A great inspiration to me over the years has been my Uncle Peter. He returned from one of his hitchhiking adventures around the Sub Continent bringing silk scarves and trinkets from India to out door when i was a small girl. And I found one of his books about Hinduism in my Grandads book shelf when I was in my early teens. Thus started my sojurn into "Spiritual" studies. Since then I have had the pleasure to visit India myself and learn AYurvedic Mediicine, Yoga and Pranayam from my friend the Lovely Dr Prafullata.
Similarly to Dr Prafu and her husband Arun whom provide community aid through the Beyond Borders Social Enterprise, my Uncle Peter Marra also is involved in projects overseas and at home that provide real grass roots benefit to people in need. Peter built permaculture gardens for an orphanage in Peru, did a trial project of unpatented Quinoa seeds from South america that are drough hardy in the drought stricken Timor Leste (formerly East Timor).
I ensure that there is time for an Acupuncture session with my Peter whenever he passes through Australia or I am in New Zealand.
New Plymouth Acupuncturist
I was introduced to the concept of Chakras around twenty years ago and those first lines and pictures in an old occult book, that my friend showed me in his furious Saturn Return knowledge integration and light bulb frenzy, turned out to be closer to the truth than most of the Chakra stuff that I have seen since.
I had the opportunity to visit India recently and I took the time to have private lessons with a Hatha Yoga teacher (Dr Prafullata).
Yoga is Chakra work. It is the method of purifying the energy systems and allowing the energy circuits to flow freely in their divine power and have union of the powers within and connection to the Universe. That great all pervading essence that just is life itself.
Yoga is Sanskrit for Union and Kundalini is the energy that you are born with and it sits in a coil at the base of the spine and provides nourishment and security throughout your life.
There are a lot of warnings about raising Kundalini and rightly so. It is not a simple conjuring trick that unwinds a powerful sepent of energetic current from the base of your spine and then you are some kind of Cool Groovy Elite Awakened soul... It is a gently growing awareness and a move towards conscious action, thought, feeling and being that allows peace and calm balanced, thoughtful actions in the world and within.
The Chakra positions as explained to me by my Guru are that each is at the back of the body near the spine and with palm outstretched and fingers extended one can find each of ones own chakras by measuring from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the liitle finger along the central channel of the body. Each of our chakric centres is alighned perfectly for us and our body proportions.
During our Kundalini meditation masterclass my Guru described the base chakra as residing around the space of the perenium and the sacral chakra as being behind the top of the pubis. The third Chakra is located at the navel or close by. There is a large field that encompasses the solar plexus area yet this is also in the realm of the heart chakra and the inteplay of both will be significant in the manifestation, of this body areas energy field.
This was a reminder and a revelation for me. In that first description of Chakras that I read many years ago with a friend, this was the description and the crown was white not violet. In the midst of my meditation I could tell that this description of the placement of the power centres made perfect sense and was the puzzle peice that had kept me from truly mastering Chakra knowledge and therefore a practice and method that could heal my world with implementation of chakra harmonizing practises.
Each Chakra may be overly energized or of low ebb or so called blocked and each may even be both. The Chakras are as small disks, spheres and as great radiating funnels that stretch from a singular point near the spine to large swirling vortices either side of the body - front and back.
The heart, throat, third eye and crown Chakras are a hand span above each to the next, yet attention to these is unwarranted until the grounded chakras are sturdy and secure.
Yoga asanas (poses), Diaphahmatic breathing, relaxation techniques and healthy diet and lifestyle routines keep the whole body including the 108 Chakra points free flowing and balanced.
One of Many depictions of Chakras from Eastern Philosophy:
The Crown Chakra is a White flat disc
Many of our Western depictions and concepts of Chakras depict the crown chakra as Violet. The Chakras as with other colour reference symbolisms are different in different books and as they spread accross people time and cultures.
The most important thing is that our Mind is able to calm and centre when we want it to and that our foundations are stable. This is both physically and psychologically. This understanding is why I chose to study Naturopathy. Thinking is fantastic but the mind and chemically driven emotions function best when we eat, sleep and exercise well.
Origin: Egypt, Europe, Western Asia and Eastern Mediterranean.
Description: Family : Umbelliferae.Hardy annual, umbells of pinky - white flowers and feathery green leaves. Various chemotypes are found according to geographical location of same species.
Plant Parts Used: Seeds, leaves, Aerial Parts.
Properties: Narcotic ; mild laxative, digestive, carminative, appetite stimulant, analgesic, aphrodisiac, anti-oxidant, anti rheumatic, anti spasmodic, bacterialcidal, depurative, digestive, fungicidal, revitalising, stimulant ; cardial, nervous and circulatory, stomachic.
Metaphysical Associations: Mars; Ares; Male - Yang; Fire; powdered seed in chalice of wine - love/ lust potion. Aphrodisiac; Incense can infuriate the mind for destructive purposes; binding love potion; protects the home; promotes peace; purifies the blood.
Spiritual Qualities: Encourages longevity, cultivates an atmosphere of peace, cleanses emotional sphere.
Medicinally: Tea from seeds purifies blood, clears complexion, strengthens urinary system, bladder infections, indigestion and colic (one cup before meals each day), digestive aid, joint pain, anorexia, spasm, poor circulation, flatulence, dysentery, piles, measles, nausea, toothache, painful hernia, stiffness, arthritis.Steeped as a tea (drink no more than 3 cups per day)-bathing/hydro therapy- aroma therapy-topically-
Body Care: Spicy perfumes, eau-de-cologne, to cleanse and beautify the skin (poultice, cream, tea, bath), soaps, and toiletries.
Home Crafts: Pot pourri (whole dried seeds fix oils in pot pourri), satchet mixes, incense, fragrance masker and enhancer in creams and perfumes, flavours tobacco, and makes nice fresh flowers.
Culinary: Common ingredient in Indian curries, marmalade, gin, biscuits, pastry, mild garnish spice, gripe water, digestive remedies, liqueurs. Used by food industry especially meat products and by the pharmaceutical industry as a digestive and flavouring agent; ginger bread (dry seeds or roast to release sprey fragrance, marinades, meat, pickling spice, vinegars and oils, salads, and Mexican cuisine. Note: usually added to meals close to end of cooking process.
Cautionary Note: Narcotic / very weak tea for children’s colic and indigestion for the elderly. Consult a Naturopath before taking large doses, especially when pregnant or lactating/breast feeding.
In the Garden: All varieties (with the exception of Iman) are frost tender, plant in an open, sunny situation in good moist soil. In sheltered areas plant in close proximity in beds; keep moist. An unsuitable companion for dill or fennel;
Postcards from the Edge
This is a small travel article that I wrote some time after staying at the Rainbow Temple in Rosebank.
I had met many foreign travellers the year before whilst travelling and living in New Zealand,
and took the opportunity to catch up again whilst they were in Australia near Byron Bay at the Rainbow Temple in Rosebank.
Byron Bay 'The Rainbow Temple' Rosebank
Earth meets ocean and sky meets the sun of each new day in Australia.
The Conch shell call of freedom sounds, aloud. Amidst the usual backpackers, tourists and free-flowing locals, there is space to be yourself. In 2004 I had the pleasure of finding myself in Byron Bay’s hinterland, at ‘The Rainbow Temple’.
Walking up a windy mountain road, backpack on and guitar in hand, my mind was quieted by the beauty of the countryside. Some kilometres later, covered in sweat, I emerged from the rainforest to see a four storey, brightly painted, solid wooden building, set into the side of a mountain, a breathtaking and magnificent spectacle. I was greeted by regulars and travellers going about the daily routine of cleaning, cooking and tending the gardens full of fruit, ornamentals and herbs. I was directed to the owner and heartily welcomed by ‘Rainbow Guy’ to his oasis of peace and tranquillity.
I felt right at home in the communal space and living of ‘Rainbow Temple’ life. People from all, walks of life, visit this place for respite, relaxation, meditation and conversation. A place where, speaking of angels, spirits elementals and god/dess-e/s is not shunned. The interplay of energies in the world around us is acknowledged. The ‘Rainbow Temple’, building, is in a constant state of growth and change. The design is based upon geometry of the interlaced triangles of spirit and matter, and the heights that creation can aspire to and reach through a balanced centre and steady climb up the spiral staircase of awareness.
One of the tasks to perform each day, in exchange for room and board, was to keep the kitchen facilities clean. As the hub of activity and the visitor reception and replenishment area, the dynamics of a clean and clear atmosphere were evident. It gave me, a great sense of pride to put energy into a place where dreams can come true and ideals are made a reality.
I had many opportunities to become more aware of myself, my relation to others and the world around me. The anecdotes of Rainbow Guy, Silver Feather, J.J. and Cam, along with the acceptance, friendship and love of these and many others, encouraged me to look at myself and be myself in a naturally conscious way. Life is in every moment giving us opportunities to learn and grow through experience, expanding our awareness of ourselves and of life itself.
Alas, the constancy of change urged me to move on. As I continue moving and changing, I am thankful for these places and times, when life gives us the opportunity for growth.
In humble gratitude, may the wings of peace, fill our world with laughter.
The Council requires the owner to have structural work done to gain building approval you can sign the petition
These adventures and many more, all contribute to my Holistic Health Coaching style and the many Interesting topics that we can discuss. :)
Spring is definitely here in Brisbane. The weather is warming up and there is a renewed sense of optimism in the air. Nature is flowing and growing in its season of new life and renewed vitality after the hibernation and nurturing foundation of winter.
We can flow and grow in alignment with the Natural World too.
Clearing out the clutter of our cupboards, wardrobes and bodies is naturally felt at this time. Gentle cleansing of the body is as simple as
1. Drinking plenty of water – 6-8 glasses per day rehydrates skin and tissues, improves digestion and renews the 80% water content of our bodies
2. Spending time walking or gardening is a gentle and enjoyable form of exercise. The weather is inspirational for all forms of exercise and moving the body is an excellent detoxifier.
As we move the lymphatic fluids of the body are mechanically dispersed through their system and nutrients are delivered to cells and tissues whilst any wastes are simultaneously removed.
3. Taking time to ‘smell the Roses’.
Appreciating the beautiful displays of nature, whether in flower blooms, foliage, butterflies birds or the changing colours of the sky is actually a form of meditation included in the Indian Vedas within the practise of Yoga which is essentially Union of the Self with the whole universe. The universe is vast yet nature and the earth we stand on is a vital and part of the whole. As are we.
Speaking of vitality and nature….
4. Is swapping commercially, over processed, convenience and comfort foods for nutritious whole foods and is a simple choice with the availability of fruits and vegetables at this time of year.
Adding some summer vegetables, herbs and fruits to the hearty winter menu helps by keeping up the sustaining warm meal staples during the still chilly mornings and evenings whilst bringing in the new fresh salads and seasonings of spring.
Fresh summer greens are plentiful and full of valuable vitamins and minerals.
Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, capsicum, parsley, spring onion and coriander are a gorgeous lunchtime salad waiting to happen. With the addition of nuts and seeds, quinoa, burghal, olive, avocado or walnut oil, apple cider vinegar, seasoning and perhaps olives and fetta, it becomes a balanced meal with carbohydrates, protein, fibre and the small amount of healthy fats that your body needs.
The nutritional value of these humble vegetables is quite impressive.
Cucumber is one of the best vegetable sources of Vitamin E which is needed as an antioxidant and for the cardiovascular system and muscle efficiency. It also contains Vitamin A, silicon, Vitamin A and natural Iodine for bright hair, skin and nails as well as sulphur and chloride which are utilized in liver detoxification pathways. (1)
Tomatoes contain Vitamin A and C which are both essential for immunity and healthy skin, sulphur and chloride for liver detoxification, potassium and sodium for heart health, phosphorus for nervous system repair, silicon (1) and lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid type of phytochemical (plant ingredient) and is a brilliant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. As an interesting salad bonus, the vitamin E in cucumber enhances the effect of lycopene in the tomatoes. (2)
Lettuce is high in silicon, a mineral which ensures calcium does its job in the body as well as aiding the removal of wastes from joints and tissues. Surprisingly, lettuce is also high in Iron another very important mineral. Vitamins E and C as well as copper, chlorophyl and biotin are also present. Chlorophyl is a blood tonic and detoxifier whilst biotin is essential for metabolism of fats and promotes relaxation. (1)
Capsicum is a Vitamin C powerhouse and contains complementary bioflavonoids that assist Vitamin C absorption and promote healthy structure and functioning of the blood vessels in arteries, veins and capillaries. (1)
Parsley is easy to grow and full of potassium. Parsley promotes removal of wastes from the kidneys and maintain the proper pH balance of the body. It also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, Vitamin A, C and B group Vitamins B1, B2 and B3. (1)
Onions have natural antiseptic oils that are beneficial to cardiovascular health and contain iron, calcium, magnesium, silicon the antioxidant Vitamin E and liver cleansing sulphur and phosphorous with small (trace) amounts of nickel. (1)
These fruits, vegetables and herbs are considered cooling in nature and are therefore appropriate to eat during the warm middle of the day in spring and into the hot days of summer. (3)
Using these simple spring cleaning tips helps your body eliminate accumulated wastes and harmonise with the weather and cycles of nature. Drinking plenty of water and moving your body get the circulation going and finding an appreciation for the beauty of nature and the amazing benefits of everyday whole foods is good for your mind, body and spirit.
As a Naturopath I assist people in assessing and adjusting their diet, supporting healthy lifestyle habits and treating dis-ease with natural herbs, nutrients and medicinal foods.
Spring Clean your daily food intake (diet) with a thorough analysis of your nutritional status, your bodies needs and find the best foods as medicine that you love and are easily added included in your meals and snacks.
Shairin loves Food as Medicine and completed University level study on this subject.
(1) Koch, M. (1984). Laugh with Health. The complete illustrated guide to health, diet, nutrition, natural foods and recipe preparation. Bairnsdale: Renaissance & New Age Creations
(2) Osiecki, H. (2010). The Nutrient Bible [9th Ed.]. Eagle Farm: Bio Concepts Publishing
(3)Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with wholefoods. California: North Atlantic Books
Today many of us are interested in our health and implement positive food choices, additional supplements and lifestyle adjustments to take care of ourselves. This is a fantastic thing and shows how often simple changes, that are right for you, can greatly improve health, vitality and happiness.
There is a plethora of health information available to us via friends, print media and online. Discerning fact from fiction and fad from cutting edge scientific breakthrough is a daunting task.
Consultation with a qualified Naturopath is an opportunity to review your health goals, discuss your medical conditions and symptoms and to analyse and evaluate your whole health picture.
It is an opportunity to draw on a wealth of modern health science and traditional natural medicine knowledge.
A Naturopath has the time to listen and explain and support you that Doctors and specialists often don’t.
As part of the overall health care system in Australia a Naturopath offers:
Support – by listening, hearing and encouraging you on your healthy living or journey to health for those with present symptoms or medical conditions.
Information – a thorough understanding of the human body, how it works and what it needs.
Naturopath training in Australia
Today Naturopaths study modern Health Science; human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathophysiology, alongside herbalism, nutrition and Traditional Western Medicine philosophy.
Evidence based medicine (EBM), verified with clinical trials and scientific studies provide a sound foundation to safely and effectively employ natural medicines as a complement to conventional health care. Natuorpaths are required to keep up to date with medical knowledge and EBM findings.
Naturopaths provide nutritional analysis, diet plans, promote and support healthy eating and lifestyle practices that your GP would approve of.
Each Naturopath has other therapies and modalities that they train in and can offer to assist you. In my case I also provide Usui Reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) for stress relief, emotional balance and relaxation. I personally avoid homeopathy and am in favour of most Immunisations. I am a fan of science and the knowledge base that it provides. Marketing misinformation and profit driven purposes are a disturbing factor in the health and wellness industry, which are mitigated by seeing qualified professionals that have your best interests and health at heart.
With a Bachelor of Health Sceince Complementary Medicine - Naturopathy and as a member of a Professional Association - the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), I am a fully qualified Naturopath.
You can read the full outline of minimum education standards for Australian Naturopaths here: www.atms.com.au/modalities/naturopathy/
Australian Naturopaths are considered Health Professionals and are covered by the The National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland) which you can access here: www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/444101/national-code-conduct-health-workers.pdf
The scientific evidence of the safety, mechanism of action and effectiveness of natural medicines available today gives a vast array of proven means to provide real health care benefits.
What does a Naturopath do?
A naturopath has the time to look at all of your body systems, past health issues, current signs symptoms and medical diagnoses to create a clear and holistic picture of your overall health.
With the inclusion of dietary analysis, iridology, blood pressure, blood glucose monitoring and urinalysis, a thorough and personalised health assessment is possible.
A unique treatment plan can then be defined for your individual needs. This treatment plan is based on a broad foundation of anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pathology, traditional nature cure knowledge, holistic thinking and current scientific research.
Any modifications to diet, lifestyle or prescribed therapeutic products are then gradually introduced into your daily routine in a simple yet effective way.
Benefits of Naturopathy
Real fixes for everyday problems such as:
Herbs that: prevent menstrual pain, wind, indigestion, bloating, calm the nerves, assist sleep, heal and manage skin conditions.
Nutrients for increased energy, skin, mood and whole-body health.
Pain relieving herbs and nutrients.
Prevention: diagnostics pinpoint areas of weakness in the body where systems are under pressure, strain or inflammation. These areas can be addressed to provide relief and potentially prevent further issues.
Medical information about current health conditions. Learn about the disease and then you have the power to take control of your health through diet, lifestyle and natural medicines that complement your conventional medical care.
More Benefits of Consulting a Naturopath
This is perhaps the defining role of a Naturopath as GPs and Specialists often have very limited time to discuss in detail our health concerns or to explain in detail how our body is functioning and what is happening. This understanding gives a purpose for lifestyle and dietary changes or regularly taking therapeutic supplements , herbs or pharmaceutical medication and empowers us in managing our health conditions and maintaining our vitality. Thereby giving a reason for taking care of ourselves in our daily lives.
Possible discovery of underlying health conditions, allergies, sensitivities and avenues of further exploration to find undiagnosed conditions.
Naturopaths are unable to provide diagnosis yet may be able to identify areas that need to be further explored by your General Practitioner Doctor.
Referral to GPS when needed and other therapists such as counsellors, psychologists, chiropractic, massage, cranio-sacral therapy, EFT, and many other health modalities.
Access to naturopathic diagnostics such as nail and tongue analysis and Iridology as well as hair analysis and allergy testing.
Treatment for signs and symptoms of conditions that remain undiagnosed and illusive.
Simple and safe remedies for common ailments and symptoms.
Complementing medical treatment and pharmaceuticals with herbs, nutrients and therapeutics
Providing alternatives to harsh pharmaceuticals in instances when such will not put the patient in a life threatening situation or prove detrimental to long term health.
Often drugs are used first and to treat symptoms that are easily and often cheaply alleviated with natural medicines. An example of this is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for indigestion and heartburn or in some cases meadowsweet herb. This symptom can be due to low stomach acid which ferments and froths causing symptoms. This is alleviated by ACV and the stomach is then able to carry out its function of breaking down proteins and food particles for absorption in the small intestine. These economical and safe remedies can replace the often prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Somac that affect the activity of numerous cells in the body outside of the stomach and acid production, interfering with vital processes that need not be disturbed. Proton pumps are sodium-potassium pumps embedded in the walls of cells that actively transport these ions into and out of the cell allowing correct cellular function and in some cells an energy gradient that provides the electrical impulses of nerve conduction. These pumps maintain body fluid levels, pH balance and form part of the bodies physical information communication highways. Inhibition of these for extended periods will upset the delicate homeostasis or balance of the body causing malfunction in multiple areas.
I am not anti modern medicine I simply believe that natural remedies should be used whenever possible and that herbs, nutrition, exercise, diet and lifestyle changes, and other natural therapies are very viable options.
A Naturopath views you as an individual and a whole being and aims to support you in gaining and maintaining health. Utilizing the combination of assisting the vitalism of your body, providing knowledge, treating the cause, viewing the body as a whole and doing no harm are the foundational principles of Naturopathy and allows Empowerment of individuals to retain Autonomy and enjoy health, vitality and happiness wherever possible.
In my clinic I Focus on providing professional personal Naturopathic consults with herbal medicine, food as medicine, dietary, nutritional and lifestyle support, flower essences and Usui and Tibetan Reiki energy healing treatments. Herbal formulas and nutritional supplements are ordered as and if required. I have access to practitioner only products which may be beneficial in acute situations and for managing specific conditions.
Diet and lifestyle are the health factors that we have ultimate individual control over.
It is us whom decides. We can choose consciously and profoundly transform our health.
A healthy body allows a healthy mind and in turn a healthy spirit.
Shairin is a Naturopath and Usui Reiki Master/Teacher with a Bachelor of Health Science in (Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Medical Systems).