Winter Wellness – Part 5 – Cold & Flu fixes

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Our days here have been very varied lately … one day overcast and rain the next bright sunshine and balmy temperatures.  It is hard to know whether you’re coming or going!  I’m not complaining though as while I love the warm days for my morning walks with the dog, I am also very partial to inside days where I can snuggle up with a good book, especially now that the study has finished and the exam completed.

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Picnics with the chickens in the sunshine – as viewed from out back window

Even with all the temperature changes we have thankfully got through winter pretty much illness free… touch wood … however now that the stress of my exam has passed, I can feel my body relaxing and clearing a few things it was obviously ‘storing’ up until I was less stressed.  It’s murphy’s law I guess that as soon as you go on holiday or have a break those cold or flu viruses get you. The body loves coming back into balance and will take every opportunity to do so 🙂  Thankfully, that isn’t me at the moment but it did make me think about a few home cures which I regularly use to help feel a little better a little faster if those breaks from stress end up with my body succumbing to illness.

As always, they are very ‘back to basics’ ideas, ones that our ancestors probably used with success long before we were reaching for all those cold and flu medicines.  See if there are a few that will work for you.

Rest.  The verdict is out! Rest and sleep are the best treatment for most ills and for keeping others at bay.  Getting as much rest as possible early on, rather than pushing through, can help the body to fight the ‘bad guys’ before the bugs overwhelm the body. Sleep really is that good, so make sure you make time to snuggle up when you are feeling the effects of a cold or the flu.

Fluids. Replacing all the fluids you are losing via nose blowing and coughing is a really important part of helping your body heal.  Our bodies need water to function correctly so make sure the fluids are good quality; that is non-fizzy, decaffeinated, sugar free options.  Hot fluids can help loosen congestion so herbal teas (see below for idea) or slices of lemon with honey can be a good option and a soothing too.  It is also a perfect to time to make a big pot of soup that you can dip into through out the day, ensuring you get all the vitamins and fluids you need. Here is a great chicken soup recipe (from before we had vegans on-board)

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Fresh lemons ready for making some lemon tea

Wash your hands.  This seems like a really obvious one I know however it is easy to forget to wash your hands after each blow and/or sneeze when you’re wallowing in how grotty you feel.  Colds are spread easily, both for you to ‘catch’ the first time and to re-infect yourself, through virus-infected airborne droplets or by direct contact with infected secretions so by washing your hands regularly you can cut down the risk to yourself and others in the family.

Herbs.  Using the healing properties of herbs to boost your health can be an easy, and often overlooked, aid to healing.  Try out some of these herbs in your meals or make a soothing cup of tea with them.  While gathering fresh herbs from your garden is delicious, dried herb will have stronger medicinal properties and may be easier to access when you’re feeling under the weather. Sage is a great one for helping with sore throats as it is both an antiseptic and an analgesic. Basil can ease headaches. Thyme is a tried and true herb for coughs. Rosemary for helping to clear the head.

Food.  Eating real, fresh food (combined with herbs) is one of the best way to get any extra nutrients that your body may need.  It can be easy to grab quick and easy processed/packaged kai (food) however this isn’t always going to serve your body well or help you get rid of those cold/flu symptoms any sooner. Garlic is a great addition to meals, as it is both an antibacterial and an antiviral food which will help knock those ‘bugs’ on the head.  Or you could do like my Mum used to and have it raw (chopped up very finely of course) in a honey sandwich! I have to admit that even as a vegan this is still my go to when I feel a cold coming on. Salt water gargles can also be a great way to get you on the road to recovery, another go to for me in the early stages, and an easy fix from home.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying your day.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Winter Wellness – Part 2 – EFT

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Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is one of the healing tools I have in my kete (basket) which I have to admit was a bit out of my comfort zone the first time I tried it.  That was over a decade ago now and since then it has become an invaluable which never fails to make a positive difference in how I feel.  I regulary use it for relieving syptoms of discomfort and illness, with great results, so I thought you may like to try it too.

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Tapping on the karate chop point

As you may know, I believe that all our health and well-being, yes all of it, comes down to our emotions.  Our emotions dictate how we interact with the world and what we do in it.  If we are feeling safe, we are more able to make good choices in our life as we operate in more of a ‘rest and digest’ state of being. If we are feeling stressed, worried or scared a different part of our nervous system kicks in and we operate out of a ‘flight or fight or freeze’ survival mode where our decisions are based on what we think we need at that moment to survive.  Obviously, there are bugs out there that can make us sick however when we are operating in ‘survival mode’ due to us feeling stressed, worried, angry etc then our immune system is impaired which make that fact, bugs will make us sick, all the more likely to occur.

