Health

5 Essential Herbs to Help You Through Addiction Recovery

I was an addict for most of my life. It started with alcohol, then it was marijuana. Soon enough it escalated to more hardcore drugs. At 19 I was addicted to meth and crack. When I first got to rehab, in my mid-twenties, I was in a very bad place. The first weeks of recovery I felt like I was going to die. I thought I wouldn’t be able to take it.

 

In rehab we did all sorts of things to help overcome our addictions. Every week we had classes with experts in different fields, from self-growth to exercising and nutrition. One time we had a class on herbal medicine. They taught us how herbs have been used for centuries to heal all sorts of diseases, and how they could help us. At first I was skeptical about it. But I started researching and found out it could be a good alternative. So I started trying some of the herbs they mentioned in class. And, to my surprise, they actually worked.

Addiction recovery is one of the hardest things you’ll ever go through. With this in mind, shouldn’t you take any help you can get? I think you should. That’s what I did and it made my recovery process that much easier. Today, I would like to share with you the top 5 herbs that can help you through your addiction recovery.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a popular remedy for recovering alcoholics. It has been used for thousands of years to treat liver problems. This plant comes from southern Europe, but it can be easily found in any part of the world. It is usually found in capsule form.

Milk Thistle contains a chemical called silymarin. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can benefit the liver. Not only does it protect the liver against toxins, but it can also help it heal from damage. Though it isn’t actually a cure for alcoholic liver disease, it may improve liver function. In addition to this, milk thistle can be useful for lowering cholesterol. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease.

Passionflower

Passionflower is a herb used to treat many diseases. Some of these include insomnia, gastrointestinal disease, and high blood pressure. It is also used for pain relief and can be effective in treating symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Passionflower relaxes the nervous system, relieving tension and anxiety. It induces restful sleep without grogginess the following day. I found this herbal remedy really helpful during my recovery, given that I used to feel very anxious and stressed. It was a way to treat the symptoms naturally, without the side effects that pills tend to have.

Chamomile

Chamomile is a herb that has antioxidants such as flavonoids and sesquiterpenes, which bring many benefits to the body. It is usually consumed in tea, but it can also be found in capsules and aromatherapy oils.

This herb is great for treating digestive problems. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it eases the twisting nature of your gut and makes the digestive process easier. It also relieves abdominal pain. Your digestive system can suffer a lot from alcohol and drug addiction. In my case, I started suffering from gastritis and heartburn. Chamomile helped ease the discomfort. It is also known to relieve anxiety symptoms, boost your immune system and bring many other benefits.

Dandelion

Dandelion is another herb that has been used for centuries to treat diverse health conditions. It is known to be an excellent liver detoxifier and mild diuretic. It increases bile flow and encourages the transformation and transportation of nutrients.

It contains chemicals that can increase the production of urine and decrease inflammation. It is a great appetite enhancer, which is the reason I started using it in the first place. It is also used to treat muscle aches, arthritis, liver disorders and gout.

Gingko

Gingko is one of the oldest tree species in the world. Its nuts have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for millenniums. Currently it is usually found in capsules at any natural pharmacy. This plant contains flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant qualities. It also has terpenoids, which help improve circulation.

Drugs and alcohol affect your brain and nervous system in a number of ways. Some of the long-term effects of drug and alcohol abuse include memory loss and cognitive impairment. Gingko has been known to help counter these effects. It can also improve anxiety symptoms, glaucoma and Raynaud’s disease.

Addiction to any kind of substance will always be hard to recover from, but not impossible. You will get symptoms like stress, anxiety, digestive problems, etc. Even your memory can be affected. These herbs helped me with these symptoms, making my recovery that much easier. I’ve been sober for 9 years now, and I still take these home remedies due to the many health benefits they bring.

I would like to be very emphatic about something: before you try any of these herbs, consult a health professional. These herbs helped me overcome my drug and alcohol addiction, but I had the guidance of specialists before using them.

Do you have any questions about herbal medicine for addiction recovery? If you’d like to add or suggest something, please leave a comment below.

Yoga For Women And Kids Health

It has become fashionable to do yoga. She was attracted to adults, children and even pregnant women. At the same time, the obstetricians attitude to yoga for pregnant women is very cautious. Many doctors are appealing to the fact that the Eastern women (mostly Indian), yoga – a traditional, centuries-old practice that is specific to a given culture, lifestyle and worldview. Specialists in yoga poses, in turn, argue that European women yoga can bring many benefits and positive emotions during any period of life, and even during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
The main purpose of a person who practices yoga – to achieve complete peace and harmony of life, self-reliance, inner freedom. An integral part of yoga is the general improvement of the body.

