19 Feb 2013

What is oil pulling and how has it helped me?

I'm sure somewhere on the internet in the last few months you've heard of this routine called oil pulling. I heard about in late December and in January I decided I was going to give it a go as I heard some great reviews of it, and I am a sucker for things to add to my beauty routine.

Before I tell you about my experience I will explain what Oil Pulling is and how it's supposed to work.

image sourced from Google.

What actually is oil pulling?

Oil pulling originates from Ayurvedic tradition, basically what you do is swill a tablespoon of oil round your mouth, I use Coconut oil but you can use olive oil but coconut just tastes a bit nicer. You swill and swish it in your mouth just like you would with mouth wash but you do this for 15-20 minutes. What happens whilst your swishing all this oil in your mouth is that the toxins within your body are pulled out creating mucous draining. Then after 15-20minutes you spit out the oil, DO NOT SWALLOW it or gargle the oil. Then you brush your teeth like normal.  You can do it once a day or increase affects you can do it in the morning and evening.

What effects can oil pulling have ?
  • Whiter teeth
  • decrease chances of getting cavities
  • boost metabolism - aidinf weight loss
  • help clear up acne
  • decrease bad breath
  • decrease headaches
  • Healthier gums
  • help ease eczema 
  • better sleep
  • Clearer Sinuses 
  • Increase energy
My oil pulling experience:

I have been doing oil pulling with Coconut oil twice a day for twenty minutes each time for nearly a month. At first it is the weirdest experience and it takes a while to get used to the texture. I tend to do it whist I have a bath or whilst I get ready in the morning. It takes a week or two to notice any difference, apart from your mouth feeling like its had a proper clean.
The things I have noticed are my teeth are at least a shade whiter than they were a month ago, obviously they are not blinding white but they are brighter, as are my gums. I have also noticed that my acne on my face has calmed down more, I had really bad acne on my chin a month a go and now I only get one or two small blemishes occasionally. I haven't really noticed much more other than I just feel more awake and ready when I do it in the morning. I am going to continue doing this twice a day and see what other benefits there are.

This is the current brand I am using  - not my photo-                  
Overall I would recommend people to try it just don't expect  miracle changes to your body, but take time with it and in the long run I'm sure it has great benefits to your body and your health

Have any of you tried oil pulling and what affects have you noticed ? I'd love to know :-)

Thank you for reading
Take care

17 Feb 2013

Recent Goals and achievements!

I'm sorry I have been so rubbish at blogging recently. It's a mixture of flare ups, stress and lack of inspiration. I am still struggling at the moment but I thought I should at least try and get something out today.

The first thing that's happened recently is that my 'Race for Life' sponsor pack and T-Shirt arrived and it has given me so much motivation to get out there and start training. It is a 5k circuit which seems a little daughting at the moment. I am allowing myself to use my cane to start off with but secretly I am hoping to go it without my cane. That would be such a HUGE achievement for me, as this time last year when I got diagnosed I
couldn't walk five minutes without my cane.

The next bit of news it that my Chronically Crafty Facebook page has reached 100 likes!! Which is incrediable, Thank you all so much for supporting my page and the thing's I post. I never believed I would get more than 10 people interested so Thank you all so so much!

I am going to try and get some more posts out but I have decided to scrap having a schedual to keep too because I don't think that will help me enjoy blogging as much as I do. I will now just try and get one or two posts out a week.

Let me know in the comments below what sort's of posts you'd like to see me do :-)

Thank you for reading
Take care

8 Feb 2013

A year with Fibromyalgia : To Hell and back

Today marks a whole year since my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, and boy has it been a tough year!

Though saying that, I made it through there are times in the last year where I thought I was going to give up and felt that I couldn't go on any longer, but I did and I have made it to today, this is proof that people can make it through that first horrible year of denial, fear, anger and depression due to the pain and the huge changes that have to be made to accommodate to this illness.

