The Number One Principle for Health & Why Self Care is So Important

Hello to you All,

I thought I would check in with you all today.   This was prompted by a client I saw who came to see me after thinking about it for a number of years.  I had been seeing his partner for a long time, but hadn't seen her for a year and so, so I though she had gone on her merry way.   He had been struggling with chronic health conditions for many years and he came to see me for his gut and emotional health and well being.  We had a really beautiful first consultation.  At the end when he was leaving, he turned around and said "I have got to say something...I have been meaning to see you for years."  He had tears in his eyes...and I really stopped, listened and waited, as he couldn't quite get the words out.  He said:  "I have seen what you have done for my wife and today I feel like I have truly been heard.  I feel like I have had so many questions answered, that have been unanswered for such a long time.   I feel like I have been waiting for this for a long time".   He gave me his deep gratitude and thanks.   He was paying me gratitude for the space he had been given.  And he was also paying gratitude to himself for giving himself the space he obviously had been waiting for for many years.    I am not sure if he knows this yet.   

This is why I love, this work.  I love what I choose to do.

What I wanted to talk about before I got into that story today,  Is committing to you health and how to do that.  What I realised, also took me a long time and many years to realise.  It was my own commitment to my own health and my mental health that would be the turning point for me in my own journey.   I learned that to release all of my stressful thoughts from my brain was what I needed.

So I want to talk about the number 1 principle for health.

You might need a pen.  This is a tip, an idea, a seed that I am planting.  I wasn't ready for it for a long time.

This is the talk I have with many of my clients.

Priority 1. Is committing to making your health, your number one priority.  This means believing that you are a valuable person.   This also means (and this includes mums', dads and animal lovers), this means you are the most important person in your life.   Because without putting on our oxygen mask in the plane, we cant help anyone else.   When we do put on our oxygen mask on first in the plane, it is a trickle down effect.   We sit at the top of the pyramid in our world and below that are our first most important people, below that are our other important people and so on.... and below that is then being able to help a whole lot of other people, beings and animals.

This is truly how I feel in my heart much deeper now that I have my own health in a place where I can truly say, I feel the most vital and energetic that I have ever been.  When I was in the deepest illness called fibromyalgia for many years, I didn't have the ability to help others.  Now I feel I do.

I still hold and practice principle number 1.    If my health is the most important, then I am able to help other people.  I get more clarity on this when I get sick or I go on holidays and I take care of my self.

The way to do this is to have an open mind.  It can be a really different way of thinking for some people, to put themselves first when they continually put their children, their puppies or their parents first.  They put this on hold or that on hold, because I cant do this.  I hear it a lot.  I hear from my older clients who are in their 60s say, "I cant do anything for my health until I have mum or dad sorted out.".  There is always going to be an excuse.

So if you are open minded and are willing to explore the cause of your dis-ease.  You need to be willing to put yourself at the top.

I had to share this with you after my beautiful yoga class at Dharma Circle...which I highly recommend if you are willing.  This is when I get clarity.  To make time for yourself, sometimes you need to get the old stuff out of the way and bring in the new concepts and ideas and allocate you time.  Time for your well being.  Especially if your excuse is "I don't have time because"  ...you can map your week out on a timetable.  Allocate work time and play time.  Especially for those Virgos who like to map things out.

Self care for you may look like....

Meditation

Yoga

Walking in nature

Dancing or dancing classes

Running

Self development workshops

Walking in the sun

A massage

Deep breathing

A weekend away

A regular holiday

True healing happens when you learn to listen to the messages of your body and you put your health, your mind and prioritise your time first.

I wanted to share this with you today because we are all worthy and special human beings.

If you have any words of wisdom or questions to share.  Please pop them on this thread.  We can all benefit from your innate wisdom too.

Enjoy the sunshine.

Love Chris x

Christine Carley is a qualified naturopath supporting her clients with chronic conditions, hormonal and gut health, stress, anxiety, fatigue and sleep.  She has a strong commitment to her clients and offers ongoing holistic treatment plans.   She has been facilitating trans-personal practices for 17 years.  She currently practices at Western Health Collective in West Footscray, Melbourne, Australia and is available for online consultations.

 

 

5 Tips On How To Increase Your Iron

5 Tips On How To Increase Your Iron

Although it is very common, many people do not realise they have iron deficiency anaemia.  Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common type of anaemia.  It occurs when our body is low in iron.  Your body is able to store iron, however it is not able to produce it.   Therefore we must obtain our iron from foods or through supplementation.

Here are 5 easy ways you can increase your iron through diet

1.     Eat vitamin C rich foods with an iron rich meal. Eg: kiwi fruit, red capsicum, 1/2 lemon squeezed in water, berries.

2.     Include iron rich foods in your diet such as:  red meat and offal,  liver (try liver pate).  chicken, duck, turkey and fish also have iron.

3.     Include iron rich veggies and legumes in your diet daily:  broccoli, spinach, silver beet, fresh raw grated beetroot, kidney beans and lentils.  Almonds, pumpkin seeds, prunes.

4.     If you are really low in iron and need to supplement, take a quality powdered vitamin C supplement prior to your iron supplement.

5.     Coffee and tea may hinder absorption of iron, so don’t drink them close to your meal or supplementation.

Vegetarians, be mindful that you are getting enough Iron and B12. – You may have to supplement.

If you experience constipation due to your supplement, a naturopath should be able to help you find a supplement that does not cause this side effect.

If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, get your blood checked with your doctor.  You can have your iron checked with a simple blood test through your GP.  Your doctor will do a complete blood count (CBC) as well as iron and ferritin (your iron stores). 

Sometimes the test will come back within range, however as a naturopath, I like to see your Iron stores within optimal range, not just within range.   At the lower end is not always good enough for optimal health and well being.    This means, I don’t want to see your iron and ferritin at the lower end of normal, as you can still be experiencing fatigue and several of the common symptoms listed below. 

Symptoms of low iron may include:

Fatigue

Weakness

Shortness of breath

Dizziness

Headaches

Brittle nails

Pale skin and

Tongue swelling, soreness and a pale tongue

Irregular or fast heartbeat

Unusual food cravings

Please consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

 

If you believe you have issues with low iron, iron absorption due to your gut health or menstrual issues, please get in touch to find out more about how I can help.  You can book a FREE 10min phone consultation online: http://lovethyhealth.com.au/contact/

Christine Carley

Naturopath BHlthSc. (Nat) NHAA ECNH

Christine Carley is a qualified naturopath supporting her clients with chronic conditions, hormonal and gut health, stress, anxiety, fatigue and sleep.  She has a strong commitment to her clients and offers ongoing holistic treatment plans.   She has been facilitating trans-personal practices for 17 years.  She currently practices at Western Health Collective in West Footscray, Melbourne, Australia and is available for online consultations.

 

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6 Sugar Craving Tips

Sugar cravings are extremely common. Many people crave sweets, but they may also rely on refined carbohydrates such as breads and other baked goods. The resulting blood sugar spikes and dips leave you feeling fatigued and can cause symptoms such as anxiety, dizziness, headaches and brain fog.  The good news is that some simple tweaks in your diet can nip those blood sugar fluctuations in the bud. 

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Good Sleep & How to Get it

Our busy lives mean that we are constantly on the go. We juggle many tasks and responsibilities, and strive to be as productive as possible. Does this sound like you?

It is estimated that around 50% of adults experience occasional insomnia, with approximately 10% of adults suffering from chronic insomnia.

In an age where being busy has become trendy, the importance of sleep is often forgotten. We all know that we need to sleep, but it pays to stop and consider the quality of your sleep as well as the quantity.

Sleep is not just about resting. It is during sleep when your body excretes growth hormone and melatonin levels rise – this leads to tissue regeneration and antioxidant activity respectively. When you are asleep, your body resets its metabolism, regenerates bone and connective tissue, regenerates your liver, breaks down fat stores, and supports blood sugar regulation. A lack of sleep causes an imbalance of cortisol levels and even alters your appetite hormones, meaning that you are more likely to overeat during the day.

Not getting enough quality sleep, therefore, is associated with many conditions including diabetes and obesity, imbalanced cholesterol and triglycerides, increased cardiovascular risk, accelerated ageing, poor concentration and memory, lowered immune function, stress, irritability, anxiety, depression and low mood.

There is good news though, as fortunately there’s a lot that can be done in terms of lifestyle to support good sleep.

What can you do?

·      In the evening, dim the lights and stop using screens (computers, tablets mobiles) at least 30mins to one hour before bedtime – this is very important as blue light stops your body producing melatonin.  Read a non-electronic paper book or novel – something relaxing or journaling.

·      Include good quality protein in each meal – this helps your body produce neurotransmitters to support good mood and good sleep

·      Avoid alcohol if you experience sleep problems

·      Magnesium and potassium rice foods can help relax the body – A little avocado or organic yoghurt.

·      Don’t eat a too close to bedtime – finish your last meal of the day by 2 hours before bedtime to give your digestive system a rest

·      Avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks after lunchtime

·      Have a cup of herbal tea after dinner – for example chamomile, lemon balm or passionflower

·      Go to bed and rise around the same time each day – this ensures your body gets into a rhythm and you may not even need an alarm clock to wake you in the mornings

·      Move your body daily – exercise is as important for good sleep as it is for overall health

·      Make sure you are exposed to sunlight during the day – this supports your circadian rhythms and helps you produce the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin, which is then converted to the ‘sleep hormone’ melatonin

·      Wind down before going to bed – you may like to have a bath or read a good book

·      Make sure your bedroom is dark and not too hot

·      Write down any worries in a journal before going to bed, so that you can put them out of your mind

·      Have a relaxing lavender essential oil bath 1 hour before bed

·      Make sure you have a comfortable supportive bed.

How can a naturopath help?

Naturopaths are well equipped to support your sleep. They can:

-       Identify any underlying causes of poor sleep – this can include health conditions, medications, stress & lifestyle factors etc

-       Prescribe an appropriate magnesium

-       Prescribe a tailored liquid herbal remedy to ease restlessness, anxiety etc and promote good sleep

-       Prescribe homeopathic melatonin if indicated

-       Advise you on what further foods to eat to support good sleep

If you have trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or wake unrefreshed, get in touch to find out more about how I can help you.

Wishing you good rest and sweet dreams!

Christine

Naturopath BHlthSc. (Nat) NHAA ECNH

If you are struggling with sleep difficulties, please call me I’m happy to help you.

Christine Carley is a qualified naturopath supporting her clients with gut health, stress, anxiety and fatigue.  She has a strong commitment to her clients and offers ongoing holistic treatment plans.   She has been facilitating mindfulness practices for 17 years.  She currently practices at Western Health Collective & her private practice.

 

Click to make a booking:

Western Health Collective, West Footscray 9687 5670

Love Thy Health, West Footscray  0409 027 221

This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice.  All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant.  Please see your practitioner for personalised health treatments and advice.

Embracing Menopause

As women, we go through different cycles in our lives; each cycle to be embraced and celebrated.

How do you think of menopause?  Is it a time of relief from monthly menstruation?  Or perhaps it comes with a feeling of loss of fertility and uncomfortable symptoms.

Menopause is a beautiful time in a woman’s life when the body’s hormonal levels shift, just as nature intended.

What exactly is menopause?

Menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menstruation. The average onset is at around 50 years of age, but it may occur earlier or later. A woman has around 1 million eggs at birth. The follicles which house the eggs during each cycle release oestrogen and progesterone. As the number of eggs decline over the decades, oestrogen and progesterone levels drop.  At the same time, the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone by the pituitary gland increases, resulting in increased amounts of androgens.  These androgens can be converted to oestrogens by fat cells in the body, although overall oestrogen levels are still much lower during menopause than they were during the reproductive years.

So what is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the time prior to menopause, during which many women ovulate irregularly due to decreased oestrogen levels, and resistance of the remaining follicles to ovulatory stimulation. It is during perimenopause that many women experience symptoms such as hot flushes, headaches, vaginal changes and mood swings.  It’s important to note that not every woman will experience all of these symptoms, and each woman experiences their symptoms to a different degree. That’s the beauty of the human body, we are all different and unique.

