What is Iridology and can it help me?

Iridology is the study of the iris, it is the coloured part of the eye that surrounds the pupil. It has been used as a health assessment tool for centuries by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Indians and the Chinese. Even today we will look at a person’s eyes and intuitively assess their life force – we talk about the life has gone out of their eyes, or their eyes were full of joy, Everyone’s eye is different.

The grandfather of current iridology is considered to be a Hungarian -. Ignatz Von Peczely (1822-1911). When Ignatz was 11 he saw a trapped owl in his backyard, As he set it free the owl broke its leg and at that instant Ignatz saw a line form in the owls eye. As the owl started to heal Ignatz observed the line disappearing and this sparked his interest in studying eyes and how they related to health.

Ignatz studied to become a medical doctor. He observed his patients, their symptoms and the markings he saw in their eyes, Through the correlations he created the first iridology map.

Since that time many refinements have been made and continue to be made to the iris map. The basis of the map is that each area of the iris is a reflex of a different area of the body, Changes in fibre structure or colour of the iris may reflect that that organ or system may require more support than other areas of the body.

A modern day iridologist will take a photo of your eye to assess what your iris will reveal. Being able to use magnification assists the iridologist in assessing what they see in the iris, and having a photo also makes it easier to show their findings to their client.

An iridology chart or map is used when looking at the iris to compare signs, pigments, colours and fibre distortion with where they correlate in the chart and what part of the body that section refers to.

The right iris reflects body organs and systems found in the right side of the body, and the left iris reflects body organs and systems found in the left side of the iris.

Iridology is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that requires no needles or drugs. In minutes iridology will bring to attention areas of your body that need support because of your genetic imprint. Personality or Rayid iridology will also give you great insight into your personality and coping mechanisms. Iridology will give insight into the level of inflammation in the body, the quality of the person’s digestion and elimination, and their inherent tissue strength. Through all this iridology can often reveal what areas need support when a client has unexplained symptoms. The insight gained through iridology can turn a person’s health around and allow them to be proactive in taking care of their bodies.

It is important to note that iridology does not determine your sex, if you are pregnant or your life span, it also doesn’t name or diagnose specific diseases.

Iridology looks at taking a holistic approach to help and not just the symptoms of a particular condition. eg. If you are prone to headaches, the iridologist will look at areas such as blood sugar and the pancreas, spine and muscles to check for alignment and tension, mucous and the lymphatic system to assess toxin removal and the nervous system and adrenal glands to assess stress load and identify which area(s) require the most attention.

Through using the iris map, iridology is able to identify systems or areas of the body that require support before they become serious issues giving the client the opportunity to be proactive in their health and take action to prevent the development of a disease or disorder.

Most iridologists will use a natural approach to any recommendations they make and this may include changes to what the person eats and their lifestyle, or the addition of nutrients, herbs, homeopathic remedies or flower essences to assist the healing process.

In conclusion iridology is the study of the iris of the eye to evaluate the person’s health on a physical and personality perspective. It is non -invasive and can give insight into why a person has symptoms or health issues. The iridologist may then recommend natural treatments based on what they have found to support the persons health and wellbeing.

Examples of a right  and left iris below.

Quiet the mind

Our minds seem to travel at lightning speed jumping from one thing to another – and one worry or concern to another. Stilling the mind is an important aspect of reducing stress and helping us to feel good about ourselves.

Today’s society is very go hard, go fast and go more places. It is hard to find stillness and quiet in that. The continual fast pace of life means that we are living in a constant state of stress. So much so that many of us do not realise we are stressed. Stress used to be something that was associated with an extreme event of a physical, emotional or spiritual source. Now stresses are endemic and we are living it constantly every minute of every day and as a result we our nervous system never reverts to relaxation.

The stress response in the body is based on a balance between two branches of the nervous system – they are called the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Ideally the sympathetic nervous system is ignited as an immediate stress response reacting to something that has just happened, we react to this event and in a short period of time – usually less than a minute, 10 minutes at the most, the danger is over and the sympathetic nervous system can relax and the parasympathetic nervous system can come back into life.

