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To Hell With Convention

Grow Up With Quality Life: How Belief Systems Shape Your Experience

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

How To Live Cellulite Free - Part 3

Banish Cellulite Forever: 3 Step Process for Health & Leanness

Most cellulite begins with a stiffening of the septa locked into the surrounding network of connective tissue. Lymph circulation to and from this subcutaneous layer gets blocked by wastes we accumulate from a sedentary lifestyle and from eating foods which, unbeknown to most women, are anathema to their bodies. This causes the septa to become more fibrous, and to squeeze down on fat cells. It also deprives the area of oxygen and vital nutrients, preventing both fat and toxins from being cleared. Toxic build-up is not only a main cause of cellulite build-up. It is the reason that many women retain water, experience heavy leg syndrome, and find their feet and calves swelling on an airplane. One of the great gifts of the Rohsäfte-Kur which I wrote about last week is that, even when followed for only a few days, your body begins to eliminate toxic build-up that has become trapped in the connective tissues. Now, if you’re ready to banish cellulite forever, improve your health and life for the better, where do you begin?Start with this three step process—making changes in what you eat, in when you eat, and in what kind of exercise you do. It’s important to remember the following things if you want to become cellulite-free while growing healthier and leaner: Important Truths 1. Cellulite build-up is the result of hormone disregulation, toxic build-up and a sedentary lifestyle. 2. Insulin is your body’s primary regulator of fat storage and waste build up in the tissues.  When insulin levels are high—either long-term or simply after eating a meal—fat deposits accumulate and produce cellullite. When insulin levels are low, your body becomes able to release cellulite from septa-bound connective tissue, turning it into energy. 3. Grain-based and cereal-based carbohydrates are the major culprit behind cellulite as well as obesity, fatigue and chronic degenerative conditions. They negatively affect insulin secretion seriously disrupting the symphony of hormonal balance in the human body. 4. Sugars—from glucose and sucrose to high-fructose corn syrup—are monumentally harmful. To clear cellulite and remain free of it, you must eliminate sugars from your diet. It is also essential that you use no artificial sweeteners. They are dangerous contributers to body pollution and therefore to cellulite itself. Use only real stevia (see my recommendations below). 5. Because of the negative effects that grains, cereals, starchy vegetables and sugars exert on insulin, they not only lay down cellulite deposits; they lead to the development of diabetes and coronary heart disease. Grains are also major contributors to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases of civilization, as well as early aging. 6. Cellulite and an inability to shed it are the result of an imbalance—a disequilibrium—in the hormonal regulation of fat tissue and fat metabolism. When hormonal regulation and hypothalamic balance are restored by making vital changes in how you eat, this reverses the process. Step One—Clear The Decks Start right now by getting rid of all the low-fat and high-carb foods in your kitchen. These include jams and jellies, rice cakes, popcorn, flour, grains, pasta, pretzels, low-fat salad dressings, raisins, fruit-flavored yoghurts and sugars. (You might want to hang on to a little sugar so you can offer it to visiting friends who are not yet as savvy about how dangerous it is as you are. You might also want to hold on to some brown rice, buckwheat flour or chickpea flour—things you can use to thicken a soup.) Most women find that the process of clearing their fridge and pantry is a salutary experience. It brings with it a sense that they’re starting a whole new life—as indeed they are. The most important foods you will be buying to replace them are these: A good supply of wholesome natural fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter—preferably from grass-fed cows. Top quality protein foods including meat, seafood, eggs and the very best micro-filtered whey you can find (see recommendations below) if you like to make smoothies. Plenty of fresh green vegetables—preferably organic— both to eat raw and to cook. The best fiber in the world comes from these vegetables. Try eating half of your vegetables raw. Some low-sugar fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Say No To Packaged Foods What surprises most people when they go to a supermarket in search of genuinely healthy foods is that most of the stuff they find there is not worth eating. A good general rule when choosing foods is this: Foods with a long shelf life don’t belong in your body. Processed high-carb foods often have a very long shelf life. This makes them great sales material for food manufacturers and retailers, since these packaged foods can sit on the shelves for months—sometimes even years. But 90% of them have been whipped up out of flours and sugars, junk fats and chemical additives—all of which you will want to avoid. You’ll usually find the healthiest, freshest, most natural foods around the outside edges of any supermarket. These include crunchy fresh vegetables, fresh game and meats, seafood, eggs and cheeses. Fresh, wholesome foods are perishable and therefore have to be replaced often, unlike the ready-in-a-minute, pre-made stuff that populates the inner aisles. Organic Is Your Goal Whenever possible, go organic. Not only do organic vegetables, fruits and meats taste better, the organic matter in healthy soil is nature’s factory for biological activity. Organic foods supply us with an excellent balance of minerals, trace elements and vitamins which we cannot get any other way. Organic methods of farming also help protect against distortions in mineral balance. Good mineral balance is important, since an increase in one or more minerals can alter your body’s ability to absorb as much of another mineral that it needs. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables have been sprayed with pesticides—petrochemical-derived compounds which behave like low-dose synthetic estrogens in the body. Many fruits and veg are also treated with fungicides or wax. Each one of these chemicals the body takes in contributes to its toxic load, putting pressure on your liver, stressing the entire body and causing free radical damage. When it comes to maintaining good blood sugar and insulin balance—all of which are essential to becoming cellulite-free—you do not want these things to happen. A stressed liver has trouble managing glucose levels and controls insulin poorly. Read Labels Carefully A word of warning: Just because you buy something in a health food store or natural food emporium does not mean that it will be helpful in reversing insulin resistance, clearing cellulite, and promoting fat loss. In addition to the good fresh foods they sell, these stores are also chock-a-block with high-carb treats full of sugar. And by the way, just because a food is labeled “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean you want to eat it. Organic sugar and organic flour can upset the insulin/blood sugar apple cart just as easily as their non-organic counterparts do. Although organic treats may look great in their packages, most of them are best avoided. Read labels as carefully here as in you do in a supermarket. Make sure that foods you buy contain no hidden sugars such as honey, corn syrup, fructose or other sweeteners. Step Two: Decide When To Eat Here’s where the power of meal spacing comes in. Its power can be monumental. You can call this intermittent fasting if you like, although I prefer to look upon it more as a way of developing your own schedule for eating as well as for resting from eating. Spacing your meals is an effective way of continuing to clear away cellulite as you cleanse the whole body creating new sleek muscles, heightening vitality and eliminating food cravings permanently. The ideal strategy for taking advantage of the gifts intelligent meal spacing has to offer is simple. Eat well at a meal, then wait 4 to 6 hours before your next meal. Here’s what happens metabolically each time you eat something. During the first couple of hours after a meal, your blood sugar rises and insulin spikes. After these first two hours—from the start of hour 3 after a meal for the next two hours—both insulin and blood sugar levels drop. Finally, from hours 4 to 6 after a meal, insulin gets so low that it almost disappears, while human growth hormone (HGH) rises directing metabolism to clear the body of more waste and metabolize fats from the body’s tissues including cellulite deposits by turning them into energy. Two Meals A Day To make the very best use of meal spacing you will need to eat only two good meals a day, made up out of the “good guy foods” listed above. Eat your fill of these health-giving foods and enjoy them. Be sure to include plenty of the good fats—coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter from pasture-grazed cows—in each meal. Be sure to create your meal spacing in a way that works for your lifestyle. I eat my first meal between 11am and 12:30, depending on what I am doing. My second meal is usually about 6:30 or 7 in the evening. This means that I have a long period during the night while I sleep for my body to work its magic, both for detoxing and anabolic rebuilding. Make sure your first meal of the day is full of good quality protein. Don’t just through yourself in at the deep end when you begin your meal spacing. Ease your way into it by having a good quality snack between meals if you feel you need to for the first few days until you get used to the lengthy periods between meals. It won’t be long before you sense the beneficial changes that are taking place. After the first week or two you’re likely to find you no longer have any need for snacks, and that you are beginning to look and feel so good. Step Three: Move For Joy I love this definition of real fitness: When you’re not sitting or resting, your body is physiologically able to deal with whatever challenges it is asked to handle. Forget forever that you need to exercise to lose weight and all that nonsense. You don’t. The major reason why exercise is so important for shedding cellulite and improving health is that it heightens insulin sensitivity and quite naturally causes your body to replace belly fat and liver fat with beautiful sleek muscles. What kind of exercise is best? The kind that delights you. I would never exercise because the powers-that-be tell me I ‘should’, or out of a sense of duty, or for fear of putting on weight. To do that would not only imprison my body, it would kill my spirit. It would be like taking a thoroughbred and binding it so that it can’t get out of the starting gate. Experiment and discover what physical activities you love doing, then do them for the sheer pleasure of it. You could swim or jog or dance just because it feels good and makes your body sing. Try rebounding on a mini-trampoline—something that is particularly good for improving lymphatic drainage and clearing cellulite. Swimming can be great because it feels so sensuous. But don’t make yourself swim laps in some driven way. Instead, move deliciously through the water. Play as a child would. Notice the bliss your body feels. If you have no idea what kind of movement you enjoy, start with a simple walk each day, while paying attention to how your body moves with each step you take. Once you discover just how vast your body’s potential for joy is, and begin to delight in movement, your experience of exercise can change forever. Far from being something you once did because you’re told you should (how I hate that word), exercise can become one of the most enjoyable experiences in your life. American enthusiast, the late George Sheehan, whose legacy continues to inspire people about the true nature of exercise, describes this experience well: “Exercise that is not play accentuates rather than closes the split between body and spirit. Exercise that is drudgery, labor, something done only for the final result is a waste of time.” I couldn’t agree more. 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You & Make Up

