I went for a beautiful walk yesterday to clear my head after sitting at the computer for five hours, (which is my personal form of torment). As I walked past the river that cuts across the woodland that backs onto our garden I got the feeling that the autumn season is definitely in full swing. Seeing the leaves change from green to yellow reminded me of a great question a client asked last week; “How do you see the seasons change in the people you treat?”.
I hate grouping people into boxes, but there are some general observations that I see during the autumn. I thought I would write about them today as it's a good time to start getting ready for the winter so that you can embrace it in the healthiest way possible.
Coughs, colds and sneezes. It's true for most people; autumn brings with it more colds. As soon as the kids go back to school they seem to bring home a rash of new germs for our bodies to react to. Snotty noses are the sign that it is a good time to take a 2 week cause of Echinacea. However before the noses start dripping around you, start taking Neal's Yard Elderberry Syrup. Elderberry has twice the amount of anti-oxidants as Cranberry and if taken on a regular daily basis it can help to build up your immune system through out the year; it's strong enough to be '68.37% against swine flu'. So, definitely something to pop into the daily routine to help fight those nasty bugs!
Leaf-Like Skin. It's not only the tress that start to shed their leaves, during the autumn I notice that my clients need a lot more massage oil during their treatments as their skin starts flaking due to dryness. Dryness is caused by a lack of oil in the skin, it's not pure dehydration. Although we could all do with drinking more water and herbal tea, dry body brushing and applying a rich cream to the body everyday helps to nurture our body's wrapper through the harshest time of year. Dry body brushing helps to knock off dead skin cells and improves your lymphatic system, which is your main defence against the dreaded bugs! Try Orange and Geranium Body Butter for a truly intense and uplifting experience in the morning, or relax in a bed of roses with the Rose Body Cream for a calming time-out in the evening.
Achy, sore joints. Many clients tell me that they can feel the seasons turn in their bodies as their joints start hurting in autumn. It's true; bones like the summer warmth (when it's around), not the cold damp that can cause grown men to shudder. I'm personally a fan of arnica for aches and pains. It's the one I turn to in the treatment room at Cornerstone Therapies as well as at home. After a session at the climbing wall I will make sure I sit in a bath of Arnica and Seaweed Bath Foam and then rub Arnica Salve into the joints. My right knee is the joint that feels the wear and tear, cold and damp. I don't want it flaring up this winter and I believe arnica is the thing that helps it the most.
General Lethargy. For those of us blessed with bodies that work and have a good amount of general health, autumn can conjure up images of weekends indoors eating slow roasts, going for walks and then coming home for a glass of wine by the fire with the papers. Autumn doesn't paint a very pretty picture of going to the gym and working out! One of the biggest problems I see in the treatment room over this time of year is the fact that people don't move as much as they do in the spring and summer. It's natural to want to veg out as the nights draw in, but I would really advise you to make time in the week to at least go for a long-ish walk, a swim and take a Pilates lesson. Just doing those 3 things will keep your base line health ticking over so you can shed the dark and hopefully walk into the sun without pain next year. I'm not a gym fan and I think a lot of people how run on tarmac shouldn't, so I'm not asking you to give yourself a hard time over this! All you need to do is raise your heart rate a little and keep your body moving.
For those who find it hard to move around through illness or disability, keep up with the amount that you can do. Simply gentle walking in a warm swimming pool is a fantastic way to move your body. It stimulates the lymphatic system, gentle raises the heart rate, supports all your joints and keeps your safe. If you can, make a habit of doing this 3 times a week and you'll notice a difference in a very short space of time. Many physiotherapists will be more than happy to help make a plan for you to add in different ways of moving against the waters natural resistance to help build up muscle strength and stability; so book in a session with them if you find that you enjoy it.
Well, that's all from me today. I am going to do some Aromatherapy study this morning before a lovely afternoon of facials and massage. Then tonight I am off to Craggy Island for a climb with my friend who is helping me with my dissertation topic in a couple of weeks. More on that next time!
I am back at school in Brighton for three days this week, but you can always keep in touch via email. I'm also up to Harley Street on Tuesday next week for my last nerdy session with Leon Chaitow, so I shall be back next Wednesday raring to go!
What I'm loving in the Treatment Room today: I have been burning Vitality Aromatherapy Blend over the past 2 days to keep me energized and focused on learning stretch reflexes … it's a lovely warm aroma in my study.
Music of the day: Duotone – My ears are now addicted. Thanks Chloe!