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Meditation & Medication

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Meditation & Medication

If you’re one of the millions of adults who suffer from chronic pain or disease, there may be some good news. Many recent studies have reported that those who suffer from chronic pain such as, joint pain, back pain, fibromyalgia & osteoarthritis, showed a significant improvement in their mental and physical function after engaging in mediation practices including but not limited to:

  • Yoga
  • Hypnosis
  • Mindful mediation
  • Guided meditation
  • Visualization
  • Deep relaxation

The great thing about meditation is that there are no rules to this ancient practice. All that is required is the desire for improvement.

In the case of chronic pain, this desired improvement is in one’s pain levels. Pain is a very complex phenomenon that involves both biological and psychological factors. While we may not have much control over our biological factors, we do have a fair amount of control over the psychological factors. Coupled together these mental and physical components are intrinsic parts of the whole, and should be treated as such.

When you shift your perspective from outward to inward, meaning you change your thought process from “this is happening to me and there is nothing I can do about it,” and instead to “this is happening to me but I can choose how I relate to it,” then you have now positioned yourself in driver’s seat. It is in this mindful shift that we are able to take an objective standpoint on our body’s pain, and begin to control how we let it affect our lives.

 

This explanation describes pain at its most basic, tangible, straightforward level. Pain is when something injures body tissue, and the body tells this to the brain. This model for acute pain is called nociception.

Tissue damage, or the nociception, normally leads to pain, but pain always has a sensory component: where it is, what it feels like. It makes you feel bad and so you go to the doctor. What physicians respond to is the behaviors of a patient. A person comes into the clinic and expresses and shows how bad he suffers from the pain he feels. The doctor cannot see or measure the pain and suffering.

In most cases a doctor will conduct surgery and prescribe pain medications to treat this physical reaction to chronic pain. However, a doctor can do very little about one’s mental reaction to pain because in large part, paint is a mental reaction.

Meditation has been shown to alter areas of the brain that relate pain to body stress. By decreasing activity in the primary somatosensory cortex, the pain processing area, and increasing activity in the three other regions, pain is reduced. Meditation also increases activity in the pain and emotion regulating areas of the brain. Meditation teaches patients how to react to the pain. People are less inclined to have the ‘Ouch’ reaction, then they are able to control the emotional reaction to pain.The meditator learns while sitting on the cushion that pain is fleeting and doesn’t deserve such a strong emotional reaction.

For a patient with chronic pain, meditation gives patients a way to take hold of their life again. Over the months, or even years, of undiagnosed pain, patients feel like they lose control of their life and body.

Pain medications ignore the psychological and social aspects of pain. Meditation, however, can treat pain from every level. It diminishes the anxiety surrounding pain, leaving the patient happier, and more in control.

May 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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It is true that there is no simple cure for rheumatoid arthritis. However, if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis symptoms such as joint pain and inflammation, it is a good idea to have a nutritious diet and avoid red flag foods that have been proven to worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, says Dr. Raj at the Beverly Hills Orthopedic Institute.

You might be saying to yourself, “Okay, sure Doc! Easier said than done.” Well…true. But just like any other lifestyle change, this one is going to take hard work and dedication. As the old saying goes, “Anything worth having is worth fighting for.” And in the case of your health, this couldn’t be more true, for if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything.

Where to begin:

Ok. So now we can all agree that health is the most important thing. So now where do you start?
As mentioned before, rheumatoid arthritis is a tricky condition as we don’t know what causes it or cures it. What we do know is how to reduce the symptoms and put it into remission. The key to reducing inflammation is by avoiding inflammatory foods that lead to becoming overweight and less active. Extra pounds put strain on your joints and cause further pain and injury. They also reduce energy levels making it difficult to find the motivation to exercise.

Read on to find out what foods are bad and good for rheumatoid arthritis.

Foods That Can Worsen Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
There is a debate over whether or not diet alone can put rheumatoid arthritis into remission, or if drug therapy is the leading source of symptom management. Dr. Raj at the Beverly Hills Orthopedic Institute suggests that it is a good idea to cover all of your bases. In other words, is one’s best interest to take advantage of the gift of modern medicine coupled with healthy-living habits.

What you eat, or avid eating, can make a significant difference in your rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some foods to think twice about, as they can contribute to inflammation and becoming overweight:

1. Red Meat. 
Most red meats contain high levels of saturated fat, which can exacerbate inflammation and also contribute to obesity. Red meat also contains omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation if you ingest more that the recommended daily dose. Studies have shown many people’s rheumatoid arthritis improve from limiting their intake of red meats.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to rid your diet of red meat entirely. Lean cuts of red meat may provide protein and important nutrients for people with rheumatoid arthritis, without causing additional inflammation.

