February Love Your Heart Month

CHOLESTEROL

High blood cholesterol levels increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.  Here is why:  valentines love yourselfCholesterol is carried in the blood stream where some is deposited in the inner linings of the arteries.  These fatty deposits build up causing the artery walls to thicken and become less flexible.  The artery narrows and restricts blood flow.  Eventually the blood supply may be shut off completely.

The amount of cholesterol that we absorb from the foods we eat is not 100 percent.  Most people can absorb no more that 300-500mg per day of cholesterol from foods.  In fact, up to 80 percent of blood cholesterol comes from production in the liver, not from the cholesterol in the food we eat.  Only 20 or 30 percent of the cholesterol in our blood comes preformed from cholesterol-containing foods we eat, no matter how much we eat.  Even if we ate absolutely no cholesterol, everyday the liver would still make up to 1,500mg of cholesterol from fats and sugars.  The components to make this cholesterol comes from foods we actually should cut down of eating: saturated animal fats and simple sugars, including sucrose (white sugar), fructose, and corn syrup. The liver is an expert in converting sugars into cholesterol.

What to do:-

Vitamin C helps increase HDL levels, lower LDL levels and lower triglyceride levels.  It also dramatically reduces high elevations of blood cholesterol by activating the conversion of cholesterol into bile salts.

Vitamin B complex, lost in the refining process of starches and essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates is known to help keep cholesterol from collecting.

Vitamin E, also removed  in the refining of grains and oils, helps dissolve clots, dilates blood vessels and conserves energy so the heart can work less.  Vitamin E is also an antioxidant.

Niacin, known to reduce cholesterol levels as much as 25 percent, is even more effective when used with oat bran.

Lecithin, which contains choline, is essential for the proper use of fat and cholesterol in the body.  Lecithin in the diet significantly lowers cholesterol levels.

Essential Fatty Acids, found in flax seed oil, salmon, cod, and other cold water fish oils rich in Omega 3 decrease platelet adhesion, increase bleeding time, reduce blood cholesterol and increase HDL.

Bran fiber also  reduces blood cholesterol and triglycerides, increases HDL, and lowers LDL.  Fiber also prevents cholesterol from recycling to the liver from the bowel, which signals a reduction of bile from the bowel back to the liver, which signals a reduction of cholesterol conversion to bile, causing a blood cholesterol increase.

Eating apples (one to two daily) has shown to lower total cholesterol levels by approximately 10 percent.  In addition, while LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased, the HDL (good)  cholesterol increased.

Physical activity and exercise are also important factors necessary to reduce elevated  cholesterol levels, particularly HDL levels.

Stress, caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol and obesity are all factors which contribute to heart disease and should be avoided.

Posted in Conditions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure Natural Remedy

Is it possible to find a high blood pressure natural remedy to help with your health condition you may be asking yourself?elevated-blood-pressure

Actually there are many natural remedies out there to help with this all too common health problem. There is no shame in developing high blood pressure as it is actually very common but sadly many of us do not tend to think about things like this until we actually have a diagnosis and yet it is true what they say “prevention is better than cure”.

The good news however is that for the majority of people, reducing high blood pressure is a relatively painless and simple thing to do involving changing a few dietary and lifestyle factors and in addition taking some well selected natural remedies.

Rather than believing that you are destined to a life of pill popping every single day, why not try a high blood pressure natural remedy to see what benefit there is for you personally consulting with your doctor first.

By using a natural remedy for high blood pressure alongside of making some small dietary and lifestyle changes, you should find that your blood pressure soon starts to reduce safely and gently.

What is available?

Garlic

Let’s start with the basics and look at the most commonly discussed high blood pressure natural remedy which is garlic.

It is no wonder that garlic is mentioned so much as it has been shown to have many beneficial properties.In this particular circumstance, what garlic does is to induce its beneficial effects within the cardiovascular system. This means that it naturally lowers the blood pressure levels in your body and brings them to a normal rate and then helps to keep them there.

This is the reason that you find garlic at the root of so many pre-prepared high blood pressure natural remedy preparations. Opt for a natural garlic remedy or roast it but raw garlic will have the most impact on lowering your blood pressure levels.  Of course it won’t do you or your family any harm to use more garlic as an ingredient in your cooking and will provide all of you with some level of the health benefits that it is famous for.

Fish Oil

Another high blood pressure natural remedy that is accessible and inexpensive and therefore quite popular is of course fish oil.  Omega three fatty acids also have other benefits that are well known such as being food for the brain but it is also helpful in reducing cholesterol levels and of course in turn this will also enhance the blood pressure lowering effects.

Once again, you can buy this high blood pressure natural remedy in pre-packaged forms of fish oils or you can just start eating more fresh fish within your diet.

Co Enzyme Q10

Why does Co Enzyme Q10 work as a natural remedy for high blood pressure? First and foremost it is an antioxidant which means that it will automatically be of help with the heart and with fighting off health conditions.

It is also beneficial because it has a natural lowering effect on both systolic and diastolic levels (that’s the top and bottom numbers of blood pressure reading in case you were wondering). That equals success as a remedy goes!

A Combination Approach

Another type of high blood pressure natural remedy that seems to suit combination therapy is that of Bach flower essences and a useful combination could well be the following:

  • Holly
  • White Chestnut
  • Oak
  • Willow

These safe and gentle yet profoundly effective remedies assist with the very issues that may be causing the elevated blood pressure in the first place.

For example Willow directly helps to calm any stressful areas of the life. This will bring peace of mind, but even more important than that it will naturally lower the blood pressure levels because of the reduced stress levels. Oak may help those who have struggled in life and have just kept on going against all the odds but now getting tired and jaded and sick.

So these are just a few of the natural approaches that you can take to assist with bringing your high blood pressure down.

 

 

Posted in Conditions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Have You Set Your Resolutions For 2014?

Detoxing the Body and Mind

Our minds and bodies are constantly processing food, drink, thoughts, and emotions. In our 100 miles-per-minute world, we can easily feel overwhelmed.  Think of detoxification the same way  as changing the oil in a car or the filter in air conditioner – all “machines” including our bodies, work more efficiently when free of gunk. Toxins are our bodies’ gunk and they are poisonous to cells, disrupt the metabolism of cells, and can wreck havoc with digestion. Manmade and natural toxins are everywhere and we’re exposed to them every day, including carcinogens (substances known to cause cancer including tobacco); neurotoxins (substances added to foods that cause nerve stimulation, including caffeine, MSG and artificial sweeteners); and hormone disruptors (chemicals from outside the body that can interfere with the body functions, including chemical waste and petrochemicals).  A simple detox can help  bodies tremendously. Consequences of toxins are many, including allergies, bowel problems, headaches, hormone imbalance, irritability, fatigue, PMS, muscle and joint pain.  Even if you don’t feel poorly, a complete detox program will give you energy, and make you feel healthier and more focused. It can even change your appearance, clearing your skin, making your eyes brighter and taking away dark circles. Detoxing also has anti-aging benefits as it assists your body in functioning better.

. Combining the following foods in the tastiest manner will aid in your detoxing.IMG_0575

  • Fruit – eating fresh fruit is very important, and any kind of fruit is okay. Real fruit juices also work as long as they don’t contain sugar or preservatives.
  • Vegetables – the same rule will apply with vegetables as with fruits, eat. Any combination that appeals to your taste buds works.
  • Beans and lentils – Water-packed beans are ok; oil-packed are not.
  • Tofu and quorn – These are both popular meat substitutes
  • Oats – sprinkle them over fresh fruit. Cook them. Enliven their taste with fresh fruits or honey.
  • Fresh fish – A great aid for detoxifying.  Avoid oil-packed fish.
  • Live yogurt – Probiotics in live yogurt help settle digestion

Avoid these Foods

Red meat, chicken, turkey and other poultry

  • Processed meat products, such as sausages, hotdogs, processed luncheon meats, and pate
  • Milk, cream, cheese and other dairy products
  • Eggs, butter and margarine
  • High salty snacks like potato chips or other snack chips
  • Salted nuts of any kind
  • Chocolate, candy and other sweets
  • Refined sugar
  • Jams and jellies
  • Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and soft drinks
  • Alcohol of any kind
  • Salt
  • Premixed retail salad dressings

Detoxing your body twice each year will result in improved overall health, and reduce the problems associated with the dangers of pollution, toxins, and stress that is faced each day.

