Should we make the change to organic food?

50 years ago non-organic food didn’t even exist, until the 1950s all of the food we ate was completely organic. Over the last century we have developed the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMOS) to help farmers become more conventional. Modern farming methods mean our diets have changed significantly but our bodies and genetics have not. The term ‘organic’ is becoming more and more popular as people are becoming aware of the negative effects of non-organic food on both our health, as well as the environment. Slowly but surely people are choosing to switch to an organic diet, so I thought I would share with you what I believe the most important info regarding organic food.  


What does ‘organic’ mean? 

The term ‘organic’ refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. The regulations vary from country to country but in the UK, organic crops must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and genetically modified organisms (GMOS). To ensure that livestock raised for meat, eggs and dairy products is organic they must have access to the outdoors and be given organic feed. They are not allowed to be given any antibiotics or growth hormones.  

Organic vs. Non-Organic 

   
Organic produce:  Conventionally-grown produce: 
Grown with natural fertilizers (manure, compost).  Grown with synthetic or chemical fertilizers. 
Weeds are controlled naturally (crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling).  Weeds are controlled with chemical herbicides. 
Pests are controlled using natural methods (birds, insects, traps) and naturally-derived pesticides.  Pests are controlled with synthetic pesticides 
Organic meat, dairy, eggs:  Conventionally-raised meat, dairy, eggs 
Livestock are given all organic, hormone- and GMO-free feed.  Livestock are given growth hormones for faster growth, as well as non-organic, GMO feed. 
Disease is prevented with natural methods such as clean housing, rotational grazing, and healthy diet.  Antibiotics and medications are used to prevent livestock disease. 
Livestock must have access to the outdoors.  Livestock may or may not have access to the outdoors. 

 

Benefits of Organic Food 

  1. Eating organic helps reduce your bodies toxic load  

You can’t expect to fuel your body and achieve optimal health by eating foods full of toxic chemicals. Non-organic foods contain harmful pesticides which are widely used in conventional agriculture by spraying them on the foods, which then remain on and in the foods we eat. These chemicals are toxic by nature because they are designed to kill things so if you’ve been eating a conventional diet for years then your body may be full of these toxic residues. These toxins are linked to cancers, developmental problems in children and birth defects. In contrast, organic farmers aim for zero pesticide use and only contain pesticides through accidental contamination. A 2019 study found that after switching to an organic diet, pesticide level in participant’s urine dropped by 60%. There is the proof that switching to organic is less toxic! This is essential for people recovering from chronic illness because often our detox pathways are compromised so toxins build up quicker than in people who are healthy so it’s essential for those who are poorly to eat an organic diet to help them recover.  

 

 2. Organic food is more nutritious  

A 2006 study found that organic products are much higher in micro-nutrients than non-organic conventionally grown products. Micro-nutrients are one of the major groups of nutrients your body needs for energy production, immune function, growth and bone health. A more recent study found that organic foods are richer in nutrients and antioxidants, which are known to prevent cancer. “The organic produce … contained more compounds known as phenols, believed to help prevent cancer, than conventional produce,” reported The New York Times. Not only can eating organic help your health by increasing nutrient uptake which is SO important if you’re suffering from chronic illness but it can also help prevent future disease such as cancer! 

 

3. Organic food is GMO free 

Genetically modified organisms (GMOS) are plants whose DNA has been altered in ways by cross breeding that cannot happen in nature or in traditional cross breeding to help the plant become resistant to pests and harsh weather conditions. The most common GMO foods are soya, corn and beetroots so be aware and try to shop organic when you can. GMO corn is combined with a bacteria to produce it’s own insecticide which then kills insects by destroying the lining of their digestive tract when they ingest the food. This is not specific to insects and has been found to damage the intestines of humans causing leaky gut syndrome which leads to food allergies (a lot of my clients with chronic fatigue suffer from leaky gut and food allergies). A healthy gut is essential for overall good health so protecting our gut by eating organic food is SO important! 

 

4. Organic food tastes better  

Organic food is often fresher because it hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals to make it last longer which means it tastes better. This can’t be proven by science as taste is subjective but I’ve been eating an organic diet for 10 years now and for me there is no contest, organic food tastes so much better! Lot’s of restaurants use organic food not necessarily for health benefits but because chefs have known for years that organic food simply tastes better so if it’s not for health reasons, convert so you can enjoy the pleasures of tasty food even more! 

 

5. Organic farming is better for the planet  

There has been a huge movement recently towards making lifestyle choices that are better for the environmental and there’s also an environmental incentive to shop organic. Organic farming practices uses less energy, help to conserve water, reduce soil erosion and increase soil fertility. By eating organic you are helping to encourage and protect wildlife because over the last 50 years the UK has witnessed a steep decline in wildlife, a huge part of the reason for this is the 31,000 tonnes of chemicals that are sprayed on Britain each year, which destroys soil fertility, harming the bees and other wildlife who pollinate flowers and plants. Research has shown that on organic farms there is 50% more wildlife! Clearly, shopping and eating organic is a great way to help protect and preserve our environment.  

 

How to Keep Costs Down  

There are many benefits of eating organic and there are ways of doing it cost effectively. Organic food has become a regular on supermarket shelves in recent times but people always ask if the cost is worth it because it’s often more expensive than regular products. Sometimes I think there is a misconception that to shop organic it has to be at more expensive. Supermarkets like Waitrose or Ocado but cheaper supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl stock lots of organic foods as well. Other options are Able and Cole, Riverford (for veg boxes delivered to your door). You can pretty much find it in all supermarkets these days! The best advice I have is to switch to organic fruit and vegetables first, then to organic meat to make sure there are no antibiotics and growth hormones in your food and eventually if you can to everything else! We love Unicorn grocer in Chorlton, Manchester where everything is organic, it is vegan so there’s no meat or eggs or dairy. It’s a 45min drive for us so we go every 2-3 months and stock up. 

 


All fruit and veg at Unicorn Grocery is organic 

 

You can take your own jars to refill for cheaper! This is also better for the environment because it helps reduce single plastic waste!

 

Anywhere with a cute little play area and free organic apples for kids is good with me      

I also have my own little helpers to help me unpack at home 

 

Again, like I’ve said in my previous blog posts this isn’t about being perfect because perfect doesn’t exist! We try to eat organic at home and find the odd organic café here or there but it is actually really difficult to find organic food when you eat out so you just have to try to eat organic where you can.

A top tip is just start with the “dirty dozen” these are foods which are sprayed the most which I always buy organic: 

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

Clean 15 (AKA don’t use a lot of pesticides):

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Frozen sweet peas
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbages
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew melons

Another one of my top tips is not to feel too overwhelmed or pressured to switch to completely organic so try to swap the foods you eat a few at a time, we don’t eat 100% organic because it’s so difficult too. I feel really passionate about this topic because the more informed we are of what we are putting into our bodies, the more control we have over our choices and the more impact our lifestyle decisions will ultimately have on our health and the environment. Eating organic really is one of the basics of good health so it’s really important that we try to eat this way when we can! I hope you have found this helpful, would love to hear what you think over on my Instagram or Facebook page @hellohealing.  

Finding Hobbies During Chronic Illness

The last few posts I have been introducing lots of serious topics which are very important when you are recovering from chronic illness as the majority of my clients are (Pacing – The Secret Key To Recovery?, The Perrin Technique, The Truth About Clean and Natural Beauty), which have all been very information based and educational so I thought that this week I would write a blog that was a bit more light hearted and easier to read as I know a lot of people who are poorly suffer with brain fog! I certainly did! 

When we are unwell and spending a lot of time at home resting it’s easy to slip into a routine of watching Netflix series after Netflix series and before you know it you’ve binge watched half of Netflix! I’m not against Netflix at all, I’ll often find myself taking breaks from work and ending up watching Hey Duggee on the sofa with Noah and Fudge but I think it’s important to also find other hobbies to bring us fulfillment and happiness whilst we are recovering from illness. Not to mention the impact EMFs (electro-magnetic frequencies) like watching TV or Netflix through WIFI can impact our health! It’s important to reduce our EMF exposure because it’s an added stressor on our body which isn’t going to help us when we are trying to heal – I wrote a blog post about this a few weeks ago if you would like to learn more here.

I’ve put together a list of alternative hobbies you could try whilst passing the time and day dreaming of what you would like to do post-recovery (I spent a lot of my time doing this and thinking of the bigger picture). Most of these are tried and tested by myself but I’ve also added in the hobbies you suggested on my Instagram and Facebook page @hellohealing so thank you for that! 

