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 .
"We are lucky to get half the nutrition our parents and grandparents did in the Fifties and Sixties," said Amanda Williams, managing director of Cytoplan, a UK distributor of the "food-state" supplements in an article in The Independent today.
Over the last 60 years the food chain has changed out of all recognition, becoming industrialised and chemicalised, and causing depletion of the nutrient levels in the soil. This, combined with an increasing trend towards food production becoming more and more processed, makes it ever more difficult to be sure that our food is providing all the nutrients we require.
Our body is designed to live on fresh fruit and vegetables and the more natural the food, the greater the benefit it provides to the body. We need our food to provide essential vitamins and minerals or we need to find alternative sources of these essential elements to good health in the form of supplements.
But are supplements all they’re cracked up to be?
Most vitamin supplements are synthetic and as such may have limited benefits: they do not contain the complex mixture of factors that are available from nature, and may also contain fillers or binders and artificial flavourings. Some claim that these synthetic vitamin supplements act as free radicals in the body increasing toxicity.
The best way to top up your mineral and vitamin reserve is through a varied diet, high in (organic) fresh fruit and vegetables, white meat and whole grains, but if you feel you need a supplement, then seek out food-state supplements. These are nutrients which are combined with other appropriate food bases to ensure they come complete with the phytonutrients and associated food factors that are necessary for optimal absorption and use in the body.
The advantages of this more natural approach to supplements are:
1. They are easy for the body to absorb because the particles are smaller
2. They are more effective because they provide nutrients in a state as close as possible to food
3. They avoid increasing the toxic load on the body because they contain no GMO materials, synthetic chemicals, fungicides or herbicides
And if you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to get all the vitamins and minerals you need to improve fertility, in as natural a way as possible.
Looking for suppliers? Just Google food-state supplement suppliers, but be warned, they're expensive, very expensive!
Your body naturally strives to be in a state of balance and it's constantly adjusting to maintain that state of balance: your breathing, temperature, blood pressure, blood volume, fluid levels, cell life cycles, hormone levels and a multitude of other adjustments are being made by your body every minute. This balance is created from a dynamic process that responds to internal and external factors: what you eat, your level of physical activity, stress, environmental pollution, and a whole range of factors.
And your body needs to be in balance with your mental and emotional state - thought patterns and emotions have a physical impact – your thoughts and feelings can affect posture and chemical responses in the body: the stress response is a great example of how mind and emotions can affect physical state.
So here are a few ways to maximise your fertility, naturally:
When it comes to diet, go for organic, unprocessed, colourful food. If possible, cook from scratch to avoid additives, and have a wide variety of food. Avoid white or grey foods such as white bread, pasta and rice and avoid diet foods as they are likely to contain artificial sweeteners such Aspartame. Cut out crackers, pastries, cakes and chocolate as they are likely to contain transfats which are linked to lower fertility and avoid products with MSG such as chinese meals, flavoured crisps, meat seasonings and packaged soups.
Alcohol, caffeine, smoking, recreational drugs, and unnecessary medications are all no no's. Avoid stress or develop powerful coping strategies to deal with stress - try meditation to help detox the mind and take the edge off negative mindsets.
Avoid the gym and excessive exercise (long runs, rows, etc). Walking is great exercise and extremely beneficial, especially if you walk in a natural environment. Go for natural forms of exercise such as yoga and if possible find a fertility yoga class. Muscle building exercise diverts testosterone from the reproductive organs to the muscles. Avoid cycling and swimming.
Ensure A Natural Environment
Check your house for cleaning products - many of these contain toxic chemicals. Many of these chemicals were tested in the 1950's and 60's and not in the more stringent health criteria that exist today. Try cleaning your house with lemon juice and baking of soda or buy natural products from your health food store. If you feel like being a bit more creative, you can go online and discover how to make your own cleaning products.
And that goes for beauty and personal care products for hair, body and personal hygiene. Check online to see if you can find more natural versions of your beauty and personal care products.
Laptops should not be kept on laps and mobiles should not be kept in pockets - they give off low levels of radiation. If possible avoid low level radiation from TV, VDU, digital clocks and electric blankets and avoid living near pylons, radio stations/masts, phone exchanges for the same reasons.
Live A Natural Lifestyle
Be creative - draw or paint, sew, bake, write or do whatever you do to get your creative juices going. Being creative connects mind, body and emotion to your desire to create a baby. Look at your life and strip it back to the bare essentials. Look at your life and how you spend your time and ask yourself whether it gives you joy or if it's just there to fill in the time. Go for joy!
