Making a Career Out of Personal Training – It’s About the Two “P’s”

You’ve read and heard it before: about the lack of professionalism in the personal training profession. I know, it makes your eyes roll because you view personal training as a career, not just a job, so, you’ve got your act together. But, we all know those who don’t (and give the rest of us a bad name among those who are on the outside lookin’ in). That’s why I want to talk about a cautionary — basically a “know-before-you-buy” article that appeared in the December 27, 2008 issue of Smart Money magazine. Quite a few of the points it makes were and still are on target but, since it wasn’t written by trainers, it’s missing some context, here and there.

I’ll paraphrase some of the points and then break ’em down.

1. “I’m an expert-at marketing myself as a health expert.” These are the trainers who get in the dangerous habit of trying to diagnose and/or treat medical conditions. The article goes a bit overboard on this. It contains a warning by John Buse, a representative of the American Diabetes Association that, people with diabetes who don’t exercise properly could make any vision and foot-based nerve damage they have worse-to the point of causing blindness or requiring amputation.

Now, if you’re competent and responsible, you’re not going to act as though you have a medical degree. Yes, you need to specialize, but that doesn’t always mean you need to take on clients with tricky health conditions. In fact, having a specialty means you should focus on it and turn down the cases that you’re not qualified to handle. If you decide to train a client whose physical condition you don’t completely understand, get his/her doctor involved. But, you shouldn’t have to do that very often because, as a rule, what’s great about personal training is that we don’t have to confront the specifics of disease and disorder. Although you may feel you have to help everyone, don’t fall into that trap. The truth is, you don’t need to accept every new client; you can opt to work with only healthy ones and there’s nothing wrong with that.

2. “I’ll train you ’til you crash.” Unfortunately, this is a common mistake. We’ve all seen trainers pushing seriously out-of-shape clients until they’re about to collapse; a lot of trainers even brag about it. And, some clients-who see this nonsense on reality TV and in the muscle gyms–think you’re supposed to drive them to the brink for them to see improvement. This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re an independent trainer. When you’re working for yourself, keep in mind that you’ve got nothing to prove and that you’re in charge of your clients’ training. Let your clients know the plan and what part each workout session plays in it. That way you can teach them that there’s no need to torture them. Depending on the client’s health and goals, that may come later when they’re ready for it. I always push my clients at about 110% of what they can handle, but this is different for every different client and they’re not crawling out the door when they’re done. I’ll say it again: You’ve got nothing to prove.

3. “Not Kid-Friendly.” Don’t work with children if you don’t know how to set up a training program for them; they’re not small adults. Granted, the mushrooming problem of child obesity indicates that a lot of kids may need one-on-one training and quite a few parents are all for it. But to provide the best service and cover yourself, it’d probably be a good idea for you to get some specific credentials or knowledge on how to train children. I did some reading on this recently and was surprised by some of the information I found about the different factors you need to consider in programming personal for children. It was pretty interesting, and, taking the time to understand some of these issues if you chose to train children is worthwhile.

4. “Bring a few of your friends and I’ll train y’all for half-price.” This portion of the article wasn’t really a “diss”; the point is that the rates you charge for small-group personal training are different from one-on-one. Create a separate price structure for small group training and stick by it-no exceptions. Even though we all develop a real rapport with our clients, being consistent about how you deal with them-including how much you charge for your services-is important. You may even want to have your rates printed and in your training journal so that it’s always there in writing. But, making up prices on the fly is unprofessional-and can become unethical.

5. “If you learn enough to work out without me, you will.” This contention– that trainers make their exercises unnecessarily complicated to hang on to clients-is patently ridiculous. For one thing, clients aren’t so clueless and they won’t be satisfied with a pointlessly Byzantine workout routine. What the article was really getting at here, is that the people running personal training conferences were teaching complicated functional training as a great way to create a ton of classes and ancillary products the conference organizers could sell. But, any competent trainer knows that training the general population isn’t rocket science and a lot of these specialized techniques are unnecessary.

As far as equipment goes, just as is true of so much else about personal training, what you use and how is based on the client’s condition and goals. There are trainers who use only free weights and the clients’ body weight in their routines. Of course we want to teach clients to work out on their own, and effectively, or they won’t get results but we, as trainers bring something indispensable to the table, too. Make sure you focus on both in your practice.

On this one, I’m gonna cut right to the chase: Don’t gossip about your clients to anyone-ever. For one thing, whoever you’re gossiping to will assume that you’ll talk behind anyone’s back. And, it’s far from uncommon for one’s clients to become friends with each other. Granted, they may talk behind your back but, if you’re effective, this is all to the good. If you want to be a highly-regarded, in-demand trainer who attracts high-end clients, keep everything professional and positive. That means no griping or gossiping about your clients.

7. “I’m as qualified to train you as, say, that guy workin’ out over there.” The take-home message here is that credentials matter but there are a lot of certs out there and, they don’t tell the whole story. Qualifications are important and a clued-in client will be looking for them but it’s the other ways of how you market yourself that will help you make the sale and keep the clients re-signing. These include your appearance, your professionalism, whether and how your clients talk about you, your specialty and your credibility. In short, your certs don’t sell you-you do. The trainer who likes to make workouts but effective and fun and pay attention to the entire client is the one who’ll be in demand.

8. “Just because you pay more doesn’t mean you’ll get more.” There are plenty of high-priced trainers out there who aren’t worth what they’re charging because they don’t or can’t relate to or motivate their clients. That’s a great way to rack up a lot of former clients. On the other hand, those who inspire and support their clients will get superior results, become increasingly valuable to those clients and, can charge progressively more for their services. This is as true for the kid who just got certified to the seasoned veteran trainer who commands top-dollar and is turning away prospects (s)he doesn’t have time to train.

The Smart Money article suggests that clients do a few workouts with a trainer to get a taste of what they’re buying. I often offer a small no-commitment package to new clients, to introduce them to me and prove why I’m worth what I charge.

9. “Once my ship comes in, I’m jumpin’ this one.” This goes back to the point I made in my intro about viewing personal training as just a job, not a career. And, no doubt about it: a lot of trainers do. They’re the ones who can’t figure out why clients balk when they raise their rates and decide not to renew and why they’re always broke. Yes, this career is easy and enjoyable but, it’s also serious business. Regardless of what else you’ve got goin’ on, your clients and the services you provide have got to be top-notch. Once you get that down, you won’t have to worry about attracting and retaining clients; it’ll happen automatically.

10. “No, I’m not a nutritionist but, this is what you should eat.” This is a gray area. Most clients aren’t going to get fitter and healthier through exercise alone but unless (s)he’s got a degree in nutrition, a trainer shouldn’t be telling a client specifically what to eat. That doesn’t mean you can’t suggest general guidelines about the types of food to eat and avoid. But, trying to pass yourself off as a nutritional specialist or offering to craft diet plans without the proper training is misleading and could be dangerous-for your clients and for your career.

If a client has preexisting conditions or is on medication, consider involving a dietician to counsel the client. Remember, this doesn’t mean you can’t discuss nutrition generally with your client-in fact, it’s a natural extension of your mentoring role. But, if you’re not credentialed in nutrition, you can’t charge for it.

Bottom Line: Remember the two “Ps”

Successful personal trainers are professional but the personal element is just as important. That’s what the writers of the Smart Money article missed. They view personal training, not as a service but a product — and that’s what the mediocre dilettantes among us, do-for as long as they last. Take care of the basics — both Ps — and you can do the rest your way.

If you are injured during your personal training, to look for a sports physiotherapy in Singapore

Is Online Personal Training For You?

The World Wide Web, where would we be without it today? Through the increasing use of internet and more recently, social networking sites, the ones most of us must have these days. Online personal training has become a very popular way to get in shape, and soon to become much more popular in my humble opinion. Many trainers and virtual programs offer many options such as: Tailored fitness programs to your specific goals, contest preparation coaching, and most importantly nutritional guidance. These are some of the reasons why online training has become an attractive option over actual one-on-one personal training in a practical setting. Another couple of valid reasons I might add are time constraints and geographic restrictions. Not everyone has time to set a time and meet with a trainer three or four times during the week, and most people are not going to drive a long way to meet with a trainer. Also with an online trainer you have just about 24 hour access to communicate via phone or email if you have any questions or concerns. So why not have a tailored program to follow whenever you have time and why not be able to choose any trainer in the world?

