Is Self Care Selfish?

Is Self Care Selfish?

Self-care is vital, and one of the least selfish things you can do to improve your life. When you invest time in caring for yourself, you’ll reap the benefits and return on investment in almost every area of your life. You may notice improvement in your physical and mental health, your relationships with yourself and others will likely improve, and your productivity increases. It enables you to become the best version of yourself, able to give more to the people and projects that are important in your life. It allows you to truly blossom.

How can self-care benefit me?

Simple self-care activities can help ease your body’s aching muscles and painful joints. Self care can also increase energy, reduce stress, uplift your mindset and attitude. It can increase your resilience, and boost your immunity, generally supporting your wellbeing. You may even gain clarity about who you are, where you’re going, what’s important to you and why.
 
At our clinic, we find that much healing happens in the time between one consultation and the next.
We observe that the best results occur for our clients when they implement self-care activities to boost the healing and recovery process.

How can self-care benefit me?

Simple self-care activities can help ease your body’s aching muscles and painful joints. Self-care can also increase energy, reduce stress, and uplift mindset and attitude. It can increase your resilience, and boost your immunity, generally supporting your wellbeing. You may even gain clarity about who you are, where you’re going, what’s important to you and why.
 
At our clinic, we find that much healing happens in the time between one consultation and the next.
Our client’s best results occur, they practice self-care activities, which help boost healing and recovery process.

What is Self-Care?

Many people seem daunted by self-care. Some people over complicate a self-care act and think it means allocating a whole day at an expensive day spa. It doesn’t need to be this extravagant. Self-care can be as simple as taking a moment to remember to breathe.  So let’s practice together right now… 

Take a long, slow, deep breath and feel it filling your lungs and into your belly. Hold it for a few seconds, then release the air through your mouth.

It’s like releasing a steam valve. By taking the pressure off, you prevent it from “popping its seal” or “overflowing”. The secret is regularity. So make self-care as simple, enjoyable, and easily repeatable as possible. Creating lifelong habits, to support your physical and mental wellbeing.

Breathe release stress
Journey to healing and recovery

What Self-Care Activities appeal to you?

To support you with actively implementing self-care into your daily lives, we’ve created a self-care list for you.  It’s vital when creating a self care routine or habit that you choose something you enjoy. It needs to work for you and uplift you.

Here’s a list of some of our favourites self-care activities:

  • Go for a walk or run

  • Immerse yourself in nature, either in the bushwalking or along a beach

  • Stretch, even gentle stretching will get your body moving again, boost circulation and ease achy joints into action

  • Read a good book

  • Listen to your favourite music – create a playlist.

  • Create something (baking, sewing, arts and crafts, a piece of furniture)

  • Start a journal

  • Play with Pets

  • Talk to a friend

Self-care-list-BlossomingMe-Turramurra-Osteopathy-Massage
  • Take a bath

You can make it a luxurious one, to make you feel extra special and nurtured. Try using:

    • Epsom salts or
    • Essential oils such as
      • Lavender to relax
      • Peppermint to soothe tired, achy muscles, or
      • Eucalyptus to refresh and clear any sinus challenges, particularly in the cooler, dryer autumn and winter weather.
  • Moisturise your entire body.

Choose something that feels nourishing. Nurture your body and make it sing with pleasure.

  • Watch a movie

  • Meditation is a favourite of mine

  • Mindful activity

If meditation isn’t for you, do an activity in a mindful, deliberate way. By this, I mean clear any distraction and be fully focused on one small task. It might be over a simple cup of tea, for example. For these few moments, focus intently on your senses: can you smell the aroma of the tea? What is the taste as you sip? Can you feel the warmth of the cup in your hands? Stay in the moment as long as possible.

  • Acupressure Points

You can press acupressure points on yourself at home to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. They can help release emotions like sadness, grief, or loss, as well as boost your personal composure.

Especially during Autumn, when the meridian channel of metal is in its element, (for more information click our blog). These metal points can help you let go of anything you no longer need. This practice releases physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual tension, as well as strengthening you from the inside out.

You can activate these acupressure points by stroking or pressing on the points. Let’s do it together now. See the diagram:  Large Intestine1 (LI1)  and Lung 8 (Lu8).

Large Intestine 1 and Lung 8:

These points clear and calm the mind, to revitalise you. They clear stuck energy and emotions.

  • On the radial (also thumb) side of the index finger, about 0.1 finger width posterior to (towards the back of the hand) from the corner of the nail.
  • Stroke your lower arm upwards, in line with the pointer finger, towards your body
  • To invigorate the energy further, press the point gently – 3-7 times
self care acupressure points
Journey to healing and recovery
  • Release old thoughts that no longer serve you. 

This has the additional benefit of releasing any habits that also no longer serve you. Then, deliberately bring in new ones, which support and uplift you. 

    • One habit I recently explored is a tool I learned from mindset extraordinaire, Ben Elliott. He describes a simple process in which, if something happens, a trigger, something that would usually set you off or upset you in some way, you can decide to react differently.

Here’s an example of how I practice this new habit. When something happens that I’m not happy with, in the clinic or more often, in myself, I choose to refocus my attention on anything that I’m grateful for. Here’s a few that work for me:

      • Simple – Having two feet that work and support me well
      • Personal – Receiving a thoughtful phone call or text from my step-children. Or the cosy feeling of being loved supported and surrounded by my wonderful hubby and family.

Sinking into that feeling of appreciation and warmth, helps me regain my composure, refocus my energy and stay strong.

This process does take practice before it becomes automatic. Moving from being “triggered” and reacting , to deliberately choosing a better response (thought or action).  Simply put, this formula is: “When X (trigger), Do Y (new response)”.

  • Ask for help

If you notice any niggles as you implement some of these “at home” self-care activities, consider complementary professional assistance, this too is an act of self-care.

    • e.g. if you feel physical aches and pains, consider booking an appointment with your favourite Osteopath, Chrio, Accupuncturist or Massage Therapist. Or consider salt therapy rooms, an infra red sauna or float tank.
    • For mental and emotional support, consider a Counsellor, Psychologist or Mind Set Coach.

This self-care list is just the tip of the iceberg. Select activities which make you feel stronger, refreshed rejuvinated or nurtured.  After a while, you may be inspired to try something new. We strongly encourage you to do so!

When you do, we’d love to hear about it. Please let us know how you go, in our Facebook community group.

Let us guide you along your wellbeing journey BlossomingMe is a holistic health service located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.

Our specialised Remedial Massage Therapist and Osteopath offer a fully integrated approach which assesses and addresses the specific issues in your body.

With a clear understanding of your goals, we treat both mind and body to help you live your best life.

 

When Will I Feel Better?

When Will I Feel Better?

When will it feel like I don’t have to keep coming back on such a frequent basis?

“When will I feel better?” – Most of our clients seeking Osteopathic treatment ask this question at some stage in their healing and recovery journey. This blog will address this frequently asked question with the aim to educate and manage expectations.

While it’s difficult to provide an exact answer, as everyone is different. We can however give you an idea of the ‘average’ recovery period  and the factors that might hasten your recovery.

Some people find the problem they came in with disappeared almost straight away. Others find it improves with each session, but over the first few weeks, it seems to keep coming back. This can sometimes feel like a boomerang, and you can become concerned that while treatment provides relief, it doesn’t appear to go away completely.

So how long does it take to get better after an osteopathic treatment?

While we know that by the 4th or 5th session, you will be well on your way in the healing process. We have also observed over and over again that it’s generally not until about the 8th session that clients really start to feel the transformation.

Can you explain why you recommend such a long treatment plan?

Within the first session or three, you will notice considerable relief and more mobility. You likely will even notice changes and improvements throughout the week. These improvements between sessions occur as your body continues to process and assimilate the changes and space created in the treatment session.

While you’ll feel some improvement, you  may find your body is feeling less comfortable again. This usually happens by the end of the period between sessions. If you notice this, we understand it’s easy to feel disheartened, and wonder whether a change is happening, or if you have to keep coming back…

Alexis Weidland Osteopath Blossoming Me Treating client

What can I do to aid my recovery?

  • Eat well – your body’s ability to heal is aided by good nutrition.
  • Rest after treatments
  • Understand your body is trying to heal itself
  • Reduce emotional stress and strain as it slows recovery
  • Follow the treatment plan, do the exercises – Your daily exercises make a HUGE difference.

Trust your body and follow the treatment plan

Our message to you, is this: keep an open mind, trust your body and follow the plan that we have created with you. As your body continues to heal and assimilate, a transformation happens! As stated above, this often is around the 8th to 10th session. At this point, you likely still are not “fixed”, but your body has started to stabilise. In this more stable place, your body can relax a little, allowing you to keep healing and strengthening, but simultaneously feel more resilient.

At this stage, you’re less likely to fall back into the old habits, movements and pain. And when a small disruption happens, you notice your body has more resilience, such that previously, when whatever challenge occurred, you would have been in pain for days. Whereas now, if there is pain, it seems to easily resolve itself in a day or so, or does not create a noticeable problem at all.

Treating underlying issues and maintenance

At this point, the space between treatment sessions can also increase. So that we can continue to stimulate healing and realignment, and deal with the underlying issues that contributed to your injury or compensation patterns in the first place, while allowing you to do more home-based maintenance. Allowing you to be in control of maintaining, improving, and dealing with any minor flare-ups along the way. While you focus on strengthening yourself in a more balanced way, to help you stay well and strong, and without pain.

It’s easy to forget

Some people quickly forget the problem they initially came in with. They become aware of all the other issues that they either: didn’t realise they had, didn’t realise that we could assist with. Often, in this situation, you can become so aware of the current symptom, and that it’s not as perfect as you would like yet, that it’s easy to forget the symptoms that have greatly improved or even completely disappeared. In this scenario, it’s probably not until the later stages of the first or second phases of the treatment process, around 10 sessions or more, that you begin to notice how far you have come and how good you feel – in general, and especially compared to what you felt when you began treatment.

 

Most importantly, it’s important to know that you can smile, and exhale, as Alexis’ caring, compassionate approach, combined with professional skills and qualifications as an Osteopath, means you are in safe hands.

If you are unsure about your response to treatment or would like some advice, don’t hesitate to contact Alexis directly, and she will do her best to guide you through.

With True Healing comes Resilience
Spring Cleaning in Autumn!

Spring Cleaning in Autumn!

Working with the energy of the seasons

One of the things Alexis and are passionate about is nurturing our bodies through the power of nature. Tapping into the cycle of the seasons and utilising this energy to strengthen and nourish us. And helping others to do the same.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have channels of energy through our body. These energy channels, called Meridian channels, support our body, mind, spirit and emotions. There are 12 main channels altogether. Grouped in pairs and one set of four meridians. Each set is associated with characteristics, including a season, an element, an emotion, that we may feel if that energy becomes stuck, and a primary function.

In Autumn, the season we are right in the middle of now, the Lung and Large Intestine meridians channels, in the metal element are at their strongest. The emotion, if our energy gets stuck here, is grief. But the counterpoint to that, or the power and primary function of the energy of the metal element, is letting go of. Releasing, so that we can rejuvenate and refresh.

If we think about the function of our Large Intestines and Lungs, this starts to make sense. Our Large Intestines help us eliminate waste from our body after we’ve absorbed all the nutrition from our food. Our Lungs release the old, used air, making room for the new air they inhale.
And we can tap into this energy of Metal and Autumn, of the Lung and Large Intestine meridian channels, to help us do the same thing in our lives.

“Spring” Cleaning & Decluttering in Autumn!

Usually, we think cleaning, decluttering and re-organising our homes as a “Spring” Clean, but doing it in autumn can actually support us. Making this process of releasing the old and creating room for the new, easier.

We can sort and organise our wardrobe, study or office desk and computer files, kitchen cupboards and generally de-clutter. Go through our computer and delete files we don’t need anymore. Go through our wardrobe and put together a collection of clothes we don’t wear anymore. Instead, we can make a donation to feel great about!

We can use this energy not just in a physical environmental sense. We can utilise it to boost our ability to let go of what we no need, like aches or tension in our body, and stressors in our mind. Helping us to clear old habits, old ideas, any physical or psychological clutter, that no longer serve us. As such, autumn is a good time to reflect on what we may be holding onto and work these ideas through fully so that they can be completely released.

Journey to healing and recovery

Uncovering the Real You

In her book, “The Gift”, psychiatrist, Dr Edith Eger explains that “in trying to keep ourselves modest, we risk making ourselves less than we really are”. She says that the foundation for being our whole self, for being truly healthy and joy-filled, is our ability to love ourselves.

But what really spoke to me, in her book, was the concept that once we begin healing, “what you discover will not be the new you, but the real you.” The You who was there all along. Born innately beautiful and full of love and joy.

Edit goes on to say that if we want to take charge of our thinking, we first need to look at our actions, what we’re doing, and what we’re saying to ourselves, and ask: “is it empowering or depleting me?” “Is it kind and loving?”

Recently, One challenge I’ve been falling into is the trap of negative thoughts and the roller coaster of emotions that they bring. When I’ve woken up early in the morning, I get annoyed that I’m awake, which leads to other annoyed thoughts and I get sucked into the cycle of negative thoughts, that turn into a tidal wave! It’s hard to break and left me getting up in the morning, “on the wrong side of the bed”, angry and frustrated with the world and focused on what wasn’t working for me. Not a great way to start the day!

The other day I took myself through a process that Edith talks about. One that I haven’t done for ages. I took time to journal my thoughts. Just jotting them down each hour through the day. With no judgement or analysis.
Just bringing them up to my conscious awareness level.

That night, I woke up at 3 am, as I often do.
But this time, I was finally able to remember, at 3 in the morning, that I had a choice about what to focus on and where my thoughts went. I was finally able to choose to find things to be grateful for! A husband who loves me, a family who cares about me and supports me, and a business I love working in.
But I wasn’t able to start there. I had to start with really simple things, like: 2 eyes I can see well with, 2 nostrils I can breathe through (that’s actually quite a big one since I’ve had sinus & respiratory troubles all my life), teeth I can chew with, tongue I can taste yummy food with, 2 legs that carry me and 2 arms I use all day, for writing and sharing my thoughts & insights & for helping clients deal with their issues and improve their lives, to the best of my ability.

Another tool I’ve used numerous times, to start to change negative thoughts I’ve had, these are some phrases I like to add:
“That used to be me”
“….. yet”
“Up until now ….”
We can use phrases like these to take back our own power, gently. We can even utilise them to empower affirmations. Making them feel more real and possible. Expanding out thinking and self-belief also themes empowered throughout the season of Autumn and enabling us to bring in qualities and characteristics we desire for ourselves, as we become our best versions of ourselves.

Until we can change our language, as Edith predicts will happen, and we can genuinely, authentically and strongly state:
“Yes I am!”
“Yes I can!”
“Yes I will!”

Women Initiative

Nurture and Nourish Our Body, to Strengthen Our Immunity

One of the best and simplest ways to strengthen our lungs is deep breathing. Especially outdoors, in the brisk autumn air. This nurtures and nourishes our immune system, supports our energy, and promotes good sleep.

When we breathe deeply and deliberately, we flush our cells with the oxygen needed for all our bodily processes. Promoting the process of releasing and rejuvenating.
So next time we take our morning or evening walk outdoors, take and moment to take a few long, slow, deep breaths. Letting the cool air seep into the lungs, strengthening them.
As you breathe the air out, know that this process, of air flowing in and out of our body, is helping us to release. To let go of anything that is no longer supporting us. Be it social, emotional, mental or physical.

Through our nose, mouth and skin pores, our lungs interact directly with the outside environment, giving them an important role in fighting off external pathogens, like viruses and bacteria.
As the temperature drops and winds become dry you may notice cold or flu-like symptoms such as a stiff neck, body aches, chills, fever, sore throat, headache, cough and runny nose. Existing skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis may get aggravated, and asthma or allergy reactions may flare. Now is the time to strengthen our Chi, energy, to prepare for winter.

Healthy foods that can be easily added to many dishes, to further nourish our bodies and our family, include: bay leaves, garlic, horseradish, leek, ginger, capers. They can support our lungs and boost our immune systems, naturally.

For further support and strengthen our immune system and our whole bodies, with a “tune-up”, we can visit our preferred professional practitioner. An osteopath, acupuncturist, naturopath or transformational massage therapist (see website link), can really help us make a difference.

Wishing You Happiness and Strength This Autumn!

If you knew that you could, which aches and pains in your body, would you let go of?

If you were courageous enough, what thoughts, ideas or habits would you release?

 

Please comment in our Facebook Community Group, we’d love to hear from you!

Your Journey to Healing and Recovery

Your Journey to Healing and Recovery

It’s not a one-off event

Like success or anything else worthwhile, healing takes time. Many people think of the ability of our bodies to heal, for example back or knee pain, or an injury like a pulled hamstring muscle, as a one-off event. Others imagine this recovery takes place in a similar time frame to healing a broken bone (about 6 weeks). In reality, healing issues and injuries, such as these, usually involving soft tissues, like muscles and tendons, will begin to heal within this timeframe. However, they will rarely complete the healing and recovery process that quickly. In this blog, I will discuss how healing works and why healing takes time.

Many of our clients initially arrive at our clinic, in a great deal of pain and discomfort. As you can imagine, our first focus is to improve comfort and mobility. Then we focus on supporting and strengthening the body. This allows the changes to consolidate and build. Enabling this new posture or way of being to hold for longer and longer periods. Ultimately, this leads to improved health, strength, resilience, energy, and vitality. Unfortunately, this doesn’t all happen in one visit, it takes time. Often it will take many visits, as well as time for their body to assimilate these changes.

Women Initiative

During your body’s healing and recovery from an issue or injury, there are three clinical stages: Inflammation, Proliferative and Remodeling.

Inflammation

Inflammation is the first stage, and often our first sign that something is wrong and our body needs help. Actually, it’s part of the healing process itself. Our body’s early response to the injured tissues. Inflammation creates swelling and redness, due to the influx of supplies and reinforcements (particularly red and white blood cells), which the body directs specifically to the affected area. This launches the beginning of the process of healing and repairing the tissues, and can last up to 4 days.

 

Proliferation

The Proliferation stage begins about 3 days into the process, overlapping with the end of the Inflammation stage. In this stage, the tissues, for example, the muscles or tendons, are being rebuilt. As this happens, the tissues can contract, feeling tight, restricted, and often painful.

Remodelling

Remodelling is the last stage and can last 6 months to a year, after injury. This is the stage of re-educating our body, helping it regain its original strength and conditioning. It involves our body adapting to these re-educational changes and finally assimilating them. When done well, it can even enhance and improve the state of our body, from where we initially began. This is due to what we learn and change in that process of re-education. For instance, in the process, we can learn better habits of lifting, exercising, movement, and posture. So, if you improve your habits, you may find that after you’ve “recovered” from your injury, your body is actually stronger, more proficient and more resilient. You may even have more energy than before the issue or injury.

Journey to healing and recovery

Are healing bumps normal?

Healing rarely happens smoothly nor in an exact straight line, it’s not linear. Healing is a process. One that naturally goes up and down. The old saying of “two steps forwards and one step backward” can sometimes be how it feels. Sometimes things can feel worse before they start to feel better. Sometimes it can feel like you’re going backwards, when in reality, your body is working with and assimilating the changes it’s being led and encouraged to take. Unfortunately, this can be a common response during healing and even to treatment. So yes, there can be bumps in healing. It’s normal for the process to be a bumpy one.

If this is how your body responds, it can feel tight, uncomfortable, or even painful. We’re sorry to hear you’re suffering. If this sounds like what is happening for you, heat will usually be your friend. Consider a warm shower, an Epsom Salt bath, foot bath, or heat pack, to soothe and relax your muscles. If you have any questions or concerns, please call your practitioner, and they can help you understand what might be happening specifically in your body. We help you understand what your journey to healing and recovery might look like, we want you to feel better ASAP.

Healing is like a spiral

I have often heard clients and practitioner friends describe that healing is like “a series of hills or mountains to climb”. Especially when they get frustrated, it’s not progressing in the straight line they expected. My favourite image or shape to describe the healing process is a spiral. Looping around, coming back to a similar place. For instance, when we feel pain, discomfort, or tightness recur. But in fact, the process has actually moved forward. It has improved and gone to the next level, loosening muscles or releasing tension in places. But the body has gone as far as it can at this moment and hit the next point of resistance. That is the pain, discomfort, or tightness that we feel. With some more help, from you or your therapist, you can also move through this, to your next level of healing and recovery. Reaching an even higher level of strength, resilience, and energy.

Women Initiative

Healing is the new high

Through this up-and-down journey of healing and recovery, we observe that our clients are so focused on how they feel in the here and now, that they forget the more intense, constant pain, discomfort or tightness they suffered at the beginning. This is a normal and natural part of the healing and recovery process. But it reminds me, as a practitioner, to help my clients reflect back on how far they have come. To celebrate their wins at each step, no matter how small they sometimes seem. Feeling more positive about the healing process can empower, enhance and even increase the speed of healing, because we are then supporting rather than resisting it. Focusing positively on each milestone can make the journey of healing feel like a fabulous high.

Imagine for a moment what you would do if you could clear your pain sufficiently and improve your movement? 

During this strange and crazy time,  YOU are still our highest priority!

We can still treat you in person with Osteopathic and Massage services at our Turramurra clinic during COVID-19 lockdown.

So come in, feel nurtured as we provide you with the treatment and tools so you can feel brilliant again.

 

Where are you at in your journey to healing and recovery?

Join and comment in our Facebook Community Group – Essential Lifestyle Academy, we’d love to connect with you!

5 Reasons the Infra-Red Sauna can change your health!

5 Reasons the Infra-Red Sauna can change your health!

5 Reasons the Infra-Red Sauna can change your health!

Are infra-red saunas any good for you?

From the moment Alexis and I first experienced the sauna, with a remedial massage following it, we were both hooked! We found that the therapist could get in more deeply, because our muscles were already warm & relaxed, and therefore we got better results from the full treatment. Our personal experience, was our original reason for having an Infra-Red Sauna in our own clinic.
Do they actually do anything healthful themselves?
Infra-Red saunas can aid in healing specific ailments as well as improving your overall health and wellbeing. From helping you relax, to warming, softening and relieving your tight muscles and stiff joints, to improving circulation, boosting your immune system, and even assisting in weight loss.
Relaxation and mood boosting:
By triggering your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, your “Fight / flight response”, in a less stressful way, the heat from the sauna can help relieve physical and emotional tension in your muscles, warming and relaxing your whole body.
Infra-Red sauna can help lower your cortisol levels, a hormone connected with stress and stress-related health problems. As well as aid in increasing your endorphin (happiness hormone) and opiod levels (your body’s natural pain reliever). So your muscular pain and tension is reduced, you feel less stressed, more relaxed, happy and contented.
They may even improve your brain function and performance. Increasing neurotransmitters, in particular, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and norepinephrine, can enable your brain to function better, to grow new brain cells, and to more effectively protect these brand new neutrons (brain cells) from damage. Thus helping improve your cognitive performance.

Improved Circulation:
The heat created in an Info-Red sauna can increase your blood flow, bringing your blood vessels closer to the surface of your skin and enabling them to expand, to cope with the increased flow. This can assist the cells in your body to release waste and receive nutrition more easily. Further, according to Dr Chrisiane Northrup, MD., if done regularly, over time, this expansion process can help your blood vessels become more elastic. Which can improve your circulation and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Cohen agrees and further suggests that this improvement in circulation, can lead to better healing ability; especially your skin and superficial muscles, as well as relieving your muscle tension, improving muscular condition, losing weight, detoxification, clearer skin and greater immune health and generally feeling great.
Relief from sore muscles:
Muscle soreness, especially in the period 24 – 72 hours after exercise, is caused by tiny tears in the muscle fibres. Your recovery, is the process your body goes through, in healing these tears. As described above, the increased blood flow, helps rapidly clear the waste, in this instance, the debris and inflammation from the torn muscle cells, and deliver nutrients to foster healing.

Weight loss:
According to Dr. Masakazu Imamura, MD study, published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology in 2001, you can burn up to 400-600 calories in one 30 minute sauna session. That’s quite impressive, when you realise that investing that same 30 minutes in jogging or swimming, typically burns around 300 calories.

When it comes to weight loss, saunas can be very effective, as part of a health focused program. For best results that last, and are healthy and holistic, not just fast, we agree with Dr. Mukai, MD statement, that as part of a program “where you’re working on both diet and exercise, the sauna can be a beneficial component [of] a holistic plan.”

Detoxification:
Studies suggest that all of us have chemical toxins and heavy metals residing in our bodies’ fatty tissues, particularly in our liver and blood plasma. These toxins can contribute to various diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, autism and arthritis. Dr Christiane Northrup, MD, explains that whilst usually our sweat comprises of 95-97%water and the rest is salt, when using an Infra-Red sauna to induce it, as much as 15-20% of our sweat, is “made up of cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, heavy metals, sulphuric acid, and ammonia, as well as sodium and uric acid”. This, would, indicate she suggests, that using an Infra-Red sauna, to sweat, may enable your body to excrete these toxins. Dr Cohen agrees, and reminds us, that if you actively want to clear the toxic chemicals out of your body, it’s important to mop up the sweat from your skin with a towel, or else the toxins will just be reabsorbed into the skin.
Clearer skin:
This detoxification together with the improved circulation, mentioned earlier, can assist directly, to clear out waste and toxins as well as rapidly bringing in nutrients, leaving you with cleaner, clearer and revitalised skin.

Immune system:
When it comes to the Immune System, both Dr Christiane Northrup and Dr Gini Mansberg agree that the perception of the role of heat, in the body’s fight against infection, has changed. It’s not just about creating fever, as part of the immune system’s battle against the infection. They believe, that heat does more than that. It actually “stimulates and “activates the immune system”, possibly stimulating increased production of white blood cells and antibodies. Further, they suggest that heat from Infra-Red saunas, may do this as well.

So if you’re looking to significantly improve your overall health and wellbeing, boost your immune system or enhance your weight loss program, in a relaxing, enjoyable way, you might like to consider one, or even a series of visits to a local gym, spa or health and wellness provider, for your own relaxing, healthful Infra-Red sauna experience.

Have you used an infra-red sauna? What benefits have you noticed? Tell us in a comment below!

I Sleep, but I’m always TIRED… Maybe its my Thyroid

I Sleep, but I’m always TIRED… Maybe its my Thyroid

I Sleep, but I’m always TIRED… Maybe its my Thyroid

Depending on which source you look at, Thyroid conditions affect women somewhere between 4 and 10 times more than men. The Thyroid Foundation of Canada states that about 5% of the world population is affected and the Australian Thyroid Foundation adds that 1 million Australians currently have an undiagnosed Thyroid issue (that’s 1 in 25 people!). As rates of thyroid conditions (especially hypothyroidism) tend to increase as we age and we have an aging population, we may expect to see numbers increase further. The Thyroid Foundation of Canada goes on to state that Thyroid disorders are very treatable. Given that a large percentage of the affected population is unaware of their situation, this would lead to a substantial number of people, unnecessarily feeling fatigue, irritability, discomfort and with an inability to be fully productive.

What is the Thyroid?

The Thyroid gland is an important part of the endocrine system. Its job is to control many bodily functions via secreting hormones – T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). They regulate the body’s temperature, metabolism and heart rate and in doing so affect many areas. The Pituitary (and Hypothalamus) glands monitor and control the amount of T3 & T4 that the Thyroid releases. Thyroid conditions create either a state of Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism, that is, too much or too little thyroid hormone production, respectively.

Causes:

Thyroid disorders may be caused by iodine deficiency; autoimmune diseases (namely Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Graves’ Disease); viral and bacterial induced inflammation (thyroiditis); congenital; malignant (cancerous) and benign tumours/nodules on the thyroid gland, disfunction of the pituitary or Hypothalamus glands; or as a result of some treatments (surgical removal of the thyroid gland [or part there of] & toxic changes from radioactive iodine therapy).

Symptoms

Symptom combinations tend to vary as there are many factors involved, further, as symptoms tend to start slowly and gradually progress, it may take a while for sufferers to realise that they are not just tired or stresses etc.

Hypothyroidism

  • weak slow heart beat
  • muscular weakness and constant fatigue
  • sensitivity to cold
  • thick puffy skin and/or dry skin
  • pale and cold (maybe clammy) skin
  • poor appetite
  • brittle hair
  • voice may be croaky and hoarse
  • slowed mental processes and poor memory
  • weight gain/difficulty losing weight
  • constipation
  • goitre (increased size of the thyroid)

Hyperthyroidism

  • rapid, forceful heartbeat
  • tremor/shaking/palpitations
  • muscular weakness (due to muscle loss)
  • weight loss (due to muscle and fat loss) in spite of increased appetite
  • restlessness/irritability, nervousness/anxiety and sleeplessness
  • profuse sweating
  • heat intolerance
  • hot, moist skin
  • diarrhea
  • eye changes (generally bulging)
  • goitre (increased size of the thyroid)

Treatment:

Hypothyroidism

Generally is treated by medicating with T4 thyroid hormones (and sometime T3 also). This is a life-long treatment and requires frequent blood test monitoring.

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition creating a low level of Thyroid hormones and is the most common cause of Hypothyroidism. As with all autoimmune diseases, the immune system is over-active and is associated with inflammation. A diet and lifestyle that reduces inflammation and supports the immune system to balance, may be of benefit in combination with medication and monitoring. It is also worth noting that generally only T4 hormone medication is given, but some people respond better with a combination of T3 & T4 hormone medications. Further, some people find that animal derived Thyroid hormones are more effective for them than the synthetic medications. So be aware that there are a few options out there and if your symptoms are not responding as expected, some experimentation with the support and guidance of your GP is possible.

Lifestyle changes that may assist in the management of hypothyroidism include:

  • Reducing gluten intake
  • Checking MTHFR gene function and your body’s ability to absorb and use Folic acid/folate/folinic acid effectively – and supporting maximal function
  • Reducing stress
    • meditation
    • exercise
  • Supporting Adrenal overload and the body’s stress response
    • taking adaptagenic herbs (such as Siberian Ginseng, Rhodiola and Ashwaganda)
    • B vitamin supplements
  • Supporting Kidney and Liver functions and the body’s detoxification processes
    • Milk Thistle
    • Dandelion
  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet
    • Avoid gluten, dairy, red meat, processed sugar, packaged foods
    • Adding turmeric, omega 3, green leafy vegetables
  • Supporting optimal Thyroid function
    • Vit B3 & 6
    • Selenium
    • Vit C
    • Vit D
    • Magnesium
    • Iodine
    • Salt balance (electrolytes) – using water, sea salt and honey

Hyperthyroidism

Graves’ Disease (a genetic autoimmune disease) is the most common cause of Hyperthyroidism. Nodules on the Thyroid (cancerous or benign) and Thyroiditis caused by viral or bacterial infection can also be causes.

Treatment is based around reducing the levels of thyroid hormone in the body. This can be done via

  • Thyroid blocking drugs
  • Destroying thyroid cells with radioactive iodine
  • Surgically removing the thyroid gland (partial or complete)

While medical treatment is required, a healthy lifestyle may generally support optimal response to treatment, your general health and your resilience.  

It is also important to note that the treatment of Hyperthyroidism may result in a subsequent hypothyroid state, meaning that Thyroid hormone medication may be required.