Find yourself a nutritionist to help with looking at your eating plan ( if you want to look into allergies and foods to avoid contact Debbie Watkins debbiewatkins5@sky.com   07941872598)

You can treat your body to a detox with holistic therapies.  There are many to choose from – Reflexology, Thai Herbal Compress Massage and Bio Energiser Detox Spa.

Reflexology -Reflexology can help the body detox by ‘balancing’ organs like the kidneys and liver, and enabling the intestines to carry out their cleansing function without causing any unnecessary pressure.

Reflexology can also tell you what your body requires or simply what it is going through. If you have reflexology treatments whilst you are detoxing your body you will find that common ‘tender points’ are those of the bladder, kidney and digestive systems, all of which are working hard. The practitioner will work on these specific points to bring them to optimum condition for continued cleansing.

Thai Herbal Compress Massage - The treatment combines eastern massage techniques with a light pressure patting, rolling, kneading and gentle but deeply effective massage. The heat from the compress carries the herbal essences and the essential oils deep into the skin, underlying tissues and organs. The treatment brings about a deep sensation of comfort and warmth whilst stimulating the body to detoxify and heal itself.

Bio Energiser Detox Spa- The relaxing 30 minute treatment involves placing your feet into a spa bowl filled with warm salted water. An Energizing Cartridge creates a flow of electrons and a bioenergetic field that provides a relaxing and enjoyable treatment. The feet have an amazing 2000 pores in each foot and therefore offer one of the best points to administer the treatment which is both efficient and convenient.  The Bio Energiser rebalances and harmonises by sending signals up through the lymph glands to stimulate the detox process.

Also remember to skin brush the body to help your lymph system to clean itself of the toxins, that collect in the lymph glands and also to use saunas.

 

Your mind and the thoughts it thinks are the cause of all that you experience, including the health of your body.  If you detox your body without detoxing your mind, you will simply recreate those bodily toxins.  Stress can be greatly decreased via meditation. 

1. Find a quiet and comfortable place. Sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck and back straight but not stiff.

2. Try to put aside all thoughts of the past and the future and stay in the present.

3. Become aware of your breathing, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe. Feel your belly rise and fall, the air enter your nostrils and leave your mouth. Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different.

4. Watch every thought come and go, whether it be a worry, fear, anxiety or hope. When thoughts come up in your mind, don’t ignore or suppress them but simply note them, remain calm and use your breathing as an anchor.

5. If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts, observe where your mind went off to, without judging, and simply return to your breathing. Remember not to be hard on yourself if this happens.

6. As the time comes to a close, sit for a minute or two, becoming aware of where you are. Get up gradually.

 

Take exercise like a walk in the park, yoga, tai chi.  Try Nordic Walking or using a personal trainer (Trish Sharps  www.active-4-life.co.uk )   Take a break from technology – computer’s , ipad’s, phones, televison etc. Try to take steps to free yourself of the past hurts and worries that continue to live with you. Start a personal ritual, such as writing a letter (your don’t have to send it!) to get out all your feelings. Or buy a beautiful journal to give yourself a regular outlet for all your emotions, regrets, and worries. Don’t push these emotions away. Harness them and move on as a smarter person.  Even record you accomplishments, days out, everything that makes you feel good, include photos, remembrances.

 

Posted in General posts, Therapies | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why do my muscles ache and get knotty?

Common Question I Am Often Asked

When I see a client before their massage and I check how they are feeling, I am often told ‘oo I ache all over’ or ‘my muscles ache’ and then when performing the massage I often find tension in the shoulders and what a client would like to call ‘a knot’.   I am often asked why do muscles ache and what are knots? so I am writing this to hopefully explain what is happening in your body and how you can help yourself.

So what are “knots” exactly?  The simple explanation is that our muscles are layered and are positioned in many different directions. Their layers cross each other at various angles. Also to make it more difficult, there are often several layers of muscles right on top of each other. You may find that at these crossings, from time to time, rather than gliding past each other nicely as usual, muscles may become “stuck” to their surrounding structures, resulting in a crunchy, lumpy, hard and painful spot that can feel stuck and uncomfortable. (Knot is a misnomer, as muscles aren’t literally tangled up).

 

An adhesion can start to limit your range of motion, making it harder to move or stretch in a certain direction, which is often uncomfortable and painful.neck muscle

A common spot for someone to feel a bit stuck is Levator Scapulae because of its angular position. Levator starts at a point high up in your neck, and runs at an angle to attach to your Scapula (or shoulder blade).  This is very common with the clients I see complaining of neck and shoulder pain/tension.

Why do we get knots? Muscles become stuck for all kinds of reasons, most commonly because of posture and sitting still (in front of a computer or at a desk) for too long. Sound familiar?  When we don’t move around, we don’t allow proper blood flow – blood being important because it lessens the friction or smoothes our muscles, bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients, all while speeding away the toxins that accumulates over time. We aren’t meant to be sedentary, our bodies need movement and action to stay healthy. Another contributing factor to adhesions is dehydration. Coffee and alcohol are diuretics, and in order to stay well hydrated and in good shape, our bodies require water.  That is why we ask on the consultation sheet if you drink water and how much and recommend you drinking water. Muscles are a pretty spongy tissue, and need to stay well hydrated to stay that way. 

 

How do you get rid of knots? There are a few things that you can do to help with adhesions, most notably stretching and massage therapy. Massage therapists will fully warm up an area before working on it, using long, gliding strokes and deeper kneading strokes using Effleurage and Pettrisage.  Applying pressure to the area with their fingertips, fists, elbows and forearms, (I use my thumbs!) your therapist will sink in slowly into the painful area that is bothering you. A skilled therapist will at first work along the length of the muscle using long gliding strokes to feel the stuck areas, and then work across the points of adhesions to help release those stuck points. This usually feels a little painful, but as my clients say ‘a nice pain’.  

 

How can I prevent getting knots in the future? Take Breaks – don’t stay in the same position for hours and hours, walk away from your desk or computer regularly, and use the most ergonomic posture that you can when doing repetitive work. Stretch regularly, it helps establish nice patterns of movement and increases your range of motion. (contact me if you would like a poster for office exercises and stretches). Stay hydrated, cut down on the caffeine and alcohol – take a moment to listen to your body and notice where you have stress and tension, so that you can take preventative action before a condition worsens. Regular massage appointments can also help inform you and remind you of what is happening with your muscles, all while treating the pain and discomfort and increasing circulation.

 

Posted in Conditions, Therapies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gift Ideas For Christmas

Gift Vouchers For Christmas

Gift vouchers are available all year round and make an ideal present for birthday, anniversary, get well, new mum, or just as a gift to say thank you.gift vouchers

At Christmas, Gift Vouchers are ideal to give as a pamper, an add on to a present, or as a stocking filler.

These can be bought and given as monetary value, or as a treatment.  They can be bought singularly or one voucher for a block of treatments (pay by credit card and buy 4 treatments and get a 5th one free!).  They are delivered in a hand made Christmas card, but can also be packaged with a gift (contact for more information).

Vouchers are available for the VIP Packages:

  • Top To Toe – Reflexology, Back/Neck/Shoulder Massage and Hopi Ear Candles  £70.00
  • Wellbeing – Reflexology, Holistic Massage and Facial, Hopi Ear Candles  £99.00
  • Pamper Package – Full Body Massage and Reflexology with Hot Stones  £70.00
  • Detox – Detox Spa, Reflexology and Face and Head Massage  £70.00
  • Spring Detox – Detox Spa and Reflexology  £50
  • Summer Relaxator – Holistic Facial, Hands and Feet Massage, Back/Neck/Shoulder Massage  £60.00
  • Autumn Warmer – Back and Leg Massage with 8 different essential oils  £50.00
  • Winter Pamper – Back Hot Stone Massage with facial  £45.00

Get your Christmas shopping out the way and buy the perfect gift to be tailor made to their needs!

 

Posted in General posts, Therapies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Stress Awareness Day 6th November 2014

Are You Aware Of Stress?

This is the press release today from the International Stress Management Organisation

Press Release
National Stress Awareness Day
6th November,2013

Just my way of thinking

Just my way of thinking

Stress is everywhere. It is one of the most common conditions experienced by people in the UK today. It is known to contribute to the more serious physical illnesses, as well as being a cause for obesity, itself rapidly growing in numbers. People going to work whilst suffering stress contribute to poor performance of businesses and services, and can be a contributor to poor care, errors, and disasters caused by lack of concentration. The financial cost to the UK has been estimated at £60 billion or about £1000 per man, woman and child.

Most organisations tackle stress at the wrong end. They wait until someone becomes ill, and then start to provide services to improve their health. This is too late. Stress is largely preventable, as it is mainly caused by events and poor behaviour that triggers a stressful response. Eliminate these events and poor behaviour, and people do not need to experience stress.

National Stress Awareness Day, on 6th November, 2013, raises awareness about stress, how to prevent it and how to manage it once it occurs. The emphasis is on promoting psychological wellbeing of people at work so that they can perform at their peak – ‘If you feel well you perform better than if you feel ill’. It’s about how people feel. People who feel great can often concentrate more effectively on what they want to do, and this is performance.

The theme for National Stress Awareness Day is ‘Going the Extra Mile’ – which is what happens when organisations are stress free. The energy, enthusiasm, motivation and concentration in a stress free environment, provokes people to have greater interest in others and to contribute more – ‘Going the Extra Mile’.

National Stress Awareness Day is sponsored by The International Stress Management
Associationᵁᴷ. ISMA volunteers around the UK will be helping businesses and services raise awareness about the prevention and management of stress at work.

For further information please email:stress@isma.org.uk

How do you deal with stress?  Do you suffer with stress?  Do you do anything to help prevent stress?

There are many ways out there today to help with preventing or dealing with stress without having to seek immediate help from the doctors surgery or to use to compliment with help from the doctor. (please seek the doctors permission first!)

Massage and reflexology can aid with relaxation and help with sleep. A back neck and shoulder massage or a full body can help relax the body and help you unwind.  Also beneficial is the use of Indian Head Massage or Hot Stone Massage.  The use of aromatherapy essential oils can also be of benefit to stress.  Purchase a bottle of lavender, geranium or rose essential oils from a local health food store. You can put a few drops (7 drops is what is recommended) in your bath water to help you unwind. It’s best to add the drops after you’re done running the water.  You can also make a hot compress by soaking a hand flannel in warm water that has a few drops of your preferred essential oil. Apply the compress to the back of the neck. If you’re in public you can put a few drops on a cotton ball or hankie and inhale deeply. This is an easy way to use aromatherapy in the work place.  You can also add these oils to a vaporizer to help release the oils into the air. You can usually purchase a vaporizer that is specifically for the oils where ever essential oils are sold. You can also add the oils to a diffuser.

Another good way to relieve stress and relax is to go for a walk, some people prefer the gym but myself I like to get into the fresh air and blow the cobwebs away.  I am lucky in that I live close to the coast so a brisk walk along the beach and to breathe in sea air does me good, but if you are able to get out into the countryside and take in nature, that is lovely to relieve stress and calm wound up nerves and anxiety.  On occasions I am known to walk listening to my ipod of The Archers or a podcast of Rhod Gilbert and that helps to change my thoughts and mood.

 The next time you feel tense and stressed out stop and smell the roses, or the lavender!

Check out my website for more details and prices on the therapies I provide.  Also bespoke aromatherapy blends can be made for you for your therapy.  

http://www.alisholistics.co.uk/prices-gift-vouchers/ 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment