Oprah & Gayle’s Pivotal Moment at Miraval: Life Lessons for All

The Miraval Life in Balance Resort and Spa is renown both for its luxury, environmental-friendly accommodations and its commitment to excellence in customer service.  Located in the Catalina Desert north of Tucson, Arizona, enjoys an outstanding reputation for helping guests find and/or restore a level of balance in their lives through proper exercise, healthy eating, self-reflection and self-awareness.

On account of its premiere offerings, world-class staff, refined menus and full range of spiritual and physical activities, Miraval continues to rank among the top spas in the world and, thus, attract renown clientele the likes of talk show host extraordinaire, Oprah Winfrey.

It stands to reason that Oprah Winfrey and her best gal pal, broadcast journalist Gail King, selected Miraval as the site to bring 60 women guests as a way of presenting them a rewarding challenge.

Calling it both the “Ultimate Girls’ Getaway” and “Oprah and Gayle’s Big Spa Adventure,” the memorable trip included many outstanding moments. While on the surface it may have looked like the women were being whisked away for a relaxing retreat, there was another plan rumbling beneath the surface.  Oprah and Gayle had another plan in mind.

Upon arrival at Miraval, that plan was unveiled!

When Oprah, Gayle and their 60 guests arrived at Miraval they were greeted by Molly, their Challenge Facilitator, who introduced them to their introductory activity, A Swing and a Prayer, during which each participant was to hang 40 feet up in the air until ready to ‘let go’ and fall to an inflated mattress below.

Naturally, as the underlying theme at the Miraval Spa is to practice letting go of excess baggage, the activity is symbolic of a deeper type of emotional release, one in which the person is truly ready to be free and live an unencumbered life.

Prior to embarking on this initial quest, Molly, their Miraval spa personal challenge guru, informed all of the guests they would regularly be asked—and should continually ask themselves— “What is your intention?” The underlying question was, “What do you want to experience or accomplish today?”
As Molly got each to woman share her goals for the day’s exercise, it became crystal clear that focused, meaningful experiences—and not just massages and manicures—were at the core of the group’s complementary spa visit.

Poised to embark on the A Swing and a Prayer exercise, Oprah said that her goal was “More joy.” Although she stated she was already pretty joyful, she also said joy is one thing you can never have
enough of!  Bring it on: “…more joy!”

Oprah, the brave soul she is, volunteered to go first. Aside from being pretty talkative—and probably nervous—she managed to easily let go of the rope and descend to the ground bellowing the words, “More Joy.”

When it came time for Ms. Gail to follow suit, she appeared to be far more afraid than her best buddy. Reluctant to let go of the rope, when Molly asked what was preventing her from letting go, Gail sniped back, “Fear!”

Molly did her best to assuage Gayle’s fears by offering advice and questioning her intentions.  Gayle finally faced those fears, set her intention on personal growth, and took it upon herself to let go of the rope.

After falling through the air and landing safely on the mattress, Gayle, who still seemed a bit miffed by the entire experience, firmly stated, “That was very frightening to me and I’ll never do that again.”

While this snippet from Oprah and Gayle’s “Big Spa Adventure” does have a humorous element to it, there’s an upshot in all of it, a deeper meaning from which we can all glean some meaning and maybe even hone our own intentions.  The experiences of these women illustrate that success in one realm does not exclude fear in others.  Successful people quite simply do not let their fears restrain them. 

While a fear (some say it is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real) isn’t necessarily something to be ashamed of, it is something to be reckoned with.  Not realized and addressed, it can hamper your goals and your progress toward them. 

The overriding idea then is to identify the fear and then find ways to overcome it. At Miraval, you’ll face those fears head-on!

The four-pronged approach outlined to Oprah, Gayle and their guests by Miraval Life Coach Martha Beck contained the four following elements: stillness, truth, desire and trust.

