Release those stagnant emotions and thought patterns with breathing!

Release those stagnant emotions and thought patterns with breathing!

Your breath is such a simple yet effective tool readily available to you and has so many benefits when put to use to its full potential. Breathing techniques, meditation and visualization techniques have long been used as part of healing therapies and also simply to provide the person with more calmness and peace in ones life.

I have been a meditation practitioner for many years and I have experienced countless benefits of meditation and breathing techniques including; relaxation, reduction in anxiety, release of circulating thoughts, clearing of negative thought patterns and gaining insight and clarity into certain life situations.

There are many schools of meditation some of which are linked to certain religious beliefs such as Buddhism and Hinduism. But it is not necessary to follow any religion just believing in yourself is enough and a fantastic place to start your journey.

If the prospect of meditation practice seems overwhelming then breathing techniques can be carried out in the space of a few minutes to as long as you want to carry it on for. Breathing done with mindfulness and intention is powerful enough to help relieve you of stagnant emotions, circulating thought patterns, negative thoughts and past trauma that is being held within you.

When the body and/or mind is in a state of chronic stress this tension is stored within the body and if not released can result in physical health imbalances. Have you ever noticed your breathing when you are stressed or anxious? Usually it is fairly shallow and lacking in those long deep exhalations that calm the nervous system and that are followed by deep inhalations bringing oxygen and fresh blood to all your organs. Lack of oxygen and adequate exhalation creates a build up of carbon dioxide in the body and consequential acidosis. It has been said that cancer cells thrive in an environment that lacks oxygen. You must have heard it been said too that chronic stress is believed to be a possible cause of cancer. The link is starting to become more apparent; breathing, meditation and cancer treatment….. but that’s for another time!

So what’s a simple breathing practice to help calm your mind and shift those unwanted thoughts you’ve been hanging on to? Watch my video below. Enjoy and remember to breathe!

Top tips for staying healthy this winter

Top tips for staying healthy this winter

Cough, cold, sore throat, blocked sinuses, ear ache, fever, chest infection. Winter can be a very challenging time for our immune systems! This is why I’d like to share with you my immune boosting tips.

In Ayurvedic medicine winter is the time when the Kapha element is at its most dominant. Kapha’s characteristics are cold and damp/moist this explains why when we get respiratory sicknesses we feel congested, heavy, stagnant and probably colder than normal too. But don’t worry there many things you can do to help support your immune system this winter.

Keep reading to the end of the post and find out about our fantastic chemical free Herbal Chest Rub to ease congestion in your chest and sinuses!

So here are my – Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts For Boosting your Immune System this Winter!

Do’s:
1. Sleep – 7-8 hours is optimum. Cellular regeneration and restoration for the nervous system and adrenal glands takes place when you’re sleeping.

2. Exercise – Increases lymphatic flow and circulation through the organs and helps with detoxification of the lymphatic system.

3. Eat in Season – Your body is a miniature cosmos it experiences seasons in the same way as nature does. In winter eat winter fruit and vegetables e.g. apples, pears and root vegetables. Avoid summer tropical fruits.

4. Look After Your Gut – Almost 70% of your lymphatic tissue is within the lining of your digestive tract. So healthy daily bowel movements will help to keep your lymphatic system in good shape.

5. Keep Warm – Keep your feet, lower abdomen and area between your upper shoulder blades warm. These are “windows” into the body and will let the cold in. Too much cold is depleting to the body and gives opportunity for viruses etc. to take hold.

Don’ts:
1. Coffee, Alcohol, Sugar – Avoid or reduce. They all reduce the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria and viruses.

2. Avoid “Kapha ” foods – Cold and damp foods and drinks. They create dampness, mucous and stagnation in the body e.g. dairy, white flour and rice, sugar, cold drinks, processed food.

3. Oranges – Vitamin C yes BUT mucous forming! Have a kiwi fruit instead.

4. Fever – Don’t suppress it! A fever is your internal fire trying destroy the pathogens. But know your limit with a fever and apply common sense especially with children.

5. Shower/Bath – Don’t have one whilst sick. When you get out of the water your body temperature will drop. This challenges your body and immune system, reducing its ability to heat the body back up again and fight off the pathogens.

Here is our beautiful smelling Herbal Chest Balm. Use for congested chests, dry coughs and general mucous congestion. Hand blended using Sweet Almond Oil infused with Organic Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Thyme herbs, Bees Wax, Organic Shea Butter and Vitamin E oil.

Ask for your balm at your next appointment!

Is my period normal?

Is my period normal?

What is a normal period?

I’m sure you’ve all heard that a normal menstrual cycle, or period, is 28 days long, with 5 days of bleeding and ovulation occurs at day 14. Well that’s according to the text books anyway! Every woman is different and therefore your period will never be exactly the same as another woman’s. That being said there is a range for what’s considered “normal”:

Cycle length can be from 21 to 35 days
Length of menstruation (bleeding) 3 -7 days

It is good to be familiar with the length and regularity of your cycle so that you can be aware of any changes. This is especially important if you are trying to conceive. Monitoring your cycle is one of the first steps in working out the best time to conceive and to know when you are ovulating. I’ll write more about this area in a separate post as it’s a whole subject in itself!

Your monthly period is divided into two parts; the Follicular phase and Luteal phase.

What is the Follicular Phase?

This is the first half of your cycle when oestrogen is at it’s highest. Oestrogen is the hormone that makes you feel young, energised, adventurous and spurs you into keeping an eye out for your potential “mate”. During this time your ovaries are producing follicles from which an egg will be released at ovulation somewhere around the middle of your cycle. As you get closer to this time your FSH (follicular stimulating hormone) levels will rise and you feel ready for anything, especially an alpha male to cross your path. Now is the prime time to conceive!

Your LH (lutenising hormones) levels rise around this time too getting everything primed for conception.

What is the Luteal Phase?

You are now in the second half of your cycle, the post ovulatory period. Oestrogen levels decrease and progesterone increases. The desire to stay at home, being quiet, nesting and nurturing yourself take over from the “go-getter” characteristics of oestrogen. Progesterone levels rise and then plateau until you start to menstruate which causes them to drop again. If you have conceived however the progesterone levels remain high and this is an indication of possible pregnancy.

Quality of Menstruation

So now you know a bit about the phases of your cycle let’s look at your menstruation to see what signs it’s sending out.

Blood Flow –
The first 1-2 days of your period are when the flow should be at its heaviest. It then most likely starts to slow down as each day passes. Any less than 3 days means that you’re possibly not having a “real” period. Your uterus may have shed some of its lining but the ebb and flow of all the relevant hormones may not have occurred as they should. To treat scanty blood flow, amenorrhea, with herbal medicine I use uterine and blood tonics and address any hormonal irregularities or stress.

At the opposite end we have menorrhagia or heavy periods. When the bleeding continues to be heavy for more than 5-6 days then I would look at what the underlying cause may be. Hormonal imbalance, fibroids, endometriosis and iron deficiency can often be the reason. Again herbs that help to stabalise hormone levels, reduce inflammation and cleanse the liver are ones I would prescribe.

Colour –
You are aiming for the same colour and quality of blood as if you’d just cut yourself. Fresh, bright red blood that is free flowing and without clots is optimum.

Blood that is dark red or brownish means that it is stagnant blood that has been hanging around probably from your last period. This kind of blood if often thicker too.

Small clots are common, similar to the size of a pea. When you start seeing larger clots coming out these can not only cause pain when passing through your cervix but also indicate stagnation.

I would treat a women in this case with uterine and circulatory tonics to increase the blood flow in the uterus. As always any hormonal imbalances would be addressed too.

Period Pain –
Is period pain normal? Essentially no! Some discomfort and mild cramping are to be expected. But if you find yourself curled up in bed unable to move with only pain killers providing relief, then no this isn’t a good sign.

There are many reasons why you might be experiencing period pain so your whole system needs to be assessed. Endometriosis can cause very painful periods as can PCOS (poly cystic ovaries). Magnesium deficiency can heighten the strength of the cramps. A congested liver often plays a role in period pain. When it’s not functioning properly the level of circulating hormones increases. This can lead to PMS and painful periods. A liver cleanse would definitely be indicated here!

If you would like to know more about how Herbal Medicine can help improve your period then please call 0406 628240

Learn what a herbal medicine consult with Nina involves by clicking here.

The detoxing power of getting sick

The detoxing power of getting sick

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to often get coughs, colds or stomach bugs and others don’t? Yes having a strong immune system definitely helps but this is not the entire reason.

Think back to the last time you had a cold, cough or stomach upset and remember how you were feeling before your symptoms hit. Probably not that great I expect. Now recall how you felt after you recovered from the illness. Perhaps your sinuses or chest were clearer, your bowel motions were improved, you were less bloated, your skin started to glow or your eyes had regained their sparkle.

Did you know that every organ has a partner?
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Yin – Yang relationship in Chinese philosophy. In Chinese medicine every Yin organ has a Yang organ partner. So when an organ is in a state of imbalance its partner often is experiencing some issues too.

Here are the Yin organs with their Yang partners –

Lung / Large Intestine
Heart / Small Intestine
Kidney / Bladder
Liver / Gall Bladder
Spleen / Stomach
Pericardium / Triple Burner

Why does sickness occur?
The body is innately trying to keep you at its healthiest so that you can live as long as possible. When our systems get clogged we can become “toxic”. Toxicity can impair our overall health and consequently our future state of well-being. When our body realises this the detoxing systems are often triggered. A cold will help to cleanse and clear the sinuses and upper respiratory tract, a cough will cleanse the lungs and a stomach bug will flush the intestines.

Can lack of sleep make me sick?
Let’s not also forget the amazing healing power of sleep. What do we hopefully do a lot of when we are unwell? Sleep. If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, pushing yourself too hard or experiencing great amounts of stress you’re most likely becoming sleep or rest deprived. When we ignore the signs our bodies send us to rest eventually your body wins by forcing you to rest due to sickness.

Avoiding Gastro with good gut health
Speaking from personal experience I was thinking how gastro had recently gone through my whole family with me being in charge of cleaning up and doing the care giving. Obviously I was right in the middle of the bacteria or virus that they all had but didn’t get sick, not even the slightest bit of nausea of stomach ache. I then thought how just before this I had changed my diet a little and had self-prescribed some herbs and changed my probiotics. The belief that I wouldn’t get sick I think also greatly contributed. Never underestimate the power of the mind! So my strong gut health had helped me to sail through the gastro bug that “was going around my area” untouched. My gut hadn’t needed detoxing.

How can I prevent myself from getting sick?
This is an important question and one I often get asked. Understanding the principle of why we get sick helps us to prevent getting sick. So keep your sinuses, lungs and bowels clear and functioning optimally.

By addressing food intolerances through hair testing (available through our clinic) you can greatly reduce the over production of mucous in the upper respiratory tract and lungs. This helps keep them clear and without the need for a cleansing cold. Avoiding processed foods and diets high in carbohydrates will lessen the chance of excess mucous production.

When there is a build up of mucous using a neti pot daily can really help to cleanse the nasal passages.

Again by only eating and drinking foods that are compatible to you your gut health will be at its optimum. Being free of inflammation is one of the biggest factors to good gut health, that and keeping the bowels moving daily. Having the ideal balance of good gut bacteria through pre and probiotics will keep your intestines balanced and also without the need for a cleansing tummy bug. Did you know that a large proportion of your lymphatic system is in your gut?

For personalised treatment to address boosting your immunity, respiratory or gut health please CALL 0406 628240.

Reiki – the mystery and benefits explained

Reiki – the mystery and benefits explained

You may have experienced the wonderful benefits of a reiki healing, be curious about how it works or think it’s some kooky form of energy healing. Which ever one applies to you reiki is actually accessible to everyone!

I have been a reiki practitioner and reiki teacher of the Usui Reiki system for over 15 years. I have witnessed some amazing shifts and transformations take place in people, myself included. But before I’d ever experienced a reiki healing I knew very little about it. I was maybe, like many others, a bit skeptical. How could someone facilitate any degree of change or healing within me without even actually placing their hands on me?! Well read on if you’d like to find some answers.

What is Reiki?
Reiki is simply the channeling of the universal energy, the energy that is constantly present all around us. It is drawn from the surrounding energy field and into the aura of the person receiving the healing. The reiki practitioner is purely the facilitator passing the energy through themselves and out of their hands into the receiver. In this way the practitioner is not using their own energy and cannot claim that “their” reiki is any better than anyone else’s – I particularly like this fact.

Reiki is not linked to any religion or belief system and you do not have to have any particular convictions to receive it. You just need to purely be open and present.

How does a Reiki Healing Treatment Work?
When you are receiving a reiki healing treatment you will be fully clothed and either lying or sitting depending on what is most appropriate for you. Then the practitioner will first take a few moments to connect to the energy and then place their hands either just above you or very gently on your body. A treatment usually starts from the head and works down the body.

During the treatment session the practitioner will intuitively move their hands over your body and at different heights depending on which energetic field is asking to be worked on. The energetic fields are physical, mental/emotional and spiritual. If the practitioner has been attuned to the reiki symbols they may use them during the healing also. The reiki symbols further help to deepen the effect and level of healing.

What Will I Feel During the Reiki Healing Treatment?
Your body instinctively knows where it needs the reiki energy to go. So upon receiving it it will travel to the appropriate part of the body or energetic field. This backs up what I said before how as the receiver you don’t need to do anything just be open and relax.

The most common thing that people feel is warmth and a deep sense of relaxation. A buzzing sensation, coolness or simply nothing can also be felt. Whatever sensations you experience they are right for you.

What are the Benefits of Reiki?

  • Deep relaxation and stress release
  • Pain reduction
  • Relief from headaches and migraine
  • Relief from muscular tension
  • Increased energy flow through all the major organs and systems of the body
  • Calms the mind providing clarity and perception
  • Ability to find answers and direction to potentially confusing and stressful situations
  • Release of emotions linked to trauma both in this life and previous ones
  • Provide heightened feelings of being connected to oneself and the world around you

For issues that are deep seated more treatment sessions may be needed. This is not fixed however as everybody responds to the reiki energy in their own unique way.

How do I Become a Reiki Practitioner?
To become a reiki practitioner you will need to receive a reiki attunement from a qualified reiki teacher. There are 4 levels of reiki practitioner; Level 1, Level 2, Reiki Master and Reiki Teacher.

Level 1 is fantastic for facilitating self-healing. If you’d like to take it further and treat others then Level 2 will be the next level for you. Level 2 also involves being attuned to the reiki symbols. The Reiki Master level goes deeper into how you can work with it and brings with it knowledge of further symbols. Reiki Teacher is the start of your path of deeper personal development and the gift of being able to give reiki attunements to initiate students.

Please contact me to find out more or to book a Reiki session.

Staying grounded in a hectic world

Staying grounded in a hectic world

Some days everything can seem a bit too much, your head is in a whirl, you can’t think straight and your feet definitely don’t feel on the ground! Staying grounded in a hectic world can be a challenge. Wi-Fi, mobile phone exposure, busy shopping centres, eating on the run, too much caffeine, demanding work environment, stressful family life, broken sleep – all these demands place huge stress on your nervous system and greatly increase vata the air element in the body. This can in turn set your digestion off balance and reduce your brain function. You might think you can push on through but eventually your body and mind will suffer.

So what can you do when you’re not able to change your external environment? This is where self-care comes in and recognising that it’s time to take some simple steps to bring your feet back to earth, calm your nervous system and clear your head.

Here are some easy and practical tips for finding balance again –

Herbs
Being a herbalist I love herbs and herbal teas are often very underrated. Taking time out to sit quietly and drink a hot drink will in itself help to slow your body down but here are a few herbs that will help you on your way:

  • Chamomile
  • Lemon Balm
  • Licorice – caution in cases of high blood pressure or pregnancy
  • Linden
  • Passion Flower
  • Red Rose Petals
  • Valerian
  • Zizyphus

Massage and Reflexology
Massage is a fantastic way to give yourself some love and to settle your nerves. It can just be one you give to yourself as well. Massaging the feet, and if you can work on some reflexology points even better, is the most effective of all massages to bring you back down to earth. By touching your feet your awareness instantly goes to them and out of your head. Reflexology points to focus on would be the solar plexus, adrenal glands, intestines and spine. Massage using long, slow strokes and firm pressure is recommended to calm your nerve endings and quieten your mind.

Adding some earthy essential oils is a wonderful bonus too, I personally love Rose Geranium and Patchouli.

Reiki
Reiki has always been one of my go-to tools when I’m feeling off centre. It’s pretty simple to practice and yet so effective. By connecting to the universal energy all around us and within us you are able to send it to the parts of the body and mind where it’s needed.

I find the areas that work for me whilst giving a Reiki self treatment for grounding are the head, feet, solar plexus and working through the chakras or energy centres.

Breathing/Meditation
The breath! The key to everything. Mindfulness coupled with correct breathing can do wonders to reconnect your mind to your body when you’ve been in an over stimulating environment.

Remember breathing in doesn’t mean sucking in your tummy, quite the opposite actually. Breath in deeply and slowly filling your lungs and whole abdomen, hold for a second or two, then slowly and continuously let your entire breath out – and repeat.

If you like combining this with a meditation technique try visualising your feet connecting with the earth on the in breath and releasing any tension out through your head on the out breath.

Crystals
Crystals have their own wonderful innate abilities to facilitate healing on all levels but they also make an amazing partner to enhancing any mediation, breathing work or Reiki treatment. I love using crystals in my Reiki treatment sessions and find that grounding the person is often needed due to the hectic state of city living.

Crystals that are darker in colour, especially greys and blacks, work well at drawing the energy down from the head and into the feet. I particularly like working with smoky quartz, black tourmaline, obsidian and haematite for this.

The placement of the crystals is important too. When working with grounding your energies lie down and place the crystals in the groin area near your hips, between your legs near your root chakra, inside of your knees, between the feet and below each foot.

WiFi and Mobile Phones
And lastly one of what I believe to be the main culprits in disconnecting us from the earth and scrambling our brain waves – EMF!

As much as you can stay out of Wi-Fi environments, always turn it off in your home when you’re not using it especially at night and if you sleep with your mobile phone near you then put it into flight mode. When carrying your mobile phone with you never keep it in your pocket or tucked into your top (especially not your bra ladies there are some important things in there!) have it in your bag instead. Try to be aware how much time you’re spending on devices or around Wi-Fi each day and take some time away from it when you start to feel off kilter.

Hopefully these tips will help you to stay grounded and connected in your daily life. However if you feel you need a little more help then please contact me to have a chat about how Herbal Medicine, Massage, Reflexology or Reiki can help you today!

Call to book an appointment – 0406 628240

OriginHealth

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Narrabeen, NSW