Sunday, December 16, 2012
Fauja Singh completed this year’s London Marathon in seven hours and forty-nine minutes. By no means a winning time, yet Fauja Singh, affectionately dubbed the “turbaned tornado” is 101 years old. He took up long distance running after moving to the UK from his native India; post his wife’s death in 1992.
He attributes his long and healthy life to healthy eating habits. Like most Punjabis he is a strict vegetarian, existing on a diet of lentils, vegetables flavored with ginger, brown bread, fruit and natural yoghurt. It’s not so much what he eats, but how much! He restricts himself to small, child-sized portions which are reflected in his weight. He is 173 centimeters tall and yet weighs only 53 kilos.
According to Russian born Dr. Arcady Economo there is nothing new here. Scientists have known for 80 years that a calorie restricted food intake can prolong life. Dr. Clive McCay claimed during the 1930s that such diets could extend life expectancy by up to 50%. Fauja Singh’s success in covering the 42 kilometer London Marathon course attests to these claims.
Koh Samui is home to approximately 20 so called “detox resorts”. They range from the good to the bad and indifferent. They all promote fasting and inner cleansing. People flock from across the globe to these establishments. Some come to embrace better health practices, but most come to lose weight. Dr. Economo runs a group of similar facilities in Hungary and Croatia; his emphasis is on the fasting component of the program. In Budapest and elsewhere his nutritional experts design specific diets for his clients. They are expected to follow these eating programs when they return home after completing their one or two week detox plan. The most popular of these divides the year into four, thirteen week blocks. Each chunk comprises one fasting week, with a near zero calorific intake, one recovery week when food is gradually introduced where consumption is limited to 5,200 kilo calories and eleven ordinary weeks. The normal weeks comprise six feeding days calculated at 2,000 calories per day. The seventh day is a fasting day with 0 calories permitted. This formula yields 72 fasting days in the year; it averages out at a usual food input of 1,500 calories per day. It appears Fauja Singh is obtaining the same result simply by eating less on an ongoing basis.
Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute explains the connection between fasting and increased life span is the hormone “Insulin Growth Factor-1”. This hormone causes children to develop, but when they reach adulthood it stresses the body and appears to cause aging. His evidence is the genetically engineered Laron mouse, which does not produce IGF-1. These creatures can live up to five years much longer than the 2 year life expectancy of a normal mouse. They seem to be immune to cancer and heart disease, and when they die it’s because the heart just stops.
Longo goes on to explain that fasting lowers IGF-1 levels, and when we stop eating the body switches from growth to repair mode when several DNA healing genes switch-on. Dr. Economo feels that eating cessation also reduces damaging free radical levels. The result is a reduction in blood pressure, a decrease in high blood sugar levels, which are in themselves a prelude to diabetes and metabolic levels decrease as the body slow down to conserve its energy resources.
Fasting, especially for the first timer can be difficult. Toxins which are a natural bi-product of today’s lifestyle release and these can cause headaches, dizziness and an general feeling of unwellness, but stick with it and experience extraordinary results. Both Professor Longo and Dr. Economo suggest a prolonged fast is best accomplished under supervision and probably in a quality detox resort, such as Dr. Economo’s European clinics or in one or two of the recommended facilities in Koh Samui. That’s it for this week. Catch you again next week; if you would like advice and recommendations about fasting and detoxing make contact via the website.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Probiotics was a question we covered a few weeks ago. Maybe now is an excellent place to define the term probiotic, so everyone is clear as to the definition. The international description says that probiotics are organisms living within the host’s bio system that confer health benefits. The human gut, for example, contains somewhere in the region of 2 kilograms of live bacteria. Some of these bacteria are good, and some are bad. For potent digestive health to happen we require the beneficial bacteria to outweigh the detrimental. Remember, too, that superior digestive health is the key to complete nutritional health. To achieve this end, we recommend you include a substantial percentage of friendly bacteria in your diet.
Where do you get this? The first place to look is within the realms of fermented foods. In times, past people ate more fermented food because this was an ideal means of preserving food before the days of refrigeration. In those times, drinking water came from wells where the bacterial overgrowth provided a plentiful supply of humic acid, another good source of probiotics. Today, many of these older natural links to healthful bacteria have been replaced by supposed new and better ways of doing things. Now, we have to go out of our way to sustain ourselves with these living organisms. We need to eat fermented foods, and for those who can tolerate dairy products, yoghurt provides an ideal answer, or does it? Many yoghurt brands claim they are plentifully stocked with probiotics, but they are not! Most commercial brands found in supermarkets are chock full of added sugar. Bacteria are living matter and they die off because of the toxicity of the sugar. Today, sugar is growing more expensive, so food producers turn to artificial sweeteners to offset costs. The worst of these is controversial aspartame, which hides behind well-known brand names like NutraSweet. US alternative medicine researcher and publicist Dr. Joe Mercola claims it to be “the most dangerous food additive on the market”. He bases his claims on several studies that have been conducted over the years. Dr. Russell Blaylock, a retired neurosurgeon brands the sweetener an excitotoxin and further claims, "Excitotoxins have been found to dramatically promote cancer growth and metastasis. In fact, one aspartame researcher noticed that, when cancer cells were exposed to aspartame, they became more mobile … “All compelling reasons to avoid commercially produced yoghurts that say they are a terrific source of probiotics.
Greek yoghurt is free of added sugar, but milk contains its own sugar, called lactose. When they come to make this kind of yoghurt, they strain off the liquid whey and with it goes a lot of the lactose. This is then a remarkably healthy environment for natural probiotics to develop. This leaves a creamy, thick substance which is extremely high in protein. The content is 16 protein Gms per 100 Gms of weight. The human need for protein is another modern day fable. We don’t require massive amounts of protein to promote cell growth. Calculate the daily requirement as being 1Gm of protein per 1 kilo of body weight. A man weighing 70 kilos requires approximately 70 Gms of protein intake per day. This is not a huge amount; it will fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Greek yoghurt makes an excellent protein source, being much easier to digest than meat, for example.
Christos Panidimos is a long time resident of Koh Samui and is now the patron of the “Fi” Restaurant, located on the road leading up to Tesco-Lotus in Bophut. Here they make 30 to 40 kilos of probiotic rich Greek yoghurt daily. His uncle Evagalos Polyhropoulos teaches food sciences at the Haropio University in Athens. He attests to the nutritional value of this product. Both men urge everybody to use it instead of mayonnaise or butter and suggest the yoghurt provides the basis of a mouthwatering breakfast when mixed with fresh fruit.
This article first appeared in "The Southern Times" of 1st December 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
"Bees are our helpers and our friends. It is estimated that 33% of human food production is dependent on insect pollination; most of this is accomplished by the honey bee. Sadly, the bee population is declining primarily due to the unconsidered use of petrochemical based pesticides and chemicals. In some cases, bee keepers have been contracted to move their hives to areas devoid of bees to insure pollination rather than to make honey.
Propolis is a resinous composition that bees collect from tree buds and certain flowers; it is used to seal off small spaces in the hive to protect it and improve the environment of the bee colony. Generally, brownish in color, it is proved by Chinese research to include isolated sinapinic acid, isoferulic and caffeic acids. These compounds have anti-bacterial properties. However, there is evidence too, that Propolis has anti-viral components.
A study conducted by Sirinad Musiaek and Yimanee Tragoolpua from the Biology Department at Chaing Mai University has revealed that Propolis extract, halted the Herpes Simplex Virus. Often associated with the common cold sore, Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 can affect various body areas namely the lips, eyes and skin. Transmission is often sexual; in the case of HSV 2 the genitals are affected. It has been a causative factor in Cervical Cancer. The usual medical treatment is with the anti-viral drug Acyclovir. Many products flow from it; Zovirax is one of the best known. The treatment does not eliminate the cause, but it does address the symptoms. However, this can take up to four weeks in extreme cases and stress can easily trigger another outbreak. The remarkable Chiang Mai study showed that aqueous and ethanolic Propolis extracts altered the virus population on vitro cells after virus attachment in both Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 cases. Curiously the Propolis in high dosage performed better than Acyclovir in the case of HSV 2. The real test of the case lay in time, though. The study demonstrated how HSV-1 was entirely eliminated in a mere 60 minutes. It did, however, take just over 6 hours to remove the HSV-2 strain.
This is amazingly good news for the millions of Herpes sufferers worldwide, but there is even more to celebrate! That’s because Acyclovir type drugs have been shown in rare cases to produce birth defects in neonates. A small US study of 467 pregnant women produced 17 birth defects in their off-spring. This shows a 3.6% affected rate, which is 0.6% higher than the average birth defect rate of 3%. Is it worth taking a risk like this, however, slight? Women suffering from genital Herpes are expected to go on a course of Zovirax for the last few weeks of term to prevent lesions appearing at the time of birth. Wouldn’t it be much better if they took safe Propolis instead during this crucial stage of foetal development? Secondly, it has been found that breast feeding mothers pass on a large quantity of the anti-herpes medication to their babies whilst suckling. Again Propolis appears to solve the problem and no doubt benefits the infant, as well!
Veerapan Tantipong is the President of Bee Products Industry Company Limited in Chaing Mai. He holds a BSc Degree from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He has used his knowledge wisely and has come up with a solution for long suffering Herpes victims. “Virulox”, contains 50 mg of Propolis and a 120 mg of synergizing Royal Jelly in a lyophilized form. The tablet can pack of powerful punch of Propolis to help the sufferer overcome a Herpes attack. Take two tablets when you feel the first tingle of a cold sore and repeat the dose hourly for six hours. This alleviates the symptoms from both Herpes 1 and 2. The Propolis is aided by the 10 HDA in Royal Jelly, which some describe as being a precursor to the might of stem cells. But that’s a story in itself!"
This article by Alister Bredee first appeared in "The Southern Times" of November 18th 2012
"Today we are going to visit the topic of drinking water, simply because it is so crucial. Most people are dehydrated, because they do not drink sufficient water. It is sound advice to suggest that everybody drink eight glasses per day. These don’t have to be enormous sizes, but the action does need to be consistent. Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj was an Iranian Doctor who completed his medical training at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. After the downfall of the Shah, in 1978 he was arrested and imprisoned in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, branded an enemy of the State under sentence of death. He remained a prisoner for three years and continued his work as a doctor, but there was one snag. The authorities refused to provide him with medicines, so he used the single resource available to him, water!
Dr. Batmanghelidj is the author of “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water”. In the book, he writes about his findings during the years he worked using water as his only remedy. He claims thirst is only one of the body’s ways of expressing dehydration. He feels a dry mouth is an advanced stage of lack. His clinical practice in prison gave him the experience to assign several different illnesses which he felt were symptoms of dehydration. These broad maladies include asthma, angina, indigestion obesity and several others including many psychological symptoms. In Chapter 5 of his book, he says ” “Pathology that is seen to be associated with “social stresses” –fear, anxiety, insecurity, persistent emotional and marital problems and the creation of depression--are the results of water deficiency to the point the water requirements of the brain tissue is affected. “The message is clear; if you want better health, drink more water.
When we buy water, it comes in plastic bottles. It can have been in the bottles a long time. The plastic, a bi-product from the petrochemical industry, contains phthalates. These are added to make it more flexible. Di-octyl Phthalate mimics the effect of estrogen. Hormone imbalance is becoming increasingly common. Many women are experiencing estrogen dominance that gives rise to fat around the middle and in the thighs as well as cellulite build-up. Too much estrogen makes for more difficult periods. What's more, the incidence of breast cancer is on the rise and in men sperm counts have been declining for an unusually long time, whilst male pattern baldness is reaching epidemic proportions. These chemicals are leaching into the water.
Another worrying factor associated with this is the decline in the pH of water. You probably remember that pH (stands for potential hydrogen) of water should be 7. 7 make water neutral. It is the cut off between acid and alkaline. Water is becoming acid. This is distressing because over acidity leads to disease. When our blood and other fluids lean towards a more alkaline level illness finds it difficult to occur. Besides, blood pH has an extremely narrow window of opportunity that lies between 7.36 and 7.45, with an average in the range of 7.41. When the blood sways towards the lower end, acidosis occurs and to the higher reaches alkalosis happens. If blood becomes too acid, it is a life threatening situation. The body tries to correct the high levels by drawing calcium from the bones. Calcium as an alkalizing affect, but as the blood leaches the mineral from the bones, it also weakens them. This is the basis of osteoporosis. We need to keep pH ranges in perfect balance. You can ensure your drinking water remains alkaline by adding a slice of lime or lemon Yes, lime and lemon has an acid pH when tested outside the body. It can be as low as 3.5, but foods are tested after digestion by the ash they produce. In the body lemon becomes highly alkaline, usually with a pH of approximately 8. From now on be sure to include a slice of lime or lemon to your water to maintain at least a neutral pH of 7 if not higher. That’s it for today, if you have any questions we welcome comments and queries via the website." This article by Alister Bredee first appeared in "The Southern Times."
