Health

Want to avoid dry skin, brittle nails and hair, achy joints, and the flu this winter!? You need these 2 things in your life!

Well, winter is finally here…and along with it…the seasonal cold and man flu epidemics, ouchy chapped lips, dry skin, flaky nails, and brittle hair! What’s a girl to do!?

There are many things I do regularly to maintain good health year round, and I could probably write a book about them all…however…I am sure you don’t have time to read a whole book right now, so I have picked my top 2 things, to help your immunity and skin, hair, and nails…and stay feeling good from your core, this winter!

I asked the Core Health Squad what they wanted to hear about this month, and amongst the great ideas, a couple came up more than once! These were dry skin, and seasonal health regimes.

So, being clever as I am (and modest!)…I linked the two topics together and came up with two hot things to include in your winter (but really everyday) life!

What are they already!?…

…wait for it!…

…drum roll please!…

…bone broth and a shower filter!

…OK, so I thought that might sound slightly grander…but nevertheless, hear me out…here’s why I chose these two things as the things you need in your life…

Winter calls for extra vitamins and minerals to help our bodies function and maintain temperature, and to support our immune system. We want to get the most out of our nutrition with wholesome slow-cooked warming foods, reserving the cooking juices where possible to avoid any nutrient loss, cooking for long durations to breakdown foods into more easily absorbable molecules, often upping the protein and fat content to maintain tissue and energy reserves (these foods are harder to digest than carbs so we also need to support digestion).

Our bodies and joints start to seize up and ache more, so we tend to pump up the heat in the bathroom with long hot showers or soaks in the bath…and we notice our skin get dry, our nails and hair go brittle, and our luscious lips turn into a chapped, scaly, sore, not so kissable version of themselves…

Enter top inclusion #1…..bone broth!…

…a vitamin and mineral packed, delectable drink, containing…well, lots of vitamins and minerals to support the bodily functions and immune system…but also collagen and elastin…which of course are great for all our connective tissues, skin, hair and nails.

I used to think bone broth was just glamorised stock…which it is essentially…but more an elixir than a stock! Each are made in pretty much the same way, but bone broth is cooked for a much longer period of time to extract the minerals and gelatin that make broth such a nutritious food.

Collagen and gelatin (what collagen breaks down into) found in bone broth, are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins…and proteins are the building blocks of life. They are what make your muscles fibres, organs, hair, nails, skin, and connective tissues, as well as your enzymes, which help your body function.

It should go without saying, therefore, that bone broth is an amazing immune boosting food that can help your gut integrity and digestion…as well as support healthy connective tissues, hair, skin etc.

How specifically? Because the amino acids in broth…

…restore and maintain a healthy gut lining, so impact your immune system, as 80% of your immune system is in your gut

…help your mood, thereby also help to protect against the ‘winter blues’, as about 90% of your feel good hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut

…aid that sweet, rejuvenating, amazing activity that I now crave so much as a new mum, sleep, as around 80% of your sleep hormone, melatonin, is made in the gut…plus broth contains the amino acid, glycine, which also aids sleep

…help avoid achy stiff joints, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, and help your body functions in general, especially over the colder months as they are essentially what make these tissues and the enzymes needed for the body to function.

Volia! Bone broth = seasonal and dry skin help!

Have your bone broth like a cup-a-soup, or add to your soups, stews or sauces. I like mine in a mug first thing in the morning, with half a lemon!

You can pay a pretty penny for store bought versions of collagen and gelatin…and bone broth for that matter…but it’s really cheap and easy to you make your own bone broth…plus you can play around with what you add to it to mix up the flavour, and homemade is always better for you ‘cos it’s made with love! The power of intention people!

I stock NES Proteins 100% Grass-fed and Finished Collagen (450g for $42), Gelatin (450g for $29), Chicken Bone Broth (100g for $26), and Beef Bone Broth (100g for $23) if you are interested in these, however, I really urge you to make your own! Here’s the recipe…

1-2 kg of organic bones from 100% pasture raised animals or wild caught fish (beef knuckles bones, marrow bones, or about 3 chicken carcasses for chicken broth)
5 chicken necks (give or take, it really doesn’t matter)
Couple of chicken feet if possible (extra jelly like broth with these but not essential)
4 litres of filtered water
Plenty of Himalayan, Celtic or Redmond Real Salt (can always add more later)
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Veggie scraps (collect your carrots ends, cauliflower leaves, celery hearts, potato skins etc in the freezer)
Bunch of parsley

You really want to make sure to get organic/wild bones to avoid extracting and concentrating too many toxins. Some people like to roast the bones first for 30 mins at 200 degrees Celsius, but I honestly have never been bothered! I am sure it would develop a nice flavour though! I cover the bones with water and apple cider vinegar for an hour (the acid starts to break down the bones), then add the veggies etc and bring to the boil before simmering on low for 8-48 hours depending on what the bones are (8 for fish, 24 for chicken, 48 for beef). Could also try adding ginger, turmeric, chilli…I dunno, get creative and share your wins with us at the Core Health Squad!

OK, so #1 down…so why #2, a shower filter you ask!? Well the key was in the long hot baths or showers we mentioned before.

Yes, the hotter temperature will impact your skin, hair and nails so do be sure to keep it sensible, that’s just science people! However! Tap water contains numerous toxins including fluoride, chlorine, chloramine (a secondary disinfectant in municipal water), VOCs (the result of chlorine reacting with organic matter) and THMs (by-product predominantly when chlorine is used to disinfect water for drinking), that burden our body and increase its toxic load, making us more at risk of diseases and gut issues. These especially get volatile and we breathe them in, in the hot water vapour of our bath or shower thereby impacting us even more.

Installing a filter to your shower water (or one for all water in the house) that removes at least the chlorine, not only smells a lot better (I feel so much better when I run the boys bath and can’t smell the chlorine in the water!), it can reduce those volatile nasties drastically, and result in improved respiratory health (particularly for asthma and bronchitis sufferers), increased energy, and overall greater health…and…it helps that dry winter skin, as the chlorine strips proteins from your skin and hair causing dry bodies, split ends, and aggravating irritated skin and scalp conditions…

Voila! Shower filter = immune and skin support too!

For more information about the nasties in our water see https://chriskresser.com/is-your-daily-shower-making-you-sick

We are selling our house soon, so I didn’t want to invest in a whole house filter, but I still felt strongly about not running a chemically smelly bath for the twins, plus I have two asthmatics in the house! I was therefore super excited to be able to source the ENVIRO PRODUCTS by NEW WAVE, DESIGNER SHOWER FILTER (CHROME). If you are interested in purchasing this from me, then hit me up! It also comes with an essential oil diffuser ring, so you can get an even bigger immune boost by adding some OnGuard and Frankincense doTERRA essential oil…and it’s patented NDF-55 media, unlike activated carbon, is effective in hot water and retains it’s power for up to a year! It also reduces algae, fungus, and hydrogen sulphide, as well as inhibits the growth of bacteria in the filter and shower-head, reducing the mildew. We have noticed that pink scrum we used to get in the shower totally disappear! The filters cost $69.95 and replacement cartridges are $49.95 (plus p&p),, which I considered a really cheap investment for a year of better health!

So! Get some bone broth and a shower filter this winter to support your immune system, avoid that crusty skin…and help you…feel good from your core!

On top of these great inclusions, it is, of course, incredibly important to maintain good gut health…in more ways than just drinking bone broth!…eat a clean balanced diet right for your metabolism, live a detox way of life, rest enough both physically and mentally, de-stress mentally, emotionally, physically and chemically, take the right supplements for your body, and move a little daily, to help your general core health and amazing feels…be sure to book in for a free 20 minute consultation if you would like any advice here.

What’s causing your lack of sleep and 15 ways to improve it

So we use the term “I slept like a baby” to mean we had a good nights sleep…ok so not my babies at the moment that’s for sure! We have gone through about three weeks of disturbed nights, I think due to the 4-month sleep regression and the onset of teething…yay!…but I really started to struggle with the lack of sleep I was getting…so what better time than to do an article all about sleep!?

Sleep is incredibly important as it is a time for your body, particularly your brain, to cleanse and repair. I am sure you notice how much better you feel, not to mention, how much nicer a person you are, after a good kip! I know nearly everything and everyone irritates me and I find myself crying in the shower if I don’t get my sleep…can you relate!?

At least 6-8 hours a night is recommended, as losing sleep ages you and decreases brain plasticity (the ability of your brain to adapt and change by making new neural connections), thereby causing cognitive impairment (difficultly remembering, learning, making decisions, concentrating etc).

Studies have shown that going 17-19 hours without sleep (5-7-hour sleep cycle in 24 hours) is equivalent to an alcohol breathalyser reading of 0.05, which is the legal limit to drive here in Australia!

So many of us, however, struggle to get enough quality sleep each night with the day-to-day stresses, commitments and obligations we must fulfil.

I appreciate, being a new mother of twins, that frequent waking’s in the night may also be unavoidable. As I mentioned, I have certainly experienced a decrease in cognition and heightened emotions these past few months with the birth of my boys.

As hard as it may be to think of yourself in these times, or when work deadlines and commitments are calling you, I truly believe this is THE most important time to take note and give yourself a break. I always say…”you can’t pour from an empty cup”…so make sure to keep topping yours up!

I know I am a better mother and wife, if I give myself 15 minutes for a bath before bed, with some candles and soft music…and my body feels so much better doing the odd few minutes of stretching and twisting of my spine throughout the day, after all the breastfeeding and baby carrying. Heck I even like myself more too!

If you don’t take the odd few minutes where you can, whether you are a busy mother, or a busy person for other reasons, then things just mount up to a point where your body won’t be able to sustain proper function. This could mean you get sick, or you may even experience a mental breakdown or burn yourself out. Should it get to this state, the choice will be taken away from you and you will be forced to rest…plus it will take you even longer to get your health back on track.

Keep pushing your limits and you put yourself at higher risk of Alzheimer’s, some cancers, heart problems, blood pressure issues, blood sugar issues, and stroke.

