Enjoy silence

07/13/2011

 
by Phillip Day

One of the most effective ways to guard input is to turn off the radio, switch off the TV, unplug the stereo, put the Ipod in the fridge, turn all clanking, buzzing, humming and grinding contraptions orf and enjoy peace.

Stop what you are doing now and listen. The chances are there’s something going on in the background. Noise like light is ubiquitous these days and peace is no longer the prerogative of the country-dweller. Samantha and I often go for a walk in Bedgebury Forest and there’s always an airliner overhead. One afternoon, we actually waited to see how long it would take for everything to silence and revert to nature. We got fed up waiting, and if we did, I’m pretty sure the squirrels do too.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, ‘See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... we need silence to be able to touch souls.’

It goes without saying the hard-heads of the business world stumbled upon this technique long ago (not least to silence dissent). Top-7-Business, a personal development website catering for the business professional, lists its ‘seven powers of silence’ as follows:

·         Silence is creative

·         Silence builds trust

·         Silence gives rest

·         Silence brings balance

·         Silence promotes the inner

·         Silence promotes the real

·         Silence allows listening.[1]

Another site is not so sure. ‘Silence can be a frightening thing. There are times when silence is unnerving, humiliating or just plain boring. If you are speaking in front of a crowd and you lose your train of thought, the silence is torture. If you're in the midst of a crowd of strangers and there is no one you can talk to, the silence can be very lonely. The silence of walking down a dark alleyway late at night can be petrifying.

‘In addition, not everyone feels comfortable in his or her own skin. The idea of spending quiet time alone is anathema to such people. They fill their days with friends, family and co-workers. They do everything possible to avoid being by themselves. Eating a meal alone is an agonizing concept. Spending a whole evening with nothing but their own thoughts is even worse - give them a television and a remote control, at least!’[2]

In fairness, AllSpiritFitness goes on to make the all-important point:

'It’s not really silence itself that gets to us, rather, it's our inner chatter that keeps us from appreciating quiet time. The mind has been a busy and active instrument for eons. Meditation would never have been invented if there hadn't been a need to train the mind to be still. But these days, between the Internet, television and full schedules, our thoughts are more than mere whirlwinds - they're tempests. Even those of us who yearn for some quiet time alone are hard pressed to locate a few free minutes. We need to make sure that any silent time we get is also quality time.’ [3]

·         Inner chatter = patterning

·         Silence calms the heart rate

·         Silence lowers blood pressure

·         Forget the radio, try driving around with nothing on

·         Dwell for five minutes in silence and see how extraordinary the experience is

·         What your mind throws up in the tranquil moments may also indicate areas of your life that need addressing

Simple Changes concepts are designed to rid the mind of unwanted ‘inner chatter’. The first place to start is reorganising your space so that noise is kept to a minimum. TV and radios switched off, washers and driers relocated to the garage/outhouse, Heathrow told to change its approach routes. Consider how useful silence could be if you learned how to change the quality of the mind’s ‘inner chatter’ and thus your focus.

Phillip

Simple Changes – Your 100 Ways to a Happier, Healthier Life

by Phillip Day

 
 
by Phillip Day

SALT IS GOOD FOR YOU: EATING MORE COULD EVEN LOWER THE CHANCES OF HEART DISEASE: Controversial findings question push by authorities to get people to cut consumption. For years, doctors have been telling us that too much salt is bad for us. Until now. A study claims that cutting down on salt can actually increase the risk of dying from a heart attack or a stroke. The research has left nutritionists scratching their heads.

Use Himalayan Salt

‘Your table salt is actually 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents and iodine. Dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt causing the potential for a myriad of health problems in your body.' - Dr Joseph Mercola

The papers today are full of a new, ‘controversial' study that actually shows that salt may be good for you (yawn). Of course, nowhere in the article do they strike the all-important distinction between refined table salt and natural whole salts, so let's do a review on this most important of subjects.

Common table salt is a poison, refined from Nature's storehouse to remove all elements but sodium chloride. Some say we ended up with this particular compound due to industry's colossal use of it. Whatever the reason, table salt is not real ‘salt' and its dangers are well touted:
  • It destabilises blood pressure
  • Can cause cellulite, kidney stones and rheumatism
  • Upsets your fluid balance
  • Acts as a diuretic (expels water from cells)
  • Thereby a cell-toxin
  • Contains the endocrine disrupters, fluoride and iodine
  • Contains fillers such as calcium carbonate and aluminium hydroxide, the latter aluminium implicated in Alzheimer's Disease
Some PR job to convince the world we need it, eh?