Find Out How To Use Makeup Colours and Moisturisers Together for a Flawless Finish

Make up is the icing on the cake. Wear it if you love it. Play with it to discover new ways of expressing the many faces of you. When you don't feel into it, let your face go naked. That, too, is a path to freedom... the colors The idea that makeup color - say an eye shadow - is only to be used on the eyes, or a blusher only on cheeks, is absurd. Color is color, and it doesn't matter what you call a product provided it serves the purposes you want it to. The colors that you use on your face should all give support to each other, so they work together to create an overall effect that is pleasing. the whole process of making up may sound complicated, but with practice it should take very little time - no more than ten minutes from start to finish There are two basic possibilities: warm color schemes and cool ones. The effect of a warm color scheme on the face - which includes the earth colors such as browns, greens, beiges, golds, yellows, apricots, coppers, oranges, and peaches - is to enliven it, making your face look healthier and stronger and more glowing. Warm colors look wonderful on older women, too, because they accentuate youth. This is why some of the best foundations and powders now contain yellow pigments. A little peach or apricot blusher can make almost any face look younger, whereas bluish-pink blusher applied to a face over forty can age it drastically. The cool colors - the blues, purples, pale ivories, silvers, fuchsias, berries, magenta, blue-pinks, and whites give a look of delicate vulnerability to a face, especially when they are applied, as they should be, over a very pale foundation. But to wear them you have to have perfect skin and you have to be young; otherwise they can make you look tired, older, and even unwell. the moisturiser Every good makeup begins with a fine moisturizer complete with sunscreen lavishly applied over clean skin and then given a chance to settle in. You need to wait for your skin to take to the moisturizer before you put on your foundation, otherwise you will end up with a flawed finish and your makeup will not last. `Taking' time is usually between two to five minutes. In addition to the ordinary moisturizers, there are also tinted ones on the market. These products are halfway between moisturizers and foundations. They impart some color and also provide you with some measure of protection from water loss. They give a very light cover but can be a nice way of simply adding a healthy glow to your skin. Some of them also contain sunscreens. When choosing a tinted moisturizer, look for one that is not too far away from your own skin tone or you will find it doesn't blend in and cover well. A green moisturizer will soften a florid skin, toning it down and making it look more neutral. Green will also help conceal red blotches and spots on your skin. A mauve-colored moisturizer can improve a dull complexion and brighten the face of someone who is too pale. An apricot-colored corrective should be used only by the very few women who are really sallow. When you use a corrective, put it on with a sponge that has been dampened and then had all the excess water removed from it by wiping it against a towel. Among the tinted moisturizers are the `color correctives' - products tinted a specific hue in order to change the look of your own, natural coloring. They are worn under your ordinary foundation. the foundation Once your moisturizer has set, you are ready for the foundation. But why all over? Instead you can wear it only on parts of your face such as around the eyes where it gives a good base for eye shadows, on your chin,and on your cheeks. The advantage to this is that you still get the wonderful, delicate shading of natural skin, rather than that all-over deadness that can come from covering your whole face with one opaque color. Or you can wear two shades of foundation: a lighter one in the center of your face (on the nose, forehead, cheeks, and chin) and the slightly darker one of the same tone around the outside (near the hairline and along the jawline). This has the effect of preserving a natural-looking gradation of color and still lending the finished look of a well-made-up face. A foundation is not meant to give strong color to a face. It is supposed to be flat and neutral. About 80 per cent of Caucasian skin should wear one foundation color: a flat, true beige with neither pink nor peach overtones to it. It will look good on all ages of `northern European' skin, because it gives a neutral canvas on which to put your eye and lip colors. If your skin is olive or yellowish or very dark, then choose a foundation as close to its natural color as possible but slightly flatter. When testing out color, put it on your naked face and then again go out into the daylight to look at the results before buying anything. The kind of foundation you choose depends on what kind of skin you have, as well as on personal preference. Dry skin does best with a cream or oil-based liquid foundation. Aging skin needs the finest of liquid foundation. Anything heavily oily collects in the lines and makes you look haggard. Oily skin demands a water-based liquid or cream or a cake or block-type makeup. Put a little foundation in the palm of your hand and then dip the sponge into it and apply it to your face, brushing it lightly over your skin again and again until everything is well blended into your skin. the concealer Now is the time to deal with any problems you want to conceal, such as black circles under your eyes, or discolorations here and there. Concealer creams and sticks are good here, although some of them are greasy and, particularly under the eyes, tend to sink into tiny lines and make matters worse. Put your concealer on with a flat wedge-shaped brush and smooth into the skin until it blends perfectly with the surrounding areas. If you add a little powder here you will get just the finish you need to make the undesirable area fade into the surrounding skin tones. the magic of light and shade The secret of making light and shade work for you is simply to apply both sparingly and only where it matters to your face, and always to blend well into the surrounding area. Whatever part of your face you want to bring out or emphasize, you apply a light color to, and whatever part you want to minimize, you cover with a darker shade. Here are some of the things you can do with shading: To minimize a jaw that is too large or too square, apply darker shade along the jawline, blending it under the jaw and fading into nothing at the sides of the face. To shorten a pointed chin, apply shader to chin only, blending underneath into the neck and fading to nothing at the sides. To fade a double chin, put shader on the double chin and blend it skilfully. This will make it recede into the background and look less prominent. To give more interesting shape to a square face apply shader in the temple area and all around the jawline, carefully blending. To minimize a nose that is too large, apply shader in a single stripe down the centre of the nose, carefully blending into the color at the sides so that no definite line appears. To slim a broad nose apply a shader - preferably a slightly darker foundation or cream - in a stripe down each side of the nose and blend it carefully into the skin to make the nose look narrower. For most women, one of their best features is the eyes. Perhaps this is because eyes reveal so much of what goes on inside. Makeup for eyes should emphasize this and show off the eyes' beauty and color. There are lots of ways to use eye makeup to improve eyes, but all of them begin with the same principles. Use neutral tones such as slabby browns (without red tones in them), flat greys, and greyed greens, or even terracotta, for establishing the shape of the eyes (the darker shades to define the sockets and the lighter beiges or yellow, peach or apricot, or pink, on the lids and under the brows). All eye shadows are best applied to skin that has a foundation on it even if you don't put foundation on the rest of your face, and powder shadows hold best over a light skimming of translucent powder too. All eye shadows are best applied with a brush, whether they are liquid, cream, or powder. You will get a better, longer-lasting finish from them this way. the eyelids Apply the lighter shade of colored shadow you have chosen to the section of the lid nearest the lashes, and then brush it out, fading it away to nothing towards the eyebrows. Now you can have the darker shadow in the socket to define the shape. Remember that colors on the outer edges of your eyes will tend to widen the look of your face and open your gaze. Finally put on your eyeliner. A good way of emphasizing eye shape without looking too obviously made-up is to use a pencil in the same tone you are using for your eye shadow, dotting it all along the upper lashes and then just under the lower ones so the two lines meet at the outer corners and form a little triangle. This kind of liner looks good when it is gently smeared with a brush or fingertip to blend it into the surrounding area and keep it from looking hard. You can also use another color line drawn on the inside of the lower lid if you like. The other way of applying eyeliner is with a brush, in which case you use liquid or cake liner and get a more definite line. It is drawn just above the roots of the upper lashes and just below the roots of the lower ones, again meeting at the corner. Many women use black eyeliner, but usually a gentle grey or slate or muted brown is better. the mascara Mascara makes eyes look more glamorous. It seems to create an aura of mystery about the eyes when lashes are darkened and thickened. Unless you are planning to walk in the rain or to go swimming with your makeup on, you are better off using a mascara that is not waterproof. eyebrow sculpture Before you begin, brush them first one way and then the other to remove any loose hairs or makeup, and clean the skin around the eyes thoroughly. Now put moisturizer in the area, before you reach for the tweezers. Brush your brows into shape and take a good look at them. Start by removing stray hairs between the brows and the stragglers but never pluck from above the eyebrow. And always remove only one hair at a time, pulling it in the direction in which it grows. When you have finished with one brow, apply antiseptic or a simple toner to it before going on to the next one. This will help soothe the irritated skin. Don't try to apply makeup for an hour after plucking. the lips Most women tend to pick lipsticks that are too bright or too pink to flatter their coloring. There is certainly a place for fire-engine reds and vivid fuchsias, but for everyday wear you are probably better off with a muted brownish pink or a softened melon or salmon. Shop around until you find four or five lipsticks in differing tones that look good on you. Frosted lipsticks are for the very young. Older women are usually better off with cream lipsticks, since frosting shows up wrinkles on the lips and the see-through ones don't give enough definition. When applying lipstick, use a pencil or a lipbrush to outline your mouth first, so you get a good, sharply defined edge. Then apply your lipstick and blot it and apply again if you want it to stay. Alternatively use a pencil all over the mouth as well as for outline and then apply a clear gloss. It looks fresh and simple and the color tends to last. the cheeks The best colors for everyday wear for most women are terracotta, apricot-brown or dusky peach, because they make the skin look particularly healthy. Used high on the cheekbones it accentuates a well-sculptured face. Used across the cheeks it gives a simple warm glow. the powder A little translucent powder that imparts no color but gives a smooth, matte finish can actually make a face look younger. It is also an interesting effect to powder only parts of your face, such as the sides below the cheekbones, the nose, and the forehead, and then leave a sheen on cheeks and chin. Always use a powder that gives no color, just a matte, smooth finish, and always brush away every speck of excess once you have applied it. the finishing touches Last of all, after you have applied your makeup completely, you need to set it with water. This step is very useful, for it will make a face last far longer than it otherwise would. Spray your face with spring water from an aerosol can or with a fine mist from a plant-misting bottle. Then blot gently once with a tissue.

