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UPDATE: Q&A with Dabie Tsai, Former KPMG Audit Partner

November 16, 2018 - By 
Interview with Dabie Tsai on Being a Former Partner with KPMG

Update** In a recent interview with Inspirery.com, Dabie Tsai shares her knowledge on the future of accounting, her insight on the industry, and her routines that have helped keep her productive. read more


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Has Anyone Worked with NewsWatch TV? A Review of Working with NewsWatch

November 15, 2018 - By 

In an ever-shifting tech landscape, there seems to be no end to the number of advertising avenues open to businesses. From social media to TV to print, well-placed ads, hitting the target audience, is key to success. How are you going to grow if your audience doesn’t know you exist or what you offer? Newswatch TV exists for that reason. read more


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Alastair Borthwick: Timeless Author and Outdoorsman

November 15, 2018 - By 
Alastair Brothwick Scottish Author

Living a life of adventure in Scotland and experiencing war firsthand gave Alastair Borthwick the experience which led to his life as a writer and broadcaster. Not many people are able to expound upon the human condition, both good and bad, as Alastair Borthwick. He penned stories of triumph and failure, and would later transition away from writing into broadcasting and television, where he displayed a natural fit.

 

Alastair Borthwick was a transcendent storyteller who spoke to the souls of those who would une in to listen. Yet, he never seeked fame or fortune, wishing only to live a simple life where he could tell stories and live in peace.

 

Early Life and Career

Alastair Borthwick was born on February 17, 1913 in Rutherglen, Scotland. However, it wouldn’t be long before Borthwick and his family would move, first to Troon in his early years, and then Glasgow where he attended Glasgow High School.

 

Borthwick didn’t take too fondly of school, and quickly dropped out at the age of 16 to work for the Evening Times, a tabloid newspaper in Glasgow, and soon thereafter the Glasgow Herald. His first job at the Herald was to take down copy from correspondents who called via telephone. After some time he was given the responsibility of editing many of the paper’s feature pages. Seeing as the Herald only had a staff of five, Borthwick quickly rose through the ranks and was given his opportunity to write very quickly. At one point he was even tasked with compiling the crosswords.

 

In 1935 Borthwick ventured to London to work at the Daily Mirror. His time at the paper was short, as he left after just a year, but he quickly ventured in to other media opportunities. Borthwick ran the press club at the Empire Exhibition and then would go on to join the BBC where he would excel at scriptwriting for the station’s many programs.

 

Borthwick Takes an Interest in Hiking

As he was working at the Glasgow Herald for its Open Air page, Borthwick was introduced to locals who would venture out into the Scottish Highlands on the weekends. He was quickly fascinated by these locals who would hillwalk and climb in their spare time, taking a liking to the adventure and beauty of the great outdoors. At the time, hiking and outdooring was seen as an activities for only the most elite in Scottish society as was shown in popular media. However, there was an entire outdoors culture which was springing up in Scotland which was yet to be explored by most.

 

It would be in these Scottish Highlands where Borthwick would spend much of his time hiking, climbing, and the like. He was as well a social person who made sure to befriend anyone who he encountered on his journey. Whether he planned it or not, these Highland beginnings were the start of a wonderful literary career.

 

At the time, writing on the subjects of climbing and the outdoors was seen as only applicable to the very wealthy. Borthwick was one of the first people to take these subjects and write on them for the common Scottish citizen, making them relatable to their experiences. This led Borthwick to compiling his most well-known work on adventures in the Scottish Highlands.

 

Always a Little Further

Published in 1939, Always a Little Further was Borthwick’s masterpiece which gave insight into climbing in Scotland during the 1930s. In truth, the book was compiled out of a series of articles Borthwick wrote for The Glasgow Herald. The poet and writer T.S. Eliot helped Borthwick compile these articles into a full length book. It was a free-loving expedition of the shared experience of climbing between Scottish friends.

 

“But to my mind it (climbing) finds its chief justification as an antidote for modern city life, where we live on wheels and use our bodies merely as receptacles for our brains. (On the crag) one cannot sweat and worry simultaneously. The mountain resolves itself into a series of simple problems unconfused by other issues. Abstractions are foreign to it; its problems are solid rock, to be wrestled with physically; and in the sheer exuberance of thinking through his fingers and toes as his primeval fathers did before him the climbers’ worries vanish, sweated from his system, leaving his brain free to appreciate beauty, which is never petty and never troubled anyone who understood it.”