Beyond the physical

In western societies, menopause is often regarded as a negative, declining time. We would do well to adopt the viewpoint of more traditional cultures, which regard menopause with respect, and as a symbol of wisdom and positive change. Research even suggests that a woman’s expectations and views of menopause have a direct impact on the severity her symptoms.

So embrace this amazing time of your life, accept the natural transformation that is occurring in your body, and know that natural therapies have much to offer during this time.

How a naturopath can help

A naturopath can assess your individual hormonal balance, through clinical presentation and/or functional testing. A naturopath has many tools to help you balance your hormones for a smooth transition into menopause. They can:

Advise you on the correct foods to eat (and which foods to avoid) to support your health and wellbeing

Prescribe a tailor-made liquid herbal remedy to relieve symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleeplessness, anxiety and depression

Prescribe supplements including minerals, vitamins, bioflavonoids and essential fatty acids, depending on your individual needs

Provide lifestyle recommendations to help your body and mind adapt to the changes in your body

Identify and address any other underlying conditions which may be responsible for your symptoms (such as underlying infections, impaired thyroid function, digestive issues, stress etc)

 

What you can do

1.     EAT RIGHT

With decreased oestrogen levels, phytoestrogens (plant compounds which modulate oestrogen activity in the body) are especially helpful for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Although phytoestrogens vary chemically from oestrogens, they can bind to oestrogen receptors in the body and so have a similar, although weaker, effect than oestrogen itself. In this way, they can balance the effects of too little (or too much) oestrogen. Phytoestrogens are found in flaxseeds, berries, nuts and legumes. Soy beans contain particularly high levels, but always choose organic soy in order to avoid genetically modified crops. Flaxseeds are also anti-inflammatory and have been shown to combat vaginal dryness which many women experience during menopause.

Avoid caffeine, which can contribute to decreased bone mineral density and deplete the adrenal glands. Choose herbal teas instead – sage is great for hot flushes, and chamomile is helpful for restlessness.

Eliminate processed foods and refined sugar, which can promote the presence of candida, and further increase the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Adopt a clean wholefood diet instead – vegetables, fruit, whole grains, vegetarian protein, nuts, seeds, legumes.

Avoid saturated, trans and hydrogenated fats. Replace them with healthful unrefined monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – nuts, seeds, avocado, eggs, olives.

Monitor how your body responds to spicy foods – chilli and other spices may cause heat in the body and aggravate hot flushes.

2.     MOVE YOUR BODY DAILY
 

Regular exercise is of immense benefit to peri-menopausal and postmenopausal women. It reduces the frequency and severity of hot flushes, supports cardiovascular health, prevents weight gain, increases bone density, and boosts mental health. You need not do rigorous exercise every day, even just taking the dog for a walk or doing some yoga in the garden will provide benefits. Mix it up, with a combination of cardio, resistance training and stretching.

3.     SUPPORT YOURSELF EMOTIONALLY
 

Make sure you are surrounding yourself with supportive people during this time. Be kind to yourself, and listen to what your body needs – this may be more rest and sleep. Treat yourself to a soothing bath, lay the to-do list aside for one day, and do what nurtures your soul.

4.     GET IN TOUCH

For more information on phytoestrogens, herbal medicine, meal and snack ideas, and a sample daily diet to support your body during menopause.

 

If you are struggling with your menopausal symptoms, please call me I’m happy to help you. Christine Carley - Qualified Naturopath BHlthSc. (Nat) NHAA ECNH

Christine is a qualified naturopath supporting her clients with gut health, stress, anxiety and fatigue.  She has a strong commitment to her clients and offers ongoing holistic treatment plans.   She has been facilitating mindfulness practices and for 17 years. 

Western Health Collective, West Footscray 9687 5670

Love Thy Health, West Footscray  0409 027 221

This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice.  All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant.  Please see your practitioner for personalised health treatments and advice.

 

10 Cleansing Tips for the Holiday Season

If you are going to get silly this season …hey I know I am, and I am a naturopath!  We all know excess sugar, fatty food and alcohol can take its toll on your body, mind and spirit.

So here are 10 tips to hopefully help ease the pain… if you are going to drink,  eat and play hard …so to speak.

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