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

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.

Nature's Helpers

Nature's Helpers

Amidst the growing awareness of what high-tech biochemistry boasts in the form of the antioxidant nutrients against degeneration and what expensive treatments such as cell therapy can do to improve your appearance, to slow down the rate at which you are aging and to revitalize your system, we often give little thought to what simple natural substances have to offer. Take herbs and roots and animal tonics for instance - some with a history going back several thousand years. Amongst them all, the most exciting, the finest and most effective belong to a group called `the adaptogens'. The adaptogens, which include a number of very different natural substances - from Panax ginseng and eleutherococcus (sometimes called `Siberian ginseng') to an exotic-sounding preparation made from the horn of a deer - have been widely investigated in recent years by Soviet scientists and, in centuries past, mostly by the Orientals. Most of the adaptogens belong to long traditions of folk medicines and most have been held in high esteem for thousands of years in the pharmacopoeia of the world's medicine. What is so special about these natural products and why they are grouped together under the name is that they are all substances which, in carefully conducted laboratory and clinical studies, have been shown to enhance an organism's `nonspecific resistance' to aging, illness and fatigue. In practical terms they enhance your body's ability to adapt itself to all forms of stress - from the stress of fatigue, of illness, of exertion and of aging to emotional hardship - while at the same time helping to normalize biochemical activities. Taken as `medicines for well people' they can be remarkably helpful in keeping your body young and full of vitality. So remarkable are the positive effects that adaptogens have been shown to have on a living organism that it is a constant source of wonder to me that they have not been more widely investigated and used in Europe and in America. Meanwhile Soviet and Oriental scientists have spent the last forty years working with certain natural products which, when taken in a form unadulterated by heat or heavy processing, have a remarkable ability to improve health. They appear to be high in structural information. structural information for high-level health As Soviet scientists I.I. Brekhman and others have shown, not only are the chemicals and nutrients which can be extracted from natural plant or animal substances in the laboratory - vitamins, minerals, protein, organic acids, oils, etc - important for health, so is the complexity of the way they and other as yet unidentified factors are synergistically combined. In Brekhman's terms certain natural products (many of them folk remedies) are rich in `structural information' a high-quality health-supporting energy which cannot be measured in chemical terms alone. He was particularly interested in certain natural pharmacological substances such as ginseng which appear to supply a high degree of structural information to an organism and thereby support a high level of health and energy. There is something quite special in the way the constituents of such natural products seem to work together and have a natural affinity for the body. They have been shown to increase physical stamina and endurance, stimulate protein repair on a cellular level, protect from radiation damage, increase antibody production, detoxify your body and improve your stamina and vitality. In a way the adaptogens could be considered the `elixirs of life'. They are perfect natural tools for ageless aging stress without distress It was Soviet scientists who first developed the notion of an adaptogen, from the work of Hans Selye, Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal, whose work on stress has become universally accepted. His `general adaptation syndrome' describes the way in which when your body is stressed by whatever agent - from cold to fatigue to emotional upset to overwork to chemicals in your air or foods - its homeostasis, that is its natural balance, is threatened. Immediately it draws upon its resources to resist the threat and to maintain well-being. And indeed, provided you are young and strong and well it can go on resisting any damage from stress for a long time. But, alas, eventually it enters the final stage of the GAS in which exhaustion takes over. Then your body's weakest system starts to break down and chronic illness, fatigue and (if the stress is great enough) even death can follow. What in effect has happened is that your body's adaptive energy - its ability to cope - has finally become exhausted. Selye pointed out that the aging process itself can be viewed as the GAS on a wider scale. He emphasized that the capacity to adapt virtually disappears in old age and that this loss, equivalent to a loss of vitality, is characteristic of senescence. Selye was always fascinated by the notion that it might be possible to discover or to develop `medicines for well people' which could enhance the body's own adaptation mechanisms - substances which could prolong your body's ability to resist age degeneration and exhaustion. They would be different from usual medicines in that, unlike drugs, they would not be aimed at a specific effect such as lowering blood pressure or eliminating pain. Nor would they be intended for the treatment of illness. Instead they would belong to a new category of medicines for health for they would improve the body's nonspecific resistance to illness, aging and fatigue. That's where the adaptogens come in - substances which can increase your general capacity to overcome external stresses through adaptation. Their use has an important part to play in protecting skin from aging, in maintaining a high level of health and vitality and even in enhancing mental abilities. Russian researcher I.I. Brekhman, at the Far-East Scientific Center of the Academy of Science, Vladivostok, did more than any other single scientist to explore adaptogens and to test their effects. In fact it was Brekhman's teacher, the Russian expert in pharmacology N.V. Lazarev, who first coined the word in order to describe these substances with the remarkable ability of strengthening and rebalancing the whole system. One of the first natural substances which Brekhman and his coworkers investigated and which they found had this ability was Panax ginseng - the root that was first used for medicinal purposes more than 4000 years ago `to restore the five internal organs, tranquilize the spirit, calm agitation of the mind, allay excitement, and ward off harmful influences. The continual use of ginseng makes for long life with light weight of the body.' It is probably the most well known and highly respected natural medicine in the world. useless in perfect harmony Traditionally ginseng has been prescribed only in states of imbalance. It is used to treat toxicity in the body, sluggishness, anemia, weakness and fatigue. But like most of the nutritional and natural tools for health, in a perfectly healthy and balanced person it is supposed to have no effect whatever. Because, as your body ages, its ability to withstand stress and to maintain homeostasis declines, ginseng has become a prime anti-ageing remedy. For generations in the West the value of ginseng has largely been dismissed as an old wives' tale. In part this is because the very notion of a medicine for health finds no place in the thinking behind Western orthodox medicine. But in part too it is probably because some of the few studies which have been carried out to test claims made for it have been done on inferior crops or on ginseng which had been heat-treated and heat-treating destroys many of the beneficial effects of most of the adaptogens. A number of well-conducted studies, both on animals and humans, carried out by Brekhman and others in the Soviet Union and by European researchers in Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Britain show quite conclusively that ginseng has extraordinary adaptogenic properties. It improves the body's ability to use oxygen - important in staving off aging as well as increasing mental and physical stamina and in enhancing athletic performance, all of which it has been shown to do. It helps lower blood pressure that is too high, but doesn't affect normal readings. It offers protection against radiation-caused damage - also important in slowing down the rate at which your body ages. It increases your resistance to illness and against harmful effects of chemicals in the environment. It heightens mental faculties and is a natural stimulant to the central nervous system, improving reflexes, long term and short term memory, and making learning easier. But unlike coffee and most other stimulants, it does not produce a sudden rise in body activity followed by an unpleasant dip in energy, or depression. Nor is there any danger of becoming dependent on it. Like all of the adaptogens, ginseng has a gradual buildup effect on the body when you take regular doses of it over about three weeks. staving off exhaustion If, like me, you like to work long hours but still be reasonably fresh and responsive afterwards, you can use ginseng as a means of staving off exhaustion, while improving mental and physical functioning and maintaining a sense of mental and physical balance. At the Maudsley Hospital in London, Stephen Fuller gave ginseng to nurses involved in stressful and exhausting shifts and an identical placebo to others. He found that although performance in psychological as well as physical tests, and overall mood, vitality and competence, were undermined by the stressful conditions in which they worked, ginseng improved many of these parameters in those who took it. In the Soviet Union ginseng was given to fifty soldiers on a 3km race while to another fifty a placebo was given. Those who had taken the ginseng finished an average of 53 seconds sooner than the rest. At the University of Minnesota researchers tested the exam taking