Brain and Cognitive Health

ID-100273701This blog gives a general understanding of cognitive health and outlines options for improving yours.

Good fats are essential to our brain health and function. A fatty brain is a healthy brain: 60% of brain tissue is fat. Good fats literally allow us to embrace change.

One type of good fat is Coconut Oil: If you search for coconut oil + brain fog on the internet you will find pages and pages of anecdotal evidence to suggest coconut oil can help lift brain fog and make the brain sharper, improving memory.

Coconut oil is a medium chain fat which means the body can use this type of fat as energy – another great fuel for our brains. It does this by converting into ketones which are used as a source of fuel for the body. Apparently brain cells function with far greater efficiency when they are utilizing fat (ketones) as a fuel source as opposed to sugar.

Pumpkin seed, hemp, flax, avocado and evening primrose oils are all other examples of good fats and these can be found in Beauty Oil.  They provide the essential nutrition that our skin and bodily tissue needs to renew, maintain and repair. This Beauty Oil contains nourishing omega fatty acids, essential nutrients and anti-oxidants that the skin needs to replenish itself.

Encourage healthy brain function and balance through reflexology. This is a two-fold approach. The reflex point for the brain is on both the big toes (and thumbs). As a therapist I always dedicate attention to this area during every treatment along with the spinal chord (Central Nervous System). However the second approach to improved brain function via reflexology is the physical act of touching the feet: the sensory rich plantar area of the foot is going to stimulate and increase neurological messages from here all the way up to the brain. Think about how many messages this will create during a 50 minute reflexology treatment and you can see how the opening up of those potentially dormant neurological pathways can be so beneficial to our health.

The key ingredients in Cognitive Supplement are also fascinating to learn about when it comes to brain and cognitive health:

  • L-Glutamine. This is brain fuel. It is the only compound other than sugar that can be used by the brain for energy. It can easily cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • Choline. Aids nerve transmission by supporting myelin production. Myelin is the fatty nerve insulation that facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses. It is attacked via an auto-immune response in MS sufferers.
  • Green Tea. Contains L-theanine which helps us to keep calm, yet focussed. For example, when we meditate.
  • Ginko biloba. This is a herb from the Biloba tree. Suggested that it improves memory. Used to treat dementia. Antioxidant.

Antioxidants. What do we know about these?

Your brain uses roughly 20% of the oxygen you breathe in, so its cells are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage, known as free radical damage.

Free radicals trigger brain inflammation which contributes to ADHD, brain fog, anxiety and memory loss as well as serious neurological disorders such as stroke and Alzheimer’s.

Eat lots of organic fruit and vegetables. Berries are a Number One brain food because they are super antioxidant and also their compounds have been linked to improvements in many cognitive skills including memory, learning, reasoning skills, decision making, verbal comprehension and number capability.

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Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist, promoter of healthy living and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Holistic Approaches for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition which affects around 100,000 people in the UK. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40, but it can affect younger and older people too. Roughly three times as many women have MS as men. [1]

MS is when the body itself attacks the myelin sheath in an auto-immune response. The myelin sheath’s function is to insulate the nerves. When it is compromised it causes the neurotransmitters to function less effectively, slowing or blocking messages between body and brain. This creates tingling sensations, fatigue, tremors, pain and trouble balancing.

Dr Mercola states “While your body does have the ability to repair myelin naturally, this process tends to become less effective as you get older. Now, however, researchers [from University of Cambridge] have uncovered a natural option that might play a major role in boosting the repair of damaged myelin in people with MS: vitamin D.”[2] This emerging research is also presented by the Multiple Sclerosis society.[3]

I have been aware of MS right from the beginning of my reflexology career through my tutor, Julie Crossman, and her experience with her close and continued work with MS sufferers. During my training and professional career it is always the nervous and digestive systems I focus on within a reflexology session for an MS sufferer. A course of Reflexology Lymph Drainage would aim to help too from the auto-immune angle: isolating the immune system reflexes intends to boost and seek rebalance.

Delayed nervous responses such as moving a hand away from a hot surface, or weakening bladder control can be debilitating. The latter example causes further problems because many sufferers deliberately drink less to try to reduce this symptom but in doing so can cause bowel problems and constipation. Less water is not going to help anyone: our bodies need around two litres per day to carry out its vital functions.

ID-100140238My advice alongside following a healthy diet (full of fresh fruit and vegetables and a good water intake), would be to take a high quality Multi Vitamin and Mineral supplement, alongside a Vitamin D supplement (ensuring you intake lots of leafy greens too), Vitamin B complex, as well as boosting your antioxidant levels. The NYRO supplements are superior because they are plant-based and organic, and are synergistic blends. Vitamins and minerals don’t work in isolation so it is important to take a good quality Multi Vitamin and Mineral supplement alongside a healthy diet to give yourself a good foundation.

