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!
On the conventional 'preventative angel' of 'flu, vitamin D and do you want to join me in a health revolution?
Within 5 minutes this morning I've seen 2 adverts - one from the book of face, and one on the Independent's website from AstraZeneca talking about the flu shot. One aimed at adults and one aimed at children. And it got me thinking. The flu programme intrigues me. I understand it's not pleasant to experience. I've had it once in 42 years. I also understand it's not massively common, many people I've spoken to have had it with similar frequency. And I understand if it's at end of life times, or in vulnerable people it can be worse than not pleasant. That said, I also understand that the special cure promised every year, that preventative angel, can be (this understanding from the government's own website1), remarkably ineffective. I also understand from work in clinic that there can be horrendous side effects - several times described to me as the 'worst flu ever in my life' - once by an 80+ year old northern woman who was not a stranger to pain, and no weakling either.
So I get there's 2 sides to this equation, as ever. What I see also though is the fact viruses have lived amongst us forever, they're part of human life, not necessarily to be eradicated. Wiping out Syria doesn't make any sense to me, neither does not accepting refugees from a country you've just bombed, or funded the bombing of. Wiping out viruses seems just as impossible, just as crazy an aim on many levels. Surely they'll keep coming back. There has been mainstream discussion of anti-viral medications not working if we continue this quest, just as we've helped encourage the growth of anti-biotic resistant bacteria, currently a huge medical challenge 2.
So what if we looked at the other side for a moment, about being good hosts, about not succumbing to viral take over (I do hate being told what to do, even by a virus!), but about not bombing a neighbourhood and then not expecting some comeback. What if we looked after ourselves better? It's interesting that some countries of fast food and those with strong similarity to the Standard American Diet (SAD) have been pretty badly hit by the current circulating virus. It's also interesting to see the cases where there have been nutritional deficiencies have struggled more with CV-19.
This got me thinking about how, whilst a possibly 15% effective preventative angel (see study linked above) is being broadcast, is the also pretty damn effective Vitamin D being shouted about3? It's a rhetorical question to be honest, and I see it mentioned in the mainstream media on occasion but sponsored ads on the book of face? No way. Is anything being advertised, except for the shot? I've not seen it.
Talking about Vitamin D, Dr Michael Holick, a vitamin D expert from the US, recently published a study which found good vitamin D levels can reduce the risk of catching Covid-19 by 54% 4. And on the good old fashioned flu, Time reports: 'People with higher vitamin D levels also saw a small reduction in risk: about 10%, which is about equal to the protective effect of the injectable flu vaccine, the researchers say. No significant benefits were associated with high doses of vitamin D spaced out over larger periods of time.' 5
Is it also OK to think of baddies and goodies here? So many places I'm learning there is no good and bad, perhaps it's similar here too? What if there was a wake up call now to look after ourselves better, to eat more fruit and veg, to get outside, to exercise more? To live more in tune with ourselves, with nature.
One of the gifts lockdown brought for me was our daily walks. Whilst I was still working throughout, we seemed to find time for some seriously decent walks and didn't drive at all to our favourite walking spots. Now, back in the rush of things, it's a different story. How many people it's the same for I wonder? We are carving out some good outdoor time though and that's here to stay, throughout winter. We are eating a platter of lovely organic veg - big thanks to Steep & Filter in Skipton and Riverford. We are getting some brilliantly humorous vegetables from Michael and Dally at Steep and Filter - laughter I'm sure is a great health boost too.
Another lockdown gift for me was Zach Bush, MD. American medic and passionate health warrior, Zach has some brilliant insights into our health and also into the health of our planet. This sentence from Zach stood out for me: 'The microbiome, and the remarkable communication pathway of the virome, must be understood as our salvation rather than our enemy. If we shift direction quickly, we can become co-creative partners with this nature to prevent our own extinction and to bring forth the richest biodiversity and vitality that this planet has ever seen.' If you're intrigued too, have a watch of his lecture on the virome.
So maybe there's options, maybe there's other things we should be talking about. Just maybe we should be talking about good health instead of fighting sickness. I understand that's not what our current healthcare model is based on, and whilst I also understand there's a time and a place for that, long term, chronic good health is something we should all be aiming for.
I'm excited that it is an emerging conversation, and one that is becoming far more mainstream. One that medics are shouting about - the aforementioned Dr Zach Bush, Dr Rangan Chatterjee6 being far more well known now in the UK, Dr Rupy Aujla7 being brilliant and out there here too. So it's not just hippies in sandals eating lentils, but it is still not being actively promoted by those who could do. And this, in itself makes me ponder.
I'd still love to see a great health revolution, a rebellion against the norm, the SAD way the British diet is going in. We have an increase of juice bars, of whole food places, of great role models but has that hit the advertising world yet? Should great health promotions be on the news, instead of misery and doom and gloom. I think perhaps yes. We can do something and we can do it well. Let's get on it.
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