31 January 2009

Principles of Leadership

Many wish to be leaders. Few understand the true essence of Leadership, which is a compound of four separate ingredients,each one necessary and absolutely vital to all of the others. Those ingredients are:
- Clear vision
- Execution of tasks
- Objectivity
- Loyalty
Vision means one has the ability to see beyond today and its challenges, to set and pursue long term goals,yet stay in the moment enough to accomplish daily results. Vision and action, therefore, must always co-exist dynamically. Vision can be created from awareness, but it must continuously be modified by new perceptions. As one grows, as the world changes, one’s vision will require adjustments. Therefore, the essence of vision is to be strategically flexible, and yet, the awareness behind one’s vision is fundamentally unchangeable.

Vision without action is depression waiting to occur. Action without vision is too mechanical to be enjoyed. “Microwave thinking” (Seeking immediate gratification vs. allowing time by cultivating a great strategy) is the opposite of vision. When vision is present, and combined with a great product, service, or marketing strategy, leadership has begun and success is going to follow. However, one of the most important facets of leadership is the leader’s ability to execute.

Execution originates in decisiveness, but must include the ability to follow through on all aspects of that decision, long after the initial excitement of the moment has passed. Generally speaking, leaders make quick decisions and stay with them long-term. Non-leaders take a long time to make decisions, then shortly after, pull back from fully implementing what they have decided upon.

This is not to say that leaders never change their mind. Everyone has the right to change their mind, and surely a leader must claim that right whenever necessary. But leaders change their mind not because of fear, but rather because of new intuition, or insight. New challenges can occur, and may get in the way of execution, yet a leader is proactive and solution-oriented, rather than reactive and problem-oriented.

Objectivity is the ability to see things as they are, including one’s self. It must go hand in hand with allowing oneself to create solutions when necessary. A leader is very objective, very open, when it comes to noticing his or her shortcomings. They are unafraid of looking objectively because they know that their shortcomings don’t define who they are. Rather, they are what she or he must choose to work on, within.

Therefore, objective leaders are self-correctors. They are their own best students. To be a self-corrector is not the same as undergoing self-criticism, or self-judgment. It is a process of maintaining clarity, not slowing down for blame. Self criticism gets in the way of self correction because it further clouds the mind of the individual, blocking the clarity that is required for being an effective self corrector.

A leader’s deepest loyalty is to his or her vision. Second is their loyalty to remaining patient while pursuing that vision. Third is one’s loyalty to others who are inspired to be part of fulfilling that vision. Within true loyalty there is no room for guilt. Those who try to secure the loyalty of others based on fear and guilt are not true leaders. Quite the contrary, the essence of loyalty is found in love, trust, and the empowerment of others who are part of the vision.

A true leader will never confuse leadership with aggressive selfishness. Although this is often a path to leadership, it leads to achievement that carries with it emptiness and despair. Aggressive and selfish leadership is like placing a ladder alongside a tower, climbing up, and finding desolation. The Principle of Leadership says that a leader can and should strive to climb a ladder that is rooted and stabilized by vision, execution, objectivity, and loyalty. Once reaching the top of this ladder, the leader will find it to be leaning upon the tower of fulfillment./span>

30 January 2009

Can Tea Reduce Your Stress Level?

Our lives are busier today than ever. We work longer hours and have hectic family lives, too. All of this activity can lead to higher stress levels, and the physical symptoms that accompany such high stress levels.

High levels of stress can lead to headaches, vision troubles, joint stiffness and other physical symptoms. Over time, these symptoms can turn into more significant physical problems. Long term exposure to extreme stress causes serious back and neck problems, psychological problems and even high blood pressure in some people.

In addition, stress causes our bodies to release the hormone cortisol. Cortisol often causes weight gain; meaning that too much stress can often make you fat. There are two important pieces to managing stress in your life.

The first piece to managing stress is reducing it where you can. Take a look at your life and remove the things causing you stress wherever possible. For example, does your high traffic commute cause you to arrive at work already stressed out? Consider public transportation, carpooling, working from home or altering your hours to avoid traffic.

Is your family life too hectic with sports and activities? Consider reducing the number of activities your family participates in. Keep the ones that bring the most pleasure, but allow your family a few nights at home with no activities.

The second part of preventing stress from causing you physical and emotional difficulties is managing the stress you can’t avoid. No matter how hard we try, none of us will be able to completely rid our lives of stress.

So, get rid of stress where you can, but then learn to manage the stress you have left. How you react to stressors in your life is critical, and it is something you can have some control over.

Employing stress reduction techniques on a regular basis can have a powerful influence on your ability to manage stress. Some of the most popular stress reduction techniques include:

Exercise – Not only is exercise good for the body, it’s good for the mind, too. Exercise can relieve physical symptoms of stress like tight muscles and can relieve psychological symptoms, too, since focusing on the physical and rhythmic elements of exercise can often relieve the stress that’s weighing on your mind.

Yoga and Stretching – Yoga and its relaxing stretches can be a great way to soothe the mind and work out the kinks in the body. Like other forms of exercise, yoga helps free your mind from your stresses and worries, too.

Meditation – Many people swear by their meditation routine. Meditation teaches your mind to “turn off”. Whether your meditation consists of 5 minutes of sitting in a quiet room with your eyes closed or a more complex routine including music and guided meditation, it’s a very successful stress reduction technique. When you teach your brain to “turn off’ for a few minutes, you’ll also find that you’ve taught it to focus more intently when needed. This can be beneficial when you need to concentrate to work out problems.

There are numerous other stress management techniques that work for many people. Pilates, crafts and hobbies, music and dance can all be great ways to relieve stress. The key is making the time to do the things that help you to cope with the stress in your life.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

When you’re under stress, your diet can either help or hurt you. Eating nutritious foods can make you feel better. On the other hand, foods full of sugar and fat can weigh you down, making you feel worse than before. So, eat a healthy diet to stay at your best even when stress is getting you down.

Some studies have suggested that you can benefit from drinking tea when you’re under stress. In particular, a study conducted by the Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Natural Products in China studied the effects of tea on women under stress. Fifty five Chinese women were studied over a period of time while under a regimen of oolong tea. The women’s stressors and physical symptoms of stress were monitored.

The women were divided into three groups. One group received daily doses of oolong tea, one group received barley tea and the third group received water. Barley tea is a very popular beverage in Asia and is made from barley kernels rather than the camellia sinensis plant, where regular tea comes from. Barley tea is considered to be an overall healthy beverage.

During the study, participants received their test beverage twice in the morning and twice in the evening. They were also subjected to work and deadlines designed to cause stress.

The results of the study concluded that the women who consumed tea showed reduced signs of physical stress related symptoms like headaches, stiffness in the neck and back and eye fatigue. Those participants receiving oolong tea showed greater benefit than those receiving barley tea. However, participants receiving barley tea showed greater benefit than the participants receiving water.

In addition to relief in physical symptoms, participants receiving oolong tea also showed a reduction in the amount of cortisol released by the brain.

This study’s conclusions provide powerful help to those of us trying to reduce the stress in our lives. Simply ensuring that we drink tea on a regular basis may help us to cope with the stress in our lives more easily and may help us reduce the physical problems that go along with stress.

We may even be able to decrease the amount of cortisol released by our bodies during stress, avoiding the weight gain that so often accompanies periods of high stress in our lives.

Tea is a delicious and healthy beverage. It has no side effects and is generally well tolerated by everyone. There’s no reason why we can’t all add tea to our diets to help us manage stress more effectively.

29 January 2009

Smoking and Lung Damage and Emphysema - The Vitamin A Link

Vitamin A is required to protect the cells that line the airways (and other cells) from infection and the harmful effects of carcinogens (cancer causing substances). It is these cells first line of defence and functions as a barrier against infection and maintains their integrity and function.

Please note I do not advocate or support smoking. However, as many people find it very difficult to quit, any information that may help prevent damage caused by smoking should be presented.

In 1991 researchers T.E. Edes and colleagues reporting in the journal Nutrition and Cancer hypothesized that depletion of vitamin A can be induced by exposure to carcinogens (cancer causing substances) such as benzopyrene found in cigarette smoke.

The study was designed to determine if benzopyrene exposure depletes tissue vitamin A and whether beta-carotene might prevent the depletion. Rats were fed a diet containing benzopyrene supplemented with or without beta-carotene.

The authors noted there was a decline in tissue retinol (vitamin A) in the liver and small intestine by two weeks, with a 30% decline by four weeks. But, in the case of the rats fed beta-carotene, there was no effect of benzopyrene on tissue vitamin A levels. A note of interest is that the benzopyrene had no effect on serum (blood) vitamin A levels in both groups of rats during four weeks.

The authors concluded that a high intake of beta-carotene prevented the vitamin A depletion effect of benzopyrene exposure. They went on to say, “Further studies appear warranted to determine whether some of the adverse effects of environmental carcinogens, as found in cigarette smoke, charcoal-broiled meats, and industrial wastes, might be alleviated by dietary intervention.” (Nutrition and Cancer. 1991;15(2):159-66.).

