Allergy Testing & Nutrition, Healing through Visualisation
Anna Skrine offers a Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Testing Clinic here in Only Natural on a fortnightly basis. Anna also makes use of her extensive background in naturopathic medicine to recommend healing dietary and lifestyle changes to improve or overcome many common ailments. A test costs €60 for adults (1hr) and €40 for babies and toddlers (1/2 hour). Anna also offers Healing Through Visualization. Unresolved emotional problems are stored in the subconscious, and its language is in images. This is why working with visualization is such a successful and profound method in safely getting to the core of a problem, and helping with its healing. A session costs €60 (1 hr).
Life After Cancer is about addressing the problems that led to the cancer in the first place in order to help stop it from re-occuring – whether the problems were emotional, nutritional, environmental, or a combination of these. Your body is extremely wise, and is programmed to heal you if given the right conditions. A session costs €60 (1 hr).
Bookings can be made for any of the above by calling us instore on 053 9123236.
- Salt Addiction
- Tonsillitis and Sinusitis
- Sneezing and Coughing
- Joint Pain and Mineral Imbalance
- Hay Fever and Asthma attacks
- Bowel Problems and Gluten
- Calcium Excess and Dumping
- Burning and Acidity
The overuse of salt has become a great health hazard in the West – to the extent that many people could be said to have a Salt addiction. The right amount of salt for a person is what is naturally in good wholesome food. Because there is naturally only a little salt in most foods your kidneys are programmed to hold on to as much as possible, and redirect it to be stored in the body, no matter how much of it you eat! A build up of salt can start to cause all sorts of problems in the body, including acidity and inflammation, water retention, dry skin, excessive sweating, overworked kidneys, anxiety and hyperactivity, to name but a few.
The following two cases of extreme inflammation in different parts of the body were both from the same basic cause – an addiction to salt:-
MATTHEW B – skin rash & salt 20.5.14
When I first met Matthew he was bright red from his waist up, including his face, and his skin was so hot, itchy and inflamed it was hard to sleep. Being in a warm room like his sitting room at home was a nightmare because it made his skin even worse. Apparently this had been going on for a year and a half, and steadily getting worse. If steroid cream was used to stop the inflammation on one part of his body, it would simply come up on another part. He was now so desperate he wanted to try to get to the bottom of what was causing the rash.
Matthew was a salt addict. He would add it to his sandwich at lunch time, and main meal in the evening, and on top of that ate a bag of crisps a day. As Matthew was now in his mid 50s he had eaten a lot of salt in his time! He agreed to avoid added salt and allow his body to de-tox naturally, and had a daily bath with Epsom salts to help this process. He was amazed that for the next few weeks salt seemed to pour out of his skin, particularly his arms and legs – and it not only looked like salt but tasted of it! Two weeks later his stomach was clear, and a month after the allergy test he said there was an enormousimprovement. It took just 6 weeks for his skin to return completely back to normal – and by the end of it he was full of energy. He was delighted!
LAURA B – Crohn’s and salted crisps 31 .08.14
Laura was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, having terrible trouble with her bowels – they bled every time she passed a stool, and sometimes out of the blue when she least expected it she would simply flood with a bleed from her back passage. She had been in and out of hospital for tests, and though it was on the cards to possibly operate to remove the most damaged part of her intestines, the doctors had thankfully decided her case was not yet severe enough to do this. Laura was only 23.
When I first saw her she was devastated that she could feel so terrible at such a young age, for with frequent pain, including some in her lower back, and such low energy, she felt the future looked very bleak. She also told me she was addicted to crisps, often eating 2 or 3 packets a day, and ate a good bit of white bread. When I gave her an allergy test two items were very pronounced as being a problem – salt and most of the glutinous grains.
Laura agreed to give up the crisps, for I explained that all the salt that came with the crisps was causing severe acidity and inflammation of her intestines, causing them to bleed so. She also gave up all glutinous grains for a while until her gut healed itself, for as is common with many people the white bread was extremely difficult for her body to digest. For six weeks or so Laura stayed off all glutinous grains, as well as added salt (and I mean added salt, because the right amount of salt for our bodies is naturally in wholesome food). Slowly but surely she started to feel better, and the bleeding gradually lessened until it went altogether once her gut had fully recovered. Now at last Laura feels well and full of energy, and is able to eat nearly all the glutinous grains again without any problems, including traditional brown Irish soda bread. She is more than happy to avoid all salted foods and white bread as this has at last given her not only a healed digestive system, but a positive looking future as well
FROM TONSILLITIS TO SINUSITIS
It is accepted that tonsils are part of the body’s lymphatic, and so immune system; but beyond that not a great deal is understood. Generally inflamed, sore tonsils appear to be the start of a cleansing process of the body, for within a few days these symptoms are normally followed by a cold or flu, with its Detox of excess mucus from the body. So tonsillitis is most frequently the body’s response to an internal mucus problem, for without the excess mucus in the body this chain of events simply wouldn’t happen. Too often tonsils are removed from young children in the belief that this will ‘cure’ them of their frequent bouts of tonsillitis. If you remove the tonsils the wise body simply finds another way to get rid of the excess mucus; for your body’s mission is to do its best to keep you healthy and well inside, no matter how it is abused!
Sinusitis is often the next symptom of the same basic problem.
NORMA (April 2014)
Norma had had her tonsils taken out when she was much younger, and had been on a lot of antibiotics before that for tonsillitis. She was now aged 17, and her mother told me that for the last 4 or 5 years Norma had missed about 20% of school each year from sinusitis. Her condition was chronic and always there, but whenever the sinusitis got really bad her face would swell up and she would become very drowsy and sensitive to light, making school impossible. She had been on a spray for her sinuses for a good while. Though she had been lactose intolerant as a baby Norma was now eating cheese daily, as well as some yoghurt and milk. She was vegetarian and basing her protein largely on pasteurised dairy foods – rather than the grain-plus-pulse way of eating vegetarian protein that is traditionally used around the world by vegetarian societies. When she changed her protein and cut out all dairy from her diet the problem simply went away. I saw Norma 6 months later, and her sinusitis had not returned even for a day, though on the odd occasion that she had eaten a little dairy she felt the clear symptoms of its return. So she was now both confident and delighted that her condition had at last healed for good!
A short additional note about tonsils
Very occasionally I have found that inflammation, and so soreness of the tonsils, is prolonged for a long time. This seems to be a sign of a sensitivity to something which will heal for good once the cause is found and eliminated – such as coffee or tea. Conversely the tonsils can also alert you to something the body doesn’t much like with a short sharp twinge – such as cheap (rather acidic) white wine.
SNEEZING AND COUGHING
The body is infinitely wise. The nose and lungs are all part of our vital breathing mechanism, but these are also places in the body where excess mucus is often stored until there is a Detox. If excess mucus is lodged in the nose, your body will stimulate a bout of sneezing to dislodge the mucus so that it can be Detoxed.
Similarly if mucus is lodged in the lungs coughing is the body’s way of loosening it there during a Detox. Blocking these vital Detox mechanisms with drugs instead of eliminating the cause is surely counter productive for long term health, for it simply stops the body’s vital attempts to cleanse itself internally.
FINTON in his 40s
FINTON was feeling wiped out because he couldn’t stop sneezing all week. Most mornings he woke feeling ‘sniffly’, and he usually had a bout of sneezing , which sometimes seemed to get rid of it. He had recently been told by his doctor to take anti-histamines daily as he probably had allergies, and this had seemed to stop the sneezing. However, if he forgot to take them, which is what had happened a week ago, he would have terrible fits of sneezing which were hard to stop. He always felt terrible first thing in the morning, and his energy was generally low.
Once Finton cut cheese out of his diet, which he used to eat a lot of daily, the sneezing just went, and he started to feel much better. He also woke feeling properly rested. Finton had used a little low fat milk for a long time in his tea, and in small amounts he seemed to be able to tolerate this with ease.
