Holistic Living

by Global Healing Exchange

Holistic Living

by Global Healing Exchange

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

how to improve your immune system

HOLISTIC LIVING
MAGAZINE

ISSUE 5 JUNE 2016

Editor in Chief
Sharon White

Editor at Large
Cassandra Jones

Layout Artist
Francisco Mendoza III

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TABLE OF CONTENTS


How To Improve Your Immune System?
by Sharon White  p.4

Did You Know That You Have Two Immune Systems?
by Cassandra Jones  p.5

The Ketogenic Diet & Gut Health
by Malcolm Mclean  p.7

My Journey Of Living With Ulcerative Colitis
by Donna Ferguson  p.8

Ancient Greek Wisdom For A Healthy Gut And Immune System
by Maria Benardis  p.9

Kale & Quinoa Dolmades With Yoghurt Dipping Sauce
by Maria Benardis  p.10

How To Supercharge Your Immune System In 5 Simple Steps
by Robert Kirby  p.12

Stress & The Immune System
by Jane Turner  p.13

Healthy Immune Systems
by Adrian Hanks  p.14

Pregnancy & The Immune System; The Miraculous Nature Of Gestation
by Katie Kempster  p.15

Investigate, Enquire, Be Curious
by Skye Hennessey  p.17

Eat Well For A Healthy Immune System
by Irene Vervliet  p.18

Heal Your Immune System With Sexual Energy
by Claire Flynn  p.19

The Forgotten Organ. The Vital Organ Your Doctor (Likely) Doesn’t Know About
by Deborah Murtagh  p.20

Living Fermented Foods Are In. Dead Foods Are Out!
by Deborah Murtagh  p.22

Do You Sabotage Your Immune System?
by Shona Russell  p.23

How To Improve Your Immune System Through Foam Rolling
by Angelo Castiglione  p.24

Autoimmune Recipe – Vegetable Tagine
by Jimmy Boswell  p.25


How To Improve Your Immune System?

Why is the immune system so important for a healthy life? Disorders of the immune system can result in autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases and cancer. We have covered these diseases in previous editions of Holistic Living Magazine and I wanted to make the immune system a topic in itself, as it is crucial to having great health.

Do you want to learn how to improve your immune system? If so read on.

Immune System Definition:

The organs and processes of the body that provide resistance to infection and toxins. Organs include the thymus, bone marrow, and lymph nodes.

The immune system (as suggested in its title) is a system, not a single organ. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. You can imagine if your cells are attacking themselves, there is not a lot of balance or harmony in the body and it is not a great foundation for good health. So how do we provide our body with the balance it needs? You will learn more about this throughout the magazine. I will let the experts tell you…

What The Immune System Does

The immune system is made up of cells, tissues, proteins, chemicals and organs that work together to defend us against germs and microorganisms. It is the body’s defence against infectious organisms and other invaders.

The white blood cells that make up the immune system are made in the bone marrow. These cells move through blood & tissue. Every time a microbe or germ is conquered, the immune system remembers it. If the body comes into contact with that microbe again, it will be defeated quickly.

The immune system produces proteins called antibodies that can help neutralise infection or toxins that some germs produce.

Germs are everywhere and most of the time our immune system gets rid of the threat and does ‘a battle with the bugs’ that threaten us and kills them off. In most cases, our immune system does a great job of keeping us healthy and preventing infections. Sometimes, problems with the immune system can lead to illness and infection.

Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade our systems and cause disease.

The Major Components Of The Immune System Are:
the Lymphatic System;
Bone Marrow;
the White Blood Cells;
the Thymus;
the Spleen;
Antibodies;
the Complement System; and
Hormones.

Approximately 70 – 80% of your immune tissue is located within your digestive system. The health of your gut bacteria and the health of your immune system are vitally linked. When your gut bacteria is balanced, your immune system is also balanced. But when it’s out of balance, so is your immune system.

People with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems are at greater risk of more serious illness. Having a suppressed immune system or immune suppression, also known as immunosuppression or immunocompromised, means your immune system isn’t working properly. This includes any or all of the defences that make up your immune system – particularly the white cells in our bloodstream, along with our spleen and lymph nodes.

Throughout this magazine, there are articles from our experts to help you understand how to keep your gut and immune system healthy. You will learn some great ways of how to improve your immune system and gut health so you can give your body the best foundation for enhanced health. Healthy living strategies are a good way to know how to increase immune system function, so you start giving your immune system a great advantage.

Enjoy.


Founder of Global Healing Exchange and Holistic Living Magazine


Please use the information you learn in these magazine as a guide.
This content is not medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of healthcare professionals.
Always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before beginning or making health changes.
You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this magazine.



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Did You Know That You Have Two Immune Systems?

Your immune system is something that is taken for granted, with little or no thought to how to keep it healthy, or even to the question of what is your immune system? For example do you know that you have two immune systems? And that, truth be told, much of your immune system is in your digestive system?

Thought not.

Firstly, the point about two immune systems, there really are two; there is the innate immune system and an adaptive one. The innate can be seen as a broad spectrum response and can be thought of more as your body just fighting with whatever is at hand. There is no ‘cleverness’ there. On the other hand the adaptive immune system is one that is only found in vertebrates and has the ability to learn from the pathogen, so that an infection of similar nature is dealt with much quicker and easier. Interestingly, for the adaptive immune system to work, it has to have the concept of ‘self.’ It knows what should be there and what shouldn’t, which really takes the concept of ‘self-awareness’ to a whole new level.

Upon conception, that tiny little embryo doesn’t have really have an immune system to speak of. While there is the innate response capability, it isn’t very effective. The rest of the immune system is the cleanest sheet of paper in the human body. Everything else is inherited: your eye colour, your body disposition; but your immune system doesn’t really exist, well not yet anyway. While the embryo is gestating, the mother provides a layer of protection that continues to provide assistance for a period post-pregnancy, but it is only upon birth, that things get interesting.

As soon a baby is born, it is exposed to a barrage of bacteria which starts to colonise the gut. Where this comes from differs on the method of birth; if it is a vaginal birth, then a large proportion is from the mother, if by caesarean section then it is more from the surrounding environment. The method of birth also changes the rate of gut flora establishment, with a vaginal birth causing establishment much quicker than by caesarean.

Which neatly leads me on to another major point around the immune system, and that it is heavily based in the digestive system. On first blush, this doesn’t really make a lot of sense. How can bacteria in the gut stop infections? Surely, this is just, well bacteria, and a fair proportion of the time it is a bacterial infection that is the problem. To understand how this works, you need to understand how the gut works.

While it is possible to live without such flora, they do such wonderful things. It would be very difficult as many forms of carbohydrate cannot be digested without such bacteria. And it is this plethora of friendly bacteria that comes in useful; not only does the good bacteria colonise the surfaces of the gut, and thus stopping the harmful bacteria taking root, they also stimulate the immune system in the gut helping it to recognise harmful pathogens much quicker. Hence why you will see many statements on the gut containing a high percentage of your immune system.

Of course, all this is well and good if you are leading a healthy, stress free life. But really, who does that these days. Stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, alcohol and antibiotics all contribute to a depleted immune system, which means you are far more likely to get sick than if you just took care of yourself.

Do you know how to improve your immune system? Hopefully the rest of this edition of Holistic Living Magazine will help you have that healthy ‘self’ and not have to call on that immune system that you’ve been taking for granted for so long. Let’s hope you learn how to improve your immune system and gain amazing health benefits!

References
Acquisition of Gut Flora, Wikipedia, accessed 30/5/2016,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut_flora#Acquisition_of_gut_flora_in_human_infants
Carbohydrate Fermentation, Wikipedia, accessed 30/5/2016,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut_flora#Carbohydrate_fermentation_and_absorption


Editor-at-Large


Please use the information you learn in these magazine as a guide.
This content is not medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of healthcare professionals.
Always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before beginning or making health changes.
You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this magazine.



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how to improve your immune system

Gut Health And The Ketogenic Diet

The real issue is that good health starts with a healthy gut. Over 70% of your immune system is in your gut. More than likely, yours has been compromised by a diet consisting of sugar, chemicals,additives, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics and pesticides.

These are only a few of the factors that work to destroy the good bacteria we need in our intestinal tract. Having a healthy gut is key to proper digestion, absorption of essential nutrients, and becoming a fat burning machine. Many of us have taken antibiotics once or twice in our lifetime. Antibiotics not only destroy the bad bacteria, but they also destroy the good bacteria that protect you from illness and chronic disease. Read on and I’ll help you to learn how to improve your immune system.

How Does This Affect Us?

When poor diet and antibiotics strip that good bacteria from your intestines, it gives bad bacteria an opportunity to thrive. These bacteria can lead to inflammation and all sorts of health complications such as a weak immune system, food allergies, leaky gut, sluggish digestion, poor nutrient absorption, depression and chronic disease. Having a bad gut can also affect your transition to becoming fat adapted.

Some Symptoms Related To An Unhealthy Gut:
Bloating
Acne
Fatigue
Joint pain
Food intolerance
Allergies
Autoimmune disease
Hair loss
Weight loss or weight gain
Trouble losing weight
Brittle nails
Diarrhea/constipation
Sugar cravings
Hypothyroidism
Malabsorption
Blood sugar dysregulation
Migraines
Hypoglycaemia

If you have been experiencing at least a few of these symptoms for a while, you may want to address restoring your gut health. In doing so, most people find their cravings, especially for sugar, dramatically decrease. Other benefits include: mental clarity, increased energy, better sleep, a stronger immune system, better digestion, weight loss, clearer skin and an easier time keto adapting. For over 17 years now, we have been promoting the Ketogenic Diet and have witnessed massive changes in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have made this lifestyle change.

How The Ketogenic Diet Works In Improving The Gut Flora

While much is said about the need for dietary fibre to feed the gut microbiome, the truth is there is a significant lack of research studies looking at how ketosis impacts it. One such study that might give us a clue about this was published in the January 23, 2014 issue of the scientific journal Nature that found low-carb, high-fat ketogenic dieting increased microbes of the genus Bacteroides and decreased Firmicutes. Why is this important? Because when Bacteroides are lower and Firmicutes are higher in a human gut, this is indicative of someone with obesity. But ketosis produced exactly the opposite effect while simultaneously producing a reduction of inflammation levels – a positive overall health marker. The fibre content of non-starchy vegetables provide a smorgasbord of food to feed the gut bugs without the insulin spike that accompanies such an approach. While it is indeed resistant, upwards of half of the carbohydrate content still impacts the metabolism raising blood sugar and insulin levels – making it less-than-ideal for a ketogenic dieter to be consuming. Instead, opt for the fibrous low-carb veggies to get the benefits of feeding the microbiota without the harmful blood sugar and insulin response.

The Ketogenic Diet Gut Connection & Autism:

Our gut microbiome can influence behaviour. One way in which our gut microbiome influences behaviour is by making us crave certain foods. This has a survival benefit to the specific bacteria that thrives off of that given food. At the same time, the bacteria makes us crave sweet and starchy processed foods, it can suppress our appeal to eat foods such as fruits and vegetables. This gives the species of bacteria a hand up in colonizing our body. They get plenty of food and suppress the food of competing bacteria.

A ketogenic diet would extremely limit the sweet and starchy processed foods. This deprives certain gut bacteria of the food they need and may be a way to help restore balance in the microbiome. To further the argument of the role that the gut microbiota play on autism, the Journal of Ecology in Health and Disease, published an article referencing one child’s autism symptoms improving on a course of antibiotics (3).

One of the main benefits of the Ketogenic diet, besides dramatic weight loss, is mental clarity.

Scientists and doctors are currently unsure of the correlation between ketosis and the reduction of seizures with respect to Epilepsy. One hypothesis is that the brain prefers ketone bodies as a source of fuel over glucose. As a result, people have reported less lethargy, increased alertness, greater mental clarity and sharpness, quicker thinking, improved mood, increased productivity, and a natural need for less sleep. Biological anthropologists argue that these findings are not surprising, considering that the diets of earlier human beings were likely ketogenic and thus our bodies are better adapted for this lifestyle.

Starting The Healing Process & What To Expect:

The transition to healing your gut can be challenging, but the payoff could save your life. Depending on the amount of bad bacteria that has accumulated, food sensitivities present and length of time on antibiotics, the road to healing may come with a few speed bumps. When your body is detoxifying and the bad bacteria begin to die off, you may experience headaches, flu-like symptoms, feeling “hung-over”, intense cravings, fatigue, and increased hunger. However, once you pass this hurdle you will feel be feeling better than you have in years.

The Steps To Better Gut Flora:
Eliminate added sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Supplement with a probiotic will help restore the good bacteria in your gut and boost your immunity.
Focus on eating high fat, moderate protein, and plenty of cruciferous veggies and leafy greens.
Eat quality Protein, grass-fed, pasture raised, antibiotic and hormone free.
Eat more coconut oil. It has antibacterial qualities and MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides foods) ie Coconut oil, Dairy Products.

MALCOLM MCLEAN
Ketosis Specialist
Click here to to find a practitioner.



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how to improve your immune system

My Journey Of Living With Ulcerative Colitis

Your mind, body and soul is your Temple of Truth. This is what I truly believe, from my heart, soul and spiritual being. It is today that I share part of my story that I have not opened up about previously and I think that most of us can relate to at least a part of it, if not the whole story. 22 years ago, when I was 36 years old (I am now almost 59), I was diagnosed with a very debilitating disease known as Ulcerative Colitis.

For those who are not familiar with this problem it affects the intestinal tract and, after a period of time, moves across and into your bowel. This pretty much spelt disaster for me. I was, at the time, a Property Manager, meaning that I spent quite a few hours each day out in the field. Ulcerative Colitis pretty much means that you have a constant problem similar to that of diarrhoea.

Yes I had diarrhoea for 14 years, day and night. You can imagine how that would work driving around for hours each day and being sleep deprived, inspecting other people’s homes. Well you imagined right. It didn’t only affect my work but it also meant that going shopping became a nightmarish task, as I would part fill the trolley and then grab my handbag and run out the supermarket to go to the toilet.

Shopping for pleasure, well let’s just say this was done only in the vicinity of the nearest toilets. I was a prisoner in my own body and the medication I was prescribed went from 4 tablets a day to 16 tablets a day and still didn’t sustain the problem and, even worse, the medication was a sulphur based medication.

Week in and week out, month in and month out, then year in and year out I was a walking disaster. If I got stuck in a traffic jam, well, that just spelt double trouble for me.

My specialist, by the way, insisted that the medication I was on had nothing to do with certain other symptoms that I had noticed creeping into my system during this time and I have since found out that the medication had everything to do with the side effects. It was so horrific that I had lost all my confidence as well.

I had also been prescribed bouts of steroids to help with my auto immune system and all this gave me was more complicated sleep deprivation known as insomnia and less confidence than I had prior to taking them, with a feeling of very high highs and then very low emotions. It was roller coaster ride that, after the second time of prescribing them, did not even relieve the illness at all.

I am sure we have all suffered from insomnia at some stage of our lives, so you may understand what this felt like. I went to visit my specialist after having yet another colonoscopy. As I sat in his office he informed me that there was really nothing else that he could do to assist me and when “it” turned to cancer, he would cut a part of the bowel out and put a bag in for me.

I had never heard of such nonsense in all my life and I was horrified by his report on that occasion. I did not know what to do or where to turn from that point. I left his office feeling depressed, hopeless, worthless and even more threatened than ever before.

We all know that when you are ready, the right people turn up into your life.

It was some time after this visit that I was feeling a little low, I had some sort of virus that I just didn’t know how to repair naturally. Well as naturally as I could,seeing I was still taking these toxic sulphur based medications for my Colitis. I ended up going to see a doctor that was recommended to me. She checked me out and then wanted to give me an injection of vitamin B.

I put up a hell of a fight just to ensure that there was nothing else in the inject – because after lots of my own research I had found that the medical profession are not so professional after all. I am sure you all know what I mean. So I accepted the injection and felt incredibly better within oh about a minute. As any practitioner does, she asked me about other illnesses and I informed her of my Ulcerative Colitis.

She then proceeded to ask me if I believed in alternative solutions to rectify medical conditions. I jumped at the question and said, at that point in time, I was prepared to try anything and so she referred me to a kinesiologist,whom I visited within a couple of weeks. I had no idea what a kinesiologist was back then, but I felt like it was something I would definitely be pleased to find out about.

After all, I couldn’t be any worse than I was with my so-called specialist. I asked many questions, and he tested my body for a long half an hour and then sat me down and asked if I thought I could be completely off my medication within the next 2 weeks. This was huge for me because I had been on it for about 14 years and it was not helping me much at all.

So, within 2 weeks, I was completely off my medication, my diarrhoea had disappeared and, of course, there were other dietary requirements I had to take on as well. Gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, sugar free and beef free. Almost 30 years ago supplementing was a near impossible task, as not as many items were available on the supermarket shelf like there are today.

I was challenged by it, but I became really good at healthy eating, healthy living and also became extremely tuned into my body when something was not quite right. Oh and apart from the dietary requirements, I had worms and parasites causing the initial problem.

You can imagine how I felt when I started to sleep through the night, started shopping with the pleasure of not looking for the toilet signs when I entered a shopping centre and being able to complete the grocery shopping without having to run out sometimes 3 times in a shop.

Almost 25 years down the track and I still visit the kinesiologist on a regular basis to maintain my great health and wellbeing. I do not visit a Dr. unless I have to have stitches, an injection for overseas travelling, (which by the way I always check with my kinesiologist first to make sure I don’t put unnecessary diseases into my system), or I have broken something.

I know exactly what my body needs and the exact moment I have picked up a bug or virus which allows me to treat it immediately with my supply of vitamins and natural remedies I have in my home.

I work out every single day either at the gym or at my home, I eat extremely healthy and as organically as I can, I do not smoke, drink alcohol and I would only drink coffee in unusual circumstances maybe 1 every 6 months or so.

And as I draw to a close, my body is my temple of truth in mind, body, soul and spirit. I treat it with great respect as it is my vehicle for my journey. I stay positive no matter what and I allow my intuitiveness to guide me as I strongly believe that my intuition is guided by my angels.

And remember you can learn how to improve your immune system. – Dreams Really Do Come True!!

DONNA FERGUSON
Rapid Success Technique Expert
Click here to find a practitioner.



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how to improve your immune system

Ancient Greek Wisdom For A Healthy Gut & Immune System

The ancient Greek Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, penned that “all diseases begins in the gut” and that for true healing and optimum health, we need to exercise, “let medicine be thy food and food thy medicine” and the “natural forces within us are the true healers of disease”.

The word “diet” comes from the ancient Greek “diaita,” which means “the way of life.” In Ancient Greece, a diet was about good health and, one component of that, was food. Good health required the nurturing of the mind, body and soul. The diet was a key component to ensuring good gut health and a healthy immune system. The ancient Greeks also noted the correlation and the link between the gut and emotional/brain health.

The gut plays an important role in our emotional health and our digestion actually plays a key role in our natural immunity to diseases. The gut helps keep toxins at bay. A healthy gut will have the ability to break down or neutralize the toxins that may have been taken in, along with some food or the environment. It breaks down food and helps in the extraction of essential nutrients that the body needs to perform.

The gut has an entire ecosystem of bacteria and yeast – some beneficial to us and others toxic. Like all ecosystems, the delicate balance of the digestive tract can be altered by various toxins including antibiotics and other drugs, chemicals like chlorine and fluoride in our water, food additives and preservatives, GMO’s, stimulants like coffee and an overabundance of difficult-to-digest foods like improperly prepared whole grains and non-organic meat.

When the balance of micro-organisms in your gut is out of balance and the “bad bacteria” proliferate, these bad bacteria produce toxins which can weaken your immune response. They also interfere with the proper absorption of nutrients into your blood stream. It is possible to eat a nutrient-rich “high vibrational food” diet of real foods and still be nutrient deficient because of poor digestive health.

It is vitally important to therefore take good care of the gut and to keep the good bacteria thriving. Below are some ancient Greek wisdoms for taking care of your gut and to ensure a healthy immune system:

1. Cook & Eat With Wholesome Conscious Ingredients

“Realize that your body is the garment of your soul and then you will preserve it pure. As he who wishes the best fruit must pay attention to the land, so must the greatest attention be paid to the soul if it is to produce fruits worthy of its nature.— Pythagoras”

The ancient Greek Hippocratic way of healing was ‘wisdom healing’: using food to nourish the mind, body and soul. It is important to eat an abundance of food that is good for our gut health and to keep to a minimum or avoid all foods that are not beneficial to the gut.

Cook and Eat ingredients and foods with a high vibrational frequency. These include fresh certified organic fruit and vegetables food (especially greens and living grains such as sprouts), natural supplements e.g. spirulina, Herbal Teas, Herbs and spices, pure or filtered water – reverse osmosis or freshly collected spring water are the best choices (fluoride and chemical free), good oils e.g. olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil, eat raw foods, dehydrated and lightly steamed food e.g. anything in its uncooked, minimally processed raw, sprouted and organic state, raw nuts and seeds, fermented foods, raw chocolate, natural sweeteners such as raw honey, grape mustard maple syrup, legumes, grains such as couscous, kamut, buckwheat, brown rice, amaranth, spelt and barley and incorporate Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats and foods.

Keep to a minimum or avoid low vibrational foods and ingredients. These include genetically modified (GMO) food and conventional food that has been treated with chemicals and pesticides, white rice and flours, sugars, artificial sweeteners (unhealthy bacteria thrives on sugar), coffee, sodas, alcohol, meat, fish and poultry, processed, packaged, canned and fast foods, unhealthy oils e.g. canola, soy, cottonseed, margarine, lard and vegetable oils, frozen foods, pasteurized cow’s milk, yoghurt and cheese and cooked foods that are deep fried and microwaved. If you eat meat make sure it is organic or at the very least grass fed and grass finished. Ensure that fish and prawns are not farmed. In particularly avoid tilapia, farmed salmon and farmed prawns. These are usually fed toxic GMO feed etc.

When eating fruit and vegetables,eat a variety of colors. Eat fruit and vegetables that are in season for optimum nutrition.

2. Consume Fermented Foods

Hippocrates believed that most disease began in the gut and called fermented foods “probiotic” meaning “for life”, in Greek. In ancient times doctors prescribed sour milk, yoghurt, apple cider vinegar, and pickles for digestion following the wisdom of Hippocrates. In addition the Ancient Greeks also used sauerkraut (salted shredded cabbage exposed to air) to treat and prevent intestinal infections.

Fermented foods include Greek yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, kombucha, and raw pickles.

These probiotic foods help detox the gut and our immune system.

3. Adopt Healthy And Happy Thoughts.

“Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become” – Heraclitus

Those who approached the Oracle at Delphi were encouraged to have “good thoughts”. An excess of unhappy thoughts can cause an imbalance in the body and lead to many illnesses. Inner balance and agapi cannot coexist with worry, stress, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety and competitiveness. These feelings or experiences do not create good feelings or good energy when cooking, eating or for our health. Ultimately, we are responsible for our health and well-being, so it’s important to substitute fear with faith.

To assist with emotional health, the ancient Greeks incorporated meditation therapy, prayer therapy, eating therapy, music therapy, light therapy, chakra therapy, massage therapy, sun therapy, exercise therapy etc. For example, Aristotle knew that the power of music could heal the sick and many doctors in ancient Greece used vibration to aid in digestion, treat mental disturbance, and induce sleep. Aristotle in his famous book De Anima, wrote that flute music could arouse strong emotions and purify the soul.

4. Listen To Your Inner Voice And Trust Yourself

“Know thyself” – Oracle of Delphi, “The natural forces within each of us is the greatest healer of disease”. – Hippocrates

You know your body better than anyone else so it is important to meditate, be still and to listen to what is requires for healing. Ask yourself what you would like to cook and what ingredients to cook with.

When you know yourself and trust yourself you gain your own voice and guidance as to what foods are right for you and your body for good health.

5. Eat With Peace And Calm (Eating Therapy)

“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety”. – Aesop

Another important eating practice for good gut health and immunity is to eat with peace, calm and joy. It is important not to rush meal times. In Greece, people leave their work for lunch to go home and to enjoy the meal with their families and friends. When we rush our eating time it interrupts the harmony, the flow of energy and the time needed to enjoy a meal that in the end will nourish and heal our body and soul.

To ensure a long, healthy life we all need to eat mindfully and to become aware of the food we eat. We also need to take note of how the food we are eating affects the way we feel.

In summary it is important to eat and think for the purposes of nourishing our mind, body and soul. Eat clean ingredients free of chemicals and pesticides and incorporate probiotic foods – just like they did in ancient Greece. Do things in life that make you happy to ensure a healthy, happy mind and thoughts; and, of course, get some moderate exercise daily. In the words of Hippocrates “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”

MARIA BERNADIS
Intuitive Health & Wellness Coach & Chef
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how to improve your immune system

Kale & Quinoa Dolmades With Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

This is a gut friendly and immune system friendly recipe. In ancient Greece Kale was used to treat intestinal issues and to restore the loss of voice.

This dish is my modern twist on the quintessentially Greek dish; dolmades. Instead of vine leaves I have used another ancient Greek ingredient; Kale.

The ancient Greeks loved to stuff items of food and one of their favourites was to mash foods into a paste and to wrap it in leaves or breads. I believe that kale was one of these ingredients given that it was adored by the ancient Greeks.

I have also used quinoa instead of rice or bulgur as is the tradition. You could use cooked brown white or brown rice instead of quinoa.

Makes 10 large dolmades

Dolmades Mixture

10 large curly Kale leaves, stems removed and washed well
¼ cup, spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
½ cup uncooked quinoa
½ cup fresh zucchini, grated
½ cup carrot, grated
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste


Dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon, ground cumin


Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

1 cup Greek style yoghurt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of ½ lemon
1 clove of garlic, minced


METHOD

Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions. Set aside and let it cool down. Transfer to a bowl. Place the kale leaves in a steamer and steam them for 5 minutes until they soften. Transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool down to room temperature. Add the remaining ingredients for the dolmades mixture to the quinoa and mix well.

Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk. Add the dressing to the quinoa mixture and mix well.

Lay each kale leaf on a flat surface and spoon a generous amount of the mixture on the end where the stem begins. Fold the sides of the vine leaf over the filling. Then roll the leaf all the way up, starting at the stem end, to form a neat parcel. When you have finished making all the dolmades arrange them on a serving platter.

Place all the ingredients for the yoghurt dipping sauce in a bowl and mix well.

Place the dipping sauce on the side of the platter and serve.


Recipe from the book:
Recipe from the Book / Ebook by Maria Benardis titled
“Cooking & Eating Wisdom for Better Health”.

MARIA BERNADIS
Intuitive Health & Wellness Coach & Chef
Click here to find a practitioner.



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how to improve your immune system

How To Supercharge Your Immune System In 5 Simple Steps

When I was 27, I was consumed by the glitzy world of corporate success, New York nightlife and a fast paced lifestyle that made me feel invincible. I was promoted four times in seven years, and each time I excelled, I pushed harder. I hardly thought about my wellbeing and swaggered under the knowledge that my body would always pull through for me. After all, I was young, fit and athletic– I could handle anything, right?

Wrong. As I became overworked and overwhelmed by the stress of my job, my body started to fall apart. I caught infection after infection, I became allergic to sugar and gluten, and my energy levels hit rock bottom. I would collapse into bed at 9 pm and wake up exhausted the next day—my muscles radiating with fatigue. I went through a battery of tests which all came up inconclusive: “There’s nothing really wrong with you- take these antibiotics”, all the doctors would say. And so I did.

I destroyed my gut and my immune system, and I learned the hard way that without my health, I actually had nothing.

Build Your Fortress & Focus On Prevention

“Immunology” is the word biomedical science uses to describe the study of immune systems. It examines the functioning of immune systems in both healthy and diseased states. Currently, Western medicine emphasises the treatment of illness and disease rather than its prevention in the first place. This approach leaves people in the dark about what they can do to nurture wellness and build their “fortress” to keep their bodies strong and balanced.

Let’s turn this around and shift our way of thinking.

“Immunergy” is the term I’ve given to taking your power back, rebuilding health and fortifying your immune system. Energy is your life force and, if you nurture your energy with good food, healthy habits and emotional care, it will flow through your body to support and strengthen your immune system every single day.

It took me many years to repair the damage I’d inflicted in my twenties, and since this time, I’ve explored many different modalities and methods to take care of my body. Below, I share my 5 most powerful tips to restoring your energy levels, and keeping your immune system strong and balanced.

1. Slow Down Your Breathing

When you get stressed, your breathing becomes shallow and your body becomes flooded with adrenaline. If you stay in this state for a long time, your immune system gets suppressed and you can fall sick very easily.

A healthy adult should be taking no more than eight to ten breaths a minute. However, most adults breathe much faster at about 15 or more breaths a minute. Remember: breathing properly is all about breathing into your belly. You should be able to see your belly expand outwards as you inhale, and your shoulders shouldn’t lift. If they do, then you’re breathing shallow, superficial chest breaths which aren’t helping you.

One of the best tools available on the market today is the “Breathslim”. It costs about $50 USD and if you use it 20 minutes every night before you go to bed, it will train you to breathe deeply and slowly. This will equip your body with the oxygen it needs to produce healthy cells, your metabolism will speed up, excess weight will drop off, and you’ll sleep like a baby.

2. Sprint Like A Cheetah

The best thing you can do to enhance your immune system and live a long and happy life, is to actively strengthen your heart and lungs. In my experience, it’s not really about spending hours on the treadmill. Scientific studies have confirmed that sprinting in short spurts is much more effective.

Each morning I do my “cheetah sprints” and I have found that very quickly, it has enabled my breathing to slow, I am grounded and present for the rest of the day and my heart feels stronger. The basic steps are:

Warm–up and stretch your muscles
Take a slow two minute jog to get the energy flowing through your legs
Once you feel warmed up and limber, start your sprints. Do what feels comfortable. If you can only do 10 second sprints, that’s okay. Start off doing 10 seconds and then slowly build up to 30 second sprints.
Rest for 60 to 90 seconds while you catch your breath
Repeat three times
Do this at least three times a week. If you can do it every day, this is ideal.

Don’t try and be a superhero and start off doing 30 second sprints if you’re not in the best shape- build up gradually so that your heart and body can get used to the intensity. If you have any concerns about whether this is right for you, please consult your healthcare professional beforehand.

3. Get Your PH Balance Right

Buy yourself a self-testing kit and see where your urine and saliva pH levels sit. It’s cheap (about $12) and you can perform the test at home.

If your body is too acidic, illness, bacteria, and yeast will thrive. Your body will attempt to neutralise the acidity by taking minerals away from your vital organs and this will then compromise your body’s healthy functioning.

However, there are lots of things you can do to correct your overly acidic system. Eating more alkaline foods such as spinach, avocados, green beans and broccoli will help. Cutting out processed foods is also key. Alternatively, dissolving a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drinking this three times a day will also assist in alkalising your body.

Take the time to consult an integrative doctor or naturopath to gauge what combination works best for you. We’re all unique, and expert guidance makes a huge difference in accelerating your efforts to optimum health.

4. Look After Your Gut

These days, nearly everyone seems to be suffering from some kind of gut-related affliction: gluten intolerance, Leaky Gut, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s disease- the list is growing rapidly, and it’s only now that we’re really starting to understand how critical a healthy gut is to overall health.

Prolonged poor gut health can lead to a wide range of serious illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, chronic fatigue and chronic acne. So, it’s important to restore and nourish your gut:

Consult your integrative doctor and get a stool test done. It will show you exactly what state your gut is in and what remedial action you need to take.
Drink bone broth regularly.
Invest in a high quality probiotic.

5. Connect With The Earth

Earthing is a powerful immunity booster. All you need is some grassy earth or a sandy beach,and your bare feet.

When you walk barefoot on the grass or on the beach, you hook into the electromagnetic energy from the Earth. This energy courses up your body and strengthens your adrenosine triphosphates (which is the part of your cells that is responsible for absorbing and transporting energy, as well as detoxing). It enables you to restore the natural electrical state within your body, and this can reduce inflammation, pain and stress, and help you sleep better.

It’s incredibly rejuvenating- listen to your body and feel into how much you need. Even just 20 minutes a day will make an enormous difference.

Boost your immune system and revel in life!

If you do these 5 simple and amazingly nurturing things, your energy levels will be off the charts, and your immune system will be strong and robust. And you know what? You deserve it and you’re worth it—so stick with it!

ROBERT KIRBY
Mind/Body Transformation & Integration Expert
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how to improve your immune system

Stress & The Immune System

Having a healthy immune system means the difference between staying well, and being predisposed to picking-up any of the infections and illnesses that are going around at any given time. That’s what is so amazing about our immune system. When it’s working well, it automatically recognises our body’s cells, and goes about doing the job of keeping us healthy by destroying things like bacteria and viruses that are not innate to our body.

I wrote about stress for the inaugural issue of Holistic Living Magazine, where I made the comment that stress is to the body what global warming is to the planet. I then went on to say that just as there are people who can find ways to deny that global warming exists, there are also those who are good at denying the damage they’re exposing themselves to when they let stress run amok in their life.

So I’m going to pick up from where I left off by giving you another reason to make controlling the amount of stress you expose your body to on a day-to-day basis a priority. I plan to do this by teasing out exactly what stress does to our immune system’s ability to keep us well.

The core problem here is that it’s our sympathetic nervous system that’s in play when we’re stressed. This is the state that gives rise to the classic fight or flight scenario that raises our blood sugar and heart rate, narrows our blood vessels, and activates our immune system. This enhances our body’s clotting capacity and blunts our pain perception, which is incredibly helpful in the event of real and present danger. But the problem is that we don’t just activate our stress response in those circumstances, but also for any number of non-life threatening reasons, such as running late for a meeting, or finding out that interest rates are going up and our mortgage is going to be unmanageable, or whatever else it is that might trigger the stress response in us.

The bottom line is that when long term stress becomes chronic, it results in high levels of cortisol circulating in our bloodstream on an ongoing basis. On the upside, cortisol functions to reduce inflammation in our body. But on the downside, this results in the suppression of our immune system. Which in turn increases our susceptibility to colds and other common ailments like that,as well as exposing us to an increased risk of cancer, increased risk of an assortment of gastrointestinal issues, and possibly an increased risk of autoimmune disease.

I’m going to shift gears a bit now and make this personal by talking about my husband’s experience of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CSF)which he’s been struggling with for over 20 years. I look back in despair at all of the dark alleys he was lead down by way of misdiagnosis resulting in the prescription of medications that, at the end of the day, had no positive effect on his condition whatsoever. More recently, he has had some relief via fact that: a)there is increasing acceptance that CFS is a real medical condition and not just ‘in the head of the patient’ as was previously believed,and b)that CFS is linked to changes in the immune system.

Recent research by the Infectious Disease Laboratory at Columbia University has added to an increasing pool of evidence that CFS can be diagnosed by increased amounts of chemical messengers called cytokines in the body of sufferers. Cytokines are important here because they are a key part of the complex system that regulates our body’s immune response. What this means for CFS sufferers is that their immune system does not shut down when an infection has passed in the way that it does in people who do not have CFS.

Thankfully, my husband is now being treated by an expert in the field of CSF who is not only able to work within the conventional medical establishment, but who is also willing and able to step outside of it and look at alternative options for treatment. This doctor is one of only a few who seem to appreciate that CFS patients are not able to bounce back after an infection in the way other people do because of the large amount of cytokines in their body.

Understanding this connection between CFS and the level of cytokines in the body allows doctors to diagnose CFS much earlier than used to be the case before this connection was recognised. This is significant because as with many other illnesses, with CSF it’s a clear case of the earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.

So given that stress plays havoc with our immune system which ever way you look at it, I want to urge you to establish routines around self-care that will help to minimise stress, and enable you to handle it more effectively when ever it does arise for you.

What concerted effort in relation to self-care can do is set you up to be less reactive to the waxing and waning of circumstances, and the spiking of energy around you and within you throughout the day? Let’s face it, life will always throw up challenges, but I want to impress on you that it’s you, and only you, who is responsible for deciding how to respond to challenging situations. The trick here is to respond in as positive and resourceful a way as possible.

