Top 5 Ways to Manage Your Stress

Stress management is always a difficult task for many. There are so many pressures in life to excel at your career, be there for your family, stay healthy, and to enjoy yourself despite all of the pressure. All of this is possible with the right tools under your belt to maintain all of these daily and weekly goals.

Even when work has you overwhelmed, your children need all of your free time, and you feel there is no room for healthy eating and exercise, there are some important ways to manage your stress that will make all areas of your life seem a lot more manageable and enjoyable.

Take a look at these top five stress management tools that will help you when the negative stress in your life is getting in the way of the good stresses that help you in your daily life, relationships, and your health.

Exercise

Not only does exercise make you strong physically, but it works to fight off the mental effects of stress as well. Exercise is known for giving you endorphins and improving your mood, while also making you feel strong and confident.

You’ll have a hard time feeling the stress at this morning’s board meeting after the strength you’ve gained from that workout earlier in the AM. Whether it’s a weekly yoga class, a high-intensity workout video, a run around the neighborhood, or dancing when no one’s watching, your body will thank you for it by fighting the stress and equipping you to manage the negative stress that comes your way each week. Don’t forget to turn on some music to get your brain going too. 

Nature and solitude

There is something to be said about the effects of nature on the mind. Getting outside each day for a moment of silence and appreciation your surroundings is really important. Even if it’s raining or snowing, it’s important that you get out and enjoy the feel of the wind, the smell of the grass, and the beauty of the trees.

Getting outside makes it much easier to put things into perspective and manage your stress. While a day at the park with your family may be the solution, some people take a moment for some solitude in nature to manage their stress. Take a walk to a nearby waterfall or read a book by a tree during your lunch hour without your cell phone bothering you and you may find your brain gets the rest it needs to problem solve later.

A sense of community

What you may need right now more than ever is a better sense of community by spending time around people that make you feel alive. Find time for family, new friends, or colleagues that you enjoy being around in order to lower your stress and your cortisol levels. Your health will improve when you share experiences with other people and have people to support you during difficult periods.

Take on a new hobby

In the busyness of life, you may forget to take time for your personal endeavors. Use your weekends to start up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Learning makes us feel alive and gives us something different to focus on than the normal obligations.

You are never too old to learn something new and get good at something that is just for you. Learning a new skill will give you confidence, a new focus in your spare time, and something exciting to show off to your family.

Preventative care

One of the best ways to manage your stress is to take care of yourself before there is a problem. Preventative care is so important to keep yourself healthy. Eating healthy now will help you prevent the chances of becoming overweight or getting diabetes. Exercising now will help you be strong as you get older and your body naturally gets weaker.

Going to the doctor for an annual physical will help you spot potential problems in your body early on so that they can be healed and corrected from the start. That is why so many choose chiropractic care as a preventative measure, knowing that their body will benefit from adjustments when stress in the week can sometimes make things go out of whack. Be sure to eat well, exercise, and seek preventative care with a chiropractor to make sure your body is functioning at full capacity.

Use these tips to manage life’s stressors because self-care is so important to your health and happiness.

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Never Call in Sick to the Chiropractor

Have you caught a bug and you’re thinking about cancelling your chiropractic visit? Don’t call in sick to this appointment like you would for school or work. You chiropractor is one person you’ll definitely want to see while you’re sick because you can get the adjustment you need to heel faster and receive a more natural treatment. This is due to the link between the nervous system and the immune system that is working in overdrive right now. Take a look at why you should never call in sick to the chiropractor.

Go even if you’re contagious

Talk to your chiropractor if you have caught something that is causing you flu-like symptoms, to find out when the best time to come into the office would be. When you are still contagious because the symptoms just started, your chiropractor can likely schedule you for the very beginning of the day or at the end of the day when other patients won’t be around.

The office staff can help ensure you don’t spread the illness around by taking additional measures to protect other patients that arrive after you. You’ll want to go regardless of the stage of illness you are in.

