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Stress-How Aromatherapy can combat its Effect

Unfortunately, in today’s fast paced, highly technical world … stress, worry and anxiety are facts of life and we have become accustomed to feeling stressed 24/7!  We are a ‘Stressed-out Nation’ and are dealing with our stress in unhealthy ways!

More than half of working adults are NOW concerned with the amount of stress in their lives; moreover, people experiencing stress are more likely to report hypertension, anxiety, depression or obesity.

We are reacting to both work and family stress by engaging in unhealthy behaviors;  comfort eating, making poor diet choices, become very inactive, smoking, excessive drinking (alcohol) and drugs (both prescription and illegal).

Women seem to suffer from stress more often than men; with 73% of women identifying themselves as the primary decision-maker in the household and the caregivers for their children, partner and in some cases parent or parents, each aspect of care brings stress.  Unfortunately, too often women do not take the necessary steps to alleviate that stress, and their own physical health suffers.

The bad news is; that your stress can easily turn into distress or chronic tension when stressors are unrelieved and ongoing. Unrelieved chronic stress can lead to a host of undesirable effects, such as;

  • severe irritability and impatience
  • sleep disturbances or insomnia
  • mood swings
  • crying
  • inability to focus
  • serious fatigue
  • weight gain
  • excessive worrying
  • aches  and pains
  • a primary culprit in many diseases

It also takes a physical toll, and can weaken your immune system, cause damage to memory cells, as well as increase risk of headaches including migraines, digestive disorders, high blood pressure and chronic anxiety, basically, ‘control your life’!   Studies show that the cumulative effects of stress can have serious long-term consequences.  In fact, 70% of disease is caused by stress in both the body and mind!

The good news is; just as the name implies, aromatherapy is indeed a therapy that uses aroma for healing and a sense of well being.  Aromatherapy, offers you many ways to deal with the stresses you may be experiencing.

Have you ever noticed how the effects of aromas on your mind and emotions can make you feel better about yourself and situation? Aromas can improve your mood, reduce stress, give you more energy, help you relax and even help you to fall asleep more easily.

Imagine yourself walking along a country road and you smell the trees, the fragrant bushes and flowers in bloom.  You breathe in deeply to really enjoy and savor the aroma of the country … and suddenly you feel your anxiety melt away.  The truth is; that scents can transport you, take you away from your daily stresses.

Aromatherapy — dates back more than 5000 years and is one of the most readily available forms of healing therapy.  You already practice the art of aromatherapy and just don’t realize it, for example; when we walk past a bakery, we tend to stop and take a deep breathe in and smell that freshly baked bread, pies or other goodies…   Or when you visit a gift shop and you try to isolate the fabulous smells that confront you when you first walk through the door.

Now, if you’re like most people, you may often take fragrances for granted; that’s because aroma is all around us everyday and every where we go. Aromas may be common place, but you’ll have to agree; they greatly enhance life…

Finding a few minutes to relax and re-energize on a daily basis is a necessity these days ~ no longer a luxury… but how many people actually take the time?  And of course, a visit to ‘The Spa’ can be an expensive endeavor, one that happens infrequently, if at all…

Aromatherapy HomeSpa treatments could be the answer you’re looking for…   With various at HomeSpa treatments using aromatherapy-based products and accessories you can virtually create your own HomeSpa whenever you feel the need.   In other words  —  “make every day … a day at the spa!”

Shoes and Back Pain

Did you know that wearing inappropriate shoes could cause the back to feel stressed? Shoes are cushions, foundations, and levers that we use to walk, stand, run, job, and so on. If one wears correctly, fitted shoes it will promote a healthy posture. On the other hand, if one wears unsuitable fitting shoes, look out feet and back.

The feet are the number one target the starts normal back pain. In short, the first thing that hits the ground when you start to stand or walk is the ball of your foot, i.e. the heel. Once the heel hits the surface, the remaining sections of the foot start to follow, which promotes weight and stress throughout areas of the body. Feet problems alone can lead to back pain. Poor posture causes back pain, yet the condition is often characterized by inappropriate actions we take.

