Tag Archive | healthy living

What’s in a broken ankle

It’s difficult to start a blog and to know exactly what to say. So I decided to start with today and let the story unfold as I go…

To give you a brief history of who I am and why my day would be so important, let me take you back to four months ago…

Well, I’m a 41 year old, Caucasian, single mom of two children and currently the guardian of my 16 year old niece. We live in a beautiful coastal town – the picturesque Garden Route on the Southern tip of Africa.

In November 2014, I walked joyfully down a couple of stairs and felt my ankles wobble… Left, right, left and I collapsed, falling down two steps and onto the pavement below. It was quite a scenario to say the least.

After three days of agony – I had x-rays done and was informed that my left ankle had two fractures, a clean break and my right ankle was severely sprained. I was booked in for surgery and since then have being going for physiotherapy, which brings me back to today.

Today was my last appointment with the physiotherapist and I finally gave back the crutches. It’s been a long and very difficult journey. You can imagine… A 41 year old, independent woman. Never been married, having recently moved to a new town and only knowing three people.

What was the reason behind my ailment I wondered…

Having being involved in holistic healing since the age of 17, I would naturally question the metaphysical reasoning behind my broken ankle. Well, I took into consideration that for the first time since leaving home, I had to depend on someone else to take care of me. I was like a baby, I needed to be carried to the bathroom, bathed, dressed, and all my needs taken care of – the children, my full-time employment, the list goes on.

This is where the story get’s interesting. Six months ago I met a guy and for the first two months we were inseparable. Then things became too heated between us and both of us decided that it was best to let the friendship putter out. I wrote an email to him, explaining how he had hurt my feelings etc, but couldn’t send it. That evening I had my accident.

He was there in a flash, holding my hand and soothing me. He took me under his wing and took care of all my needs. Not to mention, he had his own life to contend with. He moved in with us for the first two months and helped with everything. I fell in love, couldn’t help myself.

Things became very difficult between us. He didn’t want a relationship and at the same time he had also developed feelings for me. And on the other hand, I had allowed myself the pleasure of being nurtured, which I had denied myself due to a negative past experience.

I have to admit the situation made me depressed. I found myself drowning in despair, wishing that for once in my life, I could actually enjoy the love and companionship of a man.

Well this story is not about a man and woman who fall in love and live happily ever after. It’s about my inner journey and the revelations that would stir in me ever so often. One thing is for sure, I couldn’t run away anymore – I actually had to stay put and face myself.

I also did the necessary emotional and physical meditations and a couple of Reiki sessions on myself. I needed to uncover the original negative relationship patterns, that I kept repeating. I discovered that the issues I experienced were related to the relationship between my father and myself. And through understanding and forgiveness, I was able to to confront the dynamics of my relationships and how they had affected me over the past 40 years.

All the patterns that had played out in my previous relationships began to play out and I had to deal with each issue as it arose. I realised my thoughts were creating every occurrence. If I visualised him not really wanting to help me, but doing it out of pity for me. I would sink into a mood, which would in turn affected his mood and we’d start fighting.

So I began to change how I felt about the situation and before my eyes I noticed he changed and became more loving and supportive. I then decided to test this new theory out and would intentionally change my thoughts. I watched as we fought or grew close. I endorsed that I manifest my reality and then I began to use this knowledge to help me achieve more of an enlightened outcome.

As I sat in the waiting room today – I thought about all the people I had met along this journey… How the spirit moves in mysterious ways – I thank each of them, the universe and the angels – for the help and healing that has taken place…

The doctors and nurses did an amazing job even though I lost the plot many times. I just wish there was a little more passion for ones choice of career. As one lady in the waiting room stated, “We get more love from the banks!”

The people of South Africa – I thank you for reminding me that I create my reality and that wherever I found myself, there was always a beautiful soul out there willing to be a friend and help in some small way, even if it was a smile. To me this is priceless as it reminds me of the comradeship I felt as a child and I do believe that we as South Africans are something very special.

Well today I was able to jump on my feet three times, without pain! Simultaneously I thought about the past week – how my relationship with my best friend has developed into the most loving, nourishing and unconditional experience. I feel the desire to enjoy the present moment with him without expectations and in that way allow myself the pleasure of love.

I thought about how I have evolved in the past four months and I smile…

The Science of inspiration

We can be inspired by a parent, friend, hero or maybe a wonderful teacher to set our sights high and go for gold. We can find that inner determination to focus and keep plugging away at life’s tasks and duties as we aspire to achieve our goals and aim for our dreams. But when we become creative we are moving into a state of mind where the unknowable becomes known, the clear insight arrives with a sparkling clarity and all our known knowledge becomes somehow greater than the sum of its parts with the addition of a little inspiration…

Read more…

Author: Stephen Rose

Stephen has been developing his system of energy psychology for over 25 years.

From childhood experiences with spirit and healing it became his life’s passion to develop a clear understanding of how our busy modern lives are connected to a supportive spirit world with our energy fields holding the key to all our relationships, experiences and life’s path.

Energy Psychology

My interest in energy began very early on, my mother was a healer for family, friends and the occasional stranger in need. I too have worked with this ability over the years and so my understanding of the life-force that we are all connected by and made of has been a very matter of fact and practical part of my life since day one. It is something mum just did well, she didn’t talk about how or why it worked; it just did. I wanted to know more, I didn’t know it was unusual that she could heal, I just found it fascinating…

Read more…

Author: Stephen Rose

Stephen has been developing his system of energy psychology for over 25 years.

From childhood experiences with spirit and healing it became his life’s passion to develop a clear understanding of how our busy modern lives are connected to a supportive spirit world with our energy fields holding the key to all our relationships, experiences and life’s path.

Ancient and Contemporary Approaches to Treating Menopause Holistic Health

Words: Bill Reddy, LAc, DiplAc. Source: www.althingshealing.com

You’re sitting comfortably in a restaurant waiting for your appetizers to arrive when it happens.

Holistic HealingIt feels as if someone abruptly set the thermostat 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Beads of sweat begin to form on your forehead and neck and you wonder if your face is getting beet red. Or maybe you’re at home watching TV and when a little boy hugs his dog in a commercial you suddenly feel like crying.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone, although the symptoms are different for each woman. The most common are hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, forgetfulness, mood swings, vaginal dryness or itching and weight gain. Menopause usually occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55, but can vary widely based on a number of variables.

A human female is born with 1-2 million follicles that will eventually develop into ova (eggs). By the time she reaches puberty and begins her menstrual cycle she has less than a ½ million remaining. Every month close to 1,000 follicles perish, with one or more developing into a viable egg for fertilization. When there are few remaining follicles, menstruation ceases and menopause begins. Some sources define menopause as the natural cessation of a woman’s period for one year.

MDs will often recommend Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) but this trend has decreased in recent years following studies suggesting that HRT may increase the risk for gallbladder disease, stroke, and cancers of the liver, uterus, and breast. 1,2

Natural Strategies to Ease Symptoms

A comprehensive and holistic approach can address the acute symptoms with with fast-acting herbs while also looking at lifestyle and dietary changes for long-term benefit. Modify your diet to avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods, and emphasize a variety of whole foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, beans and healthy oils such as flaxseed, coconut, and fish oil. Eliminate sodas from your diet. The phosphoric acid in soda creates an acidic environment in your body. This, in turn, may cause calcium to leach from your bones, which can contribute to osteopenia or osteoporosis. Plant lignans are incredibly important against cognitive decline, cancer and hypertension (high blood pressure) and are found in whole grains, flaxseed and vegetables. Don’t underestimate the power of whole foods – they can change your life. Additionally, make sure to stay hydrated and to get 40-60 minutes of exercise that you enjoy each day, for optimal cardiovascular and bone health. These dietary and lifestyle additions will go a long way to improve your general sense of well-being and reduce symptoms.

Chinese dietary strategies

Holistic TherapyIn traditional Chinese medical theory, the symptoms associated with menopause fall under the category of a Yin deficiency. Foods that build or “tonify” the Yin would include mung bean and mung bean sprouts, black sesame seeds, barley, kidney beans, fermented tofu, millet, black beans, seaweed, spirulina, string beans, and wheat germ.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is a common herb that can be effective in relieving menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. A recent study comparing the effectiveness of black cohosh extract to typical hormone therapy (transdermal estradiol) found that the two were equivalent in effectiveness in reducing hot flashes. In addition, the estrogenic effects of black cohosh have been demonstrated to have a positive impact on bone density without the risk of increasing the probability of estrogen receptor type cancers such as breast or uterine cancer. Begin with 20mg of the dried root powder twice per day, ramping up to 40 mg twice a day if no improvement in symptoms is noted within a week or two at this dosage. There are no known drug interactions that I’m aware of, and side effects of abdominal discomfort, dizziness, headaches and nausea are only reported at high doses (several thousand milligrams per day). It’s contraindicated for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Licorice, root, depression and osteoporosis

Licorice root is one of the more popular herbs in the Chinese herbal pharmacopeia. The deglycyrrhized version, known as zhi gan cao, is found in most modern formulas and does not elevate blood pressure. It has been shown to reduce depression and slow the progression of osteoporosis. A study published in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience evaluated compounds of the Isoflavene and isoflavan groups (contained in licorice root) and found that they had an effect on serotonin reuptake and may be beneficial for mild to moderate depression in pre- and post-menopausal women. An added benefit of licorice is that it helps support digestive health and can heal stomach ulcers.

Dong Quai

Angelica sinensis, or dong quai is another example of a commonly used Chinese herb that manages gynecological conditions. A book entitled “Pharmacology and Application of Chinese Materia Medica” referred to a Chinese study involving dong quai among other botanicals in a specific formula that demonstrated a reduction in hot flashes and other menopausal complaints by 70%. Some sources refer to dong quai as a phytoestrogen (plant based estrogen like compound) but it actually is an adaptogenic herb. This means that it has a balancing effect on the female hormonal system. The only reported side effect is that it may cause fair skinned people to be sensitive to sunlight, and may interact with blood thinners such as Warfarin or Heparin. Before taking any Chinese herbs you should consult a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) who is properly trained in traditional Chinese medicine to prescribe individualized herbal formulas.


Acupuncture has been well studied for its positive effect on menopausal symptoms. There are over 18,000 journal articles on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database pertaining to acupuncture, and over 150 specific to acupuncture’s effect on menopausal symptoms. A review of clinical research regarding acupuncture and menopausal symptoms concluded that “The recent systematic reviews on acupuncture in menopausal symptoms suggest that acupuncture is an effective and valuable option for women suffering from menopause.” My personal experience supports this statement. A recent Iranian study stated: “Application of the combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture proved as effective as hormone therapy in the treatment of menopause-related symptoms, and it achieved better outcomes than herbal medicine alone.” I’m impressed with the fact that western (allopathic) medicine is trying so hard to study and understand the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture, but millennia of brilliant Chinese thought led to an ingenious holistic medical system that works. Instead of drugs, which interfere with the natural processes of the human body, it works WITH your body to accelerate healing, balance the endocrine system (responsible for hormones) and create homeostasis (balance and harmony).

Menopause is a natural part of life for women, but that doesn’t mean they must suffer through it. Nature offers a number of options to ease the transition, and working with an acupuncturist in addition to your doctor will help optimize your health and reduce the incidence of a variety of cancers, osteoporosis, and stroke.

About the Author

AuthorBill Reddy is a nationally board-certified licensed acupuncturist who studied under graduates and professors from Beijing and Shanghai medical schools. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium. He is the former President of the Acupuncture Society of Virginia and professor at the Virginia University of Oriental Medicine. He is the author of over 60 publications, lecturer, an avid practitioner of Qi Gong and Tai Chi, and practices at the Pinecrest Wellness Center in Annandale, Virginia.