How to Manage Your Neck and Back Pains

Each year, millions of pain relief medications are sold over-the-counter to give ease to people’s body and muscle pains. In fact, back and neck pain have been one of the most common complaint of many people and the number is simply rising. There are just far too many temporary solutions promising instant relief, until pain strikes back to unleash its vengeance to the unknowing victim. The mere idea that we are living in stressful times is more than enough to send bouts of pains and spasms to your relaxed life. Suddenly, everything just seem so painful and tensed. Which is why there is carpal tunnel surgery Austin that can get you a complete relief from your neck and back pains effectively. This is quite an affordable surgery that you can plan if you have severe back or neck pain.

Most people are sitting in front of their PC at 8 hours a day minimum, doing work like a human machine. Without small breaks to stretch a bit, one can become easily a candidate for RSI or repetitive strain injury. Other than this, not being conscious of your posture in the way you sit, stand, walk, and sleep can help aggravate the situation. You are simply doing more damage to your muscles and spine by putting unnecessary pressure to the vulnerable parts of your body.. until you feel a sharp pain rising. Everyone doesn’t want to feel pain. It can be discomforting and quite distracting. In a sudden attack of pain, we reach for the nearest anti-inflammatory solution, just for the pain to go away. Seldom do we realize that this pain is our body’s silent language telling us that something is really wrong from within.

The easiest way to achieve comfort is to relax and rest. Sitting can wreak havoc to the muscles and bones of your lower back, and you may lie down to reduce the pressure. Backaches can be really nagging and here are ways on how you can combat back and neck pain, for real:


If you’re not into high-impact sports, which can do more damage to your back bones and muscles, you can try flexibility and toning exercises through the ancient pose system of yoga. Just make sure not to exert too much effort to achieve the poses. If you feel pain, you have to stop, take a breathe, and try poses you can achieve comfortably.


Strengthening your core can greatly help realign your body’s balance, making you more aware of having proper posture. Many rehab clinics are using core training exercises to help their patients get back to their health. Your instructor will help you choose a program that is right for you.


Water can reduce pressure on your muscle and joints, giving your body ways to heal without the resistance of gravity. Water’s buoyancy can support you as you move and do exercises. This is great for those who have joint injuries or people who are suffering arthritis.


There are many CDs and help books you can buy to help you achieve maximum health, even when you’re working long hours. There is no excuse why you cannot get a 20-minute stretch and be mobile. These exercises involve simple stretches that will not distract your colleagues at work, which can help blood flowing into your brain and body.


Developed by Pete Egoscue, this unconventional way of restoring your body’s natural motion can be designed using methods that will specifically address your severe musculoskeletal pain.


From the slow-flowing moves of Tai-Chi.. to the flaming needles of ancient acupuncture, nothing shall come close to these two oriental healing arts that are famous for bringing your body’s energy back to balance, in sync with the universal energy. Just make sure that your chiropractor has a good track record before you proceed to have the acupuncture performed.


From warm bath that smells of subtle scents of lavender to pure-grade essential oils, nothing beats the indulgence of a sweet aroma filling your whole being, making you achieve deep relaxation and sleep. Make sure to use organic, non-toxic, and pure-grade materials for your bath and massage.

Beating pain can be a long-time ordeal, when life becomes more demanding with the passing of the year. You may find your conventional relief through cold or hot compress which can relax your tensed muscles, helping you gain rest and mobility. Although there are prescription pills that can give you instant relief as well, you may want to find your natural healing. The last thing you want is find addiction, instead of a cure. Be Relieved!

How Can Interviewing Skills Improve Your Sales?

I was talking recently with a friend of mine who is an expert interviewer, having done it professionally for Hollywood studios. My 34 year career, on the other hand, has included sales and marketing, management, small business ownership and eight years as a consultant. I realized our professions overlap.

This led me to thinking about how interviewing skills can improve your sales. These techniques are the same ones a professional interviewer uses. I use them as a small business consultant too.

Getting Prospects to Know, Like and Trust You

Except for the simplest transactions, like selling groceries, the salespeople must help prospects come to know, like and trust them. Sometimes salespeople get lucky because their prospects already have some loyalty to their brand.

Then, the salesperson can either capitalize on that brand preference or blow the initial relationship by destroying what trust was developed. I wrote about that in “What I Learned as a Customer about How to Avoid Blowing Your Sale.”

Ultimately, though, especially in business-to-business sales, salespeople must create a relationship with their prospects. Those relationships can form quickly or can take weeks or months or, on rare occasion, years.

That is because getting to know, like and trust someone happens in stages. We like a little, know a little, and trust a little. After that works well, we risk a little bit more.

Jay Leno’s Example

Look at how Jay Leno succeeds so well with interviewing.

First, he gets some research about his guests. He uses this background information to open a conversation with them. He might talk about their marriages, their families, their current project, their past projects, or their plans for the future. As his guests start talking about themselves, they relax. Once they are comfortable, the conversation opens up and becomes more interesting. Jay keeps it all about the guest. His personal comments keep a dialogue going rather than an interrogation. But he always focuses back on his guest.

On sales calls, I have had relationships from warm friendships to pleasant business relationships. But all successful sales calls required my prospects coming to ‘know, like and trust’ me. It is also important to use the right tool in improving sales like software for sales management.

I Had to Sincerely Care

Regardless of the type of relationship we developed, it started with asking questions and listening to their answers. Here’s the kicker: I had to be sincere and genuinely interested.

So, how did I convey sincere interest? Like in any social situation, I asked follow up questions to show I was listening. I admit this took time to learn. Like many young salespeople I have observed, I used to ask a question to be polite. In reality, I was waiting for my opportunity to tell my story. It took experience, practice and discipline for me to focus on the other person. When I learned to truly listen and respond with questions to understand better, I developed stronger relationships and better sales.

Social Conversation Example

Look at this typical conversation between two people.

Did you see the movie Avatar? You did? Was it the 3D version or the regular? What did you think about it? What was your favorite part? What did you think about those floating islands? My stomach was in my throat when he leaped to the first one. What about you?

Although I left off the other person’s role in this conversation, I hope you noticed how this person engaged in a conversation that revealed he (or she) had seen the movie too. This is how a salesperson would use expertise or background research to ask intelligent questions. The above speaker applied that knowledge to engage in a much more interesting conversation which revealed, like a good interviewer, more depth about the other person’s views.

How can interviewing improve your sales? I found they form better relationships with prospects, which in turn lead to more sales. We all want someone to listen to us. If you try to sell too soon, you will usually lose the sale. On the other hand, if you focus on asking questions and listening, your prospect will finally be ready to listen to you and what you can do to help solve their problem. Best of all, you will have future sales instead of a onetime sale only.

Three Great Marketing Tips for a Small Business

Every business needs to advertise to survive, or at least to get started. Getting your name out into the open and into the public view is essential for gaining leads that turn into sales. For small businesses especially, without a past history or strong branding to rely on, a smart marketing mix with powerful promotions is practically a necessity.

With the vast myriad of advertising options available, the opportunities can be overwhelming at first: Online ads, billboards, local print pieces, value pack coupons, direct mailers, postcards, letters, brochures, trifolds, school programs, affiliates, newspapers, social networking, cold calls, flyers, and more all represent different tools available for a small business to use. Rather than work out the intricate details, the best tips for small business advertising involve perspective and strategy.

Free Is Key

It may seem obvious, yet many fail to develop the insight or boldness necessary to take full advantage of the simple fact that if a method exists to advertise for free, you should probably take advantage of it. Contact local television stations about “bulletin board”-type announcements, perform Google searches for online free offers for printing postcards and business cards, make phone calls, and generally use your innate creativity to consider how you can raise business awareness in your area. One effective component of a modern-day marketing mix is to have Facebook and Twitter accounts for your organization, and to use them appropriately with a website and blog. As a business owner you should consider using top 15 best crm software for small businesses. That give you the best marketing advice and detailed market analysis free of cost. This makes it a lucrative option to consider.

Pound Pavement

There is a reason that salesmen (and saleswomen) positions still exist, despite being thought of as obsolete even with the advent of the telephone: Face-to-face interaction provides a much greater chance of success than a cold call over the phone. With flyers or other materials in hand, take an investment of time to go door-to-door in strip malls and other commercial districts to see if other businesses will display your materials. In a local area, especially one where you already have connections or a positive rapport, you may be surprised to find that many places will freely display your materials without hesitation. This also provides a unique chance to discover new networking opportunities, or even get in touch with key vendors.


