Andrea Tate MAR Reflexology in Egham & Staines, Surrey

Lifestyle Interventions

Would you be interested in knowing about some lifestyle changes that may help improve your health?

If the answer is "Yes" then please feel free to browse on this page. You may find something of interest.

I do recognise that everyone is different. We all have individual needs and capabilities.
Some of us prefer to help our illness with medication and / or lifestyle changes. Whatever is your belief I respect it.

Every body has the innate capability for self healing. We just need to listen to our mind-body and love ourself enough to make the necessary changes. I am not saying it is easy. It is not. It requires self-awareness, focused dedication and patience.

This is where a therapist can help. We give you therapeutic interventions to stimulate the body and mind to function better. We truly care: we listen to you, suggest ways of improvement, help draw up a plan and check in with you to see if the strategy works, to see how you are doing. We give you a gentle nudge if needed to keep you on your path, we cheer you on and share your happiness in achieving your goals.

After all visiting a reflexologist is not only about receiving a course of treatments. Neither is it about solely relaxation. The simple act of opening our minds to other ways of approaching our own healthcare means in itself that we are ready to take more responsibility for our own wellbeing and get some conscious control back on how healthy life we want to live.

Here is to a Healthy Lifespan!

List of Content

To make it easier for you to find the piece of information you are particularly interested in I created this list of content. Just click on the item that you would like to read.
Client Downloads
Healthy Diet and Nutrition
Fear and the Immune System
Book Review

Client Downloads

If you need copies of any of my handouts, you are welcome to download them from here. Print a copy if you wish or save them to your iPad or tablet if you have one and do your little bit for the environment.

Resources. colourful diet

Healthy Diet & Nutrition

The following information is a general guideline that would be useful for everyone. My source is the Oncology Reflexology Practitioners' course material written by the Middlesex School of Complementary Medicine, with their permission I included this information on my website.
Please note that I am not a qualified diet and nutrition advisor. If you need specific advice on nutrition please turn to a qualified nutritionist.

The connection between diet and occurrence of disease - be it cardiovascular, cancer, autoimmune conditions etc. - has been long recognised. Diet plays a very important part in complementary and even alternative treatment.

"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food." Hippocrates

The general advice on a healthy diet is:

It should be LOW in: read meat, processed meat, animal fat/protein, sugar (added or naturally occurring), sweeteners, salt, alcohol, Omega 6 fats, trans-fats, preservatives, additives, colourants.
It should be HIGH in: fibre, fresh vegetables specially dark green leafy veg, some fruit and Omega 3 fats.

It is always best to choose organic produce if possible.

Here are some useful tips

Note that they are a lot more than just "Eat your five-a-day". By the way 5 is now more like 8 to 10 portions - a - day of mostly vegetables! One portion is about 80 gr. When preparing your meal take vegetables from the different colours of the rainbow.

  • Eat your Vitamins, Essential Minerals and Fatty Acids

  • Vitamin E antioxidant, found in: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, wheatgerm, organic soy oil,
    Beta-carotene the body converts it into Vitamin A which is good for healthy skin and healthy eyes, found in: carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, cherries, spinach
    Vitamin C antioxidant, helps absorb iron, essential for bone health and wound healing, found in: red peppers, broccoli, papaya, oranges
    Vitamin K plays a role in blood clothing and helps regulate blood calcium levels, found in: greens and broccoli
    Lycopene antioxidant, found in: tomatoes
    Selenium helps body make antioxidant enzymes, found in: brazil nuts, wholemeal, sunflower seeds, eggs
    Zinc for strong immune system, DNA production and growth, found in: oysters, sunflower seeds, poultry, whole grains, chickpeas
    Calcium in bio-available from! for maintaining healthy alkaline pH 7.4 of blood, for DNA replication, for feeding every cell, for youth.
    Found in: sweet potatoes, home made slow cooked bone stock, kale, broccoli, bok choi, sardines, lentils
    Magnesium supports a healthy immune systems, essential for bone health, maintains normal nerve and muscle function. Found in: dark chocolate, dark green leafy vegetables, Epson Salt baths, avocado, banana, beans, chickpeas
    Iron for better oxygenation of cells in the body, found in: liver, meat, beans, nuts, brown rice, dried apricots
    Omega 3 good for heart health, found in: salmon, herring, mackerel, flax seed, chia

  • Known anti-cancer fighters

  • dark red and black fruits, garlic, onions, apples, nuts

  • Eat Fresh

  • Avoid processed and packaged foods, they increase sugar and salt consumption and there are also concerns about packaging toxins.
    Freshly prepared food maximises your nourishment.

  • Eat whole

  • Whole grains and whole foods release their energy slowly.

  • Eat 5 meals a day

  • Ensure a slow and steady stream of nutrients. Don't stuff yourself.

  • Eat oily fish

  • Salmon, herring, mackerel provide Omega 3 oil reduces cellular inflammation levels. They also contain Vitamin D. Don't forget to get regular exposure to natural sunlight. Why not do it while exercising in the fresh air.

  • Eat the flesh and eggs of free-range, happy animals that have been fed their natural diet

  • Eat garlic

  • It has anticancer benefits - helps reduce cellular inflammation and limit blood supply to tumours.

  • Eat less calories than you need.

  • Drink clean, filtered water preferably at room temperature

  • Eat more herbs

  • They have cleansing properties and they stimulate the immune system.

  • Take probiotics

  • To nourish your good gut bacteria. These "good guys" help eliminate toxins and oestrogen compounds, they stimulate the immune system, get rid of microbes and yeast. Keep in mind that antibiotics and certain drugs can kill the "good guys".

