What is a Naturopath

What is a Naturopath Loula Natural

What is a Naturopath?

Have you ever wondered about what a Naturopathic Doctor does? Ever wanted to see one but are confused about why it may work for you? In a nutshell a Naturopath with use only natural means to heal, repair and balance the body. Whether acute or chronic- all conditions can be dealt with using nature.

We all have different tools in our tool box, but in general you can expect to talk about energy medicines  like homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies or other vibrational remedies, emotional freedom technique (eft), herbs, healing power of foods, fermentation, accupuncture, kineseolgy, essential oils, muscle testing, breathing techniques, exercise advice, meditation and other mindful practices with other stress management techniques.

As you can see our breadth and scope of healing tools is vast. This gives us so much to draw from when seeking to help the individual. We are able to help balance symptoms, as we always concentrate on seeking and resolving the cause of the imbalance. Our knowledge about how the body works and all our body systems work together, Combined with a more open minded approach to healing free of the dogma of strict diagnosis and protocols means we can truly tailor make an individual treatment plan just for you.

I am so passionate about what I do and it is a huge part of who I am as a person and as a mother. I am constantly seeking ways to help people get back to themselves, to feel safe, secure and powerful and happy.

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These are the six principles we ascribe to and all of them mean so much to me;

Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:

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The Healing Power of Nature:

The Vital force, an inherent self-healing process in each of us which is both ordered and intelligent. Each person has their own relationship with it. A Naturopath will give the body space to have the energy to heal themselves helping to remove obstacles to healing and recovery. To help identify bodies signals and deliver options for the individual to come into line with their own healing intuition.

Identify and Treat the cause:

A Naturopath will seek to identify the underlying cause or driver of the illness rather than merely suppressing the symptoms. By resolving the cause of the issue everything else will be resolved in the ripple effect! 

First Do No Harm:

Use the least force necessary to diagnose and treat. Minimise risk of harmful side effects. Avoid the suppression of symptoms. Acknowledge, respect and work with the individuals self-healing process. Refer to others for treatment when your skills are inappropriate. Know your own skills and limitations. 

Doctor as Teacher:

A Naturopath will educate and encourage their patient towards self-responsibility for health. Teach them about their body and encourage the idea that prevention is better than cure. Empower them to heal themselves. A Naturopath support the healing; however you do it!

Treat the Whole Person:

Take into account individual physical, emotional, spiritual, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Get the whole picture. Bring the body’s systems together again. Work at the individuals own pace to reunited them with their instinct and intuition.

Prevention Rather than Cure:

Emphasise the prevention of disease. Asses risk-factors, hereditary and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions with your patient to prevent illness. Commit to create a healthy world where all of humanity can and will thrive.

These principles are the Hippocratic oath that all Doctors take. We just interpret them slightly differently. A Naturopath will take  full history and really get to know not only the physical issues but also the emotional ones too. Each personality will need different courses of action and each person will be able to make changes at different speeds. The key to the treatment is in giving the individual the responsibility to heal.

The only person that can make you well and happy is yourself. I can give you a tool box to work from but you need to listen and respond to your body. I teach many classes to help people to start to make choices for themselves and their families. Education is key, coupled with motivation for change and you will become unstoppable!

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5 Ways to Lose Weight for Life

5 Ways to Lose Weight for Life

5 ways to lose weight for life Loula Natural

I have been up and down in weight. I am tall and I have boobs! I was never going to be a catwalk model- but then I never ever wanted to be. I am a trained actress- all I ever wanted was to be on the stage or in a period drama. I was advised I could do two things- lose weight and be the pretty role or I could gain weight and be the fat friend. There was not many roles inbetween. I put my hours in and did some things (our devised pieces were completely awesome!) but really I did a lot of catering work and my brain felt like it was on pause. I loved the feeling after a great workout and I always felt happier moving and doing. 

working out with a new point of view- Loula Natural

I decided to become a personal trainer to keep me in the gym, keep me fit and happy whilst still having time and flexibility to pursue my acting career. I never looked back. I loved my job so much I wanted to expand my tool box so became a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist. However supporting and nurturing other people is very different from supporting and nurturing yourself. When helping others I was constantly aware of the idea that you draw people into your life to listen to the advice you tell them- YOURSELF!