OK, so I have you convinced you need sleep, but how do you get that sleep and increase its quality!?

Well, most importantly…you cannot go from a stressful day, to being on social media or watching TV, then go to bed and expect your brain to be able to turn off and go to sleep.

If you have kids you know the importance of a bedtime routine, so why should it be any different for you?

I advise my clients to give themselves at least 30 mins to wind down before bed (ideally 60-90 minutes) and to develop a routine that they do each night in this time, so their body “gets programmed” into knowing its bedtime.

For example, my bedtime routine starts with putting on some calming tunes like Reiki Healing or similar, brushing my teeth, dry body brushing, having a shower or Epsom salt bath, self-massage applying my body lotion or doing my galvanic spa, and 5-10 minutes of stretching. Then I am all set to get into bed and do some mindful breathing exercises as I drift off to sleep.

What’s your routine going to be?

Here are my top 15 tips to a better nights sleep that may help you. You will also notice that what happens in your day and your environment, can impact your sleep too…

  1. Ensure you get bright sunlight in your mornings – this helps to set your circadian rhythm in place right from the start of the day (if you are a shift worker make sure you have all the lights on!)
  2. Limit caffeine intake during the day (particularly after about 2pm as it may affect your circadian rhythm by spiking cortisol) – I don’t recommend anymore than 2 coffees a day max – if you are a big coffee drinker and it no longer affects you, then maybe you need to consider weaning yourself off it. Caffeine blocks your adenosine receptors, which help slow neural activity and increase blood vessel dilation, thereby affecting oxygenation of the brain and sleep quality.
  3. Get some exercise – preferably outdoors in nature. Doesn’t have to be much, a 20-30 minute walk is fine, dance around the house whilst vacuuming or brushing your teeth, stretching in front of the TV…whatever floats your boat!…just get moving!
  4. Get a massage – this not only releases physical tensions and stresses but will help support your mental health, immunity and circulation
  5. Avoid bright lights in the evening – I like to use salt lamps for a low, warm light (and decreased fire hazard!)
  6. Avoid stimulating screen time (nothing that makes you want “just one more” episode!)
  7. Set your ipad/phone’s brightness to change automatically in the evening – just a flash of blue light from your phone reduces melatonin by 60%! Better still…make after 8pm a phone/device-free time!
  8. Consider investing in a pair of “blue blocker glasses” that block blue and green wavelengths of light (those from TrueDark or SafetyBlue block both these wavelengths – the “less-stylish” wrap around styles are the best, as these avoid light entering from the sides of the lens)
  9. Drink a calming bedtime tea (valerian, lemon balm, chamomile, passionflower) – if really struggling talk to your Herbologist about trying Kava.
  10. Consider a bed time snack of protein and fat, or carbohydrate and fat (experiment to see what works for you as different metabolisms benefit from different food sources – this could work if blood sugar is your issue – e.g. half green apple and peanut butter, hummus and celery with hemp seeds, chicken leg and avocado, raw cacao avocado mousse and Brazil nuts
  11. Diffuse some lavender and frankincense in your bedroom – I also love doTerra’s Lavender Peace, which helps to reduce anxiety …and Easy Air, which helps respiration and makes you feel calm and clear
  12. Play some 432Hz miracle frequency music whilst you are getting ready for bed
  13. Turn off your Wi-Fi router before bed, and remove all electronics from your room to reduce EMFs
  14. Turn your phone to aeroplane mode before you close your eyes for sleep
  15. Get blackout curtains and ensure there are no lights from clock radios etc in your bedroom – an eye mask can be used if on a budget or travelling

Done all the above and still struggling!? Then don’t waste any more time!

You more than likely know of the mental stress and active mind that may be keeping you up at night, but there are many other reasons why you aren’t getting enough ‘Z’s.

You may be struggling with any number of things, including:

  • Poor gut health leading to low melatonin (sleep hormone) production
  • Physical stress from aches and pains
  • Chemical stress from your environment or from imbalances in the body
  • Inflammation
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Parasites – these often get active in the early hours and release their waste products and toxins causing early waking
  • Mold toxicity
  • Poor neurotransmitter function e.g. low GABA
  • Copper toxicity (more info on this to come in an alternative blog, but if you have been on hormonal birth control at all it is incredibly likely you are copper toxic)
  • Low or bio-unavailable magnesium
  • Slow oxidation state

…all which impact your quality of shut eye.

So! Book in for an obligation free chat with me where I can go through your options and recommend some lab testing for you based on your personal struggles. Let’s investigate what’s happening on a deeper level with you!

We all neeeeeed sleep! …and I want you to get some great restorative sleep so that you can always …feel good from your core!

Stiff and sore?

Are you getting stiffer by the day…decreased range of motion and flexibility?

You likely need some fascial release, or more specifically myofascial release.

Fascia is fibrous connective tissue that forms between muscles and internal organs. Myofascia being that related specifically to muscles.

It’s quite similar to when you peel an orange…there is an outer skin, a fibrous white pith, and the juicy segments each separated by more fibrous tissue. It is this fibrous tissue that is like the fascia between our muscle fibres and the muscles themselves.