 

Borthwick’s imagery took the reader on adventures, up mountains, through valleys, and into lands which they could have never dreamed. He made sure his account of climbing and mountaineering didn’t cater toward the elitists, and instead, focused on everyday, relatable characters. These included motorcyclists, berry-pickers, bird-watchers, hitchhikers, and more. Borthwick recognized the need for everyone to get out in nature and explore its wonder.

 

“At five o’clock we left the road and started up the left bank of the burn which drains the Arrochar face of the Cobbler. The afternoon was excessively hot, and the weight we were carrying was ludicrous. We had yet to learn that heavy pots and pans, thick ground sheets, raincoats, and much tinned food are luxuries to be avoided upon a mountain, just as we had yet to learn that there was an excellent path on the far side of the burn. On our bank, bracken grew with the abandon popularly associated with machetes and tropical jungles, and in some places was taller than we were ourselves. Forcing a passage through it while carrying a heavy rucksack up a steep slope was trying. Also, there were flies. The first thousand feet was a purgatory of heavy breathing, sweat, and the forlorn beauty of bracken fronds against the sky; but higher up the bracken thinned. We cast ourselves down on a bank of heather and bog myrtle, propped our shoulders against a rock, and looked down on Loch Long, where cars crawled along the road and a steamer unloaded another ice cream-less multitude. The sun was still very hot, and the air reeked with the tang of bog myrtle against a background of other mingled and satisfactory smells. Sounds were faint and Arrochar distant. Everything was remote, peaceful, and unreal.”

 

It is no question why readers quickly took to Borthwick’s ability to relay stories of the great Scottish Highlands, and the adventures waiting to be discovered within. The book created a buzz which would permeate throughout the country and into the coming decades.

 

World War II

Borthwick wasn’t immune to the times, and as his country was going to war, he decided to join the good fight. Borthwick became an infantry soldier in the 51st Highland Division’s 5th Seaforth Highlanders. He rose through the military, eventually attaining the rank of captain as a battalion intelligence officer. By all accounts Borthwick was a good, loyal soldier who followed orders and was aware of his role among the other men.

 

With his battalion, Borthwick would push the German Army out of northern Africa and would fight their way through Italy and the liberation of Europe from Nazi control. Beginning with the battle of El Alamein, they traveled over 3,000 miles in total across North Africa to Europe, experiencing more than their fair share of battle with the enemy.

 

One of his fondest memories of the war occured in Holland when Borthwick went behind enemy lines undetected . Under the cover of night, Borthwick was instructed to sneak past the German front lines with 600 men. Although the mission was successful, it weighed heavy on his heart. “I never felt more lonely than I did that night,” Borthwick recalled.

 

Borthwick Writes the War

Alastair Brothwick BattalionJust before the victory in Europe, Borthwick was asked by his colonel, John Sym, to make an account of the previous three years of war. This was his chance to recount all of the stories and memories of what he had seen over that time. This opportunity was not lost on Borthwick. “I found myself in a position writers dream about,” he noted. “I’d just had the experience of a lifetime, and had six clear months to write it.”

 

As a skilled writer, Borthwick compiled stories of military campaigns and battles into what would become a widely praised, albeit minor, classic among war historians and enthusiasts. The resulting book was first titled Sans Peur before being republished as Battalion: A British infantry unit’s actions from the battle of El Alamein to Elbe, 1942-1945. It was first printed by a small Stirling publisher and never saw a large print run. Nevertheless, Borthwick brought his astounding storytelling ability to these accounts of war and battle. Max Hastings from the Daily Telegraph called it, “An outstanding book.”

 

Such accounts of war put the reader in the heat of battle.

 

“It had been warm in the old Bergensfjord as we sailed up the Red Sea; but now, crammed into the tenders, we knew what real heat was. There were no awnings. The sun beat down on the mass of kit, and weapons, and men, and the thought of marching when we reached shore appalled us. Even the breeze caused by our progress over the water did not help: it was a hot breeze, and already it was bearing unbelievable smells. The Bergensfjord dwindled astern, for all its discomfort a last symbol of home; and Suez grew ahead. It was 14 August, 1942.”

 

Battalion was written just after VE Day in Germany and recounted stories of the British Army infantry unit during World War II. Borthwick wrote these accounts through the eyes of soldiers, making first-hand accounts of battle written directly during the times as accurate accounts of battle as one will find in history. The book also included a significant amount of front-line action and planning of battles as told by soldiers who lived to tell the experiences.

 

The book not only used imagery, but intense dialog between soldiers and commanders to paint a vivid picture of wartime. As Borthwick put it, he was, “telling what it was like to live in a tightly knit family and fight a war.”

 

“‘Much farther to go?’ I asked presently.

‘Nearly there now, sir,’ came the answer, and with that reply came the most frightful explosion and blinding flash – from underneath the truck, it seemed to me. I nearly jumped out of my skin, and wondered if I had been seen. There was another explosion, and then another.

‘Reckon that’s our mediums. Just pulled in to shoot up the Quattara Track tonight,’ said the calm nasal voice at my side…”

 

Borthwick made sure it wasn’t just his own voice he included in these accounts, but those of his fellow soldiers. This gives Battalion a multitude of angles and viewpoints on which the war is viewed and experienced.

 

“Captain A. Grant Murray was out with a patrol, covering the start-line when the attack formed up.

‘ The hands of my watch seemed to creep round as we lay listening and watching,’ he wrote afterwards. ‘To our front all was quiet apart from a verey light or two and some machine gun fire…As zero drew near I twisted round and looked back towards our own lines. Suddenly the whole horizon went pink and for a second or two there was still perfect silence, and then the noise of the Eighth Army’s guns hit us in a solid wall of sound that made the whole earth shake.”

 

Returning to Simplicity

After the war ended, Borthwick took his wife Anne (who he had married shortly before the war in 1940) away from Glasgow to the Isle of Jura where they would remain for the next seven years. While living in Jura Anne and Alastair would conceive and have a baby boy named Patrick. It was in Jura where Borthwick began immersing himself in fishing and crofting while continuing to write.

 

Borthwick was searching for a quieter life in which he could continue his writing, yet relax into a more simple life. “I always believed the ideal life was to write a thousand words in the morning and catch a salmon in the afternoon.”

 

In Jura the Borthwicks lived in a small cottage surrounded by the water, wildlife, and quiet. It was the perfect destination for Alistair to live out this fantasy of the peaceful, quiet life of a writer. In 1952 the couple moved from Jura to Islay for a short time before returning to Glasgow.

 

Transition into Broadcasting

As he continued writing, Borthwick decided to take some time to exchange his pen for a microphone and become a television and radio broadcaster. Borthwick got his broadcasting opportunity from BBC producer James Fergusson who brought him in to discuss his climbing in a 15-minute talk show. Fergusson was immediately impressed with Borthwick’s ability to tell a story in front of a microphone. “I saw him in the studio treating the microphone like and old friend, chatting away, waving his arms about, and I knew this was how it was done,” Fergusson would recall.

 

As a broadcaster with the BBC, Borthwick spoke on topics he was familiar with, namely, the outdoors and Scotland, and he did so with a casual and comfortable tone. “It just seemed the natural way to speak. I couldn’t understand why everybody didn’t do it,” Borthwick noted.

 

He would eventually receive a contract from the BBC for three years to discuss post-war Scotland. Broadcasting became a mainstay in Borthwick’s life up until 1995.

 

Television

After conquering other media outlets, Bothwick made his way into television. In the 1960s he produced over 150 shows for the Scottish Grampian TV network. Many of these programs focused on well-known and famous characters of the times, such as Bonnie Prince Charlie, Lola Martinez, and even Senator Joe McCarthy.

 

One of the most notable television programs of Borthwick’s was Scottish Soldier in which he told stories about Scottish infantrymen in firsthand accounts. This thirteen-part series was critically acclaimed for being written from the perspective of a junior officer and not from a ranking officer like many of the previous works of that style.