About a year ago- maybe less I decided to start to listen to myself and start to look at why I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I saw pictures of myself as a teenager and wished to be back in that body. A body I so hated at the time as I was so big! It is all so relative! I threw away my scales years ago and started focusing on how I was feeling on the inside to be finally reflected on the outside. This is what I mean by losing weight for life. Not only losing the physical weight and excess but really losing the heavy weight of what you have to do, give up, suffer through and push yourself to do. Lose that weight; it is truly suffocating.

By loving and accepting yourself you will make choices for your lifestyle to nurture and deepen that love. It sounds airy fairy but believe me it works. Stop giving into the media’s clap trap about ‘go on treat yourself’ and start to use the only thing your body recognises- natural, real food.Carol Look- Eft for Abundance New Year New You Summit

1. First and foremost you need to start to change the way you look and feel about your body. Whether that is through EFT (see here) or through meditation (try this one here). You can also read books like Elizabeth Wallings’ Love Your Body. However you do it- you need to change your limiting core belief. When you say ‘I need to lose weight’ pay attention to how you feel when you say that. Are you afraid, guilty, stressed, apprehensive or are you excited, motivated and energised towards change. This is going to have a massive effect on whether you make this change for life.

Think about what will happen if you do lose weight- are your thoughts negative or positive. Do you think- crap I will have to buy a whole new wardrobe or do you think I cant wait to getting a new wardrobe? Thinking about what may gain (happiness or envy from friends and family or attention, negative and positive) and what you may lose (sometimes change- whatever it is can make people very fearful) when you reach your goal- which one feels right? There are also limiting beliefs such as “in order to lose weight I have to work really hard and give up everything I love- I will have to suffer”. None of this has to be true. All of it can easy, energising and fun! You just have to believe it!

If you can visualise yourself and tap into feeling amazing and happy- you will make choices to support that and vice versa!

How to Lose weight forever Loula Natural

2.  Changing your metabolism is absolutely key to actually losing fat. You have to change how your body burns fuel. Low calorie, low fat limiting diets have a massive affect on metabolism. Combine that with the feelings of giving up, sacrifice and stress surrounding having to make new choices and change a lifestyle. Read Matt Stone’s Eat for Heat or Diet Recovery 2 or Elizabeth Wallings’ The Nourished Metabolism to learn about how you can make positive changes in your life without starving or feeling like you have to sacrifice everything. Your metabolism has a huge role in your hormone balance too which can affect your mood, ability to lose weight, your cravings and so on. 

The Bacteria in fermented foods play a huge role in energy production and of course nutrient absorption. These are absolutely necessary in any weight loss plan. Try Kefir or Kombucha as an easy way to include fermented foods into your daily life. Check out my book Culture Your life for easy how to’s and tons of recipes like this one.

3. Fats are your friend and fats burn fat. They are absolutely essential to life and are actually anti-inflammatory and incredibly healing. For mood, cell health and strength (all human cells are built from a protein and fat wall), for hormone production and most of all for brain health. Coconut oil, Avocado’s, eggs, flax oil, nuts, seeds, fish and butter (from grass-fed animals) are just some examples of awesome healing fats. I am certainly not talking about the man-made and manipulated canola oils and margarine which should be banished from this earth forever.

Chocolate made from coconut oil and cacao powder knock the socks of the poorly made crappy vegetable oil chocolate made by the leading brands. Fat makes you feel full- more importantly it makes you feel satiated (happily nourished and full!). The feel of good fats will makes your mouth happy.

You cannot eat more fat than you need- your body will stop you (you can’t say the same for refined sugar which you can keep eating forever!). These great fats plays a healthy role in heart strength and plays a huge role in hormonal imbalance (think type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, PCOS and so on). Flax oil for example plays a huge role in the way we form and use oestrogen (the difference being that flax oil can make oestrogen (2) anti-cancer and without it it oestrogen (16) may be carcinogenic). 

Is you have trouble digesting fats you may need a little digestive support- try drinking some lemon in water before meals to stimulate gastric juices or try this Yummy Wake Up drink in the morning- you could eve make your own Apple Peel Cider Vinegar

Everything in Moderation except awesome Loula Natural

4. Every thing in moderation. The body recognises real food. Food that has its origin in nature and has not been manipulated or processed too far from its origin. Otherwise it does not recognise it and rejects it. When the balance of food and non-food things are consumed damage is the result. Mostly to the digestive system.

If you are not giving the body the tools (nutrients) to undo this damage then chronic illnesses may start to appear. Weight gain is commonly a symptom of mass inflammation. Especially weight gain around the middle. The inflammation is generally found in the organs in that area, (liver and digestive system).

Refined foods such as sugar, dairy and wheat which are in so many of these foods therefore become a big problem for the body and they generally need to be taken away so that they do not further irritate and acerbate the problem. However sugar is a necessary part of life. It is when the process and breakdown of this sugar leeches nutrients (magnesium, zinc, b vitamins and others) that sugar becomes inflammatory and dangerous. See my post on sugar here. Fat, protein, carbs(except refined carbs) have a vital role in your body and should all be consumed at every meal and snack to get a well-rounded nutrient dense diet. Including bone broths, and super foods like grass-fed butter, liver, gelatin and many others will help to end the cravings for the empty foods.

When you change your metabolism, heal your digestive system, can value yourself and see who you really are all your choice will be for the good of your body and moderation will happen naturally and effortlessly!

5. Exercise. I can write about exercise for days! Movement is key- walking is exercise! Getting stronger will keep you motivated and you will continue to see results. Yes exercise is key but how you feel about exercise will enhance your success. If you are doing something that makes you happy you will keep doing it. Find a team to join or a race to run or swimming or yoga. Try different things until you find something to look forward to.

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5 Reasons to Rest to Be Your Best

5 reasons to rest

Recently I have been feeling overwhelmed (excited, inspired and motivated) but overwhelmed all the same. Tired and forgetful – always key feelings and ways of showing me I need some time out.

I am a giver – I give energy to people, I feel the need to help, nurture heal and make happy. Every now and then I give too much- so I have learnt how to pull back and give to myself. It is a really important skill to learn and respond to. Most of us feel it and hear it but not many of us know how to respond and will keep pushing through. However it known that productivity, health, memory, strength, speed and most of all ability all come quicker after and including a rest period. Here is why…

 

1. Feeling run down can lead to depression. By ‘running on empty‘ you run the risk of becoming nutritionally deficient and sleep deprived. Two things the brain needs for mood enhancement. Sleep (good quality and Quantity) is important and can be difficult to balance especially with deadlines, children, life events and other pressures all take their toll. It is important to eat well and take time to sit and be mindful of what you are eating, how you are eating (chewing, sitting or on the run, time taken to eat) who and where you are eating. It is not just calories and nutrients that are important. You can be taking all the right nutrients (either in foods or in supplements) but unless you are mindful and respectful of the role that they will play, it is expensive pee and poo at the end of the day. You need to reconnect with yourself, your family, your friends and to enjoy life and food is a big part of that. Taking time to plan, prepare, and share food is fundamental to health. So take a break from other things to make food and eating important within your day especially in the morning at breakfast. Also be mindful about stimulant (coffee, alcohol, sugar) intake and try and reduce these if you are becoming reliant upon them.

R's

2. All the R’s Reconnect, Recuperate, Relax, Restructure, Recognise and Re-energise. Periods of rest are normally followed by epiphanies of how to surge forward again. They are great ways to allow the mind, body and spirit to Realign and Regain strength to continue forward. This can be in many shapes from Resting for a few minutes to concentrate on Remembering the breath, to a nap, a days break or a Refreshing few days holiday (ok enough alliteration!).

 

3. Stress (meaning a reaction to stimulus) affects the body in so many ways. Hormone imbalance (stress hormones include Adrenaline and Cortisol) has a massive impact on our health and in this way stress has an affect on our immune system (stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of our immune system by affecting our immune cell production), our reproductive system (oestrogen/testosterone and adrenaline/cortisol imbalance can affect both male and female fertility) our respiratory system (stress can lead to anxiety and panic attacks as our body takes more shallow and rapid breaths, whilst at the same time  increasing the demand for oxygen), our digestive system (cortisol affects our insulin levels and also affects our blood sugar balance, our food cravings, our ability to digest and absorb nutrients amongst other effects), our circulatory system (fight or fight mechanism draws blood away from the organs to feed the muscles ready for a reaction to stress), our skeletal system (muscles are primed for action also using key nutrients such as calcium and magnesium can cause muscle stiffness and tension) and our nervous system (being constantly alert and concious of a perceived threat or something to respond to can cause insomnia and drain nutrients essential for messages sent from the brain and for memory function). By taking some time to return to the Rest and Digest (opposite of fight or flight) mode we can see a return to balance many of our body’s signs and symptoms. Meditation is just listening to breath. It does not have to be something to stress about! Taking 1 min of our day to close our eyes and listening to our breath coming in and out whilst letting our thoughts filter through is a great start!

Meditate

 

4 It is mandatory when exercising to allow the body to recuperate and strengthen. When building muscle, you need to allow fibres to repair and recruit more (thus developing muscle tone and strength), to allow the body to change shape and to  re-learn muscle patterns and movements. Therefore changing training types and intensity is also important. Doing the same thing over and over will not allow the body or mind to develop and stagnation and boredom may occur. This is especially important in all forms of training whether for an event, weight management and strength or endurance goals. Over training can be really detrimental to physical and mental health.

 

5 After a period of illness (from colds to more serious bouts) it is essential to convalesce. Taking an extra day or two to allow the body to return to balance and heal is so important and will help to ensure that there is no recurring illness. Making sure you determine the cause of the illness rather than suppressing symptoms is key to returning to health. Otherwise the body will continue to find ways to show you imbalances ad those signs and symptoms will just get bigger and bigger. It is well researched that peoples productivity is far enhanced if workers are healthy and happy. Breaks and rest are key to that. Make sure you are both.

 

Most things can wait – make lists of things to do for when you return, make sure you prioritise what is important in life and always make room to breathe and appreciate what you have and what is around you. You will be happier and healthier for it as will those people around you as you set an example. Saying Yes to yourself can be so rewarding

 

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Walking on sunshine

Hong Kong Island from Tsing Yi

I did my first run since Christmas today. I fell in love again with my shoes. I think I pushed myself after my son was born. I really felt a sense of achievement completing 10K when he was 18 weeks old but then my time also got restricted and it dropped down my list of priorities. Then I realised how much I walk everyday. Just running errands and the school drop-off/pickup. Today is the most beautiful sunshine- so I went for a run. I loved it- I relaxed into it and explored my surroundings. I found things I had no idea were there- like an amazing bike track and bmx skateboard park perfect to take Eva too with her bike. Just down the road! The view near me is stunning- the water, boats, bridge (Ting Kao in one direction and Stonecutters in the other) and the mountains (Tai Mo Shan) behind Tsuen Wan and on Hong Kong Island are inspiring.

I recently started the Facebook group runclubhk and it has all levels of runners on there and I have been inspired and motivated to get out there. But today is not just about running.

Walk- in the sunshine! Discover new places in your neighbourhood- be inspired to move and take in the present moment and find beauty in your surroundings! Download a pedometer app and see how much you do already.

Most of all take some time to walk, breathe and be!

Swimming

The pool

I am off for a long weekend to Macau. So my activity tip for the week is swimming.

I know we all know swimming is good for you but there are benefits beyond the cardiovascular and muscle strengthening you get lapping a pool. There is 12-14% extra resistance (source) in walking so even walking up and down the pool is going to be 12-14% harder than normal walking, plus the added benefit of supported joints and the relaxing benefits of the hydro-electricity against the skin that is created. Simply floating is more relaxing than lying down on a lounger (think float tanks for stressed bankers!). Being in water for me is energising and revitalising. I love being in and around water (I am a water sign after all for all that means!) So if there is water near you (pool, lake, river or sea) go for a dip this week even if you dont get your hair wet you are doing your body good!

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