user-icon chevron-right minus plus cross google shopping-cart caret-down chevron-down chevron-circle-up menu search youtube facebook twitter rss linkedin2 pinterest

health

245 articles in health

I must have flowers

I must have flowers

Whatever else happens in my life, I must have flowers. These gifts from Nature nourish the soul. We scatter their petals when we marry. We send bouquets of them to celebrate the birth of a child. We decorate our homes and our places of worship with them. We use flowers to comfort the lonely and the ill. We even honour the end of a person’s life by laying floral wreathes on a grave. Not only do flowers play a central role in the rituals of life, they bless our ordinary daily existence by blossoming in our gardens, waste ground and hedgerows – and gracing our windowsills by protruding gaily from a cracked teapot. Perhaps it is the velvet softness of their petals and their luminous colours that make these affirmations from nature so precious to us. Maybe it is the uplifting energy they carry – an energy you sense lying in a field of poppies or when you go into a florist’s shop. It could be the fragrance of flowers, or the transient nature of their coming and going. I don’t know. Ancient Wreaths Our passion for flowers and the awareness that they carry deep healing and sanctifying energies are both as old as history itself. Not long ago, archaeologists digging in the Cave of Shanidar within the Zagros Mountains of Iran unearthed nine bodies of primitive people and discovered that, at least 60,000 years ago, men and women were carrying out flower rituals similar to those we use today. The archaeologists found soil samples in which clusters of pollen from twenty-eight different species of flower lay in a circle forming a wreath which had been laid to rest with human remains. One of the interesting things about the find was that the flowers these primitive people chose to use as a sacred and healing offering to their dead were not the most beautiful, nor were they the most readily available in that area. The flowers from which these wreathes had been made were chosen from plants that are specifically known for their healing properties - hollyhock, grape hyacinth and horsetail - all of which we still use today for medicinal purposes. Precious Offerings The Ancient Greeks and the Egyptians used aromatic oils and flowers for healing too, as they did for embalming, expanding consciousness and for sanctifying space. The Bible is riddled with words of praise for flowers and what they have to teach us, both about the realms of Spirit and about the ordinary world in which we live most of our lives. It tells us “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Mathew 6:28-29). In Song of Solomon 2:12 “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is at hand…” Soul Healers Not only does humanity have a passion for flowers. Flowers have a passion for us. They love to share with us their beauty, their healing powers – their very life force. “When I touch a flower, I am touching infinity,” said the American botanist George Washington Carver: “Through the flower I talk to the Infinite… a silent force… that still small voice.” American clairvoyant and healer Edgar Cayce celebrated the healing power of flowers again and again. He insisted that flowers bring companionship to those of us who are lonely, that they speak to the “shut in”, and that they bring Divine grace and upliftment to everyone. That is certainly my own experience of flowers. The Time Is Now Despite our longstanding love affair with flowers - despite the way for thousands of years we have used them for healing and to mark life’s passages, never in recorded history have we experienced a greater need for their healing and their blessings than right now. For we who live in the post-modern world often feel ourselves to be alienated, isolated, suspended, caught somewhere between the magnificent technology we have created and a longing to bond with the earth and with our own souls. Flowers can help bridge this gap. I think they do this better than anything else in nature. Flowers delight us, bless us and heal us. They clear the spiritual anorexia so widespread in urban life and help fill up our starving souls. They remind us of our own simple humanity as well as our essentially divine nature: They whisper to us of the splendour in the world around us—a world of which we humans are the guardians. Most important of all our relationship with flowers helps realign our ordinary day-to day lives with the authenticity of our unique soul energies. A big statement to make? Yes, but having worked with flower meditation for many years, having explored the potential flower essences have to build bridges for us between our inner truth and our outer lives I have come to believed with all my being that this is so. How Do Flowers Heal? No-one knows for sure. There are so many of their elements which carry healing potential that it would be hard to list them all: Their colours influence our mind, our energy levels, our clarity of thought. Colourful flowers and the plants they come from often carry health-enhancing nutrients within them - anti-oxidants such as flavinoids, which give plants their wonderful colours and help protect from degeneration, and other phyto-chemicals that help to strengthen immunity, improve circulation or delay ageing. Then there are the more recently discovered vibrational energies which Dr Bach called on when he fashioned flower essences and, of course, essential oil treats and treatments for person and place. Last, but by no means least, is the power of flower meditation. Here is where the soul of a human being meets the soul of a flower to bring healing, friendship and blessings to both. To Each His Own Flowers are as individual in their personalities as they are in their looks and fragrance. Some love the night. They only display their beauty and emit their fragrance once the sun goes down. Like night-owl people, at their best in the wee small hours of the morning, these blossoms have a passionate nature. They often carry exotic names like Queen of the Night, Night-Blooming Silene, and Gilliflower. Other flowers, like goatsbeard, poppy and marigold, open their petals at the crack of dawn then close down each evening and drift away into sleep. The sunflower stretches itself boldly towards heaven, while the bright blue borage flower, worshiped by Celtic warriors for its ability to bring courage in battle, bows its tiny head towards the ground. A shy soul with a great power to heal, borage prefers to go unnoticed – despite its heart-rending beauty. I have learned much about the individual personalities and soul nature of flowers not only from meditating on them and using them for healing but also from photographing them. Some, like peony, love the spotlight. Put them in front of a camera and they upstage everything else. Many have very strong likes and dislikes about where you plant them and where you place a bouquet of them in a room. On one table a particular flower becomes recalcitrant. But move it to the top of a bookcase in front of a window and suddenly it surrenders its beauty to the camera the way a woman yields to the touch of her lover. Each flower has unique healing properties and each speaks its own silent language. Learning that language, listening to flower wisdom and opening your heart to a flower’s healing energy can be a joyous and often life-changing experience. Spotlight On Flower Essences Get to know half a dozen of the most useful essences. Choose them depending on where you are in your life now and as you change explore more of these wonderful floral friends. Here is my personal selection with some information about each essence. It can open up a whole new world for you of beauty, healing and joy. Here are a few flower essences you might like Bach Original Flower Essences, Vervain Vervain is essentially a plant of ease. It eases heartache, headache, stomach-ache, concern for the future and bad luck. Dr Bach made a flower essence from vervain to ease stress and tension. Vervain is an essence for those of us who tend to ‘live on our nerves’. These people are likely to take on tasks beyond their strength then force themselves onward through will-power alone. They are the martyrs of this world who will do anything for their cause. Vervain essence is calming. It helps you to slow down long enough to listen to your own needs, and to the opinions of others as well as to let you restore your strength. In all its forms vervain brings relief. Order Bach Original Flower Essences, Vervain from iherb Flower Essence Services, Lotus The lotus is no symbol of abstract perfection never to be achieved. All true lovers of the lotus will tell you that true spirituality grows out of the depths of material form. Step by step it reaches toward the light. The unique power nestled within the lotus’ genetic structure is this: Only this flower among all water plants is born from the muck with such strength of stem that, instead of floating on the water as do others, the power of its life force raises it a foot or more above the pond. Flower essence made from lotus can help when you find yourself knee deep in an endless swamp. Meditating on the lotus flower opens you to a pride-free experience of your soul’s divinity. I find both the essence and the meditation useful in blearing illusions and dissolving spiritual pride. Lotus reminds us that all true spirituality is deeply rooted in imperfection. Order Flower Essence Services, Lotus from iherb Flower Essence Services, Sunflower Sunflower essence helps those on a spiritual path, who tend to forget their bodily needs. It brings grounding and helps us manage times of dramatic change with ease. Its wisdom is a fine example of the Australian aboriginal idea of 'keeping your head in the stars and your feet on the ground'. Sunflower essence also helps strengthen self-esteem. It can improve the way you relate to people in authority by allowing you to maintain your sense of self in the face of someone else’s demands. Order Flower Essence Services, Sunflower from iherb Flower Essence Services, Mallow, Flower Essence The mallow is a flower of the heart. Its flower essence can help you to align the demands of your head with the intuition of the heart – in effect, to hear the whispers of your soul. Mallow is of great help to those who ‘lead from the head’ rather than from the heart and who often feel that life is a struggle although they are not sure why. This essence helps you to integrate your deepest beliefs and desires with your daily thinking and, in doing so, to live out more fully your true nature. Order Flower Essence Services, Mallow, Flower Essence from iherb Bach Original Flower Essences, Honeysuckle Honeysuckle flower essence was a favorite of Dr Bach – father of all flower essences. He prescribed it “to remove from the mind the regrets and sorrows of the past.” It is an essence which can help anyone who is stuck in the past, either through regret or nostalgia. As Dr Bach insisted, the important thing about any experience is that we learn from it, not continue to relive it. Honeysuckle flower essence helps put the events of the past where they belong – behind you – so that you can go forward into the future with the enthusiasm and innocence of the child reborn. Order Bach Original Flower Essences, Honeysuckle from iherb Flower Essence Services Calendula The flower essence of calendula is both warming and calming. It can help speakers, writers, teachers and leaders use words with clarity, compassion and creativity. The flower boasts a benign energy that makes it easier to express yourself and at the same time honor the opinions of others. Marigold can be especially useful for people who find their discussions too often end in arguments. This flower essence brings warmth and patience. It encourages you to listen as well as to make your point and furthers the cause of real communication. Order Flower Essence Services Calendula from iherb

