HEALTH BLOG 

July 20, 2016

Eating organically is fantastic, but usually expensive.   Here are 6 tips on how you can do it for less…

  1. Eat fruits & vegies in season.   Buying in season ensures better freshness, and costs you less (due to shorter storage times and a lower market price when there’s plenty of the produce available)

  2. Buy at farmers’ markets.   Buying direct from the farmer means you don’t have to pay an additional wage for the `middle man’

  3. Hunt around the local organic shops.   We've often found organic food in local organic shops that's a lower price per Kg than the standard supermarket for non-organic food!

  4. Join a food co-op.   There are plenty of these to be found on social sites like Facebook.   Buying in bulk as a group can save you money, but be aware that some co-ops charge a high amount of freight, especially if you live some distance from where the goods are purchased

  5. Grow your own.   Real estate costs you the earth (s’cuse the...

August 10, 2015

It's no secret that males usually don't look after their health as well as females do.  85% of my clients are female, and this trend happens across the board in healthcare, whether it's in natural medicine, GP clinics, hospitals or other health care clinics.

 

So why is it that many males won't look after their health?   Turns out there's some interesting psychology behind the problem, as well as some practical issues that turn men off personal healthcare.   Want to look after your man?   Here's some info to help you out and, if you're a guy, congrats for reading this & thinking about taking steps to look after yourself.....

 

First of all, the stats (and yes, they're shocking) ....

  • Aussie males have an average lifespan of 79 years, compared to Aussie females at 84 years

  • As a percentage of total deaths from different causes, men are more likely to die from; 

    • Suicide - 78%  (males are more than 3 times more likely to suicide)

    • Cancer of the lu...

April 28, 2015

CAN YOU REVERSE YOUR GREY HAIR? 

 

Grey hair, the sign of maturity and wisdom?   Sometimes, but if you’re distressed by prematurely grey hair, there may be a logical reason and a possible way to limit this condition.

 

How common is grey hair?

An old “50/50/50 Rule of Thumb” says that, “at 50 years of age, 50% of the population will have at least 50% grey hair.   Not so, says a 2012 study by the British Journal of Dermatology,  which found that the global rate is more like 6-23% of the population having at least 50% grey hair at 50 years of age.   Their study also showed that the rates differ between gender, men usually having significantly more grey hair than women, and that the rate is also affected by race and country.

 

What happens when hair goes grey hair?

Grey hair happens when pigment cells (melanocytes) are lost from the hair bulb and outer root sheath. Completely white hair has no melanocytes in these areas.

 

Noticed that your greys are wilder and more unmanageable than your colo...

April 9, 2015

I don't endorse many "off the shelf" products, but Flexagil cream is one product I'm happy to recommend.

By Blackmore's, Flexagil is a clinically trialled anti-inflammatory skin cream that is as effective as topically applied diclofenac gel in the treatment of osteoarthritis.   Flexagil can also be used for acute inflammation and injury, provided it's applied in line with Blackmore's recommendations.   

 

Containing Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) extract at almost double the strength of most other comfrey ointments, Flexagil is easy to rub on and absorbs well.   Other ingredients include lavender oil and spruce needle oil, giving Flexagil a light fragrance that won't make your eyes water (unlike most 'heat' rubs for arthritic pain).   There is a peanut oil base in Flexagil, so I don't recommend it for those with peanut allergies.

 

Flexagil can be rubbed on to the affected area up to 4 times daily, and I find my clients usually have significant relief from their pai...

April 2, 2015

How long since you've been on a holiday? 

Working long hours without a break and coping with the busyness of life may really deplete your resources, leaving you exhausted and emotionally drained, with little ability to cope with the extra demands of life and/or family.   Naturopaths often refer to this as "adrenal exhaustion", a term that's not recognised medically (GPs focus on "adrenal insufficiency" or "Addison's Disease", a disease that involves a lack of adrenal hormone production, measurable by blood tests).   While Adrenal exhaustion may not be a formal medical condition, and may not be measurable via blood tests, the symptoms of overwork and busyness closely match some of the symptoms of Adrenal Insufficiency, as follows;

  • weakness

  • fatigue

  • irritability

  • depression

  • digestive issues (nausea, change in appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhoea

When my clients present with these symptoms, I investigate the possible underlying reasons, but often find no other logic...

March 10, 2015

Here's a step by step journey of our organic garden project at home.   Read about the benefits of organic eating on my previous blog (and note that the process of organic gardening has its own benefits for your health too)!

 

Step 1 - Choosing The Right Place - We placed our garden against a Western fence line, allowing morning sunshine during all seasons, and aligned our gardens lengthwise from East to West.

 

Step 2 - Lasagna Gardening - this doesn't mean you'll have a fine crop of lasagna!   It's a fantastic way of layering your garden to maximise plant growth, and you don't even have to dig first!   Find out how to build a lasagne garden here.

 

Step 3 - Adding more lasagna layers

 

Step 4 - Building The Structure.   Our garden measures 10 metres by 4 metres, with 6 garden beds each measuring 1 metre by 3 metres.   We allowed a walkway in between the beds, then surrounded the gardens with a fence (to keep our chooks out) and a roof structure (to allow shadecloth roofing).   Using trea...

March 6, 2015

 

There's a lot of debate about organic foods Vs non-organic, with many studies proving no health benefit from eating organically.   A new study(1) has found that organic eating does matter, for the following reasons;

 

Organic food contains higher antioxidants.  

These compounds 'donate' electrons to unstable elements in the body (pro-oxidants), reducing cellular damage.   This helps reduce the risk of inflammation, subfertility(2,3), cardiac disease, neuroligical disease, cancer and premature ageing.    Studies show that antioxidants (polyphenols) are 19% - 69% higher in organic foods than non-organic foods.

 

Organic food contains lower levels of Cadmium

Cadmium is a metal compound found in higher levels in soils fertilised with super-phosphate fertilisers.   Cadmium easily deposits in liver and kidney tissue, causing damage to these organs, and also increases the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer.

 

Organic food contains lower levels of pesticides

Pesticide residue is up to 4...

February 20, 2015

Ever heard of oil pulling to help keep your teeth &  gums healthy? 

 

Using a plant based oil, (coconut oil is currently popular, and sesame oil is often used), oil pulling involves placing an amount of the oil into your mouth, then swishing it around and dragging it back and forth between your teeth for 10 to 20 minutes daily.   Those who use oil pulling rave about cleaner and whiter teeth, and less gum disease.

 

I always like to check out some background evidence for the many health fads I'm recommended, so here's some evidence about oil pulling, and it stacks up fairly well.

 

A group of 20 adolescent Indian lads with plaque induced gingivitis (gum disease) was selected for this small study, with half of the group given a Chlorhexidine solution as a mouth rinse for 10 days, and the other half given sesame oil for 10 days of oil pulling.   Measurements were taken of  the level of plaque, gingivitis and total count of aerobic microorganisms in the lads' mouth, both before and after th...

February 20, 2015

Researchers in Manitoba studied older people who had hobbies over a 6 year time frame.   They measured well-being by checking levels of life satisfaction and happiness, as well as measuring physical and cognitive function.

 

The study found that hobbies were highly important in helping people age successfully, and that different types of hobbies may have different benefits;

 

  • Social and productive hobbies promote physical benefits,

       (physical and cognitive function and greater lifespan)

  • More solitary hobbies (like reading) promote psychological benefits 

       (greater sense of happiness and engagement with life)

 

One of my hobbies is photography; here's a link to my Flickr site

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidahowell/

 

What's your hobby?   If you don't have one, maybe it's worth pursuing for your physical & emotional health.

 

Here's a link to the study article

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12646596

February 17, 2015

American Joey Burrell was arrested in November 2014, charged with illegal drug possession and jailed for 3 months before officials realised their mistake; he was actually in possession of a vitamin supplement!  Here's the link to his story;

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/28119145/suspected-drugs-were-vitamins-but-mankato-man-spent-months-in-jail

 

If you're travelling overseas, how do you make sure your vitamins & supplements are OK through customs?   Here's how I provide cover for my clients;

 

The products I dispense in a consultation are "Practitioner Dispensing Only" products, meaning they're only available via a consultation.   There's good reason for this; such products are usually more powerful and may contain different ingredients than those you can buy "off the shelf".   As these supplements may have interactions with medications, and are used for specific health conditions, they need to be prescribed accurately and safely; hence the need for a consultation to make sure they'...

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