Woman meditating at home and observing Feng Shui practices for better overall well-being.

10 Ways That Feng Shui Can Help Improve Your Health and Your Home

traditional chinese fish shaped decor hanging on street

If you’re searching for harmony, peace, and better health in 2022, there’s no better place to start than with Feng Shui. If you’re not familiar with the Feng Shui, it is the ancient Chinese practice of arranging objects in the environment to promote positive energy and achieve balance. The main idea of Feng Shui is the Taoist belief called “chi,” which is the ever-present life force that inhabits all things. When you practice Feng Shui, your goal is to arrange things in your home to promote harmony, positive energy, and balance in the space where you live.

How Does Feng Shui Promote Good Health? 

Chi is made up of opposing forces called yin and yang. By balancing yin and yang through the arrangement of furniture, decorations, and building layout, Feng Shui draws luck, prosperity, and good health for its users. 

Feng shui promotes good health by:

1. Reducing Allergies.

Feng Shui advises people to do away with clutter. This is the main principle of practicing what is called a “minimalist mindset.” According to practices, clutter only serves to trap negative energy. When it comes to your health, clutter traps dust, mold, and mildew — all items that contribute to allergies, asthma, and other illnesses. 

2. Preventing Accidents.

According to Feng Shui practice, doors should remain unblocked to allow positive energy access into the home. Health professionals also advise the same, because blocked exits can lead to falls, especially during an emergency. 

3. Fostering Calmness.

Flowing water represents refreshment and vitality, and a small water fountain or aerated fish tank will do just that. The sound of flowing water and the serenity of swimming fish helps revitalize a stressed brain. 

4. Cleaning the Air

Potted plants are an excellent opportunity to bring the outdoors into the home, and they’re also a must when it comes to Feng Shui. Healthy plants attract abundance, and they also lower indoor carbon dioxide and pollutants. 

5. Preventing Illness

In Feng Shui, the windows are the eyes of the home, so it’s essential to keep them bright and open to light and air. Keeping clean air flowing through the home helps to eliminate toxins, dust, and germs, while stagnant air promotes illness. 

6. Lifting the Spirit.

Sunlight is preferable when it comes to Feng Shui, but electric lights also serve a purpose. Keeping areas well lit attracts positive energy, but it also brightens the mood and prevents accidents from occurring. 

family making breakfast in the kitchen

7. Maintaining Relationships and Family Ties.

Honoring family and friends is a major part of Chinese custom. Placing photographs and mementos around the home to connect you improves your sense of well-being. 

8. Keeping Germs Away.

Removing your shoes before entering the home is a well-known Asian custom, and Feng Shui also recommends this practice. People often track dirt and germs throughout the home by way of their shoes. Removing footwear keeps potential sources of infection out of your home. 

9. Enhancing Self-Reflection

Mirrors are like water in Feng Shui, taking on the form of whatever container it’s in. Use mirrors to see yourself in a positive light, and place them in areas that reflect the sunshine. 

10. Improving Overall Well-Being

Whether it’s your child’s drawing or a Picasso, hanging artwork that is meaningful to you helps establish good Feng Shui. Enjoying the space you live in means making it your own, and the artwork you choose says a lot about you. 

red and golden asian decorations hanging in local market
Photo by Angela Roma on Pexels.com

Feng Shui for Good Physical and Mental Health 

This ancient Chinese practice improves both your physical and mental well-being. For more tips on how to stay healthy, follow Avidity Medical Design Blog. If you’d like to take a healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy. If you are interested in relaxing with scented soaps and candles, visit Avidity Medical Scentations to see our current product offerings.

gold saxophone

“Name Your Own Tune”: 10 Types of Music You Can Listen to for Good Health

Music has always been viewed as an effective tool to promote health and wellness. Ancient cave paintings depict shamans who played the flute, and music was used to help wounded soldiers after World War I. Today’s science is still not able to accurately describe how the mind and body can be supported by listening to music. However, there is a strong connection between the mind and the body, and health and wellness, and music therapy.

gold saxophone

10 Types of Music You Can Listen to for Good Health

piano keys illustration

Slow Classical

The calming effect of slow, classical genres stimulates the release of dopamine, which increases pleasure and concentration. These effects can be good for the overall health of a person because they can reduce stress as well as increase their quality of life. Classical music may also increase cognition in a phenomenon known as the “Mozart effect.” For more information on the Mozart effect,” read this insightful post by Dr. Eric Perry, entitled “5 Amazing Benefits of Classical Music.”

Indian

Traditional Indian music is designed around “rasa,” or the essence of music. These musical qualities evoke emotional states that may help some people disconnect from the throes of addiction and engage in positive mental attitudes. 

black and red samsung galaxy smartphone

Cinematic

The genre used in heroic films is often uplifting and motivating. This can be useful to accomplish difficult tasks like exercising or working on large projects. The end result is fulfillment, stress reduction, as well as happiness…all good things for your health!

Zen

Anxiety and depression are rampant among today’s youth and adults, which is why the Zen genre can be good for the soul. Also referred to as meditation or nature sounds, Zen is typically a calm instrumental mixed with some sounds from nature.

photo of person playing acoustic guitar

Rock and Roll

A faster tempo can increase the heart rate and improve circulation. Even aggressive rock tunes can help some people process anger or negativity, which leads to a better emotional state. 

Jazz

Cool and calm, smooth and soulful, jazz elevates the mood and gets you ready to have a good time. This is also the music of survivors, and its lyrics often spout tales of overcoming hardship. 

brass drums

Folk

If you’re in need of a brain break, folk music seems to be the answer. Its calming effect is similar to sitting next to a fire with a cup of cocoa, and it benefits mental health. 

Pop

You cannot discuss music and health without referencing what most people hear on the radio or in public venues. These are the songs that everyone knows whether they like them or not. If you do like them, they are uplifting, and their familiarity is comforting. 

Blues

Some people say the blues put difficult situations in perspective. Others liken them to a good cry. Either way, it is an emotional expression at its finest. Processing hard emotions through blues is also a healthy alternative to other options. 

Inspirational

Finally, it would be difficult to deny the power of inspirational music. It doesn’t matter if it’s cliched, inspirational genres make you feel like you can take on the world. 

arc art bass bowed string instrument

Good Health and Music is an Individual Experience

The important thing to remember about music, is that it is an individual experience. Practically any type of music can support good health, but the type of music and it’s ability to support health and wellness varies from listener to listener. The general consensus is that vulgarity and aggressive genres can limit health progress, but this may not be the case for a person who listens while working out in the gym. The music may motivate the listener to engage in more exercise, hence supporting good health. That is why it is important to remember that, while music listeners are different, each listener may benefit by including, or sampling different forms of music to see which works best for therapy, relaxation, health, and wellness.  

person holding silver flute

For more informative articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To take an online healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy. To purchase scented soaps and candles, visit Avidity Medical Scentations.

A concept of toxic household products - several bottles of cleaning products on the floor, mainly used to clean homes.

Keep Your Home Healthy: How to Handle Medically Toxic Products in Your Household

A concept of toxic household products - several bottles of cleaning products on the floor, mainly used to clean homes.

Keeping your home safe and clean is essential to protecting your health. However, some everyday household products could put you and your loved ones at risk. Even the alternative options labeled “green” or “natural” may still contain harmful ingredients. So how can you distinguish these toxic household products?

It may be difficult to distinguish all of the health hazards in your home. Still, you can limit your exposure to dangerous threats by reading the labels and using products as directed. To help you determine which ones you may want to stop buying, get rid of, or replace, here is a list of the most toxic household products:

10 Most Toxic Household Products You Must Know About

1. All-Purpose Cleaners.

Most cleaning solutions tend to be the biggest toxic offenders in your home. The cleaners labeled “all-purpose” usually comprise ammonia, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether acetate, sodium hypochlorite, and/or trisodium phosphate. These chemicals contribute to skin, eye, nose, as well as throat irritation and can be highly poisonous to humans and animals if ingested. Since it’s not a requirement to list the unsafe ingredients, many consumers unknowingly purchase and use these toxic household products.

The safest alternative for all-purpose cleaning is a solution of baking soda, Borax, Castile soap, vinegar, lemon, and hot water. But if you choose to work with an all-purpose cleaner:

  • Always protect your skin by wearing rubber gloves;
  • Make sure you use it where there is good air circulation; and
  • Avoid mixing different cleaners. Combining cleaning agents like ammonia and bleach will produce chloramine, a gas that causes severe breathing problems and could be fatal if inhaled in large quantities.

2. Non-Stick Cookware.

The invention of non-stick pots and pans may seem helpful because it eliminates the concern about food sticking to the surface. However, non-stick cookware contains trace amounts of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a cancer-causing chemical. When the lining of those pots and pans gets scratched or chipped, the chemicals can seep into your food. It would be safer to swap the non-stick for cast iron or stainless steel cookware.

3. Air Fresheners.

The purpose of air fresheners is to keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Instead, it pollutes your home with several highly flammable, cancer-causing chemicals, including formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, p-dichlorobenzene, and aerosol propellants. If you’re going to use air fresheners, it’s best to keep them away from open flames and spray in well-ventilated areas. Or you can opt for non-toxic alternatives like baking soda and vinegar, which both absorb odors. 

4. Antibacterial Cleaners.

Antibacterial cleaners usually contain a fragrance, surfactant, and pesticide, which can cause irritation to your eyes and burn your skin and throat. Therefore, you should wear latex gloves when using these cleaners. And if the product comes in contact with your skin or eyes, wash the area immediately.

5. Plastic Food Containers.

Plastic food containers consist of chemicals like phthalates, which give plastic flexibility, durability, and transparency. However, plastic eventually breaks down, especially when you add heat to it. That breakdown releases phthalates and other dangerous chemicals into your food, causing damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system. To protect yourself from these health risks, avoid heating and storing food in plastic containers and switch to glass containers. 

6. Antibacterial Soaps

You may have grown accustomed to using antibacterial soaps and gels to keep your hands free from germs. But every time you do so, you may be rubbing toxic chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban on your skin. Who wants harmful substances that create antibiotic-resistant bacteria all over their hands? Using regular soap and water is a safer, effective way to keep germs away. 

7. Oven Cleaners.

Many oven cleaners contain poisonous and corrosive ingredients such as lye. If inhaled or ingested, these chemicals can cause severe tissue damage and may be fatal. That is why you should always wear protective gear (apron, gloves, and safety goggles) and operate in a well-ventilated area when working with oven cleaners. Or you can opt for an oven cleaner that doesn’t include lye. 

8. Insect Repellents.

When you apply repellents to protect your skin from biting insects, you’re also exposing yourself to pesticides such as pyrethrin and chemicals commonly known as DEET. These chemicals may burn your eyes, skin, and throat and cause anxiety, a loss of coordination, and mental and behavioral changes. Spraying insect repellent only on your clothing can help prevent this threat to your health and will still shield you from bugs. 

9. Insecticides.

You may use these products to eliminate pests from your home or pets, but you could make yourself sick in the process. The same pesticides found in bug sprays are also in pet flea and tick treatments. These chemicals can cause headaches, dizziness, twitching, and nausea. When handling insecticides, make sure not to use them on or around surfaces that come in contact with food. And if you use flea and tick medication on your cat or dog, it’s best to wait 24 hours before petting them.  

10. Bleach.

Similar to other toxic household products, chlorine bleach contains chemicals that can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat and damage the esophagus and stomach if consumed. Therefore, you should always handle bleach with caution by wearing protective gear, using it in a properly ventilated area, and keeping it away from young children.  

To learn more about other healthcare topics similar to this one, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog or sign up for a course at Avidity Medical Design Academy. For products that support your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health, visit Avidity Medical Scentations to purchase our scented candles and soaps. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on new products that support health and well being.

Man chopping vegetables and cooking food in his kitchen - practicing proper food handling to avoid foodborne illnesses.

Holiday Cooking 101: How to Keep Yourself Healthy When Cooking for the Holidays

Man chopping vegetables and cooking food in his kitchen - practicing proper food handling to avoid foodborne illnesses.

When preparing food throughout the year, and especially during the holidays, it’s easy to forget about food preparation and food safety. Food poisoning and foodborne illnesses are common, but easily preventable, if you take the right steps beforehand. Learning how to properly thaw, wash, cut, cook, and store foods can mean the difference between enjoying a delicious meal and spending the night in the emergency room.

Although there are many types of foodborne illnesses, the four most common are listeria, e. Coli, salmonella, and norovirus. Here are 10 easy ways to avoid coming in contact with these and other germs by practicing proper food handling.

Tips on How to Avoid Foodborne Illnesses When Cooking

1. Practice Good Hand-Washing

Surprisingly, the most common source of foodborne illnesses is a cook’s own hands. Whether you need to take a bathroom break in the middle of food preparation or you’ll be moving from raw meats to fresh veggies, take a minute to soap up like you’re preparing for surgery. Use warm water, antibacterial soap, and plenty of friction.

Contrary to popular thought, excessively hot water isn’t what kills germs in hand-washing; it’s the friction that comes from rubbing your hands together. To make sure that you’re applying adequate friction, adopt a hand-washing song that keeps you scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.

2. Copy Your Recipes

Another common and incredibly surprising source of foodborne illnesses are mobile phones. How many people source their recipes online using mobile devices? How many of these same individuals use their mobile devices while on the commode? If you use your smartphone in the bathroom, don’t let it double as a cooking tool. Use hand sanitizer or another disinfecting agent to clean your mobile phone before calling recipes up. In fact, take the time to write out recipes by hand before you start handling food. If you ever have to touch your phone while cooking, head back to the sink and thoroughly wash your hands again.

3. Don’t Make Your Utensils Do Double Duty

It’s no secret that raw meat is a major source of food poisoning. Wash your hands after handling raw meat and before you start chopping salads, setting the table, or engaging in any other activities. More importantly, don’t make your utensils do double duty. Keep cutting boards and knives for meat separate from cutting boards and utensils used for fruits and vegetables. 

4. Wash Ready-to-Serve Vegetables 

Ready-to-serve salads and leafy greens often indicate that they’ve already been washed on their packages. What many consumers don’t know is that these vegetables are often washed and packed directly in the fields in which they’ve been picked. Not only does this mean that they’ve been treated with dubious water sources, but they’ve also been handled by hands that could use a good washing themselves. Always wash all of your fruits and vegetables before cooking with or serving them. For added safety, rinse your fresh produce in a mild white vinegar and water solution.

5.  Defrost Frozen Meat in the Refrigerator

Don’t leave your meat out on the counter to defrost for hours at a time. Plan in advance by placing frozen meat in the refrigerator in a leak-safe container or pan. Keep in mind that as meats defrost, their packaging will leak blood and spread bacteria. Place them on a shelf where spills aren’t likely to come in contact with produce or other items that will be served raw.

6. Pay Attention to Sell-by and Use-by Dates

There is definitely some flexibility in sell-by dates. However, you should never consume foods like milk, meat, and eggs after their use-by dates. Even though these things may smell and taste fresh, the risks of eating them are simply too high.

7. Cook Meat Thoroughly

One of the easiest ways to avoid foodborne illnesses caused by raw or uncooked meat is by purchasing a meat thermometer. Find out how hot the inner temperature of your meat should be based upon its thickness and type. Meat thermometers are low in cost and they’ll give you a quick and accurate reading of core temperatures so that you can avoid burning meals and avoid making everyone ill.

8. Cool Leftovers Right Away

Kicking back to relax while dishes simmer or gradually cool on a warm stove is a recipe for disaster. After serving everyone, package the remaining food right away and cool it down quickly. Bacteria is far less likely to grow in your remaining dishes when they’re stored properly.

9. Clean Your Cleaning Implements

You might be spreading harmful bacteria from surface to surface with your kitchen towel or sponge. Kitchen towels and sponges harbor harmful bacteria that can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and more. Wash and dry linens and replace sponges once every one to two weeks.

10. Make Every Cook Aware of Your Prevention Strategies

If you’ve got helpers in the kitchen, be sure that they know the rules and follow them. It makes no sense to constantly wash your own hands if there’s someone else mopping up beef blood with your dish towel or regularly swiping at a filthy mobile phone. 

Limiting all the ways in which bacteria can be introduced into your foods is only one part of the process. Proper heating and proper food storage help ensure that existing organisms are killed off and that their populations don’t spiral out of control. To find out more about food safety, consider attending one of our classes at Avidity Medical Design Academy, or check out our other blogs on the subject.

African-American woman smiling during her rush hour daily commute

4 Tips for Limiting Stress During a Long Daily Commute

African-American woman smiling during her rush hour daily commute

For many people, the most stressful and emotionally draining part of the workday is not work itself. Instead, it’s the cumulative time they spend battling their way through traffic or riding on city buses and commuter trains while packed shoulder-to-shoulder with others. Surprisingly, not only are these trips mentally taxing, but they can also have a significant impact on your physical health. Learning how to effectively mitigate the health risks of a long daily commute is now a critical part of maintaining an acceptably high quality of life. The four tips that follow will show you how.

1. Catch the Train and Get Creative

Riding the train or taking the bus to work will help you avoid the stress and frustration of driving through stop-and-go traffic, and dealing with frantic, frustrated, or all-out inconsiderate motorists. Best of all, you won’t have to keep your hands on the steering wheel or your eyes on the road. You can use your early-morning and evening commute to read a good book, learn how to knit or crochet, or simply meditate and practice mindfulness. Your time spent getting to and from work won’t be wasted. Instead, you’ll be actively improving yourself and expanding your knowledge base.

2. Give Yourself Several In-Car Ways to Stay Entertained

Having ways to while away the minutes or hours that you spend in bumper-to-bumper traffic is a creative dance between keeping yourself entertained and avoiding distracted driving. Use in-vehicle technologies such as mobile phone integration to make hands-free phone calls. This is a great time to ask your kids or spouse how their days are going or to catch up with your friends, parents, or adult siblings. You can also listen to audiobooks, or spend your commute moving through your favorite playlist of relaxing or uplifting tunes.

3. Time Your Commute Smartly

Sometimes delaying a daily commute can significantly shorten its duration. If you hop on the freeway or train at the same time as everyone else, you may be subjecting yourself to unnecessary frustration. Instead, consider hitting a local gym after quitting time to work out your stress on the treadmill. By the time your evening workout session is done, the buses will be emptier and the roads will be less crowded. Sometimes, heading to work just a half-hour earlier can make all the difference as well. If leaving home before the streets are congested proves far less stressful, consider bringing your breakfast to work, putting in time at the gym before your shift starts, or taking a relaxing early-morning walk before heading to your desk.

4. Don’t Move From Stress to Stress

One of the worst things about having a stressful daily commute is the fact that you’ve likely got pressing responsibilities waiting for you the moment you walk in the door. Even before your shoes are off and you’ve had a chance to unwind, you may be worried about cooking dinner, helping small children with their homework, or coming to the aid of teenagers with social angst. Make a point of claiming 15 minutes for yourself from the minute you arrive. This necessary period of de-stressing will make you more focused and responsive when engaging with others. Take a hot shower and change into comfortable clothes. Light a therapeutic candle and soothe yourself into a calm and relaxed state with aromatherapy. 

What Are the Health Risks of a Long Daily Commute?

Super-commuters who ride on the freeway breathe in massive amounts of exhaust and other fumes. People who spend long stretches of time commuting each day are more likely to lead sedentary lifestyles, and to grab fast food on their way home rather than cooking. Driving and riding passenger buses and trains takes a daily toll. Fortunately, you can limit this toll by planning your commute smartly, and by proactively de-stressing with the tips above. For additional help in maintaining mood balance, peace of mind, and an optimally high quality of life, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog, take a course offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy, or purchase candles and soaps offered by Avidity Medical Scentations.

A couple getting wellness massages on their vacation getaway

Plan Your Next Vacation: 10 Healthcare Getaways for Rest and Rejuvenation

A couple getting wellness massages on their vacation getaway

When planning to go on vacation, you should opt for places that intentionally help boost your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing for a healthy body.

If you’re looking to rest and rejuvenate, you might want to consider some of these health-oriented vacation getaways:

1. Rainforest Spa

This spa is at Sugar Beach, St. Lucia. The spa is located within the hotel in the rainforest. Some treatments offered there include bamboo massage, body wraps, deep tissue massages, hot rocky massages, and even facials. It will cost about $2000 per night to cater for the hotel and spa treatments, which will leave you refreshed. The best time to visit the rainforest spa is around November to December.

2. MGM Grand Las Vegas

This wellness hotel is one of the best vacation getaways in Las Vegas. Choosing to stay in this hotel will enhance your mental and physical wellness greatly. You can take showers that have been infused with vitamin C. This is important for your skin. The bed has specially designed mattresses to give you a good night’s sleep, enhancing your mental health. 

The mini bar in the wellness rooms contains nutritious snacks that will keep your tummy full. The lighting is designed to help your sleep pattern and help your internal body clock.

The best time to enjoy your vacation in MGM Grand Las Vegas is in January–March. A night’s stay will cost around $500.

3. Blue Lagoon

This vacation getaway is in Iceland and is home to one of the wonders of the world. It will help you not only detox but recharge mentally as well. The minerals in the lagoon will help your skin to glow and rejuvenate. Admission tickets go for $110 and the best time to go there is from July to August.

4. Mii Amo

Looking for vacation getaways in the U.S.? Mii Amo is located in Sedona, Arizona, and is all about self-nurturing. You will enjoy healthy food and native-inspired treatments. This will leave your body, mind, and spirit refreshed. The resort charges about $500 per night, and the best time to visit is in October.

5. Four Seasons Resort

This tranquil resort is located in Chiang Mai in Thailand. There are a lot of activities that are planned for visitors in this beautiful resort. 

You can plant rice, sign up for a boot camp, or even chat with monks to understand their traditions. A night’s stay costs around $550. The best time to vacay there is in February.

6. Aire Ancient Baths

The spa is located in Barcelona. You will do something that most people would enjoy doing, such as soaking in a tub full of wine. This is normally done in a thermal tub. The main reason for doing that is to hydrate the skin.
You can also enjoy a facial and scalp massage which will leave your skin and spirit glowing. You will be charged about $121.83 at the entrance. You can go there any time of the year but the best time is from January to the end of February.

7. Red Mountain Resort 

The resort rests in St. George, Utah. With various activities like hiking or rock climbing, this vacation getaway will help you release the tension and frustrations of life. It will cost you about $350 per night at this place. The best time to go there is between April and May.

8. Las Alamandas 

Nestled in Costalegre, Mexico, the expansive land allows you to choose whether you want to be alone or mingle with others. 

You will enjoy relaxing massages at the beach with no one around except the sand, water, and waves. A room goes for about $800, excluding taxes. The best time to vacation there is in November-December. 

9. Golden Door 

This relaxing retreat is in San Marcos, California. You will enjoy the Zen vibe that surrounds it. It allows you to focus on yourself as they cater to all your other needs. 

They bring you clothes to wear and food to eat, so you don’t have to make any decisions while you are there. They charge about $300 per night. The best months to go there are in March and April. 

10. Rancho La Puerta

You will find this wellness vacation spot in Baja, California, Mexico. Here there are a lot of wellness activities to indulge in such as yoga. The instructors are always ready to hear and cheer you on as you empty your heavy, burdened heart for a refreshed one. 

You can enjoy delicious meals at their restaurant for about $30. The ranch charges about $800 per room. The best time to head there is in September–October.   

Conclusion

Make a plan to spend your next vacation while taking care of your wellbeing. And before you go on your trip, don’t forget to check out Avidity Medical Scentations. Grab our scented candles and soaps to rejuvenate your spirit and refresh your soul. Sign up for product notifications so that you will know when the products are available. Each bar of soap and each candle includes a healthcare message to remind you to take care of your health, to stay encouraged, and continue to be rejuvenated. Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog for the latest news in healthcare. 

Doctor reviewing a healthcare app used by his senior patient

The Hottest Top 10 Healthcare Apps That You Should Know About

Doctor reviewing a healthcare app used by his senior patient

It is no secret that doctor’s visits for routine examinations can be a pain and hassle to schedule. Luckily, with the aid of technology, many digital options have been created to overcome these issues. Certain medical applications allow you to track and report your health, receive medical notifications, connect with your doctor, and even allow you to conduct virtual visits. According to HP, the following are some of the most highly ranked healthcare apps in their respective industries:

1. Medisafe Pill Minder

The Medisafe Pill Minder and Tracker keeps track of your prescriptions so that you will not forget to take them. It has doctor visit management and appointment-reminder functions that are accessible for both Android and iOS. The app also offers health-monitoring trackers.   

2. Medical ID

Imagine if you and your phone are found while you are immobile due to a medical emergency and unable to communicate about your issues. This app allows you to store medical profiles in your phone so that medics can see important information about you before attending to your needs. 

3. dminder

The health benefits of vitamin D for the immune system are very well-known, but sadly, most don’t get enough of it. With this app, you can be reminded when to go outside based on which times are optimal for sun exposure. This makes it one of the most unique healthcare apps available out there. 

4. MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular diet-tracking and healthcare apps available for Android and iOS devices. It is also accessible via PC. You can use the app to establish weight and exercise goals, make meal schedules, and connect it with other fitness-tracking accessories.   

5. Diabetes:M

Diabetes:M is Android and iOS software that is aimed at assisting diabetics in taking some of the mystery out of controlling their glucose levels.   

6. Apple Health

This app is a mind and body health tracker that is found in all Apple devices by default. Sleep, activity, food, symptoms, respiration, and heart rate are some of the vitals it monitors. 

7. Heal

Heal allows you to receive access to certified doctors without needing to physically travel. Appointments are offered through both telehealth and in-person visits.

8. Eyecare Live

This app is concerned with helping you connect to a virtual optometrist to discuss eye-related health issues. Eyecare Live also lets you renew certain prescriptions virtually.

9. AliveCor

When you use the AliveCor app with one of the company’s licensed Kardia heart monitoring devices, you will be able to access a certified EKG recording whenever you desire. The app also identifies bradycardia, atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, and resting heart activity live. 

10. Drugs.com medication guide

Drugs.com allows users to better understand the side effects and guidelines of their medication. The premium version allows for additional information and tracking features. 

For more information on health and medical design-related topics, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. For an even more in-depth understanding of healthcare-related topics, enroll in a course offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy In addition to using healthcare apps to monitor your health, invest in soothing treatments and at-home therapies such as scented candles and soaps. Visit Avidity Medical Scentations to sign up for product notifications for scented soaps and candles with healthcare reminder messages. These messages help you remember the importance of good health and maintaining a healthy mindset for everyday living.

pharmacists-doing-inventory

A Day in the Life of A Pharmacist: What Happens Behind the Scenes of Your Local Pharmacy

pharmacists-doing-inventory

Pharmacists are health professionals who regularly dispense medications in pharmacies throughout the world. Pharmacists are on the front lines of patient care, and as a result, they face stressful situations that other medical personnel may not encounter in the same way or to the same extent. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges that pharmacists routinely face while working in the pharmacy and filling prescriptions.

Pharmacists must face:

Multiple Medication-Related Responsibilities.

Because pharmacists are responsible for all aspects of medication handling, they deal with many additional responsibilities that go beyond filling requests for prescriptions. In addition to understanding medication ingredients, how medications should be prescribed, and how medications interact with other medications that the patient may be taking at the same time, pharmacists must also be able to interact with patients. They must be able to answer patient questions regarding potential medication side effects, as well as effectively communicate with doctors, hospitals, and 3rd-party insurance firms, regarding insurance payment and the remaining number of available refills based on the doctor’s order.

Demographics in Relation to Prescribing Medications.

As the American population changes, pharmacists interact with patients from various socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. Differences in socioeconomic and religious backgrounds may influence the way in which some patients may perceive medicine, healthcare in general, the types of prescriptions they are required to take, and the frequency with which they are required to take medications, according to their doctor.

Separation of Medical/Pharmacy Benefits.

The current healthcare system is extremely complicated and segmented, particularly in terms of pharmacy compensation. Patients and pharmacists may find the separation of medical and pharmacy rewards confusing, especially in terms of contractual arrangements such as value-based contracting (VBC). Value-based contracting is a contract whereby the pharmacy has to fulfill certain requirements, based on the outcome of the patient’s treatment and other clinical conditions pertaining to patient care, rather than being compensated on a fee-for-service arrangement, for example. Since the process of determining the outcome of the patient’s health based on the medications provided must be gauged over time, it can become complicated for pharmacies, in terms of understanding how they will be compensated.

A Shortage of Drugs.

Another challenge that pharmacists may also face is a shortage of prescription drugs. Sometimes, if a drug has a low cost margin, the manufacturers may stop producing the drug. The biggest shortages have hit the old, generic, and injectable drugs that were once produced by small production companies.

Dealing with Drug Addicts.

Prescription addiction is a huge problem in the US, and the retail pharmacist interacts with drug addicts regularly. This means that the pharmacist has to determine whether the prescription being filled is a legitimate prescription, or if the patient may be a drug addict who is trying to fill additional prescriptions beyond the number of refills authorized by their physician.

The Aging Population.

The mortality rate of Americans is increasing, this presents a lot of challenges for pharmacists, for instance, older patients are usually in need of long-term care while others may be taking numerous types of medicines or suffering from chronic diseases. The increases the likelihood of filling medications that may have adverse side effects when interacting with the components of other medications.

Managing the Use of Opioids.

In addition to dealing with patients who have become addicted to prescription medications, pharmacists deal with patients who overuse their medication by exceeding the recommended dosage as prescribed by their doctor. This may be due to chronic conditions, such as ongoing back pain. Dealing with this type of situation can be especially challenging as a pharmacist, because the pharmacist must be patient, have good judgment, and top-notch communication skills, especially if they are speaking with a patient who may become argumentative when discussing the risks and dangers of medication overuse.

Ethical Challenges.

Pharmacists must figure out how to organize their duties and responsibilities to perform tasks effectively and efficiently. In addition to providing prescription guidance to patients, pharmacists must also conduct a prospective drug review, which at times might be challenging, especially in relation to managing the pharmacy workload.

Optimizing Time to Provide Better Health Care Services.

Pharmacists walk a thin line between filling prescriptions and determining which patients need help with understanding potential medication side effects and devoting time to their special needs. This involves reviewing individual cases which at times can be tiresome or challenging, especially when numerous patients are waiting to pick up their prescriptions, and more than one patient needs advice with regard to their medication or their insurance coverage with regard to prescription copays, for example.

Challenges that Come with Monitoring Medication Compliance.

Pharmacists must determine which patients are not complying with taking their medications. This involves noticing how long it has taken a patient to refill their prescriptions, especially if the prescriptions must be filled at regular monthly intervals.

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three young women with Internet addiction using their smartphones in a cafe

Healthcare and Internet Addiction: Is the Internet Affecting Your Health?

three young women with Internet addiction using their smartphones in a cafe

Most of us associate addiction with excessive drug or alcohol use. These forms of addiction are often referred to as chemical dependency. When a person is addicted to substances, key changes have occurred within the functioning of the central nervous system (CNS), the brain’s chemistry, and even the brain’s size. As a result of these alterations, stopping “cold turkey” often leads to widespread physiological distress. So how can addiction possibly apply to the Internet? In a world in which people constantly carry Internet-connected devices with them and use these devices all of the time, Internet addiction is fast becoming a reality. Worse still, it affects people at every age and stage of life. Internet addicts can be eight years old or 80. What’s common among them is that they cannot stop or limit their Internet use without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Understanding the Brain’s Reward Pathway and Its Role in Addiction

People use addictive substances or engage in addictive behaviors simply because doing so feels good. With drugs and alcohol, using these substances instantly triggers the release of “feel good” chemicals or neurotransmitters. These chemicals are normally and naturally produced and released as a means for rewarding positive and ultimately beneficial behaviors. For instance, you might get a dopamine rush following a rigorous workout. Other neurotransmitters might be released in response to healthy social engagement, choosing to eat a salad for lunch rather than an ice cream cone, or doing something good for others. When the brain’s reward system is working effectively, people are being motivated to repeat beneficial behaviors via the release of “feel good” chemicals.

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Reconditioning the Reward Pathway Creates the Conditions for Addiction

The path to addiction is found when the production and release of neurotransmitters are being manipulated by an outside agent. Rather than using hard liquor, opiates, tobacco, or other chemical substances to trigger neurotransmitters, some people are using the Internet.

The Internet promises instant gratification, immersive distractions, and even alternate realities that remove people entirely from the stressors of real life. Using the Internet makes some people feel relaxed and euphoric, and it does so by manipulating the brain’s reward pathway.

Much like substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder, Internet addiction can actually wear the reward pathway out, alter the functioning of the brain’s reward pathway, and associate unhealthy overuse with beneficial behaviors. When the Internet is taken away, much like any other addict, an addicted person will feel depressed, angry, frustrated, unmotivated, and unsure. These are just a few of the many common signs of Internet addiction and withdrawal.

Comorbidities and Internet Addiction

There’s also the surprising addition of comorbidities that can make Internet addiction diagnosis and treatment all the more challenging. Given the relatively recent advent of the Internet, much is still not understood about Internet addiction. This is an addictive mechanism that’s constantly changing, and one that’s becoming increasingly more pervasive with each new web-connected innovation and service. Are people with general anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, or other secondary mental health issues at greater risk?

And what of sexual addiction? Does the repeated viewing of online pornographic materials qualify as Internet addiction or sexual addiction? When a person suffers from both, can the same treatment modalities and recommendations be used?

Strategies for Treating Internet Addiction

Ignoring the symptoms of an addict in withdrawal is hardly a beneficial or ethical form of treatment. Much like people detoxing from drugs or alcohol, Internet addicts can experience significant discomfort when their “drug of choice” is taken away. Moreover, given the changes that have occurred across the brain’s reward pathway, this isn’t merely perceived discomfort; it’s genuine, legitimate, and difficult to navigate without intervention. For healthcare professionals, finding the right interventions for individual needs is key to preventing total relapse.

One of the biggest challenges of treating addiction to the Internet is the fact that total cessation is rarely an option. The Internet is both pervasive and essential. People have to use it from time to time. When treating alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder, you certainly wouldn’t tell a patient to moderate their alcohol or drug use. Addiction treatment for these things requires total, lifelong abstinence, and ongoing strategies for preventing relapse. With Internet addiction, successful intervention often entails encouraging people to find new and more beneficial ways of triggering their reward pathway, whether by engaging in physical exercise or taking advantage of naturally relaxing stimuli such as the scented candles and soothing soaps offered by Avidity Medical Scentations. Sign up now for product notifications to learn when the candles and soaps will be available. Follow our blog to learn more about common health issues and to stay up to date on the latest news in healthcare.