So far online training seems like a win-win situation, right? Well, with any great utility service, there are always advantages and disadvantages, nothing is ever perfect. Throughout this article I will try and explain both sides by offering guidance and recommendations for both trainers and clients to improve their experience of online training without being bias. First and foremost, online training has become a powerful tool in offering services to a broad audience but the growth has fueled competition among trainers in commercial gyms who are battling to stand out. My first Issue with online training is the source and credibility of a personal trainer. There’s no real substitute for meeting a personal trainer in person, creating that relationship with one another, and watching them in action with other clients. There are many different certifications out there, many are very legit and well respected, while others are not. Pretty much anyone can become a trainer these days or say they are a trainer to make a quick buck. So how can you trust someone online? Well you definitely should do your research when choosing an online trainer, check their credibility along with their websites credibility and really go with your gut feeling. I will delve into this a bit more later on.

My first issue with traditional personal trainers who train at commercial gyms is their lack of engagement and knowledge with clients. We all know in order to work as a trainer at a gym, you have to be a Certified Personal Trainer, and once again anyone can get certified. So, my point is just because one has a handful of different certifications and a degree in Kinesiology doesn’t necessarily mean they are a great trainer. I see trainer’s everyday where I work out, some are great and I can really tell they care about their client’s success. But, the majority of other trainers amaze me with their lack of knowledge, exercise selections, stupidity, and lack of intensity when training clients. The majority of the time these trainers are counting reps for you while texting on their phones or just jibber jabbering with the client or others they know. Many trainers are just in it for the money and want to get their clients through their sessions as fast as possible with little struggle. I call these “Text Book Trainers” because they are always going by the book and liability issues; many trainers underestimate their client’s abilities. A couple of different trainers once told me that as long as you throw out big scientific words to clients they won’t question you and they will think you’re the best. Another trainer said he wants to be a “Guru!” Lol. Unbelievable! How can someone want to have all the answers to everything and want that reputation of being a guru? Last but not least, trainers at gyms do not educate clients about proper nutrition and do not formulate personalized nutrition plans for their clients. They most likely tell you to follow the bullshit “Food Pyramid” recommendations that our corrupted FDA so kindly supplies us with. Now, I am not saying being a trainer at a commercial gym is bad, if that is your goal to work for someone else, then by all means do so. Just take pride in helping your clients reach their goals by educating them properly and most of all actually put them through a legit workout. For consumers, be aware of these kinds of trainers and gyms, they pretty much just want to sell you training packages to meet their monthly goals.

I know many may think online training is a scam, but let’s look at a few advantages and disadvantages that this unique method can offer, giving you the chance to determine if online training is for you or not. With an average personal training session costing around $60, not to mention the actual gym initiation fees and travel expense, the cost of one-on-one training can soon hurt your wallet. Many people are intimidated to go to gyms due to many muscular and fit people, overwhelming equipment, and just overall too much chaos going on. Well online training offers the chance to meet your goals without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. Flexibility can also be a huge advantage, meaning online training can be done without any set schedule or routine. Although this could be a disadvantage if the client lacks motivation, accountability, and discipline to remain consistent to the program you assign them. This is due to them wanting a physical presence there with them and guiding them through the workout. Also online trainers cannot always judge your progress and actually watch your posture when performing certain workouts, which could really frustrate a potential client and possibly lead to worse problems.

There are bigger questions to address with online training that could put the trainer and the client at a potential risk. The three essential elements of personal training are: An initial assessment, observing the clients training, and giving relevant feedback to ensure progress. These processes are severely compromised through online training. If you decide to choose an online trainer, make sure the trainer has a similar protocol assessment as an actual trainer at a gym would. I highly recommend a phone consultation before paying, think of this as an initial screening process and you can really get a feel for the trainer to see if you do want to work with him or her.

When buying training packages at a gym, you are subjected to a waiver, removing all liability from the club as well as the trainer the majority of the time. With online training, there are often times no waiver or legal agreements provided. I can’t stress this enough to make sure if you do go with an online trainer that they do have a release of liability waiver. Which brings me to my next point, what about the legalities of online personal training? What if the client were to get injured while using your program you supplied and you are in a different county or state? What are the legal responsibilities then? Well, a legal agreement can be addressed between the trainer and client by two ways: valid contract and valid contacts. A valid contract is a signed agreement agreeing to terms and conditions of online training and the commitment between both parties. A valid contact shows that there is a reasonable amount of contact between the client and trainer over and above the click of a button to purchase a training program. To ensure the best service, a phone consultation or skype should be set up, along with a printed contract should be mailed to sign and return to the proper address.

If you are an online trainer, take the following steps to establish evidence of a valid contract, assumption of risk, informed consent, and fulfillment of your legal duty as a personal trainer.

1. Post by mail all contracts to your clients for them to read and sign

2. After receiving the signed document, phone them or Skype them to review and clarify.

3. Mail regular progress cards for the client to fill out and sign. The reports should require a signature stating that the information attested to is true and accurate under penalty of perjury.

4. Include a disclaimer on your website stating that all users should consult a physician before beginning an exercise program and that the information provided is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or medical ailment.

5. Unless your goal is to train clients in a different state or country, make it clear that the content of your website is directed only at those who could potentially travel to your local gym. Be very clear!

Despite the negatives of online personal training, this form of training is very unique and beneficial as opposed to traditional personal training. The few negative drawbacks can be overlooked or reduced with the right approach. Just make sure you really do your research before and be sure you make a connection with that online trainer, there are way too many crooks out there that will do anything for money. My brother Chris and I are online training and nutritional coaches, as well as traditional trainers on occasion, we truly believe online training will continue to grow now and in the future. Just ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen by trying an online personal training program? If you don’t like it maybe that is your calling to actually join a gym and get a trainer, if you do like it than great, either way you are taking a step forward in the right direction to living a healthier and fit lifestyle, bottom line! With all this said, if you are a trainer in a gym, online trainer, or a group fitness instructor, at the end of the day we are all in this industry together. As long as we all continue to educate, be humble, and be honest to our clients in helping them reach their goals, than that’s all that matters. I respect each and every trainer for what they do nationwide, everyone has a different style, and that’s the beauty of it. Peace and god bless everyone!

Why Wedding Videographers Should Move to Corporate Video

My main focus in the video production business is to figure out how I can use my talents as a video producer to make the most money with the least amount of effort… all while building a business asset that will someday allow me to retire and travel the world while I’m still young enough to actually enjoy it!

My personal income has increased by about 750% since I started my video production business back in 2000 and the gross sales revenue for the company has grown by over 1200% in the same period of time.

I’m not anywhere close to my definition of wealthy but I’m a heck of a lot closer now than I was 9 years ago when i started this journey as a video business owner. The point I’m trying to make in this article is that the turning point for my wealth and the success of my video business was when I decided to stop pursuing wedding video business and to focus 100% of my efforts on selling, producing and delivering corporate video presentations.

The fact of the matter is that when you sell a wedding video, you are asking a family to give you money out of their personal checking account. When you sell a corporate video, you are asking someone to write you a check out of their business checking account.

The difference is that businesses typically have thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions or even billions of dollars they can tap into in order to purchase your services whereas a family (wedding client) usually has to go into debt to purchase your services.

Which group of people do you think provides the most opportunity for your video business?

Based on my experience, I’d vote corporate every time. Assuming you agree or at least that you are interested in exploring it further, here’s some insight on making the transition from wedding videography to corporate video production.

Please keep in mind that I have nothing against wedding videography and I know that many of you choose to produce wedding videos because you do not enjoy corporate video production. This article isn’t for you.

My uncle Grayson, also an entrepreneur, told me when I first started my video production business that I should always try to sell services that would enable me to make the most money possible with the equipment/software I had invested in.

He added that to sell services that were any less than the most your equipment could produce was not good business and would someday lead to trouble. I must admit that at the time I didn’t really understand what he meant. However, after all the lessons I’ve learned by having my feet in the fire, I know without a shadow of doubt that he was and is absolutely right!

Your $5,000 video camera can be used to produce a $2,000 wedding video. It can also be used to produce a $20,000 training video. The same goes for your editing system, software, etc. Assuming you are a fairly competent editor, you can probably edit the wedding video in about 40-60 hours which means if you work a normal work week of say 50 hours, you’ll be able to produce about $10,000 per month in revenue for your business.

And that’s humping it… not leaving you much time to do anything else to build or run your video production business.

You can plan, shoot and edit the training video in the same one month period of time and due to the nature of the training video market segment, you can command anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 in fees per video. See where I’m going?

Producing corporate videos will generate you anywhere from twice to five times the income in one month than wedding videos will produce and you can do all or most of it with the same production equipment and software you have now.

