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What is “immunology”?
Our body reacts to the environment via the immune system. We are protected against external threats, such as bacteria, viruses and toxins in two ways. We have protective coatings (skin, and mucus membranes of the gut and lungs) made up of cells that block invaders and/or kill them. We also have cells inside our bodies, in tissues and blood, that fight against invaders. These immune system cells produce chemicals that protect us and they also “remember” infections so that next time they meet the same invader they can kill or inactivate it rapidly. This is how vaccines work, by training cells to remember threats and respond rapidly. Immune cells also recognize and kill abnormal cells that can grow into cancers.
What is “autoimmunity”?
Immune cells are trained during development so that they will not attack their own body cells. Some people have genetic defects in the cell-training system and their immune cells are more likely to recognize and attack their own cells. For example, their immune cells may attack the pancreas (diabetes), the joints (arthritis) or nerves (multiple sclerosis). Often the attack is triggered by a bacteria or virus that causes a cross-reaction with your own body cells. So autoimmunity means an attack on your own cells, when these cells are mistaken for infected or foreign cells.
What is inflammation?
Immune cells produce chemicals that attack invaders and repair damaged tissues. These chemicals cause redness, swelling and heat at the site of infection or injury: uncomfortable for both invaders and host! Usually, once the threat (injury, virus, bacteria, parasite) has been cleared, the inflammation goes away. However sometimes, where the invader can’t be killed, injury doesn’t heal, or there is autoimmune disease, the inflammatory response does not turn off and chronic inflammation sets in, causing continual pain, swelling and malfunction. Chronic heart and vascular disease and mature onset (non-autoimmune) diabetes have all been linked to chronic inflammation.
What is Yoga Therapy?
In Yoga Therapy a qualified Therapist/Yoga teacher provides one-on-one assistance to a person to use the principles and practices of yoga to improve health. This may include asanas (postures), pranayama (breath work), relaxation, meditation, dietary advice, lifestyle counselling and self-development. It is about assisting the individual to overcome imbalances, restrictions and injuries that are causing discomfort or disability. Yoga therapy focuses on the individual and their overall health and wellbeing rather than on the condition.
How can Ayurvedic and Western herbal medicine help?
Western medicine is fantastic for treating acute infections, for cancer therapy and surgery. Symptoms of chronic conditions are also treated very effectively: for example, diabetics cannot survive without insulin.
However these therapies often have unpleasant side effects, with quality of life diminished by treatment. Also, western medicine tends to treat the same symptoms with the same drugs, with no consideration for body type and lifestyle issues. For example, all high blood pressure cases are treated with statins, all pain with aspirin or paracetamol.
I use herbs as complementary therapies, to aid in lifestyle changes and medical treatment, not to replace these treatments. Ayurvedic therapy can help on three fronts:
• Body type analysis: Ayurveda does not use the “one size fits all” approach. Herbs, diet and oil therapies are prescribed on the basis of metabolic rate and physical structure. This can make Western therapy more effective and reduce the side effects of medication.
• Improved nutrition and immune responses: Herbs can support digestive function and improve immune responses, thus reducing the risk of new infection, and modulating immunity so that autoimmune reactions and chronic inflammation are reduced.
• Ayurvedic oil massage uses individual oil/herb preparations so that herbs are taken up through the skin. As an essential “immune organ”, skin condition is extremely important for protection against infection. Herbs taken up in this way penetrate deeply and have long lasting effects on all organs. Oil massage with Reiki is particularly good for general health.
How can Reiki and Pellowah help?
No-one else can heal you. You must heal yourself.
Medicine, herbs, diet and lifestyle can all aid in improving health, but your own body has to do the healing. Thus you must channel energy into healing, directing and supporting each cell and molecule in your body towards their best possible function. Where does the energy come from? We are surrounded by it. It comes from the Sun, it’s in the air and water and our food, is in every molecule in the Universe and in constant exchange with the cells and of our body.
Reiki is a hands-on healing technique where a skilled practitioner directs a flow of healing energy through your body so that your own healing powers are activated and enhanced. This is a gentle technique, often used with massage, but can be done with the patient fully clothed. It particularly suits those who don’t like have full body therapeutic massage. This feels like a relaxing mutual meditation with your practitioner, where you can often feel the heat flowing from her hands to wherever healing is needed in your body.
Pellowah is a hands-off healing technique operating at a different frequency to Reiki. A skilled practitioner directs a flow of healing energy through your body. Compared with Reiki, which gives a heating, activating energy, Pellowah gives a cool, calming energy.This is a gentle technique, and like Reiki it can be done with the patient fully clothed. It suits those who don’t like to have full body therapeutic massage.
The treatments are very relaxing, calming the emotions and relieving stress and tension in the body, giving a glowing feeling of wellbeing.
These are safe, natural methods of guided healing, carried out in a relaxed atmosphere.