How much do you love yourself …….. and does it even matter?

How much do you love yourself?

You may think that this is a silly question and what in the world does it have to do with Facial Reflexology? Bear with me because it actually has a strong connection.

Does it really matter what we think of ourselves? I believe very strongly that it does. Many of us are brought up to be the ‘good girl’, the one who always thinks of everyone else first. As children, if we do what is expected of us, achieve what is expected of us and behave how we are expected to behave, we will receive praise and encouragement and in many cases, love.

We grow up as adults who learn to put everyone else first. Our careers, our partners, our children take priority and somewhere along the way, we come in at a very distant last.

Often, it is only when we end up exhausted, burn’t out or fall ill that we start to re-evaluate our lives. This was my story too. I would put everyone else’s needs before my own and going into a profession such as nursing, only added to the carer role I had taken on.

It was only when my own health suffered that I finally started to look at how I treated myself. The first question I asked myself was why? The answer was obvious. Self love! I started to learn more about self development and commenced doing Louise Hay’s ‘Mirror work”. If you’re not familiar with this, you start each day by looking in the mirror, deep into your own eyes and say ‘I love you (insert your name).’ This may feel really silly at first, and I know that I laughed out loud at what I was doing. But I persisted and another time, I cried. I realised that perhaps I didn’t really love myself as much as I had believed.

The more I did this work however, my attitude changed and I started to make changes around how I treated myself and how I let others treat me. I set up strong boundaries around my life, around my business and what I said Yes to. Now I can happily say that I do love myself and my whole life is better for it.

So what’s the connection with Reflexology?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, different emotions are held in different meridians. If there is an imbalance in a particular meridian, it is often related to a very strong emotion that we have experienced or not yet dealt with. Our face holds these emotion in the various meridians. If we don’t love ourselves deeply, we may experience feelings of grief or loss or we hold fear around our daily lives. We may hold resentment about how others treat us or take advantage of us. Grief and loss are held in the lungs, fear in our kidneys and resentment or frustration in our liver. Holding onto these emotions can lead to disease for they literally ‘eat’ away at us, cause stress and deplete our immune system.

So have a think about how you treat yourself. Do you like yourself and if not, how can you change this? Try and do the ‘Mirror work.’ It may feel silly and it is confronting but it will change your attitude towards yourself. Have a look at your boundaries and what is acceptable to you. If you have always said Yes when you really want to say No, start looking at why? Examine what feels right for you. If you don’t want to say Yes to someone or something, gently turn them down. Ask for help when you need it and don’t feel you need to be Superwoman.

Stop being the ‘good girl’ who is always there for everyone else. Put yourself and your needs first and then you will be in a much better place to serve others.

Start to tell yourself ‘I love You’ and really feel it. It will change your world.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

References: ‘You can Heal your Life’ – Louise Hay, Photo by Jon Ly – Unsplash

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

Winter is the perfect time to nurture You with Reflexology.

Winter is the perfect time to nurture You with Reflexology.

Why have a Reflexology treatment in Winter?

Having a Reflexology treatment any time of the year is of huge benefit to your health. But having it in Winter is particularly beneficial as it helps to boost your Immune system.

Having a strong immune system  helps prevent flu’s and colds and if you do succumb to a virus, a healthy immune system will help you fight it off sooner.

The main components of our Immune system, include the thymus gland, the lymphatic system and the spleen. Our Thymus gland produces antibodies and during a facial reflexology treatment, this gland is stimulated. Our lymphatic system filters the blood from viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances and is extensively worked during a treatment. Our spleen helps filter the blood and destroys bacteria too. Again there are nerve points to work the Spleen.

Reflexology also improves nerve supply and circulation. Our feet and hands are often cold in winter and if a poor circulation is added in, the chances of getting chilblains increases.

Chilblains are the painful inflammation of small blood vessels that can occur in our skin in response to repeated exposure to cold. They can cause itching, red patches, swelling and blistering on our hands and feet and can lead to infection if not treated. By limiting our exposure to the cold and improving our circulation, they can be prevented.

The short, dark days of winter can also lead to feelings of despondency and depression so it’s an ideal time to do more nurturing things for yourself. Reflexology helps reduce stress and anxiety and it’s been well documented that Stress is a major cause of depletion of the immune response. Doing regular things to nurture ourselves is such an important part of our wellbeing.
Daily walks in nature, while rugged up, are invigorating and also help us feel better. Warming foods such as soups and casseroles are so welcome when at the days are long and cold. Buying flowers or picking them from the garden lighten the house and lift the mood. Regular meditation helps us start the day in a calm and relaxed manner.
Winter is not my favourite season but even though the days are cold, I choose to do things that lift my mood and nurture myself and Reflexology is one of my favourite choices.
So why not choose Reflexology this winter. Your body will love the nurturing.
Here’s a handy facial chart to help boost your immune system.
Enjoy and take care this winter.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

References: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chilblains, https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=tp10165

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

We are energetic beings. How can we use our energy to heal?

We are energetic beings. We are all made up of energy. So how can we use our own energy to heal?

What do I even mean by this?

Our bodies contain many components including our nervous system and our hormonal system. Our nervous system and our brain are constantly sending electrical messages to every cell in our body.

This method of communication ensures our survival. This is electrical energy and can be measured. An Electroencephalogram or EEG measures this electrical activity in the Brain. An Electrocardiogram or ECG measure the electrical activity in our Heart.

Another way our cells are stimulated is through chemical messages via our Hormonal System. Hormones are chemical messengers that co-ordinate and stimulate responses and actions in the body. We have digestive hormones, reproductive hormones, stress hormones, ‘feel good’ hormones. These all operate on an energetic level but it is a chemical one.

Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at our Chi, our life force energy and is used in treatments such as Acupuncture and Reflexology to clear blockages in a person’s energy so that the body returns to balance and healing.

The Chakra system is another way of looking at our energy. It is a Sankrist word meaning ‘wheel’ and is often depicted as spinning wheels of energy. Chakras are basically energy centres within our body that regulate all processes.

So whichever way you like to look at it, we are created and comprised of energy. To become and remain healthy, we need to balance our energy on a physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual level.

So you may ask, what can we, ourselves do to heal?

Firstly having a healthy lifestyle and diet has a huge impact on our energy. If the food we put into our body fuels our cells we will have more energy. This helps our healing on a physical level.

Our emotions also play a huge part in our healing and impact our psychological well being. It’s not simply a case of feeling happy or sad, but having a deep look at our thoughts and how they impact on our emotions.

Let me explain. Every time we feel anxious, or think a fearful thought or a negative emotion, we stimulate our hormonal and nervous system. Any emotion or thought that causes stress, no matter how small, results in the release of stress hormones. This is an energetic response of the body to cope with the stress. Not all stress is bad but a constant stimulation of our stress hormones, depletes our energy.

So how can we deal with this? Be aware of your thoughts! This isn’t as easy as it sounds as we are constantly thinking a million thoughts at once. But the trick is to notice when you are starting to think of something negative or fearful and immediately stop or change the thought. This takes practise but each time we do it, we stop that loss of energy.

According to Caroline Myss, author and international speaker, we leak our energy every time we  hold some anger or resentment towards another. This eventually depletes our body and our cells. We can stop this and return our energy by learning forgiveness.

The ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono is something that I have used myself when I have been very hurt by someone. The words you use are, “I’m sorry, I forgive you, I thank you, I love you’. Now these words can be very hard to say especially when you are very angry or very hurt. But feeling resentment or anger doesn’t affect the person it’s directed at. It only affects you and by affecting you it affects your energy.  Learning to let go of the emotions attached to the feelings isn’t easy but it restores your energy and replenishes your cells.

Every time you think a positive thought or emotion, your energy is affected on a chemical level. You release Serotonin, the ‘feel good’ hormone. Serotonin impacts all parts of our body from our emotions to our motor skills. It helps with sleeping, eating, digesting, healing wounds, maintaining bone health and regulating our moods.

So when you are faced with a health issue, it’s important to look at the body as a whole. Yes our physical health is important but our energetic health is equally if not more, vital. For it’s our energetic response that determines how quickly we heal. It’s good to know that we can play an active part.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

Are you living the life you are mean’t to live? If not, why?

Are you living the life you are mean’t to live? What do I even mean by this?

I believe that we are all born for a purpose – To live our lives to the best of our abilities and to make use of the gifts that have been bestowed upon us. Unless you believe in past lives or reincarnation, we only have this life, the one we are currently living.

