Detox – Everything You Need To Know

Detoxing has become a popular term in health circles with fad cleanses coming into style, quick fixes, false claims and a zillion different detox products. Do we need to do a detox? Detox from what? What’s the difference between detox and a clinical detox? Let’s break this topic open and get to the bottom of it

Detoxification, Detox, and a Clinical Detox?

Detoxification is a natural metabolic process that occurs in the body every day, breaking down environmental and dietary toxins and by products, and subsequently excreted from the body. This detoxifying process occurs in several parts of the body; the liver, the digestive tract, skin and lymphatic tissue, but it’s important to note that every cell creates by products and pushes them out for these organs to collect and remove.

 

A fad ‘Detox’ sometimes referred to as a cleanse, is usually designed by those without medical or formal nutritional training, sold to the general population and often involves buying very expensive products. This approach doesn’t take into account your personal circumstances nor does it address your specific nutritional needs, and as they are sold to the general public, they have to have small doses, safe for anyone. This often leads to lots of money spent on things you may not even need, at doses that won’t do anything and no results.

 

Clinical Detox is done under the care and guidance of a health professional, tailored to what toxins and by products you’ve been exposed to and targets the body’s existing detox pathways in the liver, digestive system, skin and lymphatic tissues to eliminate them. Perhaps your liver is breaking metabolites down but the digestive system isn’t eliminating them, and your skin is attempting to do that job for them. Or due to long term exposure, your liver can no longer process as quickly as things are coming in, and it has started storing exotoxins in the lymphatic system. By enhancing those naturally occurring detox pathways, we are able to reduce the load on the detoxing organs.

 

A clinical detox, if performed well, does not have to be a painful experience, eating just grapefruit and lettuce A clinical detox is a period of rest from exposure to diet and environmental toxins whilst simultaneously supporting the capacity of your key detox organs

How Do We Detox?

Through diet and environment, we are exposed to more harmful irritants than ever before, and although our body was designed to expel by products that are harmful to itself, the incoming toxins can be too much for the body to process. What types of toxins do we process on a daily basis?

  • Medications (over the counter as well as prescription)
  • Environmental exposures (Eg: mould, construction materials, new paint)
  • Byproducts of cellular and metabolic activity
  • Contaminants in the soil food is grown in (Eg: car exhausts near farming areas)
  • Insecticides and pesticides in the environment and on our food
  • Processed food (eg: molecular changes to food when it is being processed)
  • Food additives, flavours, enhancers, colours, preservatives etc
  • Non stick frying pans, plastic bottles, containers and utensils
  • Less than ideal water sources
  • Synthetic clothing and bedding
  • Toiletries and beauty additives – learn more about clean beauty regimes 

 

detox

All of these are broke down in the liver via 2 pathways known as Phase 1 & 2, taking them from active fat-soluble particles, to inactive water soluble molecules ready for the intestines and kidney to release. These 2 phases require quite the list of nutrients to perform this vital detoxing job and without enough of these nutrients, the liver will store the toxins elsewhere in the body, usually in adipose tissue (tissue made up of fat cells)

 

 

 

Who Needs a Detox?

A  ‘detox’ was previously a term used when describing the process of people withdrawing from drug substances, giving up cigarettes, or something that was only needed by those with terrible diets. Now the picture of someone who needs a detox looks very different. Now anyone with a large load of toxins coming in and/or impaired detox pathways could require a Clinical Detox.

Genetics and background also influence your body’s ability to detox. People with the same diet and environmental exposure have been known to process the toxins differently.

Generally most people are advised to undergo an intentional detox 1-2 times per year for about 4-6 weeks.

