Topic: Appointments

Autumnal bug-share

The school’s are nearly going back, the leaves have begun to fall (yup, I know, we’ve hardly had summery weather in the UK this year and we’re already heading into the darkness). And, after all this isolation, distancing and more with Covid-19 measures, we’re going to start mingling our germs too. Usually, that would be OK. In fact it still is, as being exposed to new mildly pathogenic microbes is part of keeping a strong and fit immune system.

HOWEVER, it also means that we are being bombarded with the potential for those seemingly endless Autumnal and Winter infections.

Do you seem to get every bug going? Are you constantly streaming with snot and snuffling, sneezing and coughing? Are you worried that you’ll catch everything the children do but worse?

I can help.

Herbs are brilliant at managing symptoms of these kinds of self-limiting, minor infections, shortening the duration and preventing them occuring in the first place.

You have a couple of options for working on this with me:

A mini consultation where we discuss you most usual symptoms and how the infection progresses and I make you up a special herbal tincture mix to take in small doses as prevention and then an ’emergency’ mix for if you do get something. These can be teas or tincture blends.

Children’s appointments – Children respond so well to herbs. They are brilliant as their bodies are less stuck in habits and habitual ways. I love working with them as they are so honest about what happens to them. My 4-year-old loves my ‘bogey picking nail’ (which is just a long pinkie finger nail which happens to fit up her nose for those chunky boogers she’s not yet old enough to care about! She loves taking her herbal syrups and often reminds me to dose her up each day.

A Winter wellness plan for the whole season. This is an in-depth treatment plan of herbs, food, lifestyle and tapping to prime your immune system for the winter. You’ll receive weekly emails filled with tips on feeding your immune system with great foods and herbs and a tapalong video. You have 1-2-1 sessions with me to keep yourself on track with the lifestyle changes specific to you. I’ll also create an emergency tincture mix in case anything passes your new resilience and a special early bird tea blend bonus. Click here to find out more. We begin in October.

Kills 99.9% of all known… life form?

Look around you. How many products in your house say kills 99.9% of all known germs? Does that feel good to you? I am really upset by those labels and I’ll share with you why that is.

Did you know that 99.9% also includes the beneficial ones which keep us healthy? These bacteria are called commensal. They live with us, on us and are there to protect us. Our skin requires a strong colony of specific commensal bacterium to remain in protective balance. Every time you use antibacterial agents, you wipe this away, leaving your skin potentially vulnerable to colonisation with other, possibly less ‘friendly’ bacterium.

WASH YOUR HANDS: We’re being advised to clean our hands every where we go. This is good practice. Sanitising agents are not.

SANITISERS: Anything with less than 60% alcohol will slow the growth of some tougher microbes but not kill them. 60-90% is the best at getting rid of them but there there’s the additional issue of alcohol drying out the skin on the hands which will make it less supple and more prone to cracking. Cracked skin is a much poorer defence making us vulnerable to bacteria invading our skin altogether. Doesn’t sound good, does it?

So, what should we do instead? It has been shown that plain old bars of soap and hot water do the job the best. It gets your hands the cleanest and doesn’t flood the waterways with antibacterial agents which contribute to bacterial resistance.

SOAP: Soap on the other hand, is good at destroying the membranes of the microbes which kills them. The friction of hand washing, combined with the addition of running water all help remove grease and grime as well as unwanted bacteria.

So, wash your hands as soon as you get home. Wash your hands before you eat. Wash your hands after you visit the loo. Most of this advice is not new. It’s good, normal hygiene practise.

DRY SKIN? Ultimately, all this additional hand washing is not great for the skin on our hands. In order to keep my skin supple and free from chapping, I make a beautiful, thick, nutritive and deeply penetrating ‘Skin Salve-ation’ in small heart shapes or in wooden trinket pots. I carry it and use it all the time but the best thing is to put it on thickly late evening and allow it to all penetrate through the night. BUY IT HERE

BREAD EXPERIMENT: Have you seen this experiment with school children and slices of bread? Whether or not it is a great experiment, what it shows is that using sanitiser doesn’t actually clean your hands all that well. And, if you use an anti-BACTERIAL one, it won’t be effective on viruses and fungi (dependent on level of alcohol present). [What is also shows is that sliced bread which hasn’t been wiped on grubby little fingers doesn’t go mouldy after a week in a sealed bag… hmmm, not sure that’s all that great either, TBH! My fresh, homemade bread without preservative beyond a little salt would be getting mouldy by then!]

CLOTHES: Do you really need your normal, everyday clothes free from bacteria? Do you think that using antibacterial agents in your washing machine is going to make much difference to your clothes? I would anticipate that once hung, these damp clothes are unlikely to remain bacteria free. But, even if they do get bacteria on them, are those bacteria actually *harmful to us? If they’re in the environment around us, they really shouldn’t be. Therefore, once again, if we choose those wash powders, what we are doing is polluting the waterways with antibacterial agents for no apparent benefit.

Like in a previous article, I wrote about my concerns about what we will do when we no longer have antibiotics to protect us from nasty infections. I have genuine fears as we have continually over-used them on everything regardless of what i would consider to be actual need. For my money, I would far rather use herbs to treat minor infections (at which they can be so effective), avoid the gut biome destruction and resultant thrush/windy gut etc that comes with it. I successfully treat cystitis, UTIs, coughs, colds and other bacterial sequelae of viral infections all the time.

If you are concerned about a minor infection, use of antibiotics, talk to me about my Mini Consultation where we discuss a current, acute medical concern after which I prescribe a short course of herbs to treat the condition.

*NOTE: This does not apply to eg medical uniforms where potential contamination with infectious substances is possible. But, soap and a hot wash should also sort that out.

**Photo is a screen snip from this article: https://www.matconlist.com/2019/12/school-science-experiments-for-kids-bread-experiment.html

Food Plate

Working with my patients on their health, I always look at their food choices. I say that the herbs are like your dominant hand – really effective on its own at getting things done all day long – but when you bring your other hand (food!) along to the party then that’s when we really make a difference to your health. And, those differences are the ones you are empowered to continue by yourself.

What we think we eat and what we actually eat are often quite different. We also tend to think we eat pretty healthily but once we examine it, the things we’ve put in our mouths e.g. after temptation (shop tills, TV adverts), stress and comfort eating and so on have come our way, it can turn out to be quite different to the things we have intentionally put in our mouths.

5-A-DAY? It’s just not enough. And, many of us don’t even achieve that. Aim for 8-10 instead with only two of those being sweet fruits.

My favourite way of thinking about what to eat is based on rainbows! Eating a daily rainbow of fruit and vegetable colours is a great way to get a good variety of the nutrients we need. The BHF talk about it here but mostly we don’t eat 5-a-day let alone the much more ideal 8/10-a-day. If counting portions isn’t your thing, imagine your lunch and dinner plates are 50% covered by colourful veg. Then you will hit that target. It doesn’t have to be 50% steamed veg, it includes pulses, beans and a whole heap of fun, tasty and exciting ways to eat veg like in warm or cold salads.

In my opinion, the NHS eatwell plate is not the best balanced version. I much prefer the Alliance for Natural Health plate instead (there is a different one for children under 6 years old). Look at how differently it is balanced with a strong emphasis on vegetables, low emphasis on fruit and only gluten-free grains, plenty of protein and fats and a good wallop of spices and herbs thrown in for good measure.

A wobbly screen shot of the ANH food plate!

Just think of all the wonderful meals you could eat and feed your family with if you ate like this! Does your diet look like this?

HOW I DO IT: Currently, most of my fruit eating goes on my breakfast with stewed apples (sweetened with cinnamon), some berries or dates if we’ve neither of those in the house. Lunch is often a big salad with a slice of homemade brown Spelt bread with seeds and a protein – tuna & beans, smoked salmon, occasional mortadella/salami/ham etc. We have been experimenting with recipe boxes and the veg portions in our evening meals are generally too few but as I get to know the recipes better, I will be padding them out with more veg or beans.

Sleep part 6 – Sleeping soundly

Do you sleep well?

I used to. I used to sleep so many hours and so easily. And then, I started to share a bed and, even worse (for my sleep!), became a mother… both of which seem to have interfered with my ability to fall asleep, stay asleep and remain that way until the alarm wakes me.

My sleep got broken!

How do you fix broken sleep? After all, it should be so natural, right? We’re born to it and whilst it can take a few years, we usually sleep really well as children – deep, peaceful, restful and undisturbed sleep. Not always, of course, because life happens as well, but generally, it’s that way.

I think I have fixed my sleep…

What did I do?

I have been using the most unlikely practice.

I am using ‘sleep tape’ at night. No, it isn’t an old fashioned way of talking about pre-recorded music on a cassette, I am putting medical tape over my mouth at night! Sounds weird, huh? I started 3 weeks ago and my sleep is transformed. It’s really as simple as that.

The full glory of sleep taping…

I have had the best sleep in years since I started doing this peculiar thing and I hear from others that they are experiencing the same.

CAUTION: this is not suitable if you have sinus congestion or a cold

However, there are many, many scenarios in which this may improve your sleep too!

Are you game to give it a go? What have you got to lose?

Let me know if you experiment with sleep tape and how you got on.

With thanks to Ben Wolff and James Nestor for awakening me to this idea.

How seeing a herbalist works – 1

Before we even meet…

I have a 15-min free chat with potential patients before we meet. I think this is crucial as it helps us to know whether we think we might work well together.

A big part of any complementary medicine appointment is the therapeutic relationship. If you don’t like me, that just won’t be there. And vice versa! 🙂

I explain how I work and give you some things to do before we even meet!

  • pre-appointment medical health questionnaire
  • food & drinks journal
  • quiz

Yes, I am a big fan of the quiz. It’s by Gretchen Rubin who looks at how we respond to making changes. Herbal medicine treatment generally requires quite a few lifestyle and dietary changes in addition to taking the herbs I prescribe. After all, you want something about your health to change. That’s why you’re seeking help.

BUT, those changes to your health don’t happen without you making changes too. And, if you aren’t ready for that, it’s going to be an uphill battle for us both. Frankly, there’s likely to be little point trying!

I sometimes say it’s a little like tying your non-dominant hand behind your back. You can go about your life pretty well, but it’s so much better when you can use both your hands. (In this little analogy, the herbs are your dominant hand and the changes I ask of you are your non-dominant hand)

This way, I know how you will best respond to suggestions of change, what other health challenges you have faced and will have a snapshot of how you fuel your body. I get a lot of fodder from these inputs and that enables us to focus our time together on why you are coming to see me.

HERBAL-REIKI RELAXATION

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HERBAL-REIKI RELAXATION

Never heard of it before? Well, that’s because it’s probably a new thing… I think I’ve invented it!!

I practised Reiki some years ago but stopped working with clients after moving but continued to use this marvellous energy medicine on myself.

Then, I qualified as a herbalist and moved into a different paradigm.

NOW, IT’S TIME TO BRING THEM TOGETHER!  So… what happens?

How your appointment goes:

  • ** medical history

  • ** a delicious infusion of relaxing and nourishing herbs

  • ** 45 mins of Reiki treatment

A quiet contemplative space to be you, where you are and at peace. The air filled with lush essential oils or incense and sounds of nature.

ALL THIS FOR JUST £35

IT’S NEW!
After keeping Herbs and Reiki as separate practices, it now feels right to bring them together. I have a deep sense that the two modalities will complement each other.

BETA TESTERS REQUIRED 🙂
As this is a new venture, I am offering you the opportunity to experience this marvellous therapy combination at a reduced price. In return, I ask that you rate & review on Google and Facebook and fill in a feedback form.

This is a one-time hugely reduced price offer so, book your places now. 🙂