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Archive for August 4th, 2010

Some Kills
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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Today we have a guest post from Libery Kontranowski, a freelance writer and former pharmaceutical representative. Liberty has first hand experience representing a major smoking cessation product, Zyban.  Many of my friends and some clients have had good luck with Zyban and quitting smoking. So if you are a smoker or have someone in your life that still smokes, read on. (I am not affiliated with Liberty, Zyban or eDrugstore.md. I simply want to give my readers access to new information about smoking cessation!)

Note: Zyban does not work for everyone. If you try Zyban or similar products and have any adverse side effects, mood swings or feel depressed, contact your doctor immediately.

Quitting Smoking: Meds, Methods and Madness, Oh My!

By: Liberty Kontranowski

Quitting smoking is one of the hardest tasks to ever accomplish. But now that smoking is being banned in municipalities and public spaces, it’s a great time to kick the habit for good.

While you already know that smoking is dangerous to you and those around you (and even to those who visit your home, whether you light up in their presence or not), it’s important to realize that smoking is an addiction. Certain properties in nicotine have addictive qualities, and to be truthful, they are not all bad. Nicotine can help people focus, make them more alert and can soothe frazzled nerves. It’s the other stuff that cigarettes are made up of – the cancer-causing carcinogens – that are so harmful. In short, if nicotine could be bottled or manufactured without the rest of a cigarette’s components, we might all find ourselves racing out to buy some. Of course, that is not the case, so to prolong the health of your lungs, make quitting a priority.

In my previous life as a pharmaceutical sales rep, I had the pleasure of selling Zyban (buproprion). I say “pleasure” because on more than one occasion, I had physicians call me into patient rooms to give details about the medication right to the patient themselves. At first, it  was intimidating, but once I saw the genuine look of hope and relief wash over the patients’ faces, I knew I was making a difference.

Unlike nicotine patches, medications such as Zyban and Chantix do not deliver nicotine into the body, and quitters are allowed to smoke in the beginning of treatment. Once the medication reaches a steady state in the body, cravings are reduced little by little, to the point of none at all. This seems to be a particularly intriguing way to quit, since the quitter does not have to initially give up their cigarettes completely. As they find their cravings reduced, they feel a great sense of accomplishment and therefore tend to stick out the program – and are more successful in their effort to quit.

As an interesting side note, Zyban is actually a renamed version of Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant. In clinical studies for Wellbutrin, subjects reported the “side-effect” of fewer cravings for cigarettes, and thus the manufacturing company pursued FDA approval to repackage Wellbutrin with a support program and release it as Zyban for smoking cessation. What a great side-effect!

Now, while medications are wonderful choices for a lot of people, some folks try to avoid that road, or they save it for a last-ditch effort. That said, there are other ways a smoker can attempt to quit:

Cold Turkey – This is simply quitting altogether without cutting back, using medications, etc. If you’re a very strong-willed person, or if you’ve recently been diagnosed with an illness or disease that is directly affected by your smoking, this might be the quit choice for you.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy – Nicotine patches are often used in a step-down method, whereby they deliver a certain amount of nicotine to the body, gradually lessening the amounts until the body no longer craves it. Those using nicotine replacement therapies (also including gums, lozenges, sprays and inhalers) are urged NOT to smoke while using these devices, as this will both defeat the purpose of the step-down treatment and may overdose the quitter’s body with nicotine.

Behavioral Modification – A key factor to the success of any smoking cessation method is simply a change in habit, also known as behavior modification. If a smoker lights up first thing in the morning, they should distract themselves with a shower, cup of coffee or breakfast instead. If a cigarette is part of the daily ride to work, the quitter should take a different route to work, drive with the windows open or take public transportation. Any change in the routine will help offset the quitter’s auto-response to light up a cigarette.

If the hand-to-mouth motion is what the quitter misses most, chewing gum, gnawing on the end of a pen, or drinking a glass of water may suffice. Type an email, write a letter, cook a meal or take a walk to keep the hands occupied.

While quitting smoking is not easy, there are plenty of resources to help a person be successful. There are many websites and support groups available for quitters, and online discussion boards can be a great place to share your successes and downfalls, as well as get and give inspiration.

Best of luck to you on your smoking cessation goals. Your lungs (and family and friends and co-workers) will thank you, for sure!

Liberty Kontranowski is a freelance writer and blogger with hundreds of health, sex and lifestyle articles published online and print. She is a frequent contributor to eDrugstore.md, the top-rated online medications facilitator.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

You may wonder why I am talking about body piercing in a wellness blog. For several reasons:

1. Some of my clients get piercings.

2. Some of my clients have teenagers that want body piercings and the parents want to make sure they go to a safe place.

3. I’ve had good and bad experiences with Professional Piercers myself and want to warn others of the safety issues involved in paying someone to make small decorative holes in your skin!

Maybe you are a parent who has a little darling that decided he or she wants a piercing. maybe it’s in her ear, or his eyebrow or whatnot. And you, being the responsible but “cool” parent that you are, want your child to have a clean and safe body modification experience. When I was a kid I begged my mom to let me get my ears pierced. Other friends went to the mall and had a retail clerk shoot a earring into their ears with a  gun. But not my mom, the former nurse! After much deliberation, she marched me to our primary care doctor and had him use a surgical gun (likely the same model as the mall’s gun) to pierce my delicate ear lobes. As an adult, when I wanted a second hole in my earlobe, I went to a professor piercer.

Nowadays body piercing is not as big a deal as it was back when I was a child. And kids and adults are piercing more than ears. Who can you trust to pierce your body or your child’s body in Chicago? If I had kids, the only professional piercer I would take them to would be Bob Jones at Insight Studios on Milwaukee Avenue. Why? Because Bob is as close to a doctor as you can get as far as body piercing goes. He does not have a license to practice medicine, but he is well-trained and highly skilled. One of the things I like about Bob Jones is that he is meticulous and extra cautious about cleanliness and hygiene. He knows his way around an autoclave and isn’t afraid to check ID (to make sure his clients are of legal age for piercing).

I met Bob when he used to work at another studio. Bob gave me great advice for helping me heal a slow healing piercing after a different piercer gave me bogus skin cleaner advice. When I went in for a new piercing, I know I would only go to Bob. I’ve since let my second earring hole heal up, but if I ever want any other piercings, or if my clients, or relatives want any,  I send them to Bob!

Insight Studio lobby

From the Insight Studio Website:

Insight Studios is one of the only tattoo/ piercing studios that offers weekly autoclave spore-testing in Chicago. The results are kept on-site to ensure that our equipment is sterilized using the highest standards in the tattoo/piercing industry.

Insight Studios is the only studio recognized by The Association of Professional Piercers in Chicago. Insight adheres to the highest industry standards and provides professional piercing by a professional piercer. Only the highest quality of jewelry the industry has to offer is used. Check out the standards that are put in place by The Association of Professional Piercers. at their website at : http://www.safepiercing.org

One Tail At A Time presents “Tattoos For Tails” at Insight Studios

Bob Jones is also an animal lover.  One Tail At A Time and Insight Studios presents “Tattoos For Tails.” On Saturday August 21 from 12p-10pm Insight Studios will donate 100% of the shop’s profits to help out “One Tail At A Time.” Any piercing or tattoo done on August 21 will have ALL proceeds donated to OTAT.

Bob Jones Piercing Studio with all the comforts of a Starship! (If a Starship had professonal piercers)

Insight Studios
1062 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-4444

Note: Neither  Sue Shekut, nor Working Well Massage is affiliated with Insight Studios or Bob Jones. We get no commission nor kickback for recommending Bob Jones and/or Insight Studios. What I do get is the peace of mind I have whenever I send one of my clients to Insight Studios. I know I did my part to refer them to a safe, Professional Piercer!

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