Armed with a passion for natural health, real food and self-empowerment, doctor Frank King is working hard to help people take control of their health in his book The Healing Revolution: Eight Essentials to Awaken Abundant Life, Naturally. A naturopath and chiropractor, King started his first private practice in 1979 and is currently based in Asheville, North Carolina. Here, we’ve taken the time to ask him a few questions about his outlook on healing naturally and what it means to take control of your health.
Q: What empowered you to take control of your health?
A: Like anyone else, I have experienced obstacles throughout my life. Looking back at each crossroad along the way, I was able to connect the dots and see the bigger picture that natural health empowerment was the only way for me.
It began when I was just 5 years old. I had some health problems that kept me from living a childhood that every parent wants for their children. In fact, I was so weak and frail that my parents were worried that I might not survive. I was tired and lethargic all the time, and I couldn’t put any meat on my skinny bones. After many doctor’s visits, my parents took me to an unconventional doctor who was known to be successful with some of the more unusual cases. It didn’t take long for him to discover that my issue was severe food allergies! My parents changed my diet and I began experiencing results. My energy returned and I was able, for the first time, to run and play and keep up with the other kids. I gained confidence and became more competitive. I was finally able to become the kid that every parent wishes for their child, and all it took was an understanding of my body, food, and nature, and how they are designed to work together.
I’ve been practicing and teaching these natural health techniques and principles for the past 40 years. This knowledge, like all knowledge, is self-empowerment. I want everyone to enjoy abundant health. This is the foundation of what naturally became The Healing Revolution.
Q: What is The Healing Revolution?
A: The Healing Revolution is a mindset. It is about personal empowerment. It is about awakening the incredible healing powers within each person by balancing the eight essential areas of life: the human spirit, nutrition, water, sleep, fitness, nature, relationships and hands-on healing techniques. Once you recognize that the power is yours, following the eight essentials becomes natural. The key to understanding these essentials is found in the foundational truths of The Healing Revolution. Everything else builds upon the following truths.
• You are designed to live long and well.
• The power to heal is within you.
• There is no such thing as an incurable disease.
• You are a whole being: the health of your body, mind and spirit are intertwined.
• Your lifestyle choices have a significant impact upon your health and happiness.
• Many of today’s foods, activities and lifestyle choices inhibit your body’s ability to heal and restore itself.
• A natural lifestyle removes negative health inhibitors.
• A natural lifestyle frees the healing powers and potential within you.
• You need not work harder, but smarter, by making small changes in the Eight Essential areas.
• Your attitude will determine your altitude. To reach the highest heights, have an open mind and a positive attitude.
• Your body is the doctor and the healer.
Q: Our diet plays an important role in our overall health. What are some of your favorite health-boosting foods during the summer?
A: I believe the principles are the same, no matter the season.
• Eat fresh, whole, and organic foods whenever possible.
• Grow your own vegetables and fruits, based on what grows in your location. If it’s not feasible to have your own garden, take part in a community garden or local CSA, or shop at your local farmers market.
• Practice portion control by eating smaller meals more often. The summertime is a great time to enjoy the delicious simplicity of picking right off the vine. No cooking needed! Think blueberries, raspberries and melons.
• Eat fermented foods.
• Supplement your diet with my life-giving formula, called “Life Formula.” It is certified organic and contains 71 ingredients that support whole health nutrition and succeeds where our busy lives may sometimes keep us from getting all the nutrients our body needs.
• Drink more water. Oftentimes, when people feel they are hungry, they are really thirsty. Quenching thirst will often take away hunger.
Q: In your book you say that many people are dehydrated and don’t even know it. What are some of the health risks associated with not drinking enough water? How does diet play a role?
A: The third essential is water, but not just any water. Pure, spring water is my choice, and plenty of it. How do you know how much you should drink? Your body will tell you. Of course, we all get busy and sometimes don’t drink enough. How do you know if you’re dehydrated? Your body will tell you that, too. Try my three easy and free tests that you can do in your own home, or even at work:
1. Urine color: Urine may be deep yellow when you awake in the morning. Otherwise it should be clear to pale yellow. Darker urine is a sign of dehydration. (Unless you are taking “B” complex vitamins; then your urine will be more yellow.)
