Posts filed under reflexology

Words on Relaxation

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As a reflexologist I am a huge advocate of the benefits of relaxation. I regularly share with my reflexology clients in Kidderminster how relaxation benefits their bodies right down to a chemical level. The physiological effects of the relaxation response are huge and fantastic for your well being.

I think, however, that my wonderful clients come back time and time again because of how relaxation feels. That wonderful feeling of release when you are deeply relaxed is so hard to put into words, but we love it and we want to experience it over and over again!   

I have been exploring poetry about relaxation to try and capture the feeling in words, but it seems that it is so personal and unique we would all describe it differently. Below are some of the poems I have enjoyed while exploring this topic.

The first poem: "Relaxing" is by Alison Smith and can be found on the poem hunter website.

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The second poem is from Springboard Stories and written by Reverend Robert Berd

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The final poem I'm sharing here is from All Poetry and written by Jacqueline Shukow.

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Trying to capture the essence of relaxation is difficult, we often define such positive experiences by the negative feelings they counteract. It is so easy to see relaxing as a freedom from stress and anxiety, which of course it is, but it can be interesting to develop a sense of the experience for what it is rather than what it is not.  

If you would like to find out more about reflexology or mindfulness please do contact me.

Posted on April 25, 2018 and filed under reflexology, mindfulness.

Take time to Breathe

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When I opened my therapy business ten years ago in Kidderminster I wanted a name that conveyed my intention to offer people a time and space away from the pressures of life. I chose Breathe Holistic Therapy to present my intention to give clients an opportunity to simply take a breather.  I know how important it was for everyone to take time out both emotionally and physically. 

Reflexology is a wonderful way to allow yourself time to breathe, but there are ways to introduce this into daily life.

There are many breathing techniques that can allow your mind and body to become calmer. This is a very useful way of lowering the stress response and helping to counteract the negative effects of stress both physically and emotionally.  On a recent visit to Kidderminster hospital i found a fantastic leaflet on breathing techniques. This information was aimed at children but the exercises can be brilliant for both adults and children alike. I know it is obvious but please only do these techniques when it is safe to focus on your breathing.

Bumblebee Breathing

This technique can best be used when you are in a quite private space.  Sit comfortably and gently place the tips of your index fingers in your ears. Allow your eyes to close but don't squeeze them shut. Breathe in through your nose and then gently hum as you slowly breathe out. Repeat this as many times as you choose. 

Shoulder Roll Breathing

Choose  a comfortable sitting position where you can focus on your breathe for a few minutes. Take a slow deep breathe in and raise your shoulders up towards your ears. As you breathe out gently lower your shoulders back down. Repeat this movement slowly with each breathe rolling your shoulders up and down.  Many people find diaphragm breathing difficult at first as we more often breathe with our upper chest. This technique allows you to continue this whilst also promoting calm. 

Tummy Breathing

Lie on the floor and place your hands on your stomach. If you are doing this exercise with a child they can place a small stuffed toy on their tummy. Breathe in deeply and feel your belly rise then feel it lower as you breathe out. This encourages diaphragm breathing which acts physiologically to reduce the stress response and promote the calmer section of the nervous system.

Balloon Breathing

Sit comfortably and place your hands gently around your mouth as if you are about to blow up an invisible balloon. Take a comfortably deep breath in and as you slowly exhale start to spread out your hands as if you are holding a great big balloon.  Hold your hands in position as you continue to exhale until your balloon is as big as it can be. Breathe normally as you gently sway from side to side and release your balloon up into the sky. 

With all breathing techniques it is important that you feel comfortable. For some any alteration to your natural breathing can feel difficult and almost cause you to feel short of breathe. This can be more common if you have a chronic lung condition. If you have any long term health problems speak to your health care provider about which exercises may be best for you.

 

 

Posted on March 15, 2018 and filed under reflexology, stress management, mindfulness.

Celebrating Ten Years Of Reflexology at Breathe HT

To celebrate Breathe Holistic Therapies tenth anniversary I am planning a fantastic community project. My mission is to raise awareness in Kidderminster, Worcestershire of the use of automated defibrillators and their locations. I have organised many reflexology fundraising days but this time I'm marking ten years with something different.

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Automated defibrillators save lives, but generally people are not aware that anyone can use them or of their locations.  I want to help my local community to learn more about them and encourage local businesses/organisations who have automated defibrillators to promote their locations. Automated defilbrillators are known as EADs (emergency access defibrillator) or PADs (public access defibrillator).

