Clear up Yellowed, Thickened and Cracked Toenails Once and for all

24 05 2014

If you or someone you know has yellowed, thickened, cracked and/or swollen and inflamed toenails… it is caused from a fungus called onychomycosis [which literally means fungal infection of the nail].  Good news… This infection can be removed and healthy pink toenails can be yours once again.

Severe toenail fungus

Typically this disease is caused by a fungal tinea species and can also be caused by a candida yeast fungal species.  It is also possible to spread these tiny microorganisms to friends and family when good hygiene is not the standard.  Either species of fungus can cause a progressive condition that can infect one or more nails, causing them to thicken, discolor, crumble and separate from the toenail bed and cause a foul odor (Dutra 2014).

What is this fungus and how do we get it?  Environmental conditions necessary for it to survive and spread include:  Sweaty feet with cotton socks, or socks that don’t breathe, or hold moisture and can cause more than one toenail to become infected.  Public use areas that are warm, humid and moist; such as locker rooms, pools, saunas, gyms, even home showers shared by family members are suspect.  These are perfect environments for these organisms to infect others through bare foot surface contact.

Once the fungus resides within the toe and nail tissues, our footwear can sustains and spread it as long as the environmental conditions remain consistent.  And these things have mostly to do with improper hygiene.

There appear to be other factors that include age and other medical conditions that can cause more severe foot and toenail problems.  These other factors may include abnormal PH skin, poor circulation, Athlete’s foot, diabetes, immune problems, another infection or injury of toe or nail and skin psoriasis (MayoClinic 2011).  It is said before a person reaches 70 years old, there is a 50/50 chance of contracting this fungal condition.

A mechanical or tissue breach may also make you prone or susceptible to acquiring this infection.  For instance, when you wear an improperly fitted, or undersized shoe and walk in a way that creates a bio-mechanical foot-toe friction, an opportunity is provided to the fungus and infect the tissues.  For example, when the end of the big and small toe nails repeatedly catch friction between the toes and shoe material, a loosening of the nail(s) from the toe bed(s) can lead to micro-trauma of both skin and nails.  Micro cracks in skin and nails present a perfect opportunity for bacteria to set in and spread its infectious fungus (Dutra 2014).

Also beware, unsterilized salon-home nail clippers, emery boards or other instruments can become infected and spread the fungus.  And once it’s on your toenails, after clipping them it is possible to spread this to fingernails if you don’t wash your hands.

Fungus can spread from toenails to fingernails.

And if you use a lot of toenail and fingernail polish to cover discolored nails, this may sustain the life of the fungus indefinitely.  Because of the way nail polish seals in bacteria and moisture, the tissue does not breathe or heal well.

If this fungal infection goes untreated it can continue on indefinitely and may cause, or contribute to increased health risk of other complications for a specific demographic that doesn’t’ seek medical treatment.  “When the immune system is weakened due to other medical conditions especially those with Aids, leukemia or have received an organ transplant serious health risk may result (MayoClinic 2011).”

There are medical treatments, pharmaceuticals and natural remedies you can use that may remove this fungus once and for all.  However, if you have a medical condition and/or infection is causing extreme pain and is of health concern, it is wise to seek medical attention in treating this disease immediately.

Your medical treatment options,

It is highly recommended you make an appointment with your primary care doctor or podiatrist for proper treatment of fungal foot, toe, toenail or fingernail infection.  Your doctor will likely prescribe one of the following topical medications:  For mild infection this may likely include one of four applications:  Formula 3, Elon, Fungasil, or Penlac.  For a more serious condition an oral antifungal drug may be prescribed, such as Sporanox or Lamisil.

Before oral medication is prescribed your doctor will likely need to assess your health risk through lab work.  This assessment is done to determine the functionality of your liver and what prescriptions are safe for your use.

Doctors often prescribe antifungal powders with orals to increase the odds that the fungal infections will stay neutralized or completely abated.

Severe Toe Fungal Infection

Natural treatments may remove or improve this condition.  The most popular ones are listed.

  1. Vinegar soaking [1 part vinegar/2 part water], ~ 20 minutes daily; no less than 2-3 times per week.
  2. Some even treat this fungus with a daily application of Vicks Vapor Rub.  However it is wise to consult your doctor about this as there is no known study that proves it will kill this fungus and what is the proper application.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar [soak foot in equal parts mixed with water].
  4. Tea Tree Oil [swab pure oil on nail, or dilute with equal parts olive oil or thyme oil to apply to skin].
  5. White vinegar [considered the best solution in dealing with toe nail fungus]. 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, soak 15 minutes daily].
  6. Garlic has allicin and is an anti-fungal element [use equal parts garlic and olive oil].  If you don’t have garlic oils, crush two garlic cloves and two Tsps. of olive oil.  Let mixture stand 24 hours, then apply and cover with bandage daily], (Top10 2014).
Before and after treatment

Before and after treatment

Note:  All natural treatments mentioned here are strictly informational. We do not provide medical advice. Consult with your doctor or other health care provider before using any of these tips or treatments.

How can you prevent toenail fungus from developing?

  1. Purchase properly fitted shoes that breathe and provide enough room for your toes.
  2. Wear sandals when appropriate.
  3. Air out shoes, throw away over worn socks and shoes.
  4. Change socks daily and especially after sweating in them and don’t wear socks that absorb moisture.
  5. Use anti-fungus powders and sprays; maintain short, dry and clean nails.
  6. Don’t pick at skin around nails even when there is infection.
  7. If you have your toenails manicured by a saloon, ensure they sterilize and disinfect instruments prior to use.
  8. After social functions remove nail polish.
  9. Bare foot walking in public places should be avoided.
  10. See your podiatrist if you have foot and/or toe fungus.

Note:  All tips mentioned here are strictly informational. We do not provide medical advice. Consult with your doctor or other health care provider before using any of these tips or treatments.

A new treatment hitting the marketplace that appears to be promising is photodynamic laser therapy to treat this condition.  This is where intense light is focused on a nail where an acid is applied as part of the protocol to kill the fungus.

Remove this fungus once and for all and get back the health of your toenails.  These medical treatments and natural tips have worked well for others and they can work well for you.  Make the effort to see your doctor and apply the proper treatment that will work for you.

Works Cited and Reference

Bing. “Toenail Fungus Pictures and Free – Bing Images.” Bing Images – Toenail and Fingernail Fungus. Microsoft. Web. 23 May 2014.

Dutra, Tim, Dr. “Toenail Fungus.” FootVitals. IMG Health Publications, 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 May 2014.

MayoClinic. “Nail Fungus.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 25 Aug. 2011. Web. 23 May 2014.

Top 10. “How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus.” Top 10. Top 10 Home Remedies. Web. 23 May 2014.

Woodard, Marc T. “Diabetes 101: A Serious Disease.” MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets. MirrorAthlete, 9 May 2014. Web. 23 May 2014.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, MSC Officer, ANG Ret.2014 Copyright.  All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @:, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.




Mirror Athlete’s “Fitness Secrets” First Book Publication Nears

24 08 2013

Read Mirror Athlete’s Book Publishing Story: Soon to be Published Fitness Book – Takes Business to the Next Level.

Always thinking, how can we each do our part for a better tomorrow.

Always thinking, how can we each do our part for a better tomorrow.

The principled fitness techniques and context in this book are unlike any other fitness and health book you’ve read.

I understand many obese and out of shape individuals are looking for weight loss and fitness shortcuts that promise quick results. You don’t have to go that unsafe route. We connect the dots for you in an easy to follow format, because we know the marketplace will not provide all these fitness truths and for good reason.

If you are tired of paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for fitness products and services that don’t work, look no further.

With decades of fitness consulting client experiences, Mirror Athlete exposes the hard to find truths about the best kept natural fitness and diet weight loss secrets industries hope you don’t discover.

I’ll personally show you how to apply these principled fitness solutions and how you can customize your own natural weight loss and exercise program. One that is painless, healthy and one you’ll stick to for life.

It is the mind, body and spirit techniques that are the crux to long lasting quality of life experiences.

Through these personal and client examples a powerful principled fitness philosophy evolved with interesting stories. A philosophy based on science that can be applied by anyone.

Find out why our food, pharmaceutical and fitness industries and yes our government don’t want this information shared on a national platform! And how you can help change our health care reform policies simply by applying these principled fitness philosophy into your life.

A more fit and lean America is also the solution to our children’s obesity problems sweeping the nation.

On a deeper level, by keeping these fitness secrets from our children’s educational institutions, we cripple our children’s future and security: National deficit, health care resources, growing government and so much more!

Good health to you and your family.

Marc Woodard

Acupuncture How Does it Work?

21 12 2011

Explore and Live in a World Without Pain

About 5 years ago I sought acupuncture for severe low back pain.

And I only did so after all other Western medicines had failed to significantly alleviate my daily back pain.  For me, it is true that combinations of physical therapy, diet, body weight maintenance, pharmaceuticals and exercise do help.  But when you have substantial physical and physiological damage in bone and soft tissue which includes tendons, ligaments and muscle, you’ll always feel a certain amount of acute to varying chronic pain.  For those that go under the knife to correct and alleviate pain, you are also at risk of creating more pain.  Each one of us must weigh the benefit to risk ratio of surgery vs. quality living and pain management.  And in the best case surgical scenarios, significant pain relief can be experienced but not guaranteed.

Because of my unique pain story, I prefer to work around the pain trigger points through daily exercise while trying different types of therapeutic pain management programs as opposed to more surgery.  As I stated, there is no guarantee that surgery will provide a pain free experience.  With that being said, I ventured into acupuncture.  At that point in my life I would have tried any type of therapeutic pain modality to relieve my pain whether I believed in it or not.  And at that time acupuncture was something I didn’t have a lot of faith in, but I was running short of options to relieve my low back pain.  Also, at the time, surgery was too risky for me because the probability of a worst case scenario was great.

My thoughts on acupuncture and to this day, I’m not sure how it really works, but I’ve mentally focused on electrical energy flowing throughout my body to assist in the healing power.  I do know our bodies have this “Chi” energy force that travels throughout our neurological highways where energy flow becomes blocked through illness, disease and injury which creates pain.  And when acupuncture needles are inserted at various points along these energy Chi meridian pathways: energy flow that was once blocked can become unblocked.  And if these highways become unblocked your pain can be substantially alleviated.  In various cultures this energy is not only called, or known as Chi, this life energy is also known as Prana, life force, Spirit, subtle and vital energy to name a few.

For me personally, acupuncture provides pain alleviation.  I can only explain it like this, I think of my body as an electrical circuit that has shorted somewhere and is giving me pain.  I know if I can remove the shorted circuit through another parallel neurological highway I can turn off much of the pain that would otherwise be signaled back to my brain.  If you’ve had injury, the damage is still there, however, the pain signal can be turned off.

This is easy for me to visualize through my mind’s eye.  Since I have an electrical background and physiological knowledge of the body these two things appear to allow my mind to accept this healing process; regardless of whether medical science has figured out a way to prove this in trial studies.  Which to date, they have not.

Many scientists consider acupuncture a pseudoscience because it cannot be proven through Western medical scientific trial the benefit of the needles, preparatory relaxation-meditation vs. variations of protocol needle insert techniques etc.   Also under what conditions it works, or what causes it to work for some but not others.  I can completely understand the difficulty of creating a blind study where test patients wouldn’t know whether a needle was sticking them for example, while others in the study were actually stuck in order to understand the significance of the skin penetration vs. no penetration and pain alleviation benefit.

I believe if you believe something is possible, through the psychosomatic (mind/body) healing relationship, the portion of the brain that allows healing through belief and visualization also allows healing of the body through the many electrical meridian circuits throughout the body.   Understanding this relationship allows those like I to channel acupuncture needle point connections to flow energy one way while diverting it from signaling pain back to the brain.

I will tell you there are different techniques used by acupuncturists when getting stuck with these tiny micro-thin needles.  Five years ago, I experienced two different aggressive styles of Chinese acupuncture that when these needles were manipulated into my low back caused great pain when setting the needles.  Thereafter, electrical current was added through wire leads with electrical source equipment sending pulsating electrical stimulation.  Although low voltage electricity is added within some therapy sessions, this is not always the case or necessary for acupuncture to work.

When I first experienced acupuncture, the hard manipulative needle insertion technique although painful seemed to turn-off a lot of the severe pain at the time.  After 10 sessions I called it good.  And because of the tenth session where a needle hit a sensitive nerve in my low back causing me to jolt, which was followed by a back spasm.  I didn’t go back after that.  This is because I hyper extended my low back while lying face down on the table.  Man, did that hurt; I was sweating bullets while that needle was manipulated into place.  I did finish that therapy session.

Thereafter and rightfully so, I had fear of going back to an acupuncturist and didn’t ask for another referral.  However, years later with a bit more education under my belt, I sought out a soft Chinese style acupuncturist that focused on various modalities prior to needle insertion.  Sensitive areas of the body to touch do much better with a soft style preparation acupuncturist prior to needle insertion.  Very light massage, relaxation and suction cup appearing devices to increase blood circulation allow for easy insertion without needle manipulation in hyper-sensitive painful areas using a shallow needle insertion technique.  Thereafter electro stimulation to the needles is applied in some sessions while not others.  This technique works well for me to remove the severe pain.

You ask why I went back after a jolt that hurt my back 5 years ago.  Because, even after that experience, I knew I received a pain relief benefit, before and after the jolt.  The years following that session, I knew I received significant pain relief.  To this day, my back is more pain free than had I not received any acupuncture.  Yet when you look at my x-rays and MRI’s, the injury sites throughout my back continue to worsen.  I don’t want the surgery if I can continue to manage the pain with various pain relief techniques.  So I figured, why not give it another shot.  Life must continue on, so I look for therapy that works in order to avoid surgery, so I can stay productive.

As of recent, I’ve gone through another series of acupuncture using the shallow needle penetration with suction cups, and electrical stimulation to increase blood flow after the needles are set to include meditation prior to and during the session.  The sharp unbearable radiating pain in my neck is gone.  However, the chronic achy dull arthritic pain is always present throughout my back which I can manage.  For me this is significant pain relief for which I’m thankful my health insurance pays.

I’ve read a few blogger sites on the benefits/to no benefits of using acupuncture.  The feelings on acupuncture are mixed throughout the medical and general community.  It’s considered by many that believe in Eastern medicine modalities as a valued natural science that can heal and alleviate pain and cure disease.  To Western medicine practitioners, many professionals and lay persons believe at best acupuncture is a pseudoscience that’s falls into categories more like magic and faith healing.

Instead of trying to convince you that acupuncture works, I think it is best to leave you with the following insight.  Like Pranic healing (link listed below), there is much our modern medical science does not understand and has no way to prove through clinical trials how life “Chi” energy actually heals and alleviates pain.  But to make a comparison of the misunderstood not too long ago, one must simply recall the thought process, “it was impossible for man to fly, let alone sore through space and land on the moon.”  Or, until Penicillin as an effective antibiotic was discovered; many with serious disease through infection were doomed to die with no hope of a cure.  During the times, these beliefs could think no other way with any solution that would ever change the outcome until science proved otherwise many years later.

I believe there is much in the world science does not understand about the human mind and body.  Let me give you one more relevant example.  It has long been said people on earth only use 10% of their brains capacity.   This too is controversial due to the “natural selection” concept.  Since the brain tissue has metabolically evolved throughout time, and to lose 90% of capacity would have catastrophic consequences on the human regulation of the body is the controversy in dispelling the 10% brain capacity use.

So maybe we are using a 100% of metabolic brain function, but maybe not 100% healing function within another part of the brain.  Is this line of reasoning possible?  Of course it is.  But then again, how do you prove this scientifically?  As of to date, science can’t.  So in relating this line of reasoning to the naysayer’s; acupuncture is just as valid for those that believe it works, so it works!  Just because a scientific relative blind study to prove it works has not been accomplished to date, does not mean it doesn’t work.  Science to date does not have the knowledge to empirically prove it.

Let’s assume our brains have room to evolve to make use of our Chi energy, even though science cannot tell you how it works for sure.  So if we dare to think there is room for evolving of the brain-body connection, we could think the following:  if science does not know how the healing Chi energy works using needles, there is no way to test each of our healing brain-body connections.  Each one of us that experiences a pain relief benefit may use a different part of the brain, brain function, or cognitive skill connection to the body when the needles are inserted, which activate the healing life force connection.  This would explain why it works for some and not others.  Others may be more or less in touch with this part of the healing brain-body connection.  I’m not sure how science would test these variables in a blind study.  Here lies the empirical sample test dilemma in proving the healing benefits connection using acupuncture.

So I’d say to you, if you have severe pain and have exhausted Western medicine resources, regardless of the negative opinion about acupuncture, what have you got to lose?  What doesn’t work for others may work for you?  You may have the ability to unlock a Chi force that is hidden within 90% of an untapped brain function that others like I are able to unlock.  And consider this, there must be some validity to it because many HMO practitioners refer pain patients to acupuncturists whether they completely believe in it or not.  And many health insurers cover the cost!  So there must be something to it.

I know surgery and/or chiropractics is not the answer for “my” pain relief without causing further damage to my weight bearing structure.  I’ve been able to avoid much of the pain pitfalls that these two practices, had I accepted the referrals and treatments may have worsened my pain story.  The key is, get more than one, or two opinions before you do something radical if you have a choice.  You cannot reverse damage caused through over manipulation of bone, tendon and ligaments, and a surgery that went bad.

I believe one day science will prove through relative and valid empirical trials how and why acupuncture works for many patients.  But like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity “Time was no longer uniform and absolute.” Physics could no longer be understood as space by itself, hence space and time was also dependant on velocity.  Until this time Isaac Newton’s physics and astronomy stood as a 200-year-old theory of mechanics.  So you see through time man evolves in many different depths of knowledge and understanding within the world we live, as well as the bodies we live in.

Listed below, I’ve left some links that further explain how acupuncture and Pranic healing may help you to alleviate your pain by activating a part of your brain that to date is unexplained scientifically, but for many this healing practice works.

If you want to try acupuncture and your primary physician does not believe in it, and won’t refer you, or it’s not covered in your health insurance program, there are 3 things you can do.  During your employer annual health insurance selections pick a provider or policy that covers acupuncture within its listed services.  Or, if you have coverage for this service, but your referring physician does not believe in acupuncture and won’t refer you, request a new primary care physician.  Or request from your current primary care physician to be referred to a physiatrist.  Physiatrists are pain management specialists with an arsenal of pain modality resources for which one, if covered by your HMO will refer you to an acupuncturist if you’re willing to give it a try.


Woodard, Marc.  Why a Physiatrist Offers the Best Rehabilitative Course.  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets!  June 23, 2011.

Craig, Gary.  Acupuncture Meridians Pathways of Chi Energy.  Healing with EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques.  Website:

Woodard, Marc.  What is Pranic Healing and Does it Work?  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets! July 23, 2010.

Novella, Steven.  Does Acupuncture Work or Not?  Neurologica blog.  Sep 25, 2007.

Woodamarc.  “Pain Depression Origins.” HubPages.

Physiotherapy Adelaide Site.  How Does Acupuncture Work?  Copyright 2011.

Do We Use all of our Brain Power?  Google answer site.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.