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The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

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I am a great believer in Karma, but just what is it? Karma comes from the Sanskrit and ancient Indian Language with the underlying principal that every deed in our lives will affect our future life. For example, if we treat others badly during our lifetime we will have negative experiences later on in that lifetime or in future lifetimes. Likewise, if we treat others well we will be rewarded by positive experiences.

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Today I am blogging about inexperienced Psychics/Mediums. There are many psychics/mediums around who give the profession a bad name, t...

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Saturday 22 June 2013


Clients often say to me, "Why am I receiving all this bad luck? I've always lived my life right and yet some people have all the luck it's just not fair!"

First of all life isn't fair it's not meant to be, life is meant to challenge and test us. There is much more to life than just what you see with your physical eyes for whilst we are on earth we are spirit in a human body. The human body is just a vessel for our soul but when we pass over to the spirit world at the point of death, we have no need for body.

We have many life times and we set our own challenges to gain experience, sometimes these experiences won't be nice and when we are going through tough experiences we are being taught a very tough and important lesson. It is a time for spiritual growth. We are taught how it feels to be on both sides of a situation, to learn empathy, understanding, compassion and patience. There is a common saying, "How can you hope to understand unless you have walked a mile in another's shoes."

Don't envy that person who seems to have it all for their tough lessons and adversity are yet to come, you are further up the ladder than they are and an older soul.


I am the stillness of the night
As darkness shadows gives forth to light
Symbolically this shows life's balance
Of darkness and lights dalliance
In life and Universe there's yin and yang
A balance created since time began
Remember this nothing lasts or stays the same
For like the tides moved by the moon
The cycle of darkness is over soon
Henceforth comes the joy of the dawn
Delivering a message of hope to everyone


What this poem is saying, these tough times won't last, once you realise this is a learning experience you will find life a lot easier to cope with and life is full of cycles good and bad. Spirit won't dessert us in these tough times, for we will be given strength and help will come to us in many ways. Other souls will cross our path put there to help us. All we need do is trust and believe that everything will be OK and have a positive mindset as soon as you take this attitude  the gloom will lift and life will become so much easier.

Friday 21 June 2013


Interesting article I came across today about third hand smoke and I feel more research needs to be done, given that it's been proven certain plastic containers and bottles can leave deposits on the food stuffs they contain if reused.

Smoking causes 50 certain diseases cigarettes are a well-known cause of lung cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and other disorders such as skin cancer, mouth cancer, stroke and high blood pressure. It is the myriad of toxins in cigarette smoke, rather than the nicotine content, that is responsible for the majority of the harmful effects. In other words, it is the delivery system, not the addictive drug, which is responsible for the vast majority of tobacco-related diseases. And it is not the nicotine in cigarettes, but the tar that causes the unsightly yellow-brown stains on fingers and teeth. There are more than 4,000 other chemicals in cigarette smoke, many of which are known to cause cancer. In particular it is the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrosamines that are the probable causative agents for lung and other cancers.

It is the adverse nicotine effect in tobacco products that leads to addiction and this which sustains tobacco use. Because most smokers are nicotine-dependent, they continue to expose themselves to toxins from cigarettes. It is the other chemicals in cigarettes, not nicotine, which are responsible for most of the adverse health effects related to smoking. Nicotine is an addictive drug. When smoked, it is delivered into the lungs and is rapidly absorbed by the blood, reaching the brain within approximately ten seconds. At this point, smokers experience a nicotine "hit" - causing the brain to produce Dopamines, a neurotransmitter that regulates emotion and feelings of pleasure. The brain soon comes to expect regular doses of nicotine and suffers nicotine withdrawal symptoms when the supply is interrupted. The addictive nature of nicotine is largely due to its dose and rapid delivery to the brain when smoking cigarettes.

Women who carry on smoking in pregnancy endanger not only themselves, but their babies too. Mothers who smoke around their children also put their kids' health at risk. Even before conceiving research shows that cigarette smoking is harmful to a woman's ovaries. It can cause a woman's eggs to be more prone to genetic abnormality and increase the risk of spontaneous miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Women who smoke take longer to conceive with the chances of conceiving falling by up to 40 per cent per menstrual cycle. The more cigarettes you smoke the longer it takes to become pregnant. Just one cigarette a day can have a significant impact. In men stopping smoking can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction and may improve sexual potency.

- See more at: http://www.astridestella.info/p/stress-and-health.html#sthash.xvWrHTGo.dpuf



Pioneering study claims THIRD-HAND smoke causes significant damage to our DNA - and its danger increases over time
Research claims - for the first time ever - that third-hand smoke causes significant damage to human cells
Third-hand smoke is the toxic residue that clings to surfaces after second-hand smoke has disappeared
The study also found that this residue becomes MORE harmful over time

New research has claimed for the first time ever that third-hand smoke from cigarettes causes significant genetic damage to human cells.

Third-hand smoke is 'noxious residue' produced by cigarette smoke that clings to virtually all surfaces after second-hand smoke has disappeared.

The study from the Laurence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California also found that this toxic residue becomes more harmful over time.

After you've finished smoking, toxic residue is left behind on surfaces, furniture and fabrics - and can cling to them even after washing. Researchers from California have now discovered that this third-hand smoke causes significant damage to DNA cells and becomes more harmful over time


Third-hand smoke is created by tobacco smoke that lingers after a cigarette has been put out.

It's called 'third-hand' because it is created once second-hand smoke has disappeared.

Third-hand smoke can stick to almost all surfaces but especially clings to fabrics.

People can be exposed to third-hand smoke particles through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact.

Third-hand smoke is thought to be particularly dangerous to young children because they are more likely to crawl on the floor and eat from their hands without washing them first - ingesting the toxins into their systems.

Co-author Lara Gundel said: 'This is the very first study to find that third-hand smoke is mutagenic.

'Some of the chemical compounds in third-hand smoke are among the most potent carcinogens there are.

'They stay on surfaces and when those surfaces are clothing or carpets, the danger to children is especially serious.'

The researchers used a variety of tests to establish if third-hand smoke breaks down DNA strands and leads to long-lasting DNA damage and gene mutation.

'Until this study, the toxicity of third-hand smoke has not been well understood,' continued Gundel.

'Third-hand smoke has a smaller quantity of chemicals than second-hand smoke, so it’s good to have experimental evidence to confirm its genotoxicity.'

People can be exposed to third-hand smoke through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact.

Researchers said third-hand smoke is particularly insidious because it is extremely difficult to get rid of.

Previous studies have found that it can still be detected in dust and surfaces of homes more than two months after smokers moved out.

To generate the samples researchers at the Berkeley Lab put paper strips in smoking chambers, pictured. The acute samples were exposed to five cigarettes smoked in about 20 minutes. The chronic samples were exposed to cigarette smoke for 258 hours over 196 days

Common cleaning methods such as vacuuming, wiping and ventilation have not proven to be effective in lowering the presence of these particles.

The report added: 'You can do some things to reduce the odours, but it’s very difficult to really clean it completely.

'The best solution is to substitute materials, such as change the carpet and repaint.'

To generate the samples, the researchers put paper strips in smoking chambers.

The acute samples were exposed to five cigarettes smoked in about 20 minutes.

The chronic samples were exposed to cigarette smoke for 258 hours over 196 days.

During that time, the chamber was also ventilated for about 35 hours.

The researchers found that the concentrations of more than half of the compounds studied were higher in the chronic samples than in the acute.

Previous studies have found that third-hand smoke can still be detected in dust and surfaces of sofas, clothes and curtains more than two months after a smoker has stopped smoking. The study from California claims children are particularly at risk of DNA damage from third-hand smoke because they crawl over these surfaces and eat with their hands

They also found higher levels of DNA damage caused by the chronic samples.

The study said there was a 0.4 per cent conversion in human cells within the first hour of exposure and this increased ten-fold over a three-hour period.

Lead author Mohamad Sleiman said: 'Given the rapid sorption and persistence of high levels of nicotine on indoor surfaces, including clothing and human skin, our findings indicate that third-hand smoke represents an unappreciated health hazard through dermal exposure, dust inhalation and ingestion.'

The researchers conclude in their paper: 'Ultimately, knowledge of the mechanisms by which third-hand smoke exposure increases the chance of disease development in exposed individuals should lead to new strategies for prevention.'

The findings are published in the science Journal Mutagenesis.

Get help now to stop smoking

Eight practical, quick and simple steps you can take NOW to quit smoking

Thursday 13 June 2013




Sunday 9 June 2013



Most baby formulas are derived from cow's milk (although dairy-free formulas are also available). When milk — from the breast or from a cow — is digested, it breaks down into two byproducts: curds and whey. The curd is white and rubbery, and the whey is liquid.

When cow's milk breaks down, the curd that forms is hard for human babies to digest. Breast milk, on the other hand, forms more whey than curd, and the curd is softer and more easily digested. Because the baby can digest breast milk more easily than cow's milk, he's less likely to throw up on your favorite sweater. Cow's milk is designed for baby cows after all.

One of the amazing things about breast milk is that your milk is specially formulated to have the right composition for your baby, and to contain exactly the right amounts of nutrients. Bottle-fed babies receive the exact same nutrients every time they eat. Breast milk, on the other hand, continually changes in composition so that your baby gets what he or she needs at any age.

The first liquid the breasts produce (starting a few months before the baby is born) actually doesn't even look like milk. Colostrum, which is yellow and thicker than breast milk, is a great example of how your body custom-makes the right nutrition for your baby. Here are some of its benefits:

Colostrum has a high concentration of antibodies, especially IgA, an antibody that helps protect the lungs, throat, and intestines.
Colostrum helps "seal" the permeable newborn intestines to prevent harmful substances from penetrating the gut.
Colostrum is very high in concentrated nutrition.
Colostrum has a laxative effect, which helps the baby pass the first bowel movements (and prevents newborn jaundice).
Colostrum is low in fat, high in proteins and carbohydrates, and very easy to digest.

Within a few days after delivery, your body begins to produce mature milk that takes over the work of giving your baby the necessary ingredients for healthy growth. Colostrum is still present for around two weeks; the milk produced during this time is called transitional milk.

Breast milk contains more than 100 ingredients that the formula industry simply can't duplicate. For example, breast milk is full of antibodies that protect babies from illness and help them develop their own immune systems. Some other key differences between the ingredients in breast milk and formula include the following:
Formula has a higher protein content than human milk. However, the protein in breast milk is more easily and completely digested by babies.

Breast milk has a higher carbohydrate content than formula and has large amounts of lactose, a sugar found in lower amounts in cow's milk. Research shows that animals whose milk contains higher amounts of lactose experience larger brain development.

Minerals such as iron are present in lower quantities in breast milk than in formula. However, the minerals in breast milk are more completely absorbed by the baby. In formula-fed babies, the unabsorbed portions of minerals can change the balance of bacteria in the gut, which gives harmful bacteria a chance to grow. This is one reason why bottle-fed babies generally have harder and more odorous stools than breastfed babies.

Of course I appreciate sometimes it's not possible to breast feed sometimes due to various problems however I do believe every new mother should try and persevere if there are no contra indications to breast feeding as not only does it benefit the baby but it helps the mother regain her figure much quicker, even if the mother does so for three months the benefits to mother and baby are enormous.


Breast really is best if you want a brainy baby: Just THREE months of breastfeeding boosts development by 30%

  • Babies only fed breast milk have 30% extra growth in key parts of the brain
  • They have better development in areas which control language and emotion
  • Those fed breast milk have more white matter which is used for learning
  • Those only fed formula milk have the least white matter

Breast milk boosts brain development in babies by up to 30 per cent, according to a new study.
Children exclusively fed breast milk for at least three months have up to 30 per cent extra growth in the key parts of the brain which control language, emotion, and understanding, say scientists.
The study of under-fours showed children who have breast milk as part of their diet have a clear advantage when it comes to brain development.
Children exclusively fed breast milk for at least three months have up to 30 per cent extra growth in the key parts of the brain. Image shows how white matter develops with age
Children exclusively fed breast milk for at least three months have up to 30 per cent extra growth in the key parts of the brain. Image shows how white matter develops with age

Research carried out at Brown University, in the U.S., found that by the time the babies had reached their second birthday a discernible difference could be seen in their brain structure.
Dr Sean Deoni, an engineering professor and lead author, said: ‘We're finding the difference [in white matter growth] is in the order of 20 to 30 per cent, comparing the breastfed and the non-breastfed kids.’
Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scans were taken of the babies who had been fed a diet of breast milk in the earliest stages of their development, and of those who had been fed formula milk.
The scans showed that babies fed breast milk alone had the fastest growth in myelinated white matter - tissue packed full of long nerve fibres that link different parts of the brain that are used for learning.
The babies who were weaned on a diet of formula were found to have the least white matter.
Dr Deoni's team carried out the study to see how early the changes in brain development took place.
‘We show that they're there almost right off the bat,’ he said.
Scans show that babies fed breast milk alone have the fastest growth in myelinated white matter - tissue packed full of long nerve fibres that link different parts of the brain that are used for learning
Scans show that babies fed breast milk alone have the fastest growth in myelinated white matter - tissue packed full of long nerve fibres that link different parts of the brain that are used for learning

Researchers looked at the brains of 133 babies who were born on time and came from similar families.
By comparing the myelin in older and younger children they were able to calculate how breast milk influenced the development of white matter.
The researchers backed up the results of the scans with a set of basic cognitive tests that showed language performance, visual reception and motor control were all better in the breastfed children.
The team found that the longer the babies were fed with breast milk the more developed their brains were, especially in the areas of the brain associated with movement and coordination.
While the Brown study published in the journal NeuroImage is not the first to link breastfeeding with improved development in the young, Dr Deoni claimed it is the first time MRI scans have been used to compare the brains in breastfed and non-breastfed children.
Dr Deoni said: ‘I think it's astounding that you could have that much difference so early. I think I would argue that combined with all the other evidence, it seems like breastfeeding is absolutely beneficial.’

Thursday 6 June 2013


I'm giving plenty of warning as regards Mercury Retrograde, so you can prepare in advance. It's due to go into retrograde on June 26 2013 and won't move forward again until July 20 2013.

