Veneer…What the heck??

Pink Can Too

I have been IN LOVE with Veneer!!!

I have been using it on my clients and myself.  I cannot recommend it enough!  I know there are a ton of companies making it now but I have only tried the one brand our salon brought in.  Its Cuccio Veneer.

Cuccio Veneer

 

BEST INVENTION EVER!!!!

Its hard (cured) like Gel but has the consistency of Nail polish.  You have to prep the nail similar to applying gel or regular polish and each layer is cured under a UV light.

This is a miracle for the manicure world.  Imagine going to the salon and having your regular manicure……..but your polish lasts more then a few days…even through the roughest household chores!!

This products goes on your natural nails and lasts for a few weeks with minimal chipping and needs to be refreshed as it grows out.

I looooooove this product and mention it to…

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The Placebo Effect

The placebo effect is the phenomenon of a patient recovering completely or partially from the symptoms of the illness when administered a dummy drug, whilst being told they are in fact being given an effective medicine which will cure them. The effects of the placebo are not simply that the patient believes themselves to be better, but an actual measurable decrease in recorded symptoms. There is a great debate over how placebos work, there is really little consensus over the matter, but the fact is that in some situations it does work, which makes the area a crucially important field of study, as we can discover ways to cure people without drugs and their potential side-effects. Not only is it better for the patient, but it is also more cost-effective. So, what are the prevailing theories of how placebos work?

The placebo has only been seen to be effective in subjective symptoms, that is, ones in which the severity is judged by the patient themselves, e.g. pain. There has been little evidence to suggest that placebos work to reduce objective symptoms, those that are observed and measured by the doctor, such as blood pressure. This strongly suggests that the effect is primarily psychological, but how does this produce a physical reduction in subjective symptoms? As is well known now, the subjects of psychology and neuroscience are deeply intertwined – the study of the mind and the study of the brain; without one you cannot have the other.

So, one suggestion is that the patient’s psychological state could affect the physical workings of the brain itself, for example by altering the levels of various hormones. The brain can learn to associate certain physiological happenings with exposure to a certain substance. One example of this was a group of studies conducted on lab animals in which the animals were exposed to a saccharin, paired with a drink which would produce immunosuppression. Soon the animals bodies began to produce the physiological responses causing immunosuppression merely upon tasting the saccharin, even when the other drink was not present. This included changes in the level of insulin secretion by the animals. This is similar to the studies carried out by Pavlov with his dogs.

Functional imaging on patients suffering from pain whilst being administered a placebo showed activation of various areas of the brain, including the amygdala, which perform a primary role in emotional responses. It has been recorded that some of these patients showed increased dopamine and opioid levels. Self-reinforcing feedback loops are formed wherein the individual recalls taking the placebo and notes a decrease in pain, and begins creating an association between the two. An increased release in dopamine levels has also been noted when administering placebos to patients suffering depression.

All these theories work around two main concepts; those of conditioning and expectancy. The patient expects the drug to work, and so notes a reduction in symptoms. The patient then undergoes conditioning in which they begin to associate the drug with the reduced symptom, so whenever they take the placebo they continue to experience the positive effects. Even small things, such as the enthusiasm of the doctor and the appearance of the drugs given to the patient can effect the strength of this association. In studies where patients were informed they were given a placebo, all reports of reduced symptoms disappeared almost immediately.

For now we cannot be entirely sure where the line crosses from a psychological effect to a physical one, but as neuroscience continues to expand and grow alongside psychology, we could perhaps know the answers in the future. Until then placebos remain an effective, if mysterious, form of treatment for many (even if they don’t know it).

The Purpose of Art Throughout History

Throughout the history of mankind, art has served several functions; everything from creative expression to therapy, from historic telling to the expression of ideologies, from engaging an audience to engaging the mind. Art is often cited as of no practical use to humanity, something nice to have, but not of the same practicality as the sciences or literature. However art has served both as a functional as well as an aesthetic purpose – here, I’d like to talk about just a few of the ways that art has helped mankind.

The Telling of History

Before photography (though an art form in itself), paintings, sculptures, and other forms of classical art were among the few ways that our ancestors helped us understand their lives, the events that formed them, and the cultures that shaped them. I don’t only mean the great war epics you find in great monuments and the houses of nobility, but even moreso art which depicted the everyday lives of people in the past. We see depicted the gaps between the rich and poor, the religious views of the people, the way in which different cultures intersected throughout history. By bringing all these together we form a timeline of a sort, watching humanity as it has changed over time – its ideas, its values, its great events. We see the scientific revolution in the mathematical precision of architecture in the Renaissance, we see the lavishness of the French nobility in the Palace of Versailles, we see the strict religious values of the Middle Ages in the stained glass windows of a Medieval church. When even the literature of an age is lost, it is often the art of an age which stands firm against the weathering of time to tell the present of the past.

Therapy

A more modern use of art is its role in therapy, the use of art to an individual to express themselves and help them to gain understanding when all other methods have failed. ‘Outsider art’ is a form of this – the artistic expression of those with mental illness, those who are imprisoned, etc. Through their art they are able to achieve many things – find a sort of peace, gain a better understanding of themselves and the world around them, or communicate with a world which can’t otherwise understand them. As well as helping the individual, by viewing this type of art people can look into the minds of the ‘outsiders,’ see them for once as people – different, but yet the same. However art can be therapeutic to anyone – the benefits of having a creative outlet are often proclaimed by those working with mental health – as humans we feel the need to understand be understood. Art is one way of doing that, often working where other media hasn’t. Literature often works in the same way, it is a form of expression which allows humans to communicate on a greater level and to a larger audience than a simple conversation can. Art allows people to express what words often can’t, and humanity gains a greater understanding of the many people within itself for it.

Spreading A Message

Art can often be open to interpretation, the artist may want each individual to form their own opinions on a piece, making it personal to each person viewing it. However at other times, the artist may want to send out a clear message; whether it be ideological, political, religious, or otherwise. Through art people can express their distaste with the current state of world affairs, can incite the world to action, can commemorate those who have suffered or achieved great things, or show the world the true colours of those who have done terrible things. Photography in particular is known for this – photographers flying out to developing countries to show the rest of the world the true horrors of poverty and disease, capturing moments in history to be remembered forever, or to express emotions at times when the world isn’t quite sure how to show what its feeling – as with the famous photograph of the ‘Falling Man’ from the 9/11 attacks. Art allows everyone to have their say, and doesn’t require that people be great speakers or intellectuals, they can use any number of materials to show the world that they have something important to say. And in turn, it can inspire people, make them think or spur them into action – it should never be underestimated how powerful a tool art is for provoking both thought and action. It is accessible to everyone, and can be produced by anyone, it is a universal language.

Aesthetics

What could perhaps be considered one of the less valuable qualities of art is its capacity to simply be beautiful. However, I would argue that this in itself is also important. Using art we can create emotions, atmospheres, different spaces where people can relax, and get away from a world where functionality is becoming increasingly important. It reminds people that there is more to life than simply being useful, that you can sometimes simply stop to smell the roses and enjoy what there is to see around you – whether it be made by nature or by man. Art can create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy without attaching a price tag to itself, or trying to force itself to be functional, or even practical. It’s something that can be enjoyed simply for what it is, and can bring moments of peace in what can be an extremely hectic world. A beautiful garden may not cure a disease or solve world hunger, but it can bring moments of joy, perhaps to people who otherwise have very few. Beauty is something which may be appreciated by everyone – young or old, rich or poor, and it can bring these people together in their shared enjoyment of something which has no purpose other than to bring a smile to someone’s face.

 

Just from these few things, we can already see that art is invaluable to humanity. Without it, we as a people would be very much different – it has shaped history, culture, and the minds and actions of people. It is a powerful tool which should not be underestimated.