Naturopathic Medicine

naturopathicLiving things have an innate ability to heal themselves. Our vital force promotes self-repair, self-cleansing, and self-healing. This process can be achieved by focusing on the hormonal, immune, nervous, and elimination or detoxification systems of the body. Restored health is a probability once these systems are in balance.

Naturopathic medicine is a complete alternative care system that uses a wide range of approaches such as nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, herbs, manipulation of the body and stress reduction. (more…)

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

alternativeAlternative medical systems are built upon complete systems of theory and practice. These systems have evolved apart from and earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the United States. Examples of alternative medical systems that have developed in Western cultures include homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine. These systems have developed in non-Western cultures include traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.

Mind-body medicine uses a variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms. (more…)

Do You Have a Fever?

feverOnce upon a time taking someone’s temperature was a subjective skill dating back to Hippocrates. Doctors learned early to take note of the warning signs of a raised body temperature. An actual method of measuring temperature was not developed until the 16th century.

In 1593 Galileo made his historic thermoscope from a glass tube. It functioned as an unsealed thermometer. Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit invented the first modern thermometer, the mercury thermometer with a standardized scale, in 1714. He also introduced the standard temperature scale that bears his name-Fahrenheit Scale- that is still used to record changes in temperature in an accurate fashion.

In 1612 Italian inventor Santorio invented the first crude clinical thermometer. It was bulky, rarely accurate and took too long to give a reading. Taking a patient’s temperatures was a new course of action for doctors and the first few to do it were Hermann Boerhaave (1668-1738), Gerard L.B. Van Swieten (1700-1772) founder of the Viennese School of Medicine and Anton De Haen (1704-1776). They discovered that a patient’s temperature correlated to the progress of disease. They were forward thinkers with few followers.

Nearly a hundred years past when English physician Sir Thomas Allbutt invented the first practical medical thermometer used for taking a person’s temperature in 1867. It was portable, six inches in length and able to record a patient’s temperature in five minutes. What a major discovery! It revolutionized how people were able to record temperatures. All patients had to do was open their mouth, lift up their tongue and wait.

For decades that method of taking temperatures was improved upon and more than a 100 years later David Phillips invented the infrared ear thermometer in 1984. It was a safer, more reliable reading of the body’s temperature.

Technology continues to advance and a great example of the modernity of infrared thermometers is the Braun ThermoScan ear thermometer. It’s the perfect thermometer for parents with fussy children. The ThermoScan measures the infrared heat generated by the eardrum and surrounding tissue, giving an accurate temperature in just a few seconds. Fast measurement time coupled with a small, soft, flexible tip makes the ThermoScan as gentle as can be. It’s so gentle and fast, you can take your baby’s temperature while they are sleeping, without worrying about an unscheduled wake-up. The Braun Thermoscan is the best ear thermometer on the market and at a very reasonable price for this technology.

The best way to ensure the accuracy of every temperature reading is to use a new clean lens filter for each measurement. Lens filters protect the tip from scratches, as well as from impurities such as earwax, which might adversely affect the accuracy. A new lens filter also virtually eliminates the risk of spreading germs from one person to the next.

For ease of use, a lens filter detector makes sure that a lens filter always is in place, and a lens filter ejector makes removing used lens filters as easy as can be.

We’ve come a long way from the 20 minute wait for a thermometer reading. Ain’t technology great! When you need a fast and accurate temperature reading, the Braun Thermoscan is your solution.

Improved Health with Heat Therapy and New Innovation

We all know how relaxing a hot bath or steamy shower can be when we have had a long day at work. Heat therapy can actually assist the healing process of many injuries. The trick to getting the most benefit from heat therapy is to be able to access it when you need it. Tankless water heaters have been used in Europe and Asia for decades but are only just becoming popular in many other parts of the world. The benefit of a tankless water heater is that it provides unlimited, instant hot water. You can imagine how this can benefit those who have chronic health issues. Imagine being able to allow yourself a healing hydro-therapy bath anytime of the day or night without worrying if others in the household will need hot water too.

A tankless water heater not only allows for unlimited hot water it is a great investment for your home. With the on-demand heaters becoming more popular there are many on the market to choose from. This website does a great job of recommending different tankless units based on your particular needs. In fact, if you are having any problems with your current hot water heater leaking you may want to investigate if a tankless unit could be a benefit for your family. The tankless units are extremely energy efficient, take up much less space, last almost twice as long, and will begin saving you money almost immediately. If you have chronic pain issues you might want to invest in one of these not just for the gain in your home’s value but also for the health benefits you will receive from the instant, endless hot water you will receive from the unit.

Heat therapy is a great benefit to those suffering from chronic injury such as chronic back pain or damaged tissues. Heat dilates blood vessels of muscles which increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to those muscles which in turn promotes healing of the tissues. Heat also stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin which in turn decreases the transmission of pain signals which will offer some relief and comfort from those suffering with chronic pain issues.

Another benefit of heat therapy is that it helps soft tissue, connective tissue and muscles relax and stretch. This decreases stiffness, which helps with general comfort, and promotes flexibility. Here is an article that talks specifically about heat and the relief of low back pain.

While you could always use a heating pad or heated adhesive pad a benefit of hydro heat therapy is that you can combine aromatherapy or audio therapy along with it. This is a somewhat fancy way of saying to add scented candles or bath oils for added relaxation and perhaps a meditation CD to gain even more positive mental benefits.

There are multiple benefits to your health, your home, and your well-being by investing in a tankless hot water heater if you suffer from chronic pain, you are sure to enjoy the upgrade!

Having A Great Relationship Means Having Good Emotional Health

You only have to look at the fact that people who breakup with their partners generally go through a period of intense grief and anxiety, not to mention anger, to understand how important an intimate relationship is to our mental and emotional health.

Indeed, it’s been said that a relationship which provides support and love is not only one of the most joyous human experiences, but is also one of the most essential for our well-being.

We are, after all, social animals, designed to engage with other people in intimate relationships which provide both emotional support and physical intimacy. This is the way that we are programmed to get our needs met, and the power of this impulse is demonstrated by the fact that most people who are not in a relationship are trying to get into one.

The Internet, of course, has been fair game for all kinds of programs designed to help people establish relationships, or maintain relationships, or even to help people get back into relationships once they’ve broken up with their lovers. Some of these programs are designed on sound psychological principles, and some are, to put it mildly, scams.

However, one of the ones that stands out as being worthy of a second look is a dating advice and relationship advice system by a man called Michael Fiore. This is a program which he has written based on his experience as a relationship advisor, and as you may infer from the title, its purpose is to establish harmony with an ex-partner, with a view to re-establishing the relationship.

Now the conventional wisdom tends to be that once you’ve broken up with a partner it’s better to "move on", but the fact is that a lot of people who go through a breakup with an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend find that after the breakup they feel they’ve made a serious mistake. After all, most reasons for separation are based on behaviors, and behaviors can be changed.

The behaviors don’t represent the underlying feelings that people have for each other, which are actually much more important in determining whether or not a relationship will be successful in the long term.

It follows, therefore, that if you feel affection and warmth towards a partner after a breakup, even if you’re also feeling anger and sadness, then there are grounds for reconciliation and renewal of the relationship.

I think one of the problems that we’ve all faced in the past is that we didn’t understand exactly how such reconciliation can easily take place. And that’s where the advent of the text message comes in: it’s a way

in which people can communicate in an adult fashion, devoid of the emotional connotations associated with the breakup, and in particular in a way in which two people can express their true feelings for each other in a non-provocative fashion. How does it work?

Well, it’a all about texting your ex to win them back to you – and bizarre though that may sound, you can get a complete program which is based on sound psychological principles for influencing other people’s behaviour and practical approaches to the very normal desire for connection and intimacy with another person.

Indeed, the author, Mike Fiore, sets out an entire program of strategic moves from the initial calculation of why you broke up in the first place to the final reconciliation.

Obviously not all of his relationship advice is based on sending text messages to your ex-partner, but a significant amount of the intimacy building, and the reconnection and establishment of trust, is indeed based on this modern method of communication.

So the message is this: if you’ve broken up with your partner, or you know somebody who has broken up with their partner, no matter whether they were the person who initiated the breakup or the person on the receiving end of the bad news, it’s well worth while recommending this unusual and somewhat radical approach to rebuilding the relationship.

After all, considering how much most people want to have a good relationship, anything that can help them establish intimacy is worth a look, particularly when it’s backed up, as texting is, by many testimonials reporting great success.

