What would You do if you were Justin Bieber?

What would You do if you were Justin Bieber?

You may have recently seen in the news that Justin Bieber, a Canadian pop singer, has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome. So what is Ramsay Hunt syndrome and how common is it?

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have recovered from chickenpox, the virus continues to stay dormant in your body, usually without any consequences. If our immune system is compromised due to stress or long term illness or if we are over 60 (when there is an increased risk), this inactive virus may be activated and result in shingles.

Shingles produce a painful rash with blisters that may be very itchy and often extremely painful, usually on one side of the body or face. They tend to dry up within two weeks and usually clear within four weeks. Antivirals are only effective within the first 72 hours and vaccines are available.

Ramsay Hunt syndrome occurs when shingles affect the facial nerve, near your ears. It can lead to facial paralysis, difficulty closing your eye, dizziness, tinnitus and loss of hearing in the affected ear. Early treatment with antivirals and steroids, can prevent complications and long term facial muscle weakness and deafness.

This can sound quite scary and it is, but remember it is a rare condition. If the nerve isn’t greatly damaged, recovery occurs within a few weeks. If damage is more severe, recovery may take months or be less effective. Early treatment is therefore, essential.

What would you do if you were Justin Bieber? As well as medication, apparently he is doing facial exercise to strengthen the muscles in in face. Reflexology can also help. The endocrine and nervous systems are stimulated, along with the lymphatic system to clear the virus and reinnervate the nerves. It has been shown to be really effective, along with acupuncture, especially in the treatment of pain.

Facial reflexology will also specifically work the facial nerve. It stimulates all muscles on the face as it works against the muscles to lift them. It uses a combination of Chinese energy meridians, acupressure points and Vietnamese nerve points to address any areas of numbness or paralysis.

The picture below shows a lady who had facial paralysis and was treated with Facial reflexology for many months. The results are amazing.

Although this lady had facial paralysis as a result of surgery and not Ramsay Hunt syndrome, facial reflexology could assist all those with facial paralysis, no matter the cause.

So what would you do if you were Justin Bieber? I would certainly consult my general practitioner and get expert advice and necessary medications, but I wouldn’t hesitate to try complementary therapies to speed up my recovery. I just hope someone tells Justin about facial reflexology!

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: https://www.knowshingles.com.au, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ramsay-hunt-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351783, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/06/11/ramsay-hunt-syndrome-justin-bieber/, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/diseases-conditions/ramsay-hunt-syndrome. Photo from Lone Sorensen – International Institue of Reflexology.

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.

Do you practise Extreme Self Care? If not, why?

Do you practise Extreme Self Care? If not, why and what actually is it?

The words, ‘self care’ have been bandied about in newspapers and on social media. They are the new buzz words. Take care of yourself, put yourself first, be more gentle with yourself, eat more healthily, exercise more, do more meditation.

I’m not undermining the importance of these actions. Any form of self care is beneficial. However it needs to be more than the occasional outing for a massage or reflexology treatment. It needs to be more than the ‘walk around the block’ or the odd smoothie.

Self care needs to be a concerted effort to put yourself first. All the time. This is where extreme self care comes in. It means loving yourself enough so that the actions you take and the decisions you make on a daily basis reflect this self love.

It means having strong boundaries and only saying ‘Yes’ to what you really want and need. It means listening to your body and what he/she is telling you. It means not trying to push through when all your body wants is rest.

You may think it is selfish to put yourself first all the time. This is what we were taught as children. We need to give to others first, put other’s needs before our own. We need to give, give and give until you have no more to give, then give some more. We give out of obligation and we give out of guilt. We give because we feel it is expected of us.

How many of us end up burnt out, exhausted, defeated and resentful? We are perpetuating a myth. Trying to live up to an impossible image of perfection. This was my story too. So much of my self worth was based on my achievements, helping others, being the ‘good girl’, aiming for perfectionism. As author, Cheryl Richardson says, “So many of us, especially women, have taken on this ‘noble’ role. What we don’t realise, until it’s too late, is the high price for being ‘generous.”

Ending up exhausted and always fatigued, made me realise that my life had to change. Extreme self care was warranted.

Do you practise Extreme Self Care or is this your story too? If so, how can you start implementing more extreme measures? How can you start putting yourself first? By learning to love and accept yourself. All of you. Your perfections and imperfections. We all have them and it’s time to accept ourselves as we are. No more comparing ourselves with others. We are all different. We all have gifts and talents that are unique to us. Embrace them.

Accept where you are at. We all start this journey at different points. Sometimes it is easy to make changes and sometimes it is really hard, but make a start. It may feel uncomfortable putting yourself first. You may fear the judgement and criticism of others. You may feel guilty. But do it anyway. It will get easier.

Know too, that the more you do for yourself, the more energy you will have to give to others. The more you start to care for yourself, the greater your ability to make choices from a place of love and compassion. The more you demonstrate extreme self care, the more you will inspire others to do the same.

So start small so that it feels doable. Start with some simple self care. Drink more water, every day. Go to bed earlier. Start adding more vegetables to your meals. Look after your health, so go for those overdue dental check ups or eye checks. See your GP when needed. Don’t put your health in the “do later” basket.

Start asking for help. It may not be done the way you would do it, but that’s okay. You don’t have to do it all! If you are invited out socially or asked to help out, don’t say ‘Yes’ straight away. Say you will get back to them. Then think about it and decide whether it is something you really want to do or have the energy for.

Begin saying Yes to more fun, more creativity, more ‘me’ time, on a daily basis. Book in your regular reflexology or self care practices. Set limits on your availability. The more you respect your time, the more you allow others to do the same. Spend time in nature, even if it’s just sitting in the sun every day or going for a walk.

Do more of what lights you up. Give more to yourself. Do things that fill your soul. As you start to finally listen to your own needs you will begin to feel more fulfilled and happier in your life. You will then be able to give to others from a space of true giving. No guilt. No obligation. Just a place of appreciation and connection with those around you.

Do you practise Extreme Self Care? If not, perhaps it’s time to start. It’s never too late.

With warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: The Art of Extreme Self-Care By Cheryl Richardson, Photo by Jackson David 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.

Can you find Peace in a Crazy World?

Can you find Peace in a crazy world when so much seems to be out of our control? How can you switch off from the constant stress that seems to surround us on an everyday basis?

It isn’t easy, but it is possible and there are things you can do today to remove you from that ‘fight or flight’ response.

Firstly, acknowledge when you are feeling stressed or impatient or anxious. If we stop and recognise our feelings, we can do something to address them.

There is no shame here. The last few years have brought up so many anxieties and fears that we never knew we were capable of feeling. Current world events only add to this stress. It’s okay to be angry or feel scared. We are in unfamiliar territory and that’s uncomfortable and often frightening.

So we react in different ways, depending on our past experiences, beliefs and values. We may lash out at others in anger or impatience, we may retreat from the world in fear or we may experience physical symptoms that affect our health.

Acknowledge that this is okay. Don’t criticise or condemn yourself. It may not feel pleasant, but we are just reacting to our circumstances and so many of these circumstances are out of our control. Try and give yourself space in your day. Space where you are not always meeting the needs of others. Space where you can just be and sit or have a nap if you need to. Nurturing ourselves is so important.

Try some meditation. It has huge proven benefits to still the mind. This doesn’t mean that you have to sit still and chant. It can be as simple as sitting outside with the sun on your face, while you tune in to the sounds around you. Being present in the moment is deeply healing.

Go for a walk or dance around the house. Move your body. This encourages those ‘feel good’ hormones to flood your system and leaves you feeling more relaxed and energised. Scream out loud if you need to or sing at the top of your voice. You may feel more comfortable doing this at home, but do it whenever you can, as it helps to release pent up emotions.

Spend time with those who make you laugh. Laughter also releases those ‘feel good’ hormones, such as Dopamine and Serotonin. If you need time alone, then do that. Sit in stillness at home, binge on Netflix or read a book. We all need some down time. Don’t feel guilty!

Definitely, don’t watch the news. It’s meant to be dramatic and alarming, to catch our attention. Your nervous system doesn’t need that. By all means stay informed, but a quick look on the internet will fill you in on all you need to know.

Eat healthily. This may sound strange, but junk food has a negative effect on our brain and hence, affects our mood. It is highly addictive, so the more you eat, the more you want. It gives us temporary pleasure so our brain encourages us to repeat that ‘fix’. It is also inflammatory and can damage our neurones or nerve cells.

Engage in supportive treatments such as Reflexology. It addresses any underlying emotion or trauma and is deeply healing and powerfully relaxing. Try yoga or tai chi. Both are very grounding and stress-reducing practices.

Can you find peace in this crazy world? I really believe you can, but it does take some effort. You need to be willing to change and be accepting of how you are feeling, without judgement. I try and do this on a regular occurrence. I don’t always get it right but I know I have the tools to become more grounded when I need to.

Try and give it a go. Recognise your emotions and don’t judge yourself. Accept that life is weird and uncomfortable now. Then sit in stillness, laugh out loud, dance and sing as if no one is watching and find peace in your life and hopefully, peace in your Heart.

With warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

This facial reflexology chart may be helpful to reduce fear and anxiety. You can download it here. https://solevitality.com.au/fear-and-anxiety/

References: https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2016/sep/five-ways-junk-food-changes-your-brain, Photo by Javardh 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.

Wishing you a truly Happy New Year.

Wishing you a truly Happy New Year.

These words may sound a bit trite as the new year dawns and we repetitively greet those we meet in a similar way. But my wish for you all is to have a truly happy New Year ahead.

The past two years have been really difficult and have brought up huge fears and much uncertainty. We have had to reassess the way we live and adjust to unfamiliarity and constant stress. Even though life remains unclear, it is important to give closure to the year that has passed and start the new year afresh.

One way of doing this is to acknowledge what has been and then give thanks for all the positive things that have happened over the past twelve months. Even though there have been difficult times for me, with closing the clinic, loss of income, cancelling holidays and coping with the everyday stress of lockdown, I too, found lots to be grateful for.

At first glance, I decided it was a pretty horrible year, but when I looked back at my photos and memories of what had been, I found so many occasions to celebrate and give thanks for. You can do the same. It could be birthdays, chats with friends – even over Zoom, walks in nature or time with family. Giving thanks for the good times helps to bring closure for the year and provides an opportunity to enter the new year with hope and optimism.

A New Year brings with it new dreams and plans for the months ahead. It gives us an opportunity to reassess what we want to bring into our lives and what we want to leave behind. It also brings us hope. Hope for an end to the pandemic, hope for great health, hope for holidays that actually take place and hope for the things we want to create in our lives.

What do you no longer want to do this year? Do you want to leave a job you no longer love? Do you want to end a relationship or friendship that brings you distress and unhappiness? Do you want to let go of playing small, being perfect, trying to please everyone? The New Year is a perfect time.

What do you want to bring in to your life this year? Do you want to spend more time in nature and do more walking? Do you want to learn a language or start a new craft? Do you want to commence a new career or finally do something that you have always wanted to do? Do you want to have stronger boundaries around your time and availability? Do you want to have a healthier lifestyle? A New Year is the perfect opportunity.

Many people do vision boards, pasting pictures or photos on a board, of what they want to do over the next twelve months. I have done this myself, on many occasions and it has always been rewarding. I put together a collage of images from the internet, of holidays, food, experiences that I want to bring into my life, and then print it off. I stick it on some cardboard and put it up on my fridge, where I can see it everyday.

This works to remind me of my dreams and plans and if I get sidetracked as I inevitably do, this grounds me and brings me back into creativity. I also choose a word to embody what I would like to do or be in the new year. This year I have found it hard to do and have felt conflicted. How can I choose a word when so much is uncertain? I decided that as my mind is always wandering into the future and what might happen, I need to focus on the present instead and on what I can do and achieve now. So my word is to be Present.

You might like to try it too. You may have other ways of planning for the coming months or you may prefer not to plan and just wing it. Neither way is right or wrong, so long as you continue to have dreams and act on them. Having dreams is the first step but unless you take action, they remain dreams only.

Book dates in your diary to start the ball rolling. Book in that reflexology treatment you have been promising yourself. Sign up for that art or language course. Buy yourself some paints and pencils and start drawing and creating. The world awaits you and your unique gifts and talents. A New Year is your time to shine!

When so much is out of our control, focus not on what you can’t do but on how you react to change. As the quote says, “Sometimes in the waves of change, we find our true direction.”