I have had to get through a lot of changes in the past year, some of which I thought I'd never get over. I had to leave my job at the Nursery because my body could not keep up with the demands of my role, I was heartbroken because I had found a job I loved and was good at. I also had to accept that I wasn't like a normal 20 year old, I wouldn't be able to spontaneously decide to have a night out and other things that my friends did. I had to get used to counting my spoons (check out the spoon theory here) and planning days ahead , then being prepared to cancel last minute if my body wouldn't allow. The biggest thing was getting used to walking with a walking stick, it took me months to accept using it, and even now I have the odd day's where I get paranoid about using it.

I don't really know how to sum the year up, I mean yeah sure it sucked a lot of the time but I also did some pretty cool things. The highlights was being able to Frank Turner at Wembley , going to London Zoo to see my adopted Hippo and being taken away for my Birthday to the Lake District. I had other awesome day's out and other things happen too that shine through all the rough days.

Now for positive things and goals for the next year:

  • After this year I have lost friends, found out who really cares about me, but I have gained some amazing new friends in real life and then there's the fantastic community I have found on Tumblr,twitter and facebook who are all there for me through the good and the roughest times. 
  • I have the most amazing family and boyfriend who have been by my side throughout it all, supporting me and catching me when I fall. I could not imagine how I would have got through all this without them being there for me, So I guess I can squeeze a HUGE thank you to them in here! 
  • I have found so much inspiration and hope in doing this blog and all the other Chronically Crafty pages. I live on helping other people and there seemed like no better way to help than to share my experiences with living with a chronic illness. And all I have gotten back are positive messages and all my pages have come so far and I can't wait to see my little community grow more as I continue to develop them.
  • My body is getting so much stronger and after a year I am able to walk a fair distance without my walking stick, which is fantastic. This has given me the motivation and today I signed up for the 5km race for life to give me the motivation to strengthen my body more for this summer!
From now onwards I know I'm still going to have very tough challenging days, but I know now that I can get through them because I have made it through the past year. I hope that things will pick up now, I have a few opportunities in the pipelines and I am very exited about a lot of things. 

So here is to another less sucky year to come! 

Thank you for reading
Take care

7 Feb 2013

Fibromyalgia series : coming to terms with your diagnosis

There is no way in one post that I can connect to everyone and meet every individual thought you can have about being diagnosed so I've decided to just bullet point some of my personal and most common thoughts/fears of getting your diagnosis.

  • Research and learn:  My most important point is that you learn about what your diagnosis is and  make sure you know exactly what it is doing to your body. There are lots of websites and books about Fibromyalgia. Spend time reading up, I also found that joining a forum (FMAUK and UKFibromyalgia ) is a great way to ask people and read up about things from other people who are going through the same things as you. 
  • Support Groups: I know that not every town/city in the world will have a support group but if you can find one local to you , I have found they can be a great help to go to and talk to others face to face about things you are going through. If you are in the UK take a look at the FMAUK website and see if there is a support group near you. Facebook groups are also a great way to get talking to others who are in the same position as you and you may even find people who live local to you to talk too. 

  • Dealing with emotions: When I got diagnosed and I've found it's just about the same for others, you will go through a roller-coaster of different emotions, mainly along the lines of anger, fear and depression. You will question 'why me?' and you need to remember that it is not your fault that this is happening to you, it is no ones fault life is just a bit unfair. There is nothing I can say really to cure these feelings they just tend to go over time as you become able to manage your pain and symptoms. All these emotions may consume you at the beginning but eventually you can channel them into something creative. That is why I became a health activist by writing about things I am going through ,helping and connecting with others helps me to control my emotions, whereas I know other people who have started making crafts, painting and channelling their emotions that way. 

  • Managing your life: I was devastated when I was first diagnosed because it meant that I couldn't be like other people my age now, I couldn't go out and get drunk and most of all it meant that I had to leave my job as a nursery nurse. Things will be hard to admit and there will most likely be changes in your life that you're going to have to face. Take some time to sit down with a family member or partner and work out what things in life will change and how to go about doing them. Will you have to cut your working hours? do you need to apply for disability benefits? will you need more help around the house/with childcare? There are a lot of things that need to be considered and it will be tough but it will help you in the long run to try and sort these things out as early as possible.

  • Try and stay positive: This is not an easy thing to go through for anyone, but your life isn't over just because you're ill. Make sure you explain to friends, work and family about your condition so they know how to help you. I can't go out with my friends when they go out and get drunk but I can still go to the pub with them sometimes and catch up that way. There are ways around the things that you need to change and over time you will see how you can still have a good time and a good life. And please remember you are not alone in this.

I hope these tips have helped you or someone you know. Let me know if you have any other ways that helped you come to terms with your diagnosis in the comments below?

For the next post I am going to start writing about different symptoms that you get with Fibromyalgia (and they may apply to other conditions too) and tips on them. 

What posts would you like to see? Is there any part of Fibromyalgia that you are struggling with and would like me to talk about let me know below?

Thank you for reading
Take care

4 Feb 2013

Resolution's update and the no technology challenge!

I can not believe that January is already behind us! It hasn't been the greatest start to a year for me, nothing really bad happened but nothing really happened it all blurred into one without me noticing.

I have though been good to my resolutions/goals so far. I've been taking much better care of myself. I'm putting good foods into my body,I'm doing daily exercise even if it's only a 10 minute walk and I am really starting to notice the difference.I notice now if I eat something too greasy or sugary I start to feel more groggy and sluggish.

I also may have a job lined up and some voluntary work in the pipelines too which is fantastic, only short hours but it's a start to get myself back into working and getting some money. I'm still not sorted with my benefits and not receiving any money, which I need to go and sort out but it's just hard to face it I guess.

The no technology Challenge:

One thing I have started doing in the last month is taking some time out from the internet and my laptop, and it is so nice to not be checking all my social networks all the time and it is giving me more time to go for walks and I have starting reading again which I have really missed.

Try and give it a go, one afternoon a week just turn off  your laptop, and even phone and spend some time with family or loved ones, take yourself on a walk or discover a new hobby without the distraction of bleeping notifications. It is nice to just take some time out from the technological life we live in now.

Let me know what you choose to do whilst taking time out from technology in the comments below.
Also how is everyone doing at keeping their resolutions, let me know ?

Thank you for reading
Take care

2 Feb 2013

The First Rheumatoid Disease Awareness Day!

It's a very exciting day today as the title states, February 2nd is Rheumatoid Disease Awareness Day. I myself have not been diagnosed (yet) with RA but I have been told that it is likely that in the future I could develop RA in my knees. 

What is Rheumatoid arthritis/Disease:

RA is an inflammatory disease that causes damage to joint tissue and internal organs, resulting in high levels of pain and disability. RA causes the immune system to attack the body due to it malfunctioning.

The cause of Rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, though there has been some research into genetics, and researchers have shown theories environmental factors such as smoking and bacteria may trigger someone to develop RA.
Symptoms of RA :
  • Fatigue
  • stiffness in joints
  • Joint swelling
  • fevers
  • joint pains and aches
RA does not affect each person the same, some people it only attacks a few joints, where as in others in can attack all joints at the same time, and often silently attacks the heart or organs too.

There is no cure for RA, but the pain can be managed with medications and tests to help, though some people do not respond well to treatments and live with their symptoms and pain everyday.

How can you help to raise awareness today?
  • You can go and read The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation's press release and then share it with your social network sites : Click here
  • You can like their facebook page and share it with your friends and family : Click here
  • You can share some of these awareness photo's and banners on your facebook,twitter,blog,pinterest : Click here
  • And you can help educate people you know by showing and sharing with them this blog post and any of the links above.
Help spread awareness for the thousands of people who are fighting this life altering disease!

I have used the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation's website to help me gain this information to share with you :-)

Thank you for reading
Take care and keep helping to raise awareness