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A Passion For Herbs

A Passion For Herbs

For more than a million years we humans have lived with herbs. We’ve cooked with them, healed with them, scented our homesand sanctified our prayers with them. On a molecular level, our body recognizes a herb when we take it. Unlike taking a chemical or drug, our body responds to herbs as though they are old friends. When you get to know the nature of a specific plant it enhances your life immeasurably. You can come to know a herb the way a woman knows her lover. When the spirit of a plant meets the spirit of a human you can expect magic. Thanks both to traditional practices and recent scientific discoveries, we now know that certain plants can work wonders for the human body. The classic definition of a herb is a non-woody plant which dies down to its roots each winter. This definition is far too limiting. It was probably made up by 19th Century European botanists who had never seen the rainforest in which, of course, there is no winter to die back in. Neither had they ever heard of woody trees and shrubs such as hawthorn, ginko and elder which are some of the best selling herbs on the market these days. I define a herb as a medicinal plant. It can come from any climate and be a leaf, a bark, a flower or a root. It can be home-grown or wild, a weed, a spice, a plant, which is used for its healing or culinary or beautifying properties. Here are a few simple herbs that can be fun and fruitful to explore: ALOE HEALS The cool, slippery gel oozed out of a leaf of the aloe cactus has been used for almost 3000 years to treat burns and cuts and to undo the devastating effects of too much exposure to the sun. Recent studies show that phyto substances from the aloe actually penetrate damaged tissue encouraging healing and increasing blood flow while easing inflammation and pain. GINSENG STRENGTHENS The Ancient Chinese said so. They spent a fortune on this strange looking man-root. They still do. Thousands of years ago ginseng was taken in order to extend life, to sharpen sexual functioning, to bring clarity to the brain and energy to the body. Russian and German scientists have carried out lengthy studies into the effects of ginseng on humans and animals and concluded that it does indeed sharpen the brain and shorten reaction time. It also improves concentration and helps protect you from damage caused by exposure to long-term stress. GARLIC PROTECTS The ancient Greeks—including Pliny as far back as the first century AD—insisted that this smelly plant banishes worms and coughs. By now there have been more than 2,500 studies confirming its anti-microbial properties and its usefulness in warding off flu and colds not to mention its ability to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels which are too high, and to help clear yeast infections. COMFREY KNITS Its very name comes from the Latin conferta which means ‘grow together’. In 400BC the Greek physician Dioscorides praised comfrey for its ability to stop heavy bleeding and clear bronchial infections. Science confirms that comfrey is rich in the healing compound allantoin which enhances tissue growth and cell multiplication. That is why you so often find it added to ointments and face creams. GINGER SOOTHES A core remedy in the Chinese pharmacopoeia for nausea and gentle cleansing, the deliciously hot ginger plant has been used for more than 1500 years by wise women healers in Europe for tummy upsets. Many scientific studies confirm that it helps travel sickness. Some even show it helps morning sickness in pregnancy—in part because it has the ability to calm excess acid in the stomach and improve digestion. FEVERFEW BANISHES Eccentric English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper was always singing the praises of this cheerful daisy-like plant with its lacy leaves. It was, he claimed, ‘effectual for all pains in the head.’ Recent studies carried out in Britain and elsewhere confirm that he knew what he was talking about. Feverfew can reduce both the frequency and the intensity of migraine. Once you discover the power of herbs it is easy to become so enthusiastic about them you go overboard trying to use them for everything. It is not wise to take lots of different plants all at the same time. Or you might start to think that since a small amount of something is good for you, taking twice or three times that amount will be even better. It isn’t. If you want safe and sane herbal help here are a few guidelines to follow: Herbs occasionally interact with conventional drugs. Be sure to tell your doctor that you intend to try a herbal remedy. If you want to use herbs to treat a serious medical condition, find yourself a good medical herbalist to work with. Don’t do it yourself. Take no more than recommended dosages of a herb or combination. If you notice any adverse reaction, stop right away. Use only the very best herbs whether they be fresh, dried, teas, tinctures, extracts, or capsules. Give plants enough time to work. Many herbs, such as St John’s Wort and Wild Yam, are slow to build beneficial effects on the body. Look to six weeks for results.

