Monthly Archives: January 2016

Blog. 2: Options and learning opportunities, if done right

So this week I have started to feel more settled here in Gibsons, BC.  I have been meditating every morning now for about 1 week, and I have definitely noticed a change in my awareness of my emotions and negative thought patterns.  I feel much more relaxed and less anxious about plans for the future, which is what I would constantly worry about most of the time.  I really feel like things are starting to fall into place here, and I look forward to gardening in the summer and doing a lot of out-door activities, which has been proving to be very grounding for me.  My bf and I went into Vancouver this weekend, which I thought I’d be missing the city more, but I actually couldn’t wait to get back to our little humble abode, and have a good ol fashion snuggle.  I also met with my herbalist mentor again this week, and I think I’m going to start in the East West Planetary Herbology certificate sometime at the end of this month.  I really look forward to continuing my studies, as I truly have a passion for herbal medicine, and holistic medicine in general.  I always catch myself ‘nerding out’ when I get to talk to anyone about medicinal herbs, supplements or vitamins, and it just seems to come very naturally to me. Speaking of ‘nerding out’, we went to the Vancouver Science World this weekend and saw the “Animals Inside Out” exhibit, it was awesome!  This exhibit shows all the physiological systems of animals, and they have also done a human exhibition which I saw about 6 years ago, kind-of creepy but really interesting stuff. What else happened this week…. I have a job working as a pharmacy assistant, which I know seems strange for someone going into holistic medicine, but I feel like it could be a really good learning experience if I do it right.  If you think about it, most holistic practioners don’t care to learn about pharmacology because they are so against it, but pharmceudicals are part of our modern medical system, you can’t deny it.  I feel like by working in a conventional medicine environment and surrounding myself with pharmaceuticals I will be able to better understand their use in the general population, as well as, side-effects, which I may be able to help counter-act with the help of herbs.  I want to work with customers to enhance their quality of life, and if someone needs a life-saving drug, but also wants to use herbal medicine, then I feel like I can adapt and further my education to be able to help everyone I can to the best of my ability, which means working hand-in-hand with conventional medicine.  I have set myself a kind-of ‘goal’ I guess, that I will research 1 pharmaceutical each week to better understand it, as well as its side-effects, if any, and then see if there are any herbal alternatives or remedies to counter any side-effects.   I think if I do this, it could be very beneficial to me and my customers in the future.  So that’s the plan so far.  The one thing that I am a bit weary about is that I feel like this plan is all fine and good, but I might have an opportunity to work in a naturopathic clinic in reception/administration, which would be a great ‘in’ for me in the holistic industry, but maybe less of a learning experience.  Any-ways, I am going to look into this option and come to the best decision where I feel I will be the happiest. So that’s what’s about on my mind this week. Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

Article: Understanding the Potential Use of Herbs in Restless Legs Syndrome

RLS picture

“Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is the most common neurological sleep disorder affecting 10 % of the Caucasian population. The disorder is characterized by painful sensations in the lower limbs, especially during the evening, at night and during rest, resulting in an urge to move the legs and insomnia. As a result the quality of life is significantly reduced. Dopaminergic agents, opioids and anticonvulsants have proven to be effective for RLS with only the former being currently licensed” —-Abstract of Ref.1

 Article link:  Restless legs syndrome article

Click the underlined link above to read a really interesting article on the use of herbs for Restless Legs Syndrome.  I particularly enjoyed that the author considers individual constitutions based on Western herbal medicine, as well as, Traditional Chinese Medicine assessment aspects.  Skullcap, Black cohosh, Valerian, Passionflower, St.John’s Wort and lobelia, are all viewed as having differing, yet positive effects on the symptoms of RLS, such as improving sleep, reducing anxiety related to RLS, or acting as spasmolytic’s (reduce muscle spasms).   Hope you enjoy this article and gain a deeper understanding of RLS and some herbal options.  Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

url31 valerian-isp    tumblr_m3zq3bJ7Fw1rrutr7o1_500

*Black cohosh, Valerian root, Passionflower

Refs:

Picture:  http://mikaelsyding.com/stop-1-5-billion-restless-legs-kicking/

Abstract RLS description: Krenzer, M, Oertel, W, & Trenkwalder, C 2014, ‘[Practical guidelines for diagnosis and therapy of restless legs syndrome]’, Der Nervenarzt, 85, 1, p. 9, MEDLINE Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 3 January 2016.

Article: Holden, E 2009, ‘Understanding the potential use of herbs in restless legs syndrome’, Journal Of The American Herbalists Guild, 9, 1, pp. 39-49 11p, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, EBSCOhost, viewed 10 January 2016.

Herb pictures:  

Passionflower: http://www.herbalteasonline.com/passion-flower-tea.php

Black cohosh: http://vitaminsupplementingredients.com/ingredient-black-cohosh/

Valerian: http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/valerian.html

New Blog.1: New beginnings

So it has almost been 1 month since moving to Gibsons, BC, the Sunshine Coast.  I’m finding myself going through ups and downs.  I feel like I wish would have tried harder in Australia to stay and make something of myself, as a Naturopath. But, the degree didn’t transfer and I knew I always wanted to come back to Canada one day, so I feel like it was the right decision.  At least I have been keeping myself busy.  I have started to do the hobbies I have been wanting to do and didn’t have time for, like making gf bread/baked goods from scratch, making home-made yogurt cheese, starting a yoga routine and mindfulness meditation, which I feel are all having an effect on my internal well-being.  The one thing that constantly gets to me though, is the boredom.  I can only keep myself busy for a certain amount of time before my mind starts to wander off into “what if’s” and “should of’s”, but at least I can say I am still happy.  I started looking for a job within the second week of moving here and I got offered 3 hospitality jobs.  I turned them down because I am really trying to get an in, into something in the holistic health industry out here.  One thing I am pretty proud of myself  for is that I have somewhat acquired a mentor for herbalism and she seems really open to helping me learn where she can.  I’ve also started to see more opportunities and potential over the past month for businesses that could be started here, which is exciting.  It’s funny though, because I don’t have a job yet and I haven’t started to volunteer (which is better then a job to me), I still have this air of something that is missing.  I feel like I really just need to do start something!  I want to progress myself now that I am in my home country and I don’t have the fear of one day being kicked out, which was a reoccurring thought over the almost 5 years in Melbourne.  Even-though I have ups and downs I am still driven to make something come out of all of this change, and I need to just think positively towards what the future may hold.  I started looking into which school I am interested in continuing my study, and I am now thinking that progressing towards a mix of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Ayurvedic (Indian) + Western Herbal medicine is a viable option, as I am interested in all aspects of a cross-cultural holistic practice.  I was recently told about the certification from my potential mentor and it really sounds interesting.  I look forward to learning more about this program and its potential influence on my future.  All I’m really hoping for out of all of this back and forth, and numerous changes, is to find my niche and really excel to the best of my abilities in order to build my internal happiness…. which I think is everyone’s goal in life.  I’m feeling good about things and I just need to work hard to follow my dreams. Hope you can do the same, and get out of your comfort zone to start growing!  Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