A chronic neck and shoulder problem has forced me to slow down and fundamentally re-think my lifestyle. And my first thought was, "Why had it taken a physical condition to force me to slow down and start paying attention to myself?". And then I remembered, I haven't been doing my Reflexology swops as regularly as I used to.
It's often the case that the body sends little signals of discomfort and distress and we're so busy that we just ignore it, maybe put it to one side thinking we'll deal with it later. But life happens! I don't know about you, but my experience of life is that it rarely gets calmer or quieter for long - maybe a pause for the odd holiday and then it's back to the rush that is life. It's so easy to find new things to be busy with - whether it's work pressures or home or family, there always seems to be something that squeezes out the time that we have available for ourselves.
And when we get into that cycle of always having something to do, our bodies might start to speak a little louder with stronger signals of discomfort and distress. Until it brings us to crisis point - just because we've ignored the softer signals.
Since my "crisis" (thankfully uncomfortable but fixable) I've had to recognise how little time I spend just being ME. Time when I do nothing and allow my mind to listen and more importantly hear what my body is saying. I used to be quite good at that, but it has slipped over the past few years. Just because I don't get very stressed about things, I've assumed that I'm relaxed and tuned into myself, but patently that isn't true.
It's time to relax. And as I've spend more time dedicated to relaxation I've begun to notice the more nuanced signals from my body about hungry, thirsty for water (rather than the copious amounts of tea that I normally consume), getting tired and the feelings that normally get pushed down and ignored (nervous, fearful, disappointed, etc). And I've also noticed that I opt for self-care more than I used to - a cancellation now becomes an opportunity for a foot treatment or a walk.
Relaxation allows us to tune into ourselves: it allows our mind and body to communicate effectively and develop an equal relationship, instead of the mind being do dominant and ignoring what the body's saying. It allows us to notice when and what self-care is required and also to build resiliance so that we can set and maintain our boundaries - the ability to say "no" or "not now" can really help to save energy, reduce stress and help us to feel good about ourselves.
So now, as well as taking time out to relax - and by that I mean taking time out to sit and be still - I'm getting more Reflexology swaps booked in, because Reflexology helps me to relax and tune into my body and the improved sleep and energy boost are always welcome too!
If you'd like help to relax and want someone else to do the work, try a Reflexology and Indian Head Massage treatment, You can book online here: BOOK A TREATMENT .
As a Reflexologist, I always ask clients about their sleep patterns, because a good night's sleep is so important to general well-being. And better sleep is often one of the additional benefits of a Reflexology treatment as the majority of my clients report having had a great night's sleep after a treatment.
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:
* a good night's sleep can help learning and memory;
* chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite;
* insufficient sleep can lead to poor performance and accidents;
* sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness;
* serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat;
* sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells.
Here are ways to get a better night's sleep:
1. Have a sleep routine
Going to bed and waking at the same time (even at weekends) helps to improve your ability to sleep and the quality of that sleep. Avoid evening naps by keeping active until bedtime.
2. Get out into natural light
Long days in the office under artificial light can make your brain sleepy, while hours in front of a TV or computer screen can suppress the body's production of melatonin, making it harder to sleep. Get out during the day - walk to or from work or go for a walk at lunchtime - even in winter when light levels are poor, this will help your sleep patterns. The exercise you get from your walk will also help you sleep better at night.
3. Make sure your bedroom is sleep friendly
Keep your bedroom cool and well ventilated. Keep your bedroom dark - use blackout blinds or a mask to keep light out. Have your bedroom as quiet as possible, and if you can't avoid noises from neighbours or barking dogs, use soothing sounds or earplugs to mask external noise. And, of course, make sure your bed is comfy. If you wake with a sore back or aching neck it may be a sign that you need a new mattress or a different pillow.
4. Prepare for bed
Have a bedtime routine: as well as brushing your teeth and getting ready for bed, incorporate relaxing activities into your bedtime routine: try doing a 15 minute relaxation, or some gentle yoga exercises. To allow you to be totally relaxed, empty your head: write down all the things that you want to do tomorrow, or anything that is worrying you, or anything that you need to think about, or anything that you need to remember to do. Get it all down on paper, so there's nothing for your mind to chew on as you try to get to sleep.
