“The six biggest doctors in the world are sun, rest, exercise, diet, self-respect and friends. Stick to them at all stages in your life and enjoy a healthy life.”
Of course, I believe that there are 8 biggest doctors and that the missing doctors of Mr Chaplin are Dr Herbal Medicine and Dr Sleep and I also believe that self-respect is a very broad-church doctor who incorporates far-reaching practices such as those of Dr EFT-tapping!
Which of these Drs are your biggest challenges?
I am really enjoying incorporating Dr Exercise with my new-found Nia classes and walks in the woods. But historically, that’s been my biggest challenge and mostly absent from my life.
Dr Diet wobbles around a bit but the core is there and getting stronger the more I follow her principles.
Dr Rest is another wobbler who is gaining strength and recognition in my life. This Dr is one we all need some loud lessons from. She incorporates convelesence after illness as well as eg breathing exercises and meditation.
Dr Sun is too good to miss but I can get stuck indoors, happy pootling about so I have to really think about it to ensure he’s there.
Dr Sleep has been an on-going challenge for me during the past 6 years and particularly in the past 4 but I am moving into a new/old relationship with him again.
Dr Self-respect is gaining ground in a very positive way in my life thanks to Dr EFT-tapping! It has been completely life-changing to have a tool which enables me to cut to the chase and leave behind unhelpful patterns and stuck places.
Dr Friends has been a challenge during lockdown and post-lockdown life. As a natural extrovert, I gain energy from interactions with others. It is something which is not as strong in my life as I would like it to be. I am working on it but so many other things pull at my attention and time. I am building networks around me filled with people passionate about the same things as well as those with whom I connect deeply.
Dr Herbal Medicine is a passionate love affair and one which I don’t ever anticipate being without. A constant companion and teacher.
Drop me a line and tell me about which of these wonderful Drs you most enjoy the teachings of and which you struggle to engage with.
So, we all know how it feels to be stressed. We all know what it’s like in our bodies, in our minds and how it impacts on us.
Or, do we?
Do you notice the relentless micro-stressors in your daily life? Do you feel the constant onslaught of more things to do and get done, more blips on your phone nagging at you, your children tugging your sleeve wanting things and maybe your partner asking for things from you too?
Sometimes, you will and you feel ok about it and sometimes, it all builds up into TOO MUCH and that’s when we might eg shout at someone we love and then feel guilty. It’s a relentless cycle sometimes.
How can herbs help me with that? That’s just in my head, isn’t it? It’s up to me to be more controlled and in control of myself. Right?
How’s that been going for you?
As a herbalist, I have an entire armoury of wonderful medicines at my disposal to support you. There are different ways of approaching it. If you are feeling stressed and that’s the predominant feature, I can prescribe one out of many different adaptogens. These literally do what they say – they assist your mind and body adapt to stress.
My most recent work with a patient who is taking the lovely adaptogen Withania somnifera has been remarkable. Withania is indicated in many scenarios but particularly for the ‘tired and wired’ and can be brilliant for busy, working mums. We’re also using EFT-tapping and she’s finding the ramifications of the double-pronged approach and subtle changes to be really far-reaching:
She is calmer at work, choosing to lead with love (she’s in what she describes as a ruthless industry)
She has told me that she has chosen the humble path with her husband and that an argument was diffused and she felt much stronger and less petty
These changes are not directed by me, she is growing them from within her as she feels stronger and more at peace. How much more peaceful (and less stressful) are the choice of humility and love? Those outcomes may not completely resonate for you but these outcomes feel right for this person.
Don’t forget nervines…
A medicinal preparation, usually of herbal origin, which is said to act on the nervous system, reduce anxiety and tension (nervine relaxant), and stimulate or strengthen neural function.
Nervines calm you by soothing and nourishing the nervous system. We have a wide variety of nervine herbs with subtly differing actions – some also support the digestion, some support the gynaecological system, some the muscularskeletal system and others the cardiovascular system. I choose the herbs which align most closely with your experience. Is feeling stressed sending your blood pressure through the roof? There’s a herb for that. Are you getting palpitations when you’re uptight? There’s a herb for that. Do you get bloating in your belly? There’s loads of herbs for that!
I would use a nervous system trophorestorative when someone’s body is far out of whack with what would be considered normal rhythms and responses. Perhaps you’re a hypervigilant new mum who can’t fall asleep as every noise triggers an ‘alarm’ response preventing the ‘permission’ to sink into sleep. Or a distressed student who is feeling totally overwhelmed and panicked by the volume of work they have to tackle and the upcoming assessments and deadlines. Maybe the business person who lies awake half the night, then eventually oversleeps and ends up dashing for the train every morning…
Maybe one of those describes you?
When we work together and using herbs and healthful food choices to nudge the body back to a state of wellness and the EFT to clear out habitual patterns of emotional responses, we can, almost literally, move mountains. Those old thought patterns get tapped away so that the herbally nourished body can flourish.
I have seen it time and again. When our frenetic brains lead the way and we forget our bodies, then we can move out of balance and into a situation of illness. Often something with no name but a collection of life-impacting symptoms. Maybe it’s a dodgy digestion, hurting head, aches and pains, tired all the time…? There are so many annoying ways our clever body devises to send out the SOS signals. My job is to hear them and help you to find the best ways to soothe them and take notice in a constructive, reparative way.
Sounds difficult? Not got time? We do it in ways which work for you and with your routines. Baby steps or giant leaps, whatever you need and are ready for. There is no set path as it is entirely tailored to you. Every prescription is different. Every bit of advice on food and lifestyle. Each takes into account what you can do and manage. This mountain is not moved in one day and not by you on your own. We’re in this together, picking up the pebbles and step-by-step, moving your mountain.
Let’s do it! Contact me to support you in choosing the pebbles to move to become a less stressed and healthier you.
The diagnosis of high blood pressure (primary hypertension) can be a difficult thing to receive. If you have received this diagnosis, you’re not alone. It’s pretty common; 1/3 of adult-folk in the UK have hypertension but may not even know. Hypertension brings with it so many comorbidities and due to side effects, pharmaceutical medication doesn’t always seem the right answer even if it reduces risk of the resultant complications.
The risks of untreated hypertension:
Dementia and more
So, what do you do?
As a herbalist, you won’t be suprised to hear that I think that the introduction of herbs into your daily routine is a good plan. There are many herbs which will help to reduce blood pressure and I won’t list them here are the sheer number would seem overwhelming and not lead you to a way of making choices about those herbs for yourself. And, if I only suggested herbs, it would be a bit like putting you on BP meds for the rest of your life. They may not have the same negative side effects but you would likely take them in an on-going manner.
What other interventions would also be required? As you might expect with personalised medicine, there is no one size fits all. This might sound like a bit of a downer if you were hoping for a quick win, but really, it’s brilliant as it gives so many more options of things to try.
The majority of factors, as with so many chronic conditions, can be attributed to lifestyle.
Stress. We all know that lowering stress can be easier said than done. There are herbs to assist with that, foods which assist with that and, in my experience, EFT-tapping helps with that as well. All tools which you would receive guidance on in an appointment with me.
A missing nutrient for many is magnesium and dosing with magnesium can reduce anxiety, body tension and lower blood pressure.
Insulin resistance is a contributing factor as well and tackling that will improve many other areas of your health as well
Do you snore? If you do, then sleep apnoea (another, perhaps surprising, factor which can influence blood pressure) is likely featuring in your life and could do with some attention.
Inflammation is a root cause factor in many, many diseases and conditions. Reduce inflammation with dietary changes, herbs, improving sleep and lowering stress
But what can I do about all this?
Does reading this make you feel more stressed and anxious? Do you feel stuck, overwhelmed and unable to help yourself?
First things first. Take a deep breath and allow yourself a moment or two to settle. Then, try this tapping sequence to support your blood pressure health: Tapping for High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is known as the silent killer. It is a serious health condition which you can be empowered to manage through dietary, lifestyle and other factors such as herbal medicines. If you would like support in lowering your blood pressure, get in touch so that we can discuss an appointment for your health journey to begin.
