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.

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.

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.

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’.

It’s almost Christmas time.

It’s almost Christmas time and nearly the end of another year. 2020 has been a year like no other. We have never experienced so many months of uncertainly, fear, confusion and disruption to our normal lives. Are you just hanging out for it to be over or have you learnt any lessons from it? Were there any benefits to slowing down or was it just a nightmare for you?

I found it a very mixed year. At first I allowed the fear to enter and I became swamped by it. I watched the news every night, worried about closing my clinic, became anxious about catching the virus, feared being in lockdown and was concerned about a lack of income.

But slowly I realised that how I was living was no fun and not sustainable. I couldn’t control external circumstances, but I could change my attitude and how I was living my life. So firstly, I stopped watching the news! This not only reduced my fear levels and that of my family, but it freed up time that I usually spent just staring at a screen.

I signed up for lots of courses, some free and some paid. I worked a lot on my personal development and realised that I was missing the creative aspect of my life. I started to write …. and write…… and write and a book is slowly forming. I had always loved writing as a child but it had long been left behind, along with creative pursuits that were considered a waste of time. I returned to my photography and began painting the flowers that I had captured on my camera.

Suddenly I felt alive again.

I realised that these past few months in lockdown, although not welcome, were an opportunity to re-evaluate my life and find what was missing. I realised that freedom to be me, to explore my passions, needed to have priority. I realised that I could combine my love of Reflexology with my love of the arts and rather than being overwhelmed, I would actually find more peace and time for myself.

What has this year brought up for you? Have you found that you actually crave more freedom and space in your life or have you missed the fast pace of always being on the go? Have you discovered a new hobby or resurrected an old one? I know that many people have returned to gardening or commenced it for the first time. Time to use our hands and connect with nature always has its’ rewards.

Was this year particularly isolating for you? I was blessed to have family at home but I know that many didn’t and found it very hard. I hope that the new freedoms we are now experiencing, particularly here in Australia lead to healing on all levels.

It’s almost Christmas time and each year we buy a live Christmas tree, a precious tradition from my childhood. I love the vibrant green of the branches and the evocative scent of pine that wafts through the house and greets me on rising each morning. It is now up and decorated, ready to be enjoyed by us all.

I know that the clinic has been closed more months than it has been open this year, but I thank you all for your wonderful support and look forward to seeing your beautiful faces next year.

What will the New Year hold for you? I hope it brings with it a sense of hope and optimism and excitement for what is yet to come.

Whatever traditions you hold dear or whichever way you choose to spend this time of year, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash.

Dealing with Chronic Disease isn’t easy………can you change your focus?

Change of focus

Dealing with Chronic Disease isn’t easy. If you suffer from any condition that affects the way you live your life, you have to make changes. These may involve modifying your behaviour or actions, or it may mean compromising on how you work, socialise or generally live from day to day.

A chronic condition may cause constant pain, a decrease in movement, fatigue, digestive issues, anxiety or irritability and frustration. What can you do to make life better? How can you deal with something that you may have to live with for many years?

I’m not saying it’s easy because it isn’t. There may be times that you feel fed up and really despondent and can’t see a solution. There may be times that you rebel, or feel angry or just give up. These are all understandable and normal reactions.

But what if you could change how you looked at life? What if you could use the resources available to make your life happier and easier, despite the pain or anxiety?

Concentrating on your condition every day gives more power to that condition. If all you focus on is pain, then all you will notice in your life is pain. Medications may be needed, but also consider changing your focus. What else can you do that lights you up? What things bring you joy? Focus on these instead.

There is a saying. ‘What you focus on you create.’ The brain constantly filters information. Our past experiences and beliefs shape our behaviour. As a result our brains can form new neural pathways. This is known as Neuroplasticity. The brain will change its’ messages according to new activities or changes in our environment.

Every time we have an experience, corresponding neurons are activated. Repeating or prolonging an experience will keep the connections between neurons strong and ensure that they stay. Genes are also involved. Regularly practicing meditation, for example, will increase the activity of genes that are able to soothe a stress reaction, ultimately making you more able to deal with stress.

Everything you experience will alter the physical structure of your brain in some way. So why not focus on positive things that bring you happiness and fulfilment.

Dealing with chronic disease isn’t easy and I’m certainly not advocating that it is. But we can all take measures to improve the quality of our lives. Reflexology is one therapy that can help. It improves nerve supply so that those positive neurons can be stimulated. It reduces inflammation so pain can be relieved. It increases circulation to help bring nutrients to all your cells. It helps balance your whole endocrine system so that the body’s chemical messengers are activated.

Reflexology also works on the brain. In conditions such as Fibromyalgia it addresses pain pathways by stimulating the Brain, Central Nervous system and Hormonal system. In Parkinson’s Disease it treats the brain and other areas involved in the production of dopamine, such as the retina of the eyes and the adrenal glands. It also helps reduce tremors and muscle tension.

In Diabetes, it helps to balance blood sugar levels and improve nerve supply and circulation to the kidneys and extremities. Research has also supported Reflexology’s efficacy in reducing fatigue and improving sleep. In those suffering from Cancer, it boosts the immune system, reduces pain and helps to increase physical strength. In Autoimmune conditions, it not only addresses the Immune system but also your emotions and the chemical reactions that take place in your body.

No matter what condition we are living with, we can always take back some control. If we are suffering from anything serious, it’s important to get medical advice but we don’t have to give all our power away. We can change our diet, drink more water, take up meditation, have regular Reflexology treatments, see a Naturopath. We always have choices.

It’s very easy to see your condition as the main focus of your life but it is only a part of your life. Yes it may take up a lot of your time and energy, but there is still so much of your life that exists outside of a diagnosis. Is there something you have always wanted to do, such as painting or writing? Would you like to learn a language or how to cook gourmet meals? There is so much available online now and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Find what lights you up, something that you have always wanted to do or perhaps never dreamt you could do. Give it a try. You will be surprised how fulfilling it can be. Taking the focus off something negative in your life, changes its’ impact on you.

Dealing with Chronic Disease can be very challenging. It is however, possible to retain some control and give your power back to yourself rather than to the disease.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References:www.reflexologyresearch.net. https://www.medicinenet.com/neuroplasticity/definition.htm https://www.heysigmund.com/why-what-you-focus-on-is-what-becomes-powerful-why-your-thoughts-and-feelings-matter/ Photo by Tim Swaan 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.