How Healing Creeps Up On You..!

Great video here from the OTC where a lady is describing how she longed for this miracle day when she would suddenly wake up well, but it was entirely different. This matches my own experience, especially the bit where she’s saying healing almost crept up on her – she suddenly realised she hadn’t crashed for a few weeks and wasn’t looking for symptoms any more. That is exactly right.

Even more importantly, she explains how it is a learning process that she got wrong some days and weeks but stopped beating herself up about it and telling herself she would never get well. She understood it for what it was – “that day my body needed to crash for some reason, so I let it”. Excellent. She let go of the fight.

Do have a watch – and keep an eye out for healing. We are quick to notice when we feel rubbish and you’d think we’d notice when we’re not – but it doesn’t seem to be that way!

Colour Healing & Training

Sparkle logo

This is my new Sparkle logo, do you like it?!

I mentioned recently in this blog post that I am training in colour analysis currently. Quite a few of you surprised me by saying you had been thinking of training too and asked me what course I am doing. So, here are the details for you about why I’m doing it and where you can too..

For me, it was important to get some training and use it how I wanted to in future, so a franchise type option was out. That’s what most colour training courses are – a brand you tap into. That could be what you want, but I wanted total creative control (as per!).

I am never going to be the dolled-up, perfectly-clothed 1980s type colour analyst caked in make-up and shoulder pads aplenty, you’ll not be surprised to learn! Instead, I see colour as a part of our overall wellbeing and healing strategy.

Why is colour important?

Even though it is something we see every day, we respond to colour at a very deep level. It is light, after all. The coloured light we take in through our eyes can affect the functioning of our hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands for a start – so that is important for our mood, sleep, hormonal health, brain function etc etc – and that’s not even mentioning what we absorb through skin. There is a reason colour therapists use coloured silks and coloured lights. Surely if we applied that theory to what we see and wear on our bodies every day, that’s got to help, hasn’t it?! I’ve more research to do on this obviously but that was enough to get my interest piqued!

I discovered in myself – and have seen in practice with some of you – that we sort of become invisible when we have been ill or ‘simply’ unhappy for whatever reason. We lack self-care or self-love, which is the number one need for wellness and recovery when it really comes down to it. We tend to ‘dull down’ to match our moods, to shrink into the background almost in a bid to reduce any further ‘burden’ we put on others and don’t want to look at or look after ourselves in a conventional sense. That’s not done all that consciously, but on a sub-conscious level. And it’s hardly surprising. Blimey we’re busy enough trying to stay upright half the time and the other half looking after everyone else!

Image result for bright winter colour analysis

Not me: I wish but I do look fab in that colour purple 🙂

I was doing some work on colour healing – the lasers if you recall for helping my mouth sores to heal – and it suddenly struck me how dowdy I now was! I am a Winter colouring in colour analysis parlance which means I am best in pure vibrant hues. I used to wear bright red lipstick, clothes that stood out from my black hair and earrings to die for. I was known for my huge earrings. What the heck was I doing wearing dark and muted clothes all the time, the tiniest earrings you’ve ever seen – and the same outfits every day at that?

Of course, I understood that on one level these clothes were reflecting the inner me and how I felt at the time. It wasn’t wrong in any sense, just a bit of a shock when I realised how ‘not me’ I had become.

Is this making any sense?

Anyway, right then, I made a conscious effort as part of my own healing approach to go against that feeling and dress in colours that would help me not only feel better in myself but speed up my healing. Julie had also told me I had to practice self-care, to make friends with my body again and forgive it for what it had ‘done’ to me. To stop ignoring it and burying my head in the sand. If you are always fighting your body, it will fight back. You have to let go of the fight. Tough but ultimately triggers the start of healing. See the audio CDs she’s done for us on this in the Mind-Body section – they dovetail with the Healing Plan where I talk much more about this fighting and letting go thing.

Off I went then and researched colour psychology, changed the way I dressed according to what I wanted to create or feel like (hopeful rather than hopeless, happy rather than depressed, good digestion rather than poor, balanced immunity rather than raging beast wanting to bite me all the time etc) and decided I was so fascinated in how it made me feel, I would train so I could do that for others.

My confidence has soared (a way to go yet) and I am gradually feeling much more like ‘me’. Plus, I can look in the mirror – read the Healing Plan – the trigger for real turn-around and foods going in was when I managed to look at myself really truly in the mirror one day. I realised I was not that ill person any more – and neither did I want to look like her!

Anyway, even though adding colour analysis to my Purehealth protfolio may look incongrous, you can see it isn’t. I plan to use it as a fun therapy for both myself and the client, but with a serious and powerful benefit behind it: more confidence, better mood, speedier healing; a self-care strategy for mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. It is part of the new business shift towards Lifestyle Medicine for a while, more of which anon. The Sparkle Programme mark 2…

So which course…?

Oh yes, I waffled a bit there, didn’t I?! How can you do it then?

image consultant training coursesThe course I chose to do is an online one from Improvability. Just to check how I felt about it and to have a go, I started with the Colour Yourself Fabulous course which is an introduction to becoming a colour analyst and effectively gives you a strategy you could go on and use just from that and be quite successful. Here’s how they describe it:

Colour Yourself Fabulous Mini-Course

A simple, fun, low-cost way to colour analyse yourself and your friends so that you can look and feel absolutely fabulous without having to invest life savings in professional image training with the Colour Yourself Fabulous mini-course.

Of course, knowing me I wanted to find out more! So, I am just completing the main colour course:

Fabulous Colour Analysis

A revolutionary new franchise-free colour analysis training course for both beginners and experienced image consultants. It’s especially for you if you want to be different and stand out from the crowd. You will learn both tonal and seasonal analysis, how colour analysis works for every skin tone and colour on the planet, a step-by-step approach to colour consultations & workshops, and lots more.

I wanted to concentrate on colour for now and maybe do style later if I fancy it so I liked the modular way you can do the course. If you prefer, you can do it all in one go:

Complete Colour & Style Course

The Complete Colour & Style Course contains 4 professional, in-depth training courses – Colour Analysis, Personal Style, Personal Shopping & Wardrobe, and Mindset & Motivation. Included are all the training manuals, all my client handouts, and certification for all 4 courses. A great choice if you want to get started quickly!

Or if you want the whole shebang, Kim also does:

The Ultimate Business Training Programme

This is my flagship program and includes 1-to-1 private coaching and lifetime email support from me plus professional, in-depth training in colour analysis, personal style, personal shopping & wardrobe, mindset & motivation. Training manuals, my client handouts, and certification are all included too. All with 1-to-1 coaching and personal support from me! If you want the absolute best, this is for you.

There are other bits and bobs and they do all the colour supplies (my drapes etc are arriving later this week – how exciting!), but those are the main courses. You also get to belong to a closed Facebook group called In The Pink even from the Colour Yourself Fabulous first course and I have found this really helpful so far.

The courses are well put together. Kim is a right bossy hoot and that makes me laugh. She is kind with it, so don’t worry! The emphasis is very definitely on learning the basics but not having to stick to any rules, which appeals to me.

Anyway, I hope that helps with anyone thinking of colour for their own healing or for doing it for others. See it as a strategy. For me, this training is as much an excuse to work with something positive and joyful for my own continued wellbeing as it is for business. What’s the point in being self-employed if you can’t put a business together that gives you joy as well as others, that’s what I say!

So, anyone fancy coming on this lovely, fun journey with me – I’ll see you in In the Pink!

 

Chocolate – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Well I say yes! But Eileen at Phoenix Helix has delved a bit deeper than that for us and here’e her lowdown on whether chocolate is OK on a TGF/Paleo/AIP type diet as per the Gluten Plan.

CHOCOLATE: FRIEND OR FOE?

Some of the brands etc are US ones but you get the gist. Enjoy. Literally, if you can 🙂

 

New Genetic Comprehensive Test Listed

I’ve finally found a genetic overview test which I think offers real, practical, useable information that you can translate into real-world changes likely to make a difference, so I have listed it on the shop for you today in a new Genetic Tests section.

Here’s the blurb for you:

Genetic Tests

I have been searching for ages for a really good gene test which actually gives valuable, practical information for people. Many of the gene tests available give you shed-loads of SNiPs and leave you wondering what the heck they all mean.

