Posts tagged #reflexology

Mindfulness and Reflexology Blog 2019

road to future

I love mindfulness and reflexology, and I am lucky enough to enjoy a career which promotes relaxation and living in each moment, but I love a long term plan too. I find making plans can be great fun and lists can be very therapeutic, its just about keeping a balance between experiencing this present moment whilst also planning your journey for the future. With this in mind I’m going to share some plans for future blog posts here on my therapy blog.

One area of life that so many of my clients and friends talk about improving is sleep. For countless clients their poor quality sleep or insomnia limits their enjoyment of life. My friends are often exhausted and overwhelmed with the hectic nature of life, made almost impossible due to sleepless nights. I am planning to explore general advise on improving sleep, how holistic therapies can help and maybe some more quirky tricks for that much needed great nights sleep.

During the last year I have been invited to provide therapies in the work place much more frequently. I absolutely love arriving at an office environment or school to be met with enthusiastic greetings form staff looking forward to their in work reflexology or mindfulness. There has been a great deal of research on the benefits of promoting well being at work and employers are more commonly realising their role in the mental health of their workforce. I will be exploring this further during the year and hopefully visiting more and more companies to bring therapies into people’s working days.

I love working with pregnant clients and seeing mums in the postnatal period. This year I am aiming to gather more research on mindfulness in pregnancy as I believe this will be a most helpful skill for all new families. I also feel strongly that mothers in the postnatal period or fourth trimester are often placed under unrealistic levels of pressure. After childbirth our bodies are still going through huge changes and we have very special emotional and physical needs which are so often ignored. This fourth trimester is an area of maternity care which I am investigating more this year.

Mindfulness is still making an impact in the media. One area that I hope to look into is mindfulness in sport. The use of meditation and mindfulness techniques is a growing area of sports science which is exciting for both sport and the less sporty of us! Any research into optimising sport performance can be helpful for everyone as, even though I am not planning to run a marathon, knowing how to be at my best physically and mentally is clearly beneficial.

I think that is enough planning for one day, although I am sure there are many other ideas for this year running through my head….. and talking of running maybe I will think about that marathon!

Reflexology Gift Vouchers

christmaslinebabies.jpg

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.

Vertical Reflexology Therapy, a powerful new technique

vertical reflexology therapy

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.

Hypnotherapy for confidence and relaxation

Anchoring is a hypnotherapy technique that can help you gain confidence and manage your stress and anxiety.

olympic torch official.jpg

When I was lucky enough to be chosen to run with the Olympic torch in Kidderminster I felt both proud and privileged. Whilst running through my home town on the torch relay I was filled with such confidence and feelings of support and happiness. When I see pictures of that day I can see all those feelings showing on my face. These positive affirming emotions could be available to me whenever I choose with the technique called anchoring.

An anchor is a physical or mental signal or stimulus that elicits a response. In day to day life we experience such anchors without even realising. We may feel anxious when we hear an alarm bell or feel calm when the sun light is on our faces. This stimulus–response process can happen without us being aware of it, but we can control it to enable a particular event to be linked to a desired response. The stimulus can be anything sensory, such as touch or sound.

Learning to anchor desired feelings, such as a sense of calm, can be beneficial in many ways. Anchoring can be helpful for anyone experiencing unwanted anxiety or stress, poor confidence or lack of self esteem. This technique can also help when coping with cravings such as cigarettes.

The anchor can be developed during hypnosis utilising the calm relaxed feelings experienced during hypnosis. You could be guided to squeeze your a thumb and finger together whilst enjoying the relaxation and calmness promoted during hypnotherapy. By anchoring the feelings to the behaviour you can bring to mind those feelings whenever you want to. This process benefits from repetition and practise and may require a number of reinforcements to be fully successful,but it is worth taking time to secure your anchor as its positive influence on day to day life can be significant. Reflexology clients can anchor the relaxation they feel during reflexology without even trying, many report how just hearing the music in the treatment room immediately starts the feelings of deep relaxation.

An anchor can be developed when you are not having hypnosis.  Thinking of a situation when you felt the desired feelings and really focusing on the details and most importantly the feelings is the first part of the process. It doesn't have to be a hugely important event, just some time when you felt the positive feelings powerfully and sincerely.  By bringing to mind that situation then experiencing the feelings you can then anchor those feelings with a stimulus of your choice. This method also requires repetition and you can use more than one event to really develop those positive feelings.

Reflexology: Wellness tips

Hydration: Why is it so important?

My client's are familiar with me reminding them how important it is not to get dehydrated, I can be a bit of a stuck record when it comes to this topic! After a reflexology or massage treatment I always encourage clients to drink, and hope they will carry on with good hydration in their every day lives. But, I know its difficult, I'm as guilty as anyone of forgetting to drink! In this lovely warm weather it is even more crucial. I've gathered together some top tips and information on why hydration matters to hopefully remind us all.

Why is water important? Your body uses water to help with many different processes, including:

  • Transporting nutrients and oxygen around your body.
  • Getting rid of waste products
  • Controlling your temperature
  • The smooth function of your digestive system
  • Drinking enough water will also help to keep your skin healthy.
  • Effective comfortable joint mobility.
  • Maintaining salt levels, vital for health.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends that if you live in the UK (or somewhere with a similar temperatures), you should drink 1.2 litres (6-8) glasses of fluid every day. As well as water, the FSA recommends drinking semi-skimmed milk, diluted squash and diluted fruit  juice.  So, it doesn't have to be water, but your double espresso or pint of cider won't help! 

When you're active, or if the weather is particularly hot, there's a greater chance that you will become dehydrated. To prevent this you should increase your fluid intake. As different people sweat diffferent amounts, it's very difficult to provide specific guidelines about how much you should drink. However, you should drink more than normal while exercising, and it's particularly important to keep well hydrated if you're exercising in warm conditions. 

Some individuals also need to consider if they need more fluid. If you’re pregnant, it’s important that you drink enough as you may be more likely to develop constipation during pregnancy. Always check with your midwife for full advise. Babies and infants have a lower body weight and are sensitive to even small amounts of fluid loss.  Older people may be less aware that they are becoming dehydrated. If you have specific health concerns please speak to your doctor about your hydration needs.

What is dehydration? It’s important to keep your water content topped up, otherwise dehydration can occur. This is a lack of water in your body that happens when you lose more water than usual, such as through vomiting or diarrhoea, or you don’t drink enough, perhaps because you’re ill. Other causes for dehydration include sweating a lot or drinking too much alcohol. 

Signs of dehydration include:
  • Dark, concentrated urine
  • Headache
  • lethargy
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Dry lips
  • Thirst
Drink plenty of fluids if you're concerned that you are dehydrated. This can be water, semi-skimmed milk, diluted squash or fruit juice, but it's best to avoid caffeine and fizzy drinks. If you're finding it difficult to keep water down because you're vomiting or have diarrhoea, try drinking small amounts more frequently. Infants and children need more careful treatment if they are dehydrated. Please contact the NHS helpline for advise or speak to your GP if you are concerned a baby, child or elderly person is dehydrated. See your GP if your symptoms continue after drinking plenty of fluids or of you have any concerns about your dehydration.
Follow these top tips to keep yourself well hydrated:
  • Try to carry a bottle of water with you so that it’s constantly available.
  • Drink a glass of water with every meal.
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables as they contain lots of water.
  • If your job means you’re sitting at a desk all day, try to keep a glass of water next to you.
  • Drink a glass of water before you exercise, as well as during and after.
 

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Posted on June 24, 2014 .

Foot Facts

How many bones are there in our feet?

Our feet work hard day after day and we usually don't give them a second thought until they start complaining. When you enjoy reflexology and foot massage sometimes it starts you thinking about those two things stuck at the bottom of our legs! Often when I'm working with people's feet they ask questions about their bones, nerves and joints.

A human foot & ankle is a strong, mechanical structure that contain 26 bones, 33 joints, more than 100 muscles, tendons & ligaments and a whopping 250,000 sweat glands. Sweat glands in the feet produce approximately half a pint of perspiration daily. A third of all the bones in the body are located in our feet. Its not surprise that they benefit from massage with such complex mechanics in two small packages. During an average day of walking, the total forces on your feet can total hundreds of tons, equivalent to an average of a fully loaded cement truck. No wonder they ache!

Walking is the best exercise for your feet. The average person will walk around 115,000 miles in a life time, that's more than four times around the earth!It contributes to your general health by improving circulation and weight control. Standing in one spot is far more tiring than walking because the demands are being made on the same few muscles for a longer length of time. Foot ailments can become your first sign of more serious medical problems. Your feet mirror your general health, so conditions like arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in your feet. So if your feet are changing or hurting don't ignore them, they may be trying to tell you something.

Here are a few fun facts about feet:

 

  • During the first year of a child’s life their feet grow rapidly, reaching almost half their adult size.
  • Butterflies taste with their feet.
  • Gannets incubate eggs under their webbed feet. 
  • Elephants use their feet to hear, even with those big ears! – they pick up vibrations of the earth through their soles.
  • Shoe size in Britain is measured in barley-corns, a unit of measurement that stretches back to Anglo-Saxon times.
  • The measuring device in shoe shops is called a Brannock Device, after the inventor who designed it in the Twenties.
  • It takes at least five to six months to grow an entirely new toenail.
  • By 12, a child’s foot is about 90 per cent of its adult length.
  • The current Guinness World Record for number of feet smelled — about 5,600, is held by Madelaine Albrecht.

 

 

 

Posted on June 7, 2014 .

Holistic Therapies gaining more recognition

Patients, service users and the public will be able to choose a complementary healthcare therapist belonging to a register vetted and approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) 

The Federation of Holistic Therapists’ voluntary register, of which I am a member, has been accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, accountable to Parliament.

Complementary therapists on the FHT Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register will be able to display the Accredited Voluntary Register (AVR) quality mark, a sign that they belong to a register that meets the Professional Standards Authority’s robust standards.

