The Best Personal Trainer Certification (Part 3)

Specialized Certifications for Personal Trainers & Strength Coaches: PICP

I just took the Poliquin International Certification Program (PICP) level 1 Strength Coach Certification in New York City ($650, 3 days). It was really good information.

I learned about the certification through a mentor, Joe Dowdell. I trust his opinion because he is very committed to continuing education and has taken pretty much every respectable certification.

Charles Poliquin is a famous strength coach who has trained more Olympians than any other strength coach I can think of (except maybe Mike Boyle).

If you read Part. 1 of this series, you know that there are a lot of good certifications out there, and there is no one best certification for everyone. It all depends on who you want to work with and your career path.

But, if you want to work with athletes to increase performance, this certification is up there with the NSCA’s C.S.C.S. and the Athlete’s Performance mini-internship (both of which I have taken, and honestly, even though NSCA is the most respected, I feel like I got more practical knowledge from Poliquin and Athlete’s Performance.)

There are several things that I loved about this certification, and a couple of things that I think could be improved.

Pros

* The level 1 strength coach certification focuses on manipulating acute training variable (sets, reps, tempo, and rest) for highly effective program design. These may seem like basics, but no other certification covers it like Poliquin. It’s amazing how few people really understand how to manipulate time under tension, tempo, and rest for specific goals and sports. They also emphasize creating precise descriptions of every exercise, to ensure the most amount of variation and adaptation (Squat vs Barbell Back Squat Shoulder Width Stance).

* I loved how much research they provided as evidence, although they could have done a better job summarizing it. I have found that the best certifications specialize in one area. (Too many certifications try to be a jack of all trades, and end up being a master of none.)

* The information easily transfers to practical application, and is applicable to your general population clients. If you want to learn program design, in particular for power, strength, or fat loss, this certification is great.

* They provide a good methodology and protocol for testing maximal strength, although somewhat incomplete (see below). Based on this test, they provide a nice formula, based on studies, for assessing the balance of strength throughout the upper body. (Ex. If you lift xxx on the bench press, you should be able to do 8rm of external rotation with 8.6% of that bench press weight, and if you can’t there is an imbalance etc).

* The course instructors were friendly, knowledgeable, and generous with their attention.

* You have to take a test before being admitted to the class, in addition to a test at the end. I like this! Only committed trainers show up, and they show up with a good understanding of the basic material, so nobody asks stupid questions.

Cons

* One of the instructors didn’t understand BASIC biomechanics. Either that, or we had a major miss communication.

* Some of the pictures in the manual were misleading and/or confusing.

* The little demo on stretching was a waste of time at best, and misleading at worst. Stick to what you are good at, leave the stretching to certifications that focus on that!

* We were quizzed on Cluster Training and German Body training, which is very cool stuff, but we only glossed over it during the lecture. I would like to have spent more time on these specific programs, but there is a lot of good info about them online too.

* Some of the topics in the manual could be worded better. Initially, they do an ok job of defining the different strength qualities (limit strength, maximal strength, absolute strength, speed strength, strength endurance), but aren’t as clear when they refer to these qualities later on in the manual.

* They were clearly negligent and not following their own methodology when they chose a trainer to demonstrate the 1rm testing protocol for the bench press. The specifically chose someone who appeared to be out of structural alignment, and then tested him to his limit, without ever asking him if he has been working out consistently for the last 12 weeks (which is their own protocol).

* Furthermore, they should change their protocol and ask what kind of workout has been done over the last 12 weeks, because a person could be working out for 12 weeks and still not be ready for a 1rm bench press. RULE # 1 in personal training is do no harm. The trainer came in the next day and couldn’t participate in certain lifts, and my understanding was that he had joint pain, not just muscular soreness. Not cool and not necessary. I later talked to another trainer who said he was injured in a PICP certification.

You may read this last part and say “Whoa, no way am I doing this certification” but I think you should reconsider, it is a very valuable certification, just know your own limits and don’t do anything you think is risky (and keep the ego in check! I know it is hard when there are other trainers around).

We all had to do a 1rm test to get experience; I chose the pull up because I am a rock climber. I was able to do 1 pull-up with 90lbs loaded on me, chin over bar. There are several exercises to choose from, so you should be able to find one you are comfortable with, and if not, you can and should pass.

Biomechanics

Regarding the biomechanics issue, one of the instructors mentioned he does 1 and ¼ reps on bench press with girls with the ¼ rep at the top of the motion, because this part of the motion overloads the triceps and girls care about the back of their arms looking good.

Totally cool with me. This instructor had mentioned that he is very precise in tracking his programs and exercises, so I asked was if he ever manipulated their intention on the bar to overload their triceps also?

In other words, you can push out against the friction of the barbell with your triceps, your hands aren’t going to move, but the line of force caused by the friction, when combined with the line of force of the barbell (gravity) creates a resultant with a different line of force that changes the force angle’s at the axes of rotation of the shoulder joint and elbow joint. (Not a typo, axes is the plural of axis. Who knew?)

With intention, you can make the lowest part of bench press harder for the triceps, and the top part harder for the chest. Can you do this and still lift maximal weight? No! Can you just lift a barbell with only your triceps? No! But that was not my question.

