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7 Powerful Ancient Practices For Daily Rejuvenation

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

To say I’m not a morning person would be a gross understatement, but it hardly feels like the choice has been my own. Each night I routinely beg my consciousness to wake me up at 7:30am every morning with “ample amounts of energy,” only to find myself struggling to rise the next day, rolling over and continuously pressing snooze on my physical and mental alarm.

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Simply put, I struggle. A lot.

-->Watch a free sneak peek of our new course: Our latest course focuses on how to improve your critical thinking and become more aware of bias. Click here to check it out!

I firmly believe that once you have your morning routine down, the rest of your day is bound to be full of productivity and optimism.

One piece of information I’ve always been privy to and will never forget is the benefit of waking up 2 hours before you have to leave the house. This is a common habit ‘successful’ people have adopted. Doing this ensures you have some ‘me’ time, especially if you have a family where your evenings are occupied playing catch-up with your children and/or spouse.

The moment you put the needs of others above your own most basic ones is the moment you enter into the game of catch-up with yourself. Avoid putting yourself on the back burner, because the lower we put ourselves on our list, the less effective we are, and that includes in our efforts to help those around us. Taking time for yourself is vital to the stability of your mind.

So if you’re anything like me in the mornings, you may want to give these next few tips a try.

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1. Tongue Scraping 

This ancient Ayurvedic practice boasts a number of benefits, including strengthening your tongue’s palate. A more sensitive palate means you need to use less salt and sugar in your food to get the same flavour.

Tongue scraping also removes the Ama from your physiology, an accumulation of toxic residue in the mind-body, and it helps to stimulate the internal organs, improve digestion by increasing your sense of taste, and cleanse the body and increase mental clarity by reducing toxins from the head.

It’s best to do this right in the morning before consuming any food or drink, as it improves the communication between your food and your body by removing any coating that is interfering with that connection.

According to The Charaka Samhita, “tongue scrapers should be made of gold, silver, copper, tin and brass and should be non-sharp and curved, so as not to injure the tongue.” High quality stainless steel is also acceptable.

Start by getting one of these funny looking devices for scraping your tongue. Begin with 7-14 gentle strokes from back to front. You can rinse in between if there is a lot of accumulation. If you find you are gagging, you are most likely reaching too far back and too hard, so start a little closer to the front of the mouth and see if that feels better.

2. Meditate

I know you’ve heard this before and I’m going to say it again. Meditation is the key to maintaining a healthy balance between your mental state and the state of the world. So yes, this is me harping on you to sit down and meditate. It is one of the oldest known methods of achieving mindfulness, and it became prevalent in the second half of the 1st millennium BC in India and China.

One of the best times to meditate is in the morning because we are already in a relatively calm state, unburdened by the happenings of the day and undistracted by all our duties. It’s easier for our minds to slip into an altered state at this time. I wouldn’t recommend sitting in bed and doing this, however. Rise up, stretch, and then go to a separate room where you can get comfortable and relax (without falling back asleep). If you’d like to incorporate a stretch and meditation, then yoga is another great way to ease your mind and body.

Meditation offers us a fun way to set the stage for the rest of the day. You can use your meditation as an opportunity to Visualize. You can imagine how you’d like the day, week, or even the coming months to go, and see yourself accomplishing your goals.

3. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling, also known as  kavala or gundusha, is an ancient cleansing and detoxifying technique from Ayurvedic medicine that dates back over 3,000 years. This practice helps to draw toxins from your mouth by gathering up all bacteria, fungi, and viruses within the oral cavity. It’s been known to fight against gingivitis and headaches, whiten teeth, increase energy, and improve skin tone.

Here’s how it works: Take a tablespoon of oil — traditionally sesame oil, but olive or coconut oil works as well —  and put it in your mouth. Swish the oil around your mouth and in between your teeth for 20 minutes, then spit it out.

Do not swallow the oil or all that work will have been wasted, because you’ll just be ingesting all the toxins you worked so hard to remove. You can rinse with fresh water or, better yet, brush your teeth right after.

4. Dry Brush

Our largest organ on our body is our skin. It absorbs whatever we put onto it and is responsible for 25% of our body’s detoxification efforts each day. It’s full of nerves, glands, and cell layers.

By brushing your skin you not only help to detox the body, but also improve circulation, reduce cellulite, stimulate your lymphatic system, increase cell renewal, reduce stress, and even improve digestion and kidney function.

Use a proper dry brush that’s made for brushing your skin. Start by brushing on dry skin in a circular motion from the soles of your feet up to your heart and then your head. The heart centre is important to focus on because most of our lymphs live there. Avoid your genitals, breasts, and face. You can do this before working out or taking a shower. Take your time with this process and enjoy each moment — it can become quite addictive!

5. Self-Massage With Black Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is traditionally used for abhyanga, an ayurvedic self-massage. Ancient ayurvedic scholar Charaka claims that it is the best of all oils because it is rich in linoleic acid and has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. This practice helps stimulate and balance the energy points in the body and can help keep the skin, hair, nails, and joints healthy. If you do not have sesame oil you can use other oils as well.

Massages are a great way to naturally wake the physical body. By doing a self massage, you are re-familiarizing yourself with your physical being, all while giving yourself some love.

Get some black sesame oil online or in a health food store. Begin by gently warming the oil on a burner or even with your hands and then massage your limbs and work your way towards your heart centre. Warm black sesame oil is great for penetrating the skin and lubricating joints.

6. Grounding & Sun Gazing

The idea behind ‘Earthing,’ otherwise known as grounding, relates to the intense negative charge carried by the Earth. This charge is electron-rich, theoretically serving as a good supply of antioxidants and free radical-destroying electrons. Earthing serves as a natural and “profoundly effective environmental strategy” against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hyper-coagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.

All you have to do is walk outside barefoot for 10 minutes and you will immediately feel a sense of ease. While doing this, you can also incorporate the ancient Egyptian practice of sun gazing.

Sun gazing has its own array of benefits as well, including:

  • Relief of stress and tension
  • Increased energy
  • Boosts production of the feel-good hormones serotonin and melatonin
  • Improved eyesight
  • Reduces hunger pains — body is completely nourished by the sun (Some people claim to have been able to take part in this practice and not eat anything during the entire process, which usually lasts about 9 or 10 months)
  • Stimulation of the pineal gland
  • Increased size of pineal gland
  • Releasing of internal blockages
  • Increased human potential

You must do it during the very first or very last 45 minutes of sun each day. Start with 10 seconds and then build up from there. Do not practice this at any other hours of the day, as you can seriously damage your eyes from the sun’s UV rays.

7. Hot & Cold Shower

This is a form of hydrotherapy practiced by the ancient Essenes who were known to plunge into the cold waters of the Dead Sea. Hydrotherapy use has been recorded by ancient Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations.

Cold showers alone host a number of benefits. They can:

  • Improve your immune system
  • Stimulate circulation
  • Ease stress and depression
  • Improve hair and nails
  • Increase alertness
  • Alleviate muscle soreness

Coupling this with a hot shower either before or after also helps to detox and cleanse the body, hydrates cells, and improves overall function of major organs.

There are many different ways to do this. An easy method I myself have tried is doing 30 seconds cold followed by 30 seconds hot before going into my regular shower. Others suggest starting very hot and then quickly dousing your whole body, being sure to cover your neck and head, then decreasing it slowly to freezing cold, covering your body in the same way, and then repeating 7 times. Repetition is important to get the full effect.

Your Nighttime Routine Counts

While your morning routine helps to set your day, your evening routine is what determines how easily you can wake up in the morning.

Here are some tips to ensure you get a great night’s sleep and ensure you have a spectacular morning;

  • Limit your screen time before bed and turn off screens at least 2 hours before you plan to sleep. The blue light emitted from your phone can keep you from falling asleep by preventing your brain from producing melatonin.
  • Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bed as well as anything high in sugar.
  • Have a spoonful of raw honey before bed; honey will raise blood glucose while you sleep, allowing for a deeper sleep.
  • Do some writing to ease a chattering mind. Try writing down three things you are grateful for each night before bed, so that you can go to sleep with a smile on your face.
  • A nice warm epsom salt bath will help alleviate any stress and get your body into a perfectly relaxed state.

