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.

 

 

Are You Afraid of Alzheimers?

Good morning!

As promised, I've gathered the most important snippets of the three day International Congress of Natural Medicine in the area of  mood disorders and neuro/mental decline, to deliver to you an easy to read, info-taining piece of literary brilliance.  I figure I should capitalize on using my brain as much as I can in creative ways to keep the mental fog from creeping in.

The congress was packed full of revelations, research and current data from all over the world including Australia, to unravel the tangles of aged related deficits in health.  To say it was inspirational is an understatement - especially in the area of Alzheimer's management.

Of the most exciting revelations from Dr Dale Bredesen in his presentation - Current Understanding of the Pathophysiology of Dementia and Sub Typing of Patients - Alzheimer's disease is not necessarily a definitive end of the road for all patients. In fact, his findings are that the amyloid plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer patients, is actually something quite common to all of us - its a protective measure your body employs to buffer the effects of trauma, inflammation (from infection or injury), stress and nutrient irregularities.

His video recordings of patients diagnosed with this debilitating condition found that with correct management, their symptoms abated within 6 months and some had their diagnoses turned around.  The change on screen was astonishing - and encouraging to say the least.

He also found there are some genetic tests - APOE4/MTHFR - that can be done to determine genetic risk factors (costs about $200 to do the two) and that a simple ratio between albumin/globulin on your usual blood tests your doctor does - will reveal a potential problem on its way to affecting you. Markers of inflammation and heavy metal testing are important too - and together formulates a great starting point for care.

This means that unlike usual prognosis given - we can do something about prevention and there is much to do for management too!

Our arsenal of anti-inflammatory herbs, stress reducing nutrients and good old sound dietary advice can go a long way in stemming decline and even turning around prognoses.  To list them here would make your eggs go cold - so if you are interested in following up with some individualized approach to preventing mental decline - let's get together.

Remember - we are all too keen (well maybe not all) to get a colonoscopy in our 40's - perhaps we should be lining up for cognoscopy (not a real thing but  our version of a mental panel check) for prevention.

 

It’s Not Just All In Your Head

Good Weekend to You!

Well hasn't it been an up and down kind of week from weather to work?  I'm confident I am not the only one who has experienced this given the news reports, and if you think this year is passing us by fast-you're absolutely right.  Even my 12 year old notices this, and she first started taking note at the age of 9 - so its true - it is not all in your head!

Neither is mental illness in any form it may present.

The science on immunology, nutrition, patient/clinician effect, herbal medicine and the gut/brain balance offers us a compelling reason to start looking outside of the head in order to fully recover modern day illnesses in these areas.  This weekend, I am about to go underground into 3 days of intensive conference completely devoted to the health of the mind and the current science supporting it.  This has little to do with a deficiency of antidepressant medication or endless circular psychology-this is a foundational path of solutions that your body cannot simply hide from.

We are now so much more equipped than ever to understand the interaction between the bacteria in the colon and mood, between post viral syndrome, pain and vitality and the missing links in nutritional pathways that chemically bring us back to base.

Moods and happiness are no where near the head so it will seem.

Of my Top 5 Steps to Happiness, here are my favourites:

  1.  Get sun onto your body at least three times a week - even if it is just your legs! Vitamin D and the nourishing warmth of the sun is rejuvenating - 10 -15 min is often adequate.
  2. Eat foods that promote bacterial balance in your gut - coconut yoghurt, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, oregano, basil, garlic, thyme, vegetarian meals a couple of times a week, kefir, quark (a cottage cheese type food) and water soluble fibres (slippery elm, psyllium, guar gum, agar agar).
  3. Keep yourself on the move - avoid sedentary days.  Investigate ways to push against the wall, floor or bench tops. A quick 10 minute lounge room work out is better than non at all.
  4. Start and review frequently a gratitude list to keep you in touch with what matters the most.
  5. Test and correct nutritional imbalances that are known to escalate anxiety, irritability and sadness.  Some tests are not straight vitamin or mineral blood measures - but metabolic by products of body maintenance. Check out krytpopyrroles for example.

After the weekend of intensive study and research revelations are made - your next piece of literary communication from me will be jam packed full of new data on halting the deterioration of the mind and its wellbeing.

** COMING UP IN BRISBANE**

Wellness In The Golden Years  FREE health and wellbeing expo for retirees and seniors

30th August 2016

Royal International Convention Centre

For more information contact nicky@wisehealthyliving.com.au

When Winter Turns Wild, Turn Home into a Healthy Retreat

Holy Mother of Mayhem Batman - we are in for a snuggly couple of days indoors!

I hear the resounding cries of parents everywhere mixed with hopeful wishes of some valuable rest time on the lounge, unable to venture into the outdoors with their children to keep them entertained and exhausted, and restricted in any efforts to mow lawns and hang washing.    Ahhhh what to do!

If you have children who need entertaining during a weekend of wild weather, I have a few ideas below that could work in your favour.  It may not be the same as their usual expenditure of energy during their normal weekend pursuits, but it may take the edge off the crazy for a few hours...and that lounge is not too far away for you and your book!

Here are a couple of keep ém busy ideas:

  1.  If they are old enough (7+) get them involved in preparing a nourishing Winter immune building soup. They can peel carrots and parsnips, place chopped pieces into the pot, stir with supervision and add herbs for extra health benefits.
  2. If your child is under 7, get busy with them making some play dough (plenty of healthy recipes online) and line up your safe kitchen utensils for shape cutting.  To get some non toxic colours you could try adding drops of beetroot juice, strawberry juice, pulped and strained English spinach juice, blueberry juice and for orange, purple and yellow - carrots in those colours if you have them!
  3. Should your home have a lonely hall just waiting to be utilized - grab some crepe paper, old string, old stockings or something similar and set up a 'laser labyrinth' for them to make their way through without touching it.  Think any Bond Movie, Entrapment or similar spy movies to get to the 'treasure'(that could be their devices or food you have held back for treat purposes).
  4. Look up 7 minute workout on your browser and print out the chart - give one to each child.  Have them do the work out a few times over or get them to create their own (statues can be incorporated into this concept.
  5. With those unwashed bed linen and towels - get them to good use in fort building, scene creating for a mini movie and 'safe' stepping spots for adventurous lounge room activities.
  6. Put large pieces of paper together - secure them with tape. Get your children to lie on the paper and draw the outline of their body.  Google a chart of labeled human body parts and get them to label their body drawing with as many parts as they can.  Another version is to have pieces of food cut out and get them place the foods near or on the parts most likely to benefit from them.
  7. Home made spa treatments are a great way to keep them busy and relaxed!  Using household ingredients and only small quantities needed, coconut and oat scrubs, fruit facials, avocado masks and herbal tea baths become a fantastic passer of time! Make sure you put the soothing music on!

Remember - a healthy dose of fun can be had in the smallest of spaces!