I don’t go heavy on genetic testing because I am of the firm belief that just because we have the genes or SniPs does not mean that we will develop the problem in the vast majority of cases. That said, sometimes knowing you have a possible weakness in an area can explain why you can’t get better using normal interventions – and means you can take steps to prevent future illness.

We know that genes are not set in stone and that environmental and diet changes in the very least can influence how those genes are expressed, or switched on or off. So, it can be a very good idea to see if something is affecting your weight control, sleep patterns, adrenal efficiency, methylation, detox or nutrient pathways, for example.

So, I have listed the myDNA Comprehensive panel because I think it gives a really good overview and a fantastic report which makes sense of the results in the most key areas for you. You can then talk to one of us or your practitioner if you need more help. You can see a general leaflet about the myDNA Comprehensive here which will show you what is covered, and see a sample report here – all 47 pages of it!

Once you order, you will be sent a questionnaire from the lab who will also take payment from you, then analyse your results in context with your answers. They will then send me a report which I will forward on with any thoughts or comments I have for you, plus ideas on what to do next if appropriate.

I’ve also linked to some of the other gene tests in the various sections for you, including:

The Thyroid T3 D102 test which helps identify if you have a problem using T3 in the brain – for example, those people who don’t do well on thyroxine only.

The gluten gene test for non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and coeliac disease – do you have the right pattern for either problem? Mainstream only checks DQ2 and maybe DQ8 if you’re lucky, but many people have DQ1 or DQ3 which can cause skin, neurological and gut problems with gluten too. I introduced this test to the UK and it comes in very useful if you have stopped eating gluten but still want to see if there’s a possible NCGS problem.

The DD Methylation pathways gene test will give you the gene pattern for methylation issues – although the myDNA panel will give you indicators on this too.

Same for the LR DetoxGen – it will give you detox pathways information, but you do get some analysis of this in the myDNA one too.

Hope that helps. You can see the Genetic Tests section here.

 

Gluten Free Whiplash

A useful reminder from Dr Osborne today – I first wrote about this back in 2010, I think! But I still see it daily…

The Gluten Free Whiplash Effect

Gluten Whiplash typically occurs 3-6 months after starting a gluten free diet.  Let me explain.  When one initially goes gluten free, a state of dietary distress and confusion sets in.  Many limit their diets to an extreme because they are not quite sure what to eat.  The typical gluten free diet learning curve takes 8-12 weeks.   This is because one must spend enough time educating themselves about acceptable products, restaurants, etc.  During this time, the body starts to heal and most people do very well noticing dramatic improvements in their health.

Once the learning curve is conquered, people tend to gravitate toward the processed, packaged “gluten free” food items.  People tend to get lazy and make the choice of convenience over health.  BIG MISTAKE! This is where Gluten Whiplash tends to set in.

Quite true.

However, it’s also caused by people then becoming sensitive to the cross-reactive grains and dairy, and to foods they’ve started to eat more commonly, I’ve found. You take the gluten out of your diet and this makes you naturally eat more of other foods, usually dairy and other grains as substitutes. Sadly, some of these are either cross-reactive in that the body thinks the very similar structure is gluten, or they are cross-contaminated, or someone develops or ‘unearths’ a latent sensitivity to something else before the leaky gut caused by the gluten has healed.

Just be aware of it. Check out Cyrex 4 for the cross-reactive and common substitute foods and maybe Cyrex 2 or a PEG test to check leaky gut progress.

Two little tips I have found over the years: check corn in your supplements, meds and toiletries, and rice is always the last grain people consider but it does make a difference, even though it has the least cross-reactive gluten (not gliadin) in it.

Migraine Help

Migraine is classified as the 6th most disabling illness by WHO. I get that as a migraine sufferer myself! I’ve written about it several times on the blogs but two interesting bits on migraine this morning in my inbox I thought might be useful for you.

First an overview and a couple of videos from Dr Osborne. Migraine is a neurological disorder and gluten is a very common culprit because gluten related illnesses are neurological, not gut based as we have always believed. Read more on the http://www.trulyglutenfree.co.uk site and put ‘migraine’ in the search box, for example.

Also, see my factsheet on Migraine for some links to posts here.