In 1993 Edes and a colleague at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Affairs Hospital, Columbia, Missouri, reported in a review that exposure to benzopyrene, a carcinogen (cancer causing substance) promotes vitamin A depletion in exposed tissues.

They noted that the effect is apparent while on a vitamin A sufficient diet but significantly, without a decline in serum (blood) Vitamin A. In other words, benzopyrene depleted vitamin A even when the diet was adequate in the vitamin, and this depletion is not apparent in blood tests.

Reviewing the studies to date they observed that although these studies involved dietary intake of benzopyrene, it would be realistic to surmise cigarette smoke exposure “would have a similar effect in the lungs and perhaps stomach and bladder.”

ScienceDaily reported on July 28, 2004 that while studying the relationship between vitamin A, lung inflammation, and emphysema, Richard Baybutt, associate professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, made a surprising discovery: a link between vitamin A and emphysema in smokers. He found that a common carcinogen in cigarette smoke, benzo(a)pyrene, induces vitamin A deficiency.

In his initial research, Baybutt took just weaned male rats and divided them into two groups, one of which was exposed to cigarette smoke, and the other to air. In the rats exposed to cigarette smoke, levels of vitamin A dropped significantly in direct correlation with their development of emphysema.

The ScienceDaily article quoted Baybutt: “When the lung content of vitamin A was low, the score of emphysema was high,” he said. “So, the hypothesis is that smokers develop emphysema because of a vitamin A deficiency.”

In the second study, both groups of rats were exposed to cigarette smoke, but one group was given a diet rich in vitamin A. Among those rats receiving the vitamin A-rich foods, emphysema was effectively reduced.

Baybutt believes vitamin A’s protective effects may help explain why some smokers do not develop emphysema.

The ScienceDaily report further quoted Baybutt: “There are a lot of people who live to be 90 years old and are smokers,” he said. “Why? Probably because of their diet…The implications are that those who start smoking at an early age are more likely to become vitamin A deficient and develop complications associated with cancer and emphysema. And if they have a poor diet, forget it.”

In this study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Ting Li, Richard Baybutt and colleagues stated: “We showed previously that vitamin A deficiency per se causes emphysema. Benzo(a)pyrene, a constituent in cigarette smoke, induces vitamin A depletion when administered to rats; therefore, we tested the hypothesis that cigarette smoke induces vitamin A depletion, which is associated with the development of emphysema.”

They noted that Vitamin A levels decreased significantly in serum, lung and liver of smoke-treated rats. The researchers’ conclusion: Exposure to cigarette smoke induces vitamin A depletion in rats, which is associated with the development of emphysema. (The Journal of Nutrition August 1, 2003; 133(8): 2629 - 2634.)

It is worth noting that marijuana smoke contains more of the cancer causing substance (and vitamin A depleting) chemical benzopyrene than tobacco smoke. An average marijuana cigarette contains 30 nanograms of this carcinogen, compared to 21 nanograms in an average tobacco cigarette. (Marijuana and Health, National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine report, 1982.)

Once again, let me reiterate that I am in no way promoting smoking! If any damage can be prevented in those who cannot quit and those around them, then the information may help save lives and government costs – not to mention the trauma suffered by families of people with emphysema. Also note that benzopyrene is not exclusive to cigarettes.

Smoking is not the only source of benzopyrene

Benzopyrene is found in coal tar (coal tar may be found in shampoos and hair dyes), in automobile exhaust fumes (especially from diesel engines), tobacco smoke, and in charbroiled food. Recent studies have revealed that levels of benzopyrene in burnt toast are significantly higher than once thought, although it is unproven whether burnt toast is itself carcinogenic.

A 2001 National Cancer Institute study found levels of benzopyrene to be significantly higher in foods that were cooked well-done on the barbecue, particularly steaks, chicken with skin, and hamburgers. Japanese scientists showed that cooked beef contains mutagens, chemicals that are capable of altering the chemical structure of DNA.


Journal of Nutrition (Vols. 130 and 133).

McCullough, F. et al. The effect of vitamin A on epithelial integrity. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 1999; volume 58: pages 289-293.

Edes TE, Gysbers DG, Buckley CS, Thornton WH Jr. Exposure to the carcinogen benzopyrene depletes tissue vitamin A: beta-carotene prevents depletion. Nutr Cancer. 1991;15(2):159-66.

Edes TE, Gysbers DS. Carcinogen-induced tissue vitamin A depletion. Potential protective advantages of beta-carotene. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1993 May 28;686:203-11; discussion 211-2. Review.

28 January 2009

Ginkgo: The Herb to Aid The Brain

Ginkgo Biloba has been used in traditional medicine to treat circulatory disorders and enhance memory.

Ginkgo is perhaps the most widely currently used herbal treatment aimed at augmenting cognitive functions--that is, improving memory, learning, alertness, mood and so on. Germany recently approved the extract for treating dementia.

Modern studies have also demonstrated the significant effect that Ginkgo biloba has on the cardiovascular system, relaxing blood vessels, acting as a circulatory stimulant and anti-inflammatory. One of the most important active ingredients, ginkgolide, has been clinically shown to be just as effective as standard pharmaceutical drugs in treating irregular heart beats. Improving blood flow throughout the body, Ginkgo biloba can also reduce blood 'stickiness', which lowers the risk of blood clots.

Studies have showed that the Alzheimer's patients who received ginkgo performed better on various cognitive tests than did patients who received a placebo. Improvements were evident in standardized tests measuring attention, short-term memory and reaction time; the average extent of improvement resulting from ginkgo treatment was 10 to 20 percent

It was reported that ginkgo's effect was comparable to that of the drug donepezil, which is currently the pharmaceutical drug of choice for the treatment of Alzheimer's.

A large clinical trial of ginkgo with more than 3,000 volunteers is being carried out by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine . The aim is to see if the herb prevents the onset of dementia and, specifically, Alzheimer's disease; whether it slows slows cognitive decline and functional disability (for example, inability to prepare meals); reduces the incidence of cardiovascular disease; and decreases the rate of premature death.

NCCAM is also studying Ginkgo as possible treatment sfor asthma, symptoms of multiple sclerosis, vascular function (intermittent claudication), cognitive decline, sexual dysfunction due to antidepressants, and insulin resistance. NCCAM is also looking at potential interactions between ginkgo and prescription drugs.

In a study in France a small group of elderly people with mild, age-related memory impairment were given a fairly high dose of Ginkgo. An hour after the treatment, the subjects' memories were tested by rapidly presenting short lists of words or drawings and then asking the patients to recall the lists immediately afterward. Their ability to recall the rapidly presented material increased significantly after ingestion of ginkgo.

This finding raises the possibility that short-term, rather than long-term, biological actions provide the basis for ginkgo's reported effects on cognition

Ginkgo should only be taken under the guidance of a knowledgeable medical professional. Taken with anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, Ginkgo can increase the risk of bleeding. It is also possible that ginkgo might interact with certain psychiatric drugs and with certain drugs that affect blood sugar levels.

26 January 2009

Gong Xi Fa Chai 2009

YOGA – an ancient form of Exercise

Yoga is a family of ancient spiritual practices dating back more than 5000 years from India. It is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy. In India, Yoga is seen as a means to both physiological and spiritual mastery. Outside India, Yoga has become primarily associated with the practice of asanas (postures).

Yoga as a means of spiritual attainment is central to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and has influenced other religious and spiritual practices throughout the world. Hindu texts establishing the basis for yoga include the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and many others.

The four main paths of Yoga are
• Karma yoga: The yoga of action in the world
• Jnana yoga: The yoga of knowledge and intellectual endeavor
• Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion to a deity
• Raja yoga: The yoga of meditation
A committed practitioner of yoga is referred to as a yogi, yogin (masculine), or yogini (feminine).
The aims of the yoga practitioners are extremely varied.
1. Inspiration of Spiritual Element
2. Increased Flexibility and Fitness
3. Solutions to varied Health Disorders
4. All – round development : Mind, Body, Soul
Yoga entails mastery over the body, mind, and emotional self, and transcendence of desire. According to the followers, the Yogi eventually reaches the enlightened state (Moksha) where there is a cessation of thought and an experience of blissful union. This union may be of the individual soul (Atman) with the supreme Reality (Brahman), as in Advaita Vedanta; with a specific god or goddess, as in Dvaita, or dualistic forms of Hinduism and some forms of Buddhism.

Common to most forms of yoga is the practice of concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana). The awareness is concentrated on a fine point of sensation (such as that of the breath entering and leaving the nostrils). Sustained single-pointed concentration gradually leads to meditation (dhyana), in which the inner faculties are able to expand and merge with something vast. Meditators sometimes report feelings of peace, joy, and oneness.
Advantages of Yoga

Yoga emphasizes treatment of the root cause of an ailment. It works in a slow, subtle and miraculous manner. Modern medicine can claim to save a life at a critical stage, but, for complete recovery and regaining of normal health, one must believe in the efficiency of yoga therapy.

On a physical level Yoga postures stimulate the glands, organs, muscles and nerves in ways that traditional exercise cannot. Muscle tightness and strain is quickly relieved and both circulation and digestion improves. Stress-related symptoms like poor sleep, fatigue, muscle spasms, anxiety, and indigestion are greatly improved.
Through continued practice Yoga postures can have a profound effect on the inner dimensions of life, establishing deep calm, concentration, emotional stability and confidence.

25 January 2009

Reiki for Dogs: The Basics of Holistic Dog Medicine

Reiki (pronounced Ray-key) comes from the Japanese Rei and Ki meaning spiritually guided life energy. Reiki for dogs is a form of spiritual healing that helps harmonize the mind, body, and soul of your pet. It can be used as a treatment for relaxation as well as a tool for releasing negative emotions and limitations.

Reiki for dogs can treat many ailments that may be currently inhibiting your dog, whether noticeable to you or not. It can reduce stress, relieve pain, headaches, stomach upsets, asthma, back problems, sinus, respiratory problems, canine hip dysplasia, anxiety and many more. After performing your first session with your pet, you will see instant results of using Reiki for your dog.

Reiki for dogs is performed with a fixed set of hand positions. Each position is formed to create a specific desired energy outcome to ultimately bring your dog into balance. To understand how to use Reiki for your dog it is important to know the different charkas that are connected to the physical organs of the body as well as the aura.

There are seven centers of energy in your pet. Reiki for dogs focuses on changing the energy from one center to another to bring about balance. The hand positions control the Chi and ultimately free your dog’s aura while allowing for a continual energy flow. The seven centers consist of the Root chakra, Navel chakra, Solar Plexus chakra, Heart chakra, Throat chakra, Third eye, and the Crown chakra. These charkas are specifically connected to different glands in your dog. Reiki for your dog will make the glands release hormones directly into the blood stream and control all aspects of your dogs daily activities and healthy thinking. Freeing the aura is a major part of using Reiki for dogs. Before Reiki, your dog’s aura might only extend a few decimeters outside the body. After performing Reiki on your dog its aura will resonate about 2-3 meters. There are several different layers of body in the aura that Reiki will expose for your dog.

Physical Body: the most tangible part of your dog’s body. Here, Reiki for your dog will ease some of the most common fears about the physical body-sickness, aging and death.

Etheric Body: connected to the Root chakra, it is made up of a thin invisible layer that is only 2 cm thick that surrounds your dog’s body. This is where the energy is reflected when Reiki for your dog gets it flowing from chakra to chakra. Many of your dog’s dreams are found here.

Emotional Body: connected to the Navel chakra it serves as an egg shaped emotion reflector that contains the other two bodies. Emotions like hope, happiness, love, anger, and sorrow are all found here. Reiki for your dog can release these emotions from past problems your dog has suppressed and create an empty canvas for your dog to express freely.

Mental Body: connected to the Solar Plexus chakra, reflects logic, mind, and intelligent thinking. Reiki for dogs helps shape their reality.

Astral Body: the bridge between the spiritual realm and the physical world. Reiki for dogs will help them express unconditional love.

Etheric Template Body: connected to the Throat chakra, this is where your dog has its thought processes. Reiki for your dog will connect its past, and present to its future.

Celestial Body: connected to the third eye chakra, mirrors the subconscious mind. It uses your dog’s intuition to bring about higher feelings. Reiki for your dog will allow your pet to have a love that goes beyond individual to universal.

Casual Body: connected to the Crown chakra, is the last body where the initial creative impulses begin. Reiki for your dog will have your dog’s soul communicating with its conscious mind and mental body.

Reiki for your dog is a gentle but powerful healer. It will balance your dog’s energy, organs, and glands. Reiki for dogs has proven to strengthen immune systems, relieve pain, clears toxins, and enhances personal awareness while relaxing your dog.

24 January 2009

Do you make these 9 mistakes in a conversation?

Can you improve your conversation skills? Certainly.

It might take a while to change the conversation habits that’s been ingrained throughout your life, but it is very possible.

To not make this article longer than necessary let’s just skip right to some common mistakes many of us have made in conversations. And a couple of solutions.

1. Not listening
Ernest Hemingway once said:

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

Don’t be like most people. Don’t just wait eagerly for your turn to talk. Put your own ego on hold. Learn to really listen to what people actually are saying.

When you start to really listen, you’ll pick up on loads of potential paths in the conversation. But avoid yes or no type of questions as they will not give you much information. If someone mentions that they went fishing with a couple of friends last weekend you can for instance ask:

* Where did you go fishing?
* What do you like most about fishing?
* What did you do there besides fishing?

The person will delve deeper into the subject giving you more information to work with and more paths for you choose from.

If they say something like: “Oh, I don’t know” at first, don’t give up. Prod a little further. Ask again. They do know, they just have to think about a bit more. And as they start to open up the conversation becomes more interesting because it’s not on auto-pilot anymore.

2. Asking too many questions
If you ask too many questions the conversation can feel like a bit of an interrogation. Or like you don’t have that much too contribute. One alternative is to mix questions with statements. Continuing the conversation above you could skip the question and say:

* Yeah, it’s great to just get out with your friends and relax over the weekend. We like to take a six-pack out to the park and play some Frisbee golf.
* Nice. We went out in my friend’s boat last month and I tried these new lures from Sakamura. The blue ones were really great.

And then the conversation can flow on from there. And you can discuss Frisbee golf, the advantages/disadvantages of different lures or your favourite beer.

3. Tightening up
When in conversation with someone you just meet or when the usual few topics are exhausted an awkward silence or mood might appear. Or you might just become nervous not knowing exactly why.

* Leil Lowndes once said: “Never leave home without reading the newspaper.” If you’re running out of things to say, you can always start talking about the current news. It’s also good to stay updated on current water cooler-topics. Like what happened on the latest episode of Lost.
* Comment on the aquarium at the party, or that one girl’s cool Halloween-costume or the host’s mp3-playlist. You can always start new conversations about something in your surroundings.
* Assume rapport. If you feel nervous or weird when meeting someone for the first time assume rapport. What that means is that you imagine how you feel when you meet one of your best friends. And pretend that this new acquaintance is one of your best friends. Don’t overdo it though, you might not want to hug and kiss right away. But if you imagine this you’ll go into a positive emotional state. And you’ll greet and start talking to this new person with a smile and a friendly and relaxed attitude. Because that’s how you talk to your friends. It might sound a bit loopy or too simple. But it really works.

4. Poor delivery
One of the most important things in a conversation is not what you say, but how you say it. A change in these habits can make a big difference since your voice and body language is a vital part of communication. Some things to think about:

* Slowing down. When you get excited about something it’s easy to start talking faster and faster. Try and slow down. It will make it much easier for people to listen and for you actually get what you are saying across to them.
* Speaking up. Don’t be afraid to talk as loud as you need to for people to hear you.
* Speaking clearly. Don’t mumble.
* Speak with emotion. No one listens for that long if you speak with a monotone voice. Let your feelings be reflected in your voice.
* Using pauses. Slowing down your talking plus adding a small pause between thoughts or sentences creates a bit of tension and anticipation. People will start to listen more attentively to what you’re saying. Listen to one of Brian Tracys cds or Steve Pavlina’s podcasts. Listen to how using small pauses makes what they are saying seem even more interesting.
* Learn a bit about improving your body language as it can make your delivery a lot more effective. Read about laughter, posture and how to hold your drink in 18 ways to improve your body language.

5. Hogging the spot-light
I’ve been guilty of this one on more occasions than I wish to remember. :) Everyone involved in a conversation should get their time in the spotlight. Don’t interrupt someone when they are telling some anecdote or their view on what you are discussing to divert the attention back to yourself. Don’t hijack their story about skiing before it’s finished to share your best skiing-anecdote. Find a balance between listening and talking.

6. Having to be right
Avoid arguing and having to being right about every topic. Often a conversation is not really a discussion. It’s a more of a way to keep a good mood going. No one will be that impressed if you “win” every conversation. Instead just sit back, relax and help keep the good feelings going.

7. Being boring
Don’t prattle on about your new car for 10 minutes oblivious to your surroundings. Always be prepared to drop a subject when you start to bore people. Or when everyone is getting bored and the topic is starting to run out of steam.

One good way to have something interesting to say is simply to lead an interesting life. And to focus on the positive stuff. Don’t start to whine about your boss or your job, people don’t want to hear that. Instead, talk about your last trip somewhere, some funny anecdote that happened while you where buying clothes, your plans for New Years Eve or something funny or exciting.

Another way is just to be genuinely interested. As Dale Carnegie said:

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Which is just another way of saying that the way to make a friend is to be one.”

Knowing a little about many things or at least being open to talk about them instead of trying to steer the conversation back to your favourite subject is a nice quality.

Meaning: talking for what seems like hours about one topic. Topics may include work, favourite rock-band, TV-show and more work. Opening up a bit and not clinging desperately to one topic will make the conversation feel more relaxed and open. You will come across like a person who can talk about many things with ease. As you’ve probably experienced with other people; this quality is something you appreciate in a conversation and makes you feel like you can connect to that person easily.

8. Not reciprocating
Open up and say what you think, share how you feel. If someone shares an experience, open up too and share one of your experiences. Don’t just stand there nodding and answer with short sentences. If someone is investing in the conversation they’d like you to invest too.

Like in so many areas in life, you can’t always wait for the other party to make the first move. When needed, be proactive and be the first one to open up and invest in the conversation. One way is by replacing some questions with statements. It makes you less passive and makes take a sort of stand.

9. Not contributing much
You might feel that you don’t have much to contribute to a conversation. But try anyway. Really listen and be interested in what the others are saying. Ask questions. Make relating statements.

Open your eyes too. Develop your observational skills to pick up interesting stuff in your surroundings to talk about. Develop your personal knowledge-bank by expanding your view of interesting things in the world. Read the newspapers and keep an eye on new water cooler-topics.

Work on your body language, how you talk and try assuming rapport to improve your communication skills.

But take it easy. Don’t do it all at once. You’ll just feel confused and overwhelmed. Instead, pick out the three most important things that you feel needs improving. Work on them every day for 3-4 weeks. Notice the difference and keep at it. Soon your new habits will start to pop up spontaneously when you are in a conversation.

23 January 2009

Detoxification for a Healthier and More Energetic You

Do you feel tired all the time and have low energy? Do you have frequent headaches or are you sensitive to certain foods or chemicals? Are your hands and feet cold? These are some of the indications that your body may be toxic. Today there are 77,000 chemicals that are in active production in North America and more than 3,000 chemicals are added to our food supply. And one of the best ways to rid the body of these toxins is with the far infrared sauna.

Chemicals are everywhere. The EPA estimates there are more than 20,000 chemicals that our bodies cannot metabolize and everyday, we ingest tiny amounts of these chemicals. Pesticide residues are detectable in 50% - 95% of the food consumed in the U.S. “Silver" dental fillings contain mercury (a cause of Parkinson's disease and many other neurological disorders) that leaches out and is absorbed by the surrounding tissue and lungs. The average carpet outgases more than 12 chemicals (such as benzene, a known cause of leukemia) all of which can cause disease.

Dr. Sherry Rogers in her book Detoxify or Die elaborates of the pervasiveness of chemicals. “Air pollution and water pollution are only a small part of the toxicity story. There are thousands of harmful environmental toxins, some of which we’re aware of -- such as pesticides, chemicals, household cleansers, fertilizers -- and others, which seem perfectly innocent, such as those ubiquitous plastic water bottles, styrene cups, dental fillings, and plastic wrap. These are just a few small examples of the alarming amount of harmful toxins our bodies are absorbing every day.”

Studies show that most of us have between 400 and 800 chemical residues stored in the fat cells of our bodies. The Columbia University School of Public Health reports that 95% of cancer is caused by diet and environmental toxicity. If the chemicals are unable to be excreted from the body, they find their way into our liver, and then migrate to fat cells in organs throughout the body where they are stored. When our bodies exceed the limit for toxins we can excrete, those too are stored. Chemicals and heavy metals make up our "total toxic burden". This bioaccumulation compromises our physiological and psychological health and leads to chronic disease. As these chemicals build up, they alter our metabolism, cause enzyme dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies, create hormonal imbalances, damage brain chemistry, and cause cancer.

Because the chemicals accumulate in different parts of the body and at different rates and in different combinations, there is a disturbingly large variety of different chronic illnesses that can result. And because the complex interrelationship of these chemicals to the unique health history of each individual, the symptoms of chemical toxicity can manifest differently in each of us. Some of these may include:
HeadachesSkin ConditionsInflammatory DiseasesAutoimmune DiseasesChronic Fatigue and more
The sauna generates infrared light which is part of the Sun's invisible spectrum. It has the ability to easily penetrate human tissue. You can be exposed to Far Infrared heat for hours, and it will never cause your skin to burn. Far Infrared heat is completely healthy and safe for all living things. It is what makes the sun feel warm to you. Infrared heat is not the UV rays that cause sunburn. The temperature range for an infrared sauna is from 100-130° F and is much less than a normal Finnish sauna which ranges from 150-220°F. The waves of the infrared sauna penetrate the skin about 1 _-2 inches deep. This creates a natural resonance, which has many beneficial properties. Primarily it causes water in cells to react, causing the release of toxins in blood, sweat and urine.

Some of the benefits of an infrared sauna experience are:
Enhanced circulation and oxygenated tissuesIncreased energy production facilitating healingIncreased metabolismEnhanced sex lifeElimination of toxinsOpening of nasal passagesMore rapid healing of infectionsHastened tumor deathImproved nervous disordersRelief from digestive disordersEnhanced weight lossNormalization of blood pressure These are some of the many benefits that may accrue to the user of an infrared sauna. The sauna can be used by just about anyone and there are very few contraindications. Everyone has some form of chemical toxicity in their bodies, the only difference is the amount of chemicals and how the symptoms manifest. The infra red sauna is one of the best ways to rid the body of these unwanted toxins.

22 January 2009

5 Reasons to Use Yoga to Battle Modern Day Stresses

While many people have always thought of Yoga as some mystic Hindu practice, that image is rapidly disappearing – almost as fast as the stresses of our modern lives are increasing. The American Academy of Family Physicians has noted that stress related symptoms prompt two-thirds of the office visits to family physicians. Exercise and alternative therapies are now commonly prescribed for stress-related complaints and illness. Even a recent issue of Consumer Reports suggests Yoga for stress relief.

As an effective method of stress management, yoga is spreading into the business world, the helping professions, nursing and old age homes. It is also being used in the treatment of alcoholics, hyperactive children and youngsters with learning disabilities. Yoga centers are getting stiff competition from adult education classes of community colleges, boards of education and parks and recreation departments.

There are many kinds of yoga to study, and there can be endless years of practice for the willing student. Many of the problems suffered in modern life can be erased by following a regular yoga routine.

Reasons to practice Yoga

1. Yoga can release the tense muscles caused by hours of sitting at a desk.
Yoga differs from other forms of exercise in that it involves motions that don't cause strain on the body. It isn’t an aerobic exercise, but it uses almost every muscle in your body. Over time, your limbs are strengthened – helping to combat the aches and pains caused by our sedentary lifestyles.

2. Mediation during Yoga can enhance concentration.
Breathing deeply can improve vitality by increasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain. All forms of yoga incorporate the practice of proper breathing techniques for relaxation, to rest the mind from its constant chatter, to experience an internal calm, and to energize and purify the body.

3. Yoga is fun an easy for children.
Yoga is great fun for children and teenagers and it's easy for them to do, as they are already flexible. Yoga can help them retain that flexibility. It can also help to develop their self-discipline. Practicing yoga is good for developing coordination and can help to improve concentration - which many children and teens find difficult.

4. Yoga is the ideal exercise during pregnancy.
Practicing yoga can improve backache and help to lift depression. Many women who practice yoga have said that it helped to make their labor easier and shorter. The meditation side of yoga is also calming and centering during pregnancy.

5. Yoga can combat feelings of anxiety and depression.
Practicing yoga can alter your brain chemistry. Some yoga positions in particular are effective in stimulating the pituitary gland to release endorphins and to reduce the level of cortisol (the stress hormone).

Many people beginning to practice yoga as stress management may feel unsure if they are doing it right. Trust yourself and trust the process and let it develop. Keep your focus on what is happening in each moment. As stress levels in our society reach new heights, yoga can provide you with the means for handling stress, diffusing tension and increasing the quality of your life!

21 January 2009

There's No Place Like Home, The Feng Shui Home

Whether you’re moving into a new home or coming home every evening to one you’ve lived in for years, you should feel that you’re entering your own sacred space or haven. A place where you feel happy to be and can leave the days stresses behind you as you enter.

Using the principles of Feng Shui helps to support and balance you throughout your home from the moment you enter the front door. Through the art and science of Feng Shui, literally translated to mean “Wind and Water,” you are seeking to create a peace and harmony in your home for you and your family.

Although this practice has been in use for thousands of years, many people are still not familiar with it. It has been practiced through all these years by Chinese, Asian, Tibetan and even Native American cultures using all different forms, yet has for the most part been neglected here in the United States.
At least, until Donald Trump starting speaking up about its virtues. Other prominent people came forward as well to tout its powers including Mayor Bloomberg, Bill Clinton and numerous celebrities and stars.Feng Shui employs many principles including the use of color, the mindful art of placement, balancing The Five Elements and beautiful, esoteric blessings and “cures” that have been passed down through the ages to help homeowners achieve a balance and harmony they may have not previously had in their homes. We believe your home should be your retreat and we seek to implement inexpensive, easy to implement principles to support your health, your career, your family, your wealth and abundance in all the areas of your life.

Feng Shui is especially important for new homeowners. Through the rush of packing, closing, moving and other last minute things, Feng Shui is often left undone. We often think in Feng Shui terms of what we call Predecessor Energy, more commonly thought of as the energy left behind from previous occupants. To make a space truly your own, we seek to rid the home of any previous energy from anyone who has lived there prior to your moving in.

Energy can get stuck; if a home was left under unfavorable circumstances, there is a “feeling” left behind of arguments, sadness or grief and other unpleasant energy. Feng Shui Consultants clear that out to truly make the space your own. We then believe you are starting fresh with not only a new home but one that supports your goals and dreams for the future in all aspects of your life.

What does a consultation by a qualified consultant consist of? Most of us like to sit down and speak with you at length, ask a series of questions to determine what particular aspects of your life may need more attention then others. For example, if you don’t have a partner but are seeking to bring one into your life, if you’re looking to change careers, if you’ve had health issues, the circumstances under which you moved and anything you may know about previous owners of the home.

All these factors are taken into account including many more to help you transform the energy in your home into one that supports and balances you. Whether using a Bagua or Compass method, Feng Shui should be explained to you in as much depth as possible so you can take your new found knowledge and use it in other spaces in your life, your office for example. An exterior blessing and interior space clearing should always be included as well as an exterior evaluation of your home and property to advise you about any possible “missing pieces” or other areas that require special attention. A complete walk through of your home should be done, including suggestions for each and every room and what you can do to keep a positive flow of energy in your home and your life through simple and inexpensive methods.

Grandmaster HHH Professor Lin Yun reminds us that Feng Shui is 90% of your Intentions and only 10% of the cures and changes you are making. Remember to infuse your thoughts and goals with the Intentions you want to create for your new space, make the changes your consultant recommends and watch your own personal transformations begin.

20 January 2009

What is Ayurveda and How Does It Heal?

What is Ayurveda? How does Ayurveda heal?

The word Ayurveda means 'Science of Life', a mind/body science. Ayurveda is a complete system of restoring and maintaining a harmonious mind/body/spirit connection. Its function is to balance all physical, emotional and mental systems leading to self-healing and self realization. Ayurveda teaches that our human physical systems are directly connected with our emotional and mental systems. As we learn to understand the complete interaction of these systems we are able to heal ourselves. As each of us heals ourselves, we create a paradigm of healing that begins to affect our surrounding environment. As we heal and undergo positive transformations internally, we manifest this same positive abundance in our external environment. So Ayurveda offers an opportunity not only to heal our bodies, but also heal our lives and relationships.

Ayurveda teaches that each of us has a physical channel within the physical body that can open to the experience of being aware of our own divine nature. When we become conscious of the Divine within we feel a sense of deep connection with Spirit, God, Universal Life Force which allows us to operate in harmony with the natural laws of the universe. When we are flowing with nature, we experience the feeling of wholeness, where we recognize that there is no lack and no limitation, only the perception that we are in some way deficient or not enough. Ayurveda outlines the perfect wisdom and knowledge to achieve this balance of wholeness. Once balance and wholeness is achieved, we begin to learn how to live happily in a world that appears to foster and fight disease, seek gross stimulation and reward superficial activity.

The ultimate goal of Ayurveda is to facilitate the union of our Spirit with the Divine Universal Power (God consciousness). A healthy mind and body is a temple for our spirit. A healthy body allows us to achieve this union of our Spirit. By learning to use this natural Universal Force, we transcend fear, pain, and limitation and reach our full and highest potential. We become our true Self. On a physical plane, Ayurveda is designed to promote natural health and prevention of maladies. If a person becomes sick or is challenged with a disease, Ayurveda looks for imbalance to the natural health of the individual. Ayurveda is a natural health lifestyle, not a system of symptom suppression. Accordingly, it can be use in conjunction, as well as be integrated with other healing modalities and with all types of conventional medicine and surgery.

Ayurveda is based on the principles of Quantum physics. Our unique constitution is a result of the unique combination of the elemental energetics. The five elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth combine these energetics in variations called the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata is a combination of ether and air. Pitta is primarily fire and some water. Kapha is a combination of the elements of water and earth. When one has a perfect balance of these three doshas, one is dis-ease and dis-comfort free. With an imbalance of these three doshas one begins the disease process within. Understanding our unique constitutions is important and provides one with customized lifestyle that can be preventative, as well as significantly improve our coping skills for stress. With self-knowledge one may find it easier to achieve balance and stay disease free.. As an Ayurvedic practitioner I provide a health approach that is highly individualized based on one's unique distribution of the elemental energetics. Ex. In Ayurveda there are three different types of arthritis, based on one's constitution, hence three different approaches.

Ayurveda operates to prevent illness by understanding the function of the body, the relationship of body/mind and the particular nature of the individual being treated. Each individual has a specific constitution and the science of life offers a systemic approach to well-being customized specifically to the body type of the individual. This ancient wealth of knowledge teaches a clear understanding of the functioning and enhancement of the individual's mind, body, and consciousness, as well as the role of the individual in society. Ayurveda is the art and science of harmonious, healthy living.

According to Ayurveda disease occurs in 6 stages. Conventional/modern medicine is trained to recognize and treat disease in stage 5, when it is a full blown manifested disease and stage 6 which are complications of the manifested disease. Ayurvedic training involves in the identification of the dis-ease and dis-comfort which progress from stage 1 to stage 4. These are in the format of imbalances, which does not have the formal name of a disease. The progression of the initial stages 1 to 4 of imbalance takes years and years to accumulate. So anyone pursuing Holistic Ayurvedic and Naturopathic route to health, must be patient, and know that healing and results will not be overnight. Some ease and improvement may occur within the first few weeks, however real healing and disease reversal may require several months of lifestyle changes, proper nutrient intake and cooperation of the individual along with their practitioner. Remember the symptoms and discomforts are the last to show up as a result of longterm accumulation of imbalances. Chronic neglected imbalances lead to disease. So one must understand and realize that symptom relief may take time.

19 January 2009

Depression in Men: 14 Symptoms and What To Do About it.

How is it possible in the country leading the world in medical science, one in four men have a disabling illness that torments them and their families and most never receive treatment for it. That illness is Depression. Depression in men is often “covert depression” and it is a widespread problem in the United States. Depression in men often goes unrecognized--by themselves, colleagues, family and even physicians.

Depression in Men

As a men enter midlife, stressful factors can come into play, leading to a greater risk for developing depression. Depression in men gets at our very core sense of what it is to be a man, and has to be understood that way. Depression is a real illness; it is treatable, and men do get it. So how do you recognize depression in men?

14 Symptoms of Depression in Men

Many of the symptoms of depression in men are the same as you might find in women. Those symptoms are (most of these should be experienced for at least 2 weeks to be considered a symptom):

• A persistent sad mood every day or nearly every day
• Anger, mood swings and irritability
• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
• Significant change in appetite or body weight
• Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping nearly every day
• Fatigue and loss of energy
• Physical slowing or agitation
• Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame and self doubt
• Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
• Change in interest regarding sex
• Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

In general, a person who is diagnosed with depression will have five or more of the symptoms listed above. Depression in men however will show the following 3 symptoms that many women will not:

• Lack of ability to perform sexually as opposed to just lack of interest
• Hiding of feelings
• Outward aggression, irritability or hostility towards others

It is estimated that 40% of men will suffer some degree of depression between the ages of 40 and 60.

What Are the Treatment Options

Treatment choice depends on a number of variables, the patient’s diagnosis, severity of symptoms, and preference. Treatment for depression in men may include antidepressant medications, psychotherapy or both. If you put off treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years. Other helpful resources for treatment and recognition of depression include family members, friends, and employee assistance professionals in the workplace.

The fact is, depression in men may always have been far more common than we once thought because depression in men shows itself differently. Now that depression in men is out in the open more research and testing is being devoted to the subject.

Finally, even despite the differences in how depression shows up in men many treatments and techniques work equally well on both women and men. And luckily there are great resources available online and at your local bookstore to help you when deciding which treatment is best for your situation.

18 January 2009

Health & Fitness with Homeopathy

Homeopathy is so rich in remedial agents that often its practitioners tend to rely on their drugs alone, and to disregard hygiene and other adjuvants to cure. Especially do they fail to work out diets in detail for their pa,tients. It is essential that they bother to do this for a number of reasons. In the first place, for the psycbological effect upon the patient. Patients want to feel that eiery scientific care is being given them, and that (he doctor takes flattering pains with them; and they need something to do, a caU to active co~operation on their part. Especially is this the last case when the actual remedy administration is in so pleasant, simple and sparse a form as Homeopathy prescribes. In the second place, without any drug of any kind, diet can do wonders for many types of cases as modern medicine so ably demonstrates.

Let us consider, for instance, the value without any drug, of strict diets in such diseases as: Diabetes, nephritis, high blood pressure, renal colic and the uric add diathesis, arthritis, gall-stones and jaundice, gastric and duodenal ulcer, mucous colitis, visceroptosis, constipation, obesity, and last, but by no means least, tuberculosis and cancer. Every Homeopathic physician must be grounded in the classical dietary treatments; must know w.hen to give a diabetic the Newburg high-fat diet; and the difference between diets for nephritics and nephtotics; must enforce purio-free diets on the chronic renal colics; must be conversant with the Lippe diet for ulcer; and the LaheyJordan diet for mucous colitis (with its cream of wheat and celery, whose roughage combined with the concomitant rest prescribed does such wonders in those obstinate cases). The physician must know how to influence acidity; strong urine, asthma and eczema by dietary means.

It is good training for us, and a helpful method of experimental control of our remedies, to start chronic patients who have some one of the above mentioned diagnoses, on diet and regimen plus Sac. lac. without any remedy, and see how far you can improve their condition .. Thus do we learn what scientific common sense will, and will not, do for us. Meanwhile you are getting closer to the patient's true similliml;i1J'l, and can give it in prepa-red ground, with startling and enlightening effect.

Diet can often replace the use of drugs-a valuable help for the .Homeopath. Take a patient who has been 'living' on soda bica-rbonate for years. Teach them that soda, chemically alkaline, produces acid, physiologically, in the stomach, and train them to substitute lemon juice and the citrous fruits in general, and watch. You will be amazed that so simple a means will work so well. Meanwhile the soda intoxication symptoms will pass off, and your case values will begin to be unravelled.

The physician must also at the onset remove articles of diet and diet habits of eating which hold the patient back from cure, and which cover the spoor on the trail to a 'totality', and therefore to subsequent healthful progress. He learns in this quest the idiosyncrasies to food on t.he part of the patient. These, as every Homeopath knows, are· of great help and import. In tnis connection there is a wise rule: Cbronic cases should not eat to excess that which they especially cra-ve, whereas acute patients may-and sbould-eat largely of what they crave, if the craving comes on with the illness. The most extraordinary lapses from classical procedure shmv admirable results when this rule is followed, But, be sure that it is a true craving, unusual, individualizing the patient's reaction to the (so-called) acute disease. The craving for and aversIons. to food in chronics will, of course, give you sound generals for your hierarchy of symptoms. If, in chronic cases the remedy is given, it will, little by little, enabIe the patient to assimilate that food which he craved, at the same time, quite reasonably, modifying the craving. For example, I have an Argentum nitricum patient who craved sugar and was ill from it, and who, under Arg. nit. no longer craves it, but can 'Cat it with impunity. Similarly, I have a Calcare!t child, who, after Calc., ceased craving chalk and indigestibles and can assimilate lime from the food. In conn::cdon with being made ill by specific articles of food several interesting points arise: Try at first to see whether it is a combination of foods which disagree, or the one given element of diet. A wise professor once told me that almost anyone could eat almost anythinr- if they ate it by itself. Next in the case of certain. acids, try giving cream cheese or cottage cheese with them.

For instance, those with whom strawherries disagree, can often take stnnvbcrrics if cream cheese is eaten at the same time; and similarly with tomatoes. T.his also applies to shellfish in some paticncs. Beware the combinations of acids and sugars, starches with meat, III people with delicate di{~estions. Buttermilk will often so alter the colon's 110ra and fauna tbat putrefaction is regulated and much elll be digested which hitherto did not agree. A famous German Homeopath, Dr. Schlegel the elder, told me that if everyone would drink buttermilk die race would profit enormously, and if they would add honey (formic acid) and radishes (which are anti-uric-acid) even mor7 trouble ,would be saved. Remember' that onions help keep blood pressure down (the excitable Italians with their garlic and onions rarely ha·ve hypertension.)

In idiosyncrasies of preference rather than actual agRravations, ingenuity will save much trouble. Your child or patient who will not take milk may enjoy it if vichy or seltzer be added, or if milk and cream are mixed balE' and half with ginger ale or sarsaparilla. Or the difference between hot and cold milk may change the dislike.

Those needing iron who claim cabbage gives them gas can often take raw cabbage with sour cream dressing. Spinach pureed with egg chopped on it will tcmpt the anti-green child. Cider and raw apples are marvelous for thinning the arthritic patient. Brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and honey will not haim him as other sweets will. These hints may seem feminine and trivial, but I assure you, they work. I hope the discussion of this paper will provoke much more lore in this line.

There is another sphere where diet aids materially in cleansing the system. We have mentioned buttermilk and lemon juice. White of egg, with lemon or orange juice makes a detoxifying liver wash for the bilious. The egg album~n forms albuminates with t.he poisons wbich accumulate in the liver. Tea made from red clover blossoms and drunk, two quarts daily, helps the cancer patients and appears to cleanse the system. (An old German ad;u.t1allt).

So far we have not even mentioned the i1l1ponant relationship between certain foods and the best action of our remedies. But surely you all know these symbioses and antagonisms. For example, Aconite and acids do not agree, coffee antidotes the action of Nux vomica. These relationships are legion and can be found in Clarke's Dictionary of Materia Medica and in many other of our classics, under the separate remedies.

In Certain theoretical problems of enormous interest to me come up under this subject. For instance, we use articles of food as remedies. What reaction, if any, may these have on patients sensitive to them, even in the crude, comestible form? And vice versa, can we aid the suitable remedy by giving its crude counterpart as a food simultaneouslv? Furthermore, should we not make and prove the whole range of vegetables, fruits and nutriti~e articles, so that WhfO we find a p~tient with an idiosyncrasy to something we can compare his case with the proving of the offending food and. see whether it may not fit and aid? These foods should be proven on tho~e with a sensitivity to them. For instance, I should prove egg-plant, our friend, Dr. Roberts, has proved tomato, and a patient of mine, who is violently ill from even a d~sh of red pepper lurking in the soup-though he has plenty in his disposition-would make an admirable prover of Capsicum.

17 January 2009

The Green Person

We know our planet is hot - how hot is still a question of some debate - although it seems we get closer each day to a consensus that something (or a whole lot of something's) must be done to reverse the effects of global warming.

Chances are if you're reading this column, you are one of those people who is either looking for more information on Living Green or you are a Green Person already.

The good news: There is no shortage of ways Joe Consumer can make changes in Living Green on the way to Being Green.

If you are just starting, here are some powerful adjustments almost anyone can make:

1. Use compact fluorescent lightbulbs (or, CFLs). The EPA says "If every American household changed five regular light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, it would be like taking 8 million cars off the road." Look for the Energy Star logo; any average hardware store carries them.

2. Cut down on VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) by using gas grills over charcoal grilling. Gas BBQs produce about half as much CO2 as charcoal grills, and about 1/3 as much as electric grills.

3. This summer collect rainwater run-off with a simple rain barrel solution. Rainwater is chlorine free, can be used on plants and helps reduce polluted rain run-off in streams and rivers.

4. Plant a tree. Trees act like natural air filters. They absorb the carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the air. The average person is responsible for emitting 94 pounds of CO2 every day. It takes at least four trees to offset the CO2 you personally generate in a month. Visit American Forests (americanforests.org) or The Conservation Fund (conservationfund.org), a non profit group in Arlington, VA for more. Both groups will plant a tree for you.

(And, for $57 the Conservation Fund will plant 11 trees for you - enough to neutralize 14 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere!)

The other half of the model Green Person requires a bigger commitment to Living Green/Being Green. Because they are "macro" choices they will have much bigger impacts on the cleaning up the environment, saving energy and remaining carbon neutral.

Big commitments might look like this:

1. Drive a fuel-efficient hybrid car
2. Build an energy efficient, sustainably built green home
3. Donate a percentage of your earnings to an environmentally responsible non-profit.

Living Green starts with a state of mind. The choices can be absurdly confusing, often eccentric and tend to the altruistic. The important thing is to put it in perspective.

At the same time, Living Green is NOT meant to be polarizing, it is NOT a superficial label and it is NOT an excuse to point fingers at people.

Green IS an excuse to take some new steps towards cleaning up the environment.

16 January 2009

Use Your Spirit to Restore your Health

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that Stress accounts for around 75% of all doctor visits. This involves an extremely wide span of physical complaints including, but not limited to: headache; back pain; heart problems; upset stomach; stomach ulcer; sleep problems; tiredness; inability to overcome disease; accidents.
Emotional Stress is a major contributing factor to the six leading causes of death in the United States: cancer, coronary artery disease, accidental injuries, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.

Most life-threatening diseases show up within 2 years of a stressful life event such as the death of a family member, an accident, a move or a divorce.

Since stress is such a huge contributor to health issues, you really need a consistent way to reduce stress in your life, and the effects of stress on your body, mind and spirit. There are many ways to reduce the effects of stress, you may already know some of them, like exercise and meditation. Both of these will help you deal with the stress of the day, the things that happen at work, the bills, the kids, etc.

But when your health really takes a hit, it affects more than just your body. It affects your thinking, your emotions and your spirit. Especially when you are looking for something to compliment your medical routine, or you feel like you have tried everything and have not gotten the results you wanted, you need a new acumen to add toolsto your toolbox.

Reviving your spirit and getting in touch with that part of you that is directly connected to your higher power can be vitally effective in restoring your health. By correcting your thinking and emotions, you are setting in motion corrections in your physical energy as well. Miracles have happened through prayer and spirituality – and by opening up to the healing available to you through spirit, who knows what you may experience. I can assure you – it will be profound and extraordinary, and good.

Find a quiet place where you can close your eyes and not be disturbed for a few minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, allowing your mind to still and relaxing into a meditative state. Any visions, thoughts or emotions that pass through your mind, just acknowledge them, then let them go. All that matters right now is you, your breathing, your relaxation.

Imagine that deep inside of you, in your center, is a crystal. This crystal represents your emotional, physical and spiritual health. Feel yourself shrink down, down, down, getting smaller and smaller until you can fit right inside that crystal, and see the walls of the crystal around you, as though it were hollow inside and you were standing in the center. Let the walls of the crystal shelter you and protect you as you gaze at them with a new perspective.

As you see that crystal from the inside, you can see any flaws, any cracks that need repair, any angles that need correction. You can see any colors that need repainted, clarity that needs refreshed and cloudiness that begs to be wiped clean.

Here standing inside your crystal, you can see the effects of time on your spirit, emotions, thoughts, beliefs and body. From this place, become aware of the emotional issues that are making you unhealthy and keeping you from being as healthy as you want to be. You can expose the root cause for every blemish in your crystal…your life energy, your spirit.

Allow those emotions, those unresolved experiences, expressions, communications and acts to come to the surface where you can work with them. As you do, imagine that your connection to spirit, to your higher power absorbs you, it grows all around you as you stand in awe at the sheer vastness and greatness of it. Standing in the essence of that power, you feel that it is clean and pure, and you are one with that power. You are one with your creator. You are one with it’s energy. You know that this higher power holds no fear, no resentment, no anger, no worry. You know that this higher power forgives you and all others. This higher power knows only love – complete and unconditional love. That is all. As you are one with this higher power, connected to it spiritually and energetically, you feel that power, the strength, the forgiveness, the love.

Feel it healing the blemishes in your crystal. Feel it healing the old experiences, emotions, traumas, sicknesses. There is no reason for you to hold on to those things. Let them go now, and give your higher power permission to heal you. As it does, imagine the cloudiness fades, the cracks are sealed, and the crystal becomes clear and flawless.

Feel that unconditional love and imagine it continuing in your life. Let yourself just bask in those feelings. When you are ready, take a few deep breaths and open your eyes.

This can be a very powerful exercise both by yourself or with a group. It allows you to communicate directly with a healing source and really connect with it’s healing power. Use this process often, and you will find your stress decreasing, you will notice a boost in your emotional balance and may even notice an instant improvement in your physical health.

15 January 2009

The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes

We are now well into 2009. Research shows that by this point, 95% of New Year’s resolutions are distant memories, with very little change to show for them. Do you need to make some significant changes in your life? Perhaps you have wanted to be more productive at work, receive a promotion, or simply upgrade your professional skills. You might want to organize work life or simply use better judgment in managing your time. You want to find time to do the things you believe to be most important in your life – to regain control over your health, finances, and other aspects of your life.

It doesn’t take a New Year’s Resolution and it doesn’t take months or even weeks. It can take as little as seven minutes. Studies have shown that the average corporate executive has an attention span of seven minutes. Coincidentally, the brain is limited to remembering only seven pieces of information at time, according to Harvard psychologist George Miller. Therefore, if you want your life to change, you must work within your own mental capabilities. There are literally hundreds of things you could accomplish within a seven-minute window of time. Each day holds tiny opportunities to make life better. Once you recognize that fact, it’s a fairly easy decision not to let these opportunities pass you by.

One of the greatest gifts each of us has been given is the ability to choose. Change happens in an instant. It happens the moment you decide to change. Now is the time to decide to be different. Haven’t you wanted more out of life? More results? More fulfillment? More leverage? Even, more fun?

Too often, we think of change as being complex, unmanageable, and beyond our grasp. When we think that way, we ignore the fact that the biggest, most meaningful changes are really the result of a series of small seemingly insignificant changes. These simple micro-actions are the tiny choices corporate executives and sales people can use every moment of every day that can make the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

Here are seven simple micro-actions that could impact you or your company almost overnight. Of course, just because an action seems easy doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right one to commit to doing. As you read this list, choose one or two of these micro-actions that would make the most difference in your life and try to focus on adding them into your day. If you will truly make a commitment to be different, at the end of a month or so, you may be amazed at how these tiny efforts can positively impact your future.

1. Drink more water. Almost all of us want to improve our physical health. We set these big goals to lose weight and get in shape, only to find ourselves with a drive-through cheeseburger in our hands eating lunch at 2:30 because we are overwhelmed at work. Big goals are wonderful, but small goals are often more successful. By swapping soda pop for water, improving health and loosing weight is easy. Those liquid calories can really add up.

2. Handwrite two thank you notes per day. We live in an email world and there is very little personal correspondence any more. In less than seven minutes, you can thank a customer for their recent order – write a note to an employee for a job well done – or send a card to a supplier. You will be shocked at the impact your effort will make on your customers, employees and suppliers. They will remember this gesture for months. When was the last time you received a personal thank you note? How did it make you feel?

3. Read ten pages of a non-fiction book every day. According to the American Booksellers Association, 58% of American adults never read a book after high school. If you truly want to be different tomorrow than you are today, choose to be more knowledgeable. Knowledge truly is power and it allows you to grow and change in amazing ways. By reading only ten pages of a book every day, you could read a 300-page book every month! That means you could read twelve life-changing books a year.

4. Outline a daily plan of action. Every day, before you leave work, spend seven minutes writing down the top four to seven tasks you need to accomplish during the next work day. Prioritize the list, so that you tackle them in their order of importance. When you arrive at work the next morning, the list is there to guide you to do the vital tasks first.

5. Review your current skills. Take seven minutes to answer the question, “Are there any new skills I need to develop that would help our company move forward or that would help me personally be more competent in my current position?” Is there new technology that could streamline your processes and systems to save time and money? If you want to be more competent tomorrow, then you must constantly ask yourself what knowledge and skill sets you must acquire to be a more valuable asset to your company.

6. Create the story. Strategies may create great company structures, but stories create customer loyalty. Does your company have a compelling story that differentiates you from your competition? Spend seven minutes listing your company’s strategic advantages and differences and then focus on those strengths. Make sure your customers understand your strengths. Begin to tell your story. Tell your employees, tell your customers, tell everyone. Strategies look good on spreadsheets, but stories create breakthrough growth.

7. Recognize and pursue the things that matter most to you in life. It is important to prioritize how you will spend your work day. If I offered you $86,400 every day with the one restriction that you must spend it wisely that day or lose it, what would you do? Of course, you would spend it wisely. Yet, each one of us is given 86,400 seconds everyday and the same proposition challenges us: spend them wisely or lose them. Take seven minutes to determine what is most important to you at work and at home and then pursue those things with vigor.

What holds you back from becoming the person you want to become? What if that obstacle could begin to crumble in only seven minutes? Today is the day to stand on the edge of life with a new sense of determination and hope. Change really does happen in an instant. It happens the moment you decide to change. Now that decision is yours to make – either you are In or you are Out. It is that simple. Draw a line in the sand and say, “I’m in.” Then, begin to discover how the smallest decisions can have a huge impact on your life – seven minutes at a time.

14 January 2009

Five Easy Steps for Permanent Change

Changes in your life require new behaviors. New behaviors take time to become habits and habits are needed for permanent change. Here are five steps for helping you make new habits.

First you need to decide what you want specifically to happen. If you went to the airport and told them, “Give me a ticket,” what would the airline employee ask? “Where would you like to go?” If you told them, “Just give me a ticket to anywhere,” what would they do? They would probably have airport security take you away and have your mental stability evaluated. People say they want change but they just don’t know what the change will look like. So easy step one is “Visualize your Goal”.

Second you need to determine what you’ll get from making the change. Let’s say you’ve decided to become healthier and lose weight because your doctor told you that you were too heavy. Everything we do is for one of two reasons, either to avoid pain or increase pleasure. So you might ask yourself, “What will happen to my health if I change my health habits?” You might see yourself as slim and trim and more attractive to the opposite sex. That would be changing for a pleasurable reason or reward. A different question could be “What would happen if I don’t change? This might lead you to see yourself having a heart problem limiting what you can do in life. This would be changing to avoid pain. So you’ll change either to avoid pain or to receive a pleasurable reward. The second easy step is “Determine the Reward You’ll Get from Making the Change.”

The third easy step is you have to decide what is it you have to do to change. Let’s stick with the decision to become healthier and lose weight. What steps would be needed to reduce your weight and become healthier? The steps might be exercise more, reduce your intake of fatty foods, eat more fiber, and reduce your portion size. You also need to give yourself a start date to start. So the next easy step to make a change is to “List What You Need to Do and Give Yourself a Start Date.”

Your next easy step for change is to take action. You have decided to lose weight and become healthier. You have made exercise a key component of your plan. Now you need to start so you begin exercising on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays mornings at the gym. This easy step is simply to “Take Action”.

Your final easy step is to maintain what you have decided to do. You have decided to exercise every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 Am. The first week everything goes well. The second week you start off good on Monday, Wednesday you drag yourself out of bed but by Friday you decide you need your sleep so you stay in bed. The next week you exercise on Monday but you sleep in the rest of the week. Of course this won’t work. You need to stick to your plan. So this easy step is “Stick to Your Plan.”

Now let’s review the steps:
1) Visualize Your Goal then ‘
2) Determine the Reward You’ll Get from Making the Change
3) List What You Need to Do and Give Yourself a Start Date
4) Take Action
5) Stick to Your Plan

That’s it, five easy steps that you can use for permanent change.

13 January 2009

Stop Smoking with Hypnotherapy

As an ex smoker, I can completely relate to the challenges involved in giving up smoking and to the feelings of guilt, frustration and embarrassment of being a smoker, when you would really rather not be. It’s just not socially acceptable now days and as a women, the fear of developing the classic smokers face, puckered lines, grey complexion and dark circles was enough to enable me to find my motivation!

Fortunately, if you haven’t yet found the support you need to stop smoking forever, hypnotherapy can be an effective solution. Hypnotherapy Herts is a Hyoniotherapy practice based in Hertfordshire. In this article you can discover 5 of the ways in which Hypnotherapy Herts can help you stop smoking with ease and quickly.

1. A Free Consultation – Hypnotherapy Herts provides a free consultation to those who make the decision to use Hypnotherapy Hertfordshire to stop smoking. During this initial consultation motivation is assessed. This is a very important step in your commitment to stop
smoking. A good hypnotherapist will not work with a person who is not really that motivated to make the change. If they do, they are wasting your time and money. Hypnotherapy Herts would help you to identify whether you feel things ‘must change now’.

2. Informal Change Techniques: Leverage
At Hypnotherapy Herts, a range of techniques are used to move ensure that you will be completely ready to stop smoking for good. One of the ways that this is done is via a process called getting leverage. This basically means helping the client to recognise and experience the impact of the problem behaviour, such as smoking, on themselves and those around them. It involves bombarding you with information about the impact of your smoking behaviour on your body and mind and the dangers of smoking will feel very real to you after this process. It will help you find your motivation and will identify those who are not motivated.

3. Informal Change Techniques: Setting Well-Formed Goals
NLP takes goals setting seriously and has developed criteria for goal setting that results in the goals being achievable and likely to be reached. Setting these types of goals involves you acting as if you have already achieved your goals to give up smoking. You will get to really visualise and begin to experience in your mind your life as a person who does not smoke. You will want to move towards this life after this process.

4. Formal Change Techniques – There are several formal change techniques, which are effective for helping you to stop smoking. The most appropriate technique will depend on your unique problem. Here are a few: 1) The Swish Technique can be used if you wish to replace a highly contextualised problem behaviour with a more positive behaviour. It works to eliminate behaviours that occur in specific situations after specific triggers. 2) Parts Integration is very useful at uncovering the positive intention of your smoking habit and dealing with incongruent behaviour and feelings. 3) Like To Dislike – This technique is based on information about how we code memories in our brain. We tend to code things we like in a different way to things we don’t like. So, its possible to recode your memory of smoking into something that you cant stand.

5) Hypnosis with positive suggestion. Of course, part of your stopping smoking treatment at Hypnotherapy Herts will involve you getting to sit back and relax whilst your unconscious mind does the learning! During this process you will be guided to a deep state of relaxation, whilst the therapist also directs your unconscious mind with suggestions and metaphors to stop smoking. You will also be supported to develop positive coping strategies. Acknowledge that your smoking habit has served a purpose in the past, in that it has likely been a method for coping. Hypnotherapy and NLP techniques (neuro linguistic programming) will enable you to develop positive coping strategies that serve you in the present and future.

12 January 2009

Thinning hair, hair loss and especially baldness are stressful and traumatic issues for men as they grow older. At least 50% of male population of earth suffers from hair loss problems and this percentage is higher for men in developed world, due to tense life, unhealthy nutrition and pestiferous climate. Moreover, if your father had hair loss then you probably encounter with the same hair condition because “male pattern baldness” is a hereditary disease.

Treating hair loss has interested physicians and scientists through out history and many natural and pharmaceutical cures has been proposed. Recently, medical researches have finally proved the overall cause of hair loss. An androgenic hormone (named dihydrotestosterone or DHT) gradually increases in the receptors at hair follicles as men grow up and as a result, hair follicles shrink, hair becomes thinner, progressively falls and eventually no new healthy hair grows.

The understanding of the cause of hair loss does not mean that there has been success in discovery of hair loss treatment. Many pharmaceutical, beauty products and natural remedies “promise” to improve hair health but nothing can be considered as panacea. Below there are some natural treatment (some have been used for centuries) that concern hair loss. Of course, treating hair loss may last long and therefore you should be patient and determined. You will not see a new head full of hair after just one or two treatments. Nevertheless, repeated use will probably offer you a better looking, healthier and fuller hair.

A widely used home remedy is with use of herb Aloe Vera. It is believed that by rubbing your head with leafs of Aloe Vera, you achieved balanced scalp’s Ph, improved circulation to the area and stimulated hair follicles able to provide new healthy hair.

Another popular treatment with essential oils suggests before going to bed, to apply to head a blend composed of 4 essential oils and 1 vegetable oil: 2 drops of lavender oil, 2 drops of rosemary oil, 2 drops of thyme oil and 2 of cedarwood oil based in 50 ml of jojoba vegetable oil. After applying, massage your scalp for half an hour or more, in order the blend to have the time to take action and then give it a rinse. If you are not experienced with aromatherapy blends, you can benefit from essential oils by just adding 4 drops of bay oil to your normal shampoo.

Finally, follow these everyday advices for stronger and healthier hair. After shampooing your hair, you dry it naturally or use a hairdryer. Remember that you should never rub or wring your hair with a towel to dry it. This will damage the brittle and breakable hair. You can also wrap a large and thick towel around your hair and wait until the towel absorb the water. Moreover, if you choose the hairdryer solution, do not overdo with it, because too hot or too much drying leads to undesirable results. Additionally, keep in mind that sleeping in a tight braid can cause hair breakage or loss of hair over time.

11 January 2009

Danger…at Your Local Salon

Just 36 hours after getting a pedicure at an upscale nail salon near her home in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, Jamie Joffe, 38, had a fever of 101 degrees and a very scary-looking toe—“It was about five times its usual size, and there was greenish goo oozing out from under the nail,” she recalls. Joffe went to the emergency room, where they diagnosed her with a staph infection, probably from scissors or a cuticle pusher contaminated with the bacteria. “The doctor made an incision and drained all this stuff out of it,” she says. “If I hadn’t gotten the infection treated quickly, it could have spread to the rest of my body.”

After taking antibiotics for 10 days, Joffe was fine, but the experience left her with more than a scarred toe. “I still get pedicures, but I now bring my own tools and watch what they’re doing very carefully,” she says. “I had no idea you could get so sick from a pedicure.”

Most of us aren’t aware of the potentially ugly side of manicures, pedicures, Botox injections, haircuts, or waxing. “We assume that if a salon is operating it must be safe, but that’s not true,” says Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, who has studied salon infections and salon safety. “There’s lots to worry about, including poorly trained technicians and dirty or illegal instruments.”

Each state has its own rules for salon safety, but even those with the strictest standards, like California and Texas, can’t scrutinize the businesses as carefully as they’d like. “Each of our 18 inspectors is responsible for 3,500 to 4,000 shops, which means most salons get inspected only about once every six years—unless we get a complaint,” says James Jacobs, a supervising inspector with the California Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology. “About 75% of the salons we inspect have violations. Sometimes they’re minor, like a nail file being re-used when it should have been tossed. But lots of times they’re real health hazards, like filthy foot spas.”

That’s bad news because, like hospitals, salons can harbor dangerous infection-causing bacteria and viruses, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and hepatitis B. That means it really is buyer beware, and the onus is on you to protect yourself. Here’s how to make sure all your beauty treatments are totally safe.