Unusually for an Internet program like this, there are no bad reports on the Internet about the material in the program, about its effectiveness, or about the customer service received by the purchasers. That,
in the sometimes shady world of relationship advice and psychological programs on the Internet, is perhaps the greatest tribute to the effectiveness of this program.

Effects of a Bad Mattress

mattressA bad mattress which isn’t designed to fit your needs or an old mattress can cause various issues. Even though a mattress doesn’t have a standard lifespan, over time it can affect the quality of your sleep. So if you are not sleeping well or you keep waking up sore every morning then it is time to change your mattress. A great mattress is a crucial ingredient for a good night sleep and it can make a great difference in your life. In fact various studies have shown that one of the main causes of insomnia in healthy individuals is a bad mattress. Here are some of the effects of a bad mattress.

1. Poor sleeping patterns and insomnia

Sleeping on an old mattress every night can cause poor sleeping-patterns and even insomnia. With a bad mattress you will end up turning and tossing for the entire night as you desperately search for a comfortable position to sleep on and if you don’t get a comfortable position to sleep on you might end up not sleeping at all throughout the night. To get rid of the insomnia caused by a bad mattress you can purchase a new comfortable mattress or sometimes fix the problem with a mattress topper.

2. Pain

This is one of the most common symptoms affecting many people who are sleeping on a bad mattress every night. Most inexpensive and old mattresses do not have a proper body supporting capability to hold your body comfortably for an entire night. This is because this bad mattress has an uneven surface which is not good for anyone’s back or muscles. Other than causing a back ache, sleeping on a saggy or lumpy mattress can also cause muscle aches.

3. Allergies and asthma

Many old mattresses have accumulated various materials and dust mites over the years which can trigger an allergic reaction in those people who already have these conditions. This factor is true in older mattresses, since they were not made using hypoallergenic material and they tend to accumulate dust mites after being used for a number of years. To cut down the allergic reactions and asthma attacks, you can buy a new comfortable mattress with a unique mattress cover to help keep the dust mites away.

4. Fatigue

Poor sleeping habits and insomnia can cause daytime insomnia; this is because you will not rest well at night. So if you are feeling like you have very low energy during the entire day, then you need to look at your mattress and figure out if it is the cause of the issue and replace it if it is. If you always sleep restless every night and wake up feeling mentally and physically fatigued throughout the day, then it could be time to replace your bad mattress with a new comfortable one that will help you sleep well, thus getting rid of fatigue.

The quality of the sleep you get every night will determine how effective or healthy you will be the next day. With a good night sleep you will have an easier time waking up on time with more than enough time to prepare yourself for the day. So make sure you get a comfortable mattress where you will be resting every night.

Don’t Hand Over the iPad to a Child Without Doing These Things!

Image: Leon Lee

There has been a growing debate lately as to whether or not kids should be using smartphones and tablets. On one side we hear the benefits of learning possibilities and on the other side researchers insist that the use of tables is hindering brain development. It is most likely that you are somewhere in the middle. Here are some of the lessons I learned when I decided to hand my iPad over to my son.

Don’t Believe the Hype

I’m the type of person that will spend hours researching products before I even consider buying them. I know there is a lot of junk out there and I’m going to do my dandiest to never own any of it! While this mentality works great when buying a TV or toaster it’s not a good approach when looking for apps for toddlers.

It seems that every blog out there has a list of the top apps for kids and there are tons of resources for reviews of apps for children. I have found most of this to be a waste of time. If I spend hours researching the most educational app and my little guy is bored by it then what did I gain? The truth is every child is different and will respond differently to different games.

The lists of top apps can be helpful just to find new or less popular apps but when it comes down to it just trying it is the best way to know. Let your child decide which app is the most educational or most engaging.

They Will Break It!

My son has found a way to break nearly everything he has ever touched. He even has rendered my Apple TV remote useless! This is something I would have never even thought was possible! Knowing this I still made the mistake of just handing him my iPad without any additional protection. Wow, was that dumb! Especially where there are so many iPad cases for kids that not only protect the iPad but can even make it more fun and easier to hold and if it is easy for a child to hold there are less drops!

Not all cases will work for all children and the type of case that works best will probably change with the age of your child. The most important thing is to use some sort of case to give the iPad a fighting chance. In addition to the case a screen protector is another cheap way to keep your iPad looking new. Be sure to buy the cheaper three packs especially if you have the kind of kid who will pick anything up and us it like a stylus. My iPad has been bet with rocks, leaves, and even an occasional carrot.

This Does Not Replace Anything

What I mean by not replacing anything is that letting your child play with an iPad should not replace time that you spend with them. The studies that show iPads are bad for children mostly assume that the kids have access to them at all times. The problem stems from using the iPad instead of interacting with other kids, playing outside, and playing with physical toys.

I like to think of iPad time as bonding time. Spending as much time with your child as possible is always a top priority to me. Tablet time should be seen as an opportunity to spend time together and not an excuse to be apart. There isn’t any parent app that can replace you!

Having Trouble Sleeping? Have You Got the Right Pillows?

pillowsWe all want to take care of our families. Whether it’s researching healthier food choices, investing in educational toys and physical activities or simply making more time to come together, the physical, emotional and mental health of our families is always at the forefront of our mind. The one area many of us overlook, however, is how well each member of our family sleeps.

Choosing pillows seems to some like a pretty easy process – just pick the cheapest you can find, right? Wrong. Like anything else that contributes to the overall health of you and your family, choosing a pillow depends on a few different things. The first thing to consider if what type of support each member of your family needs. Read on for a list of steps you can use to find out exactly what you need to do next.

Step 1: Who Has Allergies?

The fill of a pillow can be an important factor to consider if anyone in your family has allergies. Goose down pillows have always been a top choice for their durability, comfort and support. However, these kinds of pillows can trigger an allergic reaction in both adults and children. There are now pillows with memory foam, buckwheat and a variety of other fills which mitigate allergic reactions while still offering both comfort and support.

Step 2: Check the Thread Count

You may be used to checking the thread count on sheets, but did you know pillows have a thread count as well? Just as with sheets, the higher the thread count, the more durable your pillow will be as well as its overall comfort. The average priced pillow usually has a thread count of 300, but an 800 thread count pillow will be much more luxurious. The higher the thread count and quality, the higher the price tag as well. If you want to save money, consider pairing a higher thread count pillow with a lower thread count for family members who prefer two pillows.

Step 3: Do You Need More Than One Pillow?

Many people get used to sleeping with two or even three pillows because they use thin, worn out pillows that offer little or no support when used individually. Other family members may find they sleep better with a pillow under the knees or back as well as under their head. Discuss each family member’s sleeping habits to find out if they can pare down to just one high quality pillow that offers the support of two or three as well as whether or not they need support in other areas.

Step 4: Be Specific

You’d be surprised how specific sleeping furniture advice is on line, for instance try searching for ‘the best pillows for side sleepers with shoulder pain‘ online and you’ll likely be surprised at the useful advice you uncover. Don’t be scared to type your specific needs into Google and see what you can find.

Step 5: Shop Around

Once you know what you need, it’s time to do some shopping around. Pillows and bedding are often featured as Sale items during spring cleaning sales and again at the end of the year holiday sales. Check online for prices then take your list to local department stores, bedding specialists and your favorite shops. Spending a day shopping around will take some time and effort, but getting what you need to sleep well will make it time well spent.

5 Reasons Why You Should Make Fish Part of Your Diet Today

Eating fish can help prevent a whole host of diseases, as well as boosting your brain power, strength and metabolism.

It is packed full of nutrients, and the benefits of having its vitamins and minerals in your diet mean that, unless you are a vegetarian, skipping fish is no longer an option.

Here is a breakdown of the five most key nutrients in this superfood, and how they can greatly improve your health and well being.

1. Omega 3

Don’t be put of by the ‘fatty’ as Omega 3 fatty acids are top of our list for good reason: These acids are crucial for a healthy heart and brain.

Found in so many different types of fish, doctors recommend that you eat Omega 3-rich food at least twice a week. This can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease. So much so that in fact if you do have a heart attack, a fish-rich diet improves your chances of recovery.

Omega 3 also helps raise levels of serotonin – a critical neurotransmitter – in the brain. This greatly helps reduce your chances of depression, stress or anxiety.

So many types of seafood contain Omega 3, but the key ones to look out for are salmon, tuna and herring.

2. Unsaturated fats

The unsaturated fats found in fish help reduce your cholesterol, while also lowering your chances of a heart attack by reducing blood clotting and abnormal heart rhythms. What’s more, in children they have shown to greatly improve learning ability.

The polyunsaturated fats in fish have also been shown to prevent damage to brain cells, while also reducing chances of stress, which is linked to dementia.

3. Selenium

Commonly found in shellfish, selenium is rich in antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. There is a lot of evidence that selenium dramatically reduces chances of prostate cancer.

Matched with fish’s unsaturated fats, selenium is also great at reducing cholesterol.

4. B Vitamins

Especially high in white fish, B vitamins just like Omega 3 have been found to reduce chances of depression while also repairing skin and red blood cells.

Nowhere are the benefits of consuming B vitamins seen more than in Vitamin B12. This super vitamin is involved in the function of every single cell in your body, particularly in the brain. B12 deficiency has been known to cause Alzheimer’s, depression and anemia, making this a key component of any healthy diet.

A great source of Vitamin B12 is white fish. To help make this a key part of your diet, get creative with some of these recipes.

5. Protein

For you gym lovers out there, here’s one for you. Like chicken and turkey, a lot of fish manages to be protein-rich while also low in fat – a perfect combination. Not only is this great for muscle cell repair, but it also boosts your metabolism, helping to reduce your chances of obesity.

Eating protein first thing in the morning can greatly improve your cognitive thinking throughout the rest of the day, and help you lose weight. Check out the University of Missouri study here.

What Fish to Eat?

To help cover all of our five reasons to eat fish, these essentially break down into three types: White fish, oily fish, and shellfish.

  • White fish: Cod, sea bass, haddock and pollock.
  • Oily Fish:  Mackerel, salmon and sardines.
  • Shellfish: Crab, lobster and mussels.

Running Tips: How to get started

With warmer weather upon us, many families are gearing up to try and get healthier together. While there are a variety of great physical activities an individual can engage in for fun or to get healthy, running can be particularly effective. In addition to providing you with a great cardiovascular workout, running is effective in burning excess fat that can compromise your appearance and health. If you are about to begin a running program, there are several tips you can implement to get the most out of your physical activity. Here are four running tips to help you get started:

Get The Right Equipment

Making sure that you get the right equipment for your running activities may be the single most important tip to ensure that you get off to a great start. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that getting the right equipment can help prevent injury, like tendonitis and sprains. With this thought in mind, be sure that you take the time to purchase high quality running shoes if you haven’t done so already. And if you’re going to be running indoors, be sure that you use a treadmill with features such as shock resistant surfaces.

Start Off Slowly

In many cases, people who are about to begin a running program become very excited about it and subsequently rush right in by doing strenuous activity on the first day of their routine. This isn’t a good idea for many reasons, one of which is that it is important to build up an aerobic base before you advance into things such as sprinting or running for long periods of time. With this idea in mind, remember that it’s ok and can even be fun to start off with extensive periods of walking and/or jogging before you advance into running for long periods of time or sprinting.

Pay Attention to Your Nutritional Needs

The worlds of fitness and nutrition are intricately connected, and this principle holds true for those who are beginning a running program. In order to make the most of the physical activity you engage in, it will be important that your body is continually attaining the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Although nutritionists and dieticians disagree on what constitutes the “perfect” diet, there is general consensus regarding the idea that a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables along with healthy fats from foods like nuts and avocados will promote optimal health. Moreover, eating these types of foods will provide you with the energy and endurance necessary to get in a great run.

Involve Other People

Oftentimes, individuals who begin a running program quickly drop out. This can be the case for several reasons, including but not limited to fear of change or lack of knowledge regarding how to perform the physical activity in a manner that facilitates results. However, research has found that individuals who involve other people in their exercise program have a higher rate of adherence. Since this is the case, it’s a good idea for you to work out with a friend or hire a personal trainer in the beginning stages of your running era. You may not need the friend or trainer forever, but she or he can provide you with the emotional support and/or professional assistance necessary to get you off to a great start.


If you are thinking about starting a running program, you should know that doing so can bring you a plethora of health benefits or simply provide you with an outlet through which to relax. In order to get the most out of your run, try incorporating some or all of the tips outlined above. In so doing, you will likely find that your journey into the world of running is fun and fulfilling. Good luck!

How to care for your family dog in it’s senior years

The lifespan of a dog

Nobody wants to talk about, or even think about their precious family dog getting older. It’s simply too close for comfort. Unfortunately, getting older is an unavoidable part of your pets life. This period in your family dog’s life should be met head on with understanding; and from an informed position. This article shares the top two health concerns for every ageing dog, and how to properly take care of them.


As your family dog gets older you will probably notice him or her increasingly have problems with things like standing up and sitting down. Going up or down steps can become a challenge. Going for a walk may mean stopping for rests every few hundred metres. All these things are common, and often caused by arthritis. Arthritis in dogs really does have a similar impact as it does to humans. Thankfully there are some ways that you can minimise the impact arthritis has on your family pet. Here are some useful solutions:

  • Glucosamine supplements – A great way to alleviate arthritis issues in dogs. Because dogs (and humans alike) produce less and less of the glucosamine compound as they age, the idea is that the glucosamine supplement gives the join cartilage and connective tissue a boost where it is needed.


Sounds silly I know. Dogs getting stressed? Well, yes they can, and do. Particularly as they age and become less confident. Some things that contribute to stress in ageing dogs include:

  • Separation anxiety – Being separated from their owners can quite often cause high levels of stress in dogs.
  • Being transported – Finding itself in a new home or place can often cause confusion in an ageing dog.
  • New Visitor – Often dogs become stressed when they are greeted by someone new. Always make sure new people are introduced slowly and carefully to your ageing pet.
  • Boredom – Yep! Even boredom can create stress for your pet. Make sure you are walking your pet regularly, even if they are shorter walks than they used to be.

If none of these tactics are successful in reducing stress in your ageing dog, you may want to try a supplement alternative. In particular – Composure For Dogs is a great simple solution for de-stressing your beloved pet.

So that pretty much sums it up. If your dog is experiencing either of these, or any other problems that aren’t listed here, you really should take him or her to the Vet. They will make sure you are fully informed and understand how to care for your ageing pet. For more information and resources check out this site.

Chatting to a teaching assistant in the UK and understanding why we make career changes

When it came to writing my New Year’s resolutions this year one of the things I resolved to do was write more articles (or posts, if you prefer) on the experiences of people who had made changes in their careers. As it happens, a friend of mine has recently been employed in the position of a teaching assistant in the UK and I was fascinated to hear their thoughts on the new job.

One if the things that intrigued me most was the role that teaching assistants take in the United Kingdom, the role was created by the government specifically to give support to existing teachers, the assistants are there to help in all aspects of classroom life. My friend though, left quite a high powered job to become a TA, what had caused her to make such a drastic change and how was she coping with the new job?

Making a change

According to my friend the stress and strains of family life had led them to seriously consider a career change “both myself and my partner had very demanding jobs and when you coupled this with our child caring responsibilities we were living incredibly busy, stressful lives. One day we were having a blazing row about who should stay off work to look after our child who had a vomiting bug and I thought to myself, why am I doing this? I was basically rowing so I could try and get to a job to do things that I didn’t really want to do for a cause that if I was honest with myself, I thought was pretty pointless”.


We all have a career trembles from time to time though, wasn’t my friend worried that they were throwing in the towel on a career that they’d put a lot of work into and weren’t they at least a little bit resentful that their partner was getting to keep their job, “If I’m honest, no not really. Maybe best not tell my partner that though as I’m still cashing the favours for being the one that left my career! Seriously though, I could see my partner was still keen on their career and I just felt I’d reached the end of the road, I was definitely ready for a change”

So why choose to be a teaching assistant?

This was the question that really intrigued me, wasn’t choosing to be someones assistant going to be difficult for my friend, who I’d always thought of as a strong independent person. “Surprisingly I haven’t found it that hard, after doing some research as to what I could do, being a teaching assistant seemed ideal as it allowed me to do interesting work but still be available for my children. It took a fair bit of research to discover which teaching assistant course would right for me but I’m there now every night when they finish school and also get to spend all the holidays with them and that means a huge amount to me. I think the happiness that being with my children brings me means I rarely think about the fact that I’m somebodies assistant, also the teachers I work with are really fantastic, they’ll often consult me for my option and it really makes me feel as if I’m one of their peers rather than an assistant.”

After speaking to my friend, I was really struck by how she’d worked out what she wanted, what would make her happy, then found a job that would fit around that. I think that that is really important lesson for all of us thinking about a potential career change.

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