Walk Through New Worlds

Walk Through New Worlds

Who would have thought that taking the right kind of walk can not only clear stress, and energize mind and body but even bring you face to face with satori? Satori brings a sense of living in the fullness of your being, moment by moment. So often, we think we need to make decisions about what we are going to do in the next hour, the next day, the next year. We worry about how to discipline our bodies, get the work done and pay the bills, as well as a thousand other things.You can find yourself walking in new ways, with different rhythms. Aches and pains diminish. You sense a new relationships developing—to yourself, your surroundings and the world as a whole. I am passionate about taking two quite different kinds of walks which I’m keen to share with you because they have brought me much pleasure as well as so many other benefits. They are, each in their own way a lot of fun to. FREE FLOW Once a day, regardless of the weather outside, and whenever it suits you, go out walking for the sheer pleasure of doing it. It can be fun to walk in sunshine, but just as wonderful to walk in rain—unhurried and unburdened by the need to ‘look good’. Look around, smell the air, notice the way your body has begun to move. The next step is likely to sound weird, but try it: When you see a tree, say silently to yourself, ‘Tree.’ When you see a flower—‘Flower.’ This simple naming practice helps you become aware of where you are in space and time. And it does this in a wonderful, spontaneous, improvizing way. As you walk, life takes on an unexpected, exciting feel. Meanwhile, futile internal monologues begin to fade away. One of my favorite books was written by a musician named Stephen Nachmanovitch. It is called Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art. It’s a superb book. If you are interested in creativity on any level—and I don’t mean just being an artist, but any and all kinds of creativity—I highly recommend it. In a chapter called ‘Inspiration and Time Flow’, Nachmanovitch describes this first way of walking I want to pass on to you. (Of course, you are probably unlikely to be walking down a street in a foreign city as he describes, but much of what he writes about this way of walking is relevant no matter where you are.) It reminds us all that it is not impossible to live our lives moment to moment, fully present with real awareness and joy. Here is what Nachmanovitch writes: A walk, following your intuitive promptings down the streets of a foreign city, holds rewards far beyond a planned tour of the tried and tested. Such a walk is totally different from random drifting. Leaving your eyes and ears wide open, you allow your likes and dislikes, your conscious and unconscious desires and irritations, your irrational hunches to guide you whenever there is a choice of turning right or left. You cut a path through a city that’s yours alone. This brings you face to face with surprises that are destined for you alone. You might discover conversations and friendships, meetings with remarkable people. When you travel in this way, when you walk in this way, you are free. There are no ‘have tos’ and ‘shoulds’. You are structured at first only by the date of the plane departure. As the pattern of people and places unfolds, the trip, like an improvised piece of music, reveals its own inner structure and rhythm. Thus do you set the stage for fateful encounters. I’ve got to add here that some of the most important ‘fateful encounters’ he speaks of are likely to be brand new encounters with yourself, in ways you may never have dreamed of. INSTANT ENERGY IS YOURS This is the second of my favorite walks. It’s a way not only of relieving stress, but of energizing yourself, learning to be present in the moment and, like Nachmanovitch’s walk, releasing your mind from the habitual chatter that prevents our feeling fully alive. I learned this technique from a Belleruth Naparstek’s “Meditations to Relieve Stress” audio. Here’s how it goes: Choose a place where you will be able to walk without meeting a lot of people, so you allow yourself to connect with your surroundings the way a child might. You don’t have to smile or relate to anyone. Instead, you will be drawing in energy from your surroundings. What will amaze you is just how much vitality you can absorb from your environment when you are not wasting your own energy with meaningless social contact. So, just for 10 to 15 minutes, let yourself retreat inwards and see what amazing things happen. GETTING EARTHED Begin your walk by shaking out your body a little. Feel the earth beneath your feet. Take a deep breath and let it out with no effort. Now look around you, at the sky, the earth, the trees, grass, rocks or flowers—whatever you find around you. Take another slow, even breath deep down into your abdomen. Now, aware of your breath going steadily in and out, start walking at a comfortable pace, opening all your senses to your environment as if it were part of you. Let yourself enjoy the light, the mist, the colors, the rocks and sand; whatever is there. Let yourself become aware of the way things move in light and shade, so you are in effect feeding on the richness of your surroundings. Let your body move easily and gently, so it feels as though it is dancing with your surroundings. Allow yourself to experience everything you see and feel, smell and touch, as though you are doing it for the first time, with the curious mind of a child. Feel the air on your skin, smell the fragrance around you in all its layers and textures as you walk. Continue to be aware of the ground beneath your feet, and how your breath going in and out feels. Notice how well the earth supports you. Enjoy the feel of your body in motion. See how heightened your senses become to the colors and the fragrances. Notice how clear your vision has become. This simple focus, this increased awareness of the sound of your own feet on the ground, the feel of your breath, the movement of your legs and torso will become more acute, more intense, more nourishing and more satisfying. LIKE MAGIC Colors become more and more intense, richer, clearer. You can find your senses opening as you become ever more aware of everything around you. You may even sense that you are immersed in a wonderful new ocean of reality. That the trees and the rocks, the air you breathe, and the sky have become part of you and you of them. Indulge yourself. Smell the air, feel the ground, immerse yourself in the sea of life and generosity in which you find yourself. Now, simply draw the energy of the earth into you. Let it fill you up. Breathe in the beauty of the sky. Take in every sight and sound, deep into your heart, as you become aware that you are attuned to everything around you. This energy is available to you whenever you want it. All it depends on is your own willingness to connect with the sea of life of which you are a part. Whenever you do, the whole world feeds you, belongs to you, nourishes you at every level. Continue to walk as long as you like, easily and blissfully, aware of your feet on the ground, your breath moving in and out, and the part you play in this wonderful sea of reality which belongs to you, and you to it. BACK TO SOURCE Both of these walking techniques are wonderful. Don’t just read about them—print up these descriptions and carry them with you. Then have a go. See what happens to you. Even better, take a look at where I learned about them. Stephen Nachmanovitch’s book is the best book on creativity I have ever read. I have read it at least 12 times. (As a present for Aaron who loves listening to audio books, I even made a recording of most of the chapters and gave it to him.) When it comes to Belleruth Naparstek’s work, her recordings are unparalleled in the world for their transformative power. You can purchase the one below on CD. Better still, just download it and put it on an MP3 player so you can begin using it today. You can find them below: Free Play - Stephen Nachmanovitch’s Improvisation In Life And Art - Stephen Nachmanovitch’s book is the best book on creativity I have ever read. I have read it at least 12 times. To find out more click on the links below. Order Free Play - Stephen Nachmanovitch’s from Amazon MEDITATIONS TO RELIEVE STRESS imagery for mastering anxiety; guided imagery to pump up feelings of love, safety and protection; a soothing, walking meditation for the fidgeters among us who can’t sit still; and affirmations for use anytime. (72 min.) Order Meditations To Relieve Stress at iTunes Order Meditations To Relieve Stress at Amazon

My Love Affair With Plants

My Love Affair With Plants

For more than a million years, our ancestors lived with herbs. They cooked with them, healed with them, used them to scent their bodies and sanctify their prayers. On a molecular level, the human body recognizes herbs when we take them. Get to know the nature of a few specific plants and they will enhance your life immeasurably. In a very real sense, we can come to know an herb the way a woman knows her lover. The spirit of a plant meets the spirit of a human. Expect magic. You won’t be disappointed. A FINE ROMANCE My own passion for herbs began when I discovered the help they could bring me and my family. Simple plants such as nettle or golden rod (Solidago virgauria) have a natural cleansing and diuretic effect on my body. Traveling on airplanes, my ankles used to swell up. I discovered when I got home and made a cup of golden rod or nettle tea, the swelling would vanish. Fascinated, I began to read about what herbs can do for the immune system. I began to experiment with other plants—goldenseal and echinacea, burdock and shiitake mushrooms. I began to give herbs to my whole family whenever any of us threatened to come down with flu or a cold. I discovered that, provided we took them in time, one or a combination of plants would clear the problem before the full force of any illness hit. A doctor friend, Gordon Latto, taught me that gargling with red sage and sticking a clove of garlic in its paper shell in between the teeth and the inside of the mouth for a few hours a day would clear a sore throat and nip throat infections in the bud. I began to wonder just how many other remarkable things plants could do for us. THE SUPERB ADAPTOGENS I was lucky enough to meet with the famous Russian scientist I.I. Brekhman, expert in adaptogenic herbs, who won the Lenin Prize for Science. From him I learned that the adaptogens such as ginseng, eluthrococcus or Siberian Ginseng, and Suma from South America strengthen a person’s ability to resist illness as well as making it possible for us to work and play longer and harder without experiencing the negative effects of prolonged stress. That was thirty years ago. Since then I have come to use herbs and flowers, fresh raw juices and vegetables, water and tender loving care to help the body protect itself from illness, heal a sickness when it struck, calm an agitated mind, induce slumber when unable to sleep, clear depression, and care for my skin. I have also learned to use herbs to decorate my house and sanctify my working space. I also fell in love with photographing them. Meanwhile, I raised four children without antibiotics or over-the-counter drugs thanks to the blessings of herbs. DAZZLING POWER The classic definition of an herb is ‘a non-woody plant which dies down to its roots each winter’. This definition is far too limiting. It was probably made up by 19th century European botanists who had never seen the rainforest in which, of course, there is no winter to die back in. Neither had they ever heard of woody trees and shrubs such as hawthorn, ginkgo and elder, which provide us with some of the best-selling herbs on the market these days. My own definition of an herb is simply a medicinal plant. It can come from any climate and be a leaf, a bark, a flower or a root. It can be home-grown or wild—a weed, a spice, a plant which is used for its healing, culinary or beautifying properties. So powerful are the health-enhancing capacities of herbs that a vast number of common prescription drugs have been derived from a mere 90 species of plants. According to Professor Norman Farnsworth—leading American expert in pharmacognosy at University of Illinois —74% of common drugs have been developed directly out of traditional native herb folklore. In the United States alone, the annual sales of prescription drugs developed from plant products used by tribal cultures is already in excess of $6 billion. Unlike prescription drugs, whose side-effects can be devastating, most herbs are both safe and simple to use. Most carry no side-effects at all. MEDICAL FAILURE The way we have thought about health and healing for the past century—what the experts call our biomedical model—has come to the limits of its usefulness. Conventional medical practices view the body as a collections of structures—bones and blood, cells and tissues. Common medical treatment consists of acting on these structures in a symptomatic way. Doctors give one drug to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, another to get rid of headaches or put you to sleep. Whether these drugs are medically prescribed or over-the-counter products, virtually all carry negative side effects. Most have no concern with genuine healing. They instead focus on ‘managing’ illness by suppressing symptoms. Herbal treatment, like all of the great natural approaches to health through history, looks at things differently. It insists that at every level of biological organisation—from chromosomes in our DNA all the way up to our eyes and toes, stomach and liver—the body has a stunning capacity for self-treatment. It is capable of removing damaged structures and renewing them on its own. The natural capacity of living organisms as complex as ours to regenerate themselves is something that symptomatic drug-based medicine ignores altogether. Yet self-regeneration lies at the very core of using natural foods, water, air and movement therapies, and of course herbs, to strengthen, balance or heal. Chinese medicine is functional medicine; it did not develop along structural lines as Western 20th century medicine did. So is Ayurvedic and Unani medicine from India, and nature-cure in the West. The Chinese pharmacopoeia is the richest in the world. Chinese doctors value plants for their ability to strengthen the body’s functioning, heighten its own defences and improve immunity. They use herbs, as we are only now beginning to in the West, to extend longevity, to increase resistance to illness, to heighten energy, and to calm disturbed emotions. BRING MAGIC INTO YOUR LIFE There is an endless parade of different ways you can use herbs. In the health food store and mail order catalogue you can find a confusing array of capsules, pills, tablets, extracts, tinctures and ‘whole herbs’ or ‘bulk herbs’, none of which seem to relate to the ‘infusion’ you have decided you would like to take. And what about the herbs you have growing in your garden? Here is a rough guide to finding your way through the confusion. First, find yourself a reputable supplier. I have a passion for iHerb.com, since the variety of herbal products they offer are the best and cheapest anywhere, and they ship worldwide. Personally, I’m wary of buying herbs in health food stores or pharmacies unless they come from a manufacturer or supplier I know. With a supplier you trust and with whom you can discuss your needs, you can be sure you are getting a good potency and that the herbs have not been sitting in a cupboard somewhere for months. BULK/DRIED/WHOLE HERBS What you are buying is a bag or box of a specific weight of dried herb, either in its whole form, crushed or powdered. This is the best way to purchase herbs if you want to make teas (infusions), decoctions, or your own capsules, or if you want to use them in potpourris and sachets. It is also about the cheapest way to buy dried herbs. TINCTURES A tincture uses alcohol diluted in water to draw out the plant’s chemical constituents and preserve them. You can buy tinctures by the bottle and they are pretty potent. You take from several drops to 1 teaspoon or more of a tincture in a little water several times a day if needed. Tinctures are best bought from a reputable supplier. You can make them yourself, but the process is less accurate than when they are professionally produced. I buy many herbs in tincture form as I find them so convenient. You will sometimes find a figure such as 1:4 on a bottle of tincture. This gives you the ratio of the weight of the herb—in this instance 1 part of herb—to alcohol/water mix. An herbalist may suggest you take a specific ratio in which case your supplier can advise, but for general usage you don’t need to know the ratio. EXTRACTS Extracts are easy to confuse with tinctures. They are far more concentrated. They aim to contain all the active chemicals of the plant, not only those that will dissolve in alcohol. Extraction processes vary from pressure rolling to heat treatment to vacuum extraction. These are best left to the experts. Extracts have a limited shelf life. They should be kept in the fridge. Herbalists often prescribe extracts during an illness, rather than using them for prevention. Extracts can also be useful to add to a cream or salve for external use: ¼ extract to ¾ base. They are pretty strong in their action. TABLETS, PILLS & CAPSULES Tablets, pills and capsules are often more readily than the loose dried herbs themselves. Tablets, pills and capsules usually contain the whole herb, not just the constituents extracted in a tincture or infusion. Therefore, in taking them, you are making use of the synergy in action between all the constituents of each plant. Choose those from a reputable manufacturer/supplier. Tablets are made from dried plant material—leaves, roots, bark and/or flowers—mixed with a base, sometimes lactose, both to help you hold them in your hand to take them and to aid absorption in the stomach. Pills are, basically, tablets with a coating. If the plant is sticky, smelly, or tastes dreadful—or all three—it is more likely to come in pill form than tablet form as the protein or sugar coating disguises less pleasant aspects of the plant. Usually I avoid these, since sugar in any form is far from beneficial. Capsules, made of gelatine or a vegetarian equivalent, are filled with dried herbs—even the stickier, smellier ones. They need to be stored in a cool, dry place, but they preserve herbs well. You can buy gelatine capsules from a chemist and fill them yourself, either with herbs you have dried yourself or with dried herbs you have bought in bulk. The standard 00 size capsule holds about ½ gram (500mg) of herb. Make sure the herb is ground into as fine a powder as possible before filling, so that it can be easily absorbed by the body. A WONDROUS WORLD Plants speak volumes when you know how to listen. One of the great joys of our herbal tradition has been the love affair that takes place when the spirit of an herb meets the spirit of the person using it. It is an old art by which, using your intuition and trusting your instinct, you can move towards an awareness of the central nature of a plant and how best it can be used. For example—the herb Leonurus cardiaca is a powerful strengthener of the heart, reducing tachycardia and hypertension and promoting normal heart action. The essence of its personality, however, is better expressed in its common name—motherwort. This herb has the ability to bring a sense of absolute security—the way a baby feels lying in the arms of its mother—during periods of deep and unsettling change. Every plant has secret wisdom and power. It will tell you its tales and offer its richness to you as you open your heart to it.

Come Alive

Come Alive

There is no greater joy than becoming fully alive – experiencing day to day life as a child does, being protected from the ravages of premature aging and degeneration, able to call on high levels of energy, and live out your creativity and natural capacity for joy. This is what true health is all about. It is far more than simply being well. It is more a process than a state – a process by which you become more and more with each passing year who you really are. Within each of us lies an essence, a truth, a core of self, with one and only one intention - that it may be fully expressed, wholly manifested in material form while we live on this earth. Each year I become more aware that illness, lack of energy, a sense of confusion or lack of meaning in one’s life stems from a basic frustration of the expression of this essence. These things are often calls from the soul, asking you to become more aware of who you are at the deepest level, and live out your unique soul nature in your day to day life. True healing is a transformation. Energy, power and authentic freedom grow as we engage in the process of connecting with our true essence and soul’s purposes, and express them in our lives. To do this we need to call on all sorts of tools and techniques – from detoxifying body and mind, to herbs and natural treatments, to exercises for expanding awareness. each person is totally unique Take energy, for instance. Being able to live out your energy potential depends on how well you nourish yourself - physically, emotionally and spiritually - day by day. This means developing a lifestyle which incorporates exercise, good food, restorative sleep, and the myriad of other possible factors - from hydrotherapy to super nutrients - that help support your own brand of vitality at peak efficiency. But energy too depends on living from your core – not by other people’s rules. It depends on living what you love most in some way, what feeds you most at the deepest levels. In discovering this, and living more and more in this way, you not only fulfill your own life more richly than is possible in any other ways (after all we can only collect so many PhDs, BMWs and lovers). You also bring the very highest gifts that you have to give to your family, your community, and the earth as a whole. Live your soul’s passion and you call on virtually endless energy. For health not only depends on how you eat and what exercise you get. Ultimately, health is nothing less than the process of unfolding which each one of us goes through to become more fully who we really are. Once you begin to align your life with your own truth, the universe supports you in a way most people seldom dream possible. Working with people through their own health process, helping them discover whatever is most appropriate to their needs on both a physical and spiritual level, and teaching them how to work with these things, is the most exciting thing in my life. To do this I call on leading edge biochemistry - how natural substances can be used to shift anxiety or depression, to enhance hormonal balance in the body, to help you tap into high levels of vitality. I work with detoxification, not only of the body through foods and juices, but also of the psyche, using ancient tools and techniques based on shamanic principles that work to help connect people with their inner power for healing, vitality and authentic power. I explore what herbs and plant factors can do to support aliveness at the highest level. There is nothing I love more than sharing experience and knowledge abut these things. For each person is totally unique. Each of us carries a divine spark of soul which we are here to live out to the full – bringing our own individual brand of spirit into material form as we walk the earth. The beauty of watching this happen in those I work with is, for me, like walking in a garden and seeing flowers and plants, trees and rocks that I have never seen before. I continue to be dazzled by their beauty. That, to me, is what coming alive is all about.

Second Coming

Second Coming

What a woman can accomplish through exercise is impressive not only in terms of protecting her body from the ravages of female troubles, and even from time itself, but also in preventing illness and rejuvenating her body in medically measurable ways. But exactly what kind of exercise is the right kind? It is an important question to answer because so much of what has become fashionable - fancy clothing and tossing weights around in a gym - is mostly the wrong kind. Walking or running along roads filled with air pollution and subjecting your body to the stress this brings can also do more harm than good. Aware of the benefits of exercise, most people who exercise regularly do aerobic movement - swimming, cycling, running or walking. There is a great deal that is wonderful about this kind of exercise. It improves the functioning of the heart, lowers cholesterol, and shifts brain chemistry so that you produce natural opiates which make you feel good. It also increases noradrenaline - a brain chemical which improves your self image and confidence so you feel even better about yourself and your life all round. Aerobic exercise can also enhance your body's ability to burn fat not only while you are working out but for many hours afterwards as well. This makes aerobic exercise an important part of any good exercise program. So get out and walk briskly as often as you can. But aerobic exercise doesn't go far enough. It does not offer the body enough weight resistance to maintain muscle mass. One interesting study compared the Lean Body Mass to fat ratio in three groups of women - non-exercisers, aerobic exercisers, and weight trainers. Researchers found significant differences. In sedentary women, 21.8 percent of their body weight was fat. Among the aerobic exercisers 16.2 percent was fat while among resistance trainers only 14.7 percent of their body weight was fat. This is revolutionizing fitness advice as exercise physiologists have come to realize that, although aerobic exercise has a place as part of an exercise program, it does not maintain bones and muscle the way resistance exercise does. The bottom line is we need both, although resistance exercise is the more important of the two. In an official statement of advice issued by a member of the advisory board of The American College For Sports Medicine - who in the past promoted aerobic exercise as the best form for over all health and fitness - the word is in: "Done correctly, weight training is the most efficient, effective, and safest form of exercise there is, and it won't be long before people realize it." let's get started What does a confirmed lounge-lizard do once she decides she wants to explore how exercise can change her life? First you get an OK from your doctor to make sure that there is no reason you should not start on a simple graded program. Then go easy. If you start small and work up you will win. If you start big you can not only wear out your body but also lose your taste for movement, then the whole effort will have become counter productive since you will end up hating exercise and getting nowhere. For exercise to work it has to become an ordinary part of your daily life. It needs to done regularly at least three times a week. Begin with only 15 minutes in the morning when you get up or at any other time of the day that is convenient. The great news is that right from that very first session your body will begin to rejuvenate itself. Exercise routines progress well when you work out at the same time each day. Try to do this if you can. Your body will get used to the routine and love it. When it comes to resistance training you don't need to own a lot of fancy equipment either. Nor do you need to join a gym. A couple of dumbbells will do. Later on if you catch the exercise bug big you might like to have a barbell as well. Dumb bells and barbells are what are known as free weights as opposed to the kind of gym equipment you find in a multitude of sizes and shapes and glitzy finishes these days. Beginners are often dazzled by the high tech stuff in gyms, but as any serious weight trainer will tell you, for most exercises free weights are far better. They are also far simpler since you can tuck them under the bed out of sight when they are not in use and you can make use of them any time you want without having to dress in special clothes and go to the gym. Choose the kind of dumbbells - each of which fits into one hand - that have six removable weights on each so you can add and then take off weights as needed for each exercise. When you are not using the dumbbells stash them away out of sight. Your body and their weight against gravity offer all the resistance you need to work muscles deeply. The machines you find in gyms are designed to mimic the effects of free weight exercises but - with a couple of minor exceptions - no matter how flash they look, they are not as good as simple free weights because the range of movement which you go through in each exercise is restricted by the machine. Once you get into weight training and gain a bit of confidence with it then you might find it fun to work out in the gym using these machines occasionally. But free weights should form the basis of any good weight training routine, whether you are a complete beginner, as I was, or a professional weightlifter. There are three things you want to accomplish on your exercise program. First you want to maintain and to improve your heart and lung fitness. For this you will use weights plus some form of aerobic activity for warming up and cooling down. Second you want to maintain and increase your muscle mass. Finally you want to improve and maintain your flexibility, and for this you need some kind of slow stretching afterwards. warm up It is important at the beginning of any exercise session that you spend a few minutes doing an aerobic activity. (You must never pick up a weight when your muscles are cold). This can be running in place, slow steady jumping jacks, using a rowing machine (my favorite) or bouncing on a rebounder. In the beginning, your total exercise session may only last 15 to 20 minutes, in which case you will want to devote five minutes at the beginning to the aerobic warm up. Later on it can be longer. I generally row on a Concept II rowing machine for about 10 minutes at a slow steady pace to get my heart and lungs moving and warm up before beginning my weights. As the length of your exercise session grows week by week, until it is ideally 45 minutes to an hour at a time, so will the time you spend on your aerobic activities at the beginning and end of the session, and perhaps in the middle too. stretch out After this initial warm-up period which should last long enough that you feel fully warmed up, you should then spend 5 to 10 minutes stretching. Stretch slowly and smoothly towards the ceiling, towards your toes, to the side. Never jerk when stretching and breathe deeply. Stretching before a workout but after a warm up is done to allow major muscle groups along with associated tendons and ligaments to be gently stretched, ensuring possible injuries are greatly reduced. Now you are ready for your muscle work. weights workout To work with weights properly, you need to split your sessions into different body parts and work one or two body parts per session, leaving at least 48 hours between that session and the next time you work that body part. The muscle and bone strengthening that comes with resistance training does not take place while you are using the weights. In fact, working out stresses the muscles and bones, causing tiny breakdowns in the cells to occur. It is during the rest that comes after a workout that new muscle and bone is built in direct response to the piezoelectric stimulation at a molecular level. If you come to the point of using quite heavy weights and training five times a week then it is important to work out each body part only once a week for it can take about 48 hours for the breakdown process to take place and between 48 and 72 hours to build new strong tissue to replace it. Ignorant of these facts, many gung ho body builders and weight trainers over-train their muscles and end up undermining their immune system as a result ,while getting nowhere near the benefits in terms of strengthening LBM (Lean Body Mass) that they should. Exercising a particular muscle group every 5 to 8 days is ideal for optimum progress. Stand in any gym and watch weight trainers do their stuff. It can be highly instructive, at least so far as showing you how not to work with weights. 90 percent of the men and women who use weights let their bodies swing all over the place and when they are doing an exercise such as a dumbbell curl they let the weight just fall back after each movement instead of being in control. When you do your movements be sure to keep your body absolutely centered with each movement, only using the particular muscle group that is supposed to be working, and emphasize the eccentric contraction or return movement where you are returning the weight to its original position. Resist the movement all of the way back. It is the stress placed on your muscles of lengthening again when they are under resistance load that brings about most of the gains in strength and LBM you are after. Be sure while you are working out that you drink lots of water - between each set - and eat plenty of alkaline forming foods since any kind of exercise tends to make your system more acid. the cool down It is also important to spend a few minutes at the end of a weights session again doing some kind of aerobic activity to cool down. How long depends on the length of your weights session. You can go through the same kind of activity you have used in the beginning of your session, or even take a brisk walk, but make sure you stay warm by adding an extra sweater, for after a session your body cools down fast and you don't want to become chilled. the stretch out Then do some more stretching for a couple of minutes. You will find that your body stretches more easily now since your muscles are full of blood and energized. Go slow and enjoy the feeling. It can be wonderful. beginners program All of the exercises here are classic weight training movements. They are simple and straightforward. They require nothing more than a couple of dumbbells - the kind that have six weights on each which can be unscrewed and changed will give you the particular weight you need for an exercise. Start with the lightest weights. You will be able to tell for yourself if something feels right. Never strain. As your body becomes accustomed to the lighter weight you can add a bit more. The object of the exercise is not to use heavy weights but simply to provide your body with enough weight to create resistance against which your muscles do their work. You will find pictures of the movements below in any standard book of weight training, or you can find pictures and videos showing you how to do them on the internet.  Or ask a fitness instructor to show them to you. Each exercise is done smoothly and with complete control, both on the contraction of the muscle group and on the relaxation. While one muscle group is working, the rest of the body remains still and centered. Start off by doing only three training sessions a week with one set (a set is the same exercise repeated a certain number of times: so 2x10 would mean ten repetitions of the movement, rest for two to three minutes, then ten more repetitions of the movement: 3x10 means the ten repetitions is done three times with two minutes rest between each set) per exercise, then work up to longer by adding more exercises for each muscle group you are working with, and doing one warm up set of easy repetitions (10-15) followed by a heavier set using a little more weight (5-10 repetitions). Begin with very light weights - just enough for you to feel that your muscles are being worked as you near the end of your repetitions. Then by the time you are ready to add your second set, put on a little more weight until at the end of your repetitions your muscles feel tired. Session One: Shoulders and Arms Dumbbell press 2x10 Side lateral raise 2x10 Single arm tricep extension 2x10 Tricep kickback 2x10 Dumbbell curl 2x10 Concentration curl 2x10 Session Two: Chest and Back Dumbbell bench press 2x10 Dumbbell flies 2x10 Single arm rowing 2x10 Dumbbell shrug 2x10 Floor hyperextensions 2x10 Session Three: Legs and Abdominal Muscles Dumbbell squat 2x10 Dumbbell lunge 2x10 Calf raise 2x10 Abdominal crunch 2x10-15 Reverse crunch 2x10-15 advanced workout Once you have got a taste for weights and have trained three times a week you can begin doing longer sessions - up to 45 minutes to 1 hour. You might also like to do more sessions per week moving up from three to five. Then you would divide your body part work in this way: Session One: Shoulders Dumbbell press 1x12, 2x8 Side lateral raise 1x12, 2x8 Bent lateral raise 1x12, 2x8 Front lateral raise 2x10 Session Two: Back Dumbbell dead lift 1x12, 3x8-10 Single arm rowing 3x10 Floor hypers 3x10-12 Dumbbell shrugs 3x10 Session Three: Chest Dumbbell bench press 1x12, 3x8-10 Dumbbell pullover 1x12, 2x8-10 Dumbbell flies 3x10 Session Four: Arms Single arm tricep extension 1x12, 3x8 Tricep extension 3x8-10 Dumbbell curl 1x12, 3x8 Concentration curl 3x8-10 Session Five: Legs and Abdominals Dumbbell squat 1x12, 3x8 Dumbbell lunge 3x10 Dumbbell step up 3x12 Stiff leg dead lift 3x10 Calf raise 3x12 Abdominal crunch 3x15-20 Side crunch 3x15-20 Reverse crunch 3x15-20 the result Each woman is in reality two women, an outer woman which can come in many forms - conventionally attractive, plain, sexy, dynamic, withdrawn, aggressive, apparently assured or terribly uncertain about herself - and an inner counterpart, that is an individual self that is utterly unique. Each woman has a stable center of strength and growth. Each inner woman sees the world in her own way, has her own brand of creativity, her own needs and desires, and is a law unto herself. The inner self holds the power to create, change, build, nurture and transform. The outer woman is the vehicle for what the self creates. When her self is allowed free expression, then a woman is truly beautiful for she is fully alive. Her body is strong, her skin is clear and healthy, and her movements, speech and actions radiate a kind of vitality that is unmistakably charismatic because it is real, an outward expression of who she truly is. Many of the secrets to calling forth this kind of aliveness are to be found within the body itself - secrets which are best learned by working with muscle. Once you get the hang of it, working with weights is like meditation - one of the most mind-stilling activities in the world. Meanwhile, as your LBM begins to develop, you will find your muscles and whole body have come alive. Then, as you work out, your muscles will begin to glow, until after a few months your body begins often to feel the way it did when you were a child - radiant with life and spirit.

Sacred Truth Ep. 53: Fabulous New Omega-7

Sacred Truth Ep. 53: Fabulous New Omega-7

I want to share with you some exciting news about a still largely unrecognized fatty acid that confers significant health and longevity benefits. It’s great, thanks to its health enhancing properties. Fatty acids are vital to human life. They are our cells’ primary energy source. They also serve as a structural component for every one of our cells. Even an informed person, aware of the vital necessity for using good quality Omega-3 fatty acids from fish as well as monounsaturated fats in olive oil, knows little about the power that Omega-7 has to offer when it comes to enhancing health and fighting against metabolic disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer. This is all very exciting. Let me tell you a bit about Omega-7, the new kid on the block. Scientists at Harvard Medical School and the Cleveland Clinic have been investigating this unique fatty acid for some time, both in animal and in human studies. They have discovered that it can help break the cycle of high blood sugar, inflammation and elevated lipid levels. It can even enhance our insulin sensitivity. They’ve found that Omega-7 brings about an increase in the breakdown of fat as well as an increase in the enzymes involved in fat burning for energy. It can even help reduce the laying down of unwanted fat in the body. One of the most exciting things about these findings is that they create a new chapter in the battle against metabolic disorders that underlie cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes. The new Omega-7 happens to be an effective complement to the cardiovascular and lipid benefits of taking Omega-3s. This may well turn out to be a terrific opportunity for overcoming metabolic disturbances responsible, in no small part, for the diseases of aging. When Omega-7 was first tested on animal models, investigators were surprised at how remarkable the findings were. They discovered that it functions at fundamental cellular levels by turning on metabolic regulators that create energy for utilization instead of storing sugar and fat. This alone enhances insulin sensitivity, reduces blood lipid levels, and helps protect against insulin resistance. Research carried out in the Cleveland clinic study affirmed that these basic mechanisms contribute to a reduction in inflammatory responses in human participants equally well. When combined with Omega-3s, Omega-7 is now well on its way to becoming a celebrated nutrient for many purposes in helping to initiate some remarkable systemic improvements. These include: an increase in insulin sensitivity support for healthy triglycerides and cholesterol levels already in normal range an increase in hormones that counter hunger support for a healthy stable weight regulation of fat production within fat cells helping to smooth arterial walls support for cardiovascular health support for shutting down cellular glucose. For too long dietary fats have been considered our arch-enemies in terms of health. We've been told we must not eat saturated fats because they are dangerous. This false belief has been foisted upon us for almost 70 years. For so many years we have been warned against using extra-virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, ghee, and even butter from cows that have been fed on green grass. A growing number of savvy people dedicated to real health are beginning to catch on to the way we have been lied to by the powers that be. These wonderful oils, far from being dangerous to us, are necessary if we are to experience high-level health. Use them every day in quantity and enjoy.  The do a lot to support your health now and always Happily, at last, many people now are coming to realize that the oils that we need to avoid, or at the very least use only in very small amounts, are the golden oils that line the shelves of our supermarkets—from canola oil and peanut oil to safflower oil and sunflower, all of which are very high in Omega-6. These can be dangerous to health in so many ways that it would be hard to list them all. Meanwhile, what are some of the other potential benefits of using Omega-7 oils? Omega-7 turns on your body’s energy regulating systems to help create a more metabolically youthful atmosphere. This results in greater sugar and fat burning, and a decrease in fat storage. Even a small dose of Omega-7 behaves like a signaling molecule, which is capable of shutting down inflammation and promoting better lipid profiles. Omega-7 is on its way to becoming an important part of any top quality nutritional supplement aimed at minimizing the risk of early death and degenerative conditions. What's great amongst other things is that the amount of Omega-7 needed to bring these protective changes about is very little —less than 250 mg per day. The best Omega-7 supplement I’ve found is Life Extension Provinal Purified Omega-7. It's based on purified Palmitoleic acid and Omega-7 monounsaturated fatty acid. It’s best used together with a top quality Omega-6 supplement since they complement each other so well. Do make sure you get permission from your health professional if you happen to be receiving treatment for a medical condition, or are pregnant or breastfeeding of course. Life Extension, Provinal Purified Omega-7 Foundation for Longer Life From Highly Purified Fish Oil Healthy Heart and Inflammatory Response Support Dietary Supplement Order Life Extension, Provinal Purified Omega-7 from iherb Order Life Extension, Provinal Purified Omega-7 from Amazon

Escape The Rut

Escape The Rut

Working in the same stressful environment day after day produces the same triggers and responses to stress that we simply learn as habits. It’s a good idea to take as many opportunities as you can to break the stress-routine, and there are lots of easy ways to do this. Tea and coffee breaks may be official breaks or simply a chance to grab a quick cup of something between phone calls, appointments or jobs. They are usually few and far between, so it’s wise to make them work for you rather than against you. Consumption of coffee or tea can range from a single cup in the morning to up to 6 or more cups a day. For most people, the process of having another cup becomes an automatic response. The problem is that after the initial caffeine pick up, tea or coffee can let you down badly. Few people know - or want to know - how much damage a few cups of tea or coffee a day can do. Each time you drink a cup of coffee you are getting a dose of between 90 and 120mg of caffeine, and between 40 and 100mg of caffeine for a cup of tea. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, pancreas and heart as well as the cerebral cortex, which is why a cup of tea or coffee will give you a temporary boost in energy. The bad news is that, like any drug, the effects of caffeine are short lived. After the temporary energy boost wears off, your blood sugar level will drop lower than it was to begin with and you will feel exhausted. This encourages you to reach for a second cup, and the vicious cycle is set up. breaks that work An average tea or coffee consumption of a few cups a day has been linked with such complaints as heart disorders, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, gastric ulcers and even mental illness. In an already stressful office environment, a cup of tea or coffee in the long run will only contribute to general fatigue and edginess. It is far better to look to natural energy-boosting drinks that will help sustain you through the day. the caffeine-free break Try a glass of vitamin C tonic. Simply add 1-2 grams of powdered vitamin C (about 1 teaspoon) to a glass of spring water (plain or fizzy) and sweeten with a little natural stevia. Or stir a half-teaspoon of powdered vitamin C into a glass of fresh fruit juice such as apple, grape or pineapple. Try coffee substitutes from your local health food store. There are also some wonderful herb tea combinations on the market, which come in convenient sachets and range in flavor from almond to cranberry. Just add boiling water and a little natural stevia to sweeten if you like. Some herbs are particularly helpful for pepping you up, such as lemon grass, while others, such as chamomile, will soothe your nerves. Have both types around. You generally need to steep herbal teas for several minutes to get the full flavor. If you have a centrifugal juicer, you can squeeze fresh juice, such as carrot and apple, in the morning and keep it in a thermos with ice to drink throughout the day. Or simply keep a bottle of spring water on your desk to drink throughout the day. Most offices can be very dehydrating, and replenishing body fluids is an important boost to mental alertness. find relief Recognizing the signs of stress in your body is the first step to taking control of what is happening to you. We all have specific areas where we hold onto tension. Usually you are not aware of these tensions, because your body adapts itself to them and considers them the norm. You only discover a tension when it becomes so severe that it actually causes you pain. If you can locate the areas in your body which tend to be tight, you can unload not only the physical, but also the emotional and mental stress you are carrying around. Common areas of tension are the neck, face, shoulders and between the shoulder blades, forehead, hands, feet, lower back and upper chest. In a quiet moment at home, try this simple technique for discovering the tense spots. Lie down on your back on the floor with a pillow to support your head and your knees bent comfortably, the soles of your feet to the floor. Become aware of your breathing and then concentrate on different parts of your body - beginning with your head and working down to your feet. A tight spot will feel numb, or "dull". This is because the tense muscles reduce the sensitivity in that area. Once you have discovered your particular area of tension, say for example shoulders, concentrate on that area again and consciously decide to make it relax. On each out breath, release a little more tension. You may find as you do this that tension in another part of your body will disappear as well. That will help you discover another typical tension holding area for you. Once you know your typical tension spots, you can use this exercise throughout the day, whether you're sitting or moving about, to let go of tension. The more you practice releasing these muscles, the easier it will become. breathe easy How we feel is almost always reflected in the way we breathe. When we experience emotional extremes, for example crying or laughing, our breathing also becomes extreme. By changing your breathing pattern, you can also change the way you feel. In this way, breathing can be an important tool for de-stressing. Here is a very simple breathing technique which you can repeat throughout the day to help you let go of tensions and get an energy pick up. Start by breathing in and out fully with a sigh. Wait for the in breath to come by itself. As the air comes in let it fill out your abdomen first, and then your chest. Don't raise your shoulders. Then as you breathe out again, imagine you are exhaling all the tension in your body and let your muscles relax. Pause and allow the breath to come in once more and then continue with whatever you're doing. Use this exercise whenever something triggers a stress response. This can be anything from hearing the telephone ring, to looking at your watch when you're late. Stick a colored tab on your watchstrap and on your telephone so that each time you see them you will remember to breathe! tension release Working intensely for long hours on an exciting project does wonders for the mind and for self-esteem. It does nothing for your body, and can lead to long term stress-related physical problems. Here are a few exercises you can do in any quiet moments you have by yourself to get rid of the aches and pains that come with working for too long in one position. neck release Let your head drop forward so that your chin rests on your chest. Clasp your hands behind your head and gently let the weight of your arms pulling down lengthen out the spaces between the vertebrae in your neck. Then drop your head backwards and let your mouth drop open. Open and close your mouth like a fish (this is why you might want to do this when no one else is around) and feel the stretch in your throat. Bring your head back to center and drop it over to one side so that your ear goes towards your shoulder. Wrap the same arm as shoulder over your head and gently help ease it down. Then ease your head over to the other side using the other arm. Roll your head slowly clockwise twice and then anti-clockwise twice. Finish by giving yourself a quick neck rub. Place your fingertips either side of your neck vertebrae, and rub up and down with small circular movements. shoulder shrug Lift your arms above your head, fingers clasped, and squeeze your shoulders up to your ears. Hold them there for a count of five, then let them drop allowing the weight of your arms to pull your shoulders down. Bring your shoulders as far forward as possible trying to bring the insides of your elbows together, hold for five, then relax. Now push your shoulders as far back as possible - squeezing your shoulder blades together for a count of five and relax. Taking one shoulder at a time, rotate it backwards as if you are unscrewing the upper arm away from the body. You should create a space between your arm and the side of your body. Repeat with the other shoulder. Now take a breath in, and imagine your torso widening and your upper arms moving even further away from each other. As you breathe out maintain this distance. Repeat twice more. scalp tap For a quick energy boost simply use your fingertips to tap lightly over the entire area of your skull. Some areas are sensitive so tap lightly, other areas, like the base of the skull, can benefit from a firmer tap. Massage along the jawbone, with small circular movements, from below the ears to the chin. Your whole head and face should feel alive and refreshed. eye refresher Lean your elbows on your desk and cup your hands over your closed eyes. Hold this for about a minute then gently release your hands and open your eyes. Blink several times. Repeat this exercise whenever your eyes are sore or tired. Remember to lubricate your eyes by blinking often, particularly if you are reading or watching a computer screen.

Get High On Juice

Get High On Juice

It‘ll change your life. As soon as you begin to incorporate freshly-extracted raw vegetable and fruit juices into your lifestyle, something amazing starts happening to you. First you notice the terrific lift that just one glass of fresh juice can give you, particularly if taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Ten to fifteen minutes after drinking fresh-made juice, you can feel yourself perking up. Your head clears. Even your vision seems sharper. These are the characteristics of the Raw Energy Rush. I never tire of initiating someone to the experience. Sometimes they're skeptical, but are persuaded to try our freshly-extracted juice because it tastes so delicious. Half an hour later they're back, with a gleam in their eye, demanding to know `what is the secret ingredient?' LIFE POWER HOLDS THE SECRET This is the most profound mystery of the universe—and raw juice is bursting with it. Raw juice is a perfect fuel, since it's easily assimilated to cleanse and nurture the body while supplying it with a full range of essential nutrients—especially minerals which are so lacking in most people’s diet. Raw juice also has another property—the mysterious factor X. Scientists have yet to understand it. Sometimes it’s ascribed to the high redox potential of live juices, or the inscrutable action of enzymes, or just the vibrational energy that live raw foods carry. The nutritional and recuperative value of raw juice has become well known to doctors and natural health practitioners since the 19th century, when several of the most eminent pioneers in the field started experimenting with raw foods to improve their own health. The famous Rohsäft Kur (raw juice cure), developed by Dr Max Bircher-Benner and Dr Max Gerson in the early years of this century, is acknowledged to be the single most potent short-term antidote to fatigue and stress, but until recently it's been the preserve of the privileged few who could afford to go to an exclusive health spa. GO FOR BODY MIND TRANSFORMATION Never forget that body and the mind are inseparable, interdependent, synergistic parts of the same whole—YOU. People working in the soul-sapping environment of, say, a modern office building will reach for coffee and fizzy drinks in the middle of the afternoon in the hope that these will give them enough mental energy to make it through to the end of another hectic day. Then they experience a corresponding energy slump on the way home, arriving irritable and exhausted and good for nothing but going early to bed. The end result of living like this is a kind of chronic fatigue that often manifests itself as indifferent, fatalistic lethargy. As you master the basic principles of juicing and get into the practice of drinking raw juice on a daily basis, energizing your life and rejuvenating your body, you will find yourself becoming better able to cope with the debilitating stresses of modern life. Raw juice will help you to build the stamina to cope, but it will also transform the way you see the world around you. As your body re-balances itself, you'll find that your moods stabilize, too. Trivialities cease to upset you, and you are able to keep things in perspective. Detoxifying the system and flushing your colon with raw juice actually helps you to think more clearly and rationally, concentrate for longer, and maintain a more optimistic frame of mind. Want to experience a juice high for yourself? Start with one of these: APPLE ZINGER This is a terrific breakfast time enlivener that perks up the whole system and really wakes up your taste buds. 2 or 3 whole apples 1 whole lemon, peeled 1 centimeter cube of ginger (or more!) GREEN SATIN This is a delicious aromatic introduction to drinking green juices. Smooth as satin and beautiful to sip at sunset. 2 - 3 apples 2 stalks celery bulb of fennel