  • Take natural supplements

  • ONLY if you feel that you cannot get your nourishment fast enough naturally, or you are suffering shortages. Avoid cheap, mass-market, synthetic vitamins. Look for natural compounds.

  • Guard a correct weight

  • Being overweight increases your risk of many diseases such as: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer etc. Excess weight also shortens survival times in cases of cancer. If you decide to lose weight make sure you lose it slowly and carefully. Losing weight depends on two factors: regular exercise AND a healthy balanced diet, which IS the starting point.

  • Avoid glucose and products with sweeteners

  • Glucose is the favourite food of cancer cells !
    Some types of sugar, like polysaccharides in garlic, aloe vera, apples and brown rice are extremely beneficial as they stimulate the immune system.

  • Avoid dairy

  • Mother nature created cow's milk for calves, not for humans. The added downside of dairy products is that they are full of growth hormones to stimulate the cows' body to produce more milk for profit. That hormone ends up in our body. Also it contains antibiotics that are associated with weakening our immune system - these too accumulate in our system.

  • Avoid alcohol

  • It is proven that alcohol consumption can drive cancers.

  • Avoid bad fats

  • Choose plant based mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated oils. Eat oily fish, flax seed on your home made muesli and chia which has the highest content in anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids.

  • Avoid fast foods, ready meals, take aways and processed foods.

  • Avoid frying, microwaving or grilling your food

  • Fish should be poached to retain its nutritional value.
    Steam fry on a little water or other liquid on gentle heat to avoid killing the vitamins.

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    Fear and the Immune System

    What is the connection between fear, or any stress inducing emotion and the immune system?

    Fear is a stressful emotion that seriously inhibits the body's immune fighting capabilities.
    Stress hormones, by program, shut down the immune system as it is not essential for an adrenal driven fight or flight state.
    Stress hormones are so effective at this that surgeons use it therapeutically to suppress a donor organ receiving patient's immune system before the organ transplant, to try to prevent their immune system from rejecting the foreign tissue.

    On another note: it is scientifically proven that positive or negative thinking can have profound effect on the function of the immune system. Research has proven that consciousness controls the function of the immune system.

    Positive consciousness is responsible for the Placebo Effect, that has healing potential.

    Negative consciousness is responsible for the Nocebo Effect. Again, just like with the Placebo Effect, it is scientifically proven that it has the potential to indirectly lead to any disease inc. cancer, heart disease etc. by weakening our immune response. For example only less than 10% of cancer cases can be linked to inherited genes! The rest 90-92% is caused by lifestyle factors, cancer causing agents.
    A strong immune system will help prevent and fight cancer! A strong immune system is easier to maintain if we look after ourselves and manage stress and our emotions well.

    The fear of COVID-19 coupled with the threats of survival profoundly inhibits the population's immune system and further exacerbates the pandemic.

    So what can we do? You can't just say to yourself: "Come on, pull yourself together and just get on with it! or Pretend that nothings wrong." It is not very likely to really work. It is not being kind to yourself. And in moments like this we need self-compassion to get through it and then to be able to help others.

    So look after yourselves and then when you are feeling better you'll be better able to support others.

    These are my tried and tested health enhancing practices that will empower your immune system to reduce the severity of any COVID-19 symptoms and help others to overcome their fear.

    1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
    Eat lots of fresh veg. If you are an omnivore choose animal products that come from healthy, happy, free-range, fed on their natural diet, animals. Organic, if you can afford. Instead of processed high sugar content snacks choose fruit! Remember: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." For more tips see above the Healthy Diet and Nutrition section.
    Consider taking extra Vitamin C. Always read the labels.
    Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
    Stay away from the screens, get out, no matter what the weather!! At the moment Mother Nature is "showering us" with Vitamin D, another important vitamin for a strong immune system. Get out into your garden, on your balcony or open up your windows wide and soak it in.

    2. Recognise that the vast majority of us, who are younger than 75 yrs and haven't got a compromised health, will most likely only have mild symptoms. Those who are more at risk of developing severe symptoms and even complication should stay at home and shield away. Follow the government's rules. There is no disgrace in asking for help. Communities have pulled together in a heart warming way.

    3. Make every effort to destress:
    engage in sports, play games, walk in nature, listen to music, meditate, read, do exercise (my personal favourite is Tai Chi and also yoga as both have mindfulness component), do art, appreciate beauty, do gardening, have a go at self-help hand reflexology. Here is a video to help with stress and anxiety, or another one on how to support your immune system.

    RELAXATION will significantly enhance the function of your immune system and reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.

    4. Help flatten the curve and prevent overwhelming the NHS. Take care of yourself and support those in need in your community. If out, observe social distancing rules.

    Book Review

    Norman Cousins: Anatomy of an Illness
    As perceived by the patient

    A best-selling, groundbreaking classic on taking charge of our own health. An uplifting story of beating the odds by mobilizing the body's own natural resources, proving what an effective healing tool the mind can be.

    Dr Rangan Chatterjee: The Stress Solution
    The 4 steps to reset your Body, Mind, Relationships & Purpose

    Dr Rangan Chatterjee is a pioneer of progressive medicine, a leading voice of the lifestyle medicine movement, a regular radio commentator on BBC, protagonist of the BBC TV show Doctor in the House and host to his Feel Better, Live More chart-topping podcast.

    In this book he looks at what causes stress, how we react to it, what are the long-term consequences of unrelenting stress. He explores how stress affects every single aspect of our lives. He offers a four step plan to take back control and lead a more fulfilled and calmer life. The simple but effective solutions are easy to implement and will make you feel healthier and happier.

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