So, you can dispel the myth that you have to have more gear to produce corporate videos. It simply isn’t true. You can rent what you don’t own and pass the costs through to the client.

Assuming that you are on the same page with what I’ve mentioned above, doesn’t it make sense to start to gradually shift your thinking to figure out how to get any or a lot of the corporate video business in your area? Yes it does!

Even a small share of the corporate market will dramatically increase your revenue and therefore result in a fatter wallet.

I could write a book on moving from weddings to corporate (and some day I probably will!) but for the sake of my time and yours, I’ll limit this article to a small handful of tips.

1. Pay attention to what the families of the bride and groom do for a living.

Expensive weddings usually mean there is someone on either the bride or groom’s side that has money. Many of these people are either executives for major companies or entrepreneurs of some sort. Target the fathers of the bride and groom to chat with when you are standing in line at the buffet and simply ask them what they do.

(The mother of the bride and groom will still be crazy over the details of the wedding/reception so approach them after the dust has settled on the event.)

If they work for a business or own a business, briefly pitch your corporate services and ask if they mind if you contact them after you have delivered the wedding video to further discuss potential opportunities with their business. Don’t think for a second that they will be offended by talking business at their son or daughter’s wedding.

Trust me, they will be dying for a conversation that doesn’t involve decisions related to the wedding. Plus, if they are affluent, odds are good that many of their clients or executive co-workers are at the wedding anyway and you know that they have already been talking shop because that’s what like minded people do… even at their own son or daughter’s wedding!

CAUTION: I don’t suggest this tactic if the target in this case is the groom. As you know, his mind is scrambled and he won’t remember any conversation he has at the wedding. Call him after you deliver the wedding video and set up the meeting to discuss your corporate services then.

2. When the wedding season is over, look for opportunities to cover important civic events in the community that are sponsored by major businesses.

You simply call the organization and offer to produce a short highlight video of the event or gavel-to-gavel coverage (whatever makes sense for the event) in exchange for a high-level sponsorship package. This will put your logo and exposure on the same level as other major businesses. I’ve done this at about 50 events which has resulted in my video production business being exposed to thousands of corporate prospects.

Not every person in the room or who will watch the video are legitimate prospects for you, but the mass exposure will dramatically increase your corporate video production opportunities and it won’t cost you anything other than your time and the cost of distribution (blank media, hosting, etc). I set up a website that has since been taken down that I used to post the community videos we produced. You can always use a free service like YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo if you don’t want to pay anything to host the videos.

This was a great way to keep our brand top of mind. Be careful though, it will be tempting to think you can make more money by monetizing this event coverage service you are providing. Although you can make a little money charging for this service, keep your eye on the prize.

You want to use this free community service to open the door for larger, high paying projects.

3. Promote yourself as a freelance camera operator or production assistant to local/regional corporate video production companies.

This will help you make extra money in the off-season and will also help you learn the dynamics of corporate video production. Be willing to do anything no matter what the pay is to get your foot in the door. Then, as you build your reputation, you’ll be able to steadily increase your rates over time.

Do your best to present yourself as an ally and not as a person trying to compete with them. You don’t want other producers or videographers to think that you will contact their clients once you’ve left the set of their project.

And, no matter how tempting it will be for you to do so. DON’T! It’s unethical and will damage your reputation. It’s not worth it.

There’s plenty of business for you to get without sharking someone else’s waters. What you’ll find by doing great work and by being an ethical freelance videographer, they’ll start throwing scraps your way – the projects that aren’t worth their time but they still want to handle in order to maintain a positive client relationship.

You’ll get the call to produce it under their umbrella. This not only is an outstanding source of revenue, but also a great way to slowly and profitably break your way into the corporate video production business.

When ran properly and when focused on the right target market, wedding videography can be profitable. However, my experience has shown that much more money can be made with less effort in corporate video production.

I hope you’ll consider making the transition in your own video business or at least that you’ll find ways to expand your service offering to represent business video services. Your success rides on it!

Scoliosis Treatment Shows Promising Results Without Bracing Or Surgery

I have been a practicing chiropractor for over 10 years here in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I have certifications in spinal biomechanics, neurology, and spine rehabilitation accumulating over 700 post graduate hours of study in these fields. My practice philosophy has always been a corrective structural approach utilizing pre and post x-rays to determine the outcome of care along with the obvious symptom reduction and functional improvements that follow. I have often found it ironic that most chiropractic colleges teach future chiropractors that “your spine is your lifeline, poor spine function creates ill-health,” but yet colleges instruct their students that changing spinal structure and measuring it using post x-rays is not the goal of care. Does not structure dictate function? This philosophy is most apparent with their hands off, non-corrective approach to scoliosis. I have had great success in my practice correcting structural alignment of the spine demonstrated by post x-ray, not by following the pack, but rather by searching outside the dogmatic segmental adjusting approach that the colleges still encourage. In fact, the majority of my patients with smaller spine curvatures, under 30 degrees, have typically reduced nicely using standard clinical protocols taught to me by Dr. Pettibon and Dr. Harrison respectively.

The most challenging cases for me in the past have been scoliosis curvatures over 30 degrees. For some unknown reason these curvature patterns did not respond well to my standard corrective procedures, meaning they didn’t reduce much when measured with post treatment x-rays. The typical outcome with a scoliosis case over 30 degrees was generally limited to symptom reduction and some functional improvement. Correction or even stabilization of the larger scoliosis cases was rare. Accepting this outcome was difficult because most of my patients with larger scoliotic curvatures had to deal with progression and most likely the traditional medical intervention that would follow. If not properly reduced and stabilized, patients with scoliotic spines would have significant future health issues and a potentially reduced lifespan.

Traditional methods of scoliosis treatment like bracing or surgery come with significant drawbacks. According to published medical studies, bracing is not an effective long term solution for reducing or stabilizing scoliosis. In addition, the more commonly used hard braces are not user friendly, are extremely uncomfortable, limiting, and ugly. When a child is confined to one of these contraptions a normal childhood, unfortunately, is out of the question. Surgery on the other hand is invasive, traumatic, and creates permanent limitations along with a whole list of additional problems that didn’t exist prior to having the surgical rods fused to their spine. The flexible braces which promote more comfort and functionality, in my opinion, are a complete waste of time for scoliotic curves over 30 degrees. My inability to effectively correct, reduce, and stabilize scoliosis using non-traditional methods was simply not acceptable, therefore a new approach was definitely needed.

C.L.E.A.R. Institute, a research clinic focusing primarily on scoliosis correction, reduction, and stabilization without the use of braces or surgery, is certainly filling this much needed void. Dr. Dennis Woggon, founder of C.L.E.A.R. Institute, is one of my mentors. Prior to starting my practice in Green Bay I attended many lectures and workshops taught by Dr. Woggon. In 1997 I went to Dr. Woggon’s clinic in St. Cloud, Minnesota. While in St. Cloud, I observed daily clinical rounds and learned that measured structural changes of the spine were in fact possible and in most cases predictable. Again something contrary to what I was taught at Palmer College of Chiropractic. At that time about 11 years ago, Dr. Woggon did not have any of the new technology used for advanced scoliosis treatment. It wasn’t until about 2 years ago when I attended the scoliosis training sessions that I was exposed to this new approach regarding scoliosis correction. While working with patients using this specialized equipment, I realized this remarkable new treatment protocol was definitely a breakthrough in scoliosis treatment.

When correcting scoliosis, one of the key strategies needed to consistently reduce and stabilize larger curves is the ability to apply traction, derotation(unwinding of the scoliosis), and vibration all at one time. This is accomplished by a unique scoliosis traction vibration chair developed by scoliosis researchers. The other very important concept, which I have been using for years to reduce smaller curvatures, is to properly restore the normal cervical and lumbar “lordosis” (side view curves of the spine) prior to derotation. This clearly demonstrates why bracing and surgery are not effective long term solutions. Both fail to take into consideration these key biomechanical components of scoliosis.

In one of my previous articles I talked about initiating events as the cause of poor spinal alignment and why standard chiropractic adjustments and exercises prescribed by physical therapists were ineffective solutions for correcting poor alignment. In more than 95% of scoliosis patients examined by there is a significant loss of the normal lordotic curve in the neck, low back, or both. This clinical finding appears to be an initiating event in the body’s production of scoliosis. When the spine loses these curves it compensates through the addition of more curve elsewhere. The spine is a master of compensation innately reorganizing to protect the delicate spinal cord that it houses. When abnormal tension builds in the spinal cord due to loss of cervical and lumbar lordosis, the spine innately changes its normally straight front to back view to a curved position to decrease adverse mechanical forces placed on the central nervous system.

