Cleaning Fat Cells of Harmful Toxins

You can eat right, exercise regularly, take vitamins and herbal supplements, even meditate to get rid of stress—but in our modern industrial age, this it is still not enough to stay healthy. More and more research suggests that reducing environmental toxins is necessary to stay healthy.

Hazardous industrial chemicals absorbed by the body have been linked to immune, reproductive, endocrine and nervous system disorders. Every year more than 84,000 chemicals are put into American food and products. The Environmental Working Group, an American environmental organization that specializes in research and advocacy, found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of infants born in the US.

Tests detected a total of 287 chemicals from pesticides, consumer products, food packaging and environmental waste, including BPA, flame-retardants, PCBs, and even DDT.

The culprit: “Lipophilic toxicants”

Lipophilic toxicants are chemicals that are stored in lipids, or fats, in the body. This means that they are not water-soluble. They attach to, and can only be removed by, fat. These chemicals generally have a half-life ranging from 2.5 to 15 years. A half-life is the time required for the concentration of a substance to decrease by half.

Because they are fat-soluble, the human body is unable to efficiently process these man-made chemicals, so they accumulate in the body over time, cause a wide range of symptoms and disorders. These chemicals also put stress on the liver, as they must be converted by the liver to become water-soluble.

The solution: Panchakarma

The traditional detoxification treatments of Ayurveda (Panchakarma) have been shown to be uniquely effective in ridding the body of these fat-soluble toxins. These treatments utilize non-toxic oils to loosen and remove lipid-soluble toxicants from their deposited sites in the body, allowing for their excretion.

No other detox treatment has been demonstrated to reduce these by sign cant amounts. Published research has shown a 50% reduction with a 5-day treatment.

Common Fat-Soluble Environmental Chemicals

PCBs

PCBs are only one of over 200 dangerous manmade chemicals that we are exposed to every day. Despite the fact that PCBs have been banned for over 30 years, 95 percent of Americans have light levels of PCBs and other toxic chemicals stored in their blood and organs.

Thousands of medical studies have linked PCBs to thyroid disease, diabetes, heart disease, liver damage, memory problems, etc. Breast milk may become contaminated, affecting infants.

BPA

A chemical used in plastics, BPA imitates the sex hormone estrogen in your body.

This synthetic hormone can trick the body into thinking it’s the real thing –has been linked to breast and others cancers to reproductive problems, obesity, early puberty and heart disease. According to government tests, 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies!

Dioxins

Dioxins are by-products of a wide range of industrial processes such as paper manufacturing, mineral production, oil refining and chemical and municipal incineration. Dioxins affect our health by interfering with a cell’s ability to turn on and turn off genes. When dioxin in present in a cell, gene function can either be blocked or kept on continually.

How to Avoid Environmental Chemicals

  1. Avoid eating animal products. Fat-soluble chemicals build up in the fat cells throughout the food chain. When you eat fish and animal products, you are ingesting their life accumulation of toxins.
  2. Buy organically grown fruit and vegetables.
  3. Get a drinking water filter certified to remove atrazine.
  4. Go fresh instead of canned – many food cans are lined with BPA. – or research which companies don’t use BPA or similar chemicals in their products.
  5. Say no to receipts, since thermal paper is often coated with BPA.
  6. Avoid plastics marked with a “PC,” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7. Not all of these plastics contain BPA, but many do – and it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to keeping synthetic hormones out of your body.
  7. Buy or create your own natural cleaning products. natural-cleaning-products-salt-vinegar
  8. Avoid products containing bleach.
  9. Do not use pesticides and herbicides in your garden and lawn.
  10. Enjoy regular yearly Panchakarma treatments. Sweating and other traditional forms of detox will not help with fat-soluble toxins. Even dieting alone (reducing fat cells) will not help, because remaining fat cells absorbs their toxic load. Ayurveda detox treatments reset digestion, and help eliminate fat-soluble toxins from the cells, brain and liver.

For more information on Panchakarma, the Ayurveda treatments for detoxification, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:

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Summer Cool Down: Ayurveda Seasonal Guidelines for Pitta Season

During the summer months, both Pitta dosha and Vata dosha can become aggravated. The increasing power of the sun’s rays takes away the earth’s cooling qualities and allows dryness and heat to predominate. It also causes an increase in wind, which further decreases the quality of Kapha and increases Vata.

Exercise during the summer should be moderate because heavy or excessive exercise increases heat in the body. It can also aggravate Vata.

Staying up late also increases dryness, which is already being aggravated by the hot weather.

