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I’m so pleased to see that GPs are now advising their patients to have Vitamin D tests – it’s about time! If there is one vitamin of vital need, this is it.

Vitamin D regulates gene expression, has a positive fundamental effect on cell differentiation and growth, with anti-oxidative and autoimmune anti-inflammatory mechanisms. It positively affects the nervous system by stimulating neurotrophic factors, quenching oxidative hyperactivity and regulating autoimmune responses.

It’s made by the action of UVB sunlight as it strikes the cholesterol covering our bare skin. Unfortunately with our habit of washing with soap, all the cholesterol is washed off, leaving none with which to make vitamin D. So no amount of sunshine will help when skin is washed with soap.

For some of the best information on vitamin D have a look at: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
Here is what Dr Cannell, of the Vitamin D Council said:

“During the last decade… ground-breaking laboratory studies have shown that the active hormone form of vitamin D interacts with receptors in more than 30 tissues and organs of the body and influences the action of some 1000 or more genes. By these means Vitamin D controls not only calcium homeostasis but another five physiological systems: the immune system, pancreas beta cells, heart and blood vessels, muscle development and strength, and brain development. In addition vitamin D has direct effects on cell activity. It facilitates cell differentiation and apoptosis, that is, it regulates cell death. Together with calcium it has a profound effect on cellular adhesion and initiation of cancer.”

30-50% of people have a Vitamin D deficiency, particularly those living in climates with little sun, living above 34 degrees north or south of the equator, work indoors, spend little time in the sun and have dark skin. The darker the skin the more sun exposure is required to obtain sufficient. The following list gives an indication of levels of vitamin D found in the blood. The test should be done for 25-hydroxyvitamin D, also called calcidiol:

Sufficient: 50-100ng/ml or 125-250 nmol/L
Hypovitaminosis: <30ng/ml or 75 nmol/L
Deficiency: <25ng/ml or 62 nmol/L

Vitamin D comes in three forms:

* Cholecalciferol or D3 which is formed in the skin, this also comes as a supplement to take.
* Calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) is a prehormone made from cholecalciferol by the liver. When testing for vitamin D this, and only this, is what should be tested for.
* Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) is made from calcidiol principally by the kidneys, and is a most potent steroid hormone.

Finally a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, of which, you may know, I’m a supporter.

If you have concerns, please consider having a test done. There is mounting evidence that many (74 at last count), if not all, of our modern diseases, syndromes, symptoms are possibly due to a lack of vitamin D.

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Having researched adrenal fatigue for some time now, there is some evidence that this vitamin plays an important part in restoring adrenal health.  Vitamin E absorbs and neutralizes the damaging free radical molecules inside the adrenal glands and elswhere in the body. Vitamin C enhances Vitamin E’s activity inside the cell by regenerating the capacity of vitamin E to isolate the free radicals. So these two vitamins can work hand-in-hand to keep the adrenal healthy.

It does seem, however, that choosing the right Vitamin E supplement is very important. Vitamin E is a ‘tocopherol’. Most Vitamin E supplements sold in health food shops are in the form of d-alpha-tocopherol. This is only a fraction of the complete Vitamin E complex and the majority of companies promote this type of Vitamin E, making it the most available type of Vitamin E being sold.

The Vitamin E necessary for adrenal regeneration is a mixed tocopherols supplement, specifically one high in beta-tocopherols. Studies have shown that too much d-alpha-tocopherol can actually suppress the beta and other tocopherols necessary for adrenal rejuvenation. So taking a mixed tocopherols Vitamin E supplement is crucial to restoring adrenal health.

For more information on Adrenal Fatigue, I recommend: a wonderfully comprehensive book by Dr James L Wilson – ‘Adrenal Fatigue – The 21st Century Stress Syndrome’.

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I am constantly being asked by clients about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), from which many women suffer where cysts on the ovaries cause pain during ovulation, PMS, and excess hair growth on the face, legs and arms.  It’s been known for some time that PCOS is associated with high insulin levels, which stimulate the ovarian production of androgens (male hormones).  In a study of obese and non-obese women with PCOS (Nobumasa et al, 2002), various hormones were measured with interesting results: the average levels of testosterone and androstenedione in obese women were significantly higher than those in non-obese women.  This is yet another indicator that obesity can contribute significantly to hormone imbalance.  PCOS disappears rapidly in most women when they cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from their diet.

Can Progesterone help recovery from PCOS?

PCOS is a condition which is rising alarmingly all over the world.

PCOS is generally considered a syndrome rather than a disease, because it manifests through a group of signs and symptoms that can occur in any combination, rather than having one known cause.

Symptoms vary and include some or all of the following…

  • oligomenorrhoea (absent or infrequent periods) or amenorrhea (no menstrual period).
  • enlarged ovaries (usually 1.5 to 3 times larger than normal).
  • cysts (fluid-filled sacs), giving the classic “string of pearls” appearance to ovaries with many cysts. Cystic ovaries can lead to…
  • chronic pelvic pain – although the exact cause of this pain isn’t known, inflammation is the most likely cause.
  • anovulation (lack of ovulation), which is relatively common as the follicles mature only occasionally, this leads to…
  • low progesterone levels, as it’s only after ovulation that the follicle, now called the corpus luteum, produces progesterone. But low progesterone levels lead to…
  • high levels of luteinising hormone (LH) as the pituitary is trying to stimulate ovulation. High LH suppresses follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) so this leads to arrested follicle growth in the next cycle. But LH also stimulates the thecal cells in the ovary to produce androgens which leads to…
  • high androgens (hyperandrogenism), particularly high testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), leading to excess facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, deepening of the voice, weight problems including obesity and a smaller hip to waist ratio, acne, oily skin, dandruff, suppression of ovarian function, leading to anovulation which leads to…
  • infertility (the inability to get pregnant within six to 12 months of unprotected intercourse, depending on age) and low progesterone levels

Natural treatment

  • Above all have a vitamin D test done, and take a minimum of 5000 IU’s per day, bringing the level in the blood to 50ng/ml (125nmol/L) or above. A lack of vitamin D is found in PCO, with many authorities believing it could be the main contributing factor. A lack also leads to hyperparathyroidism which is often present in PCO. High levels of parathyroid hormone suppresses thyroid activity, leading to a higher than normal TSH level. The year round level of vitamin D should be 50ng/ml (125nmol/L) or higher
  • A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone
  • Use between 150-250mg/day progesterone, this helps stabilise blood sugar and suppresses androgen production. It also helps to correct ovarian malfunction
  • Take the B vitamin inositol, this aids in reversing insulin resistance and stabilizing glucose levels. Studies have shown this restores gonadal function.
  • Take the antioxidant amino acids L-arginine and N-acetyl cysteine, studies have shown these restore gonadal function.
  • The amino acids L-glutamine and L-glycine are very helpful. The brain can use them in place of glucose for energy, so they stop all binging, tiredness, cravings for sugary foods and alcohol. Glutamine also heals the lining of the gut, it boosts the immune system and is the most abundant amino acid in the muscles, so helping with muscle weakness. These two amino acids are also two of the three precursors to glutathione, which apart from vitamin D, is the most important antioxidant the body makes. The third amino precursor is cysteine, which is essential to take.
  • MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride) is another excellent source of energy which is not converted to fat, but can be used directly by the cells for energy, take 5-60ml/day. It’s extracted from coconut oil and comprises 60% caprylic acid, which kills candida, and 40% capric acid.

It could take a while for things to sort themselves out, so have patience. Researchers have found it takes from four to six months for the ovaries to start functioning correctly.

Additional Information

Progesterone

Apply 150-250mg of progesterone per day. The higher dose might be needed.

It should only be used at ovulation, for the last 14 days of the cycle, taking day 1 as the first day of bleeding.

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It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects nearly 1 in 20 people across the globe. In England and Wales, there could be up to 1.76 million adults with fibromyalgia.
Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although the condition affects more women than men. In most cases, fibromyalgia occurs between 30 and 60 years of age, but it can develop in people of any age, including children and the elderly.
Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to diagnose because there is no specific test and the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions.
I see a number of clients in my clinic with fibromyalgia and, in my experience, there seems to be a link between this condition and hormone imbalance (ie polycystic ovaries, endometriosis etc) and also a link with depression.
My clinic and the way I practise is multi-faceted, tailoring the treatment to the individual, but I find that Reflexology particularly helps with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. What many people don not realise is that Reflexology is a powerful treatment which works the body from the inside out – working every system and organ of the body to bring about homeostasis (balance) to the body.
Why does it work so well with fibromyalgia? Well this could be for a number of reasons:
Reflexology:
• Promotes the reduction of pain through gate control and stimulation of the production of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) – it therefore reduces pain. Pain reduction following reflexology treatment is documented in 27 studies including research showing impact on individuals of all ages and health states;
• Offers further pain relief by promoting blood flow: studies show that reflexology increases blood flow to the feet, brain, kidneys and intestines;
• Creates relaxation: From the moment the reflexologist’s hands start their work, the relaxation begins as shown in research using EEG brain activity. All together, 24 studies demonstrate reflexology’s relaxation effects;
In common with most complementary therapies, there has only been limited research aimed at validating reflexology – but there have been 100s of studies and a survey of 170 studies showed a positive result for 83% of areas researched.
A Chinese survey of 8,096 case studies noted a 94% effective or significantly effective rate. Significant areas of study include: stress and anxiety, lessening of pain and cancer care as well as general health concerns for individuals of all ages.
Further, a randomised controlled study on MS patients showed significant decreases in intensity and duration of parasthesia and urinary symptoms together with an improvement in spasticity. There was also a borderline improvement in muscle strength. This is even more remarkable as some of the pharmacological agents used are associated with muscle weakness.
Out of all my treatments, I absolutely love Reflexology because I see the power, and the effects, of this amazing treatment the minute my clients get down off the therapy couch!

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Fibroids

I seem to get asked about Fibroid treatments quite often and this is where my knowledge and experience with natural progesterone helps with the advice I give.

As a fibroid treatment progesterone’s effectiveness stems from its powerful  counter-estrogenic properties. Hormone imbalances induced by environmental  poisons, especially the ‘xeno-estrogens’, are considered by some authorities to  be a likely cause of fibroids.

Fibroids are benign, usually painless tumours found in the uterus, made of  muscle and connective tissue. The cause is unknown. Starting as microscopic  bodies, they can grow to the size of a grapefruit or larger, sometimes filling  the entire uterus.

Pregnancy reduces the risk of new ones forming.  Progesterone suppresses estrogen. The high level of progesterone in pregnancy  is the probable reason pregnancy is protective.

Estrogen stimulates the growth of fibroids. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)  are also implicated in their formation. Estrogen also maintains secretion of  MMPs, so a vicious cycle is started.

Matrix metalloproteinases are enzymes that break down protein. They  play a role in the breakdown of endometrial tissues at the end of the menstrual  cycle. If they are over active, as would be the case with an excess of estrogen  in the body, (estrogen stimulates its production), the result is a pathological  reaction such as inflammation and excessive bleeding in the uterus. A high level  of MMPs can lead to both rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, cirrhosis and  cancer.

Progesterone suppresses matrix metalloproteinases.

From 15 to 20% of reproductive women develop fibroids. But they occur most  frequently in women from the mid thirties on, affecting 30 to 40%. A time when  oestrogen levels are high but progesterone levels are declining. They often  cause heavy, irregular, sometimes painful periods. It is known that after  menopause with the drop in the estrogen level they disappear.

Supplemental progesterone, by suppressing both oestrogen and MMPs, is often  effective at reducing fibroids. If not too large, they are gradually absorbed  back into the body, taking from three to twelve months to do so.

As a fibroid treatment progesterone therapy often helps to prevent the heavy  bleeding and pain if present.

Current medical treatment is a hysterectomy, uterine artery embolisation  (UAE) or laparoscopic myomectomy (LM) to remove them. Anti-inflammatory drugs  are used for the pain and oral contraceptives to control the heavy bleeding.

Some symptoms are… fullness or pressure in the abdomen, pain with periods,  gas, frequent urination, heavy bleeding, often with clots.

Read Full Post »

Fibroids

I get asked by Fibroid treatments quite often, it seems and this is where my knowledge and experience with natural progesterone helps with the advice I give.

As a fibroid treatment progesterone’s effectiveness stems from its powerful  counter-estrogenic properties. Hormone imbalances induced by environmental  poisons, especially the ‘xeno-estrogens’, are considered by some authorities to  be a likely cause of fibroids.

Fibroids are benign, usually painless tumours found in the uterus, made of  muscle and connective tissue. The cause is unknown. Starting as microscopic  bodies, they can grow to the size of a grapefruit or larger, sometimes filling  the entire uterus.

Pregnancy reduces the risk of new ones forming.

Estrogen stimulates the growth of fibroids. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)  are also implicated in their formation. Estrogen also maintains secretion of  MMPs, so a vicious cycle is started.

Progesterone suppresses estrogen. The high level of progesterone in pregnancy  is the probable reason pregnancy is protective.