Picture this, You are out for a walk and a wild bear suddenly appears in the path in front of you. Your body immediately senses danger and prepares you to fight the bear, or flight (run away) from it.  To do this you need energy in your feet and legs to run, and energy in your arms to fight this creature, and your heart to beat faster so you can do this. Your sympathetic system gets everything activated in a matter of microseconds and you are ready to go. To do this it takes energy from your digestive system, it knows you don’t need to digest breakfast. If your nervous system doesn’t save you then you are going to be the bear’s breakfast. It also takes energy from your reproductive system, you don’t need to get pregnant right now, and your immune system. You body has worked out what it needs for immediate survival.

Today we are going to run away from the bear to safety, in that split second we decided we have a better chance of running quicker than the bear, than trying to fight the bear with our bare hands.

We run away and use up that energy that the body has shunted from our digestive, reproductive and  immune systems – Whew we are safe! Well done you and your nervous system. The bear has now ambled off and is out of your life.

In the perfect world what would happen is that you would realise you are safe and your parasympathetic nervous system would take over and your digestive, reproductive and immune systems would return to normal.

So why doesn’t that happen?

Today we don’t have many wild bears on our path. What we have is a constant barrage of stress from things like – not enough money, poor health, relationship issues, not liking our jobs, a mean boss, a child with special needs, an aging parent that needs care, busy traffic and stressful commutes, a constant barrage of email and social media to attend to, then add to that feelings of not being good enough, of needing to do more, to be thinner, to be prettier, to be more …

This constant bombardment means our body feels constantly under stress and our mind is constantly on the go.

When was the last time your mind was quiet for even 5 minutes?

It is important that we learn to quieten our mind, as this helps us to feel good about ourselves, to plan rather than react, to nourish ourselves, to activate our digestion, reproductive and immune systems.

One of the top suggestions to help quieten our mind is meditation. Which is great except, that busy mind means meditation just becomes another frustration. We feel a sense of failure from it as our mind wont stop long enough for peace to enter. So what can we do?

Start with something that can occupy part of your body.

A colouring in book is a great tool to start with, It requires little investment, a colouring in book and some pencils and 10 minutes.  Set aside 10 minutes a day for colouring in, set a timer. Colouring in frees you from having to produce an art piece, it gives you some structure whilst still giving you some creative license – if you want to colour the sky green you can.

If colouring in is not your thing consider playing a musical instrument, doing a jigsaw, painting, crochet, knitting or other craft, baking, gardening, or photography.  Find something that you love, that you can do every day for 10 minutes and that feeds your soul.  That 10 minutes will start to turn your world around and as you master your chosen craft you will create something and that enriches your soul and life.

When you feel ready,  you can progress to meditation, start with small chunks.  3 minutes a day is a good starting place for meditation.

Flower essences can be an amazing tool to assist in stilling the mind you may consider –

  • White Chestnut
  • Cherry Plum
  • Rose Cone Flower
  • Pink Fairy Orchid
  • Yellow Flag Flower
  • Black eyed Susan
  • Boronia

We are all unique and what works for one person may not work for another. With your health be informed so you can make the best decision for you, and if in doubt seek the advice of a natural health care professional.

Stick your Tongue Out! What does your tongue say?

Your tongue has a story to tell you about your health.

It used to be a routine request when you went to see a health professional, they would look at your tongue.

What does your tongue tell you? Your tongue changes very quickly.

Think about the last time you had a cold and how thick and furry your tongue was.

Or remember the last time you had a big night out and how horrible your mouth and tongue was the next morning. Not to mention how your head felt and how your energy levels had plummeted.

When you start to regularly observe your tongue, you get to know what is normal for you and then you start to notice when changes happen.

The best way to look at your tongue is to stick it out and use a torch to light it. You can then use a mirror to see what it shows you, or you may like to use the camera in your phone to take a photo of your tongue – that way you get to keep a record of what it is doing and the changes it makes.

Having a torch is also great if you start to look at other people’s tongues whether that is family, friends or clients the torch elevates your status to being a professional. With a torch others no longer feel self conscious they trust that you are the authority and know what you are doing.

Now you are looking at your tongue what are you looking for?

The first thing is colour.

The colour of your tongue should be even and a pale pink. Notice if there is any coating and where the coating is. Is the coating at the back? Is the coating thick or thin?

If you have a creamy coating at the back of your tongue this often indicates that your body is too acidic. You may want to check if you need to increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Also know that stress can make your body more acidic and that you may need to address your stress levels and bring in some relaxation.

If your tongue is coated all over this can indicate that your lymphatic system is under a load. This may possibly mean that you are coming down with a cold or flu. It could also mean that your body is coping with more toxins than ideal. It may be time to support your immune system and your detox pathways.

The tongue on the left shows a white coating, whilst the tongue on the right is a normal tongue.

Notice if there are any cracks on the tongue, Are there many cracks, or one central crack? Cracks in your tongue can often indicate dehydration. You may want to check how much water you are drinking.

Is your tongue still or does it quiver and shake all the time? If your tongue is constantly moving this may indicate that your stress load is higher than ideal, what can you do to help you relax? How can you reduce your stress load?

Is there any dent marks around the edge of your tongue or is the edge even.  The dent marks are marks your teeth make because your tongue is swollen.  This fluid retention may be due to the load your liver is under. Have you been consuming more alcohol than recommended or is your liver under a load for other reasons. Some liver support and detox may be required.

Please note if your whole tongue is swollen this often indicates an allergic reaction and you need to get that checked immediately.

The above tongue shows dent marks along the edge of the tongue.

Cleaning your tongue takes away some key indicators and clears the coating on your tongue and may mean you miss seeing some valuable signs.

These are some key tongue signs and what they can indicate. It is worth checking your tongue and seeing what information it can tell you. When you start to regularly check your tongue you get to see what is normal for you and when changes occur.

We are all unique and what works for one person may not work for another. With your health be informed so you can make the best decision for you, and if in doubt seek the advice of a natural health care professional.

Find out more about tongue signs during natural medicine week in the free workshop Body Wisdom. You can book here https://www.trybooking.com/eventlist/healingsolutionsau

If you would like to know more about tongue signs please visit your natural health practitioner.

What is a Paediatric Naturopath?

Children playing in a room together

Understanding Paediatric Naturopathy

In the world of natural medicine, paediatric naturopathy is emerging as a specialised field that embodies the principles of naturopathic medicine tailored specifically for infants, children, and adolescents.

Children commonly experience a range of unique health challenges not always seen in adults. As children grow and learn, they experience things for the first time, like an increase in food variety, new social situations, noises, sounds as well as some of the more complex skills to master such as expression of feelings and the processing of emotions. These call all be very new, and to some children very overwhelming.

Children also experience common childhood illnesses, can be more susceptible to colds, flu, as well as experience a range of digestive issues as their gut and immune systems are still maturing.

A paediatric naturopath works not only with the child, but also with the parents and carers of the child, emphasising the importance of individualised treatment, while addressing the underlying causes of the illness rather than merely alleviating symptoms.

Key approaches in paediatric naturopathy

The fundamentals of our adult health habits are formed in childhood. A key reason why focusing on health at an early age is so important. A paediatric naturopath treats a child using a range of fundamental philosophies:

  1. Holistic Approach: Paediatric naturopaths view the child as a whole, taking into account physical, mental, emotional, and environmental factors influencing their health.
  2. Functional Testing: It’s hard to know what to treat if you’re only guessing what could be the cause. Functional testing – such as testing for things like food allergies or intolerances, or more comprehensive testing like a child’s microbiome is an important part of the successful treatment of a child.
  3. Natural Remedies: Following proper assessment, treatment can include a range of things such as herbal medicine, nutritional therapy and lifestyle support and advice, allowing the body’s natural healing mechanisms to take over wherever possible.
  4. Prevention: Emphasis is placed on preventive strategies such as healthy diet, adequate sleep and regular physical activity to strengthen the child’s immune system and prevent illness. Natural remedies commonly feature as an added way to support preventative treatment.
  5. Educating parents and caregivers: At times, being a parent is an overwhelming job! Not only is a paediatric naturopath experienced in the specific health needs of children, but they are also ready and willing to share all of their knowledge by educating parents and carers about healthy lifestyle choices and natural remedies so they can actively participate in their child’s healthcare journey.

Integration with conventional care

A paediatric naturopath can add great value as an integrated part of a child’s conventional healthcare providers. Commonly, kids with more complicated health issues may be seeing a range of health professionals including paediatricians or other medical specialists not limited to occupational therapists or speech therapists. Each have a different approach, philosophy, and scope of practice but as a team work well to help provide long-term health solutions for a child.

A paediatric naturopath fits in well with a child’s overall health team, bringing to the party unique training, skills and knowledge specifically focussed around nutrition and natural remedies to assist with the common, on not-so-common, childhood health concerns.

Children’s diets shaping their health 

Diet alone is a key consideration with kids, as this is the place where they get their main vitamins, minerals and nutrients to grow.

A typical Australian child’s diet often includes a mix of various food groups, influenced by cultural, economic, and social factors. However, for some, particularly children who have any level of neurodivergence, diet is also all about sensory sensitivities and behavioural considerations so simply recommending a balanced diet is not always a viable solution.

Dietary behaviours in Australian children is in fact quite alarming. According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data, fruit and vegetable consumption in Australian children is declining, with fewer children aged 2–17 years meeting the fruit and vegetable recommendations compared to 2017–18[1].

Additionally, there’s a growing prevalence of excessive consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats among Australian children.

This dietary trend poses substantial health risks to children as they age. To address these challenges requires a multi-tiered approach that supports the great work paediatric naturopaths are doing, including public health initiatives, parent education, and even policy interventions to promote healthier eating habits.

The reward of working with children

Working with children is incredibly rewarding and an opportunity to improve long-term health outcomes.

Educating both a child, and their parents on the healing power of food and herbs helps to show the complementary side of healthcare. Building trust and rapport with both children and parents is paramount, tailoring treatments to each child’s unique needs. Whether addressing common ailments like colds and allergies or chronic conditions such as asthma or ADHD, gentle, non-invasive therapies are important in supporting their growing bodies and nurture their innate healing abilities. Working with kids requires patience, creativity, and a deep understanding of developmental stages.

Some children will have doctors and specialists as part of their healthcare plan into adulthood, so showing them the powerful healing side of what exists in nature is both rewarding and inspiring.

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2022). Dietary behaviour. ABS. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/dietary-behaviour/latest-release.

Could your IBS actually be Diverticulitis?

This month inside my Tummy Rescue Hub membership, the masterclass and cheat sheet I shared with my members was all about Diverticulitis. So I thought I should share some of the information with you as IBS shares so many symptoms with Diverticulitis. If you have just been told you have IBS by your practitioner and no other conditions have been ruled out, then you need to consider this. While they share many symptoms, they are distinct disorders with different underlying causes and therefore different treatments. It’s crucial for individuals experiencing digestive issues to understand the differences and seek investigation to get answers so that your treatment can be chosen accordingly.

Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and changes in bowel habits. The diagnosis of IBS is typically based on a thorough medical history, symptom assessment, and the exclusion of other gastrointestinal disorders through various tests. It is considered a chronic condition, and you likely will be told by your GP that you need to put up with it. If you have had no testing done and been told you have IBS, I would suggest seeking further help. Also, know that you do not have to put up with IBS, there are many underlying causes I investigate with my patients, to help them resolve their symptoms.

Diverticulitis: A Potential Culprit for IBS symptoms:

Diverticulitis is a condition characterized by inflammation or infection of small pouches (diverticula) that can form in the walls of the colon. These pouches, known as diverticula, are more common in older adults,(although I am seeing it in younger patients in recent years). When they become inflamed or infected, it can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain (usually on the left side), fever, nausea, and changes in bowel habits.

While diverticulitis has its own set of symptoms, it’s worth noting that some people may experience mild or even no symptoms at all. This can make it challenging to distinguish diverticulitis from other gastrointestinal issues, by symptoms alone.

The Overlapping Symptoms:

One reason for the confusion between IBS and diverticulitis is the overlapping nature of their symptoms. Both conditions can cause abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, gas, bloating, and discomfort.

It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the accurate diagnosis through proper evaluation, including imaging tests, blood tests, and, if necessary, a colonoscopy or other procedures. Misdiagnosing diverticulitis as IBS or vice versa can lead to delayed or inappropriate treatment, potentially worsening the condition.

Treatment Approaches:

As a Naturopath I can help patients with IBS and diverticulitis, but it is still important to know if we are dealing with Diverticulitis, as some very specific dietary, herbal, and monitoring approaches need to be taken.

While IBS and diverticulitis share some common symptoms, it is crucial to recognize the distinctions between these two gastrointestinal disorders. If you have been diagnosed with IBS but continue to experience persistent or worsening symptoms, it’s important to revisit your healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation. A proper diagnosis is key to developing an effective treatment plan and managing your digestive health. I help patients navigate the medical system and support them in advocating for thorough investigations.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Tummy Rescue Hub membership, or If you would like to Download my free E-book “5 ways to reduce your bloating pain & gas” please reach me at tummyrescue@gmail.com.

Leaky Gut – foods that hinder and foods that heal

Leaky Gut is a term we use to talk about hyperpermeable intestinal lining. Naturopaths have always believed that disease originates in the gut and have worked on the idea that gut lining can become damaged allowing for the passage of undigested food particles, bacteria, and other fragments through gut cells where it can interact with the immune system.

This triggers the immune system to believe there is a problem and triggers a cascade of inflammation. We believe this inflammation can act locally and cause gut symptoms to develop like heartburn, bloating, pain, and gas. And that this inflammation can also travel through the body and cause symptoms globally, like headaches, joint pain, and brain fog.

Some scientific research has shown that leaky gut may be associated with gut diseases including Coeliac Disease and Crohn’s Disease and also other conditions like Lupus, arthritis, allergies, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

When I work with patients, part of their treatment will always involve healing the intestinal gut lining. In patients who are experiencing a lot of gut symptoms, including bloating, pain, excess gas, reflux, diarrhoea, constipation, or even a mix of both, and/or reactions to foods or supplements they have tried, I will always work on leaky gut FIRST.

When you have a higher degree of “leakiness”, you will often react to foods, but find it very difficult to pinpoint which and you might have tried supplements available from your pharmacy or health food shop and felt like your symptoms worsened. This to me is a sign you definitely need to heal up the gut lining with care.

Possible symptoms of Leaky Gut

Gut based symptoms

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Pain
  • Reflux
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Large amounts of mucous- must see GP
  • Blood- must see GP

Body wide symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Rashes
  • Brain fog
  • Mood disorders

Foods that hinder good gut health

  • Preservatives Synthetic dietary emulsifiers polysorbate 80 (P80) and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) increase intestinal inflammation and alter microbiota (Mayo, chocolate, bread, spreads, creamy sauces)
  • Alcohol
  • Gluten
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Non-organic animal foods
  • Diet high in processed and refined foods

Foods that heal

  • Plant foods- as tolerated- provide fuel for the microbiome
  • Water- clean and plenty
  • Herbs and spices- cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, oregano
  • Bone broth

Natural medicine also offers many nutrients and herbs that reduce inflammation of the tissue, and help to restore & repair the health of the lining. These include glutamine, Vitamin A & D, Zinc, collagen peptides, and pre & probiotics. But you do need to select formulas carefully, as some may actually worsen your symptoms, especially if you have a very sensitive gut.

Want to know how I can help, please contact me at https://www.tummyrescue.com.au/contact-us