It is MindBodySpirit Festival time here in Sydney! It began yesterday and goes until Sunday (5th - 8th November), I can highly recommend it! I shall be going and am looking forward to seeing the people who amaze and inspire me on a daily basis. There is the beautiful Lisa from Lilijana's Beauty, a creator of the most exquisitely scented candles, melts and soaps made from the finest natural wax ingredients including soy, palm and beeswax with cotton wicks, perfect for allergy sufferers and asthmatics. They smell good enough to eat! Another must see is the Triple Goddess stand, Lucy Cavendish, Serene Conneeley and Michele-Lee Phelan! Books, oracle cards, exquisite art and some special goodies await you there! The festival is amazing, something for everyone and the most wonderful atmosphere! If you can't make it then please visit their websites where you can purchase the amazing things they have to offer, just roll over their names and one click shall take you there! Otherwise, there are links to their sites in the side column.
We have been having a discussion on my very favourite facebook group about how important it is to take a wholistic approach to our health. I thought I would re-post my thoughts here.
When we are overworked, exhausted, run down, our bodies succumb to illness, be it something short term like a cold or long term implications of stress such as ulcers, heart disease, depression, even cancer. When I worked in Emergency Monday was angina and heart attack day, usually businessmen, often young. Full moons were always lively, a time when we would have overdoses, an increase in mental health issues, car accidents and violence. The environment we create around ourselves has further implications, good or bad.
Then there are genetic predispositions to illness and disease. My son was diagnosed at 6 years of age with Type 1 Diabetes. His genetic predisposition gave him a 4 in 1000 chance of developing it but it is something in the environment that triggers off the immune system to attack the islet cells in the pancreas which make insulin. What that is though is a mystery, there are various theories i.e. the rotovirus, which an immunisation is now available for but is a pretty common virus. The night he was diagnosed the news had a report that potatoes may have had something to do with it and I thought of every time we had potatoes for dinner! A cure is near but nothing is absolute yet so for now it is finger pricks and insulin injections. Something to watch out for is how he deals with all that he has to, he is amazing and such an inspiration to me and leads a normal life. He has a brilliant sense of humour too which I'm sure helps him cope. Type 2 Diabetes is a completely different disease, caused by lifestyle and poor eating habits that exhaust the pancreas to overwork and finally lose it's ability to effectively produce insulin. Our lifestyles have changed dramatically since I was young, we eat excessively, lead sedentary lives and consume a lot of processed foods. Caught early enough and changes to bad habits can, if not reverse, control it.
Then there is natural immunity and immunisation. We live in a pretty sterile world with handwashes, disinfectants, cleaners and immunisation. Let your kids get down and dirty, they need to build up their immune system. I wonder what generations of immunisation will do, will something like measles become a deadly disease because we no longer pass the natural immunity down to our kids? It's a very sensitive topic, a lot of people have very strong views on the subject. I'm all for it, my dad had polio, scarlet fever and diphtheria, he spent months in hospital. These are illnesses that we rarely see in developed countries now. Then something like the Swine flu or the Bird flu hits, not to mention HIV / AIDS. Are we seeing the arrival of new viruses or viruses that over time have mutated or cross species and become something potentially deadly to humans? Like evolution at it's most basic. (Swine flu, incidentally, is not from pigs...) Superbugs are rife in hospitals, the strongest bugs are the ones that are left and when these multiply you have a potentially deadly epidemic. That is why you must take the whole course of antibiotics, otherwise your relapse could have bigger and far more dangerous consequences.
I also notice a seasonal jump in illness, people who migrate to Australia often have severe allergies as opposed to people who have lived here over generations. We have unique plants here that we can tolerate but people from other countries can't. Pollen from different plants blooming at various times throughout the year cause problems for most people to some degree. Then there are increases in diseases like whooping cough or measles, which seem to happen in clusters and often after a long dry spell or heavy rain as many of these viruses lay dormant in soil. Could the dust storm have blown a bit more than just dust towards the coast?
Diet also plays a huge role. Try to get your vitamins out of food rather than a bottle. Breastfeeding is essential for as long as you can, the milk is full of protective antibodies. Women suffering from iron deficiency become tired, drained and susceptible to illness. For meat eaters make sure you have vegetables high in vitamin C with your meat as it helps the body absorb the iron, avoid chocolate, red wine, antacids and smoking as these all inhibit the uptake of iron. I hear the groans! Everything in moderation. Vegetarians often have good iron levels because they make a point of creating balance.
As a nurse and a mother I have always been exposed to viruses and seem to have a pretty good immune system but due to a bout of glandular fever and parvovirus I am currently undergoing treatment for severe joint pain and chronic fatigue, which at times limits my daily activities. (though with children you are always on the go!) It is then that other areas of health seem to get knocked out of kilter. It's times like these where a wholistic approach to your health is of great importance. Meditation, exercise, diet, natural therapies and medication to create the balance needed for a body to cope with the everyday things that life throws at us. Then to top it off I had a cancer scare earlier this year, which I have overcome. It was scary, a huge shake up and was the catalyst for beginning this blog! What a time I have had! It really does go to show that being proactive and productive is imperative! As a single mother I just can't afford to get sick in any way, shape or form!!!
So as I carry on with my plans to have a wonderful time at the MindBodySpirit Festival it is a timely reminder that it is essential, amongst the madness that is modern life, to take time out to nurture not just the outside but also the inside. Remember, your body is a temple!