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By Alan Knight

Just hearing the word can make you nervous and edgy. Everyone feels stress from time to time, and some more than others since it is a very personal emotion. Some people bounce back from stressful events quickly, while some internalize emotions brought on by stress. It is incredibly important to understand your reactions and limits resulting from stress to avoid the health effects that often ensue.

The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys.
The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cavemen had stress and it’s a good thing they did. Imagine a few people from a tribe were out in the fields innocently picking berries. Along comes a saber-tooth tiger who suddenly see its dinner. The cavemen sense they are in trouble and the body reacts to protect them from danger. Scientifically speaking, the hypothalamus in the brain sends chemical triggers to the adrenal glands, located at the top of each kidney. The adrenal glands get to work and release hormones like cortisol, which raises blood pressure and blood sugar. These responses are perfect for these cavemen because they are exactly what they need to out run that tiger. Within seconds, they would be able to run faster, see better and think more clearly. Unfortunately, they probably had to drop the berries and run back to their caves, but at least they had the adrenaline to do it.

This process is perfect if you need to outrun a saber-tooth tiger, but it can be harmful to your health if sustained over time. We live in a stressful society. We have concerns about our bosses, meeting deadlines, money, finding affordable childcare and more. These stressors make our bodies react the same way and the “flight or fight” response is on overdrive, causing chronic health issues over time.


Have you ever had a stomach ache before an important presentation or become nauseous before an interview? Even these relatively minor stresses have an impact. Fighting with a spouse or going through a divorce is major stresses that have an even bigger impact.

When stress becomes chronic, it can interfere with your ability to live a normal life. You might become irritable for no obvious reason, have difficulty concentrating or feel constantly fatigued. This can really do a number on your body and can make existing health issues worse.


Chemical structure of cortisol.
Chemical structure of cortisol.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The effects of cortisol on the body reach far and wide. Studies have shown that repeated elevated amounts of cortisol will lead to cravings and weight gain. Scientists believe it binds to receptors in the brain and controls the hormones that stimulate appetite. Not only is the appetite stimulated, but cortisol is linked to spur cravings for sugar and fat.

Cortisol may also increase the amount of fat tissue that is stored in your body and enlarge fat cells. Even higher levels of cortisol have been linked to “deep abdominal fat” or the dreaded belly fat. 

Do you want to avoid a heart attack? Keep your stress at bay. Evidence is growing that there is a relationship between stress and the propensity for having a heart attack. “A recent study in Health Magazine of 200,000 employees in Europe found that people who have stressful jobs and little decision-making power at work are 23% more likely to have a first heart attack than people with less job-related stress.
Do you have a headache? Stress can cause it, when the adrenaline chemicals are released. Stress also causes muscles to tense which also results in headaches and migraines. If you grind your teeth or stiffen your shoulders in response to stress, this only makes the headaches worse.
Can’t sleep? Stress definitely causes insomnia. Your mind is running and your body is in a hyper-aroused state where you are wide awake. Sometimes this passes quickly once the stress is over, but long term stress can lead to more serious sleep disorders.
Am I forgetting something? There is an association between memory loss and stress. Cortisol is to blame again. It interferes with transmitters that enable the brain cells to communicate with each other, leading to difficulty with memory retrieval.
Is there too much hair left in your brush? Chronic stress can result in hair loss and exacerbate existing conditions.
Reducing stress right now can have immediate benefits for you and protect your health long-term. Let’s discuss some methods to reduce stress and promote a healthier you.
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Yoga is considered to be a synergistic combination of mind and body movements, coupled with controlled breathing techniques. The breathing techniques learned in yoga helps your body to stay in the “rest and digest” state which works to balance the “flight or fight” state. The pranayama (breathing techniques), if practiced correctly, can let our minds and bodies slip into a more restful state of being.
Practice controlled breathing before you go to bed. Lie down and close your eyes. Inhale and feel the breath in the abdomen and chest. Exhale fully and try to feel the breath leave your body. Do this practice for a full five minutes before you go to bed and see if you can feel the difference.
Any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever. Exercise releases the brain’s feel-good transmitters, the endorphins. This effect is not only achieved by runners, but any solid sweating action can give you the same “high.”
Exercise is like meditation in motion. Think about how you feel after an hour of swimming laps or playing a spirited game of tennis. You find that you have forgotten the day’s woes and feel accomplished. Your energy will be improved and you’ll be more optimistic throughout the day.
Regular exercise can improve your self-confidence, relax you and reduce symptoms of depression. You shed your daily tensions and begin to act calmly under stressful situations. Exercise promotes strength and a good cardiovascular workout will get that blood pumping, giving your heart a boost. Get out and work up a sweat for a proven way to manage your stress.
Kerry getting into his Walk-In tub.
Relationships can be a source of stress and can also be stress relievers. Reach out to family members and friends and let them know you are having a tough time. Your social network can be an excellent resource to give a different perspective while offering comforting support.
A bath meditation, combines the amazing benefits of meditation to relax your mind and the benefits of a soothing, hot back to relax your tired muscles and take you away from the day’s stressors. For seniors who may have issues with getting in and out of the tub, a walk-in tub is a great solution. These tubs also have therapeutic water and air jets to help you relax. 
Block out a minimum of 15 minutes and make sure you are not disturbed by your phone, family or friends. This is your time. As you are filling the tub, add aromatherapy oils or salts to enhance the experience. Many of these scents are known to promote relaxation.

