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!
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.
It seems strange to think it's been a year. Seems like I've eaten this way for a long time, and other times feels like I'm still very much at the beginning of the journey. I think perhaps we always are at the beginning of the journey. It's just a step at a time, and what went before is gone, what's to come is so far away it's only ever about this step.
I've been reflecting a little recently on the year and my experiences and thought I'd share a few...
I love eating raw. I love the way I feel when I totally engage in it and don't nick the odd leftovers off Isla's plate. I can feel totally hungover if I have salty things or too much cooked food.
I totally absolutely love eating whole food plant based and completely feel right doing that.
I really don't like the term vegan. I don't think it describes much, I think it's so broad but narrowing at the same time and I think it has lots of attachment to it for lots of people. I eat whole food, plant based raw foods that enrich and support my body and mind.
It's all just a big experiment. One day I might listen to my body and feel totally great, another I might listen to my ego based mind that tells me I 'need' this or that - I might feel great or not the next day. It's OK. It's all just a big learning curve. Life.
It's just food. There's so much more to life than food. I think if food isn't doing you good then life can be hard but clean up the food and get out there enjoying life. I don't need to talk about it all the time. I am happy to, and to be honest can't talk about Eastenders or other soaps but there's lots more than just where the protein does or doesn't come from. That said, I am happy to engage and discuss it all on an intelligent level. I am totally disinterested in arguments that go along the lines of 'but animals like to be killed and eaten'. Tolerance has run a little low just there!
I love it - have I said that? I love I've explored new foods, that I actually love being in the kitchen, creating new dishes, sharing recipes and writing my raw food book.
I don't need people to agree with me to feel good. Which is probably a good job as I don't know many people who care to eat this way (but so appreciate my lovely friends who are happy to try things, taste stuff and play out raw from time to time). I have some opinions that some people disagree with. This isn't about me, it's their stuff - they can think their stuff and I can think mine. And that's perfect. Whether that be around vaccination, co-sleeping, food, work, whatever - it's all good.
I love life and feel more connected to life, the universe around me and the magic that's out there all the time.
I think that's enough for now. I'm sure I've learnt much much more but now it's time to go play on the guitar.
With thanks and so much love for reading, commenting, liking and sharing my blog posts, recipes and website information,
Most of my clients come to me having heard about me from someone else. The word of mouth option. Yes, I do lots of marketing, update the website frequently - and people do find me through these routes, but the majority of new people come to me as they've been recommended me by someone who's done well through the sessions. Or their child has improved significantly and they think they'll come too. People love to know what works for someone else, and equally love to tell you what helped them. And so I think that the Find a Homeopath website is particularly great in that it gives people an option both to share their good news stories and to read about what has worked for others people. It's a brilliant place to have a say - and it would be great if you'd share your story.
It's just here:
http://www.findahomeopath.org.uk/HaveYourSay and only takes a moment to complete the short sections.
For homeopaths, these stories are valuable, for the public, who may have thought there was no other option for their dis-ease - they can be more than valuable. They can change lives. I can't imagine how it would be for me struggling through with migraine after migraine. As a patient said to me recently 'my Doctor told me that there were some people who just got headaches and I was one of those'. It's wonderful to see that after a lifetime of chronic headaches, she knows that she no longer has to be 'one of those people' and there are options out there.
If you've a story to tell please share it. It could help someone just like you.
Many, many thanks,
PS Just click here!
I want to devote this blog post to some amazing women. The passion, fire and power out there is phenomenal and I am frequently inspired and amazed by the drive and love of many of them. And the support, gentleness and compassion for each other in the midst of some crazy times. Truly beautiful.
I was musing today after some iPod shuffle tunes put me in mind of a friend and a conversation we'd had recently whereby I'd got a little upset, a tad defensive, had stepped away and then used some of the mindfulness techniques I've been working with to help me continue on with my day in a calm and rational manner. I absolutely know there was no intent to upset, and yet I found it difficult to totally let the situation go and fully move on. Until probably today when I realised after working with a client that whilst I'd used some great techniques for myself at the time, I'd not done so to the best of my capacity with myself.
I worked with Byron Katie's Work whilst hiding away in the bathroom and had felt was doing well. Well enough to carry on with my day without needing to do anymore about it. And to continue in a happy frame of mind although it still niggled at me. Today I realised that it was nothing to do with the statement made by them, it was about my belief that I'd allowed to be created in myself.
Talk about penny dropping! The realisation that it's nothing to do with what someone might say, it's about what belief we attach to that statement is so often the issue. The projections we put onto so many things that we do. This I knew in theory but living it is just so incredibly liberating. The belief I attached that day? That I was doing a bad job of parenting. No wonder I found it hard to put away when I allowed myself to believe that. Not to say I feel I'm a perfect parent - far from it, but I do know I do my best and allow myself to learn on the job.
Questioning the belief fully today has brought a wonderful sense of relief. It was just a thought. Nothing less, nothing more. Attaching to it (or any self limiting belief) is generally going to give rise to constriction and discomfort, dis-ease with ourselves. Allowing it to be free, to fly off and look at it with compassion and a sense of humour is a far more peaceful thing.
Cycling this afternoon I realised a sense (as the lorries hurtled past me and cars sped along at 60mph overtaking me on my shiny new bike) of my own mortality. What was the worst that could happen? Well I guess I could collide with one of them and then end of play. To compare it to my conversation that upset me - what was the worst that could happen? Someone could think I was parenting badly in that situation. That I can live with. And the funniest realisation? That wasn't even what was being said. I certainly wasn't really listening.
And I thank them, wholeheartedly, for their part in my growth.
Within a relatively short space of time, two posts had come to my attention highlighting the naked body. One, a beautiful collection of images of yoga poses, done completely naked, and the other, a blog offering 5 reasons to get naked everyday.
For me, the most beautiful sentence in the blog, or at least the most thought provoking was:
'When was the last time you looked at your body in all its naked glory? I mean really looked at it. No squeaming at chubby thighs or grimacing at lanky arms. Just looking at, understanding, and accepting your body in all its perfectly imperfect brilliance'
How many of us think 'I'd like my body if...' I'm definitely not immune to it, although aspire often enough to elevating myself beyond this place. Elevating may be the wrong word - total acceptance of my body in all it's perfect imperfection is, I suppose what I'd like to aim for. And I have no doubt I'll get there. It's been a lifetime's work so far, and from a place of fairly intense food restriction to gain control in an uncontrollable part of my life story nearly 20 years ago, I've come a long way.
What saddens me though is how young this judgement starts. I hear my 7 year old tell me that 'friends' have told her she's fat and ugly. She's neither, but that's not really the issue here. What are we thinking that these gorgeous beings are calling each other these names? And, more importantly, how do we strengthen their inner knowledge that they too are, imperfectly perfect. People will, at various points, or at least may, knock our confidence in ourselves, in our bodies, in our beliefs. I just wasn't aware that the training starts so young.
For me, mindfulness comes in, self confidence in ourselves, taking time to get to know our bodies, accepting and giving thanks for the beauty that is within and without. Not to be ashamed of our own bodies in front of our daughters and sons and to work on our own stuff with the hope of releasing them from a similar place. I feel lucky I grew up in a house where we could all wander around in with nothing on (not that we often did - it wasn't quite that sort of house...) but there was no judgement - and still I fell into a self loathing trap of telling myself I was fat daily so I would have the resolve to restrict my food (and probably covered up more so no one was aware of my journey at that point). Beating myself up to get results didn't lead to happiness - although I suppose it did lead to an unhealthy level of weight loss at the time. And so now I see the BBC news around obesity suggesting that they use terrorising tactics and light stigma to assist in our obesity crisis.
I don't doubt the crisis - I would call it a health crisis, an overabundance of processed food crisis, and probably a shocking lack of foresight in people who are in government handing out watered down information in the hope that people could achieve it instead of trusting our intelligence and giving real, true information crisis.
Damn I've done it again. My blog was about the beauty of the naked body and it's becoming a food rant. But hear me out, there's a point to it all. If we eat well, we feel well. If we feel good about ourselves we are inspired to eat well and look after ourselves. Making people feel bad - whether it be in the playground, in the workplace, in the consultation space or even just sat at home watching an advert doling out some 'light stigma' tactics is unlikely to lead to an enhanced sense of wellbeing and ambition to give our bodies life enhancing foods.
Let's learn to love. Ourselves, others, our bodies. Our glorious naked bodies which do so much for us and get so little thanks. Today I stood in front of a mirror and thanked mine for being what it is. Doing what it does and helping me everyday.
So let's go naked now and again. Even if that's only naked, unprocessed food to start with. Imagine funding for subsidised fruits and vegetables (or even just buying more ourselves) and a campaign on TV for juicing, upping fruits and veggies, starting every meal with a large salad, increasing the greens, learning to love greens. And ourselves. Loving us for being imperfectly perfect. Just the way we are.
I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with my Grandma today, in between a mindfulness peer support session and a Skype homeopathy appointment. Just to slow down for a bit was a luxury this week - it's been and is being a great week and very busy along with lots of lovely times. But what I really noticed was the stuff. And really the stuff that doesn't matter, the clutter that we accumulate, with no intent or need. It really set me to thinking about what's important in life, the people around me, the experiences. The empty jewellry boxes not so much. The relationships, the loves, the joys, the constant gifts that are unseen.
And so I desire to slow down again from time to time, to really take in the moment. It's all there is right now and moving onto the next task with a burning desire to get it done and out of the way is dissolving the potency of this moment.
So cuddle, love, laugh, be filled with joy. And don't sweat the small stuff.
Easier said than done sometimes. But there is help out there should you need it. Homeopathy, I believe, can be one of the most potent ways of coming into the moment, into the here and now and being able to leave the past and the future out of it more. A well prescribed remedy, Jeremy (Sherr) used to tell us, can bring us out of the there and then and into the here and now. I don't think there is much out there to rival it in it's beauty and grace.
Mindfulness too, can be used, in one to one sessions, as a self taught activity and can create much more presence in the present moment, enabling us to sleep better, experience less anxiety and generally be happier. Like homeopathy, it can be used to great effect with both children and adults.
Sending love and light,
I thought I'd share a couple of things as I'd mentioned I would be water fasting. For 3 days. So... about that! More like 36 hours. Which was, in itself, an insightful and valuable 36hours. And, boy was I glad to see that watermelon for my break-fast!
Mostly I learnt how often I absentmindedly eat, tasting a bit of this, grabbing a bit of that, how much I eat on the go and don't appreciate my food fully. It was an interesting experiment, one that I'll repeat sometime and maybe for a little longer but for now will share my thoughts here as a result of it, and around weight loss in general.
I've for a long time intended to stop and eat but realise how often I can get swept up in the things going on around me - making school lunches, dinners, washing up, study to do.... But now I aim to sit, give thanks and cherish the meal in front of me. Appreciating the food instead of distractedly reading, watching or planning. I want to think about what foods will nourish my body - and fully enjoy them. When I started my vegan lifestyle the biggest realisation that drove me was that if I'd been told I had compromised health I would want to eat better. Why wait til then? That would be crazy!! I know we are our own best nutritionalists, we know what we're doing. If we can just listen to ourselves.
I knew that I wouldn't want to be taking shakes, supplements or concocted manufactured powders or drinks. I'd want to know what I was eating and why. And so I began. My journey has taken me far and is still continuing to drag me into awareness as I study hard, watch, learn, comprehend on a daily basis. What I would want then I decided, as I know still now to be true, was minimally processed, whole foods which were kind to my body (and I realised that that equates to being kind to nature too - killing them to assist in killing me seemed totally illogical).
Animal based products, as do fats and oils, tend to enable and assist rapid growth of our bodies, so for anyone wishing to lose weight then dropping the milks, dairy products, meats (which includes fish - it's still muscle of another animal) and losing the oils should often see the pounds fall away too. Upping the greens, getting hold of some great cookbooks (I particularly recommend The China Study Cookbook and also a read of The China Study (which is not half as dry as it sounds) to fully understand the whys
Exercise too is an essential part of the equation - to do what you can whatever that may be. There's so much available that's free to us - walk, run, ride, swim, dance (even if it's just around the kitchen) and love your body. It's good to you so be good to it.
We've just arrived back home from a wonderful year so far, the bad Welsh weather gifted us another day with our lovely friends so whilst not the intended plan I think every cloud indeed has a silver lining. I think I wrote about 3 blog posts on my way back although this one stands out the most right now so will share away.
I was recounting another trip to a friend where my old car started to make a decidedly odd noise. Obviously I took the best course of action that I could and turned the music up so I could no longer hear it. Perfect. Until the noise got louder. Well, if at first something doesn't work - what's a girl to do but try again? Louder still. Problem solved. For a while. After a bit it didn't totally seem to be fixing the problem and after a call home to the number one mechanic in the family (thanks dad!) it turned out the AA was the best bet. Not wanting to hang around on the M60, and wanting to get to my appointment in Manchester there was only one course of action. Full volume and meet the AA at the location.
I've heard people talk about our bodies giving these signals - others have compared them to a warning light on a car... You can either take the warning light out (give suppressive medication) or look to see where the problem is coming from, deal with it and the same outer result is apparent - no warning light.
Homeopathy offers an option to look at where the problem is arising, deal with the issue and allow the symptoms to resolve. A gentle, non suppressive but incredibly dynamic and potent option. So to take the light out or fix the car? It's our choice.
PS It's great to get back home and get started on the New Year calendar with the gorgeous Guy (see below although he does have significantly less clothes on on the calendar and as such is my constant inspiration to get myself doing yoga and pilates) from Finland kick-starting my 2014 in his brilliant way. We do still have a few calendars left (all the funds raised go straight to the wonderful Homeopathy for Health in Africa in Tanzania where they put it towards their life changing work with people who have HIV and AIDS). Just here for gifts and calendars. Thank you so much!
With love and brilliant, sparkly wishes for a fabulous, fun and very fruit filled 2014,
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
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition