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The healing power of silence

drop of water

By Helen Preston, counsellor and holistic therapist

Last Christmas, my 20 year-old son bought me a book called ‘A Book of Silence’, written by Sara Maitland. In it, she explores and contemplates the silence she experienced after moving out of the city aged 40.

My son and I share a love of silence, so it was a thoughtful gift. We value silence and how it helps to calm and soothe the soul. In a world where it can often seem like a valuable commodity, it is worth taking a little time to explore silence’s healing power and seeing it for the undervalued resource it is.

Mobile devices constantly bombard us with noise. Music, podcasts, videos, phone calls – earphones in and off we go, isolated in our own little world of chosen sound.

At home, we often have the TV or radio on in the background. Or we talk for the sake of talking when there is nothing to say – and where silence could prove a more powerful and meaningful way to be present.

On the long journey driving him back to university, my son and I talk sometimes, but equally importantly we are both very comfortable being together in silence. We share our space comfortably. By way of contrast, some people I know are uncomfortable with silence and feel compelled to fill it with random streams of thought. Albeit unconsciously, they fear it.

Anyone who has listened to Eckhart Tolle will know that he uses silence or pauses to punctuate his language. I found it a little disconcerting when I first began to listen to his audio work. My mind was impatient for the next piece of information, to hear the next word and grasp the next concept.

The voice in my head judged the silences to be irritating. My conditioned mind wanted a continuous stream of noise. It took time to move beyond this situation and really ‘listen’ to both the words and the silence.

All too often we listen to respond, pass judgement or assess how what we are hearing fits with our beliefs. But if we are only prepared to listen to what we already know, we become stuck and entrenched. There is no room for new concepts or ideas. Eckhart says of silence: 

“To listen to the silence, wherever you are, is an easy and direct way of becoming present. Even if there is noise, there is always some silence underneath and in between the sounds. Listening to the silence immediately creates stillness inside you.” (page 103, ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’, New World Library.)

Man in a forest
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Being mindful

A few years ago, I ran various relaxation and mindfulness groups for teens. During one such session, they were invited to leave their mobile phones behind for an hour and walk in silence with me to a local beauty spot. The idea was to be fully present and to observe the sights and sounds around us.

When we arrived at our destination, we would discuss our experiences. The walk was only between five and eight minutes long, but many of them found it difficult to be in silence. Some giggled, one held her hand over her mouth to remind herself not to speak, and several were unable to help themselves and spoke anyway.

One girl found it easier than the others though. She liked silence and, upon arrival at our destination, shared the fact that she had seen birds, flowers and a cat of which the others had no recollection. She had been quietly present in the moment and enjoyed the experience.

At the end of the sessions, she intimated that she now regularly took the dog for a walk to continue enjoying silence as it made her feel calm, peaceful and relaxed. Although the others initially struggled with the exercise, interestingly they also enjoyed it more than any other form of mindfulness that we practiced.

Certainly, many people find it easier to listen to a guided meditation than to feel safe and calm in silence. It takes time and practice to allow space to creep in between your thoughts, not to follow them as they pop in but just notice to them without judgment and let them pass.

Noise can be a means to help us hide from unpleasant and fearful thoughts, enabling us to avoid our feelings of vulnerability. When we take the time to listen in silence to our inner dialogue though, it is possible to make a choice.

We can either keep beating ourselves up or mindfully change that inner voice from critical and condemning to warm and comforting. ‘You’re doing your best’ is much more positive than ‘you’re an idiot’. But we all run these negative dialogues because we have learned them. It is often someone else’s voice that we hear and someone else’s opinion that we have come to believe over time.

But silence can give us time to weed the garden of our mind, declutter the dark corners in which we hold thoughts of shame and clear a space for the real beauty of our soul to flourish. Imperfection, suffering, making mistakes, failing and feeling inadequate are all part of the human experience. So take a deep breath and listen to the silence, allow it in and become friends with it.

When working with clients, my role as a counsellor is mostly to listen. I listen to the words and the emotions, but also to the silence. Just holding that silence for a few seconds longer than normal can give people the space to access memories, thoughts and images, enabling them to unearth something of significance that would otherwise be lost. And that really is the magic of the healing power of silence.

Helen Preston

Helen Preston is a counsellor, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) expert and reiki practitioner. Her approach to therapy acknowledges the crucial inter-relationship of mind, body and spirit. Helen is a member of the National Counselling Society and has an Advanced Diploma in psychotherapy and counselling, a Diploma in Hypnotherapy and an EFT Master Practitioner certificate. 

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Unearthing the joys of seasonal food

By Juliette Bryant, nutritional consultant

We truly have access to a global food market these days. Blueberries are flown to the UK from Peru, green beans from Kenya and apples from New Zealand, all causing pollution and releasing carbon emissions as they go. 

But despite the convenience of having our favourite foods available to us all year round, nothing beats the taste, flavour and nutritional quality of freshly picked, local goods. We are lucky to live in East Anglia, a region that is rich in good soil and has a great climate for food production. 

From our gardens at this time of year, we can enjoy lettuce, dandelion and mustard leaves, spinach and herbs, such as parsley, mint, lemon balm, sage, rosemary and oregano. But there is also a wide range of wild food on offer too, which definitely ticks the boxes in terms of low food miles, seasonal freshness and packing a nutritional punch.

These include young hawthorn leaves and flowers (called “bread and cheese” by some locals), young lime leaves, chickweed and one of the most plentiful and nutritious crops at this time of year, nettles. Nettles make an excellent foodstuff as they have a higher iron content even than spinach and also provide an array of other minerals. They help alkalise the blood, detox the system and, being a green food, are packed with chlorophyll, which is one of nature’s magical components. 

It is amazing how plants convert the sun’s energy into food that can sustain us. Each one interacts with the sun’s rays in different unique ways to provide us with a plethora of phytonutrients, which nutritional science is learning more about each day. But plants are also beautiful and ‘feed’ us in a spiritual way too.

Another one of my favourite seasonal foods is local asparagus. Asparagus takes patience and can be tricky to grow – it requires several years of effort to establish the trenches required to produce those delicious spears. It is also seasonal in nature, growing in the UK between February and June, but reaching its peak in April, which makes it all the more special when it is here.

As well as the vegetable’s ‘melt in the mouth’ flavour, there is also something quite appealing about its effects. An important belief in folk medicine terms from the Middle Ages up until relatively recent modern times was the ‘doctrine of signatures’. The idea was that foods resembling body parts had a beneficial healing effect on that area. 

Walnuts, which when opened resemble a brain, are a classic example – and interestingly, we now know that they contain high levels of omega 3 fats, which is an essential nutrient for brain health. 

The erect spear of asparagus also indicates one of its qualities as a libido-enhancing foodstuff. While easy to dismiss it as an old wives tale, recent research has shown that it contains high levels of B vitamins, including B6, which help to increase the histamine levels essential for a healthy sex drive. So there you go.

Juliette’s asparagus a gogo

1 bunch of local asparagus, with the woody ends removed

Lightly steam the asparagus, before putting it into a bowl with one teaspoon of coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt. Mix so that it is all coated nicely in the oil.

Hollandaise sauce

¼ cup cashew nutss

¼ tsp turmeric

3 tbs water

3 tbs extra virgin rapeseed or olive oil

pinch of salt

2 tbs lemon juice or half a lemon

1 tbs maple syrup

pinch of black pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and whizz until it forms a smooth, creamy sauce to dip your asparagus into.

For more recipes, go to www.julietteskitchen.tv.

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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Yoga: Developing compassion as a first step towards peace and harmony

Photo by Cedric Lim on Pexels.com

By Gayatri, yoga, meditation teacher and gong practitioner

Yoga as a practice is thousands of years old, whose teachings were originally passed from teacher to student by word of mouth. The word ‘yoga’ itself means to yoke, unite or harness. As such, yoga is a state of being, which manifests itself as a uniting of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energies with the energies of nature and the cosmos.

In Western culture, yoga is largely seen – although this situation is starting to change – as a series of postures performed to help create and maintain physical health. In fact, the practice of Hatha yoga (yoga of the body) was originally developed to focus on strengthening and balancing the body’s energies to prepare for meditation, which could lead to transcendental realisation (enlightenment).

But in reality, yoga is a vast subject and physical practice is simply one important aspect. For instance, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali were written as a practical guide for raising levels of consciousness and understanding by helping people to move through the different levels of the mind and even beyond it. 

The word ‘sutra’ means thread. So each sutra can be seen as a thread running through a tapestry. When all the threads are woven together, it is possible to see the whole picture. 

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, ‘yama’ and ‘niyama’ are introduced in the second book, Sadhana Pada – 2:29, as the first two limbs or steps on the path of Ashtanga yoga (eight-limbed yoga or the eightfold path).

According to Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati: “The yamas are meant to harmonise one’s social and external interactions, whereas the Niyamas create a sense of discipline in one’s inner life.”

