Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Motto: Conference Day 2

"Patients health is our primary concern"

Day 2 started with a huge injection of reality, and ended in hysterical laughter. 

Alison Livings and Galina Imrie gave a wonderful joint talk on insurance, cautions and contraindication, three areas that therapists in this increasingly aggressive world need. On day 1, Kelly Hoply discussed the need to protect yourself, and I think this talk truly reinforced the extent to which a therapist should go to give themselves peace of of mind and protection. Insurers can give you advice on communication with clients when a complaint and claim seems imminent, and they can also pay out for any claims made against you, giving you both emotional and financial support. 

Galina gave an extremely comprehensive list of cautions and contraindications that one should take into consideration whenever treating any client. However, in some instances it really does boil down to your gut instinct. Make sure you are insured and you know your insurance policy as well as you know your trade. This will certainly help you minimise risks. 

Next up was Andrew and Carol from the Obsidian Retreat. Andrew convinced us of the benefits of juicing, dietary change and colonics to reverse type 2 diabetes. Addressing the symptoms and medicating our approach to food is the usual path, but "there is another way".

Greg Wimbourne from Kaizen Clinic gave us all an introduction to clinical homoeopathy  which fights like with like. He supports Lynne Mc Dougall who yesterday made the very valid point that there is no such thing as 'IBS' it really is just an umbrella term. As a clinical homoeopath he believes in isolating the pathogens in the gut and eliminating them one by one.

Steve from Optibac gave some useful hints and tips on how to decide which are the best probiotics to replace after a colonic, very useful steps for any therapist. 

Shoela Detsois then gave a talk on adrenal fatigue, and how many of our clients may be suffering from it and how we can help them as well as ourselves.

Richard Armstrong gave us some wonderful tools to read our client better and therefore increase our business and success. 

And finally, Rani Louise Don gave us the gift of laughter, teaching us a fun and playful way of managing our own stress and passing the advice on to our friend, family and clients. Playfulness allows us to access the right side of our brain better which increases our creativity. 

As you can see there was a lot going on today, all very useful and practical talks. 

Looking forward to RICTAT2013, Ian McDougall announced that the conference will be two fold. Firstly focusing on looking after the therapist and secondly going back to basics. Which is why the 2 days of awesomeness shall beheld at Champneys!

To make sure you all keep in touch please remember to find us on here, Twitter and Facebook. :)

Monday, 29 October 2012

RICTAT-eers Unite: Seminar Day

RICTATEERS: the wonderful people who make up the organisation RICTAT. They are enthusiastic, eager to learn, sharing and caring individuals who have been trained to be the best at what they do!

9.05 on day one of our 2 day extravaganzer and the vibe is electric! All delegates are congregated in the reception room, chatting and catching up over coffee and biscuits. As people arrive the reception seems to be bulging with colonic therapists all eager to get started on the awesome learning we have in store!

Our seminar leaders ranger from PR experts to supplement specialists. RICTAT always provide a range of speakers who are able to support delegates in both the business building and furthering understanding of gut related issues.

First up was Norman and Steve from Optibac. They were delivering a talk on the importance of probiotics and prebiotics. The talk reminded me of the importance of remembering our bodies are teaming with microbes , in fact we are nearly 95% microbes! I think the 3 things that I took away from the talk were that bacteria are cannibalistic, prebiotics are the thing of the future and that there are more people out there than we realize who only poo on a Saturday morning! Obviously these are the most memorable points (mainly because they were so shocking)  but honestly there was much food for thought for therapists, giving them even more usable information on the role and importance of pro- and pre- biotics.

Second we had the Teresa Doherty, who engaged or delegates into a discussion on the importance of proteins, touching on the ever debated topic of vegetable vs. animal protein  She managed to present this controversial topic without harsh judgement, allowing for critical thinking. I now know that I must not eat more than the equivalent of 3 small chicken breasts a day and that protein must be measured out in the size of a pack of card or a box of matches. It all may sound cryptic to those who were not there, but for those who were, you know what I mean.