 

Late Life and Passing

Borthwick would continue to write into his late life, composing a weekly column for the News Chronicle as well as writing scripts for several television programs. He and Anne would eventually move to Ayrshire on a farm before they were moved one final time to a nursing home in Beith. He would stay at this nursing home for the remaining five years of his life. Borthwick would eventually pass away in 2003 having lived a full life of 90 years.

 

Remembering a Legend

Alastair Borthwick will always be remembered as a talented writer and personality who was able to get at the heart of the human condition. He always worked to tell stories of the heart during good times and bad.

 

For Borthwick, fame was of no consequence, and he would be appalled to have his readers and listeners remember him for his status in the world. Borthwick called himself a journeyman writer, “fit to turn out a decent job on most subjects as required.” In this regard it appears as though Borthwick outdid himself in more ways than he knew.

 

Read more excerpts from Alastair Borthwick: https://medium.com/alastair-borthwick-always-a-little-further


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Charalmagne v. Kanye: Shaking Things Up

November 6, 2018 - By 

            Shaking It Up With Kanye. The internet is on fire.  Charlamagne tha God and Kanye West have canceled their live appearance for a TimesTalks on mental health.  For anyone familiar with the music industry, this is shocking and surprising news.  The event would have taken place on October 17 in The Town Hall, New York.

According to an initial announcement for the event, the talk would feature the two men “discussing Charlamagne’s upcoming book ‘Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me‘ that details the ways anxiety has been a driving force in Charlamagne’s life since childhood.” The description said Charlamagne and West would discuss how to “break free” from “fears and anxiety to reach the next level of success.”

Back in May, the two had an intense two-hour sitdown, as the two delved on a variety of topics ranging from Kanye West’s time spent in the hospital, to the infamous Taylor Swift incident, Ye’s relationships with JAY-Z and Barack Obama, Donald Trump, leaving Nike for Adidas, YEEZY, Virgil Abloh and Louis Vuitton, and much more.

But in an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Charlemagne drew applause from the studio audience when he admitted that he’s the one who pulled the plug on the talk saying it wouldn’t be productive.  He explained that he was alarmed by Kanye’s admission that he was off his medication, which the rapper alluded to in his epic White House Oval Office soliloquy where he claimed to have been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was merely sleep-deprived. Charlamagne said he realized that trying to hold an event with a celebrity who may not have his own mental health issues under control was counter-productive to a cause he cares about.

“For what I’m trying to do which is like elevate the conversation of mental health in the black community and you know, try to eradicate the stigma around mental health, I just didn’t think it’d be a good conversation,” he said. “It’d be a distraction.”

Reports show that Kanye took the news well.

Kayne West has been open to discussing his psychological health. Two months after releasing his latest solo album YE, on which he confirmed he is bipolar and calling it his “superpower,” Kanye West spoke candidly about how the condition affects his life.  “We never had therapists in the black community. We never approached taking a medication,” West shared, before revealing that his late mother Donda West chose not to “fully medicate” him after he “had my first complete blackout” at the age of 5.

People with these disorders can have episodes that look much like depression (a different but related condition), including feeling sad and worried, a loss of energy, sleeping too much, and suicidal thoughts. Unlike depression, however, people with bipolar also have episodes of mania (associated with bipolar I) or hypomania (associated with bipolar II). People experiencing mania may be more likely to engage in risky behavior, including spending money or having reckless sex, as well as have euphoria, high energy, little need for sleep, irritability, racing thoughts, rapid speech, and other symptoms. Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.  Sometimes mania can include psychosis, which is a break with reality along with hallucinations and delusions that require hospitalization.

People can also experience a mixed state that includes high and low symptoms all at once. Men and women with bipolar disorder are at elevated risk of substance abuse and suicide, and people are often prescribed medication to help control the episodes.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 4.4% of US adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.

All Shook Up: Dealing with Anxiety. The center of As if a Black Privilege follow-up wasn’t always in the cards for Charlamagne Tha God. Even though the New York Timesbest-selling author and radio host had publishers waving lucrative checks in his face, he repeatedly declined the idea of penning another book without something captivating to offer his audience.

“Last year, I was sitting on one of my favorite islands of Anguilla and I was with all my friends and family sitting by the pool and I had this really serene feeling,” Charlamagne tells Billboard. It was at that moment of serenity that a light went off looking toward his next chapter.

Just over a year later, the brash The Breakfast Club co-host came back Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me. His second book will focus on personal experiences dealing with anxiety and peeling back the layers to traumatic events that were never dealt with properly at the time.

Overall, in this work, Charlamagne looks to elevate the conversation surrounding mental health, especially in the hip-hop and black communities. Shook One cements the radio personality’s stance in making sure he’s on the right side of history when it comes to society’s growing focus on mental health, while helping remove the negative stigma of remedies such as therapy.

Taking mental health issues head one has been of Charlamagne’s larger success stories.  It happened at a period in his life that where he had just been fired for the fourth time from radio. Charlamagne was living back at home with my mom at 32-years-old. His daughter was two-years-old. His now-wife had to go back home to live with her parents, so he was stressing. He had an artist he was working with and that didn’t work out, and that didn’t seem to working out. That’s when he began struggling with panic attacks. One time in particular, Charlamagne was riding down I-26 in South Carolina with his cousin, and he really felt like he was having a heart attack. His heart was beating fast and his arm began to go numb. Charlamagne wanted to pull over and got some water to calm down. He went to the hospital the next day and, according to him, the doctor said, “You got a healthy heart. You got an athlete’s heart, but it sounds like you had a panic attack. Do you suffer from anxiety?” He asked if Charlamagne was stressed about anything.  The response? “Hell yeah.”

So once the doctor had an honest conversation with Charlamagne, he knew what it was. He started thinking back in life to all the times in life he had those similar feelings.

The Breakfast Club came a few months later. In his mind, when an artist is seven years into doing what he had been doing on radio and he had success doing books and television and yet still have those frightening, same panic attacks, one would wonder “why?” Charlamagne thought he was good, but clearly, he wasn’t perfect. That made him want to start going to therapy.

For Charlamagne, based off his own experiences with anxiety, going to therapy, realizing that he got PTSD and even trauma from things that happened to him when he was younger. He definitely wanted to bring in an expert’s opinion because he was not an expert in what he would call “anything.” All he had were his experiences, and his hope was to share his experiences to see if people could learn from them. Charlamagne connected with Dr. Ish Major, who is a therapist that specializes in black mental health issues, to consult on the work. For everything he described in the book, he gave a clinical correlation for at the end of each chapter. Charlamagne’s concern was that it would just sound like he would venting without it, which could have undermined the credibility of his work.

In his book, Charlamagne writes a lot about rational anxiety.  Rational anxiety is when you’re aware of the source of your anxiety. For example, if Charlamagne had to host an award show or talk to millions of people on the radio, he’s explains he we would feel anxious, and he would know why. Irrational anxiety, on the other hand, is when someone would leaving CVS and there’s a car behind them and he or should be wondering if that driver would be following them home. Should the driver start doing detours? That person would be making sure nobody’s running up on them, but, upon reflection, it’s some logic-looking kid driving past the anxious person. That’s trauma and anxiety from things people been through.

Being black in America, Charlamagne emphasizes that people are going to have a sense of paranoia people won’t know how to remotely unpack. He wrote whole chapter called “Blackannoyed.” When Charlamagne gets pulled over, his mindset is totally different now. He doesn’t have the luxury of asking, “Why did I get pulled over, sir?” He can’t curse the cop out. He has to comply.

A lot of anxiety followed. For Charlamagne, with young he sees kids from difficult neighborhoods, what he thinks is that he sees lot of PTSD. And social media brings another whole level of anxiety that we’re all dealing with. Charlamagne thanks God that he didn’t have to grow up with social media in his formative years. He don’t think he would’ve made it. In his books he talks about the fear of missing out in, and that’s what social media does to you. He thinks social media is painting an unattainable picture of perfection. Social media is literally everyone’s highlight reel. You don’t see any mistakes, flaws, or struggle. The problem with that virtual reality is we are all trying to bring that into our real world.

Now, you can get in trouble for talking about things that happened years ago. Charlamagne laments that people can get in trouble for the way they used to think a long time ago, and that’s not fair. Every story Charlamagne has enjoyed, is one of growth and evolution. He thinks The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the greatest story of evolution ever. He thinks Jay-Z going from Jay-Z to Shawn Carter is a great story of growth. Charlamagne has seen the flaws of these people, but nowadays, no one is allowed to do that. Imagine being 14-years-old and going on social media to see everyone living this fake perfect life, and then in real life nobody’s talking about their mistakes. So when that 14-year-old does make a mistake, he might feel inferior and kill himself, which concerns Charlamagne. Let kids grow and evolve he believes.

Finally, Charlamagne feels like the universe is conspiring for all of us to have this conversation. Our whole life we’ve been told everything is mental. Everything starts with a thought and thoughts become things. What you conceive, you can achieve. Charlamagne always tells people the things they want to happen in life, they should constantly think about. That’s why anxiety is so tricky. For example, when you’re thinking about the worst things happening, you hold onto those thoughts. When Charlamagne sees Taraji P. Henson with her foundation or Chance The Rapper pledging one-million dollars, he didn’t know the universe was going to do that. Instead, he believes, it’s conspiring for us to win. He wants to elevate a conversation by letting people know its okay to go figure out what’s going on upstairs. Because, nowadays, there’s a bunch of us on this mountain seeing each other going through the same things.

Follow Charlamagne tha God on Facebook and Instagram today.

Read Next: 5 ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF A VARICOSE VEIN TREATMENT DIET


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5 Essential Components of a Varicose Vein Treatment Diet

October 23, 2018 - By 
metro vein centers varicose vein treatment options

 If you’ve noticed that your veins are looking more pronounced, you might be dealing with a condition known as varicose veins. This condition can affect any vein within the body. That being said, most people notice them around their legs. This is often because more pressure is placed on these veins from standing up and walking. If you have varicose veins, it’s understandable to want to minimize their appearance. With that in mind, here are five things to include in your varicose vein treatment diet.

Avocados

Those dealing with varicose veins should consider including avocados in their diet. Avocados contain large amounts of vitamins which help the body in many ways. One of these ways is by protecting the cellular health of your body. This amazing food also contains glutathione which helps to protect the body against cell damage.

Chia Seeds

Another aspect of treating varicose veins is consuming enough fiber. If you don’t have enough fiber in your diet, consider eating more chia seeds. Chia seeds are great for your heart as well as treating varicose veins. While it’s an unpleasant topic, passing hard stools places stress on the veins in your body. The fiber in chia seeds helps to ensure you avoid constipation. Therefore, eating chia seeds is a great way to avoid dealing with varicose veins.

Blackberries

Varicose veins often occur because someone has too many oxidants within their body. Oxidants can wreak havoc within the body, contributing to blood clots and many types of cancers. Therefore, it’s important to consume foods containing large amounts of antioxidants. Consuming enough antioxidants helps increase vascular health. If you have optimal vascular health, it reduces your risk of developing varicose veins.

Beets

In most cases, it’s a good thing to consume amino acids. You’ll find that amino acids play an important role in fueling your muscles. If you have varicose veins, you’ll want to avoid an amino acid known as homocysteine. Having high levels of this amino acid in your body is known to cause damage to blood vessels. If your blood vessels continue to sustain damage, it could cause varicose veins to begin appearing. In addition, beets are known to contain nitrates which helps to improve overall blood circulation.

Drink More Water

People dealing with varicose veins are sometimes dehydrated. Considering that, veins and other parts of your body need water to function optimally. Therefore, it’s wise to consider increasing the amount of water you drink each day. It’s important to note that sodas and other sugary drinks constrict blood vessels, making varicose veins worse. This means it’s wise to consider reducing, if not eliminating, sugary drinks from your diet.

If these diet changes don’t help your condition, it’s time to consider seeking out professional varicose vein treatment. Many who are seeking treatment for this condition visit Metro Vein Centers. Metro Vein Centers has facilities throughout the United States including locations in Texas, New Jersey, New York, and Michigan. In addition, Metro Vein Centers utilizes cutting-edge medical technology including both radiofrequency and endovenous laser ablations. If you’re looking for minimally-invasive and safe varicose vein treatment, consider making an appointment with Metro Vein Centers.

 


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