The Importance of Water

April 14th, 2006

Water is the most abundant substance in the human body. It is a component of virtually everything, except tooth enamel and bone. We are about 70% WATER, 25% PROTEIN and 5% MINERALS.

You can regard the body as being water, thickened with protein, which prevents us from “running away”. This gelatinous mass is then hung on a skeleton made up of minerals. Not a very flattering analogue. But it does put things in perspective.

Water performs many functions.

A few of the more important ones follow:

  1. Most reactions in our bodies (of which there are millions every second) will not take place unless the reactants are dissolved. For example, the water component of our blood dissolves oxygen from our lungs and in this way it can be transported to our cells. Carbon Dioxide is removed in the same way.
  2. Almost every cell in our body is bathed in interstitial fluid which is almost entirely water.
  3. Most of the molecules in our body are suspended in water and are thus able to come into contact with other molecules. Indeed, water is often a part of these chemical reactions.
  4. Water is a great stabiliser of body temperature. It absorbs and releases heat very slowly.
  5. We have seen that the digestive tract utilises some 2 gallons of water per day. Much of this is reabsorbed, however, a certain amount needs to be replenished daily.
  6. Water also acts as a lubricating medium. It is the major part of mucous and other lubricating fluids. Lubrication is especially necessary in the chest and abdomen, where internal organs touch and slide over each other.
  7. Finally, water is the flushing medium which is used to clean the kidneys. These vital organs filter our entire volume of blood about every five minutes! Sufficient clean water must be passing through the kidneys to collect the wastes from this process. If these toxins are not removed, they will remain in the tissues.

How Much Water Do We Need?

Now let’s look at some of the practical aspects of using water for healing. Please be very clear that following appropriate dietary modification, the next most important step in nutritional improvement is to provide the body with sufficient clean water.

Most human bodies require 6 to 8 small glasses of pure water every day if they are to function efficiently. Part of this can be made up from the water contained in freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juices but not from other drinks like tea or coffee.

Water, or any drink for that matter, should not be taken with meals. Ideally, small amounts of water should be taken hourly. This keeps clean water passing through the kidneys so that they can flush poisons from our bodies. There is little point in drinking more than half a glass half hourly as this excess will just pass out as clear urine and will not be used to flush. Tap Water and Salts Tap water is not suitable for human consumption. It is heavily laden with inorganic salts, additives and toxic chemicals and is a slow poison.

How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t like water so I never drink it”? The majority of people are highly intolerant to the toxins and salts in tap water and unconsciously avoid drinking it. However their bodies are still dependent on some fluids for survival, so they have soft drinks, tea or coffee to disguise the flavour of water. It is literally the only way they can get it down.

One risk from drinking tap water is its high mineral content, particularly Mineral Salts. A concentration of salts in our tissues favours Fluid Retention and so we retain too much fluid in our bodies. Similarly, salts “preserve” our insides just as effectively as they preserve salted meats and fish. This causes hardening and inelasticity of our arteries.

Both Fluid Retention and hardening of the arteries are major contributing factors of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and Heart Disease. Salts collect in our tissues from the tap water that we drink and from other dietary sources. As well as this, we are not drinking enough water (of any sort) to help flush them away. The problem of salt build up is easily rectified by drinking distilled water only for a period of time. This will draw salts out of the tissues. Later, one should switch to filtered water.

Other Pollutants in Water

Many other chemicals are added to our tap water before we drink it. At the very least this will include fluoride. Most drinking water comes from three sources. Surface dam water - to which is added chlorine and fluorine.

Deep artesian water - which is added to the dam water. Ground water - which is heavily saturated with suspended matter and dissolved acids (which give it the brown colour). To clear this water, aluminium sulphate (alum) is added as a coagulant and then chemical polyelectrolytes are added to further settle the coagulated wastes. This water is then passed through sand filters to remove the settled particles. Some of the chemicals remain in the water.

This water is then added to the scheme water. So we have the situation where our water is heavily saturated with inappropriate Mineral Salts and a large amount of added chemicals. Other pollutants also seep in.

It is now established that there is no water supply in the U.S.A. which is not contaminated with the toxic residue from dry cleaning fluid. Some ground pollutants must also reach our water. This is a fairly dismal picture but the fact is that things are not getting better. They are getting worse. It is clear that we are slowly poisoning our planet, and one of the first places that this shows up is in our drinking water.

So, What Water is Best?

There are about five main sources of water that you can drink. The first is Tap water and we have seen why that is not a choice. The second is bottled mineral water, which can be quite high in Mineral Salts. It is however reasonably pure and is quite acceptable to drink socially. The other three choices bear more detailed analysis.

Distilled Water

This is produced by boiling water and condensing the steam. This water is very pure. It also carries a Negative polarity as a result of the distilling process. This polarity is aggressively attracted to trace minerals and other elements that make up what we could call whole water. Because of its purity, it is also highly absorbent of salts and other minerals. Distilled water is therefore very effective at leaching excessive minerals and salts from the body.

It is also very sweet and pure tasting. Because of its ability to remove minerals, it must only be used exclusively for short periods of up to 6 months. Longer than this and it can begin to leach essential minerals from the body. Distilled water, taken as 6 to 8 small glasses not more than 1 every half hour, is therefore indicated in any Therapeutic dietary approach to disease for short periods of time.

It is spectacularly effective as an adjunct to the treatment of Hypertension and Arthritis. Please note that de-ionised water from the supermarket is created using a different treatment. A little won’t hurt but it is not the same as pure distilled water.

Tank Water

Tank water is probably the ideal water to drink but there are some factors which must be considered. The roofs of houses in the metro area are constantly collecting heavy metals like lead from car exhausts and other airborne pollutants. Roofs and gutters are not always clean. Nor are the collection tanks. Roofs in rural areas may be even more suspect especially if there is crop dusting or aerial or spray pesticides being used. Always consider these factors and the source of tank water before using it.

Filtered Water

It is quite an indictment on our modern society but all things considered, filtered water is probably the best choice. There are a number of types of filters available. These include simple carbon filters. Also more sophisticated carbon filters with silver mesh components which destroy bacteria.

Then there are the more expensive reverse osmosis filters which produce very clean water, whilst still retaining a certain amount of the precious trace minerals. All filters retain trace minerals but their individual effectiveness at removing pollutants is proportional to their cost.

In summary, tap water should never be drunk or used for cooking or making beverages. With a few exceptions, we should all drink 6 to 8 small glasses of clean water throughout the day. A lesser quantity would be acceptable if some fresh juices are included in the diet. Therapeutically, distilled water is the first choice, then moving on to filtered water or clean rain water.

Most people will notice a considerable improvement in their health when they begin to take the right amount of clean water each day.

The Diet of Primitive Man

April 14th, 2006

The Cave Person Theory

The lifestyle of the cave person, or ancient hunter-gatherer is probably the best example we can use to help us understand our nutritional requirements as human beings. Remember that there has been little change to our bodies (in a genetic or physiological sense) since that time.

With the exception of regional changes, our foodstuffs are very similar also. Nature takes a great deal of time to make changes. Humans on the other hand can make radical changes in lifestyle, behaviour and diet, in the space of a generation or two.

This is much too fast to expect our bodies and Digestive System to adjust. So, what did the hunter-gatherer eat? Remember that they had no storage facilities for their food and a limited ability to cook. It’s unfair to assume that these people ate a very simple diet of fresh food, most of which would have been eaten raw on the spot.

Theirs would have been a relatively mono diet. In other words, when they came to an apple tree they probably sat down and ate only apples. Food would have been eaten in season. Fresh unsprayed fruit and vegetables are extremely rich in Vitamins, especially Vitamin C. No doubt they liked variety, but they would not have had the opportunity to combine as many foods at one sitting as modern man does.

With a simple selection of enzyme-rich food, their Digestive System would have operated superbly. Whenever possible they probably caught reptiles and small game. This would have been eaten fresh with Most of the animal consumed. Meat was an occasional treat rather than the Bulk of the diet.

Of course this hypothetically idyllic lifestyle wasn’t all roses. Early man had to contend with starvation, predators and accidents which no doubt took a great toll. However, from the dietary perspective his food intake was potentially as near to perfect as you can get.

Other factors contributed greatly to the cave person’s health. Plenty of Exercise, fresh air and Relaxation.

The Primitive Diet

Let’s examine this primitive diet of the cave person. Firstly his food was gathered fresh. This meant that it was just at the right stage for eating. Hardly comparable with our early picking and artificial ripening techniques which mean that nutrients don’t develop fully.

Some nutritionists estimate that a fresh organically grown tomato provides around one gram of Vitamin C. The fact is that these days you are lucky to get 50 mg (1/20 th of a gram) from an artificially ripened and stored tomato. You can see the dramatic difference in the nutritional value of this food according to the growing and harvesting technique.

Fresh food eaten at the right time is also packed with natural Enzymes. Enzymes are the important catalysts for the digestion and Metabolism of our food. Food without enzymes is devitalised food. Because enzymes, like many Vitamins, are unstable, nearly all are lost in stored fruits and vegetables - the only foods containing enzymes.

Already we have a picture of the vast difference in the quality of nutrition between early man and our present day, and we have only just begun. As a result of vastly improved hygiene and some useful drugs we have conquered the ravages of many of the infectious diseases like Smallpox and T.B. Thus we are living longer lives.

Our problem now is that we are falling victims to Nutritionally related degenerative diseases and Stress. These include Arthritis, Heart Disease, hypoglycaemia, Diabetes and cancer. Such problems are epidemic and are claiming more people than ever before. Dietary discipline is essential if they are to be overcome.

So why not get with a good diet? After all, these problems are nothing more than a gift showing us where we are going wrong.

Getting back to our cave person … as we’ve seen his diet was simple with not too much variety at each meal. This meant that his digestive juices were only dealing with a few foods at any one time. There was much less chance of incompatible food combinations.

Modern society views our enormous variety of available foods as a sign of affluence. The more varieties, the better. This is great for the taste buds but it is a disaster for the Digestive System. Remember that digestion is the first stage in providing the body with fuel to sustain itself. If digestion is not functioning efficiently, you are in trouble.

Storage and Cooking

There were no refrigerators in ancient times so there was little food storage. Our cave person had only limited opportunity to cook his food. Pots and pans weren’t around then so most of his food was raw and packed with live enzymes. Cooking destroys these enzymes, most enzymes are destroyed at 107o F. The stove is very much the curse of modern man.

Relaxation

With a few exceptions, our cave person ate his meal in an unhurried and relaxed way. After all, he had little else on his mind. Food was a major priority in his life and he was going to enjoy it. In this relaxed state, his cardio-vascular system would direct the blood supply to his abdomen and digestion was completed efficiently.

There is little comparison here with us today. With the exception of rich, tasty meals, food is truly low priority stuff. Our taste buds are the only consideration. The Stressed state that most of us operate in means that there is always some adrenaline pumping through the system. Thus our blood is directed away from the digestive areas and into the muscles in preparation for all of our little emergencies.

This means poor digestion, Indigestion, Bloating, flatulence and eventual illness. Stress is the greatest killer in society today. The need to address this problem is inseparable from the need for good, fresh, whole food.

Processing and Bowel Health

Because of the lack of processing plants, our primitive person’s food was eaten whole. He got plenty of FIBRE. This meant that his bowel was stimulated and his elimination was regular and efficient. In contrast, modern man’s elimination is dreadful. Our bowel is the last stage of digestion and absorption of nutrients from our food.

Because of the relatively slow passage of chyme through this organ, it is susceptible to accumulation of debris and waste matter. Refined food provides none of the prickly roughage which is so necessary for regular bowel action.

The result is a clogged bowel and the reabsorption of toxins and waste material. No wonder bowel cancer is one of the greatest killers in Western society.

Refining and Storage

This brings us to yet another major problem … processed food and its lack of nutritional value. The refining and storage process robs most of the fibre and nutrients from our food. Most of the ‘B’ Vitamins and the precious ‘E’ Vitamins are lost in the processing of wheat and flour.

White flour is not only valueless, it is literally poisonous to the body. Similarly all other processed cereals, fruits and vegetables have lost most of their nutrients and almost all of the very unstable VITAMIN C - which is so important that our bodies require it in abundance.

It is required in even greater quantities if we live under Stress - and who doesn’t? The amount of Vitamin C available to us in the average Western diet is often not enough to prevent scurvy, let alone run our bodies efficiently.

The Diet of Modern Man

In comparison to the primitive man, modern man eats almost exclusively of processed, stored and artificially ripened food, grown on artificially fertilised soil and sprayed with poison up to 20 times during the growing season.

He eats anything, at any time, because we have learned how to make most foods readily available through processing and storage. He eats almost no whole food. It is nearly always the tasty parts of the food only. He insists on a large variety for taste, because he believes that this is of greater importance than quality.

More often than not, he eats in a hurried and unrelaxed way and during the few times he sets aside for relaxing and social meals, he drowns them in alcohol, tea and coffee.

What Is Stress?

April 14th, 2006

Stress - related disorders have become increasingly common in Western Society, and the wear and tear caused by chronic Stress can contribute to physical and mental breakdown.

Some disorders such as Hypertension, have reached almost epidemic proportions. Because of these increases, Stress and ways of dealing with it, are a major target of medical and psychological researchers. Of course, it is not possible or advisable to attribute all disease to Stress.

A person’s health is, after all, the result of complex environmental, biological, behavioural and health care factors. In the promotion of personal health, Stress deserves our attention in the treatment of disease and in the promotion of health.

What Is Stress?

Stress can be defined as the experience of unpleasant over- or under- stimulation which actually or potentially leads to ill-health. No human being can function without stimulation and challenge. It is part of life and provides excitement, impetus and motivation, as well as, unfortunately distress and Anxiety. As long as you feel in control, challenge can be invigorating. However, with some of the challenges you meet, the more disabling, feelings and actions associated with Stress, can take hold.

Stress is the result of a mismatch between the challenges you experience and your belief in your ability to cope. The challenges may come from sources external to you and may be the result of too much or too little pressure. Pressures may also come from within you, and be a product of your own value systems, needs and expectations.

Do bear in mind that everyone has powerful personal histories which affect their attitudes and actions. Therefore, everyone perceives and interprets Stress in different ways.

What Is Aromatherapy?

April 14th, 2006

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy, sometimes also referred to as aromatic or scent medicine, is the art of healing the body using naturally distilled essences from different parts of plant to improve and enhance your everyday emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. These essences are known as Essential Oils.

What are Essential Oils?

These oils are the concentrated essences of the aromatic plant. They can be used as an analgesic (to alleviate pain), an Anti-Inflammatory (to reduce swelling), an Anti-Bacterial, an Anti-Fungal, an anti-viral (to prevent infections). Since scent stimlates the part of the brain that effects your emotions, Essential Oils can also sooth and calm….or energize and arouse.

These Essential Oils are highly concentrated and are measured in drops. They should be housed in dark colored air tight bottles in a cool area, out of direct light. Unless noted, they should not be applied directly to the skin, but instead placed in a Carrier Oil such as Almond Oil, so as to avoid irritation.

How does aromatherapy work?

Our sense of smell is about 10,000 times stronger than our sense of taste, but it is truly underappreciated. The olfactory system of your brain has a memory of scents and the longest recall of all the senses.

Just think… does the smell of baking bread bring back vivid memories of visits with a relative in your childhood.. ever catch a whiff of the cologne/perfume of an old lover? Memories that are attatched to sent are stronger!!!!

Scent also stimulates the limbic system of the brain which responds by releasing neuro-chemicals. Such as Seratonin and Endorphins. These chemicals calm us.. arouse us… alleviate discomfort.

Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment, the aim of which is to produce a physical, spiritual, emotional and mental sense of well-being through inhalation and massage of Essential Oils. Essential Oils are derived from plants and are chosen for their particular therapeutic qualities that are stimulating, refreshing and sedative.

Aromatherapy is also referred to as the fragrant art of using socially selected aromatic oils for therapeutic purposes. It is one of the fastest growing complementary therapies in the world and is recognised as one of the most natural and holistic treatments available today.

Aromatherapy does not aim to treat disease. Its aim is to release feelings of well-being, harmony and improved mental and physical health.

Yoga FAQ

April 14th, 2006

What is Yoga?

The word “Yoga” means “union.” Yoga is a psycho-physical discipline with roots that go back about 5,000 years. There is a lot more to Yoga than physical postures (Asanas), or the Breathing exercises (Pranayama) or even the Meditation. In the true tradition of Yoga the goal is union with the Absolute, known as Brahman, or with Atman, the true self. Most people now, however, approach Yoga to obtain the very real benefits of health, mental clarity, Stress release and Fitness. The wonderful thing about Yoga is its flexibility. Practitioners can Focus on the spiritual, psychological or physical benefits of Yoga, or all of the above.

Is Yoga a Religion?

Yoga defies categorization. Whatever your method of contacting the Divine, Yoga can accelerate movement in that direction. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender or religion or race. Yoga is truly universal. Most people find that they can practice Yoga without any conflict with their religious beliefs.

Is Yoga Good for You?

Studies in the United States and India suggest that Yoga can help conditions such as Stress, Anxiety, and even epilepsy. Western science has been Studying Yoga for nearly 50 years and evidence suggests numerous physical and psychological benefits.

How many styles of Yoga are there?

There are many different styles, and this is a good thing because people have such differing temperaments. There are four basic paths of Yoga: 1) Jnana, which is the path of knowledge and wisdom; 2) Bhakti, the path of devotion; 3) Karma, the path of action; and 4) Raja, the path of self control. Within this path (Raja) is found Hatha Yoga, which is the most popular path in the West. In India, Bhakti is perhaps the most popular. Many paths such as Iyengar, Kripalu, Astanga, Integral and Jiva Mukti, to name a few, are Hatha Yoga styles. A common lineage dates back to Patanjali’s Yoga sutras, the text which outlines the basic philosophy and practices of classical Yoga.

What does Hatha mean?

The word hatha means willful or forceful. Hatha Yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body–especially the main channel, the spine–so that energy can flow freely.

Hatha is also translated as ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon.” This refers to the balance of masculine aspects–active, hot, sun–and feminine aspects–receptive, cool, moon–within all of us. Hatha Yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.

Hatha Yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment.

Is Yoga a New Age Practice?

Yoga and New Age movements share a common Focus on the improvement of the body and mind and their connection to the soul. Yoga goes back thousands of years.

What is Om?

It is a sacred Hindu sound symbolizing the Absolute. It can be spelled Aum. It is used as a mantra during Meditation. Correct pronunciation rhymes with “home.”

Is Yoga Aerobic Exercise?

The physical Yogas are certainly aerobic, because they improve oxygenation of the blood through increased heart rate and deeper Breathing. Astanga and Vini Yoga are good examples.

What is power Yoga? Is it okay for beginners?

Power Yoga is a style of Yoga that moves quickly from one posture to the next. The foundation of this practice are 3 variations of the sun salutation, named simply A, B, and C. All of the other standing postures are thrown into modifications of these 3 series, making the practice very vigorous and challenging. Generally, non “power YogaYoga classes are slower, softer and a bit more static.

The problem with power Yoga and the beginning Student is that there is none to very little alignment instruction provided. The other problem is that a beginning Student doesn’t know how or when to slow down, stop or modify a posture. Both of these problems lead to Yoga students hurting themselves in class by poor alignment in the postures and by over exerting themselves and going past their edge.

What if I am out of shape?

Finding a good teacher is the optimum way to go. Also books and videos can be very helpful. Remember, if you have any condition or physical situation you are in doubt about, consult your health care practitioner.

Is it difficult to do Yoga being overweight?

Yoga can be difficult for any body type. Being overweight is going to make it a bit more challenging on a physical level, but Yoga is as challenging as you make it. Do not try to fit your body into the pose, but adapt the posture for your body. Accept where you are at and do not judge or criticize yourself because you cannot it perfectly.

How is Yoga different from normal exercises?

Yoga focuses more on process than goal. Gym activities or other more goal-driven exercises are quite different. You are not competing with anyone when you do Yoga. Toning is the way in which Yoga achieves muscular strength, in contrast to, for example, weightlifting, which breaks down muscle to build it.

Do I need to be vegetarian to practice Yoga?

Recent surveys suggest that only one out of three Yoga practitioners is vegetarian. The traditional Yoga diet is vegetarian, but one’s awareness keeps evolving, and at each stage a person can tune in to what is best for her/his own body.

How often should I practice Yoga?

I would suggest starting by practicing Yoga 3-4 times per week, 30-60 minutes per day. It is best to start slow and gradually build up the duration per day and per week. Your body may change a lot the first year of Yoga, and you need to listen and adapt/adjust your practice to work with your body. Most importantly do not push yourself, and do what feels good for your body. Shorter sessions like 20-30 minutes a day are better than one 90-minute session a week.

Will Yoga help me to reduce weight?

You will look and feel better very soon if you practice regularly and eat healthy food, fresh vegetables and more water will soon improve your physique. Also your muscle tone and strength will improve.

I am wondering if Yoga will tone my body in the same way as working out?

Yoga does tone and strengthen the body, but not in the same way as working out. To build strength in Yoga Focus on holding the postures longer and longer (without strain) and possibly move on to more advanced postures.There is also a style of Yoga called “power Yoga” or ashtanga Yoga that moves very quickly between postures, which builds strength and Endurance.

Is it normal to experience soreness after Yoga?

Some soreness is normal following your first class. However, a nagging ache or intense pain is not.

Is it normal to feel tingling in the arms and legs during Yoga?

Yes, a small amount of tingling is normal. If the tingling is intense, you may be holding the pose too long, or not resting sufficiently between poses. The tingling sensation usually occurs in new students and subsides with time and further practice.

Sometimes my legs shake when I am doing stretches, do I continue the stretch and just let it shake. Or do I stop?

Usually when the body shakes during Yoga it is because the muscles are becoming fatigued and need to be strengthened to hold the posture longer. In postures where the Focus is on building strength (like upward boat) its okay to shake a little, if you hold too long you can strain a muscle (or just feel really sore the next day).

I’m not sure why your legs would be shaking if you are only stretching the muscles and not strengthening them as in seated head to knee. You may be pulling yourself a bit too hard into the posture. You want to work on finding the balance between using effort and relaxing into the posture. If you are tensing up the muscles they will not be able to stretch and increase their flexibility.

Is it okay to use a chair to assist me with some balancing postures?

Yes, it is fine to use a prop (chair, block, wall) to help you with balance. Try to use the lightest touch possible to support yourself, slowly lessening the pressure until you can hold yourself up without it. Most importantly, Focus your gaze at one point on the wall or the floor in front of you, as this will assist you in being balance.

Are there certain postures that you might suggest to help me as I basically have little balance?

I would suggest trying some of the balancing postures on the floor: upward boat, balancing table, prayer squat, balancing bear, half warrior, and balancing bound angle. If you want to work on the standing balancing postures use a wall to help support you. In both positions, Focus on building concentration by using a drishti or focal point to stare at.

Whenever I do any inverted postures (especially the Headstand) I usually get a Migraine, is there a way in which I can overcome this?

Usually inversions would be a good thing to do for Headaches and Migraines. But it sounds like the increase in blood pressure is triggering them for you. I would avoid all inversions where the legs are over the head (head stand, shoulder stand, hand stand) and would experiment with plow, Yoga mudra, standing angle, standing forward fold, downward dog and other semi-inversions.

The other possibility is to only go into the full inversions for very short periods of time on a daily basis, and very very gradually lengthen the amount of time you hold the posture.

I have a problem with my hands and feet sliding during poses. I have a sticky mat but it has made no difference. Do you have any recommendations?

You may want to try several things: 1. wear socks and use a small hand towel between hands and sticky mat. 2. wash your sticky mat. 3. try a different type of mat. 4. hold the postures for shorter times.

Do I have to exhale through the nose or mouth?

You inhale and exhale through the nose, unless doing a specific Pranayama.

Can Yoga help me improve my height?

Yoga can help improve your posture, which will make you feel and look taller, but it will not make you “grow” any extra inches. The bones in the body stop growing once you reach adulthood, and thus make it impossible for the body to increase it’s height.

Practice the mountain posture (tadasana) not only in your Yoga practice, but all through your day, standing, sitting, driving your car, waiting in line at the supermarket. Consciously keep your awareness on your posture, keeping the spine long and straight as much as possible.

Which style is best?

Try a few different styles and when one clicks, commit to that one. Any style you choose will help you. Availability of a teacher whom you like can also play a big part in your enjoyment.

Should I do Yoga while I am Pregnant?

Yoga is a great way to strengthen the pelvic area, normalize Thyroid Function and blood pressure, and reduce Stress, all of which are good for the baby. It is fine to continue modified practice if you were doing Yoga before; if you are just beginning, it is best to work with a teacher who has prenatal Yoga experience. In general you should avoid strain, compressing the abdomen, and inverted postures, especially in the later stages.

What postures are contraindicated during Pregnancy?

Avoid all postures that put pressure on the belly, especially after the 3rd month. Inverted postures are not contraindicated but are cautioned. This is mostly a concern late in the Pregnancy, as the weight of the belly will compress the chest and make it difficult to breathe. It may also be just to strenuous to lift the legs and belly over the head.

In Pregnancy there is a hormone secreted that makes muscles very easy to over stretch, which can cause injury if the woman pushes/pulls to hard into the pose.

Postures done on the back are cautioned due to the weight of the fetus pressing on the abdominal aorta and inferior vena cava (cutting off circulation), and shavasana should not be practiced, have her lay on side in fetal pose.

Why are certain postures contraindicated during menstruation?

The postures that are contraindicated for mensuration are inversions: shoulder stand, head stand, plow, etc. These postures increase the flow of the menses, and cause a greater loss of blood which could leave to health problems. Other postures may be cautioned because they put Stress or pressure in the lower abdominal region.

A slow gentle Yoga practice is recommended during mensuration, focusing on postures that stretch the sides of the torso (triangle), open the hips (bound angle), forward folds and spinal twists.

I am 45, in early Menopause and I would like to know which styles of Yoga would best help me at this stage of my life.

The best styles of Yoga to balance the endocrine system and regulate the hormones are ones that hold postures for long-ish periods of time: Kripalu, Iyengar, Sivananda.

Can Yoga help with social Anxiety?

Stress and Anxiety levels can be drastically reduced by Yoga practice. A stronger sense of self is built with regular practice, and over time this increased confidence and well-being can reduce or nullify feelings of Anxiety. Nadi Shodhana, which is a Breathing technique, can help alleviate the symptoms of an Anxiety attack. You may also become more able to observe the factors that lead to an Anxiety attack, and deal with them before the symptoms escalate. There can be significant improvement within months.

Is it possible to use Yoga to help lower back pain?

Yes Yoga can help. Try knee down twist, child, forward bending poses, half and full wind relieving poses. I would also suggest strengthening your abs and core body strength using upward boat, triangle, and some belly down (prone) poses (being careful not to strain the back muscles).

I have a circulation problem in my hands and lower arms, which includes numbness and pain. Is there an asana or Pranayama that will help release the energy blockage?

Standing and inverted Yoga postures and kapalabhati Pranayama will all help Improve Circulation.

Can you recommend any Yoga positions that may be beneficial for Hypertension?

Yes, it has been shown that practicing Yoga does lower blood pressure, mostly due to its calming and relaxing nature, but also because it is a form of Exercise. There are a few postures that are contraindicated for Hypertension, mainly the inversions where the head is placed below the heart. I would suggest you Focus on gentle Yoga postures, mostly doing the postures done on the floor. The most important posture to practice is “Savasana” (Relaxation/sponge/corpse pose). Pranayama (yogic Breathing) and Meditation will be very helpful as well.

Can I do Yoga when I have a cold and a headache?

For Headaches and Colds a slow gentle Yoga practice is best. Focus on floor postures, especially those that are focused on the spine. Try spinal twists (seated and knee down twist), forward bends (seated forward bend, seated angle, seated head to knee) and inversions (half shoulder stand, plow, standing Yoga mudra).

I have Anxiety attacks and cannot Relax, can Yoga postures help?

Try a slow gentle Yoga practice focusing on asanas that stretch out the area(s) where you hold the Tension and Stress in your body. Specific postures to reduce Stress would be: standing Yoga mudra, triangle, standing forward fold, cobra, camel, child, knee down twist, and at least 10 minutes of conscious Relaxation in shavasana.

How do Yoga positions open up the chakras?

Even though the chakras are often described using physical qualities, these are energy centers in the body. Yoga effects the energy of the body, and using Yoga postures that Focus on the chakra centers will stimulate them allowing the energy to flow and open.

Stress and Tension (physical as well as emotions and thoughts) that accumulate in the areas of the chakras will obstruct the flow of energy, and make the chakras close down. When these areas are stretched, twisted, pressed into and lengthened (though Yoga), the Stress and Tension in these areas are released, and the energy of the chakra can flow and open.

How do I recognize a qulified teacher?

There are no universal standards. Someone who is certified may have just done a weekend course or may have studied for many years. Yoga is so diverse and broad that some people in the Yoga community feel it would be impossible to create uniform standards. However; the Yoga Alliance has outlined some minimum requirements that Yoga teachers must meet in order to become “registered.” Yoga teacher registration has no national or official significance. The training requirements for registration are very reasonable and are followed by most training organizations.

Foods That Our Bodies Require

April 14th, 2006

The food that we eat must provide us with sufficient PROTEIN, CARBOHYDRATE and FAT, plus Vitamins, MINERALS and WATER.

Only quality food will provide enough of these nutrients. Cakes, pies, pastries, potato chips and sweets are valueless foods. They fill you up to the exclusion of good quality food you must have. So we see that these foods are not only damaging, but that they are actually replacing food that we need to be healthy.

Remember that a body will run on junk food because it is mainly refined carbohydrates or fat or both. These are high energy foods. We can survive quite successfully on them - for a while, but they don’t provide sustaining goodness and nutrients and you cannot rebuild or maintain health on “junk foods”. They “clog us up” and “burn us out”.

There are two other dietary components that our bodies require. These are enzymes and roughage. Most enzymes are manufactured in our bodies but many are also provided in the fresh, raw food that we consume. You will remember that enzymes catalyse (speed up) chemical reactions within our bodies.

The enzymes provided in raw food like sprouts, greatly assist us in the efficient digestion and utilisation of the nutrients from these foods to the cells of our body. If this process is not efficient then we cannot get the nutrients that we require. Enzymes are easily lost through cooking and processing. Please note that it is neither necessary or desirable that all of our food be raw. Some people will thrive far better on lots of raw food in their diet and others will thrive on more cooked food.

The main points are…that generally speaking, our society needs more vegetables and fruits … that these foods provide lots of natural enzymes that will aid in the utilisation of the nutrients from these foods. This leads us to the next thing … roughage. Everybody is now aware of the need for more fibre in the diet. This fibrous and bulking content of our food is lost during the refining process. Nature didn’t include these “troublesome rough bits” just to annoy us and make us chew harder. Manufacturers remove this from our foods because they believe the final product will be tastier and more acceptable to the consumer, but the price we pay for the removal of this fibre and Bulk is a sluggish eliminatory system.

Without roughage the transit time in our colon is greatly increased. This means that the food can sit there for many hours or days longer than it should. This food putrifies and rots and much of this toxicity is reabsorbed back into our body.

Our Average Requirement

Whenever we discuss how much of anything is required we automatically look at an “average requirement”. Because there is no such thing as an “average person”, this model becomes risky and limiting. If we don’t fit into this “model” what do we do? Is there something wrong with us? Are we different?

Yes, that is absolutely correct. We are all different and totally unique, and we all have our own special individual requirements, based on our body type, our previous history, our likes and dislikes, our job, our Stress level and our energy output.

Biochemical individuality explains why one person can tolerate a particular food and another will be smitten by it. Why one person can smoke all their life and be seemingly unaffected whilst another will die of lung cancer at twenty. The acceptance of this concept of individuality is very important because it can help us to stop constantly comparing ourselves to others : wondering why it works for them and not for us.

If it doesn’t work for you it’s because it’s not right for you! You need to stop comparing, be open-minded, and find out what special requirements your body has at any given time, and if at first you don’t succeed … try again!

Why Are We So Individual?

Our individual personalities are moulded largely according to our parental situation and circumstances in the womb and in early childhood. Genetically we are reproduced according to the combined gene structure of our parents and we will inherit many of their genetic and emotional strengths and weaknesses.

Our Genetic Inheritance

The strength of our bodies is greatly influenced by the emotional and physical well-being of our mother during Pregnancy. If a mother is under emotional Stress or nutritionally deficient at this time it will have a direct result on the fetus. For example Stress initiates the release of many hormones which will cross the placenta and exert an effect on the child. Similarly if her diet was poor or if she smoked or drank alcohol or caffeine this too will affect the fetus. An alarming and insidious problem which is just surfacing is the toxic effect caused by a mother’s amalgam fillings.

The poisoning from these substances has been shown to have an even greater impact on the fetus than on the mother. In 1983 one in twelve children was born with a physical abnormality. This is why it is so important to prepare for Pregnancy by adopting excellent eating habits, supplements if necessary, and Relaxation.

Healing With Color

April 14th, 2006

There are 14 colors used in healing:

Red Red is associated with energy, grounding, blood, passion for life, flame of Holy Spirit, regeneration, Stress, chaos, survival issues, anger, violence, courage , inconsistency, womb, menstruation cycle, circulation, cellular structure, Fever.

Orange Orange is associated with shock, Trauma, deep insight, codependency/independence, harmony, ecstasy, Beauty, sexuality, trust, individuation, devotion, wisdom, indecision, patience, gut feelings, hysteria, Depression, ovaries, spleen, intestines, gall bladder.

Yellow Yellow is associated with acquired knowledge, light, will power, mental confusion, intellect, cynicism, indecisiveness, warmth, joy, delight, fear, cowardice, nervousness, confusion, Depression, solar plexus, liver, nerves, skin, Arthritis, jaundice.

Green Green is associated with space, search for truth, seeing all aspects of a situation, growth, nature, Fertility, creativity, healing, regeneration, compassion, balance, envy, heart, lungs, thymus, ulcers.

Turquoise Turquoise is associated with mass communication, the sea, trusting intuition, utopian outlook, teaching, communication through art and all creative expression, awareness, talent for technical things, sympathy and empathy, emotional expression, optimism, heart, throat, thymus, lungs, upper neck, shoulders, circulation, bronchitis, asthma, revitalization, hay Fever, swelling, strains on the body.

Blue Blue is associated with peace, sympathy and healing, safety, rest, divinity, water (baptism), blessing, protection that lets in helpful and supportive influences, intuition, leadership, serenity, calmness, softness, emptiness, feeling blue, Frigidity, thyroid, throat, all communication, Cramps, sprains, infections, neck problems, sunburn.

Magenta Magenta is associated with love for everyday things, cooperation, finding your purpose for living, hormonal system, energy flow.

Violet Violet is associated with spirituality, healing, service, contemplation (sometimes too much), individualism, closure, recognize and realize the reason for living, suffering grief, not wanting to be here, addiction, tendency to withdraw, inner calmness, production of mucus, skull, overactivity.

Coral Coral is associated with the unconscious, intuitive, self-analysis, dependency, ability to accept love, glands, birth Trauma.

Gold Gold is associated with wisdom, wealth, status, delusion, fear, delight, nerves, spine, intestines.

Olive Green Olive green is associated with space, feminine leadership, hope, new life, transmutation, clarity, harmony, self-love, gall bladder, large intestine,lungs.

Royal Blue Royal blue is associated with knowing why you are here, ability to make decisions, neutrality, reverence, loneliness, eyes, ears, nose, forehead, pineal gland.

Pink Pink is associated with unconditional love, Tantra, awakening, hormonal system, reproductive organs, eyes.

Clear Clear is associated with understanding of suffering, forgiveness, emptiness, clarity, the entire body

Reflexology Today

April 14th, 2006

Reflexology as it is known in the West today had its origins in the study of Zone Therapy. This practice utilised the longitudinal lines of energy that run through the body starting at the feet and moving up to the brain.

In the early 20th Century Dr William Fitzgerald spent time broadening his medical experience at various hospitals. At a post in an American hospital where he was head of an ear, nose and throat department, he brought to the attention of the medical world his research into the ancient Chinese healing techniques.

He had discovered that by applying pressure to the feet he could bring about an increase in the functioning of other parts of the body.

By chance a Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist at a hospital overhead talk on Dr Fitzgerald’s findings and was immediately fascinated by his discoveries as to the benefits brought about by Zone Therapy.

In her practice at an orthopaedic hospital she introduced the practice of Zone Therapy after post operative surgical procedures on her patients, noticing that it speeded up the body’s natural healing and that they were able to move quicker after the operation. Eunice Ingham introduced Zone Therapy or Reflexology as we know it today.

In 1930 Eunice Ingham started a private practice as a Reflexologist. She was instrumental in writing the first book on Reflexology and was later to open a teaching school dedicated specifically to train students in the practice of Reflexology.

Eunice Ingham dedicated forty years of her life to Reflexology but sadly passed away in 1952.

The Problem of High Cholesterol

April 14th, 2006

What is High Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat like substance that circulates in the blood and is produced by the body from dietary cholesterol and saturated fats in food. Cholesterol is not harmful if kept within acceptable limits.

It is used by the body to perform a variety of vital functions, including building and maintaining cell membranes, hormone synthesis, and the manufacture of Vitamin D. It is only when blood cholesterol levels become too high, that too much cholesterol can become a problem.

The body manufactures two types of cholesterol - LDL (which is seen as a ‘bad’ form of cholesterol) and HDL (which is seen as a ‘good’ form of cholesterol).

When LDL levels are too high, this leads to a buildup of Plaque in the arteries, with an increased risk of heart attack and Atherosclerosis. Healthy levels of HDL will help to clean away cholesterol in the arteries before it has a chance to build up.

In order to maintain healthy levels, we need to keep the LDL levels down and the HDL levels up.

What are the symptoms of High Cholesterol?

High Cholesterol levels often exist without any significant symptoms and many people only discover the problem after they have had heart problems like Angina or even a heart attack.

If your cholesterol levels are very high, you may notice small yellow nodules beneath the skin of your eyes, eyebrows or elbows. Although it is possible to do a home test (obtainable from your pharmacy), these tests only measure total blood cholesterol levels and do not measure HDL.

The best way to find out whether you have High Cholesterol levels is to visit your doctor, homeopath, naturopath or other health care provider.

Healthy adults should have their cholesterol levels measured at least every five years and more frequently if they are overweight, already have a cholesterol problem or if there is a family history of Heart Disease or High Cholesterol.

What causes High Cholesterol levels?

There is a definite link between High Cholesterol levels and a diet high in dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, although genetic factors also play an important role. Smoking, being overweight and insufficient Exercise can also contribute to High Cholesterol levels.

How is it usually treated?

It is very important to take steps to control your cholesterol levels. If it is left untreated, High Cholesterol can result in Heart Disease or even stroke.

The good news is that High Cholesterol can be well controlled by combining a healthy lifestyle with the correct medical treatment.

This can include synthetic prescription medication, Natural Remedies or a combination of both. If you are already taking prescription medication to control cholesterol levels, it is important to consult your doctor before making any changes.

Synthetic prescription medication for High Cholesterol

In response to soaring rates of High Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis, the pharmaceutical companies have produced a class of drugs which are collectively known as ’statins’.

The statins have a one dimensional effect of reducing the body’s ability to synthesize cholesterol. They do not, however, distinguish between the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and the ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) and can also reduce levels of Co-enzyme Q10 and L-carnitine, two very important molecules which are involved in energy production and fat Metabolism.

Myalgia and even stomach, lung and liver tumors have also been associated with the use of these drugs. It is very important that people who are taking prescription medication for High Cholesterol be regularly monitored by their doctor.

What is Cholesto-Rite?

Like High Blood Pressure and high blood Sugar Levels, high levels of LDL cholesterol are recognized as symptoms of imbalance in the system.

Naturopaths recognize that the whole system and not just the symptoms should be treated.

Research has demonstrated that a combination of Natural Remedies, regular Exercise and dietary changes can make a significant difference to LDL levels and reduce or even eliminate the need for prescription drugs.

This is a much healthier approach and one which will have far reaching benefits in terms of quality of life and general well-being.

Recognizing the need for a healthier and more effective approach, without the side effects of the statin drugs, Native Remedies, in conjunction with a practicing Clinical Psychologist, has developed Cholesto-Rite - a 100% Herbal Remedy containing well researched ingredients and manufactured in therapeutic dosage according to the highest pharmaceutical standards.

Cholesto-Rite not only lowers LDL cholesterol, but also increases levels of HDL, the ‘good’ form of cholesterol that helps to remove excessive LDL from the bloodstream and prevent the buildup of Plaque in the arteries.

Regular use of Cholesto-Rite can help to balance the system and prevent Heart Disease and stroke, as well as ensure healthy arteries.

Because Cholesto-Rite also contains Herbs that have anti-oxidant properties, Cholesto-Rite can prevent the damage caused by free radicals in the system. Research has shown that free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules) are implicated in the build up of coronary Plaque, leading to Atherosclerosis, heart attack and even stroke.

Use Cholesto-Rite to:

  • R
  • educe levels of LDL (the ‘bad’ form of cholesterol).
  • Maintain healthy levels of HDL (the ‘good’ form of cholesterol).
  • Fight against harmful free radicals in your body
  • Reduce the risk of coronary Heart Disease, heart attack and stroke.
  • Reverse and protect against dangerous Plaque build up in the arteries and Atherosclerosis
  • Relieve Arthritis inflammation.

Cholesto-Rite contains the following therapeutic Herbs in a 100% vege-capsule.

Red Yeast Rice (Monascus purpurea) is an ancient Chinese remedy which has been used for centuries, both medicinally and in the preservation and coloring of food. The beneficial effects of Red Yeast Rice on balancing blood cholesterol levels have also been clinically demonstrated in a number of double blind, placebo controlling studies involving thousands of people. These studies have demonstrated that Red Yeast Rice can cut levels of LDL (’bad’) cholesterol by as much as 15%, which compares favorably with similar cholesterol lowering effects of prescription drugs.

Gugulipid is an extract of Commiphora mukul, the gum resin of the mukul Myrrh tree. It is a highly prized and well known Ayurvedic herb, used for hundreds of years in the treatment of obesity and Arthritis. Recent studies have shown that gugulipid can be even more effective than many prescription medications in lowering cholesterol and tryglyceride levels in the blood. (between 14 and 27% reduction in cholesterol levels over a 12 week period) Even more importantly, gugulipid has also been shown to increase levels of protective HDL cholesterol. Other studies have demonstrated that regular use of gugulipid has helped to prevent the build up of Plaque in the arteries and even to reverse the build up of existing Plaque. It also prevents blood platelets from sticking together, thereby reducing the risk of blood clots, which often cause heart attacks. Gugulipid has powerful anti-oxidant properties, thereby providing protection and benefit to the entire system.

Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) is a medicinal herb indigenous to South Africa and is widely used for its restorative and anti-oxidant properties. Rooibos can help to control blood Sugar Levels, lower blood pressure and enhance Immune Functioning. It is an extremely nutritious herb, containing Vitamin C, Alphahydroxy Acid, potassium, copper, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, manganese and fluoride.

How has Cholesto-Rite helped others?

High Cholesterol runs in my family, but as usual I thought I would never have that problem. When my doctor told me that I had this problem I realized that I had to make some changes. I believe in natural medicine and my doctor knows this so she agreed to let me try your product which I found on the internet. After only one month there was an improvement and after two months my cholesterol levels were down to normal. I am very happy with this product and can recommend it to anyone with a similar problem.” - Joe, S.

“I was taking prescription drugs which I don’t agree with but was not sure about Natural Remedies for such a serious thing as High Cholesterol. I tried Cholesto-Rite with the permission of my doctor and can really say that it works with no side effects as well. I am so happy that I am also going to try MindSoothe for my Depression instead of Prozac which gives me so many problems. Thanks for all the advice and support which you gave me in the emails.” - Fran, K.

Can I use Cholesto-Rite together with myprescription medication for High Cholesterol?

Under some circumstances you can - but NOT without consulting your doctor. The ingredients in Cholesto-Rite are highly effective in reducing cholesterol levels and are generally seen as a healthy and natural alternative to prescription cholesterol drugs.

Research has shown that regular use can be just as effective as the prescription drugs in lowering blood cholesterol levels, with the added benefit of increasing the production of protective HDL levels.

If your doctor is not familiar with Natural Remedies or is unsympathetic towards your quest for a healthier alternative, seek a second opinion.

NOTE: Do not stop using your prescription medication without first consulting your doctor or natural health care practitioner.

How long does Cholesto-Rite take to work?

Studies have shown that the ingredients in Cholesto-Rite will show a significant drop in blood cholesterol levels over a 12 - 16 week period, although many people respond sooner.

How do I use Cholesto-Rite?

Dosage: 1 - 2 Capsules twice or thrice daily depending on severity of the symptoms.

Cholesterol levels should begin to stabilize within 3- 6 weeks, depending on lifestyle, diet and severity of symptoms.

Caution: Safety in Pregnancy has not yet been established. Use only under medical supervision if you are also using prescription medication for High Cholesterol, if you are a transplant patient, have liver problems, drink more than three glasses of alcohol a day or have other serious illnesses.

How long does a bottle last?

One bottle of Cholesto-Rite contains 60 capsules and will lasts 10 - 30 days, depending on dosage needed (see dosage instructions above).

Healing Secrets of Color

April 14th, 2006

Now modern research agrees: color can positively affect our state of mind and health.

Here is a list of common ailments and symptoms, with the colors that can be helpful in healing them. We also include several easy ways to use colors for healing. It‘s all right here:

We do not recommend that you use Color Therapy instead of allopathic medical treatment, but as a helpful partner along with more conventional therapies.

Red: anemia, cold, leukemia, numbness

Orange: agoraphobia, alcoholism, Arthritis, Common Cold, Constipation, Depression, fatigue, Gallstones, Gout, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease, Rheumatism, muscular stiffness, ulcers

Yellow: Arthritis, jaundice, Rheumatism

Green: Angina, chest pain, gastric Ulcer, Heart Disease, Peptic Ulcer, Trauma, tumors, warts

Turquoise: abscess, Acne, asthma, boils, cold sore, dermatitis, Eczema, fatigue, Fever, hay Fever, pneumonia, stings, Stress, swelling, Tension

Blue: Anxiety, Acne, asthma, Backache, Blisters, bruises, burns, cough, cramp, dermatitis, earache, emphysema, flatulence, Gallstones, German Measles, glandular Fever, hay Fever, hernia, Herpes, hiccups, Influenza, itching, laryngitis, lumbago, Mumps, PMS, Sneezing, sores, sprains, stammering, stiffness, stings, Stress, sunburn, Tonsillitis, toothache, Wheezing

Violet: conjunctivitis, earache, Menopause, mental illness, myopia, neuralgia, paranoia, warts

Magenta: fainting, headache, Migraine, morning sickness, Nausea, shock, stroke, Vomiting

How to Use Color for Healing

1) Use colored lights, visualize colors or use crystal massage wands of various colors to stimulate reflexes in your hands, feet and on your body. Combining color with Crystals with Reflexology stimulation - and even further combining it with aromatherapy oils - can dramatically increase effectiveness.

  1. Simply visualize or imagine the color in your mind as you bathe or lie quietly on your bed, in order to restore your well-being.

  2. Purchase a colored light bulb in the shade you need. Insert into your bathroom fixture or portable lamp (making sure it is a safe distance from the water) and use it while you take a healing bath.

  3. Use natural food coloring in the bathwater. Several drops won’t affect your skin and will tint the water to a gentle hue.

  4. Burn a Candle in the appropriate color as you Meditate, bathe, or simple lie quietly.



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