Our bodies can’t heal or fight disease in our bodies if we think our safety is compromised as it is too busy worrying about survival, which is where EFT can help.  Tapping (another name for EFT) works by tapping on meridian points, which studies have shown helps calm the amygdala (a part of the brain which plays a key role in processing emotions) and thereby helps clear emotional blocks within our system. While you tap you also say statements about the issue or how you are feeling – focusing on the negative to start with and then moving to the positive – which also helps to bring the body back to that all importance place of calm and balance.  In a nutshell EFT/Tapping assists you to move through the negative (sickness, emotions or pain) by combining tapping on certain points in the body and saying how we feel about the issue we have, simple as that!   It honestly is that easy, yet it is so effective and you don’t need to get ‘tied up’ about what to say either, rather just say how you are honestly feeling.

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The tapping points as portrayed by an amazing artist 🙂

Now at this point you may be saying ‘but a cold is physical, it has nothing to do with emotions’ and that is true to a point. There are two things that bring it back to the emotional though …. one, when we are stressed/angry/worried or rushing all the time our bodies go into survival mode which lowers our immune system, so allowing bugs in a little easier and two, everything we experience has an emotion attached to it.  So when we get that cold we may begin to wallow in how sick we feel, get angry about still having to do jobs, feel frustrated that being sick stops us from doing something and all of these emotions end up making us feel worse.  Tapping helps clear that emotional aspect which allows you to feel brighter and more able to cope.

Tapping/EFT is really easy to do and best of all you don’t even have to leave your bed to do it!  Even if you feel a bit silly to start with, tapping under your arm especially, after a few rounds it will help you to feel better.  There are loads of tap along videos on youtube ( I’ve listed a few below to try) however if you want a little one page quick guide, by yours truly, then here is a PDF to help you along.  If you want a more detailed look at EFT and how you can reduce your stress then try out my book ‘Take it Easy’ which you can purchased at Amazon, Smashwords and other online bookstores.  I will say though that while tapping at home and using youtube videos is great for relieving minor issues I do suggest that if anything comes up for you and you feel you have deeper work to do then please seek out a professional practitioner.

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Try out my e-book for a more detailed guide on reducing stress to improve health.

Cold and congestion tap along with Nivedita Mehta

Cold tap along with Beth Tuttle

Healing tap along with Brad Yates

Cold and flu tap along with Julie Schiffman

Hope this finds you getting a bit of relief and feeling healthier each day.

Arohanui
Y
www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Winter Wellness – Part 1 – Reflexology

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After five weeks of recipes and with winter officially here in NZ I thought I would begin a ‘Winter Wellness’ series of blogs.  As the Chinese proverb goes ‘The superior doctor prevents sickness; The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; The inferior doctor treats actual sickness.’  So I thought I would share a few tools and give the opportunity for you to all become your own superior … or at the very least mediocre …. doctor and get on top of your health before any of those dreaded winter lurgies appear  … or reappear 🙂

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Rainy day views

Each week over the next few weeks I will give a few suggestions for you to try. which can help you find some relief from winter lurgies or may help boost your immune system to keep them at bay completely.  These don’t replace medical advice of course, rather they can be used in conjunction with other techniques or medications you are using to help  bring your body back into balance and hopefully heal a little quicker.  Once your body has balance (we naturally want homeostasis in our bodies and the body strives for it at a physiological level) it has more energy to focus on healing and maintaining a healthy body.

Reflexology is a great tool for helping you bring your body back into balance and one that I love to use.  While I primarily give foot reflexology treatments to my clients, I know that this isn’t always the easiest option to use at home, by yourself, or when you’re out and about.  So for that reason I teach a lot of hand reflexology points during my workshops so that you can actually use this fantastic tool yourself.  The positive effects of hand reflexology are usually a little shorter lived than foot reflexology though thankfully it is easy to repeat as needed.  Best thing is that you can do some basic moves in the comfort of your own home.

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Ingham Method Map

I thought a one page hand out would be the best way to share (click here to download a PDF version) and a little video (thankfully the sun came out so that herself could video me in the light) to help you along the way … including a bit of eye rolling from me as himself runs in and out of the bus and I thought that I wasn’t having my face filmed!!!  Excuse our low tech productions ….  not that much room for lighting and screens in our 1956 Bedford 🙂 If you feel there is something that isn’t clear then please let me know so I can do another ‘take’. The most important thing is that you are mindful of your own wellbeing.  Stop if  you’re feeling pain, go easy on tender spots, ease up if things feel ‘too much’ and if you are concerned then see a health professional

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and working those hands to your benefit!

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz