user-icon chevron-right minus plus cross google shopping-cart caret-down chevron-down chevron-circle-up menu search youtube facebook twitter rss linkedin2 pinterest

Featured Articles

Kick The Carbs And Learn About The Future Of Healthy Living

Kick The Carbs And Learn About The Future Of Healthy Living

There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. Although we have been misinformed about this for half a century, here is the truth: Carbohydrates are not required in a healthy human diet. The standard advice still doled out by doctors and nutritionists insists that at least 120-130 grams of carbs are needed each day to feed our brain and central nervous system. This is not true. By the way, Americans today consume on average between 300 and 500 grams of carbohydrates a day. KETONES ARE COOL When there are no carbohydrates in a person’s diet, the central nervous system and the brain are fueled by fascinating little molecules known as ketones. Ketones are made in the liver from the fat we eat, and from fatty acids released from the fat tissues of our bodies. When we are living on a very low-carb diet, ketones alone provide us with about 75% of the energy the brain uses. The rest of the energy to fuel the brain and nervous system is derived from glycerol that is released from our fat tissues as they are broken down, together with small quantities of glucose which the liver makes out of amino acids from the protein foods you eat. This is a normal and natural process. The name ‘ketones’ sometimes strikes fear into the uninformed, which includes some doctors, nutritionists and the media. They confuse this natural process known as nutritional ketosis with a pathological condition called ketoacidosis which occasionally occurs in uncontrolled diabetes and has nothing to do with the benign nutritional ketosis. POWERFUL STUFF Research has shown that the brain and the central nervous system of someone on a very low and even no-carbohydrate diet actually function better and more efficiently on ketones than on glucose. What is little known as yet is that mild ketosis is the human body’s normal way to function, and has been throughout 99.9% of human history. It’s interesting to note that wise physicians have been using what is known as a no-carbs ketogenic diet for many years to treat epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer. I personally became fascinated with a ketogenic diet in 2000. I spent two years studying everything I could find about it. Then I wrote a book, published in 2002 by Random House UK, called The X Factor Diet…For Lasting Weight Loss and Vital Health. At the time it was published I was expecting lots of criticism from the powers-that-be since it was the first book written specifically about a ketogenic diet used for weight loss. To my great surprise the book entered the London Times’ bestseller list the same week it was published. Since then, much exciting research has been carried out about ketogenics and low-carb eating. Slowly we are beginning to educate people about the healing and weight loss benefits that can be gained from a low-carb or no-carb way of life. Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana also makes use of these discoveries. Both the Journey Program and Inner Circle Gold use ketogenics during the rapid weight loss part of the programs and the all-important Consolidation, a life-changing experience which can help people end forever dieting and struggles with food addictions. BOTTOM LINE: The fewer grain-based, cereal-based, sugar-based carbohydrates we consume, the leaner and healthier we can become. Learn More: Download My New Book Free - Healthy And Lean For Life In my new book Healthy And Lean For Life which is available to everyone at no cost, readers will be surprised to learn some of the real causes of degenerative conditions and weight gain as well as natural methods to become free of them. Download Health And Lean For Life Now

Baking Soda's Healing Secrets

Baking Soda's Healing Secrets

Sodium bicarbonate—commonly known as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda—is derived from naturally occurring mineral deposits. It’s something that most of us keep around the house for cleaning or, as its name suggests, baking purposes. It’s been used in this way for more than 150 years. I personally use it to clean my teeth, and it works a treat. But this humble powder has many more applications than you might imagine. It can become a common cure for simple maladies, ranging from removing nasty splinters to clearing a common cold. In this day and age, where drugs of questionable safety are thrust upon us for just about every ailment, it’s a relief to know you can call on an inexpensive, old-fashioned natural product for help when you need it. GOOD FOR COMMON COMPLAINTS Chances are, you’re familiar with taking a little baking soda(bicarbonate of soda) in water to clear a sudden case of indigestion. Its alkalinity (or high pH) lends itself well to this purpose when used occasionally. You can also use it to take the fire out of minor burns and sunburns, as its endothermic (heat-absorbing) nature means it can draw heat from the skin. But here’s a less common use for this humble powder. Did you know that it can even be used to fight—as well as prevent—colds and flu? Many attest to its efficiency, though it’s not yet known for sure how it works to ward off ills and chills. One theory is that it stabilizes the pH balance in the bloodstream, strengthening the immune system in the process. It was used as far back as the late 1910s by a Dr. Volney S. Cheney. With the help of plain old baking soda, the good doctor helped many of his patients fight off the dreaded fight swine flu—with quite some success. He then went on to publish his discovery in 1924. You might like to try it for yourself next time you feel you’re coming down with something, and see what happens. It certainly won’t do you any harm. For, unlike pharmaceuticals, Dr Cheney’s treatment carries no nasty side-effects. HERE’S HOW: The recommended dosages based on Cheney’s findings are as follows. Day 1: Take six doses of ½ a teaspoon baking soda in a glass of cool water, with two hour intervals. Day 2: Take four doses of ½ a teaspoon baking soda in a glass of cool water, with the same intervals between. Day 3: Take two doses of ½ a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cool water, morning and evening. Thereafter, ½ a teaspoon each morning in a glass of cool water until cold symptoms have cleared. AND WAIT—THERE’S MORE Baking soda’s marvelous healing abilities don’t end there. Got a troublesome splinter? Try making a paste with a tablespoon of soda and a small amount of water, applying to the affected area twice daily until the splinter emerges. Alternatively, you can put the paste onto a bandage and leave it on for 24 hours. This should encourage the splinter to the surface; it may even fall out on its own. Stop an itch. You can also apply this type of paste to insect bites to soothe itching, or to itchy or painful rashes such as from poison ivy. Natural deodorant. Try using it as a natural deodorant—you’ll avoid the nasty parabens and aluminum found in most commercial types. Great foot soak. Add a few tablespoons to a tub of warm to hot water and enjoy a delightful foot soak; or make a paste of 3:1 baking soda to water and use as an all-over body exfoliant. MASTER OF ALL TRADES Is there anything practical that baking soda can’t do? You may well ask. I continue to find new uses for this stuff like freshening carpets with baking soda and some essential oils, mixing it with white vinegar, a bit of dish soap and warm water to create a heavy duty floor cleaner, and mixing a dash of the powder with my shampoo to clear any buildup of impurities, so my hair becomes soft and manageable. It will even remove crayon marks from walls and painted furniture when you apply it to a damp sponge and rub lightly, and will clear the inside of a porcelain cup. Just wet the inside, pour some into the bottom and scrub. Coffee and tea stains disappear. Finally, you can make your nails ready for the perfect manicure by scrubbing them and the cuticles with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle, circular motion over your hands and fingers to exfoliate any dead skin. Then rinse with warm water, and apply varnish if you wish. Give a few of these things a try. You may become as enthusiastic about this humble powder as I am.

Get High On Life

Get High On Life

Several years ago, as a result of an unexpected breakthrough in my own life, I came to understand something remarkable: Bliss is a natural state for human beings. When we feel blissful, it’s not only a wonderful personal experience—it connects us with our compassion for ourselves and others and with innate creative power. It shows us that we are capable of living life to the full, regardless of current circumstances. Unfortunately, in the chaotic atmosphere of the 21st century, with all its economic uncertainties, political unrest and suffering, too few of us tap into our capacity for bliss. Perhaps the greatest reward of working with participants on the on-line Cura Romana program is this: As a result of changes that take place physically, emotionally, and spiritually bliss becomes a frequent visitor in their lives. BODY OF BLISS Our capacity for bliss, as well as our need to experience it, is inscribed in our primitive brain—almost as deeply as our need for air, water and food. Bliss is the medium through which mind, spirit and emotions weave a tapestry of meaning. Bliss renews. Bliss cleanses. It makes us feel whole, solid, stable and alive. Bliss tells us: “This is something I want to try.” Then it brings us the courage to go for it. So important is bliss to our discovering who in truth we already are and to our realizing our goals, that when we deny our need for it we are forced to look for artificial substitutes. Addictions arise: to food, drugs, alcohol, sex—even ambition. But addictions always disempower us. They lead us further away from the authentic freedom that is our birthright. Here’s the bottom line: Find out what brings you bliss day by day. Make space for it in your life and you forge your own unique path to authentic freedom, creativity and joy. Where do you begin? Here’s a three-stage process: Dive into stillness Immerse yourself in sound Discover your passions JOURNEY TO THE CORE At the center of your being is a place of safety and security which you can move into when you so choose then out of again to meet the outside world, form friendships and share your gifts with others. This place within is a permanent sanctuary to which you are able to return when you feel tired, confused, or in need of more vitality and new directions. The key that opens this particular door to stillness is sensuous breathing for letting go. HERE’S HOW: Lie on the floor on your back and just let go, so your arms and legs flop. Close your eyes. Feel your body against the floor. Do you notice any tension in any part of it? Shoulders? Back? Legs? Focus inside your body; notice where you sense any movement in your muscles as you breathe. Imagine you are breathing into that spot. Imagine you can exhale through that part of your body. As you do, experience the breath relaxing your sore muscles as it filters through them. As you become more and more relaxed, experiment with movements that are a natural consequence of free breathing. They are blissful movements. WHOLE BODY SENSUALITY As you breathe in, your pelvis tips back ever so gently, creating a slight arch to your back. Your abdomen and chest rise. Your ribs and back expand and your chin tilts forward just barely. Then, when you exhale, your pelvis moves down again so your spine almost touches the floor, your back contracts, and your chin and head move back again, exposing the front of your neck a bit more. This subtle, natural movement turns into a wave-like motion that gently flows without hesitation from in-breath to out-breath. The whole process of sensuous breathing is already encoded in the human body. Experiment with this kind of breathing, and before long you will discover that it happens automatically. And as this takes place, you can enter a realm of deep stillness and begin to experience a surprising bliss. It’s a bliss that revives, restores energy and helps set you free from habit patterns that no longer serve you. Try it a few times and see for yourself.  SOUND POWER Sound is another effective medium for invoking bliss. The sound of running water winding its way over stones in a stream cleanses the mind of worries and leaves us feeling calm and clear. The sound of a heartbeat played in an infant's cot reassure her and send her into blissful sleep. Take advantage of the sounds of nature even if you live a bustling city life by regularly using earphones and an MP3 audio which reproduces the breaking of waves or the calling of birds. Then there is simply listening to music. This is one of the few human activities that activates the whole brain. Intrinsic to all cultures, music brings us profound benefits—improving memory and focusing attention, as well as enhancing physical coordination and development. It opens our mind and body to experiences of deep pleasure and joy. The right kind of music clears the mind. It filters out distractions and improves focus on whatever activity we happen to be involved in. The finest classical music is generally the best choice. By now it is common knowledge that babies exposed to classical music while in the womb are likely to be born with higher intelligence. GIFTS FOR FREEDOM Music also spurs creativity. Artists and writers learn this from experience. For some, even writer’s block can be cleared by listening to music. Sound and music are processed by both sides of the brain simultaneously. This encourages a unity of perception and feeling in us. Listening to music also reduces chronic pain, including that of osteoarthritis rheumatoid arthritis, back problems and muscular aches. It also alleviates depression by as much as 25%. This is one of the reasons that music therapy is increasingly used in hospitals. It reduces the need for medication during childbirth, decreases post-operative pain, and complements the use of anesthesia during surgery. How does music do this? Music helps us feel that we have a sense of calm control over our bodies. It triggers bliss, fosters relaxation and encourages the release of endorphins. Gentle music relaxes us, slowing the rate of breathing and the heartbeat. It reduces stress all round. Music also boosts immune functions. Some kinds of music can create a positive and profound emotional experience which leads to the secretion of immune-boosting hormones. This contributes to a reduction in the factors responsible for illness. Listening to music or singing decreases levels of the stress-related hormone, cortisol. CHOOSE YOUR MUSIC The most important question then becomes “What kind of music do you use for what?” This is such an individual experience. Everything from Mozart to the soul dynamism of Brazil’s Capoeira can do it for you. I believe that we humans need lots of different kinds of music if we are to gain the greatest value from it. Let me share with you some of my own favorite music and composers. Get yourself an inexpensive iPod or other MP3 player. Experiment with music from different artists and genres. Don’t be afraid to explore lots of different kinds of music in your own life. Find out what each makes you feel. The bliss awaiting you as you do is virtually unlimited. Here are a few of my personal suggestions to get you started: Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony Craig Armstrong’s film music Brazilian Capoeira Arvo Part John Martyn Al Gromer Khan  YOUR OWN BLISS TRIGGERS OK. We’ve explored a few bliss-creating experiences together, from stillness and sensuous breathing to sound. There are many more. It’s time to find out what brings you joy. Get yourself a simple notebook. Start making a list of all the things that bring pleasure to your body and mind by enlivening your senses. Continue adding to your list day-by-day and week-by-week as you become aware of more possibilities. Let your imagination run wild. At the beginning of each week, make a pact with yourself to enjoy one or more of these things within the next three days. And keep your promise. Experiment. Find out just how much enjoyment your body can take! Remember, your body thrives on bliss—feed it and it will reward you with energy, rejuvenation and joy that builds week by week into a whole new way of being for you. Here are a few of my own favorites. Making love. Running along the cliffs above the sea. Smelling lilies and freesias, roses, jasmine, and honeysuckle. Watching a good movie. Dancing with abandon to wonderful wild music. Feeling the breeze on my face on a bike ride. Swimming naked. Listening to all sorts of music. Lounging in front of an open fire. Reading a fascinating book. Spending time with a young child listening to its stories and make-believe games. Snuggling up to my cats. Eating fresh organic strawberries. Walking in the rain. What are yours? Write them down. Then create an intention to make them a part of your life, day-by-day. DIVE DEEP This experience feels like diving deep into a lake where the water is shot through with streams of light in constant motion—one moment gentle and lulling, the next wild or filled with the excitement of wind or the pounding of rain. This is what it can feel like for each of us as we delve deeper into the blissful state and develop greater aliveness. Bliss asks us to immerse ourselves in a way of being and thinking, living and dreaming that feels brand new. Try some of the activities that bring you the greatest joy, will help you rediscover ancient echoes of an endlessly rich way of living too long forgotten. Of course, at the deepest levels, we have never forgotten at all. Reconnecting with your innate capacity for bliss doesn’t happen overnight. It is a constantly developing experience, which makes it possible for us to reach levels of vitality, joy, clarity and radiant health which previously seemed beyond reach. The process begins by reconnecting with the body and developing a determination to live life your own way come hell or high water.

Discipline For Freedom

Discipline For Freedom

We live in an age where discipline is often looked down upon as something which interferes with spontaneity and freedom - something old-fashioned and stifling to life. We tend to rebel against it. But the kind of discipline needed for daily practice of meditation or deep relaxation tends - far from stifling one's ability to be involved in the spontaneous business of life - actually to free it. At first it may take a little effort to get up fifteen or twenty minutes earlier each morning and afternoon to practice a technique, but you will find it is well worth it. The most common excuse is that you don't have time, but the reality is that practicing twice a day for fifteen to twenty minutes will give you time, not take it from you; for you will find that you do everything with greater efficiency and enjoyment, and that far less of your energy is wasted on fruitless activity. Studies show that every minute you spend in a deeply relaxed state yields a fourfold return in the energy you have in your outer life. connect at the core A daily meditation practice gives access to energy resources from deep within through the process of allowing. Regular meditation helps improve your concentration and focus so that you are able to pour all of yourself into whatever activity you undertake. Anyone who has erratic energy ups and downs and mood swings can benefit considerably from meditating for 15-30 minutes a day. The traditional way to meditate is sitting cross-legged on a cushion on the floor. (Raising your bottom a few inches off the ground helps align the spine and is more comfortable.) You may find it helpful to adopt the Buddhist practice of placing the back of the left hand in the palm of the right one, and it is often helpful to meditate in the same place each time.

