3 Potent Herbs to Help You ‘Rise to the Occasion’

Few things could be more frustrating than an inability to achieve a rock-steady sustainable erection. Men and women from all over the world face this difficulty from time to time, and clear methods to remedy the situation are not always easy to find. Now I am not saying that an erect penis is absolutely necessary for a fantastic sex life, far from it, but, the ability to gain an erection in the first place is certainly a contributory cause for many delightful sexual experiences – experiences that are unfortunately denied to all those who have trouble in this area.

The causes of a man’s inability to give rise to and sustain an erection are multifaceted and complex – ranging from the biological to the social and psychological. Thus a simple effective catch-all remedy is most likely not ever going to be found. However, most would agree that if the basic mechanical biology and physiology needed for erections is not working properly then erections will, in principle, become impossible.

Generally, the scientific literature has pointed to a number of biological factors that are correlated with erectile dysfunction. To put it simply, apart from obvious mechanical injury to the ‘apparatus’, the main biological factor that underlies most erectile dysfunction is cardiovascular health – in particular the health of blood vessels and other factors (e.g. heart) that affect blood quality and flow to and from the penis.

The following three herbs have potent beneficial effects on the health of the heart and blood vessels, as well as multiple other beneficial effects. Be sure to check with your favorite healthcare practitioner before supplementing with any substance to ensure correct dosage and safety.

Ginkgo Biloba

Gingko Biloba has been used for millennia by many cultures around the world as a potent super herb. Research indicates that Gingko improves sexual arousal, increases orgasm intensity and improves the ability for men to generate and sustain an erection! It is thought that these remarkable effects are due to ginkgo’s ability to affect and improve blood flow to the penile area by encouraging the production of nitric oxide (a key molecule involved in the dilation and constriction of blood vessels).

Not only does gingko help us to rise to the occasion but it has also been found to boost immune function, ease the symptoms of asthma and combat fatigue. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Ginseng

Ginseng has long been known as a potent aphrodisiac and anti-inflammatory to Chinese medical practitioners. Ginseng’s active components have been shown to protect the liver from damage, reduce chronic fatigue, boost immune function and protect the cardiovascular system from damage and degenerative disease.[5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

More to the point for our purposes is the fact that several studies have shown that certain components of ginseng (viz. ginseng derived polyphenols) improve erectile functioning and increase sex drive and sexual satisfaction in men with erectile dysfunction. These effects are thought to be due to the ability of these ginseng derived polyphenols to stimulate nitric oxide production (helpful for the cardiovascular system) and modulate testosterone balance in the body. [10] [11] [12] [13]

Maca Root

Maca has become increasingly known in recent years as a tasty malty-flavored superfood, however, what many may not know is that it has been considered as a fantastic aphrodisiac and ‘endurance booster’ by traditional Peruvian tribes for centuries.

Modern scientific investigation into this ancient aphrodisiac has revealed that the powdered root of the Maca plant is chock full of essential micro minerals and amino acids. Studies into the effects of Maca root powder have shown that it can improve metabolism, help regulate body weight, reduce stress, improve mood, increase energy levels and enhance memory. [14] [15] [16] As if this wasn’t enough, Maca has also been shown to improve libido, combat erectile dysfunction and protect the nervous system. [17] [18]

REFERENCES

[1] Xu, A., et al. “Immunomodulatory effect of Ginkgo biloba exocarp polysaccharides on immunosuppressive mice induced by cyclophosphamide.” Chinese Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology 22.1 (2008): 69.

[2] Cohen, Alan J., and Barbara Bartlik. “Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.” Journal of sex & marital therapy 24.2 (1998): 139-143.

[3] Kang, Byung‐Jo, et al. “A placebo‐controlled, double‐blind trial of Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant‐induced sexual dysfunction.” Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental 17.6 (2002): 279-284.

[4] Sohn, Michael, and Richard Sikora. “Ginkgo biloba extract in the therapy of erectile dysfunction.” Journal of Sex Education and Therapy 17.1 (1991): 53-61.

[5] Kim, Hyun Ju, et al. “Protection of rat liver microsomes against carbon tetrachloride-induced lipid peroxidation by red ginseng saponin through cytochrome P450 inhibition.” Planta medica 63.05 (1997): 415-418.

[6] Wang, Jia, et al. “Anti-fatigue activity of the water-soluble polysaccharides isolated from Panax ginseng CA Meyer.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 130.2 (2010): 421-423.

[7] Lee, Y. S., et al. “Activation of multiple effector pathways of immune system by the antineoplastic immunostimulator acidic polysaccharide ginsan isolated from Panax ginseng.” Anticancer research 17.1A (1996): 323-331.

[8] Meldrum, D. R., et al. “Lifestyle and metabolic approaches to maximizing erectile and vascular health.” International journal of impotence research 24.2 (2012): 61-68.

[9] Kitts, D. D., and C. Hu. “Efficacy and safety of ginseng.” Public health nutrition 3.4a (2000): 473-485.

[10] Jang, Dai‐Ja, et al. “Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review.” British journal of clinical pharmacology 66.4 (2008): 444-450.

[11] Kwan, Chiu-Yin, et al. “Vascular effects of Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): endothelium-dependent NO-and EDHF-mediated relaxation depending on vessel size.” Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s archives of pharmacology 369.5 (2004): 473-480.

[12] Hong, Bumsik, et al. “A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report.” The Journal of urology 168.5 (2002): 2070-2073.

[13] Choi, H. K., D. H. Seong, and K. H. Rha. “Clinical efficacy of Korean red ginseng for erectile dysfunction.” International journal of impotence research 7.3 (1995): 181-186.

[14] Večeřa, Rostislav, et al. “The influence of maca (Lepidium meyenii) on antioxidant status, lipid and glucose metabolism in rat.” Plant foods for human nutrition 62.2 (2007): 59-63.

[15] Zenico, T., et al. “Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well‐being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, double‐blind clinical trial.” Andrologia 41.2 (2009): 95-99.

[16] Rubio, Julio, et al. “Effect of three different cultivars of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on learning and depression in ovariectomized mice.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 6.1 (2006): 23.

[17] Balick, Michael J., and Roberta Lee. “Maca: from traditional food crop to energy and libido stimulant.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 8.2 (2002): 96.

[18] Gonzales, Gustavo F., et al. “Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men.” andrologia 34.6 (2002): 367-372.

Acne Therapy

Acne Treatment Therapy

Non-abrasive lasers (which are commonly referred to as cold lasers) do not attack and ‘burn’ the outer layers of the skin but use high-intensity light to reduce the production of sebum (skin oil) in the sebaceous glands and stimulate the production of collagen to act as a filler for depressed scarring. Cold laser treatment for acne scarring is becoming increasingly popular because there are very few side effects and recovery times are relatively short.

Low level lasers penetrate the epidermis which is the top layer of skin, into the dermis. Utilizing the most advanced selective absorption elements, the light is safely and easily absorbed by melanin in skin. This gently clears of the skin of all blemishes and marks making it smooth and attractive. The Photo rejuvenation acne therapy is very useful for treating acne. Acne marks usually take a long to heal but through photo rejuvenation therapy even the deepest acne marks dissolve away by the forth or fifth sitting.

Understanding Acne and Its Causes

Acne is an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous or oil glands and hair follicles of the skin. It is characterized by plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly known as pimples or zits. Acne can occur on the face, neck, back, chest, shoulder, and upper arm areas. Acne is the most common skin disease. For most people, acne is associated with adolescence – indeed, most young adults have acne. For some, however, acne can last well into adulthood. While it is not a life threatening condition, it can have significant emotional effects. Severe and even moderate acne can lead to permanent scarring.

What is acne?

In acne, the oil producing sebaceous gland produces excessive amounts of oily secretion, which drains into the hair follicle. This secretion, called sebum, hardens into a plug called a blackhead, which blocks the follicle opening. Blocked pores allowed bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which normally live on the skin, to grow in the trapped sebum and cause inflammation of the surrounding area.

Acne lesions (comedones or singular comedo) come in two basic forms – whiteheads and blackheads. A comedo that stays below the skin surface produces a white bump called a whitehead, whereas an open comedo that reaches the skin surface produces a black plug called
a blackhead. The black color of the blackhead is not caused by dirt. Neither whiteheads nor blackheads should be squeezed or “popped” without proper medical supervision under sterile conditions. This is because injured lesions can become infected and/or scarred.

Other Types of Acne Lesions

Sometimes acne lesions can turn into these various forms of lesions:

Papule
A papule is a small (less than 5 mm), inflamed solid lesion that appears as small, pink bumps on the skin. A group of small papules may not be visible to the eye, but can have a “sandpaper” feel and be tender to the touch.

Pustule (Pimple)
A pustule is a dome-shaped lesion filled with pus containing a mixture of white blood cells, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Often red at the base, a pustule that forms over a hair follicle usually has hair in the center. Normally, pustules that are resolved without turning into cysts do not leave any scars.

Nodule
Similar to a papule, a nodule is a dome-shaped or irregularly shaped lesion. However, a nodule is deeper than a papule, and can cause pain and/or scarring.

Cyst
A cyst is a deep and painful lesion filled with pus containing a mixture of white blood cells, dead skin cells, and bacteria. It is usually larger than a pustule and can lead to scarring. This condition is usually referred to as cystic acne.

Red Spot (Macula)
Red spots or maculae are usually flat, pinkish red in color at first, with a well-defined border. Untreated, maculae normally go away on
their own after 4 to 6 months, and may change into a darker brownish red color before clearing up. Maculae typically disappear without any
trace or scars.

Post-Inflammatory Pigmentation
This form of pigmentation occurs at the site of the healed or healing acne, especially in people with darker skin tones. Some post-inflammatory pigmentation can last up to almost 2 years, especially with excessive sun exposure.

Acne Scars
Scars caused by injury to the skin tissue and the subsequent repair process. In cases of acne, especially deep acne, tissue injury
is the result of the body’s inflammatory response to the dead cells and bacteria in the plugged sebum.

In most cases, only nodule and cystic acne are associated with scarring. In people who are prone to scarring, however, common acne lesions may result in permanent scars. There are two types of scars: those caused by increased tissue formation and those caused by
loss of tissue.

In the first type, called keloids, skin injury from acne inflammation causes the cells to overproduce collagen, resulting in increased tissue formation. Typical keloid scars are a series of solid, irregular bumps about 1 to 2 mm in diameter. This form of scar is rare, and usually only
affects people with a family history of keloid scarring. A more common scarring associated with acne is that caused by tissue loss, such as the ice-pick scar. Usually occurring in the cheeks, ice pick scar forms when deep and shallow indentations or holes are left by acne.

Who Gets Acne?

Acne is found in people of all races and ages. Almost all adolescents and young adults develop acne – indeed, nearly 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 have acne. For most, acne goes away by the time they reach their thirties. However, for some, acne can develop well into adulthood.

Acne affects young men and women about equally. However, young men are more likely to suffer from more severe and longer lasting forms of acne. Young women are more likely to suffer from intermittent acne caused by hormonal changes associated with their menstrual cycles or from acne caused by cosmetics.

Causes of Acne
Although the exact cause of acne is not known, it is thought that one or more of the following factors are involved in causing acne:

Genetics
The predisposition to acne is inherited from either parents – that is, you are more likely to suffer from acne if one or both of your parents also suffered from acne.

Hormones
The increase in the production of male sex hormones called androgens in young men and women during puberty is thought to cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce excess sebum. The oily sebum often forms hardened plugs that lead to acne. For women, pregnancy, menstruation or period, starting or stopping taking birth control pills, can cause drastic changes in hormonal levels and lead to acne breakouts. For some women, elevated hormone levels tend to make them breakout 2 to 7 days before their period.

Prescribed Medicines
Certain drugs, such as androgens, lithium (for psychological conditions), and barbiturates (to control seizures), can cause acne. Usually, the acne only lasts as long as the drugs are taken.

Cosmetics
For some, cosmetics or makeup can plug pores or cause follicles to stick together and thereby cause acne.

Stress
Although the experts disagree on whether stress actually causes acne, it certainly can aggravate existing acne conditions. In particular, severe stress or prolonged emotional tension can make acne worse.

Humidity and Environmental Pollutants
High humidity as well as environmental irritants such as pollution can make acne worse.

Physical Irritations
Acne condition can worsen if the skin is rubbed hard, or pustules are picked and squeezed. Handling of acne with unwashed hands can also introduce bacteria, which can get inside the acne lesion and cause infections. Friction from collars, backpacks, or helmets worn too tightly can also cause acne to flare up. It is important to keep in mind that the causes of acne above are not absolutes – different individuals are susceptible to different causes (or combination of causes) of acne. Furthermore, factors cause acne in some people may only aggravate existing acne conditions in others.

Google Analytics

Dental Online Marketing: What Website Metrics Should You Track?

Online marketing can get super confusing if you don’t know what to track.

Should you try to boost website traffic? Or should you focus on conversions? Or maybe even metrics like time-on-site or bounce rate?

If you don’t know how to make sense of all your website data, it becomes almost useless. Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at deciphering website analytics for dental professionals with some help from our friends at DoctorHero.com. We’ll show you how to take a jumbled mess of data and turn it into actionable insights for your practice.

1) The Top-Level Information

First off, when trying to break down the success (or failure) of your online marketing efforts… start by taking a look at the more general over-arching stats. These include features like website traffic, bounce rate, and your overall conversions for the month. If you haven’t started tracking conversions… it’s time to get on that. Because if you don’t know how well your website is performing, you won’t be able to improve on it. Similarly, if you aren’t conversion tracking, your marketing efforts will be wasted because you’ll never know what specific pieces of your marketing funnel require improvement.

2) Getting Into The Heavy Stuff

After setting up your website tracking correctly, now you can start gathering actual information and insights from the data.

During this phase you should be looking at a few key areas: conversion rate, what pages on your site drive conversions, and what traffic sources are driving your most profitable source of traffic.

The idea in this stage of the process is to identify your most profitable marketing channels. Often there will be a small segment of your traffic that is driving the vast majority of your conversions. Remember: Conversions are a measure of how many people take the desired action that your website is intended to accomplish. That could be anything from sending you a request for more information through a contact form or even giving you a phone call.

To recap, first you need to keep an eye on how well your marketing efforts are performing on a macro-scale (with things like overall traffic and conversions for the month) then you can look at individual marketing channels (like referral traffic sources, or which pages drive the highest conversion rate)… and that leads us to the third part of smart website data analysis.

3) Turning Data Into Actionable Insight

Now that we know what to track, what to look at, and how to gather information about your online marketing efforts… you need to put that information to use. Once you have done a thorough analysis of what traffic sources are driving the most traffic (it’s also worth remember the quality of the traffic being sent) and what pages or sub-divisions of your practice drive the highest conversions… it’s time to focus on those key areas.

Essentially, you should double-down on the high-performing marketing channels that are growing your business, and cut out spending (whether it costs time or money) on the lowest-performing segment of your marketing efforts. This way, you can continuously improve your marketing efforts by testing new strategies and methods and only sticking to the best-performing ones over time.

What is Sciatica and How its Treated

Sciatica is a condition involving pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. It is caused by injury to or compression of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica is a form of peripheral neuropathy. It occurs when there is damage to the sciatic nerve, located in the back of the leg. This nerve controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg and the sole of the foot. Incomplete damage to the sciatic nerve may appear identical to damage to one of the branches of the sciatic nerve (tibial nerve dysfunction or common peroneal nerve dysfunction).

The main nerve traveling down the leg is the sciatic nerve. Pain associated with the sciatic nerve usually originates higher along the spinal
cord when nerve roots become compressed or damaged from narrowing of the vertebral column or from a slipped disk. Symptoms can include tingling, numbness, or pain, which radiates to the buttocks legs and feet.

The sciatic nerve is commonly injured by fractures of the pelvis, or other trauma to the buttocks or thigh. Prolonged sitting or lying with
pressure on the buttocks may also injure it. Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, can typically damage many different nerves, including
the sciatic nerve.

Note: A ruptured lumbar disk in the spine may cause symptoms that simulate the symptoms of sciatic nerve dysfunction.

How does Laser Therapy treat sciatica?

Laser Therapy will increase circulation, enhance the formation of new blood and lymphatic vessels and nerve endings and reduce edema. It will increase the activity and numbers of fibroblasts, cells which produce collagen, the forerunner of cartilage. Other formative cells are
also positively influenced. One of laser therapy’s many immune enhancing effects is an increase in the number and activity of macrophages.

How many treatments will I need?

Patients frequently report an absence of pain after laser treatment. A large part of this may be due to the anti-inflammatory effect of laser therapy as increased circulation and lymphatic drainage reduce edema and pressure on the nerves. Some of the many other reasons for analgesia include elevated levels of endorphins, electrolytic nerve blockade, cellular membrane hyperpolarization and the restoration of blood flow to the areas of stagnation to correct ischemia and acidosis. How many treatments needed will depend on how your body responds, and the length and severity of the injury. Although many people can experience pain relief rather quickly, the underlying cause will require a series of treatments.

Laser Therapy and Tendinitis

Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon, the bands of strong connective tissue that attach muscle to bone, which are often due to a repetitive strain injury (RSI). The condition is common among athletes, manual laborers, and computer users that tend to overuse the tendons through repetitive motions. Tendinitis can also result from an acute injury that stretches the tendon. Laser therapy has recently emerged as an effective treatment for tendinitis. Research suggests it can provide relief from pain and faster healing of tendinitis than conventional treatments, which rely primarily on resting the injured tendon and using ice to reduce inflammation. Laser therapy may also replace anti-inflammatory and pain medications or physical therapy as a treatment for tendinitis.

How Does Laser Therapy Treat Tendinitis?

Repeated straining of a tendon can cause small tears that lead to the inflammation of the tendon. The fibrous tissues of the tendons have a relatively poor blood supply and are therefore slow to heal compared with muscle or bone. The pain, swelling, stiffness, and weakness caused by tendinitis can last for months or even years. Laser therapy reduces the pain and inflammation and appears to promote healing. Laser therapy for tendinitis may reduce the need for surgery and cut the healing time for tendinitis by as much as 50%.

It is not precisely clear how laser therapy treats tendinitis. Practitioners believe that the photons from the laser beam stimulate the cells of the damaged tissues, increasing cell division, circulation, and oxygen supply to the tissues, thereby promoting tissue regeneration. Laser
therapy for tendinitis is also said to promote nerve cell regeneration.

What Types of Tendinitis Can Be Treated with Laser Therapy?

Tendinitis is also called tendonitis, tendinosis, tendonosis, or tendinopathy. There are numerous types of tendinitis that may be treated with laser therapy:

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis affects the tendons of the shoulder.
  • Tendinitis can affect the tendon that attaches the biceps muscle to the shoulder.
  • Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is tendinitis of the outer tendons of the elbow. Golfer’s
    elbow or medial epicondylitis is tendinitis of the inner tendons of the elbow. These usually
    occur in the right elbow of right-handed people and the left elbow of left-handed people.
  • Tendinitis can occur in the tendons of the forearm, wrist, hand, or thumb.
  • Iliotibial band tendinitis involves the hip.
  • Patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee is an affliction of the tendon connecting the kneecap to
    the shinbone.
  • Achilles tendinitis affects the lower calf or the heel.

Achilles tendinitis, a painful swelling of the Achilles tendon of the heel, is the most common typeof tendinitis. The Achilles tendon that connects the leg muscles to the foot is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. Achilles tendinitis is a common injury, especially in athletes. Since Achilles tendinitis does not respond well to anti-inflammatory medications, it may be a particularly good candidate for laser therapy.

What is Laser Therapy?

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a type of phototherapy that is also called cold laser or soft laser therapy. It is a non-invasive technique that focuses low-level or low-intensity laser infrared light beams on the injured tendon. Low-level laser therapy for tendinitis differs dramatically from conventional laser surgery that uses hot or high-intensity laser beams to treat cancer or other
medical conditions.

Laser therapy for tendinitis is painless. The patient may feel a warm, tingling sensation as the nerves are stimulated. Laser surgery for tendinitis requires at least ten treatments, usually of short duration.

Laser acupuncture is also used to treat tendinitis. With laser acupuncture, the laser beam is focused on the appropriate acupuncture points, eliminating the need for needles. Although there is evidence that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for tendinitis, the evidence for the effectiveness of laser acupuncture is less compelling.

Is Laser Therapy Effective for Tendinitis?

The effects of laser therapy for tendinitis depend on the effective dose of laser light and how far the light penetrates. Penetration through the skin depends on:

  • The wavelength of the light used
  • The power of the laser machine
  • Whether the device produces a pulse or a continuous wave of laser light
  • The operator’s technique

In general, the higher the infrared wavelength, the deeper the laser beam penetrates, up to about three centimeters into the tendon. However above a wavelength of 950 nm, the water in the tissue absorbs the light, producing heat and greatly reducing penetration.

Studies have found that laser therapy is an effective treatment for various types of tendinitis. A 2008 study found that LLLT, in combination with muscle-stretching exercises, cut athletes’ recovery times from chronic Achilles tendinitis by 50%. Other studies have demonstrated that
LLLT reduces inflammation and pain associated with Achilles tendinitis. A 2007 study found that LLLT, in combination with exercises, was more effective than exercises alone in the treatment of epicondylitis.

Is Laser Therapy Safe for Tendinitis?

LLLT is considered to be safe and has no known side effects. However, the laser beam should never be:

  • Shone directly into an eye
  • Used on the abdomen of a pregnant woman
  • Used in the presence of photosensitive compounds
  • Applied directly to cancerous tissue

Laser Therapy for Pain Relief

Looking for a unique treatment that can help your body heal from chronic injuries and relieve pain? Low level laser therapy is changing the way health care practitioners are helping individuals heal from injuries and chronic disease and improve their quality of life.

According to published Medical Reports, Low Level Laser Therapy can improve many acute and chronic conditions such as:

  • Relief of hand and wrist pain associated with Carpal
  • Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Relief of muscle and joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle spasm
  • Relief of stiffness
  • Promotion of muscle relaxation

How Low-level Laser Therapy Works

Low level laser therapy traces its history back to the early 1960’s when researchers discovered that laser light could stimulate a response at the cellular level of tissues in the body, resulting in increased energy levels (ATP, adenosine triphosphate). This increase in energy enables the body’s cells to metabolize at a higher rate and speeds its natural ability to heal. In short, the body converts the laser light into a
form of energy that it can use (biochemical energy) to repair itself and function at a higher efficiency level. This process is similar to the human body using the sun’s energy to manufacture Vitamin D.

How Low Level Laser Therapy is Used

Low level laser therapy has almost endless applications because of its approach to healing. Its low intensity does not burn or cut tissue like high-powered surgical lasers and there are no known side effects. Laser therapy is effective in treating many conditions that are prominent today, such as chronic arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and sports injuries just to name a few. Many professional athletes utilize laser therapy to reduce healing time. People worldwide are experiencing the benefits of laser therapy by eliminating their
dependence on pain medications, avoiding surgery, decreasing or eliminating pain, and returning to a healthier lifestyle.

Low-level Laser Therapy may assist you or someone you care about in reducing pain medications or avoiding surgery. Low-level Laser Therapy is a noninvasive and drugless alternative approach to aid in pain reduction.

Pregnancy and Smoking

Pregnancy and SmokingPregnancy gives you a huge incentive to quit smoking, but it also complicates your choice of methods. You may not be able to quit on your own, but you also have to think twice before exposing your baby to the medications in pills and patches. So what are the best options?

Successful quitters have found different ways to kick the habit. Some try the drug bupropion (Zyban) or nicotine patches, gums, or
sprays — which are generally safe when used under the guidance of a doctor. (They’re certainly safer than cigarettes.)
Others try counseling, perhaps in combination with a medication. Others just go the old-fashioned route and throw
away their cigarettes. No approach is right for everyone, and you may have to try a few different strategies or combinations before you find the one that works for you. Here’s a look at your options.

Quitting cold turkey

How it works: You throw out your cigarettes and vow not to smoke again.

Safety: You may feel lousy for a few weeks, but you won’t be doing yourself or your baby any harm. There’s no evidence that the stress of quitting has any effect on a fetus.

Success rate: In the general population, only about one in 20 people who go cold turkey without any other quitting aid manage to stay away from cigarettes. But during pregnancy you’re more likely to beat those odds because you’re more motivated to quit. And you can boost your chances of success by trying nicotine replacement or one of the other quitting aids listed below.

Pros: Quitting cold turkey is inexpensive and safe. If you do it on your own, you won’t have to make a doctor’s appointment or get a prescription. Most important, you’ll immediately stop exposing your baby to carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other dangerous chemicals in cigarettes.

Cons: If you’re a heavy smoker, you can expect to suffer from nicotine withdrawal for two to three weeks after quitting cold turkey. Symptoms include irritability, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and restlessness. For the first couple of weeks, you’ll also have powerful cravings for cigarettes.

Quitting gradually

How it works: You gradually cut back on cigarettes until you’re down to zero.

Safety: This method is completely safe — if you do it quickly enough. As long as you’re cigarette-free by the time you’re 14 weeks
pregnant, doctors say, your baby isn’t likely to be harmed. But if you’re still smoking after that point — even if it’s just one or two cigarettes
a day — you could be stunting your baby’s growth and opening the door to complications.

Success rate: Overall, cutting back gradually is no more effective than quitting cold turkey — it works for roughly one in 20 smokers.*
However, the small-steps approach may be a better choice if you smoke a pack a day or more.

Pros: Quitting gradually may help minimize the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, especially if you’re a heavy smoker. Your body will have
a chance to slowly adjust to the diminishing supply of nicotine in your bloodstream.

Cons: Those last couple of cigarettes may be especially hard to give up. And until you quit completely, you’re still endangering your baby and yourself.

Nicotine replacement

How it works: Nicotine is the addictive chemical in cigarettes. Nicotine patches, gums, and sprays help prevent nicotine withdrawal when
you quit.

Safety: Nobody knows exactly how nicotine affects a growing fetus or how much it contributes to low birth weight, premature birth, and
other complications. But since nicotine is just one of many toxins in cigarette smoke, this method is almost certainly safer for you and
your baby than smoking. Still, you should talk to your doctor before trying any type of nicotine replacement. Gums and sprays are
considered safer than patches because the short bursts of nicotine they provide add up to smaller doses of nicotine than you’d get from
a patch (or from smoking, for that matter). A patch may still be a good choice if you’re too nauseated to try anything else, but you should
only use brands that release nicotine for 16 hours instead of 24. The 16-hour patches are just as effective as the all-day patches, but
they’ll put less nicotine in your system.

Success rate: Nicotine replacement can boost smokers’ chances of quitting successfully, from roughly one in 20 to one in ten.*

Pros: Nicotine replacement treatments can help take the edge off your cigarette cravings. These treatments can be especially helpful if
you’re a heavy smoker or have had trouble quitting cold turkey.

Cons: There’s a small chance that nicotine replacement treatments could be harmful to your baby, especially if you wear a 24-hour
patch or overuse gum or sprays. Talk to your doctor before giving them a try.

Cost: About $120 to $140 for a one-month supply of gum, $70 to $100 for a one-month supply of patches, and $160 for a one-month
supply of nasal spray. (Note: Many insurance companies will cover part or most of the cost of smoking cessation treatments.)

Bupropion (Zyban)

How it works: This medication was originally marketed as an antidepressant under the brand name Wellbutrin. Doctors noticed that
patients taking the drug were unusually successful in their attempts to quit smoking. Researchers aren’t sure why it helps smokers quit.

Safety: Bupropion is generally considered safe, but it has never been thoroughly studied in pregnant women. Large doses of the drug
have been known to cause seizures. (There are no reports of this ever happening to a pregnant woman taking the medicine to quit
smoking.) The drug may not be safe for women who are already at a high risk of seizures, including those with preeclampsia or a history
of preeclampsia. Bupropion passes through breast milk, so it isn’t recommended for nursing mothers.

Success rate: Bupropion can boost smokers’ chances of quitting successfully from roughly one in 20 to one in ten.*

Pros: Bupropion is nicotine-free and easy to take. As a bonus, smokers who quit with the help of bupropion tend to gain less weight than
other quitters.

Cons: Known side effects include insomnia, dry mouth, and nausea. It’s unknown what effect, if any, this medication could have on
your developing baby.

Counseling

How it works: Whether you get a few words of encouragement from your doctor, call a quit line, join a group program, or have a
one-on-one session with an expert in smoking cessation, counseling can help keep you focused and motivated to quit.

Safety: It’s safe.

Success rate: It pays to have an expert on your side. Smoking cessation counseling can boost smokers’ chances of quitting successfully
from roughly one in 20 to one in ten.* Women who need extra help can combine counseling with other treatments such as bupropion
(Zyban) or nicotine replacement.

Pros: Counseling directly addresses the thoughts and behaviors that make the difference between success and failure. Besides, talking
to someone can help lower your stress, a good thing regardless of your smoking habit.

Cons: Few to none. If a certain forum or counselor doesn’t work for you, you can always try a different one.

Laser Therapy For Drug Addiction

Dozens of opiates and related drugs (sometimes called opioids) have been extracted from the seeds of the opium poppy or synthesized in
laboratories. The poppy seed contains morphine and codeine, among other drugs. Synthetic derivatives include hydrocodone (Vicodin),
oxycodone (Percodan, OxyContin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and heroin (diacetylmorphine). Some synthetic opiates or opioids with a different chemical structure but similar effects on the body and brain are propoxyphene (Darvon), meperidine (Demerol), and methadone.
Physicians use many of these drugs to treat pain.