Next up was Lynne Ms Dougal who in her own very personable way managed to get the audience Emotional Freedom Tapping. Would you believe the topic was IBS! I think it is fair to say that Lynne has an amazing talent for exploring topics from a very holistic angle. I guess her main point was that IBS is an umbrella term and that as a colonic therapist. You should be isolating the symptoms and treating them, without being blind to other potential diagnoses, whilst recognising that the underlying emotional state of the client needs to be addressed. Sounds daunting, but she shared some really easy bedside techniques which can make a huge impact on the clients wellbeing and colon health.

Fourth in line was Tracey Dell, who wowed us with her business savvy! She gave some useful tools on how to market your business for free, using PR. As many of the delegate are both therapists and business owners this was a very useful talk, giving some real examples and real exercises to help boost business for colonic hydrotherapists anywhere. This session focused on creating a press release, but I am sure gave everyone the confidence to be more creative in their marketing.

Finally we had Kelly Hopely, who gave an extremely down to earth and honest talk on the importance of keeping a work life balance. Therapists are exactly that, they help people, to the point the may forget themselves in the aiding of others. In order to prevent your own burnout, Kelly shared some techniques she found useful to keep her juggling act fluid. with 4 glass balls and only one rubber one, it is very easy to know which one to drop... as it will always bounce back. We must all learn to say 'no', to self preserve and to set boundaries whilst maintaining a diet that is not full of too many stimulants (which cause stress to the body).

All in all a very successful day. I hope those who attended have walked away with much food for thought. In order to keep the conversations going between therapists, and to ensure therapists do not feel too isolated why not join us on Gut Guru. Meet like minded people with a wealth of knowledge.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Autism and the Gut

Theresa May has managed in one act to show her ability as Home Secretary and the compassion of the Tory Party. An unexpected bi-product was the public’s relit interest in autism and autism spectrum disorders. I am going to jump on the band-wagon and also discuss autism, but from a slightly different angle.

Dr Anil Minocha is a gastroenterologist and nutritionist, he has written several articles about the relationship between the gut and ailments, other bodily functions and psychological issues we may not automatically associate it to. One of his latest articles strongly suggests that there may be a link between the gut and autism.

"There is some evidence suggesting autism is associated with impaired gastrointestinal health especially alterations in gut bacteria. The theory is that changes in the bacterial flora of the gut may promote increased growth of neurotoxin producing bacteria in the gut with potential to cause manifestations of autism."

So whether we are willing to admit it or not many children may not be autistic ‘from birth’ but may be from their diet. More research needs to go into the actual link between the two. However, from a personal perspective I have seen how some gut imbalance may have such an impact on a child. I have a cousin who was born ‘normal’ and his development was on track (as far as doctors, parents and specialists can tell). At age 3 he suddenly had a horrific allergic reaction to a new type of food he had not up until then eaten; cheese. This reaction developed into intolerance to dairy which manifested in aggressive eczema. Along with the physical ailments, both parents and doctors noticed a huge change in his behaviour in terms of conversational development, concentration and several other areas. By age 5 he was showing signs of Asperger’s Syndrome, but was never fully diagnosed as his symptoms sat on the line between Asperger’s and 'normaloity'. 

How can we avoid such occurrences?  Maybe more research into the DNA of the microbes in the gut will give us more insight into what our children may react badly to. One hugely helpful thing we can do is ensure we keep children’s diets full of un-processed foods, whole foods and foods full of goodness. My cousin ate cheese, cheese made for children. Cheese is milk that has been processed. He had drunk milk before, even eaten ice cream, but it was cheese that caused his eczema and may well have triggered the Asperge’s type symptoms that followed.

For those of you reading this who are colonic therapists, it may be worth noting the list of foods and supplements that can maybe reduce the symptoms of autism and spectrum disorders. It will be very useful when trying to understand and advise a client who has autism or a spectrum disorder.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

It is all fingers and thumbs!