Fact: Wearing high-heels will slowly pull the weight of the entire body forward, thus corrupting the posture and arches of the back. Hold your weapons down women, because in time you will feel pain. High-heels are the leading cause of “Spondylolisthesis. In short, terms, spondylolisthesis is a condition that is caused from slipping frontward on the lower back. (Lumbar)

The toes are designed to provide us support, yet when a person wears high-heels it causes the toes to affect the joints, since the toes will narrow, causing weight or pressure to the spine. Now, high-heels are sexy to both men and women, yet these heels are going to cost you a fortune down the road. You can look good in supported shoes that fit comfortably without damaging your ligaments, tendons, nerves, muscles, and so on.

Sorry to pop your bubbles boys and girls, but shoes that support our spine can reduce the odds of experiencing back pain.

How to choose shoes:

Orthotic shoes are recommended. Orthotic shoes will support the feet and weight-bearing joints and muscles. Orthotic shoes have proven to reduce dysfunctions that emerge from the neurological system. In addition, the supportive shoes have proven to reduce injuries and pain emerging from abnormal conditions.

If you are diagnosed with posture conditions, such as osteoporosis, or gait, you can benefit from Orthotic shoes.

Fact: Did you know that you could wear two or more insoles. Fitting the insoles into your shoes prior to flipping them over, and achieve balance, which promotes a healthy spine?

Shoes make a difference to our spine, since the feet alone when abnormal can lead to back pain. If you are not wearing, supportive shoes that provide you a comfortable fit, you may want to invest in Orthotic shoes to relieve your back pain.

In addition to shoes, you can perform stretch workouts, and practicing leaning, sitting and lifting strategies to correct your actions and reduce back pain.

Fact: If the spine is misaligned, it can lead to back pain.

Duh, you knew that. Anyway, we misalign the spine when lifting incorrectly, wearing unsuitable shoes, and leaning, or sitting in position, incorrectly. You can correct the problems by getting the ball and chain in motion, and learning about your condition, followed by taking action to relieve your pain.

Fact: Proper lifting starts at the thighs and buttocks. Millions of people lift while relying on the back to hold the weight. Back pain occurs.

When lifting heavy objects, you want to avoid lifting at a distance. At best, you want to avoid bending the knees and expending the trunk perpendicularly.

Prepare to take out your briefcase. Surely, you have around 20 pounds of weight inside the container. Otherwise, consider an object that weighs 20-pounds, unless you have been restricted to lifting.

What you are about to do is lift more than 20-pounds. By the time you get in position and use your muscles, you will have lifted up to 200 pounds. When you lift the briefcase, or another object move close to the subject. Move the trunk or torso in position by placing it over your feet. Remain in position until you have completed your lift.

Ligaments and Tendons Causing Back Pain

Once the fibers, nerves, and muscles are affected, it causes direct actions to the tendons and ligaments. Tendons are tough bands that connect to muscles and bones, which these inelastic cords or bands of tough white fibers connect to tissues that attach to the muscles and to the bones as well as other areas of the body. Sinew or tendons join with ligaments, which the two function from collagen. Tendons connect to the muscles, which initiates movement, or contractions that enforce bone movement. In some areas the tendons will connect to the muscles and then to the bones. In this area, tendons will exert a pulling force that causes the bones to respond, by moving. The bones move, yet the tendons will hold the bones securely in position. Tendons provide a measure of stability. At the back, the tendons provide slight exertion, which promotes bending. Tendons will elongate so that you can bend forward, which promotes the action of muscles known as “eccentric contraction.” Once eccentric contractions start, the muscles and tendons join to allow you to continue what you were doing at the start of bending forward. This promotes what doctors call “Isometric contractions.” Sometimes tendons fail, as we grow older to work with the muscles, which in turn causes nerve compression, breakage, or conflict etc, which causes back pain. Now, if the nerve compression, or tendons fail and they rub alongside the soft pocket that is amid the bone, which overlaps and protect other bones, we have problems. (Bursa) Since the tension applied effects the muscles, and it is too weighty for the muscle nerves to withstand, thus the tendons use its sensory nerves to slow down, or hold back the muscles from moving.

Ligaments are tough tissues that connect to various body parts, which these sheets and/or bands of strong fibrous tissues connect bone to the bone and to the cartilages at the joint and /or supporting organs, such as muscles.

Ligaments keep the distance at bay between the bones. Like tendons, you do not want to tear or strain these connective elements, since it can cause inflammatory. In short, we need to balance tendons and ligaments to avoid back pain that comes from injuries.

Tendons make up the skeletal anatomy in some areas and consist of “206 bones,” which are flat, short, long, and sometimes asymmetrical. These tendons combine with bones store narrow (RBC) red blood cells, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Since experts will recommend Maalox, which has bases of magnesium it can be speculated that this has something to do with pain as well.

Tendons support the muscles, movement, and protect various internal organs. In addition, tendons join with the skeletal muscles, and finally the ligaments. The skeletal muscles support the bodies movement and posture, which these muscles tighten and shorten movement. (Contracting) The skeletal muscles attach to the bones through the tendons and starts muscle contraction from stimulus of fibers from the muscles and via the motor unit or neurons.

Contractions promote energy from ATP (adenosine Triphosphate) and hydrolysis. The energy derives from these two creations and extends to ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate) and on to phosphate. Once the chemicals and/or substances produce, it moves to retain selective contractions to afford tone of the muscles. In short, balance is achieved, which moves to relax the muscles by breaking down acetylcholine via cholinesterase.

We are now reaching the ligaments. Once we reach the ligament phase, it starts to encircle the joints and adds stability and strength. Now it connects to the tendons, which connect the muscles to the bones. Joints are connected to these elements of the skeletal muscles, which when ROM is interrupted, back pain occurs.

Physical Therapy for Treating Back Pain

Most doctors who work with patients in treating back pain also actively work with physical therapists. Physical therapists are skilled in helping patients recover from back pain and get back to performing everyday physical activities.

Physical therapists often spend time teaching their patients exercises which help them improve and maintain the health of their spines. There are a variety of popular exercise programs which have been designed to reduce the amount of back pain patients experience.

By using physical therapy, you will learn postures and positions which will help lessen the amount of pain you feel in your back. There is no one approach that will work for everyone. Your physical therapist will design a exercise program which is tailored to your individual needs. There are many different types of exercises available, and you will want to use the exercises which are the most comfortable to you.

Some exercises focus on adding strength to the muscles which assist in arching the spine and back. Patients who have back pain which is a result of ligament tears or other problems with their discs can have the pressure reduced by arching their backs.

Patients may perform other techniques such as lying prone, in which they lay on their stomachs with their arms to their sides for about ten to fifteen minutes. A variation of this technique may be lying prone on pillows in order to support your back. Your physical therapist may also want you to perform press ups, standing extensions, or other techniques.

To perform a standing extension, place your hands on the smaller part of your back while standing. Lean backward and hold this position for twenty seconds before repeating the exercise. To perform a prone press up, you want to lay down on your stomach and place the palms of your hands near your shoulders. Now slowly push your shoulders up, keeping your hips down. Lower yourself down slowly, and repeat.

While physical therapists can teach you a variety of methods to reduce your back pain, it is up to you to apply them. The most important factor in using a physical therapist is making sure you do the exercises they teach you. Consistently sticking to an exercise program in order to improve the health of the spine and back is difficult for many people, but the rewards are worth it. Taking the advice of your physical therapist is critical in you reducing your back pain.

All About Carbohydrates

Normally carbohydrates are found in all foods except meat products. Recently, some diets have recommended stripping out all carbohydrates from what you eat. Many companies have bought into this and among other things, have introduced low-carb breads. Limiting bad carbohydrates such as sugar from your diet is a positive step but going further and refusing to eat fruits and whole grains can potentially deprive you of cancer fighting foods.

Carbohydrates can be broken down into two main categories; simple and complex. Sodas, candy and even fruits contain simple sugars while whole grains, fruits and cereals contain complex carbs. The main difference between the two groups are their chemical structures. Simple sugars are made up of a few sugar molecules while complex carbs are made up of hundreds and even thousands of these molecules put together. In your body, the end product of both is glucose.

Another difference between the two is the time needed to digest. If you consume 100 calories of simple sugars, your body can digest it a lot faster than if you eat the same number of calories that are made of complex carbs. This is because simple sugars are closer to the end product than complex carbs which need more time to digest. Therefore, if you take the meal of simple sugars, you will be hungrier sooner than if you ate the meal made of complex carbs. Making a habit of drinking soda and eating candy can add up to a lot of calories at the end of the day.

