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How technology can unlock reading
How technology can unlock reading
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Loading ImageToday there are thousands of people living in the UK who are unable to experience the joy of reading for one reason or another. Four percent of the population have severe dyslexia, and a further six percent experience mild to moderate symptoms. There are also those who are illiterate, blind or partially sighted – and this amounts to a large segment of the UK that may find reading to be a highly frustrating or even impossible task.
 
However, there are things that can be done to get more people reading. Technology can be instrumental in making this a reality and over the years it has continued to break down the physical, visual and cerebral barriers to reading, making the process more accessible and enjoyable for many.
 
Today’s technology is certainly revolutionising traditional reading methods. The use of e-readers, smartphones and tablets has become commonplace and the simple reconfiguration settings available on such devices, such as adjusting font sizes and colours, can make a world of difference to people with visual impairments or learning difficulties. Furthermore, simple assistive technology tools such as digital highlighters, scanning pens and text-to-speech programmes allow people who may struggle with the written word to absorb it regardless. Fortunately, the equipment needed to do so is readily available, inexpensive and intuitively designed.
 
One of the most important factors when it comes to unlocking the potential to read independently is that the there are a variety of technological options available to suit a diverse spectrum of individual needs. For technophobes and traditionalists, there are devices that work in collaboration with traditional dead tree books to make the content inside more accessible. Likewise, for people who love having the latest gadgets and gizmos, most literary content has caught up with the digital age and in some case, even supplanted conventional methods. Online articles and publications, digital editions of newspapers, e-books and a multitude of open source research materials are available on the internet and mobile platforms which means you’re never far away from a variety of reading options.
 
Finally, for people that have not attempted to read for a number of years, I encourage you to take a look at the technology available today and see whether there is something well suited to your needs. Try to find out what works for you and experiment with options available until you find something that does. In this day and age, no one should feel locked out of such a rewarding process, one that much of the population perhaps takes for granted. www.cpen.com