Each night when we sleep and the body repairs, new fibres are laid down between our muscles. If too many fibres build up over time this can prevent the glide between the muscles. It may also build up more in some areas than others and so have a distorting pull effect on the muscles.

This also happens if we remain in our poor postural positions, and/or do lots of repetitive movement; our fascia adapts and this becomes the new norm. The same is true if we become injured, hence why you can lose range of motion if you don’t keep working and stretching the site. If left this is when we develop trigger points…those sore spots that when active, refer pain to various regions of your body.

All this decreases our flexibility and range of motion, as well as increases pain and inflammation.

Morning stretch routines can help prevent this, as can frequent foam rolling sessions…if done right! Think slow and steady, stop and hold on any particular tight, sore bits, and take some deep breaths to help release. Better still, book a Remedial Massage with myofascial release.

Start and end your day with some stretches and mobilisations:

Circles with your shoulders,
Bring your shoulders all the way forward then retract them all the way back and repeat,
Turn your head from side to side, lower one ear at a time to the shoulder, look down to the floor and up at the sky,
Do circles with your hips and drop one hip down and then the other and repeat,
Bend forward and touch your toes, stretch out the hamstrings,
Rotate your torso keeping your hips straight,
Sit in a chair and put your foot on the opposite knee and push the elevated knee down then rotate your body to the same side,
Stretch out your pectorals in a doorway,
Do circular motions with your spine clockwise and counter-clockwise,
Some down dogs, and some cat cows.

AND book a regular massage!!! You should be having a massage at least every month! Especially in this modern world where we spend a lot of our time sitting in a similar position day and night.

This will not only help your fascia but will help boost your circulation, immune system, reduce stress and inflammation, and prevent pain and injury.

Book yours today!

 

Image source: http://www.remedybarre.com

Hormones and the Contraceptive Pill

When we have hormone imbalances, often we will get prescribed synthetic hormones to “level us out”

The problem is that by doing this the body thinks there is enough of that hormone and so it stops producing it, thereby causing an increased malfunction, which can lead to long-term negative effects and imbalances.

If we have difficulty metabolising or clearing our hormones effectively, then this effect can be even worse.

Often hormones are prescribed as creams. The doses of which are hard to monitor and much of the hormone actually gets stored in our fat deposits making us more toxic.

Synthetic hormones like those in the contraceptive pill also cause copper toxicity and affect the body’s levels of vitamin and minerals; namely zinc, B vitamins and magnesium. Ironically these nutrients are required to metabolise hormones properly…and so the problem escalates.

Unfortunately, what we are now seeing far too often, and what many of my clients present with, is a whole heap of hormone imbalance symptoms such as fertility issues, heavy, irregular, or painful menstrual cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, acne (and not always when we are just a teenager), indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, vaginal dryness, sore boobies, osteoporosis (brittle bones), hot flashes, night sweats, unexplained weight gain, anxiety, irritability, we might lose our sex drive, suffer from unexplained or excessive sweating, develop excess hair in areas we didn’t expect until our 90’s! Seriously! It’s not fun!

Many of us have been on contraceptive pills since we developed acne in our early teens, even before we were sexually active! They were prescribed as a medication to help clear the skin. We then stayed on them for over 15 years until our early 30’s when we finally found a decent guy, had our careers in place, and were ready to start a family. Then month after month goes by…still not pregnant…

Our bodies are totally out of balance, yet the medical professions answer is often to supply even more synthetic hormones.

When does it stop?

Why aren’t we trying to fix the lack of hormone production in the first place?

Our bodies are designed to keep us functioning at our very best. We have various mechanisms in place to help it do so, and keep it in a state of ease, or balance known as homeostasis. But the body can only work with what it has. If we don’t give it the right ingredients, have a congested liver, dysfunctional gut, and high toxic burden, then it is going to have to compensate somehow.

Some ideas are included below:

  1. Good nutrition:
    • First need a well functioning gut to be able to digest and assimilate the nutrients we eat
    • Eat wholefoods i.e. foods that are in their natural state
    • Eat good fats like cold-pressed organic avocado and extra-virgin olive oil, cold-pressed organic coconut oil (or expeller-pressed if you dislike the flavour), activated nuts and seeds, and oily wild-caught fish like sardines and red salmon – dietary fats, and cholesterol are in-fact cofactors for making your hormones, so these are incredibly important!
    • Eat quality grass-fed, pasture-raised animal protein
    • Avoid inflammatory foods like processed food, soy, regular dairy, gluten, refined carbs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine
    • Eat lots of veggies – think the rainbow. Best eaten blanched or steamed and with some good fats to better absorb the nutrients.
  1. Adequate rest:
    • 8 hours of undisturbed sleep
    • Bed before 10:30
    • Don’t over exert yourself i.e. listen to your body
  1. The right amount of exercise
    • At least 20-30 minutes daily where you are working hard enough you can’t maintain a conversation
    • Stretching to maintain flexibility and aid circulation
  1. Reducing toxins:
    • Eat organic where possible or wash fruits and veg in apple cider vinegar and water
    • Choose natural personal and cleaning products
    • Eat foods rich in antioxidants (blueberries, raspberries, spinach, kale, eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, oranges, butternut squash)
  1. Reducing stress:
    • Mental – mindfulness and mediation
    • Physical – regular massage, chiro, physio, get those aches and pains sorted
    • Chemical – (see reducing toxins)

This is a brief overview.

If you need further guidance a great place to start is with my online Feel Good from Your Core Program, which is launching soon. To find out more email bookings@corehealthclinic.com with “Tell me about your program!” in the subject line.

If you want to know for sure what’s going on with your hormones then functional lab testing is a far more advanced method than the regular blood test you may get at your doctor.

Dried urine testing (DUTCH) can show us how you are using and metabolising your hormones, so we can actually see why you are suffering the way you are and develop more targeted treatments.

For more info book your free consultation here.

Rebellious Not-So-Rad Dudes AKA Free Radicals

So free radicals…

Are these some rebellious rad dudes you ask? …well kind of!

You know the green Marvel character Hulk? …he goes around ‘smash Hulk smash’ smashing everything in sight… well free radicals are similar but they’re like glass shards going through your body destroying cells, proteins, and enzymes.

Free radicals cause inflammation in the body i.e. pain, impair immunity, speed ageing, and can alter DNA codes.

We can see examples of free radicals at work in the outside world when we cut and apple open and it goes brown, or when a nail rusts.

Our body naturally makes free radicals as part of phase 1 detoxification, digestion, and metabolism, as well as when we are exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, X-rays, gamma rays from radioactive material, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and industrial fumes.

So how do we protect ourselves from these rebellious rad dudes!?…antioxidants!

We want a balance of free-radicals and antioxidants to prevent oxidative harm to our bodies and allow for proper physiological function…and we find antioxidants predominantly in our fruits and vegetables.

Unfortunately, our fruits and veggies aren’t what they used to be and our nutrient depleted soils have lead to nutrient depleted produce. I read the other day that it used to be an apple a day will keep the doctor away…now it’s 6 apples! …and I don’t recommend eating 6 apples a day either! This has lead to the supplement industry blooming. So many supplements, so much choice, but how do you know if they are any good or just full of fillers and forms of vitamins that your body simply doesn’t recognise?

I believe that generally it’s best to have supplements in the most natural form possible. A whole form that the body recognises. Like herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals all work synergistically, not in isolation from each other. Synthetic forms of supplement can also cause harm.

Take vitamin A. Now there’s lots of carotenoid forms of vitamin A in natural food but beta-carotene is taken as the one form that is used as a representative. Often natural food supplement companies just put the dose of beta-carotene on the label when there are actually others forms present. However, when synthetic beta-carotene is made, this is literally all you are getting…and that’s not always a good thing…

In a Finnish ATBC study of 29,000 male smokers, 20 mg beta-carotene supplements taken over six years were linked to lung cancer. In a U.S. CARET study of more than 18,000 male and female smokers and male asbestos workers, 30 mg beta-carotene supplements over four years were linked to a 28% higher risk of lung cancer and a 17% higher risk of deaths from all causes compared with smokers taking a placebo.

Something you are paying for with your hard-earned cash could be harming you. It’s therefore hugely important to do your research and buy good quality supplements. These likely aren’t the ones in your supermarket.

If you would like some guidance in this area, please book a free 15 min consultation via my website (Products Tab) and I can discuss your current diet and symptoms with you and give you some ideas about what could help you.

 

 

Some Reference Material

https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20041130/death-stalks-smokers-in-beta-carotene-study#1
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/

Reiki – that’s just some woo woo mumbo jumbo right!?

Most people have heard of Reiki but they don’t really know what it is. To be honest even as a Reiki 2 Practitioner I often say I don’t even fully understand it, but that it does truly amaze me every time I practice it.

I first got into Reiki the month after we lost our son Dax. I had been introduced to it a few times when Reiki, or ‘Energy Healing’, had come up in conversation, so, when I saw a local course become available, me being me thought it would be a great opportunity to give it a go and find out for myself what it was all about.

Whilst at my Reiki 1 training (there are three levels to Reiki; 1, 2 and Master), we did a self-Reiki session in a group circle out in the open air in a beautiful garden (I did my training with the beautiful Christine Maudy that operates out of her stunning home in the rolling green hills of Woombye in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland). As we worked down our chakras, visualising pouring in a powerful bright healing white light into each, I got to my heart chakra and felt something shift inside me. As we progressed down to the sacral chakra I literally felt a whoosh up and out of my body and a massive weight felt like it had been lifted. I suddenly stood taller and straighter. Then my tears began to flow. As the meditation came to a close, I was struggling to hold back my sobs and escaped to the bathroom where I literally broke down. I sobbed and sobbed until my tears finally slowed and I could re-join the group. We continued the day and I went home knowing something had shifted but not quite knowing what. The next day I woke and actually felt like myself again, which I hadn’t since we found out about Dax’s condition. It was literally like I could again see the light and could feel positive about the future. That’s when I first realised the power of Reiki, something in my energy shifted and normalised, releasing a blockage that the grief had held for months.