Re-discovering Life

Re-discovering Life

I think maybe I know what's wrong with you.' `What?' I asked skeptically. `You're always thinking about such serious things. You're always telling yourself what to do and what not to do. No wonder you're angry. You've forgotten how to have fun, Mummy. One day in summer, everything seemed to go wrong for me. For no apparent reason I awakened in the morning with the awful feeling that nothing was worthwhile. At 10am I received a telegram from a publisher saying that two manuscripts (of which I had no copies) had been lost in the mail. By noon not even the brilliance of California sunshine (where we were on holiday at the time) could shake off the heavy black cloud that surrounded me. I was angry with myself - and trying to avoid being angry with everyone else. My two younger children, Jesse, aged eight, and Susannah, ten, kept asking me to take them to the beach. I didn't want to go anywhere, especially the beach. I did not want to do anything for anyone. Finally, in the worst possible spirit, I consented - making sure, of course, that they realized I was doing them a big favor. The pure white sand and the fresh sea air on the almost deserted beach did nothing to improve my mood. It seemed to me that life was `out there' and I was `in here' locked away in the depths of the gloomy dungeon I'd built and was powerless to break out of. As the sun shone brighter and more beautiful, I grew steadily more gloomy. Finally I could stand it no longer. Despite the fact that the children were playing in the sand nearby and I didn't want to upset them, I broke down and cried. Susannah asked what was wrong. `I don't know, just about everything seems wrong at the moment,' I whined. `I feel like that sometimes,' Jesse said, offering no sympathy whatsoever. `I think you must be angry.' `So what if I am?' I snapped. `Why don't you hit something?' he suggested. `There's nothing to hit,' I replied irritably, `and anyway that's stupid.' `No, it's not,' Susannah chimed in. `It will make you feel ever so much better, Mummy. Or maybe you could growl like a dog.' I was willing to try anything. So, feeling like a complete fool and admonishing myself for behaving so stupidly in front of my own children, I growled and complained. I hated everyone, I said. I hated myself. I was lonely and I felt the whole world was stupid. Then I growled some more while the two of them sat listening silently. Not once did they try to console me, or tell me I was wrong or protest that the world was really a lovely place to love. Not once did they pass judgment on me or make me feel ashamed of myself or foolish. They just sat and waited. Finally I felt a little better. Jesse had been right, I thought, but I still had no idea where to go from here. At last I was quiet. Only then did Susannah say, `I think maybe I know what's wrong with you.' `What?' I asked skeptically. `You're always thinking about such serious things. You're always telling yourself what to do and what not to do. No wonder you're angry. You've forgotten how to have fun, Mummy.' She was certainly right. Having fun seemed as far away as the moon at that moment. I realized then, that for several months I had saddled myself with my work as if work were the only thing that mattered. I'd hated almost every minute of it but had felt proud of being such a `responsible adult.' `Maybe you're right,' I replied. `But how does somebody who's forgotten something so important remember it?' `Come on, let's dig a hole,' was her reply. `Yeah, I like holes,' Jesse chimed in. Feeling like a half-frozen hippopotamus, I lifted myself off the towel and mechanically moved toward the site they'd chosen for the hole. I started to dig. Jesse, who tended to act a bit of a clown, was soon sliding down into it and Susannah was snapping at him for `ruining the shape.' I looked at the two of them fiercely sneering at each other and saw myself as I had been just a few minutes before. I began to laugh. So did they. Before long we had a beautiful hole dug. It was probably the most beautiful hole you've ever seen... or so it seemed to me. We had a contest to see who was best at running up and leaping over it. Then we drew pictures in the sand and ran into the ice-cold water, splashing each other. By the time the first wave struck me, I, like the two of them, had become part of the sea and the sky. There was no more gloom and no more supercilious self-assurances that I was `doing the best thing.' I was alive again. Later that evening I thanked Jesse and Susannah for helping me and teaching me to have fun again. Then in typical adult fashion, I added, `You know I'm likely to forget and be all grumbly again before long.' `That's all right,' replied Susannah, `we'll remind you.' And they have - again and again over the years.

Charisma—What It Is & How To Get It

Charisma—What It Is & How To Get It

What gives any woman charisma? The Chanel suit she wears? The car she drives? The way she has been taught to use her body or speak her words? Not really. For stylish or charming as these things may be, they are ultimately externals—things put on from the outside. As such they offer a woman little more than the appearance of charisma. And, like pastiche, appearances never deceive a discerning eye. What are the characteristics of real charisma? Where does it come from? How do you get it? And what is living with it all about? Charisma—the real McCoy—has certain characteristics: expansiveness for instance, and energy, joy and creativity. It is not only a way of being which calls forth all the powers of a woman— from the pragmatic to the inspirational, the intellectual to the intuitional. It is also a way of relating to yourself, to those you work with and play with—even to the planet itself—through all of these modes. That is why at its core, charisma is both disarmingly simple and immeasurably complex—neither more nor less than living day by day from a full and honest outpouring of your own individuality—the spirit which is unique to you. CHARISMA—YOUR UNIQUE ENERGY This unique nature, which each woman has but most of us have yet to discover, can be expressed in a myriad of ways from the most simple and playful to the most profound—in the colors you like best for instance, in the way you choose to have your hair cut, the kind of make-up you wear (or prefer NOT to wear). It is also explicit in the way you think and talk, and in the kind of deep values you embody, the dreams you dream and the things you create, whether they be works of art, intellectual or physical feats, or simple day-to-day ways of being. Charisma is also evident in the rhythms and fluctuations of this energy. How different you are, for instance on the tennis court, than when you hold a child in your arms, produce a piece of work, get involved in an intellectual discussion, or embrace a lover. Yet in each of these circumstances, provided you are true to yourself, you will have charisma—the originality of your spirit will shine through. IT COMES FROM WITHIN Contacting that unique spirit, coming to respect it and having the courage to live from it, is what gaining charisma is all about. Sometimes challenging, frequently exciting, this process can be a lot of fun too. As it takes place, the externals—the clothes and make up you wear, the way you move and how you relate to your world, cease to be arbitrary, like things you pick up with uncertainty to carry around with you. Instead they seem to unfold and develop beautifully and mysteriously—almost organically—from within, as ever more honest and potent expressions of who you are. Whatever forms or shapes your individuality takes, one quality tends to permeate every facet of charisma as it unfolds: aliveness. That is where health comes in. Health is right at the core of charisma. The more fully and honestly your unique nature shows itself, the more charisma you will have. Simple? Nothing could be simpler. Yet in our 21st century crazy world, it would seem that our every encounter with the world around us—from breathing increasingly polluted air, to interacting with a media intent upon selling us things we don't need or don't want at prices we can often ill afford—contrives in one way or another to interfere with the process. Decide not to let it interfere with your discovery of who at the very core YOU are. I firmly believe that each of us is being called to become a creator of a new world—for ourselves then for the planet as a whole. I hope you will join me in your own process of becoming, in essence, who you are at the deepest levels of your being. For along with all the horror in our world there is such great promise. Has there ever been a more perfect moment for your charisma to come into its own?

Forget Insomnia

Forget Insomnia

There is nothing more apt to cause sleeplessness than the worry that you won't be able to drop off. Sometimes sleeplessness can be normal. After all, we all experience a sleepless night now and then, particularly if we are over-tired, worried, or excited about some coming event. A lot of so-called insomnia is nothing more than the result of worrying about getting to sleep. Real, chronic insomnia is less frequent. A major research project into long-term insomnia turned up some interesting facts about sufferers. Over 85 per cent of the 300 insomniacs studied had one or more major pathological personality indications, such as depression, obsessive compulsive tendencies, schizophrenic characteristics, or sociopathy. For them, their insomnia was a secondary symptom of a more basic conflict. Insomnia was a socially acceptable problem they could talk about without fear of being judged harshly. Insomnia is little more than a mask for whatever is really bothering the non-sleeper. sleeplessness often brings new insights Occasionally the inability to sleep can be a manifestation of a nutritional problem - often a deficiency of zinc coupled with an excess of copper, which produces a mind that is intellectually overactive and won't wind down - or a deficiency of calcium or magnesium or vitamin E, which can lead to tension and cramping in the muscles and a difficulty in letting go. The more easygoing an attitude you take to sleep, the less likely you are to have any problem with it. If you miss an hour or two, or if you are not sleepy, simply stay up, read a book, or finish some work. Believe it or not, one of the best times for coming up with creative ideas is in the middle of a sleepless night. It can be the perfect opportunity for turning stress into something creative. Chances are that you'll more than make up for it in the next couple of days - provided you don't get anxious about it. Insomnia is one of women's greatest fears. Eight times more women report sleep difficulties to their doctors throughout their lives than do men. Apart from the motherhood-induced insomnia which comes from having to feed a baby, if ever you are going to have trouble sleeping, it is most likely to be during the perimenopausal years just before your periods stop, or much later on in your seventies and eighties. People sleep less as they get older for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a decrease in the production of a substance called melatonin, which regulates the body's circadian rhythms. How much sleep you need can change depending on your life circumstances, too. When you are pregnant, eat less wholesome foods, or are under stress or ill you may need more sleep. You need more sleep when you gain weight, too. When losing weight, or during a detoxification regime you will often sleep less. The sleeplessness that occurs in women around the time of menopause and in the few years just before is most usually not a difficulty in going to sleep, but a tendency to awaken regularly at the same time each night (usually 2 or 3 in the morning) and to lie in bed wide awake. Because we are accustomed to sleeping through the night, we assume that there must be something wrong. Yet sleeplessness can sometimes bring new insights, if you are ready to receive them. Many artists, writers and composers will tell you that they receive inspiration for new projects and discover ways of overcoming creative challenges on awakening in the night.