 

Listening to Music / Learning How to Play an Instrument  

Listening to music is a wonderful form of escapism, it can take you away from the current moment and transport you elsewhere, I’ve always found it very relaxing to lie down and chill out whilst listening to music. There are so many apps these days as well for ‘calming’ music to help relax us in this stressed and busy world that surrounds us! I really recommend the app called ‘Calm’ which has music specifically to help relaxation and sleep. You can also find lots of relaxing music channels on YouTube which you can just put on in the background whilst resting! If you have a bit more energy and like to learn then you could try to learn a new instrument, YouTube is really helpful for this, I’ve heard that the Ukulele is one of the easiest instruments to learn. When I was bit stronger I went to piano lessons it’s was a great form of rehabilitation. 

 

Mindfulness Meditation  

Last week on the blog I did a post all about ‘The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation’ which you can read here. I think mindfulness is SO important to incorporate into our lives, it can help to reduce stress levels and having chronic illness is incredibly stressful! It has also been scientifically proven to help reduce chronic pain because it increases our tolerance to pain so our perception of it is less. I believe not just those who are poorly but everyone needs to meditate as the world we live in is becoming increasingly more and more fast-paced so I’ve teamed up with ‘The Mindfulness App’ for a 3 month free subscription to their app! Message me if would like the discount code to try it out.  

 

Yoga / Pilates 

Yoga began as a spiritual practice in Indian but has now turned out to be a world-wide phenomenon, there are yoga classes literally everywhere! Yoga is amazing for the body but it also has its benefits for the mind as a lot of yoga practices incorporate mindfulness. You have to be careful not to over-do it though and pace yourself which you can read more about in a blog I wrote about here because when you are recovering from chronic illness if you push yourself too hard then it can often make you feel worse so I would recommend only doing 50% of your daily limit to make sure you are being safe. Yoga isn’t the best type of exercise if you have Elhers-Danlos-Syndrome (EDS) because it is designed to stretch the joints but people with EDS already have over-stretched joints so chose Pilates over yoga if you have EDS. If you are looking to start re-building strength then have a look to see if you have a local pilates teacher who offers one to one sessions, often they take into account if someone suffers from chronic illness so they can teach at your own pace.  

 

Cooking / Baking Healthy Foods 

One of my favorite things to do is cook and bake healthy recipes! Every Monday I post one of my favourites recipes on my Instagram page so would love to hear your feedback if you try them. It’s really important to eat a super nutritious diet when recovering from chronic illness and cutting out the nasties like gluten, grains and sugar as well as converting to eating organic! Shopping from a supermarket can be difficult (we use Waitrose / Ocado for online organic food) when you eat this way so pretty much everything we make is homemade (not all of the time though because there is no such thing as perfect). When I was poorly, I enjoyed researching and choosing the recipes, which my family would then make me so this is something you could try at home and you can ask for recipe books for your birthday or Christmas! My favourite recipe books are by Deliciously Ella and Madeline Shaw so go check them out for some healthy food that still tastes delicious inspo!  

 

Listening to Podcasts / Reading Books 

If you are like me and you love to constantly learn then you are probably already into reading books and listening to podcasts, they are a great way to learn something new or dive into another world! I find podcasts are a great way to absorb info whilst on the go whereas reading is a great way to pass the time so I usually enjoy this in a quiet corner away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Some of my favourite podcasts if you want to learn more about health, wellbeing and happiness are ‘Myers Detox’, ‘The Alex Manos Podcast’, ‘Get Your Glow Back’, ‘Hormones in Harmony’ and ‘Lauren Conrad: Asking for a Friend.’ The books I recommend to my clients to help with their physical and mental health are, ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’, ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ and ‘the Goddess Revolution’ to women if they need to love themselves a bit more and be kinder to themselves. I also love to read any chick flick nonsense! If you don’t have the money to buy books then check out your local library (you can reserve and request the books for free if you are claiming benefits – I did this all the time when I didn’t have the money to buy the books I wanted, I’d reserve online for free). 

 

Spending Time in Nature 

I feel like this is really important because nature can have such powerful healing properties. If you aren’t well enough to get outdoors then you can bring the outdoors in by researching and buying your favourite plants to grow them indoors, you could start your own little herb garden! Or if you want to get back into nature oustide then you could make your own vegetable patch to grow your own vegetables, this is a great way to eat seasonal and organic as well. It feels so good to eat food off your plate which you’ve nurtured and grown yourself! Research has proven that spending time in or around nature is a wonderful way to reduce stress, anger, fatigue, depression and anxiety. Just remember if you are getting physical in the garden then not to overdo it, pacing is key! 

 

Get Crafting 

Crafting requires both creativity and problem solving so it’s a great hobby if you are looking for something that incorporates both! I must admit I don’t know much about traditional crafts but if you are interested then you can try knitting, crocheting, weaving or felting. Most of these are activities that can be enjoyed from bed and require little energy so you can watch simple online tutorials to get you started. If you would like to try something that’s a bit less time consuming, I used to make friendships bracelets made from beautiful coloured beads and strings to send to my friends! Card making also brought me much comfort in the past, it can be such a rewarding hobby which doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. The best part about it is that you can give your creations to friends and family on their birthdays or special occasions. You could even find yourself a pen pal. I still do this now just when a friend needs a “pick me up” a handmade letter/card is so lovely. 

 

Writing / Scrapbooking / Journaling 

Journaling is a pretty popular hobby amongst the chronic illness community, it can be a great way to record your thoughts, feelings and experiences and you could even turn it into a blog like myself! I find that writing a blog really helped me to express the way I feel and process what I went through so you might find that it could help you to. I’ve also connected with so many amazing and inspiring people since starting my blog all those years ago, you never know who you might meet from online networking these days, you could meet future colleagues or even lifelong friends. If you are into creative writing then poetry, short stories or simply keeping a diary are all great ways to express yourself. Scrap-booking is also a fun and creative way to arrange photos and other memorabilia in an album, you can even create scrapbooks for your future goals, this is known as a ‘dream board’ of all the things you want to do in life once you’re recovered? I find having a positive mindset and working towards the future really helped my mental state during my recovery and an added touch is how much the mind has a powerful influence over the body.  

 

Other ideas: Fudge was such a great companion for me, she was also my cuddle buddy, if you don’t have a dog maybe borrow one for a friend for the day. If you are watching TV make it something funny like a comedy or anything which brings joy and laughter – scary things which get the adrenaline pumping can be negative to healing so try to avoid this if you can. I used to make my own natural skincare (avocado face mask), I painted my nails (Mavala nail varnish) and friends used to come over to see me and just watch TV with me which really helped my wellbeing just to have some company. Friends would enter competitions to through magazines or social media which is free and you never know what you might win!

 

 

I spent alot of time dreaming up my future life. Now I have to pinch myself.

I hope that you feel inspired by some of these ideas which I’ve shared, I certainly do! I might start making friendship bracelets again as it used to bring me so much happiness. If you have any other ideas please let me know and just remember that chronic illness isn’t necessarily for a lifetime so some of these hobbies can be to just pass the time until your dream board does comes true. Don’t give up is what I’m saying! In the meantime, enjoy 🙂

 

 

Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

“The real meditation practice is how we live our lives from moment to moment to moment.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

 

You have probably noticed how as time goes on our lives get busier and busier, society is changing and we now live in such a fast-paced world. If you have heard old tale stories of how your parents or grandparents used to live it sounds pretty different to today! The downsides of today’s stressful society is that some days we can lose sight of the present because we are so busy worrying about the future or analysing the past. In today’s rushed society, we can lose sight of what’s important and we become so rushed that we often become unhappy and lose our purpose in life. As well as the modern world effecting our emotional wellbeing and our mental health it can also affect our physical health, which I see every single day with the clients who I treat in my clinic. Our bodies are not designed to sustain this fast pace of life we often associate with the modern world so eventually it can come crashing down resulting in chronic health conditions such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Mindfulness meditation is a technique designed to help alleviate symptoms of poor emotional wellbeing, mental health and physical health. I often incorporate mindfulness mediation into my client’s treatment protocols to help slow the body down and retrain the brain which ultimately gives us a better chance of recovering from whatever physical or mental health illness it may be.

 

What is mindfulness meditation and where did it come from?

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of purposely being mindful, which means being present in the moment without any distractions and accepting it without judgement. It helps shift your thoughts away from your usual preoccupations towards an awareness and appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective on life whilst also connecting the mind to the body. This practice has been around for thousands of years and it now transcends religious and cultural backgrounds appealing to those from all walks of life but it’s roots originate from Vietnamese Buddhism and in the last 40 years has been pioneered by the American doctor John-Zin-Yannet who helped bring mindfulness into mainstream medicine and is said to be the father of modern mindfulness meditation.

I personally have struggled with meditation my mind is so busy that I struggle to calm it down. However, I have found over the years that the more I let go and practice it, the easier it gets and now 5 years on(!) I love it! I used to aim to do it everyday but realistically it doesn’t happen so now I aim for 3-4 times per week (and if I do more then it’s a bonus!). The best time for me to meditate is when I’m not working and mumming is once Noah is down for his nap. I also like to concentrate on how meditation benefits those around me for example, I’m more compassionate to those around me, a lot calmer and I have more mental capacity to deal with every day stresses!

