Drinking Water and Your Health: An Inextricable Link

Drinking Water A sizeable percentage of the human body is comprised of water and it only makes sense that this universal element is essential for our daily existence. From aiding in numerous cellular processes to enabling our brains to send messages to our limbs, water is absolutely critical. However, there are several benefits which you might find a bit surprising. What other roles does water play and why is it important to obtain the proper amount in order to stave off a host of health problems? Let us take a closer look at this undeniably important topic.

The Circulatory and Cardiovascular Systems

As you may have already guessed, water is a vital nutrient to keep our blood flowing properly. Anyone who is not adequately hydrated can place a great deal of strain upon their heart and arteries, as thicker blood is more difficult to pump. This is one of the reasons why one of the results of improper hydration can be high blood pressure and in some cases, myocardial infarction (a heart attack).

Brain Function

Anyone who has ever suffered from a hangover is well aware of the “hazy” feeling that often accompanies other symptoms such as a headache and dizziness. This arises from the fact that water is absolutely vital to maintain the function of our brain and the peripheral nervous system. Drinking plenty of water on a daily basis will help to elevate your mood and keep you alert. It may even stave off emotional issues such as anxiety and depression.

Muscular Advantages

Water acts as a lubricant throughout the muscles and joints. This is why cramping can often occur if you happen to become dehydrated (such as after a long run in the summer). Maintaining adequate levels of hydration will help to ensure that your muscles remain flexible and supple. In the same respect, water helps to cushion your joints and to protect them over time. So, drinking plenty of this elixir is vital to help avoid soreness and injuries.

Forever Young

Water also plays a very important role in regards to the health and appearance of your skin, hair and nails. The cells within the dermis and epidermis rely upon water to maintain their elasticity. In other words, consuming the proper amounts of water can help to minimise the appearance of lines and wrinkles as you age. You can also avoid conditions such as split hair ends and brittle nails.

Weight Loss Advantages

Drinking plenty of water can help you to drop those excess kilos. Not only will water cause your stomach feel fuller, but it increases the metabolism of your body. This signifies that you can burn more calories throughout the day; a welcome benefit if you are concerned about obesity.

These are only a handful of the benefits associated with hydration. As our bodies are comprised of approximately 60 per cent water, it only makes sense that we receive plenty on a daily basis.


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A Look at the Role of Vitamins and the Body

vitaminsThe phrase “contains all of the necessary vitamins and minerals” is frequently seen on food labels and during commercials which advertise a healthy breakfast. However relatively few individuals are aware of the role that vitamins play. What exactly are vitamins? Why are they essential to maintain our health? What are some of the most important vitamins to consume on a regular basis in order prevent or avoid ill health? The following will help answer your questions.

What is a Vitamin?

A vitamin is essentially an organic compound that the body requires in order to maintain homeostasis (a stable and healthy equilibrium). Vitamins are contained in many of the foods which we eat although they are more prevalent within fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also important to point out the differences between vitamins and minerals, as these two terms are sometimes confused. As opposed to vitamins, minerals are inorganic substances that are absorbed by the plants and animals that we eat. Minerals are nonetheless quite essential in order to keep your bodily functions performing at optimal levels.

What Purposes do Vitamins Serve?

This is actually a slightly loaded question, as vitamins are critical in performing countless metabolic activities. Some of the most important functions which are influenced by vitamins include:

  • Digesting the foods that we eat.
  • Staving off illnesses such as a cold or the flu.
  • Recovering from injuries.
  • Preventing cellular damage (these vitamins are often classified as antioxidants).
  • Helping our skin, hair and nails to appear younger.
  • Regulating our heart rate, blood pressure and brain activity.

Having said this, the body will only require a relatively small amount of most vitamins. This is one of the reasons why vitamins are often known as “micronutrients”. It should also be mentioned that some vitamins will help your body absorb specific minerals. One example can be seen in the relationship between vitamin D and calcium. The simple fact of the matter is that vitamins are absolutely crucial to maintain a healthy body.

A Quick Look at the Roles of Common Vitamins

While it should now be clear to appreciate why vitamins are so important, it is helpful to understand the functions of each. Here are some well-known substances and the purposes that they serve:

  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant which protects the cells.
  • Vitamin B: Enhances many metabolic activities, promotes brain function and stimulates the production of red blood cells.
  • Vitamin D: Helps your body maintain healthy teeth and bones.
  • Vitamin E: Excellent for the skin and aids in the production of red blood cells.

Please note that some categories (such as B-complex vitamins) contain many variants which each perform a unique function. The bottom line is that the importance of vitamins cannot be overlooked.

If you feel that you are not receiving a sufficient amount of vitamins or minerals in your daily diet, speak with a doctor or a health professional who can help with your needs.

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6 Common Chiropractic Adjustment Techniques

Chiropractic Adjustment Chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, is a type of manual therapy to help to ease pressure on joints and improve the range of spinal motion. The therapy is often used to treat neck, back, shoulder and headache but chiropractors also use it to treat other minor ailments also.

There are more than 100 types of spinal manipulation techniques used by chiropractors. Some of these techniques are gentle while others involve the application of a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint.

Here is an overview of the most common chiropractic adjustment techniques.

1. Direct Thrust Technique

Direct thrust technique, also known as diversified technique, is one of the oldest and the most commonly used techniques, with about 96% of chiropractors using it on about 70% of their patients. In this type of chiropractic adjustment, a chiropractor uses their hands to apply a rapid thrust or impulse to align the spine. This involves taking a part of your spine (like your thoracic spine) and quickly moving it to one side (application of a rapid thrust).

This manipulative technique increases range of motion caused by misaligned joints or bones. However, it is considered more dangerous when compared to other manipulative treatment techniques due to the application of high-velocity force.

2. Gonstead Adjustment

Another common chiropractic technique is Gonstead adjustment. It is a hands-on technique that involves thoroughly analysing the spinal region and realigning the spine to reduce pain and inflammation in the affected areas.

3. Spinal Mobilization

The goal of this technique is the same as the direct thrust technique – to restore and improve joint function. However, unlike the direct thrust technique, spinal mobilization uses gentle thrusts and more stretching.

4. Activator Method Chiropractic Technique (AMCT) or Activator Technique

In this technique, a chiropractor uses a small handheld spring-loaded device called an activator that delivers a small impulse to the spine. The activator technique effectively adjusts the tone of the nervous system. Consequently, it is used to treat everything from neck pain and back pain to headaches (both chronic and migraine).

5. Flexion-Distraction

Also called Cox Technic, flexion-distraction is one of the less common techniques used by chiropractors. It involves adjusting your cranium (skull) and/or stretching your back gently, aligning the spine to its normal position. The adjustment is commonly used to treat facet joint pain and other conditions that cause neck and back pain.

6. Drop Technique

Drop technique or Thompson Terminal Point involves specialized treatment tables that have drop mechanisms to facilitate the movement of the joint. This technique is sometimes used in place of, or in addition to, a more traditional manipulative adjustment method.

While the drop table may sound a bit frightening, the chiropractic experience is actually very comfortable.

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Common Cricket Injuries: What You Need to Know

Enjoyed by millions of fans and players around the world, cricket is a sport which requires no introduction. While there is no doubt that playing such a game is a great deal of fun, it is also a well-known fact that certain injuries can occur from time to time. What are some common cricket injuries and how can a qualified chiropractor help to alleviate these conditions so that you can return to cricket pitch? If you hope to encounter targeted treatment options, it is important to take a look at a handful of scenarios.

Chiropractic Care

Cricket Injuries: Different types

While some of the injuries can be acute and rather short-term in nature, others may represent chronic issues. We need to keep in mind that while any cricket injury will negatively impact your playing ability, the majority will not disappear without some type of intervention.

The fact of the matter is that many cricket movements are associated with the entire body and these can have a dramatic effect upon seemingly unrelated areas such as the neck, shoulders or legs. This is also why obtaining a correct diagnosis is critical if you wish to effectively target the problem at hand and discover an efficient solution.

Prevention Techniques

Warm up and cool down A good warm up and cool down is vital. Ensure you have a regular routine, and always make time for it.

Core stability training Core stability training is important, particularly for bowlers, as it can help reduce the risk of low back pain and side strains. Your health professional can help design a program for this.

Targeted strength training Strength training can actually reduce your risk of injury. A chiropractor can help you with a tailored strength program.

What help is available?

The good news is that common cricket injuries do not necessarily have to represent a game-changing scenario. Seeking the advice of a trained health professional is the first step towards a speedy recovery, as he or she will be able to quickly diagnose the problem at hand. Depending upon the issue, there are several options including (but not necessarily limited to):

  • Reducing any inflammation and pain associated with the area in question.
  • Targeted stretches to increase your range of motion and to enhance strength.
  • Specific training intended to prevent such a situation from occurring in the future.

Have you recently suffered a minor cricket-related injury or do you suspect that a chronic issue may be present? If so, obtaining professional advice is the first step down the road to recovery. Please contact a trained specialist at Bradford House Chiropractic Clinic. We offer a wide range of treatment options to help with your minor cricket injury.

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Dive in and Learn About the Benefits of Swimming

SwimmingOne of the main reasons swimming is such a popular activity is that it can be taken up at any age. Whether performed with friends or alone, this sport is both fun and extremely therapeutic. Many individuals will be surprised to know that swimmers can enjoy a number of unique benefits that might not be possible with other sports. Let us take a quick look at why this activity could represent the ideal option if you have been looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle before examining some tips intended for novice swimmers.


The Advantages of Swimming: More Than Meets the Eye

Chiropractors and Physicians note that swimming is a low-impact form of exercise. It is not subject to the same jarring motions associated with running or hiking. Instances such as muscle strains or tears are also less likely to occur. This arises from the fact that water tends to massage the body as it moves through the water. When performed correctly, practitioners can expect to see an increase in muscular definition and overall lean mass. This is obviously attractive for those who are looking to reduce those love handles. Thanks to the principle of water resistance, swimming can be used as an additional activity within an existing strength training programme. It is likewise interesting to note that regular swimming sessions will help to improve cardiovascular function and it has been shown that this activity may reduce instances of atherosclerosis. On a final note, those who swim will generally report more positive moods and fewer stressful feelings. If you are unable or unwilling to participate in other exercise routines, this activity could represent the ideal solution.


Learning the Basics

One of the reasons why some individuals do not embrace swimming as a healthy pastime arises from the fact that they might not have ever properly learned the basics. The good news is that it is easy to pick up the fundamentals if you know where to begin. It is first important to become acclimated with the water. Begin walking around in the shallow end of a pool. Once you are comfortable progress deeper until the water has reached your armpits. Returning to the shallow portion, immerse your head underwater in order to become more comfortable. Do not worry if this is strange at first; it is common to possess a slight fear of the water.

You should then begin using a flotation device such as a kickboard in order to perform basic swimming strokes. Once again, begin in the shallow end and progress until you are able to complete a single lap. Your endurance will naturally increase as you become more acclimated to the surroundings, so be patient. Some additional tips include:

  • Purchase a comfortable pair of swimming goggles.
  • Try to set a specific distance each day.
  • Enroll in a swimming course to hone your technique.

Swimming can help to promote a healthy lifestyle and can really help improve your health and well-being overall. If you’re not sure if swimming is for you, visit your local Chiropractor for a consultation and checkup.

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What are Orthotics?

orthoticsOrthotics is a medical practice that focuses on the design as well as the application of orthoses. Your feet play a very important role when it comes to your overall health. The feet act as a strong base to the body when walking and standing. However, by wearing custom orthotics, your feet may benefit from additional support.

Benefits of Orthosis

  • Orthotics can help increase mobility in feet
  • Orthotics can help to reduce foot pain
  • Orthotics can help protect as well as support a foot injury
  • Orthotics may accommodate or correct a foot deformity

There are a wide variety of prefabricated and custom-made orthoses available that can help manage several MSK problems. Generally, orthotics are capable of providing arch support and realigning the structures of your leg and foot, as well as preventing tendon and muscle fatigue. Orthotics may also be used in correcting structural deformities.

How can Orthotics and Chiropractic care help you?

A chiropractor is trained to assess when and if custom orthotics can benefit you. As part of this assessment, the evaluation of a chiropractor may include observation, functional analysis, gait analysis and orthopaedic and neurological testing. This helps your chiropractor to determine whether custom orthotics are suitable for you or not. At times off-the-shelf orthotics may be best suited to meet your needs and goals.

Chiropractors consider your body as a whole. When assessing knee pain, for example, your chiropractor will also evaluate the function of your foot, ankle, hip and back. Interestingly, people who often benefit the most from custom orthotics may not only present with foot pain but also a pain in their low back, hip, knee or ankle. A comprehensive look at these biomechanics is reflected when training to be a chiropractor.

The underlying problem does not always originate from the root of pain — having a foot dysfunction (for instance, overpronation) may result in pain in other areas of your body. Chiropractic training value in orthotics field, when considering therapeutic options available, involves assessing the whole lower kinetic chain for people who have non-foot pain.

Effective treatment for LBP

Chiropractors have long prescribed custom orthotics to patients with the understanding that lower back pain (LBP) treatment might work perfectly when addressing not only your back but also your ankles, knees, hips and/or feet.

Using orthotics in balancing and supporting your feet, which is the foundation of your body, can help to balance and support your spine. Custom orthotics, together with chiropractic care, can be a very powerful first-line treatment when it comes to the battle against LBP.

Back pain is now regarded as a global epidemic; experts estimate that 80 per cent of the population in the world will suffer from LBP at some point in their lives. If you are looking to avoid over-the-counter medication for relieving pain, which comes with serious side effects, chiropractic care combined with custom orthotics can be an alternative worth considering.

Studies support spinal adjustment for LBP. Also, according to new guidelines published in February 2017 by the ACP (American College of Physicians), spinal adjustment is recommended as a first choice treatment for LBP.

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Preventing and Avoiding Injury in Runners

running injuryRunning is a fun, safe, and relaxing activity that has many health benefits, both physical and mental. However, pounding the pavement over time can take a toll on your muscles, joints, back, knees and soft tissues.

Sprains and strains can affect your performance and even lead to more serious complications. Some of the injuries brought on or exacerbated by a regular running routine include knee/hip pain, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis. While a visit to the doctor and use of ice packs and over the counter pain medication can help ease the pain, seeking chiropractor care can help keep you in tip-top shape.

Here are the various ways runners can benefit from chiropractic care:

1. Faster Healing Time

Soft tissue injuries and severe muscles tears typically require four to eight weeks of recovery time. However, with chiropractic treatment and follow-up exercises, your recovery time can be significantly reduced.

Chiropractors use manipulations and adjustments to restore optimal joint mobility, treat nerve interference and align the spine. These reduce inflammation, reduce pain and tension in muscles, and improve blood flow to the hurt area, all of which improve the body’s ability to heal itself.

2. Reduced Pain and Discomfort

Chiropractors use a variety of non-invasive treatments to address pain caused by sprains, strains, pulled muscles, and lactic acid buildup. Examples of the treatments used by these experts to manage pain include spinal manipulation and deep tissue massage. They target specific trigger points in the body to manage the discomfort and soreness associated with the injury.

3. Increased Range of Motion

Your range of motion and stride length are essential in improving your running technique. Unfortunately, most runners have trouble pushing off the back leg or picking up the knee due to mild scar tissue or microfibre restricting the hips. A qualified chiropractor can break up the restricting scar tissue and microfibre allowing for an increased range of motion, wider stride angle, and a longer stride.

4. Reduced Risk of Injury

A misaligned spine, also known as a “spinal subluxation,” can cause other parts of the body to be weaker and more susceptible to injury. Chiropractic care can align bones in the spine, restore joint mobility and remove nerve interference, all of which can have a ripple effect throughout your body.

Regular chiropractic adjustments and manipulations can reduce the negative effect the jarring motion of running has on your body and help reduce your risk of injury.

5. Better Balance

Having hips that are off balance can cause one side of your body to carry more weight than the other. Being out of balance will make your strides to be shorter, causing you to run slower. A chiropractor can adjust your hips to ensure your body is properly balanced. This can help increase your stride length and improve your mile time.

Incorporating regular chiropractic care into your overall fitness regimen can help ensure your body is in prime running condition and resistant to injury. If you have an injury, chiropractic treatment can boost your healing time and manage pain.

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Cold Weather and Joint Pain

joint painDuring the cold winter months the weather can have many effects on your wellbeing, both mentally and physically. For many people one of these physical effects manifests itself as painful, aching joints. Chiropractic care can often provide help to reduce and prevent aching joints, and helping to alleviate joint pain throughout the cold season.

Why does cold weather affect your joints?

To date cold weather joint pain is an area that has not received much scientific research. However there seem to be two main reasons that your joints can begin to ache as the temperature drops. One theory is that as the body tries to conserve heat, blood flow is redirected towards the major organs in the centre of the body, such as the lungs and the heart. To encourage this, blood vessels in the extremities begin to constrict. As this happens, the decreased blood flow in these areas causes the joints to become stiffer and colder, leading to pain in the areas.

The other common theory is that as the barometric pressure in the air changes with the weather, the joints react by expanding, which leads to changes in circulation and sensitivity in the nerve fibres. You may have heard people say that they can feel the weather changing in their bones, and this is what they mean!

What effect can this have on your body, and how can I prevent it?

The most obvious physical effect is stiffness in the joints, particularly in the knees, hips and ankles. In addition to this, you may also feel low-level pain that drags on, almost like a continual dull ache which can be very annoying.
While we can’t control the weather, we can take steps to deal with the issues it causes. To deal with the pain, an obvious starting point is to keep yourself as warm as possible, whenever possible. In addition to this, you can prevent additional swelling with simple steps such as wearing well-fitting items, and it is important to also stay active.
Alternatively, with the help of expert chiropractic care, you can take preventative steps to help you identify underlying issues and look after your joints to stop cold weather pain before it starts.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help?

Chiropractic care can also help you in a number of ways, from keeping your spine properly aligned to allow your joints to take on a bit more heat and pressure, through to keeping you limber and more flexible to stave off the discomfort that can come from not being able to exercise due to your pain. Our highly qualified practitioners will help to thoroughly examine and diagnose what can be done to help you, and above all else, will provide you with effective treatment and management of the pain. While other methods leave you having to manage the pain daily, if you book an appointment with us now, we can help you to actually enjoy the cold weather months. Visit us at Bradford House Chiropractors today for a consultation or call 01962 861188 for more info.

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What to Look for in a Mattress

MattressSleeping on the wrong mattress can worsen or make LBP (lower back pain) become worse. Lack of support from your mattress strains your muscles, reinforces poor sleeping and doesn’t improve spine alignment: all these contribute to LBP. Sleep comfort is sacrificed if your mattress doesn’t match your preferences.

A mattress providing both back support and comfort helps to reduce LBP and can help  the structure in your spine to rest and rejuvenate when you are sleeping at night. There are a wide variety of mattresses available on the market and looking for the right one is important for optimal comfort. If you are suffering from LBP, these practical guidelines will help you choose the ideal mattress for both sleep comfort and back support.

Personal preference should determine the best mattress.

There’s no single mattress type or style that works for all low back pain patients. Any mattress that will help you sleep without stiffness and pain is the best mattress for you. If you are suffering from LBP, you should choose a mattress that meets you’re the best option for you, for support and comfort and allows you to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Ask about the mattress physical components.

The inner springs or coils of any mattress provide the support. Mattresses vary when it comes to the arrangement and number of coils. Padding on top of every mattress comes in various thickness. Mattress depths range anywhere from seven to eighteen inches deep. Choosing the mattress depth, type of padding and the number of coils should be determined by your preferences.

Look for a mattress that has back support


The right mattress is one that provides support for your natural curves plus the alignment of your spine. The correct amount of back support helps you avoid muscle soreness when you wake up in the morning. Studies suggest that medium-firm mattresses provide patients with more back pain relief when compared to firm mattresses.

