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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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Your Silent Sea

Your Silent Sea

There are five main channels for detoxifying your body: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys, the bowels and the lymphatic system. None is less less recognized, nor more important in spring-cleaning the body, than your lymphatic system. Yet the state of its health and functioning is still almost completely ignored. Your lymphatics are not only a major route for absorbing vital nutrients from the digestive system into the tissues to keep skin healthy, youthful and glowing—they are important carriers of immune cells. These protect your body from damage and illness and help prevent degenerative aging. Lymphatics are also your body's metabolic-waste-disposal system. They take away unwanted proteins and large particles of toxic debris which cannot be removed by any other means. This includes toxins—the by-products of fatigue and of stress—dead cells, fatty globules, pathogenic bacteria, heavy metals, infectious viruses and other assorted rubbish cast off by your cells. WASTE DISPOSAL So essential are the waste-eliminating functions of the lymphatic system that without them you would die within 24 hours. Doctors working with natural methods of healing insist that a primary cause of fatigue, disease and cell degeneration, with its accompanying premature aging, is poor circulation of lymph to and from the cells and tissues of the body. The same tradition of natural medicine uses a number of effective techniques designed to stimulate lymphatic functions as a means of healing even quite serious illnesses— ranging from rheumatism or cardiovascular disease to chronic fatigue. These techniques include exercise (done for the joy of it, not as a chore), skin-brushing, special breathing techniques, and infra red saunas. All of these things improve the purity and quality of the lymph—the clear fluid which flows through the lymphatics (lymph vessels). They are little short of revolutionary in what they can do for your good looks and your good health. They have even been known to clear long-standing skin troubles such as acne, improve the look of puffy or aging skin, heighten vitality, banish muscle and joint pain, and aid in the regeneration of the body as a whole. Making use of these techniques is simple. But first you need to know a little about how the lymphatic system functions, and just how important a role its mysterious mechanisms play in promoting health and beauty. WHITE BLOOD MAGIC Your body is more than 75 per cent water. So important is water to the processes of life itself that, according to Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, “Life is water dancing to the tune of solids”. A French biologist rather poetically emphasized Szent-Gyorgyi's observation by saying: 'Man is an amphibian. Even the most beautiful woman's body is no more than an aquarium with 50 liters of lukewarm seawater in which trillions of cells live and fight for survival.' Five liters of this 'seawater' are to be found in your blood, five in digestive and other secretions, and almost all the rest is in your lymphatic fluid or lymph—sometimes called 'white blood'. Thanks to the lymph, a ceaseless interchange goes on between your body's trillions of cells and their surrounding interstitial fluids, so that food and oxygen are exchanged and waste products are eliminated from the cells—all through the medium of water. For cells and tissues to be nourished, for them to remain vital, and for your skin and muscles to remain smooth and healthy and firm, this interchange needs to occur without impedance, and the water itself needs to be relatively uncontaminated. BEAUTIFUL FLUID In your body, nutrients and oxygen are transported to the tissues and cells via the bloodstream. Arterial pressure forces the blood through tiny capillaries and out into the cells' interstitial spaces to enable the nutrients and oxygen to be exchanged for the wastes which the cells have produced. Here the water or interstitial fluid, now filled with toxic waste, is gathered by tiny lymphatic tubules and then sent back through the lymph vessels to be detoxified. These lymphatics are a highly organized and elaborate system of ducts and channels which flow all over your body. In fact, almost all the tissues of the body are equipped with lymph channels which drain excess fluid, and the wastes which it contains, from the interstitial spaces. This opalescent liquid carries the wastes and toxic products from these minute channels into larger lymphatic vessels, and on through the lymph nodes, which are located in the groin and under the arm and the neck. The lymph nodes filter the fluid to remove impurities and dead cells; they are also a place where antibodies, which fight infection or toxins, are made. After purification at the nodes, the fluid is returned to the blood. In this way, the lymphatic system works ceaselessly to clear toxicity and to reduce excess mucus and waste. GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND The microscopic network of these lymph channels resembles the blood capillaries, except that it is finer. And the lymph system in many ways is rather like the blood system except that, while the blood system is powered by the action of the heart muscles, the lymphatic system has no such prime mover. Instead, its nourishing, water-balancing and eliminative functions are almost entirely dependent upon gravity and the natural pressure of muscles which occurs when you move your body. These muscle contractions and body movements—together with biochemical factors, such as whether or not excessive quantities of protein are present in the fluid—keep the lymph flowing and make it possible for the lymphatics to carry out their important task of bodily cleansing. For good lymphatic functioning—to keep your body free of the buildup of wastes and toxicity—you need to move your muscles vigorously and often. That is why regular brisk exercise, such as taking long walks in comfortable shoes, is so important not only to firm your muscles and strengthen your heart and lungs, but also to encourage the steady and effective elimination of wastes from your cells and tissues.

Sacred Truth Ep. 50: Thyroid Truths

Sacred Truth Ep. 50: Thyroid Truths

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

Get Going

Get Going

Nothing produces a holiday high like the right kind of exercise. Exercise is a major detoxifier. It sheds waste and lifts your spirits. And the best kind is the kind you like best. The days of donning pink leg-warmers and busting a gut at the gym because it is supposed to be good for you are over. Exercise is an important key in the detoxification process, as it gets your lungs working and your lymphatic system moving. During atwo-day apple fast you need to take some exercise, but only gentle exercise. Long walks are perfect. You do not want to put extra stress on your body by wearing it out with a stiff workout or long run. If you exercise regularly and are pretty fit, then go for a long brisk walk. If exercise is something you would rather not think about, let alone do, indulge yourself in a couple of long lazy strolls in the park or in the country to get your lungs and lymph working efficiently. Once your apple fast is over, to help your body to remain as free of toxins as possible, you need to take some regular exercise. walk it out Regular aerobic exercise (where your heart is beating firmly and you breathe deeply over a period of 30-45 minutes) is essential. It increases your body’s ability to process oxygen – and a high consumption of oxygen keeps your energy high, and keeps you looking and feeling good. Moreover, exercise can do as much good for your mind as it can your body. And, just in case you think you have to become a marathon runner, you may be surprised to find our how simple real fitness can be. Brisk daily walks can not only be a lot of fun, they can help keep your body clean from inside out. Start slowly if you are not used to exercise and then gradually – over several weeks if necessary – work up your pace to four miles an hour. This means you will be walking a mile in about 15 minutes. Once you can do that easily you will be able to walk, say, three miles a day in 45 minutes and you’ll be getting a very pleasant but effective workout, which will bring you lots of energy and have you feeling great. Of course, there are other alternatives as well – you could swim or jog or skip or row. But each of these requires special equipment and special places or times to do, whereas walking can be done almost anywhere by anyone without any special training and without spending extra money. rebound madness Rebounding – bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline – is tremendous, childish fun. This is probably reason enough to do it, but it is also excellent exercise to help with detoxification. The unique up-and-down movement of your body on a mini-trampoline subjects it to changes in gravitational force. For a split second at the top of the bounce, gravity or G-force is nonexistent. But at the bottom of each bounce, as you come down upon the elastic platform, the pull of gravity on your cells, muscles and tissues is suddenly increased by two or even three times the usual G-force on the earth. On the way up, gravity closes up the millions of one-way valves which control the flow of lymph. Then when you come down again onto the trampoline the internal pressure changes quickly and dramatically, causing them to open and bringing about a surge of lymph, so you set up an internal massaging motion which shunts lymph along. Rebounding is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to exercise at home, no matter what their fitness level. It’s particularly good for anyone who is embarrassed by the idea of going out in running gear or going to the gym. Unlike many in-the-home exercise options, rebounding has a particularly high continued use success rate, probably because it is so much fun. It gets your mind and body working and seems to raise spirits like nothing else I have ever come across. I often use it for 10 minutes or so when I’m feeling fatigued or stressed. Begin bouncing gently so that your heels barely leave the ground. If you feel unsteady, use the back of a chair to support yourself with one arm as you bounce. You might like to bounce to music or even while watching television. As an alternative to bouncing with both feet together, try jogging from one foot to the other. Begin with 10-15 minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes or so as your strength increases. how much? how long? Regular physical exercise – the kind you get if you do 45 minutes of brisk walking, swimming, running, rebounding or rowing at least four or five times a week – suffuses the skin with blood, enhances lymphatic functioning, and increases the ability of your body to carry oxygen and nutrients to the skin’s cells and to remove waste products from them. Always leave no more than 48 hours between sessions, so that you will continue to benefit from the enhanced metabolic rate. Just in case you think you don’t have time, I can promise you once you start you will create more time for yourself because everything in your life will flow more easily. When you notice the benefits that a sustained exercise routine brings, you will find your body craving for more. But more is not necessarily better. Exercise to help elimination needs to be rhythmical and continuous, to use large muscle groups and to be performed at an intensity and frequency that increases your heart input only to 60 percent of maximum heart rate (MHR) – never more. How do you work out what that means for you? Simple. First take your own pulse. Place three fingers along the artery at the wrist until you feel the steady beat of your heart. Then, using a watch with a second hand, count how many times your heart beats while the second hand records six seconds passing. Multiply the number of times your heart beat in this period and multiply by 10. This gives you how many times per minute your heart is beating. Once you know how to do this it is easy to calculate the rest. To discover your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Then multiply this figure by 0.6. This will give you your target heart rate. For instance, if you are 40 years old: Maximum heart rate = 220 – 40 = 180 beats per minute. 180 beats per minute X 0.6 = 108 beats per minute. get going Any form of sustained aerobic exercise which gets your heart beating at your target heart rate is ideal for minimizing the build up of wastes in your system, for releasing wastes that are already stored in your tissues, and for burning any excess fat. Begin slowly with only 15-20 minutes of exercise at a time. Remember to check on your heart rate at least twice during every exercise session and adjust your activity accordingly when it goes more than 10 beats above or below your target heart rate. You need to judge how long is right for you by checking on how fatigued you feel one hour after exercising. That is the best indication of whether or not you are working with your body’s own rhythms and needs. If you find yourself fatigued an hour after exercising, then you are overdoing it. So pull back until your body is ready for a higher dose of activity. Exercising too hard or too long can actually produce more waste for your body to get rid of. Choose between dancing freely to any music you like, swimming, rebounding, running, cycling or walking briskly. Walking is the easiest of all since you can do it anywhere. Walk to and from work, climb stairs instead of using the lift – it’s all good exercise and half the time you won’t even notice you are doing it.

Sacred Truth Ep. 63: Secret Paths To Energy

Sacred Truth Ep. 63: Secret Paths To Energy

“I’ve got no energy.” It’s the complaint I hear most often from men and women...an experience that carries endless consequences: feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and devoid of the sparkle that makes life enjoyable. In truth, energy potential is still there within you. It just needs to be rediscovered and set free. Begin by listening your soul’s whispers, and the rest comes naturally. Get into your body. Did you know that how you think and feel are inextricably linked to how well your body functions? Mind and body are integrated through our nerve pathways, hormones, and chemical messengers. The first step, therefore, requires a real change of perspective. Start to see your body not as external to yourself but as the physical expression of who you are. Decide you matter. Decide that you have a right to energy. You do. What kind of energy do you desire? When embarking on an energy journey, it helps to know where you’re starting from. So, as you’re starting the energy journey, take note of where you are now. Start an energy diary. Try writing down a few sentences about how you think and feel, where you want to be, and record anything you think may be holding you back. Form a crystal clear vision of what you are seeking to achieve. The clearer your visualization, the easier it becomes to make high energy a reality. What are your energy drainers? Our world is filled with external energy parasites, such as environmental poisons like pesticides, solvents, estrogens, heavy metals, and junk foods. Then there are the inner energy thieves: Negative emotions. Addictions. Low self-esteem. With all these energy enemies pitted against us, it may seem like an uphill battle. But don’t be disheartened. Once you have identified the specific drainers at work in your life, you will be able to take action to clear them. Do a health check now. Not only are there environmental and emotional energy drainers to watch out for, but biochemical factors come into play as well. These include things like low blood sugar, allergies, anemia, yeast infections, and leaky gut syndrome. How do you start addressing these drainers? Identify and eliminate foods from your diet that are causing or worsening these conditions. You may also want to supplement with the nutrients or digestive enzymes you’re low on. Clear out the junk. So far you’ve started your energy journey and dealt with the baddies sapping your vitality. Now it’s time for bold action. It’s time for a detox—spring cleaning your body from the inside out. Over the years, a less-than-optimum diet results in wastes building up in the tissues. Energy expended on dealing with these toxins depletes you of vitality. So it’s time to clear all unwanted wastes. Quite literally, throw away every package of junk food in your kitchen. Drink at least 2.5 liters of pure water every day. Then you’re ready for the next step—change the kind of foods you were eating before today. Buy, grow, and eat only Real Foods. Stop buying packaged convenience foods filled with hidden sugars, additives, and chemicals, which undermine your health. Too few people realize that grains and grain-based products are themselves insidious energy drainers. This is cutting-edge information—still ignored by the media and much of the medical profession as a result of pressures from Big Pharma and the multinational convenience food industry as well as the corrupt FDA. Grains, cereals, convenience foods—which most of the Western world lives on—turn into sugar as soon as you eat them, creating serious health issues: weight gain in those with a genetic propensity to it, rapid aging, and a myriad of degenerative diseases from heart disease, arthritis, and depression to Alzheimer’s and even cancer.    Real Foods means lots of fresh vegetables and low sugar fruits like berries, plus sprouted seeds and high-quality proteins from grazed animals and wild fish. Add a few superfoods. It’s time to acquaint yourself with some of Nature’s superfoods. To name just a few: Spirulina—seaweeds—chlorella, white tea, and immune-enhancing mushrooms like shiitake and maitake. Tap into their amazing power. You won’t look back. Get moving. Choose a physical activity that you absolutely love, and get into it. It can be anything you like, so long as it’s regular (done maybe three times a week), consistent (lasting 20 to 30 minutes each time), rhythmic, and uses plenty of large muscle groups. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few suggestions: Walking. Easily incorporated into daily life, and a great option if you’re unfit. Dancing for the sheer joy of it. Yoga. Incredibly adaptable and practical, especially for frequent travelers. Rebounding (bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline). So much fun, and perfect to do regardless of your fitness level. Movement can become a source of bliss, which becomes a reward in itself. Laugh it off. You’ve learnt the serious stuff. Now it’s time to start living with energy and joy. Laughter is a great way to start. It’s good for your immune system and your entire body. Seek out and spend time with the people whose sense of humor you love. Watch wonderful comedy movies like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bowfinger, and Death at a Funeral. They can help energize your life. Time to look ahead. We’ve now come full circle. Go back to your energy diary and ask again the same questions you answered in step two. Have your answers changed? Ask yourself positive questions, and record answers when they come. Now make a long-term energy plan for yourself featuring aspects of the steps you’ve found most helpful. Remember, the energy process is an ongoing journey. And it’s an amazing one. Have fun with it.

Live It

Live It

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

Sacred Truth Ep. 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.

The Wonders Of Exercise

The Wonders Of Exercise

Let’s talk exercise. It’s time we did. For there is no area of health more misunderstood than exercise—its benefits, its drawbacks—what it will and won’t do. The medical profession continues to feed us the party line: It begins with “every calorie is unique…it doesn’t matter where it comes from…if you want to lose weight, all you have to do is burn calories through exercise.” This is absolutely untrue—in fact, exercise can sometimes be seriously detrimental to those who are considerably overweight. Nevertheless doctors, and the media, keep telling us that it works. And, like sheep, we just keep trusting them. MEDICAL IGNORANCE What happens? Well, when people find that it doesn’t work, they get depressed. They feel like failures. They stop exercising and start eating more because they’re disheartened. They figure that exercising is no use. This makes metabolic syndrome—Syndrome X—worse than ever. For metabolic syndrome and chronic high blood sugar levels are what makes us fat, and keep us that way. That’s the bad news. The good news about exercise is this: Whether you’re overweight or not, exercise done regularly, for as little as 15 minutes a day, is absolutely the single most important thing that you can do to improve your overall health. TRUTH ABOUT CALORIES Because of the media, the medical profession, and purveyors of diet supplements, just about everybody still believes that energy expenditure—and therefore calorie burning—comes with exercise. However the truth is that during physical activity, only the smallest amount of energy expenditure takes place. Exercise accounts for no more than 5% of the calories you burn, unless you happen to be a top athlete. I think this will surprise you too: The greatest percent of calorie burning takes place, not while you’re moving, but while you are sleeping. This phenomenon is called “resting energy expenditure”. Depending on how heavy or light you are, resting energy can account for as much as 60% of your total daily energy expenditure. Another way your body expends energy by burning calories is thanks to the “thermic effect of food”. This refers to the energy it takes your body to digest, absorb and metabolize the foods you have eaten This thermic effect accounts for about 10% of the energy that you burn during the day. So you can see by contrast just how low, in fact virtually insignificant, is the amount of calories burnt during most physical activities. TOTALLY MISUNDERSTOOD The idea most people have—that if they exercise they can lose weight—is also nothing more than a pipe dream. So what does exercise actually do for you? The answer is: some pretty wonderful things. Exercise enhances sensitivity to insulin. This helps your body make use of the fat that has accumulated in the liver and around other organs improving insulin sensitivity and lower ing insulin levels. It also improves both leptin signaling and leptin sensitivity in the cells., calming food cravings, improving muscle tone, and making you feel more vital. Exercise builds muscle. Most people, including most medical doctors, still wrongly equate BMI (Body Mass Index) with body fat. The truth is BMI does not measure the difference between muscle and fat, or between subcutaneous fat (the inessential fat) and visceral fat. Many studies looking at body composition before and after periods of exercise show that the percentage of fat goes down. But this is only because muscle has increased. As this takes place, a person’s metabolic facilities are also improved. PREVENTING ILLNESS We are often told that we need to change our diet in order to prevent heart disease. Indeed this is quite true: However, the metabolic transformations that take place during regular moderate exercise are an even more powerful force than dieting for preventing disease—including heart disease. To take things further, exercise is actually a more effective force in preventing heart disease than losing weight! A study of almost 40,000 American men demonstrated quite clearly that physical activity was more important in preventing heart disease than being normal weight. These major gifts of exercise are more important than people realize, but they have nothing to do with controlling weight. Let’s look now at how exercise works, biochemically and physiologically. NEW ENERGY FACTORIES Regular exercise activates your sympathetic nervous system. This , in turn, tells your muscles to make new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the amazing little energy factories inside muscle cells that burn glucose or fatty acids, to produce vitality for your whole body. Regular exercise plays a big role not only in building new mitochondria, but in getting rid of the old, inefficient mitochondria. Old mitochondria do not function properly. As a result they produce free radicals to undermine your health and encourage rapid aging. Regular exercise clears away the old and helps your muscles make clean and efficient use of the energy stored within the new. This too improves insulin sensitivity, and enhances metabolic health all round. STRESS BUSTER Regular exercise lowers your stress levels. It’s true that blood cortisol levels go up temporarily when you start to exercise. This is a good thing, It keeps your blood sugar and blood pressure up while you are moving. They come back down quickly afterwards. In fact, one of the long term benefits of regular exercise is that it reduces blood pressure. This is thanks to exercise’s ability to lower stress levels all round. Regular exercise also encourages your body to release feel-good chemicals in the brain known as endorphins. This makes regularly moving the body one of the most effective treatments for depression, far better than drugs or psychotherapy. The way exercise increases endorphins always fascinated me. This was what made me become a regular runner. I was determined to experience what is known as the “runner’s high”. And I found it wonderful. WHAT EXERCISE IS BEST For a long time we’ve been told that the best kind of exercise is low-intensity, long interval, aerobic practices, now known as “cardio exercise”. We learned that cardio worked the heart in a beneficial way, and provided all sorts of cardiovascular benefits by pumping more blood to the heart, slowing heart rate, and increasing peripheral muscles. The one thing it was never able to do—although we were misled to believe that it did—was bring about weight loss. Recently, however, a number of studies have shown that high-intensity interval training, where you use an extreme activity for a very short period of time interspersed with a short recovery—as well as plain old weight training—brings equal improvements both in waist circumference and blood vessel flow. So the bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose. Just do it. BE CAUTIOUS Whatever kind you decide to try, you need to do it regularly—at least five days a week. Why? Because the wonderful metabolic effects of exercise—which tell your mitochondria to divide and make new mitochondrial factories for vitality—slow and decline when you miss even a day of exercising. Miss two weeks, and your insulin sensitivity is likely to decline as well until it reaches the level it was before you started exercising. So whatever you decide to do, do it regularly. You need only do it for short periods, but do it every day. A FINAL WORD It is not only the overweight by the way who suffer from insulin resistance—metabolic syndrome. So do 40% of normal weight men and women, especially those who have fatty livers. Recent research shows that fitness not only helps mitigate the effects of overweight on visceral fat. In fact, it mitigates many other health complaints also provided you are consistent with doing it. This is also likely to increase your longevity. And...great news...if you are overweight, but not obese, exercising regularly can help you live significantly longer than that emaciated model on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Recent research shows that overweight people with BMIs between 25 and 30 tend to live longer than skinny people with BMIs of less than 19. DO WHAT YOU LOVE The most important thing for you to decide is what kind of exercise you want to do. It can be as simple as going for a walk each day for half an hour—not a power walk, just one where you feel the movements of, and a connection with, your body. It can be dance. It doesn’t have to be vigorous. It can be rebounding on a mini-trampoline. It can be moderate weight training, for 15-20 minutes a day. I personally like cycling on a wind-trainer. This is a device that your bicycle fits into. It allows you to regulate how hard you choose to pump while the wheels spin but the bicycle remains static. I use a wind trainer because I don’t like cycling on roads. The other exercise I do is on a Concept 2 rowing machine which I was given many years ago. I use it five days a week for 20 minutes at a time. I love doing it: It enables me to move my whole body, and brings me a rhythmic feeling of being completely connected to it. What exercise you do depends entirely on what you love. So begin to experiment. Let go of the idea that exercise is going to make you thin. It will not. What it will do for your health, your emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and to slow the aging process, is fantastic. It can also be a lot of fun. Discover the joys and great gifts that come with moving your body. The time is now. REFERENCES P. Wen et al., "Minimum Amount of Physical Activity for Reduced Mortality and Extended Life Expectancy: A Prospective Cohort Study," Lancet 378 (2011) S. Ludwig, "The Glycemic Index: Physiological Mechanisms Relating to Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease," JAMA 287 (2002) Stensvold et al., "Strength Training versus Aerobic Interval Training to Modify Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome," /. Appl. Physiol. 108 (2010) P. Little et al, "Skeletal Muscle and Beyond: The Role of Exercise as a Mediator of Systemic Mitochondrial Biogenesis," Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 36 (2011) K. J. Acheson et al., "Protein Choices Targeting Thermogenesis and Metabolism," Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 93 (2011) Shaw et al., "Exercise for Overweight or Obesity," Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. CD003817 (2006) M. J, Gibala et al, "Physiological Adaptations to Low-Volume, High-Intensity Interval Training in Health and Disease," /. Physiol. 590, no. 5 (2012) A. McAuley et al., "Obesity Paradox and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in 12,417 M a l e Veterans Aged 40 to 70 Years," Mayo Clin. Proc. 85 (2010) Bajpeyi et al., "Effect of Exercise Intensity and Volume on Persistence of Insulin Sensitivity During Training Cessation," /. Appl. Physiol. 106 (2009)

Exercise And Transformation

Exercise And Transformation

Not only is wholeheartedness important if one is to realize the full potential for exercise, 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. We are not machines, no matter how much we are told otherwise. When we have treated ourselves as such, either by neglecting to care for our physical needs or by forcing our bodies through exercise routines like automatons, we both create distortions of posture and body shape and dissipate precious adaptive energy instead of renewing it. In fact most of us have quite literally grown up with postural distortions which over the years become so much a part of us they are almost like physical symbols for our personality. When you begin to approach exercise from a more unified perspective it's important to find ways of unlocking some of the residual tensions which underlie these distortions and to set the body free to move naturally so we can make the most of whatever form of exercise we choose to do. A good yoga teacher can help you do this gradually over a period of time. So can some very simple exercises which I learned from a quite extraordinary movement teacher called Lilla Bek. Herself a longtime teacher of yoga as well as an acclaimed healer and writer, Lilla Bek's approach to movement is an ancient one - based on the principles of sacred dance where the body is not only put through its physical paces to tighten muscles and firm contours but to balance the body's energies through what in mystic traditions are known as the chakra centers. There are believed to be seven of these, starting at the base of the spine and rising through the solar plexus to finish at the crown of the head. Each chakra is said to be connected with specific endocrine glands and to influence the functions of organs related to it as well as energy in the part of the body it governs. Each is also believed to have specific psychic qualities - the one in the belly, for instance, is said to be connected with the actions of the will, while the chakra at the throat is a center for creative energies, particularly artistic ones and for self expression. The purpose of sacred dance is to revitalize the energetic circuits of the body and mind and to unify the system so that one connects up both with the earth as well as one's own energies and is fed by them. Whether or not the chakra system is ever validated by scientific research, working with exercise and movement in this way can be a superb means of integrating mind and body as well as working out long-standing bodily tensions and postural distortions that make you look and feel older than you are. After a while your body really does become a vehicle for the expression of the inner being. Its movements become naturally graceful and authentic. Over a period of time even the most distorted frame seems to untwist itself as the muscles are freed from chronic postural habits and tensions which deplete energies and undermine natural beauty. But for me the most rewarding thing of all in beginning to work in an energetically aware way with movement is the extraordinary levels of energy it brings. It is as if you create for yourself a link with the earth which supports you at a high level of calm vitality long after other, more disconnected, exercisers have fallen by the wayside. postures for transformation To begin working energetically rather than mechanically with your body it is necessary to do two things. First you need to identify areas of chronic tension, which are distorting body shape and posture, and eliminate them by an active process of letting go. Second you need to begin drawing conscious awareness to the ways in which even the smallest movement, whether it takes place while running, dancing, speaking or whatever, affects muscle groups and energy-focus in other areas of the body not directly related to the muscles doing the work. Lilla Bek has worked out some gentle but useful postures which do both. 'Most people,' she says, `even very active people, have many areas of residual tension which restrict full movement and interfere with the free flow of energy so that they become unnecessarily fatigued. These areas are really the result of how we live and how we use our bodies. Our waking hours are largely spent using only a small amount of space right in front of us - for instance as when we are driving a car or eating, working at a desk or watching television. Every group of muscles in the body has another that works in opposition to it. When we restrict our movement to such a small space we tend to contract the muscles of one group without ever doing any kind of contrastretch to bring its opposing muscles into play. This is how chronically tense muscles lead to body distortions such as dowager's hump, slumped shoulders, excessively curved backs and the rest.' undoing the kinks The postures Lilla Bek uses to undo long-standing kinks in the body are designed specifically to create a contrastretch for each group of chronically tightened muscles. At the same time, because they are done slowly and deliberately in a deeply relaxed state they make it possible for the person practicing them to begin experiencing just how connected up his body is energetically. Take the movements implied in Leonardo's famous spread-eagled man for example. Hold yourself in this position and slowly move your arms from your sides to above your head - palms turned outwards. At each level of movement you will find that a different group of muscles come into action which are quite separate from those of the arms and shoulders involved in the movement. First the lower abdomen is tightened and the energy there is stimulated, then the solar plexus, the chest and the area of the heart chakra come into play. Then the jaw line, the lower face and ears, the roof of the mouth, the eyes, cheeks and forehead each in their turn are activated as you move your arms higher and higher. To someone who has never had any consciousness of the energetic phenomenon of exercise and the unification of body movement such an experience is like a revelation. Practice a few of the postures which heighten your body awareness and you will find very soon not only that your posture changes as your body becomes more fluid and more supple and a more articulate expression of your being, but when you turn to your aerobics or your yoga or your running or your sacred dance there is a lightness and a freedom which you have never experienced before. Here are five of Lilla Bek's simple postures. Spend two to five minutes on each once a day and you are likely to experience new energy levels as well as a sense of authentic natural grace which no amount of mechanical jogging around the park or sweating it out in they gym can match. the opening This position has a remarkable ability to open out the body, expanding the chest, releasing chronic tension from the neck and shoulders, gradually smoothing out hollow backs, and greatly expanding contracted hip joints. here's how Lying flat on the floor relax and close your eyes. Ask a friend to take a look at the position of your chin. It should be pointing straight up at the ceiling, forming a right angle with your neck.  If it is higher than this, place a book under your head to bring it back into alignment. As the natural alignment of your spine improves you will need a thinner and thinner book until you can do it without one altogether. Does your back lie flat against the floor or is there a hollow? An arched spine indicates that you normally hold your chin wrongly which stretches the skin of the neck and creates a double-chin look. How far are your shoulders off the floor? Do they differ in this? As chronic tension is released by doing the exercise regularly your shoulders will come closer and closer to the floor, your back will lengthen and your chin will naturally align. Draw your right foot up while placing your palms downwards on the floor and rest it near your buttocks. Do the same with the other foot placing your heels together, soles flat on the floor. Now, starting with your palms against the sides of your hips, begin to explore the space around you with your arms and notice the parts of your body which slowly moving your arms outwards and upwards activates. Moving your arms up and out you begin to activate energy first in the pelvic area, then the solar plexus, heart, thymus, forehead and top of the head. When you get to the level where you are lying with your arms in line with your shoulders, let your hands open slightly and you will have reached the level of the throat energies. Explore the feel of each level of the arms in turn by moving them slowly and then leaving them at each level to sink quietly to the floor. If while doing this you gradually open out or close your fingers you will produce many interesting changes in energy at different levels of your body. With your arms extended like this at the sides your shoulder blades will separate and then by letting your knees open outwards to the natural pull of gravity you will discover your breathing opens up. Explore this position for two or three minutes before going on to the next. expansion This position opens out a collapsed midriff, lengthens the body, energizes the solar plexus and even tightens the muscles of the face. here's how Moving from the first position, now place your feet about 18 inches apart with soles flat against the floor. Leave your arms at shoulder level and very slowly roll your hips to the right side simultaneously rolling your head to the left. Return to the center keeping your lower spine in contact with the floor and repeat the movement to the other side. Your knee should gradually fit into the arches of the opposite leg. Don't worry if they don't touch the floor. They will eventually. Most people have a shortened midriff and the solar-plexus chakra which provides the body with dynamic physical energy cannot function properly when this is the case. This position has a remarkable effect on the look of the face when it is practiced regularly and can make you look considerably younger. But for this to work you must `connect up' your face with your body - particularly in the spaces through which the knees move in your awareness as you carry out the movement. Take a full breath before you begin and exhale as your hips roll to the side then inhale again slowly as they return to center, exhale in starting position and repeat to the other side. the rainbow This is a position of natural grace. It brings a superb stretch to the waistline, lengthens the whole body, flattens and firms the abdomen, and integrates body energies. here's how Lying flat on your back take a full breath, exhale and roll to the left side, bringing your arms together in the same direction. Now bring your right knee across and exhale. Keep your knee down by holding it with your left hand to make sure it will not go back up. Now very gently try to take your right hand up and around your body. If it does not come in contact easily with the floor above your head then the energies from your heart and throat areas are not freed for use. Have a friend calculate in this position how much your arm is off the floor. If it is more than 6 inches then problems of distortion will be exaggerated in your body and it will take a bit of time to correct. If it is exaggerated it is a good idea not to exercise vigorously until the exaggeration disappears. bow to the earth Not only is this position profoundly relaxing - an excellent way to relieve stress after the end of a long day - it is also wonderful for alleviating lower-back problems and period aches and it encourages energy to rise up the spine flooding the whole body with new vitality and clearing a fuzzy mind. here's how From a kneeling position, bend your body forward, pushing your hands out in front, and stretch forward like a cat. On the in-breath, bring your hands to lie at the sides of your feet and lower your buttocks. If you have difficulty in doing this be gentle but persevere since chronic contraction here can lead to lower-back problems later. On the out-breath, bring the top of your head down in front of your knees. Rest a moment and then bring your hands forwards and place them one palm on top of the other. Rest your forehead on top. Close your eyes and relax for two minutes or more. The detensing effects of this position work slowly. It can be held for longer than most. It too is excellent for the solar plexus but it is also good for releasing energy that has been blocked at the base of the spine. the lengthener This position and the gentle movement which accompanies it activates the base of the spine, improves blood flow to the brain, takes pressure off of tired legs, alleviates lower-back tensions, improves circulation in the pelvis and is a superb antidote to stress. here's how Lying flat on your back relax as fully as you can. Now start to raise one leg slowly up as high as you can go. Be aware as your leg moves through the arc that with each 6 or 8 inches it passes through different parts of your body become energized, starting with the base chakra and moving up through the belly, heart and throat when it reaches a right angle. If you can go beyond this upright position you can also activate head energies. Now with your hand on one knee, don't pull by force but hold your knee with your hands and see how far you can bring it into your body. On the in-breath raise your forehead to the knee. Breathe out as you bring them together, relax and lie back. Repeat with the other leg, going through the whole sequence for two or three minutes. If you are unable to bring your knee all the way to your body do persist with the exercise. It will help protect you from lower-back troubles later. You will get a splendid feeling of lengthening over your whole body after working through this position. Combine these simple `untwisters' with a habit of regular aerobic activity - walking, swimming, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, cycling, running, jogging or rowing - and you will find a new sense of integration takes place and your energy levels will soar.

Breath Of Youth

Breath Of Youth

Every one of our cells needs a continual supply of oxygen. It is this oxygen that feeds our brain, sparks metabolism and calms nerves. One of the reasons why regular aerobic exercise is so beneficial in slowing down the rate at which you age and warding off degenerative diseases is because it improves your use of oxygen. So can learning to breathe fully. It can also improve your mood, increase your resistance to colds and illness, and improve sleep as well. Full breathing is also an important tool for encouraging waste elimination. It is a kind of spring-cleaning process that can go on all year round every day of your life. Chinese medicine (which I spent three years studying and working with) has a long tradition of natural-law ageless aging. And a great deal of it centers around the use of the breath. This is something to which we give little attention in the West and it is strange to think that specific breathing techniques are so ignored when the body's use of oxygen is the central determinant of the rate at which we age. Few people breathe fully. Most of us, particularly if we have sedentary jobs, breathe high - that is we breathe quickly and shallowly concentrating the inhalations in the upper chest area which is the part of the lungs which holds the smallest quantity of air. Not only does this kind of breathing inhibit oxygen intake, it can also encourage the lungs to atrophy and to lose much of their natural elasticity - something which is a common occurrence as people get older. Other people, who allow the air to flow deeper into their lungs are mid-breathers - an improvement over breathing high because it encourages the ribcage to move and brings more oxygen into the lungs for body use. But to make the best use of oxygen for ageless aging it's important to develop the habit of taking total breaths so they become your normal way of breathing. The Total Breath This is not something that you can learn overnight for there is nothing more unconscious and habitual than the way we breathe and that takes time and a little persistent effort to change. In breathing totally all of your breathing apparatus comes into play - the chest and ribs are lifted but not by themselves. The intercostal muscles also expand the ribs outward to create a large space in which your lungs can inflate to their maximum. Finally the diaphragm moves down, pulling the lower ribs outward which lets even the very bottom of your lungs fill up completely with air. With total breathing a much higher proportion of your lung power is used, as are most of your chest, rib and stomach muscles. Practice it lying down for five minutes a couple of times a day - perhaps just on awakening or just before going to sleep - and gradually it will become an automatic way of breathing which will not only help in ageless aging but will also improve your resistance to fatigue, improve the glow of your skin and help protect you from minor illness. Here's How Lying flat on your back with a small pillow beneath your neck, place one hand on your abdomen and rest the other on one side of your ribcage. Now inhale slowly through your nose while imagining that you are sending your breath to a place about 2 inches below your navel. Your tummy will start to well outward rather like a balloon. This has the effect of filling the lower part of your lungs with fresh air. As the in-breath continues, let it fill the rest of your stomach and then expand your ribcage outwards to the side as well as the midsection of your chest. You can feel this side expansion by keeping your hand against one side of your ribcage and making sure it moves outward. Now let the fresh breath fill the upper part of your chest area as well, watching it as it expands outward and to the side. (The whole process of inhalation should take about 5 seconds altogether.) Hold your breath for another 5 seconds. (In time you will find you can hold it much longer which gives your lungs a good opportunity to absorb all the oxygen available to them.) Now exhale following the same process you did in inhaling: first contract your lower abdomen gently to move the air upwards then as the lower lungs deflate you should feel the ribcage contracting again followed by the upper chest. This process too should take about 5 seconds. Rest for a second or two before beginning the whole cycle again.

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