Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
And yet not really sure why. I've had a strange week of people not coming at the arranged time, coming late or rearranging appointments and all sorts of shenanigans that don't usually go on.
Maybe it's retrograde Mercury doing it's mischief. Who knows. And yet I feel incredibly blessed, lucky and so filled with love for the world my little heart could burst. Maybe that's the gift from The Gentle Art of Blessing. Again who knows.
The moving of appointments and freeing of time has allowed for reading, sewing, clearing and running. All of which have felt like absolute gifts and I feel very happy to have been allowed room for them all after what's been two really busy weeks.
Today it really hit me just how much I love my work (to be honest I do feel that a lot but today was maybe the most recent time. Well tonight I guess but that's just splitting hairs now)... and I do. I really do.
I loved the talk I gave tonight. I love that people are approaching me to give talks to groups more and more. I love that I'm meeting some fantastic people, making wonderful contacts and spreading the word about homeopathy and healthy eating further out into the world.
I loved seeing the clients I've seen this week and am looking forward to seeing more over the next 3 days.
Well, I think that's all I wanted to say. Thanks for listening.
With love x
Of course, I'm not saying that I'm not ;) But I've been pondering the freedom that might come with not needing to be right on everything. Or even anything. Maybe we should eat meat comes to mind. I'm not sure there's an argument that could persuade me of that anymore. But maybe, just maybe I'm not right. There is a certain liberation with not needing to fight, to resist or to defend. I believe Byron Katie says that the first act of war is defence. And I can see the point now, finally.
I can choose my path but don't have to choose anyone else's for them. And if I did choose theirs then surely that would be my path they'd be walking. They can choose to join me, or not. And I can choose to be free in that knowledge. To be as honest and true to myself as I can be. I guess I feel the need to point out that I'm not saying I'm disinterested in speaking my truth. I feel more and more convinced that there is no other way. But to shout it and drown out other's opinions? They can be right too, for them. And whilst their path may not be for me, mine may well not be for them.
To question, be curious and look at the world through fresh, new eyes feels good to me. And to walk my path with integrity and love. For people, the animals and the planet.
With love x
then give me a shout, come along tomorrow to my Valentine's Raw Chocolate Workshop at Studio Pilates in Ilkley. It's running from 11am - 1pm and is only £20 per person.
We'll be making strawberries dipped in chocolate, raw chocolate hearts and some yummy goji and chocolate treats. And there'll be some to try and also enough to take some home for your loved one. Whether that be to treat yourself, your girl, your man (just don't give them to the dog!)...
Speaking of which I'm off to make some samples now!
Sending love to everyone,
Homeopathy is an incredible therapy and I’m finding myself more and more amazed by its depth and breadth as I continue my own journey practicing and learning about this wonderful gift I’ve been lucky enough to have found a part of and live alongside. One of the most startling aspects can be the speed at which a correctly chosen remedy can alter and affect what’s happening for an individual, and in first aid or acute situations this is particularly apparent. I was thinking about my Top 10 remedies to have in a first aid cupboard (or kit) and thought would share them here. Remedies can be safely given to any age of person from babies upwards and can be prescribed at home – should you wish for more guidance please contact a qualified Homeopath.
In Homeopathic prescribing we always aim to match the picture the patient is showing to that of a remedy (Law of Similars), so in first aid cases we do this also. Some of the following descriptions may assist you to give Homeopathic remedies in the home to help with common ailments. We work on another rule which we call the Law of the Minimum Dose. This states we only use as little of a medicine as possible to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism. When you give a remedy give one dose (one tablet) and wait to see what happens. If things improve, leave the patient to continue improving. We only give another dose if the case stops improving before a full recovery is reached or if symptoms return.
So here’s my Top 10 (in alphabetical not favourite order!):
Aconite – No.1 remedy to nip colds in the bud. If you take in the early stages of colds you may even find you suffer no ill effects. Useful for helping with fevers and inflammations especially in healthy people whose symptoms come on suddenly. There may be extreme restlessness and fear shown by the person needing this remedy.
