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integrative health

A worldview that fosters human freedom looks at living systems as integrated wholes. It takes into account the interconnectedness of all things.

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Rhodiola - Renew Body And Life

Rhodiola - Renew Body And Life

“Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners” Shakespeare One of the most powerful healing plants in the world originates in the dry, hostile environment of Siberia. For eons it was prized as a source of strength for Viking warriors, Russian cosmonauts having to endure the demands of space travel, and Olympic athletes. A beautiful perennial plant with pink, red or yellow flowers, it is called “Arctic Root” or “Golden Root.” Its proper name is Rhodiola rosea. If you don’t already make use of this incredible gift from nature, you don’t know what you’re missing. QUEEN OF ADAPTOGENS Rhodiola is the most versatile adaptogenic plant in the world. An adaptogen is a plant or herb which acts in non-specific ways to improve health and increase resistance to stress, without upsetting the body’s biological functions. Numerous studies carried out in France, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Russia confirm what has been known for centuries by shamans and wise woman healers: Rhodiola brings endless blessings to anybody using it. Here are just a few of its benefits. restores normal menstrual cycle in women prevents and clears fatigue increases vitality enhances immunity improves athletic prowess supports heart strength promotes improved wellbeing protects muscles when exercising helps endurance increases the metabolism of fats increases work capacity reduces stress and damage from stress supports thyroid function improves sexual function in men Whew! I could go on and on. The scientific research into this beautiful plant is voluminous and inspiring. I first learned of Rhodiola many years ago when Professor of Medical Science, Israel Brekhman—the much celebrated Russian research scientist in organic medicine and biologically active substances in Vladivostok—visited Britain. Brekhman’s career focused on the genetics of plants and herbs, and on improving health and wellbeing. It was he who first coined the word adaptogen. NON-TOXIC HEALING One of the wonderful things about Rhodiola is that it has a very low level of toxicity and very few side effects. (Since safety issues are as yet not available for pregnancy and lactation, however, it should be avoided in these circumstances.) There are many ways in which Rhodiola—which now grows in Greenland, Iceland, Canada and Alaska—as well as its native Siberia, can be used. One of the most surprising is this: If you can get hold of the plant itself (unfortunately in some countries, Rhodiola plants are not available because of agricultural import regulations), it will thrive in your garden. You can cook its shoots and leaves which are edible, prepare its roots as you would any starchy vegetable, serve its leaves raw in a mixed salad, and even serve its shoots prepared as you do asparagus. More about Rhodiola in a moment. Meanwhile, there are some important things you need to know about using herbs of any kind. NATURE’S MEDICINES Plants hold powerful medicine for men and women. To state such an obvious truth seems absurd, since every culture in the world from the beginning of human history has turned to herbs, trees, and other plants as medicine. Yet in our post-industrial world, we find ourselves in the absurd position of having to rediscover our medicinal and health-promoting heritage—not only by unearthing long neglected local practices, often passed on verbally from woman to woman, but also by investigating herbal traditions from other parts of the world: Tibet, China, India, Japan and Native America. The benefits of making nature’s medicinal plants a part of your day-to-day life becomes obvious when you realize that the origins of most drugs lie in plants. Using plants and herbs for strength and healing offers many advantages. First, their powers for enhancing wellbeing go far beyond their ability to alleviate symptoms. For centuries, women healers preferred to use the whole of most plants. They had no belief in the practice now propounded by today’s mainstream medicine which chooses to use isolated ingredients and make them into patented drugs. In every medicinal plant, there are two kinds of compounds, each of which has an important part to play in treatment. The first are the active ingredients—these are what capture the imagination of chemists and drug producers to make the biochemically twisted molecules that Big Pharma turns into patented drugs. The second are the compounds and substances which drug manufacturers ignore altogether—even seek to eliminate—but which good herbalists insist play a vital supportive role in the healing a particular herb can bring to the body. These compounds work synergistically with the active ingredients, making them more easily accessible to the body or dampening the effect of what are often very potent plant chemicals—helping to protect the body from side-effects. Some even help protect from overdose by causing nausea if the body's safe level of tolerance is passed. It is the synergy of these primary active ingredients and their secondary helpers that makes herbs work so well. There are many different substances and compounds in plants and herbs which offer health-supporting abilities. The volatile oils for instance, the tannins, phenylpropanoids (like those in Rhodiola), alkaloids, bitters, glycosides, and flavonoids. WAYS AND MEANS You can take herbs