REFLEXOLOGY AND TRAUMA
It’s a fact of life that bad things happen to all of us from time to time. We suffer bereavement, we or someone close to us has an accident, we loose our job or we become sick. However, very few of us regard these events that can turn our lives upside down as traumas. However, ‘trauma’ can be defined in its most simple terms as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
Hence, most of us have suffered a trauma of one kind or another and such events cause an emotional shock to the system that can lead to long term neurosis and general health problems if not recognised and dealt with in a way that releases the stress and tension of the event rather bottles it up in the subconscious where it lies draining our energy for years to come.
The health problems that can be attributed to trauma are evidenced by common phrases in our everyday language such as being ‘heartbroken’, ‘sick to the stomach’ or saying that one ‘just froze’ on seeing an accident or had a ‘shock to the system’. We have an innate recognition that trauma can cause physical as well as mental problems, yet we tend to ignore these warnings from our own mind or body.
As a reflexologist, I often deal with people who have suffered various degrees of trauma. However, I don’t recall anybody coming to me saying they needed treatment specifically because of it. For example, one lady came to be needing treatment for fasciitis. On the second or third visit she stated that she found it hard to give love and it was apparent that she had an emotional blockage. Later in her treatment plan, she remembered something that had been suppressed in her subconscious for nearly fifty years. Her uncle had exposed himself to her and abused her as a child and the trauma had left an emotional scar. After the release of the shame and emotions surrounding her trauma, she became a much happier and well rounded individual.
No matter what the particular trauma one has suffered either recently or in the past, reflexology can be of great benefit helping to heal the mind, body and spirit of the individual. Depending on the specifics of the trauma, this can be either in conjunction with modern western medicine or independent of it. Either way, the benefits are real and well documented.
REFLEXOLOGY – PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Many moons ago when I was sixteen or seventeen they used to have dances with live bands. That is, bands who played instruments not four or five young hopefuls dancing around doing a karaoke set while the likes of Simon Cowell decide whether to suck them in and spit them out when they have served their usefulness. Anyway, moving on from that hobby horse, there used to be an intimidating but amusing feature of many of these dances in that groups of local misfits used to wonder in looking for trouble. The amusing element was that the smallest one used to walk in front followed in sequence by the others with the biggest one bringing up the rear. The little guy would stare at people trying to illicit a response and reporting any ‘disrespect’ to the biggest gang member who would decide on the appropriate retribution.
I remember that on one occasion I must have smirked or shown some disdain because the little chap who was barely five feet tall approached me and said, “You want a picture mate?” I must have been in a suicidal mood because I responded that I didn’t want one if it was of his ugly mug. He wondered off and came back into the hall with the big guy of the gang, a muscular lad already over six feet tall, and pointed me out. This could have been a bit nasty because I am barely five foot seven and, although I had done a little schoolboy boxing, was not exactly a street fighter and that’s putting it mildly.
Joy of joys, I had played my first game of soccer for a local team the week before and had a blinder providing the pass that allowed our big centre forward to score the winning goal. He was, of course, none other than the biggest gang member. The net result was that the little guy was sent back to apologise to me, grovel even!
There are two lessons that I learnt from this episode. One is that recommendations are a wonderful thing and the other is that prevention is better than cure. I was thankful that I was recommended as a ‘good bloke’ not to be upset but I should have prevented the situation arising by avoiding eye contact and following it up with a smart arse remark.
What has that to do with reflexology? Well not a lot except that reflexology is great as a preventative therapy. It helps build the immune system and helps the body maintain its natural state of wellness. Also, my best form of marketing is essentially gaining recommendations by doing a good job, just as I had done in that football match all those years ago.
Is Sleep Triggering Your Back Pain?
Recent research has revealed that nearly one in three people experience back and neck pain after a night's sleep, while most feel stiff or achey in the mornings.
The British Chiropractic Association carried out a poll of 2,400 people and found that 30% of the people asked said they believe sleep triggers back and neck pain and 42% said they had been kept awake by the pain. Some 83% said they feel stiff or ache when they get up in the morning.
It is important to check that your mattress is still supporting you enough and check your pillows too!
The survey found 33% of people change their mattress only once a decade despite recommendations to buy a new one every seven years. A fifth (21%) admit changing their mattress less than once a decade and 10% had never changed it at all.
