Junk food, obesity and moods

Did you know that obesity now kills more people than smoking? Alarming new research shows that non-communicable disease – ie those that cannot be transmitted from person to person, account for the largest cause of early mortality and are predicted to cost the global community more than thirty trillion US dollars over the next fifteen years.

This is obviously a big issue. When it was finally accepted that smoking was killing us, the government banned to endorsement and advertisement of these products. Similarly, we need to work towards banning the advertisement of junk foods that are slowly killing us. Our children are exposed to intensive advertising by the major junk food outlets from a young age, and are preconditioned to see these foods as being cool or hip to eat.

Research is now also showing that what we eat impacts not only on our waistline, but on our moods as well. Studies in the area are now consistently finding that those that eat junk foods like chocolate, baked goods, pizza and deep fried food are more likely to have depression and anxiety, and that those that eat a diet consisting of primarily fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. This may seem obvious but a dietary link to these conditions has been denied by the medical community for years. This research shows that by modifying our diets and our children’s diets we are able to prevent mental health issues from arising.

Your food choices could affect your moods as well as your waistline.

From a biochemical perspective this makes sense. To keep balance of your neurotransmitters (mood hormones), your body requires certain proteins, vitamins and minerals that are used as building blocks and cofactors for them to work properly. A diet that is higher in whole foods is more nutrient dense, providing more of the building blocks required for proper neurotransmitter function, and therefore more stable moods.

From research we know that eating the following foods can help to prevent or reduce the severity of mood disorders:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lean meat
  • Fish

And to prevent depression and anxiety, you’ll want to avoid the following foods:

  • High sugar foods – chocolate, lollies, cakes, biscuits
  • Deep fried foods
  • Simple carbohydrates like white bread
  • Pastries, cakes and biscuits

The wrong dietary balance can leave you devoid of essential nutrients and prone to blood sugar fluctuations, which anyone that gets ‘hangry’ would agree can affect your moods even more. If you’re not sure what to eat, book an appointment with one of our naturopaths or nutritionists, or come to a nutritional coaching workshop in the clinic.

 

Which juicer is best?

Fresh juices introduce a very high yield of nutrients and phytochemicals and they come with their own enzymes for fast assimilation. They also assist those with an impaired digestion where nutrient absorption from whole foods is impaired. Fresh juices can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream so are a fast way to deliver nutrient dense energy. Fresh juice is far superior to store bought juice, which is why having a juicer is beneficial.

Fresh juices contain enzymes that are beneficial for digestion. Juices that are not made fresh, which are bottled or canned will not oxidise.  This is because the juice has been heated to deactivate all the enzymes by a process called pasteurisation. Juicing allows you to enjoy a wide variety of vegetables that you may not enjoy eating whole and also a good way to consume the recommended daily serving of vegetables.

There is not one perfect juicer for everyone because fruits and vegetables have vastly different properties.  The juicing method that is effective for one may not work while juicing the other.   Fruits, have soft cell walls, and therefore require a gentle extraction method. Apples, pears, watermelon, rock melon and pineapple are some of the fruits that can be juiced with the peels intact.  Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, mandarines, lemons) have a bitter outer rind, and juicing them whole would be too bitter to drink and also contains indigestible chemicals. You can grate away the outer rind (coloured part) while leaving the pith (white part).

Vegetables have fibrous or tougher cell walls that requiring more mechanical juicing action than fruit.  Due to their low acid content, it is recommended that vegetable juices be consumed within 15 minutes of their preparation. It has been demonstrated that enzyme activity in juice 30 minutes old is one-half that of freshly made juice. When apple or carrot juice turns brown, it has oxidised.  Ideally juices are made from raw organic fruits and vegetables.

General factors to consider when looking for a juicer

Purpose: What will you be using the juicer for? Mostly fruit, mostly vegetables, grasses and leafy greens, or everything?

RMP rating: A low RMP is considered preferable. Juicers with higher RPM ratings create heat and impact shock, destroying enzyme and nutrient content in the juice.

Powerful motor: A low-powered motor will vibrate, make noise, sometimes overheat, and eventually burn out.

Quiet operation: Some juicers can be very loud depending on the RPM and motor quality.

A range of juicing abilities: It is important to select a juicer that will process the widest range of health-promoting herbs, plants, vegetables and fruits, or is specific for your individual requirements.

Parts: What materials are the components made from? Can they be cleaned in a dishwasher?

Health benefits: Enzyme and nutritional content, shelf life, yield.

Easy to operate: Not all juicers are the same when it comes to ease of operation and cleaning. High RPM juicers need more frequent juicing and cleaning sessions are required because their juice rapidly loses nutritional value and has to be consumed immediately.

Additional benefits to consider: What else can it do? Does it have useful accessories and attachments included? Can it make other things like pasta, nut butters, desserts, baby food etc.? Does it come with a warranty?

Type 1: Twin Gear

These juicers have two gears that press the juice out of the produce. The screws (also known as augers) turn at 90-110 rpm. The produce is pushed into the two gears, which first shreds, and then squeezes the produce. These are best for juicing vegetables since these machines rely on the fibrous cell wall to push the pulp through the machine and they will also juice wheatgrass. These machines require some pressure to feed the produce into the machine. Some brands are also able to homogenise. This is important if you wish to make things like raw apple sauce, fruit sorbets, nut butters, or baby food.

 

Twin Gear Juicer

Twin Gear Juicer

 

Pros

  • Well-suited to juicing leafy greens, grasses, sprouts and herbs
  • Higher juice yield
  • Juice lasts longer with enzyme integrity keeping for up to 72 hours
  • Lower speeds means less heat is generated, preserving more nutrients and enzymes
  • Minimal juice separation and foaming
  • Some models offer other food processing functions, such as being able to make nut milk, nut butter, sorbet, pasta and ice cream
  • Pressing action is quiet.
  • Cold pressed juicers extract 35% more juice out of produce

Cons

  • Higher initial cost
  • Longer food preparation, as smaller food pieces are required for their narrow chutes
  • Slightly higher pulp in juice

Type 2: Masticating (single gear)

It operates at lower speed via a masticating or cold press method which doesn’t disrupt cellular structure. This slowness preserves enzymes and nutrients and reduces oxidation. Juice yield is higher than with centrifugal and makes drier expelled pulp.

In contrast to the rough extraction and high speeds of centrifugal juicers, cold press juicers operate at lower speeds and gently compress fruit and vegetables to squeeze out their juice. While more costly, their slower and more thorough extraction rates produce a higher-quality juice, and higher yield. Cold pressed juicers operate at lower speeds (usually around 70-80 rpm), keeping heat generation to a minimum. This produces a better tasting juice with minimal foam and separation and also means that the beneficial enzymes and nutrients are retained.

 

Masticating Juicer

Masticating Juicer

 

Pros

  • Well-suited to juicing leafy greens, grasses, sprouts and herbs
  • Higher juice yield
  • Juice lasts longer with enzyme integrity keeping for up to 72 hours
  • Lower speeds means less heat is generated, preserving more nutrients and enzymes
  • Minimal juice separation and foaming
  • Some models offer other food processing functions, such as being able to make nut milk, nut butter, sorbet, pasta and ice cream
  • Pressing action is quiet.
  • Cold pressed juicers extract 35% more juice

Cons

  • Higher initial cost
  • Longer food preparation, as smaller food pieces are required for their narrow chutes
  • Slightly higher pulp in juice

Type 3: Centrifugal

Centrifugal juicers are commonly available and are the cheapest type to purchase. These machines initially extract juice by pulverising fruit and vegetables against a round cutting blade that spins very quickly against a metal strainer. The centrifugal force generated by the spinning motion of the cutting surface separates the juice from the pulp. It uses a grater or shredder disc and a strainer basket with straight sides to hold the pulp in the machine.  The shredder disk is at the bottom of the basket, which revolves at a high speed (3600 rpm). Produce is put into the top of the machine, and it pressed through a chute, hits the spinning shredder disc, while the produce is being shred, juice is released.  The basket spins at a high speed and force pushes the juice through the strainer basket and then out of the front of the machine while the pulp stays inside. This style of juicer can make 500ml before the juicer must be stopped, and the pulp must be removed before further juicing can take place.  This is not a continuous juicing appliance. This juicer is good for juicing most fruits and vegetables.

 

Centrifugal Juicer

Centrifugal Juicer

 

Pros

  • Fast juicing time
  • Cheaper to purchase
  • Easy to use
  • Reduces food preparation time as many accept larger fruit and vegetable pieces

Cons

  • Not well-suited to juicing leafy greens, grasses, sprouts and herbs
  • Yields less juice (produces a wet pulp)
  • Reduced juice quality due to fast spinning blades producing heat that destroy beneficial enzymes
  • Higher juice separation and foaming
  • Noisy because of the grinding and cutting action

Additional Information

In between juicing you can run some water through the juicer to rinse it. It is recommended that you rinse and clean your juicer as soon as you’ve finished using it. When you get into a routine of cleaning your juicer it’s quite easy to keep clean and ready to use.

Alkaline forming fruits and vegetables should form the largest part of your juicing produce. Alkaline fruits are: lemon, lime, avocado, tomato, grapefruit, and rhubarb. Watermelon is neutral. All other fruits are acid forming.

Alkaline vegetables are: asparagus, artichokes, cabbage, lettuce, onion, cauliflower, radish, swede, peas, zucchini, red cabbage, leeks, watercress, spinach, turnip, chives, carrot, green beans, beetroot, garlic, celery, grasses (wheat, straw, barley, kamut etc.), cucumber, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, sprouts (soy, alfalfa, mung bean, wheat, little radish, chickpea, broccoli etc.).

After regularly consuming freshly pressed vegetable juices, which are highly alkalising, you will experience improved energy levels, digestion and mental clarity, clearer skin, and an overall sense of wellbeing.

Blending and Juicing

The difference between juicing and blending is a juicer extracts juice without the pulp, where a blender blends everything into a purée. Pulp is the fibrous content of the produce which slows down digestion time and is beneficial for the colon microbiota as this feeds the good bacteria which in turn benefits your immune system. Slower digestion time reduces the glycemic index or GI and this is going to be beneficial for diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions.

The fibre or pulp content reduces nutrient absorption however, and requires enzymes to digest it which in turn consumes more energy. Blended foods will also include chemical pesticides unless organic food is sourced. For foods not able to be organically sourced it is best to peel them (particularly waxed fruit or veggies). For root vegetables (e.g. carrots, beetroot) trim the above ground ends and they can be cleansed by blanching prior to juicing (blanching= dropped into boiling water for a minute or so). Blenders use high speed spinning that causes oxidation and can destroy enzymes. They are not the best for high iron content foods that oxidize quickly. Lemon can be added to reduce this but you will need to consider taste.

Juicing produces very high nutrient availability and this promotes healing but may also give healing crisis during juicing detoxes. Detoxification also known as ‘healing crisis’ may be a side effect of juicing for people new to juicing. While for some people this sign of impending good health is wonderful, others may not have the time needed to allow for this process. The process is where old symptoms or patterns of the past may arise transiently or you may experience new symptoms. As healing happens from the inside out, from the top down and from major to minor organs/systems or in reverse order of symptom pattern, you can observe the transition.

To limit or reduce the experience of a healing crisis (for the time challenged) smaller measures are taken over a longer time. You may consider combining your juices into a blender to get benefits of both.

Other important things to remember are to include plenty of water when juicing. Water helps to cleanse and remove wastes from our system. Lemon will loosen and bring out mucus and is good for liver cleansing. Lemon is not acidic to the body, it is alkaline.

Fasting

You may want to consider a juice fast. Fasting causes the liver to convert glycogen stores to glucose and energy. Body fat can be used to ATP but it cannot generate or reform glucose which is needed to supply the brain and central nervous system. Proteins are broken down and used to produce this glucose. In order to prevent protein catabolism, juicing can supply the glucose needed instead. With juice fasting there is less ketosis (byproducts of fat metabolism) which can prevent toxic build up during the fast.

When NOT to fast: pregnant, nursing, underweight, fatigue, low immunity, low blood pressure, colder weather, nutritionally deficient.

Raw foods are very yin and so an excess of this is not recommended for people with excess yin conditions. Ensure in this case to include plenty of cooked warming foods in the diet to balance out the raw food intake. You may use your blender to make purée soups for example.

Certain types of fruits and vegetables can also assist with particular health conditions or be used for target specific organ cleansing.

Fruit juices:

Apple – liver, intestines

Black cherry- colon, menstrual problems, gout

Citrus – cardiovascular disease, obesity, haemorrhoids, varicose veins

Grape – colon, anaemia

Lemon – liver, gall bladder, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, colds

Paw paw – stomach, indigestion, haemorrhoids, colitis

Pear – gall bladder

Pineapple- allergies, arthritis, inflammation, oedema, haemorrhoids

Watermelon – kidneys, oedema

Vegetable juices:

Beetroot – blood, liver, menstrual problems, arthritis

Beetroot greens – gall bladder, liver, osteoporosis

Cabbage – colitis, ulcers

Carrot s- eyes, arthritis, osteoporosis

Celery – kidneys, diabetes, osteoporosis

Comfrey – intestines, hypertension, osteoporosis

Cucumber – oedema, diabetes

Garlic – allergies, colds, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, high fats/high cholesterol, diabetes

Jerusalem artichokes – diabetes

Leafy greens – cardiovascular disease, skin, eczema, digestive problems, obesity, breath

Parsley – kidneys, oedema, arthritis

Potatoes – intestines, ulcer

Radish – liver, high cholesterol, obesity

Spinach – anaemia, eczema

Watercress – anaemia, liver intestines, breath

For weight loss include:

More of: grapefruit, lemon, cucumber, greens, parsley, spinach

Less of: apples, grapes, oranges, carrots

 

Makensi Caldwell – Certified Bodytalk & Holographics Practitioner, Bachelor of Nutritional Medicine

Self-sabotage

Why do we repeatedly do the stuff we know we don’t want to do?

You wanted to give up chocolate and there you were a couple of days later sneaking a square or two, which turns into a row or two! GRRRR don’t go there!!

You wanted to drink less wine. It was going okay at the start of the week but then you had a stressful day at work and you couldn’t wait to pour a wine that evening. It felt so good you had another and another.

Even more annoying is that the answer is really simple – we repeatedly do the stuff we know we don’t want to do because our subconscious is SO powerful.

The subconscious mind makes up 95% of our mind, which means that the conscious mind – yes the one that we think is so clever – is just 5%! And to make matters worse we operate out of our subconscious mind 95% of the time.

If there is a limiting belief, a trapped emotion or an unwanted habit in our subconscious mind it will win out over our conscious thoughts EVERY time. It’s a no-brainer; 95% versus 5% – the little guy doesn’t stand a chance.

 

Self sabotage

If you think you have no willpower, the universe will prove it to you time and time again.

 

The subconscious mind is the habitual mind. It downloads habits and patterns directly. It’s great for driving the car without thinking about it and we don’t have to consciously remember to breathe – especially whilst we are asleep. There are a lot of positives to these downloads.

To compound the downloaded patterns and habits our thoughts are incredibly powerful. Say you have trouble with your weight – you diet and lose weight and then a little while later the wheels fall off and you put on more weight. This yo-yoing keeps happening throughout your life. Then you start to think ‘Sure I can lose weight, but I always put it back on and then some’ so that belief sinks into your mind and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The belief that it’s hard for you to keep weight off becomes your reality.

So that’s the problem, but what about the solution? Here we are talking about the power of the mind so we should be ridiculously optimistic and surrounded by positive affirmations, right? What’s with all this limiting, negative chat?

Your subconscious loves you unconditionally. All it wants to do is keep you alive and show you how clever you are. If you think you have no willpower, the universe will prove it to you time and time again. It just wants to show you that you are right. If you think you don’t deserve to be successful your subconscious will attract experiences to back that thought up! Henry Ford said it best when he said ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right’.

So what we need here is to have the subconscious mind on board with our conscious goals and wishes. If both minds are aligned then our thoughts, beliefs and patterns are powerful in the way that we want them to be.

The trick is that these two minds don’t speak exactly the same language. You need to translate your chosen beliefs into a language the subconscious mind can understand. When it truly hears what you are asking, the subconscious mind is SUPER co-operative! Remember it just wants to make you happy and show you how clever you are. So get it on board with your goals and wishes and your potential is absolutely limitless.

A very effective way to communicate to your subconscious is using PSYCH-K, a modality that combines psychology, and all your beliefs, with kinesiology or muscle testing. It balances your chosen beliefs into whole brained state making them powerful and working for you.

Liz Champtaloup – Holistic Hypnotherapist, Advanced PSYCH-K Facilitator, EFT Practitioner, Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy

Why am I so tired?

We all get tired from time to time, but for many people low energy is a daily occurrence. Low energy is anything less than feeling that you have enough energy to do all of the things you want to do. If your energy levels are good you won’t have slumps of energy or periods throughout the day where your energy wanes.

So why do we get tired? The answer is not complicated, but can be multifaceted. Let’s explore the most common reasons for fatigue.

Not getting enough sleep

This one is a bit of a no brainer – if you don’t sleep enough your energy will be low. Many people stay up too late and wake up too early, getting far less than their 8 hours a night on a regular basis. Not many people can function on less than 7 hours a night, with most of us needing 8 to fully replenish and restore our bodies.

Then there is the problem with not being able to get to sleep or stay asleep, which eats into your sleep hours. This is linked with the next cause of fatigue.

Adrenal depletion

Your adrenals are little crescent shaped glands that sit on top of your kidneys. It is their job to release cortisol, a hormone that helps your body deal with stress and keep you energized during the day. When you have high levels of stress, or even low levels of unrelenting stress, your adrenal glands become depleted which leads to tiredness. The 3pm slump is a classic sign of adrenal depletion.

The other effect of your adrenals working overtime is they can start producing cortisol when they are not meant to – at night when you’re meant to be asleep. High cortisol may stop you from being able to fall asleep and can also wake you up during the night. This can turn into a vicious cycle where your adrenals are keeping you awake so you can’t sleep, which further depletes your adrenals and so forth. If a holiday to the Bahamas isn’t an option, a trip to a naturopath or acupuncturist will help to break this cycle and get you sleeping properly again.

Fatigue and sleep deprivation can become a chronic cycle that needs to be corrected to break out of it.

Nutrient deficiencies

To make energy within your cells, you require many nutrients, but the B group vitamins, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10 are the most important. A deficiency in B vitamins can show up as fatigue, mood issues and sleep problems. A deficiency in magnesium can cause symptoms like muscle cramps, nervousness, irritability and anxiety. Magnesium is used up more rapidly with stress so is commonly deficient if your stress is high. Coenzyme Q10 is needed in the citric acid cycle (how your cells produce energy) but also helps to keep your blood oxygenated which helps boost energy reserves. Those that are taking statin drugs (cholesterol lowering drugs) will be deficient in CoQ10 as these drugs greatly reduce the production of this important nutrient in the body.

Iron deficiency can also lead to fatigue as it stops your red blood cells from being able to carry oxygen around the body. Signs of iron deficiency are fatigue, feeling dizzy or light headed, losing your breath easily when walking up hills of stairs and bruising easily. To get assessed for nutrient deficiencies, see a naturopath or nutritionist.

Other causes of fatigue

Nine times out of ten correcting the above causes will alleviate fatigue, but sometimes there can be other issues that play a role. Some people suffer from post-viral or post-bacterial fatigue, where the initial infection has cleared up but the body has not recovered. Hormonal imbalance can play a role – low testosterone can cause fatigue in both men and women. Allergies are another cause of fatigue, often accompanied by a feeling of tiredness around the eyes, or heaviness behind the eyes.

Fatigue is something that we treat every single day at the clinic. It is important to get on top of fatigue, as the more energized you are the more likely you are able to look after yourself. When we’re tired we tend to buy more takeaway food and eat more convenience foods, which in turn can make you feel even more exhausted.

You don’t have to be tired anymore, call us on 07 3367 0337 and make an appointment with an acupuncturist or naturopath and start feeling better.

Balinese Massage

Prepare yourself for a dynamic, sensory experience.

Balinese massage is ancient traditional form of deep remedial massage and is designed to work almost every muscle in the body. It can last from an hour to two hours, depending on the patient’s specific areas of concern. This technique combines the best holistic techniques from several different cultures, such as China and India, and emphasises the importance of bringing the body into balance.

Balinese massage promotes the flow of blood, oxygen and energy throughout the body via several techniques; the result is the relaxation of body and mind. The techniques used during the massage appointment include shiatsu acupressure movements, such as press-point and palm/finger pressure, and standard massage techniques like kneading, sliding, short and long exploration.

This massage goes deep into the muscle tissue. The acupressure helps to relax the muscles, stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself, and relieves pain and tension. The reflexology works on the feet, hands, ears and indirectly addresses organ problems away from the point of pressure.

The use of warm essential oils and strong scents helps to relieve stress, relax the muscles and soothe the mind. Different kinds of oils can be used for different problems. The therapist can decide which is the best oil to use after discussion with the patient and their particular issues.

The final result will be a release of deeply tense and knotted muscles. It is perfect on achy joints and muscle strains, and especially beneficial for sporting injuries.

Are you ruled by The Emperor or The General?

Are you one of those people whose mind is always full? You have plan A and then you have plan B just in case A doesn’t work out. You are such a great thinker…all your energy goes into thinking. At times it is exhausting, and there is no space in your mind for rest or stillness.

Even the language you use reflects this great power to think your way out of any situation. You tend to say ‘I think’ or ‘I know’ rather than ‘I feel’ or ‘I sense’. You are a doer – you can make anything happen and you can make it happen fast. You more than likely experience a sense of frustration if things don’t happen quickly enough for your liking.

You can be irritated if others slow things down and get up in their emotional response. You like to approach things with your logical linear thinking style and others can sometimes find that very direct and maybe even intimidating. That’s not your intent – you just want to get on and make the situation better. You can be a warrior; an agent for positive change.

Sometimes you can be a bit judgemental. It’s not that you mean to judge people but your mind works at such a speed that you may have summed someone up very quickly. And you may well be right, but there may also be occasions when with a little more time, you see a different aspect of that person and you need to modify your original character assessment.

The Chinese call the mind The General. We all need The General – at times we need protection; at times we need rules and at times we need this focus and discipline. Someone with this busy mind has a very powerful General indeed.

The Chinese refer to the Heart as The Emperor. The heart is where our consciousness resides. When we come from the heart, with The Emperor, there is a sense of majesty, of tradition, of richness and beauty. We all also need The Emperor, so it becomes about whom we give our power to. Do we want our life and decisions to be ruled by The General or do we want to be ruled by The Emperor?

Do we want to live dominated by rules and regulations or by richness and beauty? The General can be very powerful and some of us can lose our connection to our heart without even realising. We are so busy doing, that we forget to feel.

What to do if this feels like you?

Well anything that you can do to allow even a small space into your busy mind can help. Make a list so you don’t need to hold onto those things in your mind any longer. Physical exercise is a healthy way for The General to release any built up frustration or anger.

A walk in nature will also soothe The General and promote some stillness into his mind. The power of deep diaphragmatic breathing can never be overstated, so taking a few deep breaths as you wait at a red light can be a great habit to adopt. This signals the body that you are safe and also allows a moment of respite from all those thoughts.

Change is powerful when it is subtle and also imperceptible. The new way is absorbed before the amygdala (the part of the brain that processes emotions) has a chance to question or reject the new way. By creating that small space in your mind, you allow your energy to come into your heart and give the ultimate power to The Emperor.

Chinese Face Reading

Ancient Chinese medicine dates back over 3000 years. Originally the ancient medicine man worked for The Emperor and cared for the Empress and the Emperor’s concubines. But the medicine man was not allowed to touch the Emperor’s women. So originally face reading became a valuable diagnostic tool and in some practices is still used in this way.

The Emperor’s women had a statue, and when they saw the medicine man they would point to where they felt unwell on the statue and the medicine man would then look – but NOT touch – and see what the patterns of her face could tell him about diseases she would be more likely to experience.

So for many, many years the medicine men had studied patterns. They studied patterns of nature, the seasons, the life cycle; they also studied patterns of disease. They studied patterns of everything.

They noticed that people with certain diseases had certain types of faces. For example, people with particular diseases had a particular shape to their face and a key look to their features.

They looked at size, shape and position of features on each person’s face.

Not only did certain faces show patterns with certain diseases, but those same faces also displayed certain behavioural patterns and emotional patterns. There were gifts and challenges that went with each face type.

The ancient Chinese named these types according to The Five Elements because it was a universal language that could be understood equally by the rich and the poor people. It was the language of nature and metaphors that could offer layers of richness and meaning.

So there was The Water person (Kidney & Bladder), The Wood person (Liver & Gall Bladder), The Fire person (Heart & Small Intestine), The Earth person (Stomach & Spleen) & finally the Metal person (Lung & Skin).

These personality types also linked to the following emotional triggers; Water links to fear, Wood links to anger, Fire links to rejection, Earth links to worry and Metal links to grief.

Chinese face reading, as well as being a diagnostic tool, also became a personality profiling tool; a psychological branch of Chinese medicine if you like. Just as today we use profiles such as Myer Briggs or DISC profiling, we can also look at someone’s face to understand what behavioural and emotional patterns may be in their life. It is not fortune telling nor is it a form of psychic reading but rather the eastern wisdom of studying patterns. It comes from a place of compassion, recognising each individual’s perfect design.  Every quality is perfect when it is in balance, but too much or too little of any quality can allow that quality to show it’s shadow.

Everyone’s design is perfect for them and when any quality displays its shadow it is about reducing the temporary ‘excess’ or ‘depletion’ of that quality to bring it back into the range that serves them.

The Chinese say that our elements are in balance when we come into this world and they are in balance when we leave this world, but the rest of the time we are all seeking to ride that wave and maintain our balance. So at any one time there may be an element speaking to us to seek some extra care. It may speak to us through physical conditions or it may speak to us through things that happen in our life, or patterns that we may get tripped up by.

There are many layers to The Five Elements and whilst the study of The Five Elements can be a lifelong journey, much insight can also be gained by just dipping your toe into this beautiful eastern philosophy.

What diseases are your emotions connected to?

Every day we hear about how a nutrient or food leads to a certain disease, or how a chemical is linked to cancer. But have you ever stopped to wonder how your emotions affect your health? Each of us go through a wide range of emotions each day, week and month. Anger, hatred, worry, depression, uneasiness, anxiety, depression, fear, joy, happiness, excitement – these are just a handful of the emotions that we can experience throughout our lives. We all know that negative emotions don’t make us feel good, but what if they could also make us sick?

Interestingly, researchers have asked themselves the same question and the results might surprise you. Dr. Don Colbert quotes some of these studies in his books, which have pointed to the following facts:

  • Anger and hostility – connected to high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Resentment, un-forgiveness, self-hatred – connected to autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus (SLE), multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Anxiety – connected to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), mitral valve prolapse, heart palpitations
  • Repressed anger – tension headaches, migraines, chronic back pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, fibromyalgia

You’d think that an emotion was just something that happened in your head, but really it can affect your entire body on both a chemical and energetic level.

A few of the more interesting studies on emotions and health have been:

  • A Harvard study of 1,623 heart attack survivors found that anger that was brought on by emotional conflicts doubled the risk of subsequent heart attacks, compared to those that remained calm.
  • A 10 year study found that people who could not manage their emotional stress had a 40 percent higher mortality rate than non-stressed people.
  • A heart disease study conducted at the Mayo clinic found that psychological stress was the strongest predictor of future cardiac events, including heart failure, cardiac arrest and heart related death.

There are numerous accounts of emotions affecting our health. We have seen this in our practice, where quite often emotional disharmony is the underlying cause for people’s symptoms.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), emotions are an integral part of the diagnosis and treatment of a condition. It is thought that anger affects the liver, fear affects the kidneys and grief affects the lungs. We commonly observe that people’s asthma flares after the death of a loved one, and that people are more prone to urinary tract infections when they are worried or fearful. Although this might seem a little woo-woo, there are countless accounts of people that have come to us for emotional healing, only for their physical symptoms to resolve.

There is a lot you can do to help work through and release emotions that are holding you back.

The first part of dealing with emotional imbalance is to observe it. We are taught to suppress our emotions, not to listen to them, as we should. Not only should we be in check with our emotional state, but also we can use our emotions as a sign post to tell us when we need some help.

Help is available in many forms: from meditation and talking to friends, to seeing a therapist that can help you uncover and deal with underlying emotions. At Brisbane Natural Health, we offer hypnotherapy, holographic kinetics, body talk and energetic healing to help people to resolve emotional wounds so that they can be the happiest version of themselves. We highly recommend a visit if you feel that emotions are affecting you on a daily basis. It is very freeing to be able to go day to day without the burden of anxiety, worry, depression or resentment. And of course we now know that it will prevent disease later on down the track.

Need an appointment? Call us on 07 3367 0337 and we’ll help you get back on track.