By Clare Badrick
Joanne was a mother in her thirties who was still breast feeding her third child of 14 months at the time she came to me. Joanne’s problems were that she was completely exhausted, she felt she had various allergies including a recent problem she had developed to her make up which was giving her red puffy red eyes and a runny nose. She also had constant catarrh and sinus problems that would get much worse with her first cold each winter; the catarrh would go to her chest and remain as a cough until the spring. She also had many uncomfortable problems with her digestive system, such as bloating and constipation and often had an unpleasant taste in her mouth.
Joanne ate what most people would think of as quite a healthy diet, porridge for breakfast, a banana mid morning, a sandwich for lunch with rye bread, an apple and some water. At 4.30 she’d share some of the children’s tea of pasta and vegetables which were organic and then later she may have a meal with her husband of grilled chicken, jacket potato and vegetables straight from their own garden, followed by fruit. Despite this seemingly healthful diet it was obvious to me that Joanne could benefit from some nutritional supplements. She had had three children and breast-fed each one, and was still breast-feeding the third at fourteen months. Breast-feeding is extremely demanding on the body and uses up huge quantities of the mother’s resources, the fact that her allergies had worsened after each pregnancy confirmed this relationship. Often allergies are just a sign of the bodies poor state of health and disappear of there own accord when the correct nutrients are available and the immune system is running healthily again. I gave Joanne some essential fatty acids to take, which her diet was lacking, as well as a multivitamin and mineral suitable for breast-feeding mothers. I also gave her some herbs to help her energy levels, and to help her sluggish digestive system to be more regular.
We talked about how tiring it was to be a mother of three and discussed ways she could find of getting more help and finding times to rest. She realised that she had to make more effort to get to bed at a reasonable time.
On her next visit Joanne was already feeling quite a bit better and the puffiness around her eye was lessening. This time we did some hands on work – I used cranial osteopathy to loosen the mucus on her chest and in her sinuses. We did a simple muscle test to identify that she was reacting to dairy and citrus products and she decided to do an experiment and avoid these for a month. We also decided that it would be sensible for Joanne to take a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria; they should naturally live in the bowel but are often outnumbered by ‘bad’ bacteria because of our diet and lifestyle. Joanne had taken several courses of antibiotics most winters because of her seasonal chest problems and this will predispose to a problem with the gut bacteria that we call dysbiosis.
The next time I saw her she was very pleased, she felt the cranial work had really helped shift the catarrh on her chest. She had managed to stay dairy and citrus free and for the first time since she was 18 years old she had no catarrh at all. She was passing a motion nearly every day and felt a lot better in herself. She found she was no longer allergic to her make up and could eat wheat again but in limited amounts. She was well on the way to getting back to her old self.
About the Author
My interest in naturopathic medicine began as a teenager. I had extremely bad acne and no periods. I knew instinctively that the two were connected, although my G.P didn’t seem to agree. Dissatisfied I began reading about vitamins and minerals and started experimenting on myself. I studied Business and Marketing for my first degree, when I qualified I started working as a Marketing Manager for an Aromatherapy company where I learned all about the essential oils and also qualified in Reflexology.
I started to use the oils for my hormonal problems and had a great deal of success. I decided I was really a lot more interested in natural medicine than in marketing and looked around for a course. Initially I thought of studying nutrition on it’s own but when I found Naturopathy, a combination of nutrition, hands on work, detoxification and hydrotherapy – I knew it was for me. I qualified with a first class degree in Osteopathy and Naturopathy in 1996. Since then my passion for Naturopathy has lead me to become Chairperson of the Education Standing Committee for the General Council and Register of Naturopaths (the GCRN is the governing body for Naturopathy). I have continued to study virtually every aspect of Naturopathic practice – currently including Medical Herbalism and Complex Homeopathy. Over the next few years I hope to see Naturopathy develop onto the central core of all alternative and complementary medical practice.
[boxibt style=”success”]I practice at The Holistic Centre,
The Barn, Wiggins Yard,
Surrey. GU7 1HL.
Tel: 01483 418103.
The rest of my time is spent working for the GCRN, studying herbs and writing articles.[/boxibt]