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Saturday, 3 December 2016

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Reaping the Benefits of Facials



Many may think that having a facial is just a pampering experience and one that only those with money and time to spare can afford. This is not necessarily true, as facials have proven to give you a lot of positives aside from the pampering aspect. It is true that we need to give ourselves a treat now and again, and a facial is a great way to feel good about ourselves but they come with a few other health benefits as well.

The first thing about a facial is that it will incorporate massage into the mix. We know that massages are great for the body as they increase blood flow and circulation and they also help to relieve stress. Think of a facial as a face massage and you're on the right track as the same thing holds true. A facial will improve blood flow to your face and help with lymphatic drainage at the same time. It will relax your facial muscles and get you a healthy dose of oxygen rich blood circulating around.

Facials of course also cleanse your skin. They help to remove toxins that we have picked up from pollution and also release all the dirt and grease that builds up naturally in the pores. A facial will open the pores and remove the dead skin cells and toxins that will leave you with a fresh feel and incredibly clean skin. They also tighten and firm the skin and can reduce puffiness, sagging and slow the onset of wrinkles.

Facials come in different scents and have different ingredients in them so you can choose the one to specifically target your problem areas or the one that gives you the best aromatherapy experience. All of this leads to relaxation and contentment which will transfer to the rest of your body as well.

A facial is done by an experienced professional who, just like your massage therapist or hair dresser is there to answer all of your questions. They can tell you what the different ingredients will do for you and also check for any allergies you may have before they start.

In short, a facial is a pampering experience that allows you to gain relaxation, contentment, and get great looking and feeling skin at the end of the session. Should you have more than one facial? Absolutely! Getting into the regime of regular facials will keep you looking great for years to come!
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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Type 2 Diabetes - Looking For The Best Source of Carbohydrates in Breakfast Cereal



There are several things Type 2 diabetics should know about carbohydrates: not all foods containing carbohydrates are bad for you. Some are excellent sources of carbs. In any case, it is not like you should be avoiding carbs altogether because they are essential: your body primarily uses glucose for energy to drive the functioning of its systems. Body tissues rely on glucose more than any other nutrient to create cellular energy in the form of ATP. So carbohydrates are not to be avoided totally... even if you are a diabetic.

But if you have Type 2 diabetes, it goes without saying you cannot eat to your heart's content if you care about your well-being. You have to be particular with the carbs you include in your eating plan if you want to get your blood sugar levels and health back on track. But how do you find the best sources?

The best source will be one that primarily consists of complex carbs. In other words, you would not spike your blood sugar levels excessively by consuming them. While fruits are abundant in a variety of vitamins and minerals and are essential in any healthy diet, they usually cause blood sugar spikes. They should still have a place in your diet, but they are not a definitive source of complex carbs people with Type 2 diabetes can rely on when trying to lower their blood sugar levels and their weight.

You may find it surprising to find one of the best sources of carbohydrates in found in some breakfast cereals. It is a whole grain flake with no added sugars. Now, the kind we are talking about is a very specific type, which you are unlikely to find unless you actively look for it. Unlike most cereals, it is conducive to a healthy diet since it provides a reliable source of carbohydrates without the added sugars. Not to mention it includes plenty of fiber and some protein as well.

The best way to find this cereal is to search through the whole grain types available at your local supermarket. Claims suggesting "high fiber" or "no added sugars" are a good start. But the best way to know if it's a great source of carbs is to look at its nutritional profile. Predictably, it should be high in carbohydrates. But look at the sugar content. Ideally, it will contain a minimal amount of sugar, making it low on the glycemic index. Also, check the fiber content - it needs to include a substantial amount regarding the daily recommended intake.

As an example, here's the nutritional profile (per 100g serving) of a no-name brand of whole-grain flakes with no added sugar...

Calories: 346 kcal
Carbohydrates: 61g of which sugar is a minimal amount of 5g
Fats: 2.5g
Proteins: 12g
Fiber: 16g
If you can find cereal with a nutritional profile similar to the one above, it would be a good idea to make it a staple in your daily eating plan.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.
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Thursday, 13 October 2016

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Skin Care Advice at Any Age



We've become a society obsessed with our looks.