abilities of students giving some ginseng and some a placebo. The exam results from the ginseng group were significantly better than the placebo-takers. In repeated trials Brekhman and others have found that ginseng acts as a stimulant without causing insomnia and that not only does it help stave off fatigue and strengthen the organism's ability to cope with stressors of all sorts, the beneficial effects of taking ginseng appear to multiply and build up over the period in which it is taken. Also, ginseng's benefits last long after you stop taking it. As Brekhman said: After a series of experiments on men it was established that daily doses of ginseng preparations during 15-45 days increase physical endurance and mental capacity for work. The increase was noted not only during the treatment itself, but also for a period of time (a month to a month and a half) after the treatment had been over. The increase in work capacity was attended by a number of favorable somatic effects and a general improvement of health and spirits (appetite, sleep, absence of moodiness, etc). siberian ginseng Another adaptogen which has now been widely investigated, particularly in the Soviet Union, is eleutherococcus or Siberian ginseng. Unlike ginseng, eleutherococcus has not been used for generations for health. Indeed its therapeutic properties have only been discovered in the past fifty-odd years. Siberian ginseng is a prickly plant known as `devil's shrub' with leaves similar to ginseng and beautiful yellow and purple flowers. It is the plant's hot and spicy roots which are used medicinally. Like ginseng it has an ability to strengthen the body's ability to resist illness, degeneration and fatigue while never upsetting your body's natural physiological functions. It is a mild stimulant. Take it now and this stimulant action will last between six and eight hours. Its tonic effects are accumulative - they come gradually over a few weeks. They include increased stamina, better sleep patterns, better memory, clearer thinking and improved athletic performance. Eleutherococcus has particular relevance to any anti-ageing program because it is a natural protector against the kind of free radical oxidation which leads to cross-linking of proteins and, among other things, skin sagging and wrinkling. It also appears to have potent anticancer properties. Brekhman and many Russian researchers believe that eleutherococcus is a better adaptogen than ginseng. It has been shown both to increase the work capacity of people in factories and also to reduce the incidence of absence from work because of illness. And it is considered by Russian physicians to be a treatment of choice for both high and low blood pressure thanks to its ability to harmonize bodily functions. It is also used widely to treat anemia and to treat arteriosclerosis in the Soviet Union. Like ginseng and all of the adaptogens it is best taken regularly over a period of several weeks. It can however be taken year round without any loss in beneficial effects. stringent demands for adaptogens Ginseng and eleutherococcus are the two adaptogens most widely available in Britain and America (not, alas, always in active forms however - you have to be careful what you buy). But there are others too: pantocrine (an extract of deer horn); Schizandra Chinensis (the red berries of a Chinese plant which are widely used as a tonic); and many more, including the Scandinavian Arctic Root, and Kvann - a Norwegian variety of Angelica - still under rigorous investigation. Schizandra Chinensis has protective properties for the liver, increases the ability to use oxygen at a cellular level and stimulates brain function. Acantha Root or Acanthopanax Senticocus is used to build physical strength, regulate blood pressure that is too high or too low, improve adrenal action and heighten cerebral function. Each has its unique properties but they have a great deal in common both in the way they act on the body and in their safety even when used regularly over long periods of time. The most exciting herb I have come across for a long time is suma (Pfaffia paniculata). Locally known as Para Todo - `for everything' - suma has been used by Brazilian Indians for centuries as an aphrodisiac and general tonic. Recent research shows that, like good ginseng, the wild root of the suma plant also has strong adaptogenic properties. Amongst its other constituents, suma is rich in the saponins, some of which show anti-tumour activity, and in a plant hormone called ecdysone. At the University of São Paulo, Dr Milton Brazzach, Chairman of Pharmacology, has treated thousands of patients with serious ailments, including both diabetes and cancer, and verified the plant's potent healing and preventative powers. Researchers have found that a major source of the plant's energy-enhancing and stress-protective properties lies in its ability to detoxify connective tissue of what are called homotoxins. These are wastes which can interfere with the active transport of nutrients to the cells and in the production of cellular energy, and lead long-term to changes in the DNA associated with premature aging and the development of degenerative diseases. What all of this means to the active man or woman is that suma is well worth looking at as a nutritional support to raise your energy levels, enhance your ability to be very active both mentally and physically without fatigue or damage, and to detoxify your cells as a prevention against premature aging and degeneration. Russian scientists are very careful about the requirements that need to be fulfilled if a natural medicine is to qualify as an adaptogen. In Brekhman's own words: 1.The substance must be absolutely safe to the body. It must also have a wide range of therapeutic and protective properties while only bringing about minimal alteration to bodily functions. 2.Its action must be nonspecific. That is it must increase resistance to a wide variety of harmful chemical and biological influences. 3.It must have a normalizing action regardless of the direction of pathological changes it may meet with in the person's body. In other words in a person with blood pressure which is too high it should help lower it while it should have just the opposite effect on an organism in which blood pressure is too low. When you think just how remarkable these requirements are you begin to realize why the Chinese have traditionally believed many of the adaptogens to be worth their weight in gold. It is also easy to understand why the Western mind has such difficulty grasping the idea of an adaptogen at all. After all, we are used to a totally different approach: mostly this is because of our strong emphasis on symptomatic medicine. Our science has investigated a number of pharmacological preparations designed to do specific things, such as improve circulation or increase oxygen uptake by cells during surgical operations. However most of these drugs, such as the derivatives of phenothiazine and ganglio-blocking agents, bring about side effects which make them inappropriate for any healthy person to use as part of a program for increasing vitality, promoting high-level health and encouraging ageless-ageing. We take substances such as the phenylalkylamines, like amphetamines and their analogues, as a means of suppressing an overactive appetite, or we drink coffee with its caffeine or other purine derivatives to pep us up, and we can turn to the bromides and sedatives such as the herb valerian to calm us down, but we find it hard to conceive of something that could do both or either depending upon our specific mental and physical state when we take it. As a result little investigation of possible new adaptogenic substances is going on. Good candidates would be bee products such as pollen, propolis and royal jelly and even honey itself. bee power `Use thou honey,' commanded Solomon, `for it is good.' Just as ginseng has a long history of being used to increase vitality and protect from aging, so folklore is filled with advice about the medicinal use of honey and other bee products such as pollen, propolis and royal jelly, which have been employed throughout history to increase stamina, heal sickness, beautify skin and retard aging. A natural antiseptic with a proven ability to kill bacteria, honey and all its `by-products' - pollen, propolis and royal jelly - have antibiotic properties. And although honey has been scientifically analyzed for the last fifty years, there appear to be a number of its constituents which remain unidentified. Scientists who have attempted to break it down into its parts and then to put it together again have failed. Although honey is made up of 75 per cent natural sugars and 17 per cent water it is also a good source of many of the B group of vitamins, vitamin C, carotene and organic acids, and of many important minerals including potassium, magnesium, iron, sodium, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus and lime. This sweet golden substance has a reputation for prolonging life. While researching longevity another famed Russian scientist, biologist and experimental botanist DR Nicolai Tsitsin, discovered that of the 200 people in Russia whom he surveyed claiming to be over 100, a large number were beekeepers. All of them claimed their principal food was honey. Natural unprocessed honey has been shown to increase calcium retention and to raise hemoglobin count - it is traditionally used to treat anemia. It also appears to speed the healing process in a great many conditions from arthritis and poor circulation to liver and kidney disorders, poor skin and insomnia. Some researchers even believe that, thanks to its high aspartic-acid content - an amino acid important in the proper functioning of sex glands - it has rejuvenating properties. But just in case you're tempted to rush to your local supermarket and buy the first jar of golden stuff you come across you should know that it is not the honey itself which appears to be the most potent source of health-promoting qualities but the pollen-rich waste matter which lies at the bottom of honey containers. Tsitsin