Ilchi Lee Peace – Can Yoga Be Useful to Keep a Healthy Body?

Ilchi Lee Peace - Can Yoga Be Useful to Keep a Healthy Body?

Health as a powerful resource for human development is best maintained through conscious consistent self healing mental techniques. After all, the human being is at his or her best because of harmony between the psychological and the physical being. Therefore a human is a psychosocial being and need to develop both aspects to have a healthy living.

A person achieving such a psychological state must posses a clear and intimate appreciation of basic principles of maintaining health in the body. Yoga applies spiritual practice deeply involving and engaging the mind, body and soul. Dahn yoga bases this for a profound understanding of its nature. Intellectual mental growth, strengthening and expansion of mind systems serve the human spiritual quest for unity and illumination.

Jeff always willing to share his experiences and help others by sharing his knowledge. To find peace within and more information see word of inspiration link. Dahn yoga which has several components such as as an integrated conditioning system, combines stretches, meditative breathing techniques, and energy awareness options to help participants achieve great levels of inner potential. Dahnhak is used to refer to studying of energy as a theory underpinning primal energy that’s essential to life forms and studies the system of energy to develop practitioners.

Korea prides itself in development of dahn yoga as an ancient training program to educate on both mind and body development as an educational method which has been practiced and transmitted to successive generations. The Korean inspired dahn yoga has an integrated training that combines practical pathways and resources to help practitioners reach optimum health.

This practice becomes a practitioner’s path to better health, happiness, and peace and instructs members towards becoming conscious of inner powers to perform many internal changes.

Yoga’s focus must not be complicated and as such dahn yoga features simple exercises to condition body and mind making it suitable for all body types and ages in all social places.

Understanding of human innate healing power is a core principle to internalize, as we play a role as masters of our bodies to facilitate and enhance the healing process.

Learn to adopt to natural and self-caring methods of preventing and treatment to common illnesses, better management of most daily health concerns would never have to be a concern in itself. Individual breathing, bodies, and the life energy flow sustaining it are tools to achieve this state if the basic application skills are understood in principle.

Basic Tips for a Successful Diet

Basic Tips for a Successful Diet

Simple Steps You Can Take to Lose Weight!

So you are ready to start on a new diet. There are approximately half a million options out there today, and more will be added tomorrow. It’s overwhelming. The first step to narrowing down all those choices is to set your own goals. How much would you like to lose? How do you plan to accomplish that? Be realistic because success breeds success. If you write down that you want to lose 10 pounds in one week, you will fail. This does nothing but discourage you at the beginning of week two! Remember the weight gain happened over a period of time so you must give yourself time to lose it.

Start in the pantry. Take a hard look at the types of food you have in your cabinets and refrigerator. If they are full of sugar, salt and fats say goodbye to them and start over. You do not have to completely eliminate these from your diet, but you must begin to reduce the portions and frequency at which you consume them. Start reading labels at the grocery store looking for whole grains and unsaturated fats. Darken the aisles of the produce section – it’s the section you pass on the way to the potato chip aisle! You may want to shop more often as you choose fresh produce to have as snacks.

The next step in setting up your new diet is hydration. Swap those sodas and coffees for water and fruit juice and this will quicken the amount of weight you lose. The reasons for this are two-fold. The first is that you will be consuming less sugar, and the second is the way your body reacts to the proper fluids. They flush your system of toxins and keep your digestive tract in good working order. This leads to weight loss. You may want to try a cleansing supplement under the care of your doctor.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of your diet try eating mini-meals throughout the day. Several studies show that people who eat multiple smaller meals are able to lose weight and keep it off for a longer period. Also avoid late night snacks before bedtime. If you do have a snack make it a fruit or vegetable. When you are eating pay attention to when you feel full. “Clean your plate” no longer applies, so when you get full, push the plate away! Start with these tips and success will be yours.

Macho, Macho Man: Wellness Not for Women Only

Macho, Macho Man: Wellness Not for Women Only

I just finished a mellness fair at the Adam’s Mark Hotel. The guest speaker Byron Brown ,mayor of Buffalo, was great. He said one thing that disturbed me a bit, probably because it was true. He commented that most men were there because their wives bought tickets and suggested they go, if they knew what was good for them! Why is it most men don’t think about their health, until there’s a problem?

On the other hand, a few months ago I did a woman’s Wellness fair at the Hearthstone Manor that was jammed packed. Woman- for the most part-care more about their health than men. Whoever said “If you want to be healthier and loose weight, eat what your Wife eats” was rite-on. I don’t know if woman (especially if there single) feel the need to keep there body “marketable” or if they really want to be healthy for life? My guess is, they’re more tuned -in and believe in prevention. Rather than having that unreal “Barbie Doll” figure, as a goal.

My suggestion, guys, is to pick a workout friend. A friend you feel could use a boost. This may seem too simple or not earth shaking enough to do any good. But I feel that saving one life from stroke, or other weight related health problems, is worth a shot .It makes going for that power walk, or the gym, a heck of a lot easer than going at it alone.

I need to apologize at this time, to all teens I dumped into a group last month saying they were all “bulletproof” and ate anything they wanted. I just encountered a pleasant young lady who cashed me out at Wegmans. I asked if she related what people purchased to what they looked like. She said the only thing she really notices, is the huge amount of pop people are buying. That sometimes she sees, babies with pop in their bottles. E-GADS. She went on to tell me she did lots of research on soda pop, and found some startling facts. Fact- the increasing consumption of sugar or fructose (corn sweetener) is on the rise along with Diabetes, Interesting isn’t it ? She went on to say that not only has she made the decision never to drink pop again, but convinced her parents to do the same! This is great, and my hat off to her! We have so much to learn from each other.

And to that woman that gave her little child pop, STOP! And do some research like my new friend at Wegmans. Get that kid on the healthy path, so they are not sitting at a wellness fair, twenty years from now, thinking if only my parents started me off on the right foot!

GeneWize: Making Wellness Personal

GeneWize: Making Wellness Personal

Focusing on health and wellness is important for every individual, regardless of age, shape, size or situation. However, we all are so uniquely different, that our methods for staying in shape and optimizing our health should be tailored to our specific requirements and needs.

Vitamin and nutritional supplements can help us maintain stronger bodies that function well, but are all consumer products going to produce the same results in every person? Probably not.

That’s where an exciting new breakthrough in nutraceuticals (higher end supplements) has recently entered the marketplace. GeneWize Life Sciences is a direct-selling subsidiary of genetic biosciences company GeneLink Inc. GeneWize utilizes your body’s DNA to personalize health, beauty and wellness products.

Scientists have discovered that each of us have ‘genetically determined’ body chemistries, and the variations of these designs can greatly impact the way we respond to food, physical activity, environmental pressures and a myriad of other physical/mental conditions.

Holly Kostoss, artistic director at the Adirondack Day Spa & Salon of Lake Placid, NY is very excited about the GeneWize offerings. “I have always been very conscious of healthy living and eating right,” she says. “I had been researching supplements for nearly a year, when I found this solution.”

Kostoss takes her and her family’s nutrition very seriously. “My five year old was visiting with a friend whose mother offered her a lollipop, and before she accepted, she asked ‘Does that have high fructose corn syrup in it?’ To which the mom replied, somewhat confounded, that she wasn’t sure – so my daughter refused it.” While that confection rejection may seem extreme to other parents, Kostoss is proud that her daughter is already aware and inquisitive about her nutritional health. “Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy delicious treats around our home, but we are careful about our food decisions.”

Jess Ray, owner of Living Goods restaurant in downtown Plattsburgh, NY is a friend of Kostoss’ and is also involved with the GeneWize program. “I saw this as a great opportunity to tailor my nutritional supplements specifically to my own needs, while providing feedback on deficiencies and imbalances within my genetic profile.”

GeneWize provides a very simple-to-use DNA sampling kit. It is the only patented, FDA reviewed collection system of its kind. Customers take a cotton swab sample from the inside of the mouth and mail it back to the GeneWize laboratory in specially provided envelopes. From there the sample is analyzed, and based on the results, a custom tailored supplement is designed from over 177,000 possible ingredient combinations.

Ray grew up in an organic family that raised its own beef, chickens and did other farming. “I tried a vegetarian lifestyle for a time, but it didn’t work for me. I didn’t feel completely well,” she says. “I definitely require meat in my diet, but I ensure that it is grass-fed or free-range.”

These two women have also collaborated on a website that includes valuable information for anyone seeking out a healthier way of living. is a comprehensive resource that includes the best of nutrition and wellness, organics, green living and mind/body fitness. They have conducted countless hours of research identifying a top quality consumer products and services, such as GeneWize, that are committed to healthier, organic living.

Fellow stylist at the Adirondack Day Spa & Salon, Frank Mannino, is also a GeneWize client. “I was really amazed by the breakthrough technology of DNA-supplements, and wanted to try it myself. It makes sense that a one-size-fits-all dietary supplement can not address the very specific needs of each individual.” Mannino, and his partner Andre Haas, have been involved with GeneWize for a few months now. “It not only supplements our health, but our income,” states Haas.

In August 2008, the 12-year old publically traded bioscience firm launched its direct selling marketing division, and provides an opportunity for its customers to profit. They reward clients for their referrals by discounting their supplement purchases, and after enrolling four new customers, the supplements are free to the original client.

With the current unstable economic climate, this type of program is appealing to many who desire financial security and peace of mind, not to mention better health.

Initial costs to start the GeneWize program are approximately $199 for the DNA test kit and first month’s supplements; each month thereafter (without referrals) runs approximately $90/month. But when compared to the expense of general over-the-counter solutions, it’s not that much greater for something truly tailored to your genetic makeup.

For more information about GeneWize, visit the company’s website at .

Working as a Dietary Clerk in a Hospital: Three Skills and Qualities You Will Need to Be Successful

Working as a Dietary Clerk in a Hospital: Three Skills and Qualities You Will Need to Be Successful

There are a lot of jobs that you could pursue in the healthcare field and specifically in a hospital. One of these jobs you might wish to think about is a dietary clerk or dietary aide, these are the people who prepare and cook the food that is served to the patients every day. I began working in a hospital as a dietary clerk when I was 16 and did not leave that job for three years and during that time I learned a lot of different aspects of diet and nutrition. Although most people can do this job without too much trouble here are three qualities or skills you will need if you want to work as a dietary clerk in a hospital based on my own personal experience in that department.

  1. As with a lot of jobs you might wish to pursue in your life you will need to be really good at math to become a dietary clerk in the hospital. Math skills are essential in basically every job to a certain extent but you will need to make sure that you have math skills that are precise and correct since you are directly involved with patient care. The reason why math is so essential is because there are a lot of dietary restrictions and needs of those patients in the hospital and some of them might be diabetic or on a specific calorie count. Diabetic patients are allowed only a certain number of proteins, sugars and fat each day so you have to add up the amount given to that patient for each meal and write it on their menu. For example, you might have a patient on an 1800 calorie diabetic diet so you have to divide up this up into 600 calories for each meal and then add in the small diabetic snack they are served in the evening as well. Some patients might just be on a restricted calorie count because of a medical condition such as congestive heart failure and it is your responsibility to make sure they do not exceed the amount of calories allotted for them in each meal. Not to mention that you have to make a menu for each patient in the hospital so you need to be able to calculate how many people are on each floor, which patients get food and so much more so that you know you have enough food for everyone in the hospital. A lot of the math can be done on a computer or calculator so it is not like you have to do it all in your head but you at least need to know how to calculate it on your own if needed.
  2. As a dietary clerk you also need to be very responsible and complete each task as required, meaning you always need to be attentive and giving 100% all the time. A patient relies on you for a lot of things but especially when it comes to their nutrition and dietary needs. You need to always be aware of a patient and their specific needs because sometimes they might not know they were put on a special diet and cannot have certain foods. You should always be attentive because sometimes a doctor or nurse will change the dietary orders of a patient after you already delivered them a meal. This requires you to know which patients have changes in their dietary needs and requirements so that they do not get the wrong meal and this is especially important if you work on the surgical floor. People will change diets very quickly on the surgical floor because some of them are going into surgery or coming out of surgery so they might be on a liquid diet or they might not be able to have anything at all if they were going into surgery soon. You might not think that a dietary clerk is a big job but in reality the food that you present to a patient can significantly hurt them or mess up their bodies if they are undergoing a certain medical procedure. If you have a patient that is going into emergency surgery in a couple hours and they are not allowed to eat and you give them the tray then this makes you responsible for them and the possible cancellation of their surgery if they eat. Printing off new patient sheets right before you begin your meal deliveries is essential so that you can get the most accurate information possible which can help cut down on these types of errors, although you still need to pay attention when entering a room because this information might have already changed.
  3. As a dietary clerk it is also essential that you have good personal hygiene and you come to work every day clean and in good health. Just like with a lot of other jobs where you handle and prepare food, it is essential that you come to work clean and freshly showered and also that you practice good hygiene such as washing your hands after you go to the bathroom. You should make sure that your hair is pulled back in a ponytail if it is shoulder-length or longer so that you do not get hair in the food of a patient regardless of whether you are preparing the food or just delivering the food. Any time you touch your face, nose, mouth or any other body part you also need to wash your hands or for that matter, wash your hands before you touch any of the food all the time. You will also need to make sure that you do not sneeze, cough or eject any other bodily fluids out when you are near food and sometimes this means you will need to put your face into your armpit if you need to cough or sneeze. It is essential that you practice good hygiene at all times because you are working in a hospital where people are sick and their immune systems are compromised. This means that their body cannot fight off simple infections as easily as a healthy person and even a simple cold can turn into them getting really sick or even could prove fatal. It is important that you look like you take good care of yourself on the inside and out and this includes not wearing a lot of jewelry or having visible piercings or tattoos. If you do not feel well and are sick or have a fever then you should not report to work and tell your supervisor as soon as possible so they can find someone to replace you for that shift. Working in a hospital often means you will eventually catch something from a patient but you should not go to work and spread this around to other sick people you come into contact with. What it really comes down to is just basic common sense when it comes to working with food and the sick, especially since a lot of patients are older and more susceptible to infection and disease.

As you can see working in a hospital as a dietary clerk requires having specific skills and qualities in order to ensure the safety and health of you and the patients you work with on a regular basis. If you have these skills then you will be more likely to advance in the dietary department because you show that you are responsible and are accountable for your own actions, which directly affect patients in many different ways. Based on my three years working as a dietary clerk in a hospital I can tell you that if you can effectively use these skills and qualities then you will be more prepared for other jobs in the healthcare field.

Myself, Personal Experience

How to Choose the Right Diet

How to Choose the Right DietNutrition and Fitness Go Hand-in-hand

Diet, diet and nothing to eat. Have you ever felt that way? There are so many diets out there, with so many guidelines to follow. Some sound too good to be true and they are. There are as many ways to lose weight, as there are stars in the sky. The key is in finding the right one specifically for you. You not only have to consider the cost of a diet, and some can be pretty expensive, but you also need to consider whether it is right for you. Will it get you the results you want, and will it really assist you with meeting your goals.

You should always talk to your family doctor first. She knows your medical history and will know a diet that will help you lose the weight you want. The fastest way to lose weight may be the easiest but it may not be the best. There will have to be time spent in keeping your body in shape while losing the weight. Knowing the right diet is essential to your health. Don’t jeopardize your health by losing too much weight too fast.

Losing too much weight too fast causes the skin on your body to sag. It took time to put on the weight, even if you only gained it while you were pregnant. That took nine months, taking it off will be longer. Done right, losing weight does not have to be a chore. “Diet” does not have to be a bad word, and you do not have to endanger your health. Do the research to find out about the diet before you ever start one. Talk to your doctor about a diet you would like to try, talk to others who have been on the diet and lost weight.

Being thin might be in, but being unhealthy is not! Never go on a diet blindly. Find out all you can before you start. Check out other diet options and compare them. More than likely you will find that all diets have a fitness program with them. That means you must exercise to keep your body healthy. There is no easy way around it. If you want that slim trim body, you are going to have to work for it.

How to Stay Healthy After a T-12 Break of the Spinal Cord

How to Stay Healthy After a T-12 Break of the Spinal CordWhen one becomes paralyzed from a T-12 break of the spinal cord, many emotions and challenges lie ahead. The first obstacle is getting through the fact that you most likely will never walk again. When one is use to walking and doing activities and then is told they will never walk again, can have an impacting affect. It is very important to take care of your health or this injury can lead to many other health problems. You should never have self pity, be strong and move on and take the necessary precautions needed for you to lead a normal life. Life does not end because you may never walk again. Look past the injury and live your life to the fullest. Below are some ways to keep yourself as healthy as possible with a spinal cord injury.


The number one health concern with spinal cord injuries is kidney failure. If you do not take the necessary precautions to keep your kidneys healthy, it can not only lead to kidney failure but it can also lead to death. If you have to use a catheter to urinate, keeping the catheter sanitized is very important. This can be done by washing the catheter after every use with warm water and soap. Soaking the catheter with badadine is a good way to keep it clean and sanitized. To ensure you are not putting bacteria into the kidneys from the catheter, use once and then discard. Another way to keep your kidneys healthy is to drink eight, 8oz glasses of water per day to flush the kidneys. You may also drink unsweetened cranberry juice or ask your physician about taking one cranberry pill a day. This will help eliminate your chances of contracting a kidney infection or kidney stones.


A bedsore can also be deadly for a person with a spinal cord injury. Constant pressure on the sore can lead to the sore getting through layers of skin and into the bone. If untreated, the sore can lead to gangrene, a deadly infection. You must relieve pressure from pressure points. Most bedsores for paraplegics occur on the bottom from sitting for long periods of time. To help eliminate this problems you must raise yourself up through out the day for at least 20 seconds. Another way is to use a Roho Cushion, this cushion is one of the best on the market. When sleeping at night be sure to use pillows to relieve pressure points. When laying on your side it is important to place a pillow in-between your knees.

Foot drop

Foot drop is a condition where your toes will point toward the floor from no support. Your injury may still allow you to get braces so you can at least stand and possibly walk using crutches. Having foot drop will make it so the braces do not fit right and you will not be able to stand. To keep foot drop from occurring, keep your leg rest on your wheelchair and exercise. To perform these exercise grab your toes with your hand and slowly pull them up toward your knees and repeat this motion.

Muscle Spasms

There is no cure for muscle spasm and these spasms can be painful. You may also experience pain in your legs due to nerve damage from the spinal cord injury. To eliminate some of these pains try to lay on your stomach at times instead of always laying on your back or side. You may also try a heating pad, although this can be dangerous for a person who has no feeling in the legs. Adjust the heat to low setting and then cover the pad with a towel before placing on the legs. This will help so you do not end up burning your legs. Another way to help ease muscle spasm or leg pains is having your physician prescribe you pain pills.

I personally would not recommend pain pills due to the fact that they can become addictive and they may also cause kidney and/or liver damage. Using pain pills for long periods of time can also make you get immune to the pain pills. So as you age, you may not be able to deal with the pain as well, the pills will not work and you will have to up the dose. This is all to familiar to me because I have a complete T-12 break of the spinal cord. This accident occurred 23 years ago and I am still healthy by taking these actions.

Nitrite Free Sausages for Healthy Summer Grilling

Nitrite Free Sausages for Healthy Summer GrillingI am admittedly an omnivore. I admire vegetarians and wish I had the self-discipline to follow a vegetarian diet. But while I do eat meat, I’m concerned that it should be healthier meat. One of the unhealthy ingredients in processed meats like sausage and lunchmeat is sodium nitrate or nitrites. These preservatives are found in commercially cured meats. Nitrites are used to prevent botchelism growth. Nitrate and nitrites are carcinogens. I’ve been searching for years for lunchmeats and sausage, available in the local grocery store that does not contain nitrates or nitrites.

I’ve tried the Hebrew National brand that passes Jewish purity law and is kosher. These are beef hot dogs. Alas, they also contain nitrites. Fresh sausage does not contain nitrites or nitrates, but it does contain BHA, another preservative.

Last year I discovered a pre-cooked sausage that is nitrite free. Al Fresco makes a chicken sausage that is nitrate, nitrite and gluten free. These sausages are delicious. There are several flavors: tomato basil and apple spice are my favorites. When we grill sausage these Al Fresco sausages grill up very nicely.

There is also a nitrite free lunch meat available. Hormel makes a naturally cured line of ham, turkey and other deli meats. These lunchmeats, labeled Hormel Natural Choice, come in brown paper packaging and are available in the packaged deli section of the store.

Price comparison reveals that both the nitrate free Al Fresco chicken sausage and the nitrate-free Hormel Natural Choice are not noticeably more expensive than other higher end brands of sausage and lunchmeat. With summer grilling season upon us, you may be looking for a happy medium between a hot dog or a asparagus spear to throw on your grill. If you are an omnivore with a taste for fresh quality sausages and lunchmeats, try these healthy, nitrate and nitrite free products today!

New Program for Those Who Lack Health Insurance in Fulton County, Georgia

New Program for Those Who Lack Health Insurance in Fulton County, GeorgiaIf you need to see a doctor in Atlanta, and you lack health insurance, there is a new program which is designed to help you to get the medical attention you need. The program is called the Primary Care Lite clinic, and it is located across the street from Grady Hospital within the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness.

The Fulton County Lite clinic program does not allow for emergency services, but it does allow for the uninsured of Fulton County (Metropolitan Atlanta) to see a doctor for regular preventative maintenance. If you are eligible, you will be able to see a doctor who will perform a basic physical, check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and perform a finger stick to test for diabetes. The program even provides for the doctor to write a prescription for any necessary medications that you may need. If there are any abnormalities in your returned medical results, you will be referred to a medical professional who can help you. Your eligibility for this low cost healthcare program in Atlanta depends on whether or not you live within Fulton County Limits. In order to determine your eligibility, you will need to bring in proof of residency, such as a current Georgia driver’s license, lease, utility bill, etc.

The cost of the Fulton County Lite Clinic is costs only $20, but the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness is currently utilizing a sliding scale fee program if you cannot afford to pay the $20. The goal is that no one should be turned away for preventative healthcare due to their inability to pay. The Fulton County Commissioners are pushing this low cost healthcare program due to the fact that there are so many uninsured residents of Fulton County.

The address of the Fulton County Lite Clinic is 99 Jesse Hill Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30303. The clinic operates Monday through Friday from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Walk-Ins are accepted, but appointments are preferred. Contact the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness by dialing 404-302-8625.

*Telephone Interview with Shirlene Robinson Heard of the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness

The Negative Impact of Google’s Panda Update

How to Recover from Google Panda EffectIt was the Panda that did it, not Google. With a grievance lodged by Microsoft for breach of competition law with the EU, a feature such as the Panda update didn’t exactly promote harmony with this case.

What is Panda?

According to Phantom SEO, The Panda update by Google is a function that was rolled out on 11 April 2011, designed to optimise search rankings. Google published a blog post explaining that the function was designed to “reduce rankings for low-quality sites”.

Google Panda Statistics

Whilst this update sounded ingenious, according to Searchmetrics who record and analyse the frequency of online search engines, once Panda was released the Microsoft owned company Ciao’s visibility in search engines fell by a staggering 94%.

Google denied that this was a deliberate act, as the results are populated by the keywords that are typed into the search engine, thus how the rankings are achieved. This being the case there must have been some scope as to how the less important websites are measured, compared to those that are deemed as important.

However, Google have also said that the algorithms used to determine the results are regularly changed – Panda itself is an algorithm update, and whilst many go unnoticed this one was significant.

Second Opinions

Searchmetrics also analysed Google keyword results prior to the Panda update as well as after, and they found that the likes of Hubpages, eHow, and other similar sites such as Demand Media fell on average 69%.



Sistrix performed a similar analysis, and found Ciao’s exposure dropped by 81% and not 94%, but their recorded average of the other sites was a higher drop at around 78%.

The Best Intentions

The main motivation behind Panda was to minimise those sites that plagiarise others, and promote the more qualitive reputable sites rather than those that contain informally published information.

Microsoft claims that Google has used its dominant position to bind rival products. Ciao was an instigator in the initiation of the EU investigation against Google. A description of the EU claim can be found here.

In any IT environment, rolling out a new tool, feature or application can have the desired affect or it can have completely the opposite. The Panda update had mixed reviews, but more reports seemed to point towards the negative, the main reason is that it affected the promotion and search engine optimisation of a lot of companies that do rely on that kind of exposure.

According to IT Pro Portal, the Panda update likes porn sites (more than anything), but on a more serious note, this update has caused some harm, not only with the loss of revenues but in some cases it has affected reputation. Whether this was easy to predict or not is also undetermined as algorithms automatically populate the rankings, whilst this can be controlled, accusing Google of deliberately releasing an update that would severely detriment their competitors, is in itself an accusation that can cause further detriment.

It has been a rocky road as of late for Google, and it will be interesting to see if they provide any follow-ups on this, as even though they are not an ecommerce promotion service, they still hold a seat there, and it may be worth in the future Google taking a step back and concentrating on further testing to determine potential repercussions, before rolling out.

Photoshop – Turning Photos into Sketch-Drawn Paintings

Pencil Sketch Drawing Effect Photoshop Tutorial - YouTubeHere’s a tutorial to help you make a sketch-type watercolor drawing from your photograph using Photoshop’s Filter Gallery. The best part is, you don’t even have to know how to draw (which is especially handy if you can’t draw stick figures, like me.) This tutorial will focus more on just transforming the photo into a drawing-the following tutorial will handle blending it to look professional and putting the final touches on it. If the birthday of your lover is next week then you can consider creating sketch painting using this trick as a special gift for lover.

(Disclaimer: I’ve had people ask me complex questions about getting into the professional photography business. While I have friends in the profession and know that Photoshop is a necessary tool for the modern photographer, I’m not in the business, so I can’t answer related questions; I just have a knack for retouching the photos of friends and family and am familiar with the workings of the program.)

First things first. Open the picture you want to transform into a drawing. You may want to copy the file first. To do that, just click on “Image/Duplicate”. This will help ensure that your untouched photo stays safe in the event something bad happens to the file you’re working on. Click the “close” button on the original file, and focus on the copied file.

Be certain you have only a single layer to start with, or you’re going to run into a lot of trouble later. (Note: yes, Photoshop will let you pile up your filters and apply it all in one fell swoop, but since we’re going to be masking areas of each layer, that won’t work in this instance.) At the moment you’ll have only one layer labeled “background”; change the name to something else (I normally use “first”) because you’re going to be dealing with a lot of layers and you need to keep them separate. Rename a layer by double clicking the given layer to bring up the “New Layer” box, then type in the label you want in the name box. For the sake of this tutorial, let’s use the label “first”.

Bring up the Filter/Distort/Wave menu. Normally in a sketch or drawing image even straight lines will have a certain natural flow to them, so apply the Filter to curve out the straight lines of the objects in your photo. (This step might not have much effect if your photo contains no straight lines, like a nature scene or a person’s face.)

Click on “Create New Layer”above your “first” layer and name it “bg” (for “background”.) You can do this by clicking “New Layer” on the bottom of the Layer Palette. You can also hold down the Alt button and click “New Layer”.

Fill in the background layer (“bg”) layer with white color. You can easily fill a foreground color by pressing Alt + Backspace (or, if using a Macintosh, Option + Delete) and a background color by pressing Ctrl + Backspace (Command + Delete for Macs). Typing “D” will reset the foreground color to black and background color to white. To toggle between foreground and background, hit “X”.

Copy the “first” layer by dragging it to the “New Layer” on the Layer Palette box, or just right-click your mouse and click “Layer Property”. Rename the layer “base”.

Apply the Water Color Filter by clicking Filter/Artistic/Watercolor to enter the Filter Gallery. You can play with the settings a little to get the effect you’re looking for, just choose a low texture setting.

At this point you may find that part of your photo is suddenly in sharp relief. Don’t panic; you’re doing well. Just fix it by using a little Gaussian Blur (Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur).

Copy the “first” layer again and switch it over to the top layer, and change the name to “hstroke”. Decrease the opacity on the layer slightly, between 55-65. Click on Filter/Artistic/Poster Edges to adjust the thickness, posterization and intensity and set the Gaussian Blur (by going to Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur) to “1 pixel”. This will soften the rough, jagged edges and give the finished product a more natural feel.

Copy the “first” layer another time set it as the top layer, relabeling it “slight”. Use the “Angled Strokes” Filter (Filter/Brush Strokes/Angled Strokes) and adjust the Direction Balance upwards (around 30), then adjust the Stroke Length and Sharpness accordingly. Change the Layer Blending Mode at the top of the Layer palette, to “soft light” and change the Opacity between 30-40%. You’ve just made a layer that will accentuate the digitized brush strokes and adjust the contrast to make the colors more pleasing.

Copy the “first” layer yet again and relabel it “pstroke”, setting it as the top layer. Use the Find Edge Filter (Filter/Stylize/Poster Edges). From the menu, click on Image/Adjustment/Hue (or just press Ctrl+U for the Hue box. Move the Saturation bar as far left as it will go. “Layer Blending” needs to be at Multiply and Opacity at half-power. The pencil stroke (hence the layer’s name) will define the outlines of the picture’s objects.

Click “New Layer Set” on the layer palette. Put “base”, “slight” and “pstroke” in the new set in the order you created them. You can do this easily with Photoshop CS2 (or later versions); just move all the layers to the new layer set by holding down the Ctrl button and clicking the layers you want to move. This will enable you to move all of your layers at once. For those of you with Photoshop 6 or earlier versions, you’ll have to clip the layers individually instead of dragging them.

Now you have the makings for a great watercolor drawing-effect photo, but the fun is just beginning. The next tutorial will focus on blending your layers to give the photo a natural hand-painted effect.

The Health Benefits of Marijuana

The Health Benefits of MarijuanaIt’s not common that you see the words “health benefits” and “marijuana” used in the same sentence. That’s because most of the time when someone is writing or speaking about marijuana, they are telling you how “bad” it is for your health. Yes, it is true that marijuana can have adverse effects on your health, especially if you smoke it. However, for some people the health benefits of marijuana are greater than any health risks associated with the drug.

Marijuana as a Sleep Aid: One of the most common side effects of marijuana is drowsiness, which makes it a helpful sleep aid for just about anyone having difficulty sleeping. Many insomniacs will smoke a little bit of marijuana in the evening before they know they need to go to sleep. For certain individuals, using marijuana is the only way they can fall asleep at night and get a full night’s rest.

Marijuana to Enhance Appetite: Many AIDS and cancer patients who have difficulty eating and keeping food in their stomach will use marijuana to enhance their appetite and suppress their nausea. Marijuana increases one’s appetite tremendously. This effect is most commonly referred to as “the munchies.” Marijuana stimulates the senses and makes a person’s taste buds more sensitive, so people have a tendency to “much” on things that taste good like junk food and candy, which is likely where the expression derives from.

Marijuana as an Antidepressant: We often here people refer to marijuana as a “depressant” not as an “antidepressant.” What many people do not realize is that the term “depressant” derives from a drugs ability to “slow” the user down and make them more calm and sedentary. People who are anti-marijuana will often use the term “depressant” to easily segue into a theory on how marijuana will make a person depressed or “more depressed.” Although there may be some truth to this, the fact is, for most people that already feel depressed, marijuana acts as an effective anti-depressant.

Since marijuana is not a “hard drug” and the effects do not last for more than a few hours, especially in small doses, it is very easy for a person to function on marijuana. This enables lots of people who are depressed and have high anxiety to improve their mood and still be productive throughout their day. Marijuana is commonly used by people who lead stressful lives and have difficult jobs most likely for it’s anti-depressant/anti-anxiety effects. This may include everyone from lawyers to construction workers since marijuana seems to have no socioeconomic boundaries, which further indicates that depression and other health problems may be the most common causes for using marijuana, not the other way around.