Diverticulosis – Stomach Cramps, Irregular Bowels, Bloating

diverticulosis april 2017Do you suffer from abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea, or bloating and gas? This could all be caused by a weakness in the large intestines which creates sac-like pouches to form into the intestines. When these pouches get faeces trapped between the sacs it becomes infected and the infection causes all of the above symptoms. This is called Diverticulosis.

Diverticulosis is more common in people over the age of 60. It can cause nausea and vomiting as well as fever and chills. If the condition gets worse complications cause the intestine wall to narrow. It can also cause holes in the colon, fistulas and abscesses which lead to many other health problems.

Treating diverticulosis can occur in a number of ways. If it is only a minor case there are a few things you can do naturally. A change in diet will help. Avoid foods that may aggravate the infected area such as too much fibre in beans, pea, coarse grains, popcorn and dried fruits. Bed rest will often help if you are experiencing a bout of diverticulosis. Severe issues may lead to a need for an operation to resolve the problem.

It is important to see a naturopath or nutritionist to help you make the proper changes in your diet to lessen your symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help with pain and symptoms. Chinese medicine recommends eating warm liquids such as soup, which is easier to digest. Your naturopath or nutritionist can help create a meal plan that would best suit your needs when suffering from diverticulosis.

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Food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances

food allergiesThere is a general increase in food allergies and intolerances to wheat, yeast, peanuts, dairy, eggs, seafood and cereals.  The reasons could be the genetic modification of foods, the adding of certain chemicals, radiation, processing and the way it is grown in our depleted soils. So what is the difference between an allergy and intolerance?
Allergy is more of an overreaction to a substance which results in an immune response in the body causing symptoms and often disease. It could result in a rash, itches, runny noses and general irritation and can aggravate all our senses. In some instances it can be fatal.

Some symptoms of food allergies are:

  • Skin rashes or eczema
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Itching
  • Burning and swelling especially round the mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Irritability
  • Breathing problems
  • Asthma
  • Wheezing

On the other hand food intolerance is a chemical reaction from your digestive system when a specific enzyme or chemical is not produced sufficiently to break down that certain food. They also can affect asthma, irritable bowel or chronic fatigue.

Food intolerance symptoms can vary from: 

  • Diarrhoea
  • Strange reactions
  • Problems breathing – similar to asthma
  • Nervousness
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Migraine
  • Skin rashes and burning sensations
  • Tightness of chest
  • Breathing problems – asthma-like symptoms

It is important to work out what you are allergic and intolerant to because it can often explain symptoms you may be getting. Also if you have intolerances there are enzymes you can take to put those substances back into your body and build your immunity to some degree.  A hair or saliva analysis will give you the answers. This is very different to the blood scratch test that you do at the doctors. You need to see a specialist in natural therapist to get the saliva test and they will give you explanations as to why you feel bad and tired. It could be as simple as you eating the white bread which makes you sluggish or the cheese which gives you sinus just to name two products that could be an issue – wheat/yeast and lactose.

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Pain Relief Drugs Are Not The Answer

pain-relief-drugs-are-not-the-answerPain relief drugs may help when you’re in pain but are they really doing you any good? Although they help relieve your pain they don’t fix the underlying issue causing the pain, so the use of pain relief can turn into a long term, unnecessary addiction. Pain relief should be taken in the smallest amounts possible and for a short period of time.

Treating the underlying problem is the most effective way to rid your body of the pain. Remember you are not in pain because you are deficient in the pain killer. You are in pain because your body is inflamed, too acidic, lacking nutrition etc. When you are deficient and in nutrients you cannot be healthy and the next step is to be in pain.

Many pain relief drugs have side effects. There is strong evidence that many of them raise risks of heart problems, says Elliott Antman, M.D. in a report some time ago. Elliott is a cardiologist and Professor at Harvard Medical School. People often start taking these medications seeking pain relief for a temporary problem. “The patient feels better and they make the assumption that they need to continue taking this medication,” Antman said. “It’s a very important cycle to interrupt. Doctors who cannot find another way to control their patients’ pain symptoms should proceed with caution.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a diverse group that also include Motrin and prescription varieties like Celebrex and Voltaren which have been used for decades as painkillers.  It is important to take the pain killer with the lowest risk to your body, in the smallest dose, for the shortest time necessary to relieve the pain.

In Denmark, a team led by Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen M.D, a research cardiologist at Copenhagen University Hospital, some time ago reviewed medical records for nearly 84,000 heart attack survivors, 42 percent of whom reported using NSAIDs.

Another study conducted showed more cases of second heart attacks and strokes among the NSAID users after just a week. Researchers reported that NSAIDs raised the general risk for heart attacks even in apparently healthy people. The painkillers have also been linked with stomach bleeding and kidney failure. Although many doctors endorse the short-term use of the common painkillers when there are no other pain-relief alternatives, the study authors decided there is no safe amount of time to take NSAIDs, according to Dr. Olsen.

Reports can be found by American and other Danish researchers in the British Medical Journal that new NSAID users faced an increased risk of a dangerous heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. The risk was higher among older patients, those using Celebrex and people with chronic kidney problems.

At the University of Florida College of Medicine, doctors who studied the records of older patients enrolled in a trial of competing blood pressure drugs, found that longtime regular NSAID users faced a nearly 50 percent higher chance of death, heart attack or stroke. Further to this findings by Anthony Bavry, M.D. in the American Journal of Medicine, suggest that doctors should weigh the dangers of these medications carefully. Dr. Bavry led the study and recommends acetaminophen (Tylenol) to his patients, because it may have a much lower risk of heart complications than other NSAIDs. Dr Bavry said that, “just because something is available over the counter doesn’t mean its use is free of any risk.”

Over my years as a therapist I have seen many people addicted to prescribed medication which is also in turn making them ill. It is necessary to choose your medication wisely and to be educated about what you are taking. Whilst a pain reliever is good in the short term taking them long term may cause organs to fail and even maybe kill some people. Treat them with care.

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How can Craniosacral Therapy help me?

img_0008Craniosacral therapy is a gentle treatment using a number of techniques. It balances the spinal fluid between the brain and tailbone. There are seven bones in the skull that allow some movement and Craniosacral therapy tries to restore their movement back to the way it should be. There are many things that can make the movement of these out of balance. This therapy releases tension from the spinal cord and improves the function of the nerves helping the body to heal.

The correct movement of the spinal fluid allows the nerves from the spinal cord to receive the right amount of nutrients letting the nervous system stimulate organs, muscles and tissues and creating better health.

Craniosacral therapy is best used for nerve impingement, after effects of surgery, allergies, chronic fatigue, dental problems, headaches or depression. It is safe to use during pregnancy in most cases because it is gentle and can also be used for babies and children as there are no known side effects.

Craniosacral therapy is a holistic treatment so it works on many levels of your being not just the physical. So Craniosacral therapy can help you make emotional shifts when you feel stuck that can help you let go of negative energy patterns and to move forward in a positive direction.

Craniosacral therapy works physically on any part of your body because the nerve impulses affect everything. Compressed nerves can make you feel unwell, cause depression, pain, bad digestion, headaches etc. Sometimes pressure on or in the cranial or facial bones can lead to jaw clenching and the therapy releases this pressure thereby lowering the incidence of headaches or migraines. It can also help with kidney and digestive function when it adjusts the fluid around the spinal areas that affects those organs.

Sessions are carried out on a massage table, usually clothed. It involves a gentle holding by the practitioner with light manipulation. Some of this holding involves holding the head (cranium or scull) and the sacrum (bottom of the spine). The therapist tunes into the ebb and flow of your spinal fluid and holds certain points to stimulate it in the right direction. Treatment can be weekly or monthly depending on the problem. Your therapist will know when you need to come for further treatment.

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Losing a child

losing-a-child-dec-picThere is nothing more sad and devastating to a parent than losing a child. Whether it be to illness or kidnapping the feeling is the same. What could be greater than the loss of someone you love? Especially someone who has been a part of you. Parents whose children are kidnapped live in constant hope of finding them again but suffer from the same torment in many ways as if the child was dead.

When a child dies, it feels like a part of our own being has died. Children represent our future as well as being a person that we love. Different people handle grief in different ways but most of us agree that the worst form of grief is at the loss of a child. It somehow seems to defy the natural order of things as none of us expects our children to die. Couples may find it hard to support each other as they are grieving themselves and this adds to their grief, often leading to a loss of faith.

At first parents, may feel much emptiness at home, especially if the child was younger. Often the parents find comfort in friends of the child if the child was a teenager but if the child was an adult then they may have the added matter of an estate to sort out. Parents of married children may find it hard when they have to realise they are not next of kin and that their relationship with the spouse or grandchildren may change.

A lot of the time grief can begin as either a numbness or confusion of emotions as we try to make sense of events. Parents may also start to feel guilt and anger, These are normal emotions and in the case of death of children the grief can last many years, although it is a cyclical process and gets less over time.

The issue of death is a difficult one as it seems so final. However, for those of us who believe in an afterlife as such, or even have insights into this, it is a little easier. Ultimately though, the cold hard fact is that one cannot hug a spirit and we will always miss the hugs of the loved one we have lost, be it 5 years ago, or 50. Life may get easier after some time after we lose those we love but part of us never stops wanting just that one more hug.

There are many people who will help us through but ultimately until we come to terms with what this means to us on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level we cannot really move forward. People telling us to move on or the fact that it’s been a long time and we need to go forward in some ways only make us angry as we are not ready to do that.

If you have lost someone you love you must remember though that there is help at hand. It will take time but shutting it away is not the way to go. Often you may not want to talk about it for a while and that is natural but at some point you need to talk about it, cry about it. Be gentle on yourself and remember the good times. You will find eventually they will make you smile. This is the time, after a period of releasing your grief, you need your friends and relatives or even professional help to help you get some kind of routine back in your life. It is normal to be depressed so dosing yourself up with medication is not always the answer. Let yourself feel as hard as it may be. Your loved one would not want to see you suffering and hurting. Remember that and heal slowly and steadily in your own way. Be gentle on yourself and look around you. It is filled with life. The sky, the trees, new buds in your garden. Life regenerates and as painful as it may be your child is on a journey. Their journey. Wasn’t it great you could be a part of it? Sad, painful but great.

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Life changes – get off the treadmill

ants-life-changes-get-off-the-treadmill-picLife was good for Jacob who sat and watched the anthill as his mum hung out the washing. They were going to the movies and he was on school holidays – a special day in his life. It was a beautiful sunny day and he looked forward to this. He was amused by the way the ants moved to and fro busily from one mound to another.

Anthony jumped out of bed and raced to the door. He was late for work and had an important meeting with the boss. It could be the day that changed his life. He hurriedly showered, dressed, grabbed an apple and ran to the car. He forgot the glasses and wallet. Raced back into the house and found them. He raced back to the car.

Annabel his wife was also in a hurry. She raced out of the house with the 3 kids behind her, bags on their back and lunches in their hand. She threw herself into the car and on the road to school. Anthony was just ahead of her. Quick wave in the car to him and blew a kiss. Mornings are such a rush. Dropped the kids and off to work for Annabel. Kids raced into the school just as the bell went and they went three separate ways. Life was so busy in the mornings. Annabel now joined the motorway queues and sat in the car, her little box where she put on her make-up on the way. Water and lunch are sitting tidily on the seat. Got that right anyway.

Meanwhile Anthony arrived at work. He grabbed the lunch, the glasses, the Ipad, the phone. Oops! He forgot the file for Davidson. He raced back for it. There it is in the boot. I got it! He raced into the office building and up the stairs to the meeting.

Annabel finally got off the motorway. She arrived at work. Went to go into a car spot and another person stole it. Damn! There goes more minutes of driving around looking for another parking spot. She backs into the spot. No. Not quite got it. Try that again. Finally she backed in properly. Grab water, lunch, bag on shoulder and into the building. She races up the stairs. She forgot the mobile. She races back to the car. Let’s try that again.

Anthony and Annabel busy day at work. Up and down the lift and escalators. He has a lunch meeting in the city. Take the car. He is back on the road again – into the queues. Have a quick bite to eat. They both need a sugar fix. They are so tired. Why does life have to be so busy? Grab some chocolate. It’s his fifth cup of coffee. Not good. Never mind. Worry about that tomorrow. Need it.

O my Gosh! Its 4pm – Anthony has one more meeting to go. Annabel is on way to get the kids. Thank goodness sport today and can get them a bit later. Finally she has picked them up and they join the queues on the motorway trip home. Oops got to stop at mums to pick up the flowers for tomorrow. Stop at mums. She races out of car. Thanks mum. Quick kiss – bye mum! No time in life for anything more. Back to car and drive kids home.

Three rowdy kids run out of the car and into house. They race up the stairs. Grabbing some snacks. Off for changing clothes, showers and homework. Annabel is in the kitchen making dinner. Anthony’s arrived home now. They are eating food. Their homework is now done. One goes to training. They are now out on the road again. Training for them is now over. Come back home. It’s time to shower and go to bed kids. Anthony and Annabel crash on the couch. Then off to bed to start it all over again tomorrow.

Jacob watches as the ants race from one anthill to another. Collect their food. Three ants run into one anthill and disappear. Another ant races into a new anthill. First ant races also into a new anthill. Ants come back out and form a line like a queue of cars. One after the other they advance towards the huge mound. Stop for a mouldy apple core on the way – food for the day. New ants come out of the surrounding holes and anthills. Jacob is amused. Mum’s finished hanging out the washing now. He abandons the anthills to go to the movies. The ants don’t know Jacob is gone. This is their whole life. They still keep running round, queuing up day after day…till they die.

When was the last time you ran like Annabel and Anthony to your new anthills? Racing to the office, the school, the job, to training, pick up shopping…rush, rush, rush….like ants on a sunny day from one anthill to the other with food on their backs. It’s time to get off the treadmill and stop racing about perhaps – like ants in a line on the motorway in cars.

Do you want to be part of the ant colony or do you want to stand out and be the individual and empowered? It’s your decision. What can you do right now to enhance your life? Right in this moment you can turn your whole world

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Love and maturity

relationshipsIt all starts the same way. The flowers and chocolates, the pounding heart at the phone calls, the text message you read three times before you press ‘send’ to respond. You want it to be perfect but in your mind you know there is really no such thing as ‘perfect’ in this imperfect world. But you have faith and hope and your heart was sold on the ‘fairytale’ when you were young. The fairytale that somewhere out there is someone who will love you for who you are and you in return will love them.

As a natural therapist and stress management specialist I spend a lot of my time assisting people to look at how they interact in relationships. I am not just talking here about couples. I am talking about relationship love – the love between a mother and child, the love between two friends and of course the love between two people in an intimate, passionate, physical union. There are many different kinds of love but ultimately they are all – love.

So what does it mean to say…”I love you” and how does your partner understand what you mean? Since we come from varying backgrounds with different family values and different types of education, how do you know that what you say is being interpreted the way you mean it by the other person? You don’t. There is no way that we can know that when someone says they love you that they actually mean love defined in the terms of what you think love means, and that is where the miscommunication can begin.

Friendship is a kind of love, which does not have the same kind of passion as lovers. It can be used to describe a loyalty of friends, between family members and community and often has a basis of equality where people know each other really well, get on quite well and have a number of things in common. It can also exist between people who don’t really have a lot in common but a mutual respect for each other’s values and of course lovers can also be good friends.

Then there is the love of parents for children and children for their parents. One is protective and nurturing and transmutes as the child grows to a family bond and friendship. However these relationships, although beautiful, are different to that of partners in a bond of mutual desire and passion.

In Greek the word ‘Eros’ is a word used for passionate love which has with it a sense of sensuality and longing. This is often applied to someone we seek as a partner. Unfortunately this kind of love can often dissipate over the years when we face pressures of long hours at work, lack of money to pay bills, others interfering in our relationship with varying opinions, exposure of our intimacy to gossip, pulling in different directions with our goals and many more distractions which turn what was once treasured into a relationship where two people don’t even want to be in the same space.

There is a basic difference between love and loving. Loving someone can often be tinged with a mixture of our expectations, desires and dreams so we come to expect to see the other person fulfilling the love we want to receive and that it will ‘look’ a certain way. When it does not fit the image in our head anymore, due to our personal definitions, we no longer define it as love. So what began as perhaps a wonderful loving relationship becomes a harness to keep us imprisoned, in an atmosphere we do not want to be in, with a person we become more and more antagonistic towards. Of course like attracts like and they usually start to feel the same way about us and then the relationship disintegrates.

There is a love however that transcends this. It comes from the depth of the heart, beyond the mortgage payments and the fighting kids, beyond the long office hours and the fact that there are no groceries in the fridge and you are too tired to go and buy them. This is a love that comes from the depths of our maturity of being, from that connection of one heart straight to the other and when it is felt it is as real as the breath that permeates your lungs.

Think. Have you ever loved anyone like that? Have you ever allowed yourself to look past the idiosyncrasies of your partner and allowed yourself to feel with complete trust and faith that kind of love regardless of whether they love you in return or not?

What if you could love like that? What would it mean for your relationship with your partner and what if they loved you like that in return? What if it didn’t really matter in the long term about all the hardships of the day but what really mattered was that at the end of each day you were both together – if not always physically possible at least in that connection with each other? What difference would love like this make to your life – right now? What a huge risk to take with your heart.

We look at each other and see divisions, we turn on the TV and hear the hardships of others, a child loses its toy and cries from the heart at its loss. What does it take to love freely with passion, to connect, to dare to dream and be empowered enough to follow your heart?

Is your relationship working out for you? If not let us help it reach its maximum potential.

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