The recent AMA Executive Summary “Health in the United States: Health Care Trends” contains both a little hope and a lot of gloom.Population TrendsBy 2050 the segment of the population over 65 will double from today to 83.7 million. This means that the prevalence of chronic illness will rise dramatically. Since 1990, smoking has decreased from 29.5% to 18.1% of the adult population. Probably as a result, stroke has declined 34%, heart disease 27%, and cancer 17%. This sounds good but…Fat and SluggishSince 1990, the obesity rate in adults (defined as BMI over 30) has increased from 12% to 29.6%. During the same time diabetes increased from 4.4% to 10% of all adults. Not old adults, all adults. The CDC predicts that by 2050, thirty percent of adults will have diabetes. As a result, obesity is now the leading cause of heart attacks. Physical inactivity is a major reason. Only 21% of adults get the US Department of Health and Human Services recommended 150 minutes of exercise weekly. My observation is that most get no exercise. Many employers now offer wellness programs that give financial rewards for healthy behaviors. This could be a big step in the right direction. Of course, punitive actions denying health insurance to the morbidly obese or uncontrolled diabetics could also be coming, especially if the federal government leaves the health insurance business to private companies.Is There a Doctor in the Zip Code?The AMA reports that primary care doctors are closing their practices and either retiring early or moving to non-clinical areas like insurance, quality management, the pharmaceutical industry or even medical informatics. Since the demand for health services will increase dramatically, an increasing percentage of primary care will be provided by PAs and Nurse Practitioners. I expect they will have increasing independence. This is not necessarily a bad thing, many of these caregivers are excellent and offer compassionate and comprehensive care. A possible byproduct of this trend may be an increase in demand for referrals and subspecialty care, such as sending diabetics to endocrinologists and COPD patients to lung specialists.Take Responsibility or Someone Else WillA dystopian future looms where the cost of medical care is greater than our resources can manage. In this rather terrifying situation, someone will have to be denied services, probably either the powerless or those who refuse to adopt mandatory health guidelines. It hasn’t come to that yet. We still have time to make recommended changes in diet and activity. Remember, who could have predicted everyone would stop smoking?
Have you ever known someone that seemed to live a charmed life? No matter what this person did, the situation would always turn out to his advantage, and you wondered what he was doing differently than you. So he got the girl you’d always secretly loved, they live in a beautiful home you could never begin to afford and drive fancy cars, and everything he touches seems to turn to gold. What are you doing wrong? Chances are it’s not so much what you’re doing wrong as what he’s doing right. He’s been able to grow his business enterprises because he knows the pitfalls of applying for a commercial building loan and is able to avoid them.1. He has always worked with lenders that haven’t required him to have a business plan that was set in concrete. He knows that it’s easier to buy commercial real estate if he has some freedom to handle transactions as opportunities arise.2. He never uses personal assets as collateral for business loans. He keeps his personal finances and business accounts completely separate.3. He avoids loans with balloon payments while opting for those lenders that will give him long-term options with more favorable terms.4. He knows that if he’s had a bad year and his most recent tax returns don’t show a favorable balance between money earned and money spent he should get his loan through a stated income lender. That way his tax records won’t be required.5. He knows the kinds of businesses that he’s most likely to get real estate loans for and focuses on them. Lenders like to fund real estate acquisitions of apartments, retail stores, and office buildings. They are less likely to help him if he’s trying to build or buy something like a funeral home, a church, or an assisted-living facility.6. He never asks for a larger commercial loan than he actually needs to buy the property he’s looking at, because he knows that lenders don’t favor loans that are in excess of the price of the property.7. He chooses a lender that does not require sourcing and seasoning of assets. What this means is that the lender will want documentation of where the down-payment is coming from and will require that he keep the funds in a specific account for as much as 6 months.Using a little financial savvy can help you turn your business dealings around to the point that you are living that charmed life you’ve dreamed of. Research the dos and the don’ts of applying for commercial loans before you ever contact a financial institution about the money you need.
I came out with an idea to write about this matter because of an interview I gave recently for the Tokyo American club magazine; the subject was what and how to de-clutter. Also, I read on LinkedIn, a discussion topic about how “Japanese business is very different from the West.”After living in Japan for 11 years, it is very hard to stay neutral and touch this very sensitive subject. However, I decided to open some secrets and shine some light on the matter, because I believe it can help not only foreigners who are planning to move to Japan, or foreigners who are already here and have experienced cultural shock and business/work shock first-hand, but also some of the Japanese who are also suffering from their own culture, traditions and rules in different ways.Future JapanLet’s look at Japan as a country in terms of feng shui- it belongs to a strong Earth element which is ruled by Saturn, and also belongs to a strong Metal element which is ruled by Venus. Let us see how the country’s karma and constitution affects the people’s character, physical health,money, work and relationships.Earth means stability, satisfaction, security that is mostly related to material nature: body health, food, service, work, and family. Japan is famous for it’s restaurants, healthcare tools (e.g. massage, spa, supplements) life-comfort and high quality service.Our body and our mind, needs to feel safe and sure of tomorrow. We need a base, comfort, family and support.
However if most of the time you try to hold on the present, focus only on yourself, and only material things (excess of Earth), it prevents you from growth and change; there is danger to become stagnant and sluggish.Universal law works for everyone, including any country and any nationality. The purpose of humans is to go up and grow, and for those with strong Earth, it would very valuable to strengthen Wood-meaning to improve education, gain new approaches, learn new life’s skills, psychology, entrepreneurship, and foreign languages.About two years ago, after coming back from a Dale Carnegie seminar, I met an American friend, Brent, and that day we talked about Japan’s future. He worked in HR department for years and made conclusion that Japan’s future wealth and economic improvement starts with Universities, and it is the right approach in terms of feng shui since the only way to balance excess of earth is through mental development and educational reforms.Japan and Social HealthJapan has achieved huge progress in recent years in terms of design, cars, fashion, computers, but almost with the same rate of progress Japan increased its share of skin problems development and depressive syndromes.Azuma-san, a doctor of a women’s clinic shared with me information that the numbers of atopic patients are increasing everyday and in the future can reach a very high percentage. Azuma-san believes that the cause of atopy and some cases of depression has connection with candida, and he got good results with anti-yeast medications.For more information on atopy in Japan, please refer to this link, it year 1997, but the problem is still there and has increased:http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/19/science/an-itch-torments-many-japanese-but-relief-is-elusive.html?pagewanted=1In internal feng shui skin and lungs are related to Metal element, and I would like to discuss about the connection between the skin, mind and emotions.Ancient wise healers were saying that our skin is reflection of our soul, thoughts and emotions and how we communicate with the external world.If our Metal is in balance, then on the emotional and the mental level, it gives us maturity, sensitivity, creativity, and courage. On the physical level, it provides healthy skin, healthy breathing and healthy bowel-movement.In the case of excess of Metal, its cold nature expresses itself in mechanical attitude, rigidity (katakori), resistance to live with flow, creating excess of rules, orders and limits.Metal element imbalance leads to accumulation of waste, internal and external, and on the physical level, skin rashes, eczema (atopy), constipations, and breathing disorders.The person with excess Metal element tries to control his own life and is afraid of changes. He tries to escape the grief, sadness, depression, and lack of satisfaction by increasing one’s “self-confidence” and “self-worth” by collecting and keeping a number of material things (handbags, fashion goods, jewelries, accessories, cosmetics).It is very natural to inhale, hold one’s breath and exhale. It is the same for life- to receive, keep and use, and give way (eat, assimilate, nurture and eliminate).Excess of Metal has influence on the increasing suicide rates in Japan as well. People think that if they lost their job, they are not worthy. If they don’t have enough money, they cannot enjoy life, don’t want to deal with their pain, and don’t want to take responsibility of their life due to lack of courage and emotional maturity.Here is more information on suicides in Japan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_JapanJapanese should rediscover living in harmony with nature’s cycles where change and the passage of time are necessary parts of life. It calls to remind that there is time for letting go, and accepting new things and experiences into each one’s lives. It is time for them to integrate their inner fire, their spirit, clear their soul and release the troubles and worries of the past and present, and prepare one self to move towards love, happiness and life’s purpose.One famous Russian actress said there are only three kinds of happiness in this life – to be with a partner you love, to do a job you like, and to live in the appropriate environment for you. I wish to everyone that you may find your happiness.
Most people do not carry medical records when they leave home. They do not realize that in an emergency, which no one can predict, these medical records can make a big difference. In fact, they could save a life. Previous medications, history of allergy to medications, and other significant medical or surgical history can help a physician to optimize treatment. The National Health Council recommends you to keep a personal health record and take it with you to your doctor. It’s one thing to document your medical information it’s another to know when and how to use it.The main components of a Good personal health record are:* Your name, birth date, blood type and emergency contact* Date of last physical* Dates and results of tests and screenings* Major illnesses and surgeries, with dates* A list of your medicines, dosages and how long you’ve taken them* Any allergies* Any chronic diseases* Any history of illnesses in your familyPersonal health records in paper based format have been used since the beginning of modern health care services. These have several disadvantages as they cannot be accessed rapidly during emergency, difficulties in sharing of these records, security and vulnerable to physical destruction as shown in recent Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans in 2005. These records are also difficult to carry around for the individual when migrating to another medical center or health care provider.Although there are different methods to record one’s personal health, Portable Digital Personal Health Record Storage medias are popular since they offer the advantage to Individuals to enable them maintain their health information at their own computer hard drive or other storage devices. Moreover, these could be made easily accessible to any health care provider by the individual who controls the data.Electronic management of personal health records were developed in the last 2 decades by several electronic health software vendors. Rapid growth in this sector was noticed during the dot-com bubble era.Today, with the growth of Web 2.0 in the internet, there is renewed interest in Personal health records in electronic format. Many still have confusion about Personal health records (PHR) and Electronic health records (EMR).PHRs are different. EMRs or electronic medical records are developed in Hospitals and medical centers, these legal health records are created and stored in health care settings and patients have no control over these records. They contain the longitudinal medical information of any patient over a period of time. A fully functioning EMR is described as one that includes a clinical data repository, controlled medical vocabulary, computerized provider order entry, clinical documentation or charting, pharmacy management, electronic medication administration record, major ancillary systems (for example, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, cardiology, and so on.) and picture archive and communication systems (PACS).However, PHRs or Personal health records are created by the individuals and patients can have full control over these records. These can contain in addition to medical illness information, health related information. The models are shrink wrapped unlike the EMRs.They could also include complete demographics of the patient along with essential health insurance details. In addition they could also include record of illness over a period of time.Personal health records have a useful role to play in health care management. Adopting technologies in health care will significantly reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of health care delivery. Over prescription of medications, duplication of tests and lack of sharing of medical information among health care service providers has resulted in increased cost of health care in the current era.Disclaimer: This article is for informational purpose only and is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical consultation with a qualified professional. The author encourages Internet users to be careful when using medical information. If you are unsure about your medical condition, consult a physician.