Finally, be patient and kind to yourself. I may not be ‘perfect’ and reach my goal each morning, but I definitely am not going to give up on myself either! If I can get at least one of these techniques in I know eventually I’ll be able to incorporate more, and benefit from each one I include.

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Alternative News

Lebanese Hospital Becomes The World’s First To Go 100 Percent Vegan (Food)

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A hospital in Lebanon has become the first in the world to adopt a completely vegan menu.

  • Reflect On:

    Are people aware of the physical and emotional torture the majority animals we eat go through? Are people aware that a diet free of animal products can be very beneficial for human health. Are people aware that animal agriculture is destroying Earth?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

At the beginning of March, Hayek Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon became the first hospital in the world to serve 100 percent vegan only meals. Prior to this change, patients had a choice between animal based meals and vegan meals, and included with that was information about the health benefits of choosing plant-based foods versus the dangers of consuming animal products. The hospital made the announcement via their Instagram page, stating that “Our patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk, and eggs…the very food(s) that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.”

When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as a group 1A carcinogenic (causes cancer) same group as tobacco and red meat as group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in the hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital. When the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) declare that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious disease comes from animals. When adopting a plant based exclusive diet has been successfully proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them. We then, have the moral responsibility to act upon and align our beliefs with our actions. Taking the courage to look at the elephant in in the eye.

Their various statements also point to the role that animal agriculture plays in spawning infectious diseases, citing the Centers for Disease Control’s estimate that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals. “We believe it’s well about time to tackle the root cause of diseases and pandemics, not just treat symptoms,” they note.

This was a great statement. The modern day medical industry only seems to be focused on medications, and only medications that can turn a hefty profit, to treat and cure disease instead of addressing root causes. It’s good to see things changing, but a big problem remains. If a plant that grows in abundance, for example, has the potential to cure a disease, will we ever hear about it? Will the medical industry be interested in it? Probably not, but when a drug is made and patented from that plant in a specific way, that’s when we will. This is not to say that modern day medicine is useless, but today now more than ever a big problem exists, and this problem may be killing more people than it’s helping.

Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), a Harvard professor of medicine and also a former Editor-in-Chief of NEMJ, was frustrated that “the medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” (source)

According to Forks Over Knives,

While Hayek is the first hospital to completely purge animal products from its menu, a number of hospitals have begun offering more plant-based options in recent years. Both New York and California have enacted laws requiring hospitals to offer a plant-based option with every meal. In 2018 NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue launched the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program to help patients transition to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle.

The American Medical Association passed a resolution in 2017 calling on U.S. hospitals to provide healthful plant-based meals to promote better health in patients, staff, and visitors. The American College of Cardiology has issued similar recommendations.

In my opinion, “veganism is a very fine form of nutrition” (Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, heart surgeon), and as mentioned above, there is plenty of science to back up that statement.  I’ve written about it many times before from a health perspective.

Here’s an article that goes into more detail and science if you’re interested, it also addresses history, and how our teeth and guts are designed and more. Here’s another one regarding a study that found a strong association between eating animal protein and a premature death from all causes, including multiple cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The studies cited in that article note that meat eating is strongly associated with up to a 75 percent increased chance of early mortality, and that protein from animals may cause harm, while protein from plants may help reverse disease and have a protective effect.

There are hundreds of these studies, and the ones I cite are just a few examples.

This is obviously a very controversial topic in the eyes of many, and it’s not hard at all to find conflicting information on the subject. I am no doubt bias in my beliefs and opinions here.

One thing is for certain, the way we treat animals on this planet is extremely heartbreaking and unnecessary. Animals are separated from their families, raised for slaughter and are kept in torturous conditions on a daily basis. It’s truly unbelievable and horrific. It’s the biggest genocide and example of both physical and emotional torture the world has ever seen. I don’t think anybody can witness what really goes on in most slaughterhouses can come out not being impacted.

On top of this, animal agriculture is one of, if not the greatest contributer to environmental degradation and pollution on our planet. Animal agriculture is actually the leading cause of deforestation. Every single day, close to 100 plant/animal/insect species are lost because of this practice.

