GETTING STARTED WITH MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION
Life these days is face-paced, online and often stressful, making it hard to switch off and be truly present. Research has shown that almost half of the time we are thinking about something other than what we are currently doing. One way to contend with a persistent wandering mind, is to practice mindfulness.
Image: Smiling Mind
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mental state in which one’s awareness is focused on the present moment.
A great way to practice mindfulness is through meditation. Research shows that mindfulness-meditation assists with stress management and reduces the symptoms of anxiety. It also improves mental and physical wellbeing, cognition, sleep and increases happiness!
Sounds great, right!? But how exactly do we learn to meditate?
Download a Guided Meditation App
Meditation apps allow you to meditate anywhere you like, at any time that suits you.
- Smiling Mind
… Is an Australian not-for-profit organisation helping to make mindfulness meditation accessible to all through their free guided meditation App. Download the app here
- 1 Giant Mind
… Is a not-for-profit organisation delivering free learn-to-meditate programs to combat the negative impact of stress and increase health and wellbeing. Download the app here
… Is an app which hopes to teach the world to meditate, so that everyone can live a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life. Download the app here
Try a Guided Meditation Class
Happy Melon* and Sum of Us studio both offer guided mediation classes in beautiful settings, with experienced and welcoming teachers.
(*Happy Melon is offering free meditation classes from the 17th – 23rd April).
Mindful In May
Join thousands of people from around the world for a month of daily meditation this May, and learn how to change your day, and how mindfulness and meditation could change your life.
Sign up for Mindful in May TODAY and make sure you grab your spot at the SPECIAL EARLY BIRD RATE which ends tomorrow (21st April).
Register and learn more here
Grab a Friend and Enjoy a Different Kind of Night Out
- Learn about mindfulness with Dr Elise Bialylew, doctor turned mindfulness meditation teacher and founder of Mindful in May (an online global mindfulness campaign raising money for global poverty), at ‘Be Mindful’, this Sunday April 23rd at The Beatt.
- Learn how to meditate with Vedic meditation teacher and 1 Giant Mind program developer Laura Poole, at Nourish Melbourne’s ‘Meditation and The Art of Self Love’, on Wednesday May 10th at Matcha Mylkbar.
Is Meditation Just Not for You?
Why not practice mindfulness by switching off from technology and focusing your attention on just one task. Try colouring, journaling, gardening, yoga or even learning a new skill, such as a new language or instrument. Whatever you try, be present and enjoy!
Written by Jess Eddy,
Student Nutritionist & Clinic Assistant at Bodhi Wellness
CACAO COCONUT CHIA PUDDING
A delicious breakfast option that is sure to keep your tummy, taste buds and body happy.
- 2 TBSP chia seeds
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp desiccated coconut
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- Fresh berries and some crushed almonds to serve
- In an airtight container / jar combine all ingredients (apart from berries and crushed almonds) and shake well to combine.
- Set in fridge over night until it forms a gel-like pudding consistency. You can check on the consistency of the pudding and give it another good stir/shake to ensure all the ingredients are combining and not separating if needed.
- In the morning top with some fresh berries and some almonds. (Sometimes I add a little extra coconut and ground cinnamon on top!)
ACUPUNCTURE FOR ALLERGIES
Mandi Azoulay: Integrative Chinese Medicine Practitioner
As Spring has sprung, I have already noticed an influx of patients coming for acupuncture to treat and manage symptoms of hay fever (allergic rhinitis). From clinical experience and substantiated with research, acupuncture can significantly decrease the severity of symptoms and decrease the dependence on antihistamines. I also love to prescribe the fabulous Chinese Herbal Formula – Pe Min Kan Wan (Nasal Clear) which is used instead of pharmaceutical antihistamines.
From a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) perspective, Spring is the ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation. Spring is represented by the WOOD element, the colour GREEN, the emotion ANGER and includes the LIVER and the GALLBLADDER, which are the two organs I like to balance for springtime cleansing and optimal health regimens. The LIVER is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the Liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly. So it is now time to start moving your Qi by doing more exercise! You can try acupuncture to help improve the overall health of your liver as well as to treat STRESS, ANGER and FRUSTRATION, which are often associated with Liver Qi disharmony.
ALKALIZING GREEN SMOOTHIE
My favourite way to boost immune system, increase energy, create
beautiful skin and alkalize your body is to consume a green smoothie daily. Jam packed with health promoting nutrients, it’s the best strategy for fuelling and nourishing your body for optimal wellness.
- 250ml pure Coconut water (can use plain water if preferred)
- 1 large handful of baby spinach leaves
- 1 small handful of kale leaves (stems removed)
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/4 small avocado
- 1 small banana (fresh or frozen)
- Juice of 1/4 fresh lemon
- 1 medjool date
- 1 handful of ice
Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender and serve immediately. Enjoy!
As seen on Everyday Health TV Channel 10
SOY: Helpful or Harmful?
Throughout my time as a Naturopathic Practitioner, I’ve seen soy products touted as both ‘god’s gift to planet earth’ as well as ‘the root of all illness in the 21st century’. I don’t believe either of these statements to be true. With so much controversy and confusion surrounding the use of soy products, together with the many questions I receive on soy, I decided to share my opinion with you all. This information is a summary of much of my own research as well as anecdotal and clinical evidence from within my practice.
Soybean (Glycine max) is a legume native to Asia and has been traditionally used in Asian culture for centuries, however only consumed in small amounts and typically after it had been through a lengthy process of fermentation. This fermenting process was used to breakdown the compounds found detrimental to the body as well as making it easier to digest. Most importantly the fermented soy products produced were made using the whole soybean, making the end products complete/whole foods (as opposed to derivatives of soy). Examples of these foods (which I believe to be an acceptable part of a wellness diet) include: miso, natto, tempeh and edamame (boiled young soy beans still in the pod).
The problem arises when we take soy, which was once a minor crop and not even termed a food but rather an industrial product and turn it into one of the world’s most prolific food crop. It appears in almost all non-meat and meat alternative products you can think of: soy ice cream, soy yoghurt, soy schnitzel, soy sausages, soy milk, soy cheese and the list goes on. It is commonly added to packaged foods as soy flour, soy protein isolate, soy lecithin or soy oil (usually listed as vegetable oil).
Why the sudden surge in the use of soy you may be thinking? It is one of the cheapest ingredients to manufacture (it is also happens to be one of the most genetically modified crops in the world!). As a naturopath, there are a few issues I have with the overuse of modern soy products.
As a naturopath, there are a few issues I have with the overuse of modern soy products.
Firstly, soybeans are high in compounds called phytates (also known as phytic acid) which are present in the bran or hulls of all grains. The phytic acid is normally destroyed during the fermentation process which makes digesting fermented soy products much easier. The problem with phytates is they bind to minerals in the gut, preventing absorption of essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. In someone who already has poor nutritional status or suffering from any health condition relating to depletion of the above minerals such as low iron stores or poor zinc status you can see how a problem may arise if they are consuming moderate amounts of un-fermented, refined soy products.
Studies are also showing aggravation and exacerbation of the following health conditions, strongly linked with the consumption of un-fermented soy products. In these groups of people I would strongly suggest avoiding (or at the very least minimising intake of) soy in the diet:
- THYROID CONDITIONS: specifically Hashimoto’s disease (the autoimmune variant of underactive thyroid). Soybeans contain a plant compound called goitrogens which have been shown to inhibit the utilisation of iodine in the body. Iodine is a nutrient extremely important to proper functioning of the thyroid gland and production of thyroid hormones.
- DIFFICULT WEIGHT LOSS: anyone whose excess weight or inability to shed weight is due to poor metabolism should steer clear of processed soy products. Soy consumption can interfere with thyroid function and contribute to fluid retention, sluggish metabolism and slowed fat loss.
- BABIES & CHILDREN: soy infant formulas are of huge concern to me and I could write for pages on this particular topic. I understand breast-feeding may not be appropriate for all mothers and formula may be required as a replacement or top up. However I urge you to be your own health advocates, for the benefit of you and your child and look into the various other options before going for soy-based formulas (even in the instance of lactose intolerance).