It's been noted that we spend more on beauty products in the West than we do on education.

Why are we so obsessed? Because it's easier and more affordable than ever before.Anti-aging skincare technology has progressed leaps and bounds. We know more about the skin today than we ever did. There are advanced skincare products that can erase years, and of course, the plastic surgeon has perfected his trade such that procedures are easier and cheaper than ever before.

Are we justified in our obsession?

They say that beauty is only skin deep, and while I believe this to be true it's also important to do what feels right for you. If keeping up appearances gets you through the day then, by all means, that's what you need to do, however I must add that I'm not a fan of going under the knife. With the huge advances made in skincare products today, I'd much prefer taking the less invasive route.

Here's a few age related tips and remedies that will help boost your skin's appearance at any age without needles and knives.

20 Something

Your skin is at its peak of beauty in your twenties, however nurture its beauty and always use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen. Of course this should continue at any age.

Avoid oily makeup and cover ups. Use an oil free moisturizer every day. This is also a good time to begin using an eye cream under the eye area at night.

Try using products that contain green tea which have shown to help reduce the risk of skin cancer.

30 Something

Your 30's is when your skin is beginning to become a bit drier and sun damage may begin to appear. It's time to start using thicker moisturizing creams so as to lock in high contents of moisture. Continue with eye creams at night and use your sunscreen religiously. Also, skin bleaching products may need to be used to diminish dark spots from sun damage.

Hint: Put your moisturizer on over damp skin. This helps lock in more moisture.

40 Something

It's time to kick it up another notch. Your forties is when your skin loses much of it tightness. It may begin to look dull and your pores may become larger. Blotches, freckles, age spots, discoloration, and changes in skin color may become much more visible. Retinoids, anti-oxidants and alpha hydroxy acids can improve the look of your skin and your 40's would be a good time to begin using them. Of course it's essential that you continue using a thick moisturizer and eye serums on a daily basis.

Home microdermabrasion kits are also an option that can result in a smoother more even appearing skin texture and tone while rejuvenating your skin's texture and color.

50 Something

Changes in your skin have reached high gear. Menopause has assisted in the loss of Estrogen which is what has given your skin its elasticity and kept it hydrated, however since those estrogen levels have diminished, you will begin seeing wrinkles form around your eyes, drooping eyelids and expression lines around the mouth and forehead.

Begin using anti-aging or wrinkle reducing formulas such as vitamin A (Retinol) or Glycolic acid products. Retin A has proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles while improving skin texture, skin tone and color, as well as your skin's hydration levels.

Glycolic acid will trigger new formation of collagen to plump cells and reduce wrinkles on the skin's surface. Post menopausal women can also use a cream containing progesterone that mayimprove skin elasticity and firmness.

60 Something

By age 60 all types of collagen are significantly below their youthful levels. There are, however wonderful hydrating creams that contain Alpha Hydroxy acids (Glycolic acids), soy, green tea andretinol (vitamin A) which your skin will need now that it is drier and showing major signs of age. The alpha Hydroxy acids will help reduce droopy skin and the retinol will reduce your fine lines.

60 Plus

Your skin's texture will become visibly less smooth and you will most likely begin to see age spots. You'll appreciate the early care you've given to your skin because the signs of aging will be minimal, however, if you haven't started early you'll clearly notice the effects of neglect.

While it's never too late to take care of your skin the damage you already have will be difficult to reduce without special medical treatments such as Botox or perhaps surgical procedures. All the above should continue to be applied but it is wise to consult your physician on advanced treatments.

If you haven't yet reached 60, the best skin care advice is to follow a good skin care regimen at an early age. It's an easy habit to get into and best of all, you'll thank yourself later on.
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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Five Face Masks That Will Get Rid of Face Redness



Does your skin have a tendency to get red easily? There are many ways to get rid of face redness. One good redness remedy is an all-natural face mask. You can even buy an anti redness cream. Here are five easy-to-make face masks that will remove redness from your skin.

Cucumber Mask

Cucumbers are great at getting rid of your redness and cooling down flushed skin. To make a mask from this vegetable, either grate a cucumber or put it through a food processor until it becomes a paste. Then, spread it on all your redness problem areas, and leave it on for around twenty minutes.