Studies have shown that simple sugars contribute to obesity and diabetes, especially in children. It has also been shown that eating the good carbs can shield you from many types of cancers. So next time you pick up the magazine about the newest low carb claim, throw it away and grab an apple.

The Benefits of Massage Therapy

It may only have exploded in recent years but the practice of massage therapy dates back to the time of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. And that is about 4000 years ago. In a clear reference to massaging, Hippocrates wrote in one of his medical notes that physicians must know the practice of ‘rubbing.’

Now, massage therapy cannot just be called as ‘rubbing.’ With most of the young Hollywood getting a massage or two every week, it has become the toast of the social set. Its popularity can be seen with the way a lot of massage therapy clinics have opened shops in the last few years with many more planning to in the next couple of months. Currently there are about 100,000 massage therapists in the country and the numbers are increasing two-fold.

Massage therapy in the scientific terms is the process of putting pressure on muscular structure and soft tissues in the body for relaxation. Pressure in this instance can mean a lot of things, from holding and pressing to kneading and rocking. Massages are primarily done with the hands although some massage therapists also use other parts of their bodies like the forearms, elbows and the feet.

Its popularity is actually not surprising especially with this stressful world. Many people are turning to massage therapy for relaxation and regeneration. And unlike other de-stressors, massage therapy is scientifically based and its advantages are all research proven. Besides its physical benefits, it also known to improve the overall wellbeing of the mind and the spirit.

Below are some of the benefits that massage therapy gives us.

  1. Relaxation

This is the number one reason why people coming back to the clinics. After a week of stress in the office or at home, people especially women, just want to relax. Massages are great for the skin as it stimulates the release of toxins and hormones. In fact, some studies have even shown massages as being able to lower the possibility of wrinkles production.

  1. Relieves pain

Another benefit of massage therapy is the fact that it can loosen those tight muscles especially if you frequently have cramps on your legs. Going to the clinics can also relieve you of your tired and aching muscles. This is especially useful with people who are into sports or those who live the active lifestyle.

  1. Makes you a better athlete

People who are into sports can also benefit much from massage therapy. If you feel that your muscles have become tight and rickety, massages can improve on your flexibility and also increase your range of motion. If you get massages all the time, you will notice that you can now do movements that were painful to do before. Massages also improve the body’s resistance. It lowers the blood pressure, heart rate and even helps in recoveries from injuries and sprains. It also strengthens the immune system.

  1. Improve mental faculties

Massages are also great ways to improve your mental performance. It can actually reduce mental stress, allowing you to work better and think clearer. It is also known to relieve headaches. Massage therapy also allows you to concentrate better on the task at hand. After a massage, you will basically have a clean slate in your mind that is equivalent to the restful therapy that sleep gives.

Gym Exercises and Shoulder Pain

It’s funny how you don’t notice a certain part of your body until it starts giving you problems. Imagine this, you use your arms every day and connected to your arm is your shoulder which mostly moves with your arm.

Now all of a sudden somewhere along the line you hurt your shoulder. You’re not exactly sure when or why, but something is different. A nagging pain is nibbling on your nerves and you can barely pick up your fork to take a bite of your supper.

Sounds familiar?

We only notice that we can’t be without the functionality of a certain part of our body as soon as that part of our body starts acting up.

When it comes to the subject of shoulder problems, many a person will tell you about the pain and suffering that their shoulder problem caused them. According to research it seems that shoulder problems are common in the general population, with up to 47% of adults complaining about their shoulder/s.

Before going for surgery, many will go to physical therapists to help them sort out the problem. Effective methods used to help alleviate shoulder pain include anti-inflammatory medications or pain medications, cortisone injections are also popular and of course physical therapy.

One of the very popular treatments for shoulder pain is therapeutic exercise. In contrast to this, shoulder pain can actually be caused when hurting oneself while doing gym exercises.

A relatively normal activity for many people, which in actual fact has the ability to be responsible for your shoulder problems or aggravate an already existing shoulder problem.

Thus, certain exercises are beneficial to the shoulder, but there are others which may place the shoulder at risk for injuries and pain.

