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Magnum Force For Skin

Magnum Force For Skin

There’s some wonderful natural support on offer when you feel skin needs extra help. These potent wonder-workers offer the ability to repair DNA damage, enhance immunity and help protect skin from ageing. They form the core of my own wide-based anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant army, and work beautifully to protect our skin’s integrity. NUMBER ONE—SULFUR Sulfur is one of the hottest item in offices of savvy plastic surgeons is a unique form of this element: MSM—methyl-sulfonyl-methane is at the top of the list. MSM, also known as ‘physiological sulfur”, is a superb free radical scavenger. It neutralises free radicals that damage skin. Found in every tissue of your body, MSM concentrations diminish with age. They need to be supported by the right kind of diet and supplements after the age of 25. MSM is also found in rain water, the sea, and all living organisms. You’ll find it in especially high concentrations in raw vegetables, fruits, and sea foods. Even the cocoa plant from which chocolate is made is a good source. But, unless your diet is composed primarily of raw foods it’s highly unlikely you are getting enough MSM for optimal health and beautiful skin. The crème de la crème source of sulfur, MSM slows down the loss of collagen, stabilises connective tissues, and is important for clearing toxic buildup both on a cellular level and in the body as a whole. It is safe as well as highly effective. Even people who are ‘allergic’ to sulfur-drugs and sulfite-based food additives thrive on it. You can take it internally and/or use a good cream based on it. I do both. GREAT NAILS AND HAIR Sulfur is the most beautifying of all the elements. Even the thickness of our hair depends on it. It regulates the sodium/potassium balance bringing in nutrients and oxygen to cells and neutralising wastes. Every time your body clears out destructive chemicals it uses sulfur to remove them. MSM provides elasticity and healing repair to skin tissues. It may even alter cross linkages, smoothing out scars. Sulfur is essential for cartilage strength and to build keratin – the fibrous protein out of which hair and nails are made – as well as to virtually every function of the skin. With extra MSM your nails grow faster and stronger. Your hair gets thicker and shinier. A good dose of MSM is 2000 milligrams (2 grams) for each 60 kilos of weight a day. Start with 500 mg per 60 kilos of weight and work up. It’s best used together with half that amount of vitamin C, preferably in the form of sodium ascorbate (so if you take 2 grams of MSM take 1 gram of vitamin C). CARNOSINE—MASTER OF PARADOX My second favoriteis carnosine. Carnosine is a dipeptide - a two-part protein - made out of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histadine. Like MSM, it is a natural metabolite in your body as well as a powerful antioxidant. It occurs in particularly high concentration in long-lived cells like nerves and muscles. Carnosine levels decline as our body ages. In muscles its concentration falls by more than 60 percent between the age of 10 and 70. Lots of antioxidants aim to prevent free radicals from entering tissues, but have no effect after this first line of defence is broken. Carnosine is not only effective in prevention, but it is also active after free radicals react to form other dangerous compounds. So it protects the tissues from these damaging ‘second-wave’ chemicals. POWERFUL ELIMINATOR Carnosine addresses the great paradox of life – that fact that the elements which support life – glucose, lipids, oxygen proteins and trace elements – also destroy it. It binds toxic metals so your body can eliminate them safely. It guards cells and protein tissues from oxidation damage. It prevents glycosylation – the process that produces AGEs to build up leading to collagen cross-linking, wrinkles and sags. Carnosine can rejuvenate old cells and extend the functional life of skin’s building blocks as well as its lipids and proteins. As such it is identified as an “agent of longevity”. This amazing dipeptide also clears toxicity. When chromosomes are exposed to high levels of oxygen, carnosine is the only antioxidant known to protect them from oxidative damage. It rejuvenates connective tissue and speeds wound healing. Carnosine may yet prove to be an important key to dissolving AGEs and destructive cross-linking of collagen after it has occurred, but it is too soon to tell for sure. The Russians use carnosine, with great success, in a special form called N-alpha acetylcarnosine or NAC in eye drops to eradicate cataracts. Carnosine improves overall skin condition and can treat tough leathery skin as well as preventing many age signs on the face. Used as an oral nutraceutical the recommended dose is 500mg of carnosine a day taken on an empty stomach. In the case of carnosine more is most certainly not better. Doses above this amount can actually be less effective. GOLDEN THREAD OF YOUTH The last place you might expect to find a golden thread in the tapestry of living skin is in the form of a special kind of vitamin B3 – nicotinamide or niacinamide. This form of the vitamin behaves quite differently than the well known nicotinic acid which causes hot flushes when swallowed. As far back as 1968 Double Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling published research reporting success in the treatment of psychiatric patients using moderate doses of this vitamin together with ascorbic acid. Nicotinamide has long been used both topically and orally for its anti-inflammatory abilities. It has a stunning ability to reverse many aspects of skin ageing when used internally and even externally in skincare products. Niacinamide enhances energy production, increases collagen synthesis, decreases inflammation, encourages synthesis of lipids needed for skin health and beauty, and diminishes wrinkling. It can even help fade age spots. Together these big three can work wonders for skin or any age. Source Naturals, MSM, 1000 mg MSM serves as an important source of bioavailable dietary sulfur, an element that plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity and elasticity of connective and other tissues. It is an important component of proteins found throughout the body, such as in hair, nails, skin and tendons. Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of connective tissue, amino acid metabolism, and hormone synthesis and serves as a key factor in the body’s immune system. Molybdenum is a trace element that is needed by the body for sulfur metabolism, oxygen transport, and detoxification. Order MSM from iherb Source Naturals, MSM Cream MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring form of organic sulfur. MSM Cream can be used to soften and smooth skin while adding oil-rich, moisture-binding protection. Liposome technology is an exceptional method for topical penetration and absorption of key ingredients. Liposomes are tiny spheres which easily penetrate the skin to deliver the MSM Cream. MSM Cream also contains the potent antioxidants vitamin E and ginkgo. Source Naturals also makes MSM tablets for internal use. Order from iherb Source Naturals, L-Carnosine, 500 mg L-Carnosine is a dipeptide composed of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. It occurs naturally in muscle, brain and other tissues in high concentrations. In in vitro studies, L-carnosine reduced glycation, a process in which DNA and protein are damaged by glucose. The end products of glycation are highly reactive molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which can further damage proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. The accumulation of AGEs is associated with aging. Order L-Carnosine from iherb Now Foods, Niacinamide, 500 mg Niacinamide and Niacin are two different forms of vitamin B-3. Niacinamide does not cause a Niacin flush. Niacinamide (B-3) is an essential member of the B-vitamin family. Niacinamide (Vitamin B-3) is an essential member of the B-vitamin family that must be obtained from the diet. It is the precursor to Niacin, but does not cause the "flush" normally associated with Niacin intake. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin. Order Niacinamide from iherb

