Can you THINK yourself to optimal health?

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Can you THINK yourself to optimal health?

As an ex-professional ballet dancer, I very much understand and have experienced the power of my mind and how it influenced my performance and wellbeing.

However, it was only when I met the Franklin Method 13 years ago that I really started to understand the science behind how and why the mind has such an influence on our body and our health.

  • I am sure you have experienced not 'delivering' in a presentation or performance because your mind/ lack of confidence got the better of you?
  • or on the flip side, an illness or 'stressful' situation that would normally get you down, feels like a breeze because you're in love, or on holiday or just feeling absolutely wonderful at that time? 

Well, your mind and your thoughts have a huge effect on your health as well as your performance. Your cells are faithfully listening to every word that your mind says- even if you just THINK about a scenario, an event, your body believes your are currently LIVING that event and acts accordingly, i.e. produces chemical and hormonal responses.

In tip 1 we discussed how stress is the no.1 cause of disease- so in todays Facebook live we are going to dive into how you can harness your thoughts to allow optimum health to flow through you!!

If you missed us live, you can just head over to my Facebook page and watch the recording!!!!

This is going to be fab, see you there, !

Here is to staying fit, strong and healthy this autumn,  

love Rachael x

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Why Dry Brushing Boosts Your Immune System

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The lymphatic and the immune system 

The immune and lymphatic systems are two closely related organ systems that share several organs and physiological functions. The immune system is our body’s defense system against infectious pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and fungi as well as parasitic animals and protists. The immune system works to keep these harmful agents out of the body and attacks those that manage to enter.

The lymphatic system is a system of capillaries, vessels, nodes and other organs that transport a fluid called lymph from the tissues as it returns to the bloodstream. The lymphatic tissue of these organs filters and cleans the lymph of any debris, abnormal cells, or pathogens. The lymphatic system also transports fatty acids from the intestines to the circulatory system.

Why Dry brushing?

 Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin and proponents of dry brushing claim that brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and help the body detoxify itself naturally.

How to Dry Brush the Skin

  1. Starting at the feet, I brush the bottoms of my feet and up my legs in long, smooth strokes. I typically brush each section of skin 10 times. For lymph flow, I always brush toward the heart/chest area where the lymph system drains. As a good rule of thumb, always brush toward the center of the body.
  2. Repeat the same process with the arms, starting with the palms of the hands and brushing up the arm toward the heart. Again, I brush each section of skin 10 times.
  3. On the stomach and armpits, brush in a circular clockwise motion.
  4. I then repeat the process on my abdomen and back and my face with a more delicate brush.

Note: Don’t brush too hard! A soft and smooth stroke often works best. My skin is every so slightly pink after brushing, but it should never be red or sting. If it hurts at all, use less pressure!

How often should I dry brush? 

Your skin, the largest organ in the human body is an organ of elimination. One third of your body’s toxins are excreted through the skin and dry brushing helps to unclog pores and excrete toxins that become trapped in the skin. Dry brushing daily will really help to boost your immune system, give your skin a glow, improve circulation and reduce cellulite!!!

Choosing a brush:

I use a firm, natural bristle brush with a handle, which allows me to reach my entire back and easily brush the bottoms of my feet and the backs of my legs. Try to find a non synthetic material. 

What are you waiting for? 

Here's to staying fit, strong and healthy this autumn!

Love, Rachael 

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Immune Boosting Bone Broth

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oooo bone broth!! It's one of my favourite things!

Most weeks I buy an organic, free range chicken which will feed my family for a good fews days, then I use the carcass and make a bone broth which we all enjoy for days after!

Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, keratin, glutamine, glycine and proline, It is a source of bio-available nutrients and minerals in an easy-to-digest form. The collagen, amino acid structure and high gelatin in bone broth heals your gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation enhances the absorption of nutrients from other foods as well. 