Some small businesses feel as though they do not have enough clout to be able to determine pricing and deals from their suppliers and other contacts. However, every operation should keep in mind that their dollars spent, even if seemingly insignificant, are still dollars that could go elsewhere. Whether requesting a few dollars off a print ad insertion, or wrangling for another spot on the radio, or convincing a large office supply chain that your annual budget deserves a corporate account in order to access steep discounts, small business owners should not be afraid to firmly negotiate with representatives.

Entrepreneurship can be an arduous, difficult, frustrating, time-consuming experience. However, it can definitely also be remarkably thrilling and deeply rewarding. With the right marketing arsenal prepared, a small business owner can be on his or her way to success.

Exercises for Sagging Facial Skin/Muscles

It is possible to restore the youthful look of your face with a few simple exercises. There is no need for plastic surgery; no need to risk damage that cannot be corrected, no need to spend thousands that will simply have to be spent over and over again. Performing the exercises in this article at least once daily will result in a more youthful face and reduced or disappearance of sagging skin.

Without undergoing dangerous surgery, you can diminish sagging skin and even improve the elasticity by taking a few minutes daily at different intervals and exercising your face. If you perform these simple massages, pushes, rotations and mouth movements, within a few weeks you will begin to notice sags diminishing and your skin becoming more toned. Some women have been able to obtain a renewed glow to their skin tone.

Recently I went to a class reunion meeting. Classmates met to discuss the desire to have a class reunion and to strategize. There were at least twenty people in attendance. I graduated with the class of 1971.

When I walked up to meet everyone, I was extremely excited to reconnect with members of my class I had not seen since 1971. To my surprise, however, one of the first people I hugged asked me if I was a member of the class of 2000. I was elated. I know I have been working hard to maintain the youthful appearance of my younger years by praying, fasting, eating healthy and when I have the energy, exercising.

After reconnecting and greeting everyone else who attended, I began to see the results of life on the faces of everyone. Some of my classmates looked older than their years. Some looked exactly the age they were. Only one other classmate looked younger than our 56 years.

Of course, life and its trials will wear on all of us. However, I am a living witness to the success rate of putting God first and then diligently exercising. Before going under the knife to enhance your appearance, try these tips for a few months. With prayer, fasting and diligence, they will pay off.

Exercises To Decrease Sagging Skin and Tone Facial Muscles: Jaw Tightening

Stand in front of your Cheval mirror (any full-length mirror will do as long as you are standing and can see the movement of your head and neck). Lift your arms above your head. While lifting your arms, move your head up and down tightening the mouth with each lift. To make sure you are performing this exercise correctly, take your hands and feel the muscles under your chin as they tighten with each lift. Perform this exercise at least ten minutes daily. The more you perform it, the tighter your chin muscles become.

Exercises To Decrease Sagging Skin and Tone Facial Muscles: Move Head From Side To Side

Stand in front of your full-length mirror. Breathe in, breathe out. Begin moving your head from side to side. While moving your head make sure you are stretching your neck to obtain maximum muscle tone. To guarantee you are performing this exercise correctly, with each stretch, line your chin up with your shoulder, lift and point your chin towards the edge of your shoulder. You will feel the pull of your neck and facial muscles as they strengthen. Not only does this help your face, it will also begin to redefine and strengthen your bust.

Exercises To Decrease Sagging Skin and Tone Facial Muscles: Mouth Tightening

A few years back, QVC offered a little device to place in your mouth. The device was used to tone facial muscles by tightening the mouth and muscles around the mouth. You can perform this same exercise without purchasing anything. Close your eyes and tighten your lips while pressing them tightly against your teeth. Perform this exercise several times for about ten minutes daily.

Exercises To Decrease Sagging Skin and Tone Facial Muscles: Thumb and Forefinger Brace

Another device recently shown on television was placed under the chin. To gain maximum results from this device, you would push your chin against the device. The resistance felt from the push would help to diminish sagging skin, double chins and strengthen facial muscles. Perform this same exercise by taking your forefinger and your thumb and placing the thumb at the swallow zone of your neck. Place your forefinger directly under your chin. have at least a three inch stretch between the two fingers. Push as hard as you can against the forefinger with your chin without moving the two fingers for a second or two then release. By repeating this exercise several times, you will see amazing results in minimal time. I began to see results after a few days.

There are many methods of exercising that can be performed daily to help tighten and strengthen your facial muscles. It’s no secret. It can seem as though it is something some women just are blessed with, However, you can be blessed also and begin to restore the years off your face, the trials of life have removed.

