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Archive for February, 2018

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Introducing Annalise Maddrell – Resident Nutritionist

Posted on: February 23rd, 2018 by thealife_admin in 3 Comments

Meet our resident Nutritionist at The A Life, Annalise who has recently relocated from the beaches in Sydney to Carlton North.

Annalise’s philosophy when working with clients is body, mind and soul. At the core, her approach is built upon simplifying nutrition and supporting it through mindfulness and lifestyle practices.

Annalise is a firm believer that healthy eating should be simple, uncomplicated and full of abundance.  She centres her practice on the philosophy of ‘back-to-basic’ nutrition; posing the question, “Is what I’m doing, thinking, feeling and eating, going to help me lead a full and healthy life, or not?”

Annalise was drawn to study an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine, as she struggled with hormonal imbalances and severe acne as a teenager, and again later in her early 20s when she was diagnosed with PCOS. Her experience in overcoming PCOS through nutrition,
ignited a fire in her to empower others to do the same for themselves.  In becoming an accredited practicing nutritionist, Annalise hopes to specialise in helping women and young girls overcome hormonal imbalances. She strives to educate people, from all walks of life, on how to eat healthy without over complicating it.

Her aim is to teach people how to be the healthiest, most revitalised versions of themselves. Annalise’s  passions include women’s reproductive health – fertility, PCOS,  thyroid health –hypothyroid & hyperthyroid,  gut health & microbiome dysbiosis,  detoxification and anxiety.

Annalise’s clinical approach involves looking at the whole you, with a holistic treatment plan examining dietary and lifestyle factors, including but not limited to physical movement and mindfulness; as these contribute to your current state of health, factoring in each piece of
the bigger puzzle.

A day in the life of Annalise usually involves a morning walk with her beloved dog Max, a daily almond latte, time spent cooking in the kitchen trialling new smoothie bowls or ‘back-to- basics’ recipes, or wherever possible with a new book in her hand, feeding her passion for learning. In her holistic approach, Annalise is quick to acknowledge the benefits of coffee, a quality dark chocolate and an organic wine, being an advocate for a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. Annalise is a firm believer in living your best life, one that is filled to the brim with positive energy, big dreams and supportive loved ones.

The Gut-Hormone Connection

Posted on: February 20th, 2018 by thealife_admin in 2 Comments

When you think crazy hormones, your next thought is probably not “well maybe it’s my gut”. What does gut health have to do with hormones?!? Well you may not think they are directly connected but they are! It all has to do with an elimination channel in the body that can become wayward and lead to the reabsorption of hormones rather than excretion. Let’s walk through Entero-hepatic recirculation…


What does this mean?

So it means the re-circulation of various substances through the intestines to the liver, in this case we are referring to re-circulating hormones.

One of the major ways your body regulates and controls your hormone balance is through ensuring that any excess estrogen, cortisol, thyroid hormones etc is metabolised by the liver, broken down and then released into the intestines via bile. This toxin & hormone filled bile is then mopped up by dietary fibres and swept through the colon. On it’s way out, beneficial bacteria complete the process of hormone elimination and ensure that minimal toxins or hormone particles are reabsorbed.

So where can this go wrong?

A few things can disrupt the rhythmic process of hormones removal. The main ones are…

That brings us too…


So a few things may already be going on

  1. A sluggish liver
  2. Constipation
  3. Low good bacteria/ dysbiosis

At the centre of this is a little enzyme that may be causing a whole lot of chaos in your system. It doesn’t mean to. It’s just responding to the environmental conditions that it’s in. This little dude is found in the gut. It’s name is Beta Glucuronidase (BG).

It’s a love hate relationship. We love BG because it is required for the absorption of some important vitamins. We don’t love it so much because if it’s over-ramped it releases toxins and hormones from their conjugated bones (all that amazing work the liver did to try and clear them!) and thus allows reabsorption of them back into circulation. It is essentially gathering all the finished paper work and re-stacking it for the liver to have to deal with AGAIN! Argh!!! In the case of hormone crazy, the said paperwork is estrogen.

Why don’t we want too much estrogen?

Excessive estrogen levels are associated with…

Basically most bad things you can think of to do with reproductive health and bad periods has an underlying estrogen dominant picture.


If you have been running around in circles for years tackling hormone imbalances, acne breakouts, heavy periods, painful periods, irregular cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, “infertility”, whatever it may be- if you have only tackled the hormone problem (e.g. gone on the pill, progesterone therapy, or taken hormone balancing herbs etc) without much improvement when you stop these Band-Aids…it’s time to consider GUT HEALTH INVESTIGATION.

Is it poor gut health, low good bacteria, intestinal infections, elevated beta glucuronidase or liver overload that is contributing to your hormone disarray??

