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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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Sensuous Massage Do-It-Yourself

Sensuous Massage Do-It-Yourself

The simplest treatment can sometimes bring the greatest healing to body, mind and spirit. So it is with massage. Yet few have yet discovered this truth. Not only does massage calm the mind, relieve pain and bring better muscle tone. It enhances immunity, clears the toxic wastes we all pick up in day-to-day life, improves athletic performance, and builds greater health all round. There are many different kinds of massage—from deep tissue massage, acupressure and Amma Shiatsu to lymphatic drainage and simple stroking of the body. Each has its benefits. And, while some need the trained hands of a professional to be used well, I think you will be surprised to learn that you can bring exceptional benefits to yourself, a friend or partner by using simple hand movements which require no professional training at all. SIMPLE BASICS Here are the six basic massage movements. Have a play with them on your own body. You will be surprised how easy and rewarding this can be. Begin any massage of yourself or another with effleurage, allowing one hand to follow the other in a rhythmic pattern moving in a direction towards the heart. Effleurage means “skimming over”. This is a light pressure applied to an area of the body with moving hands. It boosts the circulation of blood and lymph in the areas to which it is being applied. This improves the functioning of the glands, increases skin sensitivity and heightens the ability of the skin to feel pleasure. Used on the abdomen, it improves digestive functions and helps eliminate constipation. Effleurage is also great for getting rid of chilling sensations in feet or hands, for eliminating numbness, and decreasing swelling caused by obstructions in the circulatory system. Deep Muscle Massage consists of tiny circular movements with a thumb or finger which is firmly pressed into a muscle and then rotated. The finger doesn't actually move over the surface of the skin. Rather it moves the muscle under its pressure. After you have made several small circles in one place you move on to another nearby, always working in an upwards direction on the body. It is excellent for calming overactive nerves and tense muscles, as it is for treating neuralgia or muscular aches. This kind of pressure on the abdomen improves digestion and elimination. Used in imaginary lines up the limbs it can also significantly improve lymphatic drainage and the elimination of wastes. Single Point Pressure where you press on the surface of the body with the palms, thumbs or fingers is also good for deep muscle aches and tensions. It is used when giving acupressure or shiatsu massage for a specific purpose, such as eliminating a headache or calming nerves. Petrissage is a kneading movement in which a muscle is held firmly but lightly and moved in circular patterns using the palm of your hand or the balls of your fingers. This increases circulation, and is an excellent way of helping muscles recover from fatigue and eliminating lactic acid build-up, which causes muscle ache after a workout. Always keep your fingers relaxed while kneading or you will pinch the skin uncomfortably. Vibration is where you put your fingers or palm against the skin of a part of the body and then shake it gently. This is particularly helpful where there is a feeling of numbness, say in fingers or toes. Tapotement is a tapping with both hands—one after the other—against the skin surface, usually with the palms cupped. It is very invigorating, which is why it is used before sending athletes out on the field, but it is not good if you are using massage as a means of ‘detensing'. GET IT TOGETHER If you are massaging yourself, you will need to be in different positions to work on various areas of your body. The legs are easy—they can be done lying on the floor with your legs propped up against the bed or a wall and your head and shoulders against a cushion or two. Or you can simply sit on the edge of a bath. To do your neck and shoulders, it's best to sit at a table with your head lying forward on a pillow in front of you. Lie on your back to do your abdomen and chest. For your lower back, lie on your stomach with a pillow underneath your waist. Then using some oil (see below), begin with an effleurage of the area you are working on, and go on to any of the other movements which feel right to you. WORK WITH A PARTNER Make sure the room is warm. Usually the floor is best, covered with a blanket and a towel. Let your friend or mate lie on his or her stomach and begin to work on the back. Never pour cold oil directly onto the skin. Instead, put it in your hands and give it a chance to warm before applying it. Let your friend relax as you do an effleurage picking up the back, one hand after another. Always maintain contact with his or her skin, so that as one hand is ready to come off the back, the other is already making contact with the skin. And don't be too light or feathery—it makes people feel uneasy. They need to sense good clear contact with your hands to be able to relax deeply. Let your partner do just that, so that he or she doesn't feel a need to speak. Indeed, the massage will work better if he or she doesn't. After you finish a minute or two of effleurage on the back, try a kneading movement or a deep muscle massage on the areas which seem most stiff or uncomfortable. Then, move on to other parts of the body—the feet, the legs, the arms, using the same sequence of movements. Ask them to turn over and work on the front of the legs and arms, the abdomen and the diaphragm, then finish off with some soothing petrissage on the shoulders, and finally some deeper circular movements to get rid of tension there. End the session with a more