Your palette of colours
These pencils make me think of "back to school", new beginnings and routine… but timeframes don't apply to anxiety issues. Imagine each pencil represents a different treatment or technique to help you manage your anxiety and everyone around you has a view on each colour. Your Mum thinks yellow might work, your friend thinks you're a pink person and your teacher suggests light blue; you are just overwhelmed and none of them appeal.
Don’t panic. It's all about taking time – painful as the process is, it can't be rushed. Gradually it will become clear that one colour - one technique - is something you'd like to try. Don't be disheartened if it doesn't work immediately or if indeed it is not the right choice, the other colours haven’t gone away so you can move on to the next one.
In the long run, you’ll find a whole palette of colours that work for you and they will always be your colours.
19 April 2021 - Taking "the pretty way"
I don’t know about you but in my family, we sometimes like to drive “the pretty way”! It’s not about being time-efficient but shifting our focus, allowing the journey to take centre stage; it is enjoyable in its own right and, quite simply, makes us feel good.
This shift in focus can also be applied to achieving better health, whether we’re recovering from serious illness or the demands and pressures of life. It’s taking the pressure off ourselves to feel well as quickly as possible and accepting that it is a journey to getting back to our normal selves.
Holistic therapies, such as reflexology and Indian head massage, are the wellbeing equivalent of the pretty way. They are gentle and soothing, make us feel good and can be a great support as we gradually make our way back to good health.
7 August 2020 - Post lockdown response
Over the last few months, we have inevitably experienced shock, stress and upset in varying degrees. Whether our day-to-day life has changed little – with the focus moving from one place to another, i.e work to work at home – or hugely with balancing work, home and family, we have gone through a traumatic experience and we have also been extremely concerned for our loved ones. Whichever way we have shown this outwardly, our body will have been responding inwardly and now, after 4 months, there are tell-tale signs.
Consider this analogy, we are in our cars going along on our journey and we suddenly discover that all the motorways are closed. To carry on, we find lots of smaller roads but it is stressful, they are often too narrow for us, there are lots of bumps and bends along the way and after some time, we can’t keep on ignoring the problems that we encounter. We have to stop. We need to take a break from this journey to refuel and mend all the parts of the car that are battered and broken.
The exact same is happening to us; I would argue that our bodies and our minds are far more important than our cars!! Our nervous systems activated our fight or flight response for the perceived “danger” of lockdown and the genuine threat presented by Covid-19. This level of high alert stayed in our system for far too long and now those sore backs and necks, painful teeth, flared-up arthritic joints, headaches, tears and simple requirement for human touch are nature’s clever little way of telling us we have to stop. As you would with your car – or indeed anything important that breaks – you get some help fixing the problem.
Reflexology is recognised as having a strong positive effect on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing and can bring us some much needed balance.
13 January 2020 - Seasonal Affected Disorder
Why do we experience winter blues and SAD? Is it our "inner solar panel" that is being neglected? There are certain factors that contribute to emotional and physical changes that alter our wellbeing. First, there is a belief that lack of sunlight can affect the hypothalamus in our brain which is in charge of our sleep, appetite and mood, and these functions can be slowed down. Less sunlight can also reduce serotonin levels which are brain chemicals that affect mood and may trigger depression. It may even be that our body clock is impacted by more hours of darkness. We notice solar lights in the garden are a bit flickery and dull during the short winter days, maybe the very same is happening within our bodies.
There are ways that we can help ourselves to reduce the impact of these changes. A key suggestion is to go for walks or simply be outside and benefit from the light and sunlight whenever possible. This idea can actually be enhanced by investing in and using a lightbox. It is also important to try and avoid stress and to have a good diet, full of fruit and vegetables that give us all the key vitamins and minerals we need. A reflexology treatment can be tailored to boost all the relevant parts of the brain. This is the time to focus on the recharge and to get that glow up to full strength again.
1 May 2019 - Mindful Reflexology
I have just completed a course on Mindful Reflexology which brings a whole new level of knowledge and understanding to handling more vulnerable clients, both adults and children. Anxiety and depression can manifest in small ways and can also be utterly overwhelming; for the sufferer, it is the beginning of a journey where they need to manage their thoughts and outlook constantly and the more support techniques they have, the better. A Mindful Reflexology treatment can be one part of the support “toolkit” and is tailored to focus on all the parts of the brain and nervous system that need extra support for individuals suffering with mental illness and related conditions.
26 February 2019 - How ancient Chinese beliefs can comfort..
In this time of uncertainty, I’m sure everyone has revelled in these last few days of record-breaking warmth for February. We always brace ourselves for winter, the cold being tough but the damp greyness significantly tougher. We then rejoice spring and winter being “over and done with” and on we go! Maybe we need to hold that thought and know that we will experience it again once Brexit, and whatever it entails, is finalised.
I can’t help feeling that this weather is being given to us deliberately to support us. In the Chinese Medicine Five Element Cycle, we are now in the wood phase, which is all about birth and subsequent evolution; firm roots yet flexibility in growth. At this stage, liver health is vital, so reduce fats, sugars, alcohol and coffee; eat simple meals with plenty of vegetables. Choose lots of green clothing. And lastly, as the name implies, be among trees and plants, which should not be difficult to achieve in this glorious sunshine!
19 January 2019 - Getting your internal house in order
As it’s the start of the year, our minds are full of thoughts of new resolutions and projects to work towards, but it can be easy to be put off by the length of time that things take. Consider the following analogy:
Mrs B has decided to clear out her loft and slowly and meticulously separates out the rubbish and recycling. In the process, she fills up a lot more bin bags then she expects to and they are taking a long time to shift, they are awkward-shaped, some of them smell. Eventually, after a few weeks, the backlog of rubbish has gone and her home looks new and fresh.
The very same can be said of a series of holistic treatments. If we are undergoing reflexology or head massage for a back or neck problem, headaches or fertility treatment, we need to be patient and possibly put up with discomfort and slow releases before we start to see the benefits. Getting rid of our internal rubbish needs to take place before we can get our internal house in order!