The Importance of Minerals
The structure of your body is made up of a number of fundamental minerals, such as Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus (some of the Macro-minerals, which are in large amounts). All the processes that take place in your body also depend on a variety of other minerals, some of which are needed in much smaller amounts (Micro-minerals). On the whole the minerals in your body could be regarded as the generals (Macro-minerals) or captains (Micro-minerals), whereas the vitamins are their aides, the regular soldiers.
Balance amongst minerals – particularly Calcium & Magnesium
Balance, amongst certain minerals in particular, is one of the basic keys to good health. For instance Calcium needs to be balanced with Magnesium: for without an equal amount of Magnesium the Calcium cannot be used properly in the body. It then tends to get either dumped (for instance in the joints as osteo-arthritis, veins as varicose veins, gallbladder or kidneys as stones) or discarded (as in Osteoporosis).
Another vital mineral balance – Sodium and Potassium
There are two other Macro-minerals that are most important to keep in balance – Sodium (salt) and Potassium. Potassium is in abundance in food, but Sodium is much more scarce. However, our bodies are built for this, and part of the function of your kidneys is to retain as much salt in the diet as possible for storage in the body, no matter how much you eat! So in fact the right amount of salt for your body is what is naturally in fresh food. Too much salt tends to cause acidity in the body (for instance in the joints causing rheumatoid arthritis, or in the muscles causing rheumatism). It also has the knock-on effect of causing water retention, as the body stores extra fluid with the salt in order not to upset the acid/alkaline balance in those places.
KITTY age 63
Kitty had painful joints, particularly her wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees and hips. Some of them felt as if bits of bone were going to break off, and her wrists were very sore, even just to touch. She also sometimes had very bad pain in her upper arms, and had a weight problem.
Kitty had a mineral imbalance, which was being caused by excess calcium from too many dairy products, excess salt, and low Magnesium (which was being flushed out daily by coffee). She also had acidity in her joints from too much acid fruit, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, and too many salted foods, such as salted meats and crisps.
Kitty came off coffee, added salt and acid fruit, and reduced the dairy foods to a minimum. She rang me just 3 weeks after her allergy test to say that her joints were much better already, and that she had started losing weight. I spoke to her 6 months later, and though she had relaxed her diet a bit there was still a huge improvement in her joints. She was delighted!
I have worked with many young children, and some adults, who have been diagnosed with asthma and put on courses of antibiotics, steroids and inhalers by their doctors. Some of the children are barely a year old. Usually after two or three weeks of a dairy-free diet they become completely free of any signs of asthma. It is usually as simple as that, and the reason is that pasteurised milk products (as opposed to raw milk products) are now very difficult to digest. The milk is pasteurised to such a high degree that not only all the bacteria is killed, which would normally help us to break it down, but also the proteins in the milk are altered and hard to use. Once the body has properly cleared itself of the mucus, a small amount of dairy foods can be re-introduced to the level that the child can easily tolerate; and unless the child is very sensitive to dairy foods there is usually an acceptable level. If dairy foods alone are not the full cause of the problem, a gluten intolerance to some degree (and white bread and pasta in particular) can also cause mucus. Good brown bread and other pastas are easy alternatives.
Children’s bodies usually respond very quickly to an adjustment to their diet. Unlike adults they normally don’t have a long-standing deep toxic burden to clear. With adults the causes of asthma are usually the same, though cigarettes can bring an added burden of mucus to the body, and lungs in particular; so an adult’s body will usually take longer to cleanse itself completely – through colds, coughs and possibly even a bout of flu to clear the deeper parts of the lungs.
Luke June 2004
Luke was 15 months old when I saw him. Some time ago he had been diagnosed with asthma, and had taken a lot of antibiotics, steroids, ventolin and anti-histamines. For the last few months he had had a particularly bad cough and chest infection, which kept recurring. His parents wanted to try to find a way to get him off all medication, if at all possible.
After being breastfed for 3 months Luke had been put on a cow’s milk formula. For 2 weeks before I saw him Luke’s parents had taken him off most cow’s milk and dairy foods, and he was drinking goat’s milk instead. He was slightly better. I asked Luke’s parents to take him off all cow’s and goat’s milk products, and instead give him rice milk, fruit juices and water. Sixteen days later Luke had made a full recovery – all his mucus had gone and he was no longer on any medication. As his mother said, ‘He had been on so much!’
A note about calcium
Calcium is in many foods, including whole grains and root and leafy vegetables (carrots and broccoli are good sources). As long as a person is eating these it is not important to have dairy foods in the diet, even for a child. For example, the Chinese traditionally have no dairy foods in their diet! Also many of the alternative milks, such as rice milk, coconut or almond milk, have added calcium in them.
N.B. It is always a good idea to come off inhalers (particularly steroid inhalers) slowly, and under the support and guidance of your doctor if at all possible.
HAY FEVER & ASTHMA ATTACKS
I have usually found hay fever or asthma attacks to be another deep mucus condition that shows itself in a different way. The trigger for the symptoms comes from outside – such as pollen or cut grass, dust mites, feathers or animal hair. But these things can usually only trigger a reaction if you have the ‘right’ conditions inside you that can be irritated – i.e. an internal build-up of mucus. Once the dairy foods, or other causes of the mucus, have been removed from the diet and the internal condition is sorted out the outside triggers normally have little or no effect. This fading may include a prolonged cough to rattle the mucus out of the lungs, a last cold or two, or even flu, but after that the asthma or hay fever usually disappears altogether.
This disappearance of the hay fever or asthma attacks is on the assumption that it is not being confused with a ‘chemical allergy or sensitivity’ – such as to formaldehyde, which is a chemical commonly sprayed on to the foam in new soft furniture, foam-backed carpets, mattresses, aerosol sprays and many other products.
Peter February 2005
Peter, aged 4, seemed to be getting asthmatic-type symptoms due to‘something’ roughly every three weeks – whenever he visited his Granny, who kept horses. They would last for about a week at a time, and from being a lively child he would just go and lie down, which had worried them terribly. As Peter’s father said, “ The doctors kept saying, ‘Give him this, give him that’, which would take away the symptoms, but the symptoms would just come back again soon after. They were not getting to the root of the problem – in fact the problem was just progressively getting worse and worse.” Since he was small he had only ever been sick with colds and chest infections, and had first been in hospital with a chest infection aged 1. He was given antibiotics 4 or 5 times a year, and recently Peter had been given ventolin during the attacks. An inhaler was the next step being suggested.
Peter was eating and drinking a lot of pasteurised dairy foods – milk, a probiotic drink and chocolate daily, cheese and ice cream a few times a week, and a creamy sauce (on lasagne) weekly. His father felt that horses were most likely to be Peter’s ‘problem’. I suggested that though horses were probably the trigger for the asthmatic-type symptoms, the underlying cause was a mucus problem from an intolerance to dairy foods. I suggested it was likely that Peter had always had a problem breaking down the fats in milk and milk products, because he had suffered with mucus problems all his life. Peter’s father was asked to take Peter off all dairy foods, and to give him rice milk on his cereal.
I spoke to Peter’s father about eight months later, who said the asthmatic-type symptoms had not only disappeared, but that his behaviour had improved tenfold! He was now much livelier and easier to handle. Peter’s had had just two brief ‘breathing episodes’ since February, and each one had lasted just for one or two days instead of a week. The last episode was two months ago. Peter’s father admitted he had been convinced that horses were the problem. However, Peter had frequently been at his Granny’s house since coming off dairy foods, and now never seemed to react to them – so he now agreed that though horses might have been a trigger, the real problem was definitely nothing to do with those wonderful animals!