Color Your Life

Color Your Life

Color matters. Seeing, wearing, or being exposed to a color - whether in the form of cloth or pigment or light - affects you below the level of your conscious mind. It can make you feel happy or sad, aggressive or peaceful, determined or indifferent. Each color has its own personality, and appears to offer a particular quality of energy for work as well. Researchers have found, for instance, that the color green can help provide 'elasticity of will' which makes you able to persist despite opposition or setbacks to finish a task. Exposure to green can also enhance your sense of self-esteem. Red's "workforce" is different altogether. The color red represents the power of will to strive for effective action, and exposure to it can help develop the will power. Yellow, the other color particularly useful for work, brings the spontaneous enjoyment of action and the ability to project yourself beyond your present work goal towards the future. Colors also have strong emotional or symbolic qualities. Blue symbolizes the feminine and the mystic. It is a color that tends to make people feel peaceful and calm. Red incites sensuality, voluptuousness and sometimes anger. Yellow makes you more cheerful. Violet symbolizes the magical; black, renunciation. And color's affects are not just psychological either. Because of the complex way in which exposure to various colors acts via the brain upon the autonomic nervous system, exposure to a specific color can even alter physiological measurements such as blood pressure, electrical skin resistance, and glandular functions in your body. color as energy Like both light and heat, color is an easily defined part of a whole gamut of energy, which comes to us from the sun and other sources. It is the part that makes itself easily perceptible to the human senses by reflecting off or interacting with matter. While heat is the perceptible effect of disturbed oscillation of atomic particles, light is the visible reflection off the particles in the atmosphere. Color makes up a band of these light wave frequencies from red at 1/33,000th's of an inch wavelength to violet at 1/67,000 of an inch wavelength. Below red lie infrared and radio waves; above it you find the invisible ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays. The colors we see are nothing more than the vibrationary rebound of frequencies which a particular object has refused to absorb. For instance, black hair absorbs all the color rays and gives back none, while snow rejects them giving them all back. That is why it appears white. A red flower has absorbed all except that which we interpret as red, and so on. The colors we see are wavelengths of energy that our brain interprets as seven basic shades or hues: red, yellow, green, blue, white, black and violet. And the experience of these frequency rebounds affects us profoundly and subliminally. As one highly respected color researcher puts it: Colors are not only and usually, not even primarily 'recognized', but they are felt, as exciting or soothing, dissonant or harmonious... joyous or somber, warm or cool, disturbing and distracting, or conductive to concentration and tranquility. And one of the remarkable things about the affective and biochemical powers of color is that they do not appear to be dependent on a person or animal seeing a color for it to work its magic. Russian scientists experimenting with the blind have found that earlobes and fingertips are highly sensitive to color. So probably are other parts of the body. And many studies show that even a blindfolded animal or person exposed to specific colors by having pigments rubbed on them, by shining light on the skin, or even being made to live in an environment of a carefully chosen shade will register predictable physiological and psychological responses. Learning about color's affective qualities and putting color to use can not only enhance your spirits and improve your looks; it may even improve your health and expand your consciousness. ancient color practices Although color effects are now beginning to be studied and described in biochemical terms or in the language of modern physics, the health benefits and consciousness-altering effects of color being used by these color therapists are not a new discovery. Celsus, the famous Roman physician of the first century AD, used colored plasters on the skin to promote healing, and prescribed medicines in specific colors to treat different ailments. In the Middle Ages different colored rooms were "prescribed" to heal various sicknesses. And ancient religious traditions reflect a clear awareness of the energy variations we now measure as wavelengths of different colors. They knew, for instance, that red has the slowest rate of vibration and the longest wavelength, while violet was energy vibrating at the highest rate with the shortest wavelength. And they associated the different colors and their vibrations with the specific energy centers or chakras in the body - three dimensional pulsating wheels which can be seen by clairvoyants, and are said to be centers in the energy body that govern physical and emotional changes in a person. Chakras are much represented in Eastern religions. (Even Christian art traditions acknowledge chakra energy when they depict saints radiating a halo from the head.) The halo represents the highest chakra - what the Buddhists call the "Thousand Petal Lotus" - but there are said to be seven chakras in all, each believed to be responsible for regulating energy in specific systems and parts of the body. Red is said govern the lowest reproductive chakra at the base of the body, and to impart a strong physical energy. The orange related chakra at the navel is concerned with digestion, while the yellow chakra at the solar plexus is said to be linked with certain emotional states and associated with the functions of organs such as the pancreas and the liver. Green is the color linked to the heart chakra, and with the qualities of courage and love. The blue center in the throat is known as the chakra of higher creativity and of self- expression. The color indigo belongs to the brow chakra, and is said to be concerned with such qualities as intuition, and right-brain-dominated thinking. The violet chakra, which is supposed to be situated at the crown of the head, is said to be linked with the body via the pituitary gland and the endocrine system as a whole. And, while color therapists who claim to work with chakra energies are quick to point out that many different colors can appear in the various chakras at the same time, visualizing or being exposed to the colors most associated with each, they say, can dramatically improve the functioning of that chakra and those physical and psychic links with it. We use color a great deal in our lives - to change our moods or to intensify them, and to explore different kinds of feeling and response. Following the ancient color chakra guidelines, you can buy color gels and place then on lights or windows where the natural light shining through creates wonderful prisms. You can experiment with different colors of fabric stretched over home made frames, or with huge pieces of brightly colored paper hung on the walls and changed frequently. You can play with color changes in what you wear and see how different this makes you feel and how different colors seem to bring out different parts of your nature. We like to color old tee shirts using fabric dyes in different shades such as clear green, yellow, apricot and brilliant orange. It is remarkable how changing the colors you wear can alter the way you feel and your sense of your self. And not only is exploring the effects of color rewarding in terms of exploring your own physical and psychic energies, the experience of playing with color can be sheer delight.

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 19th of October 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.92 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men
-0.92 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 19th of October 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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