The road to wellbeing

We all know that self-care is important to our mental and physical health and wellbeing. And we probably all know, at least in part, how to practice self-care. So, in the words of Nike ‘just do it!’ If only it was that straightforward. In fact, if looking after our body and mind – the vehicles that carry us through life – was that simple, we would all be ‘just doing it’.

In this blog our guest writer and mindfulness, yoga and stress management consultant, Bev Alderson, shares her advice on self-care and explains how you can create a ‘wellbeing wheel’ as a flexible and individualised framework that can be used in both overcoming challenges and achieving goals.

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Cardiovascular disease – the role of inflammation and oxidative stress

Our cardiovascular (CV) system carries out many essential functions within the body. It is a complex system of pathways of veins, arteries, and capillaries, along with the heart, that transport nutrients, oxygen and hormones to cells throughout the body whilst also removing metabolic waste from the cells for detoxification and excretion. It offers protection to the body by transporting white blood cells, antibodies, and complement proteins in the blood to defend against foreign microbes and toxins. Clotting mechanisms are also present that protect the body from blood loss after injuries and our CV system also regulates body pH and temperature, so it is easy to understand why damage to this system can have a huge impact upon our health.

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Why many of us could benefit from taking a probiotic

Despite the remarkable complexity of the gut, there is a growing awareness and understanding that the health of our gut is central to our overall health. Irrespective of this, many of us have poor gut health and digestive disorders account for more than 10% of the work of GPs.1 Furthermore, according to research conducted by YouGov, there are many people in the UK that don’t think about their digestive system when it comes to overall health and are more likely to think about their weight, teeth, sleep, and heart.2 As will be discussed further on, the gut is intrinsically linked to all aspects of health and so should become an important focus when addressing our well-being.

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Gastric viruses

In July, it was reported that due to the easing of restrictions following the Covid19 pandemic, gastric viruses such as norovirus, which have been supressed due to social distancing, may become a  significant issue this winter, with numbers already increasing. Human noroviruses in the family Caliciviridae are a major cause of epidemic gastroenteritis, and pre-pandemic they were responsible for at least 95% of viral outbreaks and over 50% of all outbreaks worldwide. Norovirus infections can sweep through families and communities. They are especially likely to spread among people in confined spaces, causing fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and gastritis. In most cases, you pick up the virus from contaminated food or water, although person-to-person transmission also is possible.

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Agnus Castus: Herbal support to help balance female hormones the natural way

Agnus Castus is an aromatic shrub of the Verbenaceae family, which is notable for spikes or clusters of flowers that have an aromatic scent. The plant can grow up to 9 metres tall and is native to Europe and Central Asia. It has violet or rose-coloured flowers and small dark brown to black hard fruits the size of peppercorns. In herbal medicine, it is the fruits that have traditionally been used for a wide range of problems (mainly those associated with female hormonal imbalance), and its use can be dated back to the days of Hippocrates 2,500 years ago.

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