How To Grow Your Small Business Using Social Media

Are you a small business owner looking for ways to grow your business? Are you looking to attract more leads to your business, or have heard about Social Media Marketing, and now want to try it?

As a small business owner you face many challenges – limited capital, minimal support staff and having too much to do in what seems like very little time. So, how do you grow your small business without heavy investment in marketing and advertising? Answer – through the use of technology. Web 2.0 provides you with various tools and techniques that help you to generate leads and increase the exposure of your home-based business. Social media is one such tool. Here’s all you need to know as a small business owner to begin increasing revenues using social media.

What is Social Media?
Social Media is a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online. Examples include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, GooglePlus, and MySpace.

What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is using the above mentioned platforms to reach a new audience of consumers and create product brand awareness. By spreading word of a product from user to user, Social Media Marketing strives to gain greater legitimacy for a message because it is shared between trusted “friends.”

Which Social Media Channels are most popular?
Studies show that Facebook & Twitter are most popular social media channels followed closely by YouTube and LinkedIn, GooglePlus.

Why should Social Media Marketing Interest me?
If you think this kind of Marketing is not for you, think again. These platforms offer a large bundle of benefits to small business owners. Here are some reasons why you should consider using Social Media for your business.

Exposure: As a small business owner you rely largely on network marketing to channel leads to your business – which, in turn relies on your interaction with people. This is the core notion of what Social Media is! But Social Media offers virtually unlimited opportunities to interact with people – millions of them! With this interesting form of marketing, your business is no longer limited to local leads; you will find leads coming in from a diversified geographic market!

Zero-cost: While other marketing media would be expensive, this type of marketing is relatively free, or requires negligible monetary investment. It’s a great low-cost way to get your message across.

Improved web presence: Being on popular social media platforms strengthens your web presence. The more people talk about you on Facebook or Twitter, the greater are the chances of your business being found on relevant web searches such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.

Direct contact with prospects: These platforms put you in touch with your customers directly. You can have one-on-one contact with them, know what they really want.

Go viral: Such marketing offers you the opportunity to go viral with your marketing. Think about this. You put up a video about your business on YouTube. 10 people like it, and five of them share it with their friends, who in-turn share it with 20 more people. This is known as “viral marketing,” and it can be a very effective method to increase your lead generation.

What is a Social Media “game plan” and why should you have one?
A social media game plan is a process consisting of a few simple steps that can help you achieve your social media marketing objectives. The social media arena is large and you can get lost in it if you don’t play by the rules. There’s a lot of competition and you have to have a clear plan if you want to stand out of the crowd and get noticed.

Your ideal Social Media game plan
A typical game plan for your business should consist of these four steps

Build your network
Propagate your presence
Stay connected
Monitor

Step 1 – build your network: The first step is to search for and add those users to your network whom you think fall into your target audience segment. When placing a request to add users to your network, it is always better to accompany such requests with a personalized message. You can also look for and join groups that pertain to your line of business. For example, if you are a business selling Health drinks and other health-related products, you could join groups where topics such as nutrition, diet or health are discussed. Such groups provide you audience for the products you have to offer. However, when in a group, do remember to ADD VALUE. Answer questions that you are equipped to answer, actively participate in discussions, be subtle and don’t aggressively “push” your products.

Step 2-propagate: The next step is to announce your Social Media presence. You can do this by adding links to your social media pages on your website, e-mail signature line or newsletter, if you have one. You are out there with your business-announce it!

Step 3-stay connected:The third step is to stay connected with your fans and group members. Social media marketing initiative is easy to start, but requires effort to maintain. And like many networking efforts, results are usually not immediate. Acquire permission from group members and others on your network to send e-mails. You can then e-mail relevant content to people on your network. The key here is to send RELEVANT, VALUE ADDING content-not an advertisement of your products/services. If you are a health-drink selling company who is also a part of the diet and nutrition group, you can send links such as ’10 Best Anti-Oxidant Rich Fruits’ and then perhaps add an image and some information about your product, encouraging people to get in touch with you if they’re interested. This approach will be better-received than just sending the prospects an e-mail flyer totally dedicated to your product.

Dos and Don’ts
While social networking is all about human interaction and cannot be strait-jacketed, here are some tips that will come in handy.

What you should do?
Add value to your contacts: Always add value to your contacts. Always! Provide them useful information, tips and other interesting facts that they can use. For example, Jane, a home-based business owner sells health drinks and weight loss products. So, it makes sense for her to provide her audience with interesting articles on the topic of weight loss.

Be consistent in your online participation: It is not a one-time effort. It is about building a relationship… and relationships take time. Be consistent in your social media communication. Have an interesting tweet/post/update at least every day. In some few cases, multiple postings a day are even better-but don’t forget rule#1-add value. Your posts shouldn’t sound like pointless ramblings or advertisements of your product/service.

Pay attention to what’s being discussed: If you have joined a forum or a group, actively participate in relevant discussions. Use your specific, professional knowledge to help others. Contribute to add depth and dimension to a discussion.

Conversation is the key: As mentioned before, social media marketing thrives on relationships. To build a strong relationship with your prospects, you need to engage in a conversation with them. Maintain a 2-way communication between you and your audience. Take genuine interest in what they have to say and follow up on comments or observations that are made.

Thoroughly know the subject you are talking about: Position yourself as an expert on these platforms. But be sure that you know what you’re talking about. Research if you aren’t sure of something. Mistakes on these platforms spread quickly and damage the reputation of your business.

Personalize your interaction: It’s advisable to personalize your interaction with your audience. Inquire about an event or occasion posted on a Wall, such as a recent trip, or “like” their vacation pictures on Facebook.

Portray your individuality: The biggest advantage small business owners have over large corporations is the fact that they are much smaller and haven’t lost that real-person feel. Let your audience know the person behind the business. Make sure your interactions include a personal side!