The intake of salty, pungent or sour foods and excessive exposure to sunlight will increase the accumulation of Pitta and Vata. Sweet, easy to digest foods, cool foods (never iced) and liquids tend to help bring the body back into balance. Remember that as in heat outside increases, our body automatically lowers its own internal temperatures. This means our power of digestion is lower in the summer. Eating light, cooked foods will help us get through the summer months without accumulating ama, the toxin that is created by  poorly digested food.

Light perfumes and fragrant flowers have a cooling influence on the mind and decrease the tendency toward anger, as well as other manifestations of increased Pitta.

Walking in the moonlight is recommended during the summer.

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Try to stay out of the sun during the peak sun hours of the day.

Drink lots of pure, fresh water. Room temperature is best. Iced drinks (and food) will further compromise our ability to digest our food. While hot water can increase the heat in our body, hot water can also help ease Vata aggravation, and may be tolerated by those with more Vata or Kapha constitutions.

Remember that eating properly is one of the most important things that you can do to maintain a healthy balance. When we properly digest our food, it brings nourishment throughout all the systems and organs in the body. The old adage “You are what you eat” is indeed true.  Ayurveda gives us the knowledge to understand how to choose what will best support our unique mind/body system.

For more information on Ayurveda treatment programs and consultations, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:

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Ayurveda Provides a Leading-Edge Approach to Arthritis

Ayurveda often connects joint pain to Vata dosha. While other factors contribute to the development of arthritis and joint pain, an imbalance in Vata dosha is almost always involved. For this reason, one of the most important Ayurvedic recommendations for balancing Vata is regularity in one’s daily routine: eating at the same, exercising at the same time, and going to bed at the same time every day.

Modern science now lends strength to this seemingly simple Ayurvedic “fix”.

Research studies conclude that regular meal times, exercise and bed times could help keep help avoid and/or minimize the pain of arthritis. According to researchers, tiny biological clocks exist within our cartilage cells, which control thousands of genes that are involved in keeping in keeping our cartilage healthy and strong.

The most common form of arthritis is caused by the wear and tear of cartilage that helps our joints withstand the strain of lifting, kneeling, bending, gripping, etc. When the biological clocks in our joints are working properly, the genes are timed to be activated at different times of the day and night. This allows the daily repair to happen in progressive and sequential steps.

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As we age, however, our biological clocks in our joints can stop working properly and the repair process no longer gets carried out as it was designed. Researchers found that the simple act of keeping a regular daily routine actually helped keep the cartilage clocks working properly, allowing them to support the self-repair of the cartilage.

The study concluded that not only can a regular routine delay the onset of arthritis, it could also help relieve pain in those already suffering from the condition.

Ayurveda has long understood the role that the body’s circadian rhythm (our built-in body clock) has in maintaining proper functioning of the physiology. Now modern science supports this understanding disruptions to this process can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.

In many cases, wear and tear in the joints are aggravated by the accumulation of ama. When ama, the toxic residue that results from poorly digested food, enters the blood stream, it can build up in areas of the body, including the joints. To remove ama from the joints and tissues, the traditional Ayurvedic treatments for purification and detoxification, known as Panchakarma, can be very helpful. These treatments help bring the aggravated doshas and accumulated ama back into the digestive tract for elimination. Once ama has been cleared, a program of prevention can be recommended. This will include lifestyle, diet and herbal recommendations that will help keep Vata in balance while supporting proper digestion so that ama no longer accumulated in the body.

For more information on programs for arthritis at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa, visit the web site:

www.theraj.com

Meditation and Yoga Change How Our DNA Is Expressed

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Meditation, Yoga and other “mind-body interventions” (MBIs) can reverse the damaging effects of stress and anxiety on the level of our DNA, according to a new study.

When our body becomes stressed, our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) goes into survival mode and tells our body to increase the production of a molecule called Nuclear Factor kappa B, or NF-kB. This molecule regulates how our genes are expressed.

NFkB tells our genes to produce proteins called cytokines, which cause inflammation at a cellular level. This reaction is useful for a short-lived “fight or flight” response, but if triggered continuously, can lead to serious health concerns such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, accelerated aging, and even psychiatric disorders such as depression.

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According to the new study, those who practice MBIs, actually exhibits the opposite effect: a decrease in the production of NFkB and cytokines. This means a reduction in the pattern of pro-inflammatory gene expression — and thus a reduction in the link of inflammation-related diseases and disorders.

Lead researcher, Iyana Buric, noted, “”These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed. Put simply, the MBIs cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our wellbeing.”

The researchers looked at 18 studies featuring a total of 846 participants over 11 years. They were able to chart a distinct pattern in the molecular changes that happened within the participants’ physiologies as a result of regular practice of MBIs.

Ayurveda, which literally means “the science of life”, has long understood that the mind/body system must be considered as a whole. Ayurveda is a comprehensive system of medicine that places equal emphasis on the body, mind and spirit, and strives to restore the innate harmony of the individual.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation technique, was instrumental in restoring Ayurveda to its comprehensive and integrated form in a system known as Maharishi Ayurveda. He emphasized the inseparable, very intimate relationship between the unmanifest field of consciousness and all the manifest levels of the physiology. According to this view, the primary approach to health must be from the most basic foundation: the field of consciousness.

The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa offers an integrated approach of purification treatments (Panchakarma), the Transcendental Meditation program, Yoga, diet, lifestyle and herbs, emphasizing a unique, individualized, and a holistic approach to health that has seen remarkable results in the lessening and abatement of a wide range of disorders.

For more information on The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa programs, visit:

www.theraj.com

 

Ayurveda Summer Skin Tips

During the heat of the summer, most people can benefit from a skin care approach that pacifies Pitta dosha. The exception is for those who find themselves with excessively oily skin all year: they may benefit from a Kapha pacifying approach, even in the summer months.

KNOWING YOUR SKIN TYPE

Vata

Vata skin is generally dry, thin, is easily dehydrated and is vulnerable to the influence of dry, cold, windy weather.

Pitta

Pitta skin is generally ruddy and can be warm to the touch. It is prone to breakouts and rashes. Pitta types tend to have more moles and freckles than other skin types.

Kapha

Kapha skin is generally more oily, smooth and thick. Kapha skin is more tolerant of the sun than Pitta or Vata skin.

SUMMER SKIN CARE

For most people, skin care in the summer should be cooling and nurturing. Try spritzing the face with rosewater throughout the day for a cooling and refreshing treat. Avoid being out in the sun during the harshest hours of 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Avoid hot and spicy food, which can immediately inflame Pitta dosha. If you are doing a daily oil massage (which is much recommended by Ayurveda) you may want to switch to a cooling oil, such as sweet almond oil, olive oil or coconut oil.

Swimming is a wonderful, cooling form of summertime exercise, but chlorine and chemicals used in pools can be hard on the skin. Be sure to rinse off after your swim and consider getting a filter for your home showerhead. Swimming in chlorinated water can strip off the protective layer of oil that naturally protects your skin from bacteria and viruses. A massage with coconut after your shower can help replace this. Otherwise, be sure to use a natural body moisturizer after your shower.

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DIET

A diet for healthier skin should include plenty of fluids—lots of plain, warm water (not iced) and also fresh (not canned or bottled) fruit juices. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables with a bitter taste, like kale, spinach and Chinese cabbage. Soups with fresh green vegetables are also recommended for the summer months. Remember that during the summer, as the external temperature rises, our internal “fire” decreases. Thus, our ability to digest foods can diminish in the summer. For this reason is it best not to eat an abundance of raw foods (or cold or iced foods). Ripe fruits are considered “cooked by the sun” and are fine to eat raw. In the summer it is best to favor sweet, juicy fruits as opposed to sour fruits. (Many fruits such as apples, berries and cherries can be either sweet or sour, so be sure to pick your fruits carefully.)

Avoid hot and spicy food, which can immediately inflame Pitta dosha.

Fennel and licorice are cooling spices that can be enjoyed during the hot months.

Caffeine and alcohol are heating and may increase Pitta.

Put “staying hydrated” high on your list of priorities in the summer.

SKIN CLEANSER

It is especially important to use gentle, natural skin care products in the summer. For an extremely effective, natural skin cleanser you can make at home, grind masala Dahl (a red lentil found in health food stores or Indian grocery stores) into a powder and soak overnight in natural whole milk. Make a thin mixture to wash with in the morning, or make a thick paste to use as a facial mask or scrub. Rinse off with warm water. Do not use hot water, as hot water is harmful to the skin. As with anything you use on your skin, test on a small patch of skin first to be sure you are not sensitive to it.

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Eliminating Mental and Physical Fatigue with Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, there are two types of fatigue: mental fatigue and physical fatigue. Either one can affect the other: thus when the mind is out of balance, it can throw the body out of balance. And vice versa.

If digestion is weak and our food is not being property assimilated, physical fatigue can be the result. When our digestion is disturbed, the food we are eating can not properly fuel the body. On top of poor digestion, many people suffer from fatigue from simply not choosing the right fuel. Or as one Ayurvedic expert from India put it, “Westerns eat too many “P”s: pizza, peanut butter, pancakes, pastries, potatoes, preservatives and packaged foods.” Too often we are prompted by taste, ignoring nutrition and wholesomeness. The ideal way to approach diet is to go for nourishment, purity, variety and freshness in foods that covers all six tastes. (The six tastes, according to Ayurveda, are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent.) Keeping this in mind will contribute to a strong digestion and immunity and help eliminate imbalances. The best way to approach physical fatigue is through proper diet and strengthening one’s digestion.

The traditional Ayurveda treatments for detoxification and purification offered at The Raj (known as Panchakarma) also help to strengthen the digestion and eliminate blockages and imbalances in the body, allowing the doshas to return to a healthy balance.

The root cause of most mental fatigue is stress. If you really want to remove mental fatigue you need to look for a means to eliminate stress.

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The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa offers instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique as a means to address stress. Numerous peer-reviewed studies and scientific reviews have shown that during practice of the TM technique, the mind and body gain a unique state of deep rest—much deeper than ordinary relaxation, as indicated by reduced cortisol and plasma lactate (major indicators of stress). The healing rest gained through the practice of the TM technique allows for the release of emotional, mental and physical stress—improving overall health, well-being and behavior.

Using an integrated approach of balancing both the mind and the body, Ayurveda offers a means to eliminate fatigue and allow the mind and body to enjoy continued health and vitality.

For more information on Ayurveda treatments, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:

www.theraj.com

Strengthening the Immune System with Ayurveda

The specialty of Ayurveda is determining what brings balance to each individual. The term Ayurveveda means “knowledge of life”. Ayurveda helps create balance by looking at every aspect of your life and how it affects you. Balance means balance in the biological factors of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. It means balance in the agni (digestive fire), balance in the tissues, balance in the functioning of elimination, and balance in one’s vitality and emotions.

Ayurveda was the first health science to recognize that different things can create balance or imbalance for different people. It also identifies an underlying framework that supports the ideal functioning of the basic human physiology. For instance, recommendations such as going to bed before 10 P.M. eating one’s main meal at noon and waking up early in the morning are recommendations that will enhance the health of everyone.Immunity_Green_Road_Sign_5038491.jpg

Having a balanced physiology results in a balanced immune system. You probably know people who have been healthy all their lives. These people probably had a strong immune system to begin with. According to Ayurveda there are three types of immunity:

Natural or inherited

Seasonal

Acquired

Natural immunity comes from birth. When both parents are healthy and in good balance and if the “family tree: has had a long line of healthy people, it is often the good fortune of the children to inherit that strong immune system. For this reason, Ayurveda recommends that parents-to-be undergo a three month period of purification prior to conception.

Seasonal immunity means immunity according to the seasons or time of life. For example, in winter, immunity can be affected by an aggravation of Vata dosha and in the spring, by an aggravation of Kapha dosha. During childhood, the body is more susceptible to certain types of imbalances such as coughs and earaches because this is a Kapha time of life.

In the middle years of life, people tend to be more active and more susceptible to Pitta types of imbalances, such as digestive problems. In old age, the body is more susceptible to Vata imbalances, such as stiffness in muscles and joints or memory problems.

Acquired immunity results from the choices you make every day. Examples are organic, fresh foods, enjoying exercise that does not deplete the body’s strength, following a regular daily routine, going to bed on time, eating at the right times and enjoying regular purification (Panchakarma) to eliminate impurities from the cells and tissues of the body.

According to Ayurveda, perfect health is not just the absence of disease, but rather, life in balance, life in wholeness, life in complete happiness. The goal of an Ayurvedic expert is to identify which factors in your life are causing your mind/body system to be out of balance and to help design a routine, diet and lifestyle that will support your continued health and vitality.

For more information on Panchakarma and programs to enhance immunity, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:

www.theraj.com

 

Spinach and Chicory Salad to Balance Kapha

 

The bitter, astringent and pungent tastes of spinach and chicory and the light, hot and dry properties of this salad are especially beneficial during the cool, wet Kapha season.

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For the Salad

2 cups spinach, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces

1 small head chicory—radicchio type—torn into pieces

1/2 cup red cabbage, thinly shredded

3 or 4 radishes, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds

 

For Kapha Vinaigrette

1/4 cup oil

1 tablespoon warm water

1 tablespoon vinegar or fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Kapha churna, or turmeric, pepper, coriander, and ginger to taste

 

Mix all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar. Cover and shake vigorously. Place the spinach in a serving bowl and pour the vinaigrette over it. Toss well. Add remaining vegetables, toss again, cover. Sprinkle with almonds before serving

 

Cooling Alternative Vinaigrette

Salads also pacify Pitta. When the weather is hot, this is a more cooling salad dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons warm water

2 teaspoons Pitta Churna, or coriander, cardamom and turmeric to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vinegar or fresh lemon juice

Remember that raw foods can be hard to digest, especially in the summer when our internal digestive fire is diminished (in response to the high external heat.) Enjoy salads at noon when your digestive fire is at its peak. Favor warm, cooked food in the evening. Do not have cold or iced drinks with your meal. Make sure your salad is at room temperature.

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Keeping Limber as We Age

As we age it is common to find that we are not as limber as we once were. Elbows and knees become prone to soreness and other problems. According to Ayurveda, this reflects the natural increase in Vata dosha in the later stage of life. As Vata increases, Vata disorders can make the joints drier and stiffer. If we have a build up of ama (toxins that result from poor digestion) in the body, the combination of Vata and ama can lead to condition such as arthritis, stiffness and pain.

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Daily Oil Massage

To counteract the increasing accumulation of Vata in the body, Ayurveda recommends daily sesame oil massage. Before you bathe in the morning, massage the joints with warm sesame oil using a circular motion. Follow this by applying three to five minutes of moist heat to the joints.

Sesame oil is inherently heating and is the most penetrating of all the oils. If you have sensitive skin or are Pitta in nature, it may be that a more cooling oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, is better for you. Try the sesame oil on a small patch of skin first, to see if you have any reaction.

In addition to daily oil massage, regular stretching of the joints through yoga helps keep the joints limber. Avoid straining when you exercise.

AMA

If you have significant join problems, be sure to get medical attention. Joint problems commonly reflect a build up of “ama” in the system. Ama is a sticky substance that results from poor digestion. Essentially, it is a form of un-metabolized waste that cannot be utilized by the body. Over time, ama tends to accumulate throughout the body and block the channels circulation, causing a variety of conditions and often leading to chronic disorders. Ayurveda considers ama to be the main underlying cause of many health issues.

Lowering Ama

The first stage in eliminating ama is to address what is causing ama to build up in the first place. Common causes are:

Overeating

Eating food that is not fresh and organic,

Eating too many raw foods

Eating before the previous meal is digested

Eating large meals in the evening

Eating without full attention on one’s meal

Not sitting down to a relaxed meal

A lack of exercise

Consulation with an Ayurvedic Expert

Specific recommendations regarding herbs, topical preparations, diet and seasonal and daily routines can be given by an Ayurvedic expert who is experienced in Ayurveda Pulse Assessment.

Panchakarma

The traditional purification and detoxification therapies of Ayurveda, known as Panchakarma, is designed to loosen ama, toxins, and excess Vata, Pitta, and Kapha from the deep tissues, moving them to the digestive tract, and from there, eliminating them from the body.

More more information on consultations and on Panchakarma programs, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:

www.theraj.com

Special Foods For Kapha Season

Fruit

Desserts for springtime Kapha season should be fruits, fruit tarts, or pies made without sugar. Apple juice or dried fruits such as raisins can be added to many recipes as a sweetener. Dried fruits also make excellent desserts.

Kapha Spices

During Kapha season you’ll want to season your food with the spices that reduce Kapha. These include all spices except salt. Remember, avoiding does not mean going without. Just don’t add extra salt or eat salty foods.

RECIPE FOR KAPHA SEASON FROM THE KITCHEN OF THE RAJ AYURVEDA HEALTH SPA

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Deep Dish Apple Pie

Makes 6 to 8 servings. (Just spoon the filling into a 1 1/2 quart casserole and top with pastry)

6 or more medium, sweet organic apples

1 cup raisins

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

1 thawed can of grape-apple juice concentrate

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 450°

Rollout your favorite since crust pastry

In a small saucepan, use I tablespoon cornstarch to thicken the thawed grape-apple just concentrate.

Slice apples. In a large bowl, toss apple slices with cinnamon and nutmeg. Carefully pour juice over apples, then fold the apples into the juice mixture. Alternative layer the apples and raisins in the deep dish. The apples will cook down. Cover with crust. Seal and flute edges. Pierce crust. Protect edges of the crust from burning (see below.) Bake at 450° for 10 minutes and remove whatever you are using to protect your crust. Bake for another 35 to 40 minutes at 375°, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

For years bakers covered the edge of their pie crusts with aluminum foil to keep the edges from burning. However, a growing concern about impact of  aluminum on health has led many cooks to look for alternative solutions. Turning a second pie plate or baking dish over the top of your crust is one easy solution.

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