The Power Of Herbs

Discover the Sacred Power of Plants: Cleansing & Sanctifying Your Home

If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that my life is full of herbs. The wonderful gifts that herbs provide include not just their dazzling power to heal and strengthen, but their magnificent beauty. I’m moved to the core whenever I take time to notice the way a plant looks and smells, when I sense the inexorable persistence of its growing, and its willingness to grace my life with its delicate splendor. When you become aware of a plant’s beauty at every level, even the most commonplace interaction between you and the plant feels sacred. OF GODS AND DEMONS The ancient Egyptians believed that incense was the sweat of the gods that had fallen to Earth. We associate saints with beautiful fragrances and devils with foul smells. I remember once visiting an onsen—a spa in the mountains of Japan. This is a place of healing where hot sulfurous water pours forth from natural underground wells. I walked down endless corridors before reaching the sulfur pool which was enclosed to make it possible to use even during the icy winter months. I was alone in the small room. The pool sides were encrusted with yellow growths, and sulfurous steam filled the room. As I climbed naked into the streaming water, I felt afraid. That’s how deeply ingrained our sense of uneasiness can be when faced with the overwhelming smell of sulfur, which our culture and our ancestors have always associated with the devil. FILL YOUR ROOMS WITH BLISS Use herbs and plants to care for your pets, or to cleanse the space in which you live and work. They help remind us of who we really are, and what is fundamentally important in the desacralized environment in which most of us spend most of our lives. One of the things I most love to do is fill my bedroom with lilies. These are my favorite flowers—but they have to be the white oriental lilies or the marvelous Stargazers, as these are the most scented. Over the years, I’ve come to know lilies well. I know that they give off the greatest amount of fragrance between two and three in the morning. The beauty of their fragrance at this time is so intense that it often wakes me up. Sometimes when this happens, it seems to me that these flowers—so generous with their gifts—are calling to me, asking me to celebrate their wondrous beauty. The word perfume comes from the Latin per fumum, meaning “through the smoke”. The original way in which fragrance was used in human life was to create a union of divine and mundane reality, not only in the lives of priests, but of ordinary people. Our sense of smell plays a powerful role in rituals. Scent is one of the means by which we create the bridges between the transcendent and the day-to-day. It’s just like if you say a prayer before you eat, the very act of eating nourishes your body and your soul too. CLEANSE AND SANCTIFY When you move into a new home, or you feel the need to cleanse or make sacred any space—bedroom, kitchen, workplace, or the whole house—try doing it with the traditional sacred plants first: Desert sage, copal, sweet grass; even dried lavender, thyme and rosemary. I cut back my herb plants three or four times a year, and they love it. It makes them grow stronger and bushier. I then take the cuttings and tie them in small bunches with brightly colored ribbons, and hang them from my kitchen ceiling to dry. Once dry, I can use them for potpourris, sachets, and of course, sanctifying space with their smoke. HERE’S HOW Take a bunch of dried herbs and light them over an open metal biscuit tin to catch the sparks, so that they don’t reach the floor. I use a long rectangular tin that once held a bottle of malt whisky for this. I know other people who use baking trays and turkey tins. When the herbs begin to smoke, walk around the space to be sanctified, lifting up the burning plants with the tin beneath them. All the while, ask with your heart and mind that the room be cleansed and dedicated to whatever purpose you intend for it. This could be to make a joyous harmonious space; a space in which creativity can flourish—this is something I love to do—or a space for meditation, sleep, prayer or making love. It is your intention, coupled with the cleansing abilities of the burning plants, that makes it all happen. When you are cleansing and dedicating the desired space, make sure that you offer up the smoke to all corners of the room, and to the six directions—north, south, east, west, above and below. And when you’ve finished, thank the plants for their help. They will hear you and celebrate their own beauty..

Celebrate Menopause

Unearth Your Power: Calling All Women Answering the Call to Menopause Adventure

I am sure with every fiber of my being that the joys of menopause are the world's best kept secret. Like venturing through the gateway to enter an ancient temple, in order to claim the joy that is your birthright, every woman needs to be willing to pass beyond the “monsters” that guard its gate. When you stand at the brink of menopause in your own life, it can feel as though only darkness, danger and decay lie beyond the gate. In a way this is true—although most certainly not in the way most women believe. For having passed through the doorway to menopause myself, and entered the realms beyond I am certain, as thousands of women throughout history have whispered to each other, that menopause is the most exciting passage any woman ever makes. menopause is not dangerous and frightening Of course, nobody tells you this beforehand. It’s a secret you have to discover for yourself. We continue to be bombarded by propaganda from conventional medicine, the crazy media and pharmaceutical companies warning us that menopause is dangerous and frightening. It can’t be managed without drugs, they tell us. What absolute rubbish. As I entered the gate of my own menopause, like most modern women my head had been filled with nonsense about the horrors of hot flushes, fainting spells and dry vaginas; with memories of my mother's tears shed over a wrinkle that appeared one day to mar her perfect face. Then there was the prospect of enforced celibacy—after all, no man can feel lust for an old woman. Or can he? It was partly by accident, and partly because—despite good health and secure family circumstances—my own journey through menopause was not an easy one. Yet this was how I discovered the great secret which throughout history women living in patriarchal cultures have guarded close to their hearts: The doorway to menopause is a call to adventure. It takes you out of the ordinary world in which we have been living and carries you into a numinous realm of magnified power. Within this new realm you can find treasures to match your wildest dreams, waiting to be uncovered. And, like every prize worth having, such gifts can only be claimed and brought back you we are bold enough and determined enough to answer the call. What is calling you? Nothing less than your own soul. The call to adventure The call to adventure as we near menopause can arrive in as many different forms as there are women to hear it. But, whatever shape it takes, its purpose is the same. It is asking you—imploring you—to leave behind the comfortable world of ordinary existence and, for a time, venture into a challenging unfamiliar place. It is asking you to set out on your hero's journey—a journey completely unique to you and in line with your soul’s deepest longings. Sometimes this entails making an outer journey to a real place, moving to a new job, or leaving behind a marriage which has outlived its usefulness. Other times, the journey takes place only in your mind, heart and spirit. Either way, this is an inner journey that challenges ordinary assumptions, transforming the way you think, feel and have been living—turning any weaknesses into strengths, grief into new sense of purpose and determination, despair into hope. Eventually your journey brings you home again, transformed into who you truly are. So important do I believe this mysterious transformation offered to every woman is that I wanted to share some of its magic and possibilities with you. It can help you uncover desires and talents you may never have dreamed that you possess. It’s a time to leave behind all the roles you’ve played as mother, wife, successful woman or whatever, and dare to come face to face with who in truth you are you are, and with what you long to do next as a free being. It’s a time for joy and a sense of freedom you may never have dreamed possible.

The Miraculous Apple

Miracle Fruit: Uncover the Remarkable Benefits of AppleFasting!

The second most cultivated and widely-eaten fruit in the world is the apple. It seems we had to be well into the 21st century before science finally discovered its nutritional value. Not long ago, Medical News Today featured an article about the top 10 healthiest foods. Apples were number one. Apples are extraordinarily rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and marvelous dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants they contain help reduce our risk of developing cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. But there’s lots more news, too. MAGIC FROM A HUMBLE APPLE Recent studies show that apples have the ability to improve neurological health as they are rich in quercetin, which reduces cellular death caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons. According to research carried out at the University of Quebec, apples also reduce our risk of stroke. A large study involving 9,208 people showed that those who ate the most apples over a 28-year period had the lowest risk of stroke. At Florida State University, scientists praised the apple as “a miracle fruit”. Older women who ate apples every day had 23% less LDL—the bad-guy cholesterol—and 4% more HDL—the good cholesterol, over a 6 month period. Meanwhile, researchers at Cornell University discovered that apples can help “protect neuron cells against oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity”. This reduces our risk of developing disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Also at Cornell, researchers discovered that an apple a day may help prevent breast cancer. There is some mounting evidence that apples help reduce the risk of diabetes. A large study involving 187,382 people showed that those who ate 3 servings of apples a week had a 7% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes compared to those who did not. Finally, researchers at Oxford University discovered that eating an apple everyday can be just as effective as statins are in preventing vascular death in people over 50. It’s about time that contemporary research is starting to celebrate the power of the apple. I have known for 50 years that apples are a miracle food. With so many benefits and uses, it is hard to list them all. HEADSTART TO A HEALTHIER LIFE One of the best ways to trigger rapid detoxification in your body, and get you started on a way of living that will keep you healthy all around, is to do an organic applefast for a few days. Of course, no one experienced in the art and science of fasting should fast on water for more than a couple of days, unless they are under the watchful eye of a health practitioner well-trained in natural methods of healing—and never if they are pregnant, suffering from kidney or liver disease, or on drug therapy. But an apple fast is different. In truth, it is not a fast at all. You eat as much as you want—but only organic apples, in place of regular meals. Like the traditional water-fast, the applefast is a powerful tool for stimulating the process of detoxification on which high-level health depends. An applefast can be used in many different ways, each of which is powerfully helpful. First, if you are keen to change the way in which you’ve been eating, an apple fast can get you off to a good start. It spurs the rapid elimination of waste, clears away food sensitivities—which can be present as a result of eating convenience foods, too much carbohydrate and sugar—and it can banish the ravages of unnatural appetite that develops due to chronic overstimulation of the digestive system. After your first 2 or 3 day applefast, try to set aside one day each week for applefasting. A once-a-week, one day applefast is a great boost because a day a week on apples is an excellent discipline. It’s a practice that helps us break through ingrained habit patterns which make us unconscious and mechanical in the way we live, and largely unaware of what we’ve been eating. Finally, you can also use the applefast whenever or for whatever reason you have slipped and eaten something that you know your body was not happy with. For example, if you discover you have eaten more than you really wanted, or your system has become somewhat polluted because you were trapped in a smoke-filled room the evening before. A day of applefasting quickly helps correct digestive disturbances and internal pollution problems which can result. It left unchecked, being out of sorts can trigger unnatural and excessive appetite. In effect, an applefast puts you back on track again, and can have you feeling great when you wake up the following morning. APPLEFASTING—HOW LONG If you’re keen to get off to a good start with detoxification, set aside two or three days for an applefast. Buy a box of organic apples. Usually the greengrocer will give you a good discount when you buy a box at a time. Or, buy three or four different kinds for variety to get you started. They must be organic. Eat as many as you like, but eat the whole apple, including the peel, the seeds and the core. You must chew it all very well, until the last drop of flavor has been extracted from the fruit. The only part you throw away is the woody stem. The apples you eat must not only be organic, they need to be fresh and eaten raw too. You can munch these crisp organic fruits au naturel, or you can grate them and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. You can even put them in a blender with clean water to make a whole apple drink. Eat apples whenever you’re hungry throughout the day. How long you carry out your first applefast depends on how convenient it is for you to munch on nothing but apples, and on how you feel. Usually a couple of days are enough to give you a good start on spring cleaning the body from within. Three days is as much as any healthy body should do on his or her on, without being under the supervision of a health practitioner well-versed in fasting and the use of living foods. No pregnant or lactating woman should do an applefast, nor should anyone with a kidney, liver or heart complaint, for in such cases a sudden change of diet carries with it potential dangers to health. But, if you are generally well, then a short applefast is a great way to clear the decks for a new way of healthier living. When your day or two on apples alone is finished, then you can start the next morning to apply your healthier way of eating based on fresh foods. ONCE A WEEK TREAT It really is a treat, too, as you’ll find after you’ve got into the swing of it. To lay aside one day of rest from the three-meals-a-day routine and spend it applefasting gives your digestive system a break. It helps clear your mind and encourages the letting go of old poor eating habits. It’s also an excellent tool for giving an extra push to the detoxification process. For me, applefasting is a pleasure. When I travel, and hate being faced with some of the airplane, hotel and restaurant food which I would otherwise be forced to eat. So instead, I carry a sack of apples with me, and munch away. I always find it increases my energy and has me sailing through whatever I have to do. I tend to vary the day of my applefast from week to week. Most often, it is Monday, because I feel that this is a good way to start the week. But when I have a commitment which entails lunch or supper or Monday, I simply shift it to a day later during the week. THE QUICK CORRECTOR In many ways, the most useful thing of all about the applefast is that you can call on it when you most need help to get you back on the rails again. Each of us occasionally finds ourselves in a situation where we’ve eaten something that we would rather not have eaten. You may find your system has been upset by some dish you were served the day before, which has forced the return of false appetite, and does not seem to want to go away until your digestive system is calmed and your body is balanced once more. Or perhaps you’ve overeaten—old habits die hard, and you must be patient with yourself if this does happen—or you’re under heavy stress for some reason, and feel you need help to smooth things over. The applefast is ideal as a “quick corrector” in any of these situations. Spend a day munching organic apples, and it well you to rights again, so that when you awaken the next morning you feel more centered and more yourself, ready to get back to eating good-quality foods with renewed enthusiasm and energy. CLEANSING CRISIS Very occasionally when someone goes on an active program of detoxification beginning with the applefast, he or she has the experience of a headache at some time within the first day or two, or feeling moody or having an upset stomach or loose bowels. This is a sign that your body is throwing off wastes at such a pace that you are experiencing what is known in natural medicine as a cleansing crisis. In fact, this happens to very few people. If you happen to be one of them, be glad. Even though it may be a bit of a nuisance for a few hours, it’s actually a good sign. Your body is taking the opportunity to get rid of a lot of debris that it wants to eliminate. If a cleansing crisis does take place, make time to relax—in a darkened room if possible—and be kind to yourself. It’s quite a feat to be ridding your body of so much old debris at once. The cleansing crisis will pass quickly, leaving you better than ever. BEWARE THE CAFFEINE MONSTER People most likely to get a headache as part of the cleansing crisis are those who’ve been drinking several cups of strong tea or coffee a day. This kind of reaction is triggered by your tissues dumping a lot of stored caffeine into your bloodstream all at once in order to clear it from your body. The first time this happened to me, I had been in Vienna for six days, where everybody drinks coffee—and very strong coffee indeed—all day long. Not being much of a coffee drinker myself (apart from a cup of bitter Turkish coffee once every six months after a middle-eastern meal), while there, I decided to go along with the custom. The day I left the city, I got into an airplane to return to London and to my usual way of eating, and found I was struck down by the most appalling headache which lasted about four or five hours. It was no fun, believe me. But when it passed, I did a 3 day applefast. I was left with the most wonderful feeling of freshness and lightness—the way you feel on a beautiful summer’s morning when there is a light breeze blowing. This sense of lightness is a common one for people who turn to an applefast to clear their system of stored wastes. It more than makes up for the headache or tummy upset that heralded its coming. When you experience a headache as severe as the one I had that day, it makes you appreciate even more how valuable a one-day-a-week applefast can be, and what a source of pleasure and energy. It’s something I would never want to be without.

Get High On Life

Unlock Deeper Bliss with Sensuous Breathing

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

The Buildup

Detox and Repair your Body with Nature's Green Miracle to Banish Cellulite

Banishing cellulite requires a long-term approach. It took a long term to establish itself, and it will take time for your body to remove it and rebuild the structure of the skin. Detoxification helps enormously. Helping your tissues rebuild themselves in a healthier, sleeker form is the second part of any anti-cellulite approach. What you put into your body after a detox is as big a part of this process as any. Avoid at all costs artificial sweeteners, pre-packaged foods, sugar and grain-based foods. You will find after a detox that you will prefer to put lovely fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, complete with good quality proteins, into your body anyway. Banishing cellulite and rebuilding your body in firm, sleek contours takes time. And it can’t be done without good protein. In creating a new, cellulite-free body it is essential that you rebuild new skin, connective tissue and muscles from protein foods which are high in bio-available amino acids. You need a good amount of the highest quality protein. Watch out for hidden fat in your meat, and always buy organic if you can. Fish is an excellent form of protein, as are shellfish and eggs. But probably the best form of protein I know is nature’s little green miracle… Nature’s Green Miracle A near-microscopic form of blue-green fresh-water algae, spirulina is made up of translucent bubble-thin cells stacked end to end to form an incredibly beautiful deep green helix. It is unique and remarkable in so many ways that it is hard to list them all, but it is probably the single most important nutritional supplement you can use to support good body ecology. It is a superb form of protein, easier to digest than any other kind, lower in fat, and alkaline. This is particularly important when detoxifying, as most of the wastes you want to get rid of are acidic in nature. Spirulina also contains some wonderful nutrients in highly bio-available form, such as vitamin B12, iron, vitamin E and beta-carotene, plus vitamins C, B1, B5, B6, zinc, manganese and copper. Like sea plants, spirulina contains many rare and unique substances not found in other foods. A teaspoon to a tablespoon of powdered spirulina in a glass of juice or a cup of vegetable broth is just about the most energy-supporting thing that you can do while on an anti-cellulite program. You can also take it in tablet form, but where in powder form it is absorbed almost on contact with the stomach, the tablets take around 45 minutes to get their goodness into your bloodstream. What I like to do is to make up a big thermos of vegetable broth with powdered spirulina to drink throughout the day whenever I need an energy boost. Start with a teaspoon in a glass of juice or broth, and work up to a heaped tablespoon. Spirulina is unquestionably one of the planet’s finest natural complexes for supporting body ecology and the energy-enhancing health it creates at the highest levels.

Skin Help

Discover How to combat Oily Skin & Dry Skin for Lasting Beauty

Theoretically, having beautiful skin is simple. Take one part clear young skin, add the forty or so known nutrients from fresh foods eaten as much as possible in their natural state, and mix together with exercise for overall tone and proper breathing for good oxygenation of cells. Put in a dose of fresh air and a pinch of stimulation now and then. Stir well and you've got a recipe that will last for years. That's the theory. In practice, however, things can go wrong: an early wrinkle, acne, dryness, roughness - that's when you need help from special cosmetics, vitamins, and treatments. when skin dries out the cause Dried-out skin usually comes from under-active sebaceous glands, which don't produce enough of this important oily fluid to lubricate the skin and protect it from excessive water loss. It can also be the result of being exposed to excessively drying weather conditions, central heating, or air conditioning. Another, rarer, cause is being on a diet too low in essential fatty acids, such as a fat-free slimming regimen. Excessive dryness of the skin also occurs in people who, unknown to themselves, are suffering from deficiencies of vitamin A or C or any one of several of the B-complex group. prevention and cure Use a water-in-oil emulsion on your face night and day to protect against excessive water loss, by trapping the water in the outer layer of the skin and preventing it from being given up into the atmosphere. Ensure that you get enough essential fatty acids in your diet by using olive oil in your salad dressings and cutting out convenience foods full of junk fats. Consider taking supplements of vitamins A and D in the form of fish liver oil, or drinking fresh carrot juice a couple of times a day and taking some EPA and DHA in supplement form along with GLA. Try putting GLA in the form of borage oil or evening primrose oil directly on the skin too. You need to leave the oil on the skin for only fifteen minutes; then you can remove the excess with a tissue. Vitamin E taken internally and rubbed on the skin from capsules is often helpful too. Other helpful things include a humidifier, weekly steaming of the skin followed by an oil massage, and mineral water sprayed from an atomizer before applying your moisturizer or treatment products. Don't wash your skin with soap. Don't use any skin product containing alcohol. Use a mask for dry skin. Use aromatherapy oils you mix yourself to contain the essences most useful for dry skin, such as geranium, chamomile, rose, sandalwood, lavender, and ylang-ylang. Always choose an oil-based makeup foundation. the oil crisis Oily skin, or seborrhea, is the result of overactive sebaceous glands: it usually occurs due to a hormonal imbalance in the body. Occasionally a diet too high in fats and fried foods or refined sugar can contribute to the condition, as can too much stimulation of the sebaceous glands by heat, the sun, or skin-care products. Studies show that people on diets slightly deficient in some of the B group of vitamins rapidly develop whiteheads, blackheads, and oily hair and skin. prevention and cure Treatment for seborrhea has changed in recent years. Dermatologists used to think the way to deal with the condition was literally to dry out the skin. Dermatologists now realize that oily skin is not the tough and robust stuff they once thought it was. They have found that the use of drying agents in cosmetic products in most cases only treats the problem temporarily by removing excess oil at the expense of worsening the condition in the long run. Attempts to cover it up and to cover up acne with heavy, drying makeup are generally unsuccessful too. The new approach is different, but it may take time for you to get used to it if you are still thinking in the old way. Instead of using harsh products on your skin, buy a mild, lotion cleanser without any drying agent for cleansing and removing makeup. It should be an oil itself or an oil-in-water emulsion. Rub it on gently with clean hands, then wipe it off completely with tissues before rinsing with fresh, cool water. It is important to remove it all. You don't need a tonic or a freshener, but if you want one, make sure it contains no alcohol (alcohol is also a drier). During the day, wear a water-in-oil moisturizer and forget the heavy foundation. Instead, as soon as the moisturizer has had a chance to set, powder your face with double the amount of powder you would usually use, dust off the excess, then spray the face with a fine mist of water (preferably spring water from an atomiser, but you can use ordinary water in a spray bottle so long as the spray is very fine). Now blot with a tissue and then powder again. This will keep your skin looking fresh and matte as well as calming the flow of oil from trigger-happy glands. It will also help gradually to shrink the size of your pores. Then, throughout the day, every three or four hours or whenever necessary, you can repowder, and you'll never end up with the ugly, cakey mess oily-skinned women usually get. Also, stay out of the sun. Sunbathing may dry your skin for a while, but when indoors weather comes you will find you're faced with the results of the same situation: over-stimulation of the sebaceous glands by ultraviolet light, which results in all the problems you have been trying to get rid of. From a nutritional point of view, if your skin is too oily, don't eat fatty foods or fried foods and do eat plenty of raw green vegetables and B-complex vitamins from wholegrain breads and cereals, and liver. The B vitamins (particularly B6, niacin, and B2) in these foods are vital in the treatment of excessively oily skin and the acne that often accompanies it. Vitamin A and beta-carotene can also be useful in treating skin that is too oily. It can be taken together with vitamin D as fish liver oil, or in higher doses on its own as well. Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium have also been reported helpful. ultrasensitive and allergic skin the causes The word allergy means `altered response' in Greek. If you are allergic to something, this means that your body has come into contact with it and instead of reacting normally to it or not at all, it has reacted with hostility, resulting in raised, red, itchy splotches on the skin. An acute reaction occurs within seconds or minutes after coming in contact with the allergen. You can inhale it, say in the form of a hair spray, or you can take it in through your skin as a face cream or a makeup product. There are also delayed reactions, which come about only after a few hours or even days after coming into contact with the allergen. prevention and cure Apart from nutritional therapy to strengthen the whole organism against allergic reactions, the only effective way to deal with skin sensitivities is to be careful about what you put on your face. Get to know the hypoallergenic cosmetics - skin-care and makeup products made without known irritants. Most are inexpensive yet very good and specially formulated with ingredients that have little likelihood of causing problems. The prefix `hypo' means `less'. Hypoallergenic products are designed to be less reaction-producing than other cosmetics. They are fragrance-free and leave out such common troublemakers as aluminum salts, wool fat, and phenol. For immediate relief, skin inflammation usually responds well to calamine lotion, simple witch hazel, and some poultices made with herbs such as calendula. One of the best to use is comfrey, whose very name denotes healing in Latin. It contains the natural anti-inflammatory substance allantoin, which is often used in skin ointments. Make a comfrey compress by pouring half a cup of boiling water over half a cup of the dried herb. Let it cool to a bearable temperature, near body heat, then put the wet herb on the face. Cover with gauze and lie down for fifteen minutes while it cools. This kind of compress will also reduce the pain and swelling over a bruise or a pulled muscle, as well as calm inflamed skin. when acne strikes the cause Although it is more common among teenagers than among any other age group, acne, an infection of the sebaceous glands, can occur at any time in life. It shows up as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and pustules that occur on the face and neck, back and chest. The cause of acne is still not completely understood, and the recommended treatment tends to vary. Many people with acne are victims of a food sensitivity or allergy - the most common allergens being wheat, milk, or preservatives and colorings. And when the elimination of waste via the alimentary canal is inadequate, often wastes are eliminated through the skin. Finally, stress and emotional upset are often implicated. prevention and cure Look to your diet first. Eliminate sweets, sugared soft drinks, and fatty foods such as nuts and fried foods. A diet in which at least 50 per cent of your foods are eaten raw often does wonders for even long-term acne, provided it is used in conjunction with the proper external care and vitamin and mineral supplements where necessary. It is essential to keep the skin clean, removing dirt and excess oil or waxy sebum regularly, using gentle, pH-balanced soaps or detergent cleansers. Skin should be washed in warm water at least twice a day and steamed twice a week to encourage the release of waste matter. Of course your hands should be immaculate so as not to encourage further infection. Topical agents are often helpful. Retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A acid (available only by prescription) applied to the skin is one of the commonly used and generally effective treatments for acne. Sometimes dermatologists use the antibiotic tetracycline, usually administered in doses of 250mg twice a day. In many cases this has dramatically reduced the acne, but there are disadvantages to antibiotic treatment, too. Because of the stress aspects of acne, both regular exercise and meditation or deep relaxation can be helpful too. stretch marks the cause Stretch marks occur frequently on the abdomen and breasts of pregnant women and on the thighs, hips and buttocks of women who have been overweight - particularly women who are deficient in zinc, vitamin B6, or both. A sudden increase in weight or volume of an area of the body or the swelling of breasts and abdomen in pregnancy results in these unsightly lines, which are difficult to eliminate. prevention and cure Ensure that you get adequate zinc, silica and vitamin B6 in your diet - if necessary by supplementing it. Women who are on the Pill are particularly susceptible to deficiencies of these two nutrients. If you gain weight or become pregnant, treat your skin from outside with preventative measures by rubbing on an aromatherapy oil for your skin type twice a day or by the use of cocoa butter. There is supposed to be no cure for stretch marks once they are formed, for the consistency of the skin itself in that area has changed to resemble scar tissue and therefore remains permanently disfigured. What I have seen is that old stretch marks improve greatly with aromatherapy treatment and connective-tissue massage, which appears to bring life back into the tissue by increasing circulation in the area. But while I have seen them fade greatly - enough for the woman to wear a bikini again without fear of looking ugly - I have never known them to disappear completely. blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples the causes A blackhead consists of a solid plug of oil that clogs the pore and then blackens due to oxidation on exposure to the air. If it is left alone it will simply stay there in the skin. Blackheads do not cure themselves. A whitehead looks like a tiny white lump on the skin. Once formed, it will remain unless the chemistry of the oil follicle changes, in which case the whitehead turns into a pimple. prevention and cure Blackheads on oily areas of the face (such as around the nose and chin) that are not inflamed can be removed easily by first steaming the skin to open the pores and loosen the oil material. Then gently, with scrupulously clean hands and the tips of your fingers wrapped in facial tissue, you can ease out the plugs. Never use your nails. Finish off the treatment with the application of an antiseptic cream. If you have many whiteheads it is best to follow nutritional and treatment advice for oily skin. The elimination of a dormant whitehead can only be done by a professional. Besides care in keeping skin clean and nutritional prevention of excessively oily skin, little should be done with a pimple other than to allow it to take its course. don't let age get under your skin Nothing betrays age like the state of your skin. When you are young, it is thick, glowing, soft and elastic. As the years go by, a number of changes take place. To slow down this process and to keep a young healthy skin as long as possible you have first to retain a young, healthy body. This is a total, ongoing process depending on good nutrition, stress control, exercise, and protection from the environment. There aren't any shortcuts. But the good news is this: these skin aging changes appear to be not so dependent on the passage of time as they were once believed to be. There is much, therefore, you can do to retard them. to tan or not to tan A tan is a protective reaction. It results from the formation of melanin, the skin's natural pigmentation produced by special cells whose action is triggered by exposure to ultraviolet rays. Every woman has a unique capacity for melanin production, depending on her genetic inheritance. Dark, thick, Mediterranean skins produce more melanin. This is why they will turn a darker brown than the `English rose' skin, which produces far less. There are some important things to remember about tanning and how to protect your skin from aging and cancers: There is no way to get a safe tan. Never use a sunbed.  They filter out UVB burning rays but let the UVA in deep.  They are automatic aging machines. SPF numbers don't tell you about UVA protection from wrinkling and aging.  Most only deal with UVB protection against burning. For the safest protection from aging and burning read labels.  Shun chemical sunscreens in favor of physical sunblocks - products based on micro minerals such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which do not absorb the sun's rays or react with your skin. Apply a sunblock a quarter of an hour before going out into the sun. Water resistant products are not what they seem.  Their effectiveness is compromised by sweat and swimming.  Reapply them often. If you are using or have used any kind of AHAs, Retin-A/Renova or any other pharmaceuticals on your face, wear a hat which shades your face as well as a physical sunblock and don't spent a lot of time outdoors. Never get sunburnt.  The damage it causes continues to get worse for 24 hours after the initial burn appears, and when severe it can last a lifetime. Think twice before taking oral contraceptives or HRT.  Use of these hormone-based drugs is correlated with a three times greater risk of melanomas in women under 40.  they make you prone to irregular pigmentation - age spots- as well. Take a tip from the Arabs, who know a lot about sun protection.  Cover your body well when you plan to spend long hours outdoors.  Always wear a hat. Use one of the excellent new non-reactive, mineral-based makeup products on your face (such as Jane Iredale) which lasts all day, looks natural, covers your skin and reflects UV rays for extra protection. forget the cigarettes Smoking also makes skin age rapidly. This is probably because of a substance called benzopyrene, which is found in cigarette smoke and which uses up the body's supply of vitamin C rapidly, making it unavailable for the support of healthy collagen. So the skin wrinkles earlier. The skin of smokers wrinkles and ages up to twenty years sooner than that of nonsmokers. But the problem with cigarette smoke doesn't end there. For it is not only the smoker whose skin can suffer from it. So can the nonsmoker's. She may take in considerable quantities of benzopyrene, tar, carbon monoxide, and other irritating substances just by being in a room with others who are smoking. Some dermatologists concerned about the dangerous effects of cigarette smoke on skin recommend that every smoker supplement her diet with additional vitamin C at a rate of 25mg for each cigarette she smokes. But if you are serious about preventing aging, give up smoking altogether - no matter how difficult it seems, and no matter how many excuses you can make for yourself about why you think you can't just now.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 20,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 16 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 13th of June 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.76 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men
-0.76 lb
for women
-0.81 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 13th of June 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

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