Kick Colds Naturally

Kick Colds Naturally

The cold is the most common human ailment. It has been with us forever, and affects people all over the world. It’s estimated that the average adult will catch two to three colds a year. Despite its astounding prevalence, there are many natural means of helping your body avoid catching one. And if you already have a cold, you needn’t suffer a full-blown attack. Read on to arm yourself with invaluable cold-kicking know-how… GO WITH THE FLOW Catching a cold is no coincidence. It’s your body’s way of telling you two things. One: There are wastes in your system that need to be eliminated. And two: Your immunity is compromised. It needs building up. The kindest thing you can do for your body is to help it with these elimination and immune-boosting processes. An Epsom-salts bath is a great place to start. Soak, for half an hour, in blood-temperature water to which two cups of Epsom salts have been added. This will assist your body while it is trying to throw off toxins, thanks to the salts’ wonderful toxin-leaching properties. It will also relax you, and ease any bodily aches you might have. But perhaps the single best way you can help your body flush out the nasties is by drinking water—lots of it. (In fact, drink nothing else, except herb tea if you wish.) Make sure your water is fluoride free and otherwise clean. Then go for it. Two glasses first thing in the morning, and two between each meal, is a good amount for starters. EAT YOUR WAY TO HEALTH Next, you need to stop putting any toxic stuff back in. This means no baddies like alcohol; caffeine, grains, cereals and sugary convenience foods. Eating such things will put an extra strain on your system, undermine your body’s ability to fight back, and slow down the healing process. Milk products are also a no-go, as they are mucus-forming. And mucus is the last thing you need when you are already bunged up with a cold. What you need to eat are fresh, raw foods: Fruit. Vegetables. Unprocessed seeds and perhaps a few raw nuts. These will provide you with all the nutrients you need while your body is clearing the cold. Also, importantly, they will not put pressure on your digestive system. Apples, grapes, sunflower seeds and almonds are a few ideas. When you eat fruit, try starting with just one type to make digestion even easier. Then gradually add different fruits, fresh vegetable salads, and then, in a day or two, some lightly steamed vegetables as your cold improves. THREE HANDY COLD REMEDIES We all know that rest is important in fighting off illness, yet it’s often impossible given today’s demanding lifestyles. Quick, symptom-busting fixes are called for. So relax: help is at hand. Take tincture of Echinacea to get your circulation going and your system buzzing. On the first day, take a teaspoon in water every three hours; then three or four times a day afterwards till your cold clears completely. If you have a sore throat, it’s garlic to the rescue. This will surprise you but it works wonders: Tuck an entire unpeeled clove between your lower teeth and cheek and keep it there for as long as you can. Its amazing antiviral qualities will help your body kill off the bugs causing your sore throat. Vitamin C is another fantastic way of supporting your immune system as it does its job. Take between 3 grams (3,000 mg) and 6 grams, three times a day, until a day after the cold has cleared. YOUR HIDDEN DEFENDER So much for getting shot of cold symptoms while speeding up the healing process. “But how on earth do I stop catching colds?” You may well ask. The key to this is a fit, healthy and vigilant immune system. Keeping your immunity strong isn’t difficult. It just requires a little extra effort and awareness on your part. Here’s how. Start by taking a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement: Food-state supplements are best. I recommend Rainbow Light, Advanced Nutritional System, Food-Based Multivitamin, Iron-Free, 180 Tablets. As for extra Vitamin C protection, one to three grams a day is the way to go. Next, make sure to include plenty of fresh garlic in your cooking—one or two cloves per day—and use the Japanese Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms in your diet. These contain wonderful immune-strengthening compounds. Keep up your water drinking, too. Last but not least—remember that depression often goes hand in hand with depressed immunity. Laugh hard and often, and enjoy life. It will keep you well and make you feel great. Rainbow Light, Advanced Nutritional System, Food-Based Multivitamin, Iron-Free, 180 Tablets Powerful Antioxidant Stress Formula Energy Support Potent Superfoods Complete Multivitamin/Mineral Digestive Enzymes & Probiotics Buy Rainbow Light ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: Get $5 OFF your first order. They ship all over the world very cheaply, and their products are the cheapest and best in the world. Get your order sent to you via DHL. I use them for almost everything no matter where I am.

