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.

Monday, 16 July 2012

There is only one spectrum

In the latest ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ (WDDTY), the cause of skin cancer in relation to the sun is discussed. As you can imagine, they are arguing that the doctor’s have not told the truth; surprise, surprise. So, doctors have been warning us that excessive sun ‘exposure’ can cause skin cancer, where as WDDTY suggest that hiding from the sun can cause a host of other illnesses.

I am not going to say whether I agree or disagree with either side. I would like to take time to suggest that just like the sun is both good (rainforests) for the earth it is also bad (deserts), and in this same way it is a matter of finding your own balance. You are going to have to figure out how to find your own happy medium, how you use the sun is up to you.

I think what often happens is a scare turns into media frenzy and with time, becomes a myth, a myth that often points at excess or deficiency. This is obviously not specific to sun exposure; there are also myths regarding apples causing cancer, apples as anti-oxidant and mobile phones causing cancer. There have also been non-cancer related myths, like chocolate in any form is bad for you and will contribute to your weight issues. As you can imagine there are ways in which chocolate is excellent for you, for example pure dark chocolate with no sugar is fantastic for teeth and hormones.

Now all myths come from some truth, but we must remember that myths are there to remind us that extremes are bad for us. It is up to each individual to listen to their mind and bodies and decide how much is too much and how little is too little.

Drawing on last week’s blog we all know how out of tune we are with our bodies. So, maybe, rather than listening to myths and acting on them in extreme ways, why do we not spend time listening to our bodies? I know for example that I need as much Sun as I can get to keep me happy (this does not mean I fall asleep on a sun-bed, in the blazing sun with no SPF on) and chocolate in small amounts contributes very positively to my wellbeing (a nice way to reward myself when I have been particularly productive)!

Where do you sit on the spectrum?

Monday, 9 July 2012

49,900 Years of Healthy Eating

There are several approaches to healthy eating, and I think in general it is fair to say that from person to person it will be different. Some people may require a much lower sugar intake than others (those suffering from PCOs or Diabetes), others may not be able to eat certain types of green vegetables (may cause allergic reactions, constipation or loose stool) which we are often told are good for us. 

However, some interesting advice has cropped up more recently from The Fat Nutritionist:

“Eat what feels satisfying, is pleasurable, and helps you feel good. It really doesn’t have to be more complicated than that – if it did, humans would have died out long ago, because all these nutrition theories really only cropped up during the 20th century. That’s 49,900 years of eating without any nutritional guidance! And yet somehow we survived.”

In theory this is sound advice, however in practice I feel The Fat Nutritionist gives everyone too much credit. Unlike even 200 years ago, we do not talk to our tummies as much as we used to. I think we have stopped listening to it closely and answer it with a very generic “you are hungry so here is some food”. The advice The Fat Nutritionist gives, would require each person to retrain to listen much more closely to their gut. For example, your hunger pang may not be for a biscuit, it may not be for fruit, it may be for a specific type of food, vitamin, mineral or even water. 

I have often found that the day before I am about to start my period (and I am not the most regular of people) I get a sudden hunger for steak, and in general it is not one of the foods I would pick off a menu. It is a very specific craving, one that will not be satisfied by chocolate or a tray of vegetables. I used to think it was a sugar craving, as most media shows women binging on chocolate during PM times. Chocolate just did not work! I kept eating more and more and realised it was not making me feel better, in fact probably made me feel weaker. Then as I slowly developed my listening skills I realised that my tummy was crying for iron. The tinniest piece of steak would be “satisfying”, “pleasurable” and make me “feel good”. With this in mind I took a lot more time listening more closely to my gut. I kick started with a 2 week detox to level the playing field, I cut out the alcohol, reduced my intake of everything to 3 meals a day with smaller portions and everything home-made (unprocessed) and increased drinking water. I found after this, when I was hungry, I was being much ‘fussier’ about what I wanted to eat. This fussiness was listening for what my body wants. 