Usually Arnica is the remedy the most people have heard of and, rightly so. I would consider it as an essential part of any alternative (or indeed any) first aid collection. Arnica is best known as a treatment for bruising and as well as the Homeopathic medication you may also purchase Arnica cream to be applied topically. Arnica is less well known for it’s use in shock and exhaustion and is a great remedy to alleviate Jet Lag for those Long Haul Travellers! In the cases of accidents and injuries where given early it will reduce swelling and bruising. They may show fear of being touched because of the pain and may want to be left alone or claim are OK, when clearly they are not.
Belladonna – is the No.1 remedy for high fevers. The inflamed area or even the entire patient may be burning, red and hot. They eyes are glassy, with dilated pupils. Onset is sudden and pains are violent and throbbing, whilst the patient has a rapid pulse. They may be angry, delirious or even have visions.
Chamomilla – No.1 remedy for teething children, especially if the child has one red cheek. You’ll see over-sensitivity and intolerable pains which may appear to be out of proportion to the illness or injury. Suited to hot, bad-tempered, over-tired children who are only quiet when carried and constantly request, then reject things.
Hypericum – No.1 remedy for injury to nerves. This is a useful first aid remedy for lacerated wounds from sharp instruments or any injury to nerve rich areas (e.g. slamming door fingers). Pains are extreme and shoot along the nerves.
Ignatia – No.1 remedy for emotional shock. It’s a great remedy for treating symptoms which follow acute loss, grief or disappointed love. The patient may not accept what has happened and reacts with a sense of disbelief.
Ledum – No.1 remedy for puncture wounds. Also useful in preventing or easing black eyes. Use it to treat deep wounds (e.g. by nails) and bites from animals and insects, where the area is swollen, blue and cold but feels worse for heat and better for cold applications.
Nux Vom – No.1 remedy for hangovers, complaints from over-indulgence of alcohol and/or rich food. For people who work and play very hard, surviving on a ‘diet’ of coffee, alcohol and tobacco.
Rhus Tox – No.1 remedy for sprains and strains. Stiffness, accompanied by restlessness. Pains are usually around joints, which ache, feel sore and bruised. Pain is worse on first movement, with a tearing or stitching sensation, but eases after continued movement. Rhus Tox can also be indicated in Chicken Pox or Shingles.
Silica – the No.1 remedy for forcing out splinters and foreign bodies. In first aid situations this is a great remedy to assist in forcing out foreign bodies or hard plugs of ear wax (especially after swimming), but as a note of caution, do not use if you have a pace-maker, grommets, metal pins etc. It’s useful for helping painless wounds heal that are suppurating and slow to heal.
Serious injuries and illnesses should never be treated without seeking expert advice. Use your instincts and common sense, if you are worried then call for help first and you can give the appropriate remedy whilst you are waiting for help to arrive. If symptoms show no improvement or return always seek professional help.
I've not shared a case before on my blog and thought that this was a lovely one to illustrate the beauty and grace of a remedy that worked well for a client. Details are shared with full permission of the client.
Client first sought treatment for heartburn in November 2013 and requested I do food intolerance testing using kinesiology. It didn’t matter what she did, if she ate or didn’t eat, it was there all the time. There was no regular pattern to it although some foods do seem to exacerbate the problem – alcohol, spices, tomatoes, chocolate and cake aggravate. Mint doesn’t help. She drinks a freshly made juice every morning and always eats melon or fruit before instead of after a meal if she’s eating them. Generally sticks to alkaline foods. Has the occasional dairy in cheese and quite a few eggs.
She tried taking Nux Vom from a first aid kit for a while but didn’t ease.
Food testing using kinesiology showed some sensitivity to: corn flour, buckwheat, millet, cashew, sunflower seeds, green lentils, chickpeas, green pepper, chilli, cocoa, pineapple, cod, prawns and house dust.
Client returned in December 2013 having cut out all the foods we’d mentioned and did feel better for it, but still found the heartburn comes and goes. Mostly though now what’s left is a burning, acidic taste in the back of her throat. Stomach feels a bit not normal – upside down – sometimes feel could be quite sick, quite nauseous really.
The acid reflux is felt in the back of throat, less of a sensation in chest than previously. Seems to settle and then for no reason start up again – no pattern at all.
At this point I suggested we look further at it from a homeopathic approach – some improvement is good but I felt there was more room for greater health here.
When it all started I was having to sort out selling mum’s house. I find it very difficult to go and see my mum – I go two to three weekly, my sister goes more often. I find it hard to deal with seeing how she is (mum has dementia and is now in a nursing home).
Before then I was a lot better – mum was living at home although that was a stressful period of life. I was up and down the road 2-3 times a day – desperate phone calls from her. Now she’s in the home she’s not mum anymore. That’s the only stress I’ve got.
Mum had dementia but they wouldn’t give the diagnosis then my husband went bankrupt at a similar time. It probably all goes back to then. Maybe coming now as can deal with it all.
I had IBS many years ago after having the children and had to be careful what I ate to sort it out. Every now and again stomach went. Stomach would ‘flip’, a sickly feeling, and feeling at the back of my throat. Probably no worse than others but is frustrating and I want to be well.
I think everyone thinks I’m a bit quirky, bit eccentric, veggie. Probably quite selfish, look after number one. Care about family, very family orientated, I adore my grandchildren, all 3 of them.
What would husband complain about? That I’m argumentative, always right. I’m very much an outdoor person, get claustrophobic if inside. Like outdoor spaces. If I travel it’s always to the sea, the Scorpio in me – I need to be by the sea. Some place where I can walk the dogs.
What’s the Scorpio like for you? Determined – if somebody does something to me will forgive but always remember. Don’t like falling out. Have a temper although I’ve calmed as got older. I do play things close to my chest – probably don’t talk about things as much as I should. I couldn’t go to see a counsellor and pour my heart out. If I cry I like to be on my own – if ill I like to be alone, don’t like people fussing around me.
Fears? Ending up with Alzheimer’s at mo. If memory taken away. Fear old age and ending up like mum.
Had tinnitus for donkey’s years – in 70s saw Status Quo and was right at the front. Couldn’t hear! Seen too many bands. Ears get clogged up with wax too.
I enjoy life – what I have I spend. Lost 3 friends this year, it makes you think. Nursing was all I ever wanted to do – now I won’t go near hospital and doctors. If I had to I would but don’t unless need to.
I have the usual aches and pains – back pain between shoulders, right shoulder a knot in at the back too. Massage and Bowen therapy helps. My throat is better for eating and cold water and worse for hot water. I sometimes get a cough for no reason at all – a tickle in the back of my throat and once start I can’t stop.
Warm person – occasional hot flushes from time to time. Quite happy in own company – not like to be completely on own. Enjoy own space as book club and friends, quite happy on own too. Very rarely sit and do nothing, usually find something to do. Food preferences – eat loads of fruit, snack on nuts. Did like chocolate although not had since here last.
Rx Nat Mur 200C split dose. This remedy was prescribed for the individual client based on both her symptoms and other descriptions as told within the case.
Follow up 9th January 2014
Well it’s been brilliant! I knew homeopathy worked but even I’ve been quite taken aback. Over Christmas I’ve been appalling with food and it’s been fine, although wine and ginger have set it off. Excess fruit does seem to start it off at times.
I knew it would work. It really has, been away with friends and although pretty careful but couldn’t believe how good it was – even the odd glass of wine was absolutely fine. Nothing like I’d had previously. It was about 10 days after taking the remedy it started to ease off.
My cough settled as well. I haven’t felt as well as this for ages. Even had a piece of Christmas cake last night that went down fine. My aches – I’ve been walking every single day up into the fells and been absolutely fine.
One occasional it couldn’t seem to clear up – I took some Nat Mur 30 and it settled. Dreams – had quite a few vivid ones but can’t remember just now. And the tinnitus although still there it’s not quite as bad as before and I’ve lived with it for years.
Rx no remedy prescribed - return if needed.
I contacted the client to see if I could write up the case to share and she told me things are still great – if she has junk food it occasionally sets things off but generally all is well and she’s feeling good.
I've written this blog several times, or at least started it, in my head and I'm struggling to get beyond 'No shit, Sherlock' to be honest. Unless you're going to blend up a load of lettuce, the chances are that you're going to have way more calories in your fruity green smoothie than in a coca cola.
A can of 'full fat' coke contains 140 calories according to Cron-o-meter. But not much in there that's going to be a benefit to your body. And possibly, if the information around using it to clean your toilet is correct, it may actively harm your body, stripping it of vital nutrients.
So what do you want out of your green smoothie? Me, I want a meal replacement for when I don't fancy chewing through a pile of fruit, for when I'm out at work, driving to appointments or the like. I don't want an additional 650 calorie drink during my day, extra to my meals. And if you want it as an additional drink then just make it smaller.
Today I ran 3.5 miles, cycled 9.5 miles then got back and had my green smoothie for my lunch. It was delicious, and I felt it wasn't inappropriately filled with chemicals. It was purely mango, 2 blood oranges, 2 large handfuls of spinach and 3 large bananas. Breakfast had been a beautifully hydrating piel de caso melon that I lustfully eyed up and got on our midnight shopping trip last night.
I guess what I'm saying is yes, more calories. Definitely. But more goodness? Infinitely.
Go forth, drink green, move your body and be happy.
With love x
And if you want tips, guidance, ideas, inspiration then feel free to come along and join the Green Smoothie/Juice A Day facebook group. It's a group of lovely women - (so far no men - please feel free to be the first!), sharing their love for green juices and smoothies.
I swam this morning and as I trekked up and down the lanes counting as I went, it struck me just how amazing people really are. The pool was fairly full of people who'd got up whilst it was pitch black outside, who were making themselves swim up and down a 25m lane roped pool. So many choices led to each one of them being there - to not ignore the alarm clock, to leave the housework (sure that wasn't a difficult one - not for me anyway!), to drive or walk to the pool and get in and get on with it.
There are so many choices that each and everyone of us makes daily - the fruit or the chocolate, the exercise or the TV, the kind word or need to be right. The day is crammed with them. And some choose the pool at 6am (I didn't make it quite that early - more towards 6.40 for me). From the guy with one leg who was faster than me, to the triathletes training and ladies swimming and chatting, each and everyone of them inspired me to keep going and swim my mile.
As a species I was left thinking that we are really pretty amazing aren't we? Even our dumb (judgemental - sorry!) choices often lead us on a path of exploration and freedom. Grasping that freedom in our non free world and embracing the choices we have available is a wonderful thing.
To be, to believe and to be free,
I thought that I'd use the fact that the Homeopathy Worked for Me facebook page is rapidly approaching 25,000 fans to inspire a few facts about homeopathy and share these here. One fact for every 1k fans of the page.
1. Homeopathy has been used in the UK for over two hundred years.
2. Hippocrates, acclaimed as the father of modern medicine and honoured by doctors in the ‘Hippocratic Oath’, was the first to suggest that a person’s own healing ability was vital in choosing the right cure for an ailment.
3. The founder of modern homeopathy was the 18th century German physician, Dr Samuel Hahnemann.
4. Hahnemann was a child prodigy: he was teaching Greek by the age of 12, and had mastered eight languages by the time he started to study medicine at the age of 20.
5. Hahnemann was so appalled by the practices of his day that he set out to find a healing approach that was safe, gentle and effective.
6. Hahnemann believed that rather than trying to suppress symptoms, the body should be stimulated to encourage its natural healing process.
7. The word ‘Homeopathy’ is from the Greek homœo (meaning similar) and pathos (meaning suffering).
8. Homeopathy was originally spelt Homœopathy.
9. In the 1800’s practitioners and supporters of homeopathy were called ‘homœopathists’.
10. Homeopathy is based on three principles.
11. The first principle is ‘like cures like’. Something that in large doses creates the symptoms of a disease, will, in small doses, cure it. This is similar to the theory behind vaccines. Aristotle (384 - 322B.C.) knew the principle as well, and wrote, “Often the simile acts upon the simile.”
12. The second principle is extreme dilution which enhances the medicine’s healing properties and eliminates undesirable side-effects along the way.
13. The third principle is that the whole person must be taken into consideration when choosing a remedy.
14. Most high street chemists and whole-food shops now stock a limited range of frequently used homeopathic remedies (in the 6C or 30C potencies).
15. A homeopathic pharmacy will make up a wide selection of homeopathic remedies available in different forms, including soft tablets, which are easier to give to children.
16. It is suitable for children as well as adults.
17. Homeopathy can also be used on animals under the control of a vet.
18. Celebrities such as Paul McCartney, David Beckham, Twiggy, Caprice, Susan Hampshire, Tina Turner, Louise Jameson, Gaby Roslin, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Nadia Sawalha, Jennifer Aniston, Jade Jagger, Roger Daltry, Annabel Croft and Meera Syal reportedly use homeopathy.
19. The English Royal Family has been under homeopathic care since 1830 and there has always been a Royal Homeopathic Doctor.
20. The Royal Homeopathic doctor is currently Dr Peter Fisher.
21. Homeopathic Practitioners train for 4 years in Anatomy and Physiology, as well as Pathology and Disease, Materia Medica, Homeopathic Philosophy and study of the Homeopathic Repertory.
22. Initial homeopathic consultations last between one and two hours and your homeopath will ask questions about your physical, mental and emotional health, lifestyle, preferences and fears. Your responses will help classify your symptoms and determine the remedy for you.
23. In December 2009, Mintel published research on complementary medicines which showed that public interest in the UK was growing. Over-the-counter homeopathic treatments, such as arnica cream are expected to grow in sales by 29% by 2014 in addition to 23% growth 2004-2009.
24. Almost every pharmacy in Germany and France (20,000) stocks homeopathic remedies.
25. In India, alternative treatments, including homeopathy, are well established and integrated into the healthcare system, with 94 per cent of people saying that they have faith in alternative remedies.
It's probably apparent (and if not I'm definitely doing something wrong), my love for homeopathy. If you've experienced good effects then it would be wonderful if you'd share your story so we can help others too. The Find a Homeopath website is collecting testimonials so please pop over and fill in the simple form so we can reach further and help more people.
With big thanks,
And big thanks too to Nelson's pharmacy who've compiled a wonderful list of 150 facts, many of which I've used here. Head over and read the extended version on their website.
Which was a rather sweepingly bold (or so I thought) statement I overhead recently. Not surprisingly coming from someone who works for a company that appears to make a lot of their income from selling supplements. Having had a year where the majority of my food intake has been fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds I would have to say that maybe this isn't quite true. Yes, food quality may have decreased somewhat since the 1950s which did seem to be a large part of his argument, but no, for me, so far so good and whilst I do supplement with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, this wasn't quite what he was referring to. But the good thing was that you could get yourself a shake that had everything you needed to kick start your day and get your system raring to go. And they even came in chocolate, strawberry, toffee apple or coffee flavours. Mmmmm. I think I'll stick to my fruity breakfast. That tastes like fruit for the simplest reason there is. Yup. It is fruit. What a revelation.
I also heard a lot about protein and how our body requires lots of protein to function properly. The main problem (aside obviously from the absolute lack of nutrients and need to substitute them with a chocolate flavoured mix of dehydrated, extracted vitamins and minerals in a non optimised format (I say that as struggle to believe that we can beat nature at her own game - where is the natural fibre in it please for starters?)) is that none of us have enough protein. I'm aware this may be a contentious issue but even the World Health Organisation suggests that we require approximately 5% of our calorific intake to be from protein. Not a fact that the protein pushers would have us know. A banana has around 5% of it's calorific value which is protein. Milk, by which I mean the milk humans are designed to drink, breastmilk, has around 3% protein. This is the time we are growing the most, that we need the most protein. Fully formed, grown ups, I don't believe that we need the 30% protein that many of us ingest on a daily basis.
Studies would suggest that maybe we don't, and that in some instances an excess of protein (in particular from animal sources) may be a negative thing for us, leading us down the track of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune illnesses and more. But back to the supplements, I think I'll take my chances, know what I'm getting (as much as you can these days!) in my actual food and leave the science fiction out of my diet for now.
With peace and acceptance that there's a million ways to do anything and nothing means my way is the 'right' one either!
PS I did want to say that should you have deficiences in a diet that I believe supplements can be great - however as a matter of course and on a daily basis my view is that we can gain the majority of what we need from a whole food plant based diet with no struggle. Sadly there is no sunshine. Yet. So we continue with the VitD through the winter...
I'm aware that really we can only ever speak for ourselves. I find the idea of eating meat now repulsive. Someone would have to pay me a lot to put something that had lived and breathed on my fork and raise it to my mouth, to chew it and swallow. It would be like being on I'm a celebrity eating some form of inedible insect. And yet, two years ago I was eating it believing that I needed it (or at least, my growing child did). So things change.
It struck me very recently that the process that an animal goes through from field to fork is simply barbaric. It's brought into the world to be sacrificed for someone who may not even appreciate that act. Who may joke about how it's really an evil mastermind, how it wants to sell drugs to your kids - really? No really?! If you're going to do it then at least respect it. But for me, I recognise that the amount of adrenaline, stress hormones and sheer energetic terror pumping through that animal as it faces it's inevitable fate - well that's something that I no longer want to be responsible for, let alone consume and allow to become part of my body.
So no surprises for my number one food that drains me! I'm staying firmly away from meat.
Fish likewise to be honest. It's experience of drowning in air, of panicking as it could no longer get what it needed to survive is again something I can live without. Aside from the radioactivity in the oceans, the mercury, the accumulation of heavy metals and the wiping out of the ocean due to farming and fishing methods. Just not all that appetising anymore!
Milk is another that once my eyes were opened - most significantly by The China Study but other texts along the way, just not all that tasty once you know the truth.
Salt is one that I'm battling my personal demons with - I love the taste of it but I know it's really not good for me and it really is all in my head. I'm fine without it - far less dehydrated, bouncier, lighter and possibly even happier!
And lastly for me - larger amounts of nuts and seeds or oils really ground me - without them I feel bouncier, lighter and more energetic.
So to the foods that boost me - I love my fruits - water rich fruits in a morning such as a melon or two. Loving my melons ;)
Greens - greens are sooooo good and I've had mornings (might have been when I realised I definitely was a crunchy mama) when I've thought 'I need the spirulina' - and felt better for it. Placebo or not. Feeling better is good for me! I love my kale especially at the moment although we also go through lots of baby leaf spinach and in summer plenty of romaine lettuce too.
Tasty raw food dishes - it doesn't have to be boring! My favourite at the moment is a coconut curry with cauliflower (and kale sometimes) 'rice' or vegetable 'noodles'. Love wraps using a romaine leaf, tomato based dishes, raw soups (mango and cucumber is my current absolute favourite).
So check out your boost and drain lists - see how you feel after certain foods and others - experiment and enjoy!
Oh and lastly, ice cream. I love love love banana ice cream made from frozen bananas and blended. Nothing more. Such a fabulous and healthy treat. Speaking of which I think I'm off for the ice cream tub. Time to go do some studying. Bath. Ice cream. Lesson notes. Perfection.
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley MARH, Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition