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/
I've been prompted by some recent facebook posts, to blog about gratitude. Many of my facebook friends have been posting each day about what they're grateful for and it's really interesting to see that it's not the big things they choose, but the small, seemingly insignificant things that get onto their list.
In our busy lives, full of targets and deadlines, responsibilities and commitments, hopes and aspirations we can sometimes be so busy and stressed that we forget what we have to be grateful for.
When was the last time you paused to be grateful for the food you eat, or the home that shelters you, or the friends and family who support you?
It’s all too easy to take the things and people in our lives for granted, and it can be a real challenge to find time to stop and catch our breath, never mind to stop to cultivate gratitude.
But give it a try, you may find it well worth the effort. Being grateful for what you’ve got allows you to:
Every day, write down three things that you’re grateful for and watch your peace of mind grow!
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.
It can sometimes feel that staying healthy and ageing well can be an uphill struggle. There seem to be so many conflicting ideas about what we should and shouldn't eat, which is the best diet to follow, how much or little exercise we should get and what type of exercise is best. There's plenty of advice on what supplements and special healthy products we should be including in our diet and which health and fitness guru to follow - because different ones seem to pop up all the time, with new ideas and products.
Of course, much of this is designed to relieve us of our hard earned cash, so what is the best way to stay healthy or even improve your health? I've developed a list of easy actions to take which cumulatively with benefit your health and well-being. Most cost nothing and there's a fairly heavy emphasis on reducing stress ...
Belly breathing - Take a long slow breath in through your nose. Push the air down into your tummy, almost down to your waist. Let it out again slowly. This deep breathing oxygenates your blood, feeding the body cells; it reduces muscle tension and blood pressure; it clears out stale air from the lungs and opens the airways. If you are under severe pressure, you can't do anything more effective to calm yourself down than taking a series of long slow breaths.
Exercise - Stress produces chemicals which, if they are not naturally neutralized are stored in the body to create a toxic effect. Exercise is a great way to release these chemicals. The key thing is not to overdo it. Work at 70% of your capacity in order that you don't tire yourself out. Give yourself a day off to rest your body. Do something you enjoy, it doesn't have to be difficult: a brisk walk in the country surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature will both tone the body and calm the mind.
Take more water - Often our fluid intake can affect our energy levels. Water helps rehydrate the body and it feeds the brain (water helps to conduct all those electrical connections). If you are dehydrated your system functions less efficiently. Water helps the kidneys to function more efficiently and that helps with the removal of waste within the body.
Touch therapies - You don't have to do it all yourself: give yourself a break and let someone else take the strain. Try Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, or any other touch therapy that takes your fancy. It's amazing how relaxing and re-balancing it can be.
Eat well- Our bodies are very intelligent and if you listen, your body will tell you what it needs. Basically if you aim to reduce: sugar, salt, fat, additives, caffeine and alcohol; eat a wide variety of foods, eat lots of fruit and veg and some fibre, you'll probably be eating well. You can help digestion and absorption of food if you eat slowly, savouring your food as you eat and eating regular meals will help keep blood sugar levels balanced. A few small moves towards less processed food and you will find that your food gives you energy rather than robbing you of energy.
Relax - Relaxation is nature's antidote to stress. Fifteen minutes every day should be enough to keep you in balance. Relaxation is about being rather than doing and we all need time just to be - ourselves. Relaxation allows the mind and body a bit of quiet time to connect with each other.
Posture - Good posture supports good breathing and reduces muscle tension. For a good seated posture: have your feet flat on the floot (legs and ankles uncrossed), thighs parallel to the floor, kneed away from the edge of the seat. Your back should be well supported, shoulders relaxed and down, head resting comfortably on the neck. Don't sit in any position for too long at one time or the muscles will tense up.
Let go - At the end of each day, take time out to let go all the tensions, feelings and emotions collected during the day. Today is challenge enough without carrying some of yesterday's baggage too! Often it's the negative things which we carry with us - how often do you wake up with a warm glow because of what happened yesterday? Probably not as often as you waken feeling fed-up and low because of what happened yesterday. And letting go is much easier than you'd expect, all you have to do is stop thinking about what it was that was making you feel bad.
U-time - Make time for yourself. It's not selfish, rather it's a matter of self-preservation and it will help those around you: if you are happy in yourself, and with yourself and your life, you will have much more to offer friends, family and colleagues.
Sleep well - This is a matter of quality as much as quantity. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep, what's important is that you wake up feeling refreshed and with enough energy to get you though the day. If you have difficulty sleeping, avoid alcohol, coffee and food last thing at night and make a point of letting go any worries, problems or niggles before you go to bed. If you have sleep problems, it helps to establish a bedtime routine.
If you'd like help with relaxing or sleep problems, why not try some Reflexology or Indian Head Massage. To find out more contact Doris on 07724 197627.
Special Offer available until 31 May 2014 at the end of this blog...
Over the past few months I've had a number of clients who have come to Reflexology for the first time and I've been absolutely delighted by their response to the treatment.
I've been a reflexologist for the past 16 years and although I try not to take it for granted, I do sometimes forget just how amazing Reflexology is. So, it's wonderful to have clients who remind me just how blessed I am to be able to practice such a gentle, yet powerful treatment.
One of the biggest surprises, for clients new to Reflexology, is just how relaxing it is: someone recently said they'd never been so relaxed in their life. Well if that's not a recommendation, I don't know what is! For me, I love the fact that clients can get really, really relaxed without having to do a thing.
And that sense of relaxation can create a powerful healing space. We spend so much of our time and energy - physical and psychic - out in the world trying to get results, or cope with the results of the efforts of others, that we often forget to come back to ourselves. It's a bit like going out in the morning, but forgetting to come home at night.
I often wonder if that's why Yoga and Meditation seem to be increasing in popularity at the moment. Einstein's 3rd Law of Motion says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (I'm sure I've not got that exactly right, but the meaning's there). The more stressful life becomes, the bigger the demand for a space of stresslessness (OK, so it's not a word, but it does look relaxing, don't you think)?
Therapies like Reflexology have never been more popular and I think it's because they give clients an opportunity to relax, to be still and to take stock. Our bodies are amazing healing machines which, with the right fuel, maintenance and recovery strategies, will keep going strong. The relaxed feeling that Reflexology can create offers a healing space in which the body can re-calibrate, re-balance and repair. So, Reflexology is fabulous for keeping you healthy!
But Reflexology can also help you recover better health. Relaxation may help reduce inflammation in the body and that can have a beneficial effect on many conditions, such as IBS or arthritis. It also has a positive impact on the hormone system by reducing the production of stress chemicals and hormones in the body.
And, for me, one of the most significant effects of the relaxing effect of Reflexology is that it helps to develop awareness in the client of the distinction between tense and relaxed - for without awareness, nothing can change. Some of the biggest "Ah Ha" moments in my Reflexology practice have been with clients who seemed to me to be stressed, but didn't feel themselves to be stressed. By the end of the treatment they felt relaxed and were then able to recognise how high their stress levels had actually been.
Relaxation also helps with pain management, so painful conditions can often be helped through Reflexology - and there is research to support this.
So, if you've never tried Reflexology before, why not give it a go, because you'll never really know what you're missing until you try it out for yourself.
And to put my money where my mouth is, I'm going to give a £5 discount to all new clients who book before 31 May 2014 - just call me (Doris), on 07724 197627 and quote Blog when you book your appointment. Looking forward to meeting you.