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movement

The enormous power for self-expression and physical transformation which can come through movement only takes place when muscles and exercise are also linked through mind-body awareness.

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Free The Body: Charge The Mind

Free The Body: Charge The Mind

Too many of us - fitness freaks and lounge lizards alike - experience our body not as a joy or a finely tuned instrument of expression for our inner being, but rather as a prison incarcerating the Self which cries out for physical expression but is rendered mute by walls of chronic tension, fatigue or postural distortions. Most of us live at only a fraction of our capacity for vitality and we have not the least notion of our body's potential for beauty and for pleasure. For exercise to be of real benefit it needs to be an integrating activity which draws together mind and body. We live in an age of aerobic fitness. Joggers pound the pavements summer and winter, dance studios brim with all sizes and shapes of sweaty women in lycra, and every month or so a `new' system of physical exercise appears on the scene. You'd expect to find the world full of strong supple bodies brimming with grace and energy. The reality is somewhat different. The fine muscle tone, buoyant energy and rich mobility of a coordinated, supple and responsive physical body is a rare occurrence in the Western world even amongst those who consider themselves most fit. Instead we are faced with contracted shoulders and sunken chests, distorted thighs and faces which have aged before their time thanks to poor muscle tone and flagging energy. the body as energy Just as it's important to recognize that the aging process as a whole is not only a biochemical phenomenon but is also dependent upon energy changes - structural information that comes to us through our food and our environment, and our mental attitudes and expectations - so a new approach to exercise is needed to make the most of its potential. Thinkers such as von Bertalanffy and researchers such as Szent-Gyorgyi and the American orthopedic specialist and expert in electrobiology Robert Becker have helped to create a new awareness of the physical body and the mind as a single complex. They have demonstrated that it is no longer enough to consider the body as a physiological and biochemical phenomenon alone. Beneath our physiology and biochemistry lies a unifying system of energetics, which is subtle and complex as well as enormously potent in its effect on body, mind and overall vitality. Becker even uncovered a second `nervous system' previously unrecognized by science which he insists controls growth, healing and regeneration of broken bones. This energetic system appears to be influenced by both our environment and by our thoughts. It is currently being used to explain such diverse phenomena as why acupuncture can be used for pain relief and how hypnosis works. So far very little of the new scientific findings about the body as a unified energetic system has filtered down into the awareness of exercise physiologists and teachers. As a result there are still a great many people for whom even a dedicated and dynamic exercise program followed regularly but mechanically does little good. To an unfortunate few it can even be harmful. To make the most of aerobic exercise for ageless aging, you need not gear yourself up for some superhuman effort. You only need to leave behind the mechanical approach to exercise which tends to treat your body as a machine to be put through its paces - and to get back to basics.

Nature's Finest Treatment

Nature's Finest Treatment

What is Nature’s most powerful healer? The answer will surprise you: WATER applied to your skin’s surface. Would you consider pouring a stream of cold water over your face to banish fatigue and prevent skin from wrinkling and sagging? Would you walk in ice-cold water up to your knees every morning to increase your vitality and ward off aging? Have jets of cold water directed against your back and legs to help you shed fat? Extraordinary as these practices sound, they are natural methods of treatment with over a century and a half of clinical validation behind them. They are part of one of the most elaborate, effective and well-researched European methods of healing, health enhancement and age-retardation in the world: Kneipp therapy. KNEIPP’S GENIUS Applications of hot and cold water have long been standard treatment for regenerating energy, curing headaches, improving lymphatic function, and even eliminating hangovers after a night of partying. In no small part is this thanks to the pioneering work of Father Sebastian Kneipp, a Bavarian parish priest who strengthened his own less-than-hearty health with water treatments. In 1855, Kneipp was sent to the tiny Bavarian village of Worishofen to supervise a Dominican nunnery. Many of his friends insisted that the church had only sent him there to get him away from his fascination with water-healing, in the belief that it was interfering with his clerical life. There he acted as father-confessor to the nuns, revived the village's stagnant economy, and advised farmers on how to improve their agriculture. But Kneipp’s fascination with health and healing prevailed when later he was made parson of the village. Despite the fact that his days were filled with ecclesiastical duties, he found his time increasingly taken up by a growing number of ailing people who had heard of his ‘miracle cures’, and either didn’t have enough money to pay for medical care, or had been given up as ‘hopeless’ by their physicians. Kneipp treated them with his water techniques. He then taught them to treat themselves, gradually developing a complete system for prevention, cure and rehabilitation based on the theory that a human being is a unity of body and soul, and that whenever this unity is threatened, or whenever the harmony of nature is disturbed, illness ensues. As far back as 1900, Kneipp's water therapy was being practiced all over Europe. Since then, his methods have been researched, applied, refined and adapted to contemporary needs by medical scientists—most of them German—who have established the basis of Kneipp’s water techniques worldwide. AMAZING BENEFITS Still little known in English-speaking countries, Kneipp therapy is practiced in some seventy spas and thousands of hospitals in Europe. Treatments are supervised by physicians highly trained in the various methods it involves, the most important of which is a complex set of water applications which have profound regenerative and protective effects on the body. Far from being some kind of far-out alternative therapy used only by nature freaks and old women, Kneipp hydrotherapy is supported by government health-insurance schemes in Europe, and even subsidized by the state both as a preventative treatment against aging as well as a means of curing and rehabilitating the seriously ill. Kneipp therapy is used in many applications—from affusions, where water in a steady stream is poured over specific parts of your body, to hot and cold compresses—as a treatment for conditions from arthritis, abscesses and heart disease to asthma, diabetes and allergic eczema. All of Kneipp’s methods greatly increase your vitality, can enhance athletic prowess, help you handle stress better, banish insomnia, and counteract a myriad of negative effects connected with the aging process. SECRETS OF HYDROTHERAPY This is the secret of using cold water applications on your body. You need to be warm to begin with, and you must keep warm and dry afterwards. Contact with cold water in these circumstances first causes constriction of the blood vessels, momentarily driving the blood inwards. Then, the moment it is stopped, blood rushes to the surface of the skin, warming it. THE PRINCIPLES Not every water treatment has to be administered by a professional in a clinic or a spa. One of Kneipp's most important principles was that hydrotherapy should be simple enough that any healthy person can benefit from it—as a prophylactic treatment against aging, to improve the condition of the skin, to eliminate stress and to treat minor ailments from a headache to a cold without professional help. Simple at-home water treatments fortify your body against sickness in general, improve circulation and calm frayed nerves. FOR GREAT SKIN An affusion is literally a pouring of running water over a particular area of the body. Affusions stimulate blood supply to the skin, restoring lost tautness and freshness to sagging or faded skin. It is a popular natural treatment in Europe amongst men and women who want to retain (or reform) their youthful good looks. It helps prevent premature aging of the skin, eliminate feelings of fatigue and can even cure a migraine. Here's How Make sure your body is in a well-warmed state to begin with. Then, using a hose with an opening of about ½ inch (it can be a bathroom hand shower with the head removed) turn on the cold water so that a sheet of water is delivered to the skin when the hose is held 2-4 inches from it. (There should be no great pressure of water.) When an affusion is done right, the water flows smoothly and evenly and with no `splashback'. Now, resting your neck on a towel and bending over a sink or the bath, begin by circling your face with the water from just below the temple. Then go back and forth from one side of the face to the other. Guide the stream several times from up to down starting at the left side and working towards the right. End by circling the whole face again. The entire process is done with cold water and should take only a couple of minutes. Pat your face gently to remove excess water and then let it dry completely in the air. TO BOOST VITALITY AND STRENGTHEN IMMUNITY There are several techniques designed to increase vitality and bring protection against illness and age-degeneration. Which you choose depends on your current state of stamina and health. They range from the body wash, which is gentle enough for almost anyone, to the cold Blitzguss, which top athletes and other very fit people favor. The Body Wash This is quite different from the usual cleansing wash you carry out in the bath or shower using a flannel. It involves the uniform spreading of water over your skin with a rough linen cloth. Afterwards you do not dry yourself. Instead get into a warm bed for a few minutes. It helps relax the body while bracing and strengthening it. It also activates natural warmth, eliminating and protecting you from the build-up of toxic substances in the blood and tissues which can cause cellular damage and age-related problems. Here's How Having dipped the linen cloth into cold water, begin on the back of the right hand and sweep upwards over the shoulder then down again on the inside to the thumb. Now turn the cloth over and wash the inside of the hand and arm to the armpit, and finally the back of the palm. Dip the cloth in water again quickly and carry out the same movements on the other arm. Then, quickly dipping the cloth in water again, with half a dozen vertical movements wash over the chest, abdomen and the fronts of legs. Another dip and do the back (or have a friend help here since it is easier). Finish your body wash by quickly rubbing the soles of the feet. The whole procedure (which must be carried out in a warm room) needs to be very quick (only thirty to forty seconds). Then remove excess water from your body's surface, dress warmly and move about, or get into a warm bed for a few minutes. This is a superb way of refreshing yourself after a long day before going out for the evening. WATER TREADING This takes a couple of minutes. In Bad Worishofen there are beautiful pools at the clinics and hotels and even in the woods, where you can take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot in water every morning, summer and winter, even when there is snow on the ground. If you are lucky enough to live near the sea or by a brook, both are ideal. But you can get the same results at home using a bath filled with cold water. Here's How Dressed warmly, but with your legs and feet naked from the knee down, step into the water and `walk on the spot', lifting first one foot and then another up out of the water. The reaction will be either a pleasant warm feeling flooding the feet or a sharp cold ache, followed by warmth. Begin by treading water for only thirty seconds or so, then work up to a couple of minutes as your system gets stronger and more resilient. Immediately afterwards put on dry warm socks and shoes and move about. (By the way, this is also an excellent treatment for insomniacs when done just before going to bed.) BLITZGUSS A real Blitzguss has to be done by a professional in a special shower using a powerful water-force. But you can get many of its beneficial effects in the shower, particularly if you happen to have a hand-held shower which you can direct on to different parts of your body. This is something I do every morning after exercising. Here's How Take a warm shower until your skin is glowing with the warmth. Turn off the hot water and use only cold, directing it over your face, down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. This process should take no more than thirty seconds. Get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. This will leave your skin glowing with warmth, thanks to the reaction against the cold water. Practiced every day or so, it will also strengthen your immune system, not only against age-degeneration but also against colds, flu and other illnesses. Blitzguss greatly increases vitality. This is a favorite of top athletes in Germany. It is also my favorite of all the prophylactic treatments with water—and I am a long way from being a top athlete. But I had to work up to it in the beginning by starting with the body wash and with water treading (which I still do when I feel tired but unable to sleep). It’s best not to use Blitzguss until you are already quite strong. DE-STRESS FOR BETTER SLEEP The next two techniques are particularly good if you feel stressed or you tend to wrestle with insomnia at the end of the day. Wet Socks A favourite of Kneipp himself, this is an easy way to apply a foot compress. It is extraordinarily relaxing. Here's How Wet a pair of cotton socks in cold water and wring them out so that they are no longer dripping. Put them on and then cover them with a pair of dry woolen socks, then get into bed. Leave the socks on for at least half an hour, although it doesn't matter if they stay on all night should you fall asleep. Once you begin to experience some of the extraordinary benefits from these simple treatments, you may find you want to explore some of the other natural therapies which are also carriers of vital information for health and ageless aging. They include air baths, saunas and Turkish baths, herbal treatments using the adaptogens and dry skin-brushing. Not only can each one of them leave you feeling vibrantly well and looking good, together with good nutrition, exercise and relaxation, they are some of the means by which your body/mind/spirit can restore balance and help keep you well, youthful and vital, long after those around you have succumbed to the ravages of time.

Back Help When You Need It

Back Help When You Need It

Pain is what many of us fear most. We all know the misery that can come from a sore back, a throbbing headache or toothache, not to mention children’s earaches. All too many also know the immobilizing pain of migraine. Herbs and essential oils can reach out and help when pain strikes, and without the upset stomach and muzzy heads that over-the-counter treatments can bring in their wake. We’ve all done it—picked up something too heavy or twisted awkwardly—and suffered the pain of an indignant back. Essential oils really come into their own with back pain; use them to relieve muscle spasm and ease your mind. Essential oils of sage, thyme and rosemary all contain thymol and carvacrol, which are excellent muscle relaxants. Rosemary has the added advantage of being anti-spasmodic. Clary sage is also used traditionally to ease the pain of a pulled back. You can mix a few drops of one of these essential oils with a couple of tablespoons of almond oil, coconut oil, or walnut oil. Either massage it into the sore spot yourself, or allow someone you trust to do this gently for you. A warm bath will also help ease the tightness out of strained back muscles. Put a few drops of essential oil of rosemary or clary sage in the bath, plus 2 cups of industrial grade Epsom salts—simple magnesium sulfate—which you can find at a pharmacy in kilo packages or order much more cheaply over the net in big 25kg bags. Allow the essential oils to vaporize on the steam to help you relax all over. Stay in the bath for half an hour, topping up with warm water, to let the Epsom salts do their muscle-relaxing work. Then get out of the bath, dry yourself gently, and crawl into bed or lie down for 30 minutes with a good book. For my family, Epsom salts in huge bags are always in good supply. Aaron and I take an Epsom salts bath daily. It’s a practice which is not only health enhancing but deliciously pleasant.

Why You Should Climb Rocks

Why You Should Climb Rocks

The first time I climbed a rock was 35 years ago. I was terrified. I was the only woman on an all men Outward Bound course for top executives, which purported to teach them to work better as a team in the corporate world. The course was run by a ruthless retired Major from the SAS. He was also a Scottish Rugby International with an ego to match. TESTS AND MORE On the first day, each participant had to choose from one of three activities that he would follow for the week—canoeing, underwater diving or climbing. I rejected diving and canoeing, since neither posed a challenge to me. I carelessly opted for rock climbing. Whatever activity one chose, the course demanded that we accomplished a series of personal tests. These became more and more severe as the week went on, culminating in an all-day challenge which was a bit like a grail quest. All challenges were team challenges. On the final day, the grand quest involved doing something over the water (which the canoeists did), under the water (which the divers did) and, for us climbers, scaling a pinnacle of rock high above the trees, towering above the river—a place, we were told, where “only men and gods dared go.” DAY ONE Having opted for rock-climbing on the afternoon of that first day, I stood at the foot of a spiky rock surrounded by 10 men who had made the same choice as I had. Most of them were none too happy to have a woman as part of their team—something that did not inspire self-confidence in me at the challenge that lay ahead. Our climbing tutor turned out to be a muscular creature with a voice as gorgeous as Richard Burton and a caustic sense of humor. I later found out that, in addition to being accomplished at rock climbing, he was also the director of an adventure center in the wilds of Wales, as well as an expert at mountaineering and orienteering. His name was Graham Jones. Graham stood in shorts with legs spread and hands on his hips at the top of the rock and shouted to us below, “Which one of you is going to go first?” My male colleagues shuffled around, looking down at their feet. They failed to respond to Graham’s demand. Meanwhile, I was trying to deal with contempt from other members of my team at being forced to work with a woman. Far more important, I was frozen with fear. This made me blurt out, “I’ll go first.” “OK,” shouted Graham, “get moving.” MY CHALLENGE I started up the rock. I had no idea if I’d ever get to the top. I had to grab onto any little crevice I encountered with the tips of my fingers. Then, instinctually, I began to move the way a spider does, reaching out with hand or foot, pulling up, sliding over, reaching out again. I completely stopped thinking; it felt far too dangerous to think. At that point, I discovered something amazing: When you are crawling over a rock face, stresses concerning anything else in your life vanish. Mental chatter goes silent. There is only your body and the rock face. It is one of the most exciting relationships I have ever formed with anything or anyone… A simple, authentic freedom develops that cannot be described. It can only be lived. When I got to the top, Graham was waiting. The scowl he’d worn looking down at us from the top of the rock was now gone. He was grinning like a wicked child. Without warning, he handed me a rope woven through a stitch plate. The other end of the rope was tied to the belt of one of the men standing below. This guy was big—maybe 90 kg—rotund and awkward. “Wrap the rope around your waist,” Graham told me. “Put it over your shoulder then hold while he climbs.” “There’s no way I can hold this guy.” I said, and began to tremble. “Climb,” shouted Graham to the man below. “We don’t have all day.” I did the best I could to tighten the rope through the stitch plate in my hand as the man got closer. Halfway up, the guy did come off the rock. I held on for dear life. To my amazement, I found I could hold him without difficulty. Of course, what I did not know is that Graham had also tied me to a tree so even if I had failed in my belaying duties, neither he nor I were in any real danger. Like a lot of outdoor activities, provided it is done right, the danger of climbing is an illusion. For a beginner, this illusion is essential to make it a worthwhile activity. Complete trust in your instructor is as essential as the illusion of fear. You cannot leap into the process until you are confident that your instructor knows what he is doing. THE VALUE OF FALSE DANGER Rock climbing can feel like the most frightening thing you can do. Such beginner’s fear is of great value. Enduring it can ultimately breed confidence. In reality, skilful rock climbing puts much more emphasis on mental and emotional strength than on physical prowess. Because of this, I think it may well be the most valuable of all outdoor sports activities. Most of us could make a list a mile long of things we are unable to do. Rock climbing has a remarkable way of shortening that list tremendously. Anybody who has scaled 100 feet of sheer rock straight up rapidly comes to know there is little one can’t accomplish, if one sets one’s mind to it. Most climbers will agree that rock climbing is far more than a mere sport. It is a perpetual challenge to climb better, faster, and with more agility than before. Soon, you develop more skills than you ever imagined you’d have. This special relationship develops between you and the rock: A sense of closeness and friendship. Once established, you begin to experience the most extraordinary sense of “flowing over” the rock—almost like a dance. This relationship demands all of your attention. This is how, while you are on the rock face, there can be nothing on your mind except how you are going to make the next move, find your way, keep going. It’s an experience which somehow sets your spirit free. I had never dreamed that I could get to the top of the rock. Graham taught me how to do it. You put one hand or one foot in front of the other. You care only about one step at a time. A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. By the way, all the men in our team who had treated me scornfully that first day had elected me leader of the team three days later. When the final day’s holy grail task took place, our team not only won the much sought-after grail prize. We achieved the highest number of points ever given to any team in the history of the organization. Miracles can happen! TRANSFORMING LIVES My experiences rock climbing, and later climbing mountains, are by no means unique. Deprived children who have never set foot out of the city have similar experiences and are rewarded with similar self-transcendence. The main difference between you and them is that you will be aware of what is going on, while they just blindly follow. Yet they, too, transcend themselves as we do. Rock climbing seems a dangerous sport, and because of its inherent dangers, safety rules and equipment are excellent. Provided you use them, you are safer on the rock face than you would be on the motorway. Yet there is something about the feeling of danger when you are climbing a rock or abseiling down from the edge of a cliff that is very valuable in terms of breaking through self-perceived limitations. You are safe, and yet you are presented in an immediate way with the idea of death. TAKE A COURSE You do not have to be fit to begin climbing. Take it slowly, climb regularly and you will rapidly gain skills and become fit. Sheer face climbing requires skill more than brute force. To learn, you can either join a club or go on a course where a guide teaches you. The best climbing gear is a pair of riding breeches with long socks, although a pair of straight-legged jeans or trousers will do just as well in the beginning. The equipment itself—ropes, belts, helmets and shoes—is usually supplied by the course. You’ll never know how much rock climbing or mountaineering can do for you until you try it. The exercise you’ll get is invaluable for toning muscles, improving skin and bringing you a new sense of vitality, whatever your age. Equally important, it can take you away from your everyday problems. You find yourself faced with totally different, unknown and unforeseen tasks to accomplish. I also love the way there is no competition involved in rock climbing. The only thing you are working against is yourself—bettering previous attempts, becoming more skilled, gaining more confidence in your judgment and yourself. This alone is what matters. There are very few areas in anybody’s life where you can say that. Try it. You may well come to love it as much as I have, no matter what your age.

Sacred Truth Ep. 60: Sleep Your Fat Away

Sacred Truth Ep. 60: Sleep Your Fat Away

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

Dance - Vitality Reborn

Dance - Vitality Reborn

The next time you have a chance, watch an animal move. The rhythmic lope of a wolf whose body almost becomes the motion. The horse in a field, tossing its mane, pounding its hooves and charging about for sheer pleasure. The dolphin who leaps high in the air twisting its powerful body before disappearing into the waves to emerge a minute later with yet another joyous leap. For many years I wondered why most of us after childhood no longer experience this kind of explosive, rhythmical freedom and energy, grounded in the physical body. Why do we often feel only half alive? And why do those of us who are women tend to look upon our body as something separate from ourselves, something to be criticized, judged, or pushed and shoved into shape, instead of celebrating its power and the joy of movement the way animals do? For too many human beings the primary experience of life is one of deadness. And since none of us is able to live with deadness for long we are forced to seek artificial stimulus through drugs or alcohol, compulsive work or sex - just to make us feel alive again. The trouble is, none of the artificial things that we turn to in an attempt to recover our aliveness ever seems to work for very long. Where does the real key lie? MUSCLE MIRACLE The answer to this question may surprise you. It stunned me when I first came upon it because it is so simple. The key to aliveness is found in the body itself. It lies in the same place as the key to burning excess fat is - in muscle. Your muscle is the engine that turns food calories into energy, burns fat and creates an experience of ongoing simple joy whatever you may be doing. Muscle creates the life-energy for you to think, to move and to feel. The power of the horse, the rhythmical gait of the wolf able to run on and on with ease, the wild playfulness of the dolphin - all depend on good strong muscle. To create a firm, beautiful, lean body for yourself, begin to listen to, nurture and develop your muscle. Your body is a potential powerhouse of vitality. If you want to access it, you need to move. People sometimes talk about the body as if it were a machine. In reality your body is nothing like a machine. A machine, when you use it, wears out. Your body was designed to be active. The more you use it wisely the stronger and more beautiful it will become - regardless of your age. I learned all this the hard way—the best way too I guess—but it wasn’t fun. ENDLESS PAIN Several years ago I injured my left leg badly from a nasty fall while walking down a steep incline to board a plane in Munich. The thing was running with water. Amidst a lot of blood and mess I had no idea just how bad the injury was until I found I was in constant pain and could hardly walk for weeks. This injury was followed by another nasty one to my right ankle, then another a few months later when I cracked my sacrum at 5am in the middle of winter getting out of a spa when I tumbled back onto a hardwood deck. Anyway all of this meant that I stopped using my body. In fact my body became for me a source of pain and fear, not pleasure and joy. Where I had once done exercise regularly for the sheer joy of it, I stopped completely—not just for months at a time—for years. I forgot what it was like to experience the joy and feel the sense of radiance I had long been used to from movement I had for thirty years adored doing. I lost a lot of muscle tone and ease of movement and I no longer felt the kind of vitality I had been used to for many many years. LIFE REBORN Then one day, for no apparent reason, I woke from my ignorant stupor and began to move a little just to find out if my body was still alive: to dance to music, to stretch, to cycle on a wind trainer in the garden, allowing my body to feel the sensuous pleasure of swimming gently in our pool or spending 10 or 15 minutes in passive relaxation on our PowerPlate. Slowly, steadily I began to come alive again. I kept asking myself, “How could I have forgotten how simple and joyous moving my body could be, and all of the rewards it brings when one begins to exercise, not because it’s supposed to be good for you - out of some kind of duty - but because you owe it to your body to let it live?” Anyway, I wanted to share my own experience with you and here is the bottom line: No matter what your age or how much you have neglected moving your body, no matter how much tone your muscles may have lost, your body has the most amazing capacity to regenerate and restore its muscles, its vitality and its capacity to provide you with the joyous experience of freedom which is everyone’s birthright. You need only to remember what is possible and begin with kindness and love to let yourself move again.

Joyous Movement

Joyous Movement

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

Sacred Truth Ep. 55: Vitamin B12 For Great Energy

Sacred Truth Ep. 55: Vitamin B12 For Great Energy

The least understood of all nutrients, Vitamin B 12 is a huge molecule. It has long been known as “the energy vitamin.” And rightly so. You need to have lots of it in your body in order to thrive and protect yourself from fatigue and degenerative conditions. Vitamin B12 plays a major role in DNA synthesis, the formation of healthy blood cells, and the production of energy in your mitochondria. Yet Vitamin B12 deficiency is now rampant. At least one in four people in the Western world are seriously deficient in this essential nutrient. Meanwhile 50% of the population in the world now has blood levels of Vitamin B12 in the sub optimal range. Why should you care about making sure that you have enough Vitamin B12? First of all, this remarkable vitamin is essential for building myelin in your body. Myelin is a fatty material that encloses the axons of neurons. It provides a sheath of electrical energy around your cells so your nervous system functions as it is meant to do. This helps nerve impulses move speedily and makes it possible for the cells all over your body to communicate with each other. When the myelin sheath is damaged the body becomes prone to all sorts of degenerative conditions, including spinal cord injury, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Your body needs an abundance of Vitamin B12 for many other purposes as well. It’s essential for adrenal hormone production, maintaining a healthy immune system, having balanced moods, and experiencing good memory function and mental clarity as well as physical and emotional vitality. If you don't have adequate levels of Vitamin B12 in your blood you are more likely to experience tingling in your hands, legs, and feet, weak muscles, problems with your memory, apathy, and even depression. The scientific term for Vitamin B12—this water-soluble nutrient—is cobalamin. But, unlike other water-soluble vitamins, B12 is not rapidly removed from your body when you urinate. Instead, it is taken into your kidneys, your liver, and other important organs, where it may remain for long periods. So you can be deficient in Vitamin B12 yet not know it for several years because your body has simply not been absorbing Vitamin B12 from your foods. Perhaps the most important cause of Vitamin B12 deficiency is what is known as food-cobalamin-malabsorption syndrome because your body is not making what is known as intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a protein made by your stomach that binds to Vitamin B12. It’s meant to grab the B12 molecule as it passes through the small intestine, carrying it on to the large intestine where it can be absorbed into the body, eventually end up in your bloodstream. But if you are depleted of stomach acid, as many people are—especially if they have been using anti-acid medications or eating a lot of cereal and grain-based carbohydrates—which create gastric reflux and indigestion—you are likely to be low in stomach acid. When stomach acid is decreased in this way, intrinsic factor can’t absorb B12 properly and your health suffers. As we get older, levels of Vitamin B12 in our bodies tend to decrease. A study of over hundred older men and women showed that we become more susceptible to atrophy or shrinkage in the brain—a well-known characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Here are a few habits you will want to avoid to help prevent this: Don’t drink more than three or four cups of coffee each day. Even better, limit your organic fair trade coffee to only one or two a day. Stop taking prescriptions drugs that diminish Vitamin B12 in the body. Do not use antacids and other drugs to treat ulcers. Change the way you are eating then you will find that most of these problems clear up naturally within a few weeks. Finally, never take antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary. If you do, make sure you counter their effects by using a top quality probiotic for many weeks as soon as the antibiotics have finished. How do you make sure you get enough Vitamin B12? It’s difficult to manage if you are vegetarian. It is virtually impossible if you are vegan. Eggs are a good source of Vitamin B12 provided they come from a free-range pastured farm. If they are genuinely free range, a great way to eat eggs is to put them raw into some sort of smoothie. Good sources of Vitamin B12 are also found in organic chicken, grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb, and seafood that did not come from fish farms. Unfortunately—and this is something few people are aware of—more than half of the seafood in the world is now either contaminated with heavy metals and harmful materials from fish farms where these fish are raised on quite hideous foods. Certified grade A raw milk also contains good quantities of Vitamin B12. There are medical tests that you can take if you suspect you may be B12 deficient. Your health practitioner can organize this as well as help determine the underlining cause of deficiency and how it should be treated. The problem with these tests is that they are not very accurate and, as yet, few doctors are aware of the seriousness with which Vitamin B12 deficiencies must be treated. You can, of course, look for one of the under-the-tongue sprays, although the human body often does not absorb these efficiently. Personally, I prefer occasional Vitamin B12 injections. It is still legal in many countries for you to do these yourself. If you live in a country where they are not legal, your health practitioner can inject them for you. What is important is that when you have an adequate supply of this vitamin in your body, especially as you get older, to help prevent many potentially life-destroying conditions that result in a B12 deficiency.

Get A Radiant Body

Get A Radiant Body

How do you feel about your body? Is it a source of pleasure and pride? A burden to be borne? A matter of indifference? Does it feel like a ‘good runner' which always seems to do what you ask of it? Or is your body something on which you don’t think you can depend? I find that most men and women in the Western world feel uneasy about their bodies. The cultural models which our culture has inherited from the ancient Greeks separates ‘body’—our physical presence—from ‘soul', the so-called ‘real' person, creating a schizoid attitude towards ourselves. Often we treat the body as an object. Then we alternate between narcissistically indulging it and continually neglecting it. Sometimes, we seem to dissociate from it altogether. QUANTUM RADIANCE NOW The body is the medium through which we experience reality. This is a truth most people forget. Your sense of aliveness and vitality, peace and relaxation, joy, sexuality, power—even intellectual enjoyment—are all experienced through your physical body. The more vital it is, the more intense are your sensibilities, and the richer your experience of being alive. The right treatments carried out on the surface of the body using simple substances such as water, oils, clays—even doing dry skin brushing—profoundly influence your state of wellbeing, both mentally and physically. Some techniques improve lymphatic drainage, clearing away wastes stored in the system. Others pep you up when you're tired, or relax you when you're stressed. They contribute to an experience of quantum wellbeing. The body is a finely-tuned instrument. It becomes more sensitive and stronger as you use it. The radiant body feels comfortably in tune with the earth on which it stands, yet free to move, to dance, to feel, and to experience joy and pain fully. This is what being fully alive is all about, no matter what your age. Ideally, the body should always have been this way. A child born naturally, without trauma or drugs, who enters a safe and welcoming world and has a good bond with its mother already has such a body. It moves fluidly, experiences emotions and physical sensations deeply. This makes it fully expressive both in shape and movements of the innate essence of the unique being. Sadly, for most of us, our natural aliveness and bodily freedom have become distorted or truncated. Traumas which we experience tighten muscles, damping down our sensory input. Some people find themselves oppressed and overwhelmed by living in a world which is anything but life-nurturing. This is a not-uncommon feeling for children and young adults. All of these experiences which are felt through the body leave their ‘scars' since they are held in the tissues. Then, instead of maintaining the sensitivity and responsiveness which is our birthright, the body gradually becomes ‘deadened’. This deadness can express itself in many ways—from rigidity or strange postural attitudes and gaits to flaccidity, muscles which seem lifeless and lackluster skin, even low self-esteem, depression, and a sense of impossibility about one’s life. BODY MAGIC The most remarkable gift of the human body is its natural plasticity. It is more than capable of transforming itself. Unlike a machine, your body is continually in flux. It changes its shape and ways of functioning from day to day and moment to moment. It can collect poisons in the tissues which decrease vitality and promote illness, and it can easily be encouraged to eliminate these poisons, becoming more alive, strong and beautiful. This in turn improves your whole way of experiencing life. You can work with a twisted, strained body, or one without a great capacity for feeling physical pleasure. Gradually, over a period of months, you can help it reclaim its ‘aliveness' and its natural good looks. There are a number of simple but powerful techniques for bringing this about. Regular exercise is one. So is the Alexander Technique. Yoga too can be useful—if it is practised well. And there are other professional disciplines which can help, like the bio-energetic therapies, touch for health, and Rolfing or structural integration. There are also many wonderfully effective practices which you can do for yourself day-to-day to help reawaken vitality, improving the way you look and feel. They can alter the way you move, as well as the way you feel about yourself and your life. For, when your body feels more alive, more responsive and stronger, so do you. DO IT YOURSELF The healing of our culturally inherited mind-body split is a slow but totally necessary process, in order to achieve the kind of integration which makes quantum wellness possible. Many of the techniques useful for bringing it about—such as the clay and sea-plant treatments, massage, water therapy, breathing exercises—can be a lot of fun and leave you feeling great when you use them, as well as the long lasting benefits each promises. Also, making time in your life to practice them can be an excellent method of de-stressing, allowing you to get away from any leaning towards becoming an `automaton'—a tendency we all have to some degree— and become more conscious of who in essence you really are, and where you are going. This is an important part of a quantum way of life. TAKE THE PLUNGE A simple thing like water, which you come in contact with every day, is ideal for beginning transformation and heightening vitality. Applications of hot and cold water used to be a standard therapy for aches and pains and for revitalizing. We know this thanks to the pioneering work of Father Sebastian Kneipp, the Bavarian parish priest who strengthened his own less-than-hearty health with the healing powers of water, and then went on to develop a whole system of treatment using it to dissolve toxic wastes while strengthening the entire organism. Many of Kneipp's techniques—which I wrote at length about a few weeks ago—are great for bringing you more vitality and a growing experience of aliveness. He insisted that the easiest way of ‘hardening and bracing the system' is to walk barefoot—on wet grass or stones, on freshly fallen snow, or in cold water up to your knees. This may sound strange to someone who has never tried it, but it can be enormously invigorating—even on winter mornings. I do it at some time every day, come rain or shine. I learned of its power from doctor friends who use it to increase a patient's resistance to illness with excellent results. The secret is to spend only a few minutes (from 3-5) walking barefoot in this way, making sure that you keep shoes and socks dry, so you can put them on immediately afterwards. If they too are allowed to get damp you miss out on the stimulating effect of the contact with the cold dampness. This can deplete your body of energy instead of revitalizing and strengthening it. This, by the way, is the secret for using any cold water applications on the body. You must be warm to begin with and you must keep warm and dry afterwards. Contact with cold water under these circumstances first causes constriction of the blood vessels, momentarily driving the blood inwards. Then, the moment it is stopped, the blood rushes to the surface of the skin, warming it. BRUSH FOR BLISS The same principles apply to hot and cold showers or cold sitz baths. One of the best possible ways of waking up each morning and getting yourself going for the day ahead is to brush your dry skin down well with a dry hemp glove or a natural vegetable bristle bath brush. Then step into a warm shower. As soon as the warmth of the water has suffused your body so you are warm and comfortable, switch from `warm' to `cold'. Remain under cold water for only half a minute (no more), making sure that your body all over gets covered with the cold spray. Emerge from the shower, dry yourself briskly and dress warmly. It is important that the bathroom is always warm and that you begin very slowly with only, say, 10 seconds of cold water at first, gradually increasing it to half a minute as you become used to it. I think you will be surprised at how quickly this adaptation takes place. It will make your body feel alive and tingling, increase your stamina and, according to the European doctors who still use it regularly with their patients, heighten your resistance to colds and flu. SITZ BATHS FOR SLEEP Here’s a variation on the cold water theme that will surprise you. A cold sitz bath is one of the best ways of relaxing quickly and preparing your body and mind for sleep. It is another technique the effectiveness of which you won't believe until you have tried it several times yourself. It is a great blessing for people who suffer from insomnia because their minds race and they can't turn off mental energy when they go to bed. Here's how: Fill a bath with 3"-4" of cold water from the tap. Make sure the bathroom is warm and that you have done all of the things you need to do before retiring. Wrap the top half of your body in a sweater or dressing gown which you can tuck up so that when you sit in the water it won't get wet but it will keep the upper part of your body warm. Now immerse your hips and bottom in the tub for 30 seconds. You can do this either by letting your legs hang over the side of the tub or by sitting in the bath and allowing your heels to go into the water to steady your body. Get out, dry yourself well, then climb into bed. The technique draws the body energy away from the head and brings a marvellous sense of peace and relaxation. Next week we’ll look at more simple do-it-yourself techniques for quantum radiance, such as the health-enbhancing magnesium chloride flakes and gifts from the sea. See you then...

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 29th of October 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 29th of October 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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