In this early winter issue I talk about:
Looking after your immune system through lifestyle and herbs. This is all about prevention. I will issue another newsletter later on discussing the use of herbs and supplements if you do get sick.
The benefits of massage and how after 30 years of working with clients I have identified the three major reasons why people come for a massage.
Looking after your immune system through lifestyle and herbs
With winter fast approaching this is a check list to help you strengthen your immune system.
1. 70% of our immune system is in the intestines so it pays to look after the good bacteria in the gut via diet and lifestyle.
a) Exchange mucous producing white coloured foods such as white bread, pasta, rice for brown varieties. Eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day. To ward off the 2-3pm sugar slump eat protein snacks such as nuts, salmon or cheese and biscuits instead of sweet biscuits, cakes and chocolates. The fibre in the brown foods helps the good bugs in the gut.
b) Cut back on refined sugars as these are inflammatory. So instead of the cake and chocolate look at the above foods. Or have low or no sugar alternatives for soft drinks.
c) Drinking liquids at room temperature or warm instead of chilled is much better for your digestion. Having half a squeezed lemon in warm water or apple cider vinegar or warm water on its own first thing in the morning helps to activate the digestive tract.
d) Drinking a maximum of 1 glass a day of alcohol with 1 free alcohol day is best for your digestion and immune system.
e) Frequent use of anti biotics kill off the beneficial bacteria. Try using probiotics such as plain yoghurt or kefir to increase the number of good bugs in the intestines. Alternatively, you can buy probiotics which need to be kept in the fridge. They have more active ingredients in them and work more efficiently than foods. And maybe you will not have to use anti biotics if you use probiotics all the time.
f) Eat food in a relaxed state. Less stressful on the digestive system.
g) Constant physical and emotional stress will keep your nervous system in an uptight state, working hand in hand with the immune system. Alternatives are massage,yoga, tai chi, meditation, exercise or seeing a councillor.
h) Prolonged use of NSAIDs - neurofen, Mobic can damage the lining of the digestive tract and you can get ulcers, drowsiness and headaches. Alternative herbs are turmeric, Boswellia and Saligesic plus many more.
i) As we age our immune system does not work as efficiently. Our stomach acid is reduced. It is needed to digest protein, calcium and iron but also importantly killing off any bugs that may come in with the food. Using a bitter herb such as gentian - 20 drops in water 15-20 mins before each meal will do wonders or dandelion root liquid.
So what herbs to use to help prevent a cold?
a) Zinc tablets if tested deficient.
b) 1 multi vitamin a day
c) Echinacea 1mL 3X/day or 1 tablet a day
d) Probiotics - 1 capsule a day
e) Vitamin D3 - If low on testing need to take a specific dose. Promotes activity of white blood cells that fight viruses and bacteria.
If you would like any help with zinc testing I can do that in the clinic. Also, if you would like a long distance travel protocol using Echinaceae let me know and I can mail you out a copy.I have had great results from it and no cold/flu on the holiday!
The benefits of massage
I have been practising massage for 30 years now using many different techniques depending on what is needed. During that time I can identify three major reasons why people come to me for massage. And all three reasons may or may not be addressed in the one treatment, all contributing to their problem.
Muscle tightness and pain
Massage promotes the release of pain reducing neurochemicals. It can provide stimuli to modulate pain percerption and decrease pain directly.
As many of you would have experienced, much pain and tightness comes from occupational stress, sporting injuries or having a fall. Occupational pain most often comes from being in the one position for too long - on the computer, long car trips, standing or sitting too long, and in pastimes such as knitting, sewing where the neck is in one position. Shoulders above the head lifting heavy things in your job. In sport overarm swimming and tennis serves, golf swings can all cause shoulder issues. Knees are a problem in the football codes, netball, tennis and golf. Tripping up at home or on the pavement .
Stress, anxiety and insomnia
Stress, anxiety and insomnia can all contribute to increased pain! And tension headache can occur too. In these situations the nervous system is in sympathetic mode (uptight) and by massaging, the nervous system goes into para sympathetic mode(relaxed mode).
Stiffness and a need to increase flexibility
The neck, back and shoulders get very stiff from life and ageing. Massage will reduce muscle tightness and therefor improve the flow of oxygen and nutrients into muscles, and the flow of toxins out of muscles. As a result massage will speed up muscle recovery after activity or injury.
And added to the above I give advice on specific exercises to help strengthen or stretch muscles to help the healing process.
Quote of the Quarter
'To be upset over what you don't have is to waste what you do have'. By Ken Keyes, Handbook to Higher Consciousness
Wishing you all a healthy winter and wonderful holidays if you are travelling overseas. If you want a protocol for cold prevention on long distance travel using Echinaceae let me know and I will email it to you.
Massage Therapist and herbalist
02 9436 0306