just like to crash into a chair after a particularly stressful day. That is the perfect time to listen to a CD that will help you relax and release the stress from the body. I have several that I listen to but I think my favorite is Creating Inner Peace.

CD's are small and can be taken anyway. Play it will waiting at the airport or during a lunch breaks. Just listening to the CD for a few minutes, before taking that long drive home, will make your journey much more enjoyable.

Listening to meditational CD's is a great stress reliever for me. I take at least one relaxation CD with me wherever I go.

When you give a gift, choose a gift that promotes health and wellness

Drug Abuse Solutions

Friday, 8 February 2013

Drug abuse today is a major cause for concern and has a negative effect on society at large. Though students constitute a large segment of drug abusers, adults also succumb to drug abuse. There is a tendency amongst middle-aged people to abuse prescription drugs.

The first step towards combating drug addiction is to make the abuser aware of the damage it causes the body. Most addicts lack confidence and must be taught to become a master of the situation and not a slave to addiction.

There are many institutions and organizations that help drug abusers kick the habit. The support of friends and family is of prime importance. First and foremost, an abuser must be committed to giving up drugs. Doctors and counselors are a drug abusers greatest ally in the battle against addiction.

People who realize they have to quit this dangerous habit may be too embarrassed or afraid to confide in anyone. They might even be worried that they will land into trouble if they admit to having this problem. Abusers must talk to anyone they trust.

Drug abuse solutions can be viewed from many perspectives. On a national level, solutions are based and discussed in terms of the reduction in supply of drugs. From a social perspective, solutions are usually discussed in terms of prevention, early intervention and treatment.

Prevention is better than cure. This adage holds good in fighting drug abuse too. Public education campaigns and stricter laws regarding purchase and use of legal substances are measures that have been adopted by states in the USA.

Many States have created coalitions of community and business leaders to address the problem of substance abuse. These groups run community-based programs that provide mentoring, tutoring, alternative activities, and life skills development for youth in drug-impacted neighborhoods.

The "War on Drugs" Has Failed - Treatment Works!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The "War on Drugs" is now a clear and complete failure. After more than 35 years of wasting money on this fight, we have lost. There are no fewer drugs or drug addicts than when we started this "War." The problem lies in what Washington has been using as the "solution." Bureaucrats in Washington (and members of the military) feel that if they can stop drugs from entering the country they will curb drug use. This would be true if they could stop ALL the drugs from entering the country - there would be no drugs to use and it would be almost impossible to be an addict. The current reality lies in the study of economics. The government is successful in capturing 1-3% of the drugs entering the country. The drug lords know this, and so they ship an additional 1-3% to cover these losses. They then pass the cost of this onto the drug user by charging 10-20% more to the drug addict, thereby actually increasing their profits. These addicts cannot ultimately afford their drug use, so they break into our homes, cars and stores to gather the extra cash, sometimes they mug us. The bulk of the crime in this country is drug related and solving the drug problem is the only solution.

The Government is attempting to solve the problem by reducing the supply of drugs, when the real problem is the DEMAND for drugs. Reduce the demand for drugs and the shipments will be reduced by the exact same amount - simple economics. Suppliers never ship more than consumers demand or they quickly go out of business.

The solution is simple - focus more efforts on treatment. Treatment will stop the suffering of addicts and make them useful members of society. It will also stop their families, friends and neighbors from suffering. They will no longer break into our homes and cars looking to support their habit. Crime rates will drop, jails will be reduced, children will grow up in decent homes with better values. Work productivity will rise, insurance costs will be lowered, police will have less work, abuse and drunk driving rates will drop, the list goes on and on.

Currently the Government has a 20 billion dollar budget to spend on curbing drug use - they spend 18 billion on attempting to stop drugs from coming in and only 2 billion on treatment and prevention efforts (approximate figures). This thinking is clearly backwards. More monies need to be devoted to treatment and prevention and far less on enforcement. Now I don't want my readers to think that I feel no monies should be spent on pursuing drug traffickers, they clearly do need to be fought and placed in jails. The fear of getting caught is a powerful deterrent and sends the right message. The problem lies in the fact then when you catch one two more take his place, the greater the risk the more they are paid. I would simply redistribute the way we allot our funds, I would spend 8 billion on enforcement and 10 billion on treatment and prevention programs.

With the extra treatment you will see the number of addicts drop in the first year, thereby reducing the demand. This will quickly drop the number and size of shipments to the United States and drug related crimes and health issues. The situation will improve yearly, as more and more addicts hit bottom and seek treatment.

Few people realize how these treatment efforts will virtually pay for themselves, whereas drug enforcement efforts are pure expense. When addicts stop using drugs they also require less hospital care, social services, welfare, AIDS infections drop, child services, etc. These costs are staggering. The business sector would see a tremendous boost in increased productivity that would greatly offset the costs and how do you measure the costs in human suffering that could be avoided? It is estimated that an average addict seriously impacts between 6-16 people and there are approximately 28 million of them in America today. This problem leaves virtually no one untouched and our current policy has had no real impact in thirty years. The time for change is now, families and society at large are suffering daily until we shift the way we focus our energy and our dollars on solving this problem. Every year there are less and less insurance dollars devoted to drug and alcohol treatment and treatment facilities are closing daily. I have watched hundreds of families who want to have their child, husband or wife be treated for addiction turned away, because they didn't realize their insurance policy no longer covers this treatment. The Government needs to step in and demonstrate that they want to fight addiction in a way that they can win, by providing treatment to those who need it.

