Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Excessive Alcohol Consumption Nips Careers Right In The Bud

Pic by Dani Simmonds, stock.Xchng

Underage Drinking: Children Need To Be Taught Self-Control Right From Early Days

The Malady Continues To Plague
Despite all the enlightenment earned by previous generations, and the warnings and remedial measures suggested by them, the newer generations continue to indulge in their binge drinking.

The culture of binge drinking - consuming four or more pegs in one sitting - is well established at the high-school level itself, thank you. Data available on the student population for as recent as 2001 reveal that the proportion of kids drinking and then driving has increased. Forget the law and the traffic cops, who cares. A lot of these kids meet with fatal accidents. Hitting and assaulting each other in the drunken state is quite common, of course.

Pic by Magdalena Kaszubowska, stock.Xchng

And all because nobody taught them self-control.

Employers nowadays do a complete background check before making a final job-offer. If the candidate is found to have been involved in some alcohol-related, uh, embarrassment in the past, the job is denied - no exceptions, and no reasons given.

Professional colleges too conduct these background checks on newly admitted students. Any thing found in the past: and the brakes apply on the student's career.

pic by Nihan Aydin, stock.Xchng

And all because they didn't learn self-control.

At the very least, continuous binge drinking leads to poor grades, which doesn't do anything good to one's future for sure.

The HBO has come out with a massive, 14-part, seven-hour series titled "Addiction", in partnership with the NIDA, NIAAA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, available here.

Pic by Jesse Therrien, stock.Xchng

This 244-page tome, released by the CASA, doesn't mince any words when describing the widespread epidemic haunting the schools and colleges of the United States: The picture aint very healthy on the campuses!

pic from lifebytes.gov.uk

Finally, the US Surgeon General's recent press release puts the official, official stamp on the news: There are 11 million underage drinkers in the country, and out of that number, about 7.2 million are considered binge drinkers.

Parents, it is all because nobody told the kids how to control their urges and temptations.

Pic by Tibor Fazakas, stock.Xchng

Possible Solutions
One solution that CASA suggests is to have more family dinners. It has been found that kids, who enjoy their last meal of the day with the entire family around the dining table, are less likely to try out alcohol or drugs or cigarettes. Can you manage this? Can you spend some quality dinner time with the kids? The US is celebrating their Family Day on September 24, 2007. Why only September 24th? Is it possible for you to make as many days of the year your Family Day?

Christmas Dinner - ucsb alumnus

Another good solution, not an alternative, but a complement, is to boost their self-esteem and self-value. Teach them to appreciate what a great asset their body is. Teach them to appreciate that life is too beautiful to be wasted on abuse substances.

Do the kids have a computer at home? They can install this software on their machine: http://www.short10.com/?c=bvis-subliminal. Here is a review about this product: http://www.short10.com/?c=sdb_prdrev_visualsub. It is easy to install, and once you set the configuration, it runs automatically each time the kid boots the system.

Instant Hypnosis Box

Are the kids already going down the path of alcoholism? Putting them on self-hypnosis therapy is one positive way to get them back on track. Here is one CD that helps: http://www.short10.com/?c=sdb_hypno_alcohol. Costs USD 12.95 a download.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Insomnia / Sleep-Challenged? Here's A Possible Drug-Free Cure

Insomnia - The Movie (2002)

The FDA Ups The Ante On 13 Sedative-Hypnotic Drugs

The Alert
In a press release issued last week, the FDA has raised an alert on a whole class of drugs that people usually consume for inducing sleep. If you are one of those consumers, you may like to check the drug you are / have-been taking against this list (reproduced below):

* Ambien, Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate)
* Butisol sodium
* Carbrital (pentobarbital and carbromal)
* Dalmane (flurazepam hydrochloride)
* Doral (quazepam)
* Halcion (triazolam)
* Lunesta (eszopiclone)
* Placidyl (ethchlorvynol)
* Prosom (estazolam)
* Restoril (temazepam)
* Rozerem (ramelteon)
* Seconal (secobarbital sodium)
* Sonata (zaleplon)

NY Times, Image of Drugs

Two types of adverse events have the potential to occur when you pop these pills over a period of time:

1. Anaphylaxis or acute allergy: These drugs, somehow, rub the body's immune system the wrong way. You see, the hypothalamus in the brain releases an important neurotransmitter called Histamine. This chemical is what keeps us awake. And interestingly, it is this same chemical that the body's immune system too produces when it has to fight foreign cells that may have entered the body (that is, the allergic state.)

So what happens is because of an as-yet-unexplained-reason, the drugs cause the histamine to run riot in the body, creating a rash of allergic symptoms, often times as early as the first time the pill is popped. These symptoms may include Angioedema (swelling in the face, neck and throat), hypotension, unconsciousness, anxiety, abdominal pain, and the like.

Image by Brad Harrison, stock.Xchng

2. Parasomnia: The FDA, surprisingly, does not use this umbrella term to describe the event. Any of these symptoms may occur when you go to sleep after taking these pills: sleep-walking (somnambulism), sleep-talking (somniloquy), sleep-eating, teeth-grinding (bruxism), and the like.

'Woman Asleep At The Table, Oil On Canvas By Johannes Vermeer van Delft, ibiblio.org

Since December 2006, the FDA has been working with the manufacturers to come out with "Patient Medication Guides", which are handouts given at the time of dispensing the medicines, explaining proper use. One important point mentioned in the Guide is that alcohol and certain nervous system depressants must not be taken along with these drugs.

Insomnia - A Widespread malady
March 2007 has been a wake-up call for another reason. The National Sleep Foundation released a new poll in the first week of March, according to which American women of all ages have been found to have some or the other sleep-related problems, irrespective of their lifestyle (stay-at-home-moms, working-mothers, single-working-women).

Sleeping Woman

No wonder, the NSF is sparing no effort to increase awareness on the virtues of a good night's sleep.

Self-Hypnosis is one technique that does not have any of the side-effects of the drugs, yet has the potential to eliminate Insomnia. The principle behind Self-Hypnosis is that words coming from the CD player / MP3 file hold a suggestive power that takes the listener to a trance-like state. When in trance, the brain automatically relaxes down to alpha and lower-than-alpha frequencies. The only thoughts that stream through the mind now are the ones created by the soft words coming from the player. There are no other thoughts around to distract. And when the suggestion is that you are shifting deep, deep, deep into sleep, this is what invariably happens. The beauty of the technique is that it holds absolutely no side-effects (to the best of my knowledge), and can, at best, make the person go deep in sleep, and, at worst, relieve the person of all stress and tension and worries of the day.

Worth trying, self-hypnosis.

myHelpHub Image

Available here: http://www.short10.com/?c=sdb_hypno_insomnia. Costs USD 12.95 for a download, USD 25.95 for a CD.

MIT Fractal Image
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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Speaking In Public

Or, How You Can Stoke Passions Or Bring Peace With Your Speech

Caesar's Advantage
Not every aspiring orator or public speaker can have the advantage that Julius Caesar had. This great statesman was tutored by rhetoricians such as Marcus Antonius Gnipho and Apollonius Molon.

Julius Caesar

The distinguished teachers themselves were disciples of Gurus who traced their lineage right up to people like Demosthenes. Molon would drill into young Caesar the key element of skilled oratory: "Delivery, Delivery, and Delivery! That is what matters, Julius!"

Demosthenes, Bust, copied from work by Polyeuctos

Caesar's rise in Roman politics may be partly attributed to his oratorical skills. When he would rise to speak, his presence on the podium would hush the crowds. When he opened his mouth, words would flow like a fresh stream of water - sometimes spiking, sometimes ebbing, and always holding the attention of the audience in their grip. He would sense the mood of the crowd, and sway their emotions the way he wanted them to be swayed. Whether it was pitching against powerful opponents in the election for Pontifex Maximus (the post of the High Priest), or whether it was defending himself against the charges of colluding with Catiline to overthrow the Roman Republic: Caesar's skillful and shining oratory won him the day.

Roman Senate Meeting

Caesar's impassioned gestures and high-pitched voice would later inspire his troops to conquer more than eight hundred cities and hoist the Roman flag over the entire Gaul, Britannia and Germania.

Pic by Edward Armitage

So, Can You Achieve The Same Feat?
Granted, not all of us are so fortunate to have learnt from such great tutors. But that doesn't mean that we are handicapped, or in any way less of human beings than them, are we, eh?

Modern research has gone into what makes the likes of Julius Caesar and his contemporary, Cicero, so great. Few traits that they have readily identified (doesn't take much research to identify them, actually) are:

- These guys have a lot of self-esteem. They believe in themselves. They do not constantly look over their shoulder for approval from peers.

- They do a lot of preparation. And in situations where they are called upon to make an impromptu presentation, the first attribute sees them through.

- They can look at the audience, eyeball-to-eyeball, they can feel the mood of the audience, and quickly tailor their presentation accordingly.

Building these and other traits in one's personality is now relatively simple. Self-Hypnosis is one technique that you can deploy to imbibe into your psyche the basic elements of positive self-esteem and self-confidence that is not fragile but enduring, whatever the circumstances. (Caesar was once kidnapped by pirates. They demanded ransom from his seniors in government. Caesar promised that he would get even. The pirates laughed at him. After being released against ransom, Caesar returned and crucified his perpetrators. Now how's that for self-esteem and self-confidence?)

myHelpHub Self-Hypnosis

Here is one site where you can pick up the CD for self-hypnosis:

http://www.short10.com/?c=sdb_pub_spk - Costs US $25.95 for a CD, $12.95 for a download.

Fractal - Hypnosis!
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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Add-On CD For Subliminal Power Software

Subliminal Power Logo

This email from the subliminal power website can easily escape attention. But the CD that it talks about deserves more than passing attention.

The Add-On CD I am referring to is available here: http://www.short10.com/?c=sdb_sp_addon.

The CD has over hundred programs spread across thirteen categories, covering practically every area of life where people normally look for improvement in. Each category has at least four scripts (the website calls them, for some strange reason, "programs"); each script comprises sets of positive self-affirmative message texts pertaining to that issue. Here is a listing of the categories along with the number of scripts each has:

1. Brain Power - 6
2. Business Success - 10
3. Your Personality - 8
4. How You View Yourself - 7
5. Physical Body - 8
6. Health Matters - 13
7. Relationships - 8
8. Men's Stuff (R18) - 4
9. Women's Stuff (R18) - 4
10. Fears and Phobias - 11
11. Stopping Addictions - 5
12. Sporting Skills - 9
13. Hobbies and Misc. - 11

Total = 104!

Pic by sanja gjenero, stock.Xchng

After installing the CD, you just have to tick the desired program, and the software begins flashing the message texts.

The add-on CD also contains six hours of stereo music and one hour of binaural beats that can be listened to using headphones. Another hour of music combines special audio techniques. Together, these eight hours of music make the mind more receptive to the messages flashing subliminally.

pic by Louise Docker, stock.Xchng

Costs USD 39.95 a pop: http://www.short10.com/?c=sdb_sp_addon.
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