1. Focus on staying still in order to hear what your inner voice is saying to you. Be willing to experience some discomfort when sitting still as it is likely to bring up difficult emotions like fear, anger, sadness, and other feelings that you would prefer to avoid.
2. Identify your own truth by answering the completing the following statements:
a. What I really don’t want to know is that…
b. I’m avoiding looking at the fact that…
c. The absolute bottom-line truth about my life is…
d. The thing I’m avoiding thinking about is…
3. Determine what you personally desire out of life as opposed to what other people want for you or that which you think you should want.
4. Develop a sense of trust and faith that the universe will provide everything you need and that your life will work out just as it is meant to be.

Look online for more information about Miraval and talk to your cosmetic surgeon about any questions you may have on spa options.  In the meantime, consider what’s keeping you clinging to that figurative rope in your own life…and what you have to gain by letting go!

5 Best Marketing Strategies to Follow, When Starting a Jewelry Business

5 Best Marketing Strategies to Follow, When Starting a Jewelry Business

Jewelry business is considered as a lucrative business. People who are in to fashion and jewelry designing are most interested in opening up their own jewelry business, but the risk associated with a set up company or buying a business stops them to grow. Best option for entrepreneur is to go for jewelry franchise opportunities. It helps in opening a business with existing brand name that helps in minimizing the risks of new business and ensures the profitability. Few more things come under marketing strategy and are required to be followed to make your business successful.

  1. Web Designing: It is significantly important to open a new website for your business and design it in a way that attracts user. A website must be user-friendly and offer great functionality. It offers a great extent of visibility to the business and hence, anytime accessibility to the user. Actually, it is an easiest way to introduce your business to costumers.
  2. Online Store:  In this computer era, most of the businesses are dealing online, which is the demand of time. Therefore, starting an online company registration is a very smart idea. Customers are getting attracted towards online shopping as it saves their time. Place your products, service online, and use an advanced pricing technique that will help you to compete in this business world. 
  3. Optimization of Website: Once you are done with opening your own website, the best next step that must be taken is to optimize it. Optimizing a website leads to a better page ranking on search engines and hence the maximum traffic to the page. It helps in bringing out best of your business. Hiring a professional to get reliable search engine optimization service is suggested. They use legal and latest techniques to produce a better search result and thus influence the growth of the business.
  4. Advertising: Advertising a business is a very old technique, yet it is efficient and effective. There are various ways to advertise your business as in advertising through media, electronic media, social networking sites, mobile applications and more. Advertising is the best way to promote your business. It is an easiest and cost-effective way to make new and potential customers. 
  5. Best available Offers in the Market: Offer is not only about discounting. It off course deals and meant for competitive price of products and services, but it also implies various attractive services that a company offer. It may a unique service as in repairing of jewelry of something else, a complementary service or gift offered to the customer and much more. This strategy helps in retaining your existing customer by valuing them and making new one by the best attractive offer in the market. 

Steps to be followed before buying a jewelry franchise:

If you are fond of jewelries and designing, but are in-experienced and still want to make a carrier in jewelry business, choose jewelry franchise option. Nevertheless, you must look for certain things before buying a franchise and that is the key to succeed in business. Check for the reliability and reputation of franchises; gather all the information about them and their business. Contact them to know what are the services they provide to newbie and how do they help new owner in starting a business. Get the information about insurance, training and support provided them and if you are satisfied with their reputation and business strategy; you are ready to go.

Start Your Very Own Jewelry Business Online

Amber jewelry is known as one of the leading online wholesalers of fashion and costume jewelry. This organization is once again beckoning people to take advantage of their scintillating offering- one that allows you to both source and sell jewelry pieces using the internet medium. By signing up for their policy, you get an opportunity to run your very own jewelry business without even setting up a company premises. However, the company’s policy is subject to certain Terms and Conditions. Let us now take a look into some of them.