As we go through life we take on roles, as students, business owners, entrepreneurs, retail assistants, doctors, nurses, teachers, healers etc. We become parents, partners, daughters, carers, wives or husbands and we become defined by the roles we have taken on.

But under all these titles, have you ever wondered who you really are? What do you really want out of this one amazing life? What do you want to do with your time here on earth?

These may sound like strange questions for a Reflexologist to be asking, but I have noticed that many people I meet and also see in clinic, aren’t totally at peace with their lives. If we carry feelings of stress and disenchantment with our lives, this affects our health. We may be in jobs that we don’t really like, but feel trapped and unable to leave. We may be overcommitting ourselves, trying to be the ‘good’ person or the ‘yes’ person, but deep down resenting the drain on our energy and time. We may be dealing with negative people but can’t see a way out or know how to avoid them.

Our bodies hold our emotions and if our prominent emotions are those of fear, anger, stress or worry, changes start to happen at a cellular level. We start to live in a state of inflammation with constant chemical reactions elevating the stress response, changing our DNA and decreasing our immune systems. Over time this leads to chronic disease, anxiety and depression.

Now I’m not saying that we should live in a bubble and pretend that we’re hippies and everything is going to be fine, though that’s okay if you want to live that way. I’m asking you to consider if you can make changes in your life to improve the quality of your life.

Can you change jobs if your current one leaves you feeling anxious and sick when it comes to Monday mornings? Can you slowly start removing yourself from some of your commitments or start asking for help? Can you start saying ‘No’ to things that drain you and ‘Yes’ to things that make you feel great? Can you remove yourself from situations or people that make you feel uncomfortable.

We all go through happy and difficult times in our lives and it’s not always easy to make changes. But do you want to get to 80 or 90 or even 100 years of age and regret the things you didn’t do in life? Have a look at what’s working in your life and what isn’t. Then sit down and list the things you want to change. Then look at how this can be done and slowly start making some changes. It doesn’t have to be difficult.

I changed jobs many years ago when I became disheartened with nursing and trained to be a Reflexologist. It took time but I knew that my life needed changing. I also decided some years ago that I wanted to meditate but thought I didn’t have time. So I looked at how I could incorporate this practise into my day and I now get up 20 minutes earlier every morning. It’s become a habit and I always feel better for it. I would love to do some Qi Gong but have yet to find a class. So to make it easy, I downloaded a practise online and do this at home. It’s not quite a regular habit just yet but I’m working on it.

So what can you do that will positively impact your life? Do you need to start making enquiries about a new job? Do you need to start saying ‘No’ to people you don’t want to work with? Do you need to start valuing your time and energy and raise your fees? Do you want to start including more fun things in your life? The more we procrastinate, the further we remain from our goals.

Remember that every positive thing that you do to make you happier and improve your life, will have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing.

So start right now.

 

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

 

References: www.newscientist.com, www.forbes.com, www.jhunewsletter.com. Photo by  Gian Cescon on Unsplash.com

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

5 Easy ways to treat a Throat infection and beat the bugs.

The weather has been really changeable lately with cold mornings, cooler days and the occasional blast of a lingering summer.

Research has shown that the change of seasons often brings with it an increase in the Rhinovirus, which causes colds. As a result many people have succumbed to one bug or another.

Despite my best intentions, I, too recently had a cold and a nasty throat infection. As most sore throats are caused by a virus, there are many simple measures you can take to shorten the duration and relieve the symptoms.

Here are 5 Easy ways to treat a Throat infection and beat the bugs!