Mercury Retrograde Dates

Mer R Jun 26 2013  05:08  23°Cn06' R 
Mer D Jul  20 2013  10:23  13°Cn22' D
Mer R Oct  21 2013  02:29  18°Sc23' R 
Mer D Nov 10 2013  13:12  02°Sc30' D
Mer R Feb  6  2014  13:44  03°Pi20' R 
Mer D Feb 28 2014  06:01  18°Aq10' D
Mer R Jun  7  2014  03:57  03°Cn10' R 
Mer D Ju l  1  2014  04:51  24°Ge23' D
Mer R Oct  4  2014  09:03  02°Sc18' R 
Mer D Oct 25 2014  11:17  16°Li46' D
Mer R Jan 21 2015  07:55  17°Aq04' R 
Mer D Feb 11 2015  06:58  01°Aq19' D
Mer R May 18 2015  17:50  13°Ge08' R 
Mer D Jun 11 2015  14:34  04°Ge34' D
Mer R Sep 17 2015  10:10  15°Li55' R 
Mer D Oct  9   2015  06:58  00°Li55' D

Mer R Jan  5  2016  05:06  01°Aq01' R 
Mer D Jan 25 2016  13:50  14°Cp55' D

Mer R Apr  28 2016  09:20  23°Ta36' R 
Mer D May 22 2016  05:20  14°Ta21' D

Mer R Aug 30 2016  05:04  29°Vi04' R 
Mer D Sep 21 2016  21:31  14°Vi51' D

Mer R Dec 19 2016  02:56  15°Cp07' R 
Mer D Jan  8  2017  01:43  28°Sg52' D

Mer R Apr  9 2017  15:15  04°Ta50' R 
Mer D May 3 2017  08:33  24°Ar16' D

Mer R Aug 12 2017  17:01  11°Vi38' R 
Mer D Sep  5 2017   03:30  28°Le26' D

Mer R Dec  2  2017  23:35  29°Sg17' R 
Mer D Dec 22 2017  17:51  13°Sg01' D

Mer R Mar 22 2018  16:20  16°Ar54' R 
Mer D Apr 15 2018   01:21  04°Ar47' D

Mer R Jul  25 2018   21:03  23°Le27' R 
Mer D Aug 18 2018  20:25  11°Le33' D
Mer R Nov 16 2018  17:34  13°Sg29' R 
Mer D Dec  6  2018  13:23  27°Sc17' D
Mer R Mar  5  2019  10:19  29°Pi39' R 
Mer D Mar 28 2019  05:59  16°Pi06' D
Mer R Jul  7  2019  15:15  04°Le28' R 
Mer D Jul 31 2019  19:58  23°Cn58' D

Mer R Oct  31 2019  07:42  27°Sc38' R 
Mer D Nov 20 2019  11:12  11°Sc35' D
Mer R Feb 16 2020  16:55  12°Pi53' R 
Mer D Mar  9 2020  19:49  28°Aq13' D
Mer R Jun 17 2020  21:00  14°Cn45' R 
Mer D Jul  12 2020  00:27  05°Cn30' D
Mer R Oct 13 2020  17:06  11°Sc40' R 
Mer D Nov  3 2020  09:50  25°Li54' D
Mer R Jan 30 2021   07:52  26°Aq29' R 
Mer D Feb 20 2021  16:53  11°Aq02' D
Mer R May 29 2021  14:35  24°Ge43' R 
Mer D Jun  22 2021  14:01  16°Ge08' D
Mer R Sep 26 2021  21:11  25°Li28' R 
Mer D Oct  18 2021  07:17  10°Li08' D
Mer R Jan 14 2022  03:42  10°Aq19' R 
Mer D Feb  3 2022  20:14  24°Cp23' D

Mer R May 10 2022  03:48  04°Ge51' R 
Mer D Jun  3  2022   00:01  26°Ta06' D
Mer R Sep 9  2022  19:39  08°Li55' R 
Mer D Oct  2  2022  01:08  24°Vi13' D

Mer R Dec 29 2022  01:32  24°Cp20' R 
Mer D Jan 18 2023  05:13  08°Cp09' D



The planet Mercury, which is only visible just before sunrise or just after sunset travels in a forward direction most of the time. But three or four times a year, if you care to watch carefully, it appears to turn around and go backwards for about three weeks! Now Mercury really isn't going backwards. It's just an optical illusion based on the relative speeds and orbits of the Earth and Mercury around the Sun. For example think of riding in a fast car on an motorway which is passing a slower-moving car. The slower moving car appears to be moving backward, but it isn't really. It's just the relative speed and direction of the two cars gives that illusion, retrograde Mercury is similar to that.

The apparent backward motion of Mercury is called retrograde, and it has been known and studied in western astrology for thousands of years.

In general the effect of Mercury retrograde is annoyance. Little things get snarled up and a low-grade frustration emerges. Anything involving communications, verbal activity, technology, short trips and journeys, primary education, and siblings can be affected. Whilst Mercury retrograde usually is a minor irritant, every now and then a colossal screw-up can take place. 