Another issue I have with what The Fat Nutritionist has said is that 49,000 years ago is comparable with today. I think most historians; archaeologists and scientists would agree that the world has changed an awful lot in that time, as have humans, as have the way we interact with our world, including our ways of eating and processing food. So yes although people are people always, our eating habits have changed, just like our body shapes and size.

So all in all, we should eat what is pleasurable, satisfying and makes us feel good but we should also make sure we are listening clearly to what our body is finding pleasurable, satisfying and makes us feel good. Each person’s body at different times of day is going to be hungry for different types of food. Maybe we have undergone some serious normalisation of eating-habits, and these needs to be undone slightly in-order for us to listen to our bodies; supper at 7, consisting of a light meal may not be the right thing for everyone… and that is supposed to be one of the oldest rules in the ‘healthy eating’ book.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Less is more

We live in a society that is constantly striving for more; more money, more space, more time, more success, more stuff! However, this may also be the cause for more unhappiness is our lives. Does less equal more when it comes to happiness?

A recent study at the University of Warwick has suggested that in some cases a pay rise can actually cause a dip in confidence and lead to unhappiness! Let me explain: if a person uses money as a benchmark for success and they receive a pay rise which is not as much as they expected, they may see this as a failure, or certainly in a negative light, possibly thinking they are under appreciated. 

Graham Hill looks at stuff as a cause for serious life constipation, the more space you have the more you fill it with, and in fact the more cluttered your life is. Sometimes you have to let go of things to make space for better things, in this case let go of ‘stuff’ to make space for happiness. 

I think the same can be said for our gut... the more you have in it the less happy it is! Bite size is the way forward in life! Don’t clutter your life and tummy with unnecessary junk, only keep the vital good bits, and see how much happier you feel!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dr Mercola's Wonder Emporium

It is Monday morning, I open up my e-mails and sat in my inbox is an e-mail with an interesting title “nine health risk habits”. Naturally I am tempted to open it and start reading. The first 7 sat on the line of informative and absurd. Then I got to number 8 and I realised I was reading something purely absurd. 

Dr Mercola, is a celebrity doctor and the founder and editor of an alternative-medicine website, where he advocates dietary and lifestyle approaches to health and market a variety of dietary supplements. Mercola criticizes many aspects of standard medical practice, particularly vaccination and the use of prescription drugs and surgery to treat diseases. Mercola has been the subject of criticism from the business, medical and scientific communities. A 2006 Business Week editorial criticized Mercola's marketing practices as "relying on slick promotion, clever use of information, and scare tactics." 

So number 8 on this health risk list suggested that fermented vegetables are a replacement therapy for colonic-therapy. Having read this I wonder what else in our daily lives we could replace with “healthy and natural” substitutes… what has the great Dr Mercola missed out?

1. Toothbrush
We could certainly replace our toothbrush with a twig like substitute and use a bit of hay for flossing.

2. Toilet Paper
Yesterday’s newspaper might make a good substitute… as they say yesterday’s news paper is today’s fish and chip wrap!

3. Dry-Shampoo
If you leave your hair for long enough, it can start to look ‘greasy’ which is not necessarily a desirable look. To reduce the appearance of shine you could use some dried, powdered mud, reducing your exposure to harsh chemicals that dry-shampoo contains, and it is a natural substitute!

4. Potato Peeler
Use knife, because we don’t know what sort of bacteria could get caught between the blades of a peeler!

5. Facebook
Let us go back to getting in touch with friends, talking on the phone, writing letters, meeting up and having a coffee… or rather a tea… or a herbal tea… or just a plain old glass of H2O goodness!

6. Internet
Rather than reading trash on the internet why not enjoy a good book, not from the Steel or Bloom variety but a classic like Austin or Byron.

7. Reading a book
Don’t be a couch potato! Rather than lazing around and reading a book you should go and experience the great outdoors. Go for a leisurely stroll or take up an outdoor sport like tennis or football.