His response was “I would love for you to come do chest with me sometime” as if who could bench the most would settle who knew the most (It doesn’t, duh).

Whoa there cowboy, first off, I was just asking a question, second off, I would be honored to workout with you because you know a lot, even if you don’t understand basic biomechanics, and thirdly, you are welcome to do one of my empire state building stair workouts with me. I can get up 86 flights in UNDER 15minutes, I would love to watch your face as you try and keep up, although to do that I would have to slow down, and slow ain’t my style buddy. Either way, neither of these workouts would settle anything, I was just trying to learn from his perspective without losing my perspective.

His final response was “Yeah, you could probably do that, but why not just do a triceps exercise instead of modifying a bench press?” Really, didn’t we start this conversation because you said you liked modifying a bench press with 1 and ¼ reps to hit the triceps more? Sheesh! I wasn’t going to push, because it wasn’t a seminar about biomechanics and I didn’t want to be one of those trainers who take over a lecture to prove their point. Anyway, this instructor has a lot of potential, but he is young and testy! I liked him to say the least:)

I hope you enjoyed this post, and will consider this certification. Also, if you want to be able to rip apart knowledgeable instructors, text books, and pretty much everyone else in the gym about biomechanics or exercise mechanics, you should strongly consider the Resistance Training Specialist certification.

What is your favorite certification? Why? What information helped you pick a certification? Is there any topic you want to learn about in particular? Would you take the PICP certification?

Leave me some questions in the comments and I will get right back to you. SHOW ME YOU ARE ALIVE!

Until next time, keep your business fit.

Johnny Fitness

Source by Jonathan Angelilli

The Fish We Cook, Porgy and Pompano

POMPANO

It can be called butterfish, cobbler fish, permit or palmetto. No matter what name you give it, the Florida pompano is considered one of the best tasting fish in the ocean. It is a very popular fish in the Florida area both commercially and for sports fishing. Found in the warm waters of the south Atlantic from Cape Cod to Brazil, the it should not be confused with the California pompano which is actually a member of the butterfish family and not a pompano at all. It is a fast growing fish, reaching 8-12 inches in its first year and has a life expectancy of 3 to 4 years. Because of its fast growth and great taste, farming the pompano is becoming very popular. The average harvest size for farmed pompano is 1 to 1.5 pounds. It has a silvery body, metallic blue above and golden-yellow below with a deeply forked tail and wid caught average 1 ½ to 3 pounds. The pompano has been known to reach 9 pounds and 26 inches in length. It is a fairly expensive fish because of high demand and commercial fishing restrictions. The pompano has a flesh that is very flakey, very firm, and fairly high in fat and has a delicious rich flavor. It remains moist with a pearly white color after cooking. The best way to cook pompano is to bake, broil, sauté, pan fry or oven fry.

PORGY

A small fish known as the saltwater pan fish, the porgy or scup which it is commonly called is very popular with sport and commercial fishermen along the Atlantic coast from Maine to South Carolina. The name “porgy” comes from an American Indian word for “fertilizer”, a common use for the fish because of its abundance in early America. It has a silver blue back with dull silver sides and 12 to 15 faint vertical stripes. The porgy averages 1 to 2 pounds and 12 to 14 inches in length but can grow to 3 or 4 pounds. They can live up to 20 years. Some of the regional names it can be found under are, scup, maidens, fair maidens, convict, paugy, prison fish, sargo and sea bream. The porgies tender, flakey meat is mild in flavor and moderate in fat content. They have many bones and are difficult to fillet, therefore they are commonly sold whole. The best way to cook porgy is to bake, deep fry, pan fry, sauté or steam.

Source by Tom J Bergerson

A Review of the Best Quality Dance Pads for Serious DDR Players

Dance Dance Revolution has evolved to be one of the trendiest games. There is a huge following and people always await the next release. For the people that have lived under a rock or in Amish areas DDR is a game where players dance to a song by stepping to the beat and pressing arrows on the dance pad in conjunction to the arrows that appear on the screen. The Dance Pad that you play on is very important. If you are a serious player or you foresee a large amount of usage you need to consider a top end pad. I would like to provide you with the latest info on the Best pads available.

The following review will cover the following Dance Pads…

  • ION Master
  • ION Pro
  • Energy Arcade

First up is the DDR ION Master Pad

After numerous designing, engineering, prototyping and testing sessions, the newly designed commercial grade iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad has finally arrived. Our goal is to develop the industry’s greatest DDR arcade metal dance pad for both exercising and gaming purposes. The iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is excellent for both beginners and aggressive advanced players; most importantly, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is designed for fitness exercise players. The iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad utilizes Soft Bounce Advanced Technology; it is designed to extend DDR game play. Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) games require heavy stomping and players can become fatigue easily. The soft bounce effect absorbs your energy from your ankle, resulting in less stomping on the rigid arrow panel. You can now extend DDR game play, have a longer exercises and burn more calories at the same time.

