“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.
I tend to think of herbs as slow medicines. As a gradual shift back into health and wellness. As a re-education. But, sometimes, they are just as powerful as pharmaceuticals. And, they can surprise me at how little can have such a positive impact on someone!
I gave a talk for a local WI this week. After a few days, I got an email. It went like this:
I was at the W I on Tuesday evening,and I had the best nights sleep I have had for months
WOW! What an amazing testimonial. I am so thrilled that herbs have had this effect for her (I don’t think it was the effect of my talk as I am far too bouncy for that!)
One of the actions of Rosemary is sedative but I had always assumed it was only mild because it has such a perky smell and is stimulant in some of its actions! A great lesson for me.
I gave each person in attendance a fingerful of tea in a cup. To my mind, it was enough to truly get a taste of it and that was about all.
It seems I was wrong.
And, I am delighted to have been wrong. It shows me that there are other ways to think about what I do and reminds me that there are other outcomes from those which I might expect. It’s good to be pushed out of our zone of comfort.
It also reminds me not to underestimate the power of the herbs. After all, our most potent anodynes come from plants, as do our most addictive substances.
I now welcome Rosemary with open arms to my sleep herb armoury. I have used it in many ways prior to now but never considered it for a sleep mix. This also has a poweful potential in symbiosis with the other actions of Rosemary. There are many situations in which I would now add this herb to a blend for someone. How very exciting.
Thank you for showing me your other side, little green one.
“I had heard people talk about feeling anxious and thought it sounded a bit feeble, as though they were being weak”
Then, I found myself in a situation where my adrenaline was surging as though I were about to be run over by a car, that instant, all day and every day for months. This was a lot more than being a ‘bit worried’ about something.
I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. I couldn’t understand why this thing had landed upon me. I had no idea what to do about it. And, this was with a BSc (Hons) degree in herbal medicine! I felt utterly under the control of this physiological happening and it was terrifying.
I lost a ton of weight as food looked like mud, tasted worse and the smell of it triggered nausea in me. I feared that I had broken part of my body’s functioning. It was desparate. I was desparate. And, nothing I did, or tried to get help with, helped me in any way. The first time, I am not sure how it went away but, eventually, it did and I became me again.
Recently, I have had a 5-day spell of the same feelings. I felt horrified when it kicked off, remembering that it went on for months. I had knots in my stomach, my scalp was prickling and cold, my body was gripped with vice-like tension and my stomach lurched at every thought which was anything other than as benign as ‘I’ll go and wash my hands’. My guts were gurgling. Food threatened to come back up. Anything smelly made me want to vomit. My stomach felt like it was in my mouth all the time and the area of my chest around my heart chakra was prickly and it felt prickly down my arm too.
Being a well-resourced person, I upped my Magnesium dosages which felt good. I had a shiatsu appointment to clear some of the energy and tension. I made up a Bach Flower Remedies combination which was very holding and supportive. I put together herbs to calm my nervous system, nourish my adrenal glands and bring me a sense of being loved. They all helped massively and got me through the day, enabled me to function. BUT, I was still in the grip of this frequently surging adrenaline-anxiety and its symptoms. I could bring them down but not ‘get rid of them’. I couldn’t seem to stop them being triggered. I couldn’t find a place of personal safety which allowed my body to stand down. To stop preparing me to fight or flee for my life. And, I was exhausted. It is exhausting feeling as though you are constantly in peril.
So, what did I do? I used EFT-tapping. I worked with a colleague and we tapped together on the feelings in my body, the things I thought might be at the root of it.
And, we got there! I had that moment of clear revelation when you know you’ve hit the nail on the head. It took one hour. Just one hour. It’s not always that quick but sometimes, it really is.
I won’t go into the deeper details but suffice to say, it was linked to an event in my past which was so powerful that it made me feel incapable of making decisions for myself. That I needed approval for everything to be sure of not getting it wrong and that this single episode in my past had such a grip on my subconscious that it had the power to leave me a quivering mess. And, I really felt a mess. Such an incomprehensibly out of control mess.
The beauty of EFT-tapping is that alongside finding this very core event (which triggered the unconscious belief that I was not capable of making good/right decisions for myself), I could tap on the feelings, the sensations in my body and release them. Some things didn’t go right away and the day after I was left with some residual bodily sensations. But, most importantly, when I awoke, I wasn’t frightened, I wasn’t cowed, I felt elated. I felt that sense of freedom that comes when you are unshackled from an invisible weight which has held you down for decades. Held me down.
I love how powerful EFT-tapping is.
If you would like to work on the things which are holding you down, keeping your body in a stuck place, get in touch.
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.
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 planfor 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.
A tapping and herbal well-being defense plan for you this Autumn-Winter.
My wonderful plan is designed to see you through 20 weeks of Autumn and Winter being as well as you can be! What’s included?
3 sessions 1-2-1 with me;
A brilliant blend of herbs;
Emergency herbal tincture
Plus an EARLY BIRD gift if you sign up by September 18th!
Individual 1-2-1 sessions with me
3 sessions of 30m where we discuss your wellness needs, your progress and the bits you struggle with. These can be in-person in my Hertfordshire clinic or on Zoom.
