Monday, April 18, 2011

Universal Life Insurance

Before purchasing a Universal Life insurance policy, be sure you know exactly what you are buying into. Here  is a brief description. Universal Life allows you to select a face amount based on your individual circumstances. Adjustments to the face amount may be requested by you to reflect changes in need. This approach is a measure of actual future earnings and services of a person to provide proper amount of coverage as determined by the value of the individual.  Example, if you make $24,000 per year you cannot take out a $500,000 policy.

Universal Life has divided  the 2 elements of a Whole Life policy, cash value and life insurance. Whole life is a permanent need for protection and builds cash while the face amount decreases. The cash value portion of Universal Life earns interest at the current  rate and the death benefit is in the form of a 1 year renewable term policy. Universal Life offers a flexible premium payment schedule vs Whole Life products.
Premium received by you is placed in the cash value account and interest is credited. Interest is a guaranteed minimum rate. But the cash value is never guaranteed. Reason, you may borrow from the cash value. Additionally, the cash value portion may never be disproportionately larger than the term insurance portion.

Universal Life is usually purchased to provide flexibility not found with Whole Life policies. It adjusts to interest rate changes and allows the owner to make contributions that will increase the cash value. You have a choice of death benefit options. You can choose a higher death benefit by paying the face amount plus the cash value or choose a level death benefit allowing cash value to build. Lastly, you will receive an annual detailed financial statement.

There are many choices of life insurance policies. Don't hesitate to ask questions to determine which policy type will best suit your needs. Make sure the premium schedule is pocket friendly to you. The idea is to have protection for the remainder of your life and to buy while young and  healthy. This will help keep premium affordable.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes deterioration of the joint cartilage and formation of reactive new bone at the margins of the joint. This chronic degeneration of cartilage breakdown mostly affects fingers, knees and hips. Herberden and Bouchard's nodes are typically seen in the distal and proximal finger joints. Initially, the nodes may be red, swollen and painful. Eventually, they become painless but are associated with limited joint mobility. The earliest symptoms occurs in middle age and progresses with advancing age. Depending on the site and severity of joint involvement, disability can range from minor limitation to near immobility.

Signs and Symptoms:
>Contractures: loss of muscle function at the joint
>Deep, aching joint pain
>Gait abnormalities: when hips or knees are affected
>Joint instability, swelling, tender and warm
>Limited and painful joint movement
>Predisposing event such as traumatic injury
>Joint stiffness

What you can do to treat and slow progression of osteoarthritis.
You must perform as much self-care as your limitations will allow. Not moving the joints around will quickly lead to contractures. This is irreversible. Unless you have surgery. You must identify techniques which allow you to perform as much activities as you can in addition to promoting adequate rest. Bathe the affected hand in a warm to hot soak. This will stimulate increased blood flow to the hand. Massages and exercise are a great way to reduce muscle spasms and atrophy to the joints.

If you suffer from knee or hip arthritis and are overweight, weight reduction needs to be at the top of your list. Your knees and hips take all the pounding of walking. Additionally, your knees and hips take the full force applied while standing. Simply put, if you don't lose the weight, any treatment plan your on will not be successful and your discomfort levels will continue. Take prescribed medication as directed by your physician. Usual medicinal treatment are anti-inflammatories. O-T-C  medication such as Cosamin DS will aid in decreasing joint pain and inflammation. As always, please discuss with your physician before adding any O-T-C medication to your daily regimen.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tension Headaches

9 out of 10 people suffer from headaches. Some occasional, frequent, dull, throbbing and some debilitating with nausea. What can be done?
Research shows that spinal manipulation may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. Migraines will be discussed separately.
According to researches at a  Duke University practice based in North Carolina, found that spinal manipulation resulted in immediate improvement for tension headaches and had significantly fewer side effects and longer lasting relief verses the common prescribed medication.

The majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck. Americans engage in more sedentary activities and more hours are spent in once fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, shoulders and back causing a headache. Hence, tension headache.
If you do spend alot of time sitting down or fixed in position for long periods of time, take a break and stretch those muscles. The stretches should take your head and neck through a complete range of motion while increasing blood supply to those areas. Remember to deep breath and slowly exhale while exercising.

Increase fluid intake. Just plain 'ole water will do and is the best for you. Sugary drinks may lead to headaches, decreased blood flow to muscle tensed areas and may lead to an overall sluggish feeling. Low impact exercise and or isometric exercise will aid in muscle relief and increased blood flow. Decreasing the amount of stress in your life will lead to more relaxed muscles.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN