Body Image and Massage

Body Image and MassageBody image and massage

Almost everybody has something about their body that they don’t like. For many people it’s a minor issue, no big deal. But some people have a major issue with their body image. It affects how they live, restricts what they do, and ultimately their happiness.  Sadly some people’s body image is such an issue that they don’t think anybody else can accept them.

The paradox here is that massage can really help with body image issues. I remember when learning massage we were all ridiculously nervous about taking off our clothes and letting somebody else touch us. It didn’t take long for us to discover that bodies are just bodies and become much more comfortable with our own. We also experienced how good receiving a massage made us feel. Something unexpected happened – when our bodies felt better we felt better about our bodies. By the end of the course we were all very relaxed about our bodies.

I have many women come to see me who are concerned about getting undressed because their legs might be hairy, or they think they have a lot of cellulite, or they are worried if they are overweight, that their skin is dry, they may have psoriasis, or eczema. Here’s the thing.  Therapists don’t notice and they aren’t interested. What we are interested in and totally focussed on is making you feel better.

Here are the options as I see them:

1. Don’t get a massage.  This is the easiest because it involves doing nothing. The risk is low since you are not letting another person see or touch you at all.

The reward is zero. You didn’t get a massage so your body doesn’t feel any better, and you still have the stress you had before.

2. You get a massage. A great massage. And the therapist does nothing to make you feel uncomfortable about your body. In fact, you feel pretty good about your body after the massage and realise your worries were unfounded.

In this option your risk is low. I don’t care how your body looks. That’s none of my business. I just want to help it feel better. Your reward is high. Again your body will feel better from the massage and you can start feeling better about it.

3. You have a Bowen Therapy session instead.
If you have been avoiding massage because you feel uncomfortable about your body, then I have a simple option for you.  Have a Bowen Therapy treatment with me instead.  Bowen is not the same as massage, there is no oil involved and no massage, but it is extremely relaxing and there is no doubt about it’s ability to benefit people with all sorts of issues such as back and neck pain.  The bonus is that it can be done through light clothing.

Our bodies all have their story to tell.  You may be dealing with something that you can’t control, such as a medical condition or an injury or accident. You may be in a lot of pain or are limited in what you can do physically. I don’t make any judgments about you.

I’ve worked on hundreds of people. Each body is interesting and to me every body is beautiful and I’ve yet to come across one that has not benefitted from a treatment whether it is massage or Bowen Therapy.

If you have been avoiding massage because you feel uncomfortable about your body, then I have a simple option for you.  Have a Bowen Therapy treatment with me instead.  Bowen is not the same as massage, there is no oil involved and no massage, but it is extremely relaxing and there is no doubt about it’s ability to benefit people with all sorts of issues such as back and neck pain.  The bonus is that it can be done through light clothing.

It’s my job to help you and your body feel better. That’s it. Together let’s find a way to help you relieve your pain and stress. Don’t let your body image keep you from feeling good.

Thanks for reading.

Sue

How To Deal With Stress – 4 Easy Ways

How To Deal With Stress.

How To Deal With Stress – 4 Easy Ways

As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and longer (slightly warmer) days during April, it is the time of year when we realise that time is going too quickly and there is a lot to do and plan. Maybe that’s why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress go unchecked. Here are 4 easy ways to deal with stress:

Meditation

Meditation does not have to be about sitting cross-legged, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed. Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.

Exercise

It can be difficult to make time for exercise when you are up to your eyes, and you are feeling stressed. But that’s when it becomes even more important. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness. If you can’t make time for daily workout, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. A little goes a long way when you need it.  If you want to get healthy but hate the thought of a noisy fast-paced gym, and do have time for a regular class, you can do no better than visit The Body IQ Studio in Wolverton, Milton Keynes, to check out their classes.

Giggle and hum

Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication. So put the funny videos on or start singing along to the radio.

Bowen Technique and Aromatherapy Massage

Regular treatments can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve moods. Plus, these therapies make you feel good. Read about Bowen Technique’s effects on stress and about how Holistic Aromatherapy Massage helps relieve stress.

When you feel good, you play more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love. Schedule a treatment now to prepare for a busy (and fun) spring!

Commit to taking care of yourself this spring!   You may be surprised with the results.

Thanks for reading my ideas on how to deal with stress.  Remember to sign up to my monthly newsletter to be the first to receive special offers.

Sue


 

Some Unexpected Benefits of Drinking Water

Benefits of Drinking WaterHow Much Do You Drink:  If you have been for a treatment with me, you will know that I will ask you during the consultation how much water you drink daily.  I will often also test this with a simple kineseology test.  The majority of people answer honestly that they do not drink enough.  Most people say apologetically that they drink plenty of tea/coffee/herbal tea/juice/squash but not water. So that’s okay, isn’t it? Most people say they don’t like drinking water, it’s bland, it’s boring.

Let me give you some benefits of drinking water which may not be what you expect.  Also, to help you, at the end is a calculator to work out how much you as an individual should be drinking.

Benefits of drinking waterWater at a Cellular Level:  Our bodies contain something like 70 to 100 trillion cells.  By the time you have read this short blog, 50 million of your cells will have died and will have been replaced by new cells.  This is amazing isn’t it?  Some of these cells come to the end of their life naturally and some are lost through wear and tear and the remainder self-destruct.  Every single cell in our body is carefully controlled so that we have just the right amount of each type of cell.  Cells in the stomach are replaced every 2-9 days. Cells in the skin 10-30 days.

Common sense tells us that if we have healthy cells then we have a healthy body.  So how do we ensure we have healthy cells?  Basically a healthy cell is one where the nutrients can get in easily and the toxins eliminate easily.  How do we make sure that happens?  Adequate hydration – benefits of drinking water.

Think about all the food and drink we put into our bodies.  The cells in your body are working hard to eliminate the waste.  If we are constantly dehydrated then the cells can’t elimiate the toxins and the waste, and they can’t take in new nutrients.  Everything becomes sluggish.  Every detoxification process in the body including breathing, urinating, sweating, defecating require water.  If our body stagnates through lack of fluid then the toxins become stored in places in our body – away from major organs.

Our bodies are something like 70 percent water.  Babies are about 80 to 90 percent water and elderly people are only 50 to 60 percent water.

Benefits of Drinking WaterWater and Back Pain:  Clients presenting with back pain may be able to help themselves just by drinking more water.  Yes you read that correctly.

Water plays a massive role in the health of your back and spine.  Your back ache could be because of a lack of hydration.  How?  Between your vertebrae lie disks, the outer part is tough and designed to take25% of our weight, while the inner substance is primarily water and takes 75% of our weight.  All day long as we sit and stand gravity pushes us down, water is squeezed out of those disks.  When we go to bed the disks slowly rehydrate.  This system works fine so long as we do our part – supplying adequate water levels.  What happens when we don’t?  There isn’t enough fluid to fully rehydrate the inner disk, meaning that the whole disk becomes compromised.  The inner disk fails and the outer ring has to take more weight.  You then feel pain, there can be swelling.  If we ignore this and carry on more damage occurs, hernated disks and ruptures.  One of the benefits of drinking water is preventing needless back pain.

This shows that the simplest and most effective way to reduce your back pain is simply to increase your daily intake of water.  Don’t wait until you are thirsty, by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated.

Symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Dark coloured urine
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Poor concentration – brain fog
  • Dry mouth
  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Cramp
  • Backache

Water Consumption Calculator:

I have provided a link which takes you to an external site called h4initiative.com.  You will need your height in cms and your weight in kgs (so if you still think in imperial measurements like me then you might want to go to Google to convert your weight and height first and make a note of it before clicking on the calculator).  According to this I should be drinking 1.9 litres a day so I need to up my intake too.   CLICK HERE FOR CALCULATOR.

If you would like to read more, please take a look at this excellent blog by Health Ambition.

I hope this article gives a bit of insight into why I am always asking about your water intake!

Thanks for reading.

