Inspiring lifestyles

Undoing the damage done by diet culture

Diet culture
Diet culture

By Gemma Kennedy, transformational coach.

After getting ‘beach body-ready’ for the summer, it is now time to start thinking about how best to fit into our Christmas party outfits – and maybe even how to build up a calorie deficit in the run-up, so we won’t “overdo” it during the festive period. Then, of course, in January, it will be time to shed all the weight we gained at Yuletide.

We will tell ourselves that this year will the one where we lose weight and get to do all of the things we have wanted to do for so long – to try a new hobby or wear a dress we bought ages ago that never quite fit. In fact, you could include any number of items on the list of things our bodies are perfectly capable of doing right now but we are discouraged from doing until our diet succeeds.

I cannot tell you how many times I have made these kinds of promises to myself, stuck in a continuous loop of saying that tomorrow will be better and, when it is not, promising myself that the next day will be the one when I finally crack it.

But around 18 months ago, I started working with a transformational coach to focus on various areas of my life, including work and family relationships. After only four sessions, I felt I had made huge progress, but there was still one area where I felt like a complete and utter failure. I was unable to understand how I could create such positive change in all areas of my life except this one. So I screwed up the courage to name my problem and, ultimately, it changed my life.

Since the age of 10, I had been encouraged to diet and utterly loathed my body. It governed everything I did. I experienced disordered eating, including both binge eating disorder and orthorexia, and have tried every diet you can imagine.

Almost every other adult woman in my life was also dieting off and on too, and yet I felt so alone and ashamed. The thought of being stuck in the cycle of binging and restriction for the rest of my life felt more depressing than I can express, but it was something I thought I would just have to get used to. I could not imagine ever being able to do the things I had always wanted to as my focus was constantly on the size/weight I would need to be before I could.

At that point, my coach asked if she could share some resources with me, which led me to do further research and discover the body positive movement and fat activism. Along with the realisation that I was not alone in this struggle, it also became apparent that it is no coincidence so many people spend their lives on the diet travellator.

Diet culture stems from a constant fat phobia that we are bombarded with from a young age. We are not born thinking that being fat is bad and thin is good, yet we are soon exposed to this idea in many forms.

Body Positive
Body Positive

The impact of society’s fat phobia

As fat activist and author Virgie Tovar points out: “We learnt these things through an ongoing cultural education”. She also notes that in some regions of the world, “women go to extreme lengths to be as fat as possible”.

But in Western culture, fat is assigned a negative image through advertising that depicts models with perfect (thin) bodies, TV programmes that only include a small range of ‘acceptable bodies’ and women’s magazines that tell us about the latest diet that we simply must try. The medical profession also does not help with its constant talk of the “obesity crisis”.

Even if we are able to avoid these influences, however, many of the people around us expend a great deal of energy on dieting, watching their weight, being on a health kick or any other number of euphemisms to drop the pounds.

Interestingly though, anti-diet dietitian Christy Harrison believes diet culture “promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status, which means you feel compelled to spend a massive amount of time, energy, and money trying to shrink your body, even though the research is very clear that almost no one can sustain intentional weight loss for more than a few years.”

In fact, for the majority of the population, the body shape they aspire to is actually unattainable. A former finance director of Weight Watchers admitted, for example, that a mere 16% of its customers achieve their goals long-term and the company is “successful because the other 84% have to come back and do it again. That’s where your business comes from”.

On the positive side though, there are things you can do. For instance, transformational coaching has been an invaluable tool in my journey towards radical self-love – and it is by no means over. It takes a long time to undo decades of self-loathing and of having such a negative body image, but the freedom I experience from not subjecting myself to the diet culture, and working with others to help them do the same, is liberating.

As you may have guessed, this is a subject I am incredibly passionate about. I spend much of my time trying to dismantle diet culture and encouraging a movement towards self-acceptance and radical self-love. If you are keen to find out more, here are some resources that you may find helpful:

Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe aka Bodyposipanda

Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker.

Gemma Kennedy

Gem Kennedy is a Body Positive activist and transformational coach. Having started her first diet aged 10 and spent many years promising herself that this would be the year to lose weight and start living, a switch flicked in 2017 when she discovered the Body Positive and Fat Activist communities. After training as a transformational coach, she now specialises in coaching and mentoring clients both individually and in groups to help them shed the burden of today’s diet culture and feel confident enough to be in the world exactly as they are, right now.

