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I have treated many women for infertility and have helped them to conceive – it can be an emotionally exhausting condition – not to mention expensive.  Thanks to reflexology, a growing number of couples are discovering that this is a key to overcoming infertility.

Reflexology, a traditional healing art dating from the ancient Egyptians and Chinese, involves manipulation of pressure points in the hands and feet and is often used to ease period pain, headaches, sinus and back problems as well as the effects of chemotherapy.

The soles of the feet are like a mini map of the inside of the body and are linked to our inner organs and systems, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries and the endocrine system. Pressure on the different points on the feet unblocks energy pathways in the body enabling it to regain its natural balance and therefore start to heal itself.

Specific points on the feet are associated with a woman’s egg production and others are related to endocrine (hormone) glands (pituitary, pineal, hypothalamus, ovaries etc important in conception and pregnancy) and by manipulation of these areas can correct the imbalances which hamper conception.

The latest research in this subject is a two year clinical trial at the IVF unit at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

In the new study, 150 volunteers will be offered reflexology rather than the fertility drug clomifene, which is usually used to induce ovulation. This drug works in about 70 per cent of patients, but the drug’s main drawback is it can increase the likelihood of a multiple pregnancy.

The volunteers will each receive eight treatments over a two to three month period. In order for the trial to be conducted in a scientific way, patients and hospital staff will not know whether true reflexology or a ‘dummy’ version has been given. Only the reflexologist will know who has had the real treatment.

One in seven couples suffers with infertility. Last year the Plymouth IVF unit saw over 900 patients. Thirty per cent of these were not producing eggs.

Infertility is a complex problem and often what is needed is a ‘kick-start’ to the system and reflexology can do this.  In my experience, reflexology, along with acupuncture/acupressure, hormone balancing advice (ie natural progesterone cream, diet, vitamins and minerals)  is very effective and I have successfully treated many women and have helped them conceive and have seen them right through their pregnancies.

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If you’re prone to mood swings you might be interested to know that studies have shown that cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants and according to the US National Institute of Health, a teaspoon contains double the antioxidants of 200g of blueberries!

Another US study discovered that cinnamon could reduce the growth of leukaemia and lymphoma cells, which are two forms of blood cancer.

Researchers at Copenhagen University have also found that half a teaspoon of cinnamon taken with one tablespoon of honey beofre breakfast reduced arthritic pain after just one week.

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I’m now studying acupuncture which has really extended my knowledge in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Having tried several acupuncture practitioners in the past, I’m now fortunate enough to have found a wonderful acupuncturist who treats me.

We all suffer from irritability and moodiness from time to time, but if you find that you suffer from a short temper and frustration on a regular basis then acupuncture may be for you. Irritability may often be the consequence of chronic stress in our lives. Over time, these emotions can escalate into more serious emotional conditions such as extreme anxiety and even depression which can then manifest into other health problems like digestive disorders, insomnia, and a low immune function. In TCM emotional disorders can be associated with a number of different patters of disharmony; however, anger, irritability and frustration are all signs that our energy, or life force (referred to as qi (pronounced Chi) inTCM) flow is hindered or not flowing as smoothly as it should. The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of qi throughout the body and for balancing our emotions. When the liver’s function of moving qi is disrupted, qi can become stagnant. This is referred to as ‘liver qi stagnation’. Liver qi stagnation is one of the most common patterns of disharmony seen in today’s patients. In addition to irritability and moodiness, signs and symptoms may include congestion in the chest, sighing, abdominal distension, nausea, sour regurgitation, belching, diarrhea or constipation, feeling a lump in the throat, irregular periods, PMS and breast distension.

Aside from the heart, the liver is closely related to the emotions. A lack of smooth flow of the liver qi will not allow the mind to ease. If liver qi is stagnant it will cause depression, anxiety and sadness. Acupuncture is excellent for relieving liver qi stagnation. Treatment for irritability and moodiness associated with liver qi stagnation focuses on unblocking and moving qi and supporting the liver and spleen organ systems with acupuncture, lifestyle and dietary recommendations along with herbal formulas. I suffer from liver qi stagnation from time to time and a couple of sessions of acupuncture always clears it up for me, (Liver 3, Large Intestine 4, and Four Gates) along with a good exercise regime and deep breathing exercise, eating green leafy vegetables which stimulate the liver and herbs like the Free and Easy Wanderer (Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan).

Please also see my posts and information on Natural Progesterone which  plays a vital role in stabilising moods and helping anxiety whether you are male or female.

Love and peace to you all.

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Research keeps unearthing one find after another that cites vitamin D deficiency as a major culprit in disease development.  New studies show that vitamin D is important to proper brain development, and that a lack of this vitamin may be a contributing factor in causing schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and depression.  Calcium and magnesium deficiencies often accompany vitamin D deficiency and are associated with seizures in infants and degenerative neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s in adults. 

The good news is that vitamin D:

  • Relieves the symptoms of seasonal depression;
  • Plays a critical role in slowing or preventing many types of arthritis;
  • Reduces the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes;
  • Improves the release of insulin and response of muscle and liver to insulin, which means that normal levels of vitamin D may help prevent diabetes;
  • Helps the development of healthy immune system during childhood; and
  • Plays a key role in regulating cell growth and differentiation which may prevent cancer.

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It’s a common problem when you hit 30 that despite your best efforts you just can’t seem to lose the extra weight around your middle.  Medical research proves you’re not alone – the average person gains one to two pounds a year after the age of 30, usually around the stomach area. 

Hormone imbalance spejcialst, Dr C W Randolph’s book ‘From Belly Fat to Belly Flat’  explains the real reason behind this problem which has less to do with calories and everything to do with a little-known medical problem known as ‘oestrogen dominance’. 

Readers of my blogs will know that I’m an advocate of natural progesterone – an essential hormone for both men and women – fostering a calming effect on the body; maintaining libido; serving as a natural antidepressant; promoting regular sleep patterns; stimulating bone building and opposing oestrogen’s predisposition to promote cell growth, thereby providing protection from uterine, breast and ovarian cancer.

If you want to know more about progesterone and, particularly, its effect on weight gain and how to lose that belly flab then check out Dr Radolph’s book: ‘From Belly Fat to Belly Flab’ by Dr C W Randolph and Genie James

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Stress is different to pressure.  Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health (Lancaster University) states:  ‘Pressure is motivating but stress is when the pressure exceeds your ability to cope’.  1 in 5 people suffer from work-related stress; if we add to this equation the pressure of home and social life, then it’s not surprising many of us are pushed to the limit.

When we get stressed, the hormone, adrenaline is released and so causes other hormones, namely, noradrenaline and cortisol to be released.  These three hormones together divert resources to the parts of the body which are needed most – this is the ‘fight or flight’ response.  The problem is that in the 21st Century we’re not hunting for our food, we are not dealing with the odd sabre-tooth tiger attack we are dealing with sitting in traffic jams, dealing with bad news, work and family problems, but our bodies do not recognise the difference: stress is stress.  This means we are constantly being exposed to a level stream of stress chemicals but there is nowhere for them to go when we’re sitting anxiously in a traffic jam – there is no release for these toxic chemicals!

Typical signs of stress include: lack of concentration, IBS and digestive problems, frequent colds and flu, tiredness, heart disease and even cancer.

If you can, identify what’s causing you stress.  Exercise is a very good way of reducing stress levels and the best thing you can do for your health.   Zinc and the B-complex vitamins are also very good for combating the effects of stress.  Ginseng is an adaptogen so it increases the body’s resistance to stress and Rhodiola can help improve focus and concentration under stressful conditions.

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I’ve started to do some research into MSM (Methyl-Sulphonyl-Methane) and have discovered some very interesting facts to do with some of the issues I’ve discussed in my blogs. 

MSM is a naturally occuring sulphur compound and stable, odourless dietary metabolite of DMSO (Dimethyl Sulphoxide).  It is a vital compound found in the body’s tissues and fluids.  Interestingly, it is made naturally in the human body from the amino acids methionine, taurine and cysteine (the most potent antioxidant I know!) 

Sulphur is necessary for:

The formation of collagen, keratin and elastin (thereby helps to maintain the body’s physical structure and tissues and so maintaining their elasticity and flexibility); 

Maintaining cell membrane permeability (allowing cells to absorb nutrients and expel waste properly;

Playing a role in tissue healing and repair;

The essential formation of antibodies;

The energy production within body cells;

Overall, MSM is a very important mineral for healthy hair, skin, nails, organs, joints and blood vessels.

Dietary MSM is found in eggs, raw meats, seafood, some fresh vegetables and fruits and milk.  Processing of these products, of course, destroys or greatly reduces actual MSM content.  Therefore, generally speaking, the body will be sulphur deficient unless raw meat and fish and unwashed and uncooked vegetables are eaten on a daily basis. 

MSM levels in the body naturally decline with age so a combination of deficiency and decline are reported to result in symptoms of fatigue, tissue and organ malfunction, and an increase in susceptibility to disease.   To be effective therapeutically, MSM should be taken frequently, ideally, every day.  Research has shown a daily dosage of between 250mg and 2,000mg to be beneficial, but in severe cases of deficiency much higher doses have been used.

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Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells within the pancreas. Insulin is released into the blood stream and travels throughout the body. It is an important hormone that has many actions within the body. Most of the actions of insulin are directed at metabolism (control) of carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins. Insulin also is important in regulating the cells of the body including their growth.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin, that is, the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have its effects.

Causes

There are probably several causes of insulin resistance and there is thought to be a strong inherited component. Some medications can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is seen often in the following conditions:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Oestrogen
  • Menopause and the years thereafter
  • The Pill
  • HRT
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Infection or severe illness
  • Stress
  • Steroid use

A combination of raw vitamins, minerals and amino acids mixed daily with some fruit juice not only ensures the insulin response works at its optimum level, but also boosts energy and assists with weight loss. And, it’s not too disgusting to drink either!

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I’ve been going to the Vitality Show in London consecutively for the last 7 years. As a complementary practitioner I like to keep up to date on what’s new and available and the show, for me, is both fun and informative. I meet many therapists and it provides a basis for my continuing research.

Having just returned home from this year’s show, I was very disappointed. Not only was it down-sized (from Olympia to Earls Earls Court 1), it was also heavily geared towards sports clothes, hair and beauty and many of the therapy workshops (aura readings, colour therapies, reflexology, Ayurvedic treatments, herbs and supplement stands) had disappeared, possibly due to the high costs of exhibiting there. This was a shame

However, I was delighted when I actually stumbled across what I feel is a gem of a company: Mercy Oil Products. Mercy Oil products are produced from the seeds of plants and contain hundreds of precious and nutritious substances which include vitamins, minerals, high levels of essential fatty acids, amino acids and highly medicinal active components. They provide a natural healing remedy for immunodeficiency and opportunistic infections. I would encourage anyone who is interested to keep a look out for these products and do their own research.

The company’s leading product is Mercy Oil – an oil produced from the seeds of the Black Cumin flower (Nigella Sativa).

Black Cumin seed oil has been used for thousands of years by various cultures and civilizations around the world as an organic nutritional treatment, aiding good health and well-being.

The unique healing properties of Mercy Drinking Oil lie in the traditional way it is produced. Great care and time are taken to grow the Black Cumin plants in a mountainous climate of clean air and rich soil with as little pollution as possible.

The special extraction process which is used enhances Mercy Drinking Oils’ medicinal qualities without damaging the organic nutritional elements that the plant seeds have taken from the earth.

Since the 1960s, doctors around the world started researching and proving Black Cumin Seed oil’s many medicinal benefits, publishing their findings in respected and peer reviewed medical journals. Watch this space as I’ll be reviewing my findings.

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