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1. The Most Common Headache

A tension, or muscle contraction, headache – generally experienced as a band of dull pain tightening around the head – is the kind most people suffer from. Stress, exhaustion, depression, or anxiety can bring one on, as can habitual poor posture. Aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen will usually provide relief. Sometimes, however, a tension headache can last for weeks or months and persist around the clock. In such a case, the remedy may rely in using relaxation techniques, taking antidepressants or tranquilizers, getting more sleep, or even going on a vacation.

2. The Migraine Headache

The often severe vascular headaches known as migraines can last from several hours to several days. They produce a throbbing or pounding pain, generally on only one side of the head. Other symptoms may include icy hands, nausea or vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Some people know an attack is beginning they develop an “aura” – they may hear sounds and see flashing lights, jagged lines, and patches of darkness; they may also have tingling or numbness in their limbs, and their speech may be impaired.

While it is not totally clear what cause migraine headaches, heredity may play a part. Two-thirds of migraine victims have parents who have also had migraines.

If taken at the first sign of a migraine, aspirin with coffee or another source of caffeine may stop it. For people who are immobilized by an attack or who suffer more than three attacks a month, a daily dose of the beta blocker propranolol can act as a preventative, as can antidepressants and calcium channel blockers. Daily aspirin dose may be beneficial, too.

3. Cluster Headaches

Occurring in groups over periods of time, as short as several days or as long as several months, cluster headaches are a type of vascular headache. A person may experience one to four piercing headaches in a single cluster daily for several weeks. The headaches are usually nocturnal and strike mostly in the spring and fall. Cluster headache victims seem to be especially sensitive to nicotine and alcohol, both of which can serve as triggers.

Drugs used to interrupt or prevent cluster headaches include lithium, ergotamine, cyproheptadine, methysergide, and steroids. During an attack, some people may benefit from oxygen therapy.

4. Organically Caused Headaches

Although sometimes they may indicate medical conditions of varying seriousness, many organically caused headaches require only minor medical care or none at all. A caffeine withdrawal headache, for example, is “cured” with a caffeinated drink. A sinus headache caused by an allergy or a sinus infection is usually cleared up with the appropriate antihistamines, nasal decongestants, or antibiotics.

Bed rest, applied heat, and special exercises and massage can also help.


1. Shop for the Right Spouse

Did you know there’s actually a formula that predicts whether a marriage will succeed? Beatty Cohan, a psychotherapist in Sarasota, Florida, and co-author of For Better, For Worse, Forever: Discover the Path to Lasting Love, offers these predictors for a successful marriage:

Look to the Parents

Check out your beloved’s family background, particularly the parents’ relationship, to get a good idea of the behaviour he’s been exposed to. What we learned as kids, we often play out as adults.

Turn Investigator
Are there signs of alcoholism or other forms of addiction in the family? Be careful, there’s often a genetic link. Also, watch for a family history of depression or anxiety.

Listen Carefully
Identify how your potential partner communicates. Also pay attention to how he or she handles sticky situations and painful emotions.

Is There Compromise?
If you’re forever giving in, then you’ve got a problem. Compromise is one of the key elements of a healthy relationship.

Is There True Intimacy?
We’re not talking sex here, but the kind of intimacy that comes when he can clean up the vomit when you have the flu; when she invites your mother for Christmas even though he can’t stand the woman; when she has a hot bath and glass of win waiting for you after what he knows was a difficult day.


2. Show Your Love

Don’t just tell her you love her, show her. Karen Sherman, Ph.D., author of Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, Make It Last, offers these hints on little ways you can show your mate how much you love him or her:

  • Surprise your partner with her favourite dessert.
  • While he’s showering, draw a heart or a sexy note in the steamed-up glass.
  • Leave a sexy voicemail, saying, “I’m thinking of you,” in a low voice.
  • Tuck a sexy note into his briefcase or text it to her cell phone.


3. Light the Sabbath Candles Together

Not Jewish? No problem. A study conducted by researchers at Syracuse University finds that couples who participate in and value religious rituals, particularly holiday rituals, seem to have stronger marriages.



4. Get Some “Alone” Time Away From the Kids

One of the toughest times in a marriage is when you have young children. Finding alone time (okay, time for whoopee) takes creativity. So how about these creative tips culled from young parents we know?

  • Keep them occupied. If the kids are old enough to play in the fenced backyard, throw 99 pennies out there and tell them whoever finds 100 pennies first wins a prize.
  • Invest in hardware. That would be a lock for your bedroom door.
  • Set the alarm. Wake up at 3 a.m., make love, go back to sleep.
  • Hire a babysitter. Only this babysitter takes the kids out of the house while you and your partner steal some much-needed alone time.
  • Take advantage of naptime. Who says you have to do the laundry while your two-year-old naps?

Remember to always perform these exercises slowly with some control. Take the stretch as far as you can go without strain or discomfort. The stretch should feel good. Perform each exercise for 20–30 repetitions before moving on to the next.

Head Nod, Tilt & Turn

Slowly tilt your head back as though you are looking up at the ceiling. Then bring it forward as if you are trying to place your chin on your chest. Then tilt your head over towards your right shoulder as far as is comfortable, and bring it back and over towards your left shoulder. Finally, slowly rotate your head as far round to your right as feels comfortable. Then rotate it back round to your left.

Wrist & Elbow Circles

Keeping your fingers relaxed, circle each wrist in a clockwise direction for 20–30 repetitions, followed by counter-clockwise for 20–30 reps. Then hang your arms down by your sides, and, keeping your elbows by your sides and your upper arms as still as possible, circle your lower arms, first clockwise for 20–30 reps, then counter-clockwise for 20–30 reps.

Arm Circles

Hold your arms straight and slightly out at your sides. Circle your arms, starting with small rotations and slowly increasing the size of the motion. Repeat 20–30 times in one direction and then repeat in the other direction.

Side Bend & Stretch Up

Lean your body over to your left side. Be careful not to twist your back, bend forward or arch your back. Straighten up and lean over to your right side. Then, reach your hands as far above your head as possible, moving up on to your toes at the same time. Relax back down to a normal standing position and repeat for 20–30 repetitions.

Ankle & Knee Circles

Holding on to a table or a chair for balance, raise your right foot off the ground and slowly circle your ankle, first clockwise for 20­–30 repetitions, then counter-clockwise. Repeat with your left ankle.

Ankle & Knee Circles

Then, sitting on a chair, place your hands just above your knees. Straighten your left leg slightly and slowly circle your leg clockwise for 20–30 repetitions, then repeat counter-clockwise. Then repeat with your right leg. Do not force your knees too far: the range of motion in the joint is only a few degrees, so stick to small circles.

Hip Circle

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your shoulders as still as possible, rotate your hips clockwise in a wide circle for 20–30 repetitions, then repeat counter-clockwise for 20–30 repetitions.


1. Take Swimming Lessons

You may think swimming lessons are just for children, but many community centres offer courses specific to adults. According to Kat Tancock, senior web editor for Best Health and Reader’s Digest, private swimming lessons gave her the chance to get more comfortable with water, helping her with a phobia of water she’s had since her teens. A series of breathing exercises with an instructor taught her to feel more in control while she swims, making it much easier for her to get into the water and enjoy it.


2. Think Safety First

If you’re interested in learning how to swim, the Canadian Red Cross recommends familiarizing yourself with the dangers of breaking the rules at public pools or beaches. The safety rules outlined are as important for adults to follow as children. Be sure you abide by all safety guidelines to ensure a secure and pleasant swim. For example, do not dive into the pool where signs indicate otherwise.


3. Avoid Practising with Family Members or Friends

If you have a fear of swimming, Tancock recommends taking your swimming lessons with a stranger, an objective third party. Practising with close friends or relatives can make the process more stressful and make the task that much more challenging and emotional for you.


4. See a Therapist

While some trepidation about water or drowning is normal and even healthy, other fears are unfounded and prevent us from moving forward. If you’re looking to learn how to swim, but have a deep fear of it, consider meeting with a therapist to discuss the reasons why water scares you so much. There is no shame in having a fear of swimming, and it's more common that you might think. Admitting it and seeking help are the first steps to conquering that fear.

1. Avoid Skin Destroyers

That means to avoid these three things: smoking, tanning salons and sunbathing. While some sunlight is ok, be sure to wear SPF and avoid prolonged time in the sun. Doctors agree that all three of these factors can be extremely harmful to your skin and have secondary effects that could become potentially life threatening.

2. Wash Your Face with Natural Products

Clean your face and neck with a natural cold cream and follow with a rose water glycerine rinse twice a day to remove skin-damaging pollutants.

3. Do Not Touch Your Face

Your hands touch so many surfaces so they are a magnet for dirt and germs. When you rub your eyes, stroke your chin, or cup your cheek, you’re really just transferring all the germs you’ve picked up onto your face.

4. Avoid Alcohol

Keep consuming alcohol to a minimum. Overdoing it can enlarge blood vessels near the surface of your facial skin.

5. Get Rid of Excess Oil

Throughout the day, get rid of excess oil on your face by dabbing it with oil absorbing sheets or loose powder. Avoid pressed powders as these may contain oil as an ingredient.

6. Do not Rub Your Delicate Eye Area

The skin on your face is extremely delicate, especially under your eyes. So be gentle when applying makeup to that area. If your eyes itch, apply a cold compress or cloth instead and avoid rubbing the affected area.

7. Use One Brand of Skincare Products

If you buy and use lots of different skincare products, some will probably contain the same ingredient, thus making them redundant. And some brands aren’t compatible with others. You’ll get better results if you use products that are formulated to work together. You may have to shell out a little more cash but experts agree you’ll get better results.

8. Use Grapeseed Oil

Try adding a teaspoon of grapeseed oil to your toner. That kind of oil acts as an anti-aging serum by helping your skin cells to repair and rejuvenate themselves.

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