Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 Ways To Help Prevent Food-Related Illnesses

      Even though the weather is beginning to cool, there’s plenty of outdoor grilling and picnicking to be done.  Whether it’s a barbecue in the backyard, the company picnic, or just toasting marshmallows around the camp fire.

     The hot temperature and casual attitude are not only ideal for humans but for microorganisms as well such as bacteria. These organisms also feast during the summer and are able to cause illnesses by contaminating the food.

     Here are 5 suggestions to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable summer, free from food borne illnesses.  Remember, even though these types of illnesses are more common in the summer, these rules should be followed year round!

     1. Always clean your hands meticulously and completely for around 20 seconds, using warm water and soap, every time you handle food and go to the bathroom.

     2. Maintain the cleanliness of your surfaces and apparatus. This includes soaping up your countertops, utensils, cutting boards, kitchen equipment after handling them and before handling food.

    3. Handle individual foods independent of each other. Bacteria can go from one food to another via cross contamination. Avoid handling eggs, raw meat, and seafood all at the same time since this is prone to contamination. Each food type should have its own chopping board. Wash the surface immediately especially those in contact with raw food.

    4. Vegetables and fruits should be washed thoroughly under running water, making sure that the skin is clean using a vegetable brush. Bacteria can be transferred from the skin to the food when peeled or cut.

     5. Cook food thoroughly and completely to eradicate any bacteria present in it. Make use of a meat thermometer especially when grilling to ensure that the meat is thoroughly grilled.

     I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer and remember, an enjoyable summer is a healthy one. Stay safe!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Use A Tennis Ball To Relieve Your Back Pain

A tennis ball can be used as a massage device can help loosen knots in the neck and back and relieve tension and back pain.  A tennis ball can work so well that you may start to wonder why you spent so much on massages.

How does ‘tennis ball therapy’ work?  First off, you need a tennis ball – preferably a newer one that your dog hasn’t been using as a chew toy.  Put the ball on the floor and lie down on top of the ball, with it positioned underneath a tender spot in your back.  If this is too painful, try putting the tennis ball on your bed instead as this will reduce the pressure on your back when you lie down.  Try to relax (don’t hold your breath, breathing helps) and you will find that, after a few minutes, the pressure of the ball has lessened. You can then move the tennis ball to another tender spot in your back, if necessary, and repeat the process.

Using a tennis ball can be just like having someone apply pressure to the knots in your back, helping to relieve the spasm and improve the circulation to the area.  You can use this type of therapy on the muscles of the back, buttocks, and legs to help relieve sciatica or cramps in the hamstrings or calves.

If this form of therapy only provides temporary relief from your muscle spasms, you may need to schedule an appointment for a chiropractic adjustment.  If the joints of the spine are inflamed or irritated, the muscles over the top of the joint will spasm to act as a protective mechanism.  Only by addressing the underlying joint dysfunction will you get the muscles in the back to relax.