Since then I have gone on to give Reiki to family members overseas; Reiki is not bound by distance, my Reiki 2 training taught me how to practice ‘Distance Reiki’ so that I can help anyone anywhere in the world. It was hard for me to comprehend this but in working with a particular family member that had been struggling with anxiety and insomnia since her husband had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she got her first good night’s sleep after our treatment. I was truly amazed at Reiki’s power.

I don’t fully understand how Reiki works but having done an introduction to Kinesiology and having practiced meditation and mindfulness for some time I certainly understand the power of the mind and that there is a vibration within us. During my massage training, I noticed I was getting incredibly emotional and drained. I used to finish each of my massages with my hands on my client’s shoulders, visualising peace and their weight lifted. On one night in clinic, a colleague came in and felt there was a huge imbalance in my energy and in saying so I burst into tears. There was no reason I knew that would make me do this but in discussing it further I discovered I was literally taking on my client’s bad energy as my own and it was getting me down. I now complete my massages with a touch of Reiki and I physically shake off the energy as my hands leave my client and I haven’t had this problem since.

Being such a scientific minded answers-based person, this realm I find hard to comprehend, but I have concluded that, like with the electrical grid, I don’t need to comprehend it to benefit from it. There is power in words, there is power in touch. We know this from Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work with words and frozen water; harsh words creating angular, imbalanced crystals, and kind, positive words creating beautiful snowflake-like patterns. We also know the power of a gentle supportive touch of a hand to our back, a hug, or a gentle loving stroke.

Reiki teaches us five principles to live by…

For today only I shall not anger
For today only I shall not worry
For today only I shall be grateful
For today only I shall be kind
For today only I shall be honest

I say these principles to myself each day and recommend my clients do this also. Some days I fail at one but often find myself noting my failure and rather than it taking a hold, I acknowledge it, laugh and move on, reminding myself of my promise. I think they are excellent principles to live by and I encourage you to incorporate them into your life.

Reiki has been shown to help deep relaxation, facilitate sleep, reduce blood pressure, help relieve pain, support the immune system, facilitate recovery, help acute and chronic problems (e.g. asthma, eczema, headaches etc.), help relieve anxiety, grief, and depression, clear blockages and emotions from both the past and present, raise the vibration frequency of the body, promote personal growth and much more.

If you are interested in learning more or experiencing Reiki, please book in. I would love to learn with you as to how Reiki may help you.

Cold and Flu? Get my tips and tricks here!

How many people are sick at the moment!? I mean seriously! I was thinking myself so lucky not catching anything…until one morning I woke with the dreaded razor blade throat! Even the healthiest of us can get sick on occasion but the difference is…we recover so much quicker!

My daily nutrition includes lots of immune boosting nourishing, anti-inflammatory foods with lots of veggies, no dairy (accept now I am pregnant…I have goat milk yogurt on occasion to help boost my calcium and probiotics), limited gluten (spelt sourdough on the weekends or sprouted grain bread), no refined sugar…

…oh on that point get this juicy finding…

Consuming 8 tablespoons of sugar (equivalent to one 12-ounce can of soda) can reduce the ability of your white blood cells to destroy invading pathogens by 40%, according to the Environmental Law Centre of the United Kingdom. The immune-suppressing effect may begin within 30 minutes of ingestion and last for up to 5 hours! I always say refined sugar is the devil!

…and immune boosting supplements like natural forms of Vitamin C (e.g. camu camu), reishi, broccoli sprouts, glycine, DHA, zinc, and a medicinal mushroom blend, to help support my body.

However! As I said even the healthiest of us can get sick…often when we are pushing ourselves a little too hard, and when we aren’t getting enough sleep (which was what I was doing!). We are then forced to rest. I love how the body has ways of making you do what is needed…hopefully you listen and heal well!

So…what is it I do when I get sick…Sudafed, Strepsils, and cough syrup? HELL NO!!! As soon as I feel something coming on I gargle the colloidal silver (1 tbsp morning and night) and swallow…

Before antibiotics, silver was used in medicine, recognised for it’s antimicrobial properties. Silver can be toxic if used regularly however, so I don’t recommend this be your regular go to if you are someone that gets sick often (I would be recommending you get your diet and gut checked out, which I can help you with if interested in knowing more). Wellness Mama has a great blog about silver that you can read here.

…I get on the olive leaf extract…tastes fowl as a liquid medicine (better absorbable form if you can handle it…and great for a sore throat gargle…but I sometimes wimp out and opt for the capsules!)

Research suggests that olive leaf extract may reduce the infectivity and inhibit the replication of viruses that cause colds, influenza and lower respiratory tract infections. It has also been shown to stimulate phagocytosis, which may enhance the body’s response to a viral infection.

…I make a conscious effort to get out in the sun for my vitamin D…granted if you aren’t in the Queensland climate this may not be an option when you get sick, so consider a Vitamin D3 supplement instead! This should be part of your daily support so if sunlight is a rarity for you (even those in hot climates that cover themselves in sunblock or clothes, or hide indoors in the aircon) be aware you may be low in vitamin D. A rough guide is 20 minutes in the sun daily, but this is dependent on your location, time of day, skin tones etc so it obviously is very variable. I haven’t used it but there is an app to help determine how much you may need here. If you give it a try be sure to comment your findings!

