Win free tickets to the London Mind Body Spirit Festival


London:Give your body the holiday it deserves at the London Mind Body Spirit Festival. WeÂ’ve got 15 pairs of entry tickets to give away to this annual celebration of everything healthy and holistic.

Take a workshop with renowned facial exercising expert Eva Fraser, master the art of meditation, try out tai chi, tune into Tantra or delve into the array of exciting therapies, products and workouts all under one roof. The Festival runs from 21-26 May in central London

To win your fee pair of tickets email us at putting London MBS Festival in the header with your name and address by 10 May 2008. Your name will be put into a draw. Please note that no cash equivalent is being offered and the Editor’s decision is final.

Now in its 32nd year, the annual London Mind Body Spirit Festival is the longest running event of its kind worldwide. Bringing together a compelling blend of international presenters, performers and exhibitors, all focused on new ways of living in harmony with themselves, those around them and the world they live in, some 20,000 visitors flock to this inspirational spiritual and holistic delicatessen seeking physical, mental and spiritual enlightenment.

How to morph your body into a lean machine


Whether you need to keep calm in the face of chaos or simply keep your waistline under control, this system is no nonsense and it works, says fitness expert Dr Matthew Mills

In his new book, Mind and Body Metamorphosis, he explains how a training syllabus based on Eastern martial Arts, is designed to establish and develop calm, mental focus and improved levels of fitness. The techniques in Matthew MillsÂ’ easy-to-follow exercise regime provide a series of straight forward lessons that can be integrated into daily life.

Most diet or exercise systems completely neglect the everyday psychological issues many of us face, such as insecurity and lack of fitness. This is why they almost always fail to deliver real results. Mills addresses the most common reasons that people give up and offers practical advice to ensure that your ultimate goals can be attained and maintained. MillsÂ’ approach offers a sustainable routine for body and mind, which will go far beyond the usual mid-January demise of those new year resolutions.

Including exercises to help avoid DVT and jet-lag on long-haul journeys, as well as techniques that have been adopted by management teams such as Honda Formula 1, this book will appeal to anyone who struggles to balance exercise with their hectic, modern lifestyle.

When January comes around, forget about that expensive gym membership, this book is the only equipment you will need.

About the author

Dr Mathew Mills has a Masters degree in Human and Applied Physiology and a PhD from the Department of Medicine, University College London. He is a regular speaker at conferences all over the world and has designed stress management and executive training packages for high profile companies aimed at enhancing fitness, health and mental focus. Mathew is also the model on the front of the book! Mathew Mills is based in London.

Mind and Body Metamorphosis is published by Summersdale (ISBN: 978 1 84024 549 3; PB; 160 pages; ÂŁ9.99). It is available through all good bookshops and internet booksellers or by telephoning Mail Order at Summersdale on: +44 (0) 1243 771107.

Best wishes

Test your brain fitness with Mindfit


MindWeavers plc, the company behind the unique computer-based ‘brain workout’ MindFit, has set you to a memory test.

The challenge comprises 12 simple questions covering events from throughout the year, each question designed to test the memory.

• Which teams played in the final of the Rugby World Cup?

• Which famous tenor’s funeral was held in Modena?

• Which novice driver came close to winning the F1 Grand Prix

• Who was Nicholas Sarkozy’s opponent in the French Presidential

• In which month did Tony Blair finally resign?

• Which royal couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in

• In which country were thousands of monks arrested after protesting
again Human Rights abuses?

• Which virus affected British cattle farmers in 2007?

• Which Government departments were chopped in Gordon Brown’s first
cabinet reshuffle? And for a bonus point, what have they now become?

• Which concert was organised to raise awareness of global warming?

• In his final budget before becoming Prime Minister, by how much did
Gordon Brown cut income tax?

• Which novel, released in June 2007 completed the adventures of
Harry Potter?

How good is your memory and could you benefit from a regular brain ‘workout’ in 2008?

There is widespread recognition that mental as well as physical fitness helps us to live longer and healthier lives, and that an active brain maintains our quality of life as we get older. So along with the traditional New YearÂ’s resolutions to achieve physical fitness, MindFit is offering an effective way of exercising our brains as well in 2008.

Clinical trials have demonstrated that using MindFit for twenty minutes a day, three times a week can promote a healthier mind.

As the craze for brain exercise sweeps across the UK, an independent survey conducted by NOP shows that nearly two thirds of people over 50 say that they do crosswords, and one in five computer games to keep their brain active. While these forms of activity may help, MindFit has been scientifically proven to improve important skills such as memory, reaction time and spatial awareness, protecting against the effects of ageing.

MindWeavers, the team that has brought MindFit to the UK includes renowned neuroscientist Dave Moore who set up the company in 2000 whilst at Oxford University, and top brain scientist Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield, Director of the Royal Institute.

