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‘Summer of Movement’ – Why we chose our Summer Sale books

Last month we held an exclusive summer sale on a range of movement books to encourage our readers to embrace the warmer weather and get moving! We are extending this offer until the end of August so you can get a 20% discount by entering code: SUMMEROFMOVEMENT at the checkout.

We have explained why we selected these books and how they can help you to achieve a fulfilling Summer of Movement.

‘Get Your Oomph Back’ by Carolyn Garritt

To kick off our Summer of Movement, we’re starting with ‘Get Your Oomph Back’ by cancer exercise specialist Carolyn Garritt which offers practical information and guidance on safe, effective and appropriate exercises for anybody who has received a diagnosis of cancer and/or is undergoing treatment. Exercise has been shown to improve the chances of recovery and survival, and to significantly lower the risks of remission. Carolyn, who has had her own experience of a cancer diagnosis as well as many years of supporting cancer patients to be active, shows how to get moving again no matter your level of fitness.

‘The Perrin Technique’ by Dr Raymon Perrin

Up next in our ‘Summer of Movement’ sale, we have ‘The Perrin Technique’ by Dr Raymond Perrin. This explains how problems with lymphatic drainage can be a root cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME and Fibromyalgia and how to get the lymphatic system moving again with simple, very gentle movements and careful pacing. Including scientific evidence and illustrative case studies, this comprehensive guide gives you the opportunity to take charge of your health, highlighting the importance of the relationship between the nervous and lymphatic systems.

‘COPD: Innovative Breathing Techniques’ by Paul Brice

‘COPD: Innovative Breathing Techniques’ by Paul Brice is an innovative approach to helping patients with COPD overcome breathlessness and improve their daily life through The Brice Method. Through simple, easy-to-do exercises, The Brice Method teaches COPD/breathlessness sufferers develop a new and relaxed breathing pattern. Backed by over 9 years of research and experience, the exercises allow people to re-learn how to breathe naturally without having to work hard.

‘Yoga for Cancer: The A-Z of C’ by Vicky Fox

Our newest release out of our Summer of Movement selection is ‘Yoga for Cancer: The A-Z of C’ by Vicky Fox which shows readers how to mitigate the side effects of a cancer diagnosis and treatment through the practice of yoga. Through breathing exercises, physical postures, hand gestures and meditation, ‘Yoga for Cancer’ holds valuable learnings on how to alleviate symptoms and improve your overall wellbeing. Covering symptoms from Anxiety to Zzzz (sleep problems), readers can access a wide variety of information and support without having to read it from cover to cover.

‘One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis’ by Frances Ive

A holistic and practical guide, ‘One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis’ by Frances Ives is the perfect tool to help those with osteoarthritis live well by embracing exercise, diet, weight loss, complementary therapies and more. Based on years of research as well as personal experience, Frances Ives brings together a wide range of approaches to living a healthy, active and pain-free lifestyle that are of proven benefit to many – pick and mix what works for you to keep moving as much as you can.

‘The Scoliosis Handbook of Safe and Effective Exercises Pre and Post Surgery’ by Caroline Freedman

It is really important to keep moving if you have scoliosis as a strong back can make all the difference to your condition. In ‘The Scoliosis Handbook’, specialist trainer Caroline Freedman explains the Dos and Don’ts with clear illustrations as well as provides safe and practical guidance. If you have had spinal fixation surgery for scoliosis or any other condition.

‘The Bowel Cancer Recovery Toolkit’ by Sarah Russell

Last but certainly not least in our Summer of Movement selection is ‘The Bowel Cancer Recovery Toolkit’ by specialist trainer Sarah Russell which builds on findings that exercise is one of the best ways to support recovery from cancer. But how do you do that if you have had abdominal surgery and maybe have a stoma with a risk of hernia? Sarah shows how to do this safely and effectively in this step-by-step, illustrated guide so that you can rebuild confidence and self-esteem when most needed.

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5 benefits of homemade smoothies

Blog written by Rohini Bajekal, co-author of ‘Living PCOS Free‘.

