The Purpose of Life – Ted Robinson, Center for Inner Healing

What is the purpose of life and why are we here?
What’s the most important thing for us to know about life?
Why do we want to stay alive so long?
If we stay alive a long time and are not happy being alive, what’s the point?
Do we have a purpose to living?
If so, is it all just for us or is someone else supposed to benefit?
Why do we think about the meaning of life at all? Does any other species think about any of this?
Are they happier if they don’t? What’s this life all about?

I keep reading all these studies about how to stay alive longer. They say it’s important not to sit too long every day and to get plenty of exercise and eat right. Some say you must become a vegetarian and meditate if you want to stay alive even longer. Others even say to cut down dramatically on your caloric intake so you can stay alive even longer than that.

The whole point appears to be alive the longest. But what’s the point of that if you’re not enjoying being here in the first place?
If you hate your life, why would you want to stay here on Earth any longer than necessary? Necessary for what? To learn about what you don’t want in life? Or don’t want to be in life? Or what you want to do or be in life?

As you can see, I’m still struggling with the purpose of life.
Some say that the whole purpose of being alive is to enjoy your life. Be happy. Be kind. Others say, be here now. Just be. Once you stop all your thinking, you’ll find you’re already in God’s world, Heaven on Earth, and everything will be wonderful, silent and present with you. That sounds good, but it also sounds a little single dimensional. I believe God gave us a brain so we can use it, too. Does that mean we need to be in balance more often in our lives?

Living is comprised of a number of different aspects. You are what you eat. So eating healthy food in reasonable quantities and taking good care of your body because it is the temple of your soul (during this lifetime) makes sense to me. You may not know it yet, but your health is perhaps your greatest asset. You may only learn that by first losing it. However, once you lose your health, you’ll spend most of your time trying to regain it.

Nothing else is as important because when you’re in constant pain or can’t move around normally or can’t eat normally, you’ll find your mind focusing on that alone and that leaves you in a single dimension, too. So spend whatever time you need to find out what food is best for you and make every effort to eat only that . . . most of the time. Remember, everything in moderation is still the best approach in everything.

Exercise is paramount to health. If you sit for more than four hours a day, you shorten your life. There is no question about it. The chair is a killer. Get out of the chair or off the sofa and do something. Exercise daily, if only to take a walk – do it. It will prolong your life and you’ll get outside into nature and remember why you’re here – to enjoy God’s world again instead of the mind’s world which is the alternative.

Quiet your mind. You may choose to meditate or be Present or do just about anything that gets you into “the zone” of quieting your conscious mind from thinking all the time. That can include sports or anything else, as long as you give your conscious mind time off. You may even want to take a nap if that works for you. But take the time to quiet your mind and do no conscious thinking about anything for at least 20 minutes a day – every day. No excuses, just do it. It will make a huge difference to your personal peace of mind and your overall creativity.

Be creative. Find something that interests you and sketch, draw, paint, throw pots, photograph, or whatever you find enjoyable and fulfilling. By creating, you are allowing God to flow through you without interruption and it is a great feeling. It is also a good feeling to know that such creative energy is within you and when you express it, you benefit from it.

All of these things will lead to a happier, healthier life. However, if personal issues intercede or disrupt life at times, make sure you know a way to resolution. There is nothing wrong with having issues arise in your life. Living is how we are intended to access and experience them. How we resolve them is up to each of us individually, but it impacts upon each of our lives and those of others when we let a negative issue remain in our lives. Knowing what to do about any issue that arises brings about a feeling of empowerment. When we know how to resolve them, they don’t loom quite so large anymore and that’s the greatest benefit.

So what does this all come down to? It comes down to the simple fact that we are here to work out all of those personal issues during this lifetime so we can be happy and healthy enough to enjoy our life. Eating correctly and exercising both play an integral beneficial role to keep us alive long enough to work everything out.

Why do we need to work “everything out”? So we can complete it all in this lifetime. What are we completing? We are working every little issue out now so we don’t have to return again in yet another lifetime to resolve what we left behind unresolved. Do you want to come back and live your present lifetime all over again? Or do you want to move on in your soul’s evolution and live a lighter, happier, more satisfying life and enjoy the entirety of your life? I choose that option, so I’m working every week to resolve my own issues and learn enough to know how to live a happy and satisfying life – in this lifetime.

Does any of this really matter? I think it does or I wouldn’t be doing it. I never really thought it all through before, but as I think of it now, it makes sense to me. I believe we live each lifetime (yes, I believe we live many lifetimes as an evolving soul) in order to purify our soul. As we purify our soul of its selfishness, greed, avarice, frustration, anger, fear, worry, stress, etc. we effectively quell the ego within us to the point that we can be better than ever before. By better I mean we can be free of those emotions and live a happy and satisfying life, filled with creativity and love.

You see, all of those negative emotions and self-limiting beliefs stand in the way of the peace and love within that wants to be expressed by you. Once you clear them all away through whatever means you choose, then you’re free to demonstrate them. When that happens, life becomes Heavenly. You become a free soul and everything is effortless. That’s when you truly don’t care any longer whether you live a longer life or not.

When you’re in Presence, You’re already living beyond this lifetime in a timeless place. In that state, everything finds a way of working out effortlessly and life is no longer a drudge or a drama, but an elegant way of being in the world. Eating the “right” foods becomes natural and exercise is something to be looked forward to daily through yoga or the like. Creativity flows through you regularly and life is good. In fact, life is great! And all you want to do is share what you’ve learned with others so they can enjoy the ride with you.

When you find your way into that way of being, you’ll then find yourself looking upon death with equanimity knowing that you never die anyway. You are a soul which evolves until you sit at the right hand of God forever in peace.

The journey has gone on for many, many lifetimes. It never stops. It is your choice as to how you wish to go through life. You may fight it at every turn, proving who you are or you can go with the flow of life and watch your life unfold naturally. I prefer to unfold naturally. I trust this article will help you come to your own conclusions about your life and your purpose.

Ted Robinson, Center for Inner Healing

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8 Reasons Why Busy People Should Make Time to Daydream

Daydreaming often gets a bad rap. The act itself doesn’t accomplish anything, so people tend to view it as a waste of time. But in addition to being an idle way to pass a few minutes, daydreaming has a number of benefits, even — or especially — for the busiest of us. Here are eight reasons why daydreaming is an important part of your daily routine.

1. It Lets You Travel.
8, reasons, why, busy, people, should, make, time, to, daydream,

Via: AP

No matter where you actually are, how much work you have, or what you can afford, daydreaming can take you anywhere in the world.

2. It Relieves Stress.
8, reasons, why, busy, people, should, make, time, to, daydream,

Via: AP

Most of us can’t take a break on the beach when we’re feeling pressure at work or school. Taking a few minutes to daydream may not be the same, but it can be a welcome respite from a stressful day.

3. It Induces Creative Thinking.
8, reasons, why, busy, people, should, make, time, to, daydream,

If you’re stuck in a creative rut or feeling uninspired, there’s no better way to get your imagination flowing than by daydreaming.

4. It Helps You Cope With Menial Tasks.
8, reasons, why, busy, people, should, make, time, to, daydream,

Via: AP

Daydreaming while doing mindless jobs makes them a little less boring. What else are you going to do while you’re washing dishes, anyway?

5. It Lets You Do Anything.

You can run for president! You can skydive! Absolutely anything you want to accomplish in a daydream can be accomplished, without risk or embarrassment.

6. It Motivates You.
8, reasons, why, busy, people, should, make, time, to, daydream,

Via: AP

If you want something, daydream about it. Envisioning goals will motivate you to make them happen.

7. It Helps You Avoid the Unavoidable.
8, reasons, why, busy, people, should, make, time, to, daydream,

Via: AP

You may not have a dental appointment every day, but no day goes by without the arrival of an unpleasant situation. Daydreaming makes unfortunate moments easier to tolerate.

8. It Gets Things Out of Your System.
8, reasons, why, busy, people, should, make, time, to, daydream,

Via: AP

Some behavior is unacceptable in real life. Secretly in love with someone who doesn’t know you exist? Hate your boss? Here’s your solution!

http://www.policymic.com/articles/61895/8-reasons-why-busy-people-should-make-time-to-daydream

Chronic stress puts your health at risk

Chronic Stress Post ThumbnailChronic stress can wreak havoc on your mind and body. Take steps to control your stress.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors. Such threats are rare today, but that doesn’t mean that life is free of stress.

On the contrary, you undoubtedly face multiple demands each day, such as shouldering a huge workload, making ends meet and taking care of your family. Your body treats these so-called minor hassles as threats. As a result you may feel as if you’re constantly under assault. But you can fight back. You don’t have to let stress control your life.

Understanding the natural stress response

When you encounter a perceived threat — a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.

When the natural stress response goes haywire

The body’s stress-response system is usually self-limiting. Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.

But when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory and concentration impairment

That’s why it’s so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.

Why you react to life stressors the way you do

Your reaction to a potentially stressful event is different from anyone else’s. How you react to stressors in your life is affected by such factors as:

  • Genetics. The genes that control the stress response keep most people on a fairly even keel, only occasionally priming the body for fight or flight. Overactive or underactive stress responses may stem from slight differences in these genes.
  • Life experiences. Strong stress reactions sometimes can be traced to traumatic events. People who suffered neglect or abuse as children tend to be particularly vulnerable to stress. The same is true of victims of violent crime, airplane crash survivors, military personnel, police officers and firefighters.

You may have some friends who seem laid-back about almost everything and others who react strongly at the slightest stress. Most reactions to life stressors fall somewhere between those extremes.

Learning to react to life stressors in a healthy way

Stressful events are a fact of life. And you may not be able to change your current situation. But you can take steps to manage the impact these events have on you.

You can learn to identify what stresses you and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in the face of stressful situations.