Most importantly, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is well designed in material and structure. Utilizing heavy duty stretched metal, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is significantly stronger and thicker, with weights distributed to the perimeter, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad has increased stability and longer life span than any other metal dance pads in the market. Many metal pads in the market cannot absorb the heavy stomping, which results in bent or cracked arrows. With all these great improvements, the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad will be your best bang for the buck.

The iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad also has enhanced thick metal panels, which are now raised so that you can sense your position on the metal dance pad. The raised buttons help those who tend to lose their positions on the dance pad, and make their game play even more precise. More over, the handle bar of the iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad has been greatly improved, and it provides extra stability and durability. This is perfect for advanced, aggressive players. The iON Master Arcade is suitable for both commercial, school, recreational facilities and home use.

The iON Master Arcade Metal Dance Pad is a master piece to master the Dance Dance Revolution game.

Next up is the ION Pro

This commercial graded iON Pro metal pad manufactures with the brake through new Tapeswitch sensor technology. The design of Tapeswitch is extremely sensitive product for electronic signaling and sensing applications. This is a similar sensor technology utilized in the DDR Arcade Machine. The new iON pro metal pad is incredibly heavy duty. Such a super quality metal pad is definitely the ideal solution for commercial or home use.

Next up is the Energy Arcade

This incredible dance pad features the super sensitive-definitely no more delay technology with our brand new look design and offers 3 in One multi-platform plug works flawlessly with the PS&PS2, Xbox, and PC via USB. From complete novices to experienced experts, you can now experience skill level that can match your abilities. Whether you are competing against the challenge of the game or you are seeking particular opponents to match your wits and dexterity, this Energy Series will provide you with a completely new and rich experience.

Source by Donald Martin

The Buying and Selling Costs of Real Estate Transactions in Kenya

As would be expected, there are several transactions involved in buying and selling property, which attract fees and taxes. In Kenya, you incur charges from the moment you begin searching for feasible investment ventures.

While some costs are set, such as registration and requisite search fees, many costs associated with buying and selling real estate in Kenya are highly variable and based on:

  • The type of real estate
  • Location of the property
  • Commissions and fees charged and earned by the various professionals (which are also often based on type and location of the property)
  • The type of transactions
  • Documents you want or need

The estimated sum for round trip transactions can range from 4.5% to 6.8% of the selling/buying price of the real estate.

Real-estate Agent Fees

  • Searching fees: rates vary depending on the type, size and cost of property with an urban apartment in upmarket neighborhood costing as much as Ksh5,000
  • Viewing fees: varies among real estate agents but usually ranges between Ksh500- 1000 for residential houses and over Kshs5,000 for commercial properties
  • Listing Fees: varies depending on size and location of property with landlords paying from 2% the value of the property
  • Agent’s commission (buyer & seller): 1.25% of the sale price

Property Requisite Search Fees

  • Preliminary requisite search fee: Ksh500
  • Costs of obtaining requisite completion documents (seller): Kshs500

Registration Costs

  • Registration fees: Ksh500
  • Banker’s cheque fee: Kshs600
  • Land rent clearance certificate: Kshs 7,500

Stamp Duties

Stamp duties are taxes tied to documents and real-estate sale/purchase transactions. It’s usually based on the sale price of the property.

  • Duly signed sales agreement: Ksh200 for original copy and Kshs20 for each copy
  • Property transfer (properties within municipalities): 4% flat rate
  • Property transfer (outside municipalities): 2% flat rate
  • Mortgage: 0.1% of the amount of mortgage
  • Property leased for less than 3 years: 1% flat rate
  • Property leased over a duration of 3yrs: 2% flat rate stamp duty

Taxes

  • Income tax (non-residents): 30% of gross rental income
  • Income tax (foreign companies): 37.50% flat rate
  • Annual property tax: varies across locations and property value but is usually 1% of the property value
  • Land tax: varies by location of the land and is most costly in major towns such as Nairobi with rates as high as 8%

Legal and Mortgage Fees

  • Legal charges related with taking mortgage

    • Depends on amount of mortgage you take (higher mortgages mean higher fees) but mostly the rates are between 0.5-1.5% of the value of property
  • Property insurance: varies with duration of loan repayment and lender
  • Mortgage life policy: charged at 0.3% and 0.6% of the mortgage loan per year
  • Mortgage negotiation fees: although it varies, most lenders ask for 1% of the mortgage amount
  • Mortgage indemnity insurance: often ranges between 5 – 10% of the value of property
  • Legal fees related with lawyer overseeing sale process: 1.5%

Other Important Costs

  • Survey fees: Ksh 5, 000 consultation fee.

    • Survey fees are determined by the survey work done
  • Valuation charges: usually Kshs5,000 consultation fee

    • However, the actual valuation fee depends on property value. For instance valuation charges for urban properties valued Ksh10 million means Ksh40,000
  • Residency permit fees: accompanied by non-refundable processing fees and the fees vary depending with the type of permit you need. For instance:
  1. Class D- Kshs200,000 annually with 10,000 non-refundable fees
  2. Class I- Kshs5,000 with Kshs1,000 non-refundable fee
  3. Class A- Kshs250, 000 and 10,000 non- refundable, etc.

Company setup costs: depends on type and size of company and its location

Utility reconnection fees include

  • Electricity deposit fees: standard Ksh2,500
  • Water deposit fees: standard Ksh1,000

Source by James E Harrison

Benefits of Recycled Paper Bags

Paper bags have come a long way, from flimsy and frail materials, to durable containers. There are different kinds varying in size, shape, design, bag handle and colour. The process in which they are produced and the type of paper from which these bags are made also differ. Recycled paper bags are a popular variety, that boast of resilience and water resistance.

These eco-friendly bags have been the better option for retail bagging for some time now. More and more people – manufacturers, suppliers, entrepreneurs and consumers – are gearing towards the use of paper bags. Shopping bags and carrier bags made of plastic have been popularly replaced by paper bags in many establishments. Now, the those bags have been further delimited to recycled ones.

Recycled paper bags, in addition to being ideal carriers and shopping bags, also make great gift bags, loot bags, souvenir packs, and giveaways themselves. Purchasing a bulk order is more cost effective than utilising these bags. They can be used for special occasions like Christmas, birthdays and company anniversary for gift-giving to clients and employees, and for company events in packaging giveaways, freebies and other essential items. For hundreds of pieces, you spend less than you would if you opt for plastic bags. More so, a great bargain for choosing the recycled kind.

More good news is that these bags allow for longer and multiple usage. With sizes and thicknesses that can accommodate heavy and big items, there’s no reason to worry of torn bags or unlatched handles in the middle of a shopping spree or damaged loot bags when handing out company goods to clients. Recycled paper bags are long-lasting and sturdy materials.

This kind of bags is safe and light to use. They can also be easily discarded if you do not wish to reuse them. True, those bags when used too many times will eventually wear out. Unlike plastic bags however, that cause health and environmental repercussions because of the toxins from the plastic when disposed of and recycled improperly, those bags including recycled paper bags pose no threat to us and the environment.

Using those bags is a good introduction to employees and clients that your business supports environmentally friendly products and contributes to environmental conservation. This establishes a positive image for your brand.

Your company doesn’t have to stage rallies or join conventions. Simple recycled paper bags speak volumes. They make a statement in both style and good cause. Utilise them for your business and you will be earning good points while doing something worthy. When coupled with strong advertising, bigger profits will follow for your business.

What are you waiting for? Start giving your gifts, packaging your products, and distributing your freebies in recycled paper bags that also have your company name. You’ll get a thumbs-up from consumers, the UN and Mother Earth. It’s the gift that just keeps giving.

Source by Paul Sung

7 Essential Steps For Effective Employee Training

Hiring new employees can be stressful enough. Once they show up on that first day of work you may feel like your job is over – but it’s just beginning. Making sure you provide appropriate training, from the “get go,” can make the difference between a long-term, loyal and effective employee and an ineffective slacker! Following are “7 Essentials” of effective staff training, simple techniques that can be easily implemented for maximum results.

1) Focus on Individual Staff Needs

Not every new – or existing – employee has the same training needs. A new employee with extensive experience doing the same type of work that will be done in their new job will obviously need less formal training than a new employee who has never specifically done this type of work before.

Too often training is designed to be “one size fits all.” Generic training can either be too basic for a new staff member causing them to wonder “is this job going to be challenging enough?” or too advanced causing them to worry “will I be able to succeed in this position?

The first step in any training process is to evaluate the individual needs of the trainee – where are they at in terms of their knowledge, skills and abilities related to this job? Where do they need to be? Training should focus on filling that gap.

2) Create a “Desire to Learn”

The most effective training is delivered to trainees who are motivated and interested – who have a “desire to learn.” In most cases, new employees do come to you with that desire. They’re fresh. They’re motivated. They want to succeed in their new position. But what if you’re re-training an employee for a different position? One that he/she may not necessarily be interested in? Or what if you’re training an employee on technology that he/she is intimated by? These situations can create anxiety and hamper the effectiveness of training.

How can you create a desire to learn? Here are some tips:

  • Listen to the employee’s concerns. If you can understand – and address – the employees’ worries and insecurities about training, you can remove a significant barrier to learning.
  • Provide examples of specific, tangible ways that the training will help the employee.
  • Involve the employee in establishing training objectives, timeframes and methods (more on these later).
  • Focus on “development” not “remediation.” Nobody likes to feel that they’re inadequate or lacking in critical skills and knowledge needed to perform in their jobs. But many people can be motivated by the prospect of developing new skills and abilities. Do whatever you can to avoid making trainees feel “incompetent” or “stupid.”

3) Make Learning “Fun”

Learning doesn’t have to be tedious. Professional trainers speak of “creating a learning environment.” This means many things, including the need to remove trainees from their day to day responsibilities so they can focus on the training and making sure there is enough variety built into the training that trainees will remain engaged. For example, a straight lecture for six hours isn’t “fun” for anybody – including the trainer. But lecture, combined with exercises, small group discussion, hands-on application of things learned, etc., will help to break up the monotony and ensure more effective outcomes.

