SPOT­LIGHT ON ARTHRI­TIS

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Health & Wellbeing - by Kylie Ter­raluna

Arthritic, in­flamed joints and cold weather don’t mix. Dur­ing the win­ter sea­son, it’s par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to avoid ex­po­sure to ex­ces­sive cold weather and wind chill. Un­der guid­ance of your doc­tor and med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner, you can im­prove your diet and ex­er­cise regime with yoga, to help re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and pain through healthy life­style choices.

An anti-in­flam­ma­tory diet doesn’t need to be seen as re­stric­tive, in fact the new taste sen­sa­tions gained from new spices can add plea­sure and va­ri­ety to your life. An an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory diet will move you away from salty and sour tast­ing foods, away from acidic foods and into an al­ka­line diet, in­tro­duc­ing you to spices such as tumeric, ginger and cin­na­mon, in ways you might not have tried be­fore. Ap­proach your diet from a joy­ful per­spec­tive of em­brac­ing some­thing new, and you will en­joy the heal­ing jour­ney that food can bring. From a yo­gic per­spec­tive, im­prov­ing di­ges­tion is key, as undi­gested food pro­motes tox­ins ac­cu­mu­lat­ing in the joints. In­creas­ing the ‘diges­tive fire’ through proper eat­ing habits and the right kind of diet lit­er­ally ‘burns the tox­ins away’, which in turn re­duces in­flam­ma­tion and pain.

First step, do away with the bor­ing - no more left­over foods as they aren’t as healthy as peo­ple like to be­lieve. Fresh is al­ways best, so make just what you need to con­sume, and in­crease juic­ing of fresh veg­eta­bles. No more fried foods and re­fined white sug­ars - that stuff has never made you feel good any­way. Try elim­i­nat­ing the night­shades to see if it makes a difference to your arthri­tis - that’s toma­toes, pota­toes, egg­plant and cap­sicums. Avoid salty and sour tast­ing foods and main­tain a peace­ful, pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to­ward eat­ing with ev­ery meal.

Next, add oils! Start tak­ing high qual­ity fish oil or krill oil, and if you are veg­e­tar­ian, flaxseed oil. Aim­ing to re­duce acid­ity means eat­ing more green leafy veg­eta­bles, nuts, seeds, sea­weed (like nori in sushi rolls) and cer­tain fruits. You can whizz baby spinach leaves, cu­cum­ber, freshly squeezed lemon, flaxseed oil and ba­nana to­gether in a blender with wa­ter for a scrump­tious green smoothie, jam packed with good­ness. Choose to cook sooth­ing, warmed veg­etable soups with mung beans for best di­ges­tion, and be­gin elim­i­nat­ing dairy and red meat from your diet.

An­other sug­ges­tion is ap­ply­ing warmed oil like black se­same, cas­tor or black seed oil ex­ter­nally to aching joints dur­ing a flare-up. Cas­tor oil can also be taken in­ter­nally in hot ginger tea un­der guid­ance. Start cook­ing with gar­lic, add tumeric in small in­cre­ments, and ginger to your foods. You can also add fresh ginger as a side dish to ac­com­pany any meal.

Try this recipe to add the heal­ing qual­i­ties of spice to your diet for an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory eat­ing: 1/2 tea­spoon turmeric 1/2 tea­spoon black mus­tard seeds 1/2 tea­spoon cumin seeds 1/2 tea­spoon fen­nel seeds 2 ta­ble­spoons chopped ginger pinch salt 1 ta­ble­spoon of ghee (clar­i­fied but­ter) 1/2 cup red lentils 1/2 cup bas­mati rice 4 cups wa­ter A hand­ful of fresh, chopped veg­eta­bles of your choice, such as broc­coli and car­rot.

Heat ghee in a pan, adding mus­tard seeds, ginger, cumin and fen­nel seeds to the heat and bring out the flavour. Stir washed lentils and rice into the cook­ing spiced oil, and quickly stir in the veg­eta­bles and tumeric, add the wa­ter and bring to boil. Cover and sim­mer for around 25 min­utes or un­til rice and lentils are soft. Add a pinch of salt, squeeze a lit­tle lemon over the dish, and serve.

Try mak­ing a tea with the fol­low­ing com­bi­na­tions: Cumin, co­rian­der and fen­nel or Cin­na­mon, car­da­mon, ginger and clove.

PRAC­TICE GEN­TLE YOGA FOR HEALTH

Mov­ing the joints is heal­ing and yoga can be per­formed gen­tly to pro­vide re­lief for the joints and re­duce pain. Gen­tle joint ro­ta­tions in both di­rec­tions, per­formed with the breath is a won­der­ful daily ac­tiv­ity for arthri­tis. Try to cir­cle each and ev­ery joint you can ac­cess, in­clud­ing slowly cir­cling the an­kles, knees, hips, shoul­ders, neck, el­bows (by ex­tend­ing arms then touch­ing shoul­ders), and cir­cling wrists each day to the breath. Place fin­gers on shoul­ders then make cir­cu­lar move­ments with shoul­ders, aim­ing to touch el­bows to­gether with each slow round.

FLOW­ING BRIDGE POSE

Lie on your back and bring your heels in line with your sit­ting bones, knees bent, feet on floor. On your in-breath, grad­u­ally and slowly lift up your spine, start­ing from the base to­wards the neck, while lift­ing arms above head si­mul­ta­ne­ously as shown. Link the move­ments, arms rest­ing on or to­wards the floor as you lift your back as high as is com­fort­able. Syn­chro­nise your breath with the move­ment. On the out-breath, lower arms and spine from the up­per ver­te­brae to lower, back into start­ing po­si­tion. Prac­tice con­sciously and slowly with the breath, grad­u­ally re­peat­ing the move­ment se­quence up to six times. Lengthen your ex­ha­la­tion, your out-breath, with each rep­e­ti­tion.

Fi­nally, rest on your back and al­low your legs to gen­tly fall out to the sides. Close eyes, re­lax, and fo­cus on the gen­tle move­ment of your breath, in and out through your nose, feel­ing the nat­u­ral rise and fall of your belly. Re­lax, re­lease ten­sion, and let your wor­ries go. When ready, af­ter a few mo­ments, roll to the right side, and gen­tly come out of the po­si­tion.

Kylie Ter­raluna is a yoga, health and life­style features writer and health jour­nal­ist. Kylie teaches weekly yoga classes in Gal­ston and would love to see you in her classes. Kylie is our new Health and Well­Be­ing features writer. For more, visit kyli­eter­raluna.com.au.

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