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beauty

70 articles in beauty

Exploring Beauty

Exploring Beauty

I am a sucker for beauty. I always have been. It dazzles me, whether in the form of a man, a woman, a sunrise, or tiny shoots poking their heads through encrusted mud after a devastating flood. One way or another I have spent more than forty years of my life working with beauty, writing about it, researching for product formulations and helping create skincare ranges in the beauty industry. Superficial? Nothing but an indulgence? Nonsense. Like truth, beauty can be one of life’s greatest joys. Keats knew what he was on about in the final lines of his Ode To A Grecian Urn: "'beauty is truth, truth beauty,' – that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know" For years I had a recurring dream: I am walking through a wood and come upon a tree so magnificent I cannot bear to look upon it. I never understood what the dream was telling me. Then one day I got it. True beauty—the dazzling uniqueness of a tree or a wonderful piece of music or a woman, be she 18 or 80—in some way annihilates us. It takes us beyond what we feel comfortable with to what physicists call zero point, a realm of no thoughts, no opinions, just a sense that we are at that moment in the presence of something wondrous. THE ZEN OF BEAUTY To me there is nothing more beautiful than the unique nature of a human being, that “seed power” within each of us which carries the genetic potentials of what we can become. Each man or woman boasts her own brand of seed power—a unique collection of physical characteristics, passions, needs, quirks and agendas. Like a stalk of bamboo in a Zen painting, the seed power of a human being is absolutely unique, yet carries with it a magnificent sense of the universal. The more freely and fully a person’s seed power gets expressed in how they speak, think, look and live, the more beautiful they become. This is what I call deep beauty. Real beauty is above all authentic. That is, it is carried on the energy that comes from living your own truth instead of buying into somebody else’s rules. The mythologist Joseph Campbell used to say that the best way to live your life is to “follow your bliss.” I think he’s right. When you live this way your eyes shine, your body grows stronger and your skin glows, no matter what your age. In this lies the truth of what they call “inner beauty.” ICING ON THE CAKE But what about “outer beauty?” I also love the trappings and trimmings, the glory and glamour of lotions and potions, sparkling eyeshadows and shimmering lip-glosses. Since I was a teenager my dressing table has been littered with colors and brushes, hair clips, bottles and sprays. They were my playthings for adornment and exaggeration. Like the ribbons nineteenth century women wove into their hair and bodices… mmm… sheer delight. I had a beautiful mother whose name was Violet. She looked like a cross between a golden-haired fairy godmother and a Hitchcock blonde. Always impeccably dressed, my mother could walk through a barnyard in a white suit and emerge without a speck. Not me. I am a walking advertisement for what I ate for lunch, since most of it ends up down my shirt. COOL BEAUTY Violet was a cool beauty. She never shared her clothes with me, her jewelry, or her cosmetics. Even to walk through her dressing room and touch them was a crime punishable by banishment. But she did share some important advice: First she taught me that beautiful skin matters. To maintain it, she insisted, you need just the right amount of sunlight—half an hour early or late in the day—no more ever. She was adamant I needed to eat natural foods and to supplement my diet with some judiciously chosen vitamins and minerals as well. “Stay away from sugar and breads and pizzas,” she insisted. “Never go to bed without cleaning your face first, and always nourish your skin with something active, be it fresh papaya or an absurdly expensive but irresistible French night cream. That will help repair damage that takes place in the daytime.” At first I balked at the idea. Then, in my mid-twenties, I decided she was right. I began to make a little time each day to look after myself. It was then I discovered that the time a woman spends at her dressing table (this can be as simple an affair as a cardboard box covered with cloth at which you sit on a cushion) far from being a narcissistic self-indulgence can become a time of silence, solitude, and renewal. I believe this right to this day. It can be a time every bit as full of peace, simple pleasure and quietude as meditation. It can also be a lot of fun.