Health From Your Core

Health From Your Core

Within each human lies an essence, a truth, a core of self, with one and only one intention - that it may be fully expressed, wholly manifested in material form while we live on this earth. Each year I become more aware that illness, lack of energy, a sense of confusion or lack of meaning in one’s life stems from a basic frustration of the expression of this essence. These things are often calls from the soul, asking you to become more aware of who you are at the deepest level and live out your unique soul nature in your day to day life. True healing is a transformation. Energy, power and authentic freedom grow as we engage in the process of connecting with our true essence and soul’s purposes and express them in our lives. To do this we need to call on all sorts of tools and techniques, from detoxifying body and mind, to herbs and natural treatments, to exercises for expanding awareness. Take energy for instance. Being able to live out your energy potential depends on how well you nourish yourself - physically, emotionally and spiritually - day by day. This means developing a lifestyle which incorporates exercise, good food, restorative sleep and the myriad of other possible factors - from hydrotherapy to super nutrients - that help support your own brand of vitality at peak efficiency. But energy too depends on living from your core, not by other people’s rules. It depends on living what you love most in some way, what feeds you most at the deepest levels. In discovering this and living more and more in this way, you not only fulfill your own life more richly than is possible in any other ways (after all we can only collect so many PhDs, BMWs and lovers). You also bring the very highest gifts that you have to give to your family, your community and the earth as a whole. Live your soul’s passion and you call on virtually endless energy. For health not only depends on how you eat and what exercise you get, and how you deal with the stress. All of these things are important. Each of us needs to develop a way of living unique to our needs and that calls for our body and psyche. But real health doesn't stop here. For ultimately, health is nothing less than the process of unfolding which each one of us goes through to become more fully who we really are. To empower this process we need consciousness expanding techniques such as meditation, autogenic training and prayer, for instance. All these things can be useful. But so far, the most useful spiritual tool of all I have ever found is the most ancient practice in the world: shamanism. These 30,000-years-old simple practices can not only be useful for healing, divination and creativity. Shamanism can also play a major part in your unfolding. Practical, simple to learn and easy to use, shamanic techniques can enrich your creativity, heighten your energy, and bring your outer life progressively in line with your soul’s purpose, enhancing your own and others' in the process. I created my Journey to Freedom books, tapes and other workshops to help people learn shamanic skills and reestablish a sense of connection with their own authenticity as well as the universe as a whole. This invariably brings great joy in its wake. It can bring you face to face with the only true guru for health, healing and spiritual guidance that exists: the guru within you. That is where the greatest power lies. Once you begin to align your life with your own truth, the universe supports you in a way you may never have dreamed possible. Working with people through their own health process, helping them discover whatever is most appropriate to their needs on both a physical and spiritual level, and teaching them how to work with these things, is the most exciting thing in my life. For each person is totally unique. Each of us carries a divine spark of soul which we are here to live out to the full, bringing our own individual brand of spirit into material form as we walk the earth. The beauty of watching this happen in those I work with is for me like walking in a garden and seeing flowers and plants, trees and rocks that I have never seen before. I am dazzled by their beauty.

To Hell With Convention

To Hell With Convention

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you are ceaselessly involved in the act of creating the quality of your own life—your looks, values, attitudes, actions, and the nature of your relationships. You do this through image-making—a universal characteristic of the human mind which appears even to precede thinking in the brain. We see, worry, put together ideas, dream, speak, wonder, all through the use of images. We experience a continuous flow of mental pictures, both conscious and unconscious, every moment of our waking lives. In fact, the capacity to visualize—to "image"—is one of the miracles of the human organism, for through it we are able to organize reality, communicate with others, and make sense of the restrictions of time and space around which our lives are organized. And images have tremendous potency. Your own images can be used for your good or they can be used against you. WHAT WE’VE BEEN TAUGHT Each of us comes into the world with a particular set of genes that determine our skin colour, sex, body type and, to a certain extent, our personality and intelligence. But by the time we are four or five, the form of what we were at birth has been altered physically and mentally so that we have become more complex and quite different in the way we respond and function, think and express ourselves. Some of these changes, such as physical growth, come from the same genetic inheritance that gave us our original form. Others, probably by far the largest number, come from what is commonly referred to as behavioural programming—the things we learn spontaneously through day-to-day living, such as motor control and speech, as well as the things we are taught, such as how to communicate with people, dress ourselves, use a pencil, and so forth. In all that we have learned from experience (things like if you touch a hot stove it hurts) and all we have been taught by our parents and other people, there are an enormous number of mental images that greatly affect our ideas and our lives ever after. For instance, from our programming we get a notion of what in our behaviour is considered good and what is called bad. We form innumerable impressions of what we are like and what others are like. And, finally, we come to have "sets" of knowledge about the world. All these things form our belief systems—conglomerates of images, ideas, and assumptions that make it possible for us to function from day to day. Some of these belief systems are individual—they pertain to our inner world alone and are entirely personal. Others we share with the rest of humanity—for instance, together we "agree" that the brown-and-white, rather square-shaped animals with horns that graze in fields and give milk are "cows." We also agree in common with others that if you step in front of a moving bus you will be hurt. Such belief systems are important, for without them we would not be able to live or share our experiences with others. WHAT WE ASSUME IS TRUE Our own individual belief systems are somewhat different in character. They consist of the many unconscious notions and assumptions we hold about what we are and are not and can and cannot do. They influence whether we see life as exiting and challenging or rather as painful and hopeless. And although most people are not aware of it, these belief systems, formed gradually as we grow up, wield enormous power over us. GROWING UP IS NEVER EASY A child who grows up in a family where he or she is treated with respect tends to grow up believing that she is worthy of this respect. When her needs are frequently met, she comes to believe that they are likely to be met in a similar way in the future and, although he is probably completely unaware of this, she actually comes to expect it. Similarly, if someone is brought up in an environment where she is treated with disdain or carelessness or as if she were stupid, then she gradually forms more negative assumptions about herself and they become the "systems" by which she lives her life. The whole creation and formation of our belief systems is a very complex process. It is largely an unconscious one, too, because the amount of sensory information fed into a human brain even in one day is immeasurably rich. We are continually responding to one perception, feeling, word, or sensory experience after another. Our belief systems, formed from these events, are therefore many-layered and extraordinarily elaborate. But they all have one thing in common: power. The images we hold, consciously or unconsciously, about ourselves and our lives are real in the sense that they tend to reaffirm themselves over and over again in our experience. Studies have been done in which a child's IQ, tested at school, is measured against her expectation of herself and her performance in the classroom. Almost invariably, the child whose belief systems include the idea or image of herself as not really very bright does badly in schoolwork regardless of what her IQ shows, and vice versa. In fact, there is also considerable evidence in older children that even IQ measurements soon come to reflect a child's basic intellectual self-esteem—or lack of it. All because of the belief systems she holds about herself. SELF-FULFILLING NOTIONS When it comes to health, relationships with other people, and creative functions, belief systems are particularly important in determining our success or lack of it. If you take the time to sit down and look at a particular area in your life that you consider reasonably successful—say your work, or your relationship with a particular person—you will find that your ideas, feelings, and attitudes about it are generally of a positive nature: pleasing, charming, fun, interesting, and so forth. Similarly, if you look at an area of your life that doesn't work so well or with which you are not satisfied, you will find it is accompanied by negative images or visualizations. Most important of all, these negative images and the belief systems they create will tend, when put to the test in real situations, to bring about exactly the effects you expect. If you feel you are uncreative when you paint a picture, it will turn out to be uninteresting. If you feel like a failure when you try to reach a goal, you will fail. Under even mildly stressful situations you become ill, and so on. And, of course, failures only further strengthen the negative belief systems you already hold. It is a vicious circle—that is, until you are able to become aware of these negative belief systems you are unconsciously carrying around with you, examine them objectively, and then make a decision to change them. So long as they are unconscious, you are in their power and no real act of will is going to change them much. When they become conscious, you can begin working with them, looking at them, examining where they come from and their validity or lack of it, and decide on whether or not they are useful. Then gradually you can become free of them. In a fortnight, we’ll exploring simple practices that make use of the power of creative imagery—the deliberate repeated use of specific mental images— to bring about dazzling positive changes to your health, your life and your core beliefs about who you are and what you love most. See you then...

Health Nature's Way

Health Nature's Way

In sickness and in health - such is the commitment to care, nurturing and to love that each parent makes towards a child. The health part is manageable, but when sickness strikes it can get scary. Yet this is when Nature's power can shine brightest of all. Natural healing views the doctor's and the parent's role in caring for a sick child as that of a helper. It sees illness - from vomiting to measles to a simple cold - as a manifestation of the body's attempt to eliminate whatever does not belong to it, and by doing so restore order and balance. It also recognizes that the only true healing can come from within. And it identifies the helper's role as that of supporting the body of the sick child in what it is attempting to do - to banish the microbe, remove the poison from his system, readjust hormonal balance or whatever else happens to be necessary to restore equilibrium. When I was young, I was lucky to become good friends with a handful of inspired doctors who not only understood the theory behind natural healing, but some of whom had been practicing it for as much as half a century. The techniques they taught me - from using a compress to quell a fever or calm vomiting, to methods of hydrotherapy for treating earache and athletic injuries - have served me well not only in helping all four of my children to heal themselves, but in helping myself and many others too. Each of these techniques, in its own way, supports the body's own wisdom in healing and/or helps the sick child feel more relaxed and comfortable while healing takes place. beware of antibiotics Antibiotics are great for life-threatening diseases. To employ them for anything less can be a big mistake. Thanks to their overuse by doctors in the past 30 years, malevolent microbes which they were designed to kill have fought back valiantly by developing strains of resistant super bugs. As a result, what once were easily treated bacterial ailments now often do not respond to drugs. Antibiotics are also completely useless in the treatment of viral conditions such as colds, even though some doctors still prescribe them. When they do work on bacterial conditions they not only kill the bacteria they have been designed to kill, they also wipe out a lot of the `good guys' too - helpful bacteria which are part of a child's intestinal flora, on which the continued competence of his immune system depends. I, like the doctors from whom I have learned about natural healing, do not give them to my children. The only way I would ever consider using antibiotics would be in case of a disease which was literally life-threatening and even then I would only do it after consulting a handful of doctors in whose judgment I trust, one of whom would be my second son, Jesse, who is himself a doctor. If for any reason your child has to be treated with antibiotics, it is wise for up to six weeks afterwards to give him supplements of enteric bacteria including acidophilus to help recolonize the good intestinal flora they will have destroyed. the healing power of fever Illness is his body's attempt to reestablish balance and harmony both energetically and biochemically. When it strikes, whether it be cold or sore throat, or childhood disease such as chickenpox or German measles, the parent of a Nature's child is most concerned with how to work together with the child's own natural processes of healing: First, to help speed recovery without causing long term health risks, and second, to help the child be as comfortable and pain free as possible while healing is taking place. Let's look at fever first since that is the thing most parents are most frightened of. Fever is not something which needs, as most parents these days believe, to be suppressed the moment it appears using aspirin or other drugs - for fear it will damage the child. Far from it. Fever is a sign that your child's body is trying to burn off something which is not supposed to be there - a virus for instance, a bacteria, or some element in his food or his environment to which his body takes exception. When an infection develops, your child responds by manufacturing new white blood cells called leukocytes, whose purpose is the destruction of viruses and bacteria and the elimination of wastes and other damaging materials from his body. Then white blood cells become very active in his body - dashing to the site of infection to fight the `baddies'. In the process - which is known as leukotaxis - certain chemicals called pyrogens are released, designed to raise body temperature and make the cleansing more efficient. So important a part does this rise in temperature - fever - play in the process of healing, that artificially created fevers have been used throughout history as a way of treating illness in people who do not have the vitality to produce high enough fevers in themselves. Luckily, kids do. One of the reasons children develop such high fevers when they are ill is that their bodies are enormously vital. That is also why a child can get very sick suddenly, as well as why the sickness will frequently clear just as rapidly. Governed from within, the natural process of healing in a vital young body is intense and highly efficient. As we get older, our bodies lose that efficiency so we heal less rapidly and less effectively. We are taught that 98.6 F is the normal temperature. Yet temperatures vary from person to person. They also depend on how the temperature has been taken - for instance by mouth, under the arm, or rectally. Generally speaking the best - and safest - way of taking a young child's temperature is axillary - by tucking the thermometer in the fold beneath his armpit and leaving it there for five minutes. It is far safer than trying to do it rectally and risk damaging the child, or putting a thermometer into his mouth where he might crunch on it and break it. Not all fevers are dangerous, nor is the degree of your child's temperature much measure of how sick he is. Unless there are other symptoms such as great listlessness, difficulty in breathing, severe pain or some other sign which could indicate the presence of a serious illness such as meningitis or diphtheria, doctors who use natural methods of treating illness will wisely tell you that you should keep an eye on the fever but leave well enough alone. hot for what? There are lots of reasons why your child may develop a fever - overexposure to heat as a result of being too bundled up (particularly in babies), a reaction to food or some poisonous substance, too much sun, a long journey, changes in the weather, a tooth breaking through, over-excitement. If you suspect that he has swallowed some poisonous substance, you need to seek medical help immediately. And in newborn babies, it is important to pay more attention to fever and get a doctor's advice since there is always the chance of an infection having developed as a result of fetal monitoring during birth, or forced obstetric procedures, such as the overmedication of women in labor. Most fevers, however, occur as a result of viral or bacterial infection and are part of the body's own immune response to invasion which, left alone, the body will clear. When your child is running a temperature it is important to make sure he is not dehydrated since the perspiration, runny nose, vomiting and diarrhea which often accompany fever can deplete his body of fluid. This is easy to do by giving plenty of cool water and pure fruit juice - not the so-called fruit drinks which contain sugar and other additives. brain damage and other fears Ninety five percent of childhood fevers never reach 105F, which to many parents represents the so-called danger level. In fact, a fever of 105F which in an adult is extremely high can be quite normal in a child who is fighting off infection. The greatest fear most parents have of fever is that it will cause convulsions. In truth, it is not the size of a fever which is indicative of the likelihood of convulsion but the rapidity with which it rises. If you have ever seen a child in a convulsive seizure it can be a very frightening thing to witness. I have lived through a number - strangely enough, not with my own children, but with other people's. In the midst of watching a child in the throws of convulsion, it is hard to remember that this kind of seizure is uncommon, and that even when it does occur it seldom results in any serious side effects. For instance, in one large study involving 1706 children who had experienced febrile convulsions, not one of them suffered death or motor defects. My doctor friends have always taught me to work with fever, to allow it to burn through while making sure it does not get high enough to cause seizures. This practice was first introduced to me by my grandmother who looked after me when I was sick as a child. She kept my fevers within `safe' range by sponging my body every hour or so with cool water. In the beginning when I had a sick child I would ring one of my doctor friends, worried by my child's temperature and his crying and say, `My son is ill, should I bring him to see you?' After asking me a few questions such as, `How high is his temperature? When did it start? Is he eating?' and so forth, the doctor would advise me to keep an eye on him, give him plenty of fluids and use a compress around his middle to keep the fever under control. So that was what I did. And it has worked beautifully. the abdominal compress This is one of the most effective techniques for helping to eliminate wastes from the body and to keep fever under control while it carries out its job of cleansing. Applying cold water around the middle of the body in the form of a compress charges the local cells with energy, activates circulation and stimulates the liver - the body's organ of detoxification - so that stored wastes can be released more efficiently. Here's how: Tear a piece of old cotton cloth wide enough to reach from under your child's arms down to his hips and long enough to wrap around him once comfortably. An old cotton sheet or pillowcase (not nylon or cotton and polyester) is ideal. Dip the cloth into cold water and wring it out. Then wrap it around the child's middle and secure with safety pins. Wrap a thick dry towel around this and put him into a warm bed. You may want to put a pair of thick socks on him, too. It is important that he doesn't feel cold. Keep it on him for half an hour. If he drops off to sleep for the night you can remove the compress in the morning. Repeat several times a day as needed depending upon the level of his temperature. don't insist your child eats When animals are ill they stop eating. So do children. This is a natural part of their body's attempt to heal itself. It is also a source of great concern to parents. It shouldn't be - especially during an acute illness. Your child's body knows that its energies should be directed towards clearing itself of viruses, bacteria, or what have you, which lie at the core of his illness. To put unwanted food into a body in such circumstances is not only unhelpful, it can actually undermine the healing process by making your child's body turn its attention away from the elimination processes to having to deal with digestion and assimilation - both of which take a lot of energy. Instead, offer him plenty of water and fruit or carrot juices - preferably made fresh with a juice extractor - and keep him in bed until he gets better. Freshly made juices require almost no energy to be assimilated yet they carry a high degree of structural information for health and healing, including many of the most important vitamins and minerals such as beta carotene, which helps strengthen immunity, and vitamin C. Such juices also encourage the elimination of toxicity from the body. Your child can literally live on juices alone during any minor illness. Most kids love them. I also believe in a lot of tender loving care when your child is sick. Massaging his feet with a little ordinary kitchen oil while he lies in bed well covered can be a wonderful way of giving it. You don't need to know how. There isn't any right way, it is just a matter of intuitively letting your hands follow where they want to go. It is enormously soothing, and helps draw the negative energy in his body down towards the feet to be eliminated from his body. It also helps reassure him that you are there and love him, in a way that words can never do. waterpower Hydrotherapy can help too. Particularly if he has an earache - a condition which is agonizing yet rarely dangerous. This technique was taught me by one of the doctors I admire most in the world, Gordon Latto, who has looked after my family - mostly by phone - for almost thirty years. I have used it again and again - for earache in kids, for conjunctivitis myself, for headaches and for childhood and adult athletic injuries to ankles and legs and feet. It, too, works on the principle of drawing energy downwards in the body. In doing so, it not only relieves pain, but also congestion. Finally it increases circulation to the leg and feet area, speeding any healing that is needed there, say, from a turned ankle at football practice. Here's how: Take two buckets large enough to put the child's feet in and deep enough to submerge his legs up to the knee. Fill the first with water as hot as he can take. Fill the second with cold water. Let him plunge his calves and feet into the hot water and stay there for 3 minutes. Then get him to take them out and put them into the cold water for 30 seconds, then back immediately into the hot again (you might have to top up with more hot before you do since it does tend to cool down during the procedure). Do this until you have repeated both hot and cold three times, ending with cold. While this is going on, it is important he is kept warm. Make sure he is in a warm room and that his body is well clothed, so that on no account is he allowed to get chilled. Immediately afterward, put warm socks on his feet and pop him into bed. Repeat this procedure three times a day - or even more often when there is pain. care for colds and coughs In the tradition of natural medicine, a cold is considered the body's most common way of eliminating waste from the system rapidly. In addition to offering a child fresh raw fruit juices I have always given extra supplements of vitamin C and beta carotene - the precursor to Vitamin A - which comes in good quantity in carrots and green vegetables. Both are natural anti-viral agents. I like to give children these nutrients in supplement form (but in much smaller quantities) when they are healthy too, as a way of helping to support their immune system so they become resistant to disease. One of the most important things I have learned from some of my doctor friends has been that at the first sign of a sniffle you cut out any and all dairy products from a child's diet - milk, yogurt, cream, butter, cheese, and any other food which might even have the tiniest bit of any of these things in it. This helps speed recovery and stops even more mucous from forming. Aromatherapy can help with colds too. If you have a little aromatherapy burner - the kind you put water into the top of then light a candle underneath - you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water and let its molecules fill the room to help ease a child's breathing. Sage is another essential oil good for this. Both have anti-microbial properties. If you don't have a burner, try heating a saucepan on the stove. When it is steaming drop five or six drops of the essential oil into the water. (Be sure to keep it well out of harm's way in the room your child is in and never leave it unattended with a young child.) You can also fill a basin with hot water, drop some essential oil into it and let the child put his head, covered loosely by a towel, over the steam for five minutes several times a day to clear his head. Manuka Honey with a little lemon juice is excellent for sore throats. This honey, from New Zealand, is unique in the world. It has been shown to destroy many strains of bacteria including staphylococcus, streptococcus, staphaureus - even heliobacter pylori, the bacteria associated with peptic ulcers. Mix it with a little fresh lemon juice and give it on a teaspoon as a soothing linctus. choose supplements carefully When choosing a multiple vitamin or mineral supplement for your child, be careful. His body has a natural affinity for vitamins and minerals as they occur in Nature and are found in wholesome fresh unprocessed foods, not for the synthetic form. Not all vitamins and minerals are the same. The human body cannot easily absorb most of the synthetic, chemical vitamins on the market. And regardless of what the labels say about being `natural', the truth is almost every vitamin you can buy these days is synthetic, and therefore not very bio-available. This means your body or your child's body can absorb very little of them, because the chemical form of vitamins is so different from the natural form you find in good wholesome food. `Food-state' vitamins are different. They are grown instead of being chemically made, using a unique bio-tech process which allows living plant cells to take up vitamin concentrates and transform them into a form the human body can easily assimilate and use. This means you don't have to go for megadoses to get real benefits. Food-state nutrients are particularly good for children. They are the only kind I give mine. I began with a liquid multi vitamin and mineral when they were babies (plus some extra vitamin C) and then gradually increased the amounts as they grew. At 12 for instance, I gave Aaron two 250 milligram tablets of food-state vitamin C a day with his breakfast along with a food-state multiple vitamin and mineral. During the winter months, I also give him one or two 4.5 milligram tablets of beta carotene a day. So protective an influence can vitamin A exert, and so supporting is it to a child's immune system, that a recent study published in the British Medical Journal states that vitamin A may also play an important role in those with life threatening infections. While on the subject of protection, I would never let my children drink fluoridated water. There is too much evidence that, while it does help protect against dental carries, it has also been implicated in the development of degenerative conditions later in life. I believe it is far better to have a child's teeth painted with fluoride once every 6 months at the dentist if you want, or to give him fluoride toothpaste to use. Then at least it doesn't pervade his whole system. herbs and homeopathy I use only a few herbs. I find that red sage, for instance, over which you have poured boiling water and allowed to steep for ten minutes then let cool for later use, makes an excellent gargle for an older child (or adult) with any kind of head or throat or chest infection. Mint tea sweetened with a little honey can do wonders for upset tummies and flatulence. So can the American Indian herb slippery elm, which you mix with a little warm water and add some honey to (preferably Manuka). With older children in bed with any kind of head or throat or chest infection, I also ask them to place a small clove of garlic - complete with its skin coating - between the cheek and the teeth inside their mouth and to keep it there for an hour morning and night. (Not possible if they are up and about or too young since they might choke.) Garlic kills the `nasties' quickly and efficiently. I use only a little homeopathy, it is all I find I need. I use Arnica 30 for instance. It is good for shock, or any kind of injury or emotional upset. I give two tablets immediately and then two every half hour until the crisis has passed. The second remedy I like is Aconite 30, which I give every three or four hours when there is fever to help in the cleansing process that is taking place. Long ago I put together what in the family is known as `Mummy's First Aid Kit'. There you will find vitamin C, some zinc and beta carotene, herbs and homeopathics, plus a compress or two torn from an old sheet, a couple of unipolar magnets and crepe bandages for helping to heal bruises and sprains. It goes everywhere with us throughout the world and has become so popular as a result of being used by children and adults outside the family that I have been forced to put together several for other people as well. Of course, it won't fix broken legs. And if my child's fever suddenly shot up to 106 in the space of an hour or there was any emergency I felt incapable of handling I would be on the phone in a minute for help from the doctor. But for over thirty years, this little collection of things - together with some hydrotherapy, a good dollop of patience, great respect for Nature's ways and a lot of tender loving care - has been all that was required to see my kids through everything that has ailed them. All I can ever hope to be is a helper. It is Nature that does the real work.

