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integrative health

154 articles in integrative health

The Kronos Challenge

The Kronos Challenge

To ageless aging players, the most insidious foe you will ever have to pit your wits against is Kronos - the god of time. There appears to be no way to destroy what Milton called his `silent touches'. We can, however, go a long way towards softening them. As science probes the secrets of the cell and begins to decipher the genetic code, theories about slowing down the process of aging are rapidly turning into practical techniques for doing so. Researchers have already been able to do this for animals and in some cases even to reverse age-related changes. Now they can also double an animal's life span. The patterns of age-changes in humans appear to be very similar to those of the animals they are working with. the three faces of aging There are almost as many theories as to what aging is all about as there are scientists studying the process. Generally speaking, however, research falls into three main areas about which there is much agreement: `genetic clocks', random damage and the immune system. First, there seems to be some kind of internal genetic `clock' or `clocks', the control for which is probably centered in the cells themselves or an area of the brain, that appears to `switch off' specific vital functions at certain times. This could account for a number of `life events' that tend to occur around the same period in almost everyone, such as the way women go through menopause. Just where and what these age clocks in the body might be is still debatable. Once we learn what they are, and how to manipulate or to reset them, we should be able to reprogram predetermined occurrences so that our bodies age much more slowly. But there is, as yet, very little in the way of practical treatments or advice from age researchers on how to do this. The second major area of age research and practical methods designed to slow aging lies in the process of cumulative wear and tear your body goes through - the kind of random damage on a cellular level which is triggered by external agents such as ultraviolet light, air pollution, poisons in food or in the environment, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or simply the by-products of metabolism in the body. These influences result in the formation of free radicals - highly reactive molecules which do serious damage to the body. Alex Comfort once referred to these free radicals as `promiscuous' because, `like delegates at a conference, they seem to race around frantically combining with everything'. They are a major cause of `cross-linking' which makes your body's protein tissues age rapidly and results in wrinkled skin, stiff limbs and a degenerating cardiovascular system. About combating age-related changes in this area there is much information and even a number of practical suggestions of what you can do now. the all-important immune system Central to the whole question of aging is the third area of intensive research, which investigates the role that a gradually weakening immune system plays in aging. As you get older your immune system, which is responsible for protecting your body against invasion, illness and allergy, gradually loses these capacities. Its function declines and your body becomes more susceptible to illness, bacterial invasions and deterioration. A poorly functioning immune system is also much more likely to attack your body's own cells in error. This produces what are known as `auto-immune' disorders such as arthritis. When your body is not able to repair random damage done by wear and tear, you get into a kind of vicious circle of age decline where the immune system is further weakened. In turn, it is less able to protect your body from further random damage. A lot of people have come to believe that this downward spiral is an inevitable part of growing older. But is it? There are a number of very good treatments that appear to offer support to the immune system and prolong its potency. Some may even help prevent aging and repair random damage at the same time. They can play an important part in any well-informed bid to keep Kronos in his place. An editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association not long ago stated that, `Nature did not intend us to grow old and ill'. We are instead, it said, supposed to `die young in old age, but free from disease'. You can look and feel great at 60 or 70 and beyond; you need never lose brain power as the years pass. Time doesn't have to take its toll. how old are you? Not an easy question to answer. For, regardless of when you were born, you are at least three ages: your chronological age as measured by the calendar, your psychological age and your biological age - probably the most important of all. In fact, the latest research into aging indicates that the rate at which you age has but little to do with the simple passage of time. There are far too many other variables, like genetic inheritance, the food you eat, the way you live, your mental attitude and the number of pollutants in your environment - to name only a few. Interestingly, the things you do to achieve a state of high-level wellness and vitality just happen to be the things which many age researchers insist are important in slowing down body degeneration. But, some insist, there are a number of other things you can do as well. The most important of all is to eat less. Weight does add years! secrets of the long-lived Dr Alexander Leaf, from Harvard Medical School, spent several years studying three cultures where the people were exceptionally long-lived (some claimed to be as old as 140), but who at the same time showed few signs of degenerative changes traditionally associated with age. They were the Vilcabamba Indians in an Andes valley, the Hunzas in a mountainous part of Kashmir, and the Abkhazians in Soviet Georgia. They suffered neither tooth decay, heart disease, mental illness, obesity nor cancer. Leaf wanted to find out what these peoples had in common and to discover the secrets behind their youth. He discovered that they led extremely active lives, regardless of their age, and that they had vigorous sex lives well into their 80s and 90s. Men and women of ninety or more also spent many hours each day in physical labor - for physical fitness was an inevitable consequence of the active life of these peoples. They also ate a very low calorie diet. While the average Briton or American eats somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 calories a day, his Vilcabamban brother contents himself with a mere 1,700. Also, in all three groups, their diet was low in fats and in proteins from animal sources and high in fresh foods, a great many of them eaten raw. All of their foods were grown organically, as these people had no access to artificial fertilizers. They had never heard of sugar but ate mostly rough grains, fresh vegetables and fruits. eat less and stay young More than 80 years ago a researcher at Cornell University, Clive McCay, noticed that brook trout which were growth-retarded as a result of being underfed lived far longer than normal-sized trout. He experimented with rats to see what effect feeding them on a very low calorie diet from birth would have on their life span. He found that these animals on a calorie-deprived diet - which was carefully supplemented with nutrients so the rats did not suffer deficiencies - had increased life-spans. This was by far and away the most exciting practical discovery anybody had made in the area of how to make an animal live longer. But it was relatively useless to human beings since nobody would attempt to restrict a baby's diet in the same way from birth, because of the possible risk of brain damage. Also restricted animals are smaller than fully-fed ones and a small percentage of the restricted group tends to die very young. So for many years McCay's findings were largely ignored by those looking for concrete anti-aging methods. In the 1980s, however, a number of studies in the United States and Australia were begun into the effect of calorie restriction on life span of `middle-aged' animals - studies not begun on the animals until, in human terms, they are in their forties. One of the scientists who did much in this area was Roy Walford, a professor at the University of California Medical School and one of the world's leading experts on aging. In projects which Walford described as `undernutrition without malnutrition' - administering a diet low in calories but high in basic nutrients such as vitamins and minerals - he was able to add 40 percent to the maximum life span of mice and keep fish alive 300 percent longer than usual. underfeeding improves immune responses The exact mechanisms by which dietary restriction extends life is still largely a mystery. But researchers do know that a low-calorie-but-nutritionally-potent diet substantially improves immune system functioning - in effect, by rejuvenating it - so that signs of auto-immune responses are markedly reduced. It seems also to protect the immune system from the usual age degeneration an animal is subjected to so that its ability to combat disease and eliminate toxic materials from the body, which ordinarily declines to a level of 10 or 20 percent of what it was in youth, occurs only very slowly. Instead, the immune response of these highly nourished but underfed animals remains excellent. Their bodies, unlike those of `normal' aging animals, are able to repair much of the age-related damage that occurs at a cellular level and are prevented from turning against themselves. Restricted animals also show increased intelligence and have a much lower incidence of degenerative illness such as cancer and heart disease. What disease does occur comes only much later in the animal's life. And how great a calorie restriction appears necessary to bring about these beneficial changes? The diet of Walford's mice had been restricted by about a third of the calories they were raised on. Walford's work and the work of other scientists using calorie restriction has generated a great deal of excitement about what human beings might do now to lengthen life span and to avoid age degeneration. Many age experts have begun to recommend that healthy people who have already attained their full growth and maturity could benefit from restricting their calories to somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day (depending on how active a life you lead). But cutting down on calories is only half the formula. It just won't do to go on some slimming regime you find in a magazine, you need high-potency nutrition with it. Processed foods play no part in any such diet. The foods that you do eat have to be superbly high in nutritional value: fresh fruits and vegetables (as many as possible eaten raw), whole grain cereals and breads, pulses and seeds with very little fat and only moderate protein. Your food intake has to be balanced and no salt should be added to foods - salt is something that in animal studies has been shown to shorten life span considerably. Such a diet is, by its very nature, also high in fiber. Most experts also insist that you supplement your diet with a full complement of essential vitamins and minerals. is ageing all in the mind? Perhaps more than you might think. Psychologists have found that many of the changes that take place in our bodies and minds associated with aging depend on our `programmed expectations'. In our society it is assumed for instance that, at thirty the first wrinkles appear, at forty `middle-aged spread' sets in, and at seventy the mind begins to lose its clarity. But according to studies only 12 percent of the population has even the slightest predisposition to the kind of changes that result in senility; yet as people get older they become increasingly worried about it until they may work themselves into a kind of vicious circle of depression and anxiety which results in decline. How you age may have a lot to do with what you expect to happen. Change your expectations and that can change too. regular fasts can help too Periodic fasting of animals is another way of restricting calories which has shown itself to be useful in increasing their life span. This is a fact which I find particularly interesting because European experts on fasting have for a hundred years been saying that, done sensibly and regularly for short periods and in combination with a nutritionally excellent diet, fasting will make you live longer and reduce the incidence of illnesses. Roy Walford tended to be slightly more liberal with his own calories than sticking to a rigid 1,500 a day. But he then fasted for two days a week in order to end the week with the recommended number of calories. He claimed that a healthy normal weight adult will lose weight on such a regime but only very slowly until you are, say, about one fourth to one fifth of the weight you were when you started. Such weight loss appears to have no disadvantages (unless you fancy yourself slightly plump for aesthetic reasons) and indeed may be an important factor in the way such a calorically restricted, but nutritionally superb, regime appears to improve immune functions. And because the weight loss is so slow - it occurs in normal weight people at a rate of, perhaps, six pounds a year until they reach their `plateau' at which they remain - there is no chance of becoming flabby or tired from it. Indeed, such a regime tends to create the most extraordinary amounts of energy, according to people following it. raw power for youth A diet high in raw foods (where they make up 75 percent of the calories you eat) has quite remarkable rejuvenating abilities. It raises the micro-electric potentials of the cells, increases oxygenation and eliminates stored wastes and toxins which interfere with proper cell metabolism and cause cross-linking. It will also keep you mentally alert, make you lose excess weight and it tends to eliminate feelings of depression associated with aging. regular exercise keeps you fit Your body was made for use. When you regularly pursue an aerobic form of exercise, you help to protect your cardiovascular system from arteriosclerosis (which is otherwise inevitable) and you increase your metabolic rate, which helps protect against fat - a precursor to many degenerative diseases. Exercise also protects you from disturbances in blood sugar such as adult onset diabetes and from high blood pressure, and relieves many mental conditions often associated with age such as depression. Aerobic exercise improves circulation and optimal oxygenation of the tissues in your body - one of the most important measurements for health and vitality. exercise makes you look younger As far as good looks are concerned this increased circulation brings to your skin cells a better supply of the nutrients needed for their proper functioning. It also more efficiently carries away wastes, which can contribute to genetic damage in your cells, and to cross-linking of the collagen which produces wrinkles. Albert Kligman, one of America's leading dermatologists, believed that exercise may serve another purpose in retarding skin aging as well: if you keep yourself really fit you may lay down more fibrous proteins in the dermis, that deep layer of the skin where the structural network of collagen and elastin fibers gives strong young skin its firmness and cushiony feel. Then your face will preserve its youthful contours. Another way in which vigorous exercise helps to hold back skin aging is connected with the relationship between muscle and hormone production in the body. The amount of physical activity you get is a significant factor in maintaining optimal functioning of endocrine glands which provide hormones that are not only vital to youth and energy, but keep the skin smooth and soft in appearance. When you don't work out regularly, muscle mass declines. So does the amount of steroid hormones from the adrenals and sex glands - in direct proportion to the decrease in muscle mass, not (as was once believed) simply as a result of the aging process itself. Rebounding, swimming, dancing or running for 30 minutes or more several times a week can prevent these degenerative musculo-skeletal changes from happening and help you maintain optimal levels of hormones essential to skin softness and resiliency. When you are inactive, even for as little as 24 hours, your muscle mass starts to deteriorate. the exercise-age controversy Lounge lizards are forever congratulating themselves on the fact that they don't `waste their time' exercising. They cite well known studies which are purported to show that exercise will make you die younger. It's a great excuse. The trouble is that when you examine some of the research they refer to you find that it is all based on the popular method of examining death records of athletes - a method that is faulty in a number of ways. For instance, there was a study carried out at Michigan State University comparing 629 varsity athletes with 583 non-athletes, which showed that there was no difference in life length. Another at Harvard involving some 6,300 athletes showed that they died significantly earlier than the non-athletes. Their definition of the athlete was someone who was active athletically while at university. But the problem is that just because a man plays football or runs during his university career does not mean that he continues to exercise afterwards. Most athletes give up their training once they leave the atmosphere of the university. This was demonstrated by an interesting study carried out at University of Auckland in New Zealand. Looking at the training habits of 100 athletes out of season, Michael Colgan and his team of researchers found that only 34 of them continued training once the season finished. Studies examining the death records of former university athletes are of no use in determining what effect regular exercise has on life span. The only studies that are able to assess the effect of training on aging are those which attempt to measure how active a person is throughout his life, such as the one published in 1977 by Charles Rose and Michael Cohen from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Boston. With the help of relatives who were able to rate their level of physical activity from sedentary to very active, researchers - using the death records of 500 men - discovered that men who continued throughout their life to exercise in their leisure time lived 7.1 years longer than those whose level of activity had declined with the passing of the years. Other studies have shown that ordinary athletes who continue to exercise even as they grow old (up to 90 in some cases) show much less physical degeneration than non-athletes. They shrink in height only half as much, have a far better musculo-skeletal system, less body fat, and better heart and lung function. hydrochloric acid and aging A decline in hydrochloric acid in the stomach is a common event with the passing of the years. It results in an inability to break down proteins in your foods into their constituent amino-acids so that the body can make use of them for rebuilding tissue and making enzymes and hormones. This can be remedied by taking food supplements of HCL and digestive enzymes with meals containing protein foods. This is especially true with animal protein foods. diet, exercise and rejuvenation Not only can changing to a highly nutritious diet and getting yourself into a program of regular aerobic exercise help retard your own aging rate and make you feel great, it can also rejuvenate your whole body, quite apart from whether or not you choose to make use of any of the other anti-aging devices now available - from nutritional supplements to organic-specific antisera. Your body is not the fixed size and shape you may believe it to be. It changes slowly with use. And these changes can be for the better or for the worse. Most of your body's cells completely renew themselves so that the cells you have today are not the ones you will have five years from now. I have seen bodies and faces with flaccid muscles and loose skin be transformed in a few months by those two simple things, diet and exercise. They are far more powerful than any of the more sophisticated and more expensive rejuvenation treatments and really they will cost you nothing more than commitment and a little time.

Get High On Life

Get High On Life

Several years ago, as a result of an unexpected breakthrough in my own life, I came to understand something remarkable: Bliss is a natural state for human beings. When we feel blissful, it’s not only a wonderful personal experience—it connects us with our compassion for ourselves and others and with innate creative power. It shows us that we are capable of living life to the full, regardless of current circumstances. Unfortunately, in the chaotic atmosphere of the 21st century, with all its economic uncertainties, political unrest and suffering, too few of us tap into our capacity for bliss. Perhaps the greatest reward of working with participants on the on-line Cura Romana program is this: As a result of changes that take place physically, emotionally, and spiritually bliss becomes a frequent visitor in their lives. BODY OF BLISS Our capacity for bliss, as well as our need to experience it, is inscribed in our primitive brain—almost as deeply as our need for air, water and food. Bliss is the medium through which mind, spirit and emotions weave a tapestry of meaning. Bliss renews. Bliss cleanses. It makes us feel whole, solid, stable and alive. Bliss tells us: “This is something I want to try.” Then it brings us the courage to go for it. So important is bliss to our discovering who in truth we already are and to our realizing our goals, that when we deny our need for it we are forced to look for artificial substitutes. Addictions arise: to food, drugs, alcohol, sex—even ambition. But addictions always disempower us. They lead us further away from the authentic freedom that is our birthright. Here’s the bottom line: Find out what brings you bliss day by day. Make space for it in your life and you forge your own unique path to authentic freedom, creativity and joy. Where do you begin? Here’s a three-stage process: Dive into stillness Immerse yourself in sound Discover your passions JOURNEY TO THE CORE At the center of your being is a place of safety and security which you can move into when you so choose then out of again to meet the outside world, form friendships and share your gifts with others. This place within is a permanent sanctuary to which you are able to return when you feel tired, confused, or in need of more vitality and new directions. The key that opens this particular door to stillness is sensuous breathing for letting go. HERE’S HOW: Lie on the floor on your back and just let go, so your arms and legs flop. Close your eyes. Feel your body against the floor. Do you notice any tension in any part of it? Shoulders? Back? Legs? Focus inside your body; notice where you sense any movement in your muscles as you breathe. Imagine you are breathing into that spot. Imagine you can exhale through that part of your body. As you do, experience the breath relaxing your sore muscles as it filters through them. As you become more and more relaxed, experiment with movements that are a natural consequence of free breathing. They are blissful movements. WHOLE BODY SENSUALITY As you breathe in, your pelvis tips back ever so gently, creating a slight arch to your back. Your abdomen and chest rise. Your ribs and back expand and your chin tilts forward just barely. Then, when you exhale, your pelvis moves down again so your spine almost touches the floor, your back contracts, and your chin and head move back again, exposing the front of your neck a bit more. This subtle, natural movement turns into a wave-like motion that gently flows without hesitation from in-breath to out-breath. The whole process of sensuous breathing is already encoded in the human body. Experiment with this kind of breathing, and before long you will discover that it happens automatically. And as this takes place, you can enter a realm of deep stillness and begin to experience a surprising bliss. It’s a bliss that revives, restores energy and helps set you free from habit patterns that no longer serve you. Try it a few times and see for yourself.  SOUND POWER Sound is another effective medium for invoking bliss. The sound of running water winding its way over stones in a stream cleanses the mind of worries and leaves us feeling calm and clear. The sound of a heartbeat played in an infant's cot reassure her and send her into blissful sleep. Take advantage of the sounds of nature even if you live a bustling city life by regularly using earphones and an MP3 audio which reproduces the breaking of waves or the calling of birds. Then there is simply listening to music. This is one of the few human activities that activates the whole brain. Intrinsic to all cultures, music brings us profound benefits—improving memory and focusing attention, as well as enhancing physical coordination and development. It opens our mind and body to experiences of deep pleasure and joy. The right kind of music clears the mind. It filters out distractions and improves focus on whatever activity we happen to be involved in. The finest classical music is generally the best choice. By now it is common knowledge that babies exposed to classical music while in the womb are likely to be born with higher intelligence. GIFTS FOR FREEDOM Music also spurs creativity. Artists and writers learn this from experience. For some, even writer’s block can be cleared by listening to music. Sound and music are processed by both sides of the brain simultaneously. This encourages a unity of perception and feeling in us. Listening to music also reduces chronic pain, including that of osteoarthritis rheumatoid arthritis, back problems and muscular aches. It also alleviates depression by as much as 25%. This is one of the reasons that music therapy is increasingly used in hospitals. It reduces the need for medication during childbirth, decreases post-operative pain, and complements the use of anesthesia during surgery. How does music do this? Music helps us feel that we have a sense of calm control over our bodies. It triggers bliss, fosters relaxation and encourages the release of endorphins. Gentle music relaxes us, slowing the rate of breathing and the heartbeat. It reduces stress all round. Music also boosts immune functions. Some kinds of music can create a positive and profound emotional experience which leads to the secretion of immune-boosting hormones. This contributes to a reduction in the factors responsible for illness. Listening to music or singing decreases levels of the stress-related hormone, cortisol. CHOOSE YOUR MUSIC The most important question then becomes “What kind of music do you use for what?” This is such an individual experience. Everything from Mozart to the soul dynamism of Brazil’s Capoeira can do it for you. I believe that we humans need lots of different kinds of music if we are to gain the greatest value from it. Let me share with you some of my own favorite music and composers. Get yourself an inexpensive iPod or other MP3 player. Experiment with music from different artists and genres. Don’t be afraid to explore lots of different kinds of music in your own life. Find out what each makes you feel. The bliss awaiting you as you do is virtually unlimited. Here are a few of my personal suggestions to get you started: Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony Craig Armstrong’s film music Brazilian Capoeira Arvo Part John Martyn Al Gromer Khan  YOUR OWN BLISS TRIGGERS OK. We’ve explored a few bliss-creating experiences together, from stillness and sensuous breathing to sound. There are many more. It’s time to find out what brings you joy. Get yourself a simple notebook. Start making a list of all the things that bring pleasure to your body and mind by enlivening your senses. Continue adding to your list day-by-day and week-by-week as you become aware of more possibilities. Let your imagination run wild. At the beginning of each week, make a pact with yourself to enjoy one or more of these things within the next three days. And keep your promise. Experiment. Find out just how much enjoyment your body can take! Remember, your body thrives on bliss—feed it and it will reward you with energy, rejuvenation and joy that builds week by week into a whole new way of being for you. Here are a few of my own favorites. Making love. Running along the cliffs above the sea. Smelling lilies and freesias, roses, jasmine, and honeysuckle. Watching a good movie. Dancing with abandon to wonderful wild music. Feeling the breeze on my face on a bike ride. Swimming naked. Listening to all sorts of music. Lounging in front of an open fire. Reading a fascinating book. Spending time with a young child listening to its stories and make-believe games. Snuggling up to my cats. Eating fresh organic strawberries. Walking in the rain. What are yours? Write them down. Then create an intention to make them a part of your life, day-by-day. DIVE DEEP This experience feels like diving deep into a lake where the water is shot through with streams of light in constant motion—one moment gentle and lulling, the next wild or filled with the excitement of wind or the pounding of rain. This is what it can feel like for each of us as we delve deeper into the blissful state and develop greater aliveness. Bliss asks us to immerse ourselves in a way of being and thinking, living and dreaming that feels brand new. Try some of the activities that bring you the greatest joy, will help you rediscover ancient echoes of an endlessly rich way of living too long forgotten. Of course, at the deepest levels, we have never forgotten at all. Reconnecting with your innate capacity for bliss doesn’t happen overnight. It is a constantly developing experience, which makes it possible for us to reach levels of vitality, joy, clarity and radiant health which previously seemed beyond reach. The process begins by reconnecting with the body and developing a determination to live life your own way come hell or high water.

Cleansing Help

Cleansing Help

Very occasionally when someone goes on an active program of detoxification such as an apple fast for a few days, they have the experience of a severe headache at some time within a day or two, or of feeling moody, or having an upset stomach, a film on their tongue or teeth, even loose bowels. This is a sign that your body is throwing off wastes at such a pace that you are experiencing what is known in natural medicine as a cleansing crisis. In reality, it happens to very few people. If you are one of them, be glad, even though it may be a bit of a nuisance for a few hours; it is actually a good sign. Your body is taking the opportunity you have afforded it through what you are eating (and what you are not eating) of throwing off a lot of debris which you need to get rid of if you are to live at a higher level of health and vitality. If a cleansing crisis does happen, take the time to relax, lie down in a darkened room if possible, and be kind to yourself. Have a cup of peppermint tea - it is very soothing when you have a headache. If you can’t sleep, try a cup of chamomile tea, or eat a banana which is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, a superb natural sedative. Congratulations – it can be quite a feat to be ridding your body of so much old debris all at once. It will pass quickly, leaving you better than ever. caffeine trouble The people most likely to get a headache as part of a cleansing crisis are those who have been drinking several cups of coffee or tea a day. This kind of reaction is triggered by your tissues dumping a lot of stored caffeine into your bloodstream all at once in order to eliminate it from your body. The first time this happened to me I had been in Vienna for six days, where everyone drinks coffee – and very strong coffee too – all day long. Though not much of a coffee-drinker myself, I decided while there to go along with the custom. The day I left the city I got on to an airplane to return to London and my usual way of eating, and was struck down by the most appalling headache which lasted about four or five hours. It was no fun, believe me. But when it passed I was left with the most wonderful feeling of freshness and lightness – the way you feel on a beautiful summer’s morning when there is a light breeze blowing. This sense of lightness is a common one for people who for the first time begin to clear their system of stored wastes. It more than makes up for the headache or upset stomach which can herald its coming. clever compress Something I learnt many years ago from another doctor who uses natural methods for healing, is that if you are experiencing any kind of cleansing crisis, you can help your body enormously by putting a simple cool compress around your middle and leaving it there as you lie down for half an hour. This can also be done when you go to bed in the evening if you prefer. A cool compress stimulates the flow of blood to the area of the liver – another prime mover when it comes to detoxification – so speeding up the release of wastes from the body, and easing any unpleasant symptoms that come with them. Using a compress is also enormously relaxing. Tear a piece of cotton fabric (an old sheet is ideal) into a rectangular piece which is about fifteen inches wide and long enough to go comfortably around the middle of your body (between your armpits and hips). Wet this compress in cold water and wring out completely so it is only damp. Now, using a dry towel (or a piece of wool or thick natural fabric) which is also big enough to go around your middle and to overlap so you can pin it comfortably with a few safety-pins, spread the compress out on the outstretched towel. Now lay your naked midriff on this strip and wrap first the compress around you and then the towel on top, pinning it securely. Pull your clothes or nightclothes down over the lot, and pop into a warm bed for at least half an hour. Such a compress can be helpful not only for sailing through a cleansing crisis, but also if ever you find it difficult to sleep because of worry or stress. kidney power If you find yourself experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms during your apple fast, increase the quantity of spring water you are drinking. When the body’s water level gets too low, your kidneys don’t work efficiently and the liver has to take on too much of the cleansing work on its own. If you tend to retain water, this is often because you don’t drink enough, so your body tries its best to hold on to the water there is in order to dilute any toxicity in your tissues. Believe it or not, you breathe out about 2 big glasses worth of water a day. The kidneys and intestines eliminate roughly another 6 glasses, and 2 are released through the skin. So keep drinking – during a detox and after. We all tend to need more water than we drink for optimum health. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle or two of mineral water on your desk, or somewhere where you will see it often, to remind you to take in enough water each day. Here is a simple formula for working out the ideal quantity of water to drink each day for maximum energy and good looks. Divide your current weight in kilos by 8. (e.g. 58 kilos divided by 8 = 7.25). Round the figure up (to eight) and that is the number of glasses of water you need a day. This is just a base calculation of course. Drinking enough water is one of the most important things you can do day-in-day-out to keep your body eliminating wastes efficiently. Remember that you will probably need to take in more water than your base calculation when you are exercising or if it is a hot day. psychic detox Some people can get a temporary feeling of letdown on a detox. This is usually because the heart, having been stimulated by caffeine and other irritants, begins to beat more slowly, and the false exhilaration you used to get from stimulants temporarily turns into a feeling of being down. It doesn’t last long, and in most people it doesn’t happen at all. Sometimes, however, during a detox it can seem that all sorts of psychic junk suddenly gets released along with the physical toxins you have been carrying around. Feelings of anxiety, worry or guilt may surface with seemingly no reason. They will most likely just be flushed away with all the other junk your body is getting rid of. In the meantime, try putting a few drops of lavender or vanilla essential oil in an oil burner and enjoy their relaxing and soothing properties. Or put one or two drops of either essential oil in your bath and breathe in the fragrance. One of the nice things about this sort of detox is that you often find you think much more clearly after it. Stress does many unpleasant things to the body, one of which is that it can make your whole system acidic. An apple fast alkalizes your system, so bringing it back into balance, and throwing off the byproducts of stress in the process. When you are mentally stressed, your body becomes physically stressed through having to deal with all this toxic waste. Removing these toxic wastes can often mean that your ability to deal with more stress is greatly improved. You begin to see things in a much more positive light and can put what once seemed difficult problems into their proper perspective. relax and revive During a detox it is important to make sure you get enough rest. Think how good you feel after a holiday. It’s usually the one time when we actually allow ourselves to rest - something we don’t do enough of during the rest of the year. Rest is so essential because it is while you are resting that your tissues restore themselves. Without it, your body cannot properly restore damaged tissues. During a detox, your body is working pretty hard in eliminating all the rubbish you have allowed to be released into your system. Give it a break and make time for yourself to relax – and don’t feel guilty about it. Watch your favorite videos, read that book you’ve been promising yourself you’ll find time for, listen to all your old records, or just do nothing. This is a precious time; a time to devote to yourself and your body’s needs. Don’t waste it. During the day, whenever you can, lie down even for ten minutes and just let go. Or practice a simple relaxation/mediation exercise like this one: Close your eyes and watch your breath coming in and out of your body. With each out breath count silently. So it goes like this: ‘In breath… out breath… one… in breath… out breath… two…’ and so on up to ten. If you lose track or find that your mind is distracted, it doesn’t matter at all. Just go back to ‘one’ and start again. Carry this out for ten to fifteen minutes whenever you can find a few spare minutes to yourself. It helps to rebalance your body’s nervous system and can be useful if you have to deal with any negative emotions that surface during your detox.

Secrets Of The Second Brain

Secrets Of The Second Brain

How much do you know about your second brain? Never heard of it? Most people haven’t. But so important is it to your health, ability to deal with stress, emotional balance and spiritual life, that it is essential you learn about it as quickly as possible. PERILS OF THE GUT Your digestive system is, in truth, a second brain. It boasts more nerve endings than the brain itself. Most people find this astounding. When we eat foods that antagonize these nerve endings, we experience all sorts of physical and emotional states that compromise our lives. If you have any tendency to gain weight, disturbances in the second brain will cause you to do so, and make it very difficult for you to lose weight. Even more surprising—disturbances in the second brain can create extreme symptoms in both adults and children, from disorientation and poor judgement, to deep fatigue, depression, anxiety, slurred speech and more. THE INTESTINE The intestine is porous by nature. A healthy digestive system depends on good-guy bacteria to plug any holes in the gut, neutralize toxins, and metabolize vitamins and nourishment from the food you eat. We are completely dependent upon a symbiotic relationship with these good bacteria to plug any holes in the gut wall, through which proteins—such as gluten and casein—are able to pass and enter the bloodstream. The proper balance of good-guy vs bad-guy bacteria in the gut creates a barrier against toxicity entering the blood to cause problems. When we have enough good-guy bacteria—flora—they enable us to metabolize and break down our food. When, however, we get an overgrowth of bad-guy, opportunistic flora, such as candida albicans, vast quantities of toxins get through the porous gut, creating allergies and other health conditions: inflammation on the skin, food cravings. emotional issues, which are not in fact emotional at all, but biochemical in origin and lots of other problems. What happens is that undigested particles penetrate a “leaky gut”, making the body react to these “foreign” materials—wreaking havoc on our lives. BEWARE ANTIBIOTICS How do we get bad-guy bacteria into our system? By eating lots of grains, cereals, sugar, and using unnecessary antibiotics. Antibiotics, which are far too often used, let the bad-guys establish colonies. Why? Because they also wipe out good-guys. When a course of antibiotics has finished, your body cannot re-establish balanced flora in the body. By the way, babies get their first dose of good bacteria while passing through the birth canal. If a mother has a history of taking antibiotics and an overgrowth of bad gut flora, then the baby’s body becomes colonized with them as well. ALLERGIC TOXEMIA Second brain issues were first identified as far back as the 1920s by the famous allergist, Dr. Albert Rowe. Clinical ecologists know very well that second brain issues are the most common cause of chronic fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, allergies and depression. It was Rowe himself who dubbed these conditions “allergic toxemia”. Later on, when he realized just how widespread negative food reactions had become (and they are much worse today, with all the convenience foods and grains, cereals and sugars we consume) he came to refer to second brain disorders as “allergic tension-fatigue syndrome”. Theron Randolph MD, another pioneer in the field of environmental medicine, charted a myriad of emotional and physical symptoms caused by eating foods with which the body can’t cope, and overgrowths of bad gut flora, resulting in leaky gut syndrome. Randolph worked with over 20,000 patients in a career that spanned 60 years, and published almost 400 scientific articles on his discoveries. CHECKLIST Here are a few questions you can ask if you suspect you are among the many who are unsuccessfully wrestling with the manifestations of second brain issues: Are you chronically tired? Do you struggle with your weight and suffer from food cravings? Do you suffer from chronic anxiety or depression? Do you have allergies, asthma, or eczema? Do you have a child with autism? DIET HOLDS THE KEY Hippocrates (460-370 BC) believed that “All diseases begin in the gut”. In the last 10 or 15 years, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, has made an in-depth study into the nutritional aspects of how the gut works, and how poor gut function seriously impacts not only physical health but brain functions for all children with learning and behavioral difficulties, as well as for adults who are themselves experiencing second brain issues. She has written a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which is an in-depth examination of how to counter second brain problems through diet alone. The book is very detailed and includes a number of recipes. I highly recommend it to anyone who suffers from depression or whose children experience dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, dyspraxia or autism.

Outer Enemies

Outer Enemies

Our world is full of energy thieves. Excessive noise, environmental poisons in our air, water, food, chemicals we come in contact with to which (often unbeknownst to us) we may be sensitive or allergic, eating junk foods, even changes in the weather. All these things can drain us of energy. A well functioning immune system is dependent on your body’s ability to clear itself of the destructive chemicals we encounter every day in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink - even from the plastics we store or microwave our foods in. Here are just a few of the energy-stealing environmental hazards the body has to clear, if you are to sustain high levels of energy and to resist illness and premature aging: antibiotics cleaning solvents cadmium and lead in cigarette smoke mercury from fillings in teeth aluminium from anti-perspirants, pots and pans and antacids lead solder from canned foods oestrogens from oral contraceptives and HRT anabolic steroids non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug contaminated foods solvents like formaldehyde, acetone and toluene pesticides and herbicides: DDT, DDB, dioxins, halogenates like PCB and PCP which act as oestrogen mimics and screw up our reproductive systems A major issue in energy-making is to keep your body clean - inside and out. This way you help protect yourself from the damage which toxic substances in our environment can cause. To guard itself, your body stores much of the damaging waste it picks up in your tissues - particularly in fat cells. Any kind of stored waste or toxicity suppresses vitality and immunity. heavy work for your liver The organ at the center of clearing the body of environmental pollutants is the liver. When your liver is working well and is not overburdened with potentially destructive elements, your body remains clean, your immune system is free to function well, and your energy levels can soar. When the liver is not working well, neither is the immune system. The liver, which manufactures important biochemical factors the immune system needs, helps produce lymph, and plays an important part in clearing the blood of cellular rubbish, yeast, bacteria, and other negative micro organisms. Good liver function is central to an experience of high energy. Damage to the liver and poor liver function is invariably present when someone has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Epstein Barr Virus, as it is when there is an overgrowth of Candida albicans. When your liver is poorly functioning all sorts of problems show up - many of them symptoms for which the average doctor has no explanation and no safe effective treatment for: depression, confusion, constant fatigue, numbness in hands and feet, headaches, aches and pains, sweating, and impaired function of the nervous system. Any good practitioner of natural medicine will tell you: at the core of every person with chronic low energy is an over-taxed, under-functioning liver. Experts often refer to it as a sluggish liver or a congested liver. Unfortunately a sluggish or congested liver can be tough to identify using standard medical tests, which examine serum bilirubin and other things like GGTP, LDH and AST. Often physical damage to the liver has occurred before poor functioning of the liver shows up in these tests. Nutritionally orientated doctors prefer therefore to measure serum bile and to establish how quickly your liver clears a specific substance in order to determine how well your liver really is working, long before serious damage has taken place. If you are chronically tired, with or without such tests you can be pretty sure you need to take steps to protect your body from pollutants as much as possible and give your liver some extra support to do its job well. Here’s how: environmental protection & liver support If you use paints or solvents always wear a mask If you smoke, stop; if others around you do stay away from them. Always chose biodegradable cleaning products and forget the chlorine bleaches. Avoid as many environmental pollutants as possible. Don’t cook foods in plastic containers in a microwave. Explore having the amalgam fillings in your mouth replaced with safer alternatives. Stay away from all drugs - prescription and otherwise - unless they are absolutely necessary. Exercise moderately but regularly - long walks are a great way to energize liver functions. Grow your own foods in the garden organically and go on a 2 day fresh juice fast or fruit fast, or a 10 day high raw regime every three months. look after your liver For lasting energy, this is a must. Without a top notch liver it will always elude you. How do you get your liver to function well? Follow the guidelines above. Also, avoid drinking alcohol so long as your energies are depleted or unstable. Even once your energy has been restored, it is a good idea to be careful about how much alcohol you consume. It is better to take alcohol in small quantities only and periodically rather than every day. If you really value a high energy way of life you might consider replacing it altogether with other things you enjoy - like dancing for instance, or laughing, or making love. When you do drink alcohol, support your liver using the special liver helpers listed below. They can also be useful in improving sluggish liver function while energy levels are still low. natural liver support Take anti-oxidant nutrients: a good multi-vitamin supplement taken for several weeks or months can help the liver more easily handle the elimination of toxicity and heavy metals. Try milk thistle: this plant (Silybum marianum) is rich in bioflavinoid compounds with powerful protective and anti-oxidant properties - many times more powerful than Vitamin C and Vitamin E. A supplement of clean milk thistle enhances detoxification, increases the liver's capacity to neutralize and detoxify harmful chemicals and heavy metals and protect the body’s natural anti-oxidant enzymes from damage. Nutritionally orientated doctors recommend between 80-200 mg of milk thistle three times a day. Use lipotrophic agents: compounds such as choline, betaine, l-methionine, and l-cysteine are known as lipotrophic agents - that is they help promote the flow of bile and the breakdown of fats in the body. Lipotrophics increase the levels of a couple of important liver elements - S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and glutathione - a super detoxifier and protector from free radical damage. They are used to treat lots of liver disorders - from cirrhosis and chemically caused liver damage, to hepatitis - naturally. Exercise regularly: moving the body gets a good flow of blood through the liver and activates its functioning. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it will make an enormous difference to how your body functions. under the weather Next time you feel out of sorts and somebody suggests it might be the weather, don't scoff. Weather changes can also steal our energy. Age old beliefs that "ill winds" bring sickness, odd behavior and general misery have been well supported by studies from all over the world correlating the presence of a high level of positively charged ions in the air, or an absence of negatively charged ions, with such phenomena as increased suicide rates, crimes and various illnesses including migraine, rheumatism, and nausea. This can be the result of ill winds blowing such as the Foehn in the Alps, the Sharav in the Middle East or the Chinook in America's Rocky Mountains. Our modern concrete office buildings, furnished with synthetic materials and artificial air-conditioning, also lack negatively charged air ions. If you work in such an environment, speak to your boss about how much he can decrease absenteeism amongst his employees by installing air purifiers and ionizers. light up for energy Light matters for energy too. When you don’t get enough full-spectrum UV light entering the eyes in winter or when you are constantly indoors, some people experience big drops in levels of melatonin - an important brain hormone which regulates our body clocks and influences our moods. This can lead to a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Your energy seems to drain away and you get depressed, or suffer disturbances in sleep and appetite. The remedy? Try exposing yourself to plenty of full spectrum light artificially, if it is too gloomy to get under the real sun. Next time you replace a lighting fixture in your home or buy a desk lamp, go for one which uses full spectrum tubes. If you suffer greatly from light deprivation consider buying a full-spectrum light box. Studies have shown that exposing SAD sufferers to full spectrum light by having them sit in front of a light box for several hours a day lifted the spirits of 60 to 80% of the people tested. heavy metals and hard work There are other environmental energy thieves to be wary of, such as heavy metals like lead, aluminum, and mercury from amalgam fillings. Office pollution, too, can be a real problem, and a hard one to solve sometimes unless you can make your employer aware of how employee performance can be greatly improved by providing a clean work environment. Here is a brief guide to the environmentally-based energy thieves. ENERGY DRAINERS WHERE FOUND/SYMPTOMS HELPFUL HINTS Electromagnetic pollution Caused by static from electrical appliances, computer screens, TV, radio and mobile phones, microwave ovens, electrical dial-face clocks. Symptoms include mental and emotional confusion and hormonal imbalance Don’t sleep under an electric blanket. Unplug the TV in the room in which you sleep. Sit at least 3 feet away from a computer screenand 6 feet from your TV. Give away your microwave oven. Heavy metal pollution: ie from lead, aluminum, mercury, cadmium Cooking with aluminum pots, drinking orange juice packaged in aluminum lined boxes, using certain antiperspirants. Mercury from tinned tuna and amalgam dental fillings. Cadmium from instant/non-organic coffee and other crops grown on contaminated soils. Heavy metals interfere with energy producing enzymes in the body leading to fatigue as well as mental and physical disorders Replace aluminum cooking pots/kettles. Drink spring water such as Volvic. Use sea algae supplements and add seaweed to soups and salads to chelate and eliminate the metals. Eat apples (pectin helps bind and remove heavy metals from the body). Weather Unusual winds and shifting barometric pressure cause depletion in negative ions resulting in depression, fatigue, irritable behavior. Lack of adequate UV light, such as during the winter, causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Use an ionizer in the room in which you work and by your bed at night. Consider full-spectrum lighting. Office Pollution Concrete buildings, plastic furniture, and synthetic decor deplete negative ions. Stale air recycled through conditioning and heating systems contains bacteria which challenge the immune system.  Fluorescent lighting disturbs the nervous system, photocopier and printer chemicals cause allergic reactions. General office pollution symptoms: fatigue, headaches, irritated eyes, skin rashes. Use ionizers and replace fluorescent strip lights with full spectrum ones. Keep photocopiers and printers in a room separate from the one in which you work. Take a break from your computer screen for a few minutes every hour. Use radiation control screens.