8. Going for a walk
When walking you could be exposing yourself to all sorts of harmful pollutants so do not walk where there are cars or any form of human life! 

And all of these healthy life-style adjustments can be supplemented by colon-hydrotherapy and fermented vegetables! 

On a serious note, we should use the best of complementary from main-stream and complementary therapy, rather than hiding in the deepest, darkest cave!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Bullying and the Bowel

Amy Weber recently wrote a wonderful piece on bullying and how it manifests within society. She focusses mainly on the impact of bullying on children; however her article got me thinking about the ways in which adults are affected by bullying & how other non-psychological aspects of wellbeing are affected.

It is well known that bullying affects not only the psychological and sociological elements of a bully victim, but also the physiological. The big question is how do the physical symptoms manifest? What sort of ailments can occur?

In children, bullying can cause many physiological issues, but one that is prominent is constipation. This is usually related directly to the child’s fear and anxiety and can sometimes be a desperate ‘cry for help. The signs of constipation can range from light tummy pain to involuntary soiling, which children often try and hide especially when they already feel vulnerable from bullying. There is a huge amount of shame that comes with any ‘pooping’ related issues, and children are most susceptible to these feelings of shame. Many parents will scold their children for soiling themselves, which adds further to the child’s underlying anxiety, which in turn can make the constipation issues much more severe. It has been suggested that rather than scolding a child for soiling their pants, you should be asking why they did not ‘poop’ in the toilet. Soiling and other indicators of constipation are a sadly useful way for an adult to ask questions about a child’ distress and the nature of the bullying that could be causing the constipation.

Moving to adults now, research has found that adults who are victims of bullying in the workplace can also suffer from constipation, manifesting in erratic bowel movements and serious bowel discomfort. Again there is a shame that is related to ‘pooping’ and discussing such issues, that adults may ignore these issue, focusing more on the psychological elements of the bullying. Which begs the question if the constipation is relieved, would the victim find some relief from the bullying?

Colon-hydrotherapists, will always take a history of their client, and usually these histories address not only the physical symptoms but also psychological factors that may impact the client’s bowel. This being the case, bullying is one thing that may be picked up by colon-hydrotherapy. If adults really do not like discussing their bowel movements, the colonic treatment provides a space in which they can, which may in fact lead to addressing the impact of the bullying on other elements of wellbeing. In a nut-shell the cure for bullying may well start in a colonic-hydrotherapy treatment room!

Have you as a colon hydrotherapist ever encountered a case where the cause of constipation was bullying? What was your reaction and did you discover an effective way to help your client overcome or confront their issues? Send us your case histories and share your knowledge about bullying and constipation with other therapists. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mad Dogs and Vegetables

You may be looking at the title thinking that your beloved Gut Guru has lost the plot... but do not worry! There really is a connection to be made between dogs, vegetables, and... how did you guess? Of course, it all comes down to poo.  
There was a wonderful little article in the BBC the other day about the tax on dog food for guide dogs. It discusses the type of dog foods guide dogs must eat, and, unlike racing hounds, guide dogs require a relatively low protein diet as they do not expend as much energy.

Apparently eating too much protein would cause the dogs to develop irregular toilet habits, causing difficulties for the blind owner. Therefore the dog food they need to eat is high in fibre and vegetable goodness!

So the real question is, for us as colon therapists: how much protein is too much? 

For dogs, the answer is clear: the less they move, the more vegetables they need in their diet. And vice versa. Racing dogs just need to eat meat to be successful. So what about us humans? 

If we are not running around for a living should we be consuming so much protein? We are not all athletes so should our protein intake correlate to our lifestyle to avoid irregular toilet breaks?

But then again, we need animal protein for body maintenance and repair. 

Please share your thoughts and advice.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Spanish Fever - Part Two

On the 3rd night at Health Retreat Spain we caught up with some guests who came to the retreat at the end of February, and they are now back, eight weeks later, for a top-up. They are both from the UK, and having become friends in February, they have decided to come back again now at the start of May.

