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449 articles in 6 major categories

Laugh Hard

Laugh Hard

Laughter and humor are much needed in the over-serious world of health and beauty, a world which tends to measure health not as joyous energy and creativity but in terms of cholesterol levels, blood pressure and sedimentation rates. The irony is, that according to the latest research into the mind body relationship, a life which sparkles with laughter is not only good for you because it feels good, it can also help look after the state of your blood pressure, immune system and cholesterol levels. Some researchers believe laughter can help look after the state of your blood pressure, immune system and cholesterol levels far better than high powered medical care and drugs. Drugs, after all, have deeply worrying side effects. The worst of laughter's side effects is joy. When we laugh we shed feelings of judgment, self pity and blame. Our perception shifts and we come to know another level of consciousness. Laughter deepens your breathing, expands blood vessels, heightens circulation bringing more oxygen to your cells, increases the secretion of hormones beneficial to your body, speeds tissue healing and helps stabilize bodily functions. A new philosophy is emerging from studies carried out in France and Canada by philosopher Andre Moreau on the notion that one should seek in all philosophical teachings the keys for releasing innate human tendencies towards humor, laughter and positive energies. It is known as "Jovialiste" which advocates the practice of smiling as a free expression of human vitality and creativity. Meanwhile, hospitals both in the United States and Europe are even prescribing laughter in the form of Jerry Lewis and Marks Brother's films, humorous books and any other simple triggers to put patients into a blissful state of spontaneous giggles. life on the flip side The way that emotions and health are closely related has been investigated for many years. The scientific press is full of papers which show the way that negative emotions such as anger, resentment, fear and despair are major factors in the development of serious illness from cancer to coronary heart disease. Scientists have charted direct pathways between mind and immunity via anatomical connections that link the brain directly to organs such as the spleen and the thymus gland. They have also shown that hormonal secretions induced by emotions and thought patterns create a second pathway between mind and body which is carried on the blood, and there is strong evidence that excess adrenaline from high levels of stress can significantly depress the body's immune system. But until recently most of the focus of mind-body research has been on the negative. Now, thanks to the new fascination with laughter, many scientists are beginning to investigate the biochemical changes brought about by positive emotions and encouraging their use as tools for health and healing. Researchers now find that laughter, relaxation, meditation and hope not only produce beneficial changes such as lowered heart rate and breathing, they can even improve the way your body responds to stress hormones, and bring about a shift in your perception of potentially stressful situations so you can look on them as challenges rather than as insurmountable problems - a vital attitude in preserving and enhancing the health of your mind and body. One of the very best things of all about laughter is that it breaks through the tendency each of us has to take our self and our values too seriously. It breaks down the roles we play and liberates the self locked within. It is our tendency to identify with our own self-created image, fears, beliefs and assumptions that takes us away from the joy which we believe is normal for each of us to feel. Give yourself a chance to laugh, and it will make you feel more alive, healthier and more beautiful. learn to laugh Seek out and spend time with people who make you laugh - often. Look for books that make you laugh, and keep a file of cartoons and magazine articles which you can share with your friends. Learn to be silly sometimes - like a child. Maybe join a drama class where they do improvisation, or make friends with children who still remember how to laugh and play and let them be your teachers.

End Fear Of Aging

End Fear Of Aging

We have inherited an albatross. It hangs about our necks in the form of a widely accepted, negative, highly destructive view of aging. It’s ugly and simply untrue. Now is the time to explode any false beliefs you may carry about aging—time to reveal amazing truths which lie buried beneath them. NATURE’S RULES Like a beautifully designed engine, your body has been created to live a long and healthy life fueled by nature’s own molecules, not by “drug therapy.” Driven by powerful corporate entities, for more than a century, mainstream medicine has been doling out artificial chemical drugs to suppress symptoms while making little progress towards improving health or slowing age degeneration. Prescribing potentially dangerous drugs in the belief that they can improve the long-term wellbeing of your body year-by year has turned out to be a fruitless task. Back in 377 BC, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, wrote “Natural forces are the healers of disease.” Nothing has changed since then. It’s time to take a whole new view of the aging process, to discard false beliefs and learn the art of ageless aging. It’s also time to celebrate the process together. QUESTION EVERYTHING In the 1970s and 80s, when interest in gerontology—the study of aging—began to be supported by government funding, age researchers fell into a mire of confusion, primarily because they lacked any conceptual foundation for understanding the nature of aging in its many facets—biological, psychological, and spiritual. They became obsessed with disability, disease, and chronological age instead of seeing the experience of aging as a whole, in all of its positive as well as its negative aspects. Since then, the media has come to focus on the weakness and pathos of the elderly. Scientific literature on gerontology is still obsessed with the issues of nursing home admissions, frailty, and the economic costs of looking after our impaired elders. It is all part of the negative obsession that we as a society seem to have developed with aging. As a result, very little accurate information has become available to bring us a positive understanding of how human beings can function effectively in later life. IGNORE THE LIES How long you live rests largely in your own hands. So does how well you live, how much vitality you have and how good you will look in 20 years’ time. Ageless aging is not an accident of fate. Neither is it heavily dependent on the kind of medical care you get, nor on your genetic inheritance, although certainly both have a part to play. It depends upon how you choose, right here, right now, to live your life from here on out. And this is regardless of how much self-neglect you have poured on yourself in the past. Almost everybody has heard of death curses. Psychological literature is laced with accounts of how Aboriginal witch doctors have brought about the death of the young and healthy by cursing them. No sooner do these people learn of the fate which has been cast for them than they begin inexplicably to sicken and eventually to die. It appears that through complex biological processes, their simple belief in the curse brings about destruction of their organism. LAY THE GHOST In so-called civilized society, we look upon such phenomena as anthropological curiosities—products of primitive superstition which simply don't touch us in our more enlightened age. What we are not aware of, however, is that most of us in the civilized world live under our own brand of “death curses”. They may be subtler than those issued by witch doctors, but they can be every bit as potent in bringing about the physical and mental decline which we have come to associate with aging. Common, unconscious notions such as “retirement”, “middle-age”, “It's all downhill after 40” and “At your age you must start taking things more easily”, are widely held. They can exert a powerful effect on the process of aging by creating destructive self-fulfilling expectations about age decline. Instead of facing the future full of confidence and excitement about what lies ahead, optimism is replaced by anxiety as we are warned to “Be careful”, or “Don't take chances on a new career at your age.” Most of us hold a lot of false notions about aging and life expectancy. These ghosts need to be laid before we can make ageless aging a workable part of our lives, for they are truly legends of the fall, and like many false legends, they carry the warning that if you believe in them, the belief itself goes a long way to making them true. So deeply entrenched are these negative legends in the worldview of our culture that each one needs to be examined quite carefully before we can begin to transform them. TO HELL WITH LIES To most people in the West, old age brings ghastly images of decrepitude—not pictures of vigorous and sexually active old men and women intensively involved in work and looking forward to what comes next. The potential for creativity and enjoyment which is wasted in age-degeneration in the developed countries of the world is shocking. So is the cost to the state in providing medical treatment, hospitalization, food and care for people for whom aging has become a nightmare of physical pain and emotional isolation. Few of us even come close to fulfilling our psychobiological potentials. Instead we look forward to a steady and inexorable increase in morbidity and mortality from one disease to another. Applying the principles of ageless aging, however, will give you a very different view. For the same principles which help keep your skin smooth, your muscles firm and your vitality and creativity high can also reduce the incidence of chronic disease and postpone degenerative illnesses so that if they occur at all, they come only very late in life. BASIC PRINCIPLES So much for the myths of aging. The next time you find yourself grunting when you get out of a chair, or refusing to play run-around after a young niece or nephew on the grounds that you are too old, think again. Forget the myths and remember three important facts: FACT ONE: It is biological—not chronological—age that matters. FACT TWO: by improving your ability to adapt to stressors and maintain physiological balance and function, you can effectively prevent accelerated aging and the degenerative diseases associated with it. FACT THREE: There is even better news. Even when negative changes in your body have already taken place, by making alterations to the way you live and eat, many —in most people even all—of these changes can be reversed. This means that in medically measurable terms—the hard-core parameters doctors use to register health and degeneration such as cholesterol levels, fasting blood sugar, insulin levels, triglycerides, blood pressure and all the rest—aging can now be reversed, rejuvenating your body and de-aging your life. What was once a pipe-dream, followed by rich eccentrics who had themselves injected with monkey glands or drank snake blood in an effort to grow younger, has become a real possibility. It can be done right here, right now. For me, these three facts add up to the most exciting information to come out of 20th century science related to establishing and maintaining high level health. For the first time in history, ageless aging is possible for each of us—a journey into wholeness, authenticity and fulfilment. What could be better than that? SACRED TRUTHS Your body is a multi-dimensional organism, not a machine: We are body, mind and spirit—so interrelated that they cannot be separated. Each of us is an utterly unique being. Health at its most profound level is a full expression of that uniqueness in everything we are and do. By improving our ability to adapt to stressors and maintain physiological balance and function, we can effectively prevent accelerated aging as well as most degenerative diseases associated with it. Where negative changes in the body have already taken place, most can be reversed. This is measured by hard-core parameters doctors use such as cholesterol levels, fasting blood sugar, insulin levels, triglycerides, blood pressure and all the rest. Natural methods work best for regeneration and rejuvenation. It’s time to learn to live and think in ways that encourage the best possible expression of our genes. Regeneration is a process by which the body and psyche rid themselves of whatever does not support the highest levels of gene expression, strengthen physical vitality, and empower greater expression of your authentic nature. By living out our unique biological, spiritual and creative potentials, we not only fulfil ourselves, we also bring the greatest gifts we have to offer our family, our community and the world as a whole. Of all the subjects that you asked me most often to write about, how to age beautifully tops the bill. I’m glad. Since I am now 74, I have learned a lot about all of this. So I plan in the weeks and months that lay ahead to send you a number of weekly newsletters and release a number of Sacred Truth videos on how to make practical use of ageless aging principles in your own life, regardless of your age. Be sure to sign up so you can receive them. I look forward to sharing all of this and more with you in the future.