2. Skin pinch test: Pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold for three seconds. Release. The ridge from the pinch should be gone in less than a second; otherwise you are likely dehydrated.
3. Tongue test: Take your index finger and rub the center of your tongue. It should feel smooth, like wet wax paper. If it feels rough, you are dehydrated.
Q: In your book, you identify fitness as one of the eight essential areas people can fully integrate the whole mind, body and spirit. Do you have a fitness routine, and if so, what does it involve?
A: Fitness is one of my favorite essentials. And, believe it or not, I truly find that less is more. It’s all in your approach.
I begin with seven to 10 minutes a day of my “ETs” or “Energizing Techniques.” Then, all I need to do is 10 minutes of strength-training exercises, five days per week. These techniques include deep breathing, which is essential for oxygen (I call it Vitamin O) and blood flow in the body as well as lymphatic flow and digestive health. Quick bursts of maximum energy once or twice a week, doing sprints on foot or on a mobile or stationary bike, cause an increase in HGH, which is a naturally occurring chemical that keeps you young and vigorous. It is the fountain of youth! Read more about how deep breathing increases our oxygen intake in my blog.
The fitness chapter of my book comes with instructions on how to perform the ETs and other techniques that I developed from success with patience in over 40 years of practice. They are the most powerful fitness tools in The Healing Revolution. They revitalize and restore physical and mental health by using therapeutic postures, range of motion, breathing, stretching and contracting. They bring balance, coordination, muscle tone and strengthening of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, both extrinsically and intrinsically. Moreover, each muscle corresponds to an internal organ by way of acupuncture meridians and neural pathways, so your organ health is also improved by Energizing Techniques.
The Healing Revolution empowers everyone to reach their highest health potential and awaken their own abundant life. Find more free health education, how-to techniques and videos on the website, King Bio.
Even if you can make a case for why another season is your favorite, there's no denying that summertime is simply delicious—sometimes literally, with local berries and farm-fresh tomatoes in the mix. But we all know it has a downside.
Bug bites, sunburn, dry skin, rashes and those annoying summer colds can all combine to land on the side of Team Winter. But help may be closer than you think, and doesn't require a trip to the pharmacy. Instead, hit up the farmers market, or maybe even your own garden. Soothe summer concerns with some of nature's top performers.
Soothe Insect Bites
Summer evenings are the stuff of nostalgia and yearning, but the reality can be less than lovely if you become the main course during a humid, bug-infested night. Fortunately, herbal remedies are abundant.
For insect bites, turn to fresh basil or plantain (which looks like a weed, but is definitely a power-packed remedy). Chew on a leaf and then apply it directly to the bite. Basil tends to be the better flavor, since plantain can be slightly bitter and grassy, but most likely, you'll find the weedy choice in the wild. Chewing helps to release each plant's anti-inflammatory properties, and the relief should be immediate.
Ease Rashes and Itching
Dry, irritated skin is a frequent summer complaint, thanks to hiking with bare legs, swimming in lake water, or just soaking up the skin-drying sunshine. If you're looking for a quick remedy, grab some oregano or thyme.
By mashing the fresh leaves into a paste and sprinkling in a bit of oatmeal and a few drops of water, you'll have a perfect quick fix for irritated skin. If you have any oregano left over, make tea, let cool, and spray on pets as a flea killer and anti-itch treatment. If you've opted for thyme, put the leaves and stems into a jar filled with vodka as a preservative; let sit overnight, and you'll have an anti-fungal wound wash for scrapes and minor cuts.
If you're dealing with dandruff or an itchy scalp because of sunshine and pool time, opt for fresh rosemary as a hair rinse. Just pour some boiling water over leaves and stems, let steep for at least 15 minutes (ideally longer, to increase strength), let cool and then pour over hair after shampooing.
Get Allergy Relief
Much like plantain, stinging nettles are usually found through foraging, but they're cropping up more often at farmers markets, and make a tasty addition to pesto—plus, they pack a surprisingly high amount of protein.
But what they're known for most is allergy relief. Pick them using gloves (they weren't kidding when they named them "stinging") and dry the leaves for a week or so to create a truly soothing tea. If the concoction tastes a bit too bland or grassy for you, throw in some dried mint, which will also help as an energy booster to fight allergy fatigue.
In general, summer herbs are fantastically abundant, and it's likely that you'll have plenty available, whether you've picked some up at the farmers market or grow them yourself. So, use some for divine summer dishes, and save the rest for medicinal remedies. Maybe this will turn out to be your favorite season after all.
Elizabeth Millard is the author of Backyard Pharmacy: Growing Medicinal Plants in Your Own Yard. She and her partner Karla have an organic farm, Bossy Acres, in northern Minnesota.
Tongue scraping is the Ayurvedic oral care practice that helps to remove bacteria, food debris, toxins and dead cells from the tongue’s surface. When our flora is balanced, these bacteria that live on the tongue help protect against oral health issues. Clinical studies have confirmed that using a tongue scraper on a daily basis reduces the bacteria that cause bad breath.
I scrape my tongue every day upon rising religiously. Why?
• When you sleep your body works hard to detox your entire system. Your digestive system pushes toxins to the top of your tongue, kindly asking you to take out the trash, meaning scrape the gunk off. You don’t want to re-ingest it! Scraping first thing in the morning clears the toxins improving your over all health and immune system.
• Things taste way better with a clean tongue.
• It really does keep breath smelling fresh!
Banyan Botanicals stainless tongue scraper (left) and Dr. Tungs scraper (right). Photo by Shar Veda.
I forgot my Banyan Botanicals ($8) tongue scraper last week on my trip to southern California to visit my cousin. After the second day, I could not stand the way my mouth tasted without scraping in the morning. Yuck! So I bought a Dr. Tungs ($7) scraper at Whole Foods.
The Dr. Tungs scraper, featured here with pink handles, cut my tongue on the first go—ouch! It’s much sharper and fatter than Banyan’s streamlined stainless steel scraper. Although Banyan Botanicals’ scraper is a little more expensive, it is well worth the extra money spent.
Shar Veda is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, Yoga Therapist, and herbalist living in Ashland, Oregon. She works with at risk teen-aged girls and offers compassionate health and lifestyle counseling anywhere in the world via Skype and or the good old-fashioned telephone. Shar has had the great gift of studying with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for nearly 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook!
Not everyone who works out wants to spend more time at the gym if they can help it, which means that you have to pinpoint some smart ways to get the most out of every visit and hone your exercise routine for top results in the shortest time possible. If you learn the secrets of savvy workouts, it is perfectly possible to create a highly effective and efficient exercise routine which could take just thirty minutes, a few times a week.
The issue that many regular gym attendees have to contend with is that it's easy for your progress to plateau. When that happens, you may not get the results you're used to, which is why you may want to shake things up and work to boost the effectiveness of your routine. Please note, the tips and suggestions here are given based on the assumption that you already have an established workout routine and aren't diving in at the deep end. As you will know, fitness levels take time to rise and you have to build up your training regimen. Avoid trying to do too much too soon.
Limit Workout Time
It might go against conventional thinking to suggest that spending less time at the gym for each workout session might improve your fitness levels, but after about 30 minutes of solid exercise the benefits of continuing start to diminish.
If you are spending more than 30 minutes working out, it’s likely that the intensity of your workout will be lower. Instead, try to work at a higher level of intensity for a shorter period of time.
If you‘re a regular at the gym, you’ve probably memorized your treadmill workout. At this point you may not be challenging your body as much as you used to during those familiar high-intensity spurts such as a sprint routine.
If you’re not finding the workout as exhausting, or difficult, as it used to be, mix things up by extending those intense intervals, increasing your speed and even shortening your recovery period in order to challenge your body once again.
Raise the Bar
The same scenario applies to strength training. You need to keep challenging your muscles when it comes to the amount of weight you are lifting.
As your strength improves, performing reps becomes easier and this often means that it takes longer to exhaust the muscles you’re targeting. If you aren’t feeling the fatigue after 10 reps like you used to, raise the bar and go with a heavier dumbbell. Heavier weights will decrease the amount of time you spend on weights, but if you don’t feel you’re ready to increase in weight, add more reps at the lower weight to continue challenging muscles.
Add Compound Exercises
If your current workout involves isolated muscle exercises like bicep curls, a great way to maximize your efficiency and reduce your workout time is to add a few compound exercises. These exercises target multiple muscle groups at the same time, so with a just a few of the right moves you could actually get a full-body workout in half the time.
Some great compound exercises that are worth incorporating into your routine include:
Change Your Routine Regularly
If you stick to the same workout routine for any period of time, your body will start to adjust to the stress level. When that happens you won’t be getting as effective of a workout as you could be, or once did.
Mix up your routine to keep your body and mind interested in the task ahead. For strength training, look to change your routine about every couple of weeks. As for cardio, it is often better to cross-train rather than only running for every workout.
More Effective Circuits
There’s a common mistake when it comes to circuits: Many people tend to do multiple sets of the same exercise without a rest period between sets.
The problem with this approach? It doesn’t allow a sufficient recovery period for your muscles, which means that your workout isn’t as effective as it could be.
Try a different approach which involves doing multiple exercises in each set. This will enable you to achieve a more effective circuit where you don’t necessarily rest between exercises, but do give each muscle group a rest and take a small break between sets.
The end result is that you will get a great cardio workout while also doing your strength training, which will definitely boost the effectiveness and efficiency of your regular workout routine.
Lisa B. Sims is a fitness coach. She loves sharing her insights with others by posting online. Her articles appear mostly on health and fitness websites.
Diethanolamine (DEA) and DEA-related ingredients are suspected of human carcinogenic activity, according to the European Commission, which prohibits their use in cosmetics. This group of chemicals is used as emulsifiers, foaming agents and pH-adjustors in products such as soaps, shampoos, eyeliners, mascaras, foundations, sunscreens and more. DEA and its relatives have been associated with cancer in rodents when used topically, according to the National Toxicology Program. Once they make their way into product formulations, these substances can also lead to the formation of powerful carcinogens known as nitrosamines—impurities you won’t find on any ingredient list—which form as the DEA breaks down and combines with other ingredients, such as preservatives. Ingredients related to DEA may be listed as: cocamide DEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA-oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, monoethanolamine (MEA), cocamide MEA, linoleamide MEA, stearamide MEA, triethanolamine (TEA), TEA-lauryl sulfate.
Photo by Fotolia
• 1,378 ingredients banned from cosmetics in Europe by the EU Cosmetics Directive
• 11 ingredients banned from cosmetics in the U.S. by the FDA
Photo courtesy Environmental Working Group
Avoiding products loaded with undesirable chemicals can be tricky, but this app for your phone can help you shop smarter. The Skin Deep app from the Environmental Working Group can make shopping for healthier personal-care products easier. While shopping, you can look up personal-care products or ingredients in its searchable database of more than 68,000 products and nearly 9,000 ingredients. Keep all the information you need at your fingertips to easily and confidently select personal-care products that you can feel good about putting on your body. Skin Deep, free app for iPhones and Androids
A runner’s diet is an essential part of ongoing training and upkeep in order to promote health, stamina and strength necessary to continue peak performance. While some may choose to steer clear of organic meals, runners are among the many that understand how delicious organic foods can be when prepared in some great-tasting recipes. Here, I break down the best health-boosting organic foods for runners.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables play a two-part role in the healthy lifestyle of a runner: They assist in preparing the body for running and help replenish essential vitamins after a strenuous workout. Some types of organic vegetables and fruits stand out in particular, whether you’re a novice or professional.
Bananas take the top spot for healthy fruits, as they’re not only high in potassium but also fiber, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. In addition, bananas can assist in balancing electrolytes, acting as a natural sports drink. Some other great ways to add bananas to your daily diet include fruit-packed smoothies or following simple recipes for treats such as this organic banana ice cream recipe.
Leafy greens, such as kale and sweet potatoes, rank high among runners for their health benefits. Salad greens replenish fiber, calcium and vitamins A and C. Kale in particular also contains vitamin K, antioxidants and folate, which promotes good circulation. There are so many organic ways to prepare delicious meals using sweet potatoes, from pies to fries, and the health benefits for runners are tremendous. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, potassium and antioxidants. They’re also packed with good carbohydrates. Keep the skins on for the best nutritional benefits.