Sleep position recommendation for specific painful back conditions.

Spinal Stenosis

If you have this condition, you should sleep on your side and make sure your knees are curled up (fetal position). This will help to relieve pressure on your nerve root. Also, sleeping on an adjustable bed or a reclining chair that allows your knees and head to remain elevated relieve pressure on your nerve.


If you are suffering from this type of joint disease, sleep sideways with your knees curled up (fetal position). This position will open up the zygapophysial joints in your spine, and it can relieve corresponding pressure. You can also sleep in an adjustable bed or a reclining chair, which will elevate your knees and head and relieve pressure on your facet joints.

Isthmic spondylolisthesis

Sleeping in a reclining position may relieve pain from isthmic spondylolisthesis. You can test this position by using pillows under your head, neck and back to support your body as if it is in a reclining chair.


Pressure from a mattress that’s too firm can aggravate a condition like inflammation of the bursa over your hips (greater trochanteric bursitis). If your mattress is too firm, a pillow-top mattress (mattress that has thick padding on top) can reduce pressure on your hip.

Herniated lumbar disc

The recommended sleep position depends partially on the disc position. For the most common paracentral disc herniation, patients tend to do better when they lie on their stomach. As for the foraminal herniated disc, sleep on your side (fetal position) to get relief.

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Reducing the Risk of Joint pain, Including Hip and Knee Pain from Osteoarthritis

joint painJoint Pain is common, but it’s not well understood. It is in fact not a single disease; it’s a term used to refer to all sorts of pain in joints from osteoarthritis. There are over a hundred types of different joint pain related conditions. It’s most common among women, and it occurs more frequently as you get older. People of all races, sexes and ages can have joint pain or osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Joint Pain

The symptoms of common joint paint include decreased range of motion (ROM), stiffness, pain and swelling. These symptoms might come and go, and they can be severe, moderate or mild. They can stay about the same for many years, but they can progress or worsen over time.

Severe joint pain can lead to an inability to do day-to-day activities and chronic pain can make it hard to do activities climb or walk stairs. Joint pain can lead to permanent changes. The changes may be visible, like knobby finger joints, but usually, the damage will only be viewed on X-ray. Also, some types of joint pain can affect your skin, kidneys, lungs, eyes and heart.

How Do You Prevent Joint Pan?

There’s no sure way of preventing joint pain. However, you can help to reduce your risk of osetoarthritis and delay the possible onset of some types of other types of joint pain. If you’ve healthy joints, do everything you can to ensure that you maintain mobility and function. This will help you avoid the pain and disability.

Risk Factors

The types of joint pain plus related condition all have risk factors, circumstances associated with the disease, behaviours and individual features.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

There are risk factors that aren’t modifiable, meaning that you cannot do anything about them. If you have a family history of osteoarthritis or you are a female, you are more likely to get certain types of joint pain.

Modifiable Risk Factors

On the contrary, some risk factors are regarded as modifiable. They are the circumstances and behaviours you can change to delay onset, reduce your risk or completely prevent joint pain and swelling. The following are some examples of osteoarthritis and related diseases plus associated modifiable risk factors:

• Gout – Eat a healthy diet that is low in sugar, purines and alcohol.
• Rheumatoid arthritis – Don’t smoke.
• Osteoarthritis (OA) – You should maintain a healthy weight.

In some cases, when you reduce a prior incident, it can significantly reduce your risk of joint pain and osetoarthritis. Also, avoiding sports injuries through safe play, adequate training and proper equipment can prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears that may result in OA several decades later or in a few years.

Hope for Prevention

Right now, because scientists do not fully understand the mechanisms and causes of these diseases, true prevention appears to be impossible. However, there’s real hope that someday all or some types of joint pain and osteoarthritis plus related conditions will be prevented. The breakthroughs are closer than they seem.

It’s believed that many types of osteoarthritis are caused by a mixture of genetic predisposition plus an environmental trigger, like toxin and virus. Discovering the trigger for a certain type of joint pain could be the answer to its prevention, even if you have a genetic risk.


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