When doctors force the patient’s scoliosis to reduce by rigid bracing or surgical rods, according to this new theory, they are going against nature. If the body innately put the scoliotic curves in due to the loss of lordosis, then we can not force the reduction without creating damaging health consequences long term. This biomechanical reasoning also demonstrates the power of nature when a great majority of patients with rods in their spines, shockingly, have their scoliosis return to pre-surgery measurement and in some cases a patient’s scoliosis even progresses to higher than pre-surgery numbers. WOW!

This breakthrough thinking to effectively reduce and stabilize scoliosis consists of a three step process called “MIX” “FIX” “SET”. Step one “MIX” involves unlocking the spine using motorized traction while derotating the curvature and applying vibration to soften ligaments. Specialized equipment is used to provide accurate traction and low frequency vibration to the appropriate ligaments. Step two “FIX” involves restoring the cervical and lumbar lordosis as well as decreasing angulation above and below the primary curvature utilizing a specific biomechanical adjustment protocol. This protocol is a combination of instrument and manual chiropractic adjusting in combination with reactive neuromuscular reeducation. By adding specific weights to the head, shoulders, and hips, your body compensates and induces a reactive posture correction. This reactive therapy also utilizes the visual righting reflexes by having the patient wear specialized glasses to further enhance corrective learning. The Vibe, a whole body vibration platform is then utilized while wearing weights and glasses to stimulate slow twitch muscle receptors responsible for coordinating spinal alignment. Step three “SET” is actually a combination of fixing and stabilizing using a specialized scoliosis traction chair. this chair effectively reduces the primary curvature by applying traction and derotation as well as vibration programmed for neuromuscular reeducation. By teaching the spine rather than forcing correction you are able to use nature rather than going against it.

This new scoliosis protocol also focuses on home exercise therapy to assist the doctor in correcting the muscle and ligament imbalances. The home care program is a vital component to long term success. In some cases a home scoliosis traction chair is prescribed. In addition patients have access to a mentorship program for scoliosis patients and educational materials to help understand this new approach.

The theories behind this program of scoliosis correction make sense and agree with the natural laws of spinal biomechanics. By first restoring the lordosis you are creating space and reducing adverse mechanical stress on the central nervous system. Then doctors can begin reducing the compensatory twisting effects created by the patient’s nervous system due to loss of lordosis, starting above and below the primary scoliotic curves. Last we can then gradually retrain the spine letting it feel what its like to be without the scoliosis by placing the patient in the specialized chair. Once the nervous system learns through repetition that the scoliosis is not necessary to protect the body it will then gradually correct and accept life without it.

Many patients with scoliotic curves over 30 degrees have seen reduction and stabilization of their scoliosis using this new protocol. In addition many patients experience symptom relief and measurable functional improvements as well. The program has been utilized with varying age groups with excellent clinical outcomes. There are very few problems with patient comfort and patient satisfaction has been consistently high. I will continue to research this disease in order to better serve patients with scoliosis. By continuing to develop new technology doctors can effectively provide a better, less invasive treatment option for patients with scoliosis.

What to Look For in an Air Duct Cleaner

Air duct cleaning is a relatively new industry that has exploded as a $4 Billion a year industry in the United States alone, in the 21st century. Some people have embraced air duct cleaning as a beneficial service, while others have criticized the service and view the service as a waste of time and money. More than likely though, people who have their varying view points for and against the service are both correct on this issue in one way or another and in this article I will address why I think that both sides raise interesting and very good points that you as a consumer should consider. In this article I will address different air duct cleaning methods and explain what those methods are, I will explain credentials so that you can better understand who the organizations are and who they represent and last I will address the common scams that are out there so that you as a consumer can avoid being caught up into such scams to increase the possibilities of receiving a good service performed correctly, should you ever schedule an air duct cleaning service in the future with a local service provider.

The two most common air duct cleaning methods are the “contact cleaning” method and the “Power vacuum air wash” method in air duct cleaning. The contact cleaning method in air duct cleaning involves the use of shop vac style equipment to keep constant contact between the vacuum hose and duct work surface during the cleaning process. Generally speaking the companies that employ this form of cleaning charges less money for their services, because they know that they are limited in what dirt, dust and debris that they can actually pull out of the air ducts and are typically in your home to perform the service for 30 minutes to 1 hour. There is usually no benefit to an air duct cleaning service when this method of cleaning is performed, however it may be beneficial if the actual vent boots were full of construction debris or dog food or whatever and you did not feel like cleaning the vent boots and preferred to just get a cheap service provider out to do that work for you instead. Now, the power vacuum air wash method in air duct cleaning involves the use of expensive powerful equipment to allow a technician to deep clean the entire HVAC system. The vacuum hose is usually 8-12″ in diameter and is installed in the main trunk line to put the entire air duct system under a deep and powerful vacuum.

No kidding, every vent in the house will have a powerful vacuum pulling hard off of every vent in the house for a perfect negative air containment, which disallows any cross contamination of dirt discharges in your home to occur during the cleaning process! The vacuum machines could be 220 volt HEPA rated negative air machines, gas powered or diesel powered machines to generate a powerful enough vacuum to perform the service properly. Compressed air tools are used to air wash all of the dirt, dust and debris to the power vacuum hose installed in the main duct, trunk line. When the power vacuum air wash form of air duct cleaning is performed correctly the service usually takes anywhere from 2-4 hours to perform the service in an average sized home. Reputable companies will clean all supply boots, adjoining supply branch lines, supply trunk line(s), supply plenum, return boots, return channels, return trunk line(s) and return plenum, virtually 100% of the entire HVAC system.

It is vital that the entire air duct system is cleaned, because if any debris and or contamination is left in the system, then that missed debris and or contamination will just recirculate again to recontaminate the air duct system as if nothing was even done, once the furnace is turned on again after the air duct cleaning is complete. A typical forced air ventilation is a circulatory system of constant air in and air out when a furnace is in operation. Companies that are licensed for HVAC will also thoroughly clean the furnace and evaporator coil (indoor coil that is often above the furnace).

The benefits can be tremendous with this method of cleaning, such as increased air flow, increased HVAC system efficiency, reduced dust in the home, reduction in unpleasant odors deriving from the air ducts and increased life expectancy of working HVAC parts such as surface igniters, blower motors, limit switches and capacitors that dirt, dust and debris destroys over time. A reputable company that pays their technicians well, maintains their tools & machinery and possesses all of the proper credentials such as ACCA membership status, EPA certified technicians to handle refrigeration and carries proper insurance(s) will charge anywhere from $425.00-$1000.00 per HVAC system for about half a days work to properly clean each HVAC system.

The price swing is also factored by different cost of living standards depending on where you live in the country and varying overhead costs that each company carries. Some one in Manhattan New York would probably be near the $1000.00 price per HVAC system cleaned, whereas someone in Austin Texas would be near the $425.00 per HVAC system cleaned. The cost of living is much higher in Manhattan New York than in Austin Texas, so logically air duct cleaning in Manhattan New York would cost more than in Austin Texas.

Credentials are very important! Beware of companies that have no credentials at all, because an in experienced service provider can cause a lot of expensive damage to your HVAC system, if they don’t know what they are doing and you surely don’t want to be stuck with an expensive repair bill as a result. The best credentials that a service provider can have is the ACCA membership status.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) HVAC system cleaning standards is the only air duct cleaning standard accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI is a reputable international organization that creates rigid tough standards to improve products and services for the better good of the consumer to ensure that the product or service is safe and effective. If an organization lacks ANSI accreditation, then they lack validity to their product or service(s) in the HVAC, Heating, ventilation and air conditioning field.

A prime example of that would be NADCA, which stands for the National Air Duct Cleaning Association. NADCA has raised some good guidelines to follow in an air duct cleaning procedure, however they lack knowledge in having much HVAC technical knowledge to deliver the best procedures in cleaning your furnace or evaporator coil, which is at the heart of the entire air duct system. Very often NADCA member companies are not licensed for HVAC, which increases your risk when hiring them to clean and HVAC system. These vital working components needs to be cleaned as well, which means in my opinion NADCA will leave you in the dust pertaining to HVAC system cleaning. The safe approach to take is to shop around with ACCA member companies to ensure that your HVAC system is cleaned correctly by a licensed HVAC contractor or company rather than hiring an under trained carpet cleaner or air duct cleaner.