Reflexology can also be beneficial from an emotional angle. Dr Mercola states “More often than not, some form of hidden emotional wound can also be found in patients suffering with autoimmune diseases like MS.” This has also been my findings from other readings of the condition by Ann Gillanders. The profound relaxation that reflexology invokes can create an emotional release for some people.

[1] https://www.mssociety.org.uk/what-is-ms

[2] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/21/vitamin-d-multiple-sclerosis.aspx?e_cid=20151221Z2_DNL_art_2&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20151221Z2&et_cid=DM93237&et_rid=1273927785

[3] https://www.mssociety.org.uk/ms-research/emerging-areas/vitamin-d

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Overfed and Undernourished

I have wanted to write this blog for a while now. Since watching Jason Vale’s documentary “Super Juice Me” (twice!) [1], I have been completely open to understanding that we need to increase nutrients and decrease toxicity in order to drastically improve our health. This blog is largely a summary of what I’ve taken on board from watching the documentary, so I have Jason to thank for this blog.

The cases of chronic disease are increasing and we are seeing more cancer and more diabetes than ever before. Jason likens our bodies and lifestyle to a fish swimming in a bowl of clean and nutrient-rich water. But, the water becomes polluted with greasy, fatty, sugary foods. Our bodies have a natural filtration system that can deal with a little bit of almost anything, but if the pollution is continual and starts to increase, our bodies start to struggle. Disease sets in. Symptoms are a warning sign that something is wrong and that something needs to change. So now imagine the fish swimming around in the dirty water, it is feeling down, ill, lethargic, depressed. What would you do? Clean the water of course! But generally, we don’t. Instead we go to the doctor who will treat the symptoms with more pollution: medicine. And so the problems go on. In many cases the medicine gets rid of some symptoms only to create new ones. Jason isn’t against medical intervention (and neither am I), but what we need to do is pay more attention to the cause, rather than the symptoms. What we need is a lifestyle change.

ID-100111764It is so true that the effect of convenience is disease. Our busy lives leave little time and so it is easier to buy those ready meals, the processed food that is quick to warm up and eat, the snacks, the biscuits, the crisps, the chocolate bars etc. We are so removed from real foods that we don’t know what we are eating. Healthy eating is a commitment, but it is a commitment worth making: the key to good health is through what we eat. I recently saw this quote on Twitter which sums up nicely: “Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to make time for illness”.

When observing an overweight, obese person, the last word that springs to mind is “starving” yet this is what is happening: our bodies are literally starving of nutrients. We are overfed and undernourished. The big food industry wants to make money, so they add salt, sugar, fat and other additives to the food to make it taste great, so we buy them again. However these additives are highly addictive. Manipulating foods in this way creates a false hunger: the hunger point cut off is switched off and so we eat more and more leading to weight gain, raised blood pressure, raised sugar levels, lethargy (the list goes on). Clever marketing can even promote some of these foods as “healthy”. We need to get back to eating real foods, foods that are not made in a factory, foods that don’t come out of a packet, foods that are whole. As Jason describes them: low human intervention (HI) foods.

Jason talks about his theory of one disease: inflammation. Jason believes that largely, chronic diseases are caused by inflammation. Toxins cause injury, injury creates inflammation.

The overall message is that we need to improve our nutrient intake and reduce toxicity. This is where juicing is such a revolution, and why Jason is so passionate about it.  By adding just one or two juices a day to an already balanced diet of low HI foods can increase nutrient levels enormously. It is a great way to “clean the terrain where our cells bathe” i.e. clean the water in the fish bowl. [1] Goodbye to the meagre 5-a-day. We can start eating all those nutritious vegetables that we don’t particularly like, because juicing broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, celery, with a piece of ginger, or some apple, makes them taste great!

Let’s do this now, let’s not wait for the time when it might be too late. Let’s flood our cells with nutrients, let’s get healthy.

[1] Jason Vale: Jason wasn’t always slim and healthy; he used to suffer from severe psoriasis, eczema, asthma, hay fever and obesity. He used to smoke 2 – 3 packets of cigarettes a day and drank very heavily, drinking up to 14 pints of lager a day. He has used juicing as the main tool to clear his skin, drop the weight and free himself of illness.

http://www.superjuiceme.com/

http://www.juicemaster.com/who-is-the-juice-master

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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