Matrix metalloproteinases are enzymes that break down protein. They  play a role in the breakdown of endometrial tissues at the end of the menstrual  cycle. If they are over active, as would be the case with an excess of estrogen  in the body, (estrogen stimulates its production), the result is a pathological  reaction such as inflammation and excessive bleeding in the uterus. A high level  of MMPs can lead to both rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, cirrhosis and  cancer.

Progesterone suppresses matrix metalloproteinases.

From 15 to 20% of reproductive women develop fibroids. But they occur most  frequently in women from the mid thirties on, affecting 30 to 40%. A time when  oestrogen levels are high but progesterone levels are declining. They often  cause heavy, irregular, sometimes painful periods. It is known that after  menopause with the drop in the estrogen level they disappear.

Supplemental progesterone, by suppressing both oestrogen and MMPs, is often  effective at reducing fibroids. If not too large, they are gradually absorbed  back into the body, taking from three to twelve months to do so.

As a fibroid treatment progesterone therapy often helps to prevent the heavy  bleeding and pain if present.

Current medical treatment is a hysterectomy, uterine artery embolisation  (UAE) or laparoscopic myomectomy (LM) to remove them. Anti-inflammatory drugs  are used for the pain and oral contraceptives to control the heavy bleeding.

Some symptoms are… fullness or pressure in the abdomen, pain with periods,  gas, frequent urination, heavy bleeding, often with clots.

 

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Several people have asked me for the contents of the Energy Boost formula I
take. The idea behind the Energy Boost is to reverse insulin resistance, help
with tiredness, lack of energy, foggy brain, cravings and weight gain. The ingredients listed below, in one way or another, all play a role in achieving this (a detailed list of the actions of each ingredient is available on request):

Amount per serving
Arginine 500mg
Carnitine (N-acetyl-L-) 500mg
Cysteine (N-Acetyl-L) 500mg
Glycine 500mg
Taurine 500mg
Chromium 200mcg
Selenium 200mcg
Zinc 15mg
Vitamin B1 25mg
Vitamin B2 25mg
Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) 25mg
Vitamin B5 (Ca D-pantothenate) 100mg
Vitamin B6 (pyrodoxine) 25mg
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) 200mcg
Biotin 1000mcg
Folic acid 1000mcg
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 500mg
Milk thistle (81.79% silymarins) 515mg
Plus: alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, D-Ribose, purified phylosilicate
clay, inositol, choline, glutamine, the branched chain amino acids: isoleucine,
leucine and valine.

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Mobile Acupuncture

Having recently encountered a number of clients with injuries rendering them unable to visit my clinics, I’m now offering a mobile acupuncture service in the following postal code areas:
N9, EN1, EN2, EN3, EN4, EN6, EN7, EN8.

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According to the private health group, BUPA, roughly 270,000 people in the UK take time off every day due to stress. Nearly 60% of all absences from work are caused by stress; stress is an inescapable part of modern life. Every year sickness absence, due to work-related stress, costs British industry around £10 billion. In today’s society 75% of diseases are associated with stress and tension. Holistic therapy in its various forms can help stress-related ailments.

In the USA side effects of prescription drugs are seen as the sixth most common cause of death and this is why more and more people are turning to complementary therapy which is a central part of a worldwide healing tradition.

The holistic approach is not just to work on the symptoms but to tackle the root of the problem, thereby preventing the ailment from getting worse. Furthermore, because holistic therapy is a preventative form of therapy, many people who have regular treatments report that they experience fewer ailments than they would otherwise.

The different types of holistic therapies available at Mind, Body and Sole significantly aid in reducing stress. The differences between the treatments can be seen when looking at the healing effects the treatments can offer in regard to different ailments. The benefits, very often, are noticed immediately, but may take several treatments to achieve their fullest and most worthwhile effects.

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Special rates on Hypnotherapy. See ‘Therapies I Offer’.

Hypnotherapy is a powerful treatment which aims at relaxing and so targeting the subconscious mind to replace negative habits and patterns with positive ones.

AVAILABLE SOON:  GASTRIC BAND HYPNOTHERAPY – at last the long-term solution to losing weight and keeping it off! 

Put simply: the only way to lose weight is to eat less.  This is why gastric band hypnotherapy is popular and effective for weight loss.  It reprograms the mind so that you eat less, convincing the subconscious that you have undergone gastric band surgery.  This means that your mind craves less food and feels fuller sooner.  Each individual’s issues with food are also addressed thereby identifying the reasons and behaviours to food and over eating.

Weight loss is more than a vanity issue.  Science has consistently proven that carrying excess weight is detrimental to health, increasing chances of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and so on.

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