found that beekeepers tended to sell the `good' honey and to eat the `dirty residue' themselves. The dirty residue - which is a constituent of natural unfiltered and unprocessed honey and appears to have such exceptional properties for health - is too often filtered off from commercial honeys. Most have also been heated, which further limits the structural information they carry and therefore depletes their health promoting value. Honey, by the way, keeps indefinitely thanks to its anti-microbial properties so you need never worry about it spoiling. royal bee power Even more interesting than honey are the other bee-based products - propolis, royal jelly and pollen. Propolis is a sticky resin made out of the substance bees gather from the leaves and bark of trees. It is secreted via their pharmageal glands. They use it as a binding material when making hives. It has strong antibiotic properties and is much used in Sweden and Denmark to combat minor infections. Royal jelly is a white jelly-like substance produced by glands in the heads of very young worker bees. It contains almost every life-supporting element known. The queen bee, who lays over 2000 eggs a day, lives on the stuff and it appears to have remarkable benefits for beauty both when it is taken internally and when it is used in beauty products. The problem is most Royal Jelly on the market is pretty worthless. To be active it needs to be fresh, not processed into pills and potions, and it must be properly extracted from the hive and kept under refrigeration at all times - including while it is being transported. Royal jelly contains virtually all the life-supporting elements plus an unidentified 3 per cent which scientists have been unable to break down. In the south of France royal jelly is a common sight for sale by the roadside. People take a `cure' of it for a month or so twice a year. It is also said to be beneficial for anyone suffering from stress or exhaustion or for people recovering from an illness. Bulgaria is often called `the country of royal jelly' because beekeeping and all its products have formed an important part of the economy since feudal times. The Bulgarians have also done a great deal of research to establish the health benefits from royal jelly, pollen, honey and propolis. They have found for instance that royal jelly has an ability to protect against radiation, that it increases fecundity in animals, that it improves the body's use of oxygen, lowers blood pressure, speeds regeneration of damaged tissue, lowers cholesterol and, like the official adaptogens, increases tolerance to stress. It even stimulates and encourages better functioning of the immune system. priceless pollen Pollen is the male germ seed of flowering plants. A fine powder that plants need to make seeds, it is gathered by bees in the process of collecting nectar for honey and harvested by pollen collectors as the bees fly back into the hive. Not only does it contain all the water-soluble vitamins including the elusive B12, it is a good source of carotene, and vitamins E and K, and it offers a rich supply of minerals, trace elements and enzymes as well as hormonal substances beneficial to human beings. As such it is probably the perfect `skin food'. Pollen is a rich natural source of rutin as well - one of the bioflavonoids which, together with vitamin C and zinc, is particularly important in the formation of collagen (the structural protein which gives skin its contours and much of its strength). A thrice daily dose of raw pollen can do wonders for ailing skin whether the problem is acne, excessive dryness or hypersensitivity. It can also improve the look and feel of normal healthy skin. But pollen's health promoting properties don't stop there. It has been a favorite of Olympic athletes since ancient times and still is. Those who use it claim it increases strength and endurance, improves performance and helps prevent minor infections. cure for allergies? One of pollen's more curious attributes - particularly important in springtime - is its ability to render many hay fever sufferers free of symptoms, provided oral doses of the stuff are taken regularly for several weeks before the season begins - another example of one of those folk remedies which is supported by the experience of a number of physicians who still use it successfully every year. One more interesting attribute of pollen of interest to anyone concerned about preventing premature aging is its ability to protect the body from some of the damaging effects of radiation. It has been tested on irradiated animals and given to cancer patients subjected to radiation doses with excellent results. Finally, and most important, pollen taken in this way, like many of the natural substances which are high in structural information, seems to possess an ability to restore balance to a body. It is said to be particularly helpful in weight regulation - whether the person taking it is underweight or too fat. Bee products - all of them - are best taken unheated in small quantities daily. In the case of pollen and propolis, which usually come in tablets, the recommended dose is usually two to three tablets a day on an empty stomach. Royal jelly is best bought raw, kept refrigerated and taken in amounts of between 250 and 500mg a day under the tongue where it is absorbed by the mucosa in the mouth and bypasses the digestive system. It can also be bought in less biologically active forms as capsules and suspended in tonic solutions. proof of the pudding Using any adaptogen as a tool for increasing vitality, protecting health and resisting aging is simple. It is taken every day, usually on an empty stomach, and an average long term restorative dose is usually 1-2g a day in the case of ginseng and Siberian ginseng. Benefits tend to accrue over the time one is taking it and the best results come from taking it regularly over a period of a month to six weeks at least. Often people take it twice a year as a `cure'. What is not so simple is making sure that the product you are taking has been properly grown, harvested and processed in order to preserve its biological activity. For instance there are dozens of ginseng preparations on the market which are virtually empty of ginsenosides - the active ingredients in ginseng. And if eleutherococcus has been heated too much in its processing its effectiveness is either reduced or completely destroyed. Panax ginseng comes from Korea or China and the best quality are the big red roots which are six years old. Second are the white roots and third are the red grown in Japan, so look for country of origin when buying them and also for the Korean `Office of Monopoly' seal on the pack. The whole roots are the best, with root pieces and extracts following in that order. Ginseng tablets and powders often contain `fillers' and are much less potent. American ginseng - Panax quinquefolium - is usually less effective than Panax ginseng unless you can get large old roots, and they are hard to come by. The best form of eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng) comes in extract direct from the Soviet Union. It has been carefully low-heat processed to preserve its biological activity. This form of extract is used in some of the German Siberian ginseng preparations. Most experts in adaptogens insist that Panax ginseng is primarily a man's preparation, although it can be useful for women past menopause, and that eleutherococcus is excellent for both men and women. People with very high blood pressure are usually given eleutherococcus instead of ginseng. It is best to steer clear of coffee while on a course of ginseng or you may have trouble sleeping, and to follow a light diet without too much meat. Certain herbs and plants such as astragalus and echinacea now also appear to offer excellent immune support. Known as Purple Coneflower, echinacea is a member of the Compositae (daisy) family with potent antibiotic and anti-viral effects. The roots of two species, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia, have long been used against infection and in detoxifying the body by native people including the American Plains Indians, who also used it for poisonous snake and spider bites, abscesses, diphtheria, measles, chicken pox, septic wounds and many other infectious or immune-compromising conditions. In recent years the herb has been heavily researched in Germany where numerous scientific studies now verify its health-promoting abilities. In Germany there are now more than 200 prescription products based on echinacea or its derivatives. The herb can inhibit the growth of viruses and bacteria that cause colds and 'flu, increase the number of valuable B-cells in the body and enhance the protective functions of macrophages - white blood cells - which are the guardians of the immune system. In short, echinacea is able to amplify the activity of the immune system not only by helping an ailing body recover swiftly, but by helping protect from infections such as colds and 'flu during the long winter months. I find particularly interesting some recent research in the treatment of vaginal thrush where the herb was used. All the women in the study were treated with conventional anti-fungal drug agents. Some were also given echinacea - the equivalent of 100-200mg a day. As any woman who has ever suffered from it knows only too well, one of the major problems with thrush is although you can knock it out, it tends to recur, especially when you are under stress. Researchers discovered that amongst the echinacea-supplemented group there was a significantly lower recurrence of infection than amongst the rest. And the protection went far beyond thrush. They also found a heightened immune response to tetanus, diphtheria, streptococci and tuberculin. What is exciting about their findings is that they concluded that, unlike antibiotic drugs, echinacea does not attack germs directly. Instead it strengthens your body's own ability to resist them and heightens your defenses. I find it a welcome friend taken daily as a preventative during `the 'flu season' as well as a great boon to recovery.

