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As an established therapist, I now aim to share my knowledge online. I wish to extend my care beyond those I see in session.

 

My goal is to help, educate and inform to improve the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our wonderful earth.

By Tina Deas, Sep 12 2017 03:20PM

Did you know that over your lifetime at least a staggering 100 tons of food passes along your digestive tract and your body produces 300,000 litres of digestive juices in order to to break it all down?


What an amazing gastrointestinal system have! We fill it up with all sorts of food stuff and drinks, some good for us and some incredily bad - yet it continually digests all that food whilst absorbing all the nutrients that it can to keep us healthy. If it begins to struggle to do this efficiently - then no matter how good our diet is - we will not be able to achieve optimum health and are likely to suffer symptoms and/or become unwell.


Hippocrates, the father of medicine said “all disease begins in the gut”. Thousands of years later science is finally catching up and research is showing that a properly functioning gastrointestinal system is critical for our overall health and well-being.


According to one survey of 500 people 1 in 10 Britons suffer from heartburm indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea or abdominal pains almost every day.


So what does an unhealthy gut feel like and how can we take some steps to heal it?


Here are a few signals that your gut health may need your attention?


* Heartburn / pain in the oesophagus

* Discomfort after meals such as fullness, bloating and heaviness (as if you have a brick in your tummy)

* Lower Abdominal pain / spasms in your tummy

* Constipation or diarrhoea or both

* Urgency to go to the loo followed by loose watery motions

* Feeling sick / nausea / vomiting

* Reactions to foods / food allergies / Coeliac disease

* Lactose / fructose intolerance

* A gut infection within the last 5 years

* Taken antibiotics / had chemotherapy

* Regularly take anti inflammatory drugs

* Unexplained muscle aches

* Unexplained stiff joints, or pains in the joints

* Suffer from on-going infections, eczema, allergies

* Been diagnosed with an autoimmune illness, such as arthritis.

* Feel tired and have a low mood all the time even though you have had a good night's sleep

Even if you are not experiencing digestive symptoms but seem to be getting a lot of colds, infections, allergies, or nutritional deficiencies, they can usually be traced to a key underlying factor - POOR DIEGETIVE HEALTH.


So what can you do to give your gut some TLC?


REMOVE


Start by taking away key triggers - don't worry - they don't have to be for ever! But if you remove some of these foods for four weeks you can see if your symptoms improve.


Alcohol and Caffeine - can both irritate the gut. Try drinking de-caffieinated tea or naturally caffeine free Rooibush or some of the amazing herbal and fruit infusions readily available. Lemon and ginger and peppermint are especially good for soothing sore tummies.


Wheat - wheat contains gluten which can both iriitate the gut lining and be difficult to digest which then causes symptoms such as abdominal bloating and pain. Wheat is in lots of food stuffs so it can seem quite a task to cut it out - but the good news is that wheat free and gluten free products have come a long way and there there are some great breads and bakery products. Delicious gluten free pastas are avialable made from corn, lentil and buckwheat (which isnt actually a wheat at all and doesnt contain any gluten!). Instead of cous cous try gluten free grains such as rice and quinoa and add in more vegetables to your meals to support your gut function.


Dairy - milk, cheese and cream are common allergens. Lactose is the main sugar in milk and other dairy products andi if you have lactose intolerance, you may love and even crave dairy products, but your body doesn't and can't digest them properly. It will let you know between 30 minutes and 2 hours after eating a dairy product by producing unpleasant symptoms.


There are many amazing non-dairy milk substitutes readily available made from soya, coconut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, rice and oats. You don't need to worry about not getting enough calcium as they are all fortified with vitamins and calcium so you get what you need.


Sugar and Artificial Sweetners - we are all eating far too much refined sugars and artifical sweetners. They encourage potentially harmful bacteria and yeast to flourish in our guts. Try cutting out sugay foods and for sweetening try using natural sweetners like raw maple syrup which it is high in antioxidants - every spoonful offers nutrients like riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. If you fancy something sweet why not eat whole fruits such as a banana and berries.


REPOPULATE


In our guts we have trillions of friendly bacteria and yeast that live there. They affect the efficiency of our immune system and our “happy” neurotransmiter serotonin. Often called our second brain, our gut affects our immune system, hormones, mood, weightloss and overall health and vitality. One important feature of a healthy GI ecosystem is balance. When good bacteria flourish, bad bacteria and other micro-organisms such as yeasts and fungi are pushed out but if unfriendly bactiera overwhelm the friendly ones then our gut health will be comprmised.


Poor diet with little plant based foods, processed foods, a diet high in anilmal based proteins, sugary foods, medications, stress and lack of sleep can all reduce our friendly bacteria upsetting our digestive health.


To naturally boost your friendly bacteria you can eat prebiotic food. These are foods that provide fermentable fibres for freindly bacteria helping them to thrive in our guts. Good choices include oats, rice and rice bran, rye, bananas, artichokes, asparagus, apples, leeks, onions, garlic, quinoa and berries.


You can also get probiotics from supplements which contain beneficial bacteria - the suggested level is 10

billion per capsule as a starting dose. Take with food/drink and use a reputable brand.


Adequate consumption of probiotics can help to eliminate abdominal pain, gas, bloating, reflux, allergies, nausea, food poisoning and vomiting. Probiotics may even alleviate dermatiitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is because they are anti-inflammatory.


RE-NOURISH


Calm down inflammation and help support the lining of your gut by filling your dinner plate with green leafy vegetables, and broccoli. Pineapple, berries, green tea, ginger, garlic, and turmeric all have excellent anti-inflammatory properties.


Turmeric (see my previous blog) is probably the best natural anti-inflammatory and can be bought in capsule form. Researchers trialing as little of 2-3 grams of turmeric extract daily shows that it helps to prevent symptoms of irratible bowel in a relatively short time. A current theory is that IBS is caused by low grade inflammation of the gut lining and unfortunately anti inflammatory drugs can actually exacerbate IBS by irritating the gut lining even more.


RE-BALANCE


Watch your stress - take steps to unwind and relax.

Mindful eating - rather than gulping down food without even noticing what you are eating. Chew your food properly and take time to sit and eat your meals.


Eat plenty of fibre - current guidelines are 18-20 g per day but we only typically eat 8-10 g perday.


Avoid eating too late - aim to finish your evening meal by 7pm.


Drink plenty of water - deyhdration is one of the main causes of constipation.


Be kind to your digestion - feed it nourishing food and drinks and be patient while it heals.

Is your gut unhealty?
Is your gut unhealty?

By Tina Deas, Dec 13 2016 03:56PM

Its a busy time of year and we can feel under pressure from all the extra stuff that we feel that we should do. Trying to please everybody can feel overwelming. This blog is to help those of you who would like to be more assertive at saying "NO" to demands and hopefully relieve some of the stress of trying to meet everyone else's needs.


Isn't it interesting that "NO” is one of the first words that we learn to say as tots? So why is it then, that when we reach adulthood, saying “NO” to other peoples' requests, can feel so difficult to say?


Small babies don't have any fear of expressing themselves and communicating their needs. They openly cry when they are upset and smile when they are happy - they don't worry about what other people think about them - if they are hungry then they want food .. NOW!


As babies grow into children they very quickly learn to adapt their behaviour to the kind of responses that they receive from their parents and others. They soon learn to become conditioned to do what others want in order not to upset them - thereby keeping themselves feeling attended to and “safe”.


When we reach adulthood, these patterns of behaviour have become ingrained. This means that we can find ourselves hiding our feelings whilst putting other peoples' feelings, needs and wants before our own - still fearful that we will be disapproved of, rejected and hurt. This is an unassertive type of behaviour called “people pleasing”.


Unfortunately the long term effect of people pleasing and being unassertive is an erosion of our self esteem – our valuing of ourselves – often leaving us feeling undervalued, not good enough and resentful.


Assertiveness is a way of communicating with others. When we are being assertive, we are able to communicate our feelings, thoughts and beliefs in an open, honest manner, without violating the rights of other people.


Being assertive means that we are able to ask for what we want from others and also that we can say “No” to the requests of others.


The good news is that because we have all learned to be the way we are, we are all able to learn how to behave differently!


By learning and practising the few simple and effective techniques listed below:-

You can learn how to say “NO” in an assertive way.

You will begin to feel more comfortable saying “NO”.

You will feel less fearful that saying "NO" will upset those who request you to do something for them.

You will feel less worried about the consequences of saying “NO”.


1. REALISE THAT IT IS OK TO SAY “NO”


The first step in assertiveness is to realise that as a human being you have a right to your feelings – no matter what they are. There is no such thing as a forbidden feeling; they are either positive or negative. Your feelings are a guide, they help you to decide what is OK with you and what is not. So when somebody makes a request, ask yourself how you feel about the request and if you are you really OK to do what is being asked of you. If you are not OK with it, accept how you feel about it and realise that you have a right to say “NO” to the request.


2. BE RESPECTFUL AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE PERSON WHO ASKED


Being assertive rather than selfish or aggressive means asserting your feelings, thoughts and beliefs whilst acknowledging those of others.


3. YOU CAN POLITELY REFUsE SOMETHING OR SOMEONE IN A VERY RESPECTFUL MANNER


If you acknowledge the other person’s feelings, you are being assertive rather than selfish or aggressive. You won’t offend anyone by respecting yourself and your rights and by thinking first about what’s really important to you.


“Thank you for asking me, that was really thoughtful of you but “no” thank you.


4. DONT APOLOGISE


Because of the guilt that comes with saying “NO” we often tend to apologise for saying it. You do not need to apologise, in fact by saying that you are really sorry leaves room for other people to try to persuade you to change your mind.


5. KEEP YOUR REPLY SHORT


More often than not the best way to say “NO” is to keep it simple. There is no need to over explain your actions and your reasons for declining requests with long rambling justifications. Try to be calm, sincere and polite and you will surely keep the situation under control. Most people prefer to receive an honest “NO” than a big fib.


6. TAKE RESPONSIBIBILITY AND AVOID SAYING "I CAN'T”


“I can’t” sounds like an excuse and it gives the other person ammunition for arguing that you can.


7. PROVIDE ALTERNATIVES


It is not necessary to do so, but if you feel the need to provide another alternative to someone’s request then you could propose it to them. You can do this as an act of good will and it is usually met with appreciation for the effort you take to help them. This helps to ease the negative impact of a refusal.


8. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE - ASK FOR MORE TIME


If you are not sure, don’t feel pressurised to make a decision there and then – you are entitled to ask for more time rather than make a rash decision because to feel put on the spot. You can then assess how you feel about the request and whether it is OK with you or if it is not OK with you. If t is not OK with you then you can assertively say "NO" to the request.


"I have given it some thought and although I know that you really want me to, I have decidied not to do it".


9. WRITE DOWN YOUR ANSWER


If you have difficulties in declining a specific request from someone who is really important to you, you could first try writing it down. This way you can rehearse the way in which to say “NO” and you will also decrease your anxiety and stress associated with the refusal. You will see that with a little bit of practice you will feel more in control as you assertively say “NO”


10. PRACTISE!


Practice saying “NO!” It may seem hard at the beginning to just say “NO” to people that you have always said “YES” to before but you will see that with enough practice it will get easier and you will feel better about yourself.


AND PLEASE REMEMBER:-


If you learn to respect yourself and your needs then other people will too.


If you answer friends truthfully ”YES” or “NO” then it is easier for them to ask.


You are not rejecting the person, only the request.


Whenever you say ”YES” to something, you are saying “NO” to something else (which may be yourself!)


- Tina


(Photo by Tabphoto)





By Tina Deas, Nov 5 2016 10:00AM

Turmeric or Curcumin is a member of the ginger family and is native to Southern Asia. Like ginger, the roots can be used fresh but we tend to see it our supermarkets in the herb and spice section once it has been ground into a deep orange-yellow powder. Turmeric has been used as a medicinal spice and in Indian cuisine for thousands of years, its bright yellow pigment adding a golden hue to curry dishes.


At long last, Turmeric's medicinal properties are finally receiving the recognition that they deserve in both scientific journals and the health pages of magazines and the national press. High quality scientific studies all over the world are proving that the medicinal compounds in turmeric can have major benefits for your body and brain.


Curcumin is the main active ingredient in Turmeric, and as well as being a very strong antioxidant curcumin also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. In fact Curcumin is arguably among one of the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.


What is inflammation?


inflammation is the body's attempt at self-protection. When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to try to remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation, show that the body is trying to heal itself. Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria, could easily take over our bodies and kill us. So short term inflammation is beneficial to us. However, long term inflammation is not good for us and inflammation is pretty much involved in almost every disease process known to man. Anything that can help us to fight off inflammation is potentially important in preventing and treating inflammatory diseases such Arthritis, AS, Ulcerative Colitis, Chrohns, IBS, Parkinsons and Alzheimer’s.


Alzheimer’s


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the world and a leading cause of dementia. There are some 850,000 people with dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2020 as there is as yet no real treatment for the disease.


It is known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease as well as the build up of amyloid proteins which destroy neurons in the brain.


There is good news on the horizon! In a recent one year study looking at how Alzheimers could be prevented or slowed down, the triai published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found evidence that Curcumin is the key chemical in Turmeric that blocks the rogue beta ameloid proteins which kill off the brain.


Arthritis And Other Inflammatory Conditions


Arthritis and AS are very painful disorders which are characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that Curcumin targets inflammation at a molecular level and can help to treat the symptoms of arthritis.


Curcumin has been compared favourably to anti inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs except it does not have any of their side effects.


Cancer


With regards to Curcumin and disease reversal, various types of cancer is one of the most thoroughly researched topics in the world by global authorities like Cancer Research UK.

A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that Curcumin does have anti-cancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It appears to work incredibly well to help naturally treat cancer and has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.


Depression


This amazing little spice has also shown some promise in treating depression.


In a controlled trial, 60 patients were randomized into three groups. One group took Prozac (Fluroxetene), the second group took a gram of Curcumin and the third group took both Prozac and Curcumin.


After 6 weeks, Curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to Prozac. The group that took both Prozac and Curcumin fared the best.


The authors of this small study claimed “This study provides first clinical evidence that Curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with Mild Depression.”


A regular intake of a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric a day may promote certain aspects of our health and harness its abilty to to keep inflammation at bay.


How To Incorporate Turmeric Into Your Diet


Add 1-2 teaspoons to any soup recipe. It will add a deep golden hue to it.


A natural in curries, turmeric brings warm flavors to any curry or stew.


When you sauté the vegetables in oil, add in 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric.


Add a color pop to rice dishes by adding ½ teaspoon turmeric to the water when cooking the rice.


Sprinkle on sweet potatoes.


Especially good with lentils which are also packed with antioxidants - see my "Spicy Lentil Soup" Recipie in my previous blog about lentils.


- Tina


(Photo by Tabphoto)





Tina Deas

Tina