The BCA says people should change their mattress if they regularly wake up stiff or aching, have a better night's sleep somewhere else, the mattress is misshapen or sagging, it creaks when people move, or if individual springs can be felt.
How often you should change a mattress depends on lots of factors including your weight and how well you have cared for your mattress. However, as soon as a mattress stops supporting your back it's vital you get a new one. A mistake that people often make when choosing a new mattress is thinking the firmer the better. This is not always true - one bed does not fit all.
We spend a third of our lives in bed so it's important to spend time choosing your new mattress and, remember; if you're planning on sharing your bed with your partner, take them with you to test it.
I always advise my patients to sleep either on their side with their knees together and a pillow between the knees to keep the spine and pelvis in alignment and to avoid back pain. Or on your back with a pillow under your knees to keep them bent allowing the lower back to flatten out making sleeping more comfortable. I advise against sleeping on your front as this stresses the lower back and encourages a twist to occur in the spine which over time can lead to back pain.
For more information and advice please get in contact : 01600 890282 / 07726 297813
THE PLACEBO EFFECT
It was a sunny day in Essex many years ago in my early musical days. I was standing in a side street with my fellow guitarist looking forward to our gig which was very minor attraction because the Beatles were in town, Of course, we both had Beatles hair cuts as one did back then although it’s something I always seem to have had except when I was at university and had no hair cut at all! Anyway, a sweet old lady ambled past us and gave us a wink; amusing if somewhat disconcerting. Then she turned and came back, looked up at us and said, “I saw you on the telly last night, aren’t you lovely boys and so much better looking in the flesh”. (I made the last bit up!) We realised that she believed we were two of the Beatles – exactly which one I was is something that has occupied my thoughts in idle moments ever since. “Wait till I tell my granddaughter that I have spoken to you” she continued and was so overjoyed that it seemed cruel not to go with the flow and enjoy a few moments of stardom. The point is that belief is a wonderful thing. I met a hospital ward sister a while back and she told me that prior to the world getting its knickers in a twist about ‘human rights’, she used to give patients with insomnia two sugar pills at night and they slept soundly. It’s what is called the placebo effect and could save the NHS a fortune.
These days, as a complementary therapist, it’s something that sceptics often throw at one. “It’s just the placebo effect”, they scorn. Well, that’s fine, nothing wrong with someone believing they will feel better and improving their situation as a result. If I were just harnessing the placebo effect I would be offering something worthwhile but there is more to complementary therapy and there is an increasing bank of research to back up the claims of therapists. It’s true that if you are a ‘believer’ then complementary treatments might work quicker or better but even sceptics can benefit from sessions that are both relaxing and powerful.
Board of your Commute!? Your body may not like it much either!
Driving can be a key trigger of back pain. Sitting down can put twice as much pressure on the spine as standing up. This is due the way the natural curve of the spine is altered when sitting.
Many people will share a car and often this means that the seat, mirrors and height of the steering wheel are altered regularly. Make sure you adjust to meet your individual requirements. This will not only improve your comfort in the car but also your safety. Below are some tips on making your commute a little less uncomfortable.
Lower Back Support - A good amount of support here will ensure that the spine is supported in an optimum position, reducing the pressure. If your car doesn’t offer enough you enough you can buy lumbar supports to attach.
Head Support - This should always be behind the head, NOT the neck. The proper position can be vital if an accident were to occur.
Mirrors - Its important that you can see them adequately with minimum neck movement.
Steering Wheel - It can be adjusted in most cars and can help take tension off the shoulders and mid back. Keep your elbows slightly bent and try and keep both hands in the same place to ensure symmetry.
Seat Position - elbows and knees should have a slight bend and the knees should be at the same height or lower then the hips.
- If you mainly stand on your commute, make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold onto a rail comfortably, avoid over stretching.
- If you do get a seat, relax when sitting into your chair. Avoid keeping looking out of the window for the whole journey as it will put strain on your neck, alternate its position.
- If using a laptop, don’t sit in the same position for long periods, as you are looking down onto the screen with your head unsupported. Rest the laptop on a table, not on your lap, arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using.
Muscles and joints are designed for movement so, where possible, walk as it will help improve muscle tone, improve circulation and posture.
If your require any further Information or would like to book in for a Chiropractic Assessment please contact us: T: 01600 890 282 M: 07726 297813 E:email@example.com W:www.shireschiropracticclinic.co.uk
REFLEXOLOGY - AN ALTERNATIVE TO COUNSELLING?
As a qualified counsellor I suppose that I should feel indignant about some research results I noted recently suggesting that in 75% of cases, counselling was ineffective. However, that merely backs up my own beliefs and makes it difficult if not impossible to promote that branch of my work as a complementary therapist with any great enthusiasm or integrity.
I have pondered long and hard about the reasons for the overall disappointing results of counselling therapy and have reached some conclusions or perhaps I should say, some opinions on the matter.
Firstly, one has to look at the quality and attitudes of the counsellors themselves. Whilst there are many excellent professionals in the field, there are many who are in my humble opinion, totally inept. No matter what theory based qualifications you possess, it does not always translate into practical skill and this is no different in other professions or trades. Moving on from that, the work load of many counsellors can be mentally and emotionally draining to the point where they tend to switch off. I remember speaking to someone in the United States who had retired as a Hospital Administrator but was persuaded to return to work part time as a Counsellor which was part of his original skill set. A few months later I asked him how it was going and discovered that he had given up the role saying, “I just got tired of listening to all that shit”. Totally understandable but not a prelude to successful therapy.
Before being in danger of ruffling any feathers, let me move on to the patients/clients themselves who I think are the main reason for the high failure rate. Many are pushed into counselling without wanting to or feeling the need to be there. If you don’t go with an open mind, life is difficult for the counsellor and if you go with a totally negative attitude it is virtually impossible.
However, I think that the major reason for failure is that often clients do not understand the nature of the service on offer. People tend to consult counsellors looking for advice and to give advice is not the function of counselling. Its function is to help the client move forward, to resolve their own issues and to reach their own conclusions. The counsellor is a facilitator of change and not the font of all wisdom.
So, I hear you asking, “what has that all to do with reflexology?” Well a few years ago a client recommended a friend who was keen to try a reflexology treatment. After the treatment, she reported to her friend that she had told me things that she had never mentioned to anybody else and was a little stunned that she had not only divulged such hidden feelings but had done so on her first meeting. “There” said my client, “you not only had reflexology but a free counselling session”.
This remark was thought provoking and made me realise that many of my clients used reflexology partly as a counselling session without realising it. Whilst half of my clients will close their eyes and relax, many will want to talk and this is usually about things on their mind, often everyday worries and concerns. However, deeper feelings can surface and be released. I have found reflexology can help release deep seated feelings of grief, guilt and low esteem along with numerous other incidents from the past including in a couple of instances abuse suffered as a child. In one case, a client seemed to be releasing problems from a past life but that is merely an observation made without wishing to enter into a reincarnation debate within this blog.
In conclusion, I can honestly say that I have found reflexology to be an interesting and useful alternative to counselling even though people do not come to me with that in mind, it just happens to be a ‘spin off’ benefit of regular sessions.
THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’
Watching the pictures of the floods in the news recently, I kept thinking of words from the Bob Dylan song, “Admit that the waters around you have grown, and accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone”, Of course, Dylan wasn’t singing about the weather although the times certainly seem to changing in terms of our climate. More relevant, perhaps, is that for businesses of all types, the times are always changing and one has to be aware of those changes and try to stay one step ahead. That isn’t always easy. For one thing, the old maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a powerful one along with “make hay while the sun shines”. If things are going well, we see no need to change and often that stops us preparing for different trading conditions that are looming on the horizon.
Another reason that we avoid change, either consciously or sub-consciously is that it is stressful. Stress is the body’s natural reaction to change and to a certain extent is a good thing, giving us the drive and clarity of thought required to deal with new challenges. However, too much stress invariably leads to health problems. In the modern world, we are not good at recognising, accepting or dealing with excess stress and it is possibly the underlying reason why we try and avoid change.
In my work as a Complementary Therapist, I regularly deal with issues surrounding change and stress. People’s lives may have been affected by worry or trauma in various degrees or they have just reached a point when they realise that they need to do something about their stress levels. Indeed, it is estimated that between 75% and 80% of visits to a GP are stress related. Regular visits to a therapist such as me can not only reduce stress and improve your health but could save the NHS millions.
On a personal note, the times certainly are a changin’ but for me. I have moved from Aberdeenshire to the Forest of Dean leaving all my clients behind and starting again from scratch. However, more words from the Dylan song give me some comfort: “For the loser now will be later to win”. Those words could be applied to many business owners who sometimes have to take one step back to go two steps forward.
Have you ever been sent on a course by your employer and thought, “I don’t want to be here”.
This happens a lot in First Aid.
Think of the situation, you are sat at home watching TV with your partner. All of a sudden you hear a funny noise, you look at your partner and they are struggling for breath, sweating, changing colour, complaining of pain and struggling to talk to you. What do you do?
First Aiders know what to do!!!
Call 999 and ask for an Ambulance! Give them your location, your partner’s details, tell them what is happening. Don’t hang up the phone!! They will help you through it.
Carry out a primary survey, DRSABC
D = Danger
R = Response
S = Shout
A = Airway
B = Breathing
C = Circulation
This is also known as Basic Life Support, this can save a loved ones life!
Don’t think of first aid as something you have to do because of work. Think how you could save someone close to you.
Eight minutes is a long time doing something on your own when you are not sure what your doing. That’s roughly how long it will take an ambulance to get to you.
Book a course place today to learn more.
Ladies, Are You Wearing The Right Sized Bra?
Use this Valentines as a reminder why its important to get measured.
64% of women are wearing the wrong bra size! This figure is according to a study by Swiss lingerie company Triumph. They found that globally nearly a third of women had never had a proper bra fitting before, and us Brits were among one of the worst countries!
If you aren't wearing the correct sized bra it could be putting unnecessary strain on the back, affecting your posture and causing joint and muscle pain. In 2008 the British Chiropractic Association first looked at this issue. A survey was carried out among women who had claimed to have suffered back pain at some point in their life, 47% of the women said that they believed that their breast size was a factor.
“Bras are like suspension bridges, you need a well engineered bra so your shoulders don’t take all of the strain and end up doing all of the work; spreading the load is important. Bras that don’t fit will affect the shoulders and chest and may cause back pain as you get older. It is so important to make sure a bra gives you enough support as possible. The message must be to get properly fitted for a bra and replace old ones when they start to lose their supportive properties ”.Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association
In the 2008 survey, 77% of those women who got professionally measured discovered that they had been wearing the wrong sized bra!
Use this Valentines date as a reminder to get fitted, it usually costs nothing but could save you a lot!
For more help or advice please contact me on 01600 890 282 or visit my website www.shireschiropracticclinic.co.uk
Why does aloe matter?
So many products we see today promote the fact that they contain aloe vera. From moisturisers to toilet paper and everything in between; many products boast that they contain this miracle plant, but why does aloe matter?
Although aloe vera has been popularised in the UK over the last few years, it has actually been around for several thousand years and has some wonderful nicknames that derive from various cultures, such as 'the burn plant', 'the medicine plant', 'the silent healer' and a great one from Japan is 'isha irazu' which literally means 'no need for a doctor'.
Although it looks like a cactus, it is in fact a succulent of the lily family, related to onions, garlic and asparagus. About five aloes have medicinal qualities, but Barbadensis Miller is the most powerful. All aloes originated from Africa and have subsequently spread around the world and thrive in warm countries where they will not be threatened by their main enemy, frost. This is the reason that you don't see them growing here in the UK, except in indoor pots.
There are many legends about aloe. It is said that Aristotle advised Alexander the Great to conquer the island of Socotra to secure its aloe harvest for his troops'. Another legend tells us queen Cleopatra used aloe to keep her skin soft and beautiful.
While many still consider aloe vera to be a folk remedy, it is important to consider that two-thirds of the world's population is treated with herbs and plant products that are not only effective, but offer benefits that are equal to chemically derived remedies of the western world. In Africa today, people still pack whole aloe leaves around their wounds, and in South America, mothers coat the arms and legs of children to keep the biting insects away.
There are many varieties of aloe vera that can be used in products, and they greatly vary. There is a significant difference between aloe vera 'juice' and aloe vera 'gel'. Aloe vera juices are made from the bitter part of the leaf known as aloe latex. There is very little to suggest that this part of the leaf carries any health benefits, but it can be highly laxative. Aloe vera gels, which we produce, are made from the inner leaf, which seems to be the most beneficial part of the plant. This potent inner leaf gel contains over 200 different beneficial compounds, as well as being naturally high in vitamin C.
For more information contact me on 07789549566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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