Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Hallowe’en

This exciting time of year has arrived again. It is a time to celebrate as there many changes taking place in the environment, universe and within ourselves. The weather is getting colder and the body requires more nourishing foods. Enjoy the lovely autumn vegetables that are in season now: bell peppers, beet, broccoli, Brussels, cauliflower, celery root, chard, collards, fennel, garlic, leeks, potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, turnips, and wild mushrooms. Autumn vegetables

Also enjoy  apples, chestnuts, cranberries, pears, pomegranate,and persimmon, also known as Sharon fruit.

Good quality dark chocolate is lovely as a treat. I will write an article on some of my favourite healthy chocolate bars. Yes they do now exist!

Some interesting facts about Halloween

-In ancient England, a holy person was called a “Hallow”.

-Its roots go back for centuries and the pagan festival of ancient Ireland known as Samhain (pronounced sow’-en or sow’-een), also marks the prehistoric observance of end of summer and the onset of winter, and was celebrated with feasting, bonfires, sacrificial offerings, and homage to the dead.

-The dead are honoured and feasted, not as the dead, but as the living spirits of loved ones and of guardians who hold the root-wisdom of the tribe. With the coming of Christianity, this festival was turned into Hallowe’en (31 October), All Hallows [All Saints Day] (1 November), and All Souls Day (2 November). Here we can see most clearly the way in which Christianity built on the Pagan foundations it found rooted in these isles. Not only does the purpose of the festival match with the earlier one, but even the unusual length of the festival is the same.

-The veils of the world are the thinnest around this time of year so the living would disguise as the dead.

Bonewit’s essential guide to druidism by Isacc Bonewit contains some interesting facts and theories.

Hair loss, alopecia & Indian Head Massage

Over the last year I have met a lot of women and men who complain of hair loss. Unfortunately there is no miracle shampoo that will magically transform your hair into luscious locks. However there are some shampoos that don’t contain harsh chemicals that strip away the natural oils.

For good hair health the ingredients include:

-A good diet as the hair needs nutrients from within. Supplements are fine to take temporarily to boost growth.

-Lifestyle stresses. Some stress in our lives we can’t avoid, however there are ways to cope better with the stress. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga and head massages are some techniques.

-Giving this all time to work.  Hair has growth and resting phases so there may be some times of the year when the hair doesn’t grow.

Indian Head Massage

This is wonderfully holistic treatment. Massaging the scalp stimulates blood flow and oxygen to the hair follicles and can awaken the roots of the hair.

Tension can build up in the neck and shoulders so the massage is great and melting away the strains in these area and simultaneously relaxing the body and mind which leaves you feeling an instant sense of peace and tranquility.

For centuries this has been used in Indian and the East in families and the royalty. Barbers have also utilised it and mainly gave invigorating scalp massages primarily to stimulate and refresh the individual rather than to care for the hair.

I also come across many women who suffer from alopecia. The protocol I take with my clients is similar to the points listed above where I look to improve the nutrient status of the diet, help alleviate any stress and also investigate imbalances within the body for example with female hormones and the thyroid gland. To date there is no cure. Below are some facts about this condition.

Alopecia areata?

Current evidence suggests that alopecia areata is caused by an abnormality in the immune system. This particular abnormality leads to autoimmunity, a misguided immune system that tends to attack its own body. As a result, the immune system attacks particular tissues of the body. In alopecia areata, for unknown reasons, the body’s own immune system attacks the hair follicles and disrupts normal hair formation. Biopsies of affected skin show immune lymphocytes penetrating into the hair bulb of the hair follicles. Alopecia is occasionally associated with other autoimmune conditions such as allergic disorders, thyroid imbalances, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis, The diagnosis or treatment of these diseases is unlikely to affect the course of alopecia areata. Sometimes, alopecia areata occurs within family members, suggesting a role of genes

What are the different patterns of alopecia areata?

The most common pattern is one or more well-defined spots of hair loss on the scalp. There is also a form of more generalized thinning of hair referred to as diffuse alopecia areata throughout the scalp. Occasionally, all of the scalp hair is lost, a condition referred to as alopecia totalis. Less frequently, the loss of all of the hairs on the entire body, called alopecia universalis, occurs.

Who is affected by alopecia areata?

It tends to occur most often in adults 30 to 60 years of age. However, it can also affect older individuals and rarely toddlers. Alopecia areata in not contagious. It should be distinguished from hair shedding that may occur following the discontinuation of hormonal oestrogen and progesterone therapies for birth control or the hair shedding associated with the end of pregnancy.