Health and Fitness

A pedicure or, in other words, professional treatment of the feet by a medical expert or beautician, is sometimes described as a cosmetic procedure. There is no doubt that soft, well-groomed feet, with short, shaped and polished toenails are appealing aesthetically, but a regular foot treatment also offers health benefits that go far beyond the purely superficial.

Professional treatment removes dead skin, softens hard skin and moisturises the feet. In so doing, a pedicure prevents the formation of cracks and calluses, which are caused by repeated friction, and subsequent infection.

Massaging the feet and lower legs with therapeutic oils and lotions helps to relieve tension and can, directly or indirectly, stimulate blood circulation. Applying gentle pressure to the large surface areas of the foot, and small, more specific points may, in itself, encourage blood flow. In any case, by making the recipient feel better about themselves, a pedicure may motivate them to exercise and hence improve their circulation indirectly.

Trimming the toenails can help to prevent abnormal growth – that is, ingrown toenails – and infection, while buffing them can also encourage blood, which carries nutrients, to flow to the area.

Regular treatment can also improve the posture of the recipient, by allowing them to work naturally and comfortably. Indeed, anyone who suffers from foot disorders may find that regular treatment compliments, or even replaces, any podiatry care that they may be receiving.

Of course, buffed, polished toenails are usually the preserve of the female of the species, but the simple aesthetic and health benefits of regular foot treatment are equally applicable to men. In fact, men who believe that treatment of this type is only for women are depriving themselves of both care and pleasure.

Of course, not all treatments involve painted toenails and many beauty salons offer basic treatments, which include cuticle tidying, nail filing and rough skin removal, specifically for men.

In summary, looking after your feet should not be considered an indulgence – enjoyable though it may be – but rather a routine, preventative maintenance that keeps your feet in full working order and allows them to carry you, comfortably, over whatever distances you cover in your daily life.



Using botox for cosmetic purposes is becoming an increasingly popular procedure amongst both men and women, as a way of beating signs of ageing. Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which works to eliminate wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles, with results lasting up to several months.

For individuals who are looking for ways of improving their appearance and achieve younger-looking skin, but are not inclined to botox treatment, there are a wide-range of alternatives available, with both short or long-term results:


An acu-lift is a non-surgical treatment which involves acupuncture and micro-electric pulses, which works by lifting the face and improving muscle tone. A typical sessions lasts for up to one hour which involves acupuncture needles being connected to tiny electric pulses, which works the muscles and stimulates the production of collagen – which is great for improving the appearance of ageing skin.

Face-Lift Massage

A face-lift massage is a simple and non-intimidating way to achieve a more youthful-looking appearance and involves a special massage technique designed to give your face an instant lift. It works by getting rid of lymphatic congestion which as a result will improve circulation and relieve tension from muscles which causes the face to frown and crease.


Thermage is a non-invasive procedure that works by encouraging new collagen formation which involves heating up the deeper layer of skin which causes it to tighten. The growth of collagen leads to the appearance of significantly smoother-looking skin.


Rejuvanessence, also known as the ‘fingertip face-lift’ is a facial massage designed to remove stress lines on the face. It involves a combination of gentle massaging, pinching and acupressure, to free tension in face muscles. One session typically lasts for up to one hour and works to restores the vitality and flexibility of the face and can also help to improve complexion.

Make-up fillers

Make-up fillers are ideal for people looking for a short-term fix as results generally only lasts for up to one day. Such products are made using a silicone-based gel which works to ‘fill’ in the creases in the skin, leaving the user with a much smoother-looking finish.



Despite being one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases in men and women, Chlamydia often goes undiagnosed for long periods of time. It’s common for the disease to by symptomless, which can prevent people from seeking treatment. The consequences of untreated Chlamydia can be fairly severe, particularly for women. It can result in chronic pain in the pelvis, and in some cases can even lead to infertility.

The root cause of the bacterial infection is Chlamydia trachomatis, which is spread through the genital tract through sexual contact. It’s already a fairly common condition in relation to other STD’s, largely affecting teens and you adults.

Many people can be carrying Chalmydia without realising it, as it doesn’t present any symptoms in many patients. For those that do display symptoms, they are often visible within a few weeks of sexual contact with an infected partner.

Typical symptoms in women can include pain in the lower abdominals, a burning sensation during urination, vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, pain during intercourse, nausea and fever.

In men, the more common symptoms are discharge from the penis, a burning sensation when urinating, an itching or burning in the opening of the penis and testicular pain. Another less common symptom is the swelling of the testicles.

There are numerous potential complications for men and women if the condition isn’t treated. Women are at risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause damage to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, eventually leading to infertility. Chronic pelvic pain is often a problem for those who go untreated.

Men with untreated Chlamydia can suffer from prostatitis, which is an inflamed prostate gland, or epididymitis, which is an inflammation of the coiled tube beside each testicle.

It’s also possible for newborns to pick up the infection if it’s passed from mother to baby during childbirth. Babies exposed to the infection often suffer from a severe eye infection or pneumonia shortly after birth.

Due to the lack of symptoms normally displayed by Chlamydia, it’s often hard to detect. Regular screening is recommended for sexually active women under 24, pregnant women and those with multiple sex partners who are at higher risk of contracting an STD. The screening is fairly straightforward, usually involving a swab of the end of the penis or the cervix, or even a simple urine test.

Fortunately for those diagnosed with the infection, Chlamydia is curable if the proper medication is prescribed and used as instructed. Azithromycin and doxycycline are commonly prescribed antibiotics, and they can be bought online from pharmacies like Dr Felix in the UK.

For people who have been diagnosed and are being treated, sex should be avoided for at least a week after the initial treatment has started. The disease can still be transmitted during the course of antibiotic treatment, so it’s important to avoid sexual contact during this time. Any sexual partners during the period of infection should also be treated for Chlamydia, regardless of the presence of symptoms, to prevent re-infection.

While abstinence is essentially the only guaranteed way of avoiding the condition, the risk of contracting Chlamydia can be substantially reduced by wearing condoms during every sexual encounter, reducing the amount of different partners and being screened regularly.


Losing weight is something most people will have struggled with at least once in their life. Come January every year, every gym in the country gets exponentially busier as people look to drop a few pounds, while the start of the summer also prompts people to start diets and exercises as the prospect of the beach looms ever closer.

The actual process of losing weight is a fairly simple concept – you need to take in fewer calories than you burn over a period of time. Your body will drop weight, primarily fat but also some muscle tissue, as your body adjusts to the new amounts of food it has to work with.

Even once you have that process down and the weight is coming off, many people have ‘problem areas’ with stubborn areas of fat that they really struggle to get rid of. Typically this will be the stomach, or for some women it can be the hips and bum if they’re a certain body type.

Unfortunately, it’s typically a case of ‘first on, last off’ when it comes to fat, and the places you put on weight first are likely to be the last to leave. People often think that by training these areas through various core or leg exercises they can spot reduce fat, but unfortunately that’s not the case – the body will drop weight all over, and some people will drop fat more quickly in some places than others.

For those having serious issues with a particular area, there are some procedures out there which can help shift stubborn fat from areas like the stomach. While in the past there were few options beyond invasive surgeries like liposuction, a new technology known as ‘coolsculpting’ has emerged as a revolutionary new way of reducing body fat without the need for surgery.

The process involves freezing the fat cells through a cooling process, after which the body starts to flush them out of the system. It allows specific areas to be targeted, typically the stomach, meaning it’s actually possible to spot reduce fat on these troublesome parts.

It’s offered in the UK by specialists such as the Cosmetic Skin Clinic, and while not everyone will be a suitable candidate for treatment it can be a great way to lose some fat in a fairly short period of time. Patients can expect to see impressive results within 1-3 months, and assuming they stick to a sensible nutrition plan the results will be permanent.

Of course the most effective long term way to lose weight is a healthy diet and regular exercise, it’s good to know there’s a non-invasive solution out there to shift stubborn fat!

