The power of oxygen to heal

Inside the hyperbaric oxygen chamber at A Breath for Life.

There are so many chronic conditions that can be improved by extra oxygen within a hyperbaric chamber that enables people to breathe in oxygen at greater than atmospheric pressure (the same oxygen with nothing added). We have all become aware that oxygen has been vital for people in hospital with COVID-19.

Brain injuries, including cerebral palsy are notoriously difficult conditions to manage successfully. HBOT is not a cure but can improve predicted outcomes. By oxygenating brain tissue, new capillary growth is encouraged, brain synapses are re-connected and swelling reduced.

A Breath for Life is a registered charity providing hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) to both children and adults. Hyperbaric chambers have been used for many years in the offshore diving industry.  See the video.

Just £5 can help

Professor Philip James of Dundee University and A Breath for Life Honorary Medical Advisor said ‘Giving more oxygen is not alternative medicine, it is sound science and common sense. There is no substitute for oxygen’.  Please give donations at: www.gofundme.com/oxygen-for-special-children

Breathing oxygen under pressure allows all body cells to be bathed in oxygen. As oxygen is a primary healer, tissue is given the best environment in which to heal. HBOT has been a neglected modality for too long. It is a false hope to believe that drugs will cure when tissues lack oxygen. Most diseases and injuries suffer from a lack of oxygen but there has been little or no understanding by medical personnel of the healing power of breathing oxygen under pressure.

Treatment has four main functions:-

1. Makes blood oxygen rich — infusing the plasma as well as the red blood cells with oxygen.
2. Reduces swelling and inflammation.
3. Eliminates infection.
4. Encourages the growth and production of stem cells.

A Breath for Life was established in 1998 primarily to treat children suffering from cerebral palsy and the charity has witnessed some incredible responses to treatment during that time. We soon became aware of the healing power of oxygen and as a result opened our doors to adults suffering from multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, early Alzheimer’s Disease, Lyme Disease and all manner of sporting injuries, and following research involving autistic children we have seen more of them recently.

We do not claim that HBOT will cure all illness but will aid recovery. Where we do have considerable success is treating chronic infections as oxygen acts as an anti-microbial. The polymicrobial nature of diabetic leg ulcers make orthodox treatments difficult and often unsuccessful. After a course of HBOT, infections are cleared, tissue begins to granulate and healing occurs.

So why is HBOT not more widely used? Part of the problem is lack of education in medical schools. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence ( NICE) only recommend HBOT for a limited number of conditions, primarily decompression sickness and carbon monoxide poisoning. As a result fundholding GPs are reluctant to prescribe a course of HBOT for their patients and in addition there are only a few chambers in the country designated for clinical use.

Consequently, most of our patients self-refer after doing their own research. A Breath for Life patients are asked to donate a minimum of £20 per treatment for adults and £10 for children, to cover ongoing costs. However,we would never turn away a child in need.

Antibiotic resistance is reaching crisis point and Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, has predicted a return to widespread sepsis as experienced before the introduction of penicillin, maybe we will see a greater interest in HBOT. Once a chamber is established, HBOT is the safest, most cost efficient treatment available to the NHS and has no side effects.

For more information contact: Jane Dean ( Hon.Chairman), A Breath for Life, www.abreathforlife.org, 01524 855422. Email: abreathforlife@tiscali.co.uk

You tube:- A Breath for Life VIDEO.

Government pressured over Vitamin D for COVID

Sun skyThe government is being pressured about Vitamin D deficiency in  people with Covid, and many experts believe it should be recognised in the treatment of the virus. LBC reports that  Professor Angus Dalgleish, Professor of Oncology at St George’s, University of London, has seen data this weekend (9/10 January 2021) that Finland has one of the lowest infection rates. It is also the only country that provides Vitamin D.  Professor Dalgleish said, “Why haven’t they (the Government) addressed this one thing that if you do get infected then it is the most effective way of making you least likely to go to hospital and dying?”

An article in the Observer magazine indicated that David Davis, MP has been pushing Matt Hancock to recognise Vitamin D’s role in Covid and how many of those who have died had low levels.  He wants there to be a free supplement scheme to provide Vitamin D to British people, because deficiency can lead to catching Covid-19 more easily, and getting a serious case  and potentially dying.

Vulnerable people, particularly the elderly, are now being offered Vitamin D supplements.  Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is made in the body when the skin is exposed to the sun.  those who live in care homes often stay inside all the time and are deficient in Vitamin D. The rest of us think we top up in the summer, but only if we expose our skin to the sun and by the autumn the levels are diminishing.  This year many people have been shielding inside from COVID-19 and have not had much exposure to the outdoors.

There have been reports and research that those low in Vitamin D are more at risk when they catch COVID, and as dark skin absorbs less of the vitamin than lighter skins, this is a particular problem for the BAME community.

Nutritionists advise that taking Vitamin D, Vitamin C and zinc can help the immune system to cope with viruses better.  In theory, you can ask your doctor about having a Vitamin D test, but at the moment this is unlikely to be done if you don’t have a related health issue.It should be said that the levels being handed out by the Government are quite low – 10 micrograms (400IU), which is the minimum amount required. You can safely buy 1,000 iU in spray or tablet/capsule form.  (See recommended properties at the end of this post).

Why we need Vitamin D

This vital vitamin is responsible for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, effective muscle function, and keeping the heart and nervous system healthy, and enabling the blood to clot properly.  Vitamin D has also been linked to preventing colds and maintaining a healthy digestive system.  If you cannot get a Vitamin D test from the doctor you could pay for one.  Yorktest do an Essential Health Test which includes Vitamin D levels.

You can take Vitamin D supplements, and this is certainly a good idea in winter, and you can get it from food – oily fish, fortified cereal, dairy products and fortified margarine. But it is natural to have sunlight on our bodies. It’s good to be cautious with the sun, but not extreme!

You can either take a daily spray of Vitamin D: Better You DLux 1000iu D3 spray (15ml),

or tablets/capsules:

Better You DLux 1000 oral vitamin D3 spray 15ml.

FSC Vitamin D 2500Iu 60 Tablets.

Health Aid Vitamin D3 10,000iu, 30 vegicaps.

Higher Nature Vitamin D 500iu, 60 capsules.

To purchase these, go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the Healthy Soul promotion code: HSoul1 to get a 5% discount.

 

See Vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sun

How to help ourselves during COVID

Echinacea flower
Echinacea flower

There’s no panacea for avoiding COVID apart from following all the social distancing, masks and handwashing rules, and of course more recently the vaccination.  However, we can keep ourselves in tip top condition so we are more able to cope with it if we do get it. Some people are very ill, while others seem to breeze through it with very few symptoms, while others are asymptomatic.

Healthy Soul asked Ali Cullen, nutritional practitioner and consultant at A. Vogel, herbal manufacturers, to give us some advice. She is a nutritionist and herbalist and the following is what she recommends for staying healthy.

Support the immune system naturally:

• Get plenty of sleep.
• Drink alcohol in moderation only.
• Quit smoking.
• Exercise regularly.
• Maintain a healthy weight – being overweight or obese can risk changing the number of healthy bacteria in the gut and encourages inflammation in the body, both of which can leave you more vulnerable to illness or infection.
• Get out in nature daily if possible.
• Minimise unnecessary screen time.

What to eat

Ensure your diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, specifically those containing vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries, red and green peppers and broccoli, and beta-carotene (vitamin A), such as red peppers, carrots, spinach, and yellow fruits such as apricots and mango – these nutrients help keep your respiratory tract healthy so that it is better able to fight infections.

Ensure you include sources of zinc in your diet, such as meat, shellfish, cheese, bread, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and fortified cereals – zinc helps to keep the immune system functioning normally and is essential for wound healing.

Use herbal support

By supporting the immune system, Echinacea helps to maintain the body’s resistance to infection.

Echinacea is a plant native to America but is now cultivated extensively in Europe. Up to 10 species of Echinacea have been identified, but only three (E. purpurea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida) are used medicinally. Echinacea purpurea has been most widely researched, and recent research flagged up its potential use against new coronaviruses.1 (See details of research at the end).

Vogel’s Immune Support provides:A Vogel Immune Support

• Vitamin C sourced from acerola cherries, which contains up to 100 times the amount of vitamin C found in lemons or oranges. Vitamin C is extremely supportive of immune function, and that found in acerola is more readily absorbed and used by the body.
• Nasturtium extract which contains glucosinolates that have an affinity for the lungs, and is also a very rich source of vitamin C.
• Zinc which is immune supporting.
• Vitamin D, also an immune supporting nutrient.

http://www.avogel.co.uk

LEARN MORE:

The science behind Echinacea:  

Echinacea has been shown in numerous studies to be effective in relieving symptoms of colds and flu. In 2004, Goel et al published a trial that demonstrated the efficiency of Echinacea purpurea extract in the treatment of colds and flu, when it is used as soon as a cold starts. At seven days, 95 per cent of the subjects using Echinacea were free of symptoms compared with only 63% in the placebo group.2

In 2005, Goel published another trial showing that volunteers taking Echinacea purpurea extract at the onset of a cold had a greater decrease in their daily symptom score than a placebo group.3 Both studies by Goel involved ethanolic extracts of Echinacea purpurea extract produced from freshly harvested plant material, as in our Echinaforce drops.

In 2006, a Cochrane Report reviewed 16 controlled clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of several different Echinacea preparations for treating the symptoms of common colds. They concluded that some preparations based on Echinacea purpurea (including the aerial parts) might be effective for shortening the duration or decreasing the severity of cold symptoms in adults if taken after the onset of those symptoms.4

Max the vitamin content of your meals

Numerous studies have shown Vitamin C to be beneficial for the immune system. In research, it has been shown on several occasions to reduce the severity and duration of the common cold.5

In one study, participants were given a tomato juice rich in lycopene (another antioxidant which helps to prevent against cell damage) and Vitamin C. Results found that, after consuming the tomato juice, markers of inflammation (associated with infection and disease) amongst participants went down, and the level of antioxidants went up.6

Vitamin C is also thought to be helpful in reducing fever. Consumption of fruits that are rich in Vitamin C is thought to help people recover more quickly from a fever, as well as reducing the ‘hot flush’ feeling that occurs when the body reaches a high temperature.7 Whilst high temperatures are useful at the initial stage of an infection, a persistent high temperature is uncomfortable and dehydrating.

As well as contributing to normal function of the immune system, Vitamin C helps to protect cells from the oxidative (chemical) stresses we face daily, helping us to feel less tired. It also helps the normal formation of collagen which is important for the functioning of our blood vessels, bones, joint cartilage, gums, skin and teeth.

Zinc contributes to normal functioning of the immune system, and a deficiency in zinc may lead to a weakened immune response. Zinc supplements are known to play a role in reducing oxidative stress (which can increase the risk of illness and infection). One review of several studies found that 80-92mg per day of zinc may reduce the length of the common cold by up to 33%.8 In addition, zinc supplements have been found to reduce the risk of infections and promote immune function in older adults.9 Zinc also plays a critical role in wound healing and is commonly used in hospitals to treat burns, certain ulcers and other skin injuries.10 This is because zinc is required for collagen synthesis and the body’s inflammatory response, as well as immune function, all of which are crucial for wound healing.

Another key nutrient in Immune Support is Vitamin D. Vitamin D has a role to play in various bodily systems, including the immune system which it helps to support function normally. As vitamin D deficiency is a fairly common occurrence across all population groups, this could be a contributing factor in regular bouts of sickness, colds and flu.

Biologically active forms of Vitamin D contain calcitriol which acts as a cytokine, a chemical produced by infected cells to help mobilise immune cells into fighting the infection. Low levels of vitamin D are, therefore, associated with lower levels of cytokine activity. This means that, when the body is under attack from pathogens and viruses, it is less able to call on the help of immune cells.

Vitamin D can sometimes be hard to come by in the winter months when we don’t get sufficient access to sun light – a key source of vitamin D. At this time colds and flu can be more abundant so it is especially important to ensure you get enough vitamin D, either through your diet (although these sources are fairly limited or by taking a gentle supplement.

RESEARCH:

1 Signer, J., Jonsdottir, H.R., Albrich, W.C. et al. In vitro virucidal activity of Echinaforce®, an Echinacea purpurea preparation, against coronaviruses, including common cold coronavirus 229E and SARS-CoV-2. Virol J 2020; 17: 136.
2 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14748902/
3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16177972/
4 https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000530/full
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23440782
6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17640421
7 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2003.10719272
8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28515951
9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2702361/
10 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4413488/
4 Tobler M et al: Characteristics of whole fresh plant extracts. Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur GanzheitMedizin, 1994

Colds, coughs, flu

cherriesWill we get the usual colds and flu when everyone’s wearing masks, social distancing and not mixing in large crowds due to Covid-19?  It remains to be seen!  Here’s how you can  prevent them and stay healthy.

  • Regular Vitamin C – especially as Montmorency cherries.
  • Echinacea daily – you can take it all winter.
  • Garlic – many people swear by garlic capsules, or if you can stomach it, plenty of raw garlic.
  • Blackcurrant – in various preparations.
  • Vitamin D has come into its own lately because it has been suggested that people with low levels are more likely to suffer badly if they contract Covid-19.  Whether that’s proven or not there is no doubt that we need plenty of Vitamin D in the winter because we normally get it from exposure to the sun.

 

COLDS Serious illnesses are not cured with complementary medicine, but symptoms can sometimes be managed with a healthy eating regime and use of therapies. We’re more likely to get colds when we’re run down, stressed and tired. They are most common between September and March with the peak time around Christmas (when you may be stressed and worn out). People still work when they have a cold, but rest and sleep are the best solution because the body heals itself when you sleep. Symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • blocked up nose
  • sore throat
  • earache
  • sinus pain
  • low grade fever
The way to avoid colds is to eat and sleep well, manage stress, exercise and take regular Vitamin C, zinc and Echinacea in winter. Once a cold is in full force the aim is to get over it as quickly as possible.
  • Keep taking Echinacea to boost the immune system and help to clear up the cold faster.
  • Chew grapefruit seeds or take the liquid extract, according to Suzanne Woodward, medical herbalist.
  • Steam inhalations help to clear stuffed up noses – put a few drops of eucalyptus, tea tree, or lavender oil in a bowl of boiling hot water and breathe in the vapours.
  • Try ginger root tea– one inch of peeled and chopped ginger boiled in water.
  • Cherry Active is made with Montmorency cherries and is absolutely packed with Vitamin C. It tastes nice and helps to keep you in top form.
  • Vitamin D has come into its own lately because it has been suggested that people with low levels are more likely to suffer badly if they contract Covid-19.  Whether that’s proven or not there is no doubt that we need plenty of Vitamin D in the winter because we normally get it from exposure to the sun.
A great combination is Yarrow, Peppermint and Elder, often prescribed by herbalists as a tea – Yarrow fights fever, Elderflower eases catarrh, and Peppermint cools and calms.

The other great soothers for colds:

  • Plenty of Vitamin C – nutritionists claim that 200 mg a day or more is safe when in need
  • Garlic boosts the immune system – take capsules or if you can bear it put it raw into soups and casseroles.

Cautious note: always check with your GP if taking prescribed medication BEFORE having herbal remedies as they may contraindicate the medicines.

Featured products
Echinaforce Echinacea tincture A. Vogel (Bioforce) 50ml
Cherry Active Concentrate Cherry Active 473ml
DLux 1000 Vitamin D3 spray Better You 15ml
Cherry Active Capsules Cherry Active 60
Coldenza homeopathic combination Nelson’s 72
Ester C Vitamin C Viridian Nutrition 30 veg caps
Citricidal grapefruit seed extract  Biocare 25ml
Eucalyptus oil Tisserand Aromatherapy 9ml
Tea tree oil Tisserand Aromatherapy 9ml
Lavender oil Tisserand Aromatherapy 9ml
Sambucol Elderflower Sambucol 120ml
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 
 
 
Antibiotics
  • Antibiotics don’t work for viruses, such as colds and flu
  • Taking too many can lower the body’s defences when it needs to fight more serious infection

COUGHS

Respiratory tract infections take up more of the GPs’ time than anything else, but while pneumonia and bronchitis can be serious some coughs linger after cold and flu symptoms have gone.Trudy Norris, herbalist and president of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, suggests an infusion of thyme which is antiseptic, clears phlegm and fights chest infections . ‘Put a heaped tablespoonful of dried thyme into a litre of boiling water and fill a thermos flask. Add a teaspoonful of honey to the mixture to relieve irritation and keep near day or night.’ Just sipping a mixture of one teaspoonful of honey and warm water can prevent persistent coughing at night as well.

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Propolis Herbal Cough Elixir Comvita 200ml £10.99
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Herb and Honey Cough Elixir Weleda 100ml £9.50
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 

 

FLU:

Echinacea can be taken at the first signs of aches and pains (unless you are on medication in which case you should check for contraindications), as well as homeopathic remedies:

  • Gelsemium for aches and pains, rising temperature and constant aching;
  • Rhus Tox for aches and pains which get better when moving around;
  • Belladonna for sudden high fever, with or without sweating, cold hands and feet.

Boneset is an excellent herbal remedy for someone who has had flu for a couple of weeks, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

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Echinaforce Echinacea tincture A. Vogel (Bioforce) 50ml £9.15
Gelsemium Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Rhus Tox Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Belladonna 30c Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 

 

SORE THROATS: Antibiotics should only be offered for infections like tonsillitis but natural remedies can help to soothe the throat. If a sore throat seems to be signalling the start of a cold the homeopathic remedy Aconite can stop it progressing. Over recent years doctors have been advised to cut down on handing out antibiotics yet research shows that 44 per cent of people who see doctors when they have a cold are given a prescription for antibiotics. The downside of this is that when they get a serious illness they may be antibiotic-resistant (as we’ve seen with many hospital infections). Propolis is made by bees from natural ingredients to protect their hives from infection and invasion, and gargling with it soothes a sore throat. Gargling with a few drops of tea tree oil or a pinch of salt in a glass of warm water also eases the pain.

Featured products
Propolis Herbal Elixir Comvita 100ml £6.59
Echinaforce Echinacea Throat Spray A. Vogel 30ml £8.65
Propolis Lemon & Honey Lozenges (or Mint) Comvita 75g £4.99
Aconite 30c Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 

 

HEADACHES

Too many painkillers can suppress headaches and make them recur. The causes of a headache may be tension, hormonal imbalances, blocked sinuses, or back and neck problems. If headaches persist you should always consult a doctor, but if there is no serious problem you might find that a chiropractor or cranial osteopath can find the problem and ease the pain.

Trying to get rid of a headache can be really difficult, and one approach is to put strong smelling eucalyptus or camphor on the skin above the sinuses or on the forehead as so many headaches are caused by blocked sinuses. There are now several sticks available that make this easy to do, except you must be sure not to get it too near your eyes or they will pour.

Feverfew is the herbal answer to painkillers and Belladonna homeopathic remedy, is good for a throbbing headache, particularly in children.

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F Nervous and Migraine Headache New Era 450 tablets £5.10
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GLUE EAR/EAR ACHE

Often children with ear problems have repeated prescriptions for antibiotics which run down their immune systems. Homeopathy works well for glue ear and Pulsatilla is the most common remedy when there is lots of discharge. In cases of repeated ear infections a visit to a professional homeopath can be invaluable.

For adults earache can be cleared by putting a drop of lavender oil on a piece of cotton wool and placing it in the ear, but the vapours are quite strong and may not be recommended for children. For a desperate child you could try the old fashioned remedy of a baked onion, cut in half, wrapped in muslin and placed on the outside of the ear. Jenny Jones, herbalist, explains, ‘The vapours from the onion oils are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, and they go into the ear and the heat of the warm onion is also soothing.’

Featured products
Pulsatilla 30c Nelson’s 84 £5.30
Lavender oil Tisserand Aromatherapy 9ml £4.90
Get 5 per cent discount with the code HSoul1 at www.superfood.co.uk 

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists, 01392 426022, www.nimh.org.uk For a list of homeopaths contact: The Society of Homeopaths, 01604 621400, www.homeopathy-soh.org

Jenny Jones, Creative Health Centre, Leamington Spa, 01926 316500

 

 

Deep breathing could save your life

Deep breathingMany of us shallow breathe not using the full capacity of our lungs, therefore not getting enough oxygen into the body. Now we know that deep breathing could save your life it takes on a much bigger perspective.

A 59 year old man survived Covid-19 due to his deep breathing. NHS staff at the Gloucester Royal Hospital were reported as having named Rob Thomas ‘the king of breathers’ because of his deep breathing techniques. He not only contracted the virus but also initially had sepsis, and when he went into intensive care he was believed to have a 50/50 chance of survival during the first few days. Apparently his sister told him to ‘keep breathing’ and it worked, because he did not have to go on to a ventilator and eventually recovered.

Richard Kravetz, yoga teacher from Yoga For All, who provides chair yoga and mat yoga (currently online) for everyone whatever their ability or disability, explains how to practise deep therapeutic breathing into the diaphragm.

It is preferable to lie down with knees bent and feet on the floor (semi-supine position) but if this is difficult, a sitting position is OK. Try to breathe through the nose. Richard says, ‘Put one hand on your abdomen, one hand on the upper part of your chest and breathe, noticing how the chest, the ribs and the belly expand and rise as you breathe in, and relaxes on exhalation. This will enable the diaphragm to move more freely.’

Alternatively, Richard suggests you put your hands across the lower rib cage with the fingers touching, and during the in breath, the ribs expand and the abdomen rises the hands will move apart. As you breathe out the fingers will move back together.
Practise this as often as you can, and stay safe.

Richard Kravetz: http://www.yogaforall-uk.com/