1. Easy way to increase fruit and vegetable intake

Smoothies are so versatile. Got leftover fruit or veg? it’s the perfect way to use up half a banana, strawberry tops or wilted spinach 🍓 If you have bought too much fruit or veg, just freeze it for later. Rotate your greens and add in fresh herbs – mint is my favourite.

2. Great vehicle for protein and fats

Do not replace smoothies with meals when they are nutritionally inadequate! Smoothies should be more than just vegetables, fruit and water. Healthy fats such as plant milks, avocado, soy yoghurt, ground flaxseed, chia seeds and nuts are all great additions 🥑 These boost the protein content but you can also use silken tofu or organic vegan protein powder (if you’re especially active). Drizzle nut butter on top and add some homemade granola for crunch or fresh fruit/seeds.

3.  Easy to digest

If you want something that’s easy on your digestion, a fruit/vegetable smoothie with plant milk could help. When you blend ingredients, you break down plant cell walls, which makes many nutrients even more digestible. However, it’s important to “chew” your smoothie rather than gulp it down – this helps activate the first phase of the digestive process. Chewing actually helps you absorb nutrients. Using less liquid and making a smoothie bowl (like @nonie.tuxen ‘s pictured here) as well as eating with a spoon helps ensure you take your time 🥄

4. Can be helpful if you feel nauseous/for morning sickness

Smoothies can help quell nausea and may help with morning sickness if you’re finding it hard to keep food down. Iced smoothies with frozen fruit and veg can be especially helpful. Add in ginger which studies show can reduce nausea and vomiting and a frozen banana for energy 🍌

5. Good for small appetites

For those with small appetites or anyone who is underweight, smoothies can be a healthful snack in addition to meals.They are also a great way to add some greens into children’s diets 👧🏽 You can hardly taste spinach in a banana, soy milk, peanut butter and spinach smoothie.

If you’re making a homemade smoothie this week, why not tag us in your creations on social and we’ll reshare!

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Psoriasis – causes and treatments

Blog provided by Hammersmith Health Books authors, Sarah Myhill and Craig Robinson, authors of ‘The Infection Game‘, ‘Ecological Medicine‘, ‘Diagnosis and treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome‘ and more.


Craig is reminded of the heart-rending and mind-expanding interview conducted on 15 March 1994 (exactly one year after Craig fell ill suddenly with ME) and broadcast in April 1994, between Melvyn Bragg and the dying playwright Dennis Potter. (See Seeing the Blossom)

From his early 30s, Potter suffered from psoriasis and during said interview he took regular swigs of his morphine and champagne cocktail to help with the pain, caused by his pancreatic cancer which had metastasised to his liver. Potter took etretinate and methotrexate, an immunosuppressant, for his psoriasis, and the associated arthritis, and it was thought that his cancer was a ‘side effect’ of these medications(1) and. indeed, methotrexate is known to be a cancer risk. Inose and colleagues found in 2020 that: ‘MTX use was significantly associated with various malignancies.’(2)

This association is a clear example of the dangers of using symptom-suppressing medications. We must always ask ‘why’ and look for the cause(s) to find the right treatment.


What causes autoimmune diseases like psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease. Why does it occur? I suspect the main mechanism of autoimmunity is molecular mimicry, as I explain in more details in our book The Infection Game. We have many more bacterial, fungal and viral cells in our bodies than human cells. Most are in the gut. All or any of these have the potential to invade and kill us; they are kept in check by natural barriers in the body – our skin and the mucous membranes of our gut, respiratory tract and perineum. If these natural barriers are breached, the immune system swings into action and makes antibodies as a part of the defensive mechanism.

We know that many bacterial proteins are identical to human proteins and these act as epitopes (a portion of a foreign protein, or antigen, that is capable of stimulating an immune response). An antibody against such will cross-react with its human protein counterpart and switch on inflammation – cross-reactivity occurs when an antibody raised against one specific antigen (here the bacterial protein) recognises another protein that has a similar structure (here the human protein) and reacts against that (the human) protein too; this is autoimmunity. I think of this as allergy to microbes. With psoriasis the microbe involved is almost certainly fungal.


The appropriate treatment for psoriasis

So, the treatment of psoriasis is:

  1. Cut out yeast from the diet and environment – though this is easier said than done.
  2. Get rid of fungi in the upper gut. Treat the upper fermenting gut (see chapter 40 in our book Ecological Medicine) – starve out fungi with a ketogenic diet and kill them with vitamin C and iodine.
  3. Use local anti-inflammatories on the skin, such as vitamin D ointments (calcipotriol). Do not use steroid creams – in the short term they reduce the inflammation but in the long term they make psoriasis worse.
  4. Kill any infection in the plaques with iodine oil, sunshine (or UV light therapy). Salt baths are of proven benefit because salt kills microbes; that is why a trip to the Dead Sea works – the water is very salty and, when combined with lots of sunshine, one has the perfect treatment. I would use Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) as this is additionally anti-inflammatory and detoxing.
  5. Reduce inflammation generally (see Ecological Medicine for the how).

Postscript: Dennis Potter maintained his sardonic humour till the end and named his pancreatic cancer ‘Rupert’ after Rupert Murdoch. He also managed to complete two plays – Cold Lazarus and Karaoke – in the full knowledge that he was dying. You should watch them one after the other, Cold Lazarus first, and in quick succession. You can stream for free on Channel 4.


References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Potter#Final_works,_last_interview_and_death
  2. Inose R, et al. Association between malignancy and methotrexate and biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 2020; 58(3): 131-138. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31854294/
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National Picnic Month – Healthy & Delicious Recipes for your family to enjoy

National Picnic Month – Healthy & Delicious Recipes for your family to enjoy 

Celebrate National Picnic Month with a variety of fun and healthy dishes your whole family can enjoy. These recipes from some of our best-selling books are guaranteed to boost your energy and get you feeling the summer spirit. 


‘Living PCOS Free’ by Dr Nitu Bajekla and Rohini Bajekal

Beetroot Rocket Salad 

Studies have shown that eating foods like beetroot and leafy greens that are nitrate-rich can improve brain function, reduce blood pressure and improve exercise intensity and duration. As an added bonus, beetroot is rich in vitamins and minerals with 100g providing 27% of the daily requirement for vitamin B9 and nearly 3g of fibre. 

A Beetroot Rocket Salad is as easy as it gets! Toss all the ingredients together and you are ready to serve a delicious snack at your picnic: 

  • 2 large handfuls rocket leaves 
  • 3 cooked beetroots, chopped 
  • 1 handful crushed walnuts and/or seeds 
  • 1 large handful mung bean or broccoli sprouts (optional) 
  • 1 tsp seaweed flakes (optional) 
  • 1 large glug balsamic vinegar 

‘Five-a-Day plus One – The Vitamin B12 Cookbook’ by Martyn Hooper

Sandwiches 

The pinnacle of any great picnic is the sandwiches and despite the simple concept, a homemade sandwich can be packed full of ingredients that maximise B12 while remaining delicious. 

Cheese and seafood are two excellent sources of B12 so why not try some of these combinations: 

  • Cheese and onion 
  • Egg and cress 
  • Liver paté 
  • Prawn mayonnaise 
  • Beef (and horseradish) 
  • Salmon (on its own or with cucumber) 
  • Chicken and sweetcorn 
  • Tuna and sweetcorn 

‘Eat Well to Age Well’ by Beverley Jarvis

Dark chocolate and cherry cupcakes 

If you are looking for a fun and relatively healthy treat option for your next family picnic then look no further because these cupcakes are sure to be the talk of the town. 

Though requiring slightly more preparation time than many of the Eat Well recipes, these can be stored in a cool place for up to 5 days or frozen in sealed plastic bags for up to 2 months. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are high in antioxidants and provide 67% of your RDI for iron and 89% for copper per 100g. 

Recipe (serves 12): 

You will need a large mixing bowl, hand- held electric whisk, spatula, dessertspoon, teaspoon, cooling rack, 12-hole fairy-cake or muffin tin and paper cake cases. 