Air duct cleaning is a good service to have performed if it is done properly by an ACCA member company, however many companies have exploited the good service that many homeowners and building owners desire by delivering bait and switch tactics or blow and go air duct cleaning procedures that leaves the system contaminated after the service has been performed. 9 times out of 10 you should discredit ads that state air duct cleanings start at $59.00-$199.00 for up to 10 vent lines cleaned. Only two results will derive from these forms of advertising such as Company “A” arrived for $79.00 and in fact cleaned 10 vent lines with a shop vac type machine and left within 1 hour leaving your system contaminated or Company “B” arrived to clean 10 vent lines for $69.00 and their technician explained that the returns are very dirty too and they can be cleaned for $25.00 each.

Now your ticket has turned to $144.00 with 3 return lines cleaned. While the technician is still cleaning he realizes that your trunk lines are dirty too and up sells you on that to clean a supply trunk line for $100.00 and to clean a return trunk line for another $100.00, which now turns the ticket into $344.00. You’re done with receiving the up selling, right? No, think again, because the technician explained to you that he had to cut out accesses into the ductwork to clean it right, he of coarse now has to sell you clean out doors to install so that all of your air doesn’t escape out of the system, so he quotes you at $75.00 for each clean out door installed to make the ticket $494.00 from an additional $150.00 for two doors sold.

If the job was performed correctly that would be fine, however the guy is in your house with a shop vac type machine, which means he received $494.00 from you to leave your HVAC system contaminated. After he leaves once the air duct cleaning service has been performed, you realize that dust is blowing out of all of the vents when the furnace cycles, because he disturbed a lot of dust during the air duct cleaning, because shop vac style machinery are in effective in performing a thorough air duct cleaning service. You could have called a reputable company that is an ACCA member company utilizing the most powerful equipment in the industry to give you an “up front” price quote right in the same ball park for price as the bait and switch company eventually got out of you, to get the job done thoroughly and correctly. If it is too good to be true, that is because it is. Buyer beware, these bait and switch tactics have been going on for years and usually the companies that follow these price structures are the very companies leaving the majority of dirt, dust and debris in your ventilation system that they were paid good money by the customer to clean out.

When shopping around for a service provider that offers air duct cleaning as a service, make sure that they are an ACCA member company, which tells you that they are licensed for HVAC and check their record at the BBB. If they have a few complaints that is fine, so long as all of the complaints have been resolved. You know there is a huge difference with 5 complaints all quickly resolved and 112 complaints unresolved. These contractors and companies deal with the general public, which means they deal with all different walks of life of different personalities and characters on a daily basis. It is almost impossible if a company has done enough volume of work to keep a perfect record with the BBB. Usually the companies that are small and have not done too many jobs are the only companies that have the perfect score with the BBB. No less, the BBB is still a good reference though, to safe guard yourself from blatant scamming companies and it would be wise to reference companies there if you are unsure of the companies over all reputation.

The conclusion of this article is if a company is licensed for HVAC, uses the most powerful air duct cleaning machinery in the industry, performs air duct cleanings by the power vacuum air wash method and has a good reputation with the BBB and other reporting institutions, then air duct cleaning will more than likely be performed thoroughly and properly in most instances, so that you can realize positive results such as increased air flow coming out of vents, odor reductions deriving from the vents, increased HVAC system efficiency and increased furnace and air conditioning part life.

Are High Efficiency Filters Killing Your Air Conditioner?

With all of the information circulating on the internet today concerning indoor air quality one primary way to control what we breathe in our house is to filter our air very well. Most air-conditioning systems installed today in new homes use standard disposable filters unless the homeowner has specified a higher grade of filtration at the time of the air-conditioners installation and paid for this feature. Well-meaning consumers having learned of the value of better air filtration on indoor air quality flock to home improvement centers to buy better quality filters for use in their heating and cooling system. The problem is these filters may be killing both your air-conditioning and your electric bill!

Air-conditioning systems are designed in an ideal environment on a set of blue prints by an engineer who calculates the exact CFM or cubic feet per minute of air that is required to enter a room to maintain it at a set temperature and encourage air movement. This design of the air distribution or duct system is perhaps the most understated aspect of having a comfortable and healthy home. The design of the engineer in an office rarely if ever translates from the drawing to the reality of the actual installation in the field due to a multitude of variables. In residential homes the space in an attics, between floors, and crawl spaces is often filled with electrical wiring, gas piping, plumbing, ventilation systems, and structural supports that require all trades to reroute their materials to deal either with the preceding trade that worked on the home or the design of the structure that may not have been accurately reflected in the blue prints.

Most air-conditioning contractors understand this dilemma will be faced in the field by their installers and so they have a tendency to over design the duct system for maximum performance if the installation varies from the drawn prints. The problem occurs in that many homes built throughout the years have never had their air distribution system tested to see if they fell within the parameters of the design by the engineer. Even though engineers make over design to compensate for installation issues the installers may also have to make compensation for not being able to run the duct work as originally designed.

This creates even more air friction which reduces the efficiency of air delivery into various areas of the home. Poor installation techniques along with damage done to the air distribution after the inspection by the municipal authorities overseeing the construction of a home may lead to leakage in the ductwork that also creates problems with the air distribution system. Air distribution systems that are not delivering the proper CFM throughout the home typically indicate an inadequate airflow through the blower assembly, leaks or restrictions within the air distribution system, or a compromise of the initial design. Sadly however, most homeowners will never know whether their duct system functions as designed by the engineer.

Now what you may ask does this have to do with the type of filter that I choose for my home improvement center to install on my heating and air-conditioning system? It has an enormous impact! If in their distribution system the blower is not moving the proper amount of air then there is a strong probability that on the air-conditioning side the system is not charged properly with refrigerant. Almost all charging charts from the manufacturers for refrigerants are based on the assumption that the blower unit is moving a specific CFM within a given tolerance of error. If this is not the case then the charging recommendations from the manufacturers are never correct.

If the air distribution system was already operating with a cheap disposable filter at a marginal design level, then the introduction of a higher quality filter, which while possibly improving the air quality may also reduce the airflow, will exacerbate the problem creating even a greater challenge for a service technician to properly balance the refrigerant charge in and air-conditioning system. Improper refrigerant charge in an air-conditioning system is the leading cause of premature compressor failure, excessively high utility bills, and an uncomfortable environment within the house due to the poor performance of the air-conditioning system.

Many tract homes were built with a single central air conditioning and heating return. In this case adding a higher filtration filter can dramatically impede the airflow as the filter surface loads between the times that it is changed by the consumer or the air-conditioning contractor. Surface loading is where the face of a filter loads with dust and as it does airflow across the filter drops creating even less air for the blower unit to move to other portions of the home even though the efficiency of the filter increases because of the increased surface area that the air has to pass through.

Since higher quality air filters, not air cleaners, reduced to varying degrees the amount of air flow through a heating and air-conditioning system it is imperative that you understand the impact of utilizing a higher efficiency filter such as a pleated filter, electrostatic filter, or even in some cases a bag filter before you go to a home improvement center purchase one and then added to your air-conditioning or heating system. Filters that are advertised as HEPA filters typically have a much higher impact on airflow than other types.

To understand the impact of a higher quality filter on an air distribution system think of what happens if you apply a sheet of paper across the back grill of a floor fan. The airflow coming out of the fan will be dramatically reduced thus creating a greater load on the fan motor which increases its electric consumption and at the same time creates unneeded wear that will reduce its operational life. At the same time since the fan is designed to move a specific amount of air in attempts to draw air from any available area to get around the blockage. In a duct system this means that areas of leakage in the duct system that were previously considered small will now be increased in magnitude as the system tries to pull as much air as possible past or around the higher efficiency air filter. In some cases air quality in the home drops as particulates are sucked into the duct system downstream from the filter through duct leakage due to the high resistance of the new air filter.

Custom-built homes that utilize multiple returns throughout the house may suffer a lower incidence of duct leakage, excessive utility bills, and premature compressor failure with the addition of higher quality filtration, but it still requires good judgment and the knowledge of whether or not you’re air distribution system is functioning as designed.

Many well-meaning air conditioning contractors recommend higher quality filtration system to be added onto an air conditioner or heating system at the time that the system is replaced without giving adequate consideration to the duct work that already exists in the home. If you are considering changing your air-conditioning system then you should insist that your contractor provide a test and balance of the air distribution system after the installation of the replacement heating and cooling unit. This procedure ensures that the air delivery across the blower unit as well as into each condition space within the home meets the design requirements of the engineer.

