Preconception Nutrition

Preconception refers to the period of time encompassing the lead up to conception, right through to actual conception. This can be an exciting time for many but can also cause a lot of stress for some couples. That’s why getting help from a Nutritionist to focus on preconception care is vitally important in taking away some of the stress and anxiety often associated with trying to conceive. I frequently see patients who are weighed down by the intense stresses of modern life, and they often have pre-existing medical complications. This creates a complex set of inherently personal circumstances and questions that can’t be addressed by Dr.Google.

Women’s bodies naturally know what to do. We just need to support them so they can flourish, and we need to remove the obstacles to conception or full-term birth. Food choices have a significant impact on your health, the vitality of your reproductive system, and ultimately your baby. Here’s a short list some of the most valuable foods and nutrients your body needs during preconception:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids- Necessary to provide energy production to the oocyte and for cell membrane fluidity. Omega 3 fats, in particular DHA, are crucial for central nervous system development which begins 21-28 days following conception. Sources include salmon, herring, whiting, organic pastured eggs, flax seed oil and walnuts.

• Protein- Every cell in the body needs protein. Building eggs and sperm requires substantial protein for infrastructure. Foods high in protein include red and white meats, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.

• Antioxidant-rich foods- Oxidative stress harms female fertility. Oocytes (immature egg cells) benefit from the inclusion of antioxidants. Foods such as tomatoes, garlic, ginger, turmeric, Brazil nuts and berries are packed full of antioxidants.

• Filtered water- Up to 60% of the adult human body is water. Every system in the body relies on water. Water is utilized to digest and absorb food and nutrients. Adequate hydration is imperative for the elimination of digestive wastes. I recommend using a water filter that will remove fluoride and chlorine from your drinking water.

• Vegetables and fruit- These will provide a variety of nutrients that are needed for the development and maturation of a healthy oocyte. Try to eat organic where possible, avoid pesticides and chemicals which can negatively affect the body’s hormones. If this buying organic isn’t possible, make sure you thoroughly wash fruit/veg before eating.

• Caffeine- Consumption of coffee has been associated with an increased conception time and spontaneous miscarriage. Coffee should be avoided during this time.

• Alcohol- While there is mixed information regarding fertility and alcohol consumption, the best practice is to avoid it completely and negate any possible risks. I recommend that you stop drinking alcohol 3 months before trying to conceive.

• Sugar- Healthy glycaemic regulation is necessary in preconception to prevent gestational diabetes. Try to limit fruit to two servings a day and avoid refined and added sugars.

These aren’t ‘super foods’, they’re foods and nutrients that can be found and consumed easily in our daily diet. It is more about becoming aware of what your body needs to support your journey to conception and to allow it to feel ‘safe’ and strong enough to allow conception to take place. It’s often also necessary to supplement with folic acid, iodine, iron, and EPA/DHA and these should be discussed with your Nutritionist. For women with pre-existing sub-fertility conditions such as PCOS a specific diet may be required. For a more personalized and in-depth treatment plan contact our Nutritionist Bronwen by emailing her at bronwen@nbip.com.au.

On The Pill to “Balance your Hormones”?

Want to understand your body better? If you have been put on the Pill to regulate your hormones, its time to unlock some truths. 

The Oral Contraceptive pill (the Pill) is prescribed as a remedy for regulating periods, managing painful periods, treating acne, PCOS, endometriosis and PMS symptoms. Girls as young as 12 are put on the pill to correct their hormones. The reality of this daily pill is that it doesn’t correct the root cause of hormonal imbalance. The Pill is simply a band-aid solution.

A hormone in the Pill, Progestin, is similar to our hormone progesterone, however it isn’t identical. Synthetic hormones can not balance our natural hormones or promote a healthy hormone response. This why side effects are prevalent.

Progestin has been linked (as of 2019) to depression, weight gain, hair loss, low libido and fatal blood clots (specifically from the synthetic progestin Drospirenone in newer pills such as Yaz).

Balanced hormones are important, Girl!

Making hormones is hard! Your ovaries are responsible for making your sex hormones Estrogen and Progesterone. They maintain a healthy female reproductive system, but when you are on the pill, those hormones are shut down.

Hormones play roles in regulating the menstrual cycle, but did you know that Estrogen also affects the whole body including the brain? Hormone balance is so important for a healthy metabolism, a roaring libido, a balanced mood, optimum digestion, a regular cycle, fertility and a quality sleep. Estrogen also helps you look younger, keeping your skin hydrated!