How to make bone broth

  • 2-3kg chicken carcass, beef bone or lamb bones
  • 2 handfuls of any onions, leeks, carrots or celery
  • 1tbsp black peppercorns
  • a few dried bay leaves
  • a generous splash apple cider vinegar

I also like to add a thumb sized piece ginger / turmeric if I have any handy

Place all ingredients in a large pot, make sure the bones are completely covered with water at all times. Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 6 hours for a chicken carcass and 12 hours for beef/lamb bones. (After about 30 mins you can remove any excess chicken meat to reuse). Strain the broth, per into a cup and enjoy! Broth can be freezer for up to 6 months) 

How to Use Broth  

Broth is extremely versatile and many chefs use it as a base for soups, gravies, sauces and more. Here are some great ways to use broth:

  • As a base for soups and stews
  • In a mug by itself as a warm drink
  • As a base for gravy and sauce

A really useful tip is to freeze your broth in an ice cube tray- that way you can just pop 1 or 2 cubes out when you're making a sauce/ soup- it's a super easy way to up the nutrients of any meal! 

How much bone broth should I drink?

I shouldn't worry that you would overdose on bone broth. If you are sick, 2/3 cups a day would be a wonderful support to your system, otherwise 1 cup a day is incredibly beneficial, or just as often as you can! 

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I would love to hear your bone broth stories, do you enjoy it? do you have any exciting recipes? do you feel it has been helpful in boosting your immune system? Let me know!

Here is to staying fit, strong and healthy this autumn!

love, Rachael 

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Breathe easy - Franklin Method session

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We take somewhere around 20,000 breaths per day. 

Breathing is a vital act for the body.

If you improve your breathing, you can drastically decrease the risk of just about every disease known to man.

In this Facebook live you will: 

  • Learn what is happening every time you take a breath.
  • Discover the proper way to breathe; and, what might be inhibiting your breathing.
  • Take home techniques and exercises to boost the efficiency of breathing. Giving your entire body more oxygen and energy and boost your immune system 
  • Reduce stress and find a deep sense of relaxation and comfort in your body and mind
  • Discover how breathing efficiently can tone your pelvic floor and abdominals 24/7

Watch this FREE breathing video and let me know how you feel afterwards!! x

Here is to feeling fit, strong and healthy this autumn!

love, Rachael x

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Vitamin D Prime's Your Cells To Fight Infection

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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is different from other vitamins because our bodies can make most of what we need with exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D promotes the use of calcium and helps bones grow, it encourages immune cells to mature, bolstering the immune system and keeping infectious bacteria in check it also acts as a pro-hormone and effects hormone balance.

Researchers have found receptor sites for vitamin D on the surface of intestinal cells. This tells us that vitamin D is essential for intestinal health. We also know that vitamin D controls inflammation and autoimmune flare-ups.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that “vitamin D 'triggers and arms' the immune system”. It said that researchers believe that vitamin D plays a key role in boosting the immune system.

The study looked at human T cells in the laboratory, and found that vitamin D was part of a complex process in which T cells become 'primed' and help to fight infection. While these findings suggest that people with vitamin D deficiency are more susceptible to infection or that vitamin D supplements might boost immunity, such theories need to be tested further before drawing any firm conclusions.

It is important to have enough vitamin D to maintain a healthy body. Vitamin D forms in our skin in response to sunlight. However, care should be taken to avoid burning or over-exposure. Vitamin D is also found in foods such as oily fish, eggs, some breakfast cereals and vitamin supplements.

During the autumn/ winter months we have less hours of daylight, and in many places, much less sunshine: hence, it can be more challenging to keep up our vitamin D levels.

Even on those cold, grey days, it is so beneficial to get outside, take in some fresh air and absorb some ultraviolet B (UVB) rays (the ones your body needs to make vitamin D). it is thought that in the UK sunlight may not contain enough UVB radiation in winter (October to early March) for our skin to be able to make enough vitamin D. During these months it's important that we are also getting vitamin D from food sources (including fortified foods) and supplements.