Some women look years younger than their age. Recently I have been told I look 33. I am 56. By trial and error, you can determine the exercises or even find new facial exercises that are most effective for you.

NOTE: Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physicians. Some individuals may have injuries to their neck that may prevent them from being able to perform facial exercises.

Plastic surgery is of different types and if you want just one part changed then, for example, rhinoplasty is surgery to reshape the nose. Same holds true for others.

How to Diet Without Dieting

Diet is a four letter word. Anytime I try a new diet I always end up hungry, unsatisfied, and dreaming about chocolate. This makes undergoing the best coolsculpting treatment very tempting because it provides very fast results. My favorite kind of diet isn’t a diet at all. It’s a way of life and it’s easy to follow. I’ve incorporated a few things I learned from David Zinczenko’s book The Ab’s Diet; I recommend you read it if you’re interested in more drastic lifestyle changes that get results. What we are going to discuss here is how making a five small changes in your eating and exercise habits can help make big changes to your waistline and your state of mind.

Change #1

Blend some goodness into your life. Making a smoothie in the morning may sound like a lot of work but it takes me 6 minutes in the morning to blend up a delicious treat for breakfast AND have enough for a mid-afternoon snack. Adding some super charged foods like berries, peanut butter, oatmeal, yogurt, and whey protein powder makes it healthy and fills you up. Here is a basic smoothie recipe for one serving:

½ cup nonfat milk

½ cup nonfat yogurt

1 ½ cup frozen strawberries (slightly thawed)

1 banana

1 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

Blend until smooth. If you find the smoothie is too thick just add a little more nonfat milk. The fruits you use can vary depending on what kind of taste you want, but berries have the most vitamins and fiber.

Change #2

Stop wasting calories. White breads and soda waste calories and add no nutritional value to your diet. If you must drink soda make sure its diet. Personally, I hate diet soda but I can manage to drink Sprite Zero with little to no notice. As for white breads, just say no. Whole wheat and whole grain foods are better for you because when they are manufactured the vitamins and minerals are left intact. You can also get fiber from most whole grain breads. Avoid foods that are just labeled wheat and look for whole wheat or whole grain.

Change #3

Get fresh. Using fresh meats and veggies and making your own food is a huge step in the right direction. It lets you control exactly what goes into your meal and into you. Try lean meats like turkey, lean pork, beef, and chicken. They’ll give you protein to help fuel your cells and keep you feeling full. Also using dark green leafy veggies in salads and stir-fry’s provide iron and sometimes fiber.

Change #4

Get up and move! Exercising is so important to a healthy lifestyle. Just walking is enough but I recommend at least thirty minutes of vigorous aerobics or strength training a day. Be creative. Use your two year old as a dumbbell and lift her up and down. She gets to play with mommy; you get to work your triceps and biceps. Try walking every evening after you eat but before you do the dishes. It will provide you with some activity while helping you digest.

Change #5

Become free-range. Eat small meals throughout the day. Breaking up meals and eating every two to three hours can really make a difference. When you wake up you should eat a light breakfast. A few slices of toast and some juice is fine. A few hours later have a light snack; this is when I have my first 8oz of smoothie. Next a few hours later have a light lunch. Salads are good, but make sure to go easy on the dressing. Incorporate some of the super charged food we talked about like whole wheat bread and turkey and make yourself a sandwich. Have another snack a few hours later. A handful of nuts and a nonfat cheese stick works well or you can finish your smoothie. Have a modest dinner, maybe a chicken breast, steamed veggies, and some whole grain Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. And finish it up with a light after dinner snack a few hours before bed. I like to have fruit with some fat free cool whip. It’s good for me and satisfies my desert craving.

Winning the Losing Battle. The Mindset of a Successful Slimmer

Can you count the number of times you started a diet and then quit, or the number of times that you vowed not to eat that slice of chocolate cake and then went ahead and devoured the whole thing.

If you’re a yo-yo dieter, then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your weight loss strategy.

Is the ‘diet’ you are choosing to embark on too difficult to sustain long-term? Are you called on to cut out entire food groups?

Losing weight is about wanting to look good, stay healthy and able to fully participate in all that life has to offer.

Any attempt to loose weight requires a measure of self-discipline. This is true of any worthwhile goal. The good news is that self-control can be learned.

The first step is to know where you currently stand as well as where you would like to be. In terms of weight loss, this means knowing how much you presently weigh, what your goal weight is and how much you need to lose in order to reach your goal weight.

