55 posts categorized "Health and Fitness"

Introducing Emuna Fitness

How would you like to wake up in the morning happy, with no pain and looking forward to the brand new day? How would you like to be fit until 120 years old? You don't believe it's possible? Well it sure is, with no gimmicks at all, just a few basic tweaks to your daily routine...

A human being is composed of two main components - body and soul. Good health depends on the well-being of both and includes both physical health and spiritual health. What good are the 22" biceps when the he-man gets an ulcer, heart attack or stroke from his anger problem? Emuna fitness is therefore the truest form of holistic functional fitness, where you wake up in the morning happy and with no pain, as you'll see here. This is just the beginning - stick with us and we'll do things that you never believed you could do...

A candid interview with Doctor S


Doctor S is a summa cum laude graduate of one of the world's best medical schools. He is a general practitioner who spends half his time in his private clinic, and the other half as a public-medicine physician in Israel's Kupat Cholim system. He is an individual of rare integrity and a veteran of three wars. At age 66, he's still a renegade, and a medical version of a Frank Serpico. Therefore, we have to cloud his identity for obvious reasons, as you'll soon see:

LB: Dr. S, would you describe yourself as a religious person?

Dr. S: Not in your sense of the word. But, I have a strong faith in The Creator and tremendous respect for our Jewish heritage.

LB: From your standpoint, does emuna play a role in medicine?

Dr. S: It sure does, not only from the patient's angle, but from the doctor's angle. My atheistic colleagues are blind to their own deficiencies. It's literally impossible to cure without the Creator's help.

LB: Are you saying that for my benefit?

Dr. S: You know me better than that. A physician that doesn't recognize that he or she is a mere messenger of The Creator is probably arrogant and ineffective. Even worse, he or she is dangerous.

LB: Does that explain the recent scandal in an Israeli hospital where 12 doctors were arrested for experimenting on patients?

Dr. S: That and more. A physician with no emuna believes he has the right to give and take life, especially for the advancement of his own career and/or bank account.

LB: What type of experiments do they perform?

Dr. S: A surgeon may try a totally experimental procedure on a patient with no firm family backing or round-the-clock supervision, such as a neglected old person. If he succeeds, he gets fame, money, and a write-up in a medical journal. If he flops, they bury the patient and nobody cares. That's why you people are problematic.

LB: What do you mean?

Dr. S: Haredi patients are usually surrounded by a bevy of caring children and grandchildren, with representatives of the Haredi community that keep an eye on doctors. Most doctors won't toy around with a patient that benefits from strong family and community support.

LB: So the lonelier a patient is, the more vulnerable he or she is to experiments?

Dr. S: Correct.

LB: What happened 3 years ago when 4 Israelis died of flu vaccination?

Dr.S: The Health Department is working day and night to cover their bases, so I don't categorically know. Behind closed doors, I've heard that a bad batch of vaccine snuck its way into Israel.

LB: How can that happen?

Dr. S: Public medicine, especially here in Israel, is looking to save money. Frequently, procurement managers buy cheap batches of outdated drugs from the USA, and use them widespread here.

LB: Are you serious? How so?

Dr. S: Suppose that a certain antibiotic has long been outshined on the USA drug market, and the manufacturer is stuck with a big inventory; the same antibiotic is then offered to Kupat Cholim for a song. Now, all the doctors in public clinics here will be instructed to give this antibiotic to anybody that walks in the door.

LB: What do you have to say about antibiotics?

Dr. S: Use only as a last resort. We don't give the body a chance to repair itself. Many drugs destroy the body's ability to fight disease on its own. Nevertheless, I want to stress that when somebody has a strep throat with 104 F. fever, then you zap them with antibiotics - there's no other choice. But, I don't give antibiotics for the flu (unlike many of my colleagues that give antibiotics for anything), because they do nothing against viruses.

LB: Do you recommend flu shots?

Dr. S: No! Sometimes, the flu vaccine embeds viruses within the body that we don't know how to dislodge.

LB: What about alternate medicine?

Dr. S: Depends; it's wildcat, especially here in Israel, and you could fall into the hands of a quack. I do believe in herb medicine, grandma remedies, natural foods and diet, and good old exercise.

LB: What's your opinion on Ritalin for kids?

Dr. S: Do you ride horses, rabbi?

LB: Whenever I have the chance...

Dr. S: Then you know that a spirited horse is sometimes hard to break in, but once you do, you have a good mount. Giving a hyperactive child Ritalin is like drugging a horse instead of training it. No, I believe that caring and dedicated teachers don't need Ritalin solutions. Also, lazy parents who feed kids Corn Flakes and other empty carbs in the morning instead of making them a decent breakfast end up feeding their kids Ritalin too.

LB: Do you recommend regular checkups?

Dr. S: As long as you feel good, stay away from doctors.

LB: Amen! Thanks and G-d bless, Dr. S.

Emuna or Coca Cola - Who's More Popular?