Yoga is “working” is not the case, such as aerobics or fitness classes. Then the whole work is directed inward, the acceleration of metabolic processes. Due to breathing exercises, twisting, bending, and deflections during the execution of the asanas is a direct effect on internal organs. Each asana affects specific organ system. In addition, during the yoga classes are born positive emotions: there is an internal self-reliance, peace, and which remains after school. The impact of yoga on the body lasts all day. The difference lies in the fact that during aerobic classes and training on simulators built up the muscles, and during yoga, they are extended. Yoga makes the body more slender, thin and fit, completely changes the shape, “extend” it.

With the help of yoga a woman can overcome many of the unpleasant characteristic of pregnancy: morning sickness, back pain, legs, etc. There are even postures, aimed at eliminating the threat of termination of pregnancy. Expectant mother can use the same posture, which performed before pregnancy, but there are some asanas that are practiced during the pregnancy itself. In general, yoga for pregnant womens health is soft, smooth and accuracy.
According to the traditions of yoga, children can be seriously engaged in no earlier than 14 years. At this age, is the awareness of yoga, you have a child knowingly takes part in the exercises. He is not distracted, he likes to do.

Although there are exceptions to the age rules. I watched the video, filmed in the Indian schools of yoga; kids get up there the wonders of yoga. There is a so-called baby-yoga, which also does not apply to classical yoga is done only once. It is very beneficial to the kids health, removes the “after-clips” if they have a place to be. This half-hour lesson, which is held every 2 weeks after birth and only the experts – proven by people working in this field for over 10 years. For my son, we invited a person who practices yoga for 25 years. After the baby yoga, he showed us how to do dynamic exercises with the baby, bathe him. Poses that a child receives during the sessions – absolutely unbelievable. Baby yoga is not removed and do not explain to parents their children were doing it yourself – so it is a dangerous process in the hands of the layman.

The Iwatch By Apple For Style And Health

Apple is taking major initiatives in establishing new brand image into the minds of technology users. The brand new wearable by Apple is something that is designed to complement your iPhone and your iPad. It is said to be the first new product after 2010 ever since the launch of iPad new series. The Apple iWatch or the Smartwatch designed by Apple will serve the dual purpose. One will complement your iDevices another would be like a fitness gadget. Let us find out more about it and how it serves as style and health gadget.<>The new Apple iWatch as it is called as for now is designed to be shipped with iPhone 6; it is a customizable Apple Smartwatch that comes with numerous functionalities. It is what we know now the thing to notice is that this product is further positioned into proving itself as a fitness gadget too. Giving emphasis on health and monitoring fitness this watch should be able to provide it all to a user. The watch is made with stainless steel with magnetized strap; the display is that of sapphire glass that would keep it protected against any external damage to the display. You will love it for it scratch proof and nearly unbreakable display instantly.

New Apple Smartwatch Features

When it comes to customization, it is beyond what you are already thinking. The Apple smartwatch has six different straps along with various mechanisms. It makes it easier for any user to make changes to it accordingly to make it a stylish gadget that matches your ensemble. You have a choice of leather loops to as shiny as stainless steel loops.

The watch gives you three modes that you can benefit from including Watch Edition, Watch Sports, and Apple Watch. All these have different looks with aluminum, stainless steel, and gold polish finishing.
Another thing to observe would be the accuracy by which it tells time down to 50 milliseconds minus or plus. Additionally, it has a motion sensor that enables in sensing hand movement when it is raised and the display will be automatically enabled. Siri is again here to help, using apps, Maps, image search, scrolling contacts, calling or even sending messages with a tap is easy. The most amazing thing is the inclusion of third-party apps made compatible with this gadget.

As Health Gadget

The iWatch can work as health monitor too that contains relevant apps. You get fitness tracker and an app for workout session. This comes handy to both who love to stay fit and for those who are into serious athletics. This way it is complete within itself to provide you with all that you need as a fitness freak. If you think it is enough then wait, this watch contains four lenses LED, Infrared, and photo sensors. Additionally, pulse detection, accelerometer and gyroscope along with customized chip will have you gasping. All this incorporates a lot in the iWatch that is sure one fascinating gadget to own.

How To Use Occupational Health And Safety Program For Effective Implementation

The OHSAS 18001 international standard was published by British Standards Institute in 1999 (revised 2007); to produce OH&S management system steerage parallel to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems standard. Though ISO has not formally supported OHSAS 18001, thousands of companies worldwide use it to arrange their OH&S programs, and have wanted third-party review and certification.