Natural Medicine to the rescue.

As a Naturopath and Nutritionist my role is to identify and treat the underlying cause of hormonal imbalance, using natural medicine, nutrition and diet to improve symptoms and treat the root cause. A holistic approach.

An adequate diet is the foundation of hormonal balance and happy hormones need good fats and enough energy! Through dietary tweaks we can start reducing inflammation in the body. This can significantly improve hormone expression and reduce symptoms including but not limited to PMS, mood swings, irregular periods, acne, painful periods, sluggish metabolism, fluid retention and poor energy over the course of a few months.

For help regulating your periods, hormonal acne, managing pain, regulating cycles, coming off the Pill as well as womens health conditions such as PCOS, Endometriosis and Hypothalamic amenorrhea, contact Brooke our Womens Health expert Naturopath and Clinical Nutritionist via brooke@nbip.com.au or call 8406 0679

Not all Acupuncturists are created equal!

Not all Acupuncturists are created equal. 

What can acupuncture help with? Well that depends on what your practitioner has chosen to specialise in. 

Take our two acupuncturists for example – 

Andrea O’Neill has studied extensively and loves to work with her clients using acupuncture to treat severe mental emotional disorders, post stroke, bells palsy, and facial rejuvenation / cosmetic acupuncture. 

Whereas Chloe Player has chosen to further her acupuncture studies in fertility – both male and female, pregnancy, gynaecology (PCOS, endometriosis, amenorrhea, period pain, fibroids)  and Women’s Health in general. 

Both of our acupuncturists do also regularly work with muskulo skeletal pain such as back pain, joint pain, rotator cuff injures, headaches, neck tension, and knee pain. 

They also use acupuncture for clients with digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, loose stools and reflux. Insomnia, stress, anxiety are also issues we see for acupuncture regularly in clinic. 

Chloe and Andrea are both fully qualified acupuncturists and don’t only use acupuncture in clinic – they also do cupping, moxibustion, SCENAR, electroacupuncture, dry needling, Chinese Herbs as well as prescription only supplements. 

Moral of the story not every acupuncturist has experience in all areas of health sometimes it pays to go with someone who specialises. Give us a call today to see which acupuncturist we recommend for your concerns. 02 8406 0679 or book online at www.nbip.com.au

On The Pill to “balance your hormones”?

Want to understand your body better? If you have been put on the Pill to regulate your hormones, its time to unlock some truths. 

The Oral Contraceptive pill (the Pill) is prescribed as a remedy for regulating periods, managing painful periods, treating acne, PCOS, endometriosis and PMS symptoms. Girls as young as 12 are put on the pill to correct their hormones. The reality of this daily pill is that it doesn’t correct the root cause of hormonal imbalance. The Pill is simply a band-aid solution.

A hormone in the Pill, Progestin, is similar to our hormone progesterone, however it isn’t identical. Synthetic hormones can not balance our natural hormones or promote a healthy hormone response. This why side effects are prevalent.

Progestin has been linked (as of 2019) to depression, weight gain, hair loss, low libido and fatal blood clots (specifically from the synthetic progestin Drospirenone in newer pills such as Yaz).

Balanced hormones are important, Girl!

Making hormones is hard! Your ovaries are responsible for making your sex hormones Estrogen and Progesterone. They maintain a healthy female reproductive system, but when you are on the pill, those hormones are shut down.

Hormones play roles in regulating the menstrual cycle, but did you know that Estrogen also affects the whole body including the brain? Hormone balance is so important for a healthy metabolism, a roaring libido, a balanced mood, optimum digestion, a regular cycle, fertility and a quality sleep. Estrogen also helps you look younger, keeping your skin hydrated!

Natural Medicine to the rescue.

As a Naturopath and Nutritionist my role is to identify and treat the underlying cause of hormonal imbalance, using natural medicine, nutrition and diet to improve symptoms and treat the root cause. A holistic approach.

An adequate diet is the foundation of hormonal balance and happy hormones need good fats and enough energy! Through dietary tweaks we can start reducing inflammation in the body. This can significantly improve hormone expression and reduce symptoms including but not limited to PMS, mood swings, irregular periods, acne, painful periods, sluggish metabolism, fluid retention and poor energy over the course of a few months.

For help regulating your periods, hormonal acne, managing pain, regulating cycles, coming off the Pill as well as womens health conditions such as PCOS, Endometriosis and Hypothalamic amenorrhea, contact Brooke our Womens Health expert Naturopath and Clinical Nutritionist via brooke@nbip.com.au or call 8406 0679

Let’s talk about chakras.  What even are they? 

Let’s talk about chakras.  What are they?  Where can they be located in the body and how many are there? 

Chakras are wheels of spinning energy that for many thousands of years, mystics have worked with and studied, incorporating them into their spiritual practices.  The literal meaning of the word chakra means “wheel” or “disk” and references a spiritual energy centre within the human body.  These energy centres are concentrations of vital life force within the body formed when lines of energy running through the body overlap.    

Each chakra corresponds and relates to specific organs as well as physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual states of being and influence all areas of your life.  

Studies have shown that the chakra system evolved and originated in the oldest text called the Vedas.  This was in India between 1500 and 500 BC and it is in these earliest Sanskrit literary records (the most ancient scriptures of Hinduism) that we can learn about these energy centres.   

Other than the obvious benefit of an overall state of wellbeing ~ the added perks of working with chakra energy in a positive way has been linked to an increased lifespan as well as physical, mental and emotional health.  Within each chakras is ‘prana,’ or the ultimate pure healing energy, that’s all around us and within us, to keep us healthy, happy and vibrant.    

Western science may not have been able to prove how spiritual energy translates into physical manifestations but the study of the seven chakras and the benefits of chakra alignment ~ which can be achieved through various practices such as meditation, yoga or reiki  ~ stems from the belief that when each chakra is open and aligned, our energy is invariably free-flowing, allowing this pure healing energy (prana) to flow through them.  Chakras are also part of a much bigger human auric field.  The aura is a dynamic field of energy that surrounds and permeates the human body.  It is in constant motion ~ a bit like a pulsating, living cloud and the quality, colour and vibration of this cloud can change from one moment to the next.  Psychics and mystics believe we spiritually connect to the entire universe through this energy body and that the physical body is simply the densest aspect of our being.  Our aura therefore, is a more true representation of who we truly are and our chakras connect our dense physical body and our lighter auric fields together.  As discussed chakras are concentrated points of energy and when they are healthy, vital life energy is allowed to flow through them without interference.  When this happens their colours are clear and bright.  Energetic imbalances in the chakras however result in them being more dull, dark and dense in appearance.

With the use of muscle testing Kinesiologists can help a person to rebalance their chakras by establishing which chakras are out of alignment and understanding where in their lives they are out of balance in relation to that chakra.  This insight in relation to the overall goal the person is working with can help an individual regain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual clarity.  

There are according to Theosophical Society (which has had a great influence on the Western worlds understanding of chakras) 7 recognised chakras.  Namely the root chakra, the sacral chakra, the solar plexus chakra, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, the third eye chakra and the crown chakra.  Chakras have many conflicting descriptions and this trend continues to this day.  The location, colour, size, quality and purpose of chakras vary from philosophy to philosophy and mystic to mystic.        

The root chakra or MULADHARA means “ROOT support” and is located at the base of the spine.  The root chakra is associated with a deep red colour and can be likened to the foundation of a house ~ sturdy, stabilising and supportive.  Physically it is associated with the base of the spine, the pelvic floor and the first three vertebrae.  It is responsible for a person’s sense of security and their survival instinct.    

When it’s blocked:  A variety of conditions can occur and may include anxiety disorders, fears and/or nightmares.  Physically, the first chakra is associated with problems in the colon, with the bladder, issues with elimination and possibly the lower back, leg or feet issues.

The sacral chakra or SVADHISHTHANA means “sweetness”.  Responsible for our sexual and creative energies the sacral chakra is located above the pubic bone and below the navel.  Associated with the colour orange and the element of water, when your sacral chakra is aligned, you will more than likely feel great!  Friendly, passionate and successfully fulfilled whilst also eliciting feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy.  By honouring your body and expressing yourself creatively, you’re keeping the energy wheels turning!  

When it’s blocked:  When you happen to feel feel uninspired creatively your sacral chakra may be misaligned. Likewise, this can also be associated with sexual disfunction, depression, fear or change or addiction.  

The solar plexus chakra or MANIPURA with it’s name meaning “lustrous gem” in Sanskrit is said to be your source of individual power.  Think will power, action and commitment.  A bright and clear solar plexus chakra helps you wield your personal power in the world.  It is the flame of metamorphosis, powering you up and fuelling your action in the world.  Located from the navel to the ribcage, it governs all things metabolic, digestive, and stomach-related.

When it’s blocked: You can suffer from low self-esteem, become indecisive, and may experience anger or control issues.  Issues with procrastination can arise and you may easily be taken advantage of.  Physically you may also be experiencing a tummy ache of some kind caused by digestive issues.  

The heart chakra or ANAHATA meaning “unstruck” – meaning a sound that is made without any two things striking. It is thought to be a bright emerald green.  As the central chakra, the fourth chakra, found at the center of your chest, represents where the physical and the spiritual meet. Physically, it’s said to encapsulate the heart, the thymus gland (which plays a vital role in your endocrine and lymphatic system), the lungs, and the breasts.  Anahata is the ruler of love, breath, balance, relationships and unity.  It governs matters of love and connection ~ romance, friendship and heart connection.  When your heart chakra’s needs are met, you feel loved and you love yourself.  The universal urge that we all have to love and be loved originates in the heart chakra.  

When it’s blocked: A closed heart chakra can cause grief, anger, jealousy and hatred toward yourself and others—especially in the form of holding a grudge against something or someone.  

The throat chakra or VISHUDDHA which means “purification”.  This chakra is located in the throat and is blue in the Western chakra system.  The major association of the throat chakra is with speech, communication and creative expression.  When the throat chakra is clear and open, we are able to let things go, especially with our own past choices or express our views in a healthy way.  Anatomically, the throat chakra is associated with the thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx.  

When it’s blocked: In addition to having trouble speaking your truth, you may find it hard to pay attention and stay focused and often fear judgment from others.  Physically, this blockage can manifest itself as a sore throat, thyroid issues, neck and shoulder stiffness, or tension headaches.

The third-eye chakra or AJNA means “command”.  The third-eye chakra is your sixth chakra, and is physically located between your eyebrows. Organs include the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain are said to be ruled by the third eye.  Traditionally AJNA is white in colour but in the Western system is an Indigo blue.  This chakra reportedly governs your intuition—plus the ability to recognise and tap into it.  The AJNA governs spiritual awakening.  

When it’s blocked: You may have trouble accessing your intuition and trusting your inner voice.  Recalling important facts and learning new skills may be a problem for you and if your lower chakras— i.e. the root, sacral, solar plexus, and heart chakras ~ are unbalanced, your third eye will likely be as well, which may cause you to act more judgmental, dismissive, and introverted. A third-eye blockage is associated with a broad range of issues, including depression, anxiety and other brain health issues.  

The crown chakra or SAHASRARA, meaning “thousand petalled”, in reference to the infinite petals visualised with this chakra in the traditional system.  

The Sahasrara is the centre of enlightenment and our spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, the divine.  Located at the crown of your head it is seen as violet or white.  The consciousness of the crown chakra is beyond all duality, all grasping.  

When it’s blocked: A crown-chakra blockage may create feelings of isolation or emotional distress—basically feeling disconnected from everyone and everything.  You may be able to get a taste of it, though, through daily practices such as meditation, prayer and  moments of silence and gratitude to have those moments of spiritual connection.

For some soul shaking stuff get in touch with Kim on 0459 308 029 or 02 8406 0679 or book online at www.nbip.com.au 

#acupuncture #clinic #northernbeacheslocal #northernbeaches #health #healing #paleo #vegan #vegetarian #yoga #pilates #newbuild #tcm #nutrition #naturopath #herbalmedicine #acupuncture #massage #organic #clinic #sydney #kinesiology #reflexology 

Eczema – a sign your body needs help.

Eczema is a sign that the body is not functioning properly and that there is an imbalance with one or more of the body’s systems.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is as a chronic inflammatory skin condition with many sufferers experiencing acute flareups. While eczema can be triggered by an exogenous substance, it is often triggered by an endogenous agent meaning it is caused by an agent within the body.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of eczema can vary between individuals but usually include the following:

  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Erythema (redness)
  • Lesions / papules / scaly skin
  • Burning sensation on the skin’s surface
  • Lichenification (pigmented thickened skin)
  • Exudation (weeping skin)
  • Constipation

Causes

There are number of causative factors of eczema. There can be a hereditary predisposition causing hyper-reactivity to environmental and dietary allergens. Immunological abnormalities are common in this condition which can result in increased histamine productivity causing symptom outbreak. Certain foods and some proteins found in foods can trigger or exacerbate eczema, even after a prolonged period of tolerance to these foods.

Poor diet and digestion can cause eczema due to a lack of specific nutrients required to support digestive processes and immune function in a healthy human. Inadequate detoxification and elimination may contribute to this condition as the body’s ability to remove toxic waste is impaired, resulting in reabsorption of waste build up from the bowel and other organs of elimination.

Sufferers of eczema often have lowered levels of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, implicating other inflammatory disorders such as inflammation of the digestive organs. In these individuals, resolving the systemic inflammation must form part of the treatment plan.

Immune function is often impaired in this condition so it’s important to support the immune system to modulate any hyper-reactivity and prevent further immune deficiency.

Treatment

Central to the core treatment of eczema is digestive health, gut function and immune response.

Identifying any dietary or environmental allergens is an essential part of treatment. An elimination diet or food allergy testing may be necessary to identify any allergies or food sensitivities. Other functional testing such as comprehensive digestive stool analysis may be ordered which can identify levels of beneficial bacterial as well as harmful bacterial/fungal overgrowths.

Treatment needs to be provided on multiple levels including topical applications to provide rapid symptomatic relief together with a deeper focus on healing the internal environment of the body. Supporting the digestive system, modulating the immune function, healing and sealing the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract and enhancing stress adaptation are all part of the holistic treatment and management of eczema.

Part of treatment includes implementing dietary modifications such as increasing the intake of specific nutrients and excluding particular foods that are often damaging in eczema sufferers.

Key nutrients in the treatment of this condition include essential fatty acids, probiotics, zinc, vitamin A and E, vitamin B5, calcium and vitamin C. Foods high in indicated nutrients such as flaxseed oil, fresh oily fish, pumpkin seeds and evening primrose oil should be included in the diet. Depending on the individual and severity of the eczema, nutritional supplementation may be required for a short time to boost the intake of these key nutrients.

Damaging foods vary between individuals and what may be damaging for some may be tolerated by others. Generally speaking, dairy products and wheat are known aggravators of eczema so these foods may need to be excluded for a short time until the body can heal and strengthen. Eliminated foods may be reintroduced in a controlled manner at a later stage to determine if the body is still reactive to these foods. Foods high in histamine often aggravate eczema as do a number of other foods that are highly processed or contain preservatives, additives and artificial colouring/flavours. Again, these foods need to be identified and eliminated as part of treatment to allow the body the space it needs to heal properly.

Some lifestyle habits may need to be addressed and modified during treatment. Maintaining an optimal temperature, identifying and avoiding irritants such as household cleaning agents, cosmetics and some fabrics are important in managing eczema. Stress management, exercise and keeping the home free of dust and mould may form part of the treatment plan.

There can be an emotional aspect to eczema with stress or an emotional trauma triggering or aggravating the condition. In these cases, alternative therapies such as kinesiology or counselling may also form part of the treatment plan to support the patient at a deeper level.

Herbal medicine can be very effective in treating eczema due to the practitioner’s ability to tailor herbs to the actual presenting symptoms of the patient, however varying they may be. Being able to address multiple organs and systems concurrently is a unique strength of herbal medicine that supports the patient during the healing stage.

Unfortunately the use of topical steroid creams and other medications such as anti-histamines mask the problem and exacerbate symptoms in the longer term. They may provide instant temporary relief for many sufferers but usually result in a more severe flareup and more widely spread affected area.

Treating eczema in a timely manner is important to reduce the risk of secondary infection which is common following continuous scratching and tearing of the affected areas of skin. Individuals with eczema are at a much higher risk of contracting staph infections due to chronic skin lesions with poor inability to heal increasing the risk of exposure to Staphylococcus aureus.

Taking a natural, holistic approach in the treatment of eczema usually provides effective and long-lasting results for the patient. If you or your child is suffering from eczema our Naturopath, Belle, can provide a tailored treatment plan to help you resolve this condition and manage future flareups. Contact Belle on 0405 128 213 or belle@nbip.com.au to book an appointment or for further information.

Belle Oneile is a fully qualified and accredited Naturopath at Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners. She practices with full membership under the Australian Traditional Medicine Society

Eczema – a sign your body needs help

Eczema is a sign that the body is not functioning properly and that there is an imbalance with one or more of the body’s systems.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is as a chronic inflammatory skin condition with many sufferers experiencing acute flareups. While eczema can be triggered by an exogenous substance, it is often triggered by an endogenous agent meaning it is caused by an agent within the body.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of eczema can vary between individuals but usually include the following:

  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Erythema (redness)
  • Lesions / papules / scaly skin
  • Burning sensation on the skin’s surface
  • Lichenification (pigmented thickened skin)
  • Exudation (weeping skin)
  • Constipation

Causes

There are number of causative factors of eczema. There can be a hereditary predisposition causing hyper-reactivity to environmental and dietary allergens. Immunological abnormalities are common in this condition which can result in increased histamine productivity causing symptom outbreak. Certain foods and some proteins found in foods can trigger or exacerbate eczema, even after a prolonged period of tolerance to these foods.

Poor diet and digestion can cause eczema due to a lack of specific nutrients required to support digestive processes and immune function in a healthy human. Inadequate detoxification and elimination may contribute to this condition as the body’s ability to remove toxic waste is impaired, resulting in reabsorption of waste build up from the bowel and other organs of elimination.

Sufferers of eczema often have lowered levels of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, implicating other inflammatory disorders such as inflammation of the digestive organs. In these individuals, resolving the systemic inflammation must form part of the treatment plan.

Immune function is often impaired in this condition so it’s important to support the immune system to modulate any hyper-reactivity and prevent further immune deficiency.

Treatment

Central to the core treatment of eczema is digestive health, gut function and immune response.

Identifying any dietary or environmental allergens is an essential part of treatment. An elimination diet or food allergy testing may be necessary to identify any allergies or food sensitivities. Other functional testing such as comprehensive digestive stool analysis may be ordered which can identify levels of beneficial bacterial as well as harmful bacterial/fungal overgrowths.

Treatment needs to be provided on multiple levels including topical applications to provide rapid symptomatic relief together with a deeper focus on healing the internal environment of the body. Supporting the digestive system, modulating the immune function, healing and sealing the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract and enhancing stress adaptation are all part of the holistic treatment and management of eczema.

Part of treatment includes implementing dietary modifications such as increasing the intake of specific nutrients and excluding particular foods that are often damaging in eczema sufferers.

Key nutrients in the treatment of this condition include essential fatty acids, probiotics, zinc, vitamin A and E, vitamin B5, calcium and vitamin C. Foods high in indicated nutrients such as flaxseed oil, fresh oily fish, pumpkin seeds and evening primrose oil should be included in the diet. Depending on the individual and severity of the eczema, nutritional supplementation may be required for a short time to boost the intake of these key nutrients.

Damaging foods vary between individuals and what may be damaging for some may be tolerated by others. Generally speaking, dairy products and wheat are known aggravators of eczema so these foods may need to be excluded for a short time until the body can heal and strengthen. Eliminated foods may be reintroduced in a controlled manner at a later stage to determine if the body is still reactive to these foods. Foods high in histamine often aggravate eczema as do a number of other foods that are highly processed or contain preservatives, additives and artificial colouring/flavours. Again, these foods need to be identified and eliminated as part of treatment to allow the body the space it needs to heal properly.

Some lifestyle habits may need to be addressed and modified during treatment. Maintaining an optimal temperature, identifying and avoiding irritants such as household cleaning agents, cosmetics and some fabrics are important in managing eczema. Stress management, exercise and keeping the home free of dust and mould may form part of the treatment plan.

There can be an emotional aspect to eczema with stress or an emotional trauma triggering or aggravating the condition. In these cases, alternative therapies such as kinesiology or counselling may also form part of the treatment plan to support the patient at a deeper level.

Herbal medicine can be very effective in treating eczema due to the practitioner’s ability to tailor herbs to the actual presenting symptoms of the patient, however varying they may be. Being able to address multiple organs and systems concurrently is a unique strength of herbal medicine that supports the patient during the healing stage.

Unfortunately the use of topical steroid creams and other medications such as anti-histamines mask the problem and exacerbate symptoms in the longer term. They may provide instant temporary relief for many sufferers but usually result in a more severe flareup and more widely spread affected area.

Treating eczema in a timely manner is important to reduce the risk of secondary infection which is common following continuous scratching and tearing of the affected areas of skin. Individuals with eczema are at a much higher risk of contracting staph infections due to chronic skin lesions with poor inability to heal increasing the risk of exposure to Staphylococcus aureus.

Taking a natural, holistic approach in the treatment of eczema usually provides effective and long-lasting results for the patient. If you or your child is suffering from eczema our Naturopath, Belle, can provide a tailored treatment plan to help you resolve this condition and manage future flareups. Contact Belle on 0405 128 213 or belle@nbip.com.au to book an appointment or for further information.

Belle Oneile is a fully qualified and accredited Naturopath at Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners. She practices with full membership under the Australian Traditional Medicine Society.