‘I bought these pills to help you sleep’, the patient said. ‘What do you reckon?’
As a physiotherapist I have worked a lot with families facing the reality of functional decline. When I worked in hospital I thought I understood it but now I work out in the community in people’s own homes I have been educated!
I had lunch with a friend this week, and was admiring the lovely bank of catnip (Nepeta cataria), in full late bloom and humming with insects. It’s a beautiful thing, though if you have cats it will be loved to pieces before it gets the chance to flower. And it does have its uses for humans too.
Have you heard of FODMAPS? It stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, and if you’ve zoned out already, that’s one reason why someone needs to give it a snappier name if they want to make a fortune out of it.
I've always seen my self as being a bit like a cork on water going through life – bobbing about here, bobbing about there, going with the flow.
It’s definitely autumn all of a sudden. In traditional medicine, you can predict that people are more likely to be ill in spring and autumn; it’s as though the change in the air stirs things up inside you.
The Spirituality of Age: A Seeker’s Guide to Growing Older Co-Authors Robert L. Weber, Ph.D. and Carol Orsborn, Ph.D.
Thank you so much for giving Bob and I this opportunity to share our book with your community. In a youth-centric society that privileges the young and reviles ageing, it’s no surprise that so many of us have been understandably challenged by the notion of growing old. Given who you all are, you will also find it as no surprise that there are many of us who are not only meeting but exceeding the challenges ageing brings our way.
A walk along a Gloucestershire hedgerow this week yielded ripe blackberries, clusters of elderberries, and hips and haws already turning red.
‘Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise’. Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon and sang by Paul McCartney on the Beatles White Album in 1968.
What do you do when you’ve got a headache? Take a painkiller, probably. But what if you had three or four headaches a week?
‘I just want it to go away,’ said my sixteen-year old patient. Her mother had brought her because, after the intense pressure of taking ten GCSEs – and she did very well – she had collapsed, and acquired the label of ‘chronic fatigue’. The doctor had offered anti-depressants, which she refused.
I’ve had a series of patients lately who are going through big transitions: moving house, changing jobs, ending a marriage. Even if the change is a positive one, it is a stressful business; and too many changes at once can be paralysing.
Kew Gardens is having a spice festival,from now until September. Check out http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/full-of-spice.
A walk on the Cornish cliffs yielded a wealth of treasure this week; not the kind they used to smuggle in under cover of darkness, but lying around in broad daylight for anyone to enjoy.
‘How come tea is more refreshing than water when you’re hot and thirsty?’ The team headed back out onto the pitch without waiting for an answer. All cricketers know the truth of this, even if they don’t know why. No-one drinks coffee at teatime; it’s just not cricket.
I took a small group of people on a ‘herb walk’ this week, and invited them to pick some leaves or flowers from any of the plants that ‘spoke’ to them. It’s a common complaint that, when you read a book, you find that all the herbs have a long list of uses, and you end up no wiser than before. What will work best for you?
‘I can’t keep still,’ my patient said. ‘Cant’ sleep, can’t eat, can’t concentrate!’ Her thyroid gland was overactive, and everything was speeding up.
Is it just a fad, to make the plate look pretty? Well, it certainly does that, but it can do a lot more besides. Lots of flowers are edible, but some just wouldn’t taste right – lavender and lettuce, anyone? – and others are the wrong size, shape or texture. That said, there’s plenty of scope.
"Tilia insularis 3" by Stan Shebs. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The lime trees are in full bloom now, humming with insects and full of heavenly scent. On the continent, limeflower tea – Tilleul in France, Linden in Germany – is highly prized, and yet here you’ll rarely find it among the prepackaged herb teas in the shops. It’s a shame, because it’s one of the best-tasting herb teas, and its virtues are many.
Here’s my hot tip for the next superfood: blackcurrants. Forget about blueberries imported from Chile during the winter; blackcurrants are tastier, and just as rich in anthocyanins (the deep blue colour that’s a potent antioxidant) and vitamin C.
Yes, I’ve blogged about this before, but the annual misery of hay fever is on the rise, and there are ways of treating it that don’t involve stunning yourself with antihistamines or hiding indoors in a darkened room. And this is one area where the herbs, if you take them consistently, really do change things for the better.
It’s a recurrent theme, but it seems to surface particularly in spring (and in autumn and at Christmas), when things are in a state of flux, and your energy may be low after the winter.
If you or a loved one have a disability or a long-term illness, you’ll no doubt know that certain helpful products and services can be purchased VAT free. Items such as adjustable beds, stair lifts and wheelchairs all qualify as does building work such as installing ramps or widening doors. But did you know that they can also claim VAT relief on specialist footwear?
It’s that time of year again…the pleas for help come in from students, A level and GCSE sitters, and a few ‘mature students’ doing postgrad work or doctorates, or even taking a degree for the first time.
It really does get earlier every year, though if you have cast your clouts in the last few days, you’ll be putting them back on again as the temperature falls.
There are herbs that will never get their fifteen minutes of fame. They are here around us, common as muck, invisible because you see them every day.
If you have lesser celandine in your garden, you probably have to dig it out from time to time, and you’ll know why one of its common names is ‘pilewort’.
Photo courtesy of www.rica.org.uk
Did you know that to ride around on a mobility scooter you don’t need to pass a test of any sort and that even people who are registered blind are legally entitled to use them? As someone who has used a scooter for fifteen years I find that terrifying.
By Malun112 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Everyone gets this sort of injury from time to time; you can turn your ankle just walking down the street, or pull a muscle turning around. Sometimes, if you can’t rest it or you don’t look after it, the injury becomes chronically inflamed. But there is a lot you can do to stop that from happening, and to help it heal as best it can.
Right now, Devon is full of primroses. The common primrose, Primula vulgaris, is one of those early spring flowers, like sweet violet and coltsfoot, that have a particular virtue in soothing coughs and sore throats.
My husband suffers from an itchy scalp and is prone to eczema, while my daughter is fast developing teenage spots. We recently discovered the Sea-Med™ range, which is really helping both of them - and I like using it too because it's so pure! I thought readers might be interested to hear about it.
I'm just back from a seminar about the latest research into cancer treatments, and how herbs can help support people through them. The common side-effects of chemo and radiotherapy are well known, and we are learning more all the time about how herbs can be used alongside them.
'My daughter's got headlice. Can I get rid of them without using the chemicals?' Headlice are pretty much endemic in primary schools, and threadworms crop up from time to time as well.
The world it seems has rediscovered one of nature's great natural miracles: lovely, sweet, sticky honey! In the UK too, sales of honey are going up, up and away with Waitrose, for example, reporting that sales of honey overtook sales of jam for the first time ever in 2014.
The idea of an annual fast, a partial withdrawal from the pleasures of the world, is a very old one. In the Christian tradition, it's happening now, in the run-up to Easter, and people usually give up some of the richer foods and drinks. But – at least in Britain – we've lost part of its meaning.
Spring has come tumbling in after the endless wind and rain, and lots of things are appearing all at once. New fresh goosegrass, nettle tops, chickweed in sheltered places. Sweet violets are still about, if you know where to look, and primroses are well under way.
'You should take fish oils if you've got arthritis/period problems/menopause symptoms.' The list goes on, and you hear it from friends and see it in all the health advice. But what if they upset your stomach or give you heartburn? I've seen a lot of people who give up on the oils because of digestive problems, and it's a shame. But there are solutions.
My parents first realised that I had a sight problem when I was about three years old. Finding my way around in dimly lit rooms or out and about after dusk was a real struggle for me.
This week Su is sharing her tips for coping with the flu vaccine. 'The flu jabs don't work!' Or words to that effect, front page headlines in more than one daily paper.
Sometimes surgery is the best solution to a medical problem. We should always weigh up all the options first, because of course there are risks, but once the decision is made, there is plenty we can do to bring about a good outcome and swift healing.
I thought Oapschat followers would be interested to hear about a new, natural anti-inflammatory, clinically proven to help alleviate arthritis pain, aching joints and injuries to muscles and tendons, without any side effects!
Hi Debbie and welcome back to Oapschat! Today we are talking abou TTFLS and other diet issues at the top of our agendas at this time of year, post-Christmas, pre-holiday!
For sale, Tunstall Lifeline Care Alarm, complete with pendant.
