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beauty

70 articles in beauty

Get A Radiant Body

Get A Radiant Body

How do you feel about your body? Is it a source of pleasure and pride? A burden to be borne? A matter of indifference? Does it feel like a ‘good runner' which always seems to do what you ask of it? Or is your body something on which you don’t think you can depend? I find that most men and women in the Western world feel uneasy about their bodies. The cultural models which our culture has inherited from the ancient Greeks separates ‘body’—our physical presence—from ‘soul', the so-called ‘real' person, creating a schizoid attitude towards ourselves. Often we treat the body as an object. Then we alternate between narcissistically indulging it and continually neglecting it. Sometimes, we seem to dissociate from it altogether. QUANTUM RADIANCE NOW The body is the medium through which we experience reality. This is a truth most people forget. Your sense of aliveness and vitality, peace and relaxation, joy, sexuality, power—even intellectual enjoyment—are all experienced through your physical body. The more vital it is, the more intense are your sensibilities, and the richer your experience of being alive. The right treatments carried out on the surface of the body using simple substances such as water, oils, clays—even doing dry skin brushing—profoundly influence your state of wellbeing, both mentally and physically. Some techniques improve lymphatic drainage, clearing away wastes stored in the system. Others pep you up when you're tired, or relax you when you're stressed. They contribute to an experience of quantum wellbeing. The body is a finely-tuned instrument. It becomes more sensitive and stronger as you use it. The radiant body feels comfortably in tune with the earth on which it stands, yet free to move, to dance, to feel, and to experience joy and pain fully. This is what being fully alive is all about, no matter what your age. Ideally, the body should always have been this way. A child born naturally, without trauma or drugs, who enters a safe and welcoming world and has a good bond with its mother already has such a body. It moves fluidly, experiences emotions and physical sensations deeply. This makes it fully expressive both in shape and movements of the innate essence of the unique being. Sadly, for most of us, our natural aliveness and bodily freedom have become distorted or truncated. Traumas which we experience tighten muscles, damping down our sensory input. Some people find themselves oppressed and overwhelmed by living in a world which is anything but life-nurturing. This is a not-uncommon feeling for children and young adults. All of these experiences which are felt through the body leave their ‘scars' since they are held in the tissues. Then, instead of maintaining the sensitivity and responsiveness which is our birthright, the body gradually becomes ‘deadened’. This deadness can express itself in many ways—from rigidity or strange postural attitudes and gaits to flaccidity, muscles which seem lifeless and lackluster skin, even low self-esteem, depression, and a sense of impossibility about one’s life. BODY MAGIC The most remarkable gift of the human body is its natural plasticity. It is more than capable of transforming itself. Unlike a machine, your body is continually in flux. It changes its shape and ways of functioning from day to day and moment to moment. It can collect poisons in the tissues which decrease vitality and promote illness, and it can easily be encouraged to eliminate these poisons, becoming more alive, strong and beautiful. This in turn improves your whole way of experiencing life. You can work with a twisted, strained body, or one without a great capacity for feeling physical pleasure. Gradually, over a period of months, you can help it reclaim its ‘aliveness' and its natural good looks. There are a number of simple but powerful techniques for bringing this about. Regular exercise is one. So is the Alexander Technique. Yoga too can be useful—if it is practised well. And there are other professional disciplines which can help, like the bio-energetic therapies, touch for health, and Rolfing or structural integration. There are also many wonderfully effective practices which you can do for yourself day-to-day to help reawaken vitality, improving the way you look and feel. They can alter the way you move, as well as the way you feel about yourself and your life. For, when your body feels more alive, more responsive and stronger, so do you. DO IT YOURSELF The healing of our culturally inherited mind-body split is a slow but totally necessary process, in order to achieve the kind of integration which makes quantum wellness possible. Many of the techniques useful for bringing it about—such as the clay and sea-plant treatments, massage, water therapy, breathing exercises—can be a lot of fun and leave you feeling great when you use them, as well as the long lasting benefits each promises. Also, making time in your life to practice them can be an excellent method of de-stressing, allowing you to get away from any leaning towards becoming an `automaton'—a tendency we all have to some degree— and become more conscious of who in essence you really are, and where you are going. This is an important part of a quantum way of life. TAKE THE PLUNGE A simple thing like water, which you come in contact with every day, is ideal for beginning transformation and heightening vitality. Applications of hot and cold water used to be a standard therapy for aches and pains and for revitalizing. We know this thanks to the pioneering work of Father Sebastian Kneipp, the Bavarian parish priest who strengthened his own less-than-hearty health with the healing powers of water, and then went on to develop a whole system of treatment using it to dissolve toxic wastes while strengthening the entire organism. Many of Kneipp's techniques—which I wrote at length about a few weeks ago—are great for bringing you more vitality and a growing experience of aliveness. He insisted that the easiest way of ‘hardening and bracing the system' is to walk barefoot—on wet grass or stones, on freshly fallen snow, or in cold water up to your knees. This may sound strange to someone who has never tried it, but it can be enormously invigorating—even on winter mornings. I do it at some time every day, come rain or shine. I learned of its power from doctor friends who use it to increase a patient's resistance to illness with excellent results. The secret is to spend only a few minutes (from 3-5) walking barefoot in this way, making sure that you keep shoes and socks dry, so you can put them on immediately afterwards. If they too are allowed to get damp you miss out on the stimulating effect of the contact with the cold dampness. This can deplete your body of energy instead of revitalizing and strengthening it. This, by the way, is the secret for using any cold water applications on the body. You must be warm to begin with and you must keep warm and dry afterwards. Contact with cold water under these circumstances first causes constriction of the blood vessels, momentarily driving the blood inwards. Then, the moment it is stopped, the blood rushes to the surface of the skin, warming it. BRUSH FOR BLISS The same principles apply to hot and cold showers or cold sitz baths. One of the best possible ways of waking up each morning and getting yourself going for the day ahead is to brush your dry skin down well with a dry hemp glove or a natural vegetable bristle bath brush. Then step into a warm shower. As soon as the warmth of the water has suffused your body so you are warm and comfortable, switch from `warm' to `cold'. Remain under cold water for only half a minute (no more), making sure that your body all over gets covered with the cold spray. Emerge from the shower, dry yourself briskly and dress warmly. It is important that the bathroom is always warm and that you begin very slowly with only, say, 10 seconds of cold water at first, gradually increasing it to half a minute as you become used to it. I think you will be surprised at how quickly this adaptation takes place. It will make your body feel alive and tingling, increase your stamina and, according to the European doctors who still use it regularly with their patients, heighten your resistance to colds and flu. SITZ BATHS FOR SLEEP Here’s a variation on the cold water theme that will surprise you. A cold sitz bath is one of the best ways of relaxing quickly and preparing your body and mind for sleep. It is another technique the effectiveness of which you won't believe until you have tried it several times yourself. It is a great blessing for people who suffer from insomnia because their minds race and they can't turn off mental energy when they go to bed. Here's how: Fill a bath with 3"-4" of cold water from the tap. Make sure the bathroom is warm and that you have done all of the things you need to do before retiring. Wrap the top half of your body in a sweater or dressing gown which you can tuck up so that when you sit in the water it won't get wet but it will keep the upper part of your body warm. Now immerse your hips and bottom in the tub for 30 seconds. You can do this either by letting your legs hang over the side of the tub or by sitting in the bath and allowing your heels to go into the water to steady your body. Get out, dry yourself well, then climb into bed. The technique draws the body energy away from the head and brings a marvellous sense of peace and relaxation. Next week we’ll look at more simple do-it-yourself techniques for quantum radiance, such as the health-enbhancing magnesium chloride flakes and gifts from the sea. See you then...

Skin Works

Skin Works

For most people, the face is the focus of attention and the most immediate expression of a woman's beauty. It is certainly the area of the body women most worry about. They spend a great deal of money looking after it with creams and lotions, cleansers and toners and masks, and of course the traditional facials, special treatments, and face-lifts. Everything seems to depend on the face. And all of this is done in an attempt to make sure skin stays smooth and young-looking, well colored, and free from blemishes. Skin is one of the most important criteria for sexual attraction between men and women. Perhaps this is the main reason the face seems so important. the craft of skin care A living, breathing thing, skin is far more than just a superficial covering for your body. It is your largest organ. It covers a surface area of about 17 square feet and weighs between six and eight pounds. So complex is this stuff called skin that a piece of it with the surface area of your thumbnail boasts a yard of blood vessels, twenty-five nerve endings, one hundred sweat glands, and over three million cells. Lasting skin beauty is a question of lasting care, just not spending lavishly on fancy creams and treatments. It is the everyday way you treat skin that matters year after year. But to know how to look after your skin you must first know something about it - what it is and isn't, what it's meant to do, and the many things that affect it for better or worse. For then you can see that its needs are met from day to day. In return it will give you what you desire: beauty that at the very least is skin deep. how your skin works Your skin is a world all its own: living tissue composed of billions of cells bathed in a lake of liquid with the same salt content as seawater. Each skin cell is separated from its neighbor by a membrane through which nutrients and respiratory gases pass, and all skin tissue is nourished by the myriad of tiny capillaries which bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to the cell. Cell growth and reproduction go on unceasingly in each of these microcosms. Life is sustained, wastes eliminated to be carried away via the lymph and blood, so that all of these cells can work together to perform the many vital functions that your skin carries out: It protects your body from invasion by bacteria, virus, or fungus. It helps eliminate the waste products of the metabolism directly through its surface. It conveys information about the outside world by way of a vast network of complex sensory nerve endings. It helps guard the inside of your body from the destructive ultraviolet rays of the sun. And it registers pleasure and pain from your environment. Your skin both depends on the rest of your body for its healthy existence and also offers help to it. And like all live things, in order to function well and look beautiful, it has to be free to carry out all its duties unimpaired by lack of proper nutrients or oxygen, poor circulation, illness, internal pollution, or prolonged stress, all of which threaten its integrity. Real skin care is not just skin deep. skin comes in layers Skin is made up of three layers: the stratified cellular epidermis (the part you see when you look into the mirror); an underlying dermis, made up of connective tissue, nerves, blood, and lymph systems, which also contain the sebaceous, or oil, glands, and sweat glands with ducts leading to its surface; and finally a fatty layer of subcutaneous tissue. The outermost layer, the epidermis, consists of two parts: an inner part of living cells called the stratum Malpighii, and an outer part of anucleated (meaning they have lost their nucleus) horny cells, the stratum corneum. The inner part is in direct contact with the dermis, beneath it. the outer skin Here, at the base of the epidermis, is the stratum Malpighii.  A single layer of cells known as the basal layer forms new cells for the rest of the epidermis by continuous cell reproduction. As they are formed, these new cells constantly push outward and upward towards its surface. In the process, they synthesize an insoluble protein called keratin, lose their cell nuclei, die, and dry out, becoming mere shells on the skin's surface. Once there, they are forever being sloughed off and replaced by new arrivals from below. Most skin care products concern themselves only with the treatment of this stratum corneum, making sure it does not dry out excessively (moisturizer); that the dead cells are periodically sloughed off (exfoliater, which stimulates the basal layer to produce more fresh cells and leaves the skin looking more translucent); and finally, that it is covered with a chemical or physical sunscreen to guard the deeper layers of the skin from damage as a result of exposure to sunlight. When the layers of dead cells in the stratum corneum lie flat and smooth against each other, the skin refracts light well, making your skin look beautifully smooth and silky. If, instead, they are turned up at the edges, then the skin looks dry and lacks smoothness. For they are the outermost manifestation of skin beauty and health. On the stratum corneum, that is on the surface of your skin, there is also a hydrolipidic film composed of water from the sweat glands and oil from the sebaceous glands in a kind of oil-in-water emulsion. This film acts as a natural moisturizer, maintaining acidity (referred to as the pH of skin) to help guard the body against invasion of any kind, and to protect it from chemical onslaught. The natural pH of your skin is between 4.5 and 5.5, which means that it is slightly acid. It is important to maintain this acid mantle. It can be disturbed by the use of soaps, most of which are strongly alkaline, and cosmetics which are not acid-balanced. This is particularly true if your skin is sensitive by nature, tends to be either excessively dry or excessively oily, or if it often breaks out in acne. the living skin Beneath the epidermis, in the dermis, or true skin (which unlike the epidermis is entirely a living thing), are found the nerves. They register pleasure, pain, touch, heat and cold. Here, too, is a rich supply of blood vessels and lymphatics plus all the various skin appendages: the hair follicles, with their sebaceous glands, and the sweat glands. Also important in the dermis is an elaborate network of fibers, made by special cells called fibroblasts. These fibers look like the warp and weft of fine cloth. They are collectively known as connective tissues, and are made up mostly of protein called collagen together with about 2 percent elastin. This network gives your skin its form and resilience. So long as it remains smooth and ordered, your skin stays young-looking and firm. When its fibers start to bunch up and harden or to cross-link and become disorganized, your skin rapidly begins to sag, to wrinkle, and to age. This aging process has many causes. It can occur as a result of exposure to the sun, internal wear and tear from illness, or an insufficiency of certain vitamins and minerals (particularly vitamin C and the trace element zinc), or exposure to cigarette smoke and pollution. It also appears to be part of your genetic programming. Much of the beauty and health of your skin depends on the dermal layer. The things it needs to stay strong and healthy come as much - if not more - from the inside than from what you apply to skin. This internal aspect of skin care is what is most ignored. Few women even consider it, and yet without ensuring that the dermis gets all it needs through optimum nutrition and regular exercise (not only for the face but also for the body as a whole), there is no way you can prevent or correct the disorganization of connective tissue, its consequent loss of tone, and the resulting deep line formation on the face. the subskin Underneath the dermis, in the subcutaneous tissue, are layers of muscle and fatty tissue which act as insulation to the body and which also give young female skin its characteristic (and very attractive) padding. When this padding starts to go, either because of hormonal changes that come with age or because of simple neglect, your skin loses tone and firmness. Looking after this layer of skin is a whole body challenge. Particularly important to it is the health of your endocrine system, in which constant regular exercise plays a vital part. Truly effective skin care has to ensure the continuous health and proper functioning of all three layers, to preserve beauty. This means treatment and protection from the outside of the epidermis. It also means treatment of the dermis through first-rate nutrition, vitamins and minerals, rest and exercise, and perhaps, too, the application of specific essential oils, fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid (GLA), certain vitamins such as vitamin E, and/or other active substances which can be absorbed through the skin's outer layers into the dermis to stimulate cell metabolism, encourage waste elimination from cells, and help protect and preserve the collagen and elastin fibers. Finally, the subcutaneous layer has to be kept intact by maintaining a firm and well-used, healthy body. In other words, really good skin care for lasting beauty has to tackle the challenge simultaneously from within and without. And there are no shortcuts.

Cleansing Help

Cleansing Help

Very occasionally when someone goes on an active program of detoxification such as an apple fast for a few days, they have the experience of a severe headache at some time within a day or two, or of feeling moody, or having an upset stomach, a film on their tongue or teeth, even 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 reality, it happens to very few people. If you are one of them, be glad, even though it may be a bit of a nuisance for a few hours; it is actually a good sign. Your body is taking the opportunity you have afforded it through what you are eating (and what you are not eating) of throwing off a lot of debris which you need to get rid of if you are to live at a higher level of health and vitality. If a cleansing crisis does happen, take the time to relax, lie down in a darkened room if possible, and be kind to yourself. Have a cup of peppermint tea - it is very soothing when you have a headache. If you can’t sleep, try a cup of chamomile tea, or eat a banana which is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, a superb natural sedative. Congratulations – it can be quite a feat to be ridding your body of so much old debris all at once. It will pass quickly, leaving you better than ever. caffeine trouble The people most likely to get a headache as part of a cleansing crisis are those who have been drinking several cups of coffee or tea 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 eliminate it from your body. The first time this happened to me I had been in Vienna for six days, where everyone drinks coffee – and very strong coffee too – all day long. Though not much of a coffee-drinker myself, I decided while there to go along with the custom. The day I left the city I got on to an airplane to return to London and my usual way of eating, and 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 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 for the first time begin to clear their system of stored wastes. It more than makes up for the headache or upset stomach which can herald its coming. clever compress Something I learnt many years ago from another doctor who uses natural methods for healing, is that if you are experiencing any kind of cleansing crisis, you can help your body enormously by putting a simple cool compress around your middle and leaving it there as you lie down for half an hour. This can also be done when you go to bed in the evening if you prefer. A cool compress stimulates the flow of blood to the area of the liver – another prime mover when it comes to detoxification – so speeding up the release of wastes from the body, and easing any unpleasant symptoms that come with them. Using a compress is also enormously relaxing. Tear a piece of cotton fabric (an old sheet is ideal) into a rectangular piece which is about fifteen inches wide and long enough to go comfortably around the middle of your body (between your armpits and hips). Wet this compress in cold water and wring out completely so it is only damp. Now, using a dry towel (or a piece of wool or thick natural fabric) which is also big enough to go around your middle and to overlap so you can pin it comfortably with a few safety-pins, spread the compress out on the outstretched towel. Now lay your naked midriff on this strip and wrap first the compress around you and then the towel on top, pinning it securely. Pull your clothes or nightclothes down over the lot, and pop into a warm bed for at least half an hour. Such a compress can be helpful not only for sailing through a cleansing crisis, but also if ever you find it difficult to sleep because of worry or stress. kidney power If you find yourself experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms during your apple fast, increase the quantity of spring water you are drinking. When the body’s water level gets too low, your kidneys don’t work efficiently and the liver has to take on too much of the cleansing work on its own. If you tend to retain water, this is often because you don’t drink enough, so your body tries its best to hold on to the water there is in order to dilute any toxicity in your tissues. Believe it or not, you breathe out about 2 big glasses worth of water a day. The kidneys and intestines eliminate roughly another 6 glasses, and 2 are released through the skin. So keep drinking – during a detox and after. We all tend to need more water than we drink for optimum health. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle or two of mineral water on your desk, or somewhere where you will see it often, to remind you to take in enough water each day. Here is a simple formula for working out the ideal quantity of water to drink each day for maximum energy and good looks. Divide your current weight in kilos by 8. (e.g. 58 kilos divided by 8 = 7.25). Round the figure up (to eight) and that is the number of glasses of water you need a day. This is just a base calculation of course. Drinking enough water is one of the most important things you can do day-in-day-out to keep your body eliminating wastes efficiently. Remember that you will probably need to take in more water than your base calculation when you are exercising or if it is a hot day. psychic detox Some people can get a temporary feeling of letdown on a detox. This is usually because the heart, having been stimulated by caffeine and other irritants, begins to beat more slowly, and the false exhilaration you used to get from stimulants temporarily turns into a feeling of being down. It doesn’t last long, and in most people it doesn’t happen at all. Sometimes, however, during a detox it can seem that all sorts of psychic junk suddenly gets released along with the physical toxins you have been carrying around. Feelings of anxiety, worry or guilt may surface with seemingly no reason. They will most likely just be flushed away with all the other junk your body is getting rid of. In the meantime, try putting a few drops of lavender or vanilla essential oil in an oil burner and enjoy their relaxing and soothing properties. Or put one or two drops of either essential oil in your bath and breathe in the fragrance. One of the nice things about this sort of detox is that you often find you think much more clearly after it. Stress does many unpleasant things to the body, one of which is that it can make your whole system acidic. An apple fast alkalizes your system, so bringing it back into balance, and throwing off the byproducts of stress in the process. When you are mentally stressed, your body becomes physically stressed through having to deal with all this toxic waste. Removing these toxic wastes can often mean that your ability to deal with more stress is greatly improved. You begin to see things in a much more positive light and can put what once seemed difficult problems into their proper perspective. relax and revive During a detox it is important to make sure you get enough rest. Think how good you feel after a holiday. It’s usually the one time when we actually allow ourselves to rest - something we don’t do enough of during the rest of the year. Rest is so essential because it is while you are resting that your tissues restore themselves. Without it, your body cannot properly restore damaged tissues. During a detox, your body is working pretty hard in eliminating all the rubbish you have allowed to be released into your system. Give it a break and make time for yourself to relax – and don’t feel guilty about it. Watch your favorite videos, read that book you’ve been promising yourself you’ll find time for, listen to all your old records, or just do nothing. This is a precious time; a time to devote to yourself and your body’s needs. Don’t waste it. During the day, whenever you can, lie down even for ten minutes and just let go. Or practice a simple relaxation/mediation exercise like this one: Close your eyes and watch your breath coming in and out of your body. With each out breath count silently. So it goes like this: ‘In breath… out breath… one… in breath… out breath… two…’ and so on up to ten. If you lose track or find that your mind is distracted, it doesn’t matter at all. Just go back to ‘one’ and start again. Carry this out for ten to fifteen minutes whenever you can find a few spare minutes to yourself. It helps to rebalance your body’s nervous system and can be useful if you have to deal with any negative emotions that surface during your detox.

Nails To Flaunt

Nails To Flaunt

Beautiful nails are no accident. A few fortunate women seem to have been born with genes which lend themselves to the growth of long, strong nails, but the rest of us have to work at it. The encouraging thing is that a little work - some changes in nutrition plus a new regime of external care - can transform your nails within a few months. why weak nails? The standard advice (still, sadly, given by a lot of so-called nail experts) is that if your nails are weak or thin or break easily, you need to eat lots of protein to correct the condition. It is this assumption that leads manicurists to suggest gelatin capsules for weak nails. But it is a false one. Very soft nails most often announce not a protein deficiency, but either a mineral deficiency or hypochlorhydrin: lack of sufficient stomach acid. This prevents the adequate production of amino acids from which nails can be built. One of the best possible overall treatments for nails is to go on a six-week course of nutritional supplementation aimed at eliminating hypochlorhydrin. This means taking three 500 mg capsules of a good blend of amino acids (ideally formulated to mimic the balance found naturally in an egg), together with one or two tablets of betaine hydrochloride, and three to six kelp tablets after each meal. It is a method which tends to work even when all others fail. For anyone who has consistently struggled with the problem of poor nails it can be a real blessing. nail glamour Part of the fun of looking glamorous is having 10 beautiful lady-of-leisure nails to waft about. Yet who wants to spend their life wearing protective gloves, worrying about the `catastrophe' of breaking a nail? Learn the French manicure secrets for strong nails and then you can renew your manicure just once a week. Nail Saver Tips Without becoming obsessive, there are certain precautions you can take to help protect your nails from physical damage: Use a pencil to dial the telephone. Use a knuckle rather than your fingertip to push buttons, for example to call a lift. Keep hand lotion ready to use after you wash your hands and during the day. Use rubber gloves every time you wash the dishes. the french manicure You need: nail varnish remover, cotton wood pads, emery board or nail soak, orange stick, cuticle trimmer, nail scissors, buffer (optional), base coat, nail varnish, top coat. The pre-manicure If you are short on time, just do steps 1 and 2. Save the longer pre-manicure for really pampering yourself. 1. Filing It is best to file your nails while they still have polish on so that they are afforded some protection. Keep the sides of the nails straight and only file the corners in a gentle curve. Follow the natural shape of your nails as a guide and file away from the outer edge towards the center in one direction. 2. Cleaning Soak a cotton pad with a remover containing conditioner and press it onto the nail for a few seconds, then wipe it outwards away from the cuticle. If you have been wearing colored varnish you may need to soak a cotton bud with remover and go around the edge of the cuticle to help lift away any remaining color. If your nails are stained , use a cut piece of lemon to help dissolve the stain and whiten them. 3. Soaking Soak your fingertips in a bowl of warm water containing a conditioning nail soak. You can make your own using a few drops of your favorite bath oil dissolved in water. Cuticle care Rinse your hands and pat them dry. Using an orange stick, gently push back your cuticles. This will make your nails appear longer. 5. Top abrasion This step can be helpful if your nails have bad ridges, while you are waiting for the nutritional supplements to affect the new nail growth. Also, if you do not like to wear nail varnish, you can get a polished look naturally. Using a special flexible buffing board with three different grades of roughness on it, simply buff the nail in one direction several times. Start with the heaviest grade and work towards the finest. 6. Final squeak Rub over each nail once more with a cotton pad soaked in nail varnish remover to prepare an oil-free base on which to apply your varnish. The manicure Three steps to success: 1. The base Apply a layer of protective base coat to each nail. Look for a base coat which incorporates nail strengthener. 2. Tip treat Paint the tip of each nail - the white part - with white enamel. This can be matte white or pearlized white. Not only does this keep your nails looking fresh and clean but, more importantly, it gives them extra strength at the tips where they need it. Let the tips dry and then add another tip coat. 3. Top Finish the manicure by applying a layer of top coat to the entire nail to seal the lacquers. To keep your manicure fresh and protect your nails even further, paint a coat of top coat over the top of your manicure every evening and massage a little cuticle cream into your cuticles.

Sacred Truth Ep. 40: Eat Fat For Health

Sacred Truth Ep. 40: Eat Fat For Health

All over the world, people are getting sicker by the year, while food manufacturers, government bodies, and the mainstream medical profession keep telling us to eat more low-fat-high-carb foods and plenty of unsaturated golden oils. They warn us to stay away from all the “dangerous” saturated fats and oils. So we go on buying convenience foods riddled with carbs and sugars, believing that we are doing the right thing to protect from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and mounting degenerative diseases that plague the Western World. Well, my friend, such advice from the powers-that-be is not just untrue—it is positively dangerous. To stay healthy, protect yourself from obesity, degenerative conditions, and early aging, it’s important that you avoid starchy carbs, hidden sugars, and all highly processed unsaturated oils. We have been indoctrinated with an irrational fear of fat because of inaccurate research carried out way back in the 1960s when absurd assumptions became turned into quasi-religious non-sense dogma. Since then, instead of protecting us from heart disease, obesity, and other degenerative conditions, what we’ve been told has made us highly susceptible to all these diseases. It’s time to get savvy about the fats—to learn which fats are life-destroying and which are health-enhancing and to change the way you eat. Here’s the truth: Polyunsaturated fats and oils turn rancid when heated. They turn into a health-destroying source of free radicals that do your body great harm. They attack cells and damage DNA. Recent, reliable scientific studies show a definite connection between consumption of these polyunsaturated oils and the development of cancer, as well as heart disease and many other illnesses. Here’s the gen: avoid these oils at all cost: Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed. They are badly processed, and are often full of dangerous chemicals. As far as canola oil is concerned—commonly used in the manufacture of convenience foods—it turns rancid quickly and is associated with the development of fibrotic heart lesions. The oils and fats you want to eat to look after your health and to stay lean are these: butter from grass-fed animals, and tropical oils such as coconut oil. Coconut oil is great for cooking. Extra-virgin olive oil is ideal for salad dressings. These are quality fats which, eaten on their own, or together with protein but without an abundance of starchy carbohydrates and sugar alleviate hunger and act as a great source of energy throughout the day. Eating too little of these good fats can lead to an experience of sitting down to a meal and, no matter how much you eat, still craving more food at the end of it. These natural fats let you know when your body is satisfied. They also help balance your hormones while significantly enhancing how you look and feel. Low-fat foods fill our supermarket shelves, attracting ignorant consumers trying to be good and eat what they’ve been told to eat. Manufactured convenience foods have become a roaring financial success story for food manufacturers. So people eat low-fat foods, believing that these are good for them, without realizing that manufacturers, in preparing low-fat menus, have replaced fat with sugar in their wares. We have been told the false notion that all saturated fats are dangerous. Back to the good oils: Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and one of the safest vegetable oils you can use. It is well suited to dressings and can be heated, but only to moderate temperatures. Make sure that the Extra Virgin Olive Oil you buy is cloudy (not filtered) and a golden-yellow color. Coconut oil is your safest, healthiest choice for cooking since it remains stable, even at high temperatures. It also boasts antiviral and antibacterial properties. The other good, and often forgotten, saturated fat is butter but only from cows who have been grazed on green grass for at least part of their life. Here’s the good news: Natural fats eaten on their own or together with protein, without a lot of carbohydrates and sugar, will not cause the laying down of fat on your body. Neither will they create insulin resistance, as polyunsaturated oils, grain and cereal-based carbohydrates and sugars can. This is the most difficult truth for most people to grasp when we have been schooled for more than half a century in inaccurate and dangerous high-carbs-low-fat approaches to weight loss and protection from illness and obesity. Yet, when it comes to becoming radiantly well and staying that way, you need to grasp this truth and put it into practice. One more thing: Be sure to take a top quality Omega 3 supplement each day. (See below for my recommendation.) And from this moment on, eat GOOD FATS and thrive. You’ll love it. Life Extension, Super Omega-3, EPA/DHA With Sesame Lignans & Olive Fruit Extract, 240 Softgels The body needs fatty acids to survive and is able to make all but two of them: linoleic acid (LA), in the omega-6 family, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the omega-3 family. These two fatty acids must be supplied by the diet and are therefore considered essential fatty acids (EFAs). Omega-3 fatty acids, found in coldwater fish (and fish oil), perilla and flaxseed oils, are essential elements of a healthy diet. Omega-3 oils contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are usually lacking in the typical Western diet, which is filled with foods containing high amounts of omega-6 fats. EPA and DHA can be synthesized in the body from ALA, but EPA and DHA synthesis may be insufficient under certain conditions and for most people that consume Western diets. Order Life Extension, Super Omega-3 from iherb Carlson Labs, Super Omega·3 Gems, Fish Oil Concentrate, 1000 mg, 250 Soft Gels Medical Scientists Internationally are encouraging people to eat more fish. Fish body oil is the only major source of the polyunsaturated Omega-3's EPA and DHA. For those individuals who do not eat an oily fish diet, Carlson offers Omega-3's in easy-to-swallow soft gelatin capsules. Carlson Super Omega-3 Gems soft gels contain 1000 mg (1 gram) of a special concentrate of fish body oils from deep, cold water fish which are especially rich in the important Omega-3's EPA and DHA. Order Carlson Labs, Super Omega·3 Gems from iherb

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

One of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world uses hot and cold baths and showers to increase your vitality, balance hormones, beautify skin, tone muscles, clear your mind, and vitalize your nervous system, lymphatic system, and circulation. It quickly brings you a sense of wonderful aliveness, and all the while it is dissolving, transporting, and clearing rubbish from your body and psyche. Father Sebastian Kneipp The father of all water therapies was Father Sebastian Kneipp, the Bavarian priest who first made us aware of water’s healing power. “When used appropriately,” he said, “water and herbs can cure almost every disease.” He established Bad Worishofen in Germany in 1897, a center where people all over the world came to be healed by special ice cold baths, walking barefoot in the snow, and other simple but powerful methodologies that are celebrated to this day. I first learned the secrets of water healing in my early twenties after spending many years in a state of ill health thanks to my being raised on a terrible diet. It had been based on huge bowels of breakfast cereals piled high with white sugar, horrid fast foods eaten at 5 am in truck drivers’ cafes throughout America, and a lot of other junk. No wonder I was unhealthy. However, what I learned from the generosity of some brilliant British and European doctors who practiced natural medicine turned my entire life around. This was how I came to work in, write about, and teach natural methods of healing. It is also how I came to visit Kneipp’s centers for hydrotherapy, which still continue to thrive, especially in Germany. In many ways the most important of all I learned was how powerful healing with simple water techniques can be for improving your life at any time. Let me share with you one of these techniques. Do try it and let me know how you get on. There are many more, but let’s begin with this one. Thanks to water's chemical and bioelectrical properties, and to your body's physiological and energetic responses to them, water therapy is a superb method for cleansing, energizing, and restoring great functioning to any tired or aging body. The technique of using alternating applications of hot and cold water is called “Contrast Hydros.” If you have not yet experienced the turn-on it offers, you have a real treat ahead. After a workout, athletes use hydroelectrics in the form of contrast baths and showers to strengthen the body, prevent muscular damage, and eliminate aches. Contrast hydros not only help clear wastes and vitalize but also bring nutrients and oxygen to areas of your body that need them and balance your energies, helping to protect you from stress-induced damage. Here is how Apply hot water to your whole body for three or four minutes in the form of a hot bath or shower. Follow with 30 to 60 seconds of cold water. Repeat the procedure three times. The application of cold water needs to be just long enough to make blood vessels constrict. This can take place in as little as 20 seconds. Cold water triggers your sympathetic nervous system to energize while hot water intensifies parasympathetic activity for relaxation. The combination of the two makes you feel great. It’s important that you start slowly, increasing the length of your exposure to hot and cold water gradually. If you have a separate bath and shower you can use the bath for one temperature application, the shower for the other, moving back and forth. During the summer, make your bath cold and your showers hot. During the winter, reverse this. Like any natural treatment, contrast hydros need to be followed carefully and wisely to get all the benefits they offer and to make sure no harm is done. You will probably find at first that a plunge into cold water or a cold shower is a shock to your body. Soon this will turn into an experience of total pleasure. It is always the first cold application that is the hardest. The biggest barrier to getting into cold water is a psychological one. Once you leap this hurdle you’ll find yourself eagerly looking forward to your daily treatment. Here are a few cautions: Always check with your doctor before beginning any natural treatment to make sure that it is appropriate for you. He or she may advise you not to use contrast hydros if you have any kind of heart condition, nervous disorder, high blood pressure, if you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, or suffer from hardening of the arteries. Make sure your body is warm before beginning. The room should be well heated. Don’t let your body become chilled during the treatment. If you feel yourself becoming too cold, immediately stop and get into a hot bath or shower until you warm up fully. Always begin with a hot application and end with cold. Start slowly with 2-3 minutes of hot application followed by 20 seconds of cold. As your body gets used to contrast hydros, increase the time of the cold applications up to 1 minute (even up to 2-3 minutes if you are extremely fit or an athlete). When you finish, dry your body well and dress warmly. I’d love to hear how you get on so I can share with you other hydroelectric treatments that cost virtually nothing but can be wonderfully life enhancing.

Foot Of Wellbeing

Foot Of Wellbeing

After a long day's work, don't just put your feet up - pick them up, put them in your lap and massage them! Strange as it may seem, a ten minute foot massage can not only relieve aching feet, but can give your whole body a boost - thanks to the art of reflexology. The soles of our feet are thought to contain around 72,000 nerve endings, which connect with all the other parts of the body. When these nerve endings are massaged, an impulse is conveyed via the nerves to a corresponding part of the body - gland, organ etc. If a person is sick, or suffering from fatigue, circulation in the feet slows down, and deposits of uric acid crystals and excess calcium accumulate around the nerve endings in the feet. When you massage these crystals you break them down so that they can be reabsorbed into the blood and eliminated. It is also possible to pinpoint a specific ailment in the body by pressing the soles of the feet. Usually if an organ is not functioning properly, then its corresponding region on the foot will be tender to the touch. By massaging the particular region involved the organ's function can be improved. That's the principle of reflexology. general foot massage Begin your foot treat by removing your shoes and socks and lifting one foot into your lap. This may be easiest if you sit cross-legged on the floor. Take your foot between both hands and rub your hands together across the top and bottom of your foot all over to warm it. Make a bracelet with your fingers around your ankle and rotate your hands pressing firmly around your ankle. Spread the ball of your foot by separating the toes out with your hands widthwise. Rotate each toe a few times bending them forward and back, and then gently pull them out, lengthening away from the foot. With your thumb one side and your fingers on the other side of your heel, massage your Achilles tendon with gentle pinching movements. Make a fist with your right hand and, supporting your foot with your left, use your fist to "scoop out" the underside of your foot several times. Now that your foot is warm, try massaging different points with the tip of your thumb. It is best to bend the first thumb joint at a right angle to the thumb. Then use a rocking motion back and forth of the thumb tip to stimulate different areas. It is important to apply a steady pressure. If you find a sore spot, work gently but firmly into it until the soreness eases a little. When you have finished, give the foot a good shake out and then repeat the treatment on the other foot.

