What Is Reiki / Energy Healing?

What is Energy Healing?

There are various different modalities of Energy Healing and these include, but are not limited to Reiki, Spiritual Healing and Emotional Freedom Technique, known as EFT, Prayer, Acupuncture and Massage.

The objective of Energy Healing is to re-establish equilibrium within the human energy system through touch, enabling the energy field to restore health within body/mind/spirit.

Energy healing is used in all ancient cultures throughout the globe. Energy healing taps into the universal life force energy that flows through every living thing in the universe which is known as Prana (India), Chi/Qi (China) and Mana (Polynesia). and Ki (Japan).

Although energy healing may seem unbeleivable to some, there is mounting scientific evidence that our energy systems effect us and can be influenced by many things.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is Universal Life Energy, is natural, profoundly and completely powerful and a safe method of spiritual, physical, emotional and body healing and self-improvement. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness in body, mind and spirit and always creates a beneficial effect, promoting physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing. It works in combination with all other medical or corrective systems to relieve side effects and promote recovery, health and healing. It works quicker than most ‘hands on’ treatments and the results can often be instant too

Reiki, pronounced ‘ray key’, is a Japanese word meaning Universal Life Energy. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “Life Force Energy”.

Reiki is not a religion and one is free to continue to choose and make their own decisions concerning the nature of their religious or spiritual practices.  Reiki is spiritual in nature, reconnects one to Universal Consciousness and has no dogma, nor is it dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.

How does Reiki work?

Reiki is a non-invasive hands-on gentle technique, compliments conventional medical healthcare and can be used in collaboration to relieve side effects. It is usually administered by “laying on hands”. If one’s “life force energy” is low, we are more prone to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

What can I expect during my first session?

Reiki Healing sessions create a deep sense of peace, calm, and joy as well as a feeling of deep relaxation. The experience of Reiki is subjective, changeable, and sometimes very subtle. People often experience heat or warmth in the practitioner’s hands, but sometimes the practitioner’s hands feel refreshingly cool or even cold. Other common experiences are subtle pulsations where the practitioner’s hands are placed and feelings of lightness and weightlessness.

Clients comment how uplifting they find the experience of Reiki to be. Some patients report they recipients frequently feel that they are hovering in a threshold state of consciousness, concurrently aware of their surroundings and deeply indrawn. Some people fall into a deep, sleeplike meditative state. Sometimes the experience of Reiki is dramatic, while for other people, the first session in particular may be uneventful, although they feel somehow better afterward. The most common experience is an almost immediate release of stress and a feeling of deep relaxation.  Clients may have visions and experience colors in this relaxed and healing state.

Reiki is cumulative and clients who don’t notice much the first time usually have increasingly deeper experiences with further sessions. Further to the immediate experience of the Reiki, you may notice other changes that carry on to unfold as the day goes on, maybe improved digestion, a sense of being more centered and poised and less reactive, and sleeping deeply that night. Relationships miraculously improve, demonstrating the oneness and one mind of all.

What kind of problems can Reiki help with?

Reiki supports healing with any condition whatsoever, for example, virtually every known illness and injury including serious problems like, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer, insomnia, chronic digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, improving circulation, skin problems, cuts, bruises, broken bones, headache, insomnia, impotence, lack of confidence, etc. Reiki is pure Unconditional Cosmic Love.

It works alongside other therapies and Reiki will improve the results of any medical treatment or procedure, acting to reduce negative side effects, shorten healing time, reduce, manage or eliminate pain, reduce stress, and help create optimism and wellbeing.

Reiki, being Universal Life Energy is completely powerful, has no boundaries, is unlimited healing energy and can be sent as distant healing to anyone and anywhere across the universe and can be sent to experiences both past and present and future.

How do I know that I need energetic healing or balancing?

When one acquires an injury, becomes unwell or under duress or stress, the natural flow of energy between the energy centres of your body become congested. Since we are integrated beings, of mind, body, and spirit, the congested flow of energy negatively impacts both the way one feels and the body’s ability to heal itself.  Some of the results of imbalances in the energy system lead to experiences such as, lethargy, negativity, pain, anxiety, depression, etc. The whole system then requires rebalancing and reenergizing to restore the equilibrium and unleash the body’s own powers to create health.

How often do I need to receive a Reiki treatment?

There are layers of imbalances within the system. While some energy medicine disciplines suggest that one treatment is enough, most suggest a number of sessions to work through layers of imbalanced energies. The level of healing you want to acheive is up to you, but the more sessions you have the deeper you will be able to heal and grow. Atma will be able to give you specific recommendations of how often it might help for you to come in for sessions.

How is a Reiki treatment given?

In a standard treatment Reiki energy flows from the practitioner’s hands into the client. The client is usually resting on a massage table but treatments can also be shared while the client is seated. The client remains fully clothed. The practitioner places her or his hands on or near the client’s body in a series of hand positions. These include positions around the head and shoulders, the stomach, and feet. Other, more specific positions may be used based on the client’s needs.

How does Reiki work?

Universal life force flows within and through our physical body through channels called chakras, meridians and nadis.  The energy also flows around us in a field called the auric field.  This life force nourishes our entire systems and when this is interrupted or disrupted, it reduces the energy flow through the pathways.  Negative feelings and emotions attach themselves to the energy field, interfering with the life force in a negative way.

Reiki heals by freely moving through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. Reiki healing energy flows through the distressed areas of mind, body and spirit within the energetic field with its positive powered energy. It unblocks, stabilizes and replenishes the field, thus allowing the universal life force to revitalize and heal.

In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens and heals the energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way.

Can a Reiki practitioner’s field of energy be depleted?

Since Reiki is guided by Higher Supreme Intelligence and is a channelled healing, the Reiki practitioner’s energies are never exhausted. In fact, the Reiki consciousness considers both practitioner and client to be in need of healing, so both receive treatment, knowing exactly where to go. Because of this, giving a treatment always increases one’s energy and leaves one surrounded with loving feelings of health and well-being.

Does one have to stop seeing a medical doctor or psychologist in order to receive a Reiki treatment?

No. Reiki works in alliance with medical or psychological treatment. If one has a medical or psychological condition, it is suggested that one see a licensed health care professional in addition to receiving Reiki treatments. Reiki energy works in harmony with all other forms of healing, including drugs, surgery, psychological care or any other method of alternative care and will improve and enhance medical results.

 

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Naturopathy For Weight Loss

Problems losing weight or keeping it off ? Many patients we see at Brisbane Natural Health for chronic health issues also suffer from excessive weight and its detrimental influences on their physical and psychological wellbeing. Often having been on countless diets only to regain all or more weight resulting in overwhelming frustration and often depression.

There are numerous reasons as to why you may have gained excess body fat, have problems losing weight, or maintaining your weight after dieting, other then lifestyle and eating habits. This article written by our Naturopath Kareen Nagel will be followed by other editorials exploring some of the issues that can influence your body weight and well-being. Naturopathy is based on treating the cause of health issues and not just the symptoms; the same approach applies when addressing weight problems, the cause needs to be found and treated before adequate and life long weight control can be achieved.

Some of the causes for resistant weight loss, regaining weight after dieting or why you may have gained excess body fat in the first place are :

  • Insulin Resistance
  • Thyroid Gland Dysfunction
  • Sex Hormone Imbalances
  • Fatty Liver
  • Toxicity
  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Genetic Influences
  • Abnormal Appetite Regulation
  • Medication Related

Not only can these have an impact on your body composition, but also affect your health and wellbeing, thus treating your weight issues often will also correct any other health issues you may be suffering from at the same time. Our Natural Weight Loss Programs include an assessment of your medical history, dietary habits and pathology testing to find out what may be the cause of your weight problems. A (BIA) Bioimpedance Analysis and Report will be included and used to monitor your progress. BIA via the VLA (Vitality, Longevity and Healthy Ageing Program) is a highly accurate tool for measuring your body fat, muscle mass and cellular fluid levels, it can also provide information in regard to possible inflammation, your cellular health and cellular energy production, ideal body composition, hydration and your biological age.

Moreover it will assist us to set targets based on figures calculated by the computer program. If your weight gain is purely caused by over eating around Christmas or during Holidays then this can usually easily be corrected with a gentle detox/cleansing program and some extra physical activities with the guidance of our Naturopaths, to be completed ideally at least once or twice per year. Beware of quick weight loss programs or detox options from a retail shop or chemist as these generally only make you lose lots of water weight and muscle, which can initiate the commonly experienced cycle of weight loss followed by more weight gain. Our subsequent articles will explore some of the specific health issues mentioned above in detail and how they can influence or affect your body weight.

To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3367 0337 or click here.

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Crossing your legs – how bad is it really?

Posted by Dr. Tressa Fuss – chiropractor

People often ask me if crossing your legs is really bad for you.  They have been told that crossing your legs can lead to varicose veins. This is the case.  But it’s worse than just the vein damage… Your whole body is affected.

VEIN DAMAGE:

Your arteries (the blood vessels from your heart to the body) have the very powerful heart to pump your blood down the the feet. The veins (the blood vessels from the body to the heart) however use your calf muscles, which aren’t as strong, to push the blood back up.  They also have little valves inside to catch the blood as your leg muscles pump it up, to stop gravity taking it back down to the feet. The weight of one leg on the other compresses the tiny veins in your legs. Your body needs these veins open to ensure that the blood is able to be pumped back to your heart.  If they are squashed then the blood pools in your feet and calves which stretches the veins. The veins not only become more visible through the skin as they become bigger, crossing the legs makes the poor valves work way too hard and can cause irreversible damage.

SPINAL DAMAGE:

Your spine can also be injured by crossing your legs. To understand how, give this a try:

1. Sit down with the feet flat on the ground and put one hand on each hip.

2. Cross your legs with one knee over the other and feel what happens to your hips.

One hip will elevate and the other hip will lower as the pelvis twists to allow you to cross the legs. The more you sit like this, the more the body gets used to it and muscles will begin to hold you in that position even when you uncross the legs. The pelvis is a bit like the floor of your house, if it’s twisted or tilted, it’s hard to expect the walls will be straight and the roof on flat. Except in the case of your body, the walls are your spine and the roof is your head. If the pelvis is tilted the spine will curve and twist trying to keep the eyes parallel to the horizon.

The other problem is that if the floor is tilted, it usually means the foundations (your legs) are dodgy too. When the pelvic bones tilt, the muscles tighten and one leg gets pulled closer toward the body. This gives you a shorter leg on one side.  When you stand up, the body leans over that side causing even more change to the spinal curves, even up as high as the neck.

Any changes to your spinal curves causes an altered load bearing to the joints and increases your risk of wear and tear as well as pain and inflammation.

See the three pictures below.  The first is with uncrossed legs, the second is with legs crossed at the knees and the third is with one foot up on the opposite knee.  You can easily see how much the poor body has to try and compensate.  Hips are tilted, the spine is twisted and leaning off to the side, the neck is rotated and the head and shoulders are not level.  It affects the body the whole way up.  Imagine the imbalanced muscles, the uneven joint pressure, none of which is at all good!

chiropractor brisbane

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Crossing the legs at the ankles is better but anything higher than that causes damage long term.  If you do need to cross the legs for a brief period (eg. modesty reasons when wearing a short skirt) make sure it is for as little as possible, get up often and make sure you swap legs consistently so that it’s not always the same leg on top.

Do you cross your legs much? Are you suprised to learn the effects?

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What Is The Perfect Poo??

Posted by Katherine Maslen – Naturopath

Whether you understand the concept or not, I’m sure that this headline has grabbed you. There’s a perfect poo? What could be perfect about a bowel movement? Well a lot actually! If you’ve seen a naturopath you would have had a lovely discussion about all things poo and why it’s an important marker of your health. For those less educated on the topic – let me enlighten you! The colour, shape, smell, frequency, lack of frequency, ease of passage and even if it floats or sinks gives us clues about your digestive function, food intolerances and more.

So what makes a perfect poo? Without much variation – this is how your bowels should be moving if they are healthy…

Frequency – You should be passing 1-3 bowel movements each day – 2 to 3 is optimum.

Shape – Your bowel movements should be formed, firm but not hard and shaped like a log.

Colour – Colour can change depending on what is eaten (is that blood or beetroot?) however generally most of your bowel movements should be a dark brown colour. This is due to the presence of bile which breaks down the fats in your food.

Smell – Believe it or not – your poo should not be noticeably smelly – so if you’re reaching for the air freshener you best make an appointment with a naturopath.

Passing – You should be able to pass your bowel movements quickly and easily – without pain, discomfort or straining. If you need to read a book while you’re on there it’s taking too long!

Floating or Sinking? – The perfect poo will most likely land on the water then slowly sink to the bottom. A diet high in fat or fibre however can cause it to float, but sometimes a floating bowel movement means that you’re not digesting your fats properly (due to liver insufficiency). A heavy poo (splashing anyone?) can mean that it’s too dense (caused by maldigestion or an imbalanced diet).

Other things – You shouldn’t notice any undigested food, blood or mucous in your bowel movements either.

So there you have it. How do you measure up? If you’re feeling ‘not so perfect’ you may want to make an appointment with a naturopath – who can quickly sort things out.

Anyone brave enough to comment? Which poo are you?

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Want a health solution that will make you feel good again?

At Brisbane Natural Health we offer you health solutions that can have you feeling good again in no time, and may even change your life! You may need a relaxing massage to soothe your corporate woes, a visit with our chiropractor to help relieve pain, some naturopathic treatment to increase your energy or a hypnotherapist to help you quit smoking.

Our clients come to us for help with a wide range of conditions to utilize our full range of services and advice.

At Brisbane Natural Health we are here to help all of you – making it convenient to look after your body with a massage or an acupuncture session and your mind with Hypnotherapy in just one visit.

We are conveniently located in the inner Brisbane suburb of Milton, with easy parking nearby.

Call us on 3137 9617 to discuss treatment options with our team.

Conveniently located to take Chiropractor Brisbane and Massage Brisbane appointments

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Orange Chia Seed Pudding

This delicious raw pudding is so delicious you’ll be coming back for more! The chia seeds swell like tapioca to give a yummy pudding like consistency.

Ingredients:

1½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice

½ cup raw cashews

1 cup water

½ tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp honey or xylitol

2/3 cup chia seeds

Method:

1. In a blender, place all ingredients except for chia seeds.

2. Blend until a smooth consistency.

3. Put chia seeds in a bowl and pour liquid in.

4. Mix thoroughly with a spoon and place in fridge for at least 4 hours (overnight is preferable).

5. That’s it! Serve with fresh

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book your appointment today!

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Coconut And Goji Berry Bliss Balls

Ingredients:

1/2 cup goji berries

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup coconut

1tbsp unhulled tahini

1tbsp chlorella powder (optional)

 How to make it:

1. Place goji berries and rasins in a bowl with the warm water and mix through. Leave for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, process cashews on low in a food processor until chopped finely. Remove from precessor and place aside.

3. Place soaked goji berries and raisins in the food processor with soaking water. Process into a paste.

4. Add cashews, coconut, tahini and chlorella to processor. Process on medium until well combined.

5. Roll into balls and toss in shredded coconut.

6. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book your appointment today!

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Gluten Free Homemade Muesli Bars

Nearly all muesli bars you buy are loaded with sugars like glucose, corn syrup and other nasties, so we thought we’d show you how to make your own! This is an open recipe – meaning that you can mix and change the ingredients as you please using different grains, nuts/seeds and fruits each time.

Ingredients:

Honey

Tahini or Organic Peanut Paste

Any gluten free cereal grain – puffed amaranth, puffed rice, puffed millet, rolled quinoa, puffed buckwheat.

Nuts – almonds, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts…

Seeds – sunflower, pepitas, sesame, poppy…

Dried fruit – organic or sulphate free – apricots, dates, sultanas, raisins, cranberries, figs..

Flour – rice, chickpea (basan) or buckwheat work well

Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or other spices as desired

 How to make it!

1. In a saucepan, heat equal amounts of honey and tahini on a very low heat until melted through.

2. Choose your ingredients from the list. Add enough grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruit so that the mix is coated but not too wet. Try for just a small amount of fruit and lots of grains, nuts and seeds.