To help you work your way through this more easily, write down a list of all the things you'd like to do to establish a more natural lifestyle. Then work out what are the three easiest things to do and do them. Then work out what are the three most impactful things and work out a plan for implementing them. Then knock of the rest of the list at a rate of three items a week.
I hope you have joy in living a more natural life and maximising your fertility, naturally.
We often think of our health in purely physical terms, but as a Reflexologist, I have a strong view that health also has a mental or psychological dimension. Having a strong belief in our ability to manifest our desires and the means to manage our thoughts can have a dynamic and very significant effect on our mental and physical health.
I have a saying on my wall which reads:
"There is a difference between wishing for a thing and being ready to receive it. No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it.”
I’m not sure where it came from or who said it, but I do think that our beliefs have a vital impact on our results.
Does your belief support you desires and aspirations? Do you really believe that it will all happen for you some day or do you think it will never happen for you?
Go inside yourself for a moment and ask yourself just how strongly you believe that you will be able to achieve your dreams and goals
Give yourself a score of 1 – 10 where, 1 = not very strongly at all and
10 = 100% certainty.
If your score is less than 10 then you need to work on your belief. To create a strong belief you need three things:
1. To know that it is POSSIBLE to achieve your objective
2. To know that you are ABLE to achieve your objective
3. To know that you DESERVE to achieve your objective
Know it’s possible
Everything is POSSIBLE, but you must feel that it is possible for you, at this moment. You cannot prove a negative, therefore you can never prove that you are incapable of anything, you can only say that you have not achieved it YET. Do not be too quick to decide what is impossible.
Know you are able
Avoid putting limitations on what you think is possible. Do you have an age beyond which you think something will be impossible? Do you think you are less likely than friends your age to be able to achieve your golas? These beliefs are arbitrary judgements you have made about yourself and they are just as likely to be WRONG as they are to be right. Banish them, completely, NOW. Keep an open mind. Be positive in your thinking. And open yourself up to the abundant possibilities on offer.
Know you deserve it
Do you deserve to realise all your dreams and aspirations? If you don’t feel you deserve it, why not? Do you have a belief system that says: things need to be difficult to have value; or you never get what you really want; or everyone is better and more deserving than you; or bad things happen to good people?
If your health would benefit from a boost why not try a Reflexology session, because if you don't give it a try, you'll never know what benefits you may get from the treatment. If you'd like to know more about Reflexology click here.
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/
The International Stress Management Association launched their 2008 National Stress Awareness Day with their top ten stress busters:
Pick one items from the list and put it into practice and see how well it works for you.
Or you could come for a relaxing Reflexology or Indian Head Massage and let someone else take the strain for a change. Just call Doris on 07724 197627 to book your appointment. And remember there's a special JULY OFFER: £10 off your first treatment - but only if you book in July (appointments can be scheduled for August).
Reflexologists believe that your feet reflect physical imbalances in the body, but can they also reflect your personality? Check out the following and see for yourself.
You’re a hard worker and you like to keep busy - you really can’t sit still and you’re happiest when you’re busy. But activity needs to be balanced with stillness and you should try to make time for a little peace and calm in your life.
LONG NARROW FEET
You love to be surrounded by beautiful things, be in beautiful places and you love being pampered. You have a real ability to delegate and would much rather someone else did all the work. The Chinese would say you have Princess feet - you were born to be waited on, but make sure it doesn't alienate those around you.
High arches - these reflect a strong desire to be independent and self-sufficient. You go off on your own a lot and might even be accused of being anti-social. In Chinese philosophy, those with very high arches are in danger of being brittle and rigid.
Low or average arches - these mean that you enjoy the company of others, are sociable and fairly extrovert. You like to have a good time and want everyone around you to have a great time too.
THE BIG TOE - The big toe is the thinking toe (head)
Longer than the other toes - you are a clever, creative thinker who comes up with ingenious solutions to problems and never runs out of ideas. You’re never stumped for an answer, and can see things from different angles. But it's likely you're good at starting but poor at finishing and you pursue the next great idea and you can be easily distracted.
Smaller than the other toes - you are a superb multi-tasker, very efficient and a great delegater.
Big toe overlaps your second toe - this generally indicates head over heart and vice versa.
