Sniffles – coughs and colds

Wow – today the wind is bitingly chilly. Such a change from the deliciously warm autumn days we’ve been having since the equinox in March. I was at the beach swimming just 2 days ago! Today I’m in long pants, woolly jumper and a coat and scarf.

It’s these sudden changes in the weather that can catch us out – we all know the phrase “to catch a cold” and it is quite literally the truth. You leave work and find the weather has turned and you don’t have your warm jacket with you. You have to wait for the bus/train in the cold wind and then the walk home from the station in the chilly wind.  This scenario puts you at risk of catching a cold. Pathogens are very opportunistic, which is why it is so important to practice preventive medicine.  IF you have a balanced healthy diet of nutritious foods, you exercise at least 1/2hr every day,  and drink clean water and herbal teas you are giving your body a head start to cope with coughs and colds and knock them over quickly.

Suggestions if you catch a cold

  • Make a cup of hot tea with grated ginger, lemon juice and rosehips.  This is warming and stimulating helping the body to fight the cold
  • Peppermint tea with a 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger helps clear out the mucous
  • Rest – it’s ok to move if you feel like it, but nothing too strenuous.  Your body needs to focus it’s energy on clearing out the cold
  • Eat warm nutritious foods like chicken soup with ginger and warm spices; tomato based soups;
  • Avoid dairy as this tends to make the symptoms worse by clogging the mucous membranes
  • Avoid alcohol and sweets until the cold has cleared out of your system.
  • Keep warm!

If the symptoms of a cold are not clearing within 3-4 days and especially if the cough is getting worse, make a visit to your friendly herbalist and I’ll have you back on track in no time.

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Bowen Therapy for Babies and Children

Children respond really well to Bowen therapy.  It is a gentle, non-invasive, calming and effective technique suitable for most health problems.

BIRTH
Bowen Therapy helps the little ones adjust to “life on the outside” and recover from the trauma of birth. It is not uncommon for babies to have digestive and/or respiratory problems arising from strain and pressure on the neck, jaw, spine and pelvis experienced during the birth process. Bowen therapy helps the baby’s body to realign and repair itself so the body can function optimally, free from pain and discomfort.  I have used Bowen Therapy effectively for babies suffering from digestive and sleep disturbances – often just a couple of  treatments is enough to clear the problem.

STRESS and CHILDREN
Bowen therapy can really help children adapt and adjust to external pressures such as dealing with new and unfamiliar situations – birth of a new sibling, starting at childcare or school, death of a pet, family break up, moving house…

The body’s natural stress response shuts down the digestive system so that most of the body’s energy and resources are geared to the fight or flight mechanisms.  Therefore, if a baby/infant is experiencing more stress than it can handle it may have difficulty digesting food with symptoms of discomfort, constipation or diarrhea, and often difficulty sleeping. Bowen therapy works wonderfully well for babies and infants suffering from these conditions by calming their nervous system and helping the child to accept and adapt to the new circumstances.

Bowen therapy sessions

Sessions include consultation and bowen treatment.

  • Babies and infants – sessions are usually 30 minutes
  • Children 5- 12 years – sessions are around 30-45 minutes

If a series of treatments are indicated, these will be weekly.

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Bacteria are smart

Bacteria have a reliable networking system of communication – even across species.  They are able to learn from the experience of their network which is one of the reasons they are able to mount resistance to antibiotics. It only takes a few to survive the antibiotic and the next generation of bacteria have developed resistant mechanisms.

One of the resistant mechanisms is the effluent pump.  The first generation of Bacteria may be killed by the antibiotic because the bacteria don’t recognise the antibiotic as a toxic threat.  However, future generations have the advantage of hindsight gained from the communication network and so are able to recognise the antibiotics as a toxin and pump them back out of the cell before any damage is done to the bacteria.

