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More common health hacks

Following on from my last blog post, here are a few more tried and tested healthy living tips!

Blocked ears, especially when flying on planes. I have several patients who find a Hopi ear candle treatment helpful.

Have you heard of the valsalva manoeuvre? I can help to chew to release blocked ears on a flight. Do consider wearing ear plugs when swimming. Definitely don’t put cotton buds in your ears. In Chinese medicine we consider dairy foods and bananas can aggravate mucus; blocking ears and sinuses.

Foods as medicine. To aid regular bowel movements consider adding a sprinkling of psyllium husks to your morning breakfast bowl. Pulses and lentils added to soups, stews and salads are high in beneficial fibre. Many find drinking a shot of a good quality aloe vera juice first thing in the morning helpful; I have done this for over 20 years. It’s a great prebiotic for the gut too. To find out more about these, please contact me.

Housekeeping: check use-by dates. Don’t forget to do an annual check of any medication you have and, if you find out of date packs, take them to your local pharmacy for safe disposal. We do this for food so don’t forget checking medicine and supplements too.

Foods to help sleep. A tummy full of fibre rich foods has been proved to aid falling asleep, probably as it sustains a feeling of fullness. Another vote for lentils, and broad beans, chickpeas, oats and rye bread. Mediterranean diets are also rated, as protein aids melatonin production (the sleep regulating hormone). Other studies promote a glass of sour cherry juice an hour before bed to help with night waking. Avoid sugar rich foods late in the evening. If you can keep your eating within a 12 hour window it allows insulin and other hormones to do their best work at night. For more info on aiding sleep, including tips for the peri menopause, see here.

Breach babies. Acupuncture has proved invaluable for many pre conception, throughout pregnancy and for labour. But did you know that a simple technique to turn a breach baby can be taught in clinic and carried out at home? Optimum time is at 36 weeks but it can be carried out as late as a week before due dates.

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