Harry Cayton, Chief Executive of the Professional Standards Authority, said: ‘We are very pleased to accredit the FHT’s register of complementary healthcare therapists. Bringing complementary healthcare therapists into a broad framework of assurance is good for patients, service users and the public and is the best way to promote quality. The scheme offers enhanced consumer protection to anyone looking for health and social care services, and gives practitioners the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment.’

I am very proud to belong to the FHT’s accredited voluntary register. It demonstrates that the FHT meets the demanding standards of the Professional Standards Authority and offers reassurance to those seeking help and support from a complementary healthcare therapist, alongside their conventional care.

I am also pleased to let you know that Bupa has just advised the FHT that practitioners registered with an AVR, such as myself, will be reimbursed when providing approved treatments for a Bupa Cashplan policy holder. Bupa Cashplan has a number of policy products that offer complementary therapy to policyholders including  reflexology. If you are a BUPA member I would recommend you check your policy to see if you could be reimbursed for reflexology treatments. This is a very new development and I will advise you of more details when they become available to me.

Foot soak: a DIY treat for your feet

Immersing your feet in a tub of warm water, even without anything extra in it, is a nice way to relax after a long day. A foot soak can soothe your muscles, hydrate your skin and may relieve aches and pain.  A little rough skin helps protect our feet, if you’re prone to developing thick calluses, softening them in a soak makes them easier to exfoliate. Soaking your feet on a daily basis can have a positive effect on your well being. A foot soak just before bed, for example, will help you to relax and enjoy the time you have before falling asleep in bed.

Preparing a foot soak at home can be as easy as filling an old washing up bowl with warm water. This alone can bring relaxation for your mind, increase circulation for your feet and aid the removal of hard or dry skin. Keep in mind that your feet may be dirty so, you do not want to use your nice soup pots for soaking your feet! However, buying plastic foot spas can prove to be pricey. Any flat bottomed bowl big enough to place both your feet in comfortably will make a great foot bowl.

There are some additions, however, that can enhance your  foot soak. Consider these options when caring for your hard-working feet:

Epsom Salt Foot Soak

Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. This combination is a compound that may help flush toxins and heavy metals from your skin’s cells, reduce inflammation, increase circulation and ease muscle cramps and joint pain.  As your feet absorb the magnesium, pain-reducing ions are believed to be released, relaxing your muscles. Epsom salt can also quell foot odour, help prevent fungus and soothe dry skin.

You’ll find this healing salt at most chemists and supermarkets. Simply dissolve one cup of Epsom salt in warm water and soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes.

Dead sea salt Foot Soak

The waters of the Dead Sea have been renowned for their therapeutic effects since ancient times.
The waters from the Dead Sea are unique in that they contain 27% of various salts as compared to 3% in normal sea water. Further, while sodium accounts for approximately 80% of the salt content of normal sea water, it comprises much less of the salt total in water from the Dead Sea. The balance of the salts in Dead Sea water are magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride and bromides. It is renowned for having numerous beneficial effects on the body and skin and may be helpful for reducing stress, easing sore, stiff muscles and for skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.

Essential Oil Foot Soak

There are several ways to use essential oils at home, including adding a few drops to your soak. Here are some popular choices, which you can use individually or combine together for your healing foot treatment. Always be aware that some oils will not be appropriate for you so do seek advice from your therapist or essential oil supplier before using oils you are not familiar with. Here are some ideas, but there are lots of great essential oils which can benefit your feet and relax or revitalise your mind.

   Cedarwood oil is used as an antiseptic and anti-fungal.
   Lemongrass is an antiseptic and natural deodorant.
   Geranium is reported for its antiseptic and deodorising qualities.
   Lavender oil is a favorite for relaxation. It’s also know as a natural pain reliever.
   Ginger oil is reputed to improve circulation.

Essential oils will not mix in water without something to disperse them. After preparing the bath, mix five drops of your chosen essential oil with one dessertspoon of apple cider vinegar and add it to the bath. The apple cider vinegar a great way to help disperse the oil, and it also has its own therapeutic properties. Should you prefer not to use the apple cider vinegar, you could mix the essential oil with some powered milk, and forming it into a paste before mixing with the water, as it also helps to disperse the oil. If you don't have either a small drop of milk mixed with the oils will help to disperse it.

Salts and oils can both be used in one soak to create a truly soothing experience. If you have concerns about making your own foot soak then natural pre mixed products can be found in many health food retailers or online.

If you want to add an extra relaxing dimension to your footbath, you can place marbles or small pebbles at the bottom of the bath to run your feet over. Set the scene by playing relaxing music and dimming the lights. Always ensure you have towels close at hand to avoid walking with wet feet and risking slipping.

The process of soaking feet is cheap, easy, and relaxing. You do not have to go to a spa to feel pampered, and your body will thank you for the extra attention. Even if you are not looking for immediate results, soaking your feet can help reduce your stress levels and improve your overall feelings of wellbeing.

If you are preparing for a reflexology home visit then a great way to enhance your experience is to enjoy a foot soak prior to your appointment. Discussing appropriate oils with your aromatherapist can help you to tailor the soak to your needs.

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Posted on November 25, 2013 .