  • 80 g muscovado dark brown sugar 
  • 1 dsp runny honey 
  • 150 g unsalted butter, at warm room 
  • temperature, so that it is soft enough to beat 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 tbsp milk 
  • Finely grated zest 1 small orange 
  • 1 rounded tbsp ground almonds 
  • 125 g self-raising four 
  • 25 g cocoa powder, sieved 
  • 1 level tsp baking powder 
  • 25 g chocolate dark chocolate chunks, plus 
  • 36 extra, see method 
  • Approximately 12 tsp quality cherry jam (optional) 
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180° /160°C fan/gas 4
  2. Place 12 fairy cake paper cases into a 12-indent, fairy-cake tin
  3. In a large mixing bowl, place all the ingredients except for the chocolate chunks and the jam
  4. Using the electric whisk, beat the ingredients together, slowly at first, to combine, then increase the speed and beat for about 1 minute until light and creamy
  5. Fold in the chocolate chunks
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases
  7. Poke 3 of the extra chocolate chunks into the top of each cup cake
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until well risen and springy to the touch
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  10. Arrange the cakes on a serving plate and serve either plain, or top each with a teaspoon of cherry

‘Could it be Insulin Resistance?’ by Hanna Purdy

Kale-onion-goats’ cheese pie 

A fun recipe to consider trying for your next picnic outing is a kale-onion-goats’ cheese pie which is guaranteed to be as tasty as it is healthy. A low-carbohydrate diet reduces the amount of insulin needed which can ease the symptoms caused by insulin resistance. On top of this, it also burns excess fat to reduce the harmful effects of fatty liver and reduces chronic inflammation. 

Recipe (Serves 6 people): 

For the base: 

  • 300 ml cauliflower and broccoli, cooked 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 200 ml almond flour (or ground almond) 
  • 2 tsp psyllium husk 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Mash the cooked cauliflower and broccoli with a fork or blender. 
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and spread into a pie dish which has been greased with olive oil first. 
  4. Place the dish in the oven for 15 minutes. 

Topping: 

  • 3-4 handfuls kale 
  • 3-4 spring onions 
  • 50 g goats’ cheese 
  • 200 ml coconut cream 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 300 ml grated cheese 
  • salt 
  • black pepper 
  • white pepper 
  1. Chop the kale into small pieces and slice the spring onions. 
  2. Chop the goats’ cheese into small pieces. 
  3. Mix the kale, spring onions and goats’ cheese together and spoon over the pre-cooked base. 
  4. Whisk the eggs, add the cream and mix. 
  5. Add the grated cheese, salt and pepper, and pour over the filling. 
  6. Return the dish to the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top. 
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Good care starts with the self

July is Good Care Month and what better way to highlight this, than with carers?

Most caregivers are selfless and giving, but because they are so used to focusing on others, they often bypass care for themselves. In fact, ‘carers guilt’ is very common. Within even a few weeks of caring for another, to give to the self can feel awkward, even selfish, but we all need good self-care – especially carers.

‘You cannot pour from an empty cup.’

In filling yourself up by caring for yourself, you not only have more to give to others, but you will be in a better state of mind to cope and enjoy your day.

To highlight this further, there has been great research on telomeres by the Nobel prize winner, Elizabeth Blackburn. Within your body, at the end of your chromosomes sit telomeres, and they are like the glue at the end of your shoestring, stopping your chromosomes fraying and unraveling. At the beginning of life our telomeres are a nice long length, but they gradually shorten as we age.

In measuring telomere lengths in mothers caring for chronically ill children, Elizabeth and her team discovered that the stress of caring had dramatically shortened the mothers’ telomeres. But in this study there was hope. Some of the mothers’ telomeres remained at the right length and hadn’t shortened due to the stress of caring. These mothers had recognised that they needed to factor in their own self-care, to make sure they were to remain healthy and be there for their children.

We have no choice but to ensure our own self-care. It’s like putting the oxygen mask on yourself, if needed on a plane, before helping others with theirs.

Self-care comes in a number of forms. It’s not just about brushing your teeth and good hygiene; it is also about enriching your life – doing the things that make you feel better and put a smile on your face.

It could be connecting with good friends, or giving yourself time out to enjoy each day for a walk in nature, or it could be pushing back and knowing when to say ‘no’ to others if you are feeling drained.

Self-care helps us to remain resilient in the face of adversity, look after our health and wellbeing, and enjoy each day. What will you do today for yourself to practise self-care?

To read the first chapter of the award-winning book, “Who Cares?” for free, go to:
https://bit.ly/WhoCaresBook

I just wish Id read your book years ago.” – Irene, caring for her husband

To learn about the author’s carers’ course, already empowering and improving carers’ lives, go to:
https://bit.ly/CarersCourse

“I dont feel guilty since doing your course. I know I need to have time for me.” – Sue, caring for her husband with Parkinson’s
www.whocares4carers.com

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World Wellbeing Week: Why Sleep is a vital contributor to our overall wellbeing

This World Wellbeing Week, we spoke to author Lynn Crilly about the power of sleep to support our overall wellbeing. The following blog has excerpts from Lynn Crilly’s ‘Hope With’ series, which you can find here.

Are you allowing yourself enough time to rest and repair your mind and body?

Sleep plays a vital part in good health and wellbeing throughout all our lives. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help to protect our mental and physical health, quality of life and overall safety. According to the National Sleep Foundation, for a person’s overall health and wellbeing, school-age children (6-13 years) need approximately 9 to 11 hours sleep per night, teens (14-17 years) need approximately 8 to 10, and adults (18-64 years) need approximately 7 to 9 hours.

There is a close relationship between mental health and sleep. Many people who experience mental ill health also experience disturbed sleep patterns or insomnia. Furthermore, over a long period of time, disturbed sleep can actually lead to a mental health condition or make an existing mental illness worse. With lack of sleep, you may experience:

  • lowered self-esteem through inability to cope
  • social isolation
  • difficulty dealing with everyday life
  • low mood
  • low energy levels
  • depression and/or anxiety
  • inability to carry out usual social activities
  • feelings of loneliness.

Most importantly, being constantly tired can affect our ability to rationalise anxieties and banish irrational thoughts. It could feed into negative thinking patterns which are often associated with anxiety and other mental health issues. This can also work the other way around, with anxiety and over-thinking leading to restlessness at night that can make sleep so much harder to achieve.

Sleep and anxiety

The night-time hours can be especially daunting for anyone with an anxiety disorder. There can be a vulnerability associated with sleeping: a dread of the terrors that sleep may leave them more open to, as well as the fear that slumber will undermine the resolve and single-minded focus that they cultivate during their waking hours.

The sufferer may therefore fight against sleep, facing the next day exhausted and even more vulnerable to the dark and irrational thoughts that fuel the illness. So, the continuous cycle of physical exhaustion and mental distortion, serves as a huge hurdle to sustained recovery.

Quality versus quantity

While some experts recommend that an adult should have between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night, as quoted above, others say that the quality of sleep is far more important than the quantity. For example, if you have 6 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep you will receive more benefit than having 8 hours of restless, interrupted sleep. In the case of anyone with a mental illness, it is important to be aware that their mind may be so active and full, the sleep they get may not always be ‘quality sleep’.

Yet quality sleep is vital. Sleep is not just time out from our busy routines; everyone needs sleep to help both their mind and body recover from the stresses of everyday life. Sleep is a healing process, one I cannot champion enough, especially for those suffering from anxiety disorders and, indeed, any other mental illnesses.

Sleep has played a vital part in my daughter, Samantha’s, recovery from an eating disorder and OCD, as she says:

“Although sometimes I found it hard to get to sleep as my head was full up and could not think straight, I would listen to relaxation music which would help me to drown out the thoughts, making it easier to get to sleep. I found that having slept I would wake up feeling more refreshed. Sometimes if I was able, I would have a nap during the day which I found really helped me to think more clearly too. Without sleep I did not have the energy and headspace to cope with and move past the thoughts. Sleep has had a major part in my recovery.”

Establishing a positive sleep pattern

Samantha’s experience makes so much logical sense, but sleep is often a forgotten ingredient in the recovery process from a mental illness. Like many people in the general population, those with anxiety disorders easily fall into poor bedtime routines, checking social media late at night or watching TV as the hours tick by, forming habits that undermine good mental health and lead to physical and mental exhaustion in its place.

Getting a good night’s sleep is paramount for sufferers and their carers alike. There are things that we can all do to help us achieve this:

  • If possible, get into a routine of going to sleep and waking up at the same time, although this is not always realistic, I know.
  • Develop a pre-bed routine, which may include having a bath, or reading or listening to relaxation music, getting the mind into a relaxed state; this should help you to drift off more easily.
  • Do not allow tablets, smart phones, television or electronic games in the bedroom. Some people experience disturbed sleep due to the use of technology in the bedroom and blue light from many devices can enhance wakefulness. Going to bed and then spending time on these devices can stimulate the brain, making it more likely to wake up in the night and then have trouble getting back to sleep, due to feeling the need to check for messages, social media etc.
  • Make sure the bedroom is dark, as quiet as possible, and the temperature is comfortably cool (but not cold).
  • Alcohol and caffeine can also disturb sleep, as does rich food eaten late at night, so avoid these.

Rebuilding the energy we need

The benefits of adopting regular and positive sleep habits can be huge for our wellbeing. Having the energy to do things that we love, to connect with others and build a meaningful life away from any illness – mental or physical – are the cornerstones of recovery. However, these foundations are so much harder to build if we are exhausted.

Having seen and experienced first-hand how regular, good-quality sleep has benefited Samantha, giving her the energy and strength she needed to be able to challenge and overcome the negative thoughts in her head, I cannot reiterate enough the power and importance of sleep.

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Could it be a fungal infection? – A ‘must’ event for health professionals

BSEM’s Annual Scientific Conference – Mould and Mycotoxins: Infections, Allergy and other Pathologies 24th June 2022 https://www.bsem.org.uk/events/conf22

There is a sad irony in being a health professional – or a health publisher in my case – and seeing a family member fall victim to an unknown health problem. My family member developed ME following a bout of flu and inappropriate treatment with antibiotics; by that time I’d been involved in the publication of some key books on the subject, yet I had no answers. Dr Sarah Myhill’s ‘Groundhog’ protocols made a positive difference. The Perrin Technique made a positive difference. But even so, Dr Perrin was the first to say ‘There’s still underlying inflammation coming from somewhere’. What was it?

Asking the right questions

Conventional medicine had prescribed omeprazole and a gastroscopy for gut issues, steroids for allergic rhinitis and asthma plus a PAP machine for possible sleep apnoea, and ‘graded exercise therapy’ for the fatigue, quoting the PACE study. None of these seemed to be seeking to address the possible cause and no one was interested in finding out what the problem was. Nut until I had a conversation at a conference with Dr Myhill. Could the problem be a fungal infection and the effects of mycotoxins? A blood test showed a range of mycotoxins that were off the scale and targeted treatment began, including Dr Myhill’s ‘Groundhog Acute’ regime, an antifungal medication and a month in a very dry climate. A repeat of the blood test showed huge progress. Where would my family member be now had that question – ‘Could it be a fungal infection?’ – not been asked and investigated?

BSEM’s Annual Scientific Conference on Mould and Mycotoxins has been organized by Dr Myhill, with a range of international, expert speakers. Hammersmith Health Books will be present to make Dr Myhill’s books – and those of other ecological health practitioners – available. All health professionals should increase their awareness of this largely overlooked problem and consider signing up to attend in-person or online.

 

 

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Hammersmith Health Books at the Get Well Show 2022

From the 17th – 19th June, we exhibited at the Natural Health Care Show by Get Well at London’s Business Design Centre, where we met with hundreds of people interested in holistic and natural solutions to help treat and prevent a range of health problems.

Located at stand M14, shared with publisher Chelsea Green, we showcased our range of award-winning health and medical books. We are so grateful that many of our authors were able to attend the show, present talks about their books and the topics they are passionate about and, of course, do some great book signings afterwards – where they were able to speak to attendees on a more personal level.

On the first day, Friday 17th June, Carolyn Garritt, author of ‘Get Your Oomph Back’ did a wonderful talk on the benefits of exercise after a cancer diagnosis and during treatment. She also did a demonstration on the types of movements and exercises you can do safely and most beneficially.

On day two, Saturday 18th, we had two authors represent Hammersmith Health Books at the show. Carolyn Freedman, author of ‘The Scoliosis Handbook’  demonstrated safe and effective exercises for anyone with scoliosis or who’s had spinal fixation surgery. Author of ‘Yoga for Cancer’ , Vicky Fox did a wonderful talk and demonstration showing how yoga and breath-work can alleviate symptoms of cancer treatment.

On Sunday 19th, we had a number of our authors present for the final day, including Dr Sarah Myhill, author of multiple works including ‘The Energy Equation’, ‘Paleo-Ketogenic, the Why and the How’ and ‘Ecological Medicine’. Dr Myhill gave an insightful talk on healing through diet by feeding our mitochondria with their favourite food, ketones, while Dr Raymond Perrin, author of ‘The Perrin Technique’ held an empathetic talk on the importance of good lymphatic drainage, especially in the brain, how poor drainage can be the root cause of chronic fatigue/ME and what simple, gentle exercises can improve lymphatic drainage to relieve CFS/ME and long covid fatigue.

To wrap up an amazing weekend, Sandra Hood and Dr Sarah Myhill also featured in a panel discussion where they debated and discussed Paleo vs Vegan diets. While they expressed differences in whether fats or carbs are the best fuel they shared the view that unprocessed plant foods, with all their flavonoids and fibre, support good health and that sustainable farming and respect for animals and the Earth are key to our future health.

Thank you to our wonderful authors for their involvement in the show and for sharing their insight and research with audiences at the event.

We currently have a special Natural Health Show discount running for the print version of ‘Paleo-Ketogenic: The Why and the How’ by Dr Sarah Myhill and Craig Robinson. Simply use code WDDTY2022 at checkout for 15% off!

Were you at the show and enjoyed reading our authors’ works or hearing their talks? We would love to hear your thoughts! You can email us at info@hammersmithhealthbooks.co.uk or Direct Message us on any of our socials.

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Carers Week 2022

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contributions carers make to families and communities throughout the UK.
It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
This Carers Week, Mary Jordan, author of ‘The Essential Carer’s Guide to Dementia’, details what being a carer to those with dementia means, and how people can lend them more support in their role.

Was there ever a more difficult time to be a carer? Especially a carer of someone with dementia.

Dementia is a very difficult condition to deal with. It is unpredictable. It is not an illness that has a set ‘pattern’, nor despite many texts to the contrary are there set ‘stages’ that the person with dementia goes through as their illness progresses.

The things that can help

A few things are known to be helpful: social stimulation, connections with close friends and relatives, access to good medical attention and support and advice, timely intervention when ‘crisis’ (such as falls, urinary tract infections, or accidents) occur.
All these have been denied to carers over the past two years.

How things changed.

A face to face meeting with the GP has become almost unknown. Appointments with a specialist are fraught with complications. Support services are discontinued. Outside visitors are not allowed during hospital stays. Friends cannot visit. Family members are denied access to residential care homes. Rehabilitation services are not functioning.

What carers are telling me

Rather surprisingly (to my mind) most carers are fairly accepting of the lack of face-to-face contact with GPs. After an initial period, most of them seem to have got to grips with technology enough to manage telephone, or remote contact via internet consultations. The biggest difficulty seems to be with access to ancillary services such as physiotherapy, rehabilitation, falls clinics, speech and language therapy and sight and hearing services. These cannot be delivered remotely and the ‘backlog’ after lockdown seems to have led to long waiting times for appointments and treatment.

Support Services in the community

Many carers rely on social support such as dementia cafes, memory clinics, ‘Singing for the mind’, seated exercise classes, Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, carers support groups. All these services were forced to close during the severe ‘lockdown’ period but it is noticeable that as soon as it was permitted and reasonably possible most of these services re-opened. Sometimes there were restrictions or extra guidelines, but the community and voluntary sector made efforts to provide these vitally needed services.

A wide variation in provision

Once government guidelines were relaxed it might have been expected that access to health services would be quickly brought back to pre-pandemic normality. But there seems to have been a wide variation in maintenance of restrictions and this has created problems for carers. One chain of ophthalmologists still insists on full PPE for staff, face coverings for customers and queuing outside the premises whilst another invites walk-in appointments. Some dentists still (strangely) insist on face coverings for patients whilst others follow government guidelines that these are no longer necessary.  Some physiotherapists and chiropractors do not allow anyone to wait on the premises, others have opened their waiting rooms.

Difficulties for people with dementia

Many people with dementia find difficulties in following social procedures such as standing in a queue, waiting in turn, facing a doctor or health practitioner alone (without the reassuring presence of a carer) wearing a face covering, or following a one-way system.  Whilst these procedures may have been necessary when the pandemic was at its height more thought needs to be given and action taken to end unnecessary restrictions now.
Often health and social care businesses are forced to continue to press unnatural restrictions on customers and clients due to the pressures exerted by those providing Professional Indemnity Insurance. This is wrong. If the Government has indicated that the situation has eased, then this should be definitive.
Life is hard enough for those caring for someone with dementia.  Does society need to make it even harder?

For more information about Mary Jordan’s book, ‘The Essential Carer’s Guide to Dementia’ or to read the first chapter free, click here.

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World Environment Day – How does your diet affect the planet?

An excerpt from chapter 13, ‘Considerations for planetary health’ in ‘Eating Plant-Based’ written by Dr Shireen Kassam and Dr Zahra Kassam.

Greenhouse gases and climate change

The global food system is a direct driver of three inter-related global crises: nutrition, climate and ecological. But what impact will your diet choices make on planetary health?

Scientists warn that without a drastic change to our food system, we will not be able to keep within these temperature limits and that dietary change is the most important approach to meeting these climate-change targets. Half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture with more than 80% of farmland globally used for meat and dairy farming. Even though estimates vary, the food system is responsible for over a quarter, if not a third, of the world’s GHG emissions and the production of and consumptions of meat, diary and effs accounts for more than 60% of these emissions.

It’s not just the carbon emissions from animal agriculture which are problematic but also methane produced by wetland rice systems and ruminant animals, and nitrous oxide from fertiliser and manure. With global warming approaching levels associated with irreversible and catastrophic consequences, the United Nations had made it clear: we have to address methane emissions now.

What would be the impact of adopting a plant-based diet?

There is a vast inefficiency in the current food system when you consider that animal farming produces only 18% of the calories and 37% of the protein consumed globally while using over 80% of the farmland. If we were all to transition to eating a meat-rich diet typical of the 20 most industrialised countries, we would need seven planets to produce enough food.

If we all adopted a 100% plant-based or vegan diet we could reduce the land used for food production by 76% and GHG emissions from the food system by up to 50%. The terrible impact of climate change and ecosystem destruction on our planetary life support systems has led to an unprecedented existential threat to the survival of the human species. Yet one major solution is clear and in our collective control: a global shift to a plant-based food system.

 

Surely, if we don’t eat meat then world hunger will increase?

One in nine people on this planet suffer from hunger, yet we produce enough food to feed at least 10 billion people. Independent analysis suggests that the true figure for those suffering from hunger may in fact be much higher than the official UN figures and that around two billion people remain hungry. The trouble is that our food system is inefficient and wasteful. For example, 41% of crops grown globally that could be eaten by humans are fed to farmed animals, however, animal-based foods only provide 18% of global calories and 37% of protein.

World hunger could be eradicated if we just used food crops for humans rather than animals. These figures do not even take into consideration food waste. One-third of food produced for human consumption is wasted somewhere along the supply chain, amounting to about 1.3 billion tons per year. More than 50% of this waste in Europe and North America occurs in our own homes, with animal derived foods spoiling and this being wasted more often.

The growing demand for meat is not only contributing to environmental destruction but is also compounding world hunger. Yet modelling studies show that replacing beef, pork, diary, poultry and eggs with plant-based foods would allow a 2-to-20-fold increase in the production of nutritionally similar plant foods, with removal of beef, dairy and pork, having a greater impact than removing poultry and eggs. For the US alone, it is estimated that  a fully plant-based food system could therefore feed an extra 350 million people.

 

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