  1. Rest! This can’t be emphasised enough. Your body needs time to heal and your immune system works best when you allow your body to rest and recover from the virus. Doing too much puts an extra load on a body that is already depleted. If you keep working, your energy is being used to do the work and not to fight the infection. Listen to your body and give it time to heal.
  2. Fluids! Increase your intake of fluids, particularly warm drinks such as tea. Chamomile tea is particularly soothing and acts as an anti-inflammatory to reduce throat swelling and pain. Add honey, especially Manuka honey to soothe the throat and help with healing. Manuka honey is a very potent antibacterial, antiviral and an anti-inflammatory agent. Other teas that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are Slippery elm, Licorice root, Tumeric or Green tea. You can also buy blends of teas specifically for sore throats at Health food stores. Increase your water intake too, to help flush out toxins from your body.
  3. Vitamins and supplements! Increase Vitamin C and Vitamin D if you have a cold or sore throat. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells and the function of the immune system. Vitamin D protects against acute respiratory infections and helps boost natural antibiotic-like substances in the lungs. Other supplements that will support the immune system are zinc, echinacea, olive leaf extract or a combination supplement such as Armaforce or Immune Defence which contains many of the mentioned ingredients in one pill.
  4. Gargles! Gargling is a very effective way to treat the infection and reduce the pain of sore throats. Use a mixture of warm water and salt every few hours. Colloidal silver is another very effective remedy. It has a unique ability to control antibiotic-resistant superbugs and is also a powerful antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent. Essential oils such as Tea tree and Lemon are powerful antibacterials however they need to be used with care as they can be quite irritating. Only use one or two drops in water or combine with coconut oil before gargling and definitely don’t swallow. You can also diffuse oils such as lavender or thyme to help fight infections.
  5. Reflexology! Reflexology is a very powerful weapon in the fight against all types of infections. It helps boost the immune system, balances the body and helps the lymphatic system to remove toxins. I regularly worked points on my face to help me recover quickly and treat my symptoms. If you have a sore throat, this chart will help. Here’s the link:  https://solevitality.com.au/sore-throat-handout/

If a sore throat persists or worsens, always see your doctor and have it assessed. Most times it will be from a virus and hopefully the above suggestions will help.

Take care,

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

References: www.mayoclinic.org, www.aurorahealth.org, www.healthline.com, www.sciencedaily.com, www.draxe.com, www.tipsbulletin.com, The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

Does it pay you to stay strong? ………….. If so, how?

Does it pay you to stay Strong? How does this help you?

Growing up we are told that ‘big girls/boys don’t cry. Keep that stiff upper lip, don’t be a sook or a sissy.’

It’s acceptable to a point to show our emotions as children, but once we become adults, it is often considered a sign of weakness if we ‘ wear our heart on our sleeve’.

But keeping our emotions, be it grief, trauma or sadness bottled up, only delays the inevitable. Some day you will need to face that fear or loss, or it may contribute to disease.

I lost my younger sister many years ago. Although I grieved at the time, I had a two year old son to care for so I kept going and pushed down all those traumatic emotions. I told myself that I would have time to grieve later. I stayed strong, or so I thought!

Consequently I started to overprotect those I loved and worried endlessly if someone was late home. I tended to catastrophise events out of all proportion. This only led to overwhelm. It was exhausting trying to control everything and everyone in my life. After many years and lots of support, I learnt to let go, trust and show how I felt and not bottle everything up. I never forgot, but I learnt to deal with the pain of loss.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has believed for several thousands of years, that emotions are powerful energies that strongly affect our Qi ( our life energy) and our  overall health.

In the 1980’s Dr. Candace Pert  demonstrated the link between emotions and health. Dr. Pert discovered that certain brain chemicals called neuropeptides, which she called “molecules of emotion,” act as messengers between the mind and the immune system. Her findings revealed that thoughts and emotions directly impact the physical body and our health.

In Chinese medicine our emotions are strongly linked to our organs and the process of disease.

For example, our Lungs and our Large Bowel show how easily we ‘breathe’ through life, whether we have to control everything and every body or we have the ability of letting go. Our lungs also hold grief and if we haven’t dealt with that grief,  imbalances will result in that organ. If not treated, this strong emotion may lead to disease either in the lungs or elsewhere in the body.

Our Stomach and Spleen hold worry and stress and manage our immune system and digestion. If we are constantly worrying or not dealing with the stress in our lives, we may end up with a deficiency in our immune or digestive systems.

The Kidneys hold fear and constant thoughts of fear. If we are always fearful of life and what may unfold, this leads to an imbalance in our kidney energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are our ‘life force’ and a key organ in sustaining life.

The Liver and Gall Bladder are where we hold anger, frustration or resentment. As the liver is involved in so many functions in our body, including our metabolism and energy, it pays to have a healthy liver.

Facial Reflexology detects areas of our body that are out of balance and treats these accordingly. However it also looks at the emotion behind the affected organ as many diseases are influenced by strong, repressed emotions.

So what are the benefits of staying strong? Yes it means we don’t fall in a heap or cry hysterically when something happens but who does this actually help? The people who might be embarrassed by your behaviour or does it help you? Sometimes we need to carry on until a time is suitable to grieve or deal with a trauma. However deal with it we must. No matter how painful something may be, unless we deal with it and get help to do so if we need, we will never be able to grow or move through life.

I’m not saying that it’s easy because it’s not. I know! It may be the hardest thing you have to deal with in your life. But dealing with your emotions, not always staying strong and allowing yourself to be vulnerable may just keep you healthy and living longer.

Let me know what you think. I would love to know your thoughts and if you would like a Facial Reflexology session to deal with some of these emotions, please let me know.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

References: https://www.tcmworld.org/emotion-commotion/Image: Pixabay.com

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

What’s your Secret weapon this Winter?

What’s your Secret Weapon this Winter?                                                        Mine is Facial Reflexology.

Yes winter has arrived in Melbourne and it’s already made it’s presence felt. Cold frosty mornings have heralded in June and our heating seems to be on permanently.

Along with the start of winter, comes the usual cold and flu’s. Why is this so and why are we more prone to viruses at this time of year? One explanation is that people spend more time outside in summer. Whereas in winter, we tend to hibernate in warm environments where bugs flourish and these germs tend to recirculate around heated rooms.

Scientists believe that our internal body temperature drops after exposure to cold air. Consequently our immune response is weaker than when our body temperature is raised. Hence we can be more susceptible to viruses.

Viruses are thought to be around all the time but it’s during winter when people gather together in warm  conditions that the virus spreads. These are all scientific theories and no-one is entirely sure but it’s important to have some strategies for the colder weather.

Do you have a Secret Weapon? Many people swear by their intake of Vitamin C and Zinc, perhaps an immune boosting herb or even Olive Leaf extract. A healthy diet and regular exercise will also help boost your immune response.

I often use these tools too, but my favourite and most effective is regular Facial Reflexology. Facial reflexology works to balance the whole body. It increases circulation and nerve supply to nourish and innervate all cells.

It incorporate lymphatic drainage to remove toxins and any bugs that may be lurking around. It stimulates the immune system to balance the body and uses a range of nerve points that decrease inflammation, act as natural antibiotics and work directly on the spleen, thymus gland and immune boosting cells.

If you do happen to get a virus, Facial reflexology will help to shorten the duration of the infection.

So get your Secret Weapon out this winter and put it to good use. I’m certainly using mine!

To get you started, I have included a Facial Reflexology chart with nerve points you can work, to boost your immune system. You can work these points up to three times a day. If pregnant, don’t do any points until you have consulted a professional reflexologist.

Of course, a full treatment is preferable so if this sounds appealing, give me a ring.

Enjoy!

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References: www.webmed.com/colds-and-flu, www.scientificamerica.com, Multireflexology Dien Chan by Patrick Aguilar Cassara and Anna Rosa Carrasco. Photo by Teddy Kelly on Unsplash.com

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

 

Can your Face reveal your Health?

Can your Face reveal your Health? The answer to this may appear obvious. If you’re feeling ill, you may look very pale and tired. If you have a fever, you may appear flushed and hot. If you are in great health, you will appear bright-eyed and rosy cheeked.

However the Face can tell us a lot about our inner health, not just what appears on the surface. In Facial Reflexology areas of the face are palpated to see which organs or parts of the body are out of balance. If you are feeling stressed or have had a run of late nights with little sleep, small deposits like grains of rice may be felt in various parts of your face. For example if you have had a few nights out partying, these small deposits may be felt in your liver.

If on the other hand you have had long standing issues such as constant stress, hormonal problems, gut issues or more serious concerns, the areas of your face will feel denser and tight and may even form into a lump. By feeling these dense areas called deposits, a reflexologist can tell whether an issue is of long standing and also  which part of the body is most out of balance.

Lines and wrinkles can also reveal an underlying health issue. In Dien Chan Vietnamese Reflexology forehead lines depict different areas of your body that may be out of balance. Lines at the top of your forehead may indicate a Large Intestine issue. Lines along the middle of your forehead relate to your mind. So if you are constantly stressed or worrying, your face will reflect this. Lines along the bottom of your forehead relate to a possible imbalance in your Stomach or Liver.

Deep wrinkles along the sides of your nose may mean there is an issue with your Colon, whereas deep wrinkles just above the corners of the mouth may mean a kidney or adrenal issue. Deep furrows between your eyebrows usually relate to shoulder problems. Dark circles under your eyes may mean an kidney imbalance or low Chi, your body’s life-force.

Areas of your face that are out of balance can also relate to a person’s personality. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, if a particular meridian is out of balance this may not only mean an issue with the underlying organ, but may relate to the emotions of the person.

For example, if the Kidney meridian is out of balance, the person may be a very fearful individual. If the Lung meridian is affected, the person may be very controlling. Liver/Gall bladder issues can relate to anger or frustration while Stomach meridian issues can be associated with stress and worry.

The Face is an amazing map of what is going on in your body, not just physically but emotionally. It tells so many stories about an individual’s health journey. You just need to tap into it, look a little more closely then read and understand.

Remember that health issues can be tackled and with treatment the face will change. As your health improves, fine lines may disappear and your complexion will look brighter and healthier.

They say that ‘your eyes are the windows to your soul’. Perhaps the face is the mirror of your Health.

Give me a call if you would like to discuss your Health issues.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

References: Facial Reflexology (Sorensensistem), Dien Chan Multireflexology.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

 

Can you Influence your Immune System?

Can you influence your Immune System? The short answer to this is, Definitely!

We don’t usually think of our Immune System and how it works unless something goes wrong. We get a cold or flu, frequent chest infections or recurrent asthma or maybe something more serious. It’s only then that we feel we may have been doing too much or are ‘run down’ or really start to consider that our Immune system may be depleted.

But how can we have an influence on it?

Our Immune System consists of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. The Bone Marrow and Thymus gland are called primary lymphoid organs because they produce our defence cells, the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. These are produced in the Bone Marrow and mature in the Thymus Gland.

The Thymus gland is the size of an orange in children and decreases in size with age. It was believed to have little use in adults but recent research has shown it can still have a significant function in immunity throughout our lives.

The secondary lymphatic organs are where these lymphocytes do their work. This is in the spleen, tonsils, mucous membranes of the bowel and in lymph nodes. Our lymphatic system transports these protective blood cells and removes old and damaged cells.

The Spleen acts as a filter for blood removing old or damaged red blood cells, stores platelets and white blood cells and also produces white blood cells to fight infection.

So as you can see, our Immune system works in amazing ways.

But what can we do to influence it?

Our brain and our Immune system are in constant communication with each other. If we are feeling stressed on a constant basis, our ‘flight or fight’ mechanisms kick in to help us survive. The endocrine system responds with the release of hormones such as cortisol and this severely depresses the immune system. It decreases inflammation, the production of white blood cells and increases the rate of tissue damage.

So reduction of stress is vital if we are to maintain our long term health.

A Diet high in sugar and processed foods has been shown to hamper the ability of white blood cells to fight infection so a healthy diet with plenty of whole foods, fruit and vegetables will make a huge difference.

Alcohol can affect the functioning of immune cells and increase your susceptibility to disease so look at moderating or reducing your consumption.

A good night’s sleep is vital for the replenishing of all your cells, especially your T-cells or lymphocytes so take measures to improve your sleep.

Other factors that can influence your immunity are exercise (increases circulation of antibodies and white blood cells, avoiding excessive use of antibiotics (weakens your immune system), smoking and obesity (trigger allergies and increase inflammation) and sufficient intake of water (helps remove toxins).

Regular Reflexology can have a profound affect on your Immune System too. It stimulates the functioning of your thymus gland and spleen and balances your whole body. It helps remove toxins via the liver and lymphatic system and powerfully reduces stress so your ability to fight disease is strengthened.

As you can see, there are many ways to boost your overall health and your ability to fight disease.

Can you influence your Immune System? Most definitely!

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

You can also like our page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/solevitalityreflexology

References: www.corehealth.chiro.com, www.livescience.com, www.webmd.com, www.psychologytoday.com, www.rediff.com

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

 

Staying on top of the Bugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There seems to be a lot of viruses and flu’s around this winter, however this does not mean you will succumb.

Having a strong Immune system means that you can laugh in the face of a virus and send it on it’s way. How can you achieve this? Well the following suggestions may help you stay on top of the bugs.

If however, you are already ill, they may help shorten the duration of your illness.

 

Ensure you get a good night’s sleep. This may seem fairly obvious but your cells rejuvenate during the night. Lack of sleep depresses the immune system and the production of infection fighting antibodies and anti-inflammatory agents. This increases the likelihood of succumbing to illness, so try to avoid those late nights, especially on a consistent basis.

Putting YOU first. This may seem like a strange strategy to prevent the flu but if you listen to your own needs and those of your body, you will remain a lot healthier. If you’re tired, rest! Don’t just do one more thing because your boss, partner or child has asked you. Listen to what you really want and how you feel. Consider your own needs before those of everyone else.

Vitamin C. Certain cells in the body that fight infection need Vitamin C to function. It certainly is necessary for the healthy function of the immune system and also facilitates the absorption of Iron, strengthening the body’s resistance to infection. Vitamin C can be found in foods such as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli.

Vitamin D. This important vitamin has been found to be deficient in much of the population due to diet, insufficient exercise and not enough sunshine. A lack of Vitamin D can increase your susceptibility to infection and can lead to increased autoimmunity. It is known as the ‘sunshine  vitamin’ because it is produced in our skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D2 comes from fortified foods, plant foods, and supplements. Vitamin D3 is found in fortified foods, fatty fish, cod liver oil, eggs, liver, supplements and can be made internally when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Zinc. This mineral is very important for your body to help fight infection, strengthen your immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells and assists in the growth of healthy cells. Many people have been found to have a mild zinc deficiency due to poor diet, mineral-deficient soils and the effects of drugs. Zinc can be found in oysters, meat, poultry, nuts and seeds and unsweetened chocolate e.g. cacao.

Probiotics. These are good bacteria that help in the digestion of nutrients that boost the detoxification of your colon. They also support your immune system because they have a direct affect on your gut. Remember, 70-80% of your immune system lies in your gut. Leaky gut, a condition whereby the gut is damaged and allows through previously filtered proteins, is a major cause of various conditions. These include food sensitivities, autoimmune disease and a weakened immune system. Probiotic foods include kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, apple cider vinegar and miso.

Herbs and plants such as Astragalus root, ginger, echinacea, elderberry, garlic, ginseng and oregano all stimulate the immune system, treat the symptoms of flu’s and colds, may be anti-microbial and reduce inflammation.

Exercise. There are so many benefits to regular exercise but one main one is that it reduces stress. As stress increase inflammation in your body, reducing the stress response may help protect you against viruses. Exercise also increases circulation and causes changes in white blood cells that may boost your immune response.

Essential oils. These are nature’s wonders in fighting infection. Many of them are anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal so are an important part of your immune boosting strategies. The best ones to fight infection are Clove, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Myrrh, Oregano, Peppermint and Tea Tree oil. Essential oils can be inhaled via a diffuser, massaged into the skin with a carrier oil or added to a warming bath.   If I have a sore throat, I gargle with some warm water with a one or two drops of Tea-tree oil, making sure I don’t swallow the oil.

Reflexology. This is a powerful therapy for preventing infections, or if they have occurred, shortening their duration. Reflexology strengthens the immune system, increases circulation, reduces stress and help removes toxins from the body. I have seen clients who after regular treatments, have less colds, flu’s, infections or viruses.

Below you will find a Facial chart of Reflexology points that you might find helpful if you do get a virus this winter. These will help to boost your immune system and fight a sore throat if you have one. You can work these points up to three times a day. Click on the chart to see it magnified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me know how you go and please comment below if you have any questions.

 

Warmest regards,

Judy xx

 

Ps. You can also like our page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/solevitalityreflexology/

 

 

References: www.draxe.com/probiotic-foods, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia, www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov, www.organicfacts.net, www.articles.mercola.com, www.medicinenet.com/vitamin-d-deficiency, www.medlineplus.gov, www.draxe.com/essential-oils-guide, www.draxe.com/how-to-boost-your-immune-system, Multireflexology Dien Chan by Patrick Aguilar & Anna Rosa.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.