Laugh Your Way To Health

Laugh Your Way To Health

“Take two jokes and call me in the morning.” It’s the prescription of physicians and psychologists who are aware that, if we want to look and feel our best, we should laugh more. Joy and laughter are fundamental to health and healing. Some of these men and women work diligently in research institutes, measuring cortisol levels while subjects watch Marx Brothers films. Others lead seminars for healers, doctors and business executives, helping them increase effectiveness and heighten pleasure by learning to see the funny side of things. Many work with cancer patients and the families of the seriously ill. This new breed of professionals comes in many sizes and shapes. You will often find little signs posted on their clinic walls saying things like: “I thought I made a mistake once, but I was mistaken” or “The Joys of Hypochondria” or "'I’m not afraid of dying. I just don't want to be there when it happens” (Woody Allen). ENTER GELOTHERAPY It is now well-known that our emotional state exerts a major influence on health and longevity. Laughing has a highly beneficial influence on the immune system. Thirty-four years ago, Normal Cousins wrote his still-famous book Anatomy of an Illness (New York: Norton). In it he describes how laughter, together with massive doses of vitamin C, brought about his complete recovery from an excruciating form of arthritis known as ankylosing spondylitis—a crippling spinal disease. Cousins was a renowned American political journalist, author, professor and world peace advocate. While dangerously ill, he discovered that 10 minutes of rich laughter watching Laurel and Hardy or old clips from Candid Camera would bring him two hours of pain-free sleeping with no side effects. When laboratory tests were carried out to measure inflammation—a serious symptom of the illness—they revealed that inflammation was greatly reduced after each bout of laughter. This validated Cousins’ subjective experience and started a revolution in gelotherapy—the word for the therapeutic use of laughter. After his illness had healed, Cousins was invited by Dean Sherman Mellinkoff, of the University of California at Los Angeles, to join the faculty as Adjunct Professor of Medical Humanities. Until this day at The Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, a task force of high-caliber scientists continue to map the ways in which the relationship between mind and body affects health and healing—especially the vital role that humor, laughter and other positive emotions and attitudes like determination, love, purpose, hope and the will to live can both heal and lengthen lives. Cousins wrote, “It becomes necessary therefore to create a balanced perspective, one that recognizes that attitudes such as a strong will to live, high purpose, a capacity for festivity, and a reasonable degree of confidence are not an alternative to competent medical attention, but a way of enhancing the environment of treatment. The wise physician favors a spirit of responsible participation by patients in a total strategy of medical care.” LAUGHTER IS CONTAGIOUS In Europe, Britain and the United States, many hospitals provide “humor rooms” where patients go to watch videos and laugh. Organizations like John Cleese's “Video Arts Program” offer courses which make use of laughter to teach managers how to handle difficult situations more effectively through humor. American psychiatrist William Fry, M.D. is someone who has been investigating humor's beneficial effects on healing for decades. He says, "We now have laboratory evidence that mirthful laughter stimulates most of the major physiologic systems of the body.” A good belly-laugh which speeds up the heart rate, improves blood circulation and works muscles all over the body is every bit as beneficial as a bout of aerobic exercise. After the laughter is over, you feel wonderfully relaxed. It benefits the heart, increases the consumption of oxygen, reduces muscle tension, pulse and blood pressure. Fry believes that laughter is a kind of blocking agent—a buffer which helps to protect us from the damage that negative emotions (particularly those that arise during illness) do to the body. He says, “In any serious illness there's a sense of panic and helplessness that have direct psychological effects. Humor is one of the full range of positive emotions that help establish a new flux.” Fry has also discovered that laughter and humor diffuse rage—the violent emotion at the core of Type A personalities, with their high disposition to cardiovascular disease. LAUGH STRESS AWAY At Loma Linda Medical Center in the United States, Research Professor of Pathology Lee S. Berk carefully charted many of the ways in which laughter is good for you. Most of them revolve around humor’s ability to counter the ravages of the classic stress response. When we are under stress, certain hormones such as noradrenaline, cortisol and adrenaline shoot up. Adrenaline constricts blood vessels, raising heart rate and blood pressure. Over time this can lead to tachycardia, heart palpitations and hypertension. Frequent laughter significantly reduces these negative consequences. Berk finds that cortisol levels are also significantly reduced when we laugh. High cortisol levels tend to suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and premature aging. Humor lowers cortisol, modulating the immune system. DO IT YOURSELF Some wonderful organizations have grown up to help those of us who have forgotten how to laugh rediscover the art. One of the most highly respected is The Humor Project, founded by American educator Joel Goodman in Saratoga Springs New York. It acts as a clearinghouse for information and programs worldwide designed to help people find successful ways of applying humor in their lives. This was the first organization in the world to focus full-time on the positive power of humor. Right from its inception, their mission has been to make a difference to the lives of individuals, organizations and nations. They do a great job of it too. You can order books, DVDs, props and software to help you personally or professionally. They host teleseminars and international Humor and Creativity Conferences which attract health care professionals and groups of humorists from around the world, as well as ordinary people wanting to improve their health and the quality of their lives. A month ago, Scientific American published an interesting article called “How Happiness Boosts the Immune System.” It examines some of the research now taking place, not only in respect to the influence laughter has on the immune system and healing in general, but on gene expressions. Professionals working with laughter are quick to point out that laughter is not just for the ill and infirm. It is for everybody. One of the best things about humor is that it breaks through the tendency each of us has to take ourselves and our values too seriously. It breaks down the roles we play and liberates the essential being locked within. It is the tendency we humans have to identify with our own self-created image, fears, beliefs and assumptions that takes us away from the joy which is our birthright. We all need to seek out and spend time with people who make us laugh. It is high time we rediscover the art of being silly—like a child. Learn More: How Happiness Boosts the Immune System Scientific Research on Laughter at Loma Linda University The Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA The Humor Project