4) Develop an Evaluation Plan

Training should never be done simply for the sake of training. Make sure that you have some method in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the training. Maybe this is a pre and post-test to determine whether specific concepts have been learned. Maybe it’s a post-evaluation done three to six months after the training to determine whether the training has “stuck.” Maybe it’s an evaluation of performance by supervisors and peers. In any event, make sure that you build in some means of measuring training effectiveness. And, if you find that the training has not been effective, take the time to reevaluate the methods and processes used and to make necessary adjustments.

5) Help Employees Apply Learning to the Job

Just learning concepts without understanding how those concepts apply to the “real job” is a waste of training time and money. Employees need to understand how what they’re learning applies to what they will be doing. One way of ensuring that this transfer will take place is to involve supervisors and coworkers in the training process. They should understand what is being done in training and should be “partners” in ensuring that the value of the training is supported and reinforced in the work setting. When supervisors “scoff” at the training or consider it a waste of time, never reinforcing to employees how what they learned applies to their jobs, it sends a signal that the training was useless – and undermines your investment (in time and dollars) in that employee.

6) Choose the “Right” Training Method

People have different learning styles and preferences. Some people read the instructions first, others refer to the instructions only after they’ve tried to “figure it out” on their own. Some prefer theory; others hands-on application. To the extent that you can (obviously it can get expensive to design individual programs for every employee…) make an effort to match training methods to learning preferences of employees.

7) Follow up and Evaluation

How many employees (and business owners!) have 3-ring binders from training sessions that they’ve never looked at after the training ended? Training is an ongoing process, not a discrete event that occurs once and is then forgotten. Make sure that you’re building in methods of following up on what was learned, evaluating the effectiveness of that learning, modifying future training, etc.

And, don’t assume that once you’ve “trained” an employee your job is done. You should be continually assessing your employees’ knowledge, skills and abilities and providing training, as necessary, throughout their employment.

Source by Linda Pophal

What To Do If You Have Perioral Dermatitis

COMBATING PERIORAL DERMATITIS

I suffered from a skin problem for a couple of years before finding out that it had a name. I’d get these ugly bumps around my mouth, under my nose and at the outer corners of my eyes. I’d put hydrocortisone on the irritation and it would go away briefly, then reappear a day or two later. Eventually it got to the point where I was using hydrocortisone cream almost daily.

It wasn’t until I began reading a book by a dermatologist named Dr. Jessica Wu called FEED YOUR FACE that I realized this condition had the name perioral dermatitis. In the book, she describes this condition and it matched my symptoms exactly.

To my horror, one of the causes of perioral dermatitis is the one thing that seemed to combat it: hydrocortisone cream! Ugh. I did some research and found that using hydrocortisone cream on the face is not recommended for a couple of reasons. One– it thins the skin. Another reason, is that it can cause perioral dermatitis, which is a chronic condition.â�¨Unfortunately, if you keep using hydrocortisone cream, it will become a terrible cycle and the rash will reappear, again and again, becoming worse over time.

This was particularly distressing to learn, because the hydrocortisone cream seemed to be the only thing I could find that would help calm my skin so I could look normal.

Even MORE horrifying in my opinion is that according to Dr. Wu another cause of perioral dermatitis is the DEMODEX MITE. Apparently, this mite lives on our skin-even healthy skin, but with perioral dermatitis it’s worse. According to PubMed one study found that the mites occurred in greater numbers in skin that had been exposed to topical steroids (hydrocortisone). Eek! If thinning skin and a rash wasn’t enough to get me off the stuff, the idea of skin mites certainly was. I have not put hydrocortisone cream on my face since, and I don’t plan to. Ever.

Years ago, a well-intentioned doctor, an internist, recommended that I use hydrocortisone on my acne. This doctor was not a dermatologist, however, so she apparently wasn’t aware that hydrocortisone thins the skin, and can cause the proliferation of skin mites. In that doctor’s defense, though, even my dermatologist has recommended hydrocortisone, in rare occasions, on the face. There’s a laser procedure that removes red spots on the skin and when I’ve had this procedure, my dermatologist has given me a small sample of hydrocortisone to soothe the redness. She did not tell me to use it on pimples, and she never recommended using it for extended periods of time, nor did she warn me of the potential risks of extended use, though.

I did use it for long periods of time, because the internist had recommended it and I erroneously assumed it was safe.

When I stopped using the hydrocortisone, the condition became overwhelming and unbearable. I looked so bad I didn’t want anyone to see me.

I went to my dermatologist and told her what I’d learned in Dr Wu’s book. She looked at my face and said that I did, indeed, have perioral dermatitis and that it was a chronic condition. She told me that the medicines she’d prescribe would probably work, but that they wouldn’t “cure” the condition; it would likely flare up periodically. Great.

She prescribed Minocyline, an oral antibiotic, and Protopic a topical antibiotic. Protopic is very expensive. My insurance didn’t cover it and it cost over $100 per tube.

I filled both prescriptions, but worried about the side effects and decided not to use them right away. Instead, I kept them as a last resort and did some internet scouring to find a few “natural” alternatives. I prefer not to take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, because they kill the good bacteria that keep candida (yeast) in check. If you’ve ever had a yeast infection you certainly never want one again.

So, I tried just about everything suggested in the articles and on the forums dedicated to perioral dermatitis. Some of the recommendations were: stop using toothpaste with Floride, stop using anything with Sodium Laurel Sulphate, stop eating sugar and other high glycemic foods, and take omega 3s.