Secret Powers Of Plants

Secret Powers Of Plants

Herbs are hardy beasts. Like street kids who grow up in tough surroundings, these plants are survivors. Most have had to withstand harsh weather and little nourishment from the soil. This helps clear out the weaklings, making their genetic strains stronger. Their strength has also led them to develop an array of potent plant powers—phytochemicals: flavonoids and saponins, tannins and phytosterols. HEALING FOR YOU These plant chemicals, which play a beneficial role in the developing herb, also bring us health when we use them. Take bitters, for instance. You find them in herbs like dandelion, mugwort, gentian, horehound, burdock, and yellow dock. Botanists believe bitter elements probably help protect the plant from being eaten in the wild. Bitter herbs are wonderful for improving digestion in our bodies. They help heal the lining of the gut, improve the way digestive enzymes, juices and hormones flow, and stimulate the flow of bile. Bitter herbs seem to validate that old saying that the worse something tastes, the better it is for you. MIND BENDERS Alkaloids—plant chemicals which botanists tell us help regulate plant growth, while discouraging damage from predators—can exert powerful effects on our minds when we use them. Coffee is full of alkaloids. So are opium, black tea, cocoa, and tobacco. All of these plants are considered sacred by our ancestors, going back thousands of years. Many immune-enhancing plants, so useful in protecting from illness and clearing infection, are also rich in alkaloid compounds. Take echinacea and goldenseal, which I have used for half a century to heal my family when they were threatened with infection of any kind. Meanwhile, gums and resins such as myrrh, pine, and the Ayurvedic remedy guggul, taken from branches and woods, carry the life blood of a tree or shrub. They transport nutrients to wherever the plant needs them. Many of these plants, including the wonderful guggul, can be used to enhance our own circulation and even to rebalance good and bad cholesterol. EAT YOUR COLOR The brilliant colors of flowers, stems, leaves and fruits are not just beautiful to look at. They are rich in flavonoids—phytochemicals responsible for vivid yellows and oranges and reds, that attract bees and other insects for pollination. Such glorious living hues also attract animals. Then the beasts who eat these plants unwittingly act as carriers for their seeds. Colorful flavonoids bring to us humans great anti-aging benefits. They are powerful antioxidants against free-radical damage—even more powerful than the well-recognised Vitamins A, C, E and the minerals selenium and zinc. Plants rich in flavonoids help protect us from degeneration, they strengthen our blood vessels and the collagen in our skin, they guard our cells from oxidation destruction, they calm inflammation, and help keep the body free of water retention. Some flavonoids can even help clear muscle spasm. SUPERB SAPONINS The saponins which you find in roots and leaves lather like soap. Some are useful expectorants for coughs. Others help us regulate our hormones or counteract stress. Meanwhile, the essential oils of herbs, found in leaves and flowers, fruits and barks, help plants like mint, bergamot, lavender and ginger attract pollination thanks to their signature fragrances. And they protect these plants from disease thanks to their anti-microbial actions. In our lives, some essential oils make it possible for us to create beautiful perfumes and incense. Others have antiseptic actions, others improve digestion, stimulate circulation, improve the look and texture of skin and do a hundred other good deeds. The anthraquinones, found in the roots and leaves of herbs like yellow dock, protect plants from fungal and bacterial destruction. For us, plants rich in these yellow phyto-chemicals can help stimulate bile production, boost a sluggish liver, and improve digestion. It is fascinating to become familiar with the actions of phytochemicals. The more you learn about them, the more you realize just how all-encompassing herbal healing can be.

Nature's Child: Allergy Awareness

Nature's Child: Allergy Awareness

The curious thing about food sensitivities is that whatever a child happens to be allergic to, whether it be wheat or milk - the two most common culprits - or chocolate or what have you, he will have a craving for it. If a child is sensitive to, say, milk products, he will want more and more milk, yogurt, cream, butter and cheese. Here is how it works. By now, just about every parent knows that food colorings and flavorings in convenience foods, squashes and drinks have been implicated in the development of behavioral problems such as hyperactivity in children. This is another reason why they are best avoided. Food allergies have a similar effect on some children. Sometimes called a food sensitivity, intolerance to specific foods are increasing all the time largely, too, as a result of the mass consumption of highly processed foods. Such sensitivities can occur because a baby or child does not have the enzymes he needs to digest a certain food, because the total stress on his system is simply too high, or because his digestive system is confused and sensitized from feeding on junk foods. When you are allergic to a food on first contact you react negatively to it. If you use it continually, however, these first negative symptoms - such as catarrh or coughing, or behavior changes like banging the head or crying in children - become `masked' so they become less frequent. Instead you will develop a craving or addiction to the food. For so long as you continue to expose yourself to it, you can avoid much of the unpleasant allergic response you had first time round. This is such a strange and unexpected phenomenon that many parents are not even conscious that their children, who suffer constant catarrh or act out fear or aggression in their behavior, may be suffering from a food or chemical sensitivity. If you suspect your child is sensitive to something or if he demonstrates an inordinate desire for a particular food (i.e. addiction) try taking him off it altogether for a fortnight. See if his behavior changes or if his physical condition improves (but be prepared for it to get worse at first while the substance or food to which he is allergic is in the process of clearing from his system). Then you can try reintroducing it one day into his diet and see if this changes him. You may find that once you have helped him break the addiction/allergy bond to a particular food he will be able to eat the food, say once a week, with no problem. One of my sons is like this. He is allergic to milk products. If he takes them too often he develops the symptoms of a cold. However we have found he can have a bowl of yogurt or a piece of cheese once a week and get away with it. milk - not the perfect food A word about cow's milk. There is some long-standing assumption that to be healthy and to develop strong bones children have to drink plenty of it. This is not the case. Children eating a good mixed diet of fresh vegetables, whole grains, pulses and protein foods get plenty of calcium and protein. They do not need extra milk. Milk is highly mucous-forming, and tends to create a lot of catarrh in children - to some extent this may be because even the milk and milk products we buy these days are highly processed and by no means the same natural wholesome food our grandmothers went to the local farmer each morning to buy. Certainly if your child is ill, every tradition of natural health counsels not to give him milk or any milk products until he recovers. I have always found it good advice. I also find that using a lot of raw foods - for breakfasts, drinks, sandwich fillings and salads - helps protect children from frequent illnesses and encourages healing when illness strikes. Just in case you think children don't like salads, take a look at the recipe for what my youngest has dubbed `Spiderman Salad.' It is simple to make, delicious, and can be spread on toast or crackers.