The second step is to break down this larger goal into smaller baby steps and set some time limits to achieve each one. It can be pretty discouraging and daunting if you have a large amount of weight to lose. That’s why setting little mini-goals along the way is so important.
Let’s say for example, you have 30lb to lose. You could set up mini goals of 5lb each. Once you accomplish the first 5lb weight-loss you could treat yourself to a new hairdo. For the second 5lb you could have a facial or pedicure. Get the picture?

The one thing dieters fear the most is hunger. But in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off, you need to be able to tell the difference between true physical hunger and appetite.

Hunger is a physical need for food and can often not arise for up to six hours after a good meal. Appetite, on the other hand, is more of a craving for certain foods, and is stimulated by thoughts of food, being around food or simply by habit. So when you see that cream doughnut in the bakery window and are suddenly filled with the urge to eat it, that’s appetite and not real hunger.

If you are following a balanced eating plan such as weight watchers which contains enough food to keep you satisfied, you will gradually come to realize the difference between appetite and hunger.

It’s one thing to lose a lot of weight but another thing to keep it off. But what makes the difference between those who maintain their weight loss compared to those who regain it all?

Maintainers make the necessary mental and psychological changes as they lose weight. Once they reach goal weight they feel stronger, think of themselves as “thin at last” and believe that they can maintain this weight loss. The boost of confidence they get from losing weight encourages them to become more sociable and out going which in turn leads to leads to a richer and fuller life. Maintainers strive to incorporate the new eating habits into their lives.

Regainers on the other hand dwell on how fat they are and on other weaknesses that they have. They look at a diet as something they go on and off. Once they reach their goal weight, they go right back to their old eating patterns and of course regain everything that they lost.

Many individuals have found that having support and being accountable not only during weight loss, but afterward as well, helps to make a tremendous difference and may mean the difference between winning the weight loss battle or losing it.

The battle of the bulge is either won or lost in the mind before a morsel of food passes your lips. What are you going to be – a maintainer or a regainer – the choice is up to you.

Just make sure that you are taking relevant instructions from an authentic trainer and follow him blindly and implicitly as it could eliminate lingering fat that resists even with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Winter Biking: Are You up to the Challenge?

Average is out. Extreme is in. If your average workout isn’t working out, it may be time to recharge your routine. Why not take biking to another level?�

Bike messengers do it and 1 out of every 20 commuter cyclists keeps pedaling all winter long. Cycling is popular in itself, but winter biking seems to be gaining popularity among fitness buffs looking for a challenge and those who have discovered the possibilities of commuting and riding weekend trails when the ground is covered with snow and ice.�

Cycling anytime of the year has many benefits. It improves physical fitness and reduces the risk of heart disease. Cycling for 30 minutes daily, for example, reduces the risk of heart disease by 50%. Like many other forms of exercise, biking may also relieve stress and anxiety.

Biking outdoors during the winter is a sure cure for cabin fever, but it offers mental benefits as well. Accomplishing anything outdoors during the brutal winter months can present a challenge. But biking during the chilly time of the year may be the challenge you need to boost your workout.�

If you decide you want to start biking during the winter months there are a few things to keep in mind when dressing for cold-weather riding. The key element to winter cycling is proper attire. The three most important areas to consider are the feet, the hands, and the head. For the feet, you should wear a solid pair of waterproof boots with thinsulate, an excellent and not-too-expensive boot insulator. For the hands the best bet is to buy leather glove shells and synthetic liners. You can also layer regular gloves, but just make sure you are able to maintenance your bike without fully removing your gloves. Keeping the head warm is easy. A few thin layers should do the trick as long as you wear your helmet.�

For the rest of the body, think layers. Long underwear and/or sweats, and a pair of waterproof/windproof outer pants should work just fine for the lower body. Dressing the upper body varies based on your level of comfort, level of exertion, and weather conditions. A polypropylene undershirt combined with a medium-weight synthetic middle layer and a water-resistant, breathable shell is probably all you need on cold days.