The Kronos Challenge

The Kronos Challenge

To ageless aging players, the most insidious foe you will ever have to pit your wits against is Kronos - the god of time. There appears to be no way to destroy what Milton called his `silent touches'. We can, however, go a long way towards softening them. As science probes the secrets of the cell and begins to decipher the genetic code, theories about slowing down the process of aging are rapidly turning into practical techniques for doing so. Researchers have already been able to do this for animals and in some cases even to reverse age-related changes. Now they can also double an animal's life span. The patterns of age-changes in humans appear to be very similar to those of the animals they are working with. the three faces of aging There are almost as many theories as to what aging is all about as there are scientists studying the process. Generally speaking, however, research falls into three main areas about which there is much agreement: `genetic clocks', random damage and the immune system. First, there seems to be some kind of internal genetic `clock' or `clocks', the control for which is probably centered in the cells themselves or an area of the brain, that appears to `switch off' specific vital functions at certain times. This could account for a number of `life events' that tend to occur around the same period in almost everyone, such as the way women go through menopause. Just where and what these age clocks in the body might be is still debatable. Once we learn what they are, and how to manipulate or to reset them, we should be able to reprogram predetermined occurrences so that our bodies age much more slowly. But there is, as yet, very little in the way of practical treatments or advice from age researchers on how to do this. The second major area of age research and practical methods designed to slow aging lies in the process of cumulative wear and tear your body goes through - the kind of random damage on a cellular level which is triggered by external agents such as ultraviolet light, air pollution, poisons in food or in the environment, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or simply the by-products of metabolism in the body. These influences result in the formation of free radicals - highly reactive molecules which do serious damage to the body. Alex Comfort once referred to these free radicals as `promiscuous' because, `like delegates at a conference, they seem to race around frantically combining with everything'. They are a major cause of `cross-linking' which makes your body's protein tissues age rapidly and results in wrinkled skin, stiff limbs and a degenerating cardiovascular system. About combating age-related changes in this area there is much information and even a number of practical suggestions of what you can do now. the all-important immune system Central to the whole question of aging is the third area of intensive research, which investigates the role that a gradually weakening immune system plays in aging. As you get older your immune system, which is responsible for protecting your body against invasion, illness and allergy, gradually loses these capacities. Its function declines and your body becomes more susceptible to illness, bacterial invasions and deterioration. A poorly functioning immune system is also much more likely to attack your body's own cells in error. This produces what are known as `auto-immune' disorders such as arthritis. When your body is not able to repair random damage done by wear and tear, you get into a kind of vicious circle of age decline where the immune system is further weakened. In turn, it is less able to protect your body from further random damage. A lot of people have come to believe that this downward spiral is an inevitable part of growing older. But is it? There are a number of very good treatments that appear to offer support to the immune system and prolong its potency. Some may even help prevent aging and repair random damage at the same time. They can play an important part in any well-informed bid to keep Kronos in his place. An editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association not long ago stated that, `Nature did not intend us to grow old and ill'. We are instead, it said, supposed to `die young in old age, but free from disease'. You can look and feel great at 60 or 70 and beyond; you need never lose brain power as the years pass. Time doesn't have to take its toll. how old are you? Not an easy question to answer. For, regardless of when you were born, you are at least three ages: your chronological age as measured by the calendar, your psychological age and your biological age - probably the most important of all. In fact, the latest research into aging indicates that the rate at which you age has but little to do with the simple passage of time. There are far too many other variables, like genetic inheritance, the food you eat, the way you live, your mental attitude and the number of pollutants in your environment - to name only a few. Interestingly, the things you do to achieve a state of high-level wellness and vitality just happen to be the things which many age researchers insist are important in slowing down body degeneration. But, some insist, there are a number of other things you can do as well. The most important of all is to eat less. Weight does add years! secrets of the long-lived Dr Alexander Leaf, from Harvard Medical School, spent several years studying three cultures where the people were exceptionally long-lived (some claimed to be as old as 140), but who at the same time showed few signs of degenerative changes traditionally associated with age. They were the Vilcabamba Indians in an Andes valley, the Hunzas in a mountainous part of Kashmir, and the Abkhazians in Soviet Georgia. They suffered neither tooth decay, heart disease, mental illness, obesity nor cancer. Leaf wanted to find out what these peoples had in common and to discover the secrets behind their youth. He discovered that they led extremely active lives, regardless of their age, and that they had vigorous sex lives well into their 80s and 90s. Men and women of ninety or more also spent many hours each day in physical labor - for physical fitness was an inevitable consequence of the active life of these peoples. They also ate a very low calorie diet. While the average Briton or American eats somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 calories a day, his Vilcabamban brother contents himself with a mere 1,700. Also, in all three groups, their diet was low in fats and in proteins from animal sources and high in fresh foods, a great many of them eaten raw. All of their foods were grown organically, as these people had no access to artificial fertilizers. They had never heard of sugar but ate mostly rough grains, fresh vegetables and fruits. eat less and stay young More than 80 years ago a researcher at Cornell University, Clive McCay, noticed that brook trout which were growth-retarded as a result of being underfed lived far longer than normal-sized trout. He experimented with rats to see what effect feeding them on a very low calorie diet from birth would have on their life span. He found that these animals on a calorie-deprived diet - which was carefully supplemented with nutrients so the rats did not suffer deficiencies - had increased life-spans. This was by far and away the most exciting practical discovery anybody had made in the area of how to make an animal live longer. But it was relatively useless to human beings since nobody would attempt to restrict a baby's diet in the same way from birth, because of the possible risk of brain damage. Also restricted animals are smaller than fully-fed ones and a small percentage of the restricted group tends to die very young. So for many years McCay's findings were largely ignored by those looking for concrete anti-aging methods. In the 1980s, however, a number of studies in the United States and Australia were begun into the effect of calorie restriction on life span of `middle-aged' animals - studies not begun on the animals until, in human terms, they are in their forties. One of the scientists who did much in this area was Roy Walford, a professor at the University of California Medical School and one of the world's leading experts on aging. In projects which Walford described as `undernutrition without malnutrition' - administering a diet low in calories but high in basic nutrients such as vitamins and minerals - he was able to add 40 percent to the maximum life span of mice and keep fish alive 300 percent longer than usual. underfeeding improves immune responses The exact mechanisms by which dietary restriction extends life is still largely a mystery. But researchers do know that a low-calorie-but-nutritionally-potent diet substantially improves immune system functioning - in effect, by rejuvenating it - so that signs of auto-immune responses are markedly reduced. It seems also to protect the immune system from the usual age degeneration an animal is subjected to so that its ability to combat disease and eliminate toxic materials from the body, which ordinarily declines to a level of 10 or 20 percent of what it was in youth, occurs only very slowly. Instead, the immune response of these highly nourished but underfed animals remains excellent. Their bodies, unlike those of `normal' aging animals, are able to repair much of the age-related damage that occurs at a cellular level and are prevented from turning against themselves. Restricted animals also show increased intelligence and have a much lower incidence of degenerative illness such as cancer and heart disease. What disease does occur comes only much later in the animal's life. And how great a calorie restriction appears necessary to bring about these beneficial changes? The diet of Walford's mice had been restricted by about a third of the calories they were raised on. Walford's work and the work of other scientists using calorie restriction has generated a great deal of excitement about what human beings might do now to lengthen life span and to avoid age degeneration. Many age experts have begun to recommend that healthy people who have already attained their full growth and maturity could benefit from restricting their calories to somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day (depending on how active a life you lead). But cutting down on calories is only half the formula. It just won't do to go on some slimming regime you find in a magazine, you need high-potency nutrition with it. Processed foods play no part in any such diet. The foods that you do eat have to be superbly high in nutritional value: fresh fruits and vegetables (as many as possible eaten raw), whole grain cereals and breads, pulses and seeds with very little fat and only moderate protein. Your food intake has to be balanced and no salt should be added to foods - salt is something that in animal studies has been shown to shorten life span considerably. Such a diet is, by its very nature, also high in fiber. Most experts also insist that you supplement your diet with a full complement of essential vitamins and minerals. is ageing all in the mind? Perhaps more than you might think. Psychologists have found that many of the changes that take place in our bodies and minds associated with aging depend on our `programmed expectations'. In our society it is assumed for instance that, at thirty the first wrinkles appear, at forty `middle-aged spread' sets in, and at seventy the mind begins to lose its clarity. But according to studies only 12 percent of the population has even the slightest predisposition to the kind of changes that result in senility; yet as people get older they become increasingly worried about it until they may work themselves into a kind of vicious circle of depression and anxiety which results in decline. How you age may have a lot to do with what you expect to happen. Change your expectations and that can change too. regular fasts can help too Periodic fasting of animals is another way of restricting calories which has shown itself to be useful in increasing their life span. This is a fact which I find particularly interesting because European experts on fasting have for a hundred years been saying that, done sensibly and regularly for short periods and in combination with a nutritionally excellent diet, fasting will make you live longer and reduce the incidence of illnesses. Roy Walford tended to be slightly more liberal with his own calories than sticking to a rigid 1,500 a day. But he then fasted for two days a week in order to end the week with the recommended number of calories. He claimed that a healthy normal weight adult will lose weight on such a regime but only very slowly until you are, say, about one fourth to one fifth of the weight you were when you started. Such weight loss appears to have no disadvantages (unless you fancy yourself slightly plump for aesthetic reasons) and indeed may be an important factor in the way such a calorically restricted, but nutritionally superb, regime appears to improve immune functions. And because the weight loss is so slow - it occurs in normal weight people at a rate of, perhaps, six pounds a year until they reach their `plateau' at which they remain - there is no chance of becoming flabby or tired from it. Indeed, such a regime tends to create the most extraordinary amounts of energy, according to people following it. raw power for youth A diet high in raw foods (where they make up 75 percent of the calories you eat) has quite remarkable rejuvenating abilities. It raises the micro-electric potentials of the cells, increases oxygenation and eliminates stored wastes and toxins which interfere with proper cell metabolism and cause cross-linking. It will also keep you mentally alert, make you lose excess weight and it tends to eliminate feelings of depression associated with aging. regular exercise keeps you fit Your body was made for use. When you regularly pursue an aerobic form of exercise, you help to protect your cardiovascular system from arteriosclerosis (which is otherwise inevitable) and you increase your metabolic rate, which helps protect against fat - a precursor to many degenerative diseases. Exercise also protects you from disturbances in blood sugar such as adult onset diabetes and from high blood pressure, and relieves many mental conditions often associated with age such as depression. Aerobic exercise improves circulation and optimal oxygenation of the tissues in your body - one of the most important measurements for health and vitality. exercise makes you look younger As far as good looks are concerned this increased circulation brings to your skin cells a better supply of the nutrients needed for their proper functioning. It also more efficiently carries away wastes, which can contribute to genetic damage in your cells, and to cross-linking of the collagen which produces wrinkles. Albert Kligman, one of America's leading dermatologists, believed that exercise may serve another purpose in retarding skin aging as well: if you keep yourself really fit you may lay down more fibrous proteins in the dermis, that deep layer of the skin where the structural network of collagen and elastin fibers gives strong young skin its firmness and cushiony feel. Then your face will preserve its youthful contours. Another way in which vigorous exercise helps to hold back skin aging is connected with the relationship between muscle and hormone production in the body. The amount of physical activity you get is a significant factor in maintaining optimal functioning of endocrine glands which provide hormones that are not only vital to youth and energy, but keep the skin smooth and soft in appearance. When you don't work out regularly, muscle mass declines. So does the amount of steroid hormones from the adrenals and sex glands - in direct proportion to the decrease in muscle mass, not (as was once believed) simply as a result of the aging process itself. Rebounding, swimming, dancing or running for 30 minutes or more several times a week can prevent these degenerative musculo-skeletal changes from happening and help you maintain optimal levels of hormones essential to skin softness and resiliency. When you are inactive, even for as little as 24 hours, your muscle mass starts to deteriorate. the exercise-age controversy Lounge lizards are forever congratulating themselves on the fact that they don't `waste their time' exercising. They cite well known studies which are purported to show that exercise will make you die younger. It's a great excuse. The trouble is that when you examine some of the research they refer to you find that it is all based on the popular method of examining death records of athletes - a method that is faulty in a number of ways. For instance, there was a study carried out at Michigan State University comparing 629 varsity athletes with 583 non-athletes, which showed that there was no difference in life length. Another at Harvard involving some 6,300 athletes showed that they died significantly earlier than the non-athletes. Their definition of the athlete was someone who was active athletically while at university. But the problem is that just because a man plays football or runs during his university career does not mean that he continues to exercise afterwards. Most athletes give up their training once they leave the atmosphere of the university. This was demonstrated by an interesting study carried out at University of Auckland in New Zealand. Looking at the training habits of 100 athletes out of season, Michael Colgan and his team of researchers found that only 34 of them continued training once the season finished. Studies examining the death records of former university athletes are of no use in determining what effect regular exercise has on life span. The only studies that are able to assess the effect of training on aging are those which attempt to measure how active a person is throughout his life, such as the one published in 1977 by Charles Rose and Michael Cohen from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Boston. With the help of relatives who were able to rate their level of physical activity from sedentary to very active, researchers - using the death records of 500 men - discovered that men who continued throughout their life to exercise in their leisure time lived 7.1 years longer than those whose level of activity had declined with the passing of the years. Other studies have shown that ordinary athletes who continue to exercise even as they grow old (up to 90 in some cases) show much less physical degeneration than non-athletes. They shrink in height only half as much, have a far better musculo-skeletal system, less body fat, and better heart and lung function. hydrochloric acid and aging A decline in hydrochloric acid in the stomach is a common event with the passing of the years. It results in an inability to break down proteins in your foods into their constituent amino-acids so that the body can make use of them for rebuilding tissue and making enzymes and hormones. This can be remedied by taking food supplements of HCL and digestive enzymes with meals containing protein foods. This is especially true with animal protein foods. diet, exercise and rejuvenation Not only can changing to a highly nutritious diet and getting yourself into a program of regular aerobic exercise help retard your own aging rate and make you feel great, it can also rejuvenate your whole body, quite apart from whether or not you choose to make use of any of the other anti-aging devices now available - from nutritional supplements to organic-specific antisera. Your body is not the fixed size and shape you may believe it to be. It changes slowly with use. And these changes can be for the better or for the worse. Most of your body's cells completely renew themselves so that the cells you have today are not the ones you will have five years from now. I have seen bodies and faces with flaccid muscles and loose skin be transformed in a few months by those two simple things, diet and exercise. They are far more powerful than any of the more sophisticated and more expensive rejuvenation treatments and really they will cost you nothing more than commitment and a little time.

Get Rid Of Inflammation

Get Rid Of Inflammation

Inflammation is the most dangerous condition your body has to handle to make you well and keep you that way. It diminishes your immune system. It can trigger a wide variety of serious degenerative illnesses, from early aging and heart disease to diabetes, arthritis, food intolerance and mental disorders. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection, injury and tissue damage. It comes in two forms: Acute and chronic inflammation—systemic inflammation, which spreads throughout your body. Acute inflammation is temporary, the purpose of which is to restore good tissue function as soon as possible. Your body creates inflammation as its defense against disturbing homeostasis in an attempt to prevent harm to surrounding tissues. Chronic inflammation is different. It turns into a festering fire causing pain, illness and disability all round. The reactions it brings about in the body are highly complex, involving many cellular and molecular distortions. It acts upon pro-inflammatory immune cells that circulate throughout your body, damaging healthy areas like the linings of your blood vessels in arteriosclerosis, joint tissue in arthritis, gut mucosa in lactose and gluten intolerance, and pancreatic tissue in diabetes. It can even act as a precursor to cancer. SURPRISING DISCOVERY Recently, highly respected cardiologists have pointed out that when it comes to the treatment of many conditions—such as heart disease—the medical profession has been doing it all wrong. Prescribing drugs to lower cholesterol, and telling people to restrict quality fats, do not protect from heart disease as we have been taught. The statins which cardiologists continue to prescribe are not only useless, they say, these pharmaceuticals can be seriously detrimental to your health. It is, they have discovered, inflammation in the arteries that is the real cause of arteriosclerosis and heart problems. Cholesterol can never line artery walls causing heart attacks and strokes unless systemic inflammation is widespread in your body. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Arizona, is one of many outspoken physicians in regard to this mistake. “We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong,” he says. “I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years’ experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.” THE TRIGGERS What causes inflammation in the body? Many things, from genetic inheritance to environmental influences—especially the wrong diet; being exposed to bacteria, inhalants, pollutants; even electromagnetic influences from cell phones, smart meters and towers; not to mention taking long-term courses of powerful drugs—from antibiotics to hormones, anti-depressants, analgesics and sedatives, to drugs like statins, commonly used to treat heart conditions; and other prescriptive drugs, the remains of which literally poison the body, badly polluting its terrain. If you wish to protect yourself from inflammation, you need to become aware of where it’s likely to be coming from. This means examining how you live your life, and making changes to protect yourself from possible causes. The second step is to learn about which foods cause inflammation and which foods can help protect you from it. Then it’s time to throw out every one of the inflammatory foods that line your cupboard and your refrigerator, and forever change how you may have been eating. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EATING Certain foods, herbs, spices, and supplements help reduce inflammation and protect your body from it in the future. Organic dark green vegetables are high on the list: Spinach, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy, beet greens, and asparagus are high on the list of protective vegetables. So are organic berries of all kinds, organic chicken, grass-fed lamb, beef, venison, wild salmon, and green-lipped muscles from New Zealand. Foods that cause inflammation which you want to avoid at any cost are all kinds of sugars, regardless of how much they may be promoted as “good for you”; all artificial sweeteners, which are chemically dangerous to your body; and all GMO foods, which can literally be deadly. A large percentage of the population also reacts badly to cow’s milk products—from the milk itself to cow’s yogurt and cheese. Another category of foods that can be highly inflammatory to the body are high-carbohydrate foods, from the common grains and cereals to packaged convenience foods which line your supermarket shelves. They are chock-full of colorants, flavor enhancers and other chemicals which poison your body. It goes without saying that you want to avoid all junk foods, from sugared drinks to pastries, completely. Explore instead using the faux grains, which do not pollute your body and are great for meals and baking. (See: faux grain) SPICE IT UP Certain spices are wonderful for helping to quell inflammatory issues. Always buy organic. Most herbs in supermarkets have been irradiated—sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, which you do not want to allow into your body. Turmeric has been used for centuries as a medicine for treating colds, flu, and liver disease. It contains curcumin which has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation. Cinnamon, in addition to its beautiful smell and flavor, has been shown in many studies to exert anti-inflammatory properties and to ease swelling. Garlic in fresh form eases the inflammation of arthritis, as well as helping to protect you from colds, flu and other ailments. Ginger, in the form of a fresh root which you can grate into your foods and drinks, is fabulous for calming inflammation of upset stomachs, getting rid of headaches and infections. Cayenne, like other chili peppers, contains capsaicinoids which gives it its anti-inflammatory properties and can ease the pain of arthritis and headaches. MAGNESIUM THE ULTIMATE For those in the know, it is magnesium that forms the foundation of both treatment and prevention of heart disease, arteriosclerosis and diabetes by calming the fires of chronic inflammation. Virtually everybody in the western world is seriously deficient in this wonderful mineral. All packaged convenience foods are very low in it. Magnesium deficiency is common in obesity, type 2 diabetes, and the insulin resistance that can trigger cardiac issues as well as the widespread incidence of cancer. Magnesium reduces hypertension, reduces your rate of aging, helps protect from bone fractures, and calms troubled minds. It is as basic as clean air and water for becoming healthy and staying healthy. There are many ways you can take magnesium, from swallowing supplements (not the best way) to bathing in magnesium chloride baths. One of the most effective ways to get more magnesium into your body—something all of us need to help clear inflammation and treat pain—is transdermal magnesium therapy. Get yourself a spray bottle of high quality magnesium chloride and spray it on your body, massaging it in all over. Magnesium chloride is taken right through your skin into the cells. Slowly but surely, doing this three times a day counters inflammation and pain superbly well. Spray it on or have a friend massage it into your body. When it dries, it may leave traces of white powder on the skin surface. This is nothing to worry about. It is some of the magnesium itself, that’s all; you can brush it off. Life Flo Health make a pure Magnesium Chloride Oil, which is inexpensive. It provides 66mg of magnesium chloride for every 4 sprays or 560mg per teaspoon. It is taken from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed, which lies 1600 to 2000 meters beneath the surface of the earth in the Netherlands, and is 100% pure. Magnesium chloride has no equal when it comes to the effectiveness of using magnesium to counter inflammation and athletic pain. It must be 100% pure magnesium chloride, not any other form of the mineral. I use it every day. Clearing inflammation from your body in whatever form it occurs may well be the very best action you can take to help you live a long and healthy life, during which you look and feel your very best at every age. Life Flo Health, Pure Magnesium Pure Magnesium Oil is a highly concentrated spray of pure magnesium chloride-nothing added and nothing removed. Mined deep under the earth's surface from the Zechstein Seabed in the Netherlands, it can be used daily, is non-greasy, and leaves no unpleasant odor. Provides approximately 66mg of elemental magnesium for every 4 sprays or 560mg per teaspoon. Order Pure Magnesium from iherb

Show more...

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of October 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.70 lb
for women
-1.06 lb
for men
-0.70 lb
for women
-1.06 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of October 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

sign up for our newsletter

download our free book healthy & lean for life