Nature's Finest Treatment

Nature's Finest Treatment

What is Nature’s most powerful healer? The answer will surprise you: WATER applied to your skin’s surface. Would you consider pouring a stream of cold water over your face to banish fatigue and prevent skin from wrinkling and sagging? Would you walk in ice-cold water up to your knees every morning to increase your vitality and ward off aging? Have jets of cold water directed against your back and legs to help you shed fat? Extraordinary as these practices sound, they are natural methods of treatment with over a century and a half of clinical validation behind them. They are part of one of the most elaborate, effective and well-researched European methods of healing, health enhancement and age-retardation in the world: Kneipp therapy. KNEIPP’S GENIUS Applications of hot and cold water have long been standard treatment for regenerating energy, curing headaches, improving lymphatic function, and even eliminating hangovers after a night of partying. In no small part is this thanks to the pioneering work of Father Sebastian Kneipp, a Bavarian parish priest who strengthened his own less-than-hearty health with water treatments. In 1855, Kneipp was sent to the tiny Bavarian village of Worishofen to supervise a Dominican nunnery. Many of his friends insisted that the church had only sent him there to get him away from his fascination with water-healing, in the belief that it was interfering with his clerical life. There he acted as father-confessor to the nuns, revived the village's stagnant economy, and advised farmers on how to improve their agriculture. But Kneipp’s fascination with health and healing prevailed when later he was made parson of the village. Despite the fact that his days were filled with ecclesiastical duties, he found his time increasingly taken up by a growing number of ailing people who had heard of his ‘miracle cures’, and either didn’t have enough money to pay for medical care, or had been given up as ‘hopeless’ by their physicians. Kneipp treated them with his water techniques. He then taught them to treat themselves, gradually developing a complete system for prevention, cure and rehabilitation based on the theory that a human being is a unity of body and soul, and that whenever this unity is threatened, or whenever the harmony of nature is disturbed, illness ensues. As far back as 1900, Kneipp's water therapy was being practiced all over Europe. Since then, his methods have been researched, applied, refined and adapted to contemporary needs by medical scientists—most of them German—who have established the basis of Kneipp’s water techniques worldwide. AMAZING BENEFITS Still little known in English-speaking countries, Kneipp therapy is practiced in some seventy spas and thousands of hospitals in Europe. Treatments are supervised by physicians highly trained in the various methods it involves, the most important of which is a complex set of water applications which have profound regenerative and protective effects on the body. Far from being some kind of far-out alternative therapy used only by nature freaks and old women, Kneipp hydrotherapy is supported by government health-insurance schemes in Europe, and even subsidized by the state both as a preventative treatment against aging as well as a means of curing and rehabilitating the seriously ill. Kneipp therapy is used in many applications—from affusions, where water in a steady stream is poured over specific parts of your body, to hot and cold compresses—as a treatment for conditions from arthritis, abscesses and heart disease to asthma, diabetes and allergic eczema. All of Kneipp’s methods greatly increase your vitality, can enhance athletic prowess, help you handle stress better, banish insomnia, and counteract a myriad of negative effects connected with the aging process. SECRETS OF HYDROTHERAPY This is the secret of using cold water applications on your body. You need to be warm to begin with, and you must keep warm and dry afterwards. Contact with cold water in these circumstances first causes constriction of the blood vessels, momentarily driving the blood inwards. Then, the moment it is stopped, blood rushes to the surface of the skin, warming it. THE PRINCIPLES Not every water treatment has to be administered by a professional in a clinic or a spa. One of Kneipp's most important principles was that hydrotherapy should be simple enough that any healthy person can benefit from it—as a prophylactic treatment against aging, to improve the condition of the skin, to eliminate stress and to treat minor ailments from a headache to a cold without professional help. Simple at-home water treatments fortify your body against sickness in general, improve circulation and calm frayed nerves. FOR GREAT SKIN An affusion is literally a pouring of running water over a particular area of the body. Affusions stimulate blood supply to the skin, restoring lost tautness and freshness to sagging or faded skin. It is a popular natural treatment in Europe amongst men and women who want to retain (or reform) their youthful good looks. It helps prevent premature aging of the skin, eliminate feelings of fatigue and can even cure a migraine. Here's How Make sure your body is in a well-warmed state to begin with. Then, using a hose with an opening of about ½ inch (it can be a bathroom hand shower with the head removed) turn on the cold water so that a sheet of water is delivered to the skin when the hose is held 2-4 inches from it. (There should be no great pressure of water.) When an affusion is done right, the water flows smoothly and evenly and with no `splashback'. Now, resting your neck on a towel and bending over a sink or the bath, begin by circling your face with the water from just below the temple. Then go back and forth from one side of the face to the other. Guide the stream several times from up to down starting at the left side and working towards the right. End by circling the whole face again. The entire process is done with cold water and should take only a couple of minutes. Pat your face gently to remove excess water and then let it dry completely in the air. TO BOOST VITALITY AND STRENGTHEN IMMUNITY There are several techniques designed to increase vitality and bring protection against illness and age-degeneration. Which you choose depends on your current state of stamina and health. They range from the body wash, which is gentle enough for almost anyone, to the cold Blitzguss, which top athletes and other very fit people favor. The Body Wash This is quite different from the usual cleansing wash you carry out in the bath or shower using a flannel. It involves the uniform spreading of water over your skin with a rough linen cloth. Afterwards you do not dry yourself. Instead get into a warm bed for a few minutes. It helps relax the body while bracing and strengthening it. It also activates natural warmth, eliminating and protecting you from the build-up of toxic substances in the blood and tissues which can cause cellular damage and age-related problems. Here's How Having dipped the linen cloth into cold water, begin on the back of the right hand and sweep upwards over the shoulder then down again on the inside to the thumb. Now turn the cloth over and wash the inside of the hand and arm to the armpit, and finally the back of the palm. Dip the cloth in water again quickly and carry out the same movements on the other arm. Then, quickly dipping the cloth in water again, with half a dozen vertical movements wash over the chest, abdomen and the fronts of legs. Another dip and do the back (or have a friend help here since it is easier). Finish your body wash by quickly rubbing the soles of the feet. The whole procedure (which must be carried out in a warm room) needs to be very quick (only thirty to forty seconds). Then remove excess water from your body's surface, dress warmly and move about, or get into a warm bed for a few minutes. This is a superb way of refreshing yourself after a long day before going out for the evening. WATER TREADING This takes a couple of minutes. In Bad Worishofen there are beautiful pools at the clinics and hotels and even in the woods, where you can take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot in water every morning, summer and winter, even when there is snow on the ground. If you are lucky enough to live near the sea or by a brook, both are ideal. But you can get the same results at home using a bath filled with cold water. Here's How Dressed warmly, but with your legs and feet naked from the knee down, step into the water and `walk on the spot', lifting first one foot and then another up out of the water. The reaction will be either a pleasant warm feeling flooding the feet or a sharp cold ache, followed by warmth. Begin by treading water for only thirty seconds or so, then work up to a couple of minutes as your system gets stronger and more resilient. Immediately afterwards put on dry warm socks and shoes and move about. (By the way, this is also an excellent treatment for insomniacs when done just before going to bed.) BLITZGUSS A real Blitzguss has to be done by a professional in a special shower using a powerful water-force. But you can get many of its beneficial effects in the shower, particularly if you happen to have a hand-held shower which you can direct on to different parts of your body. This is something I do every morning after exercising. Here's How Take a warm shower until your skin is glowing with the warmth. Turn off the hot water and use only cold, directing it over your face, down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. This process should take no more than thirty seconds. Get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. This will leave your skin glowing with warmth, thanks to the reaction against the cold water. Practiced every day or so, it will also strengthen your immune system, not only against age-degeneration but also against colds, flu and other illnesses. Blitzguss greatly increases vitality. This is a favorite of top athletes in Germany. It is also my favorite of all the prophylactic treatments with water—and I am a long way from being a top athlete. But I had to work up to it in the beginning by starting with the body wash and with water treading (which I still do when I feel tired but unable to sleep). It’s best not to use Blitzguss until you are already quite strong. DE-STRESS FOR BETTER SLEEP The next two techniques are particularly good if you feel stressed or you tend to wrestle with insomnia at the end of the day. Wet Socks A favourite of Kneipp himself, this is an easy way to apply a foot compress. It is extraordinarily relaxing. Here's How Wet a pair of cotton socks in cold water and wring them out so that they are no longer dripping. Put them on and then cover them with a pair of dry woolen socks, then get into bed. Leave the socks on for at least half an hour, although it doesn't matter if they stay on all night should you fall asleep. Once you begin to experience some of the extraordinary benefits from these simple treatments, you may find you want to explore some of the other natural therapies which are also carriers of vital information for health and ageless aging. They include air baths, saunas and Turkish baths, herbal treatments using the adaptogens and dry skin-brushing. Not only can each one of them leave you feeling vibrantly well and looking good, together with good nutrition, exercise and relaxation, they are some of the means by which your body/mind/spirit can restore balance and help keep you well, youthful and vital, long after those around you have succumbed to the ravages of time.