On receiving the shipment, the customer will be asked to sign for the items. Hence, it is imperative that whatever delivery address you are providing must be attended by someone round the clock. For AU it takes two to five working days to get the products delivered. Similarly, dealers based in the Scottish offshore islands have to wait for ten days before the shipment reaches them. Amber jewelry is easily among the most revered fashion jewelry pieces across the length and breadth of globe. When combined with precious metals, the jewels exude an ageless elegance. Amber qualifies as a rare gemstone that is available in a variety of shades like typical gold, black, green, and even yellow.

Mix It Up! 7 Unique Spa Treatments to Relax and Revitalize!

Here are 7 truly unique spa treatments that will make you feel like royalty!  Most hail from Europe, the Far East, or Indonesia, where they are well versed in the art of pampering.  These therapies are so luxurious, it might be hard to decide which to try first.   You’ll just have to plan a series of spa adventures so you can enjoy the full variety of delicious pampering!

Fresh Organic Fruit Massage

Receive the ecstatic experience of having your body massaged with your favorite fruit.  You can limit it to just a foot fruit massage or go the distance with a full body massage. Fruit acids tighten and refine skin’s texture by helping to slough away dead cells.  Depending on the fruit you choose, the additional benefits could be exfoliating, energizing, cleansing, or detoxifying.  Some spas will combine the fruit with an aromatic massage oil to enhance the overall benefit.

Salt Scrub or Salt Glow

Sea salt is rich in trace minerals and when applied during a gentle, but stimulating massage, it will detoxify and exfoliate dry skin cells. Oftentimes, it will be combined with warm, aromatic massage oil for a more luxurious application. Your newly radiant skin is then rinsed with soothing warm water, leaving your skin moist, glowing and satiny smooth.  (Don’t shave your legs before this treatment.)
Javanese Lulur

Truly fit for a queen or king, this spice and milk body polishing treatment originated in the royal palaces of Central Java in the 17th century and is still used to prepare the bride for her wedding night.

The ancient tradition of Lulur is performed on the bride-to-be, for each of the 40 days prior to the wedding by women in the family as a way of privately having time together to pass on wisdom and nurturing. It is believed that the more relaxed the bride is, the more likely she will conceive on the honeymoon night. Nowadays, the Javanese Lulur is readily available internationally and is a popular spa treatment for men and women any time – not only pre- or post-wedding.  And not to worry…it probably has nothing to do with fertility!

This traditional Indonesian ritual begins with a luxurious deep-tissue massage using strong strokes that improve energy flow using Jasmine Frangipani scented oil and continues with Lulur, a tumeric and rice skin scrub applied lightly to exfoliate and sweeten the skin. After the skin has been cleansed, your body is pampered with a traditional yogurt application and an exotic flower bath.  You emerge feeling relaxed and totally pampered and your skin is soft, supple and shining.

Coffee Body Scrub

Intoxicatingly aromatic, this scrub smoothes and refines your skin and elevates your mood with coffee’s naturally occurring minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Each spa has its own special blend of roasted coffee, often combined with volcanic pumice.  The body is then rubbed with fresh carrots, sometimes blended in a jelly to soothe your skin.  The treatment provides a stimulating and refreshing cleanse for the whole body, rejuvenating the skin and arousing the senses.

Hot Chocolate Body Massage

Is there anything more decadent for a chocolate lover than to have your body slathered in it while being massaged at the same time?  The aroma alone, with its anti-stress and calming effect, can send you into ecstasy, as it increases the production of endorphins, the “hormone of happiness”!

The antioxidants in cacao are purported to improve blood flow, reduce blood pressure and assist with anti-aging.  Cacao also moisturizes and nourishes your skin, while helping get rid of cellulite.
Some spas use chocolate oil, some use a chocolate cream and still others use real melted chocolate mixed with almond oil for smooth and sensuous application.

After rinsing in a warm shower, you are left with the heavenly smell and haven’t ingested a single
calorie!

Four Hands Massage

Four-hands massage is performed by two therapists working in concert.  With hands flowing over your body like the ocean, you lose track of time and space, your mind and body are set free. You experience deep relaxation as you surrender to the symphony of healing and pleasure created by four hands working together for a totally unique experience.