Hand-washing is one of those idiosyncratic things that we all do, but according to research we only do it every now and then, and often miss washing hands at the most crucial moments of our daily lives!

I do not want you to mistaken my tone for cynicism, which it quite easily could be considering hand-washing is not taken too seriously here in the UK. I think this may be because we associate hand washing to children, the elderly and those who need 'protecting', those who are more 'susceptible', but in all honesty we are all vulnerable at all times.  UN Global Hand washing day is around the corner, a seemingly silly sounding event, that is in fact extremely important.

To put hand-washing into perspective let me share with you the story of the volatile and fragile cloud of microbes that exist and affect our bodies.

So imagine, there are whole colonies of microbes on your body, with their own DNA and behaviours that will continually react to whatever you do. Pathogens are the bad microbes which upset the microbial crowd and as a result can send your body into chaos!

Now although washing your hands can upset the microbes, most of them are OK with soap as long as it is not too harsh, however not washing them and potentially allowing bad bacteria to fester, can much more harmful.

As many of you reading this are colonic therapists, I think it is important to take a moment and think about the number of times a day you come into contact with people and their microbial cloud. Now think about the number of times you come into contact with potentially harmful microbes in the form of faecal matter, mucus (from a cough or a sneeze) or even sweat. I do not want any of you adopting OCD with regards to hand washing, but I would suggest we all become a little more conscious of what we are doing, and not relying on our clients to have the best hygiene. If you assume every client you meet has not washed their hands, you will probably up the dosage of your own hand washing.  

Here is a gentle reminder of how these germs (not just cold and flu) can spread, I think it is fair to say that Dettol have done so much for our awareness of germs spreading.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Everyone poops... Get over it!

We all know better than most people out there that there is a huge taboo around bowel movements, poo and excretion, but did you know that this taboo can be so damaging and detrimental to one’s health?

When someone, and especially men, has a problem with their toilet habits they tend to ignore it to avoid the embarrassment of discussing it. However, this ‘it will sort its self out/ I can’t deal with the embarrassment’ attitude can lead the issues to develop and become much worse.

Lewis Moody, former England rugby captain, discovered the hard way how important it is to discuss bowel issues; they might not look as heroic as a limb broken in the middle of an important game, but are just as, if not more, important. Moody suffers from Ulcerative Colitis, a disease which is a long-term inflammatory disorder that causes ulceration of the rectum and the colon. The symptoms can vary from bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pain, a frequent need to go to the toilet and weight loss. Moody put off going to seek help regarding his symptoms for a good few weeks! He says this was because he could not bare the embarrassment, even though his symptoms were aggressive, especially the teasing he may have received from his team mates.

Had he been more aware of what the symptoms could mean, and if the taboo was a little less intense, he would have sought medical help a lot sooner. He now works with Crohn's and Colitis UK, to increase understanding and awareness of bowel diseases and encourage more people to come out and disclose their daily nightmares, so they can seek help.

As colonic therapists, we are perfectly placed for helping build awareness of such diseases, and encouraging our patients to talk more openly about their issues, and not be embarrassed. Having a Victorian perspective of the bowel will ultimately lead to massive damage.

Moody suggests that the extensive lists of drugs he was on for different injuries and pain relief, may have increased his chances of suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. With this in mind, we must stress to our client that there are severely harming effects of strong drugs on the bowel, and they can make your daily life a struggle.

Stories like Moody’s are rare to come by in the media, as I imagine most athletes would not openly discuss their bodies’ weaknesses. Nevertheless, when these stories do emerge we should make the most of them, sharing them with our fellow colleagues, clients, friends and family, increasing awareness of such issues and how colonics can help.

In fact I think it would be beneficial for increasing business for each colonic therapist to ask professional athletes about the way their gut and bowels have suffered as a result of their sport. Sports personalities always have a super-human air around them as they are immensely talented at using their bodies to do some incredible things. However, they are human, and like everyone else, they suffer from issues that could affect anyone; just like they eat, sleep and poop they can also suffer from illnesses which may be seen as ‘base’ and embarrassing.

The angle we have been focusing on for the last week is providing more value to more people. I feel that this is one path that is unexplored and full of potential.

It really does all come down to poo if you take the taboo away, more people would discover much more about their health, and prevent future disease rather than try and cure them once they have developed.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Paula Radcliffe, we salute you!

Paula Radcliffe, is one of Britain’s favourite sports personalities, as well as the greatest female long distance runner Britain ever produced. She still holds the world record for the marathon with her time of 2:15:25 hours.

This world record was achieved in less than glamorous circumstances at the London Marathon 2005. This shining star proved to the world that she is human like everyone else. She achieved her world record by listening to her body. When she needed to pee, guess what! She squatted on the side of the road to urinate, got up and kept running. She listened to her body and did what the body asked her to do, so that she could focus on her run. She did not let  prejudice get in the way of what she wanted to achieve, and went on to win the marathon. This record is still out of reach of others.
Her story has been somewhat bitter sweet, she has shone at marathons across the world, but has never been able to pin down a medal at any of the four Olympics she has raced at. She has constantly battled with her body, her asthma, bronchitis and the most tragic of ailments for a runner, osteoarthritis, which attacks her left foot. Nonetheless, these issues she suffers from have been a significant contributor to her anti-doping campaign, encouraging athletes to stay off drugs like EPO that can enhance their performance.
She is an inspiration to us all, someone who has achieved the best, yet never been able to shine when she wanted to, a completely organic sportswoman. Paula Radcliffe values an honest win, and for that much she should be awarded a medal. In a world where winning at any cost is slowly but surely driving athletes to extreme measures, Paula Radcliffe stands for clean fun and endless hard work.

Paula Radcliffe, we salute you! 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Super who?

I am always on the lookout for foody information, information that will help me decide and decipher my dietary requirements, and also assist others in making decisions on their foody habits.

It must be said I am not a fan of fads, I refuse to believe that suddenly pomegranates have become so powerful I must eat them with every meal. I do however, understand that an increase in antioxidant foods is going to beneficial for my health and wellbeing. In a recent article, two of the most unassuming worlds have collided to give advice, which in my opinion is simple, priceless and carries the authority of beauty.

Miranda Kerr, the Australian model and mother, is also a graduate in nutrition (I know it is just not fair), and she has compiled a very comprehensive list of her super food loves. Now do not all go out and buy all these ingredients at once, but treat this as an information source, something you can refer to when your cupboard items run out and you are looking for a healthy substitute. 

As you can see from the comments on the page of her list, people always have good and bad to say about the different items, they also have others to add, as I said last week, gage where you sit on the spectrum and do not over do or under do anything.

However, what I would add, is that Miranda briefly mentions how she and her son enjoy sweet potatoes, and I think this is make a very important point. In order to have a ‘healthy-lifestyle’ it is important that you introduce healthy-living to your children. It is not something they should discover when they are 20 something and suffering. If you are eating a super food, your child should also be eating it, maybe in a smaller portion, but more than anything to get there taste-buds and bodies used to the foods. Obviously not everything is going to be appropriate for your child, but I certainly did not suffer from foods that my mum fed me. For example, as a child I ate a lot of food that was loaded with ginger, garlic, turmeric, split lentils, brown rice and organic honey, all things which I now know have numerous health benefits, and that my taste buds are so used to. I have friends, who find ginger too spicy, or garlic too strong and cannot stand the texture of split-lentils, and those I have asked always tell me they did not eat many different things as children; usually fish fingers, toast soldiers and runny egg. 

So if supermodels eat super foods, and feed their children super foods to make super kids, then I think we should take a leaf out of Miranda’s book and adopt some of these wonderful gems of nature into our daily habits.