Posts tagged #stress reduction

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.

New Year Resolutions: Don't forget stress management!

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Its that time of year again, many of us look at our lives and pledge to change the things we're not happy with. Taking time to assess our lifestyle choices is a positive thing to do especially if we develop achievable goals to move forward with.

Do you have a new year resolution? I wonder if its in the years top ten:

1.  Exercise more

2.  Eat better

3.  Cut down on alcohol

4.  Stop smoking

5.  Spend less time on Facebook / Twitter

6.  Learn a new language

7.  Learn a musical instrument

8.  Spend less money

9.  Secure dream job

10.  Average eight hours of sleep a night

Maybe it's in last years ten favourite choices:

1.    Lose weight

2.    Get fit

3.    Eat more healthily

4.    Save money/spend less

5.    Get a new job

6.    Spend more time with people who matter

7.    Try new experiences

8.    Get out of a rut

9.    Visit a country you’ve never been to

10.   Read more

These are all great choices but I'm always surprised to find that people don't resolve to reduce stress. I believe that stress management would help people achieve a lot of their other goals. We often eat badly when we are stressed, drink more alcohol, spend more money, and find it harder to stop smoking. If we make stress management a priority then 2014 may well be the year we eat better, loose weight and stop smoking too!

Stress goes on and on without relief can lead to a negative stress reaction. This can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try and relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these coping methods tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.

Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. Up to Seventy-five percent of all GP visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.

Long term stress affects your thoughts and feelings too. You might notice signs of stress in the way you think, act, and feel. You may:

    Feel unable to deal with even small problems.

    Feel frustrated and angry.

    Feel jumpy or tired.

    Find it hard to focus on.

    Worry too much about small things.

    Imagine that bad things are happening or about to happen.

My new years resolution is to make time to manage stress. There are many options to choose from and holistic therapies such as reflexology can be ideal for many people. You don't have to choose this route though, maybe walking or reading would work for you, a soak in the bath with relaxing music or simply taking time out of your busy life to sit still and quieten your mind.

Whatever you decide to tackle this year I wish you luck and have a great 2014

Posted on January 8, 2014 and filed under stress management.

Ultimate Relaxation for Body and Mind.

Reflexology + Relaxation Soundtrack = Ultimate Stress Busting

Life for many of us is hectic, rushed and stressful. Finding time to relax is often a luxury we don't allow ourselves.  Stress management is a vital part of promoting well being.

After a reflexology treatment many of my clients say they can't remember when they last relaxed like that. They talk about how calm they feel and how they feel refreshed and revitalised. Many say they didn't realise how much stress they were holding in their bodies until they let it go. As a therapist it's wonderful to hear that you are helping people to achieve relaxation, but I would love them to be able to take the key to this relaxation home with them in their pocket.

Our bodies and mind learn to associate certain experiences with particular emotions and behaviours. You may smell bread cooking and hear your tummy grumble and feel your mouth watering.  A certain song may take you right back to the summer holiday when you first heard it.  This is a natural process, so why not use it to trigger relaxation?

I have worked with Mark Powlett Hypnotherapist  to create a calm and tranquil soundtrack to truly enhance your relaxation whilst you enjoy your reflexology treatment. This includes beautiful visualisations and guided relaxation.  The soundtrack is a calming and comforting way to optimise your relaxation. A version of this recording can then be yours to use at home.

Your mind and body will associate this soundtrack with your relaxing reflexology treatment.  When you listen to the soundtrack in-between your reflexology appointments you can easily feel that deep sense of relaxation. You really will have a key to relaxation in your pocket!

For more information on the reflexology with relaxation soundtrack treatments call: 07531121199 or e-mail me.

For Reflexology in Kidderminster. Please contact 0753 1121199