More Support Via Facebook

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

I've just created a new Facebook page where I'll be posting further online support, advice and news - and of course you're welcome to comment and give me any feedback too!

You can see my Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Appsocscibeds/351429088298158

Alarms Over New Trend In Online Sex Abuse

Monday, 4 February 2013

Photograph by Photark
New research by the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has revealed that children are increasingly being groomed over the Internet for online sexual abuse.

Only 7% of the 1,145 online abuse cases reported to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in 2012 involved people trying to meet a child.

Peter Davies, chief executive of Ceop - which monitors child abuse online - said: "We've seen a drop in the amount of grooming with a view to meeting offline. That's still a risk but it's a diminishing risk.
"The growth area seems to be grooming, contact, and then sexual abuse purely online. We really need to make sure that young people are target hardened [sic] against that.

The research by CEOP and the University of Birmingham is available to read online here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S135917891200122X 

Iridology - An Analysis Of Its Genuineness As An Alternative Health Therapy

Iridology is one of the naturopathic areas of alternative medicine. It is the study of the patterns of the iris and the pupils which are two main constituents of the eyes. The purpose of Iridology is with a view to discovering the root cause of different ailments and to reveal an appropriate cure for such ailment. Ancient writings variously refer to the importance of the eyes to the well-being of the body. For example, a passage in the Bible refers to the eye as being "the window of the soul."

Iridology focuses on the coloured nerve endings which reflect in the unique coloured part of the eyes. The very fact that each individual has a unique iris color pattern has created interest for hundreds of years. The very first person to deeply study the iris and pupil - what is now being called iridology was a Hungarian physician in the 19th century. Ever since, other iridologists have come to believe that the nerve endings in the eye are connected to the brain and represent a map with links to the genetic make-up of the body. Hence, for example, through careful study, levels of inflammation of body tissue and toxins in the body can be detected through a study of the iris.

It must be noted however that these practitioners do not claim to identify illness per se, but to be able to detect weaknesses in the system.

Most conventional medical doctors pass the claims of Iridolgy as being false if not total quackery. Several tests that they have carried out may prove this to be the case. However, it must be noted that most of these tests were set up from the point of view of conventional medicine and does not take into account the fact that most alternative medical disciplines tend to take a holistic approach - all the naturopathic elements for example reflexology, acupunture etc coming together to present a unified view of the state of a person's well-being.

In the words of a foremost American Iridologist, Bernard Jensen, "Nature has provided us with a miniature television screen showing the most remote portions of the body by way of nerve reflex responses". Many testimonies of the efficacy of some of the Iridologists' methods abound and beg for the medical community and indeed the general public to take it more seriously. Conventional medicine sure does not have all the answers. And when it comes to prevention, maybe we all need to look at alternative medicines as a "window into the soul" to help us take preventive actions with this better understanding of our bodies complimentary provided with medical science.

Cutting Health Insurance Costs: Strategies for Today's Families

Saturday, 2 February 2013

As the cost of health care increases, so does the strain on household budgets. A majority of today's families are barely getting by, and an increasing number of households are living with no health insurance at all. In fact, more than 46 million Americans now live uninsured--and that number increases by the year.

Health insurance is designed to protect you and your family from expense in case of accidents or illness. Doctor bills; hospitalization; medical tests and treatments; rehabilitation, and maternity/pediatric care...all fall within these bounds.

So what's a family to do if it needs health insurance protection but doesn't have much to spend?

Getting Cheap Health Insurance

The less likely you are to need health care, the less you'll pay for your health insurance coverage. Therefore, finding ways to reduce your claims risk increases your chances of getting the cheap health insurance rates you deserve.

If your family needs cheap health insurance and you're not sure how to get it, use these money-saving strategies to reduce your health insurance premiums:

  • Take care of your bodies. Get regular exercise; eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and see your doctor for routine check-ups and health care advice. Don't drink or smoke. If you do what's necessary to maintain your health, you'll reduce your health care costs in the long run--reducing, in turn, your health insurance costs.
  • Set your deductibles high. What is a deductible? It's simply the amount you have to pay on your medical bills before your health insurance kicks in and pays the rest. According to experts, it's not uncommon for families to save up to 25 percent on health insurance premiums with a high deductible plan. The more responsibility you take for the cost of your medical care, the less responsibility your health insurance company has to carry--and the lower your health insurance rates will be.
  • Find a group policy. Group health insurance is always less expensive. This is because the financial risk to the health insurance company is spread amongst the entire group, instead of resting solely on you. Look for group health insurance through your employer, or through community or professional organizations to which you belong.
  • Buy early.The younger you are when you purchase health insurance, the lower your premiums will be. This is because your risk of health-related issues increases as you get older. Buying health insurance early on means your family saves on monthly premiums, as well as over the life of the policy.
  • Coordinate your coverages. If you and your spouse both work and have health insurance available, compare plans--and choose the best parts of each. Sharing expenses between more than one insurance plan makes things cheaper for both health insurance companies--and for you.
  • Your family's health insurance premiums don't have to eat into the household budget--or your bank account. Use these strategies to get cheap health insurance protection, and you'll be prepared for whatever comes your way.

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