Dr Osborne gives us a really useful infographic of 16 top factors to consider in migraine:

gluten is a known migraine trigger

And you can read his full article and view some pretty comprehensive videos here:

16 Food and Chemical Migraine Triggers

Next, a new product for migraine called Dolovent is making the news. It’s sadly not TGF-safe because it contains corny Vitamin C etc but I share it so that you can maybe collate a similar product using TGF safe separate items, which is what I am doing. It contains some of the most researched elements involved in migraine including B2 (riboflavin), magnesium and CoQ10, which I have been taking separately as TGF safe versions.

You can read a lot more about it here.

I wish they had given proper information about the forms of the nutrients – for example, I think I read it uses magnesium oxide which is not really a very absorbable form.  I use magnesium citrate or sprays. However, I am wondering if they have used oxide as it is better in some cases for oxygenation, which we know is an issue in migraine – or is it just because it is the cheapest form!? I don’t know.

Anyway, I share it here for you so you can see an example of a nutrition-based migraine supplement. You may want to do as I do, as I say, and take them separately to suit your needs better. You might also want to combine it with one of the migraine herbal supplements that include butterbur or feverfew. Check the TGF master list for safe products always, of course, and the updated list of add-ons which is in the TGF Facebook group Files for you, thanks to the ever-sleuth-like and efficient Christine 🙂

Lastly, my other advice for this is to get some structural physical work done to soften your neck, spine, scalp and jaw. Any blocks to oxygen and blood flow to the head is going to cause a migraine or exacerbate it. Cranial osteopathy is a good bet, combined with massage.

Lastly (again!), anxiety is a big issue in this too. Are you screwing your face up or holding your jaw tight? If so, do some meditation daily – use one of Julie’s audio downloads, the Yoga Nidra CD, a session or two with Julie (the quickest option!) or other of the stuff I’ve recommended in the Mind-Body Medicine section for you.

Either way, I hope it helps. I wouldn’t wish migraine on my worst enemy as they say!

Is Coffee Safe?

I keep getting asked this. To be clear: coffee is NOT a cross-reactive food but a cross-contaminated one. Bean to cup should be fine, but instant and processed coffees probably not.

Then I saw Dr Osborne’s most recent post this morning in my Inbox and I see where the confusion is coming from as even Dr O is saying it is cross-reactive, which it is not – it was a confusion over the Cyrex 4 test when it first came out! I even contacted Dr Vodjani to check and have bemoaned the myth on blog and social media sites ever since!

That said, Dr O does make a very good point about mycotoxins and moulds on coffee beans. I really think this is an issue for some people and may well be the reason I can’t tolerate the dried teas he recommends instead as those are renowned for it too. I do OK on coffee beans. I wonder if there is a way of getting the mould off as I am assuming with dried things, it is mould that gathers on the surface rather than in the actual food – am I right those of you who know more about moulds than I do? Any tips for how to de-mould coffee and teas? I could do with a nice cuppa sometimes!

Anyway, have a read of Dr Osborne’s piece here but do not perpetuate the error that coffee is a cross-reactive food in the same way as dairy and the other grains are! Do read the rest of it though!

Is Coffee Safe on a Gluten Free Diet?

And here is the reply I put in comments for you too:

Truly Gluten Free

Didn’t Vodjani say later that it was cross-contamination that was the problem in instant/processed coffees but not coffee itself, so bean to cup coffee should be fine from a truly gluten free perspective? It is not a cross-reactive food in the same way as dairy and other grains are.

That said, it could well be the mycotoxins causing an issue, I reckon. I have found dried teas – black, green, herb etc also cause issues with people so might they be an issue with mycotoxins too, do you think, Dr Osborne? It leaves me and them with very few options for warm drinks!

If anyone wants to show me I’m wrong and coffee IS a cross reactive food, please do.

Getting The Sparkle Back: A Bit of a Revelation!

As per my last ‘business’ type post, I have been working on the old Sparkle wellbeing programme (for those who’ve lost theirs..!) to see if I can update it somehow.

I have come to two conclusions so far.

First, most of it is happily already on the system somewhere so I just need to gather it together, point people to it better and augment some sections, so I am working on that already.

Second, I remembered how much I used to love being out and about doing stuff around the ‘Sparkle’ time in my business! I ran health workshops for NHS and primary care trusts, taught evening courses for local colleges, gave talks to charities, offered retreats at my home in Lytham, even ran aromatherapy, Feng Shui, colour therapy and non-toxic skincare ‘parties’ for want of a better word. I did some corporate work but, secretly, I most loved just being in a room with a few people nattering about my favourite subjects and us all having a go with stuff! It made me Sparkle doing it. It was a nice memory, actually.

Image result for teaching adults

I never looked this professional, but I did always sit on a desk or preferably a sofa…!

It also reminded me how much I miss touch therapy – for those of you who weren’t with me back then, I used to be a relaxation and remedial massage therapist and facialist! Not your usual beauty sort of facials (although I was trained in that as my first clinic was in a gym and they insisted I could sort out blackheads and wax, ugh!), but I invented a signature facial using acupressure, reiki, hypnotherapy, neck and shoulder release etc as well as anointing people with beautiful relaxing aromatherapy and pure cold-pressed oils!

Image result for massage therapist

I used to do that and the nutrition work side by side and it was a lovely mix – for me and patients in-clinic, or so they used to tell me anyway!

I think the days of me being a remedial massage therapist are well and truly over – just not got the upper body strength or stamina you need now (I am 50, y’know!). As a five foot woman dealing with strapping footballers, rugby players and generally people much bigger than me, it was always tough, as you can imagine. Nice, but tough ;).

So, given the fact that I now feel in control of my life and my illness is not (!), it is time for me to start peeping out from behind my computer screen and start doing some of this stuff again, I’ve decided!

I am going to continue doing all my usual work with tests, advice, TGF etc, of course, as I love that too, but I will now use the time I spent getting well and then writing the Healing Plan about it to do some more ‘sparkly’ stuff. I could spend more time on functional medicine for chronic illness, but if there is one thing I’ve learned through my own illness, it is how important our mental state is to getting better, to keeping well and not getting ill in the first place! Besides, the TGF work, the Gluten Plan and all the other plans are already in place and I’ll continue to develop all that.

Also, a question from someone the other day really got me thinking. They asked: what is it that you love, what gives you joy? I went blank. So, true to form, I went home and made a list.

Apart from the obvious: cat, relationships, environment, work (notice Minnie comes first!), I noticed that a lot of it was to do with my senses. I have always been a sensitive type of person – I respond to colour, sound, smell, touch and taste really strongly. Of course, when I was poorly, it was my senses that went into hyperdrive and I became ‘sensitive to everything’ in a bad way. When I am well, it is those that give me the most joy. The trauma had in fact robbed me of all the joyful things in life. But they are now on their way back 🙂

I think highly-sensitive people are always that much more aware of their environment and the smells, people, sounds and colours within it. Knowing that, I have decided to embrace being a sensitive person instead of worrying about it and use my senses to bring my Sparkle back a bit!

New Sparkly Side of the Business

Essentially, I saw this picture…

Image result for positive words

and decided to use the words to springboard a new ‘sparkly’ side of the business. For now, I am taking three positive words to work on:

CALM

CONFIDENCE and

JOY

Why those? Because that’s what I am focusing on for my needs, and that’s what I think will benefit a lot of you, too. It’s preventative and mind-body medicine; lifestyle medicine, really.

Calm – because I need to continue to tell my hyper-sensitive body it is safe. The best way to do that is use amygdala-calming techniques, of which there are many such as meditation, massage and hypnotherapy. By concentrating on ‘calm’ things, it benefits me and you!

Confidence – because having a long-term illness robs you of it and I need to bolster mine, as do many of you. Doing workshops, talks etc benefits me, but it also benefits you. I’m all for self-esteem boosting!

Joy – because that’s what I want more of in my life, and so do you! Joy is the opposite emotion to fear so we want more of that.

You can, in fact, blame this on Julie – as usual. She said I now needed ‘pleasure-training‘. Eh? Well, the body and mind becomes so used to expecting illness and pain, you almost have to re-learn how to feel pleasure again, how to expect it. So, she set me a task of getting more pleasure in my life. Oh dear. What a shame. I’ve been to the theatre, out to pubs, visited family and friends, watched funny videos etc.

But, as you know, I love working, so this has spilled out into my work life as you can see: I have built pleasure-training into it with this new angle – for both me and you.

What will I be doing then?

I’ve not fleshed it out fully yet, but I have some irons in the fire, of course! I’ll tell you about them as I get them ready, but here’s a flavour:

For Calm: I am restarting my signature facials – if I can remember how to do it! New couch, stool and trolley arrived, old notes out, P ready as guinea pig…! This will help give me some face to face work that has a positive and joyful feel to it. Giving the facials is a joy and people tell me they are joyful to receive as much as they are able when they are walking out sticky-up-haired and blissed-out!

To go alongside that, I’ll be doing more on non-toxic toiletries because, of course, I am not going to use horrid allergen-packed chemical stuff on any of my people, let alone put it on my hands! I’m reviewing ranges I rate, including some TGF ones, and I may even have some made for me. Why should other people have all the facial fun?!

For now, and because I am asked all the time for recommendations, I’ve started a new Pure Beauty area on the shop with links and my top tips etc. I’ll evolve it over time.

For Confidence: I’m training in Colour Analysis. Why? Just because I’ve always wanted to and it is a wonderful way of boosting confidence. I had my colours ‘done’ in my early 20s and I remember what a massive difference it made to me – and I went on to get every job I went for. Anyway, I swore I would do it and offer it one day, maybe in my dotage!

I am 50 now and no longer ill, so I fancy an overhaul myself – should I go native and dress in Cornish floaty dresses or sailor shirts?! What colours suit me now I’m all sparkly-haired?! I’m doing some easy online training for now as it will help me, but also you, I hope. I may do some webinars or even bring some workshops around the country as well as local stuff for you if I can get my confidence up!!

For Joy: I am starting a Happiness Club. Local in Cornwall for now, but I’m hoping that visitors to this beautiful area will join in and I may even record them for you if they are good enough. The idea is that people are invited to meet up with existing friends or come and make new ones, have a natter and a joyful ‘experience’ of some kind which I will be curating. That might be flower arranging, a book reading, writing, trying to play an instrument, meditation, a Qi Gong session, doing some art or craft , a dance lesson, stroking kittens evenc. I have tons of ideas.

This, of course, is really an excuse for me to get out and meet people, make some friends and try some joyful things myself. I am just not old enough for the clubs round here so I thought I’d invent one instead.

I’ve started a page here about the Sparkle Club or whatever I end up calling it. Please join  in if you are local or ask people you know to come along if they are nearby! I’m just trying to find the right venue and get the first few organised. Might not work, but it will be fun finding out!

OK, so that should give you a flavour of what I am up to and where the focus is now I have all the healing and writing time spare! I’ll keep you updated as I go along.

I feel Sparklier thinking about it – what fun 🙂

Feeling Better on Gluten Free Diet But Are You Actually Healing?

A nice reminder arrived today in my inbox from Dr Osborne at the Gluten Free Society. He’s referencing a very old study (2009) but I recall it was one of the first studies I read that kicked off my foray into why many coeliacs don’t get better on a gluten free diet.

Complete recovery of intestinal mucosa occurs very rarely in adult coeliac patients despite adherence to gluten-free diet.

You can read the whole study or just the abstract above, but essentially what they are saying is that it is pretty common for people to feel better and even get their blood markers and villi back to normal by going gluten free, but that their intestinal immune reaction is continuing. In other words, damage is still potentially being done.  Eek.

They conclude:

In summary, our study indicates that reversal to normality of small intestinal histology is rarely achieved in CD patients during prolonged and strict adherence to GFD and despite remission of symptoms.

In a majority of patients, normal villous architecture is restored, but intraepithelial lymphocytosis persists independently of a HLA gene dose-effect and of HP infection.

Studies on patients with type-1 refractory CD44 and on patients developing severe complications despite clinical improvement11 suggest a potential of persisting mucosal abnormalities for development of severe CD-related complications. 

Might it be cross-reactivity to the gliadin in other grains? I reckon it is very possible. Clearly, the immune system is still being activated by something.

Anyway, a reminder for you. Many people don’t stick to a GF diet ‘properly’ for lots of different reasons but it seems that even for those who do, it may not be enough. That’s why I started TrulyGlutenFree all that time ago!