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Let’s talk about gout!

One of the things that makes my job so interesting is that no 2 classes are ever the same and you just never know what someone is going to ask you to focus the class on.

I notice that health/life challenges tend to run in cycles and patterns and at the moment it’s all about gout and knees… so I thought this would be the focus of my next couple of blogs. Even if you are not suffering from gout or bad knees, please do read on, there’s plenty of good advice here to keep everyone’s joints happy!

So I’m going to start with gout, as an unbelievably large amount of people have asked me about this over the last couple of weeks! Gout is essentially a localised, acute and extremely painful form of arthritis. The body deposits excess uric acid which it has been unable to eliminate, often around a single joint, usually the big toe joint, however other joints can be affected.

The general consensus is that diet plays a big part in the management of gout and whilst I think the dietary advice given is useful to us all, more than half of the people I’ve been speaking to recently do watch what they eat and stay away from trigger foods, such as red meat, caffeine and alcohol and drink plenty of water. So there must be more to it than this!

I have seen good results, from taking the joints through a gentle programme of movements. This increases the blood flow to the area, so nutrients are brought to the affected joint, but also, perhaps more importantly, the toxins ie. the uric acid is moved away from the site. The gentle movement also stimulates the production of synovial fluid, which is vital for pain free, moveable joints.

You’ll notice that I’ve said “gentle” movements a couple of times. If a joint is damaged, arthritic or swollen it is important that you try to move a joint through its natural range of movements to maintain flexibility by the production of synovial fluid, however if you push it too far, out of its comfort zone you can actually cause more damage.  And this is one of the reasons that the Arthritis Research Campaign highly recommends yoga, because we mindfully work all our joints through their natural range. Yoga also helps to improve circulation and our elimination processes, vital for keeping joints healthy.

Here are the very simple moves that I recommend for a gouty foot (or just to keep the joints healthy in general!):

i)    Sit with your legs extended in front of you.

ii)  Curl your toes away from you and then towards you, 4 times. Ensure you are moving the toes and not the whole foot.

iii)  Flex your ankle, bringing the feet towards you, then extend the ankle moving the feet towards the floor, 4 times.

iv)  Cirlce your ankles as wide as you can 4 times in one direction and then 4 times in the opposite direction.

Repeat these exercises at least twice a day and always work in your comfort zone, don’t tolerate pain. If in doubt see your medical practitioner.

I would also recommend you visit an aromatherapist. The massage, always working towards the heart combined with the essential oils, helps improve circulation, aids the elimination of toxins and can help alleviate the pain. Acupuncture is another great way of helping an acute attack of gout.

I firmly believe that our thought patterns have a lot to do with the health of our body. If you are a regular sufferer of gout, perhaps this might ring some bells (sometimes you really need to be honest with yourself!). Taken from Louise Hay’s book “You can heal your life” these are the thought patterns linked to gout, along with an affirmation to help turn it round:

Gout: The need to dominate. Impatience, anger. Affirmation: I am safe and secure. I am at peace with myself and others.

My final tip for dealing with gout holistically is to place a piece of one of the following crystals on the affected area (don’t forget to cleanse your crystal in running cold water afterwards), whilst doing some relaxation or breathing (which by now you should be all expert at as, you’ve been doing your homework from previous posts!!) – chiastolite, chrysoprase, labradorite or turquoise.

I hope you’ve found this information of interest and that you find something useful that complements any allopathic medicine you may be taking to combat your gout. Until next time, take care Ix

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