A RANGE OF new herbs said to have multiple health benefits is set to hit the shelves this month. Founded by master herbalist Nancy Smithers, Natural Nova Scotia operates a 250-acre farm near the Atlantic Ocean. The company has developed a freeze-drying facility that removes between 80 and 95 per cent of moisture from the whole herb (as opposed to isolating one ingredient at the expense of others) without altering the active ingredient. The company says this mode is better than air-drying methods that oxidize herbs and destroy the active component. The freeze-dry method also breaks down cell walls within plants, allowing for easy absorption of the medicinal elements in the bloodstream. The company operates a strict organic-only policy, and certification of its farms and subcontractors' farms is renewed annually. It is also active in research, with a keen interest in bridging the gap between modern scientific knowledge of phytomedicine and mainstream medicine. Some of the subjects the company has been closely involved with include shelf life, efficacy and quality of traditional medicines. The company's products include Energy Booster, claimed to be effective in activating the body's immune system, and Cran Plus, which contains high levels of vitamin C. Products will be available at selected beauty salons, yoga studios and gyms. Call 2508 9106 for details. PURE YOGA Keep a lookout for guest instructors at Pure Yoga in the coming months. Teachers calling in at the studio recently have included Ashtanga yogi Duncan Wong, who is also a seasoned Thai massage and movement therapist, and Paul Dallaghan from Centered Yoga in Thailand, who held a series of Power Yoga workshops at both Pure Yoga studios. In December, Jimmy Barken, who has been practising since 1979 and was one of the first people certified to teach yoga by Bikram Choudhury, will open a workshop to students. The yoga veteran travels the world giving workshops, as well training professional athletes in the United States. The studio's current programme of hot, power and yin yoga continues, and new classes including pranayama, meditation and yoga for children will be added to the timetable soon. Call 2970 2299 for details. BLOOD TEST Live Blood Analysis (LBA) is widely used in detecting the early stages of body dysfunction or disease among practitioners of alternative medicine in Europe and the US, but the practice has been slow to take off in Hong Kong. Less than five LBA microscopes are known to be used by general practitioners here. Developed by Dr Robert Bradford of American Biologics in California, the method involves observing tissue samples 'live' (a sample is taken from the capillary of the little finger, which is considered to be most representative of the body's overall condition); this allows the analysis of the active condition of cells and anomalies, something not usually ordered in traditional blood testing methods. The analysis is used mainly to identify dietary and lifestyle habits that influence health, and where adjustments should be made to prevent disease. LBA can detect imbalances and deficiencies such as anaemia, diabetic tendencies, liver stress and immune deficiency, and show the status of red and white blood cells. Post-analysis tests show how effective lifestyle changes have been. Call the Holistic Healthsource and Development Centre on 2570 7306 for details. PROBLEM-SOLVER Tell someone you are off to a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) session and the response will likely be: 'Neuro what?' NLP is about aligning an individual's mental, physical, spiritual and emotional aspects. Sessions are similar to those between a psychologist and a patient but the techniques used are different. Persistent negative emotions and limiting beliefs and values are explored, and goals identified and action is taken. And while the causes of problems are identified and addressed, they are not laboured over. NLP master practitioner Jennifer Walker says the focus is on working with the client to find his or her own solutions to problems, and thereby effect change to move towards life goals, with full understanding. For more information, call Zama International on 2850 6400.