If You’re Not Laughing, You’re Not Healthy

Good Morning to you!

Today marks the day I step out of my comfort zone and into my bucket list as I explore the world of stand up comedy...and me in it!  I have had this on my life's to do list for some time now and as the universe would have it, when you put it out there as an intention, it finds you!  I have always been a bit of a class clown - call it a cry for attention or a need to please - either way I have cracked a few people up along the way but there have been a handful here and there that really didn't get the joke and that's ok...or is it?

As I have journeyed further into the psychology of health, one thing stood out like the proverbial you know what and that is that even in the early stages of a chronic illness - the patient was not a happy camper.  In fact, I will go so far as to say that a drop in an otherwise positive and joyous state of mind may be the first sign the body is in distress.  From that point forward it could be years before pathology or scanning picks up a serious health aberration so this could be a great way to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Use this example for...well an example...

You go to sit down to watch a funny movie with someone and you find the humour in all the right places, but your popcorn partner thinks its silly, trivial, ridiculous, incredulous, becomes annoyed and restless and only one of you is needing a back massage from all the guffawing you're doing.  Regardless of whether or not the theme of the movie is funny or not - wouldn't you still find a giggle at the antics of the 'lounge room laugher' instead?  I know I would.  Empathy allows us that skill - to tune into someones else's emotional journey and join them somewhere on it - regardless of your own.

If your cellular health is low and hormonal signalling is disjointed due to poor insulin levels, low iron, deficient magnesium, high acidity, high toxicity, dehydration, lack of regular movement, poor dietary choices and you're suffering with pain, fatigue, low libido, headaches, agitation, anxiety and insomnia - this makes it very difficult indeed to sit down and enjoy a comedic attempt on anyone's behalf.

So, as a voice for us budding funny buggers and try hard comedians - go get your health back and sit down (or stand up) and have a good hearty belly laugh at SOMETHING!  I promise - it won't hurt you...

PS- If you're in Brisbane at 6pm at the Sit Down Comedy Club on Tuesday 3rd October because someone has invited you to the graduation show - tell them I sent you!

 

How to Become Offensively Healthy

Good Morning!

Its a windy and sunny Saturday morning here on the Gold Coast, I've been up since 5am and tending to my active mind on my projects.  Its a busy head in there but it got me thinking about how people with habits they want to kick seem to detest those who have (or have never formed them in the first place).  More often than not, the vocabulary from the seemingly unhealthy one about the healthy one is offensive.  They actually sound offended by their counterpart's health.  I have even heard people say - "You can be too healthy you know"...yeah I laughed too.

Seriously though, when you reach a certain level of health you do have the energy and vitality to (by osmosis it would appear) - tick people off by your infectious giggling, high energy movements and big voices.  It can be off putting to those who are in a lowered state of vitality - however I would have also thought it would be inspiring or at the very least - thought provoking for those with habitual health detracting practices.  Unfortunately, this is the exception and not the rule.

Well, for those of you who seek a higher level of pizazz and functionality - even productivity - in your life, I say go get offensively healthy!  Be a detective on how to achieve an even higher state of health than the one you operate on currently. Be annoyingly vital and love doing it!

Here are my 5 tips on how to become offensively healthy:

 

  1. Find a new health tip a week and give it a go for a week (as long as it is safe to do so - for example don't do enemas for a week!)
  2. Explore your fasting options and safety and give that a one day a week permission slip for a month.
  3. Research new markets to visit and find an exotic fruit or vegetable and learn how to prepare it, what is health properties are and put the food to good use!
  4. Master the art of deep stillness in your body and your breath
  5. Think of a new creative outlet that you have always wanted to do - even an adventure sport is a creative outlet if you let your mind think it is!

Remember - if you offend anyone along the way, its a good sign you are getting healthier!  Enjoy!

When Having a Senior Moment Is a Good Thing

Good morning and welcome back!

I am saying that to myself as well as you, as I take up position at the keyboard in the name of creative writing after what has been a very long blog break.  My apologies for those who were periodically entertained by my healthy ramblings - I may have appeared missing in action but there has been plenty of action, some of which I wish I was missing from...but that's another story all together.

I am stunned by how fast a year goes, my last blog seems to be almost a year ago now - so many moments between that has marked their place in my historical events - but nonetheless to remind me that as I age, I tolerate less 'guff'and focus more acutely on what matters...and that is a great gift to have been given.  One of those traits I have become better doing the more senior I get (awesome senior moment #1).

THE CHANGING BRAIN

Science shows us that during times of adversity, even acute stress, our brains will change in size and shape when it comes to numbers of neurons that are available for certain functions.  For example, the pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus which manages emotional context, memory, decision making and such - will shrink.  Conversely, the amygdala which controls circular thinking, aggression, worry and anxiety - will grow.  Have you ever had one of those horrible moments when you're under pressure for something quite stressful but you can't remember where you last put your keys and your already running late?

It would be rare that most of us in this situation would handle it well, with aplomb and calm.  We simply cannot access enough neural power to find those keys and go on our merry way. It is not until we calm down and take a moment to literally 'gather our thoughts'.  I like to think of it as gathering our neurons instead!  It is a good thing that your brain is neuroplastic and when things settle down again has the opportunity to remodel itself back to healthy sizes.  Or at least it will if given the opportunity and nutritional support to do so. Ongoing chronic stress without breaks of peace will most definitely challenge this process.  Long term stress, inflammation and dehydration may also contribute to early onset mental health decline - well before your golden years have started.

SLOW TRAINING

I have also noticed that my body likes to exercise differently - and after a year or two of recovering from a plethora of silly little time consuming injuries mostly generated by my active pursuits - I have finally arrived to the point of understanding fully how to respect my body in a more regenerative vs degenerative way.  I like to call it slow training - less heavy jerky movements, less heavy weight bearing but weight bearing more of my own body weight using different positions (I have a great personal trainer at http://beyondtransformation.com.au/).  This is awesome senior moment #2 - self actualization of my body's limitations.

DIGESTIVE WISDOM

My final wonderful senior moment has manifested itself into a digestive reminder that as I age, I need to eat less quantity and more quality of the foods I choose.  Although I have always known this, I love my food and sometimes I recognize there have been moments when I have over eaten and paid the price...my ageing digestive system won't let me do this anymore and that is a good thing!  In fact, there is ample research that shows that over eating is inflammatory to the body and slowing down the progression of an early death may well be found in eating less, not more.  I have also found it easier to kick poor habits as well when they try to creep back in - mainly because my ageing body tells me faster that it doesn't like them!

I love getting older...do you?

 

For more healthy habits tips and hints, see my contribution to mydeal.com.au healthy habits article...

https://www.mydeal.com.au/blog/post/healthy-habits-to-make

*If you have relatives who would like to explore a FREE day out in the name of wellness and healthy ageing, please - invite them along to Wellness In The Golden Years in Brisbane - see below.  RSVP for catering purposes.

 

Things May Be Looking Up

Good morning and welcome to another weekend!

 

I have had a couple of weeks off writing as I prepare for the final stages of Wellness In The Golden Years and now that I am less than a week away - and organisation of the event is at the point where I can breathe again - I am back to the keyboard doing what I love to do - write.

These next few months will be bringing about some new changes to the clinic and the format of my appointments with my patients - more so new ones - however you may all experience some new things happening in your follow ups too from time to time.  More on that later.  For now let's talk about a part of the body us Naturopaths love to explore - your eyes!iridology-chart

As you can see, I have included a chart mapping out the parts of your body as it relates to signs in your iris - the coloured part of your eyes.  For many years this tool of investigation has been used by practitioners to give insight into weaknesses, traits, potential under and over activity of certain parts of the body and in some cases have been able to predict more serious health concerns.  The limitations are there however as well so it is never used as a be all diagnostic tool - more a confirmation on what is happening or possibly coming up.

Iris recordings originally noted by medical practitioners in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries are said to be the earliest depicting iridology referencing.  A Hungarian Doctor - Ignatz von Peczely - is famed for his account as a young boy when he accidentally broke the leg of an owl and soon after noticed a dark spot in the bird's iris which changed in shape and depth of shading over the healing period.  Dr Peczely later went on to study medicine and in particular iris changes in his patients and developed the first chart of iris markings as it relates to the human body in 1880.

In today's patients iris markings carry many generations of health information and the interpretation of those markings can hold important flags for health changes.  Whilst it cannot be used as a definitive diagnostic tool it can give you a direction to start looking in.

I do include iridology checks for my new patients so if you haven't had one for a while or at all - let's get together and see what your eyes reveal to me.  It can be quite illuminating!

Finally and while we are on the subject of eyes - here are some foods and nutrients that could be beneficial in general eye and visual health:

Betacarotene rich foods - carrots (goes without saying), citrus, sweet potato, rockmelon, citrus.

Leafy greens - full of antioxidants that protect the fragile nervous system that is involved in vision - and macular degeneration.

Eggs - packed with lutein, zeaxanthin (also in leafy greens) and zinc - all protection for macular degeneration.

Berries - again a high antioxidant food that prevents cataract damage and reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration.

Almonds - filled with eye enriching vitamin E (notice the E reference?) - vitamin E for Eyes is important for again, prevention and management of macular degeneration one the worlds leading causes of visual problems.

Fatty fish - like tuna and salmon - have been also found to provide necessary lipids for dry eye syndrome.  All nerve endings have a fatty layer to help with nerve conduction.

Finally - the Chinese medicinal approach also says the liver opens to the eyes on the meridian charts so taking care of your liver can also make headways towards eye care.

I'll see you in the clinic soon! (see what I did there?) (and there?)

A4 Wellness Event Flyer FINAL

 

 

Top 5 Healthy Ageing Must Have’s

Good windy Saturday!

We are sliding into the last few weeks leading up to the third Wellness In The Golden Years FREE event for seniors and retirees, so today's post is devoted to reminding you that the ageing process is happening now in your body and that depending on your choices, and outside of unavoidable accidents - you are the master of your body and brain ages.

I often hear people handing over their health to a quick fix pill without adjusting some basic lifestyle choices in the hope that the health issue is soon out of sight/out of mind.  The reality is that most medications/drugs will have a side effect in your body, over tax your liver and kidneys and rob your system of vital nutrients that in many cases such as high blood pressure, are required by your body to manage this condition.

In exchange for a little extra attention, planning, initial adaptation time and self discipline you stand to benefit greatly by implementing some lifestyle changes to protect your ageing body.  So what should you focus your time and efforts on that will make the most impact and have the greatest outcome for your health.

After over 20 years in the health industry and following thousands of consultations - here are my top 5 must have's for a long healthy and chronic disease free life:

  1.  Manage your inflammation well - any pain, heat or discomfort on the inside or outside of your body spells potentially cell and tissue damaging outcomes.  Inflammation lie at the bottom of all chronic disease including Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Cancer, Depression, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Arthritis and many more.  TIP: If you choose to take some medication for these, adopt an anti inflammatory program alongside it for better outcomes. (www.wisehealthyliving.com.au/consultations)
  2. Manage your bacterial balance (also known as your microbiome) - science tells us from recent discovery that our human DNA cells are outnumbered 10 to 1 by bacterial cells so it pays to take care of the bugs in your life!  Dental research shows oral bacterial health impacts on a number of areas in your health - especially your cardiovascular health.  Cardio surgeons have lab tested arterial plaque removed from patients to find oral bacteria within this substance.  TIP:  Incorporate sugar free pre and probiotic foods and formulas in your daily intake such as kefir, yoghurts, fermented vegetables like kim chee or saurkraut, coconut oil, water soluble fibres like psyllium and guar gum and plenty of vegetable matter.
  3. Manage your stress response - regardless of your age, you are the master of your emotional responses to what goes on around you and becoming a master is a massive step towards reducing the inflammatory effects the stress hormones have on your system.  Whether you over commit, ruminate on worries, wallow in the past or knee jerk to nit pickiness - you are in the control seat for all of this.  TIP: Find some of the numerous classes, professionals and techniques available to you to soften your stress.  There would have been something you remember doing when you were younger that you loved to do that also calmed your mind - go find and do it again!  If you are struggling with turning it around, there are some key herbs and nutrients that literally rewire your brain to help get you there.  Let's talk about a tailored program for you!
  4. Manage your chemical load - toxins and oxidative stress from these in your body quickly turns a healthy cell into an erratic and unhealthy one.  Chemical load comes in many forms - some from within the body and some from outside.  Whilst we can't see these chemicals, our body tells us when it is encumbered in the form of joint pain, headaches, skin conditions, sluggishness and mind fog.  Once you start reducing the load and improving the removal of toxins, you will emerge out of this uncomfortable cloud with a spring in your step. A sluggish or too fast bowel for example is a sign your system is backing up literally in toxic matter and it becomes a healthy ageing priority.  TIP: Toxins to focus on include by products of alcohol and smoking, food preservatives, sunscreens (there are many effective and natural ones), cosmetics, deodorants and fragrances and plastics in food and water containers.
  5. Manage your movement - as you age your body doesn't need less movement, it needs different forms of movement.  If you are pushing too hard you can create more inflammatory outcomes, but if you don't move enough you will create the same from a build up in toxic load.  The balance is vital and what works best is a cross section between light cardio, weight bearing and flexibility (especially flexibility) with a degree of frequency that would be no less than 3 times a week.  TIP:  Make sure if you are working with a personal trainer they know how to SLOW TRAIN you during times of injury or deeper recovery from an earlier heavy session or a particularly taxing time with work and personal events.  Sometimes a beach walk and a good stretch is just what the doctor ordered!

Remember - you are the master of your ageing processes, the decider when it comes to medications or supplements and the implementer of your diet and exercise lifestyle choices right up till the end!  Let's get you there as late as possible with as much life in your body as manageable!

WELLNESS IN THE GOLDEN YEARS HEALTHY AGEING EVENT IS HAPPENING ON THE 30TH AUGUST AT THE RNA SHOWGROUNDS CONVENTION CENTRE.  RSVP required for catering purposes. FREE MULTICULTURAL EVENT FOR SENIORS AND RETIREES

Magnesium Takes You Places

Good Morning - what a glorious day to move your body!

I am busting out this piece quite quickly as I am off to see a couple of patients this Saturday morning - a rarity for me but sometimes you have to stretch yourself to help another in the name of being on point with your purpose in life.  It reminds me that some minerals do better than others when it comes to needing a stretch!  Enter stage left - Magnesium.

Without this wonderful mineral, we would be as stiff as an ironing board, depressed, 'hormonally' challenged, in aching pain, fatigued to the point of sleeping at the wheel, hunting down sugar like it was the last food on earth available to keep the species going, your blood pressure and calcium levels would soar and your Vitamin D levels would plummet along with a number of other nutrients.  You see magnesium will go to places in your body that you probably didn't even know existed!  It is the adventurer of the minerals but it needs some help to get around to all the places it likes to visit to keep you going.

When you choose a magnesium supplement here are few things to consider when at the supermarket or health food store:

Magnesium either absorbs well or aggravates its surroundings depending on what it is bound to (citrate, phosphate, sulfate, oxide, amino acid chelate, bis-glycinate).  The most effective form is the last one - the bis-glycinate as it transports the magnesium into the cell successfully because the body thinks it is part of an amino acid - glycine - which is used widely in the body for a number of functions.

Magnesium changes its activity depending on the other ingredients it shares space with in your powder, capsule or tablet.  For example - a magnesium with glutamine in it will also help repair the gut wall, calm the nervous system and is well tolerated at night.  A magnesium with tyrosine and iodine will fire up your energy and is great for fatigue.  A formula that contains potassium citrate and certain herbs will work wonders for pain and acidity in the muscles and so on. One that also contains B6, zinc and broccoli sprouts will assist with hormonal functions. It is important to match your magnesium to your highest needs!

Magnesium powders work faster than capsules and tablets, capsules are faster than tablets and tablets are the slowest - with hard surfaces to break down - your body has to get through that adn the binding agents before the active ingredients are accessed.

Magnesium works well when in a warmer solution.

Magnesium can aggravate the tummy if taken on an empty stomach and too high a dose will simply create a loose bowel.

So remember - your magnesium is a fantastic ally when you are out and about doing what you do to stay on point with your purpose - throw some into a glass and get on your way!

Eating Baby Food Turned My Life Around

Good Scintillating Saturday to you!

Interesting title huh?

These were the words spoken to me by a patient whose digestive health had deteriorated so much she thought that eating baby food would be the only option she had left as all other foods were causing her so much pain and discomfort.

This was a patient who was not sleeping, had no energy, cried at the drop of a hat due to the pain she was in and the fear of 'Is this how my life is now at 47 years of age?'

She was in a terrible state of health from a naturopathic perspective not only because of the symptoms she presented with, but more so due to the lowered vitality she displayed - the air was literally let out of her.

It was the baby food stage however that turned her life around.  The moment she found herself making the decision that eating baby food was her only option was the moment she decided to look elsewhere for health advice.  After months of investigations and routine treatments, we got started.

Within just a few weeks of supporting her digestive system in what it was missing, this usually vibrant lady started to sleep again, began eating an ever increasing variety of adult foods, experienced much less pain and discomfort and is much happier, brighter and lively than she presented on her first day in clinic.  To say her awareness on what she chooses to eat and how she eats it has increased 10 fold.  In fact, her awareness on her entire health has amplified.

Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom to build a better more stable foundation for our health - after all - rock bottom can be a solid platform to start from.  Her diminished health was her solid platform - but now she knows she doesn't need to find rock bottom again in order to be more mindful of how she cares for her body - she has baby food to remind her.

Remember - you don't need to hit rock bottom in order to finally make a concerted effort to look after yourself - so why keep heading there?

 

Stress Shrinks Your Brain

Good Saturday to you!

I trust you're getting some relaxation in over the weekend so your brain can grow back to normal again.  Yes it is true - even acute or early stress actually causes parts of your brain that control emotional exaggeration, rationalisation, memory, decision making and emotional context.

In the same light, anxiety increases the size of a different part of the brain that creates worrying, circular thinking and aggression.

Interestingly though is the fact that the same areas of the brain are affected similarly in insomniacs and in some cases OCD.

To say that stress does not affect you is quite possibly the memory and impulse control parts of your brain being altered in size and function from the inflammation of the stress response and the further inflammation of your lifestyle choices you employ to 'manage' stress (alcohol, high sugar foods, low exercise participation).

Research is now quite compelling in the areas to support the provision of magnesium, GABA, turmeric, saffron, passionflower, marigold, zizyphus and kudzu along with omega 3 fatty acids, breathing techniques, dietary changes towards alkaline eating and zinc to remodel the nerve changes in your brain and return your thinking and feeling matter back to normal size and functions again.

So the next time your find it difficult to remember where your keys are, what time you had an appointment and when you had to pick up the kids from school when you're in a state of flux- try to employ some brain soothing chemistry to help you out!

Meet Your Internal Defence Force

 

Good Sunny Saturday!

I trust you are about to enjoy some healing sunshine and fresh air because there is plenty out there to enjoy!

Today I wanted to introduce you to the special forces team inside your body that are on a mission to combat anything that threatens your borders between great health and dis-ease.  These are your silent fighters whose main purpose is either to get in and destroy the enemy of your health or communicate a potential breach of your otherwise intact system.

Here is part of the crew inside you:

Natural Killer Cells - a white blood cell or lymphocyte that is able to bind to certain tumour cells and virus-infected cells without the stimulation of antigens, and kill them by the insertion of granules containing perforin.  Clever hey!  Simply put, if your immune system is not off doing something else - these guys are surveying for anything that fits the description mentioned.

Antigen Presenting Cells - an immune competent group of cells that mediate immune responses by processing and presenting antigens to the T-cell receptor. My favourite is the dendritic cell that often sits inside the digestive system and samples what is going on outside of the wall into the blood stream using a little projections from its body. Its kind of the dibber-dobber of your body and I am a big fan.

Cholesterol - whether your cholesterol is high or low, a healthy balance of this important fat is vital for human life.  Even too high 'good' cholesterol levels can be dangerous and would indicate is protecting itself from harm (inflammation).  Think of these as the medics in the defence line up - they are a sign your body is in protect and repair of damaged tissue mode when up and to reach for a lowering agent without addressing the dietary and non-dietary reasons why this is elevating would be like putting a blanket over a house on fire.

Amyloid plaque - this is the substance found in the brain of Alzheimer patients - and is a sign your body is in trauma protection processes.  Everyone produces this plaque when they experience stress, head injury and alcohol injury in some cases.  To know that you are producing this and that it could have detrimental mental affect on your body is important to note.  Given that we all make this - a simple gene test to determine if its presence also means a serious decline in your mental health down the track is a great investment.

Mucus - it's very presence means that your body is armouring itself from damage. Whether it is in the digestive system, respiratory system, reproductive system or elsewhere - this layer of white blood cells and mucoid film means that your body is trying to get rid of something foreign.  It is a white flag that your system is dealing with it - or trying to.  With the help of enzymes munching this stuff away, once it is gone - the mucus tap should be turned off by the immune system - if it isn't - more help is needed.

So these are 5 of my favourites little fighters for your health - there are many many more that your body deploys for your successful mission in life, but in my opinion - these are the best in the corps.

 

Not All Coughs Are Built the Same

A4 Wellness Event FlyerGood Morning and Happy Voting Saturday!

Before I launch into this week's piece, I wanted to touch on a topic that has been attracting a bit of attention in social but not so in main stream media.  There have been a lot of questions thrown in the circle this week from my patients about the possibility of the abolition of health care rebates on Natural Therapies as indicated by the Labor party if it gets in.  For the first time we may be facing a very real threat to our industry and it is expected that the Liberal party will do something similar.  It would pay to check this out when voting today if you want to keep your rebates going.  I am choosing to research a party that supports Natural Medicine as an integrative approach to mainstream medicine.

Now for the topic at hand.

Coughs this season have proven to be early and tenacious, with the first onset starting off in March this year.  As I do for each year, I keep a track on the patterns that coughs are taking in my patients as they often follow a very clear presentation when it comes to homeopathic prescribing.

Interestingly I have had a couple of whooping cough patients for example this past fortnight who have presented quite differently in some of their symptoms and similar in many others.  I wanted to tag a few features of homeopathic remedies that I have been using a lot in clinic to help alleviate the cough and move the patient into a phase of recovery their bodies can manage well.  Not all coughs are built the same, despite the same diagnosis, each person will present slightly differently and this will also depend on the stage of their condition.

Here are a few common cough remedies used this season so far to match their presenting symptoms:

Kali Bichromium (Kali Bich) - often used for a stringy choking mucus in the throat where a cough dislodges part of the phlegm but leaves another part behind, causing the patient to cough hard in the throat to continue moving it.  The patient can be irritable and have nasal mucus that is ropy and bland to green in colour.

Coccus Cacti - a classic second stage whooping cough remedy used to manage a more tenacious cough that causes the patient to have to lean forward to complete the cough cycle, with streaming eyes and a red congested face.  The cough is hard, persistent and not much mucus is initially coughed up but there is much felt in the chest.

Bryonia - a burning heavy  chest with a hard cough that brings chunky olive green or blood stained mucus often is the calling card for Bryonia.  The patient also often has dry lips and a burning thirst, and prefers to lie in a semi erect position.  Pains are relieved by warmth and deep pressure.

Ipecac - a cough that is quite wet and rolling in the chest with little expectoration calls for Ipecac.  In its non homeopathic form this medicine was also used to induce vomiting in poison cases, so homeopathically it can be well called for if the coughing is creating a vomiting picture.

Drosera - this cough is often dry and barking or hacking and almost always worse when lying down.  The patient gets a tickle in the throat that is excited by cold air and drinks and talking.  This is often an early stage whooping cough remedy in the dry phases.

So as you can see, not every cough needs the same approach, just like not every patient needs the same treatment program.  Don't suffer unnecessarily this Winter!

** Wellness In The Golden Years is on again this year - feel free to circulate this flyer.  Exhibitor spaces still available.