I have a passion for this as I have twice witnessed collapses and not known where to go in order to access a potentially lifesaving defibrillator.  I know in one case I ran completely the wrong way and from that day decided the community need to know where to access automated defibrillators.

There are many statistics about the benefits of early defibrillation, but statistics can't compete with seeing someone receiving CPR, knowing an automated defibrillator may save their life but not knowing where to find one.

I want to promote the display of window signs, as shown above, indicating the location of automated defibrillators. I am taking my campaign to the local council and MP to encourage the development of universal location signs to be displayed along with other town signage, e.g. sign for the nearest defibrillator with distance indicated  alongside signs for toilets and parking etc.  I would ultimately envisage everyone finding their nearest defibrillator to home and work as a routine thing just as you may notice your nearest post box.

My mission is in line with many charities such as the St Johns ambulance,  Hand on Heart, Heart Safe and BHF. The British Heart Foundation are campaigning for universal signage and a country wide data base of all automated defibrillators.  Heart Safe have developed a map displaying defibrillators to enable people to perform a post code search, but most are not listed so currently this system is unfortunately not working. The St Johns Ambulance has introduced the CARE campaign encouraging people to find their closest automated defibrillator and stressing the importance of early defibrillation. All of these and similar initiatives are brilliant but ultimately a universal method of locating needs to be developed. 

I have a twitter @mylocaldefib from which I will encourage local organisations to list their defibrillator on the heart safe map as well as displaying window signs and location signs in their building.  I am hoping local media will assist me in publicising this quest and helping me to make my community and eventually everyone defib savy!  

If you would like to become involved with my campaign please do contact me I will look forward to hearing your input.

 

 
 

Reflexology Gift Vouchers

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You can give a gift they will remember this Christmas time with a gift voucher from Breathe Holistic Therapy Kidderminster. This gift gives precious "me time", a special opportunity allowing your loved ones to take time out for themselves. 

Treating  your loved ones and yourself to some time out can improve the whole festive season. It's such a busy time for everyone so you can avoid the hustle and bustle of the shops and treat your loved ones to a gift voucher for a relaxing treat in the new year, and book yourself in for a treatment with the time you saved!  You really can put your feet up and relax with reflexology and mindfulness while you finish off your Christmas shopping at the same time!

Are searching for a present to show someone how much you appreciate them? There is no better way than focusing on their well being than with a  wonderfully relaxing reflexology treatment. Maybe you love reflexology yourself?  Sharing this fantastic treatment with a gift voucher can introduce the benefits of reflexology to friends and family enhancing their well being.

Gift vouchers can be purchased for either for a cash amount or a specific treatment such as reflexology . The choice is yours. You can be sure you friends and loved ones enjoy a treat that's just right for them. This gift allows them to enjoy some "me time" when they may not usually take precious time out for themselves.

Do you know a new mum or mum-to-be? You can treat them too! Gift vouchers are available for maternity reflexology, pregnancy massage, baby reflexology or post natal treatments. A lovely relaxing treatment to look forward to in the new year, what an lovely present to receive.

It is easy to buy a voucher, you can contact me by text, phone or email and I can arrange it all for you. Payment can be made by online banking or cheque and I can post the voucher straight out to you with no delivery costs.  But don't leave it too late as I can not post out any vouchers after 18th of December 2017.  
 

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.

Posted on November 16, 2017 and filed under reflexology, stress management, mindfulness, maternity.

Pregnancy Massage Myths

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As a maternity massage therapist I was surprised to hear the reaction to pregnant Coronation Street character, Leanne Battersby, having a pregnancy massage. Many fans reacted with shock accusing writers of a massive blunder.

The character was taken to a spa as a treat by her sisters and during her visit she enjoyed a back massage.  Viewers expressed their opinions on twitter.  

One wrote on Twitter: “Erm, how did Leanne get a back massage when she is heavily pregnant #Corrie” while another added: “How has Leanne Battersby just laid on her front for a massage?”  A third agreed, writing: “How can you get a back massage with a massive bump?” Others speculated how she managed to have a back massage, with one writing: “Just how is Leanne going to get a back massage with that giant pillow stuffed up her? Is she going to stand or what?”   Viewers were baffled how a heavily pregnant woman would be able to get her back massaged without hurting the baby. One fan even expressed how she felt massage would bring on labour  "Massaging a pregnant woman? Doesn't that usually, er, prompt a delivery?"