Final Thoughts: At the end of the day it seems that, from a health perspective, processed meats, and other meats are no doubt harmful to human health. People can make the argument that other animal products may not be and that we are meant to consume them. People can also make the complete opposite argument. One thing that can’t be argued is, again, the torture, physical and emotional abuse that comprise the source of where animal products come from for the majority of people who eat them.

There is a big split, as with many other topics, amongst people on this issue. There are even vegan influencers who are creating splits within the ‘vegan community’ itself, which is unfortunate. I personally believe that, from a health perspective, animal products are not at all required for anybody and are again, overall, harmful to human health.

The more pressing issue, again, is the treatment of our animal brothers and sisters, and how we are constantly using and abusing them. It’s indicative of world that lacks empathy, compassion, understanding and love, as well as our inability to see ourselves in another. This can be seen in many aspects of the current human experience, be it war, human trafficking and more. That being said, it’s great to see human consciousness shifting towards a more compassionate, empathetic type of awareness. This is evident by the “vegan” movement alone, as it’s become quite large over the past few years and will continue to grow. Some of the biggest animal food producers have already gone out of business, and it’s great to see more people in the health community as well recognize that it’s a win for health, a win for environment, and most importantly, a win for the very emotional, intelligent, animals, who are similar to us in so many ways. We have so much to learn from them.

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Awareness

Caloric Restriction vs. Fasting: Why One Can Result In Weight Gain While The Other Helps Burn Fat

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CE Staff Writer 3 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the video below, Dr. Jason Fung explains the difference between caloric restriction and sending the body into "starvation" mode compared to fasting.

  • Reflect On:

    Fasting has been used as a health intervention for thousands of years, and is being used today by doctors who are educated on the topic. Why is it completely ignored by mainstream medicine? Is it because "big pharma" can't make any money off of it?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Some would say that the best solution to weight gain is eating right and exercising. I couldn’t agree more. Obesity is one of the deadliest problems humanity faces today, and just as important as diet and exercise is for addressing this issue, even more important are the emotional and personal reasons as to why so many people damage themselves and make themselves more prone to serious disease.

Apart from diet and exercise, initiating a proper fasting regimen can have tremendous health outcomes, especially for overweight people. It wasn’t but a decade ago when fasting to lose weight was considered unhealthy and dangerous. Today, we have a tremendous amount of science that’s been published clearly showing that fasting can be an effective health intervention for people of all body types, especially for people who are overweight and suffer from certain diseases. It’s an excellent way to help your body burn fat. Fasting has been used and is currently being used as an intervention for type two diabetes, cancer and more. Fasting has been shown to trigger stem cell regeneration, autophagy, which in turn can help clear out toxins and damaged cells, repair DNA, improve metabolism, lower blood sugar, boost brain function, reduce the risk of age related disease, lessen inflammation which improves a wide range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and more. It’s no wonder why so many ancient cultures from different parts of the world used fasting as medicine and as a health intervention.

As shown in the science, fasting is generally safe for everybody. This many not be true if you already have underlying health conditions or are taking certain medications. This is why it’s important to consult a health professional about it, but the issue is, the majority of health professionals are not well educated in fasting interventions. Those who have educated themselves have been treating their patients with fasting and are drawn to it due to its ability to provide so many benefits.

One of these doctors is Dr. Jason Fung, who on his blog and his YouTube channel, as well as the books he’s written provides a wealth of information and science regarding fasting. I often refer people to the work of Fung, or others like Dr. Valter Longo if they want to begin their own research about fasting. Again, there is a wealth of science and “scholarly” articles available on the subject for anybody who wants to search for it as well. It’s not heard to find.

In the video below, Fung explains why fasting is much different from caloric restriction or having your body go into “starvation mode.”  You can also check out his article, “The difference between calorie restriction and fasting” for some great information as well.

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Health

Study Suggests Risk of Death From Loneliness May Be Greater Than Obesity

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to a study at Brigham Young University, heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.

  • Reflect On:

    At the deeper levels, is "loneliness" the problem or is it our mindstate? Is it our perception of loneliness that's a problem? Some thrive with a lack of social interaction, that being said, most of us are indeed social beings who desire connection.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Current evidence indicates that heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.

Loneliness can reliably be linked to a significant increase in the risk of early mortality, according to a study at Brigham Young University. Head author, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, notes that “substantial evidence now indicates that individuals lacking social connections (both objective and subjective social isolation) are at risk for premature mortality.”

Holt-Lunstad believes the risks associated with loneliness are already greater than such established dangers as obesity:

Several decades ago scientists who observed widespread dietary and behavior changes raised warnings about obesity and related health problems. The present obesity epidemic had been predicted. Obesity now receives constant coverage in the media and in public health policy. The current status of research on the risks of loneliness and social isolation is similar to that of research on obesity 3 decades ago… Current evidence indicates that heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.

Furthermore, she warns that “researchers have predicted that loneliness will reach epidemic proportions by 2030 unless action is taken.”

Why Are We So Isolated From Each Other?

From the long view, it can be said that Western civilization as a whole has fostered a gradual disintegration of our physical and social ties. With an emphasis on individual goals and an almost fanatical regard for personal achievement, the traditional institutions of family and community and their capacity to provide their members with a sense of belonging and shared purpose have become significantly fragmented.

The family unit has gone from large generations-linked mutual support systems to small and immediate units, sometimes involving single parents whose necessities make it very difficult to create a stable home environment for their children. Add to that the fact that more and more people are not even building families, and our society has more people living alone than at any other time in history. This includes the elderly, who are less likely to find a ‘fit’ living within their children’s families than ever before.

The decline of the ‘community’ is perhaps as significant as the disintegration of the family unit. In Western-style communities, people work as a collection of individual units interacting by specific functions rather than as an interrelated whole with a significant shared identity. Naturally, attempts are made today to join or build ‘communities’ all the time, but like the Meetup model, they are founded on the gathering of select people with similar interests and purposes, rather than a shared embrace of all people within a certain geographical area.

The Rise of Social Media

I believe the rise in prominence of social media has in part been fuelled by the sense of alienation we have long felt within our modern society. I don’t believe social media is the root cause of our loneliness, as some speculate, but rather a symptom of this much longer-standing social problem. Connecting via chats and web pages is just something that we have gotten into the habit of reaching for since it is so immediately accessible. But like any quick fix, it does not end up fulfilling our deeper needs, either individually or as a society.

If we see that our society has been slowly disintegrating over hundreds of years, then it becomes incumbent upon us as a society (if we can still even identify ourselves with our ‘society’) to take measures to remedy this situation. What those measures might be, though, given how things seem to be trending, is a matter of great conjecture.

On Being Alone  

One approach is to first acknowledge that Western society’s emphasis on the individual is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I believe that the development of personal integrity, creativity, and autonomy is a critical step in the evolution of human consciousness. Learning how to be alone with oneself is a part of that process. In his work entitled Pensées, French philosopher Blaise Pascal observed that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

As evidenced by Eastern gurus and mystics, one can be perfectly content in isolation. This can be greatly facilitated by the practice of meditation and other such methods that give us a direct perception of our energetic connectedness not only with other people, but with all things. In this higher state, the damaging emotional impact of loneliness and social isolation are not experienced.

Our Next Step

Still, the life of the yogi remains for the few. The rest of us, it seems, have come to this planet to interact, share, and love. And we have not incarnated into this dense physical world to get better at virtual relationships. At this stage, we have perhaps gotten a bit too accustomed to social isolation for our own good.

Holt-Lunstad notes that “although living alone can offer conveniences and advantages for an individual, this meta-analysis indicates that physical health is not among them.” She also cites another study that “has demonstrated higher survival rates for those who are more socially connected.” And then there is the seminal 75-Year Harvard University study, where “it was universally clear that without loving and supportive relationships, men in the study were not happy.” The message is becoming clear: we need to come together.

We are perhaps at a larger turning point in our development than most of us realize. It seems that we have reached the extreme edge of the exploration of individualism, and we are readying to move into greater balance with a collective identity. This is not a return to traditional ways, but rather a synthesis of our growth as individuals with the shared experience we are now hungering for. This synthesis signifies the next stage of our evolution.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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