Respond to your customers’ grievances ASAP: Did you know that 88% of customers say unanswered complaints on social media sites deter them from doing repeat business? And deleting customer complaints is even worse! So make sure you resolve your customer’s complaints on social media platforms immediately. Even if you can’t resolve them, at least respond so that they know they’re being heard. Acknowledge everything.

Mention your Social Media presence: Advertise your profiles. Always provide links to your social media profile in your website, blog, e-mails and even print materials. For websites and blogs, it’s best to add Facebook and twitter widgets which provide a live feed of what’s happening on your Facebook/twitter page, right there on your website or blog. Provide incentives or value adding information such as whitepapers or articles in order to encourage people to follow you on social media sites!

Monitor & moderate: Monitor your social media presence. Find out where your name’s coming up online and in what context it has been used. A Google alert is the simplest way to do this, though there are many free tools available online to monitor your web presence. Also stay in-control of your social media pages. Read what others are putting up on your page and respond promptly.

Syndicate your Social Media content: Content creation takes time. So why not make the most of the content you have? Post your content on all popular social media sites and don’t hesitate to re-use them. Turn a blog post into a link and put it on Facebook. Convert it into a video and add to YouTube and Facebook or turn it into a presentation and put it up on SlideShare. The aim is to get maximum exposure for your content.

What you should not do?

DON’T overtly push your products/services: Social media is a platform

where you build relationships, to create value. It’s NOT an advertising venue. Your audience

will shun you if all you talk about is the stuff you sell. Think about it, would you talk to your family

and friends about the products you sell all the time? Of course not! Then don’t treat your

social media audience any differently.

DON’T spam your contacts with pointless updates: OK, so now you added two new products to your line-up. While it’s great to share the news, don’t spam your contacts with ads. Put up a link to the new range of products; monitor who is interested and share information on a need-to-know basis.

DON’T have grammar and spelling errors in your posts: You are a small business out to create an impression. Don’t spoil it through spelling and grammatical errors. Use spelling/grammar checking tools, but never rely solely on them. Proofread your posts before putting them up online. If spelling or grammar is not your strong suit, have someone else proofread your work before it goes out

DON’T fail to respond to requests for help in your area of expertise: If you are a part of a group or forum, seize every opportunity to display your expertise. Don’t be a wallflower-actively participate in discussions.

DON’T let your profile get stale: Make sure your profile is frequently updated and that you offer something new. One mistake many small business owners make is creating social media profiles and then forgetting about them. Your social media efforts have to be on-going to bear results.

Health And Social Media

It’s the most talked about topic on the Net, which is why any institution with a vested interest in health should have a social media presence.

A recent survey by Synthesio looked at the 10 most talked about topics on the Net, and generated some interesting and potentially valuable results. The survey tracked over 200 million conversations across 17 countries in a three-month period and discovered that the top 10 was as follows:

1. Health: 14%

2. Games: 13%

3. Auto and motor: 10%

4. IT and tech: 9%

5. Sports: 8%

6. Home and recreation: 8%

7. Music: 4%

8. Cinema: 3%

9. Love and family: 3%

10. Women: 3%

As well as demonstrating how social media can be used to track societal trends and priorities, the survey reveals just how big a presence health has in online conversations – and, by extension, how many opportunities exist in the social media space for major healthcare brands.

The ‘Dr. Google’ phenomenon

The Internet is currently something of a minefield where health is concerned. Driven by embarrassment, a negative impression of the health system or simply by a well-intentioned (but often misguided) wish not to ‘bother’ a doctor, an increasing number of people are turning to ‘Dr. Google’ for advice.

The Net provides a veil of anonymity that facilitates the exploration and discussion of more sensitive or personal health issues. But while self-education is positive in theory, it is fraught with pitfalls where health is concerned, particularly in the absence of medical tests, confirmation from a doctor or a face-to-face consultation.

Bridging the gap

To counter ‘Dr. Google’ and reduce the likelihood – and associated dangers – of misdiagnosis, healthcare professionals in France have turned to social media channels.

Doctissimo is staffed and run by healthcare professionals and is now the largest online forum in France, receiving eight million unique visitors to its website each month and promoting itself on Facebook, Twitter and its own YouTube channel.

Its domestic success has led to Spanish, Italian and English incarnations and is an excellent example of the way sound medical advice, as well as important information on general health and well-being, can be delivered. While Doctissimo still recognises that a definitive diagnosis can only be provided in person by a medical professional, its approach is far superior to accepting an anecdotal diagnosis from Answers.com or some other non-professional forum.

‘Big Pharma’ and social media

The Doctissimo approach lends itself to the pharmaceutical industry. Often vilified in the traditional media and operating under necessarily strict advertising controls, ‘Big Pharma’, like the ‘Big Banks’, suffer from a negative social impression that can be countered with an appropriate social media strategy.

Online communities can personalise brands, while focused blogs and forums allow companies to listen to and engage directly with their customers. Similarly, condition-specific websites such as http://www.mychoice.net.au that feature targeted content carefully written to comply with the governing Code of Conduct help demonstrate that, contrary to popular perception, pharmaceutical companies are committed to helping people.

Out of Home Advertising With Health Club Media

Looking for an OOH advertising channel to reach the health-minded, mobile, and affluent demographic? Whether your message pertains to college students, seniors, mothers or business people, health club media provides many effective touch points for your target consumer.

Numerous out of home advertising opportunities exist at fitness clubs, including digital displays, indoor panel posters, yoga mats, sampling/giveaways, sponsored music, backlit displays, branded weights and floor mats – just to name a few. An advertiser can utilize the various media types to target consumers in the classroom/studio, locker room, restroom, cardio room, weight room, lounge or reception area.

Benefits of the Health Club Advertising –

Gym and fitness club advertising tends to reach a more active, affluent demographic. Recent trends have moved the age of the demographic from younger to more moderate. For example, people in their 40s and 50s are seeing the benefits of fitness clubs, plus many gyms have begun implementing programs for active seniors. In fact, according to American Demographics, over 17% of gym-goers are aged 55 and over. However, it’s still very effective in reaching the 18-49 age group as well.