How your body fights illness

Your immune system is working in overdrive when you are ill to help you fight off the illness you have. While the symptoms associated with it can be the worst of the struggle, it’s there to help you by serving the purpose of letting you know that your body is doing the work to fight it off itself. When you have a runny nose, it’s your body’s way of telling you that it’s trying to excrete the virus or organisms.

When your appetite is gone, it’s because your body is using your digestive cycle’s energy in your immune system instead. When you have watery eyes, it’s because your eyes are trying to cool themselves so that they are not damaged by the fever since they are heat sensitive. That mild fever is there to stimulate the immune system and create the environment your body needs to fight off foreign bodies.

How chiropractic care can help

You may be thinking that a chiropractor is the wrong person to see during an illness. In fact, the chiropractor is the best place to go when you’re ill because the chiropractor is helping you to have a healthy spiny which in turn helps you to have a fully functioning nervous system that has a direct link to your immune system.

The nervous system is linked to the immune system through the adrenal glands, as well as the chemicals and hormones that talk to the cells of the immune system from the nervous system. When you’re under the weather, your chiropractic adjustments can improve your nervous system’s function which will control the regulation of the immune system that is fighting your illness. Taking care of your brain stem and spinal cord will help to regulate the rest of your body’s functions.

Don’t call in sick to the chiropractor; this is the doctor you need to see when you feel important symptoms that your body is fighting off illness.

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Sleeping can Take Your Breath Away…Literally – Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Chiropractic

Many individuals experience breathing difficulties during sleep. Such difficulties may include snoring, choking, or a form of sleep apnea. Of particular interest in today’s article is a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which causes abnormal pauses in breathing that are typically the result of obstruction of the upper airway. Some symptoms of OSA include excessive daytime sleepiness, unrefreshed sleep, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue. In addition, several factors increase one’s risk of developing OSA such as obesity, male gender, age, family history, menopause, craniofacial abnormalities, smoking, alcohol use, and more.

Moderate and severe cases of OSA are typically treated with the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine provides continuous pressurized airflow to individuals with OSA in order to promote an open airway during sleep. Other common methods of intervention include lifestyle changes, surgery, and dental appliances.

The prevalence of OSA continues to rise along with the demand for alternative treatments. As the following case study suggests, chiropractic adjustments may be quite effective in providing positive outcomes for OSA patients.

Case Study: A 34-year- old male with OSA presented to the chiropractor with the following symptoms: daytime drowsiness, lack of energy, loud snoring, and difficulty breathing during sleep. The use of a CPAP machine as prescribed by his medical doctor provided some relief but nevertheless, he sought chiropractic consultation. The patient’s treatment plan began with 3 visits per week for the first 3 months which was later decreased to 1 visit per week. Some of the techniques that were utilized are known as Diversified Technique, Full Spine Technique, and Pettibon Technique.

The patient’s number of visits per week was reduced at the 3 month mark in light of the following improvements: increased energy, cessation of snoring and daytime drowsiness, increased cervical curve, reduction of forward head placement, decreased paraspinal hypertoniciy, and finally, termination of CPAP machine use.

OSA can greatly diminish one’s quality of life. In this particular case, the patient experienced improvements in symptoms as well as in other aspects of his life. More specifically, in addition to the positive outcomes listed above, the patient reported that his anxiety and acid reflux had subsided which; in turn led to discontinuation of associated medications. Further research is required to support current findings.

Jockers, D., & Waite, H. (2014). Resolution of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in a Patient Undergoing Corrective Chiropractic Care: A Case Study. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research.

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Plantar Fasciitis – How Chiropractic can Help!

Over 2 million Americans suffer from a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The cause continues to be debated, although it said to be associated with inflammation of the plantar fascia and/or the result of degenerative changes in the connective tissue around a bone in the foot called the calcaneus (heel). Some of the contributing factors include: improper footwear, obesity, extensive standing, walking, and running in addition to other anatomical and biomechanical factors.

With so many people being affected by this disorder it is imperative that effective treatments are available. For example, evidence suggests that chiropractic care can provide great relief for patients.

Case Study: A 23-year old female with plantar fasciitis in the right foot sought chiropractic evaluation and intervention. Her primary complaint was severe bilateral foot pain that had been present for a month and a half prior to her consultation. More specifically, the patient experienced sharp pain at the base of her right foot that did not radiate, heel pain that was worse in the morning and aggravated with jogging, as well as the start of similar symptoms developing in her left foot. For temporary relief, the patient would use ice and rest with mild stretching. These symptoms made it incredibly difficult for her to complete activities throughout the day. She reported difficulty jogging due to the amount of pain she was experiencing and made several changes to her execution of exercises and choice of footwear to alleviate the pain.

Her chiropractic treatment involved 10, high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) adjustments that were completed over the course of 4 months. Concluding these sessions, the patient shared that she felt less pain and as though she had stronger and more stable feet. Furthermore, the patient was able to jog lightly and wear different kinds of footwear.

It is important to understand that depending on one’s condition(s), other instruments and interventions may be applied. In this scenario, the patient’s treatment consisted of chiropractic adjustments as well as ultrasound therapy, rock tape, and neuromuscular re-education. As suggested by this article, chiropractic adjustments combined with other forms of treatment may be effective in providing relief for patients with plantar fasciitis. An important outcome of this study was the patient’s return to completing activities of everyday living. However, additional research is required to further explore the relationship between chiropractic care and this condition.

Murphy, J., Floyd, R., Varnum, C., Alcantara, J. (2014). Resolution of Plantar Fasciitis Following Adjustment of Spinal & Extremity Subluxations. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research.

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Vision Loss After Surgery and How Chiropractic Can Help

Postoperative vision loss (POVL) is a rare condition that typically occurs as a result of spine or cardiac surgery. Take the following studies into consideration: One study revealed that out of 3,450 surgeries, seven cases resulted in POVL. Similarly, another study reported 6 cases out of 14,102 surgeries that were associated with visual impairment post-surgery. Although this his data supports the low incidence rate POVL, it fails to address the need for solutions/treatments for these individuals.

There are 5 types of POVL that are known as external ocular injury; cortical blindness; retinal ischemia; ischemic optic neuropathy; and acute glaucoma. To date, treatment options largely depend on the type of POVL, however; they have yet to be deemed effective. For this reason, research is beginning to investigate alternative interventions such as chiropractic. In one case study, an 18-year old female expressed the following symptoms to a chiropractor: mid-back, neck, and low back pain, pain in her shoulders, numbness and tingling in both arms as well as her left leg and foot, vision loss in her left eye for two years, migraines, seizures, tinnitus, vertigo and digestive disorders. The patient experienced a stroke 4 years prior which required surgery and subsequently resulted in POVL.

No immediate changes were documented after the first adjustment. Instead, after the second adjustment which was administered 5 days after the initial adjustment, the patient reported seeing ‘sparkles’ in her left eye after which she was encouraged to rest for 15 minutes. After this time, the patient experienced resolution of vision loss that was present in her left eye! She was kept on a weekly schedule that involved leg-length checks, thermal scans, and Toggle Recoil technique that resulted in
maintenance of vision acuity, cessation of neck and back pain and fewer seizures as well as migraine headaches by the 11 th week of treatment.

The presented case study addresses the potential for chiropractic care to be used in the treatment of individuals who experience POVL. Additional research is required to support current findings.

Saffron, B., & Murdock, B. (2017). Resolution of Vision Loss in a Teenage Girl Following Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: A Case Study & Review of the Literature. Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research.

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Can you Treat Fibromyalgia with Chiropractic Care?

Have you ever wondered if there was another way to treat your fibromyalgia other than with pharmaceuticals? You may not have known that your chiropractor is actually a great treatment provider for this condition. This musculoskeletal disorder affects your whole body and it can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

Instead of typical and invasive treatment options, you can go with a safe, non-invasive, alternative option like chiropractic care. Whether you already see a chiropractor and never thought to seek treatment for your fibromyalgia that way, or you’ve never been to one, schedule your next appointment to take care of your fibromyalgia symptoms once and for all.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia syndrome or FMS is disorder of the body that causes musculoskeletal pain in your muscles, joints, tends, and soft tissue. It is most often found in women but it only affects a tiny percentage of the US population. It often leads to other painful symptoms such as cognitive issues and sleep issues, depression and anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome and fatigue, as well as joint disorders such as temporomandibular joint disorders.

What causes it?

If you’ve ever wondered how fibromyalgia is diagnosed, it is a difficult thing to diagnose with the lack of a lab test to determine it. If you or someone you know has had widespread pain for 90 days or longer and there is no underlying medical condition, a physician is likely to diagnose it.

Doctors believe that it’s caused by genetics, a physical trauma or stress, an emotional trauma or stress, or an infection. Unfortunately, physicians can’t pinpoint the cause of the disorder and it can be difficult for patients and doctors to accept that. It is believed that it is caused from these reasons above.

How a Chiropractor can help

With pain like the kind fibromyalgia presents, it’s important to seek care to relieve the symptoms of the syndrome. Having overall wellness care is so good for the body, and can help with the care of fibromyalgia. In addition, your chiropractor can make adjustments needed to relieve the spine of subluxations caused from toxins, trauma, and your thoughts that cause stress.

Having misaligned vertebrae in the spine encourages these painful symptoms, and subluxations can work against your nervous system which is trying to send signals from your brain, spinal cord, and sensory organs to different parts of the body. Issues arise when the signals can’t be transmitted from brain to body, but seeking chiropractic care can help manage symptoms including pain, sleep interruptions, and fatigue.

Pain often dissipates in patients when chiropractic care can assist in improving cervical and lumbar range. Your chiropractor will likely prescribe resistance training to be combined with your chiropractic care multiple times a week which can work to improve endurance and flexibility.

Don’t think that your fibromyalgia pain must put a halt to enjoying life; seek chiropractic care to treat your symptoms from the inside out.

 

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Can a Lack of Vitamin C & Too Much Sugar Cause a Cold?

You’ve likely heard it before; Vitamin C is the best medicine during a cold, along with a lot of rest and liquids. The question is, why is Vitamin C the automatic go-to suggestion for someone suffering from a cold? It turns out that the lack of Vitamin C could contribute to causing a cold in the first place.

In addition, scientists are learning that excessive sugar in your diet could make you more immune to catching a cold as well. You may notice that kids start getting sick right after Halloween and Christmas when candy eating has been at an all-time high. While the holidays are a fun time to indulge, it’s important to make sure that you are cutting back on the sugar and keeping up on your Vitamin C needs. Take a look at how these two areas affect your likelihood of catching a cold this winter.

The Effect of Vitamin C and Sugar on your Immune System

If your mom told you to take Vitamin C when you caught a cold growing up, it’s because she knew that Vitamin C is associated with supported your white blood cell function being an antioxidant. Since it’s essential to have a healthy white blood cell function for a proper immune system, things that affect this part of your body need to be considered when you catch a cold.

One thing that that keeps this part of your body healthy is Vitamin C and one thing that inhibits your white blood cells from working properly is sugar. Through the process of phagocytosis, your white blood cells aren’t able to attack bacteria and viruses as well due to excessive sugar.

How do I avoid this?

If you’re concerned about your sweet tooth around the holidays, along with your forgetfulness to seek out healthy choices containing Vitamin C between all of the holiday dishes you enjoy, there are still ways to enjoy the best of both worlds. While overindulging in sweets, alcohol, and carbs is a popular choice over the holidays and chilly winter season, it’s important to remember that life is all about enjoying things in moderation. Limiting your sugar intake is the best choice you can make this year.

You’ll be tempted by delicious chocolate candy, your favorite holiday breads, alcoholic drinks to ring in the New Year, and more, but all of these items contain hidden sugars that can make excessive intake all too easy.

Make sure to choose a favorite dish, treat, or drink and enjoy it with some healthier options. Bake your own holiday treats for your next party that contains natural sweeteners like fruits. Choose drinks like wine or liquor with very little sweet mixers added, rather than mixed drinks and beer. Try  to limit the egg nog and enjoy a bit more water this season to make up for the other treats you’re already enjoying.

Along with limiting your sugar intake and increasing water to allow your white blood cells to function normally during the cold season, it’s a good idea to incorporate plenty of Vitamin C foods into your daily diet. The more you can prepare your body for fighting against viruses and bacteria, the less likely you are to catch a bug. Choose the vitamin and nutrient-rich foods this season more than ever to fight off the likelihood of catching an infection from anyone carrying it that may not even know it yet.

Use these tips to make sure you are staying healthy this season with primarily focusing on limiting sugar and increasing Vitamin C before a bug can get into your system.

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A Natural Way to Relieve Childhood Congestion

Do the kids suffer from childhood congestion that you just can’t seem to get control of? You may not have heard that the chiropractor can be a good source of relief for this issue. If you’re hesitant to take the kids to a chiropractor for adjustments while they have a growing body, keep in mind that it’s not only safe, but it’s recommended for great health.

Not only will their body be functioning with optimal health, but things like childhood congestion won’t be as big of an issue for your household like it may be for others. Take a look at why children are seeing congestive relief from chiropractic adjustments.

Why chiropractic adjustments are safe for little ones

You may be hesitant to take the little ones to the chiropractor seeing that you may view their bodies as small, fragile, and delicate as they grow into adults. In reality, chiropractic visits for kids is great for their health and not harmful at all. It’s actually a non-invasive treatment method for ailments or preventative care that is much more beneficial than invasive pharmaceuticals or surgeries. A chiropractic adjustment is a gentle therapy, perfect for developing bodies, and offers many benefits to children and adults.

Seeing the chiropractor for congestive issues

When kids end up catching that cold going around at school, you may want to run to the doctor’s office for these chronic cold symptoms. It seems like colds can go on for months and that your children are going to have runny noses and persistent coughing until the springtime, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Rather than seeing a prescription from the doctor, try a chiropractic adjustment to see if something in the body isn’t functioning at 100%.

How can a child’s congestive issues get healed at the chiropractor? Since chiropractic adjustments boost immune systems and treat cold or sinus infections, it’s easier and takes less time to heal from a cold. Your chiropractor may do an upper cervical neck adjustment to relieve the tension on your brain stem, relaxing the throat in the process and draining the sinus passages in the head.

When there is so much tension in the neck, your nervous system struggles to communicate to the sinus passages which prevent drainage from excess pressure. Not only does this cause endless symptoms all winter, but bacteria may start to grow requiring an antibiotic to kill the bacteria. Getting your adjustments will not only relieve symptoms, but you’ll heal faster and avoid killing good and bad bacteria in your body with an antibiotic. Kids will feel better in a matter of minutes!

You don’t have to fear taking the kids to the chiropractor for treatment or preventative are. It’s actually the best time to take them as they are growing and developing their spine and nervous systems. Chiropractic adjustments can relieve those congestive issues and get their body working at optimal conditions in no time!

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Addiction and Chiropractic Care

When it comes to chiropractic, many believe that its focus is to relieve patients of symptoms that are largely associated with musculoskeletal conditions and/or everyday aches and pains. However, research suggests that chiropractic intervention can be beneficial for patients who suffer from substance abuse.

Substances of abuse affect the structure and function of neurons that are localized in the brain’s reward system. This in turn, can cause long-lasting changes that lead to addictive behavior.  Repeated use of cocaine for example, causes dendritic sprouting in several areas of the brain that increase synaptic sensitivity and increase craving and relapse. This makes it incredibly difficult for individuals to control their addiction and dampens their potential for recovery.

A 63-year-old male with a history of cocaine abuse presented to the chiropractor with the following symptoms and conditions: low back pain, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, gastritis, benign prostate hypertrophy, obesity, venous insufficiency and significant cognitive impairment. At the time of his initial assessment, the patient also indicated the use of several medications such as Lisinopril, Prevacid, Aspirin, Hydrochlorothiazide, Potassium Chloride, ProAir inhaler, Spiriva, Symbiocort, Flomax, Flinasteride, and Seroquel. 

The patient’s chiropractic treatment consisted of Torque Release Technique (TRT), P300 wave testing, surface EMG and thermography by Insight Subluxation Station, and Addiction Severity Index (ASI) scores. He was seen three times per week over the course of an 8 month period whereby his progress was tracked using psychological assessments pre and post treatment. These assessments revealed an increase in the patient’s quality of life and an accompanying decrease in the symptoms mentioned above.

This case study provides evidence of positive health outcomes as a result of chiropractic care in the treatment of a patient with a cocaine addiction. In combination with a typical drug addiction treatment, the patient showed great improvement.

Holder, J.M., & Shriner, B. E. (2012). Subluxation Based Chiropractic Care in the Management of Cocaine Addiction: A Case Report. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research.

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Modern Day Problem Reversed With Chiropractic Care

Good posture, or rather, neutral posture refers to the body maintaining a natural, unexaggerated curvature, such that the muscles of the body are positioned to support an aligned spine. Specifically, this would equate to the cervical spine possessing a natural anterior curve (or lordotic curve), the thoracic spine curving posteriorly, and the lumbar spine curving anteriorly (creating a second lordotic curve). In this very position, the body is in a position to breathe optimally, hold the weight of the body, maintain balance, enhance cognitive functions, as well as increase energy flow throughout the body. However, a generational outbreak has broken loose, disrupting these biological and psychological processes, and subsequently hindering the overall quality of one’s life. This outbreak, unaware but possessed by many is known as forward head posture and is characterized by the head being anterior to the rest of the body, thus being anterior to the centre of gravity.

As this curvature stabilizes, the increased loads on the neck lead to abnormal muscular activity, thereby degenerating the cervical spine at a rate much higher than historically seen. The expected culprit of this abnormality is technological advances, which promote cell phone and computer usage in a head-tilting state. In the current day, people (on average) spend at least two hours per day with their heads tilted attempting to read electronic devices, which leaves us with no surprise to consider that 66% of the population suffers from abnormal cervical postures. As the posterior neural arch is responsible for ‘evening out’ the loads to the rest of the body, this anterior head tilt induces abnormal strain in the upper-neck region, subsequently degenerating cervical lordosis (and promoting cervical kyphosis).

In simpler terms, those who suffer from forward head posture do not benefit from the positive effects of a neutral spine, thus hindering daily functioning. In its most severe form, this cervical kyphosis tends to develop into Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy, which is increased tension between the spinal cord and vertebral bodies, consequently compressing and flattening the spinal cord. This domino effect ends with neuronal loss and demyelination of the spinal cord.

As shown, once forward head posture comes to fruition, it seemingly spirals downhill. In a sense, this is true. Neutral spine posture is under involuntary control and uses cervical joint mechanoreceptors and afferent input from ligament and musculotendinous sources to maintain alignment. However, in the case of forward head posture, as the increased strain lead to dysafferentation and a loss of proprioception, the reactivity equates to increased voluntary activity required to maintain a neutral spine (i.e. more effort is required). However, this does not always need to be the case.

In the case of a 21-year- old male patient who suffered from forward head posture, he spent only three weeks (~5 visits per week) doing–Z axis drop adjustments, as well as corresponding procedures to mobilize the cervicothoracic spinal via chiropractoric. As a result, the patient had regained one-fifth of his cervical curve, which is outstanding to say the least. To consider that a lifetime of postural misalignments can be healed (to a greater extent) by chiropractic care speaks volume to how simple it really is to increase one’s quality of life. Bottom-line—regardless of how “late” you believe it is, chiropractic care will always be an easy and simple solution to helping you complete your day to day tasks without unnecessary pain.

Forward Head Posture and Decreased Lordotic Curvature of the Cervical Spine – The Potential Sequelae of Abnormal Alignment
Grant Tully, B.S., D.C. [March 28, 2016, pp 21-24]

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