gentle effleurage to relax him or her deeply, or do some tapotement to stimulate energy levels, whichever your partner prefers. The whole process is not as difficult as it may seem at first, even if you have never had a go at it. There is an instinct most people have of finding out how to use these movements, so that they feel good not only to the person being massaged but to yourself. Massaging each other can be an excellent way of communicating for a couple feeling somewhat at odds with each other. It eliminates the need for words and seems to restore a sense of unity between people. OIL BLISS The best massage oils are those you mix yourself from a “carrier oil” such as almond, sesame, or coconut, to which you add a small quantity (measured in drops) of specific essential oils. Essential oils are the complex hydrocarbons which give plants and flowers their characteristic odors. Each essential oil has its own spirit as well as its biological characteristics. Each will affect the body in a slightly different way. Depending on what you want from a massage, you can choose what is best to use. For instance four drops each of the essential oils of rosemary, camphor and wintergreen mixed with half a cup of carrier oil makes a superb massage oil for sore muscles after strenuous exercise. Oil of sage mixed with a carrier is good for aches and pains from gardening. A few drops of pure sandalwood or camomile or lavender—or all three—in a carrier is excellent for relaxing you if you feel tense or under stress. (You must make sure that you buy the real essential oils however. The chemical analogues which are often sold in their place don't have a therapeutic effect.) These mixtures are also excellent treatments for both male and female skin. They help keep skin moist and protected from the hazards of environmental stress. ONLY THE BEST Once you fall in love with one or two essential oils, you will probably want to build up a whole collection. Be savvy about what you buy. A natural essential oil is impossible to reproduce artificially. It is something which, in its wholeness and its power to act on the human mind and body, can only be created by life itself. You should only ever use pure essential oils as they alone contain the full range of aromatic compounds from the plant. There are many—probably the majority of—products on the market which call themselves “essential oils” but which are poor quality. Some are synthetic, others diluted. Although they may not smell too bad—actually, most of them smell sickening to me—you will not get the full benefits from them that you will from a pure essential oil. The healing, the beauty, the sanctity and the pleasure you can experience using floral essential oils or their blends in these ways is hard to describe—just try it. It is likely to spark off new ideas for aromatherapy and self-healing that have yet to be tried. Note: Whenever possible buy organic oils. Organic or not, however, they need not cost a lot to be good. The reasons I order the majority of mine from iherb.com is that the prices are fabulous and the oils are great. Here are some essential oils and carrier oils I particularly recommend both for quality and price: Flora, Certified Organic Almond Oil, 8.5 fl oz (250 ml) Flora's Almond Oil is a light, premium quality oil pressed from carefully selected, certified organic almonds. The almonds are pressed using Flora's unique European HydroTherm pressing method under low temperature and then carefully bottled in light-resistant, amber glass. Order Flora, Certified Organic Almond Oil from iherb Eden Foods, Organic Sesame Oil, Unrefined, 16 fl oz (473 ml) It is simply pressed from Eden select seed and lightly filtered retaining sesame's full aroma and flavor. Contains the revered antioxidants sesamol and sesamin. Nitrogen flushed when bottled. Order Eden Foods, Organic Sesame Oil from iherb Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Rosemary Aroma: Warm, camphoraceous. Benefits: Purifying, renewing, uplifting. Mixes Well With: Bergamot Oil Lemongrass Oil Peppermint Oil Thyme Oil Extraction Method: Stem distilled from flowering tops. Order Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Rosemary from iherb ow Foods, Essential Oils, Camphor Benefits: Purifying, energizing, invigorating Mixes Well With: Cinnamon oil, frankincense oil, rosemary oil Extraction Method: Fractional distillation of crude decamphorized oil Order ow Foods, Essential Oils, Camphor from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Wintergreen Aroma: Warm, sweet. Benefits: Stimulating, refreshing, uplifting. Mixes Well With: eucalyptus oil, lemon oil, peppermint oil, tangerine oil Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from leaves. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Wintergreen from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sandalwood Aroma: Subtle floral, undertones of wood and fruit. Benefits: Grounding, focusing, balancing. Extraction method: Steam distilled from wood/bark/roots. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sandalwood from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sage Aroma: Warm, camphoraceous. Benefits: Normalizing, balancing, soothing. Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from partially dried leaves. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sage from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Chamomile Aroma: Intense sweet, delightful. Benefits: Relaxing, calming, revitalizing. Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from plant's flowers and stalks. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Chamomile from iherb Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Lavender Aroma: Floral Benefits: Soothing, normalizing, balancing. Extraction Method: Steam distilled from fresh flowering tops. Order Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Lavender from iherb

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.

How To Tap Your Explosive Energy

How To Tap Your Explosive Energy

For generations European experts in natural medicine and top athletes have been masters at using hydrotherapy to vitalise, restore strength, regenerate and rejuvenate the body. Yet few of us anglo-saxons have been privy to their secrets. It’s time you learned about them. You’ll it once you do. Hydrotherapy is a powerful external tool for rejuvenation. The Germans are masters of it. Thanks to the electrical properties of water, using alternate hot and cold water on your body can alter the electrical charges of its molecules in the body—particularly the low-level voltages which regulate lymphatic drainage—by alternately increasing and decreasing them. In physiological terms this opens up your capillaries increasing blood flow and helping to stimulate the elimination of wastes through your blood and lymph systems. It also relaxes and tones muscles and heightens your overall vitality. Hydrotherapy - Blitz guss Hydrotherapy in one form or another is a must both for helping to prevent cellulite and for restoring cellulite-riddled tissues to normal. It enhances circulation, eliminates stored wastes, increases energy exchange on a cellular level and even heightens immunity. The best water treatment for cellulite is the traditional German Blitzguss. The classic Blitz Guss needs to be done by a professional but you can get much of the same effecta and benefits in the shower yourself at home—especially if you have a hand held shower which you can direct on different parts of your body. Here’s what to do Take a three minute hot shower so you skin is really glowing. Then turn off the hot and immediately turn on the cold water so it flows on you face and down your shoulders and arms, your chest and belly and back then down your legs but for no more than 30 seconds. Now go back to 2 to 3 minutes of hot shower followed by 30 seconds of a cold then back to hot again and so on. You repeat this process three times, always finishing off with 30 seconds of cold water. If 30 seconds seems a daunting length of time in cold water at the beginning only do 15 seconds of cold followed by 2 to 3 minutes of hot three times finishing off with cold. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you want to adapt to the full 30 seconds I suspect. When you get out of the shower, dry yourself briskly with a thick soft towel. The main reason you always finish your Blitz Guss with cold is that this stimulates warmth in your skin and whole body. It will surprise you just how warm and enlivening this experience can be. which leaves you glowing with life. How Good You Feel Once you get used to your Blitz Guss protocol you are you’re going to be surprised at how good you feel and how vital. Never do a Blitz Guss just before bed or you more likely to feel so energetic that you can’t sleep. And, of course, if you have a pacemaker or any sort of heart issue or other condition it is essential that you check with your health practitioner and get his or her OK before you try it. Be brave and give it a go. I thik you’re going to love the experience.

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.

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. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

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

Get Energy

Get Energy

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

Exercise Reborn

Exercise Reborn

By now I’ve worked with thousands on Cura Romana. I have tried to help them come to terms with the fact that the program has little in common with conventional slimming diets. These demand that you grit your teeth, summon up every ounce of willpower, and exercise like a fanatic not only while you are losing weight but ever afterward. Such an attitude breeds fear. We have been taught by the media and all those slimming gurus that, just like denying yourself the pleasure of eating delicious food during weight loss, if you don’t force yourself to exercise vigorously you will never reach your weightloss goals. After all, we are told, the body needs discipline. Like a resistant child, the body must be forced to do what is good for it whether it likes it or not. DESTRUCTIVE NONSENSE Nothing could be further from the truth. You do not need to exercise on the CURA ROMANA JOURNEY. Because of the dynamic nature of this unique protocol—unless you are someone who is in the habit of exercising regularly just because you love it—while you are on the rapid weightloss part of the program, exercise can actually be counter-productive. Why? Because the biological, physiological and spiritual transformation that takes place in your body on the program need space and time to be able to take place in their own unique way. So do the “miracles” of enhanced self-awareness and capacity for joy which participants report . Extra pressure exerted from outside by trying to push your body hard or altering the exacting dietary protocol because you think this will make you lose more weight faster will not work on Cura Romana. Don’t even think about it. Now, after more than three years of doing my best to get this through to participants on the program, I think I am beginning to succeed. It is time for exercise to be reborn. Facing a run, swim or cycle as a chore is missing the point. Movement—whether dancing, yoga, weights, Pilates, swimming or what-have-you is never something you ‘should’ do because you are ‘supposed to’. Exercise has enormous value. It is an important key for reconnecting with your essential being: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So let’s throw out all the ‘shoulds’ we’ve had forced down our throat, and explore the real power of movement and discover how, when it is done for pleasure, excecise can literally transform your life. MOVE FOR JOY Joy is a powerful motivator. Once you discover this your whole experience of exercise changes forever. Far from being something you do quickly to get it over with—a chore you ‘virtuously’ suffer through—it becomes one of the most enjoyable parts of your life. American enthusiast the late George Sheehan, whose legacy still continues to inform people of the true nature of exercise, describes this experience well: “Exercise that is not play accentuates rather than closes the split between body and spirit. Exercise that is drudgery, labor, something done only for the final result is a waste of time.” Running easily down a country road at dawn, gliding through water, speeding down a mountain covered with fine snow, are meant to be done for their own sake—for the sheer pleasure of it. The fact that these activities are good for you becomes incidental to the sensuous, delicious, unexpected pleasure you can come to experience. As you discover this for yourself, you begin to know what moving your body is all about. In the next few weeks I want to explore exercise—movement—and its relationship to joy, authentic freedom, and wellbeing on every level of our lives in a whole new way. I’m excited about doing this and I hope you will enjoy what comes of it and that in the simplest ways it can help enhance your connections with your own body and your life as a whole.

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.

More in movement

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 19,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 14 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.74 lb
for women
-0.78 lb
for men
-0.74 lb
for women
-0.78 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

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