Hair Inside

Hair Inside

The type, the length of growth, thickness, thinness, straightness, and curl of your hair depend on your inheritance, but the condition of your hair depends on the internal state of your body, which feeds the papillae that produce it. For hair to be beautiful, the cuticle and the cortex have to be strong. It has always amused me when I hear hairdressers arguing about whether or not diet has anything to do with the beauty of hair, because it does, as any farmer knows well. Not only can you change the look of an animal's hair by altering its diet (and that goes for the human animal too), you can also tell a great deal about its internal condition by examining its hair. If you have a sheep that is poorly, its coat shows it. Horses, dogs, and cats are given special vitamin and mineral supplements to improve their coats for shows. But only recently has this aspect of hair care even begun to be looked at for human beings. What occurs in each hair follicle depends on the current nutritional state of your bloodstream and on adequate oxygen reaching the cells. So true is this that when you put someone on a poor diet, you will detect detrimental changes in the hair bulb even on the second day of the regimen. In a study of people placed on a protein-free diet for fifteen days, researchers have found that hairs plucked from their heads and then analyzed microscopically showed significant changes in color, texture, and structure - damage that took some time to correct. The worst thing you can do for your hair is to go on a crash diet for weight loss or live on typical Western fare, high in refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and white sugar. Both upset the vitamin and mineral balance in your body, and adequate vitamins and minerals are vital to hair. silica Probably the most important element of all for strong beautiful hair is silica. A French biochemist, Professor Louis Kervran, began in 1949 to study the effects of trace elements on living organisms and became fascinated with silica's health-enhancing effects on the hair, bones and nails as well as the whole human body. Kervran was aware that many people in the West, unbeknown to them, have subclinical deficiencies of silica because of our depleted soils and highly processed foods. He also knew that a good supply of organic silica in the form of a nutritional supplement was hard to come by and that taking unprocessed silica direct from the horsetail plant as a ground-up herb can lead to gastric irritation. Kervran worked for several years to develop a revolutionary technique of deriving a natural silica extract using no chemicals or solvents that would respect the integrity of the wonderful complex of nutrients and plant substances which are bound together with the organic silica in horsetail. The result is a plant-derived supplement with a remarkable ability to support the body's metabolic processes involved in rebuilding the collagen of connective tissue, the ground substance in which it sits. One more bonus: Because of its ability to bind and keep minerals in living tissue and to strengthen the keratin bonds, supplemental organic silica improves the strength and beauty of hair and nails better than anything I have ever come across. As you get older the amount of silica present in your body decreases year by year. With the decrease comes increasing weakness and fragility of hair, nails, connective tissue, veins, the ground substance of skin and arteries. Most women notice a difference within three to six weeks of beginning to take silica. Make sure the kind you buy has been processed without chemicals and is highly bio-available - which means in a form your body can easily make use of (see resources). You should never take powdered horsetail herb incidentally, for it is extremely irritating to the intestines.  Besides which your body will be able to make very little use of the silica present since very little of it will be bio-available. sea help Another source of plant complexes particularly useful in creating strong hair and nails are sea plants. All seaweed - from kelp to dulse, to the Japanese foods like nori and kombu - are rich in the minerals which your body's metabolic processes require to function properly. In a time when our foods are becoming increasingly depleted in important minerals and trace elements the use of plants from the sea becomes more and more important. Even things which your system requires in minute quantities such as vanadium, chromium, and lithium to help replenish the body's supplies are found in sea plants. Sea plants also tend to be rich in special forms of fiber called the alginates which have the ability to bind and remove heavy metals from the body. And they are rich in organic iodine which, used both internally and externally, tends to stimulate metabolic processes. A good supplement of sea plants which have been collected from unpolluted waters and then `atomized' or broken into very fine particles can offer another source of important metabolic support on any anti-cellulite regime. This process of atomization is very important in choosing any supplement based on sea plants. For seaweed tends to have very hard cell walls and unless these plants are extracted or their cell walls are exploded to make their mineral contents more easy for the body to absorb, much of the metabolic treasures they contain remain little available to the body. When choosing a good supplement of sea plants it is also important to make sure their source is unpolluted waters. For like fish that live in chemically contaminated waters these plants can absorb many negative elements which can badly disturb body ecology and which you certainly do not want in your body. iron One of hair's most important minerals is iron. If you are anemic or iron-deficient, your hair will tend to be brittle, lusterless, and hard to manage. It may also be thinner than is normal for you. Iron-deficiency anemia is a condition often implicated in excessive hair loss. If you have any of these hair difficulties, it is worthwhile having a serum iron test (which measures the total amount of iron in your bloodstream) and a total iron-binding-capacity test (which gives the ratio of blood iron to the blood's total capacity to hold iron). If your serum iron is low then your hair would probably benefit from iron therapy. Your doctor can arrange these tests for you. And it is important to remember, whether or not you take iron supplements, that vitamin C enhances iron absorption by helping ferric iron to be reduced to its ferrous form; also iron is best absorbed when calcium is present in sufficient quantities. sulfur Another important mineral for hair is the "beauty mineral," sulfur. It keeps your hair glossy and smooth. Sulfur is one of the constituents of keratin. When it is supplied in adequate amounts, your hair is strong. Eggs are particularly rich in the sulfur containing amino acids and are excellent hair food. Other natural sources include cabbage, dried beans, legumes, fish, nuts, and meat. zinc Research has established that a zinc deficiency is commonly the cause of hair damage in animals. It is probably true of humans as well and is certainly one of the factors contributing to the hair loss that women on the Pill or oestrogen therapy experience, since the hormones reduce zinc levels in the body. But the Pill can have other effects detrimental to hair too. It lowers blood levels of vitamins B12, B6, and B2, increasing your body's need for these vitamins as well as folic acid, vitamin C, and the trace minerals zinc and iron. If you are an oestrogen taker and your hair is giving you trouble, it may be helpful to take supplements of these nutrients. the B Vitamins The B-complex vitamins are particularly important to hair health and beauty. Deficiencies of biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and PABA can lead to a loss of color, and there has even been some success in reversing the graying process by giving supplements of these nutrients - particularly megavitamin doses of PABA. One researcher claims to have restored color to graying hair in 70 percent of cases. A lack of any of the B complex vitamins can result in hair troubles and losses. Vitamins B1, B2, and B12 are particularly important in invigorating lackluster hair, dandruff, scaling, redness of the scalp and hair loss, Vitamin C is important too, because it maintains the health and strength of the capillaries supplying your hair-producing follicles with nourishment. If your levels of vitamin C are too low, this results in perifollicular hemorrhages, in which these capillaries break and bleed, which results in improper nourishment to the papillae. How fast your hair can grow depends on adequate - but not too much - protein, since more than adequate amounts can deplete your body of the minerals it needs. The widespread notion propounded by many glossy magazines that if you eat lots of meat and drink milk several times a day you will have strong and beautiful hair is simply untrue. It is the right balance of nutrients that is most important. The condition of your hair is greatly affected by medicines that you take - and I don't just mean antibiotics and sulfa drugs, although these two are common culprits for causing trouble. But aspirin, the Pill, diet pills, tranquilizers, thyroid pills, cortisone, anticancer drugs, and even cold remedies are a common cause of brittleness, dullness, breakage, and loss. Hair follicles are ultrasensitive to hormones. If you are taking a birth-control pill and having trouble with your hair, this could be why. Try another form of contraception.

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