Sacred Truth Ep. 50: Thyroid Truths

Sacred Truth Ep. 50: Thyroid Truths

Everybody knows that if you can’t lose weight and keep it off, you need thyroid meds, right? Wrong! Thyroid drugs are most certainly not the answer. Common thyroid drugs like levothyroxine, but known by many other names too have long been used with little success in the treatment of underactive thyroid, Hashimoto's disease, enlarged thyroid gland, thyroid cancer, and myxedema. They are also prescribed on the false belief that they help weight loss in hypothyroid people who can’t shed excess fat. But it doesn’t work. Only small amounts of fat, if any, can be lost. Once thyroid hormones are stopped, fat is regained. And this is true even when thyroid medication is continued for years. By the way, Synthroid is now the fourth most prescribed drug in the United States. There can also be all sorts of negative consequences in allowing your body to be treated with these synthetic chemicals that can seriously interfere with your quality of life. For one, they compete with natural hormones that your thyroid gland is still producing. You see, it’s not feasible for any human body filled with synthetic chemicals to be tricked into responding to them as though they were bio-equivalent, despite the claims of drug companies and the medical establishment, who tell you that drugs used to treat your body are an identical equivalent. The standard medical model for the treatment of thyroid disorders is badly flawed. There are huge misunderstandings about causes and effective treatments for thyroid deficiencies, which, by the way, may now affect as many as 90% of women in the Western world. A great place to begin getting an understanding of all of this is by reading the work of Dr. David Brownstein, author of Overcoming Thyroid Disorders and Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It (third edition). Brownstein is a leading expert in natural approaches to health and healing. He talks about something you need to know and probably have never been told: a major cause of thyroid malfunction, as well as many other conditions, is iodine deficiency. There will be more about this in a moment. In his books, his videos, and his DVDs, Brownstein shows how a natural holistic program can not only help transform hypothyroidism but also arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s disease, and many other conditions by using safe, natural therapies. His work can bring you reliable information on such things as: Natural thyroid hormone Bioidentical natural hormones Diet Vitamins and minerals essential for thyroid function Detoxification. Now, back to your thyroid. The thyroid has an enormous need for natural iodine. This was once readily available in our food supply, but it no longer is because of poor agriculture, GMO growing of foods, and common practices, including the spraying of dangerous substances such as mercury and aluminum on soils. An abundance of natural iodine is necessary for your thyroid’s biochemical structures. If you do not get enough of it, your thyroid can malfunction. And of course, one consequence of this malfunction is weight gain—which no amount of pharmaceutical thyroid drugs will ever be able to correct. Note that it is absolutely crucial to work with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner who knows how to test for and reverse iodine deficiency, not just a doctor who will thoughtlessly prescribe drugs. It’s estimated that more than half of the world’s population is already at risk from iodine deficiency, which relates to many other illnesses, including cancer. With the nuclear fallout that has come from Fukushima and other sources where an iodine deficiency exists, the thyroid gland is most vulnerable to taking up dangerous radioactive iodine. When we eat and drink foods such as baked goods and soft drinks in plastic containers, take drugs, and are subjected to pesticides in the foods we eat, we become exposed to the bromine they contain. This also creates iodine deficiencies as well as increasing our risk of cancer. Meanwhile, with the decline in iodine-rich foods like seaweeds, fish, Himalayan salt, and eggs—not to mention the introduction of fluoridated water—virtually none of us are getting the iodine we need. By far the most effective treatment for low thyroid are the use of natural thyroid hormones and cofactors in desiccated form. Sadly, most doctors still refuse to prescribe them, despite the fact that these natural treatments made from bovine or porcine sources are available by prescription. Good quality nutritional supplements are also important for a healthy thyroid, including vitamin A, vitamin B complex with high levels of B-12, vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q-10, and the minerals magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc as well as natural iodine. Every cell in your body uses iodine. However, the federally defined Daily Value (150 micrograms) is way too low to help your overall health except to barely prevent goiter. If adjusting your diet and exercising more hasn't helped you reach a healthy body fat composition, it may well be that your thyroid is underperforming due to iodine deficiency. However, there is one quite remarkable supplement that is excellent for restoring levels of natural iodine to the body and is especially helpful in restoring thyroid functions. It is known as Iodoral. Dr Brownstein, whose clinical experience with it is extensive, recommends it highly. I can also recommend Iodoral from my own thyroid issues. At the age of 12, I was diagnosed as hypothyroid and prescribed the usual pharmaceutical. I was told that this would deal with this issue. I took the pills for exactly seven days and hated them. So I stopped taking them. Since then, I have never taken anything whatsoever to “treat” my own thyroid gland. Instead, I’ve learned how to eat organic natural foods and avoid cereals, grains, and sugars. This has stood me in good stead. However, I decided to explore the effect of taking Iodoral on my body in increasing my intake of iodine. The results have been extraordinary. I have more energy now than I have ever had. I am eternally grateful for this. I recommend you examine Brownstein’s work. You will find it both enriching and fascinating. Also investigate Iodoral 50mg and check out this excellent video. It has changed my life and it could change yours. Click here to watch Brownstein on Thyroid Disorders video IODORAL IOD - 50 High Potency Iodine/Potassium Iodide Containing 50 mg Elemental Iodine Per Tablet Order iodoral from iherb

Nature Ends Insomnia

Nature Ends Insomnia

“Insomnia? I know a great cure for it... get plenty of sleep” W.C. Fields Do you dread going to bed for fear for fear you won’t sleep? Do you wake in the night only to find that you can’t go back to sleep again? Well, you’re not alone. Over half of the population of both the UK and the United States—where Big Pharma collected $3.7 billion for selling drugs for sleep in 2012 alone—have problems with some form of “sleep disorder.” Many take hypnotic drugs despite the fact that at least two dozen published studies have examined mortality associated with these medications. Eighteen of these report significant connections between using these drugs and increased mortality. Taking sleep inducing drugs is also associated with a greater than three-fold increased risk of death, even when less than 18 pills a year have been taken. Bottom line: Hypnotics ain’t worth the risk. There are better ways of handling insomnia. DANGER WORRIES There’s no doubt about it, disrupted or poor quality sleep can be dangerous. I learned this myself first hand after taking a flight that crossed twelve time zones. I found— unusually for me—that my body never readjusted to the new time zone, and I was sleeping only an hour or two a night, and at very irregular times. This went on for almost two weeks, at the end of which I was in severe physical pain. I went to see my doctor, also a skilled acupuncturist, concerned that I may have contracted some fairly serious illness. He treated me with acupuncture and sorted out the pain within two treatments, as well as my inability to sleep. He also told me that he had seen this in patients of his who are pilots. Research studies show that when healthy male volunteers were deprived of four hours of sleep for a single night, the activity of the natural killer cells in their immune system fell by as much as 30 percent. That’s the bad news. The good news is that a single good night’s sleep brought normal functioning back to the cells. It has also long been known that shift workers, whose hours of sleep continually change, have increasing difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They also have more accidents, suffer more illness and die younger than people with normal sleep schedules. INSOMNIA TRIGGERS Anxiety Fear of insomnia Stimulants such as coffee or alcohol Eating too many high glycemic carbohydrate convenience foods which disturb blood sugar Low levels of melatonin Low levels of serotonin Drug use Depression A lot of so-called insomnia is nothing more than the result of worrying about getting to sleep. Many people who consider themselves insomniacs are really victims of the general propaganda about sleep, rather than true non-sleepers. Many people seek treatment because they can only sleep four or five hours a night, although that may be all they need. There is nothing more likely to cause sleeplessness than the worry that you won’t be able to drop off. Sometimes sleeplessness can be normal. After all, we all experience a sleepless night every now and then, particularly if we are over-tired, worried or excited about coming events. Real chronic insomnia is less frequent. There are many things that can cause it, from taking stimulants such as chocolate, soft drinks, coffee and tea, to not getting enough exercise. Nocturnal hypoglycemia is another major cause of insomnia in many people. BEWARE OF BOOZE Alcohol can severely interfere with sleep for a number of reasons. First, it brings about the release of adrenalin giving you a sense of excitement—a totally inappropriate condition for putting your head down on the pillow. It also interferes with the transport of tryptophan into the brain. And since the brain depends on a good supply of tryptophan in order to produce serotonin—the neurotransmitter that brings about sleep—drinking alcohol late in the evening severely disrupts serotonin levels. Alcohol, of course, also has a relaxing effect, which for many people will put them to sleep immediately, provided they have drunk enough of it. Then they find that, two or three hours later, they awake dehydrated and unable to sleep for the rest of the night. LOOK TO NATURE For my money, botanical sleep support wins the battle against insomnia better than almost anything else. There are several botanicals I turn to and recommend to others. Some of the most powerful helpers for insomnia have botanical origins. Many plants, from skullcap (Scutellaria laterifolia) to hops (Humulus lupulus), can be used to help promote sleep. I use them often. Here are some of the most effective. CALIFORNIA POPPY Eschscholzia californica This gentle but effective sedative is also an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer, and the seeds of the plant offer excellent natural relief for someone living with chronic pain. It appears to work by telling the brain to increase your opiate receptors, which automatically decreases pain and brings relaxation. California Poppy is also non-addictive. But it should not be taken during pregnancy as it might stimulate uterine contractions. VALERIAN Valeriana officinalis A natural sedative and anti-hypertensive, valerian has been used on both sides of the Atlantic for generations, not only to induce sleep but to help protect people from the negative effects of stress. A double blind study involving 128 people showed quite clearly that a water extract of valerian root significantly increased the quality of sleep. The study, which was quite thorough, measured night awakening, people’s own perceptions of the quality of their sleep, sleeplessness in the morning and sleep latency—that is, how quickly a person got to sleep. In another double blind insomnia study, 20 people were given either a combination of 160mg of valerian root extract and 80mg of Melissa officinalis extract, or menzodiazapine (Triazolam 0.125mg), or a placebo. (Melissa, by the way, belongs to the mint family and also has a powerful anti-viral activity.) Researchers discovered that the valerian-melissa preparation was comparable to the benzodiazepine drug in its ability to increase deep sleep. However, unlike the drug, it did not cause side-effects—diminished concentration, impairment of physical performance or daytime sleepiness. My only problem with valerian is that to me it smells like dirty socks. KAVA KAVA Piper methysticum From the pepper family, this plant is consumed in liquid by the cultures of Polynesia. It is both an effective sedative and hypnotic. It also acts as a muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, and anti-depressant. When you take it, it first stimulates then begins to sedate the central nervous system. Small doses can produce a euphoric sense of wellbeing. Larger doses or small doses repeated frequently produce deep relaxation, lethargy and induce sleep. Human studies where kava is given in therapeutic doses have failed to show any toxic effects. Nonetheless, kava should not be used by people who have or have had liver problems, who drink alcohol, or take drugs. Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women are not to take kava either. PASSIONFLOWER Passiflora incarnata This magnificent climbing plant, with its white flowers and extraordinary purple centers, is mildly narcotic and a wonderful sedative for the body. It’s an anti-spasmodic, sedative, hypnotic, hypotensive anti-depressant and nerve relaxant. It is particularly useful if you are someone who tends to suffer from nervous tension as well as insomnia. Not as strong as valerian in its action, it is more calming than sedating, and is therefore a superb alternative to tranquilizer drugs. Passionflower works particularly well for sleep when taken together with 5-HTP as an herb, a tincture, or fluid extract or in dried powered form in capsules. Passionflower was used by the Aztecs as an analgesic and sedative. One of its plant chemicals is called harmine, which has an interesting ability to bring about a contemplative state and a feeling of mild euphoria. It was even used during World War II as a “truth serum”. Harmine and other plant chemicals in passionflower, which work synergistically with it, prevent serotonin levels from falling and therefore works extremely well with 5-HTP against insomnia. HOPS Humulus lupulus The flowers from this common herb are often used together with other remedies to treat everything from indigestion to edgy nerves. Like valerian, hops have a pronounced sedative effect but it is much milder. You can use hops in the form of a tincture, but it can be particularly useful as a tea for people who awaken in the middle of the night. Prepare it before going to bed by steeping the flowers for 10 minutes in hot water and then straining and allowing to cool. Put the tea, sweetened with a little honey or preferably stevia (if you can get it), by the side of your bed so you can drink it if you awaken during the night. Some people also swear by small pillows stuffed with dried hops blossoms which you put under your neck when you go to bed or if you awaken. LET GO OF FEAR Experiment with these wonderful plants. Get to know them. Each has its own personality and its own soul. I have used them all over the years and come to love each one of them for their beauty and their effectiveness. Just as when you meet a new friend, it takes time to experience all their gifts. But you will, and it will be wonderful. Meanwhile, forget worry about sleep. Do what you need to do and then just let it happen. If it doesn’t happen tonight, so what? It will tomorrow night, or the next. Lack of sleep is not likely to kill you, but worrying about it for long enough just might. St. Patrick began each day with a prayer, regardless of how much or little sleep he had, or how he felt when he awakened. It is my favorite celebration of new beginnings and can wipe away worries following a sleepless night: I arise today Through the strength of heaven Light of sun, Radiance of moon, Splendour of fire Speed of lightning Swiftness of wind. Depth of sea Stability of earth, St. Patrick My favorite herbal company is Gaia Herbs who are fanatical in their methods of gathering and processing each and every product. I buy them from iHerb. Here are some of the Gaia products I especially like: Gaia Herbs, Kava Kava Root, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Many systems of the body can be negatively affected by stress. That is why achieving a state of calm and relaxation is so important for optimum wellness. Gaia Herbs' Kava Kava is a potent herbal extract which helps support emotional balance. Made from ecologically harvested Kava Kava from Vanuatu, it contains a guaranteed 225 mg of active Kavalactones per serving. Order Kava Kava Root from iherb Gaia Herbs, Valerian Root, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Valerian root has long been used to promote deep and restful sleep in those with occasional sleeplessness. Made from Valerian grown on Gaia's own certified organic farm, this extract delivers 1.8 mg of Valerenic acid derivatives per serving. By promoting a sense of calm and relaxation, Valerian Root supports the body in falling asleep naturally. Order Valerian Root from iherb Gaia Herbs, Sound Sleep, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Getting a restful night's sleep is essential for optimal health. Sound Sleep is an all herbal formula with botanicals historically recognized to address difficulty with sleep. It works to normalize restlessness, physical tension, and worry sometimes associated with occasional sleeplessness. It may also be used when nervous excitement and/or stress affected normal sleep patterns. Order Sound Sleep from iherb Gaia Herbs, Serenity with Passionflower, 60 Veggie Liquid Phyto-Caps Occasional nervous stress and tension can interfere in the enjoyment of everyday life by disrupting the functioning of body and mind. Serenity provides the support you need to help restore a sense of calm and relaxation your life. Made with certified organic Passionflower and Skullcap, this formula gives your nervous system the nourishment it deserves. Order Serenity from iherb

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.

Age Nature's Way

Age Nature's Way

Real age—your biological age—has little to do with how old you are in years. Most people, age prematurely. This is avoidable. It is also reversible. One of the reasons I have such a passion for herbs is, when you know what to use when they can slow biological aging, help restore balance, and improve how you look, you feel, as well as how your body functions year by year. Combined with regular detoxification and a natural diet high in a wide variety of fresh vegetables and top quality protein, they can even rejuvenate the body in medically measurable ways—improved circulation, increased resistance to illness, and to emotional and mental troubles. They can also help you reconnect with your innate vitality whatever your chronological age. NATURE’S PROTECTORS Plants do this in many ways. Some such as ginseng, garlic and gotu kola are specifically anti-ageing in their actions. Others—herbs such as purslane and thyme as well as foods like seaweeds, oranges, carrots, and green vegetables—are literally brimming with anti-oxidants and other phyto-chemicals which are protective, regenerative and immune enhancing. Make a few of these plants an every-day part of your life. They will help protect you from the kind of free radical damage which underlies both premature ageing and the development of degenerative diseases. Here are some of my favourite anti-ageing herbs: Gotu Kola Gotu Kola—Centella asiatica—has been used for centuries in India to extend life span and enhance memory. Gotu kola, like many quality bulk herbs, is native to the tropical regions of Asia and Africa, particularly Sri Lanka and Madagascar. Traditionally, its leaves are dried and steeped in order to create a tea or infusion. Gotu kola is also easy to grow in your garden or in a pot in the kitchen window however. It is also easy to introduce into your life. Just add a fresh leaf or two or a teaspoon of this dried plant to whatever herb tea you are drinking. You can also put a few leaves into salad when you make it. My favorite is a product for making your own gotu kola tea which is reasonably priced and organic. (see below) Nori Seaweed Nori Seaweed—If you have never used sea vegetables for cooking, this is an ideal time to begin. Not only are they delicious—imparting a wonderful, spicy flavour to soups and salads— they are the richest source of organic mineral salts in nature, particularly of iodine. Iodine is the mineral needed by the thyroid gland. As your thyroid gland is largely responsible for the body’s metabolic rate, iodine is very important to a person’s energy and to protect from early aging . I like to use powdered kelp as a seasoning. It adds both flavour and minerals to salad dressings, salads and soups. I am also excessively fond of nori seaweed, which comes in long thin sheets or tiny flakes. It is a delicious snack food which you can eat along with a salad or at the beginning of the meal. It has a beautiful, crisp flavour. I like best to toast sheets of nori by passing it over a hob flame for no more than a few seconds. This brings out its wonderful flavor and turns it crunchy. The only problem I have with toasting nori is that Gus, is completely addicted to it. This means there is no peace while we are making it. He can smell nori from far away even when the kitchen door is closed. As soon as we open it, he devours a couple of big sheets of nori which we have crumbled into tiny pieces for him. Green Barley Green Barley—This is a dried form of the natural juice taken from young barley leaves. It needs to be organically grown and pesticide-free. Rich in proteins, flavonoids, minerals including iron, vitamins such as K and B15, as well as chlorophyll and other nutrients, green barley boasts thousands of enzymes, not all of which are destroyed in the digestive process. Many can play important roles in supporting anti-aging metabolic processes. It also contains a high concentration of superoxide dismutase (SOD)—an anti-oxidant enzyme. Sprinkle from 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon of green barley on to salads or mix into juices, miso broth or water. The brand I like best is very inexpensive and you can buy a pound at a time. Purslane Purslane—Portulaca oleracea brims with anti-oxidants—plant chemicals as well as vitamins known for their abilities to quench excess free radicals in the body. As such perslane enhances immune functioning. You can grow purslane in a vegetable patch or just about anywhere—even in window boxes, between the rose bushes or wherever you have an extra bit of space. Add purslane to fresh vegetable juices or put it through a blender to make ‘live’ vegetable drinks. Ginkgo Biloba Ginkgo Biloba—improves circulation to the brain. Lots of well founded European research shows this. It can even be helpful to people with Alzheimer’s disease. The leaves from this most ancient of trees restore memory, elevate mood, and quell anxiety. There are more than 300 published studies and reports which support the anti-ageing properties of Ginkgo. Its extract is used in Germany to help treat everything from depression and cerebrovascular insufficiency to asthma, transplant rejection and hearing loss. It is also used in a few expensive skin products to protect against environmental irritation. You can take ginkgo as an extract, tincture or in capsules. I prefer a high potency herbal tincture—1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon 2 or 3 times a day. Ginseng Ginseng—Panax quinquefolius—is the classic anti-ageing plant. It can be a godsend for both men and women when recovering from a long-term illness or stress or pulling yourself out of deep fatigue. And it improves libido in both. This root brings endurance when you need it. I like to take ginseng as a tea – but make sure you buy a good one. When I need strengthening I drink double doses of ginseng tea that has been specially processed to dissolve instantaneously in hot water. Horsetail Horsetail—Equisetum arvense is the best natural source of the mineral silicon which declines in the body as we get older. Silicon is important to the maintenance of strong bones, preventing osteoporosis, firming skin, and protecting from wrinkles and sagging. Horsetail is one of the world’s oldest plants. Organic horsetail tea is the best way to take this wondeful plant several cups a day. My favorite brand is organic of course and sells for less than US $12 a pound. Here are some of my favorites and the very best products: Organic Gotu Kola Herb Centella Asiatica Origin: India Kosher Certified by Kosher Certification Services Certified Organic by QAI, Inc. Gotu kola herb, like many quality bulk herbs, is native to the tropical regions of Asia and Africa, particularly Sri Lanka and Madagascar. Traditionally, the leaves of such herbs are dried and steeped in order to create a tea or infusion. Order Starwest Botanicals, Organic Gotu Kola Herb from iherb NORI ORGANIC SEAWEED Emerald Cove Silver Grade Organic Nori has a fine, pliable texture, producing exceptionally smooth and delicious rolls of nori-maki sushi. Just briefly pass over a low flame to toast before using. You'll marvel at the clean, sweet taste of this kind of edible sea vegetables. Order Nori Organic Seaweed from iherb ORGANIC GREEN BARLEY Frontier Natural Products, Organic Powdered Barley Grass Barley Grass is a whole food loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and many more nutrients your body needs every day. A wonderful way to ensure you're getting enough dark leafy greens in your diet. Order Organic Powdered Barley Grass from iherb GINKGO BILOBA TINCTURE ORGANIC We prepare our Ginkgo Extract from the leaves of Ginkgo biloba trees which have been Certified Organically Grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. To assure optimal extraction of Ginkgo's bioactive compounds, the leaves are hand-harvested in early autumn when Ginkgo's bioactive compounds are at their optimal concentration. They are then carefully shade-dried and promptly extracted. Our Ginkgo is never fumigated or irradiated. Order Herb Pharm, Ginkgo from iherb AMERICAN GINSENG ORGANIC We prepare our American Ginseng Extract from dry Panax quinquefolius roots which are Certified Organically Grown. To assure optimal extraction of American Ginseng's bioactive compounds, the roots are hand-harvested in mid to late autumn, are carefully shade-dried, and are then thoroughly extracted. Our American Ginseng is never fumigated or irradiated. Order Herb Pharm, American Ginseng from iherb HORSETAIL ORGANIC FOR TEAS A perennial grass that is dimorphic, having a fertile stem in the spring which dies back and is replaced by a sterile stem in early summer. The fertile stem is brownish in color, shorter and unbranched. The sterile stem is green with whorls of needle-like leaves and jointed stems. Order Organic Cut & Sifted Horsetail from iherb

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

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

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 7th of May 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.75 lb
for women
-2.00 lb
for men
-0.75 lb
for women
-2.00 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 7th of May 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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