Why not try the following to support your daily intake of Vitamin D and therefore a healthy immune system? 

  • A brisk 20 minute walk everyday, as close to midday as possible
  • Check out Vit D supplements- I take this one 
  • Adding more of the following Vitamin D rich foods  to your diet: 

Wild caught fish

Beef, calf liver

Egg yolks

Canned fish

Shiitake mushrooms

Orange juice

  • Eat plenty of cruciferous greens such as:

Broccoli

Cabbage

Spinach

Kale

Chard  

The molecule sulforaphane that we find in cruciferous vegetables and herbs like helps the body absorb more vitamin D—improving bone mass, as well as the ability to fight infection, and inflammation.

Sulforaphane is made when cruciferous vegetables and roots release an enzyme called myrosinase. This happens when we tear, cut, or chew cruciferous plants. The activated enzyme creates sulforaphane. Broccoli and cauliflower sprouts are an especially good source of sulforaphane.

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Let's do it!!!!

We have plenty of ideas to improve our bodies ability to be healthy all year round, but especially in cold and flu season!

I would love to hear your successes in adding the above to your lifestyle! 

Here's to being fit, strong and healthy this autumn!

Love, Rachael x

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Rewire Your Brain To Create Your Dream Body

Rewire Your Brain To Create Your Dream Body

 

The human brain is incredibly plastic… Not literally of course but this metaphor does do the brain justice in terms of how it behaves. The old school of thought was that the brain is hardwired from birth and that it was not possible to change how a person’s brain is wired. We know now that this is incredibility in-accurate and isn’t congruent with today’s science. 

The science is called neuroplasticity and I’ve spoken about this science in my videos and live workshops before. Neuroplastiicty is essentially the science of how the brain produces change. If you take up a new skill such as ballet, over time your brain will start to rewire to support the new activity. This ‘rewiring’ involves creating new neural pathways and strengthening pre-existing neural pathways to improve your co-ordination, rhythm, timing and balance. Of course there is a more physical element where you’ll become fitter and stronger, but this is still not possible without the adaptable qualities of the nervous system. 

So if we have this truly magical super power to produce long lasting positive change in our mind, body and life, how come most people aren’t successful in manifesting their dream lives and bodies?… 

Well one reason is because a lot of people don’t even know their brain has the ability to completely transform their lives. Another reason (and the reason I’m more interested in exploring) is because most people don’t know how to harness this power

‘Knowing that something works, doesn’t mean you know how it works’

 

Today I’m going to share with you one of the best tools to rewire your brain to achieve your dream body or any goal you want in life. It’s a tool that I use every day and it’s as simple as it is effective.

 

RAS Reticular Activation System

We all have a system built into our neurology that is designed to detect value. It’s called reticular activation system - RAS. It’s a survival mechanism. Every second of your life your brain has to filter through around 11 million pieces of information. The chemical changes in your gut, thecarbon dioxide in the air, the amount of muscle tonus needed in your left upper trapezius ect… An insane amount of information!

If you were conscious of all this information you simply wouldn’t be able to function properly in daily life. Simple things like making a cup of tea would become impossible. So to allow you to function in daily life, your brain has a ‘gate keeper’ between your conscious mind and your sub-conscious mind. This gatekeeper is called RAS. To truly appreciate how little you are consciously aware of imagine your living room, the walls, chairs, floor, pieces of art ect.. Now imagine your living room is in complete darkness and all you have is a small laser pen. imagine the laser pen is directed at the leg of a chair and it only is able to expose the bottom corner of the leg of the chair. What the laser pen is able to expose in relation to the rest of the room is how much you are able to consciously be aware of as you go through life. 98% of your life experience is in your sub-concious!

So your conscious mind (for survival purposes) mostly focuses on what is valuable. Danger has an inherent value as you need to avoid it to survive, this is what most people’s conscious mind is focused on, avoiding danger. Now this is fine if you’re a cave man/woman living in the jungle as dangers such as lions or snakes were a reality back then, but in the 21st century most of us don’t need to be worried about hungry lions or snakes on a daily basis… Hopefully anyway!

Unfortunately this emphasis on avoiding danger puts people in a prevention mind set rather than a promotion mind set. This prevention mind set is natural and unfortunately can cause the mind to engage in negative thinking. If you follow my work you know how much I’ve spoken about how you can ‘do’ all the right things but if your mindset is not in alignment with your actions, it’s most likely their will be no long term positive change. To achieve your goals in relationships, fitness or business you need to rewire your brain from a prevention mindset (survival tactic) to a promotion mindset (thriving tactic). Here’s how you do it….

 

Selective Focus Diary

The first hour of your day will set the theme for the rest of your day. When you wake up, before you check your social media, emails or texts I want you to go to your Selective Focus Diary and write down the 3 most important things you want/need to focus on that day. This might be that you need to go to the gym today or you need to make eat your Superhuman breakfast or you’re going to make that phone call you’ve been putting off. Whatever it is (and make sure it’s contributing to your goals) write it down first thing in the morning. When you write something down before engaging in other daily activities, you’re telling your brain that ‘this is important and we need to focus on this today’. 

By consistently doing this every day for weeks and months, it will inspire your brain to start to focus on opportunities rather than risks. The key is to do this every day and to implement the things you write down. By consistently taking action in the direction of your goals your brain will begin to change to support the new proactive patterns. Eventually your brain will naturally gravitate to the things that help you rather than putting them off and procrastinating. 

 ‘Your brain responds to consistent action’

Who is up for joining me in writing a selective focus journal? Even If you don't manage to do it EVERY day.. it's a really great habit to get into! How about we aim to write in our SF journal everyday for the next week to see if it supports us to reach our daily goals!?

Remember- 

‘Practise doesn’t make perfect, practise makes permanent’ - Eric Franklin 

Have a great week, 

love, Rachael x

Workshops in Bath, UK

On Saturday I was lucky enough to spend the day with 15 Pilates teachers at The Osteopathy and Pilates Studio in beautiful Bath. We spent the morning studying 'The anatomy and ease of breathing' and the afternoon relaxing our necks and liberating our shoulders. 

Some students had met the Franklin Method before, and many have Eric's incredible books- but they all seemed to be blown away by the embodiments that they experienced and were excited about how this would influence their own movement and their teaching. 

I am looking forward to visiting Bath for more workshops just after Easter 2015. It's so inspiring to share this amazing material! 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

On Thursday last week I taught ‘Relax your neck, liberate your shoulders’ with my good friend Alysen Starko-Bowes from Vancouver, at Reflections Yoga, Manhattan, New York. We had 12 wonderful students who had this to say: 'One week later and still feeling the benefits of your workshop - SUCH great work' Hannah NY, 'My shoulders feel AMAZING'- Damian NY, 'My scapulars are still swinging!'- Annie, London

Rachael NYU

Rachael NYU

On wednesday 24th September 2014 I was at New York University, of all places, assisting the genius Eric Franklin. 68 dancers experienced how embodying the incredible design of the foot will help them to jump higher, become stronger, more flexible and dance for longer with less injuries.
They were absolutely amazed by the results and the plan is to have Franklin method taught regularly at NYU- Lucky dancers!

Take 3 minutes for YOU to find out what YOU need and how you can best support yourself.

Embodiments:

  • Take 60 secs to notice how you feel physically- notice your breath, your weight placement, and your posture- without judging, just notice- how are you?
  • Notice your breath, can it be slow? Relaxed? Can you imagine your cells drinking in the oxygen from your inhale and releasing any physical and emotional tension/ toxins?
  • Is there something that you can do for YOU today? to support yourself to feel even just 5% better than you do right now.. have a nap? Create a delicious, nutritious meal? Go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air? Read a book? What do YOU need to be your best self? Don’t think, just feel and listen- like you’re listening to a good friend.