Revelations From An African Sky

Revelations From An African Sky

I once spent the night lying on a platform above an animal watering hole, staring into the vastness of space beholding the great, fathomless mystery of the African sky. Aaron, my youngest son, then three years old, lay curled up next to me like a kitten lost in his dreams. Dazzled by the inconceivable expanse of the sky whose darkness was so overcome with the light from billions of stars that lived in it, I lost myself in timelessness and infinity. That night, I came not to think or to wonder but to know, with absolute certainty in every cell and molecule of my body, that this cosmic world was not something separate from myself, nor I from it. We were, in a way I will never be able to understand rationally, one being. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. Like the proverbial iceberg, most of us live with the lion’s share of our potential for freedom, joy, creativity and authentic power submerged beneath a sea of unknowing. We go about our day-to-day duties and pleasures conscious only of what comes to us through our five senses. How does it taste and feel? What does it sound like? What do we see in front of our eyes? Meanwhile, beneath the vast ocean of consciousness that constitutes what it is to be fully human, our greater selves hibernate, waiting to be awakened. Sometimes—when we fall in love perhaps, or when we are faced with an event of life-shattering proportions like a critical illness or the death of a close friend—a submerged area of our being erupts in magic or horror, and often in surges of passion, energy and beauty. Then, for a time, the mundane quality of everyday life is replaced with a sense of expanded being. Not only do we feel more alive, we wake up to find that familiar things—the tree that stands outside a bedroom window, the cat that greets us when we come home each day, a simple shell we picked up and slipped into our pocket while walking on the beach—have taken on a luminosity which we can’t explain. Other times, without warning while listening to music or walking down a city street, we are suddenly gripped with a sense that the world is far greater than we ever imagined it to be, and a certainty that all we see around us somehow is us. While the experience lasts, everything seems right in the world. Then, like the sun at the point of setting, everything fades beneath the mundane horizon, leaving only the faintest wisp of color to remind us that we once stood in its glory, felt its rays on our bodies and knew that being at one with the universe brings a sense of meaning to our own life and to the lives of others that is simply indescribable. The greatest desire I have is to live my life conscious of the oneness to which we all belong. After all, the magnificence of that African sky not only stretches out to infinity above us, it lies within us, calling to us—asking us to discover that it is who we are.

Sacred Truth Ep. 47: Statins

Sacred Truth Ep. 47: Statins

I continue to be horrified by guidelines issued by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, which speak of giving statin drugs to healthy people. Meanwhile, draft recommendations from the US Preventive Task Force have issued new directives claiming that healthy people should be taking statin drugs as a “preventative against possible future illness.” Their main plan is to see one third of all adults in the United States are put on statin drugs—44% of all men and 22% of all women—even if none of these people have ever had a previous heart attack or stroke. Statins are the most widely prescribed drugs on the market. One in four Americans over 45 are already on statins, despite more than 900 studies reporting dangerous side effects from these drugs. These range from heightened risks of cancer and diabetes to sexual problems, neuropathy, and liver dysfunction, as well as immune system suppression, and even a higher risk of cataracts. In Britain too, statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs, costing the NMS £450 million a year. Now 40% of adults (175 million people) are being advised to take the drug. If the new directives are put into practice by the UK medical establishment—as they are likely to be—the numbers of men and women being prescribed statins could well become legion. What are statins anyway? Statins are a group of drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. Statins have many different names, such as Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Altocor, and Zocor. These drugs are prescribed on the assumption that they will lower the risks of cardiovascular events and strokes. The new directives assert that, if given to healthy people, they could help protect the population from heart attacks and strokes at some time in the future. Happily, a growing number of cardiologists are strongly opposed to the new directives. What’s the problem with statins? Plenty: They deplete your body of CoQ10, which is essential for every cell in your body, and ubiquinol. Both CoQ10 and ubiquinol keep the so-called bad cholesterol from doing harm to your body. However, very few mainstream doctors are ever aware of these dangers. One exception is cardiologist Steven Sinatra, founder of the New England Heart Center. Sinatra recommends that anyone taking statins should take between 100 and 200 mg of CoQ10 or ubiquinol each day as protection. Statins lower Vitamin K2 in the body. This puts you at risk of deficiency of this vitamin, which contributes to chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, cancer, and brain disease. Long-term statin use—10 years or so—has been shown to increase your risk of diabetes, neurogenerative diseases, musculoskeletal problems, and even cataracts. Dr. Eric Topol, highly respected cardiologist and Professor of Genomics at Scripps Research Institute in California, wrote an excellent article for The New York Times Opinion Page in which he warns: “We’re overdosing on cholesterol-lowering statins.” Topol is especially concerned about the sharp increase in the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes that is occurring in people using them. He writes: “Statins have been available since the 1980s but their risk of inducing diabetes did not surface for nearly 20 years. When all the data available from multiple studies was pooled in 2010 for more than 91,000 patients randomly assigned to be treated with a statin or a sugar pill (placebo), the risk of developing diabetes with any statin was one in every 255 patients treated. But this figure is misleading since it includes weaker statins like Pravachol and Mevacor—which were introduced earlier and do not carry any clear-cut risk. It is only with the more potent statins—Zocor (now known as simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), and Crestor (rosuvastatin)—particularly at higher doses—that the risk of diabetes shows up. The cause and effect was unequivocal because the multiple large trials of the more potent statins had a consistent excess of diabetes.” Meanwhile, a recent study by Jean A. McDougall and her colleagues in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reveals that long-term use of statins increases the risk of both lobular and ductal breast cancer in women between 55 and 74. I am no doctor, but what I have learned during my more than forty years of writing and broadcasting on health is this: When a body is restored to healthy functioning naturally, the need for medication is either dramatically reduced or, more often than not, eliminated altogether. Statins, like most pharmaceuticals, only mask symptoms—they do not heal. Only nature can heal from within. My advice to anyone thinking of accepting the new directives is this: Before you agree to take statins, research the implications of doing so. Learn as much as you can about statin drugs. There are excellent natural alternatives, such as inexpensive dietary changes. So, if your doctor wants to prescribe statins for you, you can be sure you have done your homework. Then you’ll know yourself if these drugs are appropriate for you. Chances are they are not. Here are a few recommendations for where to start your research: U-T San Diego “Doctors assail new guidelines for statins: 18 November, 2013 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Published Online First July 5, 2013; doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0414 http://www.greenmedinfo.com/toxic-ingredient/statin-drugs. This is an excellent compilation of dangers from statin drugs, with links to abstracts. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24052188 Association of statin use with cataracts: a propensity score-matched analysis. This is a good source of information on the use of statins for the elderly. A. Sultan and N. Hynes, "The Ugly Side of Statins. Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-Known Unknowns," Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 179-185. doi: 10.4236/ojemd.2013.33025.