I though maternity massage was quite a mainstream therapy, but it seems I am very wrong! The myth that you cannot enjoy massage in pregnancy is clearly still commonly held.  This is really sad as it must be preventing so many pregnant women from enjoying and benefiting from massage. 

Massage and other therapies such as maternity reflexology can be very supportive during pregnancy, helping to manage the many changes taking place both physically and emotionally. After the first scan at around 12 weeks is a great time to explore maternity therapies. It is important to visit a therapist training to work with pregnant clients and tell your midwife about your plans first. 

As one twitter user guessed:  “do you think Leanne lay on her side for her back massage? #practicalquestion #corrie”.  Yes, pregnancy back massage is usually performed in a side lying position with cushions to support the bump. The massage tables available with holes in to accomodate the bump are not advised as they put unnatural pressure on the uterus and surrounding muscles. 

If you are in the Kidderminster Worcestershire area please do contact me to discuss any questions you may have.

Posted on February 2, 2017 and filed under maternity, reflexology.

Vertical Reflexology Therapy, a powerful new technique

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I began my work as a reflexologist in my home town of kidderminster ten years ago and have regularly enjoyed learning new techniques to help benefit my clients. These have included a wide variety of training such as maternity reflexology and baby reflexology.

I have for many years been aware of a technique called vertical reflexology (VRT). This form of the therapy involves working on the feet whilst in a standing, weight bearing position. I have looked at VRT over the years but felt that it was not something I wanted to explore further because my treatments focus on promoting deep relaxation which I did not feel could be achieved when asked to stand.  After reading a number of studies, however, reporting strong results form VRT I decided it was time try it out! 

I trained with the Booth Method last year and have been working on the technique with my nearest and dearest over the last few months. Whenever I add a new element to my work I believe it is important to hone my skills and look at the results before introducing then to my clients. My friends and family are always keen to offer me their feet! This enables me to explain the experience and the benefits with complete confidence.

What is Vertical Reflexology Therapy?

VRT is a unique technique where the feet are briefly treated in a standing, weight bearing position. It was originally developed by Lynne Booth to help musculoskeletal conditions. The therapy has now expanded to have a universal application just as traditional reflexology. Working on the feet in this position results in deeper responses for the client. For some the pressure can feel very much stronger than traditional reflexology.  I was working on my partner, for example, who was experiencing acute wrist pain and when working the reflex area for his wrist whilst standing the discomfort was intense but resulted in a good reduction in wrist pain.  I have found throughout my VRT work since training that the brief standing treatment can be uncomfortable for some but the results are quick and impressive.  

VRT can be incorporated into a traditional reflexology session with a brief period of standing treatment before reclining in the chair.  The standing element of the session is only around 6 - 10 minutes long allowing plenty of time to enjoy the relaxation benefits of traditional reflexology. At Breathe Holistic Therapy many clients appreciate a 90 minute appointment which allows time for holistic reflexology and specific techniques such as VRT.  This provides a fantastic balance of specific focused work and holistic relaxation. 

Lynne Booth the developer of VRT has worked extensively with sports injuries and for over ten years she has been part of the medical team at Bristol City Football Club.  Lynne works with the coaching staff and players to address injuries as well as issues such as sleep and anxiety. The very knowledge that VRT has been employed by the team for so many years is a strong testament to the power of this therapy. I plan to share more details relating to specific studies including the work at Bristol City in future blog posts.

If you would like to know more about VRT or to book your appointment please do contact me.

 For more details of treatments available and prices please click here.

Posted on January 18, 2017 and filed under reflexology, stress management.

Gift vouchers available for that special Christmas present

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You can give someone a gift they will remember this christmas with gift vouchers from Breathe Holistic Therapy Kidderminster.  The gift of precious "me time" will allow your loved ones to take time out for themselves. A glorious gift of relaxation.

Gift vouchers can be purchased for either a specific treatment such as reflexology or for a cash amount. The choice is yours. You can be sure you friends and loved ones enjoy a treat that's just right for them. This gift allows your friends and family to enjoy a treatment when they may not usually take precious time out for themselves.

Are searching for a present to show someone how much you appreciate them? There is no better way than focusing on their well being with a blissfully relaxing reflexology treatment. Do you love reflexology yourself?  Sharing this wonderful treatment with a gift voucher can introduce the benefits of reflexology to friends and family enhancing their well being.

