Holistic, Lifestyle, self-love

Hayfever

Holistic Alternatives for Hayfever?

For many there will never be an alternative to conventional hayfever medication but I have tried hard this year to see what holistic alternatives I can find.  Much of what I have found does not treat the symptoms directly but works to prevent contact with or absorption of the pollen as well as things to soothe the symptoms.

So far this season I have had far fewer symptoms and therefore have been able to reduce the amount of over-the-counter medication I would normally have taken by this stage in the season.  There is a place for conventional as well as holistic solutions so reduction is definitely something I am pleased with.

  • Keeping windows closed and not drying your clothes out of doors will reduce the amount of pollen you are exposed to
  • Wearing sunglasses (even if it’s not very sunny) will prevent a good deal of pollen getting into your eyes
  • Spreading an oil based balm under the nostrils will help to catch the pollen before it enters the nostrils.  This advice often suggests a petroleum jelly (Vasolene) but if you are looking for a petro-chemical free alternative there are a growing number on the market
  • Building up the body’s immunity by eating foods high in Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Omega-3 Fatty acids and other anti-oxidents, will help the body to fight the histamines which cause the unpleasant reactions that hayfever sufferers are so familiar with.
  • Avoiding foods which create a build-up of mucus such as dairy and sugar.
  • Quercetin has unique biological properties that may improve overall health and disease resistance, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effects and is believed to prevent the release of the inflammatory chemical histamine.  Quercetin is found in many foods including nettle, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort and even red wine, as well as in supplements.
  • Anything that cools on the outside helps to cool on the inside – natural products with aloe vera, white tea or rose will help to cool and soothe symptoms or use a cooling eye pack kept in the fridge and applied when needed.  Some Neal’s Yard products that can help:
    • White Tea Toning Eye Gel can help to reduce the puffiness that accumulates with irritable eyes and blocked sinuses
    • White Tea facial mist or rose water in a spray bottle can help to cool the skin and bring general comfort (an absolute must in my handbag and the products that got me into NYRO!)
    • Eucalyptus salve (or essential oil) in hot water and inhaling the steam can help to clear stuffy noses and congested sinus discomfort
  • Regular reflexology – I’ve noticed this year with my regular reflexology clients who are suffering from hayfever symptoms and are showing an imbalance in the nose/eyes/sinus reflexes, that regular treatments are easing their immediate symptoms and reducing the intensity of their symptoms overall.
  • Eating local honey is often recommended as the bees are collecting pollen from the flowers and plants in your vicinity to make their honey.  Eating this then acts like a vaccination by building up your immunity to the local pollen.  One teaspoon a day is recommended and now that we have neighbours with bees who are very busy in my garden, I’m currently putting this to the test – I’ll let you know how I get on – yum!

Unfortunately for those with an intolerance to pollens there is no getting away from the symptoms of hayfever.  However, there is much we can do to reduce our exposure to the pollens and even to help build up our body’s defence system so that it doesn’t produce so much histamine in response to the pollen.

Please leave me comments below and share the preventions or remedies you use.  You could also share how you get on with some of the suggestions above.

Here’s hoping you have a beautiful and low-symptom summer!

Holistic, Lifestyle, Reflexology

WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY?

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands or ears. Reflexology is generally calming and may help ease stress.

The theory behind reflexology is based on an understanding that areas of the foot (hand or ear) correspond to organs and systems of the body. Pressure applied to areas on the foot is thought to bring relaxation and therapeutic healing to the corresponding area of the body. Reflexologists use foot charts to guide them as they apply pressure to specific areas. Reflexology may sometimes be combined with other hands-on therapies to create a holistic approach to wellbeing.

What Happens During a Session?

Visiting a reflexologist should be an enjoyable experience.  Your therapist should provide a clean, comfortable and inviting room for your treatment.

A session is usually carried out in a reclining chair, or on a massage couch, and you should expect to remove your shoes and socks or tights.  Some women may feel more comfortable wearing trousers.

  • a full consultation and medical history will be taken at the start of the session.
  • your feet will be cleaned by the therapist at the start of the treatment.
  • this will be followed by working each foot in turn, applying pressure to stimulate the reflexes of your entire body.
  • the treatment ends with relaxing foot massage.
  • a glass of water will be provided along with full aftercare advice.

massage collection

Possible Side-Effects?

Reflexology is generally a safe and non-invasive treatment.  By clearing blockages or obstructions you may experience an overall body response as the body attempts to release accumulated toxins; symptoms may include

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • flu-like symptoms
  • tiredness
  • heightened energy

Symptoms usually pass within one to 24 hours and may be reduced by drinking plenty of water.

Pouring of fresh water from jug into glass on wooden table

How Else Can It Help?

Reflexology is a way of recognising and locating imbalances in the body’s organs and systems.

The human body is constantly trying to maintain a natural balance.  Sometimes due to stress, injury, a build-up of toxic waste, bad diet or poor elimination, this is not possible and the body becomes unwell. Reflex zone massage picks out these areas of imbalance and with a little work, helps them to return to normal.  It is not necessarily a cure but can help in the body rebalance itself.

Disease is caused by blockages in energy lines and treatment involves clearing these obstructions by stimulating various points along the lines. When congestions are cleared energy is able to flow freely and the body is able to achieve a state of balance.

Safety

Although not an alternative to conventional medicine, reflexology complements and can enhance conventional medicines and treatments.  It is also ideal if you’re seeking relaxation and stress relief.

Choosing a Reflexologist

Each individual therapist brings their own personality and unique way of conducting their treatments. It is important that you have a good rapport with the person who is going to be working with you. You may wish to consider the following points when choosing a reflexologist or other complementary therapist.

  • meet or speak with your therapist before booking
  • location and accessibility
  • training and experience
  • number of sessions
  • cost per session
  • other services/products

If you’d like to speak to me about anything in this article, have any further questions or would like to book an appointment, please complete the contact form below with your query or phone number if you would like a call back.  Alternatively you can find me number directly on the contact page.

Body scan to know when to take time-out
featured, Holistic, Lifestyle, Meditation, self-love

The importance to taking time-out.

How important is it to stop and see if you need time-out to re-charge your batteries? We are all human beings and even the fittest and most healthy of us will tire at some point. But most of us are just ordinary people trying to fit in extraordinary amounts of tasks, thoughts and conversations into an increasingly shorter 24 hour period.

By checking in with your body and mind on a regular basis you can become aware of when tiredness isn’t alleviated by a good night sleep.  Checking in can be a mindful practice including a full body scan practice, however it doesn’t need to be a lengthy exercise and can be done in a minute or two.  I have got into the habit now of doing this in 20 seconds two or three times a day to compare how I’m feeling throughout the day.  Be careful not to allow your mind to use the overpowering burdens of your to do list to influence this, try to go beyond this and have all your attention on your physical body to see how it is feeling.  The great thing is that no-one needs to know you’re even doing it!

Going back then, to that point where tiredness isn’t alleviated by a good night sleep – this is the point at which you would ideally do something about it.  Maybe you could book a holiday, take a couple of days off to rest or an afternoon to sit in the garden with a good book; at the very least you could take a long soak in the bath or practice some meditation.

beautiful blur fashion female
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There are many things you can do to feel refreshed and revived, and most of them will involve not thinking about your to do list.  So anything that takes your mind off this, even if it involves extensive thinking about something else, will give your mind a break.  This is why meditation is so useful, especially if done on a regular basis.  By having something else to think about (if you’re following a guided meditation) or by thinking of nothing at all (which yes, admittedly does take practice) your mind is given a rest from chasing the usual suspects in your to do list – and a mental rest is often just what most of us need!

There are times, however, when this is not enough and you really do need to physically rest your body.  With regular observation of the body and how it’s feeling, you should be able to pick up when physical tiredness is becoming more than just noticeable.  And here you really should be doing something to help yourself – the body needs to rest, it cannot keep going endlessly; it needs to repair itself, to re-build muscles and blood cells and clean the digestive system etc.  All these things happen when you rest and if you don’t allow your body to look after itself it will start to go wrong – pain and illness will become issues and the longer you ignore this the more serious it could be.

adult art conceptual dark
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The good news is you can prevent this (or even prevent things from getting worse if they’ve already started) by getting to know your body’s warning signs and doing (even little) things to help it.  By knowing that your knee is more sore today than yesterday, which is more painful than the day before, you can make the decision that running every day is maybe not right for you and to take a day off.  I don’t mean give up but a bit of a rest!

So look after yourself by starting to create a habit of checking in with your body regularly to see how it is genuinely feeling.  You might need to set a reminder on your phone or make it part of your morning or evening bathroom routine but this simple practice might turn out to be one of the most important things you do all day.

If you would like further guidance on mindful body scan practices or guided meditations then please drop me a line through the contact tab above or click here to drop me an email.

Summer Solstice Sunrise from the behind the hedge
Journeys, Lifestyle, Meditation

Summer Solstice 2018

Getting up at 4.15 in the morning to watch the sunrise, even for the Summer Solstice will always be a hard thing for me – I am definitely NOT a morning person.  But this year was much easier because I was doing it for me, it was more about the way I live now.  So I crawled out of bed and pulled on some warm clothes and walked down the road to a point that would give me the best vantage point.

The top of Robins Folly is on top of a hill and my view would be less blocked by full summer trees and hedgerows.  En route I took a video of the pre-dawn sky, the colours were beautiful and the dawn chorus uplifting!

After walking up and down  to find the spot that would give me the best photos I took a couple of early images and then technology got the better of everything – my phone died despite having a sufficient amount of charge.  I restarted it tried to load the camera and then died again and now was completely dead!  My first thought was aaargh – failed by technology but then I realise that maybe I wasn’t meant to share this moment, maybe this is what I needed to do – for me.  Maybe that was the object of getting up at this ridiculous hour, not being here only to share it with others but to give it my full and undivided appreciation.  So I enjoyed the sunrise, on the edge of the field in middle of nowhere, on my own – a proper mindful moment.

I enjoyed the early signs of sunrise seeing, the light coming up through the clouds, peeking over the trees in the distance.  It was quite magical and I felt honoured I felt alive and I stopped to marvel at this beautiful day and what it meant for me. For me, it was all about reflection on how the last half year has been, and for those of you who know me, what a half year has been – giving up my job, starting my business and watching it develop.  A rollercoaster no doubt, but some of the happiest months of my life.

This time of year is a chance to reflect on where you’ve come so far, so I thought about the goals that I’d set at the beginning of the year and I thought about where I’ve come, what’s happened, what hasn’t happened. And I felt grateful for all the wonderful things have happened, that I’ve achieved and for the opportunity to review and refresh as I looked out across the fields of newly growing barley.  I felt grateful for the new life that will come from that barley, the gift of a new day, the gift of beauty and food that mother Earth gives us and real sense of delight in being alive.

I really enjoyed this moment for me and realised that getting up at 4:15 was not about just taking photos for social media, to share with you all, but it was about it was about doing it for me.  And that is what meditation and gratitude is all about – not because someone says it’s a good idea or because you feel you ‘have’ to but because of the sense of self you get when you practice, even for a little while.  And the more aware you are of your own self then the better you can cope with what life throws at you.

Once I’d enjoyed the sunrise I headed home to put some charge in the phone and get some photos from the back of the house where I know the trees are a lot higher but at least I would get some lovely pictures to share

My original thought had been to go back to be, well, that’s what I did last year, (although last year I had to go and do an office job for the day) but as I walked back along the road this morning I decided I wasn’t going to waste the day so I made tea and toast and brought my laptop through to the kitchen where I can enjoy the warmth of sun’s rays and get on with some work.  Then enjoy the rest of day which will be packed with meeting lovely people, getting my new broadband sorted (which will mean I can start uploading guided meditation videos for you and sharing things that I want to share including Facebook live, Instagram live, YouTube live…………..this evening I will share the sunset on the longest day with a friend as we walk again across the fields.

Thank you for sharing this with me I hope you too have enjoyed your summer solstice, the longest day.  Don’t be sad that the days are getting shorter but enjoy what we have now be present to each day. Each season has their own particular beauty – be part of this one – NOW.

Namaste

Events, Lifestyle, NYRO, Pamper, Reiki, self-love

Holistic Pamper Day – 12th May 2018

Love yourself before Summer

To book appointments please go to the end of this post

So what does that actually mean?  Well, in November last year I held my first open day to showcase the Neal’s Yard Christmas gift collection.  But the day developed into much more than that, I brought together like-minded therapists who were each able to offer the visitors something different.  They gave the visitors a chance to relax,  unwind and pay themselves some much-needed love and attention in the busy run-up to Christmas.  Hence the name of the last day – Love yourself before Christmas.

In May, I’m picking the best of the Neal’s Yard products to help prep the skin and body for showing it off in the summer – so exfoliation, toning and detoxifying are the main themes.

I’m a convert to learning to love yourself.  What I’ve learned, is that if you can love yourself, you can then learn to love everything and everyone around you – which begins to make even the most difficult people and situations easier to cope with.  But sometimes we need a little boost, a little something to make us feel a bit better first – whether that’s a treatment or guidance, a Neal’s Yard blue bottle to take home and pamper yourself with or a chat and a piece of cake – I hope you’ll find something to help your loving journey at this Love yourself before Summer holistic pamper day.

This time our therapists are offering 30 minute taster treatments for just £12:

≈ Revitalising facials with Dee from Anja Aesthetics
≈ Hot stone massages with Maggie
≈ Chakra balancing
≈ Reiki
≈ Tarot
≈ Ready to bare it all foot pamper
A selection of crystals and Neal’s Yard products will be on sale on the day and of course there will be tea and homemade cakes to refresh and ground you after your treatments.
Whilst we don’t charge for the refreshments perhaps you would be kind enough to make a donation to support BEDFORD DAYCARE HOSPICE.
The event is FREE to attend but if you would like a treatment it may be advisable to book in advance by messaging me through the website or contacting me on 07779 088281, medulla1111@btinternet.com
You can also let me know you’re coming by showing me on the Facebook page or the Eventbrite site.
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