Health Tips & Articles
Our body is a reflection of nature. Everything that exists inside of us manifests in our outer world as well. The same type of hologram is reflected on our hands, feet, and ears. When we touch one part, another area reacts. Everything is connected. We can affect the movement of cells, organ function and energetic activity by pressing points along the body.
My first glimpse of reflexology was 30 years ago in a pediatrician`s office. My 18 month old brother had been constipated for over a week. I watched as the doctor pressed on the soles of his feet. Later that day, bowels moved.
Another example revealed during the birth of my first child. After giving 3 massages, and an endless walk home, me feet were killing me! I began to massage vigorously, digging my elbows and fists into my ankles and heel. I gained much needed relief. Little did I know I was stimulating the reproductive organs, which then put me into premature labor! All ended well in this story, but I soon realized that there was something more than just a “foot massage”.
That was when I discovered what reflexology is and how profoundly it can affect the body. I have been working with people’s hands, feet, and ears for the past decade, linking physical pain, system malfunctions, and organ depletion through specific points or reflexes and precise pressure on these areas.
It is my passion to share these ancient teachings and de-mystify the body-reflex map so that these simple techniques can help to relieve a wide range of ailments.
Simple pressures on the soles of the feet can help …
- stimulate lymph
- relieve teething, sinus or headache pain
- assist with digestive disorders
- chronic fatigue
Top 3 tips towards a balanced lifestyle and strong immune system, based on the Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Eat seasonally and locally
Our bodies adjust to our environment and the foods that naturally grow here help us maintain an internal climate that keeps us warm in the winter months and cools us in the heat of summer.
According to the five elements, salty is the flavour of winter, which brings energy down and in. This includes seaweeds, kelp and Himalayan salts. It helps to moisten dryness, soften hard masses and reduce stiffness, but should be used in caution for those who have high blood pressure or edema.
Pineapple is an example of a food that does not grow here and should not be consumed in the winter. Its cooling nature works well in hot humid climates. Raw food diets are more suited for the summer, while stews and beef broths keep us warm throughout winter.
2. Never eat cold foods, NEVER!
The nature of cold is to slow down and contract. What happens to oils or fats placed it the cold? It solidifies. Imagine what could be going on inside our bodies!
Our stomach is like a boiling pot that dissolves and digests food before its energy can be used by our bodies. When we eat cold foods, such as iced drinks, ice cream, raw foods or salads, our body takes energy from the peripheral in order to “heat up the digestive pot” before it’s broken down and processed. This is vital energy that keeps our immune system strong, especially in this Canadian cold.
Drink liquids at room temperature. Let your smoothie sit for 10 minutes. If you must have ice cream, do so sparingly and drink a hot tea afterwards. These guidelines are especially important if you are showing signs of coldness- sluggish digestion, bloating, edema, poor circulation, low energy, or excess mucus.
3. Protect your kidneys at all costs
The kidneys are known to hold our ‘Jing’- ancestral qi, or vital energy that we are born with. The other type of energy is the type we attain from diet and lifestyle. It is the foundation of all yin and yang qualities in the body, which influences all organs and their functions. Kidney deficiencies can show up as pain in the lower back, knees or joints, infertility, premature aging, or any problem with the ears and urinary tract. It also controls all reproductive functions from fertility to growth and development. Excessive fear is also known to damage the kidneys.
The kidneys are located in the lower back region, so it is important to keep them covered and warm during the winter. Eat kidney building foods such as barley, black beans, mushrooms, almonds and seaweeds. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol and sleep at a reasonable hour. We should live a balanced life with includes work, rest and play.
These tips are based on the teachings of Marjorie Silcolff, our resident Acupressure and Traditional Chinese Medicine supervisor.
It’s time for Spring Cleaning … For your liver!
Signs you need a liver cleanse:
Irritability/Anger/Frustration – Fatigue – Depression – Nausea – Headaches – Heightened allergies/hay fever – Eye pain – Pain in right side under rib cage (liver area) or around the shoulder blades – General tension and body aches – Neck pain
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms there are remedies that can help cleanse your liver, boost your immune system, and increase your metabolism. It is ideal to seek the help of a Naturopath that will guide you on your path towards wellness.
Because spring is when the liver is most active, you may notice such symptoms are worse. The liver is the body’s center for detoxification with a chemical system for neutralizing and excreting drugs, hormones, alcohol and other toxins.
Unfortunately our livers are often overwhelmed with high toxin levels. When overburdened, the liver can’t balance hormones, burn fat, or eliminate caffeine so you can sleep at night. An overburdened liver can affect our moods as well.
Here are some everyday dietary strategies that can help detoxify your liver:
- Avoid fried foods, margarine, and heated corn, safflower and sunflower oils.
- Simmer, poach or boil in water or broth, adding butter or olive oil at the end of cooking.
- Meats and dairy from commercial feedlots also contain hormones and pesticide residues. Instead choose free-range poultry and grass fed meats.
Steps to begin your Spring Cleanse:
- Reduce stress (try yoga, massages, and walks in nature)
- Reduce plastic use (food stored in plastic, especially microwaved or heated in plastic)
- Avoid chemical cleaners (use lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar
- Avoid alcohol, coffee and tobacco
- Avoid bad fats: margarine, vegetable oils, fried foods
- Give your body time off and lots of rest
- Give your liver a nice cleanse then find out what foods your body needs (with the Daphne Lab food intolerance test) to continue giving your body the right foods
This process can take anywhere between 7-14 days. Once you have eliminated all of the liver damaging foods and habits, then you can start your cleanse either in the form of juicing, teas, and raw food. Once complete, you can slowly start adding back cooked foods and mindful eating.
Is the moment of quiet that exists
deep within our selves.
It is the place
between the ebb and flow of an ocean wave.
It is the vortex of a wormhole which shoots us out to the other side of…
It is the action potential where all
life stands still and movement exists only at cellular level
It is in this space where healing
It is in this space where anything
From the outside world
Where the outside world lives inside
Separate but connected through a
thread of silk
Connecting all of humanity and
As busy as we are with keeping schedules, meeting deadlines, or juggling family/work/self, we must remember that “balance” is NOT a fixed state, but rather a constant flux between two extremes… action / rest, empty / full, happy / sad …
Here are a few (practical) tools we can use to help bring us back to- stillness.
- Conscious eating- eat only when hungry and what the body asks for (needs vs craving). TAKE TIME to chew your food (30x before swallowing!) in order to help digestion and discover the “true flavour” of what we put into our bodies.
- Stop multi-tasking! As much as we have been praised for getting it all done, there comes a certain pleasure of just doing one thing at a time- FULLY. This means we must prioritize- if your task doesn’t make the cut, then it probably can wait until tomorrow!
- Take time to smell the roses- literally. Using your sense of smell activates the base chakra, whose quality is stillness. It is our most primitive sense and is how newborns recognize their mothers.Have you ever found yourself holding your breath, in fear of what kind of stink city (or people) smells might enter? Instead- just take a deep breath,TAKE TIME to integrate the experience (if you don’t like it, just exhale quickly through your mouth!)
- Eliminate time….. what I am referring to is our constant dependency to the clock.Try this exercise for 1 week- set your alarm clock to 10m past the time you would normally wake up.Then set your INTERNAL clock to the right time, by telling yourself what time you would like to get up.The most important factor is that you really want to wake up, not just because you have to.
- TAKE TIME for yourself- at least 5m per day, either at the beginning or end, or in the middle of a stressful situation.Sit comfortably, close your eyes and focus on your breath.While trying to clear your mind, you’ll find that all the thoughts and clutter will arise.This is ok! Don’t judge yourself or be discouraged.Just relax and breathe happy.
And last but not least: eat healthy, exercise, get fresh air and sunlight, rest, and receive regular massages!