Following are four gym exercises that you should watch out for- they might just be the cause for your shoulder problems:

  1. Bench press: There may be an association between bench press and arthritis of the shoulder due to the fact that the shoulder is loaded with compression. The shoulder is strictly speaking a hanging joint.  Such heavy loading may cause early wear of the cartilage.
  2. Acromio-clavicular (AC) joint: AC joint (the joint between the collar bone and the shoulder bone on top of the shoulder) is also referred to as weight lifters shoulder. Lifting heavy weights may lead to wear of this joint but the incident is so low that one probably should not be too concerned about this.
  3. Overhead exercises like military press: Military press loads the rotator cuff in a disadvantageous position and can lead to rotator cuff injuries. There are other exercises with equal benefits and less risk e.g. lateral raises, horizontal row, etc.
  4. Contagious exercises: One of the top exercises is seated rowing. When the weight is pulled back it also squeezes the shoulder blades together – this does not only exercise the rotator cuff muscles but also the stabilizers of the shoulder blades.

As mentioned above, contrasting to these four exercises, there are therapeutic exercises that will help treat your shoulder problems. Therapeutic exercises usually consist out of motion, strengthening and conditioning exercises.

Isn’t it ironic how the same thing, exercise, can either heal or harm you? So next time you go to the gym, be sure to watch out for potentially dangerous exercises.

A Very Effective Way of Avoiding and Relieving Neck Pain

Are you one of the millions Americans who suffer from neck pain? If not, it’s very probable that you know someone who does. Indeed, neck pain is a very widespread problem because the head and neck area is very susceptible to several stresses. Besides, neck pain can be produced by muscle strains, osteoarthritis, herniated intervertebral discs. In fact, something as trivial as a bad position can produce an unhealthy alignment of the neck and spine; consequently, neck pain will take place. Thus, what measures can you take to avoid or relieve neck pain?

One of the most common causes of neck pain is a bad posture while sleeping. Well, most people have incorrect posture habits not only when they sleep but also during the day without noticing. Even when you perform a task that you may judge harmless (like reading in bed without a posture pillow) can eventually produce to neck pain or even more serious issues.

A basic suggestion is to avoid sitting in the same position for a prolonged periods of time. Unfortunately, most of us have to because of myriad reasons. We have to not curve or bend the neck forward during long periods, as the neck and back should have enough support to achieve a better posture.

As you can see, the sleep positions you take while you rest in the night are more important than you believe because they are the most frequent cause of neck troubles. Why this happens? Because most of us use regular pillows, which make you sleep with your neck at a too high or too low angle and does not maintain your spine straight; consequently, it cause neck pain, back pain, discomfort and exhaustion. This drooping sleep surface typically provokes an unhealthy spine alignment, thus the muscles of the back will attempt to balance by tensing up trying to restore a more natural posture of the spine. However, this muscle tension produces the morning stress and the neck and the back pains.

Therefore, the best way to avoid and relieve neck pain is to maintain a correct posture. That is reason why a prescribed pillow is so beneficial, because this neck pillow easily adjusts to the form of your neck and brings you correct spine alignment. Typically, these pillow are made with memory foam technology, which effectively redistributes the weight of your head, neck and body, encouraging better circulation and eliminating neck and spinal pressure.

Besides, it is not a problem if you prefer side sleeping or back sleeping because these memory foam pillows let you sleep comfortably in any position you may sleep and help you wake up energized the next morning.

An orthopedic neck support pillow is necessary to have a relaxing night’s sleep without neck pain and other problems. With its hypoallergenic urethane memory foam that provides full support to the neck and head’s contours, these pillows bring the most restorative sleeping experience alleviating strain on the neck and back.

Program Your Weight Loss in as Easy as a Week

The idea of the program is to be able for you to develop a consistent approach to weight loss as well as a healthy endurance when exercising.  The program’s objective is to get rid of the excesses in your body, the excess fat.  Not the healthy and lean muscle tissues and body fluids.

The program first requires your focus and dedication, so therefore you need to be prepared in both mind and – of course – body.  It is highly advised that you first visit your doctor for a check-up before embarking on any weight loss program.

It is important that when starting on any weight loss program, one should be positive enough to work for the results.  Some people get impatient easily but long term effects are assured as long as one sticks to the weight loss plan at hand.

Stretch, stretch and stretch some more.  Before actually doing those exercises and working out those muscles, a little stretching is needed in order to avoid any injury or soreness in your body.