Secret Weapons For Ageless Skin

Secret Weapons For Ageless Skin

The question I am most often asked is, “How do you keep your skin looking so good at the age of 74?” My answer is simple. I’ve used the same skin care range for almost 20 years. I continue be sent lovely products from other companies to try because I’ve been involved for so long in skincare. Some are beautiful. I love trying them. But I always go back to my Environ products. SIMPLY REVOLUTIONARY Environ is the brainchild of South African plastic surgeon Des Fernandes. Fernandes is not only a creative plastic surgeon, he has been a pioneer in simplistic skincare. I have found his products the most effective for my skin anywhere. They are not the most aesthetically pleasing, beautifully fragranced and self-indulgent, but boy do they work—regardless of your age or your skin’s condition. In fact, it seems to me that Environ products just go on getting better year by year. Fernandes has always concerned himself with both intrinsic aging—once believed to be caused by nothing but the passing of the years—and extrinsic, or photo aging. He believes both to be unnatural and looks upon them as disease processes, which can and should be treated. I couldn’t agree more. Exposure to strong UV radiation, just like exposure to chemical toxins, literally uses up your body’s antioxidant supplies. “Few people,” says Fernandes, “understand that photo aging is almost entirely a manifestation of a vitamin deficiency in the skin. The most important vitamins are the light-sensitive ones, and the antioxidants A, C, E along with other important nutrients and plant factors.” What he says is absolutely true. Using Environ products, along with—and this is very important—eating in a way that supports not just the health of your skin, but the health of your whole being, enhances the order of your body’s biophotons improving the function of your body’s living matrix. Put this all together, and you have a prescription for beautiful skin that knows no age. MY FAVORITE Over the years, Environ has developed a number of ranges for specific skin needs. The most important of these, in my opinion, is their AVST range. It consists of five different products which contain vitamin A and antioxidants, as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, green tea extract, honey bush and rooibos tea extracts, resveratrol and beta-carotene. To use this range, you start with the lowest concentration of these products. As your skin becomes accustomed to the concentration of active ingredients it contains, you then “step up” from AVST 1 to AVST 2 and so on, until you reach AVST 5—the most intense concentration of them all. This is important, because your skin needs to get used to absorbing the nutrients they contain and this takes time. There are other products in the AVST range, including gels, cleansing lotions, toners, and exfoliant masks. Frankly, I seldom use the others. Why? Because, provided you have the core products, these work so well you may come to feel—as I do—that you don’t need much else. PREMIUM SKINCARE The other Environ range I’ve used for years is their ‘Ionzyme’ range. Fernandes refers to this as his “premium” range. What it brings is a complete skincare program which, again, contains vitamins, antioxidants and peptides to enhance the skin’s appearance and protect skin texture—bringing it a healthy glow. As far as I’m concerned, the combination of AVST and Ionzyme is unbeatable. Again, the Ionzyme range is comes in steps as does the AVST range: You start with Ionzyme C-Quence 1. As your skin begins accustomed to the intensity of this first product, your gradually move one step after another until you reach Ionzyme C-Quence 4. There is also an excellent Ionzyme C-Quence crème in the range that you use as part of the the C-Quence series. I rely entirely on AVST 5—since my skin has grown used to it for many years now—as well as the C-Quence crème. There are all sorts of other Environ products, including a range to help counter troubled skin; a range for the body; and an intensive range. TRIED AND TRUSTED What I like about Environ compared to other skin care ranges is that it’s a real workhorse. It cares for your skin quickly, easily and effectively. You don’t have to worry about what brand-new—ultra-expensive—products are hitting the marketplace with all their advertising hype. I couldn’t care less. I only want skincare that works, and goes on working year after year. Environ does. Fernandes has also created other highly innovative devices which have, since they came on the market, been much copied by other companies—such as the roll-CIT. This is a small roller impregnated with minute needles. You roll it gently over the surface of your skin so it makes micro-channels in the stratum corneum, which is the epidermal barrier to your skin’s deeper layers. This allows active ingredients to reach your skin’s depths even more effectively than if you just apply the products on the skin’s surface. A WORD OF WARNING The tiny holes created in the outer layer of the skin reseal themselves naturally within 24 hours, but here’s the rub: You want to be careful about anything else you put on your skin during this period. You could easily allow the penetration of toxic chemicals, fragrances and preservatives, which under no circumstances do you want to allow into your skin and your body as a whole. I would never put anything on my face or body that contains toxic chemicals of any kind. When the penetration of the nutrients in Environ products is increased using the roll-CIT, your skin manufactures more collagen. It becomes firmer, thicker and tighter. Fine lines soften. Although the roll-CIT may not be the greatest tool in the world for the faint-hearted, it works a treat. It’s an excellent example of what skin revolution and ingenuity is at its best. There’s even a medical version of the roll-CIT which probes deeper, allowing a dermatologist or a surgeon to increase the keratinocyte and fibroblast activity in a patient’s skin, softening lines, tightening and firming, restoring elasticity and reducing pigmentation. It improves the appearance of dilated blood vessels, and can be used on all areas of the face and body for skin rejuvenation. I have two roll-CITs—one specifically for the under-eye area, and one for the rest of my skin. LOW-MAINTENANCE PHILOSOPHY I hate fussing as much as I hate being fussed over in any form. I don’t even like going to the hairdresser to have my hair trimmed. All my life, I’ve disliked visiting cosmetologists and hairdressers. There are many more interesting things I want to do with my time. In recent years I’ve used the roll-CIT only infrequently, since my skin, thanks to 20 years of Environ care, is pretty good. What I love about Environ products is that they work so well that I don’t feel I need to do much else to look after my skin. But you can judge for yourself. Take a look at our videos See what you think, and let me know. You can find out more about Environ products at www.environ.co.za

Perfect Synergy

Perfect Synergy

The most effective approach to de-aging relies on getting antioxidants in the form in which they come in nature - by eating natural, unprocessed, fresh foods rich not only in the antioxidants that have been heavily studied and are well known, but in so many other plant substances that in one way or anther have anti-aging properties. One of the interesting things about the anti-aging substances in fresh foods is that they also happen to be anticancer substances. The changes that take place in cancer are akin to the mutations to the cells, cell walls, and genetic material which occur as the body ages. Eat foods rich in anticancer compounds and you automatically protect your body from premature aging too. There are certain superfoods - herbs, mushrooms and other plant substances - that are high on the list of powerful natural de-agers. They include the algae such as chlorella, spirulina, the Australian Dunaliella Salina; the seaweeds - dulse, kelp, alaria and bladderwrack; certain herbs with powerful adaptogenic properties that help protect the body from stress such as Fo-ti, Schizandra, astragalus and ginger; cereal grasses; the immune supporting mushrooms such as reishi and maitake; as well as natural plant antioxidants such as those found in sage, rosemary, and cloves. There are thousands of plant-based chemicals in natural foods, some of which have even higher antioxidant activity than known antioxidant minerals and vitamins. Take grape seeds. Within the seed of red grapes you will find procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs) at a level of about 92-95%. The gallic esters of prosnthocynidins are the most active free radical scavengers known. enter neutraceuticals Neutraceuticals are the newest advances in dietary supplements. They are beginning to grace the shelves next to vitamin and mineral supplements in shops. These new products contain phytochemical substances and compounds such as those from grape seeds which have been extracted from foods and then concentrated into powders and capsules. For example, now you can find that some of the cholesterol-lowering factors found in a clove of garlic or the cancer-preventing potential in a sprig of fresh raw broccoli have been put together into an easy-to-use form. These phytochemicals are always non-nutrient substances - that is not vitamins, minerals, or trace elements. Some bring plants their color, taste, and fragrance. Others their natural defenses against disease. In recent years scientists have discovered that many of these factors in plants can help protect us. The reason these new products are called neutraceuticals is because of their neutral action on the body. Unlike drugs they are very unlikely to cause side-effects. Yet some have been shown to slow tumor growth in cancer, others to combat hormone-related cancer risks, or lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, boost the immune system, prevent tooth decay and gum disease and help reverse many of the other biomarkers of aging. Researchers into the exciting new world of phytochemical biology have identified thousands of different plant chemicals that exist in natural foods, hundreds of which have already been shown to have health benefits.