in many different ways—as infusions, decoctions, syrups, tinctures, suppositories, capsules, and in baths, ointments or creams. You can grow your own herbs or buy them in bulk dried. Using the dried plant is by far the cheapest way to use herbs, since you can buy a large amount at a time very cheaply and make up your own infusions, decoctions, suppositories and ointments, as well as tinctures. You can even buy empty gelatin capsules and fill them with dried herb yourself. However, it is often easiest if you are a complete beginner to rely on good quality ready-made herbal products from a good supplier—whole herbs, herbs in capsules, herbal extracts and tinctures. Tinctures are made by using water and or alcohol to draw out a plant's chemical constituents and preserve them. They are taken in a little water. These are best either bought ready-made from a reputable supplier, or left until you have mastered the use of herbs in other ways, as each herb demands a specific ratio of water and alcohol to plant material. MEET THE SOUL OF A PLANT It is worth remembering that, just as people have different personalities, so do plants. Once you get to know the actions of various herbs—and the best way of doing this is to use them or to watch them work on other people—you begin to develop a feel for the character or soul of each plant. Eventually you develop a skill that enables you to call on the right plant or plants when you need their help. But it is important to remember that plants, such as Rhodiola, are slower acting than drugs, so you need to be patient. It is necessary to use most herbs for a few weeks before you come to experience its full benefits. That being said, I sometimes find a plant can will bring almost immediate relief too. One big advantage of using herbs is that many herbs, when taken steadily over a period of time, will do the job for which they were being taken so well that you no longer need to use them. Another important thing to remember when using herbs is that some work well in combination. Whatever herbs you are using, they need to be fresh, clean and either well-crafted or grown organically. Some herbs on the market today have been grown in countries where pesticides and herbicides are sprayed heavily. Others are not fresh or have been irradiated or are contaminated with chemicals. Often suppliers themselves are not even aware of how the dried plants have been handled. BACK TO RHODIOLA The active constituents of Rhodiola root are many. This is one of the reasons that this plant acts so powerfully in so many ways to benefit your health. The most important ingredients it contains include Rosin, Rosavin, Salidroside, and Tyrosol. Although Rhodiola can be prescribed by an herbalist as a tincture or extract, for many reasons, this plant is usually best taken in capsules. In no small part, this is because its taste in tincture form is far too intense for most people. For those of you who, like me, love to know the minutiae: A typical dose in tablet or capsule form for long-term administration is 360-600mg per day when standardized for 2.6 Rosavin, 180-300mg when standardized for 2% Rosavin, or 100-170 when standardized for 2.6 Rosavin. Some products list the Rosavin in milligrams, such as 6mg of Rosavin per 120 mg of Rhodiola root, or 12 mg of Rosavin per 240mg of Rhodiola root. These formulations are an even more robust 5% Rosavin content. Even so, such products provide a large margin of safety. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Always read labels carefully. (This is one of the reasons I order almost all of my nutritional products—including capsules of Rhodiola—from iHerb, where they provide both clear in-depth ingredient information as practically no other company does, and they ship DHL incredibly fast worldwide.) Always check out where any herb such as Rhodiola has been sourced. Make sure the raw materials it contains are the most active and desirable ingredients. Use products only from a first-rate manufacturer who relies on high-quality processes and extraction methods. Reject nutritional supplements of any kind that contain flow agents like magnesium stearate, which is made from stearic acid. It can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients via the digestive system. Thanks to Rhodiola rosea’s stunning versatility, it is able to nurture the nervous system, cardiovascular system, hormonal system, immune system and musculoskeletal system all at the same time. It’s little wonder, given its wide spectrum of therapeutic benefits, that in this time of physical, emotional and financial pressures, demands and work loads, growing exposure to environmental stressors and increasing costs of health care, this unique inexpensive herb with its excellent safety profile is gradually becoming better known. Most people see an improvement in energy levels, mood, mental clarity, memory, stamina and endurance within 2 to 6 weeks of using it. I for one wouldn’t be without Rhodiola in my family herb cupboard. Personally I take it twice daily as does my son Aaron. You want to choose the very best Rhodiola you can buy. I’ve investigated a good dozen readily-available products, so 2 of my personal recommendations below: Gaia Herbs, Rhodiola Rosea This is a wonderful product in no small part because of the way Gaia encapsulate it as a liquid which is rapidly absorbed. Each capsule contains the equivalent of 2,000mg of the dry herb. I keep mine in the fridge once the bottle is open. Order Gaia Herbs, Rhodiola Rosea from iherb Eclectic Institute, Rhodiola Another excellent Rhodiola 100% fresh freeze dried. Order Eclectic Institute, Rhodiola from iherb