Advertisers can engage specific groups of consumers with gym and fitness media because of the many different ways a message can be delivered using the medium. However, with a full club campaign, targeting additional demographic segments simultaneously is also easy. Another benefit of health-club advertising is the association of your product with a healthy lifestyle. By including fitness centers in a campaign, the advertiser connects with people who take care of themselves and want healthy products.

How the OOH Medium is Used –

To target different demographic and lifestyle segments with health club media, advertisers can use location, health club type, program and time of day.

Geographic location is one way to reach a specific demographic segment. Look not only at the demographic make-up of that particular area of the market, but at the surrounding areas as well. Check to see if the gym or fitness club is located in a heavy office area (white collar workers), school/college area (college students or mothers) or affluent neighborhood.

If targeting by behavior or lifestyle segment, the type of fitness center can make a big difference. For example, gender-specific clubs and family fitness centers are going to have quite different consumers. Incorporating specific health club types into a media plan is a great way to target specific lifestyle segments.

Targeting by program can be a great way to get your media in front of the senior, college students, mothers-to-be and business people demographics. For example, express workouts, yoga/Pilates and personal training sessions draw different types of consumers, making niche targeting simple.

Reach consumers during different times of the day using specific media products that allow for day-part scheduling. For instance, the younger demographic typically works out later in the day, while seniors work out in the morning. Many digital networks allow this type of scheduling. Other options might include providing the front desk with coupons to be given out at a certain time or scheduling a promotion to hand out samples to specific groups at specific times.

Markets Available for Health Club Advertising –

You can find gym and fitness club media in any market in the U.S. If you aren’t aware of any companies covering a health club type or location, you could contact an alternative media provider for a list of health club advertising opportunities in your area.

How Health Club Media is Measured –

Currently, there aren’t any real standard guidelines for measuring a health club media ad campaign. Club membership and traffic numbers can be used. Also, an advertiser could incorporate sampling, couponing, etc. Health club media can also be measured if it directs the consumer to a particular website. In addition, there have been recent studies breaking down health club statistics, and national media monitoring groups are observing ongoing audience measurement for some of the health club network providers for both digital and static displays.

New OOH Advertising Technologies Available –

Digital screens are prevalent in health clubs. Some networks are operated by satellite feed, while sponsored music can be piped into locker rooms and workout studios. Some other innovative technology can be seen around the club, such as water-activated shower floor mats.

The Effects of Media on the Skinny Side of Eating Disorders

What is the most deadly psychological disorder today? If you guessed an eating disorder, then you are right. According to WebMD, eating disorders are illnesses that cause a person to adopt harmful eating habits. So, does this make WebMD just a great resource, or is this really true, and is an eating disorder really a dangerous illness? Most sufferers of an eating disorder are often mocked about their problem, and they are not taken seriously. People should not misinterpret or disbelieve sufferers of an eating disorder because it is, in fact, a very serious illness. There are, however, minor cases of eating disorders but there are far too many deaths related to them, thus we must take this issue very seriously and approach it with care.

Why are eating disorders the greatest killers among the many different psychological disorders? This is because of the media, as well as the disorder’s dramatic and deadly affects on the body. Today, media is in our lives no matter where we go. From television, radio, and the news, to magazines, newspapers, and the internet, media plays a big role in the spreading ideas, norms, and styles to people. Media spreads information really quickly to millions of people. Media is around people no matter where they turn, and they face it on a daily basis in some form. So, how is media related to eating disorders? This question, and many other questions, will be answered after we get a better understanding of what an eating disorder is, its characteristics, statistics, and ways to prevent and treat it. I will, however, focus only on anorexia and bulimia because they are more affected by the media than overeating disorders are.

People with eating disorders obsess about their intake of food, and they spend a lot of time thinking about their weight and body image. Their body is badly affected both emotionally and physically. People with an eating disorder may suffer from a number of different symptoms, and not everyone gets the same symptoms as they vary from individual to individual. According to the Help Guide-Mental Health Issues, even though anorexia is the most revealed eating disorder in the media, bulimia is the most prevalent eating disorder.

A person suffering from anorexia sees themselves as fat when they are, in fact, skinny and underweight. Their weight does not match their height, activity level or age. They get bad memory, feel depressed, have a fear of gaining weight, feel light headed, and often faint. Women with anorexia may have problems with their menstrual cycle such as missed or late periods, as well as trouble getting pregnant. Woman who are pregnant have a higher risk of a miscarriage and a higher risk to need to deliver their baby through C-section. People suffering from anorexia can also have muscle and joint problems, kidney stones, kidney failure, anemia, bloating, constipation, low levels of potassium, magnesium, and sodium in their bodies, low blood pressure, slow heart rate, and heart failure. Some physical signs that can be seen on a person suffering from anorexia are dry or yellow skin, brittle nails, more hair growth on their body, and thin and brittle hair. A person with anorexia may also get cold easily, bruise easily, and feel down a lot.

A person suffering from bulimia can get the same effects as a person suffering from anorexia since both disorders involve the loss of major and rapid weight, which leads to very unhealthy changes in the body. Symptoms between anorexia and bulimia sufferers differ in the way that sufferers of bulimia would eat a lot of food in a short amount of time and then force themselves to throw up, when people with anorexia just don’t want to eat altogether. People with bulimia also misuse laxatives and go on strict diets of fasting and rigorous exercising. Sufferers from eating disorders in general are affected emotionally, psychologically, behaviorally, and socially. Emotional and psychological changes include increased anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, guilt, and low self esteem. Some changes in behavior of a person suffering from an eating disorder include dieting, frequent visits to the bathroom after eating, a change in fashion, and constantly checking their weight. Some social changes of a person suffering from an eating disorder may include isolation, being anti-social, avoiding social gatherings where food is involved, and a loss of interest for hobbies. Other physical signs of eating disorders in general include edema, a reduction in metabolism, sore throats, stomach problems, heartburn, and hypoglycemia; which leads to irrational thinking, shaking, confusion, irritability, and comas.

