Struggling With A Stiff Neck?

Stuggling With A Stiff Neck?

One of the common issues that clients come to see me about is a stiff neck.  This can be really debilitating and painful, as well as being very inconvenient when you need to look behind you and find that you can’t.  This image illustrates just what I am talking about!

Two of the main causes are: poor posture; usually due to sitting in the same position for too long, such as looking at a mobile phone or a computer screen at the wrong angle, or perhaps sitting knitting or sewing with your neck in a forward position for a long period of time; or due to an injury such as a car accident or a fall.

There is usually pain in the neck when trying to turn your head, accompanied by all sorts of alarming cracking and creaking noises. If it is very severe just holding your head up straight will be painful.  If it is due to poor posture, then this can come on gradually until you become aware of an inability to turn your head when reversing or trying to look behind you. 

Sometimes the pain is not just in the neck but also in the shoulder, upper back, and possibly in one or both arms.  You may be able to move your head freely one side but not the other.  When you observe people with a stiff neck, they often have to move their entire upper body around when they want to look behind them. 

Sometimes a stiff neck clears up on its own.  It depends on the severity and the cause of the problem and so it can vary from a few days to a few weeks.   If a stiff neck lasts longer than this then you may need to seek help from your GP or a therapist. 

It isn’t commonly known that neck pain can also be caused by an issue in the jaw, and a good therapist will be able to help you with this. Pain doesn’t always originate where you can feel it.

Below I have listed some self-help techniques which you can easily do at home.

  • When to Seek help.  If the pain and lack of mobility continues for more than a few weeks, then it is recommended that you get yourself checked at the GP. 
  • Red Flags. If severe neck pain commenced after an accident, then you should seek help without delay.  If your stiff neck is accompanied by nausea, fever, severe headache, vomiting then seek help immediately.
  • Time.  Most times a stiff neck caused by poor posture will ease off by itself in a few days to a few weeks. Time may be all that is needed for the damaged tissues to heal. 
  • Heat and Ice.  If there is pain, then you can apply a heat pad or ice pad for the first couple of days.  Experiment to see which helps the most as it varies from person to person. 
  • Medication. You can buy over the counter medication such as ibuprofen to help provide temporary relief from the pain.  Seek the advice of your pharmacist.
  • Support.  Advice used to be to wear a neck collar, but this is no longer recommended.  It is better to keep your neck unrestricted, and to keep it moving gently and slowly.
  • Healing.  It is important to remember that the body is a self-healing organism and can usually heal itself without requiring any intervention. 
  • Rest.  If the neck pain came on after a strain or injury, then the tissues are likely to have been damaged, so it is important to rest for a couple of days to allow the damaged tissues to heal. This means avoiding excessive twisting or movement of the neck such as gym, swimming, sports.  After a few days you can start to move the neck actively again.
  • Self-Massage.  The simplest technique is to roll up a towel.  Lay down on the floor (a bed is too soft) and place the rolled up towel under your neck.  Gently roll your head from side to side making sure your head is relaxed.
  • Exercises.  The best exercises are the simplest ones.  Do not push further than the point where you feel resistance.  Repeat each exercise several times and do at least twice daily.  If you consistently carry out these exercises regularly you will find that it helps a great deal.
    • Turn your head from left to right slowly and carefully.
    • Drop your chin down to your chest and then look up to the ceiling.
    • Take your right ear to your right shoulder, and then take your left ear to your left shoulder.
  • Therapy.  If restriction continues, a therapy such as Bowen Technique, massage, chiropractic or osteopathy will help to relax and relieve the tightness and pain, allowing for freer neck rotation.  It is important to keep doing gentle neck exercises (above) and to reconsider your postural habits.

I hope you have found this article useful.  Do contact me if you have any questions.

Who Am I?

Sue Jaycock Bowen Therapist

My name is Sue Jaycock, I am a Bowen Therapist and a Massage Therapist working from my home clinic in Daventry, Northamptonshire. 

Here is a review from one of my clients who had neck pain.   You can read more here:

“I went to Sue because of a stiff & clicky neck. Her treatment was gentle, but really effective. Thoroughly recommended.” SW

However, Bowen isn’t just for back pain! It’s an amazing therapy for all sorts of musculoskeletal issues, aches and pains, stress and tension. Find out more here.

If you live in the Daventry area and you would like to know more about having a Bowen session with me, do get in touch.

Thanks for reading.

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How to use essential oils for coughs and colds in children

There are lots of coughs and colds around at the moment, so I have put together this article about how to use essential oils to sooth the symptoms of coughs and colds in children.

I know that when my children were small I wanted to use natural, drug free solutions, and before I learned about aromatherapy I would not have known where to start.  So many questions – which essential oils? How many drops? Mix what with what? How to use them?  How long to keep them? Where to keep them?   So confusing!

This article is for you if you have children, or grand-children, and would like to know exactly how to use essential oils for coughs and colds – the what, when, how and where!

I want to make it easy for you, so here are easy step by step instructions using just 3 essential oils.

Step 1:  Buy the essential oils. 

First of all, make sure that the essential oils you purchase are of good quality, organic if possible, and make sure that they are pure essential oils, not fragrant oils.  Buy from a reputable supplier – your local health food store, also Neal’s Yard, Essential Oils Direct, Amphora Aromatics are a few good brands I can recommend and you can buy online.  If you live in the UK I can also supply you with essential oils, just contact me.    The 3 we are going to be using are Eucalyptus, Lavender and Tea Tree.  While shopping, buy a small glass screw top bottle to mix.

Step 2:  Blend.

Mix together 10 drops of eucalyptus, 10 drops of tea tree and 10 drops of lavender.  Keep this mixture in a small glass screw top bottle.

Step 2:  Choose your method


There are two main types of diffuser.  The common factor is that they have a water reservoir above and a method of warming the water below.  The classic type has a space for a nightlight candle underneath.  Modern versions are electric, some with colour change effect.  I have both types and they are equally as good.  The electric version can be a bit noisy.  If you are using them around a child or baby, you are going to have to place them somewhere out of reach, especially if you are using it in their bedroom.

The essential oils are added to the water and as the heat source warms the water the aroma is spread throughout the room.  The essential oils are then breathed in through the nose.    Note – always use tepid or cold water, not too hot, otherwise the essential oils will evaporate too quickly and you will lose the effect.


Adding drops of essential oil to a warm bath is very relaxing and when you or your child are feeling under the weather it really helps, as you are inhaling the essential oils along with the steam which sooths the nasal passages, as well as getting the effect of the oils on the skin.  Ensure the bath is warm, not hot, because if it is too hot the essential oils will evaporate too quickly.  If you are running the bath for a child it wouldn’t be too hot anyway.  It is very important to ensure you swish the essential oils around with your hand before getting in because otherwise the essential oils will sit on the surface of the water and will be concentrated on the skin of the body as they get in.  20 minutes in the bath, wrapped up in a warm towel, in their PJ’s and into a cosy bed.


Mixing essential oils with a carrier oil such as Sweet Almond Oil or Grapeseed Oil and then applying by massage is one of the best ways to use essential oils because you have the effect of the essential oils together with the potent effect of human touch giving a very positive effect on the body and mind.  If a child had a cough or cold, then you can simply massage the oils on to their back, chest and maybe also their feet.  Very comforting and soothing, and they get the effect of the oils as they breathe in.  Great to do just before bed.

Step 3: Safety Precautions

Never use neat essential oils directly on the skin. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule.  Lavender can be applied undiluted to burns, cuts and insect bites.

Never use essential oils internally.  I know that a popular brand from the USA advocates using essentially oils internally but I would not recommend this for adults and never ever for babies or children. The IFA (International Federation of Aromatherapists) does not recommend this method of use. 

Babies and children require much smaller amount of the oils than adults to obtain effective results. Essential oils are potent and using more definitely does not mean better results. Keep to the guidance I have given.

Step 4:  Work out how many drops depending on age of child.

Age Diffuser Bathing Massage chest/back
6 m to 12 m 2 drops 1 drop 3 drops to 15 ml carrier oil
1 to 5 years 3 drops 2 drops 3 drops to 15 ml carrier oil
6 to 12 years 3/4 drops 3 drops 4 drops to 15 ml carrier oil
12+ 5 drops 4 drops 5 drops to 15 ml carrier oil

For children over 12 you can also use steam inhalation if your child is congested by using 5 drops of the mix in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water, with a towel placed over head and bowl.  Always supervise.

If you have questions, would like to know more, just drop me a message, I will be pleased to help.