Antioxidants And Free Radicals: Fact And Fiction

Antioxidants And Free Radicals: Fact And Fiction

Denham Harmon is an extraordinary researcher. Like most of the great scientists what he writes is easy to understand, even to a non-technical person. He writes about free radicals very much as a philosopher might explore life and death - yet at a molecular level. Harmon's work makes clear that free radical reactions are indeed essential to life. So much is this the case that it is likely to be redox reactions that produced life on earth and which largely engineered evolution through their effect on DNA. Harmon is also quite clear that for high level health and the prevention of premature aging most of us need to use antioxidants in some form from the age of 27 onwards. And does he take antioxidants himself? You bet he does. Yet not in excess as some anti-aging enthusiasts urge us to do. He takes them in moderate doses - 400 iu vitamin E and 2 grams vitamin C, 30mg coenzyme Q-10, plus 25,000 iu beta carotene every other day. He would take more, he says, but he can't afford to be fatigued. forget magic bullets What does this mean when just about every book and article on aging these days urges us to take more and more? It means that in all our enthusiasm to get on the free radical band wagon many of us have fallen into the same trap of mechanistic thinking that limits much of orthodox medicine. In an attempt to slow aging we tend to treat antioxidants as "magic bullets" losing all awareness of the importance of interrelationships between them and synergy in the body. More and more antioxidants does not necessarily mean better and better. Taking too many antioxidant supplements can eventually leave you chronically tired with weak muscles. Harmon and his colleagues have discovered through animal experiments that very large quantities of antioxidants such as BHT - a synthetic commonly used as a food preservative - will actually suppresses the proper functioning of the mitochondria (the little energy factories in the cells), as well as the production of ATP (the body's own energy currency). There is no question that we need antioxidants, yet there is no simple answer as to exactly how much of vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C, and the carotenoids, we optimally take. go for balance 20 years ago I became aware of the importance of taking antioxidants to protect the body as a result of my having interviewed some of the top anti-aging experts in the world. Later, when I was writing Ageless Aging, I put into practice what they taught me. To put it simply: that the more antioxidants you take the healthier and the better protected from premature aging you would be. Yet as the years passed, certain things began to bother me. I wanted to know, for instance, how much of the various antioxidants are enough? And can you take too many? I couldn't understand how free radicals could be so bad since they were also necessary for life. Finally I was curious about my own body's reaction to taking high doses of antioxidants - 1600 iu vitamin E and 150,000 iu of mixed carotinoids, and 10 grams of vitamin C a day. Doing all this, I figured, should have had me feeling full of energy. Yet as the years passed I found myself more and more fatigued despite being perfectly well. None of it made sense. I figured if you want the straight story you had better get it from the horse's mouth. So I went back to the work done by Denham Harmon, MD, PhD, the man who conceived the free radical theory of aging in the first place, way back in 1954 and one of the most celebrated experts on aging in the world. I had been taking too many antioxidant supplements. Don't get me wrong. These free radical scavengers did work. I looked around me to find that my skin was not falling apart as was that of many friends of the same age, yet I still had this problem with energy. After learning what I should have known all along I cut down my intake of antioxidant nutrients only to find that within a couple of weeks my energy increased dramatically. Recently The Alliance for Aging Research, a nonprofit organization based in Washington DC recommended that people who are generally healthy need somewhere between 100-400 iu of vitamin E, 17,500-50,000 iu beta-carotene, and 200-1000 mg of vitamin C a day. Exactly how much is right for you depends on a lot of things: Do you smoke? Do you live at high altitudes? Do you drink more than a glass of alcohol a day? Do you eat convenience foods rich in junk fats? Do you eat sugar? Doing any of these things increases your need for antioxidants. Eating a high raw diet of fresh unprocessed foods dramatically decreases it.

Join The Revolution

Join The Revolution

We are poised at the beginning of a profound revolution in health. It encompasses long-lasting weight control, drug-free ageless aging and protection from degenerative diseases. Until recently, the genuine research findings which are fueling this revolution have been hidden from us by a dark cloud consisting of outright lies, false medical and government directives and corporate greed. For the past 60 years, we have been fed dangerous, inaccurate information in regard to the causes of heart disease, obesity, mental disorders, and other widespread degenerative conditions—from diabetes to cancer and Alzheimer’s, as well as emotional and mental problems. As a consequence, we have experienced an exponential rise in long-term degenerative conditions, a massive dependence on pharmaceutical drugs, and dangerously inaccurate information about what constitutes good nutrition. I’ve just posted on the lesliekenton.com site two videos of programs aired over ABC News in Australia. Do watch them. They could be life-changing for you and your family. I’ll give you a link to them at the bottom. THE TRUTH WILL OUT Here’s what’s important for you to know: The guidelines about health we have been given in the decades following World War II have been wrong. For example, there is NO correlation between high cholesterol plaque formation and heart disease. Second, saturated fats are good for us. Third, statin drugs which are commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol are dangerous. For generations, we’ve been told that “saturated fat is a prime cause of heart disease.” This theory, known as the ‘lipid hypothesis’, was concocted 60 years ago by a number of mainstream scientists, including a physiologist named Ancel Keys, whom I knew personally. Keys’ totally inaccurate “revelations” about the dangers of eating saturated fats were based on bogus research. Yet they earned him a cover on Time Magazine. Other erroneous research, which in truth amounted to little more than “best guesses”, were also accepted as truths by government, the medical establishment and the media, even though several well researched studies showed clearly that they were also wrong. This is how the false notion that “eating fat causes heart disease” became accepted worldwide and it has endured for more than half a century. BIG FAT LIES As award-winning journalist Gary Taubes has pointed out, “In the 1970s and 1980s the US government spent half a billion dollars trying to prove that dietary fat causes heart disease and they couldn’t do it.” Taubes is a courageous science writer. He first wrote about the public fat deceptions in a New York Times magazine article in June of 2002, called “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” Since then, he has written two superbly researched books, in relation to this issue as well as other massively inaccurate beliefs that have also been foisted upon us including the notion that eating a low-fat, high-carb diet is the best way to stay healthy. For five decades, governments and health agencies in the United States and elsewhere have pontificated about what we should eat to prevent degenerative diseases. Most of us have done our best to follow their advice. In doing so, we have become sicker and fatter with each decade that passes. Of course, the powers-that-be still insist that this is all our fault. They tell us that this is because we have not been following their advice carefully enough. So their “best guess” advice, concocted in error all those years ago, still goes on harming millions of people. THE DECEPTIVE 70S The tale continues: After high-level government discussions and consultations about what diet the majority of Americans should eat for health, the McGovern Committee in the United States published nutritional guidelines which, they told us, would “combat cancers, heart disease, high-blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.” Hearings for Senator McGovern’s Senate Select Committee took place between 1976 and 1980. And it was clear right from the start that the outcome would be a bogus recommendation to reduce fat and cholesterol and eat plenty of carbohydrates for energy—despite the fact that valid scientific research had shown quite clearly that both of these recommendations were just plain wrong. Before long, the US government issued their skewed ‘Dietary Guidelines for Americans.’ Their advice boiled down to was this: Replace natural dietary fats (which we humans have been eating for millions of years and which the body handles with ease) with high doses of carb-laden grains, sugars and cereals and use lots of polyunsaturated fats. Then the now infamous U.S. “Dietary Recommendations Pyramid” came along. It urges us to eat as many as 11 portions of bread, cereal, rice and pasta a day. Like obedient citizens, we ate porridge, toast and cereal for breakfast, munched our way through a bagel at 11 o’clock, and downed a sandwich, pizza or pasta for lunch. At dinner, along with our meat and potatoes, or rice and beans, we indulges in a roll or two to make sure we got the 10 carb servings they recommended to us believing that we were living on a healthy diet. Just in case you think these absurd directives only affected the lives of Americans, think again. The rest of the world—with a few exceptions such as France and China—still follow US government directives with amazing slavishness. HOW TO AGE FAST A diet high in cereals, grains and sugars (which 90% of the Western World still consumes) is not only a prescription for obesity—it’s a fast track to rapid aging and degenerative diseases. Grains and sugars in excess lower energy levels, create cravings and addictive eating while encouraging a myriad of long-term health issues. TRUTH ABOUT STATINS Then there is the issue of statins. I was stunned when I learned about the new guidelines just issued by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. These bodies are now encouraging doctors to prescribe statin drugs to well people. The so-called medical experts who issued these directives insist that all healthy people be given statin drugs as a “preventative against possible future illness.” In effect they are keen to see one third of all adults taking statins. One in four Americans over 45 are already on statins, despite more than 900 studies reporting dangerous side effects from these drugs. Side effects range from heightened risks of cancer and diabetes to sexual problems, neuropathy and liver dysfunction to immune system suppression—even a higher risk of cataracts. In Britain, between 6 and 8 million people take statin drugs. If the new directives are accepted by the US and UK medical establishment—as they are likely to be—the numbers of men and women being prescribed statins will become legion. WHY ARE THEY USED Statins are a group of drugs that commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. They have many different names: Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Altocor, Zocor and so on. Statins are given to patients on the assumption that they will lower the risks of heart attacks and strokes. Meanwhile, a recent study in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, “Biomarkers & Prevention” by Jean A McDougall and her team, showed that long-term use of statins increases the risk of both lobular and ductal breast cancer in women between 55 and 74. COME THE REVOLUTION I suggest you take a look at my recent blog, “Beware The Statin Pushers”. (Click here.) I also suggest that you read Healthy and Lean For Life, the book I wrote at the beginning of 2013. You are able to download free until the end of December. (click here) Meanwhile I celebrate Dr Maryanne Demasi’s admirable investigative journalism in the two ABC programs which you can watch by clicking here. Come and take part in the exciting revolution based on truth. Share what you learn with those whose health and life may be made better by what you have learned.

Herbal Sleep Secrets

Herbal Sleep Secrets

Your body thrives on sleep. It is while you are peacefully slumbering that your body is busily repairing the damage the day has done. Your body’s cells including your skin regenerate and rejuvenate themselves during sleep. When you haven’t had enough sleep your face lets you know about it as soon as you look in the mirror next morning—dull eyes, dull lips and a dull complexion. Deep, regular sleep can do more to enhance your wellbeing as well as your good looks than the most expensive creams and potions on the market. NO SLEEPING PILLS There are no hard and fast rules about how much sleep you should get. Some people need a full eight hours. Others thrive on six. The better your diet—the higher it is in fresh fruits, vegetables and unprocessed foods—and the more exercise you get daily, the less time you are likely to need for sleep. What matters most is the quality of your sleep. Sleeping deeply does not mean drugging yourself into oblivion. In Britain alone 50 million prescriptions are written for sleeping pills each year. These drugs taken regularly can bring about dementia Alzheimer’s, depression and mental disorders. They also suppress vital rapid-eye-movement or REM phases of sleep. This produces psychological repression. Herbs offer a far safer alternative to drugs without having to pay the pipe with side effects or morning ‘hangovers’. There are three medically recognised types of insomnia—transient, acute and chronic. Transient insomnia lasts from a few days to a few weeks. It is usually linked to something specific—a worrying event or an illness. In acute insomnia your body has learned poor sleep patterns over a month or more and just keeps repeating them over and over again. Both these types of insomnia can be greatly helped by herbs. Chronic insomnia—when it has lasted more than six months—needs more help than short-term remedies can supply. The underlying reason for your inability to slumber peacefully—be it physical or emotional—needs to be identified and addressed. NATURE’S BOUNTY The drug valium takes its name from a plant: Valerian Valeriana officinalis was the primary herbal sedative used on both sides of the Atlantic before the advent of barbiturate sleeping pills. It is a safe and well-tested herbal remedy with a smell like dirty old socks. But don’t let that put you off since valerian is a powerful herb for inducing safe sleep. You can take valerian in a couple of ways. I like the tincture best—10 to 20 drops in a little water before bedtime or in the middle of the night when you awaken. Alternatively you can take a couple of capsules of the dried root. Valerian in lower doses is equally useful when your nerves feel ‘shot’, even during the day. It has the remarkable ability to enhance your ability to deal with stress and bring you stamina while it calms. Occasionally, and only to a very few people, valerian will cause drousiness in the morning. If this happens to you lower the dose or try a different herb. SIGN OF THE CROSS Passionflower Passiflora incarnata is a climbing plant with extraordinarily beautiful flowers. It has a blissful sedative effect on the body. Passionflower is one of the world’s most useful plants if you wrestle with nervous tension. It can be particularly helpful to women around the time of menopause. Not as strong as valerian in its actions, passiflora is more calming than sedating. As such it is a great alternative to tranquillising drugs. But it is a personal favourite for sleep. I even like the taste. Use 10-20 drops of the tincture in water or take two capsules of the dried extract up to four times a day when you need it. As an anti-stress herb many people like to take passion flower throughout the day in small doses to calm nerves and make everything easier. There is an excellent organic passion flower tea too. GLORIOUS POPPY The Latin name is Eschscholzia californica. California poppy has been used for thousands of years by Native Ameicans to calm anxiety, relieve pain and induce sleep. To assure optimal extraction of bioactive compounds, the plants need to be hand-harvested while in full flower then taken directly to the laboratory and extracted while still fresh and succulent. It’s best taken as a tincture. Researchers tellnus that this plant has anti-depressant properties, is an excellent gentle sedative, gentles pain, calm’s restlessness, counters insomnia, and helps establish equilibrium without any narcotic effect. It is my very favorite anti-stress plant. WELL KEPT SECRET You can use the flowers from the hop plant, Humulus lupulus, together with other remedies as a treatment for everything from indigestion to agitated nerves. Like valerian, hops has a pronounced sedative effect but it is a far milder remedy. Unlike valerian, hops smell sweet and you can use them without worrying about side-effects. You can take hops in the form of a tincture too. But by far the best way for sleep—particularly good for people who awaken in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep—is to drink hops tea. Make it before you go to bed by steeping a handful of flowers for 10 minutes in hot water. Strain it and allow it to cool. Put the tea—sweetened with stevia if you like—by the side of your bed so you can drink it should you awaken in the night. It can also be a good idea to use a little pillow stuffed with dried hops blossoms. Put it under your neck when you go to bed or if ever you awaken at night. Traditional Medicinals make a gentle mixture of hops, catnip, chamomile and passion flower tea called Organic Night Night. FUNCTIONAL AND FUN TO MAKE Herb pillows are small cushions filled with fragrant, sleep-inducing herbs, that you can tuck under your normal pillow or keep near you while you sleep. Once you have stuffed your pillow don’t sew it up too tightly so you can replace the herbs as as often as you wish. If you keep it inside another pillow case you will easily keep it clean. Herbs for relaxation include camomile, thyme, lavender, catmint and rosemary, but my favourite pillows include a high proportion of dried hops. A few drops of essential oil of camomile will help with sleeplessness, geranium will relive anxiety and lavender irritation. Sprinkling with a little orris root powder will help preserve the mixture. PERFECT BLISS Create a sleep sanctuary – somewhere you will enjoy going to rest and sleep. Don’t have a television in the room and as far as possible avoid noise and light disturbance. If you awaken in the night, don’t turn on the lights. Research has shown that 15 minutes of light in the night can affect levels of melatonin in the body and make it difficult to get back to sleep. A WORD TO THE WISE: Never drive, drink alcoholic beverages or engage in activities requiring mental alertness while taking calming herbal products. Consult a healthcare provider prior to using any herb or plant if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking barbiturates, sedative drugs or other medications. TINCTURE OF VALERIAN Eclectic Institute Organic Valerian Fresh, Organic Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) root. Organic grape alcohol content: 45%. Fresh Herb Strength: 1:1. Buy Eclectic Institute Organic Valerian ORGANIC VALERIAN CAPSULES Eclectic Institute, Valerian, Rhizome & Roots Harvested Fresh & Flash Frozen for Optimal Quality Freeze-Dried for Ultimate Potency Buy Eclectic Institute, Valerian, Rhizome & Roots PASSION FLOWER TINCTURE Eclectic Institute, Passion Flower Organic Fresh, ORGANIC Passion Flower (Passiflora spp.) flower and leaf. ORGANIC alcohol content: 30% Filtered water. Fresh Herb Strength: 1.1 Buy Eclectic Institute, Passion Flower Organic PASSION FLOWER ORGANIC CAPSULES Eclectic Institute, Passion Flower 100% fresh freeze-dried ingredients, fresh freeze-drying maintains the biologically active constituents for highest potency and action. Buy Eclectic Institute, Passion Flower PASSION FLOWER TEA ORGANIC Gaia Herbs, Sleep & Relax, RapidRelief Herbal Tea Conditions that come rapidly can go rapidly when you give your body the right support. Gaia Herbs' RapidRelief products deliver results fast so you can get back to living life. Buy Gaia Herbs, Sleep & Relax, RapidRelief Herbal Tea NIGHT TEA ORGANIC Traditional Medicinals, Organic Nighty Night The use of passionflower, hops and chamomile for restlessness and mild sleeping difficulties is supported by clinical data and by traditional use. Buy Traditional Medicinals, Organic Nighty Night

How To Beat Killer Stress

How To Beat Killer Stress

Hi. In the next three minutes I want to share with you some important stuff I’ve learned about stress. Stress is something I suffer from myself quite a bit and it has been a long hard road to find out what works for me. I will also give you a natural product that I have found to be very helpful when I am feeling overwhelmed. Suffering from stress We all suffer from stress particularly now in this modern world with the aid of modern technology where we are expected to do the job of 2 or 3 people as well as the demands that we place on our selves. Here’s the big secret though. It’s not stress itself that causes the issue. It’s how we respond to it that matters. When you learn how to make stress work with you instead of against you, you can free yourself from a lot of unwanted pain. It almost becomes a zen practise where you learn to eliminate unnecessary stressors in your own life. There are often more than you think that can easily be let go off. This simple practise can help free up a lot of energy.

Excess Calcium Is Dangerous

Excess Calcium Is Dangerous

For decades I’ve warned men and women not to take calcium supplements—whether in pill form or by drinking and eating many cows’ milk products. All sorts of well-formulated scientific studies now confirm that such advice is right. Having long been bombarded with ill begotten misinformation about calcium it is time we learned some simple truths. For instance, supplementing your diet with calcium can not only be toxic to your body: It may even shorten your life. DANGERS OF TOO MUCH CALCIUM Thomas E Levy, M.D. is one of the world’s leading experts in vitamin C and antioxidants used to treat and protect against a myriad of medical conditions and degenerative diseases. A board-certified cardiologist whose work I have long admired, Levy has also written an excellent book, Death by Calcium, which I urge every man and woman who cares about health and truth to read. Here are a few surprising truths you need to know about calcium: All degenerative diseases, from heart disease to cancer and Alzheimer’s, show increased levels of calcium inside the cells where they do not belong. As calcium deposits both inside and outside the cells increase, this raises the chance of malignancies and encourages the development of cancers. A healthy diet based on organic fresh fruits, vegetables and protein foods can supply all the calcium your body will ever need, so long as you are getting plenty of sunlight or taking a good quality vitamin D3 supplement. Women who have the highest calcium consumption have a death rate two and a half times higher than those with a lower consumption of calcium, according to a long term study of 61,433 women followed over a period of 19 years. We have long, wrongly, been urged to supplement our diet with calcium to avoid osteoporosis. Someone who has unwittingly followed such advice is far more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than from a bone fracture. Women with osteoporosis do not have an overall deficiency of calcium in the body. They have a deficiency of calcium in their bones while they have an excess of calcium in the rest of their body. While calcium supplementation can increase calcium density in bones, this does not decrease the chances of bone fracture. What it does do is lay down potentially dangerous deposits of excess calcium outside the bones. Excess calcium circulating in the blood is far more dangerous than high cholesterol when it comes to strokes and heart disease. Excess calcium over time, without adequate magnesium, sets the stage for the formation of atherosclerotic plaque build-up in the arteries. THE BOTTOM LINE The proofs for all this and much more are overwhelming. Get your calcium from fresh, organic vegetables and a healthy diet while shunning packaged convenience foods, sugars, grains and cereals, and you’ll not have to worry about doing it wrong ever again. So simple really. Meanwhile, I highly recommend that you read Levy’s book Death by Calcium. It’s a great read—clear, honest and so important for your health.

Eat Fat And Thrive

Eat Fat And Thrive

In the so-called civilized world, the population continues to grow sicker by the year, while food manufacturers, government bodies and the mainstream medical profession keep telling us that we need to eat more low-fat-high-carb foods as well as lots of unsaturated oils and stay away from saturated fats and oils if we want to stay healthy. So people go on buying convenience foods chock full of carbs and sugars, the golden oils and products containing them all the while believing that they are doing the right thing if want to protect themselves from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and all the other degenerative diseases that plague the Western World. Well, my friends, all such advice is not only untrue. It is positively dangerous. To stay healthy, protect yourself from obesity, degenerative conditions and early aging, you must dump the starchy carbs and hidden sugars, all those highly processed unsaturated oils and the packaged convenience foods which contains them. It’s time to get savvy about the right kind of fats and introduce them to your meals. They can bring energy, beautiful skin, and real protection from early aging and chronic illnesses. By the way, they can also make your meals taste great. STOP BLAMING YOURSELF In case you think it’s your fault that you happen to be suffering with a chronic condition or you are overweight, think again. Like most conscientious human beings, you have only been trying to follow the guidelines that doctors, governments and the media tells us will keep us well, slim and protected from heart disease. Here’s the truth: The guidelines we have been given ever since World War II have not only been all wrong, they have been truly dangerous to our health. The powers-that-be have instilled in us irrational fear of fat, largely as a result of the poor research and conclusions drawn back in the 1960s—when Ancel Keys and others were trying to figure out how to prevent heart disease. One group of so-called experts jumped to the conclusion that dietary fat was the culprit. Before long, their rash assumptions were turned into a quasi-religious dogma that has stuck. The low-fat, high-carb-and-sugar eating propounded by them, instead of protecting us from heart disease, obesity and other degenerative conditions, has made us highly susceptible to all of them. LIES CONTINUE Here’s another common fat fallacy: “The Western diet has increased in saturated fat over the last century.” Just the opposite is true. At the turn of the last century, most of the population still got their fatty acids from saturated animal-based sources, such as lard, butter, and tallow. They were better off for it. Then, from 1910 to 1970 in the United States, the proportion of animal fats eaten declined from 83% of all fats eaten to 62%, and butter consumption went from 18 to 4 pounds per person per year—all because of the invention and promotion of margarines. Meanwhile, what did increase exponentially was the quantity of fats we began to take in, in the form of chemically refined unsaturated vegetable oils, margarines, trans-fatty acids and junk fats. The results of all this? Our health has continued to decline. By the way, it’s worthwhile taking a look at how well we’ve fared in combating heart disease and obesity since we began shunning animal fats and eating the masses of the carbs they recommended. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that, since 1980, obesity alone has grown to epic proportions, right from the very year the government’s guidelines were published. THE SKINNY ON FATS From the 1960s onwards, governments worldwide have been telling us to eat less fat and more carbohydrate which they figured would make up for the fat we no longer ate. Low-fat foods began to appear on our supermarket shelves for keen and hungry consumers; they quickly became a major financial success story for food manufacturers. We ate baked potatoes instead of fries with our meals, and thought that we were taking the healthy option. We ate low-fat foods thinking that these were good for us, without realizing that food manufacturers, in preparing their low-fat menus, had replaced the fat with sugar. Meanwhile, we were warned against all saturated fats, told that they are dangerous, and urged to eat more polyunsaturated oils such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil—all those golden oils that still fill our supermarket shelves. These oils and margarines were held up as beneficial for protecting us from heart disease. Both of these directives turned out to be big fat lies. BEWARE PROCESSED OILS Polyunsaturated fats and oils—which we have long been urged to eat—turn rancid quickly when heated. All the golden oils most people still believe are good for them turn into health-destroying sources of free-radicals that can do the body a great deal of harm. They attack our cells and damage our DNA. Recent, reliable scientific studies show a link between consumption of these processed polyunsaturates and cancer as well as heart disease. DUMP THE GOLDEN OILS Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils all tend to be badly processed, using all sorts of unpleasant chemicals. Avoid them. Canola oil, which fills many of our ready-made food products, has been associated with fibrotic heart lesions. It is high in sulfur and turns rancid easily. Margarines are full of trans-fatty acids. Shun them. There’s something else we now know about these oils that will probably surprise you. Analysis of the fat in clogged arteries reveals that only about 26% is saturated fat. The rest is made up of polyunsaturates. So here’s the bottom line: The heart’s preferred source of food when under stress is good old “unhealthy” saturated fat. OMEGA 3 BENEFITS Omega-6 and omega 3 fatty acids, when in the right balance, help your body in all sorts of ways. They increase your cells’ sensitivity to insulin, helping your body regulate its blood sugar. They increase metabolic rate and fat metabolism, so more of your stored fat can be burnt as energy. Natural foods rich in the omega-6 oils include avocados, nuts, flax seeds, and spirulina. Paleontologists have discovered that our ancestors consumed them in the ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 (omega-6 to omega 3 fatty acids). However today, in our Western diets, the balance between these two fatty acids has become all screwed up. Modern diets contain a ratio of about 22:1—far too high for optimal health. This excess can cause all sorts of problems, from weight gain to cancer. What can we do about it? For a start, you never have to worry about getting enough omega-6s. They’re everywhere. What you do need to do is increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids]. A great way of doing this is to start taking a good-quality fish oil supplement. EAT IN ABUNDANCE Have no fear of the saturated fats found in meat and butter from grass-fed animals, and tropical oils like coconut oil. Coconut oil is great for cooking. Extra-virgin olive oil is great for salad dressings. Eaten on their own, or together with protein, but without an abundance of starchy carbohydrates, good quality natural fats alleviate hunger and act as an excellent source of energy throughout the day. Eating too little good fat cab lead to the experience of sitting down to a meal and, no matter how much you eat, still craving food at the end of it. Good natural fats let you know when your body is satisfied. Introducing the right kind of fats to your meals also helps balance hormones while significantly enhancing how you look and feel. MEET THE GOOD OILS Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, cold-pressed walnut oil, cold-pressed fax-seed oil, avocado oil, sesame oil and coconut oil are all excellent for salad dressings. Eat them and thrive. Olive oil is monounsaturated rather than polyunsaturated—one of the safest vegetable oils you can use. It is well-suited to dressings and can be heated, but only to moderate temperatures. Make sure the Extra Virgin Olive Oil you buy is cloudy (not filtered) and a golden-yellow color. Sesame oil is reasonably stable and can also be used on salads as can cold-pressed walnut oil and avocado oil. Coconut oil is a highly saturated oil/fat and is the safest, healthiest choice for cooking, because it remains stable even at high temperatures. It also boasts antiviral and antibacterial properties. DON’T FORGET BUTTER Millions of shoppers buy margarine in the belief that it’s “better for you than butter.” This is another baseless opinion, forced upon us by bad science and multinational food manufacturers. The process used to turn out margarine, known as hydrogenation, does horrendous things to the already-rancid vegetable oils it is made from. Margarines also contain all sorts of additives you wouldn’t want in your body. It is not surprising that they have now become associated with the development of both cancer and heart disease. Butter on the other hand contains many essential nutrients. Look for butter made from the milk of grass-fed animals if you can find it. Experiments comparing the health of margarine eaters with butter eaters continually find in butter’s favor. In one study, the risk of developing heart disease for butter users was half that of eaters of margarine. Infants and children especially benefit from butter, which fosters normal growth and development. Use this delicious stuff liberally—and without guilt—in the knowledge that your body will thank you for it. THE LAST WORD OF ADVICE Fats and starchy carbs like pasta, bread, and pizza do not mix. Eating them together bring about what is known as the Randle Effect: When lots of fat and carbohydrates are eaten together, as they often are in the standard Western diet, the fats get burnt as fuel, while the carbohydrates are converted to glucose. The glucose in turn is converted into more body fat, throwing any overweight, insulin-resistant person into a terrible vicious circle, where hunger and carbohydrate cravings lead to overeating, followed by an inevitable increase in blood sugar and insulin levels as well as body fat deposits and yet more cravings. The irony is that, for a long time, we have been blaming dietary fat for this, when this phenomenon is actually caused by a high starchy carbohydrate intake, especially in the presence of the junk fats found in margarines, golden oils, and convenience foods. Natural fats eaten on their own or together with protein, but without an abundance of carbohydrates, do not cause the laying down of fat in the body. Nor do they cause insulin resistance. This is perhaps the most difficult thing to grasp for those of us who have been highly schooled in the high-carbs-low-fat approach to weight loss and age protection. Yet, when it comes to staying well it is essential to understand.

Think Young

Think Young

Almost everybody has heard of death curses: psychological literature is laced with accounts of how Aboriginal witch doctors have quite literally brought about the death of the young and healthy by cursing them. No sooner do these people learn of the fate which has been cast for them than they begin inexplicably to sicken and eventually to die. It appears that through complex biological processes, their simple belief in the curse brings about destruction of their organism. modern-day death curses In civilized society we tend to look upon such phenomena as anthropological curiosities - products of primitive superstition which simply don't touch us in our more enlightened age. What we are not aware of however is that many of us in the civilized world are also under our own brand of `death curses'. They may be subtler than those issued by witch doctors but they can be every bit as potent in bringing about the physical and mental decline which we have come to associate with aging. Common (and usually unconscious) notions such as `retirement', `middle-age', `It's all down hill after forty', and `At your age you must start taking things more easily', are widely held. They can exert a powerful effect on the process of aging by creating destructive self-fulfilling expectations about age decline. Instead of facing the future full of confidence and excitement about what lies ahead, optimism is replaced by anxiety as we are warned to `Be careful', or `Don't take chances on a new career at your age.' The list of commonly proffered `sensible' advice is a long one. Such well-meaning suggestions often lead people to make changes in their lifestyle which encourage physical decline - for instance decreasing the amount of exercise they get, altering their eating habits away from fiber-rich natural foods towards `softer' foods, and even decreasing the amount of social and intellectual stimulation they have been used to. Even worse, this kind of advice can undermine your self-image and destroy self-confidence, which in turn interferes with the proper functioning of the immune system which plays such a central role in protecting your body from aging. An essential ingredient in ageless aging is a strong awareness of just how powerfully your emotions, state of mind, and your unconscious assumptions can influence both your susceptibility to illness and the rate at which you age. Once that awareness has penetrated your consciousness then you can begin to make use of some simple and pleasant mind-bending techniques in aid of ageless aging. mind-body connections The notion that your state of mind can influence your health and the rate at which you age was once something which had to be taken on faith. Now it is not only being scientifically proven, it is even being put into effective practical use thanks to a rapidly developing scientific discipline with a tongue-twisting name: psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). PNI has discovered that your body's immune system, that bulwark of defense, is undeniably affected by your unconscious assumptions, your emotional states and your behavioral patterns. They can lead either to an increased resistance to aging or to an increased susceptibility to degeneration and illness. In simple terms the happier you are, the better you feel about yourself and the more positive are your expectations about the future, the more likely you are to age slowly and gracefully and the less likely you are to fall prey to degeneration and illness of whatever sort - from a common cold to a life-threatening disease. No area of ageless aging is more fun to explore than this one. I always think of its positive side as `Zorba the Greek' consciousness. It can make possible the most amazing physical and mental feats by quite ordinary people living quite ordinary lives. Take the man who is able to work eighteen hours a day, drink whisky by the tumblerful, dance on tables until the early hours of the morning and still live to be 110 thanks to the sheer joy of his experience of life. I have seen it too amongst saints and holy men who carry out their day-to-day activities, from writing letters to peeling potatoes, in a state of bliss - samadhi. Take a look at their superbly unlined faces. They could as easily be thirty as seventy. Psychoneuroimmunologists are working to find out why. So new is the PNI discipline (the name was only coined in 1981) that the average physician is unlikely even to have heard of it. But so profound and wide-reaching are the consequences of its findings that they threaten to revolutionize medical theory about the origins and development of degeneration. Research into psychoneuroimmunology is already describing the pathways through which mind and body are inextricably bound together. These pathways include neurological connections linking glands and organs with the brain, the antioxidant system and the blood, thanks to hormonal secretions triggered by thought patterns and emotions and - most important of all - via the immune system. PNI researchers have discovered for instance that several kinds of lymphocytes involved in your body's immune response carry receptors which recognize hormones found in the brain that alter mind and mood. They have also found that some of these neurotransmitters or peptide hormones stimulate T-cells to produce more lymphokines such as interferon while others have the opposite effect. In fact listening to leading PNI researchers talk about mind-body connections makes you realize there is probably no state of mind which is not faithfully reflected by a state of the immune system. beyond psychosomatic consciousness Western medicine has long acknowledged that emotional states such as anxiety and depression can make a limited number of illnesses worse. These include asthma, diabetes, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, migraine and cardiovascular problems. But until the advent of PNI it has paid little attention to examining the nature of their psychological components nor has it explored ways and means of improving these conditions by altering a patient's mental state or behavioral patterns. Meanwhile it has almost completely ignored possible psychological components in the vast majority of other illnesses - from lung disease and cancer to rheumatism and allergic reactions - treating them instead as pure physiological occurrences little affected by whether the patient experiencing them felt good or bad in himself. This is mostly because Western medicine, bound by the Cartesian notion of a split between mind and matter, has failed to consider the people it treats as psychobiological units - total beings whose feelings, thoughts, expectations and perceptions are intimately bound to their physiology and biochemistry. Happily this is now changing in no small part thanks to a few visionary scientists who began asking some penetrating questions. Why for instance do some people who smoke forty cigarettes a day for twenty years end up with lung cancer while others following exactly the same pattern don't? The first, most obvious answer is that the former have an hereditary disposition to the disease. True, genetics are important, but these scientists found that they were by no means the whole answer. A large and very important piece of the puzzle was still missing. So they began to look at psychological factors. let go and live longer In a pioneering study carried out over twenty years ago, Scottish researcher Dr David Kissen examined more than 1000 Glaswegian industrial workers suffering from respiratory complaints. Before diagnosing them he gave each man a psychological test designed to delineate personality patterns. He came up with some quite fascinating and highly significant results. He discovered that those who were later found to have cancer showed a striking inability to express their emotions. Intrigued by Kissen's study and other similar investigations which suggested that emotional repression was an important component in the development of cancer, two doctors, R.L. Horne and R. S. Picard, at the Washington University School of Medicine in the United States, decided to carry out an in-depth study of the psychosocial risk factors in lung cancer as measured on a psychological scale developed from the findings of previous studies including Kissen's. They confirmed that emotional repression was indeed the central component of a complex personality pattern which led to the development of the disease. In fact, so important were the relationships between psychological states and the development of lung cancer which they uncovered that the two researchers found they could predict with an amazing 73 per cent accuracy which men had cancer and which men had simple lung disease, from psychological testing alone. They discovered that cancer sufferers, because of their emotional repression, tended to find great difficulty coping with life's challenges and sorrows. After losing an important relationship such as a job or a wife the cancer victims often suffered profound depression for from six to eighteen months before the discovery of the illness. These findings have been confirmed by others. mind and biochemistry Similar studies linking other psychological factors to other diseases, including infections, arthritis, allergies and premature aging, have also recently appeared. One of the best known is that done by Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosemann which demonstrated that what they called `type A behavior' - a behavior pattern characterized by a fierce and unrelenting struggle to do ever more things in less time against harsh competition - appears to cause a number of bodily changes predisposing one to coronary heart disease. They include alterations in blood-fat and blood-sugar levels, changes in circulation and increased levels of the hormone noradrenaline. And each disease is beginning to appear to have its own collection of psychological characteristics. Studies have now established that psychological factors are primary determinants in a host of illnesses while in others psychological factors appear to interact with biological ones determining whether disease tendencies, initiated either by heredity or your environment or both, will in fact turn into degeneration or whether your body will be able to fight them off. But how does it all work? Through what physiological mechanisms do emotional repression in the case of cancer, a frustrated power drive in the case of high blood pressure, and all the various other psychological and behavioral traits linked with their illnesses help create their respective illness and age decline? Perhaps even more important, once one can find these physiological mechanisms how can we make use of them first to prevent aging and even perhaps to reverse some of its processes once they have occurred? The key to both questions appears once again to lie in the immune system. mysteries of mind and immunity The immune system has two major branches, each with its own particular kind of defense cells or lymphocytes. It also includes other less important factors such as large scavenger-type cells called macrophages which gobble up antigenic material. The first branch confers on your body what is known as cell-mediated immunity and is responsible for about half of your body's resources for defense. It is centered around T-cell leucocytes - warrior cells produced in the thymus which battle the thousands of potentially lethal organisms, cancer inducing ultraviolet radiation from the sun and toxic chemicals from our highly industrialized environment. T-cells also produce a group of hormone-like substances such as interferon. They are called lymphokines and are considered the immune system's natural drugs. Some are poisonous to foreign tissue, others trigger white blood cells to keep an immune reaction going. The second branch of the immune system offers humoral-mediated immunity. It relies on what are known as B-cell lymphocytes, which produce antibodies specific to whatever invaders the body is being challenged by. B-cells are carried in the blood. They can combine with antigens in the body and neutralize them or they can coat them, making it simple for white blood cells to destroy them. The actions of both T and B cells are mediated through the thymus gland - often called the master gland of immunity. As we have seen, the rate at which you age appears to be very much influenced by the function of the thymus gland and the state of the immune system which it governs. It has also been well established that immune functions can be disrupted or depressed by such things as malnutrition, free radicals, infection and certain drugs. Recent research shows too that lymphocytes from people suffering from all kinds of stress and from grief, say after the death of a close relative, have a markedly decreased ability to rise to the occasion when challenged by antigens threatening the health of the body. What psychoneuroimmunologists are now trying to explore in experiments with animals and in studies of people are the pathways between brain and body through which this occurs - to delineate the means by which mind affects immunity both as a result of direct input from the brain and the indirect influence of hormones associated with specific emotional states and personality patterns. stress and immunity One of the questions currently being most seriously investigated by PNI researchers is how biological changes associated with stress diminish immune response and increase susceptibility to illness. Stress of any kind triggers the `fight or flight response' - a matrix of hormonal reactions designed to prepare the body for action. Adrenaline is released, for instance, and corticosteroid hormones from the adrenal glands. They in turn trigger other hormonal reactions. PNI researchers have now found that within fifteen minutes of its hitting the bloodstream even a small dose of adrenaline challenges the immune system and triggers the release of lymphocytes. It also inhibits the function of mature white blood cells needed to ward off invasion. Other studies have shown that the corticosteroids can also seriously depress immune functions and increase your susceptibility to disease. They inhibit the functions of both lymphocytes and macrophages and they undermine the ability of lymphocytes to reproduce themselves in the body. In fact if stress is prolonged enough and the levels of corticosteroids become high enough in the body they even cause a withering away of lymphoid tissue altogether. At St Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, Dr Richard Shekelle headed a research project which examined death certificates of more than 2000 men who had been tested psychologically for depression and other emotional states seventeen years before. He found that the death rate of men who had been very depressed at the time of testing was twice that of the rest. One of the most widely held theories about cancer states that each of us develops small malignancies all the time in our body but that these are rapidly destroyed in a healthy person thanks to the actions of the immune system. If, however, you have strong feelings of helplessness or depression this can result in elevated corticosteroid levels and other changes which impede your immune system from doing its proper job and rejecting the cancer cells before they can take hold. pni alters paradigms The mind-body links which PNI research is uncovering are beginning to have far-reaching consequences, consequences which ultimately will go far beyond helping people avoid life threatening diseases and slow the aging process. There is a strong resonance to be found between PNI and much of the new physics which is busily exploring the view that the observer is essential to the creation of the universe just as the universe is creator of the observer. As Nobel laureate Roger Sperry has said, `Current concepts of the mind-brain relation involve a direct break with the long-established materialist and behaviorist doctrine that has dominated neuroscience for many decades. Instead of renouncing or ignoring consciousness the new interpretation gives full recognition to the primacy of inner conscious awareness as a causal reality.' It is a causal reality that you can begin using to your advantage right now. For just as prolonged unmitigated stress, depression and anxiety can suppress immune functions, a positive frame of mind and a sense that you can cope with whatever comes your way offers potent protection against illness and age-degeneration. At Beth Israel Hospital, another researcher, Dr Stephen Locke, has used psychological tests to evaluate students' abilities to cope with the shocks and challenges of their lives. He has found that the `poor copers' - those who tend to succumb to anxiety, depression and a sense of helplessness when life difficulties arise - show suppressed immune functions, while the `good copers' - people who feel they can deal effectively with whatever comes their way - had normal immune functions even when faced with major life changes. Meanwhile in a well controlled study of women suffering from breast cancer who underwent mastectomy, British researcher Dr Steven Greer discovered that women who react to their diagnosis with a denial that they are ill or with a determination to conquer the illness are far more likely five years later to be free of the disease than those who stoically accepted the diagnosis or who felt hopeless or helpless. making immunity work for you What can you do, starting right now, in the way of using your mind as a tool for ageless aging? You can begin by exploring the benefits of mind/body techniques which can help alter your mental attitudes and emotional states from negative to positive and therefore encourage good immune functions and hence slow down the rate at which you age. There are many. Dr Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School developed the simple meditative technique, called the relaxation response, which consists of sitting with your eyes closed for fifteen or twenty minutes morning and night and repeating a single word - say `one' or `peace' - over and over again silently. Practiced regularly it will not only counter the immunesuppressing tendencies of stress but even bring about major psychological shifts in belief systems that can gradually change a self-defeating `poor coper' into an optimistic `good coper'. Contrary to popular opinion only 2 or 3 per cent of old people are institutionalized because of psychiatric disorders. Neither do the vast majority of old people have memory defects. Most people over sixty-five continue to be interested in sex, and sexual relations continue well into the eighties between healthy men and women. Studies made of morale and happiness amongst the elderly show no difference between their enjoyment of life and that of younger people. People over sixty-five have fewer accidents per person driving than do younger drivers. They also have fewer accidents at work. The majority of old people are not set in their ways although it does take them longer to learn something new than the young. Studies show that few old people suffer from boredom. Neither are they socially isolated or lonely. More than 10 per cent of old people work and two-thirds of those who don't would like to. Finally old people are seldom irritated or angry. This has been determined by three separate studies. visualize age anew Becoming aware of false assumptions about aging is a good first step. The next is to create a new vision of what it means to have time passing. Make use of creative visualization techniques where in a state of relaxation you allow your mind to play on positive images of yourself five, ten, thirty years from now. There are some excellent books available on the subject which you can use as a guide. But really the technique is very easy. It is only a matter of letting yourself indulge in positive daydreaming. Or practice a meditation or deep-relaxation technique a couple of times a day and finish off by repeating silently to yourself Coue's formula for personal growth and healing, `Every day in every way I am getting better and better.' It is exquisitely simple yet enormously powerful when practiced daily in a deeply relaxed state so that it is your imagination rather than your will which is brought into play. affirm youth and well-being Another simple technique which has real power for altering unconscious expectations and creating new realities is that of writing out `affirmations' - seven times seventy - for a week or two. This can be something as simple as `I am well and will continue to be so as the years pass' or `I let go of past confusion and day by day make my life anew.' The mere act of writing out such words over and over for several days helps break through old thought patterns and negativity that may be hampering you from realizing your full psychobiological potentials. You might be surprised at how quickly they penetrate your consciousness and bring about positive shifts in expectations and in your reality. For they can generate positive mental states and emotions and make them your common everyday experience of reality. And, just as PNI researchers have been discovering, it is the simple positive experiences and emotions like love, hope, faith, laughter, playfulness and creativity which can not only make life worth living, they can actually keep us alive, youthful and well. As effective as massive doses of antioxidant nutrients, fresh-cell therapy and all the other biological methods of age retardation available to you? Very probably. Besides they'll cost you absolutely nothing but a smile.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 19,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 14 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 3rd of October 2022 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.50 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men
-0.50 lb
for women
-0.98 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 3rd of October 2022 (updated every 12 hours)

sign up for our newsletter

download our free book healthy & lean for life