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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.

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.

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

How do you Open your Heart to Healing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

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

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

Who is responsible for your Healing?

Healing. Taking back your power.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what can we do to change this?

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

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

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

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

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

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

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

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

Did you know you had a ‘Calming’ nerve?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

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

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

What can I Create Today?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know how you go.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

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

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

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’.

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.