Would you like my FREE e-book?  It is all about Aromatherapy for common ailments in babies and children.  If you would like a copy please click here:

Thanks for reading!





The information provided in this article is for personal information and interest only. It is not intended to offer professional medical advice or treatment for any condition. Always consult your GP or medical practitioner if you have any health concerns whatsoever. 
If you have any health problems or suffer from a chronic condition or are taking any medication you should always seek advice from your GP or medical practitioner prior to using aromatherapy.
Please note that I do not accept any liability for misuse of essential oils or other products or for any reliance on the information provided by me in this article or on my website.  




Why I’m addicted to Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Little bottles of scentaliciousness!

Why I’m addicted to Essential Oils

It’s true, I confess!  I am addicted to Essential Oils.  The first time I came across the power and beauty of essential oils, and the fascinating art of aromatherapy, was over 20 years ago when my sons were small.  I have always had an insatiable appetite when it comes to learning about complementary therapies, and when I saw that there was a workshop being held nearby by a lady who worked as an Aromatherapist,  it sounded right up my street, so off I went to find out more.  The class was held in a local village hall,  and there were about 20 of us there, all female, eager to learn about the subject.   From the moment the tutor opened her magical wooden box full of dark glass bottles of these precious and gloriously aromatic essential oils, I was hooked, and I still am – and even better now I have my own magical wooden box!

Why do I love them so much?  I find it fascinating that essential oils extracted from leaves, petals, stems, bark can have such beneficial effect on our emotional and physical well-being.  I use them at home, of course, all the time for bathing, for coughs and colds, for first aid, and I always have them to hand.   They promote healing, help to relieve anxiety and depression, improve quality of life for those with chronic  health conditions, improve sleep and reduce pain – amongst a whole host of other benefits. Aromatherapy is natural, drug free and gentle way to improve your health and that of your family.  What’s not to love?

addicted to essential oilsAfter my little workshop experience all those years ago, I was motivated to want to learn more, so I took myself off to college and studied Holistic Massage, Anatomy & Physiology and then Aromatherapy over a period of 2 years, finally qualifying as an Aromatherapist. In the years that followed I qualified in lots of other things too, and became a qualified teacher.  Now I have come full circle and I have the absolute pleasure of being able to teach people who want to learn about essential oils and aromatherapy all about how to use these precious liquids.

Although essential oils are natural products, that doesn’t mean they are safe.  You need some knowledge about how to use them properly, safely and effectively.  There are contraindications that you need to be aware of; you need to know how to blend them, what quantities to use for different age groups such as babies, children, the elderly and infirm; how many drops to use in a bath for instance, or how to use in a compress, or diffuser, etc, and the best way to use the essential oils for any given circumstance.

The workshops I teach will give you the know how to use essential oils safely and effectively at home and in one afternoon I will teach you invaluable knowledge that will last you a life-time.  I run small class sizes so that everyone has chance to ask questions, and you get to make a product to take home, and I guarantee you will leave buzzing with enthusiasm and confidence to put your new found knowledge to use.

I love running these workshops because I love to inspire people and to pass on my knowledge, and by doing so improving health and wellbeing.

Use the contact form to find out the date of my next workshop.   Daventry and Milton Keynes.

Thanks for reading!

Sue Jaycock






Purveyor of inspirational scentaliciousness extraordinaire!


10 questions most back pain sufferers ask me.

Here are a list of the top 10 questions that back pain sufferers ask me, and my answers.

Q1: Why do I have backpain10 questions most back pain sufferers ask me.?

Back pain is very common and about 80% of us will suffer from back pain at least once in our lives. The human back is a complex structure comprised of muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, bones. Sometime the cause of backpain is never located. We aren’t meant to treat our bodies like we do now – sitting so long and carrying out repetitive movements, and dealing with so much daily stress.

• Strain – the most common cause of back pain is a strain where we have strained a muscle or ligament, and the muscle may go into spasm – we have lifted something awkwardly, something that was too heavy, or we moved in an awkward way.
• Structural –some examples: a ruptured disc which causes pressure on a nerve and results in pain. A bulging disc bulges and we get pressure on a nerve. Sciatica can be caused by a disc pressing on a nerve. Arthritis can cause spinal stenosis where there is less space around the spinal cord so that nerves are affected. Some people have an abnormal curvature of their spine.
• Posture and bad habits – back pain results because of everyday activities – the way we sit at work, push or pull, carry something, a repetitive action, standing too long, sitting too long, bending down for too long, over-stretching, driving for too long, a head forward posture when using a computer, using a mobile phone too much.
• Stress – if we have a stressful job, anxiety, depression, stress at home, an unhappy relationship, then these are all factors which can cause our muscles to go into spasm and cause back pain.

Q2: Should I rest?

When most people have a flare up of back pain, their first reaction is to head to bed and lay still. Maybe we think that we are giving the damaged tissues chance to heal, and plenty of doctors still give this advice. However, rest isn’t as helpful as we might think. Studies show that extensive bed rest is not only unhelpful for back pain, it may actually cause recovery time to lengthen.

Q3: If I shouldn’t be resting, what should I do?

Research shows that tissues recover faster if they are used gently. Try to remain as active as possible. Do some gentle regular walking. Even if it is only around the house, keep moving. Start gently, just five minutes, and slowly increase. Gentle yoga stretches help to maintain flexibility.

Q4: Is bed rest is never a good idea for back pain?

Research shows that for anything more than short periods, ie an hour or two a day, then the answer is no. If the back pain is severe then take a break between activities.

Q5: Why should prolonged bed rest be avoided when I have back pain?

Lack of activity can cause muscles to grow stiff and weak. The intravertebral discs can lose nutrients and become dried out and inflexible. Soft tissues can lose their flexibility and become more vulnerable to injury. The spine needs movement to move nutrients around the cells and into the vertebral discs. Prolonged resting means that the muscles can stiffen and make the back feel more tight and less mobile.

Q6: What if I literally can’t move?

If unable to move, rest until the pain calms, and then move gently and slowly. An odd fact is that people living alone recover faster because they don’t have anyone to bring them food and drink and so they move more!

Q7: What is one simple thing I can do to help myself right now?

Drinking more water decreases back pain. Clients who have been to see me for a Bowen session will know that I ask them to increase their water consumption. We all need water to be able to digest our food and eliminate waste. Water lubricates and cushions our joints, plumps up our skin cells, flushes waste products from all our cells and allows nutrients to replenish them. We can’t survive without water. Some medications dehydrate us, as can exercise, coffee and alcohol, salt in our diet and hot weather so it is important to take these factors into consideration. However, a study has shown that people who are well hydrated when suffering from lower back pain experienced more pain relief after back manipulation than those who were dehydrated. Don’t wait until back pain strikes to increase water intake, do it now!

Q7: What can people do to prevent back pain in the future?

• Lose weight around their middle.
• Walk regularly 20 to 30 minutes a day or three x 10 minute short walks.
• Join a yoga class, a pilates class, or swim.
• Stand and sit tall.
• Don’t sit for longer than half an hour.

Q7: When should I seek immediate medical advice for back pain?

NHS guidance says that if a person has back pain and:
• numbness or tingling around their genitals or buttocks
• difficulty peeing
• loss of bladder or bowel control
• chest pain
• a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
• unexplained weight loss
• a swelling or a deformity in their back
• it doesn’t improve after resting or is worse at night
• it started after a serious accident, such as after a car accident
these problems could be a sign of something more serious and need to be checked urgently so contact a GP or NHS 111 immediately.

Q8: Will taking paracetamol help?

Research shows that paracetamol does not stop lower back pain and GP’s should consider prescribing exercise instead according to the study by the University of Sydney in the British Medical Journal.

Q9: How does Bowen Technique work to help back pain?

A study into the effects of Bowen Therapy on Back Pain showed that 89% of treatments given resulted in either a complete or partial recovery. By triggering a re-balancing of the muscles around the lumbar and pelvic areas, Bowen may help to stabilise a weak area, reduce compression around nerve roots, or improve circulation to the spinal discs, muscles and joints. Bowen is a whole body therapy – the therapist makes small, precise, rolling type movements over muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue in specific points of the body. There is no force used.

Q10: How long will it take before my back pain is gone?

This depends on many factors and is impossible to predict. Some of these factors are:
• The cause of the back pain.
• Fitness levels
• Occupation
• Stress levels

Please be aware that this information is for interest only and does not in any way seek to replace the advice of a medical practitioner. Always consult a GP if concerned about back pain.

I hope that this article has been helpful. I’m available for a chat:

Thanks for reading,

Bowen Therapist & Aromatherapist based in Daventry and Milton Keynes
0771 563 4747

Taking care of wellbeing – Choosewellbeing

Improve your health with breath

Improve your health with breath

Breath. Such a simple thing. It’s essential to life, but yet how often do we think about it? It ebbs and flows throughout our days and we barely give it a second thought.

Deep breathing can reduce anxiety

Implementing a deep breathing technique when anxiety strikes can make the difference between a full on attack and an unwelcome blip in your day. Deep breathing lowers your heart rate, improves circulation and promotes clearer thinking.

You can use your breath to calm down

Let’s face it, when tempers flair it seems almost impossible to think about anything other than the current situation that set you off. Practicing simple breathing techniques can encourage calmness and help reverse the physical symptoms of anger.

TECHNIQUE for Anxiety and Calm

  • Isolate yourself from everyone for 15 minutes
  • Inhale slowly for the count of 4
  • Exhale slowly for the count of 8
  • Notice the space in between the inhalation and exhalation
  • Repeat until you begin to calm down

Take breathing even deeper with pranayama

Pranayama is the practice of using the breath to soothe an active mind. If practiced right, pranayama can bring harmony between mind, body and spirit. It boosts your ability to be mentally and spiritually strong. There are very specific breathwork techniques that are outside the scope of this article, but I recommend doing some research and finding a good teacher.

Use with meditation

Breathwork can be a fantastic addition to your mindfulness or meditation practice. It can allow us to open our hearts and our minds. It has been said that it can move stuck energy as well.

TECHNIQUE for Pranayama and Meditation

  • Quiet your body and mind
  • Observe your breath as it is
  • Slow your breathing to a calm steady level
  • Concentrate on the air that moves in and out of your lungs
  • Focus on how your body feels and moves as you inhale and exhale

Much like Bowen and Massage, there is no doubt that breathing can encourage relaxation and healthy habits. It keeps the body/mind functioning and curbs stress. Your muscles naturally relax and you can go about your day a little easier.

Breathing may seem insignificant. It happens naturally, so we may not think about breathing all that much, but maybe it’s time we should.

An Interview with Yoga Teacher – Rebecca Gartshore

An Interview with Yoga Teacher - Rebecca GartshoreBody in Balance:

Recently, to my delight, I discovered a yoga class in the hall just across the road, and not only that, classes are on my day off.  Absolutely perfect!  I absolutely love my yoga classes.  I come out feeling calmer, taller and more balanced.

As a Bowen therapist I definitely recommend clients to go along to an exercise class such as yoga, pilates or a somatics type class.  This is because Bowen Therapists are primarily working on fascia, and when fascia becomes tight due to us sitting too much, not moving enough, moving in habitually poor ways because of our job, or hobby, not listening to our body as it – then problems occur and we end up losing our range of movement, we find ourselves fixed in a dysfunctional pattern and pain ensues.

Yoga and Bowen:

Bowen is all about releasing tension in the fascia and helping the body to get back into balance.  It’s about listening to your body and being aware.  This is why Bowen and yoga, pilates or somatics mesh so well together.  Every day I see clients with back and neck pain, and a myriad other issues, and their recovery is so much faster if they are attending a regular class.

An Interview with Yoga Teacher – Rebecca Gartshore:

With this in mind, I asked my lovely yoga instructor, Rebecca Gartshore a few questions about what she does so well:

Q:  Rebecca, can you tell me why did you decide to become a yoga teacher, and what made you decide on yoga?

I had always loved practising yoga when I worked as a fashion buyer, recognising that it was the one time I could stop to listen to my body and really relax my mind. When my son was born I needed to find a new path to match the new chapter in my life and yoga seemed like a great solution. I first trained as a teacher for children, to fit around my son, loving the interaction with kids and helping them to relax. As my son grew, I was able to grow my business and so qualified to teach adults, yoga as therapy, yoga for pregnancy and post natal.

Q:  What are the 3 biggest benefits you can offer people?

To help them to learn to listen to their bodies, get control back if they are suffering from chronic pain or recovering from an operation and to learn to switch off. Relaxation is the key to a healthy body and mind

Q:  What are the most popular issues that clients ask you to help with?

Most definitely in the group classes, it’s a bad back and aching shoulders. These are almost always linked to poor posture, too long spent over a laptop or steering wheel and a weak core. Our tummy is one of the first things to stop talking to us and the last one to wake up and listen!

Q:  What are the most popular misconceptions about what you do?

That the classes are all about omming and chanting. People are so surprised by how stretched they feel and that they find muscles they never knew they had. Almost all leave feeling taller, lighter and very relaxed.

Q:  What drives you nuts?

When I get body dyslexic! Sometime I get so wrapped up in the moves I’m teaching, I almost switch off and before you know it, I’ve come back to reality and everyone is waiting for me to get my lefts and rights in order.

Q:  Can you give 3 tips that anyone can follow that will help them with their wellbeing?

To roll your shoulders back as often as you can, when you stop at traffic lights and after every email. Start the day with a mug of warm water and lemon, it will neutralise your tummy, help digestion and kick start your metabolism. Learn to take deep breaths when you feel stressed and find a positive part of every day, it will keep you smiling.

Q:  If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 20 year old self?

To take time before making a decision. Don’t always believe that you know what your life should look like and understand that we live in a world of changing chapters. To smile and always leave a room knowing that you have tried to make as many people as you can happy – happiness is infectious but so is anger. Chose the better option.

An Interview with Yoga Teacher - Rebecca GartshoreQ:  What are the most read/loved books on your bookshelf?

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, utterly heart warming and life changing. The Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama – a great book to dip into when you need to know where to go next.

Q:  A surprising fact about you?

I suffer terribly from vertigo but love the idea of sky diving, I haven’t quite worked out how I’m going to manage it yet….

Thank you so much, Rebecca, for taking part in my blog post.   If you decide to go along to a yoga class I can assure you that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose, plus Rebecca gives you the warmest welcome.

To find out more about Rebecca’s classes and find out how you can benefit from yoga please visit her website or her Facebook page or email her directly at

To find out more about how Bowen Technique can help you, please visit my website, email me or give me a call.

Thanks for reading!

Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day – (and they aren’t what you think).

Ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, (and they aren’t what you think).

Ways to celebrate valentines day

It’s February and we are inundated with notions of chocolate, flowers, bling, and extravagant weekends  ‘reconnect with the one you love’.

But what if we pass on the chocolate and cards and approach the day (or the whole month) with a focus on connecting with the people we care about. Not just your significant other, if you have one, but your best friend that you never have a chance to talk to for more than 4 minutes before a baby demands attention. Or maybe your favorite auntie or your sister. Share some quality time with someone you care for.

If you can’t set aside that much time with everyone’s busy schedules, maybe drop off a cake from your favorite bakery, or send them a message. Appreciate someone, just say, “Thank you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you do for me. You make my life happier.”

Watch a video and treat your partner to a hand or foot massage. Give the gift of massage. You can pick up a gift certificate right here.

Bonus: Connect with YOU. Not everyone schedules regular massage, and that’s okay. But if it’s been awhile, maybe it’s time to practice a little self-care and get yourself a massage, too. The best gift you can give the people you love is a happy, healthy you.

Thanks for reading

Talking About Gut Health gut healthThere is an interesting article in What Doctors Don’t Tell You this month outlining a theory that the key to rheumatoid arthritis could be in the gut.  Hippocrates said all disease begins in the gut, and research certainly seems to be finding that this may well be true judging by the recent results from research into the area of gut health.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition which causes painful swelling of the joints.  The article says that researchers at the Mayo Clinic now think that it could be triggered by gut bacteria.  People with high levels of a certain bacteria seem to be more likely to develop the condition and these bacteria may be countered with other bacteria which reduce the frequency and severity of the symptoms. Fascinating research and I have a gut feeling (see what I did there?) that science will discover many more links between disease and gut health.   It all points to the fact that having good gut bacteria is essential.

There are some great articles on the web about how to create good gut bacteria, just Google ‘improve gut bacteria’.  Personally I take kefir daily, and take a probiotic, but you need to make sure that your diet is healthy to start off with to have optimal gut health.  I have recently bought a couple of excellent books which I highly recommend:

The Gut Makeover Recipe Book by Jeannette Hyde

Healthy Gut Cookbook by Gavin Pritchard and Maya Gangadharan

Thanks for reading,

Sue Sig

National Eczema Awareness Week 17th to 25th September

An itchy subject. 

Following closely on he heels of Migraine Awareness Week is National Eczema Week, 17th to 25th September.  Another condition close to my heart as my youngest son suffers from eczema and has done since he was very small.  We hoped that he would ‘grow out of it’ but alas at 22 still suffers, and has learned, for the most part, to manage it.

1 in 5 children and 1 in 12 adults have eczema.  Skin is our protective barrier to the outside world, and our largest organ.  In people with ezcema that barrier is not so protective because the skin does not produce the oils it needs and doesn’t retain moisture as well.  This is why moisturising is so important, and why using harsh soaps remove the oils so crucial for protection.

Here is a link to the National Eczema Society, a charity registered in the UK, with lots of useful information about Eczema. If you would like to donate to them, then the link is here.

Complementary therapies may provide some relief, but I am sorry to say there is no easy solution to treating eczema.  Take a look at this article which I found interesting,  ‘Can Complementary Therapies Help Heal Eczema?

Aromatherapy.  I regularly make up a rich cream for my son to use and he finds it gives him some relief but only if he uses it twice a day to keep his skin well moisturised.  I use a Vitamin E base and essential oils.  Here is the recipe I use.  If you would like me to make this cream for you then please contact me and I can arrange this for you.  Also if you wish to buy the essential oils I can source these for you.

Eczema Blend Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces vitamin E cream
  • 20 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops carrot seed essential oil
  • 5 drops geranium essential oil
  • 4 drops bay essential oil

Add the essential oils to the cream and stir carefully until the oils are thoroughly blended.  Apply to the affected area twice daily.  This cream is for adults NOT children.

Advice should always be taken from your GP if you have any concerns.

Bowen Technique. There are case studies on the Bowen Therapists Professional Association website about the benefits of eczema.  I have not found Bowen to have noticeably helped in the case of my own son, but as he is away from home he only gets treatments when he is home from university, and his eczema is mild compared to some.  The case studies demonstrate that  regular (weekly) ongoing treatment for some months does appear to have a beneficial effect on ezcema when combined with other treatment but requires commitment.

Keeping skin moisturised is the key.  Conventional treatments are listed here on the National Eczema Society website.  Getting to the bottom of the cause in the first place is the tricky part – and indeed stress once again is a major factor in many cases.

Homeopathy has been found to have good results which you might like to read here.   If you are looking for a homeopath do let me know as I have a homeopath colleague in Northampton.

Thanks for reading,

Sue Sig

Migraine Awareness Week 4th to 10th September 2016

Migraine Awareness WeekDid you know that migraine affects 1 in 7 people.  That’s over 8 million people in the UK. If you are a sufferer then you will know how debilitating this disorder is. It’s not just a bad headache.  I started suffering from migraines at the age of 13 and I know first hand how migraines can negatively impact your working and social life.

Migraine is a complex neurological disorder and working out what triggers them is very difficult – often there is no known cause.

There are a range of treatments on offer from medication, including preventative medicines, then there is botox, also there are various supplements which may help, and there are hands on treatments such as Bowen Technique and Acupuncture.  Everyone is different and what works for you might not work for someone else.  Here is a link to the Migraine Trust website listing details on different treatments available.For me personally I couldn’t find a food trigger but I know that stress is a major factor.  As well as having a monthly Bowen treatment from a colleague, I started taking Magnesium about 18 months ago and I find this works amazingly well for me.  Studies show that people who suffer from migraine may have low brain magnesium during attacks and may suffer from magnesium deficiency.  It certainly worked for me and is definitely worth looking into.  This link gives you the full story. Be aware though that magnesium can interact with other drugs so refer to your GP if you have concerns.  The same link tells you about Feverfew, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin B2, and others.

Bowen Technique can help to bring relief to migraine sufferers.  Here is a super video created by my colleague, Jane Robbins, interviewing a client who suffered from migraines explaining her experiences and how Bowen helped her.  Certainly many of my clients have found Bowen to help them.  Also do check out the Bowen Therapists Professional Association website for testimonials.


Finally, The Migraine Trust is a UK based charity promoting research into migraine. If you would like to make a donation to the Migraine Trust you can do so by following this link.

If you would like to talk to me about Bowen for migraines then do contact me.

Thanks for reading,
Sue Sig