Controlling your Destiny

“Honey, the TV’s not working again! Can you come fix it please?”

If you have an entertainment system, chances are you’ve heard some variation of this question more times than you can count. Every new device that you add brings another remote with dozens of tiny, hard to read buttons. Have you ever gathered the family together to watch a movie, and then spent 15 minutes just trying to get it to play?

With the right universal remote, these issues can become a thing of the past. A custom programmable remote allows you to perform complicated functions with the press of a button. A single ‘ON’ button can power up your entire system. Watching a DVD is as simple as pressing the button that says, ‘DVD.’ No more juggling multiple remotes, no more headaches, and no more frustration.

When choosing a universal remote it is important to remember that all remotes are not created equal. A poorly programmed remote creates more problems than it solves. Consulting a professional installer when making your choice ensures that not only will you enjoy a high quality remote, but also a level of support that’s just not possible with an entry level, do-it-yourself unit from a big-box store. Having professional support available when you need it can make the difference between having an enjoyable evening and wanting to throw your TV out the window!

With the right remote setup it becomes possible to locate your equipment virtually anywhere. Moving unsightly equipment into a cabinet or closet can enhance the appearance of any room, without sacrificing ease of use. In addition to controlling all of your audio and video gear with one easy to use remote, it’s also possible to control lighting and window coverings using the same one-button remote. The possibilities are endless.

In this life there are all kinds of things out of our control. The TV should not be one of them. Take control of your remote, relax, and enjoy the show!

Steve Moore is Project Manager with Karbon Consulting located in Pleasant Hill, California. He can be reached at

Take Control of Joint Pain, Naturally

Joint pain is not an inevitable sign of aging, nor is it always a sign of a condition like arthritis. Instead, joint pain is most often a sign of chronic inflammation or hormonal imbalance. When a person learns to solve these underlying problems, most find their joint pain and stiffness significantly improve, or disappear altogether.

What’s inflammation got to do with it?

The healthy immune system triggers the inflammatory response to deal with sporadic threats like injury or infection. But in many, the inflammatory response is constantly on a low “simmer.” This chronic, low-grade inflammation prevents cell regeneration and repair and gradually tears down tissues — including those in your joints.
Chronic inflammation can be caused by a diet that’s too high in refined carbohydrates and sugars and too low in essential fatty acids. A high-carb diet promotes prolonged high levels of insulin, which disrupts cellular metabolism and spreads inflammation. Undiagnosed food allergies or sensitivities also contribute to inflammation when those foods are eaten. Many people with chronic inflammation also suffer from digestion problems due to an inflamed digestive tract.

Stress is also an issue. Cortisol, the hormone released in response to stress, works as an inflammatory agent. Sustained stress — the kind most of us experience — can cause inflammation to spread like wildfire.

Joint pain and hormonal imbalance.

Many of our female patients first report joint pain when they are approaching menopause. The hormone shifts that occur during this transition, especially fluctuating estrogen levels, can impact how our joints feel. Because estrogen normally has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, falling estrogen levels also exacerbate the symptoms of chronic inflammation.

For women whose joint pain is related to hormonal fluctuations, phytotherapy can gently and effectively support hormonal balance and, for some, help lessen joint pain. Phytotherapy works by using specific herbs/plants to create balance within the body.

The natural approach to joint pain

There’s a lot you can do to relieve your pain, starting with solving the underlying cause. A few simple dietary changes, like reducing refined carbohydrates and sugar, can make a dramatic difference in your joints. We recommend eating more fruits and vegetables, which contain natural anti-inflammatories, and adding a high-quality multivitamin to fill in any nutritional gaps. An elimination diet or lab tests can help identify any food allergies or sensitivities.

For our patients with joint pain, we recommend a high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Essential fatty acids are very effective at fighting inflammation, but it’s almost impossible to include sufficient omega-3’s in the average diet. You can increase your omega-3 intake by eating wild, not farmed, fish caught in the United States; these will be low in toxins and mercury.

Lifestyle changes like stress relief and moderate exercise can help regulate cortisol levels and reduce your inflammatory burden. A gentle but regular exercise program will also help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent excess wear on your hips and knees.

Explore natural therapies.
Class IV Laser pain relief naturally breaks the inflammatory cycle and releases endorphins (natural pain killers). Natural Medicine, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Massage Therapy also can be useful in natural pain and inflammation reduction.
We’ve had great success helping people solve the causes of their joint pain. If you suffer from chronic pain it is worth your while to spend some time figuring out which of any number of factors are contributing to your pain — and which combination of therapies will help heal it. The good news is — you can do it without drugs, and you don’t have to give up any of the activities you love!

Dr. Niele Maimone, DC of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA has been active in natural health & wellness for over 10 years. For more information or to set up a consult call 925.362.8283 or visit

California Sons in Retirement (SIRs), Part 4

Fourth of a four-part series dealing with retirement.

Update: The enjoyable path of our fictional hero, Rob, continues as he “repots” himself after retiring from full-time business activities and discovers SIRs.

Well, it has been over two and a half years now since Rob packed his belongings at work and headed home. In some respects it’s hard to believe. He still remembers, talks about it, and even occasionally hears from some of the old gang. But, the freedom he now enjoys more than overcomes his desire to return to work.

One of the major contributions to his retirement enjoyment has been the membership in SIRs (Sons in Retirement.) Admittedly he approached joining with a bit of trepidation, but that is now long gone. He plays golf with the branch almost weekly and has gone on several week-long outings put on by the State SIR organization. He’s back to playing cards several times a month as well. His wife has joined him and other SIR couples on morning walks and day-long exploratory trips to local venues. Although they have not gone on any of the international trips as yet, the possibility of their joining the travelers remains strong.

Best of all, Rob, has made a number of new friends. Similar to work, he found some guys he identified with and a few with which he had nothing in common. Here he was allowed to choose and soon became quite close to a number of the men. He sits with them at lunch and often stays for a drink with them after golf.

But now Rob was faced with a new dilemma – one which required some thought. He was asked, by the nominating committee, to become an officer in his branch.

Rob had joined SIR purely for selfish reasons. He had been lonesome and at loose ends, and the organization had remedied that. The fact that there were about twenty thousand SIR members and one hundred and twenty plus branches in northern California was of minor interest to him. He focused on his own branch of about one hundred and twenty members and didn’t bother about the details.

But now Rob began to feel a little guilty about his early selfish reasons. He had received a great deal of pleasure from SIR; and, being the kind of person he was, he realized he needed to return the favor and give something back. And, becoming an officer in his branch might solve that need.

He had often wondered early on how SIR could do so much without membership fees. How could they put on so many events at a reasonable price? Then he learned there were no paid employees or positions. All of this work was being done by volunteers, and now he was being asked to give back a little of what he had been given. Frankly, it seemed more than fair to him.

As you’ve probably guessed, Rob became an officer, and, well, the rest is history. I’ll leave it to you to finish the story.