Langley Building

Kington Park

Chippenham

SN15 5PZ

 

email: info@thehealthygutclinic.co.uk

tel: 01249 750192

mobile: Katherine - 07908 442211

Kiran - 07954 169607

Healthy Gut Clinic FB

Welcome to my blog

 

A little bit of extra information on key topics relating to my work.

By Lotus Finch, Oct 9 2017 01:29PM

As always, I hope this post finds you in fine fettle. I've never been one for pushing colonics as a weight loss solution and I don't even own a set of scales (other than in the kitchen!), but I do know that a colonic treatment can make you feel lighter, cleaner and healthier on the inside.


If we take care of the inside, it will reflect on the outside. Radiant skin, glossy hair and bundles of energy are all external indicators of vibrant health, but have you ever thought about looking in your toilet bowl after a No. 2 to get some inside information? I realise I might be in the minority with this one, but if you're not checking this out, you're missing a trick. I'm not asking you to poke it with a stick but a casual glance and check on the consistency and cleanliness of your movements will give you lots of valuable information.


Hopefully we've all enjoyed the pleasures of the amazing ghost poo.. you know, the one that pops out and disappears around the toilet bend before you know what's happening. No evidence of this guy on the paperwork either. Perfect. Aside from the disappointment of not being able to celebrate your poo (for those that look), this kind of effortless pooping experience is the gold standard!


Seriously though, greasy, slimy poos that require an inordinate amount of paperwork and leave skid marks in the pan are an indication that things are not so happy on the inside. A decent poo should make itself known and give you adequate time to find a loo, present without pain or discomfort, not require pushing or straining, and need only one cursory wipe of the bottom to ensure it's clean. Those that suffer with piles might need an extra wipe as, if external, they can make the anus uneven and therefore present more of a challenge, but you get the gist.


If you're having to spend ten minutes on the paperwork your gut is trying to tell you something, and it's not just that you're depleting the rain forests! It's likely that your diet is seriously lacking fibre, or you're producing a large amount of mucous in your stool. Some mucous is normal, but excessive amounts can indicate a problem, and if you ever notice bloody mucous, I'd advise you to visit your GP. Some foods, like dairy products, are actually mucous forming so you might try to avoid these and watch for the difference in your movements.


Increasing natural fibre in your diet gives the bacteria in your gut something to live on, which in turn supports a myriad of other essential functions in your body, not least your immune system. Fibre also bulks out the stool, making it easier to move cleanly through the intestines, keeping them clear and healthy, but remember, if you're increasing your fibre, don't forget to keep your fluids up too.


One of the most effective things I have found for the perfect, glossy, one plop, no wipe poo is flax bread. Flax bread is made with milled flax seeds. It's really easy to make with a prep time of no more than five minutes. Even if you don't fancy yourself as a chef, you'll be able to pull this off. It's not really a substitute for normal bread in that you can't make a sandwich out of it, but it's a very good accompaniment to soups and can be used as sweet or savoury snack, depending upon what you put on it. Linseeds, particularly in their ground form, are a great vegetarian source of the Omega 3 essential fatty acid, Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). Our bodies can’t make ALA, so it is essential that we get them from our diet. These essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, offering health benefits to a number of chronic diseases such as Heart disease, Diabetes and Arthritis.


You'll need the following ingredients and a lined 2lb loaf tin:

160 gms of milled flax seed

80 gms of olive oil

5 x eggs

large pinch of salt

squirt of honey or maple syrup (optional)


Mix everything together in one large bowl and pour it into the lined loaf tin. Bake in the oven at about 180 deg C for between 20 and 30 minutes. Leave to cool, then slice and munch away! You can get creative by adding different seeds and possibly raisins too, or recently I experimented with hemp seeds. It was delicious!


Lots of people these days are having restricted diets and many try to avoid traditional bread and pastries, so finding an easy alternative that is gluten free, wheat free and yeast free has been a real boost for me. It might not be advisable to those suffering with diverticular disease because of the small seeds, but otherwise, try it out and let me know how you get on. I'm sure your bowels will be over the moon!


