Friday, July 27, 2012

Rebuilding: 100 Days of Schizandra

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In this health-is-wealth and powerful book "The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs" Ron Teeguarden shares with us an ancient tool to realign us with the "primary energies of life." Specifically "Schizandra generates vitality and radiant beauty when used regularly for sometime....If used for one hundred days successively, Schizandra is said to purify the blood, sharpen the mind, improve memory, rejuvenate the Kidney energy...and cause the skin to become radiantly beautiful. " Furthermore, his website elaborates: " People who start taking Schizandra regularly all change for the better. Their skin virtually glows and becomes clear and fine after several months."

So, I have accepted the 100 day challenge. Today is day 2. I decided to start with Dragon Herbs because I became an admirer of Ron Teeguarden through his presentations at the Longevity Now  Conferences. He strikes me not only as knowledgeable in Chinese herbalism, but someone who bears the responsibility of that knowledge with integrity and grace. In one presentation he said he had made a vow to love everything. I'm hooked!

From Dragon Herbs
I will freely admit I have had this book for years and I am still uneducated on the ways of Chinese herbalism. Each entry in the book is written in loving and glowing terms and it can be difficult to not fall for these plants yourself! I am fairly certain I will not use encapsulated herbs during the Juice Feast, however I am seeking to start the Juice Feast at a higher level of health and explore where the Feast may take me. For today, I am starting with Schizandra to strengthen and rebuild. Let's see where that takes me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Completed: 30 Days Niacin, Rebounder, FAR Infrared Sauna

I gave myself another challenge and I completed that challenge. For 30 treatments (as consecutive as I could make it) I sweated out a lot of toxins. Often this program dominated my evening so in that sense it felt a little draining. If I ate dinner I had to factor in my digestive  needs before exercising and sometimes I got hung up on the mundane aspects of the repetitive elements of it all. However, in the end it was completely worth it.

It felt similar to fasting. The first three days showed dramatic results in my external appearances. It's my understanding the first few days of a fast are when I release the bulk of the toxins and each day thereafter I go more deeply into older debris, injuries and toxin stock piles.

I will continue to experiment with smaller bursts of this powerful treatment as I move closer to my Juice Feast. I think it would be a powerful prelude (the three days prior) to my Juice Feast. A modified version of it (read: no niacin!) might also be appropriate during the Juice Feast.

Don't be pushed by your problems be led by your dreams.
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In the most pressing thought of the today I feel it's the post-treatment that is the most important. This is perhaps the greatest lesson I need to learn. How can I rebuild and not slide back into unhealthy choices? Obviously I now know I can sweat it out. When I follow the sweat with activated charcoal the desire is simply gone. But now I must experiment and discover what it is my body needs to rebuild.

My new philosophy from this is that I have discovered pursuing my ultimate health should not be about resolving an issue which upsets me but living up to who I can truly be. With this approach I simply release and allow the issues to resolve themselves.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

70 Hours: A Far Infrared Sauna Experiment

(Google Images)
When I was in undergrad I lived in an apartment complex that had a dry sauna. I was in the sauna three times a week and I always had the sauna to myself. I even wrote a poem about the swirling caramel strands in the wood. I would bring an enormous bottle of water and that was the extent of my chugging in college.  Even so when I returned to my apartment I had steam trailing above and behind me.

My experience has changed with my Far Infrared.  The time in the FAR Infrared is hot, but it is more gentle than the dry sauna. I keep a large jar of water at my side and finish it while sweating. As I lay there resting I usually practice mental exercises and otherwise try to keep my cool. After a sauna session I immediately shower to avoid reabsorbing toxins.  Through these 70 hours I have learned a few things.

Perhaps my greatest find in all of this is to learn my FAR Infrared experience has allowed me to shed excessive skin. When I started using the sauna I had rough, dry skin. The type of skin that does not really absorb oil or lotion. So it's been wonderful to find a treatment other than sunbathing that releases this excessive skin. When I finish the sauna I immediately drop the towels in the washer and head for the shower. After a sauna session I always wash my hair. Sometimes I scrub my body with zeolites, sometimes with salt and oils and other times with castile or herbal soap.  When I scrub with soap I will sometimes finish with a dousing in organic raw apple cider vinegar from the neck down. I will then carefully dab small amounts on my face.  Vinegar can be aggravating to the eyes so it's important to be gentle when using it on the face.  All of these techniques do wonderful things so I vary them according to how much energy I have.
(Google Images)

I have also found using the sauna requires I stay on top of my liquids. This may mean I can more easily break out sweating outside my sauna time but I have learned to appreciate this for the long term benefits of having open detox pathways. Sweating is healthy!

Finally I completed a sauna session at the end of a fast to test out how I feel and it felt like I had squeezed the sponge out. It felt great in terms of releasing toxins and my energy level was not depleted. I think small increments during a Juice Feast are possible for me.