How do employers shield their staff from occupational hazards? Answers to the current question involve many completely different perspectives:

Occupational health and safety laws and rules establish specific necessities, related to specific sorts of hazards: chemicals; electricity; moving instrumentation etc.
OH&S laws and rules conjointly assign employers a General Duty to produce safe workplaces for his or her staff. These embody generalized necessities for employers to determine broad OH& S program, such as:
Canadian necessities to determine Hazard interference Programs, overseen by the federal Labour Program and provincial agencies.
US pointers for Health and Safety Programs provided by the federal activity Safety and Health Administration and state agencies, and mirrored in mandates in some states.
Professional pointers set by industry-level and skilled associations target relevant things.

Every work in North America faces a version of those provisions; however necessities and pointers arent fully consistent. However are employers to style and implement their programs? Several multi-jurisdictional organizations establish consistent and comprehensive baseline programs by adhering to the OHSAS 18001, that is that the most widely-used international voluntary certification system.

What will OHSAS 18001 Do?

The Standard provides careful a close framework for Occupational health and safety management systems, departure organizations with flexibility to tailor specific components to suit their individual desires which can mirror applicable OH& S compliance necessities, structure activities and policies, and possibly insurance providers specifications yet. The quality consists of broad components, with substantial details to confirm that the subsequent are evaluated systematically:

Identification of OH&S restrictive problems touching entity/facility processes and merchandise.
Existing structure OH&S policies and procedures.
Organizational- and facility-specific policies in situ and utilized to manage OH&S problems.
Evaluation of personnel coaching and experience to judge that competent personnel are gift to hold out OH& S policies, programs, and tasks.
Evaluation of structure resources and support to deal with OH& S problems.
System in situ to take care of all needed OH& S records and documents.
Methods by that OH&S safety performance is measured and results communicated.
Management and oversight of organizational- and facility-specific OH&S problems.

Why Conduct a Gap Analysis?

In 2014, each employers organization can have some style of OH&S management program, in all probability developed to produce OH&S compliance and possibly with components tailored by organization-specific activities and policies, insurance supplier conditions, etc. the primary step toward evolving this home-grown program to satisfy OH&S is to check the 2, mistreatment whats unremarkably referred to as a gap analysis. because the term suggests, a spot associate degreealysis is meant to search out the gaps in an organization- or facility-level OH&S management system as compared to the particular provisions in OHSAS 18001. this is often accomplished by careful review of associate degree existing program, designed to spot and document any deficiencies that has got to be self-addressed to adapt with OHSAS 18001 requirements, and conjointly to assess the tasks and level of effort needed to satisfy OHSAS 18001 certification requirements.

Gap analyses usually apply 3 levels of review:

Paper review.
Reality review.
Pre-assessment review.

Healthy Body Maintenance

I have always percieved the human body as a perfect container that we use to move through the material world. Our minds (the leader of the container) navigates the container (body) and makes sure that we arrive at our destination in a safe manner. Just like like any other form of mechanically driven device we have to make sure to take care of our container for reliable usage.

We normally take great care of our vehicles; we change the oil, change the anti freeze or coolant and even check the tire pressures. Without our vehicles we wouldn’t be able go to work to earn a living, so we go out of our ways to perform weekly preventative maintenance to ensure that our vehicles don’t break down.

Our bodies (the car) tend to take a pounding as the years go by; we work long hours, ingest large amounts of junk food, disregard good excercise and are exposed to all kinds of harsh chemicals. We take great efforts to tend to the more visible things, like our teeth and vision. Nevertheless, we never bother to take care of the subtle things.

Time passes by until one day you awaken- with bright healthy teeth – and you notice unusual pain and body aches, so you go to your physician only to find out that you have some kind of disease. And so you find yourself reflecting and asking yourself why this happened thus spending large amounts hours seeing the physician and ingesting perscription pills that complicate things with other side effects

What’s the best way to avoid this type of situation? Easy… periodic exercise like jogging and a proper nutritional diet. If you lack the time to take in all of the daily required nutrition then get a phytonutrient juice – phytonutrient juices are a great way to get all the the daily vitamins, minerals & antioxidants that come from all the color fruits and vegetables

By persistantly practicing a daily preventative maintenance program you can establish a strong body and deflect debilitating diseases that could pose a serious problems for you as you get older.