So how to I increase the quality of filtration in my home without sacrificing all my utility bills, or risking future damage to my air-conditioning or heating system? The answer lies in having qualified Service Company test and balance your air distribution for your home so that it meets not only the manufacturer’s requirements but also the design of the original air-conditioning design. During this process additional return air ducts may need to be added if necessary to see that increased filtration does not reduce the amount of air flow required across the heating or cooling unit. In some cases your home may be too old for the original design to even be available. In this case a reputable air conditioning and heating contractor can create a design based on the parameters of your home and then match your air distribution systems performance to that design. This may require changes in duct work, sealing of leaks that have occurred over the years in your duct system, and even weatherization of your home in order to ensure that the air distribution system is functioning properly.

Even though it may sound attractive to purchase a higher quality filter and put it in our air-conditioning system to improve the air that we breathe in our home, due to the competitive nature of home building the design of an enormous amount of air-conditioning systems in use today is marginal at best. Adding a restrictive device to the airflow straight will create problems in the future that may far surpass the perceived health value of a better filter.

Higher quality filtration is indeed a necessity to improve air quality in your home. But before running out to your nearest retailer or home improvement center, or even asking your air-conditioning contractor to provide you with better filters, make sure that your duct system is designed to handle the increased load that a higher efficiency filter will put on it. Doing so may save not only your air conditioner, but your wallet as well by avoiding unnecessary utility consumption and breakdowns.

J Lowe is a 20 year veteran of the field of indoor air quality and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) as it relates to homes and offices. Related to no commercial ventures he shares his experience in indoor air quality evaluation and mitigation with all.

Currently working as a service operations consultant for the home service industries including, HVAC, Pool, Plumbing, and others he writes articles on improving business profits and customer satisfaction.

Hints and Warnings When Looking for a New Home to Buy

Buying any home at any time, no matter how many times you have done it, is always an emotional experience. If you’re in the marketplace now as a first-time buyer, then the stress factor can be even more significant. It’s not only as they may say in the novels, a romantic and adventurous leap into your future, and yes it’s is exciting, but it also involves making a decision that probably concerns one of the most important investments you’ll make in your lifetime.

In various respects, this first challenge can be the experience that opens doors of opportunity for you; depending on how you play the proverbial cards you are given. The decisions you make during this episode in your life will either see you gain in business and financial stature and confidence, or land you with a financial burden. Therefore, take some time to gain some knowledge about the market and the investment you are about to launch yourself into, especially concerning what you need when buying your new home, and what is involved in getting that all important mortgage? It could be the difference between having a winning hand and being just another loser in the property market stakes.

Property dream or a nightmare!

It is the desire or dream of most people to have their own home! However, despite this highly influencing factor, a primary question first-time home buyers should ask, is whether realistically owning your own home is logically and financially the right investment for your particular circumstances? Looking at the situation rationally and removing the romantic and ingrained influences of home ownership, it is not an ideal decision that benefits all people always!

Your next question will probably be something like, OK wise guy, so how do you make this crucial decision about a commitment that could significantly affect your life? Well, the first part of the answer is easy and it relates to affordability! Laying it on the line, it’s very easy to buy something on credit that is going to be used and paid for relatively quickly, but it’s another story when you need to commit to making payments for something that is going to take a significant number of years of your life.

Carrying on with the doom and gloom part, but without apologies for spoiling any moonlight and roses pictures you may have; we are living in volatile times and economies. There are many financial experts worldwide, who are basically making guesses about how things are going to be in the future! If you have a few million dollars in the bank, then fine; knock yourself out with a luxury new condo launch, otherwise, look at any property investment logically and how it befits you!

The first-time buyer challenges

When you are a first-time buyer, you’re entering a world cluttered with real estate agents or realtors, depending on where you are located. Keep one thing at the forefront of your mind; their primary interest is in filling their bank accounts, not yours, or the sellers! Another crucial aspect you must consider is that this investment is not only about how much you wish to spend on your new home but the deposit sum you can initially put down. In addition, there are various and associated hidden costs that accrue with buying your new home. If you intend making some major renovations, then you can increase the cost by more than 15%, so be careful and get professional advice before signing anything! What you definitely need on the bottom line of your financial report is a healthy credit rating. In addition, your budget should be organized with a predetermined affordability regarding the deposit and any other financial commitments.

Where do you want to buy your new home?

This is naturally a critical decision with a variety of influencing factors associated with it, including available finance, which is usually determined by the amount of the deposit and mortgage obtainable. This can have an influence on your decision regarding the area in which you would like to purchase your home.

For the new homeowner, the excitement mounts when they find their ideal home at the right price and it’s now at a stage where an offer to purchase is presented to the owners by way of your realtor or estate agent. However, you must be completely satisfied that all your finances related to the purchase are in order and have been appropriately approved by any financial institution involved. You should now be in a strong position that can get your offer accepted by a seller, having discussed with your realtor or agent, the worth of the property to you, including fixtures and fittings.

When determining the offer, it’s wise to give yourself some financial room for negotiations, keeping in mind that the seller is primarily concerned with their interests in the transaction and not yours! If an agreement is reached with the seller, your realtor will; arrange all legal aspects related to the sale on your behalf.

Your estate agent will usually instruct a lawyer versed in conveyance procedures to act your behalf, regarding the legal aspects in transferring ownership of the property to you. As you should have had all financially related aspects in order before making an offer to the seller, you now only need to re-approach your mortgage company and present them with the accepted offer and the process will be completed. In the event of your finances not being in order, then you must rectify the situation with all possible speed, to prevent the seller losing patience. This is a crucial factor that applies if you are a new buyer or one who is selling a property and buying another.

Logic before emotion

Looking at this new property investment from another angle; presume you’re already a proud homeowner, but who is, however, for various reasons needing to determine whether it’s in your best interests to put your present home on the market and sell it before you invest in a new one? Although it involves some risk in a rising marketplace, there are positive factors associated with it. They include for example; an established negotiating scenario, with the advantage of being able to act quickly, by your having a readily available mortgage facility, in the event of your finding the ideal new home!

Other advantages include you being fully aware of the related market price structures, in which you can concentrate your search for the right property! Furthermore, and importantly, you can save not only your time but also that of a seller, which in turn provides significant motivation for a seller to consider accepting an extremely favourable offer. This article is designed to give potential new home buyers a few guidelines for their journey into the property market.

Best wishes and enjoy your new home; but, remember to remain aware during the buying process!

How To Choose Lights For Your Children’s Rooms

Your child’s bedroom should be a safe haven, a place where fun flows along with creativity and productive thoughts. Lighting a room with so many purposes can be challenging. However before you start buying and putting the lights in their room, wait and spend some time in understanding your child’s needs, personality and other small things. Children’s have slightly different lighting needs from us, adults. Also you should take decorating your child’s room as a great opportunity to illustrate off your playful side, do some personal bonding, and allow your children to be creative. Use your as many ideas and imaginations for decorating but, please keep one thing in mind, it should reflect your child’s personality and needs, not yourswhere we as parents make a mistake.

Understand the basics

Planning lighting needs for your child’s room is a great opportunity for you to show off your playful side, do some personal bonding, and will also allow your children to be creative. Use all your imaginative ideas in the process but the important thing to remember here is itshould reflect your child’s personality, not yours. Talk to your child while making them part of your design work. Be interactive and if needed take them along with you while buying the lighting things. In any kid room you need to consider three types of lighting; ambient light which fills the whole room, Task lighting is the kind of lighting that brightens a particular area and finally accent lighting that adds a novelty touch to your child’s room.

The key factors to consider

Your kid’s age, whether a baby, early school years or teenagers. Age makes real difference in selecting and adjusting proper lighting ideas. As your child matures as do their rooms lighting needs. For example, babies need low-level lighting so you can see during those frequent trips in the night to feed, change and comfort. As you will spend a considerable amount of time in your baby’s room it’s important that you have a ceiling mounted bedroom light with a dimmer if possible would be ideal since it allows you to brighten the room when required and then lower the light at bedtime.

Also a kid room decorative lamp or two at proper light that gives off sufficient light is important when it coming to changing your baby or reading stories. Instead of kid lamps, one can also opt for a track lighting which are quiet adjustable to lighten while changing babies nappies or reading bed time stories. Also track lighting can be adjusted, rotated to specific areas as the child grows. Older, school going children and teenagers may have slightly different lighting needs. For example, some older children may get scared in the night if the room is dark, which in that case installing a night light opposite corner of the room and not shining in your child’s face to make them sleep is a good idea. Also growing children needs a balance of natural light and artificial lighting so operable skylights and windows will add charm to the room.