Therapeutic Honey Massage

Honey massage is one of the ancient healing treatments of Tibet.  It is particularly suitable while fasting, due to its detoxifying and cleansing properties.  Honey also stimulates energetic channels, improves blood circulation, relieves muscle stress, stimulates lymph system and acts against cellulite. It can support recovery from common colds and painful joints.  As you can imagine, honey massage is not suitable for men with excessive body hair.

So, you have the options.  Now it’s time to try them on for size!  The Internet is an invaluable tool for researching which spas offer what treatments.  So whether you’re looking into the spa around the corner from you or a spa at your next destination getaway, do the research and plan your nosedive into bliss!

Fish, Mercury and Essential Fatty Acids

The Controversy

There’s a controversy over the amount of fish people should eat. The question is more important to women because of pregnancy.  The controversy concerns the levels of mercury in fish because mercury is a very toxic substance that causes terrible birth defects. Some environmental groups are publishing frightening information that would make women want to avoid fish altogether.  The fishing industry is retaliating with information that would lead women to think there’s no problem.  The truth is somewhere in between.

There is mercury in all fish.  In some fish, in some locations, there is way too much mercury for women or men to eat—but especially for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant.

Is this just a theoretical problem created by watch-dog groups?

No. A report published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of 3600 individuals showed that 2% of Hispanic people, 6% of whites and 5% of African Americans had levels of mercury in their blood that was above the level that is assumed to be safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That’s about 15 million people in the USA with too much mercury in their blood.

In another report by Dr. Jane Hightower, a San Francisco physician, 89 people were tested over the course of a year to track their blood levels. 79 of the 89 people had high levels of mercury—some were 15 times higher than the maximum safe level. This unusual result shows that some geographic areas have some very high levels of mercury pollution.

Another troubling issue is that the “safe” dose set by the EPA is only based on neurological damage.  Newer studies have shown an association with increased heart attacks and death from mercury levels close to the current “safe” dose (RfD) set by the EPA (Rissanen et al. 2000; Salonen et al. 1995, 2000).

So, if that’s true, should women avoid fish or not?

The answer depends on whether a woman has alternative sources of protein and essential fatty acids in her diet.  For most of the people on the planet, fish is the best source of essential fatty acids and an excellent source of protein.

For the people who live in industrialized countries, there are alternative sources of essential fatty acid–supplements that provide the benefits of the fats without the risk of mercury.

In most places in the world there are excellent sources of protein other than fish.

The benefits of fish: If a woman avoids seafood, she’ll lose out on the great benefits of eating fish.  They are excellent sources of proteins and essential fatty acids.  Pregnant women should get plenty of both for their own health and the health of the unborn child.

The dangers of fish: If a pregnant woman eats enough of the wrong kinds of fish, her child will probably have a reduced IQ, may even be mentally retarded or have other developmental problems.  Mercury is very, very toxic.

What to do?

What makes sense is to eat fish intelligently.  Choose the type of fish according to the likelihood that it has a small amount of mercury. See the FDA website for estimate mercury levels of many species.

Frequently recommended as being low in mercury are: mid-Atlantic blue crab, croaker, flounder in summer, haddock, farm-raised trout, wild Pacific salmon and shrimp.  Try to learn where the fish were caught and what the mercury levels are in that area.  There are data on mercury pollution by state available at the Environmental Working Group website.

Fish that are a little higher in mercury but safe to eat once per month are: mahi mahi, blue mussel, Eastern oyster, cod, pollock, Great Lakes salmon, Gulf Coast blue crab, wild channel catfish, and lake whitefish.

It also makes sense to use an essential fatty acid supplement to get the benefits with less risk of mercury contamination.

To increase their chances of healthy babies, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should have their blood mercury level checked periodically.

What to avoid

Fish that are known to be especially high in mercury are the larger species who are in the water longer and therefore absorb more mercury into their tissues: shark; swordfish; king mackerel; tilefish; larger tuna species like albacore, big-eye or yellow-fin; sea bass; Gulf Coast oysters; marlin; halibut; pike; walleye; white croaker and largemouth bass.

Summary

Find the best sources of protein and essential fatty acids in your area. Include fish that are known to be safe since they are a good source of both. Have your blood mercury levels checked occasionally—especially if you’re pregnant or may become pregnant.

Fall Clothes Shopping in Hawaii

Last week I spent a fun filled week with one of my best and most adventurous friends Kathy. While shopping is certainly not the only thing that we did when I came to visit, as person who loves clothes and shopping, when I am on vacation I always try to get clothing that I can not find where I live.

I found two really cute dresses and a tank top in at a store called Honolua Surf Company. They super soft too. I tried to find them on their website to link to but they are not up there. The company is based in Hawaii. I must say the fit of the clothes are very nice, the price is right, and they have some cute and original stuff. I think that there is one of every island too.

My friend Kathy lives right on Wakiki Beach. This is like the fashion district in Honolulu. There were all these high end stores and they were selling their fall collections as if it was going to get cold there. I was really surprised. Most places in Hawaii never get below 85 degrees! I guess the tourists must buy the stuff and take it home, who knows. You would think that they would just ship all their summer stuff to Hawaii instead of stocking these stores with thick winter coats, and sweaters.

The Old Navy is also being stocked with warm and fuzzy fall clothes. Kathy went there to get some of Old Navy’s famous cheap flip flops (called slippas in Hawaii) and all they had was neon yellow and neon blue! They will not be getting any more until next year either. So, I just went to Old Navy here in Arizona and found her just about every color they make on clearance and I mailed them to her. She will have flip flops for every out fit now!

If you do ever end up shopping for clothes in Hawaii, skip the clothes you can buy on the mainland. They are probably more expensive in Hawaii anyhow. Get your self some neato board shorts, a cute bathing suit and do not forget to get a sarong! Sarongs are easy to find and cheap in Hawaii plus they are very fun to where too! When you get back home you can always use the sarong by the pool as a chic wrap over your bathing suit.

DRM Free Music Files: Play Your Music Where YOU Want To

When it comes to purchasing music files online to play on your computer or MP3 player you can now choose from dozens of different vendors.  While iTunes and Napster come to mind immediately the music on these sites have one major limitation.  In most cases you cannot play the music on any machine other than those that are authorized by the service.  Depending on the company you may be able to authorize several or only one machine.  If you burn the compressed file to a disc and move it to another machine it is very likely that it will not play due to the Digital Rights Management (DRM) that is applied to each file before it is downloaded.  For years users have complained about the restrictions, and while there are ways around it the fact remains that most people believe that since you paid for the music you should have the right to do with it as you please.

Finally there is a digital music provider out there that has had the guts to remove all DRM protection from the files it sells.  Amazon.com recently unveiled a new MP3 music site that sells DRM free tracks for as little as 89 cents each which is on par with most other download services.  The difference is that you can do anything you want to with the Amazon music tracks.  Load them on your MP3 player, burn dozens of them to a CD to play on your car’s stereo system, or take a copy to your place of business to listen to as you work.  All of these are now options without any loss in quality due to burning and re-ripping the files.

Aspartame, Cancer, and Diet Soda

Each and every can of diet soda—if it contains aspartame—produces an excessive amount of the carcinogen formaldehyde in your body. Aspartame is the chemical in Equal® and NutraSweet®. Formaldehyde isn’t listed in the ingredients; your body produces it as you digest the soda.

Each molecule of aspartame is broken down in the body into aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol, one molecule of each.

aspartic acid is harmless; it’s broken down into alanine, an amino acid, and oxaloacetate, an organic compound.

phenylalanine, an allergen to some people, is broken down into mostly tyrosine, an amino acid, and to a lesser extent into phenylethylamine, an alkaloid, and phenylpyruvate.

methanol (wood alcohol) is broken down into formic acid (the toxin in ant bites) and formaldehyde which is a carcinogen.

Drinking one diet soda with aspartame gives about 20 mg of methanol. While this isn’t enough methanol to give you a bad hangover, it produces 6 mg of formaldehyde which is three times the daily EPA limit. It’s 30 times the limit in New Jersey, 100 times the limit in California, and 300 times the limit in Maryland.

Formaldehyde causes cancer and each can of diet soda contains chemicals that produce more than the legal limit of this dangerous chemical.

According to Dr. Devra Davis, the Director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, all scientific evidence about aspartame has been negative for human health, and it wasn’t until Donald Rumsfeld left government and became the CEO of G.D. Searle, the manufacturer, that the government approved aspartame for use in human food and drinks.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, when asked about Donald Rumsfeld’s connection to the aspartame approval, Dr. Davis stated:

“I don’t know what his precise role was. I only know that prior to his becoming CEO of Searle, aspartame had been turned down by every scientific group reviewing its safety and that the General Counsel of the FDA asked the U.S. Attorney’s office to convene a grand jury to decide whether to indict the producer for knowingly misrepresenting findings… The grand jury never acted. Those working on this for the government went to work for Searle. The day after Reagan’s inauguration, the company resubmitted a request for approval. Within five months of Reagan’s presidency, aspartame was approved.”

In Dr. Davis’ new book, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, she describes the manipulation of the US government by the chemical industry—not only with respect to aspartame but many other chemicals that touch the daily lives of the citizens.

For more information on preventing cancer, see The Center for Environmental Oncology or the Environmental Working Group.

Just one last tip—don’t drink your diet soda if it has been warmed by the sun for a while. According to a 2006 article in the Albuquerque Journal, the heat and light cause the ascorbic acid and the benzoate preservatives in soda to form benzene, another carcinogen that produces leukemia and other blood diseases.

A Non-invasive Treatment for Hair Removal and Damaged Skin

When you think of lasers, you might imagine military weaponry, complicated surgical procedures, or even a futuristic sci-fi movie. Did you know that lasers are also being used to repair skin problems and remove unwanted hair?

Once scientists explored the power of lasers, they found countless ways to harness that energy and use it for other purposes, including cosmetic ones. Yes, the same technology used for powerful weaponry, to mend internal organs and for satellites in space is now being applied directly to your skin.

Don’t be frightened by this concept. Quite simply, a laser is a focused, intense beam of light that transmits energy that, in turn, converts to heat. Lasers use different wavelengths tailored to the specific function. For dermatological applications, the beam is decidedly smaller and less potent than those used in larger operations.

This laser method is called intense pulsed light (IPL) and it targets the melanin in your skin. Melanin is the substance that provides pigment to skin and hair. The laser’s light permeates the top layer (epidermis) of your skin, which is 80 percent water. It strikes the melanin in the second layer (dermis). The melanin absorbs the light, which turns to heat. This heat destroys the melanin and the hair follicle.

For skin repair, IPL is being used to effectively treat a wide range of problems, including age spots, acne scars, fine lines, sun damage, large pores, rosacea, and redness from broken capillaries. You can even use IPL to fade an unwanted tattoo if you’re suffering from “buyer’s remorse”. Once the pigment is destroyed by the light’s energy, your immune system disposes of the tiny particles.

IPL also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the dermis. These two essential proteins provide structure and firmness in your skin, which helps to even out the texture and fill in indented areas like acne scars. As you age, your skin cells manufacture less and less collagen and elastin, so the boost from the laser is just as beneficial here as it is to repairing the desired skin spots and flaws.

IPL works much the same on hair follicles as it does on your skin. There is melanin in the hair follicles, which provides the pigment to the hair. The laser pulses through the top layer of skin, zeroing in on the melanin in the follicles. The laser’s light heats up the melanin. This heat destroys the surrounding hair shaft and follicle. Once the follicle is deadened, it no longer produces hair.
There are other methods for treating unwanted hair and unsightly skin conditions, but IPL offers distinct advantages:

Quickness: Treatments can take less than a minute, depending on the area. You can remove 20 spots from the back of your hand or get rid of the hair on your upper lip in about 10 to 20 seconds. The larger the area, the longer, the treatment, but you’ll find that it’s still faster than most other methods;

Safety: There is no danger with IPL. The treatment from this type of laser is completely safe. Plus, side effects are rare; and

No downtime: You can return to your daily activities immediately. IPL requires no anesthesia, bandages, or recovery period. You might experience some redness in the treated area but it will fade away within a matter of hours. You can also apply makeup immediately after the treatment to cover this slight discoloration.

Before your IPL procedure, you’ll need to prepare your skin in order to get the best results. Because these lasers attack the melanin in your skin, you need to refrain from any activity that will alter your skin color; that means no tanning — whether in the sunlight, tanning bed, spray tan, or bronzing lotion — for two weeks prior to your appointment.

If you’re undergoing IPL for hair removal, you must stop tweezing, waxing, or plucking the unwanted hair for two weeks in advance so that the hairs and melanin are intact. You can shave, trim, or use a depilatory on those areas to keep the hair under control.

When you go for your treatment, the doctor will apply a cooling gel on the area. The IPL device will then be swiped across the skin, emitting pulses of light. The sensation of each pulse has been compared to a light snap from a rubber band. If the feeling bothers you, your doctor can use a topical anesthetic cream to dull the skin. Once the treatment is completed, the gel is removed and you’re ready to go!

IPL can be found in a variety of names. You’ll see FotoFacial, Smoothbeam, Vbeam, Photo Rejuvenation, and many others. Ask the practitioner about the technology to be sure that it is using intense pulsed light. Also talk about the number of treatments needed to get your desired results. You can expect to undergo anywhere from three to eight procedures, spaced about three or four weeks apart. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with more youthful, healthy, hairless skin!

Why People Who Pay on Time Pay for Credit Card Defaults

In defense of the credit card companies, one of the reasons that they charge such high interest rates is because of the number of people who fail to pay what they owe on their credit cards. Sure they are profit driven but hey, this is a capitalist society isn’t?

But the fact of the matter is that those people that carry balances from month to month are charged higher interest rates because so many others default on their credit cards. Which in effect, places the responsibility of paying for those who default on those who pay.

An appropriate analogy would be automobile insurance. The insurance companies charge higher rates in part to make up for the billions and billions of dollars in damage caused by uninsured motorists.

The common denominator here being that the responsible are forced to pay for the irresponsible. Now I realize that it is not a very popular position to side with credit card companies and insurance companies but the facts are the facts regardless.

Right now American consumers owe nearly $1 trillion in credit card debt. Approximately 50% of credit card account holders that carry balances from month to month make only the minimum payment. That shows you what a rather tenuous financial position so many Americans find themselves in.

While these accounts are extremely profitable for the credit card issuers, anytime there is a default (which is defined as a failure to make payment after 60 days) the credit card companies are out that money.

And of course, because they are a business that must stay solvent and profitable they pass those costs on to the consumer.  These defaults or write-offs are now happening at a record pace due to the high unemployment rate.

Individual bankruptcies for example, are up 36% for the first half of 2009 as compared to the first half of 2008. That is a stunning increase and has resulted in banks and credit card companies severely tightening their credit standards. Right now in order to be approved for a credit card you pretty much have to have a stellar credit rating.

Bank of America reported that their default rate rose to 13.8% in June of 2009. That is up from 12.5% in the prior month. Bank of America has been hit the worst as far as credit card defaults go because they were the most aggressive and issuing credit cards to quite frankly, people that never should have got them to begin with.

The other major credit card issuers including Chase, Citigroup, American Express, Discover and Capital One all report credit card defaults around the 10% mark. On the positive side there are signs that the economy is improving, but until we see the unemployment numbers go down the defaults will continue.