In the Steps of the Physicians of Myddfai

no comments

It’s a fair old trek up the stunningly beautiful hills around the tranquil Carmarthenshire village of Myddfai in Wales, and the undulating landscape gave me a tremendous respect for the herbalists who had trodden those paths before me. I wondered whether their health was fortified by the fresh air and daily demands of climbing the hills to gather the herbs for their clinic, or if they would become weakened by the challenges of unforgiving elements, frequent wind and rain and an obligation to their community to fetch freshly harvested medicines.

For those who are unfamiliar with the legend of the Physicians of Myddfai, they seem to have come to prominence when Lord Rhys (the man who instigated the Eisteddfod) established a centre of healing known as the ‘Strata Florida’ meaning ‘layers of flowers’ in 1177. Lord Rhys’ phyician and his 3 sons were given land in the village of Myddfai in return for their medical services to the community. The medicinals were all locally grown natural products, primarily for headache, sunburn, swelling, pains, coughs and sneezing (presumably allergies!).

Their reputation spread across all of Wales and Myddfai became known as a hub of learning and of the healing arts which attracted visitors seeking remedies for over 100 years.

Legend has it that a farmer saw a beautiful lady by the lake (llyn y fan fach) and he asked her to marry him, not knowing or understanding that she had magical powers. Eventually she agreed on one condition: that if he struck her three times, then she would return to the lake. Over time, this came to pass and after he had indeed struck her 3 times, she returned to the depths of the lake. The farmer was heartbroken, as were their 3 sons.

Following the legend of The Lady of The Lake and the Physicians of Myddfai, I wanted to indulge in the magical waters that herbalists have drunk from before me!

The legend goes on to say that all 3 sons had inherited their mothers magical knowledge by visiting the lake, peering into the depths and receiving her wisdom. They had the chance to become warriors, but instead they became renowned healers.

Since that time, it is believed that anyone who goes to the source of the lake and drinks the water can also be blessed with the magical healing gifts of the Lady of the Lake, so of course when I moved to Wales, that is exactly what I did and I offered up a little prayer to the herbalists who have served the communities here before me, that I may be blessed with their permission to continue their wonderful work.

Health & Wellness News Herbal Medicine

NICE recommends acupuncture for chronic pain

no comments
Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued guidelines which exclude painkillers for chronic pain and instead recommend acupuncture for chronic pain, along with exercise, CBT and antidepressants.

The draft recommendations will be open for consultation until 14th September 2020 and the final guidelines will be issued in January 2021.

The background to this lies not only in the widely discussed opioid crisis in the UK at the moment, but also that around one third of the UK population suffers from chronic pain and two thirds of those have time off work because of it. Interestingly, this guideline looks specifically at chronic primary pain which is characterised by emotional distress and functional disability so patients with conditions that have previously not been well diagnosed or treated such as fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, chronic neck pain and chronic pelvic pain, for example, would benefit directly from these changes if they go through.

So what would this mean in practice?

If these guidelines were to be adopted, it would make it far easier for GPs to recommend acupuncture and potentially for acupuncture to be offered on the NHS. However, in order to stay below the threshold of being ‘cost-effective’ the acupuncture would be limited to 5 hours of treatment per patient (could be 10 x 30 minute sessions) and be carried out in the community, not hospitals, by NHS band 6 or 7 staff or equivalent (BAcC Members would hope to be recognized at this level).

Whilst I am absolutely delighted by this news, I do intend to raise concerns that because all styles of acupuncture are covered by this, it means that a GP who has done less than 70 hours of training in acupuncture would be on an equal footing as someone who has done a full time 4 year degree course, such as myself. In very simple terms, what this means is that if you go to a GP you will be given antidepressants for your mood and acupuncture as an alalgesic. If you come to me for treatment, I will be able to use the full specturm of what Traditional Chinese acupuncture has to offer for your mental and emotional well-being as well as the physical pain. High MacPherson conducted extensive research into Acupuncture and the treatment of depression known as the AcuDep report which indicates that acupuncture and CBT yielded better results than anti-depressants.

However, this revision of the guidelines is a very positive move indeed and at the very least, acupuncture will ‘first do no harm’, unlike the opioids that have been over-prescribed for far too long.

Aches & Pains Health & Wellness News

Back(ache) To Work Week: Mouse Shoulder, stress, tension and reduced productivity – and a solution!

no comments

Backache To Work Week: Painful shoulder 

Are your staff coming to work dosed up on opioids or other pain-killers, just to be able to get through a day in the office without being in too much physical pain?  Are they too afraid to take time off to get the cause of their pain addressed?  If either of these scenarios are likely to be the case, then not only will there be an issue with staff morale and hence staff turnover, but the productivity is going to be much lower then it would be with a happy, healthy workforce. 

Back and joint pain is the second biggest cause of absence from work after common colds and viruses, particularly amongst 50-64 year olds, with the next highest category off work due to mental health reasons, namely ‘stress’.

According to an article in HR Review, “an estimated three million people taking long-term sick leave or say they are unable to work due to back pain according to research from Nuffield Health, with a further 6 million people suffering ‘in silence\ that could be easily treated or avoided altogether.  Although the government celebrates the statistics of fewer people than ever before being off work due to sick leave, a new phenomenon has emerged called ‘presenteeism’ – attending work when ill and ended people are far more likely to turn up to work sick than to take time off work when they are actually well.

Sir Cary Cooper, a professor at Manchester Business School, said presenteeism was the major factor. “Sickness absence is low because presenteeism is high. Given the aftermath of the recession and with Brexit looming people are frightened to be off ill, so they show ‘face time’ when ill or feeling low or job dissatisfied. They do not want high levels of absenteeism on their HR record, which they feel will make them vulnerable.”

Presenteeim does not work for employees or employers.  For that reason, I have introduced corporate packages for foresighted employers who want to support heir staff to stay healthy or to recover quickly if they become ill or who are in physical pain.

The vast majority of people who use a computer will experience some degree of pain or discomfort in the shoulder they use to control the mouse.  When people come for acupuncture to relieve the pain, I often find that the entire upper back, neck and shoulders are tense and there is even a knock-on effect on the breathing because the back muscles are so tight the the rib cage cannot move freely!  This means that they are not fully oxygenating their brains and will have more of a propensity to be muzzy-headed and cloudy in their thinking and judgement. 

Acupuncture, electro-acupuncture and cupping has long been known to be an excellent treatment for pain, but what isless well-known is the AcuDep repost into acupuncture and the treatment of depression. (MacPherson et al 2014 ) in which acupuncture was found to be at least as effective as anti-depressant in the treatment of depression.  

With the frightening statistics of pain-killer abuse and the opioid crisis and increasing awareness of the effects of stress the Welsh Government as introduced the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2014 that covers several areas including health.

“In the Well-being of Future Generations Act, this goal {healthier Wales} is defined as “A society in which people’s physical and mental well-being is maximised and in which choices and behaviours that benefit future health are understood.” 

If you would like to know more about Barefoot Medicine Corporate packages to help your staff cope with either physical pain such as backache or mental and emotional pain such as stress, then , please contact Simone Buehner on +44 7715 239 999.

Aches & Pains Pain Management Treatments for Aches & Pains

What the Fly on the Wall of my Clinic would tell HR Managers to help them improve productivity in the workplace.

no comments
Stress at work natural solutions

I have often joked that if it weren’t for employers and families, my clinic would be empty and I would be out of the job!

The beauty of any lifestyle medicine such as TCM is that we get to spend 90 minutes with our clients at their first appointment and then about an hour a week for a while after, so we get to know not only their symptoms, but the underlying cause of the problem as well. 

The vast majority of my clients talk about stress in the workplace and we see from statistics that employers are also in a difficult situation with ineffective workers going off sick on a regular basis. No-one is winning from the current situation, so the Fly on the Wall in my clinic has some insight for HR Managers to improve the working environment, the health of their staff and the productivity of the business.