Yama and niyama also form the foundation and framework of Raja yoga (the yoga of meditation) and act as guidelines for harmonious living. They are intended to bring mental clarity, stillness and strength to people, so that they can reach the higher states of meditation and consciousness. Even if you choose not to follow a yoga path to its ultimate conclusion (enlightenment) though, cultivating the yamas and niyamas can still bring more peace and harmony into your life.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ahimsa

The first yama, which isahimsa, translates loosely as ‘non-violence’. But in the words of Swami Ahimsadhara, it could more accurately be described as “the complete absence of violence from our nature”. Indeed, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2:35 (translated by Swami Satchidananda) state: “In the presence of one firmly established in non-violence, all hostilities cease.”

Ahimsa is placed first on the list of yamas because, by cultivating non-violence, the rest of the yama and niyama that follow should unfold more easily. As Swami Ahimsadhara Saraswati says: “When we integrate ahimsa into all that we do, the other yamas and niyamas tend to spontaneously and effortlessly become part of who we are and how we live.”

Therefore, through cultivating non-violence, we make friends with our minds and lay the groundwork for everything else to follow. So how can we begin to develop ahimsa or ‘compassion’ in our daily lives?

The first step starts with awareness: Awareness of our thoughts, feelings and the internal dialogue we have with ourselves. All too often we treat ourselves harshly and are unaware of the hurt we perpetuate within our own being. But by creating some space, either within a group practising tai chi, yoga or meditation or by ourselves in a nurturing environment, we can begin to explore our internal landscape.

Here is a simple breath awareness exercise that can easily be brought into regular practice in your daily life. Focusing on the breath encourages the parasympathetic nervous system (system that promotes relaxation) to switch itself on.

Setting a convenient time to undertake this exercise in a quiet space dedicated to doing so encourages regular practice. Once you are comfortable with the technique, you will find it can be used in all kinds of locations, for example, in a waiting room, on public transport or in your car when you are stuck in traffic.

Breath awareness exercise

  • Sit comfortably and, if appropriate, close your eyes or lower your gaze. 
  • Become aware of each breath as it arrives and leaves. Allow yourself to take several breaths and focus on each arrival and departure.
  • Notice the texture of the breath on your skin as it flows in and out.  
  • Notice any other sensations or qualities to the breath as the practice unfolds.
  • If your mind is distracted and your awareness wanders away from the breath, gently draw your attention back to it and its journey as it arrives and leaves.
  • When you feel comfortable with the practice, add a count: ‘Breathing in one… Breathing out one…Breathing in two…Breathing out two…’. Notice any pauses at the top of the inhalation and/or the bottom of the exhalation.
  • If comfortable, you can add physical movement to synchronise with the breath by placing both hands on the centre of the chest (the spiritual heart space). On the in-breath, move the hands away, opening the arms out with soft shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands. On the out breath, draw them back to the heart space.
  • Practice this exercise for a few complete breaths and, when it feels comfortable, visualise yourself sending compassion out to all beings as your hands move away from the heart space. Visualise offering yourself compassion as your hands return to the heart.
  • At the end of the practice, return to stillness with your hands gently resting in your lap and observe your body, breath and any thoughts and feelings that may be present.

The purpose of this exercise is to note each complete breath. Although there is no set length or prescribed number of times it should be undertaken each day, as a guide, start with 10-15 complete breaths (a complete breath consists of one inhalation and one exhalation) twice a day. 

As time goes on, simply increase or drop the number of breaths in line with what feels comfortable. There is no rush, so take the time to develop a practice at your own pace.

The real key to success here is regularity, which involves setting an intention to practice daily. By setting this time aside, we are showing compassion to ourselves in that we are demonstrating ourselves worthy of the time and effort involved. 

If a day or two slips by and you forget to practice, just return to it the next day, putting aside any judgement or criticism. None of us are perfect and no one is keeping score – it is called a practice because we are practising. 

We would expect a toddler, who is learning to walk, to fall down again and again, and so, as we cultivate ahimsa(compassion) in our daily lives, we discover that we too are finding our way. Showing compassion to ourselves is vital for our own wellbeing and, as we become more compassionate to ourselves, we also find it easier to be kinder to the world around us.

As Plato said: “Be kind, because everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle”. But that also includes ourselves.