Eating disorders have a big impact on society on a small and on a large scale; meaning both individuals and society as a whole dedicate significant parts of their lives to the struggles of dealing with eating disorders. A lot of money and time go into the troubles of dealing with an eating disorder, as well as into the measures taken in order to treat and prevent them. Eating disorders are very common amongst celebrities, mainly because their profession puts pressure on them to be skinny. The majority of celebrities that we see in the media are all skinny, and most of them are anorexic or bulimic. The fans of these celebrities look at the bodies of their idols and they want to be like them. The problem with this is that anorexic and skinny celebrities do not make good role models for their fans because their skinny figures are not a healthy look to follow. Famous people believe that in order to be successful they must be skinny. This is not true. Celebrities expose their looks and body image to the media where fans can see them and get the wrong idea that their idol’s looks are acceptable when their idols are only trying to lose weight for their own “success”. In a weight article, Monica Seles stated that “Women in society have much tougher pressure to be thin.” It is like a cycle; celebrities are skinny in order to impress their fans and companies. They send their fans the wrong idea, thus making their fans lose weight. In the end, everyone has the idea that they must be thin and they must lose weight, thus, being skinny becomes the norm.

According to the article “Eating Disorders and Body Image in the Media” by Heather Mudgett, media can be very hypocritical because while the media shares news about celebrities dying from eating disorders, it also contains images of underweight celebrities modeled as if everyone should look like them. We might also see an article about a person dying from an eating disorder in a magazine, and on the next page we might see an underweight model, modeling a popular product. The underweight images of people in the media give consumers the wrong idea that being skinny is OK and that there is nothing wrong with it, when, in fact, being that skinny can lead to a person’s own death. Consumers spend so much money on products and services that will help them lose weight, such as weight loss drinks, nutrition bars, pills, laxatives, weight loss videos, and they even take weight loss classes. People also misuse drugs and liquids in order to force themselves to lose weight, and this can be very stressing to the body. Any time that we do something against our body’s natural functions, we hurt our body and put ourselves at great risk to further health problems in the future.

So many celebrities suffer and have died from eating disorders. Singer Karen Carpenter was struggling with anorexia and bulimia and after she went to treatment for years, everyone thought that she had recovered and was doing better. After that, she was found dead on the bathroom floor in her parent’s house. She had a heart attack and it was said that the result of it was because she had abused the drug Ipecac for years. Ipecac is a liquid that is used to induce vomiting, and it is often abused by anorexics and bulimics.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health, about seven million American women and one million American men have an eating disorder. About one in every two hundred women in America has anorexia, and about two or three out of one hundred women have bulimia. About half of Americans know at least one person who has an eating disorder. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, about 5% to 10% of people diagnosed with anorexia will die within 10 years of having the disease, about 18% to 20% of people will be dead after having the disease for 20 years and only 30% to 40% of people will recover from it. It is very scary fact that the rate of mortality for people with anorexia is twelve times higher than the rate of death of all of the causes of death for females from 15 to 24 years old. (South Carolina Department of Health). Nearly 20% of the people who have anorexia will die prematurely from health problems and heart problems due to their eating disorder. About 95% of people with an eating disorder are between the ages of 12 and 25, about 50% of females between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight, and around 80% of 13 year old’s have, at some point, tried to lose weight. It is a very sad fact that over 80% of females who have made an effort to go get treatment for their eating disorder, have not received the full treatment that they need in order to fully recover. This often leads to the disorder reoccurring and to the patients hurting their health even more. Obviously, eating disorders are really serious and they should be treated as soon as possible.

Since eating disorders are such important problems facing society today, researchers have used psychological theories to try to solve these problems including group therapy, medical treatment, and nutritional counseling. Eating disorders are treatable, and a person who has an eating disorder does have a chance of getting better, however, if the media continues to idolize skinny celebrities and condone their extremely thin size, it will continue to aid people in trying to lose weight. Having an eating disorder is like a really bad habit that needs to be stopped. A lot of people do not have the ability to stop this bad habit on their own, thus they need help from professional doctors and even family. There are several different methods used to treat an eating disorder. Since an eating disorder affects individuals both physically and psychologically, the treatment for an eating disorder has to satisfy both the physical and psychological aspect of the disorder. Medicine alone wont help a patient get better. In order to get positive long term effects from the treatment, a patient has to receive a mix of medical and psychological help for their disorder. Some therapies that psychologists use to determine the problem and treatment of an eating disorder are cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, rational emotive therapy, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy allows psychologists to see the patient’s thought process, interpersonal therapy involves dealing with difficult relationships with others, rational emotive therapy involves studying a patient’s unhelpful beliefs, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy involves looking at a person’s past experiences. All of this information can help a psychologist find the problem, and come up with the solution to the problem. Group therapy is a helpful part of treatment that allows sufferers of the similar eating disorders get together to discuss their problem. Groups are able to discuss coping strategies, ask and answer questions, and talk about ways to change their behavior. Medical treatment is necessary in order to make sure that the patient receives full treatment. Drugs such as anti-depressants can be prescribed by an experienced doctor who knows your condition in order to help treat your illness. Nutritional counseling is another effective and good way to help treat eating disorders. Dieticians and nutritionists can help patients understand what a well-balanced diet is and what foods they should eat on a daily basis. Nutritional counseling can also help patients face their fears about food and get over their fears of being afraid to eat.

A lot of people are confused about what “normal eating” is so they need nutritional counseling to help them get back on track. Not that many people who suffer from an eating disorder go to get treated for it. According to the South Carolina Department of Health , only 1 out of 10 people who suffer from an eating disorder go to get treatment. The cost of treatment for an outpatient is very expensive. Costs for outpatient treatment can be over $100,000. In the US, the cost of treatment for an eating disorder per day is anywhere from $500 to $2,000. On average, a person in inpatient treatment has to pay $30,000 a month. People with eating disorders need approximately 3-6 months of inpatient care in order to recover. The cost of treatment for an eating disorder is ridiculously high, and the high costs might be a reason that people do not go to get treated. It is very hard for most families to pay for the treatment of their illness, especially when insurance companies don’t usually cover eating disorder costs. Another way to help reduce the number of people with eating disorders is to educate people about the dangers of eating disorders through media. The media is a good tool to help educate people on the dangers of eating disorders, but it is also a tool that hurts people by condoning the appearances of skinny people who suffer from such disorders. Another way that eating disorders can be treated and minimizes is through the “Doll Experiment”. People were shown that if a human being had the same attributes as a Barbie doll, the body would not be able to hold itself because of its awkward shape and structure. This is a good way to show people that a Barbie doll isn’t necessarily what women today should aim towards looking like. In the same way, the celebrities we see on TV are not people who we should try to look like either.

I believe that as long as the media continues to idolize thin celebrities, the effects of education about the dangers of eating disorders through the media will not be effective. For each step that they take forward to solve the problem, they take two steps back by continuing to idolize thin celebrities. It is not a question of what effects have a greater likelihood of causing an eating disorder, but it is a fact that media does contribute to people developing and maintaining eating disorders. There are other causes of eating disorders, such as interpersonal or biological factors, but if the problem of media influencing eating disorders can be changed, there will be fewer cases of eating disorders. We have to take one step at a time in order to solve this very serious problem of eating disorders, and a great place to start is to change the fact that media influences eating disorders. There is not one cause of eating disorders, but media is a big influence to them since media reaches so many people. Personally, I think that group therapy very helpful in the treatment process of an eating disorder. Victims of an eating disorder are able to ask questions and receive answers in order to better understand their situation.

This is very helpful and it might make the victims of eating disorders feel more comfortable knowing that there are other people out there who are going through the same thing. Unfortunately, people are put under so much pressure to be thin by watching skinny celebrities all over the media be idolized. If they are being idolized does that means that they are good role models and their behaviors should be followed? No, most of the time, celebrities are not good role models. I believe that early childhood education is very important because I think that eating disorders start at an early age when children are naive and susceptible to being changed by others. Educating young kids about the media and how to criticize media is a very important step to reducing the number of people with eating disorders. Since media has such a big influence on eating disorders, children should be able to effectively criticize it and not fall victim to its schemes.

Personally, I don’t think that the media will ever be an effective resource for people to learn the truth and to learn about eating disorders. The media spreads a lot of false information and people tend to misinterpret the messages they hear on TV. Companies try to sell us products that will reduce our weight and make ourselves look “beautiful” by spending millions of dollars on advertisements. Consumers spend a lot of money and time trying to lose weight and buying these products that are not what the body needs. I believe that our bodies know what they need and ever one’s body is different. Everyone has a different metabolism and shape, and we have to learn how to love ourselves for who we are. We need to teach children at a young age that what they say on TV is not what it is cracked up to be and that they need to have self confidence, because if they don’t create an image for themselves, the media will do it for them.

Calcium Needs At All Life Stages

It is the most abundant mineral in the body, present mainly in the bones and teeth. From the start, toddlers have an increased need for dietary calcium to support bone growth and skeletal development that takes place rapidly in the early years of life. This development and its need – continues into the teenage years and is particularly crucial for adolescent girls who need to stock their calcium supplies to prevent osteoporosis later in life. Adequate intake at this stage is needed to support ongoing bone growth and to achieve peak bone mass. It is an essential dietary element required in optimal amounts for good bone health, efficient nerve and muscle function, and overall cardiovascular health. Without enough of it throughout life, a person’s bones can begin to weaken over time. That can make it more difficult to stay active while also creating a higher risk of fractures and osteoporosis. A person’s bone density will generally reach its peak at roughly age 30, and then begin to fade after that. Adequate daily intake can help maintain proper bone density and help prevent osteoporosis – which creates porous and fragile bones. It makes up about three percent of the earth’s crust and is a basic component of most animals and plants. Eating a diet rich in calcium helps to restore it to the bones; supplements can help as well.

Why is calcium necessary?

It is known mostly for its role in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, but it is also required for proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system. It plays a role in maintaining normal blood pressure, regulating blood clotting. It is also associated with relieving mood swings, food cravings, and decreasing the pain, tenderness and bloating associated with premenstrual syndrome.

What are the deficiency signs?

Deficiency symptoms (also known as hypocalcemia) range from minor – numbness or tingling of the fingers, muscle cramps, lethargy and poor appetite – to more severe, including mental confusion, skeletal malformations, dermatitis, and in infants, delayed development. Illnesses such as osteoporosis (brittle, thin, porous bones that easily break) and rickets are also associated with a deficiency.

How much, and what kind, does an adult need?

If vitamin D levels are optimal, most adults should be able to meet their daily calcium needs via a varied diet. When individuals are unable to get enough of it through a diet or for those who may need more than the recommended daily allowance, supplements can help. Doctors recommends women supplement with 500 to 700 mg of calcium citrate in two divided doses taken with meals for a total of 1,000-1,200 mg a day from all sources. Supplementing with its citrate form, which is more easily absorbed than other forms, taken with half the dosage amount of magnesium.

How much does a child need?

The normal daily recommended intake for children is as follows: infants through three years of age is 400-800 mg; children between 4 and 10 years of age is 800 mg; adolescent males is 800-1,200 mg; and adolescent females is 800-1,200 mg daily.
How do you get enough from foods?

An abundant source of this mineral in the American diet is dairy products – two glasses of milk per day provide 1,000-1,200 mg. If you choose to get via dairy products – and this is not essential, as there are many other calcium-rich foods – make sure you use only hormone-free, organic dairy products to reduce your exposure to the antibiotics and hormones found in many dairy products. Non-dairy foods include: greens such as collards, mustard, kale, and bok choy; canned salmon (with bones) and sardines; tofu, soy milk, fruit juice and cereals; blackstrap molasses; and broccoli.

Are there any risks associated with too much?

Its supplements can be constipating, and should be balanced with magnesium as discussed above. Excessive amounts in the blood may have negative effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and increased urination. More serious complications include kidney toxicity, confusion, and irregular heart rhythm. Studies indicate that men who take too much may have an increased risk of prostate cancer, and should limit their dietary intake to 500-600 mg daily from all sources.

Who should we take it as supplements?

It is an important mineral for the human body. It helps build and protect your teeth and bones. Getting enough of it over your lifetime can help prevent osteoporosis. Most people get it through their normal diet. Dairy foods and leafy green vegetables have high levels of calcium. Your health care provider will tell you if you need to take extra dose id required.

TYPES OF CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS

Forms of calcium include:
Calcium Type
Pros
Calcium citrate (21% calcium)
Most easily absorbed
Calcium carbonate
Least expensive; has more elemental calcium

Calcium carbonate. Over-the-counter (OTC) antacid products contain it and these sources of it do not cost much. Each pill or chew provides 200 mg or more of calcium.

Calcium citrate. This is a more expensive form of calcium. It is absorbed well on an empty or full stomach. People with low levels of stomach acid (a condition that is more common in people over age 50) absorb this better than other forms.

HOW TO TAKE HIGHER DOSE

Increase the dose of your supplement slowly. Your provider may suggest that you start with 500 mg a day for a week, and then add more over time.Try to spread the extra dose you take over the day. DO NOT take more than 500 mg at a time. Taking it throughout the day will:

Allow more calcium to be absorbed

Cut down on side effects such as gas, bloating, and constipation
The total amount adults need every day from food and supplements:
19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg/day
51 to 70 years: Men – 1,000 mg/day; Women – 1,200 mg/day
71 years and over: 1,200 mg/day

SIDE EFFECTS AND SAFETY

DO NOT take more than the recommended amount of it. Try the following if you have side effects from taking extra calcium:

Drink more fluids.

Eat high-fiber foods

Switch to another form of calcium if the diet changes do not help.

Always tell your provider and pharmacist if you are taking extra dose. Its supplements may change the way your body absorbs some medicines. These include certain types of antibiotics and iron pills.

Are there any other special considerations?

Vitamin D is key to absorbing and so make sure to get adequate intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is actually a fat-soluble hormone that the body can synthesize naturally. There are several forms, including two that are important to humans: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is synthesized by plants, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is synthesized by humans when skin is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. The active form of the vitamin is calcitriol, synthesized from either D2 or D3 in the kidneys. Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.

Vitamin K2 is a beneficial form of Vitamin K for bones. Unlike Vitamin K1 which is used to activate blood clotting proteins, Vitamin K2 is beneficial for activating proteins which help bind calcium to bones. Vitamin K2 is found in food but not in anywhere near the concentration found in Osteo-K. Taking Osteo-K helps boost daily intake of vitamin K2 to support bone health. Older people may need to take it in extra larger doses because they do not absorb it as well as younger people.

If you take oral vitamin D,you also need to take vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 helps to move calcium to proper areas where its needed and removes it from sites where it shouldn’t be present like arteries and soft tissues. When you take vitamin D, your body creates more of these vitamin K2-dependent proteins, the proteins that will move it around. They have a lot of potential health benefits. But until the K2 comes in to activate those proteins, those benefits aren’t realized. So, really, if you’re taking vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2. Vitamin K2 deficiency is one of the reason why people suffer from vitamin D toxicity symptoms which includes improper calcification leading to hardening of arteries. And vitamin D and K2 work together to strengthen your bones and improve your heart health.

It seems likely that 150 to 200 mgs of vitamin k2 is enough to activate your K2 dependent proteins to shuttle calcium to proper areas.

How can you tell that you are deficit of vitamin k2?

There is no specific tests for finding it. By assessing the lifestyle and diet you eat,one can find whether he is lacking the critical nutrients needed for the body. If you face following health conditions then you are likely deficient in vitamin K2.

Do you have osteoporosis?

Do you have heart disease?

Do you have diabetes?

If you are facing such symptoms, its better to think on deficiencies and take necessary steps.

The Top 10 Benefits and Uses of Essiac Tea

Essiac tea is an alternative health drink that is getting a lot of attention lately. It’s a tea that is comprised of several herbal elements include burdock, rhubarb, elm bark, and many other elements. It has been traced to being a major drink of indigenous tribes in North America. Researchers have been studying the drink for some time, and it has been shown to help the body in a number of ways. Drinking this on a regular basis could very well help with the following 10 benefits.

Liver Health

The first major benefit is in regard to the liver. The blend of herbs helps with cleaning the liver of toxicity. It can flush toxicity through the liver, and process it through the urine. With this tea, some individuals may see a reversal of issues related to jaundice. Which is a disease of the liver. While it’s not a miracle cure, it does support liver function, enzymes, and the removal of toxicity that can end up traveling through the body’s digestive tract. It can help boost immune system, and waste management, with a boost to the liver outright.

Ease Constipation

For individuals that are dealing with bowel movement issues, specifically constipation, this tea can help. The herbs can help soften the stool, and can help bring through enough fiber to help with intestinal distress. This is an easy laxative to take as it works with the body’s natural systems. It’s not a chemical stimulant, or harsh fibrous element. The herbs help the body manage waste, and assist with constipation with ease. There is no pain, or issue when taking this tea, as it helps the body within a few hours of drinking it, assuming the individual is struggling with constipation.

Iron Supplement

Essiac tea has a few key vitamins and minerals. One of the most common is iron. Iron is a very critical part of the body’s natural systems. With iron supplemented through tea drinking, you’ll find that the proteins in the blood help form red blood cells, and even help with reversing anemia. This strengthens circulation, and assists with proper production of hemoglobin. Staving off anemia is a great thing, and can help people that are struggling with diet and exercise, get a small boost in the right direction. It helps directly with the circulatory system, promoting heart health.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Those dealing with blood pressure issues, specifically high blood pressure, will find that the tea can help with circulation. It can help with lowering pressure, and regulating heartbeat. Those that utilize this as a calming drink, will find that it can help with a variety of different elements in the body. It can lower pressure, and even help with stress. It begins working within the first time taking it, and works as one drinks more of it through several days. Studies have shown that in a few days, pressure can significantly drop to safer levels.

