Natural Family Health Classes with Baby Massage

I found parenting for the first time was one of the hardest and quickest changes I have ever had to do. Correction, I find parenting really hard. I still have no idea what I am doing…However I have learnt a lot since those first days, weeks and months. The main thing that saved me was the community I found who I am still in contact with to this day. I did baby massage with both of my kids and I found the teachers and the other mothers (and there was a Dad too!) so helpful as I navigated the unknown.

While I am not going to be teaching the actual massage section of the class (I leave that in the very capable and experienced hands of Tracy McCarthy of Head to Toe Therapies), I really love supporting families to heal and grow, alongside the benefits of massage.

Massage is a great way for you and your partner to bond with your baby, and you may find it benefiting for you too! 

I am providing support and education on the following areas:

Postpartum recovery: We spend so much time and energy on monitoring the babys development and growth. However as the new mum, your healing has also just begun. I want to support your emotional and physical healing as you begin a new phase in your life. This is especially true if you have had more than one child. I have seen lots of mums 5/10/15 years down the line still recovering physically and emotionally from growing, birthing, feeding and nurturing their children. You deserve time and attention too! In this first session, I offer nutrition guidance to help repair and rebuild your own body, abdominal repair and strengthening advice and support and also emotional healing too

EFT for Peaceful Parenting: Learn how to quickly and simply manage your reactions to help you to become the parent you want to be.

When it comes to parenting, today’s world does not offer parents a clear path. Children do not come with a manual and just like us as adults; every child is unique in their developments, growth, moods, reactions and methods of communication. It can be confusing to have so much input into how, why, what and when you should parent. This is especially true if this is your first time as a parent.

EFT uses the mapped energy meridians from traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture points, combined with breathing and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Pathways) principles. You simply use your fingertips to tap the points, while you breath and speak all your thoughts and beliefs. EFT is very effective in calming your body and mind the more often you use it, like any other mindfulnes

Once you see how effective EFT is in helping you to manage and alter your moods, thoughts and reactions, you’ll probably want to try it with your child. It’s a quick and effective way to calm kids of all ages when they’re upset, help them release stuck emotions or trauma, and help them relax to fall asleep and gain a better quality of sleep at night.

Sleep Remedies: High quality sleep is just as important for overall heath as what you eat and how you move. Nevertheless, many people have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently or fail to wake up feeling rested. Some people have no problem falling asleep and yet still awake feeling tired. Many others have severe difficulty falling and staying asleep through the night.This makes optimal health and well-being a challenge.

Sleep affects your hormone balance affecting your weight, cravings, menstrual cycle and fight or flight mechanism. It may also affect your memory and cognition, your mood and motivation and your ambition for your own life. However sleep also has links to cardiovascular system dysfunctions, immune system regulation, blood glucose maintenance, depression and even athletic performance. All of these symptoms are commonly found across most parents, adults and even children!

We have all heard about the benefits of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, however sometimes we cannot control the amount of sleep we get in a night and these guidelines cause more stress for parents. However we can work on the quality of your sleep rather than quantity. An hour of well rested sleep can sometimes be more beneficial than more sleep that is light, fitful and interrupted. For you and your baby!

Natural Remedies for Teething and Colic: Teething and colic are two common baby woes you will definitely come across as a parent. Typical symptoms are fussing and crying. Colic is not a disease, but rather a collection of symptoms with an unknown cause. Specific diagnosis is based on the following “unexplained crying lasting more than at least 3 hours a day, on at least 3 days (per week), of at least 3 weeks”. Helpful, I know! Babies who display these symptoms are said to be colicky, a term that refers to intestinal pain, even if this may not necessarily be the case. Caring for a colicky baby can be a trying experience for parents. No matter what you try, your baby may still remain inconsolable. The important thing is to stay calm and relaxed.

Some babies are born with one or more teeth, while others do not get their first tooth until the age of 1. In general, however, primary teeth start coming in between 6 months and 3 years of age, a process that can be with or without pain. Both of my children got their first tooth at 9 months, however teething symptoms began at 3months. Another unknown and frustrating time for babies and parents alike!

In recent decades the use of natural remedies for colic and teething has increased significantly. There are even studies confirming that there is even a high interest of physicians in natural remedies and homeopathy for these ailments. We will discuss several of these options and help you to begin to build a tool kit of remedies to try for the physical and emotional sides for parent and child.

Real Food Weaning: By weaning your child onto real foods with confidence and excitement we are giving our babies a great start in their relationship to food. Good nutrition is vital for your child’s healthy development. I can certainly vouch for it being a confusing time. I aim to help you to understand how a baby’s digestive system works and what nutrients your child needs to grow and develop. Hopefully make this part of parenting more fun for you both.

Food provides nutrients for new cell formation and therefore supports the baby’s fast growth and development. Good nutrition therefore is of vital importance for their present and future health. Foods rich in proteins and fats are paramount to their developmental needs. This is when your child begins to develop their relationship to food. Nourishing this relationship in a positive and fun way can provide them with a healthy understanding of how great real food is.

Key lessons given to our babies continue when they are toddlers. Allowing them to use their senses around food (especially sight, touch and smell) and play becomes fundamental to how they will view nourishing themselves for the rest of their lives. This is how we can, as parents, help them to make good lifestyle choices from the very beginning. It may also reduce any fussy eating habits later.

The benefits of sea salt

Sea salt has been used therapeutically, by our ancestors, for thousands of years. The word salary came from the word for salt as it was used as currency for years.  Seen as a precious commodity to season food, preserve food and boost health. Salt like Celtic sea salt, volcanic salt and Himalayan sea salt that are generally grey, black, or pink in colour. People need to eat salt for normal cell function and to maintain the acid balance of the blood. These salts are actually very helpful in balancing the body, the  concentration of minerals and nutrients in seawater, matches the concentration of minerals in our blood. Using salt may help to provide the body the nutrients lacking from our soils and therefore some of our foods. Of course it enhances the flavour notes in our food!

Sea salt comes from evaporating seawater, Himalayan Pink Salt comes from mining ancient sea salt deposits from the mountains in the himalayan mountains. To be impressed at the number of minerals you may find in salt, have a look at the analysis of minerals found in Himalayan Pink Salt here

Here are some of the benefits of salt:

1. Keeps you hydrated

Sea salt is extremely beneficial in keeping us hydrated, which may surprise us as we know if we were stranded at sea and only had sea water to drink we would suffer. The amount of electrolytes in sea salt help our cells to absorb the water. Therefore a little salt in our water may also satisfy our thirst for a longer period of time and allow us to absorb fluids, rehydrating us.

Because of this comprehensive mineral content, sea salt is a great source of electrolytes like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium. These electrolytes are also vital for muscle, brain and heart health and cellular function.

Try making your own effective electrolyte drink; adding a pinch of sea salt to a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon or orange.

2. Reduces fluid retention

 
Eating real food (instead of processed foods) and season your cooking with sea salt may to help eliminate bloat and water retention.

3. A great source of minerals 

So most sea salts have been shown to contain up to 84 trace minerals that we can absorb. These may help us to redress any micronutrient deficiencies we may have to nourish and strengthen our body. Our soil has shown to be been depleted of these essential minerals because of over farming, mono cropping and chemical pesticides used. This is showing a potential deficit in essential minerals that used to be prevalent in our food produce. Sea salt also has a more complete symbiosis of minerals in the right ratios, this makes those nutrients more absorbable and useable in the body, far better than single nutrient supplements and even some multi nutrient recipes.

Use a pinch of sea salt each day can really add up that extra nutrient profile.

When your electrolytes are low, you can experience muscle soreness, cramps, low energy levels, and even restless leg syndrome. The lack of minerals (especially magnesium) may keep the muscles from relaxing and cause muscle tension that is not necessarily due to workload on the muscles. Salt baths can be recommended for any kind for muscle fatigue or excessive cramping.  With the osmosis process, toxins will be drawn out of the body in a salt bath and the mineral profile will be absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup of sea salt to your bath water and use any of your favourite essential oils for a relaxing and replenishing bath

5. May  help balance bacteria levels. (see here)

Salt may help to balance some types of bacteria levels on the skin, in wounds and in the intestines by using the osmosis process. The water in the bacterial cells is effectively sucked out of them. Without water, bacterial cannot function and eventually the cell collapses in on itself and dies. Some bacteria have a built in system to resist this process. Others seem to consume the salt. Studies on salt and bacterial balance are still being done to understand this. Brines in preserved and fermented foods help to maintain an acidic environment which also prevents mould to thrive.
 
Consume salt fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.

6. Great for skin health

Have you ever noticed that your skin feels softer and smoother after some time spent at the sea? You may have even noticed cuts, grazes, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis heal faster. Many people notice skin improvements after a holiday where they will go for a swim in the sea. As discussed before, our bodies contain the same concentration of minerals and nutrients as seawater does.  Salt water is full of with skin-necessary minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are then are easily absorbed into your body through the skin. These nutrients also may play a role in anti-inflammatory effects beneficial for skin and whole body health. It is no surprise that there are many beauty products that use sea salt, like salt scrubs that while exfoliating skin, also help to increase circulation, and providing the skin with nutrients. 

Use salt with coconut oil as a drawing out salve for acne, or as a scrub or cleanser.

7. Improves digestion

Sea salt is necessary for the digestion system, which begins in the mouth. Salivary amylase, which is an enzyme which helps break down carbohydrates found in your saliva, is activated by the flavour of salt on the tastebuds on the tongue. The nutrients in salt play a stimulating role in the making of hydrochloric acid, which is secreted and necessary in the stomach for the breakdown of food, especially proteins and fats. Many people are insufficient in quality and quantity hydrochloric acid, and this may in turn, lead to  numerous digestive issues like bloating, gas, heartburn, indigestion.

Season your food whilst cooking or on your plate. Or make the replenishing electrolyte drink seen above.

8. Nourishes the adrenal glands

Adrenal fatigue may occur from prolonged stress (fight or flight mechanism) and poor diet. With adrenal hormone level insufficiency, one of the main symptoms you may experience is salt cravings. This is because the body is craving the nutrients it finds in sea salt. Among their numerous demanding functions, our adrenal glands release hormones that target the kidneys to regulate sodium and potassium levels. To make  this particular job easier, the adrenals favour a balance of these minerals through the consumption of high quality sea salt. By giving the body the nutrients the body’s cells need for optimum function, the nervous system is also calmed and rest and recovery becomes more possible.

Instead of eating a salty packet of crisps or processed food, try having a pinch of salt in a glass of water or a salt bath to satisfy the body’s cravings.

9. Regulates blood pressure

It may be surprising, but sea salt is even greatly beneficial for regulating blood pressure. If the nutrient profile in the blood is the right ratio of water to nutrients, the blood can flow easier and inflammation may become reduced. The rise in blood pressure may often the result of inflammation in the body, potentially caused by a high sugar, processed food diet devoid of most nutrients. This may create a deficient in blood nutrient ratios. With all of the benefits as above, balancing bacteria levels, improving the immune system, increasing hydration levels, removing toxins and calming the nervous system we may also seen a benefit to the circulatory system, in particular blood pressure.

So there you have it, salt still remains as a precious commodity. One that needs a presence for the interior and exterior of your body…

 

The benefits of using clay in cosmetics

The Benefits of Using Clay in Cosmetics

For centuries mineral-rich clay has been used as a natural agent to beautify the skin. Clay minerals may comprise 15% of the volume of the earth’s crust. In soil, clays are generally the most important adsorbents for inorganic metals and organic solutes as well, this gives them their mineral content. Their presence in our soils is imperative for plants growth and nutrient density. They are an extremely important natural resource and have many uses. 

“it (the clay) absorbs all of those properties of nature. It takes on the energy, so when you look at it as a substance, you can say that it’s the sum of the pull of nature’s energy.”

Different powdered clays are used as the basis for facial body masks popular in many spas, think mud baths! They are largely used for their ability to absorb excess oils, dead skin cells and potential toxins from the skin. They are often paired with powdered herbs and nutrients to enhance their abilities to heal, tone, soften and detoxify the skin. Applying clay to cosmetics may help to exfoliate, clean and invigorate the skin whilst improving blood circulation (you can often feel some heat and see redness after a clay mask for this reason. When the effect softens down the skin normally looks glowing).

As well as being in masks, clays are added to natural scrubs (for their natural exfoliating properties, natural vegetable soaps (as they can enhance their lather capabilities), some clays are used in toothpaste, deodorant and also shampoo or face cleansing bars. We use clay in the bath with essential oils and as a ‘talc’, I also add clay to my dry shampoo recipe.

TOP TIPS:

  • Wet your face at night, apply your clay, and just begin to lightly massage the clay in for about two or three minutes for a soft, natural exfoliation. Apply a nutritious oil infused with essential oils afterwards for a real treat for the skin.
  • Mix clay with a liquid to make a paste:
  • You can add ground coffee, salt, oats, almond flour or desiccated coconut to increase the exfoliant properties.
  • Add herbal teas like chamomile, calendula, rooibos or rosewater to the clay for a calming and nutrient dense combination.
  • Add apple cider vinegar, kombucha or kefir to the clay to increase detoxification and to make your skin tighter, brighter and simply glowing!
  • Rinse off your mask using just water. You may have to gently scrub a little with your fingers to get it off. It tends to try to stick to your skin.
  • I mix raw cacao and red clay with arrowroot flour for my dry shampoo!
  • Avoid getting clay in mouth, eyes, ears, nose.
  • After a clay mask tone the skin with a little rose water or kefir/water spray
  • Moisturiser will be soaked into the skin with greater effect after a clay mask.
  • Clays mix nicely with activated charcoal.
  • Clay infused sponges work really nicely and gently on the skin.
  • Traditionally clays have been taken externally or internally. Consider contacting a practitioner like myself for advice with this.

Different clays have different properties and are ideal for different skin types and also different needs. The clays come from all over the world and different locations will have different mineral constituents. The mineral content and physical structure of each clay will help to determine the desired effect for the skin.

Different clays for different reasons:

Bentonite clay:

Bentonite clay is a generic term made of rocks that come from volcanic ash beds. Settled on the ground the ash has immersed itself into the soil, Bentonite is found wherever volcanic eruptions have occurred and where the ash beds have not been destroyed by erosion. Today most of the clay available to buy is harvested in western U.S. (mostly Wyoming), Greece, France, India, Australia and Italy. You may see it as Bentonite or Montmorillonite clay, the two names are interchangeable.

Bentonite is a very popular clay with many for skin benefits. With its strong negative electrical charge, it is seen to draw out positively charged toxins like a magnet. Also as one of the most absorbable clays bentonite is also helpful for oily skin. Normally used for tightening, brightening, acne-clearing and toxin reducing, bentonite is also very good for first aid.

Bentonite clay swells when mixed with liquid, making it a highly porous and absorbing substance. It can actually absorb more than its initial mass, including any swelling from excess fluid anywhere in the body. It is also great to add to scars, stretch marks and red skin.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May reduce scars, stretch marks, rosacea or liver spots.
  • Softens and detoxifies the skin
  • Soothes dermatitis.
  • Hydrates the hair.
  • Decreases eye puffiness: Moisten the under-eye area (be careful to be away from the eye itself) and apply quite a thick paste application of clay/apple cider vinegar or water around the eyes. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes, then wash it off. 
  • For a first aid paste good for cuts, bruises, sores or blisters: Mix bentonite clay powder with baking soda, water and turmeric. You can also add cooled thyme or calendula tea to maximize the effect it has on your skin.

Red Clay:

Used for its beauty benefits since the dawn of time, also known as Rhassoul clay, this ancient clay is mined from Morocco. It is considered more rare and pure than other clays, it was reserved for Egyptian royalty in the past. Extremely high in minerals and trace elements it owes its colour to a high concentration of iron oxide. This clay is used to stimulate microcirculation in the blood vessels helping to improve circulation to the skin and remove toxins and impurities.

Like Bentonite clay the minerals cause a negative charge, most toxins in your skin are positively charged, so this clay is also the perfect magnet. However, this clay is excellent for more sensitive and drier skins as it also has elasticity and texture-improving effects. Gentle enough for daily use in small doses like in soap, makes a great exfoliator and in a hair mask or shampoo may absorb excess build-up on hair, restoring volume, and shine. It is also very good on sensitive scalps.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Gentle and effective exfoliant
  • improves dryness and scaliness of skin
  • clarifies skins texture and firmness.
  • Mattifies and unifies the complexion
  • absorbs impurities and detoxifies skin to revive and brighten the complexion
  • Reduces redness and soothes discomfort caused by irritations
  • Acts as a natural colour in makeup or dry shampoo
  • Absorbs excess sebum from the skin and hair
  • Restores body, silkiness and shine to hair

Pink clay:

A mix of red and white clay, pink clay enjoys the benefits of both. It is great for sensitive and mature skin and has the benefits of both bentonite and rhassoul clay. Considered to be the mildest of all the clays, Pink Clay masks do not remove the skin’s natural oils, making it perfect for tight, dry and dehydrated skin.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Restores radiance to the skin.
  • Reduces irritation and inflammation.
  • Treats damaged skin by promoting healthy cell renewal.
  • Good to use on scars and stretch marks
  • May help to reduce wrinkles
  • Softens and hydrates the skin.
  • Cleanses and refreshes dull, tired and dry skin.
  • Eliminates redness.
  • Smoothens the skin’s texture.
  • Revitalizes the scalp and hair.

Green Clay:

Green clay, also referred to as green illite, sea clay or Montmorillonite clay. Found in abundant deposits in France (also extracted from other places in the world including China and the U.S.), it is mined several thousand feet below the earth’s crust (up to two thousand feet below the surface). A naturally occurring material rich in nutrients, it gets its greenish hue from the presence of blue-green algae and chlorophyll left by decomposed plant life mixed with Iron oxides. Once the clay is mined it is brought out into the sun to remove excess water and moisture and to make it the powder we can use. 

The clay’s amazing detoxifying quality of this material is best demonstrated by its use in 1986, when it was used in a massive quantity to cover and neutralise the nuclear reactor site at Chernobyl. It was also added to chocolate to help people to detoxify it from their body. Green clay has also been used for centuries in a poultice and Arizona State University reports their researchers have found French green clay effective in inhibiting Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium marinum. These bacteria can play a part in serious skin infections.

French green clay is also excellent for exfoliation and pore-tightening. It is another very absorbent clay that especially drinks up oil from the skin and hair, it also encourages blood towards the surface of your skin, giving you a bit of a tingling sensation as it boosts circulation. Extremely nutrient-rich, green clay also contains dolomite, manganese, silica, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and calcium.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Helps hair that is oily, shiny or dull.
  • Softens dry or rough skin.
  • removes dirt from the skin and scalp.
  • Great used in deodorant.
  • Daily mask can help regulate your skin’s sebum production to reduce oiliness.
  • Clears acne and reduces blackheads
  • Calms and soothes eczema, rashes, psoriasis.
  • Improves skin condition and appearance.
  • Purifies and balances the scalp and clears dandruff.
  • Detoxifys body.
  • Great used in first aid and in poltices.
  • Good to use in toothpaste especially with gum issues.

Get in contact below for some recommendations for brands and how to use them….

Navigate and support your cycle like the wonder woman you are

If you want to talk about any of the parts of your cycle I am happy to answer your questions or book a session… 

Navigate and Support Your Cycle

How the menstrual cycle keeps turning and how you can make it work for your life.

Getting to know how you feel during the contrasting times of your menstrual cycle is imperative to whole body health and happiness! All women need to understand their body, having 4 seasons every month means accepting change. Trying to continue with the same exercise, eating habits and social life every day as if it is the same can cause physical and emotional turmoil within us all. It is a huge governing force on how we see and feel the world around us. It should not be suppressed or ignored. Life would also be better if we stopped calling it a curse or a pain.

Being able to navigate and support your cycle can really lead the way to whole body health.

Healthy fats are essential to a healthy cycle. Low fat/ high carbohydrate diets may disrupt the normal flow and may also contribute to symptoms of PMS, cramps and clots. A diet rich in dense protein, eggs, green vegetables, fruit, fermented foods and drinks and lots of healing fats can contribute to smooth sailing through the ebbs and flows of life! Support your menstrual cycle by reducing refined sugar and starch in your diet, they give zero nutrition and zero comfort!

Never follow an exercise or diet plan that does not take your hormones into consideration. Women and men do need to train differently to be able to remain balanced. Men have cycles too!

Instead nourish your body, mind and soul with the following tips…

To help you to even know where you are in your cycle have a look at clue charting app, there is another good one for apple users called My Moontime. Also teas like this Moon cycle tea are great all around balance throughout the month. This is my favourite image to help you to understand how it all fits together. You can see how it builds and wanes.

menstrual_periods

1

Menstruation 

(week 1: New beginnings as we prepare for new potential)

Day one of your menstrual cycle begins with your bleed. I always feel a sense of renewal and energy when my period begins hopefully you should also begin to feel better. After the possible ups and downs and dull aches of your last cycle, you begin to feel renewed and refreshed. After winter, comes spring. You may become increasingly optimistic, and your energy begins to be able turn outward towards the world again.

A healthy period may last between 3-7 days. There should be maybe a little cramping on day one but largely it should be pain free, maybe light spotting at the beginning and end. Using a menstrual cup can hugely benefit both your body and the environment. It can also give you a huge amount of information about the colour, consistency and volume of your bleed. This is information that is very important to chart and notice.

Many people tend to want to ignore and have as little to do with their bleed as possible. This is undermining a huge part of what it is to be a woman. Menstrual blood is being investigated for all its profound properties and nutrient value (i.e stem cells not for consuming!!!!). It is not just blood! Make sure you are aware of how you speak about your menstrual cycle to yourself and others, changing your viewpoint can have an enormous impact on your body and those of our daughters, sisters, mothers and friends.

The cramping during your period is not unlike Braxton hicks. Your cervix is firm and low and must slightly open to allow menstrual blood to pass through. the cramping occurs when the muscles in your uterus contract to release the menstrual lining and the cervix to open. If you are also tight in that area because you sit down too much or hold stress in our abdomen area, you may feel more pain.

High blood sugar levels can also use up much needed magnesisum, this is responsible for relaxing muscles which is a possibility why we get those chocolate cravings during this time. By reducing your refined sugar intake, you almost always see a reduction in period cramps. Also try some teas like raspberry leaf (not just for when you are pregnant!) which strengthens your uterine muscles and nettle which gives us a good mineral profile to help our body do what it needs to more efficiently and to better effect.

During your bleed, you may feel introverted and introspective. Just like a seedling needs nourishment and space to grow, so does our body. Some quietness and deliberate rest time can be tremendously helpful. I often like to get into nature, a short walk during your day can feel great. If not why not try a simple breathing technique, see here for some easy ones to try.

Being Mindful about

Things to consider:

  • Make a date with yourself, preferably in or near nature. If not, have a look at some pictures of nature, maybe from your last holiday or bucket list destinations. This is not an ideal time to begin something new or be meeting new people, however you are warming to the idea.

  • Goal setting works well at this time. Make lists of things to do and places to visit. Find inspiration and start to take steps forward.

  • Take hot baths with dead sea salt and feel good essential oils like bergamot, lavender and clary sage and maybe try to go to bed an hour earlier than normal.

  • Warm compresses (hot water bottle or cherry stones) or light exercise may ease cramps. You could also try this homeopathic blend.

  • Try to resist cravings of simple sugars and processed foods. In the long term, they are not what the body is actually looking for. Try to comfort the body in alternative ways. Eat real chocolate or raw cacao. Consume lots of healthy fats like eggs, avocado, coconut and nut butters instead.

  • Write in your journal (see here), and reflect on the events and happenings of the past month. By charting you can see how you feel today compared to other days in the cycle and in other cycles. By truly getting to know our cycle we can have greater care and attention towards our emotional selves.

  • Be kind to your body and speak to yourself in a positive manner

  • Although it may be the last thing you want to do, sex can be very enjoyable at this time, take time to explore each other’s bodies and pay homage to how wonderful they are.

  • Exercise can be gentle movement and stretching like yoga and walking. At this time, your hips and abdominal area are doing a lot and may be tight. You may add stress to ligaments that are attached to your uterus.

  • Drink blood building teas like nettle, raspberry leaf, chai, turmeric milk and try adding collagen to your drinks for extra protein and energy.

  • Try and use a menstrual cup, reusable pads or underwear, if not use biodegradable and organic tampons or pads during your menstrual phase. This is for the good of your body and the environment

  • Bach Flower Remedies can help to remove any mood swings or physical cramps. Have a look at using Crab Apple, Cherry Plum, Clematis, Rock Water, Holly and Mustard. Rescue remedy can also help.

Summer

Follicular Phase

(week 2- Lots of energy for new growth)

The summer is normally when we all feel our best. Full of energy, motivation and of course beautiful and sexy.  You are able to look outward at the world around you as you are able to tackle projects and relationships.

This is when you feel like being life of the party, people are also attracted towards you and you feel like interactions are easier and more fun. Not necessarily connected to the menstrual cycle, this is when you feel full of optimism and hope, energy is high and open

This phase follows just after menstruation. It’s called the Follicular phase because your pituitary gland (in your brain) releases a hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), which stimulates the follicles in your ovaries to mature and ultimately release an egg in a few days. 

During this time in your menstrual cycle you may notice that your cervical fluid takes on a wetter consistency. It can sometimes also look creamy. Your skin may look and feel better and you begin to pay more attention to your outward appearance. 

Your appetite may also change, you may feel lighter and less weighed down. We also rarely connect this to being in our menstrual cycle.

Your sex drive begins to become ignited and you may find yourself feeling flirtier or playful and start window shopping at the men around you. You may become more impulsive and more likely to strike up conversations with strangers.

You may feel a boost of energy during this time of the month, and often see improvement of your mood and brain function. You may feel clearer, more motivated and have more stamina. You may even feel more assertive and willing to take risks. This is a wonderful time to plan what it is that you want and set future intentions.

Exercise will be more fun and you will be able to push yourself and have set harder and faster goals in this week. You may feel stronger and more likely to hit new PB’s

 

Summer

Things to consider:

  • This is a valuable time to initiate new projects at work or at home and make important decisions. If you are a writer you may have a promising idea of the outline and direction of what you want to write at this time.

  • Write all your ideas down, in the next couple of weeks you will be able to go deeper into those ideas and fill them with substance.

  • Brainstorming and problem solving will be become easier and more fun during this phase. Managing things and being organised will help you to stay on top of things and not get carried away with all the energy you have.

  • Start being social – This is the time to schedule time to meet with friends, be out with the kids, start networking, go and experience new things, like an art class or a language class you’ve never tried. You are also more likely to want to go on a date night or to a party now.

  • Smile and talk to people. You may feel confident and adventurous, you never know where an opening may take you.

  • Your body becomes better able to handle strenuous exercise during this time too, This is when you may find you are able to hit some PB’s. Try Olympic lifting and other weighted challenges during this time. You will also enjoy circuits and run sprints.

  • You may really like the essential oils Thyme and Ylang Ylang at this point. 

  • Bach Flower Remedies can help have a look at Wild Rose, Sclerathus, Cerato, Honeysuckle, White Chestnut, Elm and Beech

Spring (1)

 Ovulatory Phase

(week 3 Harvest the rewards of all that hard work and bank some points)

Ovulation is the culmination of all the hard work your hormones and body has been building up in your menstrual cycle for the last couple of weeks. It is also the shortest phase of your menstrual cycle and may last for 2-3 days. After your egg gets released from its follicle into your fallopian tube it may survive for 12-24 hours travelling down towards your uterus. Some people can feel ovulation, others have very vivid dreams during this time.

At this point your sex drive may well be at its highest! The eggs main aim is to be fertilised or it will die. All the hormones come together to rise to their peak levels (see the first image), stimulating the effects of this phase.

You may feel that you look better and feel more confident. You may find it easier to communicate your thoughts and emotions. Our base instincts kick in at this point, to find a mate. If you do not want to become pregnant, this is the time in your menstrual cycle to be very cautious about safe sex.

You may even feel like you look more attractive during this time, skin may be clearer, hair glossier and generally and you may feel more confident about your appearance. You may find yourself dressing in brighter more revealing clothing subconsciously during this time. Your senses may become heightened, your sense of sight, smell, taste and touch feeling more obvious.

You may notice that Your cervical fluid is very clear or viscous egg-white fluid, with lots of elasticity, this is to help sperm to reach the egg and to also ensure the right environment for egg fertilisation. Your cervix will also become softer, and may move higher and open, this is helpful for orgasm.

After ovulation (about day 3-4 of this part of the cycle), oestrogen takes a steep nose dive, but luckily the still rising progesterone catches you from falling all the way to rock bottom. You don’t feel as excited, energetic and confident as in the flirty summer. Doubt and insecurity creep up on you, and you may begin to feel cranky, grouchy or moody. Your energy begins to turn inward now, and you feel the need for some downtime to just catch a breath and chill.

Autumn

Things to consider:

  • This is an ideal time to look for a new job and go to interviews, pitch your ideas, start a new health plan, ask for a raise or more responsibility at work, go network and make plans for the future.

  • If you know you must do public speaking or attend functions try to schedule them in this part of your cycle.

  • Push through limitations and surprise yourself

  • Get out of the house. Go dancing with friends or try something completely different for date night. If you are single, look around and be proactive, have fun and be yourself.

  • Take advantage of the high energy levels during these few days. You should continue to enjoy lots of physical activity, especially group workouts. This is when you go running, spinning, kickboxing or group dance classes. High energy and lots of focus, so get out there and start challenging your body.

  • Bach Flower Remedies can help. Have a look at Rock Water, Beech, Vine, White Chestnut, Vervain, Chicory and Olive.

 

Spring

Luteal Phase

(week 4- Take the time to rest and heal whilst honouring your creative side)

After the oestrogen high of the last few days, it will take a dive in week 4. All the energy in the menstrual cycle can sometimes land with a thud. Primal instincts make us move more inward to heal and rest. You will find yourself beginning to wind down and become calmer.

Progesterone is a heat-inducing hormone which may raise your basal body temperature for the remainder of this phase of your menstrual cycle. If the environment around you is hot, you may find yourself irritated by the heat and not able to cool down.

Your cervical fluid may lose its egg-white elastic or wetter consistency and start to become stickier. If there is no pregnancy, oestrogen and progesterone will decline which will eventually cause the uterine lining to shed (your bleed). Essentially your body goes into mourning because you did not create a baby (even if you had no desire to!). 

You may feel more subdued, prone to possible angry outbursts, crying may surprise you, frustration, more fatigue and it may be harder to focus and concentrate. After the high of summer and beauty of autumn, winter can sometime send us running under the covers.

Progesterone has been seen to be a natural sleep aid and anti-anxiety hormone. So you may feel more fatigued prone to napping and more sedate than before. All you may want is to do is withdraw and hibernate in your little cave. That is just fine. Recognise that about your menstrual cycle and honour it.

Be OK with saying “no” and understanding why you just can’t be bothered to see that friend you were pestering to go out with the week before. You may choose different friends at this time of the month because you require a softer focus. Most of them will be on their own menstrual cycle roller coaster.

Be kind to yourself, explain why you may feel different to yourself and others. Emotional communication is essential and important as it leaves less misunderstanding at the door. When you honour your body’s instinct and innate need for rest and recuperation at this point, you will enhance your ability to get more out of the upcoming active phases of your cycle next time around.

You may feel isolated during this stage of your cycle but know that you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with feeling this way, shh the voice in your head telling you to get up and out. There is a remarkable cascade of hormonal events taking place, spring is around the corner

Winter

Things to Consider:

  • Feed yourself with healthy fats rather than sugar at this time. Sugar peaks and toughs makes mood swings more frequent and acute. This is an enjoyable time to get into the kitchen and learn a new recipe that nourishes and is kind to the body.

  • Try to stay away from anything that may irritate your body like grains or dairy. You are more likely to have a skin reaction now too.

  • Practice kind and nourishing self-care during the week before your period. Find what makes you feel nourished and balanced Yoga, massage, reiki, meditation or hiking in nature are all good things to seek out during this time.

  • Go to bed earlier or maybe sleep in late one morning. Read a favourite book or listen to music. 

  • Comfort yourself by being alone and creative. Now is the time to paint, draw, write from the heart and feel empathy for others.

  • Now is a valuable time for nesting, write your to-do lists and find the lists you write in “summer” to add substance and to get things done.

  • Bach Flower Remedies can help. Have a look at Walnut, Chestnut Bud, Larch, Willow, Agrimony, Gorse, Sweet Chestnut.

If you want to talk about any of the parts of your cycle I am happy to answer your questions or book a session

Navigate and Support Your Cycle (2)

 

Day 1 EFT for PTSD Challenge.

There are books and have been numerous studies (see below for links) conducted about the effectiveness of using Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping in PTSD conditions. Trauma can play a huge impact on our behavioural patterns, some for the good (ie falling down when trying to walk as a baby can help us to try again differently), however some prevent us from moving beyond the freeze response. This may block us in life as any trigger which reminds us of a previous trauma will bring on the freeze response or other patterns of behaviours we may want to break free of.

EFT is done by using a combination of acupressure points, along with advanced psychological methods (the setup and the gamut). This method has been seen to produce quick relief from even long-held trauma patterns. 

HERE IS MY CHALLENGE:

BASIC TRANSCRIPT

Learn a key tool in beginning to release the possible negative repercussions of trauma. Help yourself to change thought patterns and behaviour responses to trigger which are no longer serving you in the present. Every day for 22 days record yourself or note down what you are tapping on and do at least two rounds of tapping. Here is the sequence to share with others to do the same and see the ripple of positivity and change occur around you. We will be tapping on the negative. It can be hard to think about all our negative thoughts and emotions when we are so conditioned now to always be positive but we are trying to reduce the intensity of the negative thought or emotion so we have to use it to monitor its effect on us. (USE THE VIDEO ABOVE TO CLARIFY TAPPING POINT LOCATIONS AND ROUTINE)

  1. Write down the negative thought or emotion you would like to work on. 
  2. Write down the level out of 10 that you feel this thought is true or how strong the emotion is. (1 is low 10 is high)
  3. Write an opening sentence to tap on the karate chop point to set up the session
  4. Tap the following in no particular order: top of the head, on the beginning of an eyebrow, on the outside of your eye (just below your temple), under the middle of your eye on the bone, under your nostril (above your top lip), on your chin, on your collar bones just above your chest, under your armpit on your rib cage, inside of your wrist, on the outside of your finger nail on each finger.
  5. Do the gamut: whilst massaging the area on your hand between your pinky finger and ring finger, draw a line with your eyes diagonal to the right and then to the left, draw a circle with your eyes clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Hum the first line of happy birthday, then count to 10 and then hum the first line of happy birthday again.
  6. Assess how much you feel or believe the negative thought out of 10- it should be getting lower than where you started. Think of a colour or spot in the body you may feel the emotion or thought to help assess its transformation. Keep tapping using colours, textures and be aware the emotion may also change, it may go from anger, to guilt for example. Keep the same routine until the original emotion goes significantly lower (ideally 1 or 0).
  7. Make a note of other thoughts or emotions that come on to work on the following day.

Please share this challenge with others who may benefit from releasing and moving forward in their lives.

Here are three PDF’s for you to download and read on some of the research done into EFT and its effectiveness:

The Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques for Optimal Test Performance By Sachin Jain and April Rubino

A narrative systematic review of the effectiveness of Emotional Freedoms Technique (EFT) E.H. Boath, T Stewart, A.Carryer

Clinical EFT as an Evidence-Based Practice for the Treatment of Psychological and Physiological Conditions by Dawson Church

 

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