The Parasympathetic (rest & digest) and Sympathetic (fight & flight) nervous responses are our body’s automated and involuntary body functions. Responsible for breathing, heartbeat, digestion and elimination, both systems act together to maintain the body’s natural balance (homeostasis), and we can play a pivotal role in supporting them. The food we eat and our lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on how these systems respond.

Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS)

This is our stress response. It prepares you to take flight, fight or freeze.

Our heart beats faster, our breath becomes fast and shallow, and our alertness increases. There is an increase in blood flow to skeletal muscles. The brain activity changes from areas that give us clear thinking, calm, mindfulness activity to a state of stimulation, anxiety and agitation.

Our gut becomes inactive, we lose appetite, relaxation becomes difficult, and this has a knock-on effect with sleep disturbances, difficulty with elimination and a build-up of toxicity. It suppresses our immune system and reproductive functions.

Hormones, particularly adrenaline, rush through your body, making you feel anxious; this all uses masses of energy, creating exhaustion.

Despite the negatives, the SNS is necessary for our survival. This automatic response makes us move out the way of an oncoming vehicle or remove our hand from a heat source

that would otherwise burn us.

However, constant overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system is involved in many health problems; this can lead to anxiety disorders that can overwhelm us. Exhaustion then leads to burn out and a host of health complaints from heart disease, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, fatigue etc.

Taking high levels of stimulants like caffeine and sugars and excessive alcohol can also provoke a stress response.

Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)

This is our relaxation response, our brake pedal; it calms us down, preparing us to rest and digest and sleep.

Our heartbeat slows to a nice steady rhythmic pattern; we breathe in full and slow. We have increased blood flow to the gut, whilst lungs and brain return to working normally. Our gut is active; this helps us digest and absorb the nutrients from our food. It supports elimination, detoxification, immune system and reproductive function.

We receive a rush of happy hormones, and this lifts our mood helping us to relax further. This relaxation helps us to conserve energy. When we reach this level of calm, it allows the mind to free space for creativity, new ideas and reflection.

This is the side of the nervous system most of us find difficult to support. The main point is downtime and time away from work. Meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, time spent out in nature, massage, hot bath, proper nutrition, cultivating gratitude, all of these can be difficult to give time to in a demanding world that moves 24/7 and 365!

I need to add; some folk can be parasympathetic dominant; for example, is where there is not enough thyroid hormone which can present as depression, lethargy and lack of zest for life.

In order to live a happy, healthy life, we need a balance of the PNS & SNS. We can support this by eating healthy balanced food choices, along with a good balance of weekly exercise and allowing ourselves to get rest and downtime.

All of which we can choose to do to restore harmony to ourselves, or we can continue to burn the candle at both ends and hope for the best.

I can hear everyone groan!! Ohhh Red Tape!...…...

But…there is good red tape!

This red tape is here to keep everyone safe, that means both Clients and Practitioners.

It is a privilege for me to be part of RICTAT (The International Register of Integrative Colon Hydrotherapists and Trainers.) They are the fastest growing international body, uniting colonic hydrotherapy professionals and promoting high ethical standards.

Every year they run continual professional training events and conferences, ensuring practitioners have the most up to date information about clinical protocols, legalities of practice and product information. They also coordinate business and practitioner networks, and there is an extensive pool of expert knowledge available in this incredible organisation.

RICTAT is also the expert advisor on colon hydrotherapy to the GRCCT (The General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies). The GRCCT acts as a voluntary regulator of CAM therapies, (Complementary and Alternative Medicine.)

Regulation and registration of complementary therapists in the UK is by means of voluntary self-regulation. This means that there are no laws to protect the public from unqualified or incompetent therapists, so to ensure the public is protected, many therapists apply to join the register to prove they are professionally trained.

Part of the ongoing requirement of being on the register is that therapists have to agree and evidence that they do a certain number of continuous professional development hours. This also applies to being a member of RICTAT.

Over the past few years and in accordance with recent government recommendations, various professional associations, including RICTAT, have been working together to agree on

common National Occupational Standards and requirements in colon hydrotherapy, which are now agreed upon and published. RICTAT are a founder association of this process, which sets the standards for anyone wishing to become a member of RICTAT.

The General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies (GRCCT) role is to be an overarching independent regulator, and they have established a national register of practitioners. They protect the public by independently validating all registered therapists' status—the GRCCT work with over 50K practitioners from a vast array of disciplines.

Practitioners that are on the National Register agree to abide by a Code of Professional Conduct & Ethics.

They are answerable to the GRCCT Complaints and disciplinary procedures.

I consider it to be immensely important and a privilege to belong to both RICTAT and the GRCCT.

They are there to ensure I have the best and most up to date information and support. This enables me to offer the best possible care to my clients.

Updated: Jan 29

To perform at our best and keep our health at an optimum, hydration is critical!

Our bodies struggle to function when we are short of fluid. The human body is 60% water. The brain is about 73% water, and the lungs are 83%. The skin contains 64% even the bones are a watery 31%! As a rule of thumb, a person can survive without water for about 3 days…

Life can be incredibly busy, and before you know what time of day it is, you realise that you have not had a drink all day! Dehydration does not affect everyone in the same way, we all have a different tolerance level, but it will cause symptoms that disturb our daily performance and health.

Symptoms can include: -

· Lack of concentration, Fatigue, Headaches.

· Light-headedness, Sluggishness, Muscle cramps, Constipation.

· Urinating less frequently, this can contribute to urinary tract infections.

· Changes in blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature and many more.

Several other factors can increase your need for liquid in your day. If your job is very active, if you’ve been exercising or sitting in an office with heating and air conditioning, all these situations will contribute to your needing to take on more fluid during your day.

Hydrating fluid can be taken from many areas, including water and vegetables, fruits, tea, and coffee. Coffee! Coffee! I hear you saying! NHS scientists have stated that drinking up to four cups of coffee a day carries no health risk. This is a huge relief to me, and many others no doubt. However, 4 cups of coffee a day is not enough fluid to keep you at your body at its maximum potential every day.

Dehydration is also a leading cause of constipation. The digestive system needs plenty of water to keep food waste moving through it; otherwise, the stool will become dry, hard, lumpy and difficult to pass. In many cases, simply drinking plenty of water can help relieve constipation.

The benefits of good hydration are:

· Increased energy levels.

· Longer periods of concentration.

· Fewer headaches.

· Better bowel function.

· More stability in our heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.

· Clearer skin.

Here are a few strategies to help you increase your daily water intake:

· Every time you go to switch on the kettle, have a glass of water first. If you still fancy the hot drink after that then go ahead and make it.

· If you’re feeling peckish mid-morning or mid-afternoon, have a glass of water instead of a snack.

· Try and drink a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal.

· Carry a 600ml bottle if you are out and about, try and finish one by lunchtime and one by teatime.

· Set the alarm on your phone.

· Download the App, ‘Water reminder Daily Tracker’.

With a few adjustments to your daily routine, you will reap tremendous benefits.

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Covid 19 - Information

Bushey Colonic Hydrotherapy

1 Malden Fields



WD23 2QA


Phone: 01923 246 555

Mobile: 07818 452 761

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