Another great reason to work with Herbal medicine for bacterial infections.  Certain herbs have the ability to inhibit the bacteria’s effluent pump – this means the herb can deliver it’s antibacterial constituents inside the bacteria and the bacteria is unable to resist.

Bacteria may be smart – but they are not as smart as Herbs!

 

Bowen Therapy

Bowen Therapy

What is Bowen Therapy?

Bowen for the Knee
Bowen for the Knee

Bowen Therapy is a whole body natural health care system comprising the Bowen Technique, a gentle bodywork technique devised by Tom Bowen in the 1950’s in Australia.  Bowen Therapy is a remarkable complementary health care system used with great success to assist the body to regulate and repair itself.  In 1975 the Victorian Govern­ment set up an inquiry into alternative health care professionals and it was determined that Tom Bowen treated over 13,000 people with nearly 90% success rate.  Bowen Therapy is gaining recognition internationally and is particularly beneficial for the myriad of chronic health conditions suffered by so many people in the 21st Century.

How does it work?

A gentle, dynamic bodywork technique performed on the body in specific locations and sequences depending on the presenting symptoms. Mandatory pauses between “moves” allow the body to integrate the messages from each set of moves.  The most striking feature of the Bowen technique is that it works with the body’s messenger systems to reset, realign, rebalance and repair.  Of particular importance is how it targets the Autonomic Nervous System to bring the 2 branches, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic, into equilibrium.  Consider the high stress lifestyle most of us experience which tends to cause the Sympathetic Nervous System to be stuck in the on position and the Parasympathetic is being overridden or ignored.  Tension, inflammation, sleep disturbance and anxiety are the most common consequence of this imbalance in the Autonomic Nervous System.  Bowen Therapy assists the body to calm the Sympathetic Nervous System and activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System so that genuine relaxation is obtained, energy begins to flow without impedance and the body can begin to repair itself.  Bowen Therapy can accelerate healing after acute injury and is increasingly being used by athletes to treat injuries and also to maintain optimum physical fitness and health.

 

Bowen Therapy – more than Bodywork technique

Bowen Therapy works on the whole body, it is capable of treating any condition including digestive problems, sleep disorders, respiratory illness, chronic fatigue, headaches… When used in conjunction with other therapies that address nutritional imbalances and poor lifestyle habits, the body is greatly assisted to repair and restore itself to optimum health and wellbeing.

Bowen for the Ankle
Bowen for the Ankle

Organic Vegetarian Winter Warmer Soup

Organic Vegetarian Winter Warmer Soup

This recipe needs to be started the day before due to overnight soaking of the barley.
Cooking time approx. 30 -45 mins
INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 Cup Pearl Barley
  • 3 Cups filtered water
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 1 tabs finely sliced and chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 stick celery – finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Organic powdered Sumac
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic Sea salt
  • VEGIES- 1/2 cup of each Chopped into 1cm cubes – Pumpkin(peeled), Carrot, Potato (skin on) and Sweet Potato (skin on)
  • 1 tin Organic Diced Tomatoes
  • Handful of Parsley and Kale – both finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
Barley after soaking
Barley after soaking
Vegies for Soup
Vegies for Soup

METHOD

    Soak the barley in the filtered water for at least 12 hours
    Saute the onion, celery and ginger for about 5mins
    Add the chopped vegies and the sumac and stir over low heat for about 10 mins
Stir Vegies over heat
Stir Vegies over heat
    Add the Barley and the Water it soaked in, the Tinned Tomatoes and the Salt and bring to the boil. Turn down heat and simmer 30 – 45mins until vegies are softened. You may need to add a little extra water if you prefer a wetter soup.
    Add Parsley and Kale and Lemon Juice for the last 5mins of simmering.

Delicious Nourishing Vegetarian Soup
Delicious Nourishing Vegetarian Soup

Your delicious nourishing warming winter soup is now ready to Serve

 

Reduce stress with Bach Flowers

Bach Flowers
Bach Flowers

Bach Flowers are gentle, they have no known side-effects, and they can be taken along with conventional medicine without fear of complicated drug interactions.

The real beauty of Bach Flowers is that they were intended to be available to everyone as a healing tool. You get the opportunity to take charge of your own health and well-being by choosing the Bach Flowers that feel right for you. All it takes is honesty and careful reflection on what type of person you are, and how you are feeling at this point in time.

ACTUAL CASES

Below are a few of my clients’ cases to show how effective Bach Flowers can be to reduce stress:

  • Grandmother, aged 55, whose main complaint was being terrified of flying. She had to go overseas on a long trip with her husband. I gave her a bottle of Bach Flowers that contained Mimulus, Aspen and Rock Rose. RESULT: she was able to make the return trip without any panic attacks.
  • Female, aged 33, given to blushing and this was causing her stress in her job in a front office. I gave her a bottle of Bach Flowers containing Mimulus and , after the second bottle, she reported that the blushing no longer occurred! She was thrilled.
  • Female, aged 32, awoke daily feeling tired from the prospect of life’s daily chores. She was able to get up and complete the chores, but only with the most reluctant of moods and very low energy. I gave her a bottle of Bach Flowers containing Hornbeam and her energy lifted and she was able to get up each day feeling lighter in spirits, and better able to cope.
  • Male, aged 40, reported that he often descended into a dark depressive state. He said his mind was restless with thoughts ceaselessly flowing about. He was also feeling quite angry. I gave him a mixture of Holly, White Chestnut and Mustard. He reported that his mood had lifted, and half-way through the second bottle, he said he felt so much better that he “felt I did not need it anymore”
  • Female, aged 35, had a known fear of walking through any group of people. She would cross the street to avoid a queue at the bustop. I gave her a bottle containing Mimulus, and after 2 bottles, she was able to walk straight through without any hesitation. She said she also felt more at ease walking into a cafe by herself, which she previously could not do!

A brief description of each Bach Flower is on this page.
When you are ready to make your selection and purchase, pop into my shop

Benefit of Probiotics

Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics are essential for creating a healthy functioning digestive AND immune system.  The human gut is an ecosystem with trillions of bacteria performing beneficial functions such as:

  • cleaning and maintaining the digestive tract;
  • breakdown foods and assisting with assimilation of nutrients;
  • manufacture of B vitamins;
  • fighting disease causing pathogenic bacteria; and
  • dynamic interaction with both the innate and the adaptive immune system.  It has been found that when one or more steps in this communication fail,  inflammatory or auto-immune diseases may occur. (1)

For a healthy immune system your body must have adequate balanced population of the beneficial bacteria.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM is OUT OF BALANCE?

Common signs of imbalance are

  • Allergies
  • Fatigue;
  • Poor concentration;
  • Constipation;
  • Acid Reflux;
  • Painful Joints;
  • Bad Breath;
  • Frequent Colds and Flu that linger for weeks;
  • Candida overgrowth;
  • Acne;
  • Eczema; and
  • Menstrual symptoms

WHAT CAUSES THE IMBALANCE?

Generally the beneficial bacteria are killed by Antibiotics, Steroids, Fluoride and Chlorine (present in our tap water), Caffeine (present in tea and coffee), Carbonated drinks (drinks that are carbonated by adding gas), radiation, stress, preservatives and pesticides.  Most of us have been subjected to most of these substances at some time, often on an ongoing basis, so it stands to reason that the majority of people have digestive systems that are in need of some repair.

A poor diet causes harmful microbes to flourish – leading to a range of unpleasant and debilitating symptoms such as digestive pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea, headaches.  A healthy diet that is tailored to meet the needs of the individual is the basis of good health.  Probiotics can help re-establish the microbiome in the gut – but of course, healthy diet is essential to maintain the right environment in the gut for beneficial microbes to prosper.

MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF PROBIOTICS

I just read about the findings published in Nov2106 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine by researchers McKean J, Naug H, Nikbakht E, Amiet B, and Colson N.J. from The School of Medical Science, Griffith University, Gold Coast and The Menzies Health Institute , Gold Coast.(2)

These researchers  analysed seven randomised, placebo-controlled studies which investigated pre-clinical psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress in healthy volunteers pre- and post-supplementation with a probiotic. The  results “show that probiotic consumption may have a positive effect on psychological symptoms of depression.”

So, not only do probiotics help to normalise the environment of the digestive system for digestive purposes, probiotics also have the potential to alleviate symptoms of stress and mood disorders.

HOW TO INTRODUCE BENEFICIAL BACTERIA SAFELY

There are a large number of probiotic powders and capsules in the market these days.  It can be tricky to work out which one is best for you.  There have been a number of research projects and studies in recent years attempting to ascertain which bacteria are best for which health problems.  It is also important to know that some beneficial organisms may actually exacerbate your health problem so a consultation with your qualified natural health practitioner will guide you to make the choice that is best for you.

Taking probiotics is only going to be beneficial in the long term if the health of the gut is being maintained with nutritious balanced food choices and regular (daily) waste removal via the bowels.

BOOK your HEALTH CONSULTATION NOW : Phone 0448 287 621

Water is LIFE – how safe is yours?

We’ve all heard how important water is for life. Not just important – absolutely vital ! Water is life.

Our body is comprised of approximately 70% water so it makes sense that we need to keep hydrated so our cells, tissues and organs can function optimally.  It is generally accepted that we should drink around 6 – 8 glasses (2 litres) of water per day to replace water excreted via the breath, urine, bowel movements and perspiration. Just how much water you need to drink depends on a number of factors including the climate where you live and work, how physically active you are, the state of your health, your type of diet and your environment (eg air conditioning is drying).

WATER QUALITY

We are very fortunate in Australia to have water on tap – vast networks of pipes bring water to us whenever we demand. A luxury indeed compared to many other nations.  However, the water treatment processes leave residues and contaminants such as disinfectants (chlorine), chemical coagulants and flocculants.  The disinfectants don’t always kill off all the pathogenic organisms such as cryptosporidium and giardia which can be dangerous particularly in immune compromised persons ( young children, sick persons, and the elderly).  The forms of fluoride added to the town water are by-products of industrial waste from phosphate fertilizer industry and it is not the form of fluoride that our teeth require – teeth (and bones) need a tiny bit of calcium fluoride and many foods and drinks contain calcium fluoride such as:

  • carrots,
  • beans,
  • asparagus,
  • beets,
  • potatoes,
  • tomatoes,
  • beets
  • corn
  • celery
  • spinach
  • prunes/plums,
  • raisins/grapes,
  • peaches

So if you are eating these common foods, and drinking black or green tea or apple juice or grape juice you are getting enough calcium fluoride.  The sodium fluoride in the tap water is unnecessary and actually toxic.

More and more people are concerned about the side effects of these chemical additives in the tap water, and are choosing to filter their tap water.  There are some great filter systems available in a variety of styles and price ranges.  Each of them have their pros and cons.  I had investigated these systems for a long time before I finally decided to try the zazen water filter system based off the fact that a person I knew and respected from my college days (she’s a physicist and a naturopath) had put her stamp of approval on the product.  This system has been designed specifically for Australian tap water to

  1. filter out the chemical residues of water treatment process
  2. filter out heavy metals such as lead, iron and copper from the water pipes
  3. filter out microorganisms such as cryptosporidium and giardia
  4. add in minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, silicon and other trace minerals that are necessary for health and found naturally in spring water.

The zazen system is designed to mimic mother nature and I am very happy with the way this product transforms tap water into clean, hydrating, fresh tasting water.  In the end the decision about which filter system to invest in for your health is up to you.  But if you decide to try the zazen system you can purchase it from my shop.

WANT MORE INFORMATION about WATER FILTRATION ?

 

 

Boring becomes Delicious

Boring becomes Delicious

Whoever said “eating healthy is boring” has never tried this delicious and simple meal.

 

Brown Rice, salad veg and Super Seed Sprinkles

This salad will provide you with Protein, a few necessary Carbs, loads of Vitamins and Minerals and is net alkaline to your system.

 

I’m eating this one now as I type – sorry the photo is a bit blurry – but too late I realised after I’d hoed into more than half of it!

This salad was so quick to make – and it lasts in the fridge for next day lunches if you make enough 🙂

 

INGREDIENTS – Brown Rice, salad veg and Super Seed Sprinkles

Organic Brown Rice – Cooked in filtered water by absorption method. Just serve   1/4- 1/2 cup cooked per person(depends how hungry you are and how much energy you have expended)

Cucumber and green beans cut into bite sizes, grated carrot, grated beetroot, medium tomato chopped, baby spinach, chopped coriander

Dressing of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and Organic Olive Oil

and the “secret” ingredient from Byron Bay “Pimp My Salad” Super Seed Sprinkles. No, I’m not being paid to say this, I just love them! I found them in Healthy Life – but am sure they are going to be everywhere coz they are so good.

Super Seed Sprinkles by PIMP MY SALAD from Byron Bay

 

Sitting is the new smoking

Sitting is the new smoking
Yellow Rose
Make time to get out and smell the roses

It’s a fact – the modern “civilised” lifestyle is simply too sedentary and this is dangerous for health.  We are spending far too much time not moving.  We are sitting or standing in one place at work for hours at a time.  Sitting in the car or public transport getting to and from work. Sitting at home after work, “relaxing”.  Body systems are in stagnation, struggling to perform their natural functions – stiffening through lack of use. Metabolism is slowing down, arteries are clogging up, waste products getting trapped in cells and intracellular spaces, nutrition not getting to cells. All those niggling pains and discomforts are the body’s attempts to get you to pay attention!

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that physical inactivity is associated with 3.2 million deaths worldwide each year.1 The WHO recommendations encourage adults to do 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (e.g. running, brisk walking, swimming; any movement that makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath). Children should spend at least 60 minutes being physically active each day. This activity reduces the risk of non-communicable diseases, including breast and colon cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).1

However, it is simply not sufficient to be sedentary all day and just chuck in an hour of exercise. If you want to optimise your health you have to ensure you are doing regular movements throughout the waking hours.  If you can’t leave your desk, then try 5-10minute movement breaks every hour.

  • Stand up and stretch your body – raise and then lower your arms in front up to ceiling,again raise and lower out from the sides, rotate each shoulder forwards and backward.
  • Gently swing each leg forward and backwards,
  • Roll on your feet back and forth from toes to heels,
  • Deep Breathing – whilst inhaling imagine the breath filling your whole body all the way down to your feet,exhale and imagine any tension melting away.
  • Gently and slowly stretch your neck by moving your head up and down,  turning your head to the left and right, and tilting your head to each side (bringing your ear towards the shoulder (be mindful of any pain and don’t do neck stretching if you have recent neck injury or pain)
  • Eye exercises these are absolutely necessary to relieve eyestrain and maintain vision health – get yourself this free app or find one that suits your device

“Movement” equals “Improved Circulation” equals “Improved organ function” equals “Better health, naturally”.

Aim to include 1/2 hour walking or swimming or yoga or tai chi or qi gong or Kum Nye – there’s simply no excuse!

Oh, and REMEMBER to drink 6 – 8 glasses of filtered alkaline water to keep your body hydrated.

Can’t get motivated?  Try Bach Flowers for that bit of support you need to remove your resistance to change.

Need help to get back on track for a healthier happier you?  Michele can help

REFERENCES

  1. WHO | New physical activity guidance can help reduce risk of breast, colon cancers.