3. Add a small amount of the gluten free flour of your choice, around 1 tsp per handful of grains.

4. Spread into a greased shallow baking tray (or use greaseproof paper), press down to pack tightly.

5. Put into an oven preheated to 180 degrees celcius and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until browned on top.

6. Let cool then using a sharp knife, slice into desired size.

7. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

Some recipe ideas:

  • Rolled quinoa, puffed amaranth, almonds, sunflower seeds and sultanas
  •  Puffed millet, puffed amaranth, puffed rice, apricots, coconut and sunflower seeds
  •  Puffed rice, walnuts, pepitas and dates
  • Puffed amaranth, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds and dried cranberries

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book your appointment today!

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Fermented Foods And Probiotics For Health

The fermenting of foods and beverages has been occurring for thousands of years. Our ancestors used to consume fermented foods on a daily basis and indeed there are some cultures where this is still the case. There are many benefits to eating fermented foods, but the best benefit of all is the thousands of beneficial bacteria that are available due to the fermentation process.

Most people would have heard of the health giving benefits of probiotics, but our knowledge tends to extend only as far as yoghurt and probiotic supplements like inner health plus. You’d be surprised to know that there are 2-3kg of bacteria, yeasts and other organisms in your digestive tract. This army of organisms functions a little like an organ of the body. Studies have shown that these ‘good’ bacteria help to modulate the immune system, assist digestion, create neurotransmitters and nutrients and even have a role in mood regulation! There are more bacterial and fungal cells in your digestive tract than there are cells in your body, so it is vital that we look after them.

There are more bacterial cells in your gut than there are cells in your body.

A disruption in our digestive flora is called dysbiosis, a very common condition that our naturopaths treat on a regular basis. Given that there are hundreds of different strains of bacteria in the gut and hundreds more that are yet to be discovered, it does not take much to tip the balance unfavorably. Once one of the bacteria or fungal organisms is out of balance it affects the way that the rest of the bacteria can work. For example if your diet has too much sugar or soft drink, it will help to feed fungal colonies such as candida. A candida overgrowth means that our good bacteria cannot survive as easily, leading to situation where you have both overgrowth of some organisms and a reduced number of others.

There are hundreds if not thousands of different fermented foods and beverages that contain a wide range of ‘good’ bacteria. One of the best things you can do for your health is to include fermented food on a daily basis, preferably a few different varieties to gain access to different strains.

It is very difficult to buy quality fermented foods. This is because many products are heat treated to prolong shelf life, which kills the bacteria. Even yoghurt, which is the most commonly consumed fermented food can be problematic. Nearly all of the yoghurt you buy at the supermarket is devoid of probiotics and packed with sugar. Look for organic natural varieties that have no added sugar.

Fortunately, there are many probiotic foods and beverages that you easily ferment at home for a very small cost. Below you’ll find a few of the most common fermented products and how you can make them.

Rejuvelac

Rejuvelac is a nutritious and energizing fermented tonic made from sprouted grains. Rejuvelac contains B vitamins and the vitamins E and K.

Ingredients

4 cups of any whole grain – wheat, rye, buckwheat, spelt

Purified water

1. Soak the grains in a large jar of water for 12-24 hours.

2. Drain the water and discard it. Place the jar in a bowl covered with a colander or mesh so that the sprouts drain into the bowl. The grains must not be sitting in water or they will not sprout.

3. Rinse the sprouts with fresh water at least twice a day. Rinse more often in hot or humid weather.

4. When you see little tails emerging from the grains they have germinated. You can store for up to 2 days in the fridge before use if needed, but be sure to keep rinsing them to prevent mould.

5. Rinse grains for the last time and fill the jar with water.

6. Loosely cover the jar to keep flies out and ferment for 2 days at room temperature.

7. After 2 days pour off the liquid, enjoy it fresh or store it in the refrigerator.

8. A second batch of rejuvelac can be made using the same sprouts. Refill the jar with water and ferment for only 24 hours this time.

Sauerkraut

The sauerkraut you buy in jars is heat treated, so the only way to gain the full benefit is by making your own. Luckily it is very easy to do and has a long shelf life. Sauerkraut also is a good source of vitamins A and C.

Ingredients

1 large cabbage with the outer leaves (you’ll need around 2kg of cabbage)

3tbsp Celtic sea or Himalayan salt

Special equipment:

A very large crock pot with plate to weigh down or special sauerkraut vessel. You could also use a large food grade bucket with a plate that fits snugly inside.

1. Grate or chop cabbage finely or coarsely, depending how you’d like it. Place the cabbage in a large bowl as you chop it.

2. Sprinkle salt on the cabbage as you put in in the bowl. The salt is what will create a brine that the cabbage will ferment in without rotting and keeps the cabbage crunchy. Use more salt in summer and less in winter.

3. Mix cabbage and salt together and place in a crock or bucket. Pack a little in at a time, using your fists or a potato masher to press down firmly. This helps to pack it down firmly and encourage water out of the cabbage.

4. Cover sauerkraut with a plate or some other lid that will fit snugly inside the vessel. Place a clean weight (like a glass jar filled with water) on the cover to force water out of the cabbage and keep the cabbage submerged under the brine. Cover the top with a cloth tied on to keep flies out.

5. Press down on the weight to help force the water out of the cabbage. Continue doing this every few hours until the brine rises above the plate/cover. The can take around 24 hours. Older cabbage will contain less water and may take longer.

6. If the brine does not rise above the plate by the following day add enough salted water to cover it. Use 1 tbsp salt to 1 cup water.

7. Leave the crock/bucket to ferment. Check it every day or two. The volume will reduce as it ferments. Occasionally mould will appear on the top. Simply skim off what you can. The sauerkraut is still fine under the brine.

8. Rinse off the weight and the plate and taste the sauerkraut. It should be tangy after a few days and the taste will intensify as time passes. In cool weather it can ferment for months but in summer the process is much more rapid. It should become soft and flavor will be pleasant.

9. The sauerkraut is now ready to eat! You can scoop some out and put it in a clean jar in the fridge and leave some still fermenting for a while if it is convenient, but make sure you repack it carefully.

10. Sauerkraut can keep in the fridge in brine for months, just be sure to use a clean spoon to get it out of the jar.

Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kim chi are a great addition to your diet and are easy to make.

Cashew Yoghurt

This is a vegan alternative to dairy yogurt that is super easy to make. A natural bacteria on the outside of the cashew nut causes this yoghurt to ferment.

Ingredients

Raw cashews (this means regular untoasted, not the truly raw variety. All cashews we buy are extracted with heat to get them out of the pods and to neutralize toxins)

Filtered water

Equipment needed

A blender

1. In a blender, place cashews and water. If you like a thicker yoghurt use less water, or use more for a thinner consistency. You can always add more water later if you wanted. Blend until a smooth consistency.

2. Cover the blender with a damp paper towel or clean cloth and leave overnight to ferment. You can also transfer to a clean jar to ferment if you need your blender!

3. In warmer climates it will be done in the morning. If it doesn’t taste sour then leave it for another 12 hours or so until it tastes slightly sour and bubbles have formed.

4. Store in the fridge and use within 2-3 days. Delicious with fresh fruit, muesli or on its own!

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented drink made from grains. It can be made with water but is most commonly made on milk, resulting in a healthful probiotic drink that is high in lactobacillus and other bacteria. Kefir grains can be bought online and is shared between culture enthusiasts. See the references below for sources.

Ingredients

1L organic milk

1tbsp kefir grains

1. Put milk in a large jar and ensure it is no more that 2/3 full. Add kefir grains and put the lid on.

2. Leave in room temperature for 24 to 48 hours, agitating the jar every now and then. The milk should become bubbly then coagulate and separate. Shake it to remix it.

3. Strain off the grains and put aside for later. The grains would have grown. You can use the excess to give to friends, use in recipes, put in compost or culturing other things.

4. Store kefir in the fridge and start your next batch with the same grains. If you tighten the lid on the jar of developing kefir it will become effervescent.

5. Store grains in the fridge for a couple of weeks in milk or frozen for a couple of months. You can also dry them out and they will store for a couple or years.

TIPS

You can use the kefir grains to ferment non dairy liquids, such as coconut milk, juice, water and honey, nut milk or rice milk. Simply rinse the grains and put them in water for a few hours to remove the dairy. The process is the same as described above so experiment with it! Kefir juice makes a great effervescent drink that is high in probiotics.

There are of course dozens of other things that you could ferment easily at home. For further reading we recommend Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz.

Foods that will reduce your good bacteria

So now that you are all set to build your army of probiotic helpers, it makes sense to cut back on those things that might kill them off in your gut. Things that cause dysbiosis and are unfavourable to your good bacteria include soft drinks, cordial, sugar, alcohol, potato, white bread and a low intake of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

Some websites to help you get started:

http://www.freshmilkkefirgrains.com/ – order kefir online

http://www.scythesaustralia.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=C002 – affordable crock pot for fermenting sauerkraut, Kim chi and vegetables.

We also stock a range of probiotic foods in store, including coconut yoghurt, cashew yoghurt and cheese, sauerkraut, kim chi, kombucha and kefir. Pop into our Healthy Living Store in Milton and say hello!

Want to know what other foods you should be eating? Make an appointment with a naturopath by calling 07 3367 0337 or using the booking button.

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Easy Healthy Detox

After overindulging it’s time to get out of hibernation mode and clean out your home, workspace and your body! Detoxification is a process that happens in our bodies every single minute of every day. We accumulate toxins from our environment, the food we eat and through chemical reactions occurring within your body.

In this modern day and age we exposed to environmental toxins are more than ever. Studies are coming out every day indicating that items that we use every day such as plastics, cleaning aids, skin care and cosmetics, pesticides and herbicides in the foods we eat and air pollution are accumulating in our bodies and having a detrimental effect on our health.

Toxins such as BPA, phthalates, heavy metals, parabens and other chemicals are being absorbed into your body every day.

So if your body detoxifies every day then why do we need to do a detox program? The answer is that the body was never built to deal with this huge influx of toxins, leading to increased build up in the tissues and subsequent dis-ease. Add this to the fact that our diets are less than optimal and you have the recipe for a toxic concoction brewing right within your very tissues.

Sound scary? Not to fear as there are lots of things that you can do to naturally enhance your detoxification pathways and rid your body of these excess toxins. It is beneficial to undertake a specific detoxification program at least twice per year (depending on the amount of retoxing) to get your body squeaky clean again.

There are dozens of types of detox’s available, with some incorporating just a few dietary changes and other being more complex, involving supplements to help to enhance the process. It is important to look at what your body needs specifically, rather than doing a ‘detox kit’ or something along those lines.

Our naturopaths can develop a tailored detoxification routine for your specific needs, including herbal medicines which help to improve the function of the detoxification organs; the liver, kidneys, bowel and skin. Here’s how your detoxification organs work:

The liver

The liver is one of the most important detoxification organs, having the job of breaking down toxic substances and releasing for excretion via the bowels and kidneys. The function of the liver can be easily compromised by drinking alcohol, taking drugs and even eating lots of artificial food additives such as MSG, artificial sweeteners, food colouring and preservatives. An absolute must in any good detox must be to avoid drinking alcohol and soft drinks, which hinder the livers performance. Coffee should also be avoided for best results.

The kidneys

The kidneys filter around 1 litre of blood every minute, passing it through small tubes which act to filter out impurities and excrete urine. The kidneys job in detoxification is not possible with adequate water intake. It goes without saying that any good detoxification routine should include lots of pure, filtered water to help to flush wastes out of the system. During a detox program you should aim to be drinking at least 2 litres of water every day, more if exercising or sweating. Saunas are a good inclusion in a detoxification routine as the skin acts like a basic kidney, so sweating helps to detoxify the body.

The bowel

The bowel is the third major detoxification organ. Without adequate bowel function excreted toxins will get reabsorbed into your system. This means that it is absolutely essential that constipation is treated before undertaking any detoxification program. Constipation is passing a bowel movement any less frequently than once per day, every single day. Constipation can usually be easily treated by a Brisbane Natural Health naturopath or acupuncturist. To encourage bowel movement during detoxification eat lots of fibrous foods, such as fruit, vegetables, pulses and wholegrains. Like the kidneys adequate water is needed for good bowel health.

The lymphatic system

Also worth mentioning when looking at detoxification is the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that carry a clear fluid throughout the body, helping to eliminate wastes from the tissues. Your lymphatic system is pumped along only by movement of your muscles. This means that exercise is very important. Massage can also help to stimulate lymphatic flow, as can drinking lots of water.

The skin

The skin is the largest organ in your body and has an essential role in detoxification. The skin acts like a rudimentary kidney – helping to cleanse your blood and excrete toxins through your sweat pores. It is important while you are detoxing to try and sweat regularly – exercise and saunas are both effective ways to do this. Avoiding antiperspirants is also important because they block the natural excretion of sweat and toxins.

SIMPLE BODY CLEANSING DETOX

This is a detoxification program that almost anyone can do. It will help to enhance liver, kidney and bowel function and aims to reduce the toxic load in the diet. For those with health conditions or digestive issues, seeing a naturopath and getting a tailored plan is recommended.

  • Start your day with the freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon in a glass of warm water. This helps to stimulate your liver and digestion and lemons are very detoxifying. Rinse your mouth out with a little fresh water afterwards.
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee and all soft drinks to help out your liver. Soda water and lemon or lime is a good substitute.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of purified water every day. If you don’t
  • Avoid plastics, especially water bottles, food storage and heating in plastics. Plastic contains toxins which accumulate and imbalance your hormones. Use stainless steel water bottles, glass or ceramic for storage.
  • Eat organic wherever possible. This is especially important for eggs, dairy, chicken, soft fruit and vegetables. Try to find a farmers market or get delivery if you can.
  • Eat only wholegrain unprocessed products. This means no white rice, pasta, cereals, cakes, biscuits or commercial breads. Good whole grain options are brown rice, quinoa, oats, wholegrain sourdough bread (like sol breads). Wholegrain means made from the whole grain, and does not include multigrain and wholemeal products, which are usually white flour based with grains or fibre added in.
  • Eat lots of green leafies every day, This includes spinach, silver beet, kale, rocket and dark lettuces. Green leafy vegetables have amazing detoxifying properties being rich in vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll.
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week for 40 minutes. Try to work up a sweat to aid detoxification, and don’t wear deodorant (unless natural) or antiperspirants that are laden with chemicals!
  • Have a large fresh vegetable juice at least once a day. Good choices include celery, beetroot, carrot, ginger, cucumber, spinach and cabbage. Add a small amount of fruit to improve taste if needed.
  • Avoid sugar. This includes added sugars in foods so beware! Other names for sugar to look out for on an ingredient list are glucose, sucrose, maltose, maltodextrin, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice. Get your sweet kick out of natural fruits and vegetables, or perhaps some natural organic yoghurt and honey.
  • Eat lots of legumes – chickpeas, beans, lentils. They are a good source of protein and are high in soluble and insoluble fibre.
  • Snack on raw nuts and seeds every day, especially brazil nuts (maximum 4 a day), almonds, walnuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds.
  • Take a look at your cosmetics, hair and skin are that you use every day. Are they laden with chemicals? The average woman uses over 450 different chemicals on her skin every day. Many of these have been indetified as causing health probelms. Switch to 100% natural skin care ranges that are free from all toxins and based on herbs and antioxidants. Visit our Healthy Living Store for some great options.
  • Avoid sources of BPA like plastic water bottles, food containers and canned food. More about BPA here.

The Naturopathic Detox

Doing the above will help to cleanse your body, but pairing these actions with some good quality herbal medicine and nutritional support. To support your detox our naturopaths can prescribe herbs and nutrients that help to enhance liver function, up-regulate detoxification processes and support your bowel and kidney function. Often when detoxifying the first place to start is the gut, so often our naturopaths will start with a gut cleansing protocol and follow with liver support after this is completed.

Detoxifying for as little as 2 weeks can be helpful but most of our patients need a little longer than this to make more profound changes – perhaps 4-6 weeks. The benefit of seeing a naturopath is that they can assess your whole health and look at healing your whole body as well as detoxifying. This can mitigate any detox reactions such as headaches or fatigue that can happen if you release toxins without the proper preparation.

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book your appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health to boost detoxification.

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