Sunday, 27 September 2009


Lots of people around me seem to be coming down with nasty bugs at the moment, including my nine year old son. This week at least eight members of his class have had a twenty four hour sickness bug. Not nice but kids bounce back pretty quickly thank goodness.

Adults don't always bounce back so quickly and Autumn/Winter with a change in the temperature seems to bring more disease, so how can you boost your immune system to ensure you're not missing out on living your life because you're laid up sniffling or worse?


1.Up at the top is KICKING the SMOKING habit. I don't think I need to go into detail here, we all know that smoking kills - the build up of toxins in the body is enormous and puts a great strain on the immune system, and the liver. Set a date to quit, get rid of everything to do with smoking on that day, tell the world you're going to do it and ask for their support. Use some strong smells like peppermint,Vick, spices, coconut; apparently they help stop cravings. If you need to ,get some gum or nicotine patches, and whilst relapses are common if you're prepared for them they're easier to deal with.

2.LAUGH - children laugh all day at anything. Fab to listen to, and we adults should take a leaf out of their book because it's so good for us and most of us take life too seriously and get bogged down in unnecessary detail, I know I do! Laughing can decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells. Watch a sit com, film, meet friends, read a joke book, play with your kids;do whatever it takes to add some laughter to your life.

3.AVOID antibiotics. Yes, they have their place but frequent use causes a build up of chemical toxins that have to be broken down and detoxed by the liver. They have side effects too and alot of the time are taken unnecessarily. They should be taken for bacterial infections only - not viral. Don't take them for colds and flu even if they're prescribed. Don't use them as a preventative measure, and don't save or share them.

4. AVOID C.R.A.P foods (junk food), your body needs a good old fashioned 'hunter/gatherer' style diet ie. eating as close to nature as possible. Organic or locally sourced meats, fruit and vegetables, fish, pulses and unrefined carbohydrates and lots of filtered or mineral water (approx two and a half litres a day). Experts believe that nutritional deficiencies are probably the greatest cause of immune system weakness. Junk food has no nutritional value, it can even be called non nutrient food so places a strain on the body to detox and digest. Lose it where at all possible. Try the 80/20 rule, and apply it to alcohol as well.

5. Be TACTILE. Cuddles, hugs, kisses and affection in general are extremely good for us, and are to be encouraged for the amazing 'feel good' factor they produce, helping to lower stress levels and put things into perspective. Do random acts of kindness every day, see how good it makes you feel . Make communication in general part of your day whether its through face book, texting, phoning or direct face to face contact- be socially active. Isolation leads to negative feelings in alot of cases, and can blow things out of unnecessary proportion.

6. Be ACTIVE - exercise and movement in general is what our bodys are designed for. "Death is still, so keep moving" (Dr Berndston). Sedentary ways have a big impact on our health, especially posture, and your weight (and obesity is definitely not the way forward for health). Moderate exercise is the key - government recommendations are 5 x 30 mins a week. Not difficult to fit in to your routine, as it can be as simple as walking to work, or running up and down stairs. Functional movement is as good as any 'formal' exercise. Buy a pedometer and see exactly how close you're getting to the 10,000 steps we're all advised to do each day.

7.DEAL WITH DEPRESSION. We all have 'down' days, and doing some of the above tips will help conquer them - affection, exercise,laughing etc.It's when we can't shake off the blues that we need to take positive steps to overcome them. Clinical depression is damaging to the immune system, it weakens it, but even just having a bit of a down day can do the same.
Try positive thinking; if something goes wrong, isolate it. Don't lump all of your life together as one big negative. Box off the negatives and concentrate on the positives - think I can and I will. When Lauren(my seven year old) and I went climbing last weekend she said to me on the way there " mummy if you say to yourself that you can do something then you'll do it" and she climbed straight up the first wall like a little monkey. The mind is THE most powerful thing, use it to your advantage.

8. SLEEP - this is crucial in fighting off infection, and other illnesses. Night time is the time when the body repairs itself, both physically (10.30- 2am) and mentally (2am til 6am) so getting your eight hours a night in is very important. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to heart disease, gastro intestinal problems and other medical illnesses so hit that sack at a decent time.

9.LET GO OF STRESS - easier said than done; most people I know have some stress in their lives to a greater or lesser extent. It's how we deal with it that's the issue. Under constant stress our body's are bombarded with stress hormones and they can cause the immune systems ability to fight disease to decrease. Stress relieving solutions are a blog all on their own but in brief try to create balance in your life - meditation, yoga, relaxation, keeping a stress diary - writing things down gets it out of your head, dance, listen to music, meet friends. Basically off load in whatever way feels right.
A 'friend' once said to me that my life was like an episode of Dallas. That made me stop and take a good look at what I was doing, and he was right. Sometimes it's just time to take a chill pill............

10. Avoid toxic pollutants such as PCBS. Buy organic where at all possible, stay away from cigarette smoke, alcohol (OK within reason) and illicit drugs - all of these play a part in the build up of toxins in the body, helping to prevent your immune system from functioning optimally. Read food labels and avoid those containing unnecessary chemicals. Choose naturally derived household cleaners too, these products are now readily available in supermarkets.

So there you have it, all of the above are possible with some thought and time. Stay healthy this winter, and live your life to the full.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

You Can Heal Your Life

I haven't blogged for ages, partly because my personal circumstances have changed big time, and my emotions are running pretty high just now. This has been a gradual build up over the past few years and to say I've been stressed is an understatement.

However, onwards and upwards, and to days blog looks at how it is possible to get your life back on track the way YOU want it, and not how everyone else thinks it should be. It takes guts to make change, to step out of the norm, not knowing whether the grass is going to be a brighter shade of green or some murky khaki colour. And once you've made a big change if it's not all you thought it would be often there is no going back.

The biggest thing I found to take on board is that WE are EACH responsible for our own experiences. Each time we make a choice we are doing what we think is right at that particular time, and beating ourselves up later is a futile exercise.

Negative thought processes are capable of ultimately leading to ill health. Harboured within the body with no way to be released means that they are stored, and where they are stored will differ depending on individual make up. Positive thinking goes a long way to producing positive outcomes. If we can really believe in something, there is a greater chance that it will happen and happen in the way we want it to.

Loiuse Hay, author of YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE, believes that there is a strong correlation between diseases you may have had or are having now and a probable cause through certain thought processes.

For example ;
Health problem 1; sore throat.
Probable cause; holding in angry words. Feeling unable to express oneself.
New thought pattern ; I release all restrictions, and I am free to be me.

Health problem 2; heart problems.
Probable cause; long standing emotional problems.Lack of joy. Hardening of the heart. Belief in strain and stress.
New thought pattern; joy, joy, joy. I lovingly allow joy to flow through my mind and body and experience.

Reading this you may think this is all a little left of centre, but reading the book is well worthwhile should you be feeling vulnerable for whatever reason, and in need of some direction and guidance. Louise Hay is a very wise lady.

How many of us go over what has happened during the day as we lie in bed trying to sleep. Going over the events of the day, trying to rationalise them, beating ourselves up for things we said, things we did, things we may do in the future ,all can create negative thought patterns which can be hugely stressful.

When at my most stressed I really struggled to drop off to sleep and found that if I kept a notebook by my bed with a pen I could 'offload' all the confused thoughts swimming around in my head onto a sheet of paper helping to clear my mind so that I could relax enough to sleep. (It makes fascinating reading in the morning too, but you may need to hide it!).

We very rarely say to ourselves how well we have done, how loving we are in our relationships, how kind we have been to someone, how lovable we are, what great parents we make etc. etc.

What I'm trying to say is that the only thing we are ever dealing with is a thought, and a thought can be changed. Thoughts are one of THE most important things EVER. Thought processes can be dangerous if they are continously negative. Thoughts go on to produce feelings, and we buy in to those feelings. Change the thought and the feeling changes too.

For any one of us to heal our lives positive thinking is the way forward. I had a year of Emotional Freedom Technique with a qualified therapist. In a nutshell its all about releasing negative emotions and replacing them with positive ones. It works. I am now very excited about my future, and not petrified that I was about to make a dreadful mistake, as I was before.

The biggest negative emotions are guilt, criticism, fear and resentment and the thoughts and the feelings attached can cause more problems than anything else. Some of these thoughts come about because its easier sometimes to blame others than it is to take responsiblity for our own experiences. I beleive that what you give out you get back, in spades.

These four negatives can be responsible for ill health and disease. Long term resentment can 'eat away' at the body and make you ill. Guilt is a form of self punishment and often leads to pain. If we can forgive people for not being the way we want them to be it frees us up to release the emotions and move on.

Try this exercise, which goes along with EFT as a way to clear negativity, and to stop us beating ourselves up. Stand in front of a mirror, look directly into your eyes and tell yourself you love yourself just the way you are, and that you accept yourself just the way you are. Whenever you pass a mirror say it over and over until it becomes a habit and you truly believe it.

It's amazingly difficult to do this for most people, but worth perservering with. It can be quite an emotional experience, and if it is that's fine just go with the flow.

I've been on an emotional rollercoater for years and am still on it, although the ride is beginning to slow down alot. I still find myself sometimes overwhelmed with emotion so that I break down and cry. It's very therapeutic and so much more so if you have someone to hold you whilst it happens. I never underestimate the power of touch - human beings thrive on it from being babies; a cuddle can change my day so much for the better.

Life is a huge learning curve. A friend said to me yesterday that we are still learning. We learn every day, and won't stop until the day we die. So on this basis it is absolutely OK to make mistakes as we learn, to accept that this is part of living, and not to beat ourselves up over them. Let the negative thought pass through your head/body and replace a positive one. Every time.

This blog could go on for ever, there is so much to say on the subject but you may switch off very shortly so I'll wrap it up.

Tips to Heal Your Life :

- let out negative emotions by writing them down
- every time you have a negative thought, replace with a positive one
- get to bed on time, quality sleep reduces stress
- eat well. If you constantly put rubbish into your body in the form of poor food and drink it will have a negative impact. Really.
- repeat positive affirmations to yourself in front of a mirror every day, learn to believe you are a good person
- try EFT
- learn by your mistakes;move on
- be affectionate and in turn you will recieve affection
- cry if you need to, it can be very therapeutic
- accept cuddles/hugs
- take life one day at a time, its more manageable this way
- read Louise Hays book YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE, because you are the only person who can; take responsibility for your experiences.

I hope this has been food for thought.