Oatmeal, Honey, and Yogurt Mask

This mask is perfect for redness caused by contact dermatitis. Oatmeal will relieve your itching, and the honey and yogurt will bring moisture back to your skin. To make this mask, combine a tablespoon of unflavored yogurt, a tablespoon of honey, and a cup of oatmeal. Spread this mixture all over your face, and leave it on for about fifteen minutes before gently washing it off with warm water.

Lemon, Yogurt, and Green Tea Mask

Lemon can reduce acne, and its citric acid helps clear dirt and oil from your pores. Green tea is also good for getting rid of acne and redness-it reduces inflammation, and it is rich in antioxidants. To make this soothing mask, start by steeping a bag of green tea in boiling water. After the tea has been steeped for a few minutes, remove the bag. Add a tablespoon of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of lemon juice to the tea. Stir it together, and allow the mixture to cool. Then, gently spread it on your face, and leave it on for ten minutes before washing it off.

Yogurt, Orange, and Aloe Mask

If your skin is looking dull and dry, this is the mask for you. In a bowl, combine a teaspoon of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of aloe vera. Then, slice an orange into quarters, and squeeze one of the quarters into your bowl. Stir the ingredients together, and then apply the mask to your face, leaving it on for about fifteen minutes.

Turmeric, Milk, and Honey Mask

This is another good mask for anyone who suffers from acne. Turmeric has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It also removes excess oil from your skin. Mix together a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of turmeric, and two teaspoons of milk. Use a cotton pad to apply the mask to your face. After ten minutes, wash the mask off. The turmeric may leave a yellowish stain on your skin. If that happens, just apply milk to your skin. This will get rid of the stain in no time.
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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

4 Common Diet Mistakes And How To Avoid Them



Diet comes in handy when you are losing weight. You need to take it right for you to get ideal results. Unfortunately, many people tend to make many diet mistakes thus they don't lose weight as expected. Here are 4 diet mistakes made by many people make and how to avoid them:

Skipping meals

There are some people who believe that by skipping meals such as breakfast and lunch they avoid accumulating calories. This isn't true. When you avoid a meal you tend to get hungry more. This means that you take more snacks which contain even more calories than you are trying to avoid.

The best way of going about it is taking all the three meals of the day. If possible, carry the meals with you to work. This will prevent you from getting hungry thus taking unhealthy meals.

Avoiding fats

If you have been around the weight loss arena for long you might have come across the idea that you should avoid fat for you to lose weight. It's to note that not all fat is bad for you. High density lipoprotein (HDL) is good fat and you shouldn't avoid it. The fat comes from avocado, eggs, coconut oil and fish.

To lose weight you need to avoid low density lipoproteins (LDL) also known as bad fats. These are man-made trans-fats and refined vegetable oils. They include: soybean and corn.

Being too strict

You need to be disciplined to lose weight, but you shouldn't be too strict on yourself. There are some people who are too strict on themselves to the extent that they rather go hungry than eat out. This is common in people who work outside their home area.

Avoiding food not only makes you hungry, it also makes you eat more calories than you should have eaten.

To lose weight you need to avoid worrying about the number of calories-worry about the quality of calories that you are taking. If you are out of the house, don't go hungry-choose foods that don't add a lot of calories to you.

When eating outdoors, take foods that contain healthy fats, proteins, whole grains and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Relying on crash diets

Crash diets are all over the internet. They promise heaven, but deliver nothing. One of the features of crash diets is few calories. When you take them for a long time you train your body to metabolize calories slowly thus you have a very slow body metabolism.

When you stop taking the diets the body doesn't respond to the new foods that you are taking-it continues metabolizing calories slowly. This results to the calories getting deposited as fat. In the long run you end up doing zero work.
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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

12 Nutrition Tips for Vegetarian Bodybuilders



Vegetarianism and bodybuilding don't mix, right? This may have been the consensus in the past, but today, an increasing number of people are choosing to become vegetarian, including bodybuilders, and athletes.

One of the first questions that people ask in regards to a body builder being vegetarian is:

"How do you get enough protein and calories in your diet to maintain your muscle mass?"

It's no secret that eating a large amount of protein (more than 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day) is vital to a bodybuilder's success. We also know that to eat such a high amount of protein, bodybuilders need to eat a diet that is high in meat.

So, how do vegetarian bodybuilders do it? How do they maintain their physiques? How do they keep up their energy levels?

Here are 12 tips that will help vegetarian bodybuilders in the gym and in the kitchen:

1) Make sure you are eating enough calories: Keep track of the amount of calories you are consuming. Since fruits and vegetables tend to have fewer calories than meat, you will need to increase how much you eat. 

2) Eat quality calories: Limit your consumption of refined and processed foods. 

3) Eat more chickpeas and legumes: This is one of the key sources of protein for vegetarians. 

4) Consume lots of egg whites: Egg whites are a great source of protein. They are diverse, can be cooked on their own, used in shakes, baking, and many other ways to boost your protein consumption. 

5) Eat quinoa instead of rice: Quinoa is similar to rice with the added benefit of having more protein. 

6) Eat more nuts: This is a perfect snack to boost your energy and consume healthy fats. 

7) Watch your activity level: With it being more difficult for you to meet your protein consumption goals, limit your workouts to ensure you are not burning muscle mass. 

8) Invest in BCAAs: This will help you maintain your muscle mass and prevent loss. 

9) Increase consumption of essential fatty acids: Increase supplementation with Omega-3s, flaxseed oil and other EFAs to keep up your energy levels. 

10) Supplement with iron: Meat is a main source of iron, and many vegetarians lack iron in their diet. Consider adding an iron supplement to your diet. 

11) Research protein-rich foods: Meat is not the only source of protein. There are many other good sources of protein you can add to your diet, including tofu, soy, oatmeal, seeds, edamame, spinach, broccoli, peanut butter, and more. 

12) Supplement, supplement, and supplement: Find a good protein supplement and use it regularly to ensure you are meeting your protein needs.

Being a successful vegetarian bodybuilder is possible. You will just need to work harder to increase your protein levels and get your nutrition in order.
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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Basic Awareness About Hypertension



Awareness about high blood pressure is very important for the simple reason that the condition is very prevalent. And correspondingly there is a very high likelihood that you or a loved one may be afflicted by hypertension, or may come to be afflicted by the disorder at some time in the future.

Some facts about hypertension, relating to its prevalence could take us by surprise.

1. In US, nearly one in three people are afflicted by hypertension.

2. And only half of these people have the condition under control.

Alternately, hypertension is very often related to certain health disorders. It is very surprising to note that out of every 10 people who have their first heart attack, 7 are afflicted by hypertension. And with stroke as well, it is a similar scenario. Out of every 10 people who suffer from their first stroke, 8 are afflicted by hypertension.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension and high blood pressure are two terms that are very often used interchangeably. In slightly technical terms, when an individual suffers from hypertension, the force of the blood against the artery walls could be high when seen in the long term. Or it could be high enough to cause any sort of health related issues.

Two factors which define the blood pressure of an individual are the amount of blood which is pumped by the heart, and the resistance to blood flow which is provided in the arteries. So if someone's heart pumps more blood and the arteries are narrower, the blood pressure is said to be high.

A very surprising fact about hypertension is that one could suffer from high blood pressure for years and not be aware of it. But the damage to blood vessels and the heart is continuous. And it could be detected as well.

So it is highly recommendable to go for regular health checkups and screenings for high blood pressure.

When is it that I need to be concerned about hypertension?

Preferably, one must make hypertension checks a part of routine appointments with the doctor. As a norm, one must try and make sure that one goes for high blood pressure readings once every two years, starting right from the time one is 18. Similarly if one is above the age of 40, or if one is in the age group of 18-39 with a risk of high blood pressure, one must go for these readings every year.

That way, as soon as one comes to realize that one has been suffering from hypertension, one could work along with one's doctor towards controlling the same.

What makes one vulnerable towards hypertension?

Some people are more at a risk of suffering from hypertension, and it is interesting to know more about the factors that make one more vulnerable to hypertension.

1. Age

- As one ages, the risk of high blood pressure increases as well. So for men, if they are above 45 years of age, they are at a higher risk of suffering from hypertension. Similarly, if women are over 65 years of age, they are equally at the risk of suffering from hypertension.

2. Family History

- Similarly, if one has a family history of hypertension, one is more likely to suffer from the same.

3. Obesity

- And being overweight also makes one more vulnerable towards suffering from hypertension because if one is overweight, more blood needs to be pumped for supply to blood vessels.

4. Not Being Physically Active

- If one is not physically active, the risk of contracting hypertension increases because the heart is required to pump harder, and this makes the force on arteries higher as well.

5. Tobacco Consumption

- Tobacco consumption too is related with high blood pressure. Not only does tobacco increases the heart rate with immediate effect, but it also increases the risk of damage to the arteries.

6. Excessive Consumption Of Salt

- Consumption of too much salt in one's diet causes the body to retain water, and this too can increase the blood pressure. In the same regard, it is very important for one to get the right amount of potassium in one's diet, and that is because potassium balances the sodium in one's body. When one does not get the right amount of potassium in one's diet, one tends to accumulate too much sodium in the blood.

7. Right Amount Of Vitamin D In One's Diet

- One needs to take care that one gets the right amount of Vitamin D in one's diet. Vitamin D can affect an enzyme produced by the kidneys, and that can have a direct influence on the blood pressure. Mushroom, eggs and dairy products are some good sources of Vitamin D.

8. Stress

- High stress levels too are attributed to a temporary increase in the blood pressure. If one tries to beat the stress by use of tobacco, alcohol or a high diet, this may work towards aggravating the condition.

9. Chronic Conditions

- If one suffers from certain chronic condition, these too might aggravate the risk of high blood pressure. Some of such conditions are kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

White Coat Hypertension



What Is White Coat Hypertension?

Hypertension is defined as "abnormally high blood pressure" and it can have serious repercussions. We doctors traditionally wear white lab coats. Put those two pieces of information together, and you can probably figure out what white coat hypertension is. It is also referred to as white coat syndrome. It simply means that some people get a little nervous in a hospital or health care provider setting.

This can lead to higher than normal blood pressure levels. They become anxious and excited in the presence of a doctor, nurse or caregiver at a hospital or doctor's office. This excitement gets their heart beating faster. That means their heart rate goes up, which in turn raises their blood pressure. This is similar to the anxiety many people experience when they think about their next trip to the dentist.

Is White Coat Hypertension a Serious Problem?

Anytime your heart beats at an abnormal level and your blood pressure is high, that's not a good thing. When you think about it, it makes absolute sense. Your mind fills with thoughts of the horrible conditions your doctor is going to discover, so your blood pressure spikes. The doctor checks, and sure enough... you have high blood pressure. What the doctor doesn't know is whether this is an accurate reading in your case.

It may seem that this artificially heightened reading is not a real problem. We used to think it wasn't. However, in recent years we have begun to notice a direct correlation between white coat hypertension and the development of chronic hypertension over time. Even short-term, occasional or temporary increases in your blood pressure can sometimes develop into a serious problem in the future with negative effects on your body and brain.

What To Do If Doctors and Hospitals Make You Nervous

If the idea of going to the hospital gets you excited, or you are anxious and nervous when you see your doctor, you have to share that information. The more you tell your doctor or caregiver about what is going on in your mind and body, the better treatment he or she can deliver.

So make sure you inform your doctor if you believe your high blood pressure readings are related to the mental stress of being in a clinical or medical setting. This could very well keep your physician from prescribing some medication or course of action that you may not need, saving your body, mind and bank account unnecessary problems.
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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Office Furniture and Ergonomics



An office can be a large officious space with partitioned rooms that are filled with furniture - tables, chairs, desks and other pieces placed randomly, sometimes out of place. Before the age of computerization, most offices held large tables or desks which were the pivot of the working area. Those days, most likely these tables and desks held large amounts of paperwork, files and records in addition to stationery and other equipment. However in today's modern business environment, where computers, laptops, fax machines, mobile phones etc. are very visible, it most often refers to the area where white collar employees function in smaller environments like open cubicles spread around a room. These are less officious and more informal with architecturally designed space-saving furniture items that are meant to facilitate an easy to move around working environment.