So, I brushed my teeth with baking soda. I washed my hair with vinegar and baking soda, because most shampoos have SLS and I used “natural” soap. I was already eating a low-glycemic diet, but I stopped allowing myself the occasional bit of raw honey or coconut sugar.

I also tried some non-toxic topical remedies I read about, including aloe vera gel directly from the plant, and apple cider vinegar applied to the rash. I also drank a bit of the vinegar in water a few times a day, which was also suggested.

The results were only so-so. The ACV applied directly onto the rash did help, but not reliably. Sometimes the rash would respond well and disappear after using it, and sometimes it wouldn’t’.

After three weeks of resisting the medications from the dermatologist, I finally did go ahead and try the Minocycline and Protopic. I ate lots of plain yogurt to avert a yeast infection. The Minocycline knocked the rash out within a few days and my skin looked amazing.

The Protopic also seemed to be effective, but did not like it at all. It’s oily and I found it messy. Also, it created a burning sensation on my skin. There was no actual burn. It was just an uncomfortable sensation that occurred after using the product. This burning would persist after the mediation had been removed, and was exacerbated by sunlight.

So, the bad news is that I did need the internal antibiotic. The good news is that in two years I have not had to repeat the antibiotic. The condition has flared up again, however, never as severely as was when I stopped using hydrocortisone to treat it.

I find that when I begin to get a few bumps from perioral dermatitis I can combat it if I drink ALOE VERA JUICE, which kills bad bacteria in the digestive system. I recommend pure aloe vera juice, the kind without added sugar. You don’t need that much, about 4 oz added to a glass of water (6 to 8 ounces) every other day seems to keep it in check for me. The juice does not taste very good, I’m sorry to say, but the results are good. If you have acne as well as perioral dermatitis you may find that the juice helps with pimples also. You can buy the aloe vera juice in a jug at Trader Joe’s. They also sell jugs of it at Wallmart, in the pharmacy section.

Another thing that seems to help keep the condition in check is a tiny amount of 5% benzoyl peroxide applied to the rash. In the past, I’ve avoided benzoyl peroxide and favored tea tree oil for acne, but I don’t find the tea tree oil as effective on perioral dermatitis. Dr. Wu cautions that acne medications exacerbate perioral dermatitis, but this has not been my experience with the benzoyl peroxide. It’s is a topical antibiotic and dermatologists are going to prescribe some kind of topical antibiotic for the condition, but it will likely be stronger and more expensive than benzoyl peroxide. If you’re reading this prior to visiting a doctor, you might try the aloe juice and a little benzoyl peroxide to see if that helps you first. For me, smallest amount, of benzoyl peroxide spread thinly on the rash works very well. And if I drink a bit of aloe juice every other day, I seem to avoid flare ups altogether.

I should also mention that I’m able to use toothpaste, shampoo and regular soap, without a problem. I’m not convinced that floride or SLS are causes of perioral dermatitis. They may, but it isn’t known for sure what actually causes the condition. It is, however, known that hydrocortisone makes it worse.

If you’ve got this condition I sincerely hope my recommendations are helpful. I know how miserable it is to have a rash on your face that doesn’t seem to get better. While I’m not an advocate of medicine, especially antibiotics, having gone through this, I do recommend that if your flare up is unmanageable, and your doctor prescribes it, take it and knock it out. Then maintain your clear skin as I’ve suggested. Hopefully, you won’t need to take the antibiotic again.

Source by Toni Ann Johnson

Deceptive Advertising – An Essay

The role of advertising in our free market society is to help develop products that satisfy consumer demands and to spur effective price competition. Advertising informs consumers about the availability of products, their features, and price information. Such information is vital to our competitive process. Advertisers employ unfair business practices in order to gain an unfair advantage above their competitors and to deceive consumers. The following essay examines the common types of deceptive acts and practices involved and the federal government agency that regulates advertisers. Government regulation provides a delicate balance between free business enterprise and consumer protection.

Businesses rely on advertising as a vital communication tool to reach potential consumers. Important information about the company and product features is conveyed to consumers in an attempt to offer them products that satisfy their wants and needs. In addition to print, radio, and television, laws governing advertising also cover signs, billboards, pamphlets, pictures or emblems, and direct and oral advertisements to consumers. To a certain degree advertising is protected by our courts under “commercial freedom of speech” guidelines. However, the information conveyed to consumers must be perceived as “truthful” in order to be protected against arbitrary government intrusion.

Consumers are protected from advertisers that intentionally or inadvertently mislead in promoting their products. Two main areas that consumers are protected from are false advertising and unfair acts or practices. False advertising is when an advertisement is misleading through a made or suggested statement, word, device, sound, or omission of material facts with respect to consequences which may result from the use of the product. This definition pertains to food, drugs, devices, and cosmetics. In addition, an advertisement can be viewed as being a false or misleading representation because of an implied representation.

Generally speaking an act or practice is considered to be unfair when it causes injury to consumers, injury to public policy or when it is based on immoral, unethical, or unscrupulous nature of the practice. A good example of how advertising leads to injury to consumers was when regulators decided that it was unfair for cigarette manufacturers to omit the health risks of cigarette smoking. This led to legislation requiring health warnings in cigarette advertising.