Emuna Coca Cola
My dream has always been that the word emuna soon becomes more popular than Coca Cola. We still have work to do, because according to Google, Coca Cola is still 40,000 times more popular than emuna. No wonder that there's so much to fix in this world. There's one big difference though: whereas Coca Cola is disastrous to your health (bone fractures, osteoporosis, tooth decay, kidney failure, low fertility, dehydration, obesity and diabetes risk, just to name a few), emuna is fantastic for body, mind and soul and the best thing in the world for a happy and healthy lifestyle.

The job of spreading emuna in the world was much more than I could handle on my own, which I tried my best to do in the first nine years after Emuna Outreach was founded in 2004. Needing much more spiritual fire-power, the "platoon" of Emuna Outreach became part of the emuna army of Breslev Israel, under the auspices of the world's Minister of Emuna, by beloved mentor Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit'a, 3 years ago in the summer of 2013. Since then, we've spread emuna books and CDs around the globe and have personally visited peoples of all backgrounds in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia. This is true Tikkun Olam, rectifying the world. You can partner with us and reap the phenomenal benefits of bringing people of all backgrounds closer to Hashem - Donate to Emuna Outreach - it's USA tax-deductible.

Bright Beams blessings for a beautiful Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh Nissan.

The Beams Program for Beating Arthritis

No Arthritis
Arthritis sufferers - with Hashem's everloving grace, here's great news: You can beat the rap of arthritis without doctors, without pills, and with virtually no added expense.

Here's the scoop: Since a healthy soul needs a healthy body, I always incorporate recommendations for proper diet and exercise in my spiritual and emotional counseling. During the past six months, I've been in contact with three different people (24 year-old male, 58 yr. old female, 62 yr. old male), who had been suffering from severe depression on one hand, and arthritis on the other. All three have made remarkable progress. Milton (62, from Melbourne) writes:

I would never have believed it! At first (please excuse me), I thought you were crazy, rabbi. But, when you second-guessed everything I was eating, I thought "my, this man knows something." Fortunately, I no longer need steroids, and my situation is not autoimmune like the doctors said. It's a crime if you don't share your painless plan with the whole world. I'm grateful to your website, to you, and to Hashem. May you be blessed in every single way. With sincere thanks, Milton M.

With Hashem's help, you're going to be smiling too. Here's my plan - please follow the entire scheme, for it incorporates the mutual effort of body and soul:

1. From this moment on, no diet beverages or artificial sweeteners of any kind - they are direct causes of joint pain and degeneration.

2. Drastically lower - better yet, eliminate -  your intake of added salt and white sugar - they bleed the body of calcium.

3. Increase your calcium intake. Alfalfa sprouts, sardines, organic tehina, and almonds are especially high in calcium.

4. Raise your body's pH by eating less acidic foods. Alcohol and fried foods should be eliminated from your diet. Eat more vegetables. Junk food is totally taboo - they all contain trans fats, refined grains and MSG, all of which are poison for arthritis.

5. Get as much Omega3 as possible; fish and flaxseed (ground fresh, 2 teaspoons a day, added to yogurt or branflakes) are perfect for this.

6. Move over from white sugar and flour to whole wheat grains/breads and natural cane sugar.

7. Up your natural vitamin E intake - lettuce and wheat germ (2 teaspoons a day, added to yogurt or branflakes)will do the job. Unroasted sunflower seeds are also a terrific source of Vitamin E.

8. Do 5-10 minutes of light stretching and flexing exercises when you wake up and before you go to bed.

9. Walk for at least 30 (Preferably 60) minutes a day, while asking Hashem to cure you and to help you correct your soul.

10. Wash your hands 3 times consecutively as soon as you wake up in the morning.

11. Be careful to make a proper blessing before and after eating.

12. Give a coin to charity every day, then say Psalm 91. For those who seek a faster recovery, say Psalms 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150 (the "Tikkun Klali").

If you follow the above advice to the letter, you'll also trim out and feel younger. Go for it, it works!

Powerlifting for the Mind

KB and Gemara
Power-lifting? That's lifting heavy weights, what trainers call "resistance training". What could possibly be power-lifting for the mind?

Pick up a Gemara. Nothing in the world will build your brain muscle like a Gemara. And it's the toughest form of resistance training too - wait till you see the resistance that you get from the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) the minute you decide to pick up a Gemara.

I invite you to visit an old age home in the ultra-Orthodox areas of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. Don't be alarmed when you walk into the Bet Midrash (study hall, which every Charedi old age home has), and you'll find two spry nonagenarians animatedly waving their hands in the air, banging on the table and yelling at each other while arguing a point in Talmudic logic and debate. There's no one here with Alzheimer's - these old gents have been doing resistance training for their brains all their lives. Maybe many of their body functions are limited, but they suffer no atrophy of the mind. Their brains work hard.

The Koreans have always been pioneers in fitness. It's no surprise that the Talmud (Mishna and Gemara) has become a smash bestseller in Korea. The Koreans too want to strengthen their brains... 

How is it that Alzheimer's is so rare in the Torah world? While 11% of the general population in the USA over age 65, and 32% of the population over the age of 85 suffers from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, the estimated numbers are less than a tenth of that among Torah scholars. Take for example Rabbi Leib Steinman shlit'a, one of this generation's greatest spiritual leaders - he's past 100 and his mind is still razor sharp. So were the minds of Rabbi Vosner and Rabbi Elyashiv, of sacred and blessed memories, who left us in recent years, both well over 100 years old.

What is it about the Gemara that strengthens the mind so much? First of all, it's Divine nutrition for the brain as opposed to the passive junk-food that most people feed their brains today. Second, understanding the Gemara requires conscious, sustained mental effort - it does for the brain what an HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout does for the body. Even when a person gets up from his Gemara session, his mind is still contempleting what he learned, just like the afterburn effect of a good workout. Third, learning with a chavruta (learning partner) forces the Gemara learner to be alert, attentive and mentally sharp. There's no boredom here. In fact, chavruta-style learning is fantastic for those who are kinesthetic or audial learners, because of the back-and-forth give-and-take style of learning where it's OK to fly out of your chair, learn standing up or any way else you like.

Bottom line - for a strong mind, nothing beats a Gemara.

ADHD: The Natural Remedy

Do you have trouble focusing? Does your child?

Five years ago, I wrote an article Diet and Child Temperament on Breslev Israel that the right diet is oftentimes enough to solve the problem of ADHD. People don't realize that the same folks who tell you what's safe to eat and what's not - the ACSH (American Council on Science and Health) - are heavily funded by Monsanto, Pfizer, Merck, Coca Cola, Pepsi Coal and other white-collar corporate junkies who want to poison our children with empty carbs, sugars and GMO's, then label them ADHD and feed them Ritalin for the rest of their lives (please read "Shedding Light on Genetically Engineered Food" by Dr. Beth Harrison).

In addition to the problem of faulty nutrition, many so-called educational specialists misinterpret a child's inability to sit still for 8 hours as ADHD, when in actuality, the child is a kinesthetic learner. Kinesthetic learners need to move around and work manually with ideas. They touch things a lot. Smells and textures are important. They get bored just sitting still in class just listening. The more activity they experience while doing a skill, the better they learn it. I myself was a classical kinesthetic learner; I didn't swing from the rafters like hyperactive kids did, but I would daydream and doodle all day long, completely out of focus with what was going on in class. My best subjects were botany and biology, where there was much hands-on lab work. If your child is a Kinesthetic learner, do what King Solomon says - educate him according to his talents, aptitudes and particular style of learning ( see Proverbs 22:). Don't be trigger happy to shoot your child down with negative labels.

I'm happy to introduce you to a brother-in-arms, Dr. Josh Axe, MD, fitness expert and doctor of functional medicine. Doctor Josh himself was labeled as ADHD as a child - that didn't stop him from becoming one of the tops in his field. This vid is a must-see for parents, or for anyone who thinks he/she suffers from ADHD: Before you reach for the Ritalin, got the processed foods and the white sugar out of your child's diet - give him a teaspoon of fish oil or cod liver oil in the morning.

Now, let's listen to Dr. Josh's advice - it's spot on:

The Gift of Flu

Flu Bear
One of the hallmark principles of emuna is that everything comes from Hashem and it's all for the good.

So here you are, using up a box of Kleenex per hour, sneezing, coughing, and breathing heavily. You feel disgusted with yourself. You're usually really active but now, the only part of your body that's running is your nose. Your muscles are tight and hurting. You ask yourself, how in the world can this be for the good?

Like everything else, the flu is a gift from Above. If you could see the amount and type of virus and bacteria cells floating around, your cardiac health would be threatened. If you could see the toxins in the air we breath and the pesticides in the food we eat, you'd move to Aborigines country in central Australia. As much as we try to eat and drink healthfully, especially if you're an emuna-fitness fan and a Beams reader, it's not always easy.

Recently, after returning from accompanying Rabbi Arush to North America, I felt pains in my right deltoid when pressing weights and in my left quadriceps when doing leg exercises. At first, I thought that I hadn't warmed up enough. Then, I realized that Hashem was sending me a postcard. The muscle pains with the raspy throat said, "Prepare - flu on the way." It hit me like a ton of bricks, full blast. So what did I do?

I thanked Hashem for detoxing me. I thanked Hashem for enabling my body to cleanse and heal itself. All those toxins and other garbage were pouring out by way of my nose and throat secretions. Hashem is simply doing an early Pesach cleaning for my body. If Heaven-forbid the body wouldn't detox on its own, then it would be in danger of much more serious threats to its health.

When you're cleaning, the house looks terrible with all those full garbage bags that must be disposed of. Then, all of a sudden, the house looks spotless. Meanwhile, my body is collecting all the garbage bags, but in a few short days, they'll be disposed of too and we'll be back in the groove, G-d willing.

Do I take aspirin or Tylenol? No way! Medical research (universities, not pharm companies) show that they only prolong the self-cleansing process by 3-4 days. In other words, when you let your body heal itself - as uncomfortable as it may be - you're back on your feet faster and healthier. I use my own flu remedy and it works great.

Thanks for the flu, Hashem, and for everything else You do in Your magnificent loving-kindness.