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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Balancing Hormones: Where to start

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by thealife_admin in No Comments

As a naturopath I have helped many people with diverse symptoms and conditions associated with hormonal imbalances. I love working with patients on their hormones, it’s such a fascinating and complex area of holistic health, challenging and yet so rewarding when you get to the bottom of what’s going on. 

In my early days as a clinical naturopath (over 10 years ago) I saw lots of women with PMS and I still find this really rewarding work. It doesn’t usually take too long before you see improvement in mood swings and irritability, physical symptoms such as breast tenderness and fluid retention and regulating cycles (also important for conception care), which is great. These results sparked my interest in women’s hormonal health and other hormone systems such as adrenal/stress hormones in particular, and thyroid associated conditions. 

Seeing improvement in mood and mental health is so fulfilling and there are some really great tools like B vitamins, magnesium and high strength herbs like Withania and Zizyphus, yet it is certainly different for each person with the complex interplay between adrenals, sex hormones, thyroid and more which alters for individuals and is intertwined with nutrition and lifestyle factors of course.

Gut health is a good example of this, where constipation or dysbiosis (an imbalance of the various bacteria that make up the microbiome in the gut) is known to affect oestrogen clearance for example. We can also increase our intake of certain foods or nutrients that are known to support stress reduction or increase the clearance the more proliferative types of oestrogen if this is a problem (e.g. fibroids or endometriosis). 

When unravelling the drivers, there is a good deal of investigation involving questioning around current symptoms and concerns, health history, and potential functional pathology testing to piece it all together. The levels of hormones seen in bloods or salivary hormone tests can be a good starting point as an indicator of hormone dysregulation, but these tests rarely divulge the full picture. We have come to understand that it is not just about the levels of hormones in your body but also how your various tissues and their receptors are responding to these. 

Many symptoms assumed to be associated with different hormonal systems or due to different drivers are intrinsically linked and holistic health professionals are continuing to understand more and more about the interplay between the seemingly independent parts of our endocrine system. For example, the impact of chronic or ongoing stress on the adrenals, the glands that sit on the top of the kidneys which secrete cortisol and adrenaline as well as other important hormones, have a lot to answer for when it comes to the harmony of our reproductive hormones and our thyroid function. This may be in part due to our master hormonal regulators in the brain (the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain) as the pituitary gland can also be affected by factors such as ongoing stress.

I’ve come to recognise common patterns of hormonal dysregulation and interplay between systems, which is really what it’s all about. You can’t treat symptoms in isolation or rely on testing alone but a naturopath can do the problem solving for you, peace it together and help you manage symptoms, support healthy hormone balance and wellness. 

If you think you’d benefit from support with:

then please reach out for a chat if you’d like to know more about how I could help or book an appointment online here, or visit my website at

Constructive constraints & modern rituals

Posted on: April 9th, 2020 by thealife_admin in No Comments

There is something grounding and very human about a ritual, something deep within us finds comfort in the process. Rituals aren’t limited to religion and have varied across time and culture. In this present day we seldom encounter them as central components of life and rituals have become something that we have to actively cultivate. Of course we have exceptions but let’s take a closer look at this broad idea.

Ritual or habit? 

The main distinction between a ritual and a habit lies in conscious thinking (as a general rule). You may not realise that you put your left sock on before your right as this is a habit. In contrast, a ritual is a customary conscious decision like stretching your wrists prior to a yoga class or chalking your hands before a lift. Rituals are a deliberate action.

Throw back  

Most people are familiar with rituals associated with religious or tribal ceremonies, in these settings a community recognises and respects a given formality. As many lives have changed we have lost some of our rituals and with it the community ties and momentary pauses that promoted reflection and gratitude. These moments were woven into our daily lives, providing constraints that were set and encouraged by a collective rather than an individual.

Freelance lifestyle 

As the freelance work culture has grown in popularity we have found ourselves with greater freedom and choice than ever before. A lot of people thrive in this environment, however the endless options for how to live our lives cause decision fatigue- like when we are confronted with the endless colourful wall of apparently equivalent laundry powder varieties at the supermarket.  

This is where rituals may come in handy. We can add them in to punctuate our day, and direct our attention deliberately. So how can we bring back the beautiful notion of rituals into our modern day context?

BYO rituals

We create them. As Jocko Willink succinctly says ‘discipline equals freedom’. By imposing structure we are no longer at the mercy of our impulses and can cultivate a sense of direction. 

You can anchor your mind by creating rituals to help provide purpose, and whilst you’re at it, you may as well provide a positive and healthy practice for your body.  This might be as simple as taking a walk to mark the end of the work day and transition to home life. Especially during times of uncertainty, we can find comfort in these grounding regular rituals. 

Take action

What rituals are you going to build into your day/week? 

Jot down 3 realistic rituals that will help propel you in a positive direction. 

The A Life Anywhere 

One of them may include a regular movement practice. The A Life has an online members platform, The A Life Anywhere, that can help you settle into a productive routine. It not only offers new weekly content and live classes but also regular access to an Osteopath to answer your questions and to provide feedback. Please click here to learn more.

Updates at The A Life

Posted on: March 31st, 2020 by thealife_admin in No Comments

What’s happening at The A Life during this COVID-19 period?

We are listening and responding carefully as the rules and regulations continue to evolve. Our movement classes have transitioned to an exciting new online platform and Osteopathy is currently still open to a limited capacity with strict hygiene standards. We are also offering online Osteopathy consults. 

We love our local community and it has been hard to not see all of these friendly faces on a regular basis. But we are working hard to transition these good vibes to an online environment! 

How can we support you?

We understand that this is a strange and tough time for a number of people, we hear you. If you or someone you know has lost their job, or is going through a rough time right now we want to do our best to support you. 

Having a grounded movement practice in a community environment can definitely help when we are feeling anxious and overwhelmed. If payment is a concern right now please contact us and we will have a chat

What online services does The A Life offer?

We have an online members platform called ‘The A Life Anywhere’ and are offering Osteopathy consults via zoom or Telehealth. 

We are excited to announce that A Life Anywhere is now live! It includes a series of weekly classes and feedback from our team of Osteopaths. There is new content released every week, guest instructors and a handful of live classes. For more information and pricing please click here

How can you support us?

As a small business every little bit helps us! You can join our online classes but you can also support us by:

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