BOWEL PROBLEMS AND GLUTEN – FINDING THE RIGHT GRAINS FOR YOUR BODY
There are many levels of gluten intolerance, and being a coeliac is just the most extreme of them. Any level of gluten intolerance affects the bowels, and can bring on bloating, tummy pains, constipation, diarrhoea, or sometimes one and then the other (IBS). Unfortunately the standard gluten test only shows up positive if one is sensitive to all of the glutinous grains, which is relatively rare. However many people suffer from partial gluten intolerance.
Gluten is the protein in the centre of certain grains, and is most concentrated in wheat, and white wheat flour in particular. It is very sticky and hard to digest, particularly in white wheat flour.
Whole grains are a very important part of a person’s nutrition, giving not only the vital good steady energy we need, but also the crucial mineral Magnesium, B vitamins and roughage. The glutinous grains include wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt, in descending order of gluten content. So rather than simply cutting out all the glutinous grains if you have a bowel problem, it is important to find out where the cut-off point is so that you can eat the other grains; for they are generally much more wholesome and nutritious than the ‘gluten free’ bread and products one can now buy.
STEVEN (age 2 1/2)
Young Steven was afraid to go to the toilet properly because it was usually painful ‘passing stools’. He often had tummy pains and was now so constipated he had to take medication daily to help him to go. Both his parents and uncle also had a tendency to constipation, or other bowel problems.
Steven generally ate white bread as part of his breakfast and lunch, and was fond of biscuits, but an allergy test showed that white wheat flour was causing his problem. He simply switched to brown soda bread and wholegrain biscuits, and within a very short time was off all medication and passing stools daily with ease – and his fear naturally evaporated too.
JOAN age 38
Joan suffered from excruciating cramps in her belly for a few hours every day. When it became clear that wheat and rye were most likely to be causing this, she agreed to cut them out of her diet and substitute other grains. Within just a day or two her cramps disappeared. Some weeks later she came to see me again, complaining that the cramps had started to come back again. On examining her diet we realised she had started eating ryvita, forgetting it was made of rye! From then on she was thankfully free of pain.
HAZEL age 25
After being a fit and healthy teenager, Hazel had started to look an embarrassing 6 months pregnant all the time since she had started living independently away from home, and now suffered from constipation. She ate what appeared to be a wholesome diet with porridge in the mornings, and plenty of proper brown bread – one could say she was almost addicted to the bread, for she would often have some before bed, even though she had already eaten an evening meal.
At lunchtime she usually had a white bread sandwich, and often found it hard to stay awake at work after lunch.
It turned out that after a difficult and stressful college year, Hazel’s body now found it very hard to break down the gluten in the grains she was eating; so once she cut out all wheat, rye, oats and barley from her diet, substituting spelt bread, brown rice and corn, her body thankfully came back to normal.
CALCIUM EXCESS AND DUMPING
CALCIUM is one of the most widely talked about minerals, and perhaps the least understood about how it is used in the body. In the Western world we are led to believe that you must eat plenty of dairy foods to get the calcium you need from your diet. This is simply not true: the Chinese traditionally have no dairy foods in their diet at all, so it is clearly not essential. There are many other good sources of calcium, and in a whole foods diet which includes good whole grains, vegetables, pulses and perhaps some nuts or seeds, there is not only good calcium, but it is also well balanced by the vital mineral magnesium: and magnesium is the mineral you need to be able to use the calcium properly in your body. In pasteurised dairy foods there is about ten times the amount of calcium to magnesium, whereas in whole grains, vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds, there is two or three times the amount of calcium to magnesium in some foods, and the reverse in others.
Dairy foods are delicious, and can form a useful part of your diet. However, your body will guide you via its language of symptoms as to how much you can tolerate with ease. Everyone has their own level of tolerance……..
KATHERINE AND ARTHRITIC HANDS age 19
When I saw Katherine the joints in her hands had suddenly become very painful and stiff over the last 2 or 3 weeks – to the point of being locked rigid in the mornings. She couldn’t even hold a pencil! She had aches and pains in her knees after any exercise, and her hips had also started to get sore. Her doctor suspected arthritis and had put her on anti-inflammatory tablets.
Kristina hardly ever ate cheese or yoghurts, but usually had a little milk in her diet. She used to get earaches as a child, and more recently developed a septic throat about once a year. It transpired that Katherine had started working in a new place 5 or 6 weeks previously. She didn’t like the water there, and so had started to drink milk during her breaks instead – 4 or 5 half-pint glasses a day! I suspected that Katherine’s body had never found dairy foods easy (from the childhood earaches and more recent septic throat symptoms), and that the huge excess of calcium from all the milk was now being dumped in her joints – in her hands and knees in particular. So she came off all dairy foods, and within just a couple of weeks her body had completely re-balanced itself and her joints were well again! It is now 18 years on, and Katherine has never had a problem since with arthritis, though she still has just a little milk in her diet. Indeed I recently heard from her family she has started running daily!
AMANDA, VARICOSE VEINS AND LOWER BACK PAIN age: in late 30sAmanda had stiffness and pain in her lower back, which was very noticeable when she walked upstairs. Though she never seemed to get colds her hair always greasy. Amanda had had a coil fitted 4 or 5 months previously, and this had stopped her having periods – and had also inadvertently blocked an important Detox route for her body. Her back definitely got worse after the coil was fitted. She also had varicose veins in both legs.
Amanda had 4 small children, and always drank a lot of milk when she was pregnant. Even now she drank at least one pint a day.
When Amanda stopped having milk, her body slowly but surely righted itself. Her hair became normal (I believe her body’s was de-toxing some of the difficult fats through her scalp), and her varicose veins stopped getting worse. Most importantly, within a month or so all her lower back pain had gone.
BURNING IN THE BODY & ACIDITY
A feeling of burning anywhere in the body, whether inside or out, is a sign of extreme acidity. The burning could be in the digestive tract, as reflux or heartburn, a stomach or duodenal ulcer, or somewhere in the intestines. Equally, as in the case below, the skin, and even blood inside can feel as if it’s burning. The most common causes of acidity are either an excess of salt in the diet, or too many tomatoes or acid fruit.
KATHY age 35
Kathy said she felt as if her skin, and blood inside, were burning. Though Kathy had had a little eczema for a long time, for the last 6 months her skin had been really bad. Her legs and thighs were particularly bad, and she was very hot and itchy at night, or after a bath or shower. Even her eyes were itchy and dry, and sore to touch, and her energy was very low.
Though the doctor had given her steroid cream, it would simply sort out the eczema in one patch, and then come up badly in other places.
Kathy ate a bag of salty crisps daily, and added salt to her food, and it was this that was making her so acidic. She cut all the added salt out of her diet, and cut down her dairy intake, particularly cheese (which can also be quite salty). Within 2 weeks her burning sensation had completely gone, and her itchy skin rash was fading. She was also generally feeling a lot better.
Each person is unique in the way their body detoxes. Many people detox excess mucus from a dairy and wheat intolerance via the nose and lungs – with colds, runny noses or flu; but with some people the skin is their body’s preferred way of detoxing.
NESSA age 17
When she was 16 eczema suddenly appeared on Nessa’s hands. They had both been very red and dry for the last year, and she also had eczema on the inside of her elbows. She had not been through a particularly stressful time, and so was baffled by this. She had tried steroid creams, but they didn’t really help; and nor did hand creams, which she put on at night. She was also generally tired.
Nessa was asked to cut all dairy and wheat out of her diet, and salty snacks, which she had a few times a week. A month later her hands were a lot better, and she was feeling much better in herself. She was happily eating spelt bread and pasta, and had substituted humus and peanut butter instead of cheese, and had changed her milk to a non-dairy one; and instead of milk chocolate she ate a little dark. Though her hands had not completely cleared up yet, and were still a little dry, there were no new break-outs of the eczema, and her overall health was definitely heading in the right direction. She was now going to oil herself a little more from inside with coconut or olive oil on her bread daily to speed up and complete her body’s healing process.