woman touching her back

The Positive Benefits of Reiki, Reflexology and Aromatherapy on Stress

Stress is the body’s natural reaction to a perceived threat or challenge. However, due to our frantic and high-information world, many of us suffer from chronic stress, which damages our physical and mental health. Complementary therapies are a fantastic solution to ease stress and its associated symptoms.

Let’s look at three of my favourite ways to increase relaxation and balance the body in times of stress – Reiki, reflexology and aromatherapy.


Reiki involves channelling healing energy through the hands to promote healing and relaxation. It was developed in Japan in the early 20th century by Mikao Usui, who studied healing methods and spirituality for years. During a spiritual awakening, a method of healing was revealed to him. He named it Reiki, which comes from the word “rei”, – meaning universal or spiritual, and “ki”, – meaning life force energy.

Stress disrupts energy flow through the body, leading to energetic blockages. Reiki promotes balance and relaxation in the body’s energy systems, releasing these blockages and returning our bodies to their natural state of balance and harmony.

Several studies show the promising effects of Reiki on stress and anxiety. Out of an analysis of thirteen studies, eight showed Reiki to be more effective than a placebo for depression, anxiety and stress.


Reflexology is a therapy that uses pressure on specific points to encourage relaxation and healing in the entire body.

The premise of reflexology is that the body’s systems and organs are mirrored or reflected in smaller outer regions, such as the feet, hands, ears, and face. So, by stimulating them, the body’s natural healing processes are activated, bringing the body back into a state of balance and calm.

For most people the sensations of touch, particularly of having the feet ‘rubbed’ by someone they trust releases a good deal of tension. Additionally, the relaxing benefits of a tranquil treatment room with soft music and lighting, warm blankets and aromatherapy oils will help to ease stress from the physical and mental bodies.

A review of twenty-six studies with over 2000 participants showed that reflexology significantly improved depression, anxiety and sleep quality.


Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy that uses essential oils (concentrated plant extracts) to promote physical and emotional well-being.

These oils have aromatic compounds which interact with the olfactory system when we inhale them. The olfactory system is closely linked to the limbic system, which governs emotions, memory and behaviour. As a result, different oils affect how we feel – they can relax or energise us according to their unique properties.

Certain essential oils have also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a common bodily response to stress, which makes aromatherapy a beautiful and non-invasive way to support your body through difficult times.

There are several studies which show that essential oils have a positive effect on stress and mood. For example, one study demonstrated that lavender oil decreased blood pressure and heart rate while increasing feelings of relaxation. Another study on adolescents showed that aromatherapy significantly lowered stress responses compared to a placebo.


In conclusion, these therapies offer promising benefits for reducing stress, and numerous studies show that these practices have a provable impact. From reducing anxiety to improving sleep quality, reiki, reflexology, and aromatherapy provide a range of holistic tools for stress management that are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. So why not try them out and see if they work for you? Click here to find out more and access the booking form


MacMillan Coffee Morning 2022

Join us for the 2022 Macmillan Coffee Morning at Medulla HQ. This year this well known event means more to me than ever before. The Macmillan funded nurses of the Palliative care hub, based at St John’s Moggerhanger, were amazing to my Mum and to our family in Mum’s last week. Hosting a coffee morning is the least I can do to say thank you.

As last year I will be combining cake with Neal’s Yard Remedies treats and launching our Christmas offering. You will be able to purchase or order on the day and I will make a donation to Macmillan from every purchase made.

A preview of the Christmas range

Come along,

– Bring friends
– Support this worthwhile cause
– And help me eat cake – you know I’ll bake way too much!!

If you can’t make it along, but would like to make a donation you can do so by visiting my Macmillan page.


Mourning our late Queen

The Queen has been a constant in most of our lives, for all of our lives. Like the seasons and breathing, we took her for granted. Like the Lake District and the River Thames, we knew she was always there, and typically British, even though we didn’t see her every day.

I admired her duty or work ethic, her calm, no-nonsense attitude and her sense of humour But also her ability to carve out time for herself – her summers in Balmoral and the anniversary of her father’s death spent at Sandringham. These times were set in stone for her and whilst she did plenty of work during these periods, I think it showed that the Queen realised you can only be effective in your role if you take time to rest and do things that you enjoy.

My own personal memories of the Queen are of her two visits to Bedford, I was lucky enough to see her on both occasions! In 1976 (I was just 4 but I do remember seeing her) she visited a nursing home in Putnoe and Mum took me along. And in 1996 when she walked down Harpur Street, before opening the new Cygnet Wing, and timed it perfectly to coincide with my lunch break, thank you ma’am.

The Queen visits Bedford in 1996 – I was in that crowd somewhere!

She will be sorely missed and my heart goes to her family at this time. For many of us who have lost loved ones it will bring reminders of their passing and of our grief at that time. I hope this encourages the nation to support the Royal family during their grief and the new King in his difficult transition. In my small way, I am sending love and Reiki, and if we can all do this I believe it will help King Charles, his family and the nation over the next few days, weeks and months.

If you are feeling sadness for the loss of the Queen or of a loved one closer to home, then I invite you to feel into your grief rather than bottling it up. Tears, sadness and reflectiveness are part of the healing process and as the Queen once said, “it’s the price we pay for love”. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself a little time to grieve if you need to.

As a mark of respect, Medulla Holistic Therapies will be closed on Monday 19th September.

woman touching her back
Health, Holistic, Lifestyle, Reflexology

Do you live in pain?

Do you suffer from a painful condition? Many of us live with pain and take painkillers although we may not want to. We do this because we think there is no alternative.

Some of my clients who struggle with long term chronic pain or have acute pain have noticed that reflexology reduced their symptoms. From back problems, arthritis and tight shoulders to menstrual pain and headaches.

You’ve heard me say that reflexology doesn’t ‘cure’, so how does this work?

We still don’t understand the science behind why this works. It could be associated with the relaxation that comes with a reflexology treatment or even a placebo effect if you believe strongly enough that it will help. Or maybe there really is a neurological connection between the reflexes on the feet and the associated parts of the body?

It doesn’t work for everyone but for many it can have a profound effect. And one that lasts with regular treatments.

In this article from the Federation of Holistic Therapists Carol Samuel, PhD, FFHT, discusses reflexology in the management of pain.

Here are some of the comments from my clients:

“My body tells me when I’ve missed my regular appointment”

“Regular reflexology keeps on top of my aches and pains”

“I just needed to tell you that 2 days after my session with you I no longer have pain in my right knee so now I’m pain free in both my knees.”

If you feel that reflexology is something you would like to try then this link will take you to my Treatment List and booking page.