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movement

35 articles in movement

Sacred Truth Ep. 49: Inflammation—Put Out the Fire

Sacred Truth Ep. 49: Inflammation—Put Out the Fire

The most dangerous damage your body ever has to handle is inflammation. When your body becomes inflamed this can trigger serious degenerative illnesses, from early aging and heart disease to diabetes, arthritis, food intolerance, and mental disorders. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection, injury, and tissue damage. It comes in two forms: Acute inflammation and chronic/ systemic inflammation, which spreads throughout your body. Acute inflammation is temporary, the purpose of which is to restore good tissue function as soon as possible. Your body creates inflammation as its defense against disturbing homeostasis in an attempt to prevent harm to surrounding tissues. Chronic inflammation, however, can be dangerous. It can turn into a festering fire that creates pain, illness, and disability. This is because your body reacts to chronic inflammation by triggering cellular and molecular distortions to pro-inflammatory immune cells that circulate throughout your body. This can bring damage to healthy areas like the linings of your blood vessels, as in arteriosclerosis, or your joint tissues in arthritis, or gut mucosa and diabetes. It may even act as a precursor to cancer. When it comes to the treatment of long-term illness—such as heart disease—savvy medical doctors now warn that we’ve been misled. It is inflammation in the arteries that is the real cause of arteriosclerosis and heart problems. Cholesterol can never line artery walls and cause heart attacks and strokes unless systemic inflammation is widespread in your body. So prescribing drugs to lower cholesterol and telling people to restrict saturated fats do not protect from heart disease as we’ve been told. In fact, statins, which the majority of cardiologists continue to prescribe for cholesterol, can seriously damage your health. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Arizona, is one of many outspoken physicians in regard to this mistake. As he says, “We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority, often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong.” He continues, “I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years’ experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.” So, what are the causes of chronic inflammation in your body? The most common causes include: Exposure to chemical inhalants and pollutants, and electromagnetic exposure to cell phones, smart meters, and towers. Another is taking long-term courses of powerful drugs, from antibiotics to hormones, anti-depressants, analgesics, and sedatives, as well as drugs like statins and other pharmaceuticals, the remains of which can literally poison your body long term. Want to protect yourself from inflammation? Become aware of your possible exposure to these things and make changes to help protect you from possible causes. In many ways the simplest place of all to begin is by changing the way you eat, since the typical 21st century diet is right at the core of widespread chronic inflammation. Learn which foods are inflammatory in nature and which foods can help protect you from it. Then it’s time to throw out every one of the inflammatory foods that line your cupboard and your refrigerator, and forever change how you may have been eating. Foods that cause inflammation, which you want to avoid at any cost, are all kinds of sugars, regardless of how much they may be promoted as “good for you;” all artificial sweeteners, which are chemically dangerous to your body; and all GMO foods, which can literally be deadly. A large percentage of the population nowadays reacts badly to cow’s milk products—from the milk itself to cow’s yogurt and cheese. Buy goat, sheep or buffalo milk, yogurt, and cheese instead. Another category of foods that can be seriously inflammatory to the body are high-carbohydrate foods—breads, pasta, cakes, and biscuits made from common grains and cereals as well as all the common convenience foods that line our supermarket shelves. These are chock-full of colorants, flavor enhancers, and other chemicals that poison your body. And it goes without saying that you want to avoid all junk foods completely. Certain foods, herbs, spices, and supplements can help reduce inflammation and protect your body from it in the future. Organic dark green vegetables are high on the list: spinach, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy, beet greens, and asparagus are high on the list of protective vegetables. So are organic berries of all kinds, organic chicken, grass-fed lamb, beef, venison, wild salmon, and green-lipped muscles from New Zealand. Clearing inflammation from your body in whatever form it occurs is likely to be the very best action you can take to help you live a long and healthy life, during which you look and feel your very best at every age.

Blitz Guss For Energy And Good Looks

Blitz Guss For Energy And Good Looks

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Why You Should Climb Rocks

Why You Should Climb Rocks

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

Jump For Joy

Jump For Joy

Skipping, jumping, running on the spot and arm flinging on a firm mini-trampoline is an amazingly beneficial and fun form of exercise. Rebounding will do all that other forms of aerobic exercise can—strengthening your heart and lungs, firming your muscles and more—because of the unique way in which your body is subjected to the changing force of gravity when it bounces. Rebounding crosses the generation gap too. It can be done as easily and as effectively by a six-year-old as it can by an ailing seventy-year-old whose muscles and joints have long before lost some of their capacity for smooth movement. Believe it or not, there are top athletes who use rebounders as part of their training program. Yet the infirm are given rehabilitation on the same kind of rebound exercise devices. It all depends on how you use the equipment. The units, which look like low coffee-tables, consist of a steel or aluminium frame on six or eight legs, over which is sprung a drum of firm but elastic material on which you bounce. They sit somewhere between six and ten inches off the floor, and come in many different sizes and shapes—oval, round, polygonal, square. They don't seem out of place in the corner of a kitchen, or tucked away in the bedroom. In fact, you can use a bouncer anywhere. If you’re someone who dislikes the rigmarole of changing, running and showering, or you find exercise ‘too boring for words', you can do your bouncing at home—even with small children running around. You can dress any way you like, watch movies, listen to music or carry on a conversation while you are exercising. MANIPULATING GRAVITY From a physiological point of view, what gives rebounding its power for building fitness, improving health and retarding aging is the way it makes use of the force of gravity. Apart from a Power Plate, this is the only form of overall vertical, rather than horizontal, exercise anywhere. The up and downward movement on a bouncer, coupled with acceleration-deceleration, brings about continual changes in the force that gravity exerts on your body. All your organs, the circulatory and lymphatic systems, even individual cells are energized in a way no other form of exercise can accomplish. When running or skipping on a bouncer, the G-force at the top of the bounce is non-existent. For a moment, your body experiences the weightlessness of an astronaut in space. Then when you come down again onto the elastic mat, the pull of gravity is suddenly increased to two or three times the usual G-force on earth. This puts all parts of your body, from the tiniest cell to the longest bone, under rhythmic pressure. GREAT STUFF The cellular stimulation the body receives from continual gravity/non-gravity exposure has remarkable and unique benefits. Waste materials in cells are gently eased out into the interstitial fluid so they can be carried through the lymph system and eliminated from the body. Increased oxygen is brought to the cells enhancing cell metabolism. Cell walls get stronger and healthier. Cells function more efficiently with repeated use of a rebounder. This leads to a gentle but effective detoxification of your whole system. The texture of your skin improves. Energy levels rise. Often even within only a few days, your body begins to look younger and feel better, freer, more alive. And because rebounding is amusing, it is a form of exercise which even resistant lounge-lizards take to. Taking it up one week doesn't usually mean giving it up the next. BOUNCE YOURSELF LEAN James R. White, a researcher in rehabilitation at the University of California at San Diego, designed an interesting study in the long-term effectiveness of weight-loss programs using exercise. He put some people on rebounders. Others rode bicycles; some ran on a treadmill. The control group did nothing except diet. All who exercised lost a significant amount of weight and showed a definite increase in the level of their fitness. But in the follow-up study designed to test long-term effectiveness of regular exercise, only 5 percent of the cyclists and 31 percent of the runners were still exercising, while a sound 58 percent of the bouncers were still bouncing. It helped keep off the pounds they’d shed. The explanation bouncers gave for continuing to exercise was simple. First, it was easy. Second, it was great fun. REBOUNDING FOR REHAB A number of sports medicine specialists report that using a bouncer regularly is a great way of exercising when your body has sustained some kind of injury, such as a twisted knee or Achilles tendonitis. It provides any sports enthusiast a chance to maintain his fitness while helping his injury heal. It also helps you avoid the familiar depression that sets in when you cannot exercise. Indeed, many exercise physiologists insist that, because of all the benefits rebounding brings the body—right down to a cellular level—it is a significant and powerful tool in encouraging healing, both of minor injuries and of degenerative conditions including arthritis. At Elks Hospital, Idaho, Dr Kenneth Smith, former head of the Department of Rehabilitation, reports success in using rebounders when rehabilitating patients with orthopaedic or neuromuscular conditions. In a large study involving 2,300 patients in California, where rebounding was used as the major form of physiotherapy, researchers reported excellent results. Bouncing strengthened muscles, eliminated and prevented pain in the lower back and elsewhere, and was helpful in treating both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Bottom line: Manipulating gravity is not just fun. It’s great for healing and ideal for helping you feel wonderfully alive.

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)

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

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

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 4th of June 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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