How do you Open your Heart to Healing?

How do you Open your Heart to Healing? What does this even mean?

In Eastern Medicine the body has always been treated along with the mind. One can’t be separated from the other. Western medicine is slowly catching on, but little emphasis is still being placed on our emotions and how they impact our health.

Having an open heart means recognising the things in life that are holding us back and learning to be open to change. We have all experienced sadness, loss, trauma or some other stress that has impacted our lives. It may be temporary or it may have a lasting effect.

We can choose to ignore it and move on, but unless we recognise it’s impact and that it may still be influencing our emotions and actions, our health will suffer.

Any sudden death, loss or trauma deeply effects our well being. We may hold on to this stress and bury it deep down, because at the time, it is too painful to deal with. There is nothing wrong with that. It keeps us safe or helps us cope at a time when our lives are turned upside down. However one day we must deal with it.

Research has shown that an inability to express and process our feelings effectively, or repressing our anger or grief and putting everyone else’s needs before our own, depresses the immune system. These patterns have been found in people who go on to develop chronic illness.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Heart is the Fire Element. It governs our blood and blood vessels but more importantly, it is where our spirit and mind reside. It has been said that when the Heart is healthy, all organs can do their job properly, but when it is not well, the functioning of the whole body is impaired.

So how do we Open our Heart to healing? We can start by recognising the emotions we are holding deep within and start speaking about them. Journalling is a great way to commence, as writing down your thoughts often helps you release the emotions attached to them. Speak to someone you trust and share how you are feeling, even if it is years after the event. Seeing a counsellor is also a great idea if you are holding onto trauma or find it difficult to talk about your feelings.

Putting yourself first and having strong boundaries around your time and availability is vital. It is the first step in loving and respecting yourself. Start letting go of guilt and resentment. You have a right to be here. You don’t need to explain your actions. Doing things that you love from a place of joy, rather than doing things out of a sense of obligation, releases stress and negativity.

Having an open heart means being free to be authentically You. It means expressing your views without fear of criticism. It means taking actions that benefit you and your health without fear of judgment.

It isn’t always easy because it opens us up to vulnerability, but the more we show our true selves, the more we live an extraordinary life. Not everyone will like the new you, but that’s okay. We’re not here to please everyone. I believe we are here to live an amazing life in the best way that we can.

To open up your heart is to show the world who you are, unapologetically. To share your gifts, your views, your feelings and emotions. And that’s the first step to Healing.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: When the Body Says No by Dr Gabor Mate. The Way of the Five Seasons by John Kirkwood. Photo by engin akyurt on 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.

Who is responsible for your Healing?

Healing. Taking back your power.

Who is responsible for your Healing? Is it you or your practitioner?

I recently pondered this after completing a personal development course. We looked at our ego and belief systems and how they affect our behaviours and how we tend to stay in the same dysfunctional patterns. I believe that this also applies to our health.

If we are unwell, we may seek advice or a diagnosis from a doctor. In turn, they may give us some medication to help us get better or refer us for further tests. He/she may then follow up with us, to check on how we are progressing. The doctor has done his/her part in your healing and you can do yours by taking the advice given.

But does it go further than this? I believe it does. Doctors take an oath to treat those who are ill. They are responsible for those who seek their care. However the buck doesn’t stop there. You are responsible too, if not to a higher degree.

Healing is never straightforward. It involves the physical body, but it also involves the emotional, and the latter, often to a higher degree. In Reflexology I address the health issues that present, but also look at the emotional factors. How is that person feeling today? How are they feeling about their illness? Are they looking after themselves and how are they treating themselves? What language are they using? There are many layers involved in our healing.

How we react to our illness may also affect its’ outcome. If we remain anxious and stressed we remain in a constant ‘fight or flight’ mode. Our cortisone and adrenaline levels are always elevated and our immune system is suppressed. The incidence of heart disease is increased and chronic stress has also been linked to cancer.

If we remain in a ‘victim mode’ we are feeding into this negativity. I totally understand this, as it’s never easy if you have a chronic health condition. It is draining and exhausting and if it’s life threatening, it can be terrifying. But if we remain a victim, we stay powerless.

It’s important to look at how we are reacting and become aware of our behaviours. This doesn’t mean that we criticise ourselves, but instead look at our actions proactively. So many of our behavioural patterns are learned in childhood. If we are always yelled at as children, we take on certain behaviours to stay and feel safe. We may not express our feelings or our needs. If there are high expectations made of us, we feel that as adults we need to be perfect.

Dr Gabor Mate says that when we don’t express our own needs and feelings effectively, our physiology is also affected. Chronic emotional stress affects our immune system.  When our needs aren’t met in childhood, we play out our behaviours as adults. We compensate for the things we missed out on, or the behaviours that affected our upbringing. We forget to look after ourselves and end up meeting everyone else’s needs first. He says, “When we have been prevented from learning how to say no, our bodies may end up saying it for us.”

So what can we do to change this?

Put yourself first! This may sound rather obvious, but to a habitual people pleaser like myself, it took many health issues for this to sink in. Whatever your diagnosis, choose yourself and choose healing. Take responsibility for yourself. Express how you feel, even if it’s just to family and ask for help if needed. Become aware of your reactions. We tend to repeat our behaviours, no matter the circumstances. We all have our own dysfunctional patterns.

Then take measures to reduce stress in your life. Yes illness is scary and yes, it is exhausting. But you can choose to stay it’s victim or you can choose to take back the power. Do more fun things for yourself, laugh(a lot) to boost those feel good hormones, which reduce the inflammatory response and move your body, even if all you feel up to is a walk around your garden.

Eat healthily, meditate, sing, dance, swim, spend time in nature, or do whatever reduces your stress levels. Find someone to talk to about how you really feel and look at the behaviours that no longer serve you. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. It isn’t easy as this opens us up to fear, criticism or self-judgement, but it’s an important part of our healing.

Practise reframing your words. If they are always negative, this will reflect on how you are feeling. Biologist Bruce Lipton showed that changing how we look at things changes the chemistry in our body.

Healing is a multi-faceted thing. It’s important to remember that our body is always working to support us. Who then, is responsible for your Healing? I believe we need to collaborate with health professionals when needed, but ultimately the responsibility lies within ourselves.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: “When the Body says No – The cost of Hidden Stress” by Dr Gabor Mate, “The Biology of Belief” by Bruce Lipton, PhD. Photo by William Farlow on 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.

Did you know you had a ‘Calming’ nerve?

Did you know you had a ‘Calming’ nerve and you can use it to benefit your health? Let me tell you about it.

As you know, our nervous system is a very complex system, made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. It is our body’s communication system and controls a lot of the body’s functions.

An important part of our nervous system is the network of cranial nerves that connect the brain to our head, neck and body. They are either sensory or motor. Think of our sense of smell, taste and touch and movement of muscles. These are just some of the functions of the cranial nerves.

Parts of our nervous system operate automatically eg breathing, digestion, heart rate. Our sympathetic nerves are involved in our ‘fight or flight’ response, physical activity, heart rate and innervation of many body processes.

Parasympathetic nerves on the other hand, are our ‘rest and digest’ nerves. They regulate the function of organs during rest and have a slowing down or dampening effect.

This is where the ‘Calming’ nerve comes in. It is called the Vagus nerve and is the tenth cranial nerve. It’s also one of the most important parasympathetic nerves and one of the longest in the body. It originates in the Brain stem and travels right through the neck, chest, abdomen and the digestive system to the middle of the large intestine. Its’ name comes from ‘vagabond’ and it’s known as the wandering nerve.

The Vagus nerve is truly a calming nerve because it slows down breathing and heart rate so aids in relaxation. It communicates between the gut and the brain and decreases stress, anxiety and fear. It controls our digestion and slows down heart rate. It is also involved in the immune system and decreases inflammation.

Did you know you had a ‘calming’ nerve? We all do and can use it to benefit our health? We are living in an unprecedented time, when so much is out of our control. The news is full of drama and alarm and our stress response has never been so activated. It’s very easy to get caught up in that ‘fight or flight’ mode and never truly relax.

This is where the Vagus nerve comes in. You can work the nerve point for it on your face whenever you are feeling stressed. Do it on a daily basis and you will start to see its’ benefits. You can find the chart here.

You can also take measures to decrease your reaction to stress by avoiding the news, spending time in nature, exercising, eating healthily (most of the time), doing meditation, laughing, being creative and putting some more fun back into your day.

When so much is out of our control, it’s so important to remember what remains in our control. Working the Vagus nerve, our ‘calming’ nerve is something every one of us can do. After all, reducing our stress and staying relaxed is one of the best ways to stay healthy.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: Multireflexology Dien Chan by Patrick Aguilar Cassara & Anna Roca, https://www.healthline.com/health/12-cranial-nerves, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-ap/chapter/functions-of-the-autonomic-nervous-system/, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318128#What-is-the-vagus-nerve, Touchpoint Denmark – Webinar on Digestion by Dorthe Krogsgaard and Peter Lund,

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 can I Create Today?

What can I create today when life is so uncertain? When so much is out of my control. Can I even create under such circumstances?

I sat down to contemplate this during Melbourne’s latest lockdown. Our sixth! Two hundred plus days without freedom. Two hundred plus days away from family and friends. It’s very easy to get caught up in the fear, anxiety and uncertainty of our lives and live life from that perspective. It’s very easy to stay negative and feel that there is nothing to look forward to, as how can we plan when things just keep changing.

What can I create today? What could I create and bring into my life to not just pass the time, or make it more bearable, but to actual create opportunities and thrive? I decided to try and find out. Maybe you can do the same.

I looked at the areas of my life that were important to me. The physical, emotional and spiritual. Then I began to create routines to give my days some structure. It’s very easy to forget whether it’s a weekday or weekend when all the days feel the same.

On a physical level, exercise is important for me. My body needs to move not just for it’s own health and flexibility but for the ‘feel good’ factor it brings with it. Exercise also releases endorphins such as dopamine and serotonin which enhance your mood. This became a daily activity for me.

I also began my days with meditation. This practice reduces stress, especially when the morning news brings more drama. It sets me up for the day so that I begin everything in a calm and relaxed manner. I must admit I don’t always stay this way, but meditation is a beautiful way to start each morning.

I also returned to photography and started painting, bringing forth all the creative parts of me. I don’t always get it right and a lot of it is experimental, but I’m loving the joy and fun it brings to my life. I commenced writing a book and later some poetry. I set aside time each week so that I could follow these creative pursuits.

Time in nature is very fulfilling too. It calms you down, lifts the spirits, reduces stress and focuses you on the present moment. You can do this on a walk, just sitting in the sunshine or working in the garden.

Overall I created space to just be. To sit quietly with my thoughts and ponder on what my heart and soul needed in that moment. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘When we sit in silence, we hear the whispers of the Gods.”

Do you take time to sit in silence? To listen to the voice within, the whispers that guide you, the Muse that speaks to you?

What can you create from that space? Maybe it’s book you have always wanted to write or some jewellery you have longed to create? Maybe it’s a new exercise routine? Maybe it’s starting Yoga? Maybe it’s beginning meditation, a new course, painting, cooking, playing the piano or dancing?

Put times in your diary for work and play so that you are more likely to make things happen. They don’t have to be set in stone but having some structure helps.

Then ask yourself, ‘What can I create today? What can you do to make your days more playful and worthwhile. At a time when life is so uncertain, we can take positive action now.

We may not be able to control our external environments but we can control our internal ones.

Let me know how you go.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: Photo by  Ali Abdul Rahman on Unsplash. Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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 we Energetic Beings or is this some New Age nonsense?

Energetic being

Are we Energetic Beings and what does this even mean? Or is this just some New Age nonsense that is prevalent in the news and social media?

I believe that we are all made of Energy. Every single process that occurs in our body involves energy. Doctors measure the electrical energy of our heart via an Electrocardiogram, an ECG. Our brain activity is measured via an Electroencephalogram, an EEG. Every nerve connection, the release of every hormone and the chemical messages that take place in our body on a constant basis, all involve an exchange of energy.

We are all energetic beings. If you doubt this, just rub your hands together. What do you create? Heat. Heat is energy.

Why is this energy important? Because it affects our overall health. The functioning of every cell in our body is affected by this flow of energy. Scientists have found that an electrical energy exists between a cell and its’ cell membrane. When disease occurs, this energy is depleted.

Reflexologists, kinesiologists, reiki masters, acupuncturists, cranial sacral therapists and many other practitioners, all tap into this energy. The Hindus call it Prana and the Chinese, Chi. It is our life force.

Our emotions also affect the flow of this energy. In her book, ‘Molecules of Emotion,’ neuroscientist Candace Pert talks about the connection between our emotions and our minds. She discusses how chemicals are released in response to different emotions. When blocked emotions are released through touch or other methods, the energy pathways in our body are restored.

While Western medicine only measures energy in terms of metabolic processes in the body, many ancient and complementary therapists see our Life force energy as a combination of our physical and emotional being. Candace Pert sees this energy as a flow of information carried by our emotions and their biochemical messengers.

So what affects this flow of energy throughout our body? The reasons are varied but they include stress, our environment, sleep, the food we eat, our emotions and how we deal with life’s challenges. All of these factors may lead to disease. If there is a balance, in all aspects of our lives, the flow of energy is not disrupted and leads to health.

As a Reflexologist, I work with your energy. What does this mean? It means that by using various maps of the face, nerve points and acupuncture points, I can tap into your energy and work with your body to rebalance it. All your energetic pathways, your circulation, nerve supply, endocrine system are stimulated to bring your body back into balance.

So next time you think of your Body, marvel at its’ many accomplishments. Your body is always working to support you. You are an energetic being filled with a vibrant life force. Sometimes this is depleted and needs some assistance to restore but never forget that healing is possible. It’s what your body is always striving to do.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

I also wanted to tell you about a wellness device that I have been using called the Healy. It uses both a micro current and a frequency to restore the energy of your cells. The micro current works to restore the depleted energy of the cells while the frequency works directly on your bioenergetic field, that is, all systems, organs, tissues and cells of the body. It has helped me with sleep, back pain and boosting my immune balance, to name just a few of its’ benefits.

It is on sale until the end of June. From the 1st July it is changing to a subscription model and prices are increasing. I just wanted to tell you about, it in case you are interested.

To read more about this device, which is an energetic device, click here.

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.

References: Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert, https://www.healthline.com/health/qi-deficiency#causes

Do you Allow yourself to Receive?

Gift of receiving

Do you allow yourself to receive and how well do you receive?

As children, most of us are brought up to give rather than receive. When we do receive, we are told to do so graciously. If we expect too much, we are considered to be selfish or greedy. Giving makes us a better person. It makes us feel happy to give. Giving a smile to a stranger, or kindness to someone in need, stimulates our brain to produce endorphins, our ‘feel good’ hormones.

Giving is also said to be beneficial for our health as it reduces stress. This is certainly shown in the practice of gratitude. If you are feeling anxious about something, but concentrate instead on what you are grateful for in your life, those feelings of anxiety diminish.

Do you also allow yourself to receive? It’s great to give to others, but it’s also very important to learn to receive for yourself. Being a martyr doesn’t serve anyone and those who never allow themselves to receive, may end up resentful. I’m not just talking about material things, but also simple gestures such as compliments. If someone compliments you on your hair or your dress, do you accept reluctantly and feel you instantly have to compliment them on their own appearance? Or can you accept the compliment as it is, without feeling that you have to give one back?

If a friend spontaneously buys you a gift, do you feel you have to buy one back or can you accept the gift happily and excitedly, in the manner in which it is given?

It isn’t always easy to receive and many of us aren’t very good at doing it. If we are brought up to always think of others, we very often forget to think of ourselves and our own needs and then neglect them. As children we may have been given love and validation mostly when we gave to others. We may feel that we will be judged if we receive too much or else feel guilty when we do.

Consequently we try and compensate by giving something back to lessen the guilt, or we may refuse the gift because we feel we are unworthy. If I accept help, I may be perceived as weak, or if I am given too much, there will be expectations placed on me to reciprocate.

We may have poor boundaries and allow others to dictate their needs, instead of respecting ours. We may ignore our own desires because we always put others first. We may not treat our own health with the priority it deserves, because we put the health of others first.

How often have you pushed through when feeling exhausted, just so that you didn’t disappoint a friend or client? How often have you worked late to meet a deadline for your boss, when your body craved to be in bed? Why not give your body the rest it needs? What about treatments such as Reflexology? Do you see them as just pampering your body, or do you allow yourself to receive the deep gift of relaxation and rebalancing that your health needs?

Allowing ourselves to receive is a gesture of self love and self worth. If we truly care about ourselves, we know that we are worthy of receiving.

To give to others is a wonderful practice. It makes us kinder, more considerate human beings. However to be really happy, healthy and fulfilled within ourselves, it is equally as important to allow ourselves to receive in abundance.

When did you last allow yourself to receive? I would love to know.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/5_ways_giving_is_good_for_you

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.

Viruses: What are they and why do they make us sick?

Viruses

Viruses are a hot topic at the moment. What actually are they and why do they make us sick?

Viruses are microscopic organisms made up of genetic material, either DNA or RNA. They are an intricate part of life forms, including humans and some scientists believe they are the precursors to life. 80% of our genes are said to have originated from viruses. They are an important part of the microorganisms that live within us. There are said to be 1-2 million different types of viruses, but only 5-6,000 have been identified.

Viruses cannot replicate by themselves so they need a host cell to survive. They attach to human cells in different ways and once inside our cells, they replicate and spread to surrounding tissue to create more virus particles.

As they replicate, mutations occur and these mutations happen all the time. These mutations are errors and the virus tries to correct these. If it’s a DNA virus it can repair errors, but if it’s a RNA virus it can’t. Coronavirus is a RNA virus so many mutations occur. Some mutations are able to infect more people and become stronger, while most mutations actually destroy the virus.

So why do viruses make us sick? Viruses make us sick by killing cells or disrupting their function, depending on how quickly they are released inside the body. We become ill when a virus has established an infection in multiple cells and the body’s normal functioning is changed.

Our immune system is our defence system and acts to fight foreign substances. It is also a repair system. Whenever there is tissue damage eg. from a wound, it removes dead cells and helps new ones to form.

When our immune system detects a virus, it starts to produce antibodies to fight the invader. Our body responds with a fever to inactivate the virus with heat, and secretes chemicals that stop the virus from reproducing. Our immune system works to eliminate the infection and remembers the virus, in case a swift response is needed next time it meets it again.

We’re exposed to viruses every day, but our immune system prevents the vast majority of them from taking hold – especially those that we’ve fought off before, or been vaccinated against.

So what can we do to prevent becoming ill when we encounter a virus? A strong and healthy immune system is our best defence. The state of our immune system will determine whether we become ill or how quickly we recover. In terms of vaccinations, a strong immune system will also determine if you have reactions and how severe they are.

A healthy diet with lots of green leafy vegetables, less processed food and adequate hydration, along with immune boosting supplements such as Vitamin C, D3, A and Zinc will all boost the immune system.

Practical measures such as hand washing with soap or using alcohol, breaks down the cell membrane of viruses such as the Coronavirus and kills the virus. Reducing stress and spending time in nature, moving your body and using meditation have also been shown to be of great benefit. Also replacing fear with knowledge, spending time with friends and boosting those ‘feel good’ hormones.

Reflexology is another powerful tool to increase nutrition, circulation and nerve supply to all your cells. It boosts the immune system by reducing inflammation, stimulating our immune receptors and decreasing stress.

Another thing to remember is that not all viruses are harmful. Viruses in the gut are part of our natural immune system and actually protect the body from invading bacteria. What was once an ancient virus, has now formed into a protein needed for the formation of the placenta in a developing foetus.

Viruses are ever present. They have increased over the years, through environmental changes such as de-forestation, over-breeding of animals, over-processing of foods, climate change, poverty and famine.

Perhaps instead of focusing on destroying viruses, we can instead try and influence our environment, nutrition and our Immune system so that any detrimental impact is lessened. If we can live in harmony, maybe we can find that a balance exists between all parts of our world.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/how-do-viruses-make-us-ill/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209710/, https://www.livescience.com/53272-what-is-a-virus.html, https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2020/04/03/how-coronaviruses-infect-us-how-infectious-viruses-created-us/, https://microbiologysociety.org/why-microbiology-matters/what-is-microbiology/viruses.html, Touchpoint Denmark – Webinar on Viruses by Dorthe Krogsgaard and Peter Lund.

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.

All Health begins in your Gut

All health begins in your Gut.

You may think this is a bold statement but I believe it’s very true. We have been told countless times that ‘you are what you eat’, and it’s pretty obvious that if you eat lots of processed, sugary foods, you will gain weight, increase inflammation in your body and are at an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

However I am talking about the importance of your Gut for overall health, not just from the food we eat. The Gut is actually the most important part of our Immune System. All health begins in our Gut. Our Small and Large intestines total approximately 6 metres in length and along the walls of the intestines are huge amounts of immune cells.

Did you know that 70-80% of all the immune cells in the body are located in the intestinal walls? The Gut contains large amounts of lymphoid tissue, which in turn contains many immune cells such as T-cells, plasma cells and macrophages which all fight disease. Certain cells in the gut lining spend all their time releasing huge amounts of antibodies into the gut. The immune cells within the intestines don’t just stay there. They can leave and travel to areas where they are needed.

Our immune system is the body’s defence system against infections and foreign substances. It is believed that the reason for the large concentration of immune cells in the gut, is because our intestines are the main route of contact with our outside environment. This may be in the form of viruses, bacteria or even the food we eat.

We also have a lymphatic system that filters the blood and lymph nodes, which are found throughout the body, and produce white blood cells. The largest concentration of lymph nodes in the body is found along the Superior Mesenteric Artery, (a blood vessel that supplies the gut) where the head of the pancreas meets the duodenum. All within the gut.

Organs such as the Spleen, Bone Marrow, Thymus Gland, Liver and Adrenal glands also perform important functions in our immune response.

A lot has been said about the Gut-Brain connection and it has been found that a two-way communication occurs between the gut and the brain. There are actually more nerve cells in the gut than in the whole spinal cord. These nerve cells produce neurotransmitters, such as Dopamine and Serotonin in large quantities. These chemical messengers affect not only our mood, but also the motility of the gut, regulation of blood flow, absorption of nutrients and the gut’s immune system.

We are all familiar with having a ‘gut feeling’ about something or ‘butterflies’ in the stomach before a new job or exam, but research has shown that this is due to a communication between the gut and the brain in what is known as the Enteric Nervous system. The Gut has the ability to make decisions independently of the brain eg. Digestion occurs irrespective of the brain, and many of our emotions are influenced by the nerves in our gut.

Obviously factors such as lifestyle, genetics and our environment influence our health and it’s very easy to underestimate the importance of the gut in relation to our health. In Reflexology the gut is always addressed. It covers a large area on the foot and reflexes can be stimulated to increase nerve supply and circulation and stimulate an immune response. In Facial Reflexology, the immune system and hormones within the gut are also treated.

So next time you sit down for a meal, consider the food you are about to eat and how relaxed your meal times are. Every thing we put into our bodies, be it food or negative emotions, all have an impact, because ultimately, all health begins in your Gut.

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.

References: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/research/advancements-in-research/fundamentals/in-depth/the-gut-where-bacteria-and-immune-system-meet, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5772764/, Gut and Immunity Webinar by Touchpoint Reflexology with Dorthe Krogsgaard and Peter Lund Frandsen.

first aid tools

Can Facial Reflexology be used as a First Aid tool?

First aid

If you asked me, can Facial Reflexology be used as a first aid tool, my answer would be, definitely! I’m not talking about a life or death situation, though there is a resuscitation point on the face, but I’m discussing those aches and pains that can disrupt our lives when they present. Knowing a few ‘first aid’ techniques that you can easily use, can make all the difference.

Our face contains many neurological pathways that connect directly with the Brain. Our brain sends messages to our nervous and endocrine systems to bring about a response. Dien Chan Facial Reflexology was originally developed in Vietnam by an acupuncturist, Professor Chau.

He first used it to treat those who were ill and addicted to drugs following the Vietnam War. He initially used needles, but later found that working certain points on the face using only his fingers, was equally effective. It was also more affordable, for the many who would benefit from his services.

He found that certain points were more painful than others and were specific for a particular symptom. A reflex point will only react if there is an imbalance or disease process in the organ. These tools I’m about to mention, do not replace a medical consultation. They do however, help relieve pain and discomfort until you can receive further treatment if needed.

Many of us suffer from the occasional Headache. For some it is more severe and others may even get Migraines. Try these facial nerve points next time you start to feel a headache coming on. You may very well find that you don’t need any further intervention. You can find a facial reflex chart here: https://solevitality.com.au/headache-handout/

Back pain is a very common symptom and can occur as a result of poor posture, lifestyle, sprains and strains, a lack of fitness or due to a disease process. It can be extremely debilitating and can cause significant disruption to your life. These facial points may help ease muscle spasms and relieve the pain. The corresponding chart can be found here: https://solevitality.com.au/back-pain-handout/

I sometimes wake with a sore neck, especially if I have slept awkwardly or stayed somewhere with uncomfortable pillows. It can feel really painful to have restricted movement of your head and may sometimes lead to an accompanying headache. Try these points next time you wake with a stiff neck. They can work very quickly to relieve any discomfort. Find them here: https://solevitality.com.au/neck-pain/

Do you every overeat or get abdominal cramps if you have eaten something that disagrees with you? Maybe you have had a stomach bug with abdominal spasms? I recently had some gut issues and although I needed medical intervention and consequently medication, these nerve points helped relieve a lot of my discomfort, while I was waiting for the medication to work. You can use these points whenever you have an upset stomach or abdominal cramps. Follow this link here: https://solevitality.com.au/gut-or-abdominal-pain/

This next reflex point is also known as a Resuscitation point. If someone collapses, obviously call for an ambulance and start whatever First aid is warranted. This point however, has been found to be very useful for fainting or to expel a foreign body if someone is choking. If ever you are feeling faint yourself, you can work this point too. You can find it here: https://solevitality.com.au/resuscitation-point/

These are just a few examples of how Facial Reflexology can be used as a First Aid tool. Often these nerve points will ease the symptoms without further intervention being needed. Sometimes when the pain persists, these points will support you until you can receive additional help and remember, always seek medical assistance if pain persists or becomes a serious issue.

It’s very easy to pop a pill whenever pain strikes but many medications have side effects. Of course, medication may be needed for a disease process or chronic condition but if sudden pain strikes, try these nerve reflex points to see if they can make a difference. You may be surprised at how effective they are.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20369906, Multireflexology Dien Chan by Patrick Cassara and Anna Roca.

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.

New Year, hopes, dreams

How do you Welcome in a New Year?

New Year, creation, dreams

How do you welcome in a New Year?

Do you see it as just another day, do you celebrate quietly or do you party all night? We all have different ways of acknowledging the year that has passed and the new one just beginning.

Last year was a very challenging year for so many of us. It brought up fears and insecurities, hopes dashed and work circumstances altered. It also brought up unexpected opportunities for us all to slow down and re-evaluate our lives.

A New Year brings with it hope and the opportunity to plan what we would like the unfolding twelve months to look like. Yes there is still uncertainty and a lot is out of our control, but we can still plan and put in place structures and dreams to guide us forwards.

Many make New Year’s resolutions, but these are often forgotten by the time February comes. I, now choose to find a word that describes how I want to feel this year and my word for 2021 is Fearless. To me, this is a Bold word. I am a worrier and fear often presents in my life. My Mother was a worrier too and whether her anxiety had an impact on me or experiences in my life brought this up, I don’t know. I expect, a bit of both and perhaps it’s also part of my nature.

So I’m acknowledging this and seeing it as an opportunity to grow. I am allowing myself to be vulnerable and not play small. I am allowing my creativity to shine and continue spreading my message about the benefits of Reflexology. I am speaking up and sharing my thoughts and creations. Yes this feels scary, but it also feels empowering. As Marianne Williamson said, ” Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. ………Your playing small does not serve the world.”

My Mother was once praised for a painting she did as a child. However, it was an art she never pursued and when she was very old, she said she had wished she had painted a rose. I encouraged her to do it then. It wasn’t too late. But she never did.

Do you have dreams and ideas about what you want to change or bring into your life? A new career, great health, writing a book, creating a sculpture or some unique jewellery, taking up a new sport or hobby? We all have dreams, but how many of them remain just that. We lose focus, ‘life’ takes over and we move on. We never accomplish our dreams.

So how do we get started? I suggest sitting quietly and thinking about what you loved to do as a child, or thinking of something that you would love to explore or bring into your life. Write it down to make it more attainable, then set goals as to how you can bring it into reality.

If it’s great health, then start by looking at your diet and including more healthy foods and exercise into your life. Set up a regime, even if it’s just a walk around the block each day. Start having treatments such as Reflexology to reduce stress and help balance your body. If it’s writing or painting, then put aside some time each week and stick to it. If it’s finding a new career, then sign up for a sample course or taster session to see if it is something that you want to seriously pursue.

Keep a journal or diary and refer to it to keep you on course. Be focused and take action. It’s all very well to have ideas but unless you take action on them, nothing changes. Action doesn’t have to be big or scary. Just one step at a time. That’s all you need to build momentum.

How do you welcome in a New Year? Is it just another day or is it the beginning of something exciting and new? Make each day count. We all have it in us to be ‘powerful beyond measure.’ I know that when I become very old, I don’t want to say, ‘I wish I had painted that Rose’.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: Marianne Williamson, ‘A Return to Love’.