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!
Having had a lovely morning so far and time to reflect on the start of a new year approaching I thought I'd put a few notes down here of my mental wanderings. Probably the biggest thing that comes to mind is all the New Year Resolution that get made. Each year people decide on new things that they're going to change - to eat better, to stop drinking, be more, do more. And each year it seems that within the first month many of those great intentions have fallen by the wayside.
Instead of radically changing ourselves, or at least intending to, how about growing to be ourselves more, accepting ourselves, getting to know ourselves even, and allowing that person to be and flourish. Judging ourselves harshly never allows us to be ourselves to our full capacity and yet how many of us do that? I know I've been in places where I've beaten myself up over things that have happened in the past - choices I may have made or not made. And ultimately, where is the value in that? Enough can happen around you to drag you down, we don't need to be doing that to ourselves. Homeopathy and mindfulness can both be invaluable in this process of letting go of the 'baggage' we don't need to take onwards with us.
Speaking of letting go, that's one of my intentions for the new year - to free myself more from the clutter of things I just really don't use or need. On both a mental and physical level. From frying pans to clothes I've not worn for years but are still there 'just in case' (except for the nice dresses - you never know when there might just be a ball you need to attend!) We've already started, with books first, clearing out clothes and I'm trying with a one in, one out policy. And mentally, continuing with my 'morning mind dump' is another great practice to start the day on a lighter note.
I do have aims for the new year so I'm not suggesting we do nothing, but maybe take time to think about the things we'd really like and make a plan instead of setting vague and nebulous goals. Learning guitar is high on my list, as is continuing to learn more around Natural Hygiene (the science of living according to our biological heritage), as well as studying and learning around whole food, plant based living and mindfulness. I've my big triathlon coming up, some amazing speakers I want to travel to see - and we're also off to WOMAD again. And I plan to do my first half marathon. All things that fit in with where I'm at at this point in my life - and that make sense to me. But if I do fancy having a go at burlesque for example - I'll make sure I get out there and try it.
Do try different things, have a laugh - don't do everything because it makes sense as sometimes the best things make no sense at all. Jump in with both feet and don't look back. We really have no idea how long we're here for and can sit on the sidelines waiting for a sign, waiting to start. Do it. Now!
So I guess I'm advocating reflection, thought and seeing where you want to be, how you want to be and moving towards that. Not thinking too much and getting trapped in a worry about doing it right, but a learning to accept and love yourself. Go do fun things for no reason, go jump in a river (with adequate preparation, people around you and an ability to swim of course), love, laugh and live for the moment and life to the full. We may come back (and I accept we all have different beliefs on this one), we may not, but it's unlikely we'll be here in this moment, in this body ever again. So let go of the self limiting beliefs, love it and be you. Because you can do that better than anyone else out there.
As we all countdown towards Christmas I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for a wonderful festive season and brilliant start to the New Year.
It's great to be at this place, this pivot between the old year and the next, allowing room for reflection on what we want to attract to our lives for the next year ahead and beyond, and wonderful to be able to appreciate the gifts of the year nearly gone.
For me 2013 has been on the whole a fantastic year with lots of learning opportunities, room for growth and a whole lot of fun. I want to thank everyone who's supported me on that journey and love being able to be there for others on their own paths towards health and fitness.
With love and light - here's to healthy and harmonious times,
The hayfever season may seem like a long way off. It's not yet been the darkest day. Still, I believe that the best way to treat hayfever is by prescribing on the biggest possible picture, giving the remedy that matches the person as a whole and allowing time for this to work. Whether that be as a catalyst, enabling the body to begin to heal itself, allowing the immune system to repair and mend or however it works. The fact is it works. And starting treatment during the winter allows time for this mending, this healing to happen. My belief isn't that the homeopathy itself is healing. I don't believe anything heals except for our own bodies. I do think though that we get stuck, unable to mend due to a block, a repeating pattern we get stuck in, and sometimes this needs a little help, a nudge, a catalyst, to be able to get on and do it's own thing healthily again. Which I believe homeopathy is able to assist with. I see it happen time and time again. Too many times to be luck, placebo, or all the other things we get thrown at us.
Anyway back to hayfever. Many people have their introduction to homeopathy through effective acute hayfever prescriptions and are blown away by the rapidity of response to the remedies. Acute prescribing is great and can cut down the need for hayfever meds. Sometimes it may be all someone needs. Usually my feeling is that they may need to repeat the acute prescribing, and the hayfever may be likely to return as it's not been addressed on a deeper level. Which is where winter comes in. Now, or January/February time is a great time to get going - to look at the bigger picture, the who someone is as a person and find a remedy to suit them as a whole person, instead of merely isolated symptoms. So give me a shout if you've any questions, or if you'd like to book in to address any issues.
I'm happy to be working from the lovely Studio Pilates now on Tuesdays, from home on Wednesdays and from Craven Clinic on Thursday and Saturdays. And usually can be found with my head stuck into a book studying or appreciating the great outdoors (or both at the same time in summer) Mondays and Fridays (although I can be persuaded to work if people really can't fit into the other days)!
1st December. World AIDS Day since 1991 when a group of 12 individuals brainstormed and came up with a simple idea. The red ribbon bow - a symbol of passion, a heart and love. 12 artists. One huge movement.
I was thinking this morning about how many of us can feel too small to do anything worthwhile. And so we do nothing. But how about the flip side - do something even though it may amount to nothing? How about giving the big issue seller a spare £1 even if you haven't time to read the magazine? Or 'dropping' a couple of 20ps on a street to be discovered by excited children. A kind word to someone you've never met before? My daughter has complimented a train conductor on his tie and it was lovely to watch his face light up. A tiny act that can do so much.
So today being World AIDS Day I'd love to suggest, well I'm going to suggest, that you help out a small but powerful organisation, working with tiny doses of life changing medicine. Life saving, life changing, status altering medication. I was so heartened to read the following from co-founder of Homeopathy for Health in Africa just recently:
'Aids prostitute for 15 years and a patient of ours since 2010, she just phoned me with the news that she has gone negative!! My weekend is fixed. And probably next week too — feeling wonderful.'
Working against huge disadvantages, Jeremy and Camilla Sherr and their team of volunteers in Tanzania are doing phenomenal work. We as homeopaths, I believe, have a duty to get behind them and support it. The boundaries of possibilities are being tested and pushed back and a new day is dawning. Donations can be one offs, monthly direct debits, gifts are available to purchase for elements of the project, our fabulous 2014 calendar is available to brighten up your months with some gorgeous calendar girls (and guys). Even if you just sponsor us £1 right now for our Santa Fun Run we're about to head out and do (you can do this by texting RYJQ35 £2/£5/£10 or other required amount to 70070 or online here) then we'd love it. It's so easy to make a little difference. Or not to.
With love and gratitude,
So worth doing - get out there and do something different. Go for a dawn run, hell stay up and have a dawn run before you go to bed. Enjoy. Appreciate. Love. Find joy in the little things.
So tempting to stay in bed this morning all snuggled up and cosy. But I got off my ass and went for a run. Which I'm going to have to do a bit more of too if I'm off half marathoning. I'm opting for Blackpool half marathon (it's supposed to be flat - and being in April gives me training time) - my friend who has inspired me to get on and do one is doing the Romeo and Juliet half marathon in Verona, Italy. If you'd like to sponsor her (I'm not fundraising for this one - although I am for the Santa Fun Run next week and my Olympic distance Tri later in the year) then please do so here.
Thanks for watching. What're you waiting for? Get off your ass and find out how beautiful it is. Your ass and the gorgeous world we live in.
I think this is maybe one that everyone should watch. I do believe children can be more sensitive to many things than us adults, but I don't believe that they're vastly different. Following from the research presented here I think it would be fair to propose that businesses may be more productive, prisons more peaceful and people happier generally.
The research here though is around children and party food. Two groups of children were presented with differing foods - one traditional party fare (yellows) and the other a table filled with wholemeal sandwiches, fruits and fresh veggies (blues). They were then encouraged to play party games and observed during this process.
Rating 6 behaviours on severity scales gave dramatic results. To share a few here:
The healthy food group showed no incidents of 'mean' behaviour, 8 of physical aggression and 30 of hyperactivity - in total with the other assessed areas, 120 incidents of 'bad' behaviour.
In comparison, the party food group showed 69 incidents of 'mean' behaviour, 63 of physical aggression, 163 of hyperactivity and, again, in total with the other areas, 720 incidents of 'bad' behaviour.
I'm struggling a little with the terminology but that be said, the figures are incredibly illuminating. It was noted that the healthy food group did “48% better in the games overall”. This is clearly not an insignificant difference.
But without further talk from me - please have a watch. The Food Hospital on Channel Four Investigates Party Food.
Conclusions are not firmly given - is it the additives or is it the lack of nutrients? In my view, it also has to relate to individual susceptibility. However whatever the reason, the results are in. Traditional party food swapped for a more whole food approach appears to promote better concentration, more amenable play and calmer children who can co-operate better. The implications of this could be far reaching.
I just discovered it's World Diabetes Day today. I wasn't entirely sure what the purpose of it was so googled it and found the International Diabetes Federation with a picture of lots of people and emblazoned across them the slogan 'Let's Celebrate'. Which seemed, at least to me, to be a little odd. Let's celebrate that we are experiencing unprecedented growth in a serious condition? Let's celebrate that due to the number of children getting diabetes the label 'Adult Onset Diabetes' has been dropped and now is called Type 2 Diabetes?
So I looked further and found the following 4 key messages of the 2013 campaign:
'There is substantial evidence that achieving a healthy body weight and moderate physical activity can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. In primary prevention there is an important role for the diabetes educator to help people understand the risks and set realistic goals to improve health. IDF recommends a goal of at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling or dancing. Regular walking for at least 30 minutes per day, for example, has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 35-40%.'
But it still felt pretty woolly to me. What if though there was a way to reverse Type 2 diabetes and to never get it in the first place? Would you want to know about that? If it was of no greater cost than your usual shopping bill, of no greater hassle than simply cooking your meals? And surely you'd want the International Diabetes Federation to tell you about it? I would anyway. I'd want them to be shouting it from the roof tops. And, not that I want to fly in the face of medical convention (well OK I'm alright about that really I suppose) - what if there was a way that someone with Type 1 diabetes could be no longer reliant on insulin? Surely that would make front page news??
It seems not. But research would suggest that there is a way. There is study after study demonstrating that patients with Type 2 diabetes who are dependent on insulin can relieve that dependency by the simple adoption of a whole food, plant based diet. I have read studies of Type 1 diabetes been affected positively and have heard of several people becoming no longer insulin dependent. Not everyone - although nearly everyone was able to significantly reduce their insulin dose.
And why are the IDF not stood on the rooftops? I can only imagine that the influence of the food industry is too huge. And so I suggest people could take it into their own hands, take back control of their own health and be your own doctor. Use the diagnostic skills that you need to use - work under the guidance of your doctor but try out eating plant based, minimal oils and whole foods. It might well surprise you more than you'd ever expected.
I do want to stress that last point again. Do work with the guidance of your doctor. Changes can be fast and it's important to be aware of your blood sugar levels so you're acting appropriately with medication that you may already be taking.
I like the idea that we can be responsible for our own health. Even if only a little bit. We can make choices – organic or standard, veggie or meat, to enquire further or to accept what we’re told. One of the issues with the conventional medical model is that some of that can appear to have been taken away from us. We’re part of a procession to be prodded, poked, cut and healed in someone else’s way. I’m not saying this is wrong, or to go against convention, but to take some power back too along the way.
There are choices we can make that can enhance our health. We can support ourselves with listening therapies, taking time out for a massage to complement our wellbeing, or even make simple food choices.
I’m here today to talk a bit about food. It’s something we’re all deeply involved in – and can be used to help our bodies help themselves. We can set up a situation where we’re able to assist in providing healthy conditions for healing to happen. I don’t believe that nutrition heals, chemotherapy heals or homeopathy heals. Our bodies heal themselves – and what we can do is help to provide the basis for them to do this from.
I decided to switch my diet earlier this year to a whole food, plant based, nearly 100% raw food diet – really as a bit of an experiment, but also with the knowing that if I had been given a serious diagnosis of illness this is the way that I would eat. I’m not going to suggest that everyone goes 100% raw – although it can be a great way to eat.
However there is increasing and strong evidence around animal based foods causing detriment to our health. My personal belief is that no one should be consuming milk (known to contain an incredibly potent cancer promoter), eggs (coming in about second behind milk), meat or fish if they’d like to improve their health in one quick and easy step.
Studies around animal based proteins have shown that consuming more than 10% of your diet from animal based proteins, the risks of cancer greatly increases. Reverting back to less than this, or ideally cutting it out altogether, has often helped with reducing tumours. Eating at less than 10% for research animals, usually showed no development of cancer growths, even with exposure to known carcinogens.
The adoption of a whole food, plant based diet has been shown in many instances to improve health, reduce risks or relapse and has knock on health benefits – such as reducing risks of heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes and certain autoimmune illnesses.
Whole food, plant based? It means no processed (or minimally processed) foods, and from plants. It might sound initially as if it will be restrictive, but realisitically you’re talking about enhancing the one thing that you really need. So even if there is a small sacrifice – and I know just how addictive cheese can be! – it’s potentially a big gain. And ultimately as you discover more you find out just how much choice there really is. My parents have adopted this way of eating and eat more varied meals with more choice than they ever have. Granted, eating out is slightly harder but learning to ask for what you want really helps along the journey.
It doesn’t have to be all raw. It doesn’t have to be raw at all – although I would suggest that you did incorporate more raw foods into your diet. To make gradual changes – depending on your state of health – and cut things out at a manageable rate. Mum, for example got rid of milk one month, cheese the next, overt butter the following one and covert milk products after that. Whilst you’re removing things, remember to add them in. The UK suggests we all eat our 5 a day. I like the Japanese suggestion better – the 17 a day campaign. Japan suggests people eat 13 portions of vegetables and 4 of fruit a day. I probably average around 17-20. So add in an extra fruit snack, more steamed vegetables with your dinner, a big salad at lunch and see how easy it can be to get towards 17 instead of our measly recommended 5 portions.
There’s some brilliant resources out there – it’s great to discover more around the why – I always think anyway. So if you’re a reader then The China Study is a brilliant place to start. If you cook then The China Study Cookbook is fantastic. Forks over Knives (the film, cookbook and book) is worth a mention, as are the books by the Gerson’s around cancer and their work with nutrition. The web is a fabulous resource to have at our finger tips – and I also give recipes, thoughts, tips and more on my blog and within the website under the nutrition tab. I also have a newsletter which you can sign up to and share information on my facebook business page as well as on twitter.
Feel free to get in touch to find out more. I love my work with Homeopathy, Food Intolerance testing and supporting clients to eat a more Whole Food, Plant Based diet and do offer free 15 minute consultations to discover a little more.
I had a brilliant consultation with a client the other day where we talked about making food changes to support her health and the reasons behind it. I've been thinking this for a long time but it was her that put into words how important it was for her to do it from a place of love. Important may not even be the right word, essential doesn't quite fit either as I guess you can make changes from whatever place you wish to. Changes from a place of fear feels very different from that loving place though.
I think everything is longer lasting, deeper, more real when performed from a place of love. Changes are more congruent, easier to maintain and happier to take part in. That doesn't always mean it's easier, but more real works well for me. Getting back to who I really am, who I always was, not who I'd got a little bit lost being.
Taking the time to discover that place of love may, well, take time. But I would wager, time well spent. Probably the most worthwhile time to spend right now. Because what will give us joy and excitement is living our purpose, wholeheartedly and with love. I think on it's deepest level, homeopathy has the power to enable that process, to assist with living in the now, being as whole as possible on every level. Mindfulness too - looking within with assistance to guide and enable the most amazing discovery process.
And sometimes too we can do it ourselves, we can learn to listen to the whispers, the bubbling joy (I remember in some of my darkest times feeling that I was overflowing with joy - just moments, but still valuable pointers that I was on the right path despite of the distance I had to walk to get through), and also to the disquieting feelings. Listen and be aware. To be true to what is, here and now, right in front of you and to let go of the 'what if's, 'what might have been's that can only ever stop you from really experiencing the beauty of this moment. For all we have is right now.
I invite you to, with love, gently let go of that which doesn't serve you and embrace that which fills you with love, passion and excitement for the pure joy of life.
With unbounded love,
It's coming up to almost two years since our beautiful family horse decided it was time to move on. Tonight on twitter I saw a tweet from the vet who I consider as starting my whole homeopathic journey so it got me thinking.
Kara our Czech Warmblood mare had developed uveitis, which it transpired was recurrent for her. Conventional treatment was steroid injections into her eyelid, which I'm sure you'd guess, wasn't possible without an initial sedative. Every 6 weeks. And, as a precaution, she used to head into the field with her 'half pirate' mask on, a modification of a racing mask that meant her eye was able to be shielded from bright sunlight (or there was the total blockout mask that meant she could still go out and graze whilst having the attacks). Not a huge barrel of laughs. With pretty limited conventional options mum took it upon herself (she's a fabulous researcher), to investigate. And chanced upon Chris Day, a veterinary homeopath who works in the south of the UK. Following this lead further took us to a more local practice, a week of homeopathic remedies given to Kara. Not knowing what to expect we waited. And waited. And when she died 15 years later I guess we were still waiting for anything to happen.
Cured? Remission? Healed? Do they all mean the same thing? I don't know the answer to that. But I do know she never had to have steroids into her eyelid again, we relegated the pirate masks to the tack trunk and she enjoyed life to the full.
We used homeopathy on and off for the rest of her life, although towards the end after developing Cushing's disease and having ended up (not totally sure quite how but she did) on conventional medication which nearly was the end of her, we were pleased to restart remedies on a more regular basis which again served her well.
I love that our horse started my homeopathic journey. I love that my first ever experience of homeopathy blows the placebo effect out of the water. And I love that I am able to say thank you for the first seed of homeopathic awareness that was sown for me (I've thanked him tonight).
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