Scenario 1: Do you know how many of your staff have some kind of digestive problem such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome? A vey high percentage of people come to clinic with this diagnosis and they have been prescribed lanzoprazole by their GP and are told to avoid stress and eat sensibly. The first problem with this is that it does not solve the problem and the second is that people cannot just ‘avoid stress’ because either they put up with the stress at work, or they resign and have the stress of unpaid bills. By contrast, I have found that using functional medicine tests to get a scientific report on the state of the gut and then using acupuncture to treat the digestion, metabolism and stress levels, I have got very good results in a relatively short period of time with IBS patients who are then able to go back to work with few if any symptoms.

As an HR Manager, you may or may not be aware that any given employee is suffering from IBS because people are often embarrassed to talk about it, yet if you have senior managers who are stressed at work because of tight deadlines or managing tight budgets and who skip lunch or eat junk food at their desk, they are at a very high risk of developing IBS because the stress hormones over-ride the digestive hormones, so they not only get digestive pains, alternating constipation and diarrhoea and eventually become malnourished and unable to think clearly, but they are also not going to be focused on meetings if they are worried about rushing out to the toilet before some very embarrassing symptoms appear!  None of this is an exaggeration, this is a painful reality for a great many people and as an HR Manager, you need to know if people’s productivity is being affected by something that could be overcome relatively easily.

Scenario 2: Infertility is on the rise because stress hormones override sex hormones. Furthermore, people are choosing to have children later in life so their fertility levels are naturally lower anyway. A lot of men and women who come to my clinic do so because they have been ‘diagnosed’ with Unexplained Infertility. Firstly, I must say that in TCM and functional medicine there is seldom such a ‘diagnosis’, but aside from that, most people follow advice from their GP and just ‘keep trying’. In the work environment, unless you have an extremely good relationship with your staff, few women and even fewer men are going to tell you that they are desperate to have a baby.  Anyone who has never experienced this situation cannot imagine how all-consuming it can become. Suffice to say that  I have had to start running my clinic on a Sunday to accommodate people in this situation because they do not want to tell their employers that they are having any kind of fertility treatment and they do not feel able to take the time off work on a weekly basis to get treatment. 

The emotional impact of infertility or IVF treatment is so extreme that many people decide to resign in order to lower their stress levels and increase their chances of falling pregnant. For them, family is more important than work, especially if they are unhappy in their job. As an HR manager, it would cost you far more to replace them and train someone up than it would cost in ‘down time’ for people to get the support they need by having 1 hour per week of acupuncture, nutrition or functional medicine consultations, but if they do not feel able to talk to you about it, then you cannot support hem and neither party wins!

But there is a solution that benefits both the employer and the employee!

What would your HR budget look like if you had fewer people off sick with backache or stress? Or if you had fewer resignations, or fewer new staff to train up? How would meetings go if your staff were focused, happy and healthy? Where would your business be if you had your pick of the best staff because of high employee satisfaction ratings? Who could you attract if you had a reputation for being an excellent employer with excellent employee satisfaction feedback?

One answer could be that happy, healthy people who are not feeling stressed are productive and content. The fly on the wall sees how people genuinely WANT to do a good job, they get their sense of satisfaction through doing a good job, so as an employer if you facilitate these feelings, everyone can win. 

At Barefoot Medicine I have found that the Corporate Packages we offer are proving very popular to help combat these issues.  Acupuncture, nutritional therapy, functional lab tests and relaxation can all help improve health and wellbeing. By taking out a Corporate Package for your employees, the timely healthcare they would receive would help to prevent them from getting ill. Acupuncture can help with stress as well as any medication (see the AcuDep research from York University), and it can also help with many other health problems such as headache, fertility, digestive problems etc. For those with more chronic long-term health conditions, there are functional medicine tests that can be done to measure stress hormones, digestive hormones, sleep hormones and gut function. 

Given the long waiting lists to see GPs, consultants or get treatment through the NHS, a Corporate Package with Barefoot Medicine would enable you to keep your staff healthy, you would be able to meet your Corporate Responsibility requirements, you could help your staff by incorporating it into a Return to Work package so you can cut costs on staff absences, recruitment and training etc. Furthermore, your staff would feel valued and instead of leaving your employ due to stress, they would want to stay with you because of the health benefits. 

To find out more about the Corporate Packages, please visit www.BarefootMedicine.co.uk or telephone Simone Bühner on +44 7715 239 999.

Acupuncture Acupuncture for Stress Acupunctureforstress Anxiety, Stress & Panic Attacks Stress At Work

The NHS is not the crisis, but the symptom of a far worse dilemma…

no comments
TCM Answer to NHS Crisis

We live in a society where the healthcare industry does not care about food and the food industry does not care about health, yet the very building blocks of our entire immune system can only come from that which we consume so neither industry is helping us to help ourselves!

GPs swear the hippocratic oath, yet after only 250 years of modern medicine they have forgotten the main thing that Hippocrates said: let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food Why is nutrition not a part of conventional medicine? Why is it not even in the curriculum (in any significant measure) when people train to become a doctor?

Entering a supermarket is little better. There are on average 2 aisles of ‘real’ food – fruit and vegetables that are at least akin to their appearance in their natural state. The rest of the entire shop – some ten aisles in many cases – are packed full of food-like substances in brightly coloured packaging to entice us towards something that will, at first sight, make our lives easier because of minimal preparation, but in the long term will make living infinitely more difficult when our health fails.

The most basic needs of humankind are air, water, food and security. ‘Modernisation’ has led us to pollute the air, contaminate the water and produce food-like substances made from chemicals, additives, enhancers and dyes. Making our lives ‘easier’ actually means making us lazier, so we no longer get as much exercise, we don’t even have to stand at the cooker preparing nutritious food because the microwave will do it for us in 2 minutes, we no longer have family time around the dinner table where we can nourish our surroundings, our emotions, our security as well as our body. Indeed many families eat meals on their laps in front of the TV, building a stronger relationship with a SitCom character than with their own family members.

So without our most basic human needs being met, valued and developed, how much easier has our life actually become when our health fails because we didn’t eat properly; when our relationships fail because we didn’t take the time to nourish them because we were too busy engaging with electronic devices; when we are lonely and have no-one to help us when we are ill or elderly because everyone is too busy nurturing their virtual friends online instead of engaging in face-to-face time.

The NHS is a symptom of a sick society that has grown accustomed to handing over the responsibility for their own health to someone else who is meant to fix it for them – free of charge, of course – with minimal effort to make changes themselves until a personal health crisis makes them value it more.

Our National Health Service has become a victim of its own success!! A wonderful resource designed to help people when they most need it has, in fact, become a crutch for a society that is no longer taught, much less encouraged, to take responsibility for its own health. Until your local GP surgery is sponsored by your local greengrocer or farmer instead of the drugs industry, you will always be given a flu jab at this time of year instead of an armful of oranges and some immune-system boosting recipes.

As a practitioner of Chinese medicine, I find it staggering that we have to prove ourselves repeatedly to gain the respect of conventional western medicine. For 5000 years the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine has put teaching at the heart of its work and indeed it is said that years ago the doctors in China were paid according to the number of their patients that they DID NOT see. Not because their waiting lists were full, but because they were teachers who taught their community how to remain healthy, not how to get better once they have become sick! Doctors were teachers first and foremost and the people needed to stay healthy because far from being employed and getting sick pay if they were off, they were self-employed and needed to remain healthy to maintain the household income! Even in the West, prior to the industrial revolution some 90% of the population was self-employed, whereas now 90% are employed and no longer need to worry about keeping the money coming in if they get sick.

The NHS crisis is merely a long-overdue symptom of the true pending crisis. The average age of mortality is lowering at a time when we have more than ever before – more food, more opportunities, more communications. The very time we as a society should be flourishing, we are floundering.

The survivors will be those who know how to look after their own health and that of those they love, how to feed and nourish themselves, grow their own food and live in the way of a permaculture-based society working together for the greater good, not being dependent upon the failing institutions and industries that have set themselves up as crutches to help us, but whose overuse has left us lame.

Health & Wellness News

no comments
Tips on Getting Enough Sleep

It’s easy to point to your schedule as the reason why you can’t get enough sleep. By the time you get a free moment it’s bedtime, and you really don’t want to go to bed just yet; you need some down time. Then you stay up too late and the cycle continues.

There are all sorts of other reasons, too, for not getting enough sleep. Maybe you have a spouse who snores, or you just have trouble sleeping once you do get to bed (insomnia). Whatever the reason, it’s important to make time and create the right environment for getting enough sleep. Here are some tips on how to do that.

It’s Bedtime

Remember how your parents pestered you about bedtime? They had a point. Instead of looking at the ever-later clock each night, knowing you “really should” get to bed, set a bedtime and stick with it. Most experts agree that you should go to sleep before midnight, preferably before 11pm.

If this isn’t possible, be realistic and set a bedtime when you know you can get it, even if it’s midnight or 12:30am. Then be sure you get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep.

Another note about bedtime – if it’s too early, that can cause problems too, experts note. If you find yourself fading to sleep at 7 or 8pm, you may find that you wake up in the small hours after only 5 or 6 hours’ sleep, and you can’t get back to sleep.

Your Bedroom

You may have a set-up in your bedroom that is not conducive to sleep. Here are some things to look for and adjust in your bedroom to make it more sleep-promoting.

* Dark and cool is the rule for a sleepy bedroom. Darkness is important for a proper night’s sleep – lights from neighbors’ homes, screens (including the TV or computer screen), lamps, and so forth can disturb your sleep patterns.

Cooler temperatures are said to promote sleep. A higher body temperature may actually stimulate the body and prevent sleep, but cool temperatures help promote a comfortable night’s sleep.

* Your bed is for sleeping, not working. If you’re in the habit of working on bills, office work, etc. while sitting on or in bed, you might be inadvertently training your brain to be stimulated when you are in your bed. Also, it’s harder to walk away from work worries if you literally take them to bed with you! Try to keep your work in another room, or at least away from your bed.

* Keep it quiet in your bedroom. If you have trouble in this regard, use a fan or other source of white noise at night to drown out disruptive sounds.

Make Lists

Do worries keep you awake? Do you have a hard time turning off your brain? Making a list may help. Write down all of those things that are bothering you or that you can’t get your mind off of, and note some practical steps you can take in the morning (or during the upcoming day or week) to work those things out.


Make your own Hemp Milk

no comments
Hemp Milk Making Tutorial
[siteorigin_widget class=”thinkup_builder_video”][/siteorigin_widget]
[siteorigin_widget class=”thinkup_builder_texteditor”][/siteorigin_widget]
Health & Wellness News

Help for Women going through Divorce

no comments
managing stress in divorce
[siteorigin_widget class=”thinkup_builder_texteditor”][/siteorigin_widget]
Anti-ageing Health & Wellness News

Stop Winter Bugs in their tracks NATURALLY!

no comments
Stop Winter Bugs in their tracks NATURALLY!

t’s that time of year again when children go back to school and bring home all kinds of bugs and th whole family starts coughing and sneezing.  By the time Christmas comes, children are missing nativity plays, parents are taking time off work and hospitals are crying out about bed shortages.

As someone who Is self-employed, I have long recognised that I simply cannot afford to be off sick, so I have taken a particular interest in what I can do to avoid catching the bugs even when I may see several patients a day who are affected with some but or another.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a formula that is always used BEFORE the autumn properly sets in.  It is called Jade Windscreen and is said to act as a Windscreen to stop the cold from blowing into our body.  A herbal medicine practitioner would think of it acting both to shield the body and by strengthening it at the same time.  This formula would not be suitable once you have actually caught the bug, however, because then you would need herbs to expel the pathogen, usually by sweating it out.

It is very important to strengthen our immune systems BEFORE the viruses and bacteria start spreading around.  I do this in 3 tages. 

Firstly I focus on reducing the toxic load in my body by doing a detoxification diet for 10 days each month.  This means my body has some leeway to begin fighting bugs rather than already being stressed out to capacity and finding that the tiniest bug tips me over the edge.  In the autumn I supplement this with the Jade Windscreen herbal formula.  (Click here if you would like to order a consultation and have a prescription made for you.)