Exercise And Transformation

Exercise And Transformation

Not only is wholeheartedness important if one is to realize the full potential for exercise, the enormous power for self-expression and physical transformation which can come through movement only takes place when muscles and exercise are also linked through mind-body awareness. We are not machines, no matter how much we are told otherwise. When we have treated ourselves as such, either by neglecting to care for our physical needs or by forcing our bodies through exercise routines like automatons, we both create distortions of posture and body shape and dissipate precious adaptive energy instead of renewing it. In fact most of us have quite literally grown up with postural distortions which over the years become so much a part of us they are almost like physical symbols for our personality. When you begin to approach exercise from a more unified perspective it's important to find ways of unlocking some of the residual tensions which underlie these distortions and to set the body free to move naturally so we can make the most of whatever form of exercise we choose to do. A good yoga teacher can help you do this gradually over a period of time. So can some very simple exercises which I learned from a quite extraordinary movement teacher called Lilla Bek. Herself a longtime teacher of yoga as well as an acclaimed healer and writer, Lilla Bek's approach to movement is an ancient one - based on the principles of sacred dance where the body is not only put through its physical paces to tighten muscles and firm contours but to balance the body's energies through what in mystic traditions are known as the chakra centers. There are believed to be seven of these, starting at the base of the spine and rising through the solar plexus to finish at the crown of the head. Each chakra is said to be connected with specific endocrine glands and to influence the functions of organs related to it as well as energy in the part of the body it governs. Each is also believed to have specific psychic qualities - the one in the belly, for instance, is said to be connected with the actions of the will, while the chakra at the throat is a center for creative energies, particularly artistic ones and for self expression. The purpose of sacred dance is to revitalize the energetic circuits of the body and mind and to unify the system so that one connects up both with the earth as well as one's own energies and is fed by them. Whether or not the chakra system is ever validated by scientific research, working with exercise and movement in this way can be a superb means of integrating mind and body as well as working out long-standing bodily tensions and postural distortions that make you look and feel older than you are. After a while your body really does become a vehicle for the expression of the inner being. Its movements become naturally graceful and authentic. Over a period of time even the most distorted frame seems to untwist itself as the muscles are freed from chronic postural habits and tensions which deplete energies and undermine natural beauty. But for me the most rewarding thing of all in beginning to work in an energetically aware way with movement is the extraordinary levels of energy it brings. It is as if you create for yourself a link with the earth which supports you at a high level of calm vitality long after other, more disconnected, exercisers have fallen by the wayside. postures for transformation To begin working energetically rather than mechanically with your body it is necessary to do two things. First you need to identify areas of chronic tension, which are distorting body shape and posture, and eliminate them by an active process of letting go. Second you need to begin drawing conscious awareness to the ways in which even the smallest movement, whether it takes place while running, dancing, speaking or whatever, affects muscle groups and energy-focus in other areas of the body not directly related to the muscles doing the work. Lilla Bek has worked out some gentle but useful postures which do both. 'Most people,' she says, `even very active people, have many areas of residual tension which restrict full movement and interfere with the free flow of energy so that they become unnecessarily fatigued. These areas are really the result of how we live and how we use our bodies. Our waking hours are largely spent using only a small amount of space right in front of us - for instance as when we are driving a car or eating, working at a desk or watching television. Every group of muscles in the body has another that works in opposition to it. When we restrict our movement to such a small space we tend to contract the muscles of one group without ever doing any kind of contrastretch to bring its opposing muscles into play. This is how chronically tense muscles lead to body distortions such as dowager's hump, slumped shoulders, excessively curved backs and the rest.' undoing the kinks The postures Lilla Bek uses to undo long-standing kinks in the body are designed specifically to create a contrastretch for each group of chronically tightened muscles. At the same time, because they are done slowly and deliberately in a deeply relaxed state they make it possible for the person practicing them to begin experiencing just how connected up his body is energetically. Take the movements implied in Leonardo's famous spread-eagled man for example. Hold yourself in this position and slowly move your arms from your sides to above your head - palms turned outwards. At each level of movement you will find that a different group of muscles come into action which are quite separate from those of the arms and shoulders involved in the movement. First the lower abdomen is tightened and the energy there is stimulated, then the solar plexus, the chest and the area of the heart chakra come into play. Then the jaw line, the lower face and ears, the roof of the mouth, the eyes, cheeks and forehead each in their turn are activated as you move your arms higher and higher. To someone who has never had any consciousness of the energetic phenomenon of exercise and the unification of body movement such an experience is like a revelation. Practice a few of the postures which heighten your body awareness and you will find very soon not only that your posture changes as your body becomes more fluid and more supple and a more articulate expression of your being, but when you turn to your aerobics or your yoga or your running or your sacred dance there is a lightness and a freedom which you have never experienced before. Here are five of Lilla Bek's simple postures. Spend two to five minutes on each once a day and you are likely to experience new energy levels as well as a sense of authentic natural grace which no amount of mechanical jogging around the park or sweating it out in they gym can match. the opening This position has a remarkable ability to open out the body, expanding the chest, releasing chronic tension from the neck and shoulders, gradually smoothing out hollow backs, and greatly expanding contracted hip joints. here's how Lying flat on the floor relax and close your eyes. Ask a friend to take a look at the position of your chin. It should be pointing straight up at the ceiling, forming a right angle with your neck.  If it is higher than this, place a book under your head to bring it back into alignment. As the natural alignment of your spine improves you will need a thinner and thinner book until you can do it without one altogether. Does your back lie flat against the floor or is there a hollow? An arched spine indicates that you normally hold your chin wrongly which stretches the skin of the neck and creates a double-chin look. How far are your shoulders off the floor? Do they differ in this? As chronic tension is released by doing the exercise regularly your shoulders will come closer and closer to the floor, your back will lengthen and your chin will naturally align. Draw your right foot up while placing your palms downwards on the floor and rest it near your buttocks. Do the same with the other foot placing your heels together, soles flat on the floor. Now, starting with your palms against the sides of your hips, begin to explore the space around you with your arms and notice the parts of your body which slowly moving your arms outwards and upwards activates. Moving your arms up and out you begin to activate energy first in the pelvic area, then the solar plexus, heart, thymus, forehead and top of the head. When you get to the level where you are lying with your arms in line with your shoulders, let your hands open slightly and you will have reached the level of the throat energies. Explore the feel of each level of the arms in turn by moving them slowly and then leaving them at each level to sink quietly to the floor. If while doing this you gradually open out or close your fingers you will produce many interesting changes in energy at different levels of your body. With your arms extended like this at the sides your shoulder blades will separate and then by letting your knees open outwards to the natural pull of gravity you will discover your breathing opens up. Explore this position for two or three minutes before going on to the next. expansion This position opens out a collapsed midriff, lengthens the body, energizes the solar plexus and even tightens the muscles of the face. here's how Moving from the first position, now place your feet about 18 inches apart with soles flat against the floor. Leave your arms at shoulder level and very slowly roll your hips to the right side simultaneously rolling your head to the left. Return to the center keeping your lower spine in contact with the floor and repeat the movement to the other side. Your knee should gradually fit into the arches of the opposite leg. Don't worry if they don't touch the floor. They will eventually. Most people have a shortened midriff and the solar-plexus chakra which provides the body with dynamic physical energy cannot function properly when this is the case. This position has a remarkable effect on the look of the face when it is practiced regularly and can make you look considerably younger. But for this to work you must `connect up' your face with your body - particularly in the spaces through which the knees move in your awareness as you carry out the movement. Take a full breath before you begin and exhale as your hips roll to the side then inhale again slowly as they return to center, exhale in starting position and repeat to the other side. the rainbow This is a position of natural grace. It brings a superb stretch to the waistline, lengthens the whole body, flattens and firms the abdomen, and integrates body energies. here's how Lying flat on your back take a full breath, exhale and roll to the left side, bringing your arms together in the same direction. Now bring your right knee across and exhale. Keep your knee down by holding it with your left hand to make sure it will not go back up. Now very gently try to take your right hand up and around your body. If it does not come in contact easily with the floor above your head then the energies from your heart and throat areas are not freed for use. Have a friend calculate in this position how much your arm is off the floor. If it is more than 6 inches then problems of distortion will be exaggerated in your body and it will take a bit of time to correct. If it is exaggerated it is a good idea not to exercise vigorously until the exaggeration disappears. bow to the earth Not only is this position profoundly relaxing - an excellent way to relieve stress after the end of a long day - it is also wonderful for alleviating lower-back problems and period aches and it encourages energy to rise up the spine flooding the whole body with new vitality and clearing a fuzzy mind. here's how From a kneeling position, bend your body forward, pushing your hands out in front, and stretch forward like a cat. On the in-breath, bring your hands to lie at the sides of your feet and lower your buttocks. If you have difficulty in doing this be gentle but persevere since chronic contraction here can lead to lower-back problems later. On the out-breath, bring the top of your head down in front of your knees. Rest a moment and then bring your hands forwards and place them one palm on top of the other. Rest your forehead on top. Close your eyes and relax for two minutes or more. The detensing effects of this position work slowly. It can be held for longer than most. It too is excellent for the solar plexus but it is also good for releasing energy that has been blocked at the base of the spine. the lengthener This position and the gentle movement which accompanies it activates the base of the spine, improves blood flow to the brain, takes pressure off of tired legs, alleviates lower-back tensions, improves circulation in the pelvis and is a superb antidote to stress. here's how Lying flat on your back relax as fully as you can. Now start to raise one leg slowly up as high as you can go. Be aware as your leg moves through the arc that with each 6 or 8 inches it passes through different parts of your body become energized, starting with the base chakra and moving up through the belly, heart and throat when it reaches a right angle. If you can go beyond this upright position you can also activate head energies. Now with your hand on one knee, don't pull by force but hold your knee with your hands and see how far you can bring it into your body. On the in-breath raise your forehead to the knee. Breathe out as you bring them together, relax and lie back. Repeat with the other leg, going through the whole sequence for two or three minutes. If you are unable to bring your knee all the way to your body do persist with the exercise. It will help protect you from lower-back troubles later. You will get a splendid feeling of lengthening over your whole body after working through this position. Combine these simple `untwisters' with a habit of regular aerobic activity - walking, swimming, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, cycling, running, jogging or rowing - and you will find a new sense of integration takes place and your energy levels will soar.

Guarana - Awesome Energy From The Amazon

Guarana - Awesome Energy From The Amazon

Coffee smells good and tastes great. It delivers quick energy bursts to clear away your brain fog. But the caffeine from the coffee bean can soon burn out, leaving you nervy and exhausted. Drinking coffee distorts insulin balance, triggers blood sugar distortions and creates unconscious addictions that are hard to kick. Mainstream medicine tells us that it’s the caffeine that causes problems. We are also taught that all caffeine is the same. Well, I’m here to tell you, it just ain’t true. Not all caffeine is the same When I was nine years old, I was in Brazil with my parents. There we discovered a plant also rich in caffeine which switches on your energy and keeps it going without the negative downsides associated with coffee-drinking. When this exotic plant is organically grown and carefully harvested to preserve its caffeine, along with many other plant factors that make it so powerful, it delivers energy, increases your strength and stamina and, unlike coffee, does not burn you out. The plant is called guaraná. It’s named after an Amazonian tribe—the Guaranis—who recognized its power centuries ago. It grows wild in the exotic Brazilian rainforest in the form of a red berry. And it holds the energy secret of Brazil, and many other South American countries. In Brazil, guaraná is a drink more popular than coffee. Thanks to its complex combination of health supporting plant factors, the naturally occurring caffeine—unlike coffee—is released slowly into your system. As a result, the energy boost that guaraná brings you is not short, nervous and abrupt with a rapid energy drop-off. It’s uplifting and it lasts without distorting your metabolism. Western medicine confused Western medicine has long been ignorant and confused over guaraná. You’ll find all sorts of contradictory, not to say absurd pontification about its so-called dangers if you surf the web looking for information about it. Don’t bother. For centuries, guaraná has been the best kept secret in South America for increasing physical and mental stamina, increasing positive motivation and keeping the population going day after day without the toxic chemicals in coffee and other energy drinks. Guaraná supports all twelve of the body’s fundamental systems important for human health. In the past 50 years, many research projects in the Southern Hemisphere have turned up remarkable truths about this amazing plant. By all means, look online and learn about this marvelous plant, but forget searching for good information from American or European scientific research projects. They don’t exist. Western medicine has hidden its head in the sand and turns out the same-old, same-old nonsense claiming that guaraná is nothing more than plain old caffeine so you might as well take a No-Doz pill or swallow another cup of java. But clinical studies from the Southern Hemisphere have much to tell. The alkaloids in guaraná, say researchers, stimulate our myocardium and central nervous system, reducing our fatigue while enhancing alertness. Guaraná is a superior health tonic. Its seeds hold from 4 to 8% caffeine including large amounts of saponins, terpenes, tannins and flavonoids. Its seeds are fatty. When you grind them into a powder they are not water-soluble, which is a major reason why the special caffeine they contain is only slowly metabolized by your body. This protects from the nervousness and abrupt drop-off you get from coffee. This also means that guaraná’s seeds are able to act as “carriers of energy” through the body. The energy they bring therefore has a calmer, cooler quality that both revitalizes and relaxes. Guaraná also enhances physical and mental performance and promotes thermogenesis by nutritionally stimulating the body’s Beta receptor pathway, breaking down stored fat and allowing it to be turned into energy. Warning Avoid Energy Drink Claiming guaraná Now here are some important warnings, so please listen: Should you decide to explore what guaraná can do for you, you must make certain that the product you choose is genuine guaraná imported from Brazil that contains the whole plant—instead of some cheap derivative which is only caffeine. Believe me, cheap imitations of the real thing are rampant. Big-selling drinks are riddled with plain old caffeine listed as guaraná on their labels. So are all those sports drinks and macho “energy boosters”, designed to attract men and women naïve enough to believe that they will get bigger muscles by using them. Stay away from such rubbish for the sake of your health and your pocketbook. Guaraná must never be mixed with a lot of other stuff, which could well make you sick. Guaraná is a substance only meant for adults. It is not for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women or anyone with fibrocystic breast disease. You should consult your health care professional before using it. Finally, use only one or two tablets of guaraná a day. More is NOT better. When to take them? Take only one tablet thing in the morning. If this works well for you but you feel you want another energy boost later in the day, you can take a second tablet at lunchtime. Find out what works best for you. But never take guaraná late in the day—it might interfere with your sleep. the very best guarana product I’ve investigated many guaraná products on the market. Here is what I believe to be the very best: Guarana Energizer Guarana is a natural herb imported from Brazil. It has been used for centuries by the Native Americans of the Amazon as an energizer. Order Guarana Energizer from iherb Each guaraná tablet contains approximately 200 mg of natural occurring caffeine. This is 1 to 2 times the caffeine in a cup of coffee. I’m keen to hear from you about your own guaraná experience. Do get in touch by adding a comment below:

Be Wary Of Mammograms

Be Wary Of Mammograms

We have long been told that the “gold standard—life-saving” tool for protecting us from the ravages of breast cancer is regular mammograms. So powerful is the pro-mammogram lobby that we’ve come to believe if we do not have regular mammogram x-rays, we are irresponsible as well as at high risk of dying from cancer. This is quite simply not true. And in no way can mammography be considered a risk-free procedure. Far from it. Mammography relies on powerful ionizing radiation, which can actually cause cancer. One mammogram delivers the radiation equivalent of 1,000 chest x-rays into your body. Each year in the United States, an amazing 4 billion dollars is spent on over-diagnosis and false-positives in relation to mammography results. In fact, false positive results are known to be as high as 56% in a woman who has undergone 10 mammograms. Meanwhile, the physical and emotional damage of any woman having to live through “false positive” diagnoses can unnecessarily fill her life with fear. Recently, a massive study on mammography involving 90,000 women studied for 25 years concluded that mammograms have absolutely NO effect on mortality rates. As reported in the New York Times: "One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter­century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age. It found that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. And the screening had harms: one in five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman's health and did not need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation." Earlier on, researchers at Dartmouth in the United States wanted to find out how often lives are actually saved by mammography. They examined breast cancer data from The National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They discovered that the probability of a mammogram saving a life is well below 25%. They concluded, “Most women with screen-detected breast cancer have not had their life saved by screening. They are instead either diagnosed early (with no effect on their mortality) or over-diagnosed.” Personally, I have never had a mammogram. Why? Because my gut feeling has always said “no”. This was long before a massive accumulation of clinical evidence began to show up, indicating that the 30kVp range of “low-energy” radiation used in breast screenings is up to 400% more damaging to human DNA (read 400% more carcinogenic) than the so-called “high-energy” radiation which it is often compared to. I would stay away from mammography in any shape or form. How do you protect yoursel from cancer naturally? This is what I’ll be covering in next week’s videocast. Join me then.

