my little black book of natural therapies

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

I get asked rather often what therapies, of all the ones I’ve tried – and I’ve tried a few -  I personally use and recommend. So I thought I’d post on it.

I’ve tried just about every therapy in Christendom. It’s an occupational hazard. From the noise of it all I’ve distilled things down to a bunch of smooth routines and approaches.

Photo by Steven Klein

As a general approach, I keep to a morning routines. Routines are good.  They create a firm launch pad and determine the tone of the day.

I also do some regular maintenance stuff. Sometimes I think to myself, “my parents would never do this kind of thing…they’d just get on with it”. Also, it can get expensive, all this “maintenance”.

But I justify it thus:

I do a lot, am engaged in a lot, and I need help to ensure I can keep doing what I love to do.

An athlete gets regular physio. TV stars get blowdries. A rally car driver gets their car serviced. I get regular treatments to keep me well and open and energised.

I rotate the various therapies, according to what continues to keep me open and intimate with life. I’m also a little challenged by the idea of taking good care of myself (I forget and burn out very easily) and so some of these healings are about getting into that space. Being intimate. This is important. I don’t buy nail polish or magazines or shoes or throw cushions. I prefer to do this kind of thing.

My daily practice:

Meditation. I practice the vedic style (with a mantra, 20 minutes  twice a day). I’ve blogged about it here. My teacher Tim can be found here.

Exercise. I move every morning – a mixture of walking, jogging (I’ve taken to barefoot running), yoga, ocean swimming and home weights. I also ride a singlespeed bike. My thing is this: I set out to move every day for 20 minutes minimum. It’s the “every day” bit that matters to me, and my aim is to simply get blood flowing and to feel fresh and to get into the outdoors. I don’t focus on “getting fit” or losing weight. It’s also about flow and agility and feeling vibrant.

Here’s a ‘why and how’ rundown of the “caveman-ish” style of weights that I do and here’s how to exercise at home, with a video! When I’m in Sydney, I go to Origin of Energy in Bondi.

I do the vinyasa style of yoga. When in Byron, I got to Ananta yoga.

Regularly:

Chinese Medicine. I swear by Traditional Chinese Medicine, especially for anything to do with fertility and periods. It works miracles. I go to Lily Lui in Surry Hills. She also has hashimotos and gets the whole AI caper. I’ve also consulted Nat Kringoudis at The Pagoda Tree in Melbourne. She KNOWS her stuff and draws in naturopathic thinking, too.

Naturopathy. Find a naturopath who’s had the same issues as you. I see Angela at Tonic.

Acupuncture. It works. For most things. I’ve been going to Daniel at the Pain Relief Clinic for years. It cured my Grave’s disease in my eye. It can fix constipation in one session and recalibrate my energy when I’m having a bad thyroid time of it. It’s probably my favourite treatment for keeping me on track.

In times of need:

Massage. Sometimes I just need to be touched, especially on thyroidy days. I need blood to move. I’ll go to one of those cheap Chinese or Thai places – I like the lack of elegance, the lack of expectation. In Byron I go to a great local woman who works from home: Rachel: 02 6685 4466.

Infra red sauna. It assists with a whole bunch of auto-immuny symptoms and issues. I go to Alkaline Spa in Sydney; if you’re a local. You can also read more about how infra red saunas help with autoimmune issues.

On thyroidy/crappy days, I have a swag of tips/tricks I haul out. At the moment what’s really working is finding a sauna to sit in. For some reason it completely recalibrates things – the heavy, still silence and the sweating of toxins seems to be what it’s about. When I’m travelling I make sure I set aside time to use the hotel’s sauna (late at night is good…no one around). When in Sydney, I go to the one at Icebergs.

Osteopathy/chiropratic. I write all day and it stuffs my posture. My neck gets thrown and so I have to go and get cracked back into place. Not ideal. But you do what you have to do. In Byron I go to Peter. He’s a super passionate surfer who knows a lot!

When I travel, I’ve had to learn ways to make it work for me. I’ve written about that here.

I also consult a psychic. Sounds far more woo-woo than it actually is. I speak with the very sharp Kristine Fry a few times a year when I need help with clarifying my thoughts. She does readings over Skype. She’s astounding for life direction stuff and serves as life coach with DEEP intuition. A great deal of my smart, business-minded friends also see her for this kind of life coaching stuff.

Hope that answers some of your questions… and, out of interest, what do you think about this idea of forking out cash to keep yourself open? I still worry it’s indulgent…

 

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  • Jan

    Is XXXXX the witch in Byron Bay?