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Healing approaches

Gut health: Twelve ways to nurture a healthy microbiome

Microbes
Microbes

By Lisa Glydon, homeopath.

It is an exciting time to be a holistic health practitioner as information that the community has known about for a long time now is starting to hit the mainstream. For example, you can read about gut microbes in nearly every health and fitness magazine and they are talked about all over the TV and radio these days too.

But the idea of gut microbes and personal microbiomes is still a new and often confusing one for many people to grasp and so the aim here is to make this important aspect of day-to-day health more understandable.

The truth about bacteria

Orthodox medicine appears to take the view that bacteria, in all its forms, is harmful. As long ago as the mid-1800s, for example, Louis Pasteur, the famous French biologist, microbiologist and chemist, believed in the principles of ‘germ theory’. This theory posits that all disease comes from germs, viruses and/or bacteria. So in order to remain healthy, we must ‘fight’ them by killing them off within our bodies or avoid their influence by maintaining as sterile an environment around us as possible.

Using this concept as the basis, Pasteur developed vaccines to combat them – and this theory of medicine has been popular in the West ever since, leading over time to the formation of a multi-million pharmaceutical industry.

But interestingly, Pasteur admitted on his deathbed that he had been wrong about this theory all along. It was not the bacteria itself that was to be feared as it posed no threat to a healthy individual. It was only if their health was compromised that a bacterium could take hold.

This was, in fact, the view espoused by Pasteur’s bitter rival, the scientist Antoine Bechamp. He believed that it was the “terrain or soil” (an individual’s immune system and tissue quality) that was of the upmost importance. In his view, “the germ was nothing, but the terrain was everything”.

In his research, Bechamp noted that germs were everywhere, even within human beings, and that they were opportunistic in nature. Only when the tissue of the “host” (person) was “damaged or compromised” did they take hold and the symptoms of infection or disease manifested themselves.

To prevent illness, he understood the secret was not to kill off germs but to foster:

  • A good diet;
  • Hygiene;
  • A healthy lifestyle, which included having lots of fresh air, sleep and exercise.

Sadly though, Bechamp’s theory was mostly forgotten until recently in favour of Pasteur’s ideas, which led to the rise of the vaccinations, antibiotics and anti-microbials that are so important in Western medicine. So let’s explore the concept of the ‘microbiome’ a bit further.

Ecology
Ecology

Our body’s natural ecology

The term ‘microbiome’ means a ‘small habitat’. It is a ‘living ecology’ that starts in the first three years of life and is fully formed by a child’s fourth birthday.

Each microbiome is unique and the health of the system is based on culture, parentage and lifestyle. As a result, it makes sense to place more emphasis than is currently the case on pre-conceptual care to help support its healthy growth.

Unfortunately however, children born by Caesarean section are disadvantaged in that they do not have the opportunity to absorb essential microbes while travelling through the birth canal, which is lined with millions of them. Breast milk also contains prebiotics, which line the large intestine in the baby’s gut and provide its microbiome with the food required to develop and grow. If a child does not have access to these sources of goodness, the possible health consequences can be severe.

Hippocrates, the ‘founder of medicine’ and the greatest physician of all time, informed us as many as 2,000 years ago that “the gut is the source of all disease”. But it seems we have been slow to respond.

Instead of protecting it, we have replaced traditional farming methods with industrial approaches based on pesticides, which have depleted our soil reserves. We ingest heavy metals and too much sugar and use a range of techniques to extend the shelf life of food, all of which are toxic to our delicate digestive membrane and lead to gut putrification.

These practices have knocked our microbiome out of balance, which has resulted in many of the modern-day diseases we experience today. Just as we see our environment suffering, so our microbiomes are suffering too.

Tribal cultures have tended to benefit from healthier microbiomes – until they are introduced to modern ways of living and eating, that is, when obesity, addiction and chronic disease often develop rapidly.

Stress

Stress is a common cause of many diseases. The Vagus, or Gastric, nerve (as it used to be called) in our gut is crucial to its health. Meaning ‘the wanderer’, it is linked to a series of neuro-gastric nerves. Starting in the gut and moving upwards towards the brain, the Vagus nerve is stimulated by cortisol, a hormone produced by stress or worry.

Stress has a huge impact on our gut and brain microbiomes. The gut, which was often referred to in the old days as the ‘second brain’, manufactures 90% of our serotonin and dopamine, the hormones that makes us feel happy, as well as gaba, which makes us feel calm. The old phrase ‘gut reaction’ speaks to this connection between gut and brain. So, by nurturing our gut microbiome, we are also effectively nurturing our mental health, something that is becoming increasingly important in today’s frantic world.