Wishing you a truly happy New Year. May it be a really magical one for you.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: Photo by on  Ester Marie Doysabas on Unsplash. Quote – author unknown.

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.

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.

Is your need to Control everything affecting your Health?

Is your need to control everything affecting your health and if so, what can you do about it?

It’s understandable to feel that nothing is within our control at the moment. Our current circumstances are creating such uncertainty, that we may feel that we have no control over our lives. As a consequence we may overreact and try and control the things that we can.

Control is a normal response. If our happiness is affected or our safety is threatened, we automatically try and control the situation. If danger is involved, we go into our ‘fight or flight’ mode. Even if it’s not a life or death situation, stress levels can be activated. Our current situation since the pandemic began, is a huge example of this.

When we activate our stress response, for whatever reason, our levels of cortisone and adrenaline rise. Our body prepares to flee the situation. This is a primal survival response that has served us well. However when this stress response remains elevated, we stay in this high alert state and that’s when health issues may result.

Chronic stress can lead to illnesses such as Hypertension, Heart Disease, Stroke, Digestive problems, Diabetes, Asthma, High Cholesterol, Lowered Immune Function and Chronic Fatigue.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Lung and Colon meridians are related to control. The Lungs relate to how easily we ‘Breathe’ through life, whether we need to control everything or whether we feel we have no control. The lungs also hold grief and how we control our emotions and whether or not we have processed or dealt with grief in our life. In many lung conditions, we actually have difficulty controlling our breathing.

The Colon or Large Bowel is also about control. If we are always in control or tightly controlling of ourselves and others, this may result in constipation. If on the other hand, we feel we have no control or allow others to control us, diarrhoea may ensue. Just think of a situation where you are extremely nervous because you have little or no control, such as a job interview or before an exam. You have no control over the questions that may be asked. Very often you have to make a few trips to the toilet and your bowels may be upset.

Our fears around control may stem from childhood or our experiences throughout our lives. We may have had controlling parents who never gave us freedom or perhaps life’s circumstances threatened our safety, so we learnt to control everything that we could. Our reactions are never wrong. We always do what we can to survive and make the best of whatever life presents. Panic buying is just one example of us trying to control our lives. If we are restricted, at least we can control what food etc we have at home. Panic buying helps us to feel safe. It gives us some control over our situation.

What do we do about our need to control everything? And what if control is beyond our reach? What if always being in control no longer serves us?

What I have realised myself, is that I need to let go. I need to ask for help and I need to allow myself to receive. I have had to admit to myself that I cannot control everything, no matter how much I may want to. I allow myself to feel all the emotions, such as anger, frustration, sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, fear and whatever else may arise. Having no control brings up many emotions such as fear and it’s important to recognise this. Look at your fears and decide if they are rational and if your life is in danger. If not, try and let the fear go.

Accept all the emotions that you are feeling. It’s okay not to be happy about your situation. The circumstances may not be what you want, but acceptance reduces the stress. If you can change your outlook and your actions by choosing a different way of doing or looking at things, they may not seem so insurmountable. Perhaps you can’t do things the way you normally do. Does that really matter? Maybe there is another way. Maybe new opportunities will present.

We all have choice and we can all choose how we cope under current circumstances. Ask for help if you need to and recognise if things are beyond your control. Allow others around you to make their own choices. We can’t control their decisions and we shouldn’t try to or judge them for their opinions. We all cope in different ways.

If we try and always stay in control, or fear that we have no control over our lives, we will always stay in a stress response. If on the other hand, we try and accept the things that we cannot change and alter our outlook, we may find that we are a lot calmer, happier and healthier and better able to cope with whatever life presents.

I know which one I would prefer.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

If you are feeling fear or anxiety, these facial nerve points may help. https://solevitality.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Fear-and-Anxiety-Wellness-Package.pdf

References: Photo by Patrick Mallert 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.

When the World is changing, can Reflexology help?

Peace, stress free, reflexology, wellness, balance.

When the world is rapidly changing and life feels uncertain, can having a Reflexology treatment help? Can it actually make any difference?

I believe so.

Having regular Reflexology treatments won’t change world events, but it can change how you react to them. This year has seen unprecedented circumstances that have affected all of our lives. Australia experienced horrendous bushfires, then the Coronavirus struck around the world and now racial injustice is in the headlines. The old world order has gone, things are changing and life may never be as it was before.

Change is needed but it can bring up worry and anxiety.

Change can also lead to stress, as the unknown often brings up fear. As we all know, chronic stress contributes to so many diseases. 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.

Long term stress can also lead to elevated blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, anxiety and worry and impact our immune, digestive and cardiovascular systems. At a time when most of us want to remain really healthy, this is not ideal.

Reflexology can make a significant difference. It deeply calms the body and mind and helps in the release of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. These so called, ‘feel-good’ hormones affect our mood, memory, motor function, sleep, learning ability and digestion as well as relieving pain.

Reflexology boosts the immune system, increases circulation and blood supply, hence bringing more oxygenation and nutrition to all of our cells. It also improves the nerve supply to the whole body and helps reduce our sympathetic response so that we don’t stay in that ‘fight or flight’ mode. As mentioned before, it also has a powerful effect on the Hormonal system.

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that our bodies hold trauma and unless we deal with the emotions involved, be it sadness, anger, anxiety or worry, a disease process begins. Facial reflexology looks at the areas in your body where this disease process started, that is, where you first started to hold this emotion or stress. It then works to relieve this and reduce the impact it is having on your body.

This year has brought up many challenges and fears. We may feel powerless to make a change, though we do have our voice and can let our voices be heard. We can also acknowledge how we are feeling and do something about it. When the world is changing, we still have the power in our hands and Reflexology is a very powerful weapon.

Why not use it!

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

Please note that the clinic has reopened with strict Infection Control policies in place. To book in for a Reflexology treatment, current clients can use this link https://solevitalitybooking.as.me/reflexology

New clients please contact me here https://solevitality.com.au/news/

References: https://www.healthline.com/health/happy-hormone#sunlight

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.

Learning to Slow Down isn’t easy……..is it?

Slowing down

Learning to slow down isn’t easy. Are you finding it hard too?

It is so easy to be in that busy mode and always feel as if we have to be occupied doing something. A month or two ago, we would wear that badge with honour. If someone asked what we had been up to, we would rattle off a whole lot of things. It didn’t feel right to be quiet and we almost needed to justify how busy we were. Many of us were brought up to believe that doing nothing was lazy so if we had some free time, we filled it.

Now everything is different.

We have been forced to slow dow, and to many, this doesn’t come easily. Adjusting to a new norm of peace and quiet can be hard to do and our overactive minds try and find a solution. As first, I, too felt very restless. I had closed my home clinic and suddenly felt lost. I was developing online offers but until they took off, I had time on my hands, and lots of it. How would I fill my days?

There were always chores to do around the house and admin tasks to complete in my business but I lacked routine, guidance and motivation. I wasn’t used to being silent and having so much free time. Doing nothing was discouraged in my childhood, apart from holidays, so how could I justify sitting still?

I decided to spend more time in nature as a way of finding my new normal. My family and I dug up the veggie bed and planted new seedlings. We pruned and tidied up the garden and I allowed myself time to sit in the sun with cups of tea and just contemplate life. I went on lots of walks in my neighbourhood and gradually started to slow down.

How hard is it for you to slow down? What if you gave yourself permission? How would it feel? Would you accomplish more or would you do less but more of what excited you, more of what you loved? Would you re-evaluate what was really important in your life?

Change can be uncomfortable and we may try and resist it. I certainly did! But as I have more time on my hands, I am looking at how I live my life and what I want to include, that I didn’t have time for previously. I’ve started a WuTao dance class online and I’m loving it. I’m working my Facial reflexology points in full, every day. I’m spending more time with my family and doing more things together. I’m looking at things that I want to include in my life and keep doing, once life returns to some normality.

Being home with other household members certainly has its’ challenges but lessons can be learnt even here. Tolerance and patience don’t always come easy but over time we can adjust. For those educating their children at home, this can be even more of a challenge. Perhaps the lesson here is appreciating just how much our teachers do.

Slowing down changes your outlook on the world and often this is a good thing. The space around you gradually expands and you find that you are actually enjoying this new freedom.

Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu once said, “Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished.”

Perhaps living life that way may be our new normal. I’m certainly starting to hope so.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

Reference: Lao Tzu quote from AnneMaree Rowley meditation, Insight Timer.

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.