The weather is getting colder and common colds are making the rounds. Additionally, Covid-19 cases are on the rise again. The best way to prepare (or prevent getting ill) is being sensible, plus to strengthen the immune system and keep you healthy, strong and happy.
Perfect when it is cold outside and packed with immune strengthening goodies.
- turmeric (fresh, slices or powder)
- ginger (fresh, a few slices)
- black pepper
- oat or any other milk
Simmer the spices in the milk for a few minutes and pour it through a sieve. Add honey for sweetness if desired. Spicy drink that warms the cockles and the soul.
I will have some ready to buy soon but if you want to make your own, here is the recipe.
(30ml jars x 10)
Ratio 8 parts oil to 1 part butter to 1 part wax
- dried Calendula flowers – handful to infuse in oil
- almond oil – 240ml
- beeswax – 30g
- shea butter – 30g
- essential oils if wished – 5-10 drops per jar for therapeutic activity, 1-2 for fragrance alone
Put the dried flowers in a bowl over a bain-marie (waterbath), and cover with the oil – as much flowers as you can get into the oil! Let infuse for 2 hours over low simmering heat, covered, so the oil warms but doesn’t cook. Alternatively, place oil and flowers in a container and let it infuse for a few days - without heating the oil.
Strain out the flowers and return the oil to the clean bowl. Add the wax and butter and warm again over the waterbath until all melted together, then pour out into jars, add essential oils and let cool, till it is set. Label and put on lids. Use as a lovely moisturing skin balm in cold dry weather.
The 'sunshine vitamin' is produced in your skin in response to sunlight - your body produces vitamin D when it is directly exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through some foods and through supplements as the sun is not strong enough from October until March and this vitamin is important for our health.
Which foods contain Vitamin D?
- fatty fish (mackerel, salmon) and fish liver oils are the best
- beef liver, cheese and egg yolks have small amounts
- mushrooms provide variable amounts of vitamin D
What does Vitamin D deficiency look like?
- loss of bone density (can cause osteoporosis, severe cases can lead to rickets)
- muscle weakness and aches
- mood changes and depression
- weakened immune system
Risk factors of Vitamin D deficiency:
- having darker skin
- poor diet
- lack of sun exposure (covering up the skin with clothes or sunscreen, staying indoors)
- winter months in the northern hemisphere
Consider taking a Vitamin D supplement, especially during the darker months. The NHS recommends no more than 100 micrograms/ 4,000 IU a day for adults and children aged 11 and up. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, take it with a meal for better absorbtion.
Trauma and stress can lead to chronic tension. Think of stress as energy that enters the body. Adrenaline is released to deal with that stress: heart rate and blood pressure increase and muscle tone intensifies and muscles are tensing up.
If stress is chronic or we don't get rid of this excess 'stress energy' after the stressful (or traumatic) event; it can stay in our body and lead to chronic tension.
Covid and lockdown are very stressful and traumatic situations that have been present in our lives for months now. We have to 'stay alert', isolate and this stress is hard to 'shake off' and we may find ourselves unable to fully relax.
Chronic tension affects our breathing, posture, movement and general wellbeing. Mind and Body are connected: if the mind cannot relax if the body is tense.
Shaking and trembling after a traumatic or stressful event is a normal bodily experience that gets rid of excess energy and let's the body return to a relaxed state. Shaking sends a signal to the brain signalling that the danger is over.
In this class, we will go through a set of exercises that will evoke a therapeutic tremor that releases tension and deep muscle contraction.