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Spirulina or more precisely blue-green algae is a mixture of single cell organisms which bridge the gap between plants and animals. Its cells photosynthesize, just like plants, whilst there are no cell walls, just like animals! Historically the first mention comes from one of Cortes’ conquistador soldiers who describes it as a valuable food source for the Aztec people in pre-16th century Central America. The algae grew in profusion on Lake Texcoco. This is where the Aztecs built there famed capital, Tenochtitlan on an island in the lake. They were eventually overcome, and Montezuma’s city fell to the Spanish in 1521, who destroyed the original capital and set about building Mexico City on the same site. The vast city and flood prevention measures reduced the lake to a shadow of its former self and so the spirulina beds of Lake Texococo disappeared.
Sprilulina, thankfully, did not disappear. It’s amazing food, comprising 60% protein. It contains the 8 essential amino acids which are so vital for human cell growth. They are essential because they have to be sourced from food as the body is unable to make them itself. However, blue-green algae are low in methionine and its non-essential companion cysteine. These provide valuable sulphur compounds essential for proper digestion. A problem for vegetarians is the lack of vitamin B-12 and its pivotal synergist, folic acid in the diet. On the face of it, spirulina provides a powerful protein source, enhanced by the plentiful supply of B vitamins, including the vital B-12 which donates oxygen to hemoglobin and thrusts away pernicious anemia . But there is a problem, for some unexplained reason the B-12 is unassimiable to the human body, therefore, useless. This detracts from it shining forth as an ideal protein source!
It was first commercially produced in Thailand in 1988 when the now famous Booson Farm opened up in Nonthaburi. Thanks to this innovative approach the country has now grown to become one of the world’s leading spirulina producers. Booson Farm has moved to more spacious surroundings in Chaing Mai. As an interesting aside the Thai name for blue-green algae is “Sarai Klew Thong.”
Overseas studies in vitro have revealed it to be effective against the HIV infection. It has also been shown to protect cancer patients against the ravages of chemo and radiotherapy. It is a powerful antioxidant and has been demonstrated as being a successful means of reducing blood fats. A study conducted by a well-respected Bangkok University took 41 diabetic patients. The first group of 21 participants was fed 6gms of spirulina per day for 8 weeks. The second group was given a placebo. The researchers found that participants in the control group with blood sugar readings in excess of 140 mg/dl successfully reduced the blood sugar levels by 31 mg/dl over the 8 weeks. This took their blood sugar readings out of the range categorized as diabetic. The study also found that uric acid levels decreased. This was contrary to expectations as spirulina had previously been slated for increasing uric acid. This is fantastic news not only for those who have imbalanced blood sugar levels which is reasonably common in vegetarians because some eat a lot of starchy carbohydrates but for gout sufferers, too.
Another study conducted under the auspices of the Nanjing School of Medicine in China showed that a staunch spirulina intake also inhibited the growth of Leukemia cells. Overall, then spirulina is a nutritious food source being high in protein, containing all the essential amino acids and providing the B vitamins in profusion. It stabilizes high blood sugar as well as being a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Clearly it provides a nutritious food supplement for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Add it to smoothies and daily juices on a regular basis because it is likely to give you a wholesome boost to wellness. All this is easy, and it’s remarkably cheap, too. If you would like assistance in sourcing blue-green algae, simply use the website link to make contact. More next week, so bye for now!
Sunday, November 4, 2012
This morning I picked up one of the few remaining hard copies of my book “Full Circle”, which was published eight years ago in 2004. When I read this today I considered up-dating the material, but then decided against such an action. As we approach the end of the Mayan Calendar on 21st December 2012 and perch on the brink of a US Presidential election, the results of which will be known for many when you come to read this; I felt the comments are just as applicable now, as then. What has changed? I believe there is today a greater level of awareness than there was in 2004.
“Many of us remain in jobs or situations or cling to relationships that may well have outlived their purpose. We grip onto these manifestations of the past, because we do not believe that life will support us if we strike out and move into new and unknown realms.
Many know it is time to make a move, but lack the courage to take the plunge! Sadly the harder we clasp the past, the more it is we will experience all manner of uncomfortable events taking place around us. These trials are not there to make us miserable, but to wake us up and tell us the time has come to make the necessary changes and move on. When we ignore the invitation to change the knocks grow louder to catch our attention. If we continue to snub the warnings, they simply increase in intensity until a time comes when we cannot continue ignoring reality. Many of us are blind to the warnings. Instead of sitting up and paying attention, we blame circumstances or fate for our predicament because we are unaware that we can change the hurtful situation. Sometimes we can see the plight of others because our distance from the burning events gives us an objectivity that those experiencing the episodes do not have! Occasionally we can talk to the individuals in question and explain what we see. Oftentimes, however, the advice is unwelcome because change is a hard path, and many are loathe to come face to face with reality. For those who are open to new information any imparting of subjective knowledge has to be achieved carefully. Help the other person make this difficult transition with compassion and understanding. Assist them move to the next stage in their lives by adopting a supportive attitude. For anything else will be interpreted as criticism which can only be counterproductive in outcome. Show them the exciting new possibilities awaiting all of us if only we had the courage to embrace them.
As we move deeper and deeper into the 21st Century we shall find many of the old workings not working. We shall inevitably witness the collapse of many of the structures upon which the world is based. Leaders take their energy from the people who have placed them in their positions. On the July 4th Independence Day (2003), President George Bush urged the American people to celebrate the occasion heartily as he and his Government would be looking after them! Here he is playing the role of a strong father to his frightened children. This patriarchal posturing can trace its roots back to the days of ancient Israel and before. Many are beginning to realize this concept robs them of their power to be. A massive power struggle will develop because many of the political and business leaders will be reluctant to give back to the people what is rightfully theirs
Others have begun to question why they have given up vast chunks of their time and freedom to work in companies in order to progress up the corporate ladder. Particularly as they see these companies default on their obligations with casual ease whilst nonchalantly disposing of their workforces. Politicians put a spin on events to rationalize their hold on power. Lying is no longer acceptable. Justifiably many are angry.” And we will see this anger erupt onto the world stage as 2013 looms ever closer.In rather a different vein this week. To find out about the book make contact through the website.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
One December morning in 2010, Jackie Green’s car was broadsided at an intersection by a speeding vehicle that had run a red light. Jackie was fortunate; she was not seriously injured but the sideswipe pitched her forward so her mouth struck the steering wheel. She broke her two front teeth and several others were damaged by the impact. Her dentist reconstructed the two missing teeth by means of a bridge, but aside from whitening, he was not much help when it came to the remaining harm. She felt her appearance had been marred and wanted to regain the warm smile of pre-accident days. That’s when she started investigating orthodontics.
Orthodontics is the clinical term for cosmetic dentistry. Thanks to the innovative techniques of Charles Pincus back in the 1970s, dental veneers have leaped to the forefront of modern orthodontic procedures. A veneer is a layer of restorative material placed over the outer surface of a tooth to improve its appearance or to protect it because of damage. These delicate veneers are made from a vinyl composite or from more durable porcelain. Done well these stick on films can enhance appearance and afford protection in a manner that is easy and relatively comfortable for the patient. However, this skilled dental work does not come cheaply.
Dentists in Thailand have always kept abreast of new techniques in their field. This means they are fully capable of producing and fitting world class veneers. Typically in the USA a veneer can cost anywhere between $1000 and $3000 per tooth. It was the price that tempted Jackie to Thailand for her treatment. Thanks to some diligent Internet searching she found she could have veneers fitted much cheaper than at home. The difference made it worth her while to fly half way across the world to attend a dental clinic in Phuket. She used a specialist medical tourism company, Lotus Medical International also based in Phuket. They made all the arrangements for her, looking after her from the moment she arrived to the moment she departed. They arranged the dental appointments and found her first rate accommodation for the duration of her stay on the island. This made the process easy and stress free for Jackie to receive excellent treatment but also gave her the added bonus of a sunshine holiday.
Costs vary and depend on the sort of material that the Thai dentist uses to make the veneers. The composites are cheaper; they look good but are not as hard wearing as the more durable porcelain variety. Jackie wanted to enhance her appearance but it was also necessary to protect her teeth as they were already damaged. In her case the porcelain variety was the recommended option. Thanks to the improvement in adhesives, once cemented onto teeth, veneers can hold for twenty plus years! The porcelain was more expensive, but Jackie was glad to be advised by her dentist. Another advantage of coming to Thailand is the high quality of the treatment. Back home high costs might have forced her to make a cheaper choice but would that have been cost effective with the unfolding of the years?
Jackie was truly delighted with the treatment she received from her Thai dentist, in all she only had three dental visits. This is not always the case, but her Phuket dentist was skilled in work with veneers. He was able to prepare her mouth for the porcelain shields in the first session and then send the impression to the lab for the actual production of the veneer. In the second session a few days later the lab sent back the finished product for fitting. There were some alterations necessary, including a better color match which was done and the finished veneer fitted on the third visit. This time the color was perfect for her and she was delighted at the service she received in the land of smiles. If you would like to contact Lotus Medical International simply use the website link to make contact and we’ll put you in touch. More next week, so bye for now!
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Have you ever wondered what ingredients are contained in the body products we all use every day? Let’s take shampoos and anti-bacterial handwashes as the example. A principal ingredient is iso-propyl alcohol. It comes in many disguises, is a by-product of the petroleum industry and serves as antifreeze in the motor industry! In factories there are warnings about handling hazardous chemicals like xylene and toluene other aliases for the same thing. Propyl alcohol is put in ever popular anti-bacterial hand washes; ironically the substance inhibits the skin’s ability to protect against bacteria, molds and fungus. These are the pathogens it is supposed to protect you against. It doesn’t make any sense at all!
Chronic illness has been on the rise. The Centre for Disease Control tells us in the 32 years from 1975 to 2007 that the incidence of cancer has shifted from 400 cases per 100,000 population to 461 in 2007. WHO figures for Thailand for 2002 have cancer as the number 1 cause of death with a rate of 73.3 cases per 100,000 population. This had risen dramatically from 26.1 cases in 1982. Is it any wonder when chemically toxic products flood the market place and consumer awareness of these dangers is minimal?
Dr. Teuro Higa, Professor of Horticulture at the University of Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, has developed EM Technology, this stands for “effective microorganism”. His initial research in the 1980s reported that up to 80 microorganisms were effective in decomposing negative organic matter and created healthy regeneration instead. Decaying and pathologically dangerous matter can revert to a “life promoting” process thanks to the positive micro-organisms present in the EM liquids. This natural health giving bacteria works in the same way as probiotics which are very popular in natural medicine. Good bacteria create a balance against the bad bacteria ever present in the eco-system we call the gut.
This amazing technology is reported to support sustainable practices in agriculture as well as forming a new frontier in the improvement of health and hygiene. The EM process was used during the recent floods in Bangkok. Inundation creates an ideal environment for the disease process to flourish. Often natural disasters are followed by epidemics of illnesses like cholera and dysentery. This was not the case in Bangkok and it seems that similar positive results have emerged in other areas EM has been used; these include the 2004 Tsunami, the Kobe earthquake and in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina. A huge database of research has not been conducted on these life saving techniques, but empirical evidence suggests Dr Higa has presented the world with a great gift. This gift is simple. Release “Effective Microorganisms” into flood water and let the live bacteria do their work!
The fruits of the Sapindus trees have been used for eons in natural medicine, particularly the Indian system of Ayurveda. This relative of the lychee is a natural source of, chemical free soap. The Sapindus fruit, a native of temperate Asia provides an emulsion that foams in water. It has been around a lot longer than westernized soap and to good effect. In Ayurveda it is used for the treatment of eczema and psoriasis. It is something that promotes skin health and is devoid of pernicious by products like propyl alcohol. Common sense dictates that we should be washing ourselves with these natural soaps, but the story gets better still.
Someone has come along and launched a product line of body washes, shampoos and cleaning agents that combine the probiotic potency of the EM technology with the amorphous glycosides of the sapindus fruit to make an outstanding series of soaps and cleaners that enhance the body’s good bacteria and thus stimulate the system to preserve healthy immunity that truly does everything the chemical hand washes pretend to do; it also balances nature’s eco-system so that streams and rivers are oxygenated, supporting new life and a clean water table. The line is called “Blue Sky”. If you would like help in sourcing any of these things, simply use the website link to make contact."
This article first appeared in "The Southern Times of October 13th 2012
Koh Samui, September 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
Grey hair tends to be ageing; I think we all agree! Though, more and more people are going grey earlier. Why is that? They say the age the hair turns grey is determined by the genes. If your parents turned grey young, then you stand a statistically good chance of doing the same. The rate, however, your hair loses its original lustrous colour is rather up to you!
This is not entirely a matter of conscious choice but depends on how you have taken care of your health. When we are twenty it is possible to drink a bottle of vodka and smoke a pack of cigarettes each day, but as we grow older this is no longer viable. Besides the earlier health risks do begin to show their negative fruits sooner than we would have liked. It really pays to take good care of you, because this provides a safeguard against premature ill health. This translates into vibrant mental, emotional and physical wellbeing into old age. Cigarettes for example contain approximately 600 toxins including arsenic and strychnine. The ingestion of smoke makes the system very acidic which betrays itself in wrinkled dry skin as well as early grey hair. Both of these make us look older than we really are. Other factors that contribute to the hair changing colour include anemia. There are two types; one is characterized by a lack of iron which is best described as a megoblastic condition and the other, pernicious anemia, which is a digestive complication that causes Vitamin B12 deficiency. To counteract the effects one needs to look at the full spectrum of B Vitamins. It is important they are kept in balance and contain a natural form of B12 to complete the synthesis.
An imbalance of B vitamins is poor nutrition but so is poor diet characterized by fast foods, deep frying and an overabundance of starchy carbohydrates. This sort of eating pattern comes at the expense of life giving fruits and fresh vegetables.
Often when the hair begins to lighten because the keratin or pigment producing cells start to die off, people panic and begin to consider the advantages of hair dyes. Hair dyes provide artificial pigmentation. Most dyes depend upon hydrogen peroxide to give the illusion that natural coloration has been re-established. Hair bleach on its own gives a brassy blond shade, but it is also used to strip the hair of its natural colour, so the artificial dye can take a hold. Bleaching is extremely harmful. It produces dry and brittle hair follicles which have a natural propensity to greyness unless the chemical product is incessantly reapplied. Over 60% of dyes contain P-Phenylenediamine; this is classified as a toxin by the EU. This chemical is shown to affect the skin, immune and respiratory system as well as the liver. Other chemicals present include ammonia and resorcinol. This has been shown to disrupt hormonal function in rats. It has also been exposed to cause hypothyroidism. In recent years low thyroid function, especially in women, has reached epidemic proportions. This has given rise to low blood pressure and decreased levels of progesterone with a knock on result of high estrogen intensities. This leads to PMT and fat and cellulite build up around the waist and hips. Some dyes even contain lead acetate; this causes a heavy metal overload. What to do about hair dyes? Well, supposedly natural hair dyes contain fewer toxic chemicals, so that is a start. It seems the darker you wish to colour the more risks are involved.
However, there are some preferable natural alternatives. Copper is said to stop greying. You can purchase a supplement or Organic Black Strap Molasses has a high Copper content. You can lighten hair colour with honey or the herb rosemary and for darker shades Henna is an excellent choice. It may appear too red for some but an auburn tint has always been attractive!That’s all for this week. If you have questions we are happy to respond. Contact us through the website.
Monday, October 8, 2012
"Embilica Officinalis, a fine sounding Latin name, is more easily known as the Indian Gooseberry or Amla Berry. Unlike the small, green, astringent gooseberries that grow on bushes in Europe these are the fruit of a tree, which can grow as high as eighteen metres. They are found in Issan and similar areas that are less tropical than the lush South. The berries grow in clumps; they are light green to yellowish pink in colour. You will find a fibrous interior whilst the taste is sour to bitter. They resemble the Tamarind and have the name Manila Tamarind in the Philippines.
In Hindustan, which in historical terms is that area of India lying between the Himalayas and the Vindayas, with Delhi as the capital and the Ganges as the main artery; the Amla is considered sacred to the Goddess Lakshmi. Not only is she the consort of the Hindu God Vishnu she is also the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. If you have an Amala tree on your land this is considered to be extremely lucky. Not only will this bring you wealth but it is said to protect the householders from all kinds of misery and money related dilemmas. If you are unfortunate enough to be without a tree, eating the fruit is likely to bring you many benefits, too!
The berries provide an excellent source of natural vitamin C. Unfortunately most of the so called vitamin C on the market is synthetic, ascorbic acid. It is made in a laboratory; it’s popular because it is cheap. A sad fact of life is you get what you pay for. Synthetic vitamin C serves a purpose but lacks the vital spark of life which stands in its way of making a truly effective anti-oxidant. Amla contains twenty times more vitamin C by weight than oranges. This is why it is labeled a super food.
In 1988 the “International Journal of Cardiology” compared three Indian botanicals; these were tested on rabbits. The Indian Gooseberry was one of those natural extracts... All three were found to lower cholesterol. A later Japanese study confirmed these findings. Amla is a favoured ayurvedic medicine. The dried powder or a tincture administered in doses of approximately 30 mg per kilo of body weight was found to significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels. Admittedly, we are not rats, but the study suggests if it is good for rats, it’s also good for humans. Wouldn’t it be a lot better to take a couple of grams of quality vitamin C on a daily basis than embark on a course of treatment involving the Statin drugs which your doctor is so keen on prescribing? Statins have significant side effects. Aside from constipation, skin rashes and insomnia; if you read the warnings on the leaflets that accompany the medication; you will see cautions about memory loss, mental confusion and the possibility of diabetes. They don’t mention the other hidden drawbacks like loss of libido, liver damage and even heart attack, something the statins are supposedly protecting us from!
Other studies have shown that Makam Pom has had a positive effect on kidney disease by improving creatinine and urea nitrogen levels whilst reducing blood pressure. Vitamins, minerals and other natural products take time to become truly effective. This slow approach requires patience. However, you will most certainly see an improvement if you give them at least 90 days to be truly effective.
In Thailand, Amla powder is also used in cosmetics. One product combines Makam Pom and Rice bran oil. It is designed to removes dead skin scales and improve the overall complexion. Another using Amla and Samor Thai promotes luxuriant hair growth. It has also been shown to reverse male pattern baldness. That makes sense because of the high anti-oxidant levels and excellent tannins found in the formula. Recently, another manufacturer launched a range of natural soaps and cleansers. Amla is found in the “Body Wash”. If you would like help in sourcing any of these things, simply use the website link to make contact. "
This article first appeared in "The Southern Times", edition # 1 on 6th October 2012
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
"Once long, long ago there lived in the Imperial City a beautiful princess, the daughter of the King. Her eyes were almond shaped and so gently coloured. Her fair hair swept down her back in cascades. As a lady of the court, her demeanour was regal, yet she knew full well to avert her gaze when people other than her immediate family came into her presence. Many looked on her with wonder and whispered about whom the courtiers would choose for her in marriage. It was rumoured than more than one suitor had presented himself but had been soundly rejected by the King. The King, you see, listened to his daughter and not the sea of fawning orderlies who surrounded him from break of day to the last thing at night. Often he would sit in his chambers and secretly observe the fair princess Yin, as she toyed with her food or sat quietly. On those nights when he could cross the courtyard to her quarters so they could be alone together, she working at her dainty cross stitch and elegant embroidery, and he was free to talk. To him she seemed so sad as she carefully worked with her needle. It was as if she had a secret, a deep, dark secret, as indeed she had.
Her secret lived far away from the Court on the plains that lay in the centre of their country. He was tall and lithe, a real warrior who rode his horse across the flat lands as if he were flying with the wind itself as he galloped off into the east towards where the sun rose. The warm vibrancy of the sun seemed to give him life. Yes, she loved Prince Yang very much, but he came from a family of soldiers who had once betrayed the Imperial family, as a result, could not be trusted. There was no way her father would ever consent to a marriage between the two of them.
Yin let a small tear trickle down her cheek as she sat at her needlework, remembering their meeting when he had come to the city on a diplomatic mission. She felt a little cold as she remembered his warmth and vibrancy. She recalled with a sigh, their meeting in the Palace orchard on the night of a full moon. How he had come to her, his eyes bright with passion and declared his undying love. She listened enraptured as every word sank in. Yes, she too felt the love. A love that lay deep inside her knowing only her Prince could reach that secret place where that love lay. She often lay awake picturing him in her arms. Above all else, she wanted to love him and take care of him and be with him. But she knew this was not to be. Not yet, anyway, but each time her father brought her a young man whom he felt would be suitable, she was able to persuade him that some fault lay with the suitor and escape from the arranged marriage. She knew she could not tell her father, who loved her so much, about her meeting with the Prince Yang. How light as a feather he had scaled the orchard wall, and easily jumped down on the other side. A meeting such as this would bring dishonour to her, and her father would surely seek to punish her beautiful Prince. His anger would be immense at the insult to his family, and he would without doubt ask for the Prince’s death in revenge. That Prince of hers, he who had ridden away that night to the outer reaches of the kingdom was forbidden to her. He had gone quickly in order to protect her honour, positive in his intent that he would certainly see her once again.
She had heard some of the ladies of the court gossiping about her brave soldier, who it is said, struck four men dead with a single blow of his sword. It was rumoured too, that many other ladies like the Princess Yin had fallen in love with this young man. They too wanted to possess him, marry him and have his children who would be unquestionably beautiful like he. It was said that he had reciprocated to some of these amorous advances. Some said the Princess Zang had been sent away from her family castle high in the hills because of her infatuation with the Prince. But Yin knew this was idle talk, the words of jealous women. Deep inside she had her secret, and nobody could take it away. All she needed was time; time to work out a scheme that would allow the Prince Yang to be hers forever.
So she sent him a message via one of her faithful servants. Many weeks later the weary messenger rode into Yang’s camp, which was situated close to the Mongolian border. He received the Princess’s letter graciously and read it slowly by the light of the campfire. As he read a smile flitted across his face and then he pondered seriously. His soldiers watched his shadow as he walked up and down across his tent all night through. As the dawn broke, he summoned his generals to war council; before the sun had reached the mid-heaven his army had broken camp and was marching across the plains in the direction of the Imperial City. It was a long journey to the capital, and soon the King heard that Yang’s army was advancing towards his capital. The King was furious, as this reckless behaviour on the part of the impetuous Yang seemed to confirm his deepest fears.
“You cannot trust that family. They are all traitors, every one of them! Now this Yang has turned against me!”
Daily the ruler received intelligence reports of how the rebel army was moving swiftly towards the city. He knew the capital was impregnable but was certain his troops would soon overcome the nuisance. But he was a cautious man and a seed of doubt began to worry him.
In the evenings, he would go as usual to his daughter’s quarters as she sat stitching and confide in her his doubts and anxieties. Strangely the wily princess did not attempt to comfort her father but gently massaged his worries, so they grew greater. Soon Yang’s army was camped outside the Imperial City itself and the two sides prepared for a great battle.
On the eve of the battle, old Ming one of the gardeners in the Imperial City was watering the roses close to the Princess’s private quarters. There he saw an old stooped woman limping towards him. She looked harmless enough, and he took little notice of her. It was unusual to see strangers in the royal gardens, but the gardener had thoughts of his own. He had serious fears for the safety of his son, who would be in the battle the next day.
That night there was a terrible storm. Hideous peals of thunder clapped like cannon fire whilst great sheets of lightening turned darkness into eerie day. It was as if a terrific battle was being fought in the heavens. The rain lashed against the stout walls of the capital whilst lakes of water appeared from nowhere. These pools were whipped into life by a raging wind; this meant remarkably few of the townspeople slept at all due to terrible clamour of the storm. The King like many of his citizens rose well before dawn. He hurried out onto the battlements, so he would be with his advisors as the battle began. However, as the Sun rose they were astonished to see that instead of a formidable army waiting to begin a fierce battle there was an immense field of wheat situated where the soldiers should have been, and instead of the cacophony of war there was a perfect silence, an overwhelming peace.
As the King turned away astounded by what he saw, three of Princess Yin’s ladies in waiting came running up to him.
“The princess is nowhere to be found!” They searched the palace and the city but could not find a trace of her. The story would end here, and remain one of those unsolved mysteries that men would puzzle over as time unfolded. However, shortly afterwards an old man was to be often seen in the city. Some said he was a magician, and some proclaimed him to be a powerful healer whilst others said he was just an ordinary gardener. He said all he could remember was the night of the great storm before the terrible battle that never was, but might have been. He told those who would listen that on the night in question he was in the Imperial Garden tending the roses, and he went to a forbidden place close to Yin’s summer house and there he saw a beautiful young couple making love. As their passion grew the wind rose in strength as the young man groaned in ecstasy the thunder pealed across the night, as the young woman panted in delight the lightning flashed across the sky. He said he must have fainted due to the intensity of the experience for when he awoke the couple had gone just as the dawn was struggling into the sky. However, in the summerhouse in place of the fervent lovers sat a monk with features like an angel. He beckoned the old gardener to approach and as he did so he handed him two ivory figurines. One was male and the other female. These figures each had seven lined patterns etched on them, along the blueprint, there were a series of points.
The monk offered the figures to Ming saying:
“Take these and bring them to the world, for if you understand the harmony that comes from balancing these lines of chi, you will understand the secret of love, peace and good health that you must share with your brothers and sisters.”
Before the old man could thank the monk, he had gone, and where the blameless one had been sitting there lay a parchment bound in leather. A paper that explained these lines or meridians, what they did, and how they worked. Strangely underneath the parchment lay another paper this one appeared to be a letter. It bore the Imperial Crest and it read:
“My Sweetest Yang,
Help me, lest they never know.
This story is taken from "Full Circle, Dancing the Meridians", by Alister Bredee. A downloadable e-version of the book is available fromhttp://healthambit.com/books/
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Today we live in a convenience age. You can save time by eating fast food and you can get better by taking a quick acting pill. But chronic diseases are on the upsurge and there appears to be a veritable epidemic of cancer. It seems in this age of McDonald’s health is degenerating. Could there be a connection I wonder? If we were to take a minute to look back at history we would see that something altogether not convenient has been around for several thousand years, and that is fasting. Fasting, or forgoing food is the world’s most ancient and natural healing procedure. When animals feel unwell they stop eating and rest. They know something that humans appear to have forgotten; they know that, by ceasing eating, the body triggers a very powerful cleansing process. This ‘cleanse’ reaches down into every cell and produces truly remarkable therapeutic results.
What happens when you fast? After 24 hours of zero food intake the digestive system no longer has anything to do. Digestive enzymes that usually drain a lot of the body’s energy to accomplish their task ,travel not to the stomach but to the intestines and into the bloodstream, where they gobble up waste matter which comprises decaying and moribund cells, metabolic refuse and other pollutants. At the same time as this cleanse is taking place organs and glands get an unaccustomed holiday; this break gives them an opportunity to purify and rejuvenate. Altogether this operation results in enhanced immune system function which at the end of the day means that health is restored and illness killed off. Benjamin Franklin said long ago “the best form of all medicines is rest and fasting.”
Main stream opinion today tends to dismiss this health-promoting trend as a “faddy and New Age” movement which has scant health benefit. As we have already said there is nothing new age about it at all as it has been around for a very long time. Hippocrates according to some, claims to be the father of modern medicine. His sensible motto provides the backbone to the ‘The Hippocratic Oath’ to which all doctors swear. This is “do no harm”. He prescribed abstinence from food while a disease was on the increase and particularly so as it approached the healing crisis. Moreover, another piece of wisdom from the same source was ‘eat sparsely at all times”. Unlike some pharmaceuticals, none of these practices do harm. Essentially it is a good idea to leave the table with room for a little more, and follow the very sound advice recommended by our grandmothers “feed a cold and starve a fever.”
More recently both Dr. Kelly and Dr. Roderigo suggested that all diseases begin in the intestinal tract. By cleaning the intestines you get rid of the toxins which are the main components of this form of unwellness. Fasting and cleansing with the help of enemas and colonics have become increasingly more popular with those truly anxious to bring their health up to speed. Such treatments have been heartily embraced by people like the Swedes and more and more clinics are popping up in both Europe and the United States.
Back in the early 1990s, centres specialising in this form of cleansing took root on Koh Samui which was at the time, a much favoured destination of back-packers. The first Resort to appear was “Spa Samui” in Lamai. The brainchild of American Guy Hopkins and his Thai wife, Toy. It offered a de-tox programme at a reasonable price and immediately became popular with the young people who were coming to the island. It still is popular and d has been featured in major newspaper articles as well as television documentaries. Others under the influence of the model of Spa Samui, followed. For instance Health Oasis Resort situated in picturesque Bang Por arrived on the scene in 1997. As time unfolded it seems the original backpackers joined the corporate workforce, becoming more affluent themselves; they were able to spread their health message to wealthier friends and colleagues who thirsted after a more comfortable detoxing experience. Thus the luxurious Kamalaya came into being, whilst others were to follow a similar model. Not to be outdone the brand name resorts that began to spring up in more recent times, all offered spa facilities and some even embarked on the detox route. Some are located in very beautiful and peaceful settings. It goes without saying that some are a lot better than others. Health Ambit Consultancy has great experience in this industry and would be more than happy to recommend a resort that suits your own particular needs.
Friday, May 18, 2012
TAT is a swift and powerful means of affecting Behavioral Change by changing negative emotions, past trauma, limiting beliefs and physical symptoms quickly, painlessly and very effectively. It frequently yields results where everything else has failed. You owe it to yourself to take a close look at it! It is one of the most effective Behavioral Change Therapies out there! California Acupuncturist Tapas Fleming developed TAT or Tapas Acupressure technique. The technique based on Chinese Medicine involves holding certain acupuncture points whilst focusing on the problem requiring treatment. It came about a few years ago when the focus of Tapas's practice was the treatment of allergies. At the time she was using a treatment devised by Dr.Devi Nambudripad called NAET. This required the patient to avoid the allergen for a period of 24 hours after treatment. In many cases this was fine but in instances of severe allergy it could also mean the person was restricted to a bread and water-eating programme for a full day after treatment. This could be very stressful particularly in the case of children. One afternoon during a lull in patient workload she had an insight to use Urinary Bladder 1 to solve her dilemma. UB 1 or "Eyes Bright" is an acupuncture point located on the edge of the inner eye, adjacent to the nose. She found that if she used this point along with the third eye and the occipital ridge at the back of the head, her patients could be desensitised to their allergy and could then return to a normal diet as soon as they got home. This overcame the whole stressful problem of 24 hours avoidance. Moreover, she discovered it wasn't necessary to needle the points, merely holding them whilst thinking of the reactive substance was sufficient to bring about the required change. Then she stumbled upon something else that was to take the TAT protocol outside the range of allergy treatment and into a much wider field of application. Tapas was working with a patient who had a sensitivity to salt. During the treatment it turned out that she had been sexually abused as a child. Each time the abuse occurred, it took place in a bar. After the perpetrator had finished he gave the little girl a packet of potato chips. Potato chips or crisps are very salty. When Tapas used her new technique she found not only did the allergy disappear but also the causative trauma of abuse. Now she realised TAT was a very good method for healing traumas and many other things as well. The treatment requires the client to hold the points with both hands in what is called the Tapas pose. The practitioner asks the person to put her mind on the problem and maintain the pose for approximately one minute. This is repeated through seven steps. The technique sounds incredibly easy but the affects are profound. Tapas tells us "thoughts are real, with real energy!" "If these thoughts are suppressed they create negative energy patterns which impact life and health". In Chinese Medicine, the home of acupuncture, energy blocks are the root cause of disease. Think of the strictures as dams in a river. Above the dam lies a large body of water and below a mere trickle or stream. Acupuncture works because you place a tiny electrical charge by way of a metal needle, either below or above the dam and this like an explosive shifts the blockage and allows energy to flow freely, and thus balance is restored! Traumas and negative emotions are a bit like this dam. On one side is you and on the other the negative experience. The result is a block. Thanks to TAT we can free the obstruction by engaging it through the technique. This gives us an opportunity to see over the dam, if you like! The new perspective allows you to view the event in a different light and this will always change it in some way. Holding the TAT pose somehow integrates the discomfort of the past event and brings about peace and harmony. In the Tao this is balance and from a place of balance we have healing and ultimate wellness. This balance is the essence of Behavior Change Therapy. If you would like to explore this topic more, be sure to contact the Healthambit Consultancy. div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on">
Sunday, April 22, 2012
" Heart disease takes more life than any other illness across the planet. In 2009 in the USA, 599,413 died of heart related problems. Far too frequently the cause of death was a myocardial infarction, or heart attack. Looking at the WHO figures for Thailand for 2011, the death statistics are probably worse. There were 53328 deaths from this cause. Statistically this figure comprised 10.30% of total fatalities. However, strokes proved to be the number one killer with 73429 or 14.18% of total deaths. We glimpse then that heart disease and related strokes were responsible for almost a quarter of all passings in Thailand in 2011.
Conventional medicine attributes heart disease to lifestyle and bad nutrition. Factors responsible are reputed to be lack of exercise, high cholesterol and a diet rich in Trans fats and sugars. Yes, these are contributory factors but are the real cause? The answer is a resounding “No” from Dr. Gert Hamer.
Dr Hamer’s life diametrically changed direction in 1978. Up to then he had worked for over 15 years as an internist in University Hospital Clinics. For 5 of these years he had held the position of professor. Here was an experienced medical doctor. He was no flake hovering on the outside of the profession. In 1978 his son, Dirk, was shot dead on a boat anchored off Corsica. This heart wrenching shock was ,understandably, to alter the course of Gert Hamer’s life forever. Shortly afterwards, he developed testicular cancer; he wondered if there was a link.
He overcame his illness and went on to work at “The Oncology-Gynecology Clinic” at Munich University Hospital; three years later thanks to his female patients, he was able to answer his own question. He discovered the ladies with cancer, like himself had all experienced a terrible shock shortly before developing their disease. It was from this conclusion in 1981, that “Germanic New Medicine” was born.
Conventional medicine will tell you that an actual heart attack is caused by the buildup of arterial plaque. This is connected to high blood cholesterol levels; the heart attack itself is caused by a piece of this plaque coming loose and blocking the coronary artery. Again, Dr. Hamer’s findings disagree. His theory is that heart attacks occur due to a conflict shock that involve what he calls “territorial loss”. This could be the loss of a partner, a business loss, a job loss, the loss of a car, a money loss or even the loss of a testicle! Heart disease often strikes when a successful businessman retires, replaced by younger and fitter rivals. Ken Lay fought hard for Enron as its CEO; he died of a massive heart attack in 2006 whilst awaiting sentencing at the end of the Enron trial. This classic example gives a good example of territorial loss conflict. In an interview shortly before his death, Lay called Enron his child and compared the loss of the company to the death of a child.
Dr. Hamer’s view lies not in the realms of psychology, instead he urged everyone to think “animal”. He feels we are still very close to the packs and herds of our early ancestors. A stag forced out of the herd by a young buck, has to fight to retake his position or possibly die. To prepare for the fight, the stag needs more energy. To acquire this, the coronary artery enlarges, so more blood can enter the myocardium. Once the conflict is resolved, he no longer needs this turbo-charge. He has won the contest, everything returns to normal and the body can repair itself. The artery begins to reduce in size; the gaps are filled by cholesterol. He is in the healing phase. Dependant on the time the conflict has lasted (it could be a mere matter of weeks) the system enters a healing crisis. It does this by expelling water in the form of a local edema. This is the heart attack. At the same time, the coronary artery brain relay, located directly above the right ear acts as controller of the event. If you witness such a crisis, quickly take a bag of ice and place it on the spot. This stops the arrhythmia and fast thinking like that can potentially save a life by halting the attack itself.
Remember, if you are present when somebody has a heart attack; place an ice bag directly above the right ear.If you should experience a “territorial loss” it can help alleviate the symptoms if you go and see a therapist who is able to help you potentially digest and reduce the shock. Health Ambit Consultancy can help you in this matter. This intervention can potentially turn a fatal heart attack into a survivable event."
This article appeared in the Samui Gazette of April 27th 2012