It is also not advisable for anyone to try too hard.  Everything should be done in moderation.  Find the level of exercise and training that suits you.  It should be enough for you to be comfortable in but not too convenient that it will not be much of a challenge.

The first week

The first day of the program involves a long and steady walk in a little over twenty minutes.  After the walk, follow it up with a good stretch.  This takes so little of your time for the first day.  In less than an hour you have taken that first step to a weight loss program that could work to your advantage.

By the second day, it is good to focus on an upper body workout.  This maintains your strength to be able to go through the whole program for the week.  On the third day, a brisk walk or jog for ten minutes is in order.  For beginners, a lower body workout should be done in the evening.

In the fourth day, a good rest is in order, as well as a good stretch.  This lag time should be used wisely though to sort out any negatives in your mindset.  The fifth day starts with a good ten-minute walk.  Exercise the lower body in four sessions of workouts, follow this up with another ten-minute walk, and another four sessions of lower body workout.

The sixth day should be spent on a low impact exercise such as swimming.  To avoid boredom, do not be afraid to try something new.  The last day of the week is a time to solicit the support of the people you care about.  Spend time with them or get them to be with you in your long walk.  Again, follow up your walk with a light upper body workout.

This is just the beginning though.  If by this first week you are able to stick to the program, you have a great chance to further boost your weight loss and stay with the plan until you achieve your desired result.  Try as much as possible to be unlike the people who give up easily just because they could not see the result they want at the time they want – like this moment, today, now!   Patience is a virtue.  The same way it took your body time to gain all that weight, think about it as the time your body will have to exert just to get rid of it.

 

Some Double Tips for Headache Relief

A headache, when it strikes, is not very pleasant to contend with. It may strike you on a daily basis when you get up or it might be sudden and/or severe. For example, imagine a situation where you have taken your kid outside with plans of a full-fledged picnic just for the two of you. The plan, along with the overjoyed child, may be spoilt because your headache strikes just as you are ready to leave.

There can be innumerable such situations in which headache can disrupt your daily life. The best solution in this condition would be to avoid it in the first place. It can be done by following a few simple steps:

Maintaining a headache diary:

Maintain a headache diary and see what triggers your headache. In some people, noise might be the causative factor while in others it may be an excess of caffeine. So observe what triggers your headache and then avoid that.

Avoiding tobacco or any kind of smoke:

Avoid tobacco or anything to do with it. Smoking is not only injurious to health but it may trigger very bad headaches in those susceptible to smoke.

Taking proper meals:

Have your proper meals at regular intervals of time. Do not skip meals.

Sleeping right:

Go to bed at a proper time each night and try to secure at least eight hours of sleep. However, don’t overdo it as oversleeping is also bad. It is sometimes oversleeping, which may lead to a headache.

Avoiding the sun:

Too much of sun can also give you a headache. So try to avoid going out under a very harsh sun.

Keeping hydrated at all times:

Keep yourself hydrated at all times by having plenty of water and fluids, especially when you are under the sun. Dehydration can also lead to a very bad headache.

Taking alcohol in moderation:

Alcohol causes headaches in several people. So, try to avoid alcohol in the first place.

Avoiding too tight hairstyles:

Women, beware!! Do not wear your hair too tightly in ponytails as that may lead to a tension-type headache.

Keeping your feet warm:

Keep your feet warm, especially during the winters. You can do this by keeping your feet covered. There is no harm in even wearing your socks to bed.

Applying hot and cold packs:

You can use heat and cold to your advantage. With some people, it is the application of a cold pack which gives them relief whereas with others, hot showers and massages. See what works for you and use it.

Letting in enough natural air:

The excess of artificial lighting can trigger a headache in susceptible individuals. See if you are letting in enough natural air and sunshine. Do not subject yourself to stuffy atmospheres and conditions.

Going for regular checkups:

Be under the regular supervision of a doctor and avoid taking medicines on your own. A regular checkup will help you identify a problem at its onset and you could then arrest it effectively.

Leading a healthy lifestyle:

Try to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Avoiding Stress:

Although stress is a part and parcel of every day modern living, do try to minimize it.

These steps would help you arrest your headaches even before they begin. So follow these steps and take good care of yourself.

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