Keep in mind that the human body takes 7-days to digest red meat. Thus, it makes perfect sense to limit your intake of red meat to one per week. Everything in moderation, as they say.

2. Sugar and refined flour.
Candy, sugary snacks and drinks, white-flour, white bread and pasta, and white rice. All of these foods—if we can call them that—will prompt the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. These cytokines can worsen your rheumatoid arthritis inflammation in your joints. Moreover, these foods can cause you to gain weight quickly, which puts extra stresses on your joints, and causing pain.

3. Fried foods. 
One of the worst things you can do to worsen rheumatoid arthritis and cause more inflammation is eat fried foods. These foods contain toxins called advanced glycation end products, which can increase oxidation in the body’s cells. And as we all well know, fried foods are high in fat and can contribute to obesity.

4. Gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley, and may contribute to inflammation in some people who have an intolerance. Many doctors believe that gluten’s effects can have an extremely harsh effect on people with an autoimmune disorder such as celiac disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

Even if you do not have a severe intolerance, too much gluten is not good for anyone. Remember that balance is everything.

5. Alcohol. 
The effect of alcohol on rheumatoid arthritis is not definitive, but we can all agree that consuming too much alcohol comes along with a lot more negatives than it does positives.
An abundance of alcohol can cause a spike in the C-reactive protein. CRP is a powerful signal of inflammation, and findings show that an abundance of alcohol can increase inflammation and worsen rheumatoid arthritis.

That being said, moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have shown that Women who drank a few glasses of wine per week had half the risk for rheumatoid arthritis that non-drinkers. It is a delicate balance.

6. Processed foods.
A product of the 70’s, we are only beginning to learn the severe negative effects of processed foods. They’re ubiquitous, they’re easy to grab-and-go, and we can’t deny that some of them hit the spot. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis you should make a strong effort to rid your diet of processed foods entirely. This is not a moderation type of situation.

Processed foods are loaded with ingredients that cause inflammation. These products (not foods) are packed with sugar, refined flour, and saturated fats. It is very important to read the nutrition and ingredients labels on anything you put into your body.

Here is a good rule of thumb—if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t put it into your body.

 

Foods That Can Help Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms:

1. Coriander.
This green leaved herb has many different names — coriander, cilantro, Chinese parsley—you choose! Coriander is one of the many nutraceuticals that can have a beneficial effect on chronic inflammatory diseases such as, rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Turmeric.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation at the cellular level. Mustards are a good source of turmeric and probably the easiest way to incorporate it into your diet. Also check out golden milk, as it is a tasty treat if prepared properly.

3. Ginger.
Ginger is a well known way to calm inflammation in the body. Like turmeric, ginger also contains chemicals that work as an anti-inflammatory for rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger is easy to incorporate into your diet. Eat it with your sushi, in your tea, or add it to a simple stir-fry.

4. Pineapple Stem.
The stem of a pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that has been shown to reduce inflammation in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Since the stem of a pineapple isn’t edible, you should to get bromelain in capsule or pill form. A study of a complex of three plant extracts — bromelain, turmeric, and Devil’s claw, found these to be a successful alternative to other anti-inflammatory drugs.

5. Molasses.

Look online and you see many people with rheumatoid arthritis swearing by molasses. It’s rich in vitamins and nutrients, including magnesium which helps preserve nerve and muscle function as well as joint cartilage. Low levels of magnesium are common in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and can be a contributing factor for heart disease. Other good sources of magnesium are nuts, beans, whole grains, bananas, and green vegetables.

6. Green tea.
Dr. Raj strongly suggests that people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis drink a cup of green tea a day. Just add some molasses and you have a double-whammy!

7. Cherries and pomegranates.
These fruits contain the flavonoid anthocyanin. Studies have found that pomegranate juice has many beneficial properties, the prevention of inflammation. The same goes for cherries. Treat yourself and do your body some good.

8. Fish oil.
This is most prevalent in wild salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and trout. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which work to decrease inflammation and reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Consider eating fatty fish like salmon twice a week or supplementing with fish oil capsules. Dr. Raj can’t stress this one enough!

End note: Think of these adjustments as steps to better rheumatoid arthritis management and overall wellbeing and quality of life.

April 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Common Dance Injuries and Treatment

legs of young dancers ballerinas in class classical dance, ballet

Dancers are rigorous athletes who put their bodies under tremendous strain. Many of them suffer from orthopedic & sports medicine related issues that, if not properly treated, will result in early retirement.

The dancer is different in many ways. Their bodies are extremely flexible and agile.  In order to properly treat a dancer, a doctor is required to have strong knowledge & appreciation of their craft. This includes not only their types of injuries but also their physical exam, evaluation and treatment. Injuries to dancers are very common. In evaluating injured dancers, one must not only focus on the injury but an effort must also be made to understand the reason for the injury. The better a doctor understand the injury the better, he or she can treat and potentially prevent the injury from occurring at all.

Common Injuries:

There are several types of injuries that occur. The most common are:

  • ankle-sprains,
  • lumbar strains
  • collisions and falls
  • muscle tears
  • broken toes & feet
  • Achilles tendonitis

Proper treatment and evaluation of these injuries is imperative for complete recovery and function. It is not uncommon for a dancer to experience the same trauma multiple times, as their technique is rigorous and repetitive, leading them to overuse specific muscles and overcompensate for others. Thus, treatment should not focus only on the injury but should involve an evaluation of the dancer’s biomechanics and technique.

Types of treatments:

The treatment depends on the injury. Surgery is not the only option. Many dancers who suffer from muscle tears, tissue degeneration, or hip, knee & shoulder pain have options when it comes to treatment.

As an alternative and preventative approach to surgery, some might consider Stem Cell Therapy for it’s rejuvenation properties and benefits. Stem Cell Therapy offers many benefits such as, accelerated healing time, no undergoing the knife, and it uses your own body’s cells to heal itself. This treatment is great for modest injuries that should be treated before they get worse.

Cortisone shots are also common for dancers suffering from localized chronic pain. Cortisone reduces inflammation, and alleviates pain almost instantly. Effects can last anywhere from 3-6 months.

If it comes down to it there is also the option of surgery. While this should not be a doctors go to method, it is sometimes necessary if an injury is beyond the point of healing on its own. Surgery does have longer healing times, but if you choose the right and experienced surgeon, then you will be back on the dance floor in no time.

Lastly, physical therapy should be used in tandem with all other treatments. It keeps the body strong, and builds up the muscles in order to prevent further injury and trauma. We cannot stress this enough!

Choosing a Doctor:

Dr. Raj at the Beverly Hills Orthopedic Institute offers all of the above treatments and procedures. He is well versed in working with dancers and athletes alike, making him the go-to orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor in Los Angeles.  For seven years in a row he was voted Los Angeles SuperDoctor of the year. He has been asked to appear The Doctors TV show for his expert opinion many times. Various celebrities and elite trust Dr. Raj  for all of their orthopedic and sports medicine needs. If you are a dancer or athlete suffering from a sports related issue. Dr. Raj is your guy.

Contact information

Beverly Hills Office
8670 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Phone: (310) 247-0466

March 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Soft Tissue Therapy for Orthopedic Injuries

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What is soft tissue therapy?

Soft tissue therapy involves direct manipulation of soft tissue i.e. muscles, tendons, connective tissue and joints. This therapy reduces discomfort resulting from occupational stresses, chronic pain conditions, muscular overuse and before or after surgery.

Recent research shows soft tissue therapy as an effective part of chronic pain management. This research has encouraged many physicians like Dr. Raj to consider soft tissue therapy an imperative part of their concierge pain management programs. When coupled with other procedures, such as stem cell therapy, many patients have experienced rapid and full recovery from their pain conditions.

How does soft tissue therapy work?

The human body is made up of 70% soft tissue, thus making pain management and treatment of your soft tissue a vital of the healing process after any strenuous activity. Its rehabilitative techniques treat the underlying source of pain rather than masking pain with medication.

Soft tissue therapy includes a range of massage depths, pressures and duration. It involves direct physical action on the muscle and other soft tissues of your body. Soft tissue techniques target your muscles, tendons, ligaments, or other connective tissue such as fascia.

Who Needs Soft Tissue Therapy?

When used as a complementary treatment, this orthopedic massage therapy can be extremely beneficial to patients suffering from a wide variety of soft-tissue musculoskeletal problems, whether they are acute or chronic. It is most commonly recommended to patients suffering from injuries and conditions such as:

  • Plantar fasciitis (pain from weakened fascia in the foot)
  • Knee pain
  • Tendinitis
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Tennis elbow and golfers elbow
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Back spasms and pain

What are the benefits of soft tissue therapy?

 

  1. Helps with muscle relaxation
  2. Boost blood circulation and lymph flow
  3. Promote healing time of any strained ligaments and muscular tissue
  4. Reduce inflammation of joints
  5. Improves joint flexibility, range of movement, & muscle imbalance
  6. Strengthens the immune system and increase endorphins
  7. Relieve muscle pain, tension, and spasms
  8. Helps deactivate pain trigger points
  9. Break down adhesions and scar tissue
  10. Speed up recovery from strenuous training & aid rehabilitation
  11. Improve posture awareness & correct dysfunctional movement patterns
  12. Get patient back to full function after an accident or an accident

To conclude:

Soft tissue therapy working in tandem with other treatments, such as Stem Cell Therapy, allows long-term rehabilitation, prevention & early detection of possible injuries. For more information on Stem Cell Therapy Click here. You may be a candidate!

March 21st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Magic Power of Stem Cells– LA’s #1 Orthopedic Surgeon Heals Hips, Knees & Shoulders Using Your Own Body’s Cells

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(15 March 2017 – Beverly Hills, California)

Dr. Raj, a consistent recipient of the Los Angeles Magazines prestigious award for Super Doctors of Southern California offers Stem Cell Therapy Treatment for patients with hip, knees and/or shoulder problems through the use of their own body cells.

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem Cell therapy is a non-invasive alternative medical treatment that utilizes the patient’s own body’s stem cells to repair damaged tissues. This damage can include conditions such as chronic joint pain, orthopedic injuries, tendonitis, degenerative arthritis and much more. This advanced medical treatment is performed via the injections of stem cells, and is considered to be a non-invasive outpatient procedure.

What are stem cells?

The human body is essentially made up of cells that were at one-point purely stem cells. Stem cells have the ability to metamorphose into any type of cell form—this ranges anywhere from skin, bone, muscle, tissue– you name it. They are harvested from the patient’s own body, commonly referred as “adult stem cells” or Mesenchymal. The stem cells are non-invasively pulled from bone marrow, separated from the nonessential fluids, and then used for injection. The role of these stem cells is to activate areas of the body with low blood flow (bones, tissues, ligaments, and cartilage­) which makes it difficult for the body to heal and repair naturally. Essentially, tem cells are the body’s knight and shinning armor.

Why choose the Stem Cell Therapy?

There are countless reasons why Stem Cell Therapy is becoming increasingly favored by individuals suffering from pain. These include the following:

Non-invasive

Since stem cell therapy it is considered a non-invasive medical procedure, this treatment poses to be the safest alternative to an invasive surgical procedure. The patient will not have to undergo a lengthy process inside the operating room to be treated.

Less painful

Stem cell therapy procedures ensures a less painful experience on the part of the patient. He or she will not be required to undergo the surgical knife which means no wounds.

Faster healing

Unlike any surgery procedure, after the stem cell therapy procedure, the patient can enjoy a faster healing process. The stem cells are injected directly into the injured area, allowing them to quickly travel to the site of injury or trauma. This affords the patient a rapid recovery.

Limits risks

According to the National Institute of Health, using the patient’s own body’s stem cells limits the risk of bodily rejection due to the fact that the body is already familiar with it’s own byproduct.

Reduce complications

Based on clinical studies made on stem cell therapy, this alternative form or treatment has been proven to have fewer complications or none at all because the procedure itself is non-invasive, meaning no aftermath of scars or wounds. When this happens, a quicker recovery is expected.

Repair severe conditions

Stem cell therapy is also proven effective in treating and repairing severe conditions like degenerative disk disease. This type of illness could cause acute pain and only stem cell therapy has the capability to treat this condition. Why is this? The stem cells derived from the patient’s body has the power to repair degenerated tissues in this very sensitive area of the body.

Common conditions ideal for Stem Cell Therapy:

Hip Treatment

Patients advised undergoing hip surgery to treat their hip problems now have a better, quicker and potentially safer alternative to consider.

Hand and thumb joint treatment

If you are suffering from degenerative problems such as joint arthritis, or another issue affecting the hands, stem cell therapy provides favorable results similar to surgery.

Shoulder Treatment

Many people suffer from shoulder pain, as this is where we hold most of our stress. Living in today’s world we spend a lot of time hunched over a desk or driving in the car. Stem cell therapy offers a wonderful release of shoulder pain, and has the potential to change a person’s posture and in turn increase their daily moods due to a decrease in pain.

Knee treatment

Stem cell therapy is recognized to be an effective alternative solution in treating knee cartilage injury, MCL, or ACL ligament or chronic knee arthritis. Unlike the traditional medical approach of treating knee problems, stem cell therapy is non-invasive and can be done as an outpatient procedure with lesser side effects. In fact, patients who availed stem cell therapy for their knee problems can walk the same day after treatment with minimal pain.

If you want to know more about Dr. Raj’s innovative Stem Cell Therapy treatment, and find out whether you are a suitable candidate for this type of treatment, please give call us for more information.

Contact information

Beverly Hills Office
8670 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Phone: (310) 247-0466

 

 

March 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Foam Roll Roll it Out

Whether you’re an athlete, weekend warrior, or a sedentary individual, your muscles accrue very uncomfortable adhesions which might be causing your lower back pain and other joint pains. According to Beverly Hills-based orthopedic physician Dr Raj, “The body is surrounded by layers and layers of connective tissue called fascia. When fascia forms adhesions, the muscles are unable to perform at their intended capacity, which prevents normal movement. When this happens, muscles become strong and shortened around the joints while opposing muscle groups become weak and overstretched. This leads to muscle imbalances which ultimately can lead to an injury if not addressed.”

Foam rolling was introduced by physical therapists for patients and strength and conditioning coaches to help athletes inhibit overactive muscles. Also known as self myofascial release or SMR, foam rolling offers a mini massage. Foam rolling is an excellent way to increase blood flow throughout the body, improve movement and increase joint range of motion. These benefits can decrease the risk of injury or the progression of an already existing injury. Foam rolling also decreases recovery time between workouts. How? To keep it simple, according to physical therapist from Back 2 Health Slava Shut, “Think of your muscles as having layers of fascia (or webbing) over them. When that fascia gets all intertwined due to poor posture, long periods of sitting or playing heavy sport, the muscles pull the joints in different directions than they are intended leading to altered joint movement and the issues mentioned above. Foam rolling will help break up the altered webbing patterns restoring the fascia to a clean and smooth surface again.” Therefore, it is essential to work foam rolling into your daily routine to avoid overactive muscles or muscle imbalances as Slava mentioned.

The following routine includes some foam rolling exercises that should be done for one minute at a time on a daily basis. Using a timer, start foam rolling these areas and feel your muscles release the overuse adhesions that have formed over the years. You might experience a lot of discomfort when you first begin foam rolling. This is normal. Take deep breaths into the discomfort and the pain will dissipate. If you have osteoporosis, please consult your doctor before starting this program.

Quads:
Quads:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Place the foam roll perpendicular to your body on the front of your legs. On your forearms, roll the roller the entire length of your quads from the hips to right above your knee. For a deeper massage, bend both knees while you roll. Avoid overarching your lower back. To watch the video demonstration, click HERE.

IT Band:
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The IT band is the band of fascia on the outside of your leg. Lying perpendicular to the roller on your side, place one leg on top of the other or use the top leg as a kickstand to take pressure off the IT band if it’s too intense. Use your forearm to roll you up and down from your hip to right above your knee. To watch the video demonstration, click HERE.

Piriformis:
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This muscle is deep to your glutes. Sit on the foam roller and cross your right leg over your left quad (avoid crossing over the knee). Tilt your weight onto the right hip and roll back and forth to hit the piriformis, while balancing your right hand on the ground. To watch the video demonstration, click HERE.

Calves:
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Sit down, placing the foam roller perpendicular to one calf (lower part of your leg). Using the other leg to move you with your foot on the floor, roll the foam roller along the length of the calf. To watch the video demonstration, click HERE.

Hamstrings:
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Sit down on the floor and extend your legs out in front of you. Position the foam roller perpendicular to your hamstrings, the back of your leg. Lift yourself up with your fists or palms and remaining mindful of your shoulder placement, roll back and forth the length of your hamstrings or back of your legs. To watch the video demonstration, click HERE.

Inner Thighs (Adductors):
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Your adductors are your inner thighs. Lay down on your stomach with one leg abducted or out to the side with a bend in your knee. Position the foam roller perpendicular to the extended leg and lift yourself onto the roller until you can roll the length of the adductors towards your groin area, down to above your knee. To watch the video demonstration, click HERE.

Back:
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Lay on the foam roller perpendicular to your back and lift your hips up a foot. With your hands cradling your neck for support, use the strength of your legs to roll yourself on the foam roller to relax the muscles that surround the spine. To watch the video demonstration, click HERE.

90/90 Stretch:
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Lying on the foam roller with your spine along the length of the roller, place your arms out to the side like cactus arms and feel the stretch through your chest. You can even activate the stretch by reaching your arms overhead to work your pecs, shoulders, and back muscles through their range of motion. To watch the video demonstration, click HERE.

Photo and Video Credits: Ron Smith

January 18th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Charlie Sheen

12240861_970452076361437_8774862877857384467_oMy Friend Charlie Sheen

People are ridiculous and negative. My friend, Charlie Sheen, who happens to one of the sweetest people I have ever met, admitted to the world he has an issue and he was blackmailed. HIV is enough…but to be blackmailed??!! How would YOU react???

November 24th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments