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70 articles in beauty

Sacred Truth Ep. 46: Aromatherapy Heals Body & Soul

Sacred Truth Ep. 46: Aromatherapy Heals Body & Soul

The power that floral essential oils can exert over mind and body has been known for centuries. For example, before Cleopatra sailed out to meet Marc Antony, she drenched the sails of her barge with the scent of jasmine—an aphrodisiac. He could not resist her. The faintest hint of a floral perfume can transport you back to a place in your memories, and evoke all the emotions that go with it. Why should something as ordinary as a scent have such a powerful effect upon you? It is because your sense of smell is governed by the limbic system—the most primitive part of your brain. The limbic system also governs your most intense emotions—joy, fear, desire, or rage. So an evocative scent has the power to reach into the deepest parts of your mind and body. When you smell any odor, you are reacting to volatile molecules that are wafting their way to odor receptors behind the bridge of your nose. From there, nerve impulses are carried to your limbic system. The chemical messages from the fragrance are then interpreted, and a response is sent by the hypothalamus to the rest of your body.   It was not until the 1920s that the extraordinary physical healing powers of essential oils began to be explored in depth. It was at this time that the birth of modern aromatherapy took place in the laboratory of a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who became interested in the healing qualities of the natural essential oils that he used in his family’s perfume business. Then, one day Gattefosse burned his hand in a laboratory explosion and he immediately plunged his hand into a bowl of pure lavender oil. He was amazed to find how quickly the wound healed without even leaving a scar. It was Gattefosse who coined the word “aromatherapy,” in a 1928 scientific paper. Floral essential oils work from outside in. They impact your body and senses through your sense of smell and by absorption through your skin. When essential oils meet your human body, their molecules not only produce psychological responses like euphoria and increased alertness as well as relaxation but also induce direct and measurable pharmacological changes through your blood stream. They affect your hormones and glandular system, your metabolic processes, and your nervous system, and subtly induce healing on many levels. There are over 1000 aromatherapy oils on the market—about 30% of them derived from flowers. Each floral essential oil has its own distinct personality, which is sometimes quite different from its ‘soul energy,’ which comes through in flower essence healing. Each can be used singularly or in combination. If you have not yet experienced the blessings of floral essential oils in your life, you are in for a treat. Here are some of my favorite flowers, from which teas can be made and whose essential oils or absolutes can be used for a multitude of other purposes. Get to know their healing effects and their uses, then experiment with them in your own life. SACRED ESSENTIAL OILS To open to the abundance of the universe Rose Otto, Neroli, Lavender To clear unhelpful habits and thought patterns Carnation, Tuberose, Hyssop For increased confidence and self-worth Geranium, Rose Maroc, Ylang Ylang To release guilt Clary Sage, Jasmine, Linden Blossom To enhance the connection with your higher self Rose Maroc, Jasmine, Neroli Immerse yourself in a bath laced with essential oils. Breathe in the mind-altering aroma while you absorb the life-enhancing molecules through your skin. Don't disrupt the experience with perfumed soaps, shampoos, or body washes. If you need to get clean, shower first, then bask in the full aromatherapy experience. Once you emerge from your bath, let yourself enjoy the floral aura that you will carry with you for hours. The simplest method for taking an aromatherapy bath is to sprinkle a few drops of essential oil into your bath, swish it around so that the oil is well dispersed, then immerse yourself. Begin with only 2 drops of essential oil in a tub of water then gradually build up over a period of weeks to 4-7 drops. This may seem like a very small amount, but undiluted essences are extremely potent. More than this could irritate your skin. Also be aware that some florals stimulate while others sedate. For example, if you want a relaxing bath, choose an essential oil like lavender, which has a sedating effect, and use it in warm rather than hot water (somewhere between 28-35 degrees C). If you need invigoration, use a stimulating essential oil like neroli and take a shorter, hotter bath (around 35-39 degrees C). If you prefer a moisturizing bath, make your own bath oil blend by combining the following ingredients: To each 1-2 teaspoons of avocado oil or sweet almond oil, add 1 drop of a mild shampoo 2-5 drops of essential oil Shake the mixture in a small glass jar or bottle and add the blend to your bath. Experiment with your essential oils singly or in combination. Don’t use more than 3-5 drops of essential oil in total. Each has its own personality, and you will quickly learn which ones help you most and in which situations. Above all, have fun experimenting. Rediscover the ancient art of bathing that the Romans knew so well. Take time out to indulge your senses with a prolonged floral soak. It will benefit you in so many ways that it would be hard to list them all.

Jump For Joy

Jump For Joy

Skipping, jumping, running on the spot and arm flinging on a firm mini-trampoline is an amazingly beneficial and fun form of exercise. Rebounding will do all that other forms of aerobic exercise can—strengthening your heart and lungs, firming your muscles and more—because of the unique way in which your body is subjected to the changing force of gravity when it bounces. Rebounding crosses the generation gap too. It can be done as easily and as effectively by a six-year-old as it can by an ailing seventy-year-old whose muscles and joints have long before lost some of their capacity for smooth movement. Believe it or not, there are top athletes who use rebounders as part of their training program. Yet the infirm are given rehabilitation on the same kind of rebound exercise devices. It all depends on how you use the equipment. The units, which look like low coffee-tables, consist of a steel or aluminium frame on six or eight legs, over which is sprung a drum of firm but elastic material on which you bounce. They sit somewhere between six and ten inches off the floor, and come in many different sizes and shapes—oval, round, polygonal, square. They don't seem out of place in the corner of a kitchen, or tucked away in the bedroom. In fact, you can use a bouncer anywhere. If you’re someone who dislikes the rigmarole of changing, running and showering, or you find exercise ‘too boring for words', you can do your bouncing at home—even with small children running around. You can dress any way you like, watch movies, listen to music or carry on a conversation while you are exercising. MANIPULATING GRAVITY From a physiological point of view, what gives rebounding its power for building fitness, improving health and retarding aging is the way it makes use of the force of gravity. Apart from a Power Plate, this is the only form of overall vertical, rather than horizontal, exercise anywhere. The up and downward movement on a bouncer, coupled with acceleration-deceleration, brings about continual changes in the force that gravity exerts on your body. All your organs, the circulatory and lymphatic systems, even individual cells are energized in a way no other form of exercise can accomplish. When running or skipping on a bouncer, the G-force at the top of the bounce is non-existent. For a moment, your body experiences the weightlessness of an astronaut in space. Then when you come down again onto the elastic mat, the pull of gravity is suddenly increased to two or three times the usual G-force on earth. This puts all parts of your body, from the tiniest cell to the longest bone, under rhythmic pressure. GREAT STUFF The cellular stimulation the body receives from continual gravity/non-gravity exposure has remarkable and unique benefits. Waste materials in cells are gently eased out into the interstitial fluid so they can be carried through the lymph system and eliminated from the body. Increased oxygen is brought to the cells enhancing cell metabolism. Cell walls get stronger and healthier. Cells function more efficiently with repeated use of a rebounder. This leads to a gentle but effective detoxification of your whole system. The texture of your skin improves. Energy levels rise. Often even within only a few days, your body begins to look younger and feel better, freer, more alive. And because rebounding is amusing, it is a form of exercise which even resistant lounge-lizards take to. Taking it up one week doesn't usually mean giving it up the next. BOUNCE YOURSELF LEAN James R. White, a researcher in rehabilitation at the University of California at San Diego, designed an interesting study in the long-term effectiveness of weight-loss programs using exercise. He put some people on rebounders. Others rode bicycles; some ran on a treadmill. The control group did nothing except diet. All who exercised lost a significant amount of weight and showed a definite increase in the level of their fitness. But in the follow-up study designed to test long-term effectiveness of regular exercise, only 5 percent of the cyclists and 31 percent of the runners were still exercising, while a sound 58 percent of the bouncers were still bouncing. It helped keep off the pounds they’d shed. The explanation bouncers gave for continuing to exercise was simple. First, it was easy. Second, it was great fun. REBOUNDING FOR REHAB A number of sports medicine specialists report that using a bouncer regularly is a great way of exercising when your body has sustained some kind of injury, such as a twisted knee or Achilles tendonitis. It provides any sports enthusiast a chance to maintain his fitness while helping his injury heal. It also helps you avoid the familiar depression that sets in when you cannot exercise. Indeed, many exercise physiologists insist that, because of all the benefits rebounding brings the body—right down to a cellular level—it is a significant and powerful tool in encouraging healing, both of minor injuries and of degenerative conditions including arthritis. At Elks Hospital, Idaho, Dr Kenneth Smith, former head of the Department of Rehabilitation, reports success in using rebounders when rehabilitating patients with orthopaedic or neuromuscular conditions. In a large study involving 2,300 patients in California, where rebounding was used as the major form of physiotherapy, researchers reported excellent results. Bouncing strengthened muscles, eliminated and prevented pain in the lower back and elsewhere, and was helpful in treating both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Bottom line: Manipulating gravity is not just fun. It’s great for healing and ideal for helping you feel wonderfully alive.

Flower Essences Part One

Flower Essences Part One

You know the old saying: “Good things come in small packages.” Well, it’s true. Flower essences are sold in little dark-glass dropper bottles. Open one. You’ll discover that, unlike herbal tinctures or essential oils, the liquid inside—from a chemical point of view—is nothing more than water mixed with a little alcohol. This is the medium in which the vibrational energy of a flower (or a gem) has been preserved. You see, the healing power of a vibrational essence depends not on its chemical constituents, but on the frequencies and energies it carries—the spirit or soul energy of the flowers or gems themselves. ENERGETIC FIELDS Where herbs and essential oils bring about direct biochemical and physiological changes, vibrational essences—rather like homeopathic remedies—influence the body via its energetic fields and electrical pathways. So do acupuncture, pulsed electromagnetic treatments, prayer and the laying on of hands. They can all transmit vibrational life-force energy. Dyed-in-the-wool materialists, still totally unaware of fifth entity physics, are surprised by how profoundly healing such energy treatments can be. Provided the vibrational essence chosen is an appropriate one, its health-enhancing effects are deep and long lasting—sometimes even permanent. Let’s examine flower essences carefully. They are made from living blossoms, harvested at the peak of their vibrational power. They influence our emotional and mental states by changing our body’s own vibrational state as well as altering our consciousness. These changes then filter down to a physical level, where they can do many things: energize, stop erratic eating patterns, clear chronic fear and anxiety and increase self-confidence, to name only a few. They can even—to me most interesting of all—help us align our outer lives and the way we choose live them with the nature of our unique innate essential being. When this happens, not only do we experience natural joy and creativity, we experience a sense of expanding freedom. We find it easier to live life by our own rules. We gain access to our unique authentic power. This helps us become aware of what we feel most passionate about, and empowers us to live an authentic life. VIBRATIONS AND WHOLENESS Flower essence healing is only one aspect of what is now known as vibrational medicine—a form of treatment about which have been hearing more and more as the century 21st century develops. British physician Peter Mansfield, one of its pioneers, describes this rather well in his book Flower Remedies. “Vibrational healing,” Mansfield says, uses “the different energy patterns present in nature to modify the vibrations within living bodies, leading indirectly to changes on the physical plane. This encompasses on the one hand methods which use the vibrations directly—light, sound, magnetism etc.—and on the other, methods which involve the preparation of essences from the source of the vibration, which can be absorbed into the body.” PROOF OF THE PUDDING Psychologists and doctors examining the effects of carefully chosen flower essences report that they are completely safe. They can be remarkably effective in helping patients deal with simple troubles—like insomnia, low energy, and fear of flying—as well as deeper issues. Dr Jeffrey Cram at the Sierra Health Institute in California gave subjects either a flower essence or a placebo and then exposed them to stress-inducing fluorescent lighting for long periods. He found, that unlike the placebo which had little effect, flower essences significantly reduced the muscle tension and erratic brainwave activity associated with stress. Meanwhile, Italian medical researchers who tested the effects of flower essences on patients suffering from depression and anxiety found that a surprising 89 out of 115 anxious, depressed and stressed patients who took part in the experiment were greatly helped by flower essence treatments. MAKE IT SIMPLE One of the best practical descriptions I have come across of how flower essences work, comes from the highly respected American researcher, and flower essences creator, Patricia Kaminski. “Just think about a hologram,” she says. “Each separate part of a holographic picture contains images of the whole. This is how it can be used to recreate a three-dimensional image. So it is with a flower essence. One drop of a flower essence holds within it all the energy characteristics of the flower it was made from.” An essence carries the spirit or soul of the flower in its energetic architecture. It communicates this healing blue-print at a very deep level to the energy fields of a human being using it. VISIONARY DOCTOR The first flower essences were created in the 1920s by a highly respected British immunologist and bacteriologist. Dr Edward Bach had become dissatisfied with the way orthodox medicine so often seemed unable to help patients suffering from both chronic and acute illness. Studying the work of the father of homeopathy, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, Bach discovered that many of his own beliefs about the nature of healing echoed Hahnemann’s findings. Like Hahnemann, Bach insisted that it works best to treat the patient, not the disease. Early in his career, Bach prepared bacterial vaccines then administered them to people homeopathically. The results of his work were widely acclaimed by his peers. They carved out a place of high esteem for him in the medical world. The vaccines he made were widely used—some still are. But Bach was not satisfied. He knew in his heart that there is more to healing than treating symptoms. He was convinced that the most effective healing can only take place at the very deepest levels. Bach knew that mental states like anxiety, worry, unhappiness and fear not only undermine vitality, they compromise the immune system, making us highly susceptible to illness and degeneration. He reasoned that, if he could find methods for clearing such negative states, this might well be a key to preventing and curing both acute and chronic illnesses. No matter what symptoms it presents, Bach insisted that any illness is the result of disharmony deep within. RESTORING HARMONY In 1928, Bach began to explore the possibility that the energy of flowers could do this for human beings. He chose to turn his back on a successful career in London and retreat into the wilderness of Wales in search of ways to help suffering people. Bach fasted, he walked in the hills, he opened his mind and his heart to nature, calling out for her help. His intuitive gifts were greatly expanded by the way he was living and eating and by his having abandoned a sophisticated industrial world for raw simplicity. As he came face to face with one herb and flower after another, he became aware of the vast life-force each carried. He also noticed that the healing energies which each held intensified greatly at just the moment when these plants blossomed. Over the next seven years, he worked with these plants in search of a way of collecting their life-healing energies. Gradually, he was able to identify the unique characteristics of each and to understand the kind of disharmony which they help clear. He formulated a group of 12 now-famous flower remedies known as ‘Twelve Healers’. Later he went on to expand them until finally he ended up with a group of thirty-eight flower essences. They are still today known as the Bach Flower Remedies. HEALING FOR THE MASSES So impressed was Bach by the results he got using these flower essences that he decided to leave behind forever his successful orthodox medical practice to devote himself full-time to their development, as well as to teaching people how to use them. Bach had observed that people were becoming more and more divorced from nature—and therefore from their own essential soul nature as well. He believed that in an industrialized world, flower essences are an effective way to counter the destructive processes that resulted from “desensitization” of people which he saw happening all around him. This was a process which he became certain was central to the development of disease. His flower remedies helped re-establish bonds not only between people and nature, but between a human being’s outer personality and his intrinsic soul nature—his innate essence. Before long, Bach’s beliefs would lead him into serious conflict with the medical establishment—especially his insistence that flower remedies should be available to everyone, not just to trained medical practitioners. LIVE YOUR TRUTH The Bach philosophy is simple. It says that each of us has incarnated on the earth to live out a unique divine purpose—our soul’s destiny, if you like. When we are diverted from doing so, either by our own resistance or by learned thought patterns, trauma, emotional repression, inner conflict, or the influence of others, then our personality is not able to become a free expression of our unique soul energy and we get sick. We become anxious, fearful, irritable and angry, thereby lowering our resistance to disease. In time, depending on our genetically inherited weaknesses, we often end up in pain, ill, and degenerating rapidly. Illness, Bach insisted, has its purposes. It is there to warn us when we are going in the wrong direction—to help make us aware of what needs to be honored in our lives that we may not yet be honoring. To be healed, a harmony between our outer life and our inner purpose needs to be re-established. Flower therapy is a powerful way of doing this. Not only does it release stress and trauma. It can help clear repression of our innate life energy and creativity. Most important of all, it can help us realign ourselves with our essential being as well as with nature herself. When this happens, much illness is healed and many degenerative processes are reversed. FOUR-FOLD WAY To Bach, health is not the absence of illness so much as it is an ability to identify its messages and act on them. This does not mean that we should blame ourselves if we become ill. Doing so would only result in further emotional repression. Instead we need to become aware of whatever emotional discord hides beneath a persistent cold or stomach upset and then be prepared to address it and finally let it go. To Bach, healing is a four-fold process. It asks that we: Recognize that we can overcome all difficulties Realize that illness is an expression of disharmony between our outer life or our personality and our soul Discover the cause of this disharmony Clear the cause of disharmony and strengthen the areas in our lives where the expression of our soul nature has been weak. ALCHEMY OF FLOWERS Bach’s explorations into the healing power of flowers, like the work of Kaminski and other flower essence developers, harks back to the ancient art of the alchemists. According to alchemy, when the four elements—earth, air, fire and water—come together in balance then a fifth substance, a quintessence, is created. This quintessence in turn becomes the healing force for body and soul. Bach collected the dew that gathered on plants in the early morning. This dew, he believed, contained the quintessence he had been looking for. It was a perfect fusion of the four elements. In these sparkling drops, he identified the earth that feeds the plant, the natural air in which it grows, the water element in the dew, and fire from the energy of the sun—on which all life depends for its existence. In his healing work, Bach relied strongly on his intuition when figuring out how to work with these elements in relation to extracting the essential healing body of each flower. For days before he investigated the healing potential of a flower, he would himself welcome into his body the physical and mental symptoms of the condition he was seeking to make a remedy for. Then searching for the right plant, he would place a petal or flower in the palm of his hand or on his tongue, register its effects on mind and his body, and record his findings. Gradually he developed a method for transferring a plant’s healing energy to spring water rather than continuing to collect morning dew. It is simple: You can easily learn to do it yourself. To identify the emotional states that each flower essence helps clear, Bach relied on intuition, as has every natural healer, wise woman and mystic throughout the ages. But being a fine scientist, he also “proved” or tested them out on one person after another until he became clear about their actions and confident of their effectiveness. The best of the flower essences prepared today are made in very much the same way—inspired by intuition, observation, conjecture, folklore, herbal tradition, sometimes even shamanic journeying, where the person expands their consciousness to connect with the spirit of the flower and learn from it. Then, once made, each flower essence is rigorously tested on volunteers and colleagues, the sick and the well, and information about its effects is recorded. DEEPEST HEALING Flower essences have been in existence for almost a century now—ever since the visionary Doctor Bach wandered in the Welsh hills in search of a new way to heal the fundamental underlying cause of all illness—classic splits we all have to deal with sooner or later, between soul purpose and the outer life; between mind and body; between emotions and enforced behavior. It’s at this deepest level of human life that flower essences work their finest magic. They bring greater integration and access to authentic power. They can help us shrug off much of the polluting physical, mental and emotional rubbish that prevents each of us from living out the essential beauty and creativity of our true nature. Bach himself knew that once we heal these splits within, the body’s innate tendency to restore harmony will encourage healing to take place on a physical level as well. That is just how flower essences work. They are gentle yet powerful catalysts. They can not only be used to shift emotional or spiritual patterns which we get stuck in. They can also help us remember at the most fundamental spiritual level who we are, then teach us to allow our unique inner radiance to shine forth. Next week we’ll explore how to connect with the essence of flowers yourself, how to make your own flower essences—it’s simple to do—and all the wonderful ways to make use of them enhancing your wellbeing and enriching your life. See you then...

Perfume Can Be Poisons

Perfume Can Be Poisons

The United Nations Environmental Program calculates that 70,000 chemicals are in common use across the world. Another 1000 new chemicals are introduced each year, polluting the planet and our bodies. Legal loopholes in every country still allow perfumes and other personal care products to be sold containing potentially deadly toxins that disrupt the order of the body’s living matrix and undermine your health. Each time you buy a bottle of perfume, be aware that it could contain any number of poisonous chemicals. There are more than 5000 stock chemical ingredients used by the fragrance industry, which manufacturers are not obliged to disclose on the labels. They are often hidden within a dangerous loophole of “trade secret formulas”. BUYER BEWARE More than ten years ago, the Sunday Times published an article shouting “Top Perfumes Linked to Cancer Scare Chemicals”. The article went on to report that when a Swedish government-accredited laboratory analyzed 34 common products, researchers found that well-known perfumes like “Chanel No. 5”, Dior’s “Poison”, Calvin Klein’s “Eternity” and “Tommy Girl” all contained di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) or similar chemicals. Commonly used as “plasticizers”, phthalates are dangerous. They are linked to decreased sperm count, early breast development, kidney and liver damage and birth defects. Since then, the situation has become infinitely worse. Phthalates have long been known to be both carcinogenic and mutagenic. They adversely affect sperm in men and disrupt reproductive processes in women. Nonetheless, they continue to be used. Theys are found in other common products as well—body sprays, compacts, and hair mousses—even flooring materials. Now, largely in response to several research projects, the EU has banned their use based on the fear that they may be responsible for genital abnormalities recorded in 4 percent of male babies. Yet they are still be used in fragrance products under the sneaky “trade secret formulas” label. And phthalates are merely a pale echo of the problem—a minute concern—in a much more threatening and complex multi-dimensional and pervasive chemical toxicity which pervades our lives. POISONOUS SEAS In our 21st century industrialized world, we live in a sea of petrochemically-derived chemicals dangerous to health, and life. All manmade chemicals are foreign to living systems. As such, they are potentially dangerous to us. Why? Because, in a million years of evolution, our bodies have never come into contact with them. Our genes are not adapted to handling them. Nor do we have the enzyme systems needed to clear them from our system. Included in the group of potentially destructive chemicals are hundreds of common cosmetic ingredients—from artificial preservatives to fragrances. There are over 7000 ingredients commonly found in perfumes, cosmetics and other fragranced products from household cleansers to baby toys. More than 1000 of these have already been individually shown to produce toxic effects on living systems. It is simply not possible to determine just what blends of substances have been used to produce the product, and what is listed on any label represents only the tip of the iceberg. Companies manufacturing fragrances, cosmetics and toiletries, such as shampoos, are legally required to list the ingredients they use; however, fragrances and trade-secret formulas in these products are considered legally exempt. In effect, manufacturers indulge in stealth by hiding large quantities of ingredients which we have no way of finding out about. SECRETS SECRETS The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to analyze ingredients in several well-known perfumes and toiletry products made by companies such as Chanel, Armani, and Calvin Klein. They found a total of 38 chemicals not listed on product labels. According to the report: “Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption, allergic reactions...in the rank of undisclosed ingredients are chemicals with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues. These include diethyl phthalate, a chemical found in 97% of Americans and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies, and musk ketone, a synthetic fragrance ingredient that concentrates in human fat and breast tissue.” Chemical hormone mimics not only carry dangers for male health, being largely responsible for the fall in male sperm count by almost 50 percent since 1940. They are also major culprits behind the exponential growth of reproductive disorders in women—from PMS, endometriosis and fibroid tumors, to infertility, osteoporosis and menopausal miseries. And, here’s the rub: Far more important than the potential harm any single chemical can do, is the dangerous way in which these chemicals can interact to produce far more toxic compounds within our bodies. This important truth still remains ignored by government bodies whose job it is to protect the public. LIVING TRUTHS A continuous interchange is meant to take place between your body’s trillions of cells and the surrounding interstitial fluids. This is how nutrients and oxygen enter the cells and cellular wastes are cleared from them. Wastes are then carried through lymph vessels to be eliminated from the system on the breath, and via urine, the bowels and the skin. This exchange of nutrients and oxygen and the elimination of waste are regulated by subtle electrochemical energies. A build up of toxicity in your body’s living matrix results in poor circulation and electro-chemical stagnation, causing poor cellular metabolism, distortions in the transmission of information, and a breakdown in hormone regulation. When cells thrive and your body is radiant, you have a high level of protection from aging. This continues so long as plenty of nutrients and oxygen get into its cells, and toxic wastes are efficiently removed from them. And, although your body has elegant ways of clearing wastes—including its own antioxidant enzyme system and detoxification processes through the liver and kidneys—chemical and electromagnetic pollution can create the kind of toxic overload that undermines its ability to do the job. AVOID TOXIC OVERLOAD Here are just a few of the most widespread chemicals commonly used in perfumes, makeup, and skincare. By now, every fragrance or skincare manufacturer of integrity should be working diligently to eliminate them from the products they sell. So far few companies are. Parabens: Made from toluene, a petrochemical derivative, these are the most common synthetic preservatives. They are still used in 99 percent of all products. They show up on labels with names like butyl paraben, methyl paraben, and propyl paraben. Naïve cosmetic manufacturers claim parabens are “safe” since they don’t directly cause inflammatory reactions to skin. But these enzyme inhibitors do damage the DNA of skin cells—something easy to verify by feeding placebos to live cells in a laboratory and then recording what happens to the cells via flow cytometry. Research carried out in Japan, Germany and Britain also implicates parabens—which we absorb in significant quantity day in day out—as a causative factor in male fertility problems and breast tumors in women, because it interferes with hormone production and hormone release. Synthetic musks: These have been shown to cause hormone disruption. They accumulate in breast milk and in the umbilical cord blood of newborns. DEA diethanolamine, MEA monoethanolamine, and TEA triethanolamine: These hormone-disrupting chemicals can form carcinogenic nitrates and nitrosamines. They are widespread in the United States and other countries. Hydantoin and Urea—Imidazolidinyl: Two of the many preservatives commonly found in self-care products, these release formaldehyde into the body, where they can trigger skin reactions, allergies, joint pain, dizziness and lowering of immunity. Formaldehyde undermines the life processes of your living matrix. This is why morticians use it to embalm dead bodies. Fragrances in general: Many chemicals used to make artificial fragrances are known to be both toxic and carcinogenic. They affect the central nervous system, and can set off emotional disturbances and behavioral problems in some people. This is a wide chemical group, most of the members of which are dangerous—to some degree—because of the solvents used to disperse their molecules and suspend these chemicals in solution. Where once the great perfumes were formulated from natural products like civet and essential oils, sadly this is most certainly no longer the case. HEADACHES AND FATIGUE Have you experienced a headache or felt sick when passing through the cosmetic area of a department store? I have. That’s why I tend to stay away from these places. Our olfactory mechanisms are closely allied to our limbic system—the primitive part of the brain that oversees our emotions, our behavior, and our memories. The limbic system also rules our basic animal drives and influences our autonomic nervous system, hormones and sexuality. Being exposed to cosmetic counters, or sitting next to people who are wearing poisonous perfumes can make you feel confused, dazed, bad-tempered and deeply fatigued. So can wearing many well known perfumes and using other fragranced products in your home or workplace. It’s far better to make your own fragrances to wear—as well as to make your home beautifully fragrant—out of organic essential oils. Your health and your life will benefit, and this could help protect you from potentially destructive long-term damage to your body. WANT TO KNOW MORE? “Scent of Danger: Are There Toxic Ingredients in Perfumes and Colognes?” Scientific American September 29, 2012. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Not So Sexy Examiner November 9, 2013 Environmental Working Group December 6, 2007 2 New York Times May 14, 2000 Business Week June 16, 2010 Psychological Science December 22, 2009

Know The Real Aphrodisiacs

Know The Real Aphrodisiacs

These days we treat aphrodisiacs as folk fantasy. Don’t be deceived. The biochemistry of certain plants like ginseng, dang quai, fennel and wild yam, as well as certain essential oils, are known to bring powerful sexual regeneration to the body and to intensify libido. It is your own individual response to specific herbs that is the key to aphrodisiacs. Loss of libido or impotence can have many different causes. So when turning to herbs for help in the sexual arena, you may need to experiment a bit to find which plants work best for you. But watch out. It is not only easy to create an experience of intense desire; it can be just as easy for a woman to end up fertilized by the results of it. Wings Of Desire Sexual impotence or a loss of ability to maintain a full erection affects most men at some time in their lives. It can be a result of feeling unwelcome, afraid of one’s own power, or experiencing a sense of inadequacy or depression in your life. Such things reflect themselves in the behavior of the body. With real awareness of how each partner feels and with patience and consideration, psychologically-caused impotence will often clear by itself. But many difficulties with maintaining erection are biochemical in nature. In men over the age of 35, it can happen during periods of prolonged stress, after illness, or simply as a result of having lived for too long on convenience foods, so that your body has become depleted in essential minerals, trace elements and vitamins—so that some of its metabolic processes no longer work properly. The first step is to detoxify your body by doing an herbal cleanse. Then change the way you live. Eliminate processed foods. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and clean sources of protein such as fish, organic meats and poultry as well as eggs, or only organic tofu made from soya beans that have not been genetically engineered. It is important, too, to throw out margarine and all highly processed oils. Replace them with extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil and good old butter from grass-fed cows. Include a teaspoon of top quality omega 3 fish oil each day. This is important. For, if you do not have a good supply of these essential fatty acids, you will not produce the hormones necessary for sexual potency. Male Potency There are a several useful plants for enhancing sexual energy and intensifying erection: Ginkgo biloba not only boosts the flow of blood to the brain and enhances memory; it can also increase circulation to the penis, potentizing iffy erections. The best way to take it for this purpose is in the form of a concentrated 24% standardized extract capsule, once or twice a day. Do not take more, since in large quantities, gingko can cause loose bowels, nervousness and irritability. One research project gave men 80 milligrams of such an extract three times a day, and got good results. It not only cleared impotence, it also lifted the depression which often accompanies it. You can also use a ginkgo tincture: 1 teaspoon in a little water twice a day. Fava beans—Vicia faba—can have an astounding effect on erection. The first written record of this food having sexual connotations came from ancient Rome, where Cicero used it to heighten his own passion. Fava is the best natural source of L-dopa. This chemical (which is also used to treat Parkinson’s disease) intensifies erections in some men. That is how fava got its reputation as an aphrodisiac. One way to use fava is to make soup from them. Siberian ginseng—Eleuthrococcus senticosus—is a natural MAO inhibitor. It helps lift depression and improves libido in both men and women. It also helps overcome long-term fatigue. You can take it as an extract daily. Its effects build slowly over weeks and months. This adaptogen is an excellent restorative for the whole body. Women In Love When libido flags in women there are many herbs that can help revive it. Wild Yam—Dioscorea villosa—restores libido so successfully in most women that I would not advise you to use it unless you have a sexual partner. You can take the tincture—½ -1 teaspoon in water twice a day—or as a dried herb in capsules, 4-6 capsules a day. I have known women to take 10 capsules a day, but less than this works very well for most. American Ginseng—Panax ginseng—is as good a raiser of libido in women as it is in men, despite the assumption that it is a male plant. It is particularly useful in post-menopausal women. Drink it as a tea three or four times a day. Fennel—Foeniculum vulgare—is replete with plant steroids. In animal experiments it raises the libido of both males and females. You can take it as a tea. Bruise a teaspoon of fennel seeds and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. Steep for 5 minutes, strain and drink. Caution: Do not use fennel oil on your body when you are pregnant, as it can cause miscarriage. Other simple herbs which you can add to your foods that have a reputation for enhancing libido are parsley, fenugreek—great to sprout and eat in salads—ginger, and anis (Pimpinella anisum). Even coca from which chocolate is made carries mild aphrodisiac power. Essential oils help with libido on the night. Massage your body and that of your partner with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or apricot oil to which you have added one of the aphrodisiac essences: clary sage, ylang ylang, rose, or jasmine. This is for external use only. Powerful stuff—you need only 1 drop of an essential oil to each teaspoon of carrier oil. A capsule of vitamin E squeezed into the oil when you mix it helps keep it fresh longer. Here are some products you might find useful: Carlson Labs, The Very Finest Fish Oil, Lemon The finest of fish oils from deep, cold ocean-water fish. Bottled in Norway it has a refreshing natural lemon taste. Take by the teaspoonful, mix with foods, even try it on salads. This product is regularly tested (using AOAC international protocols) for freshness, potency and purity by an independent, FDA registered laboratory and has shown itself to be fresh, fully-potent and free of detrimental levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCB's and 28 other contaminants. Buy Carlson Labs, The Very Finest Fish Oil, Lemon Now Foods, Ginkgo Biloba NOW Ginkgo Biloba is grown and extracted under the highest quality standards and is standardized to min. 24% Ginkgoflavonglycosides and min. 6% Terpene Lactones, including Ginkgolide B, the most significant fraction, and Ginkgolides A, C and Bilobalide. Order Now Foods, Ginkgo Biloba from iherb Now Foods, Ginkgo Biloba Extract Supports Cognitive Function 24% Standardized Extract With Gotu Kola and Eleuthero GMP Quality Assured A Dietary Supplement Vegetarian Formula Order Now Foods, Ginkgo Biloba Extract from iherb Bob's Red Mill, Fava Beans For over 5,000 years, Fava Beans have been enjoyed as a delicious source of protein, fiber and iron. Similar in taste and texture to lima beans, they are one of the most flavorful and meaty beans around. Bob's Red Mill Fava Beans have been naturally blanched to remove the unsavory skins. They're excellent for soups, dips, and a wide variety of other dishes. Order Bob's Red Mill, Fava Beans from iherb Dragon Herbs, Siberian Ginseng, Super Potency Extract This is a potent formula, made from the finest Chinese herbs, to enhance your adaptability and daily Qi. Order Dragon Herbs, Siberian Ginseng Extract from iherb Herb Pharm, Wild Yam To assure optimal extraction of Wild Yam's bioactive compounds, the rhizomes are hand-harvested only in late autumn, are carefully shade-dried and are then thoroughly extracted. Our Wild Yam is never fumigated or irradiated. Order Herb Pharm, Wild Yam from iherb Nature's Way, Wild Yam, Root Capsules Health & longevity through the healing power of nature—that's what it means to Trust the Leaf. Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) was historically offered as "colic root" and used in herbal remedies for gastrointestinal irritations. In recent years it has become popular for women's health. Our Wild Yam is carefully grown, tested and produced to certified quality standards. Order Nature's Way, Wild Yam, Root Capsules from iherb Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng, Caffeine-Free American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has long been a popular herb. Modern research confirms both American and Asian ginsengs contain ginsenosides and supports their long history of use. American ginseng is considered less yang than Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). For this reason, Chinese herbalists valued American ginseng for regular long-term use. Native Americans in North America first used this herb in similar ways to Chinese herbalists. In the 18th century, it became popular in America, and began being exported to China. Today, a large amount of the American ginseng grown in North America is exported to a large amount of the American ginseng is exported to Asia. 100% pure American ginseng root sets this tea apart from other ginseng tea blends, creating a delicious tea with the maximum amount of this marvelous root. Order Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng, Caffeine-Free from iherb Frontier Natural Products, Organic Whole Fennel Seed A graceful plant, fennel is an aromatic, hardy, perennial with golden yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Also known as garden fennel, this plant's botanical name, Foeniculum vulgare, comes from the Latin for "fragrant hay", it is a member of the Apiaceae family--along with anise, caraway, coriander and dill. Fennel seeds are small, oval, and grooved. They resemble caraway seed (though less curved) and smell and have a lemony anise taste. Fennel was well known as a food, flavoring and medicine in ancient China, Greece, India and Egypt. Since Roman times it has been used as a diet aid and to overcome hunger during fasts. In fact, its early Greek name, marathron, comes from maraino, which meant "to grow thin." The Roman emperor Charlemagne popularized the use of fennel seed in Central Europe, and the ancient Saxons included the seed in their list of nine sacred herbs used to combat the nine causes of disease. Order Frontier Natural Products, Organic Whole Fennel Seed from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply.

Magnum Force For Skin

Magnum Force For Skin

There’s some wonderful natural support on offer when you feel skin needs extra help. These potent wonder-workers offer the ability to repair DNA damage, enhance immunity and help protect skin from ageing. They form the core of my own wide-based anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant army, and work beautifully to protect our skin’s integrity. NUMBER ONE—SULFUR Sulfur is one of the hottest item in offices of savvy plastic surgeons is a unique form of this element: MSM—methyl-sulfonyl-methane is at the top of the list. MSM, also known as ‘physiological sulfur”, is a superb free radical scavenger. It neutralises free radicals that damage skin. Found in every tissue of your body, MSM concentrations diminish with age. They need to be supported by the right kind of diet and supplements after the age of 25. MSM is also found in rain water, the sea, and all living organisms. You’ll find it in especially high concentrations in raw vegetables, fruits, and sea foods. Even the cocoa plant from which chocolate is made is a good source. But, unless your diet is composed primarily of raw foods it’s highly unlikely you are getting enough MSM for optimal health and beautiful skin. The crème de la crème source of sulfur, MSM slows down the loss of collagen, stabilises connective tissues, and is important for clearing toxic buildup both on a cellular level and in the body as a whole. It is safe as well as highly effective. Even people who are ‘allergic’ to sulfur-drugs and sulfite-based food additives thrive on it. You can take it internally and/or use a good cream based on it. I do both. GREAT NAILS AND HAIR Sulfur is the most beautifying of all the elements. Even the thickness of our hair depends on it. It regulates the sodium/potassium balance bringing in nutrients and oxygen to cells and neutralising wastes. Every time your body clears out destructive chemicals it uses sulfur to remove them. MSM provides elasticity and healing repair to skin tissues. It may even alter cross linkages, smoothing out scars. Sulfur is essential for cartilage strength and to build keratin – the fibrous protein out of which hair and nails are made – as well as to virtually every function of the skin. With extra MSM your nails grow faster and stronger. Your hair gets thicker and shinier. A good dose of MSM is 2000 milligrams (2 grams) for each 60 kilos of weight a day. Start with 500 mg per 60 kilos of weight and work up. It’s best used together with half that amount of vitamin C, preferably in the form of sodium ascorbate (so if you take 2 grams of MSM take 1 gram of vitamin C). CARNOSINE—MASTER OF PARADOX My second favoriteis carnosine. Carnosine is a dipeptide - a two-part protein - made out of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histadine. Like MSM, it is a natural metabolite in your body as well as a powerful antioxidant. It occurs in particularly high concentration in long-lived cells like nerves and muscles. Carnosine levels decline as our body ages. In muscles its concentration falls by more than 60 percent between the age of 10 and 70. Lots of antioxidants aim to prevent free radicals from entering tissues, but have no effect after this first line of defence is broken. Carnosine is not only effective in prevention, but it is also active after free radicals react to form other dangerous compounds. So it protects the tissues from these damaging ‘second-wave’ chemicals. POWERFUL ELIMINATOR Carnosine addresses the great paradox of life – that fact that the elements which support life – glucose, lipids, oxygen proteins and trace elements – also destroy it. It binds toxic metals so your body can eliminate them safely. It guards cells and protein tissues from oxidation damage. It prevents glycosylation – the process that produces AGEs to build up leading to collagen cross-linking, wrinkles and sags. Carnosine can rejuvenate old cells and extend the functional life of skin’s building blocks as well as its lipids and proteins. As such it is identified as an “agent of longevity”. This amazing dipeptide also clears toxicity. When chromosomes are exposed to high levels of oxygen, carnosine is the only antioxidant known to protect them from oxidative damage. It rejuvenates connective tissue and speeds wound healing. Carnosine may yet prove to be an important key to dissolving AGEs and destructive cross-linking of collagen after it has occurred, but it is too soon to tell for sure. The Russians use carnosine, with great success, in a special form called N-alpha acetylcarnosine or NAC in eye drops to eradicate cataracts. Carnosine improves overall skin condition and can treat tough leathery skin as well as preventing many age signs on the face. Used as an oral nutraceutical the recommended dose is 500mg of carnosine a day taken on an empty stomach. In the case of carnosine more is most certainly not better. Doses above this amount can actually be less effective. GOLDEN THREAD OF YOUTH The last place you might expect to find a golden thread in the tapestry of living skin is in the form of a special kind of vitamin B3 – nicotinamide or niacinamide. This form of the vitamin behaves quite differently than the well known nicotinic acid which causes hot flushes when swallowed. As far back as 1968 Double Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling published research reporting success in the treatment of psychiatric patients using moderate doses of this vitamin together with ascorbic acid. Nicotinamide has long been used both topically and orally for its anti-inflammatory abilities. It has a stunning ability to reverse many aspects of skin ageing when used internally and even externally in skincare products. Niacinamide enhances energy production, increases collagen synthesis, decreases inflammation, encourages synthesis of lipids needed for skin health and beauty, and diminishes wrinkling. It can even help fade age spots. Together these big three can work wonders for skin or any age. Source Naturals, MSM, 1000 mg MSM serves as an important source of bioavailable dietary sulfur, an element that plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity and elasticity of connective and other tissues. It is an important component of proteins found throughout the body, such as in hair, nails, skin and tendons. Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of connective tissue, amino acid metabolism, and hormone synthesis and serves as a key factor in the body’s immune system. Molybdenum is a trace element that is needed by the body for sulfur metabolism, oxygen transport, and detoxification. Order MSM from iherb Source Naturals, MSM Cream MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring form of organic sulfur. MSM Cream can be used to soften and smooth skin while adding oil-rich, moisture-binding protection. Liposome technology is an exceptional method for topical penetration and absorption of key ingredients. Liposomes are tiny spheres which easily penetrate the skin to deliver the MSM Cream. MSM Cream also contains the potent antioxidants vitamin E and ginkgo. Source Naturals also makes MSM tablets for internal use. Order from iherb Source Naturals, L-Carnosine, 500 mg L-Carnosine is a dipeptide composed of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. It occurs naturally in muscle, brain and other tissues in high concentrations. In in vitro studies, L-carnosine reduced glycation, a process in which DNA and protein are damaged by glucose. The end products of glycation are highly reactive molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which can further damage proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. The accumulation of AGEs is associated with aging. Order L-Carnosine from iherb Now Foods, Niacinamide, 500 mg Niacinamide and Niacin are two different forms of vitamin B-3. Niacinamide does not cause a Niacin flush. Niacinamide (B-3) is an essential member of the B-vitamin family. Niacinamide (Vitamin B-3) is an essential member of the B-vitamin family that must be obtained from the diet. It is the precursor to Niacin, but does not cause the "flush" normally associated with Niacin intake. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin. Order Niacinamide from iherb

Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic Drainage

None of the body’s systems of elimination is less generally recognized or more important than your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is not only a major route for the absorption of nutrients and an important carrier of immune cells, it is also your body’s metabolic waste-disposal system. So essential are the waste-eliminating functions of the lymphatic system that without them you would die within 24 hours. Your lymphatics are a highly organized and elaborate system of ducts and channels which flow all over your body. The opalescent liquid carries 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. After being purified by the lymph nodes, the fluid is returned to the blood. In this way the lymphatic system works ceaselessly to clear toxicity. In many ways the lymph system resembles the blood system. Except in one major respect. Whereas the blood system is powered by the action of the heart, the lymphatic system has no such prime mover. Instead it is almost entirely dependent upon gravity and the natural pressure of muscles when you move your body. These muscle contractions and body movements keep the lymph flowing. For good lymphatic functioning – to keep your body free of the build up of wastes and toxicity – you need to move your muscles vigorously and often. That is why regular brisk exercise, such as taking long walks, 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. If you tend to be sedentary and live on the average Western fare high in fat, protein and processed foods, your lymph system will tend to function poorly and permit the build up of toxic waste products. This can result in so many problems for good looks that it would be difficult to list them all – water retention, stiff muscles and joints, cellulite, premature aging, poor skin tone, even degenerative illness. lymphatic help A particularly pleasant way of helping lymphatic drainage during a two-day apple fast is to lie with your feet higher than your head for a few minutes a couple of times each day. Raise the bottom of your bed a foot off the floor or lie in a hammock with your feet high for a few minutes a couple of times a day. Lying with your feet higher than your head reverses the flow of lymph temporarily, and helps improve lymphatic drainage.

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.

Joyous Movement

Joyous Movement

Moving your body preserves youth and creates high-level vitality, as well as good feelings about who you are. Did you know, for example, that regular exercise is the best treatment yet devised for depression? Little wonder, since throughout evolution our bodies have been built to move. It is only in the last century that we have become sedentary ‘lounge-lizards', making ourselves vulnerable to the numerous ailments—from osteoporosis to coronary heart disease—in which lack of physical exercise is a major risk factor. Exercise can do as much good for your mind as it can your body. You might be surprised to find how simple and blissful the right kind of exercise can be. GET INTO BLISS We are told all the time, by everyone, that we should force ourselves to exercise whether we like it or not. Personally, I love exercise. But only because doing it brings me joy. I firmly believe you should never exercise out of a sense of duty, or for fear of putting on weight if you don’t. Find out what you love doing, and do it just for fun. You could swim or jog or dance for the pleasure of it Or rebound on a mini-trampoline—something that is particularly good for internal spring-cleaning. Swimming is great because it is so sensuous. But don’t make yourself swim laps. Instead, move sensuously through the water and notice the bliss your body can feel as you do. If you don’t know what exercise you enjoy, then start with a brisk walk. TAKE A WALK Brisk daily walks can be a lot of fun—but they can also be a major factor in disease-prevention, as they help keep your body clean from the inside out. They increase vitality and improve your mental state. How far? How fast? That depends on how fit you are already. Start slowly if you are not used to exercise, and then gradually—over several weeks—work up your pace to four miles an hour; that means you will be walking a mile in about 15 minutes. Walk with a sense that you are just going to allow your body to move and to experience the pleasure of being alive. Walking brings our awareness into our bodies, along with the magnificent spirit that is the essence of who you are, so you and your body feel like one. If you have young children, take them with you in a pushchair or pram. Older children can benefit as much from the exercise as you do. If the weather is bad, make sure you are all equipped with waterproofs or warm clothing. Or, if you prefer, get up early before anyone else is awake and go out by yourself (this is my favorite time for exercising). If you go out to work, carry your work-shoes with you and wear a comfortable pair of trainers. Take the bus or train to within a mile or so of your workplace and walk from there. AGE PREVENTION The latest research into age-retardation shows clearly that it is not a pill, magic potion or some glamorous and expensive youth treatment which best reverses the long and depressing list of changes that have come to be associated with aging, but simple exercise. How much regular aerobic activity you get determines the level of something called your ‘V02max’. This is the scientific term for 'maximum oxygen consumption’—the most critical measurement of your body's heart and lung performance. This measurement is something which declines steadily in most people after the age of 30—at a rate of about 1 per cent per year—simply because, unlike our primitive ancestors who remained physically active all through their lives, we lead a largely sedentary existence. As a result, we appear to age quite rapidly—we experience a decline in cardiovascular and lung fitness, we lose muscle and bone tissue, our skin wrinkles and thins, and we experience a progressive stiffening of the joints. These age-related changes appear to occur at just the rate at which our V02max declines. The good news is this: a decline in V02max is by no means inevitable. When a person of 35, 55, or even 75 moves their body regularly, this can restore V02max levels to that of someone many years younger. As this happens, energy increases and parameters such as cardiovascular fitness, heart-rate, cholesterol, and blood-lipids return to more youthful measures. Skin looks younger, high blood-pressure lowers, joints regain flexibility. Meanwhile, loss of minerals from the bones is halted, muscle-mass increases, and fat is lost; even your intelligence improves. LASTING VITALITY Physiologist J. L. Hodgson carried out a series of studies at Pennsylvania State University which showed that when an inactive 70-year-old starts a program of moderate activity he can expect, in effect, to improve his oxygen-transporting ability (V02max) by some 15 years. If then he goes on to achieve an athlete's level of conditioning, he can potentially regain 40 years of V02max and experience many of the physical and physiological effects of rejuvenation in the process. AGE REVERSAL So exceptional is the ability of regular exercise to reverse aging changes that Dr Walter Bortz, one of America’s leading scientific experts on aging, wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that 'It seems extremely unlikely that any future drug or physician-oriented technique will approach such a benefit'. Bortz had begun studying the relationship between age-related changes and inactivity through having his own leg in a cast for six weeks. When the cast was removed the 'withered, stiff and painful leg' looked like it belonged on someone 40 years older. He found that, by almost every physiological parameter known, a lack of exercise produced bodily changes paralleling those associated with aging. Regular sustained physical activity can go a long way towards preventing and even reversing them. BLESSINGS OF MOVEMENT Herbert de Vries of the Andrus Gerontology Centre at the University of Southern California showed in a study involving more than 200 people that men and women of 60 or 70 can become as fit and energetic as people 30 years younger. 'Regular exercise quite literally turned back the clock for our volunteers,' said de Vries. And, when questioned about what they considered the greatest benefit of their regular exercise programs, his subjects most often answered “greater energy”. The fitter you are, the more energy you have. SKIN GLOWS Regular exercise—the kind you get if you do 30-45 minutes of walking, swimming, dancing, rebounding or what you love most, at least three times a week—suffuses your skin with blood, enhances lymphatic functioning, increases the ability of your body to carry oxygen and nutrients to the skin's cells, and removes waste products from them. Exercise physiologist James White at University of California, San Diego, carried out an interesting study to find out just how effective exercise might be at retarding—even maybe reversing—the effects of aging on skin. Working with older women, he compared two groups: One group on a program of rebounding using mini-trampolines, and one group of sedentary women. He discovered that the exercisers looked younger, had better skin, coloring, and fewer wrinkles than non-exercisers. White was surprised to discover that exercise even reduces bags under the eyes. With all these amazing benefits, why wouldn’t you want to get into the joy of movement today…?

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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