‘My Dharma’ – A little something personal from Ciara.

An instrument of change and a facilitator of deep healing. These are my heartfelt intentions for what I do – my ‘dharma’ as it is called in sanskrit – meaning life purpose. And it was indeed a process to get there. Fifteen years in a punishing corporate environment where whilst my banking career thrived, my soul dimmed…until the universe presented a catalyst in the form of a health crisis and I knew that in order to truly be alive and flourish, I had to follow my path. And so Wholly Aligned was born with a strong focus on the principles of natural health (naturopathy) and yoga.

My inspiration has come from many avenues. Growing up in Zambia left a lasting impression on me as we grew most of our fruit and vegetables in the garden. Allowing my senses to be stimulated by the purity of nature. My mother had a genuine interest in natural health and remedies and also trained in the 70s to be a yoga teacher. Another big influence and very much continues to be so.

From my days in student clinic to seeing my own clients, it never ceases to amaze me how every person is so unique. One man’s nectar, is another’s poison. Each person responds in different ways and so it is working with each person to put it all together and unlock the wellness potential using better food choices, flower remedies, therapeutic supplements and lifestyle changes. Yoga sits beautifully in this array of tools.

Ciara Roberts

Nutritional Therapy

Yoga

Water water everywhere!

Our amazing human bodies are made of 70% water and 30% solid matter – the same ratio of land to ocean as our beautiful planet Earth.

Water is life and without it no creature can survive. Given our profound reliance on this, our reaction to lack of it can have deep effects on who we are at both cellular level and through the manifestations of disease in our body.

87734498Hydration is the cornerstone of a healthy body. Many things can contribute to dehydration apart from the obvious of not drinking enough water. Stress, whether internal or external, medication, excessive caffeine and sugar and lifestyle choices can play havoc with our wellbeing. Even being surrounded by wi-fi has an impact – so it’s not difficult for our sensitive bodies to be thrown off-balance and left struggling for health.

When we become dehydrated our bodies make cellular changes as a means of defence, each cell membrane will become covered with a layer of cholesterol to protect itself from further loss of fluid. But this layer of cholesterol whilst encasing the cell and protecting it – will also cause the cell to become more isolated – losing its connection to the other cells and to the bigger picture. If our cells are restricted just think how small our vision may be. This disconnection from the higher aspects of ourselves can manifest as a loss of direction in life, the inability to get out of a repeatedly stressful situation or a loss of creativity and motivation.

The more our cells are coated with this cholesterol layer, the more disconnected they become from each other, they become colder and darker and more cut off. Which is a microcosm of how we can feel when deeply dehydrated.

78321344(1)So what can we do…we can deal differently with situations that are causing us stress – we can eat in a less challenging way and choose hydrating foods and oils.

When we really work on our hydration it can be amazing to start feeling energised again, connected to our better /higher selves and alive with creativity and motivation. Ways to do to this are obviously to increase water intake, but also the food we eat makes a big difference too. Vegetables and fruits we know are hydrating, grains and refined foods much less so. Choosing to have an abundance of good quality fruit and vegetables and a minimum of refined foods will support our bodies at a cellular level in its daily cleansing. Drinking fresh water and getting enough sleep and fresh air and enjoyment in life will all effect our hydration levels, allowing our cells to open up again and re-connect with their surroundings. This will lead to a more connected self – able to hear who we really are and the messages of universal wisdom.

Fiona

What does good nutrition look like?

Let’s start a conversation…

Well, here’s the thing. There is no singular, generic approach to fit with each person.

There are certainly broad themes that will provide benefit to the majority, such as eating seasonally and organically for higher nutrient content and less chemical exposure and to well…..eat food. What say you to the growing profusion of chemicalised ‘food like’ items that are becoming regular household purchase. A general guide to apply is if you don’t understand the ingredients list, don’t buy it and certainly don’t eat it! Something with twenty ingredients and a sell-by date way too far in the future needs to be questioned.

Michael Pollan, author of ‘In Defence of Food’, puts it simply. ‘Eat food, not too much. Mostly plants.’ I very much like this – there is much to be said for simplicity.

Good nutrition will only be as effective as what best serves your body. So this includes taking into account your health status, your relationship with food, your belief systems, how you respond to stress and your sleep habits. There is an entire web of variables for each individual.

Are you making conscious and well informed choices when it comes to your food shopping? What is your social conditioning around food and eating?

Woman shopping at farmer's market

Shopping Local, Seasonal and Organic

Questions for you to ponder:

How well do you know the source of your food? For example, are you buying from a local farmers market where you can ask the farmer direct or are you buying from a large supermarket chain whose main focus is the shareholder? Fast marketing, fast carbs, fast food. Fast route to poor health.

How do you feel after eating? If it’s bloated, gassy, lethargic, then there may be foods burdening rather than energising your system.

How do you eat? Modern life has created mass over-ride of our inherently intelligent systemic design. Ancient man was not chowing down on a packet sandwich meal deal as he ran from the sabre toothed tiger. However modern man does chow down on said packet sandwich meal deal in a fit of rage/anxiety/sadness/dissatisfaction creating the same hyper-adrenaline response. His trigger is not a looming sabre toothed tiger but perhaps an antagonising email or phone call or long queue. Not life threatening situations yet the body is responding in the same way leaving modern man marinading in a cocktail of excess stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. And so the cycle continues until the body says enough and you get floored by burn out.

Learn to deeply listen to your wise body. The messages are all there. Respond compassionately and remember small changes make big differences.

Ciara Jean Roberts
Naturopathic Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher
The Little Escape. March 2015

*Food Detective intolerance tests available in clinic
*Muscle testing using the exquisitely ethical Premier Research Labs products also available

Dreading the Pollen Season?

Spring is upon us and with it come longer days, warmer sun and spring blossom. For many of us this also means the arrival of hayfever, featuring itchy eyes, a runny nose, sore throat and sometimes other symptoms like headaches or light-headedness.

Blossom :)

Spring’s a-springing!

If you prefer not to take regular anti-histamines but would like to control your hay fever symptoms in a natural way, herbal medicine has a lot to offer. Now is the time to start building your resistance so that your symptoms are decreased during the pollen season. After an initial consultation, a tailor-made treatment plan is devised to build your resistance to pollen, increase your immune activity and optimise your general health.

Come and see our fully qualified Medical Herbalist Marion Colledge for a herbal consultation and a prescription that is tailored to your needs and takes into consideration any medication you may be on and any other health problems you may have.

If you would like more information first please feel free to call Marion on 07855 814780 to find out more or book in for a 15 minute free consultation.