5. Eat yourself sleepy
For a better night's sleep avoid big meals and fatty food late at night, alcohol, caffeine, and smoking all of which will disrupt sleep patterns. If you find yourself waking at night for a snack, try having a light snack before bed - a handful of almonds or a couple of oatcakes with half a banana, honey, a slice of turkey or cheese may help keep your blood sugar stable throughout the night. You might also want to have a cup of chamomile tea or a glass of warm milk.
6. Get rid of anxiety
If worry keeps you awake at night, this is may be a stress problem, not a sleep problem and you need to address the source of your worry. You may benefit from meditation, or you may need to learn how to manage your thoughts, or perhaps enrol on a stress management course. If it's a problem and you're not sure what to do for the best, go to your GP for advice.
7. Try a Reflexology treatment
Sometimes it's nice not to have to do everything yourself, so consider getting support from a Reflexology treatment. Many clients talk about getting a great night's sleep after a treatment - it's almost as it a Reflexology session has the effect of pressing a reset button in the body. That's not to say that you won't need to take action yourself, but you know what they say about a problem shared is a problem halved!
If you're experiencing poor sleep and would like to try Reflexology to discover if it will help, click this link to email me and ask about my special discount for new clients.
Wishing you sweet dreams.
Maximise your fertility, naturally
Have you been trying to conceive for 12 months or more, without success?
Are you confused by all the conflicting information on the internet?
Would you like to feel more supported with your efforts to get pregnant?
Fertility Support Workshops
Sign up for a series of 6 Fertility Support Workshops:
Only 10 places available
When: Mondays 7.30-9pm on:
22 Sept, 6 Oct, 20 Oct, 3 Nov, 17 Nov, 1 Dec 2014
Where: The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre
25 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh
How Much: £15 per session
Book: Contact Doris Wylie on 07724 197627 or
Lothian Reflexology www.lothianreflexology.co.uk
07724 197627 www.facebook.com/lothianreflexology
If you'd like to conceive, I'd ask you to look at all the highs and lows of your fertility journey. I know you'd do anything to get pregnant, so I'd like you to ask yourself ... are you trying too hard?
Trying might not be a useful thing to do, in fact it may actually hinder all your best efforts, because trying is about : endeavour, difficulty, becoming annoyed – or so the dictionary says. Trying is all about chasing after your dream rather than waiting to receive it. Trying is all about forcing your heart's desire into being rather than allowing it to materialise in it's own good time. Trying is about control rather than being in a state of flow.
Are you chasing your dream of having a baby rather than being ready to receive with open arms? May I suggest that this might not be the best strategy. And here’s why ...
Imaging you were to go fishing. If you were to go fishing, you’d pack your kit – everything you need to land that prizewinning fish. You’d pick the perfect spot where you know the fish are likely to be. You’d set your bait and cast your line and then you’d sit back and relax and wait for the fish to bite. And while you’re waiting for the fish to bite you’d likely just enjoy being out in the fresh air, in the peace and quiet, giving yourself time to settle and release, and letting your worries and cares wash away.
What you wouldn’t do is: jump into the car with no equipment. Then stop at any old spot without checking first to find out how the fishing was. And race into the water fully clothed, trying to catch the fish with your bare hands! That would just be ridiculous, wouldn't it?
The very act of “trying”, creates a level of stress that is more likely to take you away from what you want instead of closer to it. You effectively create obstacles that wouldn’t otherwise exist as a consequence of your desire to increase your chances of getting pregnant. You begin to get in your own way! Can I just say that again, "You begin to get in your own way"!
This is not always an easy concept to process when your sole goal in life is to get pregnant, so please give it some thought.
May I suggest that you might choose to let go, stop "trying", chill and just wait for the fish to bite. And if you need some help with your fertility journey, check out how Fertility Reflexology could help.
If you want more tips like this, you’ll find them in the Free Baby Making Mindset Club, just go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/1422257428013810/