I love working with EFT. I see such rapid results and it turbo charges herbal medicine work too.
As a practitioner, one of the things I wonder about the most is whether I am truly connecting with someone when we work with EFT. The level of trust required to do effective work which shifts our emotional states is impressive. I am humbled by the trust people lay in my hands.
My job is to begin laying the foundations of the therapuetic relationship which enables you to feel safe and able to bring yourself fully to the appointments. It is often really important to tread gently with a new client but I still want to be effective. Getting the balance just right is where the magic can happen. Recently, I have done a number of one-off appointments for specific issues.
This was the feedback I got from a session with A:
I was surprised by how much information you took on from my ramblings! A, Watford
A had previously only tried broader EFT in the form of tap-along videos. This is great and can be really helpful but getting specific helps much, much more. A had a very clear aim for the session which was also very helpful.
We started with the top level words and feelings to do with ‘confidence in parenting’. Then as we tapped, we listened for the subtler rumblings underneath the surface. As we listen to our less conscious thoughts and feelings, and tap on them, we begin to release them. In that release, they lose their emotional power and the stranglehold they might have on our day-to-day choices and feelings.
For the final section of the session, I asked A how she would like to feel. Her desired feeling was ‘more trust’. We developed the word into an image with colour and texture until it was vibrant and alive. Then I brought that vibrant energy of trust right into all of A’s cells by visualisation.
At the end, I suggested finding an item, creating a picture or using something which would remind A of this energy and its positive force for her.
Working with a complete stranger especially online, brings its challenges. Every session takes us closer to being more whole, more in tune with our needs and being happier, contented and fully functional in society and in our lives.
This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to include yourself when you’re giving out love.
If you take the time to give yourself love, not only will you feel better about yourself, but you will be better equipped to spread the love to others.
Most people think that self-care involves a glass of wine and putting your feet up in front of the telly. You’ll also be told you ‘deserve’ it. And, I’m not knocking either thing – each has its place. But, this concept is not something that is nourishing and restorative. And, it is not self-care.
We ALL deserve to take care of ourselves. We all deserve to feel good in and about ourselves for as much of the time as we can. Alcohol and zoning out don’t do that.
Self-care in my mind is something which helps to restore your core, your well of contentment, your get up and go, your resilience and your facility for dealing with the daily grind. And, life in Lockdown has had a LOT of grind (and some unexpected silver linings too).
Self care comes in many guises. Maybe it’s about putting a well-balanced meal on the table at most mealtimes. Maybe it’s about ensuring your sleep is the best it can be. Maybe it’s about drinking herbal teas to keep calm. Maybe, it’s meditation, yoga and other forms of exercise.
What do I do?
I found the idea of self-care so very hard to contemplate. Something essentially completely alien and whilst the notion was OK, it just slipped down the ‘To Do’ list every day, never happening until it never appeared on the list because it became something else to berate myself for not doing. I just couldn’t summon up the feeling that I could do it. Like so many, I just didn’t know how to prioritise it, how to feel that it was OK to do it. It felt really hard to fit in with so many other pressures demanding my time. I wanted the re-create the pure escapist uplift of that first glass of fizz but found the repercussions for my mood the following day too hard to handle – not to mention it has the potential to create a vicious cycle. I sought out junk foods but the highs and lows of that did nothing for my overall sense of wellbeing either.
In fact, it has only recently become something which feels as though it has any priority in my life. As I got more in tune with my body and how it actually felt each day, I found I needed to choose something healthful. Something restorative in a true sense. I still want to zone out in front of the telly, and have the odd glass of wine now and then but mostly, I am now seeking ways to truly nourish myself.
So, how did I change my perspective? Many, many things helped
Working with others
Seeking help can be a really important first step. Being guided by someone with skills and knowledge has profound benefits.
The first step along my road was getting help from my beautiful Italian friend, Laura Cattaneo. Her deeply restorative Shiatsu energy work massages combined with her words of wisdom enabled me to shift a lot of blocks and obstacles to living a fuller, more contented life. Laura brings a deep wisdom to her work as shiatsu practitioner and spiritual counsellor.
I had been intereted in EFT/Tapping for a while and I began working with an EFT/Tapping practitioner, Tamara Donn. Her sessions have helped me to clear other obstacles in my emotional life which were getting in the way. I am still on this journey and find that regular sessions enable me to manage lockdown and its challenges as well as working on my wider issues.
Herbal tea: As a herbalist, I have a heap of herbs at my beck and call. The primary herb for anyone wishing to begin a journey of herbal exploration is Chamomile. Its readily available and inexpensive.
Let’s get medicinal: To get truly medicinal results from any herbal tea, I suggest trying 2 bags per cup, brewing it with a lid on for at least 20 minutes and drinking three times per day! (This is for a generally healthy adult). I recommend this with chamomile and although it is a bit bitter (that’s good medicine) and may take a little getting used to (I describe its taste as being yellow) it’s worth it. It’s calming to the digestion and nervous system, aiding sleep and reducing anxiety amongst many other benefits.
Loving Calm tea If you want to dig a little deeper, I make a beautiful tea blend which combines herbs which deeply nourish the nervous system with herbs to warm the cockles of your heart. I call it my LOVING CALM TEA and you can have it delivered to your door by getting in touch: Lucy.Blunden.Botanicals@gmail.com
Let me know how you get on – I’d love to hear your experiences of trying out these things.
Disclaimer: If you are planning to self-medicate with herbs, it is always wise to check this out with a professional. Herbalists can tell you whether the herbs you wish to work with are contraindicated with your prescribed medications or heath conditions.
Anything for which we need medicinal help requires caution. So, whilst chamomile is gentle and suitable from birth to death for most people, some people will not find it helpful. In cases of reflux, it can be irritating and a few people find it more stimulating than relaxing! The golden rule: if it feels bad, don’t do it – even if it ought to feel good.
I am extrovert and so I gain energy from interactions with others. I restore my soul in conversation and connection. This is not natural for me.
At the same time, I am accepting, feel that it is necessary, understand that others believe that it isn’t but that we’re all gripped by something we can do nothing about. NOTHING. ABOUT!!!!!
Feel the pain in acknowledging that. We can do nothing about it. We are beholden to the political whims whether or not we agree with them. We can do nothing about it.
Or can we?
This is not an invitation to insurrection or even an incitement to use your right to demonstrate.
This is an invitation to Tap with me.
WHAT? How will hitting myself be of benefit in this situation? Surely that borders on personally damaging not fortifying?
Yes, I am inviting you to use EFT-Tapping to address the things you can change and find the strength to accept those that you cannot.
What am I talking about? Well, your feelings, of course.
I am a Tapping Evangelist and make no apologies for it. After years of talk therapy (which I value highly, BTW) I have found that my ‘truth, way and light’ is in tapping. It is truly transformational on a deep personal level for both me and my clients. (I do love a therapy which benefits both sides at the same time.)
The beauty of tapping is that you can release the ‘grrrr, arrrrrgh and uuuumph’ without even saying what they are. Without accessing their potent depths and without even re-awakening them from their slumber. And, because we are using the meridian lines within our bodies, we are also using that which we already possess to bring relief and resolution to ourselves.
I would love you to join me as we address our feelings in lockdown. My fortnightly ‘Catching the Tapping bug’ is a fantastic way to release feelings, connect with others (yes, online) and share the relief of release.
Each session is 45 mins and happens every other Thursday at 2030 GMT. I address all things which are requested for inclusion and we all tap together.
The community feel is wonderful. The togetherness is nourishing. The support of sharing is uplifting.
AND, your first session is free. I look forward to welcoming you.
Do you find yourself saying things as though they are fixed and absolute?
Things like ‘I’m always late’ or ‘I’m forever making the wrong choices’ or ‘I can’t stick to anything’? They sound pretty innocuous, don’t they? But what if these kinds of negative-affirming statements, spoken as facts, are a constant inner monologue? What does that actually do to you?
I have had some really triggering conversations recently where people, knowledgeable people, have stated something as fact because it was their experience and because it’s the experience of many others too. An online conversation about the experience of peri-menopause was one recently. It has made me feel really frustrated and upset because the person’s opinion matters to me and once it lodges, it’s really hard to shift it from my narrative. And, I don’t want others to pre-determine my life and experiences. I want to have my own experience. And, I don’t want to fear an inevitable part of my life because it has been described in a particular way by someone I respect.
Things get stuck and lodge there
The most obvious response I can hear forming in your mind is ‘oh, just ignore it’ but that isn’t the way my mind seems to works. Things get stuck in my psyche and lodge there.
There, that’s another one of those statements. ‘Things get stuck… and lodge…’ What’s that done? Have I just pre-determined an uncontested way for my brain and thinking to be?
What am I going to do?
My starting point for anything like this is begining by drawing awareness to it. And, with the awareness, attempting to bring kindness. That’s the hardest bit, actually. Well, it is for me. Being kind. Then I start to find smaller chunks and areas to tap on. And, whilst I work on that, I use Bach Flower Remedies to soothe the critical voice and the associated (usually negative) emotions it has invoked.
Are your internal narratives kind?
I think if we could bring the kindness we offer to our best friend and/or a small child, to ourselves, then the world would be a lot nicer place to be. I can’t help but think about all the politicians farmed out to boarding schools feeling rejected, neglected and unloved, fighting their way to the ‘top’ of the tree and determining the way things are run… it makes me shudder. The ignored subconscious darkness they likely all feel determining our collective futures????????? Let’s not get started on politics, eh?
What will you do?
What would you do about it? For me, this feels like a huge area of work which most likely needs some on-going chipping away at. A block of habit which, with patience, can be gradually whittled into something more attractive, more kindly and just all-out nicer to be around. It would be such a relief to be comfortable in and comforted by, my own company. 🙂
DIY help is ace
Tapping is an obvious place for me to start. If you want to work by yourself, there are a load of ways to do it but mostly, it’s about breaking it down into smaller, very specific areas. Then you can work on them in turn until you either reveal the ‘real’ root – the darkness behind the story, or consistently work away at all the layers until it has just gone. Believe me, once it has just gone, it’s amazing, you can hardly believe it’s possible or that it was even there in the first place! Tapping has the power to be that transformative.
Sometimes, we need a helping hand
It can feel a bit overwhleming to tackle a large emotional area by yourself. I work with another Tapping expert when I want to work on something bigger. So, if you find yourself becoming aware of areas of stuckness, habitual nastiness masquerading as tough-‘love’, and don’t know what do to, come and have a chat. I’d to work with you on your internal negative narratives.
Bach Flower Remedies
I find these gentle remedies to be so soothing and effective. I generally respond better to formulations from others as they have that outside perspective which enables true insight. But, Dr Bach created them as a self-healing modality, so you can do it for yourself. I suggest using the Healing Herbs website to do that.
Contact me to chat about you
Email me: HertsHerbalist@hotmail.com or call 07492 511366 to arrange a chat about how we might guide you to a place of gentle kindness towards yourself. You choose the modality/ies; herbs, tapping, Bach Flowers. <3
Catching the Tapping bug
If you’re new to the idea of Tapping – join my weekly session: ‘Catching the Tapping bug’ on Thursday evenings 8.30-9.10pm to find out what it feels like and how you might benefit. The first session is free to anyone who wants to give it a go. After that, I ask for donation payments with a suggested minimum of £8 or time swaps if you have £ difficulties due to Lockdown.
I look forward to welcoming you to my Tapping sessions, they are such an oasis of shared special energy and calm that they feel like the highlight of my week.
Make an appointment to see Lucy Blunden, Medical Herbalist by visiting the contact page