Symptoms and signs of Excessive Toxin Burden

  • Food sensitivities
  • Sensitive to perfumes and toiletries
  • Auto immune diagnosis
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Prone to thrush
  • Reoccurring UTIs
  • Skin issues
  • Sinusitis
  • Headaches
  • Heavy periods
  • Unexplained weight gain (stores toxins in adipose tissue)
  • Antibiotic use
  • Prescription medications
  • Deviating from good health

The 3 Steps of a Clinical Detox

  1. Tame those incoming toxins. You don’t need a fancy juicer for this, just remove any dietary irritants and include high vegetable intake for fibre and good quality protein for optimal enzyme production.
  2. Repair and Restore detox pathways. This is where supplements usually come into the plan, High nutrients to fuel your body’s functions, anti inflammatory herbs and possibly a powder to optimise that nutrient intake quicker.
  3. Eliminate it out. Gentle stretching and strengthening to promote movement as well as active exercise to encourage sweat and circulation

 

Detoxification processes are a science, not a hobby. A clinical detox must be tailored to you and your requirements, not an off-the-shelf product sold to everyone

 

How Will You Feel After a Clinical Detox?

With the elimination of toxins in the body, all bodily functions improve. You can expect to have:

  • More mental energy – concentrate and focus for longer, feel more present
  • Enhanced energy production leads to more physical energy – enjoy greater agility and less physical fatigue
  • Clearer skin – as the skin will no longer need to be eliminating the body of its internal problems
  • Sleeping better – less toxic burden means the body can focus on producing feel good hormones and rest more soundly

 

Empower your health with a tailored clinical detox with your Naturopath Carly

 

Is Your Gut Bacteria Making You Sick?

Gut bacteria also referred to as gut flora or gut microbiota refers to the trillions of microbes that call your digestive tract home. In gut bacteria, ibs, autoimmune, parasiteshealthy individuals, beneficial strains far out number any troublesome neighbours, leading to longevity, protection against chronic diseases and a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately in today’s world of overuse in antibiotics, refined carbohydrate diets and a kitchen far far away from the farm in which food are grown, our inner bacteria is at risk of being overtaken by some less than ideal inhabitants. These harmful bacteria have been linked to so many different conditions including obesity, stomach ulcers, particular cancers, diabetes, eczema, impaired immune systems, ADHD, anxiety and depression.

Since we discovered the wonderful inner world of gut bacteria, we have been studying them intensely to see what bacteria is found in healthy people and which tend to be seen in people with a range of illnesses and diseases. This data has gone on to create a list of beneficial and harmful bacteria. This can be tested easily with a stool sample sent to the laboratory.

So how can we tell what bacteria we are housing?

An overgrowth of harmful bacteria leads to a range of changes and symptoms, but let’s go through some of the most obvious ones.

1. Digestive Changes

When harmful bacteria take over, one of the most obvious signs is a change in your normal digestive symptoms:

  • Constipation or diarrhoeaconstipation remedy
  • Reflux/heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Gas

Perhaps you are running to the toilet more often, or going days before you need to. Reflux, heartburn and burping can begin due to the bacteria activity as well as gas from the other end. One of the most common is bloating, and that can be above the belly button in the small intestines or lower in the large intestines as the bacteria’s presence leads to rotting of dietary fibres and lots of stinky gas can be produced

diarrhoea home remedy2. Mental Health and Energy

That constant activity in your intestines leads to overly activated nerves that live along the intestinal wall. Add to this new research showing that the microbes in our gut contribute to our serotonin levels , and abnormal bacteria levels in those with mental health conditions and you are starting to see how these little critters can have such an impact on your mental health and energy levels. Gut bacteria over-growths have been linked to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

If you are experiencing these conditions, an investigation into your bacteria levels is wise

 

3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Whilst digestive symptoms, mental health conditions and energy levels are hard to document, most vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. But what often happens is that the person presents with a lack of a particular vitamin or mineral, regardless of what they are eating. We often think that the food we eat, is now inside of us, but if it comes into contact with a battle ground of bacteria at the intestinal wall, it may not be absorbed. Alternatively, the bacteria that exists in the intestines can also eat the broke down vitamins and minerals before it gets a chance to cross over the intestinal wall into the blood stream. Common gut bacteria related deficiencies include:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B12
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc

If you’ve been told you are low on the above vitamin and minerals, maybe it is time to look at what’s happening in the gut

4. Antibiotic and Certain Medications

Many advances in medicine have saved millions of lives, and antibiotics is one of these. However, they are not designed to be usedare antibiotics safe as a prevention of infections, nor are they suitable for viral infections such as a common cold. In fact the over use of antibiotics has been the suggested reason as to the rise in auto-immune diseases. As a general rule, keep antibiotics for use inside of hospitals

