Every year there is ‘that ONE swim’

There is always one swim each year that stores in my memory to tide me over through the seasons change until the next Baltic dipping in May the following year.
The swimming in Ireland is fresh and I feel the cold a lot; yet its always worth it when you do venture in. Soul food; followed by a hot cuppa tea.

I thought I had that swim in July; but a cold morning on Sept 1st this week was the most beautiful experience of the year hands down. And I got to share it with friends. Andree had organised a photo shoot to promote the ‘Blueway’ around Lough Derg and they couldn’t have picked a better morning. So I hopped in and joined Carmel, Aaron and Andree to share the magic.

That amazing July morning sunrise swim

 
The air temperature was a sharp 8 degrees but the water held her modestly warmer summer temperatures creating this amazing rising mist over the water.

I stopped on my way to Twomilegate to take a sneaky shot of Killaloe hoping no one would see me standing roadside in my wetsuit!

 
Words fail; we swam in silence and stopped now and again to just float.

that’s me

Sorry for so many photos; but Ireland is simply amazing when the sun shines and especially in the mornings. We may complain about the rain, and daily when training it is a mission to play the dance around the rain showers and weather app roulette games; but I wouldn’t change it for the world. The rain is what makes our country so lush and beautiful.

Love,
Andrea
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I can help you heal….but we gotta work together

Andrea Cullen

To heal complex health problems we must look at everything and this starts with the gut…

This will be a short post!

I deal with chronic and complex health problems almost daily in my clinic. To solve complex health problems such as fatigue, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal issues, modern complex conditions such as Lyme’s disease and post-viral syndromes, auto-immune issues and functional issues that we are told to live with, requires getting to the bottom of everything to the core of what is really going on.

I can help!

THIS is what I am good at, and why is probably a function of a mixture of my nature (wanting to know why in every possible way!), my training (pharmacy, nutritional therapy, and functional medicine training all lead to the desire to get to the core of the issue and treat from there) and my passion (I want you to feel not…

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You must back yourself

Don’t be complacent in the pursuit of your goals and dreams just because at times it may be inconvenient,
or feel uncomfortable.

The path is not always clear,
not everyone will be in agreement with your beliefs,
sometimes you will feel uncertain about the next steps.

But if the desire is in your heart,
and a sense of purpose infuses your whole being,
then DON’T GIVE UP,
keep moving forwards………

PERSIST

Love,
Andrea

Feeling Anxious?

Andrea Cullen

Hi all,

I had an anxious week last week. Maybe it was the vibes, maybe it was me, maybe it was my body. The brain always wants to obsess on how we are feeling and sometimes the best thing that we can do is focus outwards and switch our focus.

Here are a few words of encouragement

The Honest Guys have a super channel on YouTube worth signing up with. Here is their latest meditation:

Anxiety can have many causes and it is always worth investigating further to address their causes. Here are a few causes that we may find during an assessment in the clinic:

  1. Anxiety is a symptom to draw your attention to a problem. It is your friend and asks you to explore the nutritional, lifestyle, spiritual and emotional balance in your life.
  2. Empath or highly sensitive person – sensitive to all that surrounds you
  3. Poor nutrition…

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Spring Winds

The Spring winds announces themselves
with whispers, groans, and creaks through the tall trees.
Shaking out the last dead leaves of Winter;
making way for rebirth.

Stand outside a moment, in the dark night.
The wind is calling.
Ushering urgent messages into your core,
as quickly as she blasts winter cobwebs away.

Allow yourself to be shaken out,
for the roots always hold firm in the spring.
Allow her bitter cold gusts pierce the very core of your heart,
like jump leads – a call to action.

Spring is here she bellows across the fields.
Her force sees no obstacle too great,
as she urges waves to rise high and topple,
A great power carrying endless potential.

spring-winds

The wind announces her formless self through every thing of form.
Her invisible path leaves a trail of dancing trees.
She is birthed from difference, yet she sees none.
Stand outside in the wind she calls…..

“Stand outside in the wind,
I bring the message of hope.
I carry the promise of sunbeams and longer days,
And I whisper in your ear come out and play“.

“Winter is done.”

dried-trees-in-the-deserts-wind-1920x1080-wide-wallpapers-net

Love,
Andrea

Migraines suck….

For the migraine sufferers

Andrea Cullen

migraine-with-aura-how-to-monitor-migraine-auras

This article discusses migraine, what it is, various triggers and underlying causes, touches on some strategies to treat migraine as well as the emotional and metaphysical causes. This article is more a resource and support than a definitive A-Z; if you would like help determining the causes for your migraine or to know more about individual treatment approaches that may work for you and/ or to book an appointment for a comprehensive assessment please complete the contact form below.

Migraine 1: Andrea NIL

Migraine got the better of me this morning and left me floored for the whole day. I tried to chew on the reasons and emotions but sometimes it’s as simple as those pesky things called hormones or practical things like lack of sleep, bright lights, food triggers, low blood glucose levels, mobile phones and WiFi, flickering lights, even weather patterns, and as mentioned hormonal dips pre-menstrually.

People…

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Spring

In the midst of bleak grey stormy skies new life announces itself.

Beautiful, inspiring; the perpetual cycle of life.

Life returns to the landscape, the light returns to the skies, the birdsong is vibrant as the new day starts and with it the Irish wake from their hibernation and the weary dredge through winter.

Spring infuses even the heaviest heart if you open your eyes to the rebirth everywhere.

This article by Adam Winson brought my attention to the writings of George Orwell: Spring is here, and they can’t stop you enjoying it

“Spring is here, even in London, and they can’t stop you enjoying it. This is a satisfying reflection. How many a time have I stood watching the toads mating, or a pair of hares having a boxing match in the young corn, and thought of all the important persons who would stop me enjoying this if they could. But luckily they can’t. So long as you are not actually ill, hungry, frightened or immured in a prison or a holiday camp, Spring is still Spring. The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun, and neither the dictators nor the bureaucrats, deeply as they disapprove of the process, are able to prevent it.”  George Orwell 1946

Healing….. what we are doing isn’t working

Healing Flower & Tree Essences of Ireland

I am a trained pharmacist, if you have found my webpage this may surprise you. I am raised and bred in science. I excelled in school at all the languages, sciences and mathematical subjects. I was told I could do anything; so I decided on the medical field because I wanted to make a difference. Science solves problems and cures people after all, medicine and research seeks a cure? Doesn’t it?

that's me in the middle that’s me in the middle on graduation day, 1997

And off I went, I studied hard to gain maximum points, I went to university, and then out I popped all educated into the work force. I thought I had made the decision that would give me the education to fix people’s health problems. The day I graduated as a pharmacist was the day I felt convinced that I could make a difference and I set about being the best…

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WHAT MATTERS?

If what you are fussing about right now was taken away from you would you miss it tomorrow?

The items that complicate your life as much as the things that you covet in life? the fancy car? perfect house? desired job title? the idiot that upset or insulted you? the fancy handbag? the watch, the brand labelled clothes? your status? whether the goddamn sandwich is keto, paleo or banting? even Donald trump given the mass hysteria of late….would you miss is if it was gone?

would-you-bigger

NO...

So why give it all your energy? Why do you make these things matter so much and care so much about what others think? Or give an argument so much energy when others don’t agree with you?

rsz_1doesitmatteriiedited

Trust me it is the simple things that matter most. Telling someone you love them, feeling safe and loved, the morning sky that greets you when you open the curtains, sunsets, spring turning life awake again, the feeling of freedom, the people who count, warm clothes and a pair of shoes, food, and well for me today I am really missing getting my feet into the energy of life on a run. Yep…. a small thing that shows me that it is important to me in my life that I feel the world and her beauty on a simple run.

There is always something to remind you what truly matters in life; it is the stuff that you cannot buy, that you take for granted, and is the substance of memories and being alive……

Fill your life with what truly matters

Love,
Andrea

 

There is a lesson and an opportunity in everything….

Preamble – I wrote this short piece for athletes that I work with as a reminder to them to work with their bodies and see the positives even in the most negative of injury situations. I guess that my own little ankle sprain and road roasties from a running fall in South Africa prompted me to some inner thinking time and a reflection on the journey for those with injuries across the spectrum of minor to serious. I was overwhelmed by the level of fatigue noted in my body, and also the degree of healing once I allowed the rest to happen and the additional calorie intake as prompted by appetite. Your body is always working with you, when you let it.

xx Andrea

There is a lesson and an opportunity in everything; especially in the events that don’t turn out as expected.

sun-and-cloud

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT THIS WEEK?

Doesn’t it feel like a never-ending roller coaster some-days? One that you are more than capable of rising to? and over-coming? and growing from? Life doesn’t throw it at you if you cannot handle it you always get through – but it requires having your eyes open. There is a skill in being able to shift your mindset to what opportunity and growth is here rather than feeling a victim to our circumstances.

This morning I feel frustrated. I ONLY have a sprained ankle and roasties – not much in the greater context of life – but I am feeling fed up of feeling sore, of sleep being sore and of feeling tired. SO – I have a choice here to effectively ruin my Saturday holding it all in, or to just express it and then get on with it.

It is ok to feel emotions, but most of us only sort of feel them and they fester away in a less than good mood for most of the day. We also tend to spill these feelings out in reactions against other people (which isn’t fair on them).

What if you can actually allow the emotions?

If you express the emotions they will have less of a hold on you. It is good to feel and express emotions like anger, sadness, fear, overwhelm, and all across the ‘feelings’ spectrum…. just chose when and how wisely! It is not good to hold them in, they come out in other ways, most often as an attack on others, an attack on ourselves, or through the body in an illness, or niggle like a headache, pain, eating problems, depression, etc.

Start to develop an awareness of how the mind, emotions, and the body interconnect. Then as you master this skill you will be able to unfold things in the other direction; that being when a symptom can be unravelled back to the source. The true source. It is always fascinating to me how when I really dig deep health issues can often be complicated and triggered by deeply held emotions; I see it in clients all the time. We hold the emotions more often than not when we are strong; it is not a weakness.

So lessons learnt? I’ll share a few of mine if you please go and take this example as an increased awareness in your own life.

1. when the body is injured, just as when it is ill, it goes into sickness mode. Inflammation leaves you feeling lethargic, hungry, fed up and unmotivated. Long term injury I would assume leaves the athlete at greater risk of depression so be mindful to place things in your day to keep you positive.

Learning to shift you focus to the good things in life is an acquired skill. You must practice. Feeling a victim doesn’t lead to fast healing. You have to work with and believe in your body. I mean REALLY WORK WITH YOUR BODY TO THE EXTENT OF USING VISUALISATION AS A STRATEGY AND GRATITUDE AS A RESPONSE TO ALL THAT YOUR BODY IS DOING.

2. When injured the natural reaction of the athlete is to eat less…. NO….. your body is working super hard to heal itself and to do this it needs nutrition IE FOOD… the construction material to regenerate and the co-workers to assist.

This means energy, protein (amino acids), vitamins, minerals (these are structural and functional), plant antioxidants, healthy fats like omega 3 to regulate the inflammation process and any specifics that are related to the injury. For example I have a ligament sprain so soft tissue nutrients like gelatin and vitamin C are helpful for me.

3. Work intuitively with your body. You need to honour the nudges for rest or movement, strapping or to allow some movement stimulate strength, inflammation modulation, hot and cold to encourage circulation, manipulation such as osteopathic or chiropractic, physiotherapy or massage, sleep and rest versus get up off your ass and move. etc. What does your intuition say? This is something that no coach or therapist can have as profoundly as your own; so share your thoughts and work together on healing your body. DON’T EXPECT SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT ALL FOR YOU.

4. Healing modalities such as energy remedies (I make my own range of plant and tree remedies for clients and mixed up a blend of oak, scots pine and rose to assist healing), pulsed electromagnetic frequency fields (IMRS 2000 or Bemer etc), aromatherapy (powerful for healing I use Young Living Panaway), herbs (both topical and taken internally), reiki, kinesiology, and so on; use what draws your attention.

5. That there is a difference between an athlete injury and an accident injury – think about it.

6. Belief…… if you are going through a significant injury healing process a little part of you will believe in the power of your body to heal far beyond that of any surgeon or expert. If your body says it is possible, and your mind believes it, then make it happen and don’t give up.

Find the silver linings today and if you are fit and healthy then take a moment and say thanks; not to the powers out there but to the powers within you. That little body and all the things it does every day is a miracle. One that science in truth knows so little about.

I mean think about it; each little cell and molecule knows what to do, how to regenerate and how to respond… simply WOW.

Andrea

Some silver linings are detailed in my photos.

After my little fall we had some free time and used this to visit Chintsa East soup kitchen; click here to read the story