 They are spending a week here. Their plan is to eat for the first couple of days, then do just juice for three days, and then go back to sampling the gorgeous food at the end of the stay. So, we asked them what they were expecting to get this time from the stay that they did not get the first time.

Alyn, who is a make-up artist from Manchester, said: "The first time you get here, everything is new. I went the whole way with Carol and Andy on food and exercise and juicing and this made a big difference to me. I have stayed on vegetarian foods and juices since then, without any effort. I feel good. Now I am back here because the atmosphere and the energy here enable to to spend time with yourself, and to process stuff. This time I am taking from it what I need in my life right now."

 Louise agreed: "The beauty of this place is that no one is forcing you to do anything. You can take it as far as you personally want to, do as much or as little as you wish. I am here for me".

Many people come here to become more active, and a walk is always on offer at 10 am. Andrew told us not to miss this morning's walk, so we went along. Down a hill, up a hill, down and up - and this was the most gorgeous view that one could imagine.

 Leading by example is a big thing here. Listening to "office conversations" of admin staff actually makes this all a lot more real. Where else would you hear this - "I haven't bought any dairy for three weeks now...we don't even drink a quarter of what we used to.... last night we went out and there was prawn cocktail and pork on the plate and I did not even manage to get through a quarter of it..." This is not for the show, and this is where the real change lies.

 Six years ago Andrew and Carol would have laughed at anyone who would tell them that a diet could make a difference to their health. In fact, Andrew remembers walking out of a personal development seminar when the seminar leader suggested that going vegetarian could improve health. He only agreed to stick with it for a month because Carol wanted to try it. Now, six years later, Andrew is a firm believer that health, diet and lifestyle cannot be separated or compartmentalised.

What will you discover on your path to a healthier lifestyle at Health Retreat Spain?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

An Ecuadorian Dream

A secluded spot, in the tranquil village of Vilcabamba, engulfed in natural beauty, you will find one of the most unexpected wonders; Madre Tierra Resort and Spa. As well as the magnificent atmosphere and environment, this resort also has an eco-friendly policy, using water pumps and solar panel heaters. They also produce a large crop fruit and vegetables, organically grown on their grounds, which they use in their restaurant. 

“We operate all year round, and are committed to the values of peace, community, art, health, and sustainability. (Approximately 80-­90% of our income goes to supporting our local Ecuadorian staff and other operating and overhead costs.)”

Visitors arrive from all over the world for a variety of reasons. Many of these turn out to be kindred spirits ranging from students and teachers of the arts, new science, deep ecology and environmental activism to ones who seek to lead a more peaceful and sustainable lifestyle free from the pressures of life in North America, Europe or Australia. The resort is not situated in the jungle (though the jungle is a reachable distance away) so there is no need to worry about mosquitoes and other nibbling creepy-crawlies. You do not need to worry about visas and vaccination which makes the visit even simpler and much more relaxed. It truly feels like home to home; ensuring that it really is an easy stay the facilities are modern and comfortable.

Does this sound and look like paradise to you? Well currently this beautiful establishment is recruiting and they are looking for a new colon hydratherapist! It’s such a unique and exciting opportunity; we could not wait to share the news! 

The resort has been under new management from 2010 and the new owners are looking to grow ‘their family’. The company takes pride in creating a homely atmosphere and that is reflective in the staff attitude. If you would like to be part of this friendly, family oriented and homely environment, this is the perfect opportunity. 

For more information on this opportunity please visit the RICTAT website at:

If you wish to take your mind, body, soul and gut to a friendly and happy place where you will be looked after, or for more information visit the Madre Tierra website at 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Spanish Fever

Meet Carol and Andrew West - two people who leave their life behind in the UK, get in a van with all their worldly possessions which include some books, videos and a chocolate labrador, go to Spain which, as we all know, is tumbling down under the weight of its debt, start a health business from scratch, make it profitable and open and 26-bed vegan retreat two years down the line? What are they on?

Well, Carol is member of RICTAT, colon hydrotherapist, raw chef, juice guru... this was our  - Kat's and my - excuse. We just had to check it out. The place: Obsidian Retreat in Benissa, Spain, about one hour's drive from Alicante Airport. Alicante is less than two hours' flight from the UK, so getting here from anywhere back home is not difficult at all all year round.

The time: 4-7 May, 2012
The retreat is in a traditional Spanish hotel about 40 minutes' walk from Benissa, or a couple of minutes by car. Most people come here to kick-start
a healthy lifestyle, to delete junk out of their system, to do some gentle exercise, such as walking, yoga or rebounding, or to rewire their brain with some clever mindset classes. There is one tomorrow afternoon, so more about it in the next blog.

Breakfast is usually a juice. For lunch, there is a choice of a juice or a salad, and the same for dinner. Every Friday there is a themed gala dinner. Yesterday the theme was "French Food". Amazing salads, pate, mushrooms, ratatouille, potatoes au gratin, apple strudel for desert - all lovingly prepared by Obsidian's own chefs under Carol's guidance. Kat and I got here just in time for that glorious feast.

Visit us
The rooms are very comfortable, the pool is lovely, the atmosphere is calming and soothing. Yesterday we spent some time in the sauna and the Jacuzzi. We will be doing the same today, but having pre-warmed out systems with a shot of pure ginger juice.Wicked! Our livers feel very exited about this all and look forward to a bit of junk dumping, in the nicest possible way.

Galina says: I have only been here for a day and a half, and I already feel more grounded and positive. I am definitely going to suggest the retreat to my clients. It's so close to home and so well run that I think that it will be more beneficial than Thailand, Turkey or Mexico, where these things usually take place. Financially, it will be a fraction of the price of the journey. A week here will definitely reboot you for  a good few months.

Kat says: The friendly atmosphere mixed with peace and quiet is just what I needed, The perfect place for relaxing together with tasty food and yummy juices all of which are prepared for you so even if you've never juiced before or are already a juice convert there's plenty of variety for you to enjoy and new recipes to try. I'll be recommending that my clients visit Obsidian Retreat as the intimate feel and personal service together with the convenient travel time makes it a fabulous sunshine retreat.

Tomorrow we'll try to grab some time with Carol and Andrew and figure out what the secret of their runaway success is.... Do't go away!

To learn more about these fabulous people watch this space and in the mean time click here to visit the beautiful website.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Oh so... healthy chocolate?

My perennial challenge is to bring it all down to poop… as you know! So today I’ll take the most unlikely suspect of all – chocolate. Can chocolate, the sinful, the hidden, the guilty pleasure possibly become the King of Poop?

Oh yes it can! But not just any chocolate – ‘ohso’ probiotic chocolate.

This perfectly sized bars of chocolate, not only gives you the much appreciated feel-good effect, but also makes sure your gut stays healthy and full of the good bacteria it needs. It is definitely a welcome change from the sugar-laden, overpriced and over-billed probiotic yogurt drinks that have been abundantly stocked on the shelves in the supermarkets over the last few years.

Now you're probably thinking that eating a bar of chocolate a day is more likely to do you more harm than good - but ‘ohso’ isn't your regular chocolate bar. It's made with 53% Belgian Chocolate, which is dark chocolate making ‘ohso’ not just very tasty but also a source of powerful antioxidants which helps strengthen the body’s own natural defenses, whilst also providing vitamins D and E, plus many B-complex vitamins. I hear you all cry ‘Where have you been all my life!?’ My reaction was pretty similar! A chocolate I can proudly eat without feeling guilty!? Am I dreaming?

And just in case all the above isn't enough to persuade you to at least try these little bars of heaven - there's more. The good bacteria needed to promote healthy gut function lasts 3x longer in chocolate. Completely proves my theory that there’s virtually nothing you can’t fix with a bit of chocolate! So this chocolate is making sure as much of the good stuff gets to your tummy, where it is very much needed.
Is there science behind it? Yes there is, and, even better, it’s on our side.

And finally, for all of us who feel that chocolate is a constant cause for calorie caution, each of these wondrous bars contains only 72 calories - less than half the calories in a bag of Maltesers!

Move aside all you other evil chocos and smelly probiotic pills, and make way for the super bar!

The most important question is… where can I get mine?


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Touché!...or is it Tushé?

Another insanely successful man, music industry giant Simon Cowell, unveils his greatest pampering secrets in his new (ostensibly unauthorized) biography.

Now, although he is a bit of a diva, and takes things a tad too far, some of his madness does have supporting method.

Let us start at Simon’s bottom.  Simon supposedly uses only black quilted toilet paper. 

This may seem like the typical behaviour of a money mad show off, but I think we can learn something from him. Mr Number One shows an attitude towards Number Two that many of us should adopt. Pooping is not the most glamorous of activities, but it is necessary, and if it is necessary why not enjoy it! His derrière just like the rest of ours, has to sit on a toilet and be wiped clean by something before it can be popped back into a pair of undies. So this mundane task should be turned into a form of t.l.c- why do we give our faces so much pampering attention, and not our bottoms? Black toilet paper does not do it for me, but if I could get Dali printed toilet paper, I may spend more time sat on the thrown (feeling like it’s a little less of an embarrassing activity), and feel extra special when its time to wipe my tush! To make the point more clearly, why not make some element of your toilet ritual and environment more glamorous? See if it changes your attitude to pooping. Definitely, tushé....

Simon's face undergoes quite an ordeal! Apparently he is hooked up with Botox twice a year, and carries around at least 2 suitcases full of lotions and potions whenever he travels! However, along with the external resurfacing, he does also work on his face from the inside, injecting vitamins, drinking super-smoothies and eating loads of fruit and veg. Lots of vitamins = healthier body = healthier skin = more youthful appearance!

Now to the gut, the proverbial Mum. I imagine Simon’s gut speaks to him regularly, and I think he is well acquainted to it, and listens to it closely. This is very clear in the fact that he has regular colon hydrotherapy treatments. He knows his gut struggles to process all the nonsense he puts it through, so to show he cares, and understands, he also pampers his gut. In turn, I imagine, his gut treats him much better as well; processing foods better, and therefore gaining more from his super smoothies and air freight delivered fruit!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The most successful people in the world listen to their gut

On last weeks ‘The voice’ Will-I-Am declared at several points that he was listening to his gut for advice on who to choose for the final spot on his team. He also said that his gut was his mother, a slightly bizarre statement but hey the message was clear; he knew his gut instinct was the one he should follow.

One of Oprah’s coveted life-lessons is ‘always listen to your gut’ – she believes it is an instinct that all animals listen to, but humans have forgotten and sometimes actively ignore.

Take a look at Mark Zuckerberg. His gut told him that students would love a service to connect them seamlessly to each other at their campus. And each of his product decisions, from the newsfeed to photo tagging, also came from gut decisions.

Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson. They all learned very early on to listen to their initial instinct.

So, what does it mean to listen to your gut? Obviously your gut does not boom with an omniscient voice guiding you through tough decisions, (although Will-I-Am’s gut appears to have a very distinct voice, the voice of his mother), but its does make its presence known… when you get ‘butterflies’ your tummy is talking to you, telling you that ‘this may not be a good idea’ or possibly ‘this is a very exciting situation to be in’. Or it could be an even subtler message, not quite a fully formed voice, what some may call intuition.

I remember the last time my gut spoke to me (it tends to make its presence known on a daily basis), it told me to take my umbrella as I was leaving the house to meet a friend, but did I listen? Oh no! I arrived drenched from head to toe… I should have listened to ‘my mother’.

When was the last time your gut spoke to you? And what did it say? Does it have a voice or is it just a sensation or feeling?