The Health Benefits Of Radish

Cruciferous vegetables have received increasing attention in recent years, partly because of the fight against cancer and numerous health benefits associated with these plants. They are usually eaten raw, cooked or preserved, although they may be cooked and used in fried or added to soup.
The radish, Raphanus sativus, belongs to the family Brassicaceae, may have white, red, purple or black, long cylindrical or round shape. The oil obtained from seeds of radish is also used. The other parts of the radish, which are eaten are leaves, flowers, pods and seeds.

The radish contain about 95 percent of water in proportion to its weight, making it an excellent source of hydration. This moisture can also reduce the appetite, making the person feel satiated, a benefit for those trying to lose weight.

They can also help relieve urinary tract infections and painful urination, providing essential fluids to help flush the urinary system, can help improve the bladder and kidney.

When preparing food with radishes, remember that the high percentage of water prevents its freezing appropriate. Freezing often causes damage through the formation of ice crystals, resulting in a colorless radish after thawing.
Low in fat and cholesterol, radish provides a generous amount of dietary fiber. A portion (1 / 2 cup or a whole) provides 1-2 g of dietary fiber, which is 5 to 8 percent of the recommended daily. The fiber helps to reduce hunger, regulates the intestine and can even improve cholesterol levels.
A plant with antibacterial and antifungal, the radish is a good source of vitamins A, B-6, C, K, riboflavin and folic acid. Due to its high vitamin content, is considered a dietary supplement useful for people with colds, flu, cancer, skin diseases, asthma and other respiratory diseases. They also help in strengthening capillary controls the levels of homocysteine and reduces the incidence of injuries.

The radish contains significant levels of calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and potassium. These minerals can do many things by the body, strengthens bones, protects the heart, regulates blood pressure, improves the digestive system and immune system, improves kidney function and acts as an energy tonic. The leaves of radish are an excellent source of vitamin C and calcium.

In a study to determine the glycemic index of various vegetables, it was concluded that the radish has a low GI. Preliminary studies have shown that the root of the radish is effective in lowering cholesterol levels. More studies are needed to confirm these results. In a study of extracts was proven its efficiency as an antioxidant. The radish contain a variety of chemicals based on sulfur, which increase the flow of bile, thus helping to maintain a gallbladder and liver healthy and improve digestion. Leaf extract is beneficial for the gastrointestinal activities and is known for its laxative properties. The radish belongs to the brassica vegetables, including cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Numerous studies suggest that the plants of the family of brassicas act as protection against cancers of the lung and digestive tract. Cruciferous vegetables are a source of glucosinolates, compounds that give flavor brassica. The preventive potential of the radish is partly due to their glucosinolate content, and a study in Italy showed the variety Daikon radish Japanese had anti-cancer activity in human colon.

The radish is very good for the liver, gallbladder and stomach, and acts as detoxifying, that is, it purifies the blood. It is useful in jaundice, as it helps regulate the production and flow of bile and bilirubin, acids, enzymes and removes excess bilirubin in the blood. It also controls the destruction of red blood cells during jaundice by increased supply of oxygen in fresh blood. The turnip greens are also very useful in the treatment of jaundice. It also contains enzymes such as myrosinase, diastase, amylase and esterase, which protects the liver and gall bladder infections and ulcers.

It is very rich in indigestible carbohydrates, that facilitates digestion, retain water, helps control constipation (one of the main causes of hemorrhoids). Its juice also relieves the digestive and excretory system and it also relieves hemorrhoids.

It is diuretic, ie, increase the production of urine, the radish juice also cures the inflammation and burning sensation during urination. Also clean the kidneys and inhibits kidney and urinary system. Thus, it helps in curing urinary problems.
Vitamin C, phosphorus, zinc and some members of the vitamin B complex, which are present in radish, are good for the skin. Water helps to keep moisture from the skin, raw radish is a cleaning product very good and serves as a face pack very effective. Because of its disinfectant properties, radish also helps to heal skin diseases, such as dryness, rashes, cracks, etc.

Possesses anti itchy and can be used as an effective treatment for insect bites, stings from bees, wasps, hornets, etc.. The juice also reduces pain and swelling and soothes the affected area.
It decreases the body temperature and relieves inflammation due to fever. Radish juice is a good disinfectant, but also fight infections that cause fever, thus helping to heal it.

The radish is an anti congestive, or relieving the congestion of the respiratory system, including the nose, throat and lungs due to cold, infections, allergies and other causes. It is a good disinfectant and also rich in vitamins, which protect the respiratory system against infections that cause bronchitis and asthma.
Besides the benefits mentioned above, the radish is a good appetizer, refreshes the mouth and help in breathing, is laxative, regulates metabolism, improves blood circulation, is a good treatment for headache, acidity, constipation, nausea, obesity, sore throat, cough, stomach problems, gall stones, dyspepsia, etc..

Marcelo Rigotti
www.curaplantas.com.br

Health Insurance Overweight Is Waiting For You

In the last ten years there is a drastic surge in the number of obese and overweight people in the America and the rest of the world. In America it is exercising a serious cost impact in the health care system of that country. Many men are being denied health insurance coverage due to their overweight. They are being cast aside by the underwriting system of the insurance company. The issues related to the overweight and obese people have remarkable repercussions on the economy and the cumulative expenditure of the health care system. They may be really interested to health insurance overweight plan.

There is a system adopted by the underwriters to determine the height and weight of the applicant. They try to calculate the acceptable range of these two factors by this system. The inter relation of the two shows a figure called body mass index or BMI and provides the underwriters an approximate figure of the body fat. The department of human health services opines that a BMI of 30 is regarded obese and in case of overweight it is 25 to 29.9. If your BMI is more than 43 it is less likely that you will qualify for the coverage of the traditional health insurance. If your BMI is 29-43, the insurer may like to offer you the insurance coverage with a premium more than normal rate. If you are having some pre-existing health issues in relation to your weight, like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, a health insurer may deny you the required coverage, even if you are carrying a BMI within an acceptable range. Besides BMI the waist circumference or the belly fat is a good precursor to the future health problem linked with excessive weight like that of type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

There is a strong penchant that the overweight and inactive individuals will store stomach fat at an excessive level. They will eventually experience insulin resistance or some other health issues related to heart. Taking a health insurance high blood pressure plan will obviously prove to be fruitful to them. The underwriters leave a red mark on an application when they see that the applicant possesses a combination of these pre-existing conditions. The underwriters follow some particular risk criteria they use when combining the BMI with some other risk factors like that of smoking, and the health related matters, mentioned previously, which may be exacerbated while being combined together.

Certain assimilation of these factors will result in a decrease for health coverage. While many of the overweight individuals may perceive that they are being railroaded by the insurers, the decision is that between two and seven percent of all the health care expenditures are linked to the obesity and overweight, which crept up from health issues linked to the medical care of the overweight factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol, insulin resistance or diabetes, , certain forms of cancer, respiratory issues, cardiac conditions inactivity, mortality cost, absenteeism from work, and loss of family income from premature death.

You may have apprehension that you may not qualify to get affordable health insurance coverage. Thus, you should take some precautions before submitting a health application. You should find out a competent health insurance broker who offers more than one type of products and is aware well of some of the underwriting requirements.

Health Concerns With The Digital Cigarette

o will nee to observe that altough the authoized age to purchase cigarettes is 18, you can’t receive cigarette coupons if you are below 21. Asking friends and family to enroll in these mailng lists an be a good way to ather more cigarette coupons. If sufficient individuals get collctively, a cigarette coupon change might custom e cigarette be aplied the plce pele cn trade coupons to get nes for his or her most popular brand. Cigarette coupons are a grat way to cut the pice of your smoking behavior. eep in mind that ome gas stations don’t tak cigartte coupons, owever most comfort retailer chains and grocery shops do.

As the title rightly suggests, e-cigarettes are electrnic unit tht at the momnt re widely used as n altrnative choice to conventional cigarettes. This machine makes us of warmth (ultrasonics in some models) fr producing an aerosol mist of nicotine that’s inhaled by the person. Wherea ome models resemble real cigarettes in appears, othes ould also premium e liquid be like pens or markers. You may also find this product in the form of ciar or pipe. Let s now take a look at te mode of working of electronic cgarettes. These gadgets are primarily found as lengthy, cylindrical gadgets with three main parts. This LED mild resembles the lihted tp in a traditional cigarette.

Leally, E-Lite and other electonic cigarettes can’t be marketed as smokng cessatin instruments. As an alternative they’re billed as “alternate options” to smoking that may be njoyed anywhere – even the place lighting p the actual facto would get you tackled or fined. On thi regard, E-Lites ae actually fairly proftable e cig premium batteries. The dose of nicotine is sufficient to help take the sting ff when a mild caving hits, and it’s also rather mre satisfying than slappng on patch or ceing a piece of um. And, a any smoker can inform you – extra essential than the bodily addiction it the mental one.

