Tummies and Turmeric
This month includes a focus on digestion, manipulation to release tension and ancient remedies to reduce inflammation. While working a client’s digestive tract I noticed how tight his colon (or large intestine) was; the part of concern was found above the tummy button at waist height and travelling from right to left transversely. I did some manipulation using massage techniques to help release the tension but with massage not being part of his regular regime of late, this meant that the congestion was probably longstanding and tricky to budge.
So we decided to try some reflexology instead. After working the reflex points on the feet for the colon we discovered that the congestion in the abdomen had been released! I also showed him, after the treatment, how to work his hands to achieve the same effect if it should happen again.
The photos below show how to work the large colon, in the first picture it shows the start position and the direction of the ascending colon, pictures two, three and four show the areas of working for the transverse colon on the right then left hand; the area of concern for my client. But of course you need to work the whole entity to get the best effect. The last picture has been added to help; to locate the descending colon you need to work down a similar line and to the position shown by picture one. Finally, from here you need to work parallel to the transverse colon but this time just above the crease of the wrist on the padded area to complete the last section of the alimentary canal.
Putting out the fire – Inflammation has its good and bad side. It tells us when an area of the body has been targeted by a virus, bacteria or fungi or if a joint has been aggravated; all of these may need help to heal if our immune system is below par, (a bi-product of stress, see archive for more details). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on the other hand is when inflammation is less than helpful; it is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in your joints when the body attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake. The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling. RA usually affects the small joints first such as the fingers. A great way to soothe them in the evening before you go to bed is placing them in a warm bowl of water with just a few drops of Lavender essential oil; this oil is usually soporific so fabulous for that end of the day. Take care though if you have low blood pressure, as it lowers it further and it is not safe during pregnancy either
Now onto Turmeric – A large number of research papers on curcumin, a component of turmeric have been identified. These include studies on the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal properties of curcumin and on its toxicity. A phase 1 human trial with 25 subjects using up to 8000 mg of curcumin per day for 3 months found no toxicity from curcumin. Five other human trials using 1125-2500 mg of curcumin per day have also found it to be safe. These human studies have also found evidence for the anti-inflammatory activity of the component curcumin. A popular way to take turmeric is through golden milk; not the gold top of the milkman era but milk that has become golden due to the addition of Turmeric. It has low absorption and rapid metabolism leading to relatively low bioavailability in the body, so some say to add a bit of fat to the milk, such as a teaspoon of coconut oil but mostly I have found that the addition of (1/4-1/2 tsp) of black pepper containing piperine aids the absorption of curcumin.
One recipe I’ve tried is to heat 2 cups light unsweetened coconut milk (or almond or soyamilk) with 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh turmeric and 3-4 black peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste with honey (if desired). Please take care when grating fresh turmeric, its pigment takes ages to get off your fingers – next time I wore protective gloves!
As I am not a keen cream addict I did find the golden milk quite rich and creamy; which most people find delicious. Fortunately I found an alternative that just uses water rather than the milk:
- 4 inches fresh turmeric
- 2 inches fresh ginger
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
- 4 tbs coconut sugar or 3 tbs honey
- 12 oz sparkling water
Plus I would add a few peppercorns to ensure greater absorption; what a way to end the summer! Reclaiming Yesterday is a website about using the knowledge and wisdom that has been handed to us from previous generations with amazing recipes and photographs. Allyson, writer of the page, believes it is best to trust in the body’s innate healing capabilities and she has been amazed by the positive changes that can take place when we just learn to listen and give it exactly what it is asking for.
With great hopes for an Indian summer and best wishes,