Blog Archive - April 2012
April 24, 2012
If you're working your way down you spring cleaning activity list, then your vacuum cleaner is probably getting a good work out. Although it is a major housecleaning tool, it is also a reservoir of dirt, bacteria and fungi. Your vacuum cleaner will also require your attention and cleaning. (the same concept as the carpenter needing to sharpen the saw) You must regularly clean the filters and brushes to prevent the build up of dirt which can damage the vacuum or shorten its lifespan and cost you money. Here are a few quick maintenance tips that'll help keep your vacuum cleaner in top shape.
The dirt container. Whether your machine uses vacuum bags or not, the container can still be exposed to dust and grime, even if you discard its contents regularly. Simply remove the bag (if you have one), detach the container, and wash it with a mild dish detergent. Then, rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing.
The filter. Most filters should be replaced every six to 12 months. Depending on the model, you may be able to detach the filter, brush off debris with an old toothbrush into the trash, and wash off any residue over the sink. Then, let the filter dry completely before snapping back in. But before you clean the filter, check the owner's manual for instructions. Some brands even upload manuals online, like Dirt Devil, iRobot and Bissell.
The brushes. Tangled hairs often get into the rotating mechanical brushes, which will slow down their movement and even ruin the motor. Turn the vacuum over and detach the brushes if possible. Use an old comb to remove any particles, and cut through hairs with a pair of scissors.
The attachments. Detach extra heads and extension tubes and remove any large particles or debris trapped inside. Next, with a mixture of warm water and dish soap, wipe down the attachments with a damp cloth.
One more tip to preserve your vacuum cleaner: attach a strong flexible magnet to the front of your machine close to the floor. This will attract metal objects like pins and paper clips which can tear up your belt or motor if they get sucked up during vacuuming. You may have to stop and clean off the magnet periodically but that is certainly better than changing belts or hauling it into the repair shop to deal with the problem.
April 22, 2012
It is Earth Day! I want to take this opportunity to recognize the millions of nanobugs that inhabit the soil and promote decay and enrichment of the soil. I think most humans forget the positive contribution that microbes make to the cycles of life outdoors. I hope you can get your hands in the soil today and participate in tending the Earth. (Be sure to wash those hands when you are finished.) If you don’t want to be quite that “earthy” today, then just spend some time in the yard, the garden or a park - or gaze out your window if it is raining. Expand your appreciation of the beautiful blooming trees and flowers to include the often-forgotten microbes that support Mother Earth and her vegetation. Go, nanobugs!
April 17, 2012
Multiple studies, although often small, have linked massage to better functioning of the immune system. In one 2010 study, researchers at Cedars-Sinai's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences found that healthy adults who undergo massage experienced measureable positive changes in their body's immune and endocrine response.
In the study, 29 subjects received 45 minutes of Swedish massage and 24 received 45 minutes of light touch massage. Each participant underwent informed consent, a physical and mental evaluation and was deemed to be physically healthy and free of any mental disorder. Massage therapists were trained in how to deliver both Swedish and light touch massage using specific and identical protocols. Prior to the massage, blood samples were taken form the study participants through intravenous catheters. Then participants were asked to rest quietly for 30 minutes. Following the rest period, blood samples were collected from each person five minutes and one minute before the massage began. At the end of the 45-minute massage session, blood samples were collected at one, five, 10, 15, 30, and 60 minutes after the massage.
The results: 1-People in the Swedish massage group experienced significant changes in lymphocytes counts and percentages. (Lymphocytes are white blood cells that play a large role in defending the body from infection and disease.) 2-Swedish massage caused a large decrease in Arginine Vasopressin (AVP)- a hormone believed to play a role in aggressive behavior and linked to helping cause increases in the stress hormone, cortisol. 3-Swedish massage caused a decrease in levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
"This research indicates that massage doesn't only feel good, it also may be good for you," said Dr. Mark Rapaport, MD, the principal investigator of the study. "More research is ahead of us but it appears that a single massage may deliver a measurable benefit."
Read the entire report: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908094809.htm