Consumer Health Pr Challenges Require Experienced Pros

The healthcare sector presents unique challenges for communicators, particularly for those operating with the consumer health PR world. There is the need for consumer health PR programs that are global, regional and local in scope as a means to introduce healthcare-related e-commerce portals, next-generation medical devices, and new drugs and products. In addition, the consumer health PR pro needs to be experienced in managing product recalls and withdrawals as well in establishing grassroots campaigns to rally support around specific public and legislative issues. The consummate consumer health PR pro also needs to be on top of the latest trends in medical device technology, biopharmaceuticals, women’s health, cardiology, among other areas.

In todays high-tech world of information consumption, consumer health PR is all about messaging creating, distributing and engaging target audiences with your brand messages via a variety of communication venues. A true consumer health PR pro can help shape your brand messages into information that educates, enlightens and engages.

How does one undertake a successful consumer health PR program? The early stages include gathering relevant data about the organization or product and setting objectives. Of course, it is essential to understand your target audiences. What are their media habits? What are their primary sources for information and so forth. After that, a strategy is developed and shaped following diligent study and analysis of the acquired data. The final step to launching a consumer health PR effort is the implementation of the strategy as well as putting in place a mechanism to determine how successful the actual impact is to the reputation of the company.

A big part of the strategy in launching a consumer health PR program involves media outreach. It is extremely important that any consumer health PR plan involve both traditional as well as social media as todays highly mobile consumer could be considered a moving target.

In seeking to undertake a consumer health PR campaign, you need a pro. Look for one that specializes in your particular area — OTC health, beauty and nutritional products. The ideal consumer health PR pro should have experience in working with all channels from traditional print and broadcast, to social networking and digital venues to help cut through the clutter in creative, meaningful ways.

Deploying a consumer health PR program should be done with the assistance of a public relations firm or specialized practitioner. Such firms can handle all of the aforementioned plans and strategies. This includes data gathering, analysis and implementation of the program using time tested and proven methods, ensuring a positive impact to the organizations reputation as well as the dissemination of important information.

Mobile Advertising In Health Care 5 Questions To Ask Before You Dive In

Delivering relevant ads to interested consumers via mobile technology bears the aura of the Holy Grail for many marketers, retailers in particular. However, the precision of mobile advertising has been lacking and advertisers have entered the waters only cautiously, spending a mere 1.5% of interactive advertising spending according to a study conducted by Forrester Research.

Recently retailer North Face put a stake in the ground and some muscle behind its mobile efforts with a campaign executed by Placecast, a San Francisco-based mobile ad company. Using a method it calls geo-fencing, essentially a set of defined boundaries around designated locations, i.e. a North Face store, Placecast sends a text to a consumer when he or she enters a geo-fenced area. The key here is that the consumer must have opted in previously to receive text communication from North Face. Therein lies the rub. If North Face has not done an effective job in building relationships with its consumers to the degree that the consumers want pro-active communication from the brand – and appropriately maintaining those relationships — the mobile strategy falls flat.

In the context of the healthcare industry, location-based, geo-fenced text messaging offers intriguing opportunities: invitations to educational events, alerts on public health issues, health screenings available, preventative care reminders, special offers through affinity programs and so on. Unfortunately, some segments of the industry have inherent problems with consumer-focused, responsive communication. Operational challenges create barriers to developing robust customer relationship management systems. Privacy regulations intimidate senior leadership into only half-heartedly pursuing and maintaining conversations with consumers. A shortage of staff and mental bandwidth undermine efforts to integrate consumer conversations into the marketing mix. And budgetary constraints squelch exploring innovative and new media.

For those of us in health and healthcare companies to take advantage of mobile advertising and other emerging technologies as an effective extension of current marketing communications, we need to ask ourselves these 5 foundational questions:

1 – Do we know who are customers are?
Consumers, physicians, ancillary providers, patients, patients’ families, etc.

2 – How much do we know about them?
Demographics, psychographics, behavioral data, previous interactions/experience with the brand, contact information, etc.

3 – What do they need or want from us?
Education, information, specific health services, referrals, etc.

4 – How can we fulfill those needs and/or wants with what we can offer or provide?
Lunch-and-Learn events, health screenings, physician databases, service lines, etc.

5 – Do we have a system in place to manage communications to these customers and track response to evolve the relationship appropriately?
Integration between marketing data and admission data, messaging calendars, measurements and metrics for all marketing initiatives, etc.

If we know the answers definitively, our foundation is solid, we are adept at creating relevant communication strategies and we can measure success… all of which make embracing mobile advertising a far less daunting prospect.