Sure enough, we all have our own particular dispositions that will predispose us to be more likely to stress about things than other people, but also it’s this point about individual responsibility that explains why exactly the same event will cause one person’s stress level to go through the roof whilst another person’s stress level will barely be affected at all. Ultimately, it’s the intersection of our biology, our psychology, our history, our present circumstances, and our coping mechanisms that determine how we experience the things that go on in our lives.

So in the interest of supporting you to step up and take care of yourself in relation to your immune system’s ability to keep you well without being undermined by an unsustainable level of stress, I want to offer you four approaches that you can introduce into your life to minimise the extent to which stress hampers your immune system’s ability to do what it does really well when the conditions are right. These approaches are:

to routinely calm your system down via meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, or whatever else works for you;
to establish and maintain a supportive network of people around you;
to maintain a diet that nourishes your body and does not contain too many artificial stimulants like caffeine, or foods that lead to excessive inflammation; and
to understand your triggers and work out ways to manage or eliminate them.

I’d love to be of service if you need any help with any of this. You can contact me at wellnesscoachingcollectove@outlook.com.

JANE TURNER
Woman’s Health Expert
Click here to work with me.



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how to improve your immune system

Healthy Immune Systems

There are many immune system components in the Human Body. Two very vital ones to understand and keep in good order, if we wish to maintain a good healthy body, mind, soul and spirit, are The Chakra System and the Etheric Body System (or Life Body System).

The Chakra System

The Chakra System can be a very complex thing to explore and understand. There are many ways to interpret and work with it. My general approach in all my personal and spiritual empowerment work is to make it as easily understandable as possible and easy to work with.

The word ‘Chakra’ comes from the Sanskrit language and means – Disc or Wheel. There are hundreds of little chakras in the human body and are basically energy centres or gateways to the inner and outer worlds. When we focus on one of these, we can learn to tune in to know what each one represents and what it actually does. To study the whole array of Chakras and to get to know what each one is and what it does, is quite a deep study. To make things easier to follow,for this magazine topic of Healthy Immune Systems, I will concentrate and write about the Seven Major Chakras. They make up what is called, the Major Chakra System.

These main Chakras, when studied and worked with, can give us some great insights and understandings about how we are in terms of our health and well-being and how our immune system is functioning. For people with Clair-vision or Aura-vision, it is possible to see the energy/colour/light/movement of each Chakra. From this vision, the ‘state’ of each Chakra can be seen and measured in terms of its strength and vibration/energy.

When a particular aspect of our energy field or immune system is low, the Chakras tend to be slow in their movement – Chakras spin continually. The colours also become dimmer. With some practice, it is possible to ‘see’ or ‘feel’ our own and other peoples’ Chakras. A good strong colour and a good strong spin with a Chakra is generally a good sign that we are in good health and vitality.

I like to measure peoples’ Chakras with my dowsing rods. I measure the strength of each Chakra by walking towards someone and ‘asking’ the dowsing rods to cross when the energy edge or boundary of the particular Chakra that I am measuring is found. I use the metre measurement to ascertain the strength, as the energy of each Chakra is transmitted out of the body and can be picked up and measured in this way. I find that a strong Major Chakra can emit its energy for up to about six metres out in front of (and somewhat behind) a person, although generally a good strong energy field is generally measured at about three metres from the body. The closer I get to the body before the dowsing rods cross, the weaker the pulse or energy generally is. If I end up very close to the body and Chakra point as the rods cross, then it generally indicates a very low end frequency.

In essence, the Chakra System builds and maintains our immune system by, and from, its movement and energy charge. I like to think of the Chakras as Dynamos that spin and create and give off energy. As mentioned earlier, they are also ‘doorways’ or ‘gateways’ between the inner and outer worlds. I will leave this information for another time…

The Etheric Body System.

This is an interesting aspect of the Human Being’s make-up that, in general medical terms, is nearly always overlooked, ignored, dismissed or denied. Interestingly, without an Etheric Body, we would be not be alive – it is a vital part of our being.

Another description for the Etheric Body is the Life Body. It is the very thing that keeps us alive. It is the thing that restores and regenerates the body. It is the part of us that helps to rebuild tissue, bone and skin. Like the Chakras, the Etheric Body can also be seen and measured. I measure the Etheric Body’s charge or strength in the same way in which I measure the Chakra System; I use my vision and/or my dowsing rods. I also sometimes use my Pendulum.

This Etheric Body is, in a sense, our strongest Immune System. It is either strong and helps us to stay healthy, or it is weak and we get less healthy. When people are in a state of ill health, the Etheric Body is never strong. Our Etheric Body is in constant ‘battle’ with our Astral Body or forces, as they continually break down and destroy our cells and body.

The thing to do is to stay in good health and keep building up the Etheric Body and its forces so that they do not succumb and get over powered by these Astral forces. This is done with rest, sleep, good healthy (organic) food, meditation, art, nature, love and kindness, soothing music, laughter, fun and even lots of good sex. If these Astral forces get the upper hand, that is when we fall into a place of dis-ease. The balance of contraction and expansion, building up and breaking down is delicate and needs to be observed and worked with. If we do this in a very conscious way, our optimum health can generally be held.

Ways to deaden the Etheric Body are to (over) indulge in low vibrational activities and substances, like: alcohol, drugs, pornography, heavy metal music, dead food, depression, sluggishness, late nights, over-working, etc. Obviously if you are living life in this way the remedy is to engage in some of the more positive activities and life style choices. I have worked with many people with a low vibration, slow Chakra Systems and a low Etheric Body energy and my advice and challenge is always to make some real life style changes. Low Etheric Body energy is often diagnosed as Depression, which is then often connected to medication – when a simple life style change of diet, exercise, art and fun can be the answer.

When we choose to work more consciously with these two major immune systems, we will be in a much better place with our well-being physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Bringing more conscious awareness to how we operate and live is always a good thing and, by doing so, we can then also share our experiences and wisdom with others.

So my parting gift and challenge for you is to spend some (more) time investigating and getting in touch with both your Chakra System and your Etheric Body and gauging and building up your health and well-being to a higher level and frequency. I am a great believer in growth and by growing and expanding energetically, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, we do not stagnate or get stuck in one place.

ADRIAN HANKS
Life Mastery Coach
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how to improve your immune system

Pregnancy & The Immune System; The Miraculous Nature Of Gestation.

When researching for this edition of Holistic Living Magazine focused on the Immune system, I found some fascinating information pertaining to the interrelation and connectivity between the maternal and foetal immune systems during pregnancy.

Here Is A List Of 6 Interesting Facts Regarding Pregnancy& The Immune System.

1. A mother’s uterus should technically reject and regard their developing baby as foreign – but it doesn’t.

During gestation, the maternal immune system develops what is known as a tolerance to the foetus. Immune tolerance in pregnancy, otherwise referred to as “gestational maternal immune tolerance”, is the absence of a maternal immune response against the foetus and the placenta. It is this tolerance that explains why the mother doesn’t reject the growing baby even though by nature it contains the genetic material of the father and should, therefore, be considered a foreign entity. Maternal immune tolerance is a unique example of how the immune system adapts what would normally be a destructive response to a state of tolerance.

2. The placenta forms an immunological barrier and a remarkable communication organ between mother and baby

The placenta is attached to the lining of a mother’s uterus as well as to the baby’s umbilical cord. It begins to form in week 4 of pregnancy and continues to develop over the next couple of months, coming fully “online” to support the developing baby at around 12 weeks of gestation. One of the placenta’s main roles is to allow the transfer of nutrients and oxygenated blood from the mother to the baby; it also disposes of the baby’s waste back to the mother. This system is referred to as the placental circulation. The placenta also produces hormones and builds a defense system that acts as a shield for the baby, providing protection against many types of bacteria and infections. This process involves transferring antibodies from the maternal blood supply to the foetal circulation; it is this process that gives the foetus passive immunity that can provide effective protection from specific infections.

The mother delivers this amazing temporary organ, soon after the baby is born in what is known as the third stage of labour.

3. The hormones of pregnancy can provide temporary remission from some chronic conditions.

Maternal tolerance may help explain why some autoimmune disease symptoms are lessened in pregnancy. Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system launches an inflammatory response against your own body. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells, it is characterised by the formation of red and crusty patches and silvery scales or plaques. Many women report a significant improvement in their psoriasis during pregnancy;a 2005 report attributed this improvement to the increased levels of oestrogen relative to progesterone during pregnancy. Expectant mothers with Multiple Sclerosis can also see their symptoms vastly improve or even disappear, particularly in the second and third trimesters. Finally, many women with Rheumatoid Arthritis report significant relief from joint pain during pregnancy.

The mechanisms of these immune modifications in pregnancy are still being studied and typically, the pregnancy doesn’t usually provide a permanent cure for these conditions, which generally return fairly soon in the postpartum period.

4. Foetal stem cells can repair the mother during pregnancy and male DNA can even be found in the brain decades after they have given birth!

It is now commonly recognised that during pregnancy, the placenta enables a two-way transfer of immune cells between mother and baby. This process is known as “foetal microchimerism”. Foetal cells exhibit a remarkable ability to migrate across the placenta into the mother and to integrate with diverse maternal tissues and organs, where they are able to target sites of damage and disease and have been found to persist for years, probably for a lifetime, in the circulation of normal women. DNA from male babies can cross the blood brain barrier, which becomes more permeable in pregnancy and enter the mother’s brain, where it can remain for decades.

A study of pregnant mice published in 2011 found that when a pregnant mouse has a heart attack, her foetus donates some of its stem cells to help rebuild the damaged heart tissue. Doctors have also observed that women who experience weakness of the heart during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth have better recovery rates than any other group of heart failure patients.

The old adage “you will always find a piece of me in your heart” couldn’t be more true with the knowledge of this amazing pregnancy phenomenon!

5. Normal vaginal delivery involves the seeding of the baby’s microbiome and the subsequent development of their lifelong immune system.

The human microbiome contains the genetic material of all the microbes-bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses that live on and inside the human body. The majority of these microbes live in our gut, particularly in the large intestine and current research suggests that between 70-80 percent of our immune tissue lies within our digestive system. It was once thought that babies in utero were in a completely sterile environment, but it is now commonly known that mothers do transfer gut microbiota via the placental circulation. In the weeks and days leading up to birth, specific species of good bacteria are migrating to key locations in the mother’s body and are transferred to the baby during and immediately after birth via the birth canal, exposure to faecal bacteria, immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth and with the initiation of breastfeeding. This process kick starts the colonization of the baby’s gut with bacteria from the mother and it is those microbes that have the earliest and most significant influence on the development of the baby’s immune system and helps to protect the infant from disease for its entire lifetime!

6. Breast milk is nature’s first immune booster!

Colostrum is an early form of milk that babies receive in the first few days after birth; it is rich in immunological components such as secretory IgA, lactoferrin, leukocytes and oligosaccharides or sugars. These sugars in breast milk function as prebiotics for the bacterial strains of the baby’s microbiome and effectively provide the fuel for the foundational gut microbiota to colonise and proliferate. As babies get older, leukocytes in breast milk naturally wane if everybody is healthy, but when an infection appears, leukocyte levels in the breast milk come firing back again to support the baby’s immune system.

Interestingly, the immunity that breast milk imparts, it seems, may depend in part on a mixture of milk and baby saliva flowing upstream. The material contained in the baby’s backwash may actually cause a mother’s body to create made-to-order immune factors that are then delivered back to the baby in milk. Through this backwash, the baby may be effectively placing an order that helps a mother’s body manufacture germ specific and uniquely ordered milk, very clever indeed!

KATIE KEMPSTER
Hypnobirthing Expert
Click here to work with me.



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how to improve your immune system

Investigate, Enquire, Be Curious

Being a breathworker, yoga practitioner, massage therapist and energy worker, I am not an authority on the immune system and I certainly don’t assume to know the scientific details of how it works. However, I do know the human immune system is very sophisticated, intelligent and complex and, like all the systems, it is a part of a whole, the immune system both affects and is affected by all other systems and dimensions of the body. In its simplest form, most of us understand the immune system as our defence against disease in the body.

For me,it’s all about the Vibration! Generally, all parasitic invaders are of a low vibration, so if our vibration stays high, our immune system is in good health and is highly effective, and we get rid of those bad guys pretty quickly.

In saying that, the immune system is very sensitive to not only external factors, but also to internal factors such as feelings and thoughts. In many cases, of our modern society our immune system has been weakened, but what is the cause? Being a breathworker (emotions), yoga practitioner (mind) and massage therapist (physical), I am going to break these reasons down into categories of physical, emotional and mental.

Physical Reasons Our Immune System Can Be Compromised

Most physical causes of immune deficiency are generally well-known and widely recognised in the health and wellness areas and include, but are not limited to:

the over use of modern medicine;
nutrient deficient food, fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides all contribute to creating toxins and lowering our vibration;
deficiency of nutrients in the soil;
the exposure to chemicals in the house and work environments;
lack of exposure to natural germs and pathogens that actually strengthen our immunity;
lifestyle choices: smoking, drinking, junk food and being sedentary;
incorrect breathing habits; Breathing is a major contributor to health; and
incorrect posture and movement habits.

All these contribute to physical stressors and actually lower our vibration and weaken the system, creating a host that is hospitable to invaders. It’s not rocket science! Just common sense.

Emotional Reasons Our Immune System Can Be Compromised

Negative emotions themselves don’t lower the vibration of the physical body and weaken our energetic bodies, but rather it is the suppression of negative emotions which weakens our energetic bodies.

The suppression of emotions happens when an emotional response was unable to be expressed in childhood, the reasons range from:

a real fear of physical punishment;
a decision made by the child (i.e. a lot of anger being expressed in the family of origin can make the child decide anger is wrong and will not allow itself to express it);
a ‘Boys don’t cry’ or ‘Girls don’t get angry’ type of scenario;
making fun or (making wrong) of a child’s feelings,(i.e. don’t be silly… you don’t need to be scared of that);
pushing them into challenging themselves can make them supress fear in order to be good (get love);
getting into trouble for crying (i.e. Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about); and
the perceived withdrawal of love, such as being put on the naughty chair or sent to your room or isolated in someway.

Through punishment, humiliation or perceived loss of love, eventually, the child learns to suppress those feelings in an attempt to avoid feeling unloved. After a while,the child does not have to regulate itself, it becomes a habit and the emotion gets suppressed without the child even experiencing the feeling. Adults or parents experience that as “learned good behaviour”. But we continue this habit of supressing the feelings and we were unable to express from childhood into adulthood.

So the behaviour that kept us safe, and in the love bubble of mum and dad as a child, actually harms us in adulthood. It can manifest on the surface level as illness or dis-ease. Suppressed feelings become very powerful and the energy it takes to keep them down zaps our vitality, lowers our vibration and compromises our immune system.

The answer is not to just let kids run wild, all children experience this on some level, as they have to as part of being human. In adulthood, it becomes our responsibility to investigate this, to know and understand ourselves and make changes.

The suppression of negative emotions, as mentioned, becomes a habit and we don’t even know we do it! It’s unconscious. and because they get stronger and more powerful often, we need to use vices to help us suppress feelings and this leads to bad lifestyle choices and, in the worst cases, addiction! Which of course links back to the physical issues and symptoms. It is widely accepted that the suppression of feelings and experiences can lead to addiction.

So what does addiction look like? Well for most of us when we hear addiction we think of alcoholics or gamblers in the gutter who have lost everything and are unable to function in life. But addiction or emotional suppressive behaviours can be incognito and really it’s the drug addicts, alcoholics and gamblers that become the scapegoats of society. Because addiction can also be seen in the activities of society considered more virtuous such as: workaholism, consumerism, asset accumulation, food, success and money addiction, yoga, running, exercise, body image, spiritual practices, competitiveness, diet and health, being a victim and even being sick, can all become addictions that assist in supressing emotions!

All these activities if they become fanatical are symptoms of something deeper that we are trying to avoid. These are feelings that our addictions, virtuous or not, are covering-up that require investigation. I am not saying to stop doing any of your virtuous behaviours, just be aware, be curious, and investigate who you are.

Hmmmm has my Yoga practice become the vice? Investigate…. What happens when I don’t do it…. I get angry and stressed…. Investigate.

Mental Reasons Our Immune System Can Be Compromised

Negative thought processes, low self-esteem, self criticism, unhappiness, unworthiness, comparisons, dissatisfaction, negative thinking, obsessive thought trains and internal dialogues are all habits and conditions that contribute to lowering our vibration and immunity.

Is it the negative thoughts themselves, or is it the suppression of them, or the identification with them?

My experience with this has been long and personal and I still battle with this today. However, I have realised that the negative thoughts are always going to be there, see we attach feelings onto thoughts, which we don’t really need to do. Feelings,by themselves, don’t last that long but the feeling is perpetuated by the thoughts we create to stay in the negative feeling that we are getting some kind of juice, charge or love from,in a weird and twisted way (which is another whole can of worms).We need to investigate.

The issue with negative thoughts is that we identify with them and we become them, then we become the feelings attached to them and lose all sense of self and sink to a low vibration. A lot of our negative thoughts are unconscious, therefore, more powerful. When we become aware of them as thoughts, we can just say…. “Oh that’s interesting, I think I am an idiot, Ok thanks for sharing… not buying into that today, I have got too much to do.”

Human beings have a pre-disposition to be negative and identify with the seven negative traits of the ego;

Greed
Lust
Gluttony
Pride
Anger
Envy
Laziness

If we are really honest with ourselves and look into these seven traits,they are often or probably always at the bottom of negative thoughts and feelings.

So how do we change? Well, we have to start to become aware; we have to acknowledge, we have to feel, we have to stay with the feeling, sometimes in the right environment we have to express the feeling – but not become the feeling THIS IS THE KEY.

As far as the mind goes, it is the identification with what we think, feel and do that causes pain and brings us down. As the yogis say, we need to learn non-attachment to experiences, feelings and thoughts. Learn to observe that we feel happy or sad, because today we are a success and tomorrow we are a failure, today we are healthy tomorrow we are sick, today we are sad tomorrow we are happy, life is like that! To be content, we must learn to identify with the part that observes the experience, not become the experience itself, as that will lead us to the bi-polar experience that many of us currently live in.

OK, so we all know what weakens the immune system, so how do we strengthen it? We investigate, through AWARENESS.

Our modern life has become a consumer society, we consume everything!! Even in the Health and Wellness Industry (if I can call it that…. It seems to be an industry) its all about selling and consumption. Eat more; Greens, Chorella, Spirillina, pro-biotics, vitamins, minerals… educate more, read more, listen more, do more, be more, have more more more!!! This in itself is a dis-ease.

Sometimes less is more, this is a saying for a reason…. It is true.

When we are sick with a virus, a cold or flu. We tend to want to fix it quickly, a natural response, we don’t have time to waste lying around healing and also our absolute aversion to feeling bad in anyway, we need to fix it fast! So our answer is to consume something that will lessen the pain and, sometimes, we just want soup and toast from Mum!! Which also demonstrates our need for love and comfort. Hhhmmmm do we sometimes get sick because we need love and attention? This is super common and yet another massive can of worms! Investigate.

A quick story: during my two year breathwork study, we covered a lot of modalities; core energetics, psychotherapy, emotional release and intelligence to name a few. One of the participants had been generally sick her whole life from a small child always with something, it was real, she really did get sick and then into teenage hood became mentally ill to the point of being on anti-psychotic drugs and in and out of psych wards. During her process, she had a memory come up that when she was five or six, she was sick and had the day off school. She remembered in this case that mum stayed at home with her, rather than going to work, her siblings were all out at school and she got mum to herself and felt loved and looked after, then dad came home and gave her special attention. She realised that something inside her five-year-old mind realised that when her love needs where not getting met, she would get sick and her needs would be met. Kids don’t ask for their needs to be met, they employ their defensive behaviour!! This then continued on unconsciously into adulthood. I was blessed to be there to see her realise that there was actually nothing wrong with her, and since then, she is happy and rarely gets sick! This is a very insidious memory and occurrence but outlines how we manipulate to get out love needs met and indeed how powerful our mind is! How the mind can supress the immune system to get love! Check out Bruce Lipton’s Biology of Belief.

We could take a leaf out of the Yogi’s book as to what to do when we are sick and the best thing to do is nothing, eat nothing, do nothing… just let the body do its thing. Is our body much more intelligent than our intellect? When we can see that the human organism is absolute genius and we think we know better? How absolutely outrageous! This is a symptom of our egoic nature and really it is just an opinion. Let’s have a humility process and just let the body take over.

Getting sick and resting actually builds the strength of the immune system, our vaccination process is just a copy of our body’s natural immune building system.

The yogic practice of fasting is opposite to our consumerism, it’s ‘do not put anything in!! Stop consuming for just a few days’. A Cold or Virus is considered just purification and by resting, and this actually builds the strength of the immune system (vaccination is just a copy of the body’s natural ability to build immunity through exposure). So by fasting and being with any feelings or thoughts that surface because of that resting and abstaining from your usual activities, a deep purification of body, emotions and mind occurs, also more awareness which means a raise in consciousness too!

Eating is actually a suppressant. It’s common knowledge that people emotionally eat or want comfort food, when you fast you take away this powerful suppressant,we may experience the intense emotions and become plagued with negative thoughts that are bubbling underneath. In reality, this is just a deeper level of purification occurring, these thoughts are coming up for recognition and release.

So sickness can be a gift of healing, albeit wrapped in S*%t. If we can surrender and allow. If we can do nothing but be, be with what arises. Basically rest and get out of the way…. Let the body do its thing!

Be with, feel and observe, try not to become the feeling or the thought, just watch.

In spiritual traditions, they use fasting as purification; purification of the physical, emotional and mental bodies, once impurities are released you allow spirit to fill you up. There is plenty of information out there on fasting. Investigate.

The elephant in the room now is technology; iPhones, ipads, computers and TV’s, our modern acceptable addiction that completely lowers our vibration and supresses feelings! So stay of the technology too!

Spiritual traditions also use all the elements of creation for purification of lower vibrations.

Earth: get in-touch with the element of Mother Earth, nature purifies us and increases our vibration, we know that….

Water: we know that our body is made up of mainly water and that water holds an energy charge, that charge can be positive or negative, the spiritual traditions always use holy water as way to purify, so drinking pure water that has been mineralised by the earth and blessed with intention, immersing yourself in highly charged water like the ocean or waterfall is another way to increase vibration and purify. Check out Dr Emoto’s books on Water and how it holds positive and negative charges from thoughts!

Fire: fire transforms everything it touches and is very purifying we can see that on the Earth after a bush fire,sprouts of new growth appear and often the seeds need to be heated to break open and grow, so the destructive power of fire is the death and re-birth. We know this in our bodies when we get a fever… the immune system heats the body right up to destroy a pathogen and if we let the body do its natural thing then…. The fire in the body transforms. Fire also governs our digestive power to transform consumption into fuel.

Air: Could be the most powerful purification of all! Breathing Air into all the cells of our physical body and also the more subtle cells of the emotional and mental bodies. Air is not just oxygen but energy. Most of us know what we need to eat and drink but many people don’t have good breathing habits. The human organism can go 40 days without food and seven days without water but only two minutes without breath and, yet, most people have a very poor quality of breath!!?

Food and water does not sustain the body, breathing sustains the body. Breathing is the only function of the body that can be autonomous or consciously controlled and that is why awareness of the breath brings you to the present moment.

Conscious breathing is the key to health on every level. Firstly if you become conscious of how your body is breathing without controlling it, you will quickly realise that your breathing indicates how you feel, your breathing tells you when you are anxious, angry, sad or happy.

Breathing can be controlled to calm down and become relaxed or to be energised or to bring on emotional release or even become transcendental to the point of experiencing the very fabric of existence.

The quality of our breathing is a direct indication of our health, we breathe how we live! It is the most powerful tool of transformation, it links spirit with physical existence. Every-thing is in the breath.

There could be many reasons the immune system is impaired, it could be physical, mental, emotional, karmic or a spiritual contract. I don’t pretend to know why or diagnose. This is why it is so important to know thyself!! Investigate for yourself, be honest with yourself.

Sift through information given by health professionals, most health professionals love to diagnose and prescribe, but there are many dimensions to human beings and most health professionals work with only one dimension and, at best, work with three: physical, mental and emotional. However,the realm of spirit is beyond our comprehension and many things that may seem to be negative are actually for our spiritual growth and are actually quite positive. Our worlds are subjective, we all share the one world, however, we each live in a different world. Each of us must go through our own experience and enquiry. That’s the humility, the mystery and the wonder of life!

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SKYE HENNESSEY
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how to improve your immune system

Eat Well For A Healthy Immune System

The immune response is how the body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful. Humans have two immune mechanisms: acquired (specific) immunity, which responds to specific stimuli (antigens) and is enhanced by repeated exposure. These antibodies defend against foreign invaders: bacteria, viruses and germs; and innate (non-specific) immunity, which do not require stimulation and is not enhanced by repeated exposure.

A strong immune system requires a healthy diet. Having a well-balanced diet will supply you with all the essential nutrients the body needs for a healthy immune system such as zinc, vitamin A and C, selenium and iron. The diet needs to be made up of fresh fruits,vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts and seeds because they are abundant source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. (Reavley, N. 1988) processed foods should be avoided as much as possible because they contain unnatural substances that impact health such as genetically modified foods (GMO), insecticides, pesticides, irradiated foods, artificial colours and flavours, food additives and preservatives, etc. No one really knows the effects of the various additives when used together in the thousands of combinations inside our bodies over time. Processed foods can also mean large amounts of hidden trans fats, sodium, and sugar, which are always bad news.

Boost your immunity with antioxidant Vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body including blood vessels, bones,muscles, and skin. The body cannot store this vitamin so include it in your daily diet by eating foods such as citrus fruits, grapes,cranberries, papaya, pineapple, mango, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries,kiwi fruit, broccoli, cabbage, celery, spinach, parsley, tomatoes and tomato juice. Eat fruits and vegetables raw or lightly cooked not to damage the Vitamin C content. Vitamin C also helps the body to better absorb non-heme iron.

Carotenoids are turned into vitamin A in the body, and they have an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system against infection.(Cleveland Clinic 2016)Fruit and vegetables provide most of the carotenoids in the diet. Include carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe, squash and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, peas and Romaine or cos lettuce.

Vitamin B is part of nearly 200 biochemical reactions in the body. It is essential for optimum immune system functions. Food sources of vitamin B cereals, rice, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables bananas, chickpeas, split peas, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli,baked potatoes, lean chicken breast, cold-water fish such as tuna, and eggs. (Cleveland Clinic, 2016)

Include avocados and butternut squash as they are good sources of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. This vitamin helps maintain the health of most of the body’s cells and tissues, thus helping to repair damaged cells. (Reavley N. 1988) Add cold-pressed oils into the diet such as extra virgin olive oil. These will help boost immunity and keep the cell membranes functioning well.

Include iodine it is needed to make essential thyroid hormones. It is found in salt, seafood and seaweed. (Reavley N. 1988)

Selenium seems to have a powerful effect on the immune system. It is found in garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna, Brazil nuts and barley, among other foods. (Cleveland Clinic, 2015)

Zinc is another important mineral needed for healthy immune function.(Mayo Clinic, 2016)Zinc deficiency affects multiple aspects of innate and adaptive immunity. Zinc is found in foods such as oysters, shellfish, fish, red meat, chicken, dairy foods, eggs, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Include lean cuts of meat which are a good source of protein as are poultry such as chicken, turkey, and duck. Fish is a high quality protein and contains healthy Omega 3 essential fatty acids. The body cannot produce Omega-3s, we need to source them through diet. These essential fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatory. Include salmon, mackerel, blue-eye trevalla, sardines, barramundi, bream swordfish, halibut, tuna, anchovies, squid, scallops and mussels are all good sources of these oils. (Heart Foundation, 2011) Grilling, baking or poaching is preferred methods of cooking fish. Eggs are a good source of protein. Include some plant Omega-3s such as chia seeds, linseed/flaxseed and walnuts.

Garlic is a good anti-microbial eat at least a clove of garlic a day. (Ankri S. and Mirelman D. 1999), concluded that allicin, a constituent in freshly crushed garlic had a variety of antimicrobial activities. Add immune boosting garlic into to salads, juices, dips and soups. (Reavley, N. 1988)

Include maitake, shiitake and reishi mushrooms as they also help the immune system; and root vegetables, such as parsnips, turnips and sweet potatoes.

Eat more antioxidant-rich foods such as green, leafy vegetables and peppers and fruits such as blueberries, tomatoes, and cherries. (Reavley, N. 1988)

Include plain Greek yoghurt with good bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifido bacteria) because it is a natural antibacterial action that helps boost the immune system.

Water is needed for most body functions. Drink plenty of water, 8 glasses per day. Carry a water bottle for easy access when at work of running errands. Drink Green tea that contains epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. Try to avoid overdoing drinks that dehydrated, such as coffee.

Laugh a lot to decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus boosting the immune system. When you laugh you change physiologically the muscles stretch in the face and body, we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to the tissues Laughter is also powerful antidote to pain.

In Conclusion

Eat fresh unprocessed foods. Laugh more it makes you feel good. Stay connected to friends, community and family.

REFERENCES

American Society for Clinical Nutrition2000‘Immunologic effects of yogurt’ http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/4/861.full
Ankri S. and Mirelman D. (1999), Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic.
Cleveland Clinic, health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/01/3-vitamins-best-boosting-immunity/, “3-vitamins-best-boosting-immunity”
Goronzy JJ, Weyand CM. The innate and adaptive immune systems. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 44.
Hoffmann, David. “The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies.” (Element Books, 1996).
Harvard Health, 2016 “How-to-boost-your-immune-system, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system
Heartfoundation, ‘Omega-3, heartfoundation.org.au/images/uploads/main/Programs/Sources_of_omega_3.pdf
Mayo clinic, 2106 ‘Your Immune System’, http://www.mayoclinic.org/your-immune-system/img-20005603
Mayo clinic, 2106 ‘Nutrition and healthy eating’ http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/health-foods/sls-20076653?s=3
Mayo Clinic, ‘Zinc’, 2016, www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/zinc/background/hrb-20060638
Bennett Payne Mary and Lengacher, “Humor and Laughter May Influence Health IV. Humor and Immune Function”, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686627/,Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Jun; 6(2): 159–164. Published online 2007 Dec 5.
Reavley N. 1988 “The New Encyclopaedia Vitamins, Supplements and Herbs”
University of Maryland Medical Center 2010,
Zeratsky k. And Nelson J., 2014, ‘Make laughter a habit”
By Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. and Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.August 9, 2014

IRENE VERVLIET
Naturopathic Doctor
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how to improve your immune system

Heal Your Immune System With Sexual Energy

When it comes to healing the body, I have always had more of a holistic approach and sought natural remedies to help the healing process or prevention. It has fascinated me how the body heals itself and how it is wired.

Let’s look at that concept much deeper into energy and spiritually. Everything around us and within us is energy. Even Albert Einstein said that all matter is made of energy. When you break anything down to its atoms, they are made of protons and electrons. Protons and electrons are energy. So everything in its purest and simplest form is energy. Everything you can see, touch, and taste are all made of energy. Every cell in our bodies is made of energy. Even things you can’t see or feel, like sound and thoughts, are energy. All energy has a vibration. Actually, it is more accurate to say that energy is a vibration and every kind of energy vibrates at a different frequency.

From understanding the concept of energy, it makes sense that if energy has a blockage within our physical body, our immune system can become unhealthy and create all types of health issues. It also makes sense that if we can cause these blockages in our bodies, we can also heal them.

For a moment, bring to your awareness to how you feel when you are around happy, positive and fun people. Now how do you feel when you are around angry, miserable and unhappy people? We are forever picking up other peoples energy. Remember the saying ‘you become who you are around’ it couldn’t be any truer.

When you laugh, you are boosting your immune system by releasing endorphins. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain. Laughter also decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Now this brings me to talk to you about Sexual Energy. Sexual energy is your life force energy. We are born from sex cells, our very first experience at conception was an orgasm, I have spoken about the healing powers of orgasm in one of the Holistic Living editions, if you want to go back and read that one. I want to talk more about how to raise your sexual energy and heal through pleasure. Our bodies are designed for pleasure, we can learn through pleasure just as much as we can learn through pain, so why do many of us choose pain over pleasure? Do we not feel deserving of pleasure? Is it our childhood conditioning and the beliefs we have decided to hold on to. Our mindset has a lot to do with it and the relationship our mind has with our subconscious mind, body and spirit.

As I just mentioned earlier about laughter and also being around people that are happy, positive and fun makes you feel good, they give you pleasure. They say laughter is the best medicine and so is joy and pleasure.

Aphrodisiacs in certain foods and in food that set-off your taste buds gives you pleasure. We become what we eat, what we think, what we feel and the company we keep. We are connected to everything energetically if we like it or not. Now it comes down to the choices you make and how you want to live your life.

If you are wanting a healthy, happy and fun life then you need to look at what you need to change in order of what is happening for you. Keep doing the same things and yes you do get the same results. Be aware of your thoughts and ask yourself if that thought is serving you or not. Listen to your body, your body is one of the best communicators you have. Feel your emotions and sit in them for a bit and then move out of them so you can change your state of mind. We are human and we do have emotions so we need to keep them ‘In-Motion’ otherwise we end up suppressing them and manifesting ill health.

We are sexual beings, we need to allow the sexual energy flow through us the feeling of orgasm is actually sexual energy which has a very intense and strong vibration, it stimulates the physical nerve endings.

The nerve endings are so sensitive that they can actually feel the sexual energy which is a non-physical substance. With a full body orgasm the physical nerve endings of the entire body are stimulated by the highly vibrating sexual energy.

Have you noticed when you are in orgasm that you are in a state of bliss, the most natural and pleasurable space to be in.

Women who engage in regular sexual activity with their partners have higher levels of estrogen, which protects against heart disease.
Men who have sex two times per week may have fewer heart attacks than those who do not.

The hormones released during sex causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and it engages almost every muscle in the body. After sex, blood vessels dilate and blood pressure is then reduced. This change in blood vessel constriction may also help with tension headaches.

The endorphins released during sexual intercourse and orgasms are natural mood-boosters and stress relievers.

Regular sex can also boost your self-esteem and increase intimacy between partners.

Studies have found that semen does contain several mood-altering hormones that can reduce depression, testosterone, oestrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone pheromones, serotonin and several different feel good hormones.

Some of these changes have been detected in a women’s blood within hours of exposure to semen.

Rutgers University, psychology Professor Barry Komisaruk has a framed image of what female brain activity looks like during orgasm. It looks like a sunset. Every major region of her brain ignites at the height of climax. He is the first to record such an image, and in recent years has used his research to improve women’s lives.

Several studies have indicated that one effect can be a healthier immune system.

Immunoglobin A is a type of natural antibody produced by the body and helps to boost the functioning of the immune system. This antibody is released during an orgasm, leading to the theory that experiencing an orgasm on a regular basis may help the body’s natural disease-fighting properties.

Positive effects of an orgasm, may also include the promotion of healthy skin.

The perspiration that occurs during sexual activity can flush toxins from the body while releasing oils that nourish the skin.

The increased heart rate and deep breathing that naturally occur during an orgasm can help to push an extra burst of oxygen into the body, thus improving the overall health of the skin and other tissues of the body.

There are some beautiful tantric practises you can do to help unblock stagnant energy and even de-armour your body of childhood conditionings, this will free you to live in the true essence of who you really are.

CLAIRE FLYNN
Relationship & Intimacy Coach
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how to improve your immune system

The Forgotten Organ. The Vital Organ Your Doctor (Likely) Doesn’t Know About

Wellness begins in the gut and living microbes outnumber the cells in our body by 10:1. In fact, you could say we are more bacteria than human and many scientists believe that bacteria are crucial to a healthy immune system and one of the most underestimated determiners of health in our time.

Within our gut is a delicate balance of about 100 trillion microflora, 10 times that of the human cells in the body. These highly intelligent and sophisticated bacteria communicate with the gut wall receiving information from the gut-brain (or enteric nervous system) as to what our nutritional requirements are. Then these bacteria and enterocyte’s (the cells that line your gut) set to work on supplying these nutrients to the body.

These helpful bacteria play a number of vital roles in the digestion of food; how we break down and absorb nutrients, how we react to foods and, importantly, they support 80 percent of our immune system. Therefore, it is a reasonable to conclude that both disease and wellness begin in the gut.

The bacteria survives by feeding-off the foods that we eat and their excretions balance and maintain the pH levels of our gut. Good bacteria require a lower pH than pathogenic bacteria in order to thrive. If your gut becomes too alkaline, pathogenic yeasts and bacteria can take over affecting overall health and the immune system. Beneficial bacteria excrete lactic acid, which helps lower the pH ensuring they thrive in the slightly acidic environment they help to produce.

As if that was not enough, another role of gut bacteria is to produce vital nutrients including Vitamin K and Vitamin B7 (biotin).
While we are only just beginning to truly understand how vital bacteria are to our health, clinical trials around the globe are proving bacteria are instrumental in the reversal of many diseases and disorders.

And we are not talking one or two species. While the majority of gut bacteria is made up of 30 to 40 different types, but there is an estimated 300 to 1000 different species all working in a harmonious symbiotic relationship to keep us, their host, healthy.

Good bacteria need us to be healthy to ensure their survival, just as much as we need them to be healthy. When all is working well, it is a marriage made in heaven, however, when disease strikes, this organ is usually suffering. Many naturopaths treat 80 percent of illness through correcting gut ecology. It is truly astounding what happens when we address this organ, which may sit at the top of the pecking order in how we should address illness. Sadly, modern medicine has some catching up to do when it comes to gut health.

When antibiotics were first created, scientists understood we had non-pathogenic bacteria in our body. However, the consensus of the time was that they did not require further investigation because these bacteria were ’too microscopic’ to have any effect over the host. By assuming bacteria did not contribute to poor health, they also neglected to explore whether or not bacteria were they in fact contributing to good health. This may have one of the biggest blunders in medical science.

Today, thanks to the work of Molecular Biologists Bonnie Bassler and colleague Peter Everett Greenburg, we have a much greater understanding of how powerful these bacteria are through their discovery of quorum sensing. Bassler and Greenburg discovered that bacteria communicate by excreting chemical signalling molecules called auto-inducers. They have one type of language used amongst their own species like a secret code, and another which enables them to communicate in a universal language with other bacterial species. This communication is called quorum sensing, or quorum signalling and it essentially enables bacteria to function as a multi-cellular organism, which is why they are considered ‘The Forgotten Organ’.

Collectively, bacteria are able to influence genetic expression, which means it is imperative we learn more about how to take care of this forgotten organ. We cannot ignore that the good healthful bacteria co-exist with opportunistic or pathogenic bacteria that can cause harm and that these pathogenic bacteria also communicate via quorum sensing.

In 2012, some 200 researchers from 80 research institutions joined to create the Human Microbiome Project Consortium and have used advanced DNA sequencing to identify the thousands of species, genus and strains. Information emerging from this project could shape the future of medicine as well as functional foods in aiding medical conditions.

Functional foods are foods that contain health giving additives but,unfortunately,in many countries,medical claims about these benefits are controversial or even illegal. The hope is that once mainstream research backs-up what is already known by the few, we may be able to label which foods can benefit specific ailments. Imagine a yoghurt helpful for eczema in children, a probiotic drink that is helpful for weight loss, or a cultured vegetable that can help reduce inflammation and aids arthritis.

Healthful bacteria work to keep the immune system healthy by fighting off these unwanted invaders that have been linked to many chronic illnesses. Commonly digested medicines and modern, processed foods full of sugar and grain can destroy healthy gut flora and create an environment where pathogenic organisms can overload the gut and hijack the immune system. The best way to protect ourselves from pathogenic bacteria, therefore, is to eat a diet rich in cultured and fermented foods and avoid ingesting foods and drugs which may adversely affect beneficial bacteria.

I have always believed in the forgotten organ and raised my three daughters over the past 20 years based on this knowledge. Not once have they required a single course of antibiotics and they remain vitally healthy girls with gorgeous skin.

I have protected their gut flora (and their immune system) and after some early skin issues like eczema, I realised what happens in your gut will show on your skin. Therefore, by taking care of your forgotten organ and protecting your inner ecology, you will not only be reward with a vibrant health, but a glowing complexion that will have people asking what your secret is. It is no secret, it has just been forgotten.

Deborah Murtagh has over 20 years clinical experience in natural medicine and whole food coaching. Deborah is the founder of Whole Food Secrets, which offers a range of online programs dedicated to traditional foods coaching, and ketogenic dietary protocols for athletes, weight loss, diabetes and chronic diseases. Deborah is also a professional member of the New Zealand Guild of Food writers.

DEBORAH MURTAGH
Wholefood Expert
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how to improve your immune system

Living Fermented Foods Are In. Dead Foods Are Out!

There is a new food trend that’s bringing back the wisdom of our ancestors and making us healthier than we have been in years! It’s fermentation. Today people are fermenting everything from chillies, beetroot, garlic, tomato salsa’s, cabbage, kale, carrots, you name it and they are being pickled the traditional way. Before sugars and salts took over, preservation of our homemade preserves were all done through fermentation. The most popular fermentation method is lacto-fermentation, utilising whey strained from yoghurt and it makes homemade preserves a total breeze! More than any other time in history, we now understand the importance of healthy gut bacteria to keep our immune system strong.

Whey

To strain whey from plain unsweetened yoghurt, take a colander lined with cheese cloth or a paper towel and place it over a bowl. Refrigerate overnight and in the morning you will have whey at the bottom and thick yoghurt at the top. You can use the yoghurt as you would sour cream. Whey will keep in a jar in the fridge for several weeks.

Beet Kvass

A healing tonic, beet kvass is a health drink full of probiotic bacteria that takes only minutes to make and keeps forever! One dose of this tonic daily and your liver and gut will love you for it!

• 1 kg beetroot peeled and chunked
• 1 tbsp Himalayan Salt
• Culture starter, such as 3 tbsp whey
• 3 litres clean water
• 4-5 litre mason jar

1. Place beets in a jar.
2. Sprinkle with sea salt and add starter culture.
3. Pour in one quart filtered water.
4. Allow the the kvass to ferment at room temperature for 48 to 72 hours.
5. Strain the beets from the kvass and reserve them for culturing your next batch.

These reserved beets should be good for two to three additional batches and can be consumed on salads. Kvass should be transferred to the refrigerator.

Kimchi

Kimchi is the native food of Korea. Koreans eat kimchi breakfast, lunch and dinner and will often have a fermentation crock on their front porch with dedicated kimchi refrigerators. Traditionally, the entire village would come together to make the kimchi over a weekend at harvest to store it for the year.

• 1 large Chinese cabbage
• ¼ cup Himalayan salt
• 1 cup Korean red chili powder (coarse gochugaru, available at Asian supermarkets)
• ½ cup fish sauce (make sure the only two ingredients are anchovies and salt for a true fermented version vs. one that includes flavorings like MSG)
• 2 Tbsp natural sugar like rapadura
• 100 gm of fresh ginger, to taste
• 1 large daikon radish (200g), finely julienned
• ½ cup finely diced or slices onion
• 4 bulbs of garlic, peeled, to taste
• ½ cup chopped spring onions
• 500 grams (around 2 packed cups) of grated carrots
• Optional flavors can be lemongrass slices and kefir lime leaves, finely sliced

1. Prepare the cabbage:
Wash well and remove the bulk of the core of the cabbage.
2. Slice the cabbage in half-length ways then cut each piece lengthwise into 3-4 pieces.
3. Place cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt placing some between the layers of leaves then cover in warm (not hot) water. Let it sit for 30 minutes (can be left for 5 hours)
4. In a food processor add the ginger, garlic, fish sauce, chili powder and sugar (lemongrass and kefir lime if using) and whizz into a paste.
5. Drain the cabbage when ready and pat dry, then place in a large bowl with the grated carrots and daikon radish then with rubber gloves on mix the paste thoroughly through the layers of cabbage. Squeeze the cabbage as you go to release moisture
6. Pack the kimchi very tightly into your mason jar of crock and ensure that all air is removed. There should be a liquid layer on top. Weigh your kimchi down with a liquid fill jar or fermentation weight to ensure your kimchi stays below the liquid line.
7. Cover with a dark tea towel and place onto your bench top and leave for at least one week before trying. You can ferment longer to create a sourer kimchi. The sourer the healthier, so you may want to leave it 2-4 weeks. Then place into your refrigerator where it will keep for a good 6 months.

Lacto-Fermented Garlic

If you feel a cold coming on try a clove or two of fermented garlic- they are health crusaders that work! Otherwise use as you would any garlic.

• Loads of garlic, preferably organic, about 5-8 bulbs
• 2 tsps dried juniper berries
• 2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
• 2 tbsp whey (see below)
• 1 small mason jar, about 500mls
• Spring water, (chlorine and fluoride free)

1. With clean hands, peel the garlic and remove and blemishes.
2. Place garlic cloves into a sterilized mason jar.
3. Add the juniper berries, salt and whey with ½ cup filtered water and pour over garlic.
4. Make sure that the liquid comes at least an inch above the garlic adding more water if necessary. The top of the liquid should be at least an inch below the top of the jar.
5. Close lid and keep at room temperature for three days.
6. Pop the lid to check to see if fermentation is occurring. It should fizz like ginger beer. If not, store on the bench top for a few additional days. Once active (popping when the lid is lifted and fizzing) it is ready to use. I keep my in the pantry but if the weather is hot, store in the fridge.

They are ready to eat when they are bubbling like champagne. But they will soften and get better with age and will keep for several years if stored in a cool place!

These recipes were provided by Deborah Murtagh
of Whole Food Secrets, www.wholefoodsecrets.com

DEBORAH MURTAGH
Wholefood Expert
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how to improve your immune system

Do You Sabotage Your Immune System?

In writing this article, I wanted you, the reader, to see and feel things from a different perspective. I wanted to find the words that I could share about energy healing, in particular about Forensic Healing. How understanding, being compassionate, feeling kindness, all contributes to your body’s way of negotiating and keeping your immune system healthy, so bare with my story…

Like a ripe avocado ready for the picking then….

Looking out my window from my healing space, I have a tree that is blossoming with the abundant fruit of avocadoes. Its base actually resides in the neighbour’s yard, but gently leans over two fences. It is large, healthy and there is so much fruit that not even the owners could consume it all. In all the years that we have lived here, we have been blessed with receiving these delicious avocados (though several years ago something strange happened where the neighbours decided to climb over the fence,when we weren’t home, and cut back one of the main branches that was so full of fruit and take it back over their side!) The tree was literally sabotaged, cut down whilst it was doing what it was meant to do. Why would you want to cut down something that is growing and filling its branches with food that maybe some other people could receive some fruit as well? I was at a loss for words, it left a gapinghole and as they dragged it over (and destroyed the old brick lined fence) all the fruit hanging on the remainder of the branches was back in their yard. Now I’m not saying that anyone who grows trees or gardens should just allow anyone into your yard to take what they want(alas, they were the good ole days!)… but a tree that is growing so big and hanging over two other yards fences says to me, I have enough fruit for everyone! I grew up in the days where our neighbours and our yards were filled with all sorts of fruit and vegetables and we were encouraged to eat from each other’s gardens and off the trees, there was simply an abundance available, so sharing it with your neighbours is exactly what we did.

It took a couple of years before we saw the tree bare fruit of decent size and quantity again. Since that time the tree has grown even more,it fills the view of our dining room window (we no longer can see the small line of ocean we used to as the tree has replaced that!) The neighbour’s cheeky effort to sabotage this tree back then with its fruit,thinking it would discourage it from doing what nature intended it to do, somehow gave this plant the mighty courage to grow even bigger. And just yesterday I was able to pick 6 avocadoes so I could share with my neighbours. There are plenty more to go around.

So what does the whole story about the avocadoes have to do with Forensic Healing I hear you say? I know it’s a long story but it has a relevance in different ways.

Emotions And The Immune System – Sabotage

Remember how I said this powerful tree had been ‘sabotaged’.It was minding its own business. It wasn’t hurting anyone; it wasn’t in the way of progress or having to be cut down for safety reasons. The person decided to sabotage the tree, knowing full well that others would not reap the benefits of the fruit. There are probably many ways to interpret the way the tree was attacked, destroyed, or ruined, but I see it as sabotage.

Forensic Healing helps people understand themselves more deeply. We know that negative emotions can affect the immune system for several hours…I know some people can hold emotional experiences to a point that it affects others around them. What is that doing to your immune system?

What does sabotage mean? When you are deliberately wasting or damaging tools, machinery or production of yourself, someone or something. How often have you sabotaged something in your life? Sabotage is about negatively interfering with plans or businesses. We can sabotage ourselves, called self-sabotage, which means we purposefully interfere with our own life so we are unable to move forward to achieve certain outcomes we have set for ourselves.

Self Sabotage Can Appear In Many Ways

when you attempt to get healthy but can’t stop the old habits;
relationships you attract are negative and this blocks your progress; and
buying things you can’t afford so you are always kept in debt;

Our unconscious mind is made up of many emotions and beliefs, a place for unacceptable ideas, wishes or desires, and memories that are traumatic and painful that can be hidden by repression. It can also hold the positive ideas, experiences, and beliefs and its effects will appear in the symptoms of one’s life.

Common Self Sabotage Behaviours

procrastination;
destroying good working relationships;
trust issues;
negative self talk;
attracting continual ‘crisis’ in life to feel purpose;
addictive behaviours/co dependency;and
staying in abusive relationships.

In Forensic Healing, we ‘read’ the body to access the subconscious or unconscious mind, thoughts and beliefs. Here we have the opportunity to change what isn’t working for them. Forensic Healing is a powerful system. Every time I have a chance to use this system I grow and I know I’m helping someone to heal from whatever condition, trauma or stress their bodies have trapped.

The contributors (myself included) within this magazine want to share their knowledge, wisdom, talents and gifts. We cannot sit on the tree and be available for only a handful to use, as there is so much valuable ‘fruit’ to be shared around. It’s about wanting as many people to know this information and that it can be spread around so everyone gets a chance to taste what they have to offer. The more people that have the tools to find ways that they can improve themselves energetically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Everyone can play a part and the message will find its way to grow and in turn will help you, your family, friends, community and humanity.

Why The Forensic Healing System Works…

Forensic Healing uses Healing Secrets to activate spontaneous healing forces
Words of Power are used to close down negative forces and open positive energies
We follow a protocol of Opening and Closing statements to bless, access higher sources and guidance etc
The Client plays an active part in the identification of life patterns and the emotions that run them
Identifying the clients age where the impact with programs, beliefs and patterns occurred
Embeds Law of Attraction to enhance life changes
Exposes how are relationships leave imprints on ourselves and others
Addressing all healing pathways – energetic, physical, emotional and spiritual
As a Forensic Healer I know exactly what to do- step by step for any condition
Understanding the patterns of clients who heal easily and the clients who don’t
As a therapist we too are healed with the client, creating good karma and attracting what we need to make your healing experience successful
A feeling of passion and excitement solving life problems
I genuinely care about your progress as a therapist

May you always know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that love will guide you along the way, which everyone’s journey is sacred and unique. Let me be a light to help you on your path and with the benefits of incorporating the Forensic Healing system into your life can be profound and empowering.

Love, Light and many Blessings

SHONA RUSSELL
Forensic Healer
Click here to work with me.



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how to improve your immune system

How To Improve Your Immune System Through Foam Rolling

I’m sure by now you’ve either used one yourself or seen these long or short cylinders, they are most often blue. You would have most likely seen them at physio, chiro, in the gym, Pilates or even watching sports people train or play. They are being rolled onto various parts of the body and are often accompanied by funny facial expressions or noises, as the foam roller reaches an area of discomfort!

The Benefits Of Foam Rolling Are Endless, But Here Are Just Some Of The Many Benefits Listed For You:

core and functional strength;
flexibility and mobility;
stability;
balance;
movement preparation;
faster recovery from physical activity including faster injury rehabilitation;
regeneration of soft tissue and collagen; anti-ageing and the breakdown of scar tissue;
posture;
musculoskeletal imbalances by removing asymmetries and scoliosis;
Carpal Tunnel;
circulation;
detoxification from metabolic wastes and environmental toxins;
RSI;
reducingpain, including. Myofascial pain, Growing Pains, Fibromyalgia, PMR (Polymyalgia Rheumatica);
sleep; especially vital REM sleep;
cellulite;
reduction of stress and anxiety (especially during exam times for students or sporting performance or from work);
the releasing of emotions (as the fascial system is believed to hold emotions);
mental clarity; and
Immune System.

Today, I’d like to focus on how foam rolling can enhance your immune system.

But before we talk about how foam rolling can help the immune system, we need to talk briefly about fascia.

Fascia

“A fascia (/ˈfæʃə/, /ˈfæʃiə/; plural fasciae /ˈfæʃᵻ.i/; adjective fascial; from Latin: “band”) is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.[1] Fascia is classified by layer, as superficial fascia, deep fascia, and visceral or parietal fascia, or by its function and anatomical location.” -Source Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascia

Fascia is a matrix or cells, consisting mostly of collagen, however, it also contains immune cells which create and repair the matrix.

The Lymphatic System

At the cellular level, fascia assists in respiration and elimination of wastes, which helps our body’s immune system and does this mostly through the lymphatic system.

“The lymphatic system follows the fascial system. Fascia has an essential role in hemodynamic and biochemical processes, and provides the matrix that allows for intercellular communication. After injury, it is the fascia that creates an environment for tissue repair.” – Dr. Jeffrey Tucker

Therefore, maintaining healthy fascia will in turn allow the lymphatic system to process waste products effectively.

To help the lymphatic system process waste within the body, good posture is crucial to allow for less restrictions within the body’s processes and it couldn’t be said better than Dr. Roger Sperry, 1980 Nobel Prize for Brain Research:

“Better than 90 percent of the energy output of the brain is used in relating the physical body in its gravitational field. The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism, and healing [the immune system]”.

Now I can hear you already asking: How do I maintain healthy fascia?

To maintain healthy fascia, we need to work on improving the quality of our soft tissue and one part of this is through movement and massage. I prefer massage first, followed by movement. Ideally this needs to be done daily, like flossing your teeth.

My dentist once said to me years ago:
“You only need to floss the teeth that you want to keep!”

I now say, that:
“You only need to roll the muscles that you want to keep!”

Foam rolling is to muscles and fascia, what flossing is to your teeth and opening up the spaces between your teeth and not letting food build up around them. Similarly, foam rolling removes the build-up of the fascial fibres which get thick, disorganised and stuck around the muscles, which allows for better gliding of the soft tissue structures as they move and rub against each other.

Now, if you can afford to get a daily massage then that’s brilliant and I encourage you to continue do so. However, not everyone can afford a massage daily, weekly or even monthly!

So the next best option is foam rolling and is the best way that I’ve found to maintain healthy soft tissue i.e. fascia.

Once you’ve learnt to foam roll correctly and safely, with no pain; foam rolling can be done daily and even multiple times per day, anywhere and at any time and for a fraction of the cost of massage. It will enable you to get more out of your hands-on massage by being able to go deeper with the hands on approach and will help you to maintain healthy fascia in between your massage, so that restrictions and blockages within the soft tissue, doesn’t build up to being a bigger problem through the ongoing self-maintenance.

If you’re a massage therapist and you’re reading this; no I’m not trying to send you broke! In fact, as a massage therapist who cares about your clients, you want to do everything that you can to help them in between massages and you want to be able to empower your clients to better manage their own bodies. People will always like and need a hands on massage and foam rolling is just another part of the fascial matrix and I encourage you to come learn what I do and start doing the same with your clients!

So, How Do I Foam Roll Correctly, Safely And Above All, Pain Free?

Well, using my patent pending 3-in-1 foam roller, The MoveBetterRoller™ which is the only full length foam roller that is fully portable and comes with a piece of wooden dowel which acts as a connector of the 2 sub foam rollers, but it also doubles as a third mini roller for areas like the feet and hands.

The 3-in-1 MoveBetterRoller™

The feet are the very first place that I go to when foam rolling, to begin to maintain healthy fascia. Yes, the feet…and NO, not the ITB (iliotibial band). In fact, the ITB is often the LAST place that I go to when foam rolling, however that’s a discussion for another time!

The feet contain the plantar fascia and you may have heard or even had it in the past, plantar fasciitis? Which is a condition whereby the plantar fascia is inflamed and often very painful.

The plantar fascia is actually connected to every bit of fascia right throughout your body; even to the fascia throughout your organs and down to the fascia which connects to your bone. So it’s a great place to start in my experience, as it pre-releases the global fascial network globally throughout your body.

FREE Exercise Tip To Start Enhancing Your Immune System

Grab yourself a MoveBetterRoller™ and use the wooden dowel connector, or cut off a piece of dowel from your broomstick, or even find a pvc tube, at least 30mm in diameter and about 150 mm in length and follow these steps to get you started to healthy fascia.


1. Test: Before you start foam rolling, please try an overhead squat and do 3 repetitions and notice how far down you go and where you feel tension or restriction. Stop at the first sign of pain or discomfort.

2. Stand with the dowel in between both feet, but not touching any foot.

3. SLOWLY roll the length of the first foot and stop where you feel discomfort or no more than 7/10 of intensity and then hold the pressure on that spot until the pressure/discomfort reduces or goes away. Do this for a minimum of 3-5 min or until the opposite foot that you’re standing on gets tired.

4. Immediately after rolling the first foot, repeat your overhead squats to notice if there is any change in how you feel or any improvement in range of motion and make note of it.

5. Continue to roll the other foot in the same way. Notice is there’s any difference in the pressure from one foot to the other. If one foot is tighter than the other, then roll the tighter one again.

6. Repeat the squat test after rolling both feet and make note of how you feel and if there has been any change in how you feel or improved range of motion.

It would be great if you could try this exercise and video/photograph yourself before and after squat and show me the changes that you have received by doing this one exercise! I’m sure that you’ll be amazed at the difference.

Remember, working on your overall fascial network, improves overall flexibility and mobility and assists in taking pressure off the fascial network and helps flush the Lymphatic System and, hence, supports a healthy immune system.

If you would like more information on foam rolling or the MoveBetterRoller™, please get in touch with me and if you’re in Sydney, Australia and would like to experience one of my foam rolling classes for FREE, please let me know.

Inventor of The MoveBetterRoller™ – the only fully portable full length foam roller.

Move Better. Play Better. Live Better.

ANGELO CASTIGLIONE
Movement Specialist
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how to improve your immune system

Autoimmune Recipe – Vegetable Tagine

How to improve your immune system with food? Foods that support a healthy immune system are well reported and in this issue I am bringing to you a recipe that not just includes good food choices, it includes important spices that add to the natural goodness of the foods and boost their benefits.

While the core recipe is vegetables, please feel free to add some organic, pasture raised meat proteins. My choice is chicken thighs that have a honey and chilli glaze. More on that recipe another time.

Vegetable Tagine

Ingredients

2 large onions, peeled
1 tsp ground paprika
Optional: Harissa to taste
400g carrot, peeled
1 tsp ground turmeric
200g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
2 turnips, peeled
500g sweet potatoes, peeled
1 handful flat parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
400g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled
1 handful coriander seeds, finely chopped
¾ cup water
200g green beans, ends chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
5 tsp olive oil


Method

Chop the onions in thick slices. Cut the carrot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and turnips into large chunks. Halve the beans.

In a medium sized bowl add the garlic, cumin and coriander seeds, herbs, salt and the rest of the spices and mix into a thick paste. Add some Harissa if using any (I used a teaspoon). Add the olive oil and water and mix to combine.

Grease a tagine or alternatively a large deep bottom pan with lid with 1 tsp olive oil.

Layer the vegetables in the tagine/pan, first the onions, then the potatoes, etc. finish with the beans and tomatoes. Season with ground pepper between each layer.

Pour a bit of the spice mixture in between each vegetable layer making sure to keep at least a third to pour on top.

Put the tagine/pan on top of a stove top heat diffuser on medium heat and leave to heat up covered for 10 to 15 minutes until the veggies start to steam. Then lower the heat and leave to cook covered for about 1 hour or until the vegetables are cooked through.

Oven option. Place the tagine in a cold oven and turn temp to 170C and once up to temp cook for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the vegetables are cooked through.

Serve your choice of additional protein on the side to top the vegetables on your plate.

how to improve your immune system

JIMMY BOSWELL
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