Bone Health

Much like calcium, this tea can help with bone health. While it’s not the same compound as calcium, it does help with strengthening bone structure, and delivers a powerful mix of vitamins and minerals that the body utilizes to strengthen bone structure. There is a calcium element in this, but not as much as milk, but enough to help boost the body’s natural resources to help with strengthening bones that are susceptible, or may be weakening from injury, or malnutrition.

Energy Boost

While Essiac tea is not caffeinated like a cup of tea, there is an energy level boost given to drinkers of this tea. It’s done through an increase of vitamin-C, and B elements. By helping the body’s natural systems get a boost in vitamins, waking up becomes easier, and getting a little natural energy delivers on the premise that coffee does, without the crash. That’s right, there’s no crash, there’s no sleepiness after drinking this, instead, energy becomes natural, without stimulants. It has a balance that works with the body.

Helps Digest Food

Having problems digesting food? Upset stomach? Nausea? Well, the benefit that this tea gives the digestive system is immense. It helps bring about the right pH levels of the body. By stimulating the stomach to produce the right enzymes, and bile production from the glands, you’ll find that digestion is much easier. That means that eating will not be a chore, and you’ll reduce heart burn, acid reflux, and much more. This helps by adding a helping hand to the stomach’s acid, so that it stabilizes a bit easier. It becomes easier to enjoy your favorite foods, that’s for sure.

Regulate Sugar Levels

While this is not a cure for diabetes, it has been shown to help with insulin production. It can help with insulin secretion, and management. This can help lower blood sugar spikes, and help keep levels lower, although it’s not a replacement for any diabetes treatment. It can help people that are susceptible to blood sugar spikes. This can also help with boosting the pancreas’s levels as well. For those that are diabetic, the tea can help with kidney function, and help with reducing toxicity. It helps with urination, frequency, and quantity as well.

Help The Skin

Researchers exploring the benefits of Essiac Tea have found that it can help with skin care. Used as a topical solution it can help with anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory elements. It also helps from the inside out, providing skin care elements, reduction of acne, and even fine lines. Those that are looking to help with the signs of aging will see a boost in overall skin care in a few days. It helps the body with hormonal secretions and balance, helping the skin heal from the rays of the sun, to the interior of the dermal layers.

Promotes Weight Loss

The last major thing that you’re going to find with this tea is that it helps with losing weight. By helping the body’s digestive system, you may get a boost of metabolic ratio. That means that you will burn calories, even when asleep. Pushing the metabolic rate is a great thing, and can lead to faster weight loss, and sustained management in time.

How Do Strong Social and Community Ties Impact Your Health?

I called my friend, also named Lisa, who lives in Houston, Texas. Hurricane Harvey’s devastation had not only hit Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, but many communities in the Gulf Coast region. According to my friend, who lives on the north side of Houston where they got no flooding except for those who were near a river or large body of water, the worst of the rain is over. People are leaving shelters scattered thought-out Harris County, where Houston is located.

Out of the 6.5 million people in the greater Houston area only about 1.5 million lost power and most all the water is drinkable. No need for ice, a valuable commodity, for many of us here in Charleston who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Hugo. Unlike Houston, Hurricane Hugo, also a category 4 storm, was a direct hit and as a result we not only got the flooding but also high winds. But no one can deny that the Houston area experienced the worst flooding in its history, with some areas getting as much as 50 inches of rain. And because Hurricane Harvey’s devastation was so widespread, it will take years for the region to recover from this natural disaster.

My friend, Lisa, who is originally from Charleston, knows about hurricanes and the emotional roller coaster they bring; the anxiety before the storm of not knowing exactly what is going to happen, the storm itself, the flooding and aftermath once the storm has passed. No doubt, you too, no matter where you call home, are aware of the horrific situation the residents of the Gulf Coast region, north of Brownsville, Texas, are now experiencing. Lives have been lost, people displaced and the uncertainty of what’s ahead. It is one thing to watch the news again and again and be reminded of the destruction and the anguish. But to just absorb the information without acting when we can help can be paralyzing and emotionally harmful.

Animals as well need help and assistance. Donate to the Houston Humane Society, which is helping animals affected by the storm. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, is another charity. You may also want to check out Charity Navigator to further ensure your donations are helping those in need.

By helping those in need, you too can benefit. Studies have shown that people with strong social and community ties tend to live longer, are less likely to report being depressed, and have a stronger a sense of belonging, purpose and self worth.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Recovery Testimonial

In 1989 I was medically diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, due to chemical poisoning from pesticides such as 245-T, Network, Roundup, Asulox and Malathian and heavy metal poisoning from Mercury (due to toxicity from amalgam fillings in my teeth), aluminium and lead.

After consultations with many doctors, specialists and natural health therapists, including Homeopaths and Acupuncturists, I was told that I would never regain normal health again due to the length of time I had been ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. At that time, I wasn’t able to work, couldn’t sleep at night, had no energy and reacted to almost everything I ate!

I was getting pretty desperate at that stage to get my health, life and career back to normal when I met Philip Rafferty while he was doing allergy testing in a health food store. As I already knew of my allergies, I thought I would put him to the test. You can imagine my surprise when in a couple of minutes of using Kinesiology; he was able to correctly identify what my allergies were.

My life at that time had been a real struggle. I had just undergone two years of medical treatment and was taking all the right remedies and nutrition; however, I was still suffering from extreme fatigue, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), chronic Candida, food allergies, poor concentration, short term memory loss, acne and had very little energy. I then decided to have several Kinesiology treatments, and to my surprise, I started feeling much better.

Kinesiology Got Rid Of My Allergies, Lots Of Health Issues And My Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
To help me understand, Philip explained that Kinesiology encompasses holistic health disciplines that use gentle manual muscle monitoring to obtain information about a person’s well-being. It may assist with pain, stress, allergies, TMJ problems, toxicity, heavy metals, candida, dehydration, learning, sabotages, and more. Kinesiology realigned the muscles in my body, and as the muscles are connected with the organs, puts the organs back into balance, and this allowed my body to assimilate nutrition and water properly. He said that by putting the muscles back into balance, that my body would be able to heal itself from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

While my muscles were out of balance, my body was using up all its energy just trying to function on a basic level, therefore leaving me with no energy to do anything else. After several Kinesiology treatments my food allergies reduced, my blood sugar came back to normal, the severe cystic acne on my face cleared dramatically, I started to gain weight and I had a lot more energy.

Amazing Results Recovering From Myalgic Encephlomylitis Lead Me To A New Career
At the time of seeing Philip Rafferty he started teaching Kinergetics, a new modality of Kinesiology here in Melbourne, Australia and asked me if I would be interested in learning this for myself. After having such amazing results and a full recovery from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis due to Kinesiology, I was curious to find out how it actually worked and why.

I found learning Kinergetics absolutely fascinating. After completing the whole series of eight levels of Kinergetics, I then trained to become a Kinergetics Instructor and began teaching Kinergetics in 1994.

Always interested to learn and grow more, I went on to attain a “Diploma on Health Sciences in Holistic Kinesiology” at the Kinesiology College for Energetic Sciences in Carlton, Melbourne, Australia.

I love practicing and teaching Kinesiology and Kinergetics, and seeing the life-changing results in my clients and mentoring students. I continue to work using my Kinesiology skills and knowledge using Transformation Coaching working with many people all around the world.

I work with clients with a broad range of issues relating to Myalgic Encephalomylitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lyme Disease including resolving allergies, candida, heavy metal toxicity, emotional issues, stress, pain, TMJ, dehydration, sabotage and much more.

Things That Are Expected From a 24 Hour Emergency Doctor

More than the regular doctor who visits a clinic or a hospital, a 24 hour emergency doctor service is essential. Medical emergencies may crop up anytime. These situations are inevitable and irrespective of the nature of the emergency, an immediate helping hand is essential. Numerous hospitals have emergency medical services like a 24 hour emergency doctor service even after the visiting hours. Though any helping hand is welcomed at the time of adversity or an emergency, there a couple of things that are expected from a doctor, regardless the situation at hand.

• Always available: Emergency medical services comprises of two different parts. First is the pre-hospital care given to a patient and this includes the first aid measures taken. It also includes the transportation of the patient from the place of emergency to a hospital for which the ambulance services are used. The second division of the emergency service involves the transfer of the patient from one hospital to another in the case of an emergency or a need of better treatment and care.

• Transparency: A long drag speech in medical jargons and a series of tests and an illegible prescription is not what is expected of a doctor. In the case of an emergency, you need a clear picture of what is happening and not a haphazard answer. A 24 hour emergency doctor is expected to be dedicated and passionate about his work and understands the mental state of not only the patient but also the people with him. Telling what things mean, and what is to be done immediately is well appreciated.

• Respects you and your emotions: An ideal doctor must be able to listen to you actively, your problems and your worries without interrupting and intimidating you. In this busy world, rushed appointments have become a common thing, and it neither benefits the patients nor the doctor. More than respecting your time, it is essential that you are able to connect with your doctor emotionally as well. A certain level of trust and confidence is essential to make things easier for both. A clear idea of the big picture is essential before coming to conclusions and taking a decision.

• Makes decisions with you and not for you: You should always be a part of any decision that is taken for you. An ideal doctor must be able to understand that you know your body and routines better than anyone else. You have the right to ask questions regarding any tests or medicines prescribed to you, and a doctor is answerable to any of your doubts.

• Shouldn’t Keep money in mind: Doctors are one the most respected people in the society. It is a service that requires a lot of ethics, commitment and passion. A doctor cannot be successful if he just money-minded. The life-saving profession should be done as a service and not as a job.

Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing Laser Resurfacing Treatment

Gone are the days when you had to undergo invasive cosmetic surgery to take years off your skin. Today, laser resurfacing treatment helps to do away with wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes and the appearance of pores in a faster and more efficient way. Here are a few things to keep in mind, when opting for laser resurfacing procedure.

The Time When You Have Laser Treatment Conducted

Laser treated skin is more sensitive to sun exposure for at least one year after you perform the procedure. Many surgeons recommend going in for acne scar treatment and other kinds of skin treatment during the winter months. This is because, daytime hours are shorter and you spend most of your time indoors.

Laser Treatment May Or May Not Hurt

Most patients and doctors tell you that the pain can resemble a rubber band snapping against your skin. But all in all, it depends upon the area and depth of treatment, the laser and an individual’s endurance level. Some types of skin treatment require an anesthetic injection or intravenous sedation.

Choose Your Laser Treatment Professionals Wisely

It goes without saying that skin tightening, microdermabrasion or laser hair removal is the most effective and result oriented when performed by a qualified professional. An amateur won’t be able to offer accurate and desirable results. Opt for a professional based on their qualification, experience and training.

Your Skin Reacts To Certain Medications after Laser Treatment

Make sure your practitioner is well aware about your medical history and the kind of supplements and medication you are currently taking. A surgeon, who is unaware about your situation, can unknowingly prescribe medications which can cause skin reactions. It is best to keep all your cards on the table to avoid complications and speed up recovery.

Consider Going In For Multiple Treatments

Sometimes you may need more than one treatment to feel satisfied with the results. In these situations you need to be patient, take your prescribed medications and ensure you follow the doctor’s advice to the T. Once the treatment is complete, you are sure to be rewarded as the results you obtain are long lasting.

If you are thinking about going in for a laser treatment, make sure you consult a knowledgeable and well experienced professional who knows the nuances that go into these kinds of procedures. Rest assured, you get the skin you want and look younger even though age tells you otherwise.