Nature Ends Insomnia

Nature Ends Insomnia

“Insomnia? I know a great cure for it... get plenty of sleep” W.C. Fields Do you dread going to bed for fear for fear you won’t sleep? Do you wake in the night only to find that you can’t go back to sleep again? Well, you’re not alone. Over half of the population of both the UK and the United States—where Big Pharma collected $3.7 billion for selling drugs for sleep in 2012 alone—have problems with some form of “sleep disorder.” Many take hypnotic drugs despite the fact that at least two dozen published studies have examined mortality associated with these medications. Eighteen of these report significant connections between using these drugs and increased mortality. Taking sleep inducing drugs is also associated with a greater than three-fold increased risk of death, even when less than 18 pills a year have been taken. Bottom line: Hypnotics ain’t worth the risk. There are better ways of handling insomnia. DANGER WORRIES There’s no doubt about it, disrupted or poor quality sleep can be dangerous. I learned this myself first hand after taking a flight that crossed twelve time zones. I found— unusually for me—that my body never readjusted to the new time zone, and I was sleeping only an hour or two a night, and at very irregular times. This went on for almost two weeks, at the end of which I was in severe physical pain. I went to see my doctor, also a skilled acupuncturist, concerned that I may have contracted some fairly serious illness. He treated me with acupuncture and sorted out the pain within two treatments, as well as my inability to sleep. He also told me that he had seen this in patients of his who are pilots. Research studies show that when healthy male volunteers were deprived of four hours of sleep for a single night, the activity of the natural killer cells in their immune system fell by as much as 30 percent. That’s the bad news. The good news is that a single good night’s sleep brought normal functioning back to the cells. It has also long been known that shift workers, whose hours of sleep continually change, have increasing difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They also have more accidents, suffer more illness and die younger than people with normal sleep schedules. INSOMNIA TRIGGERS Anxiety Fear of insomnia Stimulants such as coffee or alcohol Eating too many high glycemic carbohydrate convenience foods which disturb blood sugar Low levels of melatonin Low levels of serotonin Drug use Depression A lot of so-called insomnia is nothing more than the result of worrying about getting to sleep. Many people who consider themselves insomniacs are really victims of the general propaganda about sleep, rather than true non-sleepers. Many people seek treatment because they can only sleep four or five hours a night, although that may be all they need. There is nothing more likely 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 every now and then, particularly if we are over-tired, worried or excited about coming events. Real chronic insomnia is less frequent. There are many things that can cause it, from taking stimulants such as chocolate, soft drinks, coffee and tea, to not getting enough exercise. Nocturnal hypoglycemia is another major cause of insomnia in many people. BEWARE OF BOOZE Alcohol can severely interfere with sleep for a number of reasons. First, it brings about the release of adrenalin giving you a sense of excitement—a totally inappropriate condition for putting your head down on the pillow. It also interferes with the transport of tryptophan into the brain. And since the brain depends on a good supply of tryptophan in order to produce serotonin—the neurotransmitter that brings about sleep—drinking alcohol late in the evening severely disrupts serotonin levels. Alcohol, of course, also has a relaxing effect, which for many people will put them to sleep immediately, provided they have drunk enough of it. Then they find that, two or three hours later, they awake dehydrated and unable to sleep for the rest of the night. LOOK TO NATURE For my money, botanical sleep support wins the battle against insomnia better than almost anything else. There are several botanicals I turn to and recommend to others. Some of the most powerful helpers for insomnia have botanical origins. Many plants, from skullcap (Scutellaria laterifolia) to hops (Humulus lupulus), can be used to help promote sleep. I use them often. Here are some of the most effective. CALIFORNIA POPPY Eschscholzia californica This gentle but effective sedative is also an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer, and the seeds of the plant offer excellent natural relief for someone living with chronic pain. It appears to work by telling the brain to increase your opiate receptors, which automatically decreases pain and brings relaxation. California Poppy is also non-addictive. But it should not be taken during pregnancy as it might stimulate uterine contractions. VALERIAN Valeriana officinalis A natural sedative and anti-hypertensive, valerian has been used on both sides of the Atlantic for generations, not only to induce sleep but to help protect people from the negative effects of stress. A double blind study involving 128 people showed quite clearly that a water extract of valerian root significantly increased the quality of sleep. The study, which was quite thorough, measured night awakening, people’s own perceptions of the quality of their sleep, sleeplessness in the morning and sleep latency—that is, how quickly a person got to sleep. In another double blind insomnia study, 20 people were given either a combination of 160mg of valerian root extract and 80mg of Melissa officinalis extract, or menzodiazapine (Triazolam 0.125mg), or a placebo. (Melissa, by the way, belongs to the mint family and also has a powerful anti-viral activity.) Researchers discovered that the valerian-melissa preparation was comparable to the benzodiazepine drug in its ability to increase deep sleep. However, unlike the drug, it did not cause side-effects—diminished concentration, impairment of physical performance or daytime sleepiness. My only problem with valerian is that to me it smells like dirty socks. KAVA KAVA Piper methysticum From the pepper family, this plant is consumed in liquid by the cultures of Polynesia. It is both an effective sedative and hypnotic. It also acts as a muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, and anti-depressant. When you take it, it first stimulates then begins to sedate the central nervous system. Small doses can produce a euphoric sense of wellbeing. Larger doses or small doses repeated frequently produce deep relaxation, lethargy and induce sleep. Human studies where kava is given in therapeutic doses have failed to show any toxic effects. Nonetheless, kava should not be used by people who have or have had liver problems, who drink alcohol, or take drugs. Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women are not to take kava either. PASSIONFLOWER Passiflora incarnata This magnificent climbing plant, with its white flowers and extraordinary purple centers, is mildly narcotic and a wonderful sedative for the body. It’s an anti-spasmodic, sedative, hypnotic, hypotensive anti-depressant and nerve relaxant. It is particularly useful if you are someone who tends to suffer from nervous tension as well as insomnia. Not as strong as valerian in its action, it is more calming than sedating, and is therefore a superb alternative to tranquilizer drugs. Passionflower works particularly well for sleep when taken together with 5-HTP as an herb, a tincture, or fluid extract or in dried powered form in capsules. Passionflower was used by the Aztecs as an analgesic and sedative. One of its plant chemicals is called harmine, which has an interesting ability to bring about a contemplative state and a feeling of mild euphoria. It was even used during World War II as a “truth serum”. Harmine and other plant chemicals in passionflower, which work synergistically with it, prevent serotonin levels from falling and therefore works extremely well with 5-HTP against insomnia. HOPS Humulus lupulus The flowers from this common herb are often used together with other remedies to treat everything from indigestion to edgy nerves. Like valerian, hops have a pronounced sedative effect but it is much milder. You can use hops in the form of a tincture, but it can be particularly useful as a tea for people who awaken in the middle of the night. Prepare it before going to bed by steeping the flowers for 10 minutes in hot water and then straining and allowing to cool. Put the tea, sweetened with a little honey or preferably stevia (if you can get it), by the side of your bed so you can drink it if you awaken during the night. Some people also swear by small pillows stuffed with dried hops blossoms which you put under your neck when you go to bed or if you awaken. LET GO OF FEAR Experiment with these wonderful plants. Get to know them. Each has its own personality and its own soul. I have used them all over the years and come to love each one of them for their beauty and their effectiveness. Just as when you meet a new friend, it takes time to experience all their gifts. But you will, and it will be wonderful. Meanwhile, forget worry about sleep. Do what you need to do and then just let it happen. If it doesn’t happen tonight, so what? It will tomorrow night, or the next. Lack of sleep is not likely to kill you, but worrying about it for long enough just might. St. Patrick began each day with a prayer, regardless of how much or little sleep he had, or how he felt when he awakened. It is my favorite celebration of new beginnings and can wipe away worries following a sleepless night: I arise today Through the strength of heaven Light of sun, Radiance of moon, Splendour of fire Speed of lightning Swiftness of wind. Depth of sea Stability of earth, St. Patrick My favorite herbal company is Gaia Herbs who are fanatical in their methods of gathering and processing each and every product. I buy them from iHerb. Here are some of the Gaia products I especially like: Gaia Herbs, Kava Kava Root, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Many systems of the body can be negatively affected by stress. That is why achieving a state of calm and relaxation is so important for optimum wellness. Gaia Herbs' Kava Kava is a potent herbal extract which helps support emotional balance. Made from ecologically harvested Kava Kava from Vanuatu, it contains a guaranteed 225 mg of active Kavalactones per serving. Order Kava Kava Root from iherb Gaia Herbs, Valerian Root, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Valerian root has long been used to promote deep and restful sleep in those with occasional sleeplessness. Made from Valerian grown on Gaia's own certified organic farm, this extract delivers 1.8 mg of Valerenic acid derivatives per serving. By promoting a sense of calm and relaxation, Valerian Root supports the body in falling asleep naturally. Order Valerian Root from iherb Gaia Herbs, Sound Sleep, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Getting a restful night's sleep is essential for optimal health. Sound Sleep is an all herbal formula with botanicals historically recognized to address difficulty with sleep. It works to normalize restlessness, physical tension, and worry sometimes associated with occasional sleeplessness. It may also be used when nervous excitement and/or stress affected normal sleep patterns. Order Sound Sleep from iherb Gaia Herbs, Serenity with Passionflower, 60 Veggie Liquid Phyto-Caps Occasional nervous stress and tension can interfere in the enjoyment of everyday life by disrupting the functioning of body and mind. Serenity provides the support you need to help restore a sense of calm and relaxation your life. Made with certified organic Passionflower and Skullcap, this formula gives your nervous system the nourishment it deserves. Order Serenity from iherb