Salt is essential

Yet ‘salt' is essential for the body's systems. Nobody questions why we put seriously ill people on a saline drip. Farmers know if they don't put out the salt blocks for their cattle, they die. This is real salt as Nature intended, busting with electrolytes, not the truncated, worse-than-useless mess made of it in the refining process.

Enter saltpan salt, sea salt, Celtic salt, and the pink Dalek of all salts, Himalayan crystallized salt, or ‘white gold' as it's come to be known (light pink gold, actually). Mercola declares this mother-of-all-salts:
  • Regulates the water content throughout your body
  • Balances excess acidity from your cells, particularly your brain cells
  • Balances your blood sugar levels and helps reduce your aging rate
  • Assists in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body and absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract
  • Helps clear mucus plugs and phlegm from your lungs - particularly useful in asthma and cystic fibrosis
  • Acts as a strong natural antihistamine to help clear up congestion in your sinuses
  • Prevents muscle cramps
  • Makes the structure of your bones firm - osteoporosis can occur when your body needs more salt and takes it from your bones
  • Regulates your sleep - it is a natural hypnotic
  • Maintains your libido
  • Prevents varicose veins and spider veins on your legs and thighs
  • Stabilizes irregular heartbeats - in conjunction with water, [salt] is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure
These claims are backed by evidence. Barbara Hendel MD and Peter Ferreira cover most of it in Water and Salt, The Essence of Life (available through Amazon). World renowned water guru, Dr Fereydoon Batmanghelidj's Water and Salt, Your Healers From Within, available through Credence, contains much of the Iranian physician's decades of studies into the building blocks of life. The manufacturers of FIJI water, as another example, remark on their web-site:

‘A nine-week, double-blind university study undertaken in 2003 at the Inter-University of Graz, Austria, examined the effects of drinking a minimum of 1.5 liters of tap water per day with common table salt vs. a minimum of 1.5 liters of FIJI Water with Original Himalayan Crystal Salt on physical and psychological functions of the body. In the study, patients who drank FIJI Water together with the Original Himalayan Crystal Salt saw significant positive changes in respiratory, circulatory, organ, connective tissue and nervous system functions. Patients also reported increases in the quality of sleep, energy and concentration levels, brain activity, weight loss, enhanced consciousness and noticeable nail and hair growth.' [1]

The medical orthodoxy is not kind to any notion of a super-salt, crying ‘commercialism' and ‘quackery', indubitably the pot calling the kettle black. My advice? Switch to Himalayan salt or at least a whole salt. Table salt is just that - sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is sodium chloride plus 82 other minerals in its natural, crystalline form, all ready to feed metabolic processes the way Nature intended. There are other advantages.

Get sole and slap it all over

Topical applications and baths in whole salt solutions have been found to help with psoriasis, eczema, toe-nail fungus, insect bites, rheumatism and arthritis, acne, ear infections, nasal congestion and sore throats. The solution used is known as sole, (pronounced so-lay). Take a container of water and start mixing Himalayan salt crystals into it, stirring well, until the salt no longer dissolves. The solution is now 26% saturated and sterile, so can be re-used. Sole in a hot water bowl can be inhaled as a decongestant for blocked sinuses since it is antiseptic and ideal for bacterial/fungal/yeast conditions.

Salt - further benefits

Whole salt has many other functions than just regulating the water content of the body. Here are some of its additional duties:
  • Salt is a strong, natural antihistamine. It can be used to relieve asthma by putting it on the tongue after drinking a glass or two of water. It is as effective as an inhaler, without the toxicity. You should drink one or two glasses of water before putting salt on the tongue
  • Salt is a strong ‘anti-stress' element for the body
  • Salt is vital for extracting excess acidity from inside the cells, particularly the brain cells. If you don't want Alzheimer's disease, don't go salt-free, and don't let them put you on diuretic medications for long!
  • Salt is vital for the kidneys to clear excess acidity and pass the acidity into the urine. Without sufficient salt in the body, the body will become increasingly acidic
  • Salt is essential in the treatment of emotional and affective disorders. Lithium is a salt substitute that is used in the treatment of depression. To prevent suffering from depres­sion, make sure you take some salt
  • Salt is essential for preserving the serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain. When water and salt perform their nat­ural antioxidant duties and clear the toxic waste from the body, essential amino acids, such as tryptophan and tyrosine, will not be sacrificed as chemical antioxidants. In a well-hydrated body, tryptophan is spared and gets into the brain tissue where it is used to manufacture serotonin, melatonin, and tryptamine-essential anti-depression neurotransmitters
  • Salt, in my opinion, is vital for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Cancer cells are killed by oxygen; they are anaer­obic ‘organisms'. They must live in a low-oxygen environ­ment. When the body is well hydrated and salt expands the volume of blood circulation to reach all parts of the body, the oxygen and the active and ‘motivated' immune cells in the blood reach the cancerous tissue and destroy it. As I explained in my book on lupus, dehydration-shortage of water and salt-suppresses the immune system and its disease-fighting cells' activity in the body
  • Salt is vital for maintaining muscle tone and strength. Lack of bladder control in those who suffer from involuntary leakage of urine could be a consequence of low salt intake. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure-in conjunction with water. Naturally, the pro­portions are critical. A low-salt diet with high water intake will, in some people, actually cause the blood pressure to rise. As a secondary complication, it can also cause asthma-like shortness of breath. The logic is simple. If you drink water and do not take salt, the water will not stay in the blood circulation adequately to completely fill all the blood vessels. In some, this will cause fainting, and in others, it will cause tightening of the arteries -- and eventu­ally constriction of bronchioles in the lungs -- to the point of registering a rise in blood pressure, complicated by breathlessness. One or two glasses of water and some salt -- a little of it on the tongue -- will quickly and efficiently qui­eten a racing and ‘thumping' heart, and in the long run, will reduce the blood pressure and cure breathlessness
  • Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic. If you drink a full glass of water, then put a few grains of salt on your tongue, and let it stay there, you will fall into a nat­ural, deep sleep. Don't use salt on your tongue unless you also drink water. Repeated use of salt by itself might cause nose bleeds
  • Salt is a vitally needed element in the treatment of diabetics. It helps balance the sugar levels in the blood and reduces the need for insulin in those who have to inject the chemical to regulate their blood sugar levels. Water and salt reduce the extent of secondary damage associated with diabetes
  • Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in all of the cells in the body. It is used for local power gen­eration at the sites of energy need by the cells
  • Salt is vital to the communication and information pro­cessing of nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work-from the moment of conception to death
  • Salt is vital for the absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract
  • Salt is vital for clearing the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma, emphysema and cystic fibrosis sufferers
  • Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs
  • Salt is vital for clearing up catarrh and sinus congestion
  • Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis
  • Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps
  • Salt is vital in preventing excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage
  • Osteoporosis, in a major way, is the result of salt and water shortage in the body
  • Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm
  • Salt is vital for maintaining self-confidence and a positive self-image-a serotonin- and melatonin-controlled ‘per­sonality output'
  • Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido
  • Salt is vital for reducing a double chin. When the body is short of salt, it means the body really is short of water. The salivary glands sense the salt shortage and are obliged to produce more saliva to lubricate the act of chewing and swallowing and also to supply the stomach with water that it needs for breaking down foods. Circulation to the sali­vary glands increases and the blood vessels become ‘leaky' in order to supply the glands with more water to manufac­ture saliva. This ‘leakiness' spills to areas beyond the glands themselves, causing increased bulk under the skin of the chin, the cheeks and into the neck
  • Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs
  • Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Some of these elements are needed in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a better choice of salt than other types of salt on the market. For instance, ordinary table salt has been stripped of its companion ele­ments and contains additive elements such as aluminium sil­icate to keep it powdery and porous. Aluminium is a very toxic element in our nervous system. It is implicated as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer's disease
  • As much as salt is good for the body in asthma, excess potassium is bad for it. Too much orange juice, too many bananas, or any ‘sports drink' containing too much potas­sium might precipitate an asthma attack, particularly if too much of the drink or too many bananas are taken before exercising. It can cause an exercise-induced asthma attack. To prevent such attacks, some salt intake before exercise will increase the lungs' capacity for air exchange. It will also decrease excess sweating
  • It is a good policy to add some salt to orange juice to balance the actions of sodium and potassium in maintaining the required volume of water inside and outside the cells. In some cultures, salt is added to melon and other fruits to accentuate their sweetness. In effect, these fruits contain mostly potassium. By adding salt to them before eating, a balance between the intake of sodium and potassium results. The same should be done to other juices
  • I received a call one day from one of the readers of my book to tell me how he had unwittingly hurt his son. Knowing that orange juice was full of vitamin C, he forced his son to drink sev­eral glasses of it every day. In the meantime, the young boy developed breathing problems and had a number of asthma attacks until he reached college and moved out of the sphere of influence of his father. His asthma cleared and his breathing became normal. The father told me he had to call his son and apologize for having given him such a hard time when he was younger. The more the son had rebelled against orange juice, the more the father had insisted he should take it, convinced a large amount was good for him
  • As a rough rule of thumb, you need about 3 grams of salt-a half-teaspoon-for every 10 glasses of water, or a quarter teaspoon per quart of water. You should take salt throughout the day. If you exercise and sweat, you need more salt. In hot climates, you need to take even more salt. In these climates, salt makes the difference between survival and better health and heat exhaustion and death
  • Warning! You must at the same time not overdo salt. You must observe the ratio of salt and water needs of the body. You must always make sure you drink enough water to wash the excess salt out of the body. If your weight suddenly goes up in one day, you have taken too much salt. Hold back on salt intake for one day and drink plenty of water to increase your urine output and get rid of your swelling
  • Those in heart failure - or kidney failure requiring dialysis - MUST consult with their doctors before increasing salt intake.
Further resources The Essential Guide to Water and Salt - F Batmanghelidj MD and Phillip Day

 
 
 by Phillip Day

"Physicians think they are doing something for you by labelling what you have a disease."
- Immanuel Kant

Relax, boost vitamins, exercise...and water

What if 'high blood pressure' could be treated naturally?
  • Reduce stress: the fight or flight reaction to a threat or high workload will prepare you for combat and increase endocrine (hormone) output

  • Boost your Vitamin D levels: dozens of studies show high blood pressure's link to vitamin D deficiency

  • Boost your Vitamin C levels: deficiency produces atherosclerotic plaque deposits

  • Boost your Vitamin B3 (niacin) levels: deficiency causes the body to produce more triglycerides and LDL cholesterol

  • Boost your omega-3 essential fats: deficiiency impairs cell wall integrity and modulation of blood viscosity

  • Increase your exercise and heart-rate variability
Would your body prefer this approach to a chemical drug approach? Try it and see

And drink more water?

Continuing with the theme of water deficiency and salt shortages, how about high blood pressure? How many worldwide, do you imagine, suffer from this baleful condition? Many of you send in e-mails complaining you've been told you have to remain on blood pressure medication for life. Of course you do. You don't think doctors' kids go through private school overnight, do you?

Water expert Dr F Batmanghelidj sheds a welcoming light on ‘essential' hypertension, a term used when a doctor has no clue why you have high blood pressure.

‘High blood pressure (essential hypertension) is the result of an adaptive process to a gross body water deficiency.

The vessels of the body have been designed to cope with fluctuation of their blood volume and tissue requirements by opening and closing different vessels. When the body's total fluid volume is decreased, the main vessels also have to decrease their aperture (close their lumina), otherwise there would not be enough fluid to fill all the space allocated to blood volume in the design of that particular body.

Failing a capacity adjustment to the 'water volume' by the blood vessels, gases would separate from the blood and fill the space, causing 'gas locks'. This property of lumen regulation for fluid circulation is a most advanced design within the principle of hydraulics and after which the blood circulation of the body is modelled.'

Well, that makes sense. You're dehydrated, so you have less blood volume. The arteries have to compensate for the net loss in volume by constricting to pick up the slack. With less water, your blood thickens as the red cells stack up like pennies (Rouleau). Higher viscosity requires more pressure to get the blood around the system and water into the cells. Arteries constrict further and the heart works harder. Grab your garden hose and bend it slightly to restrict flow and pressure will increase. Dr Batmanghelidj goes on to state:

‘Essential hypertension should primarily be treated with an increase in daily water intake. The present way of treating hypertension is wrong to the point of scientific absurdity. The body is trying to retain its water volume, and we say to the design of nature in us: 'No, you do not understand - you must take diuretics and get rid of water!'

It so happens that, if we do not drink sufficient water, the only other way the body has to secure water is through the mechanism of keeping sodium in the body....

Water by itself is the best natural diuretic. If people who have hypertension, and produce adequate urine, increase their daily water intake, they will not need to take diuretics. If prolonged 'hypertension producing dehydration' has also caused heart failure complications, water intake should be increased gradually.

In this way, one makes sure that fluid collection in the body is not excessive or unmanageable. The mechanism of sodium retention in these people is in overdrive mode. When water intake is increased gradually and more urine is being produced, the oedema fluid (swelling) that is full of toxic substances will be flushed out, and the heart will regain its strength.'

Resources

The Essential Guide to Water and Salt by F Batmanghelidj and Phillip Day

The ABC's of Disease by Phillip Day