Vitamin D is a key factor linking innate and adaptive immunity.

Fire Cider!…this is packed full of nature’s antimicrobials including apple cider vinegar, ginger and turmeric roots, garlic, horse radish, chilli, herbs, lemon, and sometime kombucha and sauerkraut juice. Shot it or drink as a warm tea with a little manuka honey. You can find recipes online or buy ready made from various sources. I love Buchi Fire Cider!

…and finally my doTERRA essential oils! I make a roller bottle blend mixing fractionated coconut oil OnGuard, Melaleuca, Clove, Oregano, Basil, Coriander, Lemon, and Frankincense and roll it on me throughout the day. At bed time I place a drop of each on my feet and rub my feet together (no hands). AI also diffuse some Easy Air and/or OnGuard to help keep my sinuses open through the day and night. If you want setting up with an account to buy these beautiful oils, or if you are local to me on the Sunshine Coast, Australia, and would like a free oil party then let me know!

And voila! I was down for one day then back to feeling good from my core!

I would love to hear your tips and recommendations…I know onion and garlic wrapped around the feet at night is supposed to be a goodie, anyone tried!?

Copper and Zinc Balance – depression, postnatal depression, eating disorders, PMS, immune deficiency and more

When looking at prenatal supplements recently and during discussions with my peers I learned more of the importance for copper and zinc balance. Please keep reading…this isn’t just associated with pregnancy!

Copper is an essential trace element required for proper organ function and numerous metabolic processes. Zinc is important for immune support and it plays a role in cell division and cell growth, so is very important for proper growth and development, as well as wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates. Copper and zinc compete for the same absorption sites, hence can impact the absorption of each other. The ideal ratio being somewhere between 8:1 and 12:1 zinc to copper. The tolerable upper intake level (TUL) for zinc is 40 mg for adult women and men. The TUL for copper is 10,000 ug/day for adults.

Copper and zinc are also associated with taste and smell and so can impact appetite. Excess copper can cause people to skip meals and crave more spicy, sugary, or salty food to stimulate their taste more.

This is where my interest first peaked having suffered with Anorexia nervosa. You can see how a copper/zinc imbalance can be potentially lethal for people with eating disorders as it can lead to further food deprivation, and increased imbalances and deficiencies.

Copper excess also increases the risk of yeast and viral infections (some of which contribute to chronic fatigue), immune deficiency, abdominal pains, headaches, prolonged and heavy menstrual cycles (which zinc supplementation may reduce), depression, and postpartum depression.

This is where my interest peaked a second time! Having suffered with depression, anxiety, and anorexia, I am classed as being more likely to develop postnatal depression. After attending my first Mindful Mum’s class at the hospital, one mother had been diagnosed with postnatal depression after her first baby and is now suffering with it again during her second pregnancy…I wanted to find out more to see if I could help her, and also prevent this happening to myself!

During pregnancy we often become much more diligent with our diet and supplementation to ensure we are getting the right nutritional support, well I certainly have anyway, and like many, I take a natal supplement to support the growth of my babies. Like most multi vitamin supplements, it of course contained copper. Now copper is highly prevalent in people’s diets. Our water pipes are commonly made of copper so we get a dose in our drinking water, and it occurs in many foods including almonds, avocado, beans, broccoli, buckwheat, chocolate, lamb, mushrooms, pork, prunes, sunflower seeds, legumes, liver, quinoa, asparagus, kale, chia seeds, goat cheese, and wholegrain cereals…many foods we consume as pregnant ladies and even as healthy women in general!

Zinc on the other hand…well I read at http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au that 85% of Australian females are deficient in zinc. I can’t find a research paper to confirm this, but it doesn’t surprise me if true. As an FDN Practitioner, we may recommend clients supplement with zinc to support their immune system as this is also impacted by gut health; a foundational area that we address in healing. Some foods containing zinc include beef, capsicum, egg yolks, herrings, liver, milk, oysters, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, seafood, and yeast. Whilst we may consume most of these foods, I think it’s quite clear that copper/zinc imbalances could easily be very common.

Some other disorders associated with copper excess include hypotension, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, PMS, paranoid and hallucinatory schizophrenias, calcium accumulation around joints causing stiffness, premature aging, irritability, fatigue, amenorrhoea, pyroluria, miscarriage, metallic taste, liver and kidney failure, tachycardia, dyslexia, green stool, dizziness, childhood hyperactivity, and autism. Any mild abnormality or impairment of liver function can lead to copper excess.

Note: legumes and wholegrains contain phytates that prevent zinc absorption so ensure you soak, heat, sprout, or ferment them sufficiently before eating.

We must, however, remember that adequate copper levels are essential for the growth of new blood vessels, wound healing, and recovering from heart attacks and strokes, so please don’t think it’s the enemy! If we supplement excessively with zinc we may suffer copper deficiency increasing our risk of cardiovascular dysfunction,

This blog is to purely make you aware that this imbalance can exist, and you may want to investigate this more if you have a history with depression, an eating disorder, fatigue, or immune issues. Zinc deficiency testing is a good start; you can get a simple test at your chemist to give you a rough idea if this may be present. If you know you are zinc deficient, or you have pyroluria/pyrrole disorder (an inability to properly absorb B6, magnesium and zinc), then you may want to investigate further with a HTMA (Hair, Tissue, Mineral Analysis) test, which I can run for you.

If you are suffering with postnatal depression, depression in general, lack of appetite, fatigue or any other malady, then please don’t hesitate to schedule a free 20-minute consultation to see how I may be able to help you on your journey back to feeling good from your core!

Struggling with a Fungi or Yeast Infection (AKA Candida)?

Candida albicans, or candida for short, is present in all of us and is a type of yeast. It is however really opportunistic and in a dysfunctional environment will overgrow.

 

Symptoms:

Candida causes numerous symptoms including brain fog, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea/constipation, thrush of the mouth and throat, fungal nail infections, white coating on tongue, nasal congestion, vaginal itching/burning, depression, anxiety, irritability, headaches, migraines, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, food sensitivities, sugar cravings, joint or muscle pain, asthma and hayfever, sinusitis, weight gain and loss. Candida actually produces acetaldehyde (the same toxin you get from drinking alcohol), so the symptoms often resemble the feeling of being hungover. Pretty nasty stuff!

 

Why do you get it?

Because it’s opportunistic, if you are suffering with fungi or yeast overgrowth, it is likely due to something going wrong within your body. Examples include antibiotic use, a different primary infection/bacteria/parasite (these generate food for candida), a diet high in sugar (candida’s favourite! – candida even makes you crave sugar so you feed it more!), heavy metal toxicity, birth control pills, stress and lifestyle factors like lack of sleep, poor diet, alcohol, over exercise, lack of exercise, emotional stress, EMF exposure, and other internal stressors. You therefore need to work on these as well as diet and treatment.

 

Detection:

It’s actually really hard to culture fungi and yeasts from your general stool pathogen test you get from your doctor. Therefore, if it is found in such a test, the overgrowth you have will be quite substantial. We can generally determine if you have candida by your symptoms alone but if you Google ‘Candida Spit Test’, there’s an at home screen that you can do. If you have another known infection, parasite or gut dysbiosis, then its pretty much a guarantee that you will also have candida. For this reason, an elimination protocol for yeasts and fungi forms part of any pathogen eradication program we advise on. We also suggest the eradication protocol includes support for the adrenals, liver, and gut mucosa as the treatment itself can generate further stressors on the body as die-off begins.

 

Treatment:

This should be carried out over a minimum of 60 days and include anti-fungal supplements, as well as Saccharomyces boulardii probiotics (avoid any probiotics that contain prebiotics like inulin as this will feed the candida). You also need to focus on your own health and lifestyle factors like those mentioned above, and make some dietary changes to starve the candida out. We can guide you through treatment and take a look at other contributing factors in our consultations.

 

Focus on eating:

Organic/grass-fed/pasture-raised animal protein (definitely don’t want any animal protein that contains anti-biotics)
Non-starchy “above-ground” vegetables
Healthy fats (EVOO, avocado oil, tallow, ghee)
Nuts and seeds (best if activated – avoid cashews and pistachios as often contaminated with mould)

Remove:

Fermented foods
Vinegar (ACV is ok)
Alcohol
Sugar
Legumes/beans (includes peanuts)
High sugar fruit (berries are ok as are lemons and limes, the odd pear is also ok)
Dried fruit
Fruit juice
Grains and gluten
Yeast (baker’s/brewers)
Fungi (mushrooms, blue cheeses etc)
Root vegetables (beetroot, carrots, corn, potatoes, squashes)

 

Image from Wikipedia

Ayurvedic Headache Protocols

Dr. Trupti Gokani, MD gave an interview at the Chronic Headache and Migraine Summit 2017 and explained how headaches are catagorised in Ayurveda (one of the world’s oldest whole-body healing systems that originated in India) and suggests how you can help each of the different types.

She starts with frontal headaches explaining that these often leave us feeling heavy, depressed, and tired, and they often become worse when we bend forward. She calls this a Kapha headache and suggests eating spicy foods, drinking some spicy water by adding ginger and cayenne, and getting the body moving with some form of exercise.

Next is the right side headache often associated with nausea and our menstrual cycle. This is a fire Pitta headache and Dr. Gokani suggests the opposite of the Kapha headache by instead consuming cooling foods, like aloe vera and pomegranate, to be less intense with oneself, and to take deep breaths.

Lastly she discusses the back of head headache associated with tightness and anxiety. This is a windy Vata headache. Here she explains you are moving too much, and need to perform some restorative yoga, and deep breathing, focusing on calming and relaxing yourself. This type of headache may come on if you have taken on too many things, so you should work on saying no. You should consume cooked warm foods as cold can activate this headache. Warm herbal tea is also beneficial.

If you would like to know more about what Dr. Trupti Gokani has to offer visit her website at http://www.ziramindandbody.com