The Federal Trade Commission is the federal government body that regulates, monitors, and challenges advertising claims believed to be illegally deceptive. The FTC uses the following criteria when determining to challenge an advertising representation:

1) The ad makes a representation, has an omission, or uses a practice that is likely to mislead the consumer. The representation may be explicit (literal claim) or implied (indirect or by inference) in the advertisement.

2) The representation, omission, or practice is misleading when examined from the perspective of a reasonable consumer.

3) The representation, omission, or practice is material. The FTC evaluates the extent to which the questionable ad influences behavior or purchasing patterns. A representation, omission, or practice is material when behaviors or purchasing patterns are affected.

The FTC has the authority to punish offending companies that compromise deceptive advertising regulations. There are various types of remedies and sanctions available to the FTC to enforce the law. Such remedies and sanctions include:

Injunction – a court order that prohibits or compels future conduct.

Cease and desist orders – prohibits the firm from engaging in the act or practice that was determined to be deceptive.

Affirmative disclosure orders – the company is prohibited from making the claim in the future without making an additional disclosure.

Corrective advertising – compels the advertiser to state in all future advertising that the specific claims made in the past were false.

Multiple product order – applies to all future advertising of all products sold by the firm.

Consent order – company agrees to cease certain activities without admitting wrong doing.

The basic goal of the FTC is to increase the accuracy of product information available to consumers. They do this by imposing regulations on very specific advertising practices such as; mock demonstrations, endorsements or testimonials, promotions based on price, advertisements concerning the availability of credit, and product labeling.

In order to avoid FTC scrutiny advertisers must have the ability to substantiate their claims about a product’s attributes or performance through “reasonable basis.” An advertiser that claims their product “kills germs that cause colds and flu,” or “stimulates 25 pounds of weight loss in one week” must gather sufficient evidence of the claims validity, usually before the ad is printed or broadcast. If a complaint is made to the FTC concerning the accuracy of an advertisements claim, the FTC will assess the reasonableness of the advertisers substantiation in order to determine if it serves the public interest. The reasonable basis doctrine applies to food, drugs, devices and cosmetics because their effect to the public is direct and their use might endanger life.

The tremendous amount of money spent on advertising is a testament to the importance of advertising in our economic system. In a sense advertising fuels the economy. Unfortunately, the integrity of the advertising community must be monitored. Deceptive advertising legislation is continually being updated and improved to reflect the changing product lines that appeal to a public with specific growing needs and wants. Government regulation provides the balance between the important issues of commercial free speech, free business enterprise, and consumer protection.

Source by Frank Cardello

Mayoral Duties: Why Your City Mayor Has An Important Job

Although you might not really realize it if your city is actually run efficiently, the duties of your local mayor are quite vital to the well-being of you and your neighbors. Although local government usually doesn’t affect the lives of its residents much, the fact of the matter is that your elected mayor is the lead person in charge of making sure that your utilities, streets, and other government services are in tip-top shape.

That’s one of the reasons why it’s always so important to make sure that you choose the most professional, experienced candidate for the Mayor’s office whenever there is an election. In most cities and towns, the mayor has a four-year term, which means he or she will be up for re-election every four election cycles. Make sure that you do as much research as you can about the qualifications and temperament of the candidates who are running before you make a decision.

A lot of residents don’t fully understand the duties and relationships that exist between a mayor and the members of the city council. City council is a legislative body, and it makes decisions on passing new city ordinances, changing existing ordinances, approving new city hires, the handling of City accounts, etc. The mayor, on the other hand, is an administrator, and it is his or her duty to administer the current city ordinances and make sure that the city runs effectively day-to-day.

The mayor also often is in charge of appointing members of his administration (with the final approval of the city council). In some cities, the mayor can appoint a safety service director, a law director, an auditor and a treasurer. In still other cities, those positions are not appointed, but elected by a vote of the populace.

Source by Paul R Turner

Recommendations for Air Asia With the Perspective of Different Cost Analysis

1 Introduction:

Starting from short haul operation strategy, Air Asia airline in south-east Asia provides cost effective flying solutions for travelers. To formulate this cost effecting strategy, Air Asia first determine different cost such as capital, fixed, variable, maintenance, labor, fuel, facility, inventory, environment and technology cost to establish new point to point airline service. To investigate different kinds of cost Air Asia first identify potential market in south-east Asia by strong commitment at all level of services; for instance in safety, security, customer service and benefits. Air Asia also established their strategy by building strategic alliances with other airlines. This low cost strategy from Air Asia airline also proven to be formidable puzzle of interest as different proportion of constant changing variables affect on policy making, segmenting market, inventory control, yield system and so on. Basically, implementing such strategy was indeed complex in nature for example, providing direct services between two destinations route increase LOS (level of service) but on the contrary if the airline does not fill up with sufficient passenger then the airline surely will incur huge losses..

2 Different Cost Analysis of Air Asia:

2.1 Capital cost:

For Air Asia, capital cost is associated with initial setup of project, generally which occur at the beginning of project likewise, investment or buying airplane, cargo, aircraft, lands, buildings, construction, alternative route, high speed train (HST) facilities for different route and so on. Recently, Air Asia is going to expand its market in air cargo which again asking for lots of capital investment. Though, airline capital investments is highly intensive and most of the potential project failed due to limited funds. For example, MAXjet airways, EOS and SilverJet all failed at the initial stage of capital investment only because lack of funding and competitive business models (Wensveen, Leick, 2009). Thus, Air Asia is required to understand this issue for successful business require sufficient amount of capital investment at initial phase.

2.2 Fixed cost:

Here, the price of Air Asia has to be determined on capacity, seats and utilities to minimize total cost. In addition, fixed cost also consist of ticketing operation, ground facilities, airport counter facilities, forward booking and dispatching aircraft from the fleet which can be spread over more passenger as traffic density rises.

2.3 Variable cost:

These costs are determined based on operating, maintenance, labor, fuel, facility, inventory, environmental and technology cost.

3 Operating cost:

The effects of operating cost are un-quantified as the scope of system is varied on point to point service. Here the basic operating costs are administration, ticketing, sales & promotion, passenger service, en-route airport maintenance and landing cost. These operating costs have determined on the level of various operations on airline including air service such as cargo operation, employees.

3.1 Flight operating cost: Is typically associated with aircraft, fleet, flying operation as well as cost related to repairing of equipment and depreciation & amortization.

3.2 Ground operating costs: this cost incurred from handling airport station, landing fees, charges, processing cargo, passenger baggage, travel agency cost, retail ticket office, distribution, commission, reservation, ticket and sales and so on.

3.3 System operating cost: this cost include passenger service cost (i.e. foods, entertainment, flight attendant and in flight service and transport related cost (i.e. regional airline partners providing regional air service, extra baggage expense and miscellaneous overheads.

4 Maintenance Cost:

The next stage is maintenance cost which is related to engine maintenance and components maintenance cost. In 2009, the proportion of engine maintenance cost was 43 percent where component maintenance cost was 20 percent and line maintenance was 17 percent. The maintenance cost also increases due to direct operating cost as for daily air flight operation. Thus, maintenance cost is crucial for our Air Asia because this overhead cost doesn’t depend although it varies to the number of times due to requirement of service, demand or other factors. For example, any break down on engine or component hamper airline services for on time flight or even any disruptions increase additional charges as well as minimizing level of services which eventually drive away passenger.

5 Labor cost:

For Air Asia, labor cost is major factor as it is related with salary, benefits, pay rate for cabin crew, pilot, stuffs and other employees. However, labor cost also includes with aircraft services, cleaning, and passenger handling and catering. For example, providing service for customers likes catering, cleaning or even emergency service during flight require services from stuffs. For these additional services, employers expect to receive additional incentives.

6 Fuel cost:

Constant fluctuations on fuel price are also causes great impact on airline service in terms of competition on point to point service. This has been evident that approximately overall 20 percent operating costs are incurred from fuel, and due to price sensitivity, flexibility and quick responsiveness fuel price causes negative effect on ticket price.

7 Facility cost:

Here all kinds of aircraft, electricity, water, availability of spare equipments, machine, tools, ground maintenance filtering, pipeline and route maintenance costs are related to facility cost.

8 Environmental cost:

Airline industry is usually always remaining under pressure to decrease negative impact on global warming and noise pollution. Growing awareness on environmental issues is becoming a huge challenge now days to introduce new technology, aircraft and new air flight. For example, Singapore airlines attempted to keep its fleet as modern as possible. The new A380 is a cleaner and greener aircraft compared to the Boeing 747 on a per-seat basis but introducing such new service was really costly.

The only solution is to become greener and eco-friendly is adapting technology which doesn’t pollute air and doesn’t increase global warming. For example, eco-friendly gas could be an alternative solution to mitigate this issue as well as reducing costs. In Air Asia, it’s very important to forecast future environmental threats to sustain in market. This cost is hard to eliminate but since Air Asia is based on south-east Asia; rules and regulation are considerably favorable to sustain in market. On the other hand, it’s necessary to forecast estimating cost of environmental tax.

9 Technological costs:

Poor technology like traditional system i.e. manual ticketing, checking system, decrease significant amount of level of service. Though the cost are differentiate but to reduce substantial amount of cost for example, online booking, online assistance, and online information could be minimized by 24/7 online help line. For safety and security, RFID technology or 2D reader, barcode, e-service can be used.

10 Conclusions:

To sum up, cost is always a major factor in all aspects like in marketing, operational, safety, technological, maintenance, environmental for Air Asia. Though cost is flexible in nature and complex but for Air Asia could easily switch their cost due differentiate their market and taking advantage on existing alliance. Here, Air Asia airline need to identify proportion of cost to invest at the right sector over the long period of time. As, the company is already offering 20 percent low flight than competitors; thus, it’s necessary to control cost with proper budgeting, planning and scheduling. In this case, Air Asia can also learn from Jet Asia and Singapore airlines, how these successful companies operate their cost-effective business to sustain in the market.

Source by Mohammad Yousuf Chowdhury