Radiance From The Living Earth

Radiance From The Living Earth

Clay is a pelloid—from the Greek word pellos, meaning mud. The pelloids are a class of earth substances derived from magma deposits. Amongst natural materials, they are unequalled for their therapeutic and health-promoting properties. In Europe they have been used for generations to treat skin, to heal pain and deep cleanse the body by drawing wastes through the skin's surface. Some pelloids are taken internally in small quantities to clear the body of heavy metals and toxic wastes. In short, these substances found in nature are not only some of the most useful tools for bringing great radiance to body, mind and spirit. They can also be some of the most inexpensive yet powerful treats and treatments on the planet. ANCIENT HEALING POWER Pelloids are formed by the earth through biological and geological processes over long periods of time—at least 20,000 years. They are made up of both organic and inorganic elements. The ‘mostly-organic' pelloids include the sapropelic bituminous muds, and the moor or turf pelloids from places like Techirghiol Lake near the Black Sea, or Neydharting Moor in Austria. These pelloids form the basis of some of the best natural treatments in the world for arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. They are also wonderful for athletic aches and pains, as well as for eliminating stiffness from creaky bodies. TRANSDERMAL TREATS & TREATMENTS Moor Bath treatments are ideal for any rejuvenation program. Use them consecutively for 7 to 21 nights just before bed. Here's how: Immerse yourself for 15-30 minutes in a tepid bath to which 2/3 of a teacup of Moor Bath has been added. Top up with hot water when necessary. Afterwards, don't dry yourself as you normally would. Instead, pat yourself down gently and go right to bed. Should you get any of the residue from the bath on your sheets, don't worry; it easily washes out. European scientists at the Institute of Balenology in Bucharest, and at other centers in Europe and Russia, have studied the actions of pelloids using biochemical, histochemical and clinical methods. Examining the properties of the aqueous phase of moor and turf pelloids, they have discovered that these liquids stimulate oxygenation of cells and enzymatic activities in the body. They are able to boost endocrine system functions without interfering with the balance between different glands, and they dramatically improve overall circulation. Used in a bath or directly on the skin, such pelloid extracts penetrate the skin. Adding them to your bath after a hard game of squash or a long work week in which stress levels have been high can both calm you and regenerate your vitality, while they improve the look and feel of skin all over. VOLCANIC DETOXIFICATION The best known pelloids are those which contain mostly inorganic elements—the clays. Therapy using clay, both internally and externally, has a long history. The Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans used these earth treatments internally to improve health, and externally to treat athletic aches and sprains, and to make skin and hair look and feel more beautiful. Ancient physicians including the Arab Avicena, Galen the Greek anatomist, and Paracelsus all prescribed clay internally to clear their patients' ailments. During the First World War, every Russian soldier was issued 200 grams of clay in his food rations. The French had it added to their mustard knowing that it helps protect the body from amoebic dysentery, which was then so widespread. Great German naturopaths such as Adolph Just used clay to make poultices for wound healing. The practice of using specific clays internally as a means of detoxifying the body and increasing natural energy levels is very much alive amongst doctors who shun drugs in favor of more effective natural treatments. Clay comes in many varieties—from kaolin, the pure white powdery stuff that goes into cosmetic products—to the heavy black clay used in the Middle East to treat wounds and bruises. Each has specific qualities and is best for particular purposes. Together they have a number of remarkable things in common. All clays contain a wide range of minerals and trace elements such as silica, magnesium, titanium, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, and chromium. These minerals and trace elements are important in the dynamic healing and cleansing actions clays can exert on the body. Clays carry a negative electrical attraction for particles which are positively charged. This is one of the main reasons why it is so good at cleansing both the skin's surface as well as the digestive tract. MEET BENTONITE Bentonite, the medicinal powdered clay also known as montmorillonite, comes from deposits of ancient volcanic ash. Used internally, it absorbs heavy metals, pesticides, and other poisons, carrying them out of the body like a sponge. It is the electrical aspect to bentonite that gives it the ability to bind and absorb toxins. The clay’s minerals are negatively charged while toxins are primarily positively charged. Bentonite is made up of an enormous number of tiny platelets, with negative electrical charges on their flat surfaces and positive charges at the edges. So, when combined with water, the clay works on waste products the way a magnet, does when exposed to metal shavings. Bentonite has an enormous surface area to volume ratio. A single liter bottle offers a total surface area of an amazing 960 square meters. Clays which the Europeans and Americans use for internal cleansing are mixed with water, often the night before, then taken by mouth on an empty stomach—usually one teaspoonful in half a glass of water—once to three times a day. These clays are very fine. They are able to pick up many times their weight in positively-charged particles. In Europe, fine green clay is most often used internally in this way. In America and Britain, it is usually bentonite. The greater the surface area, the higher a clay's capacity for picking up positively-charged wastes. Ramond Dextreit, a French expert in the use of clay, claims that the purifying capacities of the green clay he uses are not limited to its actions on the digestive system. He insists that, used in this way, the clay is even able to absorb impurities suspended in the body’s fluids, like blood and lymph as well, and eliminate them. EXPLORING CLAY HEALING If you have not before used these internal clays, it’s best to start with one rounded teaspoon daily, mixed with a small amount of pure water. Observe the results for a few days, then gradually increase the dosage to no more than three teaspoons a day, in divided doses. Drinking clay can be an annual spring cleaning of your gastrointestinal tract or it can be a symptom-focused, self-care method. It’s a real boost to radiance on just about every level. Here are some of the best and purest products: Yerba Prima, Great Plains, Bentonite, Detox Great Plains Bentonite is specially formulated to provide the maximum benefits of bentonite. Great Plains is a mineral source dietary supplement that traps and binds unwanted, non-nutritive substances such as herbicides and other potentially harmful substances so that they do not remain in the body. Buy Yerba Prima, Great Plains, Bentonite, Detox Now Foods, Solutions, European Clay Powder For oily skin, mix 1 tablespoon of NOW European Clay with one teaspoon of water. For dry skin, add a few drops of NOW Jojoba Oil and/or NOW Lavender Essential Oil to the mix prior to applying. Thoroughly cover the face and neck avoiding sensitive areas and the eyes, allow to set for 15-20 minutes, rinse off and apply moisturizer. Buy Now Foods, Solutions, European Clay Powder Neydharting Moor Body Bath This can be hard to come by in Britain at the moment but it is well worth the search. In the US you can order it from Amazon.com: Neydharting Moor Nature's Code, Skin. Health. Life. Body Bath, 32 Oz Buy Neydharting Moor Body Bath

How Savvy Are You About Soy?

How Savvy Are You About Soy?

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

Skin Outside

Skin Outside

Cleansing, protection from moisture loss, and a sunscreen are all there is to basic skin care. They are simple and inexpensive to carry out, and the benefits they bring when used regularly everyday cannot be measured in any amount of money. There are three parts to any good external skin care regimen, regardless of your age or the type of skin you have: Regular, thorough cleansing Protection from moisture loss and external roughness Protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. deep cleanse There are two camps when it comes to cleansing: the soap-and-water lovers and the soap-and-water haters. Both - within reason - are right. Soap is an excellent cleanser. It removes grease and dirt from the skin's surface easily (although it is usually not as effective at removing makeup as cream or lotion cleanser). Soap is capable of penetrating the skin's outer protective layers, making the skin of women who tend towards dryness even drier. Surprisingly, it can also have just the opposite effect on skin that tends to be oily. On the other hand, soap does give a sense of cleanliness that most women feel they don't get with cream and lotion cleansers. Thanks to modern technology, there are now many pH-balanced soaps, foaming cleansers, and detergent bars that don't disturb the pH of the skin, so that if you are a soap fancier, you can find one to suit you, without many of the disadvantages of the conventional type. the cream or oil way The many cream and lotion cleansers, oils, and cleansing milks available now are also good. Put a lotion or cream cleanser on with your hands as you would soap and then tissue it off, repeating the application until the tissue shows no sign of dirt on it. Then follow with toner or freshener, preferably one without alcohol in it, or simply rinse your face in cool water. the double treatment Because cleanliness is so important to lasting skin health and beauty, if you live in a city or a highly industrialized area where air pollution is a particular problem, the oil-and-water technique is the most effective means of all. Many of the cosmetic industry's most expensive ranges are based on this method of cleansing. But you can put together your own system which is just as effective. Choose a pure vegetable oil, such as cold-pressed sunflower oil, corn oil, or one of the more expensive hazelnut or apricot oils. Buy it in small quantities and keep it in a cool place, preferably in the refrigerator. Pour a tablespoonful of the oil into the palm of your hand and spread it on your face, rubbing it in well. (This is a good opportunity to give yourself a gentle massage to stimulate circulation while the oil is leaching up the makeup and grime on your skin.) Then, using pads of damp absorbent cotton-wool wiped over your face, remove the oil and with it much of the dirt on the skin. You are ready now for the second stage. Wash your skin in warm water and use a pH-balanced-soap, detergent bar, or liquid detergent cleanser, adding plenty of water and rubbing gently with the tips of your fingers and the palms of your hands until the whole face is well covered. Now rinse thoroughly ten times in warm water and then splash with cool. Whichever cleansing method you choose, follow it twice daily. This is the first step in the craft of skin care. the water margin There are literally hundreds of moisturizers on the market. Some are beautifully cool to the touch and scented, others somewhat greasy. For very dry skin, by far the most effective way of moisturizing is simply to prevent water in the skin from escaping into the air. This you can do by wearing one of the water-in-oil-type emulsions on your face every day, winter and summer. Water-in-oil emulsions contain a great deal more fat than water, which means they are able to cover the skin with an impermeable film so that excessive water loss doesn't occur. And they are good for both dry and oily skin. For, unlike so many products specifically designed for oily skin, they don't spur the sebaceous glands to produce even more oil in the kind of vicious circle women with oily skin know so well. Find a moisturizer that you like and wear it every day, applying it twice a day if you can, under makeup when you are wearing it, or just on its own when you don't. This is the second part of the craft of skin care. light dangers The third part of everyday skin care is simple: Your skin needs to be protected from the sun. Heavy exposure to the sun's light at the age of eighteen will result in early wrinkling, between twenty-five and forty. Sun protection products come in two forms - chemical sunscreens and physical sunblocks.  A few products contain both.  The physical sunblock products literally create a physical barrier of fine, non-reactive minerals on the surface of your skin.  They reflect excess UVA and UVB back into the atmosphere, instead of letting skin absorb it.  Using them is like wearing a hat or a veil so the sun's rays don't penetrate at all. Chemical sunscreen products - and most sun protection products fit into this category - are different.  They do not reflect.  They absorb UVB radiation in an attempt to neutralise it.  They are rapidly used up in the formation of new chemical compounds which your skin then has to find ways of detoxifying from your system. We don't know what the implications are of the absorption of all these chemicals for the skin, but we do know that sunscreen products often sensitize skin and this is why many people find that they can no longer use them.  We also know that how much sunscreen protection you get from any product is highly individual, regardless of what protection factor is written on the label. More chemical sunscreens these days have begun to target UVA radiation as well, but the 'sun protection factor' (SPF number) you read on a product's label will have been calculated entirely by how much UVB radiation the chemicals it contains are able to absorb.  The UV screening capacity of these products is rapidly used up by chemical reactions within the skin.  While you may apply a sunscreen product frequently enough to stop burning, you can get little assurance that it will help prevent wrinkles. To protect yourself from aging (as well as cancers), supply your skin with all it needs to function in the best of all possible ways.  Limit your use of chemically-based sunscreens.  Better still, throw them out.  Go for a mineral-based sunblock or use one of the new mineral foundations every day.  Based on agents like titanium oxide and zinc oxide, these products reflect the light instead of relying on chemicals to 'absorb' it.  They are safe, inert and protective.  Physical screens are commonly used by surfers, skiers, cricketers and tennis players.  But choose your product carefully.  Unless the mineral fragments have been milled to micro particles they can make you look a bit like Marcel Marceau. Fake It You can, of course, fake your tan.  Self-tanners are based on dihydroxyacetone (DHA).  DHA is a simple sugar involved in carbohydrate metabolism.  The color that you get from using self-tanning products containing it depends on how your skin reacts to this chemical, so different people will get different results from the same product.   Fake tan, of course, does not offer any protection from the sun. Success with self-tanners depends on your skill in applying them.  Here are the keys: Exfoliate skin first using a body scrub or skin brush to prevent uneven color. Moisturise your skin being careful to include the dry areas of knees, elbows and ankles.  Remove excess moisturiser with a damp cloth or flannel to avoid uneven darkening. Apply the product in thin layers.  Use less layers where your skin is thicker since the color stays longer there. Wash your hands thoroughly immediately after applying a product to avoid orange palms. Wait to dress for 30 minutes after applying the product to avoid staining your clothes (or longer - read the instructions carefully). Wait an hour or two after applying a product before showering - again, read the instructions carefully. Reapply regularly to keep the color. Many self-tanners come in a daily-use moisturiser, allowing you to apply little and often until you have the right color for you.  The easiest of all to use are those that are slightly tinted so you can see where you have applied them.  There are now also some very good self-tan products that you simply apply like makeup and wash off at the end of the day with soap and water.  They key to getting it right with any of these products is finding the one that gives you the most natural color.  Don't trust what is says on the bottle, ask for samples if you can, and always try them out first - somewhere where the results can't be seen, just in case you find that you have turned that dreaded orange tinge.

The breakdown

The breakdown

One of your body’s most effective mechanisms for protecting itself from excessive toxicity taken in through food, air and water, or produced as a by-product of metabolism, is to lock these toxic materials into fat cells. In the case of cellulite, this natural protective mechanism goes one stage further—encasing these wastes in the interstitial fluids and ground substance of your skin by binding them with hardened connective tissue. To shed cellulite, you need first to help your body detoxify itself. The reason you have built up these wastes is simply that your body continually has to cope with more toxins than it can eliminate in the normal day-to-day course of events. Remove some of the burden of what is creating this excess toxicity in your system by laying aside coffee, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, over-processed foods complete with chemical additives, and avoiding sugar and grain-based foods for a time, and you’re halfway there. Add to that a very simple and temporary regime designed to trigger rapid detoxification, some gentle exercise, and some external help, and quite naturally you trigger your body’s own mechanisms for clearing out the junk. There are lots of ways you can do it, but the simplest of all to begin with is to go on a two-day apple fast. (See Apple Magic.) External work on your body is also important to trigger the detoxification process. Incorporate skin brushing into your daily routine during an apple fast (see Skin Brushing), and afterwards continue to use skin brushing to help break up hardened connective tissue and keep the detoxification process going while you are rebuilding new, strong connective tissue and ground substance. Another excellent technique which helps with this process is hydrotherapy, particularly the German Blitzguss. A real one needs to be done by a professional, but you can get many of the same effects in the shower yourself at home—especially if you have a hand-held shower which you can direct on different parts of your body. Here’s How [video src=http://d1vg7rm5xhtxe9.cloudfront.net/video/sd/blitz-guss.mp4 poster=http://d3oy45cyct8ffi.cloudfront.net/health/into-the-bliss/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2012/02/lk-video-blitz-guss.jpg ] Take a warm shower until your skin is really glowing with warmth. Then turn off the hot water and using only cold, direct it over your face and then down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. Finally, concentrate on the areas of your body where cellulite accumulates—the thighs, abdomen, hips and buttocks. The whole process should take no more than 30 seconds. Then get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. Do this at least once a day after skin brushing. Help From the Outside Exercise used as part of a program to banish cellulite needs to be isotonic in nature. This means it needs to take you through large movements such as running, walking briskly, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, rowing, swimming and cycling, all of which shorten and lengthen your muscles rhythmically without bringing about a big increase in tension. Isotonic exercise is one of the finest ways for you to eliminate wastes before they have a chance to build up. What kind of exercise is best? The kind you like best. Try walking briskly in comfortable clothing, dancing, cycling, whatever you love to do, for 15 to 60 minutes a session, three to five times a week. Start slowly, then when you notice positive changes in energy taking place in your body, and an enhanced self-awareness as you get into an exercise program, you will find your body craving more.

Lymphomania

Lymphomania

Lymphatic drainage is vitally important to making sure metabolic processes run cleanly and efficiently. Your body's lymph system is, amongst other things, a kind of metabolic rubbish dump. It helps the body rid itself of dead cells, toxins, metabolic wastes, pathogenic bacteria, foreign substances and other assorted junk the cells cast off. Lymphatic drainage Unlike the circulatory system, in which the circulation of blood is controlled by the pumping of the heart, the lymphatic system has no such pump. The plasma which has seeped through capillary walls gathers in the tissues and then slowly enters the lymphatic channels. These are tiny vessels with one-way valves in them for carrying lymph, along with whatever small bits of foreign matter, wastes and bacteria it has gathered, through the lymph nodes and eventually back into the bloodstream. The normal contractions and relaxation of your muscles and the force of gravity on the body keep the lymph flowing. They act to pump the lymph back through its channels and eliminate these wastes. Regular vigorous exercise encourages this elimination. It brings about a general flushing of the wastes from interstitial fluid and then helps them be carried away through the lymphatic tree of vessels until eventually they empty into the subclavian veins and are eliminated from the body through the actions of all the excretory organs - the skin, lungs, kidneys and colon. In Europe some of the finest natural treatments for healing involve a kind of massage dubbed `lymphatic drainage' which helps the body do this. It is not only used to treat serious chronic illness and fatigue but even as a beauty treatment for women on the face. Skin-brushing stimulates the tissues beneath the skin, encouraging efficient lymphatic drainage. It is an extraordinarily efficient technique for cleansing the lymphatic system and for clearing away waste materials from the cells all over the body as well as those which, as in the case of cellulite in women, have become trapped in interstitial spaces where they are held by hardened connective tissue and where they build up to create pockets of water, toxins and fat that make the skin look like peau d'orange. Skin-brushing is something any woman with cellulite should do twice a day.

A Woman's World

A Woman's World

To understand cellulite it is important to understand how your flesh is structured. Let's look at the deeper layers first. They are known as subcutaneous tissues. In your thighs, these are made up of three layers of fat with two planes of connective tissue and ground substance in between. This brings us to one of the interesting things about cellulite: It is almost always a female complaint. With a very few remarkable exceptions, men simply do not get it. In part this is hormonal. A woman's body is rich in female hormones such as oestrogen, which encourage the laying down of fat. (For years farmers injected oestrogen-like substances in cattle and chickens to fatten them rapidly for market.) This is also why cellulite tends first to appear during times of intense hormonal change such as puberty, pregnancy or when she goes onto a birth control pill. In part, however, cellulite is a woman's condition because the basic construction of subcutaneous tissue of the thigh differs in men and women. In women, the topmost subcutaneous layer is made up of what are termed large 'standing fat-cell chambers', which are separated by radial and arching dividing walls of connective tissue attached to the overlying tissue of the dermis or true skin. The uppermost part of the subcutaneous tissue of men is different. It is thinner, and there is a network of crisscrossing connective tissue walls which makes it harder for a man's body to lay down large fat cells and to trap stored wastes and water in the tissues. Also the corium - the connective tissue structure between the true skin and the deeper layers or hypodermis - is thicker in men than in women. You can check on these differences yourself by carrying out a 'pinch test'. It is only pinching the thighs of women that results in the 'mattress phenomenon' with its pitting, bulging and deformation of skin. Pinch the thighs of most men and you will get gentle skin folds or furrows, completely without bulges or pits. beware the ravages of time Age-related changes in women also encourage the build up of cellulite. For instance, as women get older, their skin gets progressively looser and thinner. This encourages the migration of fat cells into this layer. The connective tissue walls between the chambers of fat cells also get thinner allowing the fat-cell chambers to enlarge - a condition known as hypertrophy. This progressive thinning of connective tissue structures is another major factor in the development of cellulite and creates the granular texture and buckshot feel of much cellulite-riddled flesh. An examination of cellulite tissue under the microscope also reveals that a number of histological changes have taken place. They include a distension of the lymphatic vessels of the upper skin, for instance, and a decrease in the number of elastic fibers. The circulation of blood, too, has been slowed, and the connective fibers have undergone a sclerotic hardening, so that the fluids and the wastes they contain become trapped in an unpleasant network which pinches nerve endings (hence the pain in well developed cellulite) and create stasis in the tissue - rather like a polluted swamp - where energy exchange is reduced. The whole area takes on a deadened quality - a sure sign of poor body ecology.

Spring Clean

Spring Clean

No matter how sparse and how good your diet or how many antioxidants you take, no matter how conscientiously you deal with stress and how enthusiastically you exercise - all of which are central to ageless aging - it can be helpful periodically to spring-clean your body from within. Controlled fasts are not the only way of doing this. In fact I have come to believe that they are not even the best way. The natural-law approach to age retardation and the long tradition on which it is based also offers a number of other simple methods. Some - such as a spring-clean semi-fast or the sauna - are helpful when used every few weeks, while others, such as techniques for improving lymphatic drainage, can be used to advantage every few days or even more often. The whole purpose of spring-cleaning is to stimulate your body's eliminative capabilities so that any sluggishness in the blood and lymph circulation and any stasis in the tissues is cleared away. Then whatever toxicity may be present - heavy metals and cross-linkers for instance - can be broken down and eliminated via the skin and lungs, bladder and colon before it can cause degenerative damage and premature aging to your body.

