Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Autumn Update 2018

Well, the equinox is almost here again,  March 21, 3:15 am (AEST) to be exact. In ancient societies this was the second harvest festival, the harvest of the fruits. and a time of preparing for the winter and wine making. 
Here at Tryfoss I'm preparing to start some small workshops in April - Basic Bodywork Techniques for Home Use and a 'Calm and Contentment' Group. I'll be emailing details in the next couple of weeks. If you aren't currently receiving emails and wish to be included contact me at: keryn@tryfosstherapies.com.au

Seasonally, Autumn it is a good time to assess how you are travelling health-wise, so that you are prepared for the biggest illness season of the year - Winter …which brings me  to the annual posting of some basic preventive measures to keep you sparkling rather than soggy throughout the cooler months of the cold and flu season.

EAT WELL AND FRESH!!! There is a great range of good, unprocessed food around. Make sure you include some protein as well as complex carbohydrates - whole grains and legumes, dried beans and peas, nuts, seeds and root vegetables. Avoid saturated fats, but don’t miss out on the ‘good’ oils.  Supplements are OK too, but they don’t give your digestive tract a work-out.

JUICE - Juicing is a great way of getting essential vitamins and minerals. Mix and match to suit your taste …they don’t have to be the new “superfoods”, some of the old fashioned variety work just as well.. lemon–high in Vitamin C and natural antiseptic properties; apple – pectin helps remove harmful substances from the intestines; pears - low allergy; beetroot – excellent blood tonic and full of immune boosting nutrients; carrot - betacarotene, which strengthens mucous membranes. Focus on a range - don't just juice fruit, include vegetables in your program!

WASH YOUR HANDS – Using a good soap and water is still one of the best ways to fight the spread of germs. Also avoid sharing certain items – particularly avoid sharing items with moisture on them.

EASTER BUNNY - as much as we like our chocolate, and yes there are some benefits to eating dark chocolate, over-consumption of sugar actually depletes your immune system. Chocolate can also trigger cold sore/ herpes attacks in some people, so moderation is recommended. Perhaps consider some of the alternative treats available for Easter or tap into your creative spirit with some 'mindful' egg decorating.

NATURAL HERBAL REMEDIES – Generally I tailor to suit your individual needs. There are many available on line and in stores making all sorts of claims.  Please be careful when purchasing these, taking into account - allergies other medications etc.

WATER – even though it is getting cooler you still need to keep up your intake.

EXERCISE - keeps your heart strong and gives you the reserve strength to fight off illness.

HOBBIES - Relaxing, enjoyable past-times. A great time of year to focus on personal expression.

FRESH AIR! OPEN SOME WINDOWS. Air conditioning is great for cooling, heating and recycling germs. If you work in a closed environment try and get out during your lunch break.

PROBIOTICS – If the dreaded lurgy does snag you and you end up on antibiotics always follow your course of antibiotics with a good probiotic to reinstate the ‘good’ bacteria/bowel flora - necessary to maintaining a healthy immune system.

A good night's sleep will help keep your resistance up

Some suggestions to help achieve ‘SWEET DREAMS’:

Sleep in complete darkness or as close as possible, as even the tiniest bit of light in the room it can disrupt your circadian rhythm and your pineal gland's production of melatonin and seratonin.
Spend 15 - 20 minutes outside, in the middle of the day, without sunglasses ...... this helps your biological clock to reset your circadian rhythm which controls the evening release of the ‘dreamtime fairy’ hormone, melatonin.

Get to bed as early as possible. Your body, particularly your adrenals, do a majority of their recharging or recovering during the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the  toxins back up into your liver, which then secondarily back up into your entire system and cause further disruption of your health. Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.

Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 19-20 degrees C. Many people keep their homes, and particularly the upstairs bedrooms, too hot. This is especially important. Make sure you the thermostat is turned down two hours before you go to bed to give your bedroom time to cool down. 

Replace caffeine with relaxing herbal teas. A recent study showed that in some people, caffeine is not metabolised efficiently and therefore they can feel the effects long after consuming it. So an afternoon cup of coffee (or even tea) will keep many people from falling asleep. Also, some medications, particularly diet pills, contain caffeine. 

Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make people drowsy, the effect is short lived and people will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from falling into the deeper stages of sleep, where the body does most of its healing.

If you are menopausal or peri-menopausal.  The hormonal changes at this time can disrupt sleep cycles. We probably need to look at this on an individual level to identify what you may need to balance things.

Maintain a regular bedtime. You should go to bed, and wake up, at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.
Remove the clock from view. It will only add to your worry when constantly staring at it.

Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes everyday can help you fall asleep. However, exercising too close to bedtime may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is ‘generally’ the best if you can do it. However this is not the case for everyone … do what actually works best for your body!

Reduce or avoid Tyramine containing foods in the evening as these can cause sleep disturbances in some people. Tyramine is found in: Bananas; Avocado; Cheese; Sour Cream; Chocolate; Pizza; Yeast extracts including beer, wine, MSG; Fermented dairy products (yoghurt, sauerkraut) and Fermented soy bean products.  So…if you think tyramine foods may be a problem for you try to relocate this type of meal to ‘lunch’!

Finally, find some time to wind down before you go to bed, clear the mental debris prior to heading to the bedroom!!

Try taking a warm bath or shower before bed. When the body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating sleep. 
Add some favourite aromatherapy oils or bath salts. Enjoy the process of getting ready for sleep.
If you have a tendency towards cold feet throw a light blanket over the bottom of the bed – avoid socks, as a tight elastic ankle band can interfere with your circulation.

Take time to ponder and enjoy the colours and scents of Autumn…..oranges, browns and those great rusty reds ... truly magical!

There are some interesting scented candles around at the moment which capture the essence of the season… or if you prefer essential oils I personally like the following scents: Holy Basil -Tulsi, (no surprise there for clinic regulars), Rose, Cedar wood, Marjoram, Ylang Ylang, Vetiver, Sandalwood and Patchouli. 
Autumn Prosperity Oil Blend- a suggestion
5 drops Sandalwood
5 drops Patchouli
2 drops Ginger or cinnamon
2 drops Vetiver
1 drop Orange 
Mix together and use a few drops at a time. For those of you who find the shorter cooler days excellent for a bit of romance try the following blends: 1. Rose, Ylang Ylang and Lemon. 2. Orange, Patchouli and Ylang Ylang

Wishing you a wonderful Autumn, Keryn


“We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.”

- Chuang Tzu.

Information provided by Keryn Coulter. BHSc Nat. 
Tryfoss Therapies. Fairfield 02 87043495.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Summer Solstice Australia 2017

A little bit of Herbal Harvesting History for you … 

Summer Solstice Friday, 22 December 2017 (3:27 am - Sydney). 
The word “Solstice” comes from the Latin words, sol sistere – “sun stand still” and indeed the sun does seem to stand still, for in terms of daylight, this day is 4 hours, 31 minutes longer than the June - Winter Solstice. 

In ancient times, the Summer Solstice was a fire-festival of great importance when the burning of balefires ritually strengthened the sun.It was a time of celebration of the bountiful harvest. The longer days, encouraging the festivities to last well into night. 

Often referred to as LITHA, the day of The Oak King - Lord of Light who sits majestically upon a greenwood throne. The festival recognises that Sol, brings life to the creatures of the Earth and to the growth of crops in the field. This is reflected in the Gathering Day, the midsummer ritual of harvesting herbs for this special day. Midsummer is the traditional time for gathering magical and medicinal plants to dry and store for winter use, as agriculturally, the crops are in full growth and reaching maturity endowed with added vigour and potency for medicine and spells.

Many sacred sites, around the world draw huge crowds to honour the Summer Solstice. Stonehenge in particular has an entrance-way that was aligned with the solstice sunrise and is a popular gathering place for modern druids and others enthusiasts on midsummer’s day.

Herbs typical of this season are: fresh yarrow, mistletoe, vervain, St. John’s Wort, heartsease, sage, sunflowers, mint, basil and lavender.

As it is a Summer festival colours akin to growth, sunshine and water are important i.e. blue green and yellow.Appropriate decorations may also include dry or fresh herbs, potpourri, seashells, summer flowers and fruits. 
Made into wreaths, table displays - mandalas, personalised floral essences or perhaps a lit candle within a water bowl of floating flowers - bringing the essences of the elements together. 

There are many ways to celebrate this Solstice. 
Find the one which resonates best for you.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas 2017

Well folks, another interesting year has almost passed and I hope it has been happy and prosperous for you. 
Health wise I am very well and enjoying the more relaxed work format. 
On the 16th February 2018 we enter the Year of the Yang Earth Dog (Wu Xu) with energies controlled by the earth element in its Yang form. Some horoscope sites are predicting it to be a very eventful year with many changes all over the world especially with national security and many changes in the Middle East and Asia. It is also said to be a year of social  and lifestyle changes, perhaps a good time to re-evaluate current habits - re diet, smoking and or drinking; balancing work/ leisure.
Eat well ….. Stay well (!) 
It is Summer! The tiime of swimming gear and revealing clothes .. and while many of you will have embarked on a ‘new regime’ to ‘look good’. I’m hoping you are doing this gradually, with a well balanced nutritional program that supports your daily needs. Quick fixes ‘in a box’ don’t always hold up long term. Please be sensible … eat well, exercise and enjoy your food!

When the Season is over, if you are feeling a little not so great, following the indulgences. Perhaps, sluggish, lacking in ‘get up and go’, tummy and bowel not quite right, maybe a bit ‘flatulent’ and possibly bloated, skin looking a bit dull or blotchy. You may need to clean up your act a little to recover some of your ‘zing’. Unless you have really been pushing the envelope with 'multiple indulgences' for a while, a complete Detox program is probably not necessary and some sensible restructuring of your diet and lifestyle may be all you need. 

Getting back into shape maybe as simple as returning to simpler, smaller meals, which contain a good balance of quality protein, complex carbohydrates i.e. fresh fruit and vegetables and some quality good oils/fats. 
As it is, summer try experimenting with salads, add a range of vegetables lightly cooked and raw.  If you have experienced digestive difficulties in the past you may need to do a bit more to re-colonise good bacteria or repair damaged/ sensitive bits. 
Try replacing the cocktails and coffee with some herbals teas, some of which taste very nice cold. Please remember that fruit is high in fructose and as such should be consumed sensibly… juicing is great but remember if you use 4 apples for 1 juice this actually = the juice and fructose of 4 apples. 
So if juicing add water and mix it up – with veggies! That being said, keep well hydrated with fresh juices and water minus the alcohol. 
Cordials and bottled juices are not an option as they are usually high in added sugar or ‘other’ creepy things. If a New Year's Resolution is on the cards involving fitness, exercise etc. ease into it. Work with 'where you are' rather than force yourself to be 'someone' you are not - as yet. Goals are great when they are realistic and achievable... small steps.
Muscles and Stress.
One mineral I’ve found to be handy, in muscle recovery and stress management, is Magnesium. Most people think of muscles when they hear about magnesium but this important mineral is also essential for healthy heart function, energy production, nervous system health, bone strength and blood sugar metabolism. Therefore being deficient in magnesium may impact your health and well being considerably. 
Consider it as part of your training package to avoid a deficiency. and keep an eye out for indicators. Refer to signs / symptoms of a deficiency in Magnesium (below) and respond accordingly to avoid discomfort and illness. 
Signs & Symptoms
Muscles of body                           Signs and symptoms of low magnesium
Head                                            Tension headaches, migraines
Eyelids                                         Tics, twitches, spasms
Shoulders arms back legs           Muscle aches - spasms, tension, restless legs
Heart and blood vessels              Altered blood flow, rhythm, force of contractions
Uterus                                          Menstrual cramps, period pain

There are many forms available, some more relevant to certain conditions than others, if unsure call me and we’ll sort out the ‘one’ that is the most suitable for your needs. For those of you who prefer food to supplements, Magnesium can be found in the following: Kelp, wheat bran, almonds, wheat germ, rye, hazelnut, lima bean, sesame seeds, rice, white bean, red bean, wheat, greens, pecan nut, beetroot, dates, spinach, lentils, seafood, corn, avocado, parsley, prune, barley, dandelion greens, garlic, raisins, peas, leek, banana, chives, blackberry, brussel sprouts, beetroot, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, asparagus. 

