A Good Night’s Sleep

Everyone knows what a struggle the day can be if you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Our energy and performance levels suffer, and so do our stress levels and our mood. Yet we can’t ‘make’ ourselves go to sleep and more than we can make ourselves remember things.

More than a third of adults have problems sleeping. If you’re one of them, you don’t have to suffer. There are many things you can do to help yourself without resorting to drastic measures like sleeping pills.

  1. First of all, try to maintain regular bed times and wake times, including weekends.
  2. Eat early – at least two hours before you go to bed. It takes this long to digest a meal. Late eating can cause indigestion, which disturbs sleep. A regular waking time in the morning strengthens the circadian function and helps with getting to sleep at night.
  3. Drinking close to bedtime can also disturb your sleep, so avoid drinking within two hours of bedtime and don’t drink stimulants (such as tea and coffee) after 6pm. An early evening drink such as chamomile tea can be helpful. Avoid alcohol – it may help you fall asleep but will dehydrate you, causing you to wake early with a dry mouth and throat.
  4. Exercise regularly, but don’t do anything strenuous within three hours of bedtime. Late afternoon is the best time. Regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep and helps you sleep more deeply, but exercising close to bedtime makes falling asleep more difficult. It makes you more alert and raises body temperature (a cooler body temperature facilitates sleep).
  5. A very pleasant way to drift off to sleep is to practise physical and mental relaxation. Use a relaxation CD or DVD if it helps. Practise during the day so that when you need it the skill is easily used.
  6. Deep, rhythmic breathing helps enormously if you want to get to sleep. Combine it with visualising a peaceful scene.
  7. Clear your mind. An active mind interferes with sleep. If your mind is over active as bedtime approaches, write down whatever you are thinking about. Listing things you have to do tomorrow helps prevent worrying. Keep work-related things out of the bedroom – these may trigger anxious thoughts.
  8. Nightly rituals can send a strong message to the unconscious that it is time for sleep, for example, a warm bath, listening to soothing music or reading something calming in bed.
  9. Remember, we all need different amounts of sleep. Try out a few things, find what works for you, and don’t worry if you’re not sleeping as much as other family members. They may need more than you.

Ironically, the thing that prevents people sleeping the most is worrying that they won’t be able to sleep, so practise relaxation, and if you fancy it take up meditation.

Many people have overcome sleeping problems using the above techniques. I hope they work for you.

©David Lawrence Preston, 22.5.2019

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A Good Night’s Sleep

Everyone knows what a struggle the day can be if they haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Our energy and performance levels suffer, and so do our stress levels and our mood. Yet we can’t ‘make’ ourselves go to sleep and more than we can make ourselves remember things.

More than a third of adults have problems sleeping. If you’re one of them, you don’t have to suffer. There are many things you can do to help yourself without resorting to drastic and potentially risky measures like sleeping pills:

  1. First of all, try to maintain regular bed times and wake times, including weekends.
  2. Eat early – at least two hours before you go to bed. It takes this long to digest a meal. Late eating can cause indigestion, which disturbs sleep. A regular waking time in the morning strengthens the circadian function and helps with getting to sleep at night.
  3. Drinking close to bedtime can also disturb your sleep, so avoid drinking within two hours of bedtime and don’t drink stimulants (such as tea and coffee) after 6pm. An early evening drink such as chamomile tea can be helpful. Avoid alcohol – it may help you fall asleep but will dehydrate you, causing you to wake early with a dry mouth and throat.
  4. Exercise regularly, but don’t do anything strenuous within three hours of bedtime. Late afternoon is the best time. Regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep and helps you sleep more deeply, but exercising close to bedtime makes falling asleep more difficult. It makes you more alert and raises body temperature (a cooler body temperature facilitates sleep).
  5. A very pleasant way to drift off to sleep is to practise physical and mental relaxation. Use a relaxation CD or DVD if it helps. Practise during the day so that when you need it the skill is easily used.
  6. Deep, rhythmic breathing helps enormously if you want to get to sleep. Combine it with visualising a peaceful scene.
  7. Clear your mind. An active mind interferes with sleep. If your mind is over active as bedtime approaches, write down whatever you are thinking about. Listing things you have to do tomorrow helps prevent worrying. Keep work-related things out of the bedroom – these may trigger anxious thoughts.
  8. Nightly rituals can send a strong message to the unconscious that it is time for sleep, for example, a warm bath, listening to soothing music or reading something calming in bed.
  9. Remember, we all need different amounts of sleep. Try out a few things, find what works for you, and don’t worry if you’re not sleeping as much as other family members. They may need more than you.

Ironically, the thing that prevents people sleeping the most is worrying that they won’t be able to sleep, so practise relaxation, and if you fancy it take up meditation.

Many people have overcome sleeping problems using the above techniques.

©David Lawrence Preston, 10.5.2019

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Your Inner Power

We all have a unique and wonderful power within us which holds the key to our ultimate happiness and fulfillment. It originates from the way we think, and what we imagine, say and do.

This inner power is non-physical. When we are attuned to it and allow it to guide and support us we are enriched in every way. We are happy, prosperous and at peace. We have the courage to follow our dreams.

There’s a Native American parable about an Indian brave who found an eagle’s egg when out hunting. He took it back to his village and placed it among some eggs being hatched by a hen. In due course, the eaglet was hatched along with the baby chicks. As it grew, it scratched the earth with its claws and pecked at worms on the ground. It learned how to flap its wings like the other baby chicks. It even clucked like a chicken.

Then one day when he was old, he looked up and saw a magnificent bird gliding across the clear blue sky. He was in awe. ‘What’s that?’ he asked the chicken next to him. ‘That’s the Golden Eagle, the king of the birds,’ came the reply, ‘but don’t you try that. We can’t fly. We are chickens.’ The old eagle never gave it another thought and died, as he had lived, thinking he was a chicken.

You are an ‘eagle’. But do you think, feel and act like one? Or do you think and behave more like a chicken?

Oprah Winfrey once said: ‘People do what they know how to do, and when they know better they do better.’ In other words, we all have the means to raise our consciousness, improve our lives, be happier and play our part in making the world a kinder, more loving place.

Some find this a rather frightening prospect. At the start of a recent seminar, I promised participants that they would feel happier, more fulfilled, less stressed and more at peace with themselves if they took on board the ideas presented that day. Immediately a smartly dressed lady rose from her seat and left. ‘I’m sorry,’ she said, ‘I’ve made a mistake. This isn’t for me.’

Down the years I have acquired a vast number of insights and shared them with thousands through my teaching, speaking and coaching. They have worked for everyone who applied them. But don’t take my word for it – find out for yourself. You will soon find out how powerful they are.

What Do You Really Want?

When it comes to deciding what we want out of life, most of us set our horizons low. Generally people want to be happy, healthy, prosperous and secure; to feel good about themselves, have a circle of friends, good family relationships, peace of mind, and work which is personally fulfilling and makes full use of their talents; a variety of social and leisure pursuits, happiness and fun. They also want to be respected by others, to love and be loved, and be free.

Does this ring true for you?

  • Do you love what you do?
  • When you feel frustrated, do you still maintain a deep feeling that what you’re doing is right for you?
  • Is there anything you’d rather be doing?
  • Do you cope easily with the stress in your life?
  • Do you have a positive attitude most days?
  • Are you prosperous?
  • Do you enjoy rewarding relationships with most of the people you meet?
  • Do you feel enthusiastic about life generally?

In the past, a sign of success was having time that wasn’t committed to earning a living. Do you find a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from your, or do you work mainly for the money?  If you work only to earn money, you will always feel poor! There are many unhappy millionaires, and many relatively poor people who enjoy contentment and peace of mind.

Imagine the kind of life you would like to lead. Think about this carefully. Be aware that one of the main reasons why people don’t get what they want out of life is that they’re not clear on what they want.

Which of these are these important to you?

  • Being able to live as you choose and do what you want, making your own choices, not beholden to others.
  • Being able to use your time as you wish.
  • Knowing that life has some meaning for you and that you feel good about what you do.
  • Health – being free from illness and having sufficient energy to carry you through each day.
  • Enjoying the people you live with, including your partner, your children and wider family.
  • The pleasure that comes from an active, varied and fulfilling social life.
  • Interests and pastimes that provide enjoyment and take your mind off the pressures of life.
  • The satisfaction of knowing that you have made a contribution to society. You don’t have to make a global impact –  helping those around you is just as important.
  • Enjoying life and trusting that things work out for the best.
  • Feeling good about yourself and growing as an individual.
  • Being comfortable with yourself as a spiritual being.
  • Have I missed any?

Many people have never given these questions much thought; but without clarity our inner power is stifled, like the eagle that thinks it’s a chicken!

©David Lawrence Preston, 6.5.18, all rights reserved.

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Life Coach book cover

 

1893 piles of dog poo!!!

According to Michelle Crouch in Reader’s Digest (April 2015), the reason why dogs circle around before getting down to business is that they have an instinct to align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field before they poo. Researcher watched 70 dogs do 1893 poos over a 2 year period to work this out.

Animals have a much greater sense of the Earth’s energies than we do. It seems we have lost these abilities as we evolved. Even so, earth energies still affect us and in some circumstances harmful energies can make us very ill. Headaches, fatigue, insomnia and depression have all been linked to energy stresses coming from the ground.

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Exercise – Luxury, Pleasure, Necessity?

Oscar Wilde once said that whenever he felt the urge to exercise he would lie down and rest until it went away. Shame! This is a certain recipe for physical ill health, stress and mental deterioration. However, the amount and type of exercise needed to stay healthy are well within the grasp of most people.

One of the most disturbing aspects of modern life is how little physical activity many of us undertake. In Britain, eight out of ten adults are so physically inactive they are damaging their health, and the numbers are rising. Three-quarters of young Britons have less than two hours’ physical education per week at school, and almost a quarter of 12-15 year-old wheeze after a brief jog. And it’s getting worse. Research in 2015 – three years after the London Olympics that were supposed to help raise participation rates in the UK – nearly half a million fewer people were participating in physical activity. The biggest culprits were distractions such as TV and computers.

The benefits of regular exercise are too numerous to list. They include more energy and stamina, increased resistance to disease, lower cholesterol levels, deeper, more satisfying sleep, and a more youthful appearance. Exercise also brings mental benefits such as increased self-confidence, better concentration, improved memory and greater resilience to stress. It is also vital for weight control. The metabolic rate is raised both during exercise and for hours afterwards, burning off fat and excess calories.

As little as thirty minutes rapid walking four times a week can provide up to ten years of rejuvenation, making the heart more efficient, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and significantly increasing life expectancy. Indeed, sixty year-old men who have exercised regularly throughout their lives have reaction times equal to, or better than, inactive men in their twenties and women who exercise have lower rates of breast and reproductive-system cancers.

Exercise is also a natural tranquilliser and antidepressant. It helps releases the stress chemicals which flood the body when we are stressed. We’re also happier when we exercise because the ‘happy hormones’ known as endorphins are released into the bloodstream bringing feelings of elation which can still be felt long after. Endorphins also block feelings of pain and help manage stress and depression.

What Kind of Exercise Do You Need?

Twenty to thirty minutes a day sufficient to raise the rate of breathing is adequate for most adults to maintain good health. Make discreet adjustment to your lifestyle. For instance, walk or cycle instead of using motorized transport and use the stairs instead of the lift. Buy a push mower – gardening is excellent aerobic exercise.

You need:

  • Endurance exercises to build stamina, improve breathing and condition the cardiovascular system.
  • Flexibility or stretching exercise to loosen the muscles, build suppleness and prevent stiffness; aches and pains in the joints as we get older are not so much the result of aging or arthritis, but lack of use.
  • And you need strengthening exercises to increase or maintain muscle power.

Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

Aerobic increases the oxygen supply in the bloodstream (aerobic means ‘in combination with oxygen’). It increases lung capacity, burns fat and builds stamina. It includes anything that can be done at a steady rate without becoming breathless: walking, cycling, swimming, jogging, dancing, etc.

Aerobic exercise also helps burn off excess adrenalin and the harmful toxins that result from stress and tension. We can’t always respond to frustration and stressful situations with instant fight or flight, but we can work it off walking, jogging, cycling or swimming.

In contrast, anaerobic exercise burns starch and builds strength. ‘Anaerobic’ means ‘in the absence of oxygen’. Any activity which leaves you breathless is anaerobic. It involves short, intense bursts of energy which impose a much greater strain on the body.

If you’ve been physically inactive, start with gentle aerobic exercise and increase your work rate gradually. Make sure you can do it without discomfort before attempting strenuous anaerobic exercise.

Stretching and loosening

Stretching and loosening builds suppleness, prevents stiffness, relieves muscle tension and reduces the risk of injury. Create a regular routine of stretching and moving the joints and muscles is recommended. One excellent way is yoga. Anyone who does yoga regularly will be supple well into their later years.

Hints on exercise

Within a few days of beginning a sensible exercise programme, anyone who hasn’t taken regular exercise will find they’re looking and feeling better than they’ve done for years.

  • If you are over forty, have a medical check up before you start exercising, especially if you haven’t exercised regularly for a while.
  • Don’t try to do too much to begin with. Stay within your limits and increase your work rate gradually.
  • Always warm up first. A few minutes of gentle loosening and stretching protects the heart, muscles and joints from injury.
  • Exercise at least three times a week at a time to suit you. Choose activities you enjoy.
  • Never miss a session (unless you’re ill). It’s easier to get out of shape than into it. It takes several months to reach peak condition, but your fitness can be lost in two or three weeks of inactivity.
  • Cool down afterwards, e.g. a few minutes of gentle loosening and stretching.
  • Don’t overdo it. You should feel better five minutes after completing exercise than you did before. If you feel breathless, slow down until your body is safely used to it.
  • Don’t exercise too hard if you are ill. Your body needs the energy for recovery.
  • Allow yourself plenty of recuperation time between sessions. Your body will recover more quickly and you will be less likely to get injured.
  • Smile! Nothing else benefits the facial muscles as much.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Weight Control

An obese man was given a list of permitted foods by his doctor. ‘Fine,’ he said having read the first few items – lettuce, carrots, celery, etc – ‘but do I take them before or after meals?’

Unless you have a medical condition which interferes with metabolism, there are only two ways to lose weight – eat less and exercise more.

If you are overweight, first get yourself checked out by a doctor. Then, if there is nothing medically wrong, avoid eating and drinking between meals (no nibbling and snacking), eat smaller portions (you’ll soon find that a smaller amount of food makes you feel satisfied and comfortably full) and choose only health giving, low sugar, high fibre, low fat foods and drinks, which are consistent with a slim figure.

Reinforce your weight control programme by using the I-T-I-A Formula:

  1. Clarify your intention by setting firm, challenging but realistic goals. Set deadlines by which you intend to achieve your milestones.
  1. Changing your thinking and beliefs about weight (e.g. reinforce the idea that if you eat less and exercise more, you will lose weight – no excuses!). Affirm that things are already changing and you will succeed.
  1. Mentally ‘imagine’ yourself having reached your target weight.
  1. Take action, monitor your progress, make adjustments if necessary, and persist until you succeed.

The types and amounts of exercise needed to reap the rewards are well within the reach of most people, even those who have not previously exercised regularly. Go for it!

 

©Feelinggoodallthetime, 27.6.2017

Nothing herein is intended as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor or qualified health care professional about any condition that may require diagnosis or treatment.

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The AcuPearl Sport is designed to support the body during exercise. Further details – www.AcuPearl.co.uk.

 

How to Books, 2010

Toxic thoughts and emotions create illness

We’ve always known that there’s a close connection between the body and the mind. We’ve all experienced it. That’s why more and more sufferers of chronic physical conditions are referred for counselling, and why, in the UK at least, the ‘talking therapies’ are over subscribed.

Some experts predict that they’ll soon be able to identify people at risk of contracting serious diseases such as cancer from their psychological profiles – others claim they already can.

For instance, in her book, ‘Your Body Speaks Your Mind’[1], Debbie Shapiro suggests there is a direct link between specific attitudes and emotions, and afflictions in specific parts of the body. For example, if you have problems with your ears, it’s because you cannot accept what you’re hearing and subconsciously withdraw energy from the hearing ability. Ear infections denote irritability with what you’re hearing. Eye problems, she writes, indicate that you’re having difficulty accepting what you’re seeing. Short-sightedness suggests introversion; long-sightedness extroversion. Blurred vision denotes confusion, and so on.

She is not alone in believing that it’s possible to link thinking and behaviour patterns to specific parts of the body:

‘Any distress of the mind slows down the liver. Living in the past, condemning one’s self, and regret of the past affects the liver…. Resentment and pettiness are reflected in the liver, since a healthy liver casts out the untrue and holds fast to the good.’ Catherine Ponder[2]

 ‘The lungs represent our capacity to take in and give out life. Problems with the lungs usually mean we are afraid to take in life, or perhaps we feel we do not have the right to live fully.’ Louise Hay[3]

‘There’s a surprising correlation between one’s choice of words and the ailments one suffers: ‘That makes me sick!’ (linked to ulcers); ‘I made a rash decision (linked to skin problems); ‘It’s doing my head in’ (headaches)….’ Arielle Essex[4]

Far fetched? Then consider this:

The body is constantly regenerating itself. Every second more than a million cells in your body die and are replaced with new cells. The cells of your heart, skeleton, liver, skin and digestive system are replaced every three to six months, and even the cells in your brain are constantly regenerating. Some say that every cell is replaced at least every two years – some say it’s more frequent than that.

We know through the work of cellular biologist Bruce Lipton[5] and others that every cell in the body has intelligence and responds to our ‘instructions’ (thoughts, mental images and beliefs). As they reproduce, they respond to the pattern we give them. This way, every emotion is locked into our physical makeup.

‘I’ve hurt my arm’ could be reinterpreted as ‘A hurt inside me is manifesting in my arm’. If you notice yourself thinking, ‘You’re a pain in the neck’ or ‘this is a real headache’, don’t be surprised if you get one.  Phrases like, I can’t stomach this,’ and ‘It’s too much for me to shoulder’ have obvious repercussions. When you talk like this you’re sending a direct message from the brain to that part of the body via the nervous system.

If you’re a generally positive person, the new cells are likely to be healthy and you’re improving your chances of a vibrant good health. If you’re generally negative in outlook, the new cells are weakened and you may even be curtaining your lifespan.

Over time, your body becomes a walking autobiography, because every physical state has an underlying non-physical state. One’s thought affect the shape of your face! The ancient art of physiognomy (face reading) is based on this premise. Indeed, the idea that a person’s character can be seen in his face is more or less taken as given around the world. Research shows that such traits as honesty, social dominance and aggression are indeed linked to facial features[6].

Over a hundred years ago, Sigmund Freud wrote: ‘Often repressed emotions will manifest either as behavioural problems or physical problems’. Although widely derided at the time, the evidence is now overwhelming.

©David L. Preston 24.3.2017

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How to Books, 2007

[1] Deb Shapiro, Your Body Speaks Your Mind, 1996,  Piatkus Books,  ISBN 978-0749915957

[2] The Healing Secrets of the Ages, pg 240, De Vorss Publications, 1967, ISBN 0-875 16-550-8

[3] You Can Heal Your Life, pg 128, Axis Publishing, 1987, ISBN 1 870845 01 3

[4] The Eight Factors of Healing, pg 30, www.practicalmiracles.com, 2009

[5] Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief, Hay House Inc, 2008, ISBN 978-1401923112

[6] See The Economist, 21st August 2008

A Close Relationship Between Stress and Illness

Studies have consistently shown a close relationship between stress and illness. Stressed people get ill more often and when they do, on average the illness is more serious.

Twenty years ago stress was said by doctors to be responsible for at least two-thirds of all illness; nowadays, the most often quoted figure is around 90%.

Stress arises from a mis-perception or mismatch of the demands made upon us and our ability to meet those demands. It can be physical, mental or emotional. When the body and/or mind have been taxed to the limit without sufficient nourishment, rest and recuperation we get stressed.

It affects the immune system and creates physiological changes such as increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and sweating. These changes can be beneficial if you’re running away from danger, but only if they’re of limited duration. If they continue too long the body’s ability to regain and maintain equilibrium is compromised. For example, there’s a direct link between stress and lower back pain, a tight jaw and clenched teeth, which lead to neck and shoulder pain, headaches and tension around the eyes.

There’s little doubt that people who feel stressed or under threat (real or imagined) are at greater risk of becoming ill, which may be why the number of heart attacks on Monday mornings is statistically higher than could be predicted by chance alone. Children are more likely to develop a temperature or sore throat on the day of a school test and those terrified of bullying often developing eczema, asthma or some other condition to avoid going to school. One shy little girl I met was so scared of attending birthday parties she develops a balloon phobia.

Sometimes the effect is even more dramatic. I knew a woman whose 40 year-old husband, a keen runner, dropped dead a few seconds after opening a malicious letter – the emotional shock literally killed him.

Since most illnesses have a psycho-somatic component, it follows that any diagnosis, treatment or therapy which doesn’t take mental and emotional factors into account is likely to fail or be impermanent. Fortunately many doctors are waking up – but there’s still an awfully long way to go!

 

©David L Preston, 24.3.2017

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How to Books, 2007

 

 

 

Health, Nutrition and Stress

Do you value your health? What kind of fuel do you put into your body? Do you pickle your brain and liver with alcohol? Clog your arteries with grease? Blacken your lungs with tobacco smoke? Are you slim and full of energy, or overweight and sluggish? Do you huff and puff going up stairs?

Health is our least appreciated asset.

We owe it to ourselves to attain the best possible level of health and fitness. We need to be healthy to enjoy life to the full and handle stress. We can’t trade our bodies in for new ones; we must make the best of the one we have.

Good health is about good habits. Some habits work for you, some don’t. Smoking is a habit that can kill you. Living off junk food will cause you to put on weight and put strain on your vital organs. On the other hand, the habit of daily exercising and deep breathing gets you into shape and gives you more energy.

Good health demands a total approach incorporating physical factors (i.e. nutrition, exercise, fluids,  breathing etc.), a healthy energetic environment  and the psychological.

What to Eat (and Avoid)

Hippocrates (460-377 BC), the ‘Father of Medicine’, wrote, ‘Let your food be your medicine and medicine be your food.’

Food is like a drug which affects the functioning of your body and brain. Poor nutrition is proven to result in lack of energy and brain-power, poor health, and lower resistance to disease.

All nutritionists agree:

  • Cut down on refined starch and sugar
  • Have sufficient protein
  • Control fat intake
  • Increase fibre
  • Eat plenty of raw plant food

Avoid unhealthy foods and cultivate a taste for healthy foods! Easy, isn’t it? So what’s the problem? The problem is, the foods people enjoy most are the least desirable from a health point of view. The healthiest foods are not necessarily the tastiest. For instance, refined sugar contains only calories (no other nutrients) and plays havoc with blood sugar levels.

Protein helps to keep your body in good working order. Thirty to forty grams per day is needed by most people. If you eat meat, opt for white meats (such as chicken), and fish. In addition to animal sources, many vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and grains are also excellent sources of protein. Remember, what matters is not the chemical composition of a food, but what you assimilate.

Your body retains fat – you eat it, you wear it! It clogs the arteries and imposes extra strain on the heart. Keep fats to a minimum.

Fibre aids digestion, lower the risk of heart disease and prevents constipation. Fibre intake can easily be increased by switching part of your consumption of white bread, pasta, rice and flour over to their wholegrain equivalents. Whole cereals are also more filling, low calorie, and terrific for weight control

Eat plenty of raw fruit and vegetables and salads. Go for variety – there’s no need to get stuck on lettuce, celery and tomatoes – liven it up with grated carrot, apples, fennel, chick peas, nuts etc.

Salad

Fluids

Obey your thirst. Try to stick to fruit and vegetable juices, mineral water and herbal teas as much as possible; these all help prevent the body being poisoned by its own waste matter. Sip water frequently during the day.

  • Tea and coffee are diuretics – drink in moderation.
  • Animal milks and beers should be treated as foods rather than liquids.
  • As for alcohol, the occasional glass of red wine or whisky can actually be beneficial so long as you avoid using them as a crutch.
  • Avoid drinking less than half an hour before and one hour after meals, because this dilutes the digestive juices.

Take vitamin and mineral supplements

Today’s supermarket foods are lacking in nutrition compared with naturally grown foods of yesteryear, so take a large multivitamin tablet and one gram of vitamin C daily as an insurance policy against ill health.

Improving your diet

Gradual changes are best. An ideal regime for most would be:

  • 60% fresh fruit and vegetables
  • 20% whole grains
  • 10% protein foods
  • 10% fats

Try this: Write down everything that has passed your lips in the last twenty-four hours. Circle anything that falls into the following categories:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Salads
  • Whole grains
  • Fruit juices, mineral water, herbal teas

What proportion of your total intake have you circled?

  • More than 80%: Good for you!
  • 50% to 80%: Quite good
  • 20% to 49%: Considerable room for improvement
  • Less than 20%: You have a death wish!

What changes do you need to make?

Blood sugar

One must for  energy management is keeping a close check on your blood sugar (glucose) level. Low blood sugar causes listlessness and lack of concentration and can put you in a bad mood.

Sugary food are not the answer – within half an hour of eating sweets or drinking high sugar drinks, blood sugar increases, you feel good and your energy level soars. But it drops just as quickly and soon you feel worse and your energy level plunges.

Moreover, if you consume large quantities of processed sugar on a regular basis, the immune system (which seeks out and attacks viruses, bacteria and cancer cells in the bloodstream) is compromised, exposing you to a variety of health risks.

If you feel your blood sugar level is too low and you need a quick boost of energy, take fruit and freshly squeezed fruit juices. In the long term, the only lasting solution is a balanced diet containing plenty of complex carbohydrates (fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains etc.)

Nutrition and stress

Some foods place severe stress on the body. Did you know, for instance, that four cups of full-strength coffee can have the same effect on your body as standing on a railway line with a train coming towards you? The main offenders are anything containing high levels of caffeine (found in coffee, cola drinks, tea, chocolate etc.), refined sugar and starch, alcohol, red meat, and chemical flavourings and preservatives.

If you eat mainly natural, whole and living foods, and take a multi vitamin and mineral supplement daily to help build up the nervous system, stress will be less of a problem for you. The benefits of eating a healthy diet more than make up for the effort involved!

If you are tempted to eat something unwise, stop for a moment. Consider the problems you may be storing up for yourself in the future and the payoff from healthy eating. Then dismiss the idea of eating the unwanted substance from your mind.

Occasionally breaking the rules won’t harm you unless it becomes a habit. If 90% or more of your diet is healthy, you can allow for the occasional indulgence. Treat food as a pleasure to be savoured. Eat well, enjoy your food and take pride in your healthy body!

©David Lawrence Preston, 30.7.2016

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Coping With Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of intense worry or distress in the absence of obvious danger. It is a state of inner turmoil accompanied by churning thoughts, nervousness, poor concentration, feelings of dread and loss of control. It is related to, but different from, fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat.

Anxiety comes in two main forms:

  1. A short-term state, a response to a challenging situation, which can be acute.
  2. A long-term, chronic condition, part of one’s psychological makeup. An anxiety disorder such as this can have a profound effect on our quality of life.

Types of anxiety

There are six major types of anxiety disorders:

  • If constant worries and fears distract you from your day-to-day activities you may be suffering from generalised anxiety disorder. Sufferers feel anxious nearly all of the time without necessarily knowing why. Generalized anxiety disorder often shows up as physical symptoms like insomnia, indigestion and fatigue.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders are characterized by unwanted thoughts or behaviours that seem impossible to control, such as a recurring worry that you forgot to lock the house before going out or left the oven on. Sufferers may also have uncontrollable compulsions, such as repeatedly washing their hands.
  • Anxiety attacks, characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic feeligs which may also be accompanied by a fear of being in places where escape or help would be difficult such as open spaces like shopping centres or confined spaces such as lifts and underground trains.
  • Phobias are unrealistic or exaggerated fears of specific objects, activities or situations that in reality present little or no threat. Common phobias include fear of animals, birds and spiders, fear of flying and fear of heights. Sufferers go to extreme lengths to avoid the feared object or situation which unfortunately only strengthens the phobia.
  • Social anxiety disorder is a debilitating fear of being seen negatively by others. It includes extreme shyness and stage fright. In severe cases, social situations are avoided altogether which can exacerbate the problem.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder is an extreme anxiety disorder that can occur after a traumatic or life-threatening event. Symptoms include flashbacks or nightmares, withdrawing from others, startling easily, and avoiding situations that remind us of the event.

Anxiety disorders are partly genetic, but also due to mental disorders such as bipolar condition, depression and certain personality disorders. Drug use and withdrawal from certain drugs can also cause anxiety.

Physical symptoms of anxiety disorders

Anxiety is a result of the body’s natural response to danger, the fight-or-flight response to perceived threats. It can cause a wide range of physical symptoms, hence anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness before their anxiety disorder is discovered. Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Breathing problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Headaches
  • Racing heart
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle tension
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Tremors and tics

Mental symptoms of anxiety disorders

  • Constantly tense, fearful, worried or jittery.
  • Avoidance of situations and activities because they cause anxiety.
  • Recurring irrational fears that won’t go away.
  • Compulsive behaviours.
  • Feelings that danger and disaster are imminent.
  • A need to do things in a certain way or order.
  • Recurring thoughts that interfere with daily activities such as work or family life.
  • Mental vagueness/blank mind.

Emotional symptoms of anxiety disorders

  • Anticipating the worst.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Constant feelings of apprehension or dread.
  • Shyness and social awkwardness.
  • Self doubt.

Remedies for Excessive Anxiety

There is no universal cure for anxiety. Sometimes it can be relieved with medication, therapy or a combination of the two, but it is doubtful that either permanently removes the root cause.

Practical lifestyle changes

  1. Whenever you find yourself worrying about something, write it on a piece of paper and put it in a ‘worry box’. On the last day of each month, open the box. You will find that most of your worries never happened and many were not as bad as you imagined.
  2.  Keep active. When you’re busy, your mind has less opportunity to focus on your worries. Often whatever is worrying you resolves itself while your attention is on other things.
  3.  Deep relaxation has enormous benefits. Use relaxation time to ‘visualize’ yourself coping with anxiety-inducing situations. Mindfulness, thought stopping, relaxation and mental calmness can help break the anxiety cycle.
  4.  Take regular exercise. Exercise is a great antidote to anxiety especially if taken in a natural setting. Spend at least twenty minutes per session.
  5.  Slow, deep breathing – focus your attention on your breath and take at least ten slow, long, rhythmic breaths whenever you feel anxiety coming on.
  6.  Eat well. Choose a healthy diet and keep your blood sugar levels up. And never avoid breakfast.
  7.  Daily meditation (minimum morning and evening sessions of twenty minutes each) had enormous benefits for anxiety disorders.
  8.  Live one day at a time. Concentrate on what you can do If you’re clear about your long-term goals and do the best you can each day, the future will take care of itself.

Natural remedies

  1. Omega 3 oils (mainly found in nut and seed oils, fish oils and eggs) are extremely beneficial for anxiety.
  2.  So are ingested herbs such as chamomile, green tea, hops, valerian, lemon balm and passionflower, and the calming scent of lavender.
  3.  There are various over-the-counter products which usually contain a combination of the above and claim to relieve worry, stress and irritability and help to promote natural sleep. For further information visit your pharmacy or health food store.

Medication

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence in the UK has recently advised doctors to consider counselling before prescribing drugs for anxiety sufferers. Only one in three find relief from their symptoms through drugs.

There are a wide range of anti-anxiety prescription drugs, including benzodiazepines, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s), Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI’s) and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MOI’s).

Beta blockers, used for the treatment of high blood pressure and a racing heart, can be effective for short term anxiety, for instance if you were anxious over a driving test or examination.

Although these normally take several weeks to ‘kick in’, doctors are reluctant to prescribe medication for more than a few weeks as users can become addicted. They also have side effects ranging from drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision and memory problems to sexual dysfunction, weight gain, gastric upset, disrupted sleep and nightmares. Also, abruptly stopping the medication can cause withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating and shaking. If in doubt, always consult a doctor.

Psychotherapy

Drug companies spend huge sums trying to convince us that depression and anxiety are biological illnesses and can only effectively be treated with drugs, but independent research often shows that psychotherapy can relieve symptoms more quickly and is more likely to prevent a relapse.

Among the approaches used are:

Behavioural therapy

This uses two main approaches:

  1. Desensitization – exposing the client to progressively more stressful events. In theory the anxiety subsides.
  2. The ‘extinction’ technique – based on the notion that if you put the client in anxiety provoking situations often enough, they eventually learn that there’s nothing to be worried about. Sadly it only works 25-30% of the time.

CBT

The most common form of psychotherapy is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT assumes that changing maladaptive thinking leads to changes in feelings and behaviour. CBT has been shown to be at least as effective as drugs for the treatment of anxiety.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis can be used to expose unconscious causes of anxiety and reprogram the subconscious to make you more relaxed and less anxious. It can also address specific fears and phobias. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can also address anxiety disorders and phobias.

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis can involve years of analysing childhood experiences and has a poor track record of relieving anxiety.

Self-help

We all know that worrying about a problem never solved it, but consciously trying to control anxiety or panic through rational thought alone can make matters worse. What we focus on tends to amplify, so trying to think our way out of anxiety can lead to more anxiety provoking thoughts, which only increase the symptoms.

Electronic Bioenergetic Devices

Various electronic devices have been developed in the past half century which use low frequency, short duration, low intensity magnetic pulses to stimulate body tissues. TENS devices (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), for instance, use electric currents to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. The Scenar – ‘Self-Controlled Energy Neuro Adaptive Regulation,’ originally developed for the Russian space programme, is a hand held biofeedback device which aims to teach the body to heal itself by activating the immune system. While TENS and Scenar have proved effective for pain relief in clinical studies and avoid the problems associated with drugs, it is doubtful that either can help with anxiety.

The most advanced device on the market is the AcuPearl. AcuPearl has been developed by an international team of scientists whose expertise extends from traditional healing methods to the latest research in the body’s connective tissue matrix communication.

AcuPearl comes in various configurations, two of which, the AcuPearl G-Balance and C-Balance, are  is specifically designed to aid with stress, anxiety and sleep patterns.

AcuPearls delivers therapeutic effects in a safe way using (1) Low frequency pulsed output of the magnetic and light spectrums; the rate and duration of the pulses is an important factor in the AcuPearl technology; (2) Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field therapy (pemf) which uses low frequency, short duration, low intensity magnetic pulses to stimulate body tissues; and (3) A propriety method called Adaptive Resonance, developed specifically for AcuPearl, which produces resonant interference patterns within the magnetic and light fields that are continually adapted as the device is in use.

G-balance (2)   geabdbff

The Calm/Relax setting works with acute and chronic stress and anxiety, offering a general calming and relaxing effect; the Revitalise program aims to help re-establish a sense of vitality when feeling depleted as a result of prolonged emotional stress and the Sleep setting help to re-establish good sleep patterns for people experiencing sleep disorders due to emotional stress and anxiety.

These AcuPearls can be worn as pendants or on the wrist, or simply kept in a pocket. Their effect can be enhanced by applying them to acupuncture points, making them the 21st Century equivalent of a 5,000 year old proven therapy.

Scientific advance is an ever unfolding process, and although there’s still an awful lot to discover, there are more and more options for anxiety sufferers.  Perhaps the best approach in chronic cases is a multi-faceted approach incorporating natural remedies, lifestyle changes, talking therapies and pemf.

See also www.feelinggoodallthetime.com/anxiety

© David Lawrence Preston, 17.6.2016

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Nothing in this article is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a doctor if you have any health concerns that may require diagnosis or treatment. Any statements made concerning products and services represent the opinion of the author alone and do not constitute an endorsement of any product or service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our natural immunity

Our natural immunity: How the body gets rid of unwelcome intruders

Science is not entirely clear why some people are prone to serious illness while others carry the same bacteria but have no ill effect. But it must have something to do with each individual’s natural defences against unwanted organisms and toxins – that is, the uniqueness of each person’s immune system.

Take the common cold or flu virus. Within a few days of succumbing to infection, a fully functioning immune system begins producing specific antibodies. White blood cells destroy the virus and eliminate infected cells to prevent further replication. In healthy individuals, within seven days or so, the situation is resolved.

However, if for some reason the body can’t get rid of harmful toxins, they infiltrate the cells and inflammation occurs. We have boils, soreness, redness etc. This is a more extreme way of dealing with intruders. If this fails, permanent cellular change may result, including cysts, tumours, and in extreme cases, cellular degeneration and cancer.

Anything the body does not recognise as harmonious to optimum functioning creates a toxic burden and can weaken the immune system. These include parasites, heavy metal toxins (e.g. lead, mercury fillings), chronic yeast infections, mould and fungi, industrial chemicals (including garden pesticides and weed-killers), gas, diesel and petrol fumes, some electro-magnetic fields, and certain undiagnosed bacterial infections in the gut.

Virtually all symptoms of illness are manifestations of the body’s attempts to rid itself of harmful toxins. Mostly the body does this unaided, but more serious situations may require treatment. Some treatments, however, such as antibiotics, steroids, anti-depressants and other mood-changers, and indeed most drugs, may have positive short term effects but in the longer term go deeper into the tissues and eventually manifest as a more destructive disease. According to some experts this is how the widespread use of pharmaceuticals in recent years has led to increased incidence of degenerative disease and cancer today.

Homotoxins – toxins which weaken the immune system – flourish especially in conditions of poor hygiene, poor nutrition, inactivity, mental and emotional stress, and where excessive radiation, electromagnetic fields and geopathic stress are present. A person experiencing several of these would require a detox to regain full health, to restore the immune system to the degree where it is capable of withstanding toxic attack.

Anything which reduces stress and toxicity and improves sanitary conditions, fitness and nutrition strengthens the immune system and improves the prospect of good health. That’s the responsibility of all of us.

©David Lawrence Preston, 7.4.2016

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