Check out this short video on warm water therapy.
Relax in the moment while breathing slowly and deeply like the pranayama technique mentioned above. Keep your mind as clear as possible and try not to let it wander. Focus on the sensations around you while staying in the present moment.
If you have trouble keeping your mind clear, you might also try a mantra meditation that requires more focus.
You can be assured you will be feeling relaxed and at peace in a very short time.
Stress is the cause of many health issues, but these can be controlled by using some of these proven techniques to give you a happier and healthier perspective on your life.
Until the next time.

In this article, I provided you with many of the side effect that stress can cause in the human body and ways to alleviate stress. In particular, I discuss how a meditative bath can help you relax when stress rears it's ugly head.

If you would like a FREE copy of our eBook "The Walk-In Tub Buyers Guide", fill out the form below and we will send it to you.

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.
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Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email 
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Make Your Bathroom Safe

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by Alan Knight

The bathroom, usually the smallest room in your home, is statistically the most dangerous. A 2008 study conducted by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, found that about 235,000 people over the age of 15 visited emergency rooms due to injuries that occurred in the bathroom. These injuries are not only limited to slips and falls. There’s risk of electrocution if an electrical appliance falls into water as well as the risk of poison since many chemical products are often housed in the bathroom. Don’t forget those nasty cuts from the sharp items that abound in the bathroom like razors, or even hand held mirrors that can shatter when dropped. This is beginning to sound like a hazard zone but it really doesn’t have to be. Your bathroom can and should be a safe space for people of all ages.

Children, adults and especially seniors are vulnerable and can be at risk if thoughtful precautions are not taken. You can start with the easy improvements that require little to no expense and move up to more extensive changes or upgrades if necessary. This is your family’s safety and that is always a number one priority. Let’s start with the small stuff.


Can you believe the second leading cause of home injury death is poisoning? It leads to about 5,000 fatalities a year.

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 Most people (I hope) want to make sure their bathrooms are as germ- and bacteria-free as possible. It’s not an easy task because frankly, humans harbor all kinds of bacteria and germs and we leave are mark everywhere. You possibly use bleach or possibly ammonia and other strong cleaners with chemicals to ensure you rid your bathroom of the pesky germs and odors. Did you know that if bleach or ammonia are mixed together they make a potentially deadly gas? Either one of them alone can cause burns or respiratory problems to people who are generally sensitive to chemicals.  Don’t forget about drain cleaners. Many can burn skin if touched and it is essential to be very careful when using them.

If you have these items in your bathroom or anywhere else in your home (like the kitchen), it is essential to have them clearly marked. Educate your young ones on the perils of touching these chemicals. Ideally, if you have very young children, store them in a place where they can’t reach or even better, under lock and key.


I mean that literally. You keep your blow dryers and curling irons in the bathroom. You may have an electric toothbrush on your countertop. Any of these items can cause electrocution if they fall into a tub or a sink filled with water. Beware of damaged or frayed cords as they can be another hazard especially if they are lying on a wet countertop.

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The safety precautions are common sense though not everyone follows them. Make sure all electrical appliances are unplugged and away from any water when not in use. Don’t use these appliances near water, please. It is too easy to cause an unnecessary accident and is easily avoidable.


As you know, young children love to explore. They are in awe of all of their surroundings and are fascinated by the littlest trinkets and gadgets. Some of those gadgets should not be within their reach and the razor is one of them. Simply put them in a cabinet that is out of reach and don’t leave them in the shower or tub. Keep your children cut-free.


Falls are the leading cause of home injury deaths with about 6,000 fatalities per year. Seniors are especially vulnerable. About one in three seniors who suffer a fall, will incur injuries that lead to hospitalization. There are many ways to protect against these accidents and some are fairly simple remedies.

1.      Rugs can be a hazard but they don’t have to be. Throw rugs in the bathroom enhance the d├ęcor and add a little color and luxury. They can also cause you to trip or fall when they slip. Your bathroom can still be plush and safe if you purchase non-skid rugs. Double sided industrial tape placed beneath the rug will keep it safely secured to the floor.

2.      Light it up. Good lighting is essential in every bathroom. But night lights are the key to adding another safety element to that space. How many times have you woken up to use the bathroom and ended up bumping into the wall while you are half asleep? Install night lights to guide you safely into the bathroom and prevent unnecessary accidents.

3.      Grab on to those grab bars. These bars may be one the most useful preventative items you can purchase for your bathroom. Install them near the toilet area to allow ease of transfer. Getting up and down onto the toilet can be especially difficult for seniors. You should not expect that toilet paper holders, towel racks or wall-mounted sinks can reasonably support one’s weight. Proper installation is the key to safety. They should not just be mounted onto the sheetrock but instead, firmly attached to a wall stud. This can be a do-it-yourself project but for those lacking skills of a carpenter, professional installation might be a good idea. I’ll discuss a little more about grab bars for the bath/shower area in the next section.


That says it all. Most falls in the bathroom occur while getting in or out of the bathtub and shower. Seniors are most susceptible due to their lack of agility. There are a few precautions you can take to make the area much safer for everyone.
1.      Use grab bars. As I mentioned previously, these need to be properly installed for paramount safety. Knowing there is something to hold onto while getting in and out of the tub can provide an extra level of comfort.
2.      Rubber mats are all the rage. Well, that might be an exaggeration but they definitely have their place in preventing slipping in the tub or shower.
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3.      Sit comfortably and safely. Shower seats and chairs should be purchased with care. Make sure they have rubber and suction feet to prevent slippage.
4.      A hand held shower head makes bathing a blast. Whether you are a senior or someone who is just a bit tired after a long day, it is pretty relaxing to sit in the shower and be able to control the placement of the shower. It does provide an added layer of protection and safety.


The emergence of walk-in tubs and showers really is all the rage. These are amazing additions to any bathroom and will provide years of comfort and safety. Literally, you can walk right in without having to climb. They come with many additions, like built in chairs, removable shower heads and built-in grab bars. They are not only extremely functional, but quite elegant and are an upgrade that will pay off for many years to come.

In this article, I provided you with many precautionary measures you can take to make your bathroom a safer place for people of all ages and give everyone in your home more peace of mind. 

If you would like a FREE copy of our eBook "The Walk-In Tub Buyers Guide", fill out the form below and we will send it to you.

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email 

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by Alan Knight

Is your bathroom so impersonal and uninviting that it makes you feel like you just walked into a Motel 6?  Is it just a functional room without any character or pizzazz? Does it reflect your style, charm or whimsical side? Does its style really suit your home and your preferences? If you answered yes to the first two questions and a resounding NO to the last two, then it may be time to consider how to make this room a reflection of your personal style.

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The days are gone when your bathroom was considered a small, functional room. Today, upgrading a bathroom can not only give you a sanctuary that can reduce the stresses of the day, but it can also bring added value to your home. In fact, it isn’t unusual to recoup about 75% of bathroom remodeling costs when you sell your home. A remodeled bathroom can be a feature that makes your home stand out from the crowd.

People are working more now than in the past and need a personal refuge. What does your personal refuge look like? Would you like a sleek, modern style or a more rustic country theme? Is a spa just what the doctor ordered? 
Let’s discover how you can transform this space 
into a personal and comfortable part of your home.


You can make an immediate difference in the look and feel of your bathroom by changing the color scheme. Texture and color play and large role in the bathroom’s style.  Lighter, muted colors give the sense that the room is larger, while darker colors give the room a more intimate feel..A recent blog in Psychology now stated that, “Artists and interior designers have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions. It is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood and cause physiological reactions.” (

Clawfoot Tub courtesy of
Choose the color that makes you feel calm and at peace. Reactions to color is an entirely personal preference.  Remember, you’re creating your personal refuge; the space where you will go to dissolve your daily stresses.  Once you have decided upon the color, you can see the space transform. You have a theme that will guide your decision-making.


1)      Don’t skimp on your towels. Splurging on luxurious towels will make a big splash in your bath. There’s nothing more chic than 100 percent Egyptian cotton towels. Instead of regular sized towels go for the oversized bath sheets. You will look forward to having these ultra-soft towels wrapped around you after a long, relaxing bath or shower. Plus, they’ll add a touch of luxury without adding a lot of expense.
2)      Use calming aromatherapy. What do you first notice when you walk into a spa? Is it the calming aroma of scented oils and potpourri that instantly melts away your stress? You can create the same effect in your own bathroom with your favorite aromatherapy scents. Fill decorative jars with potpourri and other dried herbs. Make your own personalized scents using Epsom salt and essential oils. Place the jars around the bathroom and don’t forget the scented candles.
3)      Baskets and decorative storage trays give you more space and organization. Use decorative baskets to store your new Egyptian cotton towels and show off your good taste. Storage trays come in all shapes and materials that match every style from rustic to modern. They not only add a bit of luxury and style but are functional and will keep your bathroom organized.


A new lighting fixture is a simple and affordable way to add a bit of luxury to your bathroom. Whether you’re seeking a modern, sleek look or total opulence, there are lighting fixtures for every budget and style.


The vanity can define the look and feel of the bathroom. It is a statement piece and you’ll want it to reflect your personal style. Of course, it must be the correct size for your bathroom, but you can find vanities for every bathroom size while still making a statement. You can shop online for a specific size, knowing you are staying within your limits.

Let’s discuss some of your options.
1)      Free standing vanities- These are the most common type of vanity as they are “freestanding” and seated on the floor while attached to the wall with screws.
2)      Floating vanities- These are mounted on the wall and while they save floor space, they also give the bathroom a more modern feel.
3)      Open Space vanities- They feature open storage space and are not covered by cabinet doors. Open space vanities have an “airy” feel.
4)      Vessel sinks- These vanities feature basins that sit on the counter top and evoke a minimalist look.


Double Slipper Tub by
Nothing says elegance more than a free standing tub. They can be angular or curved, but undeniably elegant and lavish. They come in different materials and finishes such as wood, enamel, cast iron, acrylic, stone or copper and feature accents like old-fashioned claw feet.

A free standing tub can be put anywhere in your bathroom, making it a focal point. The beauty is they are finished on all sides so the placement is only guided by the space. You can decorate around the tub making the whole bathroom look more opulent. Add a decorative chair to hang your luxe towel and lay your slippers. Are you finally seeing your sanctuary materialize?


You don’t have to settle for mundane when it comes to your bath. You can personalize it by adding some luxurious accessories like candles, towels and decorative jars to give some flair. A new lighting fixture will add elegance or give a modern look and feel. A free standing tub and vanity area are focal points that can help to make your bathroom your own private sanctuary and show off your personal style.

Transforming your bathroom into a calming sanctuary and a reflection of your personality largely depends on your budget and your space. Even little things can make a big difference if you need to start small and dream big.

Until the next time. 

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email 

Becoming Your Parents Parents

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by Alan Knight

Watching a loved one deteriorate, whether it is physically, mentally or both, is a very difficult process. You have wonderful memories of your parents in their prime at family dinners and outings, giving of themselves and creating memories that last a lifetime. They raised their families and worked hard to provide for their loved ones. They were war veterans, entrepreneurs, musicians, doctors, teachers, and so much more. They made major contributions to society with their work ethic and love for their family. It was difficult to imagine they would ever grow old. For that matter, you probably thought you would be young forever and always have the comfort of knowing you would always have that shoulder to lean on.

Now the roles have reversed. You are seeing changes in your parents that make you worry and even occasionally step up to take a little more control of their lives. They don’t want to feel like a burden, so it becomes a sensitive issue. It’s a fact that people are living much longer than they did in the past.  However, it’s also difficult for most people to ask for help when they need it most. Admitting they need help represents a loss of independence. This can lead to denial.  Denial is the unrealistic hope that a problem is not really happening and will go away by itself. “Denial plays a major role and signs get ignored,” says Paul Hogan, Founder and Chairman of Home Instead Senior Care.
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The process of becoming the caregiver can become overwhelming, both financially and emotionally.  Whether you are prepared for this task or not, you will be faced with making some major decisions associated with their care. Most of us would prefer to allow our loved ones to stay in the comfort of their homes and studies show that 80 to 90 percent of elderly people prefer to stay at home as long as possible. You can be an integral part of giving your parents the independence they need while having some input to ensure they are safe and secure.


As our loved ones age, preparing food can be a potentially dangerous task. Gas burners and ovens can be left on, shaky hands can lead to cuts and burns, water can be left running and so on. Under normal circumstances, accidents do happen in the kitchen. Did you know that home fires started by cooking equipment kill about 480 people a year? Much of that is preventable since it’s often due to leaving cooking equipment unattended. As our loved ones age, they become more forgetful and the likelihood of these accidents increases, which is exactly what we are trying to help them avoid.

Eating healthy is an essential part of keeping our bodies and minds in top form and to guard against illness. As people age, they often tend to choose easier methods to cook meals and that may often mean eating more canned food and frozen dinners that have little nutritional value. As I already mentioned, accidents can occur if they are trying to do too much food preparation.

A great option is home food delivery. There are a number of delivery services that can deliver healthy home cooked meals to your loved one’s door. They can also cater to the special dietary needs of their clients. This is definitely a more expensive option, but it can also be used as a safe supplement rather than the primary source of food for your loved ones.

Cook in bulk for your family and prepare portions for your parents. Thank goodness for the microwave oven. A great way to be efficient and economical is to cook in bulk. Don’t make a pot of chili that feeds four; make it so it feeds eight people and put it into individual containers to bring to your parent’s home where they can eat or freeze it. Seniors know how to use a microwave and it provides a much safer option than using the stove or oven. More importantly, they will be eating healthy, nutritional meals that you cooked, while at the same time reducing the chances of causing an accident in the kitchen.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 285,000 people visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom. More than a third of these injuries occur when bathing or showering.  There are many ways to make a bathroom safer for your loved ones in order to decrease the chances of falls which can be debilitating and potentially deadly for seniors.

1.      Install grab bars near the toilet and other places where one must stand for a period of time. Tile floors are slippery when wet and bathroom spaces often do not have good footing. Seniors can have issues with balance, making them particularly susceptible to falls in the bathroom.

2.      Climbing in and out of a bathtub can be an ordeal as a person ages. A bathtub in the home can be altered with safety features or even replaced with a more modern and safe version such as walk-in bathtubs and safety showers. This is an expense that is well worthy of consideration since it can contribute to the independence of older adults and give them the privacy they desire when taking care of their bathing needs.

Safety shower image courtesy of

These showers and tubs are literally made so you can walk into them without a climb. They have built-in seats and removable shower heads so one can sit comfortably and safely without fear of slipping. Can you imagine how independent your loved ones might feel knowing they are safer in the bathroom and are able to take of their own needs? Even better, these showers and tubs are made so anyone can walk into them without a climb. Can you imagine how independent your loved ones would feel knowing they are safer in the bathroom and are able to take of their own needs?


Don’t rely on your parents to remember to take their medications if they need them. Set up a system to ensure they are taking their prescribed medications. Did you know there are “smart” pill bottles on the market? They have 3G capabilities and sensors that can track humidity levels within the bottle to “sense” how many pills or fluid ounces are left inside. Amazing! That data is then sent into the cloud and can remind people via a telephone call or text.

Focus on maintenance for healthy seniors and encourage them to be active. People are living longer than ever and can live long, healthy lives and stay physically fit. Be the motivator and inspiration. Encourage them to take a walk after dinner or enroll them in your local YMCA. They often have classes geared towards seniors and they can make friends while they’re working out.


Everyone desires to age gracefully and independently. Today’s seniors have many resources that allow them the freedom to live healthy, happy and independent lives while giving their caregivers peace of mind.

I hope you found the information in this article useful. Until the next time….

 Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email