For those of you who do enjoy a “wee dram” (a Gaelic reference to an alcoholic drink) or two…. I have included the annual Hang-Over Cure:
1 medium carrot; 1 medium apple - skin on; 2 slices watermelon, with some of the white pith;  1 medium orange; 1 medium grapefruit (unless you can't handle the thought of the acidy taste); 2cm. slice beetroot; 2 fresh dandelion leaves or 2 cabbage leaves. Wash, trim, chop and pass through a juicer.
Drink 1 glass before retiring (Perhaps you should think ahead and prepare this before you venture out as it could be interesting getting this all together when really inebriated. For you risk takers…think of it like a healthier version of touching your nose or walking a straight line - please be careful with sharp knives or get a friend to help). Drink another glass on rising and continue every hour or so, or until you feel more alive than zombie. Drink plenty of water as well.

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house
 unless they have a well-stocked bar.” W.C. Fields.

I hope this will be of some help in coping with the Festive Season. So… enjoy the Holiday season and all its related activities … Family gatherings.. Goodwill to all (unfortunately family gatherings often negate this!) Take time out to smell the flowers.... preferably not after falling down rotten drunk in the garden bed! 
(See: Hang-over cure above). 
Enjoy....and most importantly….SURVIVE the familial bonding!

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
               Happiness never decreases by being shared- Buddha
Aromatherapy scents for this season:  Orange, Geranium, Cedar wood... and if you want to increase the 
Christmas feel add some Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Petit grain or Cardamon to the mix in your oil burner. 
For those of you searching for alternative gifts Aquarius Rising Bookshop (George St. Parramatta) www.facebook.com/pages/Aquarius-Rising-Bookshop offers a diverse range of goodies! 
We will be closed from 22nd December 2017, re-opening on January 3rd 2018.

   Wishing you a relaxing break from work ...  study
   All aboard.... for a happy, healthy and productive 2018.

This newsletter has been compiled by: 
Keryn Coulter. BHSc. (Com Med).  Adv. Dip. App. Sc. Nat.
Tryfoss Therapies. 24 Ace Avenue Fairfield NSW 2165  Ph: 02 87043495

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Spring Newsletter 2017

Finally it’s Spring!

A truly wonderful colour-filled time of year. Unfortunately an unusually warm and dry August has kicked off the hay fever season right on the back of an extended flu season, leaving many of us are feeling stressed and worn out. 

What to do……?

Stop. Breathe. 

Take time out.

While I’m sure we all contribute wonderful things to our individual worlds, they can continue without us from time to time. It is much better to release the tension before you are over-whelmed by it. Some suggestions that may help:
  • Stress: Address the stressors in your life. If emotional stress has played a role, it may be time to talk to someone, a friend or family member. It doesn’t have to be a therapist. If the impact is being felt on a physical level, perhaps look at your current activities (or lack thereof). How important/ necessary are they?
  • Lifestyle: Step back! Take a pragmatic look at your lifestyle and altering things to allow for ‘free time’ can really help. Even fun stuff can be stressful when it becomes a commitment. 
  • Relaxation Techniques and Exercise: Whether it be yoga, meditation, cooking or more physical pursuits such as swimming, cycling or kicking a football. Find out what works to relax you and ‘allow’ time for it every week. Avoid timetabling it!!! If you are a very kinaesthetic/ physical type ... remember moderation. No matter how healthy you think you are going to the gym everyday – the general rule of thumb is one-day on/ one-day off.  A mixed program is always the best solution. Just a nice walk in the park. It doesn’t matter how many steps you walk … forget the ‘cardio’,  just walk and enjoy them. 
  • Diet: Nutritional deficiencies are just another form of stress, so eat well. If you don’t know where to start on this give me a call.
  • Avoid Stimulants as much as possible: Alcohol, sugar, caffeine, nicotine, recreational drugs have all got to go or at least try and cut them back... after a while you may be surprised at how little you actually crave them.
  • Address any other health problems: Chronic allergies, infections are all a source of stress on the body. Don’t kid yourself that it will ‘just go away’. If you have an underlying health condition that needs addressing it is probably time to come in for a chat.
  • Hydrate: An easy one ... Turn on the tap - filtered preferably.
  • Finally - Be kind to yourself and others. Acknowledge good work and effort. A few well placed ‘Well Done” and Thank you’s often end up being reciprocated. Its good to feel appreciated.

Spring is also a good time to eliminate toxins which may have built up due to a sedentary winter lifestyle and stodgier comfort food. Some symptoms of built up toxins are: rashes and lack-lustre dry skin, weight gain, constipation, a feeling of lethargy after eating, drowsiness, sluggishness, muscle pains, fatigue, and throbbing headaches.

You don’t necessarily need a heroic detox ….. consider…
Increasing your intake of WATER!!!! Include some whole grains – brown rice, lentils and beans and more fruit and vegetables in your diet. Choose plenty of these colourful, complex carbohydrates - they are ‘chock’ full of antioxidants. Don’t get stuck on one type. 

Variety is the key!! Look to Low GI alternatives. Decrease your intake of sugar, junk foods, processed carbohydrates and alcohol, (yep all the fun stuff!).

Include some essential fatty acids: fish, flaxseed, walnuts, avocado, as they help the immune system build the proper antibodies, modulate inflammation and support strong supple skin. If post winter dry skin is a problem try cutting back the heat and time spent in the shower and increase your intake of Vitamin C: citrus, kiwi fruit and Zinc - red meat, seafood, pumpkin seeds, dark leafy greens. Consider Evening Primrose oil: useful in improving skin quality and reducing dryness. Always opt for a cold pressed, chemical-free option. 
Some recent research on the effectiveness of aromatherapy has shown patchouli and rose scents to be effective in ‘lifting the spirits.  Try adding them to a bath along with some Epsom salts to relax muscles.

For those of you using Cell Salts include some Calc Sulph and Nat Sulph to support the detox pathways and enhance toxin elimination.

If you are juicing….remember the body is designed to digest best by chewing, so the ‘all liquid’ diet, while easy, is not the best way to go if you wish to maintain a healthy, happy digestive tract. Mix up your juices. Don’t get stuck on one blend or overdo the fruit - too much fructose can be counter productive. Moderation is best!

Fill your world with the positive essentials of ‘Spring’ - vibrant colours and scents of nature’s ‘party’ season of renewal! If you would like to experience it in the form of aromatherapy, here is a starting list of Spring enhancing scents: Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage, Fennel, Geranium, Neroli, Orange, Lemon Myrtle and Jasmine. 

If you’re into the real thing - as in gardening - remember Australian Natives are not just pretty they are in fact often the better option if your suffer from seasonal rhinitis
Some suggestions from a gardening friend, firstly, plant Australian natives as they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction; replace any bark mulch with rock or gravel to reduce toxic mould spores; plan your gardening around rainy, cloudy or windless days as pollen counts are lower and if possible mow when the dew is still present on the lawn. So, avoid plants with strong fragrances or odours and consider planting asthma-friendly plants i.e. those that are insect-pollinated or propagated by cuttings or grafting e.g. 
  • Herbs – sage, mint, thyme, parsley, marjoram, rosemary.
  • Trees – Magnolia, Gingko Biloba, Lillypilly, Cherry.
  • Flowers – snapdragon, pansy, begonia, impatiens, petunia, viola, lobelia.
  • Climbers – kiwi fruit, passionfruit, Chilean jasmine

Now that you are feeling all ‘fresh and new’ take advantage of the longer daylight hours for gentle exercise, start with a good walk and see where this takes you. If you would like some  more information or advice… you know where to find me.  

Keryn Coulter 24 Ace Avenue Fairfield.  02 87043495.     www.tryfosstherapies.com.au

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Knit 1 Purl 1 … BREATHE ..

Is this about knitting? Well, partially. Primarily this is about Stress reduction!! How we relieve it … avoid it … etc. as it often affects digestion, general health and leads to all sorts of nasties. Over the years I have given various suggestions to a broad range of clients with varying needs. 
Often we talk about ‘hobbies’, lifestyle choices or things to reduce stress. Many of us have trouble finding the time or find we can’t sit still long enough without feeling we should be doing something else i.e. feeling unproductive. So I thought I’d share something, which I have found useful.

In recent years due to my medical hiccup my normally busy somewhat ADD personality was challenged with this very problem, until I discovered something which may surprise those who know me well. ‘IT’ relaxes me, focuses me and gives me an end ‘product’ … yes … KNITTING.
Ok am I any good at it? … Let’s just say I’m a work in progress.
It was pointed out to me by ‘Eva, my Guru of Wool’, that mistakes happen and that the Zen approach to creativity has always included one error as homage to God, being the only one who can create perfection. That being the case and while my early attempts were definitely more Zen homage than wool creation excellence, I have improved … yes basic works only, nothing extreme, yet for me it works.

Years ago I also found Tai Chi to be better than Yoga - for me, at the time - for similar reasons, as it involved more constant movement. Some of us are like that … sitting still in meditation may not be what ‘you’ need. Keeping that in mind, knitting is not just for the girls. Even MEN can do this. 
Our long time Friend of Tryfoss – ‘Auntie Pat’, creator of some of the crafty items seen in the clinic room – has taught knitting to all her primary classes – boys included. She has often commented that some of the boys produce better products than the girls.

Do you need to knit a jumper? No. Something small, something useful. Many charities have knitting programmes where small squares provided by volunteers are knitted into blankets for the poor or injured animals (WIRES possumpouches.pdf ).

Many local communities have knitting circles, which gather and produce items for various charities. Currently Liverpool Library has such a group on Thursday mornings. (phone 9821 9422 for more information).

It is about looking at options until you find what suits you. Sometimes, something simple, which you can pick up and put down at any time, wherever you may be, may be the better option. For others it may involve being part of a group, which offers a sense of community. Being in a different venue to your daily routine.

Taking the time to respond to your needs is never a waste of time.

It is after all YOUR TIME. Make the most of it! Enjoy…. BREATHE!!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bowen Therapy

What is Bowen Therapy?
Bowen is a dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy which assists the body’s own healing resources to achieve balance and harmony, thus allowing relief from pain and discomfort. It is safe to use on anyone from babies to the aged and benefits are often seen after the first session.
How and Why it works…..
Bowen Therapy is a completely holistic modality which produces an integrated body response, thus improving circulation, lymphatic and venous drainage, and assisting assimilation (nutrients) and elimination (toxins). 
Gentle moves on specific soft tissue sites stimulate energy flow and empower the body’s own resources to adjust, realign and heal,  thus improving joint mobility, posture and the normalisation of cellular physiology and tissue integrity. The treatment is pleasant as therapists use light cross-fibre manoeuvres of muscle, tendon or ligament with no forceful manipulation.  Bowen may be used in a broad range of complaints from sports injuries to chronic complaints and has been shown to be effective  for a range of disorders balancing the physical, mental and emotional planes. 
Some conditions that have responded well to Bowen include:
  • Musculoskeletal pain                             Musculoskeletal imbalance
  • Sports and accident injuries                       Frozen shoulders    
  • Neck and head tension                                Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Parkinson’s                                           Stroke
  • Sciatica                                                Scoliosis
  • Learning difficulties                              Hyperactive disorder     
  • Menstrual complaints                          Hormonal disorders         
  • Bedwetting                                           Colic 
  • Digestive problems                              Anorexia nervosa
  • Acute and chronic fatigue                   Respiratory & asthma complaints                                    
Bowen is generally not an ongoing therapy and in many cases, the client receives substantial relief after the initial session and complete recovery in just two or three sessions. The treatment of chronic illness or repeat injury however take longer and in some cases I have used Bowen successfully as part of a maintenance program.