In this editiion of the newsletter I have included the following:
A continuation of the gardening theme. Looking after your back whilst lifting heavy weights and sweeping and raking. All very useful as Xmas draws closer and we get stuck into beautifying the garden or balcony or tidying up the house for guests.
On anxiety and depressiion through Covid and how lifestyle, herbal medicine and supplements can help.
Xmas is fast approaching and time to put a few things in place.
Closing over Xmas period
The clinic will be closed from Friday 25 Dec till Monday 28 Dec and reopen on Tuesday 29 Dec.
Over the New Year the clinic will close on New Years Eve Thurs 31 Jan from 5pm and reopens on Sat 2 Jan.
Gardening - Lifting heavy weights and sweeping/raking
In my last newsletter I discussed correct posture for gardening and housework focusing on general posture, weeding and pruning up high plus a few stretches. Today I am going to discuss further ways to look after your body whilst lifting heavy weights, sweeping and raking. This is the time of year when we are tidying up the garden or balcony to make it spick and span for entertaining.
First up think of gardening as a sport where you need to do some warm ups to get your body ready for activity.
1. Clench and flex the hands
2. Swing your legs back and forth from the hips.
3. From a standing position pull your legs backwards towards your buttocks to stretch your thighs
4. Roll your hips in circles like a belly dancer.
A. Lifting heavy weights such as pots, potting mix, mulch, soil
a) Have your legs and feet well apart to create a stable base
b) Stick your hips out as in a rugby scrum
c) Bring the load right under you, under the shoulders and abdomen. If the load is too far away you will hurt your back.
d) Lift up the load using your legs to drive you; not your back
Know your load limits. Get help if needs be.
B. Sweeping and raking
This is equivalent to vacuuming and you can easily strain your back!
Use your whole body, not just your arms and back, which can lead to too much twisting
Keep the movement loose and fluid, change hands to balance out the muscle work on your back.
And as I said in the last newsletter lean backwards into your fists in your lower back to stretch the muscles the opposite way to sweeping.
Mental health during and post Covid - use of herbal medicine
Did you know that anxiety and depression affect approx 20% of adults. Covid arrives, and a survey in March/April 2020 reported 62% and 50% of those surveyed were affected by anxiety and depression respectively.
So how can herbal medicine and lifestyle help? After doing a patient history of symptoms etc I would give you a Mood and Stress Questionnaire to complete. This gives a clearer picture of herbal combinations to prescribe.
Without going into enormous detail the following applies:
1. A specific magnesium formula is used based on your condition.It is not just magnesium. In times of high stress magnesium is excreted via the urine. Lack of magnesium adversely affects the neurotransmitters serotonin and acetylcholine with further stress ensuing.
2. Vitamin D3.Low levels are associated with anxiety and depression
4. Fish oils - Omega 3 fatty acids Decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression by reducing inflammation, lowering oxidative stress thus protecting neurons from breaking down.
5. Herbs - Passionflower excellent for stress/ anxiety and disrupted sleep
6. Saffron and turmeric - decreased depression by greater than 50% in people with major depressive disorder.
Lifestyle factors that increase anxiety and depression
Insomnia - Use passionflower, a specific magnesium and lavender oil
Obesity - 55% risk of developing anxiety or depression - Diet plus councillor.
diet - The Mediterranean diet is anti inflammatory and is the best as opposed to high fat and sugary foods.
- Inflammation lowering - strawberries
- Increasing neuronal plasticity - blueberries
- Anti oxidant - Resveratrol- Pinot noir has the highest level of resveratrol but you have to drink litres of it to obtain significant levels of resveratrol! Tablets are the best.
- Modulating the HPA axis- Green tea
There is a link between the composition of bugs in the gut to anxiety and depression.Poor composition leads to leaky gut and an impaired mucous membrane. Factors that adversely affect the bugs in the gut are chronic stress, low fibre diets and high alcohol consumption. Also, too many antibiotics in a life time.
To improve the gut flora fermented prebiotic foods such as keffir and sauerkraut are excellent and fibres such as slippery elm and various gums. They ultimately decrease inflammatiion in the gut.
Exercise -Through exercise chemicals are produced in the muscles. These chemicals go to the brain stimulating the production of BDNF. This is a protein that promotes neuroplasticity and neurogenisis.
With a high drop out rate best to find an exercise you love to commit to. Get social support from family/friends and gain support from an exercise professional.
Studies show a large significant decrease in anxiety symptoms and a positive improvement in depressive symtoms.
Best results obtained doing 3 classes a week rather than just one. Need to do this for 8 weeks to get results. Incorporating meditation and spiritual connection will enhance results further.
The above content is a shortened version of a webinar I did on ' Freedom from the mind'
Quote of the Quarter
'Gratitude helps you to grow and expand.
Gratitude brings joy and laughter into your lives
and into the lives of all those around you.'
From Eileen Caddy
'The Dawn of Change"
Wishing you a very Happy and healthy Xmas whether staying at home or travelling locally or interstate.
To a healthy and prosperous New Year too.
Massage Therapist and Herbalist