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recovery

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.

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Sacred Truth Ep. 60: Sleep Your Fat Away

Sacred Truth Ep. 60: Sleep Your Fat Away

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

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.

Dance - Vitality Reborn

Dance - Vitality Reborn

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

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

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

Sensuous Massage Do-It-Yourself

Sensuous Massage Do-It-Yourself

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

Sacred Truth Ep. 70: Epsom Salts Reborn

Sacred Truth Ep. 70: Epsom Salts Reborn

Epsom salts baths are one of the world’s most potent yet underrated natural treatments. Don’t take them lightly. They can improve your health and they cost almost nothing. They can be useful if you have been having a stressful day because they deep cleanse the body, both physiologically and energetically. They are great for encouraging deep, restful sleep and relaxation. Epsom salts also carry a magic that goes way beyond this. Lying in an Epsom salts bath is a superb way to enter your inner world and make you aware of dreams and longings you may not even have discovered yet. Use them to help forge deep connections with your essential being. Use them often and just allow yourself to BE instead of having to DO all the time. Named after a compound of minerals discovered in 17th century England, Epsom salts were first discovered by Nehemiah Grew in Epsom, a small town not far from London. He discovered that Epsom salts could relieve pain in muscles, calm headaches, and quell inflammation. Early on, drinking Epsom water was used as a purgative. The salts themselves were produced by boiling Epsom water until it turned into hydrated magnesium sulfate—which is where the name Epsom salts comes from. This hydrated magnesium sulfate brings important minerals your body, and they are absorbed through the skin when you take an Epsom salts bath. Both the magnesium and the sulfate molecules have the ability to leach excess sodium, phosphorous, and nitrogenous wastes from the body. As they reduce toxicity, more of your body’s energetic potential gets freed up for use. Magnesium and sulfur also happen to be among the most alkalinizing of earth minerals. In practical terms, what this means is that they have the ability to create more physical space between the atoms and molecules of your body. This is important since the greater the acidity in the body and the more compressed this molecular space becomes, the greater the physical and emotional pressure you feel. There’s more good news. When you step into an Epsom salts bath, magnesium sulfate immerses your body in a unified electrical field. This takes excess electrical discharge from one area of the body and sends it to areas that are undercharged, which creates energetic balance and flow. There is nothing quite as good as an Epsom salts bath; for instance, taking an Epsom salts bath after you have been on a long flight or if you are suffering from jet lag, emotional tension, or fatigue. Magnesium deficiencies are rampant in the Western world as industrial agriculture has removed massive quantities of magnesium from our soils and also because most people choose to feed themselves on packaged convenience foods. More than 80 percent of people in the United States are deficient in magnesium. Very few have any idea just how important magnesium is to their health. Magnesium is the second-most abundant element in your cells. It is also the fourth most positively charged ion in your body and essential to more than 300 specific enzymes in the body. Magnesium helps activate your muscles and nerves. It’s a catalyst for vital neurotransmitters like serotonin. It helps create ATP, which are energy molecules for your body. And it must be present for optimization of the mitochondria in cells, which are crucial for vitality, health, and athletic performance. What about sulfur—the other half of the Epsom salts equation? Sulfur is a natural detoxifier. It is a powerful antioxidant, pain reliever, and anti-inflammatory. Inviting sulfur into your body through the surface of your skin while lying in an Epsom salts bath is a superb way to strengthen your system as a whole. The electrical charge between magnesium with its positive charge and sulfur with its negative charge helps these two minerals blend together in a superb way. There is a very specific way of taking an Epsom salts bath. Let me share it with you: Pour two large cups of industrial grade Epsom salts into the bathtub. You can find them in small amounts at the chemist and in supermarkets. Far better is this: order in bulk a 25 kg bag over the Internet. This way Epsom salts are inexpensive. One more tip: I like to add a pound of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to every Epsom salts bath because it blends well with magnesium sulfate and is wonderful for skin. But you must make sure that any baking soda you use contains no aluminum since this is the last thing you should ever put into your bath water or anywhere else. Fill the bath with blood-heat tepid water, just above body temperature. Immerse yourself in it for at least 20 to 30 minutes. If your body gets too cool, add some more hot water. If your body becomes too warm, add some cold water. You need to be able to sustain being in this bath in a very relaxed state for 20 to 30 minutes. Then get out of the bath and wrap yourself in a towel. If you are doing this just before bed, now climb into bed, cover yourself up, keep warm, and you can easily drift into blissful sleep. If it’s during the day or if you are trying to restore yourself to be able to go out in the evening, then when you get out of the Epsom salts bath wrap yourself up in a towel and lie down for 10 minutes. Then get up, get dressed, and go about doing whatever you are intending to do. In our home we are completely addicted to the joys and the benefits of daily Epsom salts baths. I predict that you too may become the addicts we have become. Try it and see.

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

The breakdown

The breakdown

One of your body’s most effective mechanisms for protecting itself from excessive toxicity taken in through food, air and water, or produced as a by-product of metabolism, is to lock these toxic materials into fat cells. In the case of cellulite, this natural protective mechanism goes one stage further—encasing these wastes in the interstitial fluids and ground substance of your skin by binding them with hardened connective tissue. To shed cellulite, you need first to help your body detoxify itself. The reason you have built up these wastes is simply that your body continually has to cope with more toxins than it can eliminate in the normal day-to-day course of events. Remove some of the burden of what is creating this excess toxicity in your system by laying aside coffee, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, over-processed foods complete with chemical additives, and avoiding sugar and grain-based foods for a time, and you’re halfway there. Add to that a very simple and temporary regime designed to trigger rapid detoxification, some gentle exercise, and some external help, and quite naturally you trigger your body’s own mechanisms for clearing out the junk. There are lots of ways you can do it, but the simplest of all to begin with is to go on a two-day apple fast. (See Apple Magic.) External work on your body is also important to trigger the detoxification process. Incorporate skin brushing into your daily routine during an apple fast (see Skin Brushing), and afterwards continue to use skin brushing to help break up hardened connective tissue and keep the detoxification process going while you are rebuilding new, strong connective tissue and ground substance. Another excellent technique which helps with this process is hydrotherapy, particularly the German Blitzguss. A real one needs to be done by a professional, but you can get many of the same effects 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 How [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 ] Take a warm shower until your skin is really glowing with warmth. Then turn off the hot water and using only cold, direct it over your face and then down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. Finally, concentrate on the areas of your body where cellulite accumulates—the thighs, abdomen, hips and buttocks. The whole process should take no more than 30 seconds. Then get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. Do this at least once a day after skin brushing. Help From the Outside Exercise used as part of a program to banish cellulite needs to be isotonic in nature. This means it needs to take you through large movements such as running, walking briskly, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, rowing, swimming and cycling, all of which shorten and lengthen your muscles rhythmically without bringing about a big increase in tension. Isotonic exercise is one of the finest ways for you to eliminate wastes before they have a chance to build up. What kind of exercise is best? The kind you like best. Try walking briskly in comfortable clothing, dancing, cycling, whatever you love to do, for 15 to 60 minutes a session, three to five times a week. Start slowly, then when you notice positive changes in energy taking place in your body, and an enhanced self-awareness as you get into an exercise program, you will find your body craving more.

Balance Water

Balance Water

Water is a powerful energy balancer. Water treatments have been used for centuries to help heal illness and to keep healthy people well. They are so good at balancing energy that most people who begin to experiment with hydrotherapy techniques are astounded by what they can do. During a two-day detox, they can help with the elimination process enormously – after all, this is the prefect time for long, relaxing soaks in the bath to soothe your mind and encourage your body to get on with its job. Dr Douglas Lewis, whilst head of physical medicine at John Bastyr College Natural Health Clinic in the United States explained: ‘Hot water produces a response that stimulates the immune system and causes white cells to migrate out of the blood vessels and into the tissue where they can clean up toxins and assist the blood in eliminating waste’. Hot and cold water applied alternately to the surface of your skin stimulates circulation and spurs good lymphatic drainage, also helping your body to eliminate wastes quickly. Hydrotherapy is also fun. epsom salts bath Epsom salts baths are an old and potent practice for eliminating toxins through the surface of the skin. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. Both magnesium and sulfate molecules have an ability to extract excess sodium, phosphorus and nitrogenous toxins from the body. This is why athletes use them to relieve muscular pain. Magnesium sulfate dissolved in water creates a static, unified, electrical field, and immersing your body in it helps to create a magnetic balance. During your apple fast, taking an Epsom salts bath helps speed up the detoxification process and minimizes any aches, pains or fatigue which sometimes come with rapidly eliminating stored toxins from the body. Epsom salts are also wonderful during periods of prolonged stress and when you are feeling overtired. Take two cups of household-grade Epsom salts (available from the chemist), pour them into the bath and fill with blood-temperature water. Immerse yourself for 20 to 30 minutes, topping up with warm water when necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature. Get out of the bath and lie down for 15 minutes – better still, take an Epsom salts bath just before you go to bed. the heat bath Saunas can be a great help during a detoxification regime, as artificially induced perspiration is one of the best means of deep-cleansing the body. However, most of us don’t have a sauna at home. You can get a similar effect – in terms of the elimination of waste through the skin and deep relaxation – by taking a carefully regulated hot bath, provided your tub is large enough for you to immerse all of your body except your head in it. Make sure your bathroom is warm and comfortable – have candles for soft lighting, play some relaxing music, and put your towel somewhere so that it will be ready-warmed for you when you get out. The temperature of the bath is crucial. It needs to be kept at about 105-110 degrees F (40-43 degrees C) – just a few degrees above normal body temperature. Hotter than this can be over-stimulating to the body. You can use a simple thermometer to check the temperature every five minutes and keep topping up with hot water to bring it back when it starts to fall. Lie in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes with just your head sticking out. Then get out, quickly wrap yourself in a big towel (or a cotton sheet if you prefer) and lie down and relax, covering yourself with a blanket, for another 20 minutes. blitzguss A real blitzguss needs to be done by a professional, but you can get many of the same effects in the shower yourself at home – especially if you have a handheld shower which you can direct on different parts of your body. Take a warm shower until your skin is really glowing with warmth. Then turn off the hot water and using only cold, direct it over your face and then down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. The process should take no more than 30 seconds. Then get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. This is particularly good done just after skin brushing. Your skin is so fresh and clean after being brushed that it fairly zings in contact with warm water. The quick burst of cold water will make it zing again and get the circulation going a treat. If at any time you feel uncomfortable using any hydrotherapy technique, stop immediately and try again another time. Never force yourself to ‘suffer’ if any of them cause any tension either in your body or your mind. dew bath One of the oldest, and for me one of the most decadent, natural treatments is walking barefoot on dewy grass. The treatment was traditionally used to strengthen immunity, stimulate intestinal functions, act as a counterirritant for the chest and throat and relieve headaches. It is good to use during a two-day detox not only because it is stimulating to the whole system, but also because of the sense of clean freedom it gives you. If you are not in the habit of going barefoot, begin gradually. Start by simply rubbing the feet with a wet cloth for a minute or two then put on socks and shoes and walk about. After a few times try walking on dry grass and then on wet grass – first thing in the morning in the summer is just wonderful. Take the treatment whenever you get a chance – in the garden, in the park or in the country. Bare your feet to the elements and you’ll reap the benefits. By the way, bathing your feet can help with a headache, too. Half fill a bath with cold water. Then, making sure you are well covered so your body doesn’t get cold, walk about in it with bare feet for three minutes. Immediately afterwards, put on warm socks and lie down for ten minutes. You might feel silly doing it, but it really can help, and it gives you the same lift as paddling in the sea. air bath Water is not the only thing you can bathe in. Of all the nature cure treatments, the air bath is the simplest. It involves removing all your clothing and allowing fresh air to circulate around your body for a few minutes. It is believed that exposing the body in this way even for only ten minutes can increase metabolism temporarily by as much as 50 percent, no bad thing when you are trying to eliminate wastes. Certainly it makes sense to regularly give your entire skin surface a chance to breathe unrestricted by clothing. The easiest way to take a regular air bath is to strip down while you do your morning or evening toilet. Make sure you open a window in the bathroom so that there is fresh air. If you need to turn on a heater in the room do, although cool air on your body for a few minutes can have a positive, stimulating and strengthening effect. This is yet another technique you can use after your two-day apple fast to tone your skin and help keep that feeling of being fresh and alive that comes after a detox.

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