Sue

 

6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

6 Essential Oils for Insomnia – helping you sleep and relax

You know the feeling, your mind is hyper-active and you just can’t get off to sleep. Stress at work, problems with relationships, financial worries turn over in your mind just when you want nothing more than to relax. The clock is ticking away and you know that it won’t be long before you have to get up and start a new day. The anxiety of not being able to sleep is now keeping you awake. Your brain keeps turning over the events of the day, maybe noises keep you awake, the dog next-door barking, or traffic on the nearby road.

Sometimes we can get off to sleep okay, but for some reason we wake at some point and just can’t get back to sleep again.  Insomnia affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives.  We all need our sleep, it is vital for our overall health.  We need all the help we can get.

Here are six essential oils known for their sedative properties.  Put a few drops on your bedding (but not directly next to your skin), or on a tissue, alternatively use a diffuser. Remember you will only need a few drops as they are powerful oils.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)Choosewellbeing, Clary Sage, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

Clary Sage is a powerful relaxant with a sweet and heady aroma. It is uplifting and relaxing, good for relieving anxiety, tension and mental fatigue. Promotes dream filled sleep. Good for calming children. Use sparingly. If you  simply want to relax and have a good night’s sleep then Clary Sage oil can help you. Chronic stress and anxiety are helped by the use of Clary Sage essential oil.

 

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)Choosewellbeing, Geranium, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

This is an uplifting oil with a natural sedative action, helpful with overcoming insomnia.  In addition it helps to alleviate stress, depression and anxiety.

Once you have dropped off to sleep, should you wake again, the sedative effect of Geranium should ease you effortlessly back to sleep.

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)Choosewellbeing, Roman Chamomile, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

There are different types of Chamomile essential oil, but the best for insomnia is Roman Chamomile.  This is a calming and relaxing oil, good for relieving anxiety, depression and stress. Particularly suitable for children.  A good choice to help you relax.

 

 Choosewellbeing, Lavender, 6 Essential Oils for InsomniaLavender (Lavandula augustifolia)

An essential oil with balancing properties. Uplifting, soothing and therefore helpful for insomnia. Do not overdo the drops of oil or it will have the opposite effect and keep you awake. 2 drops is sufficient.  There are various types of Lavender but look out for Lavandula augustifolia as this is ‘true’ lavender with the best properties to help with insomnia.

 

Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)Choosewellbeing, Sweet Marjoram, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

This is a soothing and comforting oil with a light aroma. It is calming and sedative and helpful for insomnia and periods of irritability.  Again make sure that you choose the right type of oil in this case Origanum majorana as this has the best properties.

Warning: Avoid during first five months of pregnancy.

 

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)Choosewellbeing, Ylang Ylang, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

Ylang Ylang has a calming and sedative effect and soothes the nervous system. This oil helps is helpful in times of stress and helps with anxiety, tension, shock, fear and panic.

 

Relaxation Blend:

2 drops Lavender

2 drops Roman Chamomile

2 drops Ylang Ylang

Place onto a tissue or on your bedding and inhale deeply as you settle down to sleep.

Choosewellbeing, NYR Night Time Blend,

 

Ready Made Blend:

Available from NYR Organic – Aromatherapy Blend Night Time.  Key action: Relaxing

This blend of grounding vetiver and relaxing lavender brings welcome relief when you find it difficult to relax and switch off. It will stop your mind whirring and give you a refreshing night’s sleep.

All of the links I have provided will take you to my NYR Organic UK page.  As a qualified Aromatherapist for many years now, I recommend these products as they are organic and the oils are second to none.

I hope that the information and ideas in this blog will help you sleep well and relax.

Sweet dreams.

Sue

All About Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar FasciitisI have had quite a few clients coming to see me lately with Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced Plan-Ter-Fash-Ee-Eye-Tus!) If you have been unfortunate to have this, you will know it is a really painful condition causing foot arch pain and/or heel pain. The plantar fascia is a flat band of tissue which connects your heel bone to your toes. Its job is to support the arch of your foot. If you overstrain this ligament it can become inflamed and then the pain starts when you stand or walk. Basically it is a Repetitive Strain Injury. If the ligament is repeatedly strained then tiny tears can result and then pain and swelling occurs.

jogger-603620_1280

 

 

 

 

You are more at risk of getting Plantar Fasciitis if:

  • Middle aged
  • Overweight
  • Fallen arches
  • Run
  • Stand a lot
  • Walk extensively
  • Wear ill fitting shoes
  • Have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles – which can be caused by wearing high heeled shoes for too many years or due to posture.

fashion-601557_1280Symptoms:

The first steps out of bed in the morning are often the worst of the day for people with Plantar Fasciitis. Morning pain is a telling sign as to whether you have this condition. This can also happen if you have been sitting for a long time and then get up. Once you have taken some steps the pain can lessen but as the day goes on the pain may come on again. Standing may bring on the pain and climbing stairs.

Treatment:

No doubt about it, Plantar Fasciitis can be a stubborn condition to treat. No one treatment works for everyone. Some people recover fairly quickly, but some people find it can drag on. No one can promise a cure but here are some ways you can help recovery.

  • Rest – this can be difficult as you have to get on with your day to day life, however, it is important that you need to cut back on the activities which caused the condition in the first place such as running, standing for lengthy periods of time, or extensive walking. The body is amazing and is self-healing but we need to help it along.
  • Stretches Before Getting Out of Bed: When you wake up in the morning do some stretches. These first Calf Stretches Plantar Fasciitissteps out of bed can re-aggravate the condition. Your body has been healing overnight. The best way to deal with this is to stretch your calf muscle BEFORE getting out of bed. This is because the muscles of the calf pull on the heel bone, which then tightens the plantar fascia. Keep a towel or belt near the bed and loop it around the ball of your foot. Keeping your leg straight gently pull towards your body until you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat up to 5 times before stepping out of bed. Follow this link for detailed instructions.  Follow this link for a YouTube video demonstrating the stretching exercises.
  • Stretch the Fascia: simply pull your toes up with your hand until you feel the stretch along the sole of your foot. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat. Follow this link for detailed instructions:
  • Stretch the calf muscles: Stand facing a wall, place your hands on the wall at eye level, put one leg behind you. Keep the heel of the back foot on the floor and bend the knee of the front leg until you feel a stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat 2 to 4 times. Follow this link for detailed instructions:
  • Avoid hard surfaces: try not to walk or run on hard surfaces. Give yourself time to recover.
  • Book a Bowen: book a Bowen treatment and receive a full body balancing treatment including treatment on your feet. This cross fibre therapy will relax and release the fascia not only in your feet but in your calf muscles. However, it needs to be combined with the exercises and wearing good footwear.Plantar Fasciitis and Bowen
  • Flat Feet or High Arches?: People can have plantar fasciitis if they have flat feet but also it afflicts people with excessive arches so it isn’t always a ‘flat feet’ issue. However, a lot of people who have flat feet or excessive arches do not have plantar fasciitis so it is not a cause.
  • Shoes: buy some shoes which have a good arch support, and a cushioned sole. What you wear on your feet has a massive bearing on recovery time. Here is a YouTube video explaining the types of shoes to wear. Basically an enclosed shoe with arch support, Velcro strap or lace ups are ideal, heel height 2 cms (not flat and not higher), a rigid shell (not soft fabric or ballet type shoes), something that doesn’t give way, with a stiff sole and generally supportive. We see a lot of women who wear the soft ballet type shoes with foot problems.  Follow this link for  a YouTube video explaining what to look out for in footwear.
  • Golf Ball Treatment: find yourself a golf ball and roll it under your foot for a couple of minutes daily which will help to release the fascia. It will be tender so take it gently.
  • Foot Support: you can purchase a sock or sleeve to support the foot and provide some relief.   Follow this link for an example.

How long does recovery take:

It has taken a long time for the condition to get to this stage, and it can take time for the pain to go away. It can take a few months but it can take up to a year and in some cases even longer. Consistently following the above advice will help relieve your symptoms.

Please Note:  This blog is for information purposes and is not intended to take the place of medical advice – if you are in any doubt always refer to your GP or medical practitioner.

anatomy-of-plantar-fascia

Thanks for reading.

To book an appointment with me:  click here