Ask a Naturopath, episode one..

cropped-thb_web_header21.jpgI get asked questions a lot, which is awesome. I love harping on about how fabulous holistic medicine is, and will do so for hours.. at no charge, imagine! (My friends and family love this, trust me). Often, I find they are similar questions, as different holistic remedies might be trending, or just because they are common topics / ailments.

One of the reasons I felt so compelled to start a blog, was to create a place I could have concise yet extensive information to direct people to. It kinda beats squashing it all into a text message, Facebook comment, or 5 minute conversation at a noisy dinner gathering.

I fully encourage questions to be asked of me, I love to talk/type. And, as I am a fully qualified Naturopath, you can rest assured that I would only give advice as was ethically sound over a ‘non-face to face’ consult, and that I’m sure of being effective as part of a holistic treatment.

Here is the first episode of my FAQ’s (p.s who else saw the trailer to the new Star Wars episode this week, and got super excited?).

Q. After body work therapy (i.e Massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, orthopedic, Reiki etc), what tips do you have for getting maximum benefit from the treatment? 

A. If you’re new to getting any kind of physical therapy, you may feel weird for a few days afterwards. There are several things I can recommend that will help your body integrate the treatment, helping you to assimilate the new information, and heal faster.

REST= A few hours sleep, or chilling on the couch is ideal after a massage. Try to book your appointments on days where you don’t have much going on, or late in the afternoon.  Quality rest lets the body conserve energy to get on with the healing that your treatment instigated. It allows your bones to align, your muscles to relax, and your emotional body to get a reset.

HYDRATE= Drink as much water as possible. Add some lemon juice to increase absorbtion value. The more your tissues are hydrated, the more they can heal and relax. Water also helps to shift the lactic acids & residual toxins via blood and lymphatic circulation, to be filtered out of the body. If you feel heavy and like you have a headache after body work treatment: you need more water.. and a good sleep!

LIGHT MEALS=  Having a meal that is too heavy will take a lot of energy to digest, pulling energy away from the healing your body is trying to do. And you will most likely feel sluggish and irritable. If you’re hungry after a treatment, try to only eat a light meal of soup, salad, fruit, or steamed veggies & veg proteins. Another benefit is these foods are high in water concentration, so will help with hydration. It is also the perfect time to bust out a whole food juice or smoothie!

Our absorbtion and assimilation of nutrients is heightened after a physical treatment. This is to do with the fact that the digestive and elimination system really gets moving, as well as our circulatory system. Whatever you ingest post-treatment will affect you much more greatly and noticeably. This can play to our benefit if we are eating good whole foods and drinking lots of water. Or, maybe not so, if the first thing we do is light up a cigarette and meet friends at the pub. No judgement!

SELF CARE= Even if we are nourishing ourselves with good food, sleep and water, we might still feel a little weird. This can be due to the releasing effect that body work can have on our emotions. In a holistic light, our body, mind and emotions are all connected. You shoulder pain might be due to an argument you had with a friend last week that is still playing on your mind.. I kid you not! There is constant conversation between the mind and body. The process of assimilating or learning from, and letting go of emotional issues/memories sometimes has to go through us physically.

If you find yourself thinking about issues or events long since passed, emotional release of these things could be why. You might also find yourself simultaneously giggling and crying for no known reason, and wanting to watch Jane Austen movies. (Yes, I am speaking from experience on this one, in case you were wondering).

If you feel like this is happening to you, indulge in the things that are soothing and healing to you. Break out some journal writing, or art projects. Take a bath with your favourite essential oils, and scented candles. Meditate. Get on the yoga mat. Eat your favourite raw chocolate and get an early night. Sleep will allow your subconscious to process what it’s needing to.

Q. Is it possible to treat candida overgrowth without doing on the Candida Diet?

Essentially, yes. Which is great news for anyone that’s struggled with candida issues, and has tried the candida diet and knows how restrictive it is. There are still diet restrictions to my adaptation, and quite a few supplements, that I shall list below. Keep in mind that candida overgrowth is a tricky thing to treat, and the time required to get it under control varies from person to person. Sticking to these guidelines as strictly as you can will pay off all the more in terms of time length required.

DIET= Avoid;

  • Processed sugar of the cane and fructose variety. You don’t need to avoid whole fruits completely in my opinion, but be mindful of how much you are consuming. Compensate with more vegetables. Check that everything you buy is ‘unsweetened’ and ‘sugar-free’.
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy
  • Grains that contain Gluten: sometimes this can be the key to allowing the overgrowth to die. In conjunction with the above recommendations.
  • Anything containing yeast or nutritional yeast.

Eat more=

  • As many veggies as possible. They contain compounds that suffocate the candida growth.
  • Whole grains that do not contain gluten; brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa etc.
  • unsweetened and sugar free nut milks and dairy alternatives.
  • Good quality veggie fats; coconut oil, hempseed oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil (raw and organic please).
  • Fermented foods; Miso, tempeh, homemade or unpasteurised pickles, apple cider vinegar from ‘the Mother’.
  • Lemon water every morning. (made in warm or room temp, NOT hot water).
  • Sweetener alternatives; Stevia, coconut sugar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup. Some people can still choose to use agave and raw honey, it’s up to how you think you’re reacting to sweeteners.
  • Non fruit based and non sweetened herbal teas.

SUPPLEMENTS=

  • You must be on a good quality Pro-biotic for this to work. You get what you pay for, so don’t go for the cheap option here. Make sure to take this daily.
  • Oregano oil or
  • Olive Leaf extract are also a must. Either of these is what will really kill the fungal (candida) overgrowth. The probiotic will then lay down a lawn of ‘good bacteria’ to prevent the candida from growing back as its killed off. Research into which one you think will be best for you, and even trial both at different times if you want. Make sure you get high strength. The two listed are ones I have tried and prescribed that work amazingly.    FYI capsules are much more user-friendly.
  • 1000mg of vitamin C daily, will help reduce the effects of ‘die off’. Which can be headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and a worsening of symptoms for a few days.
  • If you are experiencing any stomach pain during this treatment, take capsules of a herb called Slippery Elm. This will soothe and heal the lining of your gut, which will most likely be slightly damaged/porous due to how the candida grows and takes hold.

Good luck and power to you!

Q. I’ve been told Coconut oil is good for people suffering thyroid issues, but I’m overwhelmed by information on the internet. What is your take?

 I wish I was given a dollar every time someone asks me about coconut oil. I could then afford the new iMac I’ve been eyeballing.. dreams!

I love coconut oil, it is a very body friendly and beneficial oil to use in your diet. However, I think claims of it being a ‘medicine’ on this kind of scale (ie hyper or hypothyroidism) should be taken as hyperbole. It is a food source that is an oil after all, and should be used sparingly in anyones diet.

Coconut oil has a wonderful effect on metabolism, speeding it up via it’s medium chain fatty acids. If you have a slow working thyroid (hypothyroid), it may be able to increase your metabolism, and speed up the thyroid function. There have been promising studies to this. The basal body temperature is increased this way, which also helps the body burn fat.

Having said this, if you have clinical Hypothyroidism, coconut oil will only be part of a supporting treatment plan coinciding with mainstream and holistic medicine.

Diet changes help a great deal, but no one thing is going to be a miraculous cure. By all means, try everything you can, document your progress with different therapies. Sometimes a big combo of factors and treatments is the recipe for the healing that the body needs! Trial and error is the spice of life.. possibly. (;

Look up some coconut oil recipes and start implementing it into your diet, see how things go with regular use over a few months. All the best to you!

If you have a question for me, you can either contact me via this contact form below, post/message me on my facebook page, or post in the comments below. Make sure to follow, so you don’t miss when your question is answered!

Sami Lou x0x

4 thoughts on “Ask a Naturopath, episode one..

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