Stress management strategies include:

  • Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep
  • Practicing relaxation techniques or learning to meditate
  • Fostering healthy friendships
  • Having a sense of humor
  • Seeking professional counseling when needed

The payoff for learning to manage stress is peace of mind and — perhaps — a longer, healthier life.

 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00001

Mental Imagery May Hasten Recovery after Surgery

Guided imagination exercises help the body repair itself after surgery

By Tori Rodriguez

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Image: GETTY IMAGES AND PETEK ARICIiStockphoto

Mental imagery might help you “find a happy place” in more ways than one: it can actually hasten recovery from surgery, according to two recent studies.

In the first study, people who had undergone surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee (ACL) were randomly assigned to one of two groups. All participants received standard rehabilitation during the six months after surgery, but one group also practiced guided imagery while recovering. The imagery, which was conducted in sessions with a therapist and recorded for later listening, included mentally rehearsing physical therapy exercises and visualizing the physiological healing process specific to ACL surgery, such as scar tissue becoming flexible with gentle stretching. According to the results published in the December 2012 issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, the group that practiced imagery showed greater improvements in knee stability and reduced levels of stress hormones. The study authors speculate that imagery may speed recovery by reducing stress, which has been shown to interfere with healing.

The other experiment focused on patients scheduled for gallbladder removal and was published in the February 2012 issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. The patients were randomly assigned to either a group receiving only standard care or to one that also involved relaxation and guided imagery for three days before and seven days after surgery. “We used a relaxation intervention to try to reduce stress and therefore get a better inflammatory response to surgery and improve healing,” says Elizabeth Broadbent, professor of medicine at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and co-author of the study. The first set of imagery exercises focused on being relaxed and ready for surgery, whereas the postsurgery imagery concentrated on the body’s healing process. For example, participants imagined oxygen and nutrients traveling to the surgical wound and helping the body knit the skin back together, easing discomfort and bringing soothing relief.

Compared with the control group, participants who practiced imagery reported a larger reduction in stress, and their wounds showed signs of greater collagen deposition and faster healing. Although it is not possible to determine how much the effects result from the imagery versus simply being relaxed, Broadbent says both factors probably worked together and that the imagery most likely enhanced the stress-reducing effects of the relaxation.

This article was originally published with the title Healing the Body with the Mind.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mental-imagery-may-hasten-recovery-after-surgery

 

Top Secret to Performance: Mental Imagery

The other day I had a conversation with a gifted athlete who shared his frustration about his recent struggles with hitting the ball. Did he suddenly forget the basic techniques of hitting or had he lost some of his muscle strength or had he simply lost the ability to remain mentally focused? What was different from the early games of the season where performance was at its peak and his current performance late in the season?

The science around what makes for top performers centers on two key elements: mental visualization and self-talk. With any peak performance, mentally visualizing the task and turning up the volume on our positive self-talk is critical.

Our self-talk or what I refer to as the “noise in our head’ is always active. Sometimes we are able to focus on inspirational and positive thoughts but more often than not we hit the default button of negative dialog. We replay negative thoughts of fear, doubt and insecurity that serve to undermine our confidence and fuels our anxiety which subsequently interferes with performance. These thoughts can often occur as a running dialog even without our conscious awareness. Learning to listen to our internal dialog and replacing the thoughts with realistic and positive messages is the first step to realizing our greatest potential. The power of our thoughts guides our emotions which in turn influences our behavior and our performance.

Michael Jordan once admitted in an interview that he took great pride in identifying the mental weaknesses of his opponents and then would actively attempt to “get into their heads.” His negative voice would often become the negative self-talk of his opponents serving to undermine their confidence and ability to perform. Top performers are able to create such a strong, positive internal self-dialog that can withstand the “mental bullying’ of an opponent and the negative chatter of a crowd.

Top performers also have a short attention span for failure. While it is critical that peak performers mentally see where an error occurred, the focus needs to be short lived with a refocusing of the effort onto imagining the corrective action. Many successful coaches have shared that while it is important to give concrete advice to athletes on observed errors this needs to be short lived and followed by film highlights or mental imagery of the team and individual players at their peak performance. This focus on the positive skills and strengths is most effective at pulling a player and a team out of a slump. The last image or word that a player hears or sees before hitting the field is the one that will often guide performance.

As a health psychologist, I have observed the power of the mind to heal the body through its influence on the immune system, to control pain and to override the negative effects of chemotherapy. Similarly, peak performances come from the mind’s ability to enhance physical talents and to override outside influences that undermine performance. Peak performers not only have physical or mental talents but know how to use the power of the mind to enhance those skills and thereby create a winning combination.

The key to a top performance is practicing in the mind or what is often referred to as mental visualization. Visualization is a vital component of managing performance anxiety and distractions that can cause an athlete to over think a play or lose focus. Research has demonstrated that the same pattern of electrical changes in the brain occur whether an athlete is actually performing a physical task or simply imagining it. The brain interprets both the visualization and the physical performance the same.

Consider that when a player actually performs an act like hitting or catching a ball, the brain sends signals from the primary motor cortex of the brain to the secondary cortex and then down the spinal cord to send signals to the muscles. When visualization is used, the same signal starts in the primary motor cortex then to the secondary motor cortex but instead of sending the signal to the muscles it transfers it the frontal lobe where a mental memory is created.

The power of mental imagery is that a player can create a vivid image that not only includes the mechanics of the task but also the emotions that go with it. That is, every player knows that there will be anxiety, nervousness and aggression during a performance, imagery gives them the power to feel it but to overcome and manage it. The more vivid and realistic the imagery is to the actual game day performance the more powerful the control.

The saying, “it is all in your head” is particularly true when we are taking about athletic performance. To compete or be at ones best requires the ability to quiet the conversational areas of the brain and “turn on” the mental images in the brain related to performance.

Become your own best performer by learning to harness the power of the mind.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-stevicrust-phd-abpp/top-secret-to-performance_b_3879478.html

Does Gastric Band Hypnotherapy Work?

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What is Gastric Band Hypnotherapy?

A gastric band done by hypnotherapy is a technique that is done under hypnosis to make the patient think they have had a gastric band fitted. It is also known as a virtual gastric band. It retrains the persons mind to stop them eating when they are depressed or bored and lets them eat when they are hungry only. Basically like if the person has had a gastric band fitted surgically. The technique has been used with success in the UK, USA and Australia and is designed for people who have a body mass index of twenty five or over. But does this technique actually work and if so why?

How is the Treatment Performed?

The treatment under hypnosis is done over a number of five sessions with its aim being to gradually trick the persons mind into thinking they are having a gastric band fitted. It uses a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and guided imagery. The actual surgical procedure of having a gastric band fitted is explained to the patient under hypnosis, sometimes with operating room sound effects in the background. During the first four sessions the patient is guided to imagine all of the usual preparation that would normally be done in the surgical process of having a gastric band. The fifth session is when they will have the virtual band fitted. Under hypnosis positive dietary changes are given and weight loss techniques. The patient will often be given recordings that re enforces the healthy living message that they can continue to listen to at home.

Is this Safe?

Unlike a surgical operation to have a gastric band fitted this process is entirely safe. There is no recovery period, no side effects and no stress and trauma to the patients mind or body. The patient should have a realistic expectation of what this process can do for them but they must completely believe that the process will work for results to be achieved. In no way will the hypnotist try to make you do anything under hypnosis and you will be back to your normal self when you have been brought out of the trance. The relaxation techniques used when you go into a hypnotic state may make you feel calmer and more relaxed in general after the session. For this reason patients are advised to get someone to drive them too and from the session.

Does it work?

There are many different opinions out there as to if this process actually works. Regardless it has helped many people to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle without having a surgical operation. The main thing that will make this work is the patient’s complete belief in the process. If you believe any type of hypnotherapy will help you make changes to your life then there is a good chance that this procedure will work for you. Whether positive effects from hypnosis have been down to the patient firmly believing they have had a gastric band fitted or the patient listening to the healthy diet and lifestyle advice under hypnosis is not clear. The surgical view is that this will not work. However, even the most clinical of institutions do believe in the power of mind over matter. This is what hypnosis will do. It will re programme how the person feels about food in general. If you firmly believe in the procedure there is no reason why it may not work for you. It has got to be worth trying before embarking on a painful and dramatic surgical procedure.

http://weightloss.cliniccompare.co.uk/does-gastric-band-hypnotherapy-work

Aging Gracefully?

[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_left] Imagine how life would be if Ponce de Leon really discovered “The Fountain of Youth” or if there were some type of miracle cream that would completely eradicate all signs of aging. Wouldn’t life be sweet?

Unfortunately, age sneaks up on us unexpectedly, and there is no escaping the fact that we are all growing one year older every three hundred and sixty-five days. However, if we take preventive measures now, we can reduce the chances of unnecessary damage to our complexions in the future.

Our largest organ, the skin, goes through many different phases as we age. Women tend to age faster then men, due to the various hormonal changes they experience starting with puberty, then through pregnancy, and ending with menopause. Once menopause sets in, many women start to notice numerous changes with their complexions, such as, a decrease in sebum (oil) production, loss of elasticity, and a reduction in the rejuvenation process. How fast and to what extent the skin ages depend on three factors: your age, genetics, and lifestyle.

Forget about aging gracefully, in a sense that is giving in. Fight it all the way. You are never too young or too old to combat the signs of aging.

By living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout your years, you increase your chances of overall balance —- especially when it comes to your skin. All of us will have aging skin at some point in our lives, but with proper care, anyone can have a vibrant complexion and look beautiful at any age.

Healthy Eating 

What you consume on a daily basis has a major impact on how well your skin regenerates itself. Foods that are low in nutrients, such as, refined carbohydrates are empty calories, they will not provide your body with vitamins and minerals it needs to develop and maintain a healthy glow. Choose foods that are close as possible to their natural state — fresh and unprocessed.

Vitamins And Minerals To Help An Aging Skin

Beta Carotene – antioxidant, increases cellular regeneration, and prevents pre-mature aging of the skin
food source: carrots, apricots, & squash

Vitamin C – antioxidant, needed for production of elastin and collagen; promotes skin strength and elasticity inblood vessel walls and cell membranes
food source: oranges, kiwi, & peppers

Vitamin E – antioxidant, helps maintain all tissues, believed to slow the aging of cells; may help prevent scar formation
food source: cold-pressed vegetable oils, raw nuts & seeds

Selenium – antioxidant, protects against UV induced cell damage; helps preserve skin elasticity.
Food source: tuna, garlic, onions & broccoli

Zinc – antioxidant, essential for normal cell growth and repair
Food source: whole grains, most seafood, & onions

Essential Fatty Acids – to maintain proper function of all tissues and tissue repair, especially the skin
food source: primrose oil, flaxseed oil, & olive oil

Consume your food choices in moderation, your body can only process so many nutrients at once. When you eat your meals, try to incorporate foods that are going to offer you high nutritional value, and try to cut back on the ones that do not. Eating healthy can be a little time consuming at first, but stick with it, and you will see the positive results. Not only will you look and feel absolutely wonderful, but you will expose a brand new person on the inside out.

The Best Kept Beauty Secret 

The human body is made up of 50% to 70% water. Your body loses about three quarts of water each day through perspiration, urine, and respiration. Waiting until your thirsty isn’t always the best barometer. Thirst is a response to severe dehydration. It is recommended that the average person should drink at least two to three pints of clean, pure water each day. Water is involved with nearly every bodily process — especially flushing out waste materials. Water benefits our skin by acting as an internal moisturizer, keeping the skin moist, supple, and clear as well as preventing pre-mature aging.

Reduce Alcohol Intake 

Alcohol weakens the immune system, and creates unnecessary problems within the body, by depleting it of vitamins and minerals it desperately needs to function properly. In the realm of skincare, alcohol causes dehydration, which deprives our complexions of precious moisture that is necessary to keep it soft, smooth and youthful. Alcohol in excess is known to overtax the liver, which is a much-needed organ that helps to diffuse impurities from reaching and harming other organs and systems of the human body. Alcohol consumption can lead to broken or distended capillaries, especially over the nose and cheeks. To maintain a lovely complexion, alcoholic beverages should be consumed in moderation.

Quit Smoking 

Smoking has been documented in many studies to be quite detrimental to the skin. Smoking is a nasty habit that progressively creates a pre-mature breakdown of your overall state of health, internally and externally. Cigarettes contain ingredients such as, acetone, ammonia, arsenic, formaldehyde, and nicotine, which are chemical compounds that are considered to be quite harmful to the human body — imagine their impact on the skin. Smokers tend to have a grayish tinge to their complexion, due to a poor oxygen supply. Since there is a lack of oxygen, dehydration occurs, which then increases the risk of pre-mature wrinkles. Smoking can also slow the healing and regeneration process of the body, which could be harmful if you ever needed surgery. Just know that there is nothing positive about smoking, it causes many negative side effects within our bodies, which in the long run we wonder to ourselves,” Why did I start in the first place? ”

Watch Those Rays 

There has been extensive research performed over the past thirty years on the sun, and it’s impact on the human body. Through these studies, we have found that a certain amount of sunlight is needed to manufacture Vitamin D within our bodies, which is a definite necessity. However, after a certain allotment of time, those powerful rays can be very harmful to our body’s largest organ – the skin. In fact, if it weren’t for sun exposure, say the experts, our skin would stay relatively smooth into our eighties. Dehydration, fine lines, wrinkles and even skin cancer is caused by excessive exposure to UV rays, which penetrate our atmosphere everyday.

Great Sun Tips:

  • Avoid the sun between the hours of 10AM and 3PM, even if wearing a sun protector.
  • Watch the reflected light from sand, water, cement, and snow — it is still damaging to the skin.
  • The American Dermatology Association recommends that everyone wear a SPF of 15 or greater year round.
  • A SPF of 15 is a 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of protection. One application daily is not enough to protect your skin all day. You must remember to reapply your sunscreen throughout the course of the day, to shield your complexion from those harmful rays.
  • Remember to apply your sun protection to the areas that you tend to miss such as, your ears, neck, hands, and feet.
  • Make sure to wear clothing that protects you from the sun. Ex. a large brimmed hat.

Some Other Great Tips To Preserve The Youthfulness Of Your Skin

As you apply your facial moisturizer, take some time to work it gently into your complexion with light massage strokes. This technique performed on a daily basis, is quite beneficial in helping to create or maintain a healthy skin. (Avoid this technique on severe acne or individuals suffering from vascular disorders of the face).

— To support a maturing skin, you must give it moisture and oxygen. Facial masks maintained in a moist value or applying warm compresses laced with your favorite essential oil are suitable for this purpose.