    I think living where you are sounds like its own natural therapy.

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  • mel

    hey sarah has this been double posted? :)

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  • Belinda

    Thanks Sarrah, I just moved to Waterloo & was wanting to do yoga but was unsure which one to do, i also wanted to go get some acupuncture done & wasnt sure where to go, this blog has answered so many of my questions!!

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  • Craig

    Peter is a Chiropractor not an Osteopath

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  • Mia Bluegirl

    Does kinesiology count as Chinese medicine? It’s partly Chinese medicine. Lots of acupressure. I really like it, it has done great things for me. I would thoroughly recommend that to anyone with hormonal issues. Kinesiology, therapy (addiction issues + cognitive behavioral therapy = happy Mia) and my gym membership are the only things I pay a lot of money for. My gym has yoga, steam room, sauna, etc and I have only recently remembered how much I like it.

    I’m also a bit weird about forking out cash for that sort of thing… but I think we live in a strange world, a very different world to our parents. I dont think you can compare the two – each generation has their challenges and burdens as well as their saviors. I think its a balance, with the modern privilege of living in this new and exciting technologically advanced era comes a burden also. There is a reason AI is on the up and so many more people have it now than our parents’ or grandparents’ day where it was practically unheard of. It would be silly not to use the tools we have available to us just because our parents didn’t.

    Everyone needs to draw their own line in the sand though.

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    picardie.girl Reply:

    Nice response to the generational confusion, Mia. I like the idea of needing new tools to deal with new burdens, rather than the usual line of “you/we have it so much easier than they did; what an indulgent thing to do”. Makes me feel better about needing more down time than they do too.

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  • Jenna

    Helpful list – thanks. But no need to justify your “maintenance” lifestyle to anyone, much alone yourself. As long as it helps you either physically or emotionally is all that matters.

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  • Katie

    Sarah, how easily do you get around Byron now without a car? Could understand not needing one in the city, but living remotely is different. I live in the Blue Mountains and would love to ditch my car but public transport and distance to shops makes it difficult. Oh, & I have read about far too many horror stories to even consider hitch hiking!

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  • http://www.feltlikewool.wordpress.com Nat

    I have such a list of therapists, it really rivals your own in volume! I often find my commitment to varying therapists is strong in the beginning but then forking out for weekly appointments starts to feel indulgent and I cave, I have had some excellent advice and adjustments over the years. I have a partner too and we are a saving unit, trying to buy a house and I guess it feels like that should be the priority but then again, am i really considering putting saving for a house before any mental or physical investment?! Crazy huh. I love the yoga in my life, that alone helps me feel balanced but it’s not enough to sustain me totally. I am on a mission to meditate more but I make a million excuses. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have helping hands of varying thought to assist in daily life. Plus, I just love learning new ideas to keep life interesting and exciting, pleasurable and challenging. Thanks Sarah, again.

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  • Cath

    Hey Sarah, have been reading your blog for a while but this is my first comment. I’m a mother of a one year old, attempting to mother and work for money from home at the same time, and it is tiring! I often walk past the cheap Chinese massage place and think I should drop in but never make time to. Last weekend I had a pedicure, my first in 18 months. It felt amazing! I still relish my toes and my exfoliated ankles! I definitely think it is worth taking time for ‘you’. You, like so many of us, are a busy woman and it is so easy for the life you lead to swallow you. So yeah, stuff the money, indulge.

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  • Christine

    If everybody spent money on these things we’d all be so much happier! I still feel guilty spending out sometimes but afterwards nuh. I receive so much more for the exchange.

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    Nicole Reply:

    ‘The exchange’. Love it. What an honest way of describing it.

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  • Lexie

    I feel the same about the money; I get so guilty about the concept of spending any amount of money on myself that it destroys the entire experience of ‘indulging’ myself. I’ve taken to borrowing library books as the only lame method of treating myself to a new book, or watching television episodes that I don’t have to pay for in a expensive DVD set. Do you know how to overcome this problem? :(

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  • http://www.queenofsheba.com.au queenie

    I use therapies when needed, a bit like vitamins. For the most part, healthy eating, exercise, sleep, and the occasional day right away from my own space does the trick.

    But osteopathy can be life-changing if you get the right practitioner. I did a year-long course of osteopathy after a major operation, and although it was expensive, the difference it made to my life was enormous and ongoing.

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  • Shalome

    I once heard a female financial planner tell a room full of corporate women that they should think of themselves as individual corporations that need a good solid ‘Board of Directors’ to ensure a strong financial future, e.g. Tax agent, solicitor, bank manager, mortgage broker, financial planner, etc.

    My immediate thought was ‘Ahah! Thats exactly what I have but my Board of Directors are all about ensuring I have a strong holistic health future!’. Regardless of how regularly I use them I absolutely see my chiro, acupuncturist, masseuse, organic deliveryman, health food shop, yoga etc as definite investments in the Company of Me.

    As the major shareholder, I may be a little bit biased, but I’m worth it! x

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  • Karen Miller

    I’ve been exploring and experimenting with natural therapies over the years and much more recently due to some tricky health problems. I just wanted to shout out for three things which are proving quite revelatory. A chiro technique called network spinal analysis which comes with a breathing technique SRI and also a body psychotherapy approach called core energetics. Betweeen the three things it feels like years worth of emotional stuff is coming out!

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  • Lisa

    My first time commenting on a post by Sarah but my question is to all of the amazingly switched on Sarah Wilson followers that live in Brisbane. Does anyone know a fantastic naturopath?

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  • lou lou

    Why is it that we feel guilty spending money on ourselves but wouldn’t think anything of paying for the servicing of our car? We shouldn’t feel guilty and should look at it like an investment in our health. I do what I need to do and love my yoga classes have massages when I can offord it, see the osteo when I need her and have stopped feeling guilty about looking after myself.

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  • GiGi

    Hi Sarah and fellow travellers

    I’ve been reading pretty much the whole blog over the last week or so and my head is full of great stuff. A couple of things I’ve resolved:

    If I’m going to live to be 100 (or more) then I’m only half way through. That just takes the pressure off. So much more time to earn the money to pay for the things that will keep me going. I used to go to the hairdressers every 6 weeks and for a facial every 4 weeks – but, given a choice, I would rather have a massage every week instead. I can get by with my hair and I can give myself a facial (of sorts) but I can’t give myself a massage – or get by without one. And I find a massage so beneficial on so many levels. I think things like regular acupuncture, seeing a naturopath, buying supplements and/or investing in a life coach are all part of taking care of ourselves. An investment in our (long) future.

    In fact, I’d give up buying (unnecessary) clothes in favour of a massage; which solves another dilemma – the one about decision-making. It’s really about making priorities – health, well-being, good food, over what other people think of what I’m wearing, how I look, or what I do.

    Slowing down – again, if I’m living to 100, what’s the rush? And can we live to be 100 if we’re so stressed out about rushing everywhere that we make ourselves sick? If I’m living to 100, do I really need to get my mortgage paid off by the time I’m 65? Do I have to see this as my ‘winding-down-to-retirement’ job? No! If I have a good 30+ years of work left then why not embark on a new career, study something different, work part-time. I can afford to cut back a bit if I’ve got 30+ more years in the work-force……

    I really love this train of thought and it has just really confirmed that the decision to eat properly, exercise sensibly and slow everything down is absolutely the right one.

    Thank you, Sarah, for this enlightening, warm, friendly, informative, sharing blog; and thanks to everyone who contributes.

    What a wonderful world xx

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    Shalome Reply:

    Wow, beautifully put. A fantastic reminder to take the pressure off… Thanks for sharing x

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  • Patrizia

    Our parent’s generation didn’t sit in front of a computer all day and they didn’t have access to all the different therapies that are available today.

    I spend a fortune on my health. I think of it as my hobby and am forever chasing the openness you mention. It can get a little too much sometimes from a cost and effort perspective but I think the important thing is to do what feels right for you.

    Unfortunately, for us thyroidy types, not doing things to recalibrate means we aren’t as open and able to do as much as we’d like. It can get frustrating. At least trying different therapies gives us hope. My mantra is to go with whatever it takes to feel better and hang the expense.

    Thanks for sharing Sarah. You’re a gem!

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  • Kathy

    Hi Sarah, I read with interest about the Paleo Diet. Reading the recipes and wanting to try them have me baffled. Some of them call for honey, different fruits e.g. bananas, and some even call for dried fruits. All no-no’s for quitting sugar. Now I am thoroughly confused. What’s right, what’s wrong?? Please set me straight …. many thanks. Kathy

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    cicada Reply:

    Well Kathy – you have to decide. Quit sugar and go Paleo or go Paleo and don’t quit sugar. I have chosen the middle path – go Paleo – mostly – eat A piece of fruit occasionally – when I feel like it and eat grains – occasionally – when I feel like it. Replace all other sugars with Stevia or Xylitol and Bob’s yr uncle.
    There is no right and wrong – its about knowing your body and what suits you. Sugar however – is best kept to a minimum (IMHO)

