Posts

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.

Do You find it easy to Declutter your Life?

Do you find it easy to Declutter your life? Do you find it easy to let go of things that no longer serve you or do you hold on for dear life?

Many years ago, a Japanese lady called Marie Condo wrote a book called, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” In it she recommended only keeping the things in your life that ‘spark joy.’ While her book was based on physical items, I believe it’s a great practice to apply in all areas of your life.

How many of us hold onto behaviours or beliefs that no longer serve us? We’re scared of change or letting go of what is comfortable, even if it’s not healthy for us. It’s too hard, we will be judged, what will our friends or family say, others may not approve. So we stay the same. Change is difficult. What if we fail? What if it’s a disaster? We tell ourselves so many stories that we convince ourselves that our current lives aren’t too bad. We may not be happy, but we are comfortable!

But what if we challenged this status quo? What if we began to look at our lives in a new way, letting go of the old and allowing some new energy to come in instead. This may involve physical or emotional things, but the result is the same. Each time you let go, even a little, you allow space for the ‘new’ to come in.

What if you let go of control, of needing to manage the people and events in your life? What if you created better boundaries around your time and availability and let go of the need to be the people pleaser? What if you decluttered jobs, friends, relationships that only bring you grief and anxiety? What if you asked for help instead of trying to do it all yourself? What if you said “No” to the things that don’t bring you happiness and ask instead, what ‘sparks joy’ in my life?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Lungs and Large Intestine represent control and letting go. The lungs hold onto grief and how easily we ‘breathe’ through life. Whether we are holding on to someone or something or are unable to move on. The Large Bowel also represents letting go, not just of waste products but of ideas, thoughts and emotions that are toxic or hold us back. In Reflexology I always give extra attention to these areas for we all hold tension to some degree in the lungs and bowels.

The Lungs and Large Intestine are part of the Metal element in TCM and Autumn is the season of the Metal element. As we near the season of Autumn, it’s the perfect time to look at what we can let go of or declutter in our life.

Do you find it easy to Declutter? If not, look at what you are holding onto and the reasons why. Is it fear? So many of us hold onto life because of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of upsetting someone, fear of being judged or criticised.

But what if you began small? Just started with one thing. Perhaps saying ‘No’ to extra work or that job you have always said ‘yes’ to but resented. Perhaps declining an invitation because you needed some time to yourself. Perhaps asking for help around the house instead of feeling you need to do everything. Perhaps letting go of perfectionism. Perhaps eating more vegetables or removing one unhealthy food from your diet.

When you let go of the old, you allow more space and energy to come in to your life. You allow more joy and more of the things that light you up to enter in. You begin to live a more authentic life, on your terms.

Do you find it easy to Declutter? If so, that’s great. Keep it up. If not, take one step at a time. As you start to make change, you will find it becomes easier, and more sustainable change follows. You will also start to notice more joy and abundance creeping into your life.

As we move away from summer, think of the trees. They begin to shed their beautiful autumnal leaves without resistance, letting go of the old decaying remnants that no longer serve them. They know that more beauty and growth lie ahead in the months to come.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, www.acupuncturepathways.com/news/2017 Photo by Our Bahcivancilar 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.

May you all find Happiness this Christmas.

May you all find Happiness this Christmas, whatever the day may hold for you.

It has certainly been another very challenging year and the future seems uncertain. Yet as this very special time of year, I believe that it’s important to pause and reflect on the year gone by. Not everyone celebrates Christmas and I know that for many, it can be a sad and lonely time. Families get together and tensions may arise. However it’s important to remember that happiness can be found, whatever the circumstances.

I have been fortunate to have very fond memories of Christmas. It was always a magical time for me as a child. It began early with the feast of St Nicholas celebrated on December 6th. My sisters and I would leave our shoes outside our bedroom door, in the hope that they would be filled with small gifts by the morning. If we had been good (we were always told this as an incentive), we would find some nuts, fruit and chocolates waiting for us. Apparently St Nicholas loved children and these tokens were a reminder of the simple things and allowing ourselves to receive. The rest of the month was then spent excitedly waiting for Christmas to arrive.

As I reflect on the past twelve months, despite the difficulties of trying to run a business during the constant lockdowns, there has been a lot to be grateful for. As a family, we have had a lot of time together. This can be stressful at times, but there have been so many laughs and fun times together. We have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries in ways we haven’t before. Although we could not go out for these occasions, we still dressed up and had a lovely meal to make the most of the day.

Often opportunities present when you least expect them to and I have had time to write a book, as well as some poetry. I have also joined a group of creatives, that have supported my endeavours in the artistic field. I have returned to photography and am playing around with painting. No masterpieces yet but it has been fun.

Whatever happens in life, be it illness, loss or some other stress, there is always been some joy to be found. Nature keeps giving to us repeatedly, and it’s so rewarding to spend some time walking in the local area or spending time in the garden. What have you done to bring joy and wonder into your life? It is always there, even if sometimes, you have to look a bit harder.

Give yourself the gift of slowing down, of finding time just for you. It can be hard, as life gets very busy leading up to Christmas, but take an hour or even a few minutes every day. Remember to breathe, give thanks for all that your have and sit in the moment. A new year is around the corner and with that comes the magic of possibility.

May you all find Happiness this Christmas and may it be a peaceful and joyous occasion for you. Thank you so much for your support of Reflexology, all your care and for reading these newsletters. It is all greatly appreciated.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: Photo by  Max Beck on Unsplash

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.

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.

Taking back your Power during a Pandemic.

Power, Empowerment.

Taking back your Power during a Pandemic is possible.

At a time when most of us are facing limitations on our normal lives, it’s very easy to feel powerless. However we still have the capacity to take back some control. I’m not talking about ignoring health advice or jumping on board with conspiracy theories, but instead I’m suggesting that we still have options. Options in how we choose to navigate the restrictions placed on us and how much impact they have on our lives.

Those of us in Melbourne are still in strict lockdown and this can be exhausting and depressing. It can be hard to see the positives in our lives when so much is far from normal. We can stay with these feelings of powerlessness or we can make the most of the opportunities available to us and take back our power.

Here are a few suggestions.

Put some structure into your week. For those who aren’t working or are working reduced hours from home, one day soon drifts into another. Why not put things in place that happen on certain days and so give some structure and meaning to your week. Perhaps do an exercise or dance class online every Wednesday, something creative on Mondays, shopping on Thursdays and rest on weekends. Make it a regular thing that happens on a certain day each week.

Exercise regularly. There is so much available online and a lot of it is free. Maybe you have always wanted to do Yoga or Tai Chi or a dance class. Now is the time. YouTube has some great ones. Get out in nature and enjoy these beautiful sunny days. I’m loving the blossoms and smells of Spring.

Get into the garden and plant some veggies, even in a pot. The winter ones are finishing but summer ones will be available soon. Growing your own food is so rewarding and helps you to stay focused and in the present. No room for fear or worry in the outdoors.

Have you always wanted to meditate but never found the time? Try Insight Timer. It’s a free app and has lots of different mediations from 5 minutes to an hour or more. Give yourself the benefits of this wonderful stress relieving practice. It has become such a part of my morning ritual that I feel unbalanced if I don’t do it.

Want to be creative? Start drawing or painting or just get your phone out and take some photos. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just have fun. I have been re-engaging with my camera and taking photos outside. I even tried out my son’s watercolour paints and had a ball. Creativity develops your whole brain as it requires you to ‘think outside the box’ and engage in some lateral thinking. No room for perfectionism or judgement here. Just play. You will find it so rewarding.

Work your Reflexology nerve points. These will help to balance your body and any underlying issues. There are some free charts under the Products page on my website.

Do something completely different and out of your normal routine. I was gifted an online cooking class recently and had so much fun preparing the (supplied) food. My son and I did it together on Instagram. We had so many laughs trying to keep up with the chef and reading everyone else’s hilarious comments. Look up Providoor.com.au. If you don’t want to cook, have a meal delivered instead.

Talk to your friends and family, often! It’s very easy to become isolated and lonely. Reach out to others and if you need to, ask for help. Don’t be ashamed if you aren’t coping. We all go through ups and downs during this crisis. I recently lost a much loved family pet, then we had some huge storms and no power for 27 hours. On top of that we had to start boiling our drinking water and that was the final straw. A beautiful friend sent me a gift and totally restored my optimism and resilience. Don’t be hard on yourself if things are difficult. We are going through unprecedented times and none of us know how to navigate our way through.

Talk to others and write down how you are feeling. Journalling helps take the anxiety and worry out and puts it on the page instead. Don’t watch the news and laugh, often. Even if its just a silly meme or Gif or a funny movie. They all help to lift your mood. Think of things that you have always wanted to do, be it drawing, dancing, singing, playing an instrument and just do it!

Taking back your power during a pandemic IS possible. You just have to remember that the power is within You.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: Photo by Fuu J. on Unsplash

Our Eyesight is arguably our most important sense. Can we improve it?

eyes

Our Eyesight is arguably our most important sense. 80% of what we perceive in the world happens via our sight. Our cognition, learning and motor abilities are mediated through our vision. Because our visual cortex takes up the largest area of any sense, it is usually the most acute sense we perceive. So can we improve our eyesight and if so, how?

Due to current circumstances, many of us are spending longer hours in front of a screen, be it television or computer. This can cause a lot of strain on our eyes leading to headaches or blurred vision. As we age, the lenses of our eyes become less flexible which makes it harder to focus on close objects. Our eyes may also become drier as we produce less tears, there may be a loss of muscle tone in the muscles around the pupil and we may also develop cataracts. There are said to be 570 named illnesses that can affect the eye.

This all sounds a bit dismal, but there are many things you can do to preserve your eyesight and prevent deterioration. Facial Reflexology is one of them. It is a very powerful therapy that works on all levels of the body – physical, mental and emotional. Firstly, it improves the circulation to every part of the eye which is very important, as of those 570 illnesses, most are related to eye circulation. By increasing blood flow to the eyes, function will be improved.

Nerve supply is also stimulated to assist with messages from the brain via the Optic nerve. Facial reflexology can work the muscles on the face and the muscles around the eye. Many of these muscles receive their blood supply via major arteries that run through the face and are innervated by cranial nerves, which are again worked through Facial reflexology.

Facial reflexology uses the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is believed the all eye problems come from an organ problem and most diseases affecting the eye are closely related to the liver and gallbladder meridians.

The eye is nourished by all of the internal organs in the body and an imbalance in any of these internal organs will lead to a dysfunction in the eyes. Facial Reflexology looks at which organs and meridians are most out of balance and treats these along with the liver and gallbladder meridians. It also addresses the immune system to help with any infections in the eye , such as Conjunctivitis and the Spleen and Stomach meridians to help with circulation to the eyes.

Other factors to consider for eye health are diet, stress, the type of work we do, computer use, exercise and lifestyle. A diet rich in betacarotene, vitamins C and E, and sulfur-bearing amino acids are recommended. Foods rich in these nutrients include garlic, onions, beans, spinach, celery, turnips, yellow and orange vegetables, green leafy vegetables, seaweed, apples, oranges and tomatoes. It’s also important to have plenty of water to help hydrate the eyes, exercise to improve circulation, frequent breaks from computer use and meditation, yoga or other forms of stress relief.

These will all benefit your eye health.

We are often told that worsening eyesight is just a part of ageing and that nothing can be done to stop this decline in our eyesight. However, numerous peer-review studies show clearly that many eye conditions can respond to proper diet, lifestyle adaptations and nutritional supplementation, and that people can preserve their vision. 

Reflexology is also a very powerful tool and many eye conditions can be helped. I always remember a story told by my Reflexology tutor about a boy with a rare congenital condition, Q18 syndrome, who was born deaf and blind. He had intensive daily reflexology for three years and regained 100% of his hearing and eyesight.

Our eyesight is arguably, our most important sense so why not take measures to improve it.

I would love to know your thoughts.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

You can find a chart of Facial Reflexology points to work on your eyesight here.

References: www.newjerseyeyesight.com, www.theconversation.com, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441907, Ocular Therapy Course by Lone Sorensen, www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Healthy+Eyes+with+Chinese+Medicine.

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.