Mind Body Connection

Mind Body Connection

Your body is an incredibly complex, dynamic system. Mind and body are not separate entities as we have been led to believe. They are opposite ends of the life continuum and they need to be experienced this way. For how you think is at the core of tapping into the kind of vitality and aliveness that fuels charisma. Does this sound like some old wives' tale or one of those 'growth techniques' that urges you to 'smile in the mirror every morning and think positively'? Far from it. What I am talking about is hard core science. The latest research in one of the most exciting fields of scientific study taking place today, psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), has a lot to tell us about charisma. PNI has begun to quantify scientifically a lot of the things which we as human beings already 'know' somewhere deep inside but which, as a result of the mechanistic paradigm or world view implicit in our Western 20th century culture we have all but forgotten. PNI studies the complex bi-directional interactions between the central nervous system and the immune system. Leading researchers in the field such as Dr. G.F. Solomon at the University of California, have discovered that the human mind (which includes our conscious thoughts, unconscious impulses and our transcendent or superconsciousness as well as our emotions) is elaborately interwoven with all the functions of our bodies via nerve pathways and chemical messengers such as the endorphins, intestinal peptides and hormones. A hormonal-nerve relationship exists between endocrine glands such as the pituitary (the master gland regulating the actions of all others), the adrenals (which deal with stress) and the hypothalamus which is called the hypo-thalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It links thoughts and emotions with physical responses. This may sound complex and high faulting but what it all means is simply that how you think, feel, the way you see yourself, how you respond to the world around you powerfully influence the levels of vitality you experience, how slowly or rapidly you age, and whether or not you resist infections from colds and flu to the viruses behind such conditions as AIDS and ME. Despite a proliferation of articles, books and television programs for popular consumption which speak of the body as the 'human machine', in reality it is nothing of the sort. Use a machine a lot and it wears out. Use your body a lot with respect for its needs and it only becomes stronger. Leading edge research is also amassing evidence that through our consciousness we are linked via extremely complex energetic interfaces both with other living organisms and with planet itself. Becoming aware of these interfaces - connections which are now being mapped by brain researchers, biologists and high level physicists - can be fascinating. Coming to make use of them is another highly subtle yet tremendously potent and exciting aspect of living with charisma. Throughout history the basic unity of mind and body has formed an integral aspect of man's belief systems and healing practices - from ancient Egyptian medicine and Ayurvedic medicine (the oldest known system of healing in the world from India) to Chinese Medicine, homeopathy and spiritual healing. But, during the eighteenth century and especially from the onset of the industrial revolution this awareness was largely replaced by a dominant paradigm or world-view which sees man as a blend of mechanism and egotism. A world-view is a dominant way of looking at reality which remains unconscious in a culture but which tends to govern the judgments one makes whether large or small. Ours holds first that all phenomenon in the universe, even life itself, are nothing more than a complex yet ultimately explainable series of chemical and physical reactions, second that differences between organic and non-organic life are only in degree, and finally that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts. This mechanistic paradigm has been useful. It has enabled us to study and organize experience scientifically and it has been responsible for our technological development. But no matter how useful, every dominant paradigm has its limitations. Ours for instance has led us to ignore the organic interrelatedness of nature in favor of the notion that it is man's task through science and technology to 'harness nature' for his own ends - the results of which we are having to wrestle with in the increasingly unstable weather conditions, the dangerous thinning of the ozone layer, and unprecedented ecological disruptions so serious that many believe they could herald the end of human life on the planet. Our mechanistic world view has also contributed to a sense of human alienation which is expressed in our art and our literature and in our destructive social behavior. Now however our dominant paradigm has begun to explode around us thanks to findings in high level physics, PNI and the new biology. Energetic links are being established between the inner and outer world of man and the complex nature of interactions between consciousness and material reality are being mapped. The scientists and the philosophers now know that a mechanistic world view is no where near big enough to explain reality. As a result, new world views are rapidly evolving all of which, strange as it may seem, can play a powerful role in the development of charisma, in no small part because they enable us to break down the barriers of the self-limiting images each of us hold. (How often does one think thoughts such as, 'Oh I could never do that' or 'I am too small... too stupid... too afraid.) Coming to terms with them may seem a long way from deciding what kind of lipstick you wear or how you look after your hair and skin yet an understanding them can lead to as great an expansion of self-expression in those areas as it can in how you think, dream, behave and choose to direct your ambitions.

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

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

Blitz Guss For Energy And Good Looks

Blitz Guss For Energy And Good Looks

Hydrotherapy is a powerful external tool for rejuvenation. The Germans are masters at it. Thanks to the electrical properties of water, using alternate hot and cold water on the body can alter the electrical charges of molecules in the body—particularly the low-level voltages which regulate lymphatic drainage—by alternately increasing and decreasing them. In physiological terms this opens up the capillaries increasing blood flow and helping to stimulate the elimination of wastes through the blood and lymph systems. It also relaxes and tones muscles and helps you feel energetic. Here's how: After standing under a hot shower for 3 to 5 minutes so that your body is warm and comfortable, alternate hot and cold water—2 minutes of hot followed by 30 seconds of cold—three times, finishing off with cold. Once you get used to the Blitz Guss protocol you are likely to find that you want to increase the time your body is exposed to cold water just because it makes you feel so good and so alive. Don't do this just before bed or you may feel so energetic that you can’t sleep. And, of course, if you have a pacemaker or any sort of heart condition it is essential that you check with your medical practitioner and get his or her OK before you try it. Be sure to check out the video below: [video src=http://d1vg7rm5xhtxe9.cloudfront.net/video/sd/blitz-guss.mp4 poster=http://d3oy45cyct8ffi.cloudfront.net/health/into-the-bliss/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2012/02/lk-video-blitz-guss.jpg ]

Inhale

Inhale

Like music and meditation, aromatics can be used to alter your consciousness and deepen your awareness. Using environmental fragrances is also a delightful way of lifting your mood and sharpening your mind. A cool whiff of neroli sets your brain racing. Sniffing white rose can nestle you down into the most enjoyable indolence. Immerse yourself in the rich warmth of the ambergris and, even if you are the most timid of creatures, you can begin to feel bold and daring. Tibetan lamas mix an extraordinary combination of herbs and flowers to produce an incense which heightens concentration and centers the mind for meditation. In ancient times, temple prostitutes knew every secret of blending aromatics to create a heady aphrodisiac which was completely irresistible to their worshippers. And astrologers advised their clients which balm to use when a specific planet made particular transits in their chart. The special substances that make all this possible are the plant essences - the light, fine, almost etheric essential oils taken from roots, leaves, barks and flowers of plants in their prime of life. A plant essence plays an important role in the plant's growth to maturity, is forever changing its chemical composition in the plant, and is present in greater quantities in young plants. Many experts in the use of plant essences believe that, in some way that no one has been able to identify, these substances contain much of the life force of the plant, including the basic characteristics of its leaves and flowers that give it a unique character, smell and ability to affect human beings in specific ways. Some plants, such as jasmine and rose, require hundreds of pounds of live flowers to produce even a tiny bottle of the essence. They are very expensive. Other oils, such as cinnamon and basil, are easily extracted and inexpensive. But you should know that the 'synthetic' version of a plant essence (in spite of the fact that its main constituents have been chemically reproduced) does not have the same effect on a person. This is probably because the terpene alcohols, phenols and esters that make up these natural substances have a synergistic quality - they work together to produce an effect greater than the sum of each working on its own. Some natural therapists rely on many plant essences for their restorative and stimulating actions in treatments for skin and hair, as well as for combating cellulite. They are also important constituents in many expensive face creams and lotions. But the way in which aromatic vibrations from essential oils can be used in your environment to alter mood and mind is something quite different from their therapeutic uses, when mixed with carrier oils and spread on the skin in aromatherapy treatments. Oil of geranium, for instance, is a mild diuretic useful in aromatherapy for treating fluid retention, eczema and anxiety. But burn it as incense, or let it diffuse into your environment as a fragrance, and it can make you act with uncharacteristic rashness - an effect quite separate from its therapeutic properties. Aromatherapy is a tool for healing. Aromatics belong to the realm of magic. The best way to discover what its magic can do for you is to experiment with a few of the real essences. Start with six, and then enlarge your repertoire as you get to know the quality and characteristics of each, and as you discover those you particularly like. Because they are natural substances, and highly volatile, they rapidly diffuse into the environment. They just as rapidly disappear or can be replaced by other fragrances. When you choose essences and oils for burning, make absolutely sure that those you buy are natural. The current fascination with aromatherapy has led to the appearance of a myriad of poor quality so-called essential oils, which are nothing of the kind. They are cheap chemical analogues and are currently being sold in chemists, department stores and specialty shops all over. Trying to use them for mind-bending is a grave mistake. They can actually make you feel quite sick, not to mention the unpleasant fact that they tend to infuse into a room and then imbed themselves in the carpets, curtains and furniture with the tenacity of a cheap perfume. Only real essential oils have mind-bending magic. But what a wonderful magic that can be. Cedar heightens creativity Chamomile soothes panic and hysteria Marjoram calms irritability, soothes panic Cinnamon is a natural stimulant Frankincense calms irritability and impatience Neroli is an anti shock aid, and heightens mental functions Basil banishes fear and indecision, and is antidepressant Clary sage clears the head after mental activity Juniper improves concentration, and banishes fear Sage dispels anxiety Lily restores energy Geranium is anti-anxiety Ylang Ylang is aphrodisiac and antidepressant Lavender calms irritability, and soothes impatience Patchouli is an antidote to apathy, and is good against exhaustion Peppermint uplifts the spirit, is good against apathy, and is a mental stimulant Jasmine is an antidote to shyness Sandalwood helps new ways of thinking Rosewood calms an aggressive mind Vanilla heightens nostalgia - especially for childhood USING AROMATICS FOR MINDBENDING * Put 30 to 50 drops of essential oil or oils into a half pint size spray bottle filled with water. (The kind you use to spray plants is ideal.) Use this mixture as a room spray. * Put 8 to 10 drops of essential oils on a small piece of cardboard and place it on a warm radiator. * Put 5-10 drops of an essence on a small plate and put it on top of an aga or wood stove. * Place a few drops of essential oils on a cotton or linen handkerchief and sniff it periodically. (This is a particularly good method if you are in a public place where the air is full of cigarette smoke or the room is stuffy.) * Place 10-15 drops in water which is simmering on a hob. This will humidify the environment as well as scenting it.

To Age Or Not To Age - Insulin Resistance

To Age Or Not To Age - Insulin Resistance

Syndrome X Phenomenon As an awareness of the Syndrome X phenomenon of insulin resistance spread, researchers and clinicians have begun to understand that many of us who are not diabetic still experience insulin resistance. Responsible scientists began to ask questions about what causes it. The discoveries they are now making are nothing short of revolutionary. They not only offer us the power to slow the rate at which our bodies age. They are experimenting with protocols that can, potentially reverse negative conditions from hypertension, insulin resistance to cholesterol imbalances and depression, simply by changing the way you eat and live. This experience is one I became fascinated with when, several years ago, I made a television documentary in the Southern Hemisphere called To Age or Not To Age. It asked the question, “Can we slow aging by making simple nutritional changes?” We also wanted to know “Might it also be possible to reverse age-related degeneration that has already occurred?” And, finally, “Can these things be verified in medically measurable ways?” We decided to carry out what is known as a base-line study to find out. We sent all participants to have the standard test of medical parameters checked before the project began—from fasting insulin and blood sugar levels through cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. These were carried out at a hospital which also had an excellent physiology laboratory, where exercise physiologists were able to establish each participant’s VO2Max, body fat percentage and lean body mass to fat ratio. To my surprise, every participant—including a 50 year old top athlete—showed abnormalities associated with Syndrome X. We then introduced our group to an Insulin Balance way of eating, which I devised. The experiment lasted only 5 weeks. Then we sent all our participants back to the hospital to have their parameters checked again. The results were mind-blowing. We had no idea that, after only 5 weeks of dietary changes, every abnormal medical parameter had normalized, except for cholesterol measurements in one woman, which took another few weeks to normalize. For me personally, the experiment confirmed yet again that the human body has a phenomenal capacity to heal itself, when given the opportunity to experience transformation at the deepest levels. This is a truth which, for the past four years, I have applied to helping to transform the lives of men and women all over the world, whom I have been mentoring on Cura Romana. The results continue to delight me.

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.

Fever Power

Fever Power

Like many old wives' tales the adage `sweat it out' is beginning to look like good advice. For generations medicine has tried to suppress fever, believing it to be a state detrimental to the body. Latest findings show that fever can not only significantly strengthen your body's defense system, it appears to be a critical component in immune function. As such, so the new findings indicate, when it occurs naturally, for instance as a response to infection, it should not be completely eliminated by drugs the way we have been wont to do. Fever weakens the force of invading enemies and is a potent positive force for fighting infections. Some scientists now believe that, because of its many immune-supporting characteristics, even when fever is artificially induced in a healthy body by saunas, Turkish baths or vigorous aerobic exercise it can act as a powerful prophylactic to aging, it can increase vitality and it can help provide you with a high level of well-being. This approach to fever is anything but new. Ancient Greek physicians considered fever a beneficial sign of vitality in an organism. They believed that disease was the result of an imbalance between the four humors - blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile - and they considered fever a means of burning off the bad humors and clearing the body of them. To this end they employed sudorific (sweat-producing) herbs, steam and hot baths to induce fevers in their patients. Such practices went on well into the seventeenth century when the famous British physician Thomas Sydenham commented that `Fever is Nature's engine, which she brings into the field to remove her enemy.' Then in the middle of the last century, with the discovery of antipyretic (temperature-lowering) drugs such as aspirin doctors began to insist on reducing fevers when they occurred. Drugs such as aspirin not only lower bodily temperature, they also eliminate many aches and pains associated with fever, thanks to their analgesic properties. This makes patients feel temporarily better. So gradually both doctor and patient began to lean heavily on the use of these drugs to suppress fever, and fever came to be considered a negative thing - something to be eliminated as rapidly and effectively as possible. Recently researchers such as Matthew J. Kluger, a professor of physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, have begun to examine the phenomenon of fever afresh and to ask questions such as: Just what happens when the body is plunged into a feverous state? Why did evolution develop the phenomenon of temperature-raising fever in its creatures? What is the purpose of this remarkable response? What Kluger and others have discovered is that fever's occurrence is not a sign that something is wrong with your body's temperature control system. Instead, a superbly modulated deliberately chosen temperature has been created at which several important physiological and biochemical events occur to heal the body. fever's bounty Among their known benefits (and there are probably many as yet unknown), even slight elevations in temperature not only increase white-cell concentrations, they make the body's defense army of white blood cells more mobile so they can reach any site of infection quicker. There is also considerable evidence that fever makes them more effective in engulfing and destroying invading microorganisms. Indeed it appears to make many other immune functions more effective too. For instance interferon, one of the body's natural anti-viral, anticancer (and therefore probably anti-aging as well) chemicals, about which we have heard so much in the news lately, has been shown to be more effective at elevated temperatures. Of course illness is not the only way that many of the beneficial effects of fever can be brought about. EP stands for endogenous pyrogen which is a low-weight protein produced by leukocytes to help destroy infection in the body. After a good workout of aerobic exercise substances appear in the blood which have identical characteristics to EP. Naturopaths have long insisted that fever is an important force for healing the body. They claim that controlled overheating of the body also increases the rate of metabolic processes as a whole and stimulates the functioning of the endocrine system. Since Hippocrates - some 2400 years ago - doctors have been using artificial methods of inducing fever, for instance giving the herb Echinacea or putting people into sweat baths or steam baths and applying hot compresses, to improve their vitality or stimulate the body's natural healing processes. The new fever research has begun to explain why many of their time-tested methods work. It is also beginning to lend credence to the beliefs of the Turks and Russians that periodic steam baths are strengthening to health and vitality, and to those of the Scandinavians, who have used saunas as a means of both stimulating immune response and spring-cleaning the body from within. words of warning Despite new findings that fever is of benefit to the body, there is every indication that it needs to be treated with respect and that your physician is the best guide to dealing with any illness. For extreme fever can have a damaging effect on a body. And there are some people in whom the benefits of fever may well be outweighed by the risks involved. For instance, in a pregnant woman a high fever could potentially damage her unborn child and young children with very high fever can be subject to convulsions. Also, fevers in very old people have to be carefully watched because of possible damage they could do to the heart. fever as a prophylactic Provided you are fit, aerobic exercise such as cycling, running, walking very briskly, swimming, rowing or dancing is probably the best way of all to benefit from small elevations in temperature. Saunas too can be helpful provided you are in good health, don't overdo them and provided you follow the basic guidelines. A sauna helps make your joints more supple while it soothes your muscles and refreshes the mind. It is also an excellent adjunct to any serious anti-cellulite program for a woman. And early spring, when one's body is suffering from too much heavy winter food and clothing, too little fresh air and exercise, is an excellent time to make use of it. Here are the guidelines: Give yourself lots of time. It will do most for you if you take it leisurely so you have time for several sessions in the heat, with short rests in-between and a rest of at least thirty minutes - preferably an hour - after you are through. Never take a sauna until at least two hours after a meal and never take a sauna during a juice fast. (It is an excellent idea to use the sauna the day before a juice fast or special eliminating diet begins, however.) Never take a sauna if you have the symptoms of an illness. Wear little or nothing in the sauna - a towel wrapped around you is more than enough. The more you wear the less effective will the heat treatment be. Take off any jewelry and your watch. They become very hot. Stay in the sauna room for only 5-10 minutes at a stretch. Then plunge into cold water or take a cold shower and rest before going back in. Don't water the stones during your first session and be sparing with the moisture you put on afterwards. Lie down in the sauna room if you can or sit quietly. Once you are used to the heat you can move to a higher bench. Take at least a half-hour rest at the end to let your body readjust to the normal temperature of the room. This is just as important as the sauna itself to make sure you reap all the benefits. Don't towel-dry yourself afterwards. Instead let the air dry your skin naturally. Then you can have a shower.

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