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Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Health, My Blog | 0 comments

The Lack of Back Pain in African Cultures

Many people view the country of Africa as being backwards, and slow to progression. They will refer to Africa as being a ‘third world’ country, and assume that there is nothing good about it at all and the overall health is poor. However, there are many things that the natives of Africa could teach us. For instance, there is the secret of why some indigenous tribes in Africa do not suffer from back pain. How can this be? This article will delve more into the topic and offer some possible explanations.

Back Pain

Back Pain

Back pain is a pretty generic condition that millions of people suffer with, or will experience within their lifetime. It can be caused by strained muscles, spending a prolonged amount of time in the same position, or health problems such as degenerative disc disease. Back pain can negatively affect the quality of life, and can last for years. Often, it is difficult to cure back pain completely. Typically, the treatment involves pain medication, and trying to prevent it from escalating further.

Indigenous Tribes

Spinal Bones

Cultures in different countries in the world have very low rates of back pain. As well, as the population ages, the discs in their backs show little sign of degeneration. This is confusing, because in these cultures, much of the work that is done involves bending and crouching close to the ground. An acupuncturist named Ester Gokhale traveled to villages in West Africa and discovered something interesting. The natives who lived there had a J-shaped spine, instead of an S-shape, which is common in western countries. These people were not suffering from back pain, and so Ester developed exercises for people to gradually change the shape of their spine. Some of the exercises follow.

Shoulder Roll

Shoulder rolls are the first step that you can take to improve your posture. Do not scrunch your shoulders forward, with your arms in front of your body. This is poor posture, and will lead to back pain. Instead, try a shoulder roll. Pull your shoulders up, and then push them back. Then you just let them drop, which will position your arms by your side. Remembering to do this method will help with posture.

Do Not Sit Up Straight

Contrary to popular belief, sitting up perfectly straight will not help your posture. Instead, it will compress your spine, and make things worse. According to Ester’s exercise, simply try a shoulder roll and take a deep breath. This will stretch your spine, and nothing will get compressed.

Conclusion

There are many things that African cultures can teach us, proper posture being one of them. Shoulder rolls and not sitting up straight are two suggestions that Ester Gokhale discovered which worked. However, there are others as well. If you are curious about them, you could do a little extra research on the topic. Taking care of your spine is very important in the long run, because back pain is definitely not a fun thing to have.

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Posted by on Apr 30, 2017 in Life in Benin, My Blog | 0 comments

Protecting Your Home in Simple Steps

Moving to a new country causes all sorts of levels of difficulty. There’s VISA and movement jobs, there’s finding employment and then there is getting to know the culture and way of life. Becoming familiar with each aspect of the way of life within new places is massively important, because it’s essentially an unwritten ‘do’s and don’ts package. Discovering what is the done thing in a country is genuinely one of the most important things, and life in Benin is no different. There is a culture of gun use and also theft. Learning how to protect your home is massively important. Check out a few simple ways you can protect your home in Benin.

Light Up Your Home

Led Light Bar

It’s a funny thing, light. The absence of it gives criminals freedom to act, but add lighting to your home and it protects, almost acting like a forcefield of visibility on the home. Automatic lights that are based on movement are a great idea to have. Another option is protecting your home with LED light bars. LED light bars are literally bars of LED lights that you can attach to your home that give off a constant, bright light. If this sounds like your thing, check out Light Bar Liaison for the best reviews of the market.

‘Beware of the Dog’

Beware of Dog Sign

Always a good way to fend off possible threats to your home – invest in a good guard dog. An even cheaper way of doing this? ‘Beware of the Dog’ signs are the warning before the warning. Many people are intimidated enough with the thought of a huge, growling dog in your house to even go near it. So, this will be a great way to deter them.

Electric Locks

Electric Locks

The problem with a lot of standard lock-and-key locks is that people lose the key – or they get stolen. When this happens, if you don’t have an alarm in your home then you’re easy picking. If you install an electric lock that works from a code entry system, you’re already safer as a result, so long as you:

  1. a)   Remember the code
  2. b)   Don’t write the code down on something easily stolen

With these in mind, you will be much safer.

Keep the House Safe When You’re Away

House

Houses often get burgled while the homeowner is away. It feels like an easy target, and usually it is. If you can ask a relative or neighbour to keep one eye on your home while you’re away, you will already have much better security than many around. Check the locks, alarms and gates are all securely locked before leaving the house, regardless of the reason, too.

These are merely the simple, inexpensive steps you can take to secure your home in Benin, or anywhere in the world. Implement these and you will both be, and feel, much safer of an evening. Home security isn’t merely a scare tactic, it’s a way of protecting yourself, your home and the ones you love.

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Education, My Blog | 0 comments

Gun Control In South Africa

It may seem like gun control is the least of the worries of African citizens, but it’s actually quite the issue. It may seem logical to want to defend yourself against those who want to take advantage of you, and in this part of the country, using a gun is sometimes the only option. With that in mind, one is to ask, are there any gun control laws to stop people from getting out of control? Well, kind of.

Firearms Control Act

 

This act was initially introduced prevent the proliferation of firearms that were possessed illegally. In order to obtain a firearm legally, it has to be licensed. The owner doesn’t have to be, but the firearm does.

Who Is Eligible?

There are twenty one points that you have to hit in order to obtain a firearm. The four main ones are:

  • You have to be older than 21
  • You have to be stable & non-violent
  • You can’t do drugs
  • You can’t have a criminal record

If you meet everything else, amongst these four, you then have to take a proficiency test, which is a practical and theory exam. Only once you pass can you apply to the Police for a competency certificate. There are four categories that you can complete:

  • Handgun
  • Shotgun
  • Rifle
  • Semi-automatic rifle

The competency certificate isn’t a licence, it’s merely a piece of paper saying you can own the gun that you have received the competency for.

When Can You Own A Firearm?

Owning A Firearm

In this area, there are only certain situations in which you can own a firearm and how many you can legally own. You can have just one for self defence, which can be a shot or handgun. If you live in the area and plan to own multiple guns and need a place to keep them out of harm’s way, the best gun safe for the money may need to be a consideration. It will keep your guns safely locked away and out of the reach of those who can’t have them but want them.

In South Africa, the maximum amount of rounds you can have for self-defense purposes is 200. You also have to always conceal your weapon in public places, there’s not option like there is in the U.S.

Legal Or Illegal? It Doesn’t Matter

Unfortunately, many South Africans have to keep a gun in their home for protection. A lot of times, people break into homes to steal the guns because they can’t get any of their own. It has been shown by international evidence that owners of handguns are victimized more often in contact crimes such as assaults, robbery, murder,

It’s a very common belief that crimes are only committed with illegal guns and that the only way to remedy it is to take away the illegal guns through buy-back programs , searches, amnesties, and intelligence operations, but it’s not. There are more than one way that illegal guns make their ways into South Africa:

  • Legal guns get smuggled from close countries.
  • Fraud, poor enforcement, and corruption of the Firearms Control Act.
  • Loss and theft of firearms from state institutions and civilians.

Think about this for a second-illegal guns were all once legal. There are a high amount of lost and stolen guns. The only way to fix this is by strictly regulating the licensing process for the guns.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, in areas such as South and West Africa, gun ownership is nothing to brag about, it’s actually something to fear. No matter whether owning a gun is illegal or legal, crime is going to happen. South Africa has the second highest gun crime rate, the United States is at the top of the list. It’s not promising that the violence will calm down if stricter laws are put into place, but one can hope.

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