Opiates suppress pain, reduce anxiety, and at sufficiently high doses produce euphoria. Most can be taken by mouth, smoked, or snorted, although addicts often prefer intravenous injection, which gives the strongest, quickest pleasure. The use of intravenous needles can lead to infectious disease, and an overdose, especially taken intravenously, often causes respiratory arrest and death.

Addicts take more than they intend, repeatedly try to cut down or stop, spend much time obtaining the drug and recovering from its effects, give up other pursuits for the sake of the drug, and continue to use it despite serious physical or psychological harm. Some cannot hold jobs and turn to crime to pay for illegal drugs. Heroin has long been the favorite of street addicts because it is several times more potent than morphine and reaches the brain especially fast, producing a euphoric rush when injected intravenously. But
prescription opiate analgesics, especially oxycodone and hydrocodone, have also become a problem.

In anyone who takes opiates regularly for a long time, nerve receptors are likely to adapt and begin to resist the drug, causing the need for higher doses.The other side of this tolerance is a physical withdrawal reaction that occurs when the drug leaves the body and receptors must readapt to its absence. This physical dependence is not equivalent to addiction. Many patients who take an opiate for
pain are physically dependent but not addicted: The drug is not harming them, and they do not crave it or go out of their way
to obtain it.

For some addicts, the beginning of treatment is detoxification — controlled and medically supervised withdrawal from the drug. (By itself, this is not a solution, because most addicts will eventually resume taking the drug unless they get further help.) The withdrawal symptoms — agitation; anxiety; tremors; muscle aches; hot and cold flashes; sometimes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea — are not life-threatening, but are extremely uncomfortable. The intensity of the reaction depends on the dose and speed of withdrawal. Short-acting opiates, like heroin, tend to produce more intense but briefer symptoms.

By naturally elevating levels of serotonin and endorphins, laser therapy allows you to eliminate cravings, stress, irritability,
appetite, anxiety, tremors mood and anger most commonly associated with withdrawals. Laser therapy is not designed to be the sole treatment, rather to assist or enhance other treatments, such as counseling.

No single approach to detoxification is guaranteed to be best for all addicts. Many heroin addicts are switched to the synthetic opiate methadone, a longer-acting drug that can be taken orally or injected. Then the dose is gradually reduced over a period of about a week. The anti-hypertensive (blood pressure lowering) drug clonidine is sometimes added to shorten the withdrawal time and relieve physical symptoms.

Quit Smoking via Laser Technology

Facts about smoking:

  • Tobacco, in the form of cigarettes, is the most addictive drug in the world.
  • Nicotine is one of the strongest stimulants known.
  • Smoking is one of the most efficient drug-delivery systems.
  • Smoking actually puts drugs into the brain more directly than intravenous injection.
  • It is true that one of the benefits of smoking is the brief relief of internal tension;
  • Unfortunately, within 20 minutes the tension is back stronger than before, demanding –
    another fix.
When you smoke a cigarette, natural chemicals in your body, called endorphins, immediately signal your brain to make you think you feel better. Nicotine addiction alters the normal endorphin cycle in your body so you have a hard time feeling good without the use of nicotine, whether it is from cigarettes, dip, chew, cigars or pipes. As you know, the effects of nicotine wear off quickly (usually 1
to 2 hours). As time goes by, endorphin levels in your body drop far below normal, and you begin to feel extremely irritable, upset, stressed, fatigued, and anxious for another cigarette. After you inhale again, endorphin levels are raised back up to a point where you feel better. This continues on and on and on in a never ending cycle.  This is your addiction and this is why it is difficult to quit smoking.
Here is how laser technology works…

By naturally elevating levels of endorphins, laser therapy allows you to eliminate nicotine from your body while avoiding the
cravings, stress, and irritability most commonly associated with withdrawal. The difference between cigarettes and laser treatment is the laser naturally stimulates your cells to release endorphins over a much longer period of time, versus 1 to 2 HOURS for a cigarette. It takes between three to five days to allow nicotine to leave your body completely. 

Laser Technology Benefits

  • Laser Therapy to Stop Smoking with an 85% QUIT RATE.
  • You can quit smoking in less than 1 hour.
  • The Better Health Laser Clinic helps hundreds of locals every year quit smoking.