Massive toe pads - you're a very deep thinker and you like to consider everything carefully, but you may be prone to paralysis by analysis.
THE SECOND TOE - The second toe is your feeling toe (heart)
Long second toe - an indication of leadership qualities - the longer the toe the more pronounced the leadership qualities. You are a resourceful dynamo and want it all your way, but it can come across as being bossy. Indian folklore has it that eagle-eyed mothers stopped their sons marrying girls with long second toes because it meant they were far too bossy!
Smaller second toe - means you're happy to bide your time. You'd rather have a harmonious outcome and won’t try to force things through.
Gap between second and third toe - this means you are not emotionally engaged in your activities. This might be because the work requires you to be detached, or it may be because you don't enjoy what you are doing.
Second toe narrow at the base and wide at the tip- this indicates some "drama queen" tendancies: whatever you're feeling, whether it's great or gloomy, will be expressed in a BIG way, bigger than you feel it.
Second toe on left foot leaning towards big toe - this is a sign of a sentimental, nostalgic nature - shared by Hollywood actress Reece Witherspoon.
THE THIRD TOE - The third toe is your doing toe
The Chinese associate energy, drive and willpower with the third toe.
Long third toe - this means you are highly resourceful and energetic, especially at work. And the longer the toe, the more driven you are to succeed. You can be aperfectionist, but you have a tendency to be a workacholic and forget about fun, love and family.
Short third toe - this indicates that you enjoy the pleasures in life and love to relax. You're not inclined to get worked up about things and although you may be accused of being lazy, you feel that you just like to enjoy life.
Third toe tilted so nail faces towards the little toe - this means you're great at forward planning and able to look forward and consider the next steps.
Last joint of third toe at an angle - You have the natural ability to deceive, as well as the propensity to be misunderstood. Frequently to be found in spies!
THE FOURTH TOE - The fourth toe is your relationship toe
Long and straight fourth toe - this indicates the importance of family in your life. Unhappiness in your relationships with loved ones will show up in a curling of this toe. You are a superb listener and nurturer, but will be deeply affected by unhappiness within the family. You find it hard to cut yourself off from other people’s problems.
Short fourth toe - this means that family and relationships are less crucial to you — your focus is elsewhere.
THE LITTLE TOE - The little toe – the moving toe (expansiveness and freedom of thought)
Small little toe - this characterises someone with a childlike impish nature: someone who doesn't want responsibility, is easily bored and is constantly looking for amusing diversions. This person is great fun to be with, but don't look for them to be steady and reliable. The smaller the little toe to stronger these characteristics.
Little toe on its side - If your little toe is on its side with the nail facing the wall instead of the ceiling then you are unconventional and rebellious and follow your own path.
Little toe separates from fourth toe - this indicates someone who is impulsive, adventurous and a charming flirt. This person hates routine and is needs constant change.
Little toe can't separate from fourth toe - this reflects someone who likes routine in order to feel security. They will be loyal, reliable, and trustworthy and don't want too many surprises. We could set our clocks by them!
And other characteristics of your toes are:
Well spaced – open minded with plenty of room to expand the mind and be inspired, but if there's a gap between your big toe and first toe, it may mean that you agree to things and then wish you hadn't - the head and the feelings aren't working in harmony.
Bent – fearful of responsibility or bends to other people’s beliefs.
Crushed – dominated, smothered or stifled.
Overlapping – no room for own ideas, lacks freedom of thought.
Sloping – insecure and inflexible. May change ideas to please others.
Squashed – conforms to rigid beliefs, leaving no room for own thoughts.
Stands alone – need space to think.
Twisted – turning away from the truth, looking to others for reassurance.
Uneven toes – inconsistent, erratic thoughts.
Tendon showing at base of big toe when feet at rest - If just your big toe tendon shows when you are sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, then you are self-disciplined.
Toes that neatly graduate in size - If each toe is a little longer than the one before, creating a neat line, this indicates a methodical, precise and extremely practical person. You’re interested in detail and ensure that you always finish what you start. You’re a dream employee, and a good friend — loyal and steadfast to a fault. Watch out for a tendency to nitpick, though — not everyone is as balanced as you.
And talking about feet and what they say about you, I'd just like to remind you that I have a special JULY OFFER: £10 off your first treatment of Reflexology or Indian Head Massage, so please help me spread the word. This offer is only available for treatments booked in July, so don't delay. To book just call Doris on 07724 197627.