The second step in boosting my immunity is to take supplements that strengthen my body.  At the first sign of Autumn I begin adding Baobab, echinacea and elecampane tinctures to my smoothies.  I swear by this alongside the Nice Plus encapsulated fruit, vegetables and berries because in the 5 years I have followed this regime, I have not had a day of illness.

The third step in boosting my immunity is to be aware when I have been exposed to an unusual amount of people coughing and sneezing and I then drink echinacea tea three times per day, I may add some drops of the tincture and if I do feel the tickle in my throat or smell a cold coming in my nose, I write myself an herbal prescription for the mornings, then in the evening I have a very hot bath and an early night with a hot toddy.

This has worked unfailingly for me for the last five years and I would recommend it to anyone over the flu jab, given the number of people I have seen who get ill immediately after having it.  Our body has its own pharmacy and given the right care and nutrition, then it provides the protection we need in a much faster and more reliable way than any vaccine that has been Brough out months after the virus has mutated. 

Acupuncture Immunity

Natural Alternatives to HRT and why the Menopause should make you feel better than ever!

no comments
Acupuncture in Cardiff for Menopause
Natural Alternatives to HRT and why the Menopause should make you feel better than ever!

In the UK a shortage of Hormone Replacement Therapy drugs has now become a reality and it is becoming evident just how many women have relied on it without being given an alternative way of managing their menopausal symptoms, so taking a look at how the Chinese view the menopause may shed some light on what else can be recommended.

A woman typically spends forty years of her life losing blood on a monthly basis jut in case that is the month she falls pregnant.  If we assume she will have two successful pregnancies, that means just two of the 480 periods will be fruitful. Imagine all the nutrients that go into our blood and get carried around to nourish our bodily systems and just how much is needed to make a good uterine lining to house a baby for nine months, only to find that most of the time no baby appears and all that goodness ends up down the loo!

What happens, then, when instead of losing all this goodness and of playing a constant game of catch-up so as not to become anaemic, we suddenly get to keep it and nourish our own body!  The ancient Chinese texts tell us that this is the time when all those nutrients go to our brain and we become the Wise Women of the community.  We not only have life experience and the wisdom that comes with age, but we have more goodness in our body that is being used in a far more productive way.

Why, then, in the West is the menopause regarded as a time when women suddenly need medication to adapt to what is a natural bodily process?  Why are the symptoms so horrendous for so many women who wake in the night soaking wet with perspiration, who at any given moment can flush up bright red and become too hot.  There is no dough that while some women sail through the menopause without many symptoms at all, for others it can be a living hell.

This is where the very different approaches of Eastern and Western medicine really come to the fore.  Western medicine is all about x causing y and how we can measure everything to get rid of the effects of x.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine we do not have such a reductionist way of looking at the complexities of the human body.  We look at Patterns of Disharmony, believing that there are tendencies or nuances that take us from one state to another and that all the body needs is nutritional changes, acupuncture or herbal medicine to make the gentle nudge that is required for the body to restore homeostasis – even when that homeostasis is in a different place to where it was before.  i.e. from menstruating being the norm to menopause being the norm.  Why on earth would we want to trick the body into thinking the it still has or needs the same hormones as before?!

In TCM we work WITH the wisdom of the body and we help it to find its won balance, which is why treatments are all tailored to the individual rather than ‘one size fits all’ medication that risks  leaving everyone with unwanted side-effects.

The shift that takes place during the peri-menopausal period is, in TCM, about the shift that happens between your Yin and Yang energy.  It is a time when your Yin energy is most depleted because not only is Blood regarded as a Yin substance but you Yin energy is that which makes all your internal functions happen (growing your hair, replenishing your skin cells etc).  As we age, our Yin energy becomes depleted and in the West we now recognise this as oxidative stress.  This is why Chinese dietary therapy and herbal medicine play such a central role in our health, because we can change our nutrition from Yang nourishing foods to Yin nourishing foods.  Acupuncture can be used to strengthen our energy but of greater importance, I believe, in the West is that it can get stagnant Qi moving again. Stagnant Qi refers to any kind of ‘stuckness’ whether it is emotional (represented by bad tempers, holding onto the past etc) or physical stagnation (which causes pain and is also caused by pain).  In simple terms, Qi stagnation is the opposite to homeostasis. It is when nothing flows properly and one symptom leads to another in a vicious circle.  Acupuncture is, in my opinion, absolutely fantastic at breaking this cycle and gently but effectively nudging the body back to doing what it inherently knows it should be doing.

There are 3 phases to the menopause.  The perimenopause when periods become heavier, lighter, the cycle length changes and hot flushes may occur.  During this time you  can benefit from acupuncture, herbal remedies and yin nourishing foods.

The second phase is the actual menopause when periods stop altogether. During this time it is particularly important to have good nutrition that is high in antioxidants.  Acupuncture can help restore homeostasis.

The third and final stage is post-menopause which occurs 12 months after your last period.  This is the time when all the signs of ageing typically set in because of the drop in both oestrogen and progesterone.this can cause hair loss, although bizarrely an increase in facial hair is likely, wrinkles can appear, there is a loss of muscle tone, hot flushes can worsen and insomnia can arise. Joints may begin to ache and nones can become more brittle.  Vaginal dryness increases as the blood flow is restricted, making sexual intercourse painful or uncomfortable and the friction can increase the risk of infection.  Do note, however, that regular sexual intercourse will increase the blood flow to the area and alleviate some of these symptoms!

Top Tips for a Happy, Healthy Menopause

  • First and foremost, avoid exposure to all the hormones in the environment such as those in pesticides, herbicides and environmental pollution. The chemicals used these products and in HRT are synthetic hormones which can lead to a condition hat is becoming more talked about called Oestrogen Dominance.  This is too comes to elaborate on here, but suffice to say that wherever possible you would be extremely well advised to use natural hormones rather than synthetic ones.
  • Acupuncture can help regulate the emotional highs and lows associated with the changes in hormonal levels
  • At Barefoot Medicine we recommend a vegan supplement of natural essential fatty acids containing the full spectrum of omegas in the right ratios.  Order here
  • Eating a healthy natural diet with little or no processed food can really help regulate your hormones and this can be topped up with using high quality food supplements such as Juice Plus (encapsulated fruit, vegetables and berries) which you can order here
  • Simone is a fully qualified herbalist and is able to write a tailor-made herbal prescription for you that will take into account any other pre-existing conditions that you may have.
  • Remember that all intensively reared meats have been given antibiotics and hormones so if you eat meat, please ensure it is organic so as not to unwittingly add hormones into your system as it is undergoing so much change itself.
  • Never heat your food in plastic containers in a microwave oven because this causes the plastic to leach xeno-oestrogens into your food.
  • Remember that caffeine and/or alcohol alone can trigger a hot flush even in someone who is not menopausal, so reducing your intake will help dramatically.
  • Organic Soya contains isoflavones which are phyto-oestrogens that not only have oestrogen-likes effects on the body, but they block the harmful effects of the xeno-oestrogens.  Soya foods include miso, soya sauce and tempeh, all of which will be good for you so long as they are organic.  Other foods that are high in beneficial isoflavones include soya beans, chickpeas, lentils, alfalfa, fennel, kidney beans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin and sesame seeds.  Brazil nuts, walnuts, linseeds (flax seeds). 
  • Joint pain is also eased by many of the foods listed above, particularly the oils from the seeds.
  • Calcium levels can be boosted with Brazil nuts and sesame seeds to help avoid bone weakness developing.
  • Although hormone creams are available, it can cause more problems that it resolves if you have not had you hormone levels tested properly.  Hormones exist in such a delicate balance in our body that it is difficult to get it right once you start adding more in the hope that something will work.
  • Macca root, a Peruvian vegetable, has been used for centuries to regulate hormones and it is also rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, fibre and essential fatty acids.  If you take it regularly then it may help to reduce hot flushes, depression and palpitations associated with menopause..
acupuncture and menopause acupuncture for menopause Brexit and HRT natural HRT

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)