Seek The Essence - Part 2

Seek The Essence - Part 2

The more I get to know flowers—living with them, healing with them, photographing them, practicing and teaching flower meditation with them—the more I sense the deep compassion and affinity they have for human beings. This affinity is carried in the energetic architecture of their form. Woven into it also is a great desire to help human kind. SOUL BEAUTY Flowers love to give of their beauty. They love to share their soul energies with our own. And the healing they bring us takes place in a highly personal way. Imagine being at a concert of expertly played classical music. Although we all hear the same music, each of us in the audience will be affected in a different way. Some will be deeply moved, others uplifted, still others calmed and quieted—depending on our individual response, and on whatever need the music fulfils for us. If the same symphony is played by another orchestra with a different conductor, the same collection of people will experience further shades of meaning. So can it be with flower essences created by different makers. There are now more than three thousand flower essences made worldwide. You need only a handful to benefit from their gifts. The most famous of all is Rescue Remedy. Not a single essence, but a mixture of five flower essences, it was created by Dr Edward Bach. Hundreds of thousands of bottles of it are sold each year. Many who use it regularly are not aware of how it is made from flowers, and have little idea how it works. They only experience its benefits. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is one of the most useful things you can give to anyone who has suffered a shock—from a skinned knee to the death of a family member. It helps restore mental, physical and emotional balance in the face of any trauma. Taking any flower essence is a gentle, yet profound, experience. Before deciding on which essence or essences are right for you at a particular moment in your life, take time to become aware both of what is going on inside you as well as whatever physical symptoms you may be experiencing. A practitioner trained in flower medicine can be a great help here—especially if you are wrestling with deep depression or chronic physical illness. He or she will take into account your history, your work, your relationships, your strengths and weaknesses, and your future goals. If you are choosing an essence for yourself, think about all of these things. Look at photographs of flowers, or better still, seek out the flowers themselves in a garden or the woods. Get to know a little of the character and the healing properties of each flower and notice any that seem relevant to you, or which attract you. WHERE ARE YOU Then take a gentle, compassionate look at what is going on with you now. There are two ways to do this. You can begin by looking through a flower essence materia medica to find out what conditions different flower essences are designed to alleviate. You may discover that some essences leap out at you as you recognize descriptions of behavioral or emotional patterns that fit. Write all this down. Then work from the list you have when making your choices. When you get to know the flower essences you are drawn to, explore each flower essence company’s lists. This is easy to do by looking them up on the internet. You really don’t need to know a lot of different essences to find the help you need. For many different essences can often help the same conditions. The other method for ‘self diagnosis’ takes a bit longer, but works even better. For a week, observe your reactions to what is going on around you day after day. Make a note of any emotional reactions that repeat in your life again and again—if you feel anxious, nervous, angry, tense, or upset, for instance. Write all this down in a notebook. Also record what seems to trigger these feelings. See if there are one or more emotional patterns or tendencies that appear more often than others. Record any keywords or phrases that come to mind. For instance, “I am often irritable. This makes me impatient. Sometimes my body gets tense, and I feel anxious. I suppose people think I’m intolerant.” You might talk to your partner or to a close friend about what you have observed and recorded. See if they agree. Ask if they have other observations about you that might be helpful. Then, armed with your description of your emotional states and traits, go through the descriptions in a flower essence material medica and match your key words and phrases with theirs. Make a list of all the essences that you think might apply to you. TRUST YOUR INSTINCT Narrow your list down to no more than 3 to 6 essences— those which best match the way you feel, or want to feel. Using your intuition, see if you can identify one or two essences which you think, more than any of the others, seem to ‘fit’ with your needs. If you have a healthfood store or pharmacy nearby that sells flower essences, it can useful to handle the bottles of essences themselves. Hold each one you think might be helpful in your hand for a moment or two, close your eyes, and see how you feel. Always trust your instincts to discover which ones most call to you. Flower essence therapy is the safest form of natural treatment in the world. It is impossible to over-dose on it. Should you happen to choose the wrong remedy, your body’s energy will simply not resonate with it and you will get no effect from it. LESS IS MORE Sometimes the best way to use flower essences is to work with one remedy at a time. But if you feel you want to use more than one, then choose a ‘theme’—remedies that deal with a single emotional state: A combination of peppermint and nasturtium, for instance, helps clear mental fatigue. Crab apple and buttercup can help build self-esteem. You can mix them together. If two quite different emotional ‘traits’ emerge from your self-examination—for example, anger and a need to release more creativity, you can deal with both issues at the same time, if you wish. In this case, take one essence or a mixture of essences for the one condition in the morning, and those for the other in the evening. With any flower essence the adage ‘less is more’ applies. Although you cannot overdose on a remedy, you are more likely to see benefits from taking smaller amounts than larger ones. Also remember that there is tremendous power even in the ritual of taking a flower essence. As you take it, focus your mind gently on the positive healing you seek. Be sure to allow plenty of time for an essence to do its work. Give it at least a month before you consider replacing it with another. You will sense its effects and know if you should continue to use it. HOW TO USE FLOWER ESSENCES Flower essences that you buy come in glass bottles containing stock concentrates. The stock concentrate or ‘stock’ has been made from the mother essence, which in turn has been made from the vibration water plus a little alcohol to preserve it. It can be a lot of fun and very rewarding to make your own flower essences. Here’s how it works. The sun impregnates water into which a flower is introduced, creating vibrational water. ½ vibrational water + ½ brandy makes the mother essence (sometimes also called mother tincture.) 7 drops of mother essence in a bottle of 20% alcohol and 60-80% pure water creates a stock concentrate of the flower. (This is what you buy in stores and make your own dosage bottles from.) 2-4 drops of one or more stock concentrates is added to a 30ml bottle filled ¾ of the way up with pure water and then topped up with brandy to make your dosage bottle. Put four drops under your tongue at intervals throughout the day or add them to a small glass of water and sip it. Carry your dosage bottle around with you. Take your essence from it four times a day. Making your own decanted bottle also enables you to use more than one essence at a time. You simply add 4 to 6 drops of each mother tincture to the dosage bottle when preparing it, thereby creating a special mixture just for you. You can also mix your stock concentrate directly into a bottle of spring or distilled water and drink this mixture throughout the day. I like to do this when using the Bach Flower Remedy Crab Apple, which is helpful for detoxifying the body. I take a liter or a liter and a half bottle of pure water, add 6 drops of stock concentrate to it and mix it up, then put it on my desk while I am working, and sip it throughout the day. (Be sure to label each blend you create.) Flower essences work best when taken regularly—say four times a day—as much as possible at around the same times (but don’t get neurotic about this if you can’t.) Whenever you can, take them as you would a homeopathic remedy, in a ‘clean mouth’—at least 20 minutes before eating, or at least a couple of hours after. Take a moment or two each time you take an essence to remember its healing qualities and to give thanks to the flowers from which it comes. This makes you more receptive to what is given. GREAT USES OF ESSENCE DROPPER BOTTLE: Fill a 30ml dropper bottle with ¾ spring water and ¼ brandy. Add 4 drops of flower essence from a stock concentrate bottle. Shake or tap the bottle against your hand several times vigorously before taking to potentize it. Place 4-6 drops of your mixture directly under your tongue. Alternatively, place these drops into a glass of spring water and drink. STOCK DIRECT: Put 4 drops of the concentrated stock essence directly under your tongue. ESSENCE WATER: Place 6 drops of one or more essences from their stock bottles directly into a large container of mineral water or distilled water and drink throughout the day. Swirl the bottle round clockwise before using each time to potentize the water. ESSENCE BATH: Add 25 drops of stock concentrate of essence directly into a warm (not hot) bath. Swish it all around for a minute or so and then soak for at least twenty minutes, topping up the bath with warm water if you start to feel chilly and topping up with cold water if you get too warm. Use this time to expand your consciousness through meditation. It’s a great way to prepare for a blissful night’s sleep. ESSENCE MASSAGE: Add 10 to 12 drops of stock flower essence to your massage oil or face or body creams and then use them as you normally would, directing your intention towards bringing healing and wholeness. You can mix an essence this way with aromatherapy treatments, combining both the vibrational aspects of a flower with the physiological benefits of an essential oil. ESSENCE MISTERS: To a clean 100ml spray bottle of pure water, add 20 drops of stock concentrate flower essence. Shake well before spraying. Spray your face, your body, the air around you while opening your awareness to the flower healing that is being offered. However you choose to use the flower essences, remember that your intention and the compassion that you have for yourself or for another while using them play an important part in receiving their vibrational healing power. Let each time you use an essence be a moment of pleasurable receptivity, where you open yourself to the grace of flower blessings and give thanks for the generosity of spirit they bring to enhance your life.

Confront Yourself

Confront Yourself

To make the most of your potential you have to truly own your body. This means realizing that your entire body, from the roots of your hair to the tips of your toes, is the embodiment of your Self. Sadly most of us dissociate from our body. We imagine ourselves as a mind somewhere in our heads which is responsible for the rest of us from the neck down. This dissociation encourages us to treat our bodies with contempt: we eat the wrong foods, drink too much, and continually drive ourselves beyond the state of fatigue. Then, when we suffer from pains or get sick we wonder foolishly why fate seems to have it in for us. Sound familiar? Rather than treat your body like a machine which seems to break down for no apparent reason, you need to begin listening to what it tells you. Very often, we can prevent illness or heal ourselves by taking the trouble to tune into our bodies. By increasing your awareness and sensitivity throughout your body, you can not only avoid many health and beauty hazards, you can also learn to apply all of yourself to whatever you are doing and so function at a much more efficient level in everything you do. Total involvement can bring with it great joy and a sense of energy. "Lord, Help me to accept the things I cannot change. Give me the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference." It is important to begin by accepting your own form. All of us have things which we dislike about our bodies. It may be the size of your bust or your hips/waist/thighs, the shape of your nose or chin, your teeth, hair, etc. We waste far too much time and energy worrying about the parts of ourselves that we dislike, instead of focusing on the positive things and putting our energy into the task at hand. Try the following exercise to put your dislikes into perspective. confront the mirror Stand in front of a full-length mirror naked and use a hand mirror to take a really good look at yourself from all angles. Make a list of all the things you dislike about yourself. Be thorough and write down everything you see which you dislike. Now take a pen and give each item a code. If it is something that cannot be changed, for example your height, mark it with a "I" for impossible. If it is something that would require professional help to fix such as chipped or gappy teeth, bust size, disfiguring scars, etc. mark it with a "P." If it something that you know can be changed such as your haircut, muscle tone, weight, excess body hair etc., mark it with a "C." I - impossible to change P - professional assistance c - possible to change for instance... some sample dislikes might be: BUST TOO SMALL I/P I wouldn't want to go through implantation surgery. Perhaps if I slim a bit I'll lose some weight from my hips and my bust won't look so small by comparison. HIPS TOO BIG C I really would like to do something once and for all about my weight problem so that I can wear more attractive clothes and feel like less of a moose. DOUBLE CHIN C/P A face lift would be too expensive. I'll look into exercises to tone my chin and neck muscles. THIN HAIR - CUT DOESN'T SUIT ME C It's definitely time to change this haircut. I think perhaps I'll try a better hairdresser, even if it is more expensive. Hopefully a good professional will be able to tell me what style would suit me best. DARK CIRCLES UNDER EYES I/C I'm not sure if I can get rid of them. Perhaps a detoxification diet for a few days would help? ONE EAR HIGHER THAN THE OTHER I I think I'm stuck with this one. SPLITTING NAILS C I would really love to have long strong nails. I'll promise myself to manicure them regularly and take some vitamin and mineral supplements to strengthen them. CELLULITE ON THIGHS I/P/C? I'm not sure how to get rid of it, but I can't accept it so I'll do what I can. EXCESS HAIR ON MY THIGHS P For the moment I don't really care, but perhaps I'll get my legs waxed before I go on holiday. First, look at the C's. Decide whether you really care enough about the thing to change it. If you do, underline it, and make a mental decision to take action on it. If you don't care enough to do something about it, then it's not worth worrying about any more, so cross it off your list. Now look at the P's and decide whether they are really a possibility - could you afford the expense of professional help? Is the problem really that important to you? Again, either decide to do something about it and begin by making inquiries, or choose to accept it and cross it off your list. Finally, count the number of "impossible" dislikes you are left with. Take another look at yourself in the mirror and this time, beside the first list, make a second list of all the things you do like about yourself. Go on writing things down until your list of likes is at least as long as your list of impossible dislikes. If you run out of things you like then write down the things about yourself which you don't mind. some sample likes might be: EYES People have told me they're nice HANDS I quite like my hands HAIR I like the natural color of my hair LEGS I suppose my legs aren't too bad, although I could lose some weight from my thighs. Make a decision to begin to appreciate and accentuate your positive features and not dwell on your dislikes. The more you focus on your good points, the less you'll notice or even care about your dislikes.

Psychic Scrub

Psychic Scrub

When it comes to rejuvenation on an emotional and spiritual level, the most powerful way there is to liberate life energy is simply to tell the truth. This means nothing more than allowing yourself to be what you are, without the pretensions or self-limiting assumptions that can unconsciously block the experience of being fully alive and able to make full use of your potentials. Far too much vitality lies stillborn beneath patterns of addictive behavior, fear, and heavy psychological baggage - the kind of stuff we all carry around with us to thwart our energy and make simply being who we are hard work. life energy thwarted The physical, emotional, spiritual and social environment in which most of us grow up rarely supports the full unfolding of our individual nature. As a result, like a plant trying to develop in depleted soil with too little rain and too little sun, each of us develops our own brand of disharmony and distortion. We may try to change ourselves to be what we think others want us to be, or we bury deep inside us all our fears, disappointments and frustrations lest they rock the boat of our day-to-day lives. Every past experience, all thoughts, perceptions and fears, can become encoded within the molecular structures of the body in the form of layer after layer of old "stress". Later on in life such `encoding' can manifest as muscle tension, metabolic processes that don't function as well as they should, negative thought patterns and recurring emotions such as fear, anxiety or depression. This happens to all of us to some degree. When we carry around a lot of old stress we can also gradually develop a lack of trust in ourselves, a lack of confidence, or a feeling of being unworthy or guilty. We can even end up burdened by a sense of meaninglessness which leads to addiction, or greed for material things, so that no matter how much we acquire we never fill up our emptiness. polishing the lens of perception At the core - at the very center of our being - beneath whatever physical, emotional or mental rubbish we have accumulated, is where true freedom is to be found. Rediscovering this freedom is essential for rejuvenation. It asks that we let go of distorted habit patterns, fears and frustrations which have developed over the years, and gradually reassert our trust in our essential self. The false ideas, notions and habit patterns that suppress and squander our life energy make us highly susceptible to early aging. They represent psychic and spiritual rubbish which is not only a big energy drainer but can cause as much free radical damage as living on junk food or taking drugs. The wonderful thing about the psyche is that, like the body, given half the chance it will detoxify itself so that life-changing psychic and spiritual energy is released. Psychic detoxification brings a spiritual rejuvenation in its wake that can echo throughout your whole life, adding the freshness of a child's vision to the wisdom you have developed over the years. There are many ways to go about it. Good psychotherapy can help. So can meditation, certain energy approaches to exercise such as Chi Chung, Tai Chi, Yoga and martial arts practices - provided they are taught with a real understanding of the spiritual power that underlies them. But one of the simplest to learn, yet most effective ways of doing this is by autogenic training. It costs nothing but a little time to learn the technique. Once learned, a daily practice of five or ten minutes a day over time can clear away psychological blocks and lift off stresses that have been locked deep within for a lifetime.

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 13,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 13 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 8th of May 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.75 lb
for women
-1.27 lb
for men
-0.75 lb
for women
-1.27 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 8th of May 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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