15 June 2014

Looking at psoriasis the nutritional medicine way




by Fleur Borrelli, nutritionist at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy

The skin and the brain are intricately linked. Both produce the same hormones and neurotransmitter substances. In the skin, serotonin should be converted to melatonin which acts as a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. It is no wonder, therefore, that the skin condition psoriasis is linked to both depression and anxiety disorders(1). A lack of nutritional cofactors such as vitamins B6 and B12 may prevent this conversion in a biochemical process known as methylation.

Geographical latitude may also influence incidence of psoriasis as beneficial sunlight is also needed to produce melatonin(2). Overuse of sunscreens and lack of exposure to the sun will also inhibit the production of vitamin D, vitally important for the integrity of the barriers of the body which include the intestinal lining, the blood brain barrier, the synovial lining and of course the skin(3). The function of the barriers is to protect us against pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. They are lined, therefore, with immune cells including B memory cells which remain in communication with each other all over the body. It makes perfect sense, therefore, when treating the skin to also support the gut with probiotic therapy(4).

Another tool in the nutritional medicine toolbox to alleviate psoriasis is the use of adaptogenic herbs. Herbs such as ginseng and rhodiola can be very effective in reducing the detrimental effects of the stress axis. Chronic activation of this axis can be a factor in the over-triggering of the part of the immune system that deals with cellular immunity with the result being the higher cell proliferation that characterises psoriasis(5). As one of a spectrum of autoimmune diseases, it develops when the immune system mistakes a normal skin cell for a pathogen and sends out faulty signals that cause the overproduction of skin cells. An epidemiological link has been found between the consumption of beer and the incidence of psoriasis(6). Beer is made from the gluten-grain barley and other anti-nutrients such as saponins and lectins that can damage the gut and have been linked to autoimmunity(7).

Nutritional medicine offers a multi-system approach to tackling psoriasis. It aims to reduce the damaging effects of stress hormones whilst supporting barrier function and the immune system. Methotrexate is a pharmaceutical drug used in the treatment of autoimmune disease. It inhibits the metabolism of folic acid and so folic acid is often prescribed alongside. Folic acid, routinely used in fortified foods such as bread and supplements, is the synthetic version of the naturally occurring folate. Many of us have a genetic enzyme deficiency that prevents us from being able to convert folic acid into the folate. The result of this is that un-metabolised synthetic folic acid may remain in the bloodstream with undesirable consequences. Nutritional medicine can come to the fore by offering foods forms of folate. Folate is vital for cell division, DNA repair, immune function and cognitive health.


References for 'Looking at psoriasis the nutritional medicine way':

  1. Gunasti S, Marakii SS et al. Clinical and histopathological findings or psoriatic neurodermatitis and of typical lichen simplex chronicus. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereal 2007. July 21 (6): 811-7.
  2. Reiter R.J. The melatonin rhythm: both a clock and a calendar. Experientia 15.8. 1993, Vol 49, Issue 8, pp 654-664.
  3. Kong J. et al. Novel role of vitamin D receptor in maintaining the integrity of the intestinal mucosal barrier. American Journal of Physiology. 1 January 2008 Vol. 294.
  4. Ouwehand AC, Tiihonen K, Lahtinen. The Potential of Probiotics and Prebiotics for Skin Health. Textbook of Aging Sin 2010, pp 799-809
  5. Lowes MA, Kikuchi T et al. Psoriasis Vulgaris Lesions Contains Discrete Populations of Th1 and Th17 T Cells. Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2008) 128, 1207-1211.
  6. Schafer T. Epidemiology of psoriasis. Dermatology Vol 212, No. 4, 2006.
  7. Rook G. Hygiene Hypothesis and Autoimmune Diseases. Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology, February 2012, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 5- 15.



For appointments with Fleur at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy, call  020 8789 3881 or send an email to info@putneyclinic.co.uk.


Fleur Borrelli (Nutritionist)
W:Nutrition and superfood
N: Nutrition and superfood newsletters
T: 07766 88 35 22
E: fleur@nutritionandsuperfood.co.uk

13 June 2014

Yoga and stress-related skin conditions



By Cherie Lathey, senior yoga teacher and director of Yoga Mama

Many skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and atopic dermatitis can be triggered by or, indeed, made worse once an outbreak is present by stress. Some suffers will become self-conscious and even depressed which then causes a circular negative effect on the condition.

Practising yoga and meditation can have a really positive effect on both the mind and body. We know helping to relieve stress can help to alleviate some of the symptoms or aggravating factors of skin conditions brought on by stress. While I am not suggesting yoga and meditation alone will cure psoriasis, it can definitely help.

A gentle yoga practice and breathing techniques can have a profound effect on how we manage stress, and how we perceive ourselves in the world. Helping to balance moods and enabling a positive connection to the body by letting go of the negative feelings that might occur when a skin condition is present.

Gentle poses such as child's pose, short meditations and breathing exercises carried out on a regular basis will have a positive effect on both the mind and body.

For more information about yoga classes currently available at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy and Yoga Mama, visit the Yoga Mama website or email us at info@yogamama.co.uk.

12 June 2014

Quote of the day: Destiny

"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection"
Bhagavad Gita

11 June 2014

Rasa Vinyasa Prana Flow with Shiva Rea

Rasa Vinyasa Prana Flow with Shiva Rea


Venue: Cecil Sharp House*
Date: Sunday 21 to Wednesday 24 September 2014
Time: 8:30am to 5:45pm each day
Cost: £485

About the workshop



The word 'rasa' has many beautiful meanings: in the arts, rasa is the transforming “taste” that brings inner satisfaction to the beauty of dance, music or painting. Within yoga and Ayurveda, rasa is our “inner juice” associated with longevity, joy, devotion, and flexibility. Without rasa, it is said, our experience of yoga and life, becomes “dry, rigid, routine”.

Experience a full-spectrum yoga practice intensive into the art of RasaVinyasa™- an approach to sequencing vinyasa yoga drawing from yogic arts, tantra, and ayurveda.

In this four-day teacher training intensive, Shiva will offer the theory and practice of Rasa Vinyasa by exploring three consummate rasas: Vira (strength, potency), Sringara (divine love and sensuality) and Shanti (living peace). We will explore the power of alchemical yoga that is sequenced in harmony with the energetic state of the day for activation, healing and rejuvenation to bring balance and “juice” to your practice, teaching and life.

Areas of focus will include:
  • Rasa Vinyasa: Yoga Alchemy within Tantra, Bhakti and Ayurveda
  • Four Rasa Vinyasa namaskars with the dance of hands-on assists
  • Rasa Vinyasa Sequences to balance and evolve your practice
  • Sringara Rasa Vinyasa: a creative sadhana which cultivates the fluid flow
  • Sringara Rasa Namaskars, transformational wave sequencing for backbending, and deep meditation/relaxation for the flow of love
  • ViraPranaFlow: a dynamic sadhana integrating PranaDandaYoga, an evolutionary form combining standing asanas, which will engage challenging combinations of arm-balances, standing poses and hip openers
  • ShantiPranaFlow: a meditative vinyasa for peace; a complete practice with ritual namaskars, mudra vinyasa, asanas of inner equilibrium: forward bends, hip openers leading to pranayama and meditation
  • Meditation and mudra for Vira, Sringara and Shanti Rasa
  • Cultivation of Bhava (feeling awareness) to enter the natural flow of yoga
  • Poetry in Motion: integration of inner teachings of poetry, music and rhythm in cultivating the "theme of the class"
  • Temple of Rasa: prana flow abhyanga massage and radical relaxation 
  • Sahaja Vinyasa™ and Yoga Trance Dance® - the roots of Sahaja and Rasa Vinyasa as a movement meditation
  • Sringara Rasa visual powerpoint exploration inclding the sublime eros; the physiological and spiritual benefits of embodying the power of love
  • Awakening Vira Rasa through Kalarippayatu (fluid martial art form in the tradition of CVN Kalari in Kerala) and PranaDandaYoga - a unique and powerful mind-body training method that works with a five-foot flexible staff for inner and outer alignment.
* Please note that Cecil Sharp House does not provide yoga mats or props and you will need to bring your own. Thank you for your understanding!

Eligibility for this course


For yoga teachers, trainee teachers, and experienced practitioners of vinyasa yoga.

Certification


You will receive a Yogacampus Certificate of Attendance on completing all intensive hours. This Intensive counts as an elective for the Yogacampus Teacher Training Diploma.

Booking


For more information please email info@yogacampus.com or call +44 (0) 20 7042 9900.

About Shiva Rea


Los Angeles based Shiva Rea is a leading teacher of vinyasa flow yoga worldwide. Shiva began exploring yoga at the age of fourteen as a way to understand her name, given to her by her father, a surfer and artist. She has studied in the Krishnamacharya lineage, and explored Tantra, Ayurveda, Bhakti, Kalaripayattu, world dance, yogic art and somatic movement. Her studies and zest for life infuse her approach to living yoga and to 'embodying the flow'. She is known for bringing the roots of yoga alive for modern practitioners in creative, dynamic and life-transforming ways. Read Shiva Rea's full biography.

05 June 2014

Why we need to help our detoxification systems



By Fleur Borrelli, nutritionist at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy

It is a relatively unknown fact that our body produces its own toxins as part of our normal metabolism. Our intestinal bacteria may also release by-products from metabolism that can be damaging to our health. This is before we even consider the toxins that come in from the environment.

Fortunately we have evolved a complex network of systems to get rid of toxins that have been created internally. The antioxidant system cleverly destroys free radicals during chemical reactions in our cells before they can damage the cell itself.

The liver, amongst its multitude of tasks, will take a toxic molecule which is generally fat soluble and transforms it into a water soluble molecule to be excreted out of the body in urine via the kidneys. Even fat soluble molecules can be shifted into bile which is then squirted into the intestine and ejected from the body in faeces. Sweating can lose any heavy metals lurking about, not to mention the shedding of toxins via skin, hair and nails.

This is what happens when all is working well... But we now live in a modern environment where we are being overloaded with toxins We have plastics in our toothpaste, heavy metals in our deodorant, herbicides in the air we breathe, additives in our foods, synthetic hormones in our drinking water, harmful electromagnetic radiation in our homes and the list goes on.

We may reach a point where we have adapted to this environment of chemicals that are foreign to our body but we haven’t got there yet. We are succumbing more and more to symptoms produced by compromised detoxification systems such as poor digestion, headaches, depression and chronic fatigue.

'Tired all the time' (TATT) is one of the major reasons why people visit their doctor... We need to help our detoxification systems. We can do that by consciously reducing our toxin exposure, being mindful of everything we put into our mouth or on our skin. Indeed a good rule of thumb would be not to put anything onto our skin that we are not prepared to put into our mouth! Nourishing the body as well will provide those systems with the raw materials they need to perform their tasks. Food is our medicine.

Fleur and Cherie will be holding a detox and revitalise your body workshop on Saturday 21 June, from 1-4pm. Early bird offer of £40, if booked before 15 June (normal price £45).


For appointments with Fleur at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy, call us on 020 8789 3881 or send us an email at info@putneyclinic.co.uk.



Fleur Borrelli (Nutritionist)
W:Nutrition and superfood
N: Nutrition and superfood newsletters
T: 07766 88 35 22
E: fleur@nutritionandsuperfood.co.uk


Quote of the day: The soul

"What is the soul? The soul is consciousness.
It shines as the light within the heart."
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 

02 June 2014

Yoga guru, R. Sharath Jois


Lovely soft energy in the shala. I do believe I may have been in the led class :-) So many familiar faces and Sharath doing a wonderful job with his students.