Nourish rather than destroy

Your microbiome is your personal ecosystem of microbes that live in and on your body. Microbes are small organisms, e.g. bacteria and viruses, more commonly known as ‘germs’ or ‘bugs’. These microbes out-number our cells 10 to 1, and while most of us think of microbes as being bad, the vast majority of microbes within and around us are friendly or benign. Many of the microbes that share our body with us are vital to the function of body systems, and we could not survive without them. While most of them live in our gut, they inhabit every surface of our body that comes into contact with the outside world, such as our skin, throat, nose, lungs, bladder, vagina and so on.

A healthy balance of microbes in your body is very important to the healthy functioning of your immune system. Imbalances in our micro biome can contribute to many modern diseases involving inflammation and immune dysfunction such as allergies and automimmune disease. In a way, you could think of your microbiome as being part of your immune system, because it helps keep bad bugs under control. I think of these microbes as being a support team for our white blood cells. Continue reading

Being a student

I’ve been happily neglecting all my websites at the moment because I’m working on a book about my grandparents and my great uncle, but every now and then some fascinating naturopathic references pop up, a paragraph here and there, in the letters I’m scouring through in the search for book material.

The other day an old unsent letter reminded me that I had originally been looking at studying to become a dietician. I had forgotten about that. The timing, looking through these old letters, is quite interesting because my daughter has just started studying naturopathy and she too was faced with the same subject dilemma.

The latest letter I’ve found doesn’t have a date on it, but I’m guessing it was in the late 1990’s. I was just about to start my clinic time. I apprenticed myself to some amazing herbalists and naturopaths around town, including a local psychologist who helped me hone my spiritual counselling and colour therapy skills. I was also in the midst of studying pathology, which really wasn’t my idea of fun: Continue reading

Holism, reductionism and cultural relativity

It’s strange to think that the idea of everything being interconnected is considered by many scientific thinkers to be a novel, somewhat hypothetical, or even dubious idea. Science hobbles itself with it’s own scientific method, because it must isolate and separate whatever it studies from it’s environment in order to control the study process. And yet nothing in reality is ever separate from it’s environment.

A single cell is one of many, coordinating it’s activity and function within a tissue, and the collective structure and function of these cells is what creates the tissue they are part of. The tissue these cells are a part of, is one of many tissues which interlock and overlap to form an organ. The specific character of these tissues, and the way they interact, is what governs the structure and function of the organ they are a part of. And from here, it is the organisation of many organs, all structurally and functionally interconnected, that creates the human body as a whole. Continue reading