Tailor-made herbal tea blend
Keeping yourself well with immune supporting herbs with a long-held tradition for wellness. Preparing your daily tea, drinking your daily tea and investing in your health has limitless value.
A series of weekly short tap-along videos for you to view and tap with at a time which suits you. Each one is designed to address an aspect of winter health and wellness by boosting the areas of your immune system. A great way to give to yourself the healthy help you need.
Need support and help with new things? My weekly emails are designed to get you fired up, engaged and ready to be the best you throughout the calmer, darker days of Winter.
Emergency tincture blend
So, something snuck through, despite all your efforts? Keep this tailor-made blend to hand just in case you begin to feel those tell-tale signs of something ‘coming on’. Knock it on the head with strong blend of tinctures created and blended just for you.
Early bird special gift – pay by 18/9/21
Sign up by September 18th and receive a 25g pack of 3 super-special herbs specifically chosen for assisting in the prevention of colds and ‘flu. A wonderfully tasty tea blend used by herbalists all over the world. This great tea is yours if you sign up by September 18th.
The cost to you?
Just £350 per person for 20 weeks of high-quality medicines and great health support. The value of this plan is immense as you will be focussed on keeping yourself in the best of health throughout Autumn and Winter.
If you have hayfever, you’re probably right in the middle of feeling sniffly, snotty, itching eyes and generally rather groggy. It’s miserable.
And, anti-histamines can make you feel terrible too.
Well, help is at hand. During May & June I am your ‘Hayfever Hero’ and I am offering mini consultations for just £45! That includes your first 2 weeks of tea.
During that consulation, I will ask you about about your symptoms, how they affect you and about any medications you take. We will also discuss foods which you can reduce and foods to increase.
At the end of the consultation, I will write a prescription for a hayfever tea. The tea will include herbs which get really focussed on reducing your symptoms as much as possible.
So, whether you have runny eyes, itchy eyes, bunged up sinuses, can’t stop sneezing or have a river of snot, there are herbs to suit you. Herbs which have traditionally been used for symptoms like those for millenia.
You’re not sleeping well. You feel like you haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in a long time. I hear you. It’s an awful feeling. You know that everything in your body is not functioning optimally and you are putting yourself at higher risk of every ailment and serious disease going.
So, what do you do?
First things first, the research shows that the more we worry about not getting to sleep or having enough sleep, the less well we sleep! So, STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT!
What do you mean that didn’t work?
It’s so much easier said than done. I remember right in the midst of my new-baby no sleep phase that I felt like I was broken. That my ability to sleep had been broken. I thought I would never sleep again. And, I thought I would die through lack of sleep. I felt terrible. I spent so long teetering right on the edge of being asleep but as soon as I noticed, or my partner moved, or the radiator creaked, I would ping back into wakefulness. I lay awake in my bed for hours failing. It became a place I loathed.
So, how do we stop thinking about not sleeping? How do we shift out of being ‘a bad sleeper’ into being someone who doesn’t have a label for their sleep, they just do it.
Warning: no quick solution!
We start with the daytime. We listen to our inner voice and hear how we are talking to ourselves. How are we mentioning our sleep? What do you hear?
What do you hear?
‘I’m such a bad sleeper’ ‘I’m an insomniac’ ‘I just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep’
I think our brains and our thoughts are very powerful. When we tell ourselves these things repeatedly even if it seems as though it is just the truth of the situation, how can our bodies do anything but continue to obey?
I think this is a very powerful concept and one I use a lot when I work with my herbal patients and EFT clients.
I needed a lot of extra help to get back the skill of sleep. I wish I had known of the tools I now have and use with my patients. I think I would have been in a very different situation from the one I actually found myself in. And, in spite of that wish, I know that I learned a huge amount from my experience as that drove me to look for more tools. I also firmly believe that the best we can do with our toughest paths is to find the silver lining and use it to our eventual advantage which is where I am now. I know that my skill set is so suited to that kind of situation that I can help more and more people who feel like they are beyond help.
Read Part 5 in my series on sleep to hear about how I help myself and others to get a good night’s sleep.
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.
Vinegar cuts through grease and mucous giving things a good clean out. Sage does the same at the back of your throat by clearing the mucous which the nasties causing your sore throat live and thrive in.
Using pastilles and other sore throat lozenges are usually full of sugar and whilst that feels soothing and lovely, it provides lots of juicy food for those bugs to thrive in.
So, using a vinegar to cut through the mucous, with the reputed anti microbial properties of sage is a double winner. Add into that the traditional use of rowan berries for sore throats and tonsillitis and we have a trio of triumph in your throat!
To make this joyful medicinal vinegar, alive with complex flavours, I cooked the berries and sage in vinegar before steeping it for a few weeks. Cooking the berries renders the toxic components harmless. After straining, I bottled ready for use.
Use in conjunction with the soothing sage and rowan syrup I have also made and keep your tonsils singing with joy.
As far as I know, this medicine is entirely unique to me. The joy of creativity and experiments. Join my journey of discovery.
Make an appointment to see Lucy Blunden, Medical Herbalist by visiting the contact page