Eating right for winter – Marianne Andrews

Eating right for Winter

Keeping yourself healthy throughout the Winter becomes more difficult if you are or your kids are in a stuffy environment, surrounded by people coughing and sneezing.  So how can we best protect ourselves?

 Many factors influence the health of our immune system – stress, diet, quality of sleep and exercise. Additionally, gut health is incredibly important to our immune function, given that the cells which help us fight bacteria and viruses are located in our gut mucosa.  Vitamin D levels too play an enormous role and catching colds and flu maybe be symptomatic of an underlying deficiency.

Some steps to good immunity

1)  Add at least 5 portions of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables a day.  Vitamin C is a strong anti-oxidant, but it is also water soluble, meaning that you excrete it in your urine and so needs to be eaten every day – not just when you feel a cold coming on.  Sprouts, broccoli and kale are all surprising sources of good levels of vitamin C.

 2)   Add at least 3 portions of probiotic foods a week. A good balance of beneficial gut flora can boost your immune system.  You may improve your levels naturally with probiotic foods, such as natural live yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha, and if you are dairy free, then you will find there is also coconut kefir or live coconut yoghurt.

 3)   Add prebiotic fibre to your diet daily.  Prebiotic foods are those which supply the indigestible fibre for our good bacteria to feed upon, thereby ensuring that they thrive.  Onions, garlic, bananas, leeks, asparagus, cabbage and legumes all have good levels of prebiotic fibre.

4)  Add spices – ginger, garlic and turmeric all have anti-inflammatory properties which can aid your body in its fight against infection.

5) Get your vitamin D levels checked. Sub-optimal levels of vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response, potentially making you far more susceptible to contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory infections.    Exactly why adults absorb and process vitamin D so differently is still somewhat of a mystery, so the only way to know if your vitamin D level is therapeutic and nontoxic is by having your blood tested.  A simple £32.50 test can tell you if you need to supplement and at what level.

Acupuncture and the menopause – Emma Scott

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What is the menopause?

The menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle. With the ageing process, our oestrogen levels decrease and periods become less frequent until they stop altogether. Oestrogen is the hormone that regulates a women’s periods. This process can take many years and symptoms may appear gradually. This gradual change is called the peri-menopause.

When does it happen?

The menopause usually occurs around the ages of 45 to 55. The average age is 51. In some cases, it might start as young as young as 30. This is known as a premature menopause

Signs and Symptoms

Some women will pass easily through the menopause, but most will experience some of the symptoms to a greater or lesser degree. Symptoms arise because of the loss of oestrogen, which happens with the ageing process. Symptoms may also be affected by diet and lifestyle.

It is also thought that the more out of balance the body is, the worse the symptoms will be. These imbalances may have occurred due to diet, exercise and lifestyle.

Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Changes to periods: The flow and frequency of your periods may change.
  • Hot flushes: This is the most common symptom and occurs in  about 3 of every 4 women going through the menopause. Some women say that the description of ‘hot flush’ doesn’t do justice to what happens. Many liken the experience to being placed in a hot furnace. In some women, this can occur many times throughout the day. Sometimes these hot flushes occur at night and are known as night sweats.
  • Insomnia: This may be as a result of night sweats which disturb sleep.
  • Vaginal dryness: The lack of oestrogen means that the skin and support tissues of the vagina become thinner and less elastic, and also for the vagina to become dry. This can cause irritation and itchiness. There may also be discomfort during sex.
  • Low mood, anxiety, irritability: Oestrogen can also affect the brain, which has an effect on emotional well-being. Symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety and irritability may occur. There may also be difficulty in concentrating and forgetfulness.

Conventional Treatment

The most common treatment is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). This can take the form of tablets, cream or gel, a skin patch or an implant. It works by replacing oestrogen and so relieves the symptoms that are caused by decreasing levels of oestrogen.

However, the side effects of HRT include weight gain, breast tenderness, nausea, headaches and mood changes. It is not recommended for women with a history of stroke or deep vein thrombosis, breast or endometrial cancer, or severe liver disease.

There is conflicting evidence as to the long-term safety of HRT. Some studies suggest an increase in the risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Other studies show that it is safe and that these results are over-estimated.

Menopause should not be seen as a loss of youth but rather as the potential gaining of wisdom and spiritual power. Flaws B (2005)

Acupuncture and the Menopause- How can I help you?

Many women are looking for alternative ways to help them with the symptoms of menopause; acupuncture is a natural way that many are choosing.  Acupuncture works with the body.  I look at where there are patterns of imbalance and work to address these by inserting needles into carefully chosen acupuncture points. In this way, we bring about balance to the body which enables the body to heal itself, alleviating the symptoms you may be experiencing. You may also feel more positive and able to embrace the journey that you are on!

Ideally you would make changes to your diet and lifestyle and start a course of acupuncture prior to this stage of your life, before the symptoms arise. Prevention is always better and we look to create balance, putting your body in the best possible place for an easy transition through this phase of life.

What can you do to help yourself?

           Diet and Lifestyle
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Avoid sugary processed foods that causes your blood sugar to spike. Keeping insulin levels stable can prevent or alleviate some of the symptoms.
  • Exercise: or simply move more! A sedentary lifestyle can have a very negative impact on your health and well-being. There are many apps and devises, such as step counters, that can track your movement throughout the day.
  • Rest and relaxation: Our modern lifestyle can be very stressful. We are constantly available. Giving time, even 10 minutes a day, to some sort of resting activity such as mediation or mindfulness exercises can have a really positive effect on health and well-being. You will then be in a better place to deal with the stresses in your life. Again, there are many apps available to help you with this.

 

Whatever choice of treatment you make, I would always suggest that you look at all of the evidence, weigh up the pros and cons, and make an informed decision that is right for you.

Please contact me if you would like any further information or if you would like to book an appointment.

 

Teen Yoga – a class especially for our young adults

TeenYoga: A class especially for our young adults

Copy of The Antidote

TeenYoga provides a place for our young adults to get away from the pressures of school, friends, family and phones. Each one-hour class incorporates movement, breathing techniques and meditation. A time to release stress in the body through stretching and moving which feels so good; learning to understand the rhythms of the breath and use these to influence our feelings; a time to meditate, have stillness – a time to rest.

Yoga movements and postures (asanas) are the main part of the class. Moving the body into certain shapes can make us feel more alive and confident whilst other shapes can help us calm. The idea is to notice these feelings and be OK with them – this can help us begin to understand the root cause as to why we feel a certain way. When we can understand why we feel a certain way, start to be comfortable with being challenged in yoga asanas and begin to foster the patience to practice within the safe environment of a yoga class, we can start to use these techniques outside of the class – in school and home. Yoga is great for sporty teens as a form of cross-training for other sports. It’s also a beautiful way to be active in a non-competitive environment for the not-so-sporty.

I enjoy going to teen yoga because it helps with my stress. I also try and practice some of the moves at home too because I’m trying to get my splits. It’s helped a lot with improving my flexibility and keeping myself calm in hard situations (like the breathing exercises we do).”

The classes also focus on breathing techniques. Some yoga breathing techniques are taught with particular attention to stress relief – a bonus for those with exams coming up. Breath powers each asana. In some asanas it is more difficult to breath as the body may be twisted, or in a backbend. We can use awareness to refine how we need to breath to be comfortable in a position; again these challenges can be translated off the mat and into life!

So many of the young people I teach always ask for more meditation. The meditation we do in this class is the yoga nidra meditation. Nidra means sleep! Whilst people really do sometimes fall asleep, the real meaning is the sleep of the body. The meditation, done lying down, includes a body scan to fully relax the body. Once completed there are simple breathing meditations and sometimes visualizations. Yoga nidra is a real gift of ease and time-out for our teens.

“It’s really nice to go after a day at school and just forget about everything. I enjoy learning different poses and feel more flexible now after doing yoga for a year. The best part of the class is the meditation (sleeping…!) at the end.”

Summary of benefits of yoga

  • develops strength, flexibility and stamina
  • reduces tension, stress and anxiety
  • raises self-esteem and promotes self-efficacy
  • improves motivation
  • develops clarity, focus and concentration
  • creates awareness of emotional responses
  • encourages self-management of behaviour
  • promotes social, mental and emotional health

It’s been a safe place to unwind and de stress. Best thing ever for teenagers.”

Katie currently teaches yoga at a local grammar school and a local girls’ school.

She runs a TeenYoga class each Tuesday during school term time at Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre.

Katie also runs adult vinyasa, hatha and restorative yoga classes at the centre.

www.katiemaughfling.co.uk

www.facebook.com/yogakatiemaughfling

Restorative Yoga with Katie Maughfling – Summer/Autumn 2017 dates

Restorative Yoga with Katie Maughfling (Yoga with Katie)image1

Restorative yoga is a relatively new style of yoga. It was developed in 1937 by B.K.S. Iyengar to help students release into yoga asanas (poses) without stress or strain and so has the benefit of assisting in recovery from injury or illness.

Restorative yoga is a deeply relaxing style of yoga. Each asana is held anywhere from 2-20 minutes, depending on the pose and the student. During this time you are supported by blankets, bolsters or pillows and blocks. The asanas are based on those found in a regular hatha or vinyasa class and there is a special sequencing of the poses as in a regular yoga class, whilst being held and supported throughout.

In all yoga we aim to let go of the ego, and even more so in restorative yoga. Holding these supported asanas for minutes at a time can be mentally challenging as we learn to watch the mind as the body stills.

Yoga with Katie is now offering Restorative Yoga classes at the Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre. We have here a number of mats, blocks, blankets and bolsters, however do bring your own if you have them.

These restorative classes will be 90 minutes long and will have the additional benefit of a yoga nidra meditation at the end.

Cost £12 per person, per session. Bookings essential. Email yoga@katiemaughfling.co.uk for more information and booking.

Katie also runs weekly vinyasa, hatha and teen yoga classes at the centre.

Yoga with Katie

www.katiemaughfling.co.uk

www.facebook.com/yogakatiemaughfling

yoga@katiemaughfling.co.uk / 07581861906

What people say about these classes:

“Bliss. Beginning with seemingly small movements to encourage your body to release tension. Using props, such as bolsters and blankets for comfort, very much guided by your own bodies’ needs. Surprisingly powerful poses culminating in a period of calming meditation. Katie expertly guides you through this so there is no need to be nervous for those joining for the first time! Really beneficial and great to take time out to restore and relax. Snoring optional.”

“The class was very gentle, but surprisingly effective.  I felt a lot more relaxed and peaceful afterwards and it freed me from the stiffness I usually feel in my neck.”

 

 

Vitamin D testing

VITAMIN D TESTING – Marianne Andrews

Vitamin D TestingRecent publications by the British Medical Journal has published research which claims that supplementation of Vitamin D could have beneficial effects upon common health ailments, such as colds and flu.  “Assuming a UK population of 65 million, and that 70% have at least one acute respiratory infection each year, then daily or weekly vitamin D supplements will mean 3.25 million fewer people would get at least one acute respiratory infection a year,” (Professor Adrian Martineau, researcher, Queen Mary University of London).

Marianne Andrews is able to offer Vitamin D testing for £30 (skin prick blood test)*  as part of the wide range of clinical tests she has access to.

The Lab uses liquid chromatography mass spectrometry method to measure the Vitamin D in your blood. We measure Vitamin D2 and D3. We report the Total and D2 and D3 results with a clear interpretation.

 

 

* Note that this is in addition to consultation fee.

Iyengar Yoga Intensive – Deepen Your Practice with Lindsay 8/9 April 2017

Weekend Intensive Yoga Workshop with Lindsay, who is a very experienced Junior Intermediate Iyengar Teacher.

There are just a few places left for this wonderful weekend of Iyengar yoga asanas and pranayama.

Times:

Saturday 8th April 10-12.30
Saturday 8th April 1-3.30
Sunday 9th April 1-3.30

The whole weekend is £75. Or £30 a session if you can only make one of them (they will work as stand alone classes).

If you have at least 2 years experience of yoga and would like to join us taking a very spacious, thorough and focused journey through some of the asanas to improve your practice please contact Lindsey to find out more on 07748 531327.

To book your place, contact Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre via phone (01242 584140), email (info@chhc.co.uk) or Facebook page.

MOTHER’S WORKSHOP – Journeys Through Motherhood, 14th May 2017

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Treat any mother you know (including yourself!!) to some well deserved time out in a nurturing space.

A Sunday session to unwind and reflect on your unique journey into motherhood. Sunday 14th May 2017, 12.30-4pm. £45.

(£35 Earlybird booking before the end of April).

 

This workshop provides an opportunity to slow the pace and replenish yourself. You will find a way to return to yourself in a compassionate, affirming and validating environment.

Through visualisation, story-telling and other creative exercises you will find ways to connect with your felt experience and find acceptance.

You will be offered space for creative expression and may share and receive the wisdom of many mothers.

You will deepen insight, feeling valued, resourced, strengthened and recharged as a mother.

For booking contact Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre, 01242 584140 or info@chhc.co.uk.

This workshop space is held by Lisa Kimberley, Psychotherapist at Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre and experienced therapeutic arts group work facilitator & Yoga teacher Katie Maughfling.

For more information and booking please contact Lisa Kimberley.

Nutritional Awareness – the dos and don’ts of healthy eating

Nutritional Awareness – the dos and don’ts of healthy eating

by Caroline Shaw arch cnhc arica itec

AVOID (as much as possible)

‘Normal’ wheat that appears in most bread, biscuits, cakes, pasta and also a lot of processed prepared foods (check the label). Gluten in wheat is particularly challenging to break down and digest. It is being exposed by scientists as one of the leading culprits of leaky gut leading to chronic inflammation and a whole host of health debilitating side effects including Celiac Disease, Auto-immune disorders Diabetes and Dementia.

Alternatives: Quinoa, Buckwheat, Spelt, Amaranth, Oats, Rye. If you are gluten intolerant you may need to avoid Spelt, Rye and Oats.

Refined sugar and artificial sweeteners including fructose. These can appear in prepared foods and drinks (check the label). A diet high in carbs and sugar can set up an inflammatory microbiome leading to High blood sugar, High blood pressure, Heart disease, Diabetes, Hormonal imbalances, ADHD and Alzheimers. Research from the Mayo Clinic US, has found that diets overly rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 percent increased risk for Dementia.

Alternatives (in moderation): Raw honey, Manuka honey, Maple syrup, Green Leaf Stevia, Date Sugar, Coconut palm sugar, Coconut nectar, Fruit.

Cow’s milk dairy and its derivatives including cheese and yoghurt. Most cows are fed a cocktail of antibiotics, bovine growth hormones, and steroids. These get into the milk supply. It can cause inflammation in the gut resulting in Bloating, Gas, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Acne, Eczema, Hormonal imbalances, Infertility.

Alternatives: Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Oat Milk, Rice Milk (organic where possible) Goats and Sheep’s’ preferably raw and unpasteurised milk (unless intolerant).

Alternatives sources of calcium: Almonds, Kale, Oranges, Broccoli, Figs, Spinach, Enriched rice, Almond, Hemp, Coconut milk, Sesame seeds, Tofu

Trans fats Artificially produced trans fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Sources of bad trans fats; Commercially baked goods: biscuits, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, hamburger buns. Packaged snack foods: crackers, chips, sweets. Solid fats: margarine and vegetable shortening. Fried foods; French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish, hard taco shells. Pre mixed products; cake mix, pancake chocolate milk. Anything with ’hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated’ listed as an ingredient.

Alternative oils and fats: Extra virgin olive oil, organic sunflower oil, sesame oil, Flax Seed Oil, coconut oil (good for high temperature cooking). Butter only from grass fed cows or and goats milk butter. Organic Goat’s and Sheep cheeses preferably unpasteurized. Natural live goats, Sheep’s yoghurt, Coconut yoghurt, Kefir.

 

FOODS TO EAT

Organic where possible, Alkaline foods (75 per cent) including, Vegetables, Salads, Fruit, Seeds, Nuts

Proteins for Non-Vegetarians

Outdoor, Grass Fed Beef, Lamb, Venison etc

Organic/Free Range Chicken, Duck, Turkey etc

Wild responsibly sourced fish –Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Pilchards etc

Proteins for Vegetarians

Quinoa, Buckwheat, Tempeh, Tofu, Beans, Pulses, Hummus, Chia Seeds, Organic soy beans, Hemp Seeds, Non wheat Ezekiel bread, Aramanth, Spinach, Guava, Peas, Lentils, Organic peanut butter, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Macadamia nuts.

Vegetables for Healthy Eating

Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Garlic, Kale, Onions, Jerusalem Artichokes, Beetroot, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Celery, Leeks, Lettuce, Radishes, Spinach, Parsnip, Turnip, Squash, Swiss Chard, Swede, Sweet potatoes, Peas, Green beans, Pak Choy, Avocado

In moderation from the deadly nightshade family (if intolerant avoid); Potatoes, Peppers, Tomatoes, Aubergine, Chillies,

Fruits

Acai berry, Apples, Bananas, Grapefruit, Blueberries ,Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Fresh Figs, Grapes, Blackberries, Kiwi, Lemons, Mango, Oranges, Plums, Pomegranate, Raspberries, Strawberries, Papayas, Pumpkin Pineapple, Avocado, Tomatoes

Foods Containing Probiotics.

Sauerkraut, Kimchi and other cultured vegetables contain Lactobacillus Plantarum one of the most beneficial bacterial in your body and also Lactobacillus Brevis. Fermented, Raw Dairy Products such as Yoghurt, Kefir, Soured milk, etc, contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Thermophilus, Bifidus, Bulgaricus. Unpasteurized Miso (fermented soybeans) contains the fungal microorganism Aspergillus Oryzae. Kombucha, (started by using a SCOBY –symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). All help to create and maintain a healthy Microbiome.

Foods Containing Prebiotics

Raw Jerusalem Artichokes, Raw Dandelion Greens, Raw Garlic, Raw Leeks, Raw Onion, Cooked Onions, Raw Asparagus, Raw Banana, Raw Chicory Root, Acacia Gum

Organic Black Tea and Green Tea, Coffee and Dark Chocolate are rich in Flavonoids and Polyphenols which increase Bifidobacteria, helpful for gut permeability, cognitive function, and blood pressure.

Shiatsu Massage Exchange – Jeff Docherty

SHIATSU MASSAGE EXCHANGE – JEFF DOCHERTY

The Idea
We are living in a time where we can find ourselves lost in a whirlwind of activity, where stress and strain seem prevalent.

Massage is ideally placed to help bring us back to a more grounded and calm sense of ourselves.

My idea is to form a weekly drop in where people can learn about and explore Shiatsu Massage. An exchange over 1.5 hour sessions where people can enjoy receiving and giving.

A Shiatsu exchange can provide a time and place in our week where we are able to let go fully, regenerate and experience ourselves anew.

Frequent, long held emotional states effect our health.
The Telegraph (20.09.16) reported that scientists have studied 16,000 people over 15 years with the conclusion that they are now calling for Doctors to treat anxiety as a major physiological health risk.
Men who suffer from anxiety it seems are twice as likely to die from cancer.

Why Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu is an ideal group practice, with two key advantages. Firstly the recipient keeps fully clothed and secondly there are no lubricating oils. In addition no special apparatus is needed, just a comfortable floor covering to relax on. Its easy.

Learning the techniques is straightforward too. After all our sense of massage is natural and instinctive and Shiatsu follows our innate sense; it is only an elaboration of ‘rub and press’, ‘push and grasp’, literal translations of traditional Chinese Massage forms.

The case for Massage
In most traditional cultures the role of Massage was considered a more fundamental part of health care.
In the Tang Dynasty of China (618-907 AD) it is recorded that there were 56 massage doctors in the imperial hospital – more than the total number of herbalists and acupuncturists.

The compassionate power of touch and its effectiveness has been largely forgotten in the development of modern medical techniques, an approach that can make us feel objectified, disassociated and disconnected from our bodies.

Being grounded in our bodies is essential, it is literally the felt sense of how we are.

It is becoming increasingly clear that it is not possible to separate the body from the mind or heart. Our experience of ourselves tells us these sensations, thoughts and feelings are an integrated whole.

Understanding how essential bodily sensation is takes us back to the very beginning of our lives.

As an embryo movement and by extension touch is our first contact with physical reality. Before we can hear or see, we feel by touch.

An embryo begins to move between 5 and 6 weeks.The embryo’s first movements are both spontaneous and reflexive. A light touch to the mouth causes the embryo to reflexively withdraw its head. At the same time as movement and touch begin the cerebral cortex and nerve cells in the spine begin to develop.
This is how fundamental, how far reaching touch is.

We experience the world through touch and we embed our felt sense into our nervous system, into patterns of memory, constructions of mind. We embody our personal world and experience.

Just as any form of abusive touch can be potentially damaging, forms of supportive touch can be immensely healing.This can help explain why body work can have such a profound effect not just on the physical body, but on deep psychological and emotional levels.
We have devalued its importance to our detriment.

We now know that therapeutic touch automatically triggers a coordinated response between the nervous and endocrine systems. These hormonal circulations have far reaching effects.

For example Oxytocin, commonly referred to ‘The Love Hormone’ has a well-established reputation in facilitating bonding, eliciting feelings of happiness, a sense of connection, trust, gratitude, enhancing our social functioning.Affairs of the heart.
It maybe an extraordinary complex and powerful hormone but it is released by the most natural of means- a hug will do it!

Oxytocin is released by touch, by Massage, and it is no suprise to find many oxytocin receptors secreted in the heart, where we feel the world.

So a Shiatsu Exchange can give us an opportunity to redress the balance of our rushed lives, calm the mind, soothe our nerves, release our tension. It can improve our sense of well-being and lighten the load. Shiatsu can change your felt sense and experience of yourself and that is quite a gift.

Starting on Fridays in January 2017.  Register your interest with Reception on 01242 584140. Contact Jeff on 07970303694 to find out more.