Your child’s personality and interests will also play a substantial role in understanding the lighting needs. If it is a small baby, try to understand what kind of interests or personality they can have by seeing their reaction on showing or displaying certain things. For example, babies will react very happily or enjoys certain types of pictures or colours or any objects, keep this in mind while planning the lighting. Like some babies may enjoy Airplane or other objects around a central ceiling fixture or pendant light. Bright red balloon wall light may also entertain your small ones. Generally, all most kids small or growing, love bright colors and novelty items like cartoon characters or any other funny animal characters.

Some children’s may like certain colours which in that case colorful catchy lights can be a good option. Well lighting your child’s room should co-ordinate with the overall decor but having that one wild lighting idea which excites your boy or girl is a must. Choose atleast one novelty theme to add a vibrant mood to your child room that compliments their hobbies and personality. Afterwards try to understand what kind of activities will be taking place in the room. Like sleeping, doing home work, entertainment, computer activities and many more such things. Parents should select task lighting that is most conducive to the different activities children pursue in their room. This will make the job of selecting and fixing task lighting to brighten up specific area used for an activity much easier.

If your child has a computer in the room, you’ll want to ensure a ambient soothing computer place. The trick here is to use task lighting to illuminate what is on the monitor and use an ambient light source to eliminate any contrast. If your child does all their home work on a desk table, try for safe table lamp or the best wall lights that lines up with your child’s shoulder when sitting up ready to read. Lighting that comes from behind her shoulder and slightly to the side will be the best for their eyes with out causing any damage to their vision. If your child likes to read in bed consider an adjustable kid room lamp or track lighting rotated to the bedpost. Reading will become more tempting to your child if you make the experience as comfortable as possible. If your children watch television in their rooms, don’t let them watch it in total darkness. It’s better for their eyes to use low-level light, either from a dimmed light or from a side light with the beam directed at the ceiling.

Never forget the safety of your children

While planning and designing your child’s room lighting needs, there are safety issues to consider first. The safest kinds of lighting fixtures to use in your child’s room are central ceiling fixtures, child wall lights and track lighting. The advantage here is that these types of fixtures won’t get damaged if your kids start playing around the room. Try to keep any light sources out of your child’s reach is always a good way to prevent light burns. In any case if you can’t avoid it then any light that their little hands can reach should preferably be fitted with compact fluorescent bulbs which are cool to touch Use track lighting or wall lights instead of table lamps since they always get knocked over and believe us, always us. When installing electrical wall socket, see that there are no loose cords hanging around and cover the empty sockets to ensure prying fingers can’t put it inside. Also avoid low pendant lights. They can be a hazard during pillow fights or when jumping on the bed.

Using the above provided information along with your imagination you can do wonders to your children’s room lighting and the way it will nurture their personality. Just remember, have fun and make it a team work with your child as your expert partner.

Home Decorative Lighting – Things You Should Know

Lighting plan is of vital Importance to your home decoration project. Indoor lighting complements different moods, feelings and every-day shades, practically telling the art of living. With shades of light, you can change the ambiance from special to occasional and even extravagant, and create magic with special lighting effects.

Lighting – Making Your Home Look Brilliant

The decisions you make about home lighting can dramatically influence the feel of a room, making it warm and inviting, cozy and comfortable, or cold and distant at the flip of a switch. If chosen correctly, it can have just as much influence on the look and feel of a room as your best piece of furniture.

See some of the functions the lighting performs:

Focus Pocus:

Put lighting to work creating focal points. Add lights to direct the eye in a new direction by focusing on a piece of art, furniture or the mantel.

Dim Some:

Dimmers are an inexpensive trick-of-the-trade. They help set a special mood in the home by allowing you to manipulate the light. Install them at the wall for ceiling fixtures and even buy them for table lamps.

Space Case:

Add more drama to a space with accent lighting. By illuminating the top of a bookcase, adding under-cabinet lighting or hanging a colored pendant over the kitchen island, you can create islands of light that bring the grain of the wood, the print of the wallpaper or the color of a wall to life.

Showing Personalized Taste:

Every home is special. So is every individual, with his peculiar taste for shapes, patterns and inherent aesthetic sense. With all the decorative options out there today, you can use them to introduce your neighbors and guests to your taste when they are introduced into your home.

Entwining the Lighting with a Room’s Interior Design

How a room is lit can dramatically alter its look and feel. Entwining the lighting with a room’s interior design is pivotal in achieving the desired look whether it is minimalist, shabby chic or glamorous. Here we showcase some lighting ideas as follows:

Artwork features

Make a feature of your artwork with these rod lights. They come down from the ceiling and distribute an even light to the artwork – much like in a gallery. Choose a subtle color so the light blends in with the rest of the room.

Porcelain pendants

Pendants made from a natural finish such as porcelain work well with the earthy natural colors that are popular in interiors, as opposed to chrome or white fittings, which tend to clash with natural furnishings. Aluminum also matches well with natural interiors and isn’t as pricey.

Entertaining areas

The emerging trend of indoor/outdoor living has led to the integration of indoor/outdoor lighting. A flick of a switch will light up the water feature and deck as well as the indoor eating area, forcing the fusion of indoors and outdoors. Create this effect by automating.

Feature pendants

Feature pendants are great because they are a good light source as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Aligning three in a row creates a focal point for the room and distributes decent light to all corners. Try using feature pendants in the living room where good light is needed for entertaining, reading and television viewing.

Chandeliers

Chandeliers are the perfect way to add a bit of glamour to your home. One thing to remember is that they are a feature art-piece rather than the sole light source. If there is a feature chandelier in the room, the main light will come from down lights and up lights distributed subtly throughout the room.

Innovative Home Lighting Ideas – Mood Light

Mood Light is the innovative lighting device, which allows you to control your own light scenarios. With the remote control you can change colors, functions and light sequences. It can create personalized lighting scenarios, changing atmosphere blue, red, yellow, intense, soft, warm, cool…

They spotlight your most precious possessions, they allow you to see your flat screen television better and they let you set the mood for the music that you like to listen to. This lamp can be wall or ceiling mounted, or set on a table.

Market Potential for Home Lighting Fixtures

Lighting fixtures complement a home’s architectural design; there is an ever-rising demand for them in the market now. For example, there’s been a growth in the availability of taller fixtures because homes being built today have higher ceilings. Eight feet used to be the standard. Today it’s more like nine or ten feet and you need to find ways to fill the space.”

The materials of choice for those fixtures also have changed. People are moving away from the plastic and resin look that used to be so popular in newer homes, and preferring the old world look — brass and copper, crystal chandeliers, and things like that.

The drive for the change is due to consumer interest, utility initiatives, and regulations encouraging energy-efficient devices.

Don’t Wait: To buy lighting fixtures, it is important to plan earlier than other decorating ideas because there are frequently decisions that need to be made relative to the location and type of electrical outlet installation during construction. These decorative fixtures often are built according to individual order, so it needs time. For the purchase on line, You can choose from the china manufacturer directory.

Lighting With Energy Efficiency In Mind

The lighting industry as a whole is putting a lot of emphasis on that right now. A lot of companies have brand-new decorative chandeliers, pendant lights and table lamps out this year that take fluorescent bulbs rather than incandescent one. Fluorescents last longer and are dimmable so they use less energy than your everyday incandescent.

Simple changes in the lighting can improve lighting quality and optimize energy efficiency.

Reduce light levels where there are no visual tasks.

Reduce glare and brightness contrast.

Use daylight where possible and practical.

A little planning and willingness to think differently about your lighting can provide significant savings.

Lighting Quality

Quality Counts: No matter what your budget, opt for timeless materials like bronze and glass over their plastic counterparts. Timeless designs in top materials will always look right and can become family heirlooms.

Test It: Try before you buy. In most instances, you can take a lamp home, try it and bring it back if it doesn’t work.

Take Your Time: Give lighting as much consideration as other decorating decisions like flooring, wall covering, and furniture. Create a master plan of how you want the finished house to look, and work at it over a year or two. Use your camera. Bring a digital image of the room and see what is not working. Make the lighting fixtures the statement to complement the room.

Design Trend for the Decorative Lighting

Casual elegance: The creation of warm, relaxed and comfortable environments with casual lighting that is a little more upscale in design.

Simplified traditional: Remove the excess and simplify. Decorative lighting here may be solid brass, but stripped down and rich with antique patina.

Soft contemporary: Clean, modern and simple in style. While architectural in design, these fixtures are no longer cold.

Treatment Order and Why for Best Results on Neck Pain

If you are to think logically about how the body needs to heal itself (because to be sure we don’t “heal”), then you should be looking at a treatment order. If you accurately assess what structures are dysfunctional or not doing what they are designed to do, then you can apply the relevant techniques to return the structures to better function. It is effective to look at the nervous system first and then treat to correct muscle imbalance which can lead to joint capsular changes. However, if you are in the belief that the issue is nerve then joint as the primary problem then your treatment order will be mobilisation first and the soft tissue secondarily and this is the views of chiropractic. Various techniques including muscle energy and myofascial release are amazingly effective in returning normal resting tone to both the superficial and deeper muscles and try to include both strategies to the region of the head, neck and upper shoulders. Lastly, don’t forget the power of the stretch to lock the structural alignment at the completion of your session; effective and long lasting and a reminder for your clients’ to apply active and passive self-stretching throughout the day.

The anatomy of the neck is comprised of 7 cervical bones, various soft tissues and many nerves. These include the spinal cord with its exiting nerve complexes, one of the most affected in soft tissue dysfunctions, being the Brachial Plexus. The cervical spine is both sturdy and amazingly flexible with the greatest range of movement of the entire spine. This is partly due the type of vertebrae, but also to the many muscles (via the tendons) that attach to the head, neck and upper body. These muscles run both superficially and deep, twisting and attaching, according to relevance to any number of vertebrae, and/or the skull and the tiny muscles of the sub-occipital group that produce all of our smallest of head movements.

The area of the head and neck have always been of importance to the practitioner due to the volume of clients that come in complaining of a range of issues including chronic neck pain and stiffness, to headaches in various areas of the skull.

With the complex and intricate nature of the region, and the many stresses and forces that can be placed on it through a trauma, gravity or simply active daily living, the cervical spine is at risk of developing a number of painful conditions. You see these broken down into two groups:

Acute neck pain, caused by:

  • sprains of the ligaments,
  • strains of the muscles which can occur due to positional awkwardness,
  • prolonged static posture,
  • sudden trauma to the head and neck or
  • simply carrying heavy unilateral weight on the shoulder.

Chronic Neck Pain

By definition greater than 3 months, most commonly emanating from:

  • The facet joints which often present with the same types of positional symptoms as a knee or elbow, this is due to their synovial makeup.
  • Tears of the annulus fibrosus and leakage of the Nucleus Pulposus into the outer 1/3 or 2/3’s of the fibrous rim which houses nerves fibers. (The Nucleus Pulposus contains inflammatory proteins that irritate the nerve fibers).

Often these two bony/joint conditions will cause the muscles in that vertebral region to spasm and reduce their normal length and motility.

What you see in the clinic

So the presenting picture of neck dysfunction is usually local pain in the neck which is commonly related to range of movement.

  1. Look for a head tilted, rotated or generally misaligned both with the client standing and sitting; is it coming from muscle spasm or facet joint sprain?
  2. Shoulder may be elevated if Levator Scapular or Upper Trapezius is involved Shoulder may be depressed if either the Latissimus Dorsi or the Lumbo-Sacral fascia is tight and shortened.
  3. A keen eye will see bony and soft tissue contours, evidence of ischemia in the upper limbs, changes to normal skin integrity including shininess, pallor, dryness, redness or swelling and facial expressions with certain movements.

What you hear in the clinic

This is as important as what you see – the complaints that are voiced by your clients are the things that are HIGH on their agenda and should be seen as their “wish list” of positive outcomes following the treatment. So this means that you need to communicate very effectively as to whether you believe that the pain is originating from the area they feel or whether it is a secondary dysfunction referring from a primary area elsewhere in the body.

  1. Acute neck pain with history of insult or mechanical overload generally means you can look at treating within the region to provide relief.
  2. The client complaining of chronic neck pain has more than likely many more regions to be considered in your treatment guidelines. The body will set up groups of synergistic muscles to take on the primary muscles’ actions; left long enough, tertiary muscles will also be recruited to aid in “normal” movement patterns.
  3. Headaches in the occipital, sub-occipital, frontal temporal or parietal regions, depending on the location, will depend on where the primary dysfunction originates.

What you test for in the clinic

So the effective therapist will look at each person entering their practice in the same fashion. By keeping your assessments uniform you “practice” your skills often and this makes you very good at what you are looking for: feeling, hearing and sensing. You get quicker and don’t miss warning signs and potential dangers that may require referring to a more suitable practitioner.

ACTIVE MOVEMENTS

Flexion, extension, lateral flexion right and left, rotation right and left done by the client let us look for quality and quantity of movements and reproduction of the pain that they are experiencing.

a) Increased pain, rotating or laterally flexing on the same side, indicates jamming of that side, and look for relief by focusing on the joints primarily, and soft tissue secondarily.

b) Increased pain rotating or laterally flexing on the opposite side indicates muscles, tendons and ligaments being our ultimate line of attack.

c) Increased pain going into extension speaks joint, bony jamming, with the possibility of compression of the deep stabilizing muscles i.e. rotatores, multifidii, intertransversii, or possibly the larger posterior longitudinal ligament. Don’t forget to see if the soft tissue of the front of the neck is reducing the movement; the Platysma can get super tight in some instances and the throat muscles such as the Infrahyoid group release well with treatment.

d) Increased pain going into flexion can be from the superficial and/or deep muscles of the back of the neck and attachments to the shoulders. A taut posterior longitudinal ligament and any stiff facet joints can also produce pain in this movement.

PASSIVE MOVEMENTS

Repeating the same movements is easier in the supine position and you can check the end feel of the passive movements, is there a capsular pattern suggesting joint conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, disc herniation, nerve impingement and/or facet joint dysfunction either of which may be forced in open or closed positions. Part of the passive movements’ assessment is to garner information regarding the strength and stability of the ligaments within the neck. Assessing passive range and quality of motion takes in the anterior and posterior long ligaments and then each individual ligament whose role is to fixate one bone and joint to the next.

RESISTIVE MOVEMENTS

These are often excluded due to time constraints but suggestions to any therapist worth their weight that if you have lots of positive symptoms from the previous tests then you should test for the strength of the neck muscles and the nerves that supply them. Myotome testing is used to confirm or refute serious nerve root impingement/lesions. Loss of strength in neck flexion = C1 and C2, lateral neck flexion = C3, shoulder elevation = C4, shoulder abduction = C5, elbow flexion & wrist extension = C6, elbow extension & wrist flexion = C7, thumb extension & ulnar deviation = C8 and abduction/adduction of hand intrinsics T1. Positive tests mean off to further tests from their chosen physician.

SPECIAL TESTS

Once you have gone through the basics above you should have an idea of what kind of structures are damaged or in need of balance or alignment. This then leads you to assess further to get more information as to exactly where your focus should be and the order of treatment.

a)Vertebral artery test – tests for vertebral blood flow to the brain and will indicate how to position the head during treatments and for further investigation.

b) Compression or Spurlings Test – tests nerve root symptoms, facet joint sprain, osteophytes, stenosis, and disc herniation, and is best done in the seated position.

c) Distraction test – tests for nerve root and/or disc bulge, where the test reduces or removes the symptoms. Be sure to do this test in supine as, if it proves positive, then you can brace the neck and refer.

d) Shoulder abduction test – this is another positive test when pain symptoms are reducing or removed and occurs when the shoulder elevates and takes the stretch off the nerve root. This test is best done in seated position.

WHERE TO GO NEXT

Once you have gathered the necessary information and then cross referenced that there is no reason why you shouldn’t commence treatment, it is time to formulate exactly the ‘how’ of the session to get best outcomes. In the second part of this article will look specifically on some common complaints and what techniques’ and treatment order for best outcomes.

Your Musculoskeletal Specialist Paula Nutting lectures both Nationally in Australia and overseas in Canada on conditions affecting the muscles, nerves and fascia.

These courses will improve the way you look at AND how to treat your clients as a whole.

Writer of 6 eBooks specialising on all facets of neck, shoulder, thorax, lower back, hip and pelvis. These are all hyperlinked with video’s showing exactly what treatment choices may make your life easier. eBook on Reducing neck pain with exam options for CEC points available to assist with your education. Also the two manuals on Chapman’s reflexes and the exercise compendium which is the educational material for the weekend courses run through-out Australia.