What defines an office environment most is the use of furniture and equipment strategically provided to employees to carry out their professional duties.

Office furniture is an extremely important and integral part of a working environment; it contributes to making the office a healthy and happy place for an employee to be in. While different work environments dictate the use of different office features such as equipment, furniture, space etc. the entire environment must come together to help staff work efficiently and productively.

One of the defining aspects of office furniture in today's work atmosphere and space is 'Ergonomics'. Applying Ergonomics in the work space helps to provide the appropriate office layout in respect of how people in the office sit and work in relation to doors or partitions, windows, equipment placement and so on. Equipment and furniture placed in an office must relate to the kind of work being done in terms of suitability and appropriateness. Ergonomics also assesses lighting, office decor, ventilation and temperature to ensure that the emphasis in the work place is solely on comfort and health.

Functionality

The functionality of office furniture depends a great deal on the kind of work being done in the office, the equipment used, storage requirements, movement of people and equipment within the office and many others; hence, the office layout is an aspect that needs careful thought and planning. Here too, the kind of office furniture used helps in situations where things need to be moved around in case of emergency meetings, extra work load which needs additional people to be brought in to meet deadlines, accessibility to equipment and accessories etc.

Choosing office furniture

Chairs and desks in an office should be comfortable to use in relation to accessing equipment like computers, laptops, telephones, fax machines etc. Heavy wooden chairs are not the right kind to use in a staff layout where almost everyone is perched at a workstation; computer chairs with castors and comfortable backrests and armrests are the most appropriate for comfort, movement and stability.

Desks should be of average height in relation to the computer or laptop placement, neither too high nor too low as to cause discomfort while working. In addition to sufficient space to hold essential accessories to handle paperwork and making phone calls, the desk should provide sufficient space underneath for free leg movement without cramping or discomfort.

Productive environment

A productive work environment can be created by facilitating agile working that ensures that staff in an office has flexibility and freedom to accomplish their tasks. Such an agile working environment spurs creativity, improves productivity, enhances communications and creates an overall healthy and secure work atmosphere.
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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

The Difference an Ergonomic Arm Sling Makes



An arm, shoulder, or collar bone injury is not incapacitating, but it needs tender care for a full recovery to be made. An arm sling was built to serve this purpose. By immobilizing the area around the injury, your body can work its healing magic and in time, the functionality can be restored. It matters the kind of arm sling you go for. Certainly arm slings are not made equal. While their purpose is shared, the comfort levels offered are different.

You need not settle for the hospital-issued sling if you find it has any number of undesirable characteristics. Your main take away from the hospital should be how to wear the sling, and how long to do so. Otherwise, you can buy one that is more ergonomic and comfortable.

An Assortment of Options

A cursory search for arm slings will reveal to you just how many designs there are. They are built based on the part of the upper body that they are to offer support to, the height of the sling, and the level of support they are to give. With the options being so abundant, how do you navigate through them all?

Design

The best arm sling should have an ergonomic built. It should conform to your shoulder to offer the greatest achievable comfort. Other characteristics, such as one hand adjustment and thumb loops are desirable.

Size

Your upper body build will determine the size of the sling to get. Ideally you want something that fits your arm as if it was custom-built for it. It should be comfortable for your arm to sit in without restricting circulation. The best ones offer an adjustable height. They are designed for either right or left hands, although universal ones are easy to find.

Material, Padding

The construction of the sling can employ any number of materials. Simpler designs use mesh fabric for better ventilation while others come with higher quality materials that emphasize on comfort. The strap should be well padded, as it will bear the weight of your arm entirely. The strap that distributes the weight evenly across your shoulder is the best. It should offer some degree of ventilation as well.

The cost should also be considered too. Arm slings are not inherently expensive, but deluxe options tend to be a little on the higher side.

An ergonomic arm sling will take away the distress as you recover from your injury, or surgical procedure. While it won't make people stop asking about what happened to your arm, it will, at the very least, make you comfortable enough not to be annoyed by them. Remember to wear your sling as instructed by your caregiver.
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