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  • Lopsy

    Hi Sarah,

    I read this many months ago and when I was in crisis, when my ex and soulmate died suddenly, I got in contact with Kristine Fry and was impressed with her and her reading. However, I was also recently in contact with Anna about a different situation and although I felt differently she was quite clear that the situation I was facing was positive and I should go ahead. It turned out that she was quite wrong….. Now, of course I cannot hold an intuitive coach ( whatever that means) ressponsible for my life decisions but being human I did acutallly base some of my decision on what she had said. Anyway, I have since been in touch and am not that impressed with her response and I felt what had been said to me was a little different from what she remembered. Of course, without a recording we will never know. Anyway, she also replied that psychic phenomena is not proven and that she offers an entertainment service. High charges for entertainment in my opinion. Just saying…..
    Sarah, keep up the good work my dear……enjoy your blog and you good heart.
    I’ll just keep on trucking, even though the chips are down.

    Take care,
    fellow Graves Disease sufferer,

    Lopsy x

    [Reply]

    Eliza Reply:

    Hi,

    I just wanted to add that I also called Anna and found her extremely off track! It’s now been about 5 months since the reading and not one thing she said during our1 hour conversation has come to fruition.

    I’ve been to a number of readers over the year and whilst I take readings with a grain of salt and whilst nobody has been 100% correct, they have predicted some pretty acurate events!

    Unfortunately not Anna, just thought I should let readers know xxx

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  • cicada

    Interestingly you talk about finding a sauna for thyroid days. I just spent 8 weeks in the Cook Islands – sweating my bum off (literally) – and I have never felt better in my life. Thinking that the ‘extra’ heat would be horrid at this time in my life (post menopausal) – quite the contrary – I have NEVER in my whole life – felt better, more energised or looked better.
    Come home to Blue Mountains (NSW) – puffy face, ringing ears, aching bones, baggy eyes, feel like crap, despite Paleo and everything else I’m doing. Gotta go!!!!! Gotta get hot again!!!

    A move to the tropics is on the cards for us – to hell with the cyclones – I’ll be energised enough to outrun them – even with a bad hip..and Hashi’s

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  • http://scenarserenityhealing Danielle Grinev

    Hi, great articles, I now always try to do something for myself as a healer using SCENAR in Brisbane I hear so often woman who get injuries and I think your poor body has to do this so you can get a break…. Life is tough now and expectations of woman are IMPOSSIBLE, a wise woman once said “You Can have EVERYTHING, just not all at once” so take some time out enjoy as you are nurturing YOU, pretty important. It is like buying a plant and not watering as water restrictions make you guilty, but, when it wilts and dies who benefits… So, rise up and bloom – whatever you need to do to be YOU – JUST DO IT, what is the worst thing that could happen….
    P.S. Anyone know of a good Dr / alternative Dr in Brisbane for Hashi / immune issues? :0)

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  • Stefani

    Are you able to purchase your books in paper copies?

    [Reply]

  • Leanne

    Sarah after reading your blog i feel like you have been walking lifes path beside me all my life and your right no one gets it unless they live with it. Thanks for the enlightenment to the world. I have tried most of the therapies you talk about and find vitamin supplements along with herbal remedies and massage, bowen in particular lymphatic drainage contribute greatly to my well being. The correct dosage of thyroxine for your body also goes a long way, not everyone functions the way a text book says they should, thanks again

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  • http://www.time2heal.com.au Henry Whittaker

    Hi Sarah,

    Great Blog, love your content. It is great you support alternative therapies/medicine – you are a very inspiring person. You should look into Reconnective Healing, please feel free to visit my website, http://www.time2heal.com.au

    Best Xmas wishes to you and all your blog members :-)

    [Reply]

  • Amy

    Hi all,

    I have read this post before but thought I could ask if anyone could recommend a great naturopath in Adelaide SA?
    I’ve been looking for one for a while now but not sure where to go.

    Thanks :)

    [Reply]

  • http://www.thoos.com/members/londonmassage19 restorative massage

    In the event it will come to producing good information you absolutely know your stuff, high 5 bro!
    ? !

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  • Mez

    Hey Sarah,

    You have not mentioned Scenar in your blogs. Do you still use one or see a Therapist?

    [Reply]

  • helen

    Hi Sarah,
    I wonder if you can give some ideas on giving up alcohol. my diet is really good, but find alcohol my only downfall. any suggestions.
    Helen

    [Reply]

  • Laura Smith

    Hi Sarah

    My mother has the same thyroid condition hashimoto as you, she is suffering immenselyand needs a good Thyroid specialist in Brisbane. I was told about aDrJohn Lee who’s an Endocrinologist but it mat take 4 months to see him, would you know of another good doctor in Brisbane that knows about this debilitating illness.

    My RT3 is sky high at present and I’m looking my hair, not sure if it’s my hormones or Chemotherapy Stopped 4 months ago, at the time I did not loose any hair. Iv also seen a Tricologist who told me it could be just a change and it may last for about 12 weeks than stop, which I’m hoping as iv lost half the thickness of my hair.

    Thank you for all the articles

    Warmest regards

    Laura Smith

    [Reply]

  • Lisa

    Hi Sarah was just wondering whether you have heard of or tried Bowen Therapy.
    I would be really interested in your thoughts on it if you have tried it and if you haven’t I highly recommend that you do.
    It helps with a myriad of problems and triggers the bodies on natural healing. It doesn’t treat issues but the person and body as a whole.

    Lisa

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  • Pam

    Chiropractors do not crack!

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  • Elise

    thanks a million Sarah

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  • Charmaine

    Thanks! I think its well worth the money spent, Id much rather spend money on natural therapies than on clothes or jewellery. I have been seeing a natural medicine specialist/ german trained gp & have been AMAZED by the results.( ( Dr Artmann Beechmont natural medicine) For my thyroid he does a technique that is apparently common in other countries, where he quickly injects a drop of local anesthetic into the thyroid. Just the stimulation to the gland activates mine to do what it is meant to be doing (Same procedure for over/under active) within seconds I feel cooler & calmer :)))

    [Reply]

  • Shaz

    Hi, love the idea of natural therapies. I have been looking for a good natropath /healer in Perth for a while now. Have tried a few but haven’t found one that “fits”. Does any one have any recommendation.
    Thanks

    [Reply]

  • http://balancedlivingoz.com Balanced Living Oz

    Hi Sarah,
    Love your interest in Natural therapies and lifestyle and thought I should let you and your followers know about a product I have distributor rights for Australia.

    These products are 100% Raw, 100% Vegan whole foods and super foods that are Paleo friendly. We have no hidden fillers – what you pay for is 100% Natural.

    At Balanced Living OZ we aim to bring you high quality products at the best prices. I have literally received my first shipment today and wish to share this with everyone who has an interest in healthy living. Please check us out out http://www.balancedlivingoz.com or like me on Facebook (Balanced Living Oz)

    [Reply]

  • Jeanette Lee

    I just want to know what your thoughts are on parasites? I have hashimotos and I see this amazing doctor in Brisbane, called Dr John Lee of natural hormone support. He has left no stone unturned…. And diagnosed Blasto parasites in my large intestine. Am now taking digestive enzymes which have really helped.
    Jeanette.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.alexiswilliamson.com Alexis

    Hi,

    Just found your site and am so grateful! With rheumatoid arthritis, I am finding healing and comfort in your writings, thank you! Do you have anyone to recommend in Los Angeles? Thanks xo

    [Reply]

  • http://www.naturalenergybalancing.com Nici

    NEB is a combination of kinesiology, acupuncture, chiro and nutrition, it is an amazingly simple and safe, non-invasive energy technique which supports the immune system and corrects the imbalances which contribute to the AI or allergy issues. The body has the ability to heal itself from almost anything, slowly … one imbalance at a time. It does not matter if it is thyroid, heavy metals, gluten, salicylates … it can be corrected and the body returns to its natural default of wellness.
    I’m on the Central Coast but there are practitioners in Brisbane and Sydney.
    Read my story of how my son healed and I now run a practice using this technique to heal others. In the US it is called NAET (see http://www.naet.com) or my own website
    http://www.naturalenergybalancing.com
    To your good health!
    Nici

    [Reply]

  • http://www.simplebackpain.com Sarah Key MVO

    Hi Sarah,
    I was at your talk tonight and it was wonderful; the book now in hand.
    Have a look at one of my sites. We two Sarahs may be in accord:
    http://www.simplebackpain.com
    Sarah Key

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    Would maybe be a good idea to update that Lily Lui is quite expensive, I went to see her about acupuncture and left $450 lighter with some herbs and no acupuncture. I’m not normally easily convinced on things without fully looking into them, but due to me being in a particulary ‘hashis’ state of mind (hence the visit) and being tired beyond belief, I felt ever so slightly railed-roaded. I appreciate these are only recommendations, and I love your IQS site plus this blog, so this is not a dig at you. The herbs haven’t helped incidentally, which is disappointing.

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