On days when there’s a serious wind chill, but you still feel up to the challenge; cover your body from head to toe. Wear a balaclava* to guard your face as well as a headband and ski hat to cover your ears. Goggles can protect your eyes as well as fill any gaps between the ski cap, headband and balaclava. *�

When riding outdoors in the winter, your bike should be treated differently than in the summer. First, if at all possible, leave your expensive mountain bike at home. Buy a cheaper bike, a used bike or an “old beater” if you can. The cheaper the better. Use the widest tires possible and use half of the air you would use normally. The more tread you put on the ice and snow, the less likely you are to slip and slide. Once your bike is prepped and you’re dressed and ready to roll, remember to be defensive when riding in traffic and use headlights and taillights when riding at night.�

With the right bike and the proper attire, winter biking can be a challenging and positive experience. And by the way, it can help you keep those winter pounds off too!�

****A balaclava is an outer shell that fits over the head and neck. It protects the head and neck from cold and draws moisture away from the head to keep you warm and dry. Go to to purchase a balaclava and other quality discounted winter gear.****

For more information, just log onto to maintain a well-round tummy as its essential for winter biking.

Can a Bankruptcy Get Your Student Loans Discharged or not? Read to find out

More and more students are becoming strapped with student loans once they graduate. The lending institution will give them a certain amount of time before they start making payments. If a graduate does not get a job making a substantial amount of money then there is a good chance they will not be able to afford the payments. Some students graduate with as much as $40,000 in student loans. This figure can be as much as $100,000 in some instances. People are forced to work two or three jobs in an attempt to pay same day cash loans and because of that, these debts and sometimes the job is not even what they went to school for.

It does not appear that the economy will be improving any time in the future. Unemployment is expected to increase from its current level of 6.5% to 8% next year. More companies are laying off as opposed to hiring due to the economic down turn. We are definitely in a recession. With these factors in mind a lot of people with student loans are wondering if bankruptcy is going to be their only option for receiving relief from their debts.

Unfortunately student loans cannot be discharged when a petition for bankruptcy has been filed on behalf of a debtor. There are certain circumstances which do allow for student loans to be discharged and that would be if a debtor has become permanently disabled or if the debtor becomes deceased.

Other instances that allow student loans to become discharged is when an institution of higher learning is closed before the student graduates. In the past financial institutions were taking heavy losses from individuals that filed bankruptcy therefore the bankruptcy laws were rewritten in 1998, to make it much harder for people to file for bankruptcy and in the process students loans cannot be discharged and have to be paid back.

Sometimes student loans need to be deferred or in other words the repayment needs to be put off until some time in the future. There are several ways of doing this. One way of doing requires the student to attend school at least part time and take approximately six credits per semester. Extreme hardships can also serve to help you get a student loan deferred. If you are temporarily disabled you can get your student loans deferred. Simply contact the financial institution and let them know what the situation is and they will most likely have you fill out some paperwork to get the process going.

If you do default on a loan that institution has several remedies to collect which include the garnishment of your wages and taking possession of your income tax refund check. Huge fees can also be accessed not to mention the interest that accrues which makes it more difficult to pay the loans back. Sometimes you can consolidate the loans which normally decrease your monthly obligation. There are certain companies that specialize in student loan consolidation.

5 Indoor Play date Ideas Especially For Young Boys

As the mother of both, I’ll say right up front that these ideas can be fun for both girls and boys. On the other hand, the phone calls, email questions and “help” text messages I’ve been receiving from my friends have all been looking for indoor play date ideas especially for young boys.

With school out and lots of play dates and holiday parties, I’ve had ample experiences recently entertaining young boys from ages four to nine. Sure the girls have happily joined in on the balloon batting and two of the nine year old boys couldn’t resist joining the sewing homemade Christmas ornaments activities the older girls started, but here’s a list of five winning ideas for indoor play dates that appeal to young boys.

Build a blanket fort

I pulled four chairs into the center of the living room and handed out a pile of blankets. Within five minutes the rowdy little boys that had previously been burning their brakes to not run around my house were all inside their fort giggling. After a few minutes I knocked (part of the fun was telling me this was a boys-only-no-moms allowed fort) and offered in flashlights, which keep the contained play going for another thirty minutes.

Balloon swatting

Young boys love to swat, hit, kick and throw and one of my favorite ways to let boys be boys inside is to get out a pack of latex balloons. (*Latex balloons are a choking hazard for children three and under. I only use this activity with big boys ages five and over.) Some can blow up the balloons with their own hot air and I help others. Before I hand over balloons I set up boundaries like staying away from the woodstoves, houseplants or ceiling fans. Boys will bop, bounce and bat balloons all around, but unlike with balls, no one has gotten hurt and nothing has been broken.

Sock basketball

This is really fun for boys and a good excuse for me to finally match all those unpaired socks. As a bonus, little boys who are presented with the idea of playing sock basketball in the house will be willing to help you match up socks. Sock basketball just requires pairs of socks, laundry baskets and a stand behind boundary line. You can have a free for all or take turns and keep score but sock basketball is always a big score for play dates with young boys.

Box play

If you’ve got cardboard boxes that boys can sit in, you’ve got a great play date idea. I keep package boxes around for rainy days or freezing days and they are often a more valuable product than whatever arrived in them. Give little boys big boxes and they’ll let you know what accessories they need like a whistle because they are train engineers or a metal colander because they need a satellite for their space ship. Little boys really know how to “think outside the box” when they are in one.

Recycled box shoes

Now we’re using smaller boxes like the ones freezer bags or tissues come in. Sometimes my cardboard recycling box holds more play than a toy chest. Have little boys take off their shoes and try on these box skates. You can even cut a hole into the side of cereal boxes. Now let them have a box shoe parade to skate, clomp and tromp around the house. Another alternative is to build up a sensory gym. Basically, a sensory gym is a room for active sensory play.

Correct Way Of Shampooing And Conditioning The Hair

Hair care

The correct way of shampooing the hair

1. Remove the knots of hair before head wash with a wider, thick toothed comb or brush. Since the hair is weaker and more fragile and wet, removing the entanglements and knots during the head wash may cause unnecessary breakage and hair loss.

2. Use lukewarm water to wash your head instead of hot water.

3. Once your scalp and hair are wet, take the shampoo on your palm and spread it on your palm. Then apply the shampoo on your scalp by placing the palm on the head and rotating it in a gentle, circular manner. This will improve the blood circulation in the scalp and all the debris or dirt accumulated on the scalp will be removed.

4. Cover one region of head at a time. Like you may start from the frontal aspect, then move to left side of the head (temporal area), then the back (occiput) and finally to the right side. Thus, you may need to take the small amount of shampoo every time for each region. This will ensure an even distribution of the shampoo on the scalp.

5. How much to use? Take only that much amount of shampoo that is enough to produce small amount of lather. Too much lather indicates that either the shampoo is strong or excessive amount has been used.

6. Those with long hair will require double amount of shampoo than those with short hair

7. Keep the shampoo and the lather on your scalp and hair for few minutes

8. Rinse with warm water. Rinse thoroughly. This is the most important part of the head wash. If you happen to visit you may come across a variety of tips about correct shampooing methods. The water should be rinsed thoroughly many times so that all the shampoo from the scalp and hair has been washed off. Those with long hair will need to rinse more than those with short hair.

9. A final rinse with cold water can be given to close the cuticle and hair will look shinier.

10. For drying, wrap a clean dry towel around your head and hair to absorb the dripping water.

11. Then dab your scalp and hair with towel. Don’t dry your hair by rubbing with a towel as this can damage the cuticle and make the hair weak.

12. Then use a comb to remove the tangles. For people with long hair, great care is necessary at this stage. They should:

13. Remove the knots at the ends of the hair first rather than the roots

14. Make small sections of hair to remove the knots, rather than trying to comb the complete set of hair in one go

15. Prevent the traction force of combing to pass on to hair roots. This can the done by using a fingers to hold the bunch of hair, a few inches away from the scalp

Conditioning the hair

Conditioners can be used for softening the hair. They also help in removing the entanglement more easily. Apply the conditioner through the length of hair and keep it for 5 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly.

The usage of conditioners is not necessary. It should be used only if one feels that the hair are too dry and frizzy after shampooing.

Some myths about shampooing

Oiling is necessary before head wash: Dermatologist’s comment: No, oiling will make the scalp and the hair extra greasy, dirty and weak. It also stimulates the growth of fungus Malassezia furfur that can cause dandruff and thus aggravates hair fall Baby shampoos are best for head wash: Dermatologist’s comment: No, the baby shampoos are usually alkaline (to prevent tear formation) and tend to make your hair drier. Daily shampooing will cause hair fall: Dermatologist’s comment: No, just like any body part, the hair too require daily cleansing. The shampoo that produces more lather and bubbles is the best: Dermatologist’s comment: No, it indicates that the detergent property of the shampoo will higher. The lather should not be too high or too less. A mild shampoo recommended for daily use is the best.