Hair Help

Hair Help

There are a lot of things you can do for your hair and with your hair to make it more attractive, and more manageable, but it is important to realize from the beginning that you have to work with what you've got. There is no way to change your genetic inheritance, and it is fruitless to worry about it. No woman is ever satisfied with her hair. When it is straight, she wants it curly, and when it is wavy, she wants it straight. The color is either too light, too dark, or too drab, and she either has too much or too little of it. what type are you? Straight hair is often strong and beautiful hair. It can be lank, in which case you should work it with a `stripping' shampoo which will enlarge the shaft of each hair and make it look fuller. If it is lackluster, go for a conditioner to make the scales of the cuticle lie flat and enable hair shafts to reflect light better. Straight hair is often good blunt cut and worn not too long, or tied up in a twist, a braid, or a chignon. Curly hair needs to be carefully cut, for this can make all the difference between its looking fantastic and frizzy. It is best not to impose a particular style on your hair, but rather to go with the natural swing of things. If your hair tends to be wiry, you can correct this by using a softening conditioner. Thin hair must never be allowed to get greasy, for excess of oil on it will only make it look limp and lank. It is usually best to have it cut in a short style, and it is useful to shampoo it often using a shampoo that contains no conditioners, and then use a volumizer - a spray or gel containing polymers which you apply to wet hair before blow-drying. The heat from the dryer swells the polymers that cover the hair shaft, making it look thicker. This will give it bounce and fullness. Blowing it dry helps increase the fullness too. Fine hair is delicate hair, but it is usually beautiful hair, too, like a baby's. Unlike thin hair, which is caused by a paucity of hair shafts, fine hair is made up of hair shafts of small diameter. You have to be particularly careful about what you do to it, because fine hair is the easiest of all hair types to damage from chemical treatments such as coloring or by using shampoos that are too alkaline, or by exposing it to heat or even the sun. Fine hair does well on protein shampoos and needs to be cut superbly and worn short unless you have a great deal of it. Volumizers are useful here, too. Thick hair is a blessing, although few women who have it realize this - particularly if their hair is curly. In this case, you should probably not wear it too short, or it can be unmanageable. Thick hair is the easiest to handle and the toughest. It will withstand chemical treatments and coloring far better than any of the other hair types and may not even need a conditioner at all when it is washed. If it is straight and you decide to have it chemically curled then you should expect the waving process to take at least a third as long again as it usually does, because the hair shaft is big and tough to break down. But the effects can last you as much as a year, where anyone else's will have to be renewed in a few months. hair loss Each day, you can expect to lose between 100 and 200 hairs. So you shouldn't be discouraged when you look down at the pillow in the morning to see a few lying there. This only means that new hairs will quickly be growing. That is, provided your hair is not coming out by the handful. Sometimes, as a result of sudden shock, hormonal change, or illness, large numbers of hairs are lost all at once. Even this is nothing to worry about unduly, so long as whatever triggered the loss is either past (as in the case of childbirth) or being corrected with a relaxation technique and dietary supplements for undue stress or illness. the cut is the thing A good cut is more important than any other single factor when it comes to the way a head of hair looks. Everyone is an individual, and hairstyling that doesn't take this into account is worse than second-rate. Changing your cut or style every year or two keeps you from getting stuck in a time warp and can lift spirits like nothing else short of falling in love. hair cosmetics perms There are two types of perms: acid-based which are soft and used to give a subtle lift at the roots to create an illusion of fullness; and the conventional alkaline perms. Acid or `body' perms don't last as long as the rest and need to be redone every three or four months. They are more natural and soft-looking, adding fullness and swing to hair without heavy curls. caring for processed hair Provided your hair is healthy and you look after it well after a perm, there is no reason to worry about its condition being spoiled by the waving. A perm will add a lot of body to lank hair and can often improve an over-oily condition as well. Once your hair is waved, it is more vulnerable to damage than ever before, so there are a few special precautions you need to take in order to preserve its health and sheen. For instance only use acid-balanced shampoos when you wash your hair, and always apply an acid rinse such as lemon juice in water. Protein treatments are particularly good for permed and colored hair. Also, instead of brushing 50 strokes a day, cut it down to 20. If your hair has been bleached or tinted, it is a good idea only to have an acid wave especially designed for bleached or damaged hair. They don't last so long, but they do ensure that the hair remains in good condition. straightening hair Aside from chemical straightening, there are also some short-term but simple ways to straighten hair. It can be done by blow-drying with a brush to smooth it out or by washing your hair and then wrapping it wet around your head in a circle, like a cap, fastening it with clips and letting it dry. Then, when it is dry, you simply comb it out straighter. You can use hair straighteners, and you could always use the old-fashioned and very efficient method for long, curly hair -  simply ironing it with an electric iron. Spread the hair out on a board, keep the iron on the lowest setting, and go over it gently from roots to ends. But the same applies as for blow drying and using heated rollers - be careful not to put too much heat on your hair. Burnt hair is irretrievably lost. a change of color One of the simplest and most effective ways of changing your appearance is to change the color of your hair. As we get older, the color of hair tends to fade so that a once shimmery golden mane or deep mahogany tresses can become lackluster and dull. Hair coloring these days is effective and reasonably priced and can look even better than most natural hair - provided, of course, it is done correctly. There are two categories of hair colorants: permanent colorants, which cannot be washed out, and the temporary and semipermanent, which can be used to highlight and intensify your own hair color. temporary colorants These are the easiest to use. They coat the cuticle of the hair with color that washes away with the next shampoo. You can get temporary highlighting shampoos and color rinses in a great variety of colors and most of them have a shine-promoting pH, too. But what you can do with them is limited, for while they will darken the hair - say from blonde to red or to black - they are really designed for minor color changes only. If you try to go too many shades away from your natural color, they tend to streak and give uneven coverage and also they cannot make your hair lighter. semipermanents Like the temporaries, they, too, coat the outside of the hair shaft and so are not good for drastically changing hair color. Nor will they lighten. Some of the semi-permanents are `color baths' which penetrate the hair so that they last up to a dozen shampoos. What they are good for is touching up hair that has just started to go gray, highlighting your own natural coloring, and making gray hair look shinier and more attractive without really changing its shade. If you use one, be sure to use a pH-balanced shampoo and a lemon and water rinse afterwards. permanents There are three kinds of permanent hair colorants: vegetable dyes such as henna, metallic dyes such as those used to gradually cover gray hair, and the aniline dyes or oxidation tints, which include most of the colorants used professionally in salons. vegetable dyes Henna will give brunette and black hair a lovely reddish glow.  The darker your hair the more chestnut is the effect. Lighter hair goes Titian. Henna does not do well on mousy hair, as the resulting tone is usually an unattractive orange. It should never be used over a tint, is no good on gray hair, and can be very drying to any hair, so it is better to avoid it if your hair is already dry. The only color of henna you should use is red which in its natural, powder form, is a pale green. The standard way of using henna is to add hot water to make a creamy paste and then put this on the hair and leave it for up to one hour. Daniel Galvin, Britain's top colorist, who is an expert in the use of herbal hair colorings, uses a different method and gets beautiful results. He adds hot black coffee to the powder, mixes it into a paste, and then adds the juice of a fresh lemon and the yolk of an egg. The coffee brings out the depth and richness of the hair color, the acid in the lemon accelerates the reddening, and the egg yolk keeps the mixture moist and easy to maneuver through the hair. Sometimes he also adds some 10 per cent peroxide to lighten the whole effect. Chamomile, another herbal colorant, has a gentle lightening effect on hair and is wonderful for `sun-streaking' blonde and light brown hair. But you must be patient, for it takes several applications and plenty of time to work. It is not useful for brown hair or dark hair, but it will gently lighten red and works beautifully on all shades of natural blonde. The herb also adds shine to the hair. You can make a chamomile rinse to use after each shampoo (as the last rinse) by taking 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers and tossing them into a pint of boiling water. Simmer for fifteen minutes, strain, cool and use as a final rinse (you can make enough for several rinses and refrigerate it for up to ten days). You leave the rinse in your hair and towel it dry. metallic dyes These are often called color restorers. They deposit metallic dyes and salts of various metals such as manganese, cobalt, silver, and copper on your hair shaft, which gradually darken the hair. But hair dyed this way does not perm well, nor is its condition very good, as this kind of dye tends to make the hair look a dull, flat color. Metallic dyes have to be removed completely, with the use of a special preparation, several days before waving or tinting with a permanent colorant. Because of their many disadvantages, I think they are best avoided. THE ANILINE OR OXIDATION COLORANTS The most permanent (and the most successful), these dyes are included in a number of products for coloring hair such as tinting shampoos, highlighting shampoos, and the single-step and double-step permanent colorants you can buy in packages at the chemist. They are permanent dyes, because the artificial pigment is made to penetrate into the cortex of the hair shaft. There it stays. How this happens is most interesting. Tiny molecules of colorless dye are mixed with a "developer" such as hydrogen peroxide and then put on the hair. The hydrogen peroxide opens up the imbrications of the cuticle, and the molecules enter through them into the cortex. Once inside, they react with the oxygen from the peroxide (a very unstable substance), which spurs the molecules of the dye to oxidize and combine, forming larger molecules. In the process, these new and larger molecules develop the desired color, but they have now become so large that they can no longer pass through the cuticle, so they get stuck on the inside. There are more than 50,000 aniline dyes, each different in shade, thanks to slight changes in arrangements of their molecules. They are potent and effective. They are also potential allergens, since about one woman in ten cannot tolerate an aniline dye without reacting adversely to it. This is why it is important, whenever using a permanent colorant on your hair either at home or at the hairdresser, that a patch test be done first. The anilines can even cause blindness, so they should never be used to tint eyelashes or eyebrows. If you have your hair dyed with an aniline dye, you must wait at least a week before having it permanent-waved or straightened, and you must use a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner every time you wash it. One of the advantages of the anilines is that tinting limp, straight hair can often make it more manageable, since the peroxide in the dye disturbs the cuticle just enough to give the hair some body and eliminate its lankness. In this category of hair colorant you will find shampoo tints and highlight shampoos, which can be used at home to cover gray if there is too much of it, to lighten hair a couple of shades, to add depth, or to highlight hair that is drab and dull. You put the products on as you would an ordinary shampoo and then leave them in the hair for a few minutes while the peroxide and dye does its work, and then rinse off. They are simple to use. The single and double-step tints also fall into this category. They are the dyes most frequently used by hairdressers. If you want to change the color of your hair dramatically, you should have it done professionally. There is quite an art to color mixing and application (I know women who literally fly 5,000 miles to have their color done by someone who is a real master at it). Although there are some excellent products available for home use, if it were my hair, I would still shun them and head for a salon that specializes in color. The single-step tints are a mixture of aniline dyes, peroxide, and ammonia in an oil base. They are applied carefully to sectioned hair, starting an inch or so away from the roots to the end. The hair is left to sit for a few minutes and then the root area is done. The hair is rested for another half hour or so. These dyes can change the color of your hair to almost any other color, but they are not successful in changing very dark shades to blonde. For that, you need a two-step tint, which bleaches out the existing pigment in the hair shafts in the first step and then adds dye separately in the second. All aniline dyes and bleaching procedures have to be touched up often as the roots grow out, particularly if you change the color drastically from your normal hair shade. They also cause considerable damage to the hair shaft. If you have your hair tinted with them; you must look after it using a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner and having a protein treatment every couple of weeks. HIGHLIGHTS One of the best and most easily manageable ways of changing your hair color is to have it highlighted or lowlighted. This involves the same procedures as the single-and double-step tinting, but instead of being done all over your head, they are done only on some strands or areas. Highlighting and lowlighting are particularly useful for older hair that has darkened or faded. Highlights can bring new life to a head of hair by lightening some of the strands, but they create no harsh lines between the tinted and natural hair at the scalp, as total dyeing does. Lowlights add a color slightly darker to some strands. They are done just as highlights are by wrapping strands of hair in foil-covered bunches, letting the color develop and then being washed out. Both highlights and lowlights look natural and as they leave no hard-edged margins at the roots so they only need to be redone three or four times a year. This means that you don't need touchups more frequently than every two or three months. There are an enormous number of techniques used in highlighting. Some of the most interesting involve three or more colors put into the hair to give a remarkably natural look. SPECIAL CARE FOR BLEACHED OR TINTED HAIR The golden rule for processed hair is to stay out of the sun. The sun does harm in two ways: It dries out the hair, and it alters the color. Keratin needs water to stay soft and flexible. When too much water is lost as a result of sun or of using heated rollers or of blow-drying too often, then its fibres crack and split and the hair becomes so dry and brittle that it breaks off. It also loses its shine. Sunlight does strange things to hair color by oxidising it. It can turn it greenish or very brassy, or simply make the tint go flat and gray. If you are going into the sun and your hair is bleached or tinted, wear a hat or a towel wrapped around it. Even virgin - that is, untreated - hair needs protection from sunlight. You can use one of the sunscreen products especially made for hair or simply rub in some of the high-protection suntan lotion you use on your body shampooing it out at the end of the day. WHAT ABOUT CANCER RISKS? There is some indication that about 1 percent of the chemical hair dyes used on hair will penetrate through the skin and be absorbed into the bloodstream. The question is, what damage will they do? Professor Bruce Ames, at the University of California, has tested 169 hair dyes on bacterial cells to find out if they cause mutations to the cells. Of these, 89 percent were found to be mutagenic. Although all carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) are mutagenic, not all mutagens are carcinogens, nor do we know if the same results will occur on human cells. The people most at risk from exposure to hair tints are those hair colorists in salons who use them daily without wearing gloves (something you should never do). It is unlikely that cancer risks are very great for the average woman who has her hair tinted. If you are uneasy about it, use one of the semipermanents or herbal dyes instead.

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.

The Sound Of Silence

The Sound Of Silence

Silence. Solitude. These words strike fear into the post-modern heart. We forget the power of escaping for a time into sanctuary, of listening to our breath, the sound of the wind in the trees, or the heartbeat of the earth. There are too many phone calls to be made, meetings to attend, children’s noses to wipe, newspapers to read. Yet solitude has much to teach us. NEW WORLDS AWAIT It takes courage to become a learner again. It asks that you trust enough in life to drop for a time all you know (or think you know) and retreat for a day, a week, even only half an hour just to be—quietly receptive to whatever arises from within or around you: the intense blue of a tiny flower which sears your senses burning away every concern for daily life; a wild thought—and where did that come from? The fragrance of cinnamon sprinkled on a bowl of homemade yogurt. Such things go unnoticed unless we spend enough time alone to experience them. The word “alone” was once treated as two words: all one. To be all one meant to be wholly oneself—all of one piece. This is the great gift of sanctuary. Practiced daily, silence and solitude heal confusion and mend the frazzled nerves that riddle modern life. Getting away from it all to sit on a rock or at a window and gaze at the sky, or look into the dance of our own mind, helps you come home to yourself. It allows the magnificent wildness of your intrinsic being to converse with your rational side. HEAR THE CALL FROM WITHIN Take a dozen steps into the solemn silence of a rainforest or simply of your own body. As you enter this mysterious twilight, you are immersed in past and future. You become part of a primeval world where all life feeds upon itself in a perfect balance of dark accord. You can watch as the whole history of creation is being played out before you, around you, beneath you and you feel part of it. Here, the profusion of plants, insects, fungi, and the bacteria they contain is wild power in its most concentrated form. Our rainforests are the main repository of the earth's gene pool. They are a source of almost infinitely rich morphic fields which have evolved over billions of years. They are also the most important natural resource we have. Wild virgin land carries a spiritual power which makes not only the human soul but the soul of plants and animals, rocks and mountains sing. Rainforests offer the living organisms of our planet a high degree of primordial life energy necessary for the perpetuation of their life. So it is within your own body. You not only live in the universe. You are the universe—the rainforest, the stars and the moon, the seas and the rocks and the sky. They are not only outside of you; they are within each one of us. This is a secret which few have as yet discovered. For we humans have, literally for eons, been trained to think of ourselves as less than what in truth we are—holders of immense creativity and compassion—able to do whatever we long to do at the deepest levels of our being. DISCOVERY BEGINS HERE I am asking you to put aside ten minutes of every day in which you enter the sanctuary of your own being to sit or walk in silence. Let yourself to become aware of how silence acts upon you. Is this something you are comfortable with, or something you try to avoid? Can you sense that there is a richness here that you have not yet tapped? The magnificence and the wonder of the rainforest lies not only in its beauty, but in the ordered splendor of its wildness. It is a wildness which you can palpably feel as you walk beneath its dark canopy of life. Making my way amidst the tangled vines which drip with moisture in this living sea of a thousand shades of green has always filled me with wonder, and made me realize just how far we have moved away from experiencing our own wildness in our urbanized, self-centered, mechanistic 21st century world. It makes me conscious of how desperately we need to reconnect with the creativity, power and wildness in ourselves, learn to trust it and live our lives from our own unique individual truths. INTENTION AND REALIZATION Energy always follows your intention. In shamanic practices most often we use a drum or a rattle to expand consciousness. I love the sound of the drum and the rattle yet I often journey into expanded realms by way of silence alone. I love simply focusing my intention, on whatever purpose I have chosen to follow, then allowing it to unfold, without having to rely on anything external. I believe it’s important that each of us develops this skill—otherwise we can end up like Dumbo when his friend the mouse gave him a feather to hold in his trunk as a talisman to make him believe that he could fly. The little floppy-eared elephant was under the mistaken belief that it was the feather that held the power to fly, when truly it lay within himself. The feather was only a reminder of this. And it was only when he accidentally dropped it that he discovered the truth. This is what you too will be discovering as you journey into the sacred silence. It takes a little practice, but the practice itself is fascinating, and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. It is all a question of living in the moment and allowing yourself to become aware of what is happening within and around you. HERE’S HOW Sit or lie comfortably, watching your breath go in and out of your body. Become aware of the way your breath moves. Is it cooler as you feel it come in through your nose? Warmer when it is exhaled? Now become conscious of your body. Allow any muscle tension simply to sink into the floor beneath you so that you feel deeply connected with the earth. Whenever you are ready, state your intention for your journey into expanded awareness. It might be to restore your energy, to discover more about the nature of reality, to awaken your creative power, connect with the world of nature, or any other desire you have just now. · You do all this silently. Now gently repeat your intention again and again, until you begin to sense a shift away from your thinking mind into your feeling heart. This can take you to a place of absolute stillness. Let yourself to go deep, deep, deeper within. Allow yourself to follow all the way back through time. Let yourself experience your connectedness with the wild evolutionary power that burst forth at the birth of the universe, if you will. This power is your power. You are the universe, just as the universe is you. What does it feel like? Exciting? Wonderful? Crazy? Wild? It is all these things as you are. Then, when you are ready, let yourself come back into ordinary reality, and record what you have experienced. When recording your journey into the sound of silence, put pen to paper and simply write about your experience, whatever it has been, for at least 15 minutes. Let the words flow without ever picking up the pen from the paper. This practice creates a flow that allows you not to edit what has arisen from the deepest layers of your being. When you are ready, give thanks to the universe for what it is, and to yourself for being everything you are. The more you practice this little exercise, the more you can come to know the truth of your own being and the richer your life can become. Do share with me your own experience entering the sound of silence practice if you’d like. I’d love to hear from you about it.

How Savvy Are You About Soy?

How Savvy Are You About Soy?

For generations, we’ve been urged to eat soy-based foods. We’ve been told that soy foods are great for our own health and the health of our families. In fact, in the late 90s, soy became every aggressive marketer’s dream. The ignorant FDA informed the entire world that “Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol which include 25 grams of soy protein may reduce the risk of heart disease.” This was another of their potentially dangerous pronouncements. As if from nowhere, soy food sales skyrocketed, rising from $300 million a year to an astounding $4 billion by 2006. Thanks to massive advertising campaigns, the whole world started swallowing soy foods, drinks, powdered sports supplements and oils, as well as a thousand other soy products which every one of us would have been better off without. Of course, Monsanto loved it and started growing GMO soy everywhere they could get away with it. Did you realize that as much as 95% of all soybeans in the world are now genetically modified? The last thing you want to do is feed yourself or your children on GMO anything. Not only this, but soy foods are incompatible with your body for all sorts of other reasons too. Most soy grown nowadays contains dangerous quantities of glyphosate—the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. Soy is also full of potentially destructive levels of manganese and aluminum—both known to reduce brain function. Even non-GMO soy carries many anti-nutrient inhibitors, known to interfere with the proper functioning of the enzymes needed for good digestion—l.ike hemagglutinin, which causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits your body’s ability to take up oxygen. It also contains goitrogens, which interfere with thyroid functions and phytates, which depress the body’s ability to absorb important minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium. Nevertheless, you will still find soy in one form or another in a majority of the convenience foods and drinks which line our supermarket shelves, including many foods which have nothing to do with soy like ice creams, sausages, breads and sauces. For me, the saddest news is that a huge percentage of babies continue to be fed on soy formula all over the world. When it comes to infant formulas, soy is something you want to avoid at all costs. It is dangerous to your child. The very best care you can give to both yourself and your baby is to breastfeed. If possible, let your child decide when he or she is ready to give up nursing. Your baby will get life-long health gains from breastfeeding. Not to mention that the closeness which develops between the two of you is a lifelong blessing. Here are some of the health benefits that breastfeeding confers upon a child: Decreased risk of obesity Decreased risk of eczema and other skin problems Fewer middle ear infections Better respiration Added protection against diabetes, asthma, allergies and heart disease Improved immune function Better brain function. We’ve long been told that soy must be good for us since Asians consume huge amounts of it. The truth is, the Chinese and Japanese eat surprisingly little soy—on average, only about 10 grams—about to two teaspoons per person—per day. And they eat soy only as a condiment, never as a replacement for animal proteins. The eating of soy foods began during the late Chou dynasty in Japan and China (1134-246 BC). This was only after the Chinese had mastered the art of naturally fermenting soy beans. They began to make foods like tempeh, natto, and tamari, all of which were made from traditionally—read: organically grown— soy beans. These fermented soy products are indeed healthy for you, since fermenting neutralizes the toxins in soybeans. By contrast, eating unfermented soy not only denatures the small quantities of protein soybeans contain, it actually increases the levels of carcinogens present. If you are vegetarian, you’ve probably been told that soy foods provide your body with complete proteins. This is untrue. So is the notion that eating soy foods will supply Vitamin B12 to vegetarian diets. If you wish to eat soy, eat only fermented foods made from organic soybeans: natto, tempeh and tamari. Stay away from all soy milk products which are not fermented and not organic. Vegetarian or not, it’s time to let go of the belief that any soy product will give you all the protein you need to live at a high level of health and resistance to early aging. They won’t. Want to learn more? Check it out online at the Weston A. Price Foundation. There you can discover and learn which naturally fermented soy products are available. http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/

Stress Release

Stress Release

Somewhere inside you is a center of stillness - a wordless, formless space - the home of your self or your soul: There seeds of creativity are sown which later become your ideas and your accomplishments. There in the silence and the darkness, you can begin to listen to your own `inner voice'. You can come to know the difference between what you really want, feel and think, and what habits, false notions and other people's values have been programmed into you. This space - your center - is a place of safety and security. You can move out of it, as you choose, to meet the outside world, form friendships, love and learn. Yet it is a permanent sanctuary to which you can always return when you feel overburdened, tired, confused or in need of new vitality and direction. The key that opens this particular door for most of us is relaxation. By relaxation I mean learning to move at will into a state of deep stillness in which your usual concerns, your habitual thoughts, and the never-ending activity of your daily life are replaced by alert - yet totally passive - awareness. Dipping into such a state even for a few minutes allows many of the physiological changes normally experienced during sleep to take place while your body and mind are revitalized. But it is different from sleep. For, while your body is passive, your mind is highly alert. passive awareness For some people passive awareness occurs spontaneously - often between sleep and wakefulness. It is during this time that their best ideas come and that they experience a sense of harmony both within themselves and in relation to the rest of the world. Most of us, however, have a fear of letting go, thinking that if we give up control of things we won't be able to think clearly and independently or work well, or that someone is likely to put something over on us. In fact, just the opposite is true. When you are able to enter a state of deep relaxation at will, this frees you from patterns of living and thinking to which you tend to be a slave - although usually an unconscious one. It enables you to think more clearly and simply, and to act more directly when action is called for. Another interesting benefit from the daily practice of deep relaxation is a reduction of negative habits such as drug taking - of both prescription and mind-altering drugs - alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. Research carried out in the United States involving 2,000 students between the ages of nineteen and twenty-three who had practiced a form of meditation for periods of between a few months to a couple of years, showed that their dependence on alcohol, drugs and cigarettes dropped sharply. In the first six months of doing the practice, the number of smokers reduced by half . By twenty-one months it was down to one-third. And these changes were entirely spontaneous - at no time was any suggestion made that relaxation or meditation would change any of these habits. bridge your inner and outer world Harvard professor and expert in behavioral medicine, Herbert Benson MD, did the first studies into the effects of Transcendental Meditation many years ago. He has since continued to investigate this state of psychophysical relaxation and has shown that each of us has what he calls the `relaxation response' - a natural ability to experience the relaxed state with all its benefits. All we need to tap into it is a method to turn it on. The possibilities are many. They range from meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, zazen, silent repetition of a word, and autogenic training, to steady aerobic exercise and biofeedback. Each can be useful as a tool for silencing everyday thoughts and for temporarily shutting off habitual ways of seeing the world and doing things. Practice one regularly, and you build a powerful and useful bridge between your inner and outer world. All of them are different. Some will work better for you or be more enjoyable than others. That is why it is worthwhile to try a few different techniques until you discover which ones you prefer. Progressive relaxation is a technique based on the work of Edmund Jacobson; this is an excellent way to begin if you have never done any sort of relaxation or meditation technique before, because it gives most people some sense of what relaxation feels like even the first time you try it. As you repeat your technique (it is best done for fifteen minutes at least twice a day), you will find you enter a state of relaxation that is progressively deeper and deeper. Zazen is one of the simplest ways of meditating, this technique involves nothing more than just being aware of your breathing. But don't be deceived by its simplicity. It is a potent tool for stilling the mind and regenerating the body. And concentrating your awareness on the breath is not as easy as it sounds. 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.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 18,000+ 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 18th of September 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.71 lb
for women
-1.05 lb
for men
-0.71 lb
for women
-1.05 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 18th of September 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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