By Lotus Finch, Oct 9 2017 01:19PM


So as the title suggests, this post is all about Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS as it's become known. If you’re someone who suffers with this debilitating condition, then you’ll know what a pain in the backside it is. It’s such a commonly used term nowadays that any kind of abdominal discomfort or bowel irregularity can attract IBS as a casual diagnosis, and those that don’t understand can sometimes dismiss it as being unimportant, or not worthy of sympathy. How wrong they are?!


We all get gut symptoms from time to time, but people with IBS get them more frequently and more severely. At any one time, between 10% and 20% of people (that’s 1 in 3 living in western countries) fulfil the diagnostic criteria for IBS. Symptoms include abdominal cramp, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, and what’s called “frustrated defecation” which is a great description for needing to go to the toilet but not being able to go when you get there. Other symptoms associated with the disorder are tiredness, nausea, heartburn and indigestion, backache, headaches, muscle pains, anxiety and depression.


Anyone who lives with IBS will tell you that they spend a large part of their time trying to deduce what their own specific triggers are; sometimes it’s food related, sometimes the triggers are more emotional, or the condition commonly arises after an attack of food poisoning. But the bottom line is that whatever the symptoms are, they are generally different for each person.


Living with this disorder isn’t life threatening, but it is quality of life threatening. The inability to plan for a future event can be very frustrating. Going out to work in the morning in clothes that feel comfortable, only to find that by lunch time you’ve bloated out so much you’re having to walk around with your zip undone really isn’t much fun. Being the person that can’t eat out with friends and is always finding an excuse to avoid restaurants undermines your self confidence and ruins your social life. And because of the nature of this disorder, it’s not something that people feel comfortable openly sharing and so consequently, they become even more isolated, and nothing and nobody thrives in isolation.


You may already be aware if you're a follower of The Healthy Gut Clinic's Facebook page (if not please click this link and like for up to date news and last minute cancellations https://www.facebook.com/kbrookecolonhydro/) that I recently attended a training day in Sheffield, sponsored by the IBS Network, which is a charity offering support to those suffering with IBS. It was an informative day, and I came away with a great deal more understanding of the disorder, and a strong feeling that I wanted to do something more to help, both the charity and those that suffer with IBS.


Therefore, I've set up a support group in Chippenham, open to anyone who wishes to attend that has a diagnosis of IBS. Meetings will be held monthly, commencing Friday 6th October at 7.00pm at The Rotary Club, Station Hill, Chippenham SN15 1EG, and will last about one hour. From thereon it will be the first Friday of every month, same time, same place. My intention is that the group will provide an opportunity for people to explore their own thoughts and feelings around their particular set of symptoms, enabling them to help others and be helped too, in a relaxed and informal environment. Hopefully group members can openly and safely share what works for them as individuals (and what doesn’t) with regard to their IBS challenges (no pressure to contribute though) and as the group grows, perhaps we can invite an occasional guest speaker. At the heart of it for me, it’s about connection not isolation; helping folk to realise that they’re not on their own with this and there are other people that understand too. After a couple of meetings you'll be invited to join the IBS Network where you can enjoy the many benefits that the charity offers including:


- access to telephone helpline, to speak to IBS trained nurses

- medical advice from a range of healthcare professionals, including Gastroenterologists, Dietitians, Pharmacists, Hypnotherapists, GPs and complementary therapists.

- Can’t Wait card and Travel card (worth £5 if bought separately)

- Gut Reaction, our quarterly magazine

- a wide range of factsheets

- access to our online community of support

- personalised symptom tracker

- recipes tailored for people with IBS and a sensitive gut

- IBS support group access.


Therefore, please can you help me spread the word by clicking the link to the IBS Network Chippenham Support Group Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ibssupportchippenham/ and share it, even if it's not something that's relevant to you personally. Or if your place of work has a notice board that could display a poster, please let me know and I can send or email you something to put up. The thing is, not everyone talks openly about their bowel habits so you might be sitting opposite someone at work who is really struggling and suffering and who could benefit from this support. If you want to contact me directly with reference to the group, please email me at ibschippenham@gmail.com.



By Lotus Finch, Jun 9 2017 07:03PM

As always, I hope thid blog finds you in good health. Spring is in the air and our spirits are lifted by the efforts of the blossoms bursting forth all around us. I often wonder how do these flowers know when to become more, when to erupt and display their wondrous beauty? What's the trigger for their emergence? It's all inside them, all that potential, in their cells, and given the right environment, there is no choice for them; the outcome of their natural, beautiful expression is inevitable.


So what about us? How aligned are we with our natural expressions? What if we come here on this planet with the blueprint of something inside us, just as unique and beautiful as every daffodil you see around you? Does the daffodil find its path from a bulb to a flower so perfectly because it knows exactly what it is and what it has to do? Do you have that kind of certainty about your own path, or are you constantly feeling like something is wrong or something needs to change? Does your life feel mostly effortless or is every single day a struggle?


I'm not suggesting that we have an entitlement to perfect bliss in every moment (although I like the idea of that!), as I appreciate life moves and ease flows in and out, but even in the dark and difficult moments, you can still feel like it is a part of your path; part of your bigger picture. I believe the more ease you experience, the more you are in alignment with your true self, your soul expression if you like.


It is my belief that the greatest responsibility we have in our life time is to know ourselves as fully as possible, and to constantly create an environment in our lives which allows for and supports our truest, most natural expression. One of the most common regrets of the dying is that they never lived a life true to themselves. Self awareness isn't a subject that can be covered in a couple of sentences I know, but we must surely question our lives and our broader choices from time to time, especially if we are not enjoying relatively good health. Symptoms are signposts and rather than being the actual problem, they can be indications that you are not living your life right for you, especially sensations from the gut. Your body is hard wired to heal and it knows just how to do it. All you have to do is provide the right environment. So when your guts kick off with bloating, constipation, cramping, acid reflux and lord knows what else, it's trying to tell you something. We tend to focus on the "what have I eaten?" question, and whilst that is often valid, sometimes we need to dig a little deeper. How aware are you of your own needs as an individual? How often do you question that and adjust your life accordingly to support yourself?


Something came into my awareness several years ago in the form of a great book. It is called The Highly Sensitive Person written by Elaine Aron. In my ignorance, I read the word sensitive as meaning precious, suggesting that I'm easily offended and likely to flounce off in a huff if someone does or says the wrong thing... but that's not what it's about at all. What I learned is that about 20% of our population has a highly sensitive nervous system which kind of means they take in a lot more information a lot more quickly than others. This results in those people feeling overwhelmed, stressed, over stimulated, anxious etc very quickly. As I read through the book I resonated so much with the words. It brought me great comfort and a new level of self acceptance as I realised I was in this 20%.


Prior to this awareness, I'd gone through most of my life feeling like a feeble person. I couldn't understand why I didn't seem able to cope with new situations like other people did. I'd force myself to undertake tasks or experience new things but often times I'd come away feeling like I'd let myself down again. Rather than feeling stretched and accomplished, I'd feel overwhelmed and incompetent, which reinforced my self image in a negative way. I compared myself with others jetting off here and there, enjoying one social engagement after the next, and I wondered what was wrong with me. Had I'd been attuned enough to my own body then, I'd have realised that this hectic life path was not meant for me. My gut gave me regular messages in the form of either diarrhoea or constipation, or maybe a bit of both. I had no peace, was prone to bouts of spontaneous weeping and I did not feel well. Often I didn't want to eat because I was so stressed, and if I did eat, I couldn't assimilate any nutrition anyway because in order to digest, your body has to be in a parasympathetic state (rest and digest). Mine was the opposite, in sympathetic fight or flight mode permanently.