Whilst antibiotics are effective against nasty infections, they also wipe out the colonies of beneficial bacteria that live happily in our gut. Even just one round of antibiotics can leave you exposed to have other harmful bacteria take over, that’s why you should see your health practitioner or naturopath if you are taking antibiotics, so together we can replenish the happy populations.

melbourne psychologist

5. Chronic Stress

Just as bacteria in the digestive system can negatively affect the nervous system, it can also go the other way, with stress causing changes in the gut that promotes harmful bacteria. There are many pathways that link your gut with your brain and vice versa, so they are in constant communication. But when the workload of the brain is high, communication because lost, leading to constipation and other gut issues. Stress reactions raise cortisol and adrenaline, both of which are pro-inflammation and encourage digestive issues.

melbourne naturopath

 

 

6. Skin Issues

Our liver is our number #1 go to when it comes to detoxifying our bodies, working to breakdown by products from normal cellular function and eliminating these via the large intestines. What most don’t know, if this pathway is compromised by a bacterial overgrowth, the skin takes over the detox job, pushing toxins out via the skin. Skin conditions that are linked to gut bacteria include acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. Your skin acts like a window, showing the effects of the external world as well as irritants on the other side of the glass – your gut. If your struggling with your skin, perhaps it’s time to look inside

7. Autoimmune Diseases

Your cells have little markers on their wall, letting our immune cells (white blood cells) know that we are part of the team. In auto-immune conditions, their is a communication meltdown, and white blood cells start attacking our own cells, thinking they are invading cells. Conditions that have this occurring are known as auto immune and include:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Some types of arthritis
  • Coeliac disease
  • Hair loss – alopecia
  • Diabetes – type 1
  • Multiple sclerosis

Changes in bacteria has been linked to abnormal digestion, perhaps because 70% of your immune system lives along the wall of the intestines, regulating what is coming in and out of the intestines and blood stream. Harmful bacteria over-growths in the intestines changes the function of the immune system and can lead to auto immune conditions and treatment should include gut bacteria

Think you may have a problem with your gut bacteria?

Book an appointment with Carly, the Naturopath Melbourne CBD to start a fixing your gut bacteria.

Expressive Art Therapy – What is it, How Can it Help and How You Can Do it

What is Expressive Art Therapy

Arts and Health is the practice of using the arts to improve health and well being, prevent disease and enhance health care experiences for patients and their families. It is a speciality arts discipline which is recognised both in Australia and overseas and is often referred to as expressive psychotherapy.

 

The use of the arts in health can offer us much more than simply feeling good. Art Therapy has been clinically shown to be a valuable tool by:

  • Reducing medication needs
  • Increasing tolerance of symptoms/treatment
  • Providing comfort and reduce stress and anxiety
  • Helping to alleviate pain
  • Allowing creative expression where words can not
  • Shortening lengths of stay in hospital
  • Enhancing capacity to resolve social issues
  • Promoting a sense of connection to the world around us
  • Transcending our immediate worries, fostering mindfulness
  • Expanding and enhancing our senses and perception/shifting our awareness
  • Be ‘in the moment’ and slowing down to allow for engagement
  • Being meaningfully productive
  • Increasing self-awareness and self-knowledge
  • Developing positive interpersonal relationships

Types of Expressive Therapies

  • Art therapy uses medians such as drawing, painting, sketching, collages of images, the creative process as well as the reflections of development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts. It is a therapeutic means of reconciling emotional conflicts, fostering self-awareness, developing social skills, managing behaviour, solving problems, reducing anxiety, aiding reality orientation, and increasing self-esteem.
  • Music therapy uses music to effect positive changes in the psychological, physical, cognitive, or social functioning of individuals with health or educational.
  • Drama therapy is the systematic and intentional use of drama/ theatre processes, products, and associations to achieve the therapeutic goals of symptom relief, emotional and physical integration, and personal growth. It is an active approach that helps the client tell his or her story to solve a problem, achieve a catharsis, extend the depth and breadth of inner experience, understand the meaning of images, and strengthen the ability to observe personal roles while increasing flexibility between roles.
  • Dance/movement therapy interrelates the body and mind and is defined as the psycho therapeutic use of movement as a process that furthers the emotional, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual. Dance/movement therapy effects changes in feelings, cognition, physical functioning, and behaviour.
  • Poetry therapy and bibliotherapy are terms used synonymously to describe the intentional use of poetry and other forms of literature for healing and personal growth. Often tis includes private journal writing.
  • Play therapy is the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.

 

Understanding Emotions

  • Draw or paint your emotions. In this exercise, you’ll focus entirely on painting what you’re feeling.
  • Create an emotion wheel. Using colour, this activity will have you thinking critically about your emotions.
  • Make a stress painting. Choose colours that represent your stress and jab, scribble and paint your problems away.
  • Put together a journal. Journals don’t have to just be based around words. You can make an art journal as well, that lets you visually express your emotions.
  • Make sock puppets. Sock puppets aren’t just for kids. Make your own and have them act out scenes that make you upset.
  • Use line art. Line is one of the simplest and most basic aspects of art, but it can also contain a lot of emotion. Use simple line art to demonstrate visually how you’re feeling.
  • Design a postcard you will never send. Are you still angry or upset with someone in your life? Create a postcard that expresses this, though you don’t have to ever send it.
  • Create a sculpture of your anger. For this activity, you’ll make a physical manifestation of the anger in your life.
  • Paint a mountain and a valley. The mountain can represent a time where you were happy, the valley, when you were sad. Add elements that reflect specific events as well.
  • Attach a drawing or message to a balloon. Send away negative emotions or spread positive ones by attaching a note or drawing to a balloon and setting it free.
  • Paint inside a heart. Using a heart as a pattern, fill in different parts of the heart with the emotions you’re feeling right now.

 

Exercises for Relaxation

  • Paint to music. Letting your creativity flow in response to music is a great way to let out feelings and just relax.
  • Make a scribble drawing. With this activity, you’ll turn a simple scribble into something beautiful, using line, colour and your creativity.
  • Finger paint. Finger painting isn’t just fun for kids– adults can enjoy it as well. Get your hands messy and really have fun spreading paint around.
  • Make a mandala. Whether you use the traditional sand or draw one on your own, this meditative symbol can easily help you to loosen up.
  • Draw in the dark. Not being able to judge what you’re drawing or having to worry about whether it’s “right” can be very liberating.
  • Draw something HUGE. Then something very small. Getting your body involved and moving around can help release stress as you’re drawing.
  • Use colour blocks. Colours often come with a lot of emotions attached. Choose several paint chips to work with and collage, paint, and glue until you’ve created a colourful masterpiece.
  • Let yourself be free. Don’t allow yourself to judge your work. After all, there’s no way to fail and no right way to make art. Just draw, paint or sculpt until your heart’s content, it is about the action, not the final product.
  • Only use colours that calm you. Create a drawing or a painting using only colours that you find calming.
  • Draw in sand. Like a Zen garden, this activity will have you drawing shapes and scenes in the sand, which can be immensely relaxing and a great way to clear your mind.
  • Make a zentangle. These fun little drawings are a great tool for letting go and helping reduce stress.
  • Colour in a design. Sometimes, the simple act of colouring can be a great way to relax. Find a colouring book or use this mandala for coloring.
  • Draw outside. Working in the environment can be a fun way to relax and get in touch with nature while you’re working on art.

Reflecting on Personal Happiness

  • Draw your vision of a perfect day. Think about what constitutes a perfect day to you and draw or paint it. What about this drawing can you make happen today?
  • Take photographs of things you think are beautiful. No one else needs to like them but you. Print and frame them to have constant reminders of the beautiful things in life.
  • Make a drawing related to a quote you like. Take the words of wisdom from someone else and turn them into something visually inspiring.
  • Create a drawing that represents freedom. This activity has you think about the concept of freedom and what it means to you, creating a work of art that highlights just what it means to you as an individual.
  • Document a spiritual experience. Have you ever had a spiritual experience in your life? Draw or paint what it felt like.
  • Make a stuffed animal. Soft, cuddly objects can be very comforting. Use this project to create an animal that means something to you.
  • Work on a softness project. Using only soft or comforting objects, create a work of art.
  • Build a “home.” What does home mean to you? This activity will have you create a safe, warm place– it doesn’t have to be practical– that feels like home to you.
  • Document an experience where you did something you didn’t think you could do. We all need to do things that we’re scared or unsure of sometimes. Use this activity as a chance to commemorate one instance in your life.
  • Think up a wild invention. This invention should do something that can help make you happier– no matter what that is.
  • Make a prayer flag. Send your prayers for yourself or those around you out into the universe with this project.

 

Portraits for Getting to Know Yourself

  • Create a future self-portrait. This drawing or painting should reflect where you see yourself in the future.
  • Draw a bag self-portrait. On the outside of a paper bag, you’ll create a self-portrait. On the inside, you’ll fill it with things that represent who you are.
  • Choose the people who matter most to you in life and create unique art for each. This is a great way to acknowledge what really matters to you and express your gratitude.
  • Draw a portrait of someone who changed your life. If someone has ever helped change your path, for better or worse, draw this person.
  • Create an image that represents how you think others see you. Then, have someone in the class draw a portrait of you. Compare the results.
  • Draw yourself as a warrior. Start thinking about yourself as a strong, capable person by drawing yourself as a warrior in this activity.
  • Create a transformational portrait series. This project will help you to see how you’ve changed over time and represent those changes visually.
  • Create a body image sketch. If you have issues with your self-esteem and body image, this can be an interesting way to see how your perceptions match up with reality.
  • Draw a mirror. This activity is based around a Piet Mondrian quote: “The purer the artist’s mirror is, the more true reality reflects in it.” You’ll need to figure out what is still cloudy in your own reflection of yourself, drawing a mirror and depicting those elements on paper.
  • Draw yourself as a superhero. If you could have a superpower what would it be? This project asks you to depict your own image as a superhero with these powers.

 

Overcoming Trauma and Unhappiness

  • Draw a place where you feel safe. The world can be a scary place but in this project, you’ll create a place, draw, painted or sculpted, that makes you feel safe.
  • Create a mini-diorama. This diorama can highlight an important moment in your life or some trauma that you’ve experienced.
  • Create a collage of your worries. What worries you in your life? Cut out pictures from magazines to represent these worries.
  • Draw something that scares you. Everyone is frightened of something and in this project, you’ll get a chance to bring that fear to light and hopefully work towards facing it.
  • Turn your illness into art. Facing a potentially terminal illness? Turn your illness into something beautiful by creating art about it.
  • Paint a loss in your life. If you’ve lost someone you love or something, paint it. This will help you to remember but also to recover.
  • Make art that is ephemeral. Sometimes we have a hard time letting go, but this project will teach you that it’s ok if something doesn’t last. Use materials like sand, chalk, paper, or water to create art that you will destroy when it’s done.

 

Collaging

  • Create a motivational collage. You can hang this collage somewhere you’ll see it every day. Filled with images you find motivating, it’ll help you keep pushing on.
  • Create a face collage on a mask. We all wear masks of some sort. This project lets you highlight what’s in your mask and the face you put on for the world.
  • Create a clutter collage. Are there things cluttering up your life? In this project, use words and pictures to show the clutter in your way.
  • Create a calming collage. Choose images that you find soothing, calming or even meditative and combine them to create an attractive collage that can help you to relax.
  • Collage a painting. To complete this exercise, you’ll first need to create a simple, abstract painting on paper. Then, tear this painting up and create another. Think about how you felt when you had to tear up the first painting and which you like more.

 

Exploring the Self

  • Draw images of your good traits. Creating drawings of your good traits will help you to become more positive and build a better self-image.
  • Draw yourself as an animal. Is there an animal that you have a special interest in or feel like is a kindred spirit? Draw yourself as that animal.
  • Create a timeline and draw the most significant moments in your life. This timeline will be the story of your life, with the most important moments highlighted visually.
  • Put together a jungle animal collage. Choose jungle animals that you find the most interesting, draw them, and then reflect on why you’ve chosen these specific animals.
  • Sculpt your ideal self. If you could make yourself into the perfect person, what would you look like?
  • Paint the different sides of yourself. In this project, you’ll paint the different aspects of your personality, giving each a visual representation. You might only have one or two, or maybe even twelve.
  • Make art around your fingerprints. Your fingerprints are as unique as you are. Use ink and paint to make art that uses your fingerprints.
  • Draw yourself as a tree. Your roots will be loaded with descriptions of things that give you strength and your good qualities, while your leaves can be the things that you’re trying to change.
  • Design a fragments box. In this project, you’ll put fragments of yourself into a box, helping construct a whole and happier you.
  • Paint an important childhood memory. What was a pivotal memory in your childhood? This activity asks you to document it and try to understand why it was so important to you.
  • Write and illustrate a fairy tale about yourself. If you could put yourself into a happily ever after situation, what role would you play and how would the story go? Create a book that tells the tale.
  • Design a visual autobiography. This creative journaling project asks you to look back at your life and make a visual representation of it.
  • Create your own coat of arms. Choose symbols that represent your strengths to build your own special coat of arms.
  • Draw a comic strip about a funny moment in your life. Enjoy a moment of levity with this exercise that will focus in on a comical even that happened to you.
  • Create a box of values. First, collage or paint a box the represents you. Then, place items inside the box that represent the things you value the most.

 

Expressing Gratitude

  • Document your gratitude visually. What things are you grateful for in your life? Paint or collage a work that represents these things.
  • Create a family tree of strength. This exercise honours those around you who support you. Paint those close to you who offer you the strength you need.
  • Make something for someone else. Making something for someone else can be a great way to feel good and help someone else do so as well.
  • Make anchor art. Who are the anchors in your life? In this project, you’ll make an anchor and decorate it with the people and things that provide you stability and strength.
  • Draw all the positive things in your life. Everyone has at least one good thing in life, so sit down and figure out what makes you happy– then draw it.
  • Sculpt your hand in plaster. Once it’s dry, write all the good things you can do with it right onto the hand.
  • Paint a rock. This project is meant to offer you strength. You can approach it in two ways. One option is to paint the rock with things that empower you. The other is to paint it with struggles you overcome.
  • Write on leaves to create a gratitude tree. What are you grateful for? This project asks you to write those things on leaves to construct a tree or banner of gratitude.
  • Map out the connections in your life. Draw yourself at the centre of this project, then map out how you’re connected to everyone else in your life. It will help make you feel much less alone.
  • Create a snowflake out of paper. Write ideas about how you are unique on the snowflake.
  • Build a personal altar. This is a highly personal project that will help connect you with your spiritual side and honour your resilience.
stress

Breathe your way to Better Health

But Don’t I Already Breathe?

Correct breathing is slow, deep and rhythmic. Deep means that the initial movement is from the abdomen. When you breathe, the movement starts in the low abdomen and then moves up to the chest. To check your breathing, put one hand on your low abdomen and one on your chest and take a deep breath. What do you notice? If your chest rises up first you are probably using your neck muscles to breathe, not your diaphragm. Incorrect breathing contributes to:breathingguy.jpg

  • Muscle tension
  • Shortness of breath
  • Digestive concerns
  • Gastric reflux
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Purifies the bloodstream, develops chest and diaphragm, strengthens lungs and abdomen muscles, increases resistance to colds, aids digestion, clears up phlegm, helps to lift depression and calms the nervous system.

  1. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position or in a chair.
  2. Straighten your back, which will straighten your thorax for easier breathing.
  3. Inhale slowly through the nose, breathing deeply, consciously looking upward.
  4. Take five seconds to fill the lower part of the lungs, expanding the ribs and pushing the abdomen out.
  5. Hold the breath for 1-5 seconds.
  6. Exhale slowly until you have emptied the lungs, looking downward.
  7. Repeat 4-5 times more.
  8. It is recommended that you practice the complete breath technique 5 – 10 minutes a day, for about 3 months. It is also a great technique to do when you are stopped at a stop sign, red light or standing in line.

Alternate Nostril Breath

Alternate nostril breathing is an effective way to calm the body and to relax. It is ideal to do as you are going to sleep or to assist you in calming your mind and relaxing. It has a calming effect on the nervous system, purifies the bloodstream and aerates the lungs, improves digestion and appetite, helps to overcome insomnia, soothes headaches and helps to free the mind of over thinking.

  1.  Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, back straight or lie flat on your back.
  2. Raise your RIGHT hand and place your ring finger against your LEFT nostril, closing it off.
  3. Inhale deeply and slowly through the RIGHT nostril to the count of four.
  4. Close off the RIGHT nostril with your thumb and retain the breath for 1-4 seconds.
  5. Open the LEFT nostril and exhale to the count of 4-8 seconds. The longer you can make the exhalation, the better. Concentrate on completely emptying the lungs.
  6. Breathe in through that same LEFT nostril to the count of 4.

Cleansing Breath Technique

The cleaning breath is a quick and efficient technique to relax the nervous system when you are stressed or upset. It is helpful when used on a daily basis to strengthen the body organs. During the cleansing breath you are listening for a deep, strong, full exhalation that is coming from the base of your abdomen. It aids digestion, clears lungs, sinuses and nasal passages, purifies the bloodstream, clears the head, relieves colds, strengthens lungs, thorax and abdomen, stimulates liver, spleen and pancreas and tones the nervous system.

  1.  Inhale deeply, pushing the abdomen out, taking in as much air as possible in the space of 1 second.
  2. Tighten your abdomen in forcefully to expel the air through the nostrils.
  3. Inhale again by pushing the abdomen out and letting the air rush back into the lungs.
  4. The whole process, inhalation and exhalation, should take not much more than 1-1/2 seconds. Both should be forceful and will be quite audible.
  5. Do five to ten cleansing breaths a day

The Gut Brain Connection; An Introduction

Leading a happy life is often difficult when you aren’t feeling well. Since happiness is the foundation that health is built on, how do we achieve either without the other.  This conundrum lead me to focus on what is known as The Gut Brain Connection, which has been revolutionising medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think.

gut-mic

Researchers and doctors previously thought that stress contributed to gut problems such as constipation, upset stomach, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and bloating and impaired immune protection. But new research suggests that it is a two-way street, with the brain and gut in constant communication, each capable of altering the other’s state. A sluggish gut can cause mood changes just as stress can change your available energy.

bacNot only is our gut linked to our brain far more than we originally thought, we have also found that 70% of our immune system is located along the intestinal walls, monitoring microbes as they come in and out. Communicating with the gut bacteria, the immune cells are capable of coordinating a faster and more effective response to incoming threats. Without a healthy range of gut bacteria, the body can not respond as well to bacteria before it has a chance to take over.

Signs and Symptoms of Poor Gut Health

  • Digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, upset stomach
  • Food allergies or sensitivities such as reacting to lactose or gluten
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability
  • Skin problems like eczema, acne, dryness
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases such as thyroid imbalances, rheumatoid conditions and Crohns
  • Frequent Infections like UTIs, thrush, cold and flus
  • Poor memory and concentration, low or sluggish energy or hyperactivity

What can you do differently to be more HAPPY?healthhappiness

How can what you EAT change how susceptible you are to getting a cold or improve your energy?

How do you cultivate happiness AND reduce your risks of chronic conditions?

  • gut-relief-150gLIMIT gut damaging irritants such as sugar, alcohol, wheat, processed foods and excessive pain killer medications
  • INCREASE your water intake to 2 litres every day to encourage your body to flush out what it can
  • INTRODUCE fermented foods such as natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha into your diet to supply the digestive system with a variety of healthy bacteria
  • REPAIR the lining along the digestive system with cell repairing glutamine, healing turmeric and soothing aloe vera
  • FEED gut microbes with fibre such as slippery elm powder as well as 5-6 serves of fresh vegetables every day woman-yello-grass-happy-850x400.jpg