If it's a mum-to-be you want to treat then there are gift voucher options perfect for pregnancy. Maternity reflexology or massage are greatly enjoyed and appreciated after the first trimester of pregnancy. Baby reflexology and massage are great skills for new parents and a wonderful unusual gift that they will continue appreciate for years to come.

Buying a voucher is relaxing for you too, simply contact me and we can discuss your choices, then the voucher will be in the post to either yourself or the recipient. Payment is easy too either by bank transfer or paypal.  

Below is a list of treatments available, but you can always pick a cash amount and allow the recipient to choose exactly what suits their needs.  If you have any questions please do call       07531 121199 or  e-mail me. 



Hypnobirthing

£55 one hour

£250 for full course of five hours training

Reflexology

£40  90 minutes

£30   one hour

Reflexology home treatment
(up to 12 miles from DY11 5LB)

£45  90 minutes

£35   one hour

Reflexology and mindfulness

£40  90 minutes

Maternity reflexology

£40  90 minutes

£30  one hour

Maternity back massage

£25

Maternity body massage

£35

Baby reflexology 1-1 instruction.

£20.00 

(Please request home visit prices) 

The Value of Mindfulness within Cancer Care

I have been proud to work as a volunteer reflexology practitioner and mindfulness teacher at The Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge.  There is a growing volume of evidence supporting the benefits of mindfulness for patients, their families and those working in the end of life care environment.

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The Trish Bartley  book, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Cancer: Gently Turning Towards, explores a Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for cancer care. This eight-week course has been tried and tested over ten years of clinical use. Bartley believes

“mindfulness is a way of being more present and aware. This offers us many opportunities to appreciate life more. It also enables us to respond more gently to what we find difficult, and by doing this we often find that we experience changes”

A study in 2008 (Chadwik et al) found that mindfulness was beneficial to people with terminal cancer both physically and emotionally.  An analysis of the research available in 2005 concluded that mindfulness based intervention in cancer care had positive results, including improvements in mood, sleep quality and reductions in stress. A further review of studies in 2011 supported this finding. They found significant improvements in anxiety, depression, stress, sexual difficulties and immune function

Christopher Johns in his book, Being Mindful, Easing Suffering: Reflections on Palliative Care explains

"Mindfulness is a quality of mind that notices what is present without judgment, without interference. Being mindful guides me to see things as they really are rather than as a reflection of myself. Mindful practice is being aware of ones experience as it unfolds in its unpredictable and unique way.”

In 2005 the use of mindfulness in hospice care was examined from the perspective of the nurses. For many of the staff the changes were very significant

“Mindfulness makes me alert to what is happening……I see things that I didn’t see before, I begin to notice. For example when there is a lot of chaos in the room…..is this what she is seeing all day?”

“I think that in itself to be mindful that someone is afraid and not to reject it, not to sugar it over with something but also not be freaked out, but to really be with that feeling and to embrace it….then it seems the person can usually relax”

Mindful presence enables the nursing staff to be totally aware and focused on the circumstances she finds in the here and now, regardless of what has gone before or what will follow. It is a valuing of “being” over “doing” in the belief that compassionately being present allows the nurse to respond with empathy to the needs in that moment.

When I worked on a hospital ward during my nursing days I was often guilty of not being truly present but more concerned with my list of jobs to do. I felt that truly experiencing each moment would be overwhelming as many situations were difficult and challenging, but mindfulness has taught me that being present in the moment without trying to be in control of it is actually a great relief. To experience the moment for just what it is allows choices to be made from a place of awareness rather than habit or panic. Removing the “what should I do” and replacing it with an understanding of what is needed in that moment is very liberating. I know life is often unbearably busy on the wards and nurses are pulled in so many directions, introducing mindfulness is not easily done, but this does not mean it can’t be done. The staff at Mary Stevens Hospice are working hard to introduce mindfulness to their clients and to their own work. I truly commend them for their commitment to constantly move forward to provide the very best care.

Mindfulness, as all holistic therapies, is not a replacement for medical care but it can be included within the home, hospice or hospital setting.  For more information please visit: mindfulness explained.

You may also enjoy reading : Mindfulness in a busy Kidderminster carpark

                                                 Mindfulness Explored

                                                 Meditation and pain

 

Posted on October 18, 2016 and filed under reflexology, mindfulness, stress management.