While carbohydrates often get a bad name among dieters, it’s not carbohydrates in general that are part of an unhealthy diet. Rather, it’s important to distinguish the good from the bad. While empty carbohydrates found in junk food do nothing for the body, carb loading with good foods is popular among runners. Whole grains such as quinoa and black rice are excellent choices in meals, but it’s recommended that runners eat these complex carbohydrates after a run so as not to place too much strain on their digestive system while exercising. Quinoa specifically is a popular choice among vegetarian runners and contains nine amino acids. Prepare black rice as either the popular sticky black rice dish or the Malaysian dessert pulut hitam.
Protein is the building block of muscles. Because running can easily break down the essential tools of the body, protein is an important part of a runner’s diet. Lean meats, such as lean beef, are best, but your protein list should also include eggs and nuts for better flavor and more choices. When choosing organic foods, runners should assure no antibiotics or other unnatural processes were done to the animals or to the finished products. Vegetarian runners can still enjoy protein via non-meat sources, such as vitamin-packed lentils. Another great source of protein is salmon, which provides the runner with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Salmon also keeps bones healthy and provide an energy boost whenever needed.
Lene has been running since she was 12. Her passion is on helping runners get the best nutrition from organic diet in all levels of training. With a fellow runner, she now works on her website, Running Info Guide.
Memory is a funny thing. Sometimes just the simple smell of bread baking in the oven or the sound of children laughing can trigger vivid memories of something that happened to you many years before, and with such detail that you’re amazed by your powers of recollection. Then you start looking for the keys that you put down somewhere just five minutes ago and they’ve vanished, leading to hours of fruitless searching before you realize you left them in the door. Equal parts endlessly amazing and frustrating.
Sensory memory, that which is gleaned from our five senses, is the most short-term form of memory. The amount of time between the information being captured and processed and when it can be retrieved and used is only mere seconds to minutes. The areas of sensory memory that have been most keenly studied by researchers are iconic, or visual input, and echoic, or auditory input.
We all know that the eye is one of the most complex parts of our body, but as anyone who’s spoken to a specialist hearing organization such as Hidden Hearing will be aware, the workings of the ear are also extremely elaborate. Any damage to the ear and how it performs can have an effect on echoic memory.
So, what exactly is echoic memory and what does it even do? Essentially, it’s the way that the brain replicates a sound as its received—someone coughing nearby, a word said during conversation, a car backfiring—and retains it for a very short period, usually only 2-4 seconds. The easiest way to understand how it works is this: If you're talking to someone and you miss what they’ve just said and are about to ask them to repeat it, but suddenly you recall it. This happens because you're able to access your brain’s interpretation of it.
Basically, it gives you time to think! The brain takes these copies unbidden, and the most amazing part is that it sorts all of the sounds we pick up, during every moment of the day, and automatically filters them into what is of importance and should be retained in the short-term memory, and what can simply be discarded.
This knowledge was the result of experiments conducted by Ulric Neisser as recently as the late 1960s, and has since been expanded on so that, for instance, we know the span of our echoic memory lengthens as we get older.
Our short-term memories degrade rapidly, so if you do miss something someone says at a party and you’re distracted and unable to instantly recall what was said, chances are that you’re going to need to ask them to say it again. But echoic memory can also be distorted by other events, such as a stroke which damages the brain. Thus if a victim is shown a list of four single-digit numbers they may still be able to recall them perfectly, but if the numbers are spoken, they would be unable to recall them at all.
Similarly, if we suffer from hearing loss as a result of the natural aging process, regular exposure to excessive noise or infection, then that will have a negative effect on the amount of sounds that our brains are able to record and process.
Echoic memory is a vital brain function that serves us well in our daily lives, and the loss of it can cause major problems. Luckily, we can take steps to guard against such problems. Simple health maintenance like keeping blood pressure down, quitting smoking, having hearing checked regularly by specialists and wearing ear protection if you're going to be somewhere noisy for prolonged periods can all greatly reduce the risk of hearing loss, or health problems that could contribute to hearing loss.