Gayatri

Gayatri (Gail Gibbs) teaches yoga and meditation and is a gong practitioner. She is passionate about creating space for those of any age to explore their transformational potential in a safe and nurturing way. Cultivating compassion for oneself is at the heart of Gayatri’s teaching and sound work, thus allowing the process of personal growth and change to unfold.

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Is music really a tool for healing?

By Debbie Walmsley, crystal healer and reiki practitioner

As music can have a big effect on clients and their experience during energy healing work, it makes sense to choose the tracks to play with care.

Have you ever noticed that when listening to certain kinds of music, it is impossible to keep your fingers and toes still, while other types of melodies make you want to throw the radio out of the window? Has a song ever reduced you to tears because it was sad, or happy or just beautiful? Maybe you have created a special playlist to motivate you when running or at the gym? Perhaps it is a different one when you want to relax and unwind?

So all in all, it seems that music could have a bigger impact than most of us realise. We know that it affects our internal functions, such as blood pressure, that it can speed or slow down our heart rate, reduce anxiety and even help digestion.

But how does it do this and why does it impact us in the way it does? The answer lies in frequencies. The way we feel and the way our brain responds when we listen depends on the combination of frequencies on the music track. This is known as the ‘frequency response’.

Most modern music is tuned to 440Hz. According to researcher Brian T. Collins, who also creates mindful music, this standard pitch (A=440 Hz) does not harmonise at any level with cosmic movement, rhythm or natural vibrations. Classical musicians such as Mozart and Verdi, on the other hand, based their music on the natural musical pitch of A=432Hz due to its healing energy and the natural ‘feel-good’ properties it evoked in their audiences.

According to Dutch journalist Richard Huisken, who has researched the origins and benefits of music tuned to 432Hz, these sounds are softer and brighter, provide greater clarity and are generally easier on the ears. Many people experience more meditative and relaxing states of body and mind when listening to such music. It also gives a more harmonic and pleasant sound than 440Hz.

Interestingly, the 432Hz frequency also works with the heart chakra, or ‘centre of feelings’, and may influence the listener’s spiritual development. Some people who cannot necessarily tell the difference between sounds resonating at 440Hz and 432Hz claim they can feel that the music is ‘warmer’, maybe as a result of its longer wavelength.

The 432Hz frequency resonates at the top end of the theta brainwave range, which induces a state of very deep relaxation, and the start of the alpha brainwave range, which brings about a deep meditative state. As a result, it makes us feel very relaxed but also conscious and open to intuitive learning at the same time.

Attuning with Mother Nature

But just think for a moment about how many different frequencies emanating from mobile phones, Wi-Fi networks, radios and microwaves travel through our brains in a given day. They all operate at different frequencies and pull our brain from one frequency to the next. It is no wonder that these devices, which all emit artificial electromagnetic radiation, have been linked to depression, insomnia and even cancer.

As a result, it makes sense to spend as much time as possible attuned to the natural electromagnetic pulses of the earth (the heartbeat of Mother Nature) – at 432 Hz – in order to feel more centred, balanced and peaceful.

Further evidence of music routinely being played at 432Hz, meanwhile, can be found in ancient Greece, where instruments associated with Orpheus – the God of Music – were tuned to this frequency. Moreover, according to international researcher and musician Ananda Bosman, the majority of instruments unearthed from ancient Egyptian sites were also tuned to the same pitch. Sound researcher Jamie Buturff likewise discovered that many CD recordings of Tibetan monks’ singing bowls were tuned to 432Hz too.

This situation is undoubtedly due to the frequency’s direct link with Mother Nature and its ability to help people relax for meditative purposes. The more you listen to music tuned to 432Hz, the more peaceful and happier you will feel as your brain becomes attuned to the Earth’s frequency.

We, like the plants and animals, are all part of Mother Nature and consist of energy that resonates at its own frequency. Therefore, playing music that is not tuned to this frequency over a prolonged period of time will make us feel out of sync. Could this be the reason that certain types of music are linked to behavioural issues and intense negative emotional reactions in some people? Possibly.

We all know music has healing properties: Music therapists use music to help restore memory in Alzheimer’s patients and improve basic motor skills in stroke victims. We also know that listening to specific frequencies in concentrated amounts entrains the brain to experience specific states of wellbeing.

Listening to 432Hz is proven to have a calming effect and regular listening will decrease feelings of stress and anxiety, while promoting natural healing and a deeper connection with all sentient beings and the world at large. So it really is time to tune yourself into Mother Nature’s heartbeat.

If you would like to try the healing properties of music for yourself, email me at debbie653@hotmail.com and I will send you a link to one of my free mediations based on 432Hz music – but do let me know how it makes you feel.

Debbie Walmsley

Debbie Walmsley is a reiki practitioner, crystal healer, master hypnotherapist and Three Principles facilitator. She is also a member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists and the Complimentary Medical Association. Debbie has been a natural healer all her life, having first discovered the power of healing in her teenage years. She has studied various forms of energy healing, which included spending a month in Peru with a shaman.

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Spring fever: Tackling hay fever the homeopathic way

By Lisa Glydon, homeopath

As we move into spring, it is time for many of us to start thinking about how to protect ourselves against allergies, such as hay fever. On a year-by-year basis, we are seeing a consistent increase in allergic responses brought about by reactions to airborne irritants and/or certain foods.

Allergens can consist of virtually anything that provokes a hypersensitive reaction. They range from pollens and pollutants, such as exhaust fumes, to foods, mobile phones and even, in certain cases, the sun. Such reactions can be mild to life threatening, and everything in between.

The three most common substances that people react to are pollen, dairy and wheat. Although there is no proven connection, interestingly all three are originally grass products. It may be that some hay fever sufferers become sensitised to proteins that are common to grains, grasses, and possibly milk.

Dairy products encourage mucus production and, in certain situations, should be avoided. Similarly, many modern strains of processed wheat are high in gluten content, which can irritate the digestive tract and likewise stimulate mucus production.

Depending on how severe it is, the reaction to such substances will determine whether you are suffering an allergic response or simply experiencing an intolerance. But when a homeopath treats hay fever, there are two aspects they are trying to achieve:

  1. To treat the acute hay fever symptoms that are presenting immediately: Here the aim is to select a remedy that is most similar to the condition itself as homeopathic medicine produces the same symptoms as those experienced by the sick person and, in doing so, provokes the body into throwing those symptoms off. In other words, like is cured by like.
  2. To provide long-term constitutional treatment in order to remove the body’s tendency to over-react to substances that it should be able to deal with: Hay fever is a more complicated condition than it first appears. As a result, it can take someone two or three seasons to get rid of completely, with each season demonstrating less severe reactions and symptoms than the last.

Here is why: An over-reactive, or allergic, response is often a sign of a weakened and stressed immune and nervous system. To achieve healing in this instance, a homeopath needs to discover why the ‘broken down’ system is reacting in this way. Careful management of lifestyle and diet will support and improve weakened organs, thereby reducing over-reactive responses.

Most people think of the immune system as simply ‘strong’ or ‘weak’. But, in fact, it consists of many sections, and each section must work well with every other one. Organising how these immune responses work together is the job of a group of white blood cells called ‘lymphocytes’. These lymphocytes organise the fine workings of the sections within the immune system.

For people with allergies, one particular type of lymphocyte seems to play an important role – the T cell. These regulatory T cells limit inflammation by turning off unwanted immune responses that are the hallmark of an allergy. So rather than fearing the allergen, which may have been in the environment for many years, it makes more sense to strengthen the immune system to deal with it.

When the body suffers a ‘stress’ of some kind, it is normal to release histamine, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. This ‘stress’ could come from the external environment or take the shape of a stressful thought or worry.

Histamine causes your capillary walls to become more permeable so that more antibodies and nutrients can reach the body to try and heal it. The result is local ‘inflammation’ and the involuntary smooth muscles (which are hollow and work unconsciously, such as the stomach, oesophagus and bronchus) contract to protect the body from invading pathogens or poisons. The result here might be either a cough or a build-up of sputum.

But in the case of an allergic reaction, the response is a lot more dramatic. The immune system goes into overdrive, causing other more severe reactions, such as extreme rhinitis, streaming eyes, sneezing and even asthmatic-type breathing issues, such as wheezing. This situation is essentially histamine gone wild and the usual medical treatment is to give the sufferer an anti-histamine tablet.

The problem is that such drugs tend to be overused, can cause nasty side effects and suppress the body’s ability to express itself. As a result, they are a nuisance to homeopaths as they mask an individual’s true allergic symptoms.

Root causes

Homeopaths are looking not only for the stresses around life circumstances that may have led to the attacks, but also the allergen concerned, and inherited traits. If a child presents with hay fever, there is often a family history of allergies and so the child could have been born with an inherited weakness.

Stress is also frequently behind the onset of many hay fever-based or allergic responses. This ‘stress’ may come in the form of fear, worry over exams or family matters, grief, anger, or even a recent illness, course of antibiotics, coming off the contraceptive pill or having a vaccine.

If there is nothing obvious, it can be helpful to explore an individual’s history to find out what has caused their constitution to behave in this way. A variety of forgotten situations could be the root cause, including negative or suppressed childhood ailments or traumas. The patient could also have an underlying infection, such as candida albicans, or a weakened digestive system, which allows pathogens to pass through and results in an inflammatory response. 

No matter how long ago these hidden situations took place, they will need to be addressed sooner or later as the body has a tissue memory. In other words, it finds ways to express these memories, and hay fever is one way of doing this.

This situation means that hay fever can take several years to tackle, with the symptoms becoming less severe each season as the remedies work through the historical causes mentioned. As part of the process, the body will reveal what needs to be treated through its symptom picture, and the homeopath matches these symptoms with the required ‘similum’ remedy.

But it is not always enough just to provide the appropriate remedy for that year’s symptoms, even if it does have the desired effect. The underlying ‘maintaining’ causes based on history and heredity also have a part to play, and it is they that make both seasonal and chronic hay-fever symptoms so complex to treat. This is why nutritional supplements are rarely sufficient on their own and why orthodox treatments simply offer relief at best and suppression at worst.

If you recognise the following symptoms during an acute hay fever episode, try taking the suggested remedy, in up to 10 doses. If they are not effective, change the remedy.

  • Allium 30c: Burning discharge from the nose and bland discharges from the eyes. Symptoms are worse indoors rather than outdoors. Light hurts the eyes, which are hot and itchy. The larynx also feels as if there are hooks sticking in it, which is made worse by warm food or drink.
  • Arsenicum albicans 30c: Your temperature is higher than normal and you feel utterly worn out but better in the warmth. Sniffing warm water up the nose gives relief from sneezing, but light hurts the eyes. There is wheezing and tightness in the lungs, a burning throat, restlessness and you are worrying a lot.
  • Arsenicum iod 30c: Thick, honey-coloured discharge from the nose, following three or four days of sneezing, sore nostrils and a burning sensation inside the nose. Warmth makes the symptoms worse. You also have a burning throat, an irritating cough, dry, scaly skin and feel worried and anxious.
  • Dulcamara 30c: Constant sneezing, stuffy or streaming nose, eyes swollen and watery. These symptoms are made worse by being outdoors or in a damp atmosphere. You may feel chilled after physical exertion.
  • Euphrasia 30c:Thick, burning discharge from the eyes, which are very swollen. There is a bland discharge from the nose, and you cough up phlegm. Symptoms are worse indoors.
  • Gelsemium 30c: Non-stop sneezing. Your eyes feel heavy and/or droopy, puffy and watery. You feel apathetic and listless and have no energy for anything. You may also feel dizzy and shaky.
  • Nux vomica 30c: Your body feels as if it is smarting, and you are very sensitive to light. Your nose is stuffy and tickly, although you sneeze less outside. You also have obstructed breathing and while your nose is blocked at night, it is runny during day. Other symptoms include itchiness inside your ears and eustatian tubes. You feel irritable and angry, want to drink coffee or alcohol, and have a headache that feels like a knife has been driven through you above the eyes.
  • Psorinum 30c: You are very sensitive to the cold and feel like you want to lie down. Your nose is streaming, but the discharge is bland or feels burning. You experience breathlessness, which is relieved by raising your arms away from the body. You also feel restless and hot at night, but in mood terms are generally low and melancholic.
  • Pulsatilla 30c: There is a bland yellow/green discharge from your nose and eyes, which gets better in the open air. You have no thirst, but feel weepy and need lots of support.
  • Sabadilla 30c: Symptoms include violent sneezing, watery eyes, red and swollen eyelids and a headache that feels as if your head is shrinking. Your thinking is slow and dull and you feel generally chilly, but your sore throat is soothed by warm drinks.
  • Silica 30c: Your nose is stuffed up, especially on waking in the morning, and your sinuses feel tender. You also feel generally chilly.

Foods that help

Eat at least nine servings of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables a day, choosing those which are high in folates, vitamin A and fibre. Folates from food are needed for cell repair and growth, immune and brain function. Brightly coloured fresh foods are high in flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting qualities – parsley and green tea are particularly high in these.

Dark green leafy vegetables and legumes, such as lentils and beans, as well as strawberries and grapes are other great sources. The Western diet often results in chronic inflammatory disorders as it typically contains about 1,000mg/day of flavonoids, whereas a traditional Asian diet contains four times that amount, much of it in the shape of herbs and spices.

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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