We live in a time and place where things have a tendency or need to be cone quicker. We all expect faster and better results with almost everything we get up to in day to day life. When this idea is flipped on its axis and doesn’t commonly come in to play is when we’re having to visit the hospital. In most cases it is a place people don’t want to be in and would rather be treated as quickly as possible. For hospital staff this is a big ask, especially when it comes to making fast judgements on a repeated basis. Efficiency in a hospital is a very hard thing to come by, and that is why many now use clinical utilization tools to help this process. Continue Reading

The LOC Info-graphic on Cancer Statastics

There is nothing good about cancer but it is encouraging to know research and development carried out over the last 40 years is helping to save life’s. The LOC specialise’s in treating cancer patients, not only to they carry out life treatment, they provide morally boosting after care to all patients.

Leaders in Oncology Care!

Infographic by Boyd Digital


wrist-sprainsSmall joint injuries are common among sports men and women, wrist injuries in particular prove to be a significant hazard especially for those taking part in combat sports such as boxing, wrestling and martial arts. Boxing itself accounts for approximately one third of all hand and wrist injuries of which wrist sprain is one of the most common.

A wrist sprain is a condition whereby the connective tissues in the hand and forearm are injured by either stretching or tearing. Sprains themselves are classified according to their severity and range from mild stretching of the tendon such as a pulled ligament to a complete tear.

The pain which accompanies sprains may not be felt until well after you have finished exercising, especially since the level of adrenaline and endorphins experienced during the fight helps to mask the pain. Afterwards though the wrist joint can become incredibly painful, swelling and bruising occurs and the mobility of the wrist as a whole is reduced. As we know many fighters who injure themselves during a match will through sheer determination carry on until the bout is over, however to do so substantially increases the risk of further damaging the wrist and thereby taking longer for the joint to heal and recover.

It goes without saying that if you ever experience this you should stop training and seek medical help and get an assessment at the earliest opportunity, but initially applying ice to the area and compressing the injury with an elastic bandage can help to limit the damage. However this sort of injury isn’t just limited to experienced professional fighters. Wrist sprains are one of the most common reasons why novices quit high impact training like the heavy bag or switch sports entirely.

Sports therapists stress the importance of allowing the joint to rest in order to aid recovery, and there are many clinics across the country, such as Sports Therapy Scotland, who offer fantastic rehabilitation programs in order to re-strengthen joints once they have recovered from injury. These programs consist of a number of deep Soft Tissue Massage sessions and joint mobility exercises.

Of course prevention is far better than a cure and there are a number of ways you can help to prevent such injury in the first place. These include hand wraps, use of correct technique and progressive build-up training, further information on sport related injuries can be sought at any reputable sports therapist.

Are you planning to build a home gym? You are on the right track, as building a gym is very beneficial not only for you but also for the whole family. Building a gym will eliminate a lot of needless problems, ranging from high cost of spending for travelling to and from the hired gym sessions and cost paid for booking the session per day.

Therefore, before you begin building it, there is some essential equipment you should not miss to make the most of your gym while saving on cost and space. No matter if you’re trying to build huge shoulders or some monster biceps, the right equipment can make a huge difference.

Adjustable Dumbbells

This is essential equipment in your home gym, as it allows for a wide range of exercises and acts as a multipurpose piece of equipment. Having them in your gym will vastly increase the amount of movements you’re able to perform.

Dumbbells, as well as being a hugely flexible piece of equipment, also provide a great workout to your stabilising muscles. While some machines in the gym isolate certain muscles, dumbbells force you to use more of your body and result in a better rounded physique and more strength.

Olympic Barbell Set

Olympic barbells are essential for performing any lift that requires you to move a significant amount of weight. Popular compound movements like the squats, deadlifts and the bench press are all reliant on the barbell to allow you to progress. When combined with a decent set of weight plates, this is an essential bit of kit.

Adjustable Bench

Rather than buying individual incline, flat and decline benches, a good quality adjustable weight bench can serve as all 3 and save considerable space and money. This give you a chance to practice incline bench press, inclined curls and a wide range of other free weigh exercises, and is the cornerstone of most small home gyms.

Power Tower

The dip station is ideal for building a massive chest and powerful triceps, and the pull up is one of the best exercises for building strength and size in your back, so a power tower is a worthwhile investment if you have the space.

Beginners may struggle to perform these bodyweight movements initially, so many companies offer assisted power towers which help make things easier. When you’re comfortable moving your own weight, you can pick up belts which allow you to add additional weight to the movement.

Building a home gym can be an excellent investment, and it’s fairly affordable if you are smart with the equipment you buy. Companies like Take Fitness compare the prices of gym equipment from big companies to help make your choice easier, so have a look around before committing to a piece of equipment.

cigsWith so many new laws and regulations restricting the smoking of cigarettes in public many people are looking at alternative ways of enjoying tobacco.

Smokeless tobacco such as Snuff is one of these alternatives and judging by the surge in popularity it is one that people are sticking with.

We are going to be looking at both cigarettes and snuff to compare them and hopefully give the reader a better understanding of the choices they have when it comes to tobacco products.

Of course the main difference between the two is the way that you get the nicotine from the tobacco into your system. Cigarettes allow the nicotine to enter the blood stream after being absorbed through the lungs whereas snuff is inhaled through the nose and enters the blood stream through the mucous membrane.

Cigarette production contains a greater number of chemicals whereas with Snuff you are getting a purer tobacco product and while any tobacco product will carry some degree of risk, smoking cigarettes carries a considerably higher risk of cancer as well as coronary heart disease, strokes, peripheral vascular disease and cerebrovascular disease.

As far as costs go a 21g tin of McChrystals Original & Genuine costs round £4 which, depending on usage can generally last upwards of a week. When you compare that price next to the price of a 20 pack of Marlborough Red King Size at £8.74 (Current price comparison using you can see the difference. With cigarette prices rising at an astronomical rate it is little wonder that so many people are turning their back on it. As well as being more expensive they have been proved to carry more long and short term health risks in comparison to snuff tobacco.

Finally when you compare the experience of smoking versus the smokeless tobacco options there are also real differences. The enjoyment associated with smoking tends more to be aligned with the relief at getting your nicotine fix and being able to satisfy your habit. Snuff Tobacco offers users the opportunity to not only get their nicotine intake but also enjoy a variety of styles and flavours including Absinthe, Almond Toast, Apricot, Berwick Brown, Blueberry, Blueberry Menthol, Bourbon, Camphor and Clove, Champagne, Cheese and Bacon, Cherry, Cherry Menthol, Chocolate, Christmas Pudding, Coke, Espresso, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lime Toast, Menthol, Natural Toast, Peach, Peanut Butter, Peppermint, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Raspberry Menthol, Rose, Spanish Gem,    Strawberry, Toast & Marmalade, Toffee, Vanilla, Violet and Whisky & Honey. As you can see from this substantial list that only covers a fraction of the options available to you, snuff tobacco provides a far greater experience for its users.

If you’re not one for the gym there are plenty of ways you can keep yourself fit and healthy. One time tested method of burning a few extra calories is getting your hands dirty in the garden, and there are plenty of simple gardening tasks that can get the heart rate elevated and tire out your muscles.

One classic gardening task that’s a good workout is mowing the lawn, and it can be pretty tough if you’ve avoided it for too long! 30 minutes of cutting the grass can burn around 230 calories, so if you have a decent sized lawn you can expect to work up quite a sweat. The pushing and pulling motion of working the mower will work the chest, back, core, biceps and triceps, and the legs will get a workout as you maneuver your way around the garden.

Laying paving stones, building a wall or installing a new gate can really improve the appearance of your body as well as your garden. It involved plenty of heavy lifting as you move the bricks and slabs from A to B, and will give your core, arms and shoulders a pretty tough test. It should also give you a mental workout, as you look to line up the bricks and slabs and make sure it’s all on the level.

Planting or removing trees and shrubbery can present a challenging workout, as it involves a lot of digging, pushing and pulling. As anyone that’s removed a tree or bush that’s been in place for a while will testify, it’s not an easy task to pull those roots out of the ground!

More leisurely tasks like planting flowers, weeding or pruning roses up can also have a positive impact on your physical wellbeing. Many people find the process of gardening extremely relaxing, which can help reduce stress levels and keep you strong mentally and physically.

Thanks to Exteria Landscapes and Garden Forces for providing this interesting insight in to the health benefits of gardening. We’ll be digging out our gardening gloves as soon as this weather improves!