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Health store help

Looking for advice on natural wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Carmel O’Farrell of Food for Life in Callan, Co Kilkenny

Independent health store advice on bones and joints

What a wonderful machine this human body is and yet we don’t always really appreciate how incredible it is. Apart from all its vital organs, without its 450 joints, more than 206 bones and 600 muscles we could not stand up, sit down, bend, walk, run or eat, so no matter what your age, joint, bone and muscle health are of upmost importance to have an active healthy lifestyle.

Millions of adults worldwide suffer from joint and bone pain or discomfort. Here at Food for Life we are frequently being asked for help to manage ongoing joint or bone discomfort. A number of natural remedies have been shown to help relieve symptoms of joint pain, including stiffness, reduced range of motion and difficulty walking. These include any areas involved in repetitive movements or that take the brunt of the body’s weight – neck, shoulders, hips, knees, back and ankles. Supplements, lifestyle changes such as meditation to calm the mind and help the body to be less stressed, exercise, stretching, physical therapy, possibly losing weight and addressing any underlying health condition can all play a part.

The role of food

The simplest remedy for a healthy body is two litres of clean water a day. Healthy food is next – choose fresh fruit and vegetables, if possible organic. It is also thought that foods from the nightshade family are to be avoided if you have inflammation – these include peppers, tomatoes, white potatoes and aubergines. Avoid fried and over processed foods and sugar, as these foods may cause irritation to an already painful condition.

Walking and jogging goes on daily in parks and on pathways, and lots of schools all over the country have taken on the mile a day walk. Fresh air, daily sunlight and flexibility are vital to health, and the more we move and stretch the more flexible we become.

Some great exercises for people experiencing joint pain include swimming, water aerobics, cycling and walking. Chair yoga has become very popular, especially for those who find exercise difficult. As part of an exercise routine to stay flexible, always stretch after an exercise routine to release the build up of lactic acid, then drink a glass of water to wash it from your body.

The role of supplements

Supplements can play an important role in joint and bone health. Here are the most effective, sold in a health store near you:

Magnesium – for flexibility and anti-inflammatory

Calcium – good for bone formation and retention

Vitamin D – for general muscle and bone health

Curcumin – anti-inflammatory properties (in turmeric)

Boswellia – helps support healthy joint and cartilage

Glucosamine – plays a vital role in building cartilage

Omega 3 essential fatty acids – for flexibility and anti-inflammatory

Collagen – for flexibility and anti-inflammatory

Other remedies for joint and bone pain include:

  • Salt baths – to relax the muscles and relieve stress
  • Gentle stretching and exercise – never push the body too much when in pain
  • Essential oils – for mind and body relaxation
  • Weight loss – to take the strain off joints

What’s What and Who’s Who at Food for Life

Food for Life in Callan Town is 16km from Kilkenny City on the Kilkenny to Clonmel road and was opened in 2006 by Abbas Ghadimi and Carmel O’Farrell. The town has grown in recent years and the health store is very well supported by local people. It is on Green St, the main shopping street in the town.

“Many of our customers discover the shop because of our therapy clinics which are above the shop,” says Carmel O’Farrell. "We offer homeopathy, systemic kinesiology and aurasoma colour therapy.

We have been in the alternative health industry for over 30 years and we love what we do. Of course what was known as alternative health is now part of mainstream thinking.

“We have a great array of customers – from young people looking at health in a new way and looking for vegan and vegetarian options to sports people and the older generation looking for alternative health help. We are very much a health focused store – we like to educate people and have informed and trained staff who can help when customers ask for health advice.

“Our food range mainly consists of herbal teas, organic seeds, grains, dried herbs, beans, pulses, nuts and dried fruits and we try to stock as much local produce as possible including cider vinegar from the local apple farm, Irish soaps, Irish hemp and fl ax seeds and oils and local honey. Our fridge is stocked with dairy alternatives such as natural tofu, yogurts, vegan cheeses and butters.

“We stock a full range of supplements. Our eco cleaning range covers everything you might need to run a home. Our toiletries section has natural toothpastes, bamboo toothbrushes, cleansers, bodycare and haircare products as well as a full beauty range.

“We also have a range of salt lamps, essential oils and diffusers and our loyalty card is very popular.”

VISIT: Food for Life, Green Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny
PHONE: 056 7725777
You can also visit Food for Life at 43 Kieran Street Kilkenny City
PHONE: 056 7761689
SPEAK TO: Carmel or Abbas or any of our trained staff will be very happy to help.

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