An ongoing series of informative entries
An ongoing series of informative entries
Helping Our General Health Through COVID19
Helping Our General Health Through COVID19
03 April 2020
As Covid19 ravages the globe, here are some reminders for staying as well as we possibly can whilst we wait out the storm....by Juanita Shield-Laignel MFHT
This really has to be one of the most important. If we properly nourish our bodies with plenty of natural foods; veggies, fruit, seeds, nuts, pulses and wholegrains, we’ll be packed full of sustainable energy, not the peaks and troughs experienced when bulking up on the type of empty calories found in most processed foods. So make your own – take advantage of the abundance nature provides. The more you nourish your body with good health-giving plant nutrients, the less it will crave the garbage and the more energy you will have to accomplish everything you need to – even if it is clearing out cupboards and upcycling furniture and home-schooling!
Juicing ~ is one of my favourite things to do and the kids love it too. Packing a punch with ginger and turmeric, carrot and orange immune boosting smoothies are great during times of nutritional need and packed full with beta carotene the precursor of vitamin A needed for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision to name just a few of the benefits. Green juices are also up there on my list of top-tips!
Vegetable soups ~ another great way to ensure our bodies are getting enough nourishing vitamins and bowel cleansing fibre. I love the whole process of making hot, filling ‘good for you’ soups, from buying the fresh organic produce, to chopping and slicing and adding them all to a huge pan, cooking then serving with a good sprinkling of course ground black pepper or better still, I like to grind up pepper corns in my pestle and mortar. This is one of my favourite Sunday night suppers.
Vitamin C ~ Abundant in many fruits and veg; a crucial nutrient. Thought to reverse skin aging, reducing cholesterol levels, boost immunity, improve heart health and so much more. There are many studies to be found that extol the health benefits of vitamin C. Deficiency is reported to have a serious detrimental effect on the body, causing symptoms like impaired immunity, gingivitis, slow wound healing and many others. On the other hand, getting enough is attributed with the benefits of warding off illness and infection and enhancing iron absorption amongst many others.
Vitamin D3 ~ vitamin D seems to be growing as a recommended supplement by GPs. Reputedly many adults are believed to be at least somewhat deficient in vitamin D, especially those who live in the northern hemisphere…and now we are all spending so much more time indoors during lock-down, there may be a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, which studies have shown may be instrumental in anxiety, weakness, fatigue, depression, trouble sleeping and a weakened immune system!
This seems to be a buzz-word at the moment, but I for one think it’s super that finally, pampering ourselves is accepted as a normal part of a good life / work balance and is actively encouraged. Here are a couple of things I most definitely would not be without.
Meditation ~ Again, there are numerous studies supporting the benefits of meditation not just on the mind but the body also. Slowing down and giving oneself time to switch off from normal life has a long term positive effect. I meditate every day at least once a day for 20 minutes. First thing in the morning is great before the rest of the house is awake. I’ve been practicing for many years now so can slip easily into a relaxed meditative state at will, but others find their brain ticks over too much and they can’t switch off. There are many Guided Mediation downloads out there…so anyone can have ago.
Essential Oils ~ Not just used as part of a massage regime but used every day to sustain health. I diffuse most days, inhale and rub a drop or two on my feet for quick absorption. The odd drop of orange or lemon oil in cooking is great too. The molecular structure of high grade essential oils is so tiny, that just one drop can easily travel through our circulatory system. I have read that with a simple lavender massage, a blood sample taken 20 minutes later will reveal lavender molecules present in the blood stream. Other oils that help are cinnamon, clove, rosemary, and eucalyptus, all used for killing bacteria so great to ward off general colds and flu.
If you do find yourself generally unwell …give in to it, we are just human after all. Take a couple of days to rest, drink honey and lemon or whatever you personally find helps, sleep, leave the cooking to someone else, leave the dust to rest….it will still be there when you feel better.
But Most OF All!
Listen to official advice; wash hands, social distance, self-isolate, ring the helpline if you need to and STAY SAFE!
What is Healing
What is Healing
14 February 2020
Some years ago when I first set up my business Healing Touch, an office colleague snidely remarked as he was passing, with no intention of stopping to hear my reply, ‘so you think you can lay your hands on somebody and heal them’ and chortled to himself as he walked away - clearly pleased with his put down.
Had he remained and engaged in proper conversation I’d have told him the reasons I decided to give my work the generic title of ‘Healing Touch’ as it explained quite succinctly that I was using hands on therapies to help people.
Qualified in Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Swedish Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reiki and all sorts of other bits and pieces one picks up along the way…I would now explain ‘healing’ as thus;
Have you ever been in a position to have a Doctor or Surgeon examining a wound, perhaps after an operation or a fall and say the words, ‘that’s healing nicely’….? If you haven’t, you most certainly will have heard such a thing said to others around you or even said it yourself to a child with cut a knee etc. You don’t give a second thought to using the word ‘healing’ in that instance and it is understood as a generic term for ‘getting better’.
So perhaps we could then say a ‘healer’ is a ‘getting better facilitator’ in which case we are all healers in our own way. The already mentioned Doctors and Surgeons most certainly are, as are Nurses and all the other qualified medical staff, but what about the kindly orderly who brings a little old lady her cup of tea and props up her pillows, smiles and kindly says ‘is there anything else you need dear?’ is that person not equally viable in the ‘getting better’ stakes.
And then there are the daily incidents alluded to above. How many times have you picked up a child and rubbed their knee or given them a hug and they’ve instantly felt better. Did you miraculously heal them? In a way yes, but in the way inferred by my scathing colleague, no.
Healing of any kind, is a process…as is much in life. If you want to get better at anything it takes time, learning, understanding and help from others amongst the mechanisms of ‘process’. There are people in this amazing, diverse, splendiferous world that do pre-port to being able to lay thier hands on people and heal them and I am neither refuting nor corroborating this, but to my mind this idea or at least the terminology used to describe it denotes instant wellness.
Now let’s think about that for a while. Is there such a thing as ‘instant wellness’? It might very well be there are some who are gifted enough instantly make better a particular problem but what about the whole person? A ‘healee’ might instantly be relieved of a headache or a backache for instance, but what of their mind, their spirit their soul, their entire body? None of us is ever truly completely ‘healed’ – there is always something to be worked on – that is the very nature of being human, surely! ‘Getting better’ or healing is an ongoing devotion to the self…the self that needs constant reminding to eat well, sleep well, laugh, love, exercise, work on all of one’s little (and sometimes large) foibles, that we all indubitably have.
You will probably have taken note that most ‘getting better facilitators’ (healers) are in a constant flux of working on themselves; going to yoga classes, devouring the latest well-being information, trying new herbal teas, experimenting with raw food and etc…so too many of the general populous, but what makes them different is they devour to share, learn to teach, grow and develop to help nurture other.
As healing is a process, many healers will have started many years ago and are happy to share their personal progress and care for others in the same way their own personal mentors, helpers, guru’s, whatever they call them, will have helped them.
I have been struggling with openly and publically calling myself a ‘healer’ feeling I would be setting myself up for over inflated expectations, ridicule and perhaps even lacking in the confidence of any abilities I may have, after all who am I to say I can do this or that? I felt much the same when it came time for me to wear my label as a writer. My first piece sent to a publisher caused me to say to my husband ‘I will be sick if they publish and sick if they don’t’ so nervous was I. But of course I was not sick and I have to date published over a hundred articles including interviews with people of interest, restaurant reviews, beauty reviews, general interest and published my first book. I am a Writer.
It also took me a long time to own the Artist part of my identity although I have an extensive portfolio, have sold a number of pieces and put on an Exhibition during 2017. I kept telling myself that I wasn’t good enough; there are so many Artists out there so much more worthy of the title than me. I didn’t go to Art College and this created a block for me in my own mind. Funnily enough it was through interviewing well-known, highly accomplished local artists that I realised, many haven’t been to Art College. Slowly, my confidence grew and gradually I was able to say…. I am an Artist.
I feel compelled at this juncture to say that I do not seem to have trouble with other labels in my life; I am a woman, I am a wife, I am a mother, I am a gardener, a cook, a cleaner, an accounts administrator, a friend, a lover, a home-maker, a seeker of knowledge and so much more. And so are you. We accept these roles / labels without batting an I lid. (ha ha that was meant to be eye of course ~ but if it works!!!)
So now to the final frontier of my latest ‘label’ ownership... I have been a practitioner of holistic or complimentary therapies for near on 30 years at the time of writing, starting with learning basic Swedish massage and anatomy and physiology when I was just twenty three. I then went on to take a course in Aromatherapy which I am still learning about today. Then it was Reflexology and at this time I began my discovery of supplementation, herbalism and nutrition which again I am still taking on more and more information about. Then it was Indian Head Massage. Through using these regulated techniques clients would tell me they could feel enormous amounts of heat emanating from my hands; believing this to be friction / stimulated circulation heat, I thought nothing of it and yet clients were increasingly asking me to keep my hands over one particular spot or I was doing it intuitively and they were enjoying it. Occasionally someone would say the actual words… ‘You’re a healer you know’….’yeh yeh!’ thought I. As this increased I decided around the age of thirty five to take a couple of courses in Reiki to level II, so as to have some kind of formalisation for what was occurring naturally. I found this most useful as it is well established and publicised and people have a general understanding of what to expect, conversely I found other people don’t like the use of symbols etc.
So to the present day. I have found by constant vigilance and practice that I am able to bring together all my training, experience and age related wisdom to offer what I call distance balance healing. I work in the tranquillity of my garden room first thing in the morning before the rest of the household has awoken and sit in quiet contemplation. I write the name of the ‘healee’ on a blank page and systematically work through the body establishing what is needed for balance at that time but within the remit of my knowledge, so for instance a particular herb such as rosemary maybe needed over the heart area / chakra. Then I would establish if the rosemary needs to be ingested as the whole herb, tincture, tea, oil, dried or whatever other available format the nutrient might be. I do this for herbs, vitamins, oils, colours, words, feelings, massage and so on within my remit but occasionally something I know little of may rise for instance ‘music’ came up for one gentleman. Now I know little of music other than I enjoy it and I like to sing, but I went with the flow and he found the information useful.
In each case, my findings have been very unique to the individual….this makes it easier for me to believe the information is real (yes I still question). I have been blown away by clients saying things such as ‘oh yes, I’m supposed to take vitamin B12 but I haven’t bothered for the last few months’ or ‘yes I am aware my throat chakra can be a little overactive and I acknowledge the bright blue perhaps needs a little white added to help me know when to listen’ and many other amazing things all too numerous to divulge. There have been other occasions when clients have required a mineral I know nothing of….I had one chap who needed Boron! After researching it I now know much more about boron and understand why it came up, but I had no idea at the time. I’ve had to learn to trust the information. So I guess what I am trying to say is ‘I am a getting better facilitator’. I am a Healer…