MindWeavers Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Robinson concluded, ‘’ ’MindFit raises the seriousness of brain exercise while still being fun to use.
During the season when many consider turning over a new leaf for the new year ahead, MindFit provides the ideal opportunity to keep your brain healthy in 2008.Â’Â’

MindFit can be purchased through the MindWeaversÂ’ website: or by telephoning 0845 643 2742 within the UK.

* The independent NOP Omnibus including questions commissioned by MindWeavers interviewed 473 adults aged 50+ was conducted by telephone during 24th-26th August 2007. The results were weighted in order to be nationally representative.

MindFit retails in the UK at ÂŁ89.99 and can be purchased through the MindWeaversÂ’ website: < a href="">

MindWeavers plc is a University of Oxford spin-out company which creates and sells software products that apply World-leading neuronal science to harness the dynamism of the human brain. The CompanyÂ’s innovative software products can maintain brain health in older people, protecting against age-related mental decline and dramatically improve childrenÂ’s language learning abilities.

MindWeavers moved into the ‘brain exercise’ and brain health market with the acquisition of BrainBoost and is currently launching a series of innovative brain exercise products for the baby boomer market, as well as trialling brain health products that aim to protect people who have been diagnosed with early cognitive decline.

Answers to the Quiz – how did you score?

• Which teams played in the final of the Rugby World Cup?
England and South Africa

• Which famous tenor’s funeral was held in Modena?


• Which novice driver came close to winning the F1 Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton

• Who was Nicholas Sarkozy’s opponent in the French Presidential

Segolene Royal

• In which month did Tony Blair finally resign?

• Which royal couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in

HRH Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

• In which country were thousands of monks arrested after protesting
again Human Rights abuses?


• Which virus affected British cattle farmers in 2007?

Blue Tongue

• Which Government departments were chopped in Gordon Brown’s first
cabinet reshuffle? And for a bonus point, what have they now become?

DTi and Department of Education

DTi now Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR)

DfE now split into Department for Children, Schools and Families and Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills

• Which concert was organised to raise awareness of global warming?

Live Earth

• In his final budget before becoming Prime Minister, by how much did
Gordon Brown cut income tax?


• Which novel, released in June 2007 completed the adventures of
Harry Potter?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Hollywood’s top motivator reveals how you can..


By Peter C Siegel, RH, Executive Director PowerMind

You’ve thought about running a marathon. But as you begin your pre-race training, you soon realize it’s way tougher than you thought. Watching other experienced runners, you find yourself thinking, “Well, I guess they can do it, but I can’t.”
Or, you look in the mirror and realize 15 fewer pounds would do you and your waistline a world of good. But you’ve tried to diet and exercise before. “Well, I guess I just ‘can’tÂ’ stay on track,” you lament.

But think for a moment. In both preceding examples, just why “can’t” you?

Really think about it! Is there any logical reason you’d embrace as to why others can accomplish something, but you “can’t”? Let me tell you, in a majority of cases, “I canÂ’t” is just unquestioned, erroneous thinking…an unchallenged mental habit! And I’m about to give you a strategy to override this tendency in a way which incites decided success actions and behaviors.

As you think, you become. If you say and believe that you “can’t” do something, you won’t. But if you firmly embrace the idea that you Can – and you Must do it – things you may once have thought impossible for you will start becoming eye opening, esteem building, personal triumphs!

And so from this time forward, whenever or wherever you find yourself entertaining thoughts suggesting “I can’t”, give yourself the deliberate mental command, “I MUST !” Say it boldly to yourself: And f-e-e-l the idea pulsing vigorously though you, allowing the nourishing power it engenders to flood every muscle, nerve and fiber within you.

By this exclamation “I MUST !”, thought or spoken with conviction, you access the instinctive competence part of you…that automatically knows what to do, how to do it, and then just does it — directly, and decisively! You just perform spontaneously, exactly as you need to achieve a specific result.

Overriding “CanÂ’t”/Initiating Success Action – The Strategy

To support “I Must !” becoming ingrained in your thinking. engage the following process every time you project an “I can’t” notion. [*Do Not Use This Process While Driving Or While Performing Any Activity Requiring Your Comprehensive Alertness!]

Immediately, upon becoming aware you’re thinking “I can’t” in relation to something:

1) Close your eyelids down and breathe deeply.

2) Think, or if appropriate, verbalize emphatically: “Every Time I Think I ‘Cant’…I MUST !”

3) Then, In your imagination, project a scenario depicting yourself the embodiment of boldness, deliberately taking the initiative to do, achieve, and succeed with the aspect where your “I can’t” notion emerged.

4) Envisioning this,, deeply sense the realness, and impact, of your action specificity. Imaginatively experience yourself generating the degree of power and competence reflecting you are confidently taking charge (while experiencing yourself acting in that specific way which conclusively accomplishes the task)!

6) Experience yourself producing or accomplishing the outcome you recognize will occur from your straightforward, success directed “I MUST !” actions.

7) Savoring the strength and esteem accompanying what you just envisioned, open your eyes and immediately start do-ing — in exact accord with your “I MUST !” visualization!

Use this strategy as outlined, and steadily you’ll find “I MUST !” becoming your rule of thumb, and “I CAN” becoming the predominant fact of your life!

Pete Siegel is an internationally acclaimed peak performance hypnotherapist, and high-profile personal development author. To review his best selling life and success building programs, visit

Music therapy improves schizophrenia

London: Music therapy for psychiatric in-patients with schizophrenia can improve some of the symptoms of the disorder, according to a new study by researchers at Imperial College London and therapists at the Central and North West London Mental Health Trust.

The preliminary research, published today in the British Journal of Psychiatry, is the first time music therapy for people with acute schizophrenia has been evaluated.

For this small study, 81 in-patients at four hospitals in central and inner London were randomised to receive music therapy or standard care alone. Those people receiving music therapy had between 8 and 12 sessions, once a week, for up to 45 minutes.

During the sessions patients were given access to a range of musical instruments and encouraged to use them to express themselves. Initially the therapist listened carefully to the patient’s music and accompanied them closely, seeking to follow their emotional state in musical terms. The therapist then offered opportunities to extend or vary the nature of the musical interaction.

The researchers measured symptoms of schizophrenia and found that improvements were greater among those people receiving music therapy than among those receiving standard care alone. Referral for music therapy was associated with reductions in general symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, and the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as emotional withdrawal. However, the authors caution that because this was a small study, it is possible that other factors, such as severity of illness, may have influenced the study’s findings.

Dr Mike Crawford, from the Department of Psychological Medicine at Imperial College London and lead author of the study, said: “We have known for some time that psychological treatments can help people with schizophrenia, but these have only been used when people are fairly stable. This study shows that music therapy provides a way of working with people when they are acutely unwell.

“At such times patients may find it difficult to express themselves using words, but through the skill of the therapist it may be possible to help people interact through music in a way that is constructive, creative and enjoyable,” he added.

The researchers believe that the study provides sufficient evidence to justify a larger explanatory randomised trial of music therapy for people with schizophrenia, designed to explore the effects and cost-effectiveness of this kind of therapy.

Dr Crawford explained: “In-patient treatment is the form of care that people with schizophrenia are least satisfied with. Music therapy may provide a means of enhancing the effectiveness of in-patient treatment by reducing some of the symptoms of schizophrenia that respond least well to drug treatment.”


1. “An exploratory randomised controlled trial of music therapy
for inpatients with schizophrenia” British Journal of Psychiatry, 1 November 2006

Nakul Talwar(1), Mike J Crawford* (2), Anna Maratos (1), Ula Nur, Orri McDermott (1), Simon Proctor (3)
(1) Central and North West London Mental Health NHS Trust
(2) Department of Psychological Medicine, Imperial College London
(3) East London and the City NHS Mental Health Trust
* Corresponding author

2. Consistently rated in the top three UK university
institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment – underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture. Website:

A younger brain – fertilise it with nutrition, exercise and the mind gym

Lawyers, scientists, doctors, investment bankers and those of us with challenging jobs are 22 per cent less likely to suffer age-related brain diseases such as AlzheimerÂ’s or dementia in later life, according to a recent study.

Whilst this is good news, doctors now believe the onset of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s are the result of a combination of factors that can begin in our 30s – decades before the symptoms manifest themselves. Like heart and cardio-vascular disease many of us will already silently be developing symptoms. Stress and binge-drinking can accelerate the onset of memory loss and cognitive impairment leading to more serious problems later in life.

So what can we do now to prevent or reverse this process and help our brains function better for longer? According to international nutritionist Patrick Holford, author of “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Plan” (Piatkus Books) cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s are mostly preventable and we can reverse our risk by making simple changes to our lifestyle and diet.

According to Holford only 1 per cent of AlzheimerÂ’s is caused by genetic factors. Roughly three in ten people over the age of 70 experience poor memory, concentration and confusion, with a further one in ten being diagnosed with dementia, the majority of which go on to develop AlzheimerÂ’s disease. So we have a 50:50 chance of entering the last quarter of our lives with our mental faculties intact.

Scientists already know that there is a correlation between the build-up of “amyloid plaques”, a protein that clogs up the brain, killing the cells and Alzheimer’s but this can only be detected after death through examination of the brain.

One of the key factors in determining whether a person is at risk is to test levels of an amino-acid called homocysteine in the blood. High levels – a healthy score is 7 – such as 15 or above are likely to indicate worsening mental alertness and the prospect of Alzheimer’s disease in later life. High homocysteine levels are also implicated in heart and cardio-vascular disease.

Holford’s recommendation’s to lower your “H” score by: eating less fatty meat, more fish and vegetables; even more green vegetables, a clove of garlic daily, don’t add salt to food, cut back on tea and coffee, limit alcohol, reduce stress, stop smoking and supplementing with homocysteine reducing nuritients each day (see Brain Boosters).

At the Brain Bio Centre in London ( Holford has been pioneering this nutrition-based method for reversing the risk of both age-related memory decline and AlzheimerÂ’s with some success.
At the recent London Anti-Ageing Conference he told medical experts that he had arrested the development of mental deterioration in men and women by changing their diet and some had also had the bonus of having their libido restored.

Since the brain is 60% fat, Holford argues, we should be eating a diet rich in oil soluble vitamins such as Vitamin E (liver and eggs), oily fish (sardines and salmon) and seeds (pumpkin and flax) which contain Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids. One of the signs that you may not be getting enough of these vital brain nutrients is a dry skin.

His findings are confirmed by doctors at the Rush Institute for Healthy Ageing in Chicago who discovered that eating oily fish, containing DHA, a form of omega three fat, just once a week, reduces the risk of developing AlzheimerÂ’s by 60 per cent.

We must also not forget the role of hormones in memory loss. One, pregnenolone, is known as the mother hormone because it converts to a variety of others – oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA – is also important in brain function. But blood testing is essential and anyone with cancer should not take pregnenolone.

Professor Ian Robertson, of the Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity College, Dublin, in his book, Stay Young with the Mind Doctor, (published by Vermillion) has conducted experiments with exercise and mental workouts which he says make it possible to make the brain younger by up to 14 years.

He prescribes a cardiovascular workout three times a week to raise the heart rate and improve mental function by increasing blood flow to the brain. It also produces a chemical fertiliser for new brain connections and cells (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and serotonin the enhancing mood chemical. Taking up new mental challenges such as learning new skills such as learning to play a musical instrument or learning a new language work the frontal lobes – the brain’s mind manager – which otherwise shrink with age; extreme stress decreases the hippocampus, the brain’s memory centre, so reduce it and finally keep your mind happy with an active social life and positive personal relationships. Next week: Staying Young – super anti-ageing supplements and foods

Avril OÂ’Connor is Editor of an independent source of anti-ageing health information. Email:

Yes No

Is your memory deteriorating?

Do you find it hard to concentrate and often get confused?
Do you sometimes meet someone you know quite well but canÂ’t remember their name?

Do you often find you can remember things from the past but forget what you did yesterday?
Do you ever forget what day of the week it is?
Do you ever go looking for something and forget what you are looking for?
Do your friends and family think youÂ’re getting more forgetful now than you used to be?
Do you find it hard to add up numbers without writing them down?
Do you often experience mental tiredness?
Do you find it heard to concentrate for more than an hour?
Do you often misplace your keys?
Do you frequently repeat yourself?
Do you sometimes forget the point youÂ’re trying to make?
Does it take you longer to learn things than it used to?

Score 1 for each “yes” answer
If your score is:
Below 5: You don’t have a major problem with your memory – but you may find that simple diet changes and supplementing natural mind and memory boosters will sharpen you up even more.

5 to 10: Your memory definitely needs a boost. Certain diet changes and supplements can make a big difference.

More than 10: You are experiencing significant memory decline and need to do something about it. As well as following these diet and supplement recommendations we recommend you see a nutritionist.


Ashwagandha – a medicinal plant used in India that has been shown to repair damaged brain cells
Acetyl-L-Carnitine Arginate –stimulates the growth of neurites in the brain as well as stimulating production of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter
Alpa-Lipoic Acid
Choline – a substance needed by the brain to produce acetylcholine
Co Enyme Q10 – produced by the body but declines with age and energises the cells. Low levels are also associated with heart disease
DMAE – a natural substance also found in oily fish such as salmon and converts to choline and acetylcholine to build and repair brain cells.
Gingo Bilboa – a potent antioxidant supplement that strengthens capillaries, promoting healthy blood flow to the brain
Gluthione – a natural antioxidant that fights free radicals that damage cells in the body
Lecithin – a natural substance found in the body that helps maintain cell structure
N-acetyl cysteine – an amino acid that helps remove homocysteine from the blood
Omega 3 fats – found in fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel) and seeds (pumpkin and flax)
Phosphatidylserine – a natural part of the healthy cell membrane but declines with age. Helps concentration and is available as a dietary supplement in the US but only available in the UK on prescription.
Pregnenolone – mother hormone that declines with age and vital to brain function