During the next Mercury retrograde:
  • If at all possible, avoid signing legal documents.
  • If at all possible, finish projects which involve communication before the retrograde.
  • If at all possible, avoid closing big deals during the retrograde
  • If at all possible, avoid launching new projects during the retrograde
  • If at all possible, avoid scheduling meetings to make a big decision
  • Allow extra time when travelling
  • Backup your hard drive before the retrograde
  • If at all possible, avoid installing new computer software during the retrograde
  • Do needed repairs on machinery before the retrograde
  • Do not hold an election during the retrograde.

This is not to say Mercury retrograde is always a bad thing. Far from it. It is actually an ideal time to do some other things, like:

  • Do the follow-ups on a project already started
  • Wrap up or complete a project already started
  • Research a new project thoroughly
  • Catch up on paperwork
  • Hold an information-sharing meeting

Wednesday 5 June 2013


Hallelujah haven't I been saying this for years.



Under the 'Stress section' I talked about how stress hormones such as Adrenalin and Cortisone affect the skin, if you recall Adrenalin reduces the nourishment delivered by the blood stream by directing the blood flow away from the extremities to the heart, lungs and muscles, so the skin and hair wont be so well nourished. Cortisone damages the fibrocytes, these are specialised cells within the Dermis that produce collagen and elastin and it is collagen and elastin that provides support and elasticity within the skin, akin to the foam and springs in a mattress. When we are young our skin is plump and elastic but through use from normal facial movements, the downward pull of gravity, the collagen and elastin tends to bunch together just like the stuffing in a well used mattress. Now if we undergo stress for a considerable period as these fibrocytes become damaged due to the action of Cortisol so the skin will loose its support structure, its elasticity will suffer and it wont spring back to shape like it used to, like spent elastic. Cell renewal will suffer due to the reduced blood supply there wont be adequate nourishment and the skin will take on a greyer pallor and it will loose its healthy rosy glow.

Now there is another aspect to this equation, the action of Ultra Violet Light from the sun and of course sunbeds. The sun produces three types of UV Light UVA UVB and UVC. The Earth's ozone layer blocks 97-99% of this UV radiation from penetrating through the atmosphere. Of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth's surface, 98.7% is UVA (UVC and more energetic radiation is responsible for the generation of the ozone layer, and formation of the ozone there). Now I don't want to get to technical here and want to focus on UVA and UVB. UVB can only penetrate down through the skin to the dermis and is responsible for burning but UVA is able to penetrate down through the dermis and like Cortisol damages the Fibrocytes, those little cells that plump up our skin and give it elasticity.

One of the best places on our bodies to see the affects of gravity and demishing collagen and elastin especially on women is on the thighs often referred to as 'Cellulite'.

Because we are composed of 70% water, water is an important component of the skin, therefore it important we drink adequate water to keep ourselves hydrated. Don't wait until you feel thirsty before you reach for that drink, it is much better to sip water at regular intervals as we are constantly loosing water through bodily processes.



Everything in moderation is something to bear in mind when it comes to food and drink and that includes alcohol, but alcohol is a toxin and the liver has to work hard to break it down. The occasional drink is not going to have too much effect on the skin but it does cause the peripheral circulation to dilate and one of the characteristic signs of too much alcohol is the appearance of broken capillaries across the face, There are other causes of broken capillaries, sometimes, it's hereditary but often caused by sudden changes in temperature i.e. going from very warm central heated homes to going outdoors without protecting the skin or driving in cars with the heater blasting against the face. Squeezing spots is another cause. Too much alcohol is a depressant too, so you may feel rather jolly at the time but you are sure to come back down to earth with a bump.

Many common prescribed drugs have an effect on the skin its something to be aware of many drugs such as diuretics will cause a loss of moisture so forewarned you take extra care to apply a good moisturiser to help counteract this effect.

Recreational drugs obviously will have an effect on the skin too with many of them toxic to the body and anything that diverts the body to spend time detoxifying obviously takes energy away from repairing and maintaining the body. This is not a blog that discusses drugs I am sure readers will already know the dangers of such substances.


Smoking is one of the worst abuses you can do to your body, firstly because of its direct effect affect on the lungs, it impairs the uptake and absorption of oxygen and of course all cells in the body require oxygen in order to function normally. The nicotine as well as being addictive is a powerful vasoconstrictor therefore it reduces blood flow to the peripheral circulation so the skin and hair are going to suffer. So as well as impairing oxygen uptake and reducing blood flow to the skin, the body is also having to use its resources dealing with all the toxins also inhaled. Poorly nourished skin means it cannot repair itself adequately. Smoking also leads to more wrinkling, those little purse string lines around the mouth and crows feet caused by the smoke further research has proven that smoking causes the skin to age ten years.


