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Body language experts analyse Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s royal wedding

<p>Boy, were we in for a treat this year, as not only was there one royal wedding to celebrate, but two. While everyone made sure to tune in to watch Prince Harry marry the now Duchess of Sussex in May, it was a pleasant surprise when the Queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie announced her wedding for the month of October.</p> <p>Marrying Jack Brooksbank in the iconic St. George’s chapel, Princess Eugenie looked radiant and positively glowing as she stood in front of family and friends, ready to say her vows while the world watched on.  </p> <p>She stunned in a beautiful Peter Pilotto gown and accessorised it in true royal fashion, with a tiara. But while these were all obvious to the eye, what you may not have noticed is the loved-up couple’s body language.</p> <p>“This couple is completely enveloped in one another,” said human behavioural expert and author Susan Constantine to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a23739200/princess-eugenie-jack-brooksbanks-royal-wedding-body-language/" target="_blank"><em>Goodhousekeeping.com</em>.</a> “From start to finish, you can tell this is a solid couple who actively listens – and respects – one another.”</p> <p>Throughout the ceremony, Jack seemed visibly nervous, as he prepared himself to wed the Princess in front of millions.</p> <p>“He’s sporting a sombre look,” body language expert Patti Wood told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a23739200/princess-eugenie-jack-brooksbanks-royal-wedding-body-language/" target="_blank">GoodHousekeeping.com</a></em>.</p> <p>“He’s holding all of his tension in his mouth without letting it get the best of him.”</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7821407/gettyimages-1051952738.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2629d10370e44d6bad62e36b93474200" /></p> <p>But despite her fiancé’s anxiousness, Eugenie is completely enthralled with her husband-to-be. “Although her mouth is also tightly closed, she’s looking at him like he’s delicious,” says Wood. “It’s a look you’ll typically see when someone spots someone new and attractive, which makes it rare – and extra-special – on their big day.”</p> <p>During the vow and ring exchange, which is the most important part of the entire ceremony, the couple is seen rubbing each other’s fingers. “This is their way of playing and comforting one another,” Wood explains.</p> <p>While the ring exchange didn’t go smoothly for Jack, Constantine points out Eugenie’s reaction to the moment. “When he’s having a hard time with the ring, Eugenie maintains her stance and is very patient with him. She doesn’t try to step in or adjust the ring herself but lets him take charge.”</p> <p>Once the formalities were done and dusted, the newlyweds made their way outside where they shared a kiss in front of a doting crowd.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7821408/gettyimages-1051954184.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1225d00a12df4dfb9aca3ca60e066017" /></p> <p>“There’s a special tenderness and sweetness in this highly publicised moment,” Wood explains. “Her light handhold, his check in before the kiss, and the mutual gaze are all good signs, especially on a couple’s wedding day.”</p> <p>As Jack holds on to Eugenie during the kiss, his hand is placed firmly on her lower back, while the Princess has a much gentler touch, and according to Wood, this shows his deep level of respect for his new wife.</p> <p>“This couple has a strong, unbreakable love for one another, which you can see through their mutual gaze and full smiles,” Wood says.</p> <p>Did you watch Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Why you should think twice before eating tomato sauce

<p>It’s a favourite staple for so many us, but it may be doing you significant harm. We’re so used to going to the pantry and grabbing some tomato sauce as a tasty addition to our food, that instinct belies what we’re actually consuming.</p> <p>For some, it may not be surprising to know that tomato sauce is high in sugar and salt, but just how high might shock you. And it may make you think twice about eating it.</p> <p>According to nutritionist Kristen Beck, the condiment has “next to no nutritional value,” with a squirt of the sauce (a tablespoon) having more sugar in it than chocolate or a biscuit, reports <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/eat/you-may-want-to-consider-cutting-out-tomato-sauce-after-reading-this/news-story/a01b992bb8462e7b0b011ccb672c8ba7" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em>. </p> <p>“A single serve of tomato sauce is around 15ml (roughly three teaspoons of tomato sauce) and generally equates to 1 teaspoon of sugar (glucose and fructose),” Beck tells the website.</p> <p>Perhaps unknown to many is that several manufacturers of tomato sauce use high-fructose corn syrup, which adds a subtle sweetness, and is an attractive option for these brands because it’s cheaper than using sugar. Fructose corn syrup can cause weight gain and increase insulin in the body.</p> <p>In more bad news, Beck says that the exact amount of cane sugar added to tomato sauce is hard to decipher.</p> <p>“In addition to the natural sugars coming from tomatoes, manufacturers also add around 20% cane sugar to tomato sauce, but the exact amount added is impossible to decipher because Australian labelling laws don’t require the exact amount of sugar added to be listed on the label.”</p> <p>The nutritionist advises consumers to not be fooled by the ingredients listed on tomato sauce labels, despite it having a low calorie count per serving.</p> <p>“When you look at the ingredients list for tomato sauce, on first glance it looks pretty good,” she said.</p> <p>“The first ingredient is tomatoes or tomato puree (approximately 75%) which may sound healthy, but you need to remember that fresh tomatoes are almost 95% water weight. When pureed, the natural sugar content in tomatoes becomes much more concentrated.”</p> <p>There’s a common perception that natural sugars in fruit and vegetables are somehow better for us, but Beck says that’s not the case.</p> <p>“Even if sugars contained naturally in tomatoes may sound healthier than sugar, the World Health Organisation classifies sugars from fruit and vegetable concentrates as the same as all other added sugars.</p> <p>“Concentrated fructose, such as that contained in tomato sauce and fruit juice extracts, has been shown to be associated with the body’s inflammatory response and fat accumulation around your midsection (but fructose in whole fresh fruit is still very healthy for you).”</p> <p>The amount of salt in tomato sauce is also concerning, with one serving having 160mg of sodium, which takes a big bite out of the recommended daily sodium intake of 920mg.</p> <p>But there is some good news for sauce lovers – the tomato puree contained in tomato sauce is rich in the antioxidant lycopene, about 10 times greater than in fresh tomatoes, according to Beck.</p> <p>“Lycopene is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer risk,” she says.</p> <p>Will you be thinking twice about your tomato sauce intake? Let us know in the comments section below.</p>

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Body language expert's verdict: Did Harry and Meghan have a spat at Eugenie's wedding?

<p>On Friday, Prince Harry and Meghan joined together with the royal family to watch on as Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank.</p> <p>And while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are known for not shying away from public displays of affection, a body language expert has revealed the reason why the couple showed a “less than tactile display”.</p> <p>Speaking to <u><em><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/"><strong>The Sun's Fabulous Online</strong></a></em>,</u> body language expert Judi James revealed that Harry and Meghan looked tense as they sat inside St George’s chapel, waiting for the ceremony to begin.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 332.28643216080405px;" src="/media/7821335/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/05b190cbf22d4eea87537eafc78a3c0c" /></p> <p>“For some reason Harry looks distracted and fidgety as they wait in the pews, while Meghan sits facing front and looking demure and impervious, with a polite social smile on her face,” Judi said<em>.</em></p> <p>“Harry mutters something to Meghan and her eyebrows raise before she turns her head towards him, using what looks like an emphatic gesture with each word of her reply.”</p> <p>She added: “Meghan looks a little bit like a mother with a naughty kid and she even raises both of her hands in a gesture that could mean slight exasperation.</p> <p>“Whatever she says she then leans forward to resume her conversation with the guest in the row in front.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 333.9793281653747px;" src="/media/7821336/2.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ff7d6e72077540a4a11afc06555ff9e5" /></p> <p>“Harry's response is to rub his face, sniff and lick his lips impatiently as he sinks against the side of the chair, looking away.”</p> <p>Although the cause of the tension between the two is unknown, the couple quickly bounced back and became their normal outgoing selves again.</p> <p>Judi James explained: “If the pair did have a small disagreement it was soon over because they were back to their normal loving, hand-holding and hugging behaviours once the ceremony was over.”</p> <p>Harry and Meghan said their vows in the same church earlier this year on May 19.</p> <p>The Duchess of Sussex wore an elegant navy Givenchy dress to Eugenie’s nuptials, accessorising with a hat by Noel Stewart and Manolo Blahnik heels.</p> <p>For her big day, Eugenie wore a low-back wedding gown by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vo, proudly showing her scoliosis scar following surgery when she was 12 years old. </p>

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Mum stirs heated debate online after asking if she should shave her 6-year-old’s legs

<p>A mum has sparked an intense debate online after asking a controversial question on a parenting forum.</p> <p>The mum, who goes by the username TellerTuesday4Eva, posted on <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mumsnet.com/" target="_blank">Mumsnet</a></em> about whether she should shave her six-year-old daughter’s body hair.</p> <p>“A big part of me knows this is ridiculous, but there’s another part that wants [my daughter] to make her own choices,” she wrote.</p> <p>“She has and always has had very hairy legs and a hairy lower back. I presumed it was baby down, and would go away in time, but it hasn’t, and it’s gone darker as she’s gotten older.”</p> <p>The concerned mother mentioned that the body hair is affecting her daughter’s self-esteem as she notices other young girls her age are not dealing with the same issue.</p> <p>The poster did say that she has had conversations with her child about how all bodies are made differently but worries that the message isn’t coming across to her daughter.</p> <p>“In the summer she became aware of it,” she wrote.</p> <p>“She asked me if there was a way to get rid of the hair, we talked about it and everyone’s bodies being different.</p> <p>“Since she’s gone back to school she’s mentioned it again quite a few times. I have to point out here that nobody else has mentioned it, classmates etc. It’s [my daughter] herself that has the issue … she’s now getting upset about swimming and not wanting to go because she says when her legs get wet it looks worse. The hair’s quite long so when it gets wet and lays flat she is right in what she’s saying.”</p> <p>She asked for users on the site to offer their advice if they were in her situation.</p> <p>Surprisingly, she received an overwhelming amount of support, with many parents reacting positively to her daughter’s concern.</p> <p>“I was a very hairy child (well still am quite) and I desperately wanted to shave but my mum wouldn’t let me. I did it myself when I was 13 without my parents – with a cheap Bic razor! I think helping her is better than refusing and then her doing it herself,” wrote one user.</p> <p>“I would help her remove the hair. It’s really embarrassing being the first hairy girl and just because her peers haven’t noticed yet, doesn’t mean they won’t. She’s not comfortable with the hair on her legs, and given most women choose to remove theirs, she’s not expressing a controversial opinion that is likely to change when she gets older,” added another. “If when she’s a teen she decides to hell with it, she’d rather be hairy all over, the hair will grow back. It’s not an irreversible decision or something she’ll grow out of.”</p> <p>After sifting through all the advice that was given, the mum took to the forum to update everyone on how she spoke to her daughter and they both decided that removing the hair was the best way to go.</p> <p>“Thank you all so much for your replies. I was well prepared to get flamed, but overwhelmed with how supportive you’ve all been,” she wrote. “We’ve talked about it at length tonight and decided that we’ll try a mitt first to see what the outcome is.”</p> <p>Do you think the mum is making the right decision? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Why you're tripling the risk of developing a deadly disease if you take these heartburn tablets

<p>A new study has found that popular heartburn pills can triple the risk of potentially deadly infections.</p> <p>The research found that patients on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were more likely to fall ill with deadly bugs, including E. coli.</p> <p>Researchers believe the drugs could be allowing harmful organisms to spread by reducing levels of the stomach acid that normally kills them.</p> <p>The drugs, including brands like Zanprol, Prevacid and Prilosec, are prescribed to an estimated 55 million patients in England alone.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 305.993690851735px;" src="/media/7821146/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/11eb887af851492099913bbf604cd8e1" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The tablets work by reducing the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid.</p> <p>Microbiologists at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust studied 126 hospital patients sick with drug resistant bugs called ESBL-enterobacteriae.</p> <p>These bugs, such as E.coli, occur naturally in the bowel where they do no harm. However, if they escape to other parts of the body they can become life-threatening.</p> <p>The reports of ESBL-bugs are increasing and don’t respond to commonly-used antibiotics like penicillin.</p> <p>Patients in the study were asked if they had taken heartburn medicines in the past six months.</p> <p>The study, published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, found infected patients were three times more like to have taken PPIs than a group of healthy volunteers.</p> <p>In a report the scientists explained: “PPIs are widely overprescribed and heavily promoted by the pharmaceutical industry.”</p> <p>“This is the first time this risk factor has been identified in a UK hospital population, and the magnitude is greater than in previous community-based studies.</p> <p>“Reducing inappropriate use of PPIs may reduce transmission.”</p> <p>Several studies in recent years have linked over-use of PPIs with stomach cancer, stroke and even reduced sperm count in men.</p> <p>Despite PPIs only being prescribed for normally four weeks, it’s feared that millions stay on the tablets for years.</p> <p>Research shows 25 per cent of patients are still on them after a year and four per cent continue on the pills after five years.</p> <p>Less than half of those who remain on the tablets long-term are advised by doctors to try to come off them.</p> <p>Do you take heartburn tablets on a regular basis? Tell us in the comments below. </p> <p> </p>

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Federer and Djokovic hit out at US Open's $600 million blunder

<p>The roof of the Ashe Stadium has caused major problems at the US Open amongst the tennis players, and not because of its use.</p> <p>The stadium, which consists of two roofs, including the new one at rebuilt Armstrong Stadium, was kept closed for entire matches due to a dry few weeks.</p> <p>However, the results of that were extreme amounts of heat and humidity, and many of the tournaments biggest contenders came out to criticise the lack of circulation, blaming the superstructure on top of the arena that supports the roof for affecting their performance on court.</p> <p>Roger Federer claimed it was due to this reason that he lost against John Millman on Monday night, saying he was having trouble breathing due to the humidity in the air. Shortly after, Novak Djokovic said he’s never played a US Open this sweaty because of the lack of circulation.</p> <p>“I think that this tournament needs to address this,” Djokovic said. “Whether it’s night or day, we just don’t have air down there. It feels like a sauna. Obviously, the roof is fantastic. We, as players, are grateful that we have the roof because then the rain will not interrupt the matches. But there is no circulation of the air at all, especially court level.”</p> <p>The USTA is investigating the problem to make sure it doesn’t happen again next year, according to spokesman Chris Widmaier.</p> <p>In the Djokovic-Millman match on Wednesday, Millman was forced to take a break as his shorts were dripping wet and he was having trouble putting tennis balls in his pocket. Players usually are not allowed to leave unless it’s a changeover, but a special exception was made.</p> <p>The two roofs were one of the main features of the US Open’s $600 million revamping of the National Tennis Center.</p>

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How a manicure could save your life

<p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__intro sics-component__story__paragraph">Sarah Burrows was having her usual monthly manicure when the beauty therapist doing her nails casually asked about a mole on her chest.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Burrows had been ignoring it for months, thinking there was nothing particularly unusual about it, but the fact that her beautician had noticed it – and was concerned enough to bring it up – took her by surprise.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">She felt compelled to get it checked out by her GP, starting a chain of events that would lead to her being diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"If it hadn't been brought to my attention, I don't think that I would have ever done anything about it," says Burrows, 52. "It's hard to think that I could be telling a completely different story now if I hadn't had that conversation while getting my nails done."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Burrows, a marriage guidance counsellor from Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK, had been a regular visitor to the clinic of holistic beauty therapist Lucy Dempster for nearly five years. It was in January last year, while she was wearing a slightly lower-cut top than normal, that Dempster spotted the mole on her chest.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Burrows recalls: "She really gently said that she had been doing some training on skin cancer and perhaps I should get it checked out. She reassured me that, of course, if it was nothing then I would only have taken up maybe five minutes of a doctor's time."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Dempster recognised the mole as she had recently taken part in a pilot training course designed to help beauty, hair and skincare professionals spot skin cancer. Launched in the UK in January this year, the Masced training scheme (short for Melanoma and Skin Cancer Early Detection) aims to improve early diagnosis rates based on the assumption that many people get their hair or nails done more frequently than they see a family doctor.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Through a professionally accredited, 45-minute online course, beauty professionals are trained in the warning signs and given advice on how to bring up concerns tactfully with clients. While they are not expected to diagnose the disease, they can suggest someone visits their GP to get checked out.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Skin cancer is on the rise in Britain, with the incidence of melanoma soaring by 128 per cent in the past 20 years. Experts have put the rise down to the growing popularity of cheap package holidays to sunny destinations, as well as a boom in sunbed use in the '70s, '80s and '90s.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Melanoma is now the fifth most common cancer in the UK and one of the most common among 15- to 34-year-olds. Most melanoma cases occur in the over-85s, who have had a lifetime of exposure to the sun, and rates are expected to rise by another 7 per cent by 2035 as the population ages.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">While incidence of skin cancer has seen similar growth in other Western countries in recent decades, the UK has slightly higher mortality rates, with 2.6 deaths per 100,000 people compared to the European average of 2.2. Lower survival rates have been partly blamed on a tendency to diagnose cancers later in the UK – something the Masced scheme aims to combat.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">The project is the brainchild of Claire Dale, of cancer charity Skcin, who came up with the idea after her mother died of malignant melanoma aged 63.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"My mother was really into beauty and health and fitness so she was always in the gym or at the salon, but rarely went to the doctor," she says.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"No-one ever noticed the mole she had on her abdomen until it was too late. That got me thinking about whether the kind of professionals she saw all the time could be trained to spot skin cancer in otherwise healthy people. If Masced had been around then, her mole might have been seen in time and her life could have been saved."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Please Retweet. Great article in <a href="https://twitter.com/Telegraph?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Telegraph</a> today about our <a href="https://t.co/HqhvQY86G9">https://t.co/HqhvQY86G9</a> campaign and how it has helped save a life! Huge thanks to all involved <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skincancer?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skincancer</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/melanoma?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#melanoma</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/beauty?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#beauty</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/health?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#health</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/manicure?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#manicure</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skincare?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skincare</a> <a href="https://t.co/dUSNmEGHl1">https://t.co/dUSNmEGHl1</a></p> — Skcin (@Skcin) <a href="https://twitter.com/Skcin/status/1036678764955136001?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">While it was sadly too late for Dale's mother, the scheme is already saving lives. Burrows, a mother-of-two herself, saw her GP after speaking to Dempster and was referred to a specialist. He diagnosed the mark on her chest as a basal cell carcinoma, a type of tumour that occurs in eight out of 10 skin cancer cases and rarely spreads.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">While that was easily treatable with a chemotherapy cream, the doctor found another suspicious mark on the back of her left thigh. "He asked how long I'd had the mark for and I said: 'What mark?' When was the last time you looked at the back of your own legs? I had no idea it was there," she says.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">A biopsy revealed it was a malignant melanoma – a spreading form of skin cancer that kills six people every day in the UK. Burrows went in for surgery to have it removed, only for doctors to find yet another malignant tumour on her other leg. She was referred to The Christie cancer hospital in Manchester for tests on her lymph node to check whether the cancer had spread. Luckily, biopsies showed she was all clear.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"On both occasions, it was caught before it had spread throughout the rest of my body, which they say it probably would have done had it been ignored any longer," Burrows says. She sighs as she imagines what the outcome might have been had Dempster not spotted the original mole.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"It was one of those chance conversations with somebody who had been told to keep an eye out. The mole didn't have any of the signs you normally read about – it wasn't bleeding, itchy or uneven. It was only because somebody else mentioned it that made me do something about it."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Ironically, Burrows is always careful in the sun as she is quite fair-skinned and doesn't tan. Doctors believe most of the damage was probably done before she reached puberty and she blames it on an incident of being badly sunburnt as a young child.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"It was my seventh birthday and I was in Cornwall. I remember it because it was my birthday so I was supposed to be happy, but I was so sunburnt, I was just crying," she says.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"I've since spoken to my mother and aunts and uncles and they have all said suncreams just weren't around nearly as much back then. In fact, I remember my mother putting olive oil on, which seems like really crazy behaviour now."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Dempster, 49, plays down her role in saving Burrows's life, but agrees that the training could protect hundreds of lives nationwide. Although she runs her clinic single-handedly from her home near Wilmslow, Cheshire, she has already helped four clients who have received treatment for suspected tumours.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">She says: "If it makes that much difference with just one person, imagine how much of an impact it can have if everyone in a busy salon is trained."​</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph"><em>Written by Rosie Taylor. Republished by permission of <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/106797232/how-a-manicure-could-save-your-life">Stuff.co.nz</a>. </em></p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p>

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Try this old military trick to fall asleep in two minutes

<p>Struggling to fall asleep? Try an old military technique that's said to help you nod off in two minutes.</p> <p>The method is outlined in Lloyd Bud Winter's 1981 book <em>Relax and Win: Championship Performance</em>, which has enjoyed a recent resurgence online.</p> <p>It was apparently used by the American military service, which found a 96 per cent success rate after six weeks of practice with people reportedly falling asleep in two minutes or less, reports <em><a href="https://www.joe.co.uk/news/sleeping-tricks-197402">Joe.co.uk</a></em>.</p> <p>So how does it work? The method involves two main steps.</p> <p>The first is to relax, and it should take about a minute and a half (which, FYI, isn't included in the two minutes to fall asleep) if you're doing it correctly.</p> <ol> <li>Start by relaxing the muscles in your face.</li> <li>Then drop your shoulders as low as they'll go, followed by your upper and lower arm on one side, and then the other.</li> <li>Breathe out and relax your chest. Then relax your legs (thighs first then calves).</li> </ol> <p>After that, spend about 10 seconds trying to clear your mind. Then focus on one of these images/sayings:</p> <ul> <li>Lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you.</li> <li>Lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room.</li> <li>Saying "don't think, don't think, don't think" to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.</li> </ul> <p>If all goes to plan, you should be drifting off about now.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/106848461/try-this-old-us-military-trick-to-fall-asleep-in-two-minutes">Stuff.co.nz</a>.</em></p>

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Getting older: The moment I found out I had hearing loss

<p><strong><em>Ray Thomas left his family farm in South Australia when he was in his 20s and moved to New Zealand. He has always loved writing short stories and watching sport. He married an amazing woman 16 years ago and they both retired three years ago. They love family life, travelling, spending time in their large garden and fostering young children.</em></strong></p> <p>It all began so innocently and without warning. What seemed so minor and insignificant at the time would six months later cause us so much distress, and financial worries.</p> <p>We had been fostering children. There was nothing unusual about that, as we had done so many times before.  Our most recent children were about to leave and return to members of their family. As was usual, we were sad to see them leave, hoping they would remember the good times we had shared together.</p> <p>A few days prior to their departure the authorities phoned us, well aware of our situation and asked: “Would you consider being foster parents to a much younger child than we had previously?”</p> <p>My wife and I discussed the situation. At our age, were we prepared to take on a very young child, when previously we had decided against it? We decided to accept and went about preparing the house and ourselves, for the numerous challenges we knew this younger child would present.</p> <p>Our cute little girl duly arrived, and as usual we were excited about what lay ahead, confident in our abilities to overcome any possible problems. There was what we thought at the time, to be a minor problem. Six months later, it turned out to be anything BUT minor.</p> <p>This delightful, energetic pocket rocket arrived with a cough. It steadily worsened, which soon required a trip to our doctor, and medication. Both my wife and I had been in excellent health for some time, but we were fearful, of also contracting the cough. And so it turned out to be so. Within a few days, my wife had all the typical flu like symptoms, and was quite miserable for a number of days. I thought “touch wood, so far I’m fine” but unfortunately that was not to last, and soon I was feeling sick and as usual with some men, felt certain I was far worse than my wife!</p> <p>Suddenly and without warning, my condition severely worsened. Virtually overnight, I sensed a slight hearing loss in my right ear. It was nothing major, like having cotton wool in my ear. A short time later I became aware of the same thing happening (but slightly worse) in my left ear. This concerned me a great deal. I hoped that somehow miraculously my hearing would return to normal, which unfortunately did not eventuate.</p> <p>I resented the thought of having to pay $45 for a visit to my GP, but eventually was concerned enough to concede I had no other alternative.</p> <p>“Probably a sinus issue,” he said as he gave me his bill, and a prescription for some nasal drops.</p> <p>“They will do the trick,” he said smiling, as I left, feeling confident that would be the end of the matter. Being the excellent, diligent patient, I did exactly as was prescribed.</p> <p>One week later, there was no change. Two weeks later and still there was no improvement. I was becoming concerned, but resented the thought of paying another $45.00 for a doctor’s visit.</p> <p>The next time we were in town, I went into the pharmacy where I had picked up my prescription, and explained my problem to the pharmacist. He looked up on the computer what I had been prescribed, and suggested I try a similar alternative informing me, with a smile on his face “this will work quickly…within a few days”. Happily, and confident, I walked out… but $30 poorer.</p> <p>Several days later, there was still no change. If anything I was getting worse. I was having bouts (fortunately not at all the same time) of really bad sore throats, ear ache, bleeding noses and dreadful headaches, which were my biggest concern.</p> <p>Reluctantly, another appointment (and another $45) was made with my doctor. After another examination, he told me, “I don’t think it is a sinus problem, but it could be some kind of viral complaint.” He appeared to be very vague and I sensed, not very optimistic of a correct diagnosis.</p> <p>This opinion was re-enforced when he did not suggest any alternative medication.</p> <p>So what was my reaction? I had paid $90 for two GP visits, plus $5 for a prescription, and another $30 from the pharmacy, which for a pensioner like myself, represented a large amount of money. However, nothing seemed to be making any difference. I was more than slightly annoyed and frustrated. As I was about to leave my GP he casually mentioned, “You might like to get your hearing checked”.</p> <p>A short time later, while walking in town, I saw a sign for “Free Hearing Check”. I thought that will do, wrote the number down, and immediately phoned after arriving home. An appointment was made. Little did I know at the time, but six months later, visits to the audiologist were to become numerous and common, because of on-going hearing concerns I was to experience.       </p> <p>After a lengthy and extensive hearing test, I was informed of the result, for which I was totally un-prepared: “Moderate to severe hearing loss in BOTH ears, slightly worse in the left ear, which MAY NOT worsen, but will certainly NOT improve”. She went on to say, “eventually you will require hearing aids”.</p> <p>(Unfortunately, and for reasons still unknown, my hearing has slowly continued to deteriorate.)</p> <p>I was deeply shocked as I drove home to inform my wife. We did not know a great deal about hearing aids, apart from the fact they can be reasonably expensive, which was also a concern. Before leaving my audiologist, she informed me, “I will send a copy of my report to your GP.”</p> <p>A few weeks later, an appointment at the ENT Department in the local hospital was made.</p> <p>“Yes, there is a severe hearing loss,” I was told, before being further informed “grommets will help, but not solve the problem”.</p> <p>Upon arriving home, I did something crazy which I later regretted. I googled grommets, in an attempt to find out what they were, and how the procedure was done, all of which was a HUGE mistake. I realised I was in for considerable pain and discomfort.</p> <p>The procedure was duly performed, and unfortunately was as painful as I predicted. Without going into details, several injections were inserted behind the ears, and as most people are aware, there is little surplus fat, in that part of the human body. What made it worse was the fact that after one ear was completed I still had to endure the discomfort of having the other ear done. About 90 minutes later the painful ordeal was over, and I promised myself, NEVER to be repeated. Before leaving, I was informed, “for the first three to four weeks, expect SOME slight improvement, but nothing after that”.</p> <p>At about that stage, I did something which at the time, did not think had anything to do with my hearing, but as of today, I’m uncertain.</p> <p>A large retail store specialising in eye wear was advertising “Free Vision Check”. Because a few years ago I had a major problem with my left eye, I thought this would be a great chance to make sure my eye was OK, and I was free of glaucoma or any other possible eye problems.</p> <p>I was happy and confident, when the examination began. Oh yes, a couple of times while driving on the country road, VERY RARELY I noticed a VERY SLIGHT blurriness, but thought it was nothing, just old age beginning to catch up with me, and nothing to worry about. Besides, (I felt) my driving was still as good as it had always been.</p> <p>However, part way through the examination, I just knew I was in trouble. The optician suddenly stopped and asked, “Do you drive a vehicle”? To which I proudly and confidently replied “Yes” thinking, “what man does NOT drive?”</p> <p>She quickly replied, “You should not be driving, certainly without glasses,” before adding “if you were in an accident you would not be covered by insurance”.</p> <p>That did not make sense to me, but for once I made no reply. I was totally speechless. Me, a retired man who had driven for over 55 years, and suddenly being told I should NOT be driving! The mere thought was simply outrageous. It is like handing over the T.V. remote to your wife… it simply DOES NOT happen!</p> <p>During the course of the next few weeks and after several visits, selecting frames from the huge range available, and getting the correct lenses, I picked up my flash new glasses, and yes, I am probably now a safer driver, but it pains me to admit it. Numbers and small writing on the TV and when reading, are now much clearer, so maybe my vision was not as “great” as I thought.</p> <p>Friends and family really enjoy my “new look” and make positive comments about them.</p> <p>Now back to my hearing problem. Exactly four weeks of the grommets trauma I was back to my audiologist. My right ear hearing had improved slightly, but, unfortunately, as I had sensed, not my left ear.</p> <p>We then discussed various hearing aid options, such as battery or re-chargeable, inner ear or ones that sit on top of the ear, connected to an ear piece. With her help and advice a re-chargeable, and 30mm outer ear hearing aids were chosen, which best suited my needs. They were barely visible, when in place and I was delighted to pick them up, a short time later. There was a wide variety of prices, but for something as important as the ability to hear, we felt it essential to be sensible about our choice.</p> <p>My wife is VERY relieved, as she no longer has to talk loudly to me, and I can now have the sound on the TV reduced to a level that does not disturb the neighbours several hundred metres away.</p> <p>It is still early days, and I am experiencing some normal initial problems. I have been told this is to be expected. However, with the on-going help and support from my amazing, friendly, supportive, professional audiologist, I am slowly getting used to them.</p> <p>Six months later after I became aware of a problem, it has largely been resolved, and as a result of improved vision and hearing my quality of life has certainly improved.</p> <p>I still have two major unresolved issues…</p> <ol> <li>Is there a connection between a perceived weakness in my left ear and left eye?</li> <li>Why is the hearing in my left ear slowly continuing to worsen?</li> </ol> <p>Six months later, from now, hopefully we will have the answers to those (for now) unanswered questions.</p> <p> </p>

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Jane Fonda gets candid about how sex changes as you get older

<p>While promoting her latest movie Book Club, actress Jane Fonda has openly discussed how sex changes as you get older.</p> <p>“For women, it gets better because we understand our bodies more,” the 80-year-old star told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>news.com.au</strong></span></a>.</p> <p>“We know what we need and we know what we like and we’re less afraid to ask for it.</p> <p>“Also, what’s good is that men tend to slow down a little more as they get older. Slow is the operative word, finally, they get it … or they’re forced to get it.”</p> <p>Fonda said the physical setting where it happens should also change as you age.</p> <p>“You want the lighting to change as you get older."</p> <p>"Lighting is important. We tend to want a lot of candles and I usually carry a red scarf with me to put over the lamp.</p> <p>“Dark is good,” the iconic actor joked.</p> <p>Sex is a prominent theme in Fonda's new movie, which focuses on four friends dissecting their relationship issues as they read Fifty Shades of Grey in their monthly book club.</p> <p>The movie also stars Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen and Candice Bergen.</p> <p>When asked if they were drinking real wine when filming the movie, Fonda admitted that it was grape juice.</p> <p>“You spend a whole day doing a scene and if it was real wine, by the time we got halfway through the day we’d be on our faces.”</p> <p>At the Australian premiere of the movie, Fonda also revealed the love and sex advice she would give her younger self.</p> <p>“You can have sex without love and you can have love without sex,” Jane told <a href="https://au.be.yahoo.com/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Be</strong></em></span></a>. </p> <p>“The ideal is when they both come together.”</p> <p>The two-time Oscar winner admitted that there was one characteristic she overlooked in her youth.</p> <p>“One thing you don’t tend to look for when you’re young is kindness,” she said. </p> <p>“It didn’t occur to me until I was in my 70s that one should look for kindness.”</p> <p>“You have to feel seen, safe and celebrated and if you don’t feel those things it’s [not worth it].”</p> <p>Fonda has been married three times and up until last year was in a long-term relationship with American record producer Richard Perry.</p> <p>The couple first started dating in 2009. </p>

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Doctors issue warning: How your gel and acrylic nails may be affecting your health

<p>With nail salons around the country advertising their services at affordable prices, the popularity of gel and acrylic nails have hit its peak. More long-wearing than your standard manicure, it’s the most convenient option for women on the go.</p> <p>But as the saying goes: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. New research has shown that a certain chemical found in both treatments can cause adverse reactions if not applied properly. Dermatologists in both the UK and Ireland have officially issued a health warning about the methacrylate chemical – a substance that is found in almost all gel and acrylic nails, which is causing an “allergy epidemic” across the two countries.</p> <p>Allergy tests of 4,931 patients across 13 dermatology units were assessed to come to this outcome, as results showed that at least 2.4 per cent of those people could be suffering from this allergy. Another study conducted in 2017 by the British Association of Dermatologists discovered that the chemical was most likely to cause a reaction when it touches the skin, with side effects including loosening nails or a red and itchy rash that can appear anywhere on the body.</p> <p>Those affected the most were nail technicians who come into regular contact with the chemical and those who attempt to do their own manicures at home rather than seeing a professional. </p> <p>The moral of the story? Go see a qualified nail technician and dump the at-home nail kits in the bin.</p> <p>Do you prefer to do your own nails or get someone else to do it for you? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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The incredibly common disease making everyday life painful

<p>I have vivid memories of my gorgeous grandma sitting in her favourite chair in our living room at the end of the day, watching the chaos and bustle of family life unfolding around her.</p> <p>In my mind, she is always rubbing her knees, and when it came time for her to go to bed, helping her up was always accompanied by groans and utterances (she was far too polite to swear) as her joints had seized up and moving was agony.</p> <p>I know now that she had osteoarthritis (OA), and probably quite severely. But back then it was just "grandma's knees" and something that was to be expected for all older people.</p> <p>Sadly for many older people, and some younger ones too, this is true – this type of joint disease is incredibly common, and more so as we age. Figures show that half of us will get OA in our knees during our lives, and 1 in 4 of us will have it in our hips by the time we reach 85 years old. Other joints commonly involved include hands, neck and lower back.</p> <p>OA is really a process of "wear and tear". The overuse of our primary weight bearing joints (ie knees and hips) as well as joints we are constantly moving (such as the small joints in our hands) eventually leads to destruction of the cartilage, whose role is to provide a cushion between the bones ends.</p> <p>Once this cartilage starts to erode, fluid and inflammation build up in the joint, the bone ends become ragged and can even start to chip off, and eventually all that is left is bone rubbing against bone.</p> <p>The symptoms caused by this process vary depending on which joints are affected, but classically include:</p> <p>- Pain on movement, especially when getting out of bed in the morning, or, as in my grandma's case, after sitting or resting for a long time</p> <p>- Pain in the affected joints at rest</p> <p>- Swelling in and around the joints – this may be particularly evident in joints such as knees and hands</p> <p>- Weakness of the muscles around the joints</p> <p>- Creaking or crackling in the joints with movement</p> <p>- Restricted movement in the affected joints</p> <p>- Permanent deformity of the joints, especially evident if the fingers are affected.</p> <p>Sadly, there is no magic cure for avoiding OA, but knowing if you are at risk is important, as there are steps you can take to try and look after your joints.</p> <p>Although most of us will develop some degree of OA as we get older, there are definitely groups of people who are likely to be affected at a much younger age – these include those with a strong family history of OA, athletes who have "overused" their joints or had repeated injuries (the classic being rugby players who often need joint replacements in their 40s and 50s), people with high impact occupations such as farmers, and those who are obese as the extra weight puts more strain on ageing joints.</p> <p>If you think you fall into a high risk group, it's important to try and minimise the impact on your joints as much as you can – you can do this by altering what kind of exercise you do (for example water based activities are far less likely to cause a problem than running on a hard surface); ensuring you wear good, cushioned footwear at all times; reducing your weight if that is an issue; following a good "Mediterranean" diet high in olive oil, fruit, vegetables, fish and nuts; and avoiding injury where possible. Easier said than done I know.</p> <p>The other key piece of advice for anyone suffering from OA is to talk to a health professional early. The pain and immobility OA causes can have a huge impact on your life, and eventually may start to affect your mental well-being as well as your ability to function as you would like. You don't need to suffer to that extent and managing your symptoms early will lead to a much better quality of life.</p> <p>There are great options now for pain relief, most of which work best if they are used regularly, as well as good exercise regimes that will help ensure your joints stay mobile and functional for as long as possible. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture can help some people reduce the swelling and pain, and good physio or hydrotherapy can vastly improve functioning.</p> <p>If the "first line" treatments haven't worked, I would suggest you ask your doctor what else can be done – more invasive management includes steroid injections into the affected joints, surgery to "clean up" the wear and tear in a joint, or joint replacement where the affected joint is removed and replaced with an artificial one. The good news is that OA is an area where much research is happening, so the future will hopefully bring different treatment options that avoid the need for major surgery.</p> <p>If you or a loved one suffer from OA, or any other type of joint problem, I would highly recommend you get in touch with Arthritis New Zealand (<em><a href="http://www.arthritis.org.nz/" target="_blank">www.arthritis.org.nz</a></em>) – they are there to help, support, connect and advise and have a wealth of really useful resources.</p> <p><em>Written by Dr Cathy Stephenson. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/106397044/dr-cathy-stephenson-the-incredibly-common-disease-making-everyday-life-painful" target="_blank">Stuff.co.nz</a>.</em></p>

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