Better Sex

How to Improve Disappointing Sex With Your Pa...
    There are many happily married couples out there, but how many of them are enjoying equally happy sex lives? Marriage is about far more than just sex, but there’s no denying that it does play an important role. If your sex life leaves a lot to be desired, it could end up putting a strain on other areas of your relationship - it’s the kind of thing that affairs are made of. There are several ways to improve your sex life though, without you needing to stray from the bonds of your marriage. The first one is simple - be honest.   If you aren’t enjoying the bedroom antics with your partner, you need to tell them and explain what it is that is not doing it for you. Nobody wants to hear that they are a lousy lover, and the number of people wanting to tell someone that kind of news is equally low. However, no-one can improve if they don’t know what they’re doing wrong. Lying to your partner about your sex life is only making the issue worse. Be open with them and explain that while you aren’t enjoying the sex at the moment, you are willing to work at it to improve and better your relationship. While they may be sad to hear it initially, the silver lining is that you’ve communicated it honestly and are willing to try and work things out. Try to soften the news with compliments and praise outside of the bedroom, so that they know you aren’t disappointed in every aspect of your marriage.   Be honest about what turns you on and explain this to them - perhaps you may want to share some fantasies together to get each other in the mood and broach the subject in a flirty way. If the way they kiss you doesn’t do it for you, tell them. Be honest if you’ve never been able to orgasm with them, or if something they do during sex really turns you off. It’s embarrassing, but no more so than lying to your partner about something as vital to a relationship as sex. Educate each other about how to turn each other on, so that you can both do a better job of making each other sexually satisfied. Criticism is only constructive when you offer advice and alternatives, so don’t tell your partner they’re a bad lover without offering ways they can improve.   You need to verbalise and show them exactly how to touch you and the ways that you want them to turn you on. Most importantly, during this early stage in the game, be supportive. It’s never easy to hear that something you’ve been doing for so long isn’t actually working. It’s vital that you express pleasure when they do something even slightly close to what you want, so that they know when they’re getting it right. It’s likely that at this stage they are dealing with a new set of insecurities on top of any they already have, so don’t make it worse by leaving them in the dark about what they’re doing. Maintain the intimacy between you and be sure to spend time together, romantically, outside of the bedroom too. Your relationship is about more than just what goes on in the bedroom, so don’t forget that. If all else fails, and you’ve given it time to try and work things out, there’s also professional help. There are many couples therapists available to help you work through any rough patches, so don’t be worried about speaking to someone if you’re finding things difficult.  
How to Give Yourself a Better Sex Life in Fou...
    A good sex life is important for your emotional health, as well as all areas of your wellbeing, but as we’re British, it can be difficult to talk about sex, or get the help we need to make it better. There’s no shame in trying to better understand your needs or those of your partner, and there are plenty of simple solutions to physically and emotionally enhancing your sexual wellness.   1. Understand your sexual needs, and communicate them to your partner. If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you’ll have realised just how vital communication is. This is no less true when it comes to sex, but it can be embarrassing to talk about what you want, or you may be worried about your partner’s feelings. You might assume your partner knows what you like in the bedroom, or you might not want to mention it if something doesn’t feel as good. This means you’ll have the same dreary sex life for years to come – unless you talk about it. Be honest about what works for you and what doesn’t, but do it in a way that will make you feel comfortable. This often involves using humour to ease the tension, as well as being honest and open to new ideas.   2. Try kegel exercises. The pubococcygeus (PC), which controls urine flow and contracts during orgasm in both men and women, is a muscle that works like any other; strengthening exercises will improve its function. There is a link between having a toned PC muscle and more intense orgasms, and performing kegel exercises can get you there. To find this magical muscle, see if you can start and stop the flow of your urine next time you’re on the loo (the PC muscle is the one that stops the flow). Then, try to tighten and hold this muscle for a slow count of three, or mix it up and try quick kegels by tightening and relaxing the muscle as rapidly as you can. This will gradually help you to gain more control and, as a result, better orgasms.   3. Masturbate. Masturbating will help you to understand your body, which is information you can pass on to your partner. Plus, as a woman, you’re more likely to have an orgasm from self-pleasuring than intercourse. Start by masturbating until you feel your breathing increase, want to go very fast and want to thrust your pelvis. At this point, don’t aim for an orgasm but instead, stop and experience things for one or two minutes. After this, use light stroking and the kegels you have learned to stimulate yourself again, and then let yourself do whatever you wish!   4. Let your imagination run wild. You may not think you have any sexual fantasies but everyone is capable of them, and they are the most common form of sexual expression. According to their wealth of research, psychologists Harold Leitenberg and Kris Henning have noted the most popular sexual fantasies around, so why not consider these sexy scenarios?    
  • A stranger or imaginary lover: This involves a sexual partner who will do wonderful things to you without being asked and with no strings attached.
 
  • Romance novel sex: A lot of women fantasise about being taken against their will – in a way of being “won over” by a strong, passionate man rather than violent abuse. The force used is just enough to get a high level of excitement.
 
  • Different locations: A new place, be it in the great outdoors or at the office, gives you the excitement of being naughty.
 

Confidence

Should Women Leave Body Hair to Grow Naturall...
    Written by Jenny Catton   Every few years a female celebrity hits the headlines for being pictured with underarm hair. But why does the media find this so shocking? Body hair is completely natural and yet in a survey conducted by Soft Paris only 1% of women surveyed said they would grow their underarm hair. So should women leave body hair to grow naturally?   Yes – Bridget I find it very strange that millions of women are spending time, money and often subjecting themselves to pain, all in the pursuit of being hair free. Body hair is completely natural and so we should embrace it – not hide it. The reason that a lack of hair is so fashionable is purely down to marketing. Beauty companies make millions of pounds selling lotions and devices that remove body hair and so they promote an image of a smooth hairless woman and tell us that’s what we should aspire to. Sadly, lots of women buy into this and throw their money at the companies that are creating insecurities and profiting from them. I often get told that having body hair is unattractive but I think the opposite is true. It’s a sign of being a mature woman and if you’re confident enough to keep your body hair then I think that confidence can be very sexy. The argument that body hair is unhygienic is also ridiculous. There is absolutely no reason why body hair should be unhygienic. In fact, removing hair can cause its own problems – there’s certainly nothing sexy about a shaving rash, stubble or in-growing hairs. Why should any woman be made to feel strange or unclean for choosing to keep her body hair? We need to fight back against the marketing that’s gone too far.     No – Fiona I don’t believe anyone can truly believe that body hair on women is attractive. There’s certainly nothing sexy about hairy armpits and I’m very happy to remove my excess body hair. There are so many ways to deal with body hair that there really is no excuse for letting it grow. I prefer waxing but if you’re worried about pain, then you can shave or use creams – there really is something for everyone. I’m all for personal choice but I do believe that personal hygiene affects other people. I live in London and when I travel on the tube, I don’t want to be offended by smelly, hairy armpits! Being clean shaven makes it much easier for women to stay clean and free from sweat. I’ve never met a man who would prefer a woman to let her body hair grow naturally and I think anyone who says it is attractive is just trying to get a reaction. From time to time you hear about a female celebrity who has been photographed with underarm hair but they are not letting it grow because it’s attractive – they are doing it just to get attention. People might say women should let their hair grow in order to support the feminist movement but I think there are much more important issues to address such as equal pay for women. Saying that a woman has to let her body hair grow in order to be a feminist is ridiculous.  
Bright and Beautiful: The Benefits of Cosmeti...
  Sometimes, keeping your mouth clean and maintaining fresh breath are not enough to make you feel your very best. Crooked, chipped and missing teeth or issues with overall tooth alignment are all things that can diminish the appeal of your smile and make you feel less than confident when dealing with others. Following are four ways that cosmetic dentistry can have a significant impact on your self-image and on your overall quality of life.   Gain Increased Confidence and a Positive, Proactive Mindset Feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed about your smile can make you less than confident in all life areas. People with damaged or missing teeth are often reticent to engage in intimate conversations with others or to make a broad range of facial expressions. This limits their ability to communicate openly and without reservation. Once your cosmetic issues have been corrected, however, you can smile broadly, lean in confidently and express yourself without fear of what others might think about the state of your mouth. Feeling more confident about yourself will also make you far more positive and proactive in both the professional and social arenas.   Make a Better Impression On Others Not only will you feel better about how you look, but people will respond to you better as well. Your smile is the most noticeable feature that you have and as unfortunate as it may be, people are prone to making snap judgments based upon what they can see. A healthy and complete smile is the best way to show others that you value yourself, your health and your appearance.   Balance out Bite Forces and Preserve Your Smile In addition to making smiles look a whole lot better, cosmetic dentistry also supplies a number of practical, functional benefits. As you may know as you age, your teeth begin to show signs of wear and tear (Source: Guerra Dental).  Replacing a missing or badly damaged tooth will prevent the surrounding teeth from navigating out of their intended positions. This will also balance out bite forces when you chew, so that your healthy teeth will not be subjected to undue wear and tear.   Fewer Headaches If you regularly suffer from headaches, missing or damaged teeth could be the cause. Imbalanced and misaligned bite forces place an incredible amount of stress on the jaws and facial muscles. Corrective, cosmetic procedures will make it easier for you to grind up your food without building up tension in the face that will eventually lead to a throbbing headache.   Cosmetic dentistry is not just about looking and feeling good about yourself. These procedures can have a tremendous impact on your ongoing oral health and on your health overall. They can also help you make positive impressions on others when showing off your smile.  

Depression

How To Cope With Depression And Anxiety After...
  We all face challenges in life, but how do you recover when a debilitating injury has left you unable to enjoy life the way you once did? After a major injury, you may experience feelings like sadness, anger, denial, worry, and fear. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help yourself recover and get back to the life you once enjoyed.

Acknowledge Your Emotions

Acknowledging that it is normal for you to feel sad, helpless, or anxious, can go a long way in helping you recover. Try not to hold these feelings back. Surround yourself with supportive people who will listen to you and help you work through these feelings without judgment. Allow yourself time to accept what has happened, and do not try to rush the recovery process.

Don't Push Yourself Too Much

It's natural to want to do the same things as before the accident as quickly as possible, but it's important to understand that it won't happen soon, and things may never be the same. Don't be afraid to say “no” to things you could have easily done before. Don't push yourself physically or emotionally to avoid more stress.

Talk to a Counselor

Counseling can be a very effective tool in helping you deal with your emotions after the injury. However, many people feel uncomfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with a complete stranger. Remember, talking to a third party can help you get an objective look at your situation and show you what steps to take to improve your condition. Your counselor can also advise you of any beneficial support groups you can attend.

Stay Active & Healthy

Staying active has proven to help the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Talk to your doctor about what kind of physical activities would be beneficial for you to enjoy while recovering from your injury. Also, make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet and avoid the use of alcohol or drugs. It can also be beneficial to engage in some of the hobbies you enjoyed before the injury such as painting or reading.

Consider Speaking to a Lawyer

After an injury, the last thing you may want to endure is a long legal battle. However, if the injury is no fault to your own, you deserve a chance to rectify the wrongdoing. There are lawyers in your area who are committed to helping their clients cope with life after the accident and receive any compensation they may be entitled to.   Depression and anxiety after a major injury can cause normally productive, socially active, independent people to withdraw into a world of emotional pain that is often far greater than the physical pain they are experiencing. However, by following a few of the suggestions above, it is possible to find yourself enjoying life again free of your psychological handicaps.   Informational credit to Howard Yegendorf & Associate.  
Could Depression be Linked to Disease Resista...
Diseases such as cancer are thought to be best treated using both the body and the mind, in order to boost the immune system in every way. Our immune systems do far more than simply fend off the common cold. Social support, for example, can significantly improve a person’s condition and extend the life of a cancer patient. In studies looking at victims of cancer, researchers found that women who attended support groups lived twice as long as those who didn’t, on average. A study in Los Angeles at the University of California found that patients who had survived cancer for a minimum of five years and attended group therapy lived three times as long as those who didn’t attend any therapy sessions. It seems that relying on others to boost our mood when we’re ill could help us fight conditions and diseases far more effectively. When people are grieving, their T-cells and the natural killer cells in the body, both of which are important for defending the immune system, function far less effectively. By being supported and comforted by friends and family members, this aspect of the immune system may well be bolstered. However, people who are depressed and anxious may suffer the opposite effect.    

In a study involving 4825 healthy individuals, 146 of them were depressed. In those who had been depressed for a minimum of six years, the chances of developing cancer were far higher. This is thought to be because of the fact that this condition kills of the natural ‘killer’ cells, so the body doesn’t fight off diseases. This isn’t to say that depression can cause cancer, but it does signify that depression and related issues such as anxiety can lower one’s immunity to the disease. This makes it not only a risk for cancer, but also other diseases. There are however other theories that suggest that cancer may cause depression, with a study discovering that in 43 liver tumour patients there was a direct link between clinical depression and an immune modulator. The chemical which is released when our immune system fights cancer is the same substance that may trigger depression biologically. Although this may seem like bad news, it is actually the opposite. It provides researchers with new tools for treating cancer - it also highlights the link between the mind and other diseases. Taking the time to meditate and de-stress is important in order to strengthen the immune system, so that we can better fight off illnesses.

Leading a stress-free lifestyle as best you can is one of the best ways to fight off anxiety and depression. This means doing plenty of exercise, which can boost your mood and release endorphins to keep you happy, as well as eating a balanced diet that’s rich in brain-healthy foods. Oily fish, plenty of fruit and vegetables, and omega-rich nuts and seeds will ensure that you’re happy through your food. Take time to meditate and relax at least a few times a week, so that you don’t overload your mind with worries and stress - this can be anything from some alone time each week to spending time with friends and loved ones. Lowering your stress levels and ensuring you lead a healthy lifestyle will not only help to reduce the risk of depression but it will also stave off other health concerns such as heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. If you think you’re at risk of developing depression, or think you’re displaying signs of cancer, speak to your GP as soon as possible for advice on the situation.