Your Silent Sea

Your Silent Sea

There are five main channels for detoxifying your body: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys, the bowels and the lymphatic system. None is less less recognized, nor more important in spring-cleaning the body, than your lymphatic system. Yet the state of its health and functioning is still almost completely ignored. Your lymphatics are not only a major route for absorbing vital nutrients from the digestive system into the tissues to keep skin healthy, youthful and glowing—they are important carriers of immune cells. These protect your body from damage and illness and help prevent degenerative aging. Lymphatics are also your body's metabolic-waste-disposal system. They take away unwanted proteins and large particles of toxic debris which cannot be removed by any other means. This includes toxins—the by-products of fatigue and of stress—dead cells, fatty globules, pathogenic bacteria, heavy metals, infectious viruses and other assorted rubbish cast off by your cells. WASTE DISPOSAL So essential are the waste-eliminating functions of the lymphatic system that without them you would die within 24 hours. Doctors working with natural methods of healing insist that a primary cause of fatigue, disease and cell degeneration, with its accompanying premature aging, is poor circulation of lymph to and from the cells and tissues of the body. The same tradition of natural medicine uses a number of effective techniques designed to stimulate lymphatic functions as a means of healing even quite serious illnesses— ranging from rheumatism or cardiovascular disease to chronic fatigue. These techniques include exercise (done for the joy of it, not as a chore), skin-brushing, special breathing techniques, and infra red saunas. All of these things improve the purity and quality of the lymph—the clear fluid which flows through the lymphatics (lymph vessels). They are little short of revolutionary in what they can do for your good looks and your good health. They have even been known to clear long-standing skin troubles such as acne, improve the look of puffy or aging skin, heighten vitality, banish muscle and joint pain, and aid in the regeneration of the body as a whole. Making use of these techniques is simple. But first you need to know a little about how the lymphatic system functions, and just how important a role its mysterious mechanisms play in promoting health and beauty. WHITE BLOOD MAGIC Your body is more than 75 per cent water. So important is water to the processes of life itself that, according to Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, “Life is water dancing to the tune of solids”. A French biologist rather poetically emphasized Szent-Gyorgyi's observation by saying: 'Man is an amphibian. Even the most beautiful woman's body is no more than an aquarium with 50 liters of lukewarm seawater in which trillions of cells live and fight for survival.' Five liters of this 'seawater' are to be found in your blood, five in digestive and other secretions, and almost all the rest is in your lymphatic fluid or lymph—sometimes called 'white blood'. Thanks to the lymph, a ceaseless interchange goes on between your body's trillions of cells and their surrounding interstitial fluids, so that food and oxygen are exchanged and waste products are eliminated from the cells—all through the medium of water. For cells and tissues to be nourished, for them to remain vital, and for your skin and muscles to remain smooth and healthy and firm, this interchange needs to occur without impedance, and the water itself needs to be relatively uncontaminated. BEAUTIFUL FLUID In your body, nutrients and oxygen are transported to the tissues and cells via the bloodstream. Arterial pressure forces the blood through tiny capillaries and out into the cells' interstitial spaces to enable the nutrients and oxygen to be exchanged for the wastes which the cells have produced. Here the water or interstitial fluid, now filled with toxic waste, is gathered by tiny lymphatic tubules and then sent back through the lymph vessels to be detoxified. These lymphatics are a highly organized and elaborate system of ducts and channels which flow all over your body. In fact, almost all the tissues of the body are equipped with lymph channels which drain excess fluid, and the wastes which it contains, from the interstitial spaces. This opalescent liquid carries the wastes and toxic products from these minute channels into larger lymphatic vessels, and on through the lymph nodes, which are located in the groin and under the arm and the neck. The lymph nodes filter the fluid to remove impurities and dead cells; they are also a place where antibodies, which fight infection or toxins, are made. After purification at the nodes, the fluid is returned to the blood. In this way, the lymphatic system works ceaselessly to clear toxicity and to reduce excess mucus and waste. GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND The microscopic network of these lymph channels resembles the blood capillaries, except that it is finer. And the lymph system in many ways is rather like the blood system except that, while the blood system is powered by the action of the heart muscles, the lymphatic system has no such prime mover. Instead, its nourishing, water-balancing and eliminative functions are almost entirely dependent upon gravity and the natural pressure of muscles which occurs when you move your body. These muscle contractions and body movements—together with biochemical factors, such as whether or not excessive quantities of protein are present in the fluid—keep the lymph flowing and make it possible for the lymphatics to carry out their important task of bodily cleansing. For good lymphatic functioning—to keep your body free of the buildup of wastes and toxicity—you need to move your muscles vigorously and often. That is why regular brisk exercise, such as taking long walks in comfortable shoes, is so important not only to firm your muscles and strengthen your heart and lungs, but also to encourage the steady and effective elimination of wastes from your cells and tissues.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 18,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 13 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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

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

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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

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