The phytoestrogenic compounds in soy including genistein and daidzein have been shown to produce weak oestrogenic activity as they have a very similar structure to the body’s own oestrogen. While the full extent of the effect of phytoestrogens on the body are still not fully understood, it’s believed they may act like (weak) oestrogen in some situations or block the actions of oestrogen in others . Dr. Mary G Enig, the president of Maryland Nutritionists Association was quoted: “The amount of phytoestrogens present in a day’s worth of soy infant formula is equal to the amount of oestrogen in 5 birth control pills”. This is quite an alarming statement knowing just how much the oral contraceptive pill can wreak havoc on fully grown adults. Dr. Enig together with other nutrition experts believes infant exposure to high amounts of these compounds is associated with early puberty in girls and slowed sexual maturation in boys.
Additionally, in my practice I see soy allergies in children almost as common as dairy allergies and when not discovered and dealt with, can lead to significant health concerns for the child.
- OESTROGEN-DOMINANT GYNAECOLOGICAL CONDITIONS in women: such as fibroids, endometriosis, heavy menstrual periods, early menstrual periods, PMS and infertility. The phytoestrogenic potential of soy can increase the total oestrogen load in these females exacerbating symptoms.
THE PROBLEM WITH SOY MILK
Let me start by saying soy milk is not necessarily the healthy alternative to dairy. Unfortunately the majority of soy milks commercially available don’t get the seal of approval from me and none of them are actually fermented. Whilst you can find soy milk in just about every café, restaurant and supermarkets shelves these days, I ask you to be discerning in choosing one (if you decide to drink it at all). A few key factors that must be assessed when looking at the ingredient lists of soy milk:
- Is the whole soybean or soybean isolates (derivatives) being used. Don’t be fooled when the deceptive words: ‘soy isoflavone concentrate’ or ‘soy fibre’ are used – this means only parts of the soybean are used and therefore much more processing has gone into the product.
- If the percentage of soy used is 3-4% or less, this is an indicator of poor quality. You want to see ‘whole soybean’ as the first or second ingredient.
- How many other ingredients do you see on the list? The longer the list the poorer the quality of the soy milk plus the more additives and fillers have been used which reduce the actual soy content.
- Look out for additions of ‘vegetable fats’ or vegetable oils such as sunflower, canola or palm oil. These types of fats are not healthy and potentially damaging to the body.
- Avoid additives/flavourings/ingredients such as maltodextrin, caramel, emulsifiers, sugar, artificial sweeteners and another other names you can’t pronounce!
- Finally no excuses when it comes to flavoured soymilk – simply, just don’t do it!
In summary, whole soybeans eaten as close to the way nature intended as possible are the way to go. Small amounts of fermented soy products such as: miso, natto, tempeh and edamame are great and have some fantastic health benefits. Remember, it’s the fermentation process that helps breakdown the ‘anti nutrients’ phytates and enzyme blockers in the soy that contribute to ill health. Moderate amounts of un-fermented soy products and those which are highly processed such as: soy yoghurts, cheese, ice cream, soy meat, most soy milks and soy isolate should not be part of a wellness diet. Ensure soy products are organic and GM (genetically modified) free.
I encourage you to find out more, do your own research and make a choice based on your own health and wellness beliefs. Remember there is no one way of eating that suits every single person but what I do know is, eating a whole foods, organic (where possible)diet, with a variety of food as close to their natural state as possible, with minimal interference from processing and manufacturing IS good for everyone!
If you would like to find out more or keep up to date with the latest health and wellness tips and all the goings on at Bodhi Wellness, follow us on facebook or contact me at: email@example.com
Yours in Health,
Elise Grauer – Naturopathic Practitioner
B.HSc. Naturopathy A.N.T.A., N.H.A.A.
7 STEPS TO OPTIMAL DIGESTION
Did you know around 70% of your immune system lies within the lining of your digestive tract? With this being the case wouldn’t you want to keep your gut healthy and happy at all times to prevent disease?
Many of us have become used to mild indigestion, heart burn, occasional bloating and gas. We see it as an unavoidable inconvenience rather than a real issue that needs to be addressed.
We know digestive issues are becoming a widespread problem, we see this in our patients almost every day and although the causes of these issues are more than can be covered in a short blog post, we’ve put together a list of simple ways to improve and maintain optimal digestion
1. CHEW WELL
Whilst this sounds overly simple, many people forget this important first step!
Your stomach is not designed to digest large chunks of food and all too often we ‘inhale’ our food not allowing saliva to coat the food in our mouths. Saliva contains important enzymes such as amylase which begins to break down the food allowing nutrients to be absorbed once the food gets lower down the digestive tract. People who don’t chew properly often don’t feel full after a meal, become constipated and fatigued. Try chewing food properly and see what happens!
2. DRINK WATER AWAY FROM MEALS
We all know how important it is to drink adequate water, however drinking during meals dilutes digestive enzymes and can inhibit proper digestion. If you need to drink during meals, sip rather than gulp! Better yet, drink as much as you want in between meals and remember dehydrated cells do not function properly in any part of the body!
3. EAT WHOLE UNPROCESSED FOODS – FIBRE
Unfortunately the modern western diet is low in fibre, high in sugar, packed with processed foods, nutrient-poor, and high in calories, which causes all the wrong types of bacteria and yeast to grow in your gut and damages the delicate ecosystem in your intestines.
Ensure you consume adequate fibre which creates bulk, absorbs fat, slows down blood sugar spikes and helps absorbs toxins. If increasing fibre in your diet, make sure you also include more water. Nuts veggies, fruits, seeds and wholegrains are great sources of fibre!
4. REMOVE UNWANTED VISITORS FROM YOUR GUT
Parasites, small bowel bacteria, and yeasts can all inhibit proper gut function. You must treat these infections if you want to heal. Your Bodhi Wellness practitioner can help determine if this is the cause of your problem and create an individualised treatment plan to remove the unwanted bugs/infection.
5. REPOPULATE WITH PROBIOTICS
A very delicate balance of good and bad bacteria exists in the digestive system. This balance can be negatively affected by antibiotics, pharmaceutical drugs, excess sugar consumption, excess yeast (Candida), and excess alcohol consumption. Many people with digestive issues have a bacterial imbalance. A proper balance can be restored or maintained by taking probiotics or by eating and drinking fermented foods which are naturally loaded with probiotics.
The digestive process is dependent on the presence of enzymes, which allows our bodies to absorb the food we eat and use it for fuel. When you have a lack of digestive enzymes in your gut, caused by things such as acid blocking medication, zinc deficiency, stress,
Lack of digestive enzyme function comes through things such as acid blocking medication, zinc deficiency, stress just to name a few. Sometimes it is necessary to supplement with digestive enzymes to ensure your body is getting all it needs from the food you eat.
7. ELIMINATE FOOD ALLERGIES
Undetected food allergies or sensitivities such as gluten intolerance (coeliac disease), allergies to eggs, dairy or corn can wreak havoc on your entire body not to mention your digestive system. It is important to find out whether an allergy or intolerance is the underlying cause of your symptoms. Call us today to speak to one of our qualified practitioners who can assist you in achieving optimal digestive wellness 03 9500 2229.
DELICIOUS CHIA RECIPE – Spiced Sweet Potato & Lentil Dip
PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOKING TIME: 20 mins
SERVES: Makes 4 cups of dip
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Onion chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup (heaped) red lentils (washed)
2 cups (approx 1/2 and a large sweet potato), peeled and diced
3 cups vegetable stock
1 TBSP Chia bran
1/2 cup natural yoghurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 TBSP White Chia seeds
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Saute onion for 2 minutes. Add spices and continue to saute for another minute.
- Add lentils, sweet potato and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until sweet potato is tender, but not falling apart. Stir frequently.
- Remove from heat, stir in chia seeds and allow to cool. Blend with a stick mixer until almost smooth.
- Stir in yoghurt and cilantro. Garnish with a sprinkle of White Chia Seeds. Serve with crispy pita bread wedges
Did you know Chia Seeds are the richest source of plant based omega-3 fatty acids (higher than flax seeds) – great news for vegans! Chia seeds also provide an excellent source of both insoluble and soluble fibre which helps you feel full and keeps things moving smoothly!
SWEET DREAMS – How to Sleep Better for Optimal Health
We evolved along with the rhythms of day and night. They signal a whole cascade of hormonal and neurochemical reactions that keep us healthy by repairing our DNA, building tissues and muscle, and regulating weight and mood chemicals. However, in todays day and age, we have created a number of unhealthy habits, activities, stimuli that are continuously interfering with this delicate biological rhythm, so crucial to optimal health and wellbeing.
When you are sleep deprived, your stress hormone cortisol rises — and so do all its harmful effects and risk factors, including brain damage and dementia, weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, depressed immunity, and more.
The reality is that most of us need at least eight hours of restful sleep a night. But meeting this goal has become more and more difficult. Partially because good sleep is not something that just happens. There are clearly defined things that interfere with or support healthy sleep.
Sleep needs to become a priority for repair, rejuvenation,detoxification and most important rest. These days our lives are infiltrated with stimuli — and we keep stimulated until the moment we get into bed. It’s no wonder we can’t sleep well when we eat late dinners, answer emails, surf the Internet, watch TV until late, or do work, and then get right into bed expecting to have a restful sleep.
Instead we must implement what’s known as “sleep hygiene”. Creating a sleep ritual — a special set of little things you do before bed to help ready your body physically and psychologically for sleep — which can then guide your body into a deep, healing sleep.
BELOW ARE SOME GUIDELINES TO AID IN RESTORING NORMAL SLEEP PATTERNS AS WELL AS RESTORING BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS
- Practice the regular rhythms of sleep — go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
- Use your bed for sleep only — not reading or television
- Create an aesthetic environment that encourages sleep — use serene and restful colours and eliminate clutter and distraction
- Create total darkness and quiet — consider using eyeshades and earplugs
- Avoid caffeine — it may seem to help you stay awake but it actually makes your sleep worse
- Avoid alcohol — it helps you get to sleep but causes interruptions in sleep and poor-quality sleep
- Get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes daily — the light from the sun enters your eyes and triggers your brain to release specific chemicals and hormones like melatonin that are vital to healthy sleep, mood, and aging
- Eat no later than three hours before bed — eating a heavy meal prior to bed will lead to a bad night’s sleep
- Don’t exercise vigorously after dinner — it excites the body and makes it more difficult to get to sleep
- Write your worries down — one hour before bed, write down the things that are causing you anxiety and make plans for what you might have to do the next day to reduce your worry. It will free up your mind and energy to move into deep and restful sleep
- Take a hot Epsom salt aromatherapy bath — raising your body temperature before bed helps to induce sleep. A hot bath also relaxes your muscles and reduces tension physically and psychically. By adding one-and-a-half to one cup of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to your bath, you will gain the benefits of magnesium absorbed through your skin which help with sleep
- Get a massage or stretch before bed — this helps relax the body making it easier to fall asleep
- Warm your middle — this raises your core temperature and helps trigger the proper chemistry for sleep. Either a hot water bottle, heating pad, or warm body can do the trick
- Avoid medications that interfere with sleep — these include sedatives (these are used to treat insomnia, but ultimately lead to dependence and disruption of normal sleep rhythms and architecture), antihistamines, stimulants, cold medication, steroids, and headache medication that contains caffeine
- Use herbal therapies — try passionflower, magnolia, zizyphus or valerian (valeriana officinalis) root extract one hour before bed
- Take 200 to 400 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate before bed — this relaxes the nervous system and muscles. For more supplements that may help with induce a restful sleep, speak to your Naturopath
- Get a relaxation, meditation or guided imagery CD — any of these may help you get to sleep
If after a few weeks – couple of months you are still having trouble sleeping, you should be evaluated by your health care practitioner or Naturopath for other problems that can interfere with sleep, including food sensitivities, thyroid problems, menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heavy metal toxicity, and, of course, stress and depression. Also, consider getting tested for a sleep disorder.
DOES YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE RULE YOUR LIFE?
For many women, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a burden that can greatly affect their quality of life, impacting their ability to perform regular daily activities, affecting their workplace performance and often making it difficult for them to cope with the demands of everyday life. Unfortunately PMS is often viewed as an unpleasant, but unavoidable, consequence of being a woman. It does not have to be so! Women do not have to live with the monthly annoyance and inconvenience of PMS. If you, or someone you know, is affected by PMS, the good news is that Natural Medicines can help
WHAT IS PMS?
PMS is the name given to a collection of physical and emotional symptoms related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. The symptoms of PMS occur in the days or weeks before a period and usually resolve once the period has started. Some women experience mild symptoms for just a day or two before their periods, whereas others can feel physically uncomfortable and emotionally strung out for up to two weeks every month! The most common symptoms of PMS include
WHAT CAUSES PMS?
While the exact cause of PMS is unknown, there are many factors that have been found to contribute to this pattern of dysfunction. Imbalances in the female reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, in the two weeks before a period are the most likely cause, however, other hormones can also play a part. Nutritional deficiencies in vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium and essential fatty acids are also known to increase the severity of PMS symptoms
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP REDUCE MY SYMPTOMS
Listed below are some of the natural solutions available to restore hormonal balance and correct nutritional deficiencies to reduce the symptoms of PMS:
- Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus castus) – This herb has been extensively researched for its ability to reduce premenstrual breast pain and swelling, regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce period pain, irritability, mood swings and abdominal bloating. Chaste tree works by helping to rebalance oestrogen and progesterone levels.
- Dong Quai (Angelica polymorpha) – This herb has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese herbal medicine to help to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce period pain.
- Vitamin B6- This important nutrient may assist in the treatment of PMS by reducing anxiety, moodiness, irritability, sugar cravings, breast tenderness and abdominal bloating.
- Magnesium– This vital mineral is required for stress management, energy production and maintenance of healthy moods. Magnesium deficiency is associated with PMS symptoms, particularly irritability, depression, confusion, headaches and muscle aches.
- Calcium- Research shows that women with low calcium levels have higher rates of PMS. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and if levels are inadequate, this can cause PMS symptoms of water retention, food cravings, muscle aches and moodiness.
- Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids– Omega-3 essential fatty acids are the healthy fats that come from food sources such as fish oil. These healthy fats can help manage pain, inflammation and PMS mood symptoms.
Finally, stress, poor food choices and lack of exercise can also contribute to the emotional and physical symptoms of PMS. By helping to rebalance your hormones, address nutritional deficiencies and address factors such as stress and diet, we can help PMS become a thing of the past!
Is all of this just part of being a woman? Something you have to accept and learn to live with? The answer is NO! Ask us today about how you can take control of your PMS symptoms with natural medicines and simple dietary changes
ITCHING FOR RELIEF FROM YOUR SKIN CONDITION?
Healthy skin is an integral part of good health. Common skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea can be painful, itchy, irritating and greatly affect self-confidence. It can be a frustrating and challenging road finding effective and sustainable ways to improve the health and appearance of your skin, as these common skin conditions are much more than skin deep!
The appearance of your skin can be an outward reflection of your health on the inside, and a comprehensive approach to treatment is required in order for the internal causes to be resolved. Your Practitioner can also help put you on the right path to healthier skin by providing symptomatic relief with topical skin creams to soothe and heal the skin.
Vital Functions of The Skin
Skin is the largest organ of the body and is involved in eliminating toxins, regulating body temperature and protecting the inside of the body from potential invading micro-organisms. Millions of skin cells are shed each day and our skin completely replaces itself approximately every 27 days.
Topical Treatment for Skin Conditions
While a comprehensive internal treatment strategy to address skin problems from the inside out is underway, topical creams and lotions can be used to give speedy and effective symptomatic relief for itchy, red, inflamed and painful skin conditions
Healing Goodness from Nature’s Dispensary
Symptomatic relief is really important for skin conditions and these therapeutic ingredients from nature’s dispensary can provide much needed relief to soothe and heal problem skin:
- Aloe vera – is rich in vitamins, minerals and natural compounds that support wound healing through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.
- Calendula – has a long history of traditional use for treating acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin infections and healing wounds. This skin herb has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions and also enhances wound healing.
- Essential oils – can be very effective in treating many troubling skin conditions by soothing the skin, as well as having potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects and promoting skin healing. Chamomile, sandalwood, lavender, juniper berry and manuka leaf essential oils have key roles in treating skin conditions.
- Zinc – is a key nutrient for skin function and is in higher concentrations in skin tissue. This important antioxidant nutrient can also assist with skin healing.
Daily Steps You Can Take to Improve Skin Health
- Making a few simple changes to how you eat and live, can have a big impact on your skin. Try these healthy diet and lifestyle tips and your skin will thank you for it:
- Eat a healthy diet. Include protein-rich foods, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and healthy fats in your diet each day.
- Drink a minimum of eight glasses of pure water every day.
- Be active and move your body often to encourage blood flow to the skin.
- Reduce your stress levels.
Save Your Skin
Red, irritated and painful skin can become a thing of the past. Make positive changes today to improve your skin by taking good care of your health from the inside and out. Treating internal imbalances in the body is important for healthy skin, however do not underestimate the benefits of applying soothing topical creams to your skin for the much needed healing and relief you’ve been looking for.
Speak to your Bodhi Wellness Practitioner today to help effectively manage your skin condition. Make an appointment today by contacting reception on (03) 9532 8001.
IS TOXICITY THE REASON YOU FEEL UNWELL?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you often tired or lethargic?
- Do you regularly suffer from bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or other digestive disturbances?
- Do you get recurrent headaches?
- Do you regularly suffer from muscle aches and pains?
- Does poor short-term memory and concentration affect your ability to function at work?
- Do you have allergies or sensitivities?
- Do you suffer from depression, anxiety and/or mood swings?
If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, your body may be overburdened by toxicity
Toxicity: A Modern Epidemic
The modern world is full of many man-made chemicals and it seems that we are not only what we eat, but also what we drink, breathe and touch. Even before you step outside the house in
the morning, you are potentially being exposed to a myriad of toxins. Eating breakfast, washing the dishes, applying cosmetics and perfumes, and even having a glass of unfiltered water, can potentially increase your exposure to harmful compounds which may compromise your health and vitality. The good news is that your body has an amazing ability to eliminate these toxins through its inbuilt detoxification systems.
However, your body can become overwhelmed with accumulated toxins over time. If you haven’t been feeling quite right or you answered yes to any of the above questions, then perhaps you should consider a healthy step-by-step detoxification program to give you back your bounce!
You are What you Eat
Today’s poor dietary and lifestyle habits coupled with the ever-increasing use of pharmaceutical drugs are major contributors to toxicity. In fact, the majority of our exposure to toxins comes from the inappropriate dietary choices we make. To start making healthier dietary choices and become less toxic today, just follow these simple tips:
- Eat plenty of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. If you can, buy organic, if not be sure to wash them well.
- Drink 2-3 litres of filtered water per day and avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, dairy, and commercial fruit drinks/juices.
- Enjoy a wide variety of fresh, healthy snacks and avoid overly processed and refined snacks such as chocolate, bakery products, chips, and lollies.
Ask us today about more dietary tips that can reduce your toxic load and increase your vitality!
Safe and Effective Detoxification
Detoxification within our bodies is a complex process that requires several steps to be completed effectively. A good starting point of a healthy detoxification program is to reduce the toxic load coming from your diet. Herbs and nutrients can also play a vital role in supporting your body’s key elimination systems. The following supplements contain key ingredients which play an important role in ensuring that you detoxify safely and effectively:
Antimicrobial herbs. Extracts from herbs such as Thymus vulgaris (Thyme), Oreganum vulgare (Oregano), Artemisia annua (Chinese Wormwood) and Juglans nigra (Black Walnut).
These herbs exert antibacterial, antiparasitic and/or antifungal actions which aid in the removal of harmful organisms from the gastrointestinal tract. These organisms produce toxic chemicals and can damage gut integrity. Antimicrobial supplementation is therefore a fundamental part of any healthy detoxification program.
Probiotics. Supplementation with beneficial bacteria can help to create a healthier environment in the gastrointestinal system. Probiotics also produce natural antimicrobial substances which prevent the growth of harmful organisms.
Prebiotics and healing nutrients. Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and reduce bowel toxicity, whilst healing herbs and nutrients help to reduce inflammation and support healthy gut repair. A healthy gut stops ingested toxins from passing into the bloodstream and causing further damage in the body.
Using a safe and effective step-by-step detoxification program can help to revitalize your health and wellbeing.
DIABETES: THE NEW HEALTH EPIDEMIC
Type 2 diabetes has become a worldwide health problem. There are approximately 890,000 Australians and 270,000 New Zealanders currently diagnosed with diabetes. In addition to these numbers, it is also predicted that there are thousands of people with undiagnosed diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was once only seen in adults over 40 years of age, however, it is now more and more common in younger people.
High Blood Sugar Levels: Too Much of a Good Thing!
Diabetes is a condition related to problems with blood sugar levels (also called blood glucose levels) and insulin levels. For proper bodily functioning, you need to be able to convert glucose (i.e. sugar) from your food into energy. The hormone that is required for glucose to enter into cells to be broken down is called insulin. Diabetic patients have problems with their insulin production, so when a diabetic patient eats sugar (e.g. from sweets, breads, cakes, biscuits, cereals) it cannot be converted into energy and stays in the blood, causing high blood glucose levels. Having high levels of glucose in your blood for prolonged periods of time can cause blindness, kidney problems, cardiovascular issues, and many other health complications.
The good news is that diabetes is avoidable if you focus on having a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
Risk Factors for Developing Diabetes
To find out if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you overweight?
- Do you have a family history of diabetes?
- Does your daily diet contain high amounts of sugars and/or refined carbohydrates?
- Do you have a sedentary lifestyle and lack regular exercise?
As well as these recognised risk factors, some early warning signs that may indicate your blood sugar levels could be a problem in the future include:
- Frequent sugar cravings.
- 2 to 4 pm energy slump.
- Constant fatigue.
- Frequent urination and/or recurrent urinary tract infections.
- Trouble losing weight – especially weight around your waist.
Herbs and Nutrients Can Help
Natural Medicine may help with managing and preventing diabetes, by focusing on the main causes such as diet and lifestyle. If you are at risk of developing diabetes the following herbs and nutrients may also assist.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) – Cinnamon is commonly known as a spice used in cooking, however it is also a beneficial herbal medicine used to maintain normal healthy blood sugar levels by enhancing the function of the insulin made by your body.
Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng) – Korean Ginseng is a herb that may help to balance your blood sugar levels and boost energy production at the same time.
Caiapo root (Ipomoea batatas) – Caiapo root is a white sweet potato which is traditionally used in Japanese and Brazilian medicine for the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels.
Chromium – Chromium is an important mineral that can help to regulate blood sugar levels. Having a deficiency in chromium may contribute to blood sugar problems.
Diet and Lifestyle Tips
As well as taking some of the Natural Medicines mentioned here, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by also implementing some dietary and lifestyle changes.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you would like to lose some weight, ask us about the professional weight management program we offer.
- Eat small, regular meals containing protein rich foods such as fish, lean meat, legumes, nuts, and eggs to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- Include plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your daily diet.
- Avoid eating too many overly processed and sugar containing foods – especially high carbohydrate foods like breads, cakes, biscuits and pastries. Save these foods for special occasions only.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Aim for a moderate intake of alcohol and have at least two alcohol free days per week.
- Include regular exercise into your lifestyle for healthy weight maintenance.
Take Control of Your Health NOW
By making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, and by taking the appropriate supplements, you may be able to prevent diabetes or better manage your existing diabetes.