Scientific research has proven time and time again that mindfulness has powerful effects and so many different health benefits which really are limitless so I’m going to share with you my top 5 reasons why we should all be practicing mindfulness (all of which are backed by science).

 

Relieves Stress and Anxiety

Are you stressed out or suffer with anxiety? Mindfulness can help reduce anxiety because it helps bring attention to the present moment instead of leaving your mind to run wild worrying about both the past and the future. Researchers have found that even a single session of mindfulness meditation can result in reduced anxiety. For the study, researchers focused on the effect of a single session of mindfulness meditation on participants with high levels of anxiety but normal blood pressure. They found measurable improvements in anxiety following the single mindfulness meditation session and further anxiety reduction one week later. This can also lead to amazing physical health benefits because a stressed system can lead to lots of different illnesses! Our bodies are simply not designed to be stressed 24/7.

 

Improves Mood and Lifts Depression

Do you suffer with depression? Most people at some point in their life will experience some kind of mental health difficulties which can include depression. Mindfulness is known to help chronic depression and improve overall happiness because it teaches you to accept thoughts without judgement. This is SO important because negative feelings are commonly associated with the development of depression. People at risk for depression are dealing with a lot of negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs about themselves, and this can easily slide into a depressive relapse,” says Willem Kuyken, PhD, a professor at the University of Oxford. “MBCT helps them to recognize that’s happening, engage with it in a different way and respond to it with equanimity and compassion.” A study found that MBCT provided significant relapse protection for participants with a history of childhood trauma that left them with increased vulnerability for depression. It gave them a kind of “mental armour.”

 

Improves Sleep Quality

Anyone that has suffered the lingering mental and physical effects of poor sleep on a regular basis will understand the importance of deep, restful and restorative sleep. The deep relaxation technique has been shown to increase sleep time, improve sleep quality, and make it easier to fall (and stay) asleep. Research has found that with older adults diagnosed with sleep disturbances, the practice of mindfullness resulted in signigicant short term imporvement in sleep quality by getting rid of sleep problems!

 

Improves Focus and Cognitive Health

I think so many people in the modern world find they are easily distracted, struggling to concentrate and have a lack of focus because our minds are so busy trying to do so many different things at once. As the world gets more and more distracting, it’s harder than ever to stay focused on what matters most and hold our attention there, whether it’s work, relationships, or our studies. The ability to control and regulate our attention is as a powerful tool. We can teach ourselves to maintain focus and concentrate for longer, to resist procrastination, and to keep our most important priorities front and centre in our minds. And mindfulness, it seems, is one of the best ways to practice and strengthen our attentional muscle. Mindfulness meditation can help enhance brain power, memory and cognitive recall. The zen practice of ‘thinking about nothing’ has been shown to boost people’s attention span by liberating the mind from distraction. Researchers found that brief meditation training (four days) can lead to enhanced ability to sustain attention. People’s ability to focus and hold attention even on boring stimulus improves significantly with mindfulness.

 

Reduces Chronic Pain

Millions of people suffer with chronic pain, including most of my clients. Managing chronic pain is the focus of much current research, as it’s been found that mindfulness can help increase our pain thresholds so our perception of pain is greatly reduced. A 2011 study published in the April issue of the Journal of Neuroscience found that just 80 minutes of mindful meditation could cut pain perception nearly in half. This study is backed up by another study conducted at the University of Montreal that studied 13 Zen meditators, all of whom had at least 1,000 hours of practice, compared with a group of non-meditators to see whether regular meditation practice would affect perception of pain. The results were overwhelming—the Zen meditators had a higher pain threshold than the non-meditators. I really recommend to my clients who suffer from chronic pain as a tool to help cope with illness!

 

How to practice mindfulness

You can practice mindfulness at home simply by focusing on the present moment, bringing awareness to your body and how you are feeling and accepting your thoughts without judgement. It can actually be really difficult at first as we are so used to our minds being ‘busy’ so it takes a lot of practice! It gets easier over time though. I have some app recommendations and book recommendations to share with you if you would like to learn more or prefer more of a guided meditation!

 

APPS

Headspace – I use Headspace where you can sign up and do 10 sessions for free but then I signed up for the full programme, it’s well worth it for the yearly subscription!

Insight Timer

This is a great app to use because it’s free! It has lots of guided meditations to choose from that come from different spiritual traditions. It also comes with a timer so you can personalise your own meditation practice. It creates a record of your practice and also let’s you know how many people are meditating when you are so it offers a real sense of connection with others.

The Mindfulness App – 

This is an amazing app for anyone looking to improve their mental health and overall wellbeing. It’s perfect for those starting out with meditation and on a journey to a more relaxed and healthier state of mind. It’s also a great app for the more advanced! My favourite is the five day guided meditations which I find helps improve satisfaction with my day to day life. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a discount code to sign up! So excited to have teamed up with The Mindfulness App.

 

 

Books 

Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World (includes free CD with guided meditations) which you can buy here.

Mindfulness for Health: A practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing which you can buy here.

The Little Book of Mindfulness which you can buy here.

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled which you can buy here.

The Headspace Guide to Mindfulness and Meditation which you can buy here.

 

As someone who strives to be present in the moment, minimize stress and appreciate the beauty and preciousness of life, I really encourage my clients to learn about the scientifically proven health benefits of mindfulness so then they can begin to incorporate mindfulness into their everyday life as a tool to help improve their emotional, mental and physical wellness. The best part is that anyone can practice mindfulness, anywhere, anytime and unlike most of the techniques and treatment available in this world, mindfulness is absolutely free! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and will find benefits from Mindfulness Meditation just like I have. To get you started I’ve teamed up with The Mindfulness App to give you a discount code for subscription to their app! Head over to my Instagram @hellohealing and message me – the first 25 people will receive the code!

 

Sources:

  • https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2110998
  • https://nickwignall.com/mindfulness-benefits/
  • https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/harvard-researchers-study-how-mindfulness-may-change-the-brain-in-depressed-patients/
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0092656616301118
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19181542
  • https://www.dietvsdisease.org/benefits-mindfulness-meditation/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3311113/
  • https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-amazing-benefits-mindfulness-backed-science.html
  • https://www.livescience.com/13771-meditation-reduces-pain.html
  • https://eocinstitute.org/meditation/mindfulness-meditation-technique/

The Truth About Clean And Natural Beauty

Those of you who have followed my blog since the beginning of Hello Healing will know that I try to provide information to do well by our bodies, our kids and our environment and for those of you who are new here, welcome along the journey! So first things first…

 

What is clean beauty? 

Clean beauty means products that are made from non-toxic ingredients, instead they are made from completely natural ingredients. Most products that you see on the shelves on the high-street or that you buy online from department stores are not natural and are made from toxic ingredients which are linked to multiple hazardous health effects. You probably are wondering how they ended up on the shelves in the first place if they are toxic and have associated health risks, so you will be surprised to know that the lack of policy for personal care products and the rules and regulations for beauty products within the EU are actually not very strict. Unfortunately it’s a very poorly regulated industry, which may come as a slight shock and is a disaster for our health and the environment. 

 

Why does turning clean matter? 

Your skin is your bodies second largest organ so we really should treat it with kindness! Let’s take a minute to think about your skin as if it was your stomach, would you want to fill your stomach on a daily basis with processed foods full of refined sugar, stabilisers, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, additives and colourings? I don’t think so. So why would you want the same thing for your skin? Whatever we put on our skin ends up in our bodies because it absorbed via the bloodstream so it’s time to think twice about what products you are putting on your skin and ultimately your body. 

 

What does this mean for people with chronic illness?

When you are sick, your immune system is compromised and your body doesn’t deal with toxins as well they used to. This means that it’s important to reduce the toxic load on our body to give it the best chance of healing and recovery. It’s known as the ‘load phenomenon’ when the body acquires so many toxins through the air we breathe in, the food we eat and the products we put on our skin – once this gets so high our body will start to product symptoms such as fatigue, pain, brain fog, headaches etc so it’s important to reduce the toxic load on our bodies as much as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is via our skin!

 

Ingredients to look out for

Some of the most important chemicals to look out for are parabens (common preservatives that make our products have a longer shelf life / last longer. Parabens are endocrine disruptors which are chemical compounds that have the ability to mimic our bodies own hormones leading to changes in hormone levels causing illnesses such as thyroid disorders, mood disorders and birth defects. Phthalates (used to keep products soft) are also known endocrine disruptors and are carcinogenic (cancer causing). Sodium Laurel Sulphates (SLS) (used to create the ‘foaming’ technique) cause skin irritation. Aluminium is used in a wide range of deodorants to block the sweat ducks from releasing sweat to the surface of the skin. However, aluminium has been found to be linked to increased rates of breast cancer near the site of absorption on the skin as well as diseases such as Alzheimers. Mineral oils are moisturising agents sourced from petroleum and are also carcinogenic. These are the most important ingredients to stay away from so always check your labels!

 

How do you know if a product is completely natural?

One of the most important things to be aware of is that just because a product say’s natural / clean / green / eco on the front or advertises itself as natural it doesn’t actually mean that it is. Companies are allowed to write whatever they want on packaging with no rules or regulations. They are also fully aware that there is a huge shift in consumer shopping habits and that people want to shop ‘cleaner’ so they advertise themselves as natural even though they are not because they know this is what you want to buy. This falsely leads you to thinking you are buying products that are safe for your health when they are definitely not. This is not okay because we all deserve to know what is in our products. My top tip when shopping for natural products is to always check the labels and read the whole way through! Especially if a product is claiming to be natural, organic, green or eco and nontoxic. There is an AMAZING app you can use called ‘Think Dirty’ which tells you how clean millions of products actually are. Get downloading!

 

Why is shopping organic even better?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that a product is either natural or organic but a product can be natural and non-organic or it can be both, natural and organic. It’s important for your skincare to be completely natural but being organic as well means it’s even more non-toxic because the ingredients are in the purest form. Organic means the natural ingredients used in the products which are plant derived are also grown without the use of nasty chemicals. Natural simply means products are derived from natural sources without adding synthetic compounds but as you can see shopping organic takes things to a whole new level!

At home we try to be as non-toxic as possible, especially now I have baby Noah I want to protect his health (we don’t use a lot on him at all, mainly burts bees nappy cream when needed and neals yard). I’ve spoken to my clients who are really into ‘clean beauty’ to find out which products they recommend and I’ve looked at all the natural beauty products on the market (that are actually natural!), as well as visiting Tranquility a natural and organic beauty store when I was in The Midlands recently to share with you some of my favourites!

 

 

 

SHOPPING WITH CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES 

Green People is a UK based brand which is amazing if you suffer with chemical sensitivities like a lot of my patients do because they offer a natural and organic range which is completely scent free. There products are based on organic plant extracts and other natural ingredients so it’s also perfect for those with sensitive skin. It’s also vegan friendly, cruelty free and never tested on animals! The only downside to Green People is that it is quite expensive but for people with chemical sensitivities there isn’t much other option! @greenpeopleuk

 

 

 

Shea is a relatively new brand based in Staffordshire, they offer a scent free range which is free-from scent, essential oils (those who are chemically sensitive can even react to natural essential oils) and it’s even free-from water! Ideal for those with chemical sensitivities. They sell hand cream, face cream and body cream and all of the products are also made from 100% organic ingredients so they are in the purest form you can find. None of the products are tested on animals so are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. A bonus is the packaging of the scent free range is plastic free! @sheagoddess78

 

 

NATURAL SKINCARE

Sukin is an Australian brand (a lot of the best clean skincare brands hail from Australia and New Zealand) which offer completely natural skincare at a relatively affordable price! Sukin products are completely natural and free from petroleum / mineral oils, synthetic fragrance, animal derivatives, artificial colourings, harsh detergents, parabons, phthalates and sulphates, all of which you want to avoid! Their products are made from plant oils, fruits, vegetables, essential oils and botanical plants, they are never tested on animals so are suitable for vegans as they are cruelty free. If you are going to buy anything I highly recommend their facial scrubs! @sukinskincare

Antipodes is an amazing certified organic skin care brand from New Zealand, it’s much more luxurious and high end than Sukin so it’s great if you want to treat yourself or buy as a present for someone. Antipodes is a premium natural and organic skincare brand which use organic ingredients wherever possible, Antipodes is said to be the rolls-royce of natural skincare. It’s also cruelty-free and vegan friendly! I really recommend their eye creams, either the kiwi seed oil eye-cream or the manuka honey skin-brightening eye cream. @antipodesskincare

 

 

 

 

SHAMPOO + CONDITIONER + SHOWER GEL 

Faith in Nature is a UK based brand with over 40 years of experience specialising in natural skin care and hair care products that are also vegan-friendly and cruelty free. The products are made from herbal extract, essential oils and and organic oils just as nature intended. It’s also relatively affordable so I definitely recommend, we use this brand at home and LOVE the aloe vera shampoo! The best thing about this brand is that they offer refillable products so they work with independent shops across the country where you can go in and refill your bottles once they run out to help reduce single use plastic waste which in turn helps reduce the damaging impact on the environment. @faithinnature_uk

 

 

Urtekram is Scandinavia’s larges certified organic wholesaler. This Danish company was inspired by the founder’s pioneering spirit to make the world a little bit greener. They offer multiple different ranges of shampoos, conditioners and shower gels with super gorgeous packaging! If you look up Urtekram on the ‘think dirty’ app I mentioned earlier on, they are one of the cleanest brands out there which wins bonus points with me. @urtekram

 

 

DEODORANT  

Salt of the Earth is the brand we always use at home! It’s a UK based company which have created deodorants made from 100% natural ingredients that are vegan friendly. They offer a range of deodorants so you can choose which one works best for you including, scent-free, spray deodorant, roll-on deodorant an they have recently created one that’s plastic free! @saltoftheearthdeodrant

Earth Conscious deodorant has been a market leader for plastic free deodorants the last few years. They are a UK based company made on the Isle of White who have created effective deodorants without compromising the natural ingredients, they contain no aluminium, parabens, carcinogens or known toxins. The packing is 100% recyclable so they are super eco-friendly and they donate 10p from every sale of deodorant to the marine conversation society to help support the welfare and the conservation of marine life. @earthconciousuk

 

 

 

TOOTHPASTE + MOUTHWASH

My favourite toothpaste which we use at home is Aloe Dent because it doesn’t contain SLS and is fluoride free! Fluoride is a really important ingredient to look out for because its highly toxic and  linked to multiple hazardous health effects such as kidney disease, brain effects and even cancer. It’s generally used to help protect teeth enamel but I would really advise to stay away and go fluoride free!

 

 

The best places to buy these products from online are Holland & Barrett, Naturismo, Planet Organic, Big Green Smile and Ethical Superstore. I hope you enjoyed this blog and feel more powerful and informed so you can make conscious choices about your beauty and skin care. At the end of the day the way we spend our money is what makes the greatest change, currency is the way to have the greatest impact on the future of our health and our planet. By doing this we will one day be able to ensure that all products are clean and safe. This is not about being perfect because perfection doesn’t exist and it isn’t real life, this is just about making better decisions to ultimately help you, your health, your family as well as the environment. I would love to hear from you and your experiences with clean beauty, if you have any products you recommend then please let me know!

Head over to my Instagram and Facebook page @hellohealing

 

SOURCES: 

  • https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jat.899
  • https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/23/phthalates-everyday-products-toxics-guide
  • https://www.allure.com/story/beauty-ingredients-to-avoid
  • https://goop.com/beauty/personal-care/clean-beauty-and-why-its-important/
  • https://goop.com/beauty/personal-care/non-toxic-beauty/
  • https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/skin-care/g28471281/organic-all-natural-skin-care-brands/
  • https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/feb/04/is-clean-beauty-a-skincare-revolution-or-a-pointless-indulgence
  • https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/benefits-of-organic-and-natural-skincare/

Pacing – The Secret Key to Recovery?

Having lived in the CFS/ME/Fibro/Lyme world for over a decade when I was unwell, pacing was just part of my everyday vocabulary and I thought everyone knew what it meant and that not everyone did it, but I assumed everyone at least knew what it was. This definitely is not the case because since I went on to study nutrition and now can happily say treat clients, time and time again I ask my clients, “Are you pacing as part of your every day routine?” Most of the time I’m met with blank stares. This is a BIG problem because I believe pacing is a HUGE part of recovering from not all but most chronic illnesses. And the best news, wait for it… it’s FREE!!!!! (We love free stuff when healing because the rest is so blinking expensive).

You’re a battery pack: 

Okay so basic idea of pacing… imagine the average ‘healthy’ person has 100% of a battery, they get up in the morning, off they go to work all day, come home from work, make tea etc you get the gist! Then even when they go to bed at night they still have maybe 30% of their battery left. They sleep, next morning the battery has recharged and they are back to 100% and off they go again.

However, those with a chronic illness don’t have 100% of a battery, they might have 60% (maybe they are able to work part time), they might have 30% or they might have 5-10%.

For example, lets take someone who has 30% of a battery. They can only manage to potter around the house, they need help making food, they can take a quick shower but can’t stand for long, chatting can be exhausting, brain fog is an issue. If this person takes a trip in their wheelchair one day and it’s too much their battery has been used from 30 to 15%, then a friend comes over and stays too long, 5%… the battery is nearly flat. And with chronic illness our batteries don’t recharge overnight as well as the next person. Once the battery is empty that person can’t do anything, they simply lie in bed until that battery recharges which may take days, weeks or months, it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. That is why when you have a chronic illness you need to make sure you pace so your battery level doesn’t reach 0%.

How to use pacing as a technique to manage chronic illness:

  1. Work out what battery power you have, are you 50%, 40% etc.
  2. You need to work out your BASELINE. This is what you can sustain on a daily basis without making yourself more sick (if people push too hard / use up too much energy than this can happen). Can you have a shower and get dressed and not feel worse? Can you go for a walk and feel worse? Can you work part time and not feel worse? Whatever this is, is your baseline – when you can do an activity and feel the same afterwards. Remember everyone has a different baseline, so try not to compare yourselves to others, it won’t help. If you go and meet a friend and come back and your back in bed then you have just burnt out your battery, and pushed your adrenal glands to the max. We call this boom and bust. Something which is SO important to avoid!

Boom and Bust:

This is when we push push push when we feel we have a little more energy and capability and then afterwards we crash, hard. Many of my clients do this before coming to see me and it doesn’t work, it won’t help you get better. You may be able to do it for a certain amount of time but I have seen too often that eventually your body says no and then it will crash harder than ever before. The body can’t heal if its constantly being pushed all the time to maximum level.

I do believe one of the main contributing factors people become ill in the first place is often chronic stress and chronic pushing themselves for a long period of time until the body gives up and says no more! And most people relapse in their illness when they push too hard for example, return to work too soon or are under chronic stress with no tools to be able to cope. It’s a massive issue we need more education on and this is why I feel it is absolutely KEY to recovery!

What’s important to know is that this goes for everyone, not just those with chronic illness. I know my baseline but it’s taken me years of tweaking it to figure it out. My husband recently pushed his baseline (because he didn’t understand pacing) – he had a full time stressful job with exams alongside, a newborn baby, a new house, family, friends, exercising, church, cooking, marriage and his body crashed because he couldn’t listen and he was never resting. I’m grateful that now he has learnt about pacing and he knows his BASELINE so hopefully this won’t happen again (handy being married to a Nutritionist sometimes).

My personal mistakes when it comes to pacing: 

18 years old I went off to university, I lived in halls, new people, new uni, new course, never lived alone before but so desperately wanted to be “normal” after five years of being seriously ill. I wouldn’t listen to anyone which looking back, now seems a tad silly. I lasted three weeks. Then I returned home with what I hoped was just a weekend to recover and I never went back. I didn’t pace, I pushed and pushed and pushed and I ended up back at square one, in bed with my parents caring for me. Not long after that the deepest darkest depression of my life also kicked in because I felt like a huge failure. In simple terms I pushed too hard and I didn’t listen to my body or anyone’s advice.

21 years oldMy second big relapse. I moved in with my boyfriend at the time. It was beyond stressful because we were going in different directions in life. I moved into a moldy house (stress on my immune system). I started studying at CNM two weekends a month which was too much for me. My granny died suddenly. So can you guess what happened? I ended up back in with my parents again and my relationship ended. Again, I didn’t listen to any advice, I was foolish in hindsight. I didn’t have any stress management techniques in place to help me to deal with grief or stressful situations at the time. Life happens which we can’t avoid this but we can control how we deal with them.

Root cause – I always tried to prove I was “normal”, to fit in, to live a normal life. But really I was still poorly needing support and focusing on my health. When I started to do that in my 20’s it’s meant that my life has turned out in a much happier way! Happily married with a beautiful baby boy Noah and on top of that living a full and healthy life.

Top Tips on Pacing:

Look at your week… does it feel overwhelming? Change things! You are in control. You may think well I NEED to see that friend for coffee because that is the only time they can do it, or I NEED to do the shopping that day because it’s my only window to do so. You also NEED to control your diary because eventually your body will say not be able to cope anymore.

Get an online shop delivered, ask friends if they can reschedule (because 9/10 they can), does that job need to be done this week or can it be moved to a less busy week, and most importantly ask for help.

If you think every Monday morning – “If I can just get through this week it will be ok”. But the problem is when that happens every single Monday morning, there is no time to rest.

Be aware of adrenaline – this is “false energy” and you’ll probably pay for it later.

Don’t overdo things on the days you feel ok – bank that energy for healing.

Stop people pleasing because you can’t sustain it. So often I’ve gone to birthdays or parties so I don’t let people down but it’s unsustainable if you really can’t manage it. You need to rest, get well and then you can go to all the parties and all the weddings in the world!

Or maybe you can go to an event or go for a walk but take a break. Maybe a wheelchair or a scooter would be helpful to save energy but would make it easier to get out the house.

Schedule ‘me time’ – our modern world is crazy, fast paced. Get some headspace, do your nails whatever it is which helps you to switch off.

Please hear me correctly, I’m not saying don’t do anything! I’m saying if it’s too much and you know it will set you backwards thats your body saying it’s not right to do that today and we need to get better. This is something I speak to clients about all day everyday, it’s a common mistake we are all making. It takes time to learn to adjust but boy it’s a powerful tool once you have cracked it!

Nobody can live a million miles per hour and avoid it catching up with them in some way eventually. Human bodies are not designed to live like that.

I will be doing a ‘Stress Management’ blog to follow on from this where I’ll discuss stressors you maybe didn’t realise – TV, music, people, EMFs etc. so stay tuned! Any questions about the above just ask – on Instagram or Facebook at @hellohealing – would love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

 

A poem to finish by Sylvia Waites a lady with CFS “The 10 Commandments”.

Thou shalt not be perfect nor try to be.

Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people.

Thou shalt leave things undone that ought to be done.

Thou shalt not spread thyself too thin.

Thou shalt learn to say “no”

Thou shalt schedule time for thyself, and for thy supporting network.

Thou shalt switch off and do nothing regularly.

Thou shalt be boring, untidy, inelegant and unattractive at times.

Thou shalt not even feel guilty.

Thou shalt not be thine own worst enemy, but thine own best friend.

 

The Perrin Technique

What is The Perrin Technique?

The Perrin Technique is a form of treatment developed by the UK based osteopath, Dr Ray Perrin to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomitis also known as CFS / ME in 1989. It is based on the theory that certain stress factors such as physical, emotional, chemical or immunological cause too much strain on the sympathetic nervous system leading to CFS/ME. Examples of these stressors could be injury, psychological trauma, ingestion of toxic chemicals in the work place, allergies or infection. The sympathetic nervous system controls the drainage of the lymphatic system – an important network channel of small vessels around the body which carry a transparent fluid known at ‘lymph’. The lymph system is a waste disposal unit where toxic waste products of our cells and foreign bodies are dumped and flushed towards the liver where they are excreted. When people have CFS / ME research has shown that the drainage of the lymphatic system does not work properly, causing a buildup of toxins and congestion within the lymph system creating the symptoms we recognize as CFS/ME.

The treatment involves a hands-on massage of the soft head, neck, back and chest area aiming to manually push the congested toxins in the lymph system towards the liver where they are excreted. Manipulation of the spine is also offered to help with the drainage of these toxins. Over time as the load of toxicity is reduced, the burden of toxins affecting the sympathetic nervous system is less so is able to gradually regulate the lymphatic system flow better – as well as a form of detox, the treatment essentially teaches the sympathetic nervous system how to function correctly again so over time as toxicity and symptoms reduce, it can eventually work by itself again and there will no longer be a need for treatment. It’s important to know that The Perrin Technique may not work for everyone with CFS / ME, whilst a large proportion go on to see improvements in quality of life, some patients do become completely symptom free as health is restored.

 

 

Who can The Perrin Technique help?

As well as The Perrin Technique being an important form of treatment for those with CFS / ME, Dr Perrin can also provide a diagnosis of CFS / ME. In most cases, CFS / ME is diagnosed by exclusion by health practitioners around the world after multiple exclusive tests and if the symptoms do not improve or disappear after many months. Dr Perrin conducts a thorough consultation, going through your history, symptoms, and includes a physical examination to determine a CFS / ME diagnosis. A research study published by The British Medical Journal in 2017 has shown that 86% of patients with CFS / ME were diagnosed with The Perrin Technique evaluation compared to 44% in standard examinations, you can read more about the study here. With this illness, the sooner you get a diagnosis the better so you can put into place the necessary lifestyle changes and treatment to help with your recovery. Dr Perrin says that a CFS/ME diagnosis should always be considered if a patient’s symptoms are aggravated after exertion. Dr Perrin can also provide letters with evidence to support benefit claims and provide information to schools and places of work if people are unable to attend or are having difficulties with the need of some medical explanation.

The Perrin Technique is well known within the CFS/ ME community however It is not just those with CFS / ME that The Perrin technique can help; it can also help other conditions such as Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) and EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome). These conditions are known as co-morbidities of CFS / ME meaning they are often present alongside CFS / ME. It’s important for people to be aware that there is treatment out there that can potentially help these conditions and is something trained Perrin Practitioners encourage people to try. A study was conducted investigating whether there are abnormal MRI results in people with CFS / ME – the study showed that ‘longitudinal MRI shows no cereal abnormality in chronic fatigue syndrome‘. The study found that even though patients with CFS / ME were helped in the study by The Perrin Technique, there were no abnormalities found in the brain using standard MRI which doesn’t show the lymphatic system. This means that even though patients are having brain scans around the world that show nothing wrong, they do still have ME and abnormalities of the lymphatic system because they showed improvements with the treatment. These findings emphasise the need for doctors to not reply to heavily on scan results and ‘no abnormality detected’, which sometimes they go onto suggest it must be ‘all in the mind’ because of lack of abnormalities on standard tests. In conclusion, it shows that patients can still have CFS / ME and it’s only more specialised scans which aren’t available yet for the public which will show abnormalities. Dr Perrin will be publishing a second book this year where he talks more about these various co-morbidities of CFS / ME and expands further on his research studies, however if you are interested in learning more about this treatment approach then you can buy his original book off Amazon, here, The Perrin Technique.

 

 

We have spoken to Dr Perrin himself, to ask him some of your questions you gave us over on our Instagram page – @hellohealing

Q – Why do you think this treatment is so beneficial for people with CFS / ME?
A – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME I discovered 30 years ago is due to a buildup of toxins in the central nervous system which is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. These toxins are usually inflammatory and are often cytokines which are protein molecules that are pro-inflammatory and stuck in the central nervous system. This has been proven by Standford University and other researchers (include link to study here) that there are these inflammatory toxins in the brain and the spinal cord. My treatment The Perrin Technique drains these toxins away, it’s designed to drain the neuro-lymphatic system.

Q – If people have already bought the original Perrin Technique book why should they buy the new book as well?
A – The new book isn’t out yet but it will be out later this year. The new book has all the science backing up everything I said in the first book so it’s very good evidence for patients, for doctors and medical and scientific bodies to understand the rationale behind The Perrin Technique and to know that it’s all evidence based. Secondly, we deal with Fibromyalgia more in this book and we deal with other co-infections and co-morbidities such as Lyme Disease and POTS and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome with the names of the names of the patients and where they come from to show that they are real testimonials and patients talking about their experience over the year. There were also be a lot more advice about lifestyle, nutrition and self-help things you can do at home and also guides on supplementation so it will be much more comprehensive.

Q – Do you have any work trips up and what are they for?
A – My next trip is to Geneva in Switzerland to train up practitioners which will be coming up very shortly. In September I’ll be training up an osteopathic clinic there because I was approached by a patient with CFS / ME who lives there who is suffering quite badly. We have no practitioners in Switzerland yet but now we will have a whole group of osteopaths trained up in Geneva. I also have quite a few trips planned abroad for conferences and lectures in Poland, Germany and Israel.

 

The following are links of some of Dr Perrin’s research which can be found in peer reviewed papers:

Lymphatic Drainage of the Neuraxis in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Hypothetical Model for the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2007).

https://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2093441

Muscle fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and its response to a manual therapeutic approach: A pilot study in the British Osteopathic Journal (2010).

https://www.journalofosteopathicmedicine.com/article/S1746-0689(10)00138-0/fulltext

 

 

How to book an appointment for The Perrin Technique?

The Perrin Technique website has a map of all the current licensed Perrin practitioners, who offer The Perrin Technique treatment, you can view the map here… We spoke to The Perrin Clinic who said the website is currently being redesigned with an up to date version of the map and there may be some Perrin practitioners who are not on the map so it is best to call The Perrin Clinic in Manchester to see if there is anyone near you, more information is available on their website. If you want to see Dr Perrin himself then you can see him at his clinic in Manchester or in Bushey in Hertfordshire. Practitioners are usually qualified as osteopaths, physiotherapists or chiropractors who have then gone on to train with Dr Perrin in The Perrin Technique.

 

 

What to expect from your first appointment?

Firstly, you will fill out a comprehensive questionnaire detailing your medical history. The Perrin practitioner will then explain the Perrin treatment and the reasons behind the technique and go through your medical history and symptoms in detail, they will also answer any questions you might have. This will be followed by an examination of your spine, abdomen, head and lymphatic system (mainly the upper body and breast tissues) with your consent. If the appointment is with Dr Perrin, a diagnosis can be made and the patient will also be given a score of 10/10 with 10 being perfectly healthy. Other practitioners will give a score in the initial consultation but they will not be able to give a formal diagnosis like Dr Perrin can.

 

Here is some more information about The Perrin Technique where Dr Perrin is interviewed by The Energy Blueprint, a platform designed to inform and share scientific evidence-based strategies to improve your health, and increase your vitality and energy.

Below is an article by The ME Association about a woman who battled with CFS / ME for nearly 20 years before discovering The Perrin Technique. She goes into detail about what her life was like before discovering the treatment and how The Perrin Technique turned her life around.

My 17-year battle with the ‘invisible illness’, Cambridge Evening News, 25 February 2012

I would definitely say that the Perrin Technique was one of the big things which helped my recovery, I saw a wonderful practitioner in Westhoughton for nearly 5 years. When I first began it in 2008, my mum had to drive me in the car with my eyes closed because I was so light sensitive, she could just manage to get me into some clothes to make the trip from my bed and I would go in a wheelchair but now I am living a normal life (with lots of other interventions along the way). It’s always so reflective to look back on those days. My Perrin practitioner had also suffered with CFS/Lyme and so she was a great motivation for me to recover. Lots of clients now do the Perrin technique with great success. I hope that this blog post helps bring an understanding to The Perrin Technique and an awareness that there is treatment out there for people with CFS / ME and co-morbidities such as Fibromyalgia, POTS, EDS and Lyme Disease. This treatment is different from any other approach and there is a chance that if someone hasn’t tried it with the above conditions then it may help as you won’t know you need lymphatic drainage until you have an assessment and try a treatment. It might work but it might not however, I feel that it’s worth giving it a go! Don’t forgot to follow on Instagram and Facebook @hellohealing, I would love to know your thoughts and if you have any questions then get in touch!

 

Sources:

Home

My 17-year battle with the ‘invisible illness’, Cambridge Evening News, 25 February 2012

https://me-pedia.org/wiki/The_Perrin_Technique

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/11/e017521

The Perrin Technique

https://news.sky.com/story/massage-technique-speeds-up-diagnosis-of-chronic-fatigue-illnesses-11125556

https://www.thevillageosteopaths.co.uk/the-perrin-technique

The Perrin Technique – March 2010

Toxic Brains, Frozen Spines and the Perrin Point: Ray Perrin, ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia

The Perrin Technique – March 2010

https://www.pnas.org/content/116/21/10250

 

The Health Risks of EMFs and Ways To Reduce Exposure

 

What are EMFs? 

 You are probably wondering what EMFS are, it seems to be an ever-increasing topic of conversation these days especially amongst those who are health conscious; maybe you are already aware or maybe you are here to learn more? Most of us are used to the conveniences that everyday life provides us with, yet few of us are educated on how these modern technologies we rely on so much may actually be adversely affecting our health. EMFs also known as Electro Magnetic Fields are invisible energy fields produced by electrical devices; they are a form of electromagnetic radiation. Most people know that radiation can be harmful to our health but the question is in what doses and in what forms? 

 

Sources of EMFs 

You will be familiar with most of the following sources of EMFs but some may take you by surprise.  Let’s take a step back in time to understand how EMFs began; since the beginning of the universe the sun has been emitting EMFs as ultra violet radiation which we can see visibly as light. Then at the start of the 20th century electric power lines and indoor lighting were created by scientists for people around the world, these emit EMFs just like the sun. Over the years scientists went on to develop more and more technologies which emit EMFs such as x-rays and MRIs, radio waves and television signals and even radioactive atoms in nuclear bombs. Now in the 21st century our lives are more and more frequently consumed by EMF technologies as we live amongst mobile phones, wireless WiFi networks and Bluetooth devices. There are more and more heading our way as we have smart meters and 5g just around the corner. As you can see, environmental exposure to EMFs has gradually increased over the last century as a result of growing electricity demands, continual advancements in technologies and a more and more social world in which we live, the world has become polluted with ‘electro smog’ in a similar way to the pollution you know about from exhaust fumes, manufacturing processes, cigarette smoke the world is also now polluted with radiation. Due to the increase in the usage of EMFs being fairly recent, it is a very new phenomenon which is still widely unknown. Scientists have some evidence of the effects of EMFS but much more research needs to be done. We will explore what we already know, the ways it affects our health and ways we can avoid and reduce our exposures. 

 

Dangers of EMF 

So how do EMFs actually work in our bodies? There is science behind it believe it or not! Even without being exposed to EMFs we have tiny electrical currents continuously running inside our bodies due to the chemical reactions that occur as part of our bodies’ normal daily functions. For example, nerves relay information by transmitting electrical impulses around the body and even the heart is electrically active – an activity your doctor can trace with the help of an electrogram.  So, what actually happens inside our bodies when we expose ourselves to outside EMFs (radiation)? To put it simply, EMFs induce circulating currents within the human body which mean they stimulate the electrical currents already inside our bodies, altering biological processes and putting pressure on the immune system which is not great if your bodies resources are already depleted. The strength of these currents depends on the intensity of the outside magnetic field, which means that different strengths of EMFs can cause different levels of harm to the body. This is something that is commonly understood as you can see below when we look at the different types of EMF exposures but a common misconception is that the effect on human health is solely down to the type of frequency of EMFs (high or low). Scientists however are now finding that it is also down to the length of the time of exposure rather than the frequency of the exposure so this is something that really needs to be considered when it comes to protecting ourselves from EMFs and reducing our exposures.  

 

There are two types of EMF exposure: 

High-frequency EMFs – this has been proven time and time again to cause cellular and DNA damage:

  • X-rays and gamma rays  
  • Ultraviolet (UV) sunlight  

Low-frequency EMFs – just because these frequencies are at a lower level it does not mean that they are not harmful because biological changes that stress the body over long periods of time, can still become irreversible and cause adverse health effects; 

  • Generation and transmission of electricity through power lines and domestic appliances, e.g. hair dryers, hoovers, fridges, irons, electric toothbrushes, electric blankets, phone chargers 
  • Radio wave broadcasting 
  • Telecommunications TV signals 
  • Microwaves 
  • Bluetooth devices 
  • Smart meters  
  • Wireless WiFi networks 
  • Mobile phone signals  

 

Symptoms of EMF Sensitivity / Exposure  

It’s important to know that anyone can be at risk of the harmful effects of EMFs; infants, children, adults and the elderly but they may not feel the effects, not in the short term anyway but in years to come they may go on to develop long term effects of EMF exposure such as cancer and other chronic illnesses.  Those with low immunity may be particularly sensitive to EMFs in the short term. If you are sensitive to EMFs (where you get symptoms when you are exposed) this is known as a condition called electro-sensitivity, if you are sensitive then you may experience symptoms around EMFs that others do not feel. The following symptoms are common symptoms of sensitivity to EMF exposure:

  • Sleep disturbances including insomnia 
  • Fatigue 
  • Headaches 
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Burning and tingling sensations of the skin  
  • Muscle aches and pains 
  • Brain fog 
  • Lack of concentration  
  • Changes in memory 
  • Depression  
  • Irritability  
  • Restlessness  
  • Anxiety  
  • Nausea 
  • Loss of libido  

If you are already experiencing the above common symptoms, then you may have realized after reading this that you are someone who is sensitive to EMFs. It’s important to note that you do not need all of these symptoms to be sensitive to EMFs, you may have just a few or you may have a whole host of EMF exposure symptoms. However, these symptoms can also be caused by multiple other things so it’s important to know that they are not necessarily from EMF exposure. A good way to find out is to be aware of how you feel when in high EMF areas compared to low EMF areas, see if you can see a correlation between when your symptoms are worse or better. You can also reduce your exposure to EMFs to see if it helps, which we will discuss below.  

 

Reducing EMF Exposure  

The most valuable piece of information to know when trying to reduce EMF exposure is that the strength of an electromagnetic field decreases rapidly as the distance from the source increases so the further you are away from anything emitting EMFs, (the less radiation your body encounters) the better! Here are some top tips to reduce EMF exposure in the home and in daily living: 

  • Only have your phone on when you need it, if you are chronically ill reduce to 1 hour per day
  • Keep data / WiFi turned off on phones when you’re not using it   
  • Use speaker function or earphones when speaking on the phone so it’s further away from your body  
  • Set up ‘screen time’ on your phone to limit the usage 
  • Make sure you turn your phone off at night 
  • Don’t sleep with your phone under the pillow instead have it as far away from you as possible
  • Remove WiFi from the home instead install a hard-wired router and ethernet cable 
  • If you have WiFi then turn the router off at night  
  • Watch TV without it being connected to WiFi (Sky boxsets / Netflix / apps etc) 
  • Download shows onto an iPad (e.g. from Netflix) and watch without a connection (on aero plane mode) 
  • Do not use Bluetooth devices (speakers / headphones etc), instead use record or CD players and headphones with a cord 
  • Remove microwaves from the home, instead cook food on a hob or in an oven 
  • Say no to smart meters (you can call your electricity company to have them removed and say no if they want you to have them – they don’t have a legal right for them to be in your home)  
  • Spend time outdoors in nature away from EMFs whenever possible 
  • Earth yourself by placing bare feet on the ground which helps remove radiation from your body 
  • Only receive x-rays if necessary 
  • Limit time spent in the sun and always wear sun cream to protect yourself  

No matter, how much you reduce your EMF exposure there are still EMFs everywhere which cannot be avoided so there are also certain products which you can buy to help protect yourself from EMFs: 

  • A herbal tincture called ‘Ray Wave’ from Ki Science to help protect your body from EMFs 
  • A grounding matt from Groundology as a way of earthing yourself indoors at home  
  • A banana cord to help earth yourself 
  • Grounding bedding to help protect yourself from EMFs 
  • A bed canopy to help protect yourself from EMFs 
  • Shielding material to wrap around yourself to protect yourself from EMFs 
  • You can buy shielding clothing to help protect yourself from EMFs
  • Shielding paint on your walls to help protect yourself from EMFs 
  • Certain plants to help protect yourself from EMFs because they help cleanse EMFs from the air (Cactus, Snake Plant, Aloe Vera Plant, Spider Plant, Betal Leaf Plant) 
  • Certain crystals to help protect yourself from EMFs because they absorb the radiation (Shungite, Black Tourmaline, Fulgurite, Eucryptite, Aventurine 

You can buy most of these products from the following websites:

https://kiscience.com/product/ray-wave/ 

https://www.groundology.co.uk 

https://www.healthy-house.co.uk  

www.emfclothing.com

There are also things you can do when you are looking for somewhere to live to help protect yourself from EMFs: 

  • Avoid living near a mobile phone tower – you can find where phone towers are on a map on this website  

https://www.mastdata.com/37/37_Homepage.aspx  

  • Avoid living close to power lines  
  • Have a survey of your house conducted by an electrician specializing in EMFs – here are two electrical companies specialising in this 

https://www.beneficialenvironments.co.uk  

https://www.emfwiringsolutions.com/?fbclid=IwAR3SBceHAEtD_msyD62JmcDBbSnA-uRT-VfFhzRuNfesYjTx2xFxAUTw7PY  

 

To finish off it’s important to be aware that if you or a member of your family are suffering from chronic illness such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia or Lyme Disease then it is extremely important to reduce your exposure to help with recovery. Studies have found that EMFs have a greater impact on those who are chronically ill when immunity is low so reducing EMF exposure is essential for your healing journeys to give your body the best chance to recover. This is explained by Dr Klinghardt with his interview with Dr Mercola below: 

 

 

I hope that this has helped you understand more about EMFs and the impact they may be having on your health. This isn’t about being perfect as we can’t be shield 24/7 in this modern world which we live in. It’s just about doing the best we can and protecting ourselves by minimising exposure whilst being aware of the risks. I also hope that you have picked up some ways to reduce your EMF exposure so you can help yourself and your family towards a healthier life! There is a summit coming up about 5g (the next big EMF technology) which is free where you can learn more, click here to register. If you have any questions, please get in touch via Instagram and Facebook @hellohealing or via email rebecca@hellohealing.co.uk, we look forward to hearing your thoughts! Please share as well!

 

Sources:  

 

Just a mummy with Lyme

People ask me alot “How is your health now you have baby?”

Honestly, I didn’t know if I could have children. There is some research suggestion lyme can interfere with fertility and a healthy pregnancy.

My “plan” was get up to date testing at where I was at with Lyme via Armin Labs and make sure I was in tip top shape before we discussed babies. Did I even want children? Would I have preferred to use a surrogate to avoid transmission via pregnancy?  Adoption? SO MANY QUESTIONS, CONCERNS, WORRIES it went on and on.

 We got married September 2017 and fell pregnant September 2017 (using the Natural Cycles app) we weren’t trying to have a baby, these things sometimes happen. I was scared. Really scared. But we trusted God had a plan for our family.

Generally through pregnancy I was OK, I had low iron at the end and had to have a few infusions but I was generally OK. No sickness, mainly just more fatigue than normal plus some prenatal low mood/depression/anxiety.

The birth. That didn’t go as expected. I ended up having an emergency C section. Again, I was scared I thought this is a HUGE stress on the body to undergo such serious emergency surgery, the drugs, the injections I had to do afterwards, the general healing the body then had to undertake. I was scared. Really scared. Again. Plus I had a baby to care for, no sleep and I also chose to breastfeed exclusively.

(Side note – there is mixed evidence lyme can be passed through breast milk. But when I weighted up the benefits vs the chance of transmission I still felt the benefits of BF far outweighed the transmission – personal choice).

IF Noah were to show any signs of Lyme I would get him tested of course, but he has a mummy who specialises in this topic so I would hope we would be able to help.

 

Self care – this is such a buzz word right now but I knew I had to take care of myself post partum, but that should be for every mum. I am very lucky we live close to both sets of parents and we have wonderful friends – my sister had her first baby 11 weeks before me so that was such a blessing for us.

Mummy self care – stock the freezer with homemade curries, chillies, casseroles. Make overnight oats the night before so you have a breakfast ready and waiting, resort to boiled egg, oat cakes and hummus, avocado on toast when it’s a crazy mad day but keep well fed. Eating enough is so important for mum and baby if you want to BF. I also made sure when baby slept I slept, a lot of the time I couldn’t switch off my head was buzzing but I still lay down and even now as he is 10months old I still have a lie down in the daytime when he has his afternoon nap.

I put Noah in a routine from 2 months old – both for me and him because I knew I needed structure so I had rest times and also for my sanity, and now he is such a baby of routine he knows how the day flows.

I asked for help.

I knew I needed “me time” so I would go for a bath in the evening, do some meditation, ask dad to get up and do breakfast.

I don’t compare myself to the next mum. We are all different. We all parent differently and I would drive myself mad trying to compare to every single mum out there. You know whats best for your baby and family.

 

Baby Noah care – organic homemade food with fats and protein – dairy/gluten free, filtered water, low EMF’s in the house, non toxic nappy cream/body creams/shampoo, non toxic laundry liquid, breast feeding still (aged 10 months), probiotics, vitamin D, etc etc. I’m passionate to give him the best start in life to avoid having any possible problems in the future.

 

I now have a 10 month old baby. Generally speaking I’m doing OK (yes I get low, yes it’s flipping hard, yes my body has taken a battering, yes it’s stressful but yes it’s amazing, yes he’s a brilliant baby and yes it’s actually a joy). I have recently tested my adrenals and my cortisol (stress hormone) is high – no massive shock there. So I’ve made time for yoga, increased healthy fats, been thoughtful with my work/life balance, good bedtime routine etc.

 

This has all taught me to trust my body. For years and years I hated myself and my body, it had only ever let me down but now things feel different. It didn’t let me down, it conceived my baby, it grew him, it birthed him, it healed from a big surgery, it kept my baby alive via feeding, it’s actually pretty awesome.

I think this only continues to prove you can recover from Lyme/CFS. The body can heal given the right circumstances and you too can have a healthy life and a healthy baby. Some people have quick easy recoveries, some have ups and down like I did but keep the hope and keep fighting if you’re in the trenches right now.

 

The new baby trend saving the planet…

Is there really a new fashion in the baby world which can help save the planet?

Alot of “eco stuff” is abit trendy now but who would have thought cloth nappies would get a look in on the fashion stakes.

When I fell pregnant I did look into cloth nappies but I thought theres so much to think about I didn’t have the headspace to consider that on top of figuring out feeding, bathing, clothing and just generally keeping my baby alive.

But when he was 6 months old I started to research again, a good baby friend of mine has always used cloth with her little girl (plus they were apart of the Aldi baby sale – HELLOOO discounts).

It’s true what they say, once you go cloth you don’t go back. I’d love to say I want to save the plant (it is a concern of mine) but really, they are so cute!! The prints!

This is just a quick myth busting, how to get started and the benefits. It’s not an in depth look at all, but there are plenty of places to look for cloth advice on the internet this is a ‘basics blog’.

 

Benefits for us:

FINANCES!! – I added up if we kept Noah in disposables for 2 years until potty training, and lets say we had 2 children a conservative estimate would be £1000!!!!! Whereas I have bought a set of cloth nappies, inserts, disposable wipes etc. all for approx £200 and once Noah is potty trained I will either pass to future babies or sell. WIN WIN I’d say. It’s worth mentioning if you live down south alot of councils will give you a grant to get started with cloth nappies – it’s worth checking, unfortunately we didn’t get a grant but I will be writing to our local council.

 

Sensitive skin – I was heartbroken when Noah started with abit of eczema on his tummy and back. I do have to say it has cleared up since using cloth nappies. I obviously don’t know if it is coincidence, perhaps he’s sensitive to the manufacturing of disposables?

 

Environmental – I listened to Madeline Shaw podcast on “Plastic free parenting” (seriously check it out) and she said 8 MILLION nappies go into landfill EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I was shocked! And each one takes approx 250 years to decompose. So the nappies we had on X amount of years ago haven’t even begin to decompose.

Myth busting:

Do I touch poo all day long cleaning poo off his nappies – No there is a liner in the nappy which catches any poo and I just shake that into the loo and flush 🙂

Is it a faf? – Not really, dirty nappy off, into the nappy washing bin, throw into the wash 2x per week, dry, restuff, pop into drawer, use again. So yes it is more work than putting a nappy in the trash but you get used to it.

Are you doing laundry all day every day? – No I only need to put 2x more washes on per week

Is your washing machine not just full of poo? – No all poo goes into the toilet like anyone

 

What you need to get started – well the quick answer – one cloth nappy is all you need to get started but if you wanted to do disposable free:

14x bambino mio nappies  https://www.bambinomio.com

2x Little and Bloomz nappies  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00E66NSIU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

10 bamboo inserts (to add to nappy if your baby wees)  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00EHRHAEG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Washable liners (catch the poo)  https://littlelambnappies.com/products/washable-fleecy-liners

Laundry bag (I keep in the bathroom to hold dirty cloths)  https://littlelambnappies.com/products/mesh-laundry-bag

Washable wipes (we use way too many disposable wipes – easy peasy to throw in the wash with nappies)  https://www.cheekywipes.com/cloth-baby-wipes/cotton-terry-cloth-baby-wipes.html

Bag (to put dirty nappy in changing bag to bring home)  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B073GHVP7H/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

If you are seriously considering it i say DO IT you won’t regret it. There are ‘nappy libraries’ all over the UK where you borrow a kit for 6 weeks to see if it works for you, your baby and your family, which brands of nappy you like etc before you make that initial investment. I personally didn’t do that because I bought a couple of Bambino Mio from the Aldi baby sale, loved it and just bought more and asked some advice from my friend and cloth bum mums online.

I was abit afraid my husband wouldn’t be on board but he loves it! The only issue is not keep buying more and more cute prints when you have more than enough. (Send help).

I can imagine it’s harder to do cloth from day one (breastfeeding poo explosions I imagine are tricky to clean) but now he’s 7 months we don’t get that anymore.

 

Jump on the fluff bum mum bandwagon, save your money, save the planet, be a fashionista (apparently) whats not to love!!

Rebecca and Noah x

 

 

Life has seasons – UPDATE

Happy Friday folks, sorry for the absence, I’ve been kind of busy… I had a baby!!

Baby Noah is nearly 7 months now, life has been busy figuring out how on earth we care for a newborn, figuring out feeding, realising how little sleep you can actually function on, prioritising life as a family, laughing, cuddling, crying but mainly loving our little boy.

I never dared to dream this would be my life. We even found time to buy a house and move in during this time (whilst I constantly tell clients to pace themselves and not stress themselves too much, the irony isn’t lost on me – keep your eyes peeled for what I have learnt here).

Having a baby has definitely taught me what matters, the house isn’t perfect, my sleep isn’t perfect, heck my diet is far from perfect but life has seasons. Seasons to be on top form, seasons to take life slowly, seasons to just get through the day, but seasons come and go, that’s the point.

After the crazy newborn phase of literally having no concept of time or what day it is we are in a nice routine now. I’m feeling very blessed to have a job I love where I can work around my baby and not be too far away from him.

If you’re a new mum in that early phase let me say it gets better, they do sleep, you do get back to normality.

My advice –batch cook casseroles, chilli, stews for the freezer to make sure you eat well.

When you are exhausted it’s so important to eat well and look after yourself.

Get in a bubble bath, do your nails, read a book for 20 minutes. Sleep when baby sleeps, all the clichés. Ask for help, it takes a village to raise these little ones. But enjoy it, they grow fast, put your phone down, soak up the moments of them feeding, of them asleep on you, of the tiny baby toes.

I’m really enjoying the work I’m doing work with Mamas and Papas at the moment, I’m doing talks at their events to help pregnant mummy’s with their nutrition. I’m back helping my regular clients and doing lots of reading and research behind the scenes.

Life is good, feeling thankful. That’s my short update on life. Until next time.