How sunbeds, smoking and not eating enough fruit can age a woman's skin by TEN YEARS

  • 'Lifestyle choices' account for 33 per cent of how old a woman looks
  • Researchers carried out study on 585 woman in UK, China and Spain
  • Team asked women a series of questions about their lifestyles

A new study has found liefstyle choices can account for as much as 33 per cent of how old a woman looks
A new study has found lifestyle choices can account for as much as 33 per cent of how old a woman looks
Living an unhealthy lifestyle can age a woman’s skin by over ten years, an in-depth international study has revealed.
The true damage caused by sun beds, smoking and a lack of fruit and moisturisation in accelerating the ageing process emerged following research on 585 women in the UK, China and Spain.
The study, published yesterday, showed the factors influencing their skin were the same even taking into account the backgrounds and skin type of the women involved.
It also emerged 'lifestyle choices' often account for as much as 33 per cent of how old a woman looks.
Dr Andrew Mayes, who led the study for Simple skincare, said: 'We already knew genetics accounted for about 50 per cent of how old people look, but we didn’t know how much would be accounted for by their lifestyles.
'Even we were surprised by just how much it was; both in terms of the number of years and the percentage.'
The study which was carried out over the last eight years involved women aged 45 to 75 in the UK, 30 to 70 in Spain and 25 to 70 in China.
Study sites with controlled laboratory conditions were established in Bedford in the UK, Madrid in Spain and Shanghai in China.
Those who took part were asked a string of questions about their lifestyles including whether or not they liked to sun tan and if they were smokers or non-smokers.
Other questions included how often the women moisturised, whether they eat fruit and veg, whether they brush their teeth and if they have all their own teeth.
The research team also took digital images of the women which were then assessed for how old they looked to identify their perceived age and whether they looked younger or older than their actual age.
The study, which was carried out over the last eight years, asked women questions about their lifestyle, including whether or not they smoked
The study, which was carried out over the last eight years, asked women questions about their lifestyle, including whether or not they smoked

Those taking part in the research were also asked whether or not they liked to sun tan and how often they moisturised
Those taking part in the research were also asked whether or not they liked to sun tan and how often they moisturised

The research team, led by Dr Mayes, then compared the perceived ages of those with good versus bad lifestyles.
They concluded the difference was 10.4 years.
'We already knew genetics accounted for about 50 per cent of how old people look, but we didn’t know how much would be accounted for by their lifestyles'
- Dr Andrew Mayes
Dr Mayes added: 'The number of years' difference was most staggering - we had just seen some data out of a group of plastic surgeons in the US and Canada suggesting that a face and neck lift (together with eyelid and forehead modifications) could take an average of about 8.5 years off your facial age.
'Then we got our data through demonstrating a saving of over 10 years. It’s fair to say at first we couldn’t quite believe it.
'But the evidence was there in front of us - women with a healthy lifestyle looked much younger than those with an unhealthy lifestyle.
'Simply put; good skin health is about more than fancy creams and lotions - it’s about how we live our lives and how we treat our bodies and the steps we need to take do not need to be extreme.
'They can be small and steady and the effects will be seen over time without the need for plastic surgery.'

Sunday 2 June 2013


Since this is a holistic website I thought I would post this article from the Daily Mail. 

The European medical leech Hirudo medicinalis and some congeners, as well as some other species, have been used for clinical bloodletting for thousands of years. The use of leeches in medicine dates as far back as 2,500 years ago, when they were used for bloodletting in ancient India. Leech therapy is explained in ancient Ayurvedic texts. Many ancient civilizations practiced bloodletting, including Indian and Greek civilizations. In ancient Greek history, bloodletting was practiced according to the humoral theory, which proposed that, when the four humors, blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile in the human body were in balance, good health was guaranteed. An imbalance in the proportions of these humors was believed to be the cause of ill health. Records of this theory were found in the Greek philosopher Hippocrates' collection in the fifth century BC. Bloodletting using leeches was one method used by physicians to balance the humors and to rid the body of the plethora.

The use of leeches in modern medicine made its comeback in the 1980s after years of decline, with the advent of microsurgeries, such as plastic and reconstructive surgeries. In operations such as these, problematic venous congestion can arise due to inefficient venous drainage. Sometimes, because of the technical difficulties in forming an anastomosis of a vein, no attempt is made to reattach a venous supply to a flap at all. This condition is known as venous insufficiency. If this congestion is not cleared up quickly, the blood will clot, arteries that bring the tissues their necessary nourishment will become plugged, and the tissues will die. To prevent this, leeches are applied to a congested flap, and a certain amount of excess blood is consumed before the leech falls away. The wound will also continue to bleed for a while due to the anticoagulant hirudin in the leeches' saliva. The combined effect is to reduce the swelling in the tissues and to promote healing by allowing fresh, oxygenated blood to reach the area.

The active anticoagulant component of leech saliva is a small protein, hirudin. Discovery and isolation of this protein led to a method of producing it by recombinant technology. Recombinant hirudin is available to physicians as an intravenous anticoagulant preparation for injection, particularly useful for patients who are allergic to or cannot tolerate heparin.

Gruesome, medieval and utterly bizarre... but leeches freed me from awful migraines

  • Writer Emma Parker Bowles cures her headaches with leeches
  • Leech therapy, or hirudotherapy, involves having leeches such your blood
  • Leeches have been used for medicinal purposes for over 3,000 year

This sucks: Emma Parker Bowles tries leech therapy in the hope that it will cure her migranes
This sucks: Emma Parker Bowles tries leech therapy in the hope that it will cure her migranes
They undulate through the water in their glass bowl, the shiny black shapes glinting as they catch the light. 
And when I peer closely at the leeches, I am sure they writhe and wriggle faster – excited as they sense me, their next meal. 
These bloodsuckers are about to be put on my face.
Their ‘keeper’, Alicja Kolyszko, puts her tweezers in the water to catch one.
‘They are very hungry,’ she says in her jolly Eastern European accent. ‘You are going to be their last supper!’
I am drawn to things dark and gruesome. And it doesn’t get much more gruesome than having bloodsuckers attached to your personage.
Dear Lord, what have I let myself in for?
As Alicja advances towards me, with a long black slimy creature wriggling in the grip of her tweezers, I remind myself just how bad my migraines are, and how I would go to any lengths to get rid of them.
The word headache doesn’t even begin to describe them – as the eight million Britons who suffer from migraines will no doubt agree. 
Migraines are miserable with bells on – actually, the idea of listening to the sound of a bell with a migraine brings me out in a sweat. When I am suffering with one, I can’t even stand the sound of my sheets rustling.
Apart from the intense throbbing, all-encompassing pain in my head, I also feel extremely nauseous and sensitive to light. I feel as if I am a vampire – a small sliver of daylight and POOF: I will spontaneously combust.
But don’t just take my word for it: severe migraine attacks are classified by the World Health Organisation as among the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia and psychosis.
I had my first migraine at boarding school when I was 15. It was a hot summer, and when the school gardener got going with his lawnmower outside my window, I literally wanted to die.
Oddly, I didn’t have another one until my 20s and since then they have struck sporadically – I could go for six months without suffering, then there would be a whole week of agony.
Say hello to my little friend: ┬┐Hirudotherapist┬┐ Alicja shows Emma the leeches which are about to be places on her face to feast on her blood
Say hello to my little friend: ¿Hirudotherapist¿ Alicja shows Emma the leeches which are about to be places on her face to feast on her blood

Some find there are triggers: hormonal cycles, stress, red wine. But mine hit me without rhyme or reason.
Which is why I decided to give leech therapy, or hirudotherapy – to give the treatment its correct medical term – a go.
As a believer in alternative medicine, I wanted to try something natural and holistic that didn’t involve days spent downing industrial-strength analgesics.
I remembered reading about Demi Moore having leech therapy at a clinic in Austria last year. The actress had the treatment to ‘detoxify her blood’ as part of an alternative beauty therapy. 
‘I have always been somebody looking for the cutting edge of things that are optimising your health and healing,’ she said afterwards. If it’s good enough for Demi, it’s good enough for me, I thought.
Living in Los Angeles now, I have seen Demi in the flesh. Up close, believe it or not, she is a natural beauty, very un-Hollywood. No fillers or collagen that I could detect.
So if the leeches could do things for my appearance as well as my health, then all the better.
And before you put me and Demi in a box marked ‘Complete loons’, it seems modern medicine is also looking to this rather medieval practice as a solution for a host of ailments.
Vampire weekend: Alicija careful places the leaches on Emma's face to start the migrane treatment
Vampire weekend: Alicija careful places the leaches on Emma's face to start the migrane treatment

In the 1980s, leeches began to be used by reconstructive plastic surgeons needing to remove stagnant blood from reattached limbs, to stave off gangrene.
But now there are numerous studies into medical uses for leeches. One found that a single session of leeching – the medical application of bloodsucking leeches – can significantly reduce knee pain caused by arthritis for at least two months.
Researchers from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany claimed improvement levels were comparable to those achieved with daily moderate doses of painkillers such as ibuprofen. And before you say you’d probably rather pop a pill, consider the damage regularly taking painkillers can do to the stomach.


Bloodletting is the withdrawal  of quantities of blood from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease.
Evidence of the practice dates back 3,000 years to Ancient Egypt. It was widespread in mid-19th Century Britain, when six million leeches were imported each year for this purpose.
Though doctors recommended it – fevers, apoplexy and headaches were thought to be caused by ‘too much blood’ – barbers carried out the procedure. 
Leeches – parasitic worms that feed on blood – were used as an alternative to just cutting the patient’s arm to release blood.
The withdrawal of enough blood to induce syncope (fainting) was considered beneficial, and many sessions would end only when the patient began to swoon.
Bloodletting was discredited at the end of the 19th Century as doctors felt it left patients weak and prone to infection, but it has had a recent resurgence, with a wave of celebrities trying it.
Another clinical trial at the university is investigating whether nerve pain caused by shingles could also be remedied by leeching.
The secret is in the leeches’ saliva: it apparently contains a large number of analgesic, anaesthetic, and blood-thinning compounds that tackle pain and inflammation, say the researchers.
Google led me to Alicja, a Russian/Polish hirudotherapist with ten years’ experience. She is based in Las Vegas and New York but she has clients from all around the world.
Her passion for natural medicine goes back to her childhood in 1960s Poland, where leeches were used as a popular ‘country healing method’ to cure various health problems. 
Back then, Kolyszko reminisces, leeches were sold at many pharmacies. Her grandmother would bring one home whenever any family member got sick, pop it on for an hour, and everything would be better.
I called her and within five minutes I was swept away by her passion for leeches, or ‘black pearls’, as she describes them.
These aren’t your common-or- garden leeches (there are more than 700 species that live wild in freshwater and marine environments – one once attached itself to my buttock while I was bathing in the Mekong river in Cambodia). 
Medicinal leeches are specially cultivated in a sterile environment. The largest leech farm in the world – Biopharm in Hendy, South Wales – was established in 1812, moving to its current base in 1984.
Alicja has treated people with all sorts of conditions and illnesses, from infertility to heart conditions to alopecia, and even runs a hirudotherapy training school.
She says the secretions from leeches’ saliva can be used to treat the entire spectrum of physiology: blood-clotting, digestion, connective tissue, disease, pain, inhibition of enzymes, and as a treatment for inflammation.
Go with the flow: An illustration showing a doctor performing bloodletting on a man
Go with the flow: An illustration showing a doctor performing bloodletting on a man

Armed with this information, and her assurance that she had helped many migraine patients live pain-free, I find myself reclining on my living-room sofa waiting for a leech to bite into me for the first time. It is – how can I put it politely? – an unusual experience.
For a start, when they sense (I am told, smell) flesh, they wiggle and crane their heads toward you. But the worst part is the anticipation. It’s like getting an injection – the sensible thing is not to look at the needle, though I find it impossible not to. And so it is with the wriggling leech.
Just before it bit into me, I could feel its cold and slimy body against my temple. But once it actually did, I was relieved that it felt like no more than a mild sting – the leech secretes an anaesthetic that numbs the skin, otherwise the pain would be unbearable. Botox is a million times worse.
Once Alicja is sure the leech has got to work, then it’s time for the next one, and the one after that, until you have four attached to you. You can definitely feel them working – it is a mild tugging sensation.
I know this sounds extraordinary, but I felt incredibly relaxed. The treatment takes about 40 minutes, until the leech is full and falls off, leaving a mark in the shape of a peace sign. They swell to about four times their normal size, as they become gorged with blood.
Once the leeches have done their job, Alicja sends them off to leech heaven by putting them in alcohol (she says it upsets her every time) as reusing them would risk cross-infections. The few hours after the treatment are not for the squeamish – as you do continue to bleed. The next day, I felt exhausted but wonderful. Within a few days, the wounds scab and disappear.
To get the most out of hirudotherapy, you need about three sessions within weeks of each other. I have not had a migraine since that first session. More than that, I feel rejuvenated.
Leeches really are miracle workers. I am a total convert.





I am often asked various questions pertaining to the spirit world and various aspects of the psychic, here are some of them: I will in time feature more questions and answers as this webpage evolves

Q. Is a psychic or medium a fortune teller?
A. It may surprise you to know psychics and mediums are not fortune tellers
Q. Is it possible to forecast the future?
A.Well not 100% and this is because of free will.
Q. What is free will?
A. Free will is YOUR right to decide what you want to do about a situation, it is a choice
Q. How does free will affect a situation?
A. Well before we incarnate as Spirit in a human body, we decide on what experiences and challenges that will benefit our spiritual growth. However we are given the choice (free will) as to whether we go through with the experience or challenge. In effect we are allowed to change or mind.
Q. So are you saying we all know what lies before us?
A. Well in a way we all do. Remember we are 'Spirit' in a human body and your spirit does retain a memory but it is deep in our subconscious. This memory is retained deeply for a reason to help us fulfill our experiences and challenges we ourselves chose. However it is also at this deep level so we are not so aware. If you knew what lay before you would you go through with it? Probably not but we still retain this memory deeply and this reflects in our Aura.
Q. So what is the Aura?
A.The aura is The Aura is an electromagnetic field that surrounds living bodies, this includes people, animals, plants and crystals and is composed of several layers that are constantly moving. The Aura links us to whats known as Universal energy i.e. that is all the knowledge in the Universe past, present and future. It is on this aura that psychics are able to tap into and access your past, whats going on in the present and the possible future and I say possible specifically if your goal or desire is dependent on other people, for remember every person involved in a situation has free will.