— A regular facial will provide an intensive cleansing of your complexion. This treatment will loosen hardened places in the skin by stimulating lymph flow and circulation, so that waste products are removed more quickly, nutrients are transmitted to the cells, and the cells themselves are renewed.

— Incorporate essential oils, such as, lavender, rose, fennel, jasmine, and many others into your daily skin regimen. These natural essences contain plant hormones, which some contain substances similar to estrogen that affect the skin and influence the hormonal equilibrium of the body.

These plant hormones are absorbed by the skin and influence the hormonal equilibrium of the body. They have a tautening impact, along with assisting with cell regeneration, and regulating the sebaceous (oil) glands. Plant hormones do not have the same side effects of animal hormones, which could make the skin appear spongy and swollen when used over a long period time.

— Try to avoid using extremely hot water when bathing or showering, which can irritate your skin and rob it of its natural oils.

— Add moisture to your environment. Humidifiers can help replenish moisture in the air of your home and office, making it a friendlier atmosphere for your skin. If the air around you is dry, it will deplete the moisture from your skin through evaporation.

— Avoid pulling or tugging your skin when cleansing or moisturizing. Your skin should be handled very gently, to prevent unnecessary irritation or premature lines. The eyes are an extra sensitive area, so be careful when you put in your contacts, and always apply eye cream from the inner eye, to the outer eye —- in a C- formation.

— Herbal teas that contain antioxidants are a wonderful way of holding back the aging process. If you are a coffee drinker, you might consider replacing your coffee with an herbal tea. Lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, and decaffeinated green tea are some herbal teas that contain significant levels of antioxidants.

— Another reason to reduce intake of caffeine rich beverages is that they have a diuretic action and promote an internal dehydration, causing the body to lose water — leaving your skin flaky and dry on the surface.

— Get plenty of sleep. Research has shown that the skin regenerates itself between the hours of 1 AM and 3AM, and the lack of sleep during those hours can trigger the kind of stress that causes your skin to look dull, puffy, tired or sallow. So, counting sheep and catching some ZZZZs is definitely one of the best beauty remedies out there.

— It has been documented in many health publications that high levels of stress can increase free radical production within the human body. These molecules eventually attack the healthy cells of our bodies, and will create extreme damage to our systems, which then increases our risk of pre-mature aging, certain diseases, and possibly cancer. Incorporating activities that help reduce your levels of stress like, meditation, yoga or walking, is your best bet to avoid a wrinkle or two in the long run.

— Exercise on a regular basis. Aerobic activity, like walking, will keep you in tiptop shape — mentally and physically. Exercise is great for maintaining the health of the skin by increasing circulation, which delivers the vital nutrients necessary for a healthy, clear and youthful complexion.

Your skin is your largest organ of your body — which must last a lifetime. We tend to take the health of our complexion for granted, and we assume that it will always bounce back into balance. Prevention is the key. It is never too late to take better care of your skin, so start today, and reap the benefits tomorrow. Try to not go full force initially, take baby steps, and try to achieve success a little bit at a time. By following this approach, you will be much more compliant with any lifestyle change, and you will see it was well worth the time and effort.

http://www.pioneerthinking.com/lmc-aging.html

Author: Laura M. Cummins, Esthetician, has been actively involved within the beauty industry for the past eighteen years. Truly passionate for this grand industry, her experience includes; Spa Educator for two established International Skin Care companies, plus Spa Director for luxury day spas in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area. Ms. Cummins is a television and radio spokesperson for the beauty industry, and enjoys speaking and writing on various skin care topics to help educate the general public on how to maintain their natural beauty.

Is Medical Hypnosis Effective?

Published April 11, 2012 / The Wall Street Journal

[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_left] On the mornings she undergoes chemotherapy, Jeanne Safer hypnotizes herself en route in the taxi.

She starts by closing her eyes, then rolling them up to the top of her head and down, all the while breathing deeply. “As I’m doing that, I’m saying to myself, ‘This is a procedure that will save my life. I’m not going to fight it. I’m going to make it as easy on my body as possible,’ ” she said.

Safer, a New York psychologist who has a rare but curable form of leukemia, started out as a skeptic, but found that hypnosis helped put her at ease before biopsies, MRIs and several surgeries. She now uses it with some of her patients as well. “It’s an excellent self-management technique,” she said. “It gives me a feeling of mastery, a sense that I am participating in my own care rather than just being passive.”

Hypnosis has been the subject of fascination, intrigue and ridicule for centuries. Now, researchers are getting closer to understanding why and how it can work. The mechanism may be similar to the placebo effect—in which patients’ expectations play a major role in how they feel. Hypnosis, in turn, can help patients adjust those expectations to minimize pain, fear and disability.

The image of a stage hypnotist swinging a stopwatch and commanding a volunteer to squawk like a chicken has led to misunderstandings, experts say. Real hypnosis for therapeutic purposes gives subjects more control over their minds and bodies, not less.

“We can teach people how to manage pain and anxiety, ” said Dr. David Spiegel, a psychiatrist and director of the Center for Health and Stress at Stanford University who has studied hypnosis for 40 years. “There’s been this mistake in medicine that if you have a certain amount of tissue damage, you should feel this amount of pain. But many things can alter how much pain you feel.”

Indeed, scientific evidence is mounting that hypnosis can be effective in a variety of medical situations, from easing migraine headaches to lowering blood pressure, controlling asthma attacks, minimizing hot flashes and diminishing side effects from chemotherapy.

Last week, two studies from Sweden found that one hour a week of hypnotherapy for 12 weeks eased symptoms of irritable-bowel syndrome in 40 percent of patients (compared with 12 percent in a control group) and that the positive effects can last as long as seven years.

Such scientific findings still catch skeptics by surprise—in part because many claims haven’t been carefully studied. “Hypnosis is like a good kid with a bad reputation. Everybody is interested, but in the back of their minds, they’re thinking of Bela Lugosi,” said Dr. Guy Montgomery, director of the Integrative Behavioral Medicine program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York who has led many of the studies. “It’s not mind control. We can’t make somebody rob a bank,” he says.

Hypnotherapy does typically begin with the therapist instructing patients to relax deeply—often with long, slow breaths—then focus their attention intently. Some versions have patients imagine being on a beach or in another pleasant setting and enjoying all the sights, sounds and sensations.

Once patients are relaxed and focused, practitioners give them soothing messages and suggestions, such as, “You have no urge to smoke” or “There is nothing to fear.” Theoretically, those thoughts remain even after the patient is focusing on the real world again.

However it works, a hypnotic suggestion in the mind can have measurable effects in the body.

One Stanford study asked subjects to imagine that they were eating, and their secretions of gastric acid increased by 70 percent. In a study from Harvard Medical School published in the Lancet in 2000, patients who had 15 minutes of hypnosis before surgery not only needed less pain medication afterward, but also took less time in surgery, saving an average of $331 each.

“There is a strong link to physiology—and it’s getting stronger, the more research is being done,” said Tanya Edwards, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. She said about half of the center’s patients are referred by other Cleveland Clinic physicians, particularly gastroenterologists, oncologists and primary-care physicians looking for ways to help reduce patients’ pain.

Brain-imaging studies have shown that while parts of the brain that register painful sensations are still active, the anterior cingulate cortex, which reflects attention, is less engaged. That observed brain effect is greater in the 10 percent to 15 percent people who are “highly suggestible” to hypnosis. About 30 percent of people are resistant—particularly those who are deeply skeptical.

Whether patients are actually in a “trance” is a matter of debate. Montgomery said the notion is upsetting to some people, and he finds that being relaxed and at ease is sufficient to benefit.

Spiegel counters that “you get more bang for your buck if you’re in a trance,” which he describes as being completely absorbed—like being engrossed in a great book or movie. But he notes that people can enter and exit that state at will.

Experts say there are few harmful side effects to hypnosis, although some hypnotists who claim to help clients “recover” lost memories have been charged with implanting false ones, which can be highly destructive to real relationships.

Finding a hypnotherapy practitioner can be confusing. There are no state regulations for lay practitioners, and the term “certified hypnotherapist” has little meaning, since some groups that issue certificates have very lax standards. (Psychologist Steve E. Eichel caused a stir in 2002 by obtaining hypnotherapist credentials for his cat, Dr. Zoe D. Katze, from several associations.)

Seeking help from a medical or mental-health professional who has a state license in that field and offers hypnosis along with other services is a safer choice, many experts say. Any medical or psychological issues should be fully evaluated before a patient tries hypnosis.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/11/is-medical-hypnosis-effective/#ixzz29C7Zknyr

Medical Hypnosis: You Are Getting Very Healthy

HEALTH JOURNAL / April 9, 2012, 6:15 p.m. ET

On the mornings she undergoes chemotherapy, Jeanne Safer hypnotizes herself en route in the taxi. She starts by closing her eyes, then rolling them up to the top of her head and down, all the while breathing deeply. “As I’m doing that, I’m saying to myself, ‘This is a procedure that will save my life. I’m not going to fight it. I’m going to make it as easy on my body as possible,’ ” she says.

Dr. Safer, a New York psychologist who has a rare but curable form of leukemia, started out as a skeptic, but found that hypnosis helped put her at ease before biopsies, MRIs and several surgeries. She now uses it with some of her patients as well. “It’s an excellent self-management technique,” she says. “It gives me a feeling of mastery, a sense that I am participating in my own care rather than just being passive.”

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenCHILDBIRTH. Hypnosis can relax and distract, but expectant moms should be wary of exaggerated claims by some ‘hypnobirthing’ centers that promise painless labor without drugs.

Hypnosis has been the subject of fascination, intrigue and ridicule for centuries. Now, researchers are getting closer to understanding why and how it can work. The mechanism may be similar to the placebo effect—in which patients’ expectations play a major role in how they feel. Hypnosis, in turn, can help patients adjust those expectations to minimize pain, fear and disability.

The image of a stage hypnotist swinging a stopwatch and commanding a volunteer to squawk like a chicken has led to misunderstandings, experts say. Real hypnosis for therapeutic purposes gives subjects more control over their minds and bodies, not less.

“We can teach people how to manage pain and anxiety, ” says David Spiegel, a psychiatrist and director of the Center for Health and Stress at Stanford University who has studied hypnosis for 40 years. “There’s been this mistake in medicine that if you have a certain amount of tissue damage, you should feel this amount of pain. But many things can alter how much pain you feel.”

Indeed, scientific evidence is mounting that hypnosis can be effective in a variety of medical situations, from easing migraine headaches to lowering blood pressure, controlling asthma attacks, minimizing hot flashes and diminishing side effects from chemotherapy.

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenPHOBIAS. Some psychologists use hypnosis and other methods to lower the expectation of fears, such as the fear of insects, flying, needles and heights.

Last week, two studies from Sweden found that one hour a week of hypnotherapy for 12 weeks eased symptoms of irritable-bowel syndrome in 40% of patients (compared with 12% in a control group) and that the positive effects can last as long as seven years.

Such scientific findings still catch skeptics by surprise—in part because many claims haven’t been carefully studied. “Hypnosis is like a good kid with a bad reputation. Everybody is interested, but in the back of their minds, they’re thinking of Bela Lugosi,” says Guy Montgomery, director of the Integrative Behavioral Medicine program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York who has led many of the studies. “It’s not mind control. We can’t make somebody rob a bank,” he says.

Hypnotherapy does typically begin with the therapist instructing patients to relax deeply—often with long, slow breaths—then focus their attention intently. Some versions have patients imagine being on a beach or in another pleasant setting and enjoying all the sights, sounds and sensations. Once patients are relaxed and focused, practitioners give them soothing messages and suggestions, such as, “You have no urge to smoke” or “There is nothing to fear.” Theoretically, those thoughts remain even after the patient is focusing on the real world again.

However it works, a hypnotic suggestion in the mind can have measurable effects in the body. One Stanford study asked subjects to imagine that they were eating, and their secretions of gastric acid increased by 70%. In a study from Harvard Medical School published in the Lancet in 2000, patients who had 15 minutes of hypnosis before surgery not only needed less pain medication afterward, but also took less time in surgery, saving an average of $331 each.

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenSMOKING CESSATION. Hypnosis is widely promoted as a quit-smoking aid, but review studies have found it has no greater effect after six months than other methods.

“There is a strong link to physiology—and it’s getting stronger, the more research is being done,” says Tanya Edwards, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. She says about half of the center’s patients are referred by other Cleveland Clinic physicians, particularly gastroenterologists, oncologists and primary-care physicians looking for ways to help reduce patients’ pain.

Brain-imaging studies have shown that while parts of the brain that register painful sensations are still active, the anterior cingulate cortex, which reflects attention, is less engaged. That observed brain effect is greater in the 10% to 15% people who are “highly suggestible” to hypnosis. About 30% of people are resistant—particularly those who are deeply skeptical.

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenWEIGHT LOSS. Exaggerated claims abound here, and scientific studies are few. Most show only a slight benefit from hypnosis, if any.

Whether patients are actually in a “trance” is a matter of debate. Dr. Montgomery says the notion is upsetting to some people, and he finds that being relaxed and at ease is sufficient to benefit.

Dr. Spiegel counters that “you get more bang for your buck if you’re in a trance,” which he describes as being completely absorbed—like being engrossed in a great book or movie. But he notes that people can enter and exit that state at will.

Experts say there are few harmful side effects to hypnosis, although some hypnotists who claim to help clients “recover” lost memories have been charged with implanting false ones, which can be highly destructive to real relationships.

Finding a hypnotherapy practitioner can be confusing. There are no state regulations for lay practitioners, and the term “certified hypnotherapist” has little meaning, since some groups that issue certificates have very lax standards. (Psychologist Steve E. Eichel caused a stir in 2002 by obtaining hypnotherapist credentials for his cat, Dr. Zoe D. Katze, from several associations.)

Seeking help from a medical or mental-health professional who has a state license in that field and offers hypnosis along with other services is a safer choice, many experts say. Any medical or psychological issues should be fully evaluated before a patient tries hypnosis.

[HEALTHCOL]Illustration by Shaw NielsenDENTAL WORK. One 2007 study found that the more people feared seeing the dentist, the greater their ability to be hypnotized—possibly because both rely on imagination.

Experts also urge patients to be wary of exaggerated claims that hypnosis can “cure” alcoholism or depression or medical problems, “or that promise to uncover your long-repressed alien abduction,” says Dr. Montgomery. He also notes that some of the thousands of iPhone apps that offer self-hypnosis are downright goofy, with disclaimers such as “if you turn someone into a monkey and can’t turn them back, don’t blame us.’ At least they have a sense of humor about it,” he says.

—Email HealthJournal@wsj.com

Write to Melinda Beck atHealthJournal@wsj.com

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