Let’s find out…

A simple stool test sent off to the lab will give us a count of all the above and more to get to the root cause of hormone crazy land. Trust me, it’ll be a huge relief to finally resolve your hormone maze and have a targeted solution to the REAL problem.

The powerful practice of mindfulness

Posted on: February 14th, 2018 by thealife_admin in No Comments

Stressed and anxious? Emotional? Holding on for your next holiday?

Then it might be time to look at how you can start bringing in a practise of mindfulness into your daily routine.

Did you know…

The American Medical Association (AMA) states that 80 percent of all health problems are stress related and can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, the Conservative Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 85% percent of all diseases appear to have an emotional aspect.

To treat any form of physical health related issue, we have to look at what stress is present within the physical body as well as the mind and the energetic and emotional bodies. Emotional wellbeing is at the core of our physical health. 

So, what are emotions?

Put simply, emotion is energy in motion. Moving energy.

If you zoom in on the human body, you will see that fundamentally, we are actually a whole bunch of atoms which are made up 99% space and light (photon) energy. Although we cannot see this with our eyes, there is actually no distinct line between where we end and where the space around us begins. This means that there is no real separation between ourselves, other people and our environment. So when we feel something, we are feeling energy moving within our bodies. This could be from our environment or it could be something we are feeling from another person. There are so many options.

More often than not though, instead of simply feeling an emotion, we push it down because we don’t want to be seen expressing that emotion. This means that it becomes repressed in our body and if not released, creates tension within our body and mind.

Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor states that “all emotions last for less than 90 seconds” and “if anything continues after that, it is because we have added our own story and chosen to hold on to the emotion”. Emotion comes and goes quite quickly and so if we are finding that we have emotion that is persisting, it is because we are choosing to hold onto it.

As a part of the work that I do as a Physiotherapist, I help people to learn how to sense and feel what’s sitting underneath the pain or symptoms that they are experiencing. And more often than not, it’s emotion. When the emotion is felt and expressed, the symptoms often go away (if the stimulus for the emotion is still there though, it’s possible that the physical symptoms could return). My work is helping people to develop an awareness of themselves somatically (self-awareness). The body acts as a messenger and the areas in which we hold stress are also the gateways to releasing that same stress. When we develop a level of self-awareness, and give ourselves the space and the environment in which to release the stress, it becomes easier to determine what we require in order to come back to a state of wellbeing. It is my job to create the space and safe environment for people to experience this.

Meditation and Breath

Meditation is an excellent tool for developing self-awareness. You can be lead by a practitioner such as myself, opt for an app such as insight timer where you can find guided meditations or try some techniques on your own. In this meditation video, I demonstrate a specific breathing style to assist in releasing repressed emotion held in the body. Often we don’t cerebrally know it is there, but a physical movement coupled with an intense breathing style helps to bring this emotion forward and release it.

The power of positive thinking  

“The mind is everything. What you think, you become”  Buddha

Our thoughts manifest themselves within our physical bodies. Think about a time where you have been worried about something so much it has made you physically unwell. Perhaps you have had to speak in front of a large audience or built yourself up to have a confrontational conversation. The mind automatically starts to go through all of the things that could go wrong, which means that our sympathetic nervous system (the part of our nervous system that is involved with fight or flight) starts to kick in. This can create nausea, anxiety and a stress response. The stress response can trigger the body to flood with inflammation often causing physical ailments. The fact that you can activate your body’s stress response simply by thinking means that you wield tremendous power over your physical state in every moment. Moreover, it means that you can literally manifest disease, or healing, by thinking.

“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a ‘mental’ construction.”

– R.C. Henry, Professor at Johns Hopkins University

Our thoughts are what create our feelings. Our feelings drive our behaviours and the choices we make in our lives. Therefore,  in order to change our behaviours, we have to first change the way that we think.

Affirmations are a powerful way to reframe your mindset. “I am” affirmations in particular are the most potent. Did you know that our subconscious mind does not think in terms of past, present or future. If you affirm that you “want” something, then you get “the wanting” but you don’t really get the thing that you are wanting.

To get what you want, affirmations must be in present tense, such as “I AM happy” not “I want to be happy”.

Want more?

Come and join Holistic Physiotherapist and Emotional Clearing Practitioner, Sigourney Weldon on a  4 week radical practical spirituality workshop series, starting March 18th at the A Life in Carlton North. During this 4 weeks, she will guide you through really SIMPLE tools and techniques that can be used to release both conscious and unconscious stressors from the body and mind. Why? So that you can become self empowered to manage your own stress levels and move through life with greater ease and flow.

We hope to see you there!

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