Choose Food Supplements Be Aware Of  The Good And The Ugly

Choose Food Supplements Be Aware Of The Good And The Ugly

As far back as 15 years ago impeccable research was being published in reputable scientific journals making it obvious that human beings benefit from taking the right kind of multivitamin supplement. For instance, one excellent study which appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed that women who take over-the-counter multivitamin supplements in the first months of pregnancy dramatically reduce the risk of giving birth to a neurologically damaged child. Neural tube defects are amongst the most horrible and most common birth defects. They cause everything from death to paralysis in the child and they affect between 1 and 2 babies in every 1000 births. The study was carried out under the direction of Aubrey Milunsky, director of Boston University's prestigious Center for Human Genetics. It involved 23,000 women, half of whom took multivitamin pills containing folic acid (a B-group vitamin in particularly high demand during pregnancy). The results were astonishing. The incidence of neural tube defects in babies born to the women who took the multivitamin pills was only a quarter of what it was amongst those women who took no supplements. So remarkable were these results that they shook United States Federal officials who have for generations claimed that taking nutritional supplements is not only unnecessary but can be damaging to an ordinary 'healthy' person's wellbeing. Nonetheless, the FDA and CODEX still insist that “nutrition is not relevant to health” and that if any vitamins and minerals are to be allowed on the market they will only be permitted in ultra-low doses. Clinically effective nutrients and doses are month-by-month being treated as “toxins” and removed from public access. How do we get around this? By taking good quality Food State Supplements instead of the run-of-the-mill chemically produced varieties. CHOOSE FOOD STATE Most vitamins sold in stores and online are synthetic man-made vitamins that have been produced in the laboratory in an attempt to match the molecular structure of naturally occurring vitamins normally found in our foods. As a result they tend to contain high doses of the chemically-made nutrients in an attempt to make enough of each nutrient biologically available to the body. It is just these high dosages that the FDA and CODEX are targeting by making them illegal to be sold over-the-counter. But there is a wonderful way around this which I strongly urge you to explore—to shun chemically made vitamins (which over 90% on the market are) and go for their Food State cousins, Food Supplements. Our bodies have been accustomed to absorbing with ease the vitamins and minerals that we get from our foods. Man-made synthetics, even though they try to match the molecular structures of vitamins and minerals, are not the same. Our bodies do not handle them as well, so you may be taking a high potency man-made synthetic that has come recommended, but you may not actually be absorbing the vitamins and minerals it contains. This is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about whole-food, natural multi-vitamins and minerals. GROWN NUTRIENTS Good manufacturers of whole-food vitamins and minerals grow the majority of the foods and botanicals that go into their formulas themselves. Then, using state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, they test, validate and document the potencies of all the raw materials that make up the formula. This is achieved by using high performance liquid chromatography to test vitamin potency and inductively coupled plasma optimal emission spectrometers to test mineral potency. They are also very careful in how they handle the food extracts that are often added to these supplements. For instance, they use a very specific system of drying which transfers heat gently and efficiently, removing moisture from delicate foods and botanicals while preventing oxidation of the raw materials. This protects the integrity of the food and the botanicals as well as protecting against the degradation of their nutrient content, maintaining the color and the flavor. FULL BENEFITS Because natural Food State vitamins are indeed natural and food-state, you will find that the recommended daily serving of vitamins per person is usually somewhere between six and eight tablets a day in order to be able to obtain the full benefit. In addition to the usual vitamins, i.e. vitamin A, C, D3, E, K1, folate, and so forth, there should be a good broad spectrum of minerals: calcium, iodine, magnesium, selenium, chromium, molybdenum, manganese, etc. These wonderful food-state vitamins also often contain extracts taken from other plants that are beneficial to the body, things like extract of barley grass and green papaya, extract of carrot for instance, as well as astragalus. They may also contain many of the Ayurvedic herbs or the herbs that are used in Chinese medicine—reishi and shitake mushrooms, foti and kudzu root. This is the kind of vitamin that I think you will benefit most from. There are many vitamins on the market that claim to be whole-food vitamins but that are not of top quality. Always make sure, whatever vitamin/mineral complex you choose, that it is free of corn, soy, yeast, wheat and dairy products, and it has been formulated without the use of preservatives, artificial flavors or coloring.

Foods Of Power

Foods Of Power

The word protein literally means “primary substance.” It’s an appropriate name. For every tissue in the body, from brain to little fingernail, is built of and repaired by protein. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are central factors in most body processes too. They make antibodies against infection, create hormones and ensure you have enough haemoglobin in your red blood cells. Every enzyme has protein as its basic component. This is why we need good quality, clean protein from eggs, nuts, and organic, fermented, soy products if you are vegetarian. If you are not vegetarian, then fresh fish gleaned from clean waters, organic poultry, wild game, and organic meat from animals free to graze is ideal. THE ANIMAL QUESTION Whether we like it or not, the highest quality protein is animal-based. And the most important nutritional feature of both meat and fish is their cellular structure. For it is very similar to our own. Nutrients we absorb from animal proteins are easily transformed into our own tissue and blood. Even small amounts of top quality animal protein can be enormously strengthening to anyone deficient in strength and energy. In addition to being the best power foods available, all good quality animal protein boasts an abundance of minerals and trace minerals. SHUN FACTORY FARMING Not only is caged and physically restricted animal farming an abomination in relation to the horrific suffering it imposes. Such domestic meat and much farmed fish is laden with hormones, poisons and antibiotics. If you routinely eat large quantities of meat, you can end up not only with a high level of uric acid in your body, but with a tendency to form a lot of mucus and to build up toxicity in your own body. This is why when I eat meat—and I prefer fish or game—I eat only certified organic meat from free range animals. The difference in flavor is undeniable. Also, I know that the animals I’m eating have been carefully raised and are free of both excess fat and toxicity. When selecting meat or fish, there are two major considerations: Make sure it’s fresh, and as unprocessed as possible. Buy fresh fish and seafood instead of the processed forms, such as crab cakes or smoked and breaded fish. There’s no harm in having the odd slice of smoked salmon, provided it is naturally smoked— however, the more a fish is processed the fewer benefits it will bring for high level health. (And most smoked salmon has sugar added to it these days, so read labels carefully.) BLESSED OMEGA 3s If possible, add fish to your diet once or twice a week. For fish is rich in “pre-formed” omega-3 fatty acids—DHA and EPA. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce the levels of triglycerides—blood fats characteristic of insulin resistance syndrome which can put you at risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids also spur fat burning, as well as lowering blood pressure and improving overall heart function. Often, flaxseed oil is promoted as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. And it is—at least in the sense that flax contains a great deal of linolenic acid, precursor to DHA and EPA. The problem is that, when you are relying on flaxseed for your omega-3 requirements, your body has to convert linolenic acid to DHA and EPA for this to be beneficial. Most people can’t make this conversion—especially if they have eaten a lot of trans-fatty acids, or an abundance of omega-6 fats, in the past. Also: Omega-3 from flax oil is a shorter chain fatty acid, which in some people is changed into arachidonic acid. When in excess, this causes inflammation. By contrast, EPA and DHA in fish oils are great anti-inflammatories. If you are overweight or insulin resistant, it is likely that your body cannot make this conversion, possibly because you, like most of us these days, have taken in an overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids in comparison to the omega-3s. That’s why taking a good fish oil is wise (see below for my favorite). MAKE IT FRESH The key to good fish is buying it fresh. Ask the person serving you which fish is the freshest, and what days of the week different kinds of fish arrive in the shop. You can tell a lot about the freshness of fish by its smell and look. Fresh fish does not smell fishy. It smells more like the salty bite of a sea breeze. If it’s a whole fish you are looking at, pull back its gills. They should be bright red. The moment they go pale pink or grey, you know the fish has been sitting in the shop too long. Try poking the flesh of the fish with your finger as well. If it springs back instead of forming an indentation, then you’re lucky enough to have a piece of fresh fish on your hands. Check out the eye of the fish, too. It should be dome-shaped and clear, not sunken or murky. GO WILD The meats we get today are a far cry from those our Paleolithic ancestors hunted. The closest you can come these days is wild boar, rabbit, buffalo, venison and kangaroo. These meats are higher in protein and lower in fat than the meat from domestically farmed animals. Where a piece of meat from wild game boasts about 22 grams of protein in each 100 gram portion, domestic meat can sometimes contain as little as 15 or 16 grams. Wild meat is also much lower in fat. The ordinary meat that you buy in the supermarket is six times as fatty and only about three quarters as rich in protein as that of game meat. That being said, all organic red meats like beef and lamb from grazed animals are excellent sources of zinc, a mineral that’s enormously important—not only for insulin balance but for the skin and the reproductive system. Free-range and organic meat is far better than factory farmed in every way. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY I was a vegetarian for twenty years of my life, and I believe that a vegetarian diet is ideal for some. In my mid thirties, however, I discovered that vegetarianism was not ideal for me. This may well have been because my ancestors, being Nordic, spent most of their lives living on fish, salted meat and whatever cabbage they could dig up from frozen ground. Our genetic makeup determines to a great extent what works for us and what doesn’t. When I added fish and game to my meals, my energy levels soared. I looked and felt better. Each of us is unique. This not only determines what kind of foods we thrive on; it also determines what kinds of foods are best for us at any particular time of our life. For instance, many women at menopause find they do much better by cutting meat out of their diet. Others discover just the opposite—that they need to add more animal protein. It’s a question of “suck it and see”. Following the principles of a good diet, explore what works for you. Don’t hesitate to shift from eating more fruit at one time of your life to more vegetables at another, more fish at another. The human body is always changing, as are our needs for various foods. I’d like to share with you a couple of my favorite recipes. Try them out and let me know what you think. If you have favorite protein recipes of your own, do send them to me. I will share them with others and of course credit you for them. CRUNCHY GREEN PRAWNS serves 4 When it comes to prawns, green means raw. These are the best. You can buy them fresh or frozen in every form—shelled, unshelled, whole, or heads removed. If you’re lucky enough to find fresh ones, make sure they really are fresh since, like other shellfish, prawns go off fast. Eat them the day you buy them. I like to eat them whole, partly because they are so beautiful and partly because I like the crunchy texture of the shells. I always eat the shells since the shells are filled with chitin—a protein substance which cosmetic manufacturers now use to strengthen skin from both within and without. Like most shellfish, prawns are rich in iodine and in the antioxidants zinc and selenium. Prawns are great for people who eat very little, because they are an easily-digested form of top quality protein. They are also a good source of calcium, iodine and the important omega-3 fatty acids, which not only protect the heart but offer good support to hormonal health, skin health and beauty. Crunchy Green Prawns can be cooked under a grill or on a barbecue. You can even flash fry them on a teppen yaki grill or in a heavy frying pan if you like. They are delicious hot. But you can also make them for a picnic and serve them cold. What You Need 750g of King prawns, uncooked. You may peel and de-vein them if you wish. 2 limes, cut in wedges 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, chopped For the Marinade: 3–4 tablespoons of olive oil 1 tablespoon of spring onions, finely chopped 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 50g of fresh ginger, finely shredded A small handful of fresh coriander, chopped The juice and finely shredded zest of 2 small limes (if you can’t get limes then use 1 lemon) 2 tablespoons of sake, tamari or dry sherry 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds broken up with a mortar and pestle Coarse-ground black pepper to taste Snow pea sprout heads to use as a garnish (optional) Here’s How Wash the prawns carefully in cold water and then dry with a tea towel. Place all of the ingredients for the marinade, except the lime zest, chopped garlic and 1/4 of the chopped coriander into a food processor or blender. Purée to a paste. Pour into a bowl, add the garlic, the lime or lemon zest and the remaining chopped coriander and mustard seeds, then mix into the paste by hand. Place the prawns in the bowl and, using your hands, turn them over and over until they are covered with the paste. Put on to a flat glass dish and cover. Set it in a cool place—the fridge itself if it happens to be the middle of summer—for at least three hours. Cook on a teppen yaki grill, a barbecue or under a grill in the oven until they are crunchy. Serve with lime wedges. Don’t throw away any of the marinade—cooked or uncooked—that still remains. It is delicious to spread over the crunchy prawns. It takes only a couple of minutes a side to fry these and very little more under a hot grill or on a barbecue—all you want is for them to turn opaque. However you cook them, eat them with your fingers—shell and all. All sensuous food tastes better this way, but prawns especially. I serve them with a combination of basmati rice and wild rice—about half and half—and a bright green salad of wild rocket with whatever fresh herbs, from basil to lovage, that I can harvest from the garden or find at the market. AND FOR MY VEGETARIAN FRIENDS: CORIANDER ORGANIC TOFU Thanks to the intense flavor of coriander, this herb works well to enhance the bland flavor of tofu. This recipe goes well with steamed vegetables—especially broccoli—and kasha (steamed buckwheat). Make a tofu sandwich of it, or add this tofu to a salad to make it a one-bowl meal rich in protein and in plant factors for health. What You Need 400g of firm organic tofu (non-GMO) 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil 2” finger of fresh ginger, shredded fine 1/2 cup of fresh coriander, chopped fine 1 tablespoon of tamari 1 teaspoon of wild honey, or a pinch of granular stevia Sea salt and freshly-ground red pepper to taste Here’s How Cut the tofu crosswise into slices that are approximately 3/8 inch thick. Mix together all the other ingredients in a bowl, then dip each tofu slice into the mixture you have created. Heat a heavy frying pan grill or teppen yaki grill. Use enough olive oil or coconut oil on top of the grill so the tofu will not stick. Place the tofu on the grill, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly-ground red peppercorns, and cook at a high temperature until browned. Turn and brown again. Serve immediately as a tofu sandwich or in a tofu salad or simply as is, with loads of beautifully colored fresh vegetables. The whole cooking process takes no more than 3–5 minutes. I hope you enjoy them.

Live It

Live It

One factor which has a powerful influence on how much energy you have is not your physical strength, or what you had for lunch, nor even how much sleep you got last night, but rather whether or not you are totally involved at any particular moment in what you are doing - physically, mentally, and emotionally. To be able to live this way, what you are doing has to have value to you. It has, in some way, to feed your soul or satisfy some longing or value or goal for you. Biologists, sports experts, and psychologists have recently studied the phenomenon of energy or vitality, and tried to distinguish between the traits of those people with high energy levels and the rest of us. They have discovered that, whether looking at sportsmen, executives, artists, or craftsmen, those with high energy all have one thing in common: total involvement. A few lucky people - often they are those who are vitally interested in their work or hobbies - find total involvement comes naturally. For the rest of us it has to be learned. We have to train ourselves in much the same way as students of Aikido, Japanese sword training, or Tai Chi do - slowly and systematically. Rarely in Western society do we function as a whole. Most of us tend to do whatever we are doing with half our thoughts on what we are going to do when we have finished, or thinking about what we should have done yesterday but didn't. Such distractions not only make the task in hand seem long and tedious, they also divide our concentration, with the result that energy is dissipated. For more energy, make a commitment to becoming deeply involved in the process of energy creation in your life. The opposite is true too. Where living the ‘right’ way for you breeds more energy, living in a way that ignores your basic values will have you fighting yourself and the world around you and continually drain your vitality.

Sacred Truth Ep. 60: Sleep Your Fat Away

Sacred Truth Ep. 60: Sleep Your Fat Away

Want to control your weight? The key to this may be simpler than you think: get more sleep. A brand new study of 1800 sets of twins reveals that the twins who slept nine plus hours a night had a drastically increased ability to combat genetically-predisposed weight gain compared to the twins who slept less than seven hours. What this means is that when you do get enough sleep, your genes become less critical in determining how much weight your body lays down. But you need no longer be at the mercy of your DNA. If at the same time you make good lifestyle choices like eating a healthy diet and getting some regular, enjoyable exercise, this can set the stage for living a long, slim, healthy life. If you’ve long struggled with weight control, this is great news. A few extra hours of sleep a night could throw the ball of weight control right back in your own court. The word leptin means “thin” in Greek. Leptin is an important hormone that helps regulate your metabolism. It tells your brain when you have had enough to eat—an experience known as satiety. A number of early studies have shown that when you are sleep deprived, the body’s levels of this hormone drop and you develop what is known as leptin resistance—a condition that interferes with fat burning. Meanwhile, levels of another important hormone ghrelin (leptin’s hunger-signaling counterpart) rise. This results in you experiencing increased appetite and food cravings—especially for carbohydrates like grains, cereals, sugars, and junk food—all the stuff that makes us fat and destroys our health. John Keats, in his Sonnet to Sleep, called sleep the “soft embalmer,” praising its “careful fingers” and “lulling charities.” How right he was. The benefits that sleep bestows on us extend far beyond weight control. Sleep heals our body and our mind, enabling us to integrate new information with ease. But when we are sleep deprived, our bodies can come under powerful biological stress. They begin to respond in negative ways in an attempt to protect us: Muscles get tense. Heart rate and blood pressure go up. Digestion is disturbed and the stress hormone corticosterone floods your system. Then your body lays down yet more fat deposits while refusing to let go of the ones already there. But here’s the rub about sleep deprivation. In case you think you can “catch up” after prolonged periods of too little sleep, you can’t. For sleep to become an ally in your fat-fighting armory, you need to get plenty night after night. The new twins research shows that some of us need nine or more hours sleep a night to receive weight control benefits. But there are no hard-and-fast rules. So instead of trying to adhere to a strict eight or nine-hour-a-night regime, listen to your own unique body. When you do, it will tell you how much sleep you should be getting. Life factors such as age, stress or illness, occupation, sex, diet, and pregnancy mean that some people will need more sleep and others less. Check this out: Are you often tired upon waking? Do you get sleepy throughout the day? Experiment. See how you feel after different amounts of sleep and find what works for you. Your entire being—not least of all your slimmer waistline—will thank you for it.

Get Energy

Get Energy

Nothing gives a woman power so much as energy. It brings a light to your eye, a glow to your skin, an edge to your personality. When you are riding a wave of energy, it seems to carry you wherever you want to go. When it crashes, it can leave you feeling lost and lumpy. Energy is elusive stuff. High energy means, more than anything else, an ability to live fully, to give of your very best and to be open to all the good things life has to offer. In many ways it is a little like being a child again, where the colors are so vivid and the world is so full of wonder. Now is the time to take a look at your own energy habits and see if maybe some of them need changing. Then, gradually, you will be able to create for yourself a high-energy lifestyle which in time will become second nature. Once you learn how to tap into the energy within yourself, once you experience how good a high-energy life style can make you feel, energy will never again be something you have to worry about. All of us have a lot more potential energy than we ever access. For most of us our natural energy lies buried deep in a sluggish body burdened with excessive toxicity, or a psyche wrestling with frustration or disappointment. Break through the barriers by making changes in how you think, eat and live to help you turn potential energy into lasting vitality. Certain underlying conditions such as food allergies, yeast overgrowths and environmental pollutants can undermine our natural energy rights. Identify the presence of any of the big energy drainers in your life, and take steps to clear them. There are tricks and treatments to help you build steady energy week after week and year after year, and to get that extra energy temporarily when you most need it. Discover for yourself the greatest energy secret of all, that living a high energy life is ultimately about learning to listen to the whispers of our own souls and to live out the truth of who we really are and what we really value. power when you need it Everyone has experienced the ability to summon up energy almost magically,  when we need it most, to cope with particularly demanding situations - the appearance of a ‘second wind'. It happens when you have been up all night nursing a sick child and thought you couldn't possibly drag up another ounce of strength. It happens when all-encompassing fatigue somehow disappears into thin air with the unexpected arrival of a much-loved friend you haven't seen for years; and when an athlete discovers he can call forth extra strength on the last lap of a long race. All of these things summon energy because, in our psyche, we ask for it right then to do what we want passionately to do. Feeling passionate about anything releases potential energy, both in immediate circumstances such as these where it is needed, and also long-term where we need energy to carry out some task we are deeply committed to, or do something we love. And living with energy has a lot to do with living with passion. The more passionately you live your life, the more energy you will generate. Do what you love, love what you do and be honest about it. Much of our energy comes from within. lifestyle energy factors But this is only half of the energy picture. The amount of vitality available to you day by day to live your life also comes from external forces - from the way you eat, exercise, deal with stress, look after your body, as well as how skillful you can become at listening to its needs and its promptings. For most of us, this doesn't happen automatically, nor does a high energy way of life. We have to learn what creates more energy in our lives and also learn to be wary of all the things which can impede it. Take toxicity in your body for instance. The build up of waste products in the cells restricts metabolic processes and depletes us of energy both biochemically - so we become more prone to illness and premature aging - and in terms of over-all stamina and vitality, or how energetic we feel subjectively. Internal pollution can also result in a great variety of unwanted conditions, from cellulite to poor skin, anxiety and degenerative conditions such as arthritis, obesity and cancer. In the highly polluted environment in which most of us live these days, our bodies tend to build up more waste than they are able to eliminate efficiently. Such a build-up suppresses our energy. It needs to be eliminated and prevented in the future. We will look closely at how to do this in chapters to come. To maximize vitality you also need to learn to manage your energies when they need managing - how to get down when you become strung up, how to stimulate vitality when it is low, and how to create stamina and sustained power that acts as a foundation of energy which you can always call on when you need it. We will take a good look at how to do this too. living high It may surprise you, but the first step towards a high energy life is not a physical one, but is a change in how you think: Begin to visualize what living with sustained energy feels like. This can be hard to do when you feel chronically fatigued, depressed and discouraged. "Will my life ever get better?" We ask ourselves. I know. I lived for many years with chronic fatigue and depression - for which doctors could find no apparent cause. I have experienced the struggle and sense of hopelessness one can feel. In fact,in a very real way, those years helped shape the values of my life and set me on the road to learning, writing, and broadcasting on health - because nobody seemed able to help me, I began to look for my own answers. What I learned did help me and I went on to share it with others through books, television, videos and workshops. shift your perspective Our culture teaches us that all phenomena in the Universe, even life itself, are no more than a complex, yet explicable, series of chemical and physical reactions devoid of any unseen organizing principle. Such a worldview has its limitations. We tend to favor the notion that man's task is to ‘harness nature' for his own ends - and then are appalled at the results. Such a materialistic worldview has contributed to a sense of human alienation expressed in our art, literature, and in destructive social behavior. It is also responsible in no small part for our flagging energy. For we often tend to dissipate ourselves trying to fulfill all sorts of roles and follow all sorts of rules imposed on ourselves from outside. We are told that we need to go to the gym to give us more energy, and also that we need to eat the latest ‘healthy' margarine promoted by the food industry. We are urged to do our jobs well, no matter what distractions or restrictions we may have, and we feel we need to keep going to meet all our deadlines however much our bodies may be telling us we need to stop and rest. We have also been conditioned by a culture that affirms the value of altruism and insists that one should forget oneself in constant service and self-sacrifice to others. If you are serious about wanting more energy, you need to make a shift in how you think about yourself and your life. Gaining more energy is not simply a case of changing a few seemingly unrelated things in your life, it is a change in attitude and lifestyle that follows a simple yet powerful personal choice: The choice to support your body and mind in the best possible ways. Once you make such a choice, then you can begin to make positive changes towards creating more energy. As you do you will also find other positive changes taking place, and still more, as the greater access to energy in one area of your life allows you to deal more clearly with fatigue in another.

Mantra Magic

Mantra Magic

Herbert Benson, who wrote The Relaxation Response and Maximum Mind, discovered that measurable physical benefits accrue from practicing any form of meditation which depends on the silent repetition of a mantra - a word-sound. This can be done by repeating any word over and over while the eyes are closed and the body is in a quiet state. Meditation using a mantra has a long tradition. Some mantras are said to be sacred words that have particular sound vibrations which transmit particular powers. Each tradition has its own mantras such as Guru Om, Om mani padme hum, La ilaha illa 'lla or, in the Catholic religion, Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Whether their magic aspects are true or not, the technique works beautifully to replace the habitual chatter that runs through one's mind, worries about things past and things yet to come. Benson suggests you find a word that is pleasing to you. It could be anything, say, `flower', `peace', or `love'. He likes the word `one' as it is simple and has the connotation of unity about it. Here's how. Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed for fifteen to twenty minutes and a comfortable chair that supports your back. Sit down and close your eyes. Give yourself a moment to settle in and you are ready to begin. Simply sit there, feet on the floor and eyes closed, quietly repeating your word over and over to yourself: `one...one...one...' Whenever your mind wanders or you are disturbed by a sound or thought, simply turn your mind gently back to repeating the word again. That is all there is to it. After fifteen to twenty minutes, stop repeating the mantra and get ready to open your eyes. Open your eyes, stretch, and go about your everyday activities. This is a particularly useful technique once you have practiced it a few times because you can do it in so many different places, such as in a waiting room or on a commuter train or bus.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 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 25th of October 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.70 lb
for women
-1.06 lb
for men
-0.70 lb
for women
-1.06 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of October 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

sign up for our newsletter

download our free book healthy & lean for life