Winter Bugs - Herbs like Yarrow, Echinacea, Elderflower, Garlic and Marigold can help see you through
Do you use alternative treatments such as herbs for various ailments? I am delighted to welcome our newest contributor, Su Bristow. Su is a registered Herbalist and will be sharing her blogs with us and is happy to answer any questions you may have via email. I'm sure you will enjoy reading her posts!
It's that time of year again when wherever we look we're accosted by health and fitness slogans – join a gym, start running, take up a sport.
About six months ago, my husband, Colin, stunned me when he said he was finding it difficult to climb stairs. As we live on the first floor of an apartment block, I could see that this could be a problem – if not so great at the moment – certainly in the future.
As Oapschat followers will know, I’m always on the look out for genuinely stylish footwear for swollen feet.
A mobility scooter can vastly improve an individual's quality of life by increasing their independence and providing them with the opportunity to rediscover their freedom outdoors.
If you or a loved-one suffer with Arthritis or joint pain then read on. Here's a clever solution that's worth considering. I've been reading up on Copper: a nutrient known to have anti-inflammatory properties in the body. Many people wear copper bracelets to help ease arthritis, but have you ever thought of wearing copper in your shoes?
Keeping our toenails neat and our underfoot callouses under control is something we take for granted when we're relatively young and able bodied. As Age UK's Foot Care Coordinator for Chorley, West Lancs and Sefton, I work with people who can no longer undertake their own basic foot care independently.
Photograph copyright The Ramblers/Walking for Health/Paul Glendell
The Walking for Health Scheme was the brainchild of Doctor Bird who was a GP in Berkshire. He felt strongly that so many of his patients could enjoy better health if only they took more exercise.
Being a regular jogger, I'm used to being active. So you can imagine my horror when a recent fall resulted in a swollen and painful ankle. A trip to my GP confirmed my worst fears, a torn ligament and a horrific prescription of no running for 6-8 weeks! Aside from being in pain, I was gutted that I wouldn't be able to throw on my running shoes and hit the road. So, leg aloft, I scoured the Internet looking for alternative exercises I could do during recovery. The activity which came up time and time again was simple – walking.
Does the sight of your feet make you cringe? Are you embarrassed by your dry, cracked heels? Don't worry – there are lots of us out there! Feet are a subject close to my heart. Here's what I've learnt over the years about how to deal with cracked heels.
TGA Mobility is a family business that prides itself on its quality products and high standards of customer service. We've been in the mobility business for more than 25 years and have an established reputation for innovation and durability. All our products comply with stringent Government regulations and are tested by our engineers for quality, reliability and safety.
Not a difficult question for me to answer. Although this may sound strange, I have always wanted to look after people.
The other morning we had a 9 o'clock appointment in Torrevieja, so it was an 'up-and-at-'em' start to the day.
It felt like the longest winter ever: week after week of chill, driving rain, flood warnings and gloom. So the start of Spring sunshine this month has really been something to celebrate. Dandelions have sprung out of the verges, and fruit trees are fat with blossom.
Four years ago I decided I needed to do something to ease the loneliness of my retirement. I began working one morning a week at a charity shop which soon increased to 2 or 3 Saturday mornings a month as well.
There is an oasis of peace not far from where I live. It is a Complimentary Therapy and Natural Beauty Centre called Beautonics in Old Eign Hill, Hereford owned by Wendy Mills. Wendy has very kindly agreed to be my guest today and answer some questions. She has also given me a voucher for a no hands massage worth £35 to be won by one lucky winner. This can be used nationwide. Thank you Wendy!
Living With Dietary Constraints - Tottie Limejuice Adresses Alternative Food Choices In French Cuisine
As birthday presents go, a diagnosis of coeliac disease was not top of my wish-list for my 60th.
There may be times in your life when you need care and support and this can be in a hospital, a care home, or in your own home, from a carer, nurse, Dr etc.
In the chilly winter months it's more important than ever to look after your health. Here are some quick tips on how to stay fighting fit and beat the bugs this winter.
Most of us underestimate how many calories a day we actually consume. We don't all have time to measure accurately with spoons, jugs, bowls etc. We often skip breakfast and then possibly eat two or three meals too close together to up our sugar intake. Without glucose, we do not have sufficient energy and our metabolism slows down making us lethargic and sleepy. Then another chocolate bar may be consumed for a sugar rush!
Below is an interview I conducted with Andy Wilcox, a stalwart fundraiser for Macmillan.
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