Another expression, ‘our parents are the soil to the gut’, means that we inherit our microbiomes from our parents, but it is our choice of lifestyle that then takes over. As the Vagus nerve controls our heart rate, our microbiome can be damaged from an early age simply by the way we breathe.

Put another way, as the microbiome lives in symbiosis with the human body, gut health is key to maintaining positive health and a strong immune system as well as increasing our individual contentment levels.

As a homeopath, restoring and boosting the gut microbiome is crucial to treating anyone with a dis-ease. Even a simple infection or condition ending in an ‘itis’ signals lower than optimum gut bacteria as the body tries to deal with a localised inflammation. But by using homeopathic remedies, herbs and tonics and introducing dietary and lifestyle changes, the body can heal itself and regain its balance once more, leading to good health, energy and vitality.

Woman Standing By Waterfall With Her Hands Raised
Health and wellbeing

Top tips for creating a healthier microbiome

  1. Slow down in a general sense but particularly in relation to your breathing. Most of us breathe too quickly these days at roughly 12 beats per minute compared to 8-10 in the past. So use relaxing practices to calm and slow it down such as yoga, mindfulness, meditation and walks in the fresh air;
  2. ‘Rest and digest’ by eating in a more relaxed environment – your digestion slows when you are in a stressed state, which means you do not absorb nutrition as well;
  3. Chew your food rather than gulp it down;
  4. Ensure you get plenty of good quality sleep;
  5. Eat a diverse diet with lots of fruit and vegetables as they have fibre that feeds and encourages microbes. This is particularly true of prebiotic foods such as chicory, leeks, onions, raw garlic, Jerusalem artichokes and unripe bananas, which feed your microbiome;
  6. Treat yourself to fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, kimchi or pure miso paste. Unpasteurised kefir also provides trillions of bacteria for the gut – although go easy to begin with, starting with one a day;
  7. Add organic cider vinegar, which has been linked to supporting gut bacteria, to salads, dressings or a small glass of warm water and lemon (or even honey or maple syrup);
  8. Remember that an apple a day really does keep the doctor away. Lightly stewed apple provides a readily available source of fibre in the form of pectin, which helps to feed the gut’s microbes;
  9. Increase your microbe numbers by taking a good probiotic supplement. But ask your health practitioner for advice as not all products on the market are necessarily recommended;
  10. Discuss with your health practitioner how to boost your digestive enzymes. They can help you break down foods if you have ‘gut issues’. Low levels, on the other hand, can contribute towards bloating, gas, constipation and the like;
  11. Use healthy oils such as avocado and coconut, organic butter or ghee as they all support the gut. Use cold-pressed oils for drizzling but not cooking as they do not perform well under high temperatures;
  12. Indulge in oily fish, which are a good source of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats – although most of us do not eat enough of them.

Lisa Glydon

Lisa Glydon has been a qualified homeopathic practitioner since 2007, but she also uses herbs, supplements and Bach/Bush Essences to boost the body’s systems and help remove emotional blockages. She initially trained as a State Registered Nurse in London, specialising in oncology and palliative care, but now treats clients of all ages and with all kinds of conditions. Lisa also runs workshops and provides talks to school children and adult groups about all aspects of health care.

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Inspiring spaces

Walsingham: ‘England’s Nazareth’ in Norfolk

Virgin Mary with Child stain glass leaded window

By guest contributor, Andrew Everett.

During the Middle Ages, Walsingham in north Norfolk was one of the four great shrines of Christendom, rivalling Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago da Compostella in north-west Spain.

The greatest Marian shrine – or sacred spot dedicated to the Virgin Mary – in the medieval world, it was also known as ‘England’s Nazareth’. This was because Mary is said to have appeared to a widowed Saxon Lady, Richeldis de Faverches, in a series of three visions there in 1061, with the Christ Child seated on her lap.

In the visions, Mary showed Richeldis the house in Nazareth where she had once lived and where the angel Gabriel had told her that she was to become the mother of the Messiah. Afterwards, she gave Richeldis instructions to build a replica of the ‘Holy House of Nazareth’ in Walsingham, which she summarily did.

And the legend goes that, although Richeldis had been unsure where to build it, one morning following a heavy dew, two dry patches of equal size appeared in one of her meadows. So she took it as a sign and based the plot there, just behind a pair of twin wells.

But when the workmen tried to build at the site, they found they were blocked from doing so and eventually gave up in despair. After they had consulted Richeldis on how to proceed, she spent the night in prayer – and next morning found that a complete chapel and house had appeared on the chosen spot, brought there, it was believed, by Our Lady of Walsingham herself.

As this all took place during the time of the Crusades when it was almost impossible for British and European Christians to visit the original Nazareth in the Holy Land, Walsingham became the main regional shrine to the Virgin Mary instead. Over time, a large monastery was built on the site and it became a major place of pilgrimage, with visitors asking Mary to pray to Jesus on their behalf. In fact, by the late Middle Ages, it was deemed to be every Englishman’s duty to have visited the shrine at some point in his life.

A statue of ‘Our Lady of Walsingham’ was also placed in the abbey grounds, although both the shrine and the statue were destroyed during the Reformation 500 or so years later, when the pilgrimages stopped coming too.

But devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham was revived again during the 20th century, when a replica of the Holy House of Nazareth and a copy of her statue (realised from the mediaeval abbey’s seal in 1897) were made to adorn the Catholic Church in Kings Lynn. The statue was then moved to the Slipper Chapel at Walsingham – and the pilgrims started returning in their droves.

Little Walsingham, Catholic Church of the Annunciation
Little Walsingham, Catholic Church of the Annunciation

Deeply spiritual place

The Church of England also built a big church there, near to what is thought to be a Saxon well. The Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches followed suit, resulting in four of the great Christian denominations cohabiting happily on the same site.

And you can see why. Walsingham is a deeply spiritual place where it is easy to get in touch with your inner self – whether you happen to be Christian or not.

For believers, the statue of Mary presenting her son Jesus is a reminder of the central role He can play in your life if you choose to follow His path of love, putting God and caring, tolerant, forgiving relationships at the heart of your being. Through prayer and contemplation of Jesus’s teachings on peace and reconciliation, it becomes possible to create a harmonious inner space.

But the ‘Holy House’ also represents more than the mere physical dwelling in which Jesus, Mary and her husband Joseph (he was also part of Richeldis’ vision) lived. In fact, it is an important spiritual representation of the parental milieu in which Jesus was nurtured, namely a model family grounded in love.

On a personal note, about three years ago at a time of various family difficulties, we were asked to join a pilgrimage to Walsingham and found it particularly helpful. It provided space to think and reflect and, figuratively, put our cares into Our Lady’s hands, thereby helping us to accept what the future would hold more easily.

But from a wider viewpoint, taking time out in this way can also help us discover a suitable balance between our own individual aims and our duties and responsibilities too. If we fail to appreciate each other in a loving way – with all our differences – it can all too easily lead to conflict. But should it occur, forgiveness and trying to move beyond the hurt are a vital part of any successful relationship.

At a more international level, such ideals can also offer hope and even, if heeded, help countries avoid interracial tensions and war. Because it is about appreciating the beauty of different people and cultures and what they have to offer rather than simply seeing them as ‘other’, with all of the destruction this attitude brings – often leading in the case of armed conflict to the uprooting, separation and alienation of families.

The Holy House of Nazareth and its occupants, therefore, offer us inspiration and insight into how to care for and nurture others during their passage through life, while also guiding us in how to find fulfilment in our own.

Andrew Everett

Andrew Everett is a retired senior lecturer in Healthcare from Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne. His interests are mental health, music, especially vocal, architecture, railway workings and their history. Andrew has written many articles on these topics for magazines and professional journals and has had four books published, with four more in various stages of preparation.

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Inspiring lifestyles

The hidden scourge of nutritional deficiency

abundance agriculture bananas batch
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

By Juliette Bryant, nutritional consultant.

While great swathes of the UK population are suffering from food intolerances these days, another more hidden issue that is creating even greater problems for people’s health is nutritional deficiency.

There are a number of reasons why nutritional deficiency is on the increase. Some of the nutrients in our food, particularly minerals, come largely from the nutrients in the soil. But soil erosion and industrial-scale farming have led to a massive reduction in soil nutrient levels.

Another problem is that poor gut health leads to the poor absorption of whatever nutrients are left. This means it is not so much that ‘we are what we eat’ but rather ‘we are what we absorb’. But to make matters worse, many people are also over-indulging in processed food, which is often devoid of nutrients in the first place.

The University of Texas published a landmark study on the topic as long ago as December 2004 in the ‘Journal of the American College of Nutrition’. It studied US Department of Agriculture nutritional data from 1950 and 1999 relating to 43 different vegetables and fruits.

The study revealed there had been “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C found in our food over the last half century. It also showed that this situation was mainly down to agricultural practices designed to improve produce size, growth rate and pest resistance – but not nutritional content.

Meanwhile, Volkert Engelsman, an activist with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements warned a forum at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome in 2014 that: “We are losing 30 soccer fields of soil every minute, mostly due to intensive farming.”

In fact, he added, most current farming methods are so destructive that they are leading to the serious erosion of our top soil, which could be completely depleted within three generations. This situation would inevitably lead to major global food production challenges.

So what key nutrients are people deficient in today and what we can do to overcome the situation? The first and most important piece of advice is, where possible, always seek to gain your nutrition from food sources rather than chemical pills as human bodies have a limited ability to absorb synthetic ingredients.

apricot fruits on bowl
Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

Here are some of the nutrients that you need:

Essential fats

Essential fats are vital for cellular-level processes to take place in the body and are key to brain and nerve function. The best sources are nuts, seeds, avocado, olive and algae oil, marine phytoplankton and oily fish – but do not eat too much of the latter as they can contain high levels of heavy metals. A vegan omega three supplement made from blue-green algae oil is another good source too.

Minerals

It is important to consume a wide range of minerals for good health, although some are required in only very small amounts. Linus Pauling, who twice won the Nobel Prize, once said: “You can trace every sickness, disease and ailment to a mineral deficiency.

Magnesium is a key mineral that plays in important role in mental and heart health, sleep and general wellbeing.  It is also one that most people are deficient in – studies suggest this may be true of as many as 80% of US citizens.  Magnesium can be found in whole grains, leafy greens and raw chocolate. I recommend a supplement called ReMag as it has a high absorption rate.

Iodine is an important mineral for your metabolism and is the key to a healthy thyroid. It can be obtained from sea vegetables such as seaweed.

Zinc plays a key role in supporting a healthy immune system and enables wounds to heal effectively. Good sources include pumpkin seeds, lentils, almonds and bee pollen.

Vitamin D has been in the news a lot lately. The short-sighted advice of the last 20 years that has told us to fear the sun has contributed to a chronic vitamin D deficiency in the UK. This situation is tragic as vitamin D is required for many cellular functions to occur. The best source is the sun, although during a UK winter, it is unlikely you will get enough. Some mushrooms if dried in the sun can be a useful source, but the latest advice is to take it as a food supplement from autumn onwards. I take Vitamin D3 with a K2 supplement throughout autumn and winter.

Vitamin C is another nutrient you may become deficient in due to toxins, stress, prescription drugs and smoking, but it is essential for the immune system and your general health. The best sources are rosehips, acerola cherry, amla, camu camu and lemon, but there are reasonable amounts in many fruits and vegetables.

diet fresh green detox green smoothie
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Superfood smoothie

Here is one of my favourite superfood smoothie recipes to give you a great nutritional boost:

1 cup of water

¼ avocado

1 banana

¼ cup of kale or spinach

1 tbs raw chocolate powder

1 tsp Juliette’s Kitchen supergreen mix (or alternative)

2 tbs omega seed mix

3 dates

¼ cup of ice

Blend and serve.

Juliette Bryant

Juliette Bryant is an author, nutritional consultant, superfood chef and presenter who runs courses, talks, workshops and retreats around the world. Her passion is helping people to thrive by showing them how to make delicious and healthy food. Juliette runs a busy practice providing nutritional consultations to individuals and businesses worldwide.

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Healing approaches, Inspiring stories

Kinesiology: A personal journey

Life's journey
Life’s journey

By Anita Ramsden, kinesiologist.

Someone asked me the other day how I first got into kinesiology and that made me think of how my journey into the profession started a long time ago.

In fact, I was a student in London doing a BA honours degree in Jewellery at the time. Our technician had asked for some willing guinea pigs for his wife, who was studying to become a kinesiologist. Everyone looked at him with blank faces – and even now, I still occasionally get ‘a kinesi-what?’

But it did not take too much persuasion to get involved, mainly due to the fact that she was happy to feed any willing bodies, albeit macrobiotic food, which as it happens was delicious. So a pioneering group of us set off to discover what this brave new world was all about.

We lay down on the couch and ‘resisted her pressure’ as she tested the muscles of our arms and legs in various positions. She carried out corrections using massage points, homeopathic drops, colour, sound and so on. It was fascinating and magical. The whole experience was lots of fun and a huge eye opener to things I had never previously known existed.

But it was a year or so later that my journey down this path really began as I developed psoriasis, mainly on my scalp, while undertaking my finals. I saw a doctor many times during this time and tried all manner of shampoos, steroid creams and tablets, but to no avail.

Eventually I gave a kinesiologist a go and, after my first session, he advised me that my body was struggling to absorb dairy products and that I should stop eating anything containing milk. This statement caused me to experience a whole range of emotions, the biggest of which was fear.

No more cappuccinos – was he crazy? OMG, what about cake? Cheese I did not mind so much as I had always considered it a pointless food that I neither liked nor understood – and as for milk, yuk.

But this was back in the early 1990’s and dairy-free foods were not as readily available then, although they could be found in health food shops. You certainly would not come across them in what a friend calls “the fusspot section” of the supermarket as we do now.

Leap of faith
Leap of faith

Leap of faith

So I took a leap of faith, irritating anyone who offered to cook for me in the process, by swapping out cows milk-based products for the only real alternative at the time, soya milk. And I was disappointed to report there was no real change.

But when I returned to the kinesiologist, we discovered that my body had just as much of an aversion to soy as it did to dairy. No soya. Holy Moly – what would I eat now?

So I duly cut out all the soya products, which was not much of a sacrifice as I did not care much for them anyway. And then the magic happened: my psoriasis got better, disappearing never, ever, to return again.

I felt great. My digestive system was no longer a grumpy, irritated beast that made me prone to bloating, cramping and feeling gaseous, with all of the unfortunate consequences that entails.

I also no longer suffered from regular, painful coldsores, brought on by late nights, too much work and any kind of fun or stress. One of them even went rogue at one point and turned into impetigo. But I have to report that over the last 20 years or so, I have only had three or four at most.

While all of this may not sound life-changing, it was to me. I realised that my system was not depleted as a result of taking drugs or medicines. It was simply about putting something into my body that it struggled to digest. After years of doing its best, the added stress of my finals was just more than it could take.

When I look back, my body was always trying to tell me that I was failing to make lactase, the enzyme required to break down lactose in milk. Or alternatively, perhaps I did not have enough of it, or something was blocking it.

But as a baby, once my mum tried to put me on formula milk, I became covered in eczema. We struggled on though, eventually settling on a goat’s milk formula that was not rejected immediately by my delicate system.

Life force
Life force

Times move on

Although we were given various creams to help, I also developed multiple ear infections and repeated tonsillitis. By the age of five, they took out my tonsils and adenoids, which was a horrid operation. Could the procedure have been avoided if milk had not impaired my immune system? Yes, I believe so.

But times have moved on since then and at least some GPs would now suggest reducing or removing dairy from your diet in the case of skin complaints.

Anyway, this history meant that the kinesiologist’s diagnosis really struck a chord with me. I needed to add nothing to my diet – just take something away. It was so simple and yet it enhanced everything – my energy, my overall health and, much to my boyfriend’s delight, also reduced my moodswings. My digestive system became calm and amenable.

After that, I started seeing a kinesiologist for all of my ailments. By the time I came to seriously consider if I could actually work this magic myself, I had been benefiting from it for a very long time. I took all three of my children to my kinesiologist and most of my friends went too – if only to shut me up.

The most dramatic situation though was when I broke my coccyx. It became dislodged and moved over to one side rather than being straight. I had also slipped a disc and was suffering from sciatica, which meant I found it difficult to walk or drive. After my scan, the consultant said the best thing would be to have the coccyx surgically removed.

But I decided to call my kinesiologist, who is also a craniosacral therapist. Using very gentle techniques, she was able to encourage my body to ease the coccyx back into alignment. I suffered no more pain or discomfort and had no more need for it to be chopped off.

What more can I say: I love this work and am very keen for others to have healthy, happy outcomes as a result of it too – which is why I became a kinesiologist in the first place.

I have now also qualified as a ‘Touch for Health’ kinesiology instructor. If you would like to see for yourself whether this approach works for you, Touch for Health is the first step, so please contact me directly for teaching dates. Alternatively, if you would like to find out more about kinesiology in general or locate a practitioner near you, the Kinesiology Federation is definitely the place to go.

selfp

Anita Ramsden is a kinesiologist. She is emphatic about affecting positive change and her work encourages wellbeing for mind, body and soul. Anita is also a member of the Kinesiology Federation.

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