Sensitivity may sound like a curse presented like this, but it actually isn't. It only becomes a problem when experienced in the wrong context. Once I understood this about myself, I created an environment that supported this gift by working one to one as a therapist, and I honour myself now with big spaces in between activities, not over booking myself or trying to do too many things in one day. I have mostly stopped behaving the way I think other people want me to behave. I don't join things I don't want to join and I've nearly got comfortable with being thought of as a bit of a party pooper! Sometimes I actually book time out to stare out of a window or just sit alone with myself to nurture my soul. And in my work environment, my sensitivity is a real blessing, as my ability to absorb lots of information quickly lends itself to extra depth and context in my practise.


So really this is a question about you and your environment. A sensitive gut pattern could just be a warning for you about more than your breakfast cereal. Are you thriving or withering in your environment? What changes can you make to honour yourself more fully? What is your gut feeling about your life and are your symptoms trying to tell you something?


My mistake was comparing myself to everyone else and thinking I wasn't good enough, but as Albert Einstein said, "Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid." And he was a clever chap by all accounts!


By Lotus Finch, Jun 9 2017 06:59PM

One of the questions I get asked the most by clients who visit my clinic, (apart from "how did you get in to this line of business?") is, "what should I eat?" It is my belief that we must foster a better relationship with our bodies, and learn to interpret the messages we get from within as to whether our food choices are serving us or not. Lots of us think we are making healthy food choices based on what is rammed down our throats by the mass media, and which is invariably biased, dated and inaccurate. Here are a few examples:


milk is the best source of calcium

fat is bad

meat stays undigested in your colon for 20+ years

wholegrain or brown bread is good

bran is the solution if you're constipated (my favourite - NOT!)


So many illusions that most of us grew up believing, and lots of us still do! These habits die hard and often that's because we don't know what to do instead. But take a moment to think, if these choices that we're sold are so good, why is our nation's health deteriorating so quickly, why do we have an obesity epidemic, and why are so many people developing diabetes and popping pills in order to get through the day. There has to be a better way and this is what I want to bring to your attention today.


My husband, Age MacKenzie is a Weight Loss and Lifestyle Consultant and his business Altered Images is sponsoring a Health and Nutrition Workshop by Karl Whitfield of Mother Nature's Diet. This day long event, held on 24th June at Equilibrium Natural Health Centre, promises to answer all those questions and a whole lot more. This day usually costs £80 but this is an opportunity for you to attend at the reduced price of £40 per person. There are limited spaces so if you're interested, please do contact Age immediately on 07767 094904 or e-mail age@alteredimages.me to secure your seat. I believe it will be a life changing day for those who attend.



By Lotus Finch, Mar 15 2017 04:11PM

There are a lot of available ways to take care of yourself. Prioritising your health and well-being is beneficial for you, for your family and for the environment you live in. You MOT your car and clean your house – why not do the same for your body and mind? Many practices and therapies work well together because they recognise that we are integrated systems of body and mind. You can see this effect in the negative when you are stressed or bloated and it affects your ability to connect with your loved ones, function optimally at work and engage fully in your life.


Working with a practitioner that understands these links through professional and personal experience is something you will be able to do when you visit Katherine at The Healthy Gut Clinic, Chippenham. Colonic hydrotherapy, food intolerance testing and stool analysis are all available here and they are supportive of your general health and wellbeing. You may find, for example, that the fuzzy head you have when you are trying to concentrate on your work is due to a reaction that your body is having to one of the things you eat or drink, which disappears when you are able to target and eliminate the problem foods from your diet.


Katherine is a regular practitioner of yoga and knows that keeping up with practice is like giving your mind-body connection a bath. Colonic hydrotherapy is like this but it’s cleansing for your insides. When you introduce more than one practice into your life, they complement and enhance each other to give you huge benefits.


Taking the next step


Booking colonic hydrotherapy, stool analysis or food intolerance testing in Wiltshire is easy. Check out the different pages for the therapy you want to try. Katherine is friendly and knowledgeable and will happily talk to